Ubiquitous Academicians

Posts Tagged ‘Politics

On Lions and Donkeys

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Last Friday night, I watched Lions for Lambs, a political, thought-provoking film directed and starring Robert Redford. Lions for Lambs is put together quite interestingly; there are three section of the film which are transitioned between throughout the course of the movie. One section stars the aforementioned Robert Redford as a professor meeting with a gifted, but disaffected student. Redford tries to coax his student into participating more and attempting to make a difference in the world. The next section follows two soldiers spearheading a new plan in Afghanistan. These two soldiers were students of Redford, but, against his wishes, they decided the best way to make a difference would be to put their lives on the line. Lastly, we have a portion starring Meryl Streep, an experienced journalist, interviewing Tom Cruise, an up-and-coming Republican senator. Cruise’s character, who is one of the minds behind the new strategy in Afghanistan, is revealing the plans to Streep while simultaneously attempting to justify many of the United State’s failings in the war.

The movie itself is rather lacking. It is essentially made up of a number of lectures that use far too many words to explain relatively simple concepts, which can be a bit tiresome, and Tom Cruise continues to disturb me, but the underlying message is a good one. Lions for Lambs tells its audience that, in this day and age, every person should become involved in defining events of the time. The film explores both participation in political and military change, but it does not point either out as the definitive path, rather, it communicates the more general political or moral theme of participation in change.

I might not recommend this movie, but I can fully support the message behind it.

Your writer,

Written by Nicholas

April 13, 2008 at 7:46 am

The Return

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Before I go about writing the particular thoughts that come to me at this time, I’d like to offer an apology to all our readers for my recent lack of activity on the blog. Although I’m somewhat tempted to cobble together an excuse for my inactiveness, the simple truth is that I’ve been downright lazy. It’s not that I don’t wish to continue contributing to the blog, for I think of many ideas for it each day, but that I have a severe problem with procrastination. Let us continue on, though, with no further ado.

I would like to show you to a clear and insightful article written by Stephen King. This column, which King wrote for Entertainment Weekly, clearly demonstrates my thoughts on the predicament of video game violence, ratings, and the constant disputes centered around them. The column manages to address my foremost point of frustration with the argument to ban violent video games or make them illegal for minors: it is a double-standard. Brutal, disgustingly violent movies such as Hotel and Saw predominate in today’s film industry, and they are NOT illegal for minors to view. These films trump, in there vehemence, anything that even the most violent video games have to offer.

Secondly, the column looks at the continuous conflicts over video games in the context of the grand scheme of things. King rightfully points out that politicians love to use violent entertainment as a scapegoat to pin the fundamental problems of the modern world on. He also reminds us that many entertainment mediums have undergone similar scrutiny (comics, rock music, etc.).

Stephen King manages to debunk the ludicrousness of the anti-video game debate with great succinctness and eloquence, making this an excellent read for anyone remotely interested in the topical debate.

Lastly, if the subject of video game politics interests you even remotely, I’d recommend you pay a visit to Game Politics, a monumental resource on the topic of video games in relation to politics.

Your writer,

An afterthought: Thank you, Ethan, for managing, unlike myself, to keep up with this project of ours.

Written by Nicholas

April 12, 2008 at 6:15 pm

I was watching, were you?

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Yes, I saw it.

If you think I’m referring to Hillary Clinton’s pathetic attempt to “get real” (as if she could start after 61 years of avoiding it), you’re wrong.

If you think I’m referring to the news that Fidel Castro will not be accepting the position of President and Commander-in-Chief of Cuba, you’re wrong.

No, while I saw both of those interesting events, I’m referring to an occurrence which will not be happening again until late 2010. True, Cuba will probably still have the same political leader, and so will America; but that’s only slightly relevant.

No, I’m referring to the Total Lunar Eclipse, witnessed by most of the Americas, Europe, and Africa. It was actually a very beautiful spectacle, with the moon being in the shadow of the Earth, and therefore unable to reflect the light of the sun. This caused the moon to appear as a muted, rust-colored spot in the night sky, instead of the blazing celestial body we witness (full, that is) thirteen times a year.

I’ll take a paragraph here to explain how a lunar eclipse occurs; the basic principle is that, while the Moon is rotating around the Earth, and the Earth is rotating around the Sun, eventually the three bodies will form a perfect line. This causes the body in the middle in this case the Earth to block the Sun’s light from reaching the other body. This casts a shadow upon the other body, eclipsing it.

Please do not confuse a Lunar Eclipse, which was witnessed tonight, with a Solar Eclipse. These occur on the same principle, except with the Moon reflecting sunlight away from a certain spot on the Earth, thus casting it in shadow.

In conclusion, I’d just like to mention that I’m glad to see Castro go; I hope the people of Cuba can now enact some serious reformation, and make their country a better place for all.

I’ll say nothing of Hillary, except that I see a Total Political Eclipse has begun in the Democratic Party.

Written by Ethan

February 21, 2008 at 12:08 am

On The Democratic Nomination

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Recently my co-author conveyed his feeling in regards to the nominations of both parties. I felt that I should chip in with my thoughts and beliefs on said topic, though I shall primarily focus on the nomination of the Democratic Party. My opinions are quite similar to those of Ethan, but I have some slight variations in my motivation for those opinions.

Obama currently is my candidate of choice. His policy changes are along the lines of that which I hope for and his charisma is simply unrivaled. Though charisma in a candidate is typically the least of voters’ worries (or rather, should be the least of their worries,) in a case such as this where the two leading candidates have similar policy, charisma becomes the primary deciding factor.

I was lucky enough to attend a rally for Obama, and I can say that his speech-giving abilities are very commendable. He is able to instill an enthusiasm and optimism in the audience that surpasses that present at any of the other candidates’ speeches. He also proves the ludicrousness of the typical cynical attitude carried by his fellow presidential hopefuls.

However, there are certain worries I have. Obama’s plans for health care, environmental policy, etc. would be rather hard to bring into play I would assume. Major corporations and, of course, pharmaceutical companies specifically, will not necessarily bow down to such changes easily. The changes would dramatically reduce their profit, and I think we all know how much major corporations love their profits.

I have begun to think further about it though, and I think it may be better to go into a new era for the US with a slightly optimistic and idealistic attitude rather than a downright cynical one; better to reach high and not make it all the way than to not reach at all.

Your writer,

Written by Nicholas

February 20, 2008 at 11:40 am