Blog Archives

“Babel”: The ties that tie us to terrorism rhetorically… Cross-Post

babel movie poster

Movie Poster

Original Post on Blogger.com

Blog Instructions

After carefully watching Babel and taking insightful notes on the film’s context, differing ideologies and political infra-structures (hegemonic influences), please list only one example from the film of a particular cultural stereotype. Then, discuss how this example you chose might have (potentially) been received by an American audience versus the actual same ethnic/culture audience the incident took place (in the film).

..

My response

Babel’s plot is dispersed among several countries and portrays the characters in a way that illustrates how global communications is flattening our world.This film is truly an international work, from the production people to the writer and the cast.This film examines the varying perspectives of the characters in the aftermath of a tragic accidental shooting. I will focus on the Japanese character, Chieko. She is the daughter of the hunter, who gave the rifle to his former guide in Morocco. The emotionally challenged deaf/mute teenager has recently lost her mother to suicide. This character expresses her grief through extreme sexual acting-out. Another frustration relates to hegemonic attitudes of the hearing teenage boys that hang out where she does. I will focus on the scene in which she enters the disco with her girlfriends and the new acquaintances.

These new acquaintances have fed the girls whiskey and mind-altering substances. This forges instant friendships. Chieko feels accepted in this group. One of this guys, Haruki, shows an instant attraction to her. The sequence leading to the entrance of the disco shows the fast pace of Japanese culture through fast-moving citizens, subway, wide-shot of the busy streets and her drug-induced enjoyment of the simple things in life, like swinging and playing with the boys in the water. For once in the movie, Chieko is enjoying life. Haruki has his arm around her and she can sign with him.

The Japanese teenager enjoying herself.

The Japanese teenager enjoying herself.

The scene’s music transition before they enter. Shot of the subway, travelers, and the chaotic motion of the traffic segue into the bright lights, lasers, smoke and the mass of bodies dancing. Haruki takes her purse and stuffs it into a locker and drags her to the dance floor. September/The Joker by Fatboy Slim is moving the crowd. The audience hear what she hears intermittently. NOTHING. At first she seems overwhelmed but finally she smiles. She observes the people around her. She feels the energy and starts mimicking the movements of dancers. The audience can see her self-confidence and she laughs for the first time in the film. Unfortunately, this feeling does not last long.

The composition of the shots range from extreme close-ups of Chieko, unfocused features giving the effect of the drug wearing off and the crowd enjoying themselves. As the song changes, Bootsy Collins can be heard making the statement, THE JUNGLE S GETTING WILD, BABY. This is the counterpoint of the scene. The music speeds up, the composition of the shots get weirder and she shuts her eyes closed for awhile. When she opens them, she notices her girlfriend and Haruki making out.Her smile disappears and she stops dancing. Once again the audience experiences her auditory POV, no sound. She waves and leaves. From my experience, I can say that she was more depressed and confused than before she took the drugs.

 I believe that Chieko represents a stereotypical teenager, in either America or Japan culture. I understand these two cultures are different. In my opinion, all teenagers want acceptance from their peers and feel self-confident.

As far as audience reception of this scene, I believe that the impact has to do with experiencing the disco through her perspective of silence. I would guess that most of the audience, either Japanese or American, have not experienced a silent disco.

GLOBAL ISSUES IN A DIGITAL SOCIETY Blog 2 Cross-Post

In my graduate course, Global Issues in a Digital Society, we are studying  mediated terrorism, historical and current, including cyber-terrorism as our global issue theme. 

The professor posed the following issue for the post.

Blog 2: Across the Universe of Revolution & Civil Disobedience…

Pick a scene from Across The Universe that ties into The Weathermen Underground regarding civil disobedience from this time period 1960s to 1970s…discuss briefly creativity versus historical context using terminology and rules from your Writing About Film text.

Across the Universe

The Weathermen Underground

This my post:

webagent99 

February 18, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Merriam-Webster defines Revolution as : the usually violent attempt by many people to end the rule of one government and start a new one. The late 1960s and early 1970s was a period of revolution around the globe. In the United States, poverty, unemployment, racism and the Vietnam War have led to mass civil disobedience.

