So, we watched a video about advertising and product placement in the media today.
Apparently, some people don’t think that it is ethical to try to mix entertainment and advertising (like putting a brand name in a movie or television show.) Personally, I think that including real brands makes the media more realistic, and I also like the idea of having access to the same type of product as the people in the moveie.
However, if the advertising becomes more obvious, then it starts to get a little annoying. Actually, I am more likely to buy a product that was subtly introduced than one was the explicitly pointed out.
Also, this guy had the idea that most people don’t really know why they are buying something when they do…that they just have an internal drive to do so. I agree with him. So many people buy pointless stuff they definitely don’t need, but for some reason they are convinced that they DO need it. There was a part of the video that asked, “Does the smell of coffee remind you of your mother?” And that is a very relevant point. I don’t really like coffee at all. However, the smell of coffee does remind me of my mom, and it’s a pleasant memory, so it is actually possible I would buy coffee once I move out of the house just to have that familiar smell. The best kind of advertising uses unconcious drives like that.
Anyways, advertising doesn’t really bother me. In fact, I like to know what’s out there. I just don’t like it when people advertise in an obnoxiously obvious way.


Body Image in the Media

So, I wrote a research paper on this topic and then gave a speech in school, and I am definitely against the body “requirements” that people have. First of all, the “ideal” body weight, height, muscle composition…etc. are not even physically realistic for some people on a genetic basis, so many go to extremes to try to get the “perfect” look and just end up harming themselves.
I can’t remember the number, but a large percentage of models are below healthy weight for their stature. Yet, magazines, billboards, and television commercials portray them as happy, successful people. So, young adolescents (who are the most likely to be influenced by the media as they are rapidly changing and looking for some sort of role model) want to be just like the people in the media. This can cause various problems including eating disorders, low self-esteem, and stress. This problems can follow a young person throughout his or her life.
Furthermore, the “ideal” weight is harmful to the models. Since body ideals have changed in the last century, models are all but forced to “compete” to loose equal or more wieght than their fellow models. This is called the “domino” effect, as one model falls and starves herself and the others follow. Some may argue that the models’ appearance is purely for asthetic purposes. However, many businesses try to make people feel insecure in order to get people to believe they need their problems. Sure the models may be beautiful, but is making other people feel ugly a good thing? Of course not.
I also believe that media is just as harmful to males as it is to females. Although the stereotypical male “ideal” is more athletic than skinny, it’s still a problem. Guys shouldn’t feel embarassed about walking around in their swimming trunks just because their six pack is covered by a layer of “protection.” Muscles don’t have anything to do with personality.
I think that the most important part of a person’s appearance is a smile. Smiles show confidence and happiness, which I think are the best critera of good character out there. The only way for things to change and for body image to stop it’s downward spiral is for people to start accepting that we are all different and that we can only be the best possible version of OURSELVES, because there is no “mold” that we could all possibly fit into. Beauty on the outside is ambiguous, and beauty on the inside is more important.


So, on Friday we interviewed our partners so we could write a  story about them and create an audio thing. I guess interviewing was maybe supposed to feel different than normal talking, but it didn’t really. That is, except for the fact that we had to hold up a voice recorder and go to some excluded place in Prexy’s Pasture so that there wouldn’t be any extra noise on the recording. Anyways, it was somewhat fun. I know that a lot of us are writing sports reports, which is kind of hackneyed, but oh well.

I do think that the skills used in interviewing can help in the future because for job and college interviews it is important to know how to convey the right message in conversation. Knowing how to talk is good…

Ban the Book Ban

Books are often challenged because people don’t think that they are appropriate for their intended audience. However, I don’t think that books should ever be banned anywhere. I think that if someone has something against the content of a book, he can simply choose not to read it. Some people will argue that children shouldn’t be exposed to certain material, and I would counter-argue that children need to be prepared for making good decisions in the real, uncensored world, and if they can’t choose an appropriate book, they need to learn. I believe that everyone one should have the opportunity to voice their oppinions as long as they don’t force others to read it. It’s all a choice.
An example of a banned book is And Tango Makes Three, which is a children’s book about homosexual penguins. Although I personally believe that every individual has the right to love whomever he wants, I understand that a couple of the same sex is religiously wrong for some people. However, I do not think that it is right for people to ban books like this because they are “protecting” their children. All they would really accomplish by banning it is making their children more naive. It is important for children to realize that not everybody in the world believes and acts exactly as their parents or teachers do, so by using a gentle children’s story to convey the lifestyle of other people, And Tango Makes Three covers very essential topics. In addition, by exposing children to literature that is different from what they have been taught before, people are encouraging children to make their own judgements, which is really the most important thing that can be taught in school.

Overall, I think that banning books is extremely rediculous. Everybody has the right to choose whether or not to read certain publications, but nobody should have the right to silence another’s voice.

HSI en Espanol

Pues, yo sere en la clase de espanol AP el ano segundo. Por eso, yo quiero escribir un poco en espanol en este <<blog>>. (Lo siento porque no puedo usar accentos…)

Bale. Primero, voy a hablar sobre HSI. Hoy es dia cinco y ahora estoy en mi clase de periodicos. Mi clase de ciencias es un clase que es sobre technologia. En casi todo, me gustan mis clases, pero recientemente, yo ha estado cansada y ha sentidome un poco enferma. Yo creo que mi amigo, Kyle, es culpable. Anoche, no pude dormir.

De todos modos, HSI es muy divertido. Aunque nosotros no nos conocemos antes de HSI, somos amigos. Ya me siento comodo con todos de los otras estudiantes. Yo creo que yo sea muy triste cuando nosotros tenemos que salir… Bueno. Pues, por el momento yo disfrutare mi tiempo.

Gov Talk

Q: What responsibility does the news media have to educate and inform the public?

A: I think that it is important for the media to let us know necessary information about important happenings because since our government is not directly ruled by the general public, I think that we at least have a right to know about what is going on. However, I don’t think that other types of news like gossip magazines are necessary. I think that each person should have a right to privacy unless his actions affect a majority of people in a significant way.

Q: What is an example of a time when the media did not to a good job at informing the public?

A: Although it was not in the United States, the Dirty War in Argentina in the second half of the twentieth century was a major example of insufficient informing by the media. During this war, the military goverment was taking young liberals away from their homes and toturing them. However, many of the upper class Argentines didn’t even know what was going on, even though some of their closest relatives and friends were involved in the attrocities. This wasn’t stopped for a long time because the government carefully monitered what information was being put out.

Q: Which of the following is more important: Freedom of the news media and self expression or protecting sensitive or important government information?

A: There is a major difference between government information that is kept secret to protect America as a whole and government information that is kept secret to protect the career of individual government workers. If some information is simply being kept secret because a politician doesn’t want to give himself a bad mark, I think that that is wrong and that the American people should be able to know about it if it pertains to them. However, if government information must be kept secret to ensure our nations security, I think that by all means, this information should not get out.

Basically, I don’t think that there is a clear right or wrong. Every situation is different, and it is important to consider what is best for the entire country rather than just individuals as well as what information is necessary and appropriate versus what is superficial and uncalled for.


Online Identity

I can’t say how many times my teachers, parents, and other such advisory personel have told me to be careful about what I post online. Everybody in class just nods.
Personally, all that comes up online for me is an obituary article for my great grandmother, some track stats, some pictures of me in sports, and some random newspaper aricles from school… and I guess now this blog should come up, too. So, I have a feeling looking this stuff up wouldn’t help an employer much. Therefore, it doesn’t bother me at all that some businesses would fire people based on their online identity, but I guess that might only be because I don’t have any problems with that.