Friday, December 13, 2013

The Blog Post to End All Blog Posts...

I don't know how everyone else feels, but despite all the hard work, the class was rewarding in so many ways. Blogging, peer reviews, and our class presentations definitely made me grow as a writer and critical thinker. Even those templates from They Say, I Say (that I used to roll my eyes at), made sense when it was time to write our essays. I think we all learned a lot and got so much from the class. Plus, now we all know that vampires really do exist! Thank you to Professor Villarreal and the entire class for a great semester! Good luck to everyone!

Running Late!

Hey Class!
I hope finals are going well!
I know some of you were planning on coming by my last office hours of the semester today to pick up your folders, but I'm afraid I'm going to be running late. Due to a broken rail I had to switch to a local line which may take quite a bit longer :-/ I apologize to those who won't be able to wait for me, but I hope you'll stop by sometime next semester. And if I don't see or hear from you beforehand, I hope you enjoy your break!
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Breaking Bad is all the tv I need.

This Seems Familiar

Erin Ackerman explains in the passage "Analyze This" that us humans are very complicated and that any information that we have on each other should be partial because we are all very different. Some of us do things different and with that, it allows us to see things in different views which makes us behave different to one another. Ackerman also explains that good writing requires that the writer first demonstrate about all possible views on the subject. Good writing should start with what others say and then with what you would say as a result of the claim or subject. Many great tips are given in this passage on ways to write in social sciences because as a generation that is extremely into social networkings and things, we should now how to understand and help understand our readers. Another great tip is that our introduction should state something that will help the reader understand whats next to come.
This article reminds me of what we do in english comp 2. We are told to have counter arguments and write essays that should be an argument. We must look at all possible outcomes and statements that a reader would think like, what if this were to happen? Reading this passage seems very familiar to what we do in class. This helps the reader stay interested as well as understand us better. Social sciences will always be difficult to comprehend but, writing like this surely helps make it less difficult.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Scientific Writting

Christopher Gillen in "The Data suggest" to craft a scientific paper is a good way to take existing data to compare predictions within a new experiment. Once it is in place, the data is opened to interpretations and critical analysis. To make the argument point clear, it is best to depict previous studies that answer theories and hypotheses and from which new interpretations aim to respond new hypotheses. Becuase this writing hinge on data, it is crucial to describe the method used during the information collection that would help readers to grade the method. In addition, since experiments give out numerical data, the writer's job is to present those findings in a way that any reader can understand the experiment. This could be achieved by comparing and supporting information. At the end of presenting the findings, it is important to mention what this experiment means and to do so it is best to apply certain verbs that provide the level of certainty in the findings. Moreover, in science is difficult to find space to disagree with the final conclusions, but it is possible to join the chat by pointing out a particular detail that could be exam further. Although it is not easy to disagree to the overall experiment, it is much flexible to contradict the techniques used within the experiment.

During this semester one has been applying some similar steps to bring an essay together. Consider, before any writing one had to summarize the article that will support that argument that one was trying to establish which is similar to describe previous studies. Another thing is that one analyzes any reading to present an argument that can be understood by any one as scientific writing do with its numerical findings. Probably, what defers from both is the flexibility to agree or disagree because science have little room to able wide disagreement while one's assingment in this period has a vast space for disagreeing with several topics.       

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The wonders of scientific writing

       Writing a paper is challenging, but writing a paper for the sciences is especially difficult. The first step of this writing process is to create a hypothesis from existing data and then compare it using new experimental data.  This creates the opportunity to critique previous findings and establish new ones. Next move is to describe the data. The 3 basic moves for describing data is to present the prevailing theory, explain methodologies, and summarize the finding. Summarizing the new data is essential because it allows a person to critically analyze the findings. After summarizing the data, you'll have o explain what the data means. In describing the data, be sure to pay attention to the verbs that connect data to interpretation. Next step in writing a scientific paper is to make your own argument. This is pretty much the point of the paper. The argument isn't so much about discrediting the previous findings, but examining their findings differently thus creating an opening to offer your own interpretation. In writing a scientific paper, you must anticipate objection. "The culture of science depends on vigorous debate in which scientists defend their own findings and challenge those of others- a give and take that helps improve science reliability" (Graff/Birkenstein 166).   As in any paper, stating why the paper matters is important.
       Writing for the sciences isn't all that different from what we've been doing this semester. When we began our blogs/essays we had to summarize what ever we read. In scientific writings, the author has to summarize the previous findings of his experiment. The next step for both a scientific paper and a regular paper is to make your own argument. In making an argument the author can agree, disagree, or agree but with a difference. Like a scientific paper, regular papers need to watch out for naysayers. The critique of opposing opinion can potentially destroy your paper.

