Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nike, Inc.

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Nike are a company that hardly need any introduction, since their inception into the footwear market many years ago they have been one of the most recognizable faces in sports footwear and apparel. Their empire operates on six continents, and their suppliers, shippers, retailers and service providers employ close to 1 million people

As Nikki explained earlier, Nike are a company that purport to use cause related marketing effectively for profit as well as expressing their social consciousness. Their website displays quite clearly that while they are a large profit organization they are also aware of their role as a responsible employer and member of the global community which they are a part of. They have identified causes that greatly benefit from Nike’s involvement or that Nike its self have actually implemented.

The first cause they are a part of is “Developing and investing in innovative solutions to the challenges of globalization faced by women and girls.” This cause is aimed at helping under developed countries where Nike has manufacturing factories and employees. They have helped this cause greatly by affiliating themselves with various organizations such as the Population Development and Community Association, Opportunity International, and the Vietnamese Women’s Union. In association with these organizations Nike funds micro-loans to Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. Loans have reached more than 10,000 the majority or them are female borrowers in all countries. With the assistance of these loans many rural women and former workers of Nike have created small business and some business owners are returning to expand their business with second and third loans.

Nike has also implemented an education initiative to provide opportunities for contract factory workers to receive a higher education. So far Nike has contributed 1 million to this initiative with 85% of their footwear factories offering education programs. This has also been implemented in Pakistan through the International Program on the elimination of child labor, which Nike works with to eliminate child labor from the soccer ball industry and placing more Pakistani children in schools.


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 Nike joined with the International Youth Federation to form the Global alliance for Workers and communities. This focuses on improving working conditions and the long-term professional interests of Nike’s manufacturing employees throughout South East Asia.

The second cause Nike attaches themselves to is “increasing the participation of young people in physical activity to improve their lives”. This initiative has been implemented in many countries and continents such as Europe, Asia, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Canada and Argentina. They have helped achieve this cause differently within each country, for example, in Mexico Nike refurbished Basketball courts in Hermosillo, Monterrey and Mexico City and supported indigenous sports. In Australia they initiated a program that takes elite athletes into the remote Aboriginal communities to help build self-esteem among indigenous youth by having the athletes spend time with the kids and talk to them about nutrition, health fitness and the dangers of substance abuse.

The third cause Nike is attached to is similar to the second but focused primarily in Oregon, which is where the Nike world headquarters is based, and across the USA.

If you were to unassumingly browse through these sections of the Nike website it would be quite easy to believe that Nike are a company with great morals, excellent employee relations and a strong social conscience. However as with any company you must look through their marketing and discover the reasons behind it. Its interesting to note that the first two causes that are effective globally, were only introduced in 1997, and 2001, specifically their cause that focuses on the development of their employees in countries such as South East Asia and Pakistan. 1 year prior to these causes been implemented a report was released by the Vietnam Labor Watch that exposed the working conditions and wages of sweatshop workers employed to manufacture Nike Products. The report found that employees were receiving per hour and averaging $1.60 a day when the cost for eating simple meals a day was $ 2.10.

· Employees could not go to the Bathroom more than once per 8 hour shift and were not allowed to drink water more than twice per 8 hour shift.

· It was a common occurrence for workers to faint from exhaustion, heat fumes and poor nutrition during their shift.

· Verbal abuse and harassment is frequents and corporal punishment is often used.

· Women workers have complained about sexual harassment from foreign supervisors.

· At the Sam Yang factory that has 6000 employees, only one doctor works hours a day, but the factory operates 10 hours a day.

· On average Nike factory workers are forced to work in excess of 500 hours overtime per year.

· Almost all of the workers interviewed said they had lost weight since working at the Nike factories.

· Other non-Nike shoe factories visited in Vietnam paid higher wages and had much better working conditions.

After this report was released Nike received a Moral hailstorm from the public and their corporate image was in serious trouble. They took steps to rebuild their image by employing a team of PR experts and 1 year later had implemented cause related marketing schemes to improve their public reputation by appearing to have a social conscience.

It is obvious in this case that Nike’s cause related marketing is not truly an expression of their social consciousness, but rather an attempt to improve their public image. If the conditions of Nikes factory workers were never revealed to the public eye then Nike would not have had to implement these cause related marketing schemes, and the situation of their factory workers would not have changed.



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Semiotics Analysis

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In our modern culture, a societies opinions, beliefs and understanding of their environment is shaped heavily by the information that is presented to them through the mass media. One of the many mediums that the media use as a tool to inform the public is visual art such as the political cartoons that appear in many newspapers on a daily basis. On the surface these cartoons seem to be depicting the illustrated individuals in a comical manor and scenario that is relevant to their current real life situation. However within these cartoons lie many different messages that are presented to the viewer, these messages can either influence the viewers opinion or provoke thought on the topic presented. In this essay I will use a semiotic analysis to breakdown the myth, discourse and ideology evident in three political cartoons, taken from The Australian newspaper publication on differing dates. After I have analysed each text I will then compare the strengths and weaknesses of semiotic analysis and content analysis.

The first cartoon I will analyse was taken from The Australian on the 10th of May 2000; the political figures used are British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, The President of the U.S.A George Bush and the Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

Myth
The first and most obvious use of mythical representation that I noticed in this cartoon was John Howard being drawn wearing a pair of overalls which are work clothes that are commonly worn by tradesmen and blue collar workers, he is holding a pouring canister which is presumably full of oil, that he pours onto the shanks that are holding the two carriages together. The carriage that he occupies (emblazoned with a picture of Australia and the Australian flag) goes hand in hand with the clothes he is wearing, it is smaller and far more humble than the larger luxurious one, which is occupied by George Bush and Tony Blair. His status in this cartoon is being diminished as mythically he is being represented as a middle class worker as opposed to Bush and Blair who are illustrated wearing business suits and ties, appropriate attire for a leader of a country. They are seen occupying a much larger prestigious train carriage, which is emblazoned with the American flag. Inside the carriage Tony Blair is holding up the British flag with a manic look on his face. The positioning and size of each of the countries flags are indicators of each nations status in the cartoon, the United States are obviously the most powerful as they are represented by the size and might of the train powering along at high speed, England are second at the helm as Tony Blair is with Bush in the main carriage of the United States positioned high above John Howard. Meanwhile, Australia are considerably the least powerful below both Bush and Blair as the tiny humble carriage representative of Australia as a nation is being towed behind the juggernaut of the U.S.A, and our leader John Howard servicing the train as a middle class man of low importance for President Bush.


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To look even deeper into mythical representations of this cartoon you could look not at the characters but at where they are. They are on a train, mythically a train means to use power, speed and size. We also know that a train can only travel on one set path when it is joined to the train tracks. Once a train is moving on those tracks it is extremely hard to stop and to make it veer in direction or derail. Take a closer look at the shanks or links that are joining the two carriages. They look more like boxing gloves locked in a grip than metal links that would be joining two trains. Mythically boxing gloves signify to use anger, aggression and violence, why then would the artist draw them into the cartoon? This is a good example of how artists use symbolism to try to communicate a message in their work.

Discourse
The mythical representations presented in this cartoon indicate that Australia’s recent frequent involvement with England and America in the coalition of the willing was in fact very minor. It conveys the message that our leader John Howard attempts to curry favour with Bush and Blair so that Australia can also be considered in the same league (train carriage) as England and America.

