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Legalization of Marijuana; Yay or Nay?

Legalization of Marijuana; Yay or Nay? Pot, weed, grass, and marijuana…these are all names of the infamous drug that gives rise to d...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Final: Imagine

"I hope someday you'll join us...And the world will live as one" (S.5, L.3-4). Being one of the most recognizable and significant songs of the 20th century, just simply reading the lyrics will generate the song's rhythm in your  head. Shortly after John Lennon's departure from the influential Beatles, he began his own solo career. Although fans all over the world were heartbroken by the disperse of the iconic band, many people were eager to see the kind of path that John would take as an individual artist. His most acclaimed song to date was "Imagine," for its saddening truthfulness and powerful meaning. The song signifies everything that John stood for as a peaceful revolutionist, and expresses the method of dreaming outside of humanity's social norms. Lennon makes reference to the disobliging ways of religion, war, and poverty all within only three minutes. In Lennon's stance in the song "Imagine," he remarks the wrongs in society by dreaming of a better reality and highlighting the contrast between the world's present and hopeful future.

In the first verse of the song, Lennon rebels against the dependence of religion and says to live in the moment. His resistance against religion's system of beliefs is abnormal to humanity and what the world accepts as true. He Imagines that there is no heaven or hell and that the here and now is the only world we will ever come to know. His simplistic way of describing this far-off dream comes off as calm and peaceful, since he is just stating his individual opinions: "It's easy if you try" (S.1, L.2).  He then continues with his observation about the world's reality, by mentioning that there is only "sky." Lennon's tone is not angered or violent, he just wants people to join his movement, that declares a life of freedom and thought. This verse focuses on one single topic of how many people of the world worry about afterlife. He gives a substitute to humanity's crutch on religion by offering a way of existing without worry about where you will be next. This verse is divided by notifying the way that many humans live in today's world, then envisioning a community where all people live in the moment.

This theme of non-conformity continues to the second verse, where Lennon focuses on the unnecessary wars that take place in the world. Known for his tranquil protests against the Vietnam War, Lennon had influenced many followers to join him in his peaceful outlook on life. Lennon begins his statement by dreaming of a world without separation amongst the nations of the globe. Again with his uncomplicated tactic of dreaming, he tries to convey that anyone can dream of this contrasting lifestyle. Lennon then makes observations about the end to violence and war: "Nothing to kill or die for" (S.2, L.3). He wants his audience to become available to curiosity and a conduct of peace. Lennon views all war as unnecessary, so he resolves the solution in the last line, with a transparent attitude.

His last verse acknowledges the poverty that reigns in our world, then describing that the unity of mankind can put an end to this corruptness. Lennon first dreams of a world with no values or possessions, conceiving a society where everyone has a clean slate and everyone begins as equal. With this perspective on life, John says there would be "No need for greed or hunger" (S.4, L.3).  Possessions are unnecessary, it's all about the type of characteristics that a certain person displays. He declares that the only way to put an end to this dependence on materialistic values, is to share them with all other people as a union. The most significant word that he provides in this stanza and possibly the song is "brotherhood." This single phrase captures the essence of his fight against poverty, representing that everyone in this world is equal and apart of a team with one common goal of prospering in life. He says that the only way to achieve at this ambition in life is to come together as a community and defy the unethical social gap in our communities.

The chorus that is repeated between the verses, throughout the song has the most definitive capture around the song as a whole. As each verse ends, it creates a solution to the problems that we have in the world, which lead to a positive hope for our future. Once the chorus begins, Lennon fully indulges himself into speaking directly to the audience that is listening to his statements. He claims that many of the listeners may think that he is the only person that believes in putting an end to these disputes, although provides clarity by asserting that he is just the first brave person attend to these subjects. He affirms the audience that anyone can be brave in the world, they just have to "dream" of providing hope to the world. In his final direction to how he wants the public to react, is to join "us" in this fight for peace and equality. In reference to this group that he represents, he recognizes all of the other non-conformists in the world that think like him. Lennon is knowledgeable of the fact that it is common for humans to think this way, but you have to start somewhere in order to make an impact on the world. His endings in both verses are slightly different, although have a giant connotation to them: "...will be as one...will live as one" (S.3, L.4-S.5-L.4). The difference in the word's "be" and "live" show the closeness that he feels with the audience by the end of the song. Lennon not only wants to form an alliance with all of the world, but also wants to unite as a family that "lives" as one. In each chorus, Lennon combines both the present and the future by speaking with the audience and claiming that it is not hard to join his cause for Imagining.

The future was not necessarily changed by John's effective words, but it takes a process to stray away from the conformity of today's society. Although Lennon was killed before he could finish his movement, his work is not undone, it continued after his death. Many followers continue to fight for the cause that he displayed, but this song provides a good reminder of how to remain curious and imaginative of a different life. The famous song will live forever as John's most memorable melody and shows that legends truly never die.

