Kill the Ground Zero Mosque: TV ad

I believe this ad was both visually and verbally strong. I think more information should have been included, as to not appear anti muslim.  The music used in the beginning of the ad was powerful with it’s mix of the voice over and images. However, there is a slight suggestion to fear muslims. The ad repeatedly used the word “they”, which was a bit to general for such a strong opinion. “Where we weep, they rejoice.” Who are “they”? One can interpret this message as all muslims which is a dangerous statement. Obama cautions Americans against drawing comparisons between mainstream Islam and the “ruthless violent ideology of Al Qaeda which is a gross distortion of the faith.”

I believe the main issue people have with building a mosque by ground zero is because of the symbolism that comes with it. Throughout history muslims have built mosques as permanent symbols of the victory.When they conquered Jerusalem and Istanbul mosques were created. When Cordoba was made the capital of the Muslim kingdom a mosque was created as well. People believe that if we accept this building of the mosque by Ground Zero we’re validating their victory. As effective as the ad is on many people, I think that there must be more reasoning to back up their argument than saying that this is an “Invitation for war”. The ad is missing factual claims with clear references to reliable sources.

Obama states that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. Legally there is nothing wrong with building a mosque in lower Manhattan. However, I believe that out of respect for those who are still suffering the trauma from September 11th, a mosque, or any other religious building for that matter, seems inappropriate and a bit too headstrong for this delicate location. With such heartbreaking history, I believe anything built in that location should remain nonpartisan. It should be beneficial to all Americans and not specifically there for a certain race, gender, or religion. The people who suffered the attack all come from different backgrounds. The one thing they had in common was the fact that they were American citizens.

I also believe that with this issue, those against the mosque should be respectful and use their words wisely when explaining why they feel that it’s wrong. Especially if they are asking for the same respect in return. “Kill the Ground Zero Mosque” is an extremely hostile and aggressive ad. When the GOP Trust continue with their plans I hope that in the end it’s done respectably as to not create more animosity with those well-intentioned people who believe that a mosque would be beneficial in the end.

* Since I am not allowed to change my post I have left a comment that changes a few things written above.

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The West Wing- Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2: The Pilot & Post Oct, Hergo Propter Oct

Last Monday I watched the first two episodes of “The West Wing”, a series about a fictional president and his staff often taking place in the West Wing of the White House.I’ve mentioned before that I don’t know very much about politics, so when a friend told me this show was about the White House, I was quickly disappointed. I regretted not getting a coffee during my break and tried to figure out a way to stay awake during the viewing. However, early on in the pilot we were introduced to the main characters professional and personal lives. It was interesting because I don’t think many people think about the personal lives of the president or his staff.

What was interesting about the Pilot was the way we were introduced to the President. One of the first things we learn about him is that he rode a bicycle into a tree, which I thinks leads us to believe that he’s kind of an air head. I immediately assumed the show would be ridiculing this fictional president, giving him more of an oblivious character. But then later when we’re finally introduced to him he proves to be more than that.

I surprisingly enjoyed the show. I didn’t expect it to be very interesting, but it was. I’m not sure they depicted the White House, the President or staff accurately. I do like how they showed the fast paced, chaotic lives of everyone there, which I assume to be correct. I think the show was well written. Most of the characters were witty and very humorous. (If only we could all be so quick in real life!) The show was funnier than I had expected. It’s exciting to see such important people with so much power mess up and act so childish when it comes to their personal lives.

I really enjoyed the two episodes that were viewed. I think it was a great opening to The West Wing. I also think this show was a great way of changing people’s perceptions on how they view those with power. We never see the President as more than the President. The presidents doctor Tolliver was significant in his short appearance.  He was a married man who just had his first child. His character was a good-hearted man who really touched the president’s heart. There were two messages I got from his appearance.

Firstly, I think it changes the way we understand tragic events about those we don’t know in the government office or anywhere else. When we hear bad news about a tragedy we really only hear numbers unless someone we know was a part of that tragedy. But what we often forget is that each person was important in someones life and those who were a part of it will have to deal with much sorrow and pain. I think that’s why the writers decided to include his new-born child, not just as passing news but as a one of the important topics of the day.

