Airline Ads

Rather than focusing on the limited amount of airline advertisements form the early 1900’s, I decided to discuss modern airlines’ ads before and after 1970 when, as argued in my historical object literary review, was a time when technology’s role in commercial aviation began to change. The two ads before 1970 are both for American air carriers Pan Am and American Airlines and the post-1970 ad is for European carrier KLM. Despite the apparent incontinency in my comparison, all three ads are aimed at an American audience.

Looking at American Airlines’ advertisement from a 1959 Variety magazine, the first thing that is apparent it the Being 707 taking off. The plane itself is located in the center of the page, and there is text above and below the image. The text on top reads “AMERICAN the Jet Airline – announces Jet Flagship Service to San Francisco -” and the text blow the image continues “in addition to the only Jet Service to LOS ANGELES – twice daily.” The interesting thing about this ad is how it breaks up its core message with the image of the plane. The reason for this break is that the ad is highlighting the introduction of what the ad later describes as “the magnificent Boeing 707” to San Francisco. In fact with the slogan “The Jet Airline,” American appears to define itself through its use of the Boeing 707. It is interesting to note how the airline defines itself through the use of what was at the time a technological icon, being one of the fastest, quietest and safest planes every built. In addition to the obvious appeal to people traveling to and from San Francisco, the ad attempts to define American Airlines as the most advanced airline in the US. It tries to change the public perception of the airline as much as the ad tries to get people to take its new flight to San Francisco.

The next ad is a Pan Am ad that was published in as 1963 edition of Vogue Magazine. The ad itself consists of a large image of a Pan Am bag in front of some ancient Roman ruins. Under the image is a caption that reads, “Wherever in the world you travel, you’re better off with Pan Am – World’s Most Experienced Airline!” Under the image is a block of text with the header: “Now see Europe with this worldly escort and save!” In comparison to the American Airlines ad, the Pan Am ad focuses on the destination rather than the journey by highlighting its “Pan Am offices [that] are ready to help you with everything from sightseeing to hotel reservations.” Furthermore, Pan Am offers a program called “a Woman’s Way to See Europe” that puts you in touch with a “Pan Am Man” who will help any woman plan her trip to Europe on the “World’s Most Experienced Airline.” Knowing that the ad is made to appeal to women, it is interesting to note the use of the handbag as being a guide. It seems that the ad argues that just as the handbag is a must have for any woman in the 1960’s, the Pan Am guide to Europe is just as essential.

The final ad is a very specific KLM advertisement from 1989 found in Billboard Magazine. The ad consists of a picture of a blue and white sky with “Start your European tour with limos, private jets and exceptional service” and “Before your fist album goers platinum” in quotation marks on the image of the sky. With these two lines and the subsequent text underneath the image, it is obvious that the ad is appealing to up and coming rock bands that are looking for a way to spread their music to Europe. An interesting thing about this ad is how specific its target audience is. While the Pan Am addresses all women wanting to fly to Europe and the American ad appeals not only to San Francisco travelers but anyone who takes a plane, the KLM ad defines and addresses a very small yet popular audience. The last line before listing KLM’s reservation numbers says “even if your act doesn’t have an album at the top of the charts, they can still travel in the style they hope to be accustomed to.” This line makes it apparent that this high class KLM service is a status symbol and a way to legitimize the popularity of your band.

While the KLM advertisement appeared forty years after the first modern commercial aviation ads like the American Airlines and Pan Am ads, all three have the same structure, consisting to of a picture with a block of text under the image. However, while the American Airlines ad tries to sell its state of the art technology, the other two ads try to sell an experience rooted in reliability. In fact, KLM’s slogan at the time was “The Reliable Airline” and Pan Am’s slogan a very similar “World’s Most Experienced Airline,” both a far cry from “The Jet Airline” that American was known as. Yet it is important to highlight that all three ads attempt to sell an experience in addition to an actual service. While the experience changes based on the airline, there isn’t an ad that strives to be the airline will just “get you there” as there is now with budget airlines like Spirit and Southwest Airlines. At this time people seem to take pride in the airline they take, and the airlines analyzed draw on the natural alignment with an airline that passengers take.

Works Cited

 “Advertisement: World’s most Experienced Airline.” Vogue Sep 15 1963: 10. ProQuest. Web. 30 Nov. 2014 .

