Portfolio

Harry Stone

Professor Claire Laville

English 101, 8:00 AM

8 December 2014

Portfolio

Essay Revision Number 1: Modern Investigations

An Investigation of Investigations:

How Our Police Force Uses Flawed Techniques to Crack Cases

If you’ve ever seen the classic family Christmas comedy, Home Alone, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that only idiotic criminals like the “Wet Bandits,” are crazy enough to intentionally leave a “calling card” behind after committing a crime that could potentially land them right in the clink. No, that would never happen, it’s nothing more than movie magic that draws crowds to the theater. Nowadays, criminals can commit national and global crimes and authorities would not have the slightest clue who committed the crime or what his/her motivation was due to the sophistication of criminals and technology that exists today. As criminals become more and more sophisticated police are only getting further behind in the never-ending cat and mouse chase between both sides of the law. You may wonder why I am discussing any of this, well, it’s because as I was reading Carlo Ginzburg’s, “Clues: Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes,” the other day I realized why our authorities are quickly losing the war on crime: they are focusing on the clues a criminal would leave as opposed to the characteristics the police and the criminal would not ever think about. Ginzburg so cleverly points out that everyone has odd tendencies distinguishing them from anyone else on the planet that they cannot hide no matter how hard they try, and if police focused on looking for evidence of those characteristics instead of minor slip-ups that any criminal with access to CSI New York would know to avoid making, they would have a much higher likelihood of success.

The first aspect of law enforcement that Ginzburg indicates could benefit from this style of thinking, is distinguishing a counterfeit piece of art from an actual piece of art. He begins by describing Giovanni Morelli’s, a famous art critic, method for determining if a painting is a counterfeit or not, which he dubbed the “Morelli Method.” The Morelli method is simple, when determining the legitimacy of a painting, never focus on “the most obvious characteristics of the paintings,” because “these could most easily be imitated,” instead, you should focus on the minuscule and intricate characteristics or tendencies of the artist, because these will be absent from even the best fake. You may think this method seems silly, but in actuality, it is what doctors use every day to diagnose illnesses, primarily mental, and it has proven very effective in other fields over the years. When a patient goes to see a doctor about how they are not feeling well, the doctor immediately begins to examine the symptoms the patient is experiencing to determine what the illness is. The problem is, that a lot of illnesses share similar symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, a high temperature, the chills, headaches, stomach pains, and many many more, which means that without a very clear understanding of the assorted illnesses it would be nearly impossible to distinguish between different illnesses, which mean you cannot correctly prescribe medication, which means things don’t always end well for the patient. Doctors must use a method similar to that of Morelli to determine if a patient has the flu, a bad cold, or is showing early symptoms of lead poisoning, because all are treated entirely differently, but show very similar characteristics. Even Freud used this methodology while he was studying patients and actually described how what is “beneath notice” is the most important aspect of psychoanalysis because absent knowing the full reasoning behind someone’s (especially a criminal) thought process, it is nearly impossible to understand why they did what they did (Ginzburg).

It is this method of psychoanalyzing criminals that police could greatly benefit from using. Think of how much more effective our police force could be if we could get into the mind of a criminal and think about all of the possible reasons he or she did what he or she did and how he or she did it? Now, you may be thinking, “well, that’s great, but this is pretty difficult to do given that the police will only see the aftermath of a crime,” but Ginzburg has a solution to that too. To answer this question, Ginzburg makes the obvious comparison between police work and hunting, but then takes it a step further. While Ginzburg makes the obvious comparison between tracking an animal and tracking a human that you are likely thinking of, ie, looking at foot prints, trails of blood, feces, hair, feathers, or whatever else an animal or criminal leaves behind, he takes this search a step further. He says that an expert hunter will “reconstruct the appearance and movements of an unnecessary quarry” in an effort to “give meaning and context to the slightest trace,” thus recreating the entire scene to fully understand what happened. This same concept of reconstruction is exactly what police officers need to use. Rather than just looking for typical “clues,” that any average Joe criminal would leave, to stop the great criminals, police officers much provide “meaning and context” to the clues to truly get inside criminal’s minds.

If you’re still not convinced that this method of detective work is what our archaic police forces need to adopt, Ginzburg points out that the greatest detective to ever live, fictional or real, Sherlock Holmes, swore by this method of detective work. While the rest of the police force would analyze the obvious clues, Holmes would go a step beyond them and think of how a criminal’s past could influence his or her future decisions, or how miniscule characteristics such as the shape of one’s earlobe could lead to another potential culprit that the other detectives wouldn’t even know existed.

I am not writing this article as a critique of our current police force, because I applaud their detective work, work that I certainly couldn’t handle, but rather I am writing this to explain why the more complex cases are consistently stumping our police force. Not every criminal is going to be like Harry from Home Alone, they won’t always intentionally leave a trail behind just to leave a presence, so police officers and detectives everywhere need to adapt to a more intelligent era of crime or suffer the consequences.

Work Cited

Ginzburg, Carlo. “Clues: Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes.” The Sign of Three: Dupin, Holmes, Pierce. Ed. Umberto Eco, Thomas A. Sebeok. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983. 81-118. Print.

Essay Revision Number 2: The Education System

Slacking Leads to Resourcefulness

The Chronicle recently published “The Shadow Scholar” by Ed Dante, a pseudonym for a writer paid to write essays for slacking college students, critiquing the modern education system for neglecting student’s needs, thus forcing them to turn to outside sources to write their essays, but I think Dante has it all wrong. The education system should certainly not be critiqued for its neglectful response to student’s need of writing help, in fact, it should be praised! If it weren’t for the flawed education system, our country’s students would be far less resourceful, which is a characteristic that is almost nonexistent in universities nowadays. Dante falsely critiques these students for being lazy, rich, and moronic, when they should be being praised for being so resourceful.

