“It’s Not for Women”

Dear Brian L. Roberts,

I’m writing to you, the CEO of Comcast, a letter regarding a certain commercial you allowed to air in the recent past. This commercial is from an extremely sexist campaign that Dr. Pepper came out with and advertised. The product was Dr. Pepper’s low calorie soft drink, Dr. Pepper Ten. This soda, was given the slogan “Not for women” by the Dr. Pepper Snapple group.  They used this slogan in a variety of advertisements, but more specifically, commercials airing on your cable network.Image

Immediately, this sexist slogan turns heads and grabs the public’s attention through its unethical and offensive techniques. Dr. Pepper offers this new soft drink to the public, claiming that the low combination of calories, yet same amount of sugars, cannot be handled by women.Image Not only does this campaign go out of its way to avoid women, it also downplays the intelligence of men through self-mocking advertisements and helps to cement stereotypes of “manly men”. In one scene of the commercial, the manly man who is drinking Dr. Pepper Ten proclaims, “Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda…You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.” Not only is this advertisement purposely trying to offend women and denounce their importance, but it also helps to establish gender roles.  Among many other things, the ad is essentially saying men cannot enjoy romantic comedies because they are too “girly”. It is saying to the public that certain products and beliefs are only for men and other products and values are for women. When in reality, this belief is old-fashioned and attempts to hold back men and women’s ability to flourish in whatever they choose.

Image

Do you reaImagelly want your network to be associated with these sexist values, beliefs and stereotypes? By airing this commercial, you are essentially saying “yes” to sexism. You, therefor, are not a progressive person who would shy away from such traditional, stubborn, and ignorant representations of a product. Instead, your closed-minded attitude is portrayed to the entire nation by choosing to air this commercial. What is the message that you wish to present to children? That all men should be machos and
women aren’t tough enough to drink a certain beverage?  Again, these are certain, idiotic beliefs and messages that have no place in our homes, society, and lives.

This advertisement can be extremely detrimental on the youth.  In a day and age where products have enormous control over consumers, it’s sad to see you support such a product that very well supplements gender roles and sexism. It seems like a step in the entirely wrong direction from your network, especially in a society that is so eager to create a new, equal opportunity, world.

Do something,

Zach

http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/leadership-overview/brian-l-roberts

Aside

The Power of Products

I have been watching a ton of movies lately, but one that sticks out in my mind is the movie, Elysium, staring Matt Damon. This futuristic film paints a picture of the lives of the elites compared to the lives of the common folk on earth.  Earth has turned into a dark, dystopian, socImageiety where robots control the land through brute force and facial recognition. The rich and elite have left the planet and begun living on a “perfect” man-made space station, called Elysium. This space station has created its own atmosphere, allowing the wealthy to experience outside land they can walk on and fresh air they can breathe.Image

On Elysium, there are medical technologies that can cure any illness. The supposedly uneducated, poor, and sick live down on the garbage filled streets of earth. They all desperately want to make it to Elysium and live the life the rich do. The only way to get to the constructed planet is by personal space crafts the wealthy own or a lottery shuttle ticket that takes you to the planet illegally.

The movie follows the life of Matt Damon, who works with radioactive storage crates. His character accidentally gets trapped in a crate, exposing him to massive amounts of radiation. Upon waking up in a hospital, he is told he only has 5 days to live. Damon, who is extremely desperate to heal himself and save his life, plans to find a way to Elysium.  Low and behold, Damon used to be a criminal and is offered an illegal job by one of his accomplices that may grant him access to a shuttle ride up to Elysium.  He takes the job and is able to earn his way to Elysium…. The rest you have to watch.Image

What really caught my attention from this film was the product placement. I thought it was extremely cool to Imagesee the futuristic aspects of these products. For example, the main product that stuck out in my mind was the Bugatti space crafts. These were considered the exotic cars of the future that would carry the elites from Elysium to their businesses down on earth. I feel as though the audience would certainly notice and remember this brand because of the intriguing and futuristic designs of the space craft. The exotic shuttle sported the typical Red and Black Bugatti colors and symbol, making it extremely easy to identify. Bugatti was not the only product to be used by the wealthy; medical pods also were created by the brand Versace.Image

In a recent article, the Director of the film was quoted in saying that he created these Bugatti shuttles and Versace medical pods in order to present an accurate representation of the lives’ of the elite. The fact that these products are still around 150 years in the future shows a certain resilience and overall success from these companies. The extra-prestigious nature of the products propels it over other high quality brands, earning access into the futuristic lives of the extremely wealthy.

