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.