Friday, October 8, 2010

No Humanity in the Chinese Government, I Could Not Refrain from Posting this

In lieu of the recent Nobel Peace Prize granting to Liu Xiaobo, I did a little more reading about the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The cowardly, corrupt Chinese government will pay for it's crimes against innocent people.

I feel for the Chinese people in their oppressed state. I cannot sit idly and watch a corrupt government of more than a billion people oppress and abuse it's citizens. However, I don't know what I can do to help the Chinese gain freedom. Hence this post. Watch the video below:

The key to freedom for the Chinese people will be information penetration. There must be some creative way, with the technology of our day to penetrate the Chinese firewalls and keyword blocks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chrome is just fast

That's my reply to people who ask why I use Chrome. It's faster than any browser I've used, despite what folks say about Safari.

In fact, it's light years faster than Firefox on my laptop. When I go to type something in the URL box and realize I'm in Firefox, I will copy and paste what I've already typed and enter it in Chrome. That's how much faster Chrome is to me... Fast enough that I'll switch browsers in the middle of my query.

Now, you may be asking why I still use Firefox. One reason: Firebug. Sadly, I can't fully give up Firefox until a better version of Firebug (should it Chromebug?) is developed for Chrome.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Powerful piece of music. Minimalistic--simple melody.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Converting Local time to Unix Timestamp in Javascript

After some thought, I finally was able to come up with a javascript solution to convert the local time to a Unix timestamp.

Basically I used a few main Javascript functions: getTime(), getTimezoneOffset()

The first function (getTime) will convert the time we get from the Date() function, into a UNIX stamp. Unfortunately, when we convert this string, we won't get the local time, but the main UTC.

This is where I had to use getTimezoneOffset(). This function finds out the difference in minutes between the main UTC and your local time zone. I'm going to use the number I get from getTimezoneOffset and subtract it from the UNIX timestamp number I created. But getTimezoneOffset() is in minutes, so we'll have to convert it to the data type of the UNIX timestamp, which is milliseconds. Thus, we'll have to multiply it by 60,000 (60 seconds in a minute, and 1000 milliseconds in a second).

Below is the code I finally used (put this in a script tag):

var theDate = new Date();
var theTime = theDate.getTime();
var localMil = theDate.getTimezoneOffset()*60*1000;

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Race, Gender, Class in the media - How to teach your kids to realize the stereotypes

For my class in Gender, Race, Class in the media, we studied some of the psychological theories behind learning and socialization. As part of our group project, we presented a research paper concerning proper techniques for helping children to be aware of negative stereotypes and how to utilize positive ones.

Jacob Rascon, a member of our group, wrote an editorial about the issues behind many children's animated films, such as Lion King, Cinderella, and Aladdin.

I was fortunate enough to design the editorial for an 11x17 layout:

The Lion King, Disney Princesses, and Rising Above Negative Media Messages
By Jacob Rascon

Remember ‘the circle of life’ in The Lion King? What was that all about? Lions are at the top of the food chain and are therefore naturally better than all other animals—especially hyenas, who deserve their poor circumstance?

That doesn’t sound like the Disney I used to know. Remember when Princess Ariel gave up her voice? Why did she sacrifice that plus everything she’d ever known for a prince she’d never met? Not sure, but hey, she kept her looks...

Read More

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Advertising for Queen Elizabeth I

After a little bit of work, we came up with this: 
Why Queen Bess?

Her Highness Will

  • Improve England's Industry and Trade
  • Victoriously stop the war with France
  • Promote the Arts

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How to deal with Millenials in the Workplace

Many companies are already getting a head start on learning to understand and take advantage of a Millenial workforce by hiring consultants or attending management seminars. Extensive research has already been done on Generation Y--they've learned about their habits, values, and interests. In this section we'll discuss what companies are doing now to (1) recruit Millenial employees, and (2) handle some of the management issues associated with Millenial employees.


As Baby Boomers retire, the numbers of people working will drastically decrease. The American Society of Training and Development says that in the next 20 years 76 million Americans will retire with only 46 million to replace them. With this downward trend, companies who want talented employees will have to work harder to find them.

Some companies have already resorted to non-traditional recruiting slogans, such as Xerox's "Express Yourself." The campaign is geared around one of Generation Y's core values--to "develop solutions and change" (Armour, 2005). Because of the campaign, Xerox has been able to recruit top talent from the Millenial pool. Other companies are using different methods like leveraging their workplace diversity. "Gen Y is one of the most diverse demographic groups —  one out of three is a minority" (Armour, 2005).

Some companies, such as Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, are going above and beyond to hook Millenial recruits by "telling them about company benefits such as flexible work schedules, telecommuting, full tuition reimbursement and an online mentoring tool" (Armour, 2005).

In the Workplace

As was stated earlier, Millenials don't make their jobs the most important part of their lives. They seek after flexible schedules and fun activities. Along with many other internet companies, has taken a new approach to the office environment. In order to break up the sometimes monotonous workdays, Zappos has included interesting games and parties. Correspondent Morley Safer from CBS spoke of Zappos' office this way: "Actual work, actually happens, despite goofy parades, snoozing in the nap room, and plenty of happy hours" (Textor, 2007).

Because of the sense of entitlement that exists in the Millenial demographic, Millenials aren't afraid to question authority and voice their opinions. Parents of Millenials have treated their children more as friends and thus Millenials dislike some traditional corporate formalities in the workplace. In order to provide better atmospheres for Millenial employees, many managers are allowing first-name correspondence. Some managers have even resorted to embarrassing activities in order to gain the trust of their subordinates. Motivational consultant Bob Nelson said, "I've worked with managers that have, if we make this goal, they'll shave their head type thing; or they'll be in the dunk tank at the summer picnic. When a senior manager's willing to do that is, it says we're all in it together" (Textor, 2007).

Growing up with no winners or losers, Millenials have difficulties with criticism--especially during performance reviews. Furthermore, Millenials need a lot of praise to keep motivated. One ad agency, Campbell Mithun, has employees complete self-appraisals before supervisors get a chance to interview employees on performance. Campbell Mithun's executive vice president of human resources, K.C. Foley said, "This way, our supervisors can give recognition and provide specific feedback to millenials, as well as have an easier time reaffirming or expanding on growth areas. There are fewer surprises this way" (Stillman, 2006).

Another management issue plaguing employers is how Millenials often change jobs because of boredom. Millenials are steroidal multitaskers. A typical Millenial may have the ability to check email, text, read the latest news, chat with a coworker, and perform the work he or she is paid to do all at the same time. Routine tasks often result in more multitasking behaviors and eventually job changes. Some companies have used stricter technology usage policies but this usually produces negative results with Millenials. One company, Ecolab, found that offering "extra-curricular" work activities for its employees helped to break up routine work. Kris Taylor, director of community and public relations at Ecolab said, "Where some may be overwhelmed to sign up for one more project on their to-do list, we found that millenials jumped at the opportunity to get involved in a special project and were more engaged and excited because they were asked to participate" (Stillman, 2006).