 

http://www.slashfilm.com/how-neill-blomkamp-chose-the-product-placement-in-elysium/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1535108/

Expecting Adam

Last semester, I was assigned to read a book for my Family Resources class. At first, I was stressing this task because reading a three-hundred page book did not seem too thrilling to me. I chose to read the non-fiction novel, Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic by Martha Beck. ImageI began to read this book at the beginning of last November and was finished within three days. This novel came to my attention because it was on the list of possible books that we could read for class. I began thinking this novel was going to be frustrating and meaningless, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. I found the book at the Towson library and began to read it the same day.

This true story involves Martha and her husband, John and the bizarre events leading up to the birth of their child, Adam. Martha and John are married with a young daughter, Katie, and both are attending Harvard trying to receive their PhDs. With the hectic schedule of taking classes at Harvard and raising a toddler, another baby is the last thing Martha and John want to get themselves into. While pregnant with Adam, Martha begins having dreams and premonitions, which all seem to surprisingly come true. John also experiences these occurrences. Martha and John learn that their child is going to have Down syndrome, and everyone expects them to have an abortion because he will not be as “intelligent” as a normal baby.

Adam ends up being a very happy child. Although he lacks certain aspects of intelligence and is late in his physical and cognitive development, Adam looks at life in a way most people could not. He teaches John and Martha more lessons than they have ever learned from going to Harvard. This book taught me that people with special needs or setbacks should not be stereotyped and discriminated against because these people may lack what society believes is “intelligence,” but can have special attributes and an understanding of life that a normal person would never have. ImageI believe that this novel has had such an impact on me because throughout my life, I have never experienced quality time with a child having Down syndrome.

It is crazy that just because a child has one extra chromosome that he or she can have such a different approach to life. In a way, I am jealous of those people with Down Syndrome because as normal people, we are consumed and overwhelmed with the big things in life, but these “slower” people are able to find happiness in all of the little things. Reading this novel changed the way I look at people with special needs and realize they are just the same as us, they just do things a little different. This book has increased my want to read articles and other books that include stories of gifted children. These children may have “special needs,” but to me it seems more like “special powers”. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Expecting-Adam-Story-Rebirth-Everyday/dp/0307719642

 

Free Pizza?

Last weekend, May 3rd and 4th, I attended Towson’s annual Towsontown Spring Festival. I had a great time, enjoying the sights, sounds, atmosphere, and ambiance. The weather held up for the most part, allowing a plethora of companies and businesses  to set up shop, all ready and willintopg to present their products and ideas to happy spirited festival goes. The festival was held in the middle of Towson’s uptown streets, with vendor’s lining both sides of the curb. There were a mixture of tents, food trucks, and stands, all with intent to further their customer relationships. As I approached the festival from my short walk into town, I noticed the influx of people, loud noises, and of course the smell of food.  This got me thinking, what should I have to eat?

I paced the streets frantically searching for my next meal.  Every stand looked too good, making my decision nearly impossible. I was hoping one vendor would use other tactics than large, colorful signs with massive lettering to lure me in and make my decision easier. Then, it happened.

.
Ristorante Pizza
, one of the festival’s sponsors, was giving out free slices of pizzas. Wait, how could that be? Free pizza? That’s like getting first row Beyoncé tickets. I was sold immediately. I got in line and began to receive free pizza slice after free pizza slice.  From pepperoni, to meat lovers, to vegetable slices, to pineapple, they were serving it all. This promotional tactic remains to be my all-time favorite technique to experience a product; free sampling, isn’t it great?

   I was first attracted to this stand because of the large bald man in an old style pizzeria uniform shouting “FREE PIZZA”. This got my attention immediately.  Once in line, I was briefly debriefed about the product and was given a set of coupons. Before I ever tried it, I was informed it was frozen pizza by the workers. With the coupon in my hands, and this new information, I was eager to turn back out of line and try my luck else-wear; however, that is not what happened. I consumed slice after slice, filling my stomach to satisfaction.

Usually, I would forget about these promotional coupons, crumbling them into balls on my desk. But this time was different. Maybe it was the fact that I felt comfort in this pizza. Or maybe it’s because I’m a broke college student. Either way, I would make sure to use these coupons. The tactic to give away free samples of the product truly was successful.   A few days after, when I went to Safeway, I used the coupons to buy 2 boxes of Ristorante frozen Pizza.  If it were not for the Towsontown Festival and Ristorante’s promotional unit, I would not have bought their product.

http://www.towsontownspringfestival.com/

 

Dark Meat Disney

Older Disney movies are like the old dark meat chicken McNuggets at McDonald’s.

