Monday, March 11, 2019

Practice IOC

Lucius Vigeant
IB Language and Literature
March 11, 2019

Practice Interactive Oral Commentary

Audio Sample:

Thursday, December 6, 2018

In the news industry, a large portion of the general consensus amongst different political groups can be found simply within cartoon based artistry. In other words, political cartoons have played a large role in setting the stage for public opinion for many decades, acting as both biased opinion columns and different forms of propaganda. A good example of this are the cartoons produced within the opinion section of the New York Times. One of the most recent publications, December 6th, 2018,  titled "Welcome to COP24", addresses the pressing issue of climate change upon a developing world. The author, Patrick Chappatte, utilizes slight handed satire to express the urgency of addressing and attending to the issue of climate change. However, he at the same time is heavy-handed in addressing the way in which humanity is standing idle in an attempt to fix the problem. This can also be seen in his style, where the audience has a minimal level of identifiable expression, but the politician/scientists are fully visible. The simplicity of his style may tie into the level of understanding of the general public. Minimal, but with a certain amount of potential to make a change. Furthermore, the persuasiveness of this cartoon specifically demonstrated within the speech bubbles, clarifies the reason for climate change, and its perpetuation: humanity. This ultimately motivates the reader to look for a way in which they can make a change. Especially within the context of the paper that we can see the man holding: "Time to act!." However, context is extremely important in order to understand the interworkings and significance of climate change. As the reader, symbolism isn't highlighted strongly as the author may expect you to already be familiar with the topic. Therefore, an unfortunate majority of the demographic without the necessary background knowledge may not find this ad persuasive. Nevertheless, the position of the author is not hard to find. The time to act is now, and climate change is a serious and everlasting issue that requires immediate attention from anyone and everyone.

      Original Web Page:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Paper 1 HL Reflection

Recently in our HL Lang. and Lit. class, the juniors had the opportunity to practice the Paper 1 Assessment. This assignment allows for the practice of analytical writing, accompanied by explanatory description, providing the reader/examiner with the "why." In the practice, you make an analytical comparison between two specific texts, whilst you have minimal knowledge on the background and context of each. This allows for the effectivity of the big five to be demonstrated, while at the same time reflecting personal skill and knowledge. Identifying the significance of the context, audience, purpose, and formal and stylistic features are also of the upmost importance in the formulation of the rest of you paragraphs. Due to the ability to practice all of this, and having access to specific student created examples, each of us can have a specific framework through which to move forward and perform in future written tasks. In addition, we had a designated peer review session, in which we had the opportunity to provide useful and insightful feedback on each others work. Using the Paper 1 examples as a reference point, we created brand new outlines upon which we would base our future writing templates and general works of writing.

Cartoon by Cathy Guisewite, 1986.

Bias in the News

The topic pertaining to the raging wildfires in northern and central California have been covered extensively over the past few weeks. Despite most of the U.S. entering the colder winter months, California still exists in a seemingly never-ending ring of fire. According to an article titled "California Today: Camp Fire Matches Deadliest Fire in State History" published by the New York Times Magazine, the nicknamed forest fire "Camp Fire", continues to bring mayhem and destruction to the city of Paradise. It is now alongside the deadliest fire in the state's history.

The times, with its primarily liberal viewer base, speaks to such an audience by referring to the unfortunate news of the fire's devastation as "grim" and "ominous". This is based on factual information that spoke to the rising death toll, currently at 29, in relation to the number of persons missing, which was at a staggering 200. Through this, they describe the urgency and speed at which search crews and emergency workers are tending to the search, incorporating an element of pathos in the process. This, as a result, can lead to the reader being more intrigued to read further, and ultimately support the cause through charitable donations, including a factor of logos.

In this style of writing, it can be concluded that the use of bias by story selection is a possibility in this instance. There were numerous accounts speaking to these fires, and even on Camp Fire itself, however, this Times article excludes a potentially more conservative perspective. This can be found in tandem with the use of bias by selection of sources, as the article references other articles released in relation to the spread of fires in California earlier in the week, also published by the NY Times. This provides an opportunity to explore and gain more context within the framework of the topic, however only under the liberal perspective.

Based on the information and statistics included in the article, the goal of the author can be identified as to simply bring knowledge to the forefront. However, this doesn't mean that both certain points of reference were left out and that an opposing side of the story could have been excluded as well.

"Sheriff's deputies walked through a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire near Paradise.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Gender in Advertising

 On the topic of large industry advertising, in this instance provided by the Gap, clothing products seem to be categorized into two sections: One targeted towards men, and the other women. In each of the two ads, aside from the gender difference, the goal is quite simple: to sell the product. However, in the first ad, it seems to be depicted wearing the clothing as a sign of intelligence and a bright future, whereas in the second, adopting the Gap style is what was popular amongst the crowd. These differences did not change my perception of Gap, however, particularly after looking at the second ad. This is due to the fact that I looked at each at face value, and the way in which they presented the product seemed to be consistent overall. Furthermore, equality is a topic that should be viewed seriously amongst all varieties of companies and corporations. In this instance, the issue of gender equality could be a possible factor to take into account for Gap.