Dante said that he catered to three primary types of students, incompetent students, lazy rich kids, and ESL students, but his favorites were by far the lazy rich kids. The lazy rich kids were not necessarily incompetent writers, in fact they often had targeted and specific instructions for Dante and were willing to pay top dollar for him to meet their expectations. Although he argues that these lazy rich kids were simply banking on their daddy’s money getting them through life and that the education system failed them because it never forced them to think for themselves, I argue that this is a load of malarkey, and in all actuality the education system has simply set them off on a track for success. While it would appear that these students are just horrendously lazy, I believe that they are simply developing time management strategies that the straight-A “geniuses” are too stupid to ever adopt. When Dante sees lazy rich kids, I see students who prioritize the more important aspects of college such as shot-gunning PBRs with their buddies at tailgating parties over useless assignments like honors theses or papers for “a masters degree in cognitive psychology, a Ph.D in sociology, and a handful of postgraduate studies in international diplomacy.” I think Dante is struggling to see the forest through the trees, because although the education system fails to teach the future leaders of our country how to construct a coherent sentence, or accomplish any work on their own, or teach students who literally can’t speak English how to write the 20 page research papers it so abruptly demands of them, it does an excellent job of teaching time-management skills, resourcefulness, and metacognitive skills.

These students who have supposedly been failed by the education system and are forced to hire others to write their essays for them are actually just students who went through a metacognitive process and determined that they are bad at writing, and therefore use their resourcefulness to develop a solution to their problem so that they can spend more time doing what they do best: getting wasted! Absent this supposedly flawed education system America’s students would not be blessed with this beautiful resourcefulness that is a necessary component of being a top level professor, business(wo)man, scientist, doctor, artists, musician, athlete, or any other career. Dante claims that he chose to write this article because after year after year of writing essays for students who can hardly spell their own name due to such a neglectful education system, he finally lost it and thought that something needed to be said to create a change. To better understand what leading institutions in the country thought about the article, we interviewed some of the top professors in the country. When asked about his opinions of the recent article, Dr. Paul Spellman, published professor of Behavioral Genius at a random community college in Mississippi was appalled at Dante’s piece and was quoted saying, “Never have I ever read such a naïve article in my life! Dante clearly has not had an up-close and personal experience with the genius that is, cheating, and he should think twice before throwing around such idiotic accusations again.” I think Dante’s push for an educational reform will simply cause the brightest students our country has to lose track of what is important and begin prioritizing their essays over their partying, thus reducing their incentive to be resourceful. While Dante believes that his article will create a positive change that will lead to better future leaders, I think this article simply disincentivizes creative thinking and resourcefulness that we as a society claim to support. I think by publishing this rubbish article, Dante single-handedly caused the downfall of our excellent education system, which will in turn create idiotic leaders, and will likely cause a collapsed economy, global war, and who knows what else.

Essay Revision Number 3: Gender Studies

Ewwwww Cooties!: How Women and Men Differ in Their Cinematic Portrayals

Although the classic 1959 romantic comedy, Pillow Talk, might seem to be just that, a romantic comedy, it is so much more. If you have never seen the movie, Pillow Talk, it is a hilarious rom-com portraying lives of Brad Allen, played by Rock Hudson, and Jan Morrow, played by Doris Day, who have a shared party phone-line and just can’t seem to get on the same page. Brad Allen is your stereotypical suave lady-killer who seemingly never stops seducing attractive women over the phone, while Jan Morrow is an independent interior decorator who is driven up the wall by Allen’s inconsiderate use of the telephone. Director Michael Gordon expertly weaves together their two entirely different lives and creates a clever take on the classic hate turned to love story. Entertainment aside, what makes this movie so interesting is it’s portrayal of men and women and the different roles and stereotypes associated with being a man vs. being a woman, and primarily the sexist attitude toward women at the time. Although the study of gender roles in films has certainly been discussed before, I think this movie provides the opportunity for a unique discussion of gender studies that other articles have excluded.

What makes this movie such an excellent piece to analyze is it’s usage of the split screen to provide an extremely clear depiction of the lifestyles of the two characters and how they differ and interact. I will first focus on Brad Allen’s house, which is a traditional bachelor’s pad. When looking at Brad’s apartment, you immediately notice a dark color scheme on the walls, with lots of greens and browns as well as bare brick, often with dead animals mounted on them, dark leather chairs and couches, a bar, and complex electronics and electronic systems, many of which are designed exclusively to provide easy access to a romantic environment with a comfortable bed. The dark color scheme and dead, mounted animals indicate that this apartment is supposed to be a manly environment, which is enhanced by the other amenities of Brad Allen’s apartment. The brown chairs and the bar are textbook elements of a mancave, and the romantic electronic trickery is just the icing on the cake. Turning the lights off, playing romantic music, and producing a bed, all at the flick of a switch? Although that may not be the largest turn-on for the women he brings back to his apartment, this fancy set-up definitely improves Brad Allen’s ability to score, making it ideal for his apartment. Finally, he keeps a large piano front and center that he uses to write songs as well as romance women. In contrast, Jan Morrow’s apartment is what you would stereotypically expect from an independent, female, interior decorator. He house was painted in bright and pleasant pastel colors with a lot of white accouterments filling the apartment. Her apartment had nice mirrors and ruffled curtains and pretty plants to add some decoration. And most importantly, her bathroom is large and well equipped for Jan to participate in her daily toilette. By using the split screen view of these two apartments side-by-side, the viewer is able to see how starkly the stereotypes of a woman and a woman’s apartment contrast with those of a man and a man’s apartment.

