Hometown Glory

•May 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I think by now, I’ve labeled myself as a geography nerd by now but I also am a total junkie for college sports. The NCAA really should thank me for the amount of money I have spent on tickets to their sanctioned events but also on their licensed clothing. And this not only means Mizzou, but it also includes the list of Missouri State, Arkansas, Texas, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Drury. Though I am a Tiger at the core, I would say that my utility as a fan spreads to different states and conferences. I feel like I’m not betraying my Tigers as long as I shout M-I-Z! at home, I am being true to my school.

The other day I was hanging out with some of my friends and was met with boos at the attire I had chose for a day.  A maroon short-sleeve T that simply said “Missouri State Bears.” I was bombarded with questions such as, “Why?” “How could you?” and “Mo State sucks!” It’s hard to explain to people that I still have loyalty to my local university growing up in Springfield all my life and also having relatives who are alum. They seem to think that Missouri State has some rivalry with MU but really it can’t be compared to other state rivalries such as OU and OK State or Florida and Florida St.

Why not a rivalry? Because although it would break my father’s heart to say, MSU in no way compares to Mizzou. Let’s look at conferences. MU is a powerhouse. Though we regrettably hold no national championships we did just secure  the top high school recruit in the nation and are entering a conference known for its high capacity stadiums, record winning seasons, and large fanbases. Missouri State is Division I – AA team in the Missouri Valley Conference where we face schools with student bodies of 8,000-15,000 and some schools don’t even have football teams in the conference. And even more importantly, Missouri State is terrible in football so there is no question as to who is the better school.

Conclusively, I stand behind the MSU Bears because I have some hometown pride and I know that in the end, I’m not putting apples versus oranges or apples versus bigger apples, but more apples versus apple seeds. So I will still wear my Missouri Gold and my Mo State maroon and know that I’m supporting all.

In addition, here is a lovely map that shows the geography of college football fandom: http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/JimmyMB777/430080_10150670608363828_367033813827_10836198_245467878_n.jpg

Tapping into Excellence

•April 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

For the past two years, I’ve attended the wonderful Mizzou tradition of Tap Day and let me just say that although I feel like my days go from 7am to midnight every day and I feel tired at the end of each day, I certainly feel like I’ve done nothing. Tap Day is an interesting event that can make any member of the audience feel proud to be a Mizzou Tiger and at the same time, certainly unaccomplished. 
 

Aside from that, the idea of secret societies fascinates me. Maybe not the general concept of them but why the societies are uniquely secret is very interesting. For instance, QEBH brings together the best and brightest of the university yet nobody except for the members themselves know the purposes, affairs, and meaning of the name QEBH. For the record, I have my bets on Quiet Elephants Bake Hash. (Is that inappropriate?) And LSV, the secret society that recognizes those who improve and promote the status of women in the community, has their members do a year of service before being recognized at Tap Day so that they society secretly does good deeds under the radar of the Mizzou community. 
The idea of secrecy is interesting especially in exclusive groups like this. By putting the exclusive clubs in the realm of secrecy, those inside and outside of the society revere it to an almost theological being. But in my opinion, nothing separates the women’s shelter volunteer to the LSV inductee. Service and excellence should be recognized in each individual whether they have a silk hood on a stage or not.  

The White Man’s Burden: Newspaper Edition!

•April 21, 2012 • 1 Comment

Recently, Geography has caught my interest as a subject for discussion. This past week my class discussed sub-Saharan Africa and how Africa is often perceived in the media. Our assignment in class was to bring in an article that was a positive news story in the region. As you can imagine, it was difficult to come by. Many of the articles had to deal with drought coming to an end or an end of a civil war in a tribal region in a torn country. Article after article there was a consensus as to what every story dealt with: bad things coming to an end. Instead of good just happening in Africa, any positive news was simply news that was made “not negative.”

The distinction made with the articles made me think of Rudyard Kipling and the White Man’s Burden. Western media has to this day taken, in my opinion, a very elitest view to reporting on Africa. Because of tribalism and political conflict, sub-Saharan Africa has always fallen under the unjustified scope of primitivism and consistently to this day has found itself improperly represented as such.

