What if we lived in a society built on non-violence?
Violence is everywhere in modern day America. Fortnite the biggest game in the world with, according to Shacknews, a trusted resource in the gaming community, over “200 million registered players,” is a game where the goal is to eliminate all the other players with an arsenal of weapons to be the last man standing. Violence is the mainstream.
One thing people say about Fortnite is that it’s “kid-friendly.” This is due to it’s cartoonish graphics and silly characters that the player can choose from. Kid friendly. Violence is so prevalent in America that a game where the player runs around finding and using different guns can be seen as “kid friendly.” All you have to do is get rid of the gore and replace the word kill with “eliminate” and suddenly violence is acceptable for all ages.
In American kids are groomed to be violent. The leader of our country even advocates for violence when he deems it necessary. In a speech Trump made in 2016 while in Cedar Roads, Iowa he told his supporters to “knock the crap out of them, would you? … I promise you I will pay for the legal fees,” in regards to protestors at his rallies, some who had been throwing tomatoes. All humans have a flight or fight response to certain circumstances. Yet in America the perception is that the fight response is for the strong and the flight response is for the weak.
If someone disrespects you, you fight them. Fight, fight, fight, over nothing. In 2015 nearly 6,000 african-americans were killed by other african-americans according to the Daily Wire. Violence doesn’t have any boundaries. In America people who look like each other, talk like each other will destroy each other over nothing. The weapon of choice many times being a gun.
The easiest way to carry out violence is with a gun. In America according to the Gun Violence Archive there have already been 10 incidents classified as “mass shootings” this month. In May. Six days. There are many different opinions on why gun violence has become such a problem in America. Some say that guns are too easily accessible. That if we had more protocols in place in regards to ownership less crazies would have access to guns.
Others say that mental health is the problem. That everyone has a right to a gun and the lack of help being provided to these people is the true problem.
These are two valid arguments but there’s a piece missing. America loves violence. In media, in our culture of not letting someone disrespect you, violence is everywhere. How can we expect some people not to take that to the ultimate extreme when it’s been all around of them from the time they were born.
How would our culture change if it was rooted in non-violence? What if guns were looked at as a privilege to own and not a right? How can we truly get better at connecting with one another enough to put more value into the life of another human?
I think one thing we must do is put more effort into working on breaking down the “us vs them” barriers that divide Americans from Americans. We have too many instances of police killing young black men, the poor struggling against the rich, bigots degrading those they believe are below them. And yet they don’t mourn, because they feel no connection to those they have hurt. Anne Frank who wrote a diary during the Holocaust said that “we all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”
Love must be preached in schools, in media more. Caring for one another has to be made more of a priority. As was highlighted before not only is there violence to the us vs them concepts that flow through America but there is also violence among those who look and talk the same. We have to fix this.
Imagine if American culture was infused with ideas like this. What if we valued our fellow man enough, to the point that violence would be looked down upon because it would result in the pain of our fellow man.
Violence is too big of a part in American society. It’s present in entertainment, American children get exposed to it as children, it’s even present in presidential rhetoric. No wonder why violence acts have become such a common occurrence in America. Violence is everywhere. To end this cycle of violence it it essential that we put more of an emphasis on caring for one another. Violence only tears us apart.
Bandler, Aaron, and Aaron Bandler. “7 Statistics You Need To Know About Black-On-Black Crime.” Daily Wire, The Daily Wire, 13 July 2016, www.dailywire.com/news/7441/7-statistics-you-need-know-about-black-black-crime-aaron-bandler.
Elworthy, Scilla. “Fighting with Nonviolence.” TED, www.ted.com/talks/scilla_elworthy_fighting_with_non_violence?language=en#t-314454.
“The Greatest Diversity Quotes.” Greatest, www.greatest-inspirational-quotes.com/diversity-quotes.html.
“Gun Violence Archive.” Gun Violence Archive, www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting.Hawkins, Josh. “How Many Players Does Fortnite Have?” Shacknews, Shacknews, 4 Mar. 2019, www.shacknews.com/article/110261/how-many-players-does-fortnite-have.
I’ve been masculine my whole life. I’ve never really struggled with that part of my identity. But when thinking about this essay I realized that it's never been something I thought about. I just was. Everyone I hung out with was. Since I was a kid I’ve always loved basketball and a lot of my closest friends are ones I met while on various different teams. All of us trying to look like our heroes, the ones that do what we do on Tv. Men, who are strong, dedicated and completely masculine. Star athletes who never have their masculinity questioned in any way. And isn’t that funny? Athletes get accused of thievery, rape, murder, but never of having wavering masculinity. Never of falling short of what a man “should” be.
