Music Essays

art

     When looking into society once can be influenced by a number of issues. These issues can include art. Art is work that is put together by an individual. It is a true creative act that is used as a form of expression from the artist. Art is inspiring and can influence a society. Art work is seen through acting, music, and pictures.
     Firstly, one can see art through acting. Acting is a performance in which one disguises themselves and become a different individual. Acting is an expression of oneself. This act can be seen in plays, on Television and in movies. Acting is important to a society for it provides an escape route as well as a form of entertainment. Without acting there would be more boredom. Many rely on going to plays as well as watching television. Without these forms of art, it would be difficult for one to stay entertained. Acting is a form of art that is important to a society.
     Secondly, music is a form of art. Song writers and singers use their talent to make music. Music is in spring and can influence others. Music can be seen as a form of entertainment also. It is constantly being played on the radio as well as clubs and concerts. Many listen to music to become entertained. For some, listening to an inspired song can effect their views, can also influence into reaching goals. Music is a well known form of art.
     Lastly, art can be seen in art galleries. Some forms of art that are usually seen are sculptures, paintings, and also photographs. All these forms are made uniquely and by persons. It is the fact that it is made by thought and made by a person that is called art. Sculptures of people and objects can be inspiring and educational to many. Paintings and photographs can contrast a mood in which can inspire a person. These forms of art are very important to society. If there were no galleries nor any forms of art than this world would be plain. Art forms surround society making it a more interesting, creative place.
     Art can bee seen in many places, it is everywhere one turns; billboards, houses, business buildings, outside. Art can bee seen in many categories the media, television, movies, songs, and also art galleries. All these categories can inspire one and can also contribute a way of entertainment. They are all used creatively and take away mush plainness. The arts will always be around in some way, and will always be here through futures to come. It is the way one recognizes art, which will determine whether or not it will remain important.

AA Meeting

12 Step Meeting     The meeting I attended took place in Bothell on a weeknight at 7:00 pm in the evening. The meeting was held in a local church and there were 17 people in attendance, excluding myself. Among the 17 people, there were 6 women and 11 men. The average attendee was approximately between the ages of 40-50, 4 people were under the age of 30, and two were somewhere around 60. Of the 17 people, 16 were white and one woman was of an Asian-American descent.     Prior to the meeting I was expecting to enter into a room filled with smoke and nervous, agitated people. My impression of AA and of alcoholics mostly came from movies and my own prior experience with population suffering from different psychiatric disorders. I was expecting a lot of smoking, coffee drinking, twitching and general nervous behaviors. To my surprise the meeting mostly was attended, by normal in appearance people, that I would never suspect of having any addiction problems. The people were not twitching (to my surprise), but instead were very calm, cool and collected. Many talked about God and holding AA as the higher power in their lives.     The meeting I attended best compares with the meetings I saw in the film 28 Days. While in rehabilitation center Gwen attends a series of inside the rehab meetings. As in the 28 Days meetings, the meeting I attended was held in a circle with people facing each other. There were no outbursts as in the movie, but there was an official “huger” who dispensed hugs as needed, be it a birthdays or a new attendee such as my self. Movie consisted of constant outbursts at therapy sessions, emotions of the film characters were all over the place, people were angry, happy or depressed. The people at the meeting I attended were mostly quiet and most seemed very depressed. I came away form the meeting, with enormous feeling of sadness, for all attending.     Many of the stories heard by me at the meeting coincided with different stories, from 28 days. Just like Gwen in the beginning of the movie crashed her car and was court ordered to go into rehab, many of the people at the meeting had similar fates. One young man had a horrific car accident and had to spend a month in Harbor View hospital and was court ordered to be there, 20 month later he is still going to AA, even though the court order expired a long time ago.I found that more than half of the people started out going to AA by the order of the court and ended up staying for themselves.     One interesting fact that I have noticed deals with the movie When a Man Loves a Woman, the meetings the heroine of the movie is saddened by the fact that she is no longer the same person, she was while she was drinking. She is no longer as much fun, or no longed as interesting as she once was. Many of the people at the “real meeting” expressed the same concern, that the fun life is no longer fun, and they are not the same people as they once were.I came away from the AA meeting with a feeling, of great sadness and warmth.

3D Modeling Concepts Course Evaluation

3D Modeling Concepts Course Evaluation

The Power of Prophecy

Media and Body Image

The media can have a low self body image on women. The media concentrates so much on how thin women should be and there are so many advertisements with women who are very thin. Women begin to believe that they can never add up to the models shown in advertisements. This can lead to many eating disorders such as Bulimia, anorexia nervosa and overeating. These eating disorders are very serious and are usually caused by body image problems. Adolescents especially struggle with body image problems. They feel they need to be thin and toned to be excepted in society. The media places so much emphasis on being thin that it causes society to think that being thin is the norm and that a person is healthy if they are thin. Many women struggle with body image when they look at magazines, watch movies, or view commercials. For example, when a woman goes to the checkout counter at a grocery store there is almost always a magazine with statements on the cover such as, “Lose 10 pounds fast”, or “5 steps to a thinner body”. Another media issue is with advertisements for diet pills and food including nutrition bars and drinks. Advertisements push the sale of diet pills and food everyday. Women feel that taking the diet pills is a great way to lose weight so they can fit in and be skinny, but what they dont realize is that a lot of diet pills aren’t alway good for you. Physicians usually put patients on diet pills when they are obese or severely overweight to the point where there health is in danger if they dont do something about it.

Television Programs

Television ProgramsThere are many useful techniques greatly in television programmes and
in their opening sequences. They are used to attract the viewer’s
attention while also creating a great way to show what the upcoming
program is about. One of these techniques is the use of split
screening; this is a very attractive way to put across what a
programme is about, tone or genera.
In the television soap ‘Hollyoaks’ the beginning shows a short clip of
around thirty seconds to around a minute that gives a little incite
into the episode, which is followed by the use of split screening in
the opening credits. In this introduction there is a blue background,
which shows a mellow tone while clips of other parts of past or
upcoming shows pass down the screen. This is used to ‘grab’ the
viewers attention by showing the more essential parts of the soap
while not giving away much of the story line or spoiling the plot. The
use of all these techniques clearly shows the viewer that they are
watching a soap opera about groups of people mainly in their late
teens to middle twenties. The producers do this by showing mainly
clips of these characters throughout the opening sequence, this would
also be the target audience of the programme ‘Hollyoaks’.
In the mock documentary ‘Operation Good Guys’ techniques are used
cleverly to ‘trick’ the viewers. They do this by firstly making the
viewer believe that this programme is of a more serious tone by making
it appear to be a documentary about general police life. At the start
of the programme the police are seen carrying out normal tasks that
always go horribly wrong which shows the humour behind it. This is
followed by the opening credits which also uses split screening and
the background colour of mellow blue for the effect of making the
programme appear more serious but as the characters are shown threw
the opening credits, the viewer will notice that the programme is in
more of a humorous tone than a serious one because of the strange
things the characters do. Using these techniques is clearly marking
out what kind of programme is to come, through the used of humour
shown in then opening scenes. The opening theme is slow and serious
but also very catch. It could be linked to the likes of other police
and emergency services documentaries like ‘The Bill’ because they are
very similar in tone.
In the television soap ‘Eastenders’ the opening credits starts on the
centre of East London and pans out to show the larger area of East
London. The most noticeable part of the introduction is the theme
music used, it is a very catchy tune that even people who wouldn’t
normally watch the programme would recognise. The opening doesn’t need
to show any clips of other parts of its shows because unlike most
television programmes it is continuously running so there is no need
for it. The area shown is very grey and colourless showing a lower or
even middle class type of place. People can relate to this type of
viewing because the characters are based on working class people. This
would also be ‘Eastenders’ target audience because of these types of
people would be able to relate to the programme because of its area
and people.
Two methods of studying the media are the process model and the
semiotics model.
The process model is…
SENDER>>> CHANNEL>>> MESSAGE>>>RECIEVERthis is the model of how the producer of a programme would work out
how they would get thier programme to the viewer though various
stages.
The Semiotics model is on the emphasis on the signs, text and the
codes used. The message behind the production is more important.
Structuralism is how a programme is set out.
Primary codes are the main codes such as characters and the main
storyline.
Semiology is the study of sign systems and it comes from the Greek
word ‘Semeion’ meaning sign.
Mise En means to ‘put into screan’ these are all the media techniques
and objects within the programme that are used.
Symbolic codes and signs are the use of objects or links to a
character or story that show real meaning. One of these is the
connction with Winston Churchill and his cigar, this shows his power
and links with the fact he would always have one.
Iconic signs are such as how a cross is related to Jesus’s death.
Syne Doche is another sign where a part is substituted for a whole.
Signifier is the part that explains why that particular part is used.
Signified is the production or programme is shown and understood.
Narrative structure is the way is told or explained and can largely
influence the audience responds to the event or programme. In a film a
producer will make the audience feel sorry or show symperthy to make
them feel more close or connected to the characters. One narrative
code is the use of fighting and explosions in an action film.
Action codes are the way the story line is solved through the use of
action while in a programme with enigma codes it is solved through
puzzles or mysteries.
Three types of narrative are they use of guns and car chases in action
movies, the use of murder, mystery and twists in a thriller and the
use of monsters and horror in a scary movie.

The Importance of Humor

Humor is the tendency to look at things from the mirthful or incongruous side. It is the quality that makes something laughable or amusing. Humor is the ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing or comical. It is the source of laughter and the catalyst of smiles. Humor is the spark that lights our eyes as well as the cause of tears that never grows old. Humor is a state of mind.Humor can be used like a sniper’s gun, picking people off when they least expect it. When we use humor to hurt, we abuse the fundamental essence of this wonderful gift. We must teach our children the difference between what is funny and what is cruel. A joke is never humorous if it is at the expense of another.Some people use humor to hide from their real emotions. Using humor to help get through the difficult times is a lot different than using humor to hide from them.Hiding behind humor can be a serious problem; it can not be the only way of expressing our emotions. Some of the greatest comedians have been secretly depressed. Using humor as a defense mechanism can be a serious mental health issue.Those who use humor to its best advantage teach others by example. Instead of getting angry when something goes wrong, we should try to look for the humor in the situation. It eases tensions and keeps things in perspective. Humor can energize us when a task has become tedious. Humor can make even the worst of situations tolerable.Humor has been the source of entertainment throughout history. Today humor is practiced in movies, plays, songs, television shows and radio. Humor has brought fame and fortune to those who have mastered its power. Humor is the universal language. Although it is true that different people find humor in different things, we all like to laugh.Humor should be a prerequisite to life’s lessons. It helps keep us sane; keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously. It calms our apprehensions and puts life’s imperfections into perspective. Humor is the diversion we need to get us through the trials and tribulations of our lives. Humor is the ability to laugh at ourselves and only to laugh with others. Humor is the defining characteristic between the pessimist and the optimist. Humor may be defined as sudden whim, but being whimsical is not all bad.

Analysis of The Firm

After I found a glimmer of light when I knew we had to read a John Grisham novel. Upon seeing the dramatic twists and turns of the movies based on his novels excitement arose. Based upon my reading I felt that Grisham used the elements of literature to create an interesting perspective of the choices that can be made in the world of law.
The first major foundation laid was the setting. This some what foreshadowed to the reader that this book was not going to be a typical law drama. Initially when Mitch searched for career opportunities in New York and Boston area, that is typical for one of the best graduates of Harvard Law. By quickly having larger offers from smaller firms outside the city slowly gets the wheel turning. Upon accepting the smaller firm’s offer, the couple moved to Memphis. The house that Mitch and Abby bought just happened to be the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood. The firm that Mitch would be working in had everything that could be wanted. The firm had elevators, steam rooms, armed security, and law libraries on every single floor; this building was truly like no other. Little items such that every office had spared no expense for the furniture, and had a nice view of the river gave the impression that this firm is a little slice of heaven.
I thought the characters played a more important role in this novel more than anything else. Toward the middle of the novel, choices made by protagonist showed that he is a dynamic character; personally I feel Mitch is the only developing character. His wife Abby along with all the members of the firm was pretty much the same throughout the entire novel. The background of characters played a key role to give the reader an insight of the character’s thoughts and choices. For example the fact that Mitch was from a blue collar background and the hunger for wealth led him with blind judgment. The lawyers at the firm were such “yes men.” This was a blatant observation that these men and women are almost like robots. Thus the reader could see that the members of the firm could be serving a higher power. I took my time paying attention to the dialogues of Avery and the other lawyers, to maybe catch a glimpse of their endgame. The situation that Ray was in prison and that his brother hated it played a significant role. Mitch being a true brother by going to far ends to help his family showed the he had strong family values.
The reoccurring theme of good versus evil was particularly my favorite. Fortunately this topic will never be boring in fact; it begins to touch readers because of the current reality that humans reside in. There is a world evil waiting to cast its shadow on everything and everybody. Such examples as terrorism by individuals and moreover large corporations folding due to mismanagement and other illegal activities certainly put The Firm in prospective. I feel largely that the theme of this novel sparks a different creative approach to thinking in the reader’s mind.
The conflicts I found were very real and interesting. Personally the internal conflict of a man conquering the monetary world hit closest to me and I would think to most others. Mitch showed such a strong drive to be the best and on top of his game. I recall him saying to himself that he would show them (the employees of the firm) that he would make partner the quickest in the firm’s history. The external conflict was obvious that the firm was attempting to control Mitch’s life. It took a lot of strength and careful planning to attempt his idea, let alone carry it out successfully. As for Mitch’s state of mind I am not sure what more scary, a man on route to make a dream become a reality or a man at edge to protect his family.
This story did not play to many games. I thought that most of the symbolism was faint but truly shown in the names of the characters and the title. The Firm, just the name is defined as something secure and solidly fixed. The firm also has a connotation that it is not weak and its grip shows ultimate strength. Names such as DeVasher, just give off a vibe that he is a gigantic man with pain and suffering on his agenda. Other names like the Morolto brothers bleed “crime syndicate,” just so happens that they are.
I believe in this particular novel that the structure and plot especially go hand in hand. As the main structure goes, it was built very strong. Usually a reader can always bet that there is going to be boring parts; Grisham did an exceptional job eliminating the boring bits. I thought the book flowed well as did each chapter. The only thing that I was disappointed in was in the introduction I thought that the author could have laid more foundation on Abby to help play her character out and help to give a stronger height to their relationship, other than their were high school sweethearts. Overall length of the novel was not bad. Granted if the novel was shorter it would not have hurt, I thought some scenes were a little stretched.
The sequences of events in the novel were clear and on task so to speak. I like that Grisham uses realistic situations in his novels to feed the plot. From the time that the reader is introduced to Mitch every thing began to flow smooth. After all the job interviews, to picking the one of his choice, then onto receiving his brand new car; the reader sees Mitch having the easy life far to soon. Then the suspense begins to build when the protagonist finds out he is caught between one of the largest federal mafia indictments in history. Soon complications begin to arise when Mitch first meets with Special Agent Terrance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Agent Terrance informs Mitch that he can either help the agency or go down with the firm. I think Grishman used foreshadowing when he has Mitch say that he will not risk witness protection and will he lose life of being a great lawyer, furthermore that he will now end up like his brother. I believed that dialogue was indicating that Mitch was willing to go far lengths to solve his situation.
This ultimately just leaves the conclusion of the novel. In the beginning the reader is exposed to a young man that wants desperately to become wealthy, a brother that is in jail serving the remainder of his manslaughter sentence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation finding difficulty indicting a law firm that laundering drug and prostitution moneys for the owners which happen to be Chicago crime bosses. Through an amazing turn of events and skillful thinking of the protagonist the reader views that the young Mitchell McDeere has blossomed into a man. Mitch served his country by assisting the agency, got very wealthy in the process and freed his brother from jail. As for the relationship of Mitch and Abby that was slowly deteriorating due to the long hours at the firm and a move that Abby really did not want to make; turned for the better as they both worked as a team throughout overthrow of the firm and now want to start a family.
After reading this novel extensively, I know can appreciate the elements of literature and how each and every one relates to the story. When dissecting this novel and looking at the different choices made it becomes clear that certain opinions I had as the reader might not have been so clear if it was not for the setting or another element. I particularly enjoyed this novel and probably will pick up another Grisham novel. When I compare this to other novels I have read I enjoyed this one the most because of the sharp twists and turns!

Vampires

VampiresVampire Report “Among all the creatures and monsters in literature and folklore, the vampire seems to be the most mysterious.” What Is A Vampire? The vampire has many definitions describing it. Webster’s defines it as: “A corpse that becomes reanimated and leaves its grave at night to suck the blood of sleeping persons.” A Vampire is just that, a walking corpse. The traits of the Vampire varies between myths, books and movies, but the basic Hollywood Vampire Traits are: Usual Hollywood Vampire Traits: Possession of fangs. Sleep in a coffin. An association with bats. Red eyes. Cold touch. Great strength. Possess a hypnotic power. Have the ability to transform into a variety of animals. They avoid garlic, sunlight, crosses and holy water. May need to sleep on their native soil. Acute night vision. Immortal The History Of Vampires Where The Name Originated The word ‘Vampire’ is thought to have come from No one is absolutly sure, though. Where The Myths About Vampires First Appeared And Why Where? The myth of the Vampire has popped up in many different cultures over the centuries and it has changed and developed over the years. There have been stories as far back as 600 BC about vampires in Ancient Greece, but most of the tales began in the late eighteenth century. “In China Tsze-Chan reported in the ‘Tsachwen’ the existence of vampires in 600 BC. This idea was also common in ancient Babylon and Assyria. Most vampire tales originated in Eastern Europe and Balkan countries, such as Albania, Greece, Hungary, and Romania. Why? No one is sure where the myths really first started, but doctors and scientists have discussed actual medical conditions that may have lead to the reason that it carried on. The old reasons that people were thought to be a Vampire are, in suspected corpses, if the body has: No odor, lack of rigor mortis, and an excessive amount of bloating. Internal organs of the ‘vampire’ are similar in appearance to that of a healthy, living person. The blood is not coagulated (co ag u lated) as it should be, but is liquidy, and flowing. Growth of nails, hair, and skin. A very large amount of blood found in the chest cavity and/or by the mouth. Usually a very rosy complexion There are scientific studies that show that some illnesses and diseases such as the plague and haematophilia may have been the start of the vampire craze. The pneumonic plague causes the victim to expel blood from the mouth, and the combination of visible blood with unexpected and quite sudden deaths may have contributed to the relief that vampirism was responsible for this disease. Other medical conditions include Xeroderma Pigmentossum and Porphyria. These diseases are very severe. The skin develops no melanin so that there is no protection from UV light and its aggressive rays. “he person suffering from these diseases easily get burned in the sun up to 3rd degree or produce skin cancer after spending only minutes in the day/sunlight. You could imagine a person suffering from one of those diseases going out side, and actually begin to be burned alive, by the sun. There are also diseases that may have been linked to vampire attack victims. Anemia is a good example of this. Anemia is a blood disease in which the red-cell count is unusually low. A major symptom of anemia is a pale complexion, fatigue, and digestive disorders. This may have brought people in the 18th century to think that a person with anemia was a vampire seeing as he had with a pale complexion and he had trouble eating food. The Old Ways To Kill Or Disarm A Vampire Scatter seeds around the Vampires coffin, or around your house. Carry a cross, holy water, Place iron around your bed, or house. Place a mirror by the door to your home. Turn your shoes around. Place a broom behind the door. Decorate your home with items with illumination or smell. Fire We do know that they used Garlic, because it was thought to be a sort of spiritual talisman; allegedly the vampire cannot stand its smell. Crosses and holy symbols would be used because the Vampire has forever been linked with the devil. Famous ‘Vampires’ Dracula — Yes, we all know about this famous count. But, did you know old Dracula was actually based on a Wallachian Prince, it was Bram Stoker, who wrote the first novel, ‘Dracula’ in 1897 who created the Transylvanian Count part. Actually called Dracula in his lifetime, but he is more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler, and the number dead at his hand is conservatively placed around 40,000. Vlad became quite known for his brutal punishment techniques; he often ordered people to be skinned, boiled, decapitated, blinded, strangled, hanged, burned, roasted, hacked, nailed, buried alive, stabbed, etc. He also liked to cut off noses, ears and limbs. But his favorite method was impalement on stakes And example of his savageness is the story of the building of his castle overlooking the Arges river. Dracula blamed the local nobles for the deaths of his father and brother, who had died earlier in his life. One Easter he invites all the nobles and their families to dine with him at the palace. After dinner, he impales the older guests and the rest, dressed in their Easter finery are forced to build his castle. Once completed, those who were still alive are impaled as well. Countess Elisabeth Barthony — Lived in the 16th century in Hungary, a terrible ogress, was known as The Blood Countess. She was well known for her habit of bathing in the blood of animals and young females that were slain for her in masses. She had the idea that this blood would keep her young and beautiful. She was incredibly vain and was soon caught and walled up in a prison. She died there a few years later.Bibliography
Bibliography Barber, Paul · Vampires, burial and death: Folklore and reality · Yale University · July 1990 McKaig, Angie · Vampire Facts – Vampires: A Medical Explanation · http://www.pathwaytodarkness.com/facts/medical_explanation.htm · (24 Feb. 1999) Pedigo, David · Mythological Vampires · http://www.vampyrs.com/ · (15 Feb. 1999) Rice, Anne · The Vampire Lestat · Ballantine Books, Inc · June 1986 Sasha · A Theory on Real Vampirism · http://members.tripod.com/~nephtys/gateway.htm · (26 Jan. 1999) Summers, Montague · The Vampire · Dorset Press · 1991 “Vampire” · World Book Encyclopedia · 1996 World Book, Inc.

Techniques Used in LA Confidential and Film Noir

Techniques Used in LA Confidential and Film Noir
Incomplete Essay     Film noir often tackled subjects that dealt with common underlying themes: corruption, deceit, mystery, etc (Sobchack, 271). One of the most well known and acclaimed pioneers in film noir is the movie The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941). This film was based on a private investigator, Sam Spade, hired to investigate a case. The Maltese Falcon is now viewed as the typical film noir style movie because it contains traits and qualities of filmmaking that were adapted by film noir filmmakers. Film noir started during the mid 1940?s and has been a popular film style ever since, yielding such contemporary movies like The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer, 1995), Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994), and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Guy Ritchie, 1998). These films have proved that film noir is not a method dedicated to past decades, but rather an innovative style of film that influences movies today.     LA Confidential, like other contemporary film noirs utilize many stylistic qualities that the earlier film noir movies grasped. Often times film noir movies were based upon corruption, usually in an urban type setting. Location in these movies would often times consist of nighttime scenes in a busy city. Los Angles, the location of LA Confidential, is a typical setting for film noir movies due to its ?newer? west coast image and the absence of rural traditions. The city was chosen largely because of its informality. People living in a city do not interact with each other as people of a small town might. Film noir played upon the idea of loneliness and solitude; two traits that are easily found in a big city (Monaco 246).Nighttime scenes were chosen because of the mystery that comes with darkness. Night projects a feeling to the viewer that he or she would not absorb in the daytime, very much the same way horror movies play themselves upon the night. Just like the basis of the big city, film noir acts upon the conventions of mystery and suspense: it is easier for the filmmaker to play with the viewer?s emotions if he or she is placed in a setting of uneasiness. The nighttime images in LA Confidential portray that anxiety and allow the mystery of the plot to expand. This use of nighttime and darker images lends the movie to take advantage of the stylistic low-key lighting.The movie begins with the narration of Sid Hudgens, editor for Hush Hush magazine, a sleazy tabloid concerned with getting a news story no matter what the consequences are. Typical of film noir, the story is adapted from a tabloid or pulp fiction novel. Sid Hudgens describes a town of beauty, filled with beaches, people, and economic potential. He tells how anyone can achieve the American dream in Los Angeles and how it truly is the greatest place to live. Sid?s voice suddenly turns sour as he reveals the truth about Los Angeles: an image is sold to the gullible; a pleasant image sent throughout the media. Unfortunately, it?s all a lie.The story continues with the addition of Edmund Exley to the Los Angeles Police Department. Exley is a skilled detective with all of the book smarts a cop could possess. Usually, the protagonist in film noir would have an inner conflict between what he feels is right, and what is expected of him. In the movie, Exley must decide if giving up his chance for promotion is reason enough to fight for what he believes is right. The catch is that he immediately clashes with the rest of the force.It turns out that behind the honorable image of the LAPD, the force is a horribly corrupt authority revolving around money, power, and fame. Film noir commonly hid themes of corruption, deceit, and crookedness behind an idea of the American dream (Schatz 113). This idea is boldly seen in the movie American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999). One of the arguments in the movie suggests that behind every seemingly normal family is a household of embarrassment.Edmund?s co-workers, Bud White, Jack Vincennes, and Dudley Smith are more interested in advancement than honesty. When a case is solved in Los Angeles, there is a big ?to-do? about the man behind the case. This publicity allows an officer to advance in the department, but also blurs the truth about the actual case findings. Edmund comes to a point in the movie where he decides to testify against his peers, throwing away any chance he has for betterment, but at the same time preserving his integrity. This was common in film noir: the idea that sacrifices must be made for absolute justice.
Edmund believes that a cop should do everything by the book and honesty, where Bud White believes that as long as ?justice is served,? justice is served. In the movie, Bud decides to shoot a suspect, and manipulate the scene as though it appears that the suspect shot at Bud first. Bud did this to prevent the suspect from getting off on some loophole in the justice system. As it turns out, the suspect was innocent of the crime. This is another film noir convention: the first suspect is usually not the one that the protagonist is after. In addition, the LAPD distorts the truth not only in favor of ?serving justice? but to make some extra money as well. Sid Hudgens pays cops like Jack Vincennes to ?create? stories for Hush Hush magazine.Edmund Exley is the typical ?good? cop. He was the son of a cop who unfortunately had the same reputation as the other cops; the lawless reputation that led to the police force?s downfall. Edmund, we quickly see, is not a team player only because the team will not let him play. He quickly achieves respect from Dudley Smith, the captain; however, is never fully liked by him because he constantly gives up opportunities to advance. Edmund, unlike his co-worker and co-protagonist Bud White, believes that a cop is a respectable job, unneeded of extra attention: a well-done job is all the reward anyone could ever want. This idea that the hero often avoids the fame of success because is compromises his ?moral code? is typical of film noir. It is also the idea that Bud White is taught to grasp throughout the movie.Bud White is the exact opposite of Exley: he believes that the right thing to do is to get justice before asking questions. Bud?s character is written so that he clashes with Exley, often times a quality in film noir and also cop films. Usually there embodies a duo whose ?other half? is a total opposite. Using these two distinct personalities, film noir allows the two main characters to build upon one another, helping in the development of the story. It also allows each of the characters to understand their own particular flaws; that is they learn from the mistakes of the other one. Bud also interacts with Lynn Bracken, the femme fatale, and the two build upon each other as well.We can immediately see the corruption in the movie through a seemingly ?cut and dry? case, when it is linked to a larger conspiracy. Like the Maltese Falcon, the movie involves a mysterious case with several twists throughout. Those twists are often established with an essential character known as the femme fatale. In The Maltese Falcon, as well as many other film noir movies, the femme fatale plays an important role in creating a character that builds in development throughout the movie.Lynn Bracken, a prostitute ?cut? to look like Veronica Lake, plays the part of the femme fatale who aids in the development of Bud White. We see in the movie that Miss Bracken is a small town girl with real hopes, dreams, and ambitions. In some film noirs we are led to believe that the femme fatale is the destructive force which leads to the protagonist?s downfall (Maxfield). In LA Confidential, Curtis Hanson uses the femme fatal as an aid to help the protagonist ?mend his errors.? This is the role Lynn plays aside Bud White, a cop with a weak spot for women, and a vengeance for those who beat them.
In the LA Confidential screenplay, Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson do a remarkably well job of developing Miss Bracken into an unforgettable femme fatale. We are first introduced to her as a person and not an object, despite the fact that her job makes her look like an object rather than a person. We are to immediately react to her personality, finding something in her that we understand with. She is an innocent person being driven by a more powerful force. In most film noir movies, the femme fatale is a stereotype. Lynn Bracken however, is not a stereotype in the way that most other film noir movies make the femme fatale: that is that the femme fatale uses her appeal to distract the protagonist. Nonetheless, we still see her as a stereotype: the hooker with the heart of gold.Film noir movies like to project an image that tends to hide or obstruct reality. As mentioned before, the image of an honorable police force mocks the actual corruption. It is then ironic, that the police force in LA Confidential is affiliated with the television show Badge of Honor. Hanson uses the show to project an image into our subconscious. In the television show, the media?s interpretation of the Los Angeles Police Department is emphasized. Equally ironic, the show Badge of Honor is just as corrupt as the police department is; cast members are blackmailed in favor of obtaining stories for Hush Hush magazine.

