Monday, May 7, 2012

Project Web Preface

Jose Segura
Professor Marca
English 113B
8 May 2012
Not So Fast, Food
Fast food over home cooking is the issue that my blog focuses on. Since this is a broad topic, my group and I thought that this applies to the general audience. This idea was brought up due to the interesting site visit that I did during the assignment project space – an assignment to de-familiarize a certain location for the purpose of writing a paper over an issue seen during the trip. It caught my attention that the reason why many people visited the place, in my case La Placita Olvera, was to purchase the foods sold there. Most of it seemed unhealthy and unsanitary. And that is how fast food came into play.
            First, we had narrowed our topic down to the point that it is culture that affects society with its foods. Unfortunately though, that wasn’t so direct. So then we narrowed our ideas even further until reaching an agreement that culture-food is another type of fast food. It was then that we started narrowing our ideas even further, until finally reaching the issue that fast food is taking over home cooking.
            Ideas came and went. We were stuck figuring how to deploy our blog. It wasn’t because we couldn’t do it; it was simply because there were so many important things to mention, and organization was very troublesome. This was an easy, but at the same time difficult topic to overcome. We had to portray the three rhetorical approaches of ethos, pathos, and logos in order for our advertisement to be successful. In addition, the theme, color, texture, etc. had to connect with the message of the advertisement. The process of this assignment was very time-consuming. It led to several in-class and outside discussions. We struggled, but managed to configure the display of our blog.
            To begin, we titled our blog “Not So Fast, Food.” The purpose of the title is for the audience to recognize that fast food is taking control over society; therefore, there needs to be an end to it. To top it off, we posted an image that’s relevant to the title. This is a picture of fast food running; however, it has a big red circle on top of it with a slash through it – just like those that you would see in a “No Smoking” sign. In addition to that, we displayed the title – with bold and capital letters so the tone could sound stronger – and an image in the left side margin where the color yellow is used. The purpose of using the color yellow was so that we could incorporate the same concept that traffic lights use. The color yellow in a traffic light signifies caution; to yield, to slow down. That’s the whole concept behind the title and the photo; we want to create an awareness that fast food is taking control over our eating habits; therefore, it needs to slow down.  
Second, we as a group came up with our own organization in order to make ourselves sound more credible. We called it the NAOHC (National Aid Organization for Health Conditions). It’s with credibility that an advertisement is considered successful. As an “organization” we posted a photo of ourselves. Therefore the audience has a better idea of who we are. We then typed a small introductory paragraph which describes both side of the issue and thereby gives the audience a better understanding of what the blog will be about.  Immediately after that, we posted a list of questions for the audience to read and answer. In relation to the introductory paragraph, this also gives the audience a better understanding of what the blog will go over. Because the audience is unaware with the message of blog, we transitioned into the fast food topic instead home-cooked meals; thereby, they have an understanding of how fast food affects society. Another reason why we decided to do this was so that it does not bore away our audience with facts about home cooking. Therefore, the attention of the audience is easily grasped.
To begin, we inserted two links followed by three images that explain the reasons why people prefer fast food over home-cooked meals. For this, we did not post any picture headings, but instead we typed mini-narratives. This was useful in order to not lose the audience’s attention. One of the images portrays a man who appears to be sleeping with a cooking pot and spatula on his stomach. This signifies that people are too lazy to cook. The next picture is an image of a restaurant menu that portrays cheap prices along with the meals. That is where Logos comes into play. Showing the price with the meal allowed us to go over the issue that people think it’s more convenient to eat fast food.  Finally, the third image shows the famous clown Ronald McDonald running with another man who seems to be on the go. The message behind that is that people don’t have time to cook because most of the time, they are always on the go. This is where ethos comes into play. The fact that the famous clown is running along with another person, makes it more credible.
As we moved on, we transitioned into the advertisements that the media displays to society. In doing so, we posted one picture and two video advertisements that are very common in our current television commercials. The whole purpose behind that is to explain or better yet for the audience to understand why many advertisements affect society. These videos portray erotic scenes which consist of half-naked women eating a hamburger in a sexy manner. It is ads like these that grasp the male’s attention. Adding that issue into our blog is useful because it plays the roles of pathos and ethos. It portrays pathos because the scenes expose some type of sexual emotion, and it portrays ethos by making many men believe that the food is just as hot as the model eating the burger when in reality it is not true.
            Going over the issue of false advertising from the media towards society, helped us transition to the real deal. By this we mean the reality of fast foods. For this part, we posted an image that displays both versions of a hamburger; the media’s version and the real version. We also posted a video that follows the same concept. This is where pathos comes into play. The use of that image and video creates unwanted revolting emotions and thereby a new perspective is set towards fast food.  Soon after that, we inserted extra links that show videos of how fast food is made. This is useful because it gives the audience a better understanding of why we stand for home cooking. In addition, it plays a powerful role of ethos, for it makes it more credible, looking at the real version compare to the one that the media displays.
            It is then that we transitioned into home cooking. But in order to make the transition, we had to follow this structure for the purpose of saying something like, “Yes, fast food can sometimes be convenient, but as we just mentioned, you don’t get the real deal; it’s false advertisement. On the other hand, you don’t see that in home cooking; for you are the one that makes your own meal.” In addition, we inserted a short music video that we got from which goes over the issue of fast food versus society. This short clip includes both logos and pathos. The lyrics of the song portray logos because it repeats various well‑known fast food restaurants, as the pictures display the results of eating those foods. Towards the end of the video, the flow of the song reaches its final remark. It reaches the issue of death. In doing so, the famous McDonalds quote of “i’m lovin’ it,” was changed to “I WAS Lov’in it.” This is where the rhetoric approach of pathos is revealed. In addition, the happy melody of the song begins to slow down. This is signifies that death is no joke. It’s from there that we moved into talking about the benefits of home cooking – which are: it saves money, keeps traditional family recipes alive, includes more balanced meals, contains less trans-fat, uses healthier ingredients, avoids food poisoning, maintains a healthier life, and finally, you lower the possibilities of death. To do so, we posted several images to better explain them. In the benefit of saving money for example, we inserted a visual of the famous food pyramid compared with a fast food pyramid; and both appear to have money signs around them. However, the difference is that fast food pyramid deploys more money signs than the actual food pyramid. This is where logos come into play.
Considering the fact that the pyramids are informative resources for one’s own health, is already enough logic. But by adding those money signs, it gave the image another meaning. The message behind it is that home cooking is actually more convenient, for it saves more money and decreases the possibilities of illness. It’s from then on that we focus on the benefits of home cooking. Soon after that, we created a “To Do” list. The purpose of that list was so the audience can be aware of different methods that they could follow to maintain a healthier life. In addition, we included a link for further information. This link provides a whole range of meal recipes that people could consider when cooking. After that, we concluded our blog with a picture that contains the two choices; fast food and home-cooked meals.  It’s up to the audience then to decide what food to consider.
After everything was done, we moved on and designed our blog’s display. We designed the theme with clear bright colors. The reason for that is to show how alive it feels to eat fresh home-cooked meals. We displayed a background designed with fruits. The border color where the images, text, and videos stand on is green. There is a significance behind that. Normally a fast food restaurant has its design with red coloring to attract customers; so that they feel more comfortable and hungry. However, the use of the color green portrays nature, and something that is good, fresh, and alive. And that’s the whole concept of this blog; we want to approach the audience and make them believe that home cooking is the healthier decision.

Link to blog: