Saturday, January 25, 2014

“Doctor Who and His Most Extraordinary Adventures”

The series shows the adventures of a mysterious alien humanoid who calls himself a Doctor, without traveling through time and space in a spaceship, which from the outside looks like a police box 50-ies. Doctor tremendously outstands and has incredible knowledge in the areas of technology, history and science. He travels along with his companions, while battling space villains and saving the Earth from countless enemies.
Two episodes that were shown to us in class took place during the Christmas time. The first episode “The Unquiet Dead” begins in1869, doctor and Rose found that time somehow special. Before Rose and Doctor arrived to the Cardiff the city in the UK. There was a big house and inside that house was morgue, this house was very strange, something unusual was going on. On a Christmas Eve day, 86 years old woman died and when her grandson came to say good-bye she suddenly became alive and she scragged him to death. She then disappeared. While Rose and Doctor were discovering the city, they passed by the theater from which they heard loud creams. There was a phantom of that woman, before the audience noticed the mysterious woman, Charles Dickens the author of many book was telling the story of “A Christmas Carol” when he got to the point of Marley ghost the woman gave the signs of eccentric thing. And Doctor with his assistant got on time to see what is going on. While on the other hand came along Mr. Smith is the owner of the house and his mistress Gvinet’s who had a supernatural gift. From that point on the adventure of the characters began, Doctor, Rose, Charles Dickens, Mr. Smith and Gvinet had to unite and discover what is going on with the house and the phantoms. Charles Dickens doesn’t want to believe in this fantasy and he doesn’t want to be part of this “game”.  But Doctor insisted Dickens to stay and take an opportunity of Gvinet’s gift to talk with the ghost and find out what the ghost want. They all sit around the big table by holding their hands together, on the climax of the film Gvinet summon one of the ghost to know what is that is bothering them. Spirits wanted the freedom, then wanted to live under the sun again, they asked Gvinet to build the bridge for them and open the gates. After a poor girls decided to help, phantoms tricked her and took her life instead, and they became as devils that started to kill people. Doctor had to decide what to do. Charles Dickens believed in existence of these creatures and he got an idea how to stop everything, he decided to hunt them with the gas so they will smother. And his idea worked, Gvent was dead and she gave matches to the doctor and he fired the house with the spirits and Gvents, but it saved the whole situation. At the end of the episode everyone left to be happy, Charles Dickens went with Doctor and Roe to the blue box and he asked them who are they, because doctor is very knowledgeable he said things about which people didn’t know during 18th hundred. Charles Dickens never go the answer but he asked another question is his book will be read after his death, to what Doctor answered that they will never die. The mood of the episode had a connection between Dickens’s writing especially A Christmas Carol.
Another episode that we watched was “The Christmas Invasion” the scene takes place during Christmas time in London. And this scene is more mistress than previous…Doctor changes his appearance, he become more yonger but still wise and knowledgeable. He and his assistant Rose came to her house. Doctor suddenly looses his energy, Rose and her mother try to heal him, but he is not an average human being. Rose is very upset because she feels she is looses the Doctor. When Rose and her friend went to the shopping they saw Santa Clause who played on xylophone, unexpectedly they started to shoot from this instruments, the big action took place. Rose tried to get help from the doctor, but he was still weak. In Rose’s house was going something unusual the Christmas tree started to spin very fast and it broke even the doors, the doctor woke up and he stopped the Santa Clause and the tree. Harriet Jones became a prime minister, who was responsible for the people of the country. She was in some organization when aliens from another planet began to contact with them, and they wanted the power. Harriet Jones didn’t want to make a deal with the aliens, and they took actions. A so-called sycoracks commanded to all the people of the city to stand on the edges of the roofs so the nation would be killed, and the only people who were on the roof only those who had the blood A positive. This type of blood gave the power and resources to the aliens. Harriet Jones appeared on the TV and made a public announcement that she needs doctor to help her. Rose knew that doctor is dying and nothing can be done. When she, her mother, and her friend wanted to leave the city in the blue box or at least try to save the country on her own, she some how pressed the bottom that took her to the space ship of the aliens. Harriet Jones and her crew were already in captivity of these sycoracks and she was very happy to see Rose. Rose tried to make a speech and help but it didn’t work. Unexpectedly, the doctor becomes alive and gets out f the blue box. He and the leader of the aliens started the fight. Doctor didn’t want to kill the that leader and he gave him a chance to leave with peace but alien took it for granted, eventually he got killed by the Doctor who never gives second chances. The ruler of the alien dies and the Doctor lets them go with piece. However, Harriet Jones had a plan in her head with the help of Torchwood they’ve killed the space ship then doctor was very upset with her. But the ending again was very happy, Doctor with Rose’s family celebrated Christmas.

