Many commercials today focus on selling a certain product or service, incorporating as much convincing propaganda as possible to make a point.  However, some commercials, such as the TRUTH anti-smoking videos, have a message that is portrayed in a very powerful way.  These videos are meant to affect the strongest of feelings in the user.  This is exactly the case in the video for PurpleFeather Online Content.  The video shows a blind man begging for change with a sign that reads, “I’m blind, please help.”  Nobody around seems to be giving the man any change, but then a woman walks up to him.  After writing something on the man’s sign, the woman leaves, and suddenly people start loading the man down with their spare change.  When the woman comes back, the blind man asks her what she did to his sign, and she explains that she wrote the same think he did, just in different words.  A screen shot of the sign shows that the sign now reads, “It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t see it.”  The video is meant to show the power of words, and how using different words to say something can make a world of difference.  The blind man was unable to express the severity of his condition in a way that would affect other people’s feelings toward him, and he had surely experienced the usual denial of spare change from many people.  However, the woman’s strong words turn condescending passers into heartfelt, caring individuals.  One cannot help but feel the sheer power of this video through watching it, almost too much for the actual message of the video.  Although one can immediately understand what the video is about after, seeing the advertisements, the initial presentation of what the girl had written leaves a viewer in complete sorrow for the blind man, just as the people in the video do, and without any idea that the video is about word choice.

I felt that the video was  a very strong one, leaving every viewer with a feeling of sorrow for the blind man.  However, that is not the message that is meant to be shown, and I feel as if it is a bit distracting from the actual message.  True, the point of the video does capture the message in the most extreme way possible, but the video leaves the viewer with feelings that may cause them to forget the idea that the organization is trying to promote.  I cannot deny that the video has left me thinking about it since my first viewing of the movie, and I’m sure that everyone that watches the video gets the same rush of feelings that I do when watching, for it is impossible to miss.  All in all, I still believe the video was effective because I have yet to stop telling people about it and calling it one of the most powerful videos I have seen on the net.  I encourage viewers to watch this video for both the message of elaborate word choice and, most of all, the amazing trigger for feelings that the video contains.

Link for the video:

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81430349/

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Response to “The Restroom and Equal Opportunity”

The article “The Restroom and Equal Opportunity”, by Harvey Molotch, describes the problems that can arise from the need for equal opportunities between the male and female genders.  Molotch uses the case of public restrooms, which are required to be equal for both males and females, to present his point.  Although the size of public restrooms are the same for both genders, he argues that, due to American societal norms involving personal privacy, restrooms for females require much more space to accommodate more bathroom stalls.  This ultimately leads to the problem of huge waiting lines outside womens restrooms.  Other than the obvious solution of making female restrooms more spacious, Molotch also brings up how alternative solutions, such as changing the way female restrooms are set up to optimize efficiency at the cost of privacy.  The author uses this case to present his more broad idea of how many societal differences can produce a disadvantage towards certain groups of people.

Equal opportunity can also cause problems in situations where equality might just mean providing a facility that is equal for both, without providing separate facilities.  To stick with the bathroom topic, public outhouses can provide just as much of a problem as the problems between male and female restrooms.  Again, the physical differences between male and female are presenting the problem.  In this case, the typical “don’t leave the seat down” argument becomes a serious problem.  When men enter the outhouse, those who fail to pull the toilet seat up, are leaving a much unwanted mess for the women who have to use the outhouse afterward.  A solution for this, which I have seen being used in some public outhouses, would be to put a urinal in the outhouse, providing another place for men to use the restroom while standing.  As I’ve stated, this change has already taken place in the development of many outhouses, and I’m sure it will take effect in all public outhouses soon to provide another truly equal facility for both genders.

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Summary of “My Cosmetic Surgery” by Cindy Jackson

As a child, Cindy Jackson was surrounded by the beauties she wanted to be.  Her sister was quite easy on the eyes, so Cindy befriended many of her sister’s beautiful friends.  Naturally, as Cindy got older, she became envious of her better-looking acquaintances and their ability to catch the attention of the popular boys.  The situation only worsened as time went on, and Cindy wanted more to be like the girls she had grown up comparing her looks to.  As the trend continued, and Cindy encountered more good-looking women, she coveted everything these women had that she didn’t have.  A turned-up nose, full lips, beautiful eyes; Cindy wanted all of these things, and yet she was born without.

