Emersonian in Tokyo

yohei7:

As the question suggests, it is important to keep in mind that violence in culture is about as old as culture itself. I agree to overall argument of Chpater 6 of Sarracino and Scott’s book (I need to repeat again that I want to understand more how homosexuality functions in Abu Ghraib’s…

General Jake Smith ordered US troops to kill all Filipino men over the age of ten in 1901. This is the infamous “Balangiga massacre.” His order was “kill everyone over ten years old.”  We are convinced that it was triggered by a surprise guerrilla attack of Filipinos, but Don Ringnalda argues that “Smith’s orders were a mere replay of George Washington’s orders in 1779, to “lay waste” the Iroquois.” (Don Ringnalda. Fighting and Writing the Vietnam War. UP of Mississippi, 1994: 210)

This violence has been passed down unbroken from generation to generation in American history.

 

Babae blog: Philippine-U.S. War: “Kill Everyone Over Ten”

http://babaesf.blogspot.com/2008/02/philippine-us-war-kill-everyone-over.html

yohei7:

sheilasthoughts-student:

In answering this question, I would like to refer back to an important question that Sarracino and Scott poses, “Will we now see the violent porning of America?” (p. 160). Porn was once scorned by the public, but now has become acceptable in mainstream culture. If porn has progressed into…

I basically agree with your idea. I also think that to decide what is problematic representation of violence and what is not is very subtle problem and needs more examination, but I do think some representation is meaninglessly sensational and might be harmful for society. However, as for your citation that “Rather than misfits and deviants, then, they have become, in about a hundred and fifty years, people like you and me. They had become like us and we in turn had come to imitate the way they dressed, talked and behaved sexually,” I have different opinion. I wonder to what extent this us/them dichotomy is true. I have already stated that Sarracino and Scott’s analysis might need more historical examination; here, I would like to add that the violence is sometimes made by too ordinary people, even if it is sexual or not. For example, according to Four Hours in My Lai, what is truly astonishing is that the soldiers who committed unspeakable violence, including raping, to harmless Vietnamese people are in every sense “normal,” “ordinary,” and “average” American young guys. It can happen to anyone; so, my question is, did the tragic events like Abu Ghraib happen because simply “we” are getting nearer to “them”? Or, because “we” are in the first place not far from “them”?

 Yohei said that “what is truly astonishing is that the soldiers who committed unspeakable violence, including raping, to harmless Vietnamese people are in every sense “normal,” “ordinary,” and “average” American young guys.” I don’t think the soldiers are normal, ordinary and average American young guys. Probably, they used to. But at the time they were under overwhelming arms (I mean, American soldiers and harmless Vietnamese). If it were not for a strong sense of ethics in a situation like that, we average person would easily become a brute of a man.

jessicaclaire7:

1) Violence in culture is about as old as culture itself, from cave paintings of hunting to human sacrifice in religious rites, and controversies over that violence probably aren’t far behind. With that in mind, are there particular dangers (whether or not they’re new) associated with the kind of…

It’s very interesting the rape of Nanjing is the first for you to give an example of sexual violence. I don’t know on what historical fact you said that “thousands of women were sexually tortured by japanese soldiers during the forgotten holocaust of World War II.” It might come from a story based on Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking. This book is overly influenced by Chang’s politics. It’s still so controversial because she used so many factual errors and even fake photos. Even when historians (not Japanese) pointed out her mistakes, she had a look of unconcern.
You don’t have to go back in history, or 70 years ago. We have Abu Ghraib torture in our time.

Week 9 (1) Pax Americana

 

Violence in culture is about as old as culture itself, and the world is still ruled by the gun. And of course, the US is the most powerful country of the century. The threat of the US has never been far away and its armaments inspire fear in other countries even more. Although the US teems up with Weapons of Mass Destruction, it accused Saddam Hussein of nonexistent WMD and launched the second Gulf War in 2003. In 2006, Saddam Hussein was hanged for “crimes against humanity”, not because of WMD.  I believe that Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse are “crimes against humanity,” but the US changed the subject into ‘porn’ and about 20 soldiers were removed or charged and attempted to resolve the situation. Normally, it would become an international issue and the Commander in Chief would have to lose his job.  Why did Abu Ghraib torture come to an international issue? It is because it was done by the US, or the most powerful country and the victims were all Iraqis. To put it shortly, the threat and racism.

American people including soldiers at Abu Ghraib really enjoy the height of their power and find it easy to turn the dignity of man (non-American) into ‘porn’.

 

Do you remember two female journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Lin, captured in North Korea on March 17, 2009? Most American might imagine they would be raped in prison. And then Clinton rescued them in a rush. However, American people didn’t have to worry too much about the two females, because Pyongyang knew how to behave in Pax Americana.

 

 

jazzw:

2. Technically speaking, the First Amendment does not protect obscene material, even to this day. However, as a practical matter, it became increasingly difficult throughout the latter half of the 20th Century (some argue it is now nearly impossible) to get any particular expressive act officially…

I agree with you. Paris Hilton knows how to commodify herself. She understands the commercialization of sex and she is playing the role of the product for sale. So, for Paris Hilton, making a profit arguably comes before everything else. She strips an ideology or more ‘dangerous and critical’ meanings from her image so that her ‘water-down’ image can be sold well.

sheilasthoughts-student:

Within the introduction, Sarracino and Scott makes the claim that their book is neither pro-porn or anit-porn, but a history of porn in America. After reading a substantial portion of the book, I believe that for the most part, Sarracino and Scott tries to remain neutral in the debate over porn…

I agree with you. This book is just about the history of porn in America. And I think Sarracino and Scott take the standpoint that porn is found in every corner, or ubiquitous. The anti-porn movement cannot drive porn out of our world. The Internet is a democratic sphere and we all can easily access all kinds of porn. In 2010, we had the reports of sexual and physical abuse of hundreds of children by clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. The history of porn will continue.

65jst:

1. Sarracino and Scott claim that their book is neither pro-porn nor anti-porn. After reading a substantial amount of their writing, do you believe this claim, or is it simply there to defray criticism? What evidence do you have for their pro- or anti- inclinations?

Sarracino and Scott are…

Thank you for your explanation about cognitive processes around sex or porn. Your response reminds me of Candida Royalle who is the pioneer of women’s pornography. Sarracino and Scott say that “At the core of her corporate philosophy is sexual mutuality, and the exploration of women’s fantasies. That is to say, the women do not just service the men. Their own pleasure is every bit as important as their partner’s, and women’s fantasies, which can be quite different from men’s, occupy the center of every film.” The action of brain and cerebration are so magnificent and beyond the understanding of the man. Our brain is just the mystery of the universe. For females, sex means the chemistry, or going back and forth to visit each universe.  We may say this is the exploration of women’s fantasies. The journey, or the process, is so long and complicated that males sometimes don’t understand what to do.

Week 8 Q.1 Controversy about Porn

This book by Sarracino and Scott is neither pro-porn nor anti-porn.  This book just shows us how American Porn culture has developed. As I mentioned before, I believe that the distinctive characteristics of America is an ideological dispute. Controversies about almost every subject are always stirred in the US; from pro-life or pro-choice to Selena Gomez’s racy costume. (<http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/now/selena-gomez-kicks-off-tour-in-racy-costume/175>) If one issue is hotly disputed, the cultural meaning of the issue will become more important. Selena Gomez’s ‘porn’ costume might start an argument, at least people involved in her tour hope that the argument will be a heated one, which leads to a huge income. Let us think about the National Prohibition Act. The temperance movement and prohibition law made the 1920’s very interesting. For instance, if the US had no prohibition act, the bootlegger like Jay Gatsby could not have realized the American dream. The bootleg must have been so delicious because it was illegal.  When it comes to American Porn culture, Anthony Comstock made an enormous contribution to it. So did Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon. “They had raised public awareness of the dark side of pornography.” (178) However, “the oppression of women” is one of the themes of porn with male gaze.  The anti-porn movement succeeded and the men watching porn felt guilty, but in fact, this was the real thrill of porn and the anti-porn added to the enjoyment of porn ironically. We are not able to enjoy porn recommended by the government.

Sarracino and Scott conclude their chapter 7 as follows:

We have created a culture that puts our daughters in grave danger and leaves them there to fend for themselves.

It is like the mermaid who got legs in exchange for her voice. Thanks to feminists’ movements, women’s rights were expanded. And in order to keep the expansion, women have to take full advantage of what they got, or ‘femininity’.  If Jimmy Choos’ shoes associate with a prostitute, it will become a woman’s weapons. Because your daughters will not become subjugated women any longer and they need a ‘combat outfit’ like a Bratz doll in public sphere.

rkwolfe:

madcapsules:

Boyd brings up the point that social media only expands in connecting the people we know.  This is for the most part true as people generally take privacy as an issue.  Rarely do you here about people trying to connect with random people through social media; this is true for real life as well.  In my own experience though, social media has let me stay in touch with people I would not otherwise kept in touch with, therefore amplifying the relationship of those I already knew.

I don’t necessarily agree with your thought here.  I know quite a few people that search for friends on facebook and myspace because they are “hot” and want hot friends.  It’s not something I do, but I know those who do.  I do agree with the rest of your article however that I too don’t believe the choice of social media has to do with income level.  I find that it tends to be an older crowd on facebook.  Not sure if the reason being that older people migrated over to the use of social media when facebook was more popular than myspace.  I personally use facebook more simply because my friends are there.  Which is what Boyd said exactly.

Facebook vs. Myspace. Xbox vs.PS3 vs.Gameboy. PS portable vs. DS. CNN vs. FoxNews. The Mariners vs. the Yankees. Mac vs Windows. Each side has its community (fans or consumers), actually. It is an interesting research on how people decide to choose. There are a variety of reasons and also quarreling and fighting between two communities. They are good topics for social psychology but Facebook vs. Myspace. The same as the game between VHS and Beta or Blu-ray vs DVD-HD. Popularity is the first, efficiency or ease of use is of secondary importance.

rkwolfe:

The readings were a lot to handle for me. I am a Caucasian female and blonde, who grew up between Waianae and Waimanalo. Anybody who knows Oahu knows that I was the one being teased and threatened because of my skin color. I had racial slurs spat at me everyday. “You *** haole!”

Reading…

I didn’t know there is reverse discrimination against whites between Waianae and Waimanalo. ‘Haole’, this is the first time I’ve heard that. I’m sure that skin color is not just color, the simulacra of white, or Caucasian female and blonde, have a lot of meanings. Of course the meanings vary time and space. Racial slurs you had might include the feeling of native Hawaiian about the annexation of Hawaii. I had an experience that my whole nature revolted against such discriminatory treatment by ex-serviceman in London. I don’t know what WWII was like and his speech and behavior were beyond me. When it comes down to it we are all animals fighting for survival and at the same time we are all animals assisting one another for survival as well.