Jessica Mondillo’s Blog

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Pop Culture category.

Political Correctness: Indian vs. Native America

28 August 2008

Political correctness is always an issue and the question is where the line of too much is.  Some people think that has been crossed a long time ago.  Now my question involves the word “INDIAN.”

I never realized that the word “Indian” has finally crossed deep into the realm of being politically incorrect.  In an attempt to list an item on eBay (a site that tends to be notoriously strict on being politically correct), the listing was termed “illegal” according to their policies because it said “Indian” describing a native American on a motorcycle.

My question for everyone is: Is it wrong to use the term “Indian” to refer to Native Americans or is eBay being excessive?  Do people of Native American decent find the term “Indian” offensive and which term do they prefer to use to describe their heritage?

The reason I ask is for two reasons.  First of all I know many people of Native American decent and many of them refer to themselves as “Indians” or use the term interchangeably with “native Americans.” 

The second reason I ask this is my curriculum.  I only graduated from high school last year (2007) and during my public school education, and also my current college education at Boston University, I can remember several of my text books referring to Native Americans either interchangeably or in some cases exclusively as “Indians.”

I am wondering if my background was somehow severely limited or if I am not the only person who does not see the term “Indian” as offensive but as a term that was used (and still is) to describe Native Americans because Columbus had an incorrect belief, that he was in India and not a “new world,” when he reached the Americas.


101 Dalmatians Being Re-Released Makes me Nostalgic

03 March 2008

Everyone has something that reminds them of childhood. Mine come in the form of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (the animated version).

I’m thrilled that the two disc platinum edition is coming out tomorrow. After finding out about it through a TV commercial, I became very excited and asked my parents to get it for me for Easter.

In a way it is funny that I can still get this excited about a Disney movie. I very rarely watch them any more, yet for some reason the older ones still excite me.

Maybe it’s because I am reminded of simpler days when everything was fun, there was little work to do and every time was play time.

The only thing that scares me about this new edition is if they made any changes. I watched parts of The Lion King in my 12th grade English class. Being the new version they had added scenes and songs that, at least in my mind, killed the movie. Even though I remember the plotline, I lost track of the story pretty quickly because the new scenes did not make sense to me.

I’m hoping the platinum edition of 101 Dalmatians has no alterations. To me that changes the movie from being re-released to being remade. That’s how I saw the new version of The Lion King. Although it had old scenes, it was remade for a younger audience by adding new scenes and for me was not one of the childhood movies I watched.

I can’t wait to watch 101 Dalmatians on DVD. Hopefully they didn’t change it or I will be sad. 😦

Please visit this post on my other blog to help me earn scholarship money.

Jetson Style Commuter Plane?

12 January 2008

I was on eBay this morning and the front page was advertising the commuter plane prototype.  The plane appeared to be designed to hold at most 2 people but maybe 4, it was hard to tell.

What I don’t understand is what is this plane accomplishing?  Yes, it will cut down travel time for the commuter meaning you can live farther from the city and still work there. 

But does it help the average person?  I’m going to say at least right now, no not really.  Granted I don’t know much about this plane but when it comes out, just like all technology it will be EXPENSIVE.  So the average person will not be able to afford the plane right away.  Fuel wise I don’t know what it runs on.  But if it is gas, there is another major problem.  Gas, a non renewable resource, is already expensive and being put into vehicles, many of which only get 10-15 miles per a gallon.  A plane gets substantially less gas milage and will therefore suck down more gas, making it an uneconomical way to travel.

Now on to air traffic.  Right now we have hundreds of large jets and air planes in the air and they need to be directed by air traffic control.  And they can’t be flown in bad weather.  A commuter plane would have many of the same problems.  As time goes on more people would be using these commuter planes, at least in theory.  Therefore there would be more traffic.

Now we have all seen drivers on the cell phone, either texting or calling people, on a lap top, reading, doing make up or other potentially hazardous activities during driving.   Do we really want inattentive people in the air where they can cause more accidents, that are much more dangerous?

In the Jetson’s commuter planes were widely used.  Right now I don’t think the world is ready for commuter planes.  I don’t think the TV cartoon concept was thoroughly thought about before scientists and inventors tried to make it a reality.  We are just moving the traffic problem into the sky where it will be more dangerous if there are collisions.

Maybe I am missing information on this plane.  If anyone can offer me more information, please do.  I will gladly correct anything I have said if that information changes it.

Italian Court Summons Tweety, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, & Daisy

08 December 2007 

This crosses the line between funny and just plain stupid.  In Naples Italy court summons were sent to Tweety, Mickey, Donald Duck, and Daisy to testify in a counterfeiting trial.  The court accuses a Chinese man of counterfeiting Disney and Warner Brother products.

