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Lies My Teacher Told Me is my social issue

A World Without Language

Mary Louise Pratt, Arts of the Contact Zone: “ Descriptions of interactions between people in conversations, classrooms, medical and bureaucratic settings, readily take for granted that the situation is governed by a single set of rules or norms shared by all participants.” (Pratt 365)

I full heartedly believe in these common set of rules shared by all! If we didn’t have these rules what would the world of language look like? So much of our lives is based on personal preference and making our own decisions. We have moral rules and laws from the government but other than that, we can pretty much do what ever we want. Rules and laws are put in place to keep situations from going out of hand.

Imagine if only females with brown hair had to abide by these set rules regarding language. All other humans could communicate for hours stopping only to take a breath. They could switch topics with no warning and make up their own vocabulary just for the heck of it.  This would create endless problems. The discrimination against females with brown hair is unfair. Why them? And what constitutes as brown hair anyways? What if you have light brown hair? Or someone dyes her hair brown? As the specifications for rules get narrower, the boundary lines get blurrier. If some people can talk constantly and in their own made up language, is the first amendment of free speech still in play? These problems and more could go on forever. As the rules diminish so does the motivation and will power. People get lazy without rules. Language is one of the few things that is harmonized all around the world. Government styles change from place to place and religion is based on personal believes, but language remains the same everywhere you go.  In the passage Guaman Poma wrote a letter to the king in his own language by mixing two languages together. The letter didn’t reach the King because no one could understand what Guman Poma was writing. If everyone made up his or her own language soon there would be on language at all.

I believe this text had good points and a good overall message but the way Pratt went about presenting her writing was very confusing. She jumped from baseball cards to an old manuscript to a class she taught. I really don’t see the connection between any of these subjects. I would never read something like this again. This text was extremely difficult for me to grasp and even now I only fully understood the middle section of the passage. I’m not opposed to Pratt’s writing but more of the subject on which this passage was based on. I would recommend this text to people who really want to challenge themselves in their outlook on a world with out rules.

Thick Morals

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Moral Disagreement: “ There are thin, universal values here- those of good parenting- but their expressing is highly particular, thickly enmeshed with local customs and expectations and the facts of social arrangements.” (Appiah 380)

Are thick morals wrong? If not, are thin morals wrong? Morals are distinctive for every person and every culture. Religion and ethnic background can both affect ones moral values. “ As a result, even if you were in Asante, many taboos wouldn’t affect you. Since you don’t belong to an Asante clan and don’t have obligations to shrine gods. But there are many things all Asante’s “turn their backs on” and would expect everyone else to as well.” (383) Even if one thinks sex before marriage is morally wrong, one should still respect others who view sex before marriage as a perfectly normal thing to do and vise versa.

If everyone had uniform morals there would be no individuality.  Morals are another component of this diverse word we live in.  There is no such thing as a wrong thick moral or a wrong thin moral. The classification of thick or thin does not make a moral wrong. The only ‘wrong’ morals are those that go against human nature, lying, cheating, murder, those that are universally known. Between cultures and religions morals can be ‘wrong’ but those terms only apply to those within the culture or religion. And of these wrong morals they are clearly address and well known within that culture or religion. We has humans base a great deal of what we do on morals, we tend to associate with people who share our morals and it is on our morals that our own life decisions are made.

I really enjoyed what Appiah had to say in his passage. I thought he went about stating his opinion with thoughtfulness and reasoning. He presented both sides of his argument and well respected the opposing view. I also enjoyed that he included his own background in the passage to enhance his argument. He knew that most readers would not be familiar with his terminology and his points of view and therefore went to great ends to explain his reasoning and get his point across. I would love to read more of Appiah’s work in the future. I believe he has a very unique and informative outlook on life.  I also appreciate the topic he picked to write on. College is truly the first time most of us are exposed to so many different views and characteristics. Being in college right now and having to face such a diverse group of people currently, I have found this passage very insightful. I would recommend this reading to anyone who wants to see another point of view.

Suicide a Tipping Point?

