Monday, May 7, 2012


The Internet is probably one of the best sources of information out there for people. You can find nearly everything online. Everything from reviews on books and movies to watch your favorite show and listening to music. The Internet has everything you will need on it. Besides it being a good source of information, you can shop on it. Some people view it as a bad thing because a lot of people like to spend their time online playing games or messing around on social networks like Facebook but there are so many things online that it is both good and bad. In Popular Cultures, we watched a video done by Steven Johnson about how popular culture is affecting us. He believes that the popular culture today like those in games, things on the internet, and shows on TV are not 'dumbing us down'. What he means is that many people see popular culture has been making people more dumb. Johnson believes that this is untrue. He gives a very good point when talking about how his seven year old nephew and Johnson were playing Sim City and trying to figure out why one part of the Sim City was more run down then the other parts of the Sim City. His nephew pointed out that Johnson needed to lower money rates in that part of the city. Johnson starts to think about how popular culture is making us smarter and more knowledgeable when face with a real life problem.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


News comes in all shapes and forms. Starting from the printing press to today's internet, people always wanted to know what was going on in the current culture. It's too bad that some people who work for the media have a way of pushing their ideas into a certain subject or giving us useless details about a crime or a sporting event. They also seem to have a way with repeating themselves over and over again. The only time I ever wish the news is when I want to know what the weather is doing. Most of the time, I learn what is going on though Facebook, Word of Mouth, or a news website. I don't read the newspaper because the articles are long at times and are boring. If I do read the paper, I most always end up reading an article that caught my interest or the horticulture articles because I want to learn a better way with keeping plants or working in a garden. There are many other ways to get news other then the internet, TV, or newspaper. Some people like to listen to the radio and hear the news that way. I guess this is a good way to hear what is going on when you're always on the go. These are all good forms of news and it depends on the age group and where they either read or hear it from.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inconceivable! Cow!

In Popular Cultures class today, we discuss how the movies Star Wars has change filming and we discuss how movies like Star Wars had an impact on today's movies. Movies like Harry Potter, Twister, and the Titanic are just to name a few. Even if I did not see when the movie the Princess Bride did not first came out, I saw it when I was like six or something like that and for some reason, I remember being afraid of the giant rats and some short guy always yelling Incovceivable. I probably remember the movie Twister better because it has been my favorite movie since I first saw it when my dad bought it home. I recall wearing out the tape and the VCR because we watch it so much. Ever since then, whenever it rain or storm, I always had to watch Twister and scare myself. My family and I would always laugh about how we would turn on that movie whenever it was storming and talk about how some of the movie was film in Iowa. This was one of the very few movies that I would have to say that my dad and I would enjoy together. This movie has always good memories surrounding it. One being that one of my cousins whom I use to babysit for give my husband and I, the tape in a Victoria Secret bag on our wedding day and it is funny that we still have it.  So when I'm ask what my favorite movie is, I probably would always say Twister.
The movie Twister had some enjoyable jokes in it. I always thought it was funny how the two main characters were always at each other's throats but slowly fell back in love with each other as they chase (or being chase by) a tornado. At the time, that the movie Twister come out, there was another movie called Tornado that wasn't as popular as Twister. I had seen bites and pieces of it but had not enjoy it as much as I had with the movie Twister. Tornado was a little more bloody then I care for. I do not care for bloody and horror like films. I know that a lot of people like horror films but I can not stand them because of the bloodshed or because of how the horror in the movies do not make sense to me. Why do you want to scare yourselves is probably what I'm always asking when I hear of a new horror movie coming out.

With the movie Twister, many people from my generation had become interested in how the weather and maybe even the technology use in that movie work. There are several people I know who go out in the bad weather and chase after tornados. These types of people who do this have told me that Twister was a good way to get interested in that type of work. Whenever I got together with friends and if it is a stormy looking day like today, I will always watch the movie Twister. So tonight is a good night for my all time favorite movie and time to watch the cows fly, and maybe if there is time, I'll watch Westley take on Andre the giant or go up against giant rats and shieking eels to protect Buttercup. 'As you wish.'

