Make your own decisions- Walker Moe

Media Illiteracy

The media can mean many different things to different people but to me it is the coverage of everything that is happening from world news all the way to current music. Media is the ability to cover these important topics and express ideas and opinions about them. Some places around the world have strict limitations on the press and the media to “protect” national security and national secrets. This makes it hard for a lot of people in those areas to obtain information. In my opinion, media literacy is a person’s ability to obtain information about current events through reading, watching TV, listening to the radio, etc. and being able to form an opinion on it. The United States is one of the world leaders in media because there are not many limits placed on it because the constitution prevents that. We have all the main news networks and TV networks that broadcast all the major news such as CNN, Fox, ESPN, and others. Then there are local TV networks and radio stations that spread media and generally these local ones are more share more opinions than some of the national ones. There are also newspapers that have all the major media information. But the newest form of media and probably the most prominent right now is the internet. The internet and social media is where many of the people from our generation get all our information. Many of these sources are very biased and opinionated so it is very influential on us when we are forming our opinions on certain things and it should not be that way.

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Racial profiling is a major issue not only in America, but throughout the world. There are so many people that are stereotyped and discriminated against everyday simply because of their race or ethnicity. There isn’t one definite solution to this problem. You can’t just make everyone except one another because the reality of it is that there is and will always be people that cannot accept others. There is no real way to solve this problem but that doesn’t mean that individuals cannot make an effort to solve the problem. I want to help this problem and help make a difference no matter how small it is. For me the best way to do this is to be accepting of everyone no matter the race, religion, or culture and encourage the people around me to do the same. It is so important for everyone to be able to feel accepted and to be able to strive to reach their full potential. But no one can do that when they don’t have a fighting chance due to racial profiling. Racial profiling has to stop in every aspect but most importantly in law enforcement. It is not fair for some people to not be able to do certain things without worrying that they will be stopped or arrested just because of the color of their skin or the ideas in which they believe. So I will be the one in my friend group that stops any discrimination or judgement due to race when I see it, because one person can make a difference even if it is a small difference.

Super Bowl Commercial

Superbowl commercial precis

Hyundai went with the comedic approach using Kevin Hart to advertise their new 2016 Genesis as he suggests that his daughter and her date use his new 2016 Genesis for their date. Hart lets his daughter's date take them out in his brand new 2016 Hyundai Genesis that includes a built in tracker which he uses to sabotage the date as he follows them around to different places where the date spots him hiding in the movie theater, hiding inside a carnival game, and even hanging off a helicopter spying on them causing him to end the date early. When Hart’s daughter arrives home he proceeds to shut the door and ask her how the date was and where they went as if he didn't already know and wasn’t present for everyone of the activities they did on the date and all of this was a result of him not liking the fact that his daughter was dating and that her date called him “pops” when they first meet in the beginning of the commercial. The target audience of the commercial is parents, and especially fathers with teenage daughters because they give the parents the ability to track the whereabouts of their kids when they are out driving.

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Advertising plays a huge role on society and how we view the roles of genders. Ads target gender groups by portraying one gender to be something that it is not. A good example would be the Doritos ultrasound commercial during the super bowl. It portrayed the dad as a guy that didn’t care that his wife was having a baby and instead was more entertaining by eating a bag of Doritos. His wife is frustrated and it makes him look careless and stupid. This is a common theme in many commercials but it is not the only gender stereotype. Another big one is making the wife in a relationship look submissive to the husband. I see advertising as having a huge impact on society and the way we perceive people. I think it has an especially large effect on children and the way the view certain issues in society because they are exposed to it from a young age. They can see the way one person is treated in a commercial and decide that it is the way they need to treat people in the same situation just because they saw it on TV.


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Advertising can be very hypocritical at times. One of the most hypocritical type of commercials are the alcohol commercials that show partying during the commercial and then flash a “drink responsibly” message afterwards. They promote partying and drinking as much of their alcohol as you can because it makes them money but then they want you to drink responsibly. So really it’s indecisive. They could have a commercial that has people just casually drinking and then says to drink responsibly but the commercials that air currently send opposite messages. Alcohol companies are not the only ones that are responsible for all the hypocrisy in advertising. There are many companies that do this and is a problem. People do not know which side of the advertisement they believe or want to follow because there are multiple messages being conveyed. With the alcohol companies, they show people having fun and partying with their alcohol and then say drink responsibly. The people watching the commercials are usually younger people and they see the two sides of the ad and they want to be like the people partying. This is a major problem in society and companies need to do a better job to avoid the hypocrisy and the multiple message advertising.