Step by Step Moves to Write a Good Paper

       The chapter 14 “Analyze This. Writing in the Social Sciences” by Erin Ackerman is about how to write paper in the social sciences. The chapter demonstrates several aspects of how to improve your writing and gives the step by step examples. “The best way to do that is to bring your views into conversation with those expressed by others...” (176). The author in this chapter suggest that we, who write in the social sciences, should follow some basic moves and that includes “strong introduction and thesis, literature review, and the writer's own analysis, including presentation of data and consideration of implications” (177). The chapter also demonstrates and explains all this moves with provided examples. Basically our papers should follow specific template when writing in social sciences and to do so we have to have a conversation with the texts and our ideas. After we set up a main idea, claim or a thesis we should explain why it matters and why would the reader be interested in it, so to answer the question “so what? and who cares?”

      That is exactly what we've been practicing this semester in English 24 class. By reading chapters from the book “They say/I say” by Graff and Birkenstein, by writing the blogs following this exact steps and of course, by writing the essays throughout the semester. Writing with the provided templates and set up structure is very helpful, however, as Erin Ackerman wrote in chapter 14 that “Good writing in the social sciences, as in other academic disciplines, requires that you demonstrate that you have thought about what it is you think” (176).    

Social Sciences and a Guideline to a Great Paper

      Erin Ackerman writes in chapter fourteen "Analyze This" about the social sciences which is basically the study of people, their behaviors and interactions with other people. Ackerman discusses the important elements within writing in the social sciences. The first part is the introduction which introduces the thesis, and explaining what the following text is going to be about. Ackerman states in some instances it is important to discuss the "they say " and "I say" perspectives in the introduction. The literature review is the summary of everything that has already been said on the topic. This where they "they say" is discussed in more depth, but it is important to balance the viewpoints you are responding on while being clear on the points you are trying to make. The analysis is where you present the data and support your claim. "The social sciences uses data to develop and test explanations"(186). Ackerman explains the three most important things to do is to define the data, explain where you got the data, and then explain what has been done to the data. She also explains it is important to acknowledge other perspectives "by considering possible objections to your argument, you demonstrate that you've done your work"(189) and also "most important, you present your own argument as part of an ongoing conversation"(189). Lastly we need to talk about who should care about the research and why they should care at all.
      The writing in this field is not much different from the writing we've done this semester. The use of "they say, I say", presenting objections, using research to support our claim, and explaining within our text who should care is all very familiar. It helps to read this chapter to gain further knowledge on presenting these ideas in our papers. The only difference is that this chapter focuses more on aspect of social sciences and we have based our papers on our own claims. But in the end it was very helpful especially with the final paper where all this information is incorporated within our texts.

Pop Culture Writing

The article Writing In The Social Sciences starts off with a basic definition of what the “socials ciences” are. She then goes on the give some topics and very briefly tells us what the main focus/purpose of our writing for social sciences should be. She then goes out to give us a detailed outline of how the text should be formatted and goes on to explain each part even further all while adding examples, tips and other information to give us a deep understanding out what writing for the social sciences means. For example; The first section deals with the introduction and thesis and is titled “This paper challenges...” she gives examples and outlines of how to present two different arguments (agreement and disagreement) with the “they say” and “I say” perspectives. The rest of the piece outlines how to proceed while keeping your stance and ideas clear and supported through out the essay with even more templates.

This style of writing is the type we have been using in class. It makes sense since this is a pop culture class are rather then writing about concrete topics to an audience of scholars and doctors; we are instead writing about things that would fall into the social category (novels, movies, TV shows, music ect.) The scientific part comes when we further analyze our chosen topic. The format that Ackerman presents us with is pretty much the exact same format we have been using for our papers (especially the final) and to a lesser extent blogs in class. To me, this chapter was showing a basic “fill in the blank” essay format that one could then fill as needed with the content the other chapters of the book thought us to include. I don't think it differs all to much to be honest. I can say this chapter was a nice wrap up to the writing process I have been both in class and though the rest of the book.  

Ackerman vs Villarreal

          In Chapter 14 of the book They Say, I Say, the author, Erin Ackerman, covers how to write a strong introduction, how to focus your arguments in the body of the review, and how to sum up your analysis in the conclusion. She covers about "good" writing and needing more than just an opinion to help prove your argument. Ackerman breaks down writing an essay and all the essential parts like your claim, why we should we care, opinions, important information, and analysis.  On one of the first pages, she writes "Good writing in the social sciences, as in other academic disciplines, requires that you demonstrate that you have thought about what it is you think" (176). Although you may think you know what your writing about and what your claim may be, it is highly possible of changing. 
          This writing for social sciences is exactly what I've been doing my entire semester in my English 24 class.  Every essay we've written needed a claim, outside info, and strong facts to back up my argument whether it be about vampires, the wizard of Oz, or popular television. A little more than now since our final essay is in the process of beig written, I'm learning on how to strongly state my argument and validate the important features it holds and why it is so important in pop culture. Trying to prove to someone facts and your opinions is a very difficult thing to do. 

"Just the Facts, Ma'am."

