Friday, November 15, 2013

The Risk in Management

The definition for risk management (in the business world) is he forecasting and evaluation of financial risks together with the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact. Risk management can be applied in more areas than just business.  It's actually more apart of everyday life, more than what we might think. With the decisions we make everyday we're taking a risk. There's a risk in everything we do. Randy Martin talks discusses how risk management is involved in out school institution. More specifically the Universities we go to, to get a higher education. He explains that risk drives student demands and that risk pressures student and faculty to continually be involved with productivity. As students in a University, from day one, we're began to make decisions that could lead us to either a satisfactory or an unsatisfactory place in life. To start off we move away from our families to new place, we take out loans to pay for the expenses in school, the classes and fields we study. These are all risks we take throughout our college careers. We're left with the unknowing and questions of will we be happy with the career we've chosen? Will we have a job to pay off those loans? Will we even make it through college? People aren't the only ones who experience risk. Institutions also take risks.  For example the Government take risks that could be intrusive and could potentially hurt others. They're allowed to arrest and question someone for a crime, simply because that individual looks similar to another individual has committed crimes. For example after the 9/11 attacks, the Government was allowed to arrest anyone that had features similar to that of the Middle Eastern descent. The risk there is the possible and often mistaken identity.  They also area allowed to tap into our phone conversations, hack into internet accounts, and keep a watchful eye on all of the people they're trying to protect. In doing this, they run the risk of privacy is being invaded. Citizens begin to feel less at ease. All these actions show a country in a state of paranoia. Worried more about what could happen than what is happening.  In the film Minority Report, it shows how a Government can become so paranoid that begin convicting criminals before the crime is committed. They have the technology to predict when and who will commit a crime. They stop and arrest the person before the crime can happen. The problem and risk with that is the intrusion and surveillance of their citizens. Also, what if the predictions are incorrect? The George Orwell book, 1984, is a great example of a government invading the privacy of its citizens to the extreme. In the story Big Brother is the system that can see all and hear all. Some critics would argue that the U.S. Government is heading down the road of Big Brother. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Making of a Teenager

             Starting around the 1950s, around the end of the second world war, there is this subculture of the teenager. The stage of life where an individual will grow from child to adult. At this time the individual will go through life with experiences that will stick and shape their mind, morals, and ideas. It's like that for every generation of teenagers. It's easy for the generation before the teenagers to think that they are all troublemakers. Even though they were once teenagers themselves. The young teenager is always viewed as someone that has no idea what real life is. That's some what true, most of them still live with their parents, their parents buy their belongings. Of course they have no idea what is to have real job and real life issues. The thing is, the teenage years is where they begin the transition into adulthood, where they have to deal with real life issues. These years are when they become confused. They are sort of handed these responsibilities and expected to automatically know how to handle them, with no practice. For example in the film "Rebel Without A Cause," the character Judy has become familiar with innocently, kissing her father when he comes home from work. Now that she is 16 years old, she's become too old to behave that way. When she tries to kiss her father, he slaps her. Judy in humiliated and runs away. When she becomes a certain age she is expected to act a certain way, according to her father, and it seems like over night she should know this behavior. In this great film, both Judy and Jim have issues with there parents. Jim has view issues with his parents. Although his parents provide for him and give him whatever he needs, they even show him affection (his dad more so), but they put aside Jim's real problems. Every time he gets into some trouble, they move and forget about it. They don't fix the issue at hand, just neglect it. Moving from school to school, Jim develops another issue that all teenagers have to deal with, and that  is fitting in with his peers. This is where the stereotypes come into play. For example in the same film, there are cliques of kids in the school: the jocks, the greasers, the nerds. These cliques make a general stereotype of the kids involved in them. The greasers are the troublemakers that don't participate in anything, the jocks are the athletic types that are feel privileged over everyone else. The list of stereotypes and cliques goes on, and have grown even more so today. In the beginning of the film "Mean Girls," all of the cliques in high school are named and from my experience it's pretty accurate. This film shows at what lengths a young girl will go through to be accepted by her peers. Rather they are mentally or physically harming a teenager will do what they can to be accepted or even acknowledged.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Youth in the 1960s

