Friday, December 31, 2004

The Proper Choice: Which Fantasy will you Choose?

This link will take you to the archived radio broadcast of Orson Well's translation of H.G. Well's War of the Worlds.

For inforamtion on the panic that this infamous radio broadcast caused in 1938, refer to this website:

Also, more interesting information on how hundreds of thousands Americans could be decived found at:

More discussion, and a site with lots of links on WotWs:

The Proper Choice: Which Fantasy will you Choose?

It's interesting how easily people want (need) to believe in fantasy. The imaginative desire to disillusion ones self into the dogmatic belief's of others. In an empire where everything is perfect and safe, what happens when someone shakes up that concept, that notion of belief? This radio broadcast of the 1930's is a wonderful example of how thousands of people can be duped by fantasy -or even one man's fantasy. If you give people only enough information, and make it sound authentic, they will willingly believe anything. Another great example can be seen in the recent political/fantasy films of Michael Moore, and the reaction of the American public to such.

It's not odd that this same occurrence is happening all around the world today, let alone in this very country. Just think if Fox news reported something different. What if they contrived an artificial space invasion by Martians? Because they have an assumed "authority" we credit them with an authority, or duty, to report the facts. What scares me is that so much television news reports an agenda and not the facts. What is more, they report this agenda from the stand point of the Nation. We are told this is "our" agenda, and many believe it because these networks and filmakers have this assumed authority. We go as far as to empower them, as seen with Michael Moore and his films. Some people say Michael Moore is enlightening us. This is frightening, because when you step back and look at the full picture, he is not enlightening us any more than the national news which preaches its nightly agenda of "fair and balanced". He is merely the other side of the spectrum, but is occupying this same realm of power. They want us to make the choice, and through denying each other they set up an opposition so craftilly that we will make their choice and so deny the other also. Each wants us to question the other one, but not for truth or enlightenment, but rather, because they have the power to control us and make us think like them. Michael Moore is skeptical of the government and its leaders, the news wants you to see that Michael Moore is a fanatic filmmaker, and Michael Moore wants you to see that the news is only a pawn of an empire's government. The news denies this, and so others question Moore's authenticity. This continues in circles until everyone unwittingly takes a side.

My proposition is that we, not so unlike the folks of 1938, do believe fantasy which is fed to us as fact so readily, and this is that which scares me. When Fox news reported that Bush won the 2000 Presidential election, all of the other news networks that reported that Gore had won-retracted the statements and gave live broadcast apologies to American's nation wide. Later CBS is accused of doctoring and fictionalizing reports. This is just the obvious, but what is withheld, much like Orson Wells radio broadcast, is the acknowledgement that it is all crafted to -contrary to the statement of 'fair and balanced' -in fact is anything but. International news isn't dictated by America, but the news networks would have you think so. Their isn't conspiracy and anti-American sentiment on the fanatical level that Michael Moore preaches, but he found the two people on the planet that do think that way, and he's fully willing to show it to you. And I'm afraid the commercial breaks don't lift the curtain on such staged shows, but rather add a realism which aids in the illusion of authenticity.

If the power of "choice" is being dictated by certain external forces, i.e. Fox News (and national news in general) and extremists like Michael Moore -both opposite ends of the same spectrum of illusion- then we need to step back and like Northrop Frye talks about- look at the entire painting, and see the full picture.

Stop letting the News tell you exactly what to think, and stop believing the hyped up fantasies of people like Michael Moore. Once you take the time to see what the true agenda may be, you can all start making the educated choice for yourself. Take back your ability to choose!

For an in depth look at how to apply skills of critical thinking and analysis, please look at my essay: Literary Criticism and the Well-Lived Life.

If you want to read H.G. Well's classic sci-fi thriller, you can find an online text version of his novel War of the Worlds at:

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

My Term Paper: Childrens Lit. (Engl. 304)

Iron Hans the Two Variants

Something about the Iron Hans fable has been greatly confounding me as of late. The two versions are not at all the same. As in the case with most Brothers’ Grimm translations, they opt to edit the sex out and replace it with innuendo. Maria Tatar talks about this in her essay “Sex and Violence: The Hard Core of Fairy Tales” (Norton, p.364), but what is entirely unusual this time is that the Brothers Grimm are placing sexual allusion into Iron Hans where originally there was none. I’m going to discus not only why they reverse their traditional pattern, but also the ramifications it has on the story. Ultimately I will prove that the Grimm’s version dramatically affects the tone, outcome, and reader’s response of the same fairy tale in comparison to the Friedmund Mon Arnim version. Finally, I will expose the fact that the Grimm’s’ did in deed alter the Iron Hans fable at their own creed.

In the Friedmund Mon Arnim version of Iron Hans, published a full year before the Grimm’s version (1844, 1845 respectively) the little boy proceeds to beg Iron Hans to let him play with a ball. In the Grimm’s version the boy is playing with the ball too close to Hans’s cage. These transitions between the two tellings of the story conflict the reader, as having the golden ball seems to be a significant part of the story. The wild man originally has a ball, which would tempt a child, but in the later version (the Grimm’s version) the child is playing with the ball. Changes between various telling of folklore and fairy tales is bound to occur, but never seem to be as contradictory, or rather opposing as the ones which occur in Iron Hans. In the case of Iron Hans, entire symbols get relocated and attached to different characters in the different versions. We as a reader can no longer decipher which is to be more accurate, perhaps, as something may be lost in translation; however, for the time being let us not confuse the issues at hand by dirtying them with ‘what ifs’. For all we know Arnim’s version may be the better translated one. Until we see the original script or hear the first telling of the folklore, we will not be able to judge for ourselves which is the more accurate. Rather, we can’t base the discrepancies on any set ‘original’, but we can superimpose the two variant Iron Hans tales and look at where they differ. It becomes obvious that there are huge discrepancies which continually pop up. These alterations may strike us as odd at first, however, according to Donald Haase’s theories of Fairy Tales and classic stories being injected with a “national spirit” (Yours, Mine, or Ours?, 357), this is a common practice the Grimm Brothers’ adhere to.

Another curiosity is that in the Grimm’s version -the wild man Hans tells the boy that the ‘key’ to let him out is under his mother's bed (Norton, p.330). Shortly after, when the King returns to find that Hans has been let out, it is the Queen who worries. She is afraid that her husband will suspect her, and of what exactly we may ask? The innuendo of a ‘wild man’ knowing that the ‘key’ is “under the Queen’s pillow” makes us suspect and question her immediate response of guilt. Without reading too deeply into the text, we get the underlying impression that mother dearest has been “fooling around” with Hans. It is curious that the Grimm’s decided to include this sexual, even Oedipal, innuendo when it was not in the prior version. Considering they typically avoid this topic of sex to supplement moral values, at least according to what Tatar has to say, then we can assume that something else is at work here.

The boy is of course banished to the woods, and Hans grants him asylum. His task remains the same in each version: guard the magical pool that turns everything to gold. This fits with Jack Zipes' categorizing of an ‘oral tale’. In his essay “Cross-Cultural Connections" he mentions that, “The plot generally involves a protagonist who is confronted with an interdiction or prohibition which he or she violates in some way. Therefore, there is generally a departure of banishment and the protagonist either is given a task or assumes a task related to the interdiction of prohibition” (Zipes, 848). The reference to gold pops up numerous times. There is the “golden key,” the “gold ball,” the “gold finger,” the “gold hair,” and the “golden apple”. The boy fails three times at the task of keeping the pond pure (as aforementioned by Zipes) and Hans exiles him into the ‘adult’ world. This is when the second large discrepancy occurs.

In the version by Arnim, the princess spots Hans in the garden and sees his golden locks of hair, instantly falling in love with him. Yet when she beckons him forth and attempts to remove his handkerchief upon his head, which he uses to conceal his ‘golden’ hair, she fails three times. This ensures that the boy's true identity remains secret when he becomes the mysterious knight. However, the Grimms allow the princess to succeed upon the first attempt in unveiling the young boy. Again, this is a change worth noting, because it could upset the entire order of the stories' progression. The original version stays truer to the ‘oral’ styling rules set down by Zipes of keeping the hero mysterious until his timely unvailing at the stories end, but the air of mystery is lost in the transition to the Grimm’s version. After revealing the child as the ‘golden’ one the Princess attempts the same thing the next day. This appears as more of a flirtation between the princess and the boy and breaks away from the standard foreshadowing and use of mystery that the original tale utilizes. This flirtation leads away from the oral roots and what Zipes explains as the integral concept of wonderment and hope which all oral tales have (848). This brings us to the third big discrepancy in the two versions of Iron Hans.

