Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The "Philosophy" of the Media Final Blogpost Emily Ball H1 Group 2

To begin my blog, I wanted to kind of overview what I am going to be taking about just so no one gets confused. I decided to write my post on the "philosophy" of the media. I put philosophy into quotes because I'm sure that many people will not necessarily relate the media to philosophy. I, however, do. I believe that many philosophers would have MANY strong words about the influence of the media on our society. If you really sit down and think about it, there are so many television shows and movies that portray life as an unattainable form of perfection. We as citizens also allow the media to influence the way we think, act, and feel. Everything we do now goes to social media websites or blogs. We want other people in the world to see exactly what we are doing, but mainly we want those people to approve of what we are doing. Everyone enjoys hearing praises about a cute outfit, or a smart blog post. This sense of happiness is not true. We are allowing ourselves to let society and "celebrities" determine how we live our lives. So many countless people before us did not even have the media to determine how they lived their lives. I do believe that they turned out just dandy, so why are we as a whole so obsessed with what the media says or how others view us. I will add that I too find myself often getting caught up in the media and "what's hot." The media gives us a false sense of what is right and wrong. One major issue I have is the idea of "Health" in the media realm. So many magazines picture young men and women that are not healthy in my eyes. These people that are seen as sex idols are simply disgusting. It looks as if they have not eaten in years and some men look as if they have taken steroids for years. And why do these people look like this you might ask? Well for social and public approval. The media shows people that this is what is wanted and what is viewed as acceptable in our society. Here is a quick video abut how the media distorts our perceptions of beauty. Trust me.. there are plenty more videos if you want to go look some up on youtube.

For example, these women shown above are some models that we see in the media. Obviously they are extremely underweight and look like they need a few cheeseburgers. These images are what we are showing the youth of today and telling them is actually attractive. EXCUSE ME... but I personally do not see how any of those women are the epitome of attractive. Sickly maybe, but definitely NOT attractive. This distorted view of the media is what is creating so many unheard of diseases in such young children. So many young teen girls are now having eating disorders in order to make their bodies look like those shown above. Sure a little healthy eating and some working out is good for you, but completely starving yourself or binging and purging is not a healthy lifestyle. These young girls are made fun of for being "overweight" if they are not a certain size. Many of these girls actually are not overweight, but bullying is a main problem. I personally think the bullying stems from the medias focus on "healthy" celebrities. Also if these children are not able to look like this they become depressed because they do not fit in according to society's standards. I guarentee you if any philosopher from the past were here today, there would be plenty said about the media. There are plenty of quotes showing how many people view the media. One quote by Jim Morrison stuck out to me. He stated, "Whoever controls the media, controls the mind." If you truly think about it, he is right. We all live our lives based on get gratification from somewhere. Whether that comes from our peers or from some higher being, we are constantly aware of how we look or what we say. Will Rogers stated, "All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance." Everyone needs to realize that the media is generally deceptive for a reason. If they were not decptive, they could not get your money for things such as health magazines, health clubs, or even health foods. In the big picture, the media will only ruin us if we allow it to. There is no one in the media looking out for each of our personal interests. There is no one to protect us from the things we say to ourselves after seeing someone much more in shape than we are. The only way we can gaurd ourselves from this self-criticism is if we stop allowing the media to influence our every decision. We can not allow someone else to think for us, no matter what the subject. Each person was born with your own individual brain, so USE IT. Stop relying on the media to tell you what is attractive or "In" and whats ugly or "out." We must break outside of the "norm" and create our own world.
For those people out there that are having issues with the way you see yourself, there are ways to help. And just because one person might not care, that does not mean that there are not plenty of other people out there that care and want to help. There are numerous ways to get help or simply get someone to talk to. The media can try and influence us, but we must show it that we will not allow it to break us. Life is too precious to be worried about small things like how the media views us.

The Twilight Zone (4/4) Mason Riley G2 H01

The Obsolete Man
     Romney Wordsworth is summoned into a court, a court in the possible future had any dictator survived and taken over the world, or at least had total autonomy over their own people.  They revel in the destruction of human freedom, despise logic, and obfuscate truth.  Wordsworth is up for extermination because he is obsolete, being a librarian in a time where all books have been obliterated.  

     He is laughed at when he reveals his occupation, and the chancellor tells him that without books, there is no reason for librarians to exist, just as there is not reason for ministers to exist since "the state has proven that there is no God."

     Wordsworth counters that "there is a God" and that the state cannot merely "erase God with an edict."  The chancellor tells him that he is obsolete because he has no function, while Wordsworth defends that no human is obsolete, that "truth cannot be destroyed by burning pages," and that simply existing allows humans to create ideas that remain long after they are gone.  The chancellor rants on that the state is strong, has no use for non-functioning partitions, and that all literature is meaningless because it is without substance and significance in society.  

     Wordsworth is found to be obsolete, so he must be "liquidated."  He has the option of choosing his form of death, and can choose any time in the next 48 hours.  He chooses to have an assassin that will have to keep secret his method of death and also to have an audience, through television, that will watch his demise.  The chancellor is happy to do so, getting excited over the prospect since mass executions have, in the past, had an "educative effect on the population."  The people of the state agree because they want to show the world how this "obsolete man, this librarian, dies."  The chancellor goes to Wordworth's house minutes before his planned death to prove that the state has no fears.  The chancellor says that Stalin and Hitler had the right ideas, but that they did not go far enough because too many undesirables, the old, sick, and deformed, were left to form resistance groups and eventually overthrow the state.  The chancellor condescendingly tells Wordsworth that he should feel free to display emotion for his viewers, and do whatever he feels the need to, knowing that it will make Wordsworth look weak.

     Wordsworth then reveals that he only called on the chancellor to prove the point of whether the state is as strong as it claims to be, by locking the chancellor in his room and observing his reactions.  Wordsworth says that he will use his remaining time to read his Bible, the possession of which is a crime punishable by death, so it is the only possession which has any real value to him.  The chancellor yells for help and calls for guards to open the door, but a mandate that he put in place himself has isolated the two, since no one is allowed to stay around the one who is being put to death.  Wordsworth also tells the audience that helping out a high ranking elected official would make the state look weak, so he is on his own now, and that only death, the great equalizer, will show how little difference an obsolete man and an official who has garnered many accolades have "in the eyes of God."  Wordsworth selects verses and reads them off for the public audience to enjoy while waiting for his demise.  

     Moments before his selected time, the chancellor breaks down and pleads to be released "in the name of God," a request to which Wordsworth gladly carries out by allowing him to leave the room, promptly before being decimated.  The next day, the chancellor has been found to be obsolete, since he was a coward on television and made the state look weak.  He is dragged away by his former subordinates and torn to shreds.  Rod Serling ends the episode by stating that any states, entity or ideology that fails to recognize the worth, dignity, and rights of man are obsolete. 
     Machiavelli would have lauded such a state, but very obviously, this state yielded absolute power and many people suffered for it, merely by doing their job and that job becoming unnecessary.  Doing anything necessary to gain power may be nice for those on top, but all the people that were stepped on or killed along the way far outweigh the importance of ruling absolutely.  Although this dictator most likely precisely followed much of Machiavelli's teachings, this type of world seems much more of a dystopia to me than a utopia. 
     Much of Hobbes' teachings are included in this episode also, as the leviathan, or all those in power ruling over the others, can make any decision they want, without fear of repercussions.  All those in favor of the state are allowed to live, and anyone weak or in opposition to it are killed.  The people under that rule have only one freedom: to live until the state determines you should no longer do so.  Granted, this is taking the leviathan theory to the extreme, but history has come close to this type of government before.  
     Rousseau also believed in ruling by the will of the people, or what is best for the state, and obviously what is best for the state is not always what is best for each individual.  What is best for the whole community, preventing war and social upheaval, is not best for the people, as all freedoms are removed if the will of the state is followed.  This only leads to being forced to live together and get along, instead of doing so by choice or necessity.
     Finally, Marx and Bentham both believed in equality and making sure that the rights of all are considered, with everyone having equal say and no one being above anyone else.  However, these views are easily twisted, as evidenced by World War II and the subsequent years after it.  Hitler, a man who brought great prosperity to his people, was elected fairly by the people, and convinced them that they would have better lives if he was elected.  He proved himself by doing exactly what he promised, but at a cost: jobs were created as people, mostly Jews, were either killed or pushed out of their jobs.  The people, however, either oblivious or uncaring, were merely happy to have an income and freely pledged loyalty to the fascist state that had provided in their time of need.  On the other end of the spectrum, Stalin also promised to better his country, the USSR, and did so at the cost of millions of soldiers and workers through expansion of the infrastructure and boundaries of the Russian Motherland.  This communist state promised to give everyone equality, but equal poverty is not what the people had been looking forward to.  Unable to abscond from his vise grip, the people of the USSR had to suffer with little to survive on and bleak prospects for the future.  Both these examples exemplify how dangerous any type of system or person can be if they have absolute power, as anything can be taken away or any person killed on a whim.   

