Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Cinema Essay Both the films Braveheart and V for Vendetta explore the issues of insurgent and counterinsurgent behavior but do so in slightly differing terms. As an important note, we have to take into consideration that the time periods in which both films are set cannot be even more different. Braveheart, the struggle of the legendary Scottish figure William Wallace, is set amidst the trials and tribulations of Middle Age England. On the other hand, V for Vendetta takes place in a not-too-distant version of modern day England. From this understanding comes the realization that while both films attempt to characterize the power struggle between those who have it and those who do not, there is a curious discrepancy in the way that the characters within those films view their plights. Mel Gibson, who directs Braveheart, chose to present insurgency as the morally apt option against the tyrannical rule of England against the Scots. It is heavily implied in the film that because the English has continuously abused its authority as against their constituents, that it is but proper for the beleaguered Scots to rise up and protect themselves from further maltreatment. The most striking characterization of this abuse happens early on when the lord of the land uses his authoritarian privilege of primae noctis, allowing him to take the virginity of a newly-wed. It is of course the wife of William Wallace in the film that fall victim to this exercise. Braveheart thus sets forth the idea that the collective abuse wrought on by an alien authority or figure upon a group of people is enough justification for a moral uprising, which in this case an armed one. William WallaceÃ¢â¬â¢s merry band of Scottish insurgents is clearly the Ã¢â¬Å"goodÃ¢â¬ ones whereas King Edward I of England is the very facade of evil as his method of counterinsurgency is singularly fueled by his belief that his authority is supreme. V for Vendetta takes quite the different approach. Foremost, the insurgency presented in V is primarily lonesome, with the titular character going on a one-man crusade against a tyrannical party authority in 2027 England when it seems the rest of the world has succumbed to the Ã¢â¬Å"flawsÃ¢â¬ of democracy. In this film, the subjugation of freedom by the central authority is not necessarily carried out for the purposes of vanity or glory. Unlike in BraveheartÃ¢â¬â¢s Edward I, V for VendettaÃ¢â¬â¢s Chancellor Sutler, while still very clearly presented as morally corrupt, actually believes that his partyÃ¢â¬â¢s style of governance is for the greater good. Meanwhile, the filmÃ¢â¬â¢s protagonist, or antihero as the case may be, V, appears to be as morally corrupt as the figure he is struggling against, resorting to the use of kidnapping and outright murder. This is a far cry for Mel GibsonÃ¢â¬â¢s interpretation of William Wallace, who is portrayed almost like a sword-saint. Clearly, both films attempt to portray their central characters as victims of circumstance, with Wallace as the distraught husband and V a survivor of governmental subjugation and that both are somehow motivated by sentiments of revenge. In a simple conclusion however, it is very interesting to propose the notion that BraveheartÃ¢â¬â¢s version of insurgency is more akin to a moral rebellion while V for VendettaÃ¢â¬â¢s version edges closer to terrorism with a cause. Bonus Question: Of Cinematic Appeal I found V for Vendetta as more cinematically appealing than Braveheart. While Braveheart is an epic adventure that has a very satisfying Ã¢â¬Å"good vs. evilÃ¢â¬ template powering its message, V for VendettaÃ¢â¬â¢s morally ambiguous structure is far more interesting. Just as the Alan Moore graphic novel original, the film adaptation of V for Vendetta is not only a visual masterpiece, but it is a prime subject for further discussion. In a way, I find that while V for Vendetta is very clearly easy on the eyes, it is not so easy on the brains. This is a complimentary observation for me because viewers, depending on their pre-conceived notions or biases, can take on differing sides of the moral dilemmas presented. As I watched V for Vendetta, I asked myself several times, Ã¢â¬Å"IsnÃ¢â¬â¢t V just a terrorist? Ã¢â¬ Then I realized that for V, maybe that wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t the case at all. Mid-Term Questions: 1. Compare and contrast the following concepts: a) Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: Insurgency constitutes an armed uprising by a group with no apparent vested authority against a duly-recognized power. Meanwhile, counterinsurgency is the means by which the besieged authority attempts to quell the insurgency normally by way of combat. In casual terms, insurgency is the act of rebel forces while counterinsurgency is the act of government. b) Insurgency and Terrorism: While insurgency covers the broad notion of an armed struggle following a somehow systemic way of combat against an opposing force, terrorism is likewise the use of lethal force with no apparent target. In a way, terrorism is a way to inflict terror, possibly to incite fear and paranoia amongst a populace, leading to concessions by the governing authority. c) Insurgency and Guerilla Warfare Guerilla warfare is a style of combat characterized by small groups using non-conventional means of warfare such as ambushes, hit-and-run tactics, but rarely acts of terrorism. Most insurgent groups prefer guerilla-style warfare early on in their struggles as they lack logistical support and manpower. 