November 29, 2011 | November 22, 2011 | Nove****mber 8, 2011 | November 1, 2010 | October 25, 2011 | October 18, 2011 | October 11, 2011 | October 4, 2011 | September 27, 2011 | September 20, 2011 | September 13, 2011 | September 6, 2011 | Villain-O-Meter 3000 | August 30, 2011 | August 23, 2011

November 29, 2011

1. The Princess Bride has multiple villains. Discuss how each one reflects/matches a heroic character.
Westly reminds me a lot of Superman. The main thing which they both have in common is that they are both the closest characters to perfect. His only desire is to get back Buttercup and after going away and learning so much he comes back and is almost perfect. He fights better than Inigo, wrestles better than Fezzik, Reasons better than Vizzini, survives a death machine and ultimately succeeds in defeating Prince Humperdinck in the end. So his abilities are comparable to Superman. Inigo is a reflection of Batman. Both are out seeking the revenge for the death of their parent(s) by a criminal. The difference is that Inigo is looking for one man while Batman just decides to get them all. I don't know if Ben from Fantastic 4 was around when this was written but Fezzik reminds me of him because they are both bulky and rely on their strength. I'd like to compare Fezzik to the Hulk but I just can't since Fezzik is so nice and the Hulk relies on his anger to get his power. Fezzik makes an excellent follower since he hates the idea of being alone and I'm trying to think of a hero with the same attribute. So we're left with the Sicilian criminal genius (Vizzini), the heir to the throne of Florin (Prince Humperdinck), the ROUSes (Rodents of Unusual Size), the menacing six-fingered assistant (Count Tyrone Rugen), and many more.

2. Why does Westly adopt the outside semblance of a stereotypical villain, and does it help him to succeed?
Adopting the outside semblance of a stereotypical villain grants him his survival. If he had not adopted the persona of the Dread Pirate Roberts he would have been killed just for knowing the secret. In the end he is able to intimidate Prince Humperdinck and so yes, it does help him succeed.

You're view on Westly's villainy is interesting. I didn't think of the reason why he became evil in the first place. Also I like how you compared him to Superman.
- jserru jserru Dec 5, 2011Jaclyn

I think that your are right on your view that Inigo resembles Batman, especially about the revenge for the loss of his parents. I think that maybe he could be thought of as Batman without the money and influence.
- tylerjames1992 tylerjames1992 Dec 6, 2011

I agree with your thoughts on how Westly is Superman, Inigo is Batman, and Fezzik being kinda like Ben. I thought they were good parallel superheros. I also think that without Westly being Dread Pirate Roberts he would have been dead a long time ago. He probably would have not been able to accomplish many of his heroic deeds. - HeyThereAri HeyThereAri Dec 6, 2011Ari

November 22, 2011

1. When Ender found the queen's egg, he decided not to tell the world until he was sure they could accept it. To that end, he wrote a book about the Buggers and their point-of-view, hoping to elicit empathy in mankind. The problem with this is that, when Ender does decide to reveal the truth, his lie will be viewed as a deception, and any empathy he has managed to cultivate may fall prey to suspicion. How can Ender prove to the world that he (and ultimately humanity) wasn't being manipulated by the Buggers?
The last time I successfully manipulated somebody, it didn't end with the annihilation of the human race (excluding one queen) That just doesn't seem like success to me, but I could be wrong. Also, unless that remaining Formic queen can figure our how to reproduce asexually, I don't think the Formic species has much hope. So, all in all, I don't imagine our protagonist is going to have a whole lot of trouble convincing humanity he was doing the Buggers any favors.

2. From Reina's presentation:Do you believe that Rasputin was a real holy man? Or were his predictions and healing just luck, fraud or coincidence?
I don't think he was a real holy man. I think in the beginning he got lucky with the animals and I think this got to his head. He started believing in his "abilities" to heal and believing is half the battle of healing. If you believe that the sugar pill you are taking is going to make you feel better then you're much better off than the person who doesn't have hope. Rasputin had a very strong mind and apparently a strong body as well as it refused to die. Was he receiving divine assistance from a higher power? I think not.

