Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A5-1: Weekly Written Analysis

Weekly Written Analysis
When some one hears the name American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) there is usually one of two reactions. Either extreme hatred or extreme enthusiasm is expressed towards this dog breed. Through my experience most people react with hatred and this is due to he-said-she said information and the mal-informed media frenzy that has exploded (Bradwell, S., 1996). I currently own two APBTs and they are not only the best dogs I have ever had but the most loving as well. When people think of this dog breed all they can think about is dog fighting and people attacks as dramatized by the media. The fact is that this could not be further from the truth. All the myths about pit bulls having locking jaws, being innately aggressive towards humans, and having a bite that causes 800psi are absolutely false (Bradwell, S., 1996). The following excerpt reveals more about the true nature of APBTs, “The American Canine Temperament Testing Association is an organization that titles dogs for passing its temperament test. The test consists of putting the dog into a series of unexpected situations, some involving strangers. The dog fails the test if it shows any signs of unprovoked aggression or panic around people. Of all dogs that take the test, 77% on average pass. But among pit bulls who take the test, 95% on average pass--one of the highest passing rates of all breeds”(Bradwell, S., 1996). It is also very important to realize that 98% of the pit-bull attacks media throws in our faces on TV are purely for ratings, meaning they are not even American pit bull terriers but dogs that just look like one (Bradwell, S., 1996). Scott Bradwell (1996) relates that “the APBT was once considered to be a wonderful family pet by the general public. During World War I, an APBT was used to represent the United States on a propaganda poster. During the 1930's and 40's, every kid who watched the Lil' Rascals wanted a dog just like "Pete the pup" who was an APBT”. Once again the so called all knowing media has incorrectly relayed information.
“Many (back yard breeders) of them didn't grasp the fact that a champion fighting dog is born not made. (So) Through abuse, (and) teasing, "practice(s)" on non-fighting dogs, etc.--all sorts of things that knowledgeable pit enthusiasts would find cruel and abhorrent--and counterproductive as preparation for pit contests (were occurring through ignorant non-qualified breeders). I read a story not long ago that was enough to turn my stomach; it was about the arrest of an 18-year old kid in Philadelphia on charges of animal abuse; he was keeping his wretched pit bull isolated in a tiny feces-covered kennel. The dog's only contact with the outside world was when this jerk would "feed" it live cats and dogs that he had stolen from neighbors' homes. He thought he was preparing the dog to be a good fighter. Needless to say, it is this sort of person, rather than the old-time dedicated breeders, that the public--thanks to the mass media--associates with the breed. Speaking of the mass media, I wouldn't be surprised if this particular jerk got his bizarre ideas about schooling a pit dog from watching the sort of distorted, sensationalistic news coverage that purports to "expose" what pit fighting is all about.”
I have run into a lot of people who are afraid of my dogs and I am working very hard to change opinions on the breed. I have converted every single one of my family and friends to loving the breed. I want my dogs to be ambassadors of the breed and am working hard to make sure that is the case. The only problem is that I live in Columbus, Oh. The problem with this is our state treats these dogs as if they are the devil. I know that sounds harsh but I cannot walk down the street with both of them at the same time without feeling apprehensive. I am sick and tired of feeling like this when I know that my dogs are better trained, better behaved, and by far the best dogs I have ever owned. Here in my state there are individuals working to get APBTs removed from the vicious dogs list so we can enjoy our pets like everyone else (Bradwell, S., 1996). Due to poor breeding, poor training, in-correct media coverage, and a lack of education people have started to ruin the breed and have completely ruined their reputation (Bradwell, S., 1996). My dogs are more than just dogs to me they are a part of the family. I feel like I have a duty to them and the breed to educate people with the truth. Punish the deed not the breed!