After a small inheritance from her father’s death, Cindy began to play around with the idea of plastic surgery.  At the age of thirty three, she began a series of surgical procedures to change her into the woman she had always wanted to be.  Starting with her eyes, she then shaped her nose and chin to her liking, then came the liposuction.  Cindy didn’t stop with a little shaping and fat-reduction, but continued to work on her lips (collagen not being enough, she went on to a lower-lip implant), and of course the ever-so-popular breast implants (which she didn’t like and eventually got rid of).  As her plastic surgery came to an end, Cindy began to notice that richer, more powerful men were giving her more attention.  Her everlasting theory that prettier women are more interesting to most men was being strengthened more every time someone made a pass at her.  To Cindy, her looks are more empowering than any amount of knowledge could be, and she feels no remorse for her decision on plastic surgery.

I found it somewhat difficult to mix a variety of formal and informal writing into my summary, but it was more tedious than difficult to me.  The hard part wasn’t the writing, but integrating the two summaries proved to be a bit of a task.  I’m used to writing much more formal papers so the formal writing was much easier for me to work with.  I tried to morph my writing to be as informal as possible while preserving the formal aspects of the writing.  I think that through reading what I have wrote, most will catch on to the informal part of the paper much easier, simply because I had to try harder to put informal language into my writing.

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The Story of Stuff

“The Story of Stuff” was a very strong argument of what Annie Leonard sees in the process that goods used by the United States go through until their disposal, and how we can change the wasteful nature of the economy to a more resourceful system.  Throughout the video, Leonard explains how the American system of producing and distributing goods is flawed with many of the methods implemented.  For instance, the resources used to produce many consumer products are rapidly depleting every year due to our rapid rate of consumption, but a high consumption is needed to develop a strong economy.  Leonard stresses the importance of these flaws, but she also explains why some of them are problems that require more than simple thought to solve.  A particular example of this is her explanation of distribution and how companies make money from the people who consume their products.  According to Leonard, “its all about externalizing costs, what that means is that the costs of making stuff isn’t captured in the price.”  Basically, what she is trying to say is that big companies are able to keep costs down by exploiting certain areas to produce goods.  The arguments Leonard uses start with an explanation of how goods are moved through the process, but then explains the ways that this process affects other people.

I believe that Paolo Freire would apply his views about the school banking system to the process of production and distribution.  When speaking of how companies can go about producing goods, Leonard refers to the government: “and some of these people matter a little more than others, some have a little more say.”  This is almost exactly Freire’s point of view on the school system works.  Almost entirely consistent with what Freire asserts, Leonard writes about how the government regulates what actions are taken to produce, distribute, and dispose of the products that we use every day.

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Violence Erupts in Downtown Wilmington

An altercation outside of The Rhino, a club in downtown Wilmington, resulted in a fight which ultimately led to a stabbing around two this morning.  The violence involved dozens of people, and three men came out of the fight with stab wounds.  One of the men, only twenty years old, was stabbed in the chest and was pronounced dead at the hospital, becoming the first homicide to be reported in Wilmington for the new year.  The other two men are being treated in the hospital for wounds that don’t appear to be fatal.  Although it was never directly stated, the article implied that a majority of the violence that occurs in Wilmington takes place downtown, most incidents happening not too far from The Rhino and its neighbor clubs.  Not only did the violence result in a major problem with the situation downtown, but two others were shot while driving away from the scene.  The victims stated that they witnessed the fight at The Rhino, and were shot from another vehicle.  Luckily, the wounds were not fatal, but this again brings up the issue with the amount of violence downtown. The fact that the shooting happened only a few minutes away from the scene of the stabbing only strengthens the author’s implied meaning in the writing.

The author of the article states that the Wilmington Police Department claimed to have more than a few problems with The Rhino and the area surrounding the club.  Furthermore, he brings up the idea of shutting down the club to try and lessen the amount of violence that occurs downtown, an idea that might soon come into play if the problems continue.  Although violent incidents occur downtown frequently, this is an eye-opener for many, considering a man just out of his teenage years was killed.  This incident could very well be the trigger needed for night-life in downtown Wilmington to all but removed from the city.

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