http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix a multi-media journal of public affairs and popular culture produced by students at Hunter College Wed, 28 Nov 2012 18:54:16 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.4 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=472 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=472#comments Wed, 28 Nov 2012 18:52:41 +0000 Thomas Wengler http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=472 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=472 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=463 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=463#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 13:47:40 +0000 Kanwal Pervaz http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=463 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=463 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=457 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=457#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 13:28:25 +0000 Kristin Tablang http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=457
Many other Brookdale residents shared Salam’s belief that the effects of Sandy would not last more than a day or two. Eleven days later, however, Brookdale’s doors remain closed as efforts to repair the extensive water damage endured by its phone, fire, and electrical systems slowly unfold.
“I’ve been couch-hopping this entire week,” said Chevon Christie, a senior majoring in computer science. He has lived at the dorms every semester—summers included—since freshman year, heavily relying on its convenient Manhattan location to commute to school and work. “I’m not digging the nomadic lifestyle,” he said. “It’s made me so tired lately that sometimes, I even forget to eat.”
Albina Khayrulina, another student who has lived in Brookdale since her freshman year, was forced to move back into her parents’ home in Staten Island due to the evacuation. “The commute—which costs twice as much—has definitely negatively impacted my academic performance,” she said. “I wake up almost three hours before class to get [to Hunter] on time. By the time I get home I am tired, it is late, and I am in no state to study.”
Salam, who is now staying with his family in Queens, also voiced difficulties concentrating on schoolwork due to being displaced. “I can’t study at home because there are too many distractions,” he said. “Especially since my bedroom doesn’t have a door.”
The unexpected move has gravely impacted the social lives of Brookdale residents as well. “At the dorms, [my friends and I] would see each other every day. We would study together, eat together,” Khayrulina said. “Nowadays, we have to sneak in time between classes to see one another.”
Some Brookdale residents who do not possess the option of bunking with a friend or relative were fortunate enough to find shelter at other CUNY affiliated facilities, such as CCNY’s dormitories and the student residence halls on 92nd and 97th Streets, courtesy of Hunter’s emergency housing services. In fact, the college’s main campus was used as a temporary shelter for approximately 250 city residents immediately before and after the storm. Repeat requests for interviews with Hunter administrators and personnel were not answered.
James Davis, a fifth-year student, was able to secure housing at the 97th Street residence hall. “I’m luckier than a lot of other students out there,” he said. “At least I don’t have to deal with the ridiculous commute.”
For now, Brookdale’s status remains a mystery to its struggling residents. “The least [Hunter] can do is let us know how long it’s going to be until we can move back,” said Salam. “Being kept in the dark just makes things even worse.”]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=457 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=455 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=455#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 13:22:01 +0000 Omar Atia http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=455
Despite the difficult living conditions, P.S. 15 Principal Peggy Wyns-Madison said that attendance has steadily improved since November 5th, the first day classes resumed after the storm. On Friday, November 16th, attendance was at nearly 80%, up from 50% in the days following Hurricane Sandy.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hari and his staff from the DSF worked steadfastly to re-open P.S. 15 by Monday, November 19. Acquiring electrical-part replacements was one obstacle in the repair process, as the increased demand throughout the city depleted supplies and made the wait as long as 15 weeks. Additionally, the DSF took thorough measures to disinfect and remove all the water-damaged sheetrock and pipes, which are breeding grounds for mold. A feint smell of mildew still pervaded the halls on a recent visit to the closed building, but Mr. Hari assured that air-quality tests conducted by outside consultants deemed the building safe.
