The Drink To A Great Life

If I were to ask a random person on the streets to drink a fermented drink made from tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast; most people would say no. They might even look at me as if I was crazy to offer them such a drink. But if I was to tell them that this kind of drink is sold in every Whole Foods and many other grocery stores, they mkambuchibottsight not even believe me. The drink I am talking about is called Kombucha. GT’s Kombucha is one of my favorite drink and products to purchase at Whole Foods. I not only purchase this drink because it taste good, but of the story behind the product.

GT’s Kombucha started in 1995, when his mother got diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. The doctors gave her less then a year to live based on the size of the tumor. After a couple of weeks of testing they found out that his mothers cancer had not metastasized to her lymph nodes and bones. When her doctors asked her if she was doing anything differently, she said that she had been drinking Kombucha for the last couple of years everyday. Relived with the news, the doctors only could attest that the Kombucha helped not metastasized the cancer. With no business plan and only being a teenage, GT started making Kombucha in his kitchen. He only had the desire to share this drink with others hoping it will make an impact on other people lives as it did for his and his mothers.

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I started to drink Kombucha about two years ago. One of my coaches told me about how this kind of tea and how he feels very vibrant from consuming it almost everyday. I bought one and noticed that it had this weird, yet unique taste to it. I can’t say the first time I had it I fell in love with it, but it defiantly was something I wanted to try again. After drinking about ten or so of them I started to enjoy the taste and also noticed that I would feel lively the whole day. That’s when I got eager to know what was in this drink. Little did I know that I would be surprised to what I found; that it was fermented tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. But that did not really have an impact on my consumer attitude towards the product (Angell, Lecture). What really did, and started making me drink one50plus_healthier_lifestyle every morning was the story behind the drink. Which for someone is trying to live a healthier lifestyle should consider this kind of drink. Not only that, Whole Foods in general promotes this kind of lifestyle with produces like this one; a story or background as why this certain product is health or why they sell this kind of drink (Babin/Harris). Maybe this drink does not actually cure cancer or help prevent cancer. However, to me it gives me this hedonic functional value knowing that what I am consuming, in my mind, is helping me to live a healthier life (Angell, Lecture).

Selling a BETTER LIFE

Eating the proper foods can do wonders for your body and overall life. In my last blog I shared my thoughts on how I contribute some of my success from athletic to buying food from Whole Foods. Not only do I think that buying my groceries from Whole Food has a huge impact on that part of my life, but I have noticed other areas of my life that it has affects too.attitude_is_everything1.png

My attitude towards Whole Foods goes a lot deeper then just how I think there food provides me with the right nutrition for wrestling. I am a strong believer that eating right has some kind of an affect on every part of my life. Since I started shopping at Whole Foods, I have noticed I am sleeping better, have more energy, almost never get sick anymore, and I do not get those horrible hangovers anymore. On a side, I’m not saying I don’t get hangovers because I still do I just don’t get those hangovers where I feel like I got hit by a bus…

With that being said, those five factors that I have noticed changes in have changed my consumer behavior while shopping. My consumer attitudes towards their products has changed the most by how Whole Foods gets me to buy and attracts me to others (Angell, Lecture 2, 9/26/16). Their Slogan alone speaks a lot, “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store.” Whole Foods is basically selling this message with every product the have. That’s not even the best part that I have noticed. Most, if not all of theirkambuchibotts products have a story behind them as well, on how their product does something special for your body. I read about some of the stories behind some of their products and instantly I want to go buy it. My favorite story is GT’s Kombucha, he created this Kombucha that supposedly cured his mother of cancer. Who would not want to drink something that supposedly cured cancer.

This has a huge impact with my consumer behavior because of behavior and cognitive attitudes towards Whole Foods (Angell, Lecture 2, 9/26/16). With that being said, while I’m shopping there any push marketing strategy works on me all the time if they are marketing my consumer beliefs. In the past I would always be comparing those dynamic imagesvariables with each product, but I feel like at Whole Foods I never do that because of the influence they have had on my attitude of buying food there. To me it almost feels like Whole Foods is not even selling me food anymore, but allowing me to have this hedonic value through the lifestyle I live with shopping there (Babin/Harris p.39).

Whole Body Food$

City Investors, INC- Vulcan- 2200 Westlake

City Investors, INC- Vulcan- 2200 Westlake

We all know of Whole Foods, if we have shopped, eaten, or heard about it from someone at one point in time. Most of the time when someone mentions Whole Foods, we all think of the most expensive, organic, and health grocery store out their. However for me, when someone mentions Whole Foods I think of success. Now you must be thinking how does Whole Foods make you think of winning when it is just a grocery store? Here’s why.

huge-49-247987I am an athlete at Michigan, to be more specific I am on the wrestling team. Every sport is different in how you are to keeping your body in the best physical condition to compete; however wrestling is by far the hardest. Being a wrestler at Michigan, a top division one school, keeping your body healthy is a top priority to be able to compete at such a high intense level. When I compete I have to weigh-in at an exact weight or I wont be able to compete. With that being said in order to attain my maximum energy levels when I compete, fueling my body with those proper foods is the most important part of the sport to be successful.

 

As a loyal customer of Whole Foods, it gives me a hedonic functional value based off of the lifestyle I have to live. Lifestyle as defined in the book, “the way consumers live and spend their time and money” (Babin/Harris p.121). In addition, lifestyle has proven to be a huge factor for marketers in how they predict consumer behaviors. The unique way that Whole Foods markets themselves in the way of healthy lives has caused me to become a loyal costumer. Since I need the right nutrition to be able to compete, spending more money on healthier food that will give my body the proper nutrients is worth it. Even though I could just go to Target or Kroger and buy similar food products at a must less expensive price, that food is not giving me the full amount of nutrients I need. If I do not give my body the proper food I will not have that high intense energy to be able to compete and win. From my past years with competing and experimenting with this topic of eating right, spending more money on the right food is worth it since it gives myself the opportunity succeed since my body can endure through the intense level I am putting it through. That still does not me I do not complain about some of their prices at Whole Foods, fifteen dollars for a jar of peanut butter… come on Whole Foods.

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Greatness? Do you have it.

I looked at an advertisement for Nike, which was published in 2013, and part of their campaign called It’s Within. This Nike commercial is challenging this myth that greatness is not just for a select few, but greatness is for everyone, we just have to find it within us. Roland Barthes states in is work called Myth Today, “The function of myth is to empty reality: it is, literally, a ceaseless flowing out, a hemorrhage, or perhaps, an evaporation, in short a perceptible absence” (58). This Nike ad is doing just that, emptying reality, showing reality for what it actually stand for. Myth’s and ideologies create meanings of signs that we don’t tend to think twice about. Still, in order to understand the myths’, we, have to analyze the signs that are displayed in the commercial ad through semiotic analysis.

The Nike commercial completely contrasts with the overriding ideology that is correlated with greatness. When we think of greatness, we tend to think about the great athletes in the world like Derek Jeter, Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, and many more. Never do we think about the high school athlete’s that always give it their all, someone who almost made it to the pros, or in this case a boy running. But our society is fixated on this ideology that you must be one of the best in order to be considered to have greatness. Nike is trying to destroy this stereotypical ideology, which our society believes in, that you have to be certain height, weight, gender, or race in order to achieve greatness. Nike is creating a new ideology that anyone can achieve greatness. It doesn’t matter the height weight, race, and gender, we just have to find it in our selves to achieve it.

As the commercial starts all we clearly see is an asphalt road, which is in the middle of farmland and a figure moving closer to the camera. Then a voice starts to talk about how greatness is just made up, and we believe that greatness is only for a select few, but in reality it for and in all of us. But as all of this is being said we can see this figure moving closer until we can clearly depict that it is just a normal boy running. Which is displaying that with hard work and finding the inner drive we could have greatness. Gillian Rose stats in Visual Methodologies, “A semiological analysis entails the deployment of a highly refined set of concepts that produce detailed accounts of the exact ways the meanings of an image are produced through that time” (p. 106). Nike made this commercial by not using metaphors, but by producing a simple ideological perception of this boy running to create achieve something through hard work.

