Wednesday, 15 December 2010
This is an advert for Xbox 360 Kinect a new motion sensing gadget for the Xbox 360 games console by American electronics giant Microsoft. The advert seems to focus on two main things. Innovation and family values. Family values are a big part of the 'American way' and appears to be a big part of Microsoft's marketing strategy for Kinect. The idea that a family will gather around the Xbox 360 and use Kinect together. There is also a focus on innovation which leads to another strong American value. Trying to better yourself and improve. In this advert Microsoft have made it clear that this is something new and different and is seen as a progression in video gaming.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Horatio Alger was a Unitarian Minister between 1860 - 1866 after which he resigned and decided to move to New York City in order to study and later write about street children (such as those in his tale Ragged Dick). Alger is considered most "famous" in the 1900's and the 1920's. He was seen as very good at symbolizing the American Dream within his writings but he was virtually forgotten by the time that he died in 1899. Alger was trying to portray across two different messages, one for juveniles and another for adult readers. For the juveniles he was saying that they should grasp the opportunities capitalist society offers whilst telling adults that homeless children need the adults' help in order to get anywhere.
After studying street children in New York City, Alger published a series of stories about a boy referred to as "Ragged Dick" which were published in a children's magazine "STUDENT AND SCHOOLMATE" in monthly installments. Many of the characters which were used in his series of tales were based upon real boys he had observed on the New York streets. Later Alger's Ragged Dick tales were published in to a singular book of Dick's story. This novel "reasserts moral ethical core self which is successful". This basically means that throughout the story Ragged Dick is seen to always remain true to his morals and because of this and trying hard he is able to grow up more "'spectible" than he would have if he didn't stick to them. By adding in other characters such as Frank, Mickey McGuire and Edward, Ragged Dick's good nature and "pure-ness" is emphasized even more.
JOHNNY NOLAN vs RAGGED DICK
When comparing Johnny Nolan to Ragged Dick, we notice quite a few significant differences. Ragged Dick is willing to work and try hard to get a better life by working on his education, setting up a bank account, saving his money, improving his reading and writing, not sending his hard-earned money on treats such as the theatre or gambling, and throughout the tale he always helps others that he sees to be even less fortunate than himself and sticks to his idea that he will never result to stealing as it is against his morals. Johnny on the other hand is lazy, unwilling to try to better himself, will steal and cheat people out of their money and yet still complains or seems envious when Ragged Dick has more money than him. Even though the boys both come from similar situations, the situation being that they have both lived on the streets and had to look after themselves from a young age (Ragged Dick being only 7 years-old when his father had gone to sea and his mother then die). Alger instals characters within the tale like Johnny Nolan to show us, the reader, how different Ragged Dick could be as well as re-enforcing the ideal of The American Dream.
"Should we be allowed to protect ourselves?"
"Should we be allowed to protect our families?"
These are the two most important questions and the main reason for people to even think of questioning gun control.
This ofcourse is the IPAD. Created by possibly the biggest technological company on the planet, some argue this franchise has even surpassed that of Microsoft. Apple is iconic for its innovate culture and some of the worlds hottest gadgets. The latest Apple sensation is the Ipad. The Ipad is described as being 'A Magical and Revolutionary product at an unbelievable price, starting at $400'. From this sentence alone Apple has described the product as no other by branding it revolutionary. To be revolutionary this product has to be like no other has to do what nothing else can, but it could be argued to be just a larger scale of their bigger hit the iphone. Apple also cliams that this product is cheap 'only $400', this in itself is insulting to the avarage consumer as im sure we all know the $400 is a very lot of money. What the sentence is saying is that for that price consumers get the newest product available that has revolutionized its market so for the fee its very worth it. However America is a very capitalist country and on the contrary Apple are carging nearly an extra $350 just for the name of the product at least. By claiming that this revolutionary product is also is the apsoloute best way to surf the web, its telling consumers that they will not experience this technology unless they are willing to pay for it.
Horatio Alger, Jr. (1834-99) was a prolific writer of dime novel stories for boys. From the debut of his first novel, Ragged Dick, in 1867, Alger was instrumental in establishing a new genre of dime novels known as the 'city story.' The genre arose out of the wide-spread urbanization that followed the Civil War and paralleled the rise of industrialism. Alger's stories heroicized the young street urchins living in poverty among large, urban centers such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. With uncommon courage and moral fortitude, Alger's youths struggle against adversity to achieve great wealth and acclaim. These rags to riches stories were enormously popular with the public and flourished in the decades from 1870 to 1890.
- Historical Overview.
- Overview of African Place Names in the United States.
- Slavery and Sanctuary in Colonial Florida.
- African-American Names.
- Slavery in New Jersey.
- Slavery and Native Americans in British North America and the United States : 1600 to 1865.
- Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
- Slavery and Abolition States.
- Slave Ports.
- Political Cartoons of Slavery: The Defense of Slavery.
- Sugar and Cotton: The Paintings of Steele Burden.
- Johnnie Mae Maberry-Gilbert Collection.
- Slave Populations in the Southern States c. 1860.
- Slave Populations in Virginia c. 1860.
- Slave Populations in Mississippi c. 1860.
- Solomon Northrup.
- Lavina Bell.
- Harriet Jacobs.
- Ella Belle Ramsey.
- Mary Kincheon Edwards.
- Susan Merrick.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
•As the reader is introduced to Richard Hunter, immediately he is referred to as Ragged Dick. This is quite significant as it gives us an idea of Dick’s appearance and the huge contrast between him and characters such as Frank.
•Although the two boys are worlds apart, as more is revealed about Frank and Dick’s characters, there are a lot of similarities between the two boys. Both boys are generous. In the beginning, even though Frank’s generosity is spurred on by the will to preserve his gentlemanly image, it still echoes the moral of kindness and and giving back to those less fortunate. Dick, although he isn’t in the best place in life, also manages to display acts of generosity. On more than one occasion he buys his fellow bootblacks food to eat.
•Both boys are honest which they learn is quite rewarding especially for Dick.
•Dick... “...always ready to joke.” takes his misfortunes in good stride and is always looking for opportunities, and if not chances, to create an opportunity for himself in comparison to Johnny Nolan, whom Dick thinks “...has no ambition.” Dick’s big dreams are shown through his constant association with important figures such as George Washington, The Mayor of New York, Horace Greeley, Peter Cooper etc.
• Dick’s attitude is surprisingly good for someone in his circumstances and doesn’t embody the mentality of the world owing him for a bad start in life. Frank describes him as always being “...in good spirits.” and Mr Whitney goes on to say “You know in this free country poverty in early life is no bar to a man’s advancement.” this line, I think echoes the idealism and the hope that the American Dream stands for and Alger includes encouragement such as this and uses Dick’s life as a microcosm of what society has to offer if you work hard.
•Although Dick has big ambitions it is Frank who ultimately equips Dick with the belief of the reward that comes if you struggle upward, no matter how short changed Dick is. “You may rise in some other way, a good many distinguished men have once been poor boys, there’s hope for you Dick if you’ll try.”
•“I needn’t have been Ragged Dick so long..” Dick’s realisation illustrates a universal message that many American’s believe. You don’t have to entertain a life that you’re not happy with or that’s not fulfilling.
The other image I chose that signifies America to me negatively, is a picture of a man with a body placard that reads The American Dream is over. Which I thought was quite significant as it placed an expiry date on a timeless American ideal. The idea of an American Dream is that its never too late and anyone from anywhere can make a good life for themselves. The fact that there is no face in the picture appeared quite sinister to me, but it suggested the message is relatable to any American.
I found this map quite interesting as it illustrated how the world would look if land distribution was arranged according to population. Although this isn’t a map of America,I felt it spoke volumes about the present attitude Americans have towards their nation. The fact that in this map America (along with 3 other countries) doesn’t move, echoes views dating back to Abraham Lincoln times. Views such as the United States is “God’s chosen nation...the last best hope on earth.” The map to an extent supports the image America has as a big power geographically suggesting it is a preordained nation almost, which fits in nicely with idealistic American views of their great country. While other countries are disorientated by the hypothetical geographical swaps, America’s role in the world seems steady, unmoved. Predestined.
