Monday, December 2, 2013

Lord of the Flies Reflection

The ending of Lord of the Flies is rather melancholy because first Piggy is killed then Jack and all the other boys end up hunting Ralph down with the intent to kill him. Yes they do get rescue and yes Ralph doesn't end up getting killed by Jack's tribe but the adults who rescued them don't have a clue what when on and how the boys reacted to it. The way you can tell this is because when the Navel Officer finds them he asks them if they were playing war and ask how many were dead, kidding. But of course the reader and the boys know that the war wasn't fake and that they killed two other boys not to mention the third dead which they fail to mention which is the boy with the birthmark on his face. Also in the beginning of the end of the book when Ralph and Piggy go to try and retrieve Piggy's glasses from Jack the author no longer refers to the boys of Jack's tribe by name instead they are all called savages. Which shows that the transition from boys to savages is complete and also that they are one collective beast instead of individual humans. At the very end of the book when the Navel Officer shows up the reader ends up seeing, for the first time, the boys through an adult's eyes. It is at that point that you remember that these boys are only 6 to 12 years old and they are killing each other and killing things in savage ways. The way the Navel Officer describes Jack is also really interesting because he asks who's in charge "A little boy, who wore the remains of an extraordinary black cap on his red hair and who carried the remains of a pair of spectacles at his waist, started forward then changed his mind and stood still." (Golding 207). This is a very interesting quote because throughout the whole book I at least viewed Jack as this intimidating guy who kills things for the fun of it but in fact he is a scared little boy with mud on his face and pointed stick. Also when the Officer learns that there are no adults he says "Fun and games," (Golding 206)  even though the boys savagely killed two boys, almost killed another and set a whole island on fire in the process. Yes it definitely sounds like fun. Also in what sick game would have that outcome...tag?! "However makes it to the tree last gets savagely beaten and thrown over a cliff into the sea! Now who wants to play this fun, completely normal game?". Then to add insult to injury when the boys start to cry because they have practically went to hell and back the officer turns away to let them pull themselves. These reasons are mostly likely why Ralph refers to the officer's heart as dark (Golding 208) because instead of the kids who were killing each other being the savages, the officer is because he is withholding comfort and understanding from those who needed it most. Overall the ending to Lord of the Flies was good, disturbing but definitely good.


Monday, November 18, 2013

The Lord of the Flies

The symbols that have emerged so far in Lord of the Flies are numerous considering the fact that everything in the book is a symbol. Some of the more interesting ones being that obviously Simon is religion which makes sense because upon learning about the beast he comes to the conclusion that the beast is not real. Instead the beast is inside everyone therefore it is not something you can hunt and kill. This mirrors what many religions say to their followers in the fact that Simon is saying that to change the world around you, you must first change yourself. Also the conch symbolizes control because when Jack was trying to replace Ralph as chief, he blew the conch and he used it to try and show his power over other people. Also when Jack's clan raids Ralph's for fire some of the boys go to protect the conch because that is the symbol of power and they thought that Jack was going to try and steal it. Another symbol that is used in the book is butterflies prancing around which symbolizes peace and harmony. These butterflies, of course, are only ever metioned being in Simon's secret place which means that his place is the only place of peace and harmony on the island which isn't good. When Jack's clan slay the pig in Simon's place the book describes how the butterflies are dancing when the clan first gets there. But as soon as they start slaying the pig, the butterflies leave therefore the only place of peace and harmony on the island was destroyed.      

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Matter of Brains

(FYI it based sometime in the future)

Every time I step in the operating room a pit forms in my stomach. It's not because I'm nervous,  I have no reason to be considering that I'm one of the best neurosurgeons in the world. Though it took a few years at this job to pin down cause of this pit, I believe I have. The reason I dread going into work each day is remorse. Remorse that the new technology and techniques that use to save lives is being used for such a vain and shallow purpose. About thirty years ago a procedure to safely transplant human brains into another body with few side effects was developed. Right after it past the human tests and was approved by the FDA it was used to save the lives of those who fell victim to tragic accidents who had no other hope of survival. Yet as the years past and more and more people were saved by this method, the aristocracy found a new purpose for it, to extend their life way beyond the norm. The way they can do this is if their body is dying then they simple go and find a new, younger body and have their brains transplanted into their new body. This is endless cycle means that the rich can never die and rule over the poor for as long as they wish. As if living for as long as you wish were not enough, the rich had to take it a step further and change bodies if they thought that their old body didn't meet society's standards of beauty. Creeped out yet? I probably should be creepy out by this or a least a little disturbed but body switching has become a norm in society and it's hard to be disturbed by it. If you haven't guessed it already I'm the head surgeon at the biggest body-switching clinics in the world. Do I think body-switch for eternal life and beauty is moral wrong? Yes a little bit but if you get a paycheck as big as mine you learn to play along with things...  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Learn to Fly