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reality TV

Reality TV. Other then watching bits and pieces of some random reality show, there is not much that I know about it. Once in a while, I get interested into it just because I saw the first show of the new season and am very curious about it. Many of those shows use original people instead of professional actors. Other shows only feature professional actors or musicians. Those original people who are involved in the random reality show may act out, goal oriented, or the people are push to their limits. Some reality TV take place in exotic locations or places while others take place in a large city, designing and making clothes or performing in talent reality shows like Dancing with the Stars or American Idol. Another type of reality show is the everyday life or shows that involve some kind of a dating game.
Chuck Klosterman says in his book that Americans are 'without even trying, American TV watchers have developed an amazingly, sophisticated view of postmoderism, even if they would never use the word postmodern.' Postmodernism means to view a social and cultural reality is a human conversation. It refers to an art moment and characteristics are selective use of earlier style elements that opposite social or psychological depth, blurring between pop culture and sophisticated culture.  
When it comes to reality TV, I don't know much about it since I don't watch too much of it, but when I do I do see things like at times that people who are not famous can be very dramatic and do act out at times. It is always interesting to watch when those same people are force to take on a new challenge and interesting to see what their reaction to this new challenge. Sometimes they like it, sometimes they do not.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rap or Country

Rap or country? That was our main focus this week in Popular Cultures class where we discuss how very different those two genres of music are. After reading Chuck Klosterman's Toby Over Moby and Brent Staples' short article on How Hip-Hop Music Lost Its Way and Betrayed Its Fans, I thought about how those two genres are so different from one another. Let's start with rap music. First off, and in my point of view, I personally don't like rap music and only have heard bits and pieces of it while changing the radio station in my car. I don't understand what the rappers are trying to say in that music and I know that I don't know much about Eminem or who is who in the whole rapping music community. Much of the time when I do find that I'm listening to it, willfully or not, I find that it gives me a headache because I'm trying to catch what is being said. To me, rap music is not music at all. To me, it's just someone screaming about drugs, racing, or who is killing off who. In How Hip-Hop Music Lost Its Way and Betrayed Its Fans, Brent Staples writes that much of the rap music today is encouraging rappers to say something in their music which will provoke rappers and/or real world gangs to do drugs or take part in an all out gang war that will end in one or more deaths. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. I don't care for rap music or listen to it but know people who do and do enjoy it. I am unsure if it causes violence among rappers or anyone else so if you enjoy it, that's fine. Music is music and rap music is just that.

Now country on the other hand, I do enjoy. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, or Reba, but I know that I do enjoy Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley. I have been enjoy county music probably ever since my mom first turn on the car radio. It was probably the only thing we ever listen to while in the car and I later find that I got a bit tired of it whenever I was with her and wanted to listen to something else but I soon discover the use of old personal hand held CD players and had a wonderful little collection of pop CDs like the Backstreet Boys, a few Now CDs, and Britney Spears' very first CD (when she was still a levelheaded kind of girl and not the airhead that she is today). Of course, my little collection of CDs grow over the years. I enjoyed the stories that are being told in country music. Country music almost always has some kind of story, sad or happy, silly or serious, love or hate. So between rap or country music, I think I would pick country music over rap.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Music and Games

