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Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Social Awkwardness

In Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on July 31, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Asperger\’s Syndrome – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

The thought of not being apart of society or not fitting in can start at such an early age and unfortunately continue through adulthood. Getting bullied, talked down, abused any one of these things probably more can develop into social awkwardness. It is quite sad how society as a whole reacts to people that socially awkward. People who suffer from social awkwardness are described as “active but odd”, which is true, but since when was that a bad thing? If we were, all the same, would we really be satisfied? Social acceptance has become ridiculously overrated where people are so quick to judge.

When I think of the word social awkwardness I think of the TV show Boston Legal. There was a character (Jerry Epenson) played by Christian Clemenson. The character Jerry was obviously a little different than the rest of the characters, random outbursts, and odd behavior. This led me to be irritated and was going to stop watching the show, then my partner said, hold on it gets better you just have to wait and see what happens next. Being a television addict I stayed and watched the next few episodes. It was later discovered that he had Asperger’s syndrome without even knowing it. This led me to feel that I had judged and felt quite like a tool. Granted this was just a television show, but Asperger’s syndrome is real and the character Jerry is somewhere a real person in our reality who probably does not get the respect he deserves. Several months ago when I was talking to a friend about this character I had mentioned Asperger’s and she had no idea what I was talking about. The truth is if we were to see someone on the street flapping their arms and in “odd” behavior, we may look; stare, gloat, or worst of all walk away. People who do have Asperger’s are usually highly intelligent some are even gifted; unfortunately rarely get the recognition for it. Asperger’s is a mild form of autism, which is where the social awkwardness is developed. According to Asperger’s Society of Ontario, 74, 356 individuals in Ontario living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

There are various groups in Toronto alone for people who are not comfortable being in a social situation, it just takes a little effort to find something that suits you. No one should ever suffer from something they have no control over, times a different; there is a group for almost anything today.

People who do not even have Asperger’s can just be uncomfortable in a social situation; I used to be like this due to my stutter. I had shut off from the world for a period of time. I was sick and tired of being judged for a little stutter that I did not want to be apart of a society that wouldn’t accept me for who I am. Over a long period of time I am overcoming this, and seeing I am far from being alone, and if someone can’t accept you for you who are, let them have it on their conscience, not yours.

Always a Kid at Heart

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on July 30, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Being a Kid at Heart – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 31, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

It would be fair to say that most children who are young want to grow up fast so they can do the things that they see everybody else doing that they can’t. Then not too long after that those kids become adults and want to go back to being young and innocent. Things don’t really change though when your 8 or when your 28, you still want to make friends, you want to belong, you don’t want to disappoint your parents and most importantly you still want to play video games!

For those that did not have a lot of friends growing up or never felt a part of, computer and video games seemed to do the trick to pass the time and never felt alone. Although this may be sad, it is true and some never grow out of it. But why do we need to grow out of being a kid? I still have the first Nintendo set from when I was 8 years old, 18 years later I still have it. The difference is now I don’t have to play alone, it turns out most of my friends love playing video games and we are all in our mid to late 20’s.

Yesterday I had received my HST cheque from the government and I was thinking do I spend or save it? If I did save it, it would be going to a vacation in about 3 years when we could actually afford one. OR, do I spend it on the new Nintendo Wii that I can use now and when not in school I can have some downtime and just kick back? After pondering it in the Best Buy store for 45 minutes I decided to make the purchase.

Everyone has their own source of entertainment, rather it goes to the bar, sees a movie, bowling all of these things that cost money or go to a friends house play video games and have dinner. Boring to some thrilling to others. That’s where the stereotypes start to fall in, no one should ever need a label anymore, that is the one things that is free to stay in the past. If you like to play video games you like to play, plain and simple. The only thing that we must remember it can’t take over our daily lives as it may once have when we were kids. We can still enjoy the things we like doing just in moderation.

Currently working at a video rental store I would say more than half the people that are renting games are over the age of 25. There are some parents who are renting, and I think they are renting them for the kids, a gentleman once said to me “I want to play call of duty when they kids are asleep”. It doesn’t help that the games that are coming out mostly have a M+ rating which is hard for those under 18 to rent anyways. It is no surprise that video games are still targeted at adults. Now there are a variety of different consoles that do meet the needs of those who want to play video games. I chose the Nintendo Wii cause it is family oriented and user-friendly. I always say if it doesn’t have an “A/B” controller I don’t want to play it! I may love video games but I certainly do not need them to be complex.

We can grow up in other ways and still be a kid at heart loving the things from our past is a rare memory for some to attain so why get rid of the things that made who we are today?

Closing Time

In Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on July 29, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Addiction – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 29, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

If you ever had or still have a problem with drugs and alcohol you know it is OK to say, “maybe I’ve had too much this time.”

If you are still here to say that phrase and are willing to get the help to stop you are already ahead of the game. It is a deadly disease that we are not always aware of, and our mind can play horrible games on us thinking that lifestyle is going to get us through life. We all deserve to living and have the ability to love our life regardless of our past. Those who come from broken homes, incarcerated or even sadly abused are in the same category of those that come from money, education and good families. Regardless of our past, where we came from is no contest to where we all have the capability of going. Every single person that struggles with addiction still gets the right to change his or her lives around. When I decided to see what a life could be without hangovers and forgetting what I did the day before, there was this sense of clarity and hope that the things I loved more than anything I could have back over a period of time. It is indescribable the freedom and joy one can get just being apart of reality and their surroundings.

It is truly frightening knowing that “that lifestyle” is changing and progressing to something more dangerous if that is possible. Kids are starting younger and the drugs are getting stronger with more consequences. There about a hundred songs that I am sure you find less than 10 seconds about how drugs and booze are how great they are. There is one particular song with a set of such powerful lyrics makes you think. The Solo group Iamx puts it quite bluntly and direct “If you chose life, you know what the fear is like.” That sticks out for me in another light now that I do choose to be apart of my families’ life, going back to school, trying to find happiness in all aspects of my life.

Shouldn’t everyone get the opportunity to get that? When I stopped that lifestyle I wasn’t promised anything other than just TRY. TRY has helped thousands of people around the world including in myself. The one thing I am truly grateful for is self-believe in myself and others can see the progress and is a continuing journey.

Everyone has a choice, and at the end of the day, we know what is right from wrong if we are in a clear headspace. Drugs and Alcohol do not need to make up a person as a whole, for the children, college students and grown adults it is never too late to say hey “maybe I’ve had too much now.”

Caution Ahead

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 28, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Speed Limitations – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Jennifer Winters - July 28, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

There are speed limits, caution signs and construction warnings all over the world when driving.

These also apply to our life when you break it down. Time goes by so fast; I have talked about how we should not live in the past, but living, for now, that is a whole other ball game. It is mind-blowing how fast the time goes by; sometimes we even need photographs and listen to music that reminds us of where the time went just to slow down and see what has happened in our lives to get us to now. I recently took a new approach to life; I always thought I was living just so I could die. I was quite depressed about it, and then a little light bulb had clicked. Death is not now, so don’t worry about it now, appreciate the little things and don’t take anything for granted because you never know when your last day will be. The green light is to move forward and to continue with the appropriate speed limit. Let’s consider the yellow light a warning, to slow down and stop if it is safe. The red light is the one that everyone has trouble with, as it seems. We are supposed to STOP if it read it’s a good indicator to not go through if we do accidents may happen. Sometimes we just need to stop what we are doing and take a breather. There are two things that are unavoidable in life: Like a traffic light we have choices, it’s what we do about is what matters. There is very little that we do have control over so staying honest and true to ourselves while living in the moment is a simple suggestion. Everything does happen for a reason, we need to acknowledge that once in awhile or else you might as well run through the red light. Death and Taxes, neither of these we can legally cheat.

Big Wheels Keep on Turning

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 27, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Sports Gear – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Jennifer Winters - July 27, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

There seem to be two seasons when it comes to transportation: Winter & Summer, however, although winter may be cold there are advantages that people may be unaware of.

When the wintertime comes around it all abuts the snowboards, ski, skates, and toboggans all of which have designated places. Why is it as soon as the sun gets bright and beaming those who ride bikes and rollerblades have no concept of sharing the sidewalk with those who are walking? Bikers and those who rollerblade admittedly have it bad where they get honked on the street for being too close to a car or people scream at them for being on the sidewalk. There has to be a happy medium for all of us who like being outside in one way or another. Today the sun was absolutely gorgeous; it was a busy but peaceful walk along the harbor front when a guy comes zooming at a ridiculous speed on the sidewalk with his bike. He got mad at us for being in the way when there was no line for bikers at all. The thing I do not understand is if cars have designated roads bikers and skaters should get the exact same, cars have horns to warn people if the bikers don’t should those who walk carry a whistle? It is just irritating because biking and rollerblading in the summer is one of the greatest things to do practically at any age and good exercise as well, is it just possible to not run over people with their wheels?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

In Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on July 26, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Karen Clarke Writes About Relationship – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Karen Clarke - July 26, 2010

By Karen Clarke

So after finding out that my husband, let’s call him “J” was cheating, the first call I made was to a woman’s centre to set up a counseling appointment. Not to my mother, God, never to my mother, not to my best friend, but to a counsellour. Odd, huh?!

I needed to make sure that I didn’t screw things up. I had to make sure that I found the way out properly, functionally, differently than before, when I would throw him out for lesser offenses, and then regret it. I booked my appointment, called one girlfriend, briefly explained the scenario and made plans to stay with her for the weekend.

I felt physically ill, shakey, and my heart literally hurt. The impact of what I had just learned and the inevitable shameful fallout was more than I could even comprehend at the time. All I could think of was,”We’ve been married for less than 4 months. How can I explain to people who were so happy for us?”

I wasn’t mad. yet.

I just knew I had to get the hell out of my house and fast.

I grabbed the kids after school, threw some suitcases in the car and raced to my girlfriend’s.

In hindsight, it was the best thing I could have done. I didn’t want the kids to see a confrontation that would be knowing my temper, be volatile.

As I have matured, I have learned when earth-shattering things happen in my life I have to process the event first, and then react. Not thinking before reacting can often make a bad situation worse or shift the focus from someone else’s behavior onto mine. I still look back at myself with a kind of awe that I was able to act so sensibly, knowing how much pain I was in. But I wasn’t shocked. As I have said before, I knew before I knew.

My friend was extremely kind, and never made me feel ashamed or embarrassed. As we sipped our drinks that night after getting the kids to sleep, (ok, I guzzled, she sipped) she suggested ironically that
I was now part of a prestigious club.

“If Haley Berry, one of the most beautiful women in the world gets cheated on, why should any of the rest of us think we’re immune?” she said wryly.

She made it clear that the shame was his not mine, and that I should never feel embarrassed to tell those close to me what was unfolding.

I’ve learned through this experience that women don’t take this lightly, and they are indignant on your behalf but all the while they quietly accept that infidelity is the norm.

It’s as though we all expect each other to have to face this at one time or another and are resigned to the inevitability of it happening. Almost like the well known and dreaded stats, one in three women will develop breast cancer, it would appear one in two women will also develop relationship cancer.

I had discovered the “lump” early and it was time to explore my different treatment options.

I have read and discussed first hand the accounts of others, and how they have dealt with the discovery of a partner’s betrayal. My first instinct, heavily fueled by alcohol, was to lash out, do damage, strike hard and hurt, the way I was hurting. But I didn’t want it to be about me. If you do something to the offender they are more than happy to have the opportunity to quickly shift the focus away from them and onto you.

So, although I have read accounts (and I will confess briefly considered the thought) of spray painting BMW’s with zingers like, “I hope she was worth it!” , giving away prized wine collections, breaking into work email accounts and notifying complete address books of the news that he has Gonorrhea, or even taking out billboards revealing that he is a cheating whore, I chose to take the higher, albeit, the less immediately gratifying road of staying true to who I am.

I am a good person and I refused to let him change that about me.

I won’t lie, I did pitch a glass at his head once, without provocation, while he was doing dishes. It missed but shattered thunderously into a million little satisfying pieces. It was orgasmic. But that was it.

We came home from my friend’s two days later. I had not left any explanation of where we were, and he didn’t ask. I was certain his girlfriend had called him after we finished our conversation and informed him that his”wife” had been in touch, so I didn’t feel it necessary to justify my disappearing act.

He slept on the sofa for two more nights before I finally felt ready to deal with him.

I told him we needed to talk and asked him if he wanted a drink. He declined.

I poured myself a stiff gin and tonic and requested he join me at the kitchen table. He obliged and I took a deep breath, steadied my shaking hands and began the most painful conversation of my life.

Before beginning, I asked him to do me one favor. Do NOT, I requested, do me the additional disrespect of denial. If, after hearing me he said nothing, I would prefer silence to another lie.

I prayed for strength and I began.

I apologized for invading his privacy but admitted I had searched his cell phone because his behavior was so suspicious and although he claimed I was always paranoid, I needed to put my feelings to rest one way or the other.

I explained that I had seen the text messages soliciting two different women the night before which prompted me to dig out the old phone bill I had confiscated. Then I explained how I began calling numbers and was finally fortunate enough to speak to the woman who gave me the information about their affair. I spoke almost conversationally, emotionless, as though I was relaying gossip about someone else and stuck only to the facts. Inside though, every muscle in my body felt tight.

He kept eye contact with me while I spoke. When I stopped he asked me if that was all. I nodded and he got up and left the room. He had said nothing.

I felt a huge sense of relief like a massive burden had been lifted off my shoulders and transferred onto his, where it belonged.

I went upstairs, musing that single life would not be without small benefits. I loved the freedom of not having to shower before bed since I was sleeping solo.

J came up shortly afterward and defiantly opened the bedroom door.

He demanded a name, the name of the woman I spoke with.

There it was.

The gameplay.

The denial.

It had taken him 20 minutes to re-group but that was going to be his pathetic strategy.

I told him I was sure he already knew after speaking with her that she was not comfortable giving me her name.

“If you don’t have a name then you have no proof”, he said.

“You seem to be under the assumption that I need you to confirm something I have already confirmed myself,” I said.

“I don’t.”

He started to argue and I cut him off fast. The heat in my voice stopped him

“At this point, you really are just lying to yourself, to do what? Save something you already threw away?”

