Thursday, April 28, 2005

Film festival

So this is a late post but o well here goes. The Film fest was quiet enlightening. Out of all the films, I liked four particularly. The Chamber, Roommates, Face to Face, The Missing Window. It was so weird watching these films with all the effects and stunts. For example, The Roommates, since I knew the people in it, I was just blown away. I guess having watched Star Wars; I became more appreciative of the movies and the whole visual effects that went into the movie making. Seeing those stunts being done by people that I see and talk to everyday was an eye opener. The sound quality in that film was not very good but overall, I liked the effects and stunts.
I think that editing in films is just one of the greatest things in film making. The fact that in the process of story telling, you can twist and mix, to make a film longer yet be able to make sense out of it. Each film created its own diegetic world, drawing me as a viewer in its form of story telling. Then there was The Chamber where I recognized a myth. The coming of the messiah was suggested when the main character, became the only one, or the two. I was confused until someone pointed out that this was a funny remake of the Matrix (which I haven’t seen)
Face to Face was my favorite movie, not because it had great film making or great stunts but because of the content. I found that this was the case with many of my friends who I talked to. They liked the film because of the content. I however talked to a few who didn’t think that it was that great. We all see different things in a film and what we like about it might be very different. My knowing most of the actors in the film might have also influenced the balance to tilt toward them.
The Missing Window being the best film was creatively made. Albeit it has similar storylines as most war movies I’ve seen but the whole mise en scene attracted me to the characters and the story. The change from present and past, keeping your suspense drew me in wanting to know exactly what happened.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

I am not one of them

Retract...third person effect. Romance. Love. Chick flicks....three words that should be associated with my name. I love them. Love reading books, love watching chick flicks. But somehow, I think that it has affected everybody but me. Or maybe I think that my small group of friends who love these romance movies and books are exceptionally different. WEll, what can I say, there is a whole lot in those books that I really don't buy into. Infact, I think they are ridiculous, but the fun of it is that I like reading or watching them to make fun of people and see how ridiculous they can act. LOL yeah for real. I would like to see what happens in my own love life persay, but that is yet to be seen since I don't have an existin one yet. Back to third person affect. I think that I am exceptional from this rule but as we all kno, that aint true. I am not. I just want to believe that I am. Those books affect me as much as media affects other people.
Well, this is my two cents on that and this

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Let it be known

Labels have been given to people according to the media they take part in. I could be labeled as a book worm..because I simply luv to read books. I could also be labeled as a soccer fanatic because when it comes to soccer, well I am there with my eyes wide open. so, given that we all give people labels, there is no escape from it. We tend to categorize pple according to who and what they engage in.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Be a Christian...and a Fan?

Today in class matt braught the topic of being a Christian and a fan at the same time. people did bring up some very interesting issues. YEs God IS to be the top of everything. He should not be compromised or be collaborated with anything. As Andrew said in class, the world is God's and everything that is in reflects to Him and Him alone. As I said, I love soccer and I enjoy watching it every opportunity I get. it's very hard for me to pass up a game of soccer especially when i have some time to seat and shout at the TV or the field...GO FIGURE. Oh can't forget, I love Beckham too and enjoy mosly seeing him play. Yes I will collect anything when i get the chance to, but so far, I haven't been deprived in my spiritual life. I believe that worship is in everything I do. meaning that In everything that I do, I do it to my best ability. So if it is being a fan, I am going to do it well. If God so it best for me not to be a fan, and I was straying away, I am very sure, He will find a way to knock me down and bring me to my senses. You know, thinking about God, 24/7 doesn't mean that you are a christian. It's like standing in a garage all day thinking u r gonna be a car. WOn't happen. Being a Christian is about finding a balance. i don't think we should be so obsessive about something that God becomes a one week acquaintance. We should become healthy fans...what that means? I am reading about it

Sunday, April 10, 2005

WOW...Slow down Trekkies

Ok...shoot me in the head, atleast that is what was going in my head when i was watching the film. I mean, I thought I was a fan, but I discovered otherwise. Ok, maybe I am fan, but just another kind of fan. Cause that was crazy. I know, I know...third person effect. Yes, I admit it, I think that star trek has messed up those people's minds. Something I can say that beckham and soccer hasn't done yet. I haven't gotten to the stage where I have tons of posters of the rich and the famous soccer players or Beckham's virus(if indeed he has one). haven't gone and designed a website, although...I have my xanga background with his picture. I baught his book, have pictures,( not all over the room tho). Ok...lemme see, I joined an on-line forum on Beckham and Manchester united...and I think that's as far as my craziness goes. Although I would love nothing better than to fly to spain and have a chat with beckham plus go to Manchester and watch my favorite team play. I know there are some fans who have died because of soccer but I don't see that happening to me. I would like to think of myself as a sensible fan who keeps things in perspective...sometimes. I mean, i did get upset when the team that I wanted to win lost and happened couple of times....but nothing serious I am sure

SOCCER...I shall have none other

In class we talked about how a certain text that you are interested in can restrict your identiy with other texts. I find that to be true when it comes to soccer. When it come to sports...there is only three...track and field, Basketball and Soccer( the real football if you will) Soccer being the top of the three. All the other sports are nothing to me, infact I am not very fond of these sports at all. Well for starters, I think that football is for sissies (maybe very dogmatic there) not everybody in the team has to be very fit so...yeah. baseball, i totally don't get and just don't waste my time watching it. I think since like the four years I've been in the US, i've gone to only one Canada ( the blue Jays against Red sox) That was the end of my baseball watching. I don't understand it at all. I mean, I will go to school football games and because I am big on school spirit, i will shout and yell like every football lover, but honestly, don't get it. Same goes for baseball. Tennis, golf, and other sports are just not my thing...and I don't honestly care about them. YES YES...I am dogmatic when it comes to soccer. I think it is the greatest sport in the world...tht's why everybody is good at it..but well that is another story. but then, even in this same text, i am closed minded. For example, the Brazil national team will always be my favorite team. And in my eyes they might as well win all the world cups, then Manchester United and Euro football is my second fav. but I totally do not like American soccer...for reasons that will not be discussed here. IF you want my discussions on Soccer, you will have to go to my other website. cause there is a whole lot of...this and that on football( I mean the real football)

Friday, April 01, 2005

The best or just a market? part two

I like beckham because he can really bend the ball. Some of the best shots that were ever made, can be traced back to him first. Yes, I love soccer, other than maybe basketball, soccer is my first passion. Albeit i don't follow it as much as I used to, but I love it. So the first thing I love about Becks comes from my love of the game. Then off course don't deny the fact that he looks good. Yes, he is very cute. I mean i don't envy Victoria or anything but he is a good looking man, who plays soccer, doesn't drink (prefers water), passionate about what he does, definately dances...what more could a gal want.
He is also a soccer Icon. Even though Pele is the best playa of all time, it's Becks that people recognize first. Dare I say it? Yes David Beckham is a little exergerated. He is over dramatized and his publicist does a wonderful job on advitising him. I mean getting married to a spice gal made him even more popular. I have seen Beckham in all types of label jeans, in suits, his shirt off, yes in even basketball jerseys...American jerseys for goodness sake. What looks good on beckham will look good on you and as faithful fans, we will rush out there and buy it.
So other than that, my para social relationship with Beckham grows stronger as i interact with more fans. We get blogs about him and our friends read them, out of curiosity they want to hear about this Beckham guy and off course being the fan iam, I freak out at first because :who hasn't heard of becks/" but then I get over it and explain to them who Beckham is and then another fan is born. The circle then goes on and on, before you know it, you have a lot of people liking Becks too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The best, or just a market?

Just the other day I baught the new book of David Beckham. I am so excited about this cause it's Becks. I mean it's Beckham..come on. By just a mere glance at my website <> you will be able to recognize that Manchester United with beckham in it is like my perfect team. He been my favorite playa for a long time. can't remember when I started liking him so much. So then there is the Manchester united fan site, and the many beckham forums that I am involved with. But the funny thing is, beckham is not the best playa out there. I mean, Pele was so much better and right now...I can still count a few playas who are so better that Becks. take Ronaldinho for example, I will wear his jersey proudly because he is really one of the best playas out there. then there is Ronaldi, Ronaldo, Zidane, figo....all these players are good, but the funny thing is, you never really hear or them or have movies about them. "Bend it like Beckham" was a revolutionary film for soccer playas in America, atleast in my opinion. It made beckham an icon, not only in soccer and so many commercials, but in the movie industries. Soccer became a sport that could be talked about in the mainstream media. now back to beckham, you might be really wondering by now where all this is going to. I mean, if Becks is not the best, and he is not really an American, then why the heck do I like him?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The great Pop Culture Arrrrrgggh

Well, thinking that maybe I have underestimated my knowledge of the pop I took the quiz given by the "entertainment weekly" magazine and thought I had a good chance of atleast getting maybe half or the questions. Well let's just say, if I was trying to get a job in the media industry, I would need to go from scratch. I got like one question right, out of a hundred. Pathetic huh? yeah I know. Now I know why I watch media, and my primary motivation...entertainment. I mean how else would u explain my lack of knowledge? I watch a movie, and if it makes a big impression on me, i might remember a line or two or maybe watch the movie again and again. For example, if there was a question about the NEWSIES, I can pretty much quote the movie. Too bad there weren't any. So how can I move from just being media illeterate to media literacy, (wait...just movies), maybe I should start applying the things we learn in class like having the double consiousness, emerging myself into some semiotic domain/affinity group and make it my business to know what is going on. also be aware of the diagetic world in these too much to do? It will take a while

The great Pop Culture Arrrrrgggh

Well, thinking that maybe I have underestimated my knowledge of the pop I took the quiz given by the "entertainment weekly" magazine and thought I had a good chance of atleast getting maybe half or the questions. Well let's just say, if I was trying to get a job in the media industry, I would need to go from scratch. I got like one question right, out of a hundred. Pathetic huh? yeah I know. Now I know why I watch media, and my primary motivation...entertainment. I mean how else would u explain my lack of knowledge? I watch a movie, and if it makes a big impression on me, i might remember a line or two or maybe watch the movie again and again. For example, if there was a question about the NEWSIES, I can pretty much quote the movie. Too bad there weren't any. So how can I move from just being media illeterate to media literacy, (wait...just movies), maybe I should start applying the things we learn in class like having the double consiousness, emerging myself into some semiotic domain/affinity group and make it my business to know what is going on. also be aware of the diagetic world in these too much to do? It will take a while

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

US??? U sure about that?

So I am at work( in the admissions) and I sport US WEEKLY...and off course being nosy I jump to it and start scrolling through the pages. Then the Dean comes in and he is like what are you reading...aand I am like hmmm Us weekly? He makes a comment that goes in the lines of..So you are becoming like us Americans who are obsessed with Holliwood. Then one of my co-workers makes a comment that hasn't left me to this day..she was like.."you know because as American citizens we absuletly need to know that Demi Moore is having Ashton Kutcher's baby, we need to know that Charlie Sheen and Denise Richardson are separating, and that Jen and Brad are separating" I was like these people don't have a life and if they do then it's for the public to see and scrutinize. WHy do we admire them so much? are their lives our business? DO we really have to know what is going on with their lives, and if we do why? I mean they become the heroes and everything in movies and stuff, and the public tries to identify with them. Otherwise, why do we have tabloids? who ever is the publisher knows that celebrities are really looked they will try and give the public all the gossip they can. Media has an influence on us, more directly than we would wnat to admit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Conglomeration terror- part two

On the other hand, I can't just be so close-minded not to see that there might another side of this story. These media coglomerates might be good for something after all. Although the growth might be unwelcome at first, conglomeration might bring a new experience to these countries. In class, the issue of economy was braught up. I might have to agree to a certain point that this might boost the poor economy in most of the third world countries. It might bring new opportunities that might be otherwise unavailable to these people. Maybe if this conglomeration takes place, we might actually have some of the Ideals discussed in class. For example, there might be a more awareness of international news coverage. Who knows, good does come from evil and this might not be so different. But again, at what cost? What will have to be lost for all this to take place?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Conglomeration terror- part one

Conglometion brings one word to mind..dictactorship, only it's not really of people but of the media industry. Let me take that back, the media is influencing how we think so I gues that it could be some kind of terror there. Being and African, can't help but worry about my ol' continent there. If conglometion comes to an upper scale that it is right now, Africa is going to be taken over. The simplist of media which we enjoy so much there will be gone. Infact, there is signs of that already. Go to S. Africa and the media industries in America are taking over slowly. AOL is already being used by the teens who are becoming obsessed with cyber space. Africa needs a chance to be creative, and if these monopoly companies take over, then it will crush many Ashleys (if you know what I mean) There are those Ashleys who are doing well and putting out their ideas in Africa, but if the companies takes over, that little flame is going to be blown away. The American Conglomerates are becoming a monopoly for the world. This is going to cost the will be forcing them to have values that might end up not being so good. No offence to Americanism, but what will be the point if everyone becomes like American. WHere will the individuality play a role? The issues of abortion, homosexuality and all these conflict issues will become an acceptable thing just because the media accepts it. In my opinion. somethings are to stay where they belong.

Monday, March 14, 2005

usher and the Cross

So its' like 12 and usher's one night concert is on... he is in Puerto Rico and off course any sensible hip-hop lover would sit down and watch it..if only for his moves..sleek. Anyways, I notice that usher's shirt has a cross neatly done on the back of his shirt. ok, call me naive but I was like hmm so he still acknowledges God, however for two minutes, he becomes micheal jackson and the question is which God is he acknowledging. What message is he sending out? cause the next minute he comes out singing " he reminds of a gal" with the dancers almost naked.
He sings the songs and pauses enjoying the power he has on the growd. His body moves and the crowd shouts, he pauses and they breathe waiting for what is next. He is technically selling two of his greatest assets; his body and voice. He takes his shirt off enjoying the shouts he gets from ther women.
Derives the power from crowd.
Then my favorite part, his outfits, especially when he comes out with the Cavaliers jersey, shoes and cap. Then adresses Lebron James. Convergence at best. Wonder how much the Cavs paid for that. Right ther he approves the cavs and off course he likes the cavs everyone likes the cavs. Sometimes we think that we enjoy a certain sport, but in reality, we have been sold that sport without our knowledge. The " I was born in church, here is my cross that artists seel is not very attractive anymore. Sadly, people are buying it.

Friday, March 04, 2005


Spring break yohooo! yeah right, even on the dinner table mass media follows me. Anyhows, I was eating dinner today when I saw the current issue of Parade. Yeah, real fun. But what captured my attention was not so much the title as the pictures that were displayed on the top. Now I could talk about semiotics in this particular cover, but that is not what I want to really go into. Basically the main article is about TV as a media text and how things have really changed. it takes a timeline to what used to be clean tv, and what is now shameless tv. Go figure, the American culture in search of self identity has led them to not being ashamed at their so much media intake. I remember that andrew said once in class that things aren't really getting worse they are just what they are. They are on their steady pace. What used to be a 58 second kiss is now a blown out love scene on TV. I honestly don't know what to think about this. I want to say that our culture is wacked out and call it hell but I don't completely agree with that. I try to understand this media industry but I fail. There are so many semiotic domains inside this semiotic domain that I fail to comprehend.
I wonder if there is any possible way we can find our self identity without having to follow the pop culture. I mean reading that sentence, it sounds ridiculous, but in search of identity we have lost our identity. How? we define ourselves by what we see the mass media selling us.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Watcha u selling Cont'd

I asked the question of what Holliwood is exactly selling and I am going to try and answer that. I am not very knowledgable when it comes to this kind of things but I am going to give it my best shot. I have watched a lot of movies, certainly not as much as some of my peers but enough to grasp a finite understanding of what the Holliwood industry is giving(selling) to the consumers. There is that American Mono-myth of a utopian society where everything is a happy ending and the guy always gets the gal. The problems are always solved and when you work hard there are rewards. There is always the pull yourself by the bootstraps indication which always ends up with a good ending. The bad guy is always caught and the good guy always rewarded. so u see everything is just good and perfect. Then look at the models in form of actors/actress. They are selling an image where everyone is going to try to fit in that image. What have you baught from Holliwood? Everyone has been a consumer of the Holliwood cultural capital. We have at one time tried to look like some actor/actress or even copied their lines and imitate them. Everyone seems to want to have that holliwood love ending or that love story. I admit that I have been buying a lot from that industry. For example, for those who have watched "The Cinderella Story", you might have to agree with me that it was very cute. Now even tho' I wouldn't have particularly chosen Hilary Duff for that character, the story was pretty cute. I was talking to my friends and we all agreed that a secret admirer would be pretty cute and then that perfect smart couple who all end up going to Harvard. Anyway, the point is that they are selling and we are buying what they are selling.

Watcha u selling?

