4-Part Analysis of Invisible Man (Part 4)

[Synthesis with “Nomenclatures of Invisibility” by Mahtem Shiferraw]

This poem resonates with Brother Clifton’s last moments and what his actions near the end meant. There are two things to be considered when talking about what happened when the IM sees Brother Clifton for the last time. One side says that Brother Clifton, by trying to sell the Sambo dolls, is mocking those who smile and let others step on them like the caricature that the Sambo dolls represent. His actions could also be explained by the fact that he’s given up hope, seeing the organisation he’s worked in moving further and further away from its original goal and is acting out of desperation or a sense of hopelessness. This can be seen in the lines highlighted in the second to last stanza where it refers both to the “yes” man Sambo represents and the fact that the white man is untrustable when it comes to the fate of the brother, where, in almost every instance in the book, the white men (except Emerson Jr.) have been working against the black people, working ruin among the black community with honeyed words and empty promises (in Clifton’s case, the power-hungry Jack).

The second stanza, with brothers being lost at sea, can also be linked to the fact that not all the black characters in the book like Brockway and Bledsoe are interested in the advancement of their people aka being lost at sea. The next section is about mothers burning without being able to put it out. The first thing I thought of was the memory the IM has about his grandfather and how his mother had reacted to his grandfather’s words, ushering the children out of the room. She could be one of the brothers lost at sea too, a Sambo doll. On the other hand, it also reminds me of how black women were often raped by their masters and they couldn’t do anything about it. Nobody would listen to them and it happens over and over again. This ties back to the prologue where one of the things that the IM hallucinates while listening to music was a black woman talking about her mulatto sons and about how she both hates the man who raped her and loves him for giving her her sons so she is tormented by this paradox. I think this is characteristic of a lot of people are told to listen to others. Their instructors try to force them into a reality that the listener knows is somehow wrong but they’re unable to grasp it because it’s all they know so they get confused. This is true of the oppressed whether it be a race or an innocent child.


[On how the IM was able to portray the realities of living as a black man]

Since we’re nearing the conclusion of the book, I want to look into the effect of political satire and the sort of cynical commentary featured in this book.

To start with, it has been noted that the late night shows have been instrumental especially in the past two years in keeping people informed. With the official news outlets being bombarded with new scandalous headlines every day, viewers aren’t able to focus on any one issue for a significant time and the result is that often, the trivial and the scandalous takes prominence over the more mundane aspects of national news and this is dangerous. The mundane may consist of Congress’s activities, it may be events in foreign policy or it may be about the numerous movements taking place in the country right now.

http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199793471.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199793471-e-29

Excerpts:

Early studies of the content of late-night comedy monologues suggested that late-night political jokes tended to focus on the executive branch and were almost “devoid’ of policy content, focusing instead on personalities and weaknesses of individual politicians (Niven, Lichter, and Amundson, 2003). Recent research on the content of televised political humor complicates these initial observations. The themes included in the content of The Daily Show, for example, are often more issue-oriented than those of Leno or Letterman (National Annenberg Election Survey, 2004). In fact, scholars have found comparable treatment of substantive issues across the content of The Daily Show and network news broadcasts during the same time period (Fox, Koloen, and Sahin, 2007).

 

During the past decade, several reports from the Pew Center for the People and the Press concluded that young people, more so than older people, were increasingly reporting learning about politics from comedy shows (Pew, 2004). At the same time, young people were reporting lower rates of learning from traditional news programming. Yet the contention that young people are abandoning traditional news in favor of comedy programming is not supported by existing research (Young and Tisinger, 2006). Youthful late-night comedy viewers are more likely to be consuming news on cable networks, on the radio, and online than their non-comedy-viewing counterparts. Cross-sectional studies also contradict the assumption of the “politically disengaged” audience, as late-night comedy viewers, particularly those of the Daily Show, are more politically knowledgeable, more participatory, and more attentive to politics than non-late-night viewers (Brewer and Cao, 2006; Brewer, Young, and Morreale, 2013; Cao, 2010; Cao and Brewer, 2008; Young and Tisinger, 2006).

 

Qualitative and cultural research has chronicled how and why the once-strict divide between entertainment and news no longer exists (Baym, 2009a; Williams and Delli Carpini, 2002), and that scholars should explore political humor not as an alternative to political information, but as an alternative form of political information (Baym, 2009b). Work by Baym (2005, 2009a) highlights how political humor challenges the notion that journalistic practices such as objectivity and sensationalism are necessary or beneficial to society. Work by Jones (2009) and Van Zoonen (2005) suggests that by addressing political themes outside the traditional elite model of political discourse, political humor might invite more people into the political conversation.

