Sunday, April 17, 2011

Twilight: Talking Points # 10

I saw Twilight when it first came to the theatres (girlfriend at the time made me see it with her- let's make that clear!)and I pretty much dismissed it as a Corny Vampire movie. However, now that I watched it again with a little purpose behind it, it did seem to have some valuable critiquing moments. I found two major themes that relate to this course:

1. The stages of Teenagehood (ie The Storm, Becoming)

Bella and her parents
Bella and Edward not fitting in with each other's groups

2. Male vs. Female Sexuality

Bella's desire for Edward
Edward having to "Resist" his urges

Edward As I watched this, for some reason I kept focusing on Edward, The Male, rather than Edward, The Vampire. Looking at Edward's character as "Male" allowed me to properly critique the issue of Teenagers. One of the glaring observations was Edward's fight to resist Bella. Even though the movie plays it off as Edward's prevention of Bella becoming a Vampire, I looked at it as his inner hormonal battle that most guys would lose. In fact at the end of the movie, Carlisle even says, "Use will power" when Edward sucks the venom from Bella.

Bella Aside from the obvious Bella= Princess and Edward= Prince, Bella's desire to be with Edward represents a teenage girl's desire to be with the mysterious/bad boy over the nicer boys who show an interest. Other than the above-mentioned observations, I don't really know what else to add. Maybe Ms. Grinner will enlighten me? LOL

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Good Girls Gone Bad: Talking Points # 9

Good Girls Gone Bad: Talking Points # 9

First let me say that I will welcome EITHER one:)

Now, I'm going to start off with a key quote:

""Nothing my boy did was anything any red-blooded American Boy wouldn't do at his age...What can you do? It's a testosterone thing."- this was a quote from a mother of one of the boys in the Spur Posse mentioned on page 207. Later, the girls who were "victims" of the Spur Posse were labeled as "Those girls are trash."

There is an obvious double-standard and I really do not know how this will ever be rectified. You see it all the time. Here are just some popular examples:

1. Ben Roethlisberger, 2- time Superbowl Champion Quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2. Rick Pitino, Hall of Fame Basketball coach
3. Tiger Woods
4. Bill Clinton
5. Kobe Bryant

In all of these cases the men mentioned above have been excused and really never missed a beat (except monetarily) and there will always be a large contingent that will say, "Oh, the girl seduced him," or "She knew who he was-she was after his money."

Take a look at this clip below from Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000). Tiffany Amber Thiesen (yes, Kelly from Saved By The Bell) replaces Shannon Doherty as Brandon and Brenda's long lost "Good Girl" cousin from Buffalo. She starts off as the "Goody-Two-Shoes Cousin" but has a "Dark Side." Luke Perry plays Dylan McKay, who is the "Bad Boy" of the show. What are the images you have of each as you watch this scene? We should look at this again in class on Tuesday night!

As far as the Atalanta clip- very well done. Good point about true love and based on the date of the clip, definitely a feminist statement at that time. Also, is it me or does Atalanta and Young John look alike?


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Project Ideas: Talking Points # 8

I really would like to look into TV/Movies and how teenagers are portrayed in them. I feel as a teacher, that my students are deprived of the quality television shows that I was able to observe in the late '80's and early '90's. There are so many tv shows now that send such a bad message versus when I was a teenager. I truly feel that because of shows like Growing Pains, Who's the Boss?, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, The Wonder Years, Boy Meets World, Step-By-Step, Family Matters, even Full House with its corny "Talk-With-Dad-At-The-End-Cue-The Music-Let's-Hug-Before-The-Credits-Moments that it made me a better person/decision maker. I don't know, maybe I watched TOO MUCH tv, but I know my students watch tv when they go home and there is NOTHING of any moral fiber to soak in. At the very least, the shows made me laugh inside, and not like laughing at shows like Jackass.

I mean, sometimes I think it's all in the way it is presented too. For example, in the early '80's there was the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High which portrayed the different perspectives boys and girls have toward it. That movie was very well-written and actually, behind some of the silly parts, left viewers with a "real" view of what sex is and ISN'T. Contrastly, a movie like American Pie, which deals with the same issue, has ABSOLUTELY NO REDEEMING QUALITY. It's just frustrating, because I feel that society is representative of the media world and there is definitely a correlation between what is viewed on TV/Movies/YouTube and the Apathetic Umbrella that not only teenagers live under.

Like Lexi, I needed to get this off my chest. Now back to watching the Final Four and Red Sox...AHHHHH, there's that TV thing again:)

Disregard Post # 8

Disregard my Post # 8. I guess I just couldn't wait to talk about this topic LOL

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hip-Hop, Mass Media Talking Points # 7

I was assigned to read Part 1 of Jared Ball's article.

On the first page of "Hip-Hop, Mass Media and 21st Century Colonization", Jared Ball speaks of Hip-Hop as improperly portraying a "Black America" as a form of colonization. Ball says that there are three main components to this internal "colony":

1. Black people remain in spatially distinct communities such as neighborhoods or projects.

2. Within these projects, the Black population form the basis of America's cheap labor.

3. Raw materials which include cultural expression and specifically Hip-Hop.

The above-mentioned three tenets of this "Black America," as Ball puts it, is a way of intentionally creating conditions of poverty and desperation that Hip-Hop tends to glorify through its own sub-culture.

So, how does this all relate to me, a 32 year-old white male? Well, I've been a teacher in Providence for the past four years and I really like (sometimes Love) what I do and whom I teach. Prior to this year, I had taught at Oliver Hazard Perry Middle School which is directly across from "The Hartford Projects" on Hartford Avenue. The school was nearly 80 years old and the caliber of students and parents whom I dealt with were definitely on the poorer side. The reason I mention this is because Perry closed this past year and some of the students who would have returned to Perry were transferred over to DelSesto Middle School, as was I. The amazing thing is that DelSesto is less than one mile down Hartford Ave, but it is on the Johnston line rather than the Projects end and believe it or not, that makes a big difference in the student population. Even though some of the same kids from Perry are at DelSesto, it's an entirely different atmosphere- it's "NOT AS POOR." The question is, "Why?" I've pondered the reasons and have even conversed about it with fellow teachers who also made the trek from Perry to DelSesto with me, and we've arrived at a couple of possibilites:

1. Newer School
2. Closer to Johnston= closer to affluence
3. Away from "The Projects"

So, now that I have read a little bit about Hip-Hop and Ball's take on it, it seems a little clearer that it may be a combination of #'s 2 and 3?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Talking Points 6: Glee

Hey everyone, I just got my laptop back. Had to bring it to Best Buy this Saturday (it had a virus). No excuses though, right?

Anyway, I only watched the "Never Been Kissed" episode of Glee and even though it is definitely not the show for me, I do see many examples of SCHWAMP in the episode. The Juvenile Hall Jock wheeling the "cripple" down the hallway. The Bully Slamming the Gay person into the lockers. The majority of the cast is white. The Males as the dominant sex hunting for the woman to "Give it up." Another show that did a great job depicting every issue imaginable for teens and beyond was Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000).

I'll try to watch more, but I wish I checked out these episodes earlier in the vacation- I would've been able to analyze more. Sorry.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Digital Life

Hey guys,

Here's my Digital Life. HUGE thanks to Blue for helping me save my pics to my computer. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!