Monthly Archives: December 2011

Learning about media from my classmates…..


For my final blog for Media Criticism, I looked at three of my classmates blogs they wrote for class, and analyzed them.  The purpose of this process is to further my learning in how to become  more media literate. Also to receive a variety of views on the same subjects I have been studying all semester.

Once I become accepting of the fact that media can and should be interpreted in different ways, I can limit the power that media industries have to shape my individual life. If more people can open their minds then todays media wouldn’t be so biased and one sided.

The first blog that I chose to read was Sekou Bah’s Blog titled “PROPPS WAY THROUGH SIMBA.” I was attracted to this blog immediately because the animated Disney film, The Lion King, is one of my all time favorite movies. I jumped at the opportunity to read your narrative analysis on the film.

I thoroughly enjoyed your introduction to your blog. You said, “Memories of the times when we were young, not worrying about a thing in life but playing outside in the various parks our parents took us to.” This immediately took me back to my childhood years, and memories of my first time watching the film.

You then proceed to give a synapsis of the film, which was a great lead into your narrative analysis. You are refreshing the story to those who have forgotten and/or educating those who never knew it. This makes it much easier to follow the Structuralist approach of Vladimir Propps 31 narrative functions that you chose to use.

Vladimir Propp

I think that if anything you could take an even deeper look into the film and break down the 31 narrative functions even more. For example you could start with function 2, interdiction. The interdiction addressed to Simba that from birth it is his command to one day become King. Then proceed to function 3, violation. This is where Scar enters the story line, and it is known that he is no longer the heir to the throne, and then so on.

You could also look deeper into how the characters in The Lion King, tend to take on more than one role in Propp’s 8 character types. For instance Nala can be both the princess who needs the help to be saved, and the dispatcher who towards the end of the film sends Simba on the quest for equilibrium.

Those are just some suggestions, but I enjoyed taking a stroll down memory lane with your narrative analysis on the film. I found it very interesting to see how you broke down the films plot and story line basis.

For my second blog I chose to read Nick Keim’s blog titled “Disney’s Ideologies and Child Marketing.” My overall views are that I found it very informative and educating. I enjoyed how you started your introduction with what you believe is necessary for media critics to do while analyzing media. You said, “As media critics is it necessary to look past the superficial layer into the deeper meaning of how texts impact our everyday lives?” This is a perfect lead into your blog because you then proceed to analyze how Disney media is impacting us.

I really liked how you included a hyper-link and examples of everything that the Disney Corporation owns because this helps the viewers understand that they are being affected in more ways than by simply watching Disney channel or Disney films. A lot of people are unaware of how huge media conglomerates actually are, and how much they have control over.

"Disney's Leading Men"

My favorite example that you used to describe the gender roles that Disney films are marketing is the photograph of “Disney’s leading men.” Then you go on to show how the character, Quasimodo, is not considered a “leading man” due to the fact that he is considered “ugly and unattractive.”

Finally I found it very creative and wise that to conclude your blog you included ways that parents can help their children develop their own sense of culture. You are showing why it is important that parents teach their children the importance of media literacy from a young age, and giving them ways to go about that.

For my third blog entry I chose to read Sara DiVenti’s blog titled “Semiotics what?” Right from the start I was immediately drawn into this blog with the crazy Alka Seltzer ad from 2008. I at first didn’t scroll all the way down to see the caption with the Alka Seltzer box, and my mind was running wild with the possibilities of what this could possibly be promoting.

Alka Seltzer Ad 2008

           I think that this was a fantastic picture to draw in readers. You lead them into wanting to understand more about what is going on and why the Alka Seltzer Company would chose such a crazy ad to market their product.

I also really enjoy the type of tone you create while you read your blog. It is very relaxed and casual, while at the same time very educational. For example throughout your blog you talk about how you felt and reacted once you saw the ad. You make the blog almost personal in a way. (Which I really enjoy!)

Next I like how you gave two examples of using semiotics to analyze ads regarding being “hung over.” This way you’re giving your readers the chance to practice the use of semiotics and everything they have learned on the film poster themselves. I found your blog very entertaining, and educational.

I learned a lot and enjoyed this experience of reading and analyzing my classmate’s blogs. I found that it emphasized the fact that media is suppose to be interpreted in different ways. That in its self is the beauty of it.

We as individuals need to keep our unique ways of thinking and interpreting media. If we stop thinking for ourselves, that is when the few media conglomerates there are will have all the power and be able to shape the way we view the world.