Monday, April 26, 2010

Militainment, Inc. - News or Entertainment? Final Blog! Woo-hoo!


Our culture has become not only obsessed, but numb to fact that we no longer view war as a terrible last resort event, but as an entertainment.


-War is staged for our consumption in the media.

-The Pentagon has funded music videos that demonstrate “patriotism”.

-The idea of war as a spectacle has become so natural to our culture.

-The news has dehumanized war, we aren’t seeing the innocent people that are dying.

-George H.W. Bush banned press access of caskets of soldiers.

-In 2006, 85% of US soldiers thought they were in Iraq in direct response to 9/11.


Neocortex: We need to criticize and be aware that we are always being bombarded with the war in Iraq, yet the way it is broadcasted to us isn’t being questioned.

Limbic: The war is being viewed with a backdrop of a sunset, war is being romanticized.

Reptilian: Seeing bombs off in the distance exploding.


-Epistemological Shift:
Images dominate our view on war, but are they the images that we need to see in order to really understand war? No.

-Aesthetic Shift:
News and the war has become entertainment to our culture. We have military ads that are projecting the same thing as reality TV shows about being in the military.

-Political Shift:
We only know what our government wants us to know. There are people who are being killed for a cause that the US is supporting, when the US people don’t even know what they are behind.


-What “reality” does this film create?
This film seems to create an actual reality, rather than the romanticized and dehumanized war that we are subject to everyday in media.

-What do you observe about this media upon reflection?
Yes, this film may be biased, but it does a great job reflecting what our news, TV programs, movies, and just about all other forms of media does with the idea of war in order to make it easier to swallow.

-What emotions does this media tap?
This film made me angry that our government is able to warp the war so much that our society really is brainwashed when it comes to what war really is.

-What kinds of value messages does this media promote?
We should be skeptical about where we get our information, especially on war.


-Group Dynamics:
Using “We” instead of “Military”.

-Big Lie
Fabricating and embellishing the Jessica Lynch story.

-Fear/Defensive Nationalism
“We” need to fight terror.
There are weapons of mass destruction.
Making Hussein seem to be the worst enemy.

Faux news reporters such as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert create humor while criticizing the war and politics.

Country music stars boosting soldier morale with music about supporting the war, and being allowed to shoot music videos on bases.

-Rhetorical Question
Fox news reporter asking, “Doesn’t TV run the world?” Sadly, it does for many.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sustain Champlain Video: Audeamus You Wasteful Muggles!


Finding time to actually work on shooting the video. I don't know if it was because it was the end of the semester or what, but finding time to meet was hard, and when we did shoot the video, it was just a random day.


Using a video camera again...I haven't done that is a looooong time.


-There are ALWAYS technical difficulties.

-Even if it is supposed to be a fun project, it's still stressful at the end of the semester.

-Love your friends that will wear a Snuggie while jumping around and waving a cat toy that is supposed to look like a wand...thanks, Craig.


-Champlain uses low flow shower heads.

-Champlain will be installing energy efficient washers in the dorms...woo hoo!

-Sustain Champlain has it's own YouTube playlist. We are so hip here at Camp Champ.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Media Mediation #4: "I Eat Success for Breakfast...with Skim Milk."

Sometimes it's necessary to drink some beers and throw on the world's most epic film ever to grace our presence: Heavyweights AKA Fat Camp.

Not only is this Disney's most glorious film (The Mighty Ducks is up there too), but it has to be one of Ben Stiller's best roles.


REPTILIAN: Fight or Flight when it comes to the whack job Tony Perkis.

LIMBIC: The soundtrack to this movie is FLAWLESS. The music fits into the scenes perfectly, my personal favorite You Sexy Thang by Hot Chocolate, which is playing at the Camp dance...YES.

NEOCORTEX: This is obviously a Disney film, but there are so many underlying jokes that I would have never picked up on as a child.
Tony Perkis: "Tonight's lecture: Liposuction, option or obsession?"


I couldn't find this movie in any stores, so I went to Amazon and bought it for a couple of bucks.

Back in the 90's Disney was actually putting out movies (besides animation, I can't knock them) that were hilarious for kids, not about kids trying to be grown up by the time they are 12.

Stop reading this blog about this movie and YouTube it!


This film was made by Disney, but not the same Disney that is taking over the world today.