In the Grimm’s telling of Iron Hans the land is at war with a mysterious foe who seeks to conquer the kingdom. The boy’s journey to adulthood continues, and his coming of age isn’t complete before going to battle. He fights the enemy, and with Hans’s guidance and help gains victory. However, the prior version by Arnim (Norton, p.326) has the boy fight his own corrupt father. At the end the boy transcends to prince and then to king, but he also gains his father’s kingdom. The true journey to adulthood can be seen in this progression. Yet once again the Grimm’s downplay the message, and instead of the boy’s father being the enemy, the evil is unknown. At the end the child’s real parents come to his wedding with the princess and are shocked to find their boy is alive. After the boy becomes a prince, Hans shows up to fill in the details. Hans was apparently under an evil spell, and because the boy was so helpful, Hans being a true King is ever so grateful and so gives the boy everything. In this way the boy becomes a King and inherits two kingdoms. Again the Grimm’s version plays down the symbolic meaning, and Hans plays a benefactor roll and the translation doesn’t require the boy to overcome his father, but just become a man. Ultimately we can’t but feel let down by the Grimm’s, as we get caught up in the powerful themes of the Arnim version of Iron Hans. The more traditional elements remain in Arnim’s version as good son fights evil father and have a climactic battle where in the son overcomes his father. I think Zipes would agree that Arnim’s version is closer to an ‘oral’ beginning than the Grimm’s version. This initiation to manhood between the two stories varies on a level that Giambattist Vico would categorize as two separate ages. Vico would argue that in Arnim’s version of Iron Hans, is founded in an oral telling closer to the age of Gods (as set down by Vico in the Norton Anthology of Literary Criticism, 402.) In fact the symbols of overcoming the “father” or the god figure is another indicator that Vico would acknowledge as a key signifier of its category. The Grimm’s version becomes wordy (which fits into Zipes discussion of oral folk lore transformed into literary fairy tail, p. 845), and its alteration to a less significant understanding of initiation would drop down to the age of Heroes or Man. There are adequate symbols and allegory, but the piece loses its simplistic and pure meaning. The language of a fixed literature dilutes the impact of the oral origin, and the alterations the Grimm’s make to Iron Hans leaves us a little perplexed.

The question then remains, not why the two versions are different, but in the design of why the alterations were opposing ones? Obviously the two initiation stories start the same but both end differently. They both begin with the boy being given a set of tasks (a quest to manhood) then lead to the digressing plot elements. As I have pointed out the major changes are in the 1) original possessor of the golden ball, 2) The addition of the golden key and the sexual psychology behind Hans’s knowledge of its location, 3) The timely discovery of the boy's golden hair, and finally, 4) the conflict with the opposing father figures. One story ends with the King Child overthrowing his evil father, and the other one where the King Child frees Hans from a curse, and we have to ask ourselves if this alteration in plot elements didn’t in fact change the final outcome of the story, or at least the Grimm’s version of it? This isn’t the first time the Grimms have been questioned in their alterations or personalized tellings of fairy tales. Haas also states in his essay, “Ironically, the abuse of the Grimms’ tales by the culture industry of National Socialism has reinforced prejudice against the Grimm’s’ tales” (Norton, 355). Haas goes on to explain that many folks have questioned the German authenticity of the Grimm’s’ stories when we take a look at the ambiguous characteristics of the plots. These characteristics then bring into focus the ‘other’ cultural elements within the fairy tales and folklore that may or may not be uniquely German in origin. I believe this is partly what we are seeing in the two various tellings of the Iron Hans story.

These four key changes in the story really bother me, because as far as fairy tales go, even after the changes, they traditionally don’t contradict each other as in the case of Iron Hans. I believe that the only way to fully discover what has happened here is to retrace the root myth of the story, but seeing how that would be near impossible, we can only speculate between the two variant texts. Haas also agrees with Tatar, and he states, “In fact, for the last fifteen year the Grimm’s’ tales have been the center of considerable discussion and controversy…,” and also, “That Wilhelm Grimm had freely revised, edited, added to, and basically rewritten many of the classic tales to reflect his own aesthetic and moral values renders the universal, transcendent view of these tales untenable” (359, 360). Upon knowing this, we can be assured that finding the original story, or the original meaning to be quite lost. We can only relate the common stories, and compare where they differentiate.

As I pointed out with the two variants of Iron Hans, I believe the Brothers Grimm purposely altered the story, but why they went against their common pattern of alteration, the one that Tatar laid out for us, we cannot be sure. Perhaps it was the Grimm’s own Social views of the time, or perhaps they were imposing nationalistic, ethnic, and cultural values on the Iron Hans tale, but regardless, there is evidence that they did alter it as so far as their familiar pattern of alteration can be seen, and so it is quite clear that the Brothers’ Grimm did in fact alter Iron Hans.


Ed. Tatar, Maria. The Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, INC., 1999.

Ed. Various. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, INC., 2001.

Ed. Zipes, Jack. The Great Fairy Tale Tradition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, INC., 2001.

Monday, December 13, 2004

WAR: What is it Good For?

"And there was WAR in Heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his hordes (angels) prevailed not..."
Revelations, 12:7

Mandy stated on her website:

"I'm going to comment on Tristan's website because it completely changed my point of view on a number of things. goes. I appreciate what he said about the war on terror. Up until recently, I have had a negative perspective on the issue. Now, due to the insight of one of my colleagues, my own personal opinion that was craving for support has been enlightened. I've never thought about the war in a Biblical sense. I do read the Bible a lot and it never occurred to me that the angels, who were sent from God, created war to spread peace. It made me think that yes, we are doing the right thing in Iraq. Our business is their business because peace and harmony and the love of God should be granted to all people. The only way that we can achieve peace is to show we care about our freedom as a nation and people of this world. "Power" and "Greed" are roots of evil and I feel that if we can be an independent nation, it's important to show other countries the same. We can't sit back and let the evil things of this world corrupt us. We need to do something about it. This ties into what Nancy's paper topic was about. We need to take action and stop standing around. If no one shows what's right, the entire world will end up fighting against one another for one thing-Power. We aren't in Iraq to show that we are powerful, but we are there for human kind and to erase the evil corruption that has taken place and will expand if we don't do something about it."

Now I thought this was a powerful statement by not only a fellow student, but a fellow person. Mandy's comment is very flattering, and I'm glad she gained something from my viewpoints and writings. Just to note: I'm not trying to force anyone's individual views; I'm just sharing my own, and questioning those who I think are completely ignorant (and misguided) on some of the subjects I address. Sometimes I just like to argue, or disagree, but I'm not trying to force anyone's views. People say war is not ethical, that it is immoral. I stated to one other classmate that I believe war was an inevitable trait of humanities destructive desire for power and the gratification of dominance. Part natural instinct and fully made of sin, men of Earth are often corrupt or wicked. This is why I think "talking" about peace will never fully be achievable. I believe that we need to turn to a higher power to guide us in our times of need. Whether it is God, the most stable and powerful countries on the face of the earth or just our own heroes like my Grandfather.

Francoise replied to my comments as such,

"I believe that war is the final solution when EVERY other one has been exhausted. Despite that WWII was about usurping an evil leader, Hitler, from conquering Europe and for death camps...My point? We don't fight chaos, by creating more chaos. It is why war to create peace is an oxymoron. We cannot claim to be the moral majority by engaging in the same "inhumane" actions as the "other" we have constructed. In order to create freedom, we must allow others to make a free choice; we have not given that choice to Iraqi citizens. We may have just replaced one oppressive government with another."

Not to offend Francoise, but this is the scariest sentiment I run across, and what's worse, is it is a common one. To me this statement is trying to categorize the War in Iraqi as a political one.
Me personally, I don't look at it politically. If you look at it politically then you fail to ever address the issue. Looking at something with "political" looking eyes means you are applying your own Nations concepts and imposing them onto another nation, regardless of the physical force being exerted, you’re imposing an idea. I'm sure the Iraqi's don't care about our politics, and I'm sure the complexity of why we did engage in such a war baffles not only the Iraqi people, but most Americans. There are many people that aren't happy with the choice that America made, but to ask why, we'd get a political answer with a moral proposition.