So this week I decided to do something a little different. Instead of a creative writing piece or a rant about society I going to analyze a song. Said song is Settle by Two Door Cinema Club which I believe is saying that you only have a finite numbers of days so use them to try your hardest and really do your best. Yes I know that it sounds like a Hallmark card but still some of the most cheesy things can be helpful in their own way. Also near the beginning of the song it says "I can see all the things arresting me but I control, I control". Which I took as meaning that no matter what you control your own destiny, no matter the outside forces are you are ultimately responsible for the outcome of your life. That being said the "city" in the song "that drags you in" is not taking responsibility for your actions and push the blame for your mediocre life on to someone or something else. What also backs this up is that in the song the city is refereed to as "drenched in sin" so when you refuse to accept your mistakes and blame other people then you will keep blaming other people and your life will not exactly be a happy one. I'm not saying that self-conceited jerks don't get "far" in life because sadly they usually do. But you can have everything in the world and still not be happy. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ills of Society

Though in modern context satire is just humor, it provides a vessel for people to expose the ills of society without little to no retaliation from the target.  Since humans have varying degrees of intelligence and humour not everyone in society sees what the satirist is trying to expose especially the people who are or have brought the ill upon society. To the people who caused the ill or who are the ill, the satirist seems extremely empathic to their cause but in truth the satirist is mocking them. Therefore most of society sees that the satirist is pointing out a flaw that needs to be remedied and the cause(s) of the flaw, who are the ones most likely to retaliate, do not see that the satirist just put a target on their back(s). That is why satire is used throughout history and use so much today to expose the ills of society.

Satire is very effective because it usually goes over the heads of the people the satirist is insulting. ".... recommend... dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs."(Swift 4). In this passage Swift is suggesting to roast and prepare infants the same as if someone was roasting a pig. Of course the audience would be quite horrified that he is suggesting that they should roast and eat babies as they do pigs. Yet the audience most likely doesn't know that Swift is writing this proposal from a aristocratic standpoint. So as the aristocratic of Ireland and England read this over the tea and crumpets, they most likely think that Swift is a sick, not exactly stable man. Yet Swift is making fun of them for treating the poor no better than pigs and the only thing left in the way of them being equal to pigs is being roasted and eaten. Even though the aristocracy may be mad at him for proposing such a thing but they will not come for his head on a platter because he said that they were no better than baby eaters. "I have been a an American... a young child... a most nourishing and wholesome food..."(Swift 3). Though is seems as if Americans were Swift target in this passage, they are not. Again it is the aristocracy for having such a low view of Americans, as far of the aristocracy of England is concerned Americans are nothing more than savages. Even though most of the Americans immigrated from England not that long ago. The aristocracy thinks that Swift finally provided the evidence they needed to prove just how vile Americans were, they just didn't know how far off mark they were. Satire is quite great at going over the targets' heads yet still getting the rest of society to realize the ill.

Satire connects and stays with society because it's funny. If satire wasn't funny then it would just be a person complaining about what is wrong with the world but it is, therefore people pay attention. On Saturday Night Live they did a skit were they were poking fun at all the rich americans complaining about the new iPhone. They did this by having "factory workers" from the Apple plant in China and comparing the problems they have to deal with to the "first world problems" that the whiny Americans have to deal with (SNL). It was funny because the factory workers were making fun of the first world problems that the americans had to deal with all the while the americans just sat there looking embarrassed and awkward. Even though it did revel the deeper problem that Americans' electronics are made by people who are practically slaves, while they complain about how their iPhones' picture have a weird lighting to them. People will remember that skit because it was funny and may show it to a friend because it is funny. That friend that they showed it to might get the deeper meaning and might do something to change it even if the first person was blissfully unaware there was such a thing as a deeper meaning. This is part of the reason why satire is so effective is because it is humorous people enjoy watching it. If there was just some guy on the tele that was just listing everything wrong with society then most people would hate him because he's boring. Yet with satire people laugh and share it with their friends therefore helping the idea of what the satirist thinks is wrong with society spread. Satire is like a coconut, the hard shell is the humour which is what everyone thinks a coconut is just a hard shell but inside is the seed, the idea. People have to get past the humour to get to the idea about society. Satire is extremely effective because it disguise itself as humour even though it taking a swing at society.

Though it is good because satire goes over the heads of the people it is targeting it is also a problem because it goes over the heads of a lot of people in society too. Like in Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks, though it is trying to expose the outrage spending by governments on trying to outdo one another, most people just think that it's stupid. The reason being that a government would never spend 200 billion pounds on a ministry that's sole purpose to develop and preserve silly walks. The people who view satire and think that are not necessarily wrong but they do not see the forest through the trees heck they don't even see the trees. More like they can't see the forest through the trees through the leafs.  In other words people focus more on what things and people are literally saying than what they could or couldn't be saying. Which is why sometimes satire fails because people think very literally and satire is decently deep. So even though satire is a great tool for exposing the ills of society people have to be aware of who their audience is and what their satire is literally saying.

