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October, 2014

  1. We Ate The Acid

    October 30, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    The third Grateful Dead studio album is titles Auxomoxoa. It saw a reduction of the long psychedelic inspired winding lyrics of “Anthem of the Sun”, but retained a certain cosmic feel to many of the songs. This album has a hidden joke on the cover. The way in which Grateful Dead is written on the front can also be read “We Ate the Acid”.images

    The first song is St. Stephen. It starts with a relaxing solo guitar playing, but then switches over to a much higher intensity with drums and vocals immediately mixed in. This creates a feeling of jumping into the music and is a great way to start the album off. The lyrics are very metaphorical, but tell a story of St. Stephen, reference to Stephen Gaskin, a hippie in the 60’s that started his own commune called “the farm” in Tennessee. My favorite lyrics are

    “Fortune comes a crawlin’, calliope woman, spinnin’ that curious sense of your own.
    Can you answer? Yes I can. But what would be the answer to the answer man?”.

    The next song is Dupree’s Diamonds Blues. It talks about typical gender roles through a funny story. It’s about how a man will do anything to have sex with a girl, in this story he robs a bank and gets sentenced to death. It also says women only care about gold and Diamonds, not actually the man. It’s actually pretty funny if you listen to it.

    The next song is “Rosemary”. It is pretty psychedelic with Jerry’s voice having the effect of sounding like its underwater. It tells an interesting story and is actually very enjoyable if you want a relaxing chill song.

    Next is “Doin that Rag”. The vocals in this song are actually quiet so you have to really pay attention to here them. This song is about huffing ether and how a lot of people are doing it. This song is done in a tasteful way and doesn’t come away as a pro-drug (or even a drug) song.

    Mountains of the Moon is the fifth song. This song always gave me a feeling of like knights and old-timer fairs. It has a certain medieval feel. It is a good song and the one 27 minute live version i found of it is my favorite.

    The sixth song is “China Cat Sunflower”. It is a very positive song and the organs in the background with a chorus  give it like a churchy feel. When Jerry sings that feeling goes away and a feeling of psychedelic rock takes over. It is a good song overall.

    What’s Become of the Baby is next. It is out there when it comes to psychedelic songs. It sounds like u r in a monastery and there is someone humming/singing while you are meditating. It is interesting to listen a couple times, but its like too far out.

    Cosmic Charlie is the 8th and final song. It is about a kid who gets stuck in a permanent trip. Its actually hilarious if you listen to the lyrics. They sound dr. Seuss-ish in the way they sound and the “doodooodeladoos”.  I would say this is my second favorite song on the album, behind St. Stephen.


  2. Essay Trouble- Wording of Third Outcome

    October 30, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    For some reason I can’t get the wording for the third Outcome to flow.

    There are three possible results from this rise of ultraconservative candidates. First, the ultra-conservatives remain within the Republican Party. They continue to push Republican candidates on both a local and federal level farther to the right. This hurts Republicans when it comes to moderates or possibly weakly aligned Democrats. However, the Republicans do get keep the ultra-conservative voting block, even though it is much smaller currently than the votes they are losing. With this outcome the ultra-conservative group still remains politically significant because they would retain a good amount of influence within one of the two big parties. The second outcome is that the ultra-conservatives break away from the Republican Party and create their own Party. This costs Republicans votes in elections when they run against this new parties candidates. This would allow for the Republicans to nominate more moderate candidates which would make it a lot easier to win over moderates. However, this result is less likely because the ultra-conservative candidates and voters know this would make them irrelevant. They would become just another third party and have next to no chance to influence big elections. The third and final option is that this trend reverses itself. If times get less desperate, like the economy improving or the withdrawal from foreign wars, then we will probably see a drop in ultra-conservative voters and therefore a drop in ultra-conservative candidates. Remember there was a long period of time where ultra-conservative voters, while there were a lot fewer, were winded seamless into the Republican Party. This is a possibility again, they could just continue to vote for more moderate Republicans. This would allow the Republican Party to keep this ultra-conservative voting block as well as appeal to moderate voters giving the Republicans a much better chance of winning. They would still have some influence and gradually pull candidates slightly to the right, but for the most part things would return to a 1984 level of cohesiveness.


  3. Common Core Reaction

    October 16, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    Judging education has always been a complicated idea for me. I don’t think that grades in High School are a good way to judge whether a student is learning because a big portion of grades in High School come from homework and this results in grades that just show how much free time a student is willing to sacrifice. This leaves testing as the only real way to measure learning, but as the article suggested this comes with its own set of problems. The previous standardized tests were atrocious and measured how well students could memorize facts. The common core is supposed to be the new test and is supposed to go away from this.