Still, the DSF planned to properly ventilate the building over the weekend before the re-opening on Monday. Ms. Cavanagh as well as the staff and students at P.S. 15 eagerly await the return to normal. “It’ll be good to go home and have that stability,” said Cavanagh.]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=455 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=452 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=452#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 13:05:27 +0000 Ian Murphy http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=452 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=452 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=448 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=448#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 12:59:15 +0000 Roberte Varasse http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=448 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=448 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=441 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=441#comments Sun, 02 Sep 2012 14:08:48 +0000 Omar Atia http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=441 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=441 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=431 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=431#comments Tue, 28 Aug 2012 21:07:08 +0000 Ian Murphy http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=431
Zuniga isn’t the only one of his age group to say he likes Friendship Is Magic. The show has an entire fan base of males in their early teens to mid-30s who call themselves “bronies” (singular “brony,” a blend of the words “bro” and “pony”).
Originally called My Pretty Pony, the line of plastic pony-shaped dolls for young girls first developed in 1981. The My Little Pony name has spawned various iterations of children’s TV shows and direct-to-video films over the past 30 years. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the most recent iteration of the franchise, was created in 2010 by American animator Lauren Faust, who has also worked as a writer and storyboard artist on other children’s shows and films, such as The Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Iron Giant. Set in a fantasy world inhabited by talking ponies and mythical creatures, such as dragons, Friendship Is Magic follows a sisterhood of six young ponies who learn the value of friendship while overcoming problems that test their platonic bond. Keeping the franchise’s target demographic in mind, Faust intended Friendship Is Magic to give morals and life lessons to the show’s young viewership while also providing engaging conflicts to keep the children’s parents entertained, should they ever want to watch it.
Against the expectations of the Pony developers, the show garnered attention from older male audiences on message board websites like 4chan.org after a critique of the show by Amid Amidi, shortly after the show’s premiere, calling it “the end of the creator-driven era in TV animation.” Interest in the show increased and, as a result, its male fans spread their appreciation through various forums and chat rooms.
According to Rachel Gibson, 20, the brony community has spawned countless independently produced works online, including fan art, fan fiction, music, and animations that commonly feature the show’s characters, settings, and themes of love and tolerance. As part of one particular online activity, certain fans overlay humorous captions on screenshots from the show, which are posted on online image boards. One such image depicts two pony characters performing a fist bump-like gesture with their hooves, with the word “brohoof” sprawled across the bottom; bronies have since coined the term as a synonym for the phrase “fist bump.” Other captioned images are more tongue-in-cheek, with one reading, “I’m gonna love and tolerate the sh*t out of you,” while showing an image of a pony character with a stern facial expression.
“I think there are a lot of guys who are afraid of what others might think if they started walking around with shirts that had pictures of ponies on them,” said Gibson. “They probably feel more free to express themselves online.”
The community is not without its detractors, however. News outlets such as Fox News and the National Review Online have portrayed bronies in a negative light, calling the young males “creepy” for being interested in something intended for young girls. Internet trolls (people who post provocative messages online) have also attacked bronies on message boards for similar reasons, questioning their sexual orientation and mental well-being. Zuniga has been similarly criticized by his family for his interest in the series. “At least give the show a chance before you judge me,” he said. He has since persuaded his 14-year-old brother to watch the show, which they now enjoy together.
On July 17, 2012, American radio personality Howard Stern lampooned the brony community on his personal radio program, The Howard Stern Show. Stern accused the entire community of being sexually aroused by the show and “clopping” (a term coined by bronies to represent masturbation) while watching it. “What bronies really need is for just one celebrity to come out for them,” Stern said.
Incidentally, American film and television actor John de Lancie, who portrayed the antagonist Discord for two episodes of Friendship Is Magic, is producing a documentary on the brony community, titled BronyCon: The Documentary, in the bronies’ defense. Much of the documentary’s filming was shot in June 2012 at a convention called “BronyCon,” which is held by members of the show’s fanbase in New York City every three to five months to discuss and share anything related to Friendship Is Magic. Faust and voice actress Tara Strong (who stars in Friendship Is Magic as the main protagonist Twilight Sparkle) have similarly recognized and embraced the brony fandom; both Faust and Strong are attached to the documentary as producers, and regularly attend BronyCon as guests.