I could relate these two episodes to the article “Creating a Myth” by Linda Seger who explained in her article how we become engaged to the fantasy that we watch or read.        As I watched these two episodes I had a picture of the page where she explained all the steps of how the characters become heroes of the stories. What journey they take in order to gain that power of being a strong character that at the end saves the world. But through out his journey he has those challenges, which he has to overcome, sometimes it could be with the help of someone. However, I could draw connections between the Article “The Art of Immersion: Fear of Fiction” is an article where the author states his point of view about the fear that fiction creates on people, and they tend to live in their own believes. Through out his article he provides a reader with lots of evidence about his main point, to prove his point he used pieces of literature, media, and films. When we watch or read about fantasy we sometimes want to live the life of the character, we sorrow for them, and sometimes we want to be in their spot but we never know how will we act in that situation. People who watch Doctor Who I believe became addicted to this serial, and they wait for the next season, they want to travel with him in his time machine. We like to live in our dreams, but times we want to relate them to reality. We sometimes tend to create our world with our imagination.                          

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Analyzing Doctor Who

We've watched a couple of episodes of the British series Doctor Who now for a couple of reasons: to explore another nation's pop culture, see a modern Christmas Crawler, and now, to practice the kind of engagement with pop culture we've been discussing but with film.

For this weekend's blog, analyze the two episodes "The Unquiet Dead" and "The Christmas Invasion" using any of the articles we've read so far. Do you see them relating "The Art of Immersion"? "Creating the Myth"? How? Summarize the episodes and explain the link as you see it.

Also, be sure to have finished A Christmas Carol and read Chapter 5 of They Say / I Say!

Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More Than Book Smart final draft

Eric LaBrocca
Prof Villarreal
English 24      

More Than Book Smart

Personally, I always abhorred reading books or just anything in that regard. In 8th grade, I came across a Mixed Martial Arts blog and could not stop reading it. I then realized reading wasn’t that bad, but I was only reading books on fighting. In my freshman year of high school, I was assigned to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and I read it in about 3 hours because after reading those books on fighting, I was able to focus solely on one thing. Since then reading became very easy and enjoyable at the most part. I began reading this on Friday and I just woke up and wanted to get a head start on my homework before I had to leave for work, but my mom needed my help so I stopped where I was and bookmarked it. I came back and had about 25 minutes to spare before I was off to the city for work. I read the article and found it to be surprisingly interesting. Throughout the whole day, I had a lot going at work, so I made a plan to come home and review the article. I got home at like 8pm and read it again while listening to one of my favorite Hip-Hop artists, J Cole. I try to make reading enjoyable as possible and one way is by listening to music. For me, I think that is the key. While reading, I had an understanding of the article and knew just about every word and if I didn't I used context clues to figure it out. I did not take notes but highlighted some parts I thought to be important. I reread the article once more and used my highlights to write the summary. I was telling my dad about it and we got into whole discussion about the school system and how the next generations are going to be less likely to want to attend. My dad stated the format of learning needs to be enhanced because of the tainted attention span of the younger generation. I think finding a specific thing you feel comfortable doing while reading, will make the experience a lot less boring. Watching TV or reading along with someone or just simply laying down, don't think about reading as a burden; think about it as learning something new and it might ease the "pain" of opening a book. 

Think Before You Act

Maritza Crespo.

Professor Villarreal.

ENG 24

23 January 2014.

Think Before You Act

Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa, Ontario , Canada, in 1939. she is known as a fiction writer. She has also taught literature and writing in universities in the United States and Canada. In the article the Debtor's Prism she states that the same stories we tell in books, are also reflected in our lives and this is the way she proves it.

In this article she claims that debts are something that is carried out from time to time. As well it has also left historical records in culture. Therefore, for any debt you have is a story left behind. How you go into debt, what you did to get out of debt, and what you did to deal with it. In "Debtor's Prism", she collects different kinds of evidence to support her claim.

Eric Berne's 1964 best selling book in transactional analysis, "Games People Play", Berne explains these games are most of the time played by two :
Patterns of behavior that can occupy an individual's entire lifespan, often destructively, but with hidden psychological benefits or payoffs that keep the games going. Needless to say, each game requires more than one player-some players being consciously complicit, others being unwitting dupes...(38)

Debts are something like what Berne explains in his book "Games People Plays" when we get into any kind of debt someone gets hurt.

Another good example of this is " A Christmas Carol" wrote in 1843 by Charles Dikens.
Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character. Scrooge is a greedy men that does not care about nothing else but sitting on piles of money. His job is to lend money to people and collect the money with interest. Everything changes after he is encountered by Marley the ghost. The ghost shows him all the burdens that he is carrying now after his death, because of all the people he had put in debt. The ghost tells Scrooge to start caring for other people. This is the moment when Scrooge starts making changes in the way he is spending his money. The writer states that Scrooge does not stop his business. Instead he starts sharing money with people that need it. (30-40)

I like the way Margaret Atwood links a fiction story with todays culture, because I get a better understanding in what it is to owe money to somebody else. I think if we found lenders that are not there to screw you with this out of range loan, the middle class people would have an opportunity to enjoy life more. I also think that having money is not a bad thing because money is the reward people earn for there hard work. It becomes an evil thing when we think, we need to have all the money in the world, no matter who we hurt to get it. It is like what Mr. Berne's wrote. When we get a mortgage its a pleage that we commit to. If you do not pay it, the lenders will take everything you have. Scrooge to me represesnt the creditors. They make you believe that they will help you by lending you money. What they really want to do is make you their slaves.

