It’s Not Just a Cinderella Story… It’s A Love Story

It isn’t too often that I come across a song that I absolutely love or agree with but when I first saw Taylor Swift’s music video Love Story I didn’t think that there would ever be a song I could love more.  I am what I am… a Cinderella wannabe and this song is my hopeful love story. 

The high school girl, the ballroom dancing, the banjos, the violins, the Victorian vintage dresses and suits,the garden, the castle, the white horse, the old lanterns, the wide open fields, a prince, a princess, a romeo, a juliet, and of course the sunset… I just love every second of it.  I love how this video portrays this song because even though it seems like it’s far from reality there really is some truth in it.  That truth is that true love waits.  Relationships have obstacles and problems but they can overcome them.  People can overcome them and “true loves” well, I believe that they can overcome anything.

People think that her video is like a fantasy, a dream, or a love story that will never come true, but to me it’s a love story that I hope to one day have.  One that captures the underlying message of this song… the message that everyone will have their love story in some way or another at some point in time. 

 In my first blog, I said that cinderellas and prince charmings are out there and now in my last blog (at least for this sequence) I can say that Romeo and Juliet are out there. It’s not just a Cinderella Story… It’s a Love Story.

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Just Another Game of Tetris Or A Misinterpretation of Women

At first this picture may look like just another game of tetris but take a deeper look at it and you may find what seems to be a very wrong looking ad for Axe.  Axe is a brand of male grooming products that is owned by the British company Unilever.  Over the years Axe has used many ads and commercials to target young men to get them to buy their products but lately it seems like these ads may be targeting more than just men.

This tetris picture is one of the many ads Axe has used that portrays how women behave around a man who has used some sort of Axe product. Ultimately, the same behavior is used in every one of the company’s ads-women running and chasing (sometimes in bikinis) after men and pretty much doing everything they can to get to this one man. This is exactly what is being portrayed in this tetris ad and is what has led to some controversy over what the ad is really trying to say.  Is it just another ad selling a product or is it a misinterpretation of women?

This tetris ad does not represent women as nearly as bad as I have seen other Axe ads do but it can still portray the same message about women and their behavior in a negative way. You can look at this ad and take from it the idea that women are ravenous when it comes to men.  That they don’t care who they have to compete with, fight with, manipulate, or get around to get their man. It’s even easy to say that this ad portrays women as worthless objects.

However, you could also see this ad and take from it a completely different message, one that has nothing to do with portraying women in a bad way.  Many  people view this ad simply just like they would view any other ad that is trying to see a product.  They want to sell their product and make money so they use whatever they can to make the axe appealing to young men.  What they have found to attract young men is well, of course young women.  It’s obvious that men like women so it makes sense to create a portrait of a tetris game depicting many women falling for one man.  It can be a rather clever ad that not only appeals to men but to people who love to play tetris (especially to men who love to play tetris). 

As I see it, this ad does not portray women in a bad or negative way. I actually see it as an ad that portrays both men and women in funky, funny way but neither one in a degrading way.  Using a tetris game as a symbol for a relationship between a man and women is really clever. They used a well-known childish game with bright colors which makes the ad all the more comical and interesting.  I could easily see the ad as a horrible portrayal of women but I don’t let it.  I see the ad for what it is-a funny, clever, and very creative attempt to get people to buy Axe.

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The TSA: It’s Not What It Looks Like

It’s that time of year again.  The holidays are just around the corner and every one is ready to go home and see their loved ones.  The airports are up and running and ready to go but this season travelers may have a bit of a surprise once they reach the security lines.

It’s usually the part of traveling that everyone dreads the most-passing through security especially now with TSA’s (Transportation Security Administration) security policies of full body screening and or full body pat-downs.  Travelers used to just worry about protecting themselves from terrorists but now travelers are worrying about protecting their private parts.

Either way you look at it, both the full body scan and the full body pat down exposes parts of the body that many people of course do not want to be exposed, especially to the public.  The full body scanning machines are a device that take as little as 10 seconds.  The issue with these machines are that 1) they may expose passengers to radiation and 2) they virtually show naked images of passengers. 

If passengers refuse to go through the full body scan they must then go through the full body pat-down.  This procedure takes about 4 minutes.  The major problem that passengers are having with the pat-down is that security workers have to run a hand up the inside of passengers legs, along the cheeks of  the buttocks, and direct contact around the groin area.  If passengers choose to have the procedure done in a private room and have a full explanation of the procedure beforehand this procedure takes much, much longer.  It is estimated that it takes about 15 minutes to get 100 people through the full body scan where as it would take about 6 hours to pat down that same amount of people.

So much controversy has erupted over these security procedures and people everywhere are wondering if either of these procedures are even necessary.  Security has become like a double-edge sword.  We want our airplanes to be safe but we don’t want to go through all the security. What should just be a simple transition to a more advanced security search has turned into a  nightmare for passengers and TSA workers. The problem is that everyone has a problem with something.  Whether it’s the radiation, the virtually naked images, the up-close and personal pat-downs, the long lines, the security, and the safety. The bottom line is that both procedures have their share of problems but people have to get through security somehow. 

