Loorie Moore’s Lecture by Julia Mulry, Kate Mazza, and Holly Lloyd

We attended Loorie Moore’s lecture in order to learn more about her and her field of work.  As a renowned author and educator, we were especially interested to gain insight on her intelligence and experience.  Her introduction was nothing short of exceptional, sighting her countless accomplishments and providing us with a general idea of who Moore is.  Understanding just how powerful her writing was to other people in the world of academia showed her stature, as she was described to be hyperconscious – aware of language in a way that most were not.  However, it was not until Moore took the stand that I could understand just how dynamic and impressive her way with words could be transferred onto those who read or listened to her.  She told us how she was teaching comedic narrative this semester in an attempt to decipher why a book is, in fact, funny.  Though they did not come to many definitive conclusions, the class did concur that comedy is about incongruity.  This, she told us, was captured perfectly in marriage, a funny event in itself.  After this, she read us a riveting story that apprehended the essence of her message, describing a wedding she attended with her daughter.  Her compelling, yet comical, vocabulary and calming voice made it an easy listen.  We were happy to be able to hear her short story and appreciate her narratives.  

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My Story

 

I chose to do my My Story Project on my mission trip to Alabama. Being that this was such a poignant event in my life thus far, I thought it perfectly encompassed “My Story.”  Spending ten days in a depressed community was life-changing event on its own, but having them take all electronics forced us to truly be where we were.  I was able to assist the children of Wetumpka, Alabama through reading, crafts, and religious scripture, while having fun and playing games, as well.  I grew closer with my peers and strengthened my faith during this time, as well, and was able to reflect on what is important in my life.  This is My Story because it greatly impacted my life and showed me just how fortunate I am.

 

The Journey to a Better Life

This commercial for Budweiser in the 2017 Superbowl captures a German immigrant on his perilous journey to America.  Featuring haneous backlash  and seemingly unbearable conditions, this man appears to be doing whatever it will take to attain the American dreams.  Conditions dramatically change as he reaches St. Louis, Missouri and is greeted with kindness and acceptances.  As the man goes in to a local bar, he presents a sketch of a beer bottle design to another man, introducing themselves as Anheuser Busch, leaving the audience to infer they are the founders of Budweiser, as the logo appears on the screen with the words “When Nothing Stops Your Dreams, This is the Beer We Drink.”  This uplifting message juxtaposes the treacherous journey that the man takes to get here, and likens Budweiser to the essence of the american dream.

An important symbol in this commercial is the idea of the American dream, and those doing anything they can to reach it.  Commercials of the past for Budweiser have also focused on attaining dreams, such as the ‘Clydesdale Donkey’ which, stemming from the commonly known Budweiser Clydesdales concept, featured a donkey who was able to attain all of his dreams by making the cut to be a competing horse.  This is one of the most well-liked and well-remembered Budweiser commercials in existence.  What differs from this commercial, however, is the concept of the american dream, rather than any other type of dream.  American viewers are more apt to listen and empathize to something they personally understand.  Whether it was a grandparent who went through it , or simply just their nationalism in full effect, Americans love the idea of the American dream.  This catalyzes an emotional transfer between the viewers and the commercial, as they are meant to be compassionate with his suffering, and filled with admiration when they realize what he became.

Though this does emphasize the idea of the American dream, a large part of this focuses on the political issue of immigration the country is currently facing.  While Budweiser denies any political affiliation or correlation between Trump’s immigration views and their commercial, it is difficult to ignore the relevancy to America’s situation. Many of the denying factors could stem from a need for sales to increase, as “Budweiser ads typically cost between $2 million to $3 million to produce. Add the record $5 million average cost for a 30-second Super Bowl ad, and it’s easy to understand why the brewing company is hoping its $12 to $15 million commercial can spur growth in sales.”  Because of the extremely polarized nature of politics today, it is understandable for Budweiser to not take a political stance sheerly because of their sales, as before their statement Trump supporters were already wanting to boycott their products.  However, though this commercial was filmed before Trump’s implementing of the “Muslim-Ban,”it contrasts to the very different ideas surrounding immigration between generations.  This appeals to the social outcasts idea, as putting this man down, only to build him up as a huge success is moving and relatable to viewers.

The song choice in this video, similarly, adds to the connection between the audience and the commercial, and even the brand. “Born the Hard Way” plays in the background as the story of the co-founder of Budweiser is explained.  This song is emotional and relatable, showing that not all are born with an easy life, but hard work can pay off in order to be a great success.

As of 2016, Budweiser was the 4th most popular beer.  It will be interesting to see if any political association, accidental or not, will effect their sales. Because previous commercials from Budweiser have had negative backlash for various reasons, this issue may cause a decrease in sales, and be seen for its relevancy to today rather than the past.

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budweiser
  2. http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/01/31/budweiser-debuts-pro-immigration-super-bowl-ad/
  3. http://fortune.com/2017/02/05/budweiser-super-bowl-commercial-immigration-boycott/
  4. http://nesn.com/2017/01/budweisers-super-bowl-li-ad-born-the-hard-way-tells-story-of-immigrant-co-founder/
  5. https://www.statista.com/statistics/188723/top-domestic-beer-brands-in-the-united-states/

Election Day Reaction

January 20th, 2016 will go down in history as one of the most highly emotional and polarized days in American history.  With Donald Trump being elected President, it became nearly impossible to avoid politics during this election process.  Through different television media outlets, it was very difficult to find an unbiased news network, as many channels tend to favor a certain party.  Social media platforms allowed people the opportunity to express what the election means to them and the impact they feel on a personal level.  I think this is important because many people felt quite strongly for each candidate, and finding support through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be helpful.  However, people abuse this assistance when it used to attack others based upon their political views.

Though I haven’t been politically aware for many elections, from what I gather, this election is rare in its’ capacity to have no compassion or acceptance between parties.  This deep hatred for our President is further driving our nation apart.  Though I do not associate with a political party, I fully advocate for respect and acceptance for all.  This includes all minority groups who already feel marginalized by Trump’s words and actions, but also for Trump himself.  If our country would like to make the best of this election, it is imperative to unite behind the idea of maintaining the beautiful democracy that is America and moving nowhere but forward.  It is imperative for each person in this country to hold true to their values and what they feel is right, and use that knowledge as power to evoke change.