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No Morality, Go Savagery

A civilized society is defined as civilized because they have a strong set of rules that are upheld, and punishable if not.  The rules are designed around safety and the people's well being.  Most people will not break the rules because they are indoctrinated into believing that the creation of the rules were based upon the correct moral values.  Furthermore, people should be scared of the repercussions.  However, there will be some who fall off course and disobey rules, and in turn, the morals they once believed before they broke the rules.  Straying from one's virtues constitutes savage behavior in any given environment.  


In the book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, a group of boys find themselves on a remote island, and quickly for a tribe.  A tribal meeting has been called.  This is one of the only times that everyone is expected to behave very civilized, and respectful.  They once felt as though they needed the meetings in order to organize and think out the best plan of action.  However, as they become less civilized, many do not feel the same desire for the meeting, and a huge turning point occurs.  During the meeting, the antagonist Jack, interrupts the flow by calling the whole tribe into a savage dance.  During this, the tribe acts wild, screaming violent things, and worst of all, killing one of their own.  “At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore.  There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws” (153).  The flesh the boys were were tearing up is that of Simon.  They were so into their dance which involves shouting savage things such as, “spill its blood” that the reality of what they are doing did not dawn to them them until the moment has passed.  Because of the savage behavior they had become accustomed to, they allowed themselves in their minds the right to kill one of their friends.


Piggy and Ralph have been outcasted from the others on the island.  They made a trip to where the tribe lived, and while they were there, Piggy made a speech.  He said, “Which is better?  To have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill” (180).  The former two things have been replaced by the latter, and the gradual decension into savagery has wiped away their morals.  The fact that the best way to escape the island, which was initially everybody’s main goal, now has taken a backseat to wild tribal activities, this shows how savage behavior goes hand in hand with the abandoning of ideas created at a time when the behavioral state was civilized.  Furthermore, after Piggy gives this speech, the tribe actually goes on to kill him.  Clearly, the boys that make up the tribe have lost the moral compass they went into the island with, and because of it are now committing heinous acts and reacting to them without remorse.  


People of numerous religions kill and injure others during war.  Religion comforts them before performing the life threatening actions they must complete to protect their people and themselves.  However, many religions state that it is wrong to kill and that violence should be avoided.  Religion is tied in with morals, and moral values are many times based off of religion.  Pope Francis, the Roman Catholic leader himself said, “War is never a satisfactory to right injustices”.  

He goes on to bash the idea of war and claim it only brings many negatives.  He is considered the leader and voice for a huge religion with followers all over, however there are obviously Roman Catholics who are enrolled within the military and who have and continue to fight in combat.  Therefore, some people who kill in the military are abandoning their morals due to the dangerous environment they are in.  Furthermore, killing is a savage activity, especially in war where people come prepared with weapons with only the intention to wipe out their opponent.  Therefore, during war people abandon their morals to kill, which is savage.  


Another example of people in today's world going against their morals and being savage can be seen within child labor.  In many cases, this is when people hire children to work in ridiculously low quality settings, for minimal pay, and treat them as slaves, that way their business can thrive financially.  However if it were their own children, or their children's friends were put in a position like those poor children doing labor currently, I am sure a protest from the same people who operate or own these work forces would be heard.  

Even if one were to ask these people, “Do you think children should be treated savagely, or overworked and underpaid?,” it would become a life journey to find someone who said, “Yes.  Yes I do.”

 A man by the name of Kailash Satyarthi, who knows the struggles of child labor due to his long experience as a child's right advocate and educator had this to say:  “Child slavery is a crime against humanity.  Humanity itself is at stake here.   A lot of work still remains, but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime.”

Clearly these children are suffering, but people are turning a cheek and going against their belief that children should be treated well, in order to make a profit.  Many of these children may work across the world in places like India, however the work they do is for large companies that many of us see or use everyday.  Therefore, by directly causing children's suffering, acting as if it is not important because these people live very far away, and knowing these things are wrong, business people who use child labor are going against their morals, and are acting savage.  


In book and our world, breaking rules constitutes savage behavior.  In each of the given examples, whose foundation is applicable to any others, the group or individual who goes against their morals, ends up committing a savage action.  This is because morals are supposed to guide decision making in a civilized and non rule breaking way.  However if one does not follow their morals, savagery will follow in suit.


Work Cited:


Golding, William.  Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2003.


"Pope Francis Says War Is Never Right Way to Stop Injustice; Distances Himself From Support of Airstrikes Against ISIS Read More at Http://www.christianpost.com/news/pope-francis-says-war-is-never-right-way-to-stop-injustice-distances-himself-from-support-of-airstrikes-against-isis-126010/#ByRcKvfJebxjshIF.99 Read More at Http://www.christianpost.com/news/pope-francis-says-war-is-never-right-way-to-stop-injustice-distances-himself-from-support-of-airstrikes-against-isis-126010/#iFCXQvu1URHZCBFH.99." CP Wolrd. 8 Sept. 2014. Web. 5 Apr. 2016. <http://www.christianpost.com/news/pope-francis-says-war-is-never-right-way-to-stop-injustice-distances-himself-from-support-of-airstrikes-against-isis-126010/>.


Kailash Satyarthi. "Child Labor Quotes." Brainyquote. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.



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ILP 2

I have had a great time at my ILP. I now know how to assemble, code, and package about six of the company's products. I get to use large machinery along with soldering tools.

I usually visit for two and a half hours every Wednesday, and that gives me enough to time to complete an optical device. It’s cool to think that I have made something that was sold to researchers!


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Killer Kids

Savagery is in all of us. It is how we choose to consume the true beast within ourselves that makes us civilized. But the question is in what state or setting would it take for us as humans to release it. What does it take for humans to go back to our caveman style of living and when exactly do we lose that way of living? In our adulthood?  In our adolescence? When we as people are young we don’t know as much about the world and how to survive in it. Children are more savage than adults because they have been in civilization for less time and they rely more on their animal instincts.

Fear takes a heavy toll on our lives. Out of fear people make some very drastic actions such as shooting up a school. In those moments of fear they are completely vulnerable. In William Golding's Lord of the Flies a group of young schoolboys are stranded on an island from a plane crash and are fighting to stay alive. In the book the boys lose sight on the humble life they once had and turn into complete barbarians. School boys who have never once been outside of society, away from adults, truly on their own lose control of themselves. They are on this island trying to find food and become excited from the rush of hunting commenting “ You should have seen the blood¨(pg.70). They experienced the thrill of the chase. It was at this moment in the book that you could see changes in the boys. They were not the domestic people they started out as and this was just the beginning of the decivilization. All they were doing was hunting pigs but what ended up happening was their animalistic instincts returning to them. Getting blood on their hands changed them in the worst way possible.

No one should commit murder, but when someone does they are frowned upon in society.  They are seen as a monster. So when a child commits such an act as murder it is truly disturbing. According to New York Times, ¨The best predictor of violence is past violence. The earlier the violence, the worse the prognosis''. Meaning that children are influenced by the things they see and hear. They aren´t born a killer they are made a killer. The parents are usually the blame for this. People always wonder how they let their child become a mass murder. But what about society's impact on a young mind? With the things that are shown on tv and the crimes happening in everyday life their are millions of possible faults that are to blame for children who murder. Most of them feel no remorse as to what they did. A 15 year old murderer who killed an elderly woman and a little girl commented on his actions stating ''I don't know the girl so why should I have any feelings about what happened to her?'' The fact that he does not feel guilty about his felony says a lot about the mindset of a young executioner.  At an age so young these kids minds aren't developed enough to know that what they are doing is wrong. They weren't taught this yet. So being as these kids watch the life go out of someone and have no empathy is quite barbaric.

In life, things can go from going really well to very bad almost instantly. Something as simple as a game went from laughing to stabbing very quickly in Lord of the flies. Jack one of the older more violent boys in the group decided that the boy should play a game reenacting the moment that he slaughtered a pig when they were hunting. They decided one of the boys would represent a pig and that he would show what he did to kill it. Things took a turn for the worst when the boys began biting and scratching the boy completely ignoring his cries for mercy. ¨ Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Bash him in!¨ (pg. 114), they chanted completely forgetting that this started out as game. This is a prime example of animal instincts taking over. They became vicious in a childlike game showing again no signs of remorse stating “ that was a good game¨ ( pg.115) while the boy they attacked laid on the ground crying. Coming back to the idea that children don´t know the fault in their actions because their minds aren't fully developed yet. Them not having any repentance makes them even more savage than they already are.