While watching the movie, I believe that there are two specific examples of this split screen view that best depict the dichotomy between two different apartments and their respective stereotypes. The first is when Jan, Brad, and Brad’s lover are all on the phone at the same time and the screen is divided up into three triangles, one for each of them. In the lover’s and Jan’s triangles, the colors in the backgrounds consists of pretty purples and blues, lots of nice pillows, bright blue bookcases, and pretty plants and flowers. In contrast, Brad’s apartment consists of a dark brown wooden piano, brown walls with old traditional paintings hung on them, and dark lighting everywhere. When looking at this picture, the hue of colors takes a dramatic shift from Jan’s apartment to Brad’s apartment. This contrast is also starkly visible during the bathtub conversation scene, where the scene is split between Jan’s bathroom with her in the tub, and Brad’s bathroom with him in the tub. On Jan’s side of the screen, her wallpaper is a pretty pale blue design, she has a brighter color brown shower curtain with her initials monogramed into them in blue, and she has jars of assorted shampoos and body washes on the edge of the bathtub. In Brad’s bathroom however, his wall is designed with grey tile and a picture of some leaves, he only has soap, and his curtain is a plain dark brown. These stark contrasts are representative of the stereotypes of women and men respectively.

In an effort to find an explanation behind the different portrayals of men and women in this movie, I began doing research about the reasoning behind the bachelor pad depicted in the film and stumbled across and outstanding article by Jessica Sewell titled, “Unpacking the Bachelor Pad,” that describes why men have this desire to create a bachelor pad like Brad’s. Well, according to Sewell, men during the 1950s had a desire to lash out against women, who were considered controlling, and design an apartment to be the antithesis of what a woman would like. This concept is especially perpetuated in Pillow Talk through the assorted interactions Jan and Brad have, in which Jan tries to act rationally and proposes plans to Brad on how to share the phone, but instead of cooperating, Brad gets sassy and defensive and deems Jan’s requests as nothing more than nagging, and therefore lashes out and uses the phone even more. Although all of these different interactions and portrayals of Jan and Brad’s relationship are important, the most significant event in the movie as far as gender roles are concerned comes at the very end. After Brad tricks Jan into a romantic relationship and Jan finds out, Jan gets really upset and refuses to continue the relationship, but somehow, by the end of the movie Jan and Brad end up in bed together. This ability for the man to seduce the woman after behaving in a terrible fashion demonstrates how women are portrayed as controlled by the man, and how if the man doesn’t get exactly what he wants, he will just behave in an inappropriate manner until he does.

Although this film is over 50 years old, these gender role stereotypes are still very much a part of modern society and Pillow Talk is one of the best examples possible for clearly portraying these gender roles. I hope this will increase your awareness of these gender roles so that you can identify them and avoid them yourself, because they force women into the role of a nagging nuisance who is able to be controlled to do whatever the man pleases with enough prodding.

Essay Revision Number 4: Facebook Usage

The Power of Facebook: How One Post Can Change the World

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s how powerful of a tool Facebook is in provoking social change, so when news of a local dognapping spread, Facebook users around the country made sure to tell people. I was so moved by the constant posts of miscellaneous news articles telling me that poor little Doge was taken from his estate in Texas that I nearly broke into tears. I was so happy that everyone felt compelled to show me that they read the news, it was just so overwhelming. Absent the moving posts on Facebook, social change would be non-existent. I mean, when Hurricane Big Boi leveled Florida, Facebook users were so upset that they began posting videos of themselves standing in the rain to demonstrate how they felt the same suffering those in Florida felt. If that’s not social change, I don’t know what is. I’m just thrilled there is such a good platform for creating change and conversation.

As the search continues to return Doge to his owner, local Dallas billionaire, Jeff Franks, Facebook users continue to voice their opinions. Here are some of the more meaningful posts we have collected over the past day: Chote social activist Jimmy says, “Look at this news article about Doge, I just wish I could do something,” Bel Air Academy head cheerleader Rachel says, “I love Doge soooo much! This is just so sad! Like, I can’t even!” Columbia sophomore James says, “I am just so upset by Doge’s kidnapping that I am going to let my dog run away from me in Central Park so I know how it feels.” Those are just three of several million posts by concerned citizens. James’s release of his dog tugged at so many heartstrings that dog lovers around the country began to lock their dogs up in cages with muzzles on and no food and water and vowed to keep them there until Doge is returned in and effort to protest the mistreatment dogs in this country. The efforts to spread word of the terrible mistreatment of dogs by kidnappers in this country has been mitigated though by contrarians starting fights all over Facebook. With each post by someone expressing their angst over the recent dognapping comes a slew of angry arguments in the comments feed. My Facebook wall is filled with my assorted college and high school peers making sure their thoughts about everyone else’s opinions are heard. While these arguments may seem to slow down the process of finding doge, it is so helpful to bicker back and forth in comment feeds while angering all your friends on Facebook. Although all that anger may seem silly at first, everyone knows it will eventually translate into positive social change. As soon as national news sources like CNN and NBC get ahold of these Facebook comment threads, and they relay them to the government, the headlines practically write themselves. “Local 18-year old kids at East High School End all Animal Cruelty World Wide,” “16 Year Olds in New Jersey Stop World War 3 With Self-Expressive Comments on Facebook,” “Outraged 20-year old Students at Family Money University End Poverty With Heated Facebook Conversation.” The headlines are endless, the change is not.