    The two goals of the common core are to refocus classroom instruction on conceptual understanding and the development of higher-order thinking skills, and to create a measure of consistency across the United States. The author states that these goals are reasonably met, however points out several flaws still remaining. The big one for me is that no teachers were consulted when creating this test. How can you test education without consulting the very people doing this educating. It seems they should have some if not a large input on these test. If they would have consulted with teachers it is unlikely that the issue of lacking instructions or funding for teachers to change and better meet the common core would exist. Overall, the common core is a step in the right direction, but needs further improvement before it can be instituted efficiently.

     


  4. Paradigm Shifts

    October 16, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    One Paradigm shift that i am interested in discussing is the rise of ultra-conservative candidates in the Republican field. While there have always been very conservative candidates within the Republican parties, over the last 10 years there numbers have risen and in turn resulted in even more conservative representatives. This can be seen by the emergence of the Tea Party within the Republican party. These ultra-conservative candidates are an interesting phenomenon. Most come from districts in the south where they don’t have to appeal to liberal voters at all because the number of conservatives is incredibly high. This gives them a job security in which these ultraconservative candidates never previously had. As a registered Republican this paradigm shift both intrigues and concerns me. I agree with some of the ultra-conservative candidate’s viewpoints, but their inability to compromise in order to get things accomplished keeps their ideas from being realized. This paradigm shift also forces candidates in Presidential Primaries to appear more hardline conservative in order to appeal to this huge voting block within the Republican Party. While this does result in candidates who i agree with more, it makes the Republican nominee unable to attract a lot of swing voters during the General election. This severely hurts the chances of Republican nominees in winning the presidency. I would be interested in writing and giving my TED talk about this,

    Another Paradigm shift I would be willing to talk about would be the transition in the way that marijuana is looked at and treated at both a state and federal level. This includes the introduction of medical marijuana, decriminalization, and the opening of dispensaries. Marijuana is still a class 1 drug  federally, putting it in the same category as heroin or cocaine. This has resulted in a lot of conflict between state and federal governments.


  5. American Beauty

    October 16, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    I have been hesitant to do this review for awhile. Don’t get me wrong, I love American beauty its just this album sounds like what a lot of people expect the dead to sound like. It has elements of the 60’s cultural revolution mixed with catchy tones and lyrics reminiscent of pop music. It is a really good album, but to me the dead just has so much more to offer and these shorter popish songs don’t demonstrate the true nature of the dead. they miss the long solos and psychedelic lyrical metaphors that i so thoroughly enjoy in a lot of the albums. In addition, i don’t want to sound too much like a hipster, but a lot of people who i would consider phony deadheads only listen to this album. All this being said its still a solid album, one which i can no longer not talk about. i will tell you some of my personal favorite songs off of this album and give you a little background on them.

    The first song is “Box of Rain”. It was written by Phil Lesh about the passing of his dad. The lyrics have a sort of celebratory sadness which is very interesting to me. The lyrics themselves are truly amazing but the tenderness and emotion they are sung with take this song to the next level for me.

    “Friend of the Devil” is also a great song. In future live concerts they would slow it down turning a 3 minute song into a 30 minute jammiest of a song. The lyrics of it also give you a feeling of being on the run. They talk about a reason a guy left and being chased down by a sheriff. I’v always loved the chorus, “set out running, but i take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine”.

    “Sugar Magnolia” is an amazing love song written by Bob Weir. It discusses loving a woman while being on the bands busy touring schedule. It also just talks about how much he loves his girl. my favorite lyrics are, “She’s got everything delightful, she’s got everything I need, Takes the wheel when I’m seeing double, pays my ticket when I speed” and “She’s a summer love for spring, fall and winter. She can make happy any man alive”

    “Ripple” was one of the first dead songs i really listened. The lyrics are incredibly deep and metaphorical filled with analogies. The song in general just sounds so perfect. It makes me think about just sitting around a campfire listening to someone play guitar. The singing is done in a chorusy way just like in “Uncle John’s Band”.

    “Truckin” was a dead song that i listened to before i really knew who the dead where. It is about traveling around the country, and having a lot of homes, but never quiet finding that one home. It is also just about the experiences of being out on the road. it is reminiscent of early Johnny Cash in the chugging along train sound in the background and some more basic themes. It is a great song and was even acknowledged by Congress for cultural importance.