Another message that I got from his appearance was how the President can be personally effected by his staff. Another thing I think everyone doesn’t consider but hopes for in a president. What we don’t realize about the White House office, is that although it is this unimaginable and highly professional office it’s still an office similar in small ways to others. In every work place, people make acquaintances, friends, and sometimes best friends. Although the office seems too chaotic and impersonal for anyone to even notice each other, I think that in those crucial times no one can understand each other more than a fellow staff member who knows exactly what the other person is going through. There are short dialogues that suggest this kind of closeness with the President and his secretary Mrs. Landingham, who wont give him the steaks that were sent to him, etc. We later see the note worthy scene where President Bartlett changes his agenda, who was earlier someone who wasn’t comfortable with violence and turned into someone who wanted revenge on his enemies triggered by the tragedy one staff member who was so important to him.

I rate these two episodes 5/5. For clever dialogue and for putting such unique personalities in such conventional people. I like that this show challenges our views on the way we’ve always viewed certain figures in society and possibly changes them.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia- Season 2, Episode 4: Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare

This episode had so much going on. I thought it was great, and this is the first time I decided that I like Frank as an addition to the show. I love that Dennis and Dee decide to start anew by leaving the bar. I think everyone believes that if they just had the time and the money they’d do everything they ever wanted to do. Get all those errands done, travel, etc. But when you actually get all that free time, you find yourself wasting it away getting less done that you did before. I can actually relate when I took a year off from school to get a job and save money so I could travel. I bought tons of books, so that I could teach myself to play piano and read all those classics I never read. In the end I worked part-time and blew all my money on going out.  It turns out that the more free time I had the less I got done!

Anyhow, back to the show, I love how far Dee and Dennis were willing to go in order to get Welfare in this episode. First pretending Dee’s retarded and Dennis is a recovering crack head, and then actually buying crack so that it could show up on their blood tests! This episode was brilliant and so well done! Dennis and Dee really (for lack of better words) embodied their crack head sides in this episode, with their pale lips, sunken eyes and helpless personalities.

Surprisingly this is the first episode where Charlie Day wasn’t my favorite character. I mean, I understand that the episode has a lot of focus on Dennis and Dee but usually even with Charlie in the background he steals the show. I think that Howerton and Olson did an excellent job in this episode, better played than any other episode. I hope they keep it up!

My favorite part was when they go to some shady neighborhood looking to buy crack, and they don’t know how to really articulate their needs. “Can we have one please? One…. rock of crack? One crack rock.” I guess they should have googled the correct way to ask. The dealer caught on quickly and took full advantage of them knowing that they were inexperienced.

What was interesting about this episode was Frank and Charlies relationship. On one hand they’ve gotten very close and Frank almost treats him like a son trusting him with his bank account and on the other hand Charlie avoids spending any time with him.

At the end of the episode, when the gang gets into trouble in both separate ways, it’s comforting to know that Frank did turn out to be that father figure they all really needed. Not the traditional father figure, but still the end did bring a sort of relief knowing he’d take care of everything.

I watched this episode at home with a friend.

I give this episode a 5/5. I loved Howerton and Olson’s performance, I think they did an excellent job and I loved that after their attempts to fulfill their dreams they ended right back where they started, Paddys. The way the gang fights about being on crack was perfect, turning a serious situation into a hysterical one.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia- Season 2, Episode 3: The Gang Gives Back

I’m really enjoying watching the episodes come together! The gang has to do community service to make up for arson which was done in the previous episode. I also enjoyed watching Charlie at the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I never thought Charlie had an alcohol problem. I just figured the guy works in a bar all day, he’s bound to drink at strange hours. I think this episode exaggerated Charlies drinking habits a bit, from what I’m familiar with so far, but was still great watching him walk into the meeting with a beer in hand.

The waitress that Charlies been in love with is back in this episode too, and there was a surprising twist to this normal ice-cold character.  I was surprised to learn that although she’s not nearly close as Charlie is obsessed with her, she’s similarly obsessed with Dennis (on less extreme level). I assumed something would develop in this episode between Charlie and her, which seemed a bit odd and unfitting. So, as much as I feel bad for Charlie, I’m kind of glad that they maintained that same humorous relationship.

