Posts Tagged ‘culture’

In early America, the question of whether or not displaced immigrants were true citizens was settled with swords and axes. Today, it’s settled with words and excuses that are equally painful but entertaining nonetheless.


bill the butcher

Immigration has been a political red herring since Native Americans were called Indians and tea tasted better in harbors. Little has changed today.

Let’s see, according to FAIR, Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal immigration is responsible for: urban sprawl, unemployment, wage depression, inefficiency, housing problems, health-care woes and…crime.

I wish the cure to all of these social ailments was one tangible thing like illegal immigration, but we all know video games are responsible for crime and unemployment was created by the NFL.

Illegal immigration presents problems, but it’s not this doom day scenario that most make it to be. Here’s the real challenge, instead of polarizing the issue and dividing the country, why don’t try to find some middle ground?

Immigrants helped the North gain victory in the civil war and today the sons and daughters of immigrants have enlisted in droves to fight America’s last two wars (or conflicts…whatever the preferred nomenclature). Yet, immigration is still seen as a threat to the American way of life?  Bill the Butcher, the American anti-immigration hero offers a very interesting perspective:

A real native is someone who is willing to die fighting for his country. There’s nothing more to it.


Dr. Marta Tienda, head of the office of population research at Princeton University and a member of the Adrenalina Human Sciences Institute, stopped by last week and was greeted by Adrenalina’s creative team and CEO/founder Manuel Wernicky.

Dr. Tienda and the team engaged in conversations ranging from the sternness of Mexican-American mothers to the state of Hispanics in American culture. One of topics that garnered intrigue was the differences and attitudes surrounding the Hispanic/Latino nomenclature.

Whether Hispanics self-identify with one classification or the other is important to consider with the 2010 census quickly approaching. Demographers like Dr. Tienda are looking for ways to accurately count the Hispanic population and the debate surrounding this issue is paramount.

Dr. Tienda was able to provide some insight, not from the perspective of a academician, but a Hispanic:

“It doesn’t matter what you call or label me, as long as I don’t lose my culture.” – Dr. Tienda

But we’re curious to hear what you think. Is there a difference and if so, what is it?

Book review: ‘Becoming Americans’
November 22, 2009
Source: The Dallas Morning News

This ambitious anthology brings together 85 writings by American immigrants from 45 countries. Arranged chronologically, the letters, stories, articles and poems extend from 1623 to the present.

The earliest ones, by Phyllis Wheatley, John James Audubon and St. John Crèvecoeur, often have a schoolbook feel, like a reading assignment for an American history class from primary sources. Later pieces, by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Frank McCourt, Edwidge Danticat, Jhumpa Lahiri and Junot Díaz showcase some of the liveliest writing of our time.

Ilan Stavans, a professor of Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College and a frequent editor of anthologies, made the selections for this hefty volume. They include a revealing autobiographical essay by Stavans, a Polish-Ukrainian Jew born in Mexico City. He describes the moment when he first knew his identity: “I would perfect my English and thus become a New York Jew, an intellectual animal … In just a single moment I understood who I could be.”

Many of the writers deal with issues of identity, too. Not so many see the answer as clearly as Stavans or pursue it as effectively.

The Norwegian novelist O.E. Rolvaag (1876-1931) describes the alienation that sets in when one loses his Fatherland, “for it can never be regained,” and “neither can you get another in its place, no matter what you do.”

Julia Alvarez, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, writes in “Something to Declare” about this pain of loss of place. “For weeks that soon became months and years, I would think … What was going on right this moment back home?”

Other immigrant writers repeatedly address the need to reinvent one’s self, so as to fit the new land. In a selection from Henry Roth’s classic 1934 novel Call It Sleep, a husband from Ukraine finds his wife and child an embarrassment when they finally join him in New York. Life here for him had been a disappointment – and he was angry at everyone.

A much earlier writer, Gottlieb Mittelberger (1715-79), a German, had suggested that his countrymen who came to America believing that “roasted pigeons are going to fly into their mouths without their having to work for them” were fools.

