Dreamworlds III and Precious

In the videos we watched from Dreamworlds III, I was not surprised to see the sexualized depiction of women. In advertisements, movies, and music videos, women are portrayed as sexual objects that only serve the purpose of satisfying a man. With the obvious portrayal of women in this way, it makes me wonder why women allow themselves to take on these roles in media. The best examples would be women in music videos, because they know what they will look like and what the song’s lyrics are. However, even with this knowledge of the derogatory portrayal and lyrics, women seem to allow it to continue.

After watching the trailer and clip of Precious, I was very surprised. Since I have not seen the movie, I was stunned to see the way Precious was treated at school and especially at home. Remembering the discussion from class we had, I recall someone saying how the movie was being advertised. The ad could be summarized as Precious being an overweight, black woman trying to survive in Harlem. From our class discussion, other movies’ ads would never be as successful if it stated the movie was about a skinny, white woman living in the city.

This discussion we had in class about the advertisement relates to the article The Black Matriarch as Villain. Due to Precious’ living conditions, she was not treated well by her peers at school or her mother. The movie’s advertisement relied on viewers wanting to see a struggling young, black woman in Harlem with a difficult life. Stated in the article, that’s what viewers saw. Precious’ mother, Mary, was created to be an abusive mother who wanted her daughter to quit school and start collecting welfare. This depiction of Mary is almost a racist image of black women at the time, because they only depend on welfare to survive.


The Black Matriarch as Villain

By Juell Stewart



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A Clockwork Orange Reaction

My reaction is to the article named, “Darker Than Any Prison, Hotter Than Any Human Flame”: Punishment, Choice, and Culpability in A Clockwork Orange by Illya Lichtenberg, Howard Lune, and Patrick McManimon, Jr.

One part of the article discusses the movie’s government control of crime compared to the U.S. Unlike the movie, the U.S. crime system cannot be as extreme and uses different methods to remove criminals from society. As stated from the article, Alex and modern criminals must be “banished” from society. The Justice Minister “banished” Alex by conditioning him to be helpless, and the U.S. puts criminals in jail with minimum mandatory sentences. However, the U.S.’s “banishment” is also different because certain offenders, such as felons, are removed from society by not having the right to vote.

The article also discusses Alex’s punishment given by the government compared to the punishment of his victims. According to the government, Alex was “corrected” after the treatment. However, to Alex’s victims, his punishment was not enough for his crimes and they tortured him themselves. In relation, the U.S. prison system is set up to “correct” criminals for their offenses. When prisons became overcrowded, prisons in Florida decided to release non-violent criminals earlier than planned. This caused public outrage and influenced public elections.

I liked the article’s way it related the scenarios from A Clockwork Orange to real-life situations. Although the movie was extreme in depicting a state-controlled correctional treatment, it is still relatable to the U.S. prison system and society as a whole. I was surprised by the topics that were discussed in the article about prison sentences and treatments. Alex thought he was taking the quickest way out of prison by accepting to the treatment, but instead he was allowing himself to become helpless. The U.S. prisons are different; inmates can either do their full prison sentence, or they can volunteer to work in order to possibly be released early.


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PDF Version: http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/socio/faculty/docs/Lune/LichtenbergLuneMcManimon.pdf

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Business Card

Italian Catering Services

The overall composition of the “Italian Catering Services” business card is simple. I wanted the card to have a straightforward design that contains only the bare information of the company. To a potential customer, the card tells him or her the name of the service, the owner, the location, and a method of contact. However, instead of putting a lot of text, which would cover the image, I allow the picture to show the food quality that is the real focus of the company. In my opinion, the image on the business card should be a large part of what convinces the potential customer to use the service. But along with the clean and professional appearance of the card, the customer is able to see what the company has to offer.

My original sketch and image were different than what I ended up using. The image I chose to use focuses more on the prepared food, while the previous picture I was going to use focused on the food’s preparation. My composition changed somewhat due to the different picture, but I still kept the concept of simplicity. Although I ended up putting the majority of text on the right side, the hierarchy and sizing in still similar.