2. Briefly outline the four-stage model created by Dr. Polk in the book entitled, Violent Politics, to study the insurgency movements around the world. William Folk basically argues that any foreign occupation provides for the necessary ingredients for insurgency in the occupied land. This insurgency tends to favor the use of terrorist acts as a means to convey its struggle which in turn merits the response of the occupying power. As the cycle of terrorism-counterterrorism continues and builds up, a point is reached wherein the initial insurgency evolves into full-blown rebellion. 3. Briefly discuss Foucaults concept of power; and its impact on how people view what is normal and what is deviant. (15 points) FoucaultÃ¢â¬â¢s concept of power is the exercise of intention. He claims that as power is everywhere, that intention is likewise everywhere. The ubiquity of intention influences the perceptions of the everyman, does giving birth to socially-agreed definitions or norms regarding deviance and normalcy.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
For Their Rights as Citizens During the Civil War, almost 200,000 African Americans fought alongside white people. What did these African Americans fight for? Some fought for the freedom of others of their kind. While others fought for equality in the eyes of white people. Even some fought for revenge against the Southern way of life. But what I believe that they fought for was their rights as citizens. They wanted to be treated as Citizens of the United States of America, and have all of the privileges endowed to citizens. Ã¢â¬Å"If we fight to maintain a Republican Government, we want Republican privileges.....all we ask is the proper enjoyment of the rights of citizenship,Ã¢â¬ p205. This tells me that the African Americans were thinking of their rights of citizenship before the war had concluded. To them, being a citizen of the United States meant that they could do what ever they wanted to do. They could pursue dreams they had to go visit everywhere and anywhere in this country freely. Nobody would be holding them down or selling off their children anymore. They would no longer be automatons, they would have a say in what they wanted to accomplish in life, from banking to farming, to being land owners themselves. The African Americans also wanted to demonstrate that they were willing to fight for their rights. Sergeant Charles Singer wrote, Ã¢â¬Å"show the whole world that we are willing to fight for our rights...Ã¢â¬ p.215. This shows that they wanted to prove that they were willing to die for those rights allotted to citizens. Ã¢â¬Å"Let us by a common cause now made holy by our blood, raise ourselves from the mire,Ã¢â¬ p.216. To me this shows the willingness of the African Americans to join together fight for a cause, and not fear death. Because in the end, they would earn citizenship and all of its benefits. This is a good reason to fight, earn freedom from oppression, and be given the rights allotted to all citizens. Some fighting under the banner of citizenship and its rights, believed that they disserved the same rights as the white people. Ã¢â¬Å"...I am not willing to fight for anything less that the white man fights for.......Give me my rights, the rights that this Government owes me, the same rights that the white man has,Ã¢â¬ p.208. This tells me that the African Americans wanted no less than what the white people already had.
Monday, January 13, 2020
Alcoholic addiction is compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinkerÃ¢â¬â¢s health, personal relationships, and social standing. It is medically considered a disease. For example a person who is physical addicted to alcohol and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities continue to drink, even when health, work, or family are being harmed. Alcoholics Drink alone, They also become violent when drinking, Become hostile when asked about drinking, Are not able to control drinking Ã¢â¬â being unable to stop or reduce alcohol intake, Make excuses to drink, Miss work or school, or have a decrease in performance because of drinking, Stop taking part in activities because of alcohol, Need to use alcohol on most days to get through the day, Neglect to eat or eat poorly, they Do not care about or ignore how they dress or whether they are clean, Try to hide alcohol use, Shake in the morning or after periods when they have not a drink. Alcoholism is characterized by cravings for a alcohol and an inability to stop drinking. It is accompanied by a physical dependence which also means that the person experiences withdrawal symptoms when not drinking and an increased tolerance for alcohol meaning the person needs to drink greater amounts to feel better. Before entering recovery, most alcoholics will deny they have a problem . the difference with being addicted to alcohol and abusing it is that People who abuse alcohol but are not dependent on it may have similar symptoms, but they donÃ¢â¬â¢t feel the same craving to drink and usually donÃ¢â¬â¢ t feel the same craving to drink and usually donÃ¢â¬â¢ t experience withdrawal symptoms. About 18 million people in the United States abuse alcohol and estimates suggest that more than 70 million Americans have dealt with alcoholism in their family. Alcohol is involved in almost half of all traffic deaths in the U. S Alcoholism does not have a specific cure but through rehab and therapy, it can be maintained and controlled and a person can keep clean for as long as they are determined.