Fame in the 1960s told through two films, "A Hard Day's Night" and "The Doors." Around the time of the 1960s was the start of teenage rebellion. Teenagers and young adults began to do things that was out of the ordinary, that the people older than them couldn't understand. They rebelled in everything and it showed through their music, the way they dressed, the ideas they followed. Teenagers became their own subculture. This is the point in someones life where they go through experiences that make that child that they once were grow into a more understanding, more aware, human being.  They began to follow new revolutionary ideas. This was the time of the Vietnam War, civil rights protests and riots, the assassination of Martin Luther King, John F. and Robert Kennedy. All of these images were blasted all over the news media. This subculture of teenagers and young adults became more into making a change of the world around them. They didn't want to fight a war that their parents had started. This was a time of peace and love. The decade of the "hippie." They experimented with drugs, tried new things that were supposed to make life better for them. Of course the this generation of kids were influenced by the culture and media in the 60s. Bands and artists like The Beatles, The Doors, Jim Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and so many more had an impact on the minds of the youth. The younger generation is always seen as the troublemaker in the eyes of the generation before. Throughout the film in "A Hard Day's Night" The Beatles are viewed as the young, cool, hip musicians. It's evident in the film that they have a massive following of fans. The scene where George gets pulled into the office, there are fashion trendsetters there, telling him his what's fashionable and what's not. He has a nonchalant attitude towards them, as if he doesn't care about what's hip and trendy. Ironically making that attitude trendy. Of course, if a Beatle thinks something is cool, it's automatically cool to everyone else (the fans). It's easy to manipulate a crowd when their favorite band is behind it. In the film, the musicians are trying to live normal lives as young adults. However, their manger and other older authority figures keep a close eye on them, making sure they are the responsible ones and not getting in any trouble. The paradox is that Paul's grandfather is the one that gets into a lot of trouble and the band and everyone else has to take care of him. Towards the end where Ringo goes out and about to explore the countryside, he gets into a lot of trouble for just being himself. Which, I thought, was a way of saying that The Beatles act and behave a certain way. Any other way would be a like a crime. Now moving on to "The Doors" film, it focuses more on Jim Morrison and his controversial antics. When The Doors performed on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time they were told to use another word other than "higher," in their song "Light My Fire." When it came time to perform, Jim said it anyway. Later Morrison was arrested on multiple occasions throughout his musical career for indecency and public obscenity. He was most definitely a pioneer on the new revolutionary thought. He experimented with drugs and and other ideas. Ideas like witchcraft, it is said that he married a woman in a Wiccan ceremony, where they cut their wrists and mixed their blood. The Doors was a major, record selling band. In the late 60s, The Beatles began to change their views, views that were controversial at the time also. For example,  John Lennon's controversial song "Imagine." Both The Doors and The Beatles are bands that are still loved to this day, no matter how crazy or controversial an artist or band is, the true fans are will always love the music and band or artist. Which makes the job of the major record company (part of an elite group) manipulate the minds of the youth.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Charlie’s Complex

Charlie’s  Complex
A horror, slasher film, set in the 1974, in a small town in Mississippi. Charlie, young
teenage boy, who lives with the estranged parents of his father. Until a year ago, they were
not aware they had a grandchild. He moves out to live with his grandparents after he
witnesses the death of his mother. His father loses his job and his mother becomes the one
to support the family. Living with the pressures of a patriarchal society, his father can’t
handle the humiliation and degradation, one drunken night, in a fit of rage he beats his wife
to death then with a kitchen knife, kills himself. The film starts a year after his parents’
death. Charlie is a shy, introverted type of boy. He behaves in a way that’s different than all
the other kids, he doesn’t speak to anyone, and has no friends. All of the students at his
school make fun of him and his feminine looks. There is one girl, Katelyn, who is always
sweet to Charlie. She develops a small crush on him. She, and a couple of his teachers
are the only people amongst his peers that don’t put him down. The small town gossips
about Charlie and him feel unwelcomed simple because he doesn’t look or act like any of
the other boys. Even his own grandparents neglect him and pay no attention to his needs
and wants. They embarrassed of the ridicule they receive from the people of the town, and
treat him as if he’s a stranger. They have trouble understanding his strange behaviour. As
the days progress, the teenagers and other residents of the town are dying in a string of
mysterious ‘accidents.’ The local police are having trouble finding any clues to a suspect.
Late one night, Charlie arrives at the school dance with Katelyn. They get judging stares
and disdaining whispers from all the kids at the dance. Later when Katelyn and Charlie are
grabbing some punch from the punch bowl, one of the school jocks, Curtis, who was once
Katelyn’s boyfriend, comes up to Katelyn asks what she’s doing with a ‘freak’ like Charlie.
The jock grabs her by the wrists and tries to pull her away. Charlie tries to defend Katelyn
by pushing Curtis away from Katelyn. Curtis grabs the punch bowl throws it over Charlie’s
head and pushes him to the ground. Curtis and all his jock friends laugh at Charlie and
Curtis picks up Katelyn and takes her away. After she finally gets away from him, Katelyn
goes looking for Charlie. She can’t find him anywhere. She looks in the school’s basement
hoping he’d be hiding there and to her horror she stumbles upon the dead bodies of a
couple of the jocks that laughed at Charlie earlier. A frightened Katelyn begins to run away
to find help. She runs into Curtis who is limping with a knife in his leg. He’s yelling out in
terror, his words are jumbled and confusing to understand. All Katelyn can make out what
Curtis is saying, is things like ‘he’s a she,’ ‘he’s a sick psycho.’ Katelyn asks what’s going
on and what happened to his leg. He pushes her out of the way trying to escape and
suddenly a partially nude Charlie is standing over Curtis who has fallen to the ground at this
point. Curtis pleads for his and life and Charlie thrusts the blade from a paper trimmer into
Curtis’ back. Katelyn and we (the audience) discover that Charlie is in fact a girl and all the
other killings were done by him. Through flashbacks of Charlie’s memory we find out that
he is biologically a girl, born with the name Charlotte. After witnessing the murder of her
mother she is determined to hide her sex. She quickly becomes fearful of anything
associated with being a woman. To avoid any discrimination or harassment against her
sex, she dresses as a boy. Her grandparents have not only accepted her transformation,
they enforce it. They hadn’t expected to raise child they never knew before. And they
definitely were not happy with the obligation. But if they had to raise a grandchild it most
certainly wasn’t going to a granddaughter, so they changed her name to Charlie and forced
her to wear boy clothes. They make her act and treat her like a boy. They wanted to
replace their son, who had just died with their new grandson. Which, according to his
grandparents, it was Charlotte’s mother’s fault he was dead, and Charlotte reminded them
so much of her mother, she must become just like her or his father.
A story like this shows the reflection of the society of the time. It’s necessary to
make this story into a film. In the 1970s the sexual identity of anyone is a big issue, much
less for a teenager. Part of the social issues that society has to deal with is patriarchy,
gender inequality, social and sexual identity. There’s the theory of women being the ‘other’
to man. In Simone De Beauvoir’s ‘The Second Sex,’ she discusses this idea. Woman is
basically defined as not man. We know what it is to be a man, therefore, what it is to be a
woman is the opposite of that. As explained in the ‘Cultural Studies’ book by Chris
Barker, Patriarchy is defined as “the structural subordination women.” The idea that males
are superior over females. This idea is embedded into the minds of women in cultures from
around the world. A practice that has been going on since the beginning of civilization.
Women grow up believing they are not equal to man. That it is he who makes the decisions
on how to live, and in what manner. That man has all the power and women have nothing
but the male companion to protect and help them survive. In the article ‘The Patriarchal
Gaze,’ by Laura Mulvey she talks about the look of cinema coming from a male point of
view or gaze. That women live their lives as spectacles and the man is the spectator. The
camera always assumes a males perspective. Women are objecfied in perspective, while
men are usually the subject.
In ‘Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with Identity Issues,’ by Jeffery S.
Kaplan, The
idea of “identity achievement” is discussed. Adolescent children are naturally going to go
through a process of exploration of one’s self. To find their identity status in their society, or
to find out who they are, what they like, their beliefs. As young adolescents this exploration
is more fluid, their feelings and ideas could change. However, as they get older and grow
out of the adolescent stage, they become more committed to what they’ve discovered.
When an individual is successful in exploration and commitment, then they have
accomplished the “identity achievement.” All of the topics just discussed are issues the
society deals with in this time period of the 1970s. Having a story like this told will bring
attention to social injustice. To educate individuals on a male dominant world and to maybe
instill a little fear in the antifeminist,
the person that sees women as an inferior race.
The story relates to all these issues. For example, Charlie/Charlotte lives not only in a home
that is very patriarchal but her all of her surroundings, the town, the people she associates
with, her strange family, all have views and beliefs that women are superior to men. Her
grandparents believe that it’s better to be a man in the world they live in. That they rather
have a young boy to raise over a young girl. In their eyes boys are definitely better than girls
and are definitely not equal. The entire town and everyone in it, with the exception of a few
have this idea embedded in their minds. For example, the gym teacher at
Charlie/Charlotte’s high school has the boys and girls separated, each of them doing
different activities. Activities that are ‘appropriate’ for each sex. The girls P.E. uniform is
much tighter and shorter than the boys uniform. Sexual inequality is prevalent in the story. In
fact, Charlie/Charlotte reason for killing stems from witnessing his mother’s murder. Who
was murdered simply because she was equal, if not superior, to her husband and that is
not the way of life. This causes Charlie/Charlotte to change the appearance of her sex and
anytime she witnesses female discrimination or male dominant abuse towards women she
kills. Men who sexually objectify women or even women who objectify themselves become
Charlie/Charlotte’s victims. In the story , it starts off with the assumption that this is from a
male’s point of view, yet in the end we come to realize that point of view is that of a female.
The story has new perspective in cinema. A perspective that is not the patriarchal gaze.
Women objectivity is an issue, yet it is shown negatively, which is something that is rarely
done. The fact that Charlie/Charlotte has changed his/her sexual identity is a reflection on
the teenagers in society. Always exploring news to define themselves; trying to define
what’s right and what’s wrong. Charlie/Charlotte is your typical teenager trying to define
explore all of these issues. The difference between her/him and the common teen is that
Charlie/ Charlotte takes matters into her own hands. She decides what’s right , what’s
wrong. Unfortunately for some individuals she also decides who lives and who dies.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


