My reaction to this film was primarily interest. I have heard this films name more times than I can count and I never really got the idea to watch it. I always assumed it was some dystopian future film that I may enjoy. This assumption was based purely on the name though, and was very, very incorrect. The best part in my opinion was Kane’s change as a person. As he became more powerful and more rich, he became more stressed and more bitter. He abandoned the values and principals he started with in exchange for whatever gave him more influence or money. The worst part of the film was the more dramatic stuff. For instance, I didn’t care much for the interactions between him and his wife. I realize they were necessary but it is my opinion that they were just annoying reminders of what not to act like. The ugliest part of this film though was the telling of the story between Kane and his wife. It was such a toxic relationship that was born out of a murdered relationship. That is also another reason I found it to be the worst part, because it was very well shown that this was ugly. The commentary we take away from this film regarding the American dream is that the materialism of the American dream cannot give you the happiness it promises. In other words, money cannot buy you happiness. My personal opinion on this is a little addition to the end of that quote. “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can at least help you be miserable in comfort.” I feel this addition is important because money can buy you comfort, which can be mistaken for happiness. I feel the American dream has changed though, and that it has come to include the idealistic and emotional parts of life that can generate happiness. The American dream today could be accurately described as buying a good house, a good car, and starting a family. The epitome of a simple and happy life. We can see a significant reduction of materialism when compared to the older version which was to move here, start an incredibly successful business, and to get rich. Overall, I would say the film accurately depicts what the American dream used to be, but it does not depict what it has become. The reason Kane can’t be happy is because he thought comfort was happiness. He sought for the comfort of being loved by all and thought it would bring him happiness. He thought becoming a successful man financially would bring him happiness. He mistook comfort for happiness and paid the price, which he couldn’t afford even with his fortune. The impact other had on him was only promoting his mistake. Others did love him and others did make him rich. This only let him bathe in the comfort of love and wealth until he realized his mistake and the rotten structure he has built his success on came crashing down. Overall an incredibly interesting movie with a simple and intriguing message.
The theme of the “love poem” poem seems to be that there is or was a class disparity in society that is leaving members of society feeling inferior to the higher echelons and leaves them conforming to their societal status. The disillusionment poems theme is that there is a standard of conformity in society, and how it ostracizes people. The how town poems theme was that everyone leads a similar life, and you should be the one to break that mold. The love poem develops its theme through a disguise that slowly drips the truth and theme through it until the reader has unknowingly transferred into an actual character and not an idea. The disillusionment poem develops its theme by also disguising itself as a standard creepy poem until it more obviously transfers it into its message about society. The how town poem develops its theme obviously straight off the bat. There is little to no disguising or deceiving as it gets straight to work. The only difficulty this presents is that the theme is spread out among more of the poem and it can seem detached at points. These poems are all fairly obviously connected through the negative messages about society and conformity in general. I feel the disillusionment poem is the most prevalent in our society today for two reasons. The first poem discussing how class disparity in society causes malicious and unwilling conformity, though it is not as prevalent today as it was in the past. As a result, I ruled out the love poem. The how town poem was addressing how everyone leads a similar life, though I also feel this is not as prevalent as counter culture and independence is very popular in modern times. As a result, I ruled out the how town poem. Then I looked at the disillusionment poem and realized that bullying still exists today, and it causes people to feel ostracized for not conforming. This is the exact message of the disillusionment poem so, as a result, I feel it is the most prevalent message/poem in society today. The poem I hate the least is also the disillusionment poem, as it was simple and did not obstruct its message with difficult disguise or confusing imagery. It was also short, so its message wasn’t fragmented as you read the poem. Since it was the simplest and most straightforward, the disillusionment poem was the one I hated the least. Overall I was not a huge fan of the three poems, and I am likely even worse at analyzing them. I do feel the messages they convey (misinterpreted or not) are still relevant in society today.