Armour, S. (2005, November 8). Generation Y: They've arrived at work with a new attitude. USA Today. Retreived from

Stillman, D., & Lancaster, L. (2006, June). Here Come the Millennials. Twin Cities Business. Retrieved from

Textor, K. (Producer). (2007, November 11). The "Millennials" Are Coming [ Television broadcast]. New York, NY: Central Broadcasting Service. Retreived from;contentBody

Monday, June 14, 2010

Is Star Wars Racist?

This essay was written as a discussion of the existence of racial stereotypes  and critical cultural theory in Star Wars. Feel free to leave me a comment. I'm open to debate and comments.

Ideologies, Connotations, and Polysemy in Star Wars: How to deal with race in space

One cannot deny the existence of dominant ideologies inherent in Star Wars. George Lucas' study of archetypes and his world views contributed to the film.

Star Wars clearly denotes an epic science-fiction film. Many light viewers of the films probably only see it, consciously, as such. Connotatively, the film has many meanings. From the viewpoint of this paper discussing race, we see such connotations as who a hero is and who he must become. How must this hero be mentored and by whom? Star Wars also connotates the meanings of good and evil--that there are even specific colors that signify good and evil: white and black. The film also messages about the existence of minorities, or aliens—how they are viewed and what their roles are as either dangerous encounters in our hero's journey or as assistants in helping our hero succeed.

Darth Vader becomes goodIn the original star wars films minorities have very sparse roles. The dominant roles are taken by Caucasians: Luke, Han Solo, Obi Wan Kenobi, Leia, and Darth Vader. Luke is mentored by Obi Wan, who acts as a patriarchal figure. Obi Wan has great wisdom, greater than that of Darth Vader and Luke learns to trust Obi Wan.

The dominant reading from the Star Wars saga speaks of ethical rebellion—that one must stand against immoral rule. Luke epitomizes the archetypal hero who goes from being an ignorant farm boy to a wise and skilled warrior for good. In the story, he and the Rebels stand against all odds in their fight for truth and freedom. Because they fight for good, they ultimately triumph. This notion of the oppressed revolutionizing is the backbone of early American thought.

Another dominant reading is that basic Jedi principles of self-control, consistent training, and a motivation for good, are the preferred principles that can make one become “good” and a hero.

As all artifacts contain potentially infinite interpretations, Star Wars is no different. Synchronic polysemy exists as different audiences view the film. Those of Christian backgrounds idolize the righteous qualities of the Jedi and the Rebels. Protestant faiths apply the protestant, rebellious for good nature of the film to their own faiths. Conversely, those of eastern religions might see the films as mirrors of buddhism, hinduism, and shinto. The spiritualism of some of these eastern religions appear in Star Wars, such as the spirits of the past who frequently visit Luke to offer him counsel. There is no supreme being in Star Wars. Those who die are melded into the Force, which acts as an energy field guiding and moving through all life.

Those of other races will also view the films differently. Anyone who is a minority might see a dominant oppression that exists in the films as well as in society. Minority racial groups will develop resistant readings of Star Wars:

  • One can start in a lowly state and achieve greatness only if that person is a white male. Luke becomes the greatest Jedi master in the galaxy while any minority groups, such as aliens and droids retain their roles as supporters of the hero.

  • It is implied that minority groups are unintelligent, misfits of society, and criminals. For example, Jabba’s lair represents the ghettos of the Star Wars world. His lair, prinicipally made up of aliens, is filled with criminals running from the law, prostitutes, and drug dealers. Another example is the signification of the noble savage in the ewoks. These side-role characters are technologically and religiously primitive and their principal purpose in the film is to suppor the main characters.

  • In the scheme of power structures, “whiteness” is superior to all other cultures. This is apparent in the differences between the dark side and good side of the force. Sith Lords are always dressed in black. Any scenes set inside the imperial vessels use primarily dark grays while the Rebel vessels are white. This black vs. white evidence is most notable by Darth Vadar. Vadar, who dresses in black, has an African-American voice (James Earl Jones). Only at the end when he becomes “good” and Luke removes his mask, do we see his true appearance as a white male.

Note: It is safe to assume that supposed elements of racism in Star Wars were not deliberate on the part of George Lucas. However, our environment affects what we produce. In this way, the surrounding culture during the 1970's dominated the dominant ideologies in Star Wars.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

3 Morning Tips to Give Yourself a Delightful Day

While I was in a meeting this morning, @danbischoff related some very wise counsel. He said he'd been thinking about it when he arose for the day. He spoke of the 3 most important things to do in the morning in order to start the day off right and make it a good day:
Tired in the morning

  1. Wake up naturally or to music: If you practice going to bed and waking up at a set time consistently, you'll be able to wake up naturally

  2. Don't look in the mirror: When you look at yourself in the mirror, most likely you'll think you're ugly. Just don't let that kind of negativity in by not looking in the mirror.

  3. Make your first correspondence positive: Whether it's your spouse, roommate, or a driver on the road, make sure you smile and say something nice.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Understanding each other's time perspective

This lecture really stood out to me. Perhaps my time perspective differs greatly from others.

Professor Phillip Zimbardo talks about different time perspectives (there are 6 different ones): Positive and Negative Past, Present Hedonistic, Future oriented, etc.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Suicides Among Euro Disney (Disneyland Paris) Cast Members

In mid-April, Franck, a Euro Disney Chef, committed suicide. As one might be expect from a company with such a family-friendly image to uphold, the news of the suicide was quite controversial. As one blogger noted, “The image of chain-smoking, suicidal Frenchmen may not be quite the image Disney is going for at the Magic Kingdom” (Turley, 2010). Furthermore, this suicide is one of three that have already occurred this year among Euro Disney employees--two of them chefs. The other chef committed suicide by throwing “himself in front of a train after working in conditions which a trade union spokesman called ‘humiliating’ (Roussel, 2010).

Franck committed suicide on the day he was to return to work after a period of sick leave. Ten days after the suicide, a note was found in his home reading, “Je ne veux pas retourner chez Mickey” (I don't want to work for Mickey any more) (Lichfield, 2010). The note only added fuel to the controversy as many earlier voices had already pointed fingers at Euro Disney in causing the suicides.

These suicide incidents have been compared to last year's suicides among France Telecom's employees (Souchard, 2010). In 2008 and 2009, France Telecom dealt with 35 employee suicides and 14 of those are “considered directly linked with the company's managerial techniques – such as pressuring employees to change jobs or giving them work the employees considered ‘devaluing’” (Hall, 2010).

Many workers unions have taken the recent suicide as opportunities to pursue better working conditions for employees. Fortunately for Disney, all but one of the unions, Force Ouvrière (FO), agreed to cooperate on a "social audit" of the parks to assess needed improvements in working conditions. FO would not make any compromises and continue to pursue its own agenda. While passionately condemning Disney for the most recent suicide, the FO website read, “I remain convinced that the tragedy that has happened could have been avoided” (Mboe, 2010). The other unions have condemned FO for "exploiting" (Lichfield, 2010) the sensitive suicide incident.