That made no sense I know, but just let me explain.

Disney culture and movies has been the cornerstone of many people’s childhoods. People idolize Disney. I mean why not? They are a massive billion dollar conglomerate solely existing for our entertainment. Entertain, they have, but at a cost. Between theme parks, movies, toys, video games, and more, Disney has made a massive impact in the market, on my life and the lives of many others.

Image
All Disney films come with a certain message. Whether it is obvious or not, the themes of each movie stick with you throughout your life. Certain themes come with certain movies, which have an insane influence on growing minds. At first, the obvious themes of follow your dreams and good prevailing over evil are presented and implemented into many Disney films. But when you take a second look, Disney appears to be much more sexist, racist, and biased than originally thought.

Now remember when I compared Disney to McDonald’s. Here’s how I figure:

Disney movies are presented to have fantastic morals and cultural values. Older McDonald’s presents their meat as 100 percent grade A. Obviously, none of this is the case. It was not until recently did we figure out that there was more behind Disney then “True Love” and “Prince Charming”, just how it was recently found out that McDonald’s “all white meat”, is not in fact, “All white meat”.
This called for damage control. Now McDonald’s meat products have improved, still with a few hiccups. Just like McDonald’s, Disney felt a need to establish a new precedent of moral efficiency. They have created movies like Frozen, where the Girl in the story is the protagonist and does not need a man to survive.

ImageImage
Crushing facts I know. Maybe feels like the wind got knocked out of you. How could he say that? Bad mouthing both McDonald’s and Disney?

That is America’s two favorite things. This guy must be crazy.

Now McDonald’s is another story, but the proof is in the pudding for Disney. One movie which really attracts my attention through its sexist messages is Aladdin. Aladdin explores themes of sexual seduction, fraud, lying, and women objectivity.
Jasmine is portrayed as an object; something that could be traded. She is legally unable to rule alone as a women, therefor her father has arranged a marriage for her. This alone presents Jasmine as a second class citizen. As well, Jasmine shows young girls that the only way to get what you want is by using your sexuality and physical appearance. She does this by seducing Jafar to get her own freedom. In the end, she still is unable to save herself and needs the help of a man to come full circle.

Image
Jasmine is not the only issue from this movie; Aladdin wins the love of his life by pretending to be something he’s not. Then, when he comes clean, he is accepted and rewarded for it. This tells young boys that if you lie about who you are to impress a girl, it will be alright when you tell the truth to them because you lied out of love. Obviously this is not a theme I would want burned into my child’s brain.

Image
Personally, I find what Disney did in its movies to be horrid from a human awareness standpoint, yet genius from a business and controlling standpoint. I think older Disney movies blatantly exploit parents and their children. They manipulate them to follow certain gender roles that the corporate elites are trying to enforce. On the positive end, Disney attaches personal meaning to their products that truly attracts fans and customers for life. Disney has been influencing mainstream culture since the 1930s. Even through all of the controversy, Disney will always remain to be the one and only place where dreams really do come true.

 

http://filmjamblog.com/2012/06/12/disneys-hidden-sexist-messages/

 

Job= InstaGONE

It should be no surprise at this point- Social media can get you in trouble. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Social media websites are the most visited websites on the internet. Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are being used and seen by everyone and anyone.

Image

This poses a serious threat for younger people trying to enter the workforce and has created a pretty prevalent issue; is the content on our social media pages affecting our ability to get a job? The answer is an obvious yes, but I researched the issue to find a more in depth explanation, eventually uncovering an article from Forbes.

What I got out of this article, which really aided me, was yes employers are looking at your profile, and for a variety of reasons. Employers and recruiters are using social media in multiple phases of the job selection process. Employers are originally looking up a candidate to see if you present yourself in a professional manner, are company cultured, have the proper qualifications, and to search for reasons not to hire you. According to a survey with CareerBuilder, Employers are slow to hire after finding inappropriate photos, posts, evidence of drinking/ drugs use, and bad mouthed posts about former employers.

Image
The article goes on to say that employers are also looking for information to give you a boost in the competition. They are searching for something positive on your profile to supplement your other qualities. Instead of only worrying about what you should take off your social networking profiles, it is important to think about building up your profile in a way that represents your character, productivity, creativity, and skills in a positive manner.

It is also important to be active on your social networking site, sharing articles and commenting on group posts. Employers look for key traits like those when deciding who will be the right fit.

