Monday, April 01, 2013

Vote for Comment of the Week

Here are this week's contenders:

Comment #1: a new comment on your post "Failing College":

In a post-gazette article from 2010 explains some things that colleges spend money on. They mainly spend money on: sports programs, raising teacher salaries, giving dorm rooms new technology and comfortable living conditions, and better food. All of this to attract new students. I've also heard that colleges spend a lot of money on landscaping and the care of campus property to attract prospectives. I see this in a lot of colleges around the USA. However, let's take a look at CMU. Admit it. We don't have great sports teams and the players were not given scholarships or a large sum of money from the university to spend throughout the year. I don't know anything about the teacher salaries, and I'm not going to say anything. I'm pretty sure most students don't like the quality of dorm rooms on campus. I KNOW everyone hates the food here. So what is CMU spending the money on? Technology. Top-notch systems in Purnell. I don't know what else, but these things are pretty helpful in our education. Don't get me wrong. I hate the price of tuition in the USA. It's as if the colleges are trying to set students up for failure. If they can't afford the school, they take out loans and are in a lifetime of debt. If they don't go to the school because of financial problems, then they don't seem to be getting the best job offers after. Clearly, things need to change, but for right now, I don't know enough information to determine how to change it. 
Comment #2: a new comment on your post "Punchdrunk theatre company returns with show shrou...":
This theatre company seems to be approaching the ideas behind sleep no more and other space based theatre productions. I think a good name to describe this type of theatre would be to call it Theater of Spaces. From my start here at Carnegie Mellon I have been thinking about and even look at this type of emerging theatre. The ideas behind it seem to be exactly as Barrtte described "So if you flip it and it is all about the danger and the anticipation then suddenly you are ready for what might happen. Your brain is charged – your body is active and your mind is active – so the whole show will hit you more deeply." It seems as if the experience of the theatre then seeing and understanding. There also seems to be elements of blurring the line of performance versus real life and overwhelming audience members. I wish I had a chance to experience this production and study this more I think it would be very interesting topic to write a book on.
Comment #3: a new comment on your post "Lavish curtain calls give audiences one last treat...":
All of my experiences with seeing shows on Broadway in the past few years have involved these curtain calls that seem to never end- in a bad way. I have to disagree with some of the viewpoints taken in this article describing the curtain calls as something the audience greatly enjoys and sees as another final treat. I don't enjoy it, and usually the people around me get sick of it too. To have a long curtain call is inconsiderate of the audience. Yes, people are paying for the entertainment, and they are there to sit and be entertained, but let's say the show receives a standing ovation (which happens often on Broadway). If the curtain call is a full length Broadway musical number (let's say between 10 and 15 minutes) it's inconsiderate to expect an audience to clap almost straight through, or keep the standing ovation. Also, there is nothing wrong with having a 5 minute long curtain call for a large show, and then letting people leave. For the most part, it seems as though these long endings are a way to make people feel guilty about leaving after the show is "over" (though it seems to be a flexible definition currently), and make them stay through for an announcement about Broadway Cares in the hopes they'll donate money. I enjoy seeing shows on Broadway, but I hate when shows drag out the end, it puts an awkward twinge on the end of a (usually) good evening of theatre. 
Comment #4: a new comment on your post "Billie Joe Armstrong to Write Songs for Yale Reper...":
Ugh, Billie Joe, when will you quit?! I went through a huge Green Day phase....and that was almost 10 years ago. At that point the band had already been around for another 10 before that. The thing about it is that he's just not cool anymore. There was a big market for that genre a while back, then not so much. Then it kind of exploded again after 9/11 when everyone was feeling really angsty and American Idiot was released. But.......that wasn't the end. American Idiot the musical is okay. I can think about it without wanting to vomit. HOWEVER, I do not feel like Billie Joe has a place at the Yale Rep. It's not even like they're trying to go contemporary by getting someone who is cool. They're going with someone who kind of sort of used to be cool but also is old now and has a lot of drug problems. What I'm getting at is that there are SO MANY talent musicians, so I just don't understand why it had to be Billie Joe Armstrong. 
Comment #5: a new comment on your post "The new propaganda is liberal. The new slavery is ...":
I am not even sure where to start with this article. First of all, the definition of propaganda (thank you,, is "ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause." So, in effect, EVERYTHING in the media that we read, watch, or hear is propaganda to some extent. There are liberal media outlets, like the Huffington Post, and conservative ones, like Fox News or apparently, and each one chooses to title their articles a different way, to include or omit different facts of a story, or to put a certain spin on it, depending on the reaction they want to engender from the public. So to claim that the liberal media is the source for all of this "manipulated propaganda" that the article cites is naive and just wrong. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different media outlets and ways people discover and absorb events and actions, all of which have some kind of lean or bias.

Because of this, I absolutely do not agree at all that the situation we are currently in is analogous to that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Before people owned televisions, had computers, or could access the internet, the ways in which the public could gain or learn information was severely limited. They could read one of a few (state-sponsored) newspapers, or listen to (state-sponsored) radio. Especially in Nazi Germany, these media outlets became more than just state-sponsored; they became state-run. This is propaganda to the extreme, where access to information is held in a chokehold by the state, and I do not think that we are anywhere near the realm of this extreme, as this article suggests. In fact, we are the exact opposite: because of the internet and digital capabilities, anyone can write anything they want and have it read by hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. The government cannot control what a blogger writes, and what the public reads. Yes, many media outlets have some kind of connection to the government. Right now, maybe more of those media outlets are liberal than conservative, but 6 short years ago, that was flipped. The government is more liberal now, so it has more liberal connections. Bush was more conservative, and so his media connections veered in the opposite direction.

I think that the writer meant that the "submissive void" of the Germans in the 1930s was caused by, and then used by, the Nazis to create propaganda, in the same way that the "digital slavery" of the current generation is being used by the liberal government to further their aims. To claim that the government somehow has control over the liberal media and liberal Hollywood to the extent that this article implies is paranoia to the extreme. Furthermore, the article's paragraphs about Iran and Israel's nuclear capabilities and the threats that they pose is vastly uninformed. Sure the US-supported Iranian shah was by no means an angel, and Iran pre-1979 had its own problems. But to claim not only that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and is no threat to the Middle East, but also that Israel is the true enemy state ignores and blatantly disregards over 30 years of diplomacy and verified fact while providing absolutely no proof or evidence for any of his claims.

In summary, propaganda in the media and in the entertainment industry is inevitable, but to claim that there is a liberal conspiracy to such an extent that this article does is ludicrous.

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