The Mercury Man

Billy Loveman
12/6/15
O'Connor

Freddie Mercury

             The outstanding singer, Freddie Mercury was not only one of the best vocalists of all time, but he lives throughout history as a legend. Mercury stood up for freedom of equality and liberation, while also writing music that gave meaning to his values. Towards later years in his life, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDs, which was a new, yet deadly disease at the with you time. By this time in his life, he had earned the fame and immortality across the globe, making a sustaining mark in society. Although dying at a young age, Mercury had made several accomplishments in the music industry and had explored unknown territories within different genres with his band, Queen. The areas that the world remembers Mercury for are his rise to glory, his mixing of themes and categories, and the influence that he had on the rights in society.

             With the original name, Farrokh Bulsara, Mercury was born in Zanzibar, East Africa, to two British-born parents. His father had moved the family here to continue his occupation as a cashier at the British Colonial Office. Here, the family lived in a small flat and Mercury began to take piano lessons at the age of 7.  When he was 8, he was sent to an all boys school in Mumbai, India, where he would form different bands and establish his piano and vocal talents. Here, he would cover many rock and roll bands, and he would exploit his natural talents for music. "A friend recalls 'he had an uncanny ability to listen to the radio and replay what he heard on piano.'" When he was 17, his family and him fled Zanzibar because of violent revolution that was occurring, then moved to Middlesex, England. Mercury worked tirelessly and many different odd jobs, while also working toward his dreams in the music industry. Hopping around different bands, one after the other failed to take off. In 1970, he joined with Brian May (guitarist) and Roger Taylor (drummer), where they had initial management by just Mercury himself. By this time, Mercury had foreseen hope in the band, so he devoted all of his time to the success of this band. He named the band "Queen," full well knowing its gay connotations. Mercury changed his last name from Bulsara to Mercury and went by Freddie, establishing an eternal name throughout history. In his early years, Mercury worked his "ass off" in music education and made several logical decisions that would lead to his success and fame in society.

             The international sensation that Queen earned was due to the complex songs, harmonies, and genres that they took on. Freddie Mercury lead the band in concerts through his flamboyant, yet awesome performance style, giving off a theatrical and operatic edge. It was not established to the public that Mercury was homosexual until an interview in 1974, making it the first time ever that it was cool to be gay. Mercury became very open with his sexuality and everyone in the world didn't mind it, in fact they appreciated his behavior and the stage personas that he had. Mercury had a natural talent of a four octave range, using this advantage to cover genres that no one had attempted in music history. Queen created unorthodox song structures and complicated harmonies that sounded beautiful. The lyrics were inspirational to many people because the meanings related to Mercury's emotions and made the songs all more powerful. With songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, Bicycle Race, and We Will Rock You, theatrical stories were told and enhanced through insane vocal scales. They also manufactured many rock operas based on the unique songs and albums they had written, expressing even more of a theatrical essence. Known as one of the best bands ever to exist, Freddie Mercury lead Queen to several record breaking accomplishments and successes in genres that had not yet been explored by rock and roll yet.

             The primary reason that Freddie Mercury is long remembered, is for the influence he had on people standing up for their rights and peacefully fighting for the liberties that the free world was promised. Having a homosexual background, many religious and outside anti-gay activists loathed Mercury's personality and the symbols he stood for. In the music video for I Want to Break Free, the members of Queen cross dressed and highlighted risks for sexuality, while making a meaning to freedom of sexual orientation. This music video was subsequently banned by MTV for "inappropriate sights," sparking a rage throughout America and all fans of Queen. To this day, the video is still banned by MTV and prohibited from people of certain ages. Queen would soon release songs, like Radio Gaga, expressing how they were being forced to conform to society's rules and could not express their feelings. Songs like these had the crowd collectively pumping fists to the dance and singing along to the powerful lyrics. Many followers joined in on the fight for liberation in America and also made an effort to earn rights for all sexual orientations. Towards the end of his career, Mercury would make others songs that dealt with different circumstances and the current dilemma that he was internally or externally battling. For example, he sang The Show Must Go On with immense passion about his battle against AIDs.  Mercury soon died from this deadly disease, although rose as a significant figure that made efforts to creating an equal world. Mercury was a powerful role model that gave influence to gay rights, freedom of speech, and passion for individual beliefs.

https://elmusicinterest.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/how-freddie-mercury-influenced-music-in-society/

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/queens-tragic-rhapsody-20140707

Living In Fear

Mother's Blog About "Living In Fear"


Growing up in the 70’s was a gift.  I remember the only thing I was scared of was the “boogie

man” and he wasn’t even real.  My grandparents lived down the street from me which meant I

never had a babysitter. We used our home phones to call our friends and we actually wrote letters

to them over the summer.  We played outside and never once feared there would be a drive-by

shooting or terrorists on our streets.

Times have changed and it makes me sad.  Our children get on airplanes to see their

grandparents and now we do the same to see our children.  Our kids would never consider using

a home phone and sadly the “boogie man” today is very real.   I worry about the impact fear and

disconnection will have on our children.  A social worker at New Trier told me last year they

were in triage treating kids with anxiety and depression.  I am certain the Paris shootings have

raised the level of worry to an even greater level.

Our oldest daughter Marin is working at NBC in New York City and was chosen out of 16,000

applicants.  She is living her career dream, but she won’t get on the subway because she is

terrified of the terror threats.  Our middle daughter Carly has plans to study abroad in Florence,

Italy for her spring semester.  She studies Art History and is excited to have the opportunity to

live where so many masters created their work. But she is terrified of the terror threats.  Our son

Billy is still at home and thankfully does not have terror concerns … yet.

So how do we keep our hopes and dreams alive for our children without giving in to worry?

And how do we keep them from worrying?  I lay awake at night wishing for Marin to move

home, for Carly not to travel abroad and for Billy to attend college close by.  But I know this is

not possible.  I also know firsthand that worry is a waste of time and we can’t stop our children

from their journeys.

So I rely on two things to get me through the day, and the wee hours of the night.  My faith and

70’s music.  I pray, I meditate and I listen to Pandora’s 70’s station.  Prayer keeps me centered

and connects me to a source that keeps me calm.  And since I can’t live in the 70’s, I keep the

music flowing in my 2015 life.  It’s a great reminder that good is greater than evil and putting

peace and love into the universe is our best shot at changing the climate of our world.  We’ve

never needed the peace sign more, so I say bring back the 70’s in any way we can – through

music, peace, love, putting down our i-phones, writing a letter, calling our grandparents and

taking a break from worry,

Attacks on Paris

Billy Loveman
11/16/15
English 3

Terrorist Attacks on Paris

The terrorist attacks on Paris caught the attention of both the world and all of social media. Hearts were broken across the globe and people became sick to their stomachs in reaction to the major tragedy. At least 129 people were killed in this violent attack, that caused fear and tension between many different countries. The masterminds and prosecutors of these attacks were apart of a group called ISIS (Islamic State). This terrorist group seeks to cause fear and violence across the world for no good motives. The foundation of their religion is based on killing others and themselves, in order to spark chaos. They have began many training camps across the Middle East and already executed many other minor attacks. They have been born into a community where they have an established anguish for America and the freedom that it represents. Not only does ISIS hate America, they hate many other western cultures that believe in democracy and express the belief of liberty and freedom as well. Many believe that this group cannot be stopped, while others believe that violence could be the solution to this extreme problem that is occurring in our modern world.


A huge manhunt is undergoing, in search for the accomplices of these attacks and for the men who masterminded the bombings. These terrorists showed absolutely no mercy and had no humanity while hunting down hundreds of innocent civilians. While some believe to take this action with peace and shed no reaction, France and America had taken their chances into a different direction. The two countries dropped more than 20 bombs on militant areas within Syria, that had a population of around 200,000 people. This was made out as “an act of war,” showing that this type of battle and violence is now amongst the world. This reaction caused escalation to the attacks and killed around the same amount of civilians that ISIS killed in Paris. Not nearly the same amount of people have recognized this attack, as they did for Paris, showing how countries within Europe are much more praised than countries like Syria, which are in the Middle East. These back and forth raids will cause more nuclear and scare of violence within the world, resulting in an all out war. Although it may seem unethical to do so, but America needs to take action with ISIS and respond in the only way that ISIS will listen to. If this must cause war, it needs to be taken, since ISIS is too dangerous to keep uncontained. Those who perished in the Paris attacks should be avenged and these western countries must be willing to stand up against the intolerable and immoral group of ISIS, in order to do so. Is war ethical under these circumstances or not? I believe that if it is the only way to resolve alternate violence against innocent people, it will be necessary to result in violence for beneficial causes, so everyone can feel safe in this world.




WWIII?

Billy Loveman
12/6/15
O'Connor

WWIII?

              WWIII is defined as a full in war between majority of the globe's nations, in subsequence to WWI and WWII which occurred in the 1910s and 1940s. Since the attacks on Paris and hearings about ISIS training camps in the Middle East, it seems as if there are puzzle pieces and previous battles being established before a much larger and involved war. One can almost feel like history is in the making, like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand before WWI and Pearl Harbor before the U.S.'s involvement in WWII. The real question is how has WWIII not been officially established or outlined in response to all of the commotion in current times? In response to this common question, many people focus on the violent causes that are leading up to a major war and the actions that different nations are taking in reaction to these roots towards war.

