“$100 Million- Gets Thrown Around Like it’s Three-Digits Instead of Nine”

During my group discussion today in class, we talked about the fictionalization of the people discussed in this book and how they were more character-like than real people. We found this to be a present theme in our reading of The Big Short so far. Continue reading ““$100 Million- Gets Thrown Around Like it’s Three-Digits Instead of Nine””

King Lear, Rap Music and Talking to Ghosts

“…by the sacred radiance of the sun, the [mysteries] of Hecate and the night…From whom we do exist and cease to be, Here I disclaim all my paternal care…”

The above quote is spoken by King Lear in the first Scene of King Lear when he disclaims Cordelia. In one of our first classes Dr. McCoy said something about how the name “Katrina” held a violent history. I did some research into the origin of the name “Katrina” and apparently it comes from the name “Katherine.” The etymology of “Katherine” is debated but a couple of the possible etymologies directly adhere to violence. One of the possible origins is the Greek word for torture; “aikia.” Katherine was also the name “borne by a semi-legendary 4th-century saint and martyr from Alexandria who was tortured on a spiked wheel.”

However, I also noticed that the name is thought to have possibly derived from the name of the goddess Hecate. Apparently Hecate was “a goddess associated with witchcraft, crossroads, tombs, demons, and the underworld.” Continue reading “King Lear, Rap Music and Talking to Ghosts”

The Essence of Home

In the PBS documentary The Old Man and the Storm, Herbert Gettridge fights every step of the way to single-handedly rebuild his home after Hurricane Katrina, despite financial difficulty, governmental abandonment and alienating discouragement. But his eventual triumph is bittersweet: his house stands empty and alone in his old neighborhood, devoid of family and community. The schools are still closed, the streets still packed with debris. His wife says the house doesn’t “smell” like home; Herbert misses seeing the neighborhood kids playing outside and receiving visits from family members. Continue reading “The Essence of Home”

Ageism is Deathly

When viewing the film The Old Man and the Storm, the brokenness of a community could be portrayed as citizens lost their homes. As Roach states “the illusory scene of closure that Eurocentrists call memory (“what’s done is done”) incites emotion toward the future, in aspiration no less than in dread…” The article is arguing that failure has to be accepted for what it is. In contrast, the film showed a man with determination and resilience in terms of saving what he lost. He states, when referring to his home, “not about to leave it, it took to long to build what I built.” The man showed pride and humility of what was his rather than focus on the supernumeraries of materialism. The Eurocentric view dominated Roach’s article of how one feels necessary to accumulate as many materials as they can with their wealth as they age to reassure their own value and life.

Joseph’s Roach’s Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Peformance immediately caught my attention as we were reading bits and pieces of it in class. Something about the text of long articles and the syntax makes the reader have to annotate the words making it even better and more challenging to read. To analyze. To understand and put into perspective what the diction is trying to portray to the reader.

In Roach’s article, death was a prominent theme presented in the article as it stated, “Arnold van Gennep’s seminal formulation of death as a rite of passage.” The most humane events a person experiences are the acts of birth and death. Roach says as “…they involve figures whose very professions, itself alternately ostracized and overvalued…” This can be related to the stigmas older senior citizens face in society as they serve as effigies. There is a negative connotation of senior citizens due to their age and can be seen as “useless.” At the same time, certain upbringings emphasize respecting one’s elders as there is a pressure from both sides to agree upon an opinion on not only senior citizens but on the topic ageism. Richeson states, “similar to racism, “ageism” refers to the negative attitudes associated with advanced age.

An example of senior citizens being overvalued can be the idea, as Richeson mentions in his article of the “…perfect grandmother, [as the] subtype consists of women who are kind, serene, trustworthy, nurturing, and helpful.” Continue reading “Ageism is Deathly”

Killing Female Characters

In my small group discussion today, the questione was asked, “Why did Cordelia have to die?” This bothered me a lot when I finished reading King Lear, because Cordelia’s death doesn’t seem to have any immediate purpose other than increasing the drama and tragedy of the final scene. I want to talk about how Cordelia’s death was portrayed and offer my thoughts about why Shakespeare had her die. Continue reading “Killing Female Characters”

An Environmental-Psychological Perspective on “Violence” From Overconsumers

A topic of discussion during last Friday’s class was Joseph Roach’s interpretations of Bataille’s claim that “violence is the performance of waste” (41). We mainly focused on “violence” as the natural definition of the word pertaining to physical destructive forces, and how ‘people with little’ felt inclined to this violence towards ‘people with more’ who live wastefully. I found this violent inclination towards those who unnecessarily waste interesting, as my Environmental Psychology class revolves around how America promotes such wasteful actions. I choose to interpret the word “violence” less as a physical attack on a specific thing, such as an effigy, but instead as a slow degradation of our planet as attacked by the unnecessary wasters.

I first want to address how my interpretation of “violence” applies to Roach’s three interpretations of Bataille’s claim.

Continue reading “An Environmental-Psychological Perspective on “Violence” From Overconsumers”

Meaninglessness; Inside and Out

Insecurity, invagination, in and out of doors, outdoors, property, maps; we have already discussed many topics in a short amount of class time. So many topics that it has already become both easy to find something to write about and difficult to keep a post within the extension of the word “comprehensible.”  And in a sense that’s what I want to talk about; the term “extension.”

The word extension has a list of definitions but the one I want to focus on is the one that is used in the discipline of Logic: “The range of a term or concept as measured by the objects which it denotes or contains.” Okay, so what does this have to do with anything?

Continue reading “Meaninglessness; Inside and Out”

Pressure to Spread

Before I dive into the meat of this blog post, I want to quickly introduce myself and offer myself as a resource to the class. Like Jenna, the material I’ve studied in my other major has provided me with a knowledge base that some of you might find useful once we delve into some of the more technical causes of the 2008 housing crisis. I’m an English and Economics double major, so if anyone feels that they would like to better understand the economic aspects of the crisis, feel free to ask me during or after class and I’ll explain if I know the answer to your question.

Continue reading “Pressure to Spread”

Problematizing King Lear and Hysteria: “Reason in Madness!”

During the class discussion about King Lear’s mental condition, I had similar thoughts to Eva about the passage in Act II, “O, how this mother swells up toward my heart! Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing daughter!” (4.62-63). Eva offers an insightful analysis into why Shakespeare might have employed the feminine term, hysterica passio, noting that this might refer to his maternal role within the family and the heartbreak associated with his daughters’ betrayal of Lear.

I agree with Eva, but here, I hope to elaborate a bit more on the connection between madness and femininity, and more specifically, to problematize the very category of “hysteria.” Continue reading “Problematizing King Lear and Hysteria: “Reason in Madness!””

Belated Musings on Course Themes

I’ve been meaning to write this post after class on 1/27, but I’m just getting around to it now, so I apologize for the slightly delayed discussion. The passage we read from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye really struck me with what I’ve interpreted to be the themes of this course to be.

The first line of the second paragraph of the excerpt reads, “There is a difference between being put out and being put outdoors. If you are put out, you go somewhere else; if you are outdoors, there is no place to go.” This seems to emphasize one of the themes of the class- the importance of having a home. Morrison is talking about what happens when you are displaced from where you are as opposed to having no where to go, also stating that, “Outdoors, we knew, was the real terror of life.” This reminded me of the documentary we watched in class, The Old Man and the Storm. Those affected by Hurricane Katrina were either “put out” or “put outdoors,” and the distinction between the two is rather heartbreaking. Those who were “put out” were displaced, to family, to friends, but they had somewhere to go. Many, however, realized soon that they were “put outdoors.” The storm revealed how many homes the victims had, whether they had a place to turn to, to take them in, or if the entire epicenter of their lives was in New Orleans. Those in the latter group were stranded.

I’m excited to explore, throughout the semester, more about the importance of home, and of having a place to be grounded in.