Ideology
The ideology of this cartoon is insignificance and unimportance.

This cartoon was taken from The Australian on the th of May, 2000, it depicts President George Bush speaking to secretary of state, Colin Powell, iconic talk show host Oprah Winfrey and a legion of military officers.

Myth
In this cartoon we see President George Bush wearing a white collard business shirt with a red tie, however over that he seems to be wearing a black leather jacket and sporting blue jeans instead of trousers, his face has dark smears on it. This is hardly the right attire for a President or leader of any country. This dress code is more so synonymous with the stereotype of a street tough from the early sixties. His speech and tact also purveys a certain roughness and unintelligence in him when he sates “I reckon the weapons of mass destruction have gone from Iraq to Syria to Iran and on to Korea” he sounds more like a thug trying to track down someone who has crossed him rather than a President trying to maintain order and safety within the world. He is standing in front of a desk that has only an oversized globe of the world and the American flag on it, scribbled all over the globe are pirate ships, serpents and arrows going every which way. The globe looks more as though it has been used by a child to play games on rather than world leaders who have used it to track weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell, Bush’s Secretary of State is dressed in a suit, with arms folded, looking at President Bush with a cynical expression on his face, representing Bush’s peers. Iconic talk show host Oprah Winfrey who represents the public opinion is also sneering at President Bush. This example of the use of myth to gain response from the viewer is by far the most obvious in the cartoon. In contrast to Powell and Winfrey the military officers in the background are all exact duplicates of each other, their decorations on their shoulders are illustrated more so as spikes than honour awards. Mythically this signifies to us that they are more so henchmen than liberators of the peace.

Discourse
The symbolization and mythical representation in this cartoon connotes that the public opinion of George Bush is in decline and that the support from his peers such as Colin Powel is sceptical. It also displays his unquestionable military power and represents him as an unintelligent aggressive leader.

Ideology
The ideology being presented here is political incompetence.

The third and final cartoon I have chosen to analyse was taken from The Australian on the 11th of May 2000. The characters depicted are A.T.S.I.C chairman Geoff Clarke, and the Governor General Peter Hollingworth.

Myth
There are not as many mythical connotations in this cartoon as ones earlier, however they are still evident. The first one that I picked up was that the Governor General had a much larger glass of beer than Geoff Clarke the chairman of A.T.S.I.C. This could signify to a viewer a mixture of things, firstly that he has more money than Geoff Clarke, secondly that he is a heavier drinker, thirdly that he is more powerful than Geoff Clarke. The positioning of the Governor General also indicates power as he is seated on the higher side of the table.

Another interesting example of using mythical cultural representations is the colour of Peter Holingworth’s suit. The colour purple in western cultures is associated by many with homosexuality, as it is the international gay colour. It is interesting then that this would be used when illustrating the Governor General when he is in the midst of a child molestation scandal, the colour purple is also less masculine. Clarke is depicted looking much scruffier than the Governor General and in darker more masculine clothes.

Discourse
This cartoon connotes that the Governor general has power but also questions his masculinity and sexuality.

Ideology
The cartoon essentially connotes masculinity and sexuality.



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Native American Art

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Upon my entrance of the Native American exhibit my feeling was, “Let’s get this over with.” Equipped with my clipboard, pencil and vague memories of past history lessons I entered a white room that would instantly add color and perspective to my life. The paintings, sculptures and displays shocked me to the realization of the turmoil, pride and heritage felt and expressed by the Native American artists. With only stereotypical images of Indians with their feathers and bows and arrows as previous knowledge, I became emotionally stimulated by nearly every image as I scanned the room.

Different pieces struck me either because of their colors or immense abstractness, but only one spoke to me. At first glance, the Primordial Mythic Allusion #5, by Dan Viets Lomahattewo, my mind screamed “Hakuna Matata,” the phrase from Disney’s The Lion King, which means “no worries.” In the painting, everything seems to be in place, like there would be no worries about what troubles were in their world. I know from past knowledge however, that this was not the case. There was much turmoil for the Native Americans, which was brought on by the very people who should have been helping them. I think this painting shows that no matter what happened, they persisted and made due with the unfair circumstances they were put in without losing their faith that they would eventually be secure once more.

Looking at the painting, I was able to see the circle of life, one of the main themes in The Lion King. This painting has two Native Americans, a man and a woman, in the center who look nearly mythical because of the way their legs are painted. It appears that they are holding hands. They are dressed in traditional clothing and jewelry. There is an arch formed behind them, and in the middle is a baby animal that looks much like Baby Simba from The Lion King. In the lower left corner is a small child and in the lower right corner is a buffalo. When looking closely I was able to see other images like musical instruments swirling around in the painting as well. The background is made by blocks of color intertwined to show the earth, the mountains and the sky. In the circle of life created by the painting I could identify the Native American beliefs in spirits, the importance of ceremonial dances, and also, the pride they have in their culture. Another unique trait of the painting is that everything seems to be connected, not even the color blocks are fighting for dominance. The contrast of bright, vibrant color and the lighter earth tones help illustrate the whole spectrum of Native American lives and traditions. The colors complement and blend perfectly to show how Native Americans strive to live in harmony.

In the corner of the painting is a small person, the artist. Lomahaftewa grew up in the Hopi tribe and was constantly surrounded by bold colors, art, religion, dancing and singing. He has learned the traditions and values of his people through his two greatest teachers, his mother and grandmother, members of the Choctaw tribe. The purpose of his art is simple; to show others the appreciation he has for his culture. Lomahaftewa is not just a painter; he also expresses his devotion and love for his culture through music and poetry.


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Lomahaftewa always tried to put himself into his artwork, and in this particular piece, he was a bystander who was watching everything. Like looking at a snow globe, he could see how life was all connected. If you look at a snow globe from the side you only see what is closest to the glass, but if you look from the top, you can see the whole picture. This is a very important concept for a college student, like myself, to remember. It’s easy to get lost in one thing or one idea and then lose focus of the big picture, but if you remember to look at problems from the outside they seems easier to deal with.

Primordial Mythic Allusion #5 produces so many elements that make a great work of art. The continuity of thought and expression, the relevance to the modern world and the emotion of the artist make this painting top quality. The exhibit as a whole made my experience a perspective-altering event. I will remember these feelings forever and when I am asked by future generations what I know about Native Americans I will know what to say. If I ever find myself in a place where I need new perspective, I know I can go to the closest museum. There I can experience someone else’s life, culture and misfortune in an extremely positive way and come back knowing that life will work itself out because everything is connected and never ending.



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Using Drugs in Sport

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When athletes use drugs in sport we have to ask ourselves why is this happening? Why are our athletes resorting to drugs?

There are few reasons why this occurs such as pressure and feeling as though that is their last resort. But the reason I will be writing about is to enhance their performance to make them so called better athletes.

Using drugs to improve their performance is not a recent thing the ancient Greeks used hallucinogenic mushrooms as well as sesame seeds to improve the athletic ability. Also the gladiators used stimulants to stave off fatigue.

Our athletes today are faced with the very hard decision as whether to use drugs or not. If the do they will become stronger and faster. If they don’t they are at a disadvantaged to the ones that do.


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Also athletes want government rewards. This is where they get paid if they win. It lays a lot of pressure on the athlete. The athlete sees the way to get this is to use drugs to win. So they set out to use drugs to get the government award.