Teaching Children How to Discriminate

Teaching Children How to DiscriminateLippi-Green maintains her argument by concentrating on “three aspects of language use in Disney films” (87) that she had found through watching the different animated films made by Disney. She had viewed twenty-four films multiple times and analyzed characters from such movies for their use of different language in automatically creating a character. On page eighty- seven of her article she gives us her main points: the portrayal of African-Americans in the Disney films; “the way certain groups are represented—-particularly lovers and mothers” (87) and the manipulation of French accents that can be considered as a positive stereotype but can result as to being “negative and limiting” (87) for that particular culture.Lippi-Green gives an in-depth look at the negative portrayal of African-Americans in Disney animations. She acknowledged the fact that the cartoon characters that have connotations to be from an African descent, are voiced over by actors that are also of African descent. These actors and the animated characters spoke in “African-American Vernacular English” for the most part. The appearances of these characters were said to be in “animal rather than humanoid form” (93). This is a connotation that people with an African descent are animals. The characters, especially the male “seem to be unemployed or show no purpose in life beyond making of music and pleasing themselves” (94). A further implication is given that Africans are idle. These negative stereotypes are even more evident as depicted in “The Jungle Book” by King Louie in which he sings a song where he wishes he was a human being.Another issue that Lippi-Green observed and commented on are, the use of gender and marital status stereotypes in Disney films. Disney denotes the idea that to be desirable, you should look a certain way and “sound white” (97). Children are presented with the idealistic view that the leading male characters in search of a mate have “bulging necks and overly muscular thighs” (95) and spoke in “Mainstream United States English.” Male characters are often the stronger and rougher who need women to care and tend to them. Lead female characters who are in search of their mate, epitomize how a conventional woman should be. From the physical aspect of being “doe-eyed and tiny waist ” (95), to the “homemaker” status as portrayed in Disney films. There are no romantic leads given to the “mothers,” they are often widowed and less desirable. The portrayal of “fathers” in Disney films is similar to the “mothers” with the addition of the comical characterization for some.Lippi-Green refers to the manipulation of French accents and the portrayal of characters that are of French descent in her article. As depicted in Disney animation, the characterization of French characters are flirtatious, and mainly associated with food. Even the character names such as “Cherie and Lumiere” of “Beauty and the Beast” promotes the romantic nature that the French are stereotyped for. Through the representation of this culture, children would only learn to associate the mentioned stereotypes toward the French and only that. They would not consider other characteristics that the French are also known for, not necessarily the romance and the great French cuisine that we already know of. Having said this, what Disney produced as a harmless depiction of the French, could furthermore fuel of what could be viewed as a limiting representation of the French culture.Bibliography:Lippi-Green “Teaching Children To Discriminate”
Hampton, Hampton Bluebbeell 1990

The Representation of Youths in Contrasting Films

The Representation of Youths in Contrasting FilmsAll media text contain messages. These can be positive or negative. A
positive message is a true-to-life representation, where individuals
and groups are given a positive image. A negative message is a untrue
and exaggerated stereotype, often see the individual or group from a
poor perspective. An example of a positive message demonstrated by
media text is the speech given by Tony Blair during the suicide bomb
attack on London on Thursday 7th June 05. This message can be seen as
positive because in this speech the media text illustrates to the
viewers that Britain will not be defeated by terrorism. Other messages
can also be formed by media text which may be to do with family,
friends, life, ect. These messages are very important because it
controls the viewers. The media presents these messages through the
use of representation. This is the process through which aspects of
the real world are reconstructed through media text and most commonly
the construction of particular individuals or social groups, such as
gender, age, sexuality, race, religion, disability and class. The
audience’s job is to recognise these e.g. stereotypes. This is a
person or thing that conforms to a fixed or general pattern. By the
use of a standardised simplistic image. An example of this would be
teenage life is demonstrated with parties, upbeat music, ect. It is
the choice of the viewers to agree or disagree with these media text.
The following essay will examine the representation of youths in two
contrasting films. The films that will be analysed are 10 things I
Hate About You directed by Gil Junger in 1999. This film demonstrates
the modern teenage life with girls and boys falling in love and
attending their school prom. The second film that will be analysed is
Stand By Me directed by Rob Reiner in 1986. This is an adventure film
about four friends who go on a journey to find a dead body to become
famous in their town. The two films are very contrasting in many
different ways. 10 Things I Hate About You can be described as being a
perfect type of film because at the end the two main characters get
what they want whilst Stand By Me is more serious as the main
character dies which is demonstrated at the beginning of the film.
The start of both films are very contrasting 10 Things I Hate About
You starts with a long-shot which shows the setting of the city and
high school in a bright and optimistic perspective. This connotates
lots of opportunities and fun. The film is about two sisters, Kat and
Bianca. Bianca being the most popular girl at school and Kat who no
one likes. Bianca is so desperate to date boys but her father forbids
it. Then her father agrees for Bianca to date but until her sister Kat
dates, which he knows is highly unlikely. The problem starts when
Cameron has to find a date for Kat without her knowing so that he can
date Bianca. He finds Kat a date with Patrick Verona he is also a
rebel just like Kat. Through out this film the audience can observe a
typical American teenage life where boys and girls attend the high
school prom. In contrast Stand By Me started as being dull with a
long-shot of a solitary car with a man inside it. The man reflects on
the fact that his best friend has been killed and from then on wards
the audience are viewed with a flashback of his childhood, where he
lived in small town with a population of about 1280. This film is
about four friends who go on a journey to find a dead body of a kid
aged the same age as them. This story takes place over 1 weekend-2
days.
The music of the two films show a huge contrast. In 10 Things I Hate
About You the music is upbeat with pop/rock sounds. This is typical of
the setting and time period of the film. When Bianca appears on screen
the non-diegetic music played is pop to connotate that she is popular
and innocent but when Kat appears on screen the music played is rock
to connotate that she is a rebel, this shows a huge difference between
the two sisters. In Stand By Me at the beginning, the theme song is
played. It is very calm and peaceful and it shares the name of the
film and mirrors the tale of friendship. When the four youths are out
on the journey happy cheery music is played. This is typical of
America in 1950/60.
The families of both films are also very different. In 10 Things I
Hate About You the two sisters don’t get on with each other and
throughout the film we see them constantly arguing. They have a strict
father who is over protective of his daughters because he had a
terrible past experience, where his wife left him for another man and
feels like he’s daughters are also going to leave him. This
illustrates a selfish and not a dominant parent role. Whereas in Stand
By Me the four youths have a troubled childhood. Gordy’s brother was
killed in a jeep accident and his parents are not coping really well,
therefore he is always ignored by them. Chris is the leader of the
gang and Gordy’s best friend. He was not brought up well and has a bad
reputation. Teddy’s father is in a mental asylum and does not have a
good relationship with his father as he once tried to burn his ear off
in a stove. Vern has an older brother who bullies him. These are all
the problems which young people face today and don‘t intend to discuss
with others. The youths grow up to become successful as Gordy becomes
a writer, Chris a lawyer but later dies, Vern has four kids and Teddy
tried to get in the army but was later sent to prison.
The lifestyle in 10 Things I Hate About You is very wealthy as Kat and
Bianca live in a vast estate and their dad is a doctor. They are a
middle class family who have many things to do socially such as attend
parties. However, in Stand By Me there is very little to do and so
they entertain themselves with uncomplicated activities such as card
games, adventures ect. This film was set in 1950/60’s America and
there was not much to do at the time.
In 10 Things I Hate About You friendship is divided up into
stereotyped groups: popularity, geeks, jocks, ect. This is very
similar to most American teenage movies. Although in Stand By Me the
four youths are very close and like everyone else they wind each other
up. These characters have very strong personalities which can cause
childish arguments but despite all this they are very close and open
about their feelings for example Gordy sobbed to Chris that he’s
family don’t appreciate him and Chris cried his heart out to Gordy
that he is a failure.
The most common ambition in 10 Things I Hate About You is to be
popular. Bianca’s ambition is to date guys and Kat wants to go to
university. On the other hand in Stand By Me the only ambition present
by the four youths is to be well-known by their community and family
also their dream to fulfil this and to appear in their local
newspaper, so they set out on a journey to find the dead body.
The main themes in 10 ~Things I Hate About You are love, relationship,
family, friends and popularity. In contrast in Stand By Me the main
theme is friendship and it demonstrates that you should always stick
by your friends no matter what the consequences may be.
The ending of 10 Things I Hate About You is very positive and lively
as is all teenage films. Bianca and Kat understand what they actually
want and so they fulfil their desires. But the ending of Stand By Me
is very sombre as Chris is killed which is first viewed in the
beginning. The viewers feel a sense of regret and devastation at
Chris’ death, Gordy gets his one sense of happiness when he gets his
own loving family which he never had when he was a young boy.
The message that was in 10 Things I Hate About You was that it
represents youth and if you dream for something long enough then one
day your dreams will truly become reality. The message that can be
found in Stand By Me is I’ll never have friends like those I had when
I was 12.
In conclusion I feel that both films had many different similarities
with friends and they are both extremely realistic. The differences
that these two films enclose are that 10 Things I Hate About You
contains less problems than stand by me and it is positive as it
represents youth in a positive light. Stand By Me is very negative.
This is because it contains issues that the audience find distressing
and might not want to accept in reality.

The Effect of Consumer Culture on Education

The Effect of Consumer Culture on Education Consumer culture has without a doubt affected my education. Education
involves many things we value, and much of what we value has been
bought. Whether it be the calculators we use in math class or the
texts we read in English, commodities are helping teach us to do
things. On another level however , consumer culture affects our
personal education in that we act and think differently than we might
if our culture was less about that which can be bought or sold. Much
of this is due to the coverage of events presented by the Mass Media.
We watch people on a screen and learn from what they are doing. Some
events are blown out of proportion and some are swept under the rug.
We are faced with the difficult job of deciding for ourselves what
knowledge is important for us to retain and what we should ignore.We make an effort to present ourselves a certain way, because of the
values that our society puts on different appearances or attitudes.
Both these things are values which an individual can easily attain.
One can simply buy the latest trends, (or counter-trends) and look
“cool” or fashionable. That is half the battle. To attain the attitude
that fits in with popular society you must learn from that which is
valued in our culture. As Mark Edmunson believes, one can find this in
television, movies, and music- in short the mass media. We see
people’s stage characters and we plan to be like them, seemingly
unaware to the fact that these people are just acting. The image that
is seen as “cool” for someone during their years of education is
relaxed, pretending not to care, yet confident in what they are not
expressing. You can’t be too shy because that is not desirable. Nor
can you be too outspoken in class because then you are classified in
some way; after all if people hear what you have to say they can form
an opinion of you. So we search to find that happy medium displayed in
the world we watch on our television.
I agree with Edmundson to some degree. Yes, consumer culture
definitely affects the way most of us see ourselves and want to be
seen by others. After all, “Enthusiasm…quickly looks absurd. The form
of character that’s most appealing on TV is calmly self-interested
though never greedy, attuned to the conventions, and ironic.” This
definitely resembles the character that I personally find desirable,
and I imagine many other people feel the same way. But I believe there
is a point when people stop trying to conform to an image because it
is too much work, but Edmundson concludes that people are constantly .
I am noticing this more now that I am in college. In high school it
seemed like more people were stuck between being “cool” and being
unique, not sure themselves which they wanted to be. Now it seems
those who are “unique” by nature stop trying to be like the normal and
show their true colors. I imagine this is true in the class room as
well. Though some people may not talk a lot in the classroom, I
believe that the professor need only to read their papers and get the
same insights and comments on society and life in general as they
would if they openly and eagerly expressed their thoughts out loud.
The one thing this does not help with is class discussion. I think
that in college, students do much of their discussion on their own
time, or when working with other students on assignments. Edmundson
might benefit from recognizing that he is not the only source of
education, or the only one who can instruct his students. I have found
that classroom discussions are a great enhancement to what the
instructor alone can provide.
Much of our education is not generated in the classroom. I would say
that my education was primarily provided by my parents, even more so
than school, or popular culture. We also learn from our own
experiences as well as the documented experiences of others around the
world. The mass media plays a vital role in delivering to us these
events from around the globe, which we would have no idea about if we
didn’t see them on television or hear them on our radios. In this way
the media definitely helps our education, though it can twist things
out of proportion as well. For example, as Sharon Mazzarella feels,
the media can take somewhat significant events and portray them as
vitally important to all of us. Kurt Cobain’s death was a classic
example of this. “Immediately after the body was found,MTVallotted
countless hours of coverage to news of the suicide, Cobain, and
Nirvana; eerily reminiscent of television coverage of the Kennedy
assassination some 30 years earlier.” The fact that a musician killing
himself was presented to our society in the same manner as a
president’s assassination is surprising. If the media- supposedly a
tool of our education, is so set on educating us about events like
this. It makes me wonder what truly important things I am not hearing
about. The media has the ability to shape the opinions of society, and
sometimes it seems like it is teaching us in an unproductive way. It
has the ability to be a great tool, but we must force ourselves to
learn the important things and disregard all the sensationalism and
hype that go along with them.
Consumer culture teaches us what we should and should not value. This
is not necessarily a good thing. In “Shopping For Pleasure,” John
Fiske makes parallels between a cathedral and a shopping mall, which
turn out to be surprisingly similar. The two are based on icons of
worship and rituals. The icons of worship in the mall are simply the
commodities that we buy, and the very important ritual is the
exchanging of goods for money. We have learned from experience that we
must buy the entire product when we shop for it and that we have no
ability to negotiate the prices of these products. More importantly,
we have learned that those without money are just shit out of luck. If
someone cannot afford commodities in our society, they cannot afford
that which we value. Without the ability to share the values with
those of us who can afford them, the poor are isolated and not given a
legitimate chance to move up in society. Because we have learned this
throughout our lives, even if we do not realize we are learning it,
our society has been shaped in such a way that changing it will be
difficult. After all People have a natural instinct to serve their own
desires before others.
Another thing we have learned through consumer culture is how to
identify ourselves with a particular group or subculture of society.
Some people need this to find meaning in their lives. I cannot think
of anyone I know, in fact, who has not at one point in their life
joined a selective group of one kind or another. However, almost every
subculture requires each member to own a certain product or products-
things that are only attainable through spending money. Schouten and
McAlexander use the example of theHDSC, in which people must own
15-20,000 dollar motorcycles in order to be members. Other subcultures
include book clubs, in which people must buy the books they read, or
sports teams, where people can only play if they have bought the right
kind of clothes or uniform.
Within our education as a society, our values are at stake. We are
taught by consumer culture what should be important to us and what we
should not care about. Unfortunately, those things that we are led to
believe are important are almost always among the basic roots of
consumer culture itself. Much is generated from the media, a highly
valued medium in society, because it can teach us how to act, how to
think, and what we should buy. As in the case of Kurt Cobain, we see
that a man who makes a form of commodified culture is regarded as
highly in some ways as the President of the United States. This may
not be the most important thing for us to value, but it is definitely
better than valuing nothing. Because we are taught to value certain
things, we learn to care about these things for our own reasons. As we
grow up, different commodities have different effects on us, some
being important to our careers, family life, or simply our personal
needs. Some of these contain monetary value, some do not. Those that
do are important because it allows us to have products we need. Those
that are not bought and sold may be more important on a personal level
because they are what we choose to have, not what we must have in
order to survive.
Consumer culture has taught us that our lives depend almost entirely
on money. If we accept this fact, those without money are basically
screwed. It is very hard to gain enough respect from the world that
will allow you to make money if you started at the bottom. For that
reason, people who have done this and succeeded are true success
stories. When taking education as a commodity itself, like college or
high school, we pay to be taught what else in our life we should
value; attitudes, opinions, and knowledge. We learn these things from
a variety of sources, but popular culture plays a role in each of
them. Whether it be a selective group, a television set, or a
professor, consumer culture is at the root of the messages being
passed on to us as an audience.

Book Review Of Star Wars: X-wing Rogue Squardron

Book Review of Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue SquardronDan Boughen 9AMain CharactersA) Corran Horn : Corran is a pilot in training for the Alliance or the Rebellion.
He is the best rookie pilot on the Rogue Squadron. He is a silent person who
does not like the social life but does like the spotlight once in a while. He
was a CorSec security officer on the planet Correlia in his late teens’.B) Kirtan Loor : Kirtan is a cold, isolated man that lives on the planet of
Churba. He is a high ranked officer for the Imperial Army. He later gets
promoted to a commanding officer and sits on the right side of the head leader
of intelligence for the Emperor.Setting : The setting first takes place in the Rebel’s secret base. The setting
then moves to a swamp planet by the name of Imdaar. The setting then moves to
Imperial headquarters on the planet of Coruscant.Plot Summary : Corran and his new partners are given a limited amount of
training time and are sent out on a mission in just weeks of forming the new
Rogue Squadron X-wing fighter group. This book switches the first-person
perspective between Corran and Kirtan Loor. While Corran and the Rogue Squadron
are off fighting TIE fighters and Star Destroyers, Kirtan is hunting down
information on the squadron and it’s pilots.Personal Reaction : I found this book a little hard to read because of the long
complicated sentences and the complex words Michael Stackpole chose for his book.
I would say the reading level would probably be around grade 11 or 12 because
of the intricate words and long sentences. I liked this book because it not
only was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat, but because of the easy to
read dialogue that was in the book. I would recommend this to anyone who likes
Star Wars books or even the movies, or anyone who likes action / adventure type
books. This book is only the first in the X-WING trilogy. If you like this
book by Michael A Stackpole, then I would recommend reading the next two in the
trilogy.

The Lives of Rich and Famous Celebrities

I earn $20 a week; I feed pets, cook dinner and complete just common household chores.Celebrities such as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, made $40 million last year from their retail empire, making them the richest under 21s in showbiz. They design clothes, make public appearances and enjoy lavish holidays. What a life.
Celebrities as young as 13 such as Dakota Fanning, earns an astonishing $4 million per movie. However one of the youngest highest paid celebrities is Oscar nominated actress Abigail Breslin. She is only 10 years old and earns $1.5 million per movie. Does a 10 year old really need that much money? To spend on what? Dolls, lollies? Its just letting the child grow selfish, unable to do things for themselves and become careless party animals much like our top party animals Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Is that a life a child should be brought up to? These girls are not respected for their behaviour.Agreeably, entertainment such as movies, television and the music industry are great contributors to society, however do they really contribute enough to be earning as much as they do? Maybe, but mostly no. The people that should be earning the most should be scientists trying to cure disease or those trying to stop global warming. These people are the real hero’s.There are also still third world countries who cannot even afford to eat, let alone pay for $400,000 Ferraris. It’s hard to believe that there are children starving and also getting very sick due to the dirty water they are left to drink and unsanitary conditions of their homes.Thankfully, there are some celebrities who use their money and popularity for good causes. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie who donates millions of dollars to charity and adopts children from third world countries so that they can have a better life. She is also a U.N ambassador and is well respected actress across the globe for her contributions. It’s a shame we only have a handful of celebrities who are like Angelina Jolie instead they are living in their huge mansions and making appearances at their exclusive shows, award ceremonies and parties.These people are living a dream, but does it really make them happy? Sure they have their every move watched with a life filled with rumour and scandal but they can’t really complain, with the way they live they should be thankful for everything they have got.Paris Hilton was paid $1 million just to appear at a party. I wouldn’t mind being paid just $100 to make an appearance at a party and look cool for people.

My Trip to America- Personal Narrative

My Trip to America- Personal Narrative
Three years ago, in July 2001, I had the opportunity to visit America,
the land of freedom. I was thrilled when I overheard my mother talking
to my friend’s father; Tom’s father on the phone for me to join my
Toms family in their holiday to America. I could not sleep that night.The following morning, my mother informed me of the good news: That I
would be going to Florida for two weeks, and that I would accompany my
friend’s family. I could not have asked for a better morning in
Britain. The sun was shining and so was I. Almost immediately I picked
up the phone and rang my Tom’s father to thank him, and for me and Tom
to plan our holiday.
The next three weeks seemed almost like a lifetime, I could not wait
to get there. My excitement increased day by day until we finally
drove to the airport. Only then I realised that the newt few weeks,
would probably be the best weeks of my life so far. Despite the rain
falling and the long waiting in the airport, with our heavy suitcases
we had to carry across the terminals, we kept are holiday mood until
we reached the plane.
The flight was longer than I expected and my seat was uncomfortable. I
spent most of the time watching movies, which were on the televisions
built in behind every seat, and talking to Tom about all the theme
parks and tennis courts. The airhostesses soon comforted everyone with
refreshments and snacks until we finally arrived to Orlando
International Airport early in the morning.
Following the crowds out of the plane, I saw my first sight of
America. It was incredible! We simply had our passports checked,
picked up our bags, and we were on our way.
The airport was full of people from all over the world with one thing
in common, the energy of the holiday mood. The city was beautiful, a
lot better than I ever imagined. I was looking forward to arrive to
the hotel and dive in the swimming pool. Everything was so organized
and so calm; the palm trees, the hot weather, the tourists and the
locals blending together perfectly. This is America! I told myself.
Along the high way, green is all to your eyes can reach. Palm trees
and grass fields are everywhere. The morning mist was shining on the
grass leaves like thousands of small pearls dropped from the clear
sky. All I was thinking about was the theme parks, the tennis, where I
am and how lucky I actually am. I was just looking at the wonderful
views that America had to offer.
Arriving at the hotel, the first impression was excellent. The
entrance was through two big metal doors along a very tall wall
surrounding the huge garden and the hotel buildings. The doors opened,
the taxi pulled over the sideway and we carried our suitcases along
the path towards the hotel. While walking to the hotel I looked on my
left hand side and I saw the massive tennis courts. The place looked
so attractive by the first sight. We then walked up the marble built
stairs to the reception of the hotel.
From that moment all I could think about was the tennis courts and the
swimming pool. The receptionist greeted us with a friendly smile and
presented us with the keys to our rooms. Tom, his youngest brother,
Jake and I has one room to share. Tom’s father and his oldest brother,
frank, share the other one, until Tom’s mother comes later in the
week.
The first day there was so much for us to do. When we unpacked our
suitcases we went to the hotel lobby for breakfast and we were trying
to adjust to the jet lag. Knowing I would be free from any obligations
or study commitments we just looked around the hotel, and relaxed, so
we could get use to the time difference, and have a lot of energy for
the theme parks in the next few days. There were a lot of other
English tourists, so even though we were half way round the world,
there were still the familiar accents and faces.
I was looking forward to the trip to the Theme Parks. We went to many
theme parks, but the best one and the first one was The Universal’s
Islands Of Adventure, which was the closest to our hotel. As we were
staying in this particular hotel, they give you this card, where you
go straight to the front of the ride, and not have to wait for the
ride. This was one of the best days of the holidays as the rides were
incredible. We got our photo taken after some of the rides, so that we
could remember them, even Tom’s father went on some of the rides.
Tom’s father seemed to enjoy the attractions as much as we did, though
his mother was not here at that time and we have had a beautiful day
together. We stayed at the park until quite late, and then went out
for dinner at a nice restaurant. We went back to our hotel still being
excited about the days to come.
The next few days we spend at the hotel and local tourist attractions.
Buy this time Tom’s mother was here, who also was enjoying herself.
Most of the days we were playing tennis in the morning with individual
tennis lessons. We were lucky as there were only three tennis coaches,
and there were three of us who played tennis at a high level. After a
few days of training, the coaches set up three tennis matches with
local American players. Of course we won all three of the matches, as
we were better players and outplayed them. Tom and I won very
comfortably both being 6-1, 6-1. However Jake found his match harder
as he was the youngest player and won in three sets, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6
with a very close third set. As we won 3-0 overall the coaches gave us
a trophy to show what we had achieved. They even gave us a free
T-shirt and cap each. The coaches had improved all of our shots, and
made us all better players.
We even made friends with the local American players, despite them
being the losing team. They showed us around other places in America
which we hadn’t been to whiles Tom’s parents relaxed by the swimming
pool. We even set up an ‘America Vs England’ football game, which
again we won, though America doesn’t play much football, they even
call football soccer.
The days passed quickly and it was hard to say goodbye when time came
to return home. We had such an exciting time in America that we all
wanted to stay a little longer. I packed my suitcase with all my
clothes and souvenirs that I collected from my trip to the Theme Park
and the other attractions and met Tom’s parents in the lobby. The
local tennis players came to say goodbye. We exchanged e-mail address
and promised to arrange a re match in the tennis matches if ever we
went back to Florida, or they came to England.
I remember very little from the flight back home as I was sleeping
most of the time in the plane. I do however remember the cold weather
when we arrived to the airport in London, as I was still in my T-shirt
and shorts.
My trip to America has been an unforgettable experience, which will
remain in my mind as one of the best holiday trips I had so far. It
would be a dream to go back again, or even another part of America. I
found this particular holiday better from the rest, as I was not with
my parents but with my friend’s family, which makes it more fun and
exciting. I was so thankful to Tom’s father that he had given me this
holiday, and for my parents letting me go. This gives me the
initiative to work hard in the future.

Rites Of Passage

‘Δεκαεπτα Παλια καλοκαιρια’ is a special occasion amongst the people of Dasoda-hae Tribe (Dasoda-hae Translates to Red Sleeves).Dasoda-hae people are a small group of people that are Native American that are descendants of the Apache people. They are a very small group of people due to invasion by European most of their land is gone and there are only about 31,000 of them left they can be found in Arizona.The Dasoda-hae people religion and culture is based on shamanism. They believe in Ussen a Spirit God witch is main part of their life. Some people who are very lucky again connection witch is mostly referred to the ‘Whisper of Ussen’ or ‘The gift of Ussen’. Ussen guides the people of Dasoda-hae. They also believe that the land they live on is the land of Ussen and that Ussen whispered to them to come.Use of Land and Respect for Nature.Since the land they live is belongs to Ussen they do not mistreat the land by digging it up or harming they use only what they need and do not fall into greed by digging up precious beauties of nature that belong to the land e.g. gold, diamonds ect.History Of The Ceremony ‘Δεκαεπτα Παλια καλοκαιρια’Originally ceremony take place when a Male or Female is about 17 summers old (17 year old). The male has to have gone through some sort of training e.g. hunter, warrior or shaman is they have the gift of Ussen. The female has to have gone through some sort of training e.g. Hunter, Warrior, craft making, berry gathering, cooking or shaman if they possess the gift of Ussen. Also they have to have some level of spiritual maturity.This would take place at the winter (end of the year) and it would be all the people in the tribe who have become 17 during the year. Everyone in the tribe would be gathered around and the 17 year old would be lined up in front of the chief (head of the tribe). Each of them would be presented with them a question which is ’What path would you lead’.It is very rare for a female to chose the path of a Warrior or a Hunter as most tended to lead a path as a Mother and bring life to the world of Ussen. Some also choose to take the path of a spiritual healer. Females with the gift of Ussen have the choice to become a Shaman.Men tend to have a very limited choice their choice is to either become a Warrior, Hunter, Spiritual Healer or Shaman(if they have the gift of Ussen).Their parents have no power over their child’s decision it is completely up to them to decide. After this ceremony it marks that they now have total freedom.That is how it is Traditionally done.
How The Ceremony Is Done In The Modern DayToday for the Dasado-hae people who live in a modern day society the ceremony is very differently done. Now a days not all Dasado-hae people live in the land of Ussen (due to many conflict with Mexicans and Spaniard). That is why it is very rare for their to be Shamans now a days. Many Dasado-hae people live in big cities.Over the year there is no longer need for Hunter & Warrior. So the path they choose is simply what career path they want to lead. It can be anything that a person desires but it has to have Ussen approval so usually a Shaman is called to ask for his approval.Their Parent, Relatives or Cares have no choice over their decision on what path they lead, unless it is a path Ussen does not like then the parents/cares have a choice to object to his or her path.The occasion is still done when they reach 17 but they do not have full freedom until the laws says so it depends on the country and their laws (commonly 18).Family member gather around and present the 17 year old with a gift. Traditional food is served and many men smoke tobacco out of a pipe.The 17 year old is presented with the question by the oldest person in the family present (commonly one of the parents, parents).Why is it Important to have this Ceremony at this AgeThe importance of having the ceremony at 17 is because usually by this age a child knows if they have the power of ussen or not. Also in the times when the Dasado-hae people lived together 17 summer markes how many years the people spent wandering around America waiting for the special child who has the whisper and gift of Ussen.Similarities to Other CeremonyCeremonies like this are done everyday but no so religiously or traditionally. For example in Russ in Norway, is celebration that marks students who graduate from upper secondary school. In Australia Schoolies (leaver) are given a week holiday.Sweet Sixteen, (or Quinceañera for the Spanish speaking-world) are party held for girl(recently boy as well) to have a party at the age of 16(15 for Spanish Speaking-world). More religiously in Judaism Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a marking ceremony for Jewish boys and girls when they reach a spiritual maturity.Important Thing Someone Can Gain when 17In Australia it is the age at which one may obtain a drivers licence other than learners permit (which may be obtained at age 16).In the United States, the age at which one may view R-rated movies without a parent’s.In the United States, the age at which one may purchase M-rated video games according to ESRB ratings.In Ireland and the United Kingdom, the age at which one may drive a car.In the United States, the minimum age at which you can donate blood in most states.

Interview with a Marine

Interview with a MarineGavino: We were the first graduating class out of United South High and I was the first baseball captain of the school so when I was out of school I had no idea what I was going to do so I join the Marine Corps because they are the best based on training and tradition. If you go to basic training in the Marines you can automatically, back then, join any of the armed forces without going into their basic training. If you start in another branch of service and then you want to join the Marine Corps you have to go through the Marine Corps basic training.Albert: What were you army, navy, marines, or air force?Gavino: MarinesAlbert: What division were you?Gavino: 1st Combat Engineer Batalion 1st Marine Division out of Camp Pendelton CaliforniaAlbert: How old were you when you went to the army?Gavino: 20 and 21Albert: How long were you in the Marines?Gavino: 4 year If you sign with the Marines the shortest one could sign is 4 yrs.Albert: When you went to your first mission what did if feel like?Gavino: Very exciting people say they, Marines, brain wash you and is true but is for you to survive. It’s for the best.Albert: Did you ever kill a person in any mission?Gavino: Hard to tell when we went to Somolia, Rwanda and other missions our job as combat engineer is demolitions. What we do is breach for the grunts or ground troops to go in and get the mission accomplished. So we usually had explosives set them up exploded them where we wanted to enter. We made “doors” for the troops. We probably took some lives but is really hard to tell from our part of the mission.Albert: If so how did it feel?Gavino: During action, unfortunately, you want to kill somebody, you want for somebody somewhere to start a War for you to kill and do what you are trained to do. Here is where the brainwashing comes in. They train you to defend and be offensive because it is not a game is for real either you kill or get killed it is that simple true but unfortunate.Albert: Did you ever think you were going to die?Gavino: No, you are trained too good for that to ever cross your mind we are the best of the best period. You want to become a Marine you have to go through the training.Albert: How was the scenery when you went in any mission?Gavino: Different than what we are used to in Laredo but what was expected. Somolia was hot no, no, really hot. The blond Marines in the shade developed blisters in their face. Blisters, because it was really hot. The African Americans got so hot they got sunburned in the shade. The buildings were beautiful. Just like Nuevo Laredo. You could tell they had some rich really rich citizens with beautiful houses gardens cars etc… And they also had the poor living in the streets some in cardboard houses. Yet, both the rich and the poor had their houses shot up like in the movies.Albert: Did you ever come back the same from the army?Gavino: No, I belive I came back better than when I left . I became a better leader not afraid of the challenges live offers. The training those 4 years made me better. If I could do one thing again in my life that could help my life knowing what I know now I would do the Marine Corps experience all over again.Albert: If no what changed you?Gavino: The training, the motivation the espirt of team mate is what changed me for the best.

The Crucible

One of the most drastic differences between theUSAand many other countries in the world is the right of the American people to voice their differences of opinion from the ideas of the government without fear of persecution. Occasionally the American government has “forgotten” that it’s people have this right and persecuted them for disagreeing with the government. Americans are not used to being restricted, and when they are the tough ones find a way to voice their opinions. Arthur Miller wished to voice his opinion during a time that the US government decided to ignore the first Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Because of this, Miller decided to make his grievances known by using the Salem Witch Trials as a way to outlet his feelings into a book that has been widely read and was eventually turned into a movie.During the McCarthy trials, many people were tried as communists and then black listed. This was similar to the Salem Witch Trials where people were convicted and hung without any real proof of them committing a crime. When Miller wrote The Crucible he showed how unfair and hypocritical these actions were. Anyone who spoke out was accused in during both sets of trials, which made defending yourself a death wish. The authority in both courts were final. Miller managed to speak out against how unfair the trials were without incriminating himself in the process. Other people were not as lucky as Miller and had their lives wrecked because of their speaking their minds.

Ideas from the Underground

Ideas from the UndergroundAutomotive designer Jerry Hirschberg was speaking to the product planning manager for marketing at Nissan about redesigning their light trucks:’Really, “I responded, growing intrigued.
“Yep. Seems they use their trucks as trucks less than twenty-five percent of the time”… “What do they use them as the rest of the time?”I wondered.There. A small, barely detectable synaptic spark The truck trisected itself in my mind in to three discrete boxes: one for carrying the engine, one the driver, and one the cargo. Seen in this formulation, it became dramatically evident that the former & latter were quite ample, but between them they sandwiched a rather stingy, cramped volume for the human cargo. And yet, according to Sheldon Payne’s information, it was precisely this middle box that was most important and received the greatest use.
In his essay “The Three Domains of Creativity” Arthur Koestler states that, “Creativity often starts where language ends, by regressing to preverbal levels, to more fluid and uncommitted forms of mental activity.” Although at that point in the essay, he is speaking of scientific creativity, later on he conveys that it can be applied to almost any kind of creativity. Take Hirshberg in the above passage as an example. He was trying to access the raw information gathered by the marketing department at Nissan about what improvements consumers wanted in the light trucks. When he got to a point where his idea began to form in his mind, he stopped talking and started visualizing how he could redesign the new model of the truck.
Another example of non-verbal thinking is shown in Ron Howard’s film A Beautiful Mind, where John Nash is in a bar with his friends and he reasons out his new idea that won a Nobel Prize. His reasoning on the screen is shown as images of his friends and the girls they are trying to “get”, as he thinks of how they could all win. The scene mirrors how he came up with his revolutionary theory. Koestler also emphasizes this idea of the visual playing a greater part in creativity than verbal thinking with the results of an inquiry, in 1945, into the working methods of eminent mathematicians in America.He wrote, “The results showed that all of them, with only two exceptions, thought neither in verbal terms nor in algebraic symbols but relied on visual imagery of a vague, hazy kind.” The thing about language is that there are only so many words you can use to express a viewpoint or an idea. For me, when I have an idea, for example when writing an essay, I spend half the time thinking of a word that will fit the new idea instead of concentrating on developing it. Effectively language at that point is providing a stumbling block to my creativity. Sometimes, I even lose the idea.Yet it is not so much verbal reasoning as disciplined, logical thinking that can potentially block or impede creativity. Koestler lays particular emphasis on the “hunches of unconscious origin” as an important factor in the act of (scientific) discovery. Rollo May echoes this in his book The Courage to Create. He remarks that, “Now this intensity of awareness is not necessarily connected with conscious purpose or willing. It may occur in reverie or in dreams, or from so-called unconscious levels.” I understood the “intensity of awareness” to be the process of creation. He goes on to talk about how creativity continues on different levels not controlled by the conscious willing. This idea has been generally accepted and even glorified in movies, novels, comics and other media that report creative acts. At the point he starts reasoning, Hirshberg describes his creative moment with, “There. A small, barely detectable synaptic spark.” Many writers have tried to explain what exactly goes on at the point where the breakthrough is made. We can only describe the feelings we have when we experience it. Koestler remarks that we need to think of levels of thinking between the primary process, which is devoid of logic and governed by the pleasure principles, and the secondary process of reality; where each level has its own rules. “The paranoid delusion, the dream, the daydream, free association, the mentalities of children of various ages and of primitives at various stages…” says Koestler “while clearly different in many respects, all these forms of mentation have certain features in common… They are less rigid, more tolerant and more ready to combine seemingly incompatible ideas…” In other words they are conducive for creativity. Generally our minds follow certain patterns of logic when trying to solve a problem and so any ideas that don’t fit in the patterns are not considered. Yet in the areas of the unconscious mentioned above, the mind cannot be controlled.

Koestler calls thinking on the levels of the unconscious mentioned above “games of the underground” that would play havoc with disciplined thinking methods but, “when disciplined thinking is at the end of its tether, a temporary indulgence in these underground games may suddenly produce a solution – some farfetched reckless combination which would be beyond the reach of, or seem to be unacceptable to, the sober, rational mind.” May writes similarly that “the insight broke into my conscious mind against what I had been trying to think rationally…The unconscious so to speak, broke through in opposition to the conscious belief to which I was clinging.” Referring to the unconscious levels of thinking as “underground” portrays them as dangerous levels that one should be wary of. Yet these “unconscious”, “extraconscious” or “underground” levels of thinking in a person’s mind are key to imagination. I have certainly gone through these processes in my academic endeavors. After dwelling on a difficult question in a problem set for an hour or more, all my logical reasoning comes to nothing and my thinking is at “the end of its tether”. Thus I stop thinking about it, yet it seems the problem is still being mulled over in my unconscious because out of the blue, when I’m walking down the infinite corridor or the student center steps, the answer hits me. As Koestler says, “The place for the rendezvous of ideas is underground.”
Disciplined thinking is more efficient and even necessary to begin the act of “creation” but then at the crucial point of reasoning, it seems that one always has to give in to some level of “semi-abandon”, or extraconsciousness in order to solve the problem or let the new idea come forth. But even then the importance of verbal reasoning should not be forgotten, because as Koestler says, “Words crystallize thoughts…” Sometimes, at least in my experience, I reach a point where I have too many ideas floating around; where the “games of the underground” have begun to play havoc. I must either write down my ideas or voice them out in order not to lose them in the sea of fluid thoughts in my mind. Lots of times I am frustrated when I almost get the answer only to be foiled by my own mind producing both useful and useless ideas or solutions. At such points when havoc is being played, disciplined or verbal reasoning is required to sort out, extract and purify the crystal of creation from the ore of ideas and thoughts floating in the mind. Thus to create, one needs to reason logically, step back briefly from logic and then use logical reasoning to express what has been discovered.

The Hero Journey in Star Wars

The Hero Journey in Star Wars     Luke’s eventual departure is set in motion by the purchase of two androids that were previously involved in the rebellion. Luke receives a call to aid in the form of a prerecorded message stored in one of the android’s memory. Luke finds a traveling companion and a teacher in Obi-wan Kenobi. Luke is hesitant to leave his home planet until the empire kills his Aunt and Uncle, leaving him no option but to fight. Luke’s next step is initiation.     Luke goes through many initiations during his journey. He is initiated to the loss of loved ones with the deaths of his Aunt and Uncle and eventually Obi-wan. He is initiated to the way the world really works by spending time in the Mos Eisley Cantina. He is also initiated to battle during the groups amazing escape from the Deathstar. The final step in Luke’s journey is the return.     Luke’s return most certainly takes place at the end of the movie. It seems all might be lost as Darth Vader has wiped out all the fighters except for Luke. Darth is moving Luke into his sights when Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon appear and remove all threats to Luke’s safety. He is able to fire the successful shot and make his return to the rebel base. Much as you might expect Luke receives a hero’s welcome and is honored at a huge ceremony.     Star Wars is an extremely popular movie with many underlying themes. I believe that the hero journey is the most important theme in the movie. Luke goes through all three parts of the hero journey, the departure, the initiation, and the return.

Gender

Gender Issues: Have Woman’s Rights Improved? Twenty-five years ago, when my mother was little she had three career choices available to her, a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary. So as the I was growing up my mother made sure that I knew that I could be whatever I wanted to be, when I grew up. With this belief in mind I set my goal as becoming the first woman President of the United States, but as I started to work towards this goal I realized that what she did not tell me about were the obstacles that I would have to overcome to succeed in a “man’s world”. There are three main barriers standing in a woman’s way to achieve her career goal they are men, the media , and American society. According to Bob Enyart “Women were not made to run things. Men were made to run things. When women try to run things and usurp the authority from men they mess things up.” This type of attitude from men is what keeps woman from surpassing them in the world. Most grown men view women only as housewives, incapable of nothing else. In the minds of some men women were meant to stay at home and clean the house, raise the children, and cook the meals. Even when woman decided to join the work force they had few careers to choose from. It was not until the late 1980’s that woman were accepted in to higher paying careers by the men that were already dominating the workforce. Even today when they are accepted into the workforce they are still not paid as much as men for doing the same work. A 1998 study shows that a woman in the same job as a man with the same expectations and responsibilities, the woman is paid ten to fifteen percent less then the man. The media or television programs are also to blame for the image that is given to woman. Women play passive roles, in movies and even TV sitcoms. For example in the sitcom Dharma and Greg, which is about a young married couple, the man is a successful lawyer from a wealthy family, while Dharma is a cute little unemployed blonde that cracks jokes. Another example is in the sitcom Friends, in which the men Ross and Chandler have very successful jobs as an accountant and a anthropologist, while the women on the show are employed as a cook and the other women is a buyer for the department store Bloomingdales. So even on today’s TV sitcoms woman are casted in to careers that have gender stereotyped such as woman belong at home, in the kitchen or shopping. American society can be very temperamental on their belief system and unwilling to change their mind. Using politics as an example, there has never been a woman President or Vice President. This is because of American societies unwillingness to change their views on this type of discrimination. To further prove thiks statement John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the first Catholic President, is a great example. America was founded as a Protestant country and it took over 150 year to be able to accept and elect a Catholic president to office and even then it was a close race. Until the society as a whole changes then woman the discrimination against woman will continue. So due to men, the media, and American Society women in the past and still to this day remain our countries largest percentage of second class citizens. Often many of today’s women raise, house and feed their families without the help of men, on an income of less than two thirds of that men doing the same job. For women to become equal in this society they need to earn equal pay for equal work and have all men accept them in the work force. When this happens we will have reached true equality between men and women.

Internet Pornography

Internet PornographyControlling cyberporn has raised many first amendment questions when the government tries to regulate who controls the flow of that information. Many people seem to think that this is the best way to police the internet without restricting free speech. In my opinion the only reason why pornography on the Internet is such a big topic is because children are now learning to use computers at such a young age that they can find their way to these small group of sexually explicit sites. But in reality these pornographic related sites are only a very small fraction of the millions of sites out there on the world wide web.Their has been a large discussion of proposing a rating system. Their has been a rating system for violence, nudity, sex and language successful with video games and movies. Threw the Recreational Software Advisory Council, hundreds if not thousands of web sites and home pages could be rated and regulated. Their would be no problems with violating constitutional rights if this only leads to making sure that minors cannot get access to this type of information. But, as soon as the federal government decided to tell us what we can and cannot say over the Internet would be considered a violation of my first amendment rights to freedom of speech. One point brought up by author of the article I found in Editor & Publisher “If hard-core pornographic materials are illegal in the mainstream distribution channels, it should be also illegal on the Internet.” Many of this negative publicity on the Internet has become so hostile is because allot of the Internets problems involve children. The Internet should be a place for everyone and when it becomes a threat or dangerous especially to children the government will intervene. (which it has) Even though civil libertarians, privacy activists and many others are challenging this law, saying that is amounts to censorship and is unconstitutional.The Internet was designed to be distributed around the world, with tens of thousands of widely scattered on ramps and servers. It continuously changes on an hourly basis. Which is going to make it very hard and almost impossible to control. As for what is out there on the Internet their is sexual activity, from kiddie porn to bestiality. This also can be a new revolution for sexuality for adults. Instead of going to the video store or a nasty bookstore all you have to do is sit at your computer and access the internet. People can view full screen X-rated movie clips, a wide variety of text material, and X-rated digitally scanned images. “Some think all this is disgusting, but to others it can be another way of enjoying their sexuality” New York Times Magazine. On the average many of the sites out on the web require a membership and a fee usually paid via a credit card. To screen the age of a person trying to get membership you are asked a barrage of questions, name, phone number, address, and usually have to send in a copy of your drivers license. This makes it impossible for children to gain access to these materials. But, today all you have to have is a internet provider and computer with a modem and a web browser on it and you can access top quality pornography in other countries where their are no laws restricting access by age. That’s been the focus of the pornography issues discussed widely in the press.Pornographic files as a whole only accounts for one half of one percent of all the messages posted on the Internet. Just to explain to everyone how big the web is. Lets use UseNet as an example, UseNet has a collection of more than five thousand special interest public forums on the Internet, and is accessible to large commercial providers such as America Online. According to Time One of the more popular sections of UseNet is alt.sex, which stands for alternative sex. They say that alt.sex is so popular that it has spawned more than 60 other groups ranging form alt.sex.bestiality to alt.sex.woodyallen. Also according to the article “Vice Raid on the Net” half a dozen other UseNet news groups also store free, X-rated images that users can download and view on their computers. According to the article from a Carnegie Mellon graduate student surveying sex on the Internet they determined that 450,620 pornographic images and text files have been downloaded 6,432,297 times in six months.Another popular web site is Penthouse and others which display free, frontally nude cyber-pinups. I know this to be a fact because one of the first few times when I was first introduced to the World Wide Web I browsed straight to Playboy and Penthouse and to my surprise they did display a few free pictures without even having to be screened. One thing that the articles I read didn’t say is most of the pornographic pages I accessed while researching only said “Click here if your over 21” and on the bottom of the screen it says “If your offended by this material or under age click here” were used to grant access. But on average even if you clicked that your over 18 or 21, depending on the laws of the state, you have to apply for a membership to gain access. I have to admit that their are some sites out there that let you gain access very easily and those are the sites that should be regulated.