In this next paragraph, I will be explaining the reading process I used to understand the essay written by Margaret Atwood " Debtor's Prism." In reading this essay, I had to really think about how to use my reading skills properly because the article is kind of difficult to understand. At the beginning I got over whelemed with many thoughts coming into my mind, but I asked myself what needs to be done first. So I went to my room and I made sure the lighting of the room was enough so that I would not fall asleep. Next, I gathered all of my school supplies (textbook, paper, pens, dictionary, etc.) I also collected all of the class notes I had taken after I read the article once. When I got back to the book again, I read each idea that the writer had talked about and wrote my understanding of the passage. While I was reading, I also came across with vocabulary words that I looked up in the dictionary, then I continued with the reading. If there was a passage I could not understand after reading it a couple of times, I left it alone. Also I made sure I took breaks in between to avoid getting confused. Lastly, when I finished reading, I read all of my notes and left the useful ones and crossed out the others.

Professor asked us to write a claim and to analize this claim. This is what I came up with:
Margaret Atwood argued : " Indulging in grinding, usurious financial practices is a spiritual sin as well as a cold indifference to the needs and suffering of others and unprison the sinner within himself " Atwood (41)
The way she supports this idea is by bringing up. "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. Scrooge gives his soul to the devil so that he could have more and more money.Without knowing that it would become an idol to him. During the nights, he was visited by the chrismast past, christmas present, and christmas future ghost. Scrooge goes into these different times to reflect on his life. Scrooge learns that if he would be better off dead than to continue on being greedy because of all the people he took advantage of. Scrooge probably did not know that he made a pact with the devil, but what we are sure of is that the author knew it. I agreed with Atwood beacause the purpose of money is to serve you, not for you to serve money. This happened to Scrooge and it almost cost him his life. Atwood's was able to prove this to me because she showed me that debts are a reality that goes generations to generation, and the way she uses a fiction story to bring her point across. It was a cleaver idea, I could clearly see her point.

Work Cited
"A Christmas Carol". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 22 Jan. 2014

How come do unrealistic myths such as hero myths capture our imaginations and keeps us tied down to our seats?

How come do unrealistic myths such as hero myths capture our imaginations and keeps us tied down to our seats? According to Linda Segar in her article "Creating the Myth" all hero stories and most successful films are based on our own life experiences. A myth is described as "the story beneath the story". It's universal. It's lived by all of us at a certain level and mostly we can all relate to it. The central part of all myths is the hero. Without the hero there is no story. Segar describes the 10 steps that screenwriters mostly use to transform one from a regular person to a hero:

Step 1: "The hero begins as a non hero" were introduced to the person
Step 2: "Something new enters the hero's life.. that pushes him into an extraordinary adventure"
Step 3: The hero is reluctant and afraid to be a hero at first
Step 4: "The hero usually receives help" that usually comes from someone old woman, dwarf, witch or wizard etc.
Step 5: " The hero is now ready to move into the special world where he or she will change from the ordinary into the extraordinary"
Step 6: The test and obstacles begin to overcome the enemy
Step 7: The hero may hit rock bottom- black situation which will then turn into an exciting conclusion
Step 8: The hero takes possession of the treasure but his journey is not done yet.
Step 9: "The road back is often a chase scene"
Step 10: "The transformation" the hero faces a final ordeal before he is recognized as THE hero
This is the classic journey through heroism!

Here's a very interesting video that describes all these steps more clearly

Linda Segar goes on and talks about The healing myth, Combination Myths, Archetypes, "Mythic" problems and solutions and Application.

The Healing Myth is a myth of a hero that is broken physically, mentally or emotionally and sometimes all three and to become a whole and overcome this situation the hero might leave home and find a healing either through a journey or at the end of a journey.

Here is a short clip that portrays the Healing Myth in the movie "She's the Man"

Archetypes are typical characters we see in most stories. Such as the hero helpers , "Shadow Figure"- character opposite of the hero, positive or negative animal archetypes, "Trickster- figure that always causes chaos, "The sting"- devil...

Many stories and films use a combination of myths.

We have to find the myths in the stories and also add into our scripts some myths to deepen the story, giving it a new life as you find " The story within the story".
Answer for question number 4:
I Introduced the steps that transformed Scrooge from a non-hero to a Hero.

The mundane world: Scrooge is introduced. he's a cold hearted, tight-fisted and a greedy man who despises Christmas and all things that engender happiness. he refuses to help the poor and treats his clerk, Cratchit poorly as well.