Dee, Mac and Dennis coaching each basketball team was so well done. I was surprised to see Mac use physical force to beat Dee for the title of head coach! But honestly, at this point in the show, nothing really surprises me anymore. I thought it was great that they brought in the racial stereotype using Dennis, when he picks out only black players for his team leaving out anyone else. The competition between whose team is better, or who is the better coach, is hilarious! Each show keeps pointing out how to these guys could fight over anything and everything!

I think the closing of the show, with the game was great. We see the influence the gang has on children, using safety pins, elbowing, kneeing, and steel toe shoes to hurt the other team players, which brings so much of their character into a basketball game. The game ends up a mess, and turns into a fight between the coaches. Charlie showing up as the drunk referee blaming the waitress was just the tip of the iceberg here.

I’m learning a bit more about Dennis. I thought it was out of character for him to be so vain and cocky in “The gang finds a dead guy” but in this episode, the way he responds to the waitress shows his prick side again. I think if this were another show, I’d assume he did that for Charlies benefit, but because that’s not the case, I’m just going to take it for what it is and come to understandings that Dennis is an asshole.

I give this episode a 5/5. It tied so much together, with the waitress, and the situation with Dennis and the waitress. Obviously there was competition involved which always keeps the show entertaining.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia- Season 2, Episode 2:The Gang Goes Jihad

I loved this episode for a number of reasons. Firstly I didn’t think it was possible, but this episode proves that it is indeed possible. This show CAN somehow delve into even more controversial topics and get away with it. When the gang filmed the Jihad video, I replayed it over and over. It was so completely wrong and hilarious! What was great was the fact that they were trying to go against this guy named Ari but also kept reminding themselves that it wasnt because he was Jewish. Ironically later on when things get messy they go against Ari in the most antisemitic way possible with their version of Arabic speaking, towel headed, hammer weapon, terrorist Jihad tape.

Charlies reaction to Ari’s Israel situation was great. There are times where I could be just as clueless about what’s going on in the world, but instead of coming up with the conclusion that each country’s problems are tsunamis I try to keep my mouth shut and listen. I think this part was great just because there are so many people who watch a clip of the news, and then wing it when talking about political issues, assuming they have all the information possible from the two minutes they dedicated to CNN. But to someone who really knows whats going on or has experience, as an insider can hear just how uninformed and apathetic everyone else is.

Finally the episodes are coming together in Season two. Franks wife comes to Charlies apartment to demand for her things, while viewers of the previous episodes know that Dee and Dennis stole everything they could from their house before their father could sell it. The episode also opens with the gang uncasting Charlie, which surprised me, because it also results from the previous episode. Until now I was beginning to think each episode was separate from each other. This may have been the first time I’ve seen one episode tie in to another.

I loved the relationship between Dee and her mother! Her mother Barbara was so uncaring to Dee, not asking how she was, even though her daughter has a very noticeable neck brace on, then only noticing her earings on Dee. Soon after she gives Dee’s food to her puppy. This scene was hilarious. I think in most families there’s that favorite child who seems perfect in their parents eyes, and in this family it seems the mother favors Dennis. Dennis did in fact run Dee over with his car, and Mrs. Reynolds yells at Dee for blaming everything on her brother!

I watched this episode with my sister Michelle at home, which was so fitting since we always joke around about how she’s the favorite daughter. (I can totally relate to the above scene.)

I give this episode a 5/5 mostly for the amazing Jihad tape. I was surprised and relieved to see that Frank too felt left out of the gang! I thought it was just my own point of view, but now I understand that it’s a part of the plot meant for us to see, plus Charlie calling him the Captain of the Gang in return for not telling the cops what they did, as if Captain of the Gang actually means something. Great ending to the episode.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia- Season 2, Episode 1: Charlie Gets Crippled

“What a bunch of assholes”

Before watching this episode, I was kind of upset about Danny DeVito’s character Frank Reynolds coming in to join the cast. It’s one thing to have a guest in a single or few episodes, but to add a completely new character to the cast that we’ve all grown so comfortable with just seemed like a bad idea. However after watching this INCREDIBLE episode, I decided to give him a shot!

