Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Life of a gamer

Growing up in Kinshasa was interesting in many ways for me. I had a very loving family and awesome friends, especially when I was a kid in high school. It is in high school that for the first time I got introduce to video games; Mortal Kombat was the game! Of course not a game console bought by my dad, my dad firmly believed that video game made kids dumb and anti-social. So a bunch of friends invited me after school once to join them at a small play station that was ran by a kid on the block. For a period of approximately a month I became so addicted to Mortal Kombat; and for those who are familiar with that game it was all about mastering the skills of "fatality", "babality" and "perfect finish". One day, our driver came as usual after class to pick my brothers and I to go back home and I was missing from the usual pick up spot. What happened is that I got so immersed in the game that I forgot about the driver or anything else, the only thing that mattered was beating my opponents and expressing my inner anger through "Liu Kang." God what a day that was!

Anti-social, disconnected from the community, self-centered are probably the negative consequences in the life of a gamer as pointed out by Debbie Jones. It is as if my dad had read this article by Debbie Jones who pinpointed my erratic behavior at that moment. Video games indeed like professor Debbie Jones points out can lessen the ability of a player to be social and caring for others. However, the APA also found out that video games have many benefits, such as making the player more cognitive, motivated and task-oriented. As a matter of fact in my short-lived life of a gamer I realized that I was more focussed on accomplishing task with haste. My dad finally gave in to our nagging and bought us a Playstation II gaming console, not because he realized that we were able to accomplish task easily, but just because we did what every kids in the world do -- cry till the adult can't stand it!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Klosterman vs Deford

Worldwide soccer is "the sport," the most watched and played sport on the planet. However, this conceptualized idea of the planet does not extend to America, where soccer is seen to be lagging behind other major American sports. According to Klosterman poor written article " George Will vs. Nick Hornby" soccer is a sport that is played by people that are afraid of winning, people with a deficiency in competitiveness, and ultimately people with a fear of losing. He portrayed soccer in his article as a way to avoid tougher more competitive tournament and vowed that soccer will never be liked nor appreciated in America.

While Klosterman has such a delusive view of soccer, Deford relies on facts and logic to come to the conclusion that sport is minuscule in America. In fact, soccer has not been able to flourish like other sports according to Deford. Because of that the influence of soccer has been more toward mothers commonly referred to as "soccer mom." However, they both rely on the influence of soccer in the world of men and do not take into consideration the view of soccer for women in the U.S.A. Unlike Klosterman, Deford does not tag soccer as sport of lesser competition or for people with no drive; he is only suggesting that soccer's influence hasn't spread sporadically like other major sports have, and that the only fantasy for Major League Soccer (MLS) is that MLS actually becomes "major."

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


After World War II life became somewhat hard for most Americans male, who find themselves tied in a life where they had to provide for their families in a tough economy. Marlboro sought in his popular ad a way to provide some sort of escape for its male-dominant market by selling the idea of the "cowboy." This loner, solitary man, who walks his own path, yet always astute and devoted to his ideal. His ideal being nothing else than just be free, free from all the pressure the metropolitan world could bring. The cowboy is then the image of a masculine man who uses his muscles to provide, he is stress-free in a world where everyone seems to have things to worry about. 

Rap music came along inspiring itself to that idea, where at first rappers sought in rap  a way to talk about their problems, their struggles and everything happening around them. just like the cowboy, rappers became these poet who freely expressed their mind. however, when the rap game became so big that money flowed into it, masculinity and what it represents took a drastic turn. Masculinity became being the biggest baller, the one dude with the big bucks and flashy tangs. In music video, women became objectified and spoken into in a very subjective way. Masculinity was redefined to suits the taste of records label to sell more songs.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Kim Kardashian West surely made herself famous by appearing on a sex video that went viral online some years ago. Nevertheless, that did not stop her from being such an influential leader to a certain category of people. She literally redefined herself from a sex symbol to an entrepreneur, a celebrity and a successful business woman. She owns her perfume line, clothes and other things. Moreover, Kim has found a way to balance her fame with her marriage and her family life. With a kid and a husband, whether critics might like it or not she manages to have a normal family life despise the fame. She is truly an American role model and an inspiring force for the youngster who look up to her.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Vs Decoding Victoria's Secret : The Three Assumptions

The secret of any great advertising is to appeal to people's emotions in order to achieve colossal sales. Victoria Secret in that regard has been able to achieve great success in marketing for his targeted audience. VS like the diamond's giant DeBeers before it took a product that was common and not overtly publicized and made it turned it into a gold mine by marketing in peculiar ways. Soon enough other success stories such as The Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit Issue followed on the footstep of VS and perpetrated its thriving techniques.

What is it about VS that revolutionize the way people shop at his store? Three assumptions, as described by Professor Marie D. Smith; the first one being that a beautiful female body is marketable and can sell any product, the second being that a woman struggles to get or to hold onto the right man i order to give meaning to her life and the third being that a woman's self image is largely determined by a male perception of female beauty. VS and the Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit Issue capitalized on these assumptions to lure their audience into buying their product, henceforth creating a faithful customer base. Whenever a man walks in front of a stand and perceive a post of a beautiful woman (i.e. flashy breast, thin waist and curvy booty) his attention is caught on the spot, he is intrigued not by the content of the magazine, but by the connection his mind makes of what perfection ought to be. Once emotionally captured by this image, he is compelled to act not on logic but by impulse. The attention is not geared towards what;s inside the magazine but more towards a fantasy that he has nurtured within from preconceived idea of what beauty is suppose to be.

