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Archive for March, 2013

Since I wasn’t able to make it to class today, thanks to a long trek to various pharmacies for some prescription cough syrup, I did want to make a quick post with some suggestions that I’ve had lingering around my brain since Tuesday for a few projects.

Emma – I don’t know if you’d necessarily want to include this, but I think that maybe an old-school McDonald’s – like the first sort of “mom and pop” hamburger stand they had – could be a neat addition to your food court concept as a way to really highlight the juxtaposition of a McDonaldized future against a simpler past.

Zach – Did you consider including women’s soccer in your park/museum at all? I feel that especially on the Olympic level, there has been a pretty strong and supportive response to a lot of powerhouse soccer-playing ladies.

Julian – To kind of highlight the uncertain future you were talking about for Puerto Rico and the United States, I was thinking that you could have park-goers participate in a mock referendum – the whole statehood v. independence v. commonwealth debate – right at the end, and publish the results on a giant screen. It would probably be a different outcome almost every time, particularly in the distribution of votes.

Danielle – I was thinking that it would be neat if the people that received the lower level tickets spent part of their time in some of the old abandoned schools throughout Philly, like the Spring Garden Public School on 12th St. that’s covered in graffiti and used as a parking lot for nearby businesses.

Shelby – I’m really trying to think about how to demonstrate the whole dads aspect of your park, so if I stumble across anything decent I’ll be sure to let you know! It might even be as simple as a targeted advertising campaign or discounted tickets, something like that.

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Barbie Survey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzW5dUEWc74&feature=youtu.be

I asked two girls and two boys between the ages of 18 and 20 my questions to compare their answers. It is obvious that the girls took it much more seriously and thought more carefully about the answers and backed them up whilst the boys struggled to hold their laughter in and to take a survey on Barbie seriously as to them Barbie is just a plastic doll which they take at face value. As you can tell from the background noises, the girls often disagreed with the boys who stereotyped the roles of women and sometimes even the boys questioned each other, whilst the girls agreed and supported each other’s answers. This gender difference in response can be accredited to the involvement girls have had with Barbies throughout their childhood; even if they themselves did not have them, their friends would have done so they would have been aware of them. On the other hand, the boys did not have them as children and took no interest in others having them. Furthermore, these responses are those that I would have given before embarking on studying Barbie as a cultural icon, whereas now I feel I can talk in more detail on the topic.

 

Emily Eastwood

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Elvis

Elvis-nixon

This photograph of Elvis and President Nixon portrays Elvis’s ‘interesting’ fashion sense, used to stand out and create his image in a hugely successful way. Some people, however, regard this idea of Elvis taking his white trash background so blatantly into the White House by the choice of the garish outfit as an offensive to such a respectable figure as Nixon. I, however, think that Elvis’s determination to stay true to himself, his background and his fans of all races is admirable – why should you have to dress up smart to meet the President?

 

Emily Eastwood

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Starbucks

I chose to take this picture of the American company Starbucks for my visual postcard because it is in a relatively pretty, old English building next to a stunning church. This reflects the globalisation of Starbucks whilst maintaining English history – a juxtaposition of old and new from two different cultures. I personally think this choice of location for Starbucks works well as so many people are against American companies taking over English towns and ruining their history, but this picture captures the essence of an American company embracing traditional English culture rather than treading on it.

Emily Eastwood

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The Myth of the Cowboy

The Myth of the Cowboy

Thanks for the tip, Wendy McMahon.  A great and comprehensive piece on the West and the Cowboy from the Guardian by the legendary scholar Eric Hobsbawn.  Global American Icons, indeed.  Check it out.  

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Disneyland

disney

So I was just browsing the Internet, not doing homework, when I saw this picture. The caption says that the picture was taken the first week Disneyland was opened. I think this picture really represents what we were talking about in class. Walt Disney is in the picture, surrounded by white, middle-class children. In the George Lipsitz article, the author says that when the park was opened, Disney himself was greeting people throughout the park , making sure everyone was having a good time. Even though children are in the forefront of this image, we can see many adults in the background, some with children, and some without. The ground is also super clean and everything looks really perfect and idealistic.

 

Here is the link to the image: http://imgur.com/gallery/ok5XGpb

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Mascot Mickey

20130319-143659.jpg

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this until after class, but my high school’s mascot is Mickey Mouse. The story goes that apparently somewhere in the archives (even though nobody seems to have seen it in person) we have a handwritten note from Walt Disney himself giving us permission to use Mickey. We’re the only school in the country (so they say) that’s allowed to use an official Disney character as a mascot. It’s the oldest all-girls catholic school in America, so I guess it makes sense that he would allow it based on his personal values that we discussed in class today.

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