Gillen, Christopher. “The Data Suggest: Writing in the Sciences.” They Say, I Say
                  2nd Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010. 156-174. Print.   

Facts, facts and more facts! In, “The Data Suggest: Writing in the Sciences”, we are told the facts obtained from data collected during scientific research should be the foundation of any writing about science. Here we have the first difference between writing we have done all semester and science based writing. In our class where we discuss pop culture, our first assignment was to complete a survey and give our opinion on what pieces of pop culture we found amusing. The ability to have and communicate an opinion and in some cases (as with the blogs), how creatively and fluidly we express that opinion is how we approach writing in our English class. Facts tend to be secondary and are only relevant in terms of how well they support our opinion. Also, the sources we used as evidence to support our claims were  usually from the opinion-based writings of someone else. In my final paper for class, for example, many of my citations are from academics that have opinions on the subject I am writing about and not necessarily any conclusive research that they have conducted. Rattling off facts based on empirical evidence is not however, the only component in scientific writing.

Explaining the methods used and the underlying scientific theories that support the data you’re writing about is another requirement in scientific writing. In our class, by contrast, when we discussed our favorite piece of music we did not also need to know what key that song was written in, or how to read sheet music in general. If we discussed a movie, we did not need to understand what camera angles were used in the scene being analyzed or how to break down the beats (a term some actors use when dissecting a script) of the dialogue we were quoting. Our aesthetic judgment was enough to give us some sense of ownership over what we were discussing in terms of pop culture. In science this is not the case. Some background knowledge of the subject you’re writing about is essential and must be demonstrated in your writing. If you are writing about data from research on a new diet pill, you must first discuss theories on how metabolic reactions take place in the body or explain how glucose is absorbed by cells at the molecular level before delving into how the new pill works and whether or not the data supports the drug manufacturer’s claims. Again, personal opinions are not at the center when presenting background information regarding relevant scientific theories.

The big question in writing for science is: does your opinion ever matter? Yes and no. If you are conducting your own scientific research then absolutely your opinion as a result of your data counts. You can utilize the conversation based style of They Say, I Say and show how you agree or disagree with previous studies based on the same theory. Templates like “X’s work leads to the question of _____, therefore, we investigated _______,” (167) allows you to answer the question “Who cares?” or “Why is this important?” for your reader while not deviating from the fact-based approach of scientific writing. If you’re not a researcher, like many of us students, interpreting the quality of the research you’re summarizing can be your opportunity to express your opinion. If the sample size used to conduct the research was too small to gather conclusive evidence or important experiments were excluded from the research in question (173), expressing those observations can strengthen your writing. Those observations however, must have some basis in science and cannot be based solely on personal beliefs.

Overall, writing for science is comparable to venturing off to outer space. You need to be well prepared and knowledgeable before taking off. Once you’re in orbit, you quickly realize many things: the universe is much bigger than you are, and in the grand scheme of things, the little world you come from, and your opinions in general, don’t count for very much.


Hello Ackerman, writing for the conversation.

Chapter fourteen of They Say/I Say explains that when writing for the social sciences “it is the subject of constant conversation and argument” because results of proceedings are not always ultimate. The writer, Erin Ackerman, a political science professor at John Jay College, acknowledges that there are always different ways to view what people do. Since most of the general disputes in the social sciences have been held for a long time, it is imperative that the critic is well educated on past findings and can accept that others may not choose to agree with their view. They must first provide the reader with background information, the conversation prior to entering it, and then formulate their response. Ackerman states “writing in the social sciences generally includes several core components: a strong introduction and a thesis, a literature review, and the writer’s own analysis, including presentation of data and consideration of implications.” (177) She provides different ways of presenting the “they say” and of how authors present their “I say”. One way of responding is by acknowledging what holds true and explaining why some things are questionable. In the literature review section of the piece the writer must reiterate important points from other sources that connect well with their own assertions. You must answer all questions and exhibit a deep familiarity with the text. Identify the argument and add details to further magnify the issue. Then in the analysis you expand on your opinion on the topic and explain why others should care, using data to support your assertions. Address the possibility of objections and contend a framework on how someone may want to further explore this issue.

         Writing for the social science does not seem different than the writing I have done on pop culture for this English 24 class. An important topic stressed this semester is learning to read and write for the conversation. Taking the data and information and putting it into perspective against other facts in order for one to come up with their own conclusion on the argument. Through the analysis we are looking to value an idea, creation, or opinion in the context presented by a critic. Writing for this class and writing for the social sciences use the same several components noted by Ackerman to prove an assertion. I responded to a disagreeing text by Myra Francis Taylor in my draft of “Through Haring’s Looking Glass” (tentative title.) using the same example she provides, to make well established connections between my primary source and naysayer. I decided to include one of Erin Ackerman’s templates at the end of my introduction in order to expand further on So What/Who Cares, which is a phrase mentioned constantly by both my professor and Ackerman. (the template was: Ultimately what is at stake here is ___.) I have a framework from my conclusion based upon the idea of further exploring the issue, another idea I got from reading Chapter fourteen. Writing in the field of the social sciences is imminently reflective of the writing we have done as a whole this semester. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Break Homework!

I know, I know! But it's fairly simple, and you can safely wait till the last minute to do it ;-)

Read either Ch. 13 ("Writing in the Sciences" or 14 ("Writing in the Social Sciences") in They Say / I Say. Then, for our last blog of the semester, summarize your chosen chapter and explain how writing in the field you chose to read about differs from some of the writing we've done this semester.

As always, the blog will be do Sunday by midnight, and comments are due before class!

Aside from that, I suggest continuing your work on your drafts!

Enjoy your break!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Even more clear

Christian Joppke, “Multiculturalism and Immigration,” the phenomenon trying to find equal rights for ethnic, racial, religious, or sexually defined groups- is the most dangerous topic in academics. Multiculturalism has become a movement of the left because of its insistence in emancipation. Yet its argument of particularistic- uniquely defined groups, deviates multiculturalism from the universal school of thought of the left movement. That is, it again enters the arenas conduct by the political rights.what Joppke means here is that since multicultural society conveys that members congregate depending on the communal interest, those groups do not overlap on top of each other. Therefore, the society is deem as independently exclusive, which exclude participants that are out of their range  of interest. Nevertheless, Joppke is less concerned with the negative portion, and rather he pushes the best of multiculturalism as modern, for it includes distinct comers with similar interest.    

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Meta-What now ? Metacommentary looks like a scary word because of all the letters, but it's not that bad. It's basically a commentary on your main idea. For example: Twerking has become the latest dance craze amongst young girls. 
The movements of the dance is provocative and inappropriate for little girls. My main idea was about twerking. In the next sentence I tried to persuade my readers to think that twerking was bad. Metacommentary is useful when trying to elaborate on the main idea. It gives the author a chance to elaborate and clarify the main idea of the writing.
     "The Word "nigga" is only for slaves and sambos: There's a hellava price to be paid when the word "nigga" is used as a term of affection" ,written by Rob Nelson, is about the use of the word by blacks. The title itself is an example of metacommentary. The first part of the title implies that the article will be about the use of the n-word. The second part tells the readers that the use of the word as a term of endearment will be talked about in the article. Metacommentary in the title is beneficial because it gives prospective readers an idea of what your essay would be about. Another use of metacommentary in this article is when Nelson says "  no other word in the English language has remained so racially  explosive. There's just something about those two little syllables strung together that, for most blacks, evokes anger". The  first sentence talks about the racial epithet. The second sentence reinforces the first sentence.
       I had to read the article a couple of times to identify what the metacommentary was. Through out his essay, Ron Nelson was against the use of the n-word, even as a word of endearment. His metacommentary showed it. Most of it was.... Metacommentary is a powerful tool. It shapes how the reader feel about the topic being read. 


Friday, November 22, 2013

The deconstruction of Televeison

Gozzi Jr., Raymond. “Television as a Deep Metaphor in Destruction.” ETC: A Review of General Semantics 528 (2001): 211. Academic Search. Web. 18 November 2013.

       Raymond Gozzi Jr. in his article “Television as a Deep Metaphor in Deconstruction” writes about the future of television and how the popularity is coming to an end.  Gozzi writes about how important appeal is to the viewers and how destruction is coming for reality television.  “These shows must appeal to large audiences with different political opinions, personal tastes, etc.” (Gozzi)  Like Will says, soon enough reality television will no longer shock us, it would become so predictable that we would be bored.  “Being obvious or “preachy” is a major sin for mass media writers.” (Gozzi) Being different and shocking is the only way to keep the viewer’s coming.  This idea of the shock factor is crucial in the world of television.
          Raymond Gozzi Jr. uses meta commentary when he says "My theme here is that deconstruction often operated from a hidden, deep metaphor. This deep metaphor is television." He uses this to alert the readers to an elaboration of a previous idea (the deconstruction of television).  

Decrypted Metaommentary

Genc, Kaya. "Coming Out of the Coffin." The New Inquiry, 24 Aug. 2012. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. <>.

In her article “Coming Out Of The Coffin”, Kaya Genc writes about how the discovery of Bram Stokers personal diaries fosters the idea that he was gay. And that no ones really knows about the man Stoker really was, we just know him as the author that penned Dracula. She gives a good amount of evidence from the diaries to support this claim as well as outside information. 

After reading chapter 10, I noticed that Genc uses metacommentary fairly early in the piece. At the start of the second paragraph, Genc says “Lest you think this comparison is stretched, please consider the following...” as the book states, she uses this phrase to move from giving a generalized statement or claim to a more concrete example. In her case, she moved from just saying that we know nothing about him as the person behind the novel to giving a specific example of a sentence written in his journal: “The cryptic meaning of silence.” Bram was cryptic in writing down the details of his life, the inner workings of his mind, the pages of his journal don't give a clear message by themselves, they need to be decrypted. Much like the varies meanings behind the story of Dracula.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013


MetaCommentary : Watching Tv makes you Smarter Works Cited : Johnson,Steven. "Watching Tv makes You Smarter ". They say I Say Comp.Gerald Greff,CathyBerkenstein , Russel Durst , New York W.W Norton and Company ,2009 .Print Annotation : The main point in Johnsons article is based on his theory called “The Sleeper Curve”. This theory states “ Television alters the mental development of young people for the better.” (Johnson, 214) . Reality television affects the younger generations in a positive way ,how you may ask it helps them with personal development .Something I found to be quite interesting is how Johnson mentions multiple threads in television episodes are much more complex than old television shows .Johnson refers to the Mary Tyler Show and how it is a cookie cutter were reality tv shows have real life issues we can relate to .Johnsons article about how younger generations are given mindless television that they cannot apply to their everyday life to watch and then expect to go out in the real world of high school and college and deal with tough situations .Through Harder more intense television our younger generations could have a bit a better idea on how to handle these situations ,and knowing that many things can change . Years ago televisions shows would have never shown such horrors. Because the shows were not as violent or scenes were not as complex as they are now. “The sleep curve exists because theres money to made by making culture smarter .”(Johnson ,287) . People naturally crave more knowledge . The sleeper curve tells us something important about the human mind . The mind has a need to figure out plots ,detecting patterns and understanding a narrative and each role a character plays in that specific plot . one meta commentary Idid find in the article is when he says in pointing out some of the ways that popular culture has improved our minds ,i am not arguing that parents should not stop paying attention to the way their children amuse..... Another one is I believe that the sleeper curve is the single most important new force altering the mental development of young people today and I believe it is largely a force for good .

Magazine Editor

Richardson, Chris. "'Can't Tell Me Nothing': Symbolic Violence, Education, And Kanye West." Popular Music & 

                                     Society 34.1 (2011): 97-112. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Nov. 2013

Reading The Art of Metacommentary made me read different once I decided to give my secondary source a second look. Throughout the article, it tells us about many different tips that we can do as writers to not only let the readers negotiate and process our thoughts, but how it can help us generate more ideas about our essay or topic. It gives many different examples and templates on how to do metacommentary. When I decided to give my secondary source another look, I noticed that Chris Richardson does many of these techniques in the writing. Within the third paragraph of Richardson's "Cant Tell me Nothing" he states "This paper focuses on the work of Kanye West as a popular and revealing examply of how symbolic violence can be negotiated within Hip-Hop culture"  He gives us the readers an example or background of how hes looking at a certain person so we could better understand the writing. I'm sure there are many ways to view Kanye West; using that statement lets me know that hes looking at Kanye west as a popular and revealing artist. Richardson uses another example in the next paragraph stating.

"Ultimately, I argue that West presents one of the most powerful critques of symbolic violence in Hip Hop through these acts"

Richardson is backing up his claim with this sentence and is informing us that he believes THIS because of THIS.  I read this statement and immediately asked , WHO CARES? Not too long after the sentence he got me back stating,

" Which illuminate many of the underlying social problems that can lead to the physical violence emphasized in popular debates"

The Art of Metacommentary really helped me see that these tips can indeed help you generate ideas and help the reader as well seewhere you're coming from.

Metacommentary: The Power of Stars

Elberse, Anita. "The Power Of Stars: Do Star Actors Drive The Success Of Movies?." Journal Of  Marketing 71.4 (2007): 102-120. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.

         Anita Elberse author of the article “The Power of Stars: Do Star Actors Drive the Success of Movies?” in the Journal of Marketing writes her article about whether the success of films depends on the amount of fame the stars playing the roles have. She talks about the many myths people in Hollywood have about the use of the top stars in films and also about the viewpoints of other movie critics and their standpoint on this issue. Elberse uses many studies to show the effect of star power on revenues, and uses the studies of many others to guide her research. After having done her research Elberse came to the conclusion that although stars influence film-level revenue, there was no support for her claim that stars are the reasons behind movie success.

          Finding metacommentary in Elberse’s writing was a difficult but with some rereading I found some examples. One of the templates Elberse used frequently was “For example” a way of providing concrete evidence for the point she was making. Another template she used in her article was “Although some practioners argue that...” in anticipation and response to an objection. I think the title is also a use of metacommentary, she starts with “The Power of Stars” which is the basis of the article and then she explains exactly what she is going to be researching with the use of the subtitle “Do Star Actors Drive the Success of Movies?” I think the use of metacommentary in her writing was helpful. It helps to understand exactly the point she was trying to make. Even though it was hard to find I understood at the end of the article the purpose of her writing.

What's the blog about

So guys I forgot what were suppose to blog about. Anybody wanna help me out?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Disaster Capitalism!" Coming to An Economy Near You!

