Friday, February 27, 2009

social clique - cliche

It's somewhat funny how close the two words clique and cliche are, I know they aren't actually that close, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same person thought them up and perhaps at the same time. Although this is all very unlikely. Well they probably are both french.

I was thinking about the convergence of media/cultures and media cultures for that matter, and how so many things and places want to be connected now more than ever to tap into all of these different cliques and cliches. For example the new cable ad that appears that a guy wrote a song a taped it for youtube that utilizes many of the common themes from music videos and youtube in one and sneaks in some video game themes, to sell cable tv. That definitely seems like a convergence right there.

Here's that video:

So why cliche, cliques... I know that most mediums are trying to focus their focus on one group of people in order to create a hype within that community and this seems to be working really well, and because of this many people can see that media is actually getting better. Television shows aren't boiler plate specials anymore throwing in the kooky neighbors, they are focused and try to create an interactive fan base. This is making more money for the industries and also keeping the market happy, we all win right?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

spoiler on spoiler

Interview with Chillone by Reality News Online

In doing a bit of research after reading the first chapter, led me to this interview, which is pretty interesting.
but could be a spoiler for those who haven't read it, so wait! or don't. that's the beauty of it all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

consider the source.

To begin to think of the implications of teaching media literacy in a library, my first thought is to educate those who come into any library setting about the sources of the books or media they are wanting to check out. The source for any media is many of things, for books it is the author of the book, but beyond that it is also the publisher and anyone else who may have funding production of the book...

Doing this I believe immediately can open the eyes of patrons to understanding the value of the messages of what they are reading. If a health/diet book is funded by McDonald's you can immediately tell that something fishy is going on with that book.

But other media can be broken down this way as well... for example, many local papers are funded by the grocery store advertising, and with equally less frequency there is not discussion of grocery stores/food safety in many papers because they do not want to lose this crucial funding. There seem to be a great load of articles on this topic at this website I was going to specifically link to this piece, but think it may be a bit to research/science based to prove the point I was looking for but I suppose I am doing it anyway:

Thinking about education of media sources, I think this starts to get the discussion going, determining who publishes certain video games or romance novels or whatever it may be is a great way to get people to start thinking about the media they are consuming, similar to the nutrition fact labels on food product, many disregard them and don't realize what goes into food anymore... the same is happening with our media sources.

Oh this reminds me of this commercial that i'm unsure if anyone who grew up outside of st. louis ever got to watch, but it was on the christian public station, 24. They showed sort of PSA announcements in between their shows, and they had a commercial (that i can't find anywhere online) that showed two kids laughing and enjoying tv and having some junk food, then this garbage man walks into the home and the mom says hello and the kids say hello, and then he dumps a garbage can full of garbage into the television, as if that was the food on which the television relied on to be able to work... and the kids were extremely happy to have this deposit and the garbage man leaves and they get to watch tv some more. Its a pretty strong message and it has stuck with me for quite some time, my BA is actually in media studies, and its interesting how things can stick with you. As in McLuhan he describes with music and hearing, "The ear favors no particular 'point of view.' We are enveloped by sound. Certain ways of learning are stronger through these media and it is important to recognize that as educators, and if we can somehow figure out a way to implement these stronger learning methods than we can perhaps really change and progress the way that people use their minds.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


A medium is a tool that connects people together. I think that this definition can apply well to anything that can be defined as a medium.

A medium can and will be replaced by something that can connect people more quickly or more reliably.

The only instance of a medium going backwards is text messaging through cell phones. It seems that that is a bit of a reversal of technology, when you can call someone and have a direct conversation versus having a conversation that you must wait for the text for does not seem like a logical leap, but it is wildly popular.

I think Postman believes with every step that the medium goes forward through is degrading our society one step further. Almost everything has two sides though on which you can see the positive and negative possibilities. There are many many possible ways to communicate and connect with people now and that ultimately has to be much better for all of us as a whole. I remember waiting for my mom in high school to pick me up after I would call her collect and do that "we-had-a-baby-its-a-boy" thing during the state your name "i'm-out-of-school-come-get-me" etc... and now that's not something anyone would think of as a solution... it's fun.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Something To Write Home About.

So Critical Literacy... this is the discussion topic after a wonderful class discussion on which to focus here. Critical Literacy in many ways it seems as a way to have an equal balance of listening, learning, knowledge, and growth... and being constantly proactive in creating a means to have this happen. Looking at my current library role there is not much of an expansion of other people's minds based on the material I produce or anyone else does for that matter. Mostly I do a lot of web management of an extensive art collection and in my mind I like to dream that I am adding all of these pages to add to the collective world of art and hopefully someone will find the artist they've always been searching for on our site and be fulfilled. In a sense that is how I see my critical literacy playing out, I try to organize the digital art collection in a way that others may be able to find the information they are seeking. However, I am reminded daily in my office that although its pretty straightforward in organization, generally by the artist's last name and also the same within categories, that many people struggle with the content no matter how obvious I try to make it. Its difficult to make a website have this balance between the creator and also the user, and probably most who observe websites do not see that someone has planned the content to make it easier for them. In attempts to make the relationship between myself and the user I have implemented surveys of the site and occasionally beyond that I am open to feedback when I rarely answer the phones I try to sneak in any customer opinions of the site. It is frustrating to see people struggle with knowledge, and as Freire discusses the best way to make content is to make it of direct personal interest of those who are experiencing it, so that is something that I should try to incorporate perhaps to have people feel more comfortable with the information.

Furthermore, inside of the office on a more direct level with both the digital and extensive book/catalog collection we have it would be of use to have the critical literacy in this sense be more balanced by having a more direct selection for those who are seeking the information. My boss wants to keep every book that ever comes in, and that is overwhelming to everyone and I end up being the one who organizes it all and also then has to find it when someone is looking for it, if they had a more active role in the material then it would be of more use to everyone in the long run. Having a more balanced and direct collection would probably be much more useful to everyone and would create a much more respectful atmosphere in general.

However, my current work is not in my interest group per se... I enjoy the art world and do feel that I could continue within it, my deeper interest lies within children's museums and the education possibilities held within that realm. Currently, from some of my observational study of children's museums, I have found that more often than not the museum let's the child take over the museum, be king/queen of the day and climb on everything and just have a fantastic time. Doing this though shifts the balance of education so far towards the child that there is not a direct connection in many people's minds that the children's museum is actually of any educational value to children, and this definitely needs to be shifted. There has to be a way of creating a children's museum in which children can be hands on and also learn about while they are having fun. I am reminded actually of an exhibit at the Minnesota Minneapolis/St. Paul Science Museum, within which they had a very small exhibit that was a big hit actually where the child got to weave wool. There were four looming stations set up with recycled wool ropes, that you could weave between the loom and learn the basics of how textiles are created. This exhibit had an enormous line, it was incredible actually to see the interest in weaving amongst all of these children, both boys and girls to create something that was just going to be demolished by the next user... This exhibit I feel is almost perfect in creating the relationship that Freire would want in a children's museum between the exhibit being very focused on one task and teaching many different aspects of the process in a very hands-on way. This exhibit taught the hard work, the struggles with wool, the beauty of a finished product, and the actual craft of weaving. To me it seems there is rarely a good balance in active more hands-on museums such as the science or children's museum that creates something that drives interest and also teaches through the exhibit... ultimately this would be the critical literacy required for a successful museum environment.

Also, if you've made it this far down, somehow Amazon sent me two copies of the Postman book and I do not see a need of having two, I did pay for both and don't feel like hassling them to send it back for a refund. If you would like it, comment and I don't know maybe five dollars? best offer really.