Another reason as to why drugs are used in sport to enhance the performance of the athlete is some countries such as the German Democratic Republic (GDR) has constantly encouraged all their athletes to use drugs to improve their athletic ability.

Some Politicians see their athletes as a quick and cheap way to get international prestige. So they want their athletes to succeed however they can so their country can be recognized.

So to stop this they have drug testing. They test each athlete to see to see whether they are using drugs. If the test results are positive they are sent home. Of course they don’t get all athletes but they are researching and finding new ways to test for it.

So in conclusion, drugs in sport is a reality. It is a sad fact that all athletes cant run a fair a race or swim a fair swim or take part in any type of sport with out the use of drugs. There are more reasons then the ones I stated but I hope that one day we will have sports with out any athlete using drugs and then it will be a fairer game.



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Friday, May 18, 2012

Americanized

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Bruce Dawe is strongly opposed to consumerism, as shown through his poem, "Americanized". The poem is written in a predominantly bitter and ironic tone. The title itself is ironic. Bruce Dawe is Australian and has spelled the title using American spelling rather than Australian spelling, with the 's' being replaced by a 'z'.

Stanza one is set in the morning at breakfast time. It involves the mother and her child. Instead of the usual loving mother, we see a cold mother and one that is doubtful of her lover for her own child. Dawe uses cold language such as 'beneficence', 'beamed' and 'laminex' as well has the pause after 'she loves him' to signify this. The pair are also conveyed to be separate from each other, symbolised by them being on opposite sides of the breakfast table.

Stanza two shows us how the baby is well looked after, yet is lacking the affection that small children need. The child experiences a 'vague passing spasm of loss'.  The mother blocks out her child’s cries. There is a lack of contact and warmth between the pair.



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Stanza three again shows doubtfulness about the mother’s love. We see how the mother locks her child in because she fears the modern world. She sees the world as dangers and especially fears men. Her fear of men is emphasized by the italics used. In the final line of the stanza, the mother puts her son on a plastic pot. This is somewhat symbolic of the consumeristic society i.e. manufactured and cheap.

Stanza four is a metaphor. The mother trying to toilet train her son is a metaphor for people learning the rules of society and trying to conform to society’s ways. In this stanza, the mother is society and the child is someone trying to learn society’s values. It is against the child’s natural instinct, yet the mother still tries to force it.

In stanza five, the mother leaves the house and leaves her son at home alone. The mother is said to be 'off to nurse and invalid called the world.' This is to do with the theory of consumption. The mother has gone out to consume materialistic items that will in turn keep the consumer-based economy 'healthy'. If she and the millions of other members of the consumer society fail to do this, the consumer economy will 'sicken'.

Stanza six shows how toys and presents mark the child’s life rather than love and affection. His life is measured only by what the boy has been given, not genuine love. The final line of the stanza shows how exciting and interesting 'Mummy’s things' seem to the child. It is a glimpse into the reality of his mother’s world and the child likes the idea of this. This is somewhat ironic. 'Mummy’s things' are really only consumer items that have little or no value.

Stanza seven and eight are mockeries of consumer items. Dawe mentions items such us Pepsi-Cola, spam, chewing-gum, hot dogs and ‘electronic brains' and says 'what child of simple origins could want more'.This is a rhetorical question that is asked for dramatic effect. In stanza eight there is a parody of Ren. Descartes quote 'I think therefore I am.'  Instead, Dawe says 'I think young, think big, therefore I am.' This is supposed to be the philosophy of consumerism. This philosophy is that producers of consumer items encourage people to be 'big spenders' on things that they really do not need, rather than to stop and thing about whether or not what they are buying is a necessity.

In stanza nine, the child is alone and hears the children outside playing and has a longing to be with them. In stanza ten the child is still alone, and this last long into the night where the child’s nursery is cast into darkness. This causes the child to become petrified and 'on the verge of terror'.

In stanza eleven, Dawe uses horror-movie clich to create the spooky setting. He speaks 'bats' wings' and the 'velvet room'. The final stanza continues on with this theme as the door-knob twists and her 'figure looms'. Even thought he child knows that it is his own mother, he is still frightened. He is scared of her and her world and he realises that she has total control over him.




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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pablo Picasso

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Pablo Picasso

I have researched into Pablo Picasso, and have found one of his linoleum cuts. The linoleum cut is called Still Life under a Lamp,  it is the most brilliant example of Picassos one-block linoleum cuts. It represents well, too, highly decorative turn his vision took in his last decade. This print, created when he was eighty years old, combines a youthful energetic sweep of line and colour with an older nostalgia for quaint patterns. It is, altogether, a satisfying blend. This exceptional use of the rather lifeless linoleum vivifies the layers of flat unmodulated color and allows the exposed paper to become the source of light.

Throughout his career, Picassos superb draftsmanship served many subjects. His father taught him the importance of drawing, which thereafter was the dominant occupation of his life. From his earliest years he filled all available surfaces with instant sketches. There are thousands who posses menus, paper money, cafe napkins, and books of every sort with the special sketches that Picasso made within a matter of seconds especially for them. For Picasso drawing was a natural function that only death could halt. In his later years, after he had moved to the South of France and had fewer diversions, he filled hours between painting , sculpting, and pottery-making with drawing. Long series of compositions such as the 180 drawings he did in 15-54, published as Picasso and the Human Comedy, became an integral part of his life. Almost entirely devoted to his now traditional subjects

He painted in the Impressionistic manner, but sheared off in a different direction to the main body of Impressionist painters. The main body of Impressionist painters were concerned with the fleeting effects of light and colour, and in order to capture the surface impression of that moment they had to work fluently and quickly. Far more prolonged and pains taking; he spent so long analysing his subjects that some of his work was never finished.


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He painted in the Impressionistic manner, but sheared off in a different direction to the main body of Impressionist painters. The main body of Impressionist painters were concerned with the fleeting effects of light and colour, and in order to capture the surface impression of that moment they had to work fluently and quickly.


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Family Background

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Our family provides us with the roots of identity through genetics, culture, spirit and emotion. Understanding our family background helps us to understand ourselves. 
Family background is important in help you to define who you are because you are part of everything around you. Values and qualities that are learned and gained from our parents and grandparents mould an individual into the person they are today.


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In the book "Looking for Alibrandi Josephine’s Italian", background plays a major role in who she really is. Her family have strong Italian feelings and traditions. Although they are living in Australia they still keep a lot of Italian traditions. This has a major impact on Josephine. Josephine understands the same values and qualities as her mother and grandmother. She has grown up admiring her mother as an Italian, however, Josephine is part of two cultures and is probably more Australian than Italian. Whether we like it or not nationality will always make up a important part of our lives.

Also family background is of great importance because it impacts on our beliefs and spirituality. Religion is a part of understanding and asking questions about the purpose of someone’s life and who we are. For example I have grown up in a family with a Seventh-day Adventist background and in addition to this I now believe in and worship God. This is a part of me. Without this background I might not have become a Christian.

Josephine, in the novel, Looking for Alibrandi, is continually searching for something special. She does not know who her father is and nor his family background. There is a gaping hole in her life and she doesn’t yet know what or how big it is. When she eventually meets him she undergoes a learning process about a new piece of her life.