3. From Jamie's presentation: Why do you think Disney chose to portray Hades as an evil villain to Hercules?
From what I learned, the real Hades isn't such a bad guy. Disney may know this, you and I know this since we're here at a higher institution of learning, but 6-11 year old children (and a good portion of the population) does not. When I was younger, Hades for me was synonymous with the Devil. Disney isn't interested in being factually omnipotent, they just want to be entertaining and make money. Besides, Cupid who was their initial choice turned them down to do a different movie with Tom Cruise which was never released in America.

November 8, 2011

1. Make a case for Peter Pan as the villain of the story.
Peter Pan is afraid of growing up. It seems he would do near anything to avoid it. Just like any child, he sometimes doesn't care that he hurts others. This is what makes him the villain. Only thinking of his own needs and desires is not something a hero would do. He is only good when he feels like it, when it's convenient for him. I'm sure all villains have their moments of kindness as well, but that doesn't mean they get to play the hero.

2. From Sam's presentation: Was Snape mostly a villain? Why or why not?
Snape wasn't a villain, he was just mean. He was mean because he was hurt. He was burt because he lost the love of his life and was reminded of that every single day of his life. That's enough to make anybody villainous. Snape had a right to hate Harry because Harry was a reminder of Lilly. I believe that since everything he did, he did out of love for another rather than himself, that he was mostly a hero. The most villainous thing he did was kill Dumbledore and even that he did because Dumbledore ordered him to. His actions at the end lead to the defeat of Voldomort and for that he is heroic.

3. From Kharli's presentation: Did Spike deserve redemption after what he tried to do to Buffy?
It's really not up to me to say whether or not Spike deserves redemption, it's up to Buffy. He got Buffy's forgiveness which means he deserved it in her eyes. I don't watch Buffy, and don't fully understand the relationship between Buffy and Spike but that relationship plays a big part in whether or not he deserves redemption in my eyes. Basically it comes down to the individuals involved in the situation. Things can get complicated very quickly. I can't, in good conscience, say a man who beats his wife deserves forgiveness just because his wife forgives him, but it really depends on the situation and I don't understand this one well enough.

Your case for peter as a villain is a little different than mine, but i still agree with your opinions. His immaturity is dangerous to himself and others and he does resent growing up to a fault. I also agree with you opinion of Snape.- Droybal Droybal Nov 15, 2011

I agree with your opinion of Snape a lot. I also agree with your position on Spike, although, having watched Buffy I have a different view on it. I also thought your position on Peter Pan was really interesting! - Lenarama Lenarama Nov 15, 2011

November 1, 2010

1. "[M]ost of us never really grow up or mature all that much -- we simply grow taller...the child we always are, whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales [remains]."-Leo Rosten We began the semester looking at a children's work. What new insight can you bring to the child-centered works we'll be looking at the for rest of the semester? What can be gained by this exploration?
"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts..."-Shakespeare
Cops and Robbers. Cowboys and Indians. Tea time with Barbie. We're all just playing the part we were taught to play. The only thing that changes, is we forget we're playing. Looking into the future, I see a child who simply plays the game and defeats the bad guy because that's what needs to be done. I see a child who is free from hassle and worry who realized he is clay, accepts it, and chooses to mold himself, keeping whatever parts or shapes make him happy. I see the bad guy who isn't really so bad, he just realizes and forgets at the the same time that the world is his playground, and just like all children do, he is just having fun.

2. From Angelica's presentation: (H. H. Holmes) Why are people so fascinated by things that are so gruesome and morbid?
Fascinated. Makes me think of seeing something you've never seen before that you want so badly to understand. Maybe you have seen it before but you can't figure out how it works, what makes it tick, which eats at you. Thinking further I realize that there are plenty of things people don't understand that are not in the least bit fascinating to them. Quantum mechanics for one doesn't tickle everyones fancy. I will say then that life is kind of important to people; that is, surviving is sort of a big deal. You see a man get stabbed in the street, or a hear of a woman who was killed walking down a dark alley and something clicks. There's a voice in your head that whispers "pay attention to this so it doesn't happen to you..." that voice has kept the human race from extinction so far which makes me sort of grateful.

3. From Stephanie's presentation: Many times people blame their actions on demons--why is this an excuse that people use?
Excuse is a very loaded word. It's not an excuse for some people. Maybe there is a demon living inside of these people using their bodies like a puppeteer putting on a show. If I ever go crazy I'll let you know, though I seriously doubt you'll believe me. Seems plausible that crazy people whether possessed or not, genuinely believe that somebody else is controlling them. If this is the case, then someone else might as well be in control. I therefore don't see their claim as an excuse. On the other hand, for those who do use it as an excuse, it makes sense to plead insanity rather than go to jail, from what I've learned from TV, that gets you a lighter sentence.

Your explanation on fascination for morbid things inspired me to write more on my answer! It made me think, 'Why are humans so interested in death but so uninterested in quantum mechanics?' And well, death is more relevant to the human state. Maybe on some level we're fascinated because we know death is coming, and, while we don't want to get too close, we want to know what happens, how it happens, what happens after, things like that. We want to prepare ourselves for the inevitable. - mlerussell mlerussell Nov 10, 2011

That's an interesting view for why you think we are fascinated by morbid things. I would have never thought of that but it is so true.
- jserru jserru Nov 6, 2011JaclynSerru

Interesting how you explain our fascination with gore from an evolutionary standpoint, in that it has helped this species survive. i like that.
- tylerjames1992 tylerjames1992 Nov 8, 2011

I find your take on what makes H.H. Holmes fascinating very interesting. I definitely agree that it is something about the human body, and the threat that it could happen to anyone including ourselves that catches our attention when it comes to gruesome things such as this.- Nov 7, 2011

I really like you answer to the first question. I agree that adults are often just listening to their inner child when makeing desisions. -sdimpfel

Woah. Really interesting perspective on the first question. I also really like your take on our interest in morbidity; I feel like a lot of things we do are based on survival, probably more things than we think and definitely more things than I wish. I just prefer to think we as a species are beyond that. Sigh. I'm just an idealist. - Kayleethegr8 Kayleethegr8 Nov 8, 2011Kaylee

I really liked your take on the first question as well as your take on why we love gruesome and morbid things. I also think you are very right with your analogies about puppeteers putting on a show. - Lenarama Lenarama Nov 8, 2011

October 25, 2011

1. Do you think there is a standard of morality that can be applied, regardless of external details and situations? That is, is there anything that is inherently good or evil?
If you want to get rid of the external details and situations, then you have to get rid of humans. Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, there was no good or evil. In a world without humans, there was only survival. Then men evolved and messed everything up with their free will and their fancy complex thoughts; Going around asking if there is anything inherently good or evil not stopping to think that we created both of those things. Sure they exist within our minds but they are abstract concepts. Thoughts, capable of taking on different shapes depenging on who is thinking them into existence. The form that evil takes in my mind is killing for reasons other than survival. Being at peace with your surroundings and yourself is good. But... that's just me.

2. From Ari's presentation: was Lord Voldemort born evil or was he a victim of his upbringing/life circumstances?
Ah the old, Nature vs Nurture argument. Lord Voldemort became evil due to a mixture of both nature and nurture. Nobody is porn purely evil, Tom Marvolo Riddle was a victim of both his genes, and his upbringing. From the age of five, children develop a temperment, and for the most part, this temperment doesn't change, even when they've reached adult hood. Our personalities, intellectual ability, even physical traits all play a part in who we become as people and don't change much regarless of where you grow up. I'd say that the world Tom grew up in probably had more of a role in his turning out evil. He got picked on and was outcasted and that combined with his wizard blood and keen intellect
was a dangerous combination.

