Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Review of Postings.

I felt my blog on Hispanic Americans was my best. The websites I chose were eye opening in different ways. For example, the webpage that had a list of the 10 best cities for Hispanics to live in was interesting as it showed that despite them wanting to feel part of America, and the increase of the Hispanic population rising, that they in fact chose to stick to parts where they would live amongst their culture. I also found my other webpage for this blog interesting and useful as it made many points of the Hispanic populations contributions to wars America has fought in.

The blog I felt I did not do so well in was the one about Guns. I found it hard to find website that provided me with the information and views I was looking for. It seemed that pro gun sites did not explain their want and need for guns in any other way than by saying freedom and quoting the second commandment. I expected to find many webpages against guns and expected to see their views put across in an effective way. I did not find this, however it is much simpler for people who are for guns to explain their reasons than for people who are against them as the issue of banning guns is far more complex. I also found this blog hard to do as I found it hard to sympathise and understand people’s reasons for wanting to own guns. In my opinion they have taken the second amendment out of context completely. It does not state that you should keep a gun to fight the government; it states that you should have the right to own a gun to fight off foreign power who may take over.
Overall I have enjoyed using the blogs, and found them interesting and helpful in finding resources and information to further my knowledge and understanding of the United States of America.

Glenn Beck

Glenn beck vs South park; Snf; John stuart - is the name of the video i have chosen

While looking for videos on each of these people the one that stuck out to me was the Glenn beck when he is confronting all his recent critisms over the past few weeks, from jon stuart, SNL and south park. i have chosen this video because south park is a show i hold in high regard and find very entertaining and i liked to see Glenn's response to this episode because it was alll related to him and i would reconmend seeing the episode it is seris 13 and it is called dancses with smurf's. While each three of Glenns critics seem to all pick up on the same thing it is all done in a very entertainging way. Glenn handles himself very well in the video and how he finishs it off i thought was very good and related to what many people would be thinking about american politction. He stands his ground and defends his points aw well and does not back down in after these 3 shows have been on the air. at the start it seems Glenn takes these pokes at him in jest but towards the end within the last minute or so yyou can see him becoming more passinate about what he has said.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Postings?

The blog i thought i did the best on...
Was outside the American norm i really enjoyed researching for this post because i like the whole idea of the love generation and some of my most like bands come out of this noticion in the 60's i thouht the website i found was very good at summing up the hippies and what they stood for and i felt personally that i did well with what i was talking about aswell. I quiet like the idea of being out the norm aswell and hippies symbolis this way of life not being what is expected, being in indiviual, standing out in a crowd. there was alot i have missed out, i wish i did speak more about the hippie comunity and how they helped each other out and also i should of mentioned what happened to them and where they are now in the modern day world. i wish i went on in more detail about the differences between them and what was expected from the American norm also.

The blog i did not do the best in...

There was too blogs i have chosen for this. one was the one that was set in lectures which i still havnt done because i still don't understand and will get done as soon as.

but the other is the one with meeting the native's, i really struggled with this post i was un able to find any good source to relate with the post and i also lost the link to the site which really let me down, i tried for hours trying to find any information between the first settlers and the natives but it the end i found a sort of story describing what happened, which has to be taken with a pinch of salt because it was a secondary source so not fully reliable and does not give a true account of the first meeting between the two parties. There was alot i could of done better in this post now after being at the small group and what we talked about that day that is usefull now. what i could of done better is found a more realiable source to use (and also saved the link)

Overall this blog task has been one of the most enojoyable tasks i have done since being in education ( which has been along time now) i really enjoyed the freedom to talk about whatever we felt was needed to relate to the title. It really helped me to understand a America more because i did not to it as a A level and came in with no previous knowledge it really helped me get started. and i hope it continues after Christmas.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Oreo Cookies

First I found an advert for Oreo cookies that aired in America. What I noticed about the other adverts I watched for the same product was that they all contained the same “traditional” way of eating an Oreo cookie. The slogan at the end is “Milk’s favourite cookie”. The advert is a father and son both eating an Oreo cookie with milk, but later on in the commercial we see that they are talking over webcam online. I chose this advert as I feel it plays on the American family values that are embedded in their society.

Gap Clothing

I chose this advert as it is typical of Gap. Gap always produce bright, colourful adverts, with music playing a key part in its advertisement. From the writing at the beginning and the style of clothes it is quite obvious that it is a Gap advert. Although it is not such a big store here anymore, it is still a popular make and well known shop in America. I feel this advert is a prime example of a product being able to sell itself by being well known and people familiarising themselves with its style.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Material Culture

Looking for adverts found that the easiest one was for Levi there is a great number of choice when it comes to this brand, the one that I have chosen stars Brad Pitt leaving prison and the security keeping his jeans, when he is released a girl turns up with a car and extra jeans, they leave the security man stunned. I chose this one because jeans were always associated with rebels and bad boys, so the irony is that Brad Pitt comes out of prison to have his jeans stolen and still get the girl. The value behind this would be that if men wore Levi jeans they would then be considered to be rebellious and sexy with the idea that any girl will fall them if they are wearing them and will be able to spite other men.