 

Analysis:

One of the points raised in the paper was about how political commentary is more engaging to the audience so people pay more attention and connect more personally with what’s being said. I think this is true in a lot of instances in IM. The IM himself doesn’t have a name nor does he have a physical description so he is supposed to be the ultimate conduit to conduct us into his world and experience his frustrations and setbacks from his point-of-view. Since the narrator is the IM from the future, the tone in various parts of the story has a sort of irony where the situation at hand is described and the IM having an inadequate reaction. It is as if he was mocking his past naivety. Ellison also draws upon the political climate during the 50s and makes parallels to historical figures like W.E.B Du Bois and Carver Washington. More importantly, because the IM has a relatable background as a college-educated citizen, even those who aren’t able to identify with his plight can imagine the scenarios described may affect themselves. By making scenarios really personal with parallels to real life, Ellison not only can provide criticism especially when the innocent IM is horribly mistreated but also put these scenarios in a more pronounced setting than what a typical person would experience, safely removing the reader from experiencing too personally some of the more morbid and graphic scenes in the book. In all, the form of a novel allowed Ellison to more deeply explore the more nuanced aspects of a black person’s life and allowed the readers to better understand them and be more willing to accept them as real. 

APUSH Discussion Groups: Was MLK essential to the success of the Civil Rights Movement? (No)

For this debate, I was in charge of the misconceptions about MLK’s role and motives in the Civil Rights Movement while my partner was in charge of what he actually did (or didn’t do) so I only have half the argument.

Synthesis and Thesis:

Abraham Lincoln is named the Great Emancipator in honor of his Emancipation Proclamation that freed most of the slaves during the Civil War as well as the passage of the 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery, both during his presidency. However, the decision to make slavery the center of American politics was not a simple one and Lincoln was far from doing it for moral reasons. Sure, he thought slavery was morally wrong but he was not willing to risk it being a national issue until the Civil War in which he used slavery as a moral weapon against foreign countries seeking to weaken the United States by supporting the secessionist Southern states. This sort of oversimplification of character is also seen in portrayals of Martin Luther King Jr. He was seen as the spiritual and moral leader of the movement and often the effectiveness of the movement is attributed to him alone. However, this is not true. The black civil rights movement was already under way when MLK became known as a leader. He was in a time when the social pressures were just right for him to exhibit his full abilities as an orator and an intellectual and his role as a leader didn’t mean that other more locally-based leaders of the Civil Rights Movement weren’t as essential to the movement. Rather, King put a face on the Movement and people looked up to him but he was far from being the universal leader everyone thinks he is.

Points:

  • Rise to fame
    • Montgomery speech
    • Arranged by Rosa Parks and EB Nixon
    • Was chosen to give speech
    • Became famous for it
  • Social Factors
    • The counterculture of the 1950s and 60s were ripe for change
    • Protests as early as the 1930s gave black community the foundation for further change
      • They knew that organised protest often worked to get legislation passed faster
      • Ex. Brown v Board of Education: segregated but not equal
  • Not well-liked by everyone
    • People thought he was working too slow due his insistence on nonviolent protest and some started their own militant group in opposition to this
    • Even to his supporters, he was seen more as a role model rather than a leader
      • They were determined to make their own efforts for the Movement and not to rely on MLK, therefore the Movement was less about MLK and more about the grassroots nature of locally-based protests nationwide
  • Nonviolent Protest
    • Used as a PR tactic to garner sympathy
    • Gave the Movement good press
    • More of a strategy rather than a moral decision
  • Wasn’t only a spiritual and moral leader
    • He was an intellectual who knew that just moving oratory wasn’t going to change anything
    • He didn’t rely just on emotional appeal, he was highly practical and was involved in organising community efforts through “black community institutions, financial resources and grassroots leaders”
  • Wasn’t as magnanimous or as omnipotent as he’s shown to be
    • Admitted his own limitations multiple times throughout the duration of Movement
    • Was initially fearful of harm being done to his family for being a prominent figure of the Movement
    • Encouraged local leaders to take their own initiatives
  • Concluding statement: King didn’t make the Civil Rights Movement; the Civil Rights Movement made him.