  6. Rough Draft

    October 8, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    Garren Stamp

    Professor Earl Brooks

    Rhetoric and Civic Life

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    Kellogg’s PEP Cereal Advertisement

    Kellogg’s PEP cereal was a popular cereal in the 1930’s-1940’s. It was one of the first cereals to be fortified with vitamins. Many people were unaware of what this meant or what eating extra vitamins could potentially do for them. Because of this Kellogg’s began an advertising campaign that tried to explain these benefits to the populous, but unfortunately they relied on typical gender roles and sexism to explain these possible benefits.

    In order to truly understand this ad you need to first understand the culture of the time period it was released in. This ad was released in 1938 but stayed in circulation until the early 40’s. This time period showed a backslide in Women’s gender rights. Women had made great leaps forward in the 1910’s and 1920’s which culminated with the 19th amendment granting them the right to vote in 1920. Women had achieved a much higher level of political equality, but still lacked social or economic equality. However, as the Great Depression began, Women’s rights fell to the back burner politically. Politicians chose to focus on trying to fix the economy instead of provide equal rights for women. Not only was ensuring gender equality socially and economically not a major issue, but many politicians and governmental agencies began to try and reinstitute the old stereotypical gender roles of men being the bread winners for their families. Politicians that stressed that the man was the one responsible for earning and maintaining a job that would allow for his family to survive while women were in charge of keeping and maintaining the home through tasks such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. This train of thought can be seen in the over 1000 bills passed in the 1930’s that discriminated against a women’s ability to enter the workforce. The public sector also followed this backsliding pattern. Many universities began to deny women entry and many businesses wouldn’t hire women. For example, in the automobile industry there was a ratio of about one women worker for each 10 male workers. About 3/4 of women who were lucky enough to get a job worked as nurses or school teachers. Society in general discouraged women from attempting to get work outside of them home. In fact, women who worked outside of the home were often seen as hurting another family because jobs were scarce and they were stealing a job from a man who would be supporting his whole family.  Overall women were viewed as and treated as second class citizens whose job it was to manage the home by society.

    The Kellog’s PEP cereal advertisement’s intended audience is both men and women. Men would be attracted to it do the advertising because it supposedly makes their women “cuter”. They would also be interested in having their wife doing the maximum amount of cleaning while they are gone which is apparently also something the cereal can do. Women would also be attracted to the ad. They would ideally want to be cuter for their husband. Also, this ad says the women in this ad says she’s not tired after a day full of cleaning because of the vitamins in this cereal. Ideally, women would choose to be less tired so they would be interested in consuming this product.

    The main part of the ad shows a husband and a wife in a loving embrace. The wife is dressed in a traditional dress and an apron. She is also holding a duster. Her outfit emphasizes her role as the one in charge of maintaining the house. The husband is in contrast wearing a professional looking suit. This emphasizes his job of being the breadwinner of the family. Also, the fact that the man is the only one thinking anything along with the agreeable look that is on the wife’s face shows a domination of the man in the marriage. This part of the ad reinforces stereotypical gender roles as well as a man’s dominance in marriage.

    The other main part of the ad is the cartoon in the bottom right corner of the ad. The man comes home from work, tired from his day at work. He notices that his wife is still full of energy after cleaning all day. The husband asks her how this is possible and she responds that she makes sure she always gets her vitamins. The outfits of the cartoon match the other part of the ad with the woman wearing housework clothes and the man wearing a suit. This again pushes stereotypical gender roles. While this part is extremely sexist, it does somewhat equate housework and working in a factory of being equally tiring. This suggests some type of equality between the workloads of the couple instead of suggesting that housework was light and easy work as many ads and people in society said at this time.

    This Kellogg’s PEP Cereal would never be used today. First, its blatant sexism would result in a PR nightmare and hurt Kellogg’s sales across the board. Second this advertisement doesn’t show the product anywhere on it. If it wasn’t for the Kellogg’s logo in the bottom left corner you would have no idea what this was an advertisement for, at first glance possibly vitamins of some sort. Modern marketing has much more of a focus on the product, especially food that is being sold as healthier. A modern comparative product would be Cheerios. Cheerios are being marketed as a healthier breakfast product that provides health benefits. Almost all Cheerio brand advertisements have a strong focus on the actual product, something completely lacking from 1930’s Kellogg’s add. In addition, the main part of the ad has nothing to do with the product itself. It doesn’t mention anything about PEP cereal or vitamins, it just mentions the husband thinks the wife looks cuter  the harder she works. It’s not until you read the smaller font in the cartoon that you realize the loose connection between it and the product. Third, the cartoon has absolutely no product explanation or placement within it. The wife simply answers “Vitamins, Darling! I Always get my vitamins”. She never once says that she gets these vitamins from PEP cereal nor is there a bowl or box of PEP cereal anywhere in the cartoon that you can imply this. Overall, this ad does little to market Kellogg’s PEP cereal, combined with gender stereotypes, there is no way this ad would ever be used today.