It's bizarre to even think that people can sell and buy things without using money. I mean in this culture where almost everything is about money, you wouldn't imagine that our dress, clubs, types of cars we drive sell some kind of an image. Then I think back about what one of my classmates said about cars and restaurants. It's so true that we do have price tags for things according to what is culturally valuable. And whether we know it or not, we have placed ourselves in this range of I can afford..., and I can't afford... I remember going to Hershey park Hotel, and seeing all the beautiful gardens, rooms and the service. It was not long that I resigned myself to never being able to go there unless in the coming future, I strike it rich. Thinking back we also have this racial issue that we give value to. I was watching Selena, and for those of you who have watched the movie, you can recall the scene where Selena goes dress shopping for her friend. The minute she started looking at that expensive dress, the owner came and was like, excuse me maam, but I would advice you to look elsewhere cause this dresses are definately not your type. Now why was that the woman(manager) had that attitude? It either had to do with the way they were dressed or their race; maybe even both. So here is hispanic women wearing nothing fancy but jeans. They are looking at a dress that is really expensive, conclusion, they can't afford it. Price tag, with no basis at all.
So what is our culture selling to us? Specifically, what is Holliwood selling to us?

Monday, February 21, 2005


Man!!! Today's class excise was kinda of an eye opener just a little bit of what might be going on in the world of film making. I was supposedly a writer trying to get my script through the hands of the production companies. What stuck the most was that no matter how much money you put into the movie, you have to get paid. So I was in the beginner's luck club and I had this good storyline that seemed really promising. So what I didn't expect to see was the politics that are involved in the whole business. There are those companies who know they are good and they can hire anyone becauese of their reputation and stuff. Then there are those companies which are looking for the upcoming star and to become the next big thing. With that are those screen writers who are looking to write the next big story. There are those who succeed and those who just end up compromising to be able to get their ideas out.
Then the politics come forth with the titles cause as the Dr. Rudd called the people I realized that semiotics played a big role in the whole movie making business, especially when it comes to the advitisement. These people have to chose their signs and codes very careful because both the sigmatic codes and progmatic signs have to apeal to a particulat audience. it's all about the popular actors/actress and what kind of advitisement is there. For real, as I look back, there is no movie trailer that has all the boring lines in there. They want the lines that will attract the attention of the viewer and leave them in suspense.
Note to all, I have so little knowledge as far as the industries are concerned so don't take me at my word. i was just making observations from class today.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

my world, our world

Civil discourse is described as public talk. Hmm so if gossip is not necessarily Civil discourse...but we gossip a lot,then most of us who think that we are doing the human race some good by jabbering about nothing in particular should be a little disappointed. However, with the American's freedom of speech, each individual has participated in the Civil discourse one or the other. You watch television and there is a lot of public speaking involved. Mass media is full of civil discourse whether it is in movies, sitcoms, talk shows, or even sports. We can't help but be part of it because it is part of our lives. Everyday we are involved in some kind of discussion that slowly determines our culture. We probably never think about it as we talk or watch it on Tv, because it becomes us. We are shaping our world slowly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

You gotta love Hope, Lucy and Faith

So in honor of hybridity, i think I have come up with the perfect show for those who love "I love lucy" and "Hope and Faith". The perfect show....according to me off course. SO I haven't come up with the perfect title yet but I am thinking that "I love Lucy" has become a little to fabricated. It will definately be a sitcom about a holliwood wannabe. It is the ulticamate compromise between Lucy's burge into show biz and faith/Hope's already acclaimed fame in the holliwood political realm. Blonde off course and hmm a clutzy. There has to be a family involved because it will be cool to see and inserts some "moral" lessons(good luck with that). Then there has to be a husband, cause in both cases they do make the shows very interesting. They have to be there to bring us back to reality. It would be interesting if famous (or pretend famous) actors/actresses would make an appearance once in a while. There will be other family members who will be showing up whenever a famous person makes an appearance, if only to have those embarrassing moments. So a character who is Lucy, hope and faith all in one. She will have those embarrassing moments, those sensible moments and the very out of the ordinary moments that would make the marriage perfect.
Anyway, this was just a thought. If anything jumps out, I will add on as I continue to watch both shows.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Why I watch it....hhmmmmm?

The West Wing and NCIS will definately be my favorite shows. Why I watch them, I could always blame it on my guardians who introduced the shows to me.
I was not big on TV and I never really watched any kind of shows. Other than watching seventh Heaven and a movie once in a while, I rarely sat infront of the TV. Then I started watching Sports night, which was produced by Aaron Sorkin. Then I watched the American President which was quiet humorous. I liked his script so I began watching the West Wing. I started by watching the old tapes that my guardians had. I have been following it ever since. To me, the show is like a comedy. The charecters are what draws me to the tv set every wednesday at nine. Nobody knows what Josh is going to say that will make the whole White house come to almost a stop, or maybe what kinda of humor C.J might bring in. Then there is the love-hate relationship between Josh and Donna. Whatever happens, there is always that mystery that lies ahead of every show, which I am drawn to.
The same goes for NCIS. ALthough I hate watching bloody stuff and violence, I love solving mysteries. In NCIS, the characters are funny and are always on the move looking for clues of who the killer might be, or who the real enemy is. I make predictions and then end up seeing if I was right or not.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Will & Grace

I never really watch this show but today I was taking a nap so I took the remote and started scrawling the channels and it was the only thing really to watch.
Then i remembered the plotlines we talked about in class.

Plotline " C" is introduced in the first segment before the credits. Conflict -Will, Grace and Jack are talking when the Grace's mum calls and says she is in town.
The credits roll after the commercials.

