!: “in their working, and in much of their emotional life, their attitudes are closer to other scientists than to non-scientists who in religion or politics or class have the same labels as themselves” (page 10). This is interesting to me because it shows how all encompassing their job is, if it makes them identify more closely with others in their field than those who understand how hard it is to overcome certain barriers to make it in a field, no matter what the field is. I would think those issues of overcoming obstacles would bond people closer than having the same job, but I guess not.
?: “The non-scientists have a rooted impression that the scientists are shallowly optimistic, unaware of man’s condition.” (page 5). This quote stood out to me because it makes me wonder how much any academics (and maybe I’m wrong in assuming members of both groups are academics) know about the plight of poor people, especially with how expensive college is now. When do they actually interact with those who struggle? Are they just reading about them? That’s a pretty weak interaction, and bold to assume they can understand the struggles of the average person. They seem so far removed.
From the top 10 scientific theories list, Einstein was mentioned, along with the laws of thermodynamics.
observation: The Jim Crow dance was many white people’s first and only impression of black people and they believed it to be an accurate representation of the behavior of the entire race.
question: Why do white people want black people to be like these caricatures?
Schneider !: Performance is an example of bodies being a form of archive (page 103) Schneider ?: If performance is not permanent and can only be consumed in the moment, how can we analyze performances throughout history? What must we take into account while being so removed from the physical performance? (page 101)
Birns !: “the banality of the present is resistance to the sentimentalities of elegy even as it, in a more exacting way, calls attention to the violence of the past.” (page 19)
Birns ?: When stories are repeated so many times, how are we to know what is factual and what has been embellished? How can we maintain truth in what we share or pass on?
The speech bubbles in this panel do a really good job of conveying panic and fear, with their harsh edges and various underlines. It really stuck to me because I can’t imagine being in the middle of a race riot and having a cab driver refuse to drive because there were black and white people in the same car. This makes me think of the insanity that is some laws, how people get in trouble for trying to give food or water to the people imprisoned at the border, or how helping Jews during World War II got you killed. It is very interesting to examine “bad” laws and to think about what the purpose of a law is if not to protect the good of the people. I suppose those laws do protect the good of the people, if the term “the people” has a very narrow and exclusive definition. Thinking about bad laws raises many questions. Is it bad to break bad laws? How are lawmakers punished? Is not following bad laws enough to get them to notice, and eventually change them? Who is above the law? Should anyone be above the law? What should be done about laws that harm instead of protect?
Mary Church Terrell was part of the middle/upper class fighters for racial equality. Both of her parents were former slaves but her father went on to become one of the South’s first black millionaires. She worked on anti-lynching campaigns with Ida B. Wells, but her philosophy was one of racial uplift, the idea that black people would help end racism by advancing themselves through work, education, and community engagement. This philosophy likely comes from her observations of her parents’ social mobility. Interestingly, she was friends with Susan B. Anthony, despite the latter’s various sentiments that expressed her dislike for black people and that she was against them getting the right to vote.
Ida B. Wells was born into slavery. She focused a lot on confronting white mob violence, which brought a lot of violence and threats of violence into her own life. Wells published pamphlets that said rape was an excuse frequently used to justify a lynching, where the real reasons were fear of black economic progress and attempts to keep black people in a second class status. She concluded that armed resistance might be the only way to defend against lynching. She was seen as “too radical” by Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois.
Gourevitch and Sontag both explore the relationships of an “outsider” to tragedy. Sontag discusses it from a farther perspective, as people from across the country or across the globe, while Gourevitch describes the experience of a foreigner entering a country torn by genocide. Both of them talk about the passivity and powerlessness of feeling empathy for a situation that you cannot relate to. They also both talk about how news of a tragedy travels. Sontag uses the examples of photography to spread news, while Gourevitch talks about how governments and political groups use photographs as propaganda to spread their messages.
Summarize Sontag’s point(s) in these chapters (1, 6, 8) in three brief paragraphs, one for each chapter (this is easy). And also in a one-sentence description for each chapter (this is hard).
Chapter one begins by talking about the differences between men and women’s perceptions of war, and how (according to Virginia Woolf) men get some form of satisfaction out of fighting, while women do not. Sontag then goes on to explain how photos are a form of rhetoric, and that they can be used to further the audience’s biases, but are dismissed as fake if they go against the biases. More and more often, photos are used as shock therapy to try and get emotion out of the audience, but we as onlookers still have a hard time fully grasping the tragedies pictured. The captions under a photo can either explain it or falsify it, as is common in propaganda.
Photography is a powerful form of rhetoric that should be used to its fullest potential.
This chapter discussed our human fascination with gruesome, shocking images. We view suffering as a mistake or a crime, and we don’t know how to react when learning it is purposeful. Feeling safe in our own homes gives us the ability to be indifferent to others’ suffering, but we can’t watch suffering forever. When no end to the fighting or war is in sight, humans get bored watching it and usually stop.
Any image that displays a violation of an attractive body is pornographic to some degree.