The call to adventure: Scrooge spends Christmas eve alone and suddenly he's visited by a ghost in the image of his dead ex business partner, Jacob. He informs scrooge of his fate after he dies and suggests him to change his miserly ways.

Crossing the thresholds: In order for scrooge to understand everything Jacob tells him hell be visited by three ghost: The ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to come. scrooge must follow them in order for his future to be different.

The path of obstacles and trials:
First ghost shows him his childhood and how his father left him around Christmas time. He was unsocial and did not empathize with anyone, he was workaholic and lost his love, Belle for money.
 The second ghost shows him the happiness of his nephew and of his clerk's family the Cratchits. Although they don't have much they're very happy.
The last ghost shows him the happiness all the people would encounter from his death and the consequences of his action up to this point.

Master of 2 worlds: scrooge wakes up on chrismas morning and realizes he has a chance to change his ways. taking everything he saw he became an idol of kindness and generosity.

What is a myth?

“Creating the Myth” by Linda Seger starts off by her discussing an adventure we yearn for, or something to challenge ourselves to get.  The ideas may be different but in the long run, there is some common relation between this one specific thing we are looking for.  She goes on to elaborate on what this adventure is by saying a key factor are the heroes and these people might get whatever their heart desires.  She categorizes all of these different types of adventure stories as myths.  Explaining in paragraph 5 page 335 that “a myth is a story that is more than true.”  We like these types of stories because in a way we can relate to them, but can never have the full reality of it because it’s fictional.  There are some myths, she explains that are played by a fictional character and this enables the character to have many different roles and go through many different adventures.  She finishes up by talking about a mythical story that has a hero involved.  She is trying to show us that even though there is a hero in the picture, they too undergo many hardships and only in the end do they come out on a positive note. 

Question Four discusses how in many hero stories there is a first and second attempt at getting a task done, and only until the third and least likely candidate comes and shows that they are the one that can do the deed.  We see this same exact thing is “A Christmas Carol” were Scrooge needs to change his future before it is to late has to deal with the burden of other peoples debts on his shoulders.  A couple of ghosts visit him and show him where he went wrong and showed him all the good and fun times he missed out on.  You would think that he would instantly want to change once he saw all the fun he was missing out on, but it wasn’t until another ghost came and started showing him all the dark times that he started to change.  

Why we love Heroes

 Creating a Myth by Linda Seger shows how myths effect our everyday lives and our thinking. We try to live up to myths that are we told we have to. Such as marriages,having a perfect life, and being happy. We look up to myth mainly by what we see in movies, and we can relate to the problem. These mythological creatures are always hero's and we love a hero, whats a movie with out a hero. The story shows success at the end, finding true love , or gained respect,and this is the stuff we value.There are five characteristics in a myth such as ... 
!.The healing myth - when a character has to go through a struggle for there eyes to be open to the world.
2.Combination myths - are stories with a twist to it, something you were told not to do u did , or you tried to prove a point.
3.Archetypes - are characters that come along the characters journey.
4."Mythic" problems and solutions - changing the myth of a character into a better character or making them worst.
5.Application - gathering resourced from different point of views and putting it together, to show the myth in many ways.
 Question 4 - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, uses the healing myth . Dickens also uses mythic problems and solutions further into the novel, and archetypes. The healing myth Dickens used for his character were the ghost that came to see him every night. A ghost came to show him his wrongs he has been doing in the past. How his greediness has effected other peoples lives and still they were happy while he was miserable. The ghosts were the archetypes in the novel because they came along to help the main character. Mythic problem and solutions are going to come further in the story when scrooge is going to change for the better.

“Why Heroes Create a Fairy Tale For Us?”

