Language Arts Stuff

SMORE-1: What it means to be Media Literate

I think when a person refers to the media, they are talking about the large amount of media outlets we have today. Which include television, radios, newspapers and magazines. The media brings news, entertainment and informative information to the general public and in doing so, will often try to convey a message to its readers, watchers or anything in between. Being media literate means that you can comprehend and understand what the various media outlets are trying to say. Then you can either agree or disagree and form their own opinion regarding the subject covered in said media. This could often lead to debates on controversial topics and bring several issues, known or not, into the spotlight and spread the word about the issue. Of course the media has its bad points too. One such problem we see today is that many of the media outlets we see today are very subjective in their viewpoints. Instead of criticizing others and allowing people to form their own thoughts and opinion, these media outlets often force their opinion on the general public. In the process they often slander their opponents and put them in a negative light. People who aren’t media literate would most likely fall for this and simply “go with the flow” without comprehending or understanding the contents of the media they are looking at. Which in turn causes bigotry as they see their views as “right” and everything else as wrong. People who are media literate avoid this because they are able to comprehend, understand and come to their own conclusion.

SMORE-2 Fighting ISIS

In the fight against ISIS there are many things we could do. We could go on social media and fight online against the spreading influence of ISIS in the Middle East and around the world. For me I am joining the Marine Corps to take the fight directly against ISIS. It is both my desire to join and to help reduce the influence of the terror group. It’s my answer to the rising issue with ISIS and the growing instability in the Middle East. While I know that I may not be able to make a huge impact I hope that my time in the Marine Corps I will be able to help at least one person and their family in their attempts at living a normal life. I have also been planning on taking the fight against ISIS online through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. That way I can make an impact both physically and emotionally. While I am taking the route of joining the Marine Corps the average person doesn’t have to go through such lengths to make a lasting impact against ISIS . The best way for your average civilian to be able to make an impact is to go online by using social media. Through social media both you and I can reach out to thousands around the globe. One person may not be enough but several thousand can definitely make a lasting impact.

SMORE-3 Colgate Commercial Precis

The toothpaste company Colgate showed a commercial (2016) that sought to bring awareness about the over-usage of water while brushing one's teeth. Colgate develops their ideas by stating facts ("...save 3,000 gallons of water a year.") and by using the emotion of empathy and guilt through showing a small girl drinking water to spread awareness on conserving water by turning off the tap. Using an example of a small girl struggling to drink water Colgate pulls the feeling of empathy from the audience in order to persuade people that something so simple as turning off the tap water can make a huge difference. The toothpaste company's audience isn't one gender, ethnic group or a certain social class but to everyone who was watching; Colgate makes the commercial relevant to the viewers by overlaying the message over a video of a man brushing his teeth with the tap running, something many people do without a thought.

SMORE-4 Advertisement in our Society

Over the last several years advertisement has stepped away from the whole "women are incompetent" idea and switched on over to putting down the men. Often showing them as dumb and lacking common sense while the females are the ones coming out on top. This shift represents a change in our society where the women are rapidly gaining notoriety, often at the expense of men. For the longest time females have been at the source of exploitation in advertisement, most often painting them as incompetent people or simply objects of desire. Nowadays however that line of thinking has been put down and thrown away with the advancement in women's rights and equality, which is equally reflected in the kind of advertisement that has been flooding the market scene. With the roles reversed the women are the ones being put in an elevated position above the men which are often targeted as dumb, irrational and without common sense.

SMORE-5 Hypocrisy of Advertisement

In general the point of an advertisement is for a company to sell their product, as such it isn’t very surprising to find some hypocrisy in their commercials. Even so however it has gotten to the point where companies deliberately attempt to fool the populace about their product. The prime example being Kellogg when they pushed for the advertising of their sugary cereal to the demographic of young children. Even after the company had stated to be a part of the fight against obesity among children. By posting their advertisement at bus stops where young children frequent daily they are directly going their stance against obesity. It is this obsession for profit and money that is flooding the market with hypocritical ads that are proving to be harmful for both children. Perhaps another reason why so many of these ads are aimed at children is because they are easier to fool. Children often choose the best tasting food without knowing the harmful effects and these companies such as Kellogg are taking advantage of this despite their so-called “fight” against obesity. It isn’t just Kellogg however, soft drink companies such as Coca-Cola are responsible of this too, especially after their new ad where they address the issues of their soft drinks but they don’t offer any solution. Almost always these companies say their stance but they never stand behind them because in the end making a profit is all they really care about.

SMORE-6 Apple vs Government

I think that Apple should help the government in their endeavors in trying hack the phones of the San Bernardino shooters. Many would say that should Apple do this then it would be a breach in our private security, which I admit is true. However something that many don’t realize or remember is that our government already spy on us through our phone calls, text messages and other forms of social media. The Patriot Act allows the government to do this unhindered, as sad as it is. So in light of this I find very little to worry about in terms of my digital privacy simply because of the fact that such a thing doesn’t really exist, nothing more than an illusion. Any expert hacker could hack into my bank account and take my money and any digital warrior could potentially steal my social security and pose as John Lee, the Korean American. That is the world we live in today. Yes, I can understand why people and Apple are so against the FBI and the government but in the end finding the information on that phone is their sole and primary focus.