    Orientalism is the idea of Westerners spreading their ideas and culture into the East. The West made mostly of Europe and the US. The East made up of the far East, China, Japan, India etc, and the middle East, Iran, Syria, Israel etc. The 60s was a time when the Cold War was a fear among all countries. In the 1960s James Bond film "You Only Live Twice, " he travels to Japan, where he womanizes the women and and fights the Japanese villains. The cultures from East are viewed villains or something exotic. The East is new and unfamiliar to the West. That unfamiliarity can turn into fear. Leading them to believe the East ideas and culture is not the right one, that the West has the right idea. Starting since the time of Imperialism, around the 1800s the British were a dominant force in Imperialism, spreading their seed all over countries like India, Japan, Africa, and other countries. For example in the 1970s Bollywood film "Disco Dancer," the main character is a famous dancer that dances to disco music. There's a scene in the film where his dancing to disco music in his room and on the wall is a movie poster of "Saturday Night Fever." The film's language is Hindi, however throughout the film there English words spoken. In this film it is definitely evident of Imperialism that takes place. In the new James Bond film "Casino Royale," there is a new fear that is impacted on society. The fear of terrorism is a real threat. In the opening scenes, an animalistic like Bond is running through a town in Africa, trying catch the criminal. In both the James Bond films, Bond is careless agent that has little respect for the country and it's environment. In the chase scene of "Casino Royale," Bond is breaking through walls, driving bulldozers through construction sites, dropping huge loads of steel from the sky, just be destructive to the land. All in pursuit to catch the suspect. A similar scene happens in "You Only Live Once," where Bond destroys a factory. It's as if all obstacles rather threatening or nonthreatening, will be overcome by any means possible. At the end of the scene, Bond has succeeded in capturing him, however when he's confronted by an army of men, trying to protect the suspect, he shoots him, and kills most of the army with an explosion. He won't take orders from an authoritative figure when the general of the army tries to stop him.  The attitude of superiority that both Bonds have is an evident sign of Imperialism. Orientalism and Imperialism are similar in a sense that the West think their own ideas and believes that are better than that of the individual who is different than them. So in showing them the better way of things, they believe they are helping them. Orientalism are these ideas enforced on those from the East and Imperialism are these ideas enforced on other parts of the world including the East, beginning around the 1800s, I would say even earlier than that.

Below is a clip from the Bollywood film "Disco Dancer." Beginning at 1:00 the main character, Jimmy, is in his room dancing to disco music. Behind you can see the poster of "Saturday Night Fever."