Linda Seger is the author and a script consultant, who wrote this great article that expanded our views about “heroes” from myth, legends, and stories. As the author begins her work, she asks the question, ‘why do the characters of successful films based on universal stories?’
As all of us live on one earth our life stories, and experiences are being shared with one another. We watch movies that are universal, we want to watch them as it fulfills us even if the plot id the same.
These stories are the ones from our life because we see through them our daily life, or we want to find in there something rare what will catch our attention. Most of these stories are “hero” stories says the author of the article, we want to see more and more of this stories, as it gives us a desire to overcome our own problems.  And even sometimes we tend to celebrate to the victory with our own heroes, we put them as a role model fro us. “Hero” stories lead to the myths. Myth – the stories that are more than truth. Also, this so-called fairy tales are stories that each culture developing on its own way, and we believe in it, because once someone lived this way of life. Then each nation creates its own legends, which seem vey fancy.  Some of the myth is the stories that are told to us in a more broad way that includes some fantasy. However, going back to out history we may find people whose life journeys involved a significant effect on people, and they become heroes without any additional stories. We want to believe in myth because sometime we meet these characters in our dream and they inspire us. Myths, legends, and hero stories have a small root of some sort of a sort, which then develops into a storytelling. Like wise in the film “Star Wars” which was a blockbuster, people went on and on to see this movie, because they wanted the continuation of their heroes, it inspires them, it lights their emotions’ up, so they want to see what action will take a particular hero. The author says: “The journey toward heroism is a process”, this process makes the viewer to be interact with the film more and take their attention.
Linda Seger the author of the article then provides us with information about the hero myth:
·      Each hero begins his/her life journey of heroism from being just an ordinary person, who some times strives from something, which he/she can’t afford.
·      Suddenly, everything changes within the small period of time, something lights up that character.
·      Then the characters are uncertain about their actions, they might be afraid. But at some point they realized, that they need to do that that other people need their help and support.
·      After that, the hero receives help from an extraordinary person or unexpected place. Then they achieve the goal because of this help. In each fairy tale there is always three brothers, whose task to do certain things and as they fail to do so, the third brother who with the help of much older people who has special knowledge does it become a hero. The author provides us with make examples from the movie (Star Wars, and many others) as well as books. Usually, the inspiring person is some old man, who knows more.
·      Then after the hero is provided with useful information, he/she is ready to take the next step, to “transform into extraordinary person” and take big opportunity to set up some plan to save and survive.
·      Now is the part where the hero has the fight with an enemy or some devil, as in fairy tales it always appears as kindness vs. evil, and kindness always wins.
·      According to the author as everything moves to an exiting conclusion the hero experiences “black moments”, which means his life has only some seconds and he will die, suddenly the sun shines on his side and the rebirth occurs, he is now alive and ready to move on!
·      In the third act, the hero is ready to confront the obstacles but there is still the biggest confrontation, and at this point he is not a hero yet, everything is now only begins.
·      And it’s still not the end! The hero faces the real obstacle into which he has to put all the effort and the knowledge that he learned through out his journey, and then he/ she will be free and safe.
·      Finally at the end, after transformation hero reborn and they are changing, then they enter into the society and they take that award for their courage.
Sometimes the heroes task is not always to save someone or overcome the obstacle, it might be a treasure myth; but in all these stories the plot is the same that they have to through a certain process and transformation to be a hero.
Another evidence that the author brings is “The Healing Myth” in which she talks about healing stories where the main character might be broke what the author means by broke is that person can suffer from physical, emotional, and psychological sickness, and then they escape from their houses to find the balance between all these three. Most of the time love appears in this case as a “healing force and a reward” stated the author. The author brings examples from “Witness” where John Book suffers from inner problems or disorders, after a gunshot he begins to transform and made a balance in his life. The transformation begins, and he learns an important lesson and applies to his life.
As the article goes on Linda Sager raises another point of “Combination Myth” the hero stories might be combined with other stories ad other characters where they all come together as a winners, but the plot is the same as some mystery enters their life and they begin to change. Other example is that characters might be invisible, or dress differently, they don’t show their real quality of being a hero, they do it through someone.
Archetypes are the characters that appear in a myth stories, this characters fall into a different categories. As for each story the main persona is sometimes has some special amulets or some things that will keep them safe through out their journey. Sometimes it could be a shadow figure and an archetypes as an animals, who might be opposite of the hero and influence negatively on him, but most of the time they help heroes to overcome their obstacles. And to conclude this, in stories sometimes appears a trickster, who is fun and enjoyable, but makes some little distortions.
“Mythic” problems and solutions. As we all grew up reading or watching some myth in fairytale, they came part of us, part of our culture. Some of the filmmakers have a sense of doing good myth stories, and develop it our of “action-adventure” stories. However, some filmmakers fail to make connections between action-adventure with the hero him/herself, and audience is not interested in it. But the good producers can turn their film into great myth stories that become marketable.
To sum up all the words, the author is saying that it’s not always easy to find a myth or create a myth, because it should be connected with our own experience. Also, by using the right resource can help to succeed good results at the end. The most import is not to start with the myth itself it should develop naturally as the stories goes on.

Question #4.
Going back to the story of Charles Dickens “Christmas Carol”, the main character Scrooge lived his grumpy life in a very evil and sad ways, he never smiled nor helped people who needed his help, he was very greedy. One night on Christmas Eve his old friend’s ghost appeared in chains, and told the story of his life, that living in earth the a way Scrooge lives is same us covering yourself in chains, which you have to carry for the rest of you life as a phantom. Ghost Marley warns him that after the midnight three ghost will come to him, Scrooge was puzzled but eventually these ghost of Christmas past, present and future who taught him a good lesson. It appears as a myth, in which these phantoms made the main character invisible, and Scrooge was able to talk with these ghosts. Eventually he learns good lessons out of these three phantoms, and transformation begins. He changes and at the end of the story we see him as a generous and happy man.