I'm entirely sure, that if we ignored 9/11 and DID NOT enter into Iraqi, that the rest of the world (albeit slower to the fray) would have inevitably engaged in a war on terrorism. Too many people look to blame the U.S. government, or Bush, or his cabinet, or sloppy lazy American's greed of oil, etc. But many of these same people say there is "no" excuse for war, yet they are able to make an excuse not to have war. What is a fact is that the U.S. DID NOT want to engage in WWII. Not to pick on Francoise, but she stated we engaged because Hitler was an evil tyrant threatening to conquer the world, and so I wonder what she thinks Terrorism is? Yet on December 7th, 1945 an act of terror led us to engage in WWII. By one act of terror the world was flung into war, does this strike anyone as reminiscent of the World Trade Centers bombing?

My question would be, do you really think it mattered if Bush did or didn't get funding to fight, or that the U.S. may or may not have finished its inspections finding any weapons of mass destruction at all? If the U.S. did not take the stance to engage terrorism, then the rest of the world would have eventually done so. Time was the only factor. People aren't mad because it happened, they're mad because it didn't happen on "their terms". Play chess, or read the "Art of War" by Sung Tsu, and I think you would agree that this war would have been waged regardless of political agenda. Your question lies within the parameter of whether or not America's political agenda propelled the inevitability of such a war.

Yet Terrorism is not a direct evil which can just be amputated from the world, or wiped off the face of the earth. It is not another Hitler, but rather a cancerous outbreak or growth. It seeps slowly into the body of the planet, slowly infecting parts of everyplace innocent, pure, and untainted; and these patches of toxic fear build up to the point where the entire body collapses in on itself. I've seen real cancer slowly eat away at my Grandfather until his death, and I see the world experiencing the same symptoms with Terrorism.

If God and all mighty heaven went to war to ensure peace, I think we would be arrogant in making assumptions like,

"We don't fight chaos, by creating more chaos. It is why war to create peace is an oxymoron. We cannot claim to be the moral majority by engaging in the same "inhumane" actions as the "other" we have constructed. In order to create freedom, we must allow others to make a free choice; we have not given that choice to Iraqi citizens. "

Chaos is a natural constant, the Universe was forged from it, and God threw it into the destructive wind of Nature. Man too is Chaotic by natural instinct of survival and to dominate his environment. Add this to evil, greed, corruption, and we're not talking about political ethics, we're talking about a cancer that threatens to destroy everything. WAR doesn't bring chaos when such is already the state of things.

War is not evil when it is fought for justice, freedom, and as Mandy so clearly stated, "-Our business is their business because peace and harmony and the love of God should be granted to all people". We can't measure Chaos; we can't fill it up in a glass beaker and say it is such and such percentage too much over the maximum amount of chaos. It exists, and quite plainly, talking won't solve the problem. In order to create freedom, we must allow others' to make a free choice? Isn't this how the War in Heaven began? A War to end evil and chaos.

Classmate Blogs (English 300)

Ray Peters

Amanda Shuck

Katie Whitney

Lindsey Moos

Jaimie Hensley

Yoshie Kawano

Francoise Saurage

Zak (Zachare Grosfield)

Nikki (Nikole Didier)

J.R. Logan

Ben Coulter

Megan Helgeson

Sarah Smith

Kelly Maddock

Clinton Shearouse

Katy Sparks

Brian Johnsrud

Nancy Nix

Lindsee Tauck








Brian Davis

Matthew White

Banny Prill

Jennifer Harris

Nicole Waring

Ed Shanley

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Netiquette (Internet Etiquette)

Netiquette (Internet Etiquette)

For Dr. Sexson
By Tristan Vick

Professor Sexson asked me to research online etiquette for future reference. Many people have their own list of rules, and so my job was simple, just GOOGLE it. Upon my research I found that the University of Wisconsin posted a general list concerning school related classes which may utilize online, or internet active teaching methods. This helped defined the basic rules of Net etiquette, or Netiquette.

The University of Wisconsin states:

A Course is a Course
You may be familiar with many of the previous points if you have participated in other forms of electronic communication in the past. But Web-based courses have some added constraints not present in other arenas. Keep in mind these additional four points:

Remember your place. A Web-based classroom is still a classroom, and comments that would be inappropriate in a regular classroom are likely to be inappropriate in a Web-based course as well. Treat your instructor and your fellow students with respect.

Brevity is best. Be as concise as possible when contributing to a discussion. Web-based courses require a lot of reading, and your points might be missed if hidden in a flood of text. If you have several points that you want to make, it might be a good idea to post them individually, in several more focused messages, rather than as a single, lengthy, all-encompassing message.

Stick to the point. Contributions to a discussion should have a clear subject header, and you need to stick to the subject. Don't waste others' time by going off on irrelevant tangents.

Read first, write later. Don't add your comments to a discussion before reading the comments of other students unless the assignment specifically asks you to. Doing so is tantamount to ignoring your fellow students and is rude. Comments related to the content of previous messages should be posted under them to keep related topics organized, and you should specify the person and the particular point you are following up on.

A must read on the “The Core Rules of Netiquette” one should read the book “Netiquette” by Virginia Shea. For summaries of the core rules, go to:

Another good website on Online, Email, and Digital Internet etiquette can be found at

Other topics are of legal concern, which Virginia Shea also talks about. Among them are some simple laws which most people are unaware of. Please check those out too. I had the rare case of being assaulted verbally, with threats on my life before, whether or not the person intended it as a joke or not doesn’t matter, the threats were in written form. The person was a guy I graduated high school with, and after I showed the emails to my local authorities my classmate was charger with a felony. Show be careful what you say, and know that what you are putting online can be seen by everyone.

Before posting to a person’s individual or private website, webpage, or online journal/blog, you must email them asking permission.

Any graphic, explicit, obscene, offensive, or controversial writings and posts, including images should be LINKED to the website or post instead of directly being posted. A warning should accompany such Links allowing us to prepare and not be totally caught off guard. This is polite, and manners online go a long ways down the road for those who may want to engage more fully on such subject matter. However, for those that don't wish to linger on such subject matter, they are spared their time -yet another curtiousy of Netiquette.

In a class room setting the teacher may set the guidelines seen fit for the project or assignment. Let the teacher dictate what the rules should be, and if they have none, please read this!

Some of my interpretations of Shea’s points of online etiquette (Netiquette) include:

Remember we’re all human. The golden rule your parents and your kindergarten teacher taught you was pretty simple: Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you.

Would you say it to the person's face?Be curtious and polite as you would to that person’s face. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t make them any less human, and we all have feelings.

Another reason not to be offensive online: When you communicate through cyberspace -- via email or on discussion groups -- your words are written. And chances are they're stored somewhere where you have no control over them. In other words, there's a good chance they can come back to haunt you.

Be ethical. This goes without saying, and also relates back to what you would do in real life situations.

Breaking the law is bad Netiquette. If you're tempted to do something that's illegal in cyberspace, chances are it's also bad Netiquette.

Know where you are at in cyberspace. Netiquette varies from domain to domain. What's perfectly acceptable in one area may be dreadfully rude in another. For example, in most TV discussion groups, passing on idle gossip is perfectly permissible. But throwing around unsubstantiated rumors in a journalists' mailing list will make you very unpopular there.

Lurk before you leap When you enter a domain of cyberspace that's new to you, take a look around. Spend a while listening to the chat or reading the archives. Get a sense of how the people who are already there act. Then go ahead and participate. Also, a general rule in my opinion, is one should know what they are talking about. Just like knowing where you are at and what is acceptable, one should also be educated on the discussion before they grace us with their opinions.

Respect other’s time, and bandwidth. People have various speeds and download rates, take this into consideration in situations which may call for this awareness. You are not the center of cyberspace.

Different discussion groups have different rules. This also applies to different class web projects. Depending on the design of the course, project, assignment, and teacher, the rules may be different.

Don't post flame-bait. (Flaming is verbal fighting online) Try to be pleasant and polite. Don't use offensive language, and don't be confrontational for the sake of confrontation.

Q. Is swearing acceptable on the net?
Only in those areas where sewage is considered an art form, e.g., the USENET newsgroup alt.tasteless. Usually, if you feel that cursing in some form is required, it's preferable to use amusing euphemisms like "effing" and "sugar." You may also use the classic asterisk filler -- for example, s***. The archness is somehow appropriate to the net, and you avoid offending anyone needlessly. And everyone will know exactly what you mean.

Know what you're talking about and make sense.

Share your knowledge. Nobody likes a know-it-all. This includes referencing and citing works and website domains.

Moderate your own site! Don’t allow post battles and flame wars to get out of hand with those people who reply to the topics on your site.

