Thursday, November 12, 2009

A reaction to Reginald Ponder

From Reginald Ponder, the esteemed movie critic, I learned a lot about the world of critiquing films, as well as utilizing the media to spread a message or an opinion. I also gained a lot from his discussion about individual brands, and the importance of becoming your own brand and establishing your personal identity so that you may achieve a certain level of popularity in the field in which you work.

Ponder spoke about the content of films, and one of the aspects of that content which most struck me was his discussion on the subconscious marginalization of a particular group. For example, in Quentin Tarantino’s new film Inglourious Basterds, the main character is known as the “Apache”, for he and his men scalp their Nazi victims. Ponder pointed out that those of us who do not question this parallel to the Native Americans as savage beings are subconsciously accepting or agreeing with the reference. He also noted that the process of scalping was first employed by the French, but the general public would not know that, due in part to the perpetuation of stereotypes found in movies similar to Tarantino’s.

I enjoyed listening to Ponder explain that his day has no set schedule, which was an answer in response to one of the questions posed by a student. He could not describe to us what a “typical day” in his life consists of, for it changes every day. I also appreciated the fact that he offered us some advice, which was to get as much sleep as possible, for when he does not sleep enough during the night, he notices a dramatic change in his work ethic and his writing.

Lastly, I realize that delving into the field of Journalism is risky, due to the fact that newspapers are on the decline and many companies are firing or laying off a large percentage of their workforce. Ponder was able to quell my fears about my future in this field because during his discussion, he outlined many jobs which have to do with marketing and professional writing. This gives me hope in that I can harness the skills which I have obtained throughout my major and apply it to a more modern field, such as that of website design or anything which has to do with the Internet. If anything, Ponder’s presentation was a comfort to me, as well as an informative experience.

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