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Sunday, May 16, 2010


Well, this wraps up the course. I have to say that it was an interesting ride. It took me awhile to grasp the purpose of the course, but when I did, the things we discussed in class made a whole lot more sense. I think that Professor Wexler did a great job teaching the class, considering that it was his first time doing it.

My only suggestion would be to be a little more hands on in regards to the actual coursework. There were times where I felt rather lost in working at some of the assignments required (such as the group activities) but we managed to get through them. If you get involved a little more and help guide the students toward the concepts you want them to get from the class, I think it will be excellent!

Either way, it was fun. Take care!

Poetry revision

I cooked up a sonnet to add to my poetry revision, I edited my poetry post and added it there, but in case you do not see it, here it is:


I give you my time,
I don’t really mind
Since it makes you chime
Despite the daily grind.

I give you my trust,
It is a fragile being
Which easily turns to dust
I swear by the all-seeing.

I give you my love,
Drink it like a wine
As you are like a dove
One that is all mine.

In return you offer me the miracle of creation,
When all I really want is the new playstation.

Globalization: The good and the bad

Globalization is a difficult topic to talk about because there is no one specific way of defining it. Regardless of whether or not people like it, however, globalization is happening. There is no stopping it from the looks of things, so people can only analyze its effects on the world and gauge whether it is a good or bad thing. The film Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle is an example of how globalization has both positive and negative aspects. However, globalization in India deals with a ton of westernization, and therefore the film mostly depicts negative outcomes of it.

The film gives viewers a firsthand look at the slum life in India. People like me, who grew up in the United States, would have never gotten a chance to see what that lifestyle is like were it not for technology. The fact that we can see that part of India and learn about it, even if it is through film, is a part of globalization. It is one of the many benefits of globalization, just as now we can call people or email people from all around the world instantly, where just twenty years ago that was considered impossible. Also, a good portion of this film is in another language. People who watch get to see and hear a whole new world because of this. They are in India, hearing their language, seeing their culture, and so on. This is the major benefit of globalization. Without it, we would never get to see who these people are and what they are like. We would be blind to that side of the world, and they would be blind to us. Yes, there are culture clashes since we are aware of what the other believes, but knowledge is power. It is greater to know of these things and form opinions about them rather than just being ignorant to their world. This film acts as a gateway then, to a different culture and ideology. According to NEWS Corporation, the film made “nearly $350 million in worldwide grosses.” That is a huge amount of money, and in turn, that is a huge number of people that saw this film. It all ties in to the idea of globalization, that now everyone has a uniform idea of India and its culture thanks to this film. However, while these are great things overall, globalization does have some rather negative aspects to it as well.

Globalization is great on paper. It allows cultures to mingle in ways never thought possible before. The fact that I can walk down the street and come across Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and Japanese restaurants in the span of minutes is definitely a positive effect of globalization. Even so, Bolye’s film depicts a romantic tale where the underdog (or “slumdog”) pulls through despite the low chances of success. In the end he gets the money, gets the girl, and the audience can walk away feeling good about the film. Sound familiar? It should, because that is the general Western style ending where the protagonist struggles against all odds and still manages to overcome and get what he desires. This is a globalized theme in films these days thanks to Western culture. There are other cultures, such as Japan, that enjoy films that do not end so happily. In traditional Japanese film, it is common for the main character to die epically for a cause greater than them. Slumdog Millionaire ends happily, just like they would in our kind of films. This notion of the happy ending from Western belief takes something away from this film. There are themes and traditions that are original to Indian culture which is tossed aside for this globalized theme, and it is sad to think about. In an interview with Boyle by Time magazine, when asked if he is romanticizing poverty in India, he responds “People we worked with in the slums said, ‘You’re not going to show us as being poor, are you? Because that’s what Westerners always do.’” With globalization comes a globalized concept of ideas as well. In this case, the Western definition of “poor” is different than what the children of the slums in India may define as “poor,” but since Westerners look at them as poor, they are afraid that they will be depicted as such.

