Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Positive 'iconic' image of America
For my positive iconic image of America, I've picked the Hollywood sign. Everyone instantly recognizes the Hollywood sign as identifiable of America, and the film and entertainment industry. Hollywood in Los Angeles is the go to place for aspiring actors and actresses, or anyone dreaming of making the big time. This shows the American Dream, and relates to the idea of making a new beginning, with the feeling that in America, anything is possible. The sign itself, built in 1923, is symbolic of the hopes and dreams of many wanting to 'see their name in lights', and is a popular tourist attraction in the Hollywood Hills, helping to bring in a record-breaking 41.4 million tourists to Los Angeles in 2012.
Negative 'iconic' image of America
The September 11th attacks, or 9/11, was a tragedy not just for the United States, but also for the rest of the world. The Twin Towers was a financial base for New York businesses, with many employed and working there for different companies, creating a community within those who worked there. They were iconic buildings in New York, and the US as a whole, as they stood tall together protruding the skyline. The impact of 9/11 was felt like an earthquake through American society, with all eyes gripped on the tragic events unfolding for all across the world to witness. I feel this image shows America as vulnerable. Although America stands strong as a United nation, it doesn't make it invincible. This image is strongly associated to terrorism, the aftermath of this event lead to the 'War on terrorism', which is highly controversial and has a split public opinion. The site where the towers once stood is now synonymous for the grieving of a great nation, and as a place of remembrance for all those innocent lives tragically lost.

This iconic photo demonstrates the harsh reality for African Americans during the civil rights movement. It also optimises the hypocrisy of America and how unfair life could be in a country that self proclaims itself to be the land of the free. Racism has been a common negative aspect in American culture, and has been an issue that has been tirelessly fought against for centuries. Although this picture was taken during the 60's I believe that it is still an issue that is unresolved in America. It is true that the situation has improved since the time of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, but I believe that it still, on some what a subconscious level, a real negative aspect of American culture. Although Barack Obama is in the White House, it would be na├»ve to say that there is still a proportion of American citizens that are not still racist.

The positive photo I have chosen exemplifies the "American Dream". It proves that America is in fact a country that does offer opportunities for all comers. I also believe the negative image I have chosen helps emphasise the vast change in culture and tolerance that America has experienced over the last 50 years. From a country that was not willing to let an African American on the front of bus to then accept an African American in the White House shows the possibilities and potential that America has. It justifies a lot of the optimism that Americans feel, which in Britain we are not used to. It also proves the fact that America does not have this vague issue with class that we have. This idea of optimism sets America apart from the rest of the world and is something other nations should aspire to.

I think child beauty pageants are a negative side to the USA as they over sexualise the child with the fake tan, fake hair, lots of make up etc. And it shows a bad side to parenting and also when young girls of this age see these images they may think its acceptable or feel like they should imitate them and when seeing this in the media and they may start feeling self conscious and sometimes develop conditions relating to body issues.

I think a positive side to the USA is their patriotism and their innovation and prosperity which encourages their morale and also encourages their work ethic and making products in their own country is one of the things that helps do that.

The good and Bad

“The glamour of it all! New York! America!" Charlie Chaplin

I think that this is an iconic positive picture of USA as New York City is a place that most people, if not nearly everyone in the world has heard about. New York City offers incomparable museums, attractions, restaurants, hotels, theatres, entertainment and shopping and it is because of this that makes it one destination that most people want to go to in their lives and this is prove by the 50.9 million people that visited the city last year the highest on record. Also I think that the Statue of Liberty looking over the Atlantic ocean still gives that feeling of hope and joy to people when they land at the surrounding airports, maybe not for the same reasons as what she did in the late 1800s, but nevertheless it is a positive iconic figure as it shows that Americans are proud of their past and want to show it to the world.


USA has many negative sides to it, but in my personal opinion the gun “situation” over there is what I believe is the worst negative aspect. It is well known all over the world how it is so average to have a house hold gun in nearly every home in the US, ranging from small hand guns to possibly rifles. But is it needed? If the US has similar gun rules to how Europe does would we hear stories like: The Batman film shooting in Colorado or the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting? Most probably not, but the US will as a whole be unwilling to give up to right to have a gun as it is part of their history and culture going all the way back to the Cowboys and British Colonialism and because of this no politician will do anything about it as they know it will affect their poll ratings which is a shame as they are meant to be there for the people.



The Vietnam War (also known as The American War in Vietnam)

The Vietnam War is exceptionally significant in America's negative aspects. America suffered a huge loss whilst participating, by the end of 1966, there was an estimated 400,000 US troops in Vietnam, many of whom did not return home.  The Vietnam War was the first American war to be televised, which had an impact on American society considerably, especially since the media were publicising the  suffering of many young men, dying on foreign soil. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C, remains the potent of symbols of American Loss.

The Statue Of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was created in 1875, it's purpose was to signify a mutual friendship between the United States of America and France, it is a symbol of freedom and democracy, a statue of the Roman Goddess, Libertas, the Goddess of freedom. Although it is primarily an icon of freedom, some view it as a welcoming signal to arriving immigrants. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Welcome to the blog for AM1111 for your group. For the first exercise, post any TWO images which are iconic of “America.” Choose one positive, the other negative and explain your choice in 150 words or so Please don't link to images - post them to the blog as images (use the picture icon that shows at the top of the page when you start a new post.)