Image

My take on this article is purely attentive. As someone who is planning on entering the workforce in the very near future, these facts and tips will remain to be extremely helpful for me. I think everything that was written in the article is very important. In order to get a job by beating out the next guy, the modern person must be well rounded, way beyond just a resume and cover letter.
I enjoyed the fact that this article used raw survey data of potential employers from two different survey outlets; however, I thought the CareerBuilder.com survey could have been from this past year.

Your online footprint says a lot about you. Before the last year or two, I had no idea these social networking sites could really affect my job search. Many students, including myself, did not realize the potential impact. Luckily, through online awareness articles and Towson career speakers, I now understand the importance of social media awareness.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/16/how-social-media-can-help-or-hurt-your-job-search/

 

Failed Future or a Soaring Success?

The controversial debate over the pros and cons of technological advancements has created a buzz in society. Will future technology bring forth a better, more efficient world? Or will society collapse under the immense pressure and scrutiny?   The world in 2035, which is roughly 20 years from now, could either have gone in two directions; A Utopian society where technology is so heavily integrated into our lives or a dystopian society where technological advances haunt our every move.

ImageImage

When thinking about the future, I like to remember the past. 20 years is basically nothing in the entire span of Earth’s history. 20 years ago would place us in the year 1994. Doesn’t seem too long ago does it?

I start off pondering the idea of a Utopian life in 2035, where technology has aged for the better. Life has become so complex, yet so simple. Technology has allowed for the need and social acceptability of immediate knowledge; the answers to anything and everything to be available at your fingertip. Whether from wrist devices, eye glasses, implanted microchips, or other technological outlets, information will be as common, efficient, and easy as checking the time on your watch.  You can see how the world is moving towards this in 2014, through Google’s Google Glass

.ImageEducation has thrived and really entangled itself with the advancement of technology. A class room has become the ultimate tool to learning, offering multiple ways to teach and apply the school curriculum to the students. No longer is it just a face to face, or face to textbook experience. Students will be taken back by holographic examples, online researching, an array of easily accessed vocabulary and literature, and much more. With this advanced technology comes a stricter placement structure. As a student progresses throughout the institution, their strengths are formulated and calculated to present the best options of possible career paths to follow. A student could pick a path as early as high school and began a scholastic program to achieving that goal.

The opposite end of the spectrum presents a dystopian society, where technology has grown immensely to the point where it blatantly violates our rights and controls every aspect of our lives.  ImageThis is a world where all of your information is held on one digital tablet. The crash of the entire American economic and monetary system shows the dollar plummeting to beyond worthless. The world’s elites get together to create a device allowing them to control the masses so another financial collapse does not occur again. Because of this, there is no more physical currency. Instead, your currency, bank account, social security, Identity, transportation keys, house keys, cellular device, watch, and any other digital device on your person will all be consolidated in this tablet. What seems like advancement in simplicity and technology turns into a loss of rights through governmental control.

If you owe a payment or are in debt, certain portions of your device could be shut off, denying access to things like your bank account or currency.  Because physical money has no value, there would be no other way you could access currency. If you commit a crime, your entire device will be frozen, essentially shutting off any access to money, cars, communication, and homes.

This society can only be possible if technology does not advance to the point where there is a third world war. If weapons technology continues to grow the way it has been, there is a very real possibility that we will be facing a third world war within the next 25 years. Although these are just theories, the potential outcomes could be catastrophic.

My life in 2035 will be drastically different. I will hope to have a successful job in the mass communication field, preferably working my way up through a prestigious advertising and marketing firm. Communication technologies will be available at the drop of a hat. Through digital lens, holographic devices, robots and other outlets, we will be able to access media and information at blazing speeds. I have trouble imagining a robot completely taking over all of our jobs (maybe because of the outcome of I,Robot) but I assume we will lose a good amount of jobs to specialty robots.

I think technology is going to strongly affect mass communications. Journalism will bring about the use of holographic or 3 dimensional storytelling. The advancement of technology will really cater to those in the Public Relation industry. They will be able to implement their ideas and words on a massive scale, uploading celebrity and company information and memos to the masses within seconds. They will have the ability to constantly be in your face, focusing on specific messages to an individual. Instead of broad apologies, each person could be sent a self- tailored message allowing the apology or message to seem sincere, specific, and intended. This also will aid the advertising industry. There will be a plethora of new techniques and dynamics to reaching their targeted audience. The faster receiving and sending power propels advertisers to implement their strategies on the masses and receive feedback immediately. The communication field can only flourish as technology advances.

Image