APUSH Discussion Groups: Did Yellow Journalism cause the Spanish-American War? (Yes)

Stance: Yes (how the media blew up what was happening in Cuba in order to sell more papers)

Synthesis & Thesis: The Spanish-American War wasn’t the first time the Americans were whipped into a frenzy of mass hysteria: the earliest and most famous example of which was the Salem Witch Trials. Over two hundred people were accused between February 1692 to May 1693 and twenty were executed. They were accused of practicing witchcraft and people believed that they were agents of the devil and could bring curses upon those they didn’t like. It turned out that there was a strong correspondence between the wealth and status of the accused and the accusers. The economic hardships of the time as well as their deep-seated superstitions and resentment caused the Trials and their beliefs spurred on by rumors and fear, spiralled out of control and resulted in very real consequences, much like the baselessness of the Spanish-American War. With the press actively working to encourage war, public opinion soon became putty to be molded according to the news headline of the day. With news stories so completely false and separate from the facts and yet having a massive following with eye-catching headlines, the US and Spanish government was soon backed into a corner where one had to fight to save face or risk rebellion and the other had to fight to relieve the bloodlust of its people. Yellow journalism caused the War by putting forth false and sensationalist news that fuelled public outrage and then forced the hand of the government through the pressure of public opinion.

Points:

  • Background-
    • Main players involved Hearst & Pulitzer, together had millions of readers
    • Penny newspaper means customers who are mid-lower class = less interested in mundane news = a lucrative business selling sensational headlines
    • Pulitzer and Hearst were rivals in the business
      • Pulitzer was against war but printed pro-war to increase circulation
  •  Incidents and Effects
    • De Lome’s Letter- construed as “the worse insult in American history”
    • He had to resign and it wasn’t much of a big deal if not for…
  •  Maine in Cuba
    • Was in Cuba on the pretense of being “a friendly act of courtesy”, the Vizcaya was sent to the US in return
    • Was hailed as the first “offensive” of the United States into Cuba by media
    • Was blown up, media blamed it on Spanish gov’t and spread the news that the Maine was blown up by mines planted by the Spanish government
  •  Vizcaya
    • Vizcaya arrived just after the Maine explosion
      • Front-page news for weeks, all spewing pro-war headlines of course
      • Suspected Vizcaya of ulterior motives– offended, Spanish officials barred Hearst’s men from boarding which caused more suspicious rumors
      • moon w/ two rings = sign from heaven
      • testimonials of wretched mothers (even made up a quote from Roosevelt), people volunteering to fight and condemned peace attempts as twaddle, whipping people up to a war-ready frenzy — revenge

[Repost] Subtle Ways Colleges Discriminate Against Poor Students, Explained with a Cartoon

Despite the unsubtle title of the article, it was actually quite insightful. These are the sort of things that happen a lot without people even realising it and they have quite a big impact on students. The article uses studies as the basis to support its claims so it’s quite trustworthy and people with first-hand experience can definitely relate to the scenarios highlighted in the article. So, for everyone out there, whether you’re a disadvantaged student or not, this article is something that you should read.

Here’s a small excerpt:

Reeves, the Brookings scholar, recently wrote a book titled Dream Hoarders, which calls out the upper-middle class for hoarding opportunity and limiting mobility.

He writes about the policy problems that undergird this structural inequality, specifically critiquing the upper-middle class for their day-to-day actions, like calling in a favor to get an internship for your kid — and taking that spot away from someone else.

Link to original post: Click here

APUSH Discussion Groups: Was Lincoln the best president? (No)

While I disagree with my given stance, this was the position given to me to argue, so I had to take it. I like arguing the on the losing side anyway; it’s much more exciting and fresh. In any case, since each side of the debate is made up of a team of two people, my partner and I decided to split up the ways in which we would argue that Lincoln was not the best president. I was responsible for talking about his economic policies during and after the Civil War. As always, the outline is written in the least amount of words possible since they only serve as pointers to what I’ll actually say during the debate.

