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.