               The Paris attacks had been the most effective terrorist attacks on civilian soil spin Europe since WWII, causing the continent to go on a partial lockdown, to protect from alternate attacks of violence. Shortly after this event, a Russian fighter jet was shot down by a member of NATO, getting yet another country to become involved in the undertones war in our midst.  In the article How Is This Not WWIII?, the author stated, "If this had occurred during the Cold War, we would be bracing for the possibility of a nuclear war." In reaction to this attack, President Putin called a meeting with the UN of security, while NATO called their own emergency meeting, signifying the separation between teams for the "war." On the other side of this battle, Al Qaeda fights for recognition amongst the world and still remains as a competitor of ISIS. The Shiites battles the Sunnies, the Arabs are against the Iranians, and the Kurds are against ISIS as well. This expresses how there is a vast amount of rivalry and fight for territory amongst the Middle East, creating even more of a dangerous war zone than the free world could have expected. This sets in the hazard for soldiers from France, Russia, or America to stepping into the Middle East, because then they risk interfering with civil rivalries that are not their fights to battle. In the midst of these other parties forming against ISIS or even for ISIS in the Middle East, an alternate alliance has formed to battle against the violence that the world may face. This includes Russia, Turkey, the U.S., the "anti-ISIS coalition," and France.  Many other smaller unions have formed to fight ISIS as well, but don't have the support of a full nation. The group, "Anonymous" is a computer hacking alliance that originally used their methods to exploit the faulties of government. But in subsequence to the attacks on France, they have turned their focus on ISIS, launching their biggest operation ever and have also declared cyber war on them. Representing Switzerland, Peru, and the UK, they are mainly focusing on defending France because of the attacks by using cyber attacks against ISIS. They have released videos that state their hatred against ISIS and how France will come out of this experience even stronger due to the actions that they will take. Another example of domestic fights against ISIS is gang violence in the U.S. The largest rival gangs in American society are the blood and crips, who claim that they have also declared war on ISIS. Thousands of members met in a park in Brooklyn recently, stating that ISIS is "soft," yet these gangs really know what it is like in the world. They claim that they will rent cruise ships and attack members of ISIS in the Middle East with all of their manpower. Despite that violence is being created, it makes Americans feel that domestic violence is being dissolved at the moment and everyone in the world now has a common enemy. Overall, nations are creating both enemies and allies for the chance of an upcoming war, while many others groups have unified to use their methods against the terrorist group, ISIS.

               President Barack Obama and Putin have both handled the reactions to the ISIS attacks very differently. Obama has stated that American military is making major efforts in containing ISIS by sending air strikes against Syria alongside France's Air Force as well. While Putin has sent massive military force into Syria in order to enforce the end to the conflict in the Middle East with armed soldiers and risking many lives. America has 150+ planes deployed in Syria in order ultimately bomb them, while Russia and France really only have around 35 planes each. ISIS has made influence on certain areas of operations, so their believers have made many targets around the world, sparking violence with no purpose. The Syrian World War hosts the coalition of more than 60 nations around the globe, which is about 1/4 of the nations in existence.  War is a factor in everyday life, but if this turns into world war, violence will prevail across the globe and nuclear destruction may be a factor, which is a scary foresight to have.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/paris-attacks-anonymous-launches-its-biggest-operation-ever-against-isis-promises-to-hunt-down-a6735811.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/24/opinions/ghitis-russia-jet-shot-down/

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Legalization of Marijuana; Yay or Nay?

Legalization of Marijuana; Yay or Nay?

Pot, weed, grass, and marijuana…these are all names of the infamous drug that gives rise to debate in the United States.  There are about 4 states in the U.S. that have legalized recreational use of marijuana.  This controversial subject has been repeatedly speculated throughout the last decade, which has had many American citizens both excited and worried for the future.  Many politicians and news reports hypothesize that Marijuana will e legal for recreational use across America within the next 5-10 years.  This brings up many cases of conflict and benefits for the average citizen of America.  Many people see it as profitable for both the U.S. economy and chance of opportunities because it would save resources for law enforcement as well as create many jobs, since it will bring the nation’s largest cash crop under the rule of law.  While many others, particularly of the elder generation, see the legalization of marijuana as a problem of addictive nature for the youth and as a cause of major health issues.
There are various amounts of advantages to the legalization of marijuana being a reality throughout the nation.  A revenue boost would be a result of this new law, since new taxes for its sale would raise millions of dollars each year.  This increase in revenue would be applied for various amounts of things that can benefit the nation, including new architecture projects, recreational repairs, economic advancements, etc.  With weed being legal, the police could focus their attention on the more dangerous and harmful problems, include violence.  This would also create more spacious room in crowded prisons, because the criminal justice system would no longer be affected as often.  Time and money would be provided towards stopping violent criminals from hurting others, instead of just stopping insignificant drug problems in small areas.  This change in budget would increase the government’s profit in money by billions.  This will also decrease violence that is associated with trade of the drug, so organized crime would no longer be crime at all and less money would support it.  There would also be control over a smoker’s safety.  This is because the legalization of weed would eliminate the risk of dangerous substances being put in the drug.  Weed would no longer be laced with dangerous ingredients because there is no need to put it in them, now that it is legal.  Now the young teen that may make a mistake with the drug, won’t be harmed by this potential danger that is currently a huge risk in today’s drug society.  As well as safety for users, there would be wider access for medicinal use, for any patient that is in need of the drug for medical reasons.  It is unethical for a person to not be able to use the drug, if it is necessary for their personal stability as a human being.  In a nutshell, there are many benefits that will give prosperity to many citizens if marijuana is legalized.