“Get out of my room, I said, ” And shut my fucking door.”

Sunday, March 28, 2010 …AND SO IT BEGINS….

In Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on July 25, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Karen Clarke Writes About Relationships – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Karen Clarke - July 25, 2010

By Karen Clarke

Not sure why I’m doing this or if anyone will even care but I think I plan to use this blog as a tool, a way to express myself and share the insane life I have subjected myself to.

Don’t know what I expect out of this except maybe some feedback from others who either can or cannot relate to what I am going through.

Plus I need to see if I can still communicate efficiently if people can relate to me…

The catalyst: My relationship of 11 years and subsequent marriage of 6 months is ending.

This devastating revelation has forced me to realize that I have lost touch with me and I can use this forum, this blog, as a type of virtual therapy. (can’t afford a therapist!)

So I welcome you to come along on my journey of self-discovery and my quest for, if not blissful happiness at least inner peace.

I fully plan to bare my soul on these pages and share the whole process, the self-doubt, the anger, the resentment, the self-loathing, the exhilaration of success, everything I go through.

I am terrible with setting goals and keeping them so I vow here and now that I will write at least 5 times a week for the next year.

So this is it…here we go…

Tweet This!

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on July 24, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Technology – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Chris Temelkos - July 11, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

I was about 7 or 8-years-old when I saw a man pull out a portable brick-sized phone, and for the life of me I could not figure out where the cord had gone. I was dumbfounded that having a portable phone was possible, for someone that was practically raised by a computer it was astounding.

Had the new technology developments stopped there I truly believe our lives would be a little less hectic, as we know this is not the case. Between BBM, FB, Twitter, MySpace, and I’m sure 10 more were developed right now, it is no wonder our brain is lacking general common sense. I am guilty, I have the iPhone, and the first thing I do is check my e-mail than my Facebook. When did it become everything we do and our daily routine then had to work around our social networking status? It’s almost as if we do not how to be around other human beings if it does not involve being in front of a screen. The other day I was walking along the street and someone walked right into me, I was thinking to myself: “this isn’t actually going to happen”, they were so busy texting BAM!. The lady walks right into me as if it was my fault that I didn’t give her the texting space that she needed. There was no apology given, she had just continued to text and walk. This has gotten to the point where I am ready to trade in all my gadgets for peace and no “signal error”. I would like to consider myself a techno-savvy person, but I can start to appreciate those who do not own a cell phone, television, or have Internet and still be active and aware in our society. Whatever happened to the “emergencies only devices?” did that really ever exist? I love technology it is how I met my partner, how I keep up-to-date with people around the world, finding all kinds of great knowledge, and so on. However, would it kill us to stop for a day? There just seems to be no balance in our daily lives, no wonder companies can charge an arm and a leg for these services because they know we will buy into them. The picture above is one of my personal favorites form a trip in Southern Ireland in 2007, we were caught in traffic, absolute gridlock, by a few dozen cows. I have never been so happy to be stuck behind cows, it had made me stop and think about the things we really take for granted. Our lives may be filled with new gizmos and gadgets, and there is not enough espresso to go around, but it’s okay to give it a rest once in a while!

Live and Let Go

In Beauty, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on July 23, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters - July 19, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

The one thing that is easy to hold on to is the past and is the one constant thing most people are in denial about. There is no doubt that we think with our heart most of the time rather than our mind. There will be regrets, triumphs, tragedies, obstacles and so on that will keep us in the past regardless if we had any control over the situation or not. Tonight I was on the subway on the way home from work and my mind started to drift to a time where I thought I was happy but deep inside I was at my worst. I never wanted to admit this and went against everything my heart had felt to feel whole.

The irony of that moment is it was several years ago and it still comes up from time to time. I think there is a little part of us that needs to hold on to the past but it needs to be in places that will no longer hurt us from within. If a drunk driver hits somebody and kills the other person that is something that they have to live with for the rest of their lives, the guilt and shame that comes along with that I couldn’t even imagine, but that person still has to live with that memory. Everyone has a past that they may not be too proud of at one time or another but we must be willing to forgive ourselves for our past and realize that there is a future waiting for us, all we have to do is live in the present. The “what if” theory can seem so surreal when we don’t know what to do with ourselves when we see the outcome of one situation and think about how it would have been different. If you are one who rushes to get the next train and misses it do you contemplate how you would have gotten to the platform faster or think about what could happen next to you in that moment? It is easier said than done, that is no question, but it is true non the less to just live in the moment and see what happens next It is far harder to do than not to think at that moment in the past that would usually stop us from living for now. I always thought as a kid if there really was a time machine I would love to go back in time and change everything I have done or change something in another person’s life that would better them now. However, when reality sinks in I realize that there is no time machine and I would be powerless over their decisions, to begin with. It’s a nice thought but we must remember that the past is the past that is not going anywhere. What is important is the past has the ability to make us stronger and grow from our experiences and letting go of what we had can only lead to what we have now.

Human Dignity Amongst the Clouded Priorities

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Writing (all kinds) on July 22, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Julianna LaRocque Writes About Dignity – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Julianna LaRocque - July 22, 2010

By Julianna LaRocque

In today’s society, it is incredulously easy to get caught up in the wrong things. There is immense pressure put on the physical things, that I feel that we lose touch with what is truly important. Of course, I am not condemning selfishness, but I am a firm believer in the idea that once a person completely and wholly believes and understands themselves they are better able to help others. As the old saying Proverb goes, one must clean out the plank out of his own eye before looking at others and their faults. No one is faultless or flawless as our society would love to believe. In the world today, we drown ourselves in the idea that we know everything, that everything is at our fingertips or that anything is possible, but it is quite on the contrary. The whole point life is to journey, to discover and realize that in end, you know absolutely nothing.

I do not want to seem preachy, by any means. I just feel like ranting about the fact that nowadays people are pointing towards others, without realizing that there are still four fingers pointing back at yourself. What is the point of this crab in the bucket state of mind, it gets no one anywhere. Why have our morals and ideals changed so dramatically? Why have we lost touch with the bigger picture, while still missing the minute details? Unfortunately, I am losing hope. I say this without attempting to be pessimistic, I try to be realistic. With that being said, my feelings are like this because as I look around, the places I go, everyone is moving fast, to a destination unknown, to a place where they stop feeling and empathizing to a place, where they cannot connect, Like Northrop Frye tried to touch upon, we must find the human dignity embedded within us, that we have so sadly lost. My question to you is, can we get it back? Are you willing to find it within yourself?

Light Vehicle Sales – May 2010 (updated to include Volvo )‏

In Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 20, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Dennis DesRosiers – July 20, 2010

Dennis DesRosiers – July 20, 2010 – 1

Dennis DesRosiers – July 20, 2010 – 2

By Dennis DesRosiers

Comparables … a nasty little word that many OEMs don’t like to include in their monthly press releases. By this I mean everyone likes to be selective in terms of which months they compare their sales to with the obvious intention of making themselves look good.

The proper way to look at sales is to take a longer-term view and not to focus too heavily on the month over year-ago month sales since at either end of this equation there can be some funny things that make sales performance look either very good or very bad. That is why we now also publish a SAAR with our monthly sales release ( see attached chart ) which takes 10 years of monthly sales data and estimates what the current month REALLY is telling the market given long-term trends. For May the SAAR was 1.45 million units … atrociously low by any measure and much worse than the 0.6 percent increase that the raw numbers indicated. It is now coming up on a year where sale have been tracking on a SAAR basis in the 1.5 million range … this should tell the industry something if any want to listen. Look at the six months trailing average line in the chart .. pretty flat.

And it is interesting to look at specific OEMs against a fairer comparison. In this case, I did a simpler analysis. Instead of comparing their sales to 2009 I compared them to 2008 which was a more normal May in the long run. Perhaps a little high compared to earlier in the decade but a lot fairer comparison than May 2009 when sales were in the toilet especially for some individual brands like Chrysler and GM who were in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings. For instance, Chrysler reported a sales increase in May 2010 of 53.5 percent over May 2009 but when compared to May 2008 Chrysler’s sales were actually down by 23.3 percent for the month. YTD Chrysler’s sales are up 27.9 percent from 2009 but still down by 18.3 percent from 2008. I think you get my point. I put together a small table of the top six OEMs which is attached and I encourage you to take a close look as there are some surprises. Like Toyota being down Jan-May by 22.9 percent from 2008 and Honda being down by 30.4 percent for the same period. Honda indeed is the worse performing and Toyota is the third worse performing OEMs on this chart when a fairer comparison is used. We had gotten so used to these companies walking on water that we lose track of the fact that they can also stumble from time to time. And look at Ford and Hyundai … both up nicely not only on the month and YTD from a year ago but also from two years ago. Now that is impressive.

I can’t explain May sales being so weak. We have been saying all along that sales have been lean for some nine or ten months but nobody would have predicted that May would be this bad especially on a SAAR basis. It may be the fleet that is behind this but we don’t see fleet sales for a number of weeks. And there is no doubt that Canadians significantly overbought vehicles for most of the last decade so maybe it is “needs” based buyers that are NOT in the market. Anybody who bought a new vehicle in the last 5 to 8 years quite frankly doesn’t NEED to buy another for quite some time. The average vehicle bought in the last 5-8 years will not be scrapped for at least 15 and possibly 25 years and will last 350,000 to 400,000 kilometres. So the fundamental need for a new vehicle is weak and is unlikely to strengthen for quite some time.

Also congrats to those OEMs who showed serious sales improvements this past month .. the list is long. Mercedes Benz up 22.2 percent, Subaru up 25.6 percent, Volkswagen up 9.0 percent, Audi up another 13.4 percent, Ford up 19.4 percent, Chrysler ( see earlier comment ), Kia up 13.9 percent, Land Rover although small they were up 29.9 percent and the same with Porsche up 19.9 percent. These companies are all feasting on GM who were down 17.6 percent, Toyota down 16.6 percent and Honda down 28.2 percent.

Till next month.

Dennis

I Do! Part 31

In Beauty, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 19, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Marriage – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 19, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

The summer is almost here, the shorts and skirts are out, patios are bright and beaming and ‘tis the season to break up? Over the last few weeks, most of my friends that are not married yet are breaking up with their partners some short relationships and some that have been going on for several years. I have been married for little over a year, and sometimes I worry about one thing, how do you keep the romance going seeing that everyone else is not? Then it dawned on me that today was my parent’s 31st wedding anniversary and they are still going strong with everything they have gone through, still happily married. Life, in general, these days is hard t cope with let alone having a partner in the mix, but when we are ready to make the commitment how far are we willing to go?

Love as we all know can be complicated no matter what the relationship is, but when it comes down to settling down how well do you really know your partner? What we see in Hollywood happens in our daily lives as well it is just not publicly broadcasted which I am sure is the way we like to keep things. Simple! Yet that is hardly the case, it is always working to keep the love going and you must be willing to try different approaches to your relationship to make it work.

Witnessing the love I see that my parents have for each other is remarkable, but I know it hasn’t always been easy. They have had to overcome, cancer, bypass surgery; a child’s battle with cancer and that is just the short list. I have seen these tear people apart but I know they are far from being the “perfect couple” but they have worked it out over the years. Do we really give it all in relationships? Or is it just what we want to put in. Rather it be at age 12, 20, 40 or even 60 we will all experience heartbreak it is a part of living and growing from our experiences, and especially in our early teens and mid 20’s it is more likely to get our heartbroken more times because we are so scared and fragile and new to the world of dating let alone love.

During my first year of marriage there have been more ups and downs then what I was expecting to have, but it’s life on life’s terms and I forget that a lot of times, that I made vows that I intend to keep to the best of my ability and with that you can only go up if you choose to stick around and work out your problems.

All of these questions do have an answer and it is quite simple, it just depends on what the relationship means to you as an individual and what you are willing to do about it when the times get tough!

SO! With the summer approaching just keep in mind to have fun we do not need to end our relationships to do so.

Walking to Change

In Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 18, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Racism – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 18, 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

Every face has a story, does it matter what it is? Unfortunately no matter how many boundaries and walls that have been broken it seems that prejudice is still in the air and people that are a minority still get treated poorly. A few years ago I traveled to a small town called Tennant Creek in Australia, where I was the minority for this first time. A town of approximately 3,500 people and mostly of aboriginal descent and having a busload of 20 ignorant middle-class travelers not having a clue on how they live their lives. We were there for only one night and we had lasted about 5 minutes in the only bar they had.

Granted it was a poor area and the violence is quite high in that town, when we walked into this bar there was this uncontrollable stench and odor. The atmosphere was not welcoming and drinking no longer became our top priority. Had we have left with our heads held high and with respect, it wouldn’t have bothered me, however, there were a group of preppy kids with us that decided to be rude and laugh at them mocking their way of living. That was completely uncalled for and still bugs me to this day. This was an experience I will truly never forget and the feeling to be in the other shoe was not a comforting feeling but a feeling I cherish. Now, being on this side of the world, how horrible it must feel to live in a Country like ours and have the feeling of not being part of. The truth of the matter is we all judge even if it is on a subconscious level we all do it.

Multiculturalism is around us daily, racism does not need to be. Living in Toronto you can stand still in the middle of Dundas Square and most likely 10 different races, 10 different cultural backgrounds, and about 500 people will pass you by. People, People who want a taste of what it feels like to not watch their back to see if someone is going to call a name or worse produce violence towards them. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when the “stereotypes” are bluntly obvious when talking about a person, how are we supposed to move forward when we have those that think backward? It would be nice to remember we don’t live in a world of hate but in a world of change to and to go back to basics and remember we all just want to live our lives in peace. If the world is changing shouldn’t our way of thinking do the same?

May 2010 Car Sales

In Beauty, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Dennis DesRosiers – July 14, 2010

BITE ME Film Festival – Donna Kakonge on Panel for Sunday

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on July 16, 2010 at 4:36 PM

The BITE ME Film Festival Starts Today – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Jill Andrew - July 16, 2010

By Jill Andrew

BITE ME! FILM FESTIVAL GIVES A BIG “F” YOU TO STEREOTYPICAL IMAGES OF SEX & GENDER IDENTITY

BITE ME! Toronto International Body Image Film & Arts Festival, July 16-18, 2010

July 16, 6:00-10:00p.m. Launch Party Invites ONLY at XEXE Gallery http://www.xexegallery.com 624 Richmond St. W.
MEDIA WELCOME TO ATTEND FOR INTERVIEW/PHOTO. Contact Jill Andrew, Festival Director info@bitemefilmfest.com for accreditation.

