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Aesthetic Theorist

Ramblings of an alluring sage

AP Lang

Welcome Acolytes

The year is finally ending, and I am writing my last mandatory blog post. So much has changed throughout the year, and that is what I am here to talk about.

As I look back on this year and evaluate my achievements, I can see that I have grown as a person. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been the easiest journey, but it has been a worthwhile one. At the beginning of the year, when I was asked what I hoped to get out of this class, I said that I hoped to improve my writing skills. I have achieved a lot more than that. I have changed as a person in ways that I cannot, sadly, share with you dear acolytes.  Not only have I matured in character, but I have also become better at expressing myself. I can make someone understand me much easier than I could before, not only through writing, but through speech as well. I think I have become a more clear thinker.

I am sad to be leaving the environment that AP Lang provided. A place where almost everyone shared similar passions , and where all of us were eager to learn. I think this is why the AP Lang class was so conducive to my learning.

I may be losing that environment, but I will try to continue improving as a writer and a thinker. I also hope to continue blogging every once in a while. I won’t be gone for too long, dear acolytes.

Go in Peace

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Entertainment and Society

Welcome Acolytes

A little bit of fun never hurt anyone, but a lot fun, that’s a different story.

I have been reading a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death that deals with this exact topic. Our culture has become obsessed with entertainment and fun, so much so that our main concern while presenting the news is that it is entertaining as much as it is informative. This has caused our news to become de-contextualized, and therefore seem inconsequential. Some teachers have made efforts to sing their lesson to their students rather than just lecturing. While this is more fun, is it more effective in teaching the students? Entertainment becomes bad when it becomes the main focus of our society.

I will draw from Amusing Ourselves to Death for this next example. I think the aspect of our culture that has been most impacted by our obsession with entertainment is religion. So many preachers on television are more concerned with being liked by their audience and keeping them entertained. Joel Osteen, for example, always begins his sermon by telling a few jokes. I don’t know how much that contributes to teaching the word of God, if it does at all. If anything, it may only distract people and make it harder for them to focus on the message to follow.  This is when entertainment starts to “ruin” society. If it is allowed to, it may permeate all aspects of society and warp their meaning.

Entertainment is also a very powerful manipulative tool. So many people are constantly exposed to entertainment, so it has a huge range of influence. If this tool is in the wrong hands, which it always is, it can be used to control what people think about, and even how they think. Lets take Justin Beiber or One Direction as examples. These performers, through entertainment, have taught millions of teen age girls what to do to be loved or noticed by boys. This is a clear example of how entertainment can control people and influence their morality. In this way, entertainment can heavily affect society, potentially “ruining” it.

With caution and limitation though, all this can be avoided. Do not be so careless of what entertainment you are exposed to. Be concious of how it may affect you. Maybe listen to your Mom once in a while and get off the t.v/laptop/phone.

Go in Peace

 

Video Games=Mass Shootings?

Welcome Acolytes

I recently came across an interesting argument. The title said “Video Games” so I decided to check it out. Basically, the argument presented here was that violent video games in the US lead to mass shootings. As a video game enthusiast, this was not a comforting thought.

The US has a massive video game industry. There was a study that showed over 90 percent of American teenagers play video games. So of course, politicians use violent video games and movies as a scape goat for the many mass shootings in the US rather than their insane gun laws.

A study in the US has shown that video games can act as a stress reliever, and allow young children to vent out their emotions. I can confirm this from personal experience. When a survey was conducted, over 60 percent of teenage boys said they play video games because it helps them relax.

On the other hand, there have been increased signs of aggressive behaviour in teens who have recently been exposed to violent video games and movies. These children are also desensitized to the violence they witness in these forms of media.

So lets get back to the mass shootings. Several mass shooters in the US have been avid video game players. After 37 mass shootings were examined, 12 percent of the shooters showed interest in violent video games. Does this mean that  video games caused these people to murder their class mates? Not exactly, but perhaps large amounts of time exposed to violence didn’t help.

There are always two extremes to these kind of issues, but moderation is key. Video games have both a positive and negative effect on children, but with some restraint, video games can become a relaxing and fun pass-time that don’t make you want to murder people.

Go in Peace

So who’s to blame?

Welcome Acolytes

I just finished reading Othello. A very interesting book, even if it does leave some questions unanswered. So today, I’m here to discuss who is to blame for Othello’s downfall.

