Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ugly Betty Questionnaire

Ugly Betty Questionnaire

All of these answers will be confidential (unless of course you choose to post it publicly here).
Where were you born?
Where do you live?
How do you identify in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, gender etc.? Please state all that apply.
Would you mind if I contacted you? What is the best way to contact you if I would like to follow up with you?

*You can refer to the show as a whole as well as the particular episode I am focusing on:
"Don't Ask Don't Tell"
Air Date: 03/22/2007

Marc, promising to help Betty with inside info for Daniel, convinces her to pretend to be his "girlfriend" when his suspicious mom, Mrs. Weiner, arrives in town. Things go from bad to worse when Mrs. Weiner invites herself to dinner at the Suarez home and Betty's whole family has to play along with the charade. Meanwhile, Daniel and Alexis struggle to work together after their mom - who actually owns Mode - names them co-editors-in-chief of the magazine. http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing

*Be as honest and candid as you like. I want your opinion. I am definitely not judging you. I just want a sampling of opinions to create a very preliminary discussion of what audiences might be thinking about this show. There are no right or wrong answers. These are open-ended questions; feel free to answer however you like.

*Please answer as much as you can (as soon as you can too). If you would like to have a phone conversation instead please drop me an email with your phone number and the best time to call you: mediamuxerista AT yahoo DOT com

*This is a very preliminary research paper that is part of a longer comprehensive exam that I am working on in the next four weeks (but am trying to work on this part this week) so I would appreciate as much of your support you can offer.

∑ How often do you watch Ugly Betty? Do you watch when the episodes come out on TV and/ or Online or recorded such as with TiVo?

∑ Do you have any rituals when you watch Ugly Betty? (or TV in general) ( such as viewing with friends or preparations or your own added commentary etc ? Please describe.

∑ What drew you to watching the show?

∑ Do you consider yourself a fan? Why or why not?

∑ What aspects keep you watching?

∑ In your opinion what is the message or messages or themes of the show? Is that important to you in terms of being a viewer? Why or why not?

∑ Are there messages in this show that you agree or disagree with? What are they?
Please explain.

∑ Are there aspects that you feel like you reinterpret to suit your own view points? Such as?

∑ What do you like best about the show?

∑ Do you identify with any characters in particular?

∑ What do you think needs improvement or what do you absolutely hate?

∑ What do you think of the portrayal of Latinos on this show?

∑ What do you think about the portrayal of Immigrants on this show (and in particular to this episode)

∑ What do you think about the portrayal of gay characters on Ugly Betty? What are the positives or negatives or interesting aspects of some those characters or themes? What do you think about Marc’s character and the storyline pertaining to being in the closet to his mother?

∑ What do you think about the portrayal of women on this show? Any examples you’d like to share in particular?

What do you think of the shows portrayal of the fashion industry? do you think it is realistic?

∑ Who do you think watches this show? What makes you think so?

∑ Do you think this show is empowering? If yes, how so? If no why not?

∑ What do you think about how some critics have called Ugly Betty a ground breaking show and a “sly satire on class and race”? Do you think Betty is different from other offerings on TV?

∑ Is there anything else you want to add?
*Please add anything else you find interesting about this particular episode or the show in general. Any and all details or thoughts are useful.
Thank you so much for your time!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Grad School gets Ugly:I told you watching TV was homework

So I finally got my exam questions.
These are THE questions.
The ones that will make me a Master in broadcasting electronic communication arts (phew writing that tile is exhausting. I think my degree will say radio and TV...)

So I have to write two papers about 10-20 ( I think) pages for the general question and 20-40 pages for the question that was designed specifically for me. Of course of the 5 general questions that I have to choose from, one is about UGLY BETTY. (That was nice of them. Cause you know Im Latina and all...)The other questions are so blah or generic in comparison. Except there is one about the first amendment, journalists "right" to protect their sources and the Scooter Libby trial. I just saw a really interesting documentary about that on Frontline.

The only reason I am looking at that one as a back up is because at one point my chair said that I shouldnt pick a question that was similar to what my "answers" would be to my individual question. Because the whole point of the exam is to show "breadth" cause its a "comprehensive" exam. But analyzing Betty could be fun except there are things that irritate me in that show. I guess thats what part of the analysis will be about.

General question:
So the Ugly Betty question has to do with analyzing an episode and speculating on the impact the show is having on the US viewing audience looking at two "demographically different" audiences drawing on two different audience-centered theoretical frameworks. (im sure some of that is supposed to be Girl Power! and yay for Latinos on TV. I mean as much as I enjoy it when I see a positive representation there is a bit of cheese factor to this show or is that Camp...hmm maybe I can work with that...)
At least one framework already comes to mind so that is another reason I am thinking of writing to this question. The only problem is that both questions deal with representation. But maybe I can make the arguement that they do so in different ways. This one for example is tv criticism and I will be analyzing one particular show as a text. (as opposed to writing everything about the entire central american community plus media representation...)