Stance: No (economic)

Synthesis and Thesis:

   Each president has one thing they are known most for. For Harry Truman, he was most remembered for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ensuring a speedy end to World War II. Because of that, he is often ranked pretty highly when it comes to his popularity as president. But during his two terms, he also created the state of Israel and the CIA and contributed significantly to the advent of the Cold War. In creating Israel against the advice of diplomats and the wishes of the Palestinians, he created the long war between the Jewish and the Arabs that continues to this day. The CIA would go on to interfere in the politics of numerous countries, stage coups and organise regimes of torture for several decades after its conception and in issuing the Truman Doctrine, he would effectively start the Cold War. These results from his actions didn’t seem to detract from his popularity despite their disagreeable long-term consequences. Similarly, President Lincoln was hailed as a hero for reuniting the halves of the US in the Civil War and then as a martyr after he was assassinated. But what most people don’t consider was the private agenda from which his policies sprung. In the end, the Civil War could have been shorter in duration, the South could have been spared from total destruction and Lincoln should have refrained from abusing his powers as president, but they didn’t happen so he was not, in fact, the best president the United States had or even the best president he could have been.

Points:

  • “Hamiltonian Economy”- favored the rich and powerful (and the North)
    • Raised tariffs 18.84% to 47.56% from 1861-5, would continue till after the War, will especially devastate the South
    • Return to National Bank and greenbacks
      • National Banking Acts of 1863 & 4, Legal Tender Act
      • caused massive inflation
    • brought back self-perpetuating debt (war bonds)
    • investments in farms, small businesses discouraged
    • overturned bank laws that kept the balance of wealth
    • banks, internal improvements and protective tariffs otherwise known as the “American System”
  • raised heavy taxes
    • used by gov’t in war efforts and well as not-so-war-efforts
      • ex: granted to Union Pacific Railway a huge swathe of land and $
      • ensured favors among big businesses with the Republican Party
  • contradicting economic policies
    • undermined the Homestead Act of 1862 by encouraging land speculation
      • <19% of land went to homesteaders
    • “spoils system”
      • allowed trade with South (cotton) for “special friends”
      • funnelled $10 million into Republican organisations

APUSH Discussion Groups: Was Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Policy Motivated by Humanitarian Impulses? (Yes)

Alright, so this discussion group was one where I had to argue the more difficult position; the position that Andy Jackson deported the Native Americans from their own lands “for their own good”. Basically, the gist of my argument is the fact that the Native Americans would have entered into conflict with the white settlers more directly and with more intensely if they had stayed in their traditional lands and would have probably been wiped out but by moving them, gave them a chance to re-establish elsewhere. Not a strong argument but that’s all I have. Since I had a partner to argue this position with me, this isn’t the whole of the Yes side so some information that could be used is missing.

Position: Yes (moral side of the argument and explaining Jackson’s goals and motivations)

Synthesis and Thesis: During WWII, the US government implemented a series of actions to protect against the infiltration of citizens from enemy countries. The most prominent group that was targeted were the Japanese. In February of 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, giving the military broad permission to ban any citizen along the West coast, which also happened to be where most Japanese-Americans lived. These exiled citizens would then be moved to internment camps for “the security of the United States”. This sentiment, while spurred on by Pearl Harbor, was further bolstered by racist thoughts that many Americans harbored. This combination of anti-Japanese paranoia with the American people’s ability to act on their thoughts meant that many Japanese-Americans were sent to these internment camps under horrible conditions in hostile environments. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 that Andrew Jackson passed may be similar in the atrocities committed, but the president himself was trying to do the best for a people that would have otherwise been completely wiped out. Many unfortunate things happened during the relocation of the Native American population, but the original goal was to preserve the peace and help secure the continuing safety of the Native American culture in establishing reserves just for them. As the President has personal connections to the Native American people, that also strengthened his bond to the cause. All in all, President Andrew Jackson had the Native American’s best interests at heart in his plan to remove the isolated pockets of Native Americans within the white-dominated states.

Note: NA = Native Americans

Outline:

  • Relationships with Indians already bad
    • Past history
    • Indians refuse to cooperate and prez can’t force states to back down (GA)
    • States want power over Indians, removal solves that problem
    • Previous prez ignored the problem
  • Jackson: nationalist, states’ rights, experienced with frontier and expansionist
    • GA trouble w/ Cherokees, solved that w/o aggravating either
    • Offered exemption from Plan if Indians converted
    • Removal of Indians: saves state from rebelling and Indians from dying
    • Satisfied public & saved Indians
  • Bloodshed
    • Example: Black Hawk War cuz whites and NAs were close to each other
    • Would have more if not for removal
  • Jackson’s connection to NA
    • Has fought by and against them (ex: War of 1812)
    • Adopted NA child, Lyncoya
  • No other options
    • Assimilation: racism, NA won’t cooperate
    • Sovereignty: threatens US gov’t and state power
    • Removal more acceptable by both, prevented total annihilation