Euro Disney believes the suicides were not direct results of employment conditions at the resort. Jeff Archambault, vice president of communications for Euro Disney  stated, “We do not accept that either of these tragic events [the suicides] can be directly linked to Disneyland, Paris. But we do recognise that, with the financial crisis, all of us are under increased stress. At home. At work” (Lichfield, 2010).

While many have pointed fingers at Euro Disney’s working conditions as the cause of the suicides, Disney has been working in accordance with French law. According to one report, Disney’s employment practices had been certified a day before one of the deaths (Frost, 2010). Just after the suicide, Euro Disney issued a press release detailing the company's long- and short-term actionable plans to pursue better psychological and physical health among its employees.  The press release also mentioned that the company would analyze current working conditions among its employees--the so-called “social audit” (Manologlou, 2010)

Many have speculated about the effects the suicides and their subsequent press coverage have had on Euro Disney. On a recent poll by, 48% of respondents said the incidents weren't cause for forming negative opinions about the park. These respondents concluded that with such tragedies, specific causes are difficult to pinpoint and that “many workplaces are stressful” (Traub, 2010).

And yet, it seems that French public opinion still holds a bad taste for Disney. Consequently, many Disney employees have been led to find relationships between the poor working conditions and the suicides. One Euro Disney employees, Herve Saumade, a maintenance worker, said, “What we sell is something wonderful. We sell smiles. We sell the happiness of children. We all love our jobs, or what our jobs represent. But in the last few years, there has been a new management approach, which has, in many cases, made our working lives intolerable” (Lichfield, 2010). The FO also accused Euro Disney of a poor management structure that led to too few employees for too much work.

Employee suicides linked to poor work environments conjure many questions to be considered. First, what was the cause of the tragedies? As suicide is such a complex and individual issue, the exact causes will probably remain unknown.

In the case with the France Telecom suicides, after thousands of layoffs, remaining employees became de-motivated or depressed because their job security had decreased. These employees also had to increase their workloads in order to make up for a smaller workforce.

In a May 2010 report issued by Euro Disney, attendance dropped along with revenue while costs remained the same (Manologlou, 2010). Clearly, the current global economic crisis has affected Euro Disney. But an economic crisis will put a great deal of strain on any business. However, when these economic crises arise, how should a company like Euro Disney handle cost-cutting measures like layoffs, higher workloads, and fewer employee benefits and resources? If circumstances allow, this might be the time for a company to cash out its reserves (if it has any) and spend more in order to keep employees and continued benefits. This is not only good for operations, but also good public relations. Perhaps, Euro Disney needs to rely on the revenue of the other Disney parks during poor economic crises situated in Europe. 

This may also be an issue of cross-cultural management styles. Historically, the French have never been wholly gleeful about a Disneyland Paris. In 1992, when the park was first opened, many called it “a cultural Chernobyl” (Corliss, 1992). American Disney executives need to understand the cultural differences of the French working styles. They need to be prepared to accommodate their French employees in ways that respect their culture while still upholding Disney core values. In short, an understanding of culture needs to be reached and compromises to the current system must be made.

While two of the suicides were committed by chefs, perhaps a detailed audit needs to be taken of the food department. Is there a manager in the food department who is running his or her employees into the ground? The said manager may be younger and less experienced than some of the other staff, while the employees who committed suicide were fairly seasoned employees. Many of the unions claimed that in the last six years, a younger management has taken over in the park (Lichfield, 2010).

After the social audit, when and if Disney decides to restructure policies and organization, I would submit that better motivation factors need to be put into place for employees. Promotions need to be made to employees who have worked at the park for long periods of time.

Giving the chefs in the food department more recognition might also help to stem problems of depression and job dissatisfaction. One idea might be to allow the chefs to greet and eat with guests during meal character greetings. Another idea would be to reward chefs who perform admirably the opportunities to create new items for the menu at their respective in-park restaurants.

On a more general, park-wide level, management should allow employees the opportunities to perform more diverse roles, thus breaking up the monotony. An employee who works as a ride operator in the morning, might enjoy the experience of waiting and greeting guests at a restaurant in the evening. Maybe an employee in custodial might be given the opportunity to perform crowd control during one of the shows.

Another future plan for Euro Disney might be to instruct managers to become more mindful of their employees’ stress levels and attitudes. They should be instructed on how to read suicide warning signs among their employees and how to offer them assistance from the proper counseling services. It would also be wise for Euro Disney to hold motivational, team-building workshops. They could hire corporate behavioral trainers to offer motivational lectures and confidence building exercises.

From a public relations perspective, whether the suicides were directly caused by Euro Disney or not, the ensuing negative press can be devastating to an already financially stressed company. It would have probably been less expensive had Disney noticed the warning signs of poor working conditions and deficient management and corrected those problems.

As most companies have already realized, running a large corporation in the 20th and 21st centuries is not all about profit and loss. Providing optimal human resource settings can be a delicate task.

Corliss, R. (1992, April 20). Voila! Disney Invades Europe. Will the French Resist? Time. Retrieved from,9171,975357-1,00.html
Frost, J. (2010, April). Cast Member suicides shock Disneyland Paris family. Retrieved from
Hall, B. (2010, April 10). Fresh Probe on France Telecom Suicides. The Financial Times. Retrieved from
Lichfield, J. (2010, May 6). The dark side of Disneyland Paris. The Independent. Retrieved from
Manologlou, L. (2010, April 23). Euro Disney Increases Measures Aimed At Employee Well-Being In The Workplace [Press Release]. Retrieved from
Manologlou, L. (2010, May 11). Euro Disney S.C.A. - Reports 2010 First Half Results [Press Release]. Retrieved from
Mboe, G. (2010, April). Disneyland Paris: an Employee Commits Suicide. Retrieved from
Roussel, C. (2010, April 2). Suicides shock France's Disney park. The Independent. Retrieved from
Souchard, P. (2010, April 9). France Telecom Suicides: Authorities Probe Dozens Of Mysterious Employee Suicides. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from
Traub, C. (2010, April 2). Disneyland Paris Investigates Worker Suicides. Retrieved from
Turley, J. (2010, April 5). The Unhappiest Place on Earth: Paris Disney Experiences Rash of Suicides Among Complaints Over Working Conditions. Retrieved from

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Many Faces of Machiavelli

This is Machiavelli

He wrote a book called The Prince

In the book, he tells rulers how to maintain stability and hold power

Many rulers have followed his agenda

Now it's common to refer to the devil as 'Old Nick'

Machiavelli's first name: Niccolo

Below you'll find a vector image of Machiavelli, I created. Move the transparent images, below, over this image of Machiavelli to transform his face into another person. Can you guess the people I've turned him into?



Well, you probably guessed it right: Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin.

These despots all learned from Machiavelli and utilized some of his principles in their rule. Napoleon wrote extensive notes about The Prince. Hitler was affected by Mussolini, who read and followed Machiavelli's The Prince. And Stalin kept a copy of The Prince on his nightstand.