There are also many disadvantages to marijuana being legalized, which gives hazard to the regular citizen of the U.S. nation.  Scientific background gives much leverage to this side of the argument, since it supports how a regular teen can easily be altered by marijuana.  This drug offers an addictive nature that is very difficult to overcome.  Addiction occurs to 10% of marijuana users and leads to withdrawal symptoms that cause everyday dependence on the drug.  Some users don’t even realize how much it affects their lives, but it gives them a long-term effect.  Since the brain is being developed at the early stages of life, usually until your late 20s, your brain will become dependant on the drug in adulthood, since it will become a routinely process in your brain.  With this inability to give up the process of smoking weed, altered perception comes into play.  It will change how your body works and alter how a person may perceive things while under the influence.  This can trigger accidents in vehicles and in decision making, just like alcohol’s affects.  The pros and con’s article states, “One study showed that marijuana was the most prevalent illegal drug found in impaired or fatally injured drivers.”  This means that many accidents are caused by being under the influence of weed, since it impacts you to do such foolish actions that a person would not do in reality.  Marijuana is also a gateway to drug use in adulthood, since people are 2-3 times more likely to abuse substances in later years, if they had used them as teenagers.  It also creates dependence on the drug and need to feel “happy” on the high all of the time, which leads them to avoiding their true personality.  It gives leverage to more intense drugs as well, which create even more dangers than weed does.  Not to mention, how it increases damage to the heart, lungs, brain, and mental stability in a regular human being.  There are too many facts that side with weed being illegal; showing how scary the next generation might be with its legalization.  What will be the next drug that kids consider “cool,” cocaine? Meth? LSD? Heroin.  No one wants the future to be addicted to these harmful narcotics, which affects how eventual society may wind up.
Personally, I side with marijuana’s illegalization because it will create an unsafe environment to the soon-to-be young generation.  Hopefully, things will seem more clear to the people of America and pot will stay as it is, an illegal drug that shall not be abused by young children.

How Technology is Affecting the Young Generations of Today's Society




How Technology is Affecting the Young Generations of Today's Society

    Everywhere you look, there is technology.  There are phones, ipods, computers, television, ipads, tablets, kindles, the list goes on.  No matter what type of electronic it is, the machine separates the user from reality.  Because of the immense distraction that it has on kids, they can never pay attention to the real world and the authentic elements that surround them.  With more and more technology, children lose their imagination, creativity, focus, and personality.  The machine consumes the child and turns them into a robot that shows no traits that make them an individual.  Not only is one specific person affected by this, but the whole youthful generation itself is altered by electronics and they all become one similar person, with no uniqueness to their soul.
   
    In the early 1900s and long before then, children grew up without technology.  With this chance of independence, these children learned responsibility and gained knowledge with the education they received.  The adolescents had genuine social interactions and actually soaked in all of the information that was taught to them because they didn't have their heads in their phones.  Subsequent to school, kids played outside and participated in athletics, making them have less of a chance of becoming obese.  These children also learned how to communicate without technological devices and even became accountable for their own actions by getting jobs in order to prepare themselves for becoming adults.  Once they grew into adults, they proved themselves and gave effort to applying the principles and ideals that they learned as children.  Once technology had legitimately to our society, they were already accustomed to their lifestyle, so they felt no need to fully adjust to an electronic world.  Of course this technology is beneficial to getting work accomplished, but the overuse of its purpose and development towards addiction to it can cause harm to one’s individuality.