History of Ian Fleming

History of Ian FlemingIan attended Eton High School and joined the track team there and became and outstanding athlete (Cork 1). But, his stay at Eton was short lived due to some trouble he was in that involved women and a motor vehicle accident (Rosenberg 20). Apparently, Fleming stole his father’s vehicle and went to a party where he drank a lot and met women that he later invited to ride with him. One of the women distracted Fleming and he ran into a tree (Lycett 31).During the expulsion of high school, Ian’s father died in World War 1 during a battle in France on Sunday 20 May 1917 (. All the inherited money went to Ian’s mother. With the stipulation that she would remarry, Ian was pressured into getting money of his own. The widowed mother put him in another school called Tennerhof High School. It was there that he started to gain girlfriends and have an expensive taste of food and automobiles. People who went to Tennerhof with Ian remembered him as being very arrogant and difficult. There were other’s that swear he was found to be charming, handsome, witty, and a lively aristocrat. But, Ian was having problems academically. Ian’s mother knew a married couple that could help Ian. So he would visit them one day a week for tutoring. Ian did graduate and still desired to be more successful than his brother and father.Ian enrolled in Sandhurst: Royal Academy. He did much better in his studies since there were no women around the college. There he took the final military exams and scored very poorly. He was in danger of not graduating but there was an essay section of the test that enabled him to take a job as a reporter for the British Navy. Ian took on the job with great ease. He outsmarted the older, much more experienced by getting the information to the press much faster than any other reporter. Official were impressed with his work and promoted him straight to lieutenant on the Royal Navy. He was stationed on the HMS Repulse. His main job was to plan operations and attacks. He was not comfortable at all. Ian wrote poetry about his father’s death during his service on the ship. He wouldn’t show the poetry to anyone. During a mission that Ian had planned out himself, a crew member had committed mutiny and was later found to be a spy for the Germans. Ian fought in hand to hand combat with him and took him into custody. He even interrogated the man himself.Another mission that was unrelated took Ian to Jamaica. He had fallen in love with the land. He bought a beach house on a comfortable lot near the beach so that he could live there once his naval term was up. He called the house “Goldeneye’ because of the wonderful view every room in the house had. Ian lived in Goldeneye two months a year until his naval term was over and he could live there permanently. The working conditions for writing were ideal. So he wrote more poetry but not all of it was about his dead father. The food at Goldeneye however was described to resemble that of and armpit. Fleming crossed himself “before every morsel. Goldeneye was such a wonderful place that he saw it a crime to take up all the beauty. So, he let people stay at Goldeneye for a small fee. This is how he met his women. Fleming would go out on the town with one to three girls a night. He would buy his beloved rich food, drive his classic automobiles, and especially seduce his women until he met Ann Charteris. They met when a girl did not up on one of Ian’s dates and Ann kept him company. It wasn’t long until Ian married Ann at Goldeneye in 1952. It was said that the marriage had devolved since the ceremony.Ian Fleming had the idea to write a novel about a British spy. He never put his thought to paper until his wife, Ann, encouraged him to write his first novel. Before he could, Ian had to figure out the specifics of his main character. He first thought that his character should have a code number. He remembered a number that he learned during his naval service. The number was the German diplomatic code used to send zimmerman telegraph Berlin to Washington. That number was 007. The next trick was the name. At Goldeneye, Ian was working this problem out with two friends: Harry Bond and James
Atkins. They pondered over names until Ian stopped and took his two friends names and switched them to “Harry Atkins” and “James Bond”. Ian chose the ladder. His friends did not seem to mind the use of their names. There was a problem though. Ian found that there was a famous ornithologist named “James Bond”. He contacted the man and invited him over to stay at Goldeneye to discuss his character. The ornithologist loved the idea and gave him consent to use his name. Ian wrote his novel in quite a rush. There was no deadline but Ian felt that it should be done as soon as possible. He wrote his main character to be 6’ tall, muscular and athletic, in his mid-thirties, with gray-blue eyes. John Pearson has dated the birth of James Bond to be the morning of January 15, 1952. He added:“Casino Royal’ was written and finished in Goldeneye on March 18th, writing a 62,000 word manuscript in eight weeks would have been an achievement. But, there is evidence that he might have completed it in a shorter amount of time.”Ian Fleming had doubts that “Casino Royale” would succeed but it did and so he continued on to write other bond books such as “Live and Let Die”, “Moonraker”, “Diamonds are Forever”, “With Russia, With Love”, and “Dr. No”.When “Dr. No” was published, Movie producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Salzman were where interested in making the book into a movie. They approached Ian with a proposition to make “Dr. No” into a movie. If the movie did well they would produce other “Bond” movies. During the negotiations and production of “Dr. No” Ian completed “Goldfinger”, “For Your Eyes Only”, “Octa*censored*”, and “The Spy Who Loved
Me”. The movie, “Dr. No” was a huge hit and Ian had the feeling that he finally reached the success that he hoped to achieve over his father and brother. Other movies were made while Ian Fleming continued to write. That is until 1964 when Ian Fleming died of a fatal heart attack while at Royal St. Georges Golf Club.Ian Fleming was a man of many visions, and talents. It wasn’t until after his death that James Bond was a British, sexual, and heroic icon. A total of 20 “Bond Films” have been made so far. Even more James Bond books have been written. Ian Fleming will live on with infamy and legend.Work CitedBruce A. Rosenberg “Ian Fleming”. Boston: United Publishing, 1981Andrew Lycett “Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond” Kansas City: Universal Press, 1995John Cork “The Life of Ian Fleming (1908-1964)” http://www.mcs.net/idust/www/flem-bio.html

Never Back Down Review

Never Back Down ReviewB) Presentation Style1. The Performers utilize representational presentational style. No interaction is found while I was watching the movie.
2. The second male character, Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet), stands out among others character. He has the perfect life, prefect girlfriend, prefect fighting skills. The actor, Cam Gigandet, did a good job on acting a “prince” spoiled by the environment.
3. The film plods on, following the familiar hero’s journey trajectory, complete with Homeric references for AP Lit points. Jake gets his chance to cry, to shine, to disappoint his mentor, to redeem himself, to finally defeat his demons and to get the girl. A reiteration of this same old story is never unwelcome, but Never Back Down is so thoroughly genre that even the twists are predictable. The performances are as stiff as the dialogue. Hounsou, narrowly escaping “Magical Negro” categorization by shades of a troubled past, is reliably good but his job is mostly to act as a stand in for Jake’s absent father.
C) Directorial Concept
1. The director creates a view of do not hurt anyone or fight because you are angry or want to revenge.
2. Never Back Down does deliver on a promise of a lot of gory action. The violence is lovingly rendered here, with ribbons of spit and blood flying out across the screen in slow-mo every time the hero gets punched in the face.
3. The one element that could have set the film apart, the spotlight on the Mixed Martial Arts fighting style, gets an unexplained short shrift. According to the press kit, MMA is a phenomenon that’s sweeping the country. I wouldn’t have known this from merely watching the film. So, I would give more evidence or scene on this part.D) Use of Lighting1. The Lighting usually dark when the main character is in bad mood. And usually light when he is happy.
2. No unusual about the utilization of light or environment.
3. No special use of color.E) Overall Event Design1. It was the best format to convey the story and idea. It’s because it follows the formula of Fight Club.
2. The special effects in the fighting scene do give audience a greater shocking feeling of the combat. Each time Jake was hurt seriously, some X-ray seeing through his rib is shown. Also, when characters’ head was hit and twist, a lot of water comes out.
3. There was only me and my friend in the theater while we were enjoying it. We sat in the best seat and no annoying sound.
F) Most Memorable Moment1. The last fight impressed me most. A lot of scene flashed in Jake’s head and he use all his techniques to knock down Ryan.
2. The music delivered a victory-like feeling, the flashing scene of his life and the slow motion were responsible for this affecting moment.
3. I and my friend nearly yelled out when Jake finally wins.G) Audience / Personal Response
1. My friend, who likes talking while we are watching movie, seldom makes noise in this film.
2. I would recommend this film to young male. There’s really a lot of muddled commentary to be found here. Explorations of class structure and bored teenage anomie are attempted in Never Back Down, but who wants their social critique served with a garnish of male anguish? You do? Okay, well you’ll like the film then.

Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
Steinbeck incorporates the theme of the American Dream, an expression used to represent wanted success, throughout his story Of Mice and Men as he provides glimpses of the dreams of many characters. Towards the end of the novel, the fact is that each of the characters “American Dream” is just that, a dream, which is unattainable. In short, Steinbeck portrays his position of the unrealistic desires for untarnished happiness through the dreams of Candy, Curley’s Wife, and Crooks in Of Mice and Men.
First, Candy has the dream of getting him a piece of George and Lennie’s land on their farm. This small piece of land means much to Candy, as shown in chapter 3, Candy is talking to George and says, “…you’ll let me hoe in the garden even after I ain’t no good at it. An’ I’ll wash dishes an’ little chicken stuff like that…I’ll be let to work on our own place” (p. 60). From this, it is suggested that all Candy wants is a small piece of land where he can go when he is considered old and worthless by others. It is his ticket for feeling useful, and not living off streets once he cannot perform his job as a swamper. Although the plan seemed superb, it was ultimately flawed. Candy could have probably made the rest of the money as he promised, but because Lennie killed Curley’s wife in chapter 5, they could never go through with the impractical plan. The decision of not getting the farm and his land solidified by what George said to Candy in chapter 5, “—I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we’d never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would” (p. 94). Conclusively, Steinbeck shows that the dreams of many are destroyed by reality and unfortuitous circumstances through the destruction of Candy’s dream.
Another dream was that of Curley’s wife which she admitted to wanting to be an actress to Lennie in chapter 5. She says, “Went out to the Riverside Dance Palace with him. He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural. Soon’s he got back to Hollywood he was gonna write me about it” (p. 88). Curley’s wife’s dream is unfeasible, although she holds onto the dream of being a star and receiving the attention she wants, so dearly. Yet, Steinbeck shows that even this dream too is foolish when Curley’s wife says, “I never got that letter. I always thought my ol’lady stole it. Well, I wasn’t gonna stay no place where I couldn’t get nowhere or make something of myself, an’ where they stole your letters. I ast he if she stole it, too, an’ she says no. So I married Curley” (pg. 88). There could have been a possibility that the man from Hollywood did in fact send the letter and Curley’s wife’s mom did in fact hide the letters, but it is more plausible that the man was a charlatan trying to hustle Curley’s wife. In addition, Curley’s wife married Curley in order to get away from her mother, thus ruining any chance of her going to Hollywood. In short, Steinbeck supports the idea of the American Dream being elusive through Curley’s wife, whose actions of settling for an unfulfilling marriage demolished her chance at immaculate happiness.
In addition to Candy’s and Curley’s wife’s dreams, Crooks also revealed his dream in chapter 4. As Crooks was talking to Candy and Lennie, he said, “…If you…guys would want a hand to work for nothing—just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand. I ain’t so crippled I can’t work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to” (p. 76). By saying this, Crooks shows that he too would like a piece of land because “everybody wants a little bit of land, not much. Jus’ som’thin’ that was his. Somethin’ he could live on and there couldn’t nobody throw him off it,” as said by Crooks to Candy and Lennie (p. 76). But Crooks realizes that this was an imprudent dream once Curley’s wife threatened him saying, “Well keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny” (p. 81). This racial hatred reminded Crooks that anywhere he went; all would judge him based on the color of his skin. In brief, Crooks’ circumstance of being born an African American stops him from thinking that his dream of owning land would ever come true.
In conclusion, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a novel where all “American Dreams” are shattered. This in turn displays Steinbeck’s thought of how unachievable the “American Dream” actually is. The unrealistic nature of “American Dreams” is further supported by the fate of the 3 characters, Candy, Curley’s wife, and Crooks. All in all, the fact that circumstances, regretful actions, and unethical ideas of humanity as a whole, all provide in the impracticality of the American Dream, the dream for dreamers.

Music and the Sixties

Music and the SixtiesWhat the music of the late 1960s and early 1970 are attempting to achieve is a protest to the U.S. government. From the lyrics of Neil Young’s Ohio performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, the vocalists are memorializing the incident that occurred during a protest about U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War in Kent State University where nine students were injured and four students were killed by the Ohio National Guardsmen who opened fire on unarmed students:Got to get down to it.
Soldiers are gunnin’ us down.
Should have been gone long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?Eddie Holland and Norman Whitfield’s War is one of the best selling song of the 1970 who also protested about the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. It is in these lyrics that describes how war does not solve any problems and how it does not do any good to innocent civilians in Vietnam and to the families whose son(s) are off to war:War-huh-yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely NOTHING!
Uh huh, Uh huh (repeat)War-I despise
’Cos it means destruction
Of innocent lives
War means tears
To thousands of mothers how
When their sons go off to fight
And lose their livesComparing War and Ohio to the top ten singles of 1970s, it suggests that the music of the 1970s not only deals with issues dealing with U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The music of the 1970s also brought up many other issues such as love and relationships. For example, Jackson 5’s I Want You Back describes how this person falls in love with a girl. But he ignores her and she goes on to find another man. Now that this person knows that she is with another man, he begs her to come back but it was too late:When I had you to myself
I didn’t want you around
Those pretty faces always made you stand out in a crowd
But someone picked you from the bunch
when love was all it took
Now it’s much too late for me to take a second lookCHORUS:
Oh baby give me one more chance
(show you that I love you)
Won’t you please let me
(back to your heart)
Oh darlin’ I was blind to let you go
(let you go baby)
But now since I see you in his arms
(I want you back)Although there are some music that dealt with the issues of love and relationships, there are music that can help soothe the soul of those who feels lonely or for those whose son(s) are involved in the Vietnam War. Especially in a time when there is a conflict with another country, one must need music to help meditate and get through these times of crises. Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water is a good example of a music that helps soothes the soul:When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes,
I will dry them all
I’m on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can’t be foundBy searching for the top ten movies of the 1970s and comparing them to the top ten singles of the 1970s, one may notice that the top ten movies also dealt with the many issues other than the Vietnam War. For example, M*A*S*H, Patton, and Catch-22 were all movies that dealt with war even though some did not take place in Vietnam while others movies such as Love Story, Airport, and Five Easy Pieces all dealt with love, relationships, or dramas in one’s life. But in today’s world, there are many movies, albums, and songs whose political content also has somewhat a similar effect as those in the 1970s. For instance, Eminem’s White America attacks Congress about free speech in the U.S.:The ring leader of the circus of worthless pawns
Sent to lead the march right up to the steps of Congress
And piss on the lawns of the whitehouse
To burn the casket and replace it with a parental advisory sticker
To spit liquor in the faces of this democracy of hipocracy
Fuck you Ms Cheeney
Fuck you Tipper Gore
Fuck you with the freeness of speech this divided states of embarrassment will allow me to have
Fuck Youhahaha! im just playin america, you know I love youFrom these lyrics, it talks about how the Government is attacking Eminem of his lyrics when Eminem has the free will to write or say anything he wants, even though Eminem does not mean what he says. It also goes for the same when U.S. is in war with Iraq. Everyday, President Bush states that the troops of U.S. are liberating the Iraqi people to allow them to have freedom of religion, press, and importantly speech while here in the U.S. the protesters are being suppressed by the Government and the pro-war demonstrators. One of the person who was being surpressed by the government and pro-war demonstrators is a Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines who apologized to President Bush for saying she was ashamed that he was from Texas. And so in conclusion, the music of the late 1960s and early 1970s not only dealt with the Vietnam War, but many other issues such as love and relationships.

Barbie is a Good Role Model

Barbie is a Good Role ModelBarbie is a toy doll that many girls from any age played with growing up or still do in the present time. As said in the article “Life in Plastic”, “Barbie draws her flock with a heady mix of marketing, magic and the colour pink,” which is trying to describe what exactly is the idea behind what a Barbie is. The Barbie doll has been around since the sixties and has physically changed over the years, but the idea behind this doll has stayed the same. Also Barbie’s physical description of the current time is that she has an “improbable figure- buxom breasts, wafer- thin waist and permanently arched feet waiting to slip into a pair of high- heels […] the most potent icon of American popular culture in the late twentieth century,” and even though this may sound like a type of doll that young girls would only want to aspire to look like growing up, many girls realize as they grow older that it is just a toy(Life 2). Barbie may just appear to some people as just a toy with the same ideals that she has always had, but she has reformed and become a not to shabby role model.A way to think of how Barbie’s have played a huge role in many girls’ lives is to think of how young boys that played with toy trucks and plastic tools were to them. Both of these toys were something that both girls and boys liked to play with growing up. While the girls would be inside playing Barbie with their girlfriends, the boys would be out side in the dirt or sand bulldozing other boy’s cars, or pretend to hammer things that were in the back yard or on the play ground. Girls liked playing with toy dolls that they could make say and do what ever they wanted, and they could live in a fantasy world with their friends. Boys liked playing with their toy trucks and tools because it was fun to run things over and play with toys in the dirt, or with the tools, they act like they could actually be like older boys or their fathers and build stuff. Neither one of the toys that the boys played with seemed that it would scar them for life. With Barbie they more and more have made her a more positive role model by having her say encouraging things. So when it comes down to it, how a young boy plays with his toys is the same as how a young girl plays with her Barbie’s because they both just want to have fun with a toy, and they can make it do whatever they wanted. Young children could have control over something which both genders liked to do.Barbie’s intelligence has been one of the most debated topics about the doll. While some say that she is just a “bimbo,” others find her to be a positive role model with all that Barbie can be. Schroeder says that by playing with a Barbie that was either a Doctor Barbie or a Vet Barbie will send a young girl to a therapist, and the infamous quote that one Barbie said “Math class is tough” (Schroeder 2). While some of the things that Barbie used to be about looked badly upon the dolls intelligence there have been may improvements since then. Barbie now has been said to “open new dreams for girls that were not as accessible in the early 1960’s” (Life 4). Also there is a Barbie exhibit in a community library in California, which is an example of how if Barbie was thought of as dumb then they would not make a whole exhibit about her. It gives credit saying that no matter what, Barbie is a huge part of our culture regardless of what many critics say (Barbie 5). Barbie’s intelligence has developed to a much better role model, but there will forever be those people who will hold a grudge against what one doll said over ten years ago, which makes it hard for people to believe that she is, in fact, smart.Another thing that Barbie was looked down upon as a bad role model was her body type and what all the dolls looked like. The worse stereo type that Barbie got was her blonde hair and tiny waist. Although, when a test was actually done to see if Barbie would make a girl develop an eating disorder as she grew up, researchers did separate sets of interviews with adults who played with Barbie’s in childhood and concluded that both sets were not concerned about looks but more “opportunity” and “human connection” (Life 4). People have said that because of the way Barbie looks that she is a cause for young girls to develop an eating disorder from playing with the doll yet the author Vanderkam disagrees saying, “Barbie hasn’t influenced the culture enough in an age where obesity outweighs anorexia as a problem among adolescent girls.” Also, Barbie’s new appearance has altered a lot since the first Barbie in the sixties. The new Barbie is not as busty, her hips are bigger, and she looks more natural. With every major issue about Barbie’s appearance making young girls turn to eating disorders Mattel tries to improve, but still tries keeps to the same type of out-line of what Barbie looks like because that is the doll that all the girls tend to want growing up.With the argument against Barbie, many feminist women have a huge problem with her body size and appearance. Many see Barbie, as said in the article by Grassel, that “Barbie never got pregnant, fat, or old. She stood her own in stores as the mute brassy standard not just of beauty but of lifestyle.” By critiquing every thing that Barbie did not do, she is trying to show that because her body never changes that it is not a good thing. Also, now that Barbie has been made into different ethnicities people think that even the new doll makes young girls think badly about appearance. The dolls skin colors are stereotyped with their hair and outfits so women and other countries have an even bigger problem with how Barbie looks (Grassel). Also it is said that Barbie is partly to blame for making girls think that they should be sexually successful women modeled after Barbie (Life 3). Many women are blaming everything wrong with those girls in the world that have problems based on how Barbie looks, and that the doll somehow makes these girls think they should too.There is really only one way to solve this big debate between Barbie and everyone against this plastic doll. Have the mothers talk to their daughters when they are young, and make sure they understand that the toys they play with do not have to reflect what they should look like or be like. For that matter the daughters should not be able to watch TV, movies, or read magazines because for the most part all the girls and older women in the media are all like a Barbie in their own way. The solution is to stop blaming one toy doll that many girls have taken much joy playing with because there are girls in the world that have eating disorders or physical issues with them selves. Why not blame society for having certain ideals of what a girl should look like? Barbie has only been around for 40 years, where girls and women that are self conscious about themselves have been around much longer.

The Impact of The Internet on Society

The Impact of The Internet on SocietyYou can just sit on your computer, win real money, and have it wired straight to your account. All you have to do is be 21 years of age and give them your social security number. Really, anybody can sit at home and say they are 21 and use there parents credit card to pay for the charge. Ok maybe its not that easy but I bet you it is pretty easy. Just think of how easy it is to lose money from the casino’s computer nerds, who wire a little of your money out of your account and straight into the casino’s account.I have had the chance to personally go to a casino and see what its like on the inside. I got to see how the gambling business really works. I was only about 11 years old when I went, but I remember everything about it. The casino is a common for people who live near my way. It is called, “Black Hawk Casino”. Now, people under 21 aren’t allowed in the casino like before. This is because too many people were getting angry at the fact of a little kid sitting there and watching them while they played. Maybe they thought kids were bad luck or something. Right when I walked in the casino, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. There were shiny slot machines everywhere, guards, cameras, and sounds of people winning. The sounds were like if you’ve ever took all of the change out of your piggy bank at once, the sound of all that change clinging together. It’s just like music for your ears. It was awesome. I couldn’t wait until I turned 21. Who would want to sit at home and play on the Internet when they can get up and go to the casino in person? It’s got to be ten times better and more fun. There can’t be a better feeling than striking a winner on the slot machine and having all that money fall into your hands or your little bucket. By allowing people to gamble right off of the Internet, it’s taking away the whole concept of having casinos and letting people enjoy them. Casinos offer food, bedding, drinks, and pretty much whatever else you need. Those are just extra benefits that the casinos give to the public and people need to really appreciate that concept. Most people do appreciate it though.There are many more ways that the Internet has affected entertainment. Some more examples are the movie industry. Who needs to go to the Movie Theater and pay $6.00 a person when all you have to do is download the movie on the computer? You can sit right at home and watch the movie. The whole point of watching a new movie is taking your hot date out for dinner and a movie. Sooner or later, the Internet is going to get so profound with their idea of letting people watch DVD’s and movies on the net that they are going to beat out the movie industry. Then, we won’t have theaters anymore. Who wants to sit at a computer with their girlfriend or boyfriend and watch a movie on a little 5×5 screen? I sure wouldn’t want to. Computers are becoming so advanced that someday nobody is going to want to go to the theater. They think that the computer can make it more realistic and better special effects. If that is the case, then fine let people sit at home and watch movies on their computer. We should just have the computer make us popcorn while it’s at it! People are going to think it’s so great, but just wait and see how this is going to affect our society when we lose our movie theaters. I don’t think we would really lose our theaters, but still come on. This is just one of the many issues that is being affected by the Internet. People don’t realize how real this problem really is. If they did, maybe they would try and fight against the problem. Maybe they would try to get movies banned off the Internet.Let’s take women for instance. They have got to be the biggest shoppers of all time. So, I’m sure that several women save a lot of time and shop on the Internet. Most women believe the Internet’s convenience saves time and enhances their lives by offering them tools for communication, shopping, and receiving news and information. Online activity has replaced time spent on other offline activities. Instant messaging and online greeting cards are used more and are replacing time spent talking on the telephone and watching television. Thirty two percent of moms take the convenience of shopping online, and they go to the mall less often. That is taking away from all malls that aren’t selling as much because of the Internet. Over 60 percent of women believe the Internet is convenient and saves time. That is telling you right there that over half of women are using internet rather then making it fun and going to the mall with friends and trying on all the clothes in the store. Isn’t that what woman live for is going to the mall and shopping all day long? Shopping is entertainment for women.The Internet is a very good source of buying what you need online, but not to the point where the Internet has taken over completely. If all we are going to do is rely on the Internet to do everything for us, we are going to have the future here a lot faster than we want. Give the world 75 more years and we wont have to do more than push a button and have what we want right there before us. The world is going to lose the moral of working and discipline. Who knows, maybe the fast advancement of the Internet is exactly what the world needs.

Analysis of Glory

Lost at the Movies

In the chapter, “Lost at the Movies”; pages 113-116, we are introduced to the movie culture. His family went to see Jurassic Park: Lost world and he couldn’t believe the thought that was put into the movie. He could not fathom how a huge prehistoric dinosaur could go unseen through a huge city and suburbs. The movie made $92.7 million in the first weekend. Bryson comments “…for all its $100 million-plus budget, contains about $2.35 worth of actual thought…” (114) The movie Speed 2 was created by the directors’ dream. He dreamed the ending scene and worked from it backwards, which shows how much thought was put into it. The movies are not as good as they use to be when he was a kid according to Bryson. Not only do you have to pay a ridiculous amount to get in but once you get in then they try to sell you high priced beverages and snacks. He recalls when the big time theatres would have one large screen to show the hottest movie during that time. Bryson comments on the pictures screens “The screen had the dimensions of a large beach towel and was so ill-placed that everyone in the first three rows had to look almost straight up, as if in a planetarium.” He also feels the same way towards the sound in the theatres. Bryson’s analysis of the movies theatres of today are partly true, while mainly they are inaccurate and do little to show the outstanding qualities of the present American movie theatres.
Bryson does have a point in the fact movies are over priced. This is why movie stars make the money they do. At around seven dollars a ticket and popcorn a drink bumping the tab up to nearly fifteen or twenty dollars, it can get expansive. Most want to see the new movies during matte and pay outrageous money. The best times to go are during the day or whenever nobody really goes to the movies. They are the most expensive when they know people are going at night during the peak times, but who are we kidding this is when we all go. We all hang out with friends at night and on the weekends not during the day when we are at school or our day jobs. There are always the cheaper dollar movies, but this is just it cheap. They are never new movies and the facilities are not as good as a Lowe’s Theatre. Everyone wants to see the new blockbuster and see that new action movie with the amazing effects. Even at the dollar movies however the drinks and popcorn is still evidently the best money can buy at five bucks a pop. These theatres are good for the typical something to do. They offer adequate screens, sound, and movie selection while still hitting your pocket at the concessions. They must use real twenty-four karat gold butter. The trend seems to be smuggling your food in, eat before you go, or starve to death. However, there are people that go just for the popcorn. That is an expensive favorite food to have. Trying to wean your self off that habit could end up being a smart healthy and financial choice. People say why not wait for the movie to be released on video and the usual responses are: “I want to be the first to see it” or “I want to see it on the big screen with the amazing sound”. This is understandable is a few extra bucks worth these features; certainly. Most people go for the alternative of watching movies at home.
The movie environment is something that must be considered. Why sit at home watching that new action hit on a little thirty-two inch television from the early 90s, when you can go to the local theatre and watch it on a huge hundred inch or larger screen with the latest sound and some comfy chairs. This way you can feel that huge explosion rattle your insides and the flash light up the entire room. For all the hot shots that have the big home theatres, many are envious of you. However, for a fraction of the cost they can kill your home theatre at the theatres. If movies were this sophisticated back in the mid-60s would be hard to believe. Technology has grown and so has the movies. Watch a movie from the 1960s and a new release and show the differences. You could write a book on it. They even make remakes for this reason. It is a new way to see a movie in its entirety. Bryson comments on the smells from movie theatres in the 1960s “…I am sure there was a dead horse in there somewhere, and certainly it hadn’t been cleaned since Theda Bara was in her prime…”(115) When I go the movie theatres the only smell I smell is the buttery popcorn. There is no horrible smell except for the lady in front of you who went overly crazy with the perfume, which is surprising due to the amount of people sharing the theatre experience.
It is also something we do as part of life. Everyone has heard of the old cliché dinner and a movie. Movies whether we like it or not are part of everybody’s lives. Ask anyone what the latest movie they watched at the theatre was. Almost without a doubt it was a movie within the last year. For instance if the tickets were five dollars everywhere, which isn’t true, and if only a million people went to see it, which is only about .3% of the entire population that movie would have made five million. Usually good movies make around a hundred million in the first weekend, so we must like going to the movies. Just imagine the money they could still make by lowering the prices. We continue to pay the prices, they continue to make the movies, and the prices will stay as they are. The prices are comparable to watching at home if you do not take advantage of the movie popcorn. It is around five dollars to rent a movie from blockbuster and twenty dollars for a DVD. You can watch them over again but really how many of us do? If we watch it again it is far down the road and the movies are either discounted or clearance and you can pick them up for close to nothing.
The only thing really expensive about going to the movies is if you make them expensive. Don’t buy the food! The tickets can be expensive but it’s the food where they get you. Once you are in there is no turning back. You pay your money for the top notch sound, the amazing picture via huge screens, extremely comfortable chairs, and an overall perfect environment minus the screaming baby. The movies are technologically advances nowadays. No more cheesy horror movies, now the ghosts look so real it is scary. If you want to get everything out of your movie experience with out complaining, smuggle your own food in. Once they draw you in to the concessions its over. Yes you will pay the five dollars for the small popcorn and three dollars for a small coke. Even though the prices are too terribly expensive compared to renting movies at blockbuster it is worth every penny. The movie life is something we all are a part of. We all go see movies at least once a year usually way more than that. The movie stars are still driving their sports cars and living in their multi-million dollar homes. No matter the prices of movies we see them. Movies should not be seen as something overly priced or a bad experience. They are a very good system. Watching movies can broaden your knowledge and overall can broaden they way you think about certain things.