To assist our self understanding, our self identity and our self-awareness as a member of a group it is important to learn about one’s heritage or family background by speaking to older relatives who share about their pasts. This gives the individual a greater understanding of themselves, who they are and why they are. It helps them to define or confirm or reweave their values and identity. For example, Josephine, in the novel, Looking for Alibrandi is constantly questioning her mother and grandmother about the past. This is an important part of Josephine learning who she is and why she is. This understanding of her family background will help her define her values and identity. In my life, my knowledge and influence of my Grandad has influenced our interest in sports and having a go. This impacted on how my brother and I like to get out with friends and play cricket for fun. My contact with Grandad taught me to respect and value older people.

Finally, without our family background our understanding of our selves will be limited because we are part of everything that is around us. It is the very foundation upon which we build our understanding of our self.



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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Time Management of Goals

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Time Management of Goals

Goal setting is the first step in the formal process of personal planning. Whether the plan is written, or remains a thought, the process used to achieve goals is complicated. However, experience gained through repetition can make the complications become almost second nature. As with critical thinking, when a plan is made and a decision rendered, goal setting requires similar actions. Often, the actions necessary are put into motion automatically and are not premeditated. The purpose of goal setting is to provide a means by which desires can be accomplished. The process of achieving goals provides a learning experience to be used throughout life. Each step taken will permit a person to see what has to be accomplished, how the process evolves, and allows a person to choose what alternate steps may have to be taken in order to accomplish the goal. Even the best made plans can go awry, and there are many distractions. These distractions can prevent one from attaining one’s goals and are something that could be prevented, but the want overrides the need. Time management is the process of planning and scheduling time, as well as controlling and regulating those plans and schedules; it plays an important role in the success of reaching goals. A person must possess good time management skills in school, work, and in his or her personal life. There is a partnership between time-management and goal-setting. The two must work together; each is dependent upon the other for completion. Goals are achieved over time. There is no instantaneous achievement of the goal, which is the basis for the plan. Time management provides the outline for the plan. It also provides the timelines for completion of each step, until the goal has reach fruition.

Goal setting is a standard technique used by top-level athletes, successful business-people, and achievers in all fields. It provides long-term vision and short-term motivation. Goal setting focuses the process of acquiring knowledge, and helps to organize resources. The skill of effective time management is not an attribute which people are born with. As with any other skill, time-management must be taught and learned. As time-management skills are developed, the improvements initially noted are due, in part, to awareness of common problems that can affect the ability to properly manage personal time. Time management can be mastered if the desire and will to manage time correctly is evident. For those that are new to the goal setting process, time management can be compared to a diet. There is a desire to eat what is not permitted, because it is liked or craved. Similarly, when it comes to time management, many do what they are not supposed to do. They sway from the plan because something else is more interesting or fun.  It needs to be a release of what is liked, and concentration on what is needed.                               

There are many approaches to properly managing time and they can be learned and reinforced through a variety of lessons and exercises. Each person will have to draw from each application what is necessary to draft and customize an effective approach for him or herself. Time management can be broken down into a basic four-step process. One application of this process is known as the four P’s. One step must be completed before progressing to the other. This is accomplished by using the ladder approach Project a goal. Projecting is to select or choose, which in itself, is a task. The goal should be realistic and obtainable; not too easy but not too hard. One purpose of a goal is to lengthen personal abilities and stretch limits. Assess others and look at what goals have been set and what was actually accomplished; decide if the goal was realistic or a set-up for failure. Projecting a goal can come from either an individually-based decision or as a result of tasking. The most needed components to achieve a goal are to find and focus on some part of it which gives it meaning, try to make it an enjoyable process, understand personal strengths and weaknesses, and work out both what is the goal and what the expectation in fulfilling the goal is.  It must be a reason for accomplishing the task, whether it is personal or professional.


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Plan to meet that goal. A timeline for goal completion must be devised and adhered to. This timeline is a plan of action depicting a specific time you will do a specific action in order to achieve the goal. When the plan is devised, take into consideration what has or has not worked in the past; the incorporation of past lessons learned will increase the likelihood of success. Activity logs are a useful tool in analyzing time spent, time used, and tasks accomplished. An activity log can also help to plan a goal by establishing timelines and deciding plans of action based on those timelines. Most people are surprised by the results of a time log when faced with the amount of time that is actually wasted compared to quality time spent. Initially, there is the feeling that one is much busier than is the reality, and an activity log can bring that to light. Another discovery made when using a time log is how much time is spent accomplishing tasks. When a plan is devised, time may be allotted for completion, but it is usually underestimated which in turn steals or takes time from another project or task. Additionally, always develop a second plan, Plan B, to compensate for the underestimations and the unexpected. When projecting a goal, the plan to meet the goal must be realistic and obtainable, but even with those rules in mind, factors can affect the outcome and alternate plans can avoid delays in accomplishment.
Preparation and Propulsion
To achieve a goal, there are mental and physical attributes that must be present. No success was ever achieved without the proper mental and physical preparation. One must be ready to accept the changes that will occur in both the preparation phase of accomplishing a goal and in achieving a goal. Mentally, there has to be a desire to improve time management skills, a desire to be more time efficient. The steps used to achieve successful time management becomes a process that will be used throughout a lifetime. To begin and develop the process there are many challenges that must be dealt with. The mental stamina to continue when faced with those challenges must be strong otherwise the temptation to quit or settle for less than the desired result will set precedents for future goal setting. Goals are not intended to be easy, otherwise careful planning and time allowances would not be required, and, in the planning process for achieving goals, the less complicated the process is made, the more likely it is that the plan will be followed. The physical aspect of achieving the goal of time management is propulsion, setting forth the desired action to achieve the goal. Anyone can say they want to be time efficient but “He that acts upon his desires achieves his dreams”. One must take ownership of the responsibility to accomplish the goal by dominating the desire and the situation.  It can be no hesitation in taking control, one must be proactive not reactive. The decision to achieve time management is a self-motivated decision; the choice is based on desire. Not all goals are set based on personal desire, but rather are imposed due to personal need or professional position; a goal may be self-serving or self-improving. The A, B, C, or Stack-Rack Method, is a time management skill which may work best in this situation where desire gives way to need. Goals are placed in priority based on importance and the consequence of incompletion. There are many approaches to developing methods of devising a plan of action to take control and manage time more effectively. While not just one plan may be the right one, each provides building blocks or a foundation to which an individual can form his or her own plan for success. Awareness of weaknesses in managing time is the first major step in establishing a goal to correct the deficiency and to improve upon it. There also needs to be the awareness or knowledge that even if it is felt that no deficiencies exist in a person’s time management skills, a plan of action should still be used. The same can apply to goal setting in general. In fulfilling a goal, there is a desire to complete or accomplish something that has not been achieved. At a minimum, all action plans contain many of the same steps but the manner of completion differs. The setting of goals is achieved through basic techniques used by everyone throughout the world regardless of status. What makes the person a success is the ability to manage their time to accomplish the goals they desire and the goals that will make them successful.