“Whenever You Fly, Rely on AMERICAN AIRLINES THE JET AIRLINE.” Variety (Archive: 1905-2000) Mar 18 1959: 27. ProQuest.Web. 30 Nov. 2014 .

“The Reliable Airline KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.” Billboard (Archive: 1963-2000) Jul 08 1989: 14. ProQuest. Web. 30 Nov. 2014 .

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Ice Ice Baby

Ice is a mystery. How can something so fundamental take so many roles in our society? Water is water, we drink it, we swim in it, and we bathe in it. That’s it. But ice, the solid form of the reliable liquid we call water, is anything but reliable.

Let me take you back to your infancy. You wake up one morning, and you look outside, but the grass outside isn’t green anymore, it’s white. Yes, it was your first time seeing snow and you couldn’t contain your excitement. You fumble down the stairs, half run, half stumble to the front door, open it, and run outside. But what happened? You slipped and fell on that stuff called black ice. But that wasn’t the only thing that happened, when you fell, you skidded across the ice, and you got a burn mark! You ask yourself how could something so slippery be abrasive enough that it burns you worse than the carpet did back in your crawling days?

Fast-forward ten years, and you are in chemistry class. By now, you are familiar with ice. You know it as that really cold stuff that makes whatever it touches cold too. But then your chemistry teacher tells you to put your rubber gloves on before handling the dry ice he got from the corner store or else the ice will burn you. “Burn me!?!?” you ask yourself. “Since when does ice burn? I put ice on my burns!” But again, you have encountered yet another mystical property of that solid form of water.

Then later that year, you are playing soccer, and you hurt your ankle. The coach mysteriously comes at you with a bag of ice. “Get that away from me” you say. “I hate ice feels when it touches my skin!” But he ignores you, and puts the bag on your foot anyway. You want to yell at him more, but you are overcome by sheer jubilation as the ice seems to melt the pain in your ankle away.

We, as a society try to compartmentalize our definitions of “ice” in order to have them fit nicely into these experiences. However, when we get to the basics of it, ice is ice. There are other types of materials that have similar properties to ice, but none of those materials are quite as universal as ice. With ice, we all experience first hand that there is always more to everything than our senses let tell us. It’s a case where our senses, specifically our sense of touch, will continually lie to our brain. Ice is almost too complex for our sense of touch to fully understand what it is. We all experience ice differently in different environments. That traumatic experience you had when you gave yourself that ice burn probably convinced you that ice was a pretty sticky surface until you were at least ten.

The way we define things through our senses depends on our experiences and our environment. There is no such thing as a universal touch or feel that something has; it’s just our brain tricking us. So go ahead and stick a piece of ice to your ear while you convince yourself that you will get burnt; you may be surprised what you feel.

My Ongoing Research

Living in San Francisco, I have always been aware of many of the environmental problems that our society faces. I remember my younger self being dragged to the Ferry Building every Saturday during the summer so my mom could find the freshest and most “wholesome” peaches. Good and nutritious food has always been a part of my life, but even still, I struggled to understand the true importance of what I now call “responsible food.” Now I’m sure that some, if not all of my inability to comprehend the importance of where my food came from may be attributed to my five-year-old brain still wrestling with the idea of addition and subtraction. Yet I was still able to recognize the importance of a food product grown the right way.

I think another problem I had was that I knew a problem existed, but I didn’t know what the problem was. There was so much talk, either directed at me, or talk that I overheard on NPR driving to and from school, that talked about the effects of the problem, but struggled to define what that problem was. And then we saw books like the Omnivore’s Dilemma start to be published, and that, in my eyes, began to bring some closure to this idea of righteous food. However, even being in fifth grade, you can only grasp so much out of the children’s version of the book, which my mom forced me to read by the way. I needed something visual. I wanted to actually see, with my own eyes, what was being done, why it was wrong, and then what I could do to change that. At the time, it seemed like that was that too much to ask.

Fast-forward three years, and my prayers were finally answered. Enter Food Inc. It was one of the most controversial films of the 2000’s. I remember seeing the preview and, albeit disgusted, I decided to watch the movie by myself and at least try to understand this problem, which by now had swollen into a national debate (I mean the media had to focus on something after the 2008 elections, and the recession was just getting too repetitive).

