Monday, March 22, 2010

Free Pastry Day!

So tomorrow is free pastry day at Starbucks- don't miss out!!!

So today I got a 94 (!!!!!!!!!) on my research paper!!!!! I was so worried but incredibly, I made an awesome grade! This past week I have been dedicated to Oliver! the musical at school, and it ended on Sunday. It's crazy that I actually get to come home and rest every day!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Research Paper on the Russian Revolution

Ok, so I highly advise that you do not continue to read this. I just have to type my paper on blogger because my laptop doesn't have Word!

Since the beginning of the human race, there has been a struggle and a hunger for power. It began in the perfect Garden of Eden when man was first tempted to be all knowing and powerful. Eve was manipulated by a serpent into believing its lies, and once Eve fell for it, Adam followed. Throughout history, things have been no different. People have been tricked into believing the lies of a modern serpent and then acting upon them. During the rise of communism, the use of propaganda was similar to the purpose of the serpent; it was used as an unfair and extremely bias tool of manipulation.

In Russia, the term propaganda did not necessarily have anything to do with manipulation; it simply meant  the distribution of new material and ideas. On the other hand, the term agitation does have a negative connotation; it describes the media used to persuade people to do what the Soviet leaders wanted through the manipulation of their emotions. The communists constantly used agitation for their benefit. In fact, they used it so much that they created the Department for Agitation and Propaganda in 1920. Its goal was to coordinate propaganda work of all Soviet institutions. "Early Agitprop in the cities included parades, spectacles, monumental sculpture, posters, kiosks, films, and agit-stations, located at major railroad stations, which had libraries of propaganda material, lecture halls, and theaters" (1:15).  The department also monitored all local press and directed propaganda campaigns. This censorship was an important aspect of government control because "the control of information is a powerful tool" (Steele 47). For the communists, censorship was a key asset in their quest for power and support. They strategically censored all media so they could "influence people to believe what they were told by telling them only part of the truth" (1:103).

Because propaganda is everywhere, advertisers and propagandists know that people do not really have a choice as to whether or not they want to see or hear it. For propaganda to be successful, it needs to persuade the viewer to hold the same opinion or views as the distributor. This goal can be achieved through the three main modes of persuasion: logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos is appeal based on logic and reason, ethos is appeal based on the character or authority of the speaker, and pathos is the most common method of persuasion because it is based on emotion. Russian dictator Vladimir Lenin used the pathos method in his campaign slogan Peace, Land, and Bread. He appealed to the desires of the hungry people and manipulated them based on their poverty. In Germany, the Nazi party's slogan was Blood and Honor. This is another example of pathos because it captivated people's sense of pride. Through this slogan they also tried to attract support by making their ideas and goals seem honorable, heroic, and powerful, which appeals to the side of people that yearns for leadership and organization.

In addition to ethos, logos, and pathos, there are other propaganda techniques that are used everywhere. Appeal to fear is a propaganda technique in which the creator attempts to gain support for his idea by using deception and intimidation tactics. Adolf Hitler commonly used this technique when he threatened and lied to the Jewish population of Germany. He seduced and tricked the Jews by playing on their greatest fears. Another very popular technique is loaded words. When propaganda contains loaded words, the creator is trying to gain support or influence people by appealing to their emotions. The natural trust that most people have for others can be manipulated through the technique of loaded words because "if we are led to believe that communicators have nothing to gain and perhaps something to lose by convincing us, we will trust them and they will be more effective" (Pratkanis 133). Hitler used this propaganda technique to contribute to the rise of communism in Germany by releasing posters, fliers, films, and radio dialogue that took advantage of people's emotions. Experts in advertising and propaganda research have discovered that "one effective way to persuade the masses is to develop and repeat falsehoods" (Pratkanis 133). Hitler was a very clever deceiver when it came to this concept. He gave the misled population seemingly fresh hope by painting the picture of a united and strong government with powerful leadership. To do this, he used repetition throughout his released propaganda and media.

 From the rise of the Soviet Union in 1922 to its fall in 1991, the communists used propaganda to gain followers. Communists knew that "the more supporters they gained, the more power they would have" (Leone 84). Naturally, they tried to persuade everyone to favor their form of government. In Russia, Joseph Stalin used terror as an instrument to transform people's opinions and force submission to discipline as Lenin also did before him. In Germany, Adolf Hitler lied to and misled the German people by appealing to their emotions and taking advantage of their obliviousness. During the peak of the Soviet Union, propaganda was used to gain people's trust and faith in the communist government. Clever tactics were maliciously and deceitfully used to manipulate the people. When the majority of communism and its misleading propaganda crumbled along with the Soviet Union itself, people who were previously under the communist government were able to experience a whole new life that revolved around one principle that many people in America take for granted: freedom.

