My Music

Raffi, my childhood hero.

Ever since I was born in 1992, the music industry has seen an extreme amount of change.  Since my birth music has been put onto a little device known as the Internet, forever changing the landscape of the music industry.  Much of music has been made free to anyone who looks hard enough, and it is not very difficult to find complete discographies available to the average teen. ITunes and apple products have grown considerably and now dominate the “music player” market. The large majorities of my colleagues have bought into the Internet music craze, and have downloaded enormous portions of music illegally. They have done so to the point where they are sometimes fined by both their particular Universities as well as the music corporations they have slighted. I managed to concentrate my music appreciation in the form of bulk iTunes downloads at the hands of my parent’s very own credit cards. I have spoiled myself with my parent’s brilliant ability to create a sufficient enough income to uphold my musical tastes needs.

Walkman

My favorite musicians and artists have evolved, as I have grown older.  What began as Raffi turned into Lupe Fiasco.  My iTunes owns music from across the musical landscape. All of my favorite artists can be found on my fourth IPod. My forth is a silver IPod classic, capable of holding up to 60 gigabits of music and video files.  My IPod is a real jump from the old Sony Walkman that I used to lug around with me in middle school. On my iPod you will find various musical genres. I pride myself in having quite the spectrum of music. My favorite types of genres have spanned from alternative rock to house techno.  All in all, these MP3 files have provided me with an escape from my day-to-day life that I need.

My music is my medicine and by the end of the day I need a dosage.  The stresses of my every day life could have leaved me with a prescription for “Zanex” when instead I avoid it all with a “Gaslight Anthem” CD and maybe a couple of Kid Cudi’s finest material.  I could not even imagine a long car ride without my IPod by my side. It is as crucial to me as any other item in my drawer’s repertoire.

 

Free Music vs. Pay for Downloads

In their book, The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music, authors David Kusek and Gerd Leonhard foresee music purchasing to be comparable to how water runs through our homes. A small monthly flat-fee will provide a household with nearly unlimited access to music. This very well could be the future of the music industry. However, despite the belief that the music industry is dying out, in reality, most facets of the music industry are booming. Although more music is being consumed over the past five years than ever before, there has been a large decline in album sales. Album sales have been the only victim of every bands best friend and worst enemy, the Internet.

If it is their wish every artist should be paid for his or her album sales. One of the most notable measures of success within the industry is the sale of a musician’s album. Going “platinum” would hold no meaning if downloading music was made free. Every single artist who holds any form of recognition could reach platinum status overnight. The Billboard 100 would be decided by how many people clicked a button with no fear in paying for something that you don’t appreciate. It would be increasingly difficult to measure any form of success.

Recording studios have been damaged by the emergence of the Internet and the availability of recording technologies to the public. Recording Studios become unnecessary when the Internet makes distribution simpler than ever.  That, along with high-end recording equipment being cheap enough for if downloading music for free was the norm; there is a possibility that even more artists would enter the mainstream, further watering down the music industry.  With even more music available for free, more downloading would be taking place. With only total downloads and spoken word being the judge for good music vs. bad, hundreds of more artists are bound to be signed by each label. The fear that an unknown artists popularity could spontaneously soar over night would cause major paranoia amongst the major record labels in the industry. More artists mean more bad music. The only people that would benefit from free music are all the college kids who are being fined for illegally stealing enormous quantities of music.  There is nothing positive about allowing the free downloading of music.

Babylon A.D. Movie Review

Babylon A.D. is the story of a mercenary named Toorop,  (Vin Diesel) as he risks his life on a job to smuggle a young woman named Aurora (Melanie Thierry) with her guardian Sister Rebeka (Michelle Yeoh) from a covenant in Russia to New York City. Toorop is hired to smuggle the young women for Russian mobster Gorsky. (Gerard Depardieu) What begins as a quick smuggling job quickly turns into much more. Toorop has to struggle through horrible slums overrun with terrorist organizations as he battles his instinct and attempts to understand the complexity of this mission.  This is not an ordinary smuggling job, and Aurora is not an ordinary person.

Babylon A.D.  Suffers from a horrible story line. The audience is never given the opportunity to understand Toorop as a protagonist. It is hard to connect with Toorop’s bold and intense character. The beginning of the movie, I devoted my attention and feelings to Aurora’s character. The questions surrounding her background at the beginning of the story caught my attention, however toward the end of the movie those questions are abruptly answered and my interest was lost.

A still from the opening scene

The one thing that was on my mind throughout the movie was the purpose of Sister Rebeka to the movie. Sister Rebekas soul purpose was to help the audience appreciate the confusion and magnitude of the situation involving Aurora. Throughout the movie the only thing that Sister Rebeka makes sure we appreciate is her bizarrely unstoppable fighting skills. Once Aurora’s story is discovered, Sister Rebeka is rendered useless and is eventually killed by gunfire. Her death sparked my fascination with how pointless her character was.  Although throughout the movie she seemingly tried to get Toorop to better understand Aurora, it seemed she never really knew what was going on as well.