Across the Universe is a musical narrative that incorporates the time period music of the Beatles to provide creative context to the storyline. The two main characters, Jude and Lucy, come from two different socioeconomic backgrounds. She came from a privileged, old-money family. He came from a single-mom household in Liverpool, England. This results in them not seeing eye-to-eye about current events.

Lucy’s last line in the washateria scene was: “Maybe when bombs go off here, people will listen.”

Judd express his opinion at SDS. Office about the revolution during this song. He calmly sings to Lucy then gets violent. The workers are hostile towards him while the he continues to belt out the lyrics. This change  seen in The Weather Underground , which i will discuss. Lucy does not understand why he did that. After being thrown out, he sees the news about Martin Luther King’s assassination while walking by a television store. He looks disgusted

The Weathermen Underground provides a factual account of the time period. The Student for a Democratic Society was the largest anti-war faction. The 1969 SDS Annual Convention saw a radical change in pacifism ideology to revolutionist.

Todd Giltin, president of the SDS, watched the Weathermen take over the organization and lead it until it consumed itself. The Black Panthers publicly denounced the Weather Underground as “child’s play and scatterbrains”. I see this relating to the lyrics:You say you got a real solution, Well you know, We’d all love to see the plan…..”

Revolution Lyrics
Author: John Lennon; Lead vocal: John Lennon
You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright Alright

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We’re doing what we can
But when you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright Alright

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
Alright Alright

Credits
Recorded: July 10, 1968 at Abbey Road, London, England with overdubs added July 11-12, 1968
John Lennon – lead vocal, lead guitar
Paul McCartney – bass guitar, organ
George Harrison – lead guitar
Ringo Starr – drums
Nicky Hopkins – piano

Revolution. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/revolution

Revolution Lyrics. (n.d.). http://www.dmbeatles.com/song.php? song=213

The Mask: “V for Vendetta” to “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists”

In my graduate course, Global Issues in a Digital society,

we are studying mediated terrorism, historical and current, including cyber-terrorism as our global issue theme.

Week 1

The semester started with V for Vendetta. One of my all time favorites. We had a VHS promo copy that was worn-out.

v-for-vendetta-a-guy-fawkes-mask-letters-theme-logos-hd-free-1418368

V for Vendetta Logo

Click on the image to see the variations of the Guy Fawkes Masks.

Week 2

The film, We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, showed how using denial of service to standing up for human rights with the use of technology. The controversy of the after-math of several incidences gives insight into the minds of ANONYMOUS .
anonymous mask

The professor posed the following issue for the post and following is my post:

Do you believe that there should be the same freedoms we utilize on USA soil, freedom of speech, right to protest, etc… on the Internet? Yes or No…there is no “right” answer.  Then part two of your post, give ONE example from either film to explain why yes or no.

The Mask

Posted by  Stephanie Romero  at Thursday, January 23, 2014 4:33:04 PM CST
Part 1
I believe that the Internet should have the same freedoms that the United States defends. As many have said, the Internet has caused a revolution in the way humans communicate. Media became global from the point that the Internet connected us. The human right to communicate freely need to be protected in order for humanity to remain.
Part 2Preserving this freedom was a theme through both films. Since 1605, the Guy Fawkes Mask has symbolizes the fight against oppression and tyranny. He planned on blowing up the House of Lords in English Parliament and assassinating the King to end religious intolerance (Hutton 2011).It’s not a symbol of passive resistance but a symbol of active terrorism – it’s about bringing down a government and a country and that could be quite scary and alienating to some people (Waites, R. 2011).

Many groups around the global have donned the mask to hide their individual identity. The flip side to the mask is that it provide a unified front for the collective whole. The character of the mask is now a global brand for protest through symbolics.

~

Hutton, R. 2011-02-17. What If the Gunpowder Plot Had Succeeded? BBC: History.  Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/civil_war_revolution/gunpowder_hutton_01.shtml on 1/23/2014.

Waites, R. 2011-10-20.  V for Vendetta masks: Who’s behind them? BBC News Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15359735 on 1/23/2014.