References

A, B, C’s of Time Management. (n.d.). Retrieved September , 2000, from http//www.health.arizona.edu/Health%0Education%0On-Line%0Library/Mental%Health/abctimemanane.htm

Dudij, S. (2000). How to Write an Action Plan. Retrieved September , 2000, from http//www.time-management-guide.com/plan.html

Dudij, S. (2000). Time Log Tips. Retrieved September , 2000, from http//www.time-management-guide.com/time-management-skills.html

Dudij, S. (2000). Time Management Skills and Techniques. Retrieved September , 2000, from http//www.time-management-guide.com/time-management-skills.html

Mind Tools-Deciding Your Work Priorities. (n.d). Retrieved September ,2000, from http//www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm



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La Festa

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On June , 1946 after overthrowing the monarchy and the dictatorship, Italy became a Republic, or some would say, a “Democracy”. This day is marked as La Festa Nazionale “A National Holiday”, one of the symbols of the state and since 1948 it has been a tradition of the Armed Force to march in the center of Rome in Via Dei Fori Imperiali. The ceremony is sponsored the President of the Republic and by the Department of the Armed Force. Starting in 2000 was the 50th Anniversary of the Republic and the Department of State has revealed all information regarding the Armed Force through the Internet.

The military parade, the 50th Anniversary of the Republic, marked the highest of military traditions in the country. In 1948, Via Dei Fori Imperiali in Rome was held the first military parade of the Republic. In 1948, with the entrance of Italy in the NATO, ten of other military parades were followed in Latina, Pordenone, and L’Aguila. In 1950, for the first time the parade was introduce as part of the celebration of the Feast of the Republic. In 1961, the parade of the Centennial of the Unity was held in Firenze and Torino, the capitals of the Unity. In 1965, with the death of Pope John XXIII, the parade was moved to November 4th. In 1965, to celebrate the 50th year from World War I, the veterans of the first was, called the “Group Flags” marched along with the veterans of the second war. Such “flags” were preserved and protected during the years of the liberation in the Victorian Shrine directed by Colonel Alberto Li Gobbi, a gold medal recipient of World War II.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What is reading?

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“Reading is a message gaining, problem solving activity which increases in power and flexibility the more it is practiced” Marie Clay

“Reading is indeed a meaning-construction process that enables us to create carefully reasoned as well as imaginary worlds filled with new concepts, creatures, and characters” (Ruddell & Unrau). There are many different theorists, examiners of reading, and reading programmes in today’s world. Each theorist has his or her own preferred methods, programmes, and individual beliefs. Marie Clay is one of these people. Clay strongly believes that “Reading is a message gaining, problem solving activity which increases in power and flexibility the more it is practiced” (Clay). Throughout this essay I will be discussing my understanding of Clay’s statement, and supporting this view with reference to other educationalists, researchers, and writers; including Vygotsky and Biddulph. In addition, I will be critically analysing the guided reading programme, and the impact it has on both teachers, and the students.

Clay believes that “reading is a message gaining, problem solving activity” (Clay). If this statement was posed to me before I came to teachers college I may have tended to disagree with this, mainly due to the fact that I most definitely would not have understood it. I was by no means aware of the major influence reading has on our children’s development, and never thought that the skill of reading would be used so many times in a child’s school day. This therfore shows us how important the process of reading is and how we must use this with our children in everday situations. This can be as simple as taking your child to the supermarket.

When children first reach primary school age their vocabulary is limited, and most children can only read some amounts of text. Children then begin to develop a good decoding system, and as they work with text, “children build up a network of strategies that allow them to attend to information from different sources” (Fountas & Pinnell). However, primary school age is definitely not where the reading, and reading skills stop developing. We have “usually acquired the basics of reading by that age, but still have much more to learn and many more skills to acquire before we become confident readers” (Smith & Elley)


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Monday, May 14, 2012

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde


"Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" was written at a time when the gothic horror style of writing was very popular. Doppelganger novels were also popular at the same time and this book falls into both categories. There were many novels around that time which were similar gothic horror stories; Dracula, Sweeney Todd and Frankenstein so gothic horror was a trend of the Victorians. There are certain aspects of the story which are very strong gothic horror.

On page 7 Stevenson describes how Jekyll felt when transforming into Hyde. Stevenson uses words like, racking pangs, grinding in the bones, deadly nausea and horror. These words are typical of the gothic horror style, especially the word horror, which, along with terror is used frequently throughout the book. Later on in the paragraph Jekyll explains the feeling he gets when he finally turns into Hyde. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body '…innocent freedom of the soul'. From this description of how it feels when he is Hyde, it sounds like he is high on drugs. At that time the Victorians were interested in medicine and drugs and it was legal to smoke cannabis and opium so Stevenson may have been used previous drug inflicted feelings as the way Jekyll is meant to have felt when turned into Hyde. He also has a reference to wine to describe the feeling. Both getting high and getting drunk are inflicted on ourselves by ourselves and we do this to get away from life. Jekyll uses his potion to get away from his normal life where he has to behave in a respectable way to keep a good name for himself. He uses the potion as an outlet for his bad side, which takes form as Hyde.           

A little earlier in the book the transformation from Jekyll into to Hyde is written as a first hand account by Dr. Hastie Lanyon. Again the language in this passage has a gothic feel to it, his face became suddenly black, deadliest terror, horror. All of these add to the build up of what has happened to Jekyll. Lanyon talks about the fact that he is mentally and physically scarred by the event that takes place. Also that now he has seen that happen he feels his life is at its end. I feel that my days are numbered, and that I must die. Stevenson emphasises the transformation from Jekyll by giving it such a gothic feel, with a lot of gothic language and also by writing about it twice in the book. It gives it more impact, and the fact that it is the cause of a death adds to this effect that he is trying to achieve.
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All the gothic elements about this book are connected to Hyde; Hyde is the gothic horror element of the book. On page 56, where Hyde commits suicide it s set a night-time, which already gives it a gothic feel. Poole and Utterson are in Jekylls house, Hyde has fled to the cabinet, a small room at the back of the house containing the scientific equipment. Poole is ordered to break down the door with an axe, this reminds me of a common gothic scene with the arms in the air and the swinging of an axe. Throughout the book Hyde is likened to an animal, in most cases, ape-like. Here Hyde is in a panic, which leads him to his own death, A dismal screech, as of mere animal terror. Stevenson throws in the word terror to add the gothic feel. When Poole and Utterson enter the room, it seems to be very serene, as if nothing has happened, or so Stevenson leads you to believe, papers neatly set forth…things laid out for tea. This is to lead you into a false sense of security before unleashing the dead body, to add effect. Stevenson was obviously striving for effect, there are lots of signs. Overall this worked well because when he first showed it to his wife she found the story so horrific that she made him destroy it. When the body is located in the text it is only just dead so there is some sense of life still in the body, this makes it slightly more gruesome, the fact that he is dead but there are also signs of life. The cords of his face still moved with the semblance of life, but life was quite gone.

In the first chapter, which is setting the scene, there are lots of signs of gothic horror. It describes Jekylls house. Jekyll is a rich man and has a nice large house, but like him it has a bad side to it. The bad side to Jekyll is Hyde and the bad side to the house is what is described.



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Monologue

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It was a cold winter's night when I ran away from home, well my foster home anyway. My real Mum and Dad died when I was young. They went to see a movie and the cinema caught fire and they both didn’t make it. It was then I went to an orphanage. After a year in the orphanage I was taken in to a foster home.

It wasn’t that they didn’t like me, my foster parents, they where just short of money. There was talk of me going back to the orphanage. It was then I decided to run away and live on the streets.

I packed my bag with clothes, a sleeping bag and £500. It wasn’t much but enough to start me off for a few weeks. I didn’t know were I was heading all I knew was that I needed to find a place to sleep.