So the specialized question for me is: A non-profit organization has hired me to help them research aspects of central american diasporic identity in hopes of launching a media campaign aimed at giving voice to members of this cultural group. (isnt this kinda funny? whys it gotta be a non-profit? ha ha)

I have to define "central american diaspora" drawing on scholarly research (of course) and theories of cultural identity to support my definition. "What particular sorts of cultural struggles do members of this diaspora face, particularily in terms of questions of media and identity?" (oh lots! my peepos be all about struggle!)

thats just part one.

Part two is I have to analyze two documentaries and two web sites that "do a good job of giving voice to some diasporic or other underrepresented group." And basically discuss the possibilities for particular groups to carve out spaces for their identities within different technological and aesthetic frames....
damn thats a lotta work to do in the next 4 weeks...I can think of one of each but not two...
oh theres more
Part 3 (yeah of just one essay I have to write)
I have to write a proposal for a documentary and or new media project that would "help further the cause of the CA diaspora" I kid you not. That is the wording in the question. que viva la causa!

There's a ton more detail but you get the idea. It sorta feels like everything and the kitchen sink (did I get that saying right?) but I guess it will be fun. You know. Comprehensively fun. Fun in the way I get all stressed out cause I work so slowly and I stop eating real food, seeing sunlight or showering unless I have to-fun.

So it was nice knowing you. If you wanna have any discussions on any of these topics thats what I'll be doing. Otherwise see you in May. I'll be in my office. (the cafe or library closest to me.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The last word

I finally uploaded a trailer for the Last word. Havent had much time to do much video but Im hoping to change that in May...Play it, rate it, comment, critque, make out with it...its less than a minute.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Segregated Blogosphere: Colorlines Article

I thought this was a facinating article about color and blogging. Check it.

The Segregated Blogosphere

Chris Rabb's life as a blogger started with an e-mail. For four years, he sent out an e-newsletter to thousands of names in his address book. The newsletter eventually became his blog, Afro-Netizen, which provided Rabb's commentaries on politics and news, with a focus on Black communities. Since then, Rabb has become one of the most outspoken voices on the racial divide in the blogosphere.

"As bloggers of color, we are such a smaller number of people than our white counterparts. That makes reaching the volume of traffic much harder, and the lack of social and financial capital also makes this harder," Rabb said.

People of color make up 40 percent of bloggers, but only 26 percent of Internet users. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's "Blogger" report, which was based on findings from their February through April 2006 tracking surveys, 11 percent of bloggers are Black, 19 percent are English-speaking Hispanic and 10 percent are some other race or ethnicity. read the rest here

Twisted beauty

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Women, Labor and Immigration Tuesday, March 27, 7-9 p.m.

"Women, Labor and Immigration" panel presentation with Teresa Carrillo, associate professor of Raza studies; Araceli Quezada, SF State alumna and professor of liberal arts at the San Francisco Art Institute; Maria Elena Guillen of the Service Employees International Union and Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; and moderators Deborah Gerson, lecturer in labor studies, and Julia Hua, assistant professor of women studies. Tuesday, March 27, 7-9 p.m., room 362 of the HSS building.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Pink cupcakes do not make you a better writer

So Im looking over the research proposal I've been working on for a hundred years and finally turned in a week or so ago (oh no I can't go back. That part is done.) and I see all these really awful mistakes and just some really bad writing. Im just wondering how does one learn to write better?
I mean, I know there were some good parts and hey its not supposed to be some great work of "Literature" with a capital 'L' but do you know how many times I rewrote that thing? What does one do to transform their work from mediocre to: this is what I really want to say, the ideas are all clearly connected, here's what other people think and what I think about their thoughts, but here is where my arguments are developed, here is something insightful, and I want to use pretty words...is that too much to ask of myself? I'm feeling like I have to relearn to write and I have to get over the anxiety of showing my writing to someone who will give me some constructive feedback.

I'm sure some of becoming a better writer also has to do with focusing on being an "academic" writer a little more than being a documentary producer/technological storyteller...but I want to do both. Oh and I want to continue to be a poet and performer. And oh yeah I have to develop some money making career at some point. Can't I just reconcile it all? And soon? I am slated to present on a panel called "Rethinking the Central American Left in the Era of Globalization" at LASA in Montreal in the Fall.. (it'd be nice if I could write well and get the funds to go) I mean I'm a good presenter but I would like to write a paper that could be submitted at least to the conference publication. I even had an opportunity to submit it as part of a central american american reader but its probably too late by now.
Are there books I should read? Should I quit complaining and keep writing? Should I find a 'Mento' and be someones 'Manatee' (mentee)? Did anyone see 30 Rock with "Oprah" at the source awards? Maybe a little of all of the above put it in a blender, add some pink cupcakes, a dictionary, some academic journals and its a wrap.

Friday, March 02, 2007

INCITE! Book release

I heard the event in SF was amazing! Packed and full of beautiful energy. I will be performing at the event in Oakland at Mills College March 8th with a crew of amazing performers. Im so honored to be a small part of this event.
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