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There is a lot of controversial going on with the Apple case involving opening a phone that belonged to terrorists. The FBI believes these two phones contain information involving the December 2015 attacks that could lead them to any accomplices. Apple is refusing to create the needed technology to break through the phones security because they believe that it would pose a serious threat to the security strives they have made over the past decade. Apple’s press release says, “Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge (Apple). I side with Apple on this issue. Why I think it is extremely important to keep investigating this case and try to find closure for the families of the victims, I do not think that is worth the risk of possibly creating the ability to hack any iPhone that contains a person’s personal information. I would side with the FBI if they were asking Apple to create this technology to help prevent something bad from happening but I just simply don’t believe it is the logical thing to do to create this technology that could put every Apple customer’s personal security at risk.

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The question I chose to discuss is number six, the government has a right to know what people are reading so they may determine who might be a threat. In my opinion the government does not have that right. It goes against everything that the constitution established saying that U.S. citizens have the right to privacy and can read and speak what they wish. But at the same time there are certain situations where I feel the government does need to have the ability to step in when I comes to matters of national security and things that could threaten the country. There really is no perfect way to find a middle ground between the right to privacy and the ability to control the population against threats. In my opinion there should be certain things that are “red flags” for the government as far as internet searches that could alert them of potential threats so that they can act on it. But then that arises the problem of monitoring the people of the United States and the privacy of their internet searches. If I had to choose one side of this argument to stand with I would have to side with that of the people and not allowing the government to monitor the people. While this could result in a lack of information for the government and could lead to issues occurring, it is their responsibility to be able to react to situations when they happen. So if someone was looking up something threatening on the internet, the government should not have the right to know what they are searching, which would mean that the government would just have to be ready for whatever the results of the search could be whether that is just a harmless search or an effort to make an attack on something.

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Looking through these quotes it was interesting to see who had more of a tendency of lying. From what I saw it showed that Bernie Sanders was telling the correct on most of his quotes. Ted Cruz was usually correct or most correct. The other two, Trump and Clinton, had a lot of quotes that were labeled false. That is scary because as of right now they are the top two candidates to win the nomination for their party. I think this website showing the legitimacy of these candidates is important because it exposes how much they know and how likely they are to lie. I think most people fact check their candidates they support but not for everything, only the things they want to fact check. There are some things each candidate says that are obviously not true or false and you just accept it because that is the candidate you like the most. I think that is the case for a lot of people. I think the media is a good tool when it comes to politics because they are trying to dig things up and expose the truth on every candidate. That is good because a lot of people get tunnel vision when they decide on a candidate to support and just start ignoring everything bad about the candidate and everything bad they say and the media can help to expose this. When voters do not look at the truth about their candidate it just becomes a bunch of people voting for someone because they like their personality or like some of the ideas they have instead of thoughtful voters doing their researching and casting their vote based on which person they think is most fit to lead our country.

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Fidel Castro was the dictator or Cuba for over fifty years. But he was not always the dictator there. It all started when he started leading rebel armies against the dictator Fulgencio Bautista. Bautista took control of Cuba in 1952 which was the year Fidel Castro decided to take a stand. It took Castro seven years, many defeats, and an arrest before he finally took control of Cuba in 1959. Castro declared himself president for life and jailed everyone who opposed him. He stayed in power until 2008 when he gave over his power to his younger brother Raul due to an unknown illness. Since then Raul has become slightly more lenient with rules and regulations as well as trying to restore the relationship between the United States and Cuba.

Throughout history there has been a lot of rebellions similar to this one. These rebellions are very powerful and it usually is not a matter of if they will be successful, but when they will be successful. As a dictator, a person has unlimited power, but the power of one person can’t match up to the power of a large group of people all coming together to stop them. In the case of the Cuban rebellion, it is interesting to think about how it happened. The people of Cuba were not in favor of Bautista or Castro but they really didn’t have a choice because it was Castro’s guerilla army vs Bautista’s army so there really wasn’t a good option for the people. But as far as inspiration, Fidel Castro didn’t see Bautista fit to run the country and he thought that he could make a difference. Originally he had good ideas and wanted to help the country but he was too power hungry and that took over and made him one of the most notorious dictators in history. As far as seeing rebellion in today’s society you see it all the time. One of the biggest we’ve seen recently is the Trump protestors in Arizona last week stopping traffic and causing a jam for 5 miles leading up to the Trump rally. That is on a small scale compared to something such as the Cuban revolution or even the American Revolution. But we are lucky that we only have that sort of rebellion on a small scale compared to a country like Syria that is in the middle of a civil war.

