Monday, January 19, 2009

Saint Elmo's Fire Controversy

Throughout the last few weeks of College Lit. we've been talking on and off about the effects of censorship. While in a deep conversation (like the many we have in that class.) I remembered reading about a movie that changed the way that critics looked at "freedom of speech".

Saint Elmo's Fire. For most of you youngsters out there, this is probably not a movie in you're top 10. Released in 1985 it was the last movie of the nick name "Brat Pack" collection. Along with Saint Elmo's Fire, there was also "The Breakfast Club", and "Pretty in Pink."

Seven friends fresh out of Georgetown University struggle to overcome the issues that keep them from growing up and moving on past their College glory days. Sounds like any other teenage 80's movie right? Wrong. This movie created such a censorship battle that with the directors complete disagreement, there was cuts from the film.

For example. In the movie there is a scene of a girl who decides she found the guy who she wants to loose her virginity to. If the director would have gotten her way, there would have been a (excuse me Mr. Kunkle) but a straight up porn film on the big screen.

There were numerous scenes like this, and here was the big issue. THERE WAS MALE NUDITY. Oh no, big absolute not. I mean, we have a adapted a bit to male nudity in the new millennium, but we are still very sensitive to it. Why? Who knows, but that's not what my blog is about.

Critics were completely insulted by the directors request for an R rating. For male nudity? Completely out of the question?

That's where it all started. Why is it OK to have women nudity vs. males? What's the difference. She also argued that she was only showing real-life situations, and that people are just uncomfortable watching their bad behavior on the big screen. The movie's release date continued to be delayed and delayed. Which actually ended up working well for the director (it created great suspense).

Although the directer finally agreed to have her movie shown without the nudity, it was only because X movies are not able to be shown regular cinemas.

The question is. Should the movie have been cut? One can argue both ways. One side could say that it's based on real-life "finding you're way through life" experiences. There are really males who, if you can believe it, get naked.

The other side could argue simply this. If you want to watch naked men and women, rent a DVD.

I guess in the end it just goes back to the famous unanswerable question. Should freedom of speech be limited?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Government Secrets.

A couple weeks ago, we watched the movie Doomsday. To be quite honest, it scared the living heck out of me. It came to my realization that we laugh off the fact that the military general loved chewing gum and the president was such a softy. They were the comic relifs of the movie.

Take that all away though and look at the main plot. A general, in our military, releases a top secret nuclear bomb mission. Our government can't stop it, so what do they do? Plan for their safe escape.

We also recently learned about the Cointelpro organization in our new book Caucasia. Another secret organization that was exposed. I honestly believe that they were behind numerous movement leader assassinations.

Then there's Nixon. The president who was exposed for running numerous secret government organizations.

Anywhoo. I have finally concluded, (after my years of research, HA.), that I do not trust our government at all. Not in the least bit. To be quite honest, I think that there are numerous secret government organizations.

I believe that 9/11 was a slight set up. I don't believe it was 100% the United States, I just believe that they knew more about it then they told us. I think President Bush brushed it off as another threat and just let it go, without the proper precautions.

All you have to do is type in "9/11 conspiracy", and millions and millions of websites will pop up explaining their side. Understandably, some are a little crazy sounding. Some however, really make you scratch your head.

I wonder, what would happen if there was a comet, nuclear bomb, or a terrorist attack that the government knew about. Would they tell us? Probably not, it would cause a world wide panic. We would just be going on about our day and bam, it all be over in an instant.

North Korea, Pakistan, Israel...they all have nuclear weapons. I'm an honestly surprised that we haven't pushed their buttons enough for an attack. Don't get me wrong, I'm thanking whoever it is I'm suppose to be thanking that we're still here. However, it's almost a miracle.

I just go my life day by day, with no regrets. I do my best to keep up to date with politics and oversea actions. That's about all I can do.

On a more positive note. I think Obama will do a fantastic job in his presidency. I think he is capable of picking up the mess that Bush left and lead the U.S. into a better future.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Strip the Exterior

Every day millions of women wake up and get ready for the day. They spend hours picking out the perfect outfit, that they probably paid way too much for. Then proceed to put lotions and powders on their face to cover up their already beautiful skin. With other individual odds and ends in between this is the process of a normal American female's day.

I am not going to sit here and blog about how much I hate that women are so self-conscious, because that would be truly hypocritical. I wear expensive jeans and straighten my hair on my good days. However, I also recognize inner beauty before I even comment on a women's exterior.

That is what my blog about is ladies and gentlemen. The inner beauty. Some say it's only for the ugly people. Other's argue that without inner beauty, a person will never be truly beautiful.

This is my argument. What in the heck are we doing? People in America have become so image conscious that clothing and cosmetic companies feed off of it. They do everything they can to subliminally tell us that we are not perfect, but we can be with their product.

Everyone knows that it's a bunch of BS, however, we still go out and buy it. Maybe sometime a women will find her perfect shade of blush, but then what does that mean? Does it boost your self-esteem so that you feel better about yourself? Some say yes. I then argue, really?

It is estimated that 1 in 3 women have eating disorders. It is also estimated that 30,000 people die from suicide each year, and another 75,000 attempt it.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those aged 15 to 24. It is because at those ages, we are all trying to find ourselves. Trying to decide who we will be for the rest of our lives. We form to friends, family, and celebrities to be what we think we want to be. However, the only way to really find out who you truly are is to look inside of yourself.

I understand that peeling away all of the exterior will leave you completely exposed to everyone around you, and that scares the heck out of anyone.