Word Count: 1216
Total Word Count 1951+=3167

Filipino Philosophers Part 1

Ian Mallari
Blog Part 1

Filipino Philosophers

As a student who is half Filipino, I was very interested to learn more about the Philosophy in the Philippines, as well as some of their famous Philosophers. So for my Final Blog, I will talk about famous Philosophers and their contribution to the Filipino Philosophy. 

(My Story: My father was raised in the Philippines, and moved to the United States when he was eighteen. He completed college, met and married my mother, who is Caucasian, and the next thing you know...here I am! I have never traveled to the Philippines, however, I hope to be able to visit.) 

One of the more famous Filipino Philosophers was Apolinario Mabini. 

Facts: Born in 1864.
         : Lived in Talaga, Philippines.
         : Died in 1903

Mabini was a Filipino Philosopher who avoided his mother's wishes for his life. Wanting her son to become a Priest, his mother found it diffucult to accept that he was more interested in defending the poor. Mabini decided to study Law, and became the Philippines first Prime Minister. His Philosophy was that of Politics, and he liked to focus on these main topics:

  • Infusion of liberal ideas from Europe to the Philippines
  • Increased Education
  • Religious Schism which resulted in the establishment of the Filipino National Church
According to Mabini, "All men have been given life by God...to preserve and employ in terms of a preordained mission, which is to proclaim God's glory in doing what is good and just." His firm belief in being fair, and acknowledging God in all his work, led many people to want him out of office. 

His fight for the Philippines to have independence led America to side against him, removing him from office. His death came at the young age of 38, to a virus of the small intestine called Cholera. His importance to the Filipino culture, however, was not lost. His influence led to shrines in his name, four Philippine municipalities, The Mabini Academy, as well as multiple bridges and roads. 

Philosophy and Shel Silverstein Part 2

Katy Ramsey 
Philosophy and Shel Silverstein
Final Blog

Shel Silverstein and Philosophy

Continuing on in the journey of Shel Silverstein and his work! Today we are discussing how to use Silverstein's poetry to teach children philosophy. As a poet who discusses many important childhood issues: avoiding chores, having pets, skipping school, etc, Silverstein uniquely uses simple examples to demonstate and teach complex ideas and thoeries. This is why his poetry is a great tool for teaching young students how to think on a Philosophical level.  One of my favorite poems by Silverstein is "Yesees and Noees":

This would be a great way to introduce Philosophy to younger children, because it teaches them to think for themselves...like a Philosopher does. Thinking as an independent person is an important part of growing up, and teaching kids how to do that (through philosophy) could help them make more mature decisions. 

Another great poem by Silverstein is "The Voice":

This poem goes right along with "Yesees and Noees" in teaching children to think on their own, and ask questions. Once the children get an idea of their personal ideas, then they can start asking questions, and thinking of answers on a different level. 

This introduction to Philosophy could easily be followed by having the children write a poem about their own opinions, thoughts and ideas. Challenging them to think outside the box, and on their own terms. 

Music and Philosophy 14-2 Part 2

Not all music is just for the sound and beat we like to hear.

Socrates also extensively studied effects of music, recognizing its potential as an instrument of indoctrination and character development:

“Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful.”

A lot of people today don’t know the true meaning of the music piece that they’re listening too other than it just sounding good and that’s what they like. Music has a lot to do with religion practices, self-control, and even race to some point. Socrates believed that music is in our soul and we connect more into our soul with the music by practicing and educating our self to what music we like to hear and live life with. Therefore saying that when we listen to music we should dig into ourselves and find how the music connects with us daily in our life and how we should react to it. I believe that if we practice the religion Christianity, then we should listen to some music that has some meaning that will influence us to get closer to God and we should reflect from that music that we listened to, to show others how the music can reveal our true colors and inspire our soul for the better, as an example. I believe that Socrates felt that if we didn’t connect the music to our souls, then it’s pointless for us to listen to music if we’re not getting any type of connection or education from it to self express our inner feelings and thoughts to inform and inspire others.