I caught a train to Manchester, after a while of walking around looking for a place to sleep I found a subway. I decided to try my hand at begging. Later on I went back to the subway to get some rest. The night was cold and the subway was damp. I was scared there were other people sleeping by me, people that looked like they had been living on the street for a while maybe most of there life.

The next day I rolled up my sleeping bag and gathered my stuff and went to some public toilets to have a wash and other bathroom things. Although I had a wash I still felt dirty.

Then when to find a place to eat, I eventually found a cafe that was empty.

Back to begging and so far bad luck. When your homeless people don’t want to know you they purposely go out of there way to avoid you, and if they don’t they look at you like your the scum of the earth it really makes you feel bad as if you shouldn’t exist.

Later that day I went back to the cafe but it was full and I didn’t feel like being stared at for just being there. So I went to a burger bar and ate by my self. So there I was cold, hungry and tired so it was back to the subway for the night. Again it was cold and wet.

I woke up at about 8 a.m. with a tall man with torn wet cloths looking in my bag. I was too scared to say anything as he might kill me, so I just let him. After he had gone I looked what was missing. He had took all of my money, all but what I had in my pocket. Suddenly it loomed on me the feeling, the feeling of regret and then I wished I were back with my foster parents or even in the orphanage. So it was then I decided to go back to the orphanage. I walked to the train station it was closed. I slept on a wall of a flowerbed. The sound of a radio woke me up that morning. It was the police they told me that they had been on the look out for me after I left. They took me to my foster parents where I had a warm welcome and a hot bath. My foster parents didn’t ask why I left as they didn’t want to make a big deal about it.


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tongue Splitting

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Tongue splitting is a new and upcoming craze among the youth of the United States of America. Between fifteen hundred and two thousand people have done this foolish attempt at body modification in the society today. Its being done mostly underground and mostly on the East and West Coasts by people into extreme body modification, beyond simple piercings. Although many kids like the idea of shoving a knife into the middle of their tongue and splitting it, and there are many ways to have this operation done, there are many who oppose to this and are trying to outlaw this fad.    

Tongue splitting involves surgically splitting the tongue to make it look like a lizards tongue. It is the central bifurcation of the tongue. Pretty much the tongue is cut down the middle, and then it naturally heals that way. Split tongue, tongue forking, forked tongue, and lizard tongue, are just a few names for tongue splitting.

Shannon Larratt the publisher of BME Body Modification Ezine, which happens to be the worlds largest resource on body modification subjects and online, comments, “If anything, we need more procedures like this being done”. She is referring to getting piercings and tongue splittings, because it makes people happy. In “Believers in Search of Insight”, written by D. James Romero, Brian Lee, a customer of West Hollywood piercer, Jennifer “Jeff” Middleton, says, “You want to show off what your about”. Apparently, body piercings and tongue splittings are what these kids are about. More people what these kinds of body modifications, and more people want to make money off it, now rebellion is becoming a uniform instead of the old fashioned torch of individuality.

James Keen, a college student, who has his tongue split insists, When I first saw it, I thought tongue-splitting was the most beautiful thing I've seen in my life. He had his tongue split by a peircer, who is not technically allowed to do this procedure, but the surgeon Keen asked to do it refused to do the operation. The body piercer used a scalpel that was heated by a blowtorch, and he did not use any anesthetics. Its not a fashion statement, said Seth Griffin, a body peircer. Its about feeling good about myself. I feel I am different from other people, and I want to be different. So I set myself apart by changing the way I look.

There are many ways to get a tongue split; obviously Keen did not take the smartest route. There are three choices as to who can split a tongue having a surgeon do it for you, having a non-medical practitioner do it for you, or doing it yourself. There are four primary methods used for tongue splitting. They are tie-off, scalpelled, cautery, and lasered. The method tie-off is where the future split is compressed with increasingly tight loops of thread, slowly cutting through over a period of days or weeks. The method of Scalpelled splits are cut using a scalpel or other blade, and potentially followed up using a cautery tool to control bleeding. In other cases a cautery tool may used to perform the cut itself, essentially branding the tongue in half. Lastly, is the method of Lasered tongue splits, almost exclusively the territory of medical professionals, use a surgical laser to relatively bloodlessly split the tongue in half. There is another method called the fishing line method. This is where a piece of fishing line is strewn through the tongue (Where there is a tongue piercing hole) and pulled the length of the tongue. As it comes out the tongue is split.

Tongue splitting, both on a procedural level, and the first 48 hours of healing can be exceptionally painful. When done by a surgeon pain control medication will be prescribed and anesthesia will be used for the procedure. With a less qualified person the pain will most likely be much worse.

In “East Meets West” written by Kuni Takahashi and Stephanie Schorow, Fusako Mamii, a seventy-eight year old poet, was a witness to the Hiroshima nuclear destruction. She lived through it , but her husband died of radiation poisoning, along with many children and teenagers. Mamii insists, “The souls, the spirits of those children who died never could so what they wanted. Those souls have come back now, doing what they want to do”.

Maybe so, maybe not. Many persons do not care about any reasoning for these things that kids are doing to themselves. Tongue splitting has been branded a mutilation by legislators in Illinois. Almost unanimously, the bill to ban tongue splitting was passed by Illinois legislature and, is waiting the approval of the Senate. If the bill is approved Illinois will be the first US state to ban tongue-splitting. Michigan tried to pass a similar vote last year, but it was turned down. David Miller, Illinois Republican politician, who's also a dentist understands the need for personal freedom, although he is worried about the risk of infection from bacteria in the mouth, and believes a persons speech could be affected by scar tissue and the splitting itself.

Larratt claims, “Not only does the body modification community have a decade of experience with this procedure, but oral surgeons know exactly what both the long and short term health effects are of cuttings of the tongue (none).” Enthusiasts say a ban will simply drive the practice underground, and mean that less well qualified people will be doing the work. They say its no different from tummy tucks, face-lifts and other more acceptable forms of body modification.

The modification-mutilation debate is going on even within the body art circles. Some people are turning away potential customers. Its extreme mutilation, said Kris Lachance, owner of Splash of Color tattoo and body piercing parlor in East Lansing, I can't even imagine why someone would want to do that to their tongue. Its totally gross.

The American Armed Forces has banned the procedure, and some airmen have reportedly had their tongues sewn back together to avoid being kicked out of the service. Having a tongue splitting is legal everywhere except in the US military, who will either discharge those with tongue splits or force them to undergo surgery to reverse the split, and in Illinois, where it is considered a doctors-only procedure. Tongue splitting is generally legal for oral surgeons to perform, although the vast majority of surgeons will refuse to do it either for personal reasons or for fear of professional backlash. In addition, several US states have pending legislation so you may want to check before proceeding publicly.

Tongue splitting seems to be a growing body modification fad. Good or Bad? Perhaps nobody has the right to make the judgment. There are many ways to get this operation done- just get it done right. Although, many people do like this fashion and many do not. Illinois was not the first to try to ban tongue splitting, and will probably not be the last. This is a continuous circle of round abouts. Tongue splitting will not be the last body modification; there will always be something else. Until then- Happy Splitting!


Bibliography

Goshgarian, Gary. The contemporary reader, 7TH Edition. Longman, 2000.

Takahashi, Kuni., & Schorow, Stephanie (000). East Meets West. In Joseph Terry (Ed.), The Contemporary Reader (7th ed., pp.67). Longman Gary Goshgarian.