Charlie Days performance in this episode was amazing. Each character brings something to the table but Days performance just makes me fall in love with the show even more. In fact, I think the reason I didn’t mind Franks addition to the crew was because Charlie seems to have such an abnormal and entertaining relationship with him. I think if it were any other character bonding with Frankie I would’ve still been uncomfortable with DeVitos addition.

There were so many moments in this episode that made me feel oh-so guilty about being so entertained, but I couldn’t help it. This show presents the most delicate topics in the most entertaining approach. I love how each character tries to take advantage of all the benefits they can receive from having a disability.

For the first time, I think Dee had one of the best performances in this episode. The way she gave in to the cripple idea, faking her back injury as she dragged her legs across the mall was hysterical! She really got into her injured character in the mall scene while she was seemingly brave getting herself a hat from a hard to reach spot, saying “It’s really important that I do this myself”.

Charlie gets totally abused by Frank in this episode and really loses his mind! His outbursts  have become more extreme since the first season. He yells at Frank as though they’ve known each other for years! So far I really don’t like Frank in this episode. Although DeVito’s character really did bring a few great scenarios, and without him these situations would not have arisen, his character still made me feel like there was an outsider tagging along. But since he is moving into Charlies apartment I’m sure the rest of the gang will slowly get used to him and as they become more accepting so will I. It turns out I’m a follower!

I love that the show ended right where it began. With Dennis drinking and driving and the gang getting exactly what they thought they wanted all along through-out the episode. I highly doubt this episode was meant to teach viewers a lesson about drinking and driving! I certainly didn’t learn anything.

I almost gave this episode a 4/5 (GASP!), because of Franks addition, however I still give it a 5/5 for each individual performance and brilliant story. I think as I continue blogging my love for Charlie Days character will grow and become annoyingly repetitive to anyone reading this. 🙂

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia- Season 1, Episode 7: Charlie Got Molested

This is definitely one of my favorite episodes! I actually watched it two times in a row! God I’m a loser! Firstly I loved Dee and Dennis in this episode. I noticed an authentic sister/brother bond forming in their acting and on stage relationship. They get super competitive in this episode when they try to help Charlie get over his sexual abuse and it’s great because they use the “I took Psychology” lines as evidence of their credibility. I loved the Psychology major/minor argument, because as juvenile as it sounds for people to use that, I see it happen ALL THE TIME! I have seen even less than that being used as a back up, like people using the “I took a sociology class, I know what I’m talking about”, etc. My favorite argument of all time! I love how they tell Mac to leave it up to the “grown ups” to help Charlie.

The intervention that they set up with Charlies family was ludicrous. You can see that their reasoning for helping Charlie is not really concern for Charlies well-being but really to put their Psychology education into good use and prove to themselves that they’ve accomplished something in their lives.

A great scene in this episode is when Charlie goes to the Mcpoyle brothers (Nate Mooney and Jimmi Simpson)  home to try to speak with them about the lies they’ve made up about getting molested by their former coach (Dennis Haskins). I love the sequence of flashbacks that were used to show how the lie started to begin with, when they remind Charlie that it was his drunken idea in the first place. Charlie keeps trying to defend himself and then flashes back to realizing that he screwed himself over. For example, he says “I was joking!” followed by a flashback from the night at the bar “I’m not joking, I’m totally serious!”

McElhenney’s performance was excellent in this episode. Not only does Mac remain unconcerned about his best friend Charlie who’s appears to have been molested, but he becomes so distressed about Charlie and the Mcpoyle brothers being chosen and not him! He starts showing Dennis and Dee pictures of him when he was younger, saying how cute and energetic he was and goes so far as to try to lure his coach into molesting him.

I watched this episode in bed cuddling with my dogs. 🙂

I give this episode 5/5. I’m not sure I’ll ever give an episode less. So far I’m loving every single episode, and laughing out loud even when I’m alone! Something I rarely do. I love the usage of the doll in this episode and the way they dramatized the doll and Charlies finger.

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