In all, we have to let the music express ourselves whatever mood we’re feeling, we have to let the music show who we are and hopefully it’s something positive. The more we listen connect with our music and let it bring out our best emotions and show positive ways, then we should and will go through life better and even have less negativity in our way. Also, I believe the music represents our character in all, so whatever person we are to people, it’s the music that’s influenced us and thankfully we’re proud of it.

Music and Philosophy 14-2 Part 1

Music is a sound that resembles our life and how we live and maybe even how we think.

Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul...when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form. – Aristotle

Music as a big impact on our lives whether we realize it or not, but it can tell what state of mind we’re in at times. When we listen to music we tend to listen to the type of music depending on what kind of mood we’re in at the moment of listening.  Our emotions can come from whatever music we listen to and can affect our abilities in life. A prime example would be athletes and music before a game. Typically the athletes will listen to some music that will get them rowdy or pumped up to play the game in the state full of energy and intense. Another thing is ballroom dances and formal parties. At these types of venues, typically you’ll hear more of a classical and smoothing music to go along with the theme and mindset of what the people would like to hear and that will benefit them and their dates or guests. So not only does music just give us something to listen too, but also plays a role in helping us set the mood and gives us the affect to do something in a certain way.



“Any musical innovation is full of danger to the whole state, and ought to be prohibited. When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them”-Plato.

Plato, from my own understanding believed that music should be taken away because it can damage us as a person and changes the way we think and act in society and through our life. Now, I agree to an extent because music doesn’t always have positive aspects on us and can mentally brainwash us if we don’t be careful. Since music has the sound we like to hear when we’re in a certain state of mind, we can listen to certain songs that have negativity involved in its lyrics which can provoke us as listeners to want to do the act we are hearing in the music. For example, if we’re mad at someone and we’re listening to a song that’s talking harming or endangering a certain someone, then it’s probably not best we listen to those types of songs because depending on what type of person you are, it might possibly come back to bite you if you’re easily influenced by the lyrics you hear. Not only is music that talks about harming others a bad thing, but also music that encourages us to do harmful things to ourselves like drinking alcohol to where we can’t think or remember and to do drugs. So yes, Plato is right when it comes to having music taken away that has those bad affects on us. In reality though, that type of music will never go away.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Twilight Zone (3/4) Mason Riley G2 H01

Eye of the Beholder
     Our first glimpse into this episode is a woman in a hospital bed with bandages covering her face.  

The nurse at her side and she have a conversation about whether the operation had worked.  She then reminisces on how, as a child, other people would turn away screaming or run away from her, and she admits that she never wanted to be pretty, she just wants to fit in.  An aspect of this episode that is evident immediately is that no persons' face is shown, but the nurses constantly talk about how they could never live with a face like the patient's.  It is revealed that she has tried this operation eleven times, and all have failed to take effect.  They have tried all techniques, and plastic surgery is not viable for her, so this is her last chance at having a better face.  The doctor tells her that every person only has so much time afforded them to look normal, and that her time is at an end.  He relays to her that if it has failed, they can move her into a state run facility for people of "her kind" since she will be unable to live in society with her face the way it is.  She complains that the state has no right to punish people for the way they look and make ugliness a crime.  The doctor and nurse contemplate ugliness and why it is not accepted in society as much as beauty, but the nurse reminds him that the conversation is treasonous.  The leader comes on the television and talks about "glorious conformity" while the doctor is removing the bandages.  

As he removes them, he tries to talk her into living with others of her kind, away from society, if the operation has been unsuccessful, and possible extermination if she so desires not to live with her "disability."  It is finally revealed that her "ugliness" is what people in our society and culture would consider beauty, and the "normal" people possess grotesque, distorted faces with upturned noses like pigs and twisted upper lips.  

The dictator is panned to once again and he talks about how conformity is the only way for society to exist, and that only when we are all the same can we have equality.  She then runs into someone like her, a handsome man who takes her away to the Northern Village, a location where people like them are free to congregate.  