Than again ¨some children do kill knowing exactly what they did was wrong¨ or so everyday psychology. com states. There are cases where kids committed acts of violence and were well aware of what they did. A 13 year old boy was being bullied by an older boy who he played football with. His parents told him to do what he had to do in order to protect himself, so he got a knife and stabbed the bully in the heart. He knows that what he did was wrong but he did it anyway. Again coming back to the concept of children's minds not being completely developed when they commit these crimes, one can assume that they would know not to kill someone. But knowing they aren't supposed to do it makes them want to do it more. In a kids mind that's the game, seeing how far they can go with something without having any repercussions.


Savagery is in all of us. But when it is seen it in the eyes of a child it´s different. Pity is taken on the fact that the criminal is so young. Children are more savage than adults because they have been in civilization for less time and they rely more on their animal instincts. Adults have been in civilization longer than children so therefore they are more domestic than them. Most adults know wrong from right and are charged because of this. They have been exposed to the world and all that it is. Children have not been. Children are uncontrollable. They can be trained like dogs but they could turn on you like dogs.


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Humanity's Inherent Savagery

There seems to be a frequent analysis of Lord of the Flies by William Golding regarding the children and their resortment to savagery as opposed to remaining civil. However, while they may appear more savage than people who live in a civilization, they are only showcasing what humans are naturally. The only reason the children can be considered savage is because they were able to live in an environment where society’s restrictions of people don’t have their full effect, so they can showcase humanity’s inherent savagery.

At the beginning of the book, there is a plane crash to start the story. Two survivors of the crash are young boys, around the age of 8-12 years old. They were having a discussion about the crash and whether there had been more survivors of the crash. When “the fat boy”, who we eventually learned is called Piggy mentions to “the fair boy”, who we learned to be called Ralph, the prospect of surviving adults. When Ralph thinks about this, he reaches the conclusion that no adults would have survived, and grows excited. “[The] fat boy hurried after him. ‘Aren’t there any grownups at all?’ ‘I don’t think so.’ The fair boy said this solemnly; but then the delight of a realized ambition overcame him. In the middle of the scar he stood on his head and grinned at the reversed fat boy. ‘No grownups!’”(8). What this quote from the book shows is a rapid change from a civil mindset the boys were in before the crash to this new, savage mindset that humans inherently possess. This is very clearly shown in the section about “the delight of a realized ambition”. This realized ambition is an escape from society’s rules and standards that people don’t want to have. Children haven’t lived long enough to understand the importance of these rules, so given the opportunity to escape, they immediately jump on it, as Ralph did. Him standing on his head represents him escaping from the rules of society. People aren’t supposed to stand on their head; they stand on their feet. Ralph standing on his head is him saying “I don’t have to follow the rules anymore, so I am going to do this.”

This idea can also to be related to current Republican candidate Donald Trump’s speeches, during which he speaks about the sponsorship that candidates usually get to help with their campaign. While doing this, he brings up that he doesn’t get sponsors and uses his own money to fund his campaign, and how sponsors control the candidates in their speech and actions. He doesn’t need that, so he isn’t corrupted by the sponsor’s ideas and gets to say what he wants. “[The other candidates’] lobbyists...will start calling President Bush, President Clinton. And they’ll say: ‘You have to do it, they gave you a million dollars to your campaign.’” Trump is able to use his money in a similar way Ralph and the other boys use the island. He doesn’t have to follow the societal norms that people usually have to. He is allowed to say what he wants without having to deal with the rules that others in his society of politicians has to follow. He can do and say what he wants without repercussions that he will usually have because he lives on this island, or a world different from the others and society. Trump creates this platform where he can say what he wants and act as savage as he wishes, just as the children from the book did.

In addition, Trump, during his speeches, has a habit of spreading his ideas that people who read or hear about think are savage in nature. However, Trump currently is high in the standings of political polls that have been taken. An example of one of his ideas is his idea of building an enormous wall along the Mexican-American border. This would prevent almost all immigration from the people of Mexico to the US. He says, “I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” This idea would be generally considered savage. The USA is heavily built on the idea of liberty and freedom, and what this wall does is it completely contradicts that idea. In addition, the wall idea is Trump basically saying that the people of Mexico are of a lesser caliber than the people of the US. This wall would not be in place to keep people from the US in, but to keep the people from Mexico out. That sounds like a very savage idea, something that no other candidate running for office would ever say publically. However, Trump basically crashed the plane himself, leaving him on this island where society’s rules can’t touch him. The US is generally considered to be a civilized nation, and Trump, who is running for the right to be leader of the country, should not be able to propose these sorts of ideas that completely ignore the basis of the country, but Trump is able to hide on his island.

Ultimately, the argument of whether children are more savage than adults isn’t really an argument that has any reason to be discussed. Instead, the focus should be placed on whether humans in general are inherently savage. This quote by Woody Allen from “Hannah and Her Sisters” sums up the idea nicely. Regarding the Holocaust, generally considered to be very savage, he states that “[t]he reason they can never answer the question ‘How could it possibly happen?’ is that it's the wrong question. Given what people are, the question is "Why doesn't it happen more often?’”.


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People are Driven by Fear

In life, fear can be a powerful thing. Fear is said to be the most dangerous thing on this planet. It can completely distort reality into something unrecognizable and sometimes even lead people into doing reckless things. Without the guidance of a clear mind, savagery can even take place. In William Golding's Lord Of The Flies, the characters are also representations of those that make bad decisions because they fear what they don't know. When people fear what they don’t know it leads them to savagery when there’s no authority to stop and inform them. It shows that when humans are put in a position that they do not understand, in one way or another, they become barbaric.

After the explosion over the mountain, the boys woke Ralph up from his dream of feeding ponies. They told him that they had seen “the beast” and as they said that, Piggy tried to move them out of the way and go outside. The twins said it's horrible and to not to go anywhere. So, they all laid there listening to the island and the descriptions the twins said between the silence. “Soon the darkness was full of claws, full of the awful unknown and menace...They began to stir though still the world outside the shelter was impossibly dangerous.” (99) This quote shows that even though the boys had not seen anything outside, they were afraid. They did not know what could hurt them on this island so they had given a name to something that had not seen, felt, etc. The words “awful unknown” create a picture for the reader to indicate that it was so terrible because it was uncertain; there is no definite to what could happen. Situations like this also take place a lot in the real world. According to a U.S. News article, it is said that many times when a police officer is in a situation where their gun has to be used for their safety and for the safety of others, a cop “can get into a state of mind where they're scared to death”. They become terrified and sometimes as a last resort, violence is the only option they have. Not knowing how a criminal, thief, or suspicious character will act is fuel their actions which can (depending on the cop) turn from shooting an unnecessarily fatal shot to an all out rain of bullets. A shot in the dark can be better than no shot at all when you fear for your life.

The boys had just discovered a pig nursing it's piglets in the shade. Jack had been practicing so much that he was as silent as the shadows; the pigs did not suspect a thing. He left for a moment to inform his other hunters and, with caution, they all began to inch closer and closer to the animals.  They then (seemingly) strategically attack the pigs, gruesomely striking them with sharpened spears. In the end, the pig is dead and they put it's head on a stick. “‘The head is for the beast. It's a gift.’” Once Simon is alone after all the boys have gone, he is left “talking” to the pig (the Lord of the Flies). He is losing consciousness so the pig talking is a huge hallucination. “‘There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And i'm the Beast.’...’Pig’s head on a stick.’ ‘Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!’ said the head.”(136-138)


In this scene, a great deal of events is happening. The boys go out and kill a pig, which was already an act of savagery because they put it's head on a stick, which doesn't benefit to anything. There is no one here (no grownups, no authority, etc.) to tell them that this is wrong or to tell them better ways of handling this situation. Throughout the book, these young boys are only getting increasingly more afraid simply of the darkness and the silence of the island, so they make up a terror that they can try to fight and eventually appease. The pig's head on a stick is a gift for the beast so that it won't harm them, even though “it” hasn't hurt anyone so far because no one's seen it. Simon’s hallucinations are also just subconscious thoughts being said to himself and the line “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” really says a lot about what he's thinking. He doesn't even think the beast is physical. He is terrified of being on this island and doesn't know what is actually causing the terror, so it is the Beast.


In the real world, people also have a hard time keeping a clear head in the heat of the moment. For example, a police officer in Texas was seen “cursing at several black teenagers, slamming the girl to the ground and unholstering his gun.” When police were called to the scene of a pool party where several teens were at the local pool. The altercation had just been an argument, but quickly escalated to a 14-year old being held down by a grown male police officer. It was said (and caught on video) that he did grab for his gun and indeed bring it out, waving it around the other teens. He only returned it to its holster when a fellow police officer told him to. If no one had been there to momentarily calm him down and not allow him to keep his gun out, the situation could have gone awry very fast. If you were to look at the video, you can see that this police officer was acting especially aggressive and excessive compared to the other cops. It was said by his lawyer that “he allowed his emotions to get the better of him” and that “He never intended to mistreat anyone, but was only reacting to a situation and the challenges that it presented,” People can be driven to acts that they do not even want to do because of fear and this was clearly shown here.

