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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Happy Birthday Queenie!

Thanks to the good ol' Queen we got Monday off -- Yay!

To do list:
Annual Reports
Illustrations for CGD
Hypothesis for Sci Fair
Work at 9am

Doesn't seem like much, but I'm sure I'll think of more. Doesn't help that I'm so easily distracted.

GROUP PROJECT

Group members: Iona, Lily, Samantha & Shiona

These ideas were discussed last Wednesday and Thursday (27-28 May) @ our media group meeting.

Our topics are aimed to be a social experiment. Initial ideas:
- Dress up as opposites of ourselves and see the reaction people have to our appearances.
- Everyone wears the same uniform as a base and then it is further customized depending on their style. For example, someone could wear it provocatively or sensibly.
- Dress as social outcasts. Eg. Punks or freaks.
- Maybe a miming act. Perhaps posters that say SPOT ME with an image of a person to spot and the reward of something if someone comes up and says they've found us.

We want to use the media to get attention. We can use all sorts of media -- Youtube, Newspapers, blogs, radio.
Youtube means we could get international responses.

PREGNANCY Experiment

Different mothering stereotypes which are up to interpretation. Can either do videos, photos.

NEEDS TO BE DONE:
Researching mothering stereotypes
Look at different movies involving women who are pregnant/mothers. 
Potential movies to explore:
- Rosemary's Baby
- Baby Mama
- Saved!
- Juno
- Where the heart is

Friday, 29 May 2009

Half full

After my rather negative post before hand, I went up stairs to find Stefanie doing some detective work to solve the problem. Hoorah! She was successful.

She phoned the library to look up spinning clubs in Wanganui >> Phoned the club leader >> got two potential helpers >> one picked up and is willing to help us! Hooray!! I'm so happy.

Remember everyone -- it's half FULL.

wrong, Wrong, WRONG!

At the moment, everything seems to be going wrong!!!!!!!!!! Grrr!!! You can tell I'm stressed because I've used multiple exclamation marks. 

Seriously though, I don't know what to do now. PLEASE, someone up-there give me a break? Let my idea work....please.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Deodorant Advertisement Analysis

You know the term Serendipity? Yeah well, I was flicking through a Print magazine when I found an article addressing vintage deodorant campaigns. What a surprise to find something so specific at the perfect time for my blog. So I scanned the article and am putting it here, so I don't get sued here's my disclaimer: I didn't write this, Steven Heller did. Comes from Print Magazine, Volume 61, Number 4, 2007. Now that's all clear enjoy reading this.


For once I'd like a break.

Title says it all.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Dressing stereotypes

Took a wee breather from everything and played some dress up games online. Had heaps of fun and realised that these programs are manipulating children to be more feminine ie. apply my makeup, nice hair and cool clothes etc. etc. Sounds like me, but I guarantee I do my morning rituals for myself. Then I found an adult version of the dress up game, which is using women as the model however the ideas are completely different. Before it was for girls as a role-model for societies ideas, however the adult ones are for men who literally use women as sexual objects. Very interesting.
The earlier ones are innocent ones I made (and enjoyed doing) while the rest are the raunchy and parodies of innocent cartoons. I didn't really play with those cuz clothes aren't the aim of the game.






Friday, 22 May 2009

The Unborn

On a more serious horror movie (as serious as they get) I did see the trailer for the Unborn, which besides totally freaking me out (and it's ONLY the trailer) it does have historical ideas behind it. I am always frightened by these movies but I have a morbid curiosity.

Anyway, the main character's eyes begin to change after she is hit by a mirror. The technical term for this transformation is Heterochromia.
"Difference in colour of the two irides or of different parts of the same iris. It is usually congenital but some cases are associated with some eye diseases such as cataract, corneal precipitates, glaucoma, iridocyclitis, iris melanoma or as a result of siderosis."

The doctor tells the girl that this sometimes occurs in twins. She confronts her father who says that her twin brother died in utero. Anyway, Casey (the protagonist) talks to a woman called Sophie (who turns out to be her grandmother) who was in a Nazi camp. There she claims that there extensive experiments performed on her and her brother. Unfotunately, the brother died, but was brought back to life by a dybbuk. Sophie was forced to kill him and now the dybbuk haunts their family. They talk about the doctor at Auschwitz called Josef Mengele, who was a real SS officer.