This movie is trying to be funny when it comes weight problems and extremes when it comes to exercise and food. In the end though, the campers do recognize that healthy choices are important.

The film is shot so that it really does feel as though it is at a real camp.

This has got to be one of my favorite movies of all time, it still makes me crack up even after the millionth time watching it.


The best symbol in this movie is from the Perkis System T-Shirt. The front has a symbol to look like Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man and the back says "I'm Perkisizing". SO GOOD.

This entire movie is based on humor. I love watching anything that will make me laugh so I have put Today's Big Thing on my RSS feeder so I can giggle everyday.

All of the guys in the film are supposed to be just plain folks who are a little chunky.

It's either you are with the campers or not. The campers make a group in order to stop Tony Perkis and take the camp back.

We love Heavyweights, do you?

Media Meditation #3: Tyra Banks Is A Wild Animal, & I Love It

Anyone who uses the terms "booty toochin" and "smize" (smiling with your eyes) can be my best friend, AKA Tyra Banks. Tyra is a crazy/fierce/wild woman, and I never want her to stop. Watching her is similar to viewing a train wreck (a beautiful train wreck), you cringe, but you know you just have to continue to watch.

We just can't get rid of Tyra, she's on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TV (two shows)...

AND YES, SHE DOES SING! (Caution: Do not watch unless you are ready to 1. Become addicted to Tyra and her crazy ways, and 2. Shake your groove thang)

Although Tyra does many things besides modeling, I'm going to focus on her hit/addicting show America's Next Top Model (ANTM).


REPTILIAN: Let's be honest here, T. Banks is gorgeous and if you don't agree, than you are a liar.

LIMBIC: The opening scene is just crazy, and honestly, makes me want to fast forward sometimes, and sing along other times.

NEOCORTEX: I guess the hardest part of understanding this show is the idea of "Tyra Mail", a clue that is sent to the girls before there next photo shoot.


The entire show is based on getting that one image in order to stay in the modeling showdown.

Just from having this one show, Tyra has been able to turn it into a money making cow, she now has a daytime talk show on top of ANTM, all because her ratings are huge.

I don't have cable, so I watch ANTM through The CW's Website when I'm bored.

I'm surprised that America doesn't have their opinion voiced when it comes to choosing America's next top model, similar to other reality TV shows that are supposed to represent the states.


Tyra's Production company, Bankable Productions owns and produces ANTM, which gives Tyra free creative rein on the show.

Every episode is produced in the same manner: the girls that are going to be in the bottom two off are put into the spotlight, there is a modeling challenge, a photo shoot, and then the models meet with the judges to see who goes home. Throw in some drama about who ate who's granola bars or dumped cans of Red Bull down the sink, and you have ANTM - VOILA!

REALLY?! I can't stop watching ANTM. Ever.

I know it's ridiculous, but I really do love this show, and I will shout it from the roof tops. I realize that it isn't reality at all, but I don't care. This show is perfect to put on when you just don't want to think and just be entertained by what could possibly come out of Ms. Banks mouth.

This is not reality at all, it's a mindless reality TV show that is put into place to entertain short girls, like me, who want to watch tall girls work the camera.


"You wanna be on top?"
This is the basis of the whole show; of course they wanna be on top, they are competing to be America's next top model!

We have Tyra, a household full of skinny beautiful models, and a photographer judge who is dreamy, and has an accent, and people think TT Banks doesn't know what she is doing.

This photo has to be a joke.

Tyra ALWAYS says the same thing at the end of the episode when she is about to knock a bitch out of the competition, the layout is exactly the same for EVERY episode,

Tyra is continuously alluding to the fact that she is a strong woman AKA Fierce, which she is using as a leadership position to take charge with the contestants of ANTM.



Sunday, March 14, 2010

Midtermin' It Up

It seems quite anticlimactic to be writing about a midterm on the last day of spring break, but alas, that is what I get for waiting until the last minute. Actually, this is probably the best midterm I’ve ever taken, how can I really complain about writing a blog? It’s not going to happen.

Let’s get crackin’.

Question Uno:
After studying media for eight weeks in this class, what have you learned?

The biggest thing that I have really picked up on is how we are ALL affected by media, whether we would like to admit it or not. Being bombarded by media is something that is so natural to our culture that it really is nice to be able to come to a class twice a week and talk about it.