On Campus Safe Spaces: The Drag and the Friction

For the 2016-2017 academic year, safe spaces were a particularly hot topic in light of the 2016 election in which both sides of America’s political spectrum were rather vocal in their support or opposition to the idea. There are some articles floating around that claim that safe spaces on college campuses are redundant if not counter-intuitive and promotes segregation instead of diversity. Those who advocate for the elimination or continued absence of safe spaces often misconstrue where safe places would be or exactly what constitutes as a safe space.

 

This could probably be due to the Sinclair group’s corporate takeover of local news channels so that they can spread their pro-Trump views by using flattering diction. This video is one of the many that appear when one searches “safe spaces” on  YouTube. FOX even has several of their own videos which ponder whether millennials will have the necessary skills to fight terrorism. Arguably, their perspective isn’t invalid because it questions the actual worth of the spaces but undoubtedly the language that both the left and the right use to refer to one another is nothing short of inflammatory. The “right” calls the “left” social justice warriors, cucks, and elitist snowflakes but the “left” is no better with insults such as backward hillbillies, Neo-Nazi, and white supremacists. Granted, there are actual neo-Nazis and white supremacists but to generalize all of the people of a particular political ideology certainly does no favors. If anything, it further alienates people.

 

People are now making awkward attempts to understand each other but it’s still mostly reporting statistics or forgetting that some, the new administration at the very least, promises change. Be it good or bad, people can’t ignore “the other side” anymore or write them off as a silent minority. Most news channels are confused by the conservative populism phenomenon (as historical trends tend to skew towards ideologies that favor progressivism) but there have been populist movements before and it’s always difficult to make sense of things as they happen. After bias, representation becomes the most condemning thing for media. What they decide or not decide to cover decides what voters are aware of as they make decisions. That’s part of the reason why FOX news does so well or that Trump resonated with those who voted for him. But in this case, when both sides speak of the other, it is often while maintaining a caricature of the “other side”. A character. A persona. But not another human being.  It then becomes a happy game of either intimidation or provocation on both parts due to this intense feeling of “other” produced by cultural lag. Cultural lag is when cultural aspects that were previously acceptable have been outstripped by progress, in this case, socio-political progress. It has been called fear-mongering and it has been called furious self-righteousness.

 

Perspective

I cannot speak as though some do not violently parade under the banner of the Black Lives Matter or even support black supremacy as opposed to equality. In the same way, not all Christians go on Crusades, not all Muslims are terrorists and not every Republican approves of the sitting president. We have to acknowledge these vast overgeneralizations based on extremes and instead look towards the medians. Progressives understand the Black Lives Matter Movement is a continuation of the Civil Rights Movement. The difference between then and now is that blatant racism was largely accepted. Now we shun actual discrimination without giving much thought to the actual prejudices. Mr. Jonathan Helwink of The Federalist asserts that safe spaces actually make the world a more dangerous place for that very reason. Doing this is often denoted as “political correctness” which helps to harbor resentment or at least the idea that the “left” has sensitive sensibilities which is where the term snowflake comes from.

 

Friction

It cannot be said that all of the right’s views are archaic nor that the left has all the answers to progress. Nor can it be said that one side is superior to the other. Both sides respect humanity but sometimes it becomes a matter of how they approach it.  According to the political spectrum some five years ago, many more people were moderates. So what changed in that span of time? Vox in particular points to the rise of nationalism in the Republican base and any mention of the Democrats is usually headed by “reviving the party” and “this is where we went wrong.” What the world is seeing now is called friction. Some minorities want acknowledgement, others want rights, and still other groups just want rights de facto. As soon as the election ended, news companies encouraged people to create a dialogue. For the most part, there were some half-hearted attempts but it didn’t take long to fall back into a routine with all the scandals surrounding the administration and the failure to distinguish between the different types of supporters on both sides of the aisle.

Conservatives still largely feel attacked for having an opinion and liberals do not “deign” to politely explain why they may find certain conservative views “ignorant”. This is the part of the reason why liberals are seen as elitist. Liberals now have views which would have been considered hippie or ultra-contemporary whereas the conservatives more or less want different things in foreign policy but want the domestic policy as it was ten years ago.