Although some experts might claim that rather than conversing about each other’s opinions on Facebook, people should donate money, food, water, shelter, or in the case of poor Doge, their time to search, to those in need, those experts are extremely misled. Think about it. It is far more productive to lock one’s dog up in protest and post a status about it than it is to help search for the lost dog, and it saves a lot more lives by spreading the word of the pain experienced by those whose lives were uprooted by Hurricane Big Boi via a video of one in the rain than sending care packages. Frank Mickelson, local dog lover in Texas said that “I think that rather than taking a few hours out of my hectic schedule of eating BBQ and watching UT Football this weekend to help find Doge, my time is better spent by posting videos of me angrily yelling about the mistreatment of dogs.” This is just such a clear example of one of the many ways Facebook can be used as a tool for reform as opposed to simply a social media site.

Although Doge was never found, it was certainly not due to the lack of effort from Facebook users across the country. People tried their darndest to make their opinions known by locking their dogs in cages without food and water for days at a time, but the only change that happened was a massive spike in doge malnutrition issues. At least these dog’s anorexia is for a worthwhile cause, and people will know in the future to take better care of their dogs.

Why I chose the blogs I did:

The four blogs I chose to revise were my Facebook Representation blog, my Investigations blog, my Bachelor Pad blog, and I re-revised my already revised “Shadow Scholar” blog. One of the primary reasons I selected these blogs is that I felt like they were four of the most interesting topics we discussed throughout the course and I thought that given the guidelines for the portfolio they provided me with the most material. I felt like the Facebook blog was interesting because instead of talking about how I use Facebook like I did in my original blog, I morphed the blog into a satire about how Facebook is used by people today. I didn’t want my blog to just be a basic description of what I like to do on Facebook, because that is not a very exciting piece to read, which is why I chose to change it into satire. I liked the Bachelor Pad blog because I could turn what was initially a simple comparison between the movie, Pillow Talk, and an article about the bachelor pad by Jessica Sewell, into an analysis of gender studies and how they are portrayed in film, which is essentially a more in depth and specific version of my initial blog. I thought the Investigation blog was a good one to discuss because it is a really fun and interesting topic that can be applied on a larger scale in an article setting to create a larger impact than just a short analysis in my blog. Finally, I chose the “Shadow Scholar” blog because I thought it was a really interesting topic that is especially pertinent to a college student and that I can turn that blog into a satire to make it more appealing to some readers, yet still get the intended message across. As far as how I went about revising the blogs, I began by re-reading my blogs to determine which blogs I thought I wanted to revise. After determining which blogs to revise, I decided which topics from each blog I wanted to revise. I then began reading articles from the different news sources we were supposed to mimic to learn how they portray their articles. After selecting which news sources I wanted to replicate, I revised my blogs according to their different styles trying to keep a similar topic to my original blog. Although I thought there were several good blogs I could have revised, I thought those 4 blogs gave me the most material to work with and were the blogs that I found most interesting.

Collaborative Composition:

I enjoyed using collaborative composition as a means to improve my writing and help others improve their writing. I particularly enjoyed providing comments as a peer reviewer because it allowed me to read over my peer’s work and figure out what they wrote about and how they wrote about it, and how my writing differed from theirs. It also gave me the ability to provide, hopefully, insightful feedback for other students to use, and recognize what I liked about their writing and didn’t like about their writing and then apply those concepts to my own. I also found it helpful that my peers would comment on my work too thus allowing me to get a new opinion on my writing. Reviewing my own work can sometimes be rather difficult because after writing a piece the last thing I want to do is discover all of the bad aspects of it and then spend time changing them and tearing apart the work I spent so long completing. By working in a setting where other kids review my work I am able to get that advice from a third party, which makes it easier to change. I also find that there are sometimes parts of my piece that I like and I therefore think others will like, when in all actuality others don’t, and absent that peer review process I would have never known. I think group work was excellent at providing me with that extra evaluation that we ordinarily wouldn’t get by just reviewing our own pieces. I think my writing has become more concise because I have tried to condense longer analyses into a blog length piece, which can be difficult for me to do. My primary shortcoming is that I often write long wordy pieces that could easily be cut down with more revisions, which this peer review process and the blog process has really helped with. By being constricted by a 500-word blog post, I am forced to condense my writing and make sure that I only get the most important elements out of my writing and get rid of all of the fluff. I think this has improved my writing because now it is more concise. I believe that my reading habits have also improved because my annotation quality has increased. I primarily found the reading of the Ginzburg piece helpful in improving my reading habits.

 

Ad Analysis

Ad Number 1: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_TV0073/

Ad Number 2: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_TV0677/

Ad Number 3: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess_TV0477/

Harry Stone

Professor Claire Laville

English 101, 8:00 AM

1 December 2014

Television for All:

A Historical Advertising Study of 1940s and 50s Television Ads

            Starting in 1920, the television became available to the general public, which launched decades of ad campaigns from all of the major television companies, especially in the post-World War II era. Television companies used several different styles of ad campaigns such as, men watching sports or attractive women, women easily decorating and operating the TV, the futuristic aspects and the modernity of the television, or even the benefits of watching television for children. Three ad campaigns in particular stand out as examples of the assorted television ad campaigns over the years. The first of the three campaigns is DuMont’s “Are You Ready for Television”? campaign, which focuses on how we are in a transition period and the television is a necessary component of our quest for change and modernity. The second ad campaign is Motorola’s “How Television Benefits Your Children,” which focuses on how television can improve grades and behavior in children. Finally, DuMont uses an ad campaign with Betty Hutton, the “Incendiary Blonde,” to use her beauty to sell television to men. Although these three ads do not encompass all of the different styles of ad campaigns used over the years, they do provide outstanding examples of three of the most prominent ad campaigns: television is a pathway into the future, television helps your child’s behavior and grades, and television gives you up-close and personal access to beautiful women.

