Kwan: Una Canción en Español

Kwan,+un+Español+Canción (2)

Mi nombre es Kwan,

Soy Afroamericano

El hijo de padres

Que trabajan duro

Soy muy cómico

Hijo de Americanos clandestinos

Yo tengo una familia pequeña

Nosotros vivimos en Filadelfia

Filadelfia es mi casa

Tios, padres, y mis abuelitos

Todos de mi familia

Veo los gráficos de videojuegos

Saboreo comida fresca

Toco el pelo de mi gato

Oigo la voz de mi mamá

Huelo pollo frito

El robo de mi patria

Oigo “negro”

Escapo sitios de racismo

Esta es una canción de libertad

Somos productos de Estados Unidos

Somos Americanos

Hablamos parcialmente Español

La lengua es dificil aprender

No somos Africanos

África está en nosotros

Mi familia y yo somos el mejor

y la vida es buena

Advanced Essay #4: What is Good and Evil?

I wrote this essay in hopes to understand if Evil really exist. What I end up coming to the conclusion is that both good and evil do not exist and that we just believe it does. Since we all have common opinions of what we think is bad and what we think is good we let that maifest into Good and Evil.

Wonder fills her eyes as she watches the windows of creativity float above her, reflecting her smiles, laughs, and excitement that sits in the bubbles that float over the nothingness that is the skies. As she sits in the grass, her mind unfolds her world as she enters her own land of imagination. Her youthful glow and her expanding mind adds color to her world. She is Good, however she is also Evil.
One conversation that has no end with different variables that continues to be added along with definitions that continue to change is the battle of “Good versus Evil”. The idea of Good and Evil holds many controversial issues and resonates from our religion and what we are taught at home. However, many people don’t know what Evil actually is and find it unclear. Many religions believe that Good people have Good things happen to them and because of Evil, bad things happen to the Good people. They are fed the idea that Good and Evil is always balanced, but people argue that Evil rises over Good in their lives. The one thing that is known but many will not believe is Evil does not exist and neither does Good. Evil is an empty word and Good people can be perpetrators of Evil.
In the TED Talk, “The Psychology of Evil”, Philip Zimbardo says “The line between Good and Evil to the privileged, is fixed but movable.” An excellent example of this is murder. If a human murders another human, it is considered Evil. Somehow the small difference in scenarios can  erases Evil. The line between Good and Evil can was be moved in the minds of those who are observing only one of the acts as Evil. If a man murders another man, the murderer is considered Evil. When a man is put on trial and gets the death sentence, the officer that pulls the switch to the electric chair is a murderer, but because it's his job and the man getting the death sentence is considered Evil, the act by the officer is somehow Good. An officer of the law that acts as the executioner for a death sentence is the same job of a hitman. A hitman’s job is to kill anyone that a consumer wishes to to perish. Many would say that what a hitman does makes him Evil. What makes it Evil? If a hitman kills a rapist or another murder, is is still considered just as Evil as the hitman killing someone that a consumer just do not like? The judge that sentenced the convicted man to a death sentence simply had an alternate choice to to send the murder to jail, however because he wishes for the man to perish he sends him to his death. The officer that does the deed is hired to do so, the officer is a hitman. The two men in the scenario are doing the same Evil deed but only one is considered Evil. Evil is just the opinion that resonates from your morales implanted by the way you were raised. Good is what you prefer and Evil is what you don’t prefer.
In the essay, “The problem of Evil”, Jeff Speaks says “God is omnipotent; God is wholly Good; and yet Evil exists. There seems to be some contradiction between these three propositions, so that if any two of them were true the third would be false. But at the same time all three are essential parts of most theological positions: the theologian, it seems, at once must and cannot consistently adhere to all three… A related idea is that Evil is necessary as a means to bringing about Goodness. The basic idea here is that God uses Evil to bring about Goodness, in much the way that we find that we often have to do something painful, like going to the dentist, to bring about some desirable end, like fixing a cavity.” Evil is what shows Good and Good shows what is Evil , without both, society can crumble and go out of control. Without Good there is chaos. Without Evil there is chaos. Balance is key. Ying can not live without Yang, and Yang cannot live without Ying. The subconscious idea layered in your brain, Evil, is completely and utterly relative. Evil only exist because we exist and and we let the idea manifest. The world and reality itself is neutral. The meaning of Good and Evil does not exist anywhere but our minds. Philosophers try to explore what Good and Evil is and it always relates back to religion, mainly back to the scripture of the bible, “Ezekiel”. They say that God is the all Go and that he created Evil and Hell. He was the one who put one and two together by putting the Evil in his own domain of Hell. God could have locked the domain to ensure that all of his neutral creations do not get influenced by Lucifer. God left it open and instead of it being a place to keep all Evil in as a prison, Hell became a security and shelter for Evil. God supposedly allows for Lucifer to walk the earth and along with his followers to influence the Good and turn them Evil. God supposedly created everyone and everything. People of the Christian faith were told that he created Lucifer and Lucifer was his favorite angel. I believe he was his favorite angel because at the time, there was no Evil, and God wanted to use Lucifer to change that. Good and Evil at the time was supposedly turned and favored on the Good side because there was no opponent. Therefore, there was no Good because there was no Evil to complete the definition. Lucifer “turned” on God. God is all Good and all knowing, so of course he knew of this was going to happen when he first created him. I believe God created Lucifer because he needed Evil. He gave Lucifer free will but just like everyone else, it was already programed in his brain of what Evil is. God created him with the intention of becoming Evil. By the power of free will, Lucifer was able to do what god wanted him to do.
In a Bible study scripture Lucifer's Rebellion, “Evil did not originate on planet earth. Before God created earth, he had already populated the universe with other rational beings. The Bible calls these beings "angels," and names several different orders. Angels have often been made to appear as fantasy by those seeking to discredit their existence… The angels, like mankind, were created with free will, and were subject to the same conditions regarding their eternal life. The most prominent of these chose to rebel against God. In order to understand the conditions in which we live today, we need to understand this angel and how he came to rebel against God.” Reality cannot be neutral without two sides for it to stand in the middle. So if Good and Evil does exist, which is completely possible since it's all a matter of opinion; Reality holds the scale that Good and Evil balance on. If one of the components are gone then the whole scale does not exist. God needed Evil for Good to exist and since Evil was created by Good, Evil cannot exist without Good. Reality is the free will of the life. The scale acts as a bridge to challenge free will. There is nothing stopping one that is Good from becoming Evil; and one that is Evil from becoming Good. So the question lies, will you become Good or will you become Evil?

Advanced Essay #4 Post Trauma Griffin Gallagher

​In this essay I wanted to work on expanding my vocabulary by trying to reword myself using words I would not usually use in an essay. I also looked up synonyms of some words in order to use a broader vocabulary. I also worked on my editing skills, by watching kia as she edited my paper. She gave me a few good tips and tricks that will help me in the future.

War has been used for as long as history remembers as a tool of groups to get other groups to do what they want, this means giving up resources or land, or changing social policies or even just to destroy rivals. Everyone looks at the larger group, but almost no one looks at how each individual soldier handles  war.

Many soldiers are affected by a severe mental disease, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. PTSD is caused by a person experiencing a traumatic event like a natural disaster, a terrorist attack,  sexual assault or rape, and military combat. Only 4 out of 100 (4%) civilian men and 10 out of 100 (10%) of civilian women will develop PTSD., but this number jumps to roughly 15 out of 100 (15%) regarding veterans. These statistics come from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

PTSD has no known cure, but there are ways to suppress the symptoms, such as therapy and psychiatry. I seen an image of a man from Vietnam running away from a fiery napalm blast. He could most definitely hear the last screams and cries of the enemy soldiers. He heard their last breaths. The soldier is being torn apart inside by many mixed emotions. On one hand, he must be happy because there is no longer an immediate threat to his life, but on the other hand, he feels remorse for taking away the lives of so many people. Traumatic events such as the one described in this picture can cause PTSD. Soldiers living with this mental disease are not lost though, as I have said before there are lots of treatments.

However, these treatments are not always given to the people who really need it. One case of this is a man known as Eddie Ruth. Eddie served in the marines on three tours in Iraq and suffered from extremely severe ptsd. He depended on his mom to take care of him. Each day she drove him to work in the morning, but after work Eddie had a short period of time by himself in the afternoon before his mother got home. Eddie’s mother feared and prayed to herself every day on the way home, she feared he would kill himself due to all the stress. Eddie got no treatment for his PTSD, the veterans hospital said he had no signs of the disease and therefore would not pay for the expensive and long term therapy. One day Eddie was taken out to a shooting range by a man named Chris Kyle, also known as “The American Sniper,” the most efficient sniper the U.S. Navy Seals has ever had on record with over 150 confirmed kills. Kyle and a friend were taking Routh to a shooting range to help him cope with his PTSD, but it took an unfortunate twist when they got there. Kyle and his friend Littlefield were both shot and killed in cold blood by Eddie Routh. The two men didn't even have a chance to fight back, their guns were both holstered, the safeties still engaged. This is a perfect example of how not getting the proper treatment for PTSD can be dangerous, and in some circumstances even fatal. At his trial they argued that he was insane and had severe PTSD. His mother gave this statement, “This was a 6-foot-2 Marine, A tough man calling for his mama." This was in context to the fact that some nights Routh would get so scared he would have to sleep in bed with his mother. All this could have been avoided if the Veterans hospital would've given him the proper treatment. Since the military is a very large part of this country, we need to pay as much attention to the soldiers who are home as we do to the soldiers who are on the front lines. PTSD is a large part of the military, and since the military is a large part of America, PTSD should also be a large part of the things we address on a daily basis. Eddie Routh is just one example; how many other tragedies could be prevented if we just spent a little bit more time and money on our soldiers when they come home from war? We need to stop forgetting about our Veterans.

Advanced Essay #4: Violence

My goal for this essay was to try and think outside of the box. Fortunately I found a source and a photo that I did not originally think of soon after the assignment was assigned. After writing the essay I am proud of what I wrote. I think that it is an idea that I normally wouldn’t think off but it is executed in a way that makes sense. I was really able to get into this essay because I connected well to the topic, making it easier to write.

There are two women who are about to commit a “crime of passion” and murder each other because they feel too much and can not live with or without the other. (2) Or they are two women who are in love with the same man and found out that that man is cheating on one of them with the other. Neither option is justifiable but option 2 is the lesser of two evils. I would not approve of option 1 because, you can not love and abuse. There is no way that you can care and want to nurture someone so much, that you have to murder them. When you take a good look at it, the idea of “crimes of passion” sounds crazy. Option 2, while still crazy, is slightly less crazy because the women do not love each other. They love a man who may or may not love the both of them (which brings up a whole new question of how many people one can love at once). Anyway, since the women do not love each other, they could argue crime of passion based on their love of the man. The two women are about to kill each other to eliminate competition not to express love. Again it could not be that they are killing each other for the man, in that case could be murder for love.

Violence is beyond the control of human choice. Many see violence and think that it can be easily prevented, too many think that peace is as simple as conversation, empathy and understanding. The brutal reality is that doing the right thing is not as easy as it looks. Violence is a symptom of oppression and fear.  The human race can not react when they feel they are being threatened by a more powerful or treacherous system. The reason why the violence continues after the lesser force takes power or gains the upper hand is still a result of fear. Many would ask, What if they are an evil society promoting destructive ideas and destroying the people around them? Wouldn’t it be necessary to bring the system down possibly by using violence?  To that I would say that  I do not believe that humans want to be violent, we simply want to protect ourselves and our communities. Even if they are protecting something destructive it is theirs and they feel threatened that someone is going to take it away, so they may feel that violence is the only way to protect their way of life.

After reading the Chapter 3 and watching Time Wise’s video, I noticed a pattern of white divide. What stuck out to me the most was the class difference within the white race. I think that as a minority, I have a hard time imagining white people as a diverse culture of people. I do recognize that the white race is not a race of people who are collectively rich and ignorant; but in the society that we live in we tend to see white people in one light, scared, so scared that they forget how to treat other people.

That is most evident in the reading, Zinn says “The Indians were plundered by white frontiersmen, who were taxed and controlled by the Jamestown elite.” In this quote you can clearly see that there is a group of white citizens who are clumped in with all the other minorities. Later in the chapter Zinn raises a very interesting question/idea, why didn’t the native American’s, African/African American’s, and lower class white people come together to raise their standard of living? This is a question that I have later asked myself before, especially concerning, the Native American’s and African’s/African American’s.