July 17-18 Film Screenings, TalkBacks at National Film Board Toronto Mediatheque
150 John Street, Toronto, ON M5V 3C3 http://www.nfb.ca/mediatheque

Saturday Screenings & Talks: 4:30-10:00p.m.
Sunday Screenings & Talks: 12:00-5:00p.m.

Cost: All Access 2-day Festival Pass $20.00 (transferable pass)

Saturday only: $15.00 Flat Rate (transferable on that day only)
Sunday only: $15.00 Flat Rate (transferable on that day only)
Tickets available: ONLINE (PAYPAL) and NFB (site purchase option will be up by July 5)

Festival Director Quotes:

“BITE ME! Film & Arts Fest explores issues of body image, media (re) presentation, identity, survival and our advocacy as active media citizens and social beings through creative mediums.” –Jill Andrew, Ph.D.(c.), Festival Director

“BITE ME! Film & Arts Fest wants to expand the definition of body image…it’s not just about weight or thinness. We are unpacking how issues of the race of sexual and gender identity, of age, of the health of disability…how all of our social identities wrap themselves into our bodies and how we and others perceive it.” –Jill Andrew, Ph.D.(c.), Festival Director.

“I named the festival “BITE ME!” not because I want folks to run around biting each other(other than the kinky folk who get consent to nibble of course!) BITE ME! is a way of talking back to the media, to stereotypical, rigid and stifling gender stereotypes, to social ideals of ‘perfection’ to colourism/shadeism….to homophobia… to fat hatred…to ableism…to all those labels that try to define us external to who we truly are. BITE ME! essentially says ‘F you’ to all of that and more and inspires us to be fabulous and fierce on our own terms.”–Jill Andrew, Ph.D.(c.), Festival Director

Jill’s favourite quote…most applicable to this festival: “If you don’t define yourself for yourself you’ll be crunched into other people’s fantasies for you and eaten alive.”– the late Audre Lorde, Black Queer Lesbian Poet, Essayist, Feminist and Civil Rights Activist

Film Screening Schedule (please click on links below to access more information about FILMS, Photos, Filmmaker contacts etc.)

DAY ONE SCREENING SCHEDULE
Saturday July 17, 2010, 4:30-10:00p.m. National Film Board

1. Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women (2010), 4:30-5:20p.m.
Jean Kilbourne, Media Education Foundation
Jean explores oversexualized images of girls and women and how these can lead to a climate that glorifies as validates violence against women.
http://www.mediaed.org

2.The Story of Furious Pete (2010), 5:30-7:00p.m.
George Tsioutsioulas, Igal Hecht, G.I. Productions
Furious Pete is the story of a young man who battled anorexia at the age of 16 at Toronto Hospital for Sick Kids and is now a world-renowned competitive eater. Agree or disagree on this as a success story? Come see the film and attend the talkback discussion following it.
http://www.giproductions.ca

7:00-7:45p.m. Discussion: Killing Us… & Furious Pete

3. Ebony Chunky Love, B*itch Can’t Get a Date! (2006), 8:00-9:10p.m.
Lonnie Tristan Renteria
Keith Prince takes us into his life a Black gay male and talks about his struggles with family, his weight and finding a date. Ebony Chunky Love explores gay masculinity and how it informs his profession as a comedian and well-known radio host. Enjoy the talkback afterward too.
http://www.torelore.com; http://www.myspace.com/comedydaddy; http://www.myspace.com/ebonychunkylove

9:10- 9:35 p.m. Discussion: Ebony Chunky Love

4. Body Typed: 3 Short Films on Media & Physical Perfection
The Guarantee; 34x25x36 (2008), 9:40-10:00p.m.
Jesse Epstein
Ever wonder how mannequins are made and why they all look the same? Find out here.
You’ll also learn about an Italian dancer who thinks his “Italian” nose may keep him from getting dancing gigs.
http://www.jessedocs.com
http://www.newday.com

END OF DAY ONE

DAY 2 SCHEDULE:
Sunday July 18, 2010, 12:00-5:00p.m. National Film Board

1. A Question of Beauty (2010), 12:00p.m.-1:30p.m.
Colleen Furlotte
So what is beauty? Colleen and about 20 other women try to answer this question in this inter generational piece. Where do our thoughts on beauty come from? How beautiful are our hands? There are a million questions on beauty and this answers quite a few!
http://web.me.com/mydogmolly1/Extraordinary_Life/Home.html

2. 65_REDROSES (2006), 1:40p.m.-2:50p.m.
Nimisha Mukerji, Philip Lyall
Chronicles a young woman’s journey with her body as she deals with Cystic Fibrosis and waits for her pager to ring (meaning its time for her lung transplant). Sadly, Eva took her last breath in March of 2010 waiting for her second pair of lungs but the legacy she leaves regarding organ donation is forever.
http://www.65redroses.com

3. Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project (2006), 3:00p.m.-3:55p.m.
Chas Brack
15 year old Sakia Gunn, an African-American girl in Newark was stabbed and killed simply because she was a lesbian, proud of it and didn’t accept the sexual advances of a man who couldn’t take no for an answer. While the media didn’t pay attention, this doc chronicles the hundreds of activist who did. Sakia’s story lives on.
http://www.sakiagunnfilmproject.com
http://chasb.tumblr.com/
http://www.twn.org

4. Colour of Beauty (2010), 4:00p.m.-4:20p.m.
Elizabeth St. Philip
Ever wonder if there is RACISM in the fashion industry? Hear Torontonians from FLARE, Fashion Television and models of colour speak out on the issue. Talk back after film.
http://www.nfb.ca/film/colour_of_beauty/

4:20p.m.-4:40p.m. Discussion: Colour of Beauty

5. Avec Elle (2009) (with English Subtitles), 4:45p.m.-4:55p.m.
Sophie Richer
Two women meet each other and the connection is immediate… but as with many relationships…you can’t always judge the book by its cover.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1475109/

Festival Closing Party
Sunday July 18, 6-8p.m. Location: TBA

For More Information, Interviews and Media Accreditation Contact:

Jill Andrew, Festival Director
info@bitemefilmfest.com
(site coming soon)
Toronto, ON Canada’
416-540-6659

——————–

Jill Andrew is an award-winning journalist and currently pens the “Last Word” lifestyles/commentary column in the t.o. night newspaper.She is the producer of Curvy Catwalk Fashion Fundraiser, Dining with Dames Leadership Program and the emerging BITE ME! Toronto International Body Image Film/Arts Festival. Jill also facilitates BITE ME! Monologues: Precious Bodies, Priceless Minds–a body image writing/acting retreat. Jill speaks regularly on women’s empowerment such as workplace equity, self esteem, media and female representation and personal development and has appeared on City TV, OMNI, CTV, ET Canada, CBC with print in Metro, Toronto Star, NOW, Vervegirl etc.

Jill was both the national Michele Landsberg Media Activism Award and the Endless Possibilities African-Canadian Women’s Awards recipient. Jill has a masters degree in women & gender studies from UFT and is currently pursuing her PhD in Education at York U. Jill is fascinated with cats, speaking to strangers on the TTC to kill time and plans to host a lifestyle/community television talk show.

Anxiety to Perfection

In Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) on July 16, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Jennifer Winters Writes About Anxiety – Photo Taken By Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 16, 2010

By: Jennifer Winters

When the procrastination stops and ready to do the “do’s” it can be undoubtedly overwhelming. Our “to-do lists” on a daily basis can cause stress from something simple as doing the groceries, laundry, exercising at the gym to more complex: finishing an essay, applying for OSAP, making a doctors appointment etc… All in one day is exhausting and can cause anxiety without a question. We all must face the fact at one point that we are simply not superheroes. The expression that gets me all the time is “There are simply not enough hours in a day” Would you really want more hours in a day? When did deadlines become everything to consume our lives?

One by one the item does get checked off on our “to do” list but we must not forget that there are only so many hours in a day that if it can not be done we must not stress about it. Stress can tear us apart and our emotions do get the best of us, we are human it is natural. There is no need to have an anxiety attack over the things we need to do in a day and yet we do. This only leads to more problems in the health department when all that needed to be done was to prioritize your day. This happened to me the other day where I had just piled on too many items to do in one day thinking I could do it because they were only “little things”. I get confused between doing the best that I can and trying to be perfect which is a joke in itself but those who strive to do their best, our judgment can get cloudy from time to time.

A helpful tip for those that are stressed between school, job, family or simply trying to get through one day a time: Breath!

A Big Thank You

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on July 16, 2010 at 1:28 AM

Thank you to all of you who will be participating in one of the first ever courses on black hair politics done online. All of the 42 participants are pioneers and part of history. I thank you all for joining. I apologize to anyone who wanted to join the group and could not. The participation far exceeded my expectations. This is absolutely terrific! God Bless you all!

The course starts on Monday, July 19th. The ebook from the course will be made available for free on Lulu.com and will let everyone know about it.

Florida Family Writes Humorous Book About Our Animal Friends Book Portrays Animals with Human Characteristics

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Pets, Writing (all kinds) on July 15, 2010 at 6:00 AM

New Book Discusses Having A Frog As A Pet – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Frog - July 15, 2010

“We decided that what the world needs now is a little humor. So we created this book, I Had a Pet Frog, as a family project. Our talented daughter, 17-year-old, Christine Liao created the illustrations and we wrote the copy. We also wanted to deliver humorous messages for people of all ages, and started the book by writing; “I Had a Pet Frog who liked to smoke. I told him it was an unhealthy habit. Then he croaked.” This also sends the message to our young ones that smoking is harmful to your health.” said authors, Dr. Wan-Yu Chao and Ronald Kerble. This imaginative family, a husband and wife team along with their artistic daughter, have created a hilarious book about their animal friends with human characteristics. “You’ll find wonderful illustrations showing real emotions and humorous situations in our book,” said, college professor, Dr.Wan-Yu Chao and Boca Raton Physician Assistant, Ronald Kerble.

I Had a Pet Frog has 100 jokes using 70 different animals and 55 illustrations. Everyone with a passion for animals and pets will be entertained from start to finish. You will smile, chuckle and laugh out loud as you read through this very funny book. Readers will be able to create their own jokes and illustrations using the same style and format found in the book. They can send them to the publisher and be added to I Had a Pet Frog Co.’s website. Chao and Kerble’s humorous book, I Had a Pet Frog was released in trade paper and is also available as e-Book from the publisher.

About the book:
PUBLISHER: I Had a Pet Frog Co.
PUBLICATION: I Had a Pet Frog
ISBN: 978-0-9827133-0-3

For more information, contact the author at www.ihadapetfrog.com or visit www.createspace.com/3443645 and www.amazon.com.

Orders for I Had a Pet Frog can be placed through the publisher for $9.99 each plus shipping and handling at www.createspace.com/3443645 and www.amazon.com.

Schools, Businesses, and Clubs should be aware that I Had a Pet Frog is available at
a quantity discount with bulk purchases for educational, business, fundraising or sales promotional use. For Information, please email to the publisher at customerservice@ihadapetfrog.com

Selling Books in Nathan Philips Square July 20th

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 14, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Donna Kakonge Will Be Selling Her Books at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto on Tuesday – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Donna Kakonge - July 14, 2010

Check out the posting for the Simply People Festival for more details on the event. I will be selling my books there on Tuesday evening. I look forward to meeting you in Toronto.

The Car Industry

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 14, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Dennis DesRosiers Writes About the Car Industry – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Dennis DesRosiers – July 13, 2010

By Dennis DesRosiers

The Globe and Mail are putting on a “Green Agenda Forum” at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Friday morning June 4’th. Green Agenda is a national platform for automotive manufacturers to explain their case on new technologies, regulatory realities and consumer benefits and there will very interesting and exciting presentations from a number of OEMs. The event is hosted by Michael Vaughan and Jeremy Cato who are always entertaining but from a strong knowledge base. I’m the kick-off speaker and will do my best to tell the “REAL” story as to how this will play out over the next few years. I won’t mince my words, I promise. And best of all it is FREE as in it won’t cost you anything although seating is limited.

See attached notice for more details.

Dennis

April 2010

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 13, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Dennis DesRosiers Writes About the Auto Industry – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Dennis DesRosiers - July 13, 2010 - 1

By Dennis DesRosiers

There’s a new sheriff in town. Attached is our top ten list for the month of April and for the year to date. And for the first time in about a decade, there is a new leader on the passenger side of the equation. Barely mind you but the Mazda3 was the best selling passenger car in April and YTD. This is the first time in a very long time that the Honda Civic has not been a runaway leader this far into the new year. So there is a new sheriff in passenger car town although I’m sure the incumbent will have something to say about that over the remainder of the year. Don’t you just love a good fight?

The F-series pickup trucks from Ford are the runaway leaders on the light truck side of the equation and indeed they are also the most popular of any model of vehicle sold in Canada. And by a long shot. Canadians love their pick up trucks…. F-series up YTD by 24.7 percent, Dodge Ram up 89.2 percent ( not a typo ), GMC Sierra up 29.4 percent and Chevy Silverado up 23.0 percent … huge by any measure.

And consumers are also ignoring the pleadings from our politicians ( and every OEM who are touting Green ) and are buying larger less fuel-efficient vehicles for the first time in Canada in a very long time. Small fuel efficient entry-level vehicle sales were down 2.3 percent in April while Large/Luxury/Sports vehicles are up 22.2 percent and commercial use vehicles are up 25.1 percent. This is also one of the larger gaps in performance between these groups in a very long time. Year to date it is a little closer but the entry-level segment is up only 7.8 percent YTD while Large/Luxury/sport is up 29.2 percent and light vehicle primarily for commercial use are up 30.4 percent year to date. This shows you very clearly the power of the consumer. Virtually every OEM has gas more miz’s in their line up and gas guzzler’s in their line up. The consumer gets to pick their vehicle of choice (NOT THE OEM OR THEIR DEALER) and they want the larger less fuel efficient ones. AND THERE IS NOTHING ANY OEM OR POLITICIAN can do about it. The consumer makes this decision NOT a Government official. And no politician will stand up and try to make a consumer buy something they don’t want to buy. We are thus on a collision of unprecedented proportion as regulators put in place fuel efficiency targets that CONSUMERS are rejecting and will continue to reject. Witness the last dozen or so months of sales in Canada.