He tells her a maxim that makes it easier to live with a facade like the one that they both were born with: "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
     Socrates was famous for asking questions that were hard to swallow, and this episode makes me question where true beauty lies.  A civilization constructed upon a different basis of beauty would be radically different and, although it is hard to imagine, all the things we know about beauty would be reversed.  This episode shows just how superficial looks are, and the inane desire to look, dress, or be a certain way.  I doubt Socrates broached this subject, but I'm sure he would have had he been able to watch a mere ten minutes of our television programming.  Aristotle would have argued that she was wasting her time by trying so many procedures to procure youth, a thing so fleeting that it is worthless bothering to spend time that could be better spent preparing our lives  to enjoy long lasting happiness.  Freud would have chimed in about how this episode only offers a possible confirmation of how cultural norms are only psychological, and that any number of different realities could have come about had humans decided to pursue other avenues and either give in to the id more often or pursue the superego to a greater extent.  All three philosophers would have had valid points, and it is only one more example of the worthlessness of chasing after eternal youth, as it always ends and cannot truly be eternal.

Word Count: 673
Total Word Count 1278+673=1951

The Twilight Zone (2/4) Mason Riley G2 H01

The Man in the Bottle
     This episode puts a spin on many of the things that people wish for and makes us rethink our true desires.  Genies are known for granting wishes, but, unlike Aladdin's Genie, many are solely tricksters who get a kick out of turning people's wishes against them, much like the genie from The Fairly Oddparents.

The genie in this story is the same way, forcing those who decide to make wishes to watch what they say, lest they suffer the consequences. 

     A man and wife own a shop and have no money, but tons of bills.  The husband wishes for a way to pay them, but has no means to do so.  An old lady brings in a bottle that she claims is a family heirloom, and he reluctantly buys it after she sheds tears when he refuses.  It is revealed that the husband gives money to people who come in searching for a means to keep on living, solely buying another meal.  The two end up knocking over the bottle accidentally, and gas seeps out when it is uncorked.  A genie manifests itself from this haze and offers the couple 4 wishes.  He states the terms: any wish, once uttered, is irrevocable and changeable only by a subsequent wish.  They promptly wish for their broken glass case to be repaired, just to prove if the genie is legitimate.  After the genie reveals his true power, the husband becomes unhinged over the potential prospects, but the wife is reluctant to ask for any wishes.  The husband then impulsively wishes for one million dollars, a wish promptly granted.  This leads to them be very generous with their new found largess, and it attracts people from miles around.  With those people come the IRS, and the couple find out that they have given so much away that they are only left with 5 dollars in the end.  Aristotle's Eudemonia fits nicely here, as the people are looking for a way to quickly satiate their present pains, instead of thinking of the future and how to better their lives in order to bring continual happiness instead of having a temporary salve. I do not know how a wish could have been worded in order to make it safe to ask the genie for, but any amount of money will only last so long, especially if an extravagant lifestyle or a  very generous existence come of it.

     The genie reminds the husband that he did not ask for tax free money, which angers him because the genie was so deceptive and deceitful.  "No matter what you wish for, you must be prepared for the consequences," is a warning given by the genie right before the husband wishes to be a leader of a foreign country, one who cannot be voted out of office, and in their the current century.  He asks about consequences and the genie just laughs it off and says that consequences are always involved.  The husband then becomes Adolf Hitler, crying at his desk at the end of World War II.  A soldier who is with him offers him a liquid to end his life before the whole country is decimated by the Allies and he is captured.  

He then wishes to be back to before it all began, and then he sees how good his old life really was compared to what he could have been given.  He throws the bottle in the trash, where it magically reassembles, waiting for the next victim to unwittingly release the man in the bottle.  Once again, Schopenhaur would have loved this episode, because it perfectly catalogues how fickle humans are, and how we wish for something one minute and want it all taken away the next.  Although, I have to admit, the wishes were not exactly what the people had wished for, I assume they would have fallen prey to similar circumstances regardless.  Bertrand Russell, too, would have loved this episode, as the analytical nature and twisting of the words by the genie forces people to either pay attention to their word choice and syntax, or stop asking altogether.  The linguistic turn has to due with the underling logical form of sentences, and thinking about the wording of sentences before wishing would be a major undertaking in order to get exactly what a person wanted.  This episode just goes to show that not much in life is truly free.