3. From Lena's presentation: How does the vampire lore of today reflect on society and what do you think the next era's lore could hold?
There are a lot of different takes on vampires, (Twilight and Blade are two completely different stories) even so, I learned this from Lena's activity that the way I see vampires was not very different from the way the rest of society, or at least the class, sees them. I see vampires as sexual, powerful, cold, and sometimes misunderstood individuals that seem more human in society today than ever before. Have we become a more empathetic society? Have we gotten soft in our ways and given in to the idea that Vampires could have souls? Have we forgotten what it's like to get bitten. OR are we tired of getting bitten? We've seen all the horror we could ever need, had enough of the idea that the vamire is a monster. We are bored with this, writers realize this and in an effort to sell their books, think up a new spin on the vampire and sell it to the world. I think the next era's lore will hold whatever sells that week.

I really like your take on the first question. I agree with your point that killing for reasons other than survival is evil and that being at peace with yourself and your surroundings is good. - Lenarama Lenarama Oct 31, 2011
I agree with your last answer completely! It's actually pretty similar to my answer, in that I also believe we have a more empathetic society. I think humans want to see the good in everybody, and we've let this extend to our perception of vampires- who are traditionally monsters! - mlerussell mlerussell Nov 1, 2011

October 18, 2011

1. "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"--who watches the watchmen. How can this idea relate to our overall study of villains in this course? Who should be responsible for monitoring what's happening in the world? How do you see your own role?
Who guards the guardians? Who keeps the keepers? Who watches the watchmen?
1, 2, 3, Not it...
Technically we are watching the watchmen because we read the comic book they are in. We just have no power to control their actions; this power lies with Mr. Alan Moore.
In Medea, the Gods are watching what Medea does to her children and do nothing. Was this the right choice? Most people in that day would say yes. You ask them why they say yes not because they have a good reason but because they have faith in their Gods. The watchmen are watchmen because they chose to be whereas Gods were born into the job so I suppose there is a difference. The watchmen also have the job because they believe in something. Everyone has the responsibility to watch the watchmen. They chose to have a position of power and that is the principle difference between them and a common man. Who should be responsible for keeping an eye on the world and makes sure everyone is playing fairly? I say whoever wants to take the job. Whoever does must have a little crazy in them or some need to control. Who watches the watchmen? I have a better question: Who watches the watchers of the watchmen? It goes on forever and ever. I say don't put your faith into a watchman or a God or a Batman. Let them do their thing, watch out for yourself, and protect what and who you love. and if there is something happening that you don't like, make a stand and change it. Right now I'm happy and have no desire to control or change anything.

2. From Jaclyn's presentation: Are privateers less admirable than pirates because they had permission to be "bad?"
Leaders are admirable. Those who do things not because they are told to but because they want to are admirable. Privateers are pawns, and even though pawns are necessary in winning the game, nobody wants to be a pawn. Pirates are not pawns, pirates say "Chess metaphors!? Fu*k chess metaphors!! I kill you and steal your gold!". I respect pirates more because they are taking charge of their lives. Sure they might be more destructive, sinking a ship rather than capturing it, but they fight for their keep and stick it to the man and for that they are more admirable.

3. From Daniel's presentation: Do Eddie Brock (Venom) and Cletus Kasady (Carnage) share the same levels of responsibility for their actions?
We have all at one point wanted to inflict harm upon someone. What separates man from beast is that man is able to resist these urges. One could say man has a responsibility to resist these urges and when he goes against his better judgment he is neglecting his responsibilities. Eddie had hate in his heart but was too scared to do anything about it because he feared the consequences. His nature is therefore good and he has a responsibility to be good. When given the chance to be evil, he gladly accepts and is therefore held responsible for his actions. For these reasons, he is more responsible for his actions than Cletus. Unlike Eddie, Cletus was committing acts of evil before he became Carnage. It was in his nature to do this whether it be his mental condition or his environment growing up. I'd say he was more beast to begin with and therefore less responsible for his actions since he was not going against his nature. I know this seems sort of backwards but it makes since to me. A dog protecting his bone will growl at his master because it is in his nature. He cannot be held responsible for this.

Your point about Eddie and Cletus is really interesting. I can really see where you're coming from and I loved your approach to it. I also really like your point about everyone having a responsibility to watch the watchmen. - Lenarama Lenarama Oct 25, 2011

October 11, 2011

We have discussed how when something defies what is natural, we find it scary, but what makes something unnatural? There are a lot of elements to our world that are not natural, i.e. cars and computers, and yet we do not find them scary. What causes this difference?
What is natural? Nobody shows a spider how to build a web, it just knows; this is natural. Nobody shows a baby how to cry, it just knows; this is natural. Nobody shows a plant how make its own food using sunlight, water, and CO2, it just knows; this is natural. All of these things are not taught and are necessary for the organism to survive.
Not everything that is unnatural is scary. Humans get scared when confronted with two things, things they don’t expect, and things they can’t control. Most natural things are expected and controllable so we don’t fear them. We can control computers and cars so we are not scared of them. Medea killing her children is unexpected so we fear that.

2. If you had only this movie (The Dark Knight) to judge Batman for his actions, what would you define as heroic? Would you define anything he does as villainous? From where do your decisions originate?
He saves the little boy from Harvey Dent.
He saves Harvey Dent from the explosion.
Saves Rachael from plummeting to her death.
Saves all those hostages from being shot by the SWAT team.
He saves the life of the snitch dude who tries to bribe Morgan Freeman (aka "God") twice.
He saved Gotham from the Joker by taking the blame for Harvey Dent.
He saved the people on the ferries by wresting the remote away from the Joker.

I think a villainous act would be one that greatly benefitted the perpetrator. I can’t think of anything he did that had purely selfish motives, if there are things please comment on my page.

3. We'll begin our discussion next week talking about The Dark Knight. Develop your own question to kick off discussion and post it here.
What makes Batman think he can just fight crime? Would he still do it if he wasn’t rich?
He’s obviously tired, why does he keep going?
What’s he going to do when he gets found out, jail time?
To be continued…

Honestly, I think Batman does a ton of villanous things. By trying to save Rachael instead of Dent, it was a completely selfish act. He wanted Rachael for himself, she couldn't help Gotham the way Dent could and yet Batman tried to save his main squeeze instead of saving the White Knight of Gotham. - Roxypotter13 Roxypotter13 Oct 20, 2011

To Roxypotter13: Valid point, it would appear that this act was very selfish of Mr. Batman. However what if it wasn't Batman who made this choice but rather Bruce Wayne? What if there was a moment where Bruce Wayne was stronger than Batman? I think batman would have saved Harvey Dent and is therefore not to blame. Just a thought.- lduran02 lduran02 Oct 20, 2011

October 4, 2011

1. Make a case for Iago as villain, and then, using at least two pieces of the same evidence, make a case for Othello as villain.
Iago deceives and manipulates from the get go. His world is a chess game and the people around him are his pawns. He sacrifices them as he sees fit in order to win the game. His motivation is to bring about the downfall of others whom he feels have wronged him. He feels that Othello has somehow betrayed him by promoting Cassio to Lieutenant. His plan is to seek revenge on both Othello and Cassio. He simply uses Desdemona to get back at Othello. Othello can’t possibly be the villain because he is not entirely selfish. In the end he kills himself after learning the truth because deep down he is a good man and can’t live with the evil he knows he has committed.

