Digital Manipulation Med130

I feel that the most common use of digital manipulation occurs in the media as it relates to celebrities.  Images are altered for the purpose of making them look better and in some cases for making them look worse.  On the side of making them look better magazines, movie posters, and ads all have their subjects retouched to perfection in an attempt to be more appealing than their competitors. They aim for an ideal of beauty that no one could aspire to without the help of photo shop.   On the opposite side magazines and celebrity news venues have been known to alter photos to make those same celebrities look bad. They are made to look heavier, older, or even placed on another persons body. As with making them more beautiful, this also is a means of attempting to increase sales.

Over all one could view these practices as non-harmful. Unfortunately I have seen these unrealistic images cause issues for friends with eating disorders.  I have known girls that were close to being under weight that still felt they were “fat” and would point to a picture of a retouched model and say  “She doesn’t have lumps/wrinkles/etc when bending a certain way.”   It is very sad it has this affect and that we have such an idea of what is appealing that there is a need for those image edits.

When we see articles online with “Shocking Celebrity Photo shop!” it is usually pictures of famous people looking like normal human beings. I think it is unhealthy for our society to see people picked apart in such a way. It leads to real people feeling they are not good enough.


Below find links to before and after comparison articles.

Photoshop Sorcery: A Shocking Gallery Of Retouched Celebrity Photos

The Reality of Celebrity Photoshop: Before and After

Network Me

I know that a part of this assignment is to compare who we are online to who we are in real life. When I look at my content online v. my real life views there are not as many differences as one might think. The things you would say I enjoy and care about are about the same. The biggest difference , to me, is I feel I seem more confident in my online persona than I often feel in real life.

In this presentation you can see that I like gnomes, I am tagged in pictures of my goddaughter quite a lot, and have a lot of photos of friends and loved ones.  Books are a thing I really  like a lot, and I care a lot about equal and fair treatment for everyone. I am a bit of a nerd sometimes and I also really like to cook. I love my pets, both the furry and the shelled variety and I keep my friends around for a long time.  Goofy hats are a thing as well, though not as many are in recent pictures and posts as I thought there would be.A few of my paintings and a lot of my photographs  are online . I do use Flickr and I feel the subject matter I post probably gives a certain idea of me as well.

Voting matters, or not.

I would like to believe that voting makes a difference. Because of this I do make an effort to go out and vote, especially if there are ballot issues I find important during that specific election.  I have to admit that is is very difficult to keep making the effort. It often feels as though the votes of the people no longer matter in out world run and paid for by bog business.  Sadly many of the most informed people I know don’t vote because they feel there is no reason for it.

Some of the rulings I have learned about in my class on media law this semester emphasize that our nation no longer cares about giving various parties a fair shot at being heard.  In years gone by it was not uncommon to have  candidates for offices from four or more parties. During that time it was also common to have a President and Vice President that were not from the same political party. People had choices for representation and all the candidates were allowed into debates.  Since the addition of section 315 (The Equal Time Rule) of the communications act in 1959 the exception of not having to give equal time in the case of on the spot news coverage has been used to exclude lesser known candidates from televised debates.  The lack of coverage for all candidates has gotten even worse since Ronald Reagan killed the fairness doctrine in 1987. (Not to mention it allowing for the disgusting string of talking heads in conservative talk radio, but that is another topic altogether.)  This death to representation adds to the sense of  despair many feel  in the U.S. political system. It adds to feeling like we don’t have any real choices.

I would like to argue when others say there are no real choices, but when I look at a ballot in Green County and see at least half of the offices only have one candidate listed on the ballot it is really hard to come up with a defense for the system. I know that there are other candidates, they just don’t have the money or the backing of a major party. They should still be heard and they should still be on our ballots.  It just feels very discouraging, but it is the only thing we are allowed to do. So I keep going and hoping at least I make a difference on the ballot issues, even if I am not given choices on who represents us.





Below are quotes from friends that I asked how they felt about voting and it’s importance .

“You know my opinion. Haha… On policies, yes. On politicians, no. Sometimes I feel like anarchy could work if we let it. It is, basically, a contribution to a system of violence and oppression. Every time you vote it’s like admitting you’re being placated. For example, we know our drones are wiping out thousands of children in Pakistan, but we’re ok not seeing it on a ballot. Just prop up the asshole that you’re pretty sure is lying but says he’ll end the war so that you feel better about yourself.”  ~ JS

“Voting in presidential elections is a waste of time because of the electoral college. Every other election is worth voting in.” ~ MBG

“I don’t vote as I do not recognize the system in and of itself as legitimate, and unless you have a way to watch every vote counter or every log of every voting machine there is no way to prove that the system is not being manipulated.” ZM