Respect other’s privacy, and don’t abuse your power if you are a “computer wiz.” Respect peoples skill level and computer know how, and don’t use it against them. Be kind and helpful to those who may need assistance.

Be forgiving of people’s mistakes.
If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely and preferably by private email rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt; assume they just don't know any better or just made an error. And never be arrogant or self-righteous about it. This only comes off as bad Netiquette.

I hope these guidelines will aid an assist in future web (internet) based projects. To finalize, have fun with the technology, and be creative!

Works Cited

University of Wisconsin

The Core Rules of Netiquette

Online Netiquette

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Sequential story telling is a language of Image!

Tezuka Osamu

Here is an example of how Sequential story telling, or graphic novel story telling uses images in a set of panels which have images in turn that flow sequentially to best tell the story through each consecutive panel. Tezuka Osamu's art here depicts, at near animation fluidity, the smoothness in which story can be depicted and dictated by image.

Japanese read right to left.

Exile of Sequential Literature: Addressing the Cannon

Francoise wants Gloria Anzaldua's novel "Borderlands: La Frontera," and Toni
Morrison's "Beloved," and Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" on the MSU book mark. I say this would not be the best choice. Although I agree these are very important texts for women and identity, there is one problem, these women are dealing strictly with the difficulty of being a Minority of AMERICA. This only adds to the Eurocentric style, and train of thought. They may be fordging new ground in their commentaries of life in America, but I say we need lees Americancentric novels as the list is so heavy with this and Eurocentric titles that it is near sickening.

English 300 asks us to critically analyze the MSU top 100 books, and re-look at the cannon we have decided. Originally I was pushing "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" as the book to replace "Charlotte's Web", but the more I think about it I don't want Rushdie to have 2 titles on their. If "Haroun" replaces anything, it should be Rushdie's prior work, but since that would take more comparrison, I would rather talk about why... "THE TALE OF GENJI" is not on the MSU top 100!

"The Tales of Genji" was written in 1004 A.D. by a Japanese WOMAN, Murasaki Shikibu. Not only a minority, but the first woman to write such a novel. Lady Shikibu was in waiting to be empress of Japan, and between long and drawn out court ceremonies and all the pomp and circumstance, fit in time to be imaginative and wrote. She wrote what many claim to be the world's first psychological novel and the greatest work of fiction of the age. The Tale of Genji How come one of the world's greatest works of fiction, and the FIRST psychological novel is not on the MSU top 100 book list? Is anybody else as pissed off about this as I am? And to think we call ourselves civilized, let alone educated. Piffy! That really horks my snorkle-majig.

If anything "Charlotte's Web" should be knocked off for the "The Tale of Genji." Yet the "Genji" is a much more sophisticated book as well, and I believe it should move into the top TEN of the MSU list. The remaining titles will all shift (or shuffle) down a notch.

On another note: "Superman for All Seasons," and "Maus" are two graphic novels which HAVE THE GUSTO to contend on the list of all time best works of litterature. Because a book has 'pictures' doesn't mean it isn't telling a better story than the rest. I think not only is the MSU list entirely Eurocentric, but also pictoraly defunctional. Comics and graphic novels do utilize enough literature to change the world, and the fact that we consider William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf classics, but "Superman" is not, is just a biased people have adhered to ever since Walt Disney brain-washed there ideologies of what is acceptable to children, as well as adults.


The fact remains, Superman has been around as long as Faulkner and Woolf, and has produced at times works that are on par with such mentioned authors (often at the exact same time they were creating their masterpieces many artists were honing Supes into the American Icon he is today.) Superman has global appeal as well, in the example of 1995 when every major city on the planet ran a headline in their papers, "Superman dies". A historical moment which the world took notice of, even if it was just a fictional character. Superman continues to entertain and sell today, and new works are continually being created. Why some scholarly elite are prejudice against "sequential story telling" is purely a form of naive snobbishness. Let us get beyond this literary handicap, and learn to embrace all forms of litterature!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Butterflies Attack!

Have any of you read this?

In Defense of the Desceased,

Brian Leiter goes on to attack French philosopher Jacques Derrida in a very aggressive manner. In fact, Leiter questions Dirrida not only as having the capacity to "think" but also states in his attack, "But he devoted his professional life to obfuscation and increasing the amount of ignorance in the world: by "teaching" legions of earnest individuals how to read badly and think carelessly. He may have been a morally decent man, but he led a bad life, and his legacy is one of shame for the humanities."

This insult obviously encompasses us, as readers of Derrida. Leiter's attack is extremely biased, and never supported. Instead of explaining the qualms in Derrida's philosophies and ideas, he spends his time cross-attacking Mark Taylor's support of Derrida. From the get go Leiter discredits Taylor as having the slightest capacity to "think" or think originally, because he is "(yet another non-philosopher)." Leiter writes eloquently, as a philosopher, but never gives a single example of why he thinks Derrida fails. Not only does Leiter fail to give us examples in which to think about, his final comment above (prior paragraph) is only insulting, and as a personal attack has no original thought in it at all. He gives a general analysis or over-view of why he dislikes Dirrida and thinks Dirrida fails rather than showing proof, he leaves us to surmise that he (Leiter) knows what he's talking about. However, Leiter's attack on Derrida is as random as a butterfly’s flight pattern.

After I read Leiter’s article, I realized that I had been insulted as a reader, one who acknolowdges Derrida. Is insulting your reader's the best way to make your point? Of course not, and Leiter isn't overly concerned about not having any readers. This makes his disenfranchising of the "reader" force us to question Leiter's philosophy and whether or not he takes any of it, or us seriously.

Leiter is obviously a thinker who is against original thought. Why else would he segregate Derrida from other 'mainstream western thinkers', other than to separate him from the "norm." Leiter's argument seems more like a personal vendetta to get rid of an "original idea", and push it outside the box. Pardon the pun. Yet all Leiter seems to successfully do is insult us the readers, by assuming that if anyone even remotely has a non-western European ideology, that if we don't fit within the strict confines of the box, that we like Derrida (according to Leiter) must be ignorant and bad readers.

il n'y a pas de hors-texte

There is nothing outside of the text
-- Jacques Derrida

Is Leiter agreeing with Derrida in some perverse way? If the text was a box, and there is no outside the box for Leiter, can we presume he is supporting Derrida's claim? Of course not, because we can plainly see that Leiter is only categorizing ideologies and not trying to comprehend them. Who is the real "bad" reader? I'll leave that up to you, the audience, to decide.

According to the Editors of The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, "The translation "there is nothing outside the text," while not incorrect, is misleading because it implies an inside/ outside barrier whose existence Derrida is precisely putting in question. A text is constituted by the attempt to represent what is outside it: every attempt to get outside of that ends up repeating, not transcending, the structure.” (p.1825)

I feel that Leiter doesn't attempt to get outside, transcend, or even repeat. He obviously is contradictory to his claim, that Derrida was a bad reader, misinterpret, and not a philosopher. How could Derrida be these things when he put into question the very box, or “text”, or “ideal” which Leiter is so blatantly attacking yet contradictorily adhering to? Quite frankly, Leiter fails on all accounts to make an argument and he, more than surely, hopes he loses you in the "big" words and complex language, but the moment he resorts to sports analogies, you know you're not only reading a bad philosopher, but an extremely poor writer as well.

By Tristan Vick

Sayaka and Me at Kumamoto Castle

In a Special Special Entry

Zach posted his love's delight at his site. It's a charming read.

In the ode to loved lovers, Zack asks:

"Does anyone else besides me know what it's like to be the most blessed person on the earth, just because because of who you're so privileged to hold in your arms? so privileged to love with all your heart? If so, then maybe someone can comprehend a fraction of what the most amazing woman on earth makes me feel."

Well, yes I do Zak (which by in an interesting turn of events, has a miraculously changing name. At least the spelling of it. Maybe that's just my most "excellent" typing skills at work. Foiled again by Me! Darn).

My story starts many years ago, in the past. In my childhood. When things of splendor were pure, and so strong that they could only be experienced and never quite explained. I don't know, perhaps I was born lonly. Perhaps it was just my constitution, by nature, I was destined to suffer of the heart. Yet it wasn't really my heart that suffered, it was my spirit.

You see, if you believe in God, or even in creation stories, if you believe that man was meant for woman, whether we formed from clay, or whether we were rollie pollies split down the back by Zues himself, what remains was I've always been in a state of lonliness, because my soul mate, my spirit match, was on the other side of the planet! Yet, at four years old, I didn't know that. All I knew was the feeling. The sadness, the yearning, the emptiness within.

