Monday, May 16, 2011

iMedia: Julian Smith

A couple of days ago my friend Trent introduced me to one of the funniest movie producers I have ever experienced. His humor is kind of dull and dry but it makes you laugh like none other. The way that Julian angles the camera and puts people right in the middle of a shot makes adds to the hilarity of the video. He also uses obviousness as a tool in most of his videos to make things more funny because most people like to laugh at people's ignorance or stupidity. One of the funniest videos I've watched by him (he has about 20 that I've see on YouTube) is called Red Eye Flashes Twice. It is about a man who gets very very angry when people move on the second flash when a camera's "red eye avoidance" feature is turned on. One of the things that makes this video better and better every time you watch it is that you don't notice until you have seen it a couple times that there is subtext throughout some of the video. When you realize that and pause it every time you see the subtext the things he says add to the experience of the video so much. Here watch for yourself:

Julian Smith: Red Eye Flashes Twice

I believe that these types of video and comedy styles show how our culture is movie away from the loud annoying America and into the plain old stupid America. Or maybe it shows our intelligence because we find people being stupid funny. But if we were more intelligent then maybe we would think it was funny if people could not solve difficult math equations or scientific problems. Maybe our world will rise to that level someday but for right now, this is pure funniness (in my perspective). I also think that these videos are geared more toward the 15-30 generation right now. People older or younger probably would not understand the humor because the humor of their generation is much different. Julian Smith shows that comedy can come from the simplest things and I enjoy that.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

An Inconvenient Truth: There are not 25 hours in a day

When choosing an inconvenient truth to focus on I thought about choosing something about how all humans are judgmental and how that is a natural instinct in humans. Well that issue does bother me a lot, but one that has seemed to be a problem for me lately is time. Not just how much time there is in a day, but how much time we all have until certain things happen; we have about 3 months until college, 4 years until freedom.. or until crash and burn? With so much changing in my life and the lives of my peers right now, I feel like time is slipping through my fingers. I only have so many more family dinners until I will have to wait months to just sit down at a table with my whole family. I only have a couple more months to go over to my boyfriend's house whenever I want, and then who know what will happen to us when I am in college? I always thought that I would be ready for this change, running head on into it, embracing it. But now that it is finally here I cannot help but think about all of the things I need to do before my life gets ahead of me.

One of the scariest parts about this change is that no matter what there will be some people I have made connections with in high school that I will never talk to again after we walk across the stage. Why does life work that way? Why do we make connections with people that we will not have the will power to care about in the future? In 30 years, how will I know if the guy I made jokes with in math class for the past 3 months with has a family or has moved to Africa?

I know that I should accept that this is just how life is and that I will have a great life ahead of me and all of that. But I cannot help but think that there has to be some way to make better use of the little time we have left before certain events. I wish there was some type of pause button that we could have for ourselves so the amount of time thinking about what we want to do isn't wasted from the time we have to do them.

Of course we all have the inevitable event of death that time will always be too short for. But sometimes I think that if only there were 25 hours in a day, 8 days in a week, 366 days in a year. If only there was just a little bit more time I would actually be able to accomplish what I would be able to.

Since there is no changing the phenomena of time, I will cope with it eventually. I feel like sometime in my mid 50s I will feel accomplished about something which will let me know that time was finally on my side. But for now I will just make the most of the time I have because the inconvenient truth is, there are not 25 hours in a day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blogging Around

First I commented on one of Alex's blog posts. She talks about how fabulous the TED presentations have been and how interesting it is to see how people interpret their videos. I can't wait to see the rest of our TED presentations. Here is my response-

AL! i completely agree with what both you and hal said about the TED presentations. It is so interesting to hear about all of these new things that are happening to sustain our futures. It is also so weird to know that people actually think of those things! It's really interesting hearing our peer's perspective about their own TED presentation and weird to think about how people interpret things differently. I personally have my TED presentation next tuesday and I'm nervous because i don't know if anyone will care about what my TED presenter talks about because it is all about science and how science will lead to our survival. But i think it is really important so that's all that matters right?? I wish you guys were in my class so i could see your smiling faces while i was presenting!

Next, I commented on Hallie's blog post! She talked about how Oprah can brighten her day even when it seemed like it was so down in the dumps. Hallie loves Oprah so much and I think she is an amazing role model for any powerful woman to have (Just like Hallie!) Here is my response-

So i was just bloggin around and I saw that Al had this as one of the ones she commented on and i started reading it and i was like.. oh my god HAL+OPRAH=LOVE! so i knew i had to read it :) I feel like throughout this year I have realized so much more that everyone has their own unique qualities and it doesn't necessarily make them weird it actually more makes them normal because EVERYONE has something a little odd about them. There is no normal. Normalcy is like a paradox! I love that Oprah points out people's special qualities and you know what the greatest thing is?! Hal does that too! Hallie always points out the best things about people and makes people feel so special just like Oprah does! Hallie livens up so many people's lives just like Oprah does hers! Love you hal!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Best Of The Week: Do you mind? Apologies

One of the best things that has happened to me this week in general (not just because it is from humanities class) was a couple of our "Do you mind" topics. Do you mind is an assignment that we have at the beginning of every class. It is an insightful question that we have to force ourselves to think about and answer within the time allotted. Some of the best things about these questions are that they usually make you think about things you would not have thought about without being asked them by Mr. Allen and that since we are only given a short amount of time you usually do not over analyze what you are going to say and just say the first thing that comes to mind. 