Work Cited

Toscano, Alberto. "Disaster Movies." Film Quarterly, Volume 64.

            Number 2 (Winter 2010): 72-73. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.


There is a new kind of disaster coming to an economy near you. You saw a preview of it back in 2008. It may take your house, your job, your car and all your savings. It doesn’t matter where you live, no one is safe from the economic tsunami heading towards a city near you.  Sounds scary doesn’t it? Well, welcome to the dawn of a new genre of disaster film called “disaster capitalism” (72)! Economic turmoil and the capitalist villains behind the  havoc inflicted on the lives of the innocent victims not wealthy enough to dodge economic ruin takes the place of earthquakes, tornados and other types of natural disasters that are usually the subject of disaster films.
The problem with this new genre of film is that if they are meant to be fact based documentaries about the economy, they should not resemble the latest multi-million dollar fictional action blockbuster movie (72). When you compare and contrast a documentary like Inside Job about the corporate insiders responsible for the 2008 subprime mortgage fiasco that used “big budget aesthetics including a celebrity narration by Matt Damon and epic outdoor shots” (72), with a documentary like  Draquila, a film on political corruption during a 2009 earthquake in the Italian city of L’Aquila that “sticks close to the everyday banality of disaster…[through the] low budget use of hand-held cameras” (72) it’s Draquila’s approach that stays true to the spirit of bare bones truthfulness appropriate for the genre of documentary film-making. While the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is always a valid argument when analyzing a visual medium like film, documentaries have limited creative license because “attractive visuals can often mislead rather than illustrate” (73) the important truths these films seek to uncover.    
 Toscano’s discussion of documentaries as yet another means for Hollywood to vent their hatred for capitalism makes his article a good text to use in my essay on anti-capitalist sentiment in the film industry. Not only does he support Rick Groen’s claim in “Why Hollywood Hates Capitalism” that there is an anti-business bias in several films, he also supports Michael Tratner’s claim in “Working the Crowd: Movies and Mass Politics” that films have the ability to inspire a mob mentality in its audience by rubbing salt into their political discontents. When recalling the crowd’s reaction to a screening of Inside Job, Toscano makes note of the rage felt by many audience members towards the business and political elites named by the film as coconspirators in the economic disaster of 2008. During the post-screening Q&A session, audience member calls for “the perpetrators of the ‘conspiracy’ to be shot” (72) and rants that “nothing will change…‘until we see some bodies swinging from some lampposts’” (72), reflects the powerful and dangerous uproar the images and dialogue from a film like Inside Job has the potential to generate in a crowd of moviegoers.
While political rallies may have the intention of motivating participants to actively engage in political change, they are well organized, intellectual in nature and appeal to the rational in us. Films, by contrast, are made to stir our emotions and make us focus on “spectacular visual clich├ęs that ignore the issues” (73) underlying what we see by appealing to our animal nature. Ask any movie producer and they will tell you that it can be virtually impossible to gage what an audience’s reaction will be to what they see on screen. Unpredictability and volatile emotions make groups watching films more susceptible to desires for “something on par with the Russian Revolution” (72) than your average Saturday morning demonstration on the steps of City Hall. In addition to taking the discussion of what’s behind the anti-capitalist film legacy in Hollywood a step further, Toscano’s article provides concrete evidence to support Tratner’s explanation for why films are highly feared and regulated by elites throughout history.

Write and Flow: Toscano's Use of Metacommentary 

                Toscano’s use of metacommentary or metatext was seamlessly and subtly done.  His skill as a good writer allowed him to smoothly transition from the voice of his main claim to the voice of the narrator that interprets his claims. At first glance it is not obvious where he injected metatext. On a careful second reading of the article it became more obvious that metatext was used at key points where he needed to clearly demonstrate his argument.  For example, to make it clear why he is writing the piece, he sets up the scene of the Q&A he attended for Inside Job in the first sentence of his article.  
“By the end of the Inside Job Q&A with director Charles Ferguson and producer Audrey Marrs at the London Film Festival, October 27, it was clear that this documentary’s account of the colossal and coordinated act of financial malfeasance that led to the present economic crisis had elicited angry responses.” (72) 
Toscano made use of a common template not in They Say, I Say that can be used for any subject to make clear what happened over a specific period of time:
By the end of_________it was clear that____________.”
“By the end of the Civil War, it was clear that the wounds of a country divided would be slow to heal.”
By the end of the party, it was clear that John was too intoxicated to drive and would need a cab home.”
The one exception to Toscano’s effective use of metatext was his title, “Disaster Movies”. This title is open ended and does not give much insight into the subject, main claim or the two films he mentions in his article. Once you’ve completed reading the article you realize he is making a play upon the idea of the typical disaster film and the idea that capitalism is the new disaster causing chaos in our lives. Since the article is mainly about the highly popular film Inside Job, it might have been a good idea to capitalize on the film’s popularity by somehow referencing it in the title to better draw readers in.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Help save Lilly !