   I believe that the wording used in each ad provides what can be considered an equal environment for both boys and girls. However, this is up for interpretation. Based on this, I don't believe anything should be changed per say, rather can be changed. For example, the sentiment through which they present the product under both boys and girls should be consistent, rather than the two mentioned above (in the differences category). That being said, if a certain company is going to present the general public with a product that can be geared towards boys and girls, they should have a universal branding/advertising technique to clear up any potential misconception. 

  Ultimately, my overall impression of Gap is that they are attempting to be as neutral as possible when it comes to gender-specific advertising. However, they definitely could be more refined as time progresses, thusly appealing to a wider audience. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Advertising, Happiness and The End of the World

 For me the topic of happiness is an expansive one, that has many different sides and points of view. When I find myself experiencing the feeling of happiness, its usually in the company of friends or family, playing my favorite sport, or eating delicious food. All of these examples may provide similar feelings among certain people, and contrarily it may not for others. Nevertheless, the concept of a "happiness index" is a delicate one. In the instance of Bhutan, they implemented what they called the "Gross National Happiness Index", which had the goal of providing economical balance whilst preserving traditional lifestyles. Simply based on its originality and general inclusiveness, this seems like a sound and logical idea. However, due to certain income gaps and unemployment issues, this didn't solve all of their problems. Ultimately, if regulated properly, this form of creating a universally positive and happy environment is definitely a good one. In broader terms, the best way to measure the happiness of a nation is to find a solid balance between a healthy lifestyle, on the terms of a day to day basis.

  Technology and happiness have only been able to be directly connected for the last few decades. In the short story "I have been called a Luddite", Kurt Vonnegut explains that you don't need mechanical/technological devices in order to instill or find happiness in the current day and age. This is something that I can agree upon, particularly because how did people find happiness before technology? Well, people had the whole world to explore, didn't they? If not that, they had plenty of other daily activities that occupied them the same amount if not more so than technology does today. However, since technologies implementation into our society, it has become more and more of a normality to familiarize and utilize it in the attempt to make ourselves happy, or at the very least occupied. Thusly, it is simply based on your opinion alone whether you believe happiness if found in technology or not.

  The article, "But Will It Make You Happy", explores the idea of consumerism in relation to one's level of happiness. In the instance of Tammy Strobel and her husband, they decide that downgrading their way of life, from large amounts of consumerist goods, down to the top 100 personal essentials, is the way they will achieve their ideal level of happiness. Thusly, conforming to the societal tendencies by purchasing whatever will match your economic status, is not, in fact, the way to go. Therefore, the idea of "keeping up with the Joneses", wherein which you apply the tactics mentioned above, is not valid, or at the very least, ideal. Nevertheless, based on the points made and efforts taken by those in the article, I can agree and disagree with the position. On the one hand, if this way of life is what makes you happy, then encouragement of such a lifestyle is positive. However, if you find happiness a different way then sizing down, in this instance, then find what works best for you and stick with it. 

  Heres a good example of what happiness means to me, in the form of an online musical piece:
  Not only is the title of the video "Happy", but it also provides a generally positive mood throughout the song.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Analyzing Advertisements

Online advertisements can have a lasting effect on the way we think in the context of our society. In the instance of the newly released online video commercial "Dream Crazy", by Nike, the message of the piece is backed by inspirational background music, motivational and interesting imagery and image transitioning, all packed into a two-minute long video dialogue. The narrator revealed at the end to be someone actually present within the ad, speaks to each example of working to the fullest and surpassing your hopes, goals, and dreams. Each example includes someone whose origin or circumstances involves hardship, a form of handicap, or humble beginnings. Thusly, those within our society that could be considered the average are not the main highlight in this, but should still apply the same amount of commitment to their goals and dreams.

  The main message can be found within the examples given and the words behind them. No matter how crazy others may believe your dreams are, embrace such criticism. Use it to push yourself harder than before, and reach your goals past the point of simply meeting them, but surpassing them. Given this, it is not hard to uncover the elements of pathos implemented into this piece, as each example of hard work is not only inspirational but full of commitment and hope.

  For me, if I was looking to buy something from Nike for the purpose of accomplishing my dreams, this ad would be quite appropriate for doing so. In other words, they make it clear that Nike is in full support of all of your goals and accomplishments throughout your life.

   Not only are their online video commercials, but there are also print ads that can convey and provide similarly impactful messages, simply with the aid of words and images. A good example of this is the "Fish Chart 2050", by the West Coast Foundation in Sweden, expressing its concerns for the future of our oceans. The simplicity in the construction of the ad draws the eye to what's important: the simple fact that there is going to be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Each image provides an example of the billboard they plan to install along public beaches, which includes anything from a water bottle to a rubber duck. This provides the audience with an idea of what we can do to improve our oceans and allow for future generations to enjoy the beaches we know and love today.

  Furthermore, those who are in fact interested in advancing the developments of environmental work will be more drawn to this ad, and thusly be within the target audience. However, those who either don't believe or understand these scientific predictions may be left out of the equation. Implementing logical and factual evidence provided by scientific research allows for the element of logos to clear up any confusion or misconceptions in this instance, however. Overall, those who are interested in supporting a global effort to improve the planet's oceans will be motivated to support the advertised efforts. This, in turn, would definitely motivate someone like me to support such a movement.