I relive one of the scenes, and it still can’t get it out of my head. The scene was about pigs being slaughtered, and just as the narrator was about to explain how the industrial farms did it, a massive metal block came in and crushed a half dozen pigs into what could only be assumed to be a meet grinder. The worst part was this awful squeal that pierced the audiences ear. But it wasn’t only how they killed the pigs, the conditions that all of the animals lived in were just as horrific. Cows needing to be moved with forklifts because they were too weak and big to even stand on their own. One farm had two chickens per every cubic foot cage; they couldn’t even stand up.

After watching that movie, I realized that I needed to be more informed with what I eat. The simple truth was that I had a choice in participating in those types of practices, or in more natural and humane practices like grass fed and free range. I know that this is an ongoing struggle, but I recognize that I need to continue to do my research on the food I eat, asking where it came from and how the animal lived. I can’t sit idly by and wait for a film like Food Inc. to come around again. I need to take responsibility for my actions, and what I decide to and not to eat.

Literature My Dear Watson

I just read a Doyle’s “The adventure of the Cardboard Box” in my English class, and it wasn’t like any other English experience I have ever had. I always think of the literature we read in English as being so much more than a story. Yes there is a plot, but I think the thing that sets English literature apart form a regular story is character development. A story will have a couple characters, but literature, tanks to its length, will be filled with an incredible complex of people who find new ways to interact in each chapter.

Now back to “The Adventures of the Cardboard Box”. It’s hard to spot a character that changes before our eyes in this story. There is no coming of age, or some sort of revelation that a character goes through when thinking about their relationship with the rest of the world. Yes, as always, we get to delve into Sherlock’s thought process, but that can only tell us so much. His thoughts don’t change as much as they develop, and there’s a difference. We find ourselves on this rollercoaster ride of “What is Sherlock going to do next?” rather than wondering “How has this character changed his or her relationship with this character and why?”.

However, I don’t think that this lack of character development is a product of Doyle’s insufficient abilities to produce worthy literature. I think it is a product of his story structure. Now, I haven’t read every Sherlock Holmes story, but I would be very comfortable guessing that a reader can find extraordinarily complex character development if they read each short case as a chapter of a larger story. Doyle limits himself with the structure of his stories. He simply doesn’t allow himself the adequate time or space to develop any type dynamic character in any particular story. But the again, when we look as each story as a chapter and not a novel, even the most highly regarded pieces of literature struggle to fit a lot of character development into each one of its chapters. At some point, it just becomes overwhelming.

I would argue that Doyle’s stories are short of being considered as literature. However, when we look at the compilation of these stories as a single piece of literary work, we will begin to uncover parallels to what we know as English literature. It may be easier to think of Doyle’s work as a TV series. Each episode doesn’t offer much to the overall storyline. Instead it focuses on resolving the sub-plot, the plot of each individual episode. But then there’s that day when you are sick and decide to binge watch that TV series on Netflix, and all of the sudden, you realize just how compatible and continuous each episode is with the next. It is almost like watching a movie. However in Doyle’s case, we are reading chapters that when read as part of a whole, take the shape of a novel.

I Can’t Stop Talking About Her

Hello my fellow doomsday-ers. I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while, but I have become enveloped in Her, and no, not my girlfriend, the Spike Jonze movie about a man’s quite odd relationship with an operating system. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Theodore, a recent divorcee desperate for love, finds his new soul mate in his computer’s operating system.

However, what I found interesting about Theodore was not his character, per se, but his job as a love-letter-writer. Yep, his job was to write a letter for some pathetic soul, for whom Theodore is supposed to poetically describe what must only be the most depressing relationship ever. To give the man some credit, he does his job very well, but that’s beside the point. The worst part about his job is that it isn’t some underground, black-market operation. No, Beautiful Handwritten Letters operates in a high-rise in Los Angeles, and proudly displays its name all over the reception area. It seems like this type of business is some sort of norm in society.

I forgot to mention that the movie takes place in the future. How far in the future no one knows, but every scene in the movie seems somewhat recognizable despite every set seemingly inspired by an Apple store. There isn’t some magical teleportation pod that everyone is using, just a Bluetooth headset, and that’s about it. If I were to guess what year the movie takes place, I would probably say somewhere between 35 and 50 years from now, but I’m no expert.