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As I said earlier, we see this figure moving closer to use, and our minds are fixated on what famous athlete is it going to be (since they are talking about greatness and all). But we soon figure out that it’s just an average boy running on a road in farmland. Why did Nike choose to have this boy running in the middle of nowhere, and not in a city or town? But, as we listen to the voice talking it starts to make since why Nike chose to use this as their setting. At the end of the ad we see the words ‘Find Your Greatness’. Using the farmland is creating this symbolic sign for the audience, in the since that this boy is running in the “middle of nowhere” to ‘Find His Greatness’.

Also the boy gains meaning around these signs, without the farmland the boy could lose meaning in a sense of trying to find his greatness. But even then, if the boy would to be substituted for another person, the commercial could lose or gain some meaning to it making it paradigmatic. Showing these words ‘Find Your Greatness’ in the commercial helps also with the understand for the audience, since its making this commercial relay, by the fact that the words and images are telling us a story. If we didn’t have one without the other then it would be a little hard to understand. The voice in the commercial is used as an anchorage as well to expression to the viewer why this boy is running. As we see this boy running, it’s obvious that he isn’t running this for fun, but to achieve something. This voice talking has a huge impact on this commercial because without the voice this commercial could be interpreted in many different ways.

This commercial is trying to recreate new discourse in our society by concentrating on this idea that you don’t have to be a great athlete to have greatness, you just have to want it yourself. Nike is trying to show the audience that just because your not a certain body type or gender doesn’t mean you cannot be great. But in order to achieve greatness, you have to want it yourself and go out and find it.

Modern Times

Modern Times is a movie most people would call a classic. With it’s message and the values its addresses in the film. Some people of my generation might think of this film as boring and no meaning. For people from an older generation, they might think of this movie as something different. The movie does take place during the mid 1930’s, which were huge years in America. With the Industry revolutions and all the new technology being made.

For the little time we watched this film in class, I noticed something’s that Charlie Chaplin was trying to portray. I first noticed that Chaplin was trying to show us what the workingman goes through in the mid 1930’s. The workingman is portrayed in a way of animals to the boss. I noted that all the workers do is their job and nothing else matters. All the boss cares about is making more money than their rivals. For example, the boss was going to buy a machine that would feed his workers, thus cutting out a lunch break. Which would mean they would be working nonstop, so the boss would make more money. Plus how the sales man did his pitch was a little weird. He had a recording do all the taking instead of himself. I found that a little weird. Why wouldn’t the sales man do all the taking, he should know everything about this product that he was selling. But I think Chaplin was trying to show us that it was just someone in a suit acting like he knew everything but really did not. Which ends up showing us that he did not know anything about the machine, or at least knowing how to fix the machine. I also noticed that all you hear in the film is the machines in the factory, police sirens, and the boss’s voice. We really don’t hear anything else in the movie besides those few things. Which got me wondering, is Chaplin trying to tell us something. Are those the only things that matter in the mid 1930’s; how much you work, what the police do, and what the boss says. I don’t think Chaplin wanted us to hear anything else but those few things. I don’t know why we don’t hear dialogue. Maybe because the workers would just be swearing all the time or because maybe all the workers knew was to do was their job. I mean back then, that’s all that really mattered, was making money for the family.

As the film went on we saw the main character, one of the workers, have a mental break down. I personally found this part of the film funny, since he was messing with everyone in the factory and the police officer. But I saw that a lot of things that contributed to his mental break down. First he did not get a smoke break, which could have relaxed him a little bit. Second, the feeding machine was just a mess and he never really got a lunch break, like everyone else. The third aspect, he was being over worked. The main character was getting behind in his work. When they told him to leave he was still in the mindset of his work and he could not comprehend what to do. Which made him act crazy.

The values in this film are quite poor. They showed us that the workingman did not really matter. All they were trained to do were very simple things. To either screw a nut to an iron sheet or hammer a nail to an iron sheet. Also the boss’s only caring about how much they produce, so they could sell more and make more money. I think Chaplin might have been trying to show us that something needs to change in this country with how we treat the work force and each other.