The story of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County was entertaining to me. Wheeler’s response to the narrator was obviously just a ramble, and even if he was inquiring about Jim Smiley, it wouldn’t have helped him in the slightest. I thought the overall satire of the story was very amusing. As for my anticipatory thoughts on reading “Huckleberry Finn”, I know absolutely nothing about it. I have heard of it but have not so much as heard a sentence from the story. My perception of this when I read it will obviously change, but I feel it will be a darker humor sort of book. As for “IMom”, this film was incredibly creepy. It was obviously satirizing the flaws in technology and parenting in modern society, yet it didn’t seem very funny. I was more scared than anything during that film, as it was very dark. The message it conveyed though was quite clear. Technology will never be perfect, because we are imperfect beings, and we cannot remove every flaw from anything. I would keep going, but it is 12:30am, and we have to get up at 6am tomorrow. Well… today. Regardless, I will be ending this blog here, as in the instructions it seems to permit such an action, so long as I have adequately answered the questions with at least some elaboration.
The experience I have had with satire is fairly mundane. I enjoy the short clips and skits that mock politicians and the like, but they don’t greatly affect me. The only concern I have with satire is it’s increasing political presence. Various ends of the spectrum spout different views on satire and use it in different ways. This can sometimes make satire seem more political than joking. There is of course satire meant to be political, but those are not the kinds I am referencing. This is why I maintain a fairly large presence in the political satire portion, which is my favorite. One example, which is the one I originally considered for class but later changed, is an animation on YouTube called Debates with Strawmen. These videos have a legitimate conservative bias, though not incredibly noticeable considering the point is to have both versions of the extreme biases. The unpopularity of some of the things said in these videos is what kept me from using them as my example, though I would encourage someone to watch them if they want a good laugh. Regardless of all of that, I find these animations amusing. But they are merely one of the many different videos of political satire that I enjoy. Moving on to part two, I do not know a lot about Mark Twain. I am aware, due to our class discussions, that he is someone that created works with some degree of satire in them. Investigating further, there are a few things I found that got my attention. The first thing was the amount of violence experienced by him. The way this shapes his work is something I have yet to see, but I can assume it is likely to have his satire saturated with dark humor. The next thing that builds on to this is his failure in several careers and businesses. This makes me very certain that the satire used in Twain’s works is going to be dark. If not dark, then riddled with his life experiences. Regardless of the degree of darkness, I do look forward to reading Twain’s works, and likely digging around in them for the satire placed within.
The book I will be critiquing is Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb. It is going to be fairly difficult for me to critique the book, as it was a real event that is portrayed fairly well by the work, but there are definitely minor nitpicks I have with it. The first nitpick I have with the book is the title. It just seems to me that the title is trying to make the book sound much cooler than it is. Don’t get me wrong, I think the book is good, but the title is making it out to be more exciting than it is. A good portion of the book is discussing training, infiltration, or survival. While I may find these moments interesting, to the average reader, the real excitement would be the attacks and raids on the facility and heavy water containers. These would be far more interesting, but far less common. I am not saying that the real story should have been modified, but a title that painted the picture a bit more realistically would’ve suited the book significantly better. The next thing I realize is that I cannot criticize the accuracy of the book, as I did not experience this event, so I do not know where corrections can be made. As a result, my second critique will be that there was the presence of information that seemed a bit unnecessary. One example of this would be the book mentioning one of the characters almost couldn’t participate in the operation because of a surgery they had to get because of an injury they suffered while training. Another example could be the description near the beginning of how Norway was invaded, and the description of the bravery of the Norwegians who still fought regardless of the fact that the Nazis were clearly winning. While this is relatively minor, and I am in no way undermining the efforts of Norway to resist its occupiers, it is a little nitpick I have about the flow of the story. Another critique I have with the book is regarding its Norwegian occupation portion of the story. It did have a lot more room to play with this side of the story, yet it didn’t really use this to its advantage. Yes, the occupation was important in the story, but you just kind of forgot about it every now and then until something came up to remind you. The only large contribution to the story that stemmed from the Norwegian occupation part of the story would be members of the operation team and support from the locals once they were infiltrated into Norway. Overall, like I said, there really weren’t an incredible number of things I could find that I didn’t like about the book. The lack of major use of the occupation section of the story along with the addition of rather unuseful information and the minor nitpick I had with the title are all the largest problems I could come up with.
