Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Print Advertisements

I've been finding a whole bunch of magazine/poster/ambient ads for a presentation tomorrow. One of the people in my group wanted to play Immortal Technique's "Dance with the Devil" (you can find it on Dogpile.com, but I gotta warn ya it's got graphic descriptions of violence and rape), and I suggested showing ads which objectify women as sex objects while the song was playing to demonstrate how the media's message that women are things rather than individual persons permeates people's thinking (despite the fact that our consciousness has become desensitized to the sexual exploitation in advertising) and that false and morally wrong idea is used to justify violence toward women.

Here are a few of the more shocking/angering that I've ran across in the past couple days:

Post-It Notes (posted by sloganmaker on Flickr)
I think this one may be the worst. Its message may be a bit more insidious than the next two. I certainly took offense, because it takes one-night stands (something I don't identify with or desire) to that low level of "I dunno who the hell she is, but I'm shagging her anyway" and debases the idea further by either having the guy basically advertise his method of thinking to the woman or implies that she doesn't value herself high enough to not sleep with a total stranger or she is totally okay with the fact that she's just one in a loooong string of his nameless fuckees.

As I take another look at it, the bedroom looks like a woman's, considering the pristine white and vases of flowers. Maybe Jade's the one who slipped him the roofie. (I am an equal-opportunity also means equal-accountability kind of feminist. Feminism should not have the goal of putting women above men, just equal to.) Though that doesn't lead to many logical reasons for her to put the note on her head.


Corona (AotW)
Me and the other three ladies of my group discussed this one the longest. "'Grind it in deeper'? WTF?" but then we decided that the double entendre referred to the slice of lime which has been (rather forcefully, judging from the streaky image) shoved into the neck of the bottle, as well as the obvious penis-into-vagina situation depicted.


Dodge Viper (AotW)
Hey, I might stretch a 2-week relationship into a 3-week one if he has an awesome ride, but that decision would be based on many other factors as well. But I sure as hell wouldn't go to the extent this ad suggests.


Drunk Driving (posted by LiveU4 on Flickr)
Besides the unsubtle hint at necrophilia, are they really attempting to fetishize drunk driving? Can't we leave sex out of our attempts to prevent real-life tragedy? You don't try to make issues like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome provocative, elderly people shattering their hips sexy, or meth addicts seductive. There is a moral line. That boundary may be highly debateable, but we should not sexify and fetishize everything!

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Thoughts

Some thoughts I had while riding the bus and walking home last night:

How many (if any) one-panel cartoons have been made of puns about Occam's Razor?
I need to raise my Hunter and Slayer levels on RuneScape.
It's freakin' cold.
It's freakin' wet.
Dr. House is totally like Howard Roark in The Fountainhead.
I can't believe I read that whole damn book!
I'm hungry.
Why would I need to download apps to my cell phone? There's already an IM program, calculator, address book, and note pad. What other kinds of apps (besides games) can you even get?
Eh, I don't enough to look it up on the 'Net.
I want pizza.
I wonder if College Eight has late night dining tonight?
Thank God the rain finally stopped!

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Singing Cowboy

Usually these ads annoy me for some reason. But this one is really clever, as well as shocking and kinda cool.



Singing Cowboy

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Requests

Now, I dunno if anyone who ever reads this blog is into any of this stuff, but I've been trying to get some recommendations for a couple movie and music genres that I have absolutely no knowledge about. One of these is Bollywood. Anybody out there have some good recs for any Hindi musicals? Preferably comedy and preferably relatively easy (and inexpensive) to acquire. I've also been trying to find some good arias. Mainly soprano, but I'm open to any suggestions. (Right now, the only opera pieces I have in my music library are the "Diva Opera" from The Fifth Element, "Diva" from Blood+, and Schubert's "Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen" from the Battle Royale OST, and Phantom of the Opera soundtrack.)

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Classes

First paper finally finished and turned in! I actually got a B on the midterm I took last Monday, though I was sick, spent only half an hour in class doing it, and skipped a few questions. Geez, I really lucked out.

Now I need to finish the 7-pager for tomorrow and start getting ready for finals....