Cultural Analysis

George Fisher

Mr. Hedges

Writing 100

November 12, 2013

                                   

Dear Mr. Hedges,

            I wanted to find out if violent video games especially Grand Theft Auto 5 affect youths. Do these kinds of video games make youth more violent or aggressive? The audience I am writing to is the parents of youths. I was thinking that this piece would show up as an online article on a parenting website where parents could see if video games make kids more violent, instead of reading whole academic studies and trying to understand them. I am assuming that the parents are going to read this to see what’s best for their kids.

            While I was writing this paper, I noticed that the introduction and the conclusion were really hard to write. I didn’t want to put a lot of my own thoughts in this paper. I just wanted to show parents what the studies show, not what I think. I found that really hard to write, since I had to state things in a general way, which sounds as if I didn’t say them in my own words. I think my strongest parts are my research because those are the facts or closest things to the facts, which you can’t really deny.

            For my paper, I used two studies that I found from the Michigan library site. I wanted some hard facts that I could trust and also the parents could see them too. For my other three sources, I wanted to see what real parents said about my topic. I found three different websites that parents commented on, either about how they felt about violent video games in general or how parents felt about GTA V in particular. Other parents might want to see what they have to say about the game or how they feel about the game.

 

Sources

DeLisi, Matt, Michael G. Vanghn , Douglas A. Gentile, Craig A. Anderson, and Jeffrey J.

Shook. “Violent Video Games Delinquency, and Youth Violence: New Evidence.” Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice ,11.2 (2012): 132-142.

Ferguson, Christopher J. “Video Games and Youth Violence: A Prospective Analysis in

Adolescents” Journal of Youth & Adolescence 40 (2011): 377-391

 “Grand Theft Auto V Rating and Review for Kids and Families,” Common Sense

Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2013.

“Video Game Store Clerk Bashes Parents Who Buy ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ for Their

Young Children.” The Raw Story, N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2013.

Grand Theft Auto Five. Dir. Dan Houser, Rockstar Games, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Grand Theft Auto V Make Kids Want to Kill?

When I was younger, all I wanted to do was play video games, let especially the violent ones. Video games ran my life. If a new one came out, I had to buy it. I had to be the first one to beat it out of my friends. My parents did not care what games I played, since they just viewed them as fiction, not reality. Unlike my parents, the parents of one of my friends wouldn’t let him play certain games because they thought they would make him act violent like the characters in the game. For years now, studies have been done all over the world to see if video games, let alone violent ones affect the youth.

            Grand Theft Auto or GTA for short is a video game where you basically control a character, and you can do whatever you want to do. While in the game, you can steal cars, do drugs, rob banks, get hookers, go to strip clubs, and kill people. You can do all that as you please. You must be eighteen years old to buy this game, but kids still play it. Many parents think that it’s a game that should be banned for anyone to play. One parent says, “But let’s be honest, that is not what your kids will be doing. They are in the game to steal cars, rob places and kill. Half of the ‘fun’ of the game is being pursued by the police and seeing how many stars you can get (each star denotes a “wanted” rating) before you get killed” (commonsensemedia.org). Another parent states, “My biggest problem, and no one else seems to mention, is the abuse of women in this game. Have any of you who ‘don’t think it’s that bad’ actually played or watched kids play it? To get fast points you pick up hookers and can choose to have oral, anal, or vaginal sex with them. (There are tutorials for those who don’t know how) then they can kill them to not have to pay for their services” (commonsensemedia.org). Not every parent thinks this way. Some actually think it’s okay for their kid or kids to play this game. One of those parents mentions, “I think that this game has many violent and awful things, but if your child knows the difference between the game and the real world, they should be fine. My 13 year old son was allowed to get this game because he demonstrated his knowledge that this game is not to be repeated in any way” (commonsensemedia.org). As you see, there are mixed feelings about this game: some thinks its ok for their kids to play it and others do not. I had to do some research to see if video games affect kids, let alone GTA V.