Who doesn't like music or games? Who listens to music while playing games? I know that I do. Maybe it is because music helps me focus or come up with new ideas and games just give me something to focus on or work at overcoming a new challenge. Some games help on improving certain skills like driving a car or figuring out a certain problem. Games can basicly teach us new and developing skills that we could use in later life. I look forward to nearly every Sunday to play a card game called Hand and Foot with my parents and husband. I know that Hand and Foot isn't a very common game like War or some kind of video game but for some reason we end up enjoying ourselves, even if we are not winning. Video games are something that I know very little about. I do enjoy the Wii games that involve movement like Just Dance or the Wii Sports. Those are the only ones that I really take the time to play.
Games like the Sims or Farmville are very popular. Sims allow you to create a lifestyle that you wanted and live it out while Farmville shows what it is like to live on a farm and go about taking care of animals or crops by allowing them time to grow on the game. Many games, either online, video, board game, or a game of cards will allow us to enact with other people. People can get together for a board, card, or Video game just for fun while online gamers can chat with friends and other players while playing a favorite game.
Music seems to add something to video games by playing dark music when the game takes a turn in the dark direction or playing happy music when you beat a certain level and move on to the next challenge. Music in real life has an impact on everything and everyone. People are always listening to it on their way to work or school in their car or listening to it on their Ipod while at the gym or taking a walk. There are so many videos on Youtube where people go and mash up different types of music or videos, making them very interesting to watch. A lot of these type of videos are illegal to do.
Many are deleted off of Youtube due to copyright or some other reason. Other times, the mash up videos are seen as few advertisment that makes viewers go onto Itunes and download a very similiar piece of music because they heard it on Youtube first. Both games and music have a long history of keeping people entertained for many reasons. We are seen as a Bootleg Culture when it comes to music or TV. We like to mix together new ideas like putting a popular pop song to a favorite show. We will take a certain show and change the audio to it, making a mash up. Again, those are illegal but people still do them and for some reason it is helping the music and movie industries.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Violence and Masculinity

As I sit here and watch my husband play his new video game 'Batman: Arkham City, I can't help but notice all of the violence that is taking place in it. I have to laugh some about how much of it can related to what we are learning in Popular Cultures about how men are taught to be seen as those tough guys. In a way, I'm marching it up against my hubby, the game, and how every time he can't beat a super villian like Mr. Freeze or the Joker, he just keeps on trying kind of like how men should 'never give up'. Now I really don't see my hubby as a tough guy, more like a big soft teddy bear, but he may say differently.
So what is the deal with men and violence? Why do men like things that go boom at the end of every movie? Here is a simple and yet a somewhat stupid answer, they just do. Men want to be seen as tough people and not as 'girls'. Men like to walk around, appearing tough and like to be in control of things. What we really need to think about is how women can be violent as well but it doesn't cause a reaction as much as it would with men.
I'll use another example towards my thoughts on that. A few years ago, I work at a local HyVee in the not so great part of town, when two young black women had an all out catfight over some guy in the parking lot in my line. That being my second week of just starting there, I was a little shock about how those two women behaved and was a little rattled by it all. I have never seen anything like that before, having come from a small town and never really knowing what life in the big city was like. Since then, I have quit that job after two years of working there and not really happy with it, I ended up getting married and moving. 

Anyway, men and violence. They are taught to behave like tough guys and even see women as the 'weaker sex' though beating women down, either though words or hitting them. I believe that this is both true and untrue. At a young age, boys are taught to act like tough guys. This could lead to violence in schools and school shootings like the most recent one in Ohio. Many of the shootings always had a male student or at times, there were male teachers who would cause the violence.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Importance of Sports in America

So just how important are sports in America? I believe that sports are very important. Sports allow children and adults to get outside or inside, depending on the sport. Sports have a great impact on how we live our lives. The focus of sports on children can help with their self-confidence and they can learn to work as a team that will later on help them in the workforce. Sports have an impact on everyone from celebrities to the government.