In the specific ad of DuMont’s “Are You Ready for Television”? ad campaign that I selected to analyze, the ad depicts an image of outer space, or some sort of futuristic universe, with Earth as a glowing globe in the top right corner, shining a large beam of light down to the left hand corner depicting a family peacefully watching TV. This depiction of a futuristic universe with a glowing earth shining a light on a family watching TV demonstrates how television is becoming an important aspect of the futuristic society that Dumont portrays. Underneath the picture in large bold letters, Dumont asks the reader, “Are You Ready For Television,”? making sure to underline “you,” to clarify that everyone else is ready for television to become a powerful force in society, and “you,” as the reader of the ad, need to make sure you are too. Finally, underneath the question, the text focuses on human progress and how television is a critical step forward for humans. For example, the ad states that, “The time is here to become familiar with new measurements of human progress . . . economic, political, scientific. For full-scale Television is near . . . a force of unparalleled power,” which indicates that humans are moving forward, and “Television” is becoming a stronger and stronger power that is necessary in the future. DuMont also uses this text as an opportunity to build up ethos by describing the great engineering feats that DuMont has achieved, and explaining to the consumer why they are such a good company. In the end of the text, DuMont says, “Indeed, the world stands on the threshold of an astonishing age . . . DuMont Television is ready . . . are you?” This closing remark ties the rest of the ad together by restating that “the world stands on the threshold of an astonishing age,” which indicates that “the world” needs to transition shortly, and whether “you,” the consumer, like it or not, “the world” will make the transition. The final comment, “DuMont Television is ready” builds ethos for DuMont by portraying them as ahead of the times, which works well when coupled with the uncertainty of the consumer as portrayed through the question, “are you?” at the very end of the text. This final question, with “you,” in italics demonstrates that if “you” aren’t ready, “you” will get left behind as times change, and that the best method to avoid becoming outdated is to purchase the modern DuMont television. They finish the ad with their company logo and name at the bottom so that is the last thought you have when thinking of this ad, thus establishing a form of logos. The combination of these several different tactics successfully portrays DuMont televisions as a passage into the future, unlike the competition.

The next ad campaign that exemplifies several other old television ad campaigns is Motorola’s, “How Television Benefits Your Children” campaign. This specific ad incorporates quite a few creative tactics for establishing a successful ad. First and foremost, Motorola builds ethos by placing their company’s slogan in large font at the top of the page, which reads, “Own a Motorola and you know you own the best.” This tactic is successful because through enlargement and bolding of the word “Motorola,” the company draws attention to their name, and they then underline the word “know” to emphasize how solidified the quality of Motorola products is. After this initial ethos-building tactic, the ad depicts, in large and bold letters, the title of the ad, “How Television Benefits Your Children,” which tells the consumer exactly what to expect from the rest of the ad. Following this statement of what the ad is about, the ad then specifies what exactly television helps, as well as draws attention back to Motorola, when it reads, “Motorola, leader in television, shows how TV can mean better behavior at home and better marks in school!” This statement specifies the two areas that television helps children, “better behavior at home and better marks in school,” as well as draws a connection between these improves and Motorola Television. The crux of this ad however comes in a series of pictures with captions underneath. The first picture is of two children watching a children’s TV show, as indicated by a clown, and the caption underneath describes how television keeps children “out of mischief . . . and out of mother’s hair,” indicating that TV is helpful in keeping control of children, which is then reaffirmed by a quotation from a child psychologist. This tactic is clearly targeted at busy parents who need a successful solution to hectic kids. The next picture depicts a father happily helping his son with a homework assignment, with a caption underneath that indicates how the ability to watch television after a child completes his/her homework provides motivation to get the homework done quickly and efficiently. Similarly to the first caption, this caption also cites evidence to prove their point, this time from a New York Times article. The final picture depicts a family watching television together, with a caption underneath that indicates how several different experts including “education, religious, and social works” agree that television is an excellent tool to bring families together. These three pictures and their captions are great examples of Motorola establishing both ethos and pathos. The pathos is derived from the pictures and the descriptions of the several different ways television can be helpful, and the ethos is established with the quotes from articles or experts to back up the claims of pathos that Motorola makes. Finally, at the very bottom of the page, Motorola gives some information about the company establishing more ethos and logos for the company, as well as making it so the last thing the reader/consumer sees is the company name, Motorola. This great combination or the pictures and the captions underneath as well as the layout of the ad that draws the readers attention to the brand, makes this campaign a successful campaign.

Finally, in another ad campaign, rather than depicting a futuristic world, DuMont used attractive women to sexualize television, an ad campaign that is likely targeted at men. In bold letters at the top of this ad and across the large picture of a television with Betty Hutton’s seductive face on it, the ad reads, “Betty (“Incendiary Blonde”) Hutton SAYS ‘I’ll be practically in your lap on DuMont Television,’” which draws attention to the high quality of the television through the use of Betty Hutton’s attractiveness and sexuality. Betty Hutton was a well-known actress both on the stage and on the television, and according to the text underneath her picture inside of a DuMont television, was known for her “breathless exuberance.” The vision of the “breathless” and “exuber[ant]” Betty Hutton “in your lap” seems to be an effort by DuMont to use Hutton’s attractiveness to coax male buyers, who dream of having a beautiful actress like Betty Hutton in their lap, into buying a DuMont television with the hopes of making that dream a reality. Apart from just describing the lovely Betty Hutton, the text underneath the picture in this ad builds ethos for DuMont by describing their many years of developing successful engineering feats and how those years of work led to the current television that “will bring you large, lifelike, incredibly clear pictures,” just like the one of Betty Hutton on the TV depicted. At the very end of the ad, DuMont draws the attention back to their company with the logo and information about the company, thus establishing logos. By sexualizing attractive women like Betty Hutton, DuMont seemingly establishes a strong following amongst male clientele interested in purchasing a television with a picture quality so high that it will seem as if Betty Hutton will be “in your lap.”