So between toasted cheese sandwiches with jam smeared ontop, and "Scooby-Doo" cartoons on television I decided to pray to GOD. This was before I even knew God. Before I had the concept of what God actually was, but I heard my mother talking to HIM lots, and I figured he must be around even though I couldn't see Mr. God. He at least listened well, and perhaps he'd listen to me too, whoever he was.

So I got down on my knees, in front of the fireplace, because it looked like an alter... and the TV was just a disctraction anyway. I put my little elbows on the mantle ledge, and said, "Please Mr. God, if you can hear me, please give me a favor someday."

That was the prayer, that was the request. That was it. All I asked, was that someday God would grant me a favor, one to fill that empty feeling I kept having.

Later on in life I would pray for silly things, like good grades during finals week and on term papers, or to get a bigger loan for living expenses, and sometimes I even prayed for rain. But mostly I prayed for "the one".

Well, just over a year ago, I found her. I found the girl that is my soulmate, my one true love. Not to be confused with "to blev", which we all know means to bluff. And I'm sorry to inform Zach, but his Kara -and I'm sure that she is splendid and wondeful in every way, but the fact of the matter is, there can only be one! And that's my girl. Ho-haha, I'm just teasing. The one who makes us whole again, who brings back the rib, who joins us again physically, and if we're lucky, forever in Holy Matrimony; Marriage. These people who complete us and love us as much as we adore them in return, will always be the most "speical" to us.

So I was gone. A full year, in a foreign country. Japan that is. I went there for personal interests. I had become enfatuated with the culture, the myth, the mood, and my addiction grew into a desire. This desire became a goal, 1) learn the language, 2) go to Japan. This goal became achievable, and propelled by family support, desire, and an enfatuation with the entire concept and history of JAPAN, I soon found myself studying hard in a Japanese library. I was going to school in Japan, and then I met her. I met Sayaka Miyamoto.

In previous posts I've gone into detail about our humorous encounter, and the entertaining miscomunications of an international relationship, but once I found her: I KNEW. She was meant for me, and I was meant for her.

So, Tuesday, December 7 of 2004, a week from now, she will be -once again- in my arms. So yes my friend Zach, I do know what it's like to be the most blessed person on the earth, I realize how privileged I am to hold Sayaka in my arms? So blessed to love her with all of my heart? I can comprehend.

But that's not all. After Sayaka and I were well into our 'relationship', I became four years old again. Metaphorically of course, but my heart felt a feeling of "fulfillment" which allowed me sublime bliss. This empty tank was now on full, and the love that filled my life was Sayaka. I genuinely belive there is a God, he tested me long and good before he felt I was ready, but it forced me to grow. Now I have the compacity to love someone else, to love her, beyond my wildest imagination. I am now free to love Sayaka more than I ever felt was possible to love another person. Even a girl! And so I said my second most heart felt prayer in my life, "This girl, this woman, please let 'this' be my favor." I never told her this until now. But I asked my God (who's name I found out to be Jesus) for one thing... if it was inside me, If a man was to love a woman and love was the "truth" and lesson which Christ preached, I asked him to allow me to keep Sayaka happy forever, if only by the warmth of my love. That was my prayer.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Michael Moore, take him with a grain of salt

In an interesting side note, the crazy loon of an activist film director, Michael Moore, has made an excellent documentary about abortion. Of course he focused purely on the politics of it, and how each side doesn't make a firm case. The documentary can be seen in his 1999-2000 TV series "The Awful Truth". Now, I'm personally not one to support this conspiracy shouting, rude film making, crude individual of a human being, but now and again he makes a good point. Of all the stuff Michael Moore has made, his TV series has been the cleanest cut, best researched, and has contained the most logical arguments of his carrier. If you want to get a few laughs in about the nutty politics behind pro-life and pro-choice, and find out why they are in actuality one-and-the-same thing (If you believe Moore's arguement is a different matter), watch the episode of abortion from his series. Also, the Pistol Pete episode had me rolling on the floor, and running the Ficcus plant for Governor was a hoot and a half too!

This is a huge compliment from a film citric like me, because I burn all the copies of "Fahrenheit 9/11" I come across, "Rodger and Me" is just plain boring, and "Bowling for Columbine" had its moments, yet still had that biased paranoid film directors conspiracy ridden perspective. Where Michael Moore fails in all of his films, is that he plays to the fears of his viewers and submits a one sided knowledge to his audiences; this bias alienates many viewers. This often times sponsors the viewers paranoia and terror, and people leave his films thinking the world is purely black. His dark world view, and corrupt government fantasies drip from the screen when watching his films. The thing I like best about his TV series is he plays to both sides on occasion, and you get a little bit of the white with the black. He never jumps into the sticky gray issues, but that's because he's not trying to enlighten us, according to Michael Moore, he's just entertaining us (Many people seem to forget this and take his work all too serious). Another thing I don't like about Moore's filmmaking and style is that he is rude. He constantly repeats certain questions and comments in rude manners, causing a stagnation in the movement and progress of his documentaries, which any film maker worth his beans would say "get the hell out of the film industry". His lack of respect with the camera, and his personal attacks may appeal to people who feel the same way and don't think that being rude reflects back on society as a whole, but this is where he also disenfranchises the other viewers who might not share his opinions, naging annoyance, rude comments, and bad filmaker/social etiquette. There is something that makes many people ill when watching films like "Fahrenheit 9/11" because they may be educated on both issues, and nothing is scarier than a loon behind a camera on a mission to bash just one side, or one part, or one person in the whole entity of the U.S. government. The narrow views he submits make me wonder why so many 'want' to believe such an acute biased view of the world. Even though he made some good points throughout "The Awful Truth", we still have to take Michael Moore with a grain of salt; or rather a big heeping dump-truck full of salt.

I've watched all of Michael Moore's work, and his unforgettable outbreak of rudeness back at the 1999 Academy Awards. He's a fanatic at best, and he over-kills his topics more than making a good argument; and no matter who you are, there is no excuse for bad manners.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Illegitimate Abortion Theory

My title makes no sense. However, there are those debating the ethics of abortion.

I don't believe any man/woman have a right to kill a baby because they "don't want it" or "aren't prepared" for raising a child. People want babies, people love babies, and lots of people adopt babies.

Rape is the vilest and most disgusting thing on the planet. Those who rape are one step worse than a murderer. How? Well, they take everything away from the individual. Every shred of diginity that person ever clung too, is ripped from them and they are left to wallow in mysery. The agony of being alive only to suffer, not so unlike a waking purgatory, or the punishments dealt to Sisyphus and Tantalus all rolled into one unjust tourment. And so to rape is to take a soul. To rip someone's vitality and innocence from them. To leave them violated and bloodied, dishonored, nothing more than an empty shell of rotting meat, a soul replaced with shame, self hate, and sick corruption forced upon. That's what rape is, dehumanizing. Abortion is not only murder, but it is also the same 'rape' of the soul. Think about that.

So should a woman be allowed to abort a baby from a rape? This is a personal judgment for the woman, a choice left only between her and God. She did not choose to create life, but it happened none the less. This psychological question is the hardest to answer, but to say yes means to make an acceptance to murder. Or does it? This is where pro-life and pro-choice really start to butt heads.

My opinion is that YES, she has the right to abort in extenuating circumstances, such as health risks to the mother or child, and in severe cases such as rape. But for a woman who made the cognitive choice to engage in sexual activity, get herself knocked up a bit (whether or not by purpose, she still chose to engage in the sexual activity of reproduction) and this type of woman automatically FORFITS her right to pro-choice, because she first chose the function and biological act of pro-life.

What choice the woman makes after the fact of her ovaries being seeded, and the biology of reproduction sparks the seed of life, then becomes and ethical descision and debate. As I have stated, choosing the act of sex is choosing the function of creation and reproduction, thus to abort is unethical (regardless of religious afiliation). Yet people don't always judge their needs or desires by moral standards, and as a general census our societies standards occassionally fluxuate between liberal and conservative. Where the person is at the time of the formation of a "moral code" in the social viewpoint of the time may vary, but we all have the inate ability to decipher good and bad. Whether we choose to ignore our conscience is another issue altogether, but this only supports my prior statement of any woman chosing the function of "sex" and reproduction so forfits her right to pro-choice. That if a woman chooses to have sex, she should realize the intent of the reproductive action -pregnancy. To discard the consequences, the life, or any moral reasoning doesn't excuse her actions, and sadly, would make her sound more like a whore than a human being. This ultimately invalidates pro-choice altogether, in the ethical definition of the word. Except in my own personal beliefs that pro-choice means that a woman decides regardless, and that nobody has domain over her body than herself and the glory of God, plays a specific role in traumatic and life threatening instances where abortion may be validated, and then I see it fit that a person should choose a 'moral high-ground' and consoltation of religious, psychological, medical, etc., before conceding to the act of sacrafice.