For this project, I created a framed image of Machiavelli with transferable Plexiglas sheets showing the other faces.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Disneyland Deconstructed: Postmodernism Revealed

Disneyland has been considered, among other things, the mind controlling, child knapping, psychotic dream world of the 20th and 21st centuries. Millions of visitors make their way to the park every year to put away adult obligations for a few days in order to re-live their childhoods. One LA Times columnist summed up his experience: “We eavesdrop as self-described mouse freaks trade esoteric tips for milking the most fun from every Mickey moment. We meet families who never vacation anywhere non-Disney. We learn of couples who get married here and ride in Cinderella's coach. With resolve that is nothing short of heroic, I fight the mind control.”

Indeed, Disneyland has created a fascinating cultural movement worth a bit of study. Rather than simply explaining this cultural movement, a deeper significance is found: Although Disneyland seems to model American idealism (an attribute at odds with postmodernism), park visitors (including the majority of American visitors) are, in effect, embracing postmodernism.

American idealism is forever branded in the American dream: The belief that with some hard work and clever thought, one can achieve his or her utopian world—a world where happiness abounds among equal opportunity, capitalism, consumerism, and industrialism. Conversely, postmodernism has no such grandiose ambitions. Postmodernism might be considered the satirical twist of the American dream. It objects to objectivity; rather than searching for answers, postmodernism makes a parody of presupposed truths and juxtaposes seemingly unrelated pieces of culture together.

And yet, how can one purport such postmodernism in Disneyland when the park is literally a microcosm of early America and the American Dream? I doubt many would debate this idea. Everything about Disneyland seems to scream “American” just as anything about McDonalds and other fast food franchises do the same. If one were only to stroll down the park’s first land, Main Street USA, one would clearly recognize signs of America as it was in the 40s, such as the quaint, Victorian street shops, the barbershop quartet, and the red fire engines. Perhaps the most American feature is the first attraction visible in the park, “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.”

We also can’t forget the man who dreamed up the park, Walt Disney, who is considered one of the most American men of the 20th century. We can readily see Walt Disney’s American characteristics such as his small-town, conservative personality, and his pursuit of the American Dream. However, many other typically adverse values have been characterized with Disney: emphasis on capitalism, commercial globalization, and an unseen obsession with control. Let’s analyze these characteristics and how they influenced the creation of Disneyland.

Don’t expect any deep interpretations about Disney culture from Walt Disney himself:  “I make pictures for entertainment, and then the professors tell me what they mean.” However, many meanings can be derived in Disneyland—especially with the larger, capitalist, American culture as the context.

More than anything else, says Mark Gottdiener, Disneyland exhibits signifiers of each aspect of early American capitalism. “Frontierland can be interpreted as a reference to the stage of predatory capitalism; Adventureland, as a representation of colonialism/imperialism; Tomorrowland, as state-financed capitalism, or the military-industrial complex; New Orleans Square as a signifier for venture capital; and lastly, Main Street as the period of family and mercantile capitalism.”

Take, for example, one of the newer attractions in the park, the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. Guests can embark on a daring journey past giant snakes, into skeleton-filled rooms, and over a rickety rope bridge all inside a forbidden Indian temple. The ride is obviously Disneyesque, and yet much of what is signified is completely overlooked by guests. Its capitalistic story tells of Professor Jones using the ancient temple to offer tours in order to raise money. When Indiana Jones goes missing with a group of tourists, park guests must enter into the temple to rescue them. Turning an ancient temple into an attraction is clearly capitalistic and points to the western tendency to commercialize just about anything. The temple becomes an object of exploit, where artifacts and historical information may be extracted.

In terms of globalization, just about any child in the world can recognize the iconic mouse ears. Disneyland has effectively made copies of itself in every corner of the world and before Disneyland had penetrated far off countries, Disney movies had already snuck into homes and theaters of foreigners. Before even entering the park, visitors were already attached to the characters and stories that make up much of Disneyland’s attractions.

Perhaps, these “warm-fuzzies” instilled in childhood memories by Disney’s Animated Classics have been a major factor in garnering such an attendance to the Disney parks. The idea of theming based on cinema has been imitated by successful theme parks ever since.

Although Disney was an idealist and a modernist, he sampled postmodern tendencies—taking art from the past and mashing them with his own ideals. Gottdiener said, “We know that Disneyland over the years had a profound impact on the construction of themed environments across the country by blending common mass culture symbols and an appealing physical design.”

Walt Disney was a grand storyteller—taking fairy tales and tall tales of his youth and presenting them to millions. He was extremely successful at sterilizing his image of folk culture and turning it into pop culture. In the meantime, the company raked in profits from selling park tickets and products plastered with Disney’s version of fairy tale characters. Interestingly, Cinderella and Snow White aren’t just figures from German folklore but they now hold the modern title of “Disney characters.” David Boje said, “Walt had a universal vision of a vast empire; he saw his cartoons, characters, TV shows, and films as culminating in a theme park. The theme park was based on Walt's vision of a small midwestern town, the one he knew as a boy. Disneyland is Walt's archetype of an ideal American town.”

America’s historical connection with conquering the frontier is also seen in Disneyland. In their effort to conquer and own the open land, Americans laid railroads and built cities as settlers made their way across the pioneer trails in order to gain their piece of the American Dream. Such historical westerners as Louis and Clark, Davy Crockett, Jim Bridger, and even the bandit, Jesse James, have been idealized in American folklore. Walt Disney produced films featuring some of these men, sanitizing them and molding them into archetypal characters that showed conservative dignity and determined self-reliance.

Thus, it was natural for Disney to include his version of the American West, Frontierland, in the park. The land meshes varied symbols of the Wild West such as a steamboat, an old saloon, and an out-of-control mining car. In combining such previously unrelated signs, Disney created a new image of the frontier that has since replaced the older signs. Consequently, meanings have also changed.

A discussion on hyperreality is important as it is one key component of the Disney parks.  Hyperreality exists in a state where chosen symbols of reality mask our surroundings, thus producing unreality. Jean Baudrillard, one of the leaders of postmodernism and proponent of hyperreality noted that with Disneyland, “everyday life has been captured by the signs and sign systems generated to represent it. We relate to the models as if they were reality. In his argument, California's Disneyland functions as ‘an imaginary effect concealing that reality no more exists outside than inside the bounds of the artificial perimeter.’”

As was stated earlier, Disney had an obsession with control. Every aspect of the park was micromanaged by Disney.  He even went so far as to refer to the company artists as “my musicians” and “my artists.”

And just as Disney sought to control his company environment, Disneyland, like American colonialism, controls its natural environment.  Rather than allowing nature to be “natural,” Disneyland restrains every aspect its guests’ environment, from the sights and sounds to the available directions guests may go. Furthermore, “there is no sign of decay, crime, confusion, discontent, pain, poverty, or struggle.” According to one scholar, this cultural interpretation of nature can have negative effects:  “There is a strong presumption that Disney closely records the real thing out there in mountain meadow, prairie and pound. If our first introduction to the natural world is via ‘Disneyvision’ -- and for virtually all of us, it is -- then we cannot help being disappointed by the real thing. Documentary is a dramatic form. Nature is hard put to compete with art.” Disneyland embodies the presence of an idealized world in which Americans, bred from a culture of idealizing, find comfort in the safe and happy confines of a park where nothing goes wrong.