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In 2013, NSA analyst Edward Snowden released classified U.S. Government documents to private reporters from China and England. He fled to Russia after these documents were released and he remains there today on a temporary visa. He had other countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia offer him asylum from the U.S. Government, but he has chosen to stay in Russia for the time being and possibly permanently. Snowden shares some ideas and similarities to the character Winston in the novel 1984. Winston is set on exposing the government for the cover ups and changing history as well as the intense surveillance methods they use. Edward Snowden is somewhat the same. While the U.S. Government is a democracy and not anywhere close to what the Party is in 1984, they still use certain technologies to break the constitutional rights of the citizens with surveillance. Winston and Snowden’s jobs also have similarities. Snowden was a analyst that watched people through different technologies. Winston was in charge of changing history and rewriting what actually happened. The two tasks are not the same, but the basics of it are. They are breaking the rights of their fellow citizens to help the government they are working for. In a Robert Colls article, he says, “Here’s my point: Winston Smith and Edward Snowden are ordinary guys. You might say geeky-ordinary. But they had access to what we do not have access to, and came to believe that the job they were doing was not ordinary but extraordinary, and was not only wrong it was pointless. They did not know why they were doing it, or for whom, other than for security itself” (Colls). I thought this was an interesting comparison because on the surface they are not all that similar but when you look at the tasks they are trying to accomplish you realize that they are somewhat similar.

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In 1984, Orwell talks about the stop in the development in science and technology. It is said that this was caused by the mass amounts of war and revolution in this dystopian society. By science and technology I think he is referring more to the things designed for civilian use. If we think of these items relative to what we have today we would be talking about cell phones, laptops, iPad, and much more. It is very ironic in the book because the Party does not want anyone to have anything that is not necessary for survival. But on the other hand they are probably spending a lot of time and money developing new surveillance technology like the telescreen to monitor all of the outer party members such as Winston and Julia. But the Party continues to limit the resources of the outer party members and increase those of the inner party in order to keep control.

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Freedom and happiness are two things that both Winston and Edward Snowden say cannot coexist. I find that interesting and kind of hard to understand. But it is something that you have to really think hard about to form an opinion about. I think what Winston and Snowden mean by this is that you cannot have happiness without some sort of surveillance over you. He said in his interview that you cannot have both. John Oliver said in the Snowden interview that this situation is like having a pet hawk and a pet hamster. You can either be free or have chaos or you can have some restrictions but be happy with both. I think this is somewhat true but also it is hard to determine happiness because it is relative based on each individual. One thing that brings happiness to a person may be something that is depressing to another person. But I think we definitely some since of surveillance in our society for safety reasons but there is a point where it is too much such as our government spying on the citizens personal phone calls.

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The definition of gaslighting is manipulate someone mentally so that they question their own sanity. The term comes from a 1930’s play called Gaslight. In the play the husband manipulates his house secretly so that his wife notices it and starts to question her sanity. In today’s world you see gas lighting a lot from people in powerful positions. The article on Donald Trump says that he is a gaslighter because he lies so much to the American public that he starts to believe that it is true. He is said to be the type of person that lies about something and sticks to the lie and just keeps building on it. Trump isn’t the only candidate that is gaslighting. Clinton is doing it as well. In majority of the democratic debates and interviews she is trying to put information out to discredit her opponent for the Democratic nomination opposed to trying to boost herself and her supporters up. As Americans we cannot let politician’s gaslight and lie about things to our faces. It is our responsibility to do research and learn what is true and what isn’t so that we can make well informed decisions.


Cam Brown




Block LA

8 May 2016

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Originally technology was created to help connect people. And for a while that is what it was being used for. So it is crazy to look at it now and how it is causing people to be disconnected from everything important in life. Now people have the ability to send a text or direct message to a friend instead of talking to them directly. At first this was a nice thing because people would use face to face conversation as the primary source of communication and use technology as a resource, but now it is the other way around. Today it is becoming very noticeable that the younger generations are moving away from face to face communication. Texting and social media are becoming the primary source of communication for a whole generation and that could be problematic. If we keep going at the rate we are going then in the next generation people will not rely on face to face communication at all. To make sure this does not happen, we have to put an emphasis on face to face communication for the younger generations so that this does not become an ancient form of communication in the near future. Social media is a major part of this problem. With social media, we are given the ability to keep track of everyone from our closest friends to the biggest celebrities every move. This is not a good thing. I think for the upcoming generations as well as myself, it is going to be a key to success to find a way to use social media as a resource and not become addicted. The best way to do this is going to be to learn to put it down and not have to be looking at facebook, twitter, or Instagram at all times.


Media Literacy was by far my favorite language arts course I’ve taken in high school. I liked the fact that the main focus was on real world issues and not reading literature the whole time. I thought being able to have discussions on current events and politics was really beneficial especially getting ready to go off to college in a few months. After reading the first entry from my smore page I still agree with most everything I said. The main thing I disagree with is when I said that the United States doesn’t have many limits on the media. I somewhat disagree with that now after learning a little bit more about it. One of the events that somewhat changed my opinion was learning about the whole Apple vs the FBI situation. But overall I thought it was a very interesting and informative class. The one thing that I would change going forward into next school year would be to spend less time on, or not read 1984. I thought it was a good book but it was kind of boring and hard to focus at some points.