When police are put into stressful, sometimes even fatal situations, a lot can go wrong. And in the Lord of the Flies, that's exactly what happened. In modern day America, there are people to tell police what is right and wrong about their actions, but usually after the fact. In the novel, no one was there to ever say anything their barbaric ways. Killing the beast would obviously make them safe if their was such a creature in the first place. Fear plays a huge role on our actions and can even mean the difference between life and death. People are controlled by fear and they will continue to do savage acts if there is no one to stop them.


Works Cited


Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2003.


"When It Comes to Police Brutality, Fear Is Also a Factor." U.S. News. Joseph P. Williams, n.d. Web.

   6 Apr. 2016. <http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2014/12/05/

   when-it-comes-to-police-brutality-fear-is-also-a-factor>.


"Texas pool party chaos: 'Out of control' police officer resigns." CNN. Ashley Fantz, Holly Yan and

   Catherine E. Shoichet, 9 June 2015. Web. 6 Apr. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/09/us/

   mckinney-texas-pool-party-video/>.


"Texas Officer Was Under Stress When He Arrived at Pool Party, Lawyer Says." The New York Times.

   N.p., 10 June 2015. Web. 6 Apr. 2016. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/11/us/

   texas-officer-was-under-stress-when-he-arrived-at-pool-party-lawyer-says.html?_r=0>.


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The Problem with People

In October 1917, one event stunned the world and shook politics to its very core, the Russian Revolution. Built upon the principles of Marxism and Leninism, the most recognizable goals was to create a socialist state without economic or social status. During the early days, there was no doubt that the idea worked well. Though some, realistically many, of the former bourgeoisie were upset having lost their power, Soviet citizens rejoiced at the newfound freedoms. As time went on, connections and influence made their way back into society with unacknowledged social classes reforming. Compare this to the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a book chronologizing the adventures and tragedies of school boys on a deserted island without adult supervision. When a group of boys arrive on a deserted island, they form a group to survive. Just like the Revolution and numerous other uprisings, the boys too fell into the trap of organizing social classes from a classless society. Therefore it can be stated that when a group is created, even if it is for the goal of unifying the public equally, the group ends up benefiting a certain few.

The Lord of the Flies is a book chock full of analogies, references, and inferences to be made into today’s society. One of these is a distribution and confluence of power. Since the boys all arrive and meet up on an island without grown ups, they get to start anew as they try to survive. One of these ways was electing a chief to run the group and so the classes again re-form, starting with the words of a boy named Jack Merridew. “‘I ought to be chief,’ Jack said with a simple arrogance, ‘because I’m chapter chorister and head boy.’” (22) Even though the boys cannot entirely see it, Jack is trying to use his past social status, much like bourgeois did in the Russian Revolution, to gain influence and an advantage in the new, naive society. Although in the end, Ralph, another boy who stood quiet and held a conch for the whole time, is elected chief, a resentment would build in Jack and reveal itself at a later time. That resentment, stems from a loss of power which needs to be regained.

Similarly to the boys, the complete upheaval of social order during the Russian Revolution made many upper class citizens lose their power, and many of them were unhappy with that fact. One of the driving forces behind the Revolution was the Marxist/Leninist belief that a classless social system with common ownership of the means of production and with full social equality of all members of society, was one that was most effective and fair. This belief however, would be trampled almost instantly. As described by Polish defector, Józef Światło, in 1953 when he defected to the west, one of Poland’s top party members, Boleslaw Bierut had “No less than ten lavishly and luxuriously furnished palaces … all fitted out with legendary magnificence.” Now in today’s society, capitalism allows for such people to have that many residences. In the 1950s communist bloc, that was direct contradiction of the Revolutions’ beliefs of classless society. When the boys on the island in the Lord of the Flies originally create their work groups, they actually create social structure!

That social structure comes to a head towards the middle of the Lord of the Flies when Jack (now leader of the hunters) begins to argue with Ralph, the chief, about purposes of each group. “You and your fire!” Jack blames Ralph, of not having purpose and pushing his agenda too much. Ralph responds, “All you can talk about is pig, pig pig!” Which Jack counters with, “Because we want meat!” (54) The exchange of hostilities exemplifies how from creating the classless group, the boys have degenerated to insulting each other's worth. The insulting is due to the conflicting ideals and goals of each member and they do not seem to be working together. So even as the boys try to work together for survival, the refusal to put aside differences eventually would split the group for all the wrong reasons and create a new structural order.

Much like the boys, members of the Soviet Union also began to split themselves socially. The Party officials and members of higher status families (diplomats, state factory owners) were more likely to reap the benefits of the proletarians (workers and lower classes). “This [upper] class enjoyed privileges such as roomy apartments, country dachas... access to special stores, schools, medical facilities...Members of the urban working class (proletariat), in whose name the Party purported to rule, generally lived in cramped apartment complexes, spent hours each day standing in line to buy food and other necessities.” Looking back to the original goal of the Russian revolution however, this rigid and unfair structure clearly blasts the original Marxist-Leninist belief and proves how a revolution for all turned into a Country for few. Much like how Jack would splinter into a group to accomplish his goals.

Frustrated with the lack of attention he is being given with his goal of eating meat, Jack finally becomes fed up and announces, “ I’m going off by myself. He [Ralph] can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants hunt when I do can come too.”(127) This split now signifies the full separation of social order on the island. You have Jack on the one hand who wants to find meat, compared to Ralph who wishes to create fire so the boys can be noticed. Jack who has slowly gained more power over time, now seizes the opportunity to split and reap the benefits, much like Stalin did. Ralph would then represent the proletariat, who would be weak and oppressed. Now not so like under Stalin but the lack of a hunting group and still using a relic of a bygone era (conch=Patriotic fervor) puts Ralph at a huge disadvantage and gives all the power and benefits of the group to Jack.

So after all this, one might wonder what is even the point of creating a group if only a few will be the true winners? The counter to that is that these are extreme cases. In a smaller group, ideas and power tends to be more equally shared, however when working under stressful situations, and or with a very large amount of people it is bound to happen that a certain few will manipulate the group to them. Whether it be Communist Party officials taking advantage of their Political status to gain wealth and luxury, or a boy using his influence over an important group so he can eat meat, there is no true instance that has ever proved people working together, benefitted everyone.










Works Cited


Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2003


Hignett, Kelly, Dr. "Power and Privilege: Elite Lifestyles in Communist Eastern

    Europe." The View East. Wordpress, n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.

    <https://thevieweast.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/

    power-and-privilege-in-communist-eastern-europe/>.


Library of Congress. "Social Structure." Country Studies. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr.

    2016. <http://countrystudies.us/russia/27.htm>.


Central Intellegence Agency, and Library of Congress. "Soviet Union (former) Social Structure." Photius.com. Ed. Photius Coutsoukis. Photius Coutsoukis,

    2004. Web. 6 Apr. 2016. <http://www.photius.com/countries/

    soviet_union_former/society/

    soviet_union_former_society_social_structure.html>.


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Power Is a Double-Edged Sword - Q3 BM

One of the biggest illusions of this world is the idea of Good and Evil. It’s a rather widespread idea too. Light vs darkness, order vs chaos, holy vs unholy. There are loads of people in the world that see the world in terms of black and white. There’s always a good guy and a bad guy, a side that’s benevolent and a side that’s malevolent. But the thing is, the world just does not operate that way. Pretty much everything in the universe is either entirely neutral, or in the case of humans, a complex mix of both good and bad. Naturally, some people still tend to see the world in a light where there is no gray area. They will praise and defend someone who has done something considered morally right, and persecute someone who has done something they consider wicked. This is especially true of people and organizations in places of power. There’s always outcry of how some big brand name company is deserving of repercussions for producing a product through unethical means, when they’re also responsible for employing thousands of people nationwide. Everyone has heard of the idea that power corrupts. But giving someone power will not always result in that person or group becoming the embodiment of pure wickedness. Power has a dual-nature to it; it can be used for either good or evil, and many that wield great power use it for both.

Let us take a look into Lord of the Flies by William Golding for an example of this. This particular scene occurs after Jack has decided he’s done being the subordinate of Ralph, who was elected chief when the group of boys was first stranded on the island. He starts his own little tribe, and most of the boys decide that his tribe is more fun and free than Ralph’s, and leave to join Jack. Of course, Jack decides he’ll just take whatever he wants from Ralph, eventually taking a pair of spectacles from Ralph. This is the last straw for Ralph, as his friend Piggy requires then to see, as well as start up their smoke signal fire whenever it goes out. When Jack is confronted by Ralph, he demands that they seize the former chief.