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Songs I'm digging now

(In no particular order)

Requiem/Prologue (Battle Royale Soundtrack): It starts out with Dies Irae, the most badass song from Verdi's Requiem and very intense. Then it transitions to a 4+ minute original piece by Masamichi Amano which is amazing as it transitions back and forth from military to love-theme-esque sections. The strings and horns at the very end are somewhat discordant and it hits your anticipation and axiety centers like POW. (Can download this song and the others of the soundtrack here at Galbadia Hotel.)

Smile (Jane Birkin and Brian Molko): I just like this song. Except for the part "Remember that smiling / Uses less muscles / And frowning just makes you look ugly" because it should be "fewer" not "less". But that's just me being a grammar Nazi. (Can download from here, along with a lot of other Placebo Bsides like Running Up That Hill and 2 4 6 8, from their demo album. :)

Life in Mono (Mono): A pretty song that I remembered hearing on the radio, like, ten years ago and had to look up. (Can be found through Dogpile audio search.)

Tremor (Instrumental Short) (Johnny Hollow): Pretty synth-and-piano piece. Too short, I think. (Do the riddle for the download at JohnnyHollow.com)

Attack Music (Machinae Supremacy): I was watching Futurama about a month ago and recognized the sound clip from the beginning of this song. I had wondered what it was from. :) It has some recurring parts that sound like retro video game blips. (Find "site version" DL under Releases: Webography at their offical site.)

Blow Me Away (Breaking Benjamin): Yes, I am a Halo 2 fangirl. When am I not listening to this song? I'll tell you: never. Or at least when I'm listening to other music. Now I admit, this song is the most mainstream in this list, but don't get all prejudiced. I think its awesome. Or maybe it's awesomeness stems from the happy memories I have of slaughtering Covenants and humans indiscriminately. (Joking. I try to avoid killing allies as much as possible.) (I picked up this song from Bittorrent, but it can be found at Dogpile audio search.)

On the subject of music and video games, have you guys seen the Gears of War commercial? I've loved the song (Gary Jules' Mad World) since I first heard it in Donnie Darko, but it does not mesh with the game! The game should have a more intense song (*ahem* like Blow Me Away). And it isn't juxtaposed well with the violence like, for instance, Schubert's Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen did in the Battle Royale movie.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ads of the World

Seriously, this is one of favorite websites.

You've gotta admit that advertising is both a reflection of society and a means of promoting stereotypes, but you've also got to admit that there are some very clever and funny ads out there. Of course, there's still a lot of sexism and illogical obsessions with brand names, as well as the obvious pro-consumerism attitude intrinsic in advertising, but commercials are some of the most entertaining contributions to public media.

Some other commercials I've found interesting recently and in the past:
Apple/Mac
Sprint's "Sticking it to the Man"
FedEx's Castaway parody
United Church of Christ's "Still Speaking" campaign
Italian condom commercial
Wii Mac parody ad
Ape Escape 3's "Bullets and Bananas"
Carlton Draught's "Big Ad"

(These are the ones linked to in the paragraph above)
South African First for Women car insurance
1-800-GOT-JUNK "RAT campaign"
SF Barney's "Man Trap"

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Black Out

It's interesting to note that things like natural disaters and other emergencies are the only times you really meet and talk with your neighbors.

The power went out all across campus (and I heard all the way down to the wharf) last night around 11. I met more of my neighbors last night hanging out in the hallway than I have previously this quarter.

The generator for the Porter/Kresge apartments didn't kick in, so I actually got to sleep early (around 1 or 2) after working a bit on my paper and doing sudoku by flashlight.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Class Struggle

OneGoodMove linked to this article. Let the fires of the impending workers' revolution burn a few degrees hotter!

OpinionJournal - Class Struggle by Jim Webb, Virginian senator-elect.

I hope this guy makes a difference in D.C.

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Raccoons are cute!

One of the coolest things about UC Santa Cruz is the wildlife that wanders around campus. Almost everyday you see deer grazing on the grassy areas or walking across a quad early in the morning. Tonight on the way back from the dining hall there was a raccoon ambling around the road. He saw me but continued his scampering and passed within five feet of me. In addition to the deer and raccoons, I've seen a rabbit several times, voles, possums, and once picked up a yard-long snake which was chillin' on a walkway.