I watched a few more of these and was often left wondering what are they actually selling because hardly any of the advert is mentioned on the product they are selling.

I also decided to look for food adverts and came across one for Burger King starring Jason Biggs, for this advert they were eating Burger King and it was compared to McDonalds and then shown that you get more for your money, it was then interesting that they said back to work and put McDonalds caps on. Firstly the reason that I chose this is because they are making Burger King special by comparing them with McDonalds and also Jason Biggs was working in McDonalds. So overall I was left wondering why a star would work in Burger King and if he would even know what he is selling, because there is the possibilty that the star has never been to Burger King. This becomes the new selling method putting stars and supermodels in fast food places.

Material Culture

Search in youtube Levi 501 jeans - Great deal (1990) The original Work the biker
The link did will not work for the Advert i picked but i chose one of the original Levi 1990's adverts which we highly popular in america, the advert itself shows a busy office with when a hansome man on a motobike rides in in his Levi jeans and his boots, he gets a mixed reaction of looks from the peole in the office the women seem to love him from the start while the men look at him in anger or jealousy. This advert seems to have hiden meaning because of the office being linked to somewhere you are tied down to and trapped in and the motobike representing freedom. This could mean the Levi is trying to tie its self in with this idea of freedom.

as far as the Vaules go regarding its use value it is used for clothing and was at first linked to workers. because of its wearability. this made the make of jeans very popular and a house hold name in todays work. the raw material it relies on is of course denim.

however because of its increasing populartiy in todays world as well as the 90's this has lead on to increase the price of the Levi's jeans to roughly £70 for jeans in the uk alone, i do not know the average price in america, however the Levi brand is still associted with good quility jeans and is looked upon in the modern day as it was about 10 years ago, and the adverts have seemed to stay the same with a modern twist a more 21st century look, with a more typically good looking chap for the year would be different from the man on the bike in the 90's.

The levi symbol stands today for good make of jeans which has been made highly famous with its quility as well as it adverts in the early years portraying women and men and sex objects so this idea of good looking men and women wre continued with the jeans,

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

For and Against Heathcare reform

This is an obvious choice for a pro website backing Obamas new helthcare plan. even the link to the website is called pro healthcare this website shows the positive side of the healthcare reform and presents it as a very good thing to happen in America on the webpage it self it shows an ideal imaage of Obama wish the whitehouse in the background to give off this ideal presidentual image of him in a sort of light which is meant to say what he is doing is what is best for America to state the obvious this is a pretty one sided web page does not show the arguements of reforming healthcare gives off alot of statics regarding surveys to gain people opinion on healthcare. and these high figures indicate that healthcare reform is what everyone wants. "While economic recovery is far-and-away their top concern (73 percent), 43 percent said reforming health care reform should be a top priority, after fighting terrorism (48 percent)."

"There really is an historic wind of opportunity for health reform,"

This webpage is more from a against political view rather than just the stright forward no answer which then leads to slagging off their oppent. this website shows the negitive side of the reform and even shows democrates against their presidents new bill. the group known as the blue dogs stand against the new bill because they view it as problamatic. this shows how the democratic party is divided and the lack of faith they have in their leader.


I chose this as my pro-healthcare reforms website. Firstly it states what the healthcare reforms aim to provide for the people of America. It then goes onto explain in more detail about each of the 10 points. It explains what is in the bill, and why exactly that change is needed. I think the way that this page is set out is an easy and simple way to get the message across to people who may not exactly know what the healthcare reforms put forward by Obama include.

I chose this website for my anti-healthcare reforms. The website attacks the “liberal” media for not telling the complete “truth” about the reforms. It then goes on to make a list of statements, each with links that discuss the issue further. Further down the page, the points are put into sections such as “cost to taxpayers” and “threats to patients/healthcare consumers.” I found that this website played on the worries of Americans, especially as the page ends with a “fighting back” category. As well as this the website claims that the Democrats are lying about the number of uninsured Americans. Surely, no matter how many million, all these Americans deserve some sort of healthcare, and not to be refused coverage from insurers. This is not something the Republicans seem to believe in.

The Obama Administration - For or Against

I have chosen this site because it is for the Obama Administration by explaining to people what the reform is there for, it can be suggested that people may not know what the reform is about or what it could do for them, by explaining it through this people may be convinced to accept the Obama Administration. In a way it can be seen as propaganda because even I began to feel quite influenced for the Obama Administration.