“‘Grab them!’

Nobody moved. Jack shouted angrily,

‘I said ‘grab them’!’” (178). What is interesting here is that Jack, whose tribe was based around fun and liberty, turns to ruling as a tyrant, barking orders to his tribe members like they were his servants. The significance of this is that Jack was originally just trying to provide the boys on the island with what they wanted: food, fun, and freedom. But at a certain point he began using his acquired power to get some nasty things done. Of course, as a reader, it’s easy to see Jack as a bad guy. The reader has spent the whole book getting to know Ralph, and in the past few chapters the author has built him up as the underdog of the situation. As many are aware, people tend to cheer on the underdog. From the perspective of most of the kids in his tribe, Jack was a pretty decent guy that just became a bit of a control freak. They still perceived him as a good leader, despite his tyrannical actions, because he had provided them with a more enjoyable experience on the island.

Now, let’s flip the scale, and look at World War II. In contrast to Jack, the United States is what most people would perceive as the force of justice in this situation. After all, how could anyone argue that the Nazis that killed millions of innocent Jews were the good guys? Clearly there’s no justifying the actions of the Nazis. Killing millions of innocent people based on religion, sexuality, or nationality is not an okay thing to do. In fact, even killing just 40,000 people based on nationality isn’t okay either. Now, some might find that particular statement strangely specific. Well, that would be because it is the estimate for how many people were initially killed when the US dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. There was an additional 80,000 (rough estimates) that were killed in Hiroshima, and that’s not including those that died later of radiation poisoning. And on what basis did the United States have those thousands of people executed? Oh right, nationality. And to put the US on even more level ground with Germany, it also had around 110,000 Japanese Americans rounded up and put into concentration camps of its own after the Pearl Harbor bombing. Between that and the literally blinding atomic flashes in Japan, the US government isn’t that different from the Nazis. So who’s the real bad guy there? I’m tempted to say America, given the fact that they intended to do the damage that they did. A quick look through all of Hitler’s writing reveals that he never intended to kill off millions of Jews. That’s just where his plans got out of control, when he really just wanted to put them to work in the camps. It’s still not that great of an idea, but the point still stands. Hitler got people killed by accident, the US got people killed intentionally.

So, what’s all this to say? That Hitler was the good guy and we should have let the Nazis do their thing? Of course not. There’s nothing anyone could ever do, say, or discover that would justify what happened in those camps. The point of this essay is merely to show that power is not inherently good or evil. It has no preference, and the types of power in this world are as varied as their applications. Sure, powerful people might do some awful things with their influence.  Just keep in mind that nobody is pure, but also that nobody is purely corrupt either. It’s a world of gray that we all live in, and it takes more than categories of virtuous and malevolent to sort through it all.



Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2003

Us-History.com Staff. "World War II." United States History. Online Highways, n.d. Web.

History.com Staff. “Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” History.com. A+E Networks, 2009 Web.
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Cruel Leaders, Ruin Peoples Lives


“Why do people vote for certain leaders?”. People agree to follow cruel leaders because they will manipulate people into thinking that they will fix their fears. History seems to repeat itself with dangerous people in charge. Its is noticed that this is an ongoing pattern through both fictional and historical examples, whether it’s in novels or textbooks.  


If this argument is looked at  from a universal point of view, it reveals that we had god awful leaders. There is a website of the 25 most awful dictators and rulers of all time. This website is important because it has historical stories on these dangerous people from the past. It was cool yet shocking. All of the people on that list, are horrible people that are murders. For example, a man named Hitler is on that list. He singled out an entire religion, and blamed society's problems on them. He murdered and tortured many Jewish men, women and children. He was so terrible that it is impossible to not know who he is. School emphasizes who he is. How did he get elected? That man tricked people into thinking that it was one religion's fault, and that he would get rid of them to make germany better. People wanted their fear of the war and being poor to be fixed, so this was the other “solution” they could think of. Now that people look back on this history, they can realize how many stupid mistakes they make when people walk all over us. And that's what Hitler did, that manipulating son of a whale tricked others, and when he was in control he made people fear him so much, they dare not stop him. Yes, eventually Hitler was stopped, but he ruined people's lives in Germany for many years. Cruel leaders, ruin peoples lives.

A great world example of why certain leaders are chosen, is Donald trump. He promises society that he will fix american by doing what the people want and make their fears “disappear”. He promises not to let certain races in this country because of ongoing terrorism.  The people in America are afraid of the terrorist threats being made by a group called isis. Trump made a proposition to get rid of immigrants, build a wall, and put labels on muslims because they are apparently the problem to terrorism. Some disagree with those who vote for him, because he is another person we should fear. He will be the next hitler. As anyone can see, we never learn. We are voting for a man who will also try and destroy a religion. Now, this quote from a trump supporter, proving that people only vote for him because he will deal with fear in harsh ways. “Men and women….fearful that they are being displaced by minorities and immigrants, and nostalgic for the way America used to be.” This states that donald trump is voted for, because he is the “solution” to fix people's fears on america. I'm sorry, but facts cannot be hidden Trump is proposing to single out people in order to benefit him, but it's actually manipulation on the people. Why? Well, how will this help the people, it just gives him full power and control over society in America. Yet again, we could have someone who has the power to harm others, is this what we really want?


Speaking of finding bad leaders, Jack is a wonderful example in the book Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding. Jack had a little group of younger boys,  following his every order and believed in him. Jack used fear and manipulation to get the boys to listen to him. He put into their minds that he could save them on this island. To hunt and have food, to provide shelter, their little brains thought Jack could provide them with these skills. He proved himself when they went hunting, so they assumed he would keep them alive. But, Jack was cruel. If you weren't on his side, you'd be dead or almost dead. Even if Jack was doing something wrong or hurting someone, they still followed him. They feared Jack, so they dare not go against him. Which is what normal people do, you die or stick with the crowd and live.The only reason jack was voted to be in charge, was because everyone thought that he would get them off the island, even if he was harsh. “I'm scared of him”-Piggy (93). A person on the island with Jack was a boy named Piggy. He outright said that he was afraid of Jack. This just shows how Jack sticks fear in others hearts. Piggy said this when something was suggested to go against Jack. Piggy was too afraid to do it, so he backed down. “Jack had Robert by the hair and was brandishing his knife.”(114) Okay, don't tell me this isn't scary. Jack grabbed someone's hair forcefully and put a knife to their neck. How is he not crazy. “What's going on in this scene.”is what one could be thinking. In the book, they are only suppose to be playing a PRETEND game of catch the pig. Robert played the pig, but Jack got too into it. Personally, I think Jack was just trying to prove how strong he was. He was showing that he is strong enough to protect the others, and that he has complete control. Here again, Jack tries to prove himself strong. “Jack was standing before a group of boys……”we hunt…..i'm going to be chief.” (133)Hunting is a good survival skill and small boys like to do wild things. This is why they follow him, because they will feel some of their problems will be relieved if they follow Jack. He is seen as a great person to follow because he is strong, knowledgeable, and will riden his followers fears, thus, he is voted for.




How can we stop it, well I have no idea, that is for yourself to decide. I'm just here to prove an argument, so go ahead….can this statement be argued with? Will humans continue to choose leaders who create destruction, or will we one day learn from our past mistakes.



Works Cited


Golding, William. Lord of the files.

New York Penguin Group, 2003.


"Why I'm Voting for Donald Trump." CNN. Accessed March 30, 2016. http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/27/politics/donald-trump-voters-2016-election/.



"The 25 Most Evil People in History." The 25 Most Evil People in History. Accessed March 30, 2016. https://25mostevil.wordpress.com/.



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Survival of the Fittest

Aidan Williams

There is no such thing as objective responsibility. Despite our social biology, the very nature of our existence leads us only to pursue things that directly affect us in positive ways. Though we live in an illusion of empathy and selflessness, there is no such thing as a truly selfless action. Every action we take is entirely self-serving in some form or another, and the only responsibilities the “strong” have to take care of the “weak” are those that we give ourselves in a self-absorbed sense of superiority.

This becomes apparent in Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, as they introduce the character Piggy. Piggy is a fat, asthmatic boy, who can barely see without his glasses. Ultimately, in a survival setting, he is a detriment to the boys survival. As he says, “My Auntie told me not to run… on account of my asthma.” However, he has one thing that the boys need: His glasses. This gives the boys a reason to take care of him, and they do. They keep him alive for a long time. However, as soon as he outlives his usefulness, they take his glasses, and they kill him.