My Boyfriend – Personal Narrative

My Boyfriend – Personal NarrativeI went through an inner journey when I met my boyfriend of 7 months.
Meeting him completely changed the way I look at life and what I want
to do with my life.
I went through a period of my life where I was depressed and angry. I
wasn’t connecting with any of my friends; my mum was stressed and
angry, family life was horrible. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere.
No-one had the same feelings as me, or felt the same things as me. I
didn’t know what to do.
Awhile later I started going on the Internet. Our family had just
gottenADSLInternet connection with iinet. I found out about an
online multiplayer shooting game called “counter strike”. This game
was the most fun I’d had in a long time. I had been playing counter
strike for about 3 or 4 months, when a guy in the same server as me
started talking to me. He asked me “asl? (age/sex/location)”. I wasn’t
going to answer him because I absolutely hated that question. I
thought, what the hell, I’ll just answer him. We started talking more
and more. He asked me if I wanted to trail forN.F.i, which is a
counter strike clan. I couldn’t believe he actually wanted me in his
clan. I had only been playing for 3-4 months and my skills where
sloppy. I ended up giving him my msn (chat) address. We started
talking on there. It was amazing we were like the same person. We
liked the same things; thought the same, everything was perfect. I
couldn’t believe the way we connected. Then I gave him my home phone
number. He called me and we talked for hours on the phone. We started
talking every night on the phone. At first on the home phone but we
soon worked out that it costed too much because he lived in Sydney and
I lived in Shellharbour. We exchanged mobile numbers. Except he was
with Vodafone plan and I was with Optus pre-paid. He said he gets free
time after 7 at night with vodafone to vodafone. I asked my sister if
I could borrow her phone to talk to him for free. She let me. I was so
happy.
We talked for about 2 weeks until one night he asked me to be his
girlfriend. I said yes! We were perfect for each other. The only thing
that was stopping us was the distance to travel to see each other.
Although, I was going out with him before I had even seen him. Which
was weird for me. I had never done anything like this before. So we
arranged for a meeting date. I told my older sister about it. She said
I could stay at her house the night before we met. But there was a
catch, she had to come with me to meet him. Just to be safe.
We met at a Gloria Jeans coffee shop near central train station. I was
so nervous. I wanted everyone to love him as much as I did. My sister
and him had a chat and then,FINALLY, we were aloud to leave. After,
of course, my sister got every bit of detail possible from him.
We caught a train from central station to his area. He had a day
planned out for us. We got into the car and headed for his house. When
I got there it was amazing. It was a double story brick house. It was
spectacular outside, but it was breath taking inside. It was like a
palace. I took a quick tour around the house, then we headed off to
the first place.
He took me to a ten pin bowling place. We mucked around, him showing
off as usual. I won the first round then he won the second. We then
left for the second place.
I had no-idea where we were going or where I was in fact. He took me
to Putt Putt. It was huge. I had only seen little crappy mini golf
places. Nothing like this. There were three different courses. I had
so much fun there.We then headed off to the last place for the day. We
went to the movies to watch Terminator 3. The cinema we went to was
unlike any other cinema I had seen. It was a cinema lounge. The staff
treated us like royalty. We layed on soft comfy lounges and had food
delivered in during the movie.
That day was the best day I’ve had in, well, forever. Meeting him
changed my life dramatically. I no longer see life the way I used to.
I became more happy and I appreciate my life for what it is. I am
still with my boyfriend today. We have been together for 7 months and
9 days and still going strong.

Ice Cube

O’Shea Jackson, also know as Ice Cube was born in 1969. He was growing up in South Central Los Angeles. Ice Cube’s interest for Rap started showing in high school. Ice Cube went away to Phoenix Arizona to study architecture. When He returned he began his raping career.In return to Los Angeles in 1987 He released a few 12 inches with “My Posse”. He worked with his crew C.I.A , World Class Wrecking Crew and then the contentious N.W.A. This crew know as N.W.A was The first group to bring gangster rap to mainstream. This crew was very triumphant. This crew generated a lot of controversy by the media and their trademark aggressive, chauvinist, homophobic words. They sold millions of albums ,although it was the only album they released together. Ice cube was not happy with the group’s management. As a result he quit the N.W.A. In 1989 he moved to New York, there he joined Da Lench Mob. After that recorded his solo album 1990’s “Americas Most Wanted”. Ice Cube Produced an album for rapper Yo-Yo, “Bonnie to his Clyde”. He has produced and remixed albums for other artists including K- Dee as well as Anotha Level.Works Cited
Rolling Stone.com: Artists : Ice Cube: Biography Sept.6, 2000 <<a href=”http://.rollingstone.com/selections/artist/text/bio.asp?afl=&LookUpString=3589″>http://.rollingstone.com/selections/artist/text/bio.asp?afl=&LookUpString=3589>

Deciding How to Spend My Vacation

Deciding How to Spend My Vacation

The Relationship between Women and Film

The Relationship between Women and FilmThe aim of my research was learn about the relationship between women
and film; I have focused my research particularly on the
representation of women in film rather than women working within the
film industry behind the camera. Bruce Crowther wrote about film noir,
“a powerfully impressive group which against the odds made a huge
dramatic impression upon audiences and engineered a major change on
the perception of women in popular cinema”. Because of this my area of
research has been in Femme Fatale from the world of film noir as this
seems illustrate women in a stronger dominant role.
I wanted to know how and why women were represented in the way they
are in film and whether or not these representations are good, bad or
stereotyped according to different critical perspectives.
My main source of primary research was to watch Femme Fatale in play
in Film Noir texts and I also researched into the industry and its
aims. Film noie emerged after the war in the late forties in American
B movies. During the war many women had taken on male roles and had
become more independent and less like the ‘housewife’ before the war.
Women took on typical male jobs and a new type of women emerged. World
War II induced an unparalleled collective response from women,
resulting in new perspectives and rising ambitions. When men returned
from fighting in Europe women had there jobs taken away from them, but
the taste of independence was still present and women yearned for it.
At the time of film noir there was confusion in the balance of female
and male roles and film noir reflected this. There was unrest between
women who wanted strong role models and men who wanted to feel
superior especially after fighting a testosterone fuelled war. It was
perhaps this unrest which caused the friction between gender
representations in film noir, “whoever went to the movies with any
regularity during 1946 was caught in the midst of Hollywood’s profound
post war affection for morbid drama.” Cinema often reflects the view
of society at the time, the industry that made these movies were
trying to entertain and excite the audience, however the film still
needed to be accepted by the dominant ideology of this time and this
is useful in explaining the femme fatale.
I’ve looked at academic criticisms using books to explore the deeper
ideology that femme fatale stirs up, this was my secondary research. I
used books to supplement my findings with interknit information on the
topic of Femme Fatale. I also looked at the popular criticism to see
how femme fatale is generally seen by the majority. Unfortunately I
have done much of my research on a post 70’s feminist view and it is
difficult to find out what she would have really meant to the audience
at the time. To try to get over this I have carried out research into
the context of film noir to provide an understanding of the changing
impact of femme fatale. To do this I used the internet a lot as it
provides varied information. I have also asked people to fill out
questionnaires so I can see personal responses to femme fatale and to
show how people see the femme fatale today.
Analysis and Presentation
Is the Femme Fatale a positive representation of women? That is the
main question behind my research. However, this question is hard to
give a direct answer to as it deals with semiotics, representation and
meaning. The femme fatale is a strong, exciting and unrepentant woman
who defies the control of men or the institution of family. Film
noir’s Femme Fatale was the first and you could say only
representation of strong and dominant women in film. It is the femme
fatale that pushes the narrative in film noir and it is her with
deliberate sexuality that the audience is drawn to. However, these
women are seen as evil and the strong woman is destroyed and as an
insightful audience we must ask why. In answering the question the
question of what the film makers wanted to say through femme fatale is
also brought up.
Film noir can be put in an accident genre. The people who were making
film noir at the time were trying something new, breaking the barriers
in film making; they did this by not following any set rules. Along
with chiaroscuro, lighting a dark weather, the femme fatale is one of
the main traits of film noir. The reappearance of femme fatale in many
films shows that it could have been a reaction to the pressure of war
and what war had done to society especially with regards to gender
roles. Whether by accident or designed, Femme Fatale opened the door
to allow a new to type of powerful women to be portrayed.
The most liberating thing about Femme Fatale was her sexual power and
her awareness of this power. Mary Ann Doane discusses the nature of
this sexuality in ‘Femme Fatales’ as an imbrication of,
“epistemophillia and scopophilia” and it is here that her power lies.
The ‘good’ or ‘normal’ women in the world of film noir embrace the
traditional ‘place’ women are supposed to be in, chained to a life a
looking after the family and pleasing the husband. In noir this woman
figure offers the hero a chance to escape the dangerous ‘noir world’
and escape the sexy but destructiveness of the femme fatale. However,
the good woman is something the hero will never reach, a mirage,
functioning simply as a foil for the femme fatale not as a realistic
alternative or even prescription for female behaviour. It is the femme
fatale that excites and draws in the audience.
Billy Wilder’s ‘Double Indemnity’ brings up many of the arguments
brought about in the central ideas of femme fatale. Phyllis
Dietrictson (Barbara Stanwyck), a woman who feels trapped, is
shown,especially in the supermarket, as a major contrast from the
mother figure, “Fmme Fatale is represented as the antthesis of the
maternal” (Femmes Fatales, Doane,pp2). The female audience is lead to
think of the femme fatale as more of a role model because the
portrayal of the mother is so harsh, and they would rather be this
figure even if it meant death. Male fears are also presented in the
character of Phyllis as she is something they cannot understand.
Traditional views on the way men are drawn to women are also shown
this text. Phyllis’ meeting with Neff is shot from an extreme low
angle showing

Curley’s Wife in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

Curley’s Wife in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and MenThe story OF Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is set in California,
U.S.A during the Great Depression in the 1930s. The Depression was a
time of economic downfall which caused very high unemployment in
western nations, one of the worst hit being the U.S.A. This caused
lots of people to become homeless and Jobless, this also cause people
to become awfully depressed in the harshest of lifestyles and in some
incidents people even went on to commit suicide. People who were very
rich lost everything they had all their land all of their money. This
forced the government to pass out the New Deal this is where people
became migrant workers and were given work from place to place on
farms. The lifestyle and conditions for the migrant farm workers was
really harsh.
In the story Curley’s wife is one of the main characters. She is
married to a man called Curley who has a lot of authority in the ranch
because he is the boss’s son. I think that Curley is a self centered
man who cares about no one except himself. This influences on her a
lot as well, I think that this is why she acts like she does. The only
reason she did get married to Curley was to spite her mother.
To answer the question fully I must first find out what the work
‘tragic’ means. The meaning is a) Disastrous; generally distressing;
very sad.
b) Of tragedy. So to answer the question fully I will have to explain
how Curley’s wife and a few other characters fit in to this
description.
In the story the character of Curley’s wife can be regarded as tragic
figure in the story because I think that she has wasted her whole life
by getting married to Curley. The first we hear about Curley’s Wife in
the story, is when Candy is having a conversation with George about
Curley’s Wife, George who is pretending not to be interested about
what Candy is talking about but he really is very anxious.
’Yeah. Purty… but … George studied his cards. But what? Well-she got
the eye.’ Candy states this to George in their conversations whilst
playing cards with each other. Candy is trying to say that Curley’s
wife is pretty but looks at other men in the Ranch. This is amazing
because it had only been two weeks since she had gotten married to
Curley. She looks at other men who have nothing to offer her, Curley
has more then any other man in the ranch, money wise. Some people do
look at other Men or Women after they are married but they do not make
it so obvious. This is this first time Curley’s Wife is described in
the story to us in the story and this is the image we have of her
know, and it will not change until more is told about her.
In the same Conversation Candy also says ’I seen her give slim the
eye, I seen her give Carlson the eye.’ This backs what he said about
her before. Curley’s wife is willing to do this and do it very openly.
This shows us the reader what she feels about her marriage with
Curley. She is willing to loose this just for Slim who has nothing to
offer her and also Candy. I think that is she did not marry Curley she
would not have no respect what so ever in the ranch if she was there
married to one of the other men. I also think that she does not really
like Curley and his personality, then again who does?
Through out the story the writer we only hear ’Curley’s Wife’ whenever
the writer refers to her. Through out the entire story we never hear a
name, this shows the reader how insignificant she is in this story. By
calling her Curley’s Wife through out the story makes her sound like
one of Curley’s possessions. Curley’s wife is just known as Curley’s
wife and nothing else no one else has got to know her better. She is
not respected by others for who she is but she is respected for who
she is married to.
‘well, I think Curley’s married … a tart.’ This is George’s
perspective on Curley’s wife and by know the reader has about the same
opinion so right to the end of the story they are kept with this image
of Curley’s wife until the conversation with Lennie right at the end.
Up to this point in the story we have only seen other people views on
Curley’s wife but we have not heard any thing from her about her self.
‘An’ if Curley gets tough, you can break his other han’. Curley’s wife
said this right at the beginning of her last conversation with Lennie.
This shows exactly how much she likes Curley. If she even liked Curley
a bit she would not even think about saying this to anyone but she
does and this shows the extent of hatred for Curley and his
personality. If she feels this way with her husband I do not think
that she would be too comfortable speaking to him. If she could not
speak to her own husband who would she be able to speak too. So this
makes her really lonely. I think that if she could wish for anything
she would wish for having someone who she could talk to when ever she
likes.
‘Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful
lonely.’ This is what Curley’s wife goes on to say in the conversation
with Lennie. This backs what I have said about her getting very
lonely. I think
if she was not married to Curley she would not have become so lonely
because everyone stays out of his way due to his personality and his
relationship with the Boss.
‘He says he was gonna put me in the movies.’ Curley’s wife says this
to Lennie when she starts to open up to him. She tries to impress him
by saying this. This was probably the only highlight of her life. She
had the glimmer of hope of making something out of her self. She never
did get a reply from the man who said he could get her into the
movies. She thinks that her mother had hidden the letter and not given
to her. So to get back to her mother she goes and marries Curley. She
meats him on the same night, this in a way proves that she did it too
get back at her mother.
‘So I married Curley.’ this proves what I have said because she says
this straight after she tells us that her mother said that she had not
stolen the letter that she had been expecting.
Like most of the others in the story Curley’s wife had hers dreams
which did not come true. Her dream was to be in the movies and have
nice clothes to wear but like all of the others in the story her
dreams do not come true.
‘Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes – all of them nice
clothes like they wear. An’ I coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had
pitchers took of me.’ This was her dream which never came true. I my
self do not think that the man who said that he could get her into the
movies was telling the truth, I think he was after something else, but
I could be wrong this is my opinion on the matter. This is another
tragic moment in her life when she is not going for her dream and
instead she went and married Curley who she does not even like. She is
willing to waste her whole life just too spite her mother.
‘I don’t like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella.’ This is where she openly
confides to Lennie. This backs what I said about her thoughts on
Curley. I think that the only thing she saw in Curley was his money
and the authority that he possessed.
Crooks is anther character out of the ever so many in this book who is
very lonely and does not have no one too talk too. This is mainly
because of him being black, he is the center of racial abuse at the
ranch. In the book the first we read of him is when the Boss is angry
and he takes it all out on Crooks because he is black. Now a day this
would be utterly unacceptable, but in those times it was a normal
occurrence. He is not allowed to enter the bunkhouse but he is allowed
to come out of his room when the other men are playing games. He was
aloud into the bunkhouse on Christmas once but at the end ended up the
one getting beaten up. Crooks is an isolated character in this story
because most of his life has been wasted being beaten up and just
becoming more and lonelier in his room. I think that Crooks is jealous
of the friendship between George and Lennie, when Lennie enters his
room they get talking. This was when George had gone out with the boys
and Lennie was all alone so decided to go to crooks room. Crooks
started to stay what if George never came back, he teased him because
of his jealousy. Out of all of the characters in the story he is the
only one who had a good upbringing, his family had their own farm,
white children even used to go and play in his farm. This was very
amazing in those days because of all of the segregation. I think that
his life has been wasted and therefore this is an example of another
‘tragic figure’ in the story.
Candy is another character with in the story that isextremely lonely,
he is the bunkhouse cleaner, otherwise known as the Swamper. Candy has
a good nature unlike Curley or his dad the Boss. He is the person who
provided with the gossip to George when he arrived on the ranch. He
knows what is going on around in the ranch. He is an old man and I
think the main reason for him to be in the story is so he is able to
set the scene. He is the one who was talking about Curley’s Wife and
then a bit later she appeared. I also think the John Steinbeck put him
in the story so the reader gets an image of what an old man would be
on the ranch. Candy is in with the Dream with Lennie and George. This
is the closest they ever been to their dream because Candy has some
money saved up. Candy wants to get out of the ranch because like his
dog he was old. His dog was put down because he was old and ill. He is
worried that when he becomes older they are going to chuck him out of
the ranch. So he really wants the dream to go on, so he knows that he
has a safe future. These hopes have been both spoilt for both George
and Candy because of Lennie’s actions. Once again candy who is
uncertain of his future and is really devastated that they could not
get their own place. This is an example of another tragic figure
within the story.
The character of Curley’s wife can be regarded as tragic and she is
not the only one, in fact in this whole story there is not even one
character who is not a tragic one. This shows how hard life was in
those days with the great depression and the segregation. No one in
the whole of the story had reached their dreams. So on the whole I
think that the whole of the story was a tragic story. Especially
because of the waste of Curley’s wife’s life and George in the end
having to kill Lennie, Candy being uncertain of his future once again.
No one in the story has come out pleased of what he has accomplished
or achieved.

Use of Setting in Frankenstein

A Different Method
In writing there are multiple ways to reveal information about the characters of a story. The most common way is through actions and conversation, but Mary Shelly also uses the setting of each scene to do this. By using this method the story seems more in depth and stays in the readers mind. Mary Shelly’s detailed description of the scenery of story makes the story more memorable, helps the reader understand events, and assists to reveal the character’s personalities.
First, to illustrate the events of the story a writer uses particularly well thought out and descriptive vocabulary. This is done to help the reader visualize the image in the author’s mind. But in Mary Shelly’s, “Frankenstein”, she has gone far beyond this, she not only paints a picture in the mind of the reader, but the words written actually place them in a state of mind. A great example of this is when she wrote, “I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.” As a result of passages like this, “Frankenstein” has captivated it’s readers for roughly two centuries. In addition it has not only taken hold of the literary minds of the world, the story has also found itself on to the big screen. Mary Shelly’s crowning achievement has inspired about fifty movies. Unfortunately, a vast quantity of the motion picture created does not follow the theme of the original story. They branched out from it and portrayed the creation as an inarticulate, rampaging monster when initially he was a confused and vengeful genius. What ever the form “Frankenstein has taken root in our society and its here to stay.
Second, the authors use of setting and weather helps to realize why the creation has preformed the horrid actions he has. For example, when Victor Frankenstein, the creator, returns to the scene of his younger brother’s murder he sees his creation for the first time since he had deserted him. Instead of simply writing this, which would have most likely sufficed, she also describes the weather by including this: “While I watched the tempest, so beautiful yet terrific, I wandered on with a hasty step.” By writing this scene Mary Shelly draws the reader to believe that the creation is the murderer. This is proven later in the book, but at the time there is not much evidence to support this theory. In addition, it also makes the reader feel a sense of sympathy for Frankenstein’s creation. This is because it finally reveals where the being has been for the months after his birth. While Victor is trying to forget the night he succeeded in achieving his ambition, that very ambition has been left to fend on his own in the mountains. Without the setting of this extremely important scene the reader would simply think of the creation as an on the lose killer.
Third, the settings of events in the story expose the personality of various characters. For example, the fact that Victor is found in the North Pole is not just for entertainment. It is used to show Victor’s state of mind as being depressed, empty, and lonely. Also, it shows how persistent he truly is, this is shown in this statement: “For this purpose I will preserve my live; to execute this dear revenge.” Victor literally follows his creation to the ends of the world. Furthermore, the birthplace the creation is not a trivial piece of information either. He was born within a university which Frankenstein had been attending. Therefore, it can be perceived that this was written to foreshadow the fact that Victor’s creation was also had the mind of a scholar.
In conclusion, a thorough description of the scenery within a story can assist in recollection of a story, explains certain events, and uncovers the mentality of characters. A great book should utilize every single word to make the story that much more enjoyable to read. John Gardner best sums it up when he said,” We read five words on the first page of a really good novel and we begin to forget that we are reading printed words on a page; we begin to see images.”

Comparing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Pleasantville

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and PleasantvilleHave you ever heard of the great Mark Twain? Many people have and recognize his novels by name; especially his most famous book called The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The great thing about Huck is that it was meant to be a simple book, but ended up deemed a classic. The reason for this is that it contains many great American themes and motifs. Many American novels, books and movies also contain these themes and motifs, making it very easy to compare Huckleberry Finn to Pleasantville. Although the plot of each story is very different, Huckleberry Finn and Pleasantville have the same motifs. Both the movie and the book have the motifs of going west, rebel vs. the establishment and Jim Crow/Shaman. This essay will compare these common American motifs.  The “go west” motif is about the characters running away or escaping from where they previously were (this doesn’t necessarily have to include a trip west). In Huck Finn the river is the tool used to help Huck and Jim escape from their life. The river helps to take Huck and Jim away from civilization and reunite them with nature. The river also helps to free them from “slavery”, Huck being a “slave” to the Widow Douglas and Jim actually being Miss Watson’s slave. In Pleasantville a life in colour is how the townspeople are allowed to “go west”. When they are in black and white they have the perfect life, meaning that nothing can ever go wrong, therefore they can never learn from their mistakes. When David introduces the thought of thinking for themselves to the teenagers of Pleasantville they begin to notice that there are other places in the world, this begins to change things from black and white to colour. Both stories contain the motif of going west. Another motif in these two works is the Rebel vs. the Establishment motif. In Huck the rebel would be Huck and one of the establishments would be the “civilized” people in the book. Huck refuses to believe that people can be so shallow and religious, and also believes that this comes from being “civilized”. The other establishment would the Widow Douglas/Miss. Watson/Aunt Polly figure in Huck’s life. It seems he is always rebelling on one of these people who are trying to civilize him. In Pleasantville David is the rebel and one of the establishments is the adult population of Pleasantville. David is against the adults because he cannot get most of them to believe his way of thinking. The other establishment is the “black and white” thinking of the townspeople. David convinces most of the teen-agers to think differently than they were taught and this turns the town into colour. Both of these stories have the rebel vs. the establishment motif. The last motif in these two works is the Jim Crow/Shaman motif, where one character acts stupid or strange in “society” and then becomes very intuitive in “nature”. In Huck, Jim is the Crow/Shaman, changing with his surroundings. When in society Jim acts like the Crow, and it seems natural. When Jim and Huck go down the river Jim turns into the Shaman, and becomes somewhat smarter and intuitive. In Pleasantville Jennifer is the Crow/Shaman, and changes with the setting. When the movie first starts she is the Shaman; at home she fits in and knows exactly what to do. When she arrives in Pleasantville she becomes the Crow and acts very strange compared to everyone else. Both stories contain characters that are both Crow and Shaman. In conclusion both Huck Finn and Pleasantville contain many similar motifs, three of them being the go west, rebel vs. establishment and Jim Crow/Shaman motifs. Thus proves that even if the stories are very different they all contain similar motifs. The reason for this is that people who write stories don’t realize they are putting motifs into their work, it comes naturally from being American.