Till next month.

My Experience at Donna Magazine

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on July 12, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Chris Temelkos Writes About His Internship with Donna Magazine – Photo Courtesy of Donna Magazine

Chris Temelkos - July 12, 2010 - DM

By Chris Temelkos

When I was first offered an internship with Donna Magazine, I couldn’t contain my excitement, as I was always interested in the world of print and I was finally getting a chance to experience it first hand. As I began contributing articles to the magazine, I felt the freedom of creative expression by writing about my thoughts, feelings and aspirations, all thanks to Donna’s encouragement and support.

Throughout my time at the magazine, I became more aware of what was going on in the world, through my numerous news reads and I was able to share it with all of the wonderful readers. Not only was I able to improve my writing skills, but I was also able to grow as a person and experience the life of a writer while feeling a great sense of accomplishment.

I would like to thank Donna for the wonderful experience I’ve been having, writing for the magazine and the wealth of information she has taught me about becoming a successful writer and publisher. I would also like to thank the readers, who enjoyed my work. Most of all, If I inspired at least one person through my numerous articles, I know I have been successful in my venture.

Blackberry to Apple

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on July 11, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Chris Temelkos Writes About the Blackberry – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Chris Temelkos - July 11, 2010

By Chris Temelkos

Bad news for RIM, British bank Standard Chartered will be saying adios to the Blackberry and be welcoming the ever so popular iPhone, allowing users the option to switch, which could cause thousands of other bankers to jump on the bandwagon.

Bankers often prefer the Blackberry to take care of their business communications and it has become the standard device issued, meaning it could be quite sometime before changes are made, especially with wary financial professionals and pieces of information technology analysts concerned about security issues, such as encryption.

A recent study by NPD group found that RIM was leading the pack in the U.S. smartphone market at 36 percent, followed by Google’s Android with 28 percent and the iPhone at 21 percent. No surprise, considering RIM has a more effective system for corporate professionals. However, that didn’t stop Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp from offering the choice to switch back in June 2009.

The choice between Blackberry or iPhone is a tough one and has more to do with personal preference. Owning a Blackberry myself, I can say it’s not too shabby but I also have to admit, I would love to have an iPhone. Whatever the choice, one company may be left behind.

Source:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/some-bankers-swap-blackberry-for-iphone/article1571096/

Simply People Festival – July 20th

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 10, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Paul Santos Writes About The Simply People Festival at Nathan Philips Square – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Paul Santos - July 10, 2010


By Paul Santos

Hundreds to gather at Nathan Phillips Square on July 20th at the 7th annual disability pride celebration in Toronto

TORONTO—To mark the 7th annual disability pride celebration in Toronto, Simply People: Celebrating Our Lives & Identities, hundreds will gather at Nathan Phillips Square on July 20th from 5:00PM to 8:00PM. This free outdoor event is open for all to attend (rain or shine).

On stage, there will be several guest speakers, along with performances by singers Joel Martin and Serena Pryne, humorist Libby Thaw, writer Carol Krause and the bands Symphony of Nine and Ordain. There will be a number of display tables setup by organizations/groups to provide information about their products/services.

“Our vision is to bring as many people together to celebrate our lives and identities in an inclusive environment of positive synergies and attitudes of being proud,” says Uzma Khan, a founder of this annual event.

One of this year’s guest speakers will include John Rae, the first Vice-President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. He will be discussing the progression of the disability rights movement and his 30+ years of advocacy work.

“Canada’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides rights holders and their allies a new tool to remove barriers and expand opportunities for all Canadians with disabilities,” says Mr. Rae.

This event is brought to you by Canada-Wide Accessibility for Post-Secondary Students (CANWAPSS) and friends of CANWAPSS, including LinkUp Employment Services, Abilities Arts Festival, VoicePrint, Easter Seals Canada (Access 2 Entertainment), diversityworX and Scadding Court Community Centre.

ASL interpretation, attendant care, and transcription services will be available onsite.

For more information about this event, please e-mail the organizers at info@disabilitypride.ca or visit www.disabilitypride.ca. Join our Facebook group at Simply People – Disability Pride Celebration in Toronto.

Gaming Galore

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on July 10, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Chris Temelkos Writes About Games – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Chris Temelkos - July 10, 2010

By Chris Temelkos

It looks as though the gaming industry has managed to fare well in these tough economic times, thanks to online and social networking sites like Facebook and free game trials and downloads. Newzoo, a video game tracking firm found that one-third of the $25.3-billion that U.S. gamers spent on video games in 2009 came from online revenues and digital distribution of console and PC games.

That isn’t the only good news, social networking has brought in a very different demographic to the gaming industry, making gaming appeal to older women. A study done by Interpret found that 21 percent of the U.S. Population (46.1 million Americans) play social network games and over 11 million only play social networking games. The median age for these social networking gamers happens to be 38.8, a reasonable difference from console gamers at 30.9.

The Beauty of online and social network gaming is that it entices new or casual gamers
to try out products and then make the decision to buy the full version later on or move to console gaming. Interpret found that 12 percent of social network gamers plan on purchasing a Wii. Next time you play Farmville, you may be on your way to becoming a hardcore gamer.

Source:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/personal-tech/games-archive/free-games-lure-new-players-including-women-elderly/article1568853/

Social Networking and Real Estate

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 9, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Imran Javaid is a Social Networking Real Estate Agent – Photo Courtesy of Imran Javaid

By Donna Kakonge

Imran Javaid started using different sites like Kijiji and Craigslist a couple of years ago.

“I have been active on Kijiji and do get calls and emails from customers inquiring about my listings and services,” says Javaid. “I actually have helped a client who basically had to rent a place by Yonge and Eglinton within 24 hours of that phone call. Even though I was busy with a personal emergency, after talking to her (who was from Barrie) I helped her find a place according to her needs within the timeframe.”

Javaid was against using Facebook as he had heard a few bad stories about it. But in 2009 when his teenage daughter insisted getting Facebook, he gave up and got a “family Facebook” which soon after became a great contact tool with friends, family present and future customers and clients.
“You won’t believe I have found my JK friends from my school in Pakistan who I have not seen for the last 25 to 30 years.”

Right now Javaid has contacts from around the world. He received a message from a friend from Dubai who is moving to Canada and needs to buy a house once he lands here.

“So definitely it’s a great networking tool with business leads,” Javaid says. “I am not a big fan of Twitter or LinkedIn, but am using Facebook actively. I upload recent market reports, my listings and also new condo projects in downtown Toronto. Also, I keep bugging my contacts to refer a friend as I work on referral basis a lot. Relocation of clients has become much easier as I can communicate with them and share links to listings through Facebook.”

Javaid says one of his clients is moving from Nova Scotia and he already has arranged a short-term rental before they even arrive here.

“Recently I printed my new business cards and I got that “f” (Facebook logo) next to logos of “MLS” and “R”. Designer at the printing shop looked at me and was a bit amazed, but these are the facts all realtors should embrace sooner than later.”

Javaid says that in his marketing class in Ryerson in 1997, when his teacher asked the class what resources they were going to use for their marketing research and everyone said different things like the reference library, newspapers, etc., but his answer was that he would use the Internet for his research. All the class turned their necks to him with questioning looks.

“….but I guess I was right back then and I think I am right today as well.”

Realtors need to adopt the changes as a large segment of today’s clients are using the Internet and social networking to find out about buying or selling real estate.

“If I am not there, I will be replaced by someone else!!”

Evidence that Javaid will not be replaced soon comes from satisfied customers such as Margie and Kristine, who Javaid helped to find an apartment close to Ryerson University.

“I don’t know what we would have done without Imran,” writes Margie and Kristine in a letter to Javaid. “Through the entire two days, he was so kind, caring, helpful and professional.”

Other satisfied customers of Javaid, Mike and Jenny write: “If you are looking for a real estate agent, look no further than Imran Javaid because you will not find anyone better.”

MDST 4021/4022 Senior Research Project For: Prof. Twyla Gibson By: Alex Young

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on July 8, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Alex Young Writes About Hippie Culture and Commercialization – Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Alex Young - July 8, 2010

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

Introduction

The Catholic scholar Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote a manuscript entitled, On the Governance of Rulers, where he discussed his ideas of the external and internal forces that he believed everyone within a society or tribe had within them.

Aquinas states, the standard form of government in nature is the rule of one. If we consider the parts of the body, we see that there is one part that moves all the rest, namely the heart. If we look at the parts of the soul, we find that there is one faculty that rules the rest – reason. The same is true of bees, who have but one queen, and of the universe as a whole, which has only one God, who has created and governs all things. This is not without a reason since a plurality is always derived from a unity. Since the products of art imitate the works of nature, and since a work of art is the more perfect, the more closely it resembles the works of nature, the best government for a people is necessarily the government of one.

Jim Morrison has been many things throughout his lifetime including a lyricist, a singer, an icon in music, and a leader for hippie subculture throughout the 1960s in America. This thesis will explore the impact Morrison has had on modern North American culture by symbolizing the spiritual beliefs and political ideologies of American hippie subculture in the 1960s through media representations of rebellion. There will be a focus on how countercultural groups elect leaders, how they choose someone as a symbol of the groups’ moral, spiritual and political beliefs and how their leaders are used in the media to create an image for a particular subculture in the mainstream media. Morrison’s impact his audience and American culture will be examined on the basis of the financial results of his career, the influence he has had on popular culture and the beliefs he has come to be associated with over time.

American life was changing incredibly rapidly during the 1960’s while Americans began to re-evaluate the roles of African-Americans, youth, war, politics, women and American popular culture, which is how American culture has reflected the world and within American society. The Doors were an incredibly popular band that was seen to be linked with the large hippie movement that supported women’s liberation, civil rights, protested the war in Vietnam, and explored drugs. The themes of politics, the effects of war, spiritual freedom, expanding one’s consciousness and encouraging independent thought had never really been explored in mainstream music until the 1960’s. The Doors were one of the most popular bands to explore those themes and allow their audience to relate to those subjects through music because they could be connected with other movements such as women’s liberation and civil rights and other American cultural leaders like Timothy Leary. It seems as if Morrison’s audience saw themselves as their own leaders by rallying behind people who were symbols of different movements that were happening in 1960’s that were fundamentally changing American life. It was during this time that the group The National Organizational of Women was founded to re-shape the roles women could have in American culture because, “by 1968 women groups had multiplied, demanding the right to abortion, childcare, and an end to economic, political, educational and sexual discrimination. Women had their work cut out for them trying to raise the consciousness of Americans taught to see them only as sex objects or mothers.” Former Harvard Professor Timothy Leary began experimenting with LSD on beatnik icons Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac and coining the phrase “Turn on (your mind), tune in (to yourself), drop out (of society)” while Richard Nixon called him “the most dangerous man in America” because drug culture began to expand.

Do leaders in musical movements have the same impact as leaders of social and psychological movements or politics in North American culture? Did the hippie movement of the 1960’s have any influence or lasting impact on American culture at all?

Jim Morrison had a message of personal freedom that encouraged hippies to use their mind to perceive the world through their own thoughts instead of an image of the world that was handed down to them through political, educational and religious institutions. If one were to look at Saint Thomas Aquinas’s view of the best government for a people being “the government of one” while taking Morrison’s advocacy of personal freedom into account, it might take on a more anarchic view in the sense that Morrison is trying to encourage people to be their own leader. American society is populated with institutions such as organized religious groups including the Catholic Church, the American federal government and the public education that set out to shape reality for the people within them. For one person to become their own leader of their life and to truly think for them self is the ultimate form of rebellion because they are free to think and act according to their own logic. Aquinas’s “government of one” allows every individual to interpret reality solely through their own perspective, ideas, thoughts, opinions and emotions on the world that surrounds them. Through that interpretation the message of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s writing from On the Governance of Rulers, that it is possible to see that the message Morrison was trying to convey through his music was that the individual who thinks for themselves will rule their own lives and world as their master rather than being co-opted into the idea of a “free” country through democracy or a “free” spirit through religion.

The Doors gained a massive audience (as well as massive records sales) in America during the nineteen sixties while the hippie counter-cultural movement was going on. Since every movement needs leaders and symbols to crystallize their beliefs and represent a particular movement over time the hippie movement needed leaders as well. Jim Morrison could easily be recognized as one of the artistic leaders of hippie culture because he addressed issues such as violence, spirituality and expanding human consciousness, all of which had not been addressed in popular music until the 1960’s. Music has always been an easy way to rally a group of people together through their beliefs and emotions to symbolize their stance on a particular topic. Music has a complex impact on the human cognitive system by making multiple sections of the brain to function simultaneously and create emotional reactions to music by tapping into “the primitive, reptilian regions of the cerebellar vermis – the heart of emotional processing in the cortex.”

The song “The Soft Parade” documents Morrison speaking of his childhood in America and the role religion played in his upbringing. Morrison begins softly until he explodes by saying, “When I was back there in seminary school/There was a person there who put forth the proposition/that you can petition the Lord with prayer/petition the Lord with prayer? / petition the Lord with prayer? /YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER!” It is easy for anyone that disagrees with Catholicism and Catholic ideologies to make their opinions heard through Morrison’s lyrics here.

During the height of the Vietnam War in 1968, when “the US military’s assessment of the war is questioned and the ‘end of the tunnel’ seems very far off,” the Doors released the album Waiting for the Sun on Elektra Records that contained the song “The Unknown Soldier”. “The Unknown Soldier” discusses themes of how political violence in war is represented to blue-collar American citizens through the media. The song contained the lyrics “Breakfast where the news is read/Television children fed/Unborn living, living dead/Bullet strikes the helmet’s head,” which creates an image of a family seeing the violence of the Vietnam War passively on television around the breakfast table. One of the biggest events that hippies in America rallied behind during the late sixties was the Vietnam War, making it was easy for the audience to frame the music of The Doors in a political context, particularly the song “Unknown Soldier”, to voice their political beliefs without protesting the war itself.