So, what is responsibility? Well, taking a step back, this ultimately boils down to subjectivity versus objectivity. As conscious creatures, humans do not live in an objective world. Conscious beings see the world through the senses, and see the world through their own perceptions, and cannot see the objective world. Now, what does this mean for responsibility? Well, this means that responsibilities exist only as the ones created by living, sentient beings. So, what responsibility do the strong have to take care of the weak? Well, the strong only have the responsibility that they create for themselves. However, sometimes this paves the way for people to pretend to create their own responsibilities as a way to mask an ulterior motive.

This was seemingly the case in the USA’s invasion of afghanistan following the September 11th attacks. By the end of September, 2001, the Bush Administration had its troops on the offensive in the Middle East. Only a few months had passed before President George W. Bush said the following in the State of the Union: “In four short months, our nation has… captured, arrested, and rid the world of thousands of terrorists, destroyed Afghanistan’s terrorist training camps, saved people from starvation, and freed a country from brutal oppression.” Saved people from starvation. These were the things he was proud of accomplishing in the four months that United States troops occupied Afghanistan. Now, this seems good, but, ultimately, it was not the purpose of the invasion.

The occupation was a direct response to the attacks on September 11th. However, people in Afghanistan were suffering starvation and brutal oppression before the invasion and the attacks. Helping the people was not the intention of the administration. It was not the intention of the troops deployed. It seems that the people helped by the troops were simply in the right place at the right time, and it gave Bush a chance to pat himself on the back for his efforts helping the ‘weak.’ The invasion came from a place of vengeance, and while it helped many people, it was entirely coincidental, and did not reflect the United State’s efforts to end world hunger.

Imagine Piggy is Afghanistan, and the rest of the boys are the Bush Administration. The boys could have said that they take care of Piggy because they have a responsibility to. Being stuck on the island, they could have said that they have a responsibility to take care of their own, and that since Piggy was their friend, they were responsible for his wellbeing. However, this wasn’t true. They kept Piggy alive because his glasses were the boys’ only way of starting a fire. His glasses kept him alive for a long time. However, as the boys gave in to their reality, and fell farther away from civilization, realizing that they weren’t actually responsible for Piggy, they realized that they could steal Piggy’s glasses, and then, having done so, they killed him, as they no longer needed him. Just as boys killed Piggy as soon as they didn’t need him, the United States killed many civilians in the Middle East once they had gotten recognition for helping them.

While there is a fair bit of controversy surrounding this issue, there is a fair amount of evidence to back up the claims that United States soldiers killed Iraqi civilians. One incident, known as the Al Ishaqi Massacre, was the accused deliberate murder of eleven Iraqi civilians, before blowing up their home. While it was written off by the Pentagon as an action against Al Qaeda militants, five out of the eleven people were children, the youngest of whom was said to be only five months old. However, these were not the stories we were told. Rather, we were told about the soldier’s heroic acts helping and saving civilians, by none other than President Bush in the State of the Union.

Our society speaks a great deal about responsibilities, and in America, being a world superpower, many speak about helping the third world quite a bit as well. However, it seems that people rarely practice what they preach, just like many who talk about their objective responsibilities. Ultimately, humans are not required by any law of nature to do anything. They can create their own responsibilities, but can also do things for other people because they want to, or because others want them to, without locking themselves into objectivity.


Works Cited:


Golding, William. Lord of the Flies

New York. Penguin, 2003


"President Delivers State of the Union Address." President Delivers State of the Union Address. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.


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3 Doubles, 2 Triples and a bomb of a 2-Run Homer: JV Rocket Blitzes Lincoln 14-2 for 2nd Win of Season

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 12.08.26 AM
The JV Rocket offense was hotter than ever, keeping the royal blue crowd toasty on a chilly, windy day that felt more like November than it did April. Leo Cassel-Siskind, who earned his second win in as many starts, struck out the side before every Rocket batted in the first. Shaion Denny ripped the first pitch to third base, beat the throw, then quickly stole 2nd and 3rd. Denny called out "just like old times" to Arsenio Gomez moments before he ripped a shot into the gap that saw him sliding in safely at third. Two batters later Kristian Ramos hit a monster triple of his own into deep right center, scoring Gomez. Husain Kegler made it look easy with a bomb to deep center plating Ramos making it 3-0, and Lincoln's starter barely escaped the first inning.

He wouldn't be so lucky in the 2nd when every Rocket batted again and he was yanked after 1.2 innings of assault. In his 2nd at bat of the inning, Denny switched to the left side and drilled a double into the gap bringing in 2 more moments after Ramos brought did the same on another monster double. Luke Watson-Sharer laid down a perfect bunt to extend the inning long enough for Denny's shot scored Colin Pierce and Brian Torres to make it 9-0 after the 2nd.

Leo Cassell-Siskind, who struck out 10, walked none and only gave up one run on two hits over four innings, also reached base in all four at bats, going 2-2 with 2 walks. Arsenio Gomez, who like Denny went 3-4, hit a double in a stretch of seven straight hits started by Shaion Denny's 2-run Home Run to right center. Kenny Carroll brought in Gomez, Ramos, who went 3-3 on the day, brought in Carroll and the merry-go-round continued. Five more runs were plated, including an RBI from Freshman Eric "Chip" Gorski in the 4th when he snuck a slow roller in between 3rd and Short.

Kristian Ramos came in to close it out, powerfully striking out two and forcing a ground ball to 2nd Basemen Brian Torres for the final out. Next up: The JV Rocket travels up to the North East to take on Washington this Thurs, 4/6.
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Poop and Pee, a Power Source

Science: Poop and pee can be renewable natural gas sources. They are taken and methane is contracted from them, which is then burned to make electricity. There are things called microbial batteries and fuel cells. The fuel cells converts the chemical energy into electrical energy. The fuel cell is heated, and when the biogas enters the cell, it reacts with oxygen. Electricity is eventually produced. The fuel cell cuts down on fossil fuels
In England, they started using buses called GENeco Bio-Buses. It runs off of human waste(and discarded food) but first it goes through the Wessex Water treatment plant. The solids are separated from the liquids. There are things called anaerobic digesters that get fed the solids so the bacteria inside eat down the waste. This eating releases gas, most of which is methane. Methane has been a big contributor to global warming, but when we capture methane and burn it, it can be used as a renewable source of energy. In all, the energy produced can be used to power the bus for about 2.5 million miles.
Continuing on fuel cells, there is a plant that captures methane in the same process as above. The plant purifies the gas which is converted into electrical energy. When the gas is mixed with the cell, it reacts with oxygen, thus creating electricity in the end. This electricity is used to power the plant. This way of using energy helps to cut down on fossil fuels, and non-renewable resources. Many other wastewater treatment plants are starting to use this type of energy as well. 
Society: As said above, this renewable source cuts down on fossil fuels, and can be renewable instead of coal, which is limited. The only problem is, not just any human can reuse their poop and pee for energy. Although it's becoming more popular for countries/general companies are using this improved energy source.
Self: In the future, I want to be an environmental engineer, so when I saw the title about human race being reusable for energy it interested me. 
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Options

Mills, Ajanae

Pahomov

English 2

05 April 2016

Options

In life, there’s always those who are superior or those who are the weaker link. As humans we have a common instinct to ignore the weaker link or help them, but whose responsibility is it to actually help that person? The answer is, there isn’t really one set responsibility. The strong take care of the weak if they feel they have a moral responsibility to do so.  

As people, we are sometimes put into situations where we are at that time the stronger person, so we are looked at as if we have a responsibility to take care of those weaker. In Lord of The Flies, a book written by William Golding, a character named Jack took on the responsibility of leading the boys due to the fact that they looked at him as the much more stronger and adamant boy out of the group. Jack recites.. “We’ll get food,” cried Jack. “Hunt. Catch things.. until they fetch us.” (Page 30) As we can see, Jack had no obligation to care for the rest of the boys because one, he was a child himself just like them and he does not know what he had to do to fend for himself in the wild and secondly, he was not the cause of their crash landing onto that island but because he felt morally responsible to help a group a of boys who looked to him as a protector or adamant ruler aka “the stronger person” he took on the responsibility of the group.


As we get deeper into the book, things start to spiral downward. The original elected leader Jack, turns evil or a term we have used previously to identify these actions, “savage”. Jack had clearly separated the island into 2 groups. One called followers and the others called leaders. Despite all of the bad Jack was doing, people still followed behind him like lost puppies while stronger minded characters such as, Ralph decided to step up and take matters into his own hands. Jack had left Ralph, Piggy and some other children behind while taking majority of the boys along with him. “We’ll live on our own. The four of us-” Just like Jack in the previous example Ralph felt as if this was his time to take responsibility being the stronger person out of that small group of kids and step up to protect them. Jack’s tribe was too busy focusing on the slaughtering of pigs and all other types of savage activities that they lost focus of the meaning of strong and the point in taking responsibility. It was not necessarily Ralph’s obligation to take care of these kids, because there was already someone who had vowed to support the boys while on the island but, when he realized responsibility was falling short he stepped up to the plate.