Praxis Statement

Praxis StatementWhen I first decided to be a teacher I had many thoughts and opinions about teaching and education. Some of my thoughts and opinions have stayed them same; however, many have changed from the discussions and readings in LL ED 411 and 480. When I first decided that I wanted to be a teacher I thought that most students learned in the same manner. I also thought that the teacher should have power over the classroom. Likewise, I thought that technology should not be used in the classroom—except to type papers. I now know that there is not much truth to my ideas and thoughts because my thoughts were shaped only from my experiences. My experiences are narrow because they were shaped from the problems in schools and the old ideas that teachers still have. Now that I have learned the other sides to these problems I know that my thoughts about teaching and education are not fully developed.
One of the ideas that I have learned is that all students learn in different ways and teachers need to teach to their needs. This is described with an analogy in Finding Freedom. The analogy used is, “ . . . anyone would laugh themselves silly at the thought that children with different body sizes ought to be made to wear the same size clothes . . .” (Hinchey, 67). We would laugh if someone said all children should wear the same size clothing, yet teachers are still teaching students all in the same way. Some students learn from lecturing and memorizing, whereas others learn from examples and trial and error. Finding Freedom states that teachers need to modify work for students so that they can learn the material (Hinchey, 11). Delpit also states, “Some of the [black students] even learned how to read, but none of them as quickly as my white students. I was doing the same thing for all of my kids—what was the problem?” (Delpit, 13). Before reading these two statements as well as others and discussing them in class I thought that almost all students learned in the same way. I thought this because I learned from lecturing, memorizing, and a few examples. I figured that if I could learn in that way and most of my peers learned in that way then most students could. I did think about this when I was in high school because if one of my friends needed help with something I would explain it to them how I perceived it in my head and most of the time they understood better from how I explained it. However, it never really sunk in until I read it in Finding Freedom and Other People’s Children. Now I know that all students learn in different ways and at different paces. I think in this way from the readings, discussions, and from deep viewing my high school experiences. I think that many teachers teach to all students in the same manner because “education becomes a game of more and more, faster and faster, getting from here to there as quickly as possible, being “ahead of” or “behind” others, “ahead of” or “behind” where one “should” be” (Hinchey, 70). Teachers are always trying to make their students on the right path that superiors say they should be on, so the teachers push the students to learn at paces that they feel are correct instead of at paces that students can learn at.
I will modify work and lessons for my students and I will try to help each student learn the material the way that he or she understands best. I will do this by talking with my students in the beginning of the year and asking them how they learn best. I will also observe them for a few weeks to see how they learn since some students may not know how they learn best. After I understand how they learn I will be able to modify my lessons and assignments for them. If a certain student is not good at writing papers I will extend his or her deadline so that he or she can complete it to his or her best ability. I will also spend the extra time with students who need more help learning the material. I will stay after school with them or use my lunch period to help them. If students need for me to give extra examples I will do this both in class and outside of class. I will also modify the reading schedule for students. For students who read slower I will be flexible with the discussions in class, not discussing the whole reading, but moving at a slower individual pace. However, for the students who read faster I would be flexible and let them read ahead. Being flexible is also a way to share power in the classroom.
The power in the classroom should be shared between teachers and students. By collectively making decisions about material, rules, assignments, grades, opinions, and curriculum I can share the power with my class. Previously, I thought that the teacher should have the power in the classroom because the teacher knows what is best for the students; however, I do not think this way any longer. I think that I learned these things from high school and from courses in college. In my experiences the teacher or professor has always been in control. However, I have not felt that this is the right way to conduct a classroom and this was supported when we discussed it in class and read about it in When Students Have Power. So why do so many teachers still teach this way? I have thought that students should share in the decisions about curriculum since I was in high school because I was forced to read many books that I did not enjoy. However, I did not think that students should share in the power in other decisions in the classroom until this course.
I will share the power with students in my classroom within reason. To share the power in the classroom I will let them have a say in assignments: due dates, length of papers, topics of papers, and grading criteria. I will also let them decide the guidelines for the classroom. Shor quotes Luke Mehand’s idea that “There is nothing more counterproductive than single-mindedly hammering your own views into the heads of your students” (Shor, 11). I think that students should have their own opinions about novels, assignments, and other aspects of the classroom. I do not want my students to think a certain way because that is my opinion. However, as Shor states,” . . . [power problems] already exist in class before the teacher’s introduction to the syllabus . . . “ (Shor, 17). As for curriculum, I think that students should read what interests them. To decide what texts and literature we should read I will chose two novels for each genre and culture. I will allow students to chose two books; however, I will check them for appropriateness. I will also allow them to choose how much time we spend on each novel. Because I already believed that the text and literature that is read in a classroom should vary I will enforce this in my classroom. I plan to have the students read novels by authors from a variety of cultures and by authors of both genders. Not only did my thoughts on power change, but my thoughts on technology also changed.
Technology should be used in a classroom because it is what the world is about now and will be in the future. I never thought that technology was important in a classroom before coming to college. I did not see a need for computers besides to type papers because I had never used them for anything else. I used a computer and other technology in school since I was in grade school, but it was never enforced or seen as important. I used a computer for fun in grade school and only for typing papers in high school. I did not think that it was a helpful tool in the classroom; however, after being in these courses I have realized that it is important to use technology in classrooms. I learned that technology can be used in the classroom for a variety of tasks besides writing papers. I have also learned that the teacher as well as the students benefit from the use of technology. Lab and LL ED 411/480 have taught me that computers and other types of technology can be used for things in the classroom other than typing papers. There hasn’t been any text that has reinforced my thoughts about technology in the classroom. They have been shaped from deep viewing my earlier experiences with technology and the activities we do in lab. My thoughts have also been shaped from my professors in the LL ED classes and how technology is perceived in the world today.
I will use technology in the classroom for papers, research, lessons, and assignments. I plan to implement technology in the classroom by teaching and enforcing that it is vital to further education. I hope to have workshops for students who do not know how to use a computer and the students who are computer literate can guide the others in learning. I will also base a research paper on internet sources so that students can become acquainted with the internet. We will go to the computer labs several times throughout the year to work with the computers. The students will also have to turn in their papers typed; therefore, they will get experience typing. If students do not have computers at home I will stay after school with them and they can use mine in the classroom or I will go with them to the lab. I will also use technology in the classroom possibly by showing a presentation for a novel on power point. I would also like the students to also do a presentation with power point in groups for one of the novels we read. Another thing that I would do with technology is IMovies. I think that the students would enjoy making IMovies and they would learn more about technology from making the movies. I would also like the students to design an interface for the computer that is personal to them and write a paper about why they chose to include certain things in their interface. Technology is only one of the many thoughts I have changed from studying them in class and I feel that these changes will help me to become a better teacher.
Throughout this semester I have learned many things about my thoughts and opinions on education and teaching. Many of these opinions have changed after realizing that there are different ways to conduct a classroom. However, some of my opinions have been reinforced by what I have learned from readings and discussion. I think that what I have learned will help me to become a better teacher by factoring in other opinions and ideas when making decisions about teaching. I also think that it is especially important for teachers to have open minds about teaching and change their minds to accommodate ideas that are better for their students. In the readings and discussions in the LL ED classes I have learned more about my thoughts and expanded them to accommodate new ideas, which will improve me as a teacher. I am confident that I will be able to perform my job as a teacher better because I have learned better and more effective ways to do things in the classroom.Delpit, Lisa. Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom. New York: The New Press, 1995.Hinchey, Patricia H. Finding Freedom in the Classroom: A Practical Introduction to Critical Theory. New York: Peter Lang, 2001.Shor, Ira. When Students Have Power. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Students Can Live Without School Violence

Students Can Live Without School ViolenceSchool violence stops students from learning. They are afraid, as is everybody. School violence is a result of major facotrs in society today. Family problems, such as parents getting divorced or parents not always being at home; Media, such as movies, TV shows or news; and racism are threatening the safety and security of schools. According to a recent Press Release, The United States Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services, 1994 stated “every school day more then 150,000 students stay home because they are sick of violence and afraid they might be stabbed, shot, or beaten.” (School Violence Let’s Get it out of Our System!)“Family are different today, people are not at home as much as there used to be.” Said Gepharat, a congressman, referring to violence issues. Home is the first place where children start to learn. Before entering school, they learn everyhting from home. Home used to present a warm place filled with love where everybody wished to be. Family problems today make the role of family even more important in society. How many run-away kids look for the love they need and the care they want? They can’t get it fromhome, so they end up being mean, acting odd and physically show that htey need help. l Family problems cause school violence, we need a safe place to learn. Parents or guardians are responsible from the kids, but the busy work lives they lead they care more about than their kids and this makes children feel left out. Do parents really care about this? Did they realize that the problem is growing bigger and bigger? Parents have to pay more attention to the family, not only for kids but also society.TV shows are important programs, which kids watch almost everyday. Do you know how important the TV show influences children? Teenagers copy actions or movements from movies and TV shows, why can’t the media be careful with the things they show in public? Kids want go be heroes like the actors and actresses on movies, they bring firearms and explosives to school. They think they are cool in that way, but we think they are fools. Callie Khouri, the Academy Award-winning writer of Thelma&Louise, said she was surprised when audiences applauded a scene in her movie in which one of the female lead characters shoots a man. Teenagers copy, they don’t think life is important anymore. Kids feel, “because the movie stars can do it, I can do it too.” With this horrible sentence stuck in their mind, nothing can stop them from being crazy. “The percent of students reporting street gang presence at school nearly doubled between 1989 to 1995 (National Center for Education statistics/Bureau of Justice Statistics 1998). An estimated sixteen percent of all high school students in this country have been in one or more physical fights on school property in the course of a year (Violence Among Middle School and High School Students: Analysis and Implications for Prevention “National Institutie of Justice 1997). Students have the right to feel safe in school!With everything going on in this world why is there room for hate, prejudice, discrimination, and racism? Hispanic, Asians and Caucasians, what’s that difference between you and me? Peel off your skin, you have blood running inside, you have a skeleton to support your body, and so do I. We share one common thing, earth. Earth is yours, and it is mine. To me there is no such thing as colored. In the streets, racists are spreading fear by using murderous wiolence and terror. The tragedy in Columbine High School brought up the terrible problem, racism, in society today. The Department of Justice reported that students whose family moved frequently and students from racial or ethnic groups that are minorities within the school are more likely to be physically assaulted. Everybody has the right to live safely. Are you unique? For me there is no such word in racial groups. Look inside your heart, we are all the same, no matter what color you are. Racism is a serious cause of violence. People have to realize that this world is not only for you.What work needs to be done regarding unhealed wounds in society? “Thirty-seven percent of eighth and ninth grade students were afraid of attacks at school.” (Longitudinal Study of Selected School Districts 1997). “Four percent of middle and high school students report that they “never feel safe” around school.” (Between Hope and Fear, Louis Harris Associates, 1995). School violence decreases along with major factors in society today. Warm families, educated media, and decreasing racism are things that have to be done. We need a safe place to learn and to live!Works CitedBetween Hope And Fear, Louis Harris Associates, 1995.Longitudinal Study of Selected School Districts, Research Triangle Institute, 1997.Violence Among Middle School and High School Students: Analysis and Implications for Prevention. National Institute of Justice, 1997.The United States Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services, 1994.