Specifically this week though, we had two consecutive questions that really made my head spin. The first one was about who you would apologize to if you had the chance. I said that i would apologize to my brother because even though he has a mental disability and I am completely aware of that I still cannot handle when he does things wrong. One of my biggest flaws is my lack of patience and I learned this by answering this do you mind question. 

The second one was about who you would like an apology from. This is a selfish kind of question. These kinds of questions are always the hardest and seem to be the hardest for most people because when you look around everyone is looking up and thinking very hard about what they are going to say. I  finally came up with the answer of my best friend Leah for many different reasons. Even though she is one of the closest people to me in my life I think that that makes them a lot more susceptible to giving you pain. 

It is so interesting that a class that can be so dull sometimes (sorry Mr. Allen it's just the truth) can also be so inspirational. I hope that I do not stop asking myself these questions after I am done with high school. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bloggin' Around

First I responded to Hana's blog. She wrote about the issue of Don't ask don't tell and how Obama is trying to abolish this crime of discrimination.

"I completely agree with both you and Alex on this issue. It is so important to be more accepting in our culture today because without acceptance we cannot move forward.

This is why I am so glad that they are making the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy less of a taboo and more accepted within our culture. I cannot wait until the day that everyone in our world can be accepted for who they are and their beliefs instead of being criticized for something they may not even be able to change such as their sexual preference. Everyone should feel safe in their own skin and as Hana said, 'help create change'. It is up to us to make a difference in our world now. If we wait much longer we might not be able to get very far in the future."

Then I posted on Rayn's blog when she talked about the QE essay and how beneficial it was to our creative writing.

"I completely agree!! I hate five paragraph essays because they are so restricting and limit the amount of creativity you can show off. I personally am very creative and hate structure and my whole life I have had so much structure in English and finally we were able to just let loose and write whatever we wanted.

Just like Rayn I found that I could finally learn how to write freely and let loose which at first was kind of hard because I had not been doing it for so long.

I wish that we could do more assignments like the QE essay because I feel as though the rest of the year's essays were more restricting and I do not know a time in life that writing a five paragraph essay will be useful for me."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Final Blog- Literature Circles

After reading Amy's blog about The Post American World and discussing with her during one of our lit circle meetings, it is obvious that our books have very similar concepts. Both of our books talk about how much the world is changing and how our society is supposed to cope with that change. In the blog that she posted she talks about how the section she read talked about how other countries are gaining more power with their new and innovative ideas. This could be directly correlated to how the American mind is not developing fast enough for our rapidly developing nation/world. Many people are stuck in a 20th century rut when the 21st century is booming with industrialization and because some other countries are just now getting their head start into the modern world, they almost have a leg up because their ideas are new and innovative and America is stuck in the past because our 'political mind's are stuck in the past! Such a great correlation!

Amy says that the author of her book states that America needs to "build broad rules, not narrow interests" (Zarakria 238). This concept matches up perfectly with Lakoff's concept that the people that will go the furthest in life in the 21st century are those people that are able to grasp the more 'out of the box' concepts of life not the people that are stuck on things that everyone already knows and understand. Building broad rules is very similar making sure you are an 'out of the box' thinker and that you are able to expand your limits to be successful in the 21st century. Amy says that her book talks about how the world is expanding in complexity. Lakoff in my book speaks about how the political mind is expanding exponentially in complexity and that makes me wonder if they are expanding at the same rate or is the American political mind is behind the rest of the world's expansion.

Literature Circle Response: Meeting Two

Summary:           The section that we just read is extremely dense with information. Almost every 10 pages Lakoff makes a different point about how the American ‘mind’ has developed throughout the 20th/21st centuries. I put “mind” in quotes because I have learned that his interpretation of the mind means many different things. In some ways he means the more physical, cognitive sense of the mind with his references to biological changes the mind seems to have gone through since the beginning of the 20th century such as biconceptualism – how the mind unconsciously changes its view on the world very easily based on the situation the person is in (i.e. Saturday night partying and Sunday morning mass- the same person can do both but does not think about the same things or have the same type of values while doing both). This is just one of the seven different concepts about how the mind has developed that Lakoff talks about in this one section of reading.
Major Claim:      “[There are].. two versions of a family- a strict father family that mapped onto pure conservative politics, and a nurturant parent family that mapped onto pure progressive politics” (Lakoff  77).
Response:           When I first started reading this portion of the book I was a little taken aback. I did not agree that family life/upbringing was so black and white. But as I read on I realized that Lakoff was trying to break the status quo, not create it. He was saying that there were two inevitable ways that family ideals always went and because the two choices of family values that Lakoff gave were so diverse yet broad, his claim actually does work. He is trying to say that instead of what most people think- that every family is different because all people are different and thus have different problems/values- that there is a much deeper part to the family make up that can be categorized into these two ideas, making every family similar no matter how different they want to be. I really like how Lakoff took a risk by making this claim because (as he references on page 79) most people would disagree that something like family values can be “simplified” so much.