Abortion is rape of the soul. To treat a newborn, in any stage in development as less than human is to treat it like a piece of meat. Those who support abortion in any form, also support rape. Both are in support of dehumanizing the soul of the individual, all other arguements are not withstanding. However, I'll leave that up to the individual woman to decide, since it's her body and her choice. I only hope she is good in heart, and choses love of life over death.

It takes WAR to create PEACE.

My grandfather passed away a couple weeks ago. Yet I am left with words of his echoing through my head, and his deep burly voice of a Veteran who fought in World War Two, and the wisdom forged from a man who had to kill and go to WAR for the rights of FREEDOM.

Grandpa Howard won the Purple Heart and Silver Star for his services in World War II and the Philippine War, and the battle of Okinawa. Many people as of late have been mad and frustrated with the "politics" of the BUSH campaign in going to war in the Middle East, especially with that of Iraq.

I would like to make a couple statements here:

1) If Terrorism was able to attack the world's most powerful nation, was the rest of the world that much safer?

2) If we were attacked by a Nation would we not retaliate? Post 9/11 people seem to be confusing certain issues. In this high-tech global world connected by the hub of the internet, we are not fighting any particular corrupt nation; we are fighting a corrupt IDEOLOGY.

Jack Zipes quotes Nancy Armstrong and Leonard Tennenhouse in their comments,

A class of people cannot produce themselves as a ruling class with out setting themselves off against certain Others. Their hegemony entails possession of the key cultural terms determining what are the right and wrong ways to be a human being. (Norton, p. 336)

This statement enlightened me about why certain groups are "mad" with the BUSH campaign, and why world nations are angry with the U.S. for the WAR in IRAQ.

Yet again, we are specifically at WAR with the IDEOLOGIES of TERRORISM and the brutal tactics those who practice such ideologies exercise. Iraq may be a separate state, and the people’s liberties, what little they had, may have been imposed upon, but if TERROR makes its presence and nobody is there to stop it... Apocalypse ensues. How can it not? Do we need a dictionary to realize that things like TERROR, absolute CORUPTION are bad? People say WAR is bad, but have they ever wondered what we are fighting for? It's not just for fightings sake.

The United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, and what our world leaders noticed was that it wasn't one nation, or one crazy man with an army (Hitler) that attacked us, but it was an 'idea' of the worst kind. An idea that 'power' is more important than freedom and that 'terror' is the corrupt methodology utilized to maintain such 'power'. When you through the Religious elements in, things get really bizarre and twisted. But ruling by terror to ensure only a select elite of corrupt dictators a stronghold of power is not ethical. So we went to war with the ideology that challenged freedom, and we now had an excuse to do so; Two smoldering towers and over three thousands deaths to human lives.

There are those who desire talking to these 'corrupt leaders' who utilize terror as a means. People often love these corrupt leaders, and well they should, because they are told to, and they have no education to let them know otherwise. But everyone has a conscience, and deep down we all know that beheading, chopping off hands, suppression and abuse of women, constant threats religious or otherwise, and acts of terror are not moral of activities. There are those who know right from wrong but chose to ignore their conscience and do the thing to ensure they get power in return, this is an evil lot. And there are those who complain that Bush and his "WAR ON TERROR" is the biggest evil of all? Let me tell those people something. Arafat promised peace for over 30 years, and he died last week. There was still no peace. Just one example of why "talks" with men who hold power over freedom and liberty cannot be trusted. To terrorize people into submission is the same tactics of the Devil, if you believe in such a thing, and so why would fighting such an evil be wrong? God sent his angels to WAR to rid the corruption Satan had become. Evil was conquered, and Peace ensued.

Let me share another thing with you all, my Grandpa Howard, an honorary WAR HERO, had this to say:

"I fought; I saw my countrymen bleed and die. We fought because we knew that what Hitler was doing was wrong, and so we died for the beliefs that everyone has the right to freedom and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I invaded countries and fought WARS to ensure that peoples FREEDOMS would not be taken away, because you see, freedom is not a natural thing. You have to create it, and then maintain it. There are people who take it for granted and think that it just exists for them, that's because they've never lived without it, or they don't yet know the meaning of it. There is always a man or an idea that will try to take FREEDOM away and hurt others for his own selfish ideas, but we have the choice to fight for freedom. Now in such a small world, how can the strongest nation sit back and look on as people suffer from such cruelty, oppression, and hate? They suffer. To not go to WAR for their freedom would be the real crime."

Every time the News would have 'talking head's discussing how immoral the 'War on Terror' or the War in Iraq is, my grandpa would flip. He would turn beat red and just puff. For all his sacrifices and blood, there are still people today who will disrespect him and the things he fought for because they are more worried about the civil liberties of the 'individual' rather than the liberation of the 'whole'; everyone's freedom is important. How can an individual have liberties when they are so suppressed? When the terror seeps into every nation on the planet, why should we not fight against those who sponsor such ideals as terrorism? Are we not allowed to ensure humanities moral rights and freedoms? If people are inconvenienced, and nations are caught up between to opposing forces at WAR (and to opposing ideologies), I wish they would hurry up and choose a side. You can talk about freedom all you want, but until you actually do something to secure it -nothing will ever happen to allow those to have freedom. Terrorism is directly attacking freedom, and it saddens me to think there are more people worried about one specific 'individual's liberties' when everyone on the planet has the liberty of freedom at stake. The lack of foresight as to why Terror is bad and growing so rapidly that it directly attacks the world’s greatest FREE nation is scary. Do these people really believe that by talking about peace the terror will cease and desist? TERROR people! TERROR IS EVIL. Wake up. (Does Terror have people so terrified that they are unable to stand up to it? That they will make any excuse not to hurt others, because to do so would be wrong? More wrong then letting them live under a reign of terror? More wrong than letting humanity fall to terror and the evil corruption of those who seek power? Are we so naive as to think that Terror as an ideology has no effect on the outcome of stable and lasting peace?)

Coming back to the quote:

A class of people cannot produce themselves as a ruling class with out setting themselves off against certain Others. Their hegemony entails possession of the key cultural terms determining what are the right and wrong ways to be a human being. (Norton, p. 336)

As the ruling class of the planet, Americans definitely do set themselves off against others, but at the same time we need to realize that we DO HAVE FREEDOM, I know because my Grandpa fought for it. He bled for it. And in today’s world where a corrupt Idealology of hater, fear, and terror is great enough to throw entire nations into a frenzy, we need to FIGHT FOR FREEDOM even harder.

UNLIKE NATIONS of the past, i.e. ROME, America isn't fighting for land, money, or power. Not even the oil, because we import enough from Russia and China to not even worry about the Middle East oil, oil is just an excuse by those who want to attack the reasoning for WAR, or even justify it in some strange way, but we are fighting the IDEALOLOGY of TERROR, the evil forces behind it, and for the rights of those people who don't yet have what we have in abundance: FREEDOM. We want their freedom, and we want to keep our freedom too. Certain folks think that a pre-emptive attack on Iraq was imorally sound, they obviously never played a game of Chess. Sometimes you need to make the first move in order to ensure a checkmate.

Humanity has always been Chaotic by nature and so it is inevitable, there is no running from reason, no escaping destiny, and fighting WARS ensures PEACE. That's how it works, and that's how it will remain to work. People who believe otherwise, well, it's a nice dream. A world utopia where we didn't need to fight wars and where corrupt men can be trusted not to lie on their word's of honor of peace. This would be a nice 'ideal' world, but so would pulling bread out of thin air every time I was hungry. As we all know, pulling bread out of thin air is IMPOSSIBLE. Having a lasting PEACE exist without any war would also be nice, but common sense denotes that this too would be impossible, especially in a world where TERROR runs rampant through the lands. We must fight TERROR, and we must go to WAR! Freedom is worth fighting for and my Grandpa new it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

English 300 Giambattista Vico, I am

Here is my outline and notes on my presentation of Giambattista VICO.

