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29

May

RLB #46: Annotate #42 or #45 for audience.

(RLB #45) By just taking into account the product itself, we can immediately narrow the audience down to those of drinking age; the whole demographic of young children to adolescents is eliminated. Also, whiskey, by nature, is a stronger, more pungent liquor, commonly associated with men of class. Therefore, it is unlikely that the intended audience is women. Finally, most men 65 and above (or at least those I know) don’t watch much TV, and when they do, they certainly don’t use commercials to influence the drinks they buy. By that age, most men would have a fairly unchanging palette, and know what brands they enjoy. In light of this, by only looking at the product, I’d surmise the audience to be men from 18 to 65.

Examining the strategies used in the ad will narrow the audience down further. In my previous analysis, I identified the primary strategies as being humor, music, and escaping to another world. Meanwhile, the brand prides itself in having “Taste Above All Else,” and the ad exudes a spirit of adventure, appealing to man’s desire to be in control. Considering that brief “goodbye to the crew,” wherein Jameson quickly kisses a woman aboard the ship before jumping off, one can say the ad is catering to single men. The idea of humor appeals to people of all ages - my father liked the ad too - but that desire to conquer and prove oneself is especially common in younger ages. Meanwhile, the heavy reliance on blue - a color commonly associated with intelligence and calmness - insinuates the audience is unlikely to be college students, who use alcohol in a much more energetic manner. That said, I would guess the audience for this ad is single men 30 to 50.

02

May

RLB #45: Please select a commercial (:30-1:30) which you deem to be “effective”; complete a partial annotation of strategies and colors used. You must embed the commercial into your RLB post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfRmgkDkKRM

Okay, so no matter how many times this played on TV, (which was a lot) this commercial never ceased to be hilarious. I think advertisement companies in the States have difficulties finding the balance between “cementing themselves in our minds” and just making us completely sick of them. This whiskey ad, however, finds a nice niche between the two. There aren’t really any obvious direct strategies used, that is probably why the commercial doesn’t get annoying as easily as most. It honestly just feels like a story. In fact, the only moment wherein the whiskey is explicitly promoted is at the end, for a split second when the caption “Taste Above All Else” flashes on the screen. And it is “above all else” - John Jameson risked his life just for a barrel of liquor! The indirect strategies include sound - the peaceful fiddle music running in the background - and excitement. By drinking this whiskey, it feels like we can be transported to Ireland, back in the days of pirates and larger-than-life octopi. Scale is also technically used in the last image, when an image of the bottle is shown. As for color usage, there is a heavy use of blue. In fact, it consumes almost the entire ad. This ads to the feeling of calmness brought about by the fiddle music. Clearly, the demographic of people who enjoy whiskey are not wild party-goers. They enjoy their liquor in a more mellow, refined manner. The bottle itself is green, which is commonly related to nature. This helps create an “organic,” “straight-from-the-source” feel. All in all, I see this as being an incredibly successful ad. 

22

Apr

RLB #44: Consider the colors that surround you: your room, your clothing, your personal belongings. What can others conclude about you (that would be accurate) based upon these observations only?

In my room, I found that the two most dominant colors are white - the walls are all unpainted, with minimal things hanging on them - and brown, since all furniture is wooden. The ground is a carpeted tan. If I were to make a statement about my personality based on this knowledge alone, I would say that I’m “clean,” “factual,” and… well, if we’re going by the notes in class, “manly.” Brown can also be associated with nature, though, which might be the more accurate assumption of the two. My personal belongings, in general, all seem to be white, black, brown, or blue. Meanwhile, the majority of my wardrobe consists of browns and blues, (though there is more variation here than in other categories). As for the conclusions one could draw about this? Well, I’m rather to-the-point, mellow, “factual” (in the sense of everyday conversations), at peace with nature, and enjoy luxurious things. I’m also very clean, if one takes this in a physical sense. I haven’t really touched hurtful substances, and take showers every day. Showering is one of my strong points.

17

Apr

RLB #43: Which need do you gravitate towards in the commercials you remember? Why do you think this is?