Children have grown up in a world that is so technologically advanced that they have no knowledge of a society that is any different.  These kids are forced to apply themselves to these electronics and must conform to society’s progress, without a choice.  Once they grow up through the utilization of electronics, they are addicted and need it.  They play video games and watch TV, which increases laziness and adaptation to a fake world.  Teen Ink article about technology's effects on our lifestyle said, “Technology negatively affects us by perpetuating the mindset of immediate satisfaction. The creation of various portable technological devices has slowly ingrained the idea of instant gratification.”  Although movies, TV shows, and even games can spark different ideas for one’s imagination, everyone is incapable of avoiding electronic device’s power to initiate addiction to young minds.  The internet provides answers and education to citizens of the world, although it gives children the easy way out of discovering solutions on their own.  In the process of independence and research, a child is able to soak in information much more efficiently, but technology disregards this value in society.  Factual information also provides assumptions and rankings to specific subjects, like colleges that high schoolers are looking at.  Some colleges seem to better than others, which make intelligent students cower to what they think is “better” than they can achieve.  These kids lose confidence within themselves and even neglect the talents that they have because they no longer believe in themselves.  As technology continues to grow, we can only hope that our young generation will strive to liberate themselves and grow into accountable adults: “This is the future generation, so we rely on their progress in society, so we don’t fail as a unit.  Our world must learn to embrace technology without allowing it to negatively impact the creation of functional adults in society.”



The Force Wakes Up



The Force Wakes Up

The new Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens,” is coming out on December 18th, 2015 and it looks like a blast.  This will be the 7th film, following the last movie of the original trilogy.  The story takes place 20 years or so after the events in “Return of the Jedi.”  This movie will introduce all new character such as Kylo Ren, Finn, Lupita, and Pao, as well as many returning characters, such as Luke, Han Solo, Leia, and Chewbacca.  The film looks like a reintroduction to relationships and character development that has travelled throughout the series.  Since the new trailer has just been released, the story is beginning to form more and more.  There is a new Darth Vader-like villain, a new death-star like space shuttle that can destroy planets, and a young man becoming a Jedi. Sound familiar?  Although it may reflect past stories, this new era of the Star Wars universe will redeem the franchise of other mistakes in the past.

In my opinion and many others, the prequels were not exactly what was expected of them.  Young Anakin Skywalker is seen as too emotional, the first of the prequel trilogy movies is unnecessary, and the script was not very easy to enjoy.  Despite these problems, the lightsaber duels expressed how technology and choreographic abilities had developed over time and the sith lords were very cool to meet.  In the original series, there were only a few siths and jedis in the universe, so there was not a lot of variety, but the prequels extended the universe and the amount that they could work with.  It was fun to see Obi Wan Kenobi in his early years teaching the soon-to-be Darth Vader and go through problems of his own.  Although there was a lot of speculation over these prequels, the sequel trilogy will provide more notice to what happened to the characters were grew to love and adore in the original series.

Of course Star Wars fans are dying to see the fate of these films and are in preparation for what will come, in hopes that the franchise will be revived.  George Lucas put the film into J.J. Abrams hands, so he will develop the films into a unique way and show it in a different perspective of things.  Many have positively reviewed Abrams, “complimented the director for honoring the world that George Lucas created and for blending “old and new technology” to create the special effects in the movie,” which was said in an article about J.J. Abrams thoughts about the film.  The new way of seeing the franchise will appeal to the younger generation, because it will be the Star Wars films that they grow up to, without knowing too much about the ones that have been made before them.  Those who grew up watching the original series and are working on the cinema currently have loved watching the film come together, since they adored the universe that was created when they were just children.  Being involved in such a glorious franchise is a dream of mine and many others, so it is such an honor to develop the film into such a success as it will become to future generations.  




Sunday, September 20, 2015

Trump Is A Hump

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.  His viewpoints on different topics have sparked outrage throughout many minds across America, because some of his opinions are very offensive towards others.  Since he is a famous business icon, it seems very unordinary and out of the blue for someone like him to be running for president.  He claimed "I don't want to be president.  I'm one hundred percent sure.  I'd change my mind only if I saw this country continue to go down the tubes."  He has mentioned his avoidance to running for president on several occasions, but now he has swiftly changed his mind and states that he will make this country great again.  Now I'm not a very politically active individual, although I have become very attentive to the things that Trump has said, which make me upset.

For example, Trump continually mentions how he wants border patrol to be much heavier, by having the Mexicans pay for a giant wall, which will "protect" from illegal immigration.  This arguable topic is very unethical and gives no assistance to benefiting our country.  The issue at stake is illegal immigration, which is clearly unconstitutional, and should be taken care of.  But Trump is focusing on Mexican immigrants as a whole, including those who are legal citizens of America.  Trump claims that these immigrants are ruining this country, by taking jobs from other Americans and dreadfully affecting the American working class.  The counter arguments to his allegations are very strong and give information to why he is wrong.  Immigrants are the foundation of American society and built this country together.  People work their hearts out in order to pursue a better life, since America is country of opportunities.  Immigrants all over the world besides Mexicans dream of becoming American citizens, which shows how corrupt it is for a person like Donald Trump to discontinue their chance of freedom.