Can someone be held at fault for being too trusting, naive, and self-conscious? I don’t think so. These are the traits that led to Othello’s downfall, so I don’t think he was responsible for it. It is one’s past experiences and current situation that determine these traits, so Othello cannot be held responsible.  We are never told whether it is Othello’s race or age that makes him insecure, but it is very clear that there is something deep within him that causes him to feel inadequate and self conscious. These traits make it much easier for Othello to be manipulated, especially by people that he trusts. And this is where Iago comes in.

Iago knows exactly what buttons to push in Othello’s head. He is well aware of Othello’s insecurities, and uses it to his advantage. As Iago fills Othello’s head with lies, he is quick to believe him. It doesn’t help that Othello blindly trusts Iago. I don’t think that we can blame Othello for this either. As a commanding officer, it is very easy to trust those that you have bled next to.

As Iago continues to manipulate Othello, his jealousy and insecurity take over, making him murder his wife in the end. In this play, Othello is the puppet, while Iago is the puppeteer. Othello was a victim of Iago’s trickery, and therefore cannot be held responsible for his own downfall.

Go in Peace

Bent Logic

Welcome Acolytes

Homosexuality has been a rather controversial topic for as long as I can remember. Recently, it has been more of a political concern, as gay marriage has been legalized in the United States. If you are looking for logical fallacies, read an article about homosexuality.

I came across an interesting debate on gay marriage rights. Rick Limbaugh, an american radio talk show host, went on to say “if same-sex fits the bill of the contract, then everything fits the bill. And at some point who’s to say that you cannot have sex with a child”
That quote literally made me cringe. There are just so many things wrong with that way of thinking, but let us stay focussed on the logical fallacies. Here is a classic example of the slippery slope, a type of logical fallacy. Basically, this says that if we allow A to happen, then eventually Z will happen too, so we shouldn’t let A happen.
The main issue with this type of thinking is that it redirects attention from the main topic, and focusses on extreme, unlikely realities. There is absolutely no proof that Z will happen at all. This type of fallacy tries to appeal to a person’s fear, and is very often used in arguments against gay marriage.

The presence of this fallacy does not add believability to the argument, nor does it strengthen it, but it does lay a seed of doubt and fear in irrational people that hear it. I think that this is the reason why the slippery slope is used so frequently in anti-gay arguments. The things that it assumes are completely irrational, yet it still resonates with people.
We need to wake up, and be able to differentiate logical fallacies from the rest of the argument .

Go in Peace

Excellence

Ever since we were young, we have been told to strive for excellence. We have been told to always give 100 percent and never give up. At what point does this become too much though?

Striving for excellence is not a bad thing to teach our children. Effort often leads to success. The important thing is that they know that no one can really achieve 100 percent excellence, no one can be perfect. As long as people understand this, striving for excellence can’t hurt. It is when people start to believe that they can achieve perfection that such efforts can be harmful. I think that this is the reason that a lot of people frown on perfectionism. Perfectionists, I think, fail to understand that something cannot be perfect. They will go to extreme lengths to try to achieve perfection, not realizing that that goal is unattainable. Trying to be as close to perfect as you can is good, in fact I think that this should be encouraged, but trying to achieve pure perfection is not healthy.

In Corinthians 10:31, it says to do all the things for God. Although this passage can be interpreted in different ways, I think that it is saying that we should try our best in everything we do, keeping God in mind. I think that the bible also encourages people to strive for excellence, but it does not ask for perfectionism. The bible recognizes the human need for rest, and asks us to relax, and realize that we can not do everything ourselves. It asks us to realize that perfection is unattainable for us mortals.

Go in Peace

An effective resume

Welcome Acolytes

A lot of people don’t understand what a resume is. They seem to think that it is what will get them a job, but a short document like that will rarely ever do that. The goal of the resume is to get you an interview. If you understand this, you will have a much more effective resume. So what specifically makes a resume effective?

A resume is kind of the first impression you make on a potential employer. Acknowledging this, one should format their resume in a smart way. You want this document to attract the eyes of your potential employer, so you are going to want to put your strongest credentials first. Starting off strong cant hurt. Your resume most likely wont be thoroughly read the first time anyway, so you should probably make the important things stick out too.

The next thing you should make sure to do is to emphasize your accomplishments, and not just your titles. Sure, it would be helpful for your employer to know what jobs you have held, but your personal achievements speak more about you than your job description. Also, avoid generic descriptions, and be as specific as you can, even if you think some of the facts may be trivial.

Most importantly, don’t forget to provide a clear statement, describing the kind of job you are looking for. This will help whoever is reading your resume to assess if you are the right person for the job.

If you have got all that down, you are almost done. Now all you have to do is hand out your resume to anyone who will bother to take it.