After Grace going crazy about her outfit, Grace's mum is introduced...Well she is a little nutty. She is an actress who acts and sings about everything. She tells grace to change her shoes but thinks Will is great...a couple of minutes later she suggests they(will, grace) get married.
As they Play poker, Karen and Jack are having their private conversation.
Karen thinks she is pregnant and she doesn't want to take the test but Jack agrees to take it with her. Jack, Karen, Will and Grace make fun of the marriage idea...then Will says "Even if I was straight...I wouldn't marry Grace" Everybody laughs at the line all except Grace. There is a hurt Look on her face that we see before the commercial....
At dinner .Grace is bothered by Will's statement. She says she would marry Will even if she was gay. Grace mentions that Mum always wants to be the center of attention. However, the defense is that the mum acts so therefore she has to be the center of attention. Will comes in and greets them but Grace hates him so she refuses to say hi.
The really conflict is why Will wouldn't marry Grace.
In explanation, Will Calls her a flower ( which is associeated with being tended to) She had called her mother a big fat rose before Will calls her the center of attention ( she might be like her mother) Later, Grace reads her diaries ( She discovers Willl is right)
There is a mother and daughter talk when Grace's mum comes in. Grace is told that she is a wonderful woman and to embrace who she is. Will comes in apologizing and mum gets on him
The mother defends her daughter then goes to get a pedicure. She leaves the room as dramatic--singing. As Grace closes the door, the cloth from her mother get's stuck..they laugh
Even though there is no mention of how the conflict gets' resolved, the audience automatically assume that Will and Grace are fine. After this show, I watched about four of them just to see if the pattern was consistent. I was really kind of amazed. Nothing really changes. Although I might not really get into the habit of watching this show, I know that there is a pattern that is followed.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Diagenitic world of News

Today in Class we had this whole discussion on news. Who would have thought that news was fiction. So can I really trust these news, How credible are they? I thought that Newscast was one thing left in broadcast media that was not fabricated, but I gues that I was wrong.
I taped some news and then went back to watching them. There are several things that I noticed about the news that i prolly just overlooked the first time.
The most interesting story that captured my attention was of the FBI offices situated in WV. For a minute there I am like hmmm...WV? THis is the state that I spend three of my four years in America. The state that just the mention of it bring laughter to Ohioians. The state that is as I am told "is not real America"
Ashley W. you have to agree that Clarksburg is not the place to put a big important FBI agency. The reporter is even admits that it is unexpected.
Paradigmatic choices on scenes are really interesting. First there is the wide shot of what looks like the area sorounding the offices. There is scrolling banners on screen, showing the huge settlement that the offices are situated. The camera moves in a way that makes the viewer feel really intimidated. It's more like they are telling you, "be very afraid, but don't worry, you are safe." To emphasize the importance of the story and of the agency, they allow us to hear the secretary talk on the phone. Two secretary, one talking in what is called normal language and the other talking in codes. There is an exchange between shots taken scrolling on the massive computers (to be specific, on a ground as large as a "football field"), and FBI agents. It feels like whatever is in there is beyond our reach. Everything seemes to be controlled by computers and nothing else, as the shots move from one angle of computers to the other.
Hey, maybe WV is not lost at all. Cause that is the place you will call whenever you want to do a background check. THat's the place where fingerprints of criminals are kept. So yes, WV is important. Not to leave 9/11 out but ...Saddam's fingerprints are kept there..WOW

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A walk in the clouds

So I went to walmart the other day and saw this movie. I read the back of it and it seemed interesting so I got it. Everytbody was telling me how cute and funny it was so I sat down this weekend and watched it. Lol...funny is not what I exactly thought when I saw it. Cute definately, but not so funny.
The credits roll on what might be defined as a close up of wine...because later you find that it's all about grapes and who knows what and who did what, in the growing of grapes in a particular family. The music is spanish and once in a while they will speak in spanish.
The opening shot is in Black and white for a minute and wide, giving us a perspective of what may come later. Then there are different perspectives in the different shots that evoke a lot of emotions. For example, the father almost all the shots were taken close giving us a feeling of intimidation. It went very well with his the character that he portrayed of a very controlling man who overworks himself. Other family members except for the grandfather seem far because of the intimidation given by the father,
Then there is split shots from the past to present. Interesting enough, the soldier (keanu reeves) keeps dreaming of war. Everytime there is the same scene except there is an addition. First, he meets Victoria who appears in his flashback as a woman soldier sleeping or dead. The second nightmare, Victoria is with a child and she is being shot at. As the story continues, about halfway through the movie there is one more flashback which is of the war slash the present, where the soldier is more like daydreaming instead of having a nightmare.
I watch the movie and as far as the technology goes, there is really not much there. But the shots are family friendly. They move with the actors manipulating the various angles making you feel distant yet very close to the story.
Hope I haven't ruined the movie for those who haven't watched it yet

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Video Game!!!?!?!?!?!?!?

Even after reading and having a new appreciation for video games, they are still a mystery to me. Not to be in a category of their own, video games are among the many aspects of the American culture that I would never claim to be an insider. Joining video games are football, baseball, shopping, and golf. Then there is that endless seating infront of a TV set but that is a totally different club of their own. I have never gone to the boys dorms and missed to see a crowd of two to three boys in a room ardently devoted to the screen fighting what I tend to call the imaginary opponent. Then I have seen my brother just seating there for hours playing all kinds of games. PlayStations, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy, etc are all Greek to me. It would quite an amount of time and energy to get me "inside"
So to understand where these video games come from, I went on-line to do some more research. My first question of course, is about who produces these video games. Off course this is mass media so, man, I will have to really narrow my search down. First i went to see who are the producers of these games. The first website I visited was Honestly, i was totally lost. All the names are so strange and non-existent in my world. But the images are so disturbing that I exit from there. So I go to The one Game that is really famous there is Diablo 2. There is an explanation of what the game is all. From what the disctiption says, it looks like another Lord of the rings kinda of story, then I look at the pictures and I have second thoughts looming in my mind. Malorry once said in class that Video games belong to the devil...i can really see how that can be. The cover of the video game is a complimentary of orange or the color of fire, red and black. To be specific, it looks like what some of us would perceive as the pictured of hell with the face of the devil on the front. So I ask myself what are these people inviting me into? I read it more like, welcome to hell. On the strong survive through this perils that are ahead of you. I can almost hear some evil villain laughing..mmaaaahhahhhhaha. So mallory, I do understand that you would think the devil himself was behind the creation of these games. But to these people who are devoted to the art of gaming, they see it differently. They see a challenge that needs to be taken and a journey they need to embark. They get into a world of villains and evil all around, and they become the heroes of some sort.
Still..this understanding doesn't bring me closer to understanding the whole idea of video games.