Anzia Yezierska (1885-1970) from Belarus shows in a short story from Children of Loneliness how the younger generation assimilates more readily than its progenitors, producing terrible tensions within a family. In the end, the daughter slams the door in her mother’s face and tells herself: “I owe them nothing, nothing, nothing.” (Sound familiar? Clearly she has assimilated as an American teenager.)

Sometimes children assimilate, but parents cannot follow. In “Dying in a Strange Country,” Tahira Naqvi, a Pakistani-American born in 1952, tells the touching story of an aged mother who reluctantly visits her grown son in Connecticut but desperately fears she will die while outside her native land.

Eva Hoffman, who emigrated from Poland to Canada with her parents and earned a scholarship to Rice University, discusses in an essay how language shapes her perceptions and enlarges her identity.

Becoming Americans leaves out American Indians, who were already here, and gives only moderate attention to Mexican-Americans, despite their growing role in this country. The book is not an attempt to represent evenly every immigrant group. Rather, Stavans showcases good writing that shows how individuals, famous or obscure, felt coming to America, working to fit in.

At least this is what a new initative – – by VW is questioning.

Whether it is for oneself, the environment, or something completely unheard of…the people at VW simply want people to change their behavior for the better.

So, how are they going to do this?

By shifting the way you perceive or experience simple everyday task more. the VW folks hope you will change the way you go about living your daily life.

Check out the link above and see how fun and interactive walking stairs can be.

Kinda reminds me of the scene in Big staring Tom Hanks. It premiered in 1988. Wait, did I just date myself…oh well.

Jorge has left the building

Jorge has left the building


Most people seem confused when I tell them that I graduated with a degree in International Politics but decided to work in advertising; they don’t see a link between the two. On the other hand, some people cynically point out how natural it is, given that advertisers, diplomats and politicians all depend on their ability to manipulate audiences. “Bullshit by any other name” they seem to say.

Maybe at some point in time this argument was valid, but thanks to agencies like Adrenalina, times are a-changin’.

As an intern at Adrenalina, I’ve had the chance to see firsthand how the new generation of communication agencies not only goes beyond advertising, taking cues from fields like anthropology, politics, and biology, but also works hard to create platforms where relationships between a brand and consumer are based on meaningful dialogue and culturally relevant work.

Working with the cognitive and cultural studies (strategy) team, my primary task was to question every existing notion on how people interact with the world and each other, and like an amateur detective, try to find that single human truth that’s going to help answer how a brand can better relate to an individual, his needs and aspirations, in a constructive way. My days consisted of reading anything from anthropology white papers to blogs on tailgating, immersing myself in all kinds of media, and more importantly, going out and talking to people within their experience.

I am particularly proud of the work the other interns and I presented to the agency on secondary targets for Tecate, and my own presentation analyzing the latest trends in social and cultural research. I even had the chance to work on a personal project about the intersection of advertising agency models and the public diplomacy practice.

Alas, the best thing about Adrenalina, apart from being able to wear sneakers every day and the happy hours, is the great team of people working there. Perhaps it’s a business necessity, to create an atmosphere where great people can be creative and constantly produce great work in tight deadlines, but the fact that the minimalist-stylized space in 411 Lafayette St. feels less like an office and more like a room out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – laughter, a sense of wonderment, and the occasional impromptu dance number in the hallway are commonplace – gives credit to the idea that great advertising it’s not about the work, but the people and the process behind it.

If you want to call it bullshit, then don’t mind the splat on the side of my mouth; it’s all I ever could want in a job.

~ Jorge

Being that it’s Friday and well…it’s time to unwind. There’s no better way to end the week and begin the weekend then by using some humor.

Don’t know how the conservative movement might view this, but check out the latest Durex commercial making the rounds.

While it may not be anything new, we have to at least acknowledge the humor Durex opted for in trying to convey the brand’s value of desire. At least Durex found a strength in acknowledging its product has a somewhat…almost potent affect on people from all backgrounds and ages.

Great job Durex…what do you think? Is it humor or do you find it offensive.


Posted: April 29, 2009 by tricicloxido in culture, Humor, image, People
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comedy about tragedies, that’s the best way to fight them. Popular culture in arms.