Weblog Project


Cynical Realist
This is the page for the weblog project on The Cynical Realist, where "logical thought, reason, and Christianity are blended together in a Magic Bullet and served with extra random and silly on the side."


Group Members


RyanWells: CynicalRealistRW

GracieKelm: CynicalRealistGK

MonicaRawlings: CynicalRealistMJR


Search Model


Blogging as Social Activity, or, Would You Let 900 Million People Read Your Diary?
Nardi, Schiano, and Gumbrechet


Description


Top words in the Blog

1 corinthians 1 peter 24 acne admin asian car college culture dc*b debunked! dreams ebay fail food growing up guitar happiness high fives how-to infomercials introspective jeremiah 29:11 movies music my brain nerdy polls prayer profound proverbs random rants school silly snuggie social networking suffering technology the office tv type A vince windows work


The Web site address is http://www.thecynicalrealist.com/

The site begins with a black banner that has the title of the site “THE CYNICAL REALIST” underlined. Underneath the underlining are different phrases or sayings that change when the page is refreshed. They average from 1 to 30 words at a time, most are complete sentences.

Lower down on the site on the right side are the worlds “WELCOME” and underneath the text reads: to the cynical realist, where logical thought, reason, and Christianity are blended together in a Magic Bullet and served with extra random and silly on the side.

There are 5 sections at the top of the page, one is a small black house, next is “debunking infomythcials, how-tos, music, thoughts on Christianity, and uncategorized.

There is a small eyeglass icon and a white box.

There are other categories on the right side of the site including Twitter, Recently Comments, Tag Cloud, Categories, Blogroll, More About Me, Archives, Categories, Meta.

There is a small advertisement at the top by Google that changes when the page is refreshed.

We noticed that there were 2 headings were listed twice in the side bar, Archieves and Categories. Although the heading "Categories" is not listed, the information contained within this area is listed once again mentioned in the navigation at the top of the page. Another link is found in the Right hand corner of each posting. The link is labled as comments. This link goes to the comments that are listed about this particular post. The link also tells you how many people have commented about the post. The links are in blue.

In the bottom of each post are 3 areas which contain links. These include: Who wrote the post, What is it categorized as, and what is tagged as. Next to each of the links are Icons.

The RSS feed is located at the top of the right hand side bar. There is also an RSS feed icon by the heading Twitter in the right hand side bar.
This blogger is working out of Wordpress.
In the Left hand corner of each post the date is listed but it is not a link.
The color scheme used for the template is primarily black, gray and white.
There is a grayscale textured heading with white writing. Under the primary title is a tag line.
The footer includes Copywrite and the year along with the user name who the theme was designed by. As well as the two coding styles that were used.


Some post heading titles include:
Look what I got in the mail today
And the winner is…
In case you wondered what to do with leftover aluminum foil
A detailed oriented God
On the meaning and origin of dreams
On being a bold witness for the Lord
It’s down to the final four
Ho did YOU take notes in school
CNBC has heard my voice…


Each of the posts were written by "remmeh".

3 of the posts do not have pictures. All other posts have at least one large photo that directly relates to the text in some way. The photos can be clicked on and made larger.

There are three block quotes, two are in the same post that include Biblical verses, and there is one in the post from January 30th.

There are embedded links throughout most of the posts. Some link to other blogs, or news articles. Some are linked to a Bible verse page.

Comments can be made on each posting. There are 0-7 comments within the 18 post.

Bold fonts are used to title each entry. There is bolding within some of the entries as well. Bullets are used within some of the posts. Numbers are used as well. Italics are also used.

Most posts are 5 paragraphs, with on average 3 sentences per paragraph. Some paragraphs are organized by numbers, others are shorter paragraphs. Some post are very short.

The length of the each post varies. The posts have a common theme of everyday occurences. There are stories within posts that are set apart by blue texts boxes.The heading font size is larger than the paragraph font size. A form of punctuation is used in every post heading. He uses block paragraphs not indentations.

Images are used a lot in the posts. There are few posts without some sort of imagery included in each posting. Some words and phrases are bolded in gray through out the postings.

Description of Context

The author has a Twitter profile that states:
• Name jerry huang
• Location iPhone: 42.372223,-71.517662
• Web http://thecynical..∞.
• Bio i'm an engineer. that means i solve problems. not problems like, what is beauty? because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy.

There are different types of post. Some posts are more serious. They talk about religious experiences that the other has had. He talks about the different paths he must take in life and how God will lead him on his journey.

Another theme of texts humor. Some refer to debunking the myths of infomercials, some are cartoons that that author likes, etc. Some also include things that bother the author (freezing cold water when washing hands) or things that have captured his attention (ninja star thumbtacks).

One theme is “random.” One posting is a list of 25 Facts. Some posts are confusing and the messages are not clearly stated. Example January 21st, “I forgot to clip one of my fingernails” the author writes” here, I got a snapshot before it corrected itself.” The post has a large picture of a hand on a computer mouse.