Monday, February 23, 2015

From clothing to behavior, popular culture is predominant in every aspects of our lives and we cannot escape it's influence. It has become more and more recurrent to see little clones of superstars we see on our television show in every street corner. Girls want mohave curves like Nicky Minaj, Kim Kardashians or Beyonce and obviously want to dress like their role models too. Boys want to appear as masculine as the models they see on lifestyle magazine, spending hours at the gym to get ripped and lean muscles especially six packs (killer abs). There is such a pressure coming from the media and other channels alike to compel people to conform to societal standards of living. It will not be surprising to have a new hairstyle or fashion trends after the stars will parade on the red carpet of the Oscars.

In his excerpts Sulking with Lisa Loeb on the Ice Planet Hoth and This Emo (from Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs) Chuck Klosterman points out how popular the Star Wars saga became to a certain generation and how people are influenced by the dating life of fictional characters on TV from such an early age. Disney movies and other big blog busters that reflect upon lives of people that set the trends on how romance or fashion ought to be. Young men for instance will try to imitate "Tony Stark" who is a playboy billionaire in the "iron Man movie" as role model for dating or to any other notorious popular culture figure in order to live their lives because it seems to be cool to do so.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Internet: "Everything Bad Is Good For You" & Sulking with Lisa Loeb on the Ice Planet of Hoth

In his excerpt  Sulking with Lisa Loeb on the Ice Planet of Hoth Chuck Klosterman attempts to reveal what binds an entire generation together. Although, he focusses primarily on the generation X, he opens the doors of our imagination to try to understand other generations as well. The generation that I try to grasp as a result of Klosterman's analysis is the Millennial generation (formerly known as the Generation Y). Klosterman demonstrates how an entire generation was characterized by traits of fictional characters that they grew up admiring and identifying themselves to. Similarly Steven Johnson in his excerpt The Internet: "Everything Bad Is Good For You" take us into a journey of transitioning world of information from newspaper, via Television to the Internet by emphasizing on the good and the bad of the internet. The link between Klosterman's reading and Johnson lies in the fact that Johnson's essay is more of a logical sequence to Klosterman's essay. Johnson's writing is more of a revelatory factor of what binds the Millennial generation together. Both writing harmoniously juxtapose each other in a way that the reader is comforted to find answer for the Generations Klosterman talks about in Johnson's writing.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

What Characterizes The Millennial Generation

Being from the Millennial Generation myself, it was really hard to identify the traits and characteristics of my own generation. Beyond anything I could think of to properly epitomize a connection between a pop culture and the Millennial Generation like Chuck Klosterman Generation Y Star Wars' analogy. I believe that the Dotcom boom of the nineties and subsequently social medial particularly Facebook and Instagram are the biggest pop trends that characterize the Millennial Generation.

In fact, the vulgarization of social media gave a voice to millions of people who sought after the freedom to be themselves. More than ever, people from my generations became independent, activists and confident free-thinkers. Social media led to uprising "Arab spring" in the Middle East. In the Sub-Saharan region in Africa musicians teamed up to inspire youngster to oust out of power Blaise Compaoré who was a dictator running Burkina-Faso for over 27 years. The drawback of social media is that it has made people less sociable and selfish. Family time has been replaced by time in front of one's computer. I recall some of my dates where instead of enjoying a delicious meal and a great wine, we were enjoying posts on Facebook and liking pictures on Instagram instead. Social media as a pop culture has introduced a new form of bullying. In this era bullies are some teenagers who may hurt more than they heal without even being physically present with their victims. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Synthetic and Natural Happiness

Natural Happiness is according to Dan Gilbert professor at Harvard University who centered his career on the study of happiness; a state of mind when we get what we want, or more elaborately how our brain's chemicals react when we get what we crave for. However, Gilbert also argues that Synthetic Happiness is our reaction of what we make when we get what we don't want.
More on the subject including his explanation of the Impact bias can be found on this link: "http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy"

Having Gilbert conception of happiness in mind we explore what Malcolm Gladwell a Canadian writer who worked for the New York Times explained how Howard Moscowitz would change the course of the food industry. For so long the American consumers have been eating their spaghetti with sauces they just settled for. They were happy with what they had, made the most out of it because they did not have any other alternative although they crave for something else like extra chunky spaghetti sauce. This is a perfect example of Synthetic happiness.

Natural happiness, is the reaction of Prego's consumer line to the arrival of the extra chunky spaghetti sauce. People finally get what they wanted, something different from what they have always been offered and that was denoted in a rise in sale to the order of $600 Million in revenue. The same applies to coffee, how our own choice of coffee can make us drastically happy. According to Gladwell true happiness is derived from obtaining what we want.
Reference of the Malcolm video can be found on this link: "http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce"