In My Humble Opinion

It is no big secret that Kate Middleton was recently photographed without her shirt on. Photographs of her breast were all that the world could talk about for a while. However, Kate is not alone. Millions of women are photographed daily, be it in malls, airports, or restaurants, by photographers who are trying to capture their private parts on film – without their consent. In a recent English article entitled, “Creepshots and Revenge Porn: How Paparazzi Culture Affects Women” by Kari Cochrane, this topic is discussed, and it really gets me heated up.

The article goes on to talk about how these pictures of women are then posted onto online forums and websites that are dedicated these kinds of shots. It is beyond disgusting if you ask me. This article, which contains very pertinent and valid information, gets me so heated at the same time because it is talking about an issue where women are being violated and no punishment is yet administered to the perpetrators. The women are the ones being seen as the bad guy, not the victim, which they clearly are! How have we not come up with a way to stop this act from happening?

How people can let others get away with violating a woman by taking a picture of her private parts without her authorization or consent is dumbfounding to me. Action needs to be taken against this sort of thing. The internet is mostly to blame as our culture has become more and more un-phased as social media sites and blogs contain numerous pictures, and pornographic images are more and more prevalent. People should be outraged at the mention of creepshots or revenge porn, but they aren’t. I do not understand how these are not being addressed.

Fish Out of Water

Last week, I volunteered at the Saratoga Retirement Community, a retirement home located in Saratoga, California. It is nestled within the Saratoga foothills on breathtakingly beautiful grounds. Now, my history with senior citizens has been short. I come in contact with them at my work where I am a hostess, and I see my grandmother on occasion. Although I don’t really spend much time with people over 70, I do have a deep respect for them. So when I went to volunteer I was a little nervous. I usually volunteer with my sorority sisters or in groups of people. However, I made it to the front desk. On my way in it became clear that I was definitely the minority in the building when it came to age. Some people who I passed by would return my smile, but others would not. When the latter occurred I didn’t know if I should feel hurt or indifferent. My peers always return my smile.

Once I met with the woman in charge, she led me into the Alzheimer’s division of the Home. This is where I felt like a fish out of water. As I observed her leading them in activities, and helped her get them enthusiastic, I was a little shy and unsure. How do I speak to them? How do I interact with them? Should I say something if they refuse to participate? What topics are good to talk about? All of these questions ran through my head when I was there (although I didn’t let on to how un-confident I was).

By the end of the time, though, I realized that they are just normal people. I shouldn’t be afraid to talk to them or interact with them. I don’t know why I was so unsure of myself just because I was around elderly people. Maybe it was because it is not my norm; I haven’t had much interaction with them. Now it seems so silly to think about. I do have to watch what I talk about since Alzheimer’s patients don’t remember/know much about recent history. I loved helping though. They have good stories to tell and some are still quite witty. When I return, I know I won’t feel as awkward, and I am glad that I got to have that experience.

Japanese Internment Memorial

On February 19, 1942, many Japanese-American lives changed forever. This day marked the enactment of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Executive Order stated that the American government had the right to protect “against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises and national defense utilities”1. They accomplished this by controlling any persons that they believed were a threat. Sadly, the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese forces was enough to persuade the American government that all Japanese-Americans were a threat. Therefore, the evacuation of Japanese-American peoples occurred, despite many of them having legal citizenship. Men, women, and children of Japanese decent were uprooted from their homes, and placed in concentration camps for years during World War II2.

The order affected those in the Santa Clara County of California as well. Throughout the county, persons of Japanese decent were evacuated on May 30, 1942 at 12 noon. Before evacuating, however, they summoned to the Civil Control Station located in the men’s gymnasium of San Jose State University in San Jose, California. It was at the University that the head of each Japanese family went to account for their family and the belongings that they were permitted to take with them to the camps3.

Ruth Asawa was one of the thousands of Japanese children who came to live in an internment camp. Born to a family of farmers in Southern California, Asawa always loved to draw. She spent a total of 18 month in internments camps beginning in 1942, finding her outlet in art. Once free of the camps, Asawa was inspired to use college and traveling to further her knowledge and skill as an artist. One of her many public commission projects can be found in San Jose, California, near the Federal Building and is entitled Japanese American Internment Memorial Structure4.

I went to visit the beautiful memorial in downtown San Jose. It is sculpted to depict different key moments of Japanese internment and the history of the Japanese-American people throughout that time. As I reflected and admired the structure, two scenes stood out to me. The first scene is of a Japanese-American family burning their belongings in front of their house. Toys are burned, children are crying, a car with bundles of things can be seen behind them. To the right of the fire, a row of mailboxes can be seen, and, in front of them, there are signs reading “Evacuation Sale” and “Furniture: all must be sold”. This scene brought a wave of emotion over me as I thought about evacuating my own home, burning my belongings, and not knowing what the future will bring. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like for them. The second scene that stood out to me is of a group of men in military outfits huddled around a fire. Behind the men are rows of crosses, symbols of those who have died. It is saddening to me that Japanese-American men fought for America during World War II while their families remained in the internment camps. Those who chose to fight were in an earthly purgatory – they lost respect from their families for supporting the American government, and they had no respect from fellow American soldiers who still viewed them as traitors. But how could those men have fought so honorably for our country, giving up their own lives, and still have been given no respect?

I hope an event like the Japanese internment will never happen again. I would like to think that we have progressed since the 1940s and have learned that acts such as those are uncalled for. However, fear is a strong and powerful tool. If the majority of peoples become fearful of something, their leaders may act, and even if those actions are rash, they may be unchallenged if they are seen as a good thing. I am sure that the U.S. government got away with imprisoning Japanese-Americans since their purpose was to further protect the American public. I just hope that we do not turn on our fellow Americans and view a certain race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. as traitors if something like this ever occurs again.

Footnotes:

  1. http://www.pbs.org/childofcamp/history/eo9066.html
  2. http://www.pbs.org/childofcamp/history/index.html
  3. http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt3p30207v/
  4. http://www.ruthasawa.com

Word #10

1) Incumbent

2) I came across this word on the Wall Street Journal’s website in an article entitled “Obama and Romney Deadlocked, Polls Show” by Neil King Jr. and Laura Meckler. The sentence read as follows: “The final Journal poll in late October 2004 also had the incumbent ahead, 48% to 47%”. This article talks about the up-coming Presidential Election and how close the vote is said to be between the candidates.

Here is the URL: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204349404578098631613708560.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

3) Incumbent Defined (by Mirriam-Webster.com): one that occupies and particular position or place.

Pronounced: In-cum-bent

Used as a noun

4) The incumbent finally took her place on the throne.

In My Humble Opinion

One thing that really pisses me off is the constant push from the media, government, big businesses, etc. for people to buy more and more pharmaceutical drugs. Maybe I feel this way because I was raised in a home where more natural supplements, such as vitamins and tea, were the preferred form of medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I do recognized the benefit of modern-day medicine, but I also think that pharmaceutical drugs have created an economic powerhouse for big-business that takes this industry to unnecessary lengths. For example, I was on Yahoo! and found an article entitled “Aspirin May Reduce Cognitive Decline” by Lisa Collier Cool. This article explained the health benefits associated with taking a low-dose aspirin daily. The article gave examples of studies proving that taking a low-dose aspirin daily, especially for those who are over 70 years old, helped to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by nearly 55%, and lowered the chances of heart attacks and Cardiovascular disease in women. Now, for the majority of the general public, this article would sound like a good, scientifically sound article. However, I see the catch. This is just another one of those articles with a hidden agenda that promotes a product.

First, let me just say that I have no doubt that the scientific studies cited in the article are legitimate studies that have been peer-reviewed; the findings have also have been published in the scientific journals BMJ Open and Neurology. For some, this would be enough evidence to prove that the article contains pure truth, but they need to look further. The article is sponsored by Healthline Networks, a trustworthy, online database of health-related articles. And although the studies that the public receives from this source may be based in fact, Healthline itself seems to be less truthful. The website’s many investors are in the business of capital, tying them directly into the economy.

I rest my case. The media, big business, etc. is acting as our director so that our actions put money in their pockets. In America, our nation runs on capitol. And this means that we are going to see articles like the one I talk about here. I honestly do not think that we should be in-taking pharmaceutical drugs on a daily basis. When I am sick, I prefer the more natural approach; it seems to work. I haven’t died yet.

Word #9

1) Antiphonal

2) Ironically enough, I was listening to an NPR Fresh Air Interview between Terry Gross and Stephen Colbert, when I heard him use the word “anthemic”. So I went to look up this word, which is defined as a song of loyalty or devotion, and came across the word “antiphonally”. The following is the sentence in which the word was found: “Anthem: a song or hymn sung antiphonally or responsively”

3) Define Antiphonal (by Dictionary.com): alternate or responsive singing by a choir in two divisions

Pronounced: An-tiph-o-nal

Used as an adjective

4)The church chior opted for a song that they could sing antiphonally since the chior had both men and women in it.

NPR Radio Analysis

Fresh Air with Terry Gross interviewing Stephen Colbert

“Stephen Colbert’s Most Meaningful Musical Moments”

As the second part to her radio interview with Colbert began, Gross gave a lot of background information on him. She tells her audience what he is known for, what his latest accomplishments are, and what he likes to do. The latter of these allows her, then, to transition into music – one of Colbert’s favorite pastimes.

To begin her discussion on Colbert’s three most meaningful songs, which he had selected for the interview, Gross asks many open-ended questions such as, “How did you hear it?” (referring to the first song she was going to play). This question prompted him to explain why he chose the song and how it affected him as a child hearing it for the first time. He remembers the song as being comedic and scandalous.

(They listen to Jesus Christ Superstar “Harrods’s Song”)

She then transitions into the next song by asking, “Tell us what this recording is and why you chose it”. Colbert then reminisces about his relationships with Elvis Costello, how they admire Bruce Springsteen, and how Costello’s lyrics have taught him how to write songs in character (with a little added factor of hypocrisy)

(The listen to “Jump Up” by Elvis Costello)

Gross adds a follow-up questions: “Anything else you want to say about the song?” Colbert answered yes, and revealed a story about Costello trying to mimic songs of Bruce Springsteen.

Then Gross transitions into the third song by Ben Folds “The Best Imitation of Myself”, by mentioning how he was just on the Colbert Report. This would be an interviewer strategy – she did her homework on Colbert’s show. After, she asks, “So what’s some of the music you grew up with in the house?” This is another open-ended questions that leads him into telling the audience about his family with 11 kids and how it made his music taste well-rounded.

Since Gross recognized Colbert’s love of music and singing (which he had done throughout the show), she ends the show by asking “if you could perform in any music venue, what would it be?” Colbert answers Broadway.

The whole interview showed me the benefit of asking open-ended questions, knowing background information on your subject, and how to properly use good transition by bringing up one point which inevitably will lead into another. All of these things seemed to make Colbert feel comfortable speaking to Gross and allowed him to open up to her much more than if she had asked “yes” or “no” questions.

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

After reading “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere”, all I could think was that Z.Z. Packer is a very talented writer. Her use of quotes/dialogue, anecdotes, descriptions, scene-setting, similes, and metaphors all account for a truly captivating piece of writing. To begin, Packer does not just simply quote a character. Before a character speaks, she describes them, and then she describes their actions as they are saying the quote, and she accounts how they are saying the quote (ex: “with a wavering voice” or “her story came out in teary, hiccup-like bursts”). The descriptive quality of Packer’s work allows the audience to visualize the scene and the characters themselves, which captivates their attention. For example, after her main character says that she wants to be a revolver, Packer describes the scene as: “The sunlight dulled as if on cue. Clouds passed rapidly overhead, presaging rain.” We can all picture this happening and see the humor in it occurring when it did. Packer describes all that the main character is observing. For example, Packer describes the main character Dina’s new friend: “She was large but not obese, and crying had turned her face the color of raw chicken”. Packer’s use of similes and metaphors is powerful too. Here is an example of a simile describing how Dina’s friend Heidi was dressed: “Dressed like an aspiring plumber.” I really love how her descriptions also help to create the personality of the main character who is the one describing everything anyway. We can gain that Dina, the main character, is a little sarcastic, blunt, and care-free.

Word #8

1. Myopic

2. “Indeed, the candidates seemed more concerned with each other than with the audience–and  that too seems a metaphor for the 2012 campaign: our political system is  increasingly self-absorbed, myopic and remote from the realities of daily life.” This article, which talks about the second, town-meeting debate of the 2012 Presidential Election, can be found in Time Magazine online. It is entitled “A Presidential Campaign Without Heart” and it is written by Joe Klein.

Here is the URL: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2127200,00.html

3. Myopic Defined (by Mirriam-Webster.com): a lack of foresight or discernment : a narrow view of something

Pronounced: My-o-pic

Used as an adjective

4. His myopic desicion to buy the new car made him unable to make his mortgage payment the following month.

Copy Edit The World

The following are grammatical mistakes (some maybe not entirely a mistake) that I have found throughout the past few weeks. Enjoy:

The lower bolded wording above the 3 graphics reads: “For mobile apps without the inline audience selector”. I read this as I was changing my privacy settings on Facebook, and it sounded odd to me. I believe that “inline” should be changed to “online”. That would make a lot more sense.

I found this mistake as I was researching a scholarly journal article. The last part of the second-to-last sentence of the abstract of the article reads: “that he has previously repressed for fear of madness”. I don’t know about you, but I think the author is trying to say that they replace the area of the brain designated for fear OR madness with a state of unconsciousness.

This is a no-brainer. Around my sorority house, we have inspirational sayings… but due to the fact that it uses the wrong tense of the verb “to know” it lacks the inspirational quality that it should possess. It should either read: “She knew it couldn’t…” or “She didn’t KNOW it couldn’t…”

This one is funny. I saw it on the back of a beer truck. This is the one that the “mistake” seems to be one made on purpose. Obviously it should read: “Contents Under Pressure” but their marketing team was smart with this one because people can derive the correct understanding when they read: “Contents Under Pleasure”.

This concludes my Copy Edit The World #2. Stay tuned 🙂