What I later came to learn is that, Native American’s tried to help the enslaved African’s. They hid runaway slaves and integrated the Africans into the community. Unfortunately this system did not last very long. White masters quickly caught on to what was happening, knowing that they could not physically overpower the Native American’s and take back their slaves, they used the only other form of power that they had, money. After the Native American’s were paid off they surrendered and disclosed the whereabouts of the hidden slaves.

This idea is a wonderful segway into what we know today as, white privilege. These accounts of Native American’s being manipulated by white people dates back to the 1700’s. Evidently the idea of white privilege is not new and white people continue to benefit from it. Both the reading and the video made me think of the idea of white privilege and how it has evolved and changed through the years. From what I understand from the reading and video, white privilege was simply a system of manipulation. White people blatantly used their money people to get what they want and control people, It seemed necessary then. White people were not the majority but they wanted the control and had the means to get it. If I were them I most likely would have done the same. They knew that other people and civilizations were stronger and more familiar with the land.  

This reading and video enabled me to look from the point of view of the historical oppressor. I was never able to identify with the other side and I judged them for their choices and means of control, and use of violence as a means of oppression. After further analysis I was able to see that both sides could not help but use violence. The white colonist were under the impression that the Africans and the Native Americans were trying to destroy their way of life. With no way of verbally communicating with other people, they used what they could to protect themselves. As a result the Africans and Native Americans defended themselves. One of the biggest systems of violence can be seen as a misunderstanding with a symptom of violence. No one set out to act maliciously.

My Photo: Yinka-Shonibare-sculpture3.jpg

Polson ILP check-in February

As many of you probably know if you have read my past updates.  I am doing an ILP with the Give and take jugglers.  A Philly based juggling organization that does shows at local festivals and conventions such as Philly folk fest which is something they do every year and I probably will be performing in.  (hopefully).  But lately I have been working on a routine with what are called cigar boxes (here is a video to show you what kind of stuff you can do with them)
Cigar box juggling is sort of a lost art and not that many people do it now adays which is why I enjoy doing it.  I like doing things that not many people do, it makes you stand out in the croud.  But anyways my routine is coming along really well and i am really exited for folk fest this year when I will most likely present it to an audience for the first time.

E1 U5 "La Hija de Fé"

La Hija de Fe

La Hija de Fé

By: Naima DeBrest  

Naima DeBrest

Soy yo

La hija de padres cariñosos

Yo fuerte y suave

Producto de África y Filadelfia

Nina sin hermanos pero con muchos hermanos de corazón

Veo gente caminando dentro de y afuera de la casa

Oigo la canción de jazz

Saboreo el trabajo de mi familia

Toco la piel de mis abuelos

Huelo el perfume de la primavera

Bailo a la música de jazz

Nado en la piscina de la risa

Escucho a la historia de mi familia

Como la comida de alma

Somos productos de Filadelfia y la Africa

Soy yo

Hablamos la lengua de amor

La lengua de verdad y la fé

Vivimos en América pero la África vive en nosotros

La encrucijada nosotros enfrentamos

Nos hace fuertes

Por la encrucijada podemos vivir

Zaeem Wallace-Parker Advanced Essay #4

My main goal on writing this paper was to really just expose some of you on what goes on in my everyday life. Living in South Philadelphia is basically word for word on what I explained in this paper. I've been raised in it for 16 years so my information is mainly correct due to my knowledge and what I was taught from family. I mean 16 years, what other sources should I be looking for besides family? 

What is war? What do you see when you think of war? Philadelphia is a city that has been under the influence of war for decades now.  It’s not an ordinary war such as  blacks against whites, nor criminals against the government, it’s the citizens of Philadelphia versus the citizens of Philadelphia. Violence, neglect, and pain is the outcome of it all as the city battles itself. The city has been prayed for by many of people, the government has been act to be more strict, miracles has been wished upon, all to stop the war. No one really understands the war of the city of Brotherly Love.

The annual average  of homicides for the past decade in Philadelphia is 283. This means at least over two hundred people have been killed per year since 2006. These numbers consist of people of all races being murdered by people of all races. Many and most of these murders were committed by Philadelphians on Philadelphians. Moreover, this war has carried on for more than 10 years however, families, friends, and loved ones have all been victims to the war within the city. It’s not just violence that carries this war on either. The School District keeps taking money away from the budget because they believe students don’t want to learn. However, this belief is contradicting because it counts out for those who really do want to learn. It takes away many opportunities for all of students in total. Athletics, Lunch/Breakfast, and of course Education are the 3 major factors when it comes to school. If the School District of Philadelphia keep taking away money that they’re supposed to spend on these 3 things for the school and putting it else where, how will the schools be successful? Science Leadership Academy is one of the most successful public schools in Philadelphia and it’s location allows the students to be exposed to many different things. However, the school doesn’t have or own any location for any of its sports teams. Now, why would one of the best high schools in Philadelphia not have at least 1 facility for at least 1 of its sports team you may ask. It’s because the School District of Philadelphia is failing and the more it fails, the more students began to take the wrong path. With that happening, the more the war increases.


Another major piece of the war is the tension between the government, mainly the law enforcers, and the citizens of Philadelphia. In the picture above, it is an image of a dark figure (preferable black) shooting and murdering a cop (preferable white) inside of Philadelphia police car. Why? What may have caused a man to commit such a crime? Now in the specific example it is a black male, however this not the scenario for this case. Whites, Hispanics, Asians, etc. have all been engaged in this fight with the police of Philadelphia. The police of Philadelphia have been historically known for their overly authorized activity. There are records on records of cases where police have violated the rights of citizens of Philadelphia. However, due to their position within the city, the cases are normally won by the police and the result of all of this is just more war.

Now, with all this war going, how do the citizens of Philadelphia continue to live within it? Citizens born and raised within the city of Philadelphia have so much pride for the city of Brotherly Love that they don’t see the war, as a war. It brings you back to the question of what is war? Statistically, war is believed as “love for ones nation/home”. The people of the place that is going at war will never really see the negativity of the war due to their love for their home. Kevin Cook is 25 year old photographer who one day woke in the middle of the night to gunshots outside of his home in North Philadelphia. The next morning the family of murdered victim were grieving at the corner of Kevin’s street and Kevin decided to take photos to promote the sympathy for the family. During his new interview Kevin talked about how the violence in Philadelphia needs to come to an end but he then followed up on with those statements on how much beauty he sees within Philadelphia, regardless of the whole reason he was given an interview. I’m not saying the pride of the citizens of Philadelphia is bad but, the pride holds majority, not all, of the citizens to make an effort to stop the war going on. Our government is democratic, so if we can’t get the people to be against the war, it’ll just get worst.

The people of Philadelphia has endured so much of this war. However, the effort of the people to prevent the war has been very weak due to many different reasons. The war causes a lot of the issues that goes on in the city today and it’s getting to the point where it is becoming unstoppable.

Warning Militarized Drones Above

The advancement of militarized warfare is a topic that I have been interested in ever since I learned about militarized drones and airstrikes. Through this piece of writing I wanted to convey both sides of this argument for and against drones and mentioning why we would be better off with drones as long as there is maximum security, subservience and supervision. Although it is important to see the other side. No drones would be a slightly more peaceful path, when taking into account that weapons are very harmful, and ideally, and would without military or weaponry could in theory be possible, but unfortunately, because we live in a world filled with violence and destruction drones can be a possible safeguard possibly stopping bigger or larger threats.  

Drones are incredible robots that can be used to do so much more than just attack. Many drones are used to film video and take pictures high above where we couldn’t reach, and are also able to detect weather patterns and hotspots in forest fires. They are also probably used to spy on everyone, possibly to detect crime or violence. They are really useful machines, and they have obviously become weaponized. This unsurprisingly created a lot of controversy over whether drone warfare was just or fair, or if it was simply killing, or murder. People wondered if drones more or less beneficial than modern/guerrilla warfare and if strikes were causing more harm than good. This is not the right way to go about this issue. Debating back and forth on weather drone strikes are necessary, is a waste of time. Instead we should be focused more on how to properly manage drone warfare, and warfare in general.

Many agree that the right procedures need to be executed, and security definitely needs to be re enforced when it comes to a weapon like a militarized drone. Research and correct calculations need to be performed and completed flawlessly, ahead of time so that we are capable of carrying out drones strikes that are as free of human error and as accurate as possible. It certainly would be hard for everything to be completely perfect, but when this process is done to the best of everyone's ability, the safer everyone will be. Certainly there will always be casualties. This is unfortunately a negative side effect of war, but there are a lot less civilian deaths than if modern/guerrilla warfare were to take place. The more security we have, the possibility of an accidental disaster of several innocent civilians being killed during a strike could be diminished.

This militarized drone above tells a slightly suggestive story about an airstrike, although with not much context it can be up to the viewer to figure out the whole arc of what is going on. The drone has just fired a missile which most likely means that somewhere, several thousand miles away, a general has ordered a modern day soldier, who is piloting the drone, to take aim and fire on the target in question. In an idealist, utopian world the missile would strike its target perfectly, and on impact, there would be minimal destruction only killing the individual, or those who were targeted. Everyone else would be safe and there would be no injuries on innocent civilians nearby. Unfortunately we don’t live in a fairy tale, and drone strikes are very dangerous.

According to The Huffington Post, on their article titled The Drone Papers, in Afghanistan, “between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets.” The article goes on to state that, “During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly ninety percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets.” These two stats may differ slightly for thirty five out of two hundred is definitely greater than ten percent accurate, which is what the other source suggests, but no matter the slight difference in these percentages, based on the data it would seem as if these particular drone strikes weren’t completely accurate. In fact the article states that the U.S. had very little intelligence and evidence of who their target was when it came to these particular drone strikes. The fact that everyone involved had very little idea of what exactly was going on is extremely irresponsible on the half of the general, and on the intelligence researchers. Sloppy situations such as this one are unbelievably wrong that it causes so many people to question the benefits of drone warfare, although if done correctly, can be effective and clean. It is possible for drone strikes to not be a disaster, and cause only slight damage on civilians nearby.

According to The New York Times article titled The Moral Case for Drones, and research that was conducted by Avery Plaw, who studies political science at the University of Massachusetts, of four drone strike incidents that occurred in Pakistan, between four percent and twenty percent of those killed were innocent civilians. This is an example of a drone strike done properly, and executed efficiently. It is certainly possible that there can be arguments stating that twenty percent is a little high, but compared to modern day guerilla warfare, where around forty six percent of all deaths are of civilians, twenty percent is fairly minor. Plaw also found in his research that forty six percent happened to be a low percentage. In fact, “In conventional military conflicts over the last two decades, he found that estimates of civilian deaths ranged from about 33 percent to more than 80 percent of all deaths.” Now, when thinking about the fact that Ninety percent of civilians die due to some airstrikes may not seem entirely unreasonable for the reasons that modern day guerilla warfare can cause up to eighty percent of the death be civilians deaths.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that these statistics are based on the death of civilians in other countries. Taking into account the fact that very little of our soldiers even get wounded from these drone strikes is a huge plus to us. While there is obviously some debate on whether drone strikes are dangerous to innocent civilians it definitely does not mean that drones are absolutely terrible. Drones are quite useful when it comes to the killing of only one or a few people who pose a threat to us and to others without starting a full out war. So, while a more reasonable story for the picture above would be that the missile strikes down possibly killing the target or targets and innocent civilians, causing many injuries, it still doesn’t mean that drones are bad, unethical, unreasonable and murderous.

"The Drone Papers - The Huffington Post." Web. 22 Mar. 2016. <>.

Shane, Scott. "The Moral Case for Drones." The New York Times. The New York Times, 2012. Web. 22 Mar. 2016. <>.

Advanced Essay #4: War Beyond the Battlefield

Upon beginning this paper I had a very set idea for what I wanted to write about, the war within oneself. Yet, during the peer editing process I determined that I would need to narrow my thesis in order to stray from sounding vague. My final thesis involved the consideration of PTSD acting as a war in a veterans mind long after they have exited the battlefield. I must admit that at first I felt very uninspired concerning the general topics of this paper. However, the more research I did, the more engaged I became. The development of my larger idea was not done in a premeditated fashion, it developed over the course of my writing. This was most satisfying to me, the fact that I didn’t have to search for a larger idea, on the contrary it came to me.