Tristan Vick
November 3, 2004

Giambattista Vico

Wrote: “The New Science”

Religions as well as the logic, morals, economics, politics, physics, cosmography, astronomy, geography, history--- ALL OF IT--- of the gentile nations are rooted in poetic and rhetorical responses to nature. There are things that shape humanities apprehension of the world.

I may have failed by limiting myself when I categorized the complexities of culture and society to a “universal history,” but it is this repetitive history I wish to get at.

All literature and history, anything created by man, follows a formula. Language itself and the design of written stories follow a more specific path. The classics would define them in rudimentary terms, such as Iron, Bronze, and the Golden ages, however they are more involved.

I will say there are three (3) primary ages to consider.

1) The age of the gods.

2) The age of the heroes

3) The age of men


In harmony with these three kinds of nature and government, three kinds of language were spoken.

1) That of the time of the families (oral)
2) That spoken by means of heroic emblems (symbols/images)
3) Human language using words agreed upon by the people (combining both prior categories) [p.402]

Sacred Language moves to the Symbolic which becomes the epistolary or vulgar.

[p. 403] These divine or heroic characters were true fables or myths, and their allegories are found to contain meanings not analogical but univocal, not philosophical but historical…

Since these genera (for that is what the fables in essence are) were formed by most vigorous imaginations, as in men of the feeblest reasoning powers, we discover in them true poetic sentences, which must be sentiments clothed in the greatest passions and therefore full of sublimity and arousing wonder.

Latins began with heroic verses, passed thence to iambics, and finally settled into prose.

[p. 404] Along with these three languages--- proper to the three ages in which three forms of government prevailed, conforming to three types of civil natures, which succeed one another as the nations run their course--- we find there went also in the same order a jurisprudence suited to each in its time.

That the world of civil society has certainly been made by men, and that its principles are therefore to be found within the modifications of our own human mind.

[p. 405] For the first indubitable principle posited above is that this world of nations has certainly been made by men, and its guise must therefore be found within the modifications of our own human mind. And history cannot be more certain than when he who creates the things also narrates them.

Since in God knowledge and creation are one and the same thing. [p. 406]

What Aristotle said of the individual man is therefore true of the race in general ---the human mind does not understand anything of which it has had no previous impression (which our modern metaphysicians call “occasion”) from the senses.

This brings us to the question of “Poetic Wisdom,” but what is wisdom?
[p. 407] Plato defines wisdom as “the perfecter of man.”

Man consists of Mind + Spirit, or Intellect + Will.

True wisdom, then, should teach the knowledge of divine institutions in order to conduct human institutions to the highest good.

Wisdom among the gentiles began with the Muse, defined by Homer in a golden passage on the Odyssey as “knowledge of good and evil,” and later called divination.

Still later the word “wisdom” came to mean knowledge of natural divine things; that is, metaphysics, called for that reason divine science, which, seeking knowledge of man’s mind in God, and recognizing God as the source of all truth, must recognize him as the regulator of all good. So that metaphysics must essentially work for the good of the human race, whose preservation depends on the universal belief in a provident divinity. [p. 407]

But man created Jove, right?

This is theology, meaning the science of the language of the gods. [p. 411]

By means of their natural theology, the gentile, imagined the gods; how by means of their logic they invented languages, by morals, created heroes; by economics, founded families, and by politics, cities, by their physics, established the beginnings of things as all divine; by the particular physics of man, in a certain sense created themselves; by their cosmography, fashioned for themselves a universe entirely of gods; by astronomy, carried the planets and constellations from earth to heave; by chronology, gave a beginning to [measured] times; and how by geography described the world. [p. 408]

Gentile men in turn created things from their imagination---

[p. 409] Mankind created things according to their own ideas. But this creation was infinitely different from that of God. For God, in his purest intelligence, knows things, and, by knowing them, creates them; but they, in their robust ignorance, did it by virtue of a wholly corporeal imagination. And because it was quite corporeal, they did it with marvelous sublimity; a sublimity such and so great that it excessively perturbed the very persons who by imagining did the creating, for which they were called “poets.”

In this fashion the first theological poets created the first divine fable, the greatest they ever created: that of Jove. [p.410]

Symbol moves to explanation, ignorance + imagination = Man Made Gods, which is interrupted by language causing a movement to theology, which explains the religious act of the historical tradition. This is representative of the Age of Man trying to justify and explain the age of Gods.

Their science was called Muse, defined by Homer as the knowledge of good and evil. [p.411]

Euseius said it better: that the first people, simple and rough, invented the gods “from terror of present power.” Thus it was fear which created gods in the world; not fear awakened in men by other men, but fear awakened in men by themselves. [p. 412]

For when we wish to give utterance to our understanding of spiritual things, we must seek aid from our imagination to explain them and, like painters, form human images of them. [p. 413]

Metonymy (A figure of speech in which one word is substituted for another to which it is related in some way other than by resemblance, such as in “crown” used for “king”).

[p. 414] It is noteworthy that in all languages the greater part of the expressions relating to inanimate things are formed by metaphor from the human body…

Hands of a clock, Eyes of needles and potatoes, mouth for any opening, lip of a cup, teeth of a rake, saw, comb; tongue of a shoe, etc.

All of which is a consequence of our axiom that man in his ignorance makes himself the rule of the universe, for in the examples cited he has made of himself an entire world.

--For when man understand he extends his mind and takes in the things, but when he does not understand he makes the things out of himself and becomes them by transforming himself into them.

Synecdoche (A figure of speech in which a part is substituted for a whole or vice versa, as in “all hands on deck”)

[p. 416]
Poetic wisdom is founded by the gentile and imagination.

And it may be said that in fables the nations have in a rough way and in the language of the human senses described the beginnings of this world of sciences.

The theological poets were the sense and the philosophers the intellect of human wisdom.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

English 304/300 Why not the Genji?

Michelle shares an amazing dream in her Oct. 7 post:

English 300 asks us to critically analyze the MSU top 100 books, and re-look at the cannon we have decided. Originally I was pushing "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" as the book to replace "Charlotte's Web", but the more I think about it I don't want Rushdie to have 2 titles on their. If "Haroun" replaces anything, it should be Rushdie's prior work, but since that would take more comparrison, I would rather talk about why...

"THE TALE OF GENJI" is not on the MSU top 100! Seriously, it's on half of the other book lists.

"The Tales of Genji" was written in 1004 A.D. by a Japanese WOMAN, Murasaki Shikibu. Not only a minority, but the first woman to write such a novel. Lady Shikibu was in waiting to be empress of Japan, and between long and drawn out court ceremonies and all the pomp and circumstance, fit in time to be imaginative and wrote. She wrote what many claim to be the world's first psychological novel and the greatest work of fiction of the age.

The Tale of Genji

How come one of the world's greatest works of fiction, and the FIRST psychological novel is not on the MSU top 100 book list? Is anybody else as pissed off about this as I am? And to think we call ourselves civilized, let alone educated. Piffy! That really horks my snorkle-majig.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

MSU Exponent

Hopefully you checked out the new issue of the MSU EXPONENT, as your's truly was a featured writer.

I was asked to write about my experiences going abroad, and so within the politically heavy student news paper, I gave everybody some interesting excitement. If you didn't pick up the article you can go directly to the EXPONENT webpage and read it here:

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Another poem?

By Tristan Vick
November 2, 2004

What is, is what’s not (Chocolate Banana)

Donkey Kong is a Monkey
A hot dog is not a dog
A corn dog is not a hotdog
Neither is it fully corn
Neo is just an Anagram
Why would a Monkey be called a Donkey?

Waterfalls flow and only rarely fall
A baseball diamond isn’t really a diamond
A Ferris wheel goes around, and is a wheel
But all is fair in love and war
A sandwich doesn’t have any sand in it
Someone said money talks

Once I saw a housefly
But houses can’t fly
And Mrs. Campbell couldn’t catch her running nose
God bless you Mrs. Campbell
Refrigerators are said to run
Yet I’ve never seen one

Fruitloops don’t have any fruit in them
No more so are Cheerios any happier
Occasionally, Shakespeare writes sonnets
Jewel sang my favorite poem
Father’s car eats up his gas
That’s a lot of gas, because father forgot his TUMS

God is good, and Satan is Evil
My cereal floats in my milk
I’m told and know these things
I’ve never really sat on a rainbow
Sometimes I question what’s real
Mostly I just sit back and enjoy life

Sunday, October 31, 2004

A Poem

Tsushima Island during Squid Fishing

By Tristan Vick
October 31, 2004

Squid Safari

Glistening against midnight ripples,
Luminescent light was forged from the deepest blue ocean
Awakening spirits.
Sing a’ song as many a sailor do,
Behold the magnificence painted by the greatest artificer.