Although the three different ads demonstrate very different approaches to advertising the television in the mid-1940s to the early 1950s, they all share some similar characteristics that make them effective ads. All three ads use a combination of text and pictures to provide the clearest and most interesting ad for people to look at, which is a rather successful method for establishing pathos. They also use the text to not just compliment the pictures, but to build ethos for the company by describing past feats of the company, provide sources that support the brand, or at the very least provide information about the company. Finally, all three ads make sure to always draw the messages portrayed in the ad back to the brand that created the ad, which ensures that the true purpose of the ad is never lost. To do this they often place the information about the company at the bottom of the ad, so after the consumer is finished studying and reading the large pictures and the captions, they see the brand name and logo so that when they think of the different qualities of the television they automatically associate them with the company. By combining all of these different methods for building an ad campaign, DuMont and Motorola developed three excellent ads that exemplify the other ads at the time.

Works Cited

Allen B. DuMont Laboratories, Inc. “Are You Ready for Television”? [TV0073]. Advertisement. 1944. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Allen B. DuMont Laboratories, Inc. “Betty Hutton Says: I’ll Be Practically in Your Lap – On DuMont Television”! [TV0477]. Advertisement. 1945. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Motorola Inc. “How Television Benefits Your Children” [TV067]. Advertisement. 1950. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Ad*Access. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Greasy

I began to research some different tactile sensations and I tried to figure out which one of these different feelings best represents a tactile metaphor comparable to the ones Barthes describes. When I found greasy online, it really seemed to stick out for me. When I think of touching something greasy I think of a slick or even slimy feeling such as WD-40 on a door hinge or ball bearing, and I think of the black schmutz that accumulates around the greased area due to the accumulation of dirt that sticks to the greased door hinge. I also think of the adjective greasy when it is used to describe sleazy and sometimes shifty characters, the type of characters that don’t adhere to general rules of manners and are often characterized by their almost dirty personality.

I think there is a direct link between the two different usages of the adjective and tactile sensation, greasy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that greasy is used to describe the gross oils that are present in the bottom of a bag of fries or a cheap burger and the lubricant for door hinges and fences as well as to describe a slimy character. Grease is the inescapable substance that doesn’t wash out of shirts and stains them forever making you appear a slob, grease is the slimy and oily substance that once you get on your hands is nearly impossible to wash off, grease is the gross aftermath of a bucket of cheap fried chicken from KFC that smells up your car for weeks. I believe that greasy is a metaphorical tactile sensation for the slimy and sleazy folks that are rather uncouth and are the stereotypical people who wear “wife beater” shirts with grease stains on them and make inappropriate comments.

It is important to understand the usage of this term to understand how it is so representative of multiple sensations that are so similar yet totally different. Describing a person as greasy and describing the feeling of greasy from a bag of fast food, or the dirtied hinges on a door are totally different, but the similarities between the tactile sensation and the adjective describing a sleazy person are uncanny. When you look at a greasy person the same sensation that you feel when touching a greasy material occurs and you draw an immediate connection between the two.

Individuality

In “Clues,” Ginzburg maintains a strong focus on individuality throughout the entirety of his essay to demonstrate the significance of small and overlooked details. Ginzburg provides several examples, beginning with artists, to prove his point of the significance of individuality. He first looks at individuality through the eyes of someone analyzing art to determine if it is a real piece or not. He specifically focuses on someone named Morelli, who essentially pioneered the method of identifying the originality of art through the use of seemingly insignificant details. Morelli developed the “Morelli Method,” which essentially does the opposite of what the majority of art analysts did, which was to focus on an artist’s defining details. Morelli instead focused on small tendencies the artist would make, such as drawing ears in an odd manner or using a particular brush stroke, because he argued that these small tendencies, or the individuality, of the artist is what truly defines an a artist’s work. The major characteristics present in every example of a particular artist’s piece are the characteristics that forgers will make sure to include, it is the small details that they often overlook.

Ginzburg goes on to describe how Freud adapted this method as a basis for psychoanalysis. Freud said that the thesis of psychoanalysis is analyzing the small tendencies a person has, that would often go unnoticed, because these small characteristics and tendencies are the characteristics that truly define someone. When studying patients, Freud would focus on the small odd characteristics that would generally be overlooked and examines how these are rooted in one’s thought process and even their subconscious. He then compares Freud’s analysis of diagnosing a patient to methods doctors use for diagnosing a patient as a whole. Ginzburg analyzed how the methods doctors use to diagnose patients is also based on focusing on the small symptoms the patient has. Doctors essentially have to turn the small insignificant symptoms the patient exhibits into and accurate understanding of the problem to correctly address it without exacerbating the issue. This is where Ginzburg connects his analysis of individuality and small details to his larger theme of finding clues.

He describes the doctor’s and art analyst’s methods for discovery as a search for clues in an attempt to determine a culprit, whether that culprit be an art forger or a disease. He then translates this idea into law and police style work, beginning with signatures and handwriting. Handwriting is very individual and has many individual characteristics associated with it, which is one reason why it is so effective in determining if someone is faking their identity. The problem with using signatures as a method for reducing identity theft is that it is still forgeable if the forger is good enough. This is what led to the development of fingerprint analysis. Fingerprinting became a popular new method for determining who someone really is. Fingerprints are the ultimate example of individuality that Ginzburg describes. Fingerprints cannot be replicated because they are so specific to one person that it is essentially impossible to duplicate one. It is this complication with the duplication of fingerprints that make them so valuable for police or any other aspect of the government who are trying to identify someone. Individuality is far more than someone’s main characteristics, what are truly individual are the most insignificant tendencies that are overlooked unless one is trying hard to notice them.