Many of these aspects of Walt Disney and his park relate his idealistic approach to business, and this idealism coupled with modernism is engrained in the parks.

Disney utilized modernism’s emphasis on the empirical approach to management and creative thinking. He engineered what Boje called the “story machine,” where all aspects of animation and film making, including much of the creative work was systemized and compartmentalized. Similarly, the creative work and development of Disneyland was also brought about in a similar fashion.

Modernism also deals with commodification. Disneyland makes an increasingly good use of placing price tags on elements and ideas in nature and society. One scholar said that “indirect commodification is a process by which non-salable objectives, activities, and images are purposely placed in the commodified world.” Disney discovered a great source of revenue when he began commodifying the characters from his films. From that time, commercialism has only increased in the parks. At every attraction there is a retail store, and the walkways are flooded with Disney street vendors.

As Disney embedded commodification in modernism, he also did so with advertising. Globalized corporations sponsor many of the attractions at Disneyland. One scholar said Disney is the “integration of recreation and leisure with hyper-consumption advertising and public relations.”   Like a mall, one cannot escape the thousands of commercialized messages found in every corner of Disney. When the park opened in 1955, Tomorrowland’s featured attraction was CirCarama, sponsored by American Motors. Even the front entrance to the circular theater looked like an American Motors show room.

Disneyland clearly stemmed from modern thinking in the early 1900s. Disney visited the early World Fairs that presented new technology in themed environments. In fact, much of the early technology at Disneyland, such as the Monorail, were first made known at World Fairs. These technologies were developed during the modern era, where functionality determined design.

Las Vegas, a land of themed casinos, draws much upon the themed approaches which were established by Disneyland. However, modernism is no longer a driving force in contemporary America. One scholar compared modernist architecture with that of the Luxor Casino, built in the shape of an Egyptian pyramid while using mirror-like glass for the exterior: “Modernist architects once promised us cities of glass in which we would live in a continual state of revelation: all would be made clear and available to us. Here, glass hides all, inviting our desires and threatening us with the danger lurking at the heart of the cities we have built for ourselves.”

Perhaps Disneyland, although an ideal world, was never quite so modern as it was postmodern. Its hyperrealistic environment is at odds with modern thinking. Ultimately, visitors who trek to the park aren’t necessarily seeking the ideal world but rather an escape from objectivity.

Disneyland attendance is much like that of modern-day social media use. Virtual reality provides the same type of hyperrealistic world that was detailed above. In effect, it replaces a reality—social interaction, with another seeming reality—virtual interaction, which creates an element of unreality.

Disneyland has few clocks for guests to tell time and many of the attractions take place in dark environments. The buildings and attractions are also disproportionate, creating spatial illusions. These elements suspend time and space for park guests, further enhancing their notions of hyperreality. As so many have noted, the park allows for guests to relive childhood dreams in a packaged, sterilized world without consequences or adult concerns.

Hyperreality allows the guests to embrace postmodernism. For postmodernism seeks not to define truths by connections, but rather, it simply makes connections—never coming to conclusions about reality. I don’t assume to say that Americans have completely forgone attempts to find meaning, but contemporary society, as a whole, is moved by this trend, further pushed by pop culture and mass media. While Disneyland may still be considered the mind controlling dream land of the 21st century, in the end, it’s this postmodern tendency in our culture that continues to compel us to the gates of the happiest place on earth.

Wild Wilderness, “Critical Disney References,”
Mark Gottdiener, The theming of America: dreams, media fantasies, and themed environments (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001), 120.
Mark Gottdiener, The theming of America: dreams, media fantasies, and themed environments (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001), 119.
David M. Boje, “Stories of the Storytelling Organization: A postmodern analysis of Disney as ‘Tamara-Land,’” Academy of Management Journal 38 (1995): 997-1035.
Stephen M. Fjellman, Vinyl leaves: Walt Disney World and America (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992), 301.
David M. Boje, “Stories of the Storytelling Organization: A postmodern analysis of Disney as ‘Tamara-Land,’” Academy of Management Journal 38 (1995): 997-1035.
M. J.  King, “The audience in the wilderness: The Disney nature films.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 24(2) (1996): 60-69.
David M. Boje, “Stories of the Storytelling Organization: A postmodern analysis of Disney as ‘Tamara-Land,’” Academy of Management Journal 38 (1995): 997-1035.
L. M. Benton, “Selling the Natural or Selling Out,” Environmental Ethics 17: 3-32.
S. G. Davis, “The theme park: Global industry and cultural form.” Media, Culture & Society 18 (1996): 399-422.
Aaron Betsky and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Icons: Magnets of Meaning (San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1997) 232.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hook, One of my favorites

Because I am such a Disney fanatic and so caught up in "Magic," I had to express my utter appreciation for one of the most magical movies, Hook. This film has a special place in my heart as it is a picture I remember watching as a young 6 year old.

One of the features that makes this film come to life with magic is the score by John Williams.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Genuinely Hip Professor' Metaphor

Some professors are mediocre and some are good. Some are rather great. After a bit of thought on what makes a good professor great, I came up with three traits: (1) Contemporary, (2) Smart, and (3) Accommodating.

Because my thoughts so often veer towards marketing, I've developed the 'Genuinely Hip Professor' Metaphor. Any company that caters itself to the college-aged target market should think about these principles. Students in the 18-25 year old range can relate to the metaphor because most have dealt with the good and bad of professors.

Update: The professor in this illustration is Doug McKinlay, a former ad agency founder and owner. He exemplifies all the characteristics of a good professor. In the advertising program he is considered the King of Creativity.

First, let's analyze a bad professor. Usually bad professors don't care much about their students and they don't make many efforts to appear as if they care. In other words, 'accommodating' is not in their vocabulary. They see teaching as a 9-5 job and they rarely offer help sessions, office hours, or even in-class discussion or questions. Granted, I understand the difficulty some professors have in catering to all their students in large classes. Nevertheless, the good professors still find ways to accommodate students in the 300+ class sizes.

Bad professors are boring. They don't make efforts to teach in ways that spurn creativity and remembrance. These professors can often be worse than textbooks--because with a text book, one can at least read at one's own pace. These professors are also old-fashioned, often stuck on old-school teaching methods with old-school technology. These professors rarely relate to their students.

Students love great professors. Just take a look at As I come to the close of my undergraduate education, I can remember some of the thoughtful professors I've had. These professors exhibit all three traits.

If you're marketing your products to students, I'd keep in mind these traits. Here are a few questions you might want to ask:

"They relate to me." 
"I relate to [your] brand."
Do you relate to your consumer? Can they relate to you?

"I trust their knowledge about [your] industry."
Are you smart enough about your industry that your consumers can trust your services/products?
Does your consumer know that you have a wealth of knowledge/information about the industry?