The public is very unaware about sub-Saharan Africa’s progress into the 21st century. Such as activists using social media to bring change to political corruption: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/19/business/corruption-africa-technology/?hpt=ibu_t5

If anything, sub-Saharan Africa is moving ahead in society and should be recognized for this progress. This starts with the media.

 

Free Special Event Comes to Mizzou Campus

•April 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Kanakuk Kamps will be hosting a free concert even tonight in Jesse Hall at 9:00 pm. The event, known as “Crossroads” will feature two guest speakers as well as two musical acts. The main tentpole of the event and guest speaker is Joe White who is the president of Kanakuk Kamps, a Christian-based summer camp program headquartered out of Branson Missouri. White will be joined by Mizzou offensive linebacker Zavier Gooden who is the special guest of the show. They will be followed by acoustic Christian singer Ben Rector and rapper Thi’sl. Event volunteer Ben Smith said, “This event will show attendants the relevance of Christianity in today’s society.”

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Area of Interest

•March 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In lecture on Tuesday, our presence was graced by professors from all interest areas. Starting in strategic communication next fall, I was of course in awe by Frank Corridori’s presentation about Strat Comm, mainly because I am more than eager to start those classes next year. However, I actually found myself enamored by all of the presenters from each of the different interest areas. Lizz Brixby actually had me convinced for a good minute to switch my emphasis to print journalism (don’t worry, I’m not), but the argument for working for the Missourian was convincing for a fleeting moment.

I think if anything what really impressed me was how passionate each individual faculty member was about his or her area of interest. It made me understand why the Missouri School fo Journalism is the best journalism school in the country. It’s not about the advanced technology that we use or the innovative “Missouri Method” that is taught (although it certainly doesn’t hurt), it’s because the school is blessed to have faculty members who are passionate about their professional fields. This passion coupled with years and years of professional experience make me proud to be a student at J-school.

The Accessibility of Technology and Mass Communication

•March 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Looking at the title of this blog post, you can tell it’s going to be a nerdy one. Since our lecture was graced with the presence of Keith Politte of RJI, I figured I would blog about that.

Okay. So….how cool was that demonstration of augmented reality? After we discussed the concept and how it related to journalism and advertising I was more than apt to download the Aurasma Lite app for my iPhone. Playing around with the different advertisements and images that make pictures come to life certainly captured my attention hours after the lecture.

It made me think of all the possibilities in marketing that could result from using this technology. I can easily imagine promotions for a concert that allow Aurasma-enabled posters to come alive to play a band’s latest music video or having a product label for Rice Krispies actually snap, crackle, and pop in real life. As a branding nerd, this application really connects with me. Allowing products, services, and brands to come alive in a very tangible yet virtual experience moves marketing and mass communication forward to where high tech is not just something that computer science majors and business executives get to enjoy.

The Desensitization of Media

•February 15, 2012 • 1 Comment

Consistently we here parent groups, trolling Facebook and other parts of the internet talk about how there is too much sex and violence on TV. It’s one of those problems that seems to never be resolved. The decade before complained about it, the decade currently complains about it, and the decade after will complain about it as well. But one thing that has changed in our complaints of how explicit or graphic the media can be is our threshold for what is graphic or what is not.

Our desensitization, however, also presents itself in other ways in the media. For instance, the flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz in their time were as terrifying as a seen from Alien or Saw to audiences but as special effects technology became more advance and society moved away from more conservative stories, the flying monkeys lost their grandeur as horrifying monsters.

A more notable example of how the public’s sensitivity on controversial issues has evolved is the infamous “Daisy” ad for Lyndon Johnson’s campaign for reelection. A child shown playing in a field followed by footage of a destructive and monstrous mush room cloud struck fear into the hearts of millions. Though the images now to us display more of a nostalgia of 20th century politics, families were scared to turn on their televisions to witness horrifying images.

Regardless, our society has started a tradition. From flying monkeys scaring the pants off of us to people being butchered in Hostel: Part II, our threshold for disturbing is always pushed the limit and constantly evolving.

 
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