Archive for January, 2009

Blog 4: Collier’s Magazine

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2009 by thumabr

The magazine provided a very interesting look into the past.  Looking at magazines today, especially women’s magazines i always noticed how many advertisements were in them.  The amount of advertisements today dont even compare to the amount of advertisements I saw in the 1910 issue of Collier’s.  There are so many advertisements for household gadgets like sweepers, razor sharpeners, gramophones. There are also alot of ads for different types of food, like rare mushrooms. They seem to be targeted toward the women reading the magazine who are looking for an easier way to do their household work.  For the men there are alot of mens clothing ads and car accessory ads.

This magazine seems targeted for middle class white folks who could afford to buy some of these products.  There are a lot of pictures of rich white people, trying to get the lower class white people to envy them and assume that rich white people buy these things.  There are pictures on every page of white people in suits and dresses.  One thing missing from this is any racial minority representation.  There is not a single black person in this magazine

In the Adler’s  Collegian Clothes ad it shows two very well dressed white men in a fancy parlor, keeping with the obvious pandering to a white audience. It explains the quality of their materials and shows typical prices, just like an advertisement in 2009.

In the “What the World is Doing” section, it covers a few of the current events going on around December 1910.  It has a ton of wonderful pictures outlining what is going on in the world.  First it has a picture of the rubble of the LA Times Building after being bombed by a labor union. It also has coverage of a revolution in Portugal and a Constitutional Convention in New Mexico.  It also has alot of coverage of new skyscrapers being built with pictures of the process and the workers braving the heights to create such large buildings.

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Blog 2: Mericans

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2009 by thumabr

Mericans is an interesting story written in a very different tone and manner.  The sentences seem choppy and fragmented which give the story a different kind of feeling.  It has the feeling of getting the point across and less about writing a beautiful sweeping essay, which gives it a very distinct style.  The story displays the difference in the cultural hybridization taking place within this family.  On one hand we have the “awful grandmother” who is deeply religious and traditional, spending inordinate amounts of time in church praying for the souls of her much less religious relatives.  The grandmother speaks only in Spanish and attends a church dedicated to the Virgin of Guadeloupe.  This is contrasted with the culture of her grandchildren who are apparently Americanized.  The boy taunts his sister by calling her “girl” just like any other American boy, he also plays typical American games, pretending to be a B-52 killing Germans, or an American super hero.  The hybridization is apparent in the young girls brief interaction with her grandmother where she understands her grandmothers Spanish, but only when she is paying attention.  The story gives this hybridization a name when another one of the grandchildren gets gum from apparent tourists who are astounded he speaks spanish and english, calling himself “Merican”, a mix of Mexican and American.  The story outlines the battle of cultural identification faced by recent immigrants and their new generations of children growing up with a traditional Mexican family with outside American influences, shaping the way they see and interact with the world.

Blog 1: What do I read?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 15, 2009 by thumabr

It is virtually impossible to avoid reading these days.  I read all sorts of things every day.  From the mandatory reading of college textbooks to my random web surfings at 3am, I read all different types of text.  My absolute favorite things to read would have to be web forums.  There are a few I go to daily to read the daily rants of average people about certain topics I am interested in, like a video game forum, a Mac forum and a firearms forum.  I love forums because I love reading about what any person things about a topic.  It is so interesting to see the wars created by the anonymity of the internet where people vehemently damn or defend just about anything.  I also enjoy reading online news, especially the kind that enables people to make comments, for the same reason I like reading forums, just to see what people have to say.

Of course being a college student there is a lot of reading to do.  Every day I have at least one chapter to read in at least one subject.  Reading for pleasure, like a forum or blog, is markedly different than reading for academics.  When I read for a class I am reading for comprehension, reading to hopefully put something memorable in my brain.  When i browse a forum I dont have to take the time to make sure that some guy’s rant about EA games sticks in my brain, I just read it for the moment of entertainment it provides.  When I read a college text book i have to make sure the figures stick in my brain, make sure i understand the vocabulary.  That isnt the case in pleasure reading.

Modern technology like TV and the internet has given me a really short attention span so I need to have a distraction free environment to really comprehend what I am reading.  If there are tons of things going on ill never be able to focus on the text.  The situation dictates the speed at which I read. If i need to read 100 pages in one night i obviously wont have time to ponder every word in the text because I need to get it read before class, but if i have the time and need to focus on learning from the text i will read more slowly reading things carefully to gain understanding.  I rarely re-read things, but there are a few exceptions, like Harry Potter which i have read the entire series at least 3 times.  It is one of those books that I cant get enough of.  I dont think i have read another book that i have enjoyed that much.