Good luck and Go in Peace

Personal Metaphor

Welcome Acolytes

Today, we are going to be analysing Ezra Pound, using metaphors.

  1. Animal: Ezra Pound, would be a fox. He is willing to migrate, following success, and is rather bold and cunning. Pound became a supporter of Mussolini, and by no means was he “low-key” about this. Pound made many radio recordings, condemning the United States. He wasn’t afraid to speak about what he believed in. Pound’s reasoning for this may have been to spread propaganda, and rally people in order for Mussolini’s cause to be successful.
  2. Plant:Moss. Pound wrote beautiful work during his time in Europe, but when he over-stepped his boundaries, much like moss, he was removed. After WWII, Pound was arrested for and tried for treason. He was found to be “insane”, and sent to a mental home. Much like moss, Pound flourished in his element, but when he stepped into the world of politics and war, he was destroyed.
  3. Article of Clothing: Glasses. Ezra Pound prompts people to see the truth and not always follow the herd. He isn’t afraid to go off about something that he believes to be true. Like glasses though, if he isn’t your prescription, he will start to get uncomfortable pretty soon.
  4. Day of the Week: Sunday. He tries to preach to you about politics and all sorts of things, but is often blown off, and thought of as crazy. He tries to spread his beliefs almost as much as a Jehovah’s Witness.
  5. Food: Salad. Ezra Pound likes to get to the point in his writing, but he takes the scenic route. His writing is full of flavour, some of them a little bitter. He might be an acquired taste to some, and an instant favourite to others.
  6. Colour: Brown. Pound refuses to conform. He will always stand out, not afraid to stand up for his beliefs
  7. Shape: Decagon. Much like a decagon, Pound looks simple from afar, like a normal circle, but when one dissects his work, one can see all the details and meaning beneath the surface.
  8. Fragrance: Curry. While pleasant, the smell of Indian food in the air is hard to get rid of. Pound is the same way, his poetry is enlightening, but his themes and underlying messages are inflexible. One cannot interpret his poems to mean something other than what Pound intended for them to mean.
  9. Building: Skyscraper. Pound wants to be seen, and indeed he is. He boasts his messages, like a tall, beautiful building. He is also stubborn, refusing to be knocked over, as he continued to write even in a mental home.
  10. Word: Vagabond. Pound loved moving from place to place. He left the states to wander through Europe with only $80. This is also seen in his writing, as he dabbles in many different styles of poetry.
  11. Musical Instrument: Cymbal. Pound insists on being heard, and announces everything he has to say with a resounding CLANG. Pound also has a sense of simplicity to his poetry.
  12. Season of the year: Fall. Pound heralds the coming of winter, warning people about the current state of society, while criticizing it in many of his poems.
  13. Appliance/Machinery: Gas tanker. Maybe not the flashiest, but he will make sure to get his message across, and will do so in a bold, upfront manner. (Maybe with a rotten egg smell, i don’t know)
  14. Natural Phenomenon: Rainbow. Pound message is there, and it is profound. It is also beautifully built with vivid language. You can see it from a mile away
  15. Literary Character:Legolas. Pound is a wanderer, away from home, trying to help us in our struggles. He sounds, in his writing, as if he has transcended society, and is trying to help us see what’s wrong with it.

Dope or no Dope?

Welcome Acolytes

With all the recent doping accusations in the sporting world, people are beginning to wonder why doping is illegal in the first place. Wouldn’t it make sports more interesting? Imagine watching a race where everyone is running at, at least, 20 miles per hour, just flying through the track. But if doping was legal, it would change the event from a competition, to a business, where a rich countries can flaunt their wealth, and for this reason, doping should remain illegal.

There is an argument, that sports are meant to be entertaining, so players should be able to enhance their abilities, and thereby entertain the crowd more. People who make this argument don’t realize that if doping were legal, the sport they love would eventually cease to give them joy. Lets take football for example. If doping were legal, the richest team would always have access to the best and most effective drugs for all their players, while the poorest team might be able to only enhance a few of their players. Eventually, the richest team would begin to dominate that sport, and their would be no competition, and without that, the sport is now boring to watch.

The same is true in any other sport, especially the Olympics. It definitely would be cool to watch the runners fly down the track at even faster speeds, but the competition would no longer be alive. Countries like the US would have incredible drugs available for their runners, while some African countries wouldn’t. Soon the event would stop being a sport, but become a spectacle, where people come to watch people run very fast, but not to cheer for their nation, as one runner battles fiercely against the others, or feel intense joy and pride when the runner they support finishes first. The only reason so many people enjoy sporting events are for those reasons, and if doping becomes legal, sports will die out.

Go in peace

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