I must say that Fiorenza Sorotto, vice president of Disney Company Italia had a good answer.  She said, “Unfortunately they cannot show up, as they are residents of Disneyland.  It certainly pleased us that the characters were considered real, because that’s what we try to do.”

I have one major question.  Did no one in the court’s clerical department think it was weird to call cartoon characters to trial?  Yes, these were the characters that had counterfitted merchandise made in their likeness but that doesn’t mean they can testify.

Luckily for the court, Disney and Warner Brothers did not send these characters into the courtroom.  That would have been it’s own three-ring circus.

As amusing as I find this, I am befuddled that no one realized that they were sending court summons to a cartoon.

September 11th. We’ve already forgotten.

07 November 2007

I realized that somepeople had forgotten about September 11th.  I was shocked when I saw how many had forgotten.  In a lecture yesterday the speaker was asking for a show of hands on how many people read newspapers and had them at home and received a response from more than half the class.  When she asked how many people remember the planes flying into the World Trade Center on 9-11, I was one of ten hands that went up.  That’s under 5% of the people in the room remembered 9-11.

I can remember almost every detail of September 11th and, like everyone else in that lecture, I was in 7th grade (12 years old) at the time.  I know a tragedy of that magnitude is something a young child can easily forget, but 12 or 13 isn’t that young.

I swore on September 11th that I would never forget the sight of the planes hitting those towers, and I haven’t.  I don’t know why it’s not replayed everyday, maybe it would hurt American morale, but at the same time it would remind people why we are in Afghanistan.

September 11th was the largest attack on American CIVILIANS on American SOIL but the patriotism that followed was short lived.  After Pearl Harbor the surge of patriotism was overwhelming.  Men wanted to fight to protect America, woman worked in factories and the entire country supported it for several years.  In most cases the flags after 9-11 didn’t stay up a year.

Terrorism is still a very real threat and people forget that.  By forgetting 9-11 or pretending it never happened America is making itself vulnerable for another shocking attack.  More than 3,000 civilians died that day, that should have woken up a sleeping monster of support but it didn’t.

I wouldn’t mind seeing the towers collapse every time I turned on the news as a reminder that there is a reason we are in Afghanistan (a rarely mentioned topic) and why we are there.  I’d rather see that everyday than live in a disillusionment that there is no threat from terrorist and that everyone in the world loves America.

Is technology encouraging people to separate themselves from rest of the world?

Originally posted September 12, 2007

When you look around just about everywhere in Boston has signs for iPods.  Every single sign features a person alone dancing with bright attractive colors and an iPod.  Although advertising this way is smart because it attracts a person’s eyes and the iPod stands out, it brings up a better question:  Is technology encouraging people to separate themselves from rest of the world?

Overall I would say yes.  Walking down the hall of the average college building you see people either on their cell phones or with ear buds from their iPods or other MP3 players in their ears.  At LEAST half the people you see walking around are using one of these devices.  Everybody is so self absorbed that people don’t talk to each other.   iPods and other MP3 players are like a wall blocking out the rest of the world.  The music blocks out any distractions or things in the rest of the world that you just don’t want to deal with.  But at the same time the wire and ear buds builds a wall to the rest of the world.  People won’t interupt you while you are listening to music, just like they won’t interupt your phone conversation.  Others do not want to be rude and assume that people want to be left alone.  In essence the music you are listening to is allow you to “rock out” but you are by yourself.  One would think that an iPod or MP3 player was to attract to people because it’s a status symbol but in fact it is putting up an invisible barrier.

When the BlackBerry network went down earlier this year, people were upset by their lack of information.  People kept checking their BlackBerrys to see if they could get information.  People commented that they were still checking their BlackBerrys every few minutes even though they knew their was no network to connect to.  Checking a BlackBerry every few minutes helps people avoid uncomfortable conversation while it also gives them a status symbol.  People are conciously using technology to avoid personal conversation yet the rest of the world thinks that these people are so great!

 20 years ago people would walk down the road to their friend’s house to make plans.  Now with the internet, a cell phone, and text messaging you don’t have to see a person to make plans or talk.  All you have to do is send a message.  As these new mediums become more popular, people have begun using texting, voice mail, and e-mails to end their relationships.  Relationships represent closeness and good communication yet people are avoiding talking to a person that they once had close bonds with.

You could argue that web cams are allowing you to talk to people and see them.  This is true and a great idea when you are across the country from friends and family.  But when you live a quarter mile down the road or worse in the same building, you are just keeping yourself separated from the rest of the world.

Everyone is guilty of using technology at one time or another to push people away, even if they do not do it intentionally.  People use technology in their everyday life.  Although technology has its advantages, overuse or abuse will cause people to live separated lives from the rest of the world.  Interpersonal communication has become more rare as people become more involved in their technology.  If people do not try to keep a personal connection, the world will soon be filled with technology bubbles that keep people in their own disconnected world.

This is a repost of my post.