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Business Card Sketch

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Photography as a Weapon

Morris’ argues when people should trust photographs to be trustworthy evidence or ways to deceive them. In the interview with Mr. Farid, Morris discussed how important photos and text are together when a person sees them. Sometimes photos can include captions that would help validate them, while other captions can turn photos into fakes. With Morris’ discussion with Johnson, they debated how the public viewed Iran’s faked photos. For some, Iran is weak because they had to cover up a failed missile launch, but on the other hand, Iran fired three out of four missiles successfully. After the interpretation of several other photographs, Morris shows that photographs are used to show reality as well as an altered reality.

This image has both the original and altered photo of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre in China. The top photo is the original, and the altered one is on the bottom. The background to this photo is there were thousands of people, mainly students, who were mourning the death of a pro-democracy official. After over a month of protesting, the Communist Chinese government sent in the army to clear the area, but ended with the army killing thousands of Chinese civilians.

I am unsure of when and where this photograph was published. However, I do know that the Chinese government has gone to great lengths to prevent the Chinese public from seeing any images from the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Since the event, the government has censored the media to not allow any anti-government ideas. The public’s reaction to the original photograph was how one person was bold enough to stand up to the powerful Chinese government by standing in front of an oncoming tank. Because the man was standing in the middle of the road, the tanks had plenty of room to go around the man, but chose not to. In the altered photograph, it appears that there is a parade for the Chinese military where the tanks are. So instead of a wide-open road, it seems like the tanks had no room to maneuver around the man. In the altered image, the man is not making a statement against the government, but now looks like he wants to be run over.

Image taken from: http://www.kokeytechnology.com/imaging-technology/spot-digitally-altered-imagesphotospictures/

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Pulitzer Prize Photo

“Saigon Execution” by Edwards Adam

The photograph “Saigon Execution” is best known for helping change the American opinion to end the war in Vietnam. Photographer Edward Adams’ photo uses a few techniques to direct the viewer’s eyes. The leading line of the general’s arm directs the eyes to the gun, and then the head of the Vietcong prison being shot. Overall, the photo quality is not very eye catching due to a low contrast. Lighting in the image is high, which allows the viewer to clearly see what the subjects are. Adams incorporates the rule of thirds by splitting the picture into two halves. On left side is the South Vietnamese general, and the right is the prisoner. Although the general’s arm is in the middle of the image, the main subject is on the right where the gun and prisoner is located. Through the placement of each subject, the rule of thirds is followed fairly closely.

The background of the picture is that the Vietcong man on the right was a prisoner. On the left is a South Vietnamese general, who was walking by and decided to shoot him in the head. The photographer, Edward Adams, was in Vietnam to take pictures of the war for the Associated Press. When the general came next to the prisoner, Adams quickly took the picture without knowing what he had taken. It was not until a few days later that his picture was seen in the U.S. and resulted in a large amount of anti-war support.

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No Fear Advertisement

Successful Advertisement

The visual elements are very strong in the No Fear Advertisement. The most prominent area of the ad is the figure in the air on the snowboard. Behind the figure is a dark graphic of a wing, which looks as if it is coming out of the snowboarder’s back. Along with the figure, a second visual element is the text, “Air Wear”, in all capitals with a scuffed texture. Because the snowboarder has a wing and is in the air it reminds me of the appearance of an angel. The text’s texture reminds me of a heavily scratched snowboard that would be because of a lot of use. Aside from the actual product of their “extreme” clothing, the ad seems to be selling the lifestyle and idea that snowboarders are intense people who will do anything.

Out of the Seven Principles, number five is the most relatable to the No Fear advertisement. “Visual images often rely on metaphor and mythic thinking.” This principle is relatable to the ad very well because of the graphics behind the snowboarder. Not only is there a graphic of a wing coming out of the figure’s back, but there are also lines originating from the figure as if it were rays of light. This image is reminiscent of an angel coming down from heaven, only as a snowboarder.

The ad relies heavily on the viewer’s background knowledge. Without the viewer recognizing the visual elements of a representation of an angel, the ad would not be as effective.

Compared to the company’s other ads, this advertisement is similar. The most similar elements are the use of graphics in their images. Along with the graphics, the text has a similar appearance with the rough textures.

I envision the target audience of this ad to be active teenagers who like snowboarding and similar sports.

This ad is successful overall due to its eye-catching text and image. With the combination of the bright colors, the black color of the snowboard also helps bring your eye to the center of the ad, where the text “Air Wear” is located.

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