So here is my take on the whole issue.  Just go through the full body scan!  They aren’t going to kill or exploit us.  Yes, there may be some risk of radiation exposure but its going to be a very, very minimal amount.  Especially not any more than what we would be exposed to when we get an x-ray. The time spent in the scan is short and painful and as for the virtually naked images… just don’t think of them as that. They are simply meant to protect us and keep us safe from potential terrorists.  They aren’t there for the TSA workers to check us out. The TSA worker who sees the images doesn’t even see the people who the images are of.

Compared to the full body pat-down, the full body scan is quick, comfortable,and impersonal. There isn’t that confrontation with the TSA worker who may have to pat-down your more personal parts.  Both security procedures really aren’t meant to exploit us.  It’s not what it looks like.  They are put in action for a reason and that is to protect you and I when we are flying on an airplane but if given the option of either going through the full body scan or the pat-down, I would take the full body scan any day.

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A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words

For our final project in Theater we have been devising a play about romantic relationships including the good, the bad, and the ugly and so far we have created several short scenes about these types of relationships . 

The problem is that we need some ideas that the tech crew can use for sound and image projections throughout these mini scenes.  So what I have found are just some silhouettes that maybe we could use before each scene or one-liner.  Without really showing who these people really are, these silhouettes would just hint as to what type of relationship or situation the upcoming scene would be about.

Here are some image ideas:

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The Cherry Orchard: One Relationship After Another

At the very beginning of this school semester my FLC English and Theater class read Anton Chekhov’s play The Cherry Orchard and just this past Friday we had the opportunity to go and see the play performed by UNM’s own Department of Theatre and Dance. 

The play was great! It was funny, it was exciting,  and it was fun to watch.   The acting, the costumes, the set design, the lighting design, the sound effects, the music, the dancing, even the cherry scent, everything-it was a great performance and I definitely saw the many relationships of the play come to life.

Relationships.  Family relationships, romantic relationships, property relationships-the whole play is about relationships and I never really got that until I saw the actual play!  Each character has some type of relationship going on. Whether it’s good, bad, broken, happy, sad- they all have a relationship with someone or something.

Liubov, the owner of the estate,  has a relationship with the cherry orchard and the house on the estate that she grew up in.  Her brother, Leonid, also has a  close relationship with the house and the cherry orchard that is being sold and taken away from them.  Yephikhodov yearns for a close relationship with Dunyasha while Dunyasha thinks that she and Yasha have a relationship going on.  Anya and Petya have a happy, secret romantic relationship going on while Varya waits for Lopakhin to propose to her.  Varya loves and wants to be with Lopakhin but he really loves Liubov!  Carlotta has her relationship with her dog, Orlov, and her tricks.  Everyone has a relationship with old Firs, the butler and he shares a relationship with the house and everyone he still tries to take care of in the house. 

Every relationship is connected and inter -twined to the point where you can’t have one without the other.  These relationships and how the characters handle them is what makes the play “a comedy in four acts.”  It’s just one relationship after another.

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Not Another Museum

Boring is the first word that comes to my mind when I hear the word MUSEUM.  I wish I didn’t think that but I can’t help it, I do.  I associate a museum with a library and I don’t particularly enjoy going to the library so going to a museum, for me is much the same experience -not an enjoyable one.

I think that much of my dislike for museums results from the fact that I spent so much time at them when I was a little kid.  Actually not just even when I was a kid.  This past summer, I took a trip to London with my aunts and uncles and well, I can easily say that I spent a lot of time at museums.   A lot.  In just one day, I visited about three different museums.  So by the end of the day, they just all kind of meshed together and by that point I was so burnt out and done with museums.  I didn’t ever want to go back to one.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I think museums have a great purpose.  They are like the world’s “show and tell”. They have so much to tell, teach, and show us about history, the world, and life.  So they can be a great experience if you (and when I say you I mean I) have the right attitude. 

I can see how people enjoy them.  I can see how they view a museum as window to the world and to the past; to history and new ideas and ways of thinking and expressing.  Which is great because that’s what museums are for.  They truly have so much to offer, you just have to be open to what it is they are offering.

When I went with my English class to the Art Museum, my first reaction was of course BORING.  Not another museum.  I was afraid that I was going to be one of those people who sits down on a stool and deeply analyzes a work of art so when our guide actually started pulling out these tiny wooden benches and started placing them in front of a picture I just wanted to cry.  My worst nightmare was coming true. 

But you know what, it wasn’t that bad.  Yes, it may not have been my first choice to be there but I was there and I decided that I was going to take what was being offered.  I sat there and analyzed that picture and learned something.  That Polaroid picture that had so much to say if you just listened.  The red,white, and blue color scheme.  The red tinted goggles the men in white blouses with wind-blown ties were wearing.  The lawn chairs they calmly sat in as they snapped Polaroid pictures of a bomb going off.

It wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be.  I listened to the people in my class talk about their reactions and observations of the picture.  I began to learn about the story behind the picture and the artist and before I knew it, it was like we weren’t even in a museum at all.

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Quotes from the Characters

“She’s out there somewhere.  I just haven’t found her yet.”

        -Prince Eric, from Disney’s The Little Mermaid

“Love, ha!  Just a boy and a girl meeting under the right conditions….. So, we’re arranging the right conditions.”

            -Prince Charming’s Father, from Disney’s Cinderella

And my favorite…

“She believed in dreams, all right, but she also believed in doing something about them.  When Prince Charming didn’t come along, she went over to the palace and got him.”

            -Walt Disney, speaking of Cinderella in 1949

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