The coalition to stop gun violence is a Pro-gun control website that aims to maintain a slipping freedom, from gun violence. It outlines many problems in the system and highlights issues such as the Gun Show Loophole, which enables anyone to purchase guns from unlicensed dealers without background checks. This means just about anyone can get a hold of a firearm easily. CGSV want tougher gun laws and a stricter grip on gun owners in America and furthermore to give politicians confidence to speak up against anti-gun control organisations such as the NRA
Gun Owner’s of America is a anti gun control website which argues that along with the ownership of a gun comes freedom. Like many other anti- gun control groups I looked at on the internet, this website pointed out how their cause was to protect the interests of the 2nd Amendment and had a “ NO COMPROMISE!” policy. They like a lot of gun enthusiasts who follow them believe the American people’s rights are threatened if their right to ownership is taken from them. What’s evident from just looking at the website is republican presence and how highly involved they are in the government politics surrounding their cause. The GOA boasts a “...board of directors who bring over 100 years of combined knowledge and experience on guns, legislation and politics.” Unlike the pro-gun control
The GOA website’s approach to their campaign against gun control is quite politically tactical and calls on people to use their voting power to voice and undermine legislation that goes against their cause. For instance on the website they have drawn up action plans for members to take or send to their Senators. Unlike the pro gun control websites who appeal to people’s hearts with their shocking statistics, e.g “...a person dies from gun violence every 17 minutes in America...but without easy access to guns it would be a lot harder.”
I think the pro gun control website had a stronger argument, was better presented and well supported by statistical evidence which would make many think twice. The anti-gun control argument had a very limited argument I felt, and it had no concern of how some of the rights they are fighting for, at times fatally affect normal Americans.
Monday, 6 December 2010
I have chosen to look at an advert for Converse shoes, this is a photograph I found on the internet advertising the American shoe/trainer. I chose this product advertisement because I think converse as a product represents the change throughout the years of how the material culture of a product can change dramatically. Converse for example have gone from being seen as a rebellious youth accessory to a popular fashion statement, they are still heavily worn by youths but now, as time has past they are viewed as more fashionable not just a hard-wearing shoe. Today the average age of people wearing converse I would say is between 16-29, they represent freedom and are seen as cool to be wearing.
In this advertisement, it represents the cheeky side to converse, the playfulness they can provide to everyone, hence the messy table and the guy and girl playing with their food. Also by having a guy and a girl in the advert it shows that the product is for both men and women and is very diverse. Although the advert is in black and white and quite vintage with the old style diner booths and cutlery it is very modern, in that this type of fashion and style is now back in trend. This advert shows that Converse are very much in style at the moment and have in a way been re-invented from their original style. Although the basic shoe is the same, there are now various different styles, not just in the form of different colours but length and actual shoe type. This product is a good example of how a product has changed over time due to material culture.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
In the TV programme, Will starts off as a fresh, young man who comes from the streets, he has a place to call home but the neighbourhood he lives in very dangerous. Very much like Dick, although he actually lives on the streets, they both have street knowledge and know how to take care of themselves. Another comparison between the two is that once both are introduced to a world of wealth and privilege they don’t want to go back to their old lifestyle. They feel ashamed to go back to their old life, what they used to wear and where they used to be seen. Both characters are heavily influenced by money, not to take it of others but to earn money and live well. However, Dick is more in favour of saving for his future and working hard to be able to have a roof over his head and food to eat. However, when Will moves in with his wealthy relatives he is given a place to live and does not have to worry about earning money to live off. However, money does still play a very large part in his life as he is always chasing it and looking for a way to make a quick buck.
Despite some differences between the two characters and their situations, I think this example of 'the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' is fairly accurate in relation to 'Ragged Dick' because they both show two guys starting off from the streets and when they come in to money their lives begin to change. Their outlook on life changes and in particular the way they treat money changes. Their characters change slightly in that they find it hard to imagine how they lived before but their personalities stay the same.