I won’t go into too much detail because that will take an entire article in of itself to elaborate fully. However, you can see the difference in the approaches of these two YouTube personalities and you can guess where their political philosophies lie and you can decide for yourself who is more respectable:

 

Learning that it is a bloody spectrum

If you want the other person to listen to you, you have to be willing to respect them as much as you want them to hear you out. Sometimes, it’s hard to not get emotional as most liberals were after the 2016 election (as it also was in 2000) but that does not excuse the mud-slinging. Twitter posts and the like of conservative minds often remark that they themselves did not behave in such a manner. The liberals were not reluctant to point out that this was not true. My honest opinion is that we all stop being dicks but then there’s the awkward grey area where the dickish people make us appreciate those who will have a dialogue. What to do? What to do? So, about safe spaces… Are they a legitimate thing?

 

Why I am probably not a credible authority on this discipline

We gossip. We laugh. We lament. We cry. But we do it all with people that seem like us. That is not to say that we are all friends within the space but that we can derive comfort and understanding from these spaces. If one is feeling homesick, one of the ethnic student associations may celebrate by organising ethnic festivals with food and ethnic culture. If one is a girl and is tired of having everything mansplained, there’s a space for women. Honestly, safe spaces are not bubbles that people are born and die in but it is a bubble that one retreats into when you want someone to understand you. I honestly cannot think of a way to define this without Neo-Nazis being able to say aren’t celebrating their “culture” and were also seeking the same comfort and like-mindedness offered in these spaces but I can say with certainty that all the minority groups that are requesting safe spaces do not mean other people harm. That should be the only thing I have to say in that regard.

 

Appreciating that we have more in common than we give ourselves credit for

We do not forget. We have been enduring. We will forgive if someone were to sincerely apologize but the majority of us bear no ill will to people who bear us no ill will. We have enough issues and although we speak about the things we want to change, there are things we know will take a while to change. That is why we use safe spaces: not to take away from democracy or counter-intuitively stimulate segregation.

 

Editor’s Note: I believe that we have come to a point where with my unruly schedule, my political forecastings are observations by the time I can write a post. How do you all feel with the current pacing of things? Have you lost track? Have you tried sorting things into wrong and right?

 

APUSH Discussion Groups: Was the American Revolution a Conservative Movement? (Yes)

This will be the first of APUSH discussion group prep on Outlet. In APUSH, we have discussion groups where we would debate on historical topics based on information we were given or had to research. These articles will be the prep work that I did for certain topics that my class had to debate on and the position that was given to me and my partner. So your particular discussion group topic might not pop up or your position would be on the opposite side of the debate. Let’s get into it:

Position: Yes; supported by Carl N. Degler, from Out of Our Past: The Forces That Shaped Modern America, rev. ed. (Harper & Row 1970)

Synthesis and Thesis:

After being under British rule for over a century, American colonists and their British rulers reach a critical point in their relationship. Mutual distrust, already strained by disagreeable actions taken by the British Parliament and the distasteful responses of the colonists, set off several violent encounters between British forces and American revolutionaries before the war. This would lead to the beginning of a war that pitted the American colonists against their masters in Britain. Yet, contrary to its name, the Revolutionary War was anything but revolutionary. The American Revolution was a conservative movement because the political and social structure of newly formed nation remained largely the same as before and in fact, preserved some elements of the British government while the common people more or less kept their pre-war status. The conservatism in what should otherwise have been a revolutionary movement was once again asserted after the Civil War when, in a time of potential radical change to the nation, the results fell flat of what was expected. The radical Republicans after the Civil War wanted equal rights for all races and punishment for Confederate leaders and yet, didn’t achieve long-lasting change in either area, thus only affecting the political and social landscape minimally. The main difference in this case, however, is that while the radical Republicans of the Reconstruction failed in their mission, the Founding Fathers achieved theirs.