In movies, (a lot of the time, it's war and crime movies), sports are use to discuss and plan what is going to happen next. The impact is mostly made on boys and how men are shown in the movie. Boys are made to believe that they can't act like 'girls', can't cry, or act hurt. The same thing is seen in sports where, like football, the players will keep playing even if they are hurt. This way, it seems that boys are being taught that they have to grow up to act like the hero of the story, either in movies or in sports. Boys are made to believe that only boys can be seen as the leader or the hero of the story. Boys who are seen as 'girls' would always get in the way.  With movies and TV shows, they always seem to be referring to some kind of sport like football or baseball.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Who doesn't love Valentine's Day? Okay. Other then Chuck Klosterman and I'm not saying that he doesn't at least enjoy it at some point but who knows since this is coming from someone who has work in a floral store during one of the most craziest times to be a florist? I can't say that I agree with Klosterman but I'm not totally disagreeing with what he has to say. He had a lot of interesting things to say and everyone is entitled to their own opinion right? So the big Heart Day come and went and I enjoyed not having to work in a floral store since returning to school. I enjoyed it but sometimes I think that some people just love the drama of working in a floral store during Valentine's Day or another busy time for them, either a wedding or several are taking place or it's Mother's Day. I'm saying that I don't like Valentine's Day, I'm saying that sometimes it can get on my nerves if I'm not working in a place that I am comfortable with.
Right. So Klosterman had good points about what he was saying in his book about love and romance. He makes good points about several things like how people want love to be like that from a movie or some book. Personally, I don't think I would like having a vampire as a boyfriend, but that is my opinion and I just happen to hate anything to do with Twilight and it's getting off subject just a little. I can say that I agree with Klosterman's idea on fake love because in a way, I use to think like that until I decided that if I do find love then I was just going to let that happen and look at that, now I'm married and very glad that I let go of that little hope of mine about getting love from like that in movies or books.
To Klosterman, it seems that the media is getting a little bit carried away. It is nearly impossible to fall in love because most of the time, it is fake love. It is normal to have people measure relationship up against people in movies or in books. Looking back at that now, I think 'thank god that I don't do that anymore'. Even if the book I'm reading has something to do with vampires or werewolves (I'm always looking for a good werewolf book and sometimes vampires are in it but I don't like the Twilight characters. They seem too fake) or something like that, I'm glad that I really don't think like that anymore. 
I totally support Heart Day because it is one of the busiest times of the year for florists, places like Olive Garden, and other places for several reasons. One, I enjoy the holiday and making Valentine cookies with my mom and sister and two, spending time with my husband. And three, hearing news about who among my friends are now engage and knowing that it is not fake love but very true romance and love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Advertising & How It Affects Women

Stopping to think about this has always lead me to the same thought, why in the world do we as women look at one ad, either on TV or in some fashion magazine and think that we need to look more like the woman in it who looks more plastic then real? I know that I have try a few of the products but after using them I find that I wasn't truly happy with how they turn out. So anyway, back to the plastic 'beautiful' women in the magazines, on TV, or on some billboard. Nearly all of them are not real to begin with. The pictures for magazines or some billboard had been crop either the same person to make her more beautiful, or several pictures of several different women had been toss together and 'fix' together to make one more beautiful, but very unreal person. It's like taking several different puzzles pieces, throwing them altogether and trying to create a whole new but very different puzzle.
We really don't take the time to think about how advertisement has affected us. In 2008, I took a class that was for those going into retail business. This class involve having to chose two 'bad' commercials or ads, and two 'good' commercials or ads and explain why we decided on those. This lead to taking more noticed of how advertising affected the world and how to get more people's interest. Of course, this wouldn't help me out now since I'm going though a career change but it still has me thinking about it every time that I see a billboard, an ad in a favorite magazine, an ad on Facebook or some other website, and TV. I had not really pay much attention to how advertisement seem to 'cut' us women down and make us seem more like objects then people.
Why do they do it? That seems like a good question. I believe that it targets women to cause them to buy the products and tried to be more like the 'plastic' or 'computerize' women in magazines. And then there are those ads that make women appear as a beer bottle or women doing impossible things that involves some of them bending backwards or appearing as a mermaid. This also affects young girls by making them appear shy, mysterious, or having them believing that they will look like this when they grow up.
While this doesn't appear to affect the male counterparts of our world, it does. Men and boys are also lead to believe that this is how women and girls should look or behave. Many pictures of men in magazines appeared to the 'strong' and silent' type and many magazines I have seen with men in them, has many of them either shirtless and with six pack, or either with some kind of new truck or beer. In this world today, we need to take the time to think about what is real and what is not when it comes to ads as well as do we really need what they are selling to look like this?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Technology & Sexuality