Video games----Cont'd

So I take one more step and see what goes around in games production. There are graphic designs and compatable softwares for these games and many other things that I could never pretend to understand. There are other many production companies that I stopped at teh fifth one.
My guy friends and my brother Steve, are really into these games. They would lose sleep playing a game that has no end. Then I realize that the perception of Video games being from the devil is not totally correct, maybe because of my love for Steve. I might not really want to admit that he is being an advocate of the devil. But it's more than that. without claiming to be an Insider, I have began to see the other side of these games. The other side meaning those insiders who know too much about video games and love to seat down and play them. There are so many games in different genres. There are educational Video games, sports, fighting, puzzle, first-shooter, racing games and so many others. This is my first understanding of these games. If I was honest, i could say that some of these games sound interesting. Steve, bless him, has tried to teach me how to play sports games and no matter how much i want to play them I can't. I just don't get it. Once he tried to teach me to snowboard and my character kept falling and having unbelievable meets with the walls. It takes time, and a lot of concentration. Hand movements are a must something that i don't really excel in.
The gamers take a role of someone in that video game and no matter what genre the game is, there is always an obstacle to be overcome. So to them there is probably that sense of myth that can be found in each Video game. A story that gets to be told only by the player and no one else.
The whole Video game industry goes in circle, while the gamers benefit there is also the computer software industry, graphic designers, and the distributors. All these people in these different places enjoy the benefit of Video game production
If you have read these two posts on Video games, you will probably realize that I know nothing of this text. It is a strange language to me so please feel free to enlighten me.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Shaka and then...Cont'd

Previously, I did say that I thought I was inside as far as African History was concerned...yes I am in...but I am in one of those bottoms groups that carry the african logo with pride yet with no full comprehension of what it really means to be pround of who Iam. That was before I came to America. So What changed between watching the movie in Africa and watching it now? Not to mentiont that the movie has been really cut short with some parts taken out. I could imagine what Ms Steven's was thinking when she saw me jumping up and down at the sight of the movie. probably the same thing that was going through my mind when I saw my Zambian friends become ecstatic at the sight of the movie. Crazy. So what happened between me watching it in Africa and watching it now?
I have come to grasp a whole new meaning to this movie. I kind of put a new value to this movie. I found out that what used to be mindless entertainment actually means a lot more. It has made me realize where I am from. It has made me realize the impact that Shaka Zulu had on me as an African and me as human being. In a way, it is educating me about the history that I missed when i was watching this movie in Africa.
There is also that Christianity part of the movie. this was probably the first time in Zulu History that the idea of Christ was introduced. So for the christians in that area, this movie means a whole different thing to them.
Then there is the African Americans watching it, getting to know a whole history that they never knew about before.
So back to the question of African History, am I "in"? This movie has given me a little insight on this particular subject. I am definately in the bottom list of those who are "in'. Pride is an awful thing, and I have to admit, I have a big dose of this problem. When people asked me about Africa, I knew enough to make them think that I was very knowledgable about my heritage. However, I am ashamed to say that I have forgotten most of my history. I know only bits and pieces, . So I am not really inside as I thought I was before. This however brings me to another question: what qualifies me to be an "insider"?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Signs and more signs

Toby Mac's Cd's covers are alway interesting. It's no wonder I am looking at his recent Cd's cover. What would be supposed to be Toby's face is blown out on the cover in black and white. He wears a hat which half of it is out of the picture and wears some shades. If I was merely perusingthe cover, I would say that the hat would symblolize the hip-hop, funk side of his CD. Considarably, his hat goes to his ears, which is typical way that the people in the eighties that knew punk, funk music. The shades, hmmm maybe the rock music? Not a typical pose at all, he is looking to the left. Looking back at something? If I knew better, he might be symbolizing the past music. He is basically looking at the past music, and how everything was done back then and bringing it all in his CD. Living to the title Welcome to Diverse City, the songs have every little bit of diverse in it. There are red, orange and green stripes go vertically on top of his full blown left side, top to bottom. These colors are primary found in African-American clothing and Jamaica. So I gues there is diversity there, just by looking at the cover. Maybe let's go back to Sunday school, "Jesus love the little children, all the children of the world, all yellow black and white...." so the colors could mean something else. All the children of the world, not just black and whitel. So the signifiers do not point only to the different types of music found in the CD, but also it the different races are signified. Off course, we know the history of Toby's music and it would not be hard to see him having such a theme. Maybe we should have expected this after his first CD with his "love is in the house" song. But something has me puzzled, where is the city that we are being welcomed to? The background seems to be dark, any particular reason for that? The city seems to be a mystery. THe city of the unknown, so it's more like come and you might shed some light to what is going on the city.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Shaka and then