This post apocalyptic action movie failed to make any sense at all. The characters never caught my attention. Despite the interesting idea of conflict between organizations that would most likely garner a lot of power given the destruction of society, and the brilliance of director Mathieu Kassovitz, this movie never gave me reason to care. Perhaps Mr. Kassovitz could have had the entire decimated world go up in flames. It would be doing the audience a huge favor. Just as many questions would be left unanswered and just as many characters would never really develop. This alternate ending would at least be saving the audience a hour and forty minutes of their time.

The trailer makes you want to find out what happens next, it’s too bad the movie doesn’t really answer that question.

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Favorite political TV ad:

Mike Gravel was the senator of Alaska from 1969 to 1981 and was a candidate running in the 2008 presidential election. His ad struck me as odd because of how honest and powerful it was. I had never heard of Mike Gravel before I began researching political ads. It turns out that this ad, along with some interesting debate appearances, gave Mike Gravel a strong Internet following. However, he never caught any traction in his political races and never did well in the national polls since his last term in the senate.

His style of ads are so effective because of how brutally honest he is. He states exactly what a voter wants to here and says it with a touch of comedy. This kind of ad makes a voter feel like he is human, and that he is on our level. Ads are commonly for one politician attacking his or her opponent for some nonsense bill that they passed over the course of there career, or some over dramatic statements about their opponent “ruining lives” as governor.  Mike Gravel took a different path. His path included honesty, and the willingness to help change they very flaws that plague our political system. Mike Gravel proved to me that he was ready to make serious change to help fight the things that ruin our political system. Although his ads really moved me, most did not see Mike Gravel fit to run The United States, so ads are clearly not the only thing one must do well to become the president.

Favorite Service print Ad

This Ad by the World Wildlife Fund is perfect. There are so many things one could see on the Internet so advertisements need to be able to catch your eye. Deforestation is capable of providing brilliant imagery; all the advertisement needs to do is provide a message.  This mixes the two perfectly. The man flying through the dark sky catches your eye.  Once the ad has your attention the ad is simple enough to figure out. The person swinging from the tree is a common form of entertainment when a person finds him or herself in a forest.  The same trees people may swing from are also providing a habitat for many animals within the forests ecosystem. This ad quickly and effectively shows that deforestation is killing animals and ruining their habitat. The World Wildlife Fund has an excellent ad team that gets their message out in an extremely efficient manner through the internet.

Favorite commercial print ad

I find this add extremely effective. It puts together two of my favorite concepts in advertisement. Brilliant imagery mixed with comedy. This soft sell ad makes me want to buy the product. I do not care to know weather the product will actually cancel out the sound of a waterfall but a I get the point. A man on a boat headed right toward a waterfall but does not have a clue due to his Bose Sound Canceling Headphones. This ad works particularly well because people already know Bose as a company that produces good headphones so the ad can be funny, and people will understand it because they are headphones that they are already aware of.

This ad effectively draws in people of all age groups who enjoy a good laugh and could be effective for people reading any kind of niche magazine. This is the kind of ad that would stand out above all of the other magazine ads. It does its jobs in multiple facets. It draws in all age groups and is an unisex ad. Anyone who enjoys cool pictures would find it interesting and most people with a good sense of humor would probably get a good laugh out of it.

BP PR

Picture of the Gulf after the oil spill

The BP oil spill has destroyed an ecosystem and has destroyed lives. The oil spill has gone down as the biggest since the Exxon Valdez spill in the 1990s. However, the BP oil spill is also considered one of the most poorly handled crisis from a public relations standpoint. Leaving many criticizing the companies every move. When a company as large as BP fails in the public eye, it is important that they seem human, instead of reinforcing the image of a large powerful company. BP is spending a lot of money to try and fix their image when they should be spending money to fix the situation and then use PR to prove that something is being done.

Despite how poorly BP’s public relations were after the oil spill, there were some positives. Purchasing ad space to have the BP website pop up when someone “Goggles” anything about the BP oil spill is an effecti

ve form of public relations. Many people are going to be searching BP on the internet using search engines like Google, and when they do, they will be directed to BP’s own oil response sites. According to MSNBC,  “95 percent of BP’s search listings are rated very negative.” Instead of being directed to articles bashing BP, the purchased ad space can help BP give effective answers to the publics questions.

As soon as the crisis occurred, BP launched a 50 million dollar advertising campaign.  The LA Times reported, “President Obama sharply criticized BP on Friday, saying the company should not waste millions of dollars on advertising and dividend payments when money would be better spent on people suffering from the oil spill.” The money spent on advertizing should have been kept secret. 50 million dollars seems like an enormous amount of money but when advertising and large company’s are concerned it should be seen as chump change. Many politicians spend upwards of 50 million dollars on advertising for their campaig

ns. According to the LA Times BP spent 4 billion dollars on an alternative energy advertising campaign before the oil spill even occurred.  Instead of using a 50 million dollar advertising campaign to restore the company’s image, BP should use much more cost efficient ways. BP has reportedly lost 25 billion dollars since the incident. Where spending that kind of money may not of been an issue before, it certainly is now. Instead of literally throwing all your resources at the spill to show you care, show that you are spending money to actually fix the oil spill. The advertisements just show some companies heads talking about how they are going to fix everything. It might be more efficient to show how about video footage of things actually getting done.