I am not even sure how to start my initial thoughts on Vertigo. So… this movie is just… weird. The plot is practically Tzeentchian by nature yet somehow all comes around to join together in one unifying plot. The motives for the people in the film seem to be standard, but the turns this film takes definitely speak to it’s psychological nature. A man going mad from the death of an individual who was not the individual that is now dead but is. The feeling you may have just gotten from reading that sentence is likely exactly what I felt throughout the majority of this movie. Though I can’t speak too soon since it isn’t technically over yet. The things I like most about this movie is exactly the somewhat confusing plot I mentioned earlier. It reminds me of a Bob Ross painting. When you start, it looks like a bunch of squares and crappy looking colors on a canvas. Afterwards though, you end up with an extremely coherent painting that demands attention from its passers. This imbues the plot with a certain charm, at least in my eyes, that one could make such a not terrible movie with so many fragmented subplots while maintaining cohesion to form a bigger picture. One thing I do not like about the movie is the acting and the stereotypes. It is a standard damsel in distress/affair story turned death instilled madness. Not to mention the acting out of such stereotypes is not incredibly well done. Now the dreaded question of modernization. I would first of all find a way to replace those template stereotype sub plots with something else. I’m not sure what exactly. The acting on such stereotypes could be better played out if they had to stay though. The next largest change I would make is an update to graphical aspects. Better camera equipment, 3D animations, and all that jazz. Oh, one final issue I had with the movie was it’s use of music. It seemed that for the majority of the movie the music was rather confused as to what mood it was trying to set. This was somewhat irritating considering we had to take notes on such music. Overall I would say this movie is something I would definitely suggest someone watch, but it certainly isn’t a movie I would be willing to re watch more than once.
My initial impressions of the work were primarily misinterpretations. Whitman would make an analogy to something that I either wouldn’t get or would misinterpret. The primary way I have been correcting said misinterpretations is primarily through our teacher, and a bit through our group discussion. Though one of those two may be more reliable than the other, it still brings up interesting questions as to why people would interpret the work differently, and how society today has shaped the meaning of the work. My initial thoughts on our groups section of the work were more of understanding than my previous observation. This is also primarily because our teacher gave us a few hints for the first few lines, and then it got us on the right track. I think our section is presenting an interesting topic though. As far as me and my groups interpretations go, it is about society and war. It talks specifically in the first section which I am presenting about society. It talks about how children are our future, and how society is something that cannot truly be understood. These to me seem to be the roots of modern day philosophy or, at least, modern day thinking. I would say the most important lines from the section would in fact be the first 9 lines. These lines introduce to you the idea and the analogy that this entire section relies upon for it to make any sense whatsoever. They are the lines that set up the theme of society in all its mystery, and all it’s consequences. It sets the theme for the generations that take the mantle of society each time one other generation passes. It sets all of this up to support the further parts of this section. The most difficulty my group and I have been having with this work was really coming to a consensus on what interpretations was correct. We all threw out a bunch of ideas and twisted the words or meanings to support them, but none of us could quite identify the actual meaning of the work. Not without a bit of help from our teacher that is. Overall I found the sections of the work we read to be intriguing, but difficult. It really challenges you to find the meaning within the seemingly unimportant words on its pages.
I partially agree with the idea that “…government is best which governs least…”. A government is there to provide its people a basis to spread their ideas. A government is there to represent the will of the people that gave it its power. A government is also there to advise its people in times or turmoil, and finally to maintain a fair economic and legal situation for its citizens and businesses. These are the purposes a government should serve, with few exceptions. A government obviously does need to govern a bit, otherwise it is anarchy, which is extremely detrimental to society. In regards to the individual, the government’s purpose is to provide you the opportunity to succeed based on our own efforts, and to make sure no one else interferes with your attempts unfairly or violently. Its purpose is also to advise and lead you based on what the collective believes. The type of government that commands my respect is one that knows its limits, but is confident in its abilities. In other words, a government that knows what it can and cant do very clearly. It would use every power it is given to execute the will of the people, yet respect each persons rights and freedom. In other words, a democracy with good leadership commands my respect. This is because it is the best kind of government for its citizens. It does everything it can to give you an even playing field, and leaves it entirely up to you to determine your level of success. It is arguably the fairest and most stable government we have developed, financially and militarily. The role of civil disobedience today has become much less intense, and is essentially to let the government and people around you know what you think should be changed. It is not still effective at all. Unless a movement had enough support for the use of true civil disobedience, the government could easily put it down. If someone refuses to pay their taxes for instance, they can suffer legal consequences that will force them to pay taxes. A government can easily use this too put down a movement, unless the movement has enough support to make it too risky to put down legally. In other words, civil disobedience has become more of a notification to the government that their is a problem you wish to be fixed, and less an active stance in affecting the way the government makes decisions around that issue.