With further research, I found out Mengele was a criminal who is attributed with 400,000 deaths at Auschwitz (Reference). He was known as the Angel of Death because he was a good looking man who was very charismatic. What really freaked me out was that he was particularly interested in identical twins. Me being one, I wasn't too comfortable with that notion. He also liked people with abnormalities ie. dwarfism. He was cruel and had a dark sense of humor which was disgusting.

"The Angel of Death fed his legend by dramatizing murderous policies, such as his drawing a line on the wall of the children's block between 150 and 156 centimeters (about 5 feet or 5 feet 2 inches) from the floor.Then sending those whose heads could not reach the line to the gas chamber ... (Lifton, p. 346.)" Reference

There is a report when he got 14 pairs of gypsy twins and injected chloroform directly into their hearts, instantly killing them so he could perform autopsies on them. When I read this from a source I swear I felt sick to my stomach.

"Mengele injected chemicals into the eyes of children in an attempt to change their eye color. He experimented both physical and psychological; experimental surgeries performed without anesthesia, transfusions of blood from one twin to another, isolation endurance, reaction to various stimuli. He made injections with lethal germs, sex change operations, the removal of organs and limbs, incestuous impregnations." Reference

It is estimated that about 3000 twins were experimented on and only a handful survived. It seems that one of his most important assignments was to try and change the eye colour of the children he experimented on my injecting various chemicals into their eyes. The whole this is incredibly disturbing. This is probably why the demon boy in the Unborn has neon blue eyes. Also the protagonist and her family are Jewish, just as the persecuted Jews were at Auschwitz.

After Hitler's reign over Germany finished, Mengele evaded police for 35 years. He was dead by the time they caught up with him. Even his family didn't want his body back. I can't believe such sick people exist.

Source: Victims of Mengele: http://www.auschwitz.dk/mengele/id17.htm

Bikini girls on ice?

Wow, boobs and blood in a horror film -- nice. I could just see the producers dialogue:
Producer1: Hmm, I fancy a horror movie with hot girls in bikini's. How can we make it work?
Producer2: I know! Let's say they are returning home after a Car-Wash fundraiser.
Producer1: Genius! Woohoo. *Producers high five*.
Producer2: When can we choose the girls? *rubs hands eagerly*

Check out their website here.




Thursday, 21 May 2009

Depressed

I feel awful. I've got a cold and my throat hurts. Also, I've been working like a monkey on steroids to get my CGD1 assignment done and I cut my finger with the craft knife which stung like a bitch when I went for a shower. 

The stupid stray cat has given me flea bites all over my feet and, what's worse, he's not looking so good. He breathes funny, he's so thin and he makes all these soft noises--like a baby in distress. For all my negative comments about the little bastard, I don't think I could handle it if he died. But it's inevitable, after all we are all irrevocably dying. Dad (who's a vet so chill!) says he's old and on borrowed time. Why oh why did I have to get attached!

Anyway, my to-do list isn't getting any shorter:
Four Finals for Type (due Tues)
Dancing on Saturday
Think of a brilliant concept for group work in Media Studies (Next Wed)
Work on Sunday (9am to god knows when)
Fix coworkers jeans (Jeez, I've had them for a month already *oops*)
Do an Annual Report proposal for Production
Make "Special" labels for work

Gawd, I'm freaking already....

The said cat "Le Rage"


Saturday, 16 May 2009

I'm totally pooped

Okay, so I honestly woke up this morning thinking this would be a shit day because I no longer have control on my life anymore. But I was wrong. Today was my lil sis's B-day party and she had a Masked party where you try to obscure your identity. In other words dress up. I dolled myself up as a green fairy minus the wings. I was AMAZED by what people came up with for their costumes. Who'd have thought! Anyway, we took my ipod and dock with us and played a range of music (retro and modern) as loud as we could down Vic Ave. The looks we got were Classic! It was fab! I want to do it again. We froze outside the Orange for about three minutes making pedestrians really confused. From there we went to Trafelgar square and froze outside the lotto shop and then at the warehouse. People gathered in crowds to watch us. Then we marched back up the Ave and pigged out on candy/pizza/cake and they played some party games while I poked through all the nifty presents she got. It was awesome. Stef followed us with a video camera and taped the whole thing so we're going to make a movie and post it on youtube. I'll put the link here when we've finished going through it. 

Unfortunately I'll probably regret it Monday. I tried to do as much work before this even but there's just so much. And tomorrow I have work at 9am...Iona you need to get this done asap!

Annual Report concept outline
Letter head
Quote
Typography -- Embellishment
CGD
Media diary
Interactive storyboard

No need to panic................









Friday, 15 May 2009

Odo-Ro-No!

Odo-Ro-No Advertisement Analysis

Woman’s Illustrated

Vol, XLVI—No. 1173 – April 25th 1959 

Analysis

This advertisement is for a deodorant. It is in a vintage Woman’s Illustrated magazine that was aimed at the housewife of the family. It is a very domestic publication that talks about the home, crafts and short simple stories.

The product Odo-Ro-No is denoted as being a deodorant, something that prevents one from smelling of body odour. Many of the terms used all have to do with staying clean for example: fresh, anti-perspirant and perfume. They are literal words.

There are plenty of connotations, mostly negative to help sway the consumer to buy their product. Firstly, in the subtitle there is the sentence “Are you fooling yourself about the deodorant you use?” The word fool is very powerful because it can have many meanings that evoke unpleasant ideas. When one uses the word fool people associate things such as clowns, jesters and dunces with it. A fool is a person who is perceived as gullible and stupid. If there were one thing a person would hate, it would be to start wondering if they smelled bad or, even worse, not realise it and be laughed at behind their back. Other strong words are worst enemy. Worst is completely negative, it is used to make the consumer remember bad things and the feelings of embarrassment or shame associated with that event. The consumer may want to avoid a repeat of the incident and buy the deodorant. Enemy would, in most cases, make the face of a foe pop up in the readers mind and a hypothetical scenario could follow of the rival talking shit. Embarrassing implies awkward situations in which the person is the object of negative focus.

Positive words act as solutions to the (above mentioned) problems. Fresh is a beautiful adjective, which makes one think of waterfalls, nature and cleanliness—why wouldn’t you want to smell like that? To protect means to secure and keep something safe, in this context we are protecting our self-esteem / image and is in direct contrast to enemy. This probably was deliberately used so the consumer would feel that everything is safe when you use Odo-Ro-No. Comfortable and delightful are what one always hopes to feel and is associated with being happy and relaxed.

In regard to technical codes this advertisement is nowhere near as sophisticated as the advertisements of today. This was because technology in 1959 was limited. Firstly, they only had manual cameras and had to process the film in a dark room, therefore the editing was also limited. Secondly the media in which to show the advertisement was also restricted: they could either print in a magazine or newspaper or, perhaps, document the advertisement on television.

With codes of content, the advertisement has a distinct style that conveys the message so strongly one would have to be stupid not to notice it. The whole thing is aimed at the 1950’s housewife, so naturally that is the idea they’ve gone for. We have a well-groomed woman who is theatrically pulling a shocked and horrified expression—very Desperate Housewife-esque. She is a bimbo and easier for the company to target. Society always reiterates the ideal woman, in this context a woman has to smell like a female putting pressure on them to achieve this to maintain the status quo within the community.

There isn’t any colour in this advertisement. This can be attributed to the fact that in 1959 the process probably would’ve been very expensive and complex therefore it was minimally employed. However they have used shades of grey in the half-tone imagery to add realism and dimension. The majority of the ad is white, the whole thing bordered by a thick black line. I feel this adds impact and really helps it to stand out from the other monotone pieces. By using less black, they’ve made the ad as friendly as possible. If it were mostly black with her shocked/horrified expression, the ad probably would look sinister as if it were from Psycho. Also notice the golden section and how everything is focused on the product images.

On the topic of Psycho this iconic movie may have inspired this advertisement campaign as it was released in 1960. The woman epitomises horror with her shocked expression at how dreadful body odour is without Odo-Ro-No. Her expression is an indexical sign because the viewer understands that she has experienced something traumatic even though it has no direct relation to the product. Makeup is another sign because the model is flawless with perfect skin and hair, so naturally deodorant would fit under this category.


Spike Lee

Spike Lee is known as a director producing work that focuses on race relations, crime, political issues and the media. He was born into a well-off African-American family March 20 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia. His original name is Shelton Jackson Lee but he is referred to as "Spike" the nickname his mother used for him. He went to Morehouse College and got a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. He also produced his first student film Last Hustle in Brooklyn. He supplemented his filming desires by doing some courses at Clark Atlanta University. After he went to New York University's Tisch School of Arts and got a Master of Fine Arts in film and television in 1978. His roots in New York is probably why a lot of his work is based in that city. 

Hopefully by watching his movies I'll get to understand him a bit better. I've been researching but its not too easy because I don't want to regurgitate what anyone can already find if they google him.