Othello killed himself at the end because he realized he was the villain in his "aha" moment and couldn’t live with himself knowing others would be whispering whenever he was around for the rest of his life. He was a coward who after trying so hard to be perfect, finally snapped. In all honesty we should have seen this coming. Even though Iago played each of the characters like fiddles, he still simply worked with what he had. Othello was a dangerous man and all Iago did was reveal this not only to the rest of the world, but to Othello himself. Othello was a big and heavy boulder high up on the edge of a cliff. He seemed sturdy but Iago knew that there was some dangerous potential lurking within the boulder. He knew that with just the right push, that big rock could release all its potential energy as it plummeted off the cliff. Desdemona was unfortunate enough to be waiting at the bottom of the cliff and foolish enough to attempt to catch the boulder in her loving arms. On the outside, he appeared strong and comfortable in his own skin but on the inside, he feared that Desdemona did not love him; it is this instability that makes him the true villain. Othello is a stick of dynamite and any number of things could have set him off. He would have blown up somewhere down the line regardless of Iago.

For the record, I definitely think Iago was the villain and that Othello was just caught up in a shit storm. Love makes everybody do crazy things we wouldn’t ordinarily do. Plus it is a tragedy. If Othello was the villain, the ending would not have been tragic.

2. From Tyler's presentation: What is one character (hero or villain) so far that we have looked at that could have an undiagnosed mental disorder?
Grendel definitely has a mental disorder. I think it's a mixture of Autism and some antisocial personality disorder. Though I’m not sure if there is a different scale used to evaluate him and other monsters since he is not technically human. His brain is probably completely normal amongst his monster peers. In fact I’m sure he was considered quite gifted back in the realm of evil. He was a superstar.

3. From Emily's presentation: Pick 2-3 villains (from anywhere) and draw parallels between them; looking at actions, appearance, back-story, etc. How are they recycled villains?
Scar vs. Loki
Scar is the brother of Mufasa and he is jealous of his brothers’ power and accomplishments. I am sure he feels out of place in the family since he looks so different from the other lions. He has jet-black hair, is very sneaky and deceptive, and has lots of smarticles. I'm not sure what his backstory is but there is definitely some family conflict back in the day.
Loki is the adopted brother of Thor. He is has jet-black hair and again does not look anything like his brother (probably because of the whole "he's a Frost Giant" thing.) He too is very sneaky and deceptive. His back story we know which is he descended from the Frost Giants and was just too cute as a baby for Odin to leave behind.
In both cases there is some sibling rivalry and jealousy going on. Thor and Mufassa are both very powerful and intimidating where as Scar and Loki both rely on their cunning and intellectual ability rather than brute strength. They both go behind their brothers backs in order to obtain power and both fail when given a chance at the throne.

'Whispering whenever he was around for the rest of his life', I really never thought if it like that, I never thought what would have happened had he not killed himself. I guess the shame alone probably did factor in to his decision, also the fact that he killed the woman he loved more than anything. I also really liked all of your metaphors, they explained what happened really well, and I also agree with you that Iago was the villain. Othello had no right to do what he did, but the fact he couldn't live with himself afterwards shows that he wasn't evil at heart. And Grendel was a superstar back in his glory days, selling out shows all over the world, writing 'how-to' books, teaching the little monsters, crazy famous.- reinada reinada Oct 7, 2011Reina

I think your point that Othello was bound to fall of his pedestal sooner or later is a really good one. We as humans tend to put people we admire or find especially talented on pedestals, expecting them to be perfect, and are genuinely surprised when they fail the standards we have created for them. Generally, these failures are things we should have seen coming. I think Othello is no different. People viewed him as a great leader and the epitome of honesty and integrity when, really, he was just a human who was filled with insecurities and faults. All Iago had to do was play off of those insecurities and BAM, Othello was a careening train off its tracks. Also, I really liked your comparison of Scar to Loki. I compared Scar to Prince John but, I definitely like your comparison better. - Lenarama Lenarama Oct 7, 2011

September 27, 2011

1. How do female villains differ from male villains?
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
I've learned at least one thing in my almost 20 years here on Earth, and that is that most women tend to hold on to things. Hypothetical Tom and Wally can get into a heated scuffle on Monday and come Tuesday night they'll both be laughing at it over a beer. If hypothetical Janice steals hypothetical Meena's lipgloss in the 6th grade, then 30 years