Bradwell, Scott (1996). The American pit bull terrier (APBT) FAQ. Retrieved February 4, 2008,

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A4-1: Weekly Written Analysis

Weekly Analysis
Everyday we are bombarded by all types of information. Whether its entertainment or advertisements there is a constant stream of business related material consciously and unconsciously being thrown at us. How many of us out there can identify a company’s logo without any other identifying information than the logo its self. I would say this is a rather high percent based on the fact that I am a normal consumer in the market. I know that the more famous a logo is the more likely I am to buy the product. Just the other day I went shopping and one of the items on my list was chips. Going down the chip aisle I picked up the signature cylindrical can with the smiling mustached head on it. If you haven’t guessed it already I bought some Pringles. Company logos have become almost an icon in popular culture. From the infamous Nike swoosh to Wal-Mart’s smiley face companies are always competing to find a bigger, better, and more popular logo.
While browsing I came across a very interesting survey that really made me think about how much company logos play apart in the decisions I make while shopping. The survey was labeled Company Logo Quiz. As I made my way through the quiz I recognized many logos I did not consciously realize I knew. I recognized All State Insurance’s logo as folded hands and even Bacardi’s bat. What really surprised me were the results of the quiz, out of the fifteen logos I guessed ten of them correctly. It really makes you stop and think about being a more conscious shopper. Does popularity really matter or is it just a mind control used by businesses? You can take the quiz at
AOL Money and Finance (2008). Company logo quiz. Retrieved January 30, 2008, from

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A3-2: Ritual Development

What rituals do you observe in your family? One ritual we follow is to give one other person in the family a gag gift each Christmas and write a poem to go along with the gift. It is something I look forward to every year because for many people Christmas dinner with the family can be very serious but this ritual reminds us that Christmas is all about merry making and giving to others.

A3-1: Weekly Written Analysis

Weekly Analysis
The Iraq war is one of the most unpopular wars in American history. Combined with a poor economy and seemingly untruthful leadership the war and the president have become increasingly unpopular as time has passed. One thing that has been seriously debated in recent years is the truthfulness of the Bush administration with the people at the beginning of the Iraq war (Daniel, D., 2008). Many people feel that due to conflicting information the public was being lied to about the reasons America was pursuing a war with Iraq. In a poll conducted by AOL 40% of Americans believe a combination of lies and bad intelligence led to misinformation before the war, and another whopping 70% believe the Bush administration purposefully misled the American people (Daniel, D., 2008). Debates about the war and president have begun to peak with the new presidential election period gearing up and potential hope around the corner. It has awakened many American’s to try to make sense out of a war many of us don’t agree with.
Many thousands of soldiers and civilians alike have lost their lives due to this campaign. Each one of those lives is important and significant which is why an alternative to this war must be found. The Iraq war and the war on terrorism to many Americans are the same thing. President Bush has ruled America with fear the last several years by ingraining terrorism into everyone’s mind. I think that instead of fear from 9/11 he should have focused on the unity it created with the American people and been truthful about the true intentions of the war. But, as the common stereotype that government officials are corrupt is furthered we have learned that politicians and the once extremely respected position of President of the United States can be the least respected positions in society.
Daniel, D. (2008). False statements before war, study says. Retrieved January 23, 2008, from

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A2-1: Weekly Written Analysis 2

The military and the government conjure feelings of secrecy and mystery. Many people who have made careers in government are privilege to top secret information. It is easy to understand how the public can romanticize this thought. When you think about top secret information images of action packed spy movies and government bashing television shows pop into mind. So when we get the chance to see into the lives of someone, who in the public’s mind, lives a fast paced extraordinary life full advantage of the situation is taken. In the case of Maj. Andrew Olmsted he gave us what we have been asking for. Publishing a blog online with new articles every week he talked about the daily life of a soldier in Iraq, politics, the war, and other personal opinions (Stelter, B., 2008). This new and interesting view of a soldier’s life and opinions earned Maj. Andrew a loyal following of fans. Unfortunately, on January 3, 2008 the Major lost his life to the war (Stelter, B., 2008). But, not until after he passed away did the true controversy begin.
Shorty after the Major passed away one final blog was added to his page. This blog was explained to be posted in the event of the Major’s death (Stelter, B., 2008). But, it was not a view of politics and the war that drew people in this time. It was Maj. Olmsted’s plain humanity, humor, and love of life that drew readers into his last post. He left strict requirements that his death was not to be used for political purposes, said his final goodbyes, and even said he would miss the exchange of ideas he got from blogging (Stelter, B., 2008). It is very saddening to think that Maj. Olmstead even though he is a hero his family now has to go on without him. His post-mortem blog brought national attention not only to his last blog but to his whole blog in general. Since his death there has been much debate on whether a soldier should even be allowed to have a blog (Stelter, B., 2008). Any online journaling must be approved by the military before it is posted online. Since Maj. Olmstead’s was approved the public’s outraged because his blog may be removed from the internet by the military (Stelter, B., 2008).
Stelter, B. (2008). Military man blogs about his own death. The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 7, 2008, from