Outline:

Political

  • Main reason for War: to regain traditional British rights and preserve their motives in colonising (RI, Mass.) (conservative)
    • Violated by:
      • Intolerable Acts- (punishment for BTP)
      • Sugar Acts-(searches and seizures)
      • Fewer rights than British counterparts
        • Declaratory Act
  • Leaders were of the ruling class
    • All either rich or had high political offices
      • Examples: Washington richest, Ben Frank well-established and popular, Hancock a wealthy merchant
    • had the most benefits and retained/improved status, didn’t suffer any inconvenience after War, merely shifted alliance
      • Stat: 95% of signers of the Declaration held office before and after, 40% high education (rare)
  • No social or political upheaval after War, returning to life before the war
    • Slavery, an institution acknowledged by the Constit.
      • 3/5th Compromise (Art. 1 Sect. 2), Slave Trade Clause (Art. 1 Sect. 9), Fugitive-Slave Clause (Art. 4 Sect. 2)
      • Preserved slave-holding traditions in face of Declaration
    • Similar gov’t structure with Great Brit.
      • Rejected Articles in favor of centralized Constitution
      • Bicameral legislature with similar memberships
      • Voting restricted: white males over a certain age with significant land holdings
      • Took ideas from the Magna Carta (trial by jury) and English Bill of Rights (quartering and 2nd Adm)

[A Reblog] All Play and No Work: A Response

Despite my habit of regularly consuming video games, it has not stopped me from being an honor roll student with a schedule full of AP classes planned for the next school year or from working around twenty hours a week in addition to sports and other extracurricular activities.

With the older generation saying that millennials are too privileged and that we are lazy and conceited, I constantly feel the need to parade my achievements just to show them that we’re not the way they think. However, I am aware that this also throws a lot of my peers under the bus if they don’t manage to somehow fill in every hour of every day. We shouldn’t have to prove ourselves like this.

Furthermore, while this sort of attitude does affect me and people my age, the millennials who are older are getting it in a larger dose every day. While struggling with rent and student debt and the problems everyone has with first moving out, they are constantly being told that they are not good enough and that their troubles are of their own making because they were too coddled and naive. If people in the older generation are so eager to see millenials find their way in the world and be productive (which they really are not because they would have to find something else to criticise) then why would they make it so that the people they were supposed to be motivating are instead getting beaten down?

This is a post another millennial has written in response to one such attack on our work ethic and on what we decide to spend our leisure time on. She explains it much better than I did. Check it out.

AmbiGaming

Recently, the New York Timespublished an article about how today’s youth are opting to play video games instead of working. A (non-gaming) friend of mine commented to me that she thought it was interesting, after hearing about video games from my perspective, and after perusing some of the articles here. Maybe video games aren’t the rosy picture I make them out to be? she seemed to tentatively offer.

Well of course they’re not. They are no more rosy than any other storytelling or entertainment medium. Like any entertainment, or any leisure tool, they are helpful or harmfulbased on how you use them. Yes, you heard it here first and all that.

But what of this news article?

The Gist of It

I encourage you to read the above article for yourselves, but the theme of the article is that young people (read: millenials) are opting to play video…

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First Playthrough of Prey [2017]: A Debrief

 

Prey_box_shot.jpg
Morgan looks really badass in this poster but most of the time, I, as the player, was just hauling butt whenever I hear the music pick up.

 

Spoilers Ahead.

Alright, I finished! Now, it’s time for a game review… First thing is, it’s a great game. I enjoyed playing through the game immensely. Usually, I’m not a fan of generic survival first-person shooters but this is awesome! The graphics, the concept and the characters were all great. Not a super deep story, sure, but the ending was a surprise and was quite satisfying. I chose the Perdition route and managed to complete almost all the sidequests (I didn’t do the one that involved stopping the strange Russian cook imposter dude.).

The game is, fundamentally, an aliens-vs-humans-on-a-space-station survival FPS. Kind of like Alien Isolation but more hi-tech and less horror-y (and also fewer hacking puzzles). The environment is designed beautifully with an elegant theme throughout the space station (called Talos I). The enemies were black shapeshifting aliens that had elemental powers called the Typhon. Apparently, they also have an external neural system in the form of Coral and that they store the psyches of their victims. It’s only my first playthrough and I hope to be able to learn more about this so tell me if y’all have something figured out. Typhon is also the most powerful monster-god in Greek mythology, fathered by the ruler of the abyss, Tartarus, and Mother Earth, Gaia. Hmm… So the Typhons are from space, which could be seen as Tartarus and they, at the end of the game, are seen to have taken over Earth. Typhon in Greek mythology was also the father of many of the Greeks’ most famous monsters. That could refer to the fact that they can somehow merge together to create more powerful Typhons and how the Typhon nest thingies are able to spawn explosive yellow ball thingies. I’m not sure so just tell me if any of y’all find something interesting, ‘kay?