Not relating to the book is a real world example. As US citizens, we know how strong the US is in military, economy and governmental ways compared to a lot of other countries who are fairly behind us. In 1945, at the end of a long known as World War Two, the US bombed Japan twice due to the fact that they would not surrender. This bombing caused the total destruction of their country. Later after this bombing, the US helped in the reconstruction of Japan which later included the occupation of Okinawa by the US military. According to the US department of state, “ Between 1945 and 1952, the U.S occupying forces led by General Douglas A. MacArthur enacted widespread military, political, economic and social reform.” This shows a prime example of moral responsibility held on the backs of a stronger person but in this case society. The stronger person was the U.S and they had every right to feel responsible, seems though they were the ones to originally bomb Japan. In this situation, readers can only guess that guilt drove the US’s moral choice. Maybe they were guilty for the killing of all the innocent children and adults when they bombed them, or the total destruction of a place people called home. Not even long after the bombing of Japan was the US there picking up the pieces they had left behind because they had chosen to.

We will use another example of the US deciding to help with a national interest. That national interest being the Syrian Refugee crisis. The US had taken action along with multiple other countries to help take care of these refugees. Organizations from the US such as WFP (World Food Program) had sent food packages to the Syrian Refugees, the US even arranged areas where these refugees can settle in at, here in the US. This is prime example of shared responsibility. The US took responsibility of this tragic epidemic for one or two reasons, the first reason being it is a national interest and the second reason being morality. The US is known for being a big helper or supporter when it comes to events like that or terrorist attacks and they’re the first there to reach out. Simply because they have a reputation to help others. If a country is that big with lots of resources, why not help the people who are clearly suffering?

Coming to a conclusion, we can see that morality plays a big role in choices people make and things do not always boil down to blame. You do not always have to be the cause of something for you to simply want to help or take the responsibility for it. Throughout Lord of The Flies, we’ve seen multiple choices made by various characters in this book who has made choices based on reality and in real life we see choices made off of morality every single day. Morality is something that plays part in our everyday lives, sometimes we as people need to just open our eyes and look.

Works Cited

  1. Office of The Historian. "Occupation and Reconstruction of Japan, 1945–52 - 1945–1952 - Milestones - Office of the Historian." Occupation and Reconstruction of Japan, 1945–52 - 1945–1952 - Milestones - Office of the Historian. Office of The Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Golding, William, Lord of The Flies,New York: Penguin Group, 2003
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On the Flip Side

Zoë Chernowski

Silver Stream


On the Flip Side

There are always two sides to the same coin, which means that there are always contrasting views in society. One of these strong contrasting views is savagery versus civilized behavior and what they are. One might argue that certain things are savage, such as specific aspects of a religion, while another would view them as civil. However, in truth no one person can decide for the commonwealth what is wrong or right. The definition of "savage" is truly relative to everybody else in the society.


In the beginning of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, a group of schoolboys are stranded on an island. Two of the more popular boys, Ralph and Jack, decide to have a vote and see who should be leader. Ralph wins and the boys gather together and Jack and Ralph agree to form one large group. However, later in the book there were many arguments, and different values prompted Jack to break off from the large group with his group of hunters. Jack and his tribe eventually steals another boy, Piggy’s, glasses to start fires. Ralph and his group is outraged, for if Jack’s tribe wanted fire, they could’ve just asked. Ralph’s group decide to go and confront Jack and his tribe at Castle Rock, Jack’s tribe’s home base. “‘Which is better - to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?’ The great clamor rose among the savages. Piggy shouted again. ‘Which is better - to have rules and agree, or to hunt a kill?’” (180) Here Piggy asks the questions to Jack’s tribe to try to convince them they are being savage. However this is only Piggy’s viewpoint of the situation. To Piggy, rules and a signal fire is the most important thing they should have on the island. Piggy is trying to make it sound universal; that agreements are better than hunting. His thinking of yelling at the boys and making his statement universal is obviously flawed because he’s trying to push his ideals onto people who don’t believe the same. Also consider the argument that all of the children on this island are high class European boys. Their idea of savagery is different from everyone else’s who isn’t a high class European boy, because they are exposed to a certain environment. If savagery is truly defined in all of society, then why were these conflicts of savagery versus being civil created and still exist today?


Connections can be between Lord of the Flies and the real world also. World War II, perhaps one of the most famous wars in world history is one of many examples. One case in point is in the book Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II by Keith Lowe. It explains how Europe was ‘savage’ after World War II based on the author’s research and inferences as a British Historian."As Keith Lowe makes painfully plain, Europe in the months and years after the end of World War II was as much a cauldron of hate, murder and despair as it had been during the reign of Nazi Germany." Lowe likes to argue how Europe was still considered 'savage' even when things were supposed to be 'civil' because the war ended. This is again, another British perspective on the events that followed, and naturally views would be different if someone was not British. Lowe describes a moral collapse of the people, but who is he to judge whether or not other people’s morals ‘collapsed’? Much like Piggy in Lord of the Flies, Lowe is projecting this idea that certain people are savage because they are acting differently than him. The fact that people might be bitter about a war recently lost suddenly makes the losers savages and the people moving on and not reflecting on the recent past, civil. The same values of having these so called ‘rules and order’ make people have this great image of being civil. However, the question must be asked, who makes the rules and does this reflect on the image of being civilized?


Now, back to the points presented in Lord of the Flies. The large group of boys have an assembly to discuss the events and the fear of the beast. However unknowingly to the boys, there is no ‘beast’ and it is nothing more than a dead fighter pilot. However they are all overshadowed with their fear and what to do. In the middle of this fearful debate Ralph and Jack start to question his authority in this time of supposed danger. “‘He’s like Piggy. He says things like Piggy. He isn't a proper chief.’” (126) Here Jack criticizes Ralph, his leadership, and how he’s a coward. Jack exclaims later on that Ralph even said the hunters were useless, but he never retrieved meat for the large group. So what can be seen here is the clear differences in the boy's’ values; Jack values survival on the island and hunting for food, although to Ralph and Piggy, this seems savage because his values are different from their personal ones. Because of these conflicting values and how savagery is relative, these boys tend to clash against each other. Jack is seen as bloodthirsty by the boy’s whose priority is to get rescued, meanwhile Ralph and Piggy seem weak and powerless to the boy’s whose priority is to hunt and survive. This in turn causes the group to crumble and weaken because no one is willing to put everything into other’s perspectives.


Well, how does this relate to the example of World War II? Just like how Jack and Ralph had different views, the opposing countries in the war also had this. There is the other viewpoint on how World War II was 'civil' and actually created a lot of opportunities and sparked a national movement for minorities. This is greatly debated, just like the boys and the view of hunting is savage; the war was savage. However, to prevent the collapse of two different views, put the ‘civil’ parts of the war into light. History, Art, and Archives: United States House of Representatives published information about Black Americans in Congress. A lot of the information given was actually about World War II and how it sparked such a great change in the United States. "It brought economic opportunities and opened new avenues for participation in American society… Wartime experiences also mobilized black political activism." These so called civilized events were all created due to World War II. These events could be represented by the values of the boys in Lord of the Flies; specifically Jack. While the War might seem savage (such as Jack), it actually had a lot of civilized behavior associated to it and not all of the outcomes are considered bad.


So as a whole, savagery and being civilized is relative to what people believe and people’s morals. Ultimately, not just one group of people can consider something concretely bad or good. In order to get the whole picture, one must be willing to look at it in many different perspectives, do not become separated by ignorance like the boys in Lord of the Flies. There’s always three sides to a story after all; yours, mine, and the truth’s.

Works Cited:

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2003.

Yardley, Jonathan. "“Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II” by Keith

Lowe." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 07 July 2012. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinion/savage-continent-europe-in-the-aftermath-of-world-war-ii-by-keith-lowe/2012/07/07/gJQAihmBUW_story.html>.

"The Second World War | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives." The Second

World War. U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <http://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/BAIC/Historical-Essays/Keeping-the-Faith/Second-World-War/>.


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Lord of the Savages

Lord of the Savages

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of the word “civilized” is “marked by well-organized laws and rules about how people behave with each other. On the contrary, “savage” can be defined as “fierce, violent and uncontrolled.” Society often jumps back and forth between the two, which can be seen by taking a look at any country’s history. Going by the aforementioned definitions, one would automatically think that being civilized is much better than being savage. However, there are actually many situations in which savagery is a good option. In fact, savagery can be a better option in extreme circumstances because it can be very beneficial to one or more people in that instance.