The cast and crew of Friendship Is Magic have found other ways to acknowledge their fan base. The name “Derpy Hooves,” given to a recurring background character by fans for her perpetual, cross-eyed expression (or “derp” face), was adopted by the show’s writing staff and used in an episode of the show during its second televised season. “Most creators ignore their fans,” Zuniga said. “The Friendship Is Magic crew actually listens to the fans, which is a great way to gain more.”]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=431 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=421 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=421#comments Tue, 07 Aug 2012 12:06:15 +0000 Abraham Vazquez http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=421
Cortese, 21, grew up in a home of photographers. His parents and grandparents wanted to take images of everything that concerned the family, “even if it was a bad photo,” Cortese says. “To my family, photos were memories captured.” He still lives by that motto today. When Cortese is out on his professional shoots or when he is simply using his iPhone to snap street photography, he is capturing moments.
The convenience of digital photography makes it easy for anyone to be a photographer. “If you pick up a device and take a picture, you’re a photographer in my book,” Cortese says. As for light, composition, and all the other stuff of professional photography, Cortes takes a populist stance: “All that stuff gets intimidating for people,” he says, “when you tell them they aren’t really a photographer because they haven’t been schooled in it or they don’t take it seriously.”
Cortese appreciates platforms such as Instagram and EyeEm, two popular photography-based social-networking apps, because, as he puts it, “who the heck is going to tell you that your photo is crap? No one!”
Today Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook this year, has over 50 million users and is used by everyday people, celebrities, and, yes, even professional photographers. Like Facebook itself, Instagram allows people to share, view, and report virtually anything.
“We are at the best point in our lives,” says Cortese. “The fact that we don’t have to wait for a professional photojournalist to take a photo and for it to get to the paper for us to see what is happening is very liberating.”
While this increase of documenting history is very true, the rise of digital photography is hurting those who live off of photography.
Edgar Mattey, a professional photographer from the Bronx, has been a fashion photographer since 2006. He believes the digital-mobile trend is causing the passion of photography to dissipate. He says, “People come up to me all the time and say ‘your camera takes great pictures! Can you help me find one?’” He feels people in general are “giving all the credit to the equipment as opposed to the ‘eye’ of the photographer.”
To Mattey, a photographer is someone “who is looking to get a reaction from their viewer and not just capture an image.” He said that he likes to “turn an everyday girl into a model” through his photography. That is how he gets reactions.
Because of this widespread trend, work “is like a yo-yo,” Mattey says. “There are seasons where it’s up, then there are seasons where it’s down.” Since “this is an industry that’s available to a 12-year-old,” he adds, people don’t appreciate good, old-fashioned, professional photography anymore.
Going back 30 years to when film photography was strong, people practiced the discipline of patience. You shot your roll, sent it to a lab, and waited a few weeks. Only then could could you finally see the moments you captured. Today, Cortese says, “I can take a photo and show it to you right away and we can live that moment together.”
Still, Cortese does not think that the distinction between the long process of film and the expedience of digital is the reason people have jumped on the bandwagon of digital photography. “Film costs money,” he says. “The accessibility to get a camera was way more limited than it is now.” As a result, the film market is doing terrible.
One example is The Eastman Kodak Company, more commonly known as Kodak. It was the dominant photographic film company during most of the 20th century. In 1976, there was a 90% market share in photographic film sales. But in the late 1990s, things started to go bad for them.
In 1997, Kodak’s stocks were as high as $86.75 a share. Four years later, in 2001, they dropped to$25.57 a share. Today, Kodak’s stocks are down to $.27 a share (known in the market as a “penny stock”).
Despite such massive changes, however, photography is still photography. And the ubiquity of new technologies and platforms makes the medium accessible to practically anyone. Even photographers like Jordan Cortese see that as a good thing. Cortese’s advice? “Just go out and take photos. Just do it!”]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=421 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=416 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=416#comments Tue, 07 Aug 2012 11:35:02 +0000 Lisa Watson http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=416 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=416 0
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