Tag Archives: Video

Michael Sam

13 Feb

This is what one Dallas, Texas broadcaster has to say about the shock! Horror! of the first openly gay prospective NFL player. 

Gabryszak Video Surfaces

14 Jan

Hey, speaking of odd behavior, here’s the video that former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak sent to a former female employee, as detailed in her allegations. 

This was first posted to the Niagara Falls Reporter

America’s Best Designed City

2 Oct

This is a very nice video, beautifully shot and edited. While I have some issues with its content, I’m wondering who, exactly, is its intended audience? It reinforces for people the notion that you’re not a moron for wanting to live here which is, in and of itself, valuable, but at the end it implores an unidentified person to come and “see it emerging”, and to “feed our enthusiasm and give us courage” and that you can come and “get involved very quickly” and that it’s open to “new ideas”. I beg to differ on that latter point. 

Billed as a movie about the “best designed city” in America, it’s sponsored by a lot of organizations that employ/ed the people being interviewed, and goes off on a few tangents about how we made mistakes with respect to the Kensington, the Scajaquada, the 190, and the Skyway. 

What is the intended audience here? Visitors? People looking to move here? City residents as a love letter to themselves? I don’t get it. Yes, downtown has some gorgeous buildings – separated by massive surface parking lots and no reasonable parking plan, despite a city planner being featured in the video talking about “streetcars” and removing the 190. Yes, Elmwood is nice and walkable. Yes, Larkin is a very nice development that is removed enough from the downtown core that it has a London cab to shuttle workers to where other things are. Yes, Buffalo has made a lot of progress on certain things in the last decade or so, but the majority of residents and neighborhoods live in abject poverty, fear, and dependent jobless hopelessness. Downtown, Elmwood, and its immediate surroundings are touted prominently, but the majority of the city and her residents are not mentioned, except to blame boarded-up east side houses on the Kensington Expressway. 

Buffalo is still a poor field-office city. It’s still a city that is dependent on the charity of foundations set up by the ultra-wealthy families of long-gone industries that used to employ people. Buffalo is still a place that needs a Trico factory more than it needs an Oshei Foundation to tell it what to do. 

Anyway, John Paget is a very talented filmmaker and he made a very nice video. I think it could have used a writer, though. 

When Mitt Romney Came to Town

12 Jan

I’m sure the Obama team and national Democrats would all like to thank Newt Gingrich-friendly SuperPAC “Winning Our Future” for producing this Mitt Romney hit piece for them.

Don’t Be A Sucker

24 May

No, this isn’t an allusion to the contents of another Carl Paladino email

This is a film created by the United States War Department shortly after WWII and around the time that Truman began integrating the military.  The general message is that when we allow polemicists and radicals to divide us into groups of “we” and “they”, we collectively position ourselves to be manipulated.  I remember this film being screened during a Poli Sci class my freshman year at Canisius College in 1993 and thinking it was relevant at the time due to the emergence of the radical right.

I came across it again tonight and I thought it was even more relevant today then it was in 1993.

Enjoy.

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No Embeds for You

6 Apr

I don’t quite understand why the Buffalo News and YNN don’t permit their videos to be embed into other sites. I realize that it’s their work-product, but the videos could be branded with links back to the original stories. By preventing embeds, they deliberately reduce the number of eyeballs who will see their videos. Seems counterproductive to me.

Informing The Present, Part 2

8 Mar

Picture chosen because after re-reading this article, it seems sanctimonious and douchey.

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how my readers perceive the arguments, theories and opinions I put forth on this website.  The lens through which each of you views the individual articles I write about journalism, government, economic development, corporations and general current events.  I always feel the need to link heavily to other sources because I want you to understand not just the subject matter, but how I’ve come to my established position on the issue.  It’s also a way for me to keep track of my thoughts and a running journal of my own positional development.

Each day, I update a segment of my sidebar with articles I read or sites I find interesting, which inform much of what I write here.  It’s on the right and it’s labeled “Your Daily Homework”.   I suppose the title is a bit condescending, but I intend for it to be a general supplement to your daily news consumption at WNYM.  You can either check that sidebar for current links or you can simply subscribe to my Delicious feed by clicking here.  It’s a daily compendium of what I read and leads to a lot of posts not just on my personal corner of WNYM, but on others as well.

Aside from that, each weekend, I’m going to post some videos or links to longer form content which provides a bit of a backstory on how I see the world.  Do I think there is a thirsty bunch of readers out there longing to be quenched with the dew of my intelligence or experience?  Umm, no.  However, if you come here frequently (and a couple thousand of you do each day), I thought you might be interested in the content which informs my opinion and what tweaks my Id and Ego.

This week, I’d like to present a series of videos culled from a documentary titled, Consuming Kids.

Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car. Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children’s advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world.

Consuming Kids pushes back against the wholesale commercialization of childhood, raising urgent questions about the ethics of children’s marketing and its impact on the health and well-being of kids.

Here’s the trailer:

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As a parent of two toddlers, I see the pervasive marketing and advertising that is intended to influence my children and ultimately, my buying decisions.  It’s everywhere, it’s immersive and it’s intended to insinuate brand awareness into every aspect of our lives.  It’s the ultimate manifestation of a corporatist culture which demands that new consumers be introduced into the market at the earliest possible stage.  While we all ultimately have the final decision-making power with our dollars, the marketing stream stacks the deck against those of us who wish to delay our child’s entrance into the consumer culture.

Think Baby Einstein videos are helping your child learn?  Think again.

Think a barrage of sexualized messages about the market’s interpretation of beauty are having a negative effect on your daughter’s body image?  You’re right.

We are the only industrialized nation with no standards or statutory guidelines on advertising to children.  We used to have guidelines on this, but in 1980, the toy companies led a lobbying effort to repeal any limitations or standards which resulted into the bible of childhood marketing, the FTC Improvement Act of 1980.  The documentary does a thorough job of demonstrating that “consumerizing” our children at such a young age results in serious financial and health risks for them.   Click through to watch the film…

Continue reading

Informing The Present

14 Feb

Picture chosen because after re-reading this article, it seems sanctimonious and douchey.

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how my readers perceive the arguments, theories and opinions I put forth on this website.  The lens through which each of you views the individual articles I write about journalism, government, economic development, corporations and general current events.  I always feel the need to link heavily to other sources because I want you to understand not just the subject matter, but how I’ve come to my established position on the issue.  It’s also a way for me to keep track of my thoughts and a running journal of my own positional development.

Each day, I update a segment of my sidebar with articles I read or sites I find interesting, which inform much of what I write here.  It’s on the right and it’s labeled “Your Daily Homework”.   I suppose the title is a bit condescending, but I intend for it to be a general supplement to your daily news consumption at WNYM.  You can either check that sidebar for current links or you can simply subscribe to my Delicious feed by clicking here.  It’s a daily compendium of what I read and leads to a lot of posts not just on my personal corner of WNYM, but on others as well.

Aside from that, each weekend, I’m going to post some videos or links to longer form content which provides a bit of a backstory on how I see the world.  Do I think there is a thirsty bunch of readers out there longing to be quenched with the dew of my intelligence or experience?  Umm, no.  However, if you come here frequently (and a couple thousand of you do each day), I thought you might be interested in the content which informs my opinion and what tweaks my Id and Ego.

This week, I’d like to present a series of videos culled from a BBC4 documentary called The Century of the Self.

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed the perception of the human mind and its workings. His influence on the twentieth century is generally considered profound. The series describes the ways public relations and politicians have utilized Freud’s theories during the last 100 years for the “engineering of consent”.

Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in public relations, are discussed. Freud’s daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in the second part, as is one of the main opponents of Freud’s theories, Wilhelm Reich, in the third part.

Along these general themes, The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality.

Take some time during the next week to watch these videos and let me know what you think of them.  How have corporations and politicians influenced our choices by permanently altering our culture from one based on need to one based on wants and desires, both conscious and unconscious.  Perhaps it will lead to some interesting dialogue.  Unless we understand the fundamental origins of culture, it’s hard to discuss how to change it or shape it in the future.

While huge advances in culture, technology, and wealth are sourced to this engineered consent, there is a darker side.  Ever get frustrated when your fellow citizens don’t vote or get involved in causes or political movements or simply ignore massive corruption in leadership?  This series of videos gives us the insight into how the docile mind and the all-consuming self has been engineered.

Part 1:  Happiness Machines

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Part 2, The Engineering of Consent

Buffalo, USA

4 Jan

Courtesy of Mark Byrnes, a re-do of an 80s era promotional video.  Happy New Year!

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Here’s the original:

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The Story of Stuff

28 Dec

With the chaotic consumerist orgy of Christmas now behind us, I thought I’d take a minute to share with you one of my favorite web videos of all time, The Story of Stuff.

Now, before you get started, this video is firmly in the tradition of polemics and you might want to quibble with some of the facts in the video.  However, the primary principles in the video are what I’m interested in sharing with you.  Our cultural need to consume and the corporatist influence which powers that consumer culture.  It also touches on some topics you might have forgotten since your last economics class in college, things like planned obsolescence, perceived obsolescence and externalized costs.  These issues inform our current societal structures and the decisions we make as citizens and voters and ultimately, the decisions made by elected leaders.

Watch it, process it, and let me know what you think.  Knee jerk libertarian counterpoints will be summarily dismissed and ignored, you bore me.