Monday, January 14, 2008

A2-2: Icon Analysis

Myspace Layouts

When I think of the word icon another word comes to mind. That word is fame, even without knowing the true definition of icon it is widely known that for something or someone to be an icon they have to be famous. Icons that stand the test of time are generally those relating to politics or religion, two of the most influential things in human history (Browne, R., 2005, p.55). America is a nation of many icons. The biggest category for icons that comes to mind is movies, but America has many culturally rich icons to offer.
The icons I chose are Elvis Presley, Las Vegas, and the Statute of Liberty. I chose Elvis Presley because growing up an influential person in my life was my aunt. She loved Elvis Presley and I can remember her saying, “He is the most beautiful man alive, he’s the King”. Without even growing up in the era when Elvis was alive his impressive presence was still felt by me generations later, and that is why I believe Elvis Presley is an icon. I chose Las Vegas because I have visited there several times and think it is truly a magical place. It is an adult’s playground and known around the world as Sin City. I chose the Statute of Liberty because it is a national icon. The first thing immigrants saw before landing at Ellis Island was the Statute of Liberty beckoning freedom. It is recognized around the world as a symbol of peace, freedom, and prosperity.
All of the icons listed have played an important role in my life. Thinking about the Statute of Liberty reminds me of what America was meant to be and should be even in today’s age when I forget sometimes. Las Vegas is the epicenter of fun in America, it makes me think of the fun times I have had with family and friends there. Elvis Presley is a symbol of the fun and freedom we enjoy in America, he also makes me think about and appreciate family from the good times I have had listening to him as a child with my Aunt.

Browne, R. (Ed.). (2005). Profiles of popular culture: A reader. Madison, WI: Popular

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A1-1: Popular Culture Blog

Before starting this course I never realized what popular culture was and how it affects my everyday life. I always thought that popular culture was something mysterious and unattainable. Which as I saw it was something that was reserved for the glamorous and outgoing in our society. I attributed such things as expensive jewelry, expensive cars, and even certain types of music like rap to this. When I thought of popular culture things that the hip, popular, and the rich of society were acquiring came to mind. In completing the reading for this class I now realize that popular culture has a huge role in my everyday life and is not just something reserved for the well-to-do. According to Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure (2007, p.2-3) popular culture is essentially everything that the common person has in common. This molds how people live, act, think, and play (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.2-3). This made me realize that everything in my life is essentially a product of my environment. I have learned how to survive based on the popular culture around me (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.2). The lessons I have learned from my parents, TV, music, others around me, and in turn what they have learned has all been influenced by popular culture (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.2). Everything around us is affected by what the common person feels is normal, comfortable, and desirable. These commonalities are what make up popular culture.
It is common knowledge that to make a profit with a business you need to have customers. Popular culture is so important from a business point of view because unless you know what those customers find popular, attractive, and desirable you’re not going to get anywhere with a business (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.4). For example, if you own a furniture business you should not sell green and orange furniture which is reminiscent of something that was popular in a previous decade. You would want to sell the latest trends in furniture so that you can make a profit. A customer is very unlikely to buy green and orange furniture because over the years those colors have been deemed unpopular in the minds of most people. If the colors are considered unpopular the product will not be purchased because of the customer’s current tastes which are drawn from what is considered popular at the time by society and how others the customer knows might view the purchase(Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.4). Knowing what popular culture dictates as acceptable and desirable will help a business owner greatly. By being able to mold the business’s product line to what is commonly desirable the business owner will be able to generate a larger patronage and therefore profit.
For whatever reason there are things in society that become popular for the betterment or hindrance of people. Within the last decade video games have become very popular with the common person. Specifically violent video games have become very popular. I would choose violent video games to be a pop culture artifact for the simple reason that so many people play them (Petracca, M., Sorapure, M., 2007, p.5). It is very uncommon to walk into a residence and not see a Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo Wii. These game consoles are needed to play the violent video games that have become so popular in today’s society. It is widely accepted to hack, slash, and mutilate your way through a violent video game. The fact remains undeniable that violent video games are a huge part of many people’s lives. For more information on video game violence visit my blog at

Petracca, M., Sorapure, M. (2007). Common culture: Reading and writing about American popular culture. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.