Word Count: 739
Total Word Count 539+739=1278

The Twilight Zone (1/4) Mason Riley G2 H01

(Sorry, haven't been able to get on wi-fi lately, but I'm putting up the three posts I finished this weekend now)
The Twilight Zone is an easily recognizable and very thought provoking series.  I plan on creating 4 posts, some over favorites of mine, others just ones that were particularly philosophical.  So let us begin:
Time Enough to Last
     Right off the bat, Mr. Henry Bemis' eccentricity can be seen, as he would rather read books and tell people about those adventures instead of doing his job of being a bank teller and enjoying the company of those around him.  His job, marriage, and personal relationships are in jeopardy because of his obsession with reading.  Barry Smith possesses similar feelings about his wine, but I think that even he would admit that taking an obsession so far that it becomes a detriment to the other parts of one's life is a little overboard.  Everyone should enjoy the things pleasurable to them, but solely focusing on one thing in life can quickly cause hardships.   His constant distractions from his job and from living his life coexisting with other people are in constant peril against the forces of reading.  It gets so bad that his wife destroys some of his books that he thinks he has hidden in order to get him to interact with his friends and converse with her.

His wife would strongly disagree with John Stuart Mill, because, although he may have a right to pursue his greater pleasure by reading, he is ultimately damaging their marriage and relationship with one another by refusing to converse.  Even if he was a genius, I do not think that the characteristic should give a person the ability to snub everyone else and swallow the opinion that by doing so, the world is a better place since the uninterrupted genius will contribute so much more to society.
     Later at work, Bemis sneaks down into the bank vault in order to peruse a few books unnoticed and undisturbed.  While reading a newspaper that is portraying the advent of the Hydrogen bomb, a bomb goes off in the world above, destroying everything that was in his vicinity as far as the eye can see.  He gets excited about his lucky break, but then questions whether he wants to continue living in such a depressing world in which only he exists, with little more to do but eat and smoke in the rubble from the world before.  He thinks about committing suicide, but stumbles upon local library and salvages a few texts from the ruins. 

After trying to pick up just one more to add to the hundreds he already has, he breaks his glasses and weeps.  After searching for solitude his entire life, he receives all that he could have ever asked for and regrets it: complete, unadulterated solitude.

 While Seneca may be a proponent of this lifestyle, in which one lives with much time devoted to being alone and thinking on philosophy, but I'm sure that anyone would agree that only so much of that is enjoyable until life loses the charm that that type of lifestyle once held.  Schopenhauer would likely chime in after the episode and point out that he finally got exactly what he had always desired, and just like any human being would, he suddenly wants something else entirely.

Word Count: 539
Total Word Count 539

Presentation Readings Section 14

Hey everybody, for my presentation I'm asking everybody to brush up on a few readings from "A Little History" about morality. Read up about what Kierkegaard (chapter 26) and Russell (chapter 31) had to say about morality. Also give some thought how YOU define what is morally right and wrong .

Here's a short video about the official definition and a few thoughts.

See everybody Tuesday.

-Dave Hiler

John Lachs honored

I just learned of this, & thought some of you might be interested:
"John Lachs, the Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, has received the 2013 Vanderbilt Alumni Education Award. 
The Vanderbilt University Alumni Association selected Lachs for his significant contributions... 
Carolyn Dever, dean of the College of Arts and Science, and Vanderbilt alumnus Thomas Conner surprised Lachs with the award during his “Introduction to Ethics” class April 3..."
VU alumni honor John Lachs for educational contributions | News | Vanderbilt University

Philosophy of Toy Story Post 3 (Kailey McDonald H1G2)

In my last post I'm going to talk about finding a purpose in life and growing up.

Like I said in my last blog, at the beginning of the first movie, Buzz is confused on his purpose. He has no idea that he is a toy, and he thinks his life mission is to save the galaxy. After a failed attempt at flying, he realizes that he is indeed a toy. He becomes depressed because he feels that he no longer has a purpose. Woody then explains to him how being loved by a child is more important and even more cool than being a space ranger. When he accepts the fact that he was designed to be loved by a child he finds the significance he was searching for.

Buzz : No, Woody, for the first time I am thinking clearly. You were right all along. I’m not a Space Ranger. I’m just a toy. A stupid little insignificant toy.
Woody : Whoa, hey, wait a minute. Being a toy is a lot better than being a Space Ranger.
Buzz : Yeah, right.
Woody : No, it is. Look, over in that house is a kid who thinks you are the greatest, and it’s not because you’re a Space Ranger, pal, it’s because you’re a toy! You are his toy.