Another topic that angered many Americans around the country after a press conference question was handled very poorly by Trump.  Trump was asked how to deal with the biggest problem in the nation, Muslims.  The random questioner continued to state that there are camps around the world that are in training to kill us and he also claimed that President Obama is a Arab.  These inaccurate and disrespectful statements gave a vial image to how uneducated some citizens are about our country's problems.  In response, Trump did not correct the man who asked the question and even replied by saying, "We'll be looking at a lot of different things."  Trump's negligence to the man's false claim, just showed how wrong he was when giving a response.  A similar question was asked by a woman to John Mccain about 7 years ago.  She claimed that Obama was an Arab as well, which caused Mccain to take the mic away from her and started to shake his head.  He stated, "He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign is all about."  This intelligent response showed how a presidential candidate should truly respond to a question like that.  He was very calm in the situation and gave an ethical reply to how the woman's statement was inaccurate.  Republican, Democratic, or whatever, America is a team and every person should be cooperative towards one another, although from my point of view, it seems as if Trump has an individual stance on the election.  He even stated that Mccain handled the question more harsh than he did.  This was the second time he had questioned Mccain's status, since he has earlier stated that, "He's a war hero 'cause he was captured.  I like people that weren't captured."  Trump's controversiality gives enrage to many Americans and shows how ignorant a man can be about specific issues that the country is currently dealing with.

http://time.com/3988886/donald-trump-controversy/

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-says-he-dealt-with-obama-muslim-question-better-than-harsh-mccain/

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform

My Unique Passion

There is a theory known as "The Butterfly Effect," in which a small change or decision can result in large differences in the future.  I am a firm believer in this philosophy, as well as destiny and how every detail in an individual's life can contribute to their fate in the universe.  It is difficult to fully comprehend how destiny can be true, since there are so many unique outcomes that can transpire.  Despite the complexity behind it all, one must make appropriate decisions that will assist in defining their individuality.  This means that everyone must attempt in improving their futures by knowing what kind of person they are and how they want to leave their mark on history.  I was faced with this type of situation a few years ago, which sparked inspiration for my passion and became a vital turning point in my life.

When I was in 8th grade, I was the type of person that was safe and conservative with my social and extracurricular life, which was based on athletics.  I never thought it was essential to explore different things or to step out of my comfort zone.  I always had my mind set on the future occupation of becoming a director because of my love for films, although I never gave thought to pursuing it at such a young age.  My life's interest was being protected by a conventional environment that was about to be exposed.  My mother had continually requested that I try out for the school play, throughout my middle school career.  This was a reoccurring proposal, since I always sang and acted around the house.  As energetic as I was, I always disregarded her recommendation, since I always kept myself shielded by the ordinary atmosphere that surrounded me.  Without my knowledge, my mother signed me up for a singing lesson with the director of the play.  Nervous of course, I had no idea what to do and did not take advantage of the opportunity I had.  Given my embarrassment, I felt the need to redeem myself, because I knew that I could succeed in this field.  I sensed that my audition went rather smoothly, and I subsequently discovered that I got the lead of the show.  Coming off as a surprise, as well as a gleam of excitement, I knew that I had to seize the moment.  As time went on, I found difficulty in having to balance both being on the basketball team and have daily rehearsals. It was also a tough process of adjustment, since my friends and peers would poke fun at me because my new found interest was so contrasting to what I normally did.  Even though it was difficult, I had the best time of my life and an astonishing performance, which affected the rest of my life.

Since then, I have been involved in theater classes at New Trier and have participated in many shows as well, including the Freshman-Sophomore musicals, senior directing projects, and Lagniappe Potpourri. This drastic change in my life made me discover the foundation of my personality, which is characteristics of being theatrical and impulsively sentimental in everything I do.  I sometimes imagine what my life would have been like, if I had never auditioned for the eighth grade play, "Little Shop of Horrors."  I most likely be struggling to maintain various sports that I truly do not enjoy and would be friends with people who are not authentic.  I can't imagine myself at that age, looking upon my future, since I would never expect what my fate had in store for me. In opposition to the fate of not doing theater, I am now taking part in many enjoyable activities that apply to my interests and I have friends from the theater environment, who are kind and reliable.  I do still manage to play lacrosse, although I do not enjoy it nearly as much as I  appreciate theater.  Without the decision that I made three years ago, I never would have explored a whole new light that would expose me to ultimate happiness.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Joe's Justice

Joe's Justice


Joe's pursuit of justice for his mother in TheRound House was not successful because his actions were immoral.  His intentions had a good purpose, since he cared for his mother so dearly.  Despite this fact, the outcome of his conduct was destructive.  Rape is a subject that ultimately cannot be justified, since it is such a cruel act of nature.  Given this common logic, it is somewhat unnecessary to try and redeem the victim of the attack of their sorrow, since the damage has already been done.  An act of violence like rape is something that is nearly impossible to put in the past, since it can have such a large imprint on both the victim's life and their family's lives as well.  Joe pursues justice for the attack against his mother, which eventually leads him to a journey of darkness and vile behavior.  The moral logic behind Joe's decision making in this novel is reasoned by consequentialist judgement, which locates morality in the consequences of an act.

