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Stabbed…Right In The Childhood

I would like to preface this by saying – when I was little, I was “that girl.” You know the one, the girl who was obsessed with Disney movies. The girl who could quote the lines while watching it and sang along to all of the songs. The girl who was a different Disney Princess every Halloween. The girl who’s room was decorated in Pooh Bear. The girl who called it the “best day of high school” when the substitute pulled out The Lion King and said enjoy. Yeah, that one. I was that girl and I’m still proud of it.

After watching the movie Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood and Corporate Power, I was upset because I realized just how right it was. It had ruined every Disney movie for me. I felt like I had been stabbed right in the childhood – my whole day was ruined. But, after thinking about it for awhile, I realized that the movie was only partially right. Their biggest mistake was the overgeneralization.

The movie was correct on a lot of points. Yes, the movies should not be as geared towards White Power as they are. Yes, they should portray Latinos and Asians as real human beings rather than Chihuahuas and Siamese cats. Yes, they should portray African Americans as the good people rather than the villain. And yes, they should allow a heroine every now and then – rather than always a damsel in distress.

The part they were wrong, however, is that they said that it is teaching ALL children about how they should live their life, what prejudices should be, and what their respective place in society should be. I disagree; I didn’t learn any of that from the Disney movies. I’ve seen all of them, several times and until I watched this video – I hadn’t heard of a majority of the bad examples that were in the film. The ones I had heard of, I didn’t learn from Disney, I learned from other articles similar to the movie.

Be an active Parent!

While I was growing up and watching the movies, my parents and I would talk about the things that I watched on television and the music that I listened to. I grew up knowing that I am my own person and my friends are their own as well. I grew up knowing that I should treat everybody the way I wish to be treated.

Another thing I disagreed with in the movie was that it is my belief that some of the things said in the movie were exaggerated to make their case more solid. Admittedly, I do not know where the situation was that the woman described – in her scenario, it might have been true – but I, myself, have never heard a black person sound like the hyenas in The Lion King. In fact, I’ve never heard ANYBODY, regardless of race, sound like the hyenas in The Lion King except for the people who were acting them out. In my opinion, it is a reflection on her poor parenting that her child was then scared of those black kids because she didn’t talk with her son about his views of the movie.

I understand the point of the movie and I agree that major corporations have too much control in pushing ideas, but I think with this case – it comes down to whether or not you know how to parent your children. If you teach them right and wrong, Disney can just be an enjoyable sing-a-long. If you do not and just let them roam free, then sure – it can turn into the nightmare that was described. So I guess the real moral of this story is: be a proper parent. That way, you can say, “Hakuna Matata” and truly mean it.

"Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase, it means no worries, for the rest of your days!"

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You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone

Huh?!?!Have you ever had the feeling of being completely lost? I’m not talking about the kind of lost where you’re driving around heading to White Marsh and then two hours later you’re somewhere in Pennsylvania. No, I’m talking about when you wake up in the morning and you truly have no idea what to do.

My class had the assignment to go two days, 48 hours, with absolutely no media. Nothing. No music, no TV, no computers, no fiction, no newspapers, nothing.

It. Was. Awful.

I did my two days of Stone Age on Friday and Saturday. I was really nervous going in and I knew that I would be pretty irritable so rather than subject my roommate to that – I went home. I figured: my family has to love me no matter what so…why not?

So anyway, Thursday night – I started to get a little nervous…would I really be able to go two days without my phone?  Sure, I could go two days without everything else but…I love my phone! How can I not use it for two days? It was then that I decided there is nothing I can do about it so I may as well get it over with rather than worry about it.

I woke up Friday morning to a regular alarm rather than music and I immediately felt a tightening in my chest. The day had just started but I could already feel the detachment from media but I was determined to do without all voluntary forms of media.

After going home, I took a nap, went for a walk, and played board games with my family. The board games were fun, we really get into Monopoly at my house…and plus I always win. 🙂"and Amanda wins again!!!" .... "Sit down Amanda...and stop talking in the third person"

Unfortunately, it was difficult to make it through the two days because I’m not the only media addict in my family. I would constantly have to leave rooms because the TV would be turned on, or I’d be the only one not playing on the computer. It was especially difficult when my friend came over and took her phone out. I definitely felt the jealousy coming on then. . .