Somiotic Domains are those interpretations that we give to a specific thing or word. I personally have to admit that I have moved from one Semiotic domain to another changing my perspective of what it means to me and to others.
So I look around my room and I spot Shaka Zulu the best movie that was ever made, that is in my opinion. I consider myself an insider as far as African history is concerned, and this movie basically shows a lot about African history. It based on true life events and the setting is so real, drawing you in as the scenes go by. I have to say that I am very impressed by the distrubution companies in America that have made it available to the general public. This movie focus on Shaka, one of the most respected military leaders in African history and the people of influence in his life. This movie has a lot of meanings carried around over the years as it has been shown to different communities.
He was a Zulu, therefore, the meaning of this movie is going to be very personal in South Africa where the Zulu still exist. Compared to them, I am not much of an insider since they know the history pretty much more that I do. It is more personally and it is more part of their heritage I would claim it to be. As the years have gone by the name Shaka has not lost it's meaning. Although, to our forefathers Shaka meant a world or hope, presently, the mention of Shaka means pride and reminiscing the past struggles in their history.
The meaning even changes as we move to broader zones. Shaka Zulu used to be one of the most watched episodes in Africa. I remember coming from school every Wednesday and posting myself infront of the television tube and waiting for Shaka to come on. What is now a movie used to be a few episodes of Tv. Then it was entertainment for me. Every respectable African child at my age knew who Shaka was. It was written in our history books and every possible book had been written about him. I did not love history and still do not enjoy seating through history classes, but this historical movie made history easier for me. It became my interpretation of mindless entertainment.
That was then but now things have changed. Although I knew history and could recite all the lines and dates of famous African I was not "inside" yet. I did not really appreciate this whole aspect of African history.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Books, Music and more Books

When I think of what Media has influenced me most, my mind directly goes to books and then music. These two texts go hand in hand in my book. I have had a long history with both. I started singing when I was very little. My father had just started a church and a children's choir was founded. Off course that was my first place to go. As years went by, I started singing solos and even leading worship when I was like ten years old. These times were the hightlight of my life. Music was the first thing I ran to when i was sad or having a bad day. That's where I also ran when I was facing a good day. Music was and is still my life. When war started in Burundi, music became my refuge, I ran to it and it calmed me tremendously. I think the first thing I asked for from my dad when we arrived in kenya was a Radio. Although my siblings hated it, I would take the radio and plug it in beside the bed and sleep listening to music, a habit I haven't stopped doing. I rarely sleep without my music. It's not so much the words but the calming spirit behind the music, that is why I love classical music. Music has gotten me through a lot of life struggles. I sing my way through prayer, and through the day. I can't see myself without music, especially worship and classical music.
Music however did not become one of the greatest influence. Books became an important part of my life, when the war started. To escape it all, I read to my heart's content. My mother being very supportive kept giving me books to read. I had a wide range of books that I read when I was young. But mostly I was so fascinated by fiction, not just any fiction romance fiction. Thankfully, I restricted myself to reading only inspirational fiction, which helped me develop a healthy habit of my selection. Soon books became my obsession and my addiction later on. I could literally read two or three books a day depending on the size of the book. During the summers, there were times that I would not eat at all because I was in my room reading for the whole day. When I wanted to fast, instead of giving up food, I gave up reading books. If anybody was going to threaten me in anyway, they would use my books as a weapon. I loved my books and still do. Lately, my frequent visit with my books as my time is being consumed by school work. Therefore, my addiction to books is lessening but not quiet enough to stop me from taking a day to spend time reading. I would take the time to read a Lori Wick, John Piper, Joyce Meyer or Francine River's book when I see one.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the influence books have had on my life. I was inspired to write mainly because most of the endings in the fiction books were not satisfying. Therefore I wanted to create my own endings to stories. That's how I became a writer. Not are books and music my safe haven, but writing has also become my escape.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Contemporary myth: Chronicles of Narnia

C.S Lewis is one of the excellent authors, but even he couldn't escape the contemporary myth. The Chronicles of Narnia is one of the best loved collection I have ever read. Although each book is it's own story, the whole collection just begs for more reading. The main myth found is the coming of the Messiah. In every one of the books there is always some conflict going on in the beginning. Then one of the characters who usually is one of the children comes and rescues them only to find that Aslan is the one who ultimately rescues. In the first book, The Magician Nephew, the evil queen Jadis comes back to this world and everything turns into a ruckus. Ofcourse Uncle Andrew saves the day and takes the witch back to where she belongs which turns out to be trouble for the Narnians as we see in The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. This time Digory has grown old and the Pevensie children are taken back to the Wood between Worlds. This time the witch has taken over Narnia and has braught snow to reign over the lands. Knowing the prophecies, the Witch knows that her reign is coming to an end so she seeks to destroy the children and anyone who seeks to stop her. The possibility of success kicks in here when the childrens seek to destroy the witch and the children with the help of the talking animals go on a quest to rescue their brother Edmund and to destroy the queen. Off course in the end, Aslan comes to the rescue and helps them out.
The next book takes a different twist. In the Horse and His Boy, there are no many mention of the children from the outside world but Aslan is there to be the one to come to the rescue for Shasta. On the other hand there is a little bit of the possibility of success with shasta. He is determined to get away from his evil master no matter what the cost. Even after stealing the horse, he is thinking that he will have the opportunity to return the horse. In the process he find that the horse, Bree is a Narnian Warhorse stolen. Anyway, Shasta ends up rescuing Narnia from a terrible tragedy.

There is a lot of gaps found in the books of Narnia year wise. It is very rare that you will find a prince mentioned more than once, in the exception of Prince Caspian. The fourth book of the Narnia series, Prince Caspian, takes the Pevensie Children back to Narnia, but this time, in order for Narnia to be what it used to be, the rightful king needs to be on the throne. Caspian in trouble sermons the children from the past to come to his rescue. The same thing happens in the Last battle, which is the last book of the series. The last of the Kings of Narnian, King Tarian is caught in a scandal and clever plan of an ape, Shift. To be able to save the whole Narnia, King Tirian seeks the help from the past kings who came from the other world. Things get worse before they get better, but Jill and Eustance in order to rescue the remnant, they go back to see what the really Aslan is and what he has been like in the past.
Maybe the reason I love these books is because they are just a work of genious. Everybody can read them without feeling like they are being preached to. The beauty of the books is found when you see all the symbolism found in the whole series. It's funny but I never thought I would be criticizing the books according to what kind of myth the books contained. Everytime I read the books I would look for what each character represents from a christian perspective. For example, Aslan presenting the character of Jesus. Then there is a whole lot of allegory, but when I thought of them as a myth, I saw them as just stories with a feeling of a whole lot of stretch