Hello classmates,
My dog was hit by a truck yesterday and is in very bad condition. She is very young, just about to turn 3 she has a whole life ahead of herself. My family refuses to give up on her because of the price. We are trying to raise money to pay for her surgery. If you can't donate any money I understand, but if you can all just help and please spread the word. Share the link on Facebook Twitter Instagram anything that will help our cause.I thank you all for helping my family through a hard time. 

Link -

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The "N" Word... Essay3

On of my secondary sources is an article called “J Lo Sings Sour Note” and was written by Ron Scott. This article was published in The New York Amsterdam News in August of 2001. The article explains the distasteful use of the word nigga in the famous Jennifer Lopez’s hit song “I’m Real.”  One point that the author touches on is that most of the heat came from Star, one of the radio show hosts from radio station Hot 97, Star and Buck Wild. Star simply states that it was automatically wrong for J Lo to use this word because she isn’t black. Ignorant claim, huh? Well, some people really feel that way. Star felt that it was disrespectful and derogatory. The article also goes into a brief history and background of the word and how it was intended back when slavery was a huge civil issue. For these reasons, this article is relevant to my final paper. It touches up on recent pop culture issues with this word, and it describes its history. It doesn’t have a side; it recognizes both with great arguments to back it up.
“While walking the streets of New York City, one can hear Latinos and teens of other races greeting each other and their black friends by saying ‘What’s up, my nigga?’ and all parties are smiling.” This is the quote I will be taking from this article and be putting into my paper, not exactly sure where yet.  But it does add to my point of questioning why is it ok for some to use it and not all? Or, how dark of a Latino do you have to be for it to be considered acceptable?

Scott, Ron. "J-Lo Sings Sour Note." New York Amsterdam09 Aug 2001, Pg 19 & 25. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Hamilton, James. The Power Failure Seen Around The World. February 4, 2013. Blog.

In this blog post by James Hamilton, Hamilton writes about the redundancy of televison and what we do to keep the viewers coming.  As an example, Hamilton uses the Super Bowl.  A very popular game that comes on TV once a year,  every time they try to make it even one step better than it was the year before because no one will want to see the same line up every year over and over again. "On average over the last couple of years, the Super Bowl has attracted 111 million bowers annisnthe number 1 most watched televison show in North America." Being this popular must be very difficult to hold as number one for the amount of years it has.  This is very similar to what George F. Will is saying in his article Reality Televeison: Oxymoron, where televison is trying to up there ratings with making a new show based on a similar yet older show, or the same show like the Super Bowl, just adding that new spark to it every year to keep the viwers satisfied.

Doig my essay #3 based off of my presentation "The Ridixulousness of Televison"

Getting a Cite

I try everything that I know to indent the cite, after all, it beat me.

Joppke Christian. "Multiculturalism And Immigration: A Comparison Of The United States, Germany, And Great Britain." Theory & Society Vol. 25, No. 4 (Aug.,  1996): pp. 449-500.Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.

          Multiculturalism, the phenomenon trying to find equal rights for ethnic, racial, religious, or sexually defined groups- is the most dangerous topic in academics. Multiculturalism has become a movement of the left because of its insistence in emancipation. Yet its argument of particularistic- uniquely defined groups, deviates multiculturalism from the universal school of thought of the left movement. That is, it again enters the arenas that before was owned by the political rights. Hence, multiculturalism can occupy the spot politic of difference, which stresses authenticity and rejects Western views. In addition, multiculturalism is modern and anti-modern, too. It rapidly conveys modernism by exposing the collapse of social hierarchies and the precarious nature of identity in an individualized society where identity followed the traditional pattern has broken down. Indeed this new world is inhabited by homogenous and mutually exclusive communities. Nevertheless, that counterargues the universal principle of inclusion and functional differentiation and turns multiculturalism vulnerable to fundamentalism and anti-modernism. In sum, since multiculturalism runs a counter with inter conflicting concepts, it maybe is conceived in a form of plea for tolerance and mutual understanding within multiethnic societies. 

            I analyse an anime film through the Hua Hsu, "The end of white America," where the argument stablished casts the white race is submerging under the increasing immigrant population, and therefore the white race would no longer be in the power. Identity would be ascribed no by traditional patterns, but rather by lifestyle that every individual practices, say Hsu. In fact, it is not really the  true or easy according to Joppke, those groups- increased in number and coexisting in the same place- formed multiculturalism, which seeks equality and recognitions for underlook groups. Naturally, that protest for emancipation puts those groups over the whites, but it is not quite true that they, whites, are become something else perhaps they are forming a particular group. In short, I saw Joppke's study as a naysayer that could bright a different prospective to the topic that whites are disappearing. 


And The Naysayer Says...

Taylor, Myra. "Addicted To The Risk, Recognition And Respect That The Graffiti

Lifestyle Provides: Towards An Understanding Of The Reasons For
Graffiti Engagement." International Journal Of Mental Health & Addiction 10.1 (2012): 54-68. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.