This chapter talked about how we use photographs to help us remember events from the past. We place too much value on memory, and not enough on actively thinking. This way of thinking gives amnesia the connotation of being heartless, and makes the act of making peace one of forgetting what wrong was done. Outside of photographs, observing an event from up close is still just watching it take place, and not participating in it. This makes me wonder what the role of photographers is, and if they are obliged to help in any way.
Photos offer an abstract of reality.
- All information is from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Eichmann
- raised Calvinist Protestant
- attended the same high school as Hitler 17 years before
- member of a scouting group with some right-wing extremists
- family friend with a local SS member, which is how he got involved in the party
- worked for SS in Prague and Germany, and later Hungary
- one of the major organizers of the Holocaust
- head of the department for “Jewish Affairs” in the SS
- eventually in charge of all deportations into Poland (Nazi-occupied)
- planned to deport Jews to Madagascar, but this never took off
- facilitated the deporting of Jews to the ghettos
- promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the SS in fall 1942, his highest ever rank
- he did not create policy but instead carried out operations
- after the war, he emigrated to Argentina with fake passports
- eventually became a department head at Mercedes-Benz
- he was captured in 1960 in Argentina, and smuggled to Israel
- during interrogations, he claimed he was simply following orders and had no authority in the party
- he appeared to show no remorse nor recognize the impact of his crimes
- the prosecution took 56 days to present and included information about the Holocaust overall
- he never felt the annihilation of the Jewish people was justified, but did not feel guilty for his part
- He was found guilty in December of 1961 and sentenced to death by hanging
- the defense appealed this to the Israeli Supreme Court, who rejected it
- he and his wife and lawyer also petitioned the president of Israel for clemency, which was rejected by the president and the cabinet
I really enjoyed listening to Maya and Roie talk about their time on the road, probably because talking to strangers and living in a van is not something I can ever picture myself doing. They really inspired me to focus less on the actual thing I’m creating and more on the art of creating itself, and reminded me that making anything, even if it’s bad, is better than not creating at all. Even things I think are bad can be transformed into a work I’m proud of. When they mentioned that the Hebrew word for mindfulness is more about the heart than the head, it made me think about our discussions on translation and how words can vary between languages. What does mindfulness represent in other languages? Also, when they were talking about asking yourself what 5 things need to happen to make each day a “good” day, I began to wonder if we should strive to have all 5 things happen each day. Wouldn’t that make every day a “good” day and devalue “good” days? Should good days be preserved for extraordinarily good days? Or should “good” days be the norm, and then should we strive to make each day “great”, with 5 new things that take days from good to great? This is just the stuff I think about. If anyone reads this I would love to talk about it more!
I only heard about the After Orlando series because my aunt was one of the playwrights featured and she told me about it. I wish it had been more widely advertised because it was an extremely powerful event. After Orlando is a set of readings from different plays all written after the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting. It was very moving to hear them all in succession because they discussed the shooting from a variety of perspectives, including those at the club, their family members, and an owner of a gun shop. The readings were made even more meaningful because some people I know participated in them, including our own Thomas Baker and Neil Patel. It was hard to think about how even though my friends were just actors, it wasn’t real, every person who died in that club meant something to someone outside, from classmates to friends to family members to lovers. It is so easy for us to think about victims as just a number (and one play did talk about what it means to be the “worst” shooting and why we use words like that to “rank” them) but everyone means something to someone. The 49 deaths spread to affect hundreds and maybe even thousands of people who knew them and loved them.
Microaggressions are a very important topic to discuss, especially at a school like Davidson, where many students are coming from a place of white privilege. Even though they might not seem like a big deal, or may even be passed off as compliments, they are actually extremely harmful to marginalized groups and are spreading a larger, offensive social message, usually related to a stereotype. It is very important to remember that words have power, and the way that you intend for a remark to be received is not necessarily the way it will be received. I learned how vital it is for those in power to do the work necessary, that is often difficult or uncomfortable, to learn about why their remarks hurt, and to educate themselves (NOT rely on a marginalized person to educate them) about the systems in place that them on top and others on the bottom. Stupidity and ignorance are not good excuses in 2019 when we have the resources at our disposal to learn and grow.
Something I’m really curious about is what would be gained and lost from the end of manual translations. We have computer programs that comprehend idioms and slang, and that know what words were popular in certain time periods. What is the benefit of having human translators? I would think a computer could identify the word most likely to be used out of a list of possible translations, so it would be less arbitrary than it is now. However, with this change we would lose the thought process and insight of the translator himself, as there is a lot of knowledge to be gained from people who dedicated their life’s work to translation. Their translation choices would carry more weight than a computer-derived definition. Which leads me to a follow up question, is getting the literal translation / a translation closest to the original meaning always the end goal of translating?
If we had the power to remake the human race from the beginning of time, should we give them a single universal language? Would it become similar to one of the languages in existence now (if so, which one?) or would it be completely different? would it rely more on images? How quickly, if ever, would it break off into different dialects and then evolve into new languages?