Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Costumes This Year Are Pushing It

As Halloween gets closer, the advertisements for costumes come flooding in through the mail, on TV, on the internet, basically everywhere. Due to the serious events that have been happening throughout the world such as Ebola and ISIS, costume companies are trying to stay current with the news. But when costumes like "Sexy Ebola Nurse" and "ISIS Princess" are created, is it too much?

To the left is a picture of the "Sexy Ebola Nurse" costume. It is composed of a cut up hazardous material suit, a sports bra, blue gloves, and a mask. I think that costumes like these should not be sold. People are dying in Africa of this horrible virus and costume companies are making a joke out of it. The worst part of this is that these products are selling.

I think that although costume companies are trying to make a profit, it is completely inappropriate and disrespectful of them to make and sell these costumes. They should have more respect for the issue rather than making a profit off of it. Do you think that this is "too much?" Even though no one can really stop them, should they sell these costumes?

Uniformed in Uniform

This photo was taken of the Delta Company 2-10 Basic Training Graduation at the Military base in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. My brother is actually among the masses in this picture. Today was the graduation from B.I.T for the four platoons of this company. I took this photo near the end of the graduation ceremony when all of the privates were walking in these lines around the base. This was their final stopping point in front of the barracks. I really like this picture because of the clean lines and contrasts of color that are shown. The plainness of the background color really makes the people in the picture stand out. Also, the uniformity of all the soldiers really intrigued me because I could not tell which one was my brother. These four lines of people contain about 200 people. 200 people of different background, gender, ethnicity, and upbringing. I feel that this photo really shows patriotism at its finest because these brave people joined the National Guard to fight for their country and its freedom. It is interesting to me how they all look the same because although every one of those soldiers are different, they are coming together to fight as one and I think that is symbolized by the uniformity in the picture. 

Top Paid Actor vs Top Paid Actress

Robert Downey Jr vs Angelina Jolie. These household actors were named Forbes' top paid actor and actress of 2014. Both extremely talented, both very successful. The only difference one is female and 45 million dollars.

According to Forbes, Downey from June 2013-2014 made 75 million dollars in earnings while Jolie only made 30 million. Both Jolie and Downey are very talented actors and have made a name for themselves in the entertainment industry. Jolie on the top paid actor's list would have placed 6th next to Leonardo DiCaprio. Because the gap between the amount of net payment is so substantial, this should raise some questions. 

This also connects to the equal pay bill because for one dollar made by a man a woman gets 77 cents. This applies to the entertainment industry because the inequality is clearly shown by Forbes Top Paid Actor and Actress List. Why is it that men get paid more than women for this profession? Is the entertainment buisness dominated by men? Is it because movies with male protagonists sell more tickets than movies that have female protagonists? Do plot lines that follow male characters appeal to the general public more than a plot that follows a female character therefore leading to more box office sales?

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Just Like Animals"

"Baby I'm preying on you tonight, hunt you down eat you alive, just like animals." Whether you've heard the catchy tune or not, the Maroon 5 song, "Animals" music video has gone viral on Youtube with an impressive 35.5 million views since its release 4 weeks ago. The video follows the lead singer, Adam Levine, stalking a girl all around town and takes it to very questionable measures. The girl in the video is his wife and supermodel, Behati Prinsloo. The video is quite graphic showing discomforting images, watch to your own discretion. Here is the video down below.

Levine is portrayed as a butcher who works at a meat shop who sees this girl and is immediately captivated by her. He becomes obsessed as he takes pictures of her everywhere, even when she is asleep (which is super creepy). The use of hanging meat and the flashing image of the girl suggests that she is "a piece of meat on a stick." and this meat metaphor is used to describe the entire video. Although the song is catchy, the message behind the lyrics is quite alarming. It suggests that stalking someone is okay and it is romanticized to the most extreme degree in this video.
The message that the song is spreading is not okay. This song is also very popular on the radio and the radio reaches a wide variety of audiences including a younger audience of middle and high school students. Should we not spread the message of stalking being romantic and the objectification of women?  Do you think that this video is going to far?

Black Rats and Accidental Murders

In the Court Theater's Production of Native Son, this play brought to life the novel by Richard Wright, Native Son. I saw this play about two weeks ago on the University of Chicago campus with my American Studies class. The plot revolves around Bigger Thomas who is a 20 year old black man living in the south side of Chicago. (Pictured on the right)

I thought the play really captured the essence of the book and it did an exceptional job of telling the unfortunate story. I especially thought that the use of two actors to portray Bigger Thomas and his conscience was extremely clever and added to the overall effect of the play. The use of metaphors and parallels helped bring out the underlying themes of racism and stereotyping of black people in the 1940's. The use of the "black rat" metaphor and how it symbolically represented Bigger was quite interesting to watch because it would keep appearing throughout the play. The set of the production was simple yet complex and I think that added to the play and made it more modern for the audience to absorb. The blocking of the scenes and the movement of the actors was brilliantly done in a sense that you were never bored while watching the show. 

Coming from a background with theater I think I appreciate watching plays more because I know what it is like to be on stage. It made me sympathize with the actors more and appreciate how talented the entire cast's acting was. Overall I liked watching the play because it did not follow the chronological order of the book. That made it interesting for the audience to try and figure out what was happening when because it made you think.