I have used this one as my against because Chuck Grassley fundraises against the reforms of Health care, it does not really say why he is against this, the quite that is given is "the simple truth is that I am and always have been opposed to the Obama administration's plan to nationalize health care. Period."
it is said that he will have a difficult challenge ahead of him and I find this to be true because there are many Americans with out health care right now that the reform could benefit.

it will be interesting to find out which two emerge as the successor of this fight for or against the reform because there will be a high number of views coming from both sides of this.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Jon Stewart

I chose to look at clips of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. I feel that while interviewing political figures on top political talking points, he brings a humorous side to serious topics in the way he reacts to the people he is interviewing.

First, I chose his interview with Bill Kristol, a political analyst and a conservative. Jon Stewart plays on the fact that Kristol admits that the government run a good health care system for soldiers, which is better than private health care. Kristol says that he soldiers, which is better than private health care. Kristol says that the soldiers deserve the better health care. Stewart puts this into a blunt term of "the government can provide the best health care service for Americans, but it is too costly, so they should have private health care."

In the second video, Jon Stewart interviews Governor Betsy McCaughey about health care in my second link. I found this interesting as he talks of the "mis-information" produced and spread around about the health care reforms. He makes a joke of the Governor who refuses to see his points and simply dismisses him as wrong.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Popular Political Pundits

This was a really interesting blog task and highly amusing in some places. The person that I finally decided to watch more videos for was Rachel Maddow, the reason why I have chosen this is because even though she is a professional and is telling the news of the tea baggers protest even she can not help but laugh at that connations that tea baggers has gained.

It is mentioned in this video that people sent tea bags to the White House and then invited people to tea bag Obama. However even though there is humour in there, she still manages to get the point across, she mentions about the tea parties and that Chairman Steele requested to go to one, this was permitted but he is not allowed to talk as it will give people a chance to say what they want and that he will listen to them.

In this video it is also mentioned about Chairman Steele appearing but not speaking, however when told to the press Chairman Steele denies even asking to speak. Also a dozen other republican members of public have also asked to attend to the tea parties. Throughout this video she also mentions about previous tea bagging events and mentioned that other themes have emerged such as down with Obama.

I feel that Rachel Maddow thinks that the situation is a bit silly otherwise she would not be so humourous with the situation of the tea baggers.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Gun Control


I found a website for the CSGV – The Coalition to stop gun violence. Using methods such as “research, strategic engagement, and effective policy advocacy”, they hope to be free from guns.

I found their page on issues and campaigns particularly interesting. Their article on “Guns, Democracy, and Freedom”, talks of the National Rifle Associations view on gun control, saying their theory comes from “insurrection”, which means they oppose having a strong, activist government.
It explains how this notion has resulted in more gun crime throughout the US.


I looked up the NRA to contrast it with my anti-gun website. The home page states that people are “more concerned about pushing for gun control than they are about reducing violence”. Here I feel they are trying to ignore the fact that the relaxed gun control laws in America play a part in the amount of gun violence there is throughout the country.

A link on the website labelled “ring of freedom” opens up to a page about securing freedoms for Americans. This conflicts with the previous website who believes that a country with more gun control would provide more freedom for its citizens.

Pro gun and Anti gun

I found the same site that was mentioned within another blog and decided to take a look, most of them do not describe their purpose for wanting to keep guns within America. However I did come across an article that was talking about the US Supreme Court thinking about restricting gun laws even further

As you can see from the title of the article that America does not want stricter gun rules and looking at the data 50% of people say that they do not need even stricter gun rules and those that do believe that they need stricter rules have decreased from 43% to 39%. But what strikes me as interesting is that 11% of the people are not sure, this makes it seem that people within their own country do not know whether or not they need guns or the stricter rules.

I chose this as my anti gun control because when I was looking at the "about" page I noticed that at the end they ask you to join their campaign to get stronger gun rules
Thousands upon thousands of people will continue to die and be injured needlessly each year without stronger, sensible gun laws.
For me this highlighted the urgency for stonger gun laws because when it is mention that thousands upon thousands would die it made me think about how many of this would be within a year or a couple of months and I can understand where the Brady Campaign are coming from and why they want people to join

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

pro and anti gun websites

this website is obviously pro gun website saf stands for second amendment foundation. the point in this website is show reasons why guns are okay in American society. This website has loads of information on it and is presented very well this shows how much this means to people out there, the web page it self contains lot of information, for example recent issues regarding guns, sponsors they website has, related links down the left hand side. the main feed seems to be regarding political issues regarding anti gun and pro gun and people 'standing in the way of the right to bear arms' as some people may see it. there is a clear line in the sand about this on going issue in America. Some people want guns others do not. there are of course positive and negatives with guns. and this gun focus on the positive things guns provide such as protection from attackers etc. i choice this website because it is a window into the minds of the people who support the second amendment and protect what it stands for daily without a second thought on the matter.

i was unable to being a page like i did for pro gun because anti gun groups don't seem to create web pages showing their hatred for the gun but i did find this page listing details on gun control in the united states of America in a biased way. portraying it in a negative light just saying how easy it is for any man and or woman in any mental state OR age to get there hands on a fire arm. which is a major problem in America with all its shootings that have happened in recent years. Gun control was meant to change under Clinton but while some of the laws did change enough change has not happened and still anyone can still get a gun the only difference is they may have to wait a day or two before they can play god.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Hispanic Americans.

