MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
In keeping with drawing my inspiration from the Internet, I have finally discovered why blogging is important:
Recently someone hacked into the database at UCLA and stole personal identity information for potential identity theft. While it scares me in the first place to have my credit card and social security information in databases and on the internet, I recently had an unsettling experience concerning databases and the internet. I got a letter in the mail from this online company that I had bought something from online. Apparently someone breached the security of their online database and stole thousands of names, addresses and their corresponding credit card information. Mine was a part of this database so they told me to check over all my credit card statements, inform my credit card company and accept their apology. While I don't know much about hacking or really even computers in general, I was pissed at this company for not taking the proper security measures to protect their databases and their customers.
Well, this definitely isn't a very media studiesy post but it is cultural studies and that's part of what we do so I thought I'd write it anyway. So I'm sure this idea isn't actually as original as I thought it was when it came to me this morning but for some reason I've been thinking theoretically about divorce lately (fun stuff!)and I've come to a little conclusion I think. My current thoughts are that the increase in the divorce rate actually could have been predicted not only based on changing attitudes about "till death do us part", a decrease in the stigma of being a divorcee, and a decrease in religious ties, but also from trends that started a long, long time ago...
I'm writing my final paper for my Race Theory in Media course on racial and gender representations in contemporary mainstream television, with a focus on Grey's Anatomy. Since I know it's a popular show, it's interesting for me to hear people's opinions about the representations. So, if you love the interracial relationship between Burke and Cristina or are intrigued by the fact that the show has women in power, I'd love to hear input.
The show is particularly intriguing in how it interconnects all of the elements of race, class, gender, and sexuality and while it is praised for all of these various representations, the program upholds many ideologies that have negative affects on various groups. The show appeals to a large variety of people because it presents an assortment of races and genders in significant roles. Grey's Anatomy successfully integrates genders and races into a mainstream, popular show. However, it is interesting that despite the vast representations, the cast's gender and racial differences are not a central focus. This is acceptable because the characters and the relationships attract audiences and their races are incidental. The cast's race is not directly addressed and it is embraced by many people who can relate to the various cast members.
So I've been looking at commercials so much for my thesis, and reading about how advertisers address women in commercials, that I just can't break myself out of that mindset. Probably a good thing, if I were motivated to work on my thesis right now (which I'm not, thanks to the Charlie Brown Christmas cd and the Steel Magnolias DVD my mom sent me). In any case, today was my LAST final, in Macroeconomics, if you're interested. I don't think it went very well, so I've been hiding in bed watching television when I see a commercial for Exclusive Smiles, a cosmetic dentistry practice by Gary Demerjian. What struck me about the commercial is how upfront it is. I can't remember the exact voice-over comments but it was something like, "Exclusive Smiles will give Susan a new smile, and maybe even a new relationship!" (in that knowing, hinting voice, as Susan frolics with some hunky men).
Piggybacking off of ofcabbagesandkings's earlier blog, Why am I a major in Media Studies?? It's a kinda weird story actually. I came in to college as a chemistry and marine biology major. What changed that??? I don't know. Actually, 4 hour chemistry labs probably had a lot to do with it. Some of it was also probably not having an outlet for creativity in the areas I was studying. Studying chemical equations made me miserable and I hated not being able to input my opinion into any of it. Memorizing equations and how to complete formulas was just not what I wanted to do for four years of my life.
there, hopefully is a link to a NYT article i just stumbled on while distracting myself from writing final papers. and now i'm blogging as distraction from other work, oh how i rue finals week.
but this article is still ridiculous to me -- firstly, that this entire new joke/hype was all out of a kneejerk reaction to avoid lawsuits... it just seemed super timely that an article like this popped up, when i find myself wondering how exactly the digital world influences the production of media (my other paper thats on my plate right now is how tv affects societal perceptions of polygamy, so horny manatees are way more fun to read about for the time being). it's just still so crazy to me how much advertisement and savviness has to go into digital responses and promotions and everything that gets tied along with any sort of media today. every movie and tv show has an official website, not to mention how everything written in relation to a show is also online - and soon enough the show itself might exist primarily on the web.
Speaking of great things to share from YouTube (as I'm sure someone just was...that's all we talk about), my friend Larissa just showed me this great stop-motion film that her friend from Occidental made. He took the sound from the move SAW, and redid the images with stuffed animals. It's pretty much the coolest thing of today. He was also on an episode of the short-lived MTV dating show "Wanna Come In?" and he was in fact invited in. Here's the link:
Let me know what you think.
I think what made me hesitate most before finally sitting down and just writing is the ambiguous nature of what is acceptable to write here and how it should be written. The syllabus says the blog can be a "place of formal, print-on-paper reading responses" or just exploring ideas in "whatever way most appeals to you". Does that mean that anything is acceptable? My blog definitely leans more towards this side of things than the "formal, print-on-paper" side of things, but is this ok? Also, what is it about printing something on paper that connotes formal, proof-read perfection? When I read that the first time it made complete sense to me.
Here is an article y'all should read if you have the chance between finals and papers.
If you are short on time, here is the gist of it.
Scented bus shelter advertisements smelling of just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies made their U.S. debut. Five San Francisco bus shelters were equipped on Monday with ads embedded with the scent of cookies in a new Got Milk advertising campaign launched by the California Milk Processor Board.
One comment on the article read "cannot imagine the smell of that mixed with urine or trash that is thrown up against billboards ads," I kind of have to agree.