The reading of “Excerpts from Walden” was a fairly interesting time. It was complicated and difficult to understand, and so it required a large amount of thought and time to interpret. Thoreau and Emerson share two very similar, and large, ideals. They both believe society is but a hindrance to the nature of man, and they both believe that nature is how man achieves happiness and clarity. This can be seen in both works when Thoreau describes his reasons for moving to the woods and Emerson describes his experience as the “transparent eyeball” when visiting nature. We can also see the link between their beliefs regarding society when Thoreau abandons it in search of living life to it’s fullest, implying that society doesn’t let you do that. As well as when Emerson describes how society offers us consistency with regard to our needs, but sacrifices individualism and freedoms as a result. The main idea of the first portion of the excerpt “Where I lived and what I lived for”is that society creates consistency and breeds greed and a lack of appreciation for nature. It was also to express Thoreau’s discontent with his life in society, and how he wanted to move to nature so they could become isolated. In the conclusion, he is showing how humanity tends to follow the beaten path rather than create a new one. This implies we are naturally tend towards conformity. It also implies that success can be found if you confidently move in one direction. The benefits of performing this experiment would likely be to connect us more to nature, to understand why it is important to conserve it and why we need it to survive as a species. The largest things I would miss would be the ability to reach for a bottle of water whenever you are thirsty, or reach for a snack whenever you are hungry. The environment of instant gratification that is created by society today would be the thing this experiment is trying to show to us, and therefore would deprive us of such a luxury. For that reason along with the fact that I am not particularly fond of the amount or type of amenities in the woods I do not think I could complete this experiment. The largest thing a reader should take out of the excerpts we’ve read is that society is not something you deserve, it is not something you are entitled to, it is a luxury. Society is something that provides us with the consistency we need to support the amount of human life we have on this planet, but people must prepare. In the event said society were to collapse, how would Americans fare? Are we prepared to deal with something as catastrophic as the loss of something we weren’t truly entitled to? These are the questions I will leave the reader with, and the most important thing readers should take from these excerpts.
I argue very often with basically anything. I argue with myself from time to time whenever I am alone and bored. I very much enjoy arguing with people. The worst thing about my arguments is that most of the time they are pointless. The only other thing is that whenever I am wrong I usually keep the argument going or make it convoluted to annoy whoever I am arguing. One of my favorite people to argue with is Conner Schneck. This is due to his tendency to forget that the argument is pointless, or persist fruitlessly regardless of how convoluted it gets. I put that last part in there as per his suggestion. The way I argue is fairly intense. I usually start out with attacking my opponent’s points before laying out any of my own. This demoralizes them and reduces their will to attack my points. Once they are properly disproven, I lay out my points and they usually go unopposed at that point. The alternative is that they do attack my points and prove me wrong. We usually end up reaching a stalemate at that point where all of our points are disproven but neither of us has any more to dish out. This is when I start to try and confuse them to reverse the damage. This has about a 50% chance of actually working and if it does, I walk away happy. If it doesn’t, I walk away happy anyway because I annoyed my opponent. The way my peers construct arguments is usually entirely based around my structure as I usually attack first. Usually, they are on the defensive for most of their argument, and they may do a little attacking afterward if their resolve hasn’t been decimated. The way adults argue with me is something I will talk about in regards to my parents. Their arguments consist of one of four phrases, “Whatever…”, “I don’t care…”, or “You aren’t 18 yet, you don’t get to decide anything…”, or “I’m done, stop talking to me, whatever.” Now walking away from this dumpster fire, how we can develop a valid argument? To do this you need two things, a solid foundation (a fort) and a way to attack your opponent’s foundation (guns). Without a foundation, the person’s “guns” have nothing to fire at. Without “guns”, you can’t shoot down the other’s points. Without either a foundation or the “guns”, a group is incapable of a proper argument. Another pet peeve of mine is when people try to yell over each other as if volume proves their point. Just listen to the other person argument, and if they yell over you, it makes your side look more valid. Overall, I enjoy arguing and have a fairly good understanding of how to do so effectively.