Not gonna lie, I don’t really need to worry about where I’m going to sleep tomorrow, or whether I’ll be able to eat. The closest I’ve gotten to that is running out of money on my lunch account, and even then, if one asks really nicely, the lunch ladies will let it slide. Physiological needs aren’t of immediate concern to me. Similarly, I live on a military base in one of the safest countries in the world (well, except that whole missile thing)… I’m almost never worried about safety. I suppose a few times, walking home alone, late at night in Itaewon, I have been scared, but that really is the full extent of it. The “love and belonging” category is where I start to become more preoccupied. Moving around so much, it is hard finding places to call “home.” Friendships die away over time, and family members live scattered across the map. There is very little sense of “community” in my life beyond my mom and dad. Even that relationship gets rocky. I won’t go into details. This is an RLB post. But I find my one concern, above self-esteem, above academic achievement, above the respect of my classmates, is knowing I’m doing right by my parents. It doesn’t matter how fabulous a report card I get; if they’re having a particularly heated argument, grades mean nothing. Considering the fact that my needs for self-esteem and self-actualization are so dependent on whether or not I feel like I have a place in my family, it goes to reason the most pertinent need to my life is that of love and belonging.

10

Apr

RLB #42: Select a memorable print ad; then take your advert and list five reasons why you think this particular advertisement is impactful.

http://christinelaubenstein.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/ocean-city-137.jpg

The link above is a photo of an ad I found in the March 2011 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The five reasons I love this ad? Well, firstly, the guy’s face. I mean, look at him. That has got to be the most pitiful and hilarious expression in the world. Secondly, the truth of the ketchup sandwich. I have a friend in college that told me about a week in which she was so broke, she actually lived off them for a while. When I see his face I think of her, sitting in a dark college dorm in southern California, hungrily chomping away at some Heinz-Wonderbread hybrid. Besides that, though, the idea that the ad managed to incorporate such a strong taste with their with their text made it much more memorable than anything else in the magazine. Humor was also seamlessly incorporated, and the advertisement was selling much more than simple antivirus software - it was protecting my IDENTITY from being stolen. Someone else eating my aunt’s stroganoff? Aw hell no!

22

Mar

RLB #41: Of the themes discussed in our class (there are five), which is most prevalent in your own life? How does that theme manifest itself daily?

I’m from a class of moderate wealth, and am surrounded by others who are of a relatively similar status. This would not hold true in the Philippines, where I had lived constantly confronting extreme poverty, but, having moved to South Korea, the theme of class struggle plays a very small role in my life. Also, because of my class standing, gender struggles are not very prevalent either. Religion, seeing as how this is an almost completely Christian school, also isn’t the cause of any “struggling” in my life.

I think I’m also a relatively special case here; living on an American military base, attending an international school, and passing time on the local economy, I think I experience three different worlds daily. On base, race struggles are almost nonexistent, as the environment is very monocultural. Meanwhile, at school and on the local economy, I am a foreigner. Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown so accustomed to it, but racism has little impact on how I conduct myself. It’s an issue I encounter no matter where I go outside the U.S., and I’m used to it. That said, I find the concept of nationalism one that I wrestle with more than anything. I’m from the United States, that’s what people associate me with. I’ve only really lived there for two years of my life, and I managed to feel more ostracized and alone in that country than I have in any other. So… where am I supposed to say I’m from? Biologically - sure, I’m American. But culturally? Intellectually? I’ve never even owned a house there. When we visit the States over the summer, I’m a tourist, not a homesick teenager. This feeling of not knowing where to put my loyalties is present in everything I do. When I’m filling out immigration forms and they ask me to write where I’m from, it feels wrong writing “U.S.A.” For that reason, when I’m cast-typed and made the butt of derogatory racist jokes, I can laugh and feel no personal offense… because they’re not talking to me.

19

Mar

RLB #40: How do gender issues manifest themselves in your society today?

Korean society, traditionally, is very male-oriented. Confucian ideologies - wherein sex and age predetermine one’s standing among peers - played a large role in shaping the nation’s cultural identity. Customarily, girls grow to the age of marriage and are expelled to their husbands’ homes, expected to care for the in-laws while the husband holds the main job. This has only recently begun to change, as the country underwent rapid modernization and external influences seeped in. Women could be educated in the same manner men were, and schools began basing their admissions off merit, not purely gender. Despite this, sexism within the work world remains rampant. According to a study done by The Economist, Korean women earn 63% of what men do, and only “60% of female South Korean graduates aged between 25 and 64 are in work—making educated South Korean women the most underemployed in OECD countries.” Women are also heavily pressured to quit their jobs after having children, making almost all senior leadership positions dominated by men. This type of discrimination manifests itself in other areas as well; South Korean women also constitute “the highest population (24%) of sex trafficking victims in the U.S.” (Washington Times), due to common difficulties of paying off debts. Credit debts in South Korea must be paid off within 30 days, leading citizens to borrow money from many criminal organizations. Indebted women are often forced into sex trade. In addition, orphaned girls fair quite poorly in South Korea. Since it is only the men who carry on the family name and support the family financially after marriage, Korean couples almost never adopt young girls. Overall, there are still many prevalent gender struggles in South Korea, stemming from the moral code the entirety of its society had been based on.