Question Dos:
What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself as a critical reader, writer, and thinker in this class so far?

What this class has taught me about myself is that we can never be too critical of our information sources. It's important to be able to critically read sources in order to break them down and really see what they mean.

Question Tres:
What’s one think you would do differently this first half of the semester if you were to take this class again?

I wouldn’t have missed a second class without seeing the school nurse. : (

Question Quatro:
What’s one think you would like me to do differently this first half of the semester if you were to take this class again?

I would like more personal blogging assignments.

…and a little yak sausage wouldn’t hurt.

Question Cinco:
Please comment on the usefulness of the following as learning tools:

Personal Blog:
Kick ass. Blogging makes the class relevant to today’s media culture. It’s easy, fun, and interesting.

Our Textbook:
I think that the text is easy to read, has useful information and case studies, and actually pertains to media in today’s society.

Tune in Tomorrow:

This film shows how useful and rare community based radio stations are. I guess I had never really thought about radio stations in a way that this film made me. This film just shows how few corporations own the sources that we get our information.

Dr. W is a movie star.

Michael Wesch Web 2.0:
This short film shows how as a society we feed into the ever-growing monster of the internet, which both helps and hinders us. It’s kind of scary to think about how much information we can find on the web, including about ourselves. It will be interesting to see the implications of the web and the changes that are inevitable.

The Persuaders:
As consumers we need to be aware of what advertisers do to grab our attention and shape what we think about products and ourselves. In simple terms: Buyer be wary.

Reel Bad Arabs:
Hollywood is capable of consciously and subconsciously classifying and generalizing one type of group. This film made me realize even more how powerful entertainment can be on how society portrays one demographic.

Propaganda of News:
This film pissed me off. It makes me upset to think that as citizens we only know what big corporations and filters want us to know. I think that it is easier to control people if you only share with them the news that you want showcased, I don’t think it’s right, but I see why corporations do it.

Obama’s State of the Union:
This being one of the first pieces with using our tool set made me realize how all media is trying to reach out and make a connection with it’s audience. There are so many ways of making use of our brains and persuading us.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Media Meditation #2: I Found LOST

If there is one show out there that makes me say “What the f-bomb just happened?!”, it’s LOST.

Past, Present, Future, Stations, Mangos, Guns, Dead but alive people, Planes splitting, 4 8 15 16 23 42, Jacob.

WHAT? Oh LOST, you’ve done it again, such a mind boggle.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve wept inside for a moment about this being the final season for the epic tale of the passengers of flight Oceanic 815.
I only started watching LOST this summer, and now I am hooked. Every Tuesday I rush out of work at 8:30 in order to get to a friend’s house to tune in to the tube.


LOST is great at making use of all three parts of our brain. Our reptilian brain is often entertained with the constant mess of love affairs and whenever someone pulls out a gun. Our limbic brain is triggered whenever that reoccurring music comes on, and because it is an image that we are watching. LOST does a great job with stimulating our neocortex brain because we are forced to piece together past episodes and characters, and make sense of what is actually happening on that damn island.


Getting sucked into watching LOST is pretty easy, but can you imagine if it was a radio program? Following the plot would be so much more difficult.

Because I don’t have cable, I was able to watch all previous 5 seasons through hulu and

There is just about every type of website for LOST. Facebook, blogs, wikis, you name it, it’s out there.

It’s easy for ABC to track and see how many people are tuning in and actually watching their program.

We never know what is really going on during LOST and the truth is always being distorted depending on which character’s eyes we are watching through.


I have wasted so much of my own reality on the “reality” of LOST.

LOST uses so many different production techniques in order to portray the stories of all the characters. The camera angles and similarities between each episode makes LOST cohesive.

This show definitely pulls at all the emotional strings. There are problems with kids and marriages, deaths, births, and new loves, LOST is just a soap opera during prime time.

The Famous Love Triangle

I think that LOST’s pace is pretty easy to follow, but sometimes I’m happy that I can rewind and watch a scene more than once.


LOST is full of symbolism. There are uses of light and dark colors to represent good and evil, there are uses of objects that characters acquire or keep which symbolize who they are.

One group of people is always blaming the other for their problems, thus we have 6 seasons worth of LOST. The survivors blame the others, the others blame the survivors, it’s a never ending story.