This thesis will be observing the media’s representation of Jim Morrison as a symbol of spiritual freedom and political rebellion by representing him as a leader of a countercultural movement through his music. This thesis will also be looking at the impact Morrison had on American Hippie counterculture in the 1960’s compared to other social and political leaders like Timothy Leary, Martin Luther King Jr., Betty Friedan while John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were each in power.

How can anyone say that Jim Morrison was seen as a leader in American music and art during the 1960’s? Well, one might consider the fact it was the popularity of the music he made with the Doors. The band’s debut album released in 1967 on Elektra Record went on to sell over 3.4 million copies and peaked at number two on the charts.

Since Jim Morrison’s death in Paris on Saturday, July 3, 1971, it is almost impossible to calculate the amount of merchandise and media representations that have had Morrison’s name put on it as an attempt to look into his life as a musician and cultural leader in America during his time as the singer of the Doors. There have been countless books and biographies written about Jim Morrison, including Riders on the Storm written by ex-Doors drummer John Densmore and Light My Fire written by ex-Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek. There was a major motion picture about Jim Morrison and the Doors, simply entitled The Doors, released by Maple Pictures in 1991 that was directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stone and Randall Johnson, and starred Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. The Morrison estate has made an incredible amount of money off of merchandise related to Jim Morrison’s image since his death in 1971 and raked in $10 million in royalties in 2008 alone.

It seems as though hippie counterculture crystallized their grievance with society through the fact that they seemed to inextricably link politics and religion as something that went hand-in-hand for many working class citizens of America. Ironically, hippies perceived religion as a drug that sedated many capitalists into a passive state of mind that kept them from voicing their individual political or religious opinions on the world they lived in. The hippie counterculture has a notorious reputation for illicit drug use in an effort to achieve personal freedom. This notion that free love entailed that love would take care of everyone that cared to believe in it is a comforting sentiment, but realistically, it is unclear where it really took hippie counterculture. The hippie’s concept of free love seemed to empower socialist ideas that everyone would be taken care of because there has to be someone in their life that they love or loves them rather than relying on capitalism and materialism for satisfaction and sustenance. The hippie concept of free love comes across as if it is loosely based on an attempt to put Marxist ideas and practices into play in a capitalist society while their freedom to rally people together was still based on money. In the book The Rebel Sell which explores the relationship between countercultural movements and consumer society written by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter, Canadian scholars from York University and the University of Montreal. Heath and Potter examined Marx’s view on capitalism, those bare similarities to the hippie’s stance of how free love would work in a capitalist society like America. The Rebel Sell states, “In Marx’s view, this objectification of social relationships had gone so far that workers had become alienated from their own activity. They saw their own labor as merely a means to the attainment of other ends. Capitalism had created a nation of clock-watchers. Marx argued that the working classes were unwilling to engage in revolutionary politics because they were completely caught up in this nexus of false ideas. Commodity fetishism and alienated labor provided the ideology of capitalism. All of this was wrapped up in a bow by traditional Christian religious doctrine, which promised workers paradise in the afterlife, on the condition that they behaved themselves here and now. Thus, religion was the ‘opiate’ that kept them imposed suffering from becoming unendurable.”

The role of art and artists within society, especially North American society, has never been truly understood. Art plays a seminal role in the creation and preservation of a culture along with politics, social standards and the way a society’s citizens and leaders think as well as how they perceive their culture and the world. The ultimate purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact music has on North American culture and what contributions leaders of musical movements make to the citizens and the society they are a part of.

Review of Literature

The lyrics used in this thesis span over the entire catalogue of Morrison’s career as the lead singer of the Doors and are not from one specific era or period within his music. The lyrics have been used as examples to demonstrate Morrison’s political and spiritual beliefs are from the songs “The Soft Parade” featured on the album of the same name released in 1969, and the song “Unknown Soldier” from the 1968 album Waiting for the Sun. Both of these albums were released on Elektra Records and these songs are key points Morrison used to speak to his audience about his individual beliefs on issues such as religion and war. The lyrics within the music of the Doors are one of the primary examples of how Morrison spoke to his audience and his audience used his music to represent they’re own spiritual and political beliefs to others through symbols in the mainstream media. The music of the Doors also relates to the individual intellectual and emotional reaction people could have within the context of a certain time period in relation to a specific set of issues during the late nineteen sixties in America. By using Jim Morrison’s lyrics as a symbol, members of the Doors audience could get other people to take up a particular system of beliefs to oppose the ones presented by the government and religious organizations within America at the time by playing on their emotions.

The scripture On the Governance of Rulers was written by Saint Thomas Aquinas, a twelfth-century theological philosopher and one of the most highly regarded thinkers in the history of Christianity. On the Governance of Rulers focuses on the relationship people have with the society they live in and how they participate and create a role for themselves within that society while integrating their relationship with God into their daily life. Aquinas goes deeper than religion in his writing by exploring ideas of individual behavior within a crowd and an even larger context by looking at the moral impact someone’s individual decisions can have on the society they live in. Although Aquinas uses God as the primary example and Christianity as the vehicle through which God communicates with his followers, anyone reading this scripture could easily apply these ideas to relate to the leaders they have in other aspects of society other than religion, including politics, education, and the arts. Aquinas also looks at how societies select and obey their leaders by analyzing how Christians obey God on Earth. As an example, even though God is not a human being, Aquinas observes how Christians use the Bible to observe the words of God and live by them like the spiritual law. By observing how humans perceive leadership and power is a major theme within the subject of this thesis. Based on the connections one could make between Aquinas’ ideas on how cultures connect with their leaders as symbols of their faith to show others what they believe in and reveal their cultures ideas of what their leader means to their culture. Aquinas’ portrayal of how Christians use their faith in God to combat evil in their everyday lives and represent their moral and religious beliefs relates to how the hippies use Jim Morrison to symbolize their spiritual and political ideologies. On the Governance of Rulers is based in a much more historical context of the time period it was written in, but addresses rudimentary fundamental concepts of how people perceive power through symbolism. The essential focus of Aquinas’s writing is how people use symbols to represent their ideas and beliefs to people of the society they are a part of.

The Rebel Sell: How the Counterculture Became Consumer Culture is a comprehensive view of the power and persuasion that people who are recognized as symbols of rebellion and what is considered “cool” for going against within mainstream commercial culture. The book is written by Joseph Heath who teaches philosophy at the University of Toronto and Andrew Potter who is a research consultant at the University of Montreal. Heath and Potter give a scathing overview of twentieth-century popular culture by subject rather than through a timeline that effectively covers a lot of material quickly while using relevant examples throughout history to prove their point. The authors reveal how people that are seen as symbols of countercultural groups are just as easy to co-opt into the mainstream media as any other product or image. Companies create a niche market and use these leaders of countercultural groups as marketing tools to cater to their audience with consumer products rather than ads or slogans. Heath and Potter show that many of these symbols operate within the media based on the fact that they are marketed as rebellious against authority. But in reality, these symbols are used to create consumers out of countercultural groups rather than let these symbols inspire or support any form of actual rebellion. Heath and Potter make the astute observation that there really is no mainstream or underground media because everything that exists within the media is an intricate web of interconnected symbols that form a collage of our culture. Media and their audiences are linked together regardless of how popular something is or how someone may be through the origins of the ideas being put forward within the programming. This book is relevant because it discusses the idea that when anyone buying into a concept or symbol of a particular idea or subculture, they are giving up their own beliefs to follow someone else. Since members of counterculture groups are representing their beliefs through symbols in the media they actually have no control over what the symbols say or how it reflects on them through the individual and subjective interpretation of others.

The book, This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, is written by Daniel J. Levitin is about how the brain identifies certain emotions and reacts to certain forms of music. Levitin is a neuroscientist that’s the head of the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Quebec, Canada that also holds the position of The James McGill chair and the Bell Chair in the Psychology of Electronic Communications. As an expert in science that has paired his ambitions with an intense, interesting and inspiring love of music of all styles and genres, Levitin has created himself to be a great author on the subject of how human beings cognitively and emotionally connect with music. Levitin impressively marries his knowledge of science, neurology, and music together without being pretentious and too technical while discussing rhythm, harmony, emotional reactions to music, how the brain activates itself while listening to music and how humans organize their thoughts while experiencing music. This book is relevant because it scientifically reveals the links of human cognition between how someone’s thought process and emotional reactions change to certain music. The music of the Doors allowed its audience to explore and discuss ideas of spirituality, politics, philosophy, and individualism through popular music. Members of the audience could use the music as a rallying point by emotionally identifying and responding to particular issues and events happening within the context of American life in the 1960’s such as freeing themselves from capitalism and conservative family values and the Vietnam War. This is Your Brain on Music explores how people feel when they hear music on intellectual and emotional levels. The book explores how people have used Jim Morrison’s music as a way to preserve the spiritual and political values of American hippy culture in 1960’s and how companies use it as a marketing tool to create profit.

The book, “Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend” by best-selling rock and roll biographer Stephen Davis. Davis is a writer that has been revered by some of the artists he has written biographies about including Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac, each of them appearing on the New York Times best-seller list. “Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend” is seen as the ideal objective resource of Morrison’s life that closely follows facts and interviews provided by the members of the Doors along with other people that associated themselves with Morrison. The book is very detailed and remains very objective throughout without relying on rumors, hype or indulgent sentimentality, and portrays Morrison as a complex human being with a wide range of moods and behavior. If this book were to be translated into a film it would be a documentary rather than the fictional Hollywood romp Oliver Stone is responsible for. The book has a focus on how he tried to help his audience “break on through the doors of perception, set themselves free from robotic familial conditioning, to seek a higher, more aware consciousness”.

The book “No One Here Gets Out Alive” written by Danny Sugerman and Jerry Hopkins is a best-selling biography of Jim Morrison that was published in 1980 by Warner Books and is one of the primary texts on the life of Jim Morrison in the mainstream media. Since the book is so popular having spent over nine months on national bestseller lists across America upon its initial release in 1980, it has created a reputation for itself as one of the leading biographical resources on Jim Morrison for twenty-nine years now. Because of the book’s popularity, one would naturally need it as an essential source of information on how Jim Morrison represented through mainstream media as an icon of popular culture and how his audiences perceive him. The authors had a personal and professional relationship at one point or another in their careers considering Hopkins’ first best-selling biography “ELVIS” on the life of Elvis Presley was inspired to take on the task of writing a biographical book by Morrison himself. Sugerman worked as a personal aide to the Doors and clearly knew Morrison throughout his career and creates a sense of personal attachment and identity to the band’s music as a fan as well as working with the group. “No One Here Gets Out Alive” is a vital resource in observing how Jim Morrison is represented to his audience considering the popularity of its readership the depth of its observation into Morrison as an individual, a performer and an icon to hippie subculture in America throughout the 1960’s.

“By the Numbers: The Top-Earning Estates” is an article that by David Browne that was published in Rolling Stone Magazine that outlines the amount of money made in 2008 the highest grossing estates of dead musicians. David Browne is a regular contributor to Rolling Stone Magazine and this article appears in the magazine’s 1074th issue. The Morrison estate ranks as the third highest estate on the list having grossed $10 million in 2008 alone only to be outranked by Tupac Shakur’s estate which grossed $15 million and Elvis Presley’s estate which earned $52 million that year. Browne’s article discusses how the families of dead rock stars like the Marley family are expanding the amount of merchandise they are producing by investing in Bob Marley brand coffee and video games. This article offers crucial insight into how exactly the symbols of subcultures are used as marketing tools to create products and allow others to commercialize how they are represented to their fans. These products encourage consumer culture rather than preserving any form of ideas that they expressed through their music and how they are perceived to represent a particular set of beliefs among their fans. Creating products that use the symbolic power of these

The online article discussing “Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” was taken from the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine that charts the most financially successful and musically influential albums throughout the history of popular culture. The record sales for the Doors’ debut album is revealed in this article on the subject of influential music. The short article also discusses the influence the album had on the career of the Doors and its audience by interviewing the drummer for the band, John Densmore, and discussing what methods the band employed to write the music for their debut album. One key point the article vividly illustrates is how the band’s guitarist Robbie Krieger wrote the band’s biggest hit single on the album “Light My Fire” after Morrison urged everyone in the band to employ the use of universal imagery within the lyrics. This article reveals one of Morrison’s writing techniques when it comes to constructing imagery within his lyrics which is how he attracted music fans to his music and to discuss issues such as individualism, his spiritual beliefs and political ideologies later on in his career.

The official website for PBS provides in-depth content that presents historical information on the history of American political activities related Vietnam, including the war they waged with the Vietnamese and its influence on the American military and American politics. The “American Experience” section of the site provides a chronological timeline to look at the historical events that lead up to the war in Vietnam, how the war progressed and the effects it’s had on the social and political landscapes of American life from 1945 until 1991. Since the lyrics to the song “Unknown Soldier” by the Doors could be framed in a context to speak to American activities in Vietnam, many fans of the Doors could use Morrison’s political stance on the issue to symbolize their own beliefs. The information presented on the PBS website illustrates the impact of the war in Vietnam on life in America during the height of the Doors popularity in the 1960’s and what a large issue this was for the conscience of America and its citizens at that time.

Methodology

The film The Doors was released by Maple Pictures on March 1st, 1991, twenty years after Morrison’s death, it was directed by Oliver Stone, the screenplay was written by Stone along with J. Randal Johnson and features Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. Oliver Stone is well known for writing the screenplay for the 1983 film Scarface starring Al Pacino, and the 1994 cult hit Natural Born Killers starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis. Stone has won three Academy Awards to date, one in 1979 for writing the script for Midnight Express, one in 1987 for directing Platoon, and in 1990 for directing Born on the Fourth of July. Stone bought the publishing rights to the music from all the living members of the band including Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and John Densmore. Stone portrays Morrison as an insightful young man with an unparalleled lust for life who embraces his own demise through his reckless behavior, alcoholism, drug use, promiscuous sexual activity, and a fascination with death. The film gives off an image of Morrison as a rebellious young man that is constantly challenging authority and resisting pressure from the media and law enforcement to be more politically correct. This image of Morrison is something that will rub off on viewers and fans for generations to come that will base their perception of who Jim Morrison was by misrepresenting him in a fictional context.