Another theme are posts that related to the media. Some movies are mentioned or photos of a movie are posted such as Office Space and Die Hard.

The author mentions that he is writing on his blog at work one day, he also mentions he is Asian and is a Christian.


Analysis


The name of the site is Cynical Realist.

Cynical Realism:
A contemporary movement in Chinese art, especially in the form of painting, that began in the 1990s. Beginning in Beijing, it has become the most popular Chinese contemporary art movement in mainland China. It arose through the pursuit of individual expression by Chinese artists that broke away from the collective mindset that existed since the Cultural Revolution. The major themes tend to focus on socio-political issues and events since Revolutionary China (1911) to the present. These include having a, usually humorous and post-ironic, take on a realist perspective and interpretation of transition that Chinese society has been through, from the advent of Communism to today's industrialization and modernization. Wikipedia

The author does talk about his Asian ancestry in some texts, and has a picture of himself, he is an Asian male.

When I looked into the history of the site, I saw that the site had a different location, and a different site title. It used to be called “A realist dose of cynicism.” Comparing the two sites, the previous site has more feminine tones, with pink flowerlike swirls in the background. The current site is more structured, with a more masculine and darker color schemes.

There are different writing styles throughout the text. Some of the text seems to be humorous or about strange things in the world. Some writing has a more serious tone, expressing his spiritual side. Some posts describe the different products on infomercials and if they are good products or not.

There are some texts that are hard to understand what the author is trying to describe--Cat and cactus photo, fingernail clipping, what you used to take notes with when you were younger

Some of the texts are written with a sad tone. Ex: one about a bad dream, one about being fired from his job.

Using our search model:
• Update Others on Activities and Whereabouts
Author does this through postings about what is going on in his spiritual life, and different things that bother him in the world (people taking up two parking spaces), him being at work or at his parents house.

• Express Opinions to Influence Others
This is shown in almost every entry. Ex: the author has researched Infomercials and their products, tells stories & dreams about spirituality, vents about mac vs windows

• Seeking Others’ Opinions and Feedback

Asks for readers to say what they used to take notes in school “Now what about you?” he asks, gives the option of comments for each post (most do have comments or responses) Another post, "What should I name my new toy?"

• “Thinking by Writing”

Describing his dream experience and his feelings, random thoughts

• Release of Emotional Tension

One post is a photo of a car taking up two spaces at an Olive Garden. The author wants to post it on failblog (a site that people can post pictures of things that fail in the world), freezing cold water coming out of faucets, unhealthy Michael Phelps Shake

Rhetorical Patterns

Metaphor: “my heart in shambles,” “it felt like part of me had withered away,”

Similie: “from being thrown like chaff to the gust of neglect,”

Personification: “he’s got your entire life, in his hands, …”

Alliteration: “He knows a good an perfect plan for you, a plan to prosper…and beautifl future planned for you,” “hurt we have ever felt and will ever feel from infinity to infinity,” “God has a plan, a plan to prosper, and not to harm a plan..”

Patterns of Repetition: Speaks of God frequently, Author uses the words “know” 5 times in one entry. There are reoccurring themes that keep arising. Ex: infomercials or how- to products, Christianity (using the word Blasphemies, I shall (Ten Commandments), being God’s witness), daily life situations (work problems, car parking in two spaces, freezing cold water out of faucets). The word infomercial is repeated the most in the January 2009 section. Theme of being a bold witness for the Lord. (sometimes this is bolded text in his writing), Sometimes the author will be talking about one thing and then link in the text to something related—example: author talks about CD’s being wrapped in a think layer of plastic, the author links to how to wrap the perfect gift. Another theme is money (his company not being able to afford workers because of the economy, author saying money shouldn’t rule his life, God should)

Patterns of Omission: Who is the author? (we found this out by doing research on different sites like Twitter, we still don't really know who he is) There isn't an about me page, What he is longing for in January 27th entry? Why exactly is he writing the blog?, etc.

Anomalies to Patterns: Author talks about being Christian but says in one section “I shall kill you..” referring to not opening a CD.



Extras:
• Author tells us in one post that his is at work when he is writing that particular post
• author writes “normally, I’m not always dying to write a blogpost,”
• over 2 years ago the author was in his junior year of studies at WPI, looking for internships at local engineering businesses and corporations
• works at “Sun”

Some thoughts for Interpretation:
This page has two tones. One tone is serious and religious and the other is humorous. The main purpose of the page is to express the authors Christianity. The title of the blog –Cynical Realist, describes what the blog is about, talking about some social issues (money, religion, TV, media) by describing them in a humorous tone.
The posts are a reflection of his thoughts not necessarily based on factualy information.
The author decided that it is his responsibility to analyze these products and tell the reader if the product is worth buying.








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