RS rant

Okay, this is just a raging rant about the unfairness of a RuneScape quest. Feel free to ignore this if you have no idea about the game.

Rune Tips :: Underground Pass Quest Guides:

This is a ridiculously hard quest. Harder than the damn sheep herding quest. A practice of patience and Sisyphusean ineffectuality. (Nevermind that hundreds or thousands of other people have done it.) It is cruel, it is unusual, it is punishment, and I guess that makes me a masochist.

There are not one, but TWO stupid obstacle courses where your avatar falls and loses HP and rarely has a halfway point to resume from. I spent hours working on this stupid quest (not in a row- my sanity would not have held out) and the majority of the time was spent falling off an obstacle, dropping to the floor below and losing 20 HP, then going back up to try that particular obstacle again but only if I could make it past all the previous obstacles again! (Picture of Underground Pass: the first maze/obstacle course is the small one on the right side in the middle and the insanely difficult second one is that huge thing on the left.)

So, after a few hours, I finally got to the point where my level 67 character had slayed the 3 demons, unlocked the chest with the amulets, retreived the ashes of Iban's corpse, then began wading through the lvl-39 Blessed Spiders to attack Kalrag (which is a trial in itself because you can only attack one monster at a time and they were aggros). The damn thing managed to kill me (because like hell I was going to run to the dwarfs' to get more food and then repeat the process of trying to attack Kalrag instead of the 50-odd spiders), so I died and respawned in Falador without the frickin' voodoo doll.

Which means that I'm going to have to do the whole Underground Pass crap again.

I'm telling you: if I ever decide to try that damn quest again, and I manage to regain the voodoo doll again and it doesn't have the damn shadow and ashes, I may be tempted to open a vein.

I assure you that I will not be attempting this friggin' quest until my agility level is past 50. Not that that assures me that the course will be any easier.

It got to the point where I was praying to Guthix just to make it over the next broken bridge. It's pathetic and sad and I ain't proud of it. So to punish myself for this idiotic masochism I am going to drive myself crazy by sadistically forcing myself to work on my papers for long periods of time without even allowing myself the respite of checking my email. Despite my ADD. A grim prospect which creates visions of spontaneous Marie implosions.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Confusion

So I got to the dining hall around 7, hung around for several minutes, and it didn't open. I started wondering if it was actually Sunday instead of Monday (and therefore the dining hall would be closed), and couldn't for the life of me piece together even a sketchy timeline of my weekend to determine what day it was.
So I started walking back across the Porter Quad. A guy got out of a car and started walking in the same direction as me. I asked him, "Excuse me. Do you know what day it is? Sunday or Monday?" and he replied "Monday."

I was dazedly still walking in the same direction as he was, away from the dining hall and back towards my apartment. I think he asked me "Why?" as in 'how the hell could I not know what day it was?' I think I said, "I've been up all night." He said, "Me too. I have a midterm right now and I was studying." I don't think I said anything, just kept walking.

"Where you headed?" I think he asked. I replied, "I dunno." He responded, "That's not good," so I said something like "Maybe I'll go back to bed." He gave me a really funny look but just said, "That's probably a good idea."

Our paths parted then and I decided that, hell, I was halfway to the dining hall already, so I might as well just turn around and go back and have breakfast. So I starting walking back down. Then I realized that he must've thought I was some crazy person who had been wandering around campus in the rain all night (my hair was still wet from my shower) or some meth addict coming off a week-long high or something. I started giggling to myself.

The dining hall finally opened more than a quarter after seven. I had to sit in the Porter mailroom with a few other desperate tired and hungry looking students for over ten minutes. Breakfast was nothing special and rather anti-climactic.

My head aches and I'm feeling a strong sense of disorientation. Seems like the past week is one big blur. The only thing reassuring me that it is Monday is the clock on my computer. I better try to get some sleep. I've been awake for such a long time.

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I'm annoyed, exhausted, and approaching a point of mania

So, yeah, you're thinking, "Wow, Marie, you're awake so early!"