            Numerous studies have been done to see if violent video games affect kids over the past years. One study was done on delinquency and youth violence which was three months long. In this study, DeLisi, Vanghn, Gentile, Anderson, and Shook took 227 delinquents, males and females, between the ages of 14 and 18 and who had been in a facility between 3 and 12 months.  These delinquents had structured one-on-one interviews with a trained graduate student using Computer-Assisted Survey Interviews (CASI). They were asked questions about what kind of video games they prefer to play, how long they play them, if they like video games with violence or video games where the character helps people, and how severe was their crime (hit a teacher or parent, stole, if so, how much was it worth, or sold drugs). From this study they found out that playing violent video games and/or having a preference for violent video games is correlated with the delinquency and violence. Screen time, or how long they played the video games wasn’t a factor. According to the researchers violent video games were correlated with aggression, “Even when considering the effects of a battery of correlates of delinquency including psychopathy-a construct whose relation to crime is so robust it has been likened to a unified theory of crime” (DeLisi, et al, 2012, p.138). What they are saying is in this study, the data showed that wanting or preferring to play violent games corresponds to violence and aggression. What the study cant determined is whether, if playing the violent games made them violent and aggressive or if they were already violent and aggressive.

            Another study I looked at, was conducted by Christopher J. Ferguson, over a year and a half, involving 603 mainly Hispanic youth (Caucasian, African American, Asian American, and other ethnic groups were all at 1% or less). These youths were interviewed also by phone with a trained research assistant using a standardized script interview comprised mainly of items taken from the outcome assessments (CBCL, OBS, NLE) and video game use. Then they did a follow up on the youth and their parents. This time, they sent a media violence questionnaire. On this questionnaire, they were asked what are their favorite video games and TV shows are, and also how often do they play or watch them. Negative life events, family environment, family violence, depressive symptoms, serious aggression, bullying, and delinquent behavior were all taken into consideration as part of this study. Ferguson did this since he wanted to see if it’s the video games making kids violent and aggressive or something else. As the results came in, the study showed that video games and media have only a small effect on making youths violent and aggressive. Overall mentally health was much more predictive of violent behavior. The study “showed for criminal behaviors (both violent and non-violent), although no direct effects of video games or television violence were seen, total media violence consumption interacted with antisocial traits” (Ferguson, 2011, p.388) Violent videos alone do not play a part in children’s aggression, their mental health much be taken into account. “For children with low antisocial traits, media violence exposure was associated with less criminal behavior” (Ferguson, 2011, p.388). This finding suggest, that kids with a health state of mind may actually learn from these video games. They understand that these activities depicted in these games should not be repeated in real life. “ Only for the most antisocial children was media violence exposure associated with more violent crimes” (Ferguson, 2011, p.388-89). What they are saying is youths with mental or social problem are more likely to show traits of aggression and violence while playing violent video games or watching violent media.

            Whether the studies show if violent video games affect youths or not, it’s always up to the parents to decide to buy the games or not. You have to know your kids! You have to trust your kid that he knows that GTA-V is not real, but rather fake, if you think your kid is mature enough to know that GTA-V is just a video game, and its fake. It would be safe to buy the game from what the studies show. If you think that he or she won’t know the difference between GTA-V and that he or she might steal a car, do drugs, or think its cool to get the cops after them, then don’t buy it. Instead of devoting all your time to examining these video games, parents should be examining their kids.

            Knowing your children is the best way to determine whether or not your kid is safe to play the video game. The studies show that violent video games have no effect, or minimal effect on your children. Violence is all around us in today’s society, with the Internet and TV. This generation of youths has to understand what’s acceptable and what isn’t at a young age. I think it shows with all the studies basically showing that these violent video games don’t affect our youth. GTA-V is just a video game. You can turn it off, but real life you cant. Video games don’t kill people; people kill people.

            

“Tweet Nothings”

In Joe Posnanski’s  article he is talking about tweeting nothing. This is a very sarcastic article because I feel like he sees nothing in tweeting. For example he says, “And Titans Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson writes: “In Hawaii bout to get out the room and do something.” That is vague. Do something? Do what? The possibilities are endless. I wait for hour after hour, but Chris never does tell me what he did. He leaves it to the imagination. I promptly stop following him.” He’s trying to show us that tweeting something like what Chris Johnson has no point to it since he isn’t giving us any information on what he is actually doing. The follower wants to know what he is actually doing not just leaving it to us to wonder what he is actually doing. That’s what Joe is trying to explain to us in this sarcastic way. I also was wondering what is the point of his article. It’s ironic because his article is pointless since he is talking about how tweets are pointless. Twitter is pointless since people just tweet nothing.