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Radical Side Romantic Comedies

The decades in which films are made usually reflect society at that point in time. And the romantic comedy is no different. In the late 1960s huge changes were happening among American society. Revolutionary movements, radical thinking, civil protests were all apart of the 60s all the way through the 70s. Films were definitely changing with the times. The normal standards of the earlier films, like the nuclear family, were becoming less and less normal everyday. The idea of divorce and single parents became something that was very real among families. Women are starting to be known as an equal to men. In the film 10, the main character that is obsessed with a woman that he believes to at the top, above all other women, including his girlfriend. He has the this image of the perfect girl in his head. He's also going through a mid-life crisis. It seems as though the young girl is a way to hold on to his youth. Through another youthful being. The problem for him is that the youth of his time is way different than the youth of his present. For example in the scene where they are about to commit adultery, she exclaims that she does what makes her happy even if that is cheating on her husband. She wouldn't mind her husband cheating on her as long as it makes him happy. The idea of breaking moral standards is okay, if it makes you happy, is something the main character isn't used to. Going into the 80s and 90s the romantic comedies began to change a bit with times. The film Pretty in Pink is a perfect example. About a love triangle between two poor best friends and a rich boy. In the film Andy, a poor, unpopular girl and Blaine, rich, popular guy, fall for each other despite their differences. Duckie, also a poor, unpopular kid, is in love with Andy but plays it off as joke because they're best friends. When Duckie finds out that Andy is dating Blaine he becomes very angry with them both. He's afraid she'll get hurt. Of course, in the beginning Andy and Blaine go through obstacles because of their differences. The rich kids are seen as selfish, spoiled, and can get away with anything. While the poor kids work hard for what they got and are even discriminated against in the school. This film is reflective of the times where two types of people. Those that were rich and powerful and those that were poor and worked hard for what little they had.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Place for Women In A Man's World

                     Since the beginning of time there has always been man and woman. Written in the one of the oldest, most universal books all time, it says that woman is made from man's rib. Already, we're taught that man is first. That women come second. Men are the dominant sex and women are the other sex. History has shown us that across time, in most civilizations men have been the dominant sex among humans. It was man who wrote the many different bibles, our religions follow today. In fact, in the Bible, God, the creator of everything, is said to be a male. It's easy for a woman to feel like the other, when the religion they follow, tells them they are. So when societies began to form and structures were made, men were the dominant figures in those situations. The educated controlled the ignorant. For a long time, women weren't allowed to read. The educated race will dominant the uneducated race. Women have become an oppressed group. In Simone De Beauvoir's, The Second Sex, she talks about the slave and the master. It says, "Master and slave,also, are united by reciprocal need, in this case economic, which does not liberate the slave. In relation of master to the slave the master does not make a point of the need that he has for the other [...]; whereas the slave, in his dependent condition, his hope and fear, is quite conscious of the need he has for his master. [...] It always works in favor of the oppressor and against the oppressed. That has been why the liberation of the working class has been slow." In comparison to men being the oppressor, women the oppressed,  the female is like the slave. She is dependent on the male to survive. It's embedded in her mind that she can't live without a man, that she can't have thoughts of her own. She's unaware of the power she possesses. The master needs the slave to make his product and the slave needs the master for shelter, survival. Just like the master needs the slave, the man needs the woman. They need each other. In a biological sense, they need each so humanity can continue.  In modern times, oppression is in the form of a set of standards. Although they have changed throughout the centuries, women have always had a set of standards. From the time we're learning to walk and talk, we're taught to look, act, to be a certain way. Little boys are taught to be a certain way also, but something totally different than the girl. From the beginning we're not equal. A great example if this, my mother raised four boys and me, one girl. I was treated totally different than my brothers. When we were teenagers my brothers had a later curfew than I did. I wasn't allowed to go any on my own. When they'd get in trouble at school they'd get sort of a slap on the wrist. My mom kind of had the attitude that boys will be boys. If I did the same, I'd get the 'I'm disappointed in you' lecture. So growing with four brothers, I became a tomboy. So I was not ladylike at all. My mother would get upset if I ever did anything unladylike, like burp, sit with my legs uncross, or simply wear what I wanted (which wasn't dresses) I'd get an upset look from her. She'd always say and she still says it to this day that it's just different for girls and that as a girl/woman you put in work, double compared to a man, to be successful.