So much of the series is shown through testimonials. Whether it is the past, present, or future, a majority of what we know about each character is through a testimonial.

The reoccurring music, the numbers, and the overall way that LOST is shot, it is repetitive. And don't forget about the smoke monster.

Is it me, or are most of the people stuck on the island pretty good looking (cue the swoon over Sawyer), sorry Hurley. But let’s get real, they must smell pretty bad.

Hurley at his best. Not the best looking guy, but we still love him.

Whenever there is a problem the characters either divide into groups or there is one person who says, “Live together, die alone.”

The “Others”. Just by giving them a name makes them sound more terrifying then they actually are. Sawyer is the king of name calling, he has a list of nicknames for each character.

LOST is all about timing. The writers time when and what you find out about each character.

Number One is so true...

Media Meditation #1: Reverting Back to My Childhood...God I Love Roald Dahl

Everyone has that one favorite author from childhood that they could never put down. Mine was (and still is) Roald Dahl. Everything that this man wrote is absolutely crazzzzy good. There are the classics, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, and The BFG, which all kids should be forced to read, and then there are the more unknown short stories which happen to be my favorite.

Classic novel turned into a classic movie.

One year I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble for ten dollars, so I purchased Omnibus, a collection of short stories written by Roald Dahl. I just recently picked up this book again because I didn’t have a new book to start. At this point of my love affair with Mr. Dahl, I should realize that when I start a book by him, I can’t stop. This collection contains 28 short stories that will make you laugh, cringe, and use your noggin.


Omnibus triggers all aspects of our brain. There are plenty of sex and fight or flight moments, which just tickles our instinctive dinosaur brain. One of my favorite stories, The Great Switcharoo, is about two men wanting to sleep with each other’s wives, so they set up an elaborate plan to take place in the middle of the night to have some hanky panky; it’s brilliant, just brilliant. Our limbic brain is provoked because Dahl is great at making you feel right alongside his characters. Although the neocrotex is the hardest part of our brain to use, Dahl makes it a pleasure to sit down and read a book.


Sometimes it’s just nice to turn off the TV, and actually engage your mind with a hard copy piece of literature, AKA the book.

We are constantly bombarded with images, but not with Omnibus, although Dahl is the artist for his books, and his style is easy to recognize.

All the stories that are in Omnibus can be found online in synopsis here.

I’m blogging about a kick ass book that YOU should read!

Dahl uses humor, fear, anger, and just about every other emotion within his writing to blend entertainment and human experiences.

Dahl creates his stories with everyday people, not big companies or fantasy people, which is refreshing and gives his stories appeal to the average person.


Omnibus creates a different type of reality, in many cases you thank god that you are not a part of the reality that is created, but you are completely entertained.

Within his short stories, Dahl’s overlapping theme is about not underestimating the average person and the creative thought.

It’s hard not to feel an overpowering emotion once done with one of the stories. In Lamb to the Slaughter, a woman murders her husband with a lamb leg, cooks it up, and serves it to the police who are investigating…WHAT?! IT’S SO GOOD.

Dahl is gifted in the sense that he is able to fit so much information within 30 or so pages, the pace is never slow since there is no wasted space.

One of the scariest movies from my childhood, The Witches.
Roald Dahl + Jim Henson = Pure Genius


Many of the short stories use humor in order to capture an audience. Dahl once said “What’s horrible is basically funny. In fiction.”
How can you not love this man?

Using regular, plain old average Joe’s, allows readers to connect with the stories and visualize the people that Dahl writes about.

All of the stories have been written in an earlier time period giving the sense of the good old days, with simple plots.

Dahl is a master of timing. He creates a sense of mystery and surprise to capture his reader’s interest and keeps them there.

Many tangible things and characters throughout the stories are symbols for overall meaning. A lamb leg is used to showcase a housewife and as a murder weapon, two very different things, but both linking the main character in one story.

One of the best parts of the Omnibus is that it is a collection of short stories, which makes it easy to pick up, read one or two, and then be on your merry way. For about ten bucks, how can you go wrong?


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Media Meditation: State of the Union

Is Obama Giving Away Free Cars?


Then Why is Everyone Clapping?


I think that President Obama's address mostly thrived on reaching people's limbic brain. It seems that he focused mostly on what American people are feeling, which I think works in his favor because it is shows that he is aware of what is happening within our country at this time.

