Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Facebook


    Facebook became a world wide social network in 2005. It has 1.1 billion users and it's worth 11.7 billion dollars. Mark Zuckerberg is one of the rich people in the world.Facebook is now the important part of most people's lives. Many people love it and believe that it helps them to constantly be in touch with their families , friends,… Facebook connects millions of people, all we need is an internet connection and a computer to be connected to the other side of the world. Facebook is the social network. People who live hundred miles away from each other, can share their knowledge, pictures, videos, and common interests. Facebook is translated into 70 languages.A statistic shows that young men between 18-24 are the most users of Facebook in the world.

Facebook started in February 2004 at Harvard, then it spread to Stanford, Columbia, and Yale by March. By the end of the year of 2004 it reached one million users. By 2006, it reached over 2 million people. By 2007 the users were increased by 1 million in U.K and 2 million in Canada. A year after, people started to use it from Spain, French, and German. By 2009, the users increased to 300 million.California is the top state for using Facebook by 19041160 users. There's a report that Americans spend more on Facebook than any other U.S website. And that the average American is on Facebook about 7 hours a month. Moreover, by using Facebook we can inform people in no time. Many activists use Facebook around the world to do political things. They use Facebook so the outside world can hear their voice. An example is like what happened in Egypt. Ghonim is the activist that made a Facebook page, and basically after 2 minutes, 300 people liked his page, and after the 3 months the number grown to 250,000. That's how he reached out to Egyptian youth by using Facebook to protest, but the government shut down the internet for a day and made all protesters very angry. So it's a very useful way to gather people together, and do positive things around the world or vice versa.

    However, some believe that it's a social distraction. The example is instead of going out for a coffee, sit and talk to each other, and enjoy the time being together, people prefer to stay home and message their friends on Facebook. But even when you're going to restaurants, theaters , or anywhere you can see that people are together, but they constantly just type and text, checking their Facebook, and spend more time with their phones than people around them. Maybe because smart phones are much more interesting, smarter, and more interactive unlike humans. One tragedy about this technology is that people don’t like looking each other in the eyes anymore. Personally, I use Facebook to be in touch to my friends who live in Iran. I found my childhood friends and for me is a useful thing. However, sometimes I see that people's lives are depended to Facebook, and they put their whole life on Facebook. But what we have to know is that if we put something on Facebook, we should except that it’s 100% unequivocally public. There are different things that Facebook will do to protect our privacy. But as we all know if we put some information online there’s a little bit that we can do to get it off the internet. We may not realize it but the posts on Facebook can be so dangerous. We can share something that belongs to our past which may not seem so important to us but it may be a serious thing for our employer. With finding those things on Facebook by our employers we can easily lose our jobs. The thing is we think we use Facebook, but the bottom line is it uses us. The simple example is that we like something and we share it, but the only one who benefits from it is Facebook, not us. However, in my opinion, Facebook is only a good option if we’re a businessman and we want to sell our product, or any other jobs that need advertisements. It’s the easiest way to make something popular among people. Or if we want to find our old friends. Nowadays, we barley even talk to each other and try to become friends. We are all in our lonely world which we created and don't like to share it with anybody. Our friends are not humans anymore, our friends are devices and websites.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Digital Media Culture


    Digital media can change our world. As time goes by and technology improves, we lose the real "us" and we turn to a person that we created for ourselves. Simple example is people who use Facebook, more than half of them do not show who they are in real life. With the statues and pictures that they upload, they create somebody new. Moreover, we lose the feeling to be a human. As a student mentioned it in the class, we introduce ourselves with the numbers that society gave us everywhere we go (school, DMV, social security,…). In near future we will be robots with IDs, or maybe we already became robots and we still can't feel it.
Digital democracy has its good and bad influence on the society. One positive thing that digital media brought is the opportunity of having a digital democracy. Democracy changes all the time, and with digital democracy, people can join together from around the world with their ideas. But the negative part is that digital democracy can play with people, and fool them, because there's no way to know what they put online is from a reliable source, and if it's real or not!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fight Club

    Fight club is about distraction of society, and it's about doing things that will make you to feel alive. It's about to know yourself. From the postmodernism point of view, there's no oneself. There's no way to find oneself, but the problem with that is if you don't know who you are, and you don't find yourself, how can you know how to live?
Basically, in the movie, the main character (narrator) and the fight club group have something real to fight for, and that's the reason that makes them to feel alive. They want to feel that they are real. Jim Morrison once said "Alive, any of you alive -- let's take a poll -- how many of you know you're really alive?"
Fight club is also about gender and masculinity. What we know is that gender has a huge influence on the world.  Society looks to men and women in a certain way, that men are masculine and strong. But this movie doesn't show that, moreover, the main character (the narrator) is not masculine at all.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Natural and Fake Beauty