Getting back to Theo’s job, I think that it perfectly encapsulates the time that Theo lives in. As he sits in front of that computer screen, Theodore can write beautiful prose, but in real life, he struggles to articulate even the simplest of feelings. In this futuristic world, technology is the only interface in which people can have any real type of communication. Common interaction with others looks and feels unnatural. Whether it’s the misplaced pauses in a conversation, the lack of eye contact, or the general lack of celebration of the human spirit, the characters in the movie are more removed from the real world than I believe we are now.

I’m sure right now, you are all wondering why I am telling you all about this movie that has nothing to with this doomsday group; and I don’t blame you for that. But I want you to think about what I wrote above, because what Her basically tells us is that our future is bleak. We are moving faster and faster towards a point where life has no meaning. We will live our lives through operations. We will become more comfortable with our computers than our brothers and sisters, our husbands and wives. I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want my life to me a monotonous tick after monotonous tick. I don’t want exist as a 1 or a 0. I just can’t stop thinking: wouldn’t the world be better if it just ended now?

Her. Dir. Spike Jonze. By Spike Jonze. Perf. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson. 2013. Itunes Rental.

Blog Revision 1: Dante’s Inferno Take II

The most interesting part of Dante’s essay was not the essay itself, but the author. I found that I learned more about the underground essay writing business by the parallels that Dante drew by choosing his name rather than the material included in the essay. By picking the name Dante, referring to Dante from Dante’s Inferno, it appears that our Dante wants to be known as the person who shed light on this unholy subject of “paper mills”, just as the Italian Dante is known for depicting and describing, for really the first time in such detail, the horrors of the nine circles of hell in his Divine Comedy.

Furthermore, looking at Dante’s choice to write his essay as an exposition of the paper mill industry rather than taking an argumentative approach only deepens the parallel between the two authors. Dante’s Inferno is an exploration more than anything else. It takes readers on a journey through the hellish area where most people don’t want to end up, but the worst of us find ourselves in. The same truth holds current Dante’s exposition of the paper writing business. Students are told how to avoid this Inferno, but those who disobey those rules find themselves there.

After looking at just how similar the two works are, it becomes obvious that our Dante considers his work to be art just as Dante’s Inferno. Whoever the author of the underground essays is, he clearly tries to emulate one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. He believes that in one way or another, he is creating art. Most likely he considers his job to be acting. He wears many hats, and just as an actor, must fully embody his “character”, whoever the supposed author of the paper is.

Another position that he could be taking is that our Dante is trying to prove that he can write and think like one of the greatest literary minds ever to grace this planet. Before he retires, it seems fitting that he writes a piece that celebrates him. While explicitly saying how “smart” he is for doing the work of so many professionals, he also lauds himself by assuming the role of Dante Alighieri, the poet who wrote Dante’s Inferno. The work is a brilliant, multidimensional exposition. It subtly takes the shape of one of the most well known literary works of all time while advocating for unoriginality.

Furthermore, it seems that our Dante looks at his essay as a continuation of Dante’s Inferno. He believes his work is almost a reincarnation of Dante Alighieri’s piece, a modern application of the seven hundred year old text. While it may not be quite as poetic, Dante the essay writer looks at his work as a natural continuation of Dante’s Inferno.

While the Inferno provides insight into the hidden realm of its most powerful entity, in this case the church, the paper mill essay takes the same in-depth look into today’s most powerful institution: higher education.

While that may not be the most popular opinion, I challenge you to find another industry that has become so fundamental to a general well being that it can charge whatever it wants, and have a line of people out the door willing to pay it. The connection to general well being is the same pitch the Church used in medieval ages: if you don’t join, you will have a life of suffering. Now that may not be the exact words you use to describe the educational system, but that’s the point universities try to get across.

So looking back at the article, an argument can defiantly be made that an exposition of the educational system is a modern Dante’s Inferno. It has the power to change the entire educational system, but in its early days, it is swept under the rug. Only when we look back and see how right Dante was and use that to change the system of higher education, will we begin to recognize the true impact of Dante’s work, a modern continuation of a classic piece of literature.

The Hidden Door

The romantic comedy Pillow Talk takes an in-depth look at the 1950’s culture, specifically how the introduction of the telephone affects the culture. The movie begins with interior decorator Jan Morrow trying to get through on her party line, which is always being used by the suave Brad Allen to court different women. However, when Brad sees Jan at a club, and realizes how beautiful she is, he convinces Jan that he is a rancher from Texas on a business trip in New York City. Then, as Brad continues to assume the role of a Texas rancher, Jan begins to fall in love with Brad, that is until she realizes that the her boyfriend was the same person as the womanizer living on her block.