Real life super heroes

In the article creating a myth, Linda Seger is basically saying that to create a myth it has to come from a true story. It is a fact of something that happened at some point and It gives us a sense of accomplishment because we can identify with it. A hero myth is characterized as so: A hero is always the person that is least noticed by people. Often something happened to them that changed them for the transformation to begin. Before any hero is up to the challenge they are insecure, nervous, and afraid. After the transformation occurs and they up for the challenge, the hero is ready to explore the unknown. Once they take on the challenge of being a hero a number of obstacles begin to show up to stop them from accomplishing their goals. Most of this challenges comes from powerful forces that battle the hero to the point that the hero is almost defeated. In the essay we also found the healing myth which talks about, the hero going to a foreign place where he gets heal and gain all of his powers back. Just like when we go on vacation to regain the mental, physical, spiritual balance. Archetypes is a important character to the hero because they are the ones that helps the hero to conquer his goals. The author let  us know that we need to recognize what the myth of the story, and also find out if the story is relate it to us.

Christmas Carol is a myth because we can identify with scrooge. We all have dealt with a greedy person one time or an other. We can also identify with having a change of heart. Christmas Carol is a hero myth because scrooge is a person not not noticed, lonely who has something happens to him that causes him to attempt to change his life, so a transformation will take place. He meets a ghost that shows him how wrong he has been living. Scrooge then takes up the challenge of changing his life and battling his enemy greed.

What makes a hero, a hero?

                Creating the Myth by Linda Seger is an article about experiences. She claims we all have similar experiences with the same wishes and wants, somewhere along those lines. We might not have the same exact experiences but they’re all pretty close. That’s why we relate to films when we watch them all the time because it’s like we’re learning experiences or we can connect to experiences that we’ve already had.
                Then we have those films and stories about heroes. A hero is usually the person in the story that will see a problem and find a way to overcome it for their benefit or the benefit of other people. We can connect to hero films sometimes because there is a little hero in all of us. They might not be mythical ones where we slay dragons and stuff but overcoming tough problems to be the better person at the end of the day counts as being a hero. So is making the effort to do the right thing. Myths are not always true but they start from something that was an experience. Think of them as exaggerated stories. People still can relate to them because the story had to come from somewhere, it’s just not 100% accurate. But people will still feel like they’ve experiences something like it before.
                Question 4 says “In any journey, the hero usually receives help, and the help often comes from unusual sources.” In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Scrooge is about to be in trouble for collecting money and not using it to benefit him or anyone else. He has no idea of the fate that would arrive to him until his ex accountant’s ghost, Marley shows up and warns him of his fate, being bound in money boxes and shackles unless he sees 3 spirits and changes his ways. The 3 spirits then come to visit him. The Ghost of Christmas Past, reminds him how much kinder and happier he used to be but also shows him how sad and lonely his past way. The Ghost of Christmas Present, shows him how Fred tries to speak kindly of Scrooge during dinner when people are calling him names and showing dislike. Then he sees Bob Cratchit’s family, and Bob is thanking Scrooge for letting him take the day off and giving him money for the food on the table. The wife doesn’t think it’s enough and his son Tiny Tim is very sick. Scrooge feels bad for Tiny Tim and wonders if he will die and the spirit tells him that he will if things don’t change. That means that Scrooge has to give Bob a higher paycheck so that he can afford proper healthcare so Tiny Tim can live. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, is basically the Grim Reaper, he just shows Scrooge that nobody cares about him after he dies. People say that they won’t come unless there’s food and the people that are there when he’s dead are just there to steal from him. They’re so thankful that he was so cruel to people in his past life that nobody cares enough to notice all of his stuff being stolen, including the clothes he’s wearing. Seeing all of this, Scrooge doesn’t want to be the type of person that nobody cares about and he also doesn’t want to be cursed with chains and shackles like Marley. So he changes his ways, he donates a turkey to Bob’s family, gives Bob a paycheck increase, starts saying Merry Christmas to everyone and just treats everyone better with kindness and generosity. Now that he has the Christmas spirit, he is saved but the unusual sources that helped him become the “hero” in the end was Marley, and the three spirits.

The Formation of a Hero

In the article "Creating the Myth" by Linda Steger, she talks about how a myth is created and the different types of myths there are. In her explanation she also talks about how a hero is created. She describes three different types of myths. The first is the hero myth, where the hero starts as a nobody and later transforms themselves into a hero with the help of others. The second is the healing myth on which the hero overcomes an inner and outer wound. The third myth is the combination myth, where more then one myth is put together.

The type of myth that relates to the story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is the hero myth. Ebenezer Scrooge, who is the main character, transforms from an unhappy grumpy old man who does not care about others into a sweet caring and giving person by the end of the story. In order for him to reach the end result he was helps by the spirits, Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come. All the spirits help him one by one to turn him into a nice sweet caring and giving person by the end.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What makes it a myth

In “Creating the Myth” an article written by Linda Seger, Seger explains her thoughts on what it takes for a story to be classified as a myth along with many films that demonstrate the hero role that she talks about. She says that “The hero myth has specific story beats that occur in all hero stories. They show who the hero is, what the needs, and how the story and character interact in order to create a transformation." 
In most of the cases and films Seger presented to us most of the heroes that were introduced most of them started with almost nothing and a blue attitude, she then says that some point in time the heroes in all of the stories would meet with someone or being forced to find another route to how they want to achieve there goal or change what has be solved.
This quote especially would be relative to the story of Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” a book written by Charles Dickens in which a very grouchy, uptight and unhappy man is visited by ghosts in response to his poor behavior and attitude, enlightened and surprised he sees that he must stop his current ways.
Due to the fact that Scrooge is being told what he needs to do  and being told that, without change doom will be certain. Segers statement about Characters needed help for transformation is a perfect example on how this story can be in her words a “Myth”. 