SMORE-7

I think that being a patriot for your country doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be supportive of your government and what they do. I believe that being patriot means that you always keep the wellbeing of your country over any one person or any one group. I say country because sometimes the government does something that is worth speaking up about and it is the same thing for the people. Just because a citizen thinks differently about a subject or topic than their government doesn’t mean the citizen is correct. For example, in recent history after the 9/11 attacks President Bush waged his “war on terror” and in doing so he invaded Iraq with unanimous approval from the people under the guise of weapons of mass destruction and justice. It should’ve been obvious that this course of action was the wrong choice to make yet anyone who thought otherwise was scorned and even detained. Now after over a decade after that decision the world sees the US in a different, more negative light. If perhaps the people had snapped out of their anger they might have seen the path the US took when we invaded Iraq. This also goes the same for the government too. It was the government that enacted the laws that made segregation illegal despite heavy protest from its citizens after all. Like I said before no one person or group deserves to be the subject of patriotism from the citizens because what you should be patriotic to is your country and the future of it. There will be times when being a patriot means you have to obey the decisions of the government but there will also be times when opposing your government is what it means to be a patriot.

SMORE-8 Politifact

I found that the a lot of the time the things these candidates say need to be taken with a grain of salt because most of the time they are either lying or telling half-truths. The factually correct quotes are dwarfed by the amount of lies these candidates spout on a daily basis. Because of this, it is very important to take what these candidates say with a grain of salt and to research yourself on the legitimacy of these people. Ignorance to the legitimacy of these candidates only opens you up to being tricked and lied to,. Despite this however I do not think that most people check their candidates because they are lazy. People often take things at face value and not see what is underneath and that only opens up a path for disaster in the future. Most people simply pick the candidate who agrees with them the most and vote for them. Relying on the media is a no go because of the fact that each news outlet has their own opinions and views and would most likely slander the opposition, for example CNN and Fox News. The problem with not looking up the truth is that it means that you are ignorant to the world around you which results in being tricked by the liars.

SMORE-9 The Uprising

The French Revolution that took place through 1789-99 was arguably the most influential and had the biggest impact on the world we see today. The Revolution introduced the ideas of a republic and liberal democracies, the spread of secularism and the development of modern ideologies. In fact you could say our own American Revolution was influenced in many ways by the French Revolution where we cast aside the English Monarchy that had ruled over us for numerous decades.

People were inspired to act against the then existing monarchy because of the difference between the classes where the privileged lived luxurious lives over the oppressed poor. They replaced the old ideas of the social hierarchy with the enlightened principles of citizenship and unalienable rights, a trait that is mirrored by many revolutions that came after including the American Revolution. Activists used protests and constant spread of words to gain momentum to fight against the long time standing monarchy that had ruled for centuries. As they gained momentum things got violent as the masses fought back against the monarchy and through violence and constant political pressure they ousted the king and queen and eventually replaced it with their own government. Through a couple of years the newly placed government went through reforms and changes under various leaders such as the Directory which eventually got replaced by the Consulate under Napoleon Bonaparte.

Currently there are uprisings that are predominately in the Middle East, most notably the civil war in Syria. Beyond Syria there are political unrest in Egypt and Libya where the effects of Arab Spring is being felt even today. These militaristic uprisings are dotting the Middle East where the masses are rising against their oppressive government in efforts to put in their own democratic government. Which is strikingly similar to the French Revolution in nature. These militaristic upheavals are continuing to destabilize the region where the government is fighting against the masses. Political unrests in nations such as Jordon and Egypt often mean that antigovernment and pro-government demonstrators are clashing against each other, causing their governments to go through reforms and changes over the last few years.

SMORE-10 Government Wins Again

Winston and O’Brien are similar to Edward Snowden in that they are against the practices of their government. They are trying to change the way the government thinks and acts but they go about it in different ways. Winston and O’Brien have to be extremely cautious in that their government has heavy surveillance everywhere. Hidden cameras and microphones means that they can’t publicly make a stand unlike Snowden who has made a public stand against the spying practices the government employs. Snowden is firm in his stance to the point where he has revealed documents that prove the spying the government did within the last several years. Winston on the other hand has thrown away the only piece of evidence that contradicted the Party. The news article he thrown away showed his indecisiveness in his stance early on in the novel. In many other ways the three are different in their way they protest against the government. Snowden has made a public stance and is actively pushing for the government to stop these actions of spying on American citizens while Winston and O’Brien are taking a much more conservative approach to their situation. There’s also a difference in technology where in the novel Winston and those who are against the government have to physically rally support, even if it is done incognito. Snowden on the other hand has the Internet to use and with it the large forms of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Snowden can literally reach out to millions in a blink while Winston and those like him have to wait and crawl under the web of surveillance their government uses.