I would remind folks that Todd Akin is a *former* US representative from Missouri *precisely* because people got exercised-enough about his stupidity to vote his ass out of office. With some few exceptions, the only people who will tell you that your vote doesn’t count (or that the system won’t count your vote) are the people who benefit from you not voting. If 56,761 lame-ass Democrats had voted yesterday rather than sitting home bemoaning the state of the State, Billy Long would be going home and Jim Evans would be going to Congress. These are the people who are going to enact laws making sure there is no such thing as same-sex marriage. These are the people who will privatize (and then piss-away) Social Security. And they got their power precisely because “my vote won’t count” was said in Mizzoury 56,761 times yesterday – one vote at a time.” ~ SF 

My opinion is I consider it a private thing whether or not I vote.” ~ JC

I generally only vote in presidential elections and smaller ones if there’s an issue I actually care about. Part of the reason is I don’t pay enough attention to politics to know who I should be voting for and partly because I’m lazy and forgetful. However, when I lived in Seattle, they allowed and encouraged people to vote by mail and they would mail you a ballot. I never missed an election once they started doing that. I wish they did that here.” ~VT 

“I always vote. I don’t always feel like it makes a difference but I still think it is important to vote regardless. As a woman I think about the women before me that couldn’t vote and the ones that fought to make things different just to be able to vote.” ~TS

I voted  yesterday. I figured with Perry not running for re-election in TX, there was a chance for a real race.”  ~SS

“Yes I vote and of course it makes a difference!” ~SR

“i always vote. it may not make a difference, but at least it gets counted.” ~JJ

I vote. Even when I don’t feel like it. I have voted in EVERY election since 1974. Why? Because I believe it is my duty to help choose the people who make the laws and decide how to pay for all the shit the anarchists think is magically free.” ~ HT

“Voting doesn’t matter because I am going to be choosing between one corrupt, lazy, ineffective politician over another corrupt, lazy, ineffective politician.” ~CS

Homecoming Blackout and The Standard


This is an assignment that I struggle to write as these issues, to be frank, make me want to rage.  The fact that racism and other forms of bigotry are this prevalent in our community, on campus and as a whole, in the year 2014 is very disappointing.   I was already struggling with the fact that the non-discrimination ordinance recently voted in by Springfield City Council is facing serious opposition. It was already making me feel ashamed to call the city of Springfield and this community my home. Despite that I was hopeful that within the academic community here on campus there would be a beacon of hope for the change I would like to see here in Southwest Missouri.  Then I started seeing the reports online about what happened during homecoming. In this single incident of inappropriate behavior of the campus community my hopes were dashed.  Unfortunately the administration’s response to this incident have done nothing to restore my faith in the University.


I feel that the staff at The Standard did an outstanding job covering this issue in this week’s paper.  I admire their move to show exactly what was said. Though these kinds of situations make people uncomfortable we need to see the harsh truth of how things really are.  I feel there are many issues involving rights of many groups that will never be corrected as long as we sugar coat the issues and make light of how serious things are.  Bravo to our Journalist for shining a light. I hope that they will continue to do this, both with issues on campus, and with issues in the community.


President Smart’s Interview on this issue:!smart-interview-/c1z8k

Digital Footprint MED130

Considering the amount of time I have been using the internet I have a reasonably small digital footprint. I have always been somewhat conscious of the content I have shared online so there is not much to haunt me when it comes to future employers etc. There are a lot of social sites that various friends asked me to join that I never really used.  The only awkward thing that came up was an entry for an adult film actress that has my name on IMDB. Well there is a one letter spelling difference.  I would hope it is pretty clear that is not me without taking any extra efforts to distance myself from it. Here are links to the profiles that were me. ( I had a little trouble getting the links to attach like wanted.)



Flickr :




Good Reads :  the profile picture is one of my paintings.


Pintrest:  with all 4 of my pins

Campus Link:

Google+ :

All Trail :


417 Buzz:


Free wire Network:

You sign :|show:petitions


My doppelgangers

Soda Head:




Blog Assignment 2

Below you will find a list of web based applications that may be of  interest to those who enjoy the media arts.  Some are going to be better than others or more well suited to different styles, but all should be fun to have a look at.

  1. Algolux Virtual Lens and Virtual IS  This is a virtual software that is designed to improve photos taken with smartphones and tablets. The comparison photos featured here are pretty impressive.
  2. Steam is one of my most loved cloud based services. Though it isn’t creating media it does give access to a lot of content at a great price as well as offering options for media creation software.
  3. Jam with Chrome is a Chrome browser only web app for making music.
  4. Last.Fm is a competitor of Pandora. It allows you to make stations and such similar to the other service.
  5. This Life is a service that allows you to store up to 1,ooo images for free. They also have some image enhancing abilities.
  6. FotoFlexer  offers basic photo editing as well as more advanced stuff like animations.
  7. LunaPic is another source for free photo animations, they don’t even require a sign up.
  8. allows you 10gb of free video storage and steaming abilities for user created content.
  9. WeVideo allows you to drag and drop video files for editing. Lite version is free and allows you to 15min of video a month.
  10. IMGFlip is a free web app designed to allow you to create GIFs.