Picture this, a black and white image depicting a close up of an older man. His face is the focus in the image. Crinkles surround tightly shut eyes. His mouth seems to be pursed due to creases, yet it is hard to tell because of his white beard, which traces across his upper lip and down to his chin, crawling up either side of his face. The eyebrows of the old man are knit together, forming an indentation in the space between. The old man appears to be recalling something in his mind unknown to the viewer. The memory does not appear to be a pleasant one due to his expression, the mixture of a wince and a grimace. This man is a veteran. When veterans come home from war there are many issues a previous soldier can face: problems with the VA, homelessness, yet those who never served in the army fail to consider the war that wages beyond the battlefield long after the battle is over.

In PBS’s interview Moral Wounds of War, a soldier's experience is referenced as following “For some, unless they get called back the war is over. For others, it’s only begun.” This so called war which is referenced throughout the article is otherwise known as PTSD. PTSD is the main cause for much of the trouble that follows a vet. Violent outbreaks, a symptom of this disorder, can land many in jail.  Other futures for vets with PTSD hold homelessness, prosecution, and suicide. Many have guilt in relation to events which occurred during combat. The absence of god is another aspect that many question.  This source held many bits of statistical evidence to support my topic, as well as a relevance that opened doors to new perspectives.

When a soldier exits the battlefield it is expected that the war is finally over. However PTSD is an ongoing, raging battle that can affect many veterans long after the war is over. Mike from the veteran panel is an example of this effect. It was not necessarily that he came right out and said “I have PTSD”, it was more like the underlying tone he carried when referring to himself.  Whenever Mike mentioned his skill it was never in the light of benefit or value but in the sense of spastic failures. To be at war with yourself doesn’t mean you have ever had to experience the likes of war. It is more of a state of being.  Having low-self esteem, something that leaves people with the emotions of being a consistent failure and carrying a lot of guilt due to that whether there is truth to it or not.  

“I like to talk about the moral emotions of war, and they include wounds, but they’re the hard, bad feelings that may erode at your character.” Said professor Nancy Sherman from Georgetown University. War is not only physical but mental too and it is something that needs to be realized.

Advance Essay #4

After writing this essay it has changed my view on war but I also think the whole unit did that as well. I knew what war was but I didn't really know what war meant. I knew that war was two or more groups of people fighting because they had two different viewpoints on a problem. I thought it ended there. I didn't know what war meant to those who fought in the war. I didn't know what happened to them,. Physically, mentally or emotionally. Now I have a different viewpoint on war.

You are fighting a war in a foreign country.  You are thousands of miles away from your wife and two kids.  You think about them everyday.  You imagine the beauty of your wife and you see the kids in the backyard playing with the dog. You are fighting this war just to get back to them safely and you’re family prays for the same thing.  They miss you and all they want is for you to come back home in one piece. Then you hear shots fired and you awake from your dream. The enemy performed a surprise attack at your base, bullets are being shot in the air and fly inches from your head.   At the end of the battle you see your best friend dead.  He grew up with you in the same town.  He went to your high school.  You guys won the state championship together.  He was the one who kept you sane in a place of constant violence.  Now he lies lifeless on the ground and you lose it.  When he died to took something with him that you can’t really explain.  This changes you for the rest of your life.  You see the image of his body on the ground for the rest of your life and you will never be able to escape it.

War is not something that is new to the United States.  The United States has been fighting a war over 90% of the time that we have been a country.  As a country we seem to be in love in the idea of war.  War has been an essential part of our identity since our founding fathers signed the declaration of independence.  We took one of the most powerful country at the time for our independence and won.  Since then we have had the mentality that if we don’t agree with something that the first option is war and that we will eventually win.  That we have the responsibility to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.  While this is a noble cause, what we don’t realize is that not only are we hurting and killing the people we are fighting but we are slowing hurting and killing those who we send overseas to fight for us.

Some veterans are affected by Post-traumatic stress disorder.  According to the Mayo Clinic, Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD is “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event - either experiencing it or witnessing it.  Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, mood disorders and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”  These events can include being in war or seeing death.  Many war veterans come back from deployment with this.  According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, up to 20% of veterans that served in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) has been diagnosed with PTSD at one point.  About 12% of veterans from the Gulf War has diagnosed with PTSD.  During Vietnam it is estimated that 30% of Vietnam Vets had PTSD in their lifetime.

So what happens in the brain when someone has PTSD?   Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PHD, who is a writter for said “Understanding how PTSD alters brain chemistry is critical to empathize with the condition of the victims and devise treatment methods that will enable them to live fully and fulfill their true potential.”   After studies of the brains of PTSD patients researchers have a little more understanding on what plays a role in the brain.   There are three big parts of the brain that plays a major role in PTSD.  The parts are the amygdala, hippocampus, and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.  In the first region, the hippocampus, PTSD patients show a reduction in the volume in this area.  The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is responsible for memory functions.  It helps a certain person to create new memories and retrieve them for a later time when in a relevant environment.  This part of the brain also allows us to tell the difference between past and present memories.  With this reduced volume in the hippocampus, people with PTSD can not tell the difference past and present experiences.  The second region is the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.  This is the region of the brain that is responsible for regulating emotional responses triggered by the amygdala.  PTSD patients also show a decrease in the volume of this area which explains the why people who suffer from PTSD exhibit fear, anxiety and extreme stress.  The last region of the brain is the amygdala.  In this region, patients show hyperactivity in response to stimuli that are connected to the individual traumatic experience of the patient.

War veterans who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder also could have a higher rate of suicide.  According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, going through a traumatic experience can increase a person’s suicide risk. Veterans Affairs said “Studies show that suicide risk is higher in persons with PTSD. Some studies link suicide risk in those with PTSD to distressing trauma memories, anger, and poor control of impulses. Further, suicide risk is higher for those with PTSD who have certain styles of coping with stress, such as not expressing feelings.”  Since we know more about PTSD, there are better treatments available.  Treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, which allows those affected by PTSD to understand and change how they think about their trauma.  Or exposure therapy.  The goal of exposure therapy is to help control your thoughts and feelings.  Therapy along with medication like antidepressants can help people affected by PTSD to live a more normal life.

So how can we prevent this?  How can we lower the amount of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder?  How can we lower the amount of veteran suicides because of PTSD?   I believe that we can end this by not seeing war as the only solution to a problem.  But can we stop doing this?  One day in my English class we had two Vietnam War.  The names of the veterans were Mike and John.  They were from the Veterans For Peace chapter in Philadelphia.  After a very interesting presentation,  I was able to ask one of the veterans a question.  I asked “Can you imagine a society rooted in nonviolence?”  The veteran looked at me for a minute as I waited for a response.  He said “ I think I can but if that were to happen if would have to start from the ground up.  We as citizens would need to take a stand.”  We need to see war for what it is and break up with it.  Not only is war hurting the brains of soldiers but it is also driving some to the point of wanting to take their own life.  Once we can take a stand together as one, that is we can finally start the healing process of the thousands and thousands of men and women who were willing to die to protect their friends, family and country.

Works Sited

"PTSD: National Center for PTSD." Mental Health Effects of Serving in Afghanistan and Iraq -. U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2016. <>

"PTSD: National Center for PTSD." Treatment of PTSD. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


"PTSD: National Center for PTSD." Suicide and PTSD. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


"America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776." Washingtons Blog. Washingtons Blog, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


"Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


"PTSD: National Center for PTSD." How Common Is PTSD? -. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


Wlassoff, Viatcheslav, PhD. "How Does Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Change the Brain?" Brain Blogger How Does PostTraumatic Stress Disorder Change the Brain Comments. Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation (GNIF), n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>

Advanced Essay #4: War and Violence


At the beginning of writing this paper I was struggling with what I should focus on as my main question. When looking back at my annotated bibliography I found that I really liked the third image that I chose to describe. I decided to use that description to help form my wider question. That gave me my goal, which was to be able to connect all of my ideas to that one picture description. Like always I wanted to write something that I was proud of as well as something that I thought covered my thoughts on how war and violence affect people, based on environment and situation. I think that I could make this a stronger piece by including more sources that I had in my annotated bibliography. I only focused on two and it would be much stronger with more evidence.

“And just as a cancer patient must at times ingest a poison to fight off a disease, so there are times in a society when we must ingest the poison of war to survive. But what we must understand is that just as the disease can kill us, so can the poison,” Chris Hedges.  People who believe that war and violence are the only solutions to things seem to turn a blind eye to what comes with them. Lives are always lost, and I don’t just mean casualties. War changes people, the experiences that come along with battle are not easily forgotten, as we learned from the Vietnam veterans who came in. Men who weren’t in actual physical battle have and live with survival guilt. Like with some sort of cure, the side effects of war are glossed over and it is forgotten that real people with very real lives were involved, not robots and not ghosts. For many people involved in a war, there is this feeling of a loss of time. This is one “side effect” of war. It is not only the loss of lives but the loss of time spent with family and friends. War messes with these men's minds, yet it seems that for many, if they pretend that these soldiers are problemless than in their eyes they actually are.

There is an image in black and white of a little girl who looks like she’s walking towards something passed the camera. She has her right hand up. Behind her are the wreckage of some buildings. They look like they are on the verge of collapse and there is debris everywhere. A crane is reaching towards the top of one of the buildings but it looks old and not strong. Something bad obviously happened here. Either an explosion or some type of bombing. There’s a woman slightly farther back than the girl who is looking at the little girl and looks like she’s trying to say something to her. Possibly telling her to come back or something along those lines. There is also a man standing in the background just looking at the girl. This image shows how violence blinds people from things that really matter. It is a perfect example of the overlooked and forgotten side effects of war and violence. Those buildings could’ve been that woman and child’s home, or her school. That little girl will always have this image in embedded in her mind and it will most certainly be more real than just viewing the picture.


People's environments affect how they act. It’s like how if you grew up in a city, you’re used to the city, but if you grew up in the suburbs you’re used to the suburbs. When you are put into an environment that you’re not used to, you never know how you’re going to react or what kind of person you’ll turn into. Like in the book, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. One of the men, Azar, always talks about killing and death. He’s not afraid of it, and it’s more than a fascination. He enjoys it. If Azar was not brought to Vietnam, I think that he would be a very different person but since this is the only setting we see him in, this is the only version of Azar that we get. When another member of the platoon, Kiowa, died, all of the men searched for his body. During this time Azar kept making jokes about Kiowas situation that the other men didn’t find amusing. They were jokes that you didn’t make about someone who just died. Once they found Kiowa's body, Azar’s comments completely changed, he apologized and took back all of the jokes he previously had said. You can see how war makes people react to different situations in certain ways and if Azar was not in the Vietnam war he wouldn’t make these jokes. In a way, they are a type of coping mechanism.

War and violence numbs its creators and the people that are roped into it. It makes humans forget what really matters. It’s like a drug, dulling human's thought process and emotions. I think it’s important for people to realize this. Important for the people who are directly affected by war and violence but also to the people who do not realize that it is not only these people's faults. It is also the fault of the higher ups, the people who couldn’t care less about the men and women that are sent to fight wars that for some, they don’t even believe in. The same people who are putting their lives on the line just to please someone who has more power are not given what they need to live as good of a life as possible after their experiences. Even after the fighting and the violence is over, for many, the war still rages on in their heads.

Work Cited

"Interview: Chris Hedges." Interview. Religions and Ethics Newsweekly 31 Jan. 2003. PBS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway, 1998. Print.

Advanced Essay #4: A Comparison of Old and New American Militarism

My goals for this paper was to reflect on the ideas of how America focuses on only winning wars and conflicts. Without thinking about the detrimental factors that can happen or continue to evolve through the action of militarism and violence. I think that this project was very well organized beginning with finding an image that could help lead me into the development of my paper. Honestly, I feel like it has helped me stay on focus also with my ideas and answering my essential questions. If I could change anything about this paper it would be to find possibly more sources and extent the word count.

The sound of prideful theme music fills speakers with trumpets, violins and other angelic instruments. You could picture a group of soldiers running or an American Flag nevertheless the real image was a fast-paced selection of previous wars that America intervened in. The commercial connects to a theme of strength, nationalism and militarism. Such as the image that I found that shows the prominent girl running in Vietnam on June 8, 1972 with no clothes. Surrounding her are other people from her country. Yet, in the far back there are soldiers just walking along guiding them from the rubble not even trying to help them. The young girl who is named Phan Thị Kim Phúc, is looking for faces that she might know or even her own parents. Running and crying pouring out all things she felt from her inside, out onto her scabrous skin. The image is split, to a top and bottom. The top image headline reads“Oh My God, Somebody Do Something!” Her mouth is open as she screams with her minuscule voice for help. In spite of her being the “enemy” she is also a small weak girl, confused and lost she gets the littlest amount of help--censor bars covering her developing breasts and genitals. In addition to the quote in the bottom of the second picture that reads “Ahhh… That’s Better.” Similar to the way we try to fix our problems here in America, with the smallest amount of effort unless it’s through militarism.