    Kellogg’s PEP cereal was a brand new kind of cereal when it was released in 1938. This ad attempts to convince people of the benefits that it being fortified with vitamins could provide. However, the outfits of the couple along with the dialogue subtly promotes typical gender roles. Luckily an ad like this would never be used today.


  7. From the Mars Hotel

    October 8, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    Mars Hotel is a great Grateful dead Album. It was the first Dead album that i purchased the vinyl of. I can’t even tell you the number of times i have listened to this album and the immense joy that i get from each song on it.grateful_dead_-_from_the_mars_hotel

    U.S. Blues is the first song on From the Mars Hotel. It’s has a unique sound that is reminiscent of old time 50’s shuffle music. Because of this, it’s beat is very catchy and extremely easy to dance to. The lyrics are full of analogies to American culture and history. While the song sounds extremely positive, it was released as the Vietnam War was coming to an not-so-popular end. A lot of the lines that sound like they are complimenting US culture are actually tongue in cheek insults. U.S. Blues was used as the intro song to the Grateful Dead movie. Here is a link to the video—https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPBLfzTPCDc. The cartoon part is a lot more elaborate in the movie going for a whole 7 minutes.  I always thought the beginning cartoon was cool and shows some of the meaning in the song.

    The next song is “China Doll”. It has incredibly slow tempo and it seems if though Garcia is drawing out each word as he says it. This song is a brief snap of a conversation between someone who has committed suicide and one of their loved ones back on earth. The lyrics are deep and reveal Hunter’s unique opinions on death and suicide with lines such as “I will not condemn you”. It always seemed to me that by the end of the song the loved one had reached closure and the angelic “La, La, La”‘s  were angels taking the soul of the person who committed suicide away.

    The Next song on the album is my personal favorite “Unbroken Chain”. This was the first song that Phil Lesh ever sang for the dead. Phil Lesh’s voice is extremely tender and paints a beautiful picture when combined with the lyrics. I always thought of this song as a personal who is feeling alone and begins to question everything around him. An “Unbroken Chain” of society if you will. This song is full of religious references as well as unique sound effects that allow the listener to go on a mental journey with the lyrics.

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    The next song is “Loose Lucy”. This song could has an upbeat feel and matches U.S. Blues in its ability to be a dance song. In my opinion (along with comments the dead have hinted at during interviews) this song is a one big metaphor for acid (Lucy being a common nickname). It was during this time that the Dead began to move onto harder substances, cocaine use had become more prevalent with the band and Jerry’s Heroin use reached its zenith a year or two after this album released, and this song seems to be like an almost thank you to LSD, a non harmful, non-addictive drug. It feels as if they are reminiscing about their trips. Lines such as “Loose Lucy is my delight, she come runnin’ and we ball all night”, “She’s my yo-yo, I’m her string, listen to the birds on the hot wire sing, yeh-yeh yeh-yeh yeh-yeh yeh, singing, “Thank you, for a real good time!””, and “Went back home with two black eyes, you know I’ll love ya till the day I die,”( dilated pupils) are all references to LSD and its side effects.

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    Next comes scarlet begonias. This is one of the better known Dead Songs. There isn’t much i can say that you can’t get from listening to it so here http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj_kK1j3CV0. Enjoy

    Next comes Pride of Cucamonga. This is Phil Lesh’s second time ever sining for the dead. This song gives a feeling of being on the open road and traveling away from home with lines such as “The Northern sky stinks with greed”. The dead never performed this song live in all there years of touring.

    Next is Money, Money. This is one of the few dead songs that i as a fan really hate. Bob Weir does a good job singing but everything else is horrible. I don’t want to wage anymore time thinking of this atrocious song.

    The final song is Ship of Fools. I love Ship of Fools. Sometimes it can be a little slow, Jerry sings it in a similar manner to China Doll, but this helps to contextualize the narrator in the song. This song is about dealing with all the struggles in life. Jerry is being dragged down by people around him (possibly a drug reference since he was using heroin) and realizes he needs to make a few changes. th_SHIP_OF_FOOLS_L


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