Clue Essay Post

Harry Stone

Professor Claire Laville

English 101 8:00 AM

19 October 2014

Clues for the Modern Detective

In “Clues: Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes,” Carlo Ginzburg explains the transformation of clues throughout history and how people in assorted professions use “clues” differently, yet they are still intertwined. Ginzburg begins his essay with a description of the “’Morelli Method,’” named for Giovanni Morelli’s method for distinguishing paintings from well-constructed copies. The primary characteristic of this method is to focus not on “the most obvious characteristics of the paintings” because “these could most easily be imitated,” but rather, when distinguishing between a real and a fake painting, one should focus on the small and intricate tendencies of the artist (Ginzburg 81). Ginzburg then draws a link between the “Morelli Method,” and Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. What makes Holmes such an outstanding detective is his ability to recognize the almost unnoticeable clues that other more basic detectives simply pass over, which is simply another application of the “Morelli Method.” One particular example of Holmes’s application of the “Morelli Method” is his analysis of the ears in “The Cardboard Box.” In this story, Holmes uses his analysis of the minor details of a couple of ears to help determine the reason for two murders as well as who the murderer is.

It is this type of analysis that you, a 2014 police detective, should implement to improve your success in investigations. It is all too common for modern detectives to focus on the trademark moves of criminals and look over the minutiae. Ginzburg doesn’t just describe this style of detective work in terms of art, he also compares this method to psychoanalysts, doctors, hunters, and writers. Beginning with psychoanalysts, Freud himself said that focusing on what is “’beneath notice’” forms the very basis of psychoanalysis because you can get inside the mind of criminal or even just an ordinary citizen and understand what they are thinking and why they are thinking it (86). This method of understanding the criminal is critical for analyzing a crime scene and determining the motives of a criminal, how the criminal committed the crime, and who the criminal is. Ginzburg then draws a connections between Freud, Doyle, and Morelli through their personal backgrounds in medicine. Ginburg argues that this analysis of the minutiae is similar to how doctors analyze the symptoms of a patient and determine the illness just based on that limited assortment of knowledge. Detectives should use this style of analysis when trying to crack a case, because they can use their knowledge of common crimes and then use the miniscule details of a specific crime to connect the clues to the crime. The next, and possibly the most applicable description in Ginzburg’s piece is his descriptions of hunters. Ginzburg states that,

Hunters learned to reconstruct the appearance and movements of an unseen quarry through its tracks—prints in soft ground, snapped twigs, droppings, snagged hairs or feathers, smells, puddles, threads of saliva. They learned to sniff, to observe, to give meaning and context to the slightest trace. They learned to make complex calculations in an instant, in shadowy wood or treacherous clearing.

Which describes in detail the process of tracking down an animal in any way possible until one can finally strike (88). This method is exactly what a detective in 2014 should use to track down even the most complex criminals. The modern detective must be an expert in what Ginzburg describes as “Reconstruct[ing] the appearance and movements of an unseen quarry” because a detective will only be looking at the aftermath of a crime, so he or she must use any possible clue left behind to find the culprit. Like a hunter, a detective must use the small mistakes a criminal made to track him or her down because the best criminals are never going to leave a massive clue for a detective to find him or her, so the detective must turn minor details into these large details in an effort “to give meaning and context to the slightest trace.” Finally Ginzburg describes the analysis of writing and handwriting in particular as another example of identifying a fake vs. a real piece of literature or art. While this analysis in particular is probably not the most important method for a detective, Ginzburg goes on to describe how this analysis of writing led to the modern methods of tracking criminals. It was this analysis that led to the creating of fingerprint scanners that we use today. It became difficult to determine a criminal simply based on their writing, so the government began to use fingerprints as a method for tracing a crime back to a criminal, which is still in use today.

Although some of these methods are old fashioned and the modern criminal is much smarter and many crimes are often online crimes, or crimes that appear totally untraceable, these methods are more applicable than ever because now that criminals are so much better, the tiny details become even more important than they were before. So I would recommend to you, a 2014 detective, to wholeheartedly study and understand the methods of detection that Ginzburg describes in an effort to improve your success.

Work Cited

Ginzburg, Carlo. “Clues: Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes.” The Sign of Three: Dupin, Holmes, Pierce. Ed. Umberto Eco, Thomas A. Sebeok. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983. 81-118. Print.

Her v. Sandman Blog Post

Harry Stone

Professor Claire Laville

English 101 8:00 AM

3 October 2014

Her v. “The Sandman”

Although both Her and “The Sandman” portray the uncanny relationship of a male human falling in love with an automatons the methods of depicting the portrayal are entirely different. In Her, Samantha plays the role of an emotional computer operating system in a society that relies heavily on technology, whereas in “The Sandman,” Olimpia plays the role of the forbidden fruit, whom Spalanzani keeps locked up in his house at all times. Although the general plot of the lost and confused male falling in love with the automaton is consistent between the two works, Her focuses on the legitimacy of the human-automaton relationship, while “The Sandman” depicts the absurdity and the emotionless relationship associated with a human loving a robot.

The society in her is largely focused on the automation of life and relying on computers. It is this automated society that causes Theodore to be introduced to Samantha. After a nasty separation with his wife, Theodore felt as if there was no one else in the world for him, so he turned to his new and updated computer operating system to comfort him. When Theodore is in his most volatile state, he starts up a relationship with his OS. Samantha has the ability to continuously learn at exponential rates over time and turn into the ultimate partner for Theodore, or any of her other ‘clients,’ which is one of the reasons Theodore loves her so much. The way the automaton, Samantha, is depicted in Her, makes it seem as if it is normal and acceptable for people to fall in love with their operating systems. As people become more and more reliant on technology and they struggle with creating real relationships, their operating systems provide the comforting relationship that keeps them sane. The way in which these operating system-human relationships become more and more common and integrated into society throughout the span of the movie indicates that these relationships are actually not all that uncanny, but rather, they are just beginning to become popular, and they offer a solution to the depressed an anti-social individual who simply wants a quality relationship.