Admittedly, I’m exaggerating. In all seriousness, the experience was not horrible. I think the only part that I really, really, really didn’t like – was the hour long drive home of silence. Normally when I’m in the car, I either have my iPod hooked up – or I flip between radio stations. This time while I was driving, the only thing I had to listen to was my own thoughts. I know, shocking. How could I possibly listen to myself think? Well, I did and it didn’t suck. The part that did stink was that, for the first time ever, I started to get tired towards the end of the drive. I have never gotten tired while driving…luckily the drive was short.

Overall, I’m kind of glad I took the two days to live completely unplugged. It was interesting to see just how much I depend on media. Even with doing the two days where I documented everything that I used – I didn’t realize how significant media was in my life. I guess the saying is true: You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Hello! My name is Amanda Mencik and I am a media addict.

We, as a society, are driven by media. Whether it is through our cell phones, the internet, or advertising – we’re 100% on the consumer end of the spectrum. While I was already aware of this before I started this project, I did not realize the effect advertising and media have on our culture.

Good morning, music!

Every morning – my iPhone wakes me up with the music stored on it. After waking up (and admittedly hitting snooze), I check out the different apps that I’ve got on my phone. I find out what the weather is for the day, what new stories have been added to the CNN headlines app, and see what the latest “news” is on Facebook. All of this media before I’ve even gotten out of bed!

As the day carries on – I encounter media when I hear music as I go get breakfast at The Den, as I walk to class, as I do homework, and there is a lot of media and advertising when I watch the Washington Capitals games on TV. In fact, I didn’t realize it until the next day, but when I was watching the Washington Capitals game, they kept having advertisements for “stuffed burgers” at The Greene Turtle. Next thing I know, I had a lunch date to go eat one.

The biggest form of media that I partake in on a daily basis is music. I LOVE MUSIC! To me, music is the best form of expression and there is meaning in every single song. I did not, however, realize just how much music I listened to on a regular basis. After calculating the time spent with music (including while working on homework), I realized that I spend about one third of my day with music playing. 8 hours. That’s ridiculous!

Reviewing two days worth of media use was intense. I always knew that my use of media was excessive but I had never really taken the time to think about JUST how much media I really use, both voluntary and involuntary.

The Things We Take for Granted

With a title like, Media History: The Story of Film, TV, and Media, one can easily guess what the movie is going to be about…right? Well, it goes a little deeper than that – this movie made me (and I’m guessing a few of my classmates) start to really think about all of the media available to us.

At the start of the movie, it was admittedly, a little dull. I think that can mostly be attributed to the lack of technology that was available at the time it was made. That being said, the movie was very interesting and helpful in revealing the extra details of media history that cannot be reviewed in class due to lack of time.

You can hear me?!?! I can hear you too!

I liked how the film tracked the progress of communication, from the printing press, to the telegraph, to the phone…it made me think about how life possibly was back then. I’m sure when the telegraph was first introduced, people thought “woah! You can send my message by pressing that little button a bunch of times without a wire?” I’m sure they were completely flabbergasted when the telephone came out. Yes, the phones had wires but then that led to a new invention. People had started to question, why can’t voice be heard through the airwaves?

Appropriate question.

Boom. Invention of the radio and the start of Mass Communications as we know it today. I’ve been interested in Mass Communications for a long time but I never really thought about its origins. This video started to put things into perspective for me.

"But Moooommmmm! There is nothing on!"

The part of the video that had the most significant impact though was towards the end. There was one gentleman in particular (his name slips my mind…) who thought it was absolutely amazing that they could have one device that let us do everything. In 1998, he considered this magic. The people of 2012 truly take for granted all of the electronics we have. I’m not even just talking about cell phones and computers and iPods, either. Just thinking about all of the different televisions stations is unreal too. Television started off with three stations. THREE!! CBS, NBC, and ABC. That’s it, those were the three stations and everybody was happy with them. I have more than three stations that I just watch hockey games on. Trying to imagine having no variety sort of blows my mind.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that watching this movie made me…thankful. It put things into perspective for how little we could have and made me realize that sometimes I should slow and think about how much we really do have. I’m sure my mom will appreciate that I won’t be complaining, “there’s nothing on tv!!” for a long time.