Question 4:
"In any journey, the hero usually receives help, and the help often comes from unusual sources.”

In the Lion king samba is a lion cub, son of the king of the jungle Mufasa. In the story his dad dies and he was told to leave by his evil uncle Scar. After that he was at the darkest point in his life. A couple of days out on his own, complete strangers come and help him out of his dull attitude and sadness. In the end he grows strong and smart and takes back what was taken by him and becomes king.

We are all Heroes!

     In Linda Seger's essay, "Creating the Myth," she writes that myths are common stories at the root of our universal existence (par. 5). She continues to say that myths are "more than true" (par 6), because it is a story that connects and speaks to us all. In every myth there is a hero and there is a given pattern or process that all myth heroes follow.
     When we meet the hero, it is usually in a laid back setting before a problem rears its head needing a solution. This sets up the hero to start the journey where s/he meets with others who will be of help. This is usually an unlikely source which causes the hero to step up and take on the challenge. The transformation begins as the hero goes through tests and obstacles which can be near "death experience" (Hero myth point 7). However, the hero emerges out of this and lays claim of the prize as the enemy/ rival is vanquished.
     The story line behind "Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, is also a myth. First and foremost it is a story that connects and speaks to us. The hero, Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean spirited rich man. He does not think anything of Christmas and sees no reason why anyone else should be merry. This is seen in the conversation he has with his nephew who is happily married and the exact opposite of him.
     Scrooge is visited by three ghosts after his dead partner appeared to him and warned him of his ways. He [Scrooge]initially wants to deal with all the three ghosts at once but this does not materialize. These unlikely visitors, the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas of the future are his helpers. They show him what was, is and will happen in his life.
     The challenges thrown at him are to visit his nephew for Christmas dinner, be helpful to his assistant Bob Crachit who has a crippled boy called Tiny Tim and five other children and generally use his wealth for the betterment of the society at large especially to help eradicate ignorance and want. Scrooge is so relieved when he wakes up to find himself on his bed with all the bed posts in place, the curtains and rings as well. He is determined to be a changed man and lives up to all the challenges having realized he has very limited time.
     As I read other blogs, I am reminded of Stephen King's book "The Green Mile" which was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks (Paul Edgecomb). He was the boss of the death row at the Cold Mt. Penitentiary nick named "Green Mile." A level headed fellow who discovered the healing powers of inmate John Coffey.Coffey was on death row for a crime he had not committed, yet another inmate, William "Wild Bill" Wharton had done this crime. Coffey healed Edgecomb of Urinary Tract Infection, Melinda, the wardens wife, of brain tumor and sent this disease to an homophobic, mean and disliked officer Percy Wetmore who later shot Wharton. Edgecomb  could not help Coffey who was ready to die because he was tired of the misery in the earth. He was electrocuted but Edgecomb was narrating the story at 104years- longevity after the healing, wondering when he was going to die!

                                                                Works Cited
Seger, Linda."Creating the Myth." Reading Pop Culture: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Jeff Ousborne. Boston:

Bedford St Martin's, 2013. 334-345 Green Mile. Ed. Janet Maslin .New York. Web 22 Jan. 2014

cleansing of oneself

           In the article “Creating the Myth” by Linda Seger it talks about what myths are and what makes a myth. She briefly discusses the "Hero Myth" which consists of ten things that identify a hero in a story. Seger goes on to talk about the "Healing Myth", "Combination Myths”, “Archetypes", and "'Mythic' Problems and Solutions". All of the components that Seger describes give a small image of what a hero is and the significance that the hero has on the story. 
            In the article it talks about the healing myth which can be connected to the novel “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. A healing myth is a universal experience where you have a psychological need for rejuvenation and balance in your life. When speaking of being broken and in need of cleansing of oneself there are several ideas connecting with the category. It can either be a physical, emotional or a psychological thing or rather can be all in one combo.   

