Sunday, September 30, 2007

Prison Break

One of my current favorite television shows is Prison Break. I've been watching it since the first episode of the first season and have never missed one (with the help of tivo). The first time I watched it, I noticed that there was an abundance of diversity among the characters. The 4 main characters of the first season were two white men, one African American man and one hispanic man. I didn't really think about it at the time because there was already a presence of Africans Americans and hispanics in television. I thought the reason for the adversity was because they couldn't pull off a prison that had only white men, but realized that that wasn't the only reason. As the show progressed, they began going into the backgrounds of all the characters and it seemed as if they really wanted to involve a variety of cultures in their show.

Another of my favorite shows (although it has gotten worse over time) is 24. It is attention grabbing, action packed, and full of suprises. One aspect that never changes, however, is that there is a bit of a lack in adversity. I'll admit there was a little, for example they had David Palmer as the first black president, but for the most part, there were white members of CTU with white field members, and there were terrorists who just happen to all be Middle Eastern (with a few exceptions). You would think, with a rising hispanic population, that there would be a lot of hispanic actors working on the show, but there have been few to none (at least that I can remember).

I am a bit confused why Prison Break has a lot of diversity, while 24 has very little, and has an abundance of steriotypes, even though they are on the same network, Fox. Doesn't really make sense, does it?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Mystery of Memories

After a very "informative" class today, there are a couple of points that I would like to add/ ask about that I didn't get the opportunity to ask in class.

We had one discussion about the idea that every time you remember a memory it becomes less truthful and more "selfish." Then it was suggested that if someone had amnesia that the memory would be stronger and more accurate. But no matter how accurate that memory may be, with current technology, it would be impossible to retrieve it, and it would as if the memory had died. Until scientists can find the proteins that make the memories and find a way to translate them into a form that can be understood by humans, the memories are utterly useless. (As long as it is not a terrible memory that will have harsh, lasting effects on me) I would rather have a memory that becomes more refined and more about me than no memory at all.

Also, I understand it is a topic of great importance and controversy, but I really think there should be an option for holocaust survivors to be able to releave their minds and forget the terrors in their past. This is coming from first hand experience- my father's parents were both survivors of the holocaust and have both had an unbelievably hard life. The stories they told were horrific and, to this day, I still think it was some bad dream or something- I can't imagine humans doing anything that bad to each other. My grandfather passed away when I was 4, but I watched my grandmother live a fairly long life with severe depression.

I know that only bad things can result from the truth being hidden. In this case, I understand the importance of those memories and if they are erased what can happen. But, if the survivors record their stories through a video (as my grandfather did) or in a book, then they should have the right to choose to cleanse their mind and live freely for the rest of their life. It is important for this documentation, even if they choose not to forget, because the generation that experienced the holocaust is slowly passing on, and these stories are important, not only to the jewish people, but for society.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 was a day which drew this country together, while at the same time, it tore us apart. The shock and misery of it made a strong bond between Americans, however terrible. Americans argue, Americans shout, Americans scream, cut others off in traffic, and cheat, yet when 9/11 is brought up, all Americans feel grief together. There was and still is so much I don't know about the attacks upon this country. The discussions in class were a bit helpful, but I still want to know more.

While looking around the internet, trying to find an interesting topic that I could make a post about, I came across a photograph captioned "The Falling Man." Curious, I clicked on the link that, while answering my question, horrified me. The site talks about the hundreds of people that jumped or fell from the buildings, hoping for a helicopter rescue. Unfortunately, these rescues never came. A man named Richard Drew photographed a man falling in a series of about a dozen photographs. His motive was, "I didn't capture this person's death. I captured part of his life. This is what he decided to do, and I think I preserved that" (

After trying to conceptualize how this man must have felt while he was falling, I kept reading and was even more sickened. Imagine losing somebody in these attacks, knowing they are gone forever, then being asked to try to identify that loved one. I couldn't do it without it bringing tears to my eyes. The man's identity was never officially confirmed, but it is believed to be Jonathan Briley, a worker at a restaurant in the south tower. Imagine trying to decipher if that was your brother or son or father in the air falling upside down, thousands of feet, to his death. When I think of the deaths caused by 9/11, it always seemed as if it was quick and painless...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Appearances and Consequences

Something funny I realized in the past is that certain television shows, such as The Simpsons and South Park, have episodes that connect with almost every circumstance in real life. You name it, every topic is covered. Until today, however, I hadn't realized the same pertained to music too. Well, of course I knew there were numbers of genres with unlimited artists, but it never really clicked how on-top-of-it some people really are. For instance, one of my favorite new artists, Ben Folds, really does cover a wide variety of topics that ascertain to "real life."

You can see lower in my profile, that I used one of his pieces entitled "Still Fighting It" to represent my point in the Secret Messages post, but when I looked at the topic for my next post and saw appearances, i laughed to myself. One of my favorite Ben Folds songs, "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You," is all about appearances and how people change themselves to be liked by others. The chorus goes, "Make me feel tiny if it makes you feel tall, but there's always someone cooler than you." He goes on to explain how life is short and you shouldn't spend it worrying about what other people think about you.

It is amazing to see how self conscience teenagers are and how much they change themselves. In the last generations, you didn't see 13 year olds piling make up onto themselves or wearing low cut shirts and short shorts. In the work world, but especially in the high school world, appearances mean everything to most people, and it is sad. The people that don't worry about how others judge them are generally much happier people.

(If you would like to hear the song- It is on my "Ipod" thingy)

Secret Messages

Something I enjoy greatly now, and as a child, is listening to music. As I have grown, I have gone through different phases of genres i enjoyed: The "oldies", hip hop, rock, alternative. But nothing I have ever listened to that I have liked, or I am sure that anyone else has, is listening to artists list exactly what they feel. I would assume that it would be a pretty boring song.

The part of the song that enchants me most is the figurative language. It brings me out of a world with rules and responsibility and into a beautiful place of imagination, where there are no limits or worries, just fantasy. Having unusual descriptors, such as similes or metaphors, can use surreal images to explain an artist's memory or feelings. In this way, there are many different secret messages an artist may wish to allow the listener to fathom on their own. Even without the similes, songs provide secret messages. When two people think of a song, they can both get different vibes from it, each can provide themselves with a different connotation (one may think it's a sad song, and one may think it is a contemplative one), allowing each to conclude with a different message the artist was trying to convey.

Artists also tend to leave out information for the listener to infer on their own, giving even more power to the imagination.

Ben Folds-Still Fighting It

I thought this was a good example of a song where there are a lot of messages that the listener can pick up through the artist's figurative language