Viral Videos Med 130

Leeroy Jenkins

This video is a bit older, but I would say it was the first “viral video” I ever saw. These types of videos are very popular in the gaming community and the first place the captures were really doable were with PC gaming.  I think just about everyone who played or still plays  World of Warcraft has had an experience with a group like this one. Either over planning, or that one guy that doesn’t follow the plan. Blizzard added an achievement to the game “Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!”, as a result of the popularity of this video.  The achievement  awards the title of “Jenkins” to players who kill 50 of the whelps you see in the video   within 15 seconds.  


All About That Bass

I stumbled on this a few days ago. I hadn’t heard of the artist before but  it has jumped from around 20 million views to over 30 million in a very short time.  I think this video is getting a lot of attention for a couple of reasons. The song is catchy, it has a very happy feel to it and this is emphasized in the video by the use of bright colors and lighting. It also has a body positive message and that is a topic that is getting a lot of attention currently.  On the flip side some people are upset about the lyrical content and feel that is is “skinny shaming”.  There have been some fairly nasty comments left on the video.



This is a very impressive  independently made video for the song Sail that has gotten ove 100 million views. I think the popularity of the song pared with the production quality of the video have helped propel it into viral video status.

The Fear of Something Real: Thoughts on new media and human interactions

“Social situations can impoverish real-life opportunities to satisfy certain needs, and the media can serve as substitutes or supplements.” – Mass Communication Theory 

                   I have been in the most amazing media theory class this semester. The professor is awesome and the information is quite interesting. This week we were studying use and gratification theories and the above quote really made me think about the difficulties people have with real-life interactions and relationships in our current society. 

                  Though the invent of social media, dating sites, and broader interaction in the world around us is awesome we seem to be at a place where moving from online relationships to real-life is a challenge for most. In fact many young people today have a lot of trouble actually interacting without the buffer of electronics and media. We can see this having an effect on peoples relationships with friends and with romantic partners. Lets take a look at both of these, starting with friendships and moving toward the more intimate relationships.


              There was a time when people in a community would  gather to talk, play interactive board games , card games or enjoy active activities together. In our modern day and age we rarely get together face to face anymore. When we do it is to go to a movie, play a video game, or interact over other technology. Though these activities are enjoyable, as a society we are losing something of actual human interaction. We now spend time with our friends and community in a such a way that we do not really get to know anyone. We do not know what they are like past our common entertainment preferences. We do not learn their hopes and dreams, or their fears and anxieties. We keep everything on the surface pretending to be some type of invincible and feeling shame if we show any fault.  I believe this leads to the issues of not being able to count on our friends. We don’t know how to handle it if somethings happen that breaks through this facade. If this is true with our friends and acquaintances it is even more so with what should be our most intimate relationships. 

             With the advent of online dating sites and a lifestyle that does not encourage face to face activities to meet a potential mate we can see the impoverishment of real-life opportunities abound.  When we meet people online it is easy to present only what we want them to see. We give them what we want them to know and what we think will give the best impression. Think creative camera angles so to speak. Then after time passes and the other person actually wants to spend time together we don’t know what to do. Many are awkward with real-life interactions or paralyzed with fears of rejection or being found lacking in some area that they exaggerated, or in some cases have to admit that everything was a lie and they may not have even used their real name.

                 With such a lack of intimacy and true understanding in our interactions is it any wonder so many people fall pray to trying to fill their need for closeness and acceptance through media? Unfortunately what results instead are flings, one night stands, porn addictions, romance novels and a plethora of other stand ins for real relationships. All of these things are but empty shells of the thing people are really looking for and really need from their interactions. Like an empty shell the interactions that do occur on this level leave individual feeling hollow still missing the love, tenderness and compassion they desire. A porn video won’t bring you soup when you are sick, a romance novel can not hold you when you cry,  a fling will not give you security and love. These things will not cherish you, help you reach your goals, overcome your fears or be there for you when you are down. 


                When faced with a chance for something real we get scared, we run away and we hide from the reality of a chance at everything we want and cling to the substitute that we are familiar with. We hold on to it so tight that we ruin our connections with real live human beings. We let our fear of vulnerability  hold us back from making those connections and taking the risk that someone might love and care for the real us.In the end many cause so much fear and loneliness for themselves  and in some cases pain to those who do care for them.  We have to start asking ourselves if we are hiding from what is real and clinging to a substitute, a shadow of what we truly desire and need.