In Toy Story 2, Jessie felt the same way about her owner, Emily. She thought that her purpose in life was to be there for Emily and make her happy.

Jessie: Let me guess. Andy's a real special kid, and to him, you're his buddy, his best friend, and when Andy plays with you it's like... even though you're not moving, you feel like you're alive, because that's how he sees you.
Woody: How did you know that?
Jessie: Because Emily was just the same. She was my whole world.

However, Emily grew up and left Jessie. This made Jessie feel much like Buzz did when he realized he was not a space ranger. She felt as if her identity had been stripped away from her. When Woody was added to the collection, he, Jessie, Bullseye, and the Prospector were to be shipped to Japan to be displayed in a museum. Jessie thought this was her new purpose. But Woody wanted to leave to go home to Andy, Jessie realized she was going to be put back in storage. Woody felt horrible and decided to stay. However, Buzz and the gang came to rescue him and take him home to Andy. 

Woody: Nah, Buzz. I can’t go. I can’t abandon these guys. They need me to get into this museum. Without me, they’ll go back into storage. Maybe forever!
Buzz: Woody, you’re not a collector’s item. You’re a child’s plaything. You are a toy!
Woody: For how much longer? One more rip, and Andy’s done with me. And what do I do then, Buzz? Huh? You tell me.
Buzz: Somewhere in that pad of stuffing is a toy who taught me that life's only worth living if you’re bein’ loved by a kid. And I travelled all this way to rescue that toy because I believed him.
Woody: I don’t have a choice, Buzz. This is my only chance.
Buzz: To do what, Woody? Watch kids from behind glass and never be loved again? Some life.

In the end, Woody realizes that the love of a child and his other friends is all that really matters. He goes home to Andy and takes Jessie and Bullseye with him.

For the last section of my blog I'm going to talk about growing up. To refresh my memory on the movie, I watched the final scene from the third movie. It had me crying like a little baby. I'll put it on here in case y'all want to see it again too.

The greatest thing about this series is how relatable it is. Whether it's talking about friendship, jealousy, purpose, or growing up, we can all relate to how the characters are feeling. Here's a visual for how much the characters changed over the course of the movies:

Growing up is scary. For Andy it means going off to college and leaving his toys behind, but for his toys, it means being locked away in the attic or being donated. Donation to a daycare sounded great, they'd never run out of children to play with them! However, it turned into a disaster. This illustrates that sometimes growing up isn't easy. The real world seems awesome and fun, but it can be difficult. People shouldn't rush through their lives, because it will be over before they know it. We should live in the moment and cherish every second we have with those around us.

Prospector: How long will it last, Woody? Do you really think Andy is going to take you to college, or on his honeymoon? Andy's growing up, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's your choice, Woody. You can go back, or you can stay with us and last forever. You'll be adored by children for generations.

Woody: Your'e right, Prospector. I can't stop Andy from growing up... but I wouldn't miss it for the world.

In the end, Andy goes off to college and gives all of his toys to a young girl named Bonnie. He and his toys share a heartfelt goodbye, and he plays with them one last time with Bonnie. The toys will then watch Bonnie grow up and hopefully go to a new owner after that, and a new owner after that. Life is cyclical. Although we must move on from our childhood, someday we may have kids of our own, and we will be able to cherish that experience with them as well. 

