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Author Archives: jennifertavernier

The Dream of Leisure in California

The Seaboard Lemon crate label tells the story of the dream of leisure in California. Giving the viewer a picturesque view of Oxnard, Ventura County, California. Which although probably not thought of as the latest and greatest destination in the west, it does show us an ideal view of what McClung describes as Arcadia, “a found natural paradise”. Vast wide-open spaces where the sun is shining bright, the water is calm and everyone seems as though they don’t have a care in the world. If you don’t want to lay on the sand soaking up the suns rays you can take your sailboat out for a leisurely ride. At first glance you might not even realize what this image is trying to sell you, and once you see the company’s name you still might not know because there is no orchard in sight in this Arcadia. Here there is no booming citrus business, are dirty engines rushing you here or there, you just simply move at your own desired pace. As author McClung puts it, we can either view the image as that of an idealized Eden or a “cynical exercise in marketing”. The image attempts to reconcile between the two giving us a glimpse of a perfect day at the beach in California with the idea that Lemons made it all possible.

Works Cited

McClung, William Alexander. Landscapes of Desire: Anglo Mythologies of Los Angeles. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Print.

Strand Brand – Ventura County Lemons, Seaboard Lemon Association.Crate label, Western Lithograph Co., Los Angeles.Kemble Collections of Western Printing and Publishing, California Historical Society

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

California Dream of Growth

 

Benny Chan’s photograph gives it’s viewer a critical look at the dream of growth in California, something our society has long “measured its success by” (Rawls 145). People have long migrated out west in mass to follow their own version of the California dream and with this influx of people the state scrambled to provide housing and amenities for all of its residents. Growth had long been perceived as “the greatest good” and when California became the most populous state in 1962 the wide open spaces everyone had applauded and valued quickly disappeared (Rawls 147). The fantasy of wide open spaces is in direct contrast to the grid lock and traffic found throughout many developing cities. Instead of rolling hills and vast valleys, freeways and roads dominate the landscape. This photograph giving us a rarely seen perspective from above of seemingly never-ending turns and interconnected loops looks as though it never ends. Its obvious that these freeways built to make life easier now stand as daily reminders of overcrowding. As author Rawls described these “urban freeways built as pathways for auto mobility were becoming monuments to immobility” that covered once open land (Rawls 147). As populations boomed, open spaces rapidly disappeared leaving behind the dream of a successful city, replacing it with the reality of over population.

Works Cited

Chan, Benny “Traffic!” Photograph. 2009

Rawls, James J. “California: A Place, A People, A Dream.” California: A Place, A People, A Dream. Eds. Claudia K. Jurmain and James J. Rawls. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1986. Print. 141-149.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The California Dream of wanting to belong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy0CE6O3ktY&feature=related

The film Mi Vida Loca embodies the California dream of wanting to belong to something greater than yourself. This movie portrays latino youth growing up in Echo Park within Los Angeles in a gang fueled environment. Many have not completed their high school education, come from broken homes or have been kicked out of their homes. This film portrays the six basic stereotypes that Berg outlines for latinos in film including; darker skin, not of western european descent, features characters that can be seen as a threat as well as acting in criminal ways and knowing the difference between right and wrong but choosing to ignore it. The characters in the film spend their days trying to find a place that they can fit in, find a family to belong to, and find a home away from home. In this film, the dream of trying to belong in Los Angeles, California leads to gang involvement and violence soon follows. The set design throughout the movie features the “stereotypical habitat of the American Others – dilapidated inner city war zone”. The language, wardrobe, style of shooting and location all seek to tell a story that happens to be from a stereotypical point of view. In this version of gang life in Los Angeles many will lose their lives in the pursuit of the dream of trying to belong.

