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