SMORE-11 Technology

What Orwell means by science and technology is the growth of new breakthroughs in new higher tech products and theories. However he claims that despite the rapid growth of technology and science, society as a whole is more primitive than what it was several years ago. He insinuates that in order for true technological and scientific breakthroughs to occur, society and our mindset must follow along. This is the reason why he says that society is more primitive than what it was several years ago, The mindset of technology doesn't change and grow along with it, instead it stagnates.

SMORE-12 Snowden

I do think that the majority of people will prefer to be happy over being free because it is much simpler to be happy than to be free. If a person is happy then they are content with the status quo, they are afraid of change and taking matters into their own hands. Being free means you personally have to make a conscious decision to act and to live, such is the life envisioned by the founder fathers. And saying that, I do agree with Winston in that the vast majority would prefer to be happy and content rather than be free. I do see this society today, especially in the digital and ever evolving technological world today. Just look at our country. We know that the government and by extension the NSA spy on the people for “national security.” People often pretend that by ignoring the elephant in the room then that means that elephant will disappear, willfully not recognizing the threat posed by the rampant spying by the NSA. Snowden in particular is the shining example of people choosing to be happy rather than be free. By being happy they forget the issues at hand and turn to more frivolous issues. If a person chose to be free then they would choose to do something to protect their freedom.

SMORE-13 Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where the gaslighter states something false with such confidence and conviction that whoever is on the receiving end is confused and begins to doubt their own perspective, even if they know the statements are lies. Technology such as televisions has made it significantly easier to gaslight the American public and not only that, in today’s society people are so connected with the internet that they can see and hear practically anything a person says. Besides Donald Trump, who is arguably the most guilty of gaslighting, there are many other people who are responsible. Not surprisingly they’re mostly politicians. One of which is the Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton who has been shown to gaslight on some occasions. Many times we see Hillary Clinton gaslight when she is asked or given a statement that directly counters what she has said before, often ignoring the question or statement and switching subjects. It’s also a given that she has lied plenty times before in attempt to gain more votes, just like what a vast majority of politicians do. The best way to combat a gaslighter is to simply ignore them. By ignoring them, you take away the power of gaslighting from that person. Such is the way to beat Donald Trump. Making sure a gaslighter responsible for what they say is a tricky thing as they are so set in their ways that it is very hard if not impossible to make them see reason.

SMORE-14

The most effective way of preventing the reality where we are disconnected from the world and the people around us is to simply limit the amount of time we spend on our social media apps and websites. As simple as it is, it is probably the most effective way of reducing the amount of time we spend on our social media. Cutting social media away entirely is nigh impossible in today’s society due to our heavy reliance on them. Limiting our time on social media and using the time we have to connecting with the people around us is the most effective path. Which is easy to say but doing is the hard part due to the fact that many of us are addicted to social media, for many it has become their way of life. Mobile devices such as smartphones enable this type of behavior because people can take their social media wherever they go, always living behind a camera.

As I mentioned before and as many people has said before, social media was become a form of addiction. The good news is that controlling this addiction, like many like it, is entirely possible. I remember when I was addicted to social media back in seventh grade but as time passed I slowly gained independence from it. The way I did it was simple, make myself busy and in doing so make myself forget about social media. Getting a hobby or getting into a sport is probably the most effective way of combating being addicted to social media. Social media is at its finest when it is being used as it was originally intended for, which was to help people get connected. National borders mean less than it used to when the only way to converse with someone was to write them a letter or by calling them through complex means. Nowadays connecting with someone from across the the globe is a cakewalk, enabling me to meet new people from all around the world through social media. I know that I won’t get sucked back into the life of an addict of social media because I know how that feels. I know how it was always comparing myself to others on social media through likes, “friends” and attention. It’s a kind of life I look back and crinkle my face in disgust so in that respect I know that I can control myself from even coming close to what I was back in the seventh grade.

Part 2

I think over the course of the year I steadily became better about how I am able to comprehend and understand the media and what it is trying to convey. As much as I hated them the precis and s'mores helped out a lot as they forced me to think and analyze the text in front of me. The best and most important aspect that I am going to take away from this class is the ability to comprehend and understand texts much better. Instead of learning the cookie cutter grammar, punctuation and spelling that we already know, we learned skills that we can actually apply to our daily lives. The class made me more aware of the world events around me as we watched CNN news every morning. Keeping up with politics has become second nature rather than the painful process it was before. My only issue, if you could call it that was that in the beginning of the semester we were doing precis but stopped for the rest of the semester. Then all of the sudden we were expected to write using a skill that we haven’t practiced in months. It threw me for a loop because I was in the mindset of writing s'mores, something we did constantly throughout the semester. So I feel like the occasional precis in between the s’mores or reduce some of the s’mores for precis might have helped me prepare me for the summative assessment.