Sources:

http://www.economist.com/node/17311877

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/rights-so-divine/2011/sep/26/south-korea-stimulus-plan-sexism-and-human-traffic/

http://www.thewaygookeffect.com/2011/01/south-koreas-orphan-problem.html

RLB #39: What are racial issues that you see still prevalent in your society today?

Attending an international school, one might think students are more prone to disregard race in judging who someone is. I have found, however, that there is a more prominent division between nationalities at this school than any I have ever attended. Coming here as a new student, I felt like there was already an entire persona created for me just because I was a Westerner. I am constantly “surprising” people - which surprises me, because normally, to surprise somebody, it is necessary to have some sort of knowledge of something so one can make a judgement about something so it can be disproved in a surprising manner. Being a new student, however, I don’t think there should already exist any judgement of my personality that can be disproved in a surprising manner, since no one really has any knowledge of who I am. It is simply known that Westerners drink, party, and don’t take studies seriously. Meanwhile, Asians are given the opposite treatment; people expect them to be very studious, have no social lives, and live with abusive parents. Granted, with some people (on both sides) this can be very accurate, but for a good half, it couldn’t be further off. Many Korean-Americans that attend this school have expressed their frustrations towards people expecting them to be “super smart” and “ninja athletes.” They are “disappointments” if they don’t live up to these racial expectations. People expect much less from foreigners.  Base kids tell me this - when they get really good grades on tests, people first ask them if they cheated. 

13

Mar

RLB #38: What are obvious dividers of class that are apparent in our society today?

Considering the fact that SFS is an international school, and basically everyone is of moderate or substantial wealth, economic class differences are hard to find. There are, however, classic high school “clicks” - the revered sports players, the dedicated academics, the party-goers, the *cough* bizarre theater kids, etc. I think it’s natural for humans to rank themselves; if one can’t decide who one is internally, one searches externally for a place to put oneself. This, sadly, leads to a lot of stereotyping, exclusion, and pressure from one’s peers to conform to the general conventions of one’s “click.” This school is actually the first I have attended that puts the “scholars” higher up on the food chain. I think this is greatly influenced by what Koreans value as being useful skills. In my old school in the states, any vague interest in the curriculum almost instantaneously labeled one a nerd. Here in Korea, there aren’t as many opportunities to pursue a field in manual labor or physical exertion, so the stress is placed on sciences, languages, and everything that can guarantee one a successful career. As a result, high schoolers rank themselves on a scale of relative usefulness. And, uh, the theater kids aren’t too high up…

05

Mar

RLB #37: Consider the “universal” themes of race, class, and gender. What poem from our packet strikes you as speaking to one of these themes? Why? Give at least two specific textual details (4-6 sentences).

A great example of the “class” struggle can be found in Emma Lazarus’s “New Colossus.” Using historical knowledge of the context of the poem, readers may assume, “your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” (10-11) discuses the mass immigration from Europe to America at that time. The “huddled masses,” even after reaching America, still needed to pass through Ellis Island before actually “landing” on its shores. There, the “tired” and “poor” were often sent back - contradiction the message of the Mother of Exiles. This group of people can be considered to represent the lowest social rank. The Mother scorns the “brazen giant of Greek fame” (1) for its old, repressive ways. The “old” colossus would represent the upper class - negatively impacting the lower class. The Mother calls this class “pomp” (9) - a term with the connotations of something self-important, haughty, and irritatingly so. It is often used to describe the wealthy. Taking into account the many paradoxes in this poem, and knowledge of America’s actual perspective on the immigrants, one can view the “Mother” as being the person that sees all that is occurring to the lower class, preaches helping them, but, when presented the opportunity to do so, hypocritical does nothing to improve their situation.  

29

Feb

RLB #36: Take one of the poems you have already constructed and “shape” it to add meaning. Please include 2-3 sentences which detail: a) The original RLB# of the poem used. b) The “shape” chosen. c) How that shape enhances the meaning of the poem.
I decided to make this poem, RLB#27, into the shape of a wrapped present. In the poem, I use the analogy of “a child opening a Christmas present” to describe taking off make-up. I thought it was a fitting comparison, as what’s under the wrapping paper never really lives up to our hopes. Though we aren’t exactly sure what’s in the box, the ignorance of just seeing the packaging and imagining what’s inside is much more enjoyable than post-unwrapping. Since virtually everyone is familiar with this feeling, it makes the emotions of the persona much more accessible to the audience.