After reading Ten Seconds to Love for Popular Cultures class, we discuss the ideas on how porn, technology, and sex have an impact on our way of life. Talking about it seem a little weird and it wasn't a subject that I'm totally not comfortable with discussing. I had always figure that it what was left behind close doors should stay behind close doors.  So anyway in class, we discuss ideas on how technology has change porn. Porn started out in Ancient Greece, with them creating statues and paintings of nude people. It has been around for ages and ever since the Ancient Greeks and the printing press, it has been going on. Pornography is the depiction of erotic behavior as in pictures or writing, that is intended to cause sexual excitement. In Ancient Greek, it means to write about prostitutes. Again, not a subject that I'm not totally comfortable with. So from the printing press, porn move on to magazines, film, and to the internet. It is really hard not onto the internet and search a random idea like a recipe without having something about porn just pop up there. Very annoying at times, too. I really don't care to see anything like that when I'm looking for a recipe for a taco casserole while online.
Internet seems to play a big part with porn and so do sex tapes. Having never seen a sex tape and have plans to never will, I can't tell you a lot about them, other then coming across them written about in books that I have read and hearing them talk about here and there. In Popular Cultures, we read an article called Ten Seconds to Love. It is about what the author thinks of sex, sex tapes, and technology by discussing and comparing Pam Anderson and Marilyn Monroe. He goes into detail about how different those two women are and how similar they are like who they had married, dated, or divorce. Those two women are very different, having live different lives in Hollywood and time periods.
For some reason, I pictured Marilyn Monroe as more of a down to earth type of person and Pam Anderson more of the nose in the air type but that is only because they live in two very different time periods and since they both act in different firms or TV shows, nothing about their private lives are similar. Pam Anderson is a mom and more carefree while Marilyn Monroe had an early death, but had a great career in film. And I am sure that men from Marilyn Monroe had very creative thoughts when they saw her. The same could probably be said about Pam Anderson.
So anyway, technology has change the way sex and porn is seen. From Ancient Greece to the printing press to the internet, no matter how it is seen online, in a magazine, or in a film, it is going to be around for a long time as annoying as it can be or how much those who view it can get in trouble for it. Whatever the reason, I don't support the idea of porn and stand by what I said, what is behind close doors, should stay behind close doors. I don't need to see that online but now I have a better understanding since reading the articles about it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Are we as Americans truly happy about anything? Yes and no are the answers that came to my mind. First off, we get a new car and we are happy, we get a new puppy and we are happy, but really how long does that take and really last? Maybe up to a few hours. One minute we could be saying that we love our new car and the next whining about how slow it is warming up in the winter (I know that this is true because my car takes forever to warm up in the winter) or cooling off in the summer. Really, let's face it, we as Americans are not ever truly happy about ANYTHING! We could say how much we love life and then the next being bum out because our favorite cat die or something like that. Take the time to look around, people.
There are so many ups and downs to life. How are we ever happy then? Easy. We look forward to the good things in life. Yes. We can put up with the bad things like having to deal with a relative or a friend passing away but we can get over that even if it takes us all 7 steps of grief and loss and then some. We learn to cope with it and then go on with our lives. Life happens and we all have to learn how to deal with it. I was once told that I was too lay-back about life but I can't change who I am, but I guess I'm getting a little off subject. Once I get started on something important to me, I really don't stop until I get bored with the idea or it is finish.
So anyway, happiness. Am I happy? You bet I am! I am happily married to a great guy. I have a great, yet crazy family whom drive me crazy more times then I can court and I have great friends whom at times can be just as crazy as my family but I really don't care because they are my friends. I am happy about a lot of things. Am I unhappy? At times, yes I am, but really who isn't? So there! :)   -Brittany