It is also important to have one spokesperson and one face of the company. Multiple officials were talking to and appearing in the media through different outlets and it caused a lot out outrage. When asked about the declining value of its stock, BP reportedly responded, “The company is not aware of any reason which justifies this share price movement.” The publics view this kind of comment as BP ignoring the massive damage to the gulf and appear to care more about their shareholders than the people and animals who were ruined by the oil spill. The Guardian reported that BP’s CEO Tony Hayward attended, “a yacht race on the Isle of Wright, just 48 hours after a hostile interrogation by a US congressional committee on the Gulf Coast oil spill,” which has produced, “sharp criticism on both sides of the Atlantic.” These kind of statements and appearances make the companies priorities seem out of order. Although there could be thousands of BP employees working on fixing the oil spill, if the CEO who has been promising to fix the spill, appears in a news paper in a yacht boat race, it may send the wrong message.

If  I was in charge of PR for BP during this crisis, I would of handled things very differently. However, the most important change I would make is the appearance that “everyone is human.” Its important for the public to see people working hard and caring about what happened. They shouldn’t see BP as a large powerful company, but instead as a bunch of hardworking individuals who made a mistake. I would also have the CEO or another higher up in the company appear in videos where he or she tells the truth. The brutal honesty of what is occurring proves that the company is not ignoring anything, and that they are fully aware of the mistake they made. If Tony Hayward starred an advertising campaign where he went through what exactly happened and what exactly was being done, the company would begin to re-earn the trust of the public. Allowing the public to communicate to the company with social networking sites and YouTube would also be a step in the right direction. These kinds of PR moves would not be in the absolute best interest of the shareholders but would be in the best interests in the company. You need the government, and publics backing to be a successful company during this kind of crisis. My moves would help repair the image of BP so that people can move on from the crisis. This will never go away until the gulf is clean and people allow themselves to trust BP again.

(how BP handled the oil spill)

Intensive Internet Research

Google the name Eddie Case, and a real estate mastermind dominates the search engine.  I am clearly not the most important Eddie Case in the world.  However, if someone wanted to learn more about me and knew that I grew up in a town called South Orange could figure out plenty about myself. You can learn that I attending Columbia High School in Maplewood NJ. Through that site you can find several articles that I published in the school paper that also was published on the school website. In those articles you can find out that I graduated in 2010, through articles that I published in the school paper. With the contacts found on the schools website, it would not be difficult to find out more information about myself including where I attend college, the members of my family and where they live in South Orange.

Eddie Case?

 

All you need is a person’s basic information to inflict harm on that person or their family. The information found on the Internet about me is very basic. I was not surprised at the amount of information I found but I was surprised at how easy it is to find the information.  The information someone would find about me is not interesting. They would not be able to reach many conclusions with their efforts other than study my ability as a writer in high school.  However, if someone really wanted to harm me, they can. Internet provides your friends, and creeps with plenty of information about you.

I feel very uncomfortable about the Internet. The amount of information on the Internet makes it very unsafe. At the same time, the Internet is a useful and fun tool in my day-to-day life. It is not something I would ever turn my back on and at this point, would it even make a difference? The privacy settings on Facebook protect people from finding out details about me but it is still out there.  I have been told countless times that privacy settings can be overturned and that what is published on the Internet remains published forever. If this really is the case, then it is not difficult for someone to find out every detail about my life. A scary thought, but a real possibility.

 

Me?

Chaos Theory

Instant!

The Internet has blown up the term multitask and has turned me into a person with little regard for myself. The only thing that resonates in my tiny little mind is the idea that I want it all, and I want it now. My concentration may be on five million different Internet windows, all with little purpose. I could look at pictures of my last vacation, watch the Giants game, play Tetris and do my homework all at the same time. Each small part of this entire process seems to need my attention when instead I can do all four of those tasks and blast music all at the same time. I do not have super powers; this is just what the Internet does to a person like me in the world everyone like me has grown up in.

When someone reads a book, they gain the knowledge. They understand what has been presented to them. With the Internet, I can read 30 articles in a single day. All of that information is only retained long enough for me to copy the URL of an article I really like, to email to my friend in New Jersey. I may have skimmed through the article but the video at the top was interesting enough to send to my buddy.

The Internet has turned me into someone who needs instant gratification.  Who needs a dictionary when I can type a word on Google, who needs to buy an album when I can get it all for free with the simple click of my mouse, and who needs a directory when I can all of your information on a little creepy site called Facebook. The site Facebook is actually incredibly creepy but also efficient. It has become the social norm to have a Facebook. It has garnered such attention because all of the kids who need that instant gratification can get it almost immediately with the site. It brings instant gratification to your social life. Who is dating who, what do your friends like, what are people saying, all of these things are published. Instant gratification is achieved.