I chose this first website as my historical choice as it has many pages about the Hispanic community’s active role in the making of America. Approximately 300,000 Spaniards emigrated to the “New World” and went on to discover different parts of America.
What I found most interesting on this site was its comment on the revolutionary war of 1775-1783. It states that Spain was a crucial ally of America, which few realise as Americas most famous ally in the war was France. It also mentions the financial funding provided by the women in Havana, Cuba.
As well as this, the website reveals the statistic of the number of Hispanic casualties during the Vietnam War. Hispanics accounted for 25% of casualties during the war.

For my contemporary website, I chose a page from Hispanics magazine. It has an article on the top 10 cities for Hispanics to live in, considering the current economic climate. It talks of what Hispanics look for in a place to live.

It states,
“It should come as no surprise that Hispanics look for the same things that most Americans do.”

I feel here, that they are considering themselves as Americans who are a part of America, instead of just considering themselves as a separate group of Americans.

Although, it goes on to say,
“But to add to those things factors that are a little less quantifiable, such as a culture of inclusion where Hispanics are highly represented.”

To me, this shows that Hispanics do separate themselves, and feel like others compared to Americans. However it shows that they don’t like to be on their own in this sense and would rather live in a Hispanic community so they are surrounded by people of their culture.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The American Others

I have chosen this site as my historical site becuase Joseph Smith was the founder of the Mormon Church and was considered to be a true prophet, he was murdered by both his religious and political foes. He was murdered along with his brother Hyrum while they were spending time in jail after giving themselves up to the governer Thomas Ford's accusations that they were dangerous men. I thought that this was a good website becuase when I looked at other websites Joseph Smith was baptising different people throughout Illinois and this would have been considered in that time to be against the work of God and therefore creating both his religious and political foes. His religious foes becuase he was turning people towards a new religion and his political foes becuase he was turning more people to support and trust him that the political party could have seen this as a threat that they could be overrun. He would have gained many foes very quickly becuase what Jospeh believed in was against the normalilty of what people knew and believed.

I have chosen this for my contempory website becuase this website is about the death of Billy Jack Gaither, he was a thirty-year-old gay man who was brutally beaten to death for talking about "queer stuff". This goes to show that America still has not got over the idea of there being gay communities living amoung them, however some more accepting than others the people who murdered Billy Jack knew what they were doing and then owned up to the murder. It is as if they wanted people to know about what they did as a statement that being gay was outside the normality of the life they knew. There was also the question raised about what was the signifcance in this killing. as I was reading the report I could see that the signficance behind the killing was a hate crime. If they were just murderers then they could have targeted anyone that they chose, however the killers confessed to killing this man with a small sense of pride.

Whereas some people have become more accepting of the fact that there are Mormons living amoung them the idea of being gay still aggravates people to take action against them becuase of them being homophobic and the fact that it is still out of the norm.

Outside the American norm - i used this website because i couldn't really find a group and African Americans and i thought i would show where it began.

Since they first got kidnapped and brought over to America and even in some parts of current America. The Africans have been seen as below white people of the ladder of social order, The first Africans became slaves and were sold and passed between wealthy white Americans like they were more like objects then people. this way of life went on for a very long time. They were seen outside the normal for various reasons. first would be because they came from a far less developed country then the first Americans so the Americans saw this as they were better than them and thought gave them the right to take them from there and brand them and sell them on to the highest bidder. and once slavery ended there was still more racism in America. The black people were kept away from white people like they had an infection or something. African Americans were forced to sit at the back of the bus, they were not allowed in restaurants these are just few examples of how they were treated.

They were seen so far out of the circle of norm America That violent racist groups were created who wanted to 'remove the black problem'.

A more recent group of people outside the American norm was the hippie generation in the 1960s - 1970s. this group of people were seen so out of the American norm with their lifestyle. the clothing, there attitude. while the American attitude at this time was the sort of 2.4 kids working dad and house-wife. and this image of American was inbeded in the minds of all. and when the hippie movement began and sort of rebelled against this way of life it was seen as such a culture shock. What was ironic about this generation was that often is hippies often came from middle-class homes. so this showed insted of starting off outside the norm they were in the norm and wanted to break away. there attitudes were completely different from the American traditional way of life. flegrent drug use. lack of a steady job, having sex with more than just one person. constant revolt against 'the man' (American government mainly) and the peace attitude which rivaled the government because during the love generation the Vietnam war was going on.

