Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Soundtrack to my life!

“We’re in This Together” by Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is my favourite band in the history of life. Trent Reznor, the singer, gives me solace no matter how terrible I feel. This song in particular is special because it was the reason my fiancé and I started talking; if it had not been for this song, I may have never actually bonded with him.
“Ein Lied” by Rammstein
This is one of the softer of their pieces and, by far, my favourite. The background music is haunting and the lyrics, about a song that is played for those who love music when they need it, are beautiful. I listen to it when I need a pick-me-up or to sleep; it works for almost all occasions.
“Another Year” by Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer is one of my female idols; she brazen, loud, and brilliant. This song is particular talks about waiting another year to do what you want to and being left behind. I love this song because whenever I feel like putting anything off, I think of this song and try to force myself forward.
“Suavemente” Elvis Crespo
This song is super Puerto Rican and I love it. I heard it all the time as a kid and, somehow, at every family function. Whenever I hear it, I think of my family, Miami (my old hometown), and my heritage, which I sometimes feel like can get lost on this campus.
“Talk to Strangers” by Saul Williams
            This is one of the most poetic, intellectual, inspirational songs I have ever heard. It speaks to me on multiple levels and really helps me out a lot on this campus.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Zombie Paper

·         Steinblatt, J. (2011). The Evolution of the Zombie in Film. Macaulay Honors College Academic Journal, 1(1), pg. 45. Retrieved from

“Murder Legendre, creates the zombies in a similar fashion to the witch doctors of Haiti. He poisons his victim, steals their body, and uses voodoo sorcery to reanimate them into zombies under his exclusive control. Legendre mentions that he keeps the zombies' souls…”

This is talking about White Zombie, which is regarded as the first zombie movie in American history. Therefore, it speaks to the origins of the zombie in film, as we know it today. However, it also shows the huge disparity between the White Zombie slave women zombies and the modern zombies we think about today, of the 28 Days Later or Dawn of the Dead era.

Bishop, K (2006). Raising the dead: unearthing the nonliterary origins of zombie cinema. Journal of Popular Film and Television 33.4 (Wntr 2006): 196(10). Retrieved from

“The true villain in White Zombie is Bela Lugosi's mad bokor Murder Legendre, not the pitiful zombies themselves.”

This sources helps show the shift in emotional reaction to watching a zombie film. In comparison to White Zombie, the empathy the viewer experiences is completely different than modern movies.  While now we root for the humans for go around murdering these zombies, in the past, the zombies are the actual victims and the viewer often feels sympathy for them instead.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

“The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley”

In this chapter, Ronson explains how many diagnoses made the DSM could be inaccurate. Tired of psychoanalyst, David Rosenhan got a few of his friends to go to mental institutions and be labeled insane for hearing voices, although they were sane. Rosenhan then declared that they were all faking and shook the industry to its core.  Robert Spritzer, editor of the DSM-III, reinvented the diagnoses of mental illness as we know it. He began to categorize mental illness in a completely different way, making checklists for all mental illness. However, the DSM-III was bought more by the average citizen than actual psychiatrists had and the era of over-diagnosing began. There has been an extreme uprising is the diagnoses of autism, attention deficit, and childhood bipolar. Ronson then speaks to Bryna Hebert, who truly believes both of her kids are bipolar, and David Shaffer, who believes it does not exist and they kids actually ADD. Finally, Ronson depicts the story of possible misdiagnosed four-year-old Rebecca Riley, who overdosed on her bipolar medication of 10 pills a day.
At the end of everything, I completely agree that a lot of kids are over-diagnosed. It’s crazy that kids who are hyper should be tagged as bipolar and ADD for the rest of their loves. While I believe there are some kids who have ADD, it is nowhere near as many as there are prescriptions for Adderall and Ritalin out there. That being said, I do not believe in labeling kids as bipolar. It is a terrible stigma to carry for the rest of your life and, until you reach adolescents and it can be clearly seen that the child is not just acting out, it should never be placed on a child.
Also, what is up with that book!?!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

“Aiming a Bit High”

In this chapter, Ronson introduces Paul Britton, the disgraced father of criminal profiling in the UK. Britton was one of the fathers of criminal profiling and became famous from his amazing ability to catch sexual psychopaths. That being said, he made very similar diagnoses of sexual predators, the late teen or early twenty loner who loves violent pornography. Nevertheless, he received rave after rave from the police and media. When Rachel Nickell was brutally raped and murdered in front of her son, Britton was called to catch the sexual sadist who did her in. Britton created the usual profile and the police apprehended Colin Stagg. He was released but, so convinced he had done it, they created a honey pot between him and “Lizzie James” in order for him to confess. The letters became increasingly darker and more violent, but Stagg maintained his innocence all the while. However, Robert Napper was found to be the actual murder after killing once again; afterwards, Britton was shunned away. He still maintains he never crossed the line and there are people out there to corroborate his story, although no one has.
I really enjoyed both chapters, but for different reasons. Chapter 8 introduced David Shayler, a character of both interest and pity. I really love conspiracy theories and Shayler’s take the cake. Each new theory was more misguided and he kept building his crazy cake higher and higher until no one wanted it anymore. The sad part is he believes it himself and appears more mentally ill than psychopathic. Chapter 9 showed the shady lengths the police will go to in order to prove their theories correct. The honey pot they ran on Stagg was so explicit and entrapping and the poor boy only played into to have sex.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

“Something Borrowed”

In “Something Borrowed”, Malcolm Gladwell ponders to what extent is plagiarism stealing and whether or not it is plagiarism if one were to steal someone’s life story or simply words. Byrony Lavery writes a play called “Frozen” and it is a huge success. However, soon afterwards, Dorothy Lewis, a psychologist who works will serial killers, is bombarded with calls that she will love the hot new play; this is because it is seemingly all about her life, from her kiss with a serial killer to her affinity for biting. Lewis is very upset about and files a lawsuit against her. However, upon Gladwell meeting Lavery, she explains that she did not believe she was plagiarizing since she read her profile in the newspaper. She did not fail to credit Marian Partington, the women whose grief-stricken personal story went in to creating the mother of the murdered girl in her play. She thought it was fine and legal to take Lewis’ profile because it was “news”. Gladwell then goes on to explain countless musical artists who takes chords and notes from other songs, but do not believe it to be plagiarism because it is art and they make it their own. Art is considered much more acceptable to borrow from, but with the written word, people take serious offence to plagiarism and find it unacceptable.
I really enjoyed this piece. As a college student, the consequences of plagiarism are extremely severe. I agree with Gladwell in that, while it is not good, it should not ruin someones life completely. Gladwell found it in himself, just like in “Frozen,” to forgive Lavery for her transgressions of copying. It seems odd to me to think that anything is still original, since there are 7 billion on this plant now and have been many more over the last 2000 years. Full on theft of whole paragraphs is not acceptable but no one owns words but the dictionary.