References: Picture Collider.com
Info: Wikipedia

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Husband-hunting Bra



This is soooo funny! In Japan they're so worried about marriages going down and women only getting married later (@ 28, those old crones!) that they've developed this bra that "offers women support in getting a husband". It has a clock that times how long it takes a woman to get engaged and when they do, they slot a ring in a little heart that stops the clock and sings the wedding march. It also holds a pen to sign the deal and a space for traditional family seal. Gosh! That's so sexist! Why don't they make a Jockey Clock for guys? Japanese society is using this bra as propoganda to promote marriage.

Sterotyping - Fantasia and The Jungle Book





We watched Fantasia, which admittedly I've never watched before. I used to adore Disney movies as a kid, but these days I can't stand them. I guess it's because I am revolted by the beauty which only highlights how much more difficult it is in real life. Disney makes everything too perfect. Anyway, looking beyond the superficial prettiness there is a lot of stereotyping. A stereotype is the tendency to reduce people & cultures to one dimensional often slanderous visual cliches.

Firstly the scene opens with little Cupids acting as "servants" though I don't know if that term is appropriate. Cupid in Roman mythology made it his duty to match-make--therefore, I would think they actually enjoy doing the job. It is interesting to note that in Greek culture Cupid was known as Eros and though in principle they did the same job they do have variations which separate them. Firstly, Walt Disney wouldn't have used Eros because he isn't just the god of love, but also lust and eroticism. Cupid is far more innocent and romantic. This would be the reason why Cupid is often associated as a baby with wings, opposed to Eros who was a beautiful virile young man.

The Cupids help the girl centaurs get ready to meet the boys, pampering and prettifying them. Of course, there are no images of the boy centaurs getting ready. All they do is stomp around and assert their manliness (horsiness?). The 'getting ready' process is a sterotype and a value that society wish to imprint on women. It is a woman's responsibility to look attractive and dignified for men, whereas men don't receive the same pressure. In fact, in bloke towns (ie. lots of NZ places) men are discriminated against if they show too much attention to detail. The men horses strut around, unembelished and highly masculine with broad shoulders etc.

When the centuars meet, the women have a line up which is reminicent of a debutante ball or a brothel. When you look at both these events at a basic level there is a strong ideology where the men view the girls and chooses the one that appeals to them. The aim of these line-ups is to get everyone a mate for the night or to marry.

Something pretty obvious is how the centaurs hook-up. Blue with blue. Pink with pink. Yellow with yellow. To me the different coloured centaurs represent different races in the same species and by having them coordinatedly coupled they are implying that one cannot marry outside of their race. They've made a pretty package which is pretty unremarkable--it would be way cooler if a pink centaur got with a blue one so they could have lilac babies. While the centaurs frolick around, they assume man/woman roles. The girls act frilly and feminine, making sure to cuddle / pamper / and feed the male centaur. I have examples too: 1) All the girls strut with exaggerated feminine gestures in the line up. 2) Under a tree and also at the pond, the male centaur puts his arm around the girl, which can be seen as a. staking claim b. asserting his dominance over her. 3) One male centaur playfully chases his girl who acts hard to get, implying that men are supposed to be the assertive ones. 4) A couple are resting in a shadowed area and the woman uses her body as a pillow for the male and feeds him fruit--just like a good wife should.

The centaurs are the definition of beauty with flowing hair, slender nubile bodies and dainty features. No fat centaur in sight. Mind you, centaurs probably do more running around. My final thought on Fantasia is the implication that everyone needs to have a mate and get married when in reality they don't have to if they don't want to. Even the centaurs that didn't get together initially looked upset by the prospect of being alone and then became overjoyed when they located eachother.

I wish I were fairy queen.

Onto the next Disney movie. Its a goodie The Jungle Book.



The Panther speaks with a high-class British accent whereas the Bear is distinctly low-class with a beatnik air about him (beatnik is a person of the beat generation, doesn't fit into conventional society). Panther says a comment that is an insult to Bear "this is going to take brains not brawn".

The apes are a representation of the black society, the king is called King Louis, probably after Louis Armstrong. In the past the African people were seen as evolutionary undeveloped, in between the white man and apes. He calls Mogley Cousin, a reference to how humans are decedents of primates. Also, Mogley is referred to as Man-Cub.

What King Louis is after is fire. In history man separated itself from other animals by showing a higher mental capacity and developing their lives beyond food and procreation. Getting fire was the first sign of this change. King Louis no longer wants to be an ape because he sees man as superior.