Hence the famous image of the riffle with the flower in it.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Is America Exeptional

It is very difficult to search for things that describe the new America however I was very intrested when I discovered this beucase this too can be referenced to De Crevecoeur's account of a new American.

The reason I chose this was because when I reading it I did not really understand the idea of how this makes America exeptional so by reading De Crevecoeur's account again I began to see how I can associate the article with my reading.

Firstly 'America is the most religious, optimistic, patriotic,rightsoriented, and individualistic nation in the world.' I chose this quote becuase this is quoting the guest on the show and I beleive that De Crevecoeur's whole letter has been summed up within one quote. I feel this because De Crevecoeur is very passionate when talking about America's individualism, he mentions 'We have no princes, for whom we toil, starve, and bleed: we are the most perfect society now exisitng in the world' many Americans still beleive this today.

Another intresting quote Ipuuled out is that 'By that he didn't mean equal inincome or equal in power, but he meant that equal opportunity, but also equal interms of social relationships, that Americans didn't bow down to others anddidn't want people to bow down.' I thought this was good becuase De Crevecoeur mentions that America is a land full of new opportunities.

This was a very intresting piece because of the different veiws of America and that is can still be easliy linked to De Crevecoeur's account of the New American Man.

VHS, DVD and BluRay

When i was a child i watched plenty of VHS on the TV and 13 years later when my younger sister was born i noticed she was watching DVDs and when i was her age i was watching videos.
the change from video to DVD was in the early years of 2000. and at first was expensive, the players were expensive and the DVDs them self were not cheap. at first the change was very different from the large rectangle to to the small disc it became. they DVD updated the visual experience with special features such as out-takes. directors cut, extended version etc.

this was scene as such a big improvement of what was already such a common thing in every ones household.

and only within the last few years the even the DVD has been improved. just when people considered the DVD to be the end of the line for home entertainment the Bluray was brought out which was meant to be better than the DVD but just like the DVD when it first came out it is very expensive to buy a Bluray film or/and player

i wanted to use this idea because i feel like it may give an insight into america. because the creation of the DVD was not necessairly the most influentual creation in the past. it was just an improvement of what has already been done. and then once again with the creation of Bluray disc there for just adding on to something that still has not become un popular and just charging the consumer more for a product which is still not dated in todays world.

These examples show you the every updating world we live in. But if it ain't broken, Don't fix it

The American Weight Loss Center.

I found a website for The American Weight Loss Center. I felt this related to De Crevecoeur’s idea of the “new American”. With the states having the worlds highest obesity rate, and Americans becoming more aware of the health risks that obesity brings, weight loss programmes are becoming more and more popular.

The website uses short sentences using persuasive language to attract customers. It claims you’ll “discover a healthier, happier you.” This is a lot like De Crevecoeur’s opinion on Europeans moving to America. He says that if you move to America, you will have a better quality of life and be happier for it. The message is very similar to what the weight loss center are trying to promote.

As well as this, the website has a page called “Our Successes”. This is filled with past clients of the company who have lost weight on the programme. It shows a before and after picture so potential clients can see the results for themselves.

The American Weight Loss Center seems to be a growing company, as it advertises to be in 6 different locations. This again could be related to the growth of the American population and how it grew because of the want for a better life. This company will grow also because people want a better life, and they feel that loosing weight will help them with this.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Rosier's relation of George Weymouth's 1605 Voyage

The account is in old English so I may have misinterpretated things but other than that I am sure that the account is correct.

I have chosen this account because it is from someone who accompanied the captain George Weymouth to the coast of Maine in 1605. Then once he returned to England he made and account of what he observed on the voyage. I felt that this was an interesting account because it was written by someone who saw the coast first hand and then wrote about what his captain had discovered.
The way the account is written is easy for us to understand because it follows a day by day schedule of what James Rosier saw and encountered on his way to the discovery of Maine and the settlement of New England. When they have discovered the land they describe it from what they can see "This Iland is woody, growen with Firre, Birch, Oke and Beech, as farre as we say along the shore". This would have been very unusual for them because their trees would have been cut down to create houses and fires. They found food, water and materials, the basics of everything they needed in which to survive "In digging we found excellent clay for bricke or tile"

They also come across the Native Indians for the first time, they are described as wearing animals fur, their canoes were built without iron and they kept their women at a distance from the strange newcomers that they had just met.

Overall I was impressed by this account because of the wonders that they saw when travelling and upon meeting the Indians ow he describes them.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

First Settlers Meet The Natives.