Malcolm Gladwell The Tipping Point “These three characteristics- one, contagiousness; two, the fact that little cause can have big effects; and three, that change happens not gradually but at one dramatic moment…The name given to that one dramatic moment in an epidemic when everything can change al at once is the Tipping Point.” (Gladwell 437)

This passage very much changed my view on how much one person can influence so many others. We as humans crave security and desire to fit in. We do everything in our power to be accepted by others. And once we are accepted into a group we strive to be the ‘top dog’, the coolest person included in the group. The actions we take to feel accepted are completely unnecessary. Sneaking out, doing drugs, having sex, all of these are the keys to being accepted, but suicide? That draws the line. Isn’t the point of going out of your way to do something reckless, to in the end reap the benefits? Where does suicide get anyone? Nowhere! Sure suicide might prove a point, but to what extend? Sure we can splurge and get the new fashionable $300 jeans and have to do odd jobs to compensate for what we spent, all in the hopes of fitting in. But to commit suicide because it was the cool thing to do makes no sense to me.

Fitting in is all about self-satisfaction, but committing suicide is the most selfish thing one can do. Just the mere element of one individual committing suicide blows my mind. Now for multiple people to do it, there has to be something wrong here. No one should have that much negative influence over other people. If your friend jumped off a bridge would you? This question is always asked rhetorically because everyone knows the answer should be ‘No’. But if that friend just so happened to be the ‘tipping point’ the answer to that question would be ‘Yes’. This is completely unreasonable. Frankly this concept makes me mad. We were made to make our own choices. Each of us has set boundaries to our own comfort zone. So why then in Micronesia did so many young males fail to see the insanity in committing suicide?

This passage was very interesting to me. I never knew suicide could become a trend. Fashion always has trend and being ‘bad ass’ has its own list of qualifications but I never expected to see suicide as another means of earing ‘cool points’. I severally hope this trend in Micronesia doesn’t spread elsewhere. I would defiantly read something like this again; I have no clue what other insane treads are out there. As far as Gladwell is concerned, I’m glad he is calling all of this to our attention. This is something people need to hear. I would recommend this passage to anyone and everyone. I think it is very valuable information and I’m very surprised that I’m hearing of this for the first time in my freshman year of college.

Emasculation

Michael S. Kimmel Gender; Class, and Terrorism “What hold together these ‘paranoid politics’… is a rhetoric of masculinity. These men feel emasculated by big money and big government…and they claim that ‘others’ have been handed the birthright of native born white men.”

I personally think this whole issue of being emasculated is completely fabricated. Do men really feel emasculated or do they just think that people look at them as emasculated? Lets stop and think for a second. You know those situations where someone is all fired up about something and tells another person then that other person gets all fired up as well? In my opinion this is what is happening here. One man somewhere along the lines said “I feel like my masculinity has been taken away from me and here is why. Then someone else says “hey! Yeah, your right, I feel the same way.” And now the issue has spread to ‘American and Islamic men’. Seriously people? I can tell you right now that woman don’t look at men as emasculated. Men will always look masculine to woman. Yeah the economic times are rough, so maybe a male gets laid off and can’t provide for their family anymore but that doesn’t make a man less masculine. Woman theses days aren’t little Sussie Homemakers like they were 50 years ago. Woman work 40-hour weeks like men. They don’t all sew their family’s clothes and stay home all day to prepare dinner. Times have changed and the definition of masculine and feminine need to change too. This idea that emasculated men are in charge of terrorism is just as unrealistic as the concept of emasculation itself. We need to stop trying to understand the motives behind terrorism. If we understood why people are terrorist then it wouldn’t be called terrorism because there would be nothing to fear out of a lack of knowledge.

This article really checked my thinking on things. The issue is an interesting one but I just don’t understand the originality of the issue of emasculation in the first place. I would read an article like this again because it would be interesting to see what other issues are brought up. I would recommend this reading to anyone that likes reading about current events in history and about the war on terror.

Dyes and Dolls

Ann DuCille Dyes and Dolls “Is Barbie bad? Barbie is just a piece of plastic, but what she says about the economic base of our society- what she suggest about gender and race in our world- ain,t good.”

The topic of racism is a touch one even today so instead I’m going to place everyone back on the same playing field. What if Barbie, black or white, was a more realistic interpretation of what an actual female looks like? How would that change DuCille’s argument? Now all of us college students can easily see that Barbie has unrealistic physical features of the perfect female. But the seven year old playing dress up with her Barbie is not going to know that she will never grow up to look just like Barbie did. A young black girl will look at her Christie and wonder why her lips aren’t as full as her dolls and a young white girl will look at her Teresa and wonder why her waist isn’t as small as her dolls. Either way Barbie’s are a horrible representation of what a female today should look like. Here are some facts about Barbie: if she were real she would be 7’2’’, her waist would be so small that she would suffer from chronic diarrhea and death from malabsorption and malnutrition, and her feet would be a child size three shoe.