In contrast, in “The Sandman,” Ritchie Robertson portrays the mentally unstable, Nathaniel, who accidently falls in love with the forbidden fruit that is, Olimpia. While at Spalanzani’s house, Nathaniel just happens to notice Olimpia sitting in her hidden room and notices how “angelic” she was and even how she is “uncanny” and “lifeless,” indicating that she has an odd persona surrounding her that immediately intrigues and entices Nathaniel (Robertson 97). Throughout the rest of the piece, Nathaniel is always enthralled at the site of Olimpia and his love for her only seems to grow, even though he never had a coherent conversation with her and never really understood anything about her, he was consistently attracted to her. This odd one-sided and confusing relationship between Nathaniel and Olimpia portrays the inability to have a legitimate relationship with an automaton due to the serious incompatibility, and it depicts the uncanny nature of human-automaton relationship.

Although Her and “The Sandman,” share many plot-based similarities, their respective depictions of a human-automaton relationship are entirely different. In Her, Spike Jones depicts the relationship in terms of a modern society where lonely and depressed people get kicked to the curb and by creating a relationship with their operating systems they can reintegrate into society and have a legitimate relationship with an inanimate object. In contrast, in “The Sandman,” Robertson portrays the absurdly uncanny relationship of a boy and a robot, and describes how odd it is for a human boy to love a robot and how there is zero compatibility.

Works Cited

Her. Dir. Spike Jones. Perf. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson. Annapurna

Pictures, 2013. Film.

Hoffman, E.T.A. “The Sandman.” The Golden Pot and Other Tales. Trans. Ritchie Robertson.

No City: Oxford University Press, 1992. 85-118. Print.

Revised “The Shadow Scholar” Blog Post

Harry Stone

Professor Claire Laville

English 101, 8 AM

28 September 2014

“The Shadow Scholar” Revised

Dear Dr. Wagner,

It has come to my attention that there is possibly a far more serious cheating problem at Emory than we originally thought, and that this problem could possibly be credited to a flaw in the current education system. One of my friends recently sent me an article called “The Shadow Scholar,” in which Ed Dante, a pseudonym for a writer whom students pay for well-written essays, describes the expanding market for essays written by professional writers. Dante’s job is to write anything and everything those who are incapable of writing need written. One of the most daunting parts of this article is the description of the students who Dante worked for. The students who hired Dante, were not just slacking freshman who didn’t want to write an English paper, but rather they were graduate students in Ph.D. level courses, business schools, med schools, teaching schools, and many more. Dante was helping students who would eventually become future leaders in the country sneak by in the classes that assess their abilities.

Dante did not start writing these essays for money, rather, he just loved to write and his career was not taking off in a more traditional fashion. While at college, his writing capabilities were far better than many of his peers, and when his peers found out, they were all willing to pay him large sums of money for him to write their essays for them. Dante’s small entrepreneurial endeavor in college eventually became his job, when he accepted a job at a company that specializes in writing these essays. Dante began writing thousands of essays on topics in which he had little-to-no experience. He would cram as much knowledge as possible into his brain before sitting down and pounding out essays on any subject possible, he specifies how some of the more impressive ones he wrote include subjects such as, papers for “a masters degree in cognitive psychology, a Ph.D in sociology, and a handful of postgraduate studies in international diplomacy.”

After writing these essays for so long, he had seen pretty much everything you could imagine. What’s most frightening about his article though, is the description of the students he writes essays for. He gives examples of some of their requests, and even the requests are total nonsense. The requests are littered with spelling and grammar mistakes that make the requests impossible to understand for anyone who is not a trained professional. Dante is able to make totally incompetent writers look pretty good in an essentially undetectable fashion, which is a problem schools really need to address. But even more of a problem is actually the reason Dante quit writing these essays. He quit writing these essays because he was tired of making struggling kids look good, and he wanted to expose the flaws of the education system that lead to him having a decent job helping kids cheat. He described how the majority of his jobs were from ESL students, lazy rich kids, and totally incompetent students. Dante said his favorite students were rich kids who had specific instructions on how they want their work executed, he described how they were very successful in college because they could just buy their way out of work and continue to be successful even when they are really lazy. The other two categories pose a serious problem in the education system. International students from other countries can have severe difficulties writing in English and can often get really stressed out by the difference in grading and evaluation from their home country and their new methods for being evaluated. The incompetent students are often students who just never learned to write correctly and essentially got thrown under the bus over the years, and essentially felt forced to use these pay-to-write companies to succeed in school. Both of these categories should not simply be punished, but rather, they need to be helped.

This is the primary reason I am coming to you. I think we need to evaluate our students and make sure they are doing their own work, and make sure they truly do know how to write. Although Emory is a prestigious university, I find it hard to believe that no one at this school is not suffering from some of the problems Dante addresses in his article, and I think we need to work to flush out this problem. One idea I have is to require each class to have students write an in-class writing assignment every so often in the class so that teachers have a baseline measurement of the student’s writing quality. This way the professor can assess if there is a problem, and if there is, how severe the problem is. By making these assessments, the professor can work on a one-on-one basis with the students, or give them advice on how to improve, such as getting a tutor or going to writing workshops. Although this method would not fully account for every issue associated with this cheating problem, such as the lazy rich kids, I believe it could provide an easy solution to help the students who are truly struggling with their writing.