Romero, James D. (17). Believers in Search of Piercing Insight. In Joseph Terry (Ed.), The Contemporary Reader (7th ed., pp. 61). Longman Gary Goshgarian.

Larratt, Shannony. Tongue Splitting FAQS. [On-Line]. Available http//www.bmezine.com/.

Stacey Range. Mutilation or modification? Forked tongues raise issue. Lansing State Journal.


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Movie "Taxi Driver"

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I am very glad that I have the opportunity to take Cinema as part of my block program. I find the class very interesting, as we are learning new terms and ways of analyzing different categories of films. I enjoy watching movies and the class helps me to change the way I interpret the meaning of the content and the form.

The first movie that was shown to us is, Taxi Driver, directed by Martin Scorsese. The genre of this film lies between a thriller and a drama. Robert DeNiro plays the lonely character, Travis Bickle, an emotionally unstable former Vietnam War veteran. As an insomniac, he works nights as a taxi driver. Throughout the film, we see that Travis is isolated from the world as he examines the streets of New York City, as a corrupt place filled with garbage. Travis tries to connect with Betsy, a young woman working for a presidential candidate. Travis decides to take her to see a porno movie, in which Betsy walks out of the movie theater in disgust. This shows that it is hard for Travis to connect with a human being. Travis' becomes enraged with anger after Betsey refuses to return any of his phone calls. He retreats into his war-mode when resorting to violence in order to rid the city of its garbage. Travis decides to focus his attention on a twelve-year old prostitute named Iris. He wants to help her flee her pimp, and all the other dangers around her. After extensive training, Travis pretends to visit Iris in the brothel, and murders everyone, including Sport. Although Travis thinks he is helping Iris, she did not want him to do what he had done because she is content with her lifestyle. At the end of the movie, Travis is considered a hero in the media and he receives a thank-you note from Iris’ parents. Betsy even returns to Travis to talk about his heroic deed, although Travis seems to have moved on with his life.

Throughout the movie, Taxi Driver, cinematography techniques played a key role in the form of the movie. During the taxi scenes, Scorsese used cinematic mise en scene, displaying Travis’ eyes, in extreme close-up shots. This focused on the mysteriousness and darkness that surrounded Travis’ rearview mirror and his eyes. Hair and make- up also had a big impact on the movie. After Betsy turned down Travis, his physical war-mode transformation, which included his jacket and Mohawk hairstyle, showed that Travis was a changed person. An additional technique was the shooting scene, which was also very important. It had low-key lighting, giving the building a hazy feeling. After the crime was committed, a high-angle shot was panned over the city, portraying the huge effect it had among bystanders.

Overall, the movie seemed very confusing to me until I had gone over the events in my mind. Travis’ character was very complex and it was difficult to understand his actions. I sympathize with Travis as he tried to connect with Betsy and more so when he seemed to lose it all at the end of the movie. I was not sure how to interpret the ending. It seemed as if the ending represents what could have because I thought he died after the shooting. It seems that Travis did survive and the movie’s ending returns to a calm atmosphere once again just like its opening. All together, I thought the movie was enjoyable.
 

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Advertising's Decline in Morals

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During the past two decades we have seen a change in the morals and values instilled upon generation after generation. The ethics and traditions our parents were raised to follow and practice have slowly disappeared from the greater part of society. Many elements have factored this change. The evolution of technology has certainly been a major contributor; also the underlying reality of how the advertising industry, interweaved into every facet of our lives, acts as a significant source of information.

Advertising is a crucial staple of the world’s economic system. While spending more than two hundred billion dollars annually to promote products, financial gain is the driving force of the industry. Vendors wanting to boost business needed a way to introduce and sell their products to the public. Marketing began as a method used to make products appealing; however, the dilemma with advertising is that the industry is not primarily concerned with the content of information put forth. Companies have willingly compromised ethics in pursuance of greater financial wealth. The revenue generated as a result of marketing tactics measures the bottom line and amount of success.

Advertising has seamlessly integrated itself into our lives and whether we accept or reject the idea, it is a very powerful tool. Its influence plays a major role in determining the outcome of decisions we make. How we perceive social status, our lifestyles and ourselves, have been to some extent shaped by the continuous stream of information we encounter daily.

Unnecessary tactics are used to attract our attention, often sending negative messages to the public. The average person views up to twenty commercials on television per hour. And while some are clever, most leave me to wonder what the manufacture intended me to purchase. Was it the car displayed the last two seconds of the commercial or was it the male model sprawled across the car?

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We have become a society that glorifies violence and disobedience; immoral and unethical behaviors have escalated beyond both reason and control. Athletes looked upon as roll models, re-enter drug rehabilitation centers time after time. No actions are taken to reprimand them; there are no realistic consequences for ill behavior. Male and female models take drugs or starve themselves sacrificing their health to maintain the perfect image. Millions have developed lung cancer and died from the affects of long-term smoking, a campaign the advertising industry spent countless hours and dollars promoting, yet the tobacco industry denies any wrongdoing. The main correlation of the above-mentioned facts is that marketing strategies are overwhelmingly geared toward appealing to the younger generation. What message do we send to youth when we compromise what is right in order to make a dollar? How effective are advertisers who bait us with sex or celebrities in getting the public to purchase their products?

A brief study of the advertising industry shows us that historically, the first accredited adverting agency opened in the city of Philadelphia, in eighteen hundred-thirty nine formed by Volney B. Palmer, yet the evolution of the industry can be traced back to three thousand B.C. during the Babylonian civilization. The Babylonian’s used advertising store front signs and street markers, as a means of promoting their business services. Kings were allowed to stencil their names on temples showing others their financial contribution or connection to monumental projects they had aided. Information was passed amongst villages verbally by pitchmen until 155 A.D. when the Germans produced the first known pamphlets printed on paper and distributed to the public.

The popularity of print ads grew drastically over the next three centuries. The Industrial Revolution of the 1700’s introduced us to the way we currently conduct business. Machines relieved menial tasks; ads in publications were no longer created by hand, which allowed more efficient use of time and money. With print press machines manufactures were able to increase production of newspapers distributed per day from a few thousand copies to over several million per day.

Since most newspaper enterprises were small staffed and unable to keep up with consumer demand, the industry expanded hiring more people with specific job responsibilities. The responsibility of the advertising agent was to seek business from vendors by creating ads that promoted their businesses. Ad agents charged up to fifty percent of the original cost of the space. Concerned with the reputation of the industry, George P. Rowell created a space rate policy to legitimize agents.

As the industry underwent many changes, it was hard to keep up with competitors. Development of new products, such as color printing, made advertisers compete against one another. James B. Duke launched one of the first marketing strategies the tobacco industry. Pieces of cardboard were inserted into packs of cigarettes, to stiffen the box. Duke used the cards (what we know as trading cards) to print the brand name of the cigarettes along with a picture of celebrities and historical or educational information. The cards were issued as a series meant to be collected. The idea was successful, boosting sales of cigarettes tremendously. However, Duke’s father was concerned about the use of these cards. In a letter dated October 17th, 1884 he wrote

“My dear Son,

I have received the enclosed letter from the Rev. John C. Hocutt, and I am very much impressed with the wisdom of his argument against circulating lascivious photographs with cigarettes, and have made up my mind to bring the matter to your attention in the interest of morality, and in the hope that you can invent a proper substitute for these pictures which will answer your requirements as an advertisement as well as an inducement to purchase. His views are so thoroughly and plainly stated that I do not know how that I can add anything except to state that they accord with my own, and that I have always looked upon the distribution of this character of advertisement as wrong in its pernicious effects upon young man and womanhood, and therefore has not jingled with my religious impulses. Outside of the fact that we owe Christianity all the assistance we can lend it in any form, which is paramount to any other consideration, I am fully convinced that this mode of advertising will be used and greatly streghten [sic, strengthen] the arguments against cigarettes in the legislative halls of the States. I hope you will consider this carefully and appreciate my side of the question. It would please me very much to know that a change had been made.”
This letter is proof that the tactics of advertising were questionable years ago.