In “Lord of the Flies,” a novel written by William Golding, a plane crash results in a group of children being stranded on an island. This forces them to work out a system where they can cooperate and try to survive as long as they can. As one would imagine, that’s easier said than done. After a bit of time passes, the boys are starting to become more and more hostile towards each other. This ends up leading to the death of one of the characters, nicknamed “Piggy.” “Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever. Ralph heard the great rock before he saw it… The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist… the water boiled white and pink over the rock; and when it went, sucking back again, the body of Piggy was gone (180-181).” This conch shell used to be an important symbol in this group. When it was first found, it was used to bring the boys together and helped keep order during meetings and such. The fact that it was broken during this murder in the story demonstrates that any chance of being civilized from this point forward is now gone. This is the one moment that solidifies the group splitting up into two separate groups. The first impression one would get from this is that this moment was not good at all for anyone in the group. However, looking at it from a different angle, one would see who it is good for, which would be Jack, the leader of the group that soon breaks off from the original group, now lead by the main character, Ralph. Jack uses this to bring out more of the evil that’s been building up inside of him. This is what Jack needed in the long run to assert his dominance over everyone else.

By the end of the story, the split has become even more serious with both subgroups acting like completely different tribes. Near the very end, Jack and Ralph are involved in an all out chase around the island. Jack at this point has the intention of killing Ralph off which can only be assumed to be a way for him to become the most powerful of all of the boys there. “Ralph screamed, a scream of fright and anger and desperation (199).” This scream that Ralph let out was the result of Jack’s savage actions. He’s now coming after him with weapons as he burns the forest so that Ralph has nowhere to hide. It is because of these savage actions that Jack is once again able to assert his dominance. Although, turning the perspective around, Ralph wasn’t very civilized either. He didn’t talk it out or try to reason with him in any sense of the word. He was just as much of a violent mess as Jack was by fighting his way through Jack and the others and certain points. Sure, a lot of it was probably out of self-defense, but if we’re going by the definition from earlier, he was definitely “fierce, violent and uncontrolled.” Luckily, this savagery was to his advantage, and he was able to survive long enough for the naval officers to save them all.

Situations like this have happened in real life as well, but probably not on a deserted island full of elementary school students. One major example of this would have to be World War II. This war ended up in the deaths of many people, from both sides in fact. According to History.com, “Among the estimated 45-60 million people killed were 6 million Jews murdered in Nazi concentration camps as part of Hitler’s diabolical ‘Final Solution,’ now known as the Holocaust.” Obviously, this was a dark time in the history of humanity. Despite this, it’s actually a great example of savagery being used to the advantage of certain people. Many territories, America included, didn’t just say “please,” and simply ask the Nazis politely to stop with what they were doing. Obviously they had to get a little savage in their actions. Of course, this is to be expected from an event called the “World War.” In fact, looking at World War II from the Nazis’ point of view, it’s quite clear this held true for them as well. Savagery definitely helped them achieve some of their goals, albeit for a short while. This logic isn’t exclusive to World War II either. In fact, literally any other war in the history of our existence can have the same things said about it. After all, history repeats itself, just like it did in Lord of the Flies. Honestly, it wouldn’t be surprising if Lord of the Flies drew from history, and more specifically, our savage nature to begin with.

Generally, being civilized is much better for the human race in terms of keeping people well and alive. However, that’s not to say that savagery has its own uses. Whether it be in fiction or not, society has seen time and time again the usefulness of having a more vicious side in all of us.



Works Cited


Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2003. Print.


History.com Staff. "World War II History." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.


Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.


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Superior Smearers - By James Thomas

What makes a good leader? Men and women who can hold their own and bolster the attitudes of their subjects. They can put the needs of the people before their own, even going as far as to put their life on the line to save others. They are truly remarkable people, except when it comes to electing them. In some countries, like the United States of America, in order to be given the title of chief, eligible individuals compete by entailing the way they will help the group to future voters. However, when they start to describe the many ways why they are better than the other candidates, this is when the crazy stuff starts happening. They begin to tarnish the reputation of the other competitors in order to make themselves look good. By using degrading tactics on their fellow combatants, they can prove their own reasons why they can be the best head of the group. Therefore, all potential leaders do is slander each other so they can make each other look bad in the eyes of the people they’re supposed to be governing.

In the book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, a good number of boys are stranded on a deserted island after surviving a plane crash that happened to kill  the adults. One of the boys, named Ralph, explores the island and finds a conch. He uses this newfound tool and to summon all of the children towards him. The kids then vote Ralph the leader of the group, much to the dismay of another boy, named Jack. In Chapter 6 of this book, this dismay transforms into spite. After hunting for a supposed beast in the forest area of the island, Ralph, Jack, and another boy are discussing their adventure. But when Ralph talks about the hunters in a negative fashion, Jack becomes indignant. The latter calls his own meeting with the other boys on the island and takes Ralph’s words and warps them in order to use them against him. “‘...Ralph said my hunters are no good.’ ‘I never said that!’”(126) This exchange between Jack and Ralph shows how one potential chief will slander the other to look better in the eyes of the public. When trying to convince his fellow islanders that he should be the new and consistent leader of the big group via displaying his own leadership skills by leading his small group of hunters failed, he turned to dirty tactics to get his way. By warping Ralph’s words and shouting them to the group, Jack implanted the thoughts in the boys that he needed them to have: Ralph has no faith in them. By doing this seemingly little action, Jack has infected the boys’ minds with distrust in the other candidate. This is exactly how Jack was able to start his own group later on. He swayed most of the boys’ opinions to his side by slandering Ralph’s reputation and making him look unfit to lead. This is how he became the leader of the bigger group.

This example from “The Lord of the Flies” can be likened to a different example in the real world. The example of a real election happening right at this very moment between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. These two candidates are the frontrunners for the Republican spot in the Presidential election in the United States of America. Due to this, both of them are trying their hardest to convince the people in every state in the country that they are the best choice for the most taxing job on all the Earth. However, while each of their campaigns were used in a positive manner for a good amount of time, once the going got rough for both of them, slander took its roots in the situation quickly. A few weeks ago, a nude picture of Donald Trump’s wife Melania went around circulating the internet, ridiculing and berating her. Trump was annoyed by this. To retaliate, he falsely accused Ted Cruz of using this picture in an ad of his. On Twitter, he said “Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!” In order to take attention off of himself and his family, Donald Trump had to use slander to put this same attention on his opponent Ted Cruz. This way, all of the eyes in the nation would be on him, awaiting his response, instead of on Trump. This also causes the public to think what secrets Cruz could be hiding from them, and not think about Trump’s wife being the first lady. While at first, Cruz reacted normally in this situation and politely complimented Trump’s wife, he soon followed suit in Donald’s slander and began calling him out, calling him a coward. All this does is prove how easy it is for potential leaders to slander each other in order to make themselves look like the better person to lead to the rest of the public, even in real life.

In conclusion, in both real life and pure fiction examples, potential leaders barate each other and tarnish each other’s reputations in order to get the people’s vote. They do this by slowly putting the negative thoughts of the other candidates in the public’s heads, helping them come to a decision not to vote for them. They can also do this by outright instigating the slander, getting their opponents to react back at them. This makes their opponents look like children in the eyes of the nation instead of themselves, causing the nation not to vote for the opponent. By using slander, future chiefs can have an easier time swaying the people than by saying the good qualities they posses themselves. For this reason, it can officially be said that all prospective heads do is smear the reputations of other people so they can look unfit to lead in the eyes of the subjects they’re supposedly caring for.

Works Cited

Golding, William, Lord of the Flies New York: Penguin Group, 2003.

Drumpf, Donald J. "Lyin' Ted Cruz." Twitter. Twitter, 23 Mar. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <https://twitter.com/realDonaldDrumpf/status/712457104515317764>.


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Meet India’s Feminist “Queen”

Article

Behind all of the beautiful colors, saris and dialogues lies a patriarchy, where men are given the meaty roles and the women are left with the bones. Kangana Ranaut is determined to change that. A girl from a middle class family, often looked down upon simply for biology she can’t change. From a young age, she noticed the difference between the girls and boys in her family. Her brother was supposed to be the breadwinner, savior and everything else. She and her sister were an accident, in attempt of a son. She knew that her parents didn’t have many hopes for their daughters, except to one day get married and have children. She envied that her parents wished only success for her brother and didn’t turn around to encourage her and her sister to do the same. In this anger and frustration, she left her home and went out to follow her dreams.