Works Cited

"Agitprop". Encyclopedia of Russian History.
     New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004.

Leone, Bruno. Communism.
    Minnesota: Greenhaven Press, 1978.

Pratkanis, Anthony. Age of Propaganda.
     New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 1992.

Steele, Phillip. Political Manipulation.
    Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2006.

Monday, March 1, 2010

ANOTHER play!!

This one is about Tiger & Elin and Jon & Kate on a couples therapy version of the Amazing Race.

The Amazing Race: Celebrity Couples Therapy


Tiger Woods............................................... mid 30's, darker complextion
Elin Nordegren........................................... early 30's, slight Swedish accent
Kate Gosselin.............................................. early 40's, slight anxiety
Jon Gosselin................................................ mid 40's, laid back, submissive


Scene 1: This scene takes place at the base of a mountain where the clues are to be given out.

Scene 2: This scene takes place on a mountain, where four blocks float over a deep ravine.

Scene 3: This scene takes place in a small coffee shop with two tables.

The Amazing Race: Celebrity Couples Therapy

Scene One:

Dave:  Hello, and welcome to the Amazing Race!

(Tiger and Elin give nervous nods, Jon and Kate do the same. The

couples stand across from each other. )

Tiger: Hey, Dave? Uh, how long is this gonna last? I have an... uh...

appointment in a few hours...

Dave: Well, Tiger, that all depends on how well you do! For our

viewers just tuning in, this Amazing Race is about to come to a close.

Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush left us last week when they.... well,

broke up. Again. This week, it's the moment of truth. Whoever makes

it to the finish line first wins! Let's meet our couples now!

Kate: Hi, hi. I'm Kate and... (Kate rolls her eyes and looks at Jon)

Jon: I'm Jon...

Dave: Great to have you! What is your strategy today?

(Jon tries to speak, Kate immediately cuts in.)

Jon: Well Dave-

Kate: Um, honey, I'm talking here. Well, my strategy is to first get

through this race, and second, get through my divorce. There are so

many things to work out. The house, the show, the dogs... the kids... my hair...

Jon: And-

Kate: Jon, honey? Shh!!

Dave: And our other couple- Tiger and Elin. As most of us know, Tiger

has committed "multiple transgressions" and then apologized many

times. Elin, do you have anything to say?

(Tiger is looking down at his phone, reacting to text messages.)

Elin: I just vant to vin this race. Tiger and I are seeking professional

help and for the sake of our children, ve are really trying to save our


(She looks over at Tiger and sees him with his phone. She frowns and

crosses her arms.)

Dave: Tiger? Could you put down your phone?

Tiger: Yeah, yeah. Sake of the kids-

Dave: Alright, are both teams ready?

(The contestants all nod.)

Dave: On your mark, get, set go!

(Both teams run across the stage to the clue box and grab their first clue.)

Kate: It says: travel on foot to the top of Falcon's View. You will find

your next clue there. Oh don't look so sad, come on Jon.

(She grabs Jon's arm and drags him offstage.)

Elin: Ve have to climb to the top of a mountain.

Tiger: A mountain? Wow, remember when we met? It was on a hike

up in the Alps. And then I proposed to you on a mountain, overlooking

the crystal clear lake below. It was-

Elin: Vait a second! Ve didn't meet on a mountain! Ve met in Florida...

on a blind date! Your friend planned it! And you proposed to me on a

crummy putt putt course!

Tiger: Oh, uh... wrong person.

Elin: Vhat?? Oh come on!

(She drags him offstage.)

Scene Two:

 (Kate emerges from the other side of the curtain.)

Kate: Jon?? JON? Come on!! (Jon stumbles out from behind the

curtain.) Whew!! That took a little longer than I thought!

Jon: Yeah, but I don't see Tiger and the model anywhere close-

Kate: Oh look, the clue box! (She runs over and pulls out a clue.)

"Roadblock: Who has the balance of a gymnast and the courage of a

lion?" Oh, that's me. I'll do it. You can't do anything. Hold my-

Jon: Now wait just a second! You have the balance of a hippo and the

courage of a mouse! Remember when we first moved into our first

house? You tried to paint the walls, but fell off the ladder and onto one

of our many kids... I will do this challenge.

Kate: But-

(Jon and Kate go into a stage freeze as Tiger comes out onstage.)

Tiger: Come on Jessie, we're almost there!!