The music is skat singing, a method of singing where sounds are improvised to make melodies and rhythm. It is a type of music mostly found within the black community. Ella Fitzgerald was a highly influential skat singer who contributed immensely to Jazz.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Odd spot

I was looking around on the net, speculating how weird the whole world is when I found New Zealand right in with it. A Kiwi-shaped Feijoa was sold on Trademe for $1000...if trademe hadn't existed that fruit would've either been eaten or rotted away. It's not even a rare fruit anyway! I've heard people begging for someone to pick all the excess fruit off their trees (link here). Also, if you get transported to 1930 Berlin it's okay! I have Einstein's phone number so you can crash on his couch. Just phone 2807. I'm not kidding. (link here)
"Ancestry.com has posted copies of German telephone books from 1915 to 1981 - including Albert Einstein's phone number while he was a university professor in Berlin."

Afghanistan has quarantined its only pig due to swine flu fears. I doubt the poor thing is suffering from anything except from loneliness (link here).

Gosh I love the odd spot.
Reference: 3 News

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

SecretZen

I was floating around facebook and found a link to this site where you secretly confess something. The idea is really cool so maybe I'll put a little secret down. Isn't it interesting though how everyone can be bought together on the net to share our confessions. It is neither useful or informative to people but it has entertainment value. I thought this secret describes me very well: I don't belong here. Very true, though it'll take more than a change of century, I think I'd fit in better in another dimension. 

I think that this site does act as therapy but mostly I feel that they put up their secrets to brag--there appears to be a lot of sex oriented confessions. Some confessions don't even seem real. Check it out yourself here.



Love Letter

So I went to check out the exhibition down in the Atrium. The work is by a BFA student who requested people write love letters to anyone they wanted (even aliens). As I left, I wrote a love letter to my Future Children and chose a letter off the wall to take with me. And what a sweet letter it is! I've got a picture, read it and make your mind up about it.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

I love this video! Fosters Home for Imaginary friends is so addictive. I bought my little sister the first series for her birthday.

NZ -- an abusive country?

Okay, my newest hate is turning on the news because all I ever see is another animal killed, some child beaten up etc. Yesterday I was horrified to see that some kids sawed off a back paw of two kittens. They're only eight weeks old!!! They injuries were so bad that vets have had to amputate the whole legs. And the kids who did it laughed and said their paws had "fallen off". God! If I were their parents I'd be so ashamed. Who can hurt these sweet creatures?



Murders usually start small by abusing animals...looks like we've got a new generation of fuck-ups, but what can we do? While they're children no punishment can be dealt, we can't even hit them in return because Sue Bradford would throw a fit. The lack of adequate punishment for children has caused the increase of violence, after all they don't fear anything because they live under protection of being under age. In the mean time, the government will waste tax-payers money to fund their court fees, pissing off students like myself who get no student allowance and has to work her arse off. Send 'em to Boot Camp! Oh wait, the opposition don't like that idea so they'll waste more money debating the point.

But back to the point, I checked other abuse cases and saw that a few weeks ago, some losers tied a goat to the back of their car and made her run until she no longer could and then continued to drag her a few kilometers. Then a guy beat his girlfriends dog up with a metal pole and then strangled him. The most horrid thing is that three teens blew a sheep's jaw off with fireworks.

On a lighter note, I was searching the news and came across David Banes trial. It's all very interesting and I feel sorry for David Bane as everyone in the country knows about his dirty laundry. I found an random article about how he designed the jersey he wore after he was apprehended in 1994. He had his mum make it for him. Maybe if he gets free, he could start is own fashion range. You never know--the media coverage of his case might help promote his product.
References:

Kitten photo: TVNZ "Kittens' paws sawn off in act of animal abuse"

David Bane photo: Stuff.co.nz "Bain Jersey 'his own design'"

Monday, 4 May 2009

Wie gehts es dir?

Yesterday was an EVIL day -- actually I'm just being a drama queen, but it was still pretty hard. I went to UCOL and had Production (which was okay) and Computer Practical (which was not okay) and when I finally finished at four I was ecstatic. Until I found notes from dad saying "Iona has German tonight!" I almost howled in pain of losing my evening.

So after dinner I went dancing and straight after hauled my arse down to UCOL to meet the German tutor. She's really nice but I was feeling pretty crap so I couldn't enjoy the lesson. Every minute seemed to drag on forever. Does anyone realise how class rooms always have a clock at the front and -- no matter where you go -- clones are all over the place, taunting you with the time until class is finished. Yeah, I reckon is an unspoken rule in institutions.

And bloody hell! I have to do this process for the next EIGHT WEEKS!!!

Damn.