There is a scene with a bloodletting ceremony with Jim Morrison and reporter Patricia Kennealy where they are high on cocaine and another scene where Kennealy marries Morrison through a priestess that practices witchcraft. Kathleen Quinlan who plays Patricia Kennealy, one of Morrison’s main lovers in the film, clearly states in her interview on the documentary The Road of Excess, which profiles how the film was made, that Stone’s portrayal of Morrison is not meant to be “biographical”. When Stone is interviewed he mentions that he made the character of Patricia Kennealy embody a “variety of women in Morrison’s life”. When the actual Patricia Kennealy is interviewed in The Road of the Excess documentary, she speaks about how she believes the character of Jim Morrison in The Doors misrepresented who Morrison was as a person and felt this view of him was inaccurate. Considering The Doors is a major motion picture made by a high profile director that has earned massive critical acclaim from his peers in the film industry, it seems the movie is based more on fiction than fact. Hollywood films have always been traditionally praised for their entertainment value and not their historical accuracy, but in this case, Morrison is being represented to an entirely new audience through mainstream media under a fictitious pretense that is meant to appear “real”.

Since the film was made twenty years after Morrison’s death, obviously he has no say in how he was represented in the film and guitarist Robby Krieger was present on set while the film was being made. Krieger aided by providing insight into technical aspects in the scenes featuring live performances by the actors portraying the band while playing the songs live in concert without any sound overdubs. The cast and filmmakers admit to the film’s inaccuracy and do not seem concerned about the fact they are putting Morrison’s legacy as a musical icon of American popular culture in a fictional context and in jeopardy. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek openly said he did not think the movie accurately represented the band. There are scenes within the film that speak of what Morrison aims to achieve with his art and why he believes the band’s audience is misrepresented and they want something “sacred” from his music. The movie uses Morrison as a marketing tool to boost revenue for the film while misrepresenting him to the viewers. The film misrepresents Morrison to audiences that do not know who he is and could create stereotypes about hippie culture or his fans based on his character’s behavior. Stone fails to treat Morrison as a symbol to preserve the spiritual and political motifs in his lyrics by admitting to not portraying him realistically in the eyes of those who knew him personally, let alone in the eyes of audiences for generations to come. This film is majorly relevant to this thesis because it is a piece of mainstream media that depicts Jim Morrison to a large audience and how his represented to viewers that are not necessarily fans of the band. Whoever sees the film could get a tainted view of Morrison as well as his spiritual and political views that gained him a following in the first place because is portrayed so inaccurately in the film. Ultimately the film does not delve into any of the real events hippie culture was responding to such as the Vietnam War, women’s liberation or the civil rights culture and focused on drug culture with so many scenes with characters just getting stoned with discovering the meaning behind why hippie culture was using drugs like LSD to expand their minds. The film will influence many future audience members in a negative light considering the gross misrepresentation of both the Doors and hippie culture within the film.

On the other hand, the film “When You’re Strange” directed by Tom DiCillo was released in theatres in 2009 and is an in-depth documentary on the Doors starring the band themselves. The film primarily showcases unreleased rehearsal and concert footage as well as in-depth interviews with the band and more specifically Jim Morrison. When asked what it was like to be famous in an interview filmed in 1968, Morrison replies that “To be a real superstar in this world, you either need to be a politician or an assassin.”, and described the band as “erotic politicians”.

Body of Study (Analysis)

Morrison’s comments on what his concept of fame is in the film “When You’re Strange” suggest that Morrison’s conception of fame only pertains to world leaders and those that murder them, without favouring over the other. This would leave anyone watching the film to believe that essentially Morrison has no interest in politics, but an interest in how politics effect American life socially and artistically.

Summary of Findings

Ultimately the Doors were seen as artistic leaders of the hippie movement in America because they were artistically responding to major events that were changing American life. The Doors symbolically addressed events such as the Vietnam War, the women’s liberation movement, the civil rights movement and violence in America by addressing them in their music. The Doors supported the civil rights movement through their music by being so influenced by the blues and country music of the south and obviously weren’t bigots or they would hate all of the artists that helped them carve out their sound. After listening to all six studio albums, Morrison never talks about any of the females in his music in a negative light, often referring to them as “Queens” or “princesses”, like in the songs “LA Woman”, “Riders on the Storm”, “20th Century Fox” or “Queen of the Highway”.

The hippies were also one of the first group of white people to begin protesting against racial segregation laws in the south during the 1960’s which mainly affected black. Skip Stone is a hippie anthropologist recalled the reaction to hippie protests in the early 1960’s against racial segregation laws by saying, “Civil rights and anti-nuclear protests often included marches, sit-ins, speeches and songs by famous people, signs with slogans, and chants. These protests were always marked by peaceful intent. If things got ugly it was usually due to police tactics or violent counter-demonstrations (by such organizations as the KKK). The SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, got its feet wet in these early demonstrations. They would later organize anti-war campus protests around the country.” The violent reactions to hippie and youth protests to political and social injustices came to a climax on May 4th in 1970 when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on the peaceful protesters, killing four and wounding nine. The incident at Kent State showed the true injustice of how members of Hippie Culture were treated when they were simply trying to get their fellow Americans to re-evaluate their personal stance on the war in Vietnam. Peaceful Hippie protests could not have come during a bigger time of change than they did in 1960’s while John F. Kennedy was in the office dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and later on, the Vietnam War.

Conclusion

It is wrong, to sum up, or draw conclusions about someone based on their artwork because the artwork is based on performance and an artists’ representation of a character, mood or emotion, and not about them as people. When part of an audience, many people project their fantasies and manifest their desires through their favorite artists and their favorite artists’ performances, especially during live interactions with them, like watching a musician put on a concert. The audience creates the artist as a character based on their art because the audience only knows who the artist is based on their performance. If the artist is a musician the listener can imagine the artist to be based on their fantasies of them rather than who the artist actually is. The audience can project the artist into a character based on their performance when they have no idea who the artist is on a personal level in reality. In the case of Jim Morrison, the hippie subculture in America during the 1960’s elected Morrison as their leader based on who they thought he was by creating a character based on his music. Morrison went by many nicknames including “The Lizard King”, “Stoned Immaculate” and “Leather Clad Demon” because the audience was projecting their fantasies of who they thought Jim was as a singer onto who he was as a person. In the book, No One Here Gets Out Alive, Jim talks about being seen as a cultural leader through his live performances. Morrison reflected on the subject by saying, “It’s all done tongue and cheek, I don’t think people realize that. It’s not to be taken seriously. It’s like if you play a villain in a Western it doesn’t mean that’s you. That’s just an aspect that you keep for show. I don’t really take that (his antics on stage) seriously. That’s meant to be ironic”. Artistic leaders allow their audience to re-evaluate their stance on political and social issues as well as their own lives.

But as for how hippie counterculture influenced American culture, it was able to get America to re-evaluate itself, politically, socially, civically and artistically. Hippie culture in America got the country to re-evaluate itself by challenging gender roles, racial discrimination, international wars involving America and what could be acceptable in popular music. The goal of any subcultural group is to change the society they are a part through the opposition of popular points of view, but Hippie subculture was the first to gain the world’s attention instead of being an underground phenomenon. Timothy Leary summed up the impact of Hippie culture on America and how it influenced future subcultures in the 1990’s in his 1994 book Chaos and Cyber Culture, Leary states, “Hippies started the ecology movement. They combated racism. They liberated sexual stereotypes, encouraged change, individual pride, and self-confidence. They questioned robot materialism. In four years they managed to stop the Vietnam War. They got marijuana decriminalized in fourteen states during the Carter Administration”. Hippie culture shaped North American society as we know it today and laid the foundation for other sub-cultural groups to become known in order to share their views of how they think society should re-evaluate itself. Hippie culture has not shaped the politics of groups like punk rock in the 1980’s or alternative grunge culture in the 1990’s, but it certainly paved the way for them to be taken seriously by American audiences.

Bibliography

Browne, David, By the Numbers: The Top-Earning Estates”, Rolling Stone Magazine, issue 1074, March 19th, 2009

DiCillo, Tom, dir., When You’re Strange, perf. Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, John Densmore, Johnny Depp, narrator, 2009, Strange Pictures

Goldman, Jerry, Stein, Giel, The Cuban Missile Crisis: October 18th-29th, 1962, 1997, History Out Loud Homepage, August 21st, 1997 – http://www.hpol.org/jfk/cuban/

Heath, Joseph, Potter, Andrew, The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can’t Be Jammed, 2005, Harper Collins Publishers Limited

Hopkins Jerry, Sugerman, Danny, No One Here Gets Out Alive, 1980, Warner Books

Hoyt, Austin, North Vietnamese Launch Tet Offense, PBS: American Experience – Vietnam Online, March 29th, 2005 – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/timeline/tl3.html#a

Leary, Timothy, Ph.D., Chaos and Cyberculture, 1994, Ronin Publishing

Levitin, Daniel J., This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, Chapter 3: Behind the Curtain – Music and the Mind Machine, page 87, 2006, Penguin Group Publishing

Lewis, Jerry, Hensley, Thomas R., The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University: The Search for Historical Accuracy, The Ohio Council for the Social Studies Review, Vol. 34, Number 1, 1998 – http://dept.kent.edu/sociology/lewis/lewihen.htm

Morrison, Jim, lyrics on “The Unknown Soldier”, Waiting for the Sun, 1968, Elektra Records

Morrison, Jim, lyrics on “The Soft Parade”, the Soft Parade, 1969, Elektra Records
Official Timothy Leary Bio Team, Timothy Leary: Bio, 2007 – http://www.timothyleary.us/
Stone, Oliver, dir., The Doors, perf. Kilmer, Val, Ryan, Meg, Madsen, Michael, Dillon, Kevin, 1991, Maple Pictures

St. Thomas Aquinas, On the Governance of Rulers, trans. Gerald B. Phelan, pg. 39, 1935, St. Michael’s College

Stone, Skip, Hippies from A to Z: Hippy Activism,1999, the official Hip Planet web page, 1999 – http://www.hipplanet.com/books/atoz/activism.htm

Wenner, Jann, The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, Nov. 1st, 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine Online – http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6598273/42_the_doors

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on July 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Alex Young Shares The Research Behind His Series – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Alex Young - July 7, 2010

This is the seventh installment of the bibliographic material for Alex Young’s eight-part series done at the University of Guelph-Humber

By Alex Young

Bibliography
Browne, David, By the Numbers: The Top-Earning Estates”, Rolling Stone Magazine, issue 1074, March 19th, 2009

DiCillo, Tom, dir., When You’re Strange, perf. Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, John Densmore, Johnny Depp, narrator, 2009, Strange Pictures

Goldman, Jerry, Stein, Giel, The Cuban Missile Crisis: October 18th-29th, 1962, 1997, History Out Loud Homepage, August 21st, 1997 – http://www.hpol.org/jfk/cuban/

Heath, Joseph, Potter, Andrew, The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can’t Be Jammed, 2005, Harper Collins Publishers Limited

Hopkins Jerry, Sugerman, Danny, No One Here Gets Out Alive, 1980, Warner Books

Hoyt, Austin, North Vietnamese Launch Tet Offense, PBS: American Experience – Vietnam Online, March 29th, 2005 – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/timeline/tl3.html#a

Leary, Timothy, Ph.D., Chaos and Cyberculture, 1994, Ronin Publishing

Levitin, Daniel J., This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, Chapter 3: Behind the Curtain – Music and the Mind Machine, page 87, 2006, Penguin Group Publishing

Lewis, Jerry, Hensley, Thomas R., The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University: The Search for Historical Accuracy, The Ohio Council for the Social Studies Review, Vol. 34, Number 1, 1998 – http://dept.kent.edu/sociology/lewis/lewihen.htm

Morrison, Jim, lyrics on “The Unknown Soldier”, Waiting for the Sun, 1968, Elektra Records

Morrison, Jim, lyrics on “The Soft Parade”, the Soft Parade, 1969, Elektra Records
Official Timothy Leary Bio Team, Timothy Leary: Bio, 2007 – http://www.timothyleary.us/

Stone, Oliver, dir., The Doors, perf. Kilmer, Val, Ryan, Meg, Madsen, Michael, Dillon, Kevin, 1991, Maple Pictures

St. Thomas Aquinas, On the Governance of Rulers, trans. Gerald B. Phelan, pg. 39, 1935, St. Michael’s College

Stone, Skip, Hippies from A to Z: Hippy Activism,1999, the official Hip Planet web page, 1999 – http://www.hipplanet.com/books/atoz/activism.htm

Wenner, Jann, The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, Nov. 1st, 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine Online – http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6598273/42_the_doors

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Religion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 6, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Alex Young Writes The Conclusion to His Series on Jim Morrison and The Doors – Photo courtesy of Thisrecording.com

Alex Young - July 6, 2010

This is the sixth installment in an eight-part series by Alex Young – Graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber

By Alex Young

Conclusion

It is wrong, to sum up, or draw conclusions about someone based on their artwork because the artwork is based on performance and an artists’ representation of a character, mood or emotion, and not about them as people.

When part of an audience, many people project their fantasies and manifest their desires through their favorite artists and their favorite artists’ performances, especially during live interactions with them, like watching a musician put on a concert. The audience creates the artist as a character based on their art because the audience only knows who the artist is based on their performance. If the artist is a musician the listener can imagine the artist to be based on their fantasies of them rather than who the artist actually is. The audience can project the artist into a character based on their performance when they have no idea who the artist is on a personal level in reality. In the case of Jim Morrison, the hippie subculture in America during the 1960’s elected Morrison as their leader based on who they thought he was by creating a character based on his music. Morrison went by many nicknames including “The Lizard King”, “Stoned Immaculate” and “Leather Clad Demon” because the audience was projecting their fantasies of who they thought Jim was as a singer onto who he was as a person. In the book, No One Here Gets Out Alive, Jim talks about being seen as a cultural leader through his live performances. Morrison reflected on the subject by saying, “It’s all done tongue and cheek, I don’t think people realize that. It’s not to be taken seriously. It’s like if you play a villain in a Western it doesn’t mean that’s you. That’s just an aspect that you keep for show. I don’t really take that (his antics on stage) seriously. That’s meant to be ironic”. Artistic leaders allow their audience to re-evaluate their stance on political and social issues as well as their own lives.

