Monday, February 27, 2012

It's not your eyes playing tricks on you

Seeing is not always believing. Almost every image you and I encounter everyday whether it be via the news, advertisement, or entertainment source is purposefully used to evoke some sort of reaction. Although we like to believe our trusted sources use authentic imagery to achieve these responses from us, unfortunately the practice of photo manipulation has been going on about as long as photography has. The following are just a few examples of some of the more ridiculous manipulations designed to "trick" you into believing something else is going on.
In order to demonstrate the "diversity" found at The University of Wisconsin at Madison, school officials had the original photograph(right) doctored by inserting a black student into the crowd. Although the Senior, Diallo Shabazz, really was a student there, he was not present when the photograph was taken.
After O.J. Simpson was arrested for the murder of his wife in 1994, news publications were displaying his mugshot everywhere. Time magazine decided to adjust the color saturation and burn the corners of the image. The finished product gave Simpson a darker more sinister look than the original mugshot which Newsweek used as their cover.
In 2008 Iran announced that it had successfully fired missiles with a 1,200 mile range. Many news organizations used the first image until the second image showing only three missiles fired began to circulate around the internet. Apparently the IRG changed the photo in order to hide the fact that one of the missiles did not fire.
This is perhaps the first ever faked photograph and dates back to the 1840's. The man in the picture, Hippolyte Bayard, was upset over the fact that Louis Daguerre's photographic process had beaten his own known as direct positive printing. Bayard decided to fake his own suicide and attached a note to the photograph stating that he had drowned himself. It's just a reminder that people have been using photograph manipulation for their own agendas since the very beginning.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vlog Parenting

Below is a video that's sparked controversy and gotten my attention. The video for the most park speaks for itself, but in a nutshell; a father finds out his daughter is posting some spiteful comments towards him and his wife. Apparently this had been a chronic issue with the girl so he decides to offer punishment for the 2012 social network era: Makes a video scolding her before he loads eight hollow-point rounds into her laptop and posts it on her facebook wall. Now of course the video has received millions of hits and garnered massive media attention. Some are calling him a hero, some are saying he's a child abuser. You can spin it either way. I call him creative. Maybe he should start a blog.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How does this make you feel?

Viewed independently the preceding stories are just articles discussing crime and punishment. Yet when they are formatted and displayed as they are here, they may evoke a certain reaction. Now you may think that because I am a victim of the unbalanced justice system that I may start to rant and rave about the injustice witnessed as a result of these two stories. Not at all. Both of these individuals broke the law and according to the laws they broke they received the punishment associated with that statute. Again, is it unbalanced? Of course it is. Is it just? Yes, unfortunately according to our law it has been. Any other day you would scan the paper and see $3 Billion Fraud, ok, 40 month sentence, good; Homeless Bank Robber, ok, 15 years, well at least he's got somewhere to sleep. The fact they have been placed next to each other in such a manner is already suggesting you feel a certain way. That's the way this media thing works. Choose your own feelings, don't let crafty formatting or wordplay tell you what you think. If you have a problem with the punishment associated with breaking a certain law, change or amend that law. Don't blame the judge or the government, in this case they're just the messengers. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't like "doing the time" associated with shooting the messenger.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see

It is obvious that we can't believe everything we see, especially in this era of CGI and photoshop. The Internet is full of doctored images and videos that we almost can immediately dismiss as being fabricated. But sometimes small inaccuracies in reporting can change your entire perception on a person or event. The now famous "War of the Worlds" broadcast had people in New Jersey panicking because they assumed the fictional tale being read was an actual news report. Of course something like that occurring now is highly unlikely, but it is easy for someone to read a report about a person accused of a crime and for them to immediately make a judgment about that person. All that the news reports have to do is throw in an unflattering mugshot or picture taken in low light, some uses of the word alleged, and you make the decision on what you think of the person without even realizing you've already been influenced.

This blog is not about how "the man" is trying to keep us down or about conspiracy theories regarding the media. In fact it is a form of media being used to teach you to be wary of the media. Join me on this journey and decide for yourself what it is you should be thinking. In this world where the media all around us is the shepherd it is easy for us to become the sheep. Remember you don't have to be behind bars to be imprisoned, as long as your mind is free you won't have to do ANY of the time.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Three months have passed and I've stopped dwelling on the crime, I have to focus on how I'm going to serve the time. So I decided there's no better way to survive house arrest than by sharing it with all of you. Therefore I present to you This Week In Ed, my personal diary depicting the life I lead under the watchful eye of the state of New Jersey. Enjoy the following preview of what's to come.