Slumdog Millionaire took a lot of hits from Indian people, despite it being loved all over the world. In one article from Newsweek it is said that many Indian people feel that the film “defames Mumbai’s urban poor,” despite Boyle’s attempt to avoid that as earlier mentioned. There are several reasons for this, one being that there is the term “dog” in the title of the film, as if to say the slum children are no different than dogs. When asked about the reasoning behind the title, Boyle responded “This is one of the saddest things for me. People are absolutely entitled to say whatever they think about the film. Protest is a healthy part of life in India, provided it doesn't become violent. Basically it's a hybrid of the word "underdog"--and everything that means in terms of rooting for the underdog and validating his triumph--and the fact that he obviously comes from the slums. That's what we intended.” Is that not interesting? How it is so easy to misinterpret a title as something negative because of cultural differences? This is another negative aspect of globalization. No matter how much a country is Westernized or changed in any regard, it will never be fully demolished. Culture and history is too strong and important to be completely disregarded. It shows in this case as well, as normally we call people like the protagonist the underdog, hence why we root for him. But Indian people took it negatively, and it makes sense for them even if it does not for us.

I’ll say it again, globalization is inevitable. With the mixing of culture, foods, religion, and marketing on a global scale, especially with the help of the internet, there is no real stopping it. It is a wonderful thing in its own way, as I do not think anyone has any issues with being able to communicate with people all over the world via email or phone. However, it is a very dangerous concept as well because there is so much people need to learn about each other to make sure that no one offends anyone else, and as humans we easily take to anger when something is said that we do not care for. I hope that globalization takes on the world slowly, giving people time to get used to each other and accept the differences in a good way instead of lashing out in anger towards them. No matter how different we all are, we are all human in the end, and as Plato once said, “Be kind, for we are all fighting a hard battle.”

Works Cited
Boyle, Danny. "10 Questions." Time 173.8 (2009): 4.
Brodesser, Akner. "A Dogged Direction Leads 'Slumdog' to Millions." Advertising Age 80.18 (2009): 16.
Zakaria, Fareed. "A 'Slumdog' in Heat." Newsweek 9 Feb. 2009: 42. Print.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Final Rough Draft

The effects of Globalization shown in the film "Slumdog Millionaire" explain why Globalization, while it has its perks, hinders a nation more than it helps it. To start, just look at what the film revolves around: the western show "Who wants to be a Millionaire." It has taken India by storm to the point that everyone loves to watch it. Therefore, things like television are a must for everyone in order to keep up with the show. The movie shows so many examples of westernization in India, that it almost feels like the country is just another version of the United States. This is disturbing because the two countries are supposed to be different. They have very different perspectives on things from culture to religion, yet they have their own version of Hollywood and McDonalds is all over the place.

Some more examples of westernization in this film can be seen almost every time the main character reminisces about his past. When the protagonist was a child, he wanted an autograph of his favorite actor so bad that he literally jumped into a pile of crap just to get it. This shows a very western mentallity that people in general value actors and actresses above the common man, as if they are more special than everyone else. Another example is when they show several telemarketers in a small room trying to sell products to people. It depicts another negative side effect of globalization: outsourcing. These are the people that answer questions about products purchased here in the United States. It gave an interesting look on it, as generally Americans look down on these people, but in reality, they are just everyday folk trying to make it through the daily grind.

These are just a few examples that I will be discussing in my paper on globalization and how in the end, this film shows that it hurts the world more than helps it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Video games in the classroom

UGH. Ever since the group presentation on WoW (World of Warcraft) as an effective way to utilize video games in the classroom setting, I couldn't stop thinking about it. So here I am blogging on a windy Thursday night.

I'm sorry, but as a professional gamer (I believe Chris is as well) I can't help but disagree with their topic. I believe video games CAN be used effectively in a classroom setting, very effectively actually. However, WoW was possibly the worst example to use to prove it. In fact, I could almost argue that Grand Theft Auto would have a more effective and educational effect on kids in classrooms than WoW. Why you ask? What is so bad about WoW?

I'll tell you.

Just like books have several different genres, so do video games. WoW falls under the genre of MMORPG, which stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. These kinds of games can be compared to social networking sites such as Facebook or Myspace, just with benefits. Benefits such as having your own avatar to represent you. In WoW, you make this avatar look like whatever you desire, and once created, you get to travel a digital world where several other people are as well. You interact with these other players (which are from across the globe) in many ways, from just sitting at a pub having drinks to banding together to take down a dragon. The players get to identify with their avatar more in WoW than a place like Myspace because you build that character up as if you were raising a child. The player strives to get stronger, gain better weapons and skills to make their life in the game easier. On top of that, players can compete against each other as well, giving plenty of room for (sometimes not-so-friendly) competition. This is what the genre of MMORPGs are all about.