Continuing my research, I looked deeper into my picture and questioned why didn’t the soldiers help these people who were clearly struggling and looking for help? They are there to protect and serve, to be strong and also to take commands. The people who give the commands though, where are they and why don’t they tell the soldiers to aid when it is a crucial time. Considerably being that there was a major bombing, the goal was to kill. However, in some human error of course not everyone died so there were survivors. They are killing them without using their guns, letting them run in circles among 90+ degree weather after a napalm bombing. The natives are carrying their family members with bullet holes piercing their flesh as the soldiers casually walk and talk about the number of friends they lost while at this war. The number of U.S. soldiers who died in service to the number of Vietnamese casualties are in a large juxtaposition. The U.S. suffered a loss of 58,200 total to the total number of 882,000 Vietnamese deaths (Including adult male and female war causalities--15 years of age and older, plus 84,000* war deaths in children--under 15.) The only worries that the soldiers have are if they are going to die and how do they win this war. Primarily is America going to win if they sacrifice their life or would it be better to take someone else's.

In which ways are we wired in a mindset of militarism, to be the one and only way to obtain a victory? Specifically focusing through war, violence and militarism. A book titled The New American Militarism by Andrew J. Bacevich states in the Introduction on page 1, “Today as never before in their history Americans are enthralled with military power.”  Reviewing American History, particularly the wars and interventionists we were apart of, there's a common theme of countries wanting to be our friend. Generally for support and help but we are also a great ally for our powerful and brave military. Connecting specifically to WWII, we weren’t apart of the problem so we shouldn't of been in the war. Yet, because we are this “great, brave and powerful” country, other smaller countries want to be our friend. So therefore we put ourselves in the forefront of the problem, just for an alliance. Similar to a Pro-Imperialist political document that we reviewed in U.S. History class week from Judge, 1899. The image shows a progress of Uncle Sam in 6 forms with small captions and years listed underneath his feet. Starting at a miniscule baby up to an overweight man stretching from 1788-1899. In the last form he is holding a figure made out to image the U.S.S. Maine under his arm and smokes a cigar as he looks to the outstretched arms of foreign countries. The names of each country resides on the arm cuff reading, Russia, Germany and England. Analytically arguing that we kill thousands of others and our own troops just to fight for resources like oil or tobacco and alliances. There are more important things that we could force our energy into, such as fighting for all countries to become less violent. Yet, the fish rots from the head and in this scenario, America isn’t leading in a positive way so it’s difficult to suggest that we all become non-violent. However, we aren’t doing anything other than putting ourselves in a difficult position.

So in which ways could or can militarism steer us towards a better future for our country, if it even can? Quoted from Michael Abtello, a rifleman in the Afghanistan war, who was interviewed for a document by PBS: Mortal Wounds of War, “I’ve lost more friends to suicides then I did in combat.” Mr. Abtello was in the forefront of the war, in addition to joining directly after the falling of the Twin Towers. In other words he joined after a time that our country was in dire need for pawns to play on a battlefield under a muddy fog, not knowing who the real enemy was. It was a dangerous time and just as in previous wars we fought we thought that this ambush into the middle east was going to help us get a victory.

Thinking back about our history in wars or conflicts from the Vietnam War, the Afghan War or to the Spanish-American War it seemed as if we tried to solve all of them by lugging out each one until we reach another conflict. Expanding on the Spanish-American War, we shipped out a boat (The U.S.S. Maine) to Cuba and it somehow was blown up. Causing us to take up our problems with Spain through smaller colonies such as the Philippines and Cuba. President Mckinley signed a joint resolution for war with Spain on April 19, 1898 and troops were deployed by May 25th. The war was proclaimed a victory by then President Theodore Roosevelt. Yet, according the timeline document on The United States in the Philippines, guerrilla warfare was persistent until 1915. This totalled of 16 years that we stayed at war, after a declared victory and the payoff from Spain though the Treaty of Paris of $20 million for the Philippines on December 10, 1899. Even researching about a war from over 100 years ago there’s the same theme of America joining conflicts that we had nothing to do with and/or creating problems.

Focusing back on my main questions:

(1) In which ways are we wired in a mindset of militarism being the one and only way to obtain a victory, specifically through war, violence and militarism

(2) In which ways has or can militarism steer us towards a better future for our country, if it even can.  

I think we are wired in a mindset of militarism being the primary way to obtain a victory from our youngest ages. Examples reside in every average middle-class American home, technology. Whether it is a game (Call of Duty, Modern Warfare) , a computer--social media or even more basic games that wrap around your imagination (playing toy army). Which can develop in the mind that accessing high levels of violence is normal or okay because it’s an idea that’s been with every American since they were born. For the children born in 2000, they’ve technically been at war all of their life (beginning with the War on Terror in Afghanistan evolving to Iraq, Yemen, now Syria and etc.) Therefore, I do not think that militarism can steer us towards a better future for our country. We are still dealing with conflicts from the mid and late 90s, so I question how are we going to move into the 22nd Century if we are still stuck in the 20th. As a country we have advanced through medicine, technology, science and societal barriers but we can’t proceed to a lifestyle of isolationism, peace and nonviolence. In conclusion, quoted from Mike Felker during our class Veteran Panel, “‘If you don't shoot us, we won’t shoot you’. So we said ‘heck why not. Didn’t see the point in the war and all anyway’. ” America could simply follow the pre-kindergarten rule that entails to treat others how we would want to be treated.

Works Cited


Online Documents

  1. "Statistical Information about Casualties of the Vietnam War." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2016. <>

  2. Hirschman, Charles, Samuel Preston, and Vu Manh Loi. “Vietnamese Casualties During the American War: A New Estimate”. Population and Development Review 21.4 (1995): 783–812. Web… <>

  3. Faulker, Mike. "Veteran's Panel: The Vietnam War." Veteran's Panel. Science Leadership Academy, Philadephia. 4 Mar. 2016. Address.

  4. "Moral Wounds of War." PBS. PBS, 28 May 2010. Web. 20 Mar. 2016. <>

  5. Bacevich, Andrew J. "Introduction." Introduction. The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. 1. Google Books. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <>.

  6. Butler, Clay. Oh My God, Somebody Do Something! 1997. Oh My God, Somebody Do Something! Web. 10 Mar. 2016. <>.

Paper Documents

  1. Set A: Cartoon 1  Judge, 1899

  2. The United States in the Philippines, 1898-1915; Timeline

Advanced Essay #4: Violence

In this essay I really wanted to think about violence in competence to different things. I talked that it is a part of who we are a humans and that there is and isn't any good excuses to use violence for anything. Thank you and I hope enjoy reading my essay.

You just slapped a person. It was because of something they said or did, but it was also violence. Nowadays we don’t realize just how violent we as human beings have become. Violence is incorporated into our daily lives so deeply that sometimes we don’t notice it at all; most of the time we don’t even feel like it’s a big deal. There is so much of violence in movies or in real life, things like slapping someone else is violence. We just justify these things, by excuses that have nothing to do with violence but instead affected our emotions and things like saying things like ‘They deserved it because they cheated on them.’

Google's definition of violence is “behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something” which is good representation of it’s meaning. It proves that accidentally bumping into someone rough enough to knock them down, is not the same thing as punching them. But we also have to think about how right it is, because punching your pillow is not the same thing as punching a person.

We need to think about what excuses we use to justify violence, and which of those are actually good and which of those aren’t. One example of excuses people make for violence is when it's used as self defence, and I am not saying that it is not a good excuse but we do have to turally examine it. We need to  think about what we consider self defence, like is it considered self defence only if you are fighting against someone that is hitting you at that moment, or those it spread to verbal abuse as well?

In my English Class, we watched a TED talk called, The Psychology of Evil, in which the speaker says that “Violence is a disease.” I find that what he said is very strong and could be a very good point. What I interpret from the words of Philip Zimbardo is that we can consider that the idea of good in violence can be cured, it is possible for it to be cured by just realizing that we have to control ourselves and our actions. Violence is curable, but only on an individual level, each person must begin to take control of themselves because if not, then the disease of violence can spread, and eventually becoming unstoppable.


I recently saw a picture that I interpreted to be a representation of the essence of violence. In the image, a woman is holding up her hands to block the man from hitting her. There is a light right behind them. He looks mad and she looks scared. Even though they look like shadows you can almost see those emotions in their faces. The shadows thae are shaped as humans makes it seem like they lose their humanity even when they look totally human. This image is important to me because it is the typical and stereotypical situation, and yet we don’t take it seriously.

Instead of violence think of it as judging a person. They are not even come close to being the same thing in any way. Every single person judges everything that others do. But when it's about another person, we make a connection with that person while we judge. I find this similar to when we fight with another person. We don’t always share those judgments, but when we do, there is different ways they impact the person being judged, as well as, change the person judging. We think of judgments as bad things, but they can be good, too. That is when they burn into compliments. Unlike judgment we make, in this case there is no good way that violence can occur, since someone always gets hurt.  

No matter how bad violence morally is, there is no way to remove it from our lives, in a society and world we live in today. The only thing we can do is find a way to forgive and accept the effect it has on and in each and every one of us. Violence destroys everything we have, but it builds a new world; we are protective, and terrible, but we also use it as one of the ways of showing that we are alive. Since we are build from our flaws and bad judgments, we are made to live the terror and messes that we made. The unsolvable puzzle where you are holding violence as one of the pieces.

Advanced Essay #4: Becoming Someone Else

In this essay, I focused more on my personal connection towards this topic. I wanted to also show the difference of how people are affected when they are surrounded by violence everyday. Overall, I am proud of what I wrote and also, proud of the sources I've found.

In this world, there are so many people who are forced to be in the military or to serve their country. Some people want to help others. There are different reasons as to why they would want to serve and join the military. However, people don’t realize that when they come back from the war they are completely a different person. I don’t know anyone who has been in the war but I have one family member who has been seeing violence for the last past eighteen years. There are a lot of studies that shows how people are affected by violence and how they change after coming back from war or even after seeing violence.

Every year, more than 180,000 people join the military. There are a lot of people who are always placed in the war and there are also different jobs. Mr. Block had an afternoon where Mike Feker and John Grant came to the class and talk about their experience and struggles during and after the Vietnam war. Mike had a lot of more things to talk about in my opinion. After Mike talked, the class was asked if we had any questions. One of the questions that was brought up was “Did any of the soldiers ever thank you for saving their life?” and Mike responded that he never saw any of them after they put the injured soldier into the helicopter. Another student asked “Did you ever feel responsible for any of the soldiers that did not make it?” Mike said that he did feel responsible. The feeling not being to save someone’s life is traumatizing. This can trigger depression because Mike could have kept blaming himself for not being able to save the soldier’s life. Before, Mike said that his family was poor and he did not have enough money to go to college. His only choice was to join the military/army as one of the journalist. He did not get that job. Instead, he was one of the medics on the battlefield. Mike did not know what he was getting himself into when he thought he was going to be one of the journalist when it actually turned out that he was going to be one of the medics. Mike said that after the war when he came back home, he was diagnosed with anger management, he was short tempered and a few other things. Today, he still deal with these issues and he did not know what he was getting himself into.

One of my family members deals with violence everyday. My dad is a cop and he has been a cop for the last past eighteen years. In July 2014, my dad asked me if I wanted to go to the shooting range. I was a bit hesitated at first because guns are no jokes and it is something that is not a toy. I was uncomfortable and he told me that I can bring my friends with me. So, I brought my friends with me to the shooting range and the car ride there my friend asked my dad questions about how it was being a cop. I did not know that my dad struggled with these things. I was not aware. I never asked questions about his job because I always had an image in my head from tv shows seeing that it was easy. However, my dad told my friend that he has seen everything from babies being in a plastic bag to finding someone died in the basement to him getting punched in the nose. My dad and I are not as close as my mom and I. It was always awkward for me to say “hello” or “goodbye”. I always found it weird. However, the more I think about it it was because being a cop shaped him into being who he is now. Whenever we passed by a certain area in the car, my dad would always point out the places where someone died. It was like my dad was the personal news channel in my life. He remembers where people died, how they died and the feeling of that is not a good feeling at all. One time, my dad and I were in the car. He turned to me and he told me “I am always alone, I sleep alone, I feel alone, I eat alone.” Until this day, what he had said to me always stuck in the back of my mind.

war2 (1).jpg

This is a very interesting picture that I have found after I searched “war changing people” on Google Images. I clicked on the picture and the website popped up. It showed the results of soldiers before the war, during the war and after the war. You can tell that before the war that he looked like he was out of his shape and his eyes aren’t as bright as his middle picture (during war). In his middle picture during war, his eyes look a little bit brighter because he is aware of the things that he’s seen. Maybe it’s the lighting in the picture but it looks like the soldier is holding back so many things and trying not to break down in the middle picture. In the far right picture after the war, it looks like he has seen so many things and he experienced so many things that he is trying to not let it affect it. If you look at the website, you see the continuous results with other soldiers in other pictures.

No one will understand how it is being surrounded by violence unless you experience it too. Being surrounded by violence and war can change you or anyone you know into a completely different person. There are certain things that people are affected by everyday. Remembering how, why and who died in a certain location can come back to haunt you every time you pass by that area. Violence and war change someone into someone they do not want to be without them realizing.


"14 Soldiers Were Photographed Before, During, And After War. The Result Is Disturbing..." AnonHQ 14 Soldiers Were Photographed Before During And After War The Result Is Disturbing Comments. N.p., 10 Nov. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"The Aftermath of War." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Behavior, Aggressive, and Volume 33 Pages 118–129 (200. Volume 33, Pages 118–129 (2007) Changes in Attitudes Towards War and Violence After September 11, 2001 (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Advanced Essay #4: MPAA and America

The goal of this essay was to explore the themes of censorship in America through the lens of movies and cinema, topics I have a large interest in.  The MPAA ratings board has always been a topic of controversy in America, causing some movies to be banned or not made in the first place. Movies reflect our views as a society, so would be a perfect medium to explore America's ideas. Movies have a profound impact on our people and our ideas, and are important tools of our society. We need to explore and understand what makes movies rated, and what is acceptable to the public.

The ratings system in America has been dominated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) since 1922. This was a way to categorize movies and prevent innocent moviegoers from seeing horrifying movies. In principle the MPAA is a perfect system, however, in execution it has many flaws. The ratings system reflects the ideals of our nation, and what is and is not acceptable to show. This causes there to be many inconsistencies with what is and isn't acceptable. Murder and death are okay, but language and love aren’t. The presence of violence in America also allows us to act more violently towards other nations. The pedestal we out violence is a dangerous one, and something that could lead to serious consequences. Our country needs to reevaluate its priorities in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable.

    The prime example of a problem with the ratings system is between Indiana Jones and The Breakfast Club. The image shown is from the movie The Breakfast Club, which was released in 1985 with an R rating. Meaning that only people who wanted to see it needed to be either 17 or have a parent or guardian with them. This doesn’t make sense when you really look into the content of the movie. This movie features a heavy amount of profanity and sexual innuendos. There is also a scene where the characters get high, but that's as risky as the movie gets.

    I could understand it getting an R rating, if not for Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom being rated PG with much more gore and violence in it. Released in 1984, a year earlier than the Breakfast Club, had many scenes of gore and violence. The scene in question is where the antagonist rips the heart out of Indiana Jones, literally. The villain did not crush his spirit or metaphorically rip his heart out, the villain literally pulls the still beating heart out of him. This scene is shown with little ambiguity, showing the event in full. This movie was marketed as an all-ages action adventure movie. This reflects the views of America of violence and war being okay, but language and sex not being okay.

The standards for censorship in America are insanely divided, with extremes on both sides. The way we value violence, over language or sex is astonishing. Ratings can also impact the quality of films upon release. Many films have whole subplots cut out to keep a specific rating. The movie Babylon A.D. was originally supposed to be rated R, until the studio wanted to shoot for a PG-13 rating. The new rating was supposed to make the movie more accessible and appeal to a wider audience, but instead it ruined the movie. Babylon A.D. became a generic science fiction movie with a director swearing off the project entirely. The director even campaigned for people to not see the movie instead of promoting it.

An advisor of the MPAA had this to say about the current situation of the ratings system, “"Often, filmmakers are completely surprised by the MPAA and their opinion on what constitutes suitable material for a particular age group," said Fridkin. "The need to re-shoot can be cost prohibitive, while these suggested edits can detract from the director’s vision. However, Barry and I, having been longtime raters, are able to catch these ‘issues’ early on. We can prevent the need for heavy-handed editing as a result of what the filmmaker perceives as a mis-rated film." This shows how even people involved in the process understand that there are issues that need fixing. The ratings system is a very powerful tool when used properly, but can sometimes be censoring art and content from being made, while trying to protect audiences. I’m not saying we should destroy the ratings system entirely, but it could use a serious overhaul. The system in place inhibits art and creativity, and values violence over sex. It’s harder to show the creation of a life than the end of one.

Okay great, we have identified some of the problems of the MPAA, such as the glorification of violence and restrictive nature. How do we fix these problems, and more importantly, what cause them. The United States has a long history of violence and war, which come out in our movies’ themes. The western was an entire genre dedicated to America’s conquest of the west, and the American dream. Violence and militarism are still shown in many movies today not just a relic of an old genre. Marvel movies, which originally started as small nerd movies, eventually rose to some of the most iconic characters of our time. Marvel movies, also feature an incredible amount of violence, not as much as Indiana Jones. Those movies, also feature armies and military organizations as prominent characters. These movies are incredibly popular and some of the highest grossing movies of all time. This reflects society's views about what is acceptable and what isn’t.

America always likes to be the good guy, even when it's doing the wrong thing. The movies and popular culture reflect that view of violence being okay, and language and sex being bad. This helps to desensitize audiences to violence, so when we learn about our past, present, and future wars we can accept it easier. The presence of violence in America also allows us to act more violently towards other nations. The pedestal we out violence is a dangerous one, and something that could lead to serious consequences. Our country needs to reevaluate its priorities in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable.

Bernstein, Paula. "How The MPAA Really Works And How to Get The Rating You Want." Indiewire. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Billington, Alex. "Babylon A.D.'s Mathieu Kassovitz Opens Up About Fox Negatively." RSS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4 Motivation of Violence

Reflecting on my paper, I believe I picked specific points to focus on which made analyzing it pretty easily. I thought it'd be unique to have two different pictures that backed up the two themes I had. My sources were pretty diverse also.


Agunya, 15 (On the right), teaches his little brother Mumbri, 13 (On the left) how to load and aim a semi-automatic weapon after finding their entire family slaughtered by an Angolan terrorist group. “Eu quero matar cada governante Angolano que vejo…” I want to kill every Angolan official I see. Mumbri’s life changed forever after this moment…

Experiencing the annihilation of loved ones changes you in all aspects of life. The feelings of hatred, ignorance, sadness, and reminiscing all brewed together is a recipe for disaster in the streets of Chicago and in the battlefields of Angola. To experience the same tragedy Agunya and Mumbri have and not want to retaliate with the same force or more, takes a very noble and conscientious being. German psychological scientist, Mario Gollwitzer conducted a study where people were partnered up with another person anonymously in different rooms. The partners were asked a series of trivia questions and for every question they got right, they’d win tickets. At the end, the scientist divided the tickets up evenly but told partner #1 that that partner #2 opted to take all of the tickets. The scientist gave the partner #1 the chance to either opt to take all the tickets or split them after finding out what partner #2 decided to do. 60% decided they wanted all of the tickets because partner #2 wasn’t planning on sharing. That same 60% decided to write  notes to their anonymous partners all with smart comments like “You didn’t want to split the tickets so I’m be selfish back and take all of the tickets for myself.” This experiment showed that when people feel unappreciated, retaliation  is a very technique used as an attempt to restore that feeling of appreciation. Agunya and Mumbri suffer from a feeling not being valued. The fact that their family was slaughtered and no one answered for it will evoke this feeling. So as a result of this, the two brothers are on the hunt to retaliate with the same amount or more force to restore that feeling of mattering. Retaliating also provides them with the opportunity to make the Angolans feel the pain that they feel or worst; which is also a desired goal.



Experiencing the annihilation of loved ones changes you in all aspects of life. This change is physical, emotional and most of all mental. The feelings of hatred, ignorance, sadness, and reminiscing all brewed together is a recipe for disaster in the streets of Chicago and in the battlefields of Angola. Martin Luther King once said “As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightfully so, “What about war?” They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” This quote addresses the most important reason people become numb to violence in mass numbers. To know that policeman and soldiers are awarded medals like distinguished shooters badge, and expert rifleman badges on a consistent basis for honestly killing people brings a sort of positive vibe to violence as a whole. So for a kid in Chicago to murder someone who sells drugs in his neighborhood and be prosecuted for it, is really hypocritical. He eliminated someone that was a threat to the well-being of his community. Isn’t that the same thing soldiers do and police officers do? Yes it is.

Zulifikar Ali Butto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan once said ““We(Pakistan) will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own (Atom bomb).... We have no other choice!” Now let’s think about this… The Prime Minister of an entire country feels as though there is no other way to survive in this world but to acquire something with the power to wipe out a whole city.  If  someone with the power of a Prime Minister believes that surviving in this world is only realistic if you’re able to conduct your own amount of violence, what are people in Chicago who live in poverty supposed to think?

Work Cited:

"Quotes About Retaliation." (24 Quotes). Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"Military Ranks." Military Ranks. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"Military Awards, Medals, & Decorations." Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"The Complicated Psychology of Revenge." Association for Psychological Science RSS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"The Law of Retaliation." The Law of Retaliation. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4: War Literature

I focused on war literature for this paper. I wanted to explore the different facets of war literature and also the importance of war literature. During the research process I read a couple of interesting articles that really informed and shaped my opinion on the importance of war literature. The peer review process was especially helpful for this essay because I was initially unsure of what I wanted my larger idea to be. It was difficult to find a specific focus for this essay but I am proud of the final result.

Two children stand in front of a tank. The eldest, a girl a of about nine or ten with short black hair, carries her little brother, who cannot be more than three years old, on her back and they both look directly at the camera. They seem to be standing in a hot desert so they both wear loose light clothing. The tank seems to be going the same direction in which they are walking. We can picture this war scene clearly in our minds through this description in words. Even though we can never truly understand what it’s like to be in the midst of a war unless we have actually experienced it, words, stories, and pictures can help us begin to understand. In his essay titled, “The Extremes of Conflict in Literature: Violence, Homicide, and War”, Joseph Carroll says:

Literature depicts such emotions, evokes them, and makes them available to readers, who experience them vicariously.

To help others understand the horrible truth of war, authors like Tim O’Brien, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ernest Hemingway write novels about the subject. Like Carroll says, this literature allows readers to experience emotions that they’d never have the opportunity to experience otherwise. In experiencing those feelings they begin to understand the emotions of those who have been involved in war.  They begin to understand what it is like to know that at any second you could die and they begin to understand what loss of human life really means. The literature of war not only aims to foster understanding of war, it also attempts to argue for peace. Kate Scheel, a professor of English studies writes:

War literature…warns against pursuing armed conflict, exposes its atrocities, and argues for peace. It records the acts of war with as much accuracy as is possible, and it memorializes the dead. It is voyeuristic, exploitative, and sadistic; it is also tender, selfless, and comforting. It is gleeful and angry; inflammatory and cathartic; propagandist, passionate, and clinical. It is funny and sad.

Good war literature forces us to experience the emotion of war and inspires us to believe that there are other options. Good war literature exposes the truth and explains to us why it is necessary to find alternatives to violence. It reveals the atrocities that occur during war and it reminds us why human life is something to be valued and cherished.

War literature creates a complex relationship between author and reader. Because of the subject readers expect a certain degree of truthfulness in war literature. In this case we expect truthfulness to mean reality; we expect that everything that the author writes actually happened. As readers we expect honesty and loyalty. In The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, we are led to believe that the story and all the characters are real but halfway through the book O’Brien reveals that all the stories and characters are fictitious. Through that experience we learn that truthfulness doesn’t have to mean reality. O’Brien states:

A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth.

Meaning that even though something doesn’t actually happen it doesn’t mean it’s not true. What is more important when it comes to the truth is the emotion and sentiment behind it. So, even though we feel betrayed when we learn that the events in The Things They Carried did not actually happen our relationship with the author eventually emerges stronger at the end of the book when we come to the realization that when it comes to truth we need to look beyond the surface, look past the superficial details, and examine the things that really matter. War literature reminds us that life, death, and emotion are more important than small, insignificant details.