But as for how hippie counterculture influenced American culture, it was able to get America to re-evaluate itself, politically, socially, civically and artistically. Hippie culture in America got the country to re-evaluate itself by challenging gender roles, racial discrimination, international wars involving America and what could be acceptable in popular music. The goal of any subcultural group is to change the society they are a part through the opposition of popular points of view, but Hippie subculture was the first to gain the world’s attention instead of being an underground phenomenon. Timothy Leary summed up the impact of Hippie culture on America and how it influenced future subcultures in the 1990’s in his 1994 book Chaos and Cyber Culture, Leary states, “Hippies started the ecology movement. They combated racism. They liberated sexual stereotypes, encouraged change, individual pride, and self-confidence. They questioned robot materialism. In four years they managed to stop the Vietnam War. They got marijuana decriminalized in fourteen states during the Carter Administration”. Hippie culture shaped North American society as we know it today and laid the foundation for other sub-cultural groups to become known in order to share their views of how they think society should re-evaluate itself. Hippie culture has not shaped the politics of groups like punk rock in the 1980’s or alternative grunge culture in the 1990’s, but it certainly paved the way for them to be taken seriously by American audiences.

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 5, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Alex Young Writes About the Commercialization of Jim Morrison – Photo Courtesy of Imstars.aufeminin.com

Alex Young - July 5, 2010

This is the fifth installment of an eight-part series by Alex Young – Graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber

By Alex Young

Summary of Findings

Ultimately the Doors were seen as artistic leaders of the hippie movement in America because they were artistically responding to major events that were changing American life.

The Doors symbolically addressed events such as the Vietnam War, the women’s liberation movement, the civil rights movement and violence in America by addressing them in their music. The Doors supported the civil rights movement through their music by being so influenced by the blues and country music of the south and obviously weren’t bigots or they would hate all of the artists that helped them carve out their sound. After listening to all six studio albums, Morrison never talks about any of the females in his music in a negative light, often referring to them as “Queens” or “princesses”, like in the songs “LA Woman”, “Riders on the Storm”, “20th Century Fox” or “Queen of the Highway”.

The hippies were also one of the first group of white people to begin protesting against racial segregation laws in the south during the 1960’s which mainly affected black. Skip Stone is a hippie anthropologist recalled the reaction to hippie protests in the early 1960’s against racial segregation laws by saying, “Civil rights and anti-nuclear protests often included marches, sit-ins, speeches and songs by famous people, signs with slogans, and chants. These protests were always marked by peaceful intent. If things got ugly it was usually due to police tactics or violent counter-demonstrations (by such organizations as the KKK). The SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, got its feet wet in these early demonstrations. They would later organize anti-war campus protests around the country.” The violent reactions to hippie and youth protests to political and social injustices came to a climax on May 4th in 1970 when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on the peaceful protesters, killing four and wounding nine. The incident at Kent State showed the true injustice of how members of Hippie Culture were treated when they were simply trying to get their fellow Americans to re-evaluate their personal stance on the war in Vietnam. Peaceful Hippie protests could not have come during a bigger time of change than they did in 1960’s while John F. Kennedy was in the office dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and later on, the Vietnam War.

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on July 4, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Alex Young Writes About Marketing and Music in the 1960s – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Alex Young - July 4, 2010

This is the fourth installment in an eight-part series by Alex Young – Graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber

By Alex Young

Body of Study (Analysis)

Morrison’s comments on what his concept of fame is in the film “When You’re Strange” suggest that Morrison’s conception of fame only pertains to world leaders and those that murder them, without favouring over the other. This would leave anyone watching the film to believe that essentially Morrison has no interest in politics, but an interest in how politics effect American life socially and artistically.

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on July 3, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Alex Young Writes About the Commercialization of The Doors – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Alex Young - July 3, 2010

This is the third installment in an eight-part series by Alex Young – Graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber

By Alex Young

Methodology

The film The Doors was released by Maple Pictures on March 1st, 1991, twenty years after Morrison’s death, it was directed by Oliver Stone, the screenplay was written by Stone along with J. Randal Johnson and features Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison.

Oliver Stone is well known for writing the screenplay for the 1983 film Scarface starring Al Pacino, and the 1994 cult hit Natural Born Killers starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis. Stone has won three Academy Awards to date, one in 1979 for writing the script for Midnight Express, one in 1987 for directing Platoon, and in 1990 for directing Born on the Fourth of July. Stone bought the publishing rights to the music from all the living members of the band including Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and John Densmore. Stone portrays Morrison as an insightful young man with an unparalleled lust for life who embraces his own demise through his reckless behavior, alcoholism, drug use, promiscuous sexual activity, and a fascination with death. The film gives off an image of Morrison as a rebellious young man that is constantly challenging authority and resisting pressure from the media and law enforcement to be more politically correct. This image of Morrison is something that will rub off on viewers and fans for generations to come that will base their perception of who Jim Morrison was by misrepresenting him in a fictional context.

There is a scene with a bloodletting ceremony with Jim Morrison and reporter Patricia Kennealy where they are high on cocaine and another scene where Kennealy marries Morrison through a priestess that practices witchcraft. Kathleen Quinlan who plays Patricia Kennealy, one of Morrison’s main lovers in the film, clearly states in her interview on the documentary The Road of Excess, which profiles how the film was made, that Stone’s portrayal of Morrison is not meant to be “biographical”. When Stone is interviewed he mentions that he made the character of Patricia Kennealy embody a “variety of women in Morrison’s life”. When the actual Patricia Kennealy is interviewed in The Road of the Excess documentary, she speaks about how she believes the character of Jim Morrison in The Doors misrepresented who Morrison was as a person and felt this view of him was inaccurate. Considering The Doors is a major motion picture made by a high profile director that has earned massive critical acclaim from his peers in the film industry, it seems the movie is based more on fiction than fact. Hollywood films have always been traditionally praised for their entertainment value and not their historical accuracy, but in this case, Morrison is being represented to an entirely new audience through mainstream media under a fictitious pretense that is meant to appear “real”.

Since the film was made twenty years after Morrison’s death, obviously he has no say in how he was represented in the film and guitarist Robby Krieger was present on set while the film was being made. Krieger aided by providing insight into technical aspects in the scenes featuring live performances by the actors portraying the band while playing the songs live in concert without any sound overdubs. The cast and filmmakers admit to the film’s inaccuracy and do not seem concerned about the fact they are putting Morrison’s legacy as a musical icon of American popular culture in a fictional context and in jeopardy. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek openly said he did not think the movie accurately represented the band. There are scenes within the film that speak of what Morrison aims to achieve with his art and why he believes the band’s audience is misrepresented and they want something “sacred” from his music. The movie uses Morrison as a marketing tool to boost revenue for the film while misrepresenting him to the viewers. The film misrepresents Morrison to audiences that do not know who he is and could create stereotypes about hippie culture or his fans based on his character’s behavior. Stone fails to treat Morrison as a symbol to preserve the spiritual and political motifs in his lyrics by admitting to not portraying him realistically in the eyes of those who knew him personally, let alone in the eyes of audiences for generations to come. This film is majorly relevant to this thesis because it is a piece of mainstream media that depicts Jim Morrison to a large audience and how his represented to viewers that are not necessarily fans of the band. Whoever sees the film could get a tainted view of Morrison as well as his spiritual and political views that gained him a following in the first place because is portrayed so inaccurately in the film. Ultimately the film does not delve into any of the real events hippie culture was responding to such as the Vietnam War, women’s liberation or the civil rights culture and focused on drug culture with so many scenes with characters just getting stoned with discovering the meaning behind why hippie culture was using drugs like LSD to expand their minds. The film will influence many future audience members in a negative light considering the gross misrepresentation of both the Doors and hippie culture within the film.

On the other hand, the film “When You’re Strange” directed by Tom DiCillo was released in theatres in 2009 and is an in-depth documentary on the Doors starring the band themselves. The film primarily showcases unreleased rehearsal and concert footage as well as in-depth interviews with the band and more specifically Jim Morrison. When asked what it was like to be famous in an interview filmed in 1968, Morrison replies that “To be a real superstar in this world, you either need to be a politician or an assassin.”, and described the band as “erotic politicians”.

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Religion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on July 2, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Alex Young Writes About Jim Morrison – Photo Courtesy of i2.r7.com

Alex Young - July 2, 2010

This is the second installment in an eight-part series by Alex Young – Graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber

By Alex Young

Review of Literature

The lyrics used in this thesis span over the entire catalogue of Morrison’s career as the lead singer of the Doors and are not from one specific era or period within his music.

The lyrics have been used as examples to demonstrate Morrison’s political and spiritual beliefs are from the songs “The Soft Parade” featured on the album of the same name released in 1969, and the song “Unknown Soldier” from the 1968 album Waiting for the Sun. Both of these albums were released on Elektra Records and these songs are key points Morrison used to speak to his audience about his individual beliefs on issues such as religion and war. The lyrics within the music of the Doors are one of the primary examples of how Morrison spoke to his audience and his audience used his music to represent their own spiritual and political beliefs to others through symbols in the mainstream media. The music of the Doors also relates to the individual intellectual and emotional reaction people could have within the context of a certain time period in relation to a specific set of issues during the late nineteen sixties in America. By using Jim Morrison’s lyrics as a symbol, members of the Doors audience could get other people to take up a particular system of beliefs to oppose the ones presented by the government and religious organizations within America at the time by playing on their emotions.

The scripture On the Governance of Rulers was written by Saint Thomas Aquinas, a twelfth-century theological philosopher and one of the most highly regarded thinkers in the history of Christianity. On the Governance of Rulers focuses on the relationship people have with the society they live in and how they participate and create a role for themselves within that society while integrating their relationship with God into their daily life. Aquinas goes deeper than religion in his writing by exploring ideas of individual behavior within a crowd and an even larger context by looking at the moral impact someone’s individual decisions can have on the society they live in. Although Aquinas uses God as the primary example and Christianity as the vehicle through which God communicates with his followers, anyone reading this scripture could easily apply these ideas to relate to the leaders they have in other aspects of society other than religion, including politics, education, and the arts. Aquinas also looks at how societies select and obey their leaders by analyzing how Christians obey God on Earth. As an example, even though God is not a human being, Aquinas observes how Christians use the Bible to observe the words of God and live by them like the spiritual law. By observing how humans perceive leadership and power is a major theme within the subject of this thesis. Based on the connections one could make between Aquinas’ ideas on how cultures connect with their leaders as symbols of their faith to show others what they believe in and reveal their cultures ideas of what their leader means to their culture. Aquinas’ portrayal of how Christians use their faith in God to combat evil in their everyday lives and represent their moral and religious beliefs relates to how the hippies use Jim Morrison to symbolize their spiritual and political ideologies. On the Governance of Rulers is based in a much more historical context of the time period it was written in, but addresses rudimentary fundamental concepts of how people perceive power through symbolism. The essential focus of Aquinas’s writing is how people use symbols to represent their ideas and beliefs to people of the society they are a part of.

The Rebel Sell: How the Counterculture Became Consumer Culture is a comprehensive view of the power and persuasion that people who are recognized as symbols of rebellion and what is considered “cool” for going against within mainstream commercial culture. The book is written by Joseph Heath who teaches philosophy at the University of Toronto and Andrew Potter who is a research consultant at the University of Montreal. Heath and Potter give a scathing overview of the twentieth-century popular culture by subject rather than through a timeline that effectively covers a lot of material quickly while using relevant examples throughout history to prove their point. The authors reveal how people that are seen as symbols of countercultural groups are just as easy to co-opt into the mainstream media as any other product or image. Companies create a niche market and use these leaders of countercultural groups as marketing tools to cater to their audience with consumer products rather than ads or slogans. Heath and Potter show that many of these symbols operate within the media based on the fact that they are marketed as rebellious against authority. But in reality, these symbols are used to create consumers out of countercultural groups rather than let these symbols inspire or support any form of actual rebellion. Heath and Potter make the astute observation that there really is no mainstream or underground media because everything that exists within the media is an intricate web of interconnected symbols that form a collage of our culture. Media and their audiences are linked together regardless of how popular something is or how someone may be through the origins of the ideas being put forward within the programming. This book is relevant because it discusses the idea that when anyone buying into a concept or symbol of a particular idea or subculture, they are giving up their own beliefs to follow someone else. Since members of counterculture groups are representing their beliefs through symbols in the media they actually have no control over what the symbols say or how it reflects on them through the individual and subjective interpretation of others.

The book, This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, is written by Daniel J. Levitin is about how the brain identifies certain emotions and reacts to certain forms of music. Levitin is a neuroscientist that’s the head of the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Quebec, Canada that also holds the position of The James McGill chair and the Bell Chair in the Psychology of Electronic Communications. As an expert in science that has paired his ambitions with an intense, interesting and inspiring love of music of all styles and genres, Levitin has created himself to be a great author on the subject of how human beings cognitively and emotionally connect with music. Levitin impressively marries his knowledge of science, neurology, and music together without being pretentious and too technical while discussing rhythm, harmony, emotional reactions to music, how the brain activates itself while listening to music and how humans organize their thoughts while experiencing music. This book is relevant because it scientifically reveals the links of human cognition between how someone’s thought process and emotional reactions change to certain music. The music of the Doors allowed its audience to explore and discuss ideas of spirituality, politics, philosophy, and individualism through popular music. Members of the audience could use the music as a rallying point by emotionally identifying and responding to particular issues and events happening within the context of American life in the 1960’s such as freeing themselves from capitalism and conservative family values and the Vietnam War. This is Your Brain on Music explores how people feel when they hear music on intellectual and emotional levels. The book explores how people have used Jim Morrison’s music as a way to preserve the spiritual and political values of American hippy culture in 1960’s and how companies use it as a marketing tool to create profit.