Here is my claim as to why this genre is terrible in the classroom setting: MMORPGs never end. That's right, they don't END. Why do you think a game like WoW is so addictive? It is because the players must constantly strive to be greater and stronger, with no real end in sight. Even if you complete every quest and have the strongest weapons and armor, the game is not over. That is how MMORPGs work.

Now humans, ALL throughout history, have been ingrained with this idea of beginning, middle, and end. Our days begin with sunrise and breakfast and end with sunset and dinner. Even lives fall into this idea: birth is the beginning, death is the end; "mid-life" crisis can fill the middle. Every book begins and ends, every relationship begins and ends. That is just the NATURE of humans, beginnings and endings. WoW has no ending. Every game that falls under the genre of MMORPG have no ending. THAT is why they are so addicting, people. It is not the fact that the game is so amazing. Granted, WoW is considered to be the cream of the crop of this genre, but in the end it is the fact that it never ends that drives these children wild. Humans are built to finish things. How genius would it be to make money off something that can never be completed? That is WoW.

I speak from experience. I was once addicted to MMORPGs myself. I'm not sure if anyone in Wednesday's group has been, but from the sound of their presentation, I would argue that none of them have. I am not bashing their idea: I love it. I love video games, so I would love to see them integrated effectively into the classroom, but WoW...or any MMORPG for that matter, is NOT the example to use. There are so many other better choices, such as God of War to teach Greek mythology, or Final Fantasy to teach literacy, critical thinking, as well as mythology. They are not perfect examples, but in my opinion they are far better than WoW.

Many other genres of video games follow the beginning, middle, and end model. The best example I would give are RPGs, or role playing games. If you look it up, make sure they are RPGs, not MMORPGs. Big difference, people.

Well, there's my splurge. There's much more I can say on the topic, but I'm currently out of juice. Peace!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Post-Colonialization and Globalization

The culture of a post-colonial nation is often unfamiliar to everyone. The blend between the nation's original culture and the colonized culture is never simple. In Globalization and the Claims of Postcoloniality from the Duke University Press, post-colonialism as well as globalization seem to be put up on a pedestal of sorts as if they are the ways of the new world. I personally have to disagree. The idea of colonialism is bad enough as it is, even though that's what this country is founded on. No country truly has any good reason to colonize another place other than for their own personal benefit. I highly doubt there has been a time in history that a place was colonized for their own good. That makes absolutely no sense. Who is anyone to make such a claim like that anyway? Who has the gull to claim that they are invading and forcing change upon a place and that it is solely for their own good? It's a load of crap.

As far as globalization goes, the second article Towards a Critique of Globalcentrism: Speculations on Capitalism's Nature also from the Duke University Press, brings up an excellent point that the world generally views Capitalism as some kind of wonderful tool that governs society simply because of how it conquered socialism at the turn of the century. Because of this, of course, socialism is generally viewed as a bad thing, and so the world generally takes on a view that Capitalistic countries are far better than Socialistic ones. In reality, neither should be held up on any sort of pedestal! If the world uniformly agrees that, let's say, Capitalism is the greatest form of government, then so much will be lost culturally in the transition to capitalism. The idea of a globalized world reminds me The Borg from Star Trek: one hive, one mind. There would be no differences between people whatsoever. Everyone will love and hate the same thing, and those who choose to think apart from that will be ostracized. The idea of globalization sounds great on paper, but I believe that the world community is not ready for something like that. We as humans hate too easily. Things like love and hope would need to drive the togetherness of this community, but again, people are too emotional. It is just impractical, as far as I can tell.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Buckingham page 40-41:

He claims that through the study of Cineliteracy, there are several "stages" in which students are able to analyze videos on several different levels. A video like this to depict The Cask of Amontillado not only helps students grasp a better understanding of the overall plot of this poem, but they are also able to delve deeper into the mind of the main character. They can see his expressions and overall brooding persona where it is not so "obvious" by strictly reading the text on a page.