Myra Frances Taylor analyzes the motive for adolescents partaking in graffiti and what happens when it becomes a lifestyle. She contests that maturity levels specifically emotions, peer pressure, and instant gratification are what fuels the ignorance of future grief. When people are younger, adrenaline-inducing activities satisfy the necessity for individualism, power and self-sufficiency. Since adults have developed cognitive faculties they can rationalize and don’t feel the need to push the norms because they know that they are susceptible to harm. The consequences become magnified and being different is not as important. (Taylor 55) There are six explanations younger adolescents give for doing graffiti ”alleviation of boredom, emulation of others, the rush derived from committing an illegal act the rush gained from engaging in acts of aggression, the satisfaction derived from retaliation and the reward of non-conforming social identity.” Older adolescents grow to love outsmarting the police. Taylor applies the Gruber and Koszegi model of addiction to the act of graffiti. She explains that the reward of goal fulfillment fuels the urge participate in the activity again. The tolerance to the pleasurable experience also constitutes graffiti as an addiction. When these adolescents become adults they look forward to recognition from others. By viewing this issue as an addiction the consequences presently in place are not efficient. No longer should it be dealt with in the educational and criminal sense it becomes something that can be treated mentally.

My immediate reaction is: What? I support little to no criminal punishment so I have mixed feelings. Do I believe that graffiti artists belong in rehab like dope fiends? No. I don’t agree with the means but I support the end. When someone impulsively does what that love and what makes the world a more colorful place without hurting others? Really? Clearly I need to get over my own biases before beginning my own analysis. Toward the end of this article Myra F. Taylor asserts “This conceptualization of graffiti-writing being an addiction moves the juvenile graffiti proliferation issue beyond the educational and criminal domains into the sphere of adolescents mental health.”(66) I would like to acknowledge this idea as a feasible way of dealing with graffiti but discern whether its something that needs to be dealt with. It is a venue created by the people for the people to bring the issues they want recognized into pop culture.


Hello Wake up Smell the coffee

Works Cited :

Can dying social media platforms be revived?" Campaign Middle East 14 July 2013. General OneFile. 15 Nov. 2013.

Everyday a new trend is started whether it is the latest pair of Jordans or the latest website were you can connect with your friends . Within the article "Is Facebook a fad ", Farhad Manjoo tells us basically that Facebook is not going to die and he makes a comparison of Facebook to myspace which was a popular website in its day and age . Until people moved on to Facebook because Facebook was at the time meeting those needs we longing to be met . I am going to prove that Facebook isn't going over any were by providing information from within the article" Can dying social media platforms be revived ? "  which tells us that Facebook and twitter are always changing to meet to our needs and websites such as hi 5 and bebo and myspace are examples  of websites that try tp revive themselves through new promotions but fail to do so because people lose interest within the site . Also they try to be current with new technology that is out but once people loose that interest it is very hard to get it back .



For essay number 3 I will be making an addition to essay number 1 “Lead us not into Temptation”, in regards to how curiosity not only leads us into temptation but changes our lives forever. In the following article “MOVIE REVIEW: CREATIVITY AND THE CINEMA” by Chloe Landcaster, she focuses her movie review based on the film Twilight. Twilight is a movie based on a New York Times bestselling book series by Stephanie Meyer. Landcaster goes into details about different parts of the movie such as how Bella (the main character) moves into her father’s home in the state of Washington because of her mother re-marrying. How the Native Americans and the Vampires have history in the town in establishing who owns what part of the land, as long as they avoid one another, and how Bella becomes attracted to Edward’s persona.
            Landcaster states that Bella “becomes drawn to Edward, who exhibits a mix of good looks, intellect, sensitivity, and formality of speech” … “Edward, too, feels drawn to Bella, yet his desire to strike up a conventional teenage relationship is sometimes overwhelmed by his suppressed instinct to kill her”. Landcaster also states “Bella allows herself to be vulnerable when she expresses her lack of fear and her willingness to accept the worst outcome” … “They both set aside their facades and become more authentic with one another”. The following quotes tell us how curiosity leads up to temptation, which causes a life changing experience. In addition to Jonathan Harker’s curiosity in the novel Dracula, about wanting to know who Count Dracula was, even though he was there for business purposes; the knight, Sir Bertrand from the short story “On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror”, by John Aikin, whose curiosity also leads him into a castle coming across a supernatural experience. Bella and Edward’s curiosity grew stronger and found themselves in love binded between two different worlds. Furthermore, these three texts apply to Stephen King’s perspective in his article “Why We Crave Horror Movies”, ultimately because the urge to self satisfaction and fulfillment.
    Work Cited
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King, Stephen. “Why We Crave Horror Movies”. 75 Readings Across the Curriculum: An Anthology. Ed. Chris Anson- 1st ed.
            New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2008

Stoker, Bram. “Dracula”.
            London, Penguin Group, 2009