War literature is necessary. Not only because it helps civilians understand war but also because it helps soldiers deal with their experiences. Soldiers need to be able to express themselves somehow and they need to be able to write the truth of what they experience. Soldiers need to know that somebody cares enough to read their stories and maybe even take action. War literature is one of the most important methods for understanding war and violence. Candid accounts of what really happens during war through novels explain exactly what happens during war and also deliver these explanations in a medium that is accessible and interesting to most people. War literature needs to be something that everybody is familiar with. It’s easy to ignore violence and human weakness. We need war literature to remind us of all the problems in the world. We need it to inspire us to action and to hold us accountable for the needless loss of life that war brings. War literature is essential to any push for anti war mentality.  It is the proof that war is evil. If we ever want to live in a society that does not depend of war, militarism, and violence as solutions we must ensure that everyone reads and understands war literature so they understand the truth of war.

Scheel, Kate. "Violence and the Literature of War." N.p., Spring 2004. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Carroll, Joseph. "The Extremes of Conflict in Literature: Violence, Homicide, and War." The Extremes of Conflict in Literature: Violence, Homicide, and War. N.p., 22 Mar. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. New York: Broadway, 1998. Print.

Advanced Essay #4: Importance of Storytelling for Survivors of Violent Trauma

The goal of this essay is to argue and stress the importance of what it means for survivors of violent trauma, specifically soldiers and war veterans, to share their stories and memories pertaining to the trauma that they have experienced. Initially, I wanted to do research and investigate the effects of holding onto important memories or stories and not sharing them, or in other words, secrets. However, I came to realize that that was more along the lines of a research paper vs. an essay with a controversial thesis, so as I shifted my focus to survivors of violent trauma, I was able to contextualize my thesis better and take a new route for this essay. A wide variety of sources are included to form a full view of this issue.


The human memory is extremely complex. It stores an infinite amount of moments, events, emotions, and more. Essentially, those are all of the elements of a story that is waiting to be told. That’s all memories really are, anyway: stories. As always in the case of stories, it is up to the person to decide whether or not they are willing to share them or not. No matter the circumstances, this always remains true. This conscious decision draws the line between secret and visibility. We keep secrets for many reasons. However, in the world that we live in today, it is not always easy for us to share the hard stories- those stories that have affected us on the deepest of levels, that rein ever present in our lives. This becomes even more true when we focus on the struggles survivors of violent trauma from warfare are forced to face. When their stories can’t be told, it only causes them more difficulties when it comes to their mental and even physical health. Survivors of trauma need to be able to have an outlet to comfortably share their stories, in a way that is best fit for them. It is all of our jobs to listen to them and to provide them with the proper resources for them to do this.

Dr. James Pennebaker, a psychology professor and researcher, once created an experiment to test if writing about traumatic experiences and feelings reduced the amount of times the patients seeked extra help. In an article written by Eric Jaffe, he says it included  “...a concentration camp survivor who had seen babies tossed from a second-floor orphanage window” and “...a Vietnam veteran who once shot a female fighter in the leg, had sex with her, then cut her throat.” Additionally, he says that “In one study of 50 students, those who revealed both a secret and their feelings visited the health center significantly fewer times in the ensuing six months than other students who had written about a generic topic, or those who had only revealed the secret and not the emotions surrounding it.” Even just being able to write down the experience and the emotions and feelings surrounding them were helpful to these people. It caused them to feel more at peace with themselves, and feel less of a need to reach out for help from the health center. That just goes to show how vital it is for their to be outlets for survivors of trauma to reveal their stories.

Sharing stories or experiences doesn’t always have to mean it is between two people. Powerful moments can happen between a person and the God that they look up to. For example, there is a somewhat popular image on the internet that shows a Russian soldier from World War II about to go into battle. He is looking downward, staring into space. He holds a cross between his fingers, and holds that same hand up to his mouth. The man is praying, it seems. In this moment he is speaking to his God. The man behind him is passionately yelling something, but that is not what he is focussed on. This is a moment of intimacy, the last quiet moment before this man enters a battle that may cost him his own life. However, he does not seem angry, or have a hard look on his face. It actually appears as though the corner of his mouth is turned up into a bit of a smile, and the corner of his eye seems soft. He is finding peace and solace within his God. The soldier holding the cross may very well be scared deep down inside, but he is accepting the circumstances and preparing himself as he must. For some people, it is merely a God whom they must open themselves up to.

Sometimes, depending on availability, veterans will get involved in programs that will allow them to share their own war stories to groups of people. Mike Felker, a veteran of the Vietnam War, is one of those people. In one of his presentations, he mentioned someone from the war who was called Big Man, and attached a short story he wrote about his experience with him. In it, he says, “I tried to pray and beg him back to life. By this time another patrol had come to the side of the cliff. Chuck, a hospital corpsman from the Third Platoon saw my hysteria, that my frantic efforts were futile. He shook me hard and slapped me when I started crying that Big Man was alive. I stopped, comprehending finally he was dead… I watched, as I will always watch, until he disappeared.” It is saddening to realize how emotionally and mentally scarring this must still be for him to recall. However, it is clear that being involved in a program where he can tell this story, and share his writings about the story, is helpful to him.

It is quite the hardship to experience trauma on such a grand scale and to have so many stories to share with no means to share them. Without some sort of outlet for those experiencing or those who have experienced violent trauma to share their most powerful stories from their memories, they may face a whole host of other mental, and sometimes even physical illnesses. This is why it is important that we listen to these people, that we provide for them the programs and resources in which they can feel comfortable sharing their deepest, darkest, and most difficult secrets or experiences. Everyone should be able to take what is in their minds and release it to the world in some way, shape, or form that is comfortable and safe for themselves.

Works Cited

"Feature Story: Writing to Heal: Research Shows Writing about Emotional Experiences Can Have Tangible Health Benefits." Feature Story: Writing to Heal: Research Shows Writing about Emotional Experiences Can Have Tangible Health Benefits. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"Mike Felker's Writing." Mike Felker's Writing. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"The Science Behind Secrets." Association for Psychological Science RSS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4- Violence in the Media

I can honestly say this Advanced Essay has been the most challenging one of the four we have received in this English class this year. Starting off the unit, I couldn't really get into the book we were reading because I just wasn't interested in it and when it was announced we were to do another advanced essay for our benchmark this quarter, that made me feel even worse about everything. I didn't know what I wanted my paper to be based off on at first, I was going in the direction of story-telling and the affects that had on people until I realized that was more of a personal piece. So, I finally came to conclusion of wanting to surround my paper on the media and with the help of my peers and Mr. Block, I am satisfied with what I produced. My goals were to have a clear, concise and controversial thesis which the reader could thoroughly understand which I do feel I've accomplished. I feel as though teens would be able to relate to this paper the most simply because we are living in the generation where media is booming.

Unconsciously and unknowingly, people’s behavior and aggression towards violence are influenced by the media. Majority of the youth is exposed to some sort of act of violence through the media before the age of ten years old. With the numerous and everlasting murders that have been occurring more frequently lately, school shootings, and fights going on it’s hard to ignore the violence factor that goes on in the world. Because children are still developing in their teenage years, seeing certain things such as inappropriate music, movies, television shows, etc. can affect their psychological development and views in the world.

Television can be a very powerful teacher to not only the youth, but adults as well. According to the BLS American Time Use Survey by A.C. Nielsen Co., approximately 99% of Americans own at least one television in their household. This shows just how accessible tv is and how common it is for people to be watching it. A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics says the average eight year old child spends eight hours a day on media, and teens more than 11 hours of media a day. This is more than a full day of school, which means the youth are being exposed the media and the inappropriate things it contains For example, they see things from funny memes to violent beatings and fights. With the youth being revealed to such at this young of an age, it’s already registered in their minds that this is common in society since it is praised and laughed at which can increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior at an older age without them even thinking much of it.

Kaj Björkqvist, a Professor of Developmental Psychology at Åbo Akademi University, randomly assigned one group of five- to six-year-old Finnish children to watch violent movies, another to watch nonviolent ones. Raters who did not know which type of movie the children had seen then observed them playing together in a room. Children who had just watched the violent movie were rated much higher on physical assault and other types of aggression. Other experiments have shown that exposure to media violence can increase aggressive thinking, aggressive emotions, and tolerance for aggression, all known risk factors for later aggressive and violent behavior. With the children being so young and naive, they had no clue how great of an impact the violent movie had on their actions and aggression. They were just following what they had seen in the movie and weren’t even incorporating the fact they were being violent which shows how unconscious people are with the influence violence in the media has.

The cartoon above is a perfect representation on how oblivious society is to the issues that we constantly encounter. There are constantly issues with violence in the world and we wonder where some of the root causes stem from, yet the answer is right in front of our eyes. The future is completely dependable upon how we bring up our children, which can either be a good or bad thing it’s all in the power of our hands. Allowing violence in the media to take over our children’s mindsets can only lead to even more violence and aggression, which this cartoon shows. It’s also shown above how the child is saying “Kill them! Kill them all!” With a huge smile on his face which shows he’s condoning the people who are being killed. Both the parents and the child are unaware of how violence is impacting and influencing their lives as shown in this cartoon.

On October 1, 2015 at Umpqua Community College located in Oregon, there was a mass shooting killing nine and wounding many others. The shooter, Christopher Harper- Mercer, after killing nine innocent people was shortly killed in gunfire with responding officers. After the shooting, the police investigated Harper- Mercer’s background and found that he was obsessed with violent gaming and would focus on this more than spending time with his family. His neighbors would say he was a nice young man, but was isolated majority of the time and only took interest in conversations when discussing video games and guns. While investigating, the police even found a secret chat room online which him and anonymous others were planning out exactly what he’d do. Before he had committed this tragic crime, he said “I’ve been waiting to do this for years”. Meanwhile, his companions were supporting him and even giving him ideas on when and where to do it. Recently, researchers at Ohio State University conducted a study and concluded that, "People who have a steady diet of playing these violent video games may come to see the world as a hostile and violent place”. Without even the slightest thought, one’s perception of the world can be altered just by constantly being exposed to violent video games.

In conclusion, the media can impact our daily life decisions unconsciously. Some solutions to reducing the influence violence in the media has on us are reducing the exposure to violent movies, television shows, videos games, etc. By doing this, it won’t place anyone in a specific and unhealthy mindset. Also, by increasing media that will have a positive effect on our lives and actually teach us something helpful both short and long-term will not only educate us, but place us in the right mindset that’ll benefit everyone in the world.


"Managing Media: We Need a Plan." Managing Media: We Need a Plan. 29 Oct. 13. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Eves, Christopher. "Television Watching Statistics." Static Brain Research Institute, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Thoman, Elizabeth. "What Parents Can Do about Media Violence." Center for Media Literacy. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Fletcher, Lyndee. "14 Mass Murders Linked to Violent Video Games." Charisma News. 15 Oct. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Healy, Jack, and Ian Lovett. "Oregon Killer Described as Man of Few Words, Except on Topic of Guns." The New York Times. The New York Times, 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Advanced Essay #4: The Healing of Pain

A lot of research went into writing this essay. After reading 'The Things They Carry', I wanted to explore the deeper meaning of pain and the way each and every person experiences it. It was hard to find the perfect resources for my essay, but I ended up finding two perfect interviews, and a great image reflecting my words. I spent a long time trying to word my thoughts in a way people would understand, and although it was a challenge, I was able to use suggestion from my peers to write a piece I am proud of. I made sure not just to discuss the single meaning of pain, but the general meaning, so basically every single type of pain, whether it be physical, emotional, mental, etc..


Imagine being surrounded by an entire army, pointing all their guns at you. Unarmed civilians also surround you, fearing their lives, but knowing that they can’t back down because it’s a sign of weakness. One man steps up, knowing that there could be consequences, he decides to make peace between the army and the civilians, so he steps up, and all the guns are pointed at him, not you, yet you still fear. He places flowers in the gun, and no one makes a move or a sound, as if the man was now surrounded by the dead. He shows no signs of stopping, and as his bouquet of flowers becomes one single flower, you realize that it wasn’t fear of death you were feeling, it was fear of tyranny, and this man had just proven to you and everyone else there, the hypocrisy of pain and violence. One might think the previous statement was created to get them thinking of a somewhat realistic situation to better explain the healing of pain. It is anything but fictional, it’s an image of truth. The truth may be dreadful and uncomfortable, but this image expresses the tenderness of pain and its remedy. This is an image of life, a life put through violence and war, yet effectively reacts to a situation with the power of silence and influence.