In an article written by Steve Almond for The New York Times, he questions if “watching sports, and later attempting to fashion [himself] into an athlete, also served as a kind of inoculation against the more elemental fear that [he] was insufficiently masculine” (9/11/15). There are a lot of different ways to to interpret this quote. Does being an athlete in our society automatically make you more masculine? And why? How can something such as the essence of your manhood even be quantified? Those are really tough questions and yet in our society they are made simple. Workout so your body looks good. Date a lot of girls, that’ll improve your status. Degrade other men to show your superiority over them. Read a book? Why would you ever do that? These are some of the ways that masculinity is approached and seen in America. Being a boy who’s grown up in the public school system of course of I’ve seen this in my own life as well.
Earlier this year I got into a shouting match with my friend. We had gotten into it about something but it had devolved into who could say the words that cut deepest and the topic of basketball was his weapon of choice.
“I heard you don’t play. You don’t get no minutes. What happened you were supposed to be on the best on the team?”
A lot of the things he was saying weren’t true but the perception of them had manifested itself in his mind and made me less of a man in his mind. For the the first time in my life, my masculinity had been questioned.
In the dictionary masculinity is defined as “qualities or attributes regarded as characteristics of men,” but what does that truly mean? The Washington Post covered an “intimate panel discussion” regarding that same question of “what does it really mean to be a man?” and during it Mark Greene, the Senior Editor of The Good Men Project said that “the rules of being a man… aren’t just handed to us on a piece of paper. They’re pounded into us daily. Until we open up our definition of manhood much broader to include as many versions of manhood as there are manhood as there are men, men are going to continue to confront this question of ‘Am I man enough?” (Date N/A).
This is the quote that really clicked for me. Masculinity as defined, are the traits and attributes that are deemed as characteristics of men. In our society, this is taken too far in many cases and the definition can be misinterpreted as to meaning that masculinity makes up traits and attributes that to be a real man you must have. That’s why not having the best season made me less of a man to my friend. Because as a man if you’re going to be an athlete you should be a good one. And I believe that is where the biggest problem lies. Masculinity shouldn’t exist because it tries to simplify and minimize the essence of so many different types of people, living so many different types of lives that are similar in only one way and that is that they are male. To have a term like masculinity that has become restrictive, being used as a measuring stick as you’re value and status as a human, is toxic really. A universal checklist of what a man should be can’t be applied when the men who are checking the boxes are men who’s individual make-ups are anything but.
Masculinity has become a way to make all boys feel that they have to look and act a certain way to be accepted, when really we should be telling these kids that being themselves is the most important thing. Because if masculinity is a term that doesn’t integrate all men within its boundaries then it contradicts its own definition and shouldn’t be used at all.
I Didn’t Jump I Was Pushed
We turned the corner to the sounds of screaming. Just what we had been looking for. As we walked out of the forest into the light the sounds intensified and relief filled my body. The green trees were a beautiful background as sticks stopped crunching beneath our feet and gave way to smooth stone. Before us was a beautiful blue lake the deepest type of blue. We saw a boy jump as we got closer, the water rushing up to meet him. Splash. Yup I was back in Maine alright. Bar Harbor to be exact. It had been the location of our summer home for a long as I had been aware. I hadn’t been to my home state in six months and whenever I go back I always think about how much life had changed.
My middle school was in Auburn, Maine. A solid eight-hour drive from Philadelphia. I didn’t really fit in there. I had my friends but they weren’t truly my friends, they weren’t the type of people that I could trust the way I wanted to. I didn’t have much confidence at all, I let people walk all over me. I wondered how to change all the time. How to be cool, how to look like nothing bothered me like the coolest kids did. At that time we didn’t have much money. My dad, my brother and I all squeezed into a one-bedroom apartment for a year with no air-conditioning. Kids would say they loved my shoes. Mocking. I wore new balances, oblivious, and when the teasing started I didn’t have other shoes. I tried to change, tried to figure out what made me such an easy target. I told myself late at night that I would stop doing certain things and people would leave me alone. I had almost achieved my goal when my dad told me we were moving.
There was a lower jump and mom said we should take that first so we walked down the small path. I could feel my sandals losing their novelty as I slid-walked down the dirt path. My first experience with jumping off ledges into bodies of water had been off a bridge. That time it had taken me 40 minutes to jump. Off this little jump I drilled myself that I was going to jump in right away and that’s what I did. Straight up, then down, sinking, cold, and air again.
“Oh wow Micah,” my mom. She jumped in after, the water jumping away from her straight up into the air. I was anxious as I got out of the water. It was time for the big jump.
I remember being so nervous my first day of school at SLA. I wasn’t wearing new balances but I was acutely aware of anything someone might find wrong with me in this alien place. But I was hopeful, I could be whoever I wanted in this new place.
My first friend at SLA was Mamadou Samassa one of my closest friend now. Basketball started and I made friend after friend and I was different but not really. I copied the way they talked but I also laughed more, we went out everyday. School was fun, interesting I liked my classmates and I could just chill be me.
As I climbed back up the path I remembered that the trick is to not think. I got on the back of the cliff got a running start and jumped… up then down, down straight into the water fast way too fast. Crash. I let myself sink for moments, my heart still racing then pushed myself back up where the air was.
“How was it,” my grandmother.
“Scary,” I said. “Very scary.”
I jumped into Philly in the same manner. Thrust into a completely new situation yet I didn’t jump I was pushed. Cliff jumping had nothing had on that day. I changed a little but not as much as I thought. I had friends we called each other brothers and I tried to be kind to everybody to be someone my middle school me would like. I think a lot of people think there’s something wrong with them when they’re in a situation that’s not working out. That for some reason they’re missing something everybody else, that they’ll be stuck as a caterpillar forever, but I don’t think that’s the case. Maybe some of us just need a little bit more time in our cocoon.
My element is iron and it’s atomic number is 26.\
The word iron derives from the Anglo-Saxon word "iron" or iren" the origin of the symbol Fe comes from the Latin word "ferrum" meaning "iron. Iron can be used to make a lot of other useful materials like steel which is used often in manufacturing. Iron is one of the most plentiful elements. It comprises about 5.6% of the earth's crust and almost all of the earth's core
I decided that I wanted to make my print about steel because iron is a huge part in making steel and steel is a huge component to us as a civilization so I thought that would be cool to write about and that’s why I put the steel beams holding up the world.
I know at first I made something stupid because, naturally. But then I came up with the design and the word to go with it and I liked it a lot.
If I could go through this process again I would probably make a more concise picture if that makes sense just try to make it smaller and look a little cooler.
My favorite part was definitely transferring the picture onto paper and then being able to look at it that was tough.
Negative space is complicated. It’s kind of a hard concept to get but once you get it into your mind and think about it’s pretty simple. Negative space is the space that is in between and around the subject of whatever you are looking at or trying to show. For me real-life examples are the easiest so I will give you some. In this photo for example, my camera is focused on the heart and the background is my kitchen table but if I were to take a picture of my table from the ceiling than the floor would be the negative space because the subject would would the table and the floor would just be the backdrop.
Since this picture was pretty simple it was easy to find the negative space as you have the cut-outs in the heart which make them no longer the subject so that was pretty simple to find.
It definitely helps an artist to see negative space because, if you’re good, you can manipulate it to make things pop out of the image. Like those photos where the picture is focused on something but then you see something tough in the background of the photo and it’s really cool so I can really add another layer to art.Seeing negative space in art definitely helps as it allows people to get a whole picture because you can definitely focus on something but then to see the surroundings of what you’re trying to show that’s really good and, I think separates the good artists from the great ones.
This was my final result for my rubber stamp. It took me a while to eventually end at this as I tried and failed many times. At first I fell into the easy trap of trying to put too much into a limited space and platform. Overall a good stamp gets a quick message across that doesn’t take too much though which I struggled with. I was trying to make stamps that portrayed a story rather than a billboard which you can look at and just understand.Another problem that came with me trying to convey too much was a lack of positive and negative space. I made a ton of lines which I think is also indicative of how much I was working harder and not smarter. So after finally ditching my idea of making an incredibly complicated staircase with no negative, positive space, nothing I came to this heart. It pretty much my heart with the marks of a basketball, which I know is a shocker!!!! But I mean it. I wanted to get something in there about my family but I think I did a good job of getting my message across and realizing that it is just a rubber stamp. Not my life story. One problem I had with negative space was really separating everything from each other. You can have the background be intended to be negative space but not really be. Also the concept of no lines kind of messed me up but also helps in a way. It kind of stops you from going in too deep on your message like I was trying to do especially with the only possible letters having to be of the bubble variety that helps.
Yo soy Micah Jack,
Yo soy el hijo de uno inmigrante,
No necesito clandestino mi y mi familia es gratis.
Yo veo mucha gente y un árbol grande,
Yo saboreo frutas especias,
Yo oigo conversación y muchas risas,
Yo todo los árboles,
Yo huelo especia.
Practicar mi oficios,
Como la cultura,
A veces yo doy el Caribeña.
Somos productos de nosotros,
Somos de la Caribeña,
Nunca finito, pero casi.
A group of friends are starving for pizza but there is one problem. It doesn't arrive on time and with an unexpected friend, murder!!!! Find out what happens in "¿Donde Esta la Pizza?"
Josh como Trego
Micah como Enrique
Oszain como Alisa
Amayah como Alena
I made this script because it embodies everything I’m doing right now. I like it because it’s glance media you can look at it and there’s a message you just have to think about it a little bit. My whole magazine pretty much tells the story of how I’ve loved basketball and how I moved here to pursue it.
I like this slide because of the big font creating contrast with the world. and the clear (I think) message of how on top of the world I want to be with basketball being the platform to get there.
Pretty much if I can reach my goals of playing basketball at the highest level I’ll be on top of the world, that’s the biggest dream I got. I moved here with that being pretty much my only motivation. Right now the only thing I’m doing is ‘Dream Chasing.’