I leave you with this note. How will you know if you are ever truly happy, if you don't know who you really are?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

War. What is it good for?

After reading the first few chapters of Slaughter-House V, I was ecstatic. Finally, I get an opportunity to talk about my opinon on war. If you read my previous entries, I'm sure you already know my position. I am 100% against war.

I just don't understand it. Our country, sends innocent men and women to die for a cause that is based on greed. Yes, the government will use a cover to and something something such as, "We're going to Iraq to find Osama Bin Laden". Hmmm..well we have yet to find him. What we have done however, is blown up their country and killed numerous savilians to suposivly find one man.

Sounds fishy to me. The government never seems to mention that there is oil over in Iraq. DING DING DING, looks like we've found the real reason for this pointless war.

My views are simple, I don't support war. I do, however, support our soilders. The people who fight for their country, just because they know it's the right thing to do. What they are fighting for may not be as noble, and most of the soilders are aware of this. (after viewing letters from soliders to home, it has come to my attention that most soilders really arn't there for fun.)

Still, they grin and bear it and fight for their family and friends overseas. There is one big problem however, most US citizens have no idea how grusome war really is. There hasn't been war in the United States since Vietnam War. Most of the people who were around for that, can't talk about it anyway, seeing as it happend approximatly 90 years ago. (excuse my history knowledge for all you AP US students out there.)

Here is what I am trying to say, short and sweet. I would never wish a war to take place in the United States, but I guarentee if it did, it would change how eager we are to go overseas. Now, obviously, I've never been to Iraq, but I've done a lot of research. I know how terrible it is, and what we are truly fighting for. I just hope that Obama really does what he said he was going to do and bring our soilders home.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

my ironic life

First off, I have to ask why we are focusing on the Native American stories. From what I've noticed, it's either been Caucasian or native main characters.

Either way, this story was something that really effected me. It talks of a kid, who knows his dad was a "partyer" when he was younger. Now, his father is tied down to a family and drinks. Eventually it strains the narrators parent's marriage and causes his father to move states away. The narrator then feels abandoned and hopeless.

My father and I love to talk about his crazy times when he was younger. The parties, the car rides, the police chases...I love listening to him recall his rebellious days as a young adult.

My parents divorced when I was 9 years old from my fathers consistent drinking. That was not the only reason, but the main one. My father wasn't the one to move away, like most traditional parent abandonments. It was my mother. She moved to Madison, which was about an hour away from me. However, being 9 years old, seemed like states away from me.

I only saw her on the weekends. It did feel like I was abandoned, and it did make me feel hopeless. The fact that she moved far away made it very clear that my parents were not getting back together.

My father and I did have a song too. "I Want to Rock and Roll" by KISS. It was something that we both loved to listen to and when it was playing we had no care in the world. After the divorce, we lost track of the KISS c.d., but almost every time that we were in the car together it came on the radio. It was our sign that this was "our song."

This story was just overall very much like my life with some small specifics that are different. It's very strange to me that out of all the stories that I could have read, I read this one. However, my friends and family always tell me what an ironic life I have.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Every Little Hurricane

The story "Every Little Hurricane" as of now, is my favorite story read in class. The metaphors and symbolic language created a fantastic depiction of alcoholism. I grew up with alcoholism in my family, not as Victor in Every Little Hurricane did, but I still did.

My family did their best to shield me from their habits. However, no matter how little you are, you still know what their doing is wrong. The fact that he described his family as a hurricane or bad whether was completely appropriate. Alchoholism can easily pass, just like bad whether.

In the beginning of the story, when the Victor speak of his uncle's fighting, he says that they were "slugging each other with such force that had to be in love." This line was very powerful for me, because I've never really thought about the way strangers fight, compared to the way that family members/friends fight. In reality though, it's true. If you know someone, you know how tough they are and you know how hard you can hit without causing permanent damage. With a stranger, you're just fighting to show that you're tougher, and hitting him/her just hard enough to end the fight.

There was one part of the story that I disagreed with, however. The fact that it was targeted towards Native Americans. It just seems that Native Americans get a lot of "beef" for drinking a lot. When in reality, no matter what nationality you are, you are just as likely to become and alcoholic.

However, the person who wrote this grew up on a reservation, so in that sense he's just speaking from personal experience. I hang out with a couple Native Americans however and they grew up on a reservation. They despise being called Indian, they prefer Native. That's what was the most confusing out of the story for me, if the person that wrote the story grew up on a reservation, why was he referring to his family as Indians?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A material world.

Today I wrote a paper on the song Imagine by John Lennon. If you have not heard this song, I highly recommend it. Here are the lyrics:

Some speak of how this song is anti-religious. However I don't believe that this is true at all. So, Lennon speaks of a world without religion, well he's not dumb people, he knows that this would never happen. The reason he powerfully dismisses religion, is because he wants everyone to forget about who believes what. He wants everyone to judge people by who they are, and not what they believe.

Also, in his song, he speaks of a world without worldly possessions. Immedietly following, he says "I wonder if you can." I believe that people have become so obssessed with what they have, that they feel it defines who they are. For example: "you are what you drive" or "you are what you wear". This is a dissapointing way that a majority of our population judges each other.

I for one am sick of it. Think about it, we look up to celebrities, why? Because they are known in the media. How did they become known in the media? For having money and nice cars. It's just not something that I want to be a part of.

Now, I am not about to say that I don't like my fair share of music. Rap is probably my all time favorite thing to listen to. I just think that people should view money and religion differently, other than it defining who you are.