Healing of agony can be conceived through an action, a memory, a statement, an image, or in better terms, it can be formulated in different ways, but as stated by Veena Das, a theoretician and ethnographer, there are two things that all healing has in common. “The notion of healing carried two ideas: the idea of endurance, and the idea of the capacity to establish a particular relationship to death….” One has to be willing to accept the pain they suffer to be able to alleviate the pain. In this way, not only is their acceptance, but realization that the pain will never go away, but awareness that mending pain is much stronger than any kind of pain itself.  “But I was very struck by the ways in which pain does write itself enduringly on people’s lives. It was not about a thunderous voice of pain, but about the manners in which pain was woven into the patterns of life.” You have to be open to all pain, to the consequences, or else healing will never happen, and only pain would ever exist. The thing is though, that without pain, life would be nothing. We would never experience reality, and we’d be selfish because without pain, we would get everything we wanted and thought we deserved. Pain draws a fairly clear line between selfishness and selflessness.

There is a single word that can bring terror and pain to many in an instant, a word so powerful that the meaning is pointless because it is nothing compared to the suffering and suffocation one is already in from just hearing the word. War...the word is war. As clearly stated by author Chris Hedges, “Yes. I think for those who are in combat, it very swiftly can become an addiction. War is its own subculture. It can create a landscape of the grotesque that is, perhaps, unlike anything else created by human beings.” Experiencing war in any way is a very difficult and uncomfortable experience that no one should go through. For soldiers, it’s as though war is a separate world, a separate language, or a separate life. Once in a war, you can never get out, even if the war is officially over. You become so intimate with it, that you can never forget about it. The horror will always be in your dreams, and the pain will always be crawling up your spine, and to your head, where you always remember every dreadful moment. War is something so unique and spectacular, that it is almost a mystery to the human race. We still explore war and it’s many characteristics, that is why war still exists and will never go away. There’s no meaning of war yet because we still don’t understand it, and there will never be one single clear definition. It’s existed for hundreds of years, yet it’s still something new and fresh that is somewhat unknown to our race.

A life with no pain, is a life not lived to the fullest. We suffer and always find a way to blame someone, yet the only one to blame should be ourselves, for not allowing leeway for reflecting on the good. Pain is different for everyone. Some might experience it through violence or war, and others might experience it from love, or hate, or even just life itself. Healing is a reflection of pain, and that is what needs to be understood to be able to live on, not move on, but to live your actual life, the life you grew up living. We must understand the difference between all pain, whether physical, mental, or emotional. As human beings, we have the right to express our pain, our anger, and our fight to healing. As human beings, we have the right to live.


"Listening to Voices. An Interview with Veena Das." Interview by Kim Turcot DiFruscia. 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <>

Abernethy, Bob. "Interview: Chris Hedges." PBS. PBS, 2003. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <>.

Advanced Essay #4 Luke W-S: Discouragement

A lot of my ​decision making and approach had to do with being honest with myself and to our prompt. When we began this unit I had a strong opinion for myself being a non interventionist so my goal was to consider other opinions as well. During my research I looked at other opinions that did not have to do with mine. I hope that I had a good a approach and my goals is to remain honest. Reflecting on my work my process could've been better as I missed class peer edits and only received 1 from another student although I asked others (I peer edited someone else's).

When we started the unit on war and how it not only affects soldiers but ideologies and people, I thought I could develop an “outside of the box” idea. I would defend the glory of revolution and, like the novelists, inspire change. Then, I realized my proposal may be blindly patriotic, or at least misinterpreted,  and too simplistic. Some authors celebrate revolutionary change by describing extreme denials of individual and community rights.  The descriptions are frightening.  Their books are best sellers and franchised  into movies. Meanwhile, similar conditions, although possibly not as extreme, occur in the United States and around the world.  Those in power may rally against the extremes described in the books but they are also denying individual and community rights. Works of fiction, often celebrated, may inspire revolutionary thoughts or radical ideals but, in practice, our society too often practices the dysfunctional and inequitable societies described in the novels.

During the mid to late 20th century, a number of works of fiction celebrated, or at least encouraged, revolutionary change or put a light on extreme compliance with government.  For example,  1984, The Hunger Games, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, and The Giver, have been celebrated for their genius and importance to literature and/or  film. Most of these works have common themes:  militarism/war, censorship, obedience and various forms of oppression. In the dystopian novel, The Hunger Games, there is an all-out war between the districts and capital, knowledge is censored, people are denied access to “the forbidden zone”, and people are inspired by few revolutionaries such as Katniss. The Hunger Games is celebrated as a work of  “genius;” the conditions described in the novel are denounced as savage or at least unstable. At the same time, in the the real world, if a few people rise against the oppression of militarism and extreme censorship with a other few revolutionaries,  they may be labeled violent extremists. This characterization is false because those in power determine who is “extreme.”  For example, the United States government labels Islamists as terrorist yet some of the Islamists are challenging governments that openly censor, restrict movement of people, and detain people without due process. Who gets to determine what is extreme and what is “proper” forms of revolutionary change?

The 20th century literatures I have listed primarily feature forms of extreme oppression that homogenize society; sameness is a goal.  For example, the censorship in Fahrenheit 451 includes burning books and labeling reading a heinous acts. Currently, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), has destroyed ancient artifacts attempting to erase thousands of years of history.  In The Giver, only one man can see color or memory, as the “Receiver of Memory,” to ensure society preserves order and structure. Today, political rhetoric in the U.S. presidential debates often focuses on U.S. “greatness” and maintaining law and order.  If these are examples of oppression that should be opposed and rebelled against,  why aren’t they consistently opposed today?  While the U.S. is quick to rightly condemn the action by ISIS, isn’t the message of many candidates during the U.S. presidential debates also frightening and condemnable? Although what occurs in the United States may be more subtle or camouflaged, there are examples of censorship. There are also examples of praising order and structure for the preservation of those in power.  The United States has the  largest military in the world; the U.S. has or has attempted to overthrow 50 foreign governments since 1945 from Cuba to Angola to Vietnam.  Currently,  the National Security Agency (NSA) reads and monitors internet activity and phone calls including leaders of foreign governments to U.S. citizens.  People fighting for the rights of the people get ignored or dismissed by the mainstream media. During elections, some voices are silenced or labeled too extreme and too idealistic. Do not we see commonalities between our world and the stories we are encouraged to celebrate?.

Throughout history, those in power, “the establishment,” want to maintain their power. Sometimes, the conditions are extreme like in 1984:  never ending war, government surveillance, self-serving political leaders, and control of the people’s thoughts and actions. In the United States, we are assured 1984 can never happen. The United States began with a violent revolution  against colonial oppression to create a “free” nation “of the people, by the people and for the people.” This narrative is reinforced in the national anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, many textbooks and in political speeches ending in “God Bless America.” But the U.S. government and modern day multinational corporations make this difficult. During British colonial rule, there were limits of economic and political rights for the elites.  Post revolution, there was still enslavement based on race and extreme poverty and denial of basic rights for most people. Today, the intersection of the U.S. government and multinational corporations leads to lack of workers’ rights such as a living wages, limited free speech as in the case of Edward Snowden and perpetual wars from drones to on the ground invasions.  While 1984 is celebrated as a novel, conditions condemned in the novel exist.

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This is an important image that I felt continues to be powerful. I believe that this relates because as it’s uninspired partially by a violence part that many who believe in the cause for non violence but revolution on behalf of the people shows that there’s a possibility of a peaceful revolution

Why do we celebrate novels that challenge oppression and the powerful while accept inequitable and oppressive conditions?  Do too many people accept establishment politics as inevitable and therefore accept the current political system?  Would many people support even a nonviolent revolution?  Nonviolent revolutions, including the movements that expanded civil and economic rights, are necessary if we want to restore the rights of the people to rise against crony government and corporations. We have to do more than celebrate novels or novelists who write about oppression. A nonviolent revolutions can make visible the oppression and collaborate for concrete change.  This has occurred and is occurring around the world but, like the conclusions in many of the novels, injustice prevails.  Maybe, an “outside the box idea,” is to collaborate on making the novel a documentary - not just another movie.

Work cited:

"Social Revolution in India :Part 1." India Opines. India Opines, 21 June 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Alexander, Theo. "The Story Behind 'Apocalypse Now': By Theo Alexander - Unsung Films."

Unsung Films. N.p., 09 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"George Orwell on Pacifism." Ben Norton. Ben Norton, 29 June 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Price, Wayne. "Why I Am Not a Pacifist." Anarchist Library. Anarchist Library, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Greenwald, Abe. "Untangling the Pro-Intervention Argument - Commentary Magazine." Commentary Magazine. Commentary Magazine, 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

McElroy, Wendy. "Henry Thoreau and 'Civil Disobedience'" Thoreau.eserver, 2005. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4: What can violent films tell us about our obsession with violence?

This paper was my attempt to mix an analysis of this unit's topic and an analysis of war films. I used a lot that we learned from The Things They Carried and also some of my own research and conjecture. In putting the two ideas together, I came to the conclusion found at the end of the paper, but the process of writing the paper was the process of reaching the conclusion, not just explaining it. I found myself putting the ideas forth and then only connecting them at the end. I would like to do more research into the underlying psychology behind violent films, and in general how we react to role models (actors) doing something (violence). This could be imprinting, or it could be the tribal nature of humans, but I'd like to learn more about the psychology of violent films.

One of the hardest genres in film to get right is the war film. In an attempt to analyze film, one comes across this very tricky genre time and time again, and how hard it is to make a good war film. This may arise from the natural intricacies of telling a war story, and even the complicated nature of violence itself. I myself am interested in finding out how to make a good war film, and how this can apply to society’s greater, more general obsession with violence.

Storytelling is a constant battle to keep people engaged. A good storyteller will use all the tools in their tool belt to accomplish this goal: reveals, flashy visuals or details, twists, etc. Books, films, even songs use these same ideas and tools. In making a war film, the audience, we can assume, is already interested in the subject matter (and perversely so I might add). Years of western culture and civilization have trained them to love Hollywood shoot-em-up blockbusters and gory, violent video games. The fact that a war film can keep people entertained with its gore and violence is something addressed in two quotes from an interview with Tim O'Brien, the author of The Things They Carried, a prime example of a good war story. The two quotes (quotes two and three on this document) both suggest a different way of keeping the audience entertained: one way being a violent perverse attraction to violence and war and guns and bombs and death, the other being the immediate urgency that a war story and its consequential mortality brings to other morals, like love, relationships, and fairness.

Take, for example, the scene in Saving Private Ryan where the old veteran tears up at the grave, and then falls to his knees, bringing his family running. The shot shows an old veteran kneeling at a white cross tombstone, one of many that look the same in a graveyard of soldiers. The veteran kneels at the right of the frame, looking at the tombstone at the center of the frame. The tombstone splits the frame in half, separating the veteran from his family standing off in the distance. They are all dressed similarly, and so is the veteran, but their attention is (naturally) directed all over the place, some towards the veteran, some aimless, some amongst each other. The tombstone, while one of many just like it, is particular to this man, and keeps him separated visually from his family, as if they could never experience the things he has experienced, and so they can never truly connect with him. As the veteran falls down, the family runs up to him. The urgency of this experience is amplified by the family's own urgency, but is already engaging because of our subconscious awareness of mortality in this war story. The rest of the film may be engaging for that reason too, and also because of our "pornographic" infatuation with violence and war, but this specific scene just goes to show how themes can be amplified and morals can be engaged with when faced with the blatant mortality of war.

Many war stories attempt to cover different perspectives. Quote number eight from the O’Brien interview explains more about this. The Things They Carried covers only the perspectives of the soldiers, and while all of the different stories may extend the perspectives, they're still a perspective heard from another perspective; a story within a story. The book only covers one perspective. When the soldiers confront the corpse of a Viet Cong soldier, they are in fact confronting another perspective. The story does not extend past what the soldiers (in fact what O'Brien) saw of this new perspective. A good war story should, therefore, not extend to unknown perspectives, but just analyze them from the known perspective. It is like looking into another house from your own house. You cannot see what your window does not reveal.

The question to answer is this: what can violent films tell us about our obsession with violence? The answer itself is simple, although arriving to this conclusion might be a little more complicated. The reaction to and popularity of violent films are the most measurable insight into violence that those films can give us. Of the top ten all time highest grossing films (according to this list on, eight of them featured violence. Of the infinite number of topics and plots to be covered in a film, violence is not featured in so many of them, and yet the most popular films usually feature violence, if not center around it completely. It should be an evident insight into the human psyche to see that our most popular films are those that glorify, romanticize, and practically endorse violence. If we see our favorite actor beating the crap out of some dude, aren’t we going to do the same? It’s the simple psychology of following a role model, and if the movies you see everyday promote violence, how can you not practice it?