President Obama did trigger the reptilian brain, otherwise we wouldn't have seen everyone getting up and down, up and down, to applaud. I think this symbolize that people are willing to "fight" alongside Obama during this time.

Our neocortex brain is also stimulated because we are made to listen to what is being said by President Obama and actually make meaning of it.


Epistemological Shift:
President Obama's speech has changed from just being a speech to a televised event, and then being put on the Internet.

Technological Shift:
I was at work when President Obama gave his State on the Union message, and it really didn't matter because I was able to watch it the next day online on my laptop.

Personal Shift:
We are BLOGGING about President Obama's speech...! We take part in expressing what we think about the State of the Union message.

Aesthetic Shift:
President Obama was able to use some humor within his speech which somewhat blurs the lines between news and entertainment.

Economic Shift:
President Obama addressed his concerns about big businesses and how small businesses should be able to thrive just as much.

Discursive Shift:
There are definitely things that the government does not want us to know, and they are also able to only tell part of the story and get away with it.

Cultural Shift:
Throughout President Obama's speech I couldn't help but wonder how much information the government actually has on me.


"Reality" Construction/Trade-offs: What are more of the challenges that the United States will meet before things actually get better? I think that it is hard to address the entire story when you are trying to keep morale up.

Production Techniques: I think it's interesting to show different camera shots and when they are being used. It is a little hokey when the audience is being shown, and it looked like First Lady Michelle was about to fall asleep when they first showed her.

Value Messages: President Obama was trying to send a positive message that the United States is back on our feet and that it is only going to get better.

Ownership: The President wants more people to stand behind him and his choices, and is trying to portray himself and his administration in the best light.

Individual Meaning: What I find most meaningful from President Obama's address is the fact that it actually seems that he genuinely cares about all Americans, and wants to make changes that will benefit the country as a whole.

Emotional Transfer: This medium reaches the emotion of patriotism. President Obama is talking to all Americans about what is happening and what needs to be changed in order for America to be on it's A game.

Pacing: I think that the pacing was slow compared to what we are used to normally viewing. I think that this is on purpose, that way it is easier to focus on what is being said, and not what you are seeing.


Rhetorical Questions:

Humor: Stating the fact that he hated the bailouts for banks, and that they were as popular as a root canal. Oh, Obama, so silly!

Repetition: "We cut taxes for...", President Obama stated this before each group of people he listed.

Plain Folks: President Obama talked about where he has visited across the nation to talk to everyday Americans.

Warm Fuzzies: President Obama talked about the letters that he reads from children who ask about when they can go back home.

Group Dynamics: Using "we", "us", and "together", throughout his entire speech.

Strength: President Obama stating that we are a nation of strength and that no matter what the U.S. will prevail.

Scientific Evidence: Giving stats about how many Americans are out of work, how many jobs have been saved, and how much money has been spent and/or saved.


President Obama's State of the Union message stated that although times have been tough, and will be tough, things are slowly getting better, and the most important part of his presidency is creating jobs for Americans.


-A State of the Union has been given for the past 220 years.

-Income Tax has not risen a single penny for anyone over this past year.

-Banks are lending mostly to large companies and corporations rather that small businesses, even if they are profitable.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hola, Blog

Hi everyone, my name is Rachel LeFave. I am currently a senior here at Champlain majoring in Business with a concentration in Marketing. I am originally from a small town called Rowley in Massachusetts, which is about an hour north of Boston and about ten minutes from New Hampshire.

One specific media interaction that I had over break was to the Museum of Science in Boston and seeing the Harry Potter Exhibit. I'm kind of a geek when it comes to HP, so I was in my glory.

Here I am casting some sweet spells (maybe the water into wine spell). A big thumbs up if you spotted that it's actually Voldemort's wand and not Harry's (I told you I was a HP geek).

One thing that I do like about our media culture at this point is how easy it is to get information. On the other hand media has downfalls when it comes to information overload and being able to separate what is relevant and what is rubbish.

When I graduate this May I've just decided to go back to school for my Nursing Degree. My passion is in helping people, and I would ultimately love to be a pediatric nurse.

Speaking of helping people, this is an easy way to donate to the less fortunate while avoiding that paper you've been trying to write.

Looks like these smart guys might need my help.