Satire is a wonderful at showing society its ills. Even though sometime is may go over people's heads it's a great way for common people to voice their concerns about other people in society without getting beheaded (literally and metaphorically). Without satire there wouldn't be as many laughs or as many changes in society. This is why satire has and will still make a big impact on society.

Monday, October 14, 2013


If someone asks you to find a satirical video then present it and watch everyone else satirical videos. Then it really isn't a very taxing project or in class assignment instead it a barrel of laughs and a nice break from the daily lull of things (namely math). In my option everyone did rather well on their presentations even if the video/picture/news article wasn't satirical, it was still funny. Also the presentations helped see the subtle difference between satire and just comedy. It's quite hard to judge which one of the videos is my favorite since I was only there for about four of the presentations. So any favorites drawn from those four would be rather biased since I haven't seen the other twenty some videos. As for my presentation, it went rather well besides the fact that I don't believe many people thought it was funny, which was a bummer because Monty Python is funny if you get "dry" humour. Overall the presentations on satire were rather good and very funny.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jonathan Swift

Some facts about Mr. Swift...

  1.  At 22, he mentored a girl, Esther "Stella" Johnson, which was rare for the time because girls rarely received educations. 
  2. His father died when he was rather young and his mother couldn't provide for him so he was send to live with his uncle, where he received an education 
  3. It's believed that Swift married Stella when he was rather old but the marriage was not announced for unknown reasons.
  4. Later in his life Swift developed Meniere's Disease, which affects the inner ear and causes hearing loss among other things.
  5. Although Swift was born and spent a good part of his life in Ireland he considered himself an Englishman. 
"Swift has a higher reputation than he deserves. His excellence in a strong sense; for his humour, though very well, is not remarkably good. I doubt whether The Tale of Tub be his; for he never owned it, and it is much above his worldly manner." 
-Samuel Johnson, in James Boswell, Life of Johnson (1791)

"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in confederacy  against him"
-Jonathan Swift 

Merriman, C.D. "Jonathan Swift." - Biography and Works. Jalic Inc., 2008. Web. 08 Oct. 2013.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Ministry of Silly Walks

The literal meaning of this video is actually quite harder to see than the deeper one just because the literal meaning is well... quite silly.  Once you get past the rather cheesy laugh track, the video is saying that there is a government ministry that is devoted to the creation of silly walks. This random unnamed citizen wants to get a grant to develop his silly walk even though according to John Cleese "The right leg isn't silly at all and the left leg merely does forward aerial half turn every alternate step". The unnamed unsilly citizen then explains "With government back I think I could make it quite silly." Then that leads Cleese's character, who is also unnamed, into a rant about how "Last year the government spend less on the Ministry of Silly walks then it did on National Defense." Then keeps ranting about how other countries have better silly walks then their country does. In short these video is about a guy trying to obtain a grant from the Ministry of Silly Walks to further develop his silly walk. All in all the literal meaning is extremely literal and... silly.

Moving right along the deeper meaning of the video is that governments waste a ton of money on worthless, silly programs that don't help the people of the country in any way. Also that the government gives out grants to develop the silliest ideas, like in the video, a silly walk that isn't particularly silly.  John Cleese is playing the character of an upstart person in the silly program that believes that the government should be spending more on the program. You can see these when Cleese is telling the other guy that out of all the ministries that the government has they spend the least amount of money on silly walks even though it is the "most important of all the ministries". Also it's poking fun at the fact that a lot of the money governments spend is in trying to out do each other. When Cleese is talking about the grant he is also brings up the various silly walks that other countries have developed and how comparatively their country is lagging behind. Though I do love space and NASA, it is like the Space Race because there was very little scientific value in sending man to the moon because a rover could do the same and would be a lot cheaper. The reason we did though is to stick it to Russia and prove that we were "superior". I rather like the deeper meaning of these video and believe that it applies to most governments not just the British one (which I'm assuming they are making fun of considering that Monty Python is British)  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hero's Cycle

My group's hero is Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. The movie in it of its self is amazing because they have so many random characters yet they still manage to connect them all pretty seamlessly. To point of where you forget the astronomical odds of that occurring but that what draws people to adventure movies, to see something that is seemly impossible succeed. Since there are so many characters and so many plots in the movie there is more than one primary character. Captain Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swan, Will Turner and Captain Barbossa are all considered primary characters but only Will Turner fits the hero cycle. The reason being Barbossa is automatically out because he is antagonist in this film and he dies at the end which makes it rather hard for him to complete the cycle. Captain Jack Sparrow is always working for his own gain and rarely helps anyone out unless it's to his advantage, also he lack very crucial things in the hero cycle like a mentor. Elizabeth could have worked for the hero cycle in a way but she is more often than not playing the damsel in distress rather than the hero. Though Will's fit in the hero's cycle was not as black and white as some other movies he fit rather well it also helped that he has a fabulous choice in hats.

The other groups' hero posters were quite amazing. The movies that people chose were very interesting in that they were movies I have never heard of or wouldn't have even thought about. Everyone did, in my option, a wonderful job of connecting their character to the hero cycle. That being said there were some posters design wise that stood out to me, first of all the poster for Pi because they did a wonderful job of combining the elements and colors from the movie in the poster. Usually orange, black and shades of blue don't go well together but this group made it into a very seamless, elegant work of art that fit the story line. The paintings on the poster for The Nightmare Before Christmas were extremely well done and really set that poster apart from the others. I must also mention the poster for The Hobbit because of the creative use of the One Ring as the O in Bilbo's name. Sadly I cannot mention all the posters but they were all quite wonderful. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Paradox

The one big problem with our world is that we all try to be the "perfect human" yet being absolute perfection is impossible. If you really think about perfection is a paradox, it's made up of many pairs opposite characteristics that a person must strike just the right balance to. Take a student, you must be studious yet not antisocial or almost every human being on earth you must be part of the group yet still keep your own personality. Which is rather hard in this day and age because everyone is trying to shove their own personality, their own interests down our throats. Because modern people think that the only way to fulfill their life's purpose, to achieve success to get tons people to love them, to mimic them, to have their own interests and personality imprinted on someone else. The goal in life is not to be worshipped and not to achieve perfection. It is to follow the path makes you happy even if only a few people know your name or what you achieved in life. You know what you did to change the world. You know what you did to change the existing reality.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Order Out of Chaos

“Whether you call someone a hero or monster is all relative to where the focus of your consciousness may be” - Joseph Campbell

This idea is not new to society or hopefully shouldn’t be because in movies, plays, songs and most importantly real life we brand people (sometimes unfairly) hero or villain with out looking to see the good or the bad in the hero or villain. Basically the rule is that if you are a hero to someone then you are most likely a villain to someone else. Because you cannot become a hero, slay monsters, rescue maidens whatever without hurting the monster or foiling the person’s plans who rightfully stole the maiden in the first place. In life there is no black and white only gray but the problem with us humans is that we seek out the black and white. If that doesn’t work we make things black and white because we are humans and we need to make order out the chaos. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

"We Will Be With All The World"

"Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world."
-Joseph Campbell

Though you may try to go in a certain direction fate pushes you into the opposite direction. In the quote it says, “We had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves” Even though you meant to hurt another person you will only end up hurting yourself. It is you not them who will have to live the guilt of slaying someone which in some ways worst than being slayed. You have to deal with the pain, they will not. Also it’s hard for a totally new hero to really pave the way for rest of the world’s heroes since as a society we have really decided what makes a hero. That is the expectation and that is the reality. So if a new hero does come along and is truly a new breed of hero then society will most likely brand him/her a villain and that hero exploring a new labyrinth will never be a true hero in the eyes of society. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

La Plata De Nada

Movies have now become an essential part of our culture as humans. We share feeling, emotions and ideas through film and tend to connect with people who happen to like the film or types of films as we do. Therefore I will be sharing my favorite film, Pink Panther 2 with you.
Pink Panther 2 is about a bumbling idiot of a detective who somehow ends up solving the case in the end. The picture above illustrates the character quite nicely because no matter how badly he messes up he continues work towards solving the case at hand. Enough about film, on to the medium of art we human connect through, music.

There are over 26 million songs in the world and it is quite hard to choose a favorite out of 26 million yet I have and it is Steve McQueen by M83.

I love this song just because the actual song and lyrics are just so hopeful and happy. Every time I hear it I just remember that there's a future out there and I can choose to make it great, happy and awesome or I just think that nothing is ever going to change and that we as a human race are stuck in this rut that it's impossible to get out of. 

It's quite hard pinpoint to the greatest experience in my life but would have to be touring NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. By the way if you didn't know how big of geek I was before, now you do. Since JPL is where NASA controls and receives data from its rovers and orbiters there is always data being sent or received. Nothing show how hard or how many people it takes to receive, go through and make sure that these robots millions of miles away keep transmitting better than JPL's massive control room. Seeing these control room and meeting some of the people who work there really proved to me how far civilization has come since the first flight about 100 years ago. Then we could only get aircraft to fly for a few seconds and now we can send a robotic geologist to another planet while we control from earth.