The game also has Morgan Yu, the main character, who is the brother of the Big Boss on Talos I. On that note, the crew of Talos I is really diverse, everything from English names to Japanese to some sort of, I assume, African name (sorry, don’t know much about Africa) and the aforementioned Russian dude (although there was more than one Russian on the space station). Morgan, due to repeated testing with neuromods, has lost his memory multiple times and is apparently not the Morgan he used to be. This sort of memory manipulation would come up again at the end when you find out that you’re not Morgan and everything you just did was a simulation and an emulation of Morgan. Oh and that you’re a Typhon (from the looks of it, a Phantom).

That raises the question of morals, which was something the ending scene also brought up. At the end, Alex Yu (Morgan’s brother and the Big Boss) and several Operators (who were revealed to be some of the crew members you save during the game) stand around you and discuss your capacity for empathy and things like that, trying to gauge how human you are. They also discuss your motives based on the decisions you made in your game so yes, your decisions do matter. But my question is, even if everything was a simulation, do you, being a Typhon, count as a murderer for killing your own species? I guess since the Typhon were stated to be able to store the psyche of the people they kill, then I guess the species is capable of learning human emotion and thought (as you can see by the choice to shake Alex’s hand or to kill them). Also, how do they kill people exactly? The bodies we see littering Talos I look like they’ve been sucked dry but I don’t think it’s water that the Typhons were draining. Can they drain your mind? Or is it something else? That’s another question the game hasn’t answered. Also, some of the Typhon enemies you meet speak English and have human names so does that mean that they’re able to make zombies out of the people they kill? The imposter cook also says that he hears voices and things like that and seem to hold a grudge against the Yus. At the end, he also says something interesting about him being able to hear the future. But sadly, I didn’t finish his quest so I don’t know what’s up with him.

The Typhons were also stated to be able to sense intent. As you progress through the Perdition questline, you were told that the Typhons are aware of what you’re doing and that you have to watch out because they were spreading even more rapidly through the space station in an effort to kill you before you blow them up. This is another one of those unexplained powers of the Typhon. Then, there’s also the Apex, which is a giant writhing mass of Typhon right outside the space station. So is it some sort of queen of the colony or what? I didn’t get much of an explanation except it’s powerful and I shouldn’t touch any of its Tendrils.

Perhaps the biggest question I have at the end of it, though, if the question of Morgan’s fate. The ending basically says straight out that Morgan is dead and that his memories were used to reconstruct the events on Talos I. Does that mean that the Perdition route is canon and that Dahl wasn’t saved so an evacuation wasn’t possible before the space station blew up? How did he die and how did Alex get his memories? Or perhaps, did Alex alter the memories?

Alex at the beginning of the game gave me the feeling that he was going to be the main antagonist but his role in the story wasn’t that big, he was just a character to help set up the setting and to give you pointers on the Perdition questline. At the end, he was shown to very… brotherly(?) and said that even if Morgan decided to blow up Talos I, which he was against, he wouldn’t stop him and that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt Morgan. The player then had a choice to kill him where if you choose to shoot him, you’d get the second arming key and be able to initiate the self-destruct sequence. That is strange. Then, there’s also the fact that, when you find out you’re in a simulation, they didn’t bring up the fact that you killed Alex. So I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that things aren’t the way they seem.

Talos is also the bronze giant on the island that Jason and the Argonauts happened across who patrolled the island in three rounds every day and had one vein running throughout his body that was plugged with a single nail. He was killed by Medea, who took out his nail and he bled to death in a puddle of his ichor. Medea killed him so that she could get off the island. So take from that what you will.

That’s pretty much all I have on this game that I can think of for now. This extra-long post is partially to make up for the lack of content in the past weeks so I hope you found this interesting. I haven’t seen the other endings yet but I’m going to work through them in the coming weeks. My final grade for this game would be a:

9/10

The upgrade system was awesome. The RPG elements of the game were appropriate and gave the enemies a more alien feel and gave you many interesting challenges (I can’t say I wasn’t frustrated sometimes though). The gameplay was fluid and you were given many difference choices on how you handle the combat and the questing in the game. Even the foam-bolt-using crossbow had its uses. But that’s all for now. I’d love to hear what y’all think so leave a little something in the comments. If you guys find something cool, please let me know. I’ll talk to you later.

P.S. I probably can’t post much on Wednesday either.