Works Cited:Berg, Charles Ramirez. Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, Resistance. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002. Print.
“Mi Vida Loca-Part 2.” 13 February 2008. Youtube. Web. 30 Mar 2011.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

California Dream vs. Reality

     

California has long been referred to as an “edenic utopia…tropical paradise…ultimate cash prize…and glamorous celebrity haven”. California has always been idolized as the land of plenty whether it is celebrities, jobs or natural resources like water and land. California has also been touted as one of the agricultural epicenters of the United States.

What does this Art Wood cartoon tell us about the dream of a lush and fertile agricultural center? 

Allmendinger’s article calls attention to the ‘plight’ of the family farm, noting Hanson’s work Fields without Dreams where the author sheds light on the California dream vs. the reality. Hanson states farming “provides contact with nature and isolation from the ills of society but…also involves financial hardship, brute labor and loneliness.” also noting that “family farms are a goner”. Gone are the days of expansive open space, flowing rivers and fertile valleys. Here are the days of corporate profit and never ending drought. In California the reality of crops that survive solely on imported water replaces the myth of always green and lush agricultural valleys. The dream of family owned farms profiting from their daily toils is replaced by farmers who can barely make ends meet.



Works Cited


Allmendinger, Blake. “All About Eden.” Reading California: Art, Image, and Identity: 1900-2000. Eds. Stephanie Baron, Sheri Bernstein, and Ilene Susa Fort. Berkley: University of California Press, 2000. 133-128. Print

Wood, Art. “Where Do We Go From Here?” Cartoon, Farm Bureau News, 1983.


 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The California Dream of striking it rich

The largest waves of migration to California were due in part to the dream of striking it rich through the Gold Rush. The idea that one could strike it rich brought men to California in droves.At the time the dream of the Gold Rush was best advertised through song that traveled quickly across america. This songs often played on the dream, spread tales of imminent and easy wealth. The author, Lipsitz further elaborates on this truth, stating “people who come to California…already have a rich inventory of references about the state…because of the power of popular music.” However, once prospective miners arrived they found the reality of the Gold Rush to be much different from the rosy pictures painted through song. The song prospecting dream by Gardnier and Kirk sang a different tune altogether. The reality of mining the land sounded more like, “swelled up with scurvy”, “I struck it here, and right down there, I dug, I panned and tommed awhile, till I had but a dollar, I could not raise the color”.

The song Prospecting Dream dispelled the myths surrounding the dream of striking it rich in California and instead told the cold, hard truth. Even though many men made it to California to follow this dream very few found the wealth of gold they were searching for.



Lipsitz, George. “Music, Migration, and Myth: The California Connection.” Reading California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000. Eds. Stephanie Barron, Sheri Bernstein, and Ilene Susan Fort. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. 153-169. Print.


 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Jennifer’s Blog Portfolio

The following 5 post represent a good variety of California Dream writings from throughout the semester. As I went through the earlier post I could see that I had developed my skills in regards to analysis of assigned readings, bringing out relevant details and sentence variety. I felt that my best post was the Dream of Growth in California. I felt that I choose a very relevant picture that connected very well to the readings. I also pulled out details in the image that successfully tied it all together. This class provided me with the basic skills I will be able to implement in all my future writings. I will definitely never read any article the same again finding it hard not to apply analytical reading skills.

https://contestededen.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/california-dream-of-growth/

With the California dream of growth I improved this paragraph by tying in more of the assigned reading by relating it to my photograph. I used more details from the photograph to further argue the paradoxes surrounding the dream of growth.

The dream of leisure in California; The picture I found for this post was so inspiring that I didn’t need to elaborate too much more on the details. I worked on connecting the details to the readings to make it more cohesive.
For the California dream of trying to belong, this post was fairly early on so I had to work on the sentence variety and add many more details to make it a thoughtful post.
California Dream vs. Reality; This post was personally very interesting to me but I didn’t have very many examples from the readings so I looked for additional connections to add.
For my post the dream of striking it rich in California I added more details here on how this particular dream was a myth and brought many men to California under false pretenses. I added more descriptive verbs to the sentence in order to convey my point of view.
 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized