Walk on by

                When I first started reading Brent Staples “Walk on by,” I wasn’t sure who the narrator was. It seemed to me that it was an observer looking onto someone thinking they were about to be mugged.  As I kept reading it came clear to me that the narrator was the one thought to be ‘the stalker’ or ‘the mugger.’ It seems to me that just because of the narrator’s skin color there was a misconception that he was going to hurt someone, or steal their personal belongings.  The same thing happens when he is in Chicago on the other side of the street from a women, he is walking the same was so she thinks he is following her. This story also shows how he goes from living in a small town in Pennsylvania to making it in New York City. He tries to become a journalist but along the way trying to turn in his drafts/final pieces people confuse him for burglar instead of a journalist for that same paper just trying to get his piece in on time.

                I don’t understand why there are misconceptions. I have heard of several before and to me they are just annoying. Just because the narrator in this story was not the same race as the local paper he was working for at the time, they thought he was a burglar. I do not think that something like that should be a reason. I also do not understand how if he works for the paper, the only person who knows that is his editor. You would think that a couple of other people would have seen him before, maybe when he got the job, or came in to talk to the editor the first time. If someone works for a company there should be no reason that at least one other person knows he works there than the editor himself.


Working Environments

                When I first started reading Benoit Denizet-Lewis’s “The Man behind Abercrombie and Fitch,” I thought to myself that the man they were talking about could not be a widely know 60 year old man. The reason for this is one word that they repeated throughout a lot of the first paragraph. That word is ‘dude.’ It also seems from the beginning of the article that the person narrating this story is not too excited about working for this ‘dude.’  As I kept reading it seemed to me that the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch was trying to live in a false reality. This came across to me when they call the work place or their office ‘the campus.’ It also seems to me that the people working there don’t want to face the reality of their age. They are grown-ups working, not college students. They should act their own age and at least dress business causal for a day at work, not beach/weekend attire. When I was reading it also seemed to me that Jeffries hires by looks. The expression “if looks could kill, everyone here would be dead,” makes me think this. The way people look should mean nothing when you are hiring people for a job. You want attractive people for models, or people being shown out in the public, but not necessarily for working in an office.

                There were something’s in the article about their workplace that made me feel like it was an okay working environment. The way the building was built, a way that ‘encourages communication and teamwork,’ I do think that this way is not a particularly bad way to go about business. You have to work with these people so you might as well work with them and not just around them.

                I just felt that this article, was a good way of how Abercrombie runs, and if it is really like this, then maybe some people should consider this before buying their products.


                After reading Tommy “Follow the Flock” spoof advertisement I got a better understanding on what a spoof ad really is. The Adbusters website is there for such a wide variety of people. I think this is the reason that they have the website. When I read that short passage, I got an understanding of why Adbusters is creates what appeals to people, and turns it around so hopefully it will no longer have that appeal.

When you are a small child, watching commercials makes you want whatever you see; whatever it may be. The reason for this is because over half of the things that are shown on TV, may not be accessible to you, this creates the want. Well Adbusters is there to make you not want whatever was on that ad anymore. An example of this is let’s say for smokers. (Yeah I know that it’s hard for people to quit smoking but anyway,) they are Adbusters like the Joe Chemo ads. Instead of the advertiser being healthy, and excited about smoking cigarettes; this Joe has cancer from smoking too many cigarettes. Adbusters give you a new look at something that looks really excited, but in reality may not be.

The way this relates to what I was earlier talking about is because children what pretty much everything they see on TV. So when they are seeing this other way about advertising, it might show the kids that everything they see on TV, might not be as great as it sounds. They should probably think twice before buying something. This is also the reason that parents might figure out a way for kids to see these ads so that they won’t ask their parents to buy them something that isn’t good to buy.


                When I started reading Kalle Lasn’s “The Cult You’re In,” I understood what was going on and did not have trouble following along, (which to me can sometimes happen.) It started off talking about a man with big dreams, he wanted the best job he could find, a nice house, an amazing car, etc. but for him life did not work out that way. It started when he didn’t get into the college he wanted to go to, and then the state college he went to left him with debt he couldn’t manage. So he went back home, started living in a small condo and working at a not high paying boring job.

                The second part of the story talked about cults and then it went into focusing on this one guy who had had enough money to get everything he would have wanted. He got the really nice BMW, the big house with a 2-car garage. He had money to buy goodies for all the holidays and it seemed was happy. But the part that confused me to this story was the relationship to the cults. Maybe it was talking about how since this man was in a cult he was better off and could afford the expensive things and that is the reason that the 1st man could not. He was not in one (or at least that is what I understood from the story.)

                To me it just seems like the second man had everything the first man wanted and didn’t care about it as much since he had it. I am sure that if the role were switched and it was the opposite way that the poor man would take advantage of the money and not be able to go on that trip to NYC in the same exciting not knowing what was going to happen way, and the rich man would wish he had money, (even though with it he didn’t seem to care he had it that much.)

Edward Said

                Edward Said’s “States,” was not an easy read. I knew this going into it, but still tried my best to get through it. It started off talking about a wedding, and I remember thinking, oh this isn’t going to be so bad, well as I kept reading it got more difficult to follow, and understand. I wish it had gone on with the story of a wedding, something easy to follow, but I did not luck out. It continued on about Palestine, and how the Palestinians’, are isolated to that one place. If they leave Palestine they feel like they have left their home, and it does not work for them. It talks about how in Israel there are the Jews and the “non-Jews.”

I am Jewish, and having grown up learning about what is going on over there is scary to me. I remember when my grandmother, aunt, uncle, and two cousins went to Israel for the first time. At first because of all the fighting going on over there, there was the question should they or should they not go and visit. My family had been planning this trip for months, and when the day for departure came closer, I think the trip was almost canceled for them. In the end they went, but it was nerve racking for us back in America to make sure they returned safely. Anyway, I know there has been a lot of drama over in the Middle East with the Palestinians and Israelis, but at the same time it is sort of like, you each have a place, it may not be that big, but it’s yours. Why does the fighting have to keep going on? Innocent people are being killed for the want of more land, why can’t people just be happy with what they have? I hope that someday soon this will be figured out, because when I want to go visit Israel someday soon, I do not want to worry about whether or not I should cancel my trip!

Mary Louise Pratt

                When I started reading Mary Louise Pratt’s “Arts of the Contact Zone,” I thought it was going to be about her little boy. She started off by talking about baseball cards, and learning how to speak properly and I really thought it was going to be about him. Actually I found her talking about her son more interesting than what she wrote about later on. One of my cousins had problems beginning to speak so it was interesting to me to hear about how these two boys went through it together and used the same speech therapist and practiced on baseball cards. There was one thing that confused me and Pratt did not continue with. It was on the 3rd page of her work, when she said “…experience of his thirteen-year life.” It was brought to my attention there that her son might not be alive any longer and I thought that was sad, this is because she seemed so excited to talk about him in the beginning.

                Pratt’s work was history. She talked about Art in ancient places and how they were thought to be made. I sometimes find the history of civilizations to be very interesting. It really appeals to me because I like to learn and find out how other cultures started. So hearing Pratt talk about these ancient art pieces was interesting to me. First it was about something in Peru, then she moves to talk about the Americas, but I think for her Spanish are was her specialty, and she did a good job describing it and helping the readers visualize how it was started. Of course there were pictures throughout her work so we as readers could cheat a little, but to me I was so interested in how she went from talking about her son to the painting in different cultures.

                I have never been too good at history. I’m not sure if it is because I know it had already happened and not going to change so why learn it so quickly or just that I’m not too interested in it. I feel that my problem is a little bit of both. When I was reading Ian Mortimer’s “Revisionism Revisited,” I think I felt a lot of the same way. I understood why someone who is writing in a “History Today” magazine would have an interest in history, but I personally do not.

                In this article it talked about how certain parts of history are really just an author’s personal opinion of how it happened. The author who is writing about this incident was not there so how do we know that what he/she is saying is really the way that it happened. This is why I feel that history can be confusing, and important details may (down the line) get lost. It may just be a “new interpretation” of the event but still, why do so many people have to write about the same period of time. It can get very confusing to a student to learn about something one way in middle school, and then years down the road, taking a course in college about the same thing and not knowing anything about this topic, when it is not the first time it has been introduced.

                This article talks about how different interpretations of works cannot be looked upon in a good way. The reason it says this is that it is talking about revisionists and that sometimes historians or even just other people in general look down upon them only because when they are revising something, not matter what, it might not be the same way it was written before and important facts may be changed. Another reason for this is because two people may be at the same place at the same time when history is in the making. These two people could observe two different ways of the same thing happening and it can for me just lead to more confusion, when i am trying to learn about both sides of the stories. This is why I do not like history because having to learn something one way, and find out later that Is not the right thing that happened at all. Or just the fact that it may only be part of a huge event.