It took her some time to breakthrough and figure out who she really was. She started from scratch and had a lot to learn. Putting her broken English into pieces and discovering acting changed her life. At only 17, she landed the leading role in a crime drama. The movie (Gangster)]was a box office success and Kangana made her mark as a raw and honest performer in the industry. Throughout her career, her most notable performances include a schizophrenic actress, drug addicted model and villainous shapeshifting mutant. She has time and time again proved her versatility, standing as a strong symbol of a hard working woman in the Bollywood industry. However, her film “Queen” had the biggest impact on audiences. In this film, she essayed the role of a young woman who gets dumped the day before her marriage and decides to go on her honeymoon by herself. It showcases the growth of Kangana’s character Rani and how she discovers who she is. The movie put spotlight on independent women and the importance of being yourself. Through her roles, Kangana has sent her fans and critics alike strong messages of feminism.

Kangana has always been known to speak her mind, without the fear of being politically correct. She has repeatedly talked about the disparity between her paycheck versus her contemporary male actors. She says, “[Men get paid] triple [the amount actresses do]. No one can guarantee the success of a film. So why such discrimination?” This is completely true. After the success of Queen, Kangana’s film Tanu Weds Manu Returns earned over $36 million at the box office which made it the most financially successful Bollywood film with a female protagonist. With each film and interview, Kangana is breaking all boundaries that are set for women and is actively helping to change things in the Indian film industry for women.


Work Cited

"'I Am A Bad-Ass,' Says Kangana On Feminism, Films And Fairness Creams: Full Transcript." NDTV.com. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.





Timeline

  • March 23rd, 1987- Born in Himachal Pradesh, India

  • 2003-4- Moved to Delhi at the age of 17

  • 2006- Release of first film Gangster

  • 2006- Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut

  • 2006 - Release of Woh Lamhe where Kangana played a schizophrenic actress

  • 2008- Release of Fashion where Kangana played a drug addicted model

  • 2008- National Film Award and other accolades for role in Fashion

  • 2011- Release of Tanu Weds Manu where Kangana played an independent college student

  • 2013- Release of Krrish 3 where Kangana played a villainous shape shifting mutant which became one of bollywood’s highest grossing movies of all time

  • 2014- Release of Queen where Kangana played a young woman who is dumped by her fiance who decides to go on her honeymoon herself

  • 2014- National Film Award and other accolades for role in Queen

  • 2015- Release of Tanu Weds Manu Returns where Kangana reprised the role

  • 2016- National Award of Tanu Weds Manu Returns


Reflection

Ever since I can remember, South Asian cinema has surrounded me. As a Bengali American, I have been heavily influenced by this media. So much so that you can call me a bollywood (our version of Hollywood) junkie. The color, costume, music and dramatic nature of the films have always captivated me. However, as I grew up I realized the power that the men in the industry have over mainstream bollywood content. Usually the actors play the main role, with the juicy storyline and amazing characterization. They’re the ones creating, evolving and simply living. On the other hand, the actresses are left to play the flowerpot or “love interest” roles. Enter Kangana, a breath of fresh air.

What inspired me the most about Kangana that from her very first film, she has been changing what it means to be a woman in a place like bollywood. She has almost always chosen roles a conventional actress would typically shy away from because they’re not a ticket to box office success. But she never feared the consequences that her brave decisions may bring. Sure, a few of her films did not work financially, but she has always been praised for her command over her role and strong presence. Her body of work proves her versatility and her eye for strong female oriented films and characters have helped bollywood open their eyes to a rather untapped pool of talent.

Kangana’s strong sense of feminism and want for gender equality is also very inspiring. While women all over the world struggle with the term feminist, she proudly wears it on her sleeve and loves sharing her views with the media and audience. This kind of exposure is extremely important. Bollywood is a billion dollar industry, with many eyes watching their favorite stars. By speaking out publicly about issues of gender equality, her voice reaches so many people. All of this about Kangana and more have inspired me to base my project on her. I hope that Kangana continues this amazing work throughout her career and the rest of her life!

Creative Aspect

Kangana.jpg



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ILP

Ryan King
My Ilp ushering at my church on Sundays has taught me alot about leadership and I have grown to realize the true importance and edification of being actively involved in something other than my phone or my televesion set. Being on the usher board has taught me leadership skills life lessons and moral oblogations that will stay with me untill the day I die. I am very grateful for this experience because it is a big factor in improving my overall personality and because it allows me to do what I love best helping others. 
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Rough Cut Represent, Represent!!!! 4 More Originals Named Finalists in 10-Day Film Challenge

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.08.44 PM
10 DAY FILM CHALLENGE FINALISTS
Last year five of our original shorts made the regional cut, all coming home with hardware! 
Expecting similar results in 2016, with four more up on the big screen at United Artists Riverview Theater in S Philly on 4/21.

By placing, all four are also Official Selections in the 2016 Rough Cut Film Festival (6/13-6/20)

Congratulations to not only these four films, but to the sixteen original shorts produced within two weeks.
So very proud of you all!

"Surveillance"
by Tiarra Bell, Tenzin Chemi and Felix D'Hermillon

"Don't Question it"
by Eamon Kelly, Tamira Bell, Mitchell Berven-Stotz, Sean Morris and Javier Peraza

"Depression. The Man"
by Jules Concepcion, Felix Shafroth Doty, Mark Gucciardi-Kriegh, Daouda Njie and Joaquin Thomas 

"Les Be Friends"
by Zoe Andersson, Xavier Carroll, 
Anastasia Petropoulos, Indee Phillpotts and Cacy Thomas 

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Courtney Smashes 3-Run Triple; Rocket Holds Bodine to 2 Hits, Win 15-1 in Rain

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.17.44 PM
"Calm Before the Storm" by Rough Cut Photographers Crystal Taylor & Ari Haven

For the 3rd consecutive game, Rocket pitchers were downright stingy allowing opponents no more than 2 hits in a game. Lukas Supovitz- Aznar started it off by striking out the side on 10 pitches. He'd eventually strike out 7 in 3 innings of work and only allowed 1 run on 2 singles. Ben Simon, who gets his first start of the year on Wed vs Bracetti, came in for an inning to get loose and struck out the side. Tony Brown made his relief debut in the 5th and literally blew past Bodine hitters with 9 straight strikes, recording two strike outs and forcing a weak tapper back to the mound to end a very soggy afternoon.

Kevin Courtney led the team with 5RBIs, going 3-4 for the 3rd straight game, upping his league-leading total to 13RBIs on the young season with a bases-loaded triple in the 4th to knock Bodine's starter from the game. Lukas Supovitz-Aznar had 3RBIs and Tony Brown, Leon Finney and Aaron Watson-Sharer all had 2RBIs each. Avi Cantor and Alex Torres both laid down perfect bunts for singles and both came around to score in an 8-run third inning. Cleanup hitter- Ijustice Avery- drew three walks, as did Jason Greene and Kristian Ramos in their lone at bats, plus Freshman Kenny Carroll hit a run-scoring pinch hit double to ice the game. 

Next Up: The Rocket is home out in Mt. Airy against Mariana Bracetti Charter on Wed, 4/6. First Pitch 315pm. Come support.

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Braille Literacy

​Braille is a system of writing, reading, and overall communication for blind or visually impaired people. While I knew that I was wondering what else there was to know about Braille. There are currently three styles of Braille, although the basic structure of Braille is made in cells of six, whichever dots are raised corresponds to a letter, and in a single cell there are 36 unique combinations that can be made. Now Braille because it can't actually be physically spoken is technically not a language, and the overall availability of Braille 'speakers' and teachers is scarce. Most blind or visually inhibited people (up to 75% of them) can actually read print, so Braille is almost unnecessary. To write Braille you need a slate and a stylus, a machine that resembles a typewriter, and is really slow to use and produces a lot of noise. Because you need this special tool to create readable Braille text it is more difficult to make universally available for those in need. 

Sources:
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Vietnamese Past and Identity

jlam1's song #2

Mi nombre es Jason Lam

Me familia viene de Vietnam

Tengo catorce años

Me encanta jugar videojuegos, ver televisión, y dormir

Soy ciego, no puedo ver,

Pero yo siempre me trato mejor


Veo la sonrisa de mi prima bebé

Saboreo la tarta de manzana de mi prima

Huelo la cocina de mi abuela

Oigo la música de mi Dan Tranh

Toco abrazos de mi madre


Duermo en la música relajante de un  Dan tranh

Juegos con las lenguas que hablo

Leo el libro de la guerra y inmigración

Me siento en un lugar que se siente como un hogar para mí


Somos la gente de nuestro país

Somos de Vietnam

Vivimos en America

Vivimos en ellos, y viven en nosotros

Hablamos Vietnamita, Chino , y inglés.

Mi madre, hermano menor, y me rezan a Buddha

Celebramos fiestas no de nuestro país de origen

Somos lo que somos.


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