Monday, February 25, 2008

The Best Way to Not To

One of today's hottest topics is immigration and hence, almost everyone has something to say about it, those who are for it particularly. This is, most of the time, the right thing to do since it further pushes reform in some way, shape, or form. However, when two weeks ago I saw Kinto Sol's video "Los Que Luchamos," I just started shaking my head. The one aspect I wanted to talk about is just how effective his video is at achieving its purpose as outlined in the song: help immigration. The video is incredible at damaging the image of Latinos in general and of further stalling any immigration opportunities.
First, let us analyze, the video. All through the video, several pictures are shown of struggling Latinos and of them protesting. Both of those pictures are exactly the wrongs ones to show right now. As it is, there isn't that many jobs available for citizens or residents of the US. Hence, to show how these unlawful Latinos have jobs which other citizen or resident could have had, only further kindles the anger of those in power. Some might argue, nevertheless, that the Latinos working in the video were righteous workers abiding by the laws. This could indeed be the case but then, wouldn't that make them "malinches" as expressed in Kinto's video?
The second thing to look at here are the video clips showing Latinos protesting. The videos only show that Latinos are one conflicting people. If we look at past history, one can find that political action is by far more effective than parading across a city. Parades and protest are also useless nowadays. Why? Well, if you have ever been trapped in the middle of a street because some dude decided he had nothing best to do than to walk in the middle of the street then you have part of the answer of why protesting in a "parade form" is a failure. Indeed, protesting only causes the general public to be further displeased about the issue. Let us however, fall into the trap of just mere bashing; protests are in fact useful to achieve goals. They must, let us not forget either, be done in the right place and at the right time. The middle of a recession is not exactly the best time...
I don't know who is directing the protests, or Kinto's videos for that matter, but someone needs to tell these guys that some times, the best way to help a cause is not to help at all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Give You...Rapture/City Seventeen/Halo

As some of you might remember, I picked video games as my topic for the my final paper. Thus, why are video games rhetoric? Basically because they fulfill all of the aspects of the definition. Video games like Half-Life, Halo or Bioshock, take you inside a world, thus creating a reality. The world is totally fictitious, but any exceling video game should be able to immerse the player in the game enough so that the player's reality changes.

The second aspect of correct rhetoric is for that "something" we are talking about to analyze both sides of the arguement. Once gain, the video games mentioned above take you through both factions of the story thus making you understand both sides of the argument. That is why I argued that Quinto Sexto (or whatever the name of the latin rapper was) was correct rhetoric. The guy never took into consideration the "maliches" he spoke.
Lastly, that "something" we are talking about must insite further discourse in order for that something to be called rhetoric. Video games do this by making the player play through the game. How so? Well with the reality now being created, the player must battle through that reality, and hence change it himself, in order to change the game.

Becauae of these things, and many other not yet analyzed, Video games are rhetoric.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Do you Trust the Trust?

Last week, one of the main headlines was Microsoft's bid to buy Yahoo. By now, Yahoo has officially rejected Microsoft's bid. However, the fact still remains that Microsoft's greed apparently knows no boundaries. "What do I care?" you ask; you should be caring a whole lot.
Microsoft is known as the company that brought you Windows and Office; the ever better benefactors of mankind... not anymore (where they ever? Not Really). As of late, Microsoft's true colors have been showing. Remember Vista? That one OS (Operating System) you don't want in you computer, the one that looked more like a Beta (or Alpha) of what should have been. Well, Microsoft released it like that because they were almost sure that their grap on the market was so secure, that people would buy anything label "Microsoft." Imaging that same ideology carried it out but with success?

With the anti-trust laws being dimished, it is our duty as consumers not to buy all the thrash that microsoft spits out until they fix it properly or, better yet, buy Apple. If you are worried about Office not working on Apple, it does and it is a legit program which Microsoft publishes (you get Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and the Messenger in the package).

Don't let Microsoft win by monopoly. If it wants to win, let it win by quality.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Are Video Games Art?

Are video games art? This is among some people (more than two for sure) one of the thrilling questions of the century. As video games become more and more mainstream, some some nay sayers are having to reorganize their arguments against video games. 

Are video games art? Let us first look at the basic elements of other forms which are called "art." First, let us agree that most forms of art are known because they provide a compelling story (at least those pieces which are most memorable and define and give the meaning to that particular form of art). Whether it is through a picture, which undoubtedly tells the story of its painter and its own personal story, or through words, which are the very epitome of a compelling stories, or through music, or a combination of all of them, there is always a grappling story behind what we call art.

Do video games have this? I would argue that they do. As a person, story in any form of art means whole lot to me: I often pick songs based on what they say, not so much as how they sound (there are exceptions though). Regarding movies, I give a huge value for story this is why Spiderman 2 was, to me, awesome, and Spiderman 3 was a piece of thrash. On two, there was an awesome story ark which flowed very nicely throughout the movie. On 3, the plot was just too convoluted, and none of the scenes really depict the overall story of the movie. It was just of pretty scenes thrown together with few if any grandiose meaning.
Are video games Spiderman 2 or 3? The ones that matter are Spiderman 2.

If we look at "party games" of course you will believe that video games are hollow. However, if we were to look upon some of the classics, it would be possible to see that video games are indeed art. Let us take for example Bioshock one of last year's best games. The game told the story of the world of Rapture an a utopia brought to nought by man's corruption. 
Are video games art? My answer is this: Would You Kindly look at the video below and tell me what you think? (You have to play the game and get to the ending to understand the irony in this question).