"They care about me."
Do you care about your consumer? Do you show that you care?

I don't want to get into the LCV (lifetime customer value) factor, but if you really think LCV is important, you might want to measure yourself in these areas.

Update - Here are a some great professors I've had throughout my BYU education: Jaren Hinckley, Susan Eliason, Gary Hansen, Cindy Brewer, Hans-Wilhelm Kelling, Matt Holland, Arden Pope, Brent Strong, and Doug McKinlay

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Influences of Roger Williams on Thomas Jefferson

Although he is not predominantly famed, Roger Williams can readily be considered the man who innovated the great disconnect between the state and the church. Jefferson and Madison are the American founders who receive the greatest credit for a strict separation of church and state in the new US government, however, their contributions were not necessarily original. Williams initiated a “cause of conscience” (1867, p. 3) that has permeated American hearts since his time. It is the object of this work to show Williams’ indirect influence on the writings of Thomas Jefferson.

It is quite obvious that Jefferson was deeply religious over at least one moral particular—namely that “all men are created equal” (Declaration of Independence, ¶2). Thus his views on the church involvement in government were reflected to promote religious freedom. One of his most famous letters on the subject is his reply to Danbury Baptists at the beginning of his administration. He said that the Establishment Clause in the first amendment of the Constitution (an amendment developed by Madison), effectively built “a wall of eternal separation between Church & State” (1802). The origination of this metaphor actually emerges from Roger Williams over a century earlier.

Williams came to America after witnessing persecution against his own teacher by the Church of England. Upon arriving in the Massachusetts Bay colony Williams was accepted as assistant Pastor in the Puritan church in Salem. It was a good step and an open environment for Williams to affect change among a somewhat intolerant religious community.

Although the Puritans and Separatists had deserted to America on the grounds of religious freedom they still had not purged themselves of inherited religious culture and ideals of the European faiths. Government and religion were deeply connected in Britain and Europe. For centuries, kings ruled over England claiming divine royal leadership. The Puritans, seeking for religious tolerance, came to America to merely “purify” the Church of England. Although they claimed a disconnection between state government and the church, there were still highly religious ideals that affected the community and certain legislative measures that affected the church. For example, all citizens were required to attend church and pay taxes that benefited the church. Government officials were to make oaths with God concerning their office. These close connections between government and religion were a few of the items that Williams found it his duty to preach against. Consequently, it was local legislation that banished Pastor Williams from the community.

Roger Williams can be conveniently considered “a nonconformist in a land of nonconformists” (Moore, 1965, pp. 58-59). Competing with the Puritan John Cotton on a principle of free conscience, Williams wrote some influential papers that almost mirror writings of Locke, Madison and, most importantly, Jefferson. It was in “Mr. Cotton's Letter Lately Printed, Examined and Answered” that Williams penned the original metaphor of a wall of separation:

And that when they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the candlestick, and made his garden a wilderness. (Levy, 1986, p. 184)

Historians speculate on the different meanings that Jefferson and Williams had intended to portray with the metaphor. Both men called for a wall to protect both the state from the church as well as the church from the state. Williams noticed, in the Puritan community, the danger of a church imposing legislation among citizens, yet he was more concerned with a government that imposed upon the church. Jefferson was concerned with the danger of a church imposing on the government. This is where Jefferson and Williams differed about the metaphor. For example, Jefferson was strictly against any religious national holiday, whereas Williams, being highly religious, was hypocritical in his intolerance of the “unorthodox” practices of the Quakers that had settled in Providence.

Despite these differences, the writings of Jefferson and Williams are deeply similar. Jefferson, in his letter to the Baptists noted that “religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship” (1802). Similarly, Williams stated that “man hath not power to make laws to bind conscience” (1867). Roger Williams also employed Jefferson’s ideal that “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only and not opinions” (1802). Williams did not enforce obedience to the first four laws of the Ten Commandments or “the first table” (Moore, 1965, p. 62). These were commandments such as devotion and worship that dealt with personal opinions. Conversely, the “second table” of commandments that dealt with criminal actions such as stealing or committing adultery were enforced (Moore, 1965, p. 62-63).

Notwithstanding the many similarities between the two men, scholars agree that Jefferson was most likely not familiar with the writings of Roger Williams. At the time of the American founding in the late 1700’s, the name Roger Williams was not well-liked. He was remembered as an individual who was a radical that had personally defied the Puritan colony. Isaac Backus, one of the leading Baptist supporters of religious freedom, wrote an entire work that nearly copied the ideas of Williams; the work, however, never fully credited Williams (Moore, 1965, pp. 70-71). William Miller wrote, “The crotchety, disorganized, and insistently Christian writings of Roger Williams were not the sort of thing Thomas Jefferson was likely to read, but John Locke clearly had read them” (1985, p. 173). It is also known that Jefferson clearly read Locke’s writings on the natural rights of man.

Just six years after Williams’ death, John Locke published “A Letter Concerning Toleration” (1689). The letter is full of text that follows the ideals that Roger Williams had left behind. The subject of a free conscience was modeled by Locke: “Men cannot be forced to be saved whether they will or no. And therefore, when all is done, they must be left to their own consciences” (1689, ¶41). Locke argued for the natural rights of man. He explains in much detail the dangerous consequences of a government such as Massachusetts and those in Britain that infringed upon the natural rights of worship. He was right on with Williams. Nevertheless, there are some differences in the voice of the two men. Williams wrote from a religious viewpoint rather than political one. Locke wrote to a political audience that was not as inclined towards faith as was Williams’ audience. Leroy Miller designates Williams’ philosophy as “Let God be God!” while Locke’s as “Make way for Man!” (1965, p. 66).

Williams held two distinct roles. While (1) seeking to preach salvation, he acted as a religious leader. While (2) opting for religious liberty, he acted as a political leader. The roles were very different and the fact that he played both of them is ironic, seeing that his ideal world was a separation between the political and the religious. His motives were ultimately religious. Brilliance led him to discover that his preaching of salvation was in vain if religious liberty was not realized. He asked “Can the sword of steel or arme of flesh make men faithful or loyal to God? Faith proceeds alone from the Father of Lights.” (Moore, 1965, p. 64).

Jefferson may not have realized the importance that Roger Williams played on the early colonization of America. Jefferson also may not have known that his readings of John Locke were filled with the ideals of Williams. However, Jefferson did know that the spirit of America—liberty—was to be protected with all measures even if it meant erecting a “wall of separation” between church and state. The act of building this wall had already been started over 100 years earlier, brick by brick, by the revolutionary, Roger Williams.

Davis, D.H. (1999). The enduring legacy of Roger Williams: consulting America's first separationist on today's pressing church-state controversies. Journal of Church & State, 41(2) 201-213. Retrieved March 24, 2007, from

Jefferson, T. (1802). Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists: The draft and recently discovered text. Retrieved March 26, 2007, from

Levy, L.W. (1986). The establishment clause: Religion and the first amendment. New York:Macmillan Publishing Co.

Locke, J. (1689). A letter concerning toleration. (W. Popple, Trans.). Retrieved March 28, 2007, from

Miller, W.L. (1985). The first liberty: religion and the American Republic. New York:Knopf.

Moore L. (1965). Religious liberty: Roger Williams and revolutionary era. Church History, 34(1), 57-76. Retrieved March 26, 2007, from JSTOR database.

Williams, R., & Caldwell, S.L. (1867). The bloudy tenent of persecution. Publications of the Narragansett Club. (p. 3) Providence, RI:Stanford University Retrieved March 28, 2007, from

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Glamour and the Famine Mystique

I have seen monumental suffering housed in women's bodies. I have seen teenage girls watch their mothers starve, deny and hate themselves, call their distorted ideas about food "will power." I have seen these mothers teach this language to their daughters, usually unintentionally. I have seen vomit in toilets across America. . . I have seen the smartest college students in the world spend the majority of their days thinking about calories. I have seen shame, loads and loads of it, piled so high that women climb on top and reign there.

-Courtney E. Martin, The Famine Mystique

GlamourGlamour plays a pretentious role in the famine mystique. At first glance, the website displays perpetuations of the mystique by including the most important features in the navigation links: fashion; beauty; sex, love & life; weddings; health & fitness; body by Glamour. None of these words actually signify the quest for true depth and meaning in womanhood. The title of the publication, Glamour, stands next to words like allurement, animal magnetism, beauty, and attraction.

Innately, humans strive for betterment. As Martin noted, media have defined “betterment” in such unrealistic terms that “you feel bad.”  Glamour is no exception. Some of the headlines read “Model Beauty Tricks We All Should Know” and “50 Most Glamorous Women of 2010.” These headlines might support a woman’s notion that she isn’t up to speed on her image if she doesn’t know some beauty tricks and stars. Furthermore, blog headlines like “For $2,000, These Jeans Better Lose Five Pounds For Me” only relate the fact that thinness should be highly important as it seems to be the main purpose for spending $2,000 on a pair of jeans.

But how does Glamour actually make one feel bad? And, is feeling bad necessarily a bad thing? Scripture passages can definitely make one feel bad, especially if one isn’t living up to the standard. Quoting “love one another” after being cut-off by a crazy driver doesn’t always calm the nerves. Motivational books can also make people feel bad if they aren’t following the positive principles contained therein.

However, feeling bad is necessary for one to change. That’s why your conscience is so good at it—as well as media and advertising. If you feel bad about your image, you might try a new diet pill or go to the gym. You also might pick up a copy of Glamour, hoping to find the latest tips to make yourself become more attractive. Advertisers love to make people feel bad in hopes of increased sales.

But if feeling bad is a natural motive for change, why does Martin condemn magazines like Glamour and Cosmopolitan? Perhaps, it is the end result rather than the means that scares her. Martin claims, as do many social scientists, that Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa stem from media’s portrayal of beauty and attractiveness. The unrealistic expectations that women set out to achieve become unattainable and consequently, women begin to hate themselves even more. Self-hatred and subsequent eating disorders of more than 7 million women are not the most lovely outcomes of image-loving media. Unfortunately, Glamour editors and board members don’t think about the larger consequences of the material they publish. Rather, they hope to garner larger readership and increased advertising revenue.

I don’t mean to intentionally put a plug for Christianity, but I’m grateful to believe that perfection isn’t acquired by our personal efforts. A God who motivates change but never really offers the attainment of perfection is no God of mine. As life will teach us, we cannot achieve perfection in any form whether that’s personal righteousness or outward beauty. America’s top model, won’t be at the top next year and Angelina Jolie will eventually grow old and wrinkly. But, fortunately, the Christ who said, “Be ye therefore perfect,” also said, “Take my yoke upon you… For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Multitasking Life and Social Media

In the following post, I took a look at "Multitasking State of Mind," an article by Joanne Cavanaugh Simpson. I've responded with a look at my own life. In a nutshell, I agree and sympathize with Simpson's thoughts.

Social MediaI just checked twitter and three email accounts. I also skimmed a few blog posts and read some tweets. Originally, I sat down at the computer to write this essay, but I’ve just procrastinated for a few minutes in my social media circles. Pondering now, I think my time could have been better spent and, for the record, I’ve closed my browser and put away my phone.

Am I caught up in the multitasking, digital age? In comparison with some of my peers, I’ve just skimmed the surface.  I don’t have an iPhone and most of my social profiles were created for my job at an internet marketing firm. Yet, I still feel the effects of my heavy digital media use and lack of face-to-face socializing.

To me, the effects are largely negative. Rather than seizing the moment and talking to a professor, I shy away thinking I’ll just send a quick email. Rather than phoning friends, I’ll send a quick chat on Facebook. And frequently, I find myself on Hulu, Youtube, Digg, and many other online diversions while I should be utilizing my time in other, more “productive” avenues.

Two years ago, I hailed digital connections as innovative and the wave of the future. I saw how much time could be saved by texting or chatting online. I also applied the labels of “old-fashioned” to those people who denounced social media for its de-socializing effects.

As I watch my classmates meander on the web with laptops and smart phones, I somehow believe these students aren’t consciously choosing the multitasking lifestyle. Elements of a media-driven culture all play into the lives of students. Most of us were raised with the internet and the cell phone. Culturally, we’ve been raised to admire those with more innovative tech gadgets.

We also witness a great deal more interesting ideas, artwork, and cultures than our parents’ generation. Perhaps we let this constant exposure of interesting things others are doing invigorate our desires to do more and be more. Multitasking with digital technology is a way to do more and still stay connected socially.

Although mass media has been around for generations, new social media allows us have our own mass media community. We idolize ourselves in our “friend” and “follower” circles much like mainstream media idolizes a current pop star. In effect, we must be our own spokesperson, agent, and PR manager, while still doing regular tasks of day-to-day life like working and studying.

As I make plans to wean off social media an opposing thought comes to mind: “What if I miss something?” Students will have to decide on this tradeoff if they really want to add some “space in the mind.”

  • Interesting study surrounding this issue.

Monday, February 22, 2010

IE6 is holding us back--bring it down

As a web developer, I occasionally get feedback from clients that their website is "broken". Usually, the client is using Internet Explorer 6 (or one case of the old AOL browser). Consequently, I've had to go out of my way, adding css hacks or html commenting hacks to make the code fit for IE6. Many feelings of rage have passed through my heart as I've dealt with IE6 problems. Fortunately, to my great relief, my employer has decided to leave IE6 off of our UI testing list.

As of today, I'm joining the "Bring down IE6" coup. IE6 is a poor excuse for a browser.

Bring Down IE6

In order to help IE6 users to appreciate better browsers use code like this:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Comic Advertising from Heaven: Church Marquees

I served a mission for the Mormon church a few years ago in North Carolina. North Carolina is part of the bible belt country. I met so many kind people with lots of faith. While walking the streets, I saw hundreds of different churches, some with very comical marquees.

