Aesthetics

As I read “On Aesthetics” from The Moral Imagination I thought it was really insightful as the writing went in depth about aesthetics.  I’ve always thought as aesthetics as just simply what brings pleasure to somewhere and that everyone aesthetics are different but I’ve never thought about it more in depth.  I thought it was really interesting how the reading discussed intuition as a part of aesthetics.  I found it interesting that Yeats said that intuition reacts to the “heart’s core”.  I agree that intuition is what builds aesthetics to us as people and it made me wonder about how much our intuition affects everything we do.  I think intuition is built while growing up and the experiences that one has.  If someone is constantly lied to then you would think their intuition in the future would be to be very cautious of trusting anyone.  An example that I thought of how developed intuition would affect aesthetics comes from the media.  We as a culture are always sold on a certain style or look as what is “beautiful” in people.  Through years of growing up and seeing these images I think it builds into our intuition and ultimately affects our aesthetics in regard to beauty in people.  The one question this reading brought up to me in relation to human beauty is if the media was not as powerful as it is in our country, would our aesthetics towards people change?  I just think that idea is interesting especially when you look at other cultures and their aesthetics.

Pollock & Oral History

As I read Pollock’s introduction to Oral History and Performance there was one idea that really stuck out to me.  The idea of oral history as a tranformational process that relates to the real events and real witnesses was interesting.  As this weekend went on I feel like I saw this idea play out within the football game I played in.  The way Pollock talks about direct witnesses opposed to people who have heard of the event i think correlates really well to fans.  This weekend in our game things went terribly and there was no denying that, but i found it funny how direct witnesses (the team) and people who have heard of the event (fans) had different views of it.  I think the transformational process of this event depending on who you talked to would be very interesting as the direct and indirect witnesses would tell you different things as to what went wrong.  While fans can only watch the game they see certain things and blame certain people for our losses that if you talked to someone on the team they could explain how it wasn’t necessarily that person’s fault because they were a direct witness to what happened.  I think ultimately the most important idea that came from Pollock was just that indirect witnesses can often times miconstrue a situation due to their lack of understanding of a situation.  Another place I think we see this is in the news where stuff is reported at face value just to get more views.  News outlets do not care if they fully undestand a situation or not they just want to get a story out.  An example of this I found on the internet is this article where “sources” are used to report what is happening with the NBA lockout.  Do the “sources” really have a direct witness of what is happening? We don’t know.

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7202117/nbpa-mandatory-meeting-player-representatives-tuesday-sources-say

Complex Oppression

After I read Boal the one idea that stuck with me was the idea that because we as people are complex, not all oppression is easy to know.  The idea of people being oppressed in a relationship with one another was an idea that is really interesting to me.  Thinking about it brought me to one key question:  Does being oppressed in a sense give us what we want?

I know that it seems insane to think that we would actually like being oppressed but the more I think about our society the more it appears it may potentially be true.  One would have to agree that to a degree we our opressed by our government. We are opressed in many ways ranging from not being allowed to not wear a seatbelt to not being allowed to take money from others.  While the seatbelt is not a big deal it is still oppression.  As much as I may want to just get into my car and drive away I am not allowed to because our government says it is illegal.  Oppression in this fashion is trivial and is just annoying at best.  However, I appreciate the opression that is put on us by our government that we may not rob other people.  While I myself would not rob anyone, it provides me with a good state of mind knowing that others should not attempt to rob me because they are also “opressed” by the government and law.  In this way I am glad that I am oppressed and to me that is a very complex thought.

Occupy Las Vegas

Our group is occupying Las Vegas.

Statement: “How bout that ride in? Guess that’s why they call it Sin City.”

Reason:  Our statement speaks to the irresponsible decisions that have been made by the government and Wall Street big dogs that have gotten us into this poor economic state.  The ride describes the spending we have been involved in over the past decade or so and Sin City is a symbol of Wall Street, Washington, and our city Las Vegas.

 

A One Man Wolfpack

Organizing for Social Change

As I read Organizing for Social Change I thought the four categories of dialectic tension for the process of social change were really interesting.  The four categories listed were control and emancipation, oppression and empowerment, dissemination and dialogue, and fragmentation and unity.  The category that really stuck out to me as I read was the concept of oppression and empowerment.  I found the statement in the reading that “a person may act in a way that is empowering in one context but simultaneously oppressing in another” really impactful.  I think we all as people struggle with this dialectic on a daily basis and it is something that is really interesting to think about. 

As a college student I thought this idea of oppression and empowerment was really interesting in the way many of us pursue our social lives.  As I read the example of purdah both oppressing and empowering simultaneously women in India I shomehow kept correlating it to alcohol in the college atmosphere.  When ever I get the chance to go out on the weekends I think many people are fighting the concept of oppression and empowerment through the use of alcohol.  I think that alcohol is oppressing in the way that when someone is drunk they can’t think well and tend to be oppressed from representing themselves to others in a way that normally they would want to be seen.  However, while the alcohol may be oppressing clear thought I would argue that it is empowering in the college social scene.  The prominent use of alcohol on collge campuses makes it empowering in the sense of fitting in with other people.  Being drunk also seems to be empowering by making people less afraid to introduce themselves and do things that they may not do normally.  I think a good example of oppression and empowerment in popular culture is the show Jersey Shore.  I think their actions are very oppressing by the way the make the general public feel about the characters as people but their actions are also empowering by gaining them wealth and notariety in our culture.  Hre’s a link to the Jersey Shore website: http://www.mtv.com/shows/jersey_shore/season_4/series.jhtml

Ritual as a Symbol

When we talked in class about ritual as a symbol it made me think of a ritual that we have on the football team and question what it is a symbol of.  Every week for the game before we leave the locker room we always recite the Lord’s Prayer.  I’ve played for 2 different college teams and on both teams the ritual was the same that you always put a hand on your teamates and said the Lord’s Prayer together before taking the field.  Thinking about this made me think of the idea who gets to share what meaning and a little bit deeper it made me think of just what is the meaning of this ritual anyway? Every week we have chapel and mass the night before the game that are optional that you can attend if you are religous.  If I had to guess I would say at best 75% of the team attends either chapel or mass.  I think thats interesting because I wonder what the symbol is to the people that aren’t religious who say the Lord’s Prayer before games.  To someone like me who is religious the ritual is important because it is a symbol of my faith, but to someone who isn’t religious I’m not sure what they would see it as a symbol for.  I guess team unity is ultimately what it is for but it just strikes me as odd that our ritual is something that everyone on the team doesn’t get to share the same meaning which ultimately isn’t too unifying.  I just thought this whole ritual was very interesting when I thought about it as a symbol when not everyone on our team gets to share the same exact meaning.