Masculinity in Oliver Stone’s Nixon

Masculinity in Oliver Stone’s NixonWhen President Nixon was leaving the White House, Henry Kissinger comforted him by saying, “History will treat you kindly,” to which Nixon replied, “That depends on who writes the history” (Hamburg xiv).1 Watching Oliver Stone’s Nixon (1995) and the director’s earlier film JFK (1991), it is difficult to have kind thoughts about Richard Nixon. Stone’s investment in the figure of the president manifests itself in two ways: first, in the director’s fixation on Nixon as a symbol of the corrupt political landscape after President John Kennedy’s assassination, and, second, his fixation on Nixon as a symbol of a failed patriarch or an ineffective father figure who led the country into further turmoil. Stone has argued that he hoped to elicit sympathy for Nixon, but I will show that the director’s emphasis on Nixon as an epic tragedy, especially in conjunction with the Beast thesis, does not allow for sympathy or understanding of the man or his politics.2 My analysis primarily focuses on Stone’s film Nixon, but it is noteworthy to mention JFK, since both films were embroiled in heated debates regarding historical authenticity and artistic license. In JFK, Stone pieces together several conspiracy theories as to who was responsible for President Kennedy’s assassination from “real” primary texts, news footage, ear and eye witnesses, and the Zapruder film, among others. In Nixon, Stone uses similar techniques to posit equally troubling theses: the first that Nixon, while Vice President, was involved in a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro, and, second, that Nixon was directly or inadvertently responsible for the deaths of John and Robert Kennedy. Stone elects to create scenes and embellish information but defends his mixing of fact and speculation: “Of course, there’s license and speculation, but they are based on reasonable assumptions which we’ve discussed with highly reliable technical advisers who lived through the history we’re recounting in the film” (Monsel 206).3 Regardless of historical inaccuracies, it is valuable to analyze how Stone constructs Nixon’s personae, as well as the epic thesis of the “Beast” in American politics, because, through both, Stone deconstructs the American ideology of the ideal man, as well as the “American dream” of success.II. American Capitalist Ideology and Marketing of Nixon and JFK.4The marketable nature of Stone’s controversy is elaborated in the ideologies he chooses to emphasize and the “whitewashing” of particular historical facts that are shown in Nixon. The tag line for Nixon was “He had greatness within his grasp,” while the tag line forJFKwas “He’s a District Attorney. He will risk his life, the lives of his family, everything he holds dear for the one he holds sacred… the truth.” The difference between both slogans, as well as their corresponding poster advertisements, illustrates Stone’s attitudes towards both presidents. Stone seesJFKas the shining beacon of hope signaling a renewal for America, while Nixon symbolizes the loss of this hope, as well as the nation’s innocence and faith in their government. The poster for Nixon shows half of Anthony Hopkins’ face, while, to his right, the White House and Capitol appear under dark and stormy clouds. Hopkins’ troubled and dour expression further stand in sharp contrast to our memory of the handsome and honest expression of the real president Kennedy, while the dark D.C. skyline further emphasizes the secrecy and doom that Stone associates with the Nixonian White House. For Stone, the dark cloud represents the “beast” that is slowly enveloping America. Later in Nixon, we see Howard Hunt (Edward Harris), a Watergate burglar, tell John Dean (David Hyde Pierce), the White House Counsel, that Richard Nixon “is the darkness reaching out for the darkness.” Stone argues, then, that Nixon is both a symptom of an already corrupt system but also the cause of the “darkness” that is enveloping the American political landscape.5 In the JFK poster, Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner), the attorney who brought the charges against businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for alleged conspiracy against the President, is shown along with Lee Harvey Oswald in an American Flag that has been torn apart. The poster for the film can be read as Stone attempting to “correct” the government’s agenda, showing Garrison in a swath of red and Oswald in a swath of blue with white stripes over his head. We can read the flag as symbolizing the forces in the government that “covered” the truth. But Stone is also attempting to show (in the poster and film) that Oswald is just another innocent, “a patsy” akin to Garrison and the American people, who are all at the mercy of the American government. JFK also creates clear lines in the film: the “truth” that Garrison stands for is that his white, patriarchal world is under threat by not only a corrupt government but a “gay cabal” run by Clay Shaw. In both Nixon and JFK, Stone connects the “beast” to homosexuality: from Clay Shaw and his cohorts as well as the corrupt agents of the government, to Herbert Hoover (Bob Hoskins) the gay director of the FBI. Stone parades these characters like a circus freak show: showing Shaw and his associates involved in an S&M masquerade party, tweaking nipples, and sniffing cocaine, while Hoover is shown in “freak-show close-up” lecherously hitting on a pool boy and compared to a crazed horse who is foaming at the mouth. In JFK, Stone wants to “present a counter-myth” to the “official myth” of the Warren Commission Report but decides to do so in typical Hollywood fashion, by making the gay villains and government villains faceless others and by allowing Garrison’s character a large degree of complexity that they are not privileged with (Toplin 66-67).6 Stone has stressed numerous times that he wanted to sympathetically represent Nixon’s persona, but his association with Herbert Hoover who is represented so negatively does not allow the viewer to do this. We see Nixon at the horse races with Hoover, and the FBI director tells him that Robert Kennedy must be “removed…in order to save the country.” During this scene a black horse is shown bucking, the whites of his eyes showing both his fear and uncontrollability. The horse foams and the white spit falls away from his face in long lines. Nixon tells Hoover that he wants to fight “just as dirty” as Bobby Kennedy, and Hoover reminds him “that the system can only take so much abuse, it will adjust itself eventually.” He adds that “there are savage outbursts,” and as he rants the horse continues to buck and foam behind him. Hoover tells Nixon that “he can count on his support as long as he can count on his” and places his hand on Nixon’s. Nixon is uncomfortable with the intimate gesture but attempts a futile smile that fails. Hoover’s reference to the “system” or the beast and the imagery connected with it extends Stone’s images of the gay cabal controlling the government. Stone connects the “savage outbursts” to Hoover’s comment about MLK “fucking women left and right like an animal,” while the horse’s black face stands in stark contrast to the white foam on his lips. The [deviant] sexual imagery connects not only to blacks but to homosexuals when Hoover touches Nixon’s arm, and Stone emphasizes that the threat to the nation is because of a failed patriarch who is feminizined by his association with the homosexual Hoover.7 Horror films tend to create monsters such as Michael Myers and Freddie Kruger from young boys or mean janitors, people we see as background noise in our lives. This supposedly unnerves the audience more—to think that these “monsters” should otherwise be trusted, cannot be. Stone, whose directorial debut was with the horror film The Hand, tries to use a similar formula in Nixon especially in terms of representing authority figures such as Hoover. However, I believe he fails because both gay cabals in Nixon and JFK are simply alien others run amuck; they are operating among us, we are told, and we haven’t even noticed.8 Oscar Wilde once wrote, “the one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it,” and no one has taken this maxim to heart as much as Stone. I agree with a large number of the new history critics that history is subjective and there is no one essential truth that can encapsulate experience, a theory that Stone strives towards but never seems to hit on completely in his film. He reminds us in an interview for the The Advocate that he had to show Jim Garrison in a rosier light than his enemies in the government to get his points across, and, also, Stone added there was evidence from Hoover’s files on Shaw that he had painted himself in gold, taken part in orgies, and used drugs at different points in his life (Yarbrough ). Stone seems complicit, however, in the very system of “myth-making” that he wishes to criticize. His project is to convince us we have been “lied to all along,” yet his methods, which he sees as his right to artistic license, are lies necessary to get his point across. I do not wish to censor Stone; I simply consider his “othering” of the government as faceless evildoers similar to the Warren Commission’s “othering” of Lee Harvey Oswald as a foreign, crazed gunman.9 Stone’s “othering” of the queer conspirators is extremely problematic because they are the only “faces” given to the evil conspirators, which makes the conspirators doubly culpable, first for killing the president and second for being gay. In The Advocate, Stone asks should he not be allowed to ever show any member of a disadvantaged group, such as black or gay, in a bad light due to “sensitivities” (Yarbrough). The point is well taken, however, when certain disadvantaged groups are continually depicted as homicidal or morally repugnant, and I believe Stone should have shown some degree of responsibility in presenting certain characters in his film. He tells The Advocate, “at that time in New Orleans, I bet most of the gay underground knew the others in the underground,” which the interviewer rightly calls a stereotype of the gay community and echoes what the real Jim Garrison ranted about Clay Shaw, “Queers know queers! They’ve got a clique better than the CIA.” He could have made the “evil-doers” more 3-D instead of comic-book villains; however, he chose to depict them in a stereotypically negative manner. To say that Stone is simply reflecting the public’s “consciousness or unconsciousness” about queers reduces the power of his position as an artist whose goal with the movie was to create a forum for open dialogue and more information.10 Stone commented that “the best I can do is to present a hypothesis that will hopefully encourage people to move away from the Warren Report and maybe read some books or at least to question the concept of our government’s covert operations” (Toplin 66-67). In “Who Defines History,” Stone’s rebuttal to the media dogging him about his films’ inaccuracies or excesses, he reminds us that there is no “accepted, settled, respected, carefully thought-out, and researched body of history about the assassination” and asks “must one be a distorter of history to question?” (Stone 23). Considering that Stone has been described as “part poet, part provocateur [and] part snake-oil salesman,” I find his above opinions extremely relevant in supporting the notion that history is subjective. FDR described America as an “unfinished product,” thus historical films show the values embedded in our institutions and laws as the ethical roots of democracy. Whether or not we affirm those values in the dark spaces of a theatre, we often fail to live up to them in the real world. This presents the unfortunate picture that Americans, as “unfinished product(s)” themselves, can use the information presented on screen as compasses for our values, meaning things we strive towards, instead of things that we are. Stone writes that JFK’s end dedication “to the youth of America” is “in the hopes that the young will go back into the case and find the truth, or make the government release the files, all the files, and — and at least come to—so that we can come to terms with a—with a tragedy that has affected that last 28 years of our lives and our generation.” I would argue that the above explanation regarding the role of historical film ignores the possibility that the values extolled by them are often not positive and may not adhere to the ideal of a shared “universal notion of human rights.” I find evidence of this in JFK when female characters such as a member of Garrison’s team or his wife are shown as characters of no consequence, or when queer characters are shown in a purposefully negative way.III. American Masculine IdeologyLives of great men oft’ reminds us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind us,
Footprints in the sands of time.
-Longfellow, “Psalm of Life.”
(Poem given to Richard Nixon by his grandmother Almira Milhous.)11 The question we need to ask when we see a historically inaccurate film such as JFK or Nixon isn’t just “Who is to blame for certain ideological messages?” but “Whose responsibility is it to correct negative ones,” which I believe mirrors Stone’s hopes for his film — that it be used as a vehicle to begin questioning certain myths in America’s history. For Nixon or JFK to succeed in a classroom discussion, scholars must address the myth-making Stone participates in when depicting President Kennedy’s administration. The latter, I believe, is connected to Stone’s former goal but also reflects my frustration that Kennedy’s assassination and our fixation on it are the workings of a generation trapped in a nostalgic frame of mind for an America that is supposedly “seamless” or “perfect: the greatest nation in the world, and the embodiment of democracy, freedom, and technological progress” (Fitzgerald 4). Stone and others like him took to heart Kennedy’s message in his Inauguration speech:Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.12 Both Nixon and JFK emphasize that the post-Kennedy America “is evil, sick beyond recovery and decadent beyond redemption,” while the pre-Kennedy America (minus the oppression of the 50’s) was the vision of idealism and democratic ideal (Collier 29). Stone said in various interviews that “tragically [Kennedy’s] progressive humanitarian objectives sealed his doom” because he “passionately sought détente abroad and an end of racist apartheid at home” (Collier 29). In JFK, Stone depicts a “white lamb” president surrounded by Brutus’s and Judas’s, when Mr. X., a composite character, tells Garrison:
I think it started in the wind. Money, arms, big oil, Pentagon people, contractors, bankers, politicians like L.B.J. were committed to a war in Southeast Asia. As early as ’61 they knew Kennedy was going to change things … He was not going to war in Southeast Asia. Who knows? Probably some boardroom or lunchroom somewhere – Houston, New York – hell, maybe Bonn, Germany … who knows, it’s international now.13Senator Russell Long comments to Garrison on a plane ride that Kennedy’s death is a tragedy that allowed the escalation of the war in Vietnam and will lead to more problems: “Yessir, you mark my words, Jim, Vietnam’s gonna cost Johnson ‘68 and it’s gonna put that other varmint Nixon in — then watch your hide, ‘cause there ain’t no offramps on a freeway to Hell!” Stone is suggesting here, as he does in numerous places, that Kennedy’s assassination set off a chain of events leading to President Richard Nixon’s election, which the members of the audience will recognize as a disastrous political event, further emphasizing that “nothing good” came out of the assassination. It was Kennedy, however, who demonstrated America’s commitment to South Vietnam by increasing the number of military advisers from 700 to 15,000 and ordering them into combat. He did say that “in the final analysis it is their [South Vietnam’s] war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment, we can send out our men as advisers, but they have to win it, the people of Vietnam.” But Robert Kennedy, a member of Kennedy’s cabinet, did not believe that his brother would have gotten the country out of Vietnam. In an interview for the Kennedy Library in 1964,RFKcommented that his brother’s attitude towards the war “was a strong, overwhelming reason for being in Vietnam” and the belief “that we should win.” When asked if his brother had intended to pull out, Bobby answered “No” (Collier 30).14 In JFK, Oliver Stone’s reel-life counterpart in the film, the “real-life” lawyer, Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner), tells us:We have all become Hamlets in our country — children of a slain father-leader whose killers still possess the throne. The ghost of John F. Kennedy confronts us with the secret murder at the heart of the American dream. He forces on us the appalling questions: Of what is our Constitution made? What is our citizenship, and more, our lives worth? What is the future of a democracy where a President can be assassinated under conspicuously suspicious circumstances while the machinery of legal action scarcely trembles?For Stone, here JFK is a “slain father leader,” and Nixon is the failed father and a symptom of the breakdown of America and its political system. That moment signals for Garrison, as it does for Stone, an American apocalypse, as shown by Jim Garrison’s tirade to Mr. X, a CIA informant:Just think … just think. What happened to our country … to the world … because of that murder … Vietnam, racial conflict, breakdown of law, drugs, thought control, guilt, assassinations, secret government fear, of the frontier …
Stone himself has commented, “And it [Kennedy’s assassination] changed the course of our lives and time forever. And it’s hard to get back, because once you’ve lost that spot of innocence, perhaps, that you had when Kennedy got killed and then Nixon performed his acts, his sinister designs, all that shaped us to the way we are now. You too. I’m — we’re all shaped by it. Life became what it did in America as a result of that, and that’s what’s fascinating” (Kreisler, Part III). Several historians and critics have charged that Stone’s views of America are a result of a paranoid fixation on conspiracy, however; for Stone, who was a Vietnam veteran, it is possible to understand why he imagines Nixon to be such an enigmatic figure, since President Nixon was the architect of escalating conflict in Vietnam.15 Much more murky than the Vietnam hypothesis is the civil rights issues raised by JFK. When recreating news footage after Kennedy’s shooting, Stone shows a black woman commenting “it’s all so terrible. I jes’ can’t stop crying. He did so much for this country, for colored people.” We see several black characters mourning for JFK, including Garrison’s maid and a young black father and son at the Kennedy memorial. To argue that it was a “myth” that Kennedy meant a lot to black people is still open to debate. According to the historical record, it was Robert Kennedy who showed real action in the civil rights movement. It was he who worked to obtain the release of Martin Luther King, after the latter was jailed in his participation in a march in Georgia. However, Stone not only shows Kennedy aiding the civil rights movement but responsible for its growth. Mr. X’s comment to Garrison, “What happened to our country, to the world, because of that murder: Vietnam, racial conflict, breakdown of law, drugs, thought control,” shows that Kennedy’s death for Stone signals the beginning of the end of the world and the end of the “American Dream.” Stone does show Garrison walking away with his wife and son at the end of the film, emphasizing, as critic Robin Wood writes, that “America is…the land where everything can work out, no matter how radical the change must be for the problem to be solved” (Wood 200). The institution of the white, patriarchal family and an extension of the capitalistic ownership principle (my wife, my family, my truth, my country) remain intact. However, the whitewashing of the President and Garrison as benign figures of moral solidarity and the denigration of the government and several queer conspirators as malevolent is a lie that Stone finds necessary to tell the public in order to convince them of a truth he possesses.16 The implications of this problem are best summarized by Peter Collier in his article “Ollie Uber Alles.” In his rebuttal to Stone’s assertion that history and art don’t necessarily have to meet eye to eye, Collier writes, “and for those who reply that history should be irrelevant to art, it might be pointed out that in this case art ought to refrain from calling for the reopening of history’s sealed files. [Stone] wants to break it down and reconstitute it, not as a warning or even a lesson, but as a blunt instrument” (Collier 30). Stone’s posturing as a “concerned citizen” should have created a product that exercised more responsibility; however, I don’t see Stone’s ideological messages resulting in a “lost opportunity”; instead, they create a “learning opportunity.” What is wrong with demanding that more of Nixon’s White House tapes by transcribed and be made open to the public? Stone does show his awareness that what he has created is, as I asserted before, “marketable controversy” when he says “mainstream thinking goes further in the long term….If you subtly change mainstream thinking bit by bit, you’ll go farther.” The ideological shadows created by Stone’s mainstream thinking in JFK and Nixon, such as representations of homosexuality, can be addressed “bit by bit” in a classroom setting.IV. The Beast17 Many critics including Robert Toplin would argue that Oliver Stone’s films interrogated issues of Hollywood’s responsibility to represent “History” responsibly. I would like to highlight a scene from Nixon that will help answer the question, is Oliver Stone’s Nixon a “lost opportunity?” (Toplin 44). Many critics saw the film as a “lost opportunity” historically since Stone must fill in gaps of intimate conversations, suggest motives for certain actions, and use real footage alongside “reel” ones — but I consider the film a lost opportunity for other reasons. It is not possible to get to the “true” Richard Nixon, but for Stone Nixon doesn’t appear to be a real person but simply an embodiment of an American masculine ideology. Stone describes him as “embody[ing] everything that’s right and wrong about America in general and American politicians in particular,” which he connects to the notion of a “Beast” infiltrating government (Hamburg xvii ). He adds, “Nixon is about the illusion of power” and a “giant of a tragic figure in the classical Greek or Shakespearean tradition.” The director seems so intent in creating a “a giant…tragic figure” that at times he defeats his purpose of casting Nixon in a more humane, complex, and compelling light that would challenge Nixon’s detractors who have typecast him only as “Tricky Dick.”18 It is largely for audience satisfaction that Stone wishes to depict Nixon in such an “epic” scope. His ideologies and the theses that his film puts forward must also be presented in an epic scope, such as the notion of the “Beast” controlling the machinations of government or the suggestion of dark demons of repression and guilt that haunted the President. John Dean says that the film is not an “anti-Nixon polemic,” an assertion that is only partially right. The film does not mean to become an “anti-Nixon polemic,” but in the end it does not succeed in creating a complex portrait of the president. It is surprising that Stone discusses his character by saying “we empathized with him and made him better than he was” (Bingham 273), because in a pivotal scene in the film Stone does not succeed in showing the real “systems, ambitions and ideologies” that motivate him, nor does it “connect the inner man to his external reactions and decisions” (Bingham 259).19 The scene is based on a real event that took place on May 9, 1970, when Nixon decided on an impromptu visit to the Lincoln Memorial. President Nixon walks up the steps of the Memorial with his valet, Manolo. The steps are covered with sleeping bags and some scattered “campfires.” As Nixon approaches the monument, the spectator can hear the opening lines of the Battle Hymn of the Republic: “He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword — His truth is marching on.” In the real incident Nixon did not just arrive at the monument with only his valet but was also accompanied by Secret Service men. Although this may seem inconsequential, the film suggests that Nixon’s actions are irrational and the sign of a scattered mind. Nixon is so far-gone that he doesn’t even think about his safety amid throngs of protestors.20 The scene also lays the groundwork for the “epic” Nixon. The Battle Hymn is both a song about god as well as a metaphor about President Lincoln and the Union troops battling the South, and Stone wants to emphasize Nixon’s visit as part of the man’s “obsession” with Lincoln, which was hinted at earlier in the film when we repeatedly see Nixon sitting in the Lincoln bedroom in the White House. The film does not emphasize any of the ways Nixon became “obsessed” with Lincoln and almost suggests that it is a travesty that Nixon believed he was facing issues similar to the great president. The words “He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword” do not resonate with spectators as the image of God punishing the South for the moral wrongs of slavery, but instead suggest Nixon’s “terrible swift sword” descending on innocent Vietnamese who were killed in heavy air attacks.21 As Nixon looks at the statue, behind him the night sky is suddenly filled with daylight and the silhouette of a fiery explosion. During the scene, we hear more of the song: “I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps, They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps,” followed by “I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps — His day is marching on.” The last line is punctuated by gunfire, and we see the president in an overhead shot from behind the shoulder of the statue of Lincoln. With the shot of the sky filled with fire, Stone implies that Nixon has forced American soldiers in Vietnam to “build Him an altar in the evening dews and damps,” and Stone continues to force blame on him for the “crime” of the Vietnam War. In a swift montage, the camera cuts from Nixon to a black and white shot of a young civil war soldier and two more photographs of Civil War battle camps, accompanied by the lyrics, “I have read a fiery gospel writ, In burnished rows of steel,” followed by color images of young soldiers in Vietnam, during which we hear, “As ye deal with My contemnors, So with you My grace shall deal.” Next the camera shows Nixon turning around to face a murmuring crowd as we hear the final words of that stanza: “Let the Hero born of woman, Crush the serpent with His heel, Since God is marching on.” Nixon finds himself faced by a group of young protestors in hippie clothes and unkempt hair.22 Is Stone suggesting that these protestors are “contemnors” or “serpents?” In a way, he is. If The Battle Hymn is a metaphor for Lincoln leading the Union to victory, here Stone suggests that Nixon’s obsession with Lincoln implies Nixon believes that he is himself like Lincoln, but that he sees his own people as “serpents” that wish to subvert him. Nixon evokes the fact that his family went Republican after Lincoln freed the slaves as a metaphor for his own desires to topple communist aggression by freeing the Vietnamese. Clearly the protestors and Stone believe that both achievements are not the same.23 The Lincoln myth, which highlights a poor young man struggling until he becomes a small-town lawyer and fighting against the odds until he becomes president of the United States, is conflated with the events of Nixon’s life. The complexities of the Lincoln myth, its connections with the notion of the “ideal male” as a virile adventurer and an untrammeled man of action is juxtaposed with earlier scenes in the film that focus on Nixon’s childhood in Yorba Linda. We see a stern father who works hard but cannot support his family, a mother whose religious fanaticism appears alienating to her sons, and the desolate landscape of their California home and the lonely farmer’s stand where the family works. All of these scenes subvert several facets of American capitalist ideology: Stone undercuts the Rosebud syndrome and the picture of the happy poor who are removed from the corrupting influence of money, showing Nixon as resentful of all facets of the elitist Eastern establishment such as Harvard and the Kennedy wealth. Stone also critiques the notion of honest toil as a morally admirable path to achieving the American dream. The barren landscape of Yorba Linda that Stone shows us earlier is juxtaposed with the image of Lincoln in his log cabin, but here the myth of the American West or the Virgin Land will not provide for the family’s survival. The most important way in which Stone evokes the Lincoln myth and the beast conversation, however, is to emphasize that America is and cannot be the land in which all problems can be solved within the boundaries of the existing system. To show us Lincoln’s image during the beast sequence further emphasizes that Nixon is a failed patriarch — he did not bring America together after much bloodshed, and, as he morbidly jokes after Kennedy’s assassination, “I bet if I was President they wouldn’t have killed me.” For Stone, Nixon’s achievements are not up to par with the mythic Lincoln or the mythic Kennedy.24 A significant portion of the sequence focuses on the conversation Nixon has with a 19-year-old college student about the war. She confronts him with the statement, “what’s the point of being president, you are powerless,” and adds, “you can’t stop it can you, even if you wanted to, it’s not you, it’s the system that won’t let you stop it.” He tells her that he can “control the system” and “tame it to make it do some good,” and even agrees with her when she charges that Nixon sounds like he is talking about a wild animal. Sandwiched between two sharply edited montage sequences Stone articulates his vision of the Beast. Stone argues that the beast “grinds the individual down to meaninglessness” and “drives itself from 1.the power of money and markets; 2.state power, government power; 3. corporate power, which is probably greater even than state power; 4. the political process or election through money, which is therefore in tow to ‘the system’; and, 5. the media, which mostly protects the status quo and their ownerships and interests like Doberman pinschers” (Kreisler, Part VI). All these beasts become a metaphor for a military industrial complex that is responsible for Kennedy’s assassination and the escalation of the Vietnam War.25 Stone’s beast argument contains another subversive message – on one hand his comparison of Nixon to Lincoln and Kennedy sets up the first as a failed patriarch who further normalizes an oppressive standard of masculinity. It also points out a serious crack in the façade of the overly-masculine persona: the drive for violence that leads to catastrophes such as the Vietnam War. Upon returning to the United States from Vietnam, Stone was shocked by a divided nation and the belief that his government had lied to him and allowed the deaths of thousands of young men. Historian Stephen Ambrose accused Stone of making Nixon appear tougher than he really was and engaging in non-existent behaviors such as drinking and cursing heavily. However, Stone’s purpose is deeper than just presenting the president in a bad light. Stone connects Nixon’s physical inferiority to his experience on the Whittier College football team where the young Nixon acted as a “tackling dummy” because of a lack of athletic talent (Toplin 250).26 Stone also connects this inferiority complex to Nixon’s “hard-nosed football analogies of a coach like George Allen of the Washington Redskins” or the fact that the President loved the movie Patton, starring George C. Scott who played General Patton (Toplin 250). Nixon would watch Patton numerous times before his invasion of Cambodia, and I believe that Stone connects Nixon’s aggressive attempts at a masculine persona as resulting in the continuation of the Vietnam War. For Stone, the “mythology of manhood, and…the test of manhood signified…quite explicitly, the space in which sons confirm their authority with their fathers” (Boose 67). This mythology, as Lynda Boose asserts in her work Gendering War, is often achieved (especially in the American male psyche) by participating in war and results in what she calls techno-muscular war films such as Rambo and Excalibur. For Stone’s Nixon, the Vietnam War becomes a way in which the president is able to enter the mythology of manhood that figures such as Lincoln and Patton signify; and, on a personal level, it is this same mythology that carried Stone to war. I would argue that Stone sees Nixon’s techno-masculinity as another aspect of the “Beast” that corrupts the American landscape. Another critic rightly points out that Nixon encouraged the image of himself as a “fighter” against “enemies” of his administration (Bingham 260).27 I am not interested in the logic or truth of Stone’s beast thesis. I am interested in the mythic scopes of the Beast argument and its use as a metaphor. When Nixon admits that he is trying to end the war, the girl charges that he can’t stop it because it is out of his control. Images of his brother Arthur and Harold’s suffering cut across the screen in black and white. Much like the suffering and death of his brothers from tuberculosis, the suffering and death of the young soldiers in Vietnam are not in Nixon’s control. The beast has become a metaphor for “both the American body politic and Nixon’s overwrought psyche – with no real exploration of the horrible political landscape that produced politicians such as Richard Nixon” (Sharett). There is no real probing into Nixon’s character that goes beyond a layman’s understanding of psychoanalytical theory, but even with the stab at making him an epic figure, Stone doesn’t succeed in creating a truly tragic hero. But why even attempt to paint Nixon in such a light? Stone’s major argument becomes that in “undressing Nixon, we can undress and expose the ‘truth’ of America’s supposedly innocent past” (Sharett). Although I don’t believe that psychohistory should replace history, in a year where such jingoistic films about America’s supposedly idyllic past such as The Alamo and Miracle have emerged, Stone’s vision is a refreshing one. The whitewashing of President Kennedy as a benign figure of moral solidarity and the denigration of the government and several conspirators as malevolent is a lie that Stone finds necessary to tell the public in order to convince them of the truth of the “beast” controlling politics28 The most interesting manifestation of the Beast appears in a much-criticized and talked about deleted sequence that can be found on the 2003 edition of the DVD and video of Nixon. This scene is central to the two Beast sequences that appear in the film but was cut in an attempt to bring the film to an appropriate length. We see Nixon arrive at CIA headquarters, while the camera closes in on a tight shot of the CIA seal, gesturing to the secrecy that threatens the American landscape. Nixon meets with the director of the CIA, Richard Helms (Sam Waterston), and requests that he turn over papers that he signed to “chair a special operations group,” referring to the secret plot to assassinate Castro. Helms adds, “It’s not an operation, as much as an organic phenomenon.” While Helms delicately fingers the petals of several lilies, he continues, “it grew, changed shape, it developed appetites, it’s not unusual in such cases that things are not committed to paper.” As Helms lists several “secret operations,” such as Guatemala, Iran, and Cuba, Stone inserts several shots of leaders who were assassinated and violent abuses led by the C.I.A. and sanctioned by the Unites States. Helms asks Nixon whether his position at the CIA is safe, and Nixon tells him, “the president” will make sure his position is protected and that Helms will be funded. As Nixon speaks, a shot of a yellow rose blooms over his face. Helms attempts to divert the conversation from Kennedy’s assassination by commenting “flowers are a continual reminder of our mortality,” to which Nixon responds, that he doesn’t like flowers because they “remind him of death.” The emphasis on flowers and the greenery in Helms’ office points to Stone’s belief that “the Beast” is a natural, organic, phenomenon that cannot be proved by signatures on a paper or traditional evidence. Instead, it can be seen in the power-hungry desires of men such as Helms and the politicians who make the mistake of supporting them.29 Helms leans in to smell an arrangement of exotic, tropical flowers, and between the hot-house colors, we see that his eyes have changed from those of a human beings’, to those of a lizard – completely black and glassy. A shot of Helms’ monstrous eyes also appears in the Beast sequence when Nixon is at the Lincoln Memorial connecting further the monstrous events of Vietnam (with which that sequence is largely concerned) to different organic tentacles of the Beast. Without the context of this scene, Helms’ eyes during the Lincoln Memorial beast sequence could refer to the darkness enveloping the vision of American leadership but also the public that refuses to acknowledge what is going on. When we see Helms’ eyes, Nixon comments, “There’s worse things than death, there’s such a thing as evil,” suggesting he recognizes that Helms and those like him are secret monsters or beasts. In this beast sequence, I believe that Stone sees Helms as representative of not just the Beast but also a satanic figure. The Beast of Revelations 13 in the Bible is brought to power by the “dragon…with a serpent tongue,” or the devil (who is also represented as a snake in the Old Testament). The contacts that Waterston wears to darken his eyes make them appear to be reptile-like aligning Helms’ reptile eyes with the reptile eyes of Satan.30 Stone continues the Beast as biblical monster when Helms quotes the W. B. Yeats poem, “The Second Coming”:Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
and everywhere, the ceremony of innocence is lost
The best lack all conviction;
while the worst, are full of passionate intensity
What rough Beast, its hour come round at last,
slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.During the last line, Helms looks accusingly at Nixon. As Nixon looks back, first embarrassed and then defiant, Helms concludes by saying, “this country stands at such a juncture.” During Helm’s recitation of the poem, the camera spins slowly around Nixon as flowers bloom over his face, and the camera captures tight shots of the center of other flowers. Stone points to the nature of the biblical beast that is animal-like with seven heads and ten horns and receives his power from “the dragon” or the devil. The shot of Helms’ eyes among the flowers makes him appear to be a waiting snake in the Garden of Eden. Stone also points to his organic notion of the Beast, with the shots of the flowers that connect to the shots of spreading tuberculosis cells in the Lincoln Memorial beast sequence. Nixon’s comment that flowers remind him of death connects the images of flowers and destructive tuberculosis cells because of the swift way both are shown blooming and growing, much like the power of the Beast that blooms and grows quicker than Nixon can control it. Helms quotes the Yeats poem to accuse Nixon that the President is the newest manifestation of the Beast, and the American public’s tacit support of him and his war-mongering policies have brought him into power.V. Conclusion“All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
-John F. Kennedy,
Presidential Inauguration, January 20, 196131 Director Milos Forman states, “You don’t have to be faithful to the facts. History has to be faithful to the facts. Drama has to be faithful to the spirit of the facts.” But William Safire has directly criticized Stone: “When drama must be served, history is often subverted” (Safire 15). Forman and Safire make interesting points, however; both condescendingly imply that audiences are only interested in being entertained and it is the director’s job to pander to this instinct. History is not a subjective experience for either critic but a static thing, to which only some individuals have a special claim. In an address delivered at U.C. Berkeley, Stone told his audience, “art, cultural or whatever, is meant to heal, to bind the tribe together on an annual basis to revive mourning and tears and pity and horror and joy. Those things the Greeks called catharsis, the sharing of pity and terror and joy with all. A bond exists between the onlookers and the pierced ones” (Kreisler). Stone argues that his films will bring the nation together because of the dialogue created by his controversial choices.32 As Homi Bhabha claims, “the contemporary historical film is…a privileged discursive site in which anxiety, ambivalence, and expectation about the nation, its history, and its future are played out in narrative form.” Bhabha suggests that the “embellishment” or “myth-making” in the “history process” is necessary in order for us to sustain our identities. When one asserts that Hollywood needs to exercise responsibility when creating its “entertainment,” it is out of fear of the kind of identity that we are creating and projecting onto others. However, because there will always be sites of contestations for whom we choose to believe and with whom we choose to identify, the vision of a desolate world that Stone sees as the result of Nixon’s taking office is not necessarily a true or accurate one. Talking about whether history-genre films should more accurately portray history is a dead-end argument, along the lines of whether movies can perfectly adapt books. There is no way that a film can perfectly adapt a book, even if the director says that is his intention, and I apply this same notion to the historical filmmaker.33 I think there has to be an acceptance that what counts as history is as arbitrary as any other collection of facts used to constitute a story. Even president Nixon knew this when he said, “The judgment of history depends on who writes it.” There is an arbitrariness to the facts of history, but there is a supposedly “complete” story being told when we present histories in textbooks. If we could educate people to accept the notion of history as a fractured and fragmented narrative, we can make some headway towards combining the “real” and the “reel” in our day-to-day education.34 Stone’s myth-making of Nixon does not allow us to always sympathize with the figure of the president. The film does allow us to explore Nixon’s later political career, but I hoped that Stone would have done more to explore Nixon’s earlier personal and political life and his post-resignation career. It is understandable that Stone doesn’t do this because he wants to explore the American myth of success through the figure of Nixon. However, by ending the film with Nixon’s flag-draped coffin at his 1994 funeral and Bill Clinton and Bob Dole reading their eulogies, Stone attains a weary sympathy for the President. Stone himself does a voice-over “eulogy” commenting that Nixon’s policies laid the groundwork for “mass genocide” in Cambodia and a “decade of high-budget military expansion and near-war” (Hamburg 307). Stone continues, “For the remainder of his life, Nixon fought successfully to protect his tapes. The National Archives spent fourteen years indexing and cataloguing them. Out of four thousand hours, only sixty hours have been made public” (Hamburg 307). Stone tempers any praise of Nixon with the suggestion that even in death Nixon symbolizes the very secrecy that led to his undoing. Stone adds another twist to this schizophrenic conclusion. A black and white still photograph of the actor who plays young Nixon appears. Stone describes him in the script as “little Richard, eyes all aglow with the hopes of the new century,” an apt description since over the photograph we hear a train whistle blowing in the distance (Hamburg 307). For Stone, Nixon’s “potential was limitless, but ultimately was limited by powers that even he couldn’t control” (Hamburg xvii).35 Both Nixon and Stone hear the train whistle of the American Dream and its promise of success and failure. In the end, it is this contradictory sequence of scenes that allows us some sympathy for Richard Nixon – to sympathize with Nixon’s memory is to sympathize with the various contradictions that can exist within an enigmatic persona.BibliographyBoose, Lynda. “Techno-Muscularity and the ‘Boy Eternal’: From the Quagmire to the Gulf.” Gendering War Talk. Ed. Miriam Cooke and Angela Woollacott. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993.Collier, Peter. “Ollie Uber Alles, Oliver Stone’s Triumph of the Will.” American Spectator 25.4 (1992): 28.Ehrenstein, David. “JFK – A New Low for Hollywood.” Advocate 14 Jan. 992: 78-83.FitzGerald, Frances. America Revisited: History Schoolbooks in the Twentieth Century. New York: Vintage Books, 1980.Gallagher, Edward. “Reel American History.” Site Accessed January 1, 2004. <http://www.lehigh.edu/ReelAmericanHistory>Hamburg, Eric, ed. Nixon: An Oliver Stone Film. New York: Cinergi Productions, 1995.JFK. Dir. Oliver Stone. Perf. Kevin Costner, Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Sissy Spacek. Illusion Entertainment and Cinergi Production, 1991.Kreisler, Harry. History and the Movies: Conversation with Oliver Stone. Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley, 1997, Site Accessed May 15, 2004. <http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/Stone/>Monsell, Thomas. Nixon on Stage and Screen: The Thirty-Seventh President as Depicted in Films, Television, Plays and Opera. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1998.Nixon. Dir. Oliver Stone. Perf. Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, David Hyde Pierce, Ed Harris, Paul Sorvino, Powers Boothe. Illusion Entertainment and Cinergi Production, 1995. Videocassette. Hollywood Pictures, 1995. 191 minutes.Safire, William. “The Way it Really Was Not.” New York Times 27 Nov. 1995: 15.Sharrett, Christopher. “The Belly of the Beast: Oliver Stone’s ‘Nixon’ and the American Nightmare.” Cineaste 22.1 (1996): 4.Stone, Oliver. “Through the Looking Glass: A Critical Overview of Oliver Stone’s JFK.” Cineaste 19.1 (1992): 8-35.. “Who Defines History? Oliver Stone’s Address to the National Press Club.” Cineaste 19.1 (1992): 23-24.Toplin, Robert Brent. History by Hollywood: The Use and Abuse of the American Past. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1996.Yarbrough, Jeff. “Heart of Stone.” (Interview with Oliver Stone) Advocate 7 April 1992: 44.

media avoidance

In my everyday life I use all sorts of media, they range from cable television, Internet, radio, and the newspaper. For myself media, is the form and technology I use to receive and communicate information. The different forms of media I was trying to avoid were cable television, the internet and radio. I figured if I could avoid those things I would be doing well in avoiding most obvious forms of mass media. What I realized as I began this whole experience this whole experience is that the mass media is an important if not the most important part of my everyday life. I use it for almost everything I do and it surrounds me.On my first day of avoiding the media, which was on a Saturday, my plan going into was not check my e-mail, not watch television and not listen to the radio. This was not as easy as I thought, that morning when I woke up my first instinct was to check my e-mail. After I couldn’t do that I felt all this anxiety that I was missing out on something. But I went without, and was able to get to work without reading the newspaper or listening to the radio. It was easy for me to avoid media at work because I work at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and all I do there is check people into cars and drive around the city all day. If I don’t turn on the radio when I’m driving cars then I pretty much avoid most media. The only problem I had at work is when I would be talking to some customers and they would be talking about things they heard in the news, sports etc… and I couldn’t really participate in the conversation.
So I got off work at about one o’clock and went home. I had no idea what to do, I normally get home watch some television and then get on the internet. The only thing that I could think to do was go and rent a movie. So that’s what I did and it worked beautifully, I watched the movie “Man on Fire” with Denzel Washington (it is actually a very good movie). When I finished watching that my roommates insisted on watching MTV (music television if you didn’t know). I did catch a glimpse of that was happening in the world of music (oops). Realizing that I was straying I decided to go and get another movie from the video store. I got the movie The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise and watched it, which killed another couple of hours out of my day of avoiding media. So finally it was 7pm and I had been fairly successful in avoiding most media and I only had a couple of hours till I could go out to the bars with my friends and then go to bed. For those last couple of house I decided to spin some records to kill time. It’s the only other thing that I do that does require me to access other forms of mass media. I fortunately made it through my day and out to the bars, I then came home and went to bed.
On my second day, which on a weekday, I had a slightly easier day of avoiding media due to the fact that I had to work all day. So I woke up at 7am and checked my e-mail out of habit. Shortly after doing that I realized that I was not supposed to do that (oops). Got to work at 8am and started my day. It was pretty easy to avoid media all I had to do is not listen to the radio. In the middle of the day I actually was at lunch and caught a glimpse of television. I went back to work around 2pm and finished my day around 5pm. I remember when I got home from work I really wanted this media avoidance to be over. I really wanted to watch television and check my e-mail. After playing records for a little while I decided the best thing to do was to go to the video store and rent yet another couple of movies. I watched my movies and then called it a night I could wait wake up and be able to watch television or surf the web.
Not being able to do everyday things such as watch television, access the Internet, read the newspaper, or listen to the radio is nearly impossible. It seems that we as a society are dependent on such things. It’s the way that our society communicates. I could function normally or do any of the things that I do in my everyday life. Most of my communications with people is through email and IM. Without the Internet my life is pretty much at a stand still. I also didn’t realize how much time I kill during the day just watching television. I don’t think on the weekends I had as much trouble as I did during the week. My weekdays are routine and the radio is how I listen to the news and figure out what’s going on in the world. When I had slipped up and watched television, I felt like I was part of the world. I think that mass media make us feel like we are part of society and never want to avoid it ever again.