I find this topic very interesting. On one hand we have DuCille’s point of the fact that little black girls would rather play with a white Barbie. This should not happen and I think the manufactures need to produce just as many Black Barbie’s as White Barbies. On the other hand we have the issue that if manufactures actually made a separate mold for Christie than for Teresa, people could think that was racist and get offended. Either way no one wins. The sad part is that Barbie is such an icon that it will be hard to change anything that drastic right now. I like what DuCille covered in her article and I think she has a very valid point and one that should be covered more often. I will defiantly read her work again.

Immigrants and Whites

Noel Ignatiev Immigrants and Whites “Far more significant, however, than the choice between the old and the new is the choice between two identities which are both new to them: white and American.”

I love how Ignatiev ended with this point of a distinction between white and American. The ‘American Dream’ is a standing that is thrown around a lot. What is the American Dream? Is it the white picket fence in the suburbia of big city? More importantly the question is, Does the American Dream have a color? Can only the white heterosexual man achieve the American Dream? Well what is ‘white’ classified as in America?

American isn’t called ‘the melting pot’ just for fun. The significant that all and every ethnicity of people can live and call themselves American is important in this topic. Take any type of standardized test or fill out any sort of governmental document and you will see the on going list of answers for the fill in the black question of ‘Ethnicity?’. There is anything from Samoan to Korean but then there is that last classification of ‘Caucasian’. Well what is Caucasian? More like what is the boundaries to Caucasian? Are there any boundaries? Dictionary.com states this as Caucasian: of, pertaining to, or characteristic of one of the traditional racial divisions of humankind, marked by fair to dark skin, straight to tightly curled hair, and light to very ark eyes, and originally inhabiting Europe, parts of north Africa and Western Asia, and India. Sounds pretty broad to me. The lines are so blurred as to the classification of ‘Caucasian’. When we have so many other choices for ethnicity then just ‘Caucasian’ it shows how for a white American it is hard to call themselves ‘Caucasian’.  The white heterosexual American man that everyone complains about having all the power is really a description that can be used on a very wide range of men in America today.

I loved this essay. I really liked the points Ignatiev made, I had never thought about the difference between white and American, if there is any. I thought Ignatiev made very respectable arguments and backed them up very intelligently. I would recommend this essay for everyone because it gets you thinking.

Just Do…What?

Shari L. Dworkin and Michael A. Messner Just Do…What? Sport, Bodies, Gender “We think that sport is like any other institution: We cannot abandon it, nor can we escape from it. Instead, we must struggle within it.”

In the way that society is today, Men have the dominant position and females trying to reach equal playing grounds with men, the topic of equal rights in sports is just a waist of breath. News flash: we were made physically different than each other. Guys will ALWAYS be more physically capable then woman. Men are built with wide shoulders and small hips, their focus of center is in their shoulders. Woman have bigger hips and an a smaller frame. Their focus of center is at a woman’s hips. Males and females have different body types for a reason. We as humans “cant escape from it”. That is the way you were born. Male or female and nothing in between. No matter how humans mate or scientist experiment there will only be two physical classifications of humans, male and female. Now what sexual orientation you are is a different topic but even so a homosexual man still has the physical properties of a man and a homosexual female still has the physical properties of a female. Obviously surgeries can change these properties and a mind can go against them. But from birth you are either Male or Female. For now and forever, for every person that has lived and will ever live. This will always be the case, “we cant abandon it”.  Sports are Male dominated just like Nursing is female dominated. Yes there are incredibly athletic females in the world and male nurses in the world but in general the areas are dominated by one gender or the other. Still don’t believe me? Lets talk about the last female to be drafted into the war. Oh right there haven’t been any. There is no female draft and you and I both know that the second a female draft comes into existence there will be a huge uproar. Why? Because men are more physically dominate. As for now soldiers are vastly male, we cant abandon it.

As you can tell this topic got me a little fired up. I am 100% happy with my social standing and my ‘rights as a woman’. I personally don’t feel hindered by my gender and I don’t feel like I have less opportunities than my twin brother. I liked reading about this topic. I had never really thought about my standing on this issue and after this response I now know where I stand. I liked what Dworkin and Messner had to say and I would defiantly read something of theirs again. I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone. It could cause a lot of arguments. At the end of the day all of us have our opinions and this topic will defiantly be interesting to discuss in class.