Joe's ultimate thought process behind his decisions to take a troubling journey was to provide peace and integrity for both his mother and his family.  The consequences of his actions for his family and him were both rewarding, although detrimental as well.  This is because Joe surrounds his mother and father with justice, but does just the opposite for himself.  Joe's adventure had exposed him to an excessive amount of savage imagery that no one should ever experience in their lives, and especially not a 13 year old.  By the time Joe had finished taking advantage of a judicial case, he had grown into a different person than he was in the beginning of the novel.  This is because Joe attempted murder against another man because he was fueled by anger and resentment.  This build up of fury could not be tamed and it ended up having his friend Cappy get involved and kill the attacker.  This eventful and violent experience gave Joe a perception of what it is like to solve problems with rage, which will
most likely make an impression on his future, since he was at such a young age.  Joe's confrontation with his parents after "justice" had been served for his family gave an indication to how his journey changed his mental state: "I had stopped them from living in the fear cloud.  I should have felt happy watching them across the table, but instead I was angered by their ignorance.  Like I was a grown up and the two of them holding hands were the oblivious children. They had no idea what I had gone through for them" (305).  Joe had developed in an arrogant and enraged way since the truth had not become prevalent to his parents and justice had not been fully accomplished.  After all of the dirty and unorthodox work that Joe had gone through, he hadn't received the glory that he originally wished for.  This was because in the end, he was not satisfied with what he had done in order to get what he wanted.  He could never become content because the experience had contrived him to want even more, since there could never be enough to qualify for justice.  Joe's lack of justice is signified in a statement at the end of the book, "We passed over in a sweep of sorrow that would persist into our small forever. We just keep going" (317).  This indicates that the family never was the same as they were before the attack, so they must advance through the rest of their lives, trying to pretend that nothing happened, even though they all feel a deep sorrow that can never be fulfilled.






Monday, September 7, 2015

Entertainment Industry

The entertainment industry has always thrived on using true and accurate historical events in order to portray how it may have occurred.  Specifically, movies, TV shows, and plays try to illustrate a captivating version of how the experience transpired, which could be both educating or harmful towards the viewers.  When films and shows abide to the valid recordings of a specific event, this visual imagery can be magical.  Captivating the story and then transforming it onto the silver screen can give an improvement of education to students.  Film can engage the up and coming generations more intently than a reading or textbook can.  These improvements of the past give an advanced perspective of the past in many different ways.  Many different topics and analyzation strategies can be discussed because there is so much more opportunity to approach a reenactment of a historical event. The audience can be empowered by the entertainment, instead of just learning from a simple textbook that does not bring the story to life, like a move or TV show does.  Giving the tale more energy and theatrics can be a slight destruction, but overall contribute to the heart and enthusiasm behind the historical facts.  Someways that teachers may advance towards a film with their students is to analyze how the different shots bring significance to each scene, how contextualization gives meaning to the visual enhancements, and how an extension of the story's humanity grasps the viewer into the story as well.  With entertainment, the audience can comprehend a better understanding of history and become embodied by the rich and vivid story.

Entertainment can also be destructive towards the audience's knowledge of the historical event.  This is because Hollywood films often replace the truth with expressive images that do not exactly relate to the relevance of the story.  The viewers of movies will mostly take in these historical events as an authentic telling of what actually happened and never doubt it.  These cinemas are imprinted into their wisdom, even if they are introduced to false information.  In many movies such as Mel Gibson's movies, this theory becomes apparent.  In films like Passion of the Christ, The Patriot, and Braveheart, Gibson expresses his bias opinion towards the actual truth of history.  He sometimes excludes what may conflict with his beliefs and even gives an addition to misleading facts that only apply to his goal of entertainment for the audience.  Unfortunately, Gibson is not the only one that is guilty of this breach of history.  It is most likely true that every Hollywood film based on true events must do this in order to include the visual representation aspect of the cinema.  This only can be exceptional in moderation and not too much that changes the whole truth behind the story.  We are all grateful for entertainment, which brings the world enlightenment of historical developments that were in the past.  Without these movies, TV shows, and plays, the new generation would not able to have a creative representation of what really occurred and would not be given the same type of experience in culture.

Peter Seixas, "Confronting the Moral Frames of Popular Film: Young People Respond to Historical Revisionism," American Journal of Education, 102, no. 3 (May, 1994):261–85.

http://teachinghistory.org/issues-and-research/research-brief/20297

http://www.livescience.com/27364-oscars-innacurate-historical-films.html