News

California School Shooting     I think that this is crazy. Our teens today hardly know right from wrong it seems when things like this happening. I mean for a kid to be smiling while shooting at people it is lunacy. Our country’s morals have declined so much in the past fifty years. This school shooting is one of many that have happened in the past two years. There was Columbine that pretty much started off all these and since then there has been nearly ten other shootings not all big but where one or more students have been injured or even killed. There was another shooting in California just two weeks after this one.
The question is what is driving all this violence with our youth today? Well I think that there are many factors that do so. Like, all the violence on television not just movies but even cartoons now days are nothing but fighting. What ever happened to the good old fashion cartoons like looney tunes?
There is also the factor of the parents rising the youth these days. Many of them are druggies or have three jobs. But, there is sometimes the case when the kid is just wacko for no apparent reason. What can we do to stop things like this from happening? Like President Bush said all that we can do now is try to teach our youth morals and norms and keep on praying.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edger Allen Poe

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edger Allen PoeIn this novel I believe Poe was trying to keep the reader on the edge like in everyone of his stories. However this one especially I think could have been based on voyages that he himself encountered in the past. I think Poe was trying to give his readers a feel of how it is to be on the open sea. On a crew ship with men you have never met, with the backstabbing and controversies.This novel is written in first person, as Mr. Pym tells us of his journeys while in college. To sum up the plot from what I understood, this is Poe’s one novel, a strange tale of adventure and hardship on the high seas. With the help of his friend Augustus, Pym stows away on the Grampus (their ship), which is almost immediately subject to a brutal mutiny. Violence and terrible storms leave Arthur, Augustus, a few others stranded on the floating wreckage of the ship for weeks on end. Attempts to retrieve edible materials from locked quarters below the waterline, and a little cannibalism, enable a couple men to survive until rescued by the Jane Guy.That ship is headed for Antarctica, to find a route that will come closest to the South Pole. Far beyond where any Western ship has gone, the crew of the Jane Guy makes contact with friendly primitives who turn murderously treacherous. Though most of his shipmates are slaughtered, Pym does everything he can to stay alive and escape.Knowing that most of you have not read this book, I will try and give you a few comparisons so that you can better understand this novel. Being stranded on this floating boat, in the middle of no were with that same people for weeks. That is what Pym had to go through, if you are like me, I can’t be around anyone for even a week straight without a break. So you can pretty much understand the crazy stuff that would go down on this ship as the novel went on. Not only that, but the fear that had to be going through Pym’s head as people began to turn on each other. Having to be on the edge constantly to stay alive.The setting for this novel was In the 19th century, and most of the novel takes place on a crew ship. They were sailing in the middle of the ocean somewhere around the South Pole.The characters in this novel were interesting. Pym, the main character, was a white male in his 20’s. Pym is a pretty serious person; however he does have a sense of humor under all that. Pym’s friend and companion Augustus is a stern serious person. He keeps to himself, and doesn’t say much.My favorite part of this book was the cannibalism. I guess this sounds weird to most people, but I have never read a book that had so much gruesome things happening. Poe went into some pretty intense detail when talking about things.Poe was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1809. He was abandoned by his father when a baby and his mother died before he was three, so he was taken as a foster child into the home of John Allen, a Richmond VA Tobacco Merchant. Poe was then moved to Britain with John Allen, he was educated there through High School. He then returned to Virginia to complete college at The University of Virginia. He often fought with his foster father because Poe did not want to study law. He then went back to Boston and anonymously published “Tamerlane and Other Poems” in 1827. He served in the US Army under a false name (Edgar A Perry) and incorrect age, then attended West Point but got himself dismissed when he realized he would never be reconciled with his foster father. He then went to Baltimore to live with his aunt, Mrs. Maria Clemm, he would marry her daughter and his own cousin, 13-year-old Virginia Clemm, in 1836. His third volume of poetry brought neither fame nor profit, but a prize-winning short story, “A MS Found in a Bottle”, gained him the editorship of “The Southern Literary Messenger”.I think this influenced Poe’s dark writing style. He often writes about tragedies and deaths, and this could contribute to it. It sounds like he had a rough life loosing both parents at a young age and not getting along with his foster father.Poe’s style of writing is different from most authors. He focuses on the dark side of things and has a more eerie writing style. One that you don’t see much in literature. It reminds me a lot of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies. But it has sort of a mesmerizing feel to it, almost like once you start you are forced to finish the book. Like I said, if I were to sit down and have a talk with him, he would remind me of Alfred Hitchcock. I think it would be a great experience to sit down and interview someone of Poe’s type.All in all I really enjoyed this book. It kept me on the edge, as do all of Poe’s books. I couldn’t put it down and I don’t think anyone could. With all the twists and turns this novel takes you wont want to miss a beat of it, and I recommend anyone read it if they get the chance.

Netflix SWOT

Can you name the largest online entertainment subscription service? If you said “Netflix” then you are correct. Netflix started in 1997 by Reed Hastings and the subscription service started in 1999. The company headquarters is based out of San Francisco, California. There are over 100 shipping location in the United States. Netflix offers over 100,000 DVD titles and over 8,000 that are ready to be watched instantly on a subscribers PC. Netflix has over 1500 fulltime and 1100 part time employees at their headquarters and shipping centers. This had made Netflix the top ranked e-commerce company in customer satisfaction and that is causing a rapid growth in subscribers, revenue and earnings.
How does it work? First, sign up create your movie list at NetFlix.com. Next, Netflix will rush you movies from your list. Then, watch the movies at your convenience. There is not due date or late fees. And finally, once you have viewed your movie return it to Netflix and get another movie from your list. More that 95% of subscribers live within 1 business day delivery. Netflix delivers over 1.8 million DVD’s each day.
Here are a few Netflix facts. Netflix allows customers to rate the movies. There are over 2 billion reviews currently on the website. Members add over 2 million movies to their queues every day. Most members say they rent twice as many movies per month than they did prior to subscribing to Netflix. 90 % of Netflix subscribers say they would recommend Netflix to friends and family. Within one week, if you stacked every movie Netflix ships, the stack would be higher that Mt Everest (that’s over 1.8 million movies a day). Netflix is concerned about the environment. It is estimated that if Netflix members had to drive to a brick and mortal rental store they would use 800,000 gallons of gas and release over 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.Next is the SWOT part of the paper. This information was taken directly from the Netflix.com website.Strengths: Being an on-line DVD rental store, Netflix combines the growing Home Entertainment Market and the Internet. Unlike brick-and-mortar video rental business, Netflix incurs less overhead because no storefront is required and less employees are hired. Movies are sent to customers in prepaid envelope within 24 hours after the customer returns a movie. Located in San Francisco, Netflix still owns nationwide market through World Wide Web. In addition, customer can easily get the movies they like without leaving home.
 As the world’s first online DVD rental store, Netflix attains first-move advantage. It is easier for Netflix to build both strong company image and reputations with customers, and build good relationship with DVD suppliers.Weaknesses:
 Although Netflix allow unlimited DVD rentals, the customer has to return at least one movie to get another one. Any slowness at receiving and processing returned movies could be the bottleneck of the service.
 Although Netflix is inexpensive and convenient, it is less economical to those customers who watch less than one movie each week.
 Customer cannot get the movie immediately. They have to wait for the mail to arrive. It might only take 1 or 2 days to get the DVDs, however, delivery delay by the post office can result in longer waits.
Opportunities:
 With the development of network technology, NetFlix will provide the service of allowing customers to downloaded movies on the Internet in the near future. This will save a lot of money for NetFlix in packaging and postage fees.
 NetFlix and Musicland Stores paired up to begin a cross promotion program to promote awareness and sales of DVDs. NetFlix will point customers to SamGoody.com when they want to buy discs. In return, SamGoody.com will provide the purchase phase of NetFlix’s “Test drive” program before they decide to buy. Customers who visit a page for a specific movie on SamGoody.com will also have the option to rent from NetFlix.com. NetFlix will also give the option to rent DVD from Netflix.com or buy it from SamGoody.com.
 As a web based business, NetFlix has rapid growth potential with the popularity and development of World Wide Web, and DVD technologies. More and more people will accept and be involved in e-bussiness. NetFlix, the world’s first and largest online DVD rental store, will develop fast.
 Playing Video games is a very popular amusement. Netflix will extend into video game rental business.
Threats:
 Traditional brick and mortar rental stores are a threat to NetFlix. They have some features that NetFlix doesn’t have to satisfy customers. For example, customers can get the movie they want on the spot. Furthermore, customers will not waste money on a monthly fee when they don’t have time to watch the movies.
 VHS rental store are another kind of competitor of NetFlix. Some movies haven’t been released on DVD, while they can be found on video tapes. Some people will turn to that kind of store to get their favorite movies. (www.netflix.com)Netflix is a great way to rent DVD’s for those who don’t have the time to go to the video store and wait in line to get a movie. You can enjoy viewing the movies online on your PC or you can wait for that little red envelope in the mail. Some of the best times we have had is popping popcorn and watching the Netflix videos that we got through the mail. It is great not having to fast forward through them so that you can get them back to the video store so do don’t have to pay a late fee.

Observing the Human Condition

Human’s, according to the bible, will always be evil because of one action; the action of biting the apple. Films like Fargo, Magnolia, and Pleasantville portray human nature constantly “biting the apple.” These films seem to share many views on how human nature is portrayed with the Bible. Betrayal and forgiveness are two prominent themes in the Bible as well as all three of these films. In particular, the film Magnolia seems to have almost every character commit betrayal of some kind. The one character that is true to Bonhoeffer’s “true discipleship” is Officer Jim Kurring. He values the lives he saves more than his own life, he is truly unselfish.     The movie Pleasantville is a clear parable to the Bible’s description of the Garden of Eden. Pleasantville portrays complete innocence amongst its population. Complete innocence that is, until David Wagner betrays the TV repairman (God) and begins to change the world of Pleasantville along with his sister Jennifer. Like the film, the Bible portrays humans as sinners by consequence. The movie also brings out the question of whether or not there is one true “garden of Eden” for everyone, or if we must learn to create our own paradise in order to truly be happy. Does God have our destiny created for us or must we create our own? When it comes to reconciliation and forgiveness, the movie does not seem to be a parable to the passages of the Bible. The Hebrew god brings chaos when he is betrayed by the sinners of the earth, like the flood. The movie has a much unrealistic view of how forgiving God is.
     
     The story of Cain and Abel can be paralleled to the movie Fargo. Jerry Lundenguard sacrifices his family for his own gain in much of the movie. The kidnapping of his wife depicts his total lack of clarity towards the safety of his wife. Even his own son seems unimportant to him, he is asked how his son is holding up and he has a moment of realization that he has not even thought about his son’s well being. Even the betrayal of the two killers at the end of the movie can be paralleled towards Jerry betraying his wife. Backstabbing is an essential part of this movie when compared to the Bible whether the betrayal involves evil vs. evil, or evil vs. good. When Cain slain Abel, god banished him forever, like Grimsrud will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison. This film doesn’t really have forgiveness in it, only closure. Although, even in the end, Jerry Lundenguard is not sorry of the actions he has caused because he changes his name and tries to escape the police once more. This is important because it shows that although he did not commit any murders, he is just as heartless and cold as the killers themselves.
     
     Throughout these movies we see characters constantly betraying one another, looking for “cheap grace.” In Magnolia particularly, almost every relationship we see involves some sort of untrustworthy action towards another. There is one man however, that seems to be following the doctrine of “true discipleship.” This is man is Officer Jim Kurring. His job is the first sign of how self sacrificing he is. As a police officer, he places himself in the hands of danger each and every day in order to make the world a better place. Although his faith is very subtly shown, one can see that his belief in a higher deity is a part of every aspect of his life. He lives his life compassionately, as shown in his relationship with Claudia, who ironically is using cocaine as her “security.” Jim’s motives seem to stem from simple passion to make the world a better place. He fits Bonhoeffer’s description of true discipleship because if this. Although, structurally he is not a very good cop, he is an excellent example of how powerful compassion and faith can be in this crazy world.
     
The first parts of the bible view humans as complete sinners. Humans are in constant betrayal of God. Parallel to the view of humans in these movies is much like the Bible. Officer Kurring can in some ways be described as Noah; a man who in the middle of constant sin never loses his faith. The face of evil is in the form of Grimsrud. As the wood chipper shows, he has complete disregard for human life. So two complete opposite of characters can both be found in the Bible. One can be found in the form of a snake, and the other in the form of God’s wingman, the only one with “costly grace.”

King Arthur1

King Arthur1King Arthur
King Arthur, the legendary king of Britain, lived a life full of magic and controversy. His life and actual presents on earth has been disputed for a thousand years. The only records of his existence have been passed on in stories (Drabble 879). The popularity of King Arthur has only flourished over the years. This includes a great number of books and many movies (Starkillen 1).
The birth on Arthur has come to be one of the most disputed events on his life. In the story, it states that Uther falls in love with Gorlois’s wife Igraine. Uther, who is madly in love with his nemesis’s wife, begs of Merlin to help him. Merlin agrees to help Uther for a price to be named later. Merlin casts a spell to make Uther look like Gorlois. While Gorlois is away a war, the disguised Uther enters the castle. Igrain, believing that Uther is Gorlois excepts him that night and soon she becomes pregnant. The next day Uther kills Gorlois in battle. Soon after that Uther would marry Igraine. Nine months later Arthur was born (Harrison 3).
It is said that shortly after the birth of Arthur he was taken away from his parents by Merlin. Merlin took the boy as payment from the agreement with Uther. Arthur was kept alone with Merlin for an unknown amount of time before he was fostered by Sir. Ector. Arthur would grow up with Ector’s son Kay. Supposedly Merlin stayed around and taught Arthur during his young years (Ford 4).
While Arthur lived with Sir. Ector and Kay, the current king of England died without an heir to the thrown. Kay, who was recently knighted, traveled to London to compete in a tournament to decide who the new king would be. Kay brought along Arthur as his squire. The first day of the tournament, in a rush to make it to the field on time, Arthur forgot Kay’s sword in the hotel room. Kay ordered Arthur to fetch it quickly. On the way to the hotel Arthur passed by an Abby, and he noticed a sword in a stone. In an attempt to save time he pulled the sword from the stone and rushed back. When Arthur returned to the battlefield with the sward Kay recognized the sword and asked where Arthur found it. After confirming that the sward came from the stone, Kay went to his father and tried to take credit for pulling the sword from the stone. In the end Sir. Ector got the truth for the two and Arthur was proclaimed the King of Britain (Pyle 153).
As the King of Britain, Arthur faced many difficulties from the beginning. Being king he had to rule a country in turmoil, drive back the Saxon army, and get married to produce an heir. The first thing that Arthur did was unite the entire kingdom in Britain. This is said to be the hardest thing that he ever did but he did manage to accomplish it. Driving back the Saxons would be one of his biggest feats as king (Ford 5-6). To do this it would take the famous “Twelve Battles of Arthur”. The first battle was at the mouth of the Glein River. In this battle it is said that Arthur fought against the Eastern Saxons. The second, third, fourth, and fifth battles were all fought on the Dubglas River. The battles were separated only in books. It is believed that they were one long battle that moved along the river. The sixth battle was on the Bassas River. This battle sight is very near the known tomb of Arthur’s enemy Caw. It is believed that he died in the battle. The seventh battle was in the Caledonian Forest of Scotland. The Eighth battle was in the Guinnion fort. This battle is remembered because Arthur carried the image of the holy Mary on his shield. Arthur believed he won the battle through the power of the Virgin Mary. The ninth battle was in the City of the Legions. The tenth battle was on the bank of the Tribuit River. This battle was mentioned in many of the poems about Arthur. The eleventh battle was in Agned Hill. The twelfth battle was on Badon Hill. During this battle 960 men died as a result of Arthur’s charge. This would be Arthur’s greatest victory over the Saxons and would stop them (James 1-3).
With the Saxons at bay Arthur turned to find a wife. Arthur “turned his eye” to Guinevere. According to legend Arthur never met Guenivere before their marriage. In fact Arthur sent Lancelot to go fetch her before the wedding. On the way supposedly the two fell in love. This would prove to be a doomed romance (Ford 6).
According to Barbara Harrison, as Arthur aged his kingdom, Camelot went into decline. The knights would turn against one another; they became mean and lost their chivalry. Arthur turned to Merlin for help in this matter. Merlin proposed a quest, a great quest for the Holy Grail. This is just what Arthur needed. He scattered his knights to the ends of the earth in search for the Grail. Sir. Lancelot came close to finding it a number of times but was said to be “too flawed” to achieve this feat. The only man pure enough to find the Grail was Sir. Galahad. In the most popular version of the story, Galahad did find the grail but “vanished form the mortal realm forever”(Starkillen 8).
After the return of Lancelot from the quest for the grail he was a different person. The man who Arthur trusted most betrayed him and started an affair with his wife. Eventually Lancelot and Guenivere were discovered and captured as prisoners. Lancelot managed to escape from captivity. Guenivere is sentenced to burn at the stake as an adulteress, and without warning Lancelot swoops by on horse and rescues her. He then takes her to his castle (Starkillen 8).
In Arthur’s haste to retrieve Guenivere he is attacked by the Romans. In this, his final battle of Arthur’s knights killed. In the end he is pushed to a final showdown with his son Mordred. Arthur kills Mordred, but he is mortally injured (Lord Tennyson 897). According to Bath’s Manuscripts Arthur died in the year 542 after a rule of 22 years. The grave of Arthur is supposed to be in Cornwall, England.Bibliography:

Toni Morrison and bell hooks – Society and the Media

Toni Morrison and bell hooks – Society and the MediaThere is a lot of misrepresentation of the black society as a whole in the media. The reason that this is true is because the mostly white society accepts this and prolongs s this misrepresentation in the media. Toni Morrison and bell hooks share some of the same ideas on sexism, racism and conformity. This American society is made up of mostly whites. The whites have an extreme effect on how the stereotypes of today relate with media. Sexism is a current issue that happens everyday. It is supported with the stereotypes that area ready preconceived and we just go along with them. In hooks analysis of Lees movie she explores how Carolyn is the care take she is the mother so that is her job. As hooks says. “Sexist/racist stereotypes of gender identity in black experience are evident in the construction of these two characters. Although Carolyn is glamorous, beautiful in her afrocentric style, she is portrayed as a bitch goddess”(hooks 103). She is the dominate on in the house hold because it is considered to be her job as the female. The father does not do much of anything to support her. He is not responsible for actions because he is an, “artistic, non-patriarchal mindset; he cannot be held accountable.”(hooks 104). This is because the society say that it is O.K. for the man to do this and it should be accepted. While Carolyn was near death Carolyn talks to her daughter and, “Troy is given instructions as to how she must assume the caretaker role. Contemporary feminist thinkers are calling attention to the girlhood… No one in the film is concerned about the loss of Troy’s girlhood, though her brothers remain free to maintain their spirit of play”(bell 104). So instead of the mother asking the father she goes to her ten-year-old daughter and instructs her that she is now the caretaker compared to her older brothers or her father. This is confusing, wouldn’t the oldest take care of the youngest. I guess not, I think this is a prime example of sexism. Taking her girlhood away, because it is a woman’s job. Morrison believes that there is sexism in the media, but it is not identical to what bell thinks. While Morrison is explaining another writer’s characters, she explains how, “Black women might find him offensive, Vis a Vis the character’s relationship to the women that he raped, mulitate, murder, ECT. We are accustomed as black women, anyway, to that kind of dismissal, even by black men, unless we were the tragic mulatto”(Morrison).Morrison brings up that it is true, there is a lot of bad publicity. You might consider this to be racist too. You barley every see a white female being represented like this in the media.Racism, You are a racist. Those are strong words. Do we have racism in the media. Of course we do. Morrison says, “Popular cultural shaped by film, theater, advertising, the press, television and literature, is heavily engaged in race talk”(Morrison 1). The society that we have been raised in is a current example of racist. Crooklyn was not taken seriously because it is a black family that is in crisis. They are not killing each other. There is a preconceived notion on how the end of each black film should end. The ending should, “make up the movie’s happy-ending immigrant story: a job, a straw hat, an infectious smile-and a scorned black. It is the act of racial contempt that transforms this charming Greek into an entitled White”(Morrison 1). The Greek immigrant man is not considered to be white until he scorns the black. Is this what we are letting our future generations listen to. That to be accepted into our society that you have to treat the blacks bad. We have gone a long way with racism, but how are we suppose to stop it if we put everywhere in the media. In the movies all you see is blacks being brutally murdered, and they all are evil, poor, and live in the ghetto. So what is are the future generations going to expect. They will expect what they have been taught. The reason there is so much racism and sexism in the media is because that is what is accepted. If the audience did not like it, they would not play it, or try to sell it. The society of whites has had the rest of the society conforming to there ideas. If a white man was brutally murdered on the screen it would not be accepted. Therefore, it would not be done again. Since we the society, go to the movies, that condones the brutal deaths. We are giving permission that it is okay to have a black man murdered. It doesn’t matter because we are not black so it can’t effect us.  We are in our comfort zone. Since it is so accepted, “Audiences are so accustomed to representations of the brutal death of black folks in Hollywood films that no one is outraged when our bodies are violently slaughtered. I can find no Hollywood movie where a white child is the object of a prolonged brutal murder by a powerful white man”(hooks 100). So since our society has conformed to letting this happen then it will never stop until we realize what we are doing. Our society, which is made up of mostly white people, has an extreme effect on what our media does. So if the condone the idea of sexism, and that a ten-year-old girl should be the caretaker rather than the males in the family. To be racist and say it is fine if blacks are always the victims in movies. This is what our society is doing. We are the controllers of this society. If we accept it, then it is accepted. If we don’t then it is mostly done with. So why are we condoning this inhuman and absurd behavior that the media does. So when you are choosing the movie you want to go see this weekend or what book you want to read next. Just remember, you have the choice on whether or not we condone the act of sexism and racism against black. So is it here to stay or going to be changing? That is my question towards the future of our society.

The Immortal

THEIMMORTAL               By:me n ur ………….                                                                                I read the book called the immortal by Christofer Pike. The story takes place in an island Greco in Greece. It is a great island and is mostly for tourism. But near that island about 5 miles away from Greco is a sacred island of Delos which attracts many tourists. It is sacred because its very old and there are prehistoric ruins everywhere on it.Helen comes from a middle class family with not close to as much money as Josie dad has but her parents do everything they can to keep her happy. Helen also visited the island last summer. Then later in the story the are joined by two guys who they meet in a bar. They are Tom and Pascal.Tom is an English boy who goes to Oxford. Pascal is a French guy who is Toms very good friend. They both come to the island every year to work and catch some pretty girls. There are a whole lot of beaches and even nude beaches all over the island. They all start going out Tom with Josie and Helen with Pascal.                                                                                                              The conflict of the story I think was man VS man because at the end they found out who each of them were for real. It turned out that Josie was a goddess of good and Helen was a goddess of bad.Helen did try to kill Josie and Tom but Josie saved Tom but died herself. So I think the conflict was between Helen and Josie so that makes the conflict be man VS man. Josie found out about her so called best friend that she was a bad person who killed Josies privoous boyfriend and killed her. Josie found that out to late to do any thing against it.                                                                                                                    I think that it was a great book like every single book by Christofer Pike. But I think what liked the most was his decriptions of everything. I also like the dates Tom and Josie took.I like hisimagination and he always make up real great stuff. He made Tom and Josie have a great time together. From sunbathing to dining or going to a bar I think the whole thing was great. What I didn’t like was the ending because it was kind of anexpected and totally not at all related to the story one bit. But everything else except the ending was great. I love reading Christofer Pike books over RL Stines books because its always different conflicts, places, characters and ideas.In RL Stines books its always the same place and same ideas. So overall I really enjoyed the book as I do with each and every one of Pikes books. On a scale of 1- 10 I would give the book a 9 because I really didn’t enjoy the ending and thought it was inappropriate to the story or the whole plot. But i would suggest this book to anyone who like to read a real teen book with a lot of cool stuff any kind of teens male or female would love. If you dont pick up this book pick up any of Christofer Pikes single books (don’t pick up series because they say; read on to find out) pick up a single and enjoy it!

Letter of Recognition – Volunteer Work

October 12, 2005Dear Ms. Georgia:I am writing this letter in the hopes that Julie Andrews will be recognized for the valuable work she has done with one of our clients here at Hunter House Residential Center for the Developmentally Handicapped.The client’s name is John Smith. He has been part of the Hunter House community for the past 19 years. Since Julie started working with John a year and a half ago, I have witnessed more progress in his overall development and ability to cope than I had seen in the previous 11 years. I can only attribute this significant growth to Julie’s dedication in working with John.Almost every single week for the past two or more years, Julie has made a point to visit John at the Hunter House. She gets him involved in various activities including games and arts and crafts. She often takes him on social outings around the town such as the movies and the local coffee shop, and she even calls him regularly just to chat. She has taught him to send e-mails to his family members. John now interacts with his fellow clients in a much more positive way than he ever did before Julie started working with him.In short, it is clear that John Smith has blossomed over the past year and a half as a direct result of the commitment and hard work of Julie Andrews.I have seen many volunteers come and go over the years, but I have never seen one have the positive impact on one of our clients quite like Julie has had on John. She is an exceptional person and volunteer, and I believe she should be recognized by the New Chances Program.Yours sincerely,William Muffins
House Director