"Don't let your worries get the best of you, remember, Moses started out as a basket case!"

"Spiritual Food Served Here.
If you want delivery, wait for Jehovah's Witnesses."

"Life Guard On Duty... Ours walks on water."

"Jesus is the reason for the season. Don't X Him out."

"Keep using my name in vain & I'll make rush hour longer."

Here are some others I wrote down when I lived in North Carolina as a Mormon missionary (Although I agree with some of these statements, the ideas expressed in these church marquees are not mine):

"Man's Way - Hopeless End,
God's Way - Endless Hope"

"Homosexuality - A sin that God hates"

"Stop, Drop and Roll won't work in Hell."

"Forget Crack - Let Jesus be your Rock."

"2004 will be no more,
2005, let's come alive."

"Come Thirsty. Drink Living Water."

"Mission: Possible, through obedience."

"Plug into the church."

(First letters of each word spells 'BIBLE')

"Love is the language everyone understands."

"If Jesus is your copilot, swap seats."

"Wal-Mart is not the only Saving place."

"Exercise in 2005, Walk with Jesus."

"Be still and know that he is God."

"Each of us matters to God."

"We alter Garments - God alters lives." 
(From a Dry Cleaner)

"'Don't make me come down there.'

"Don't have a Valentine?
Give your heart to Jesus."

"Turn around and bring others with you."

"Loving spouse saying, 'I Love You' with a megaphone."

"Church shopping? We are open Sunday."

"Love: It not only gives, it forgives."

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

"Faith is a journey, not a destination."
(From a gas station)

"Live well, laugh often, love much."

"1 church, 1 vision, 1 way."

"Loving enemy saying 'I Love You' with Fire."

"Lint gets in the pocket, Lent gets in the soul."
(From a laundromat)

"Heaven is just a prayer away."

"7 days without prayer makes 1 weak."

"The emptiest person is full of themselves."

"You can't send the gospel to the wrong place."

Joe's Branch Free Will Baptist Church, "Welcome"
Church in a backwoods small town.

"Earth has no sorrow heaven can't heal."

"Live today as if you were standing before God tomorrow."

"God's love endures forever."

"Is your bible a weapon or an accessory?"

"Christ can resurrect your life too."

"Our spirit fails us if God's spirit doesn't fill us."

"It's never too late to prepare for eternity."

"There will be 'showers' of blessings."
(It was April--playing off the April showers phrase)

Always Say A Prayer."
(Gas station marquee)

"God answers knee prayers."

"'Crucify Him, Crucify Him,' they cried.
'Forgive them,' he prayed."

"One person can make a difference. Jesus did."

"Fast from complaining. Feast on turning to God."

"Nails didn't keep Jesus on the cross. Love held Him there."

"The tomb of Jesus is empty. No Body there."

"Too busy for God is too busy."

"He is risen."

"God's grace is sufficient."

"Dusty Bibles leads to dirty lives."

"God answers knee-mail."

"One birthday isn't enough.
Be born again."

"Faith takes God at His word."

"Love will lift you up.
Sin will bring you down."

"I pray only on days that end with 'Y'"

"God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called."

"We can do all things through Christ Jesus."

"In God we trust."

"God is."

"Plan your life. Invest in God."

"If you haven't been saved, you're toast."

"A Jedi is no match for Jesus."

"Aren't you glad your mother was pro-life?"

"Give Satan an inch and he'll become a ruler."

"Rejoice. Christ Lives."

"The best way to save face is to close the lower half."

"Easter is not a time to dye for."

"Weather Prediction: Reign Forever."

"Love not time heals all wounds."

"Put your fears to rest.
Put your faith in Jesus."

"Salvation is free; But only if you ask for it."

No pain, All gain."

"'That Love thy neighbor thing? I meant it.'

"Prayer doesn't need proof, it needs practice."

"The power of Satan is no match for the power of Jesus."

"God can heal a broken heart, but he must have all the pieces."

"Your faith, or lack of, is your fate."

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

"A Christian has a reason for hope and a hope for his reason."

"In spite of inflation, 'the wages of sin' remain unchanged."

"Friends don't let friends go to hell."

"Big band theory: God said 'band' and it was done."

"Big bang theory: 'Are you Serious?'

"It's hard to stumble and fall when you're on your knees."

"This church is prayer-conditioned."

"Good without God leaves you a '0'"

"Jesus. Don't leave earth without him."

"Life is fragile.
Handle with prayer."

"Sin has no measure, color, or size."

"1 cross,
3 nails,

"Got God? 
Most important part of daily diet."

"Download your worries.
Go on line with God."

"Everyone needs a home.
Make this one yours."

"Keep the Faith, but not to yourself."

"No God, No Peace.
Know God, Know Peace."

"To find your way, follow Jesus."

"God loves a cheerful giver."

"'I am also making a list and checking it twice.' -God."
(During Christmas)
"I set before you life and death, blessings and cursings. Choose life."

Jesus is the reason for the season."

"Is prayer first response or last resort?"

"If you pause to think, you'll have cause to thank."
(During Thanksgiving)

"'Damn' is not God's last name."

"God is good. God is great. 24/7"

"God wants full custody - Not weekend visits."

"Every sinner must be pardoned or punished."

"Obey what the bible says, not what men say the bible says."

"Christ died to save us.
He now lives to keep us."

"Free trip to Heaven.
Details inside."

"God blesses those who are willing to listen."

"God's grace is greater than your greatest sin."

"Victory in Jesus - Our Savior forever."

"God has a big Eraser. People don't."

"Take God seriously. Lukewarm fails."

Coming Soon."

"Honor thy mother. Honor thy God."

"Love your enemies. It will confuse them."

"Faith in Christ is the believers passport to Heaven."

"On the other side of fear is freedom."

"God's Amnesty Program - Salvation in Christ."

"We are called to be witnesses, not judges."

"You have a second chance to put God first."

"Got Jesus?"

"If your knees are knocking, kneel on them."

"The password to eternity is 'Jesus'"

"Fear cowers,
Faith empowers."

"This is a ch ch.
What is missing?
U R"

"In tough times, God teaches us to trust."

"The da Vinci code:
This too shall pass. The bible is forever."

"Practice makes perfect.
Be careful what you practice."

"The great commission:
Not just a commandment but a lifestyle."

"Only those who dare to fail can achieve."

"Freedom is costly.
Salvation is free."

"True freedom is found in serving Christ."

"A bible that is falling apart belongs to a person who is not."

"Creation by God.
Evolution by Ape."

"If you don't believe in God, you better be right."

"Warning: Exposure to Son may prevent burning."

"Try Jesus.
If you don't like Him, the devil will take you back."

"When life needs rebooting, remember,
Jesus saves."

"Let your children see Jesus in you."

"Keep going for God.
To stay youthful, stay useful."

"The bread of life never gets stale."

"Let Jesus take the wheel."

"Trust in the Lord. 
It's in the storm that the ship is tested."

"A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor."

Feel free to comment. I'll add any other marquee phrases you leave in the comments.