"The first permanent settlers in New England began arriving in sixteen twenty. They wanted to live in peace with the Indians. They needed to trade with them for food. The settlers also knew that a battle would result in their own, quick defeat because they were so few in number.
Yet, problems began almost immediately. Perhaps the most serious was the different way the American Indians and the Europeans thought about land. This difference created problems that would not be solved during the next several hundred years"

It took me quite a while to find a decent web page to post up but in the end i found this it was a page telling a story of the first meeting between the native Americans and the first settlers. i chose this section because its a good in sight to how the relationship between the native tribes and settlers began. It started with the settlers needing the natives at first for a few reasons. the first reason was because the settlers were new to this land they did not know how to eat or find drinking water so the needed the help of the tribes to show them how to survive otherwise the settlement of the new land may never of happened. also the settlers couldn't just take the resources the natives had because there was such few settlers at first and battle would just lead to the new comers to the land being wiped out without much of a fight because the natives had such greater numbers compared to the Europeans. There was such great differences between the two races of people. there life style and the way they viewed land. this was just the beginning of there sort of love/hate relationship. because both races benefited from one another. the settlers introduced the natives to the horse which helped them hunt for food etc. and the natives helped the first settlers find food and showed them how to survive on the plains. they also got in each others way of life. because of the natives nomadic lifestyle. and the early settlers just wanting one plot of land the two ways of life clashed so it is not surprising they were loads of battles between the two.

New England settler letter.

Link to letter

I chose a letter from a son to his father and mother. The son, whose name is not mentioned, is an early settler of New England.

The settler states at the beginning of the letter than he is writing to his father to tell them about the new founded New England. The first description he makes of anything there is one about the Natives. He describes the Indians as “crafty people” who are deceiving, cheating, and subtle people. What I find most interesting about his description is how he refers to the Indians as “proper men”. After this he mentions how “many of them go naked with a skin about their loins.” To the English at this time, this sort of attire would be unheard of. However he does go on to say that some of the Indians are starting to get the Englishmen’s apparel.

From the letter, we learn that the people there were often subject to diseases. Diseases such as scurvy and burning fever had killed, while early on in the letter he talks of the decreasing number of Indians, thought to be due to the plague. This suggests that the Natives did not know much about diseases.

The way in which the land and agriculture is described gives us an interesting insight. The settler describes the land as “very rocky and hilly.” The ground is described as “champion” and the soil “fruitful”. He mentions that New England is a good source for timber, acorns, fish, however the cows produce less milk than those in “old” England.

Despite the settler talking highly of New England, what I found most significant about this letter, was found in the last paragraph. He states that he could not get buy without his yearly supplies from “old” England. He claims this would be hard to live without. It raises the question that perhaps some settlers arrived and realised that America was not all it was made out to be.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Clinton blames America for Violence in Mexico

I had difficulty trying to find news outside of America that offered criticism of the State but as I was reading this it has an involvement with Mexico and shows that the blame is partly America.

I have chosen this website because it shows the U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton admitting America's demand for illegal narcotics and arms markets is partly to blame for Mexico's violent struggles against drug cartels. However when you read on you notice that the Obama Administration pledged to send more resources to help secure the Mexican border, it is also mentioned that Obama said that he wanted the US to do more to stop the flow of guns and illeagal cash from spreading into the Mexican state.

Further on Mexican officials have complained that Washington failed to acknowledge the fact of the high US drug demand and weapons creating violence.

I chose this article because it shows an American admitting that her own country is doing wrong and is prepared to stand alongside Mexico in order to help prevent the future violence, drugs and weaponry spreading into the Mexican state

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

How China Views America,8599,1184325-1,00.html

This is an article that I found; originally appearing in Time Asia talking about how China views America and how the country’s progression and development over the past years has affected its relationship to the US. It talks about how students and immigrants from China would first have seen America as "The Gold Mountain epitomizing the promise of wealth, progress and modernity" but also how America seems intent on stopping China from rising to any kind of global power. I thought it was interesting that it was mostly negative views of America when there are so many factors to consider about their relationship. For example there is obviously the controversy from the opposition in the Korean War which officially has not yet been resolved. However, the countries evidently use a lot of commercial trade from the other respectively. The article also goes on to say “Then, in a stunning historical turnaround, U.S. President Richard Nixon visited China, spurring what Arkush and Lee describe as a new period of "rediscovery and respect." By the beginning of China's reform period in 1978, America was once again viewed in a largely positive light by the average Chinese.” This shows how the history and relationship between China and America is ever changing. The article ends by saying “And yet, says Zhang, he isn't pushing his son to aim for a spot at an American university. A decade ago, this may have been the ambition of most Chinese parents, says Zhang, but times have changed: "Nowadays, my son could be just as successful if he studied in China.” This reminds me of how China has progressed over the years and maybe suggests that, being bigger than America, they are heading for more global power than the US is willing to realise.

Irelands view.

I have chosen a critical analysis on Hilary Clinton’s position of Secretary of State, from the Irish Independent website.

I firstly chose to find a piece from Ireland, as Irish-American relations go back centuries, from when the immigrants came to New York. There is also a lot of noticeable American influence within Ireland. More significantly, the Irish have always been very opinionated on the Americans, and in certain situations, rely on them for help and support. The Clintons are popular in Ireland, due to Bill Clinton’s involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process that caused problems for all of Ireland for many years.

The article, while fully supporting Clinton, is suggesting that she has had quite an easy run, compared to Condoleezza Rice, who was Bush’s Secretary of State. It is slightly critical of Obama, suggesting that Clinton is in fact doing better at her job than he is. However it also remarks that Obama is taking the greatest problems the country face upon himself. These are issues such as Afghanistan and Iran.

I find it interesting that they subtly criticize Obama, using Clinton’s successes as well as her manner. It in affect is saying that Clinton is going about matters, in a more subtle, less showy way than Obama, and in a more forceful and substantial manner. This is quite different from the previous view people had of Obama and his presidency. However I feel the article could of dwelled on the fact of Obama facing heavy republican opposition with his policies, while commenting on the so far smooth ride Clinton has had.

Thought this image sumed up the American Cuban relationship and the change that is coming


The website i have chosen to show cuba and america's relationship is a recent one talking about president obama's policy to open Cuba up so the Cuban americans and go back or Cubans to come visit america.
how this website shows it from a negitive side and a postive side.
the website is asking other people what they think of the new policy and while it always gets postive feedback there is a negitive point aswell. such as how much it would cost the American cuban's to go home to visit there family would cost thousands of dollers. and non of them have high paying jobs anyways and there money flow is even less during the time of recession which is currently going on around the world. although the embargo is not being lifted the opotunitity for unlimited travel between America and Cuba would greatly improve there relationship and ease the tention between the two sides.

there has been constent tension between the two countries since castro took over and made Cuba a communist country and that was the start of the cold war between Cuba(USSR) and America. this stand off came to end without any nuclear weapons being used.

also there has been a few moment in time where there on/off war was forgotten about for example the hurricane Michelle which effected cuba lead to america having to send food over to Cuba so they could help recover from it.

I think this website is good because it asks a number of Cuban people so you get a broad opinion on the matter. while everyone is happen for these restrictions to be lifted there is still somethings the peopel are not to pleased about so as the price to get to cuba. And if Cubans come across to America they can only stay in tourist hotels which they also don't have the money for either. still flaws however this shows a major change in the American Cuban Relationship.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Map of America

It would not show the picture for some reaosn but I tried three times so three images may pop up sorry.

I have chosen this image to reveal an interesting aspect of the USA because it allows me to see a different view of the population of America.
We learnt about the population of America in our previous lecture and saw how over populated the eastly coast is and the Californian state.
By using this image with the McDonald industries spead nation wide across America it shows that the coasts are where most of the resisdents of America are, it also proves the idea of how densely populated the rest of the country is indicated by the black spots. Another reason I found this intresting is because America wishes to defeat the idea of child obiesty but then allows McDonald's to spread across its highly populated areas and even areas where the population is sparce.

Map of America

Although this map only shows part of the US and concentrates mostly on the UK and Europe I chose it because it labels America as 'A Land of Opportunity'.

This reminds me of the final chapter of F Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby when he says 'I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world.' The new settlers of America would have seen a fresh start, a land of opportunity which is why it is so often described with similarities to the biblical garden of eden. However, The Great Gatsby finishes with 'So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past' which reminds us that even though they had this new land where people could escape to and restart their lives they didn't maximise this chance and started making historical mistakes such as the American slave trade and becoming notorious for obesity, global warming and other critical social issues in the world.

Map of america

I chose this image from strange maps because a mass number of americans view there country as their home (as anyone would) however compared to other people around the world most Americans do not even leave there country to explore other cultures because in there mind they have no reason to leave america, which is true in a sense because america has such a diverse population of people all different cultures and ways of life have come to America. but it is still not a reason not to go abroad hence there is a percentage of americans who do not have a passport. which shows they will not even consider leaving the U.S.A for a holiday let alone anything else.

On the website above the image the title of the post says "Homeland Is Where the Heartland Is" which in my oppinion is a clever twist on the expression and i think sums up many americans thoughts of there country.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Strange Maps.

I found this eye catching map of mottos most interesting. I chose this because I think that the state mottos are something worth researching.

The definition of a motto is “a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals of an individual, family, or institution.” I feel that the mottos for each state were chosen to reflect the state itself.

America has its own motto, “In God We Trust”. This was signed into law by Eisenhower in 1956. By some this is seen as controversial, due to the diverse amount of different cultures and religions within the states. However, having said that, the country itself is predominantly Christian. Only 6 of the states have their own mottos referring to God.

24 of the states have mottos written originally in English, while 24 have their mottos originally written in Latin. 2 states have mottos written in native languages, as well as one motto in French, Spanish, Italian, and Greek.

The earliest motto is Georgia’s, which dates back to 1798. The most recent motto is Alaska’s, which was introduced in 1967.