We have a “pornographic” interest in violence, which extends to an obsession. While war films are feats of storytelling, and enhance the story being told, they definitely end up promoting violence. War films are an insight into our obsession with violence, because violence enhances morals, and makes our mortality come to the surface, making everything else more real. We love seeing more violent films because we’re obsessed with violence and the way it affects storytelling. This ends up endorsing violence, and making it both more accepted as well as more practiced by society. Violent films show us that our obsession with violence stems from its effect on storytelling, and that this promotes violence in our society.

Works Cited

"All Time Highest Grossing Movies Worldwide." The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016. <>.

Interview with Tim O’Brien

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. New York: Broadway, 1998. Print.

Advanced Essay #4: A Nonviolent Society

This essay was inspired by the war unit we are now in. I choose to write about violence vs nonviolence and how they clash, but also come together. In this world we have advanced so much from where we came from, but still there's ideas and principles that should be implemented to create a more tolerable world. I more so focused on whether you can have a society rooted in nonviolence or not, and then it goes into how I feel about it all. This is how it all came together. 

The world we live in has vastly changed through the years. New ideas, new possibilities, new understandings of what should be done. Some may say for the better while others say for the worst. It’s all really a personal opinion on your take for how things are. This world has both good and evil co-existing to have a balance between the two. An equilibrium on a spectrum that should probably never tip to one’s favor, but through the years it always seem to fluctuate from being equal. That’s something that we all have to deal with, and I fear it’s only going to be an even bigger problem as I grow older.

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In this image you have two hands. Both have blood on all of the fingers plus the thumb. This white man’s hands are held out forward as if he’s thinking about what just happened. Maybe somebody he knew just died in his hands, or he just got finished from making someone bleed from whatever he did. The possibilities are endless to what I may think happened, but only he could tell me the real story. The story behind why he now has blood on his hands, and what is going through his head at this point. Was it all a setup, was this all his plan, or is just all a misunderstanding on my part. Not everything is what is seems, but even with this glimpse of the whole picture, you would assume the worst or maybe that’s just something some people do.

We advance ourselves everyday. New ideas turn into new possibilities, which bring new promise to the world we live in. Our brains work together to show that the human mind is endless. From what we wear, to eat, to what we use everyday. Advancements in our technology make us superior to others, but also instills fear to those around it. It can be used to help or harm depending on who wields it. America embraces the idea of militarism, using it almost as a superpower. Warfare, new implications of drones to inflict massive amounts of damage, use for reconnaissance, and help to assassinate HVTs. They use the human interaction in order to pilot and ensure that with each strike they kill the intended target. A job where we have to come together for the greater good, but at whose expense for when civilians are in the radius.

Nonviolence, a new art that’s hard to master. A concept involving conquering fear, a inner peace to be reached, and willing and able to accept others. Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Park, examples of these things that can come to mind automatically. They valued nonviolence as their weapon to fight against the society they lived in. Each wanted to create a world where they would rather live in. One where you’re free. One where they no longer have to fight, but they only embraced nonviolence. They knew they couldn’t add to the fire already taking the lives of those around them, but still they had to keep the pressure for change. They evolved with the world around them to better fight, but still never breaking their promise. Maybe more need to follow in their footsteps to have a better chance at change. Maybe violence only adds more uncontrolled anger, but if able to control it, maybe there can be a new change. Just think about this, “how do we deal with extreme violence without using force in return…”

Engulfed in the way that society was created. Having the idea that you need to have both sides in order to have a “perfect society” if it even exists. Violence and nonviolence go hand and hand. Both need to exist in order for there to be a real balance. It’s like a yin-and-yang, good and evil, they co-exist for the balance to be complete in the world. Without a general balance it tips to one side and society falls off. A take over of one side whether good or evil, but usually it tips over to be more evil. Racism in America, enslavement, or just a take over of another country all categorize as the evil taking over. In their mind they may believe that they’re right, but for those underneath them now, they see them as wrong. It’s all determined by who is in power, and so with that I can’t believe we can have a society rooted in nonviolence. They need to both exist or who can say what’s right from wrong.  

Advanced Essay 4 Ameena Atif

I found my image and similar images on Twitter. Twitter is a public platform where messages, posts, images, and videos can be shared all over the world. These images that displayed violence were easily accessible to me and everyone else around the world. Who should take the responsibility for graphic imagery and violations of human rights? Should Americans even be allowed to see this? Which government should take responsibility for this, Syrian? American?, or both? I knew that for my essay I wanted to explore the theme “Responsibility for Violence”.


In the photograph above rubble dominates the scene. If you look towards the right side of the image, you will see a man sitting down, knees up, his back up against a broken wall, and his hand pressed against his forehead. Three men are standing far in the background and 5 people are standing on a roof. This image was taken in Syria. According to activists, the site was hit by a Scud missile in Aleppo’s Ard Al-Hamra neighborhood on February 23, 2013.

The Syrian Civil War has tremendously exploded since pro-democracy protests broke out in March of 2011. The horrible regime of Bashar al-Assad caused the protests. These protests fueled a war that has had major casualties. The lives of civilians were taken by increasing violence.

   I found this image and similar images on Twitter. Twitter is a public platform where messages, posts, images, and videos can be shared all over the world. These graphic images were easily accessible to me and everyone else around the world. Who should take the responsibility for graphic imagery and violations of human rights? Should Americans even be allowed to see this? Which government should take responsibility for this, Syrian? American?, or both? I knew that for my essay I wanted to explore the theme “Responsibility for Violence”. Immediately these questions surfaced when I saw the images of the Syrian war.

The violation of human rights don’t stop in Syria. They continue to Israel. The use of cameras in the West Bank is a major issue. An article detailing the events of the West Bank reads, “When Israeli security forces arrived in the middle of the night at the Tamimi house in Nabi Salih, the occupied West Bank, the family was already in bed. The raid was not unexpected, as news had traveled around the village on that day in January 2011: Soldiers were coming to houses at night, demanding that young children be roused from sleep to be photographed for military records (to assist, they said, in the identification of stone throwers).” The soldiers seem the most responsible for violating human rights. However, even the soldiers have to report to a higher power. This made me think, “What are the guidelines for how militaries should act?” Violating human rights has taken over militaries. Even though the raid was not unexpected the children that suffered that traumatic experience will live with the memory for the rest of their lives. For many Americans this comes as as surprise. Privileged Americans, myself included. Do not have to worry whether security forces will barge in our homes in the middle of the night. Americans should stand up and recognize that this is wrong and is a violation of human rights.

The article also gave details on footage of the raid, “Bilal Tamimi, Nabi Salih’s most experienced videographer, had his own camcorder at the ready by his bedside table when he was awoken by the knock on the door. His sometimes shaky footage, drowsiness and concern for his children making his hand unsteady, subsequently ran on Israel’s evening news programs, the video provided by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem as part of its effort to document army abuses in the Occupied Territories. The footage told two stories, testifying to the increasing use of photography both by the army as a means of counterinsurgency and by Palestinians under occupation for evidence and self-protection. In the West Bank today, cameras are ubiquitous, as is the usage of social media as a means of online witnessing. Both are deemed nothing less than political necessities, the sine qua non of political claims in the networked court of public opinion.” The term political necessities worries me the most. Those that use the cameras are taking into consideration whether human rights are being abused.

In conclusion, I would like if everyone identified these horrific images when they are seen on social media. Who should take the responsibility for graphic imagery and violations of human rights? Should Americans even be allowed to see this? Which governments should take responsibility for this?


Works Cited:

"Beyond Vietnam**." Beyond Vietnam**. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Viral Occupation | Middle East Research and Information Project." Viral Occupation | Middle East Research and Information Project. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

*Image failed to upload

Advanced Essay 4: The Mystery Of Anonymity

The topic of anonymity can stretch as far as the mind can think in every direction. I decided to try and help people by giving them a starting point in order to begin to think about the different sides of people. In this essay I talk about the way people act differently when they are anonymous versus when they are just themselves, their identified selves. I also talked about different way that people become anonymous both literally and figuratively. My main goal is just to get people to think more about this subject. I hope you enjoy. 

There are always two sides to everyone. The identified side and the anonymous side. The identified side being the side that they show to everyone; the regular side of themselves. The anonymous side is the side that people do not see in each other; the side in which people take their deepest feelings and thoughts and express them. Although it is, most times, not a bad side of people, there are always the people who like to show their dark sides when they are anonymous in a sense.

Philip Zimbardo is an expert psychologist as well as the former leader of the widely known Stanford Prison Experiment that took place in 1971. The experiment was a test of good vs evil. Philip Zimbardo used students from Stanford University and made some of them prison guards and other prisoners. After time passed they psychologists noticed the students who were prison guards were getting really into their roles. They were getting harsher since they were in a position of power. I believe that even with the power, the students who played the prison guards wouldn’t have acted brutally to the students who played the prisoners. So what was it? The students who played the guards were in some way shape or form anonymous.

“You want to say that again boy?!” Says the police officer to the young man in front of him. The man is as close now as he can get. His balled fists are cut out of the photo though you can tell by his battle ready face that he won’t take anymore of the unnecessary bullshit the cop is coming to him with. The cop is as battle ready as the young man as he steps closer to him ready to take the young man away after any action out of line. Immediately the cop reacts and beats the young man. Why? He is a cop, his job is to keep order. Does he put the uniform on in order to gain authority over civilians or to keep the peace? Who knows, his uniform automatically gives him more power, he is a cop… a cookie that was created for and by the city he lives in.

Uniforms play a big role in the topic of anonymity. When I say uniforms, I mean it in a literal and figurative sense. When having to do with anonymity in a literal sense, uniforms are disguises, masks, and even regular uniforms. But if you look at a uniform in a figurative way, you realize that people are just playing a role. They are the dough under the cookie cutter. Something happens in people’s minds when they know they are just ‘doing their job’. That is what happened to the students who were the prison guards during the notorious Stanford Experiment. I have good reason to believe that the students who were the guards felt a sense of anonymity when they put on the uniforms because at the end of the day, they were only playing a role. They were anonymous and that is when they started showing the darker side of themselves. Ball players have to play ball because that is their role, it is their job. There are some cases when people gain authority and take that to another level though, just like the student guards in the experiment. Even if they don’t want to, police have to arrest people who commit crimes because that is their role in society when they put on the uniform. A soldier has to fight for his country because that is his job when he puts on the uniform, he knows it is kill or be killed.

The military is another world in itself. There are so many different factors that go into the relationship between the uniform, the soldier, and the future soldier. The future soldier is the youth, the kids who look up to these heroes. Today in age, many kids submerge themselves in the world of video games. Violent games are the top sellers these days which is extremely important when thinking about the next generations. The military has been taking advantage of these violent video games and they give the future soldier a glimpse into the world of the military. The future soldier is obviously going to be starstruck because it is just the world we live in. So now we have these non violent kids playing violent video games all day; doing things that they know they will not do in real life (most kids). Why do they do it? They do it because they are (like the student guards in uniforms) anonymous. They do not consider themselves as them when playing these games, they are playing a role and the character is their uniform. What they do in the game will not impact their real lives therefore they feel like they have the freedom to fight other characters, harass other characters, to kill other characters. This is a serious problem because it can affect the way the child grows. The military uses these violent and militaristic games in order to recruit these kids because if you give kids a glimpse of what this is and they (for some reason) enjoy it, then that is automatic recruits in the future.

No one can ever see the anonymous side of someone until they show it. That is why the idea of anonymity is such a mystery because it can play into so many aspects of society. Everyone has the potential to be good and evil, it’s just up to them to decide what side to show. But from Town Devils to cookie cut villains, this world is truly filled with a variety of personalities and voices that are all just waiting to be seen and heard.


RT Editors. "'Justice for Everyone!' Thousands Stand up against Police Brutality in Ferguson, St. Louis." RT International. RT, 07 Aug. 2015. Web. <>.

Maraniss, David. "FBI Agent Uncovers the Truth of Prison Brutality."Washington Post. The Washington Post, 06 Nov. 2014. Web. <>.

Witness Media Lab Editors. "Caught on Camera: Police Abuse in the U.S."WITNESS Media Lab. WITNESS, 08 Sept. 2015. Web. <>.

PBS Editors. "The Army Experience Center." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. <>.

Zimbardo, Philip. "The Psychology of Evil." Philip Zimbardo:. TED Talk, Feb. 2008. Web. <>.