Friday, January 21, 2005


Watching the video for the second time hasn't lessened the original shock of just what media can do. There was a time that I used to love 7th Heaven, infact it was a little bit more than a year ago. It was cute and I couldn't wait to watch it. I even taped almost all the episodes. Being a PK, I kinda of identified with some of the things that the kids went through. Some times it was even funny just thinking that some of those things they did would be totally a PK"s way of dealing with situations. ANyway, the point is that I don't like the show anymore. What used to be a family show has become like all the other shows out there. I just realized that the innocence persay that the show used to have is gone. I can't help but wonder why there is all this need for being cool... call me sheltered or something but what media is selling to the teens today is just disgusting and pitful. I found what Andrew said today in class today interesting. Things haven't gone from worse to worst, instead, they are getting worse at a steady rate as before. Just think about it, Cool is whatever everybody is doing, whatever is unique at a particular time. When the cool things blows out of proportion, then a new item comes in. So it doesn't get worse, it just goes from one cycle to another. You know from a Christian point of view, you would think that something has to be done...and I would agree. But what? what can be done that hasn't been done already? I have heard people trying to compare this generation, with all the other past generations. Then those teens did not have what the teens of today have. With advancement in technology, there came both advantages and disadvantages. We have access to so many things than any other generation. It's shocking to how many commercials that a person can see a day and by the time 18 years have passed. I mean, it's not only in broadcast media but also on print media. There are a lot of books that have so much 'garbage' that teens are exposed to everyday.It's amazing how my perspective of both America and Africa has changed. if I might say so, in my mind, America was like the demon and Africa was the course I would feel this way...that is my origin. As years have passed by, I am the first one to readily admit that American media has extended it's hand to Africa and even other continents. Maybe Africa has not gone to the xtremes yet, but I suppose it is because of how people take the media in.I can remember my eight grade year when Britney Spears came out with her song "baby one more time", I loved it and I saw nothing to it. In fact I watched a lot of other music videos by what in America is called "the bad girls". Then I never thought anything of it...but now, I don't really watch or listen to too much of Britney. So why the difference? Culture. I don't think that I gave much thought to these videos or songs. Neither do many people who were around me. Television was a way to just amuse ourselves and since our culture never really allowed mid reefs or mooks ( even though there are places where these kinds of people are to be found). It would be very unusual to see any nude scenes on that doesn't mean that there are no pornographic video because there are plenty. It's funny when I think back on my TV watching habits. I used to watch soap operas with my brothers and sisters, even my parents and off course we would make fun of people but we never gave a second thought of what we were watching. Coming here however, the story was different. I found out about the songs not to listen to, the TV stations not to turn to and offcourse, the programs/movies not to watch.
But this "cool" aspect is creeping itself inside the jungles of Africa, where supposedly media has no much influence on the society. I never thought I would say this, but the african culture is getting to be materialistic inspite of the poverty...funny.
So when will this all end? When will there be an end to trying to look cool or trying to go with the mainstream? Those who rebel against the mainstream are as bad as the mainstream. Because in their own way, they have shaped their "cool" So will the cycle really stop? The media will watch the teens, sell them what they think the teens want and the teens will buy it offcourse and the cycle will go on again. So I pose a there anyway to stop the cycle?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Situated Cognition

In class there was that discussion on how our situations affect how we view or interprete media. This is so that I think about it. A reference back to the video games, I don't think that I was so opposed to the video games so much for it's content as much as the time it took to play them. I'm from a place where, if you wanted to play, you gathered your friends and went outside to play. Television and computet was not a very important aspect in that particular society. Video games were definately unheard of and spending more than two hours watching TV was considered to be lazy. There was no room for anything other than playing with friends, school and church. So coming in America was a little too tough to adjust to. I expected to see kids playing outside or something but instead, they spent their hours infront of the TV or computer screen. Maybe my loving to read had a little to do with it. I couldn't imagine anybody spending so much time in "mindless entertainment" while you could use your imagination more by reading.
As Dr. Rudd said, a picture of the beach is not the same for everyone. I have found this to be true especially with books turned into movies. I am a book worm..especially when it comes to romances, although I enjoy a massive amount of other Christian fiction and non-fiction. When I read a book, I have a setting in my mind which influences my liking or dislike of the book. Mostly, it involves a neighborhood that I have been to before or sometimes I just use my imagination. However, when this book is turned into a movie, there is potential for disappointment since the setting is different from what I imagined. There are some instances however, where the movie setting is more interesting than mine. A good example is Nicholas Spark's "A Walk to Remember". I applaud the author cause he did a wonderful job in his describtion. The scenery and everything just appealed to my senses. When I read the book, I imagined a quiet Southern town where everything was rusty and with dusty roads everywhere. WHen the movie came out, I was a little disappointed. ALthough, the town was southern, I had imagined it differently. The characters were all so different from what i had imagined. Nevertheless, I like the twist the ending had.
All this being said, there is a lot of our lives that goes in our reading and how we perceive things. Pieces of us come out in our view of thigs and they way we approach certain ideas or issues.
That's all for today
God bless

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


This is a test. This is going to be a fun class...I won't be feeling guilty for reading too many books or listening to lots of music. That sounds like a good deal to me.
Anyway...the first reading about video games got me out of my little shell. By shell, I mean that view point of "video games are a waste of time". I am used to giving lectures to my brother who spends quite an amount of time playing video games. The idea of video games being educational seemed preposterous. This might be so due to my lack of understanding of what video games are. I have never taken the time to understand why my brother who is super smart spends time in what I called mindless games, but I think I am beginning to understand these video games. Wow, I don't believe I am actually saying that especially considering my close minded view about this games. Hopefully, by the end of this chapter, i will be able to keep an open mind about these games. I also hope to be more appreciative of my brother's long hours on the computer or Tv screen.