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Outsiders and Insiders

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In most cases, Outsiders can be more interesting than those who are considered Insiders. Outsiders are different in many ways to other people and are much more interesting compared to those in the mainstream of society. They have different views and opinions to offer and can expand our knowledge and experiences. Some Outsiders may pride themselves on their differences to society. Unfortunately, them being Outsiders may cost them greatly in heartache and pain. Also an Outsider’s behaviour and actions can be much more interesting and individualistic than those whom claim to ‘fit in’.

Billy in ‘Eddie’s Bastard’ has some very interesting views about some of the things he has done, seen and experienced. After staying with the Shumachers, Billy comes to the conclusion “that there are two kind of people in the world the Trevor types and the Shumacher types, the bad and the good, the scary and the safe.” This is so simple yet so profound. If Billy had been an Insider he never would have experienced life at the Shumachers, and would never have come to this conclusion.

Billy also loves Annie so much that he, unlike the rest of Mannville, doesn’t care that she is a Simpson. “ ‘I don’t care if youre crazy or not,’ I [Billy] said. ‘I love you. I mean it…’ ” “I didn’t care if she was innocent and pure, those words meant nothing to me anyway. She was just Annie. I wanted people to see us together. I was proud of her.” Billy looks past everything outward and physical and sees the real person inside. This from an Outsider.


Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was outside of his American culture, and his views and opinions shown in his famous speech have led to many people following the cause of black American rights. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of the character.” His famous speech has enhanced our knowledge and helps us to realise our foolishness.

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Outsiders may not come across as the happiest or liveliest people, but some Outsiders pride themselves on their Outsider qualities, and may actually want to be Outsiders, and could quite possibly even enjoy it.

“Since my battle with David Weismuller I had no enemies, and in fact…I’d earned a grudging respect…” Although he could have been friends with anyone he wanted, he chose not to. He enjoyed being different. He enjoyed being alone. He enjoyed being an Outsider. He didn’t want to fit in with the crowd. Similarly, the character in the cartoon ‘The Plodder’ by Leunig doesn’t seem to mind that he will be “left behind” or will “miss out” and he wont be “influential”, “attractive” or “clever.” He wants to just live life at his own set pace, instead of trying to keep up with the constant rush, rush, rush of the mainstream society.

The Bible is yet another source that encourages it’s reader "Christians" to be different to the world, because they are of God not of the world. “Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sinful desires which war against your soul.”

There are times when being an Outsider may not be such an enjoyable experience. Outsiders may suffer greatly for being who they are. Annie is an outsider in two respects, both at school and at home. She is excluded because she is a girl and she is also smart, something girls weren’t meant to be at that time in history. “Plus she was a girl. That worked against her in the classroom…Some of the other girls hated her for her brains.” She is also an Outsider at school because she is a Simpson. “No Simpson had ever made it through high school without getting arrested at least once, and none of them ever went to college.” In much the same way, she suffers at home, because she is smart and a girl. Mr Simpson “believed girls were worthless” and that he told Annie “a thousand times how disappointed he was when I [Annie] was born.” Mr Simpson takes advantage of Annie on millions of occasions. He injures her physically and sexually, and Annie is permanently scarred because of it. “I don’t think I could ever physically love a man, ever. The idea of it repulses me.” Annie had to suffer greatly emotionally, physically and mentally for who and what she was.

In the movie ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ Arnie is an Outsider because of his disability and his brother, Gilbert, who has to constantly look out for and care for Arnie, cant lead a normal life because of his responsibility to Arnie. Also his mother, who never leaves the house, and consequently gets very obese, also needs constant care and attention. Gilbert suffers in his loss of a social life. After Arnie climbs the water tower, in the beginning of the film, he is ridiculed and hit for being who he is. Gilbert then has to defend him and is then seen as an outsider for defending one.

In ‘All Summer In A Day’ by Ray Bradbury, Margot is an outsider because she, unlike the rest of the children, remembers the sun, what it looked and felt like. They are secretly jealous of this. She wouldn’t play games with them or sing with them. There was also word she was moving back to Earth from the home on Venus soon. All these reasons combine to make her an Outsider and she suffers for it. The group of kids excludes her, and when the sun comes out for a one-hour period for the first time in seven years the other children lock her in a closet and she misses the sun. The sun only comes out once in seven years, and so to miss out on seeing it is a tremendous loss that Margot has to endure because she is an Outsider.

Another interesting aspect of an Outsider is what they do and how they behave. Billy, during his early childhood, spies on the Simpson house and its occupants. “I also took to spying on the Simpsons” The things he does and thinks whilst spying provide a sense of humour to the book. Billy’s games of Munchkins with his Grandfather and his invention of ‘The Dreaded Scarum’ provide a comic aspect to his life. None of these things would be done by anyone with a lot of friends to play with, but are done by those outside of society’s circles and groups.


Grandpa’s drinking problem teaches us the dangers of alcohol, and Grandpa & Billy’s trip to Amish house shows us the miracles of birth and life, and the sadness of death. Grandpa drinks because after the ‘Fiasco of the Ostriches’ he becomes a recluse and turns to drinking to fill time and take away his worries. The Amish people call on someone who accepts them for who they are and therefore don’t agree with the mainstream, to deliver their baby. Due to them being what they are, Outsiders do much more interesting things than those who do what everyone else is doing.

Arnie is an Outsider in ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ and he does much more interesting things than most 18 year olds. He climbs trees and hides in them, runs around watching the procession of caravans come into town and consistently climbs to the top of the local water tower. His mother’s actions, or lack of, are also of interest. She never moves or goes out of the house, and is extremely obese.

The child in ‘Near The School For Handicapped Children’ by Thomas Shapcott does things very different to things that Insiders would do “...and when the lights do change, he skips across the road he, skips he skips he dances and skips.”

Outsiders have a quality of life that Insiders cant begin to understand and quite often it is much more interesting than an Insider’s. Insiders shouldn’t be so quick as to discount an Outsider’s point of view or their actions as foolish. Insiders seem to have the attitude shown by the lyrics of the song ‘Doesn’t Fit In’ by Belvedere “I ain’t going near him, ‘cause he doesn’t fit in.” but Outsiders have valid views and opinions to offer. That same song by Belvedere has these lines later on, “you cant judge a book by its cover, so don’t judge or your sister or your brother. You cant judge a person, by their face, clothes or hair, colour or style.” And this should be the view Insiders should take to those whom they deem ‘don’t fit in’. An outsider is often much more interesting than an Insider because their views, opinions, actions and behaviour have more value and worth, and they can enhance our quality and knowledge of life. Their suffering also makes us feel compassion for them.



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