My favourite of the state mottos is Oregon’s. “She Flies With Her Own Wings.”
It was first written in English, and later translated into Latin. It represents its previous want for the state to be its own independent territory from the US and Britain in 1854, when it had not yet become a state. I find it interesting that the state still has this motto.

I also find it interesting that even though they are the United States of America, each state has its own identity.

Monday, 5 October 2009

On the otherhand peoples pride in there country can consume them and there opionion could become biased or even racist. im using the confederate flag as an example of this due to the effect it had during the American civil war. and i used this image because i thought it sumed up the meaning of the flag and the relationship between black people and a sterotypical southern American at the time.

Images representing America.

America has a strong sense of pride with its people. The American people love there country a great deal and this is shown in many ways through out time. With war, riots, Protests etc. i have chosen this image as a postive image of america because it shows these man fighting for there country and proud of it. A sort of Brotherhood

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Images representing America

For my two images of America I have decided to look at social class and family values. For my positive image I have chosen a picture in which I feel portrays America's idea for the perfect family.

As you can see from the image there is the housewife and the hard working husband and then there is usually two or three perfect children. For me judging by the picture I would say that they are from an upper class society portraying to future families that America is the best place to raise a family.
However this image could be seen as deceptive because it does not portray anything about other social classes and that sometimes the perfect family is still a dream to be achieved.

This is my negative image, I have chosen this image because when America portrays the idea of the perfect family they do not show how most people often end up when they arrive at America, it also strengthens the idea that while America may be the perfect place to raise a family the money behind it is essential. As you can see from the image, this is middle class America struggling to survive while upper class America thrives on in the city behind it.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

How to blog

When you are signed in, select "new post" at the top right of the screen, a new post will come up and you can type in your text. The toolbar above your text lets you add images and links, or change the text, font, use italics, etc. To embed video, just copy the embedding code from a Youtube video (it's given to you along side the video info) and paste it in.

When done, click "publish post." It is really easy - and if you get it wrong, you can always edit the post - just click on the little pencil you see underneath the published post to edit.

Good luck!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Images Representing America

I decided to look at how America is presented through the media, both positively and negatively. My first image shows Disneyland which reminds me of the typical happiness that is so often associated with America. There are many ideologies concerning the perfect image, as upheld by Disney, that are associated with America that are supported by the media which could be seen as media pressure on American society although I see this 'happy Disney attitude' as positive however fake it may be as it encourages a sense of well being in children and adults alike across the USA. My second image shows advertisements on a billboard concerning the food chain McDonald's and childhood obesity. It is interesting that the two advertisements were placed so closely. This reminds me of the negative reputation America has with obesity and fast-food and of how the world can sometimes view the USA and that the country faces problems amongst it's citizens reminding me the 'Disney happy attitude' I mentioned earlier could also be a mask for these problems. I think it is interesting to compare these images and how they contribute to the image that America has in the media. The second image obviously shows some irony which is why I chose this one specifically when searching for McDonald's.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

It wouldnt let me upload an image, so i have just put the link up for each of my photos.


First of all, I chose my positive image. Despite this being an image from ground zero, to me it is a positive image, because it shows the American people’s patriotic nature. I feel the patriotism of the American people is something to admire. As well as this, I believe that after the terror attacks on 9/11, America showed a great amount of courage and unity as a nation.

For my negative image, I chose a photo of the Klu Klux Klan. While searching for this image, I found a page that said “The Klu Klux Klan – Last Hope For America”. Racism is to me, the most negative point about America. Whenever I am asked about the negatives of America, this is what I first think of. However, America has moved on a lot from these times, the best example being the election of the first black president. Despite this, racism is still strong in parts of America, particularly the Deep South. I believe that this will always be a part of the culture there.

Image signifying America

Chosen as this image shows the plinth and the statue - the American promise and the conflict and debate surrounding it.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Welcome to our blog for AM1111.
Here's how it works:
1. Posting
Every week you need to make a post on the topic indicated in the module handbook. This must be done by 5pm Tuesday. (You may want to follow up the Monday session straightaway on Monday afternoon; there may be set reading that you have to do before you can do the blog.)

To blog, when you are signed in, select "new post" at the top right of the screen, a new post will come up and you can type in your text. The toolbar above your text lets you add images and links, or change the text, font, use italics, etc. When done, click "publish post." It is really easy - and if you get it wrong, you can always edit the post - just click on the little pencil you see underneath the published post to edit.

2. Reading and Responding
Collectively your blogs will form the basis of discussion in the small group meeting on Wednesday. So you need to read them all either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, before 11. At this point please feel free to comment on one another's contributions, e.g. suggesting further material, ideas, etc.
3. Meeting when we discuss the set topic in depth, using the blog postings as a foundation. 11am, Wednesdays, TAB203 (except for week 1, as discussed).
Any problems? Ask me.