A thousand and one eyes winked at yet a thousand more.
The hum of the burning ember, the filament
Talking of majesty with the crush of the wave;
In-between was a dance, an articulation.

Time was not important
No more was reality, unaware of the first bellow and blow.
The wind huffed a warm, salty sentence
Reassuring, comforting, but never really heard,
A faint music beating in tangent with nature’s rhythm;

Clapping caused white foamy spray
Perpetual infinity linked among the golden chains, the night’s air gestured
Pausing, breathing, contemplation, intelligence
They came for the grandeur.

Some people have confused this poem to be a "romantic" love poem. Even though the poem tends to utilize romantic language here and there, the poem was not specifically and ode to love. Or rather, it is an ode to love of nature and the dichotomy that exists between man's world and that of the sea. I wrote my Fiancé an explanation of what I was alluding to when I originally wrote the poem, and I break down the specific traits of the individual lines, which contain information that people may not be aware of. Think of it as a way to read into the facts of the poem, but the deeper meaning is still left to the reader to decide.

A letter to Sayaka in regards to my Poem Squid Safari.

Tristan Vick

I will explain what my poem means on the literal level, and why it is about squid. Oh, and also, you can read ‘into’ poetry any way you like. If you felt it was about us, then it might make you feel something or remind you of something about us. Even though the poem isn’t about us specifically, YOU are allowed to read poetry anyway you like, including this poem. I’ve taken college courses about this type of thing! Reading deeper into poetry is something everyone does. I used very “romantic” sounding language, so these words can make you feel deep feelings, for me and for squid!

*Oh, I should warn you, the explanation is real long! Very long! Just so you know.*

Squid Safari [I will explain the title at the end, for now just read my explanations in these brackets.]

By Tristan Vick
October 31, 2004

STANZA 1 (A stanza is a section of the poem that looks like a paragraph. Every time it looks like a new paragraph, that is a new stanza. Basically a section of lines which are grouped together, not necesarrily in the propper grammatical structure, but in an artistic one.)

1. Glistening against midnight ripples, [Line 1 is about the way light reflects on water. Knowing that there may be near 3,000 vessels surmounting aproximately 3 million lights three miles off the coast is a sight to behold! Let alone the stars shining and all of this light gets distorted and reflected back off of the sea.]

2. Luminescent light was forged from the deepest blue ocean [Line 2 talks about the luminescent colors that are coming up from the blue water. This is the squid swimming to the surface of the water to see the lights.]

3. Awakening spirits. [Line 3 is about all the squids looking like white ghosts, or spirits, as they all awaken to see the lights and to be in the pressence of light itself.]

4. Sing a’ song as many a sailor do, [Line 4 is about the fisherman singing a lucky song to help catch fish, just like a sailor would sing. A fishing song!]

5. Behold the magnificence painted by the greatest artificer. [Line 5 is 'me' the narrator saying to the reader, look at this beauty of life, squid, man, the ocean, and realize that the greatest artist -GOD made it all.]

Stanza 2

1. A thousand and one Eyes winked at yet a thousand more. [Line 1 is a reference to all the squids looking up at all the fishermen, and all of the fishermen looking down at all the squids. 1,001 the number has no more significance than it sounds more fluid than saying Three million. The number isn't specifically borrowed from Arabian Nights, because when you total it the sum is actually 2,0001 eyes looking, but the phrase does harken back to a well recognized litterary story -and may sound more poetic (unintentionally) because of it.]

2. The hum of the burning ember, the filament [Line 2 is about the many lights that squid fishers use. They hum, because of the generators and motors of the boats, and the lights have a buzzing sound. Between the ember and the filament exists the contrast between nature and the man made world. An ember is completely a natural entity, where-as the filament which causes the glowing is made by man. This is my celebration of man re-replicating nature, and the love of his accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Yet I specifially bring nature into it, because without the comparison, you wouldn't have the awe nor beauty that I desire to represent.]

3. Talking of majesty with the crush of the wave; [Line 3 is about the lights and water noises sounding like so much noise, that it sounds like a conversation of actual people talking. Majesty is romantic language, once again bringing emphasis to the magic feeling of this moment. Majesty can also be taken as a reference to God and Nature. Each subject is in conversation with the other. Nature/Man, Man/God, God/Nature and the ocean caries this dialogue.]

4. In-between was a dance, an articulation. [The 'dance' is about all the squid swimming around the boats to see the lights. The movement looks like a dance. Also the boats circling to scoop up and catch the squid also has circular patterns that may appear to be a dance. You could set this to music, and it would be Fantasia.]

Stanza 3

1. Time was not important [This is about time slowing down, like on a beautiful night when you look at the stars, you feel calm, and time slows down. Time is slowing down for the squid that look up at the boat lights much the same way we look up at the stars. It may seem heavenly eaven, and heaven has no time, so we have reached this stage of enlightenment when both the squid and man become united in this dance within the world they exist, but also transcending that to a newer world, a more heavenly one. You could call it the 'Poetic' world.]

2. No more was reality, unaware of the first bellow and blow. [This is a metaphor for life. Everything is real, but I am using language which suggests that this is too beautiful to be real. There is a joy and a holiness about it that makes us think back to the artificer, creator, GOD. Time slows, and reality isn't what it appears to be, or even what we think it is. Reality doesn't know how to 'be' in this constant state of artistic creation and realization.]

3. The wind huffed a warm, salty sentence [This line talks about wind. An onomatopoeia for wind blowing is 'huff' or 'puff', but these are in reference to small blowing winds, like a human breathe, or breathing. I utilized it in a way that would make nature seem alive, as if it were breathing, living. Huffing a salty sentence is a play on the smells and sounds of the ocean. The ocean is salty, so it would smell salty. The sentence is speaking about the sound of the water, and the boats and squid swimming in the water, the men singing, and the conversation that progresses between all present to the dance.]

4. Reassuring, comforting, but never really heard, [The sound of water is soothing and comforting, but very faint and soft... so you can barely hear it.]

5. A faint music beating in tangent with nature’s rhythm; [Everything suddenly seems to work together. All the sounds start finding a rhythm that makes it intelligent and song like, even though it alludes to the fishermen catching the flopping squid; a state of constant motion and varying degrees of volume.]

6. Sublimity. [This is the best feeling possible. The night is perfect. The squids are happy to see the lights, and the fishermen are happy to be catching all of the squid. We the readers are happy to enjoy the poem. Nature/Man/God all become one. Everyone is happy.]

Stanza 4

1. Clapping caused white foamy spray [This is about the squid caught in the nets, and now they all squirm and try to escape. The noise they make sounds like a clapping, like hands clapping. They smash against the boats, and against each other. The water too is smashing into the boats, making more clapping. White bubbles and foam is made from the water being stirred. More motion.]

2. Perpetual infinity linked among the golden chains, the night’s air gestured [Line 2, here, is about the ripples in the water, and all of the golden lights too, and it all looks like chains linked together as they expand out over the ocean.]

3. Pausing, breathing, contemplation, intelligence [This line is about everything pausing for a moment. The men, the squid, the commotion, everything gets quiet and there is only the sound of breathing. Then only the acknowledgement of thinking, every one is hard at work or waiting for the next wave of squid to swim up.]

They came for the grandeur. [This is about both men and squid. The came for the hunt, and the squid came to see the light. Everyone is happy, but the squid get killed and will be eaten. They all came here to the sea and came together at the point which nature meets the divine. Also Heaven is supposed to be the most glorious and beautiful, full of lights. The squid get to go to a heaven filled with dazzling light. So even though they are dead now, we can still be happy for them, because they weren't wasted. I know, because I ate some of them.]

I titled it “Squid Safari”, because a Safari is a hunt, and an adventure. I thought this would be good, and since not many people know about squid fishing, especially in land locked Montana. I referenced squid in the title so that they may specifically know what the poem is about, or at least ask themselves what do squid have to do with it? Even though most people who read it think it is ONLY about the ocean, or sailing, and the beauty of the ocean; it is not ONLY about these things, but about MANY things. There is under laying meaning, and I hide all the direct connections to the squid because I want the beauty of the language to be read and understood, yet they are both in tangent to one another (on different levels and layers perhaps) and are also part of the same dance. It should be a powerful poem, even on the spiritual level. Yet it is all of these things and more too.