(Realizing his mistake, he slaps himself.)

Elin: Vhat?? Jessie? My name is Elin!!! (She slaps him.) I know you

have had problems but the least you could do is get my name right!

Tiger: Uh, sorry... look! We're almost there! I see the child addicts up


(The focus is returned to Jon and Kate as Tiger and Elin go into a

stage freeze.)

Jon: What does the rest of the clue say??

Kate: "Can you take the leap of faith? The floating stones in front of

you are held up by a magnetic pull that defies gravity. But be careful

and watch your step! One false move and you will find yourself

plummeting toward a three thousand foot drop, and then death."

Jon: Ok, let's do this!

(Four 'floating' blocks are in a row. Jon cautiously steps onto the first

one. His legs are shaking as he stands there unbalanced. Meanwhile,

Tiger and Elin unfreeze, move toward the clue box, and pull out the

clue. They read it, and Tiger points at Elin, indicating that she is the

one who will complete the challenge.)

Jon: Whoaa!! (He carefully steps onto the second block as Elin pounces

onto the first.)

Kate: Watch out Jon!! She's coming up behind you!

Elin: Ha, ha! That's right, Jon! Vatch out!

(Jon turns around nervously and sees Elin.)

Jon: AAHH!!!

(Elin makes a jump for the second block as Jon goes for the third.

Elin's foot slips and she clings onto the block for her life.)

Elin: HELP!!!

Tiger: Elin!! Hold on! Kate, grab my ankles!!!

(Kate grabs his ankles as they crawl toward the edge of the cliff.)

Kate: Dear God!! Have mercy on her!!

(Tiger crawls onto block #1 and reaches out toward Elin. Jon

continues to block #4 and sees the finish line ahead, then he looks back

at Elin.)

Kate: Jon, you can't save her!! Go to the finish line!! GO!! We must

win!! Don't screw this up!!

Elin: Someone help me!!!

(Tiger is trying to reach Elin, but is having trouble. Jon finally turns

back toward Elin.)

Jon: No, Kate, no. I am sick and tired of you being my superior! I am a

man!! I make my own decisions!! And I will do the right thing this time!

(Jon jumps from block to block, back to Elin. He smiles and reaches

toward her.)

Jon: Grab my hand!

Elin: Vow, thanks Jon!

(Elin and Jon go into a stage freeze. Kate drops Tiger's ankles in


Kate: Oh, I've had enough!!

Tiger: Me too! For the first time in seven years, I try to be a man and

save my girl, and then someone else swoops in and takes the credit.

Kate: Tell me about it! I was the one who popped out 8 kids and Jon

gets all the credit about being the sweet, easy-going guy. Which

automatically makes me the bad cop... with great hair!

Tiger: I don't think you're the bad cop! You just get a bad rap, kinda

like me! You know, we have a lot in common... do you want to grab a

coffee after this?

Kate: Sure!

(Tiger hops onto the first block and reaches his hand down to Kate to

help her up. Kate and Tiger freeze. Jon and Elin unfreeze. Jon helps

Elin onto the block and they continue on until they get to the finish


Elin: Thanks for saving my life, Jon!

Jon: Eh, don't mention it! It feels good to feel like a man again... the

whipped, submissive dog life I've been living lately isn't satisfying at all.

 Doing something worthwhile and being appreciated for the first time in

years... it felt great!

Elin: Vell, I am very much appreciative! I have always felt like I have

had to stay under the shadow of a famous golfer. You always hear how

"Tiger von this, Tiger von that", and I'm fed up! No one even knew my

name until Tiger's secret life rose from the shadows.

(Kate and Tiger unfreeze and start making their way from block to


Jon: Tell me about it! You know, we have a lot in common.. do you

want to grab a coffee after this?

Elin: Sure!

(All four of them arrive in the same place. They all cross the finish line

together. Suddenly, Dave pops out.)

Dave: Well, looks like we have a tie! Would you like to split the


Tiger: Well... it's only a million dollars...

Jon: Let's donate it to charity!

Dave: Ok, great idea! How has this experience helped any of you?

(Kate looks at Tiger.)

Kate: Well, I found out that sometimes people aren't always what they


Jon: I second that!

Dave: Awesome! Well, that's all the time we have! Congratulations to

our four winners! (Dave looks at the audience.) And we'll see you next

time on the Amazing Race!

(The lights dim.)

Scene Three:

(Two tables with two chairs apiece are set up. The lights rise. Tiger walks in with Kate as Jon walks in with Elin. They all see each other at the same time. Kate points at Jon, Tiger points at Elin, and vice versa.)