Right before Jan realizes who the man she has been dating really is, Brad and Jan go to a bar called the “Hidden Door”, a small, redwood-lined piano bar in downtown Manhattan. The bar is filled with and endless amount of young white couples, all of which are ogling each other. Yet, Jan and Brad, wearing an elegant red satin dress and a fine tailored suit respectively, are the center of attention. The couple then begins to sing with the African American piano player and jazz band, and at that point, it doesn’t seem like the date can get any better, that is until Jonathan, Brad’s childhood friend, bursts in and tells Brad to leave Jan and to go to Connecticut to focus on his song writing.

Before Jonathan enters, the couple’s night at The Hidden Door looks to be a perfect date. The bar itself, with its old wood and African American band invites its occupants to retreat to a “simpler” time in the twenties and thirties. Compared to the rest of the sets, The Hidden Door is full of darker, more comfortable colors with accents of gold and silver, a stark comparison to the bright pinks and blues that fill Jan’s apartment and the walls of most houses in the 1950’s. Walking through the doors of the Hidden Door was like traveling back in time.

The reason why Brad takes Jan to the Hidden Door and not some other place is that it is beyond the reach of technology’s influence. There isn’t a phone in the entire building. In Jan’s life, the real Brad exists only on the phone, so by taking Jan to a place where the phone doesn’t exist, Brad hopes that his old past will be forgotten. Furthermore, this scene takes place at a point in the movie when Jan and Brad want to marry each other, but Brad realizes that he has to find a way to lose his identity of Brad the musician, and only be Brad (Rex) the rancher. Then Brad takes Jan to Jonathan’s cabin in Connecticut, another place where the telephone has no influence.

In Pillow Talk, the Hidden Door is the first place where the impact of the telephone is non-existent. The environment of the bar is one that invites its patrons to forget the impacts of a constantly changing society, and divulge in a simpler time. The bar has an elitist feel to it, which when coupled with the obvious segregation, lends itself to provide an environment in which the white male has all of the power. That is precisely why Brad takes Jan there; it is a place where Brad can tell Jan exactly who he is, or isn’t, and nothing else can challenge him otherwise.

Works Cited

Pillow Talk. Dir. Michael Gordon. Perf. Rock Hudson and Dorris Day. 1959. DVD.

Dante’s Take on Dante’s Inferno

The most interesting part of Dante’s essay was not the essay itself, but the author. I found that I learned more about the underground essay writing business by the parallels that Dante drew by choosing his name rather than the material included in the essay. By picking the name Dante, referring to Dante from Dante’s Inferno, it appears that our Dante wants to be known as the person who shed light on this unholy subject of “paper mills”, just as the Italian Dante is known for depicting and describing, for really the first time in such detail, the horrors of the nine circles of hell in his Divine Comedy.

Furthermore, looking at Dante’s choice to write his essay as an exposition of the paper mill industry rather than taking an argumentative approach only deepens the parallel between the two authors. Dante’s Inferno is an exploration more than anything else. It takes readers on a journey through the hellish area where most people don’t want to end up, but the worst of us find ourselves in. The same truth holds current Dante’s exposition of the paper writing business. Students are told how to avoid this Inferno, but those who disobey those rules find themselves there.

After looking at just how similar the two works are, it becomes obvious that our Dante considers his work to be art just as Dante’s Inferno. Whoever the author of the underground essays is, he clearly tries to emulate one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. He believes that in one way or another, he is creating art, most likely he considers his job to be acting. He wears many hats, and just as an actor, must fully embody his “character”, whoever the supposed author of the paper is. Another position that he could be taking is that our Dante is trying to prove that he can write and think like one of the greatest literary minds ever to grace this planet.

Before he retires, it seems fitting that he writes a piece that celebrates him. While explicitly saying how “smart” he is for doing the work of so many professionals, he also lauds himself by assuming the role of Dante Alighieri, the poet who wrote Dante’s Inferno. The work is a brilliant, multidimensional exposition. It subtly takes the shape of one of the most well known literary works of all time while advocating for unoriginality.