            In the book “A Christmas Carol” it is about how Seven years after the death of his business partner Jacob Marley, a miserable old man named Ebenezer Scrooge hates happiness, love, family, generosity, and Christmas. At the night of Christmas Eve, Scrooge's former partner  Marley visits him in the form of a ghost. Marley's spirit has been wandering since he died as punishment for being consumed with business and not with people while alive. He has come to warn Scrooge and perhaps save him from the same fate. He tells him Three Spirits will come to him over the next three nights. Each night there is a different ghost, one was past, the other present, and the last was future. All combined after having experienced those three nights with each ghosts, scrooge learns that he must alter his way of life or shall I say rejuvenate himself. The healing myth is a connection because When visiting places with the ghosts Mr. Scrooge sees how he had a loss of love for others, how he was not so connected to family when they tried putting themselves out there for him and got nothing in return, he was greedy with everyone when it came to money, and he avoided anything to do with Christmas as well bringing him to the conclusion that something must be done about the whole situation. 

Hidden Intellectualism Reference Marilyn Monroe

 In "Hidden Intellectualism" by Gerald Graff he speaks about street smarts vs book smarts. Throughout the article he explains how street smarts can be more valid then book smarts.  Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, and later on her name was changed to Norma Jeane Baker. Monroe was born in Los Angeles in 1926 raised by a single mother with an illness. Monroe had a hard childhood going in an out of foster homes, but later on in life she was successful. Became a very popular pop icon ,and got her stage name "Marilyn Monroe" from Modeling. She became known as a sex symbol, and a played in a couple of movies. Monroe was married twice first to Joe DiMaggio , and lastly Arthur Miller.Marilyn Monroe then died at the age of 36 from overdose, no one knows if it was suicide or a mistake. To support his claim he used Marilyn Monroe as a reference on page 305. Graff quoted "the symbolic triumph of geek over jock suggested the way the wind was blowing". This quote is showing geek as book smart and jock as the street smart. Haas quotes "Marrying the intellectual Miller appeared to stem from her deep-seated need to be taken seriously".Marilyn was taken as joke when she was married to a geek she wasn't seen as a sex symbol anymore. This relates to Graff because he quotes " I was desperate for the approval of the hood..[It] was not at all good to be book-smart". Graff wasn't excepted to smart in his neighborhood his image wasn't taken serious.

Haas, Elizabeth. "Monroe, Marilyn (1926-1962)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 3. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 399-401. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 21 Jan. 2014.

Myths in A Christmas Carol

Hey Class!

As we discussed in class today, be sure to read Linda Seger's "Creating the Myth" in Reading Pop Culture. For your blog, summarize the reading and answer Question 4 in reference to A Christmas Carol.

Seger mentions Joseph Campbell's Hero Cycle, which I've included here as a visual!

Keep in mind that in the event classes are cancelled, I still expect your posts. Please, also remember to read Stave V of A Christmas Carol for Thursday. However, if classes are cancelled tomorrow, we'll discuss a new due date for your essays.

Update: Obviously, class was not cancelled. For those who missed class, here are my incredible board drawings explaining how Moses, Superman, and Hercules are archetypal heroes:

Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?

Monday, January 20, 2014

James Cameron Avatar 3D Technology

 In “The Art of Immersion: Fear of Fiction” roses claim is that our power of narrative, our life, and the way we communicate has changed because of the today's advanced technology. Rose suggests that films new 3D technology has increased the power of narrative. Avatar that was made by the Canadian filmmaker James Cameron is one of the best fantasy films of all times. The imaginary figures in avatar are brilliantly created to appear like a “human being”. It’s as though you are part of the film. Immersed within it not realizing what is real and what is fiction.
Cameron Studied art during his childhood and later physics at California State University of Fullerton. He worked several jobs including machinist and truck driver. Some movies had inspired him to try his hand at movie making as well as building his own production company.
The entertainment industry remains to be one of the most popular industries in our society. With its high popularity and increasing consumer demands there is a high level of competition between Miramax, Sony Corporation, Fox Entertainment and Paramount Pictures. As a result of the high level of competition, the ability to use technological advancement is a major factor in reaching success. Companies are looking to change rather than stabilize to beat their competition. Using computers to make human like figures or special effects has been used for decades in the movies industry. Special effects gurus like George Lucas in Star Wars and James Cameron in Titanic and Terminator Two has taken the special effects to a higher level. These two geniuses have dazzled us with amazing films of spaceship battles, metal liquid people and world destroying waves all through computer generations. Recent box office hits like the Matrix and the Toy Story have used special effects that have never been used before. With the increasing ability to use computers in films, directors are looking to the day when they don't have to use actors in movies anymore.
Movie goers have fewer reasons to go the movies today due to home theatres and movie on demands. Box office hits steadily increased, however tickets sales have not. Studios and filmmakers pledged their allegiance to 3D because it cannot be replicated in home theatres or in movies on demand. As of 2009, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation and Disney have stated that they will release all their films in 3D. 3D has been used in NASA and used by some scientists as a serious visualization technology that has just been used by the entertainment industry.

Works Cited:
"James Cameron". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 20 Jan. 2014
Rose, Frank. “The Art of Immersion: Fear of Fiction.”
                     Reading Pop Culture A Portable Anthology, Ed. Jeff Ousborne, Boston: Bedford                       St. Martin’s, 2013. 366-370.print.