Monthly Archives: February 2012

Are Hoarders Part of a Subculture?

Today I was surfing Twitter when I saw a link from Grantland, the venerable ESPN-affiliated sports and culture blog, on TLC’s Hoarders:  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Edition.  In the article, Tara Araino profiles the newest episode of the show and describes it as one of many TLC shows that “highlight the doings of people who occupy various subcultures.”

The show follows the life of Richard Wallace, a man living in a tiny condo in England who cannot throw anything away.  He can’t remember the last time he took a shower because his bathtub is filled up with junk.  Getting around the house is a major ordeal for him. Continue reading

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Cultural Influences or American Values?

 

                                                       

 

Many have always assumed that it is great to be involved in other cultures, but they fail to realize  that due to our involvement, we may not be giving our own culture enough value. I know this may sound crazy, but before you think about this statement listen to this.  On February 3, I went to Kami Con,a Japanese convention in Tuscaloosa. It is held annually for people who are interested in manga (Japanese comics) and anime(Japanese TV shows). While there, I saw  people dressed up as different characters from the shows, many vendors selling Japanese clothing and gadgets, and I even heard Korean music playing. As I was taking all of this in, I couldn’t help but notice there was a small percentage of Asian Americans compared to the overwhelming amount of Americans participating in an all Asian based convention. This observation suggested a question that interested me: Are we so involved in other cultures so much that consequently we discredit our own? Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be knowledgeable of other cultures, but are we taking it too far. Or, will these influences bring positive changes to American life?

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The Art of the Game: A Homecoming Tradition

The house is packed, and people are covered in their team’s colors. They’ve bought the t-shirts, and some people are heckling the opponents.
The cheerleaders are chanting, and the players are getting ready. Students, friends, family, alumni and random strangers are gathered here. Tickets sold out almost immediately for this oh so thrilling game of     Continue reading

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From Bella to Brontë

        

             Many people today are absolutely obsessed with the “Twilight” series written by Stephenie Meyer (http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/bio.html). In fact, “Twilight” has sparked an interest in teens for books like “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre”. My sister is one of the many teens flocking to gothic literature due to its reference in the “Twilight” series. I think that this is fantastic, and it will broaden their literary knowledge besides the usual teen paranormal romance novels.  In many ways these books are just modern, modest renditions of the true literary classics of the Gothic genre, one of the classics being “Jane Eyre” written by Charlotte Bronte in 1847(http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/janeeyre/facts.html).

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The Buzz: Lowering the drinking age

Here it is. The cliché controversial topic that’s been the “buzz” for decades. You’ve probably heard many arguments about lowering the drinking age, but you should definitely pay close attention to this particular topic; Something needs to be done.

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Drinking has become such a big deal over the past few years. Maybe it’s because I’ve entered college and have experienced adult ‘situations,’ but nevertheless it is still a huge part of your life whether you do it or not. There are always going to be people who defy the rules. These are the one’s who end up incarcorated, or even worse, on their death bed. But of course, there are the ones who don’t get caught as well. In countries other than the US, the drinking age is significantly lower which results in less drinking problems. Children from those countries are exposed to alcohol at a young age, so when they reach 18, it’s not that big of a deal. They don’t try to break the rules to obtain it because A) they have been around it for a while,and B) they aren’t too old when they are allowed to get it.  Continue reading

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Quotes Are Like Orphans: and Our Need for Metaphors and Similes

Metaphor: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable to suggest a resemblance.

Primary Metaphor: the basic connection that exist between subjective or abstract experiences such as good and concrete experiences such as up. These two concepts usually correlate in experience, and form the primary metaphor good is up. Thanks, Wikipedia

Well, as we are all diligent English students and we have all read and memorized the articles in our English book, the sentence I address should not be all that foreign.

“In a way quotations are like orphans: words that have been taken out from their original contexts and that need to be integrated into their new textual surroundings”

Okay so not to do exactly what the quote is saying not to do, or call what is actually a simile a metaphor—thine holy grammar Nazis, but why was this sentence necessary? Why did the author of this strange quote feel the need to use a figure of speech to describe this topic to their reader?

The real question is why do humans feel the need to continually use metaphors, similes, and other figures of speech in our written and everyday language? George Lakoff speaks on this subject and specifically how it pertains to thought patterns of conservatives and progressives, but that is way too much of a topic for this blog, look into 0-10 min for the relevant information. George Lakoff on the Political Mind

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Will dating websites protect you?

Many people turn to dating websites in hopes of finding true love. The question is, will they be able to join an online dating organization. Before you are matched up with anyone, you must first answer tons of questions about yourself to see if you are worthy of becoming a part of the “dating community.” It gets tricky when not all dating websites are ready to welcome you in based on how you answered their survey. In another blog post, eHarmony is examined and it suprised me how picky they are. I have always been pretty skeptical when it comes to online dating because you never know who someone actually is until you meet them. They could be lying about and that scares me. What I found to be interesting about eHarmony, is that they have been known to turn people down simply because they did not return a library book. Also, if a persons answer leads to the suspicion Continue reading

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