The book, “Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend” by best-selling rock and roll biographer Stephen Davis. Davis is a writer that has been revered by some of the artists he has written biographies about including Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac, each of them appearing on the New York Times best-seller list. “Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend” is seen as the ideal objective resource of Morrison’s life that closely follows facts and interviews provided by the members of the Doors along with other people that associated themselves with Morrison. The book is very detailed and remains very objective throughout without relying on rumors, hype or indulgent sentimentality, and portrays Morrison as a complex human being with a wide range of moods and behavior. If this book were to be translated into a film it would be a documentary rather than the fictional Hollywood romp Oliver Stone is responsible for. The book has a focus on how he tried to help his audience “break on through the doors of perception, set themselves free from robotic familial conditioning, to seek a higher, more aware consciousness”.

The book “No One Here Gets Out Alive” written by Danny Sugerman and Jerry Hopkins is a best-selling biography of Jim Morrison that was published in 1980 by Warner Books and is one of the primary texts on the life of Jim Morrison in the mainstream media. Since the book is so popular having spent over nine months on national bestseller lists across America upon its initial release in 1980, it has created a reputation for itself as one of the leading biographical resources on Jim Morrison for twenty-nine years now. Because of the book’s popularity, one would naturally need it as an essential source of information on how Jim Morrison represented through mainstream media as an icon in popular culture and how his audiences perceive him. The authors had a personal and professional relationship at one point or another in their careers considering Hopkins’ first best-selling biography “ELVIS” on the life of Elvis Presley was inspired to take on the task of writing a biographical book by Morrison himself. Sugerman worked as a personal aide to the Doors and clearly knew Morrison throughout his career and creates a sense of personal attachment and identity to the band’s music as a fan as well as working with the group. “No One Here Gets Out Alive” is a vital resource in observing how Jim Morrison is represented to his audience considering the popularity of its readership the depth of its observation into Morrison as an individual, a performer and an icon to hippie subculture in America throughout the 1960’s.

“By the Numbers: The Top-Earning Estates” is an article that by David Browne that was published in Rolling Stone Magazine that outlines the amount of money made in 2008 the highest grossing estates of dead musicians. David Browne is a regular contributor to Rolling Stone Magazine and this article appears in the magazine’s 1074th issue. The Morrison estate ranks as the third highest estate on the list having grossed $10 million in 2008 alone only to be outranked by Tupac Shakur’s estate which grossed $15 million and Elvis Presley’s estate which earned $52 million that year. Browne’s article discusses how the families of dead rock stars like the Marley family are expanding the amount of merchandise they are producing by investing in Bob Marley brand coffee and video games. This article offers crucial insight into how exactly the symbols of subcultures are used as marketing tools to create products and allow others to commercialize how they are represented to their fans. These products encourage consumer culture rather than preserving any form of ideas that they expressed through their music and how they are perceived to represent a particular set of beliefs among their fans. Creating products that use the symbolic power of these

The online article discussing “Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” was taken from the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine that charts the most financially successful and musically influential albums throughout the history of popular culture. The record sales for the Doors’ debut album is revealed in this article on the subject of influential music. The short article also discusses the influence the album had on the career of the Doors and its audience by interviewing the drummer for the band, John Densmore, and discussing what methods the band employed to write the music for their debut album. One key point the article vividly illustrates is how the band’s guitarist Robbie Krieger wrote the band’s biggest hit single on the album “Light My Fire” after Morrison urged everyone in the band to employ the use of universal imagery within the lyrics. This article reveals one of Morrison’s writing techniques when it comes to constructing imagery within his lyrics which is how he attracted music fans to his music and to discuss issues such as individualism, his spiritual beliefs and political ideologies later on in his career.

The official website for PBS provides in-depth content that presents historical information on the history of American political activities related Vietnam, including the war they waged with the Vietnamese and its influence on the American military and American politics. The “American Experience” section of the site provides a chronological timeline to look at the historical events that lead up to the war in Vietnam, how the war progressed and the effects it’s had on the social and political landscapes of American life from 1945 until 1991. Since the lyrics to the song “Unknown Soldier” by the Doors could be framed in a context to speak to American activities in Vietnam, many fans of the Doors could use Morrison’s political stance on the issue to symbolize their own beliefs. The information presented on the PBS website illustrates the impact of the war in Vietnam on life in America during the height of the Doors popularity in the 1960’s and what a large issue this was for the conscience of America and its citizens at that time.

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Religion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on July 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Alex Young Begins an Eight-Part Series on the Commercialization of Icons – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Alex Young - July 1, 2010

The following begins an eight-part series done by University of Guelph-Humber graduate Alex Young

MDST 4021/4022
Senior Research Project
For: Prof. Twyla Gibson
By: Alex Young

Break On Through (To the Other Side): How Jim Morrison Became a Marketing Tool for 1960’s Hippie Counter Culture in America

Introduction

The Catholic scholar Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote a manuscript entitled, On the Governance of Rulers, where he discussed his ideas of the external and internal forces that he believed everyone within a society or tribe had within them. Aquinas states, the standard form of government in nature is the rule of one.

If we consider the parts of the body, we see that there is one part that moves all the rest, namely the heart. If we look at the parts of the soul, we find that there is one faculty that rules the rest – reason. The same is true of bees, who have but one queen, and of the universe as a whole, which has only one God, who has created and governs all things. This is not without a reason since a plurality is always derived from a unity. Since the products of art imitate the works of nature, and since a work of art is the more perfect, the more closely it resembles the works of nature, the best government for a people is necessarily the government of one.

Jim Morrison has been many things throughout his lifetime including a lyricist, a singer, an icon in music, and a leader for hippie subculture throughout the 1960s in America. This thesis will explore the impact Morrison has had on modern North American culture by symbolizing the spiritual beliefs and political ideologies of American hippie subculture in the 1960s through media representations of rebellion. There will be a focus on how countercultural groups elect leaders, how they choose someone as a symbol of the groups’ moral, spiritual and political beliefs and how their leaders are used in the media to create an image for a particular subculture in the mainstream media. Morrison’s impact his audience and American culture will be examined on the basis of the financial results of his career, the influence he has had on popular culture and the beliefs he has come to be associated with over time.

American life was changing incredibly rapidly during the 1960’s while Americans began to re-evaluate the roles of African-Americans, youth, war, politics, women and American popular culture, which is how American culture has reflected the world and within American society. The Doors were an incredibly popular band that was seen to be linked with the large hippie movement that supported women’s liberation, civil rights, protested the war in Vietnam, and explored drugs. The themes of politics, the effects of war, spiritual freedom, expanding one’s consciousness and encouraging independent thought had never really been explored in mainstream music until the 1960’s. The Doors were one of the most popular bands to explore those themes and allow their audience to relate to those subjects through music because they could be connected with other movements such as women’s liberation and civil rights and other American cultural leaders like Timothy Leary. It seems as if Morrison’s audience saw themselves as their own leaders by rallying behind people who were symbols of different movements that were happening in 1960’s that were fundamentally changing American life. It was during this time that the group The National Organizational of Women was founded to re-shape the roles women could have in American culture because, “by 1968 women groups had multiplied, demanding the right to abortion, childcare, and an end to economic, political, educational and sexual discrimination. Women had their work cut out for them trying to raise the consciousness of Americans taught to see them only as sex objects or mothers.” Former Harvard Professor Timothy Leary began experimenting with LSD on beatnik icons Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac and coining the phrase “Turn on (your mind), tune in (to yourself), drop out (of society)” while Richard Nixon called him “the most dangerous man in America” because drug culture began to expand.

Do leaders in musical movements have the same impact as leaders of social and psychological movements or politics in North American culture? Did the hippie movement of the 1960’s have any influence or lasting impact on American culture at all?

Jim Morrison had a message of personal freedom that encouraged hippies to use their mind to perceive the world through their own thoughts instead of an image of the world that was handed down to them through political, educational and religious institutions. If one were to look at Saint Thomas Aquinas’s view of the best government for a people being “the government of one” while taking Morrison’s advocacy of personal freedom into account, it might take on a more anarchic view in the sense that Morrison is trying to encourage people to be their own leader. American society is populated with institutions such as organized religious groups including the Catholic Church, the American federal government and the public education that set out to shape reality for the people within them. For one person to become their own leader of their life and to truly think for them self is the ultimate form of rebellion because they are free to think and act according to their own logic. Aquinas’s “government of one” allows every individual to interpret reality solely through their own perspective, ideas, thoughts, opinions and emotions on the world that surrounds them. Through that interpretation the message of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s writing from On the Governance of Rulers, that it is possible to see that the message Morrison was trying to convey through his music was that the individual who thinks for themselves will rule their own lives and world as their master rather than being co-opted into the idea of a “free” country through democracy or a “free” spirit through religion.

The Doors gained a massive audience (as well as massive records sales) in America during the nineteen sixties while the hippie counter-cultural movement was going on. Since every movement needs leaders and symbols to crystallize their beliefs and represent a particular movement over time the hippie movement needed leaders as well. Jim Morrison could easily be recognized as one of the artistic leaders of hippie culture because he addressed issues such as violence, spirituality and expanding human consciousness, all of which had not been addressed in popular music until the 1960’s. Music has always been an easy way to rally a group of people together through their beliefs and emotions to symbolize their stance on a particular topic. Music has a complex impact on the human cognitive system by making multiple sections of the brain to function simultaneously and create emotional reactions to music by tapping into “the primitive, reptilian regions of the cerebellar vermis – the heart of emotional processing in the cortex.”

The song “The Soft Parade” documents Morrison speaking of his childhood in America and the role religion played in his upbringing. Morrison begins softly until he explodes by saying, “When I was back there in seminary school/There was a person there who put forth the proposition/that you can petition the Lord with prayer/petition the Lord with prayer? / petition the Lord with prayer? /YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER!” It is easy for anyone that disagrees with Catholicism and Catholic ideologies to make their opinions heard through Morrison’s lyrics here.

During the height of the Vietnam War in 1968, when “the US military’s assessment of the war is questioned and the ‘end of the tunnel’ seems very far off, the Doors released the album Waiting for the Sun on Elektra Records that contained the song “The Unknown Soldier”. “The Unknown Soldier” discusses themes of how political violence in war is represented to blue-collar American citizens through the media. The song contained the lyrics “Breakfast where the news is read/Television children fed/Unborn living, living dead/Bullet strikes the helmet’s head,” which creates an image of a family seeing the violence of the Vietnam War passively on television around the breakfast table. One of the biggest events that hippies in America rallied behind during the late sixties was the Vietnam War, making it was easy for the audience to frame the music of The Doors in a political context, particularly the song “Unknown Soldier”, to voice their political beliefs without protesting the war itself.

This thesis will be observing the media’s representation of Jim Morrison as a symbol of spiritual freedom and political rebellion by representing him as a leader of a countercultural movement through his music. This thesis will also be looking at the impact Morrison had on American Hippie counterculture in the 1960’s compared to other social and political leaders like Timothy Leary, Martin Luther King Jr., Betty Friedan while John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were each in power.

How can anyone say that Jim Morrison was seen as a leader in American music and art during the 1960’s? Well, one might consider the fact it was the popularity of the music he made with the Doors. The band’s debut album released in 1967 on Elektra Record went on to sell over 3.4 million copies and peaked at number two on the charts.

Since Jim Morrison’s death in Paris on Saturday July 3, 1971 , it is almost impossible to calculate the amount of merchandise and media representations that have had Morrison’s name put on it as an attempt to look into his life as a musician and cultural leader in America during his time as the singer of the Doors. There have been countless books and biographies written about Jim Morrison, including Riders on the Storm written by ex-Doors drummer John Densmore and Light My Fire written by ex-Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek. There was a major motion picture about Jim Morrison and the Doors, simply entitled The Doors, released by Maple Pictures in 1991 that was directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stone and Randall Johnson, and starred Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. The Morrison estate has made an incredible amount of money off of merchandise related to Jim Morrison’s image since his death in 1971 and raked in $10 million in royalties in 2008 alone.

It seems as though hippie counterculture crystallized their grievance with society through the fact that they seemed to inextricably link politics and religion as something that went hand-in-hand for many working class citizens of America. Ironically, hippies perceived religion as a drug that sedated many capitalists into a passive state of mind that kept them from voicing their individual political or religious opinions on the world they lived in. The hippie counterculture has a notorious reputation for illicit drug use in an effort to achieve personal freedom. This notion that free love entailed that love would take care of everyone that cared to believe in it is a comforting sentiment, but realistically, it is unclear where it really took hippie counterculture. The hippie’s concept of free love seemed to empower socialist ideas that everyone would be taken care of because there has to be someone in their life that they love or loves them rather than relying on capitalism and materialism for satisfaction and sustenance. The hippie concept of free love comes across as if it is loosely based on an attempt to put Marxist ideas and practices into play in a capitalist society while their freedom to rally people together was still based on money. In the book The Rebel Sell which explores the relationship between countercultural movements and consumer society written by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter, Canadian scholars from York University and the University of Montreal. Heath and Potter examined Marx’s view on capitalism, that bare similarity to the hippie’s stance of how free love would work in a capitalist society like America. The Rebel Sell states,

“In Marx’s view, this objectification of social relationships had gone so far that workers had become alienated from their own activity. They saw their own labor as merely a means to the attainment of other ends. Capitalism had created a nation of clock-watchers. Marx argued that the working classes were unwilling to engage in revolutionary politics because they were completely caught up in this nexus of false ideas. Commodity fetishism and alienated labor provided the ideology of capitalism. All of this was wrapped up in a bow by traditional Christian religious doctrine, which promised workers paradise in the afterlife, on the condition that they behaved themselves here and now. Thus, religion was the ‘opiate’ that kept them imposed suffering from becoming unendurable.”

The role of art and artists within society, especially North American society, has never been truly understood. Art plays a seminal role in the creation and preservation of a culture along with politics, social standards and the way a society’s citizens and leaders think as well as how they perceive their culture and the world. The ultimate purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact music has on North American culture and what contributions leaders of musical movements make to the citizens and the society they are a part of.

14 – Heath, Joseph, Potter, Andrew, The Rebel Sell: How the Counterculture Became Consumer Culture, Harper Collins Publishers Limited, 2005

*Part Two Will Be Published Tomorrow

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