Word Count: 962
Total Word Count: 2418

Philosophy of Willy Wonka Pt2 Final Megan Phouthavong 14-4

This statement almost exclusively sums up Augustus Gloop. This is the first boy to find a golden ticket. In the 1971 adaptation of the book, it does not say quite how he found the golden ticket, but in the 2005 film, he finds it by biting into the bar, and taking a chunk out of the ticket as well! Suffice to say, this German child is the definition of a glutton.
But, even if you are a glutton, can this make you happy? And how much happiness can this give a person? Jeremy Bentham, a British Philosopher, believed in the idea of measuring your own happiness, and how much it impacts society. Actions for the good of the society is the idea of Utilitarianism. The idea is to create the most happiness with the least amount of suffering. Augustus Gloop really loves to eat. He even states in the scene portrayed above that "I feel sorry for Wonka, its going to cost him a fortune in fudge". His mother also says that eating is her son's hobby. If Augustus had to measure how much happiness eating gave him, I have a feeling it would be close to a 10 on a scale from 1-10! 
I know to some people, eating so much so often would seem disgusting and not worth the time. One could be doing so many other more interesting things than eating! Not so, Bentham would reply. Each action has its own level of happiness and pleasure, based on the person. It is not based upon the action alone. I myself find knitting a little boring and chess to be overwhelming, but others may find them extremely entertaining. 
The one problem I have with this whole idea is the part in which the happiness that comes out of our actions is ultimately good for the society. I do not know how Augustus's eating would be beneficial to the society except for the food industry and the doctor bills when he grows up with high blood sugar and diabetes. 
Another idea that Bentham brings to the table is his belief that everyone strives for complete happiness and no suffering. Augustus does tend to fall close to this line of doing whatever he wants with food and he seems incredibly happy with himself. However, the majority of people, when truly contemplating the idea of eternal bliss, say that they would rather have the realness of life, the good and the bad, than just good all the time. 

Something to ponder on until next time: What do you consider the action that would give you the most amount of please and the least amount of pain? Mine is reading. I love to read. Nothing has ever made me feel as if reading was putting me into any sort of painful situation. I would give reading an 11 on a scale of 1-10. =] 

Approximate word count: 420
Total so far: 965

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Poppin' Philosophies: Post 2 (Quinlan Odom H1G1)

"I might not be the same, but that's no important. No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it."

I love this song. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis tackle so many issues in this one song, it's amazing. The song, entitled "Same Love," was Macklemore and Lewis' attempt to promote the passing of Referendum 74 in Washington state. The referendum was voted on in order to approve or reject a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state. The referendum was approved with a 53% majority. In this song, however, the lyrics present more than just the issue of marriage equality. It exposes the hatred and prejudice that we, as a society, have wrought upon the world today.

"And a certificate on paper isn't 
gonna solve it all
but it's a damn good place to start.
No law's gonna change us
we have to change us"
-"Same Love"

Much like the idea present in "Thrift Shop" and "Wings" where the only thing that can define us is ourselves, "Same Love" is about how we are the only ones that can change ourselves. True change, true equality won't come until we, as a collective group, decide to no longer accept the hate and prejudice that we allow in our lives. 

"If I was gay
I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the Youtube comments lately?
'Man that's gay'
Get's dropped on the daily"
-"Same Love"

We can have all the laws in the world but they will only governor our actions. Hatred and prejudice stem from our words and thoughts. When we were kids most of us heard the old "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." Most of us, also, probably know how big of a lie that is. The pen truly is mightier than the sword. So why, if most of the world knows this, do we still spew the hatred from our mouths?

"We've become so numb to what we're saying...
A word rooted in hate
Yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser"
-"Same Love"

That's the answer, right there. We continue saying these things, making those jokes because we think it's funny. In that moment it doesn't seem like hate but the more you repeat it the more you believe it. In a world where one racist joke makes you a racist, how many gay jokes will it take to make you prejudice? Not only do we become numb to what we're saying but so do those around us.

"When I was in third grade
I thought that I was gay
Cause I could draw ...
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She's like, Ben you've liked girls since before Pre-K ...
A bunch of stereotypes all in my head
I remember doing the math like
Yeah, I'm good a little league"
-"Same Love"

If we truly want to change our society then we have to change us. We have to change the way we see things. Freedom isn't about what God you believe, what color your skin is, or who you love. Freedom is about all of us being human beings and deserving the same rights. Deserving equality. As Macklemore points out, though, equality won't come from just the law. It comes from the people. 

"Kids are walkin' round the hallways
Plagued by a pain in their hearts
Some would rather die
Than be who they are"
-"Same Love"

There can be no equality when people are afraid to be who they are. Macklemore and Lewis' don't believe we should let anything, other than who we are, define us. In "Same Love," however, they show us that sometimes society won't let us be who we are. We need to change that and the only way to do so is to change us. Equality, to Macklemore and Lewis, won't come from one law but will come from the people. Once we have acceptance we can have equality. 

"Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love"
-"Same Love"

**Another good video, not from Macklemore and Lewis, that gives a different perspective on the subject**