Monday, April 30, 2012

Discussion of our films today?

Anyone interested in offering some reactions to, or thoughts about, the two films we screened in lecture today?  I'm especially curious to know whether or not you thought they worked well together.


  1. Jordyn EisenpressApril 30, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    I really enjoyed watching the episode of Frontline about the events leading up to the Arab Spring. I had a decent understanding of what happened at the time, but it was really interesting to see a clear timeline of the events, and an inside look at the people that started it. I also felt that it really tied into this class, with the use of social media and what not... However, the second video I felt very differently about. When you mentioned that Sam Richard was "one of the 100 most dangerous professors in America," the first thing I thought was "how could a professor be dangerous?" Well, 5 minutes into his TED talk I completely understood. His thoughts and ideas, combined with the somewhat creepy tone of his voice really spooked me out. I felt like I was being manipulated/hypnotized as he spoke. But, it was really interesting how easily I found myself stepping out of shoes and into someone else's. That being said, I didn't really see the connection between the two videos at first because they portrayed different events. Then, in the middle of Sam Richard's talk, I took a second to try and put myself in the shoes of the Egyptian protestors. It was harder to focus solely on Richard's portrayal of Iraq when I was still thinking about the previous video. Regardless, his emphasis on the importance of empathizing with others really helped when analyzing the first video. I'm not quite sure if that was the point of showing the two videos one after another, but that was the effect it had on me.

  2. I also really liked both of these videos. The first video was very informative especially because I had never heard the story of the early protests that occurred years before the large revolution last year. This was happening at the same time that the Walker protests were erupting here in Madison and it was nice to draw the connections that these two events had through use of social media. I was obviously aware of the protests here due to my connections online and the first video showed me how the youth of Egypt were also in touch with what was going on due to their involvement in online groups. The second video was really eye-opening to me. People always say that you have to 'walk in someone else's shoes' in order to understand them but the way in which Professor Richard explained this concept was brand new to me. The image of the American woman crying over her fallen soldier was one that we have all seen, but viewing this image from a different perspective really made me think about what it is that our country is doing in the Middle East. I agree with Jordyn in that I wasn't quite sure of how the two videos related, but I now think that the TED talk was shown to get us to rethink what we had just viewed about the Arab Spring. Our first interpretation of the Arab Spring video would likely appear to us as just a news story, but by looking at the entire situation from the perspective of an Egyptian youth, we are able to understand how they were feeling and why it was so important for them to use media to stay connected and aware of what was happening around them.

  3. I thought they did work well together. The second film did not seem like it was going in the same direction at first, but it ended up going perfectly with the first one. The first film was a lot more graphic than I anticipated. I was actually really glad we got to learn about these uprisings. The uprisings were always something I read about in the news but did not know much about. I like that social media was able to play such a large role in these uprisings. What I liked even more was that they were able to continue their uprisings even after their Internet and mobile phones were shut down. This shows how helpful these tools can be but they are also not necessary.


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