The Happiest Place On Earth

Henry A. Giroux Children’s Culture and Disney’s Animated Films “ What is interesting here is that Disney no longer simply dispenses the fantasies through which childhood innocence and adventure are produced, experienced, and affirmed. Disney now provides prototypes for families, schools, and communities.”

Why is America trying to blame everyone else for its problems? First we are blaming Barbie now we are blaming Disney. Seriously people? Disney is called ‘the happiest place on earth’ for a reason. Everyone from little kids to newly weds go to Disneyland for vacations. I went been to Disneyland twice in 5 months earlier this year. Both times I had the time of my life and I’m 18. Disneyland is made for all people of all ages. Disney is not a bad image because their princesses are ‘ultimately subordinate to males and define their power and desire almost exclusively in terms of dominant male narratives.” (580) I can guarantee you that no 5 year old watching Disney princess movies is going to pick up on this twisted concept. The arguments against Disney in this article are irrelevant to the ages of their target audience. If there were no make believe in movies and no fictitious storylines, the world of imagination would no longer be here. Books and movies for older audiences have just as much imaginary worlds as Disney does. No one is critiquing them! The world of Disney is pretend and everyone knows that. Disney provides good, wholesome, positive messages to their audience. No one watching Disney movies and takes everything they say literally.  Disney’s goal is not to be politically correct, it’s to create at world of fantasy for all ages. For the amount of people that agree with what Giroux is saying in this article there is 5 times more people that completely disagree with his frame on the topic. Disney is and will always be a part of America’s culture. Parent’s can disagree with the message that Disney is putting off but when it comes down to it, it’s the parents who expose their children to Disney in the first place. If you don’t like Disney then don’t take part in it. No one is forcing you. But then don’t complain that your children are being influenced in a bad way.

As you can tell, I didn’t agree with what this article had to say. I don’t think blaming Disney for every ones problems is a wise idea. I appreciated the points that Giroux made but I don’t like the position he took. I wouldn’t read his work again, and I would only recommend this passage for people who what to challenge their views of things.

What if the roles were reversed?

Jean Kilbourne, Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt “ There is no doubt that flagrant sexism and sex role stereotyping abound in all forms of the media. There is abundant information about this. It is far more difficult to document the effects of these stereotypes and images on the individuals and institutions exposed to them because, as I’ve said, it is difficult to separate media effects from other aspects of the socialization process and almost impossible to find a comparison group (just about everyone in America has been exposed to massive doses of advertising).”

I full heartedly agree with what Kilbourne has to say in this passage. I love how she brought up the fact that if the roles were to be reversed, this would be a whole different story. Females are constantly getting bombarded with media saying that the only way to get a guy is to be sexy, and when we get those guys they are nothing but self-centered jerks. First, this gives a bad image of the woman of today. Second, this isn’t a fair promotion from a guy’s standpoint either. I want to know why we can’t be old fashion about love. Why is there such a huge difference in WWII era love stories and today’s love stories? Where did everything go wrong? Who decided that sexy is the way to find love? True love comes before sex, not after. The media is the ones who are fueling this ‘sexy’ fire and then the media is the ones covering the ‘sexy’ scandals. My view might be a little biased considering I come from a conservative Christian standpoint but the facts are still the same. If the roles were reversed this situation would be looked at in a whole different light. “ We would fear for a little girl who was unzipping a mans’ fly in a n ad”. But when a little boy looks at a grown woman the action is downplayed and made into a comical situation. I’m by no means blaming the boys for this situation though. It’s because of the media that boys think this is okay to whistle and rate girls as they walk by. Just like the females of today need to learn that being sexy isn’t the key to a mans heart, males need to learn that encouraging a girl to be sexy or forcing her into that is not the way to make her fall in love. Media all around is the cause of this ongoing problem. The only image in media is the sexy kind. Most of America doesn’t live like the media portrays but since media is so tunnel visioned into showing sexy love scenes, America falls into the trap of thinking this is the way the rest of the world acts.

I really got to thinking when I read this article. I felt all the points Kilbourne made were reasonable with out blame. She got her point across in a very respectful manor. I would defiantly read more from Kilbourne and more articles like this one. I would recommend this article to anyone who read our last two articles and wants to blame Disney and Barbie dolls for Americas messed up self-image. Lets focus on where the real blaming should be.