Au contrere my cyber-stalkers, I am unfortunately up late.

Last week some virus looked at me and decided, "Hey! You've got two papers due Thursday! I'm gonna knock you on your ass for a week and a half!" And that virus ended up bitch-slapping me with some fucker of a illness that persists up until now.

Though I am feeling better, I have apparently become noctural and my brain has gooed up to the point where I can lay in bed staring at the white ceiling and walls for hours on end. (And, unfortunately, this happens at night between the hours of 2 and 5 am.)

For the first few days I was content to stare at TV for seven hours straight. Luckily, this weekend, I was finally able to start reading again.

So this past night (in no particular order) I've watched about 10 minutes of TV while I ate a piece of toast (that toast was both lunch and dinner, btw), spent a few hours reading a David Eddings book and browsing through crap on the 'Net, picked at my finger- and toenails while listening to music for another solid 45 minutes, spent about an hour and a half of time playing We Love Katamari, twiddled my thumbs while I tried to sleep, and spent another couple hours trying to find sources and write those two papers which still have not been done, and at least another half-hour nearly working myself into a panic by thinking "I'm gonna fail my classes! I'm gonna fail my classes!" and attempting to prevent a miserable downward spiral of visions of my life after fucking up the entire '06 Fall quarter.

(And I'm thoughtfully leaving out the the descriptions of the various physical aspects of this illness that I've been dealing with. That would just be too much information.)

By the time it was 5:20 I figured I may as well stay away until the dining hall opened for breakfast. So I took a long hot shower and decided to write this. Now I'm going to kill ten minutes by slooowly getting dressed, then walk over to the dining hall for hot chocolate to ease my poor nose and throat and head.

Maybe I'll finally be allowed to crash after I eat. For a couple hours, anyway, 'cuz I'm going to try (again!!!) to write a decent paper to turn in late today.

So you have a good morning, too.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Death Note anime

While I was downloading scanlations of Death Note (I read avidly up to Chapter 53 or so), I kept hoping I'd see an anime version. Here's a subbed version of the first episode, courtesy of lvl02 at YouTube.

Light is such a bastard. I always liked L better.

The music is pretty good. I especially liked the dramatic choral song during the killing montage toward the end of the episode.

And the trailers for the live action film are amazing too! Death Note trailer. (Seeing L with his thumb held up to his mouth like he always does made me laugh.)

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Suggested topics on which to build world peace

Still sick. I got less than three hours of sleep last night. Made it down for breakfast, though. Checked my RSS feeds and found something that made me feel more sick:

TIME.com: Hatred (of Gays) Unites Jerusalem's Feuding Faiths (via One Good Move)

I've said it before and I'm saying it again: Hatred, dogmatism, and close-mindedness suck. Why can't these three religions agree on something nice and build up a tolerance for each other from that? Here are some (nonthreatening) suggestions:

- Bunnies are cute.
- Clean air is good.
- Black is the color this millenium for religious leaders; orange-and-pink paisley is just tacky.
- Bread is a versatile and yummy alternative to eating wax or sand.
- Ruminants rock.

(Wow, that list took me a long time to write. My mind is definitely functioning at snail pace. Being sick sucks.)

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dudes already know about chickens

T-Rex's proposed solution for Wikipedia vandalism.

Ryan North's Manifesto.

Not well

Woke up sick again this morning. Really sore throat. Now my face aches in various places and I can't sleep. Can't concentrate enough to start on my 2-page paper due tomorrow or work on the 7-page paper due Thurs. Better go to the health center tomorrow morning and have them check for strep or something. Meh.

:(

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Randomity

onegoodmove: Will Ferrell as the Phantom of the Opera

Thanks to Jana for this lovely link. Below-average Europop with a scary webpage wallpaper. Seriously. It freaks me out.

Adult Swim is having a contest. Make a funny video and you may win a PS3 and be on Robot Chicken.

I watched Frontline World tonight and was very impressed with Kiva.org, a small microfinance institution based in SF that allows people to contribute small amounts of money from their credit cards to contribute to small loans for third-world entrepreneurs. Take a few minutes and browse through the journals.

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