Susan Bordo explains in her article " Material Girl" that with doing any kind of plastic surgery which are the technological achievements we are turning to machines and plastics. However, what we know and believe is that we don't need to be trapped in a body that we were born with, we can change ourselves in many ways and there's no problem with that. The main reason that we want to change ourselves are the magazines, advertisements… . Their job is to make women to feel unhappy about themselves and the way that they look. They make women to believe that if they change themselves and try to become like the girls and women in the magazines, they will feel much better about themselves and will be more acceptable in the society. That's the reason that women want to look better, they like to change their appearance and to look different. So what do they do? They go to a plastic surgeon with an image of a sexy, beautiful girl that they cut from a magazine.
Bordo also mentions that even Madonna who is a radical feminist and many women are inspired by her, changed herself many times even though she said  that she accepted the way she looked. After her statement, she continuously changed her image and now what she tries to prove to women is that it's good and better to look different.
Tina Lizardi said " I will do anything, anything, to make myself look and feel better". This is a sentence that many women tell themselves everyday, they believe that they don't look good enough and have to change themselves. But all they need to do is to embrace their natural beauty.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

2 Movies About Rock Bands

In class we saw 2 movies about Rock bands. One was about The Beatles which was called A Hard Day's Night, and the other one was about The Doors. Personally, I really enjoyed The doors movie.

The Beatles movie was made in 1964. That movie was out exactly at the time that they were famous, they actually played their own characters. However, the movie proves the radicalism. It wants to show that Beatles are cool, and the movie is trying to sell something anti-cool to us that we are part of it but not the Beatles. They are real, sexy, cool, but not us. This movie is nothing but an advertisement. An advertisement for the Beatles, that makes you to buy their songs, posters, albums,…

However, in The Doors movie I felt like I'm watching things that happened in 60's, even though the movie was made in 1991. I felt that it tries to show us how the band got together, their performances, and how did they behave,…Even though the Doors band members didn't play that movie and Jim Morrison was dead at that time but every time I watch this movie it takes me to the 60's when they were alive and young even though I wasn't even born yet. In my opinion it doesn't want to sell you anything. The movie doesn't show only good things about them.
The Doors movie is really about the band and about their music but the other movie is not.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Teaching Life




    I want to start to introduce my movie by a quote from Osho. "Religion is not based on belief or faith: religion is based on awe, religion is based on wonder. Religion is based on the mysterious that is your surround. To feel it, to be aware of it, to see it, open your eyes and drop the dust of the ages. Clean your mirror! and see what beauty surrounds you, what tremendous grandeur goes on knocking at your doors. Why are you sitting with closed eyes? Why are you sitting with such long faces? Why can't you dance? and why can't you laugh?" My movie is called A Teaching Life. I hope this movie will make people think again about their beliefs and the way that they live their lives.

  My story begins with a professor whose name is Levi. Professor Levi is 65 years old and he did lots of experiment in his life. He has a small apartment in Los Angeles which has 4 units. His plan is to sell them to religious people. Anytime someone comes to see the apartments, he starts to ask about their religion, where did they come from and ….As the story goes on, he sells the first unit to a Christian family. A young man whose name is Jack with his wife whose name is Rose and a little girl whose name is Christine. He decides to sell the second unit to an old Jewish man whose name is Omeet and his wife Adina. A young Muslim guy gets the third one, he's name is Muhammad and he moved to Los Angeles to study. And a Hindu woman buys the last unit. She moved to Los Angeles to work and send money to her family, and her name is Bela. Basically, they move in and at first everything seems good. We see their daily lives, they go to work, come back, spend some time with their family, watch TV and,…. They all watch their own channels. The movies, music and everything they watch is in their own language.The point that is important here is that we may think watching TV can't change our perspective and our beliefs but it does. As Steward M.Hoover said "The fact that important traditions of musical, cinematic and literary expression have their roots in religion is a further way that "religion"and "media" share a strong and complex relationship." Nowadays, some of us know that our ideas, beliefs and identity are shaped by news media such as electronics, television, radio, newspapers, …. By watching TV or listening to radio we learn new things in life. The news media help people to identify people around them as friends or enemies.In the movie after a few weeks living in the same building, problems arises between them. We may ask why? But there's no answer to that except that they have different religions. Levi lives in a house near by the apartment, so he clearly knows what's happening there. Jewish family hates the Christian family and vice versa, Christian family hates the Muslim guy, And the Hindu woman also hates Muslims too. What did they do wrong? Nothing. The only reason is that they can't accept other ideas, and they think they're the only ones who are right, and that their religion is the only true religion.

    Many years ago Priests were the story tellers and they had to talk about biblical history, but today mass media does that job and transmit stories.As Laurence Moore mentioned in his book, religious people know that they have to compete in a market place to be popular. And that religion is only an item to advertise culture. Even though we live in the 21 century and there are some people who don't believe in religion, but huge part of us still depends on it, like these 4 different groups of people who can't stand living together. The whole point of the movie is that Levi wants to prove to them and the world that they are wrong, that we are all one and no religion can separate us from each other. Even though we are brain washed we still can come to our consciousness and see the truth. Many people may not believe that with watching movies, news,… their belief get stronger and they become more religious even though they're not going to Churches or temples. A very simple example to prove that, is when things happen around the world, we know about them by media and most of the things that we see has a message which shows the importance of faith which has a huge impact on people's lives.

    What I want to show in my movie is a huge problem that happens everywhere. People don't respect other people with different religions, and the funny thing is that they sit and talk about peace in the world, but they can't even make peace with their own neighbors.The story of these 4 neighbors is that they decide to get together and talk about the apartment, to pick a manager and other usual things. They all go to Jack's house. His wife makes dinner and they start to talk about the management. Jack goes and brings wine so they can drink together, and while he is pouring the wine Muhammad says that he doesn't drink wine, and the first insult starts from there that Jack's wife says "why? Because it's against your religion and if you drink you'll burn in hell?" And Muhammad insults her too  and says that " it's better to think that way than to think that your drinking Jesus' blood. Don't you think so?" Then Omeet starts and say things about Christian people and insult them too. Bela also starts to insult both Jewish family and Muslim guy. They end up to leave and not talk to each other anymore. Now it's time for Levi to do his experiment. He makes up a reason to go and see each of them alone and talk to them. He goes to their houses one by one and while he's talking to them, he hypnotizes them. He tries to make them forget about where did they come from? What do they believe, and what religion they have. Then it shows that they live their normal lives without even remembering what happened to them. However, when they see each other in the hallway, they talk to each other, they respect and help each other, and smile. They start to love each other beyond the words that I can explain. Levi decides to do another experiment to be sure about the result. So he invites all of them to his house and he hypnotizes them again, but this time he makes them to remember their religion and their beliefs. He makes them to live the life the way that they lived for years. So basically we see that they live in the building and they hate each other. One day when they are all in the building, all of a sudden a fire starts and the whole building starts to burn. Everybody tries to run out and stay alive. They come out and stand there while the building is burning. However, 2 people are missing Omeet and Muhammad. All of them know that they are in the building because they saw them in the hallway a few minutes before the fire, but they just stand there and watch the building fade away, except Omeet's wife who's crying but she's to old to do anything. And then the movie rewinds back and goes to the point that Levi hypnotizes them again in his house, but this time he talks about love, and makes them believe that religion doesn't exist. So the house is on fire again and when they are all out Bela notices that Ommet and Muhammad are missing. She knows that they are in the building because she was talking to them a minute ago. She tells Jack and they run back inside to find them. Bela and Jack risk their lives to save their neighbors lives.                                                                                           At the end, professor Levi decides to write a book about his experiment and wants to let the whole world know about it and he decides to name his book  " A Teaching Life."

    I believe this movie is a good source to change the way people think. I'm not saying everybody will think differently after watching this movie, but I believe we can change a few people's lives and still be hopeful that we can bring peace to the world.

"Peace has to dance
and silence has to sing.
And unless your innermost realization
becomes a laughter,
something is still lacking.
Something still has to be done."
"Osho"











Moore, Robert Laurence. Selling God: American Religion in the Marketplace of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Print.

Badaracco, Claire. Quoting God: How Media Shape Ideas about Religion and Culture. Texas: Baylor University Press, 2005. Print.

Hoover, Stewart M. Media and Religion. Boulder: University of Colorado, 2008. Print.

Osho. Osho Quotes on Religion. Oshoba.org <http://www.oshoba.org/osho_quotes.php?qton=Religion>



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Orientalism

Oirentalism is a way that westerners use to show us the eastern culture. It shows the idea and the image of the "other" which is totally different from westerners "us". Edward Said explained orientalism by saying that "The Orient that appears in Orientalism, then, is a system of representations framed by a whole set of forces that brought the Orient into Western learning, Western consciousness, and later, Western empire.… The Orient is the stage on which the whole East is confined. On this stage will appear the figures whose role it is to represent the larger whole from which they emenate. The Orient then seems to be, not an unlimited extension beyond the familiar European world, but rather a closed field, a theatrical stage affixed to Europe".
Orientalism is a way that western come to understanding of westerners by the opposite side which are the easterners.
We can find orientalism in movies like James Bond, Argo, Sheik, Road to Morocco, and many others. An example of orientalism can be seen in Casino Royale movie. There's a scene in the movie that two African men go to a hotel room with a sward and try to chop off Le Chiffre's girlfriend's hand. We can find orientalism in that scene even though they are not even Muslim or Arab. However, they are considered as "other" to westerners, and if they were from west they would carry a weapon which they could hide, not a big sward. And another example in this movie is when those two African man come out of the hotel room, and James Bond faces them with no weapon and like always he puts them down. This is a movie that raises up the westerners, and shows how perfect and better they are.
Another example of orientalism can be find in another James Bond movie which is called You Only Live Twice, starring Sean Connery. There's a scene that Sean Connery tells the Chinese girl that she's different which means that she's different from western girls.
We also can find orientalism in European paintings which are based on what they are thinking of easterners. It's just the idea that they have about them.



"Them" who are the "other" and who are "different".