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Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

Sometimes we cling tightly to things we deem “traditional” without realizing they’re not as deeply entrenched in our history as we thought.

Take Uncle Sam: he hasn’t changed much since J. M. Flagg’s iconic World War I recruitment poster, in which he appeared as an older white man wearing a snazzy red, white, and blue outfit — these days, he seems to be busy selling air-conditioners at rock bottom prices.  Yet lost to time is his young, female compatriot Columbia, another once-beloved embodiment of our country who had her heyday in 19th-century political cartoons.  This all got us thinking that it’s time to challenge some of the symbols for American that we’ve come to take for granted.

In honor of our nation’s birthday, Studio 360 wants you to come up with a new take on Uncle Sam.  Here, Kurt outlines our challenge:

[AUDIO=http://audio.wnyc.org/studio/Blog061810_4thJuly.mp3]

You can see all the entries and submit your own HERE.

"Kid America" by Flickr user nicoleyfun

nicoleyfun cast America as “a small child, jam-packed with pure potential, a good heart, a curious little mind, naïveté, fearlessness, and an unrelenting eagerness to please.”

The deadline to enter our challenge is this Sunday, June 20 at midnight.  We’ll reveal our favorites on the show broadcasting the weekend of July 4th.

– Becky Sullivan

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Studio 360 has a summer project in the works and we need your help:
we’re redesigning the Fourth of July.

Don’t worry, it’s not a complete gutting.  We’re keeping the red, white, and blue, the cookouts, and the fireworks.  But there are a couple of elements that we think can use some sprucing up.

Exhibit A: Uncle Sam

In this shot, he’s downright terrifying.  And when he’s not bullying and pointing, he seems to spend a lot of time selling used cars and air conditioners at low, low prices — hardly the sort of behavior we’d expect from our national icon.

The Challenge: We want you to come up with a better mascot for the United States of America. You can update Uncle Sam or completely replace him.  Post your design ideas here.

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Exhibit B: The Star-Spangled Banner

[YouTube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXnT84Eu-oA%5D

When Portland Trailblazers coach Mo Cheeks steps in to help the situation, he just proves our point: while it’s certainly rousing and epic, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is notoriously difficult to sing, with lyrics most people can’t remember.

The Challenge: We want you to compose a completely new song — with original music and lyrics — for our national anthem. Post your songs here.

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The fine print: Enter our challenge as many times as you like.  Submissions posted before midnight (ET) Sunday, June 20 will be eligible for mention on the show, airing Fourth of July weekend.

In you we trust.

– Michael Guerriero

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Have you noticed how the rituals of Valentine’s Day seem to be designed for children? The red hearts, the overload of candy, and that weird baby Cupid. It’s all so bizarre, and may I say — nauseating?

We here at Studio 360 think the so-called holiday is due for a serious redesign. And we need your help.

On this week’s show, Kurt and design writer Alissa Walker explained why:

This is an initiative I can get behind.

I’ve never been a fan of V Day, but I decided to give it a shot last year. I was newlywed, so I figured: if not now, when?

I wanted a gift that was grown-up, but not too earnest. Modest, but not drugstore cheesy. So I arranged for my husband and me to take a tennis lesson together.

But about 10 minutes in, I realized this instructor wasn’t going to foster the loving-yet-sporting atmosphere I’d envisioned. Instead, she pitted us against one another. Then I made the mistake of telling her this was my Valentine’s Day gift to my husband, so she snarked about that for the rest of the hour. By the end of the lesson, an over-priced and mediocre prix fixe dinner was actually looking good.

I know we can do better to reinvent this horrid holiday. Now’s your chance to do your part to stop the flood of ugly cards and half-dead roses.

Submit your entrees HERE — we’ll feature the best entries on our show the weekend of Valentine’s Day.

– Cary Barbor

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