For the Gender in Life and the Life in Gender

Judith Lorber Night to His Day “ People go along with the imposition of gender norms because the weight of morality as well as immediate social pressure enforces them.” (625) “Gender is so much the routine ground of everyday activities that questioning its taken for granted assumptions and presuppositions is like thinking about whether the sun will come up.” (618)

This passage really opened my eyes to the difference of Gender and Sex. I hadn’t really given a thought to the definition of the two but reading this article, I can clearly see the variance between the two. Sex to me is one of two things; Man or Woman, there is no grey area, no in-between.  Gender is a different story. Gender is the classification of what sex onlookers think one should be. My question is what would the world look like if everyone was one gender? No male or female just human. Let’s take out the concept of reproduction- after all genitalia is really the only difference between a man and a woman. Would the world be a better place if there were no gender classification? With all this debate over gay and lesbian rights and the controversies involving gender classifications, the world might just be easier if every one was on the same playing field. To create this gender equal world we would have to make sacrifices, there wouldn’t be any individualism. Everyone would be the same gender and the same human. Men and Woman wouldn’t have to dress in the opposite sex clothing to achieve what they wanted to. But there wouldn’t be any opposite sexual clothing. There would be no fashion sense and no preference of outwardly appearance. If the only physical difference between humans were our face structure, we would all be on the same level. Father’s wouldn’t need to be the primary breadwinners and mothers wouldn’t need to be the homemakers. Oh wait remember in our pretend world we don’t have reproduction. There would be no father role and no mother role. But that is okay because in order to have equality we need to make sacrifices. And as long as everyone is equal there would be no minority or majority, no rulers or slaves, no social statues or social classification. The world we be such a better place! But wait, if everyone was the same and ‘equal’ and there was no gender classification then what would we have to live for? What would be the point of life? See, when we have differences in gender, we also have purpose, we have goals, we have norms that a female should exemplify and norms a man should exemplify. Gender gives us humans guidelines and structure for how the rest of the world should work. Difference in gender provides mystery; it provides individuality yet commonality. Gender needs the world to survive and the world needs gender to survive.

I very much liked this article and how new all the information was to me. I appreciated that the concept of homosexuality was not brought into the argument. I will definitely read another article like this and another writing from Judith Lorber. I think everyone should read this article.

Becoming a Gendered Body

Karin A. Martin Becoming a Gendered Body “I found that girls were told to be quiet or to repeat a request in a quieter, “nicer” voice about three times more often than were boys. This finding is particularly interesting because boys’ play was frequently much noisier. However, when boys were noisy, they were also often doing other behaviors the teacher did not allow, and perhaps the teacher focused less on voice because they were more concerned with stopping behaviors like throwing or running.”

I think it is funny how much truth is in this article. Just reading the article, all the points completely make sense. Girls are constricted more than boys. Instead of focusing on males and females at a young age, I want to focus on teenagers. How much of what we are taught when we were little is still instilled in us by the time we reach adolescents?

As explained in the reading, girls like to gossip. I found this point extremely funny just because it is so true. Girls love to whisper and talk; all the time! Boys as also exemplified in the reading, don’t listen to instructions as well as girls do. This point was also humorous to me because this point has so much truth to it. I grew up with a twin brother and just as this reading explained, my brother and I have our differences because of our difference in gender. He would have to be told repeated times to do a chore or do his homework by my mother. The amount of “reminders” he got from my mom was a ridiculous amount. I on the other hand did my homework when my mom told me to. My brother would always sing loudly to his ipod as he pranced around the house. I would softly hum to my music selection. My brother was a lot more out spoken than I was. My father and him were constantly getting into arguments because both of them wanted to have the last word. I would just say okay and go about my business. As a female I would say my actions were a lot less pronounced and I definitely took up less room than my brother. That’s not to say that I ever felt less valued or constricted as I was growing up. I don’t think most of the little girls mentioned in this article were offended or mad that the teacher was so controlling over them and not the boys. I personally haven’t noticed being “constricted” until it was pointed out in this article. At the same time I would like to point out that boys as they grow up are often looked at as “troublemakers” more often than girls. Boys are just naturally louder and more active than girls and therefore get a lot more positive and sometimes negative attention. Girls are looked down on if they are “sluts” or are always wearing revealing clothing, guys are just laughed at if they are “players”. So as much as girls are constricted when they are little, it’s for a good reason. Girls on the other hand are given the benefit of doubt a lot more than boys are as they grow older. The crime rate of guys is way higher than girls. I would say that most of these learned gender roles that we learn as little kids does stay with us for the rest of our lives, but in my opinion this isn’t a bad thing, its all for the better. And hey it’s worked out for everyone so far, so why fix what’s not broken.

I really enjoyed this article. It is one of the few that I feel isn’t controversial and is a light, happy topic to discuss. I enjoyed the observations that Martin included in his article. I will defiantly read something along these lines again by Martin or just on this topic. I would recommend this passage for anyone that wants a laugh because I personally found this passage hilarious.

Connections or Power

Deborah Tannen Talking Up Close: Status and Connection “Such statements as ‘We’re like sisters’ or ‘He’s like a brother to me’ are usually understood as references to closeness, not hierarchy. It is as if to say, ‘we’re so close, there are no power games between us.’ And yet anyone who has had a flesh-and-blood sibling knows that age differences resulting from birth order are the ultimate in hierarchy: older siblings can both protect and torment younger ones. Who, in return idolize or resent them or both. And none of this means that they cannot be close”

My question is when does the family “hierarchy” change based on personality or physical status? My brother for example is 5 minutes older than I am – we’re twins- and he is always rubbing in my face the fact that he is older than I am. But up until 7th grade when we were 13 years old, he was about 5 inches shorter than I was. Naturally I would bring this fact up when ever he would tease me about being younger. Now which one of us had a higher standing in our family “hierarchy”? I’ve also know quiet a few families where the younger sibling is a lot larger than the older sibling. Does the younger, taller son have a higher status than the older, shorter son? Or what about the family where the older sibling is shy and quiet and the younger sibling is loud and friendly. Does the younger siblings outgoing, bold personality giving them higher statues over the quieter smaller personality of their older sibling?  What about the families who have a younger, straight A student and an older high school drop out? In all of this I think it’s easy to see that just because someone is older doesn’t mean they are higher up in the family “hierarchy”. There are a lot of factors that come out in a family setting that are not typical of a work setting. Personality and close family relationships can affect a hierarchy in a family unlike in the work place. For the most part there is a stereotypical characteristic to a successful person but in a family where everyone comes from generally the same values and has the same influences the stereotypical of a hierarchy power change. I might be taller than my brother but he is older and my sister is louder than both of us. For my family, making a hierarchy is quiet difficult.

I liked this article; it wasn’t as controversy as the rest which is nice every once in a while. I think it’s funny to think of all the possible outcomes of a hierarchy in my family. I would read what Tannen has to say again and I would very much enjoy to read another article about this topic again. I would suggest this reading to anyone really. It’s pretty broad and there can be a lot of different opinions on it.

Real World or Fake World

Henry Jenkins Complete Freedom of Movement: Video Games as Gendered Play Spaces “ The problem, of course, is that unlike the nineteenth century boy culture, the video game culture is not a world children construct for themselves but rather a world made by adult companies and sold to children. There is no way that we can escape adult intervention in shaping children’s play environments as long as those environments are built and sold rather than discovered and appropriated.” (Jenkins 713)

Personally I was never a huge video game person. My brother and sister were never really into gaming either. When I was younger I moved around often because of my dad’s job in the Air Force.  I naturally grew into a very friendly person and ever since then I have always preferred to be around a big group of people then on my own. When I was little we lived in a very close knit neighborhood. We were always outside rollerblading or riding our bikes around. When I would play with my friend Nikki we would pretend we were from Laura Ingles; a popular show that aired when I was little. We would run around my backyard with our dolls and in our dress up clothes and have our own imaginary world. Instead of creating a new world every time we played, we would just add on to the previous days play. My brother was always playing street hockey and finding various crates and boxes to make into some sort of moving vehicle. I have so many memories from when I was a little kid that were made outside in my backyard. I never thought about paying video games because I could always find something outside to do. We moved from Washington to New Mexico so the weather and the time spent outside changed dramatically. We no longer had to take advantage of the ‘nice weather’ and ‘go find something outside to do’ because the weather in New Mexico was always sunny. We would still play outside but we would also spend a lot of time in the pool. No matter where I was living, I was playing outside. My play was never based on what type of world an adult came up with as in a video game. I made my own play and had my own memories to form. I wasn’t limited to the controls of a PlayStation or the tasks or levels of a video game. I don’t think that one can make as many self-discoveries or lifetime memories if they were to play video games instead of going outside. The way kids learn is to be out in the real world, not to be stuck inside a vertical one.

I don’t really know how I feel about this article. I am all for being adventurous and playing outside but I do understand that now days, more people are living in apartment complexes and very built up areas. I think video games can be okay but they need to be played in moderation. Everyone needs a sense of imagination and to explore the realm of fantasy and fictions world but they also need to the real world they live in. I wouldn’t mind reading something from Jenkins again, I liked the points brought up in this article and I liked how he presented his argument. I wouldn’t really recommend this article to anyone in particular. To me video games are such a small thing to be concerned about so to read this article would defiantly be for enjoyment purposes instead of research purposes.

White Privilege and Male Privilege

Peggy McIntosh White Privilege and Male Privilege “ In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit in turn upon people of color.” McIntosh 528

I would very much agree with this quote. I am a living example of how whiteness can shelter someone into what is really happening in the world. I grew up in a white suburbia. My high school because of it’s location was made up of about 20 black students and about 100 Hispanic students or that of another race. For the most part, my high school was full of privileged white students. We didn’t have a huge number of fights or violence at my school. When asked to write on a hardship for college entrance applications I had a hard time coming up with one. I’ve just been very blessed to have a very good life so far. I do think some of that is based on race. It would be foolish of me to think that my whiteness had nothing to do with it. In the scope of the world, slavery ended just a short time ago and though we have made progress in creating equal rights, I know that we still have more to go. Yes, we no longer have Black slaves in our fields but we do have more limitations on people of color. It is harder for them to get into college. Everyone can argue that life is harder for a colored person. White people can go through problems in their life too but more often than not a colored person is dealing with more hardships. All this being said, there is no way to change your race- unless your Michael Jackson but that is a different story-. White people didn’t ask to be white and privileged and Black people didn’t ask to be Black. We were created to be what we are. As humans we need to be respectful and sensitive of others up bringing. We have come a long way from the days of slavery and we can’t go anywhere but up now.

I liked this article but like most of these social issues we are discussing in class, this one is a very touchy subject! It is very hard to state ones full opinion with out making someone mad, especially on the topic of race. Since we have had racism in the past, people of color are still sensitive to the topic. White people are in fact oblivious to the hardships that a colored person can go through but Black people are often not optimistic about the success that they can have. Again I liked this article but I don’t like arguing it because I know my privileged white standpoint on it would be a little bit skewed. I don’t know enough about the subject to argue it intelligently. I would read from McIntosh again just because I have no reason not to. I don’t know if I would recommend this article to anyone because I think it would just stir up trouble and cause awkward situations. Its like politics, agree to disagree.

Bad is Good, is Good is Bad

Steven Johnson Everything Bad is Good for You “ We ignore the content of many activates that are widely considered to be good for the brain or the body. No one complains about the simplistic, militaristic plot of chess games- it always ends the same way. We teach algebra to children knowing full well that the day they leave he classroom, ninety-nine percent of these kids will never again directly employ their algebraic skills. Learning algebra isn’t about acquiring a specific tool: it’s about building up a mental muscle that will come in hand elsewhere. You don’t go to the gym because you’re interested in learning how to operate a StairMaster: you go to the gym because operating a StairMaster does something laudable to your body, the benefits of which you enjoy during the many hours of the week when you’re not on a StairMaster.” Johnson 751

I’ve never really thought about how games can be good for us. I ‘ve never been much of a gamer myself so I haven’t’ really paid attention on way or the other about it. Now that Johnson brought up the point that it’s not what we are thinking about, it’s the way we are thinking about it. Games can be just as good for the brain as a Sudoku puzzle can be. Everything is good in moderation. Sitting around playing a video game as about as socially challenging as doing a puzzle in your room. Both don’t help you on the social front but they do help you in brain activity. Deciding where to go in a game and memorizing what moves get your where and such are valuable tools to bring into your everyday life. It all comes down to what the game is teaching you. If it is teaching you memorization and thought processes then the game cnat’ be considered wrong. But if it is teaching you violence and how to kill people then yes that game can be considered bad for you.

I really like this article. I had never thought about video games in this light and I’m glad I got to see this side of video gaming. Gaming will never be as benifiatial as playing on a sports team but they can be benefital in helping your mind grow. I liked what Johnson had to say and I would be very interested in seeing what else he has published in regards to Good and Bad.

Your Trusted Friends

Eric Schlosser, Your Trusted Friends “ It’s the law of the universe that the strong shall  survive and the weak must fall by the way,  I don’t give a damn what idealistic plan is cooked up, nothing can change that” (Schlosser 760)

To me this makes perfect sense, this is exactly the situation explained in this passage. The fittest of American entrepreneurs like Disney and McDonalds are surviving the longest. The weak are names no one has ever heard of, names that never made the big time. Disney and Kroc knew that this Darwinistic idea was true and therefore aimed to made their companies the fittest out of all other American companies. And boy did it work! There is not a little kid in American that doesn’t know who Ronald McDonald or Mickey Mouse is! These huge empires are great examples of survival of the fittest. Survival here can mean a lot of different things. Survival as in staying in business and survival as in achieving the goals set out by that company. I think in both cases, McDonalds and Disney have very much succeeded in surviving. Disney merchandise is everywhere! And up until recently, McDonalds was the largest fast food chain. I will say that in just going to Disneyland this past year, there is no McDonalds inside the park, now right across the street is a McDonalds wedged in between enchanted looking hotels but regardless, the two companies have kept their locations separate from each other. Not to say there is no connection between the two. Look inside any McDonalds happy meal and you find an action figure to the latest Disney motion picture. This makes sense because both companies have the same audience, little children who eventually become adults and bring their own children. For all the criticism Disney and McDonalds get, the companies are very smart in their marketing strategies. Not only can they appeal to little children but also to adults, this ability is very handy in creating a surviving company.

I don’t know why so many people hate on Disney and McDonalds these days. Just because they have good adds and marketing strategies that pull you in, doesn’t mean everyone has to sue them. I love Disneyland and all Disney products. I don’t think the princesses are negative influences and I don’t think McDonalds is the cause to America’s obesity problem. I liked this article simply because for the most part, it showed both companies in a good light which is nice to come across every once in a while. I would read more on Disney and McDonalds because I think it is so ridiculous how much crap both of the companies are dealing with. Take a business class and you’ll soon find out that this is survival of the fittest in the business world and you do whatever you have to do to get on top and stay there. Competitions and hatred come with the territory of success and prosperity.

A Revolution

Cynthia L Selef, Least We Think a Revolution is a Revolution “ Because our culture subscribes to several powerful narratives that link technological processes with social progress, it is easy for us- easy for Americans, in particular- to believe that technological change leads to productive social change.

False! In my opinion there are a lot of problems that can come from changes in technology and sometimes those changes are not for the better. These days technology is advancing so fast that soon it will be hard to keep up with it. In a matter of years, technology will surpass what this world is capable of doing. Technology is a very dangerous tool. I can be helpful in some cases, like research or medical break trough’s but in the long run, technology is not going to help us, it is just going to hurt us. My parents didn’t grow up with IPods and cell phones; today’s teens couldn’t function with out buds in their ears and cell phone towers close by. My parents didn’t have a horrible upbringing because of their lack of technological devices; they actually look at my cell phone and iPod in disgust. Just in the short 19 years of my life and really in the past 10 year, technology has advanced tremendously. For example, I got my first IPod at age 13 it was a 2nd generation Nano available in black and white. I had 2 gigabytes of memory. After that iPod broke two years later, my insurance updated me to the 3rd generation IPod Nano that was a bright blue color and had 4 gigabytes of memory. When I turned 16 I again got another iPod, this one could not only store pictures but get the radio and take video. It has 16 gigabytes of memory. In the past 3 years I advance my gigabytes on my iPod by 4 times as much. This was just with one device. Technology is growing exponentially; think of what my children are going to have to technological devices when they are my age! All I have to say is that the change is technology should not be taken with open arms and that I’m glad I wont be around in 100 years to see the damage.

I didn’t like this article. I don’t really care about technology and how fast it’s going and how everyone better keep up. I can already tell that technology is going to be destructive in the future. I wont read something by this writer aging because I don’t really like their subject matter. I’d say that everyone should read this article because it gives us a look at how much technology has affected us as Americans in the twenty first century.

 

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