RLB #36: Take one of the poems you have already constructed and “shape” it to add meaning. Please include 2-3 sentences which detail: a) The original RLB# of the poem used. b) The “shape” chosen. c) How that shape enhances the meaning of the poem.

I decided to make this poem, RLB#27, into the shape of a wrapped present. In the poem, I use the analogy of “a child opening a Christmas present” to describe taking off make-up. I thought it was a fitting comparison, as what’s under the wrapping paper never really lives up to our hopes. Though we aren’t exactly sure what’s in the box, the ignorance of just seeing the packaging and imagining what’s inside is much more enjoyable than post-unwrapping. Since virtually everyone is familiar with this feeling, it makes the emotions of the persona much more accessible to the audience.

22

Feb

RLB #35: Write a poem critically using alliteration, consonance, and onomatopoeia. Your poem must be accompanied by an explanation of how and why you used these devices.

New Address


An abandoned mailbox waits in the past.

Letters shoved inside by the then-friends that pretend

To know the now-you even when

.

You’ve moved to a new town

a few years down the road.

.

Take big steps along the sidewalk safe,

head to where the reminiscent residences populate;

And pretty facades give way

to newer wisdoms wailed.

.

They send letters, the then-friends do.

But you will never find the house

They’ve addressed them to.

.

.

For this poem, I used various forms of alliteration throughout, seen in “sidewalk safe,” “reminiscent residences” and “wisdoms wailed.” I decided to put the most concentrated use of this literary tool in the third stanza, as it is where I address the idea of what one believes to be the truth is deceiving. I found alliteration to be an interesting embodiment of this idea - for a second it’s as if we’re repeating the word, but then it takes a sharp turn with the next sound and assumes a different meaning. Meanwhile, consonance is the internal (in addition to external) use of repeated consonant sounds. The best example would be “You’ve moved,” in the second stanza, as well as the repeated n’s in the first line of the poem. I used consonance here to show a “continuity” of sorts; it is a truth that does not change, it persists. My example of onomatopoeia is “wailed.” I chose this word for its seeming not-onomatopoeia-ness. Use of “smash” or “bang” would’ve been jarring with the overall theme, so I wanted it to be more subtle. As for why I chose to use this specific word - it is the only time the persona shows emotion, so it colors the rest of the vocabulary used. Onomatopoeia is a great way to draw immediate attention to something, so I wanted to put emphasis on the very indicator of tone itself.

21

Feb

RLB #34: Write a limerick in which you discuss an aspect of school. Also include three additional devices: make it ironic (the persona’s voice constitutes “verbal” if the addressee is the reader) use dramatic understatement; the third device is a free choice. Please name the device you are using in your RLB.

No, of course I don’t mind that nail in there. 

This little surprise simply makes me thankful for healthcare.

How happy I am to rest assured

With decking equipment this ham was cured.

J & J catering spices up your meals with added flare.


(The third device is alliteration: “surprise simply” and “makes me.”)

13

Feb

RLB #33: Please construct a poem using all three types of irony. The length and subject matter may be freely chosen by you.

"It’s so rare"

Head shake, sympathetic eyes.

"Such an allergic reaction…

I have never seen anything like it.”

.

Although, little does she know,

it wasn’t an allergic reaction at all.

.

Shampoo, by nature

does not kill.

Unless provoked… 

.

Hydrochloride down the drain, they don’t see.

.

Just like her baby

could not see

as the suds gently turned off the lights

to his life.

.

And now, whenever her gaze lands upon that Johnson & Johnson’s

she cannot help but cry.

08

Feb

RLB #32: The Understatement: Construct a poem in which you explore a dramatic situation in your own life; the construction must mirror either Incident or Sorting Laundry (particularly in stanza, length, and rhyme). You must treat the subject of your poem (that is, the dramatic situation) with understated language, so as to create emphasis in the absence of extremism and by way of implication.

You have (1) new notification(s)

.

Once browsing my Facebook newsfeed,

Rather bored, droopy-eyed,

I saw a notification

that made me click “reply.”

.

Now I had moved and did not know

All that happened overseas,

But on his wall, a close old friend’s,

There was written, “R.I.P.”

.

I scrolled past many Facebook posts,

omg, ikr? LOL.

Of all the things uploaded there

That is all I can recall.