I believe that there is no real right answer. This also implies that I also believe that there is no wrong answer. In our culture, we place too much emphasis on what is considered “right” and what is “wrong”. Many people see problems as having one solution, whether simple or complex. There is no better example of this in America than our politics. Our two-party system has created a political environment in which each debatable issue has two separate opposing sides, one on the left, the liberals, the democrats, and one on the right, the conservatives, the republicans. Those on the left see the left as the correct side and the right as incorrect. Likewise, the republicans refuses to think their position is wrong or that the democrats may be right. Both sides think their view of government is the best. But I don’t believe either is right. There is no solution that is best. “Best” is a subjective term that is effected by one’s view of the world and their life experiences. What some may consider best, others may not. This brings up the simple question, “Who is this best for?” There is no solution to a problem in society in which everyone receives the “best” outcome, therefore, there is no right or wrong answer to the problem. For there to be a right answer, there must be an ideal solution. For there to be an ideal solution, everyone must be happy. There is no right answer. Only when our policymakers realize that their answers aren’t right and don’t make everyone happy, will both sides be able to compromise and progress and create a government that responds to the needs of a nation as a whole.
This speech assignment is an interesting one to me mostly because it is so vague. We have to find an artifact of civic engagement and talk about it for 3-4 minutes. I plan on writing myself some guide questions based on classroom discussions in order to make this speech. Some questions I have come up with are:
How does the artifact promote civic engagement?
Who would identify with the artifact? Who wouldn’t and why?
What argument is the artifact trying to make?
Is the argument implicit or explicit? Is it effective?
Thats what I have so far and I believe that I can talk about all those points and fit a 3-4 minute speech. I Wanted to find an artifact that was after WWII (because that seems to be the norm for propaganda and civic engagement artifacts) but I didn’t necessarily want a contemporary artifact so I found a gun control poster from 1981 that was formed in response to John Lennons murder. I liked the topic of gun control because the debate over it is pretty much the same and as alive today as it was in 1981. The poster lists stats of the number of handgun deaths in 1980 in other countries, then lists America’s total which is almost 100 times the others. Then it says God Bless America in a mockery of our national pride. The poster wants the viewer to assume that because America has more handgun deaths, that we need more handgun control. This is however a simple, yet great, logical fallacy. The poster compares U.S.A. to countries like Israel and Sweden, countries that have a significantly smaller population than the U.S. and therefore the “total number of handgun deaths” is an invalid statistic. It wants the reader to assume that because there are more handgun deaths, we are a more murderous country, which in fact is false. Just because handguns are more popular of a murder weapon here doesn’t mean that other countries have a smaller murder rate and that they are “better” than the U.S.
This propaganda poster is very interesting in the sense that at face value, it is intrinsically motivating. But just a small amount of thought into the numbers and the true argument that the poster makes, destroys its credibility and makes it for me, an ineffective poster. The purpose of the poster is simply to get people to support gun control laws and be more involved. I don’t think I will have any trouble with this speech aside ffrom the conclusion. Anyone have any suggestions on how to end it?
Where do I even start with this movie? Going into it I knew it was an 80s movie but by the title I had just assumed it was a standard movie narrative with a happy ending. I was way wrong. Even though it was not what I expected, I loved the movie. I think it was perfectly made by Spike Lee and it really helped convey his argument to his audience.
I think his argument was simple in that he just wanted the audience to think about what the right thing to do is when it comes to racial inequality. I don’t think he advocated a certain point of view, and he did a fantastic job making a film that was not bias toward a solution. However, he produced a film that, although obviously fictional, had a documentary feel to it and allowed the audience to form their own opinions on what “the right thing” truly is.
Some people criticize his “broken” plot style, and his over emphasis on bitter and seemingly worthless arguments, but I believe that these were purposeful techniques that added to the quality of the movie and contributed context to his theme. The “all over the place” camera style and plot line were created by Lee to create the feeling of chaos in the environment of the film, and chaos in the mind of the audience. I believe his cinematographic style alludes to the fact that the issue of racially equality is chaotic as well.
All of the empty rhetoric, and crude language in the film are not only contributing factors of the film’s message, but are completely necessary for the film to get the correct message across. Without it, the severity of the issues presented would not be as intense and the overall mood of the film would not be the same.
Lee’s Do The Right Thing is nothing short of a cinema masterpiece and is deserving of all the awards it received.
So its the start of a new week, and the first week of RCL blogging. This one is for the passion blog and I want to take a minute to let people know what to expect from this blog. Its pretty dry to say that current events is my “passion” but I do find current events pretty interesting and important to keep up on. Every week this blog will be dedicated to assigning one person/company/group as either a political or news hero, or a hack. I plan on alternating each week with heros and hacks, but that could change if I NEED to do a hero or hack a certain week. I thought it was a pretty good idea, however I cannot take credit for it. This is similar to an assignment I had to complete my senior year of high school in my AP government class. The hero/hack I do will be slightly different, but the same kind of concept. So here goes week one (I though I would start on a good note with providing a hero):
HERO OF THE WEEK
Chris Stevens, United States Ambassador to Libya
Among three other Americans at the U.S. consulate in Libya, Chris Stevens was killed in in one of the most senseless and heartbreaking American civilian attacks in our lifetime. Several hours before the consulate was bombed, the embassy in Libya was overrun by Libyan nationalists who were responding to an anti-Muslim video that apparently surfaced in the U.S. Why is Chris Stevens a hero? Because he died serving our country. Service to our country comes in many forms, not just military. Stevens had been active diplomatically for years in Libya and was a driving force for the democracy movement there. It is a shame that one has to die for something we all take for granted here: freedom of speech and religion. The Libyan government as well as the U.S. government have vowed to not stop until Stevens’ death has been brought to justice. But is that really the right course of action? Don’t get me wrong, this man certainly did not deserve to die. But sometimes I feel as though American foreign policy goes way past the interventionist line and provokes Muslim and Anti-American groups that only promotes more violence. Shouldn’t there be another way to fix these problems? Military action is certainly okay if our country, or one of our strong ally countries is threatened, and by Stevens’ death it is obvious we are threatened. But did we bring this upon ourselves? Can we point the finger at them, or they point it at us? Is there even a finger to point, or are we just fighting for the sake of our national pride now? I’m only eighteen so I can promise I don’t have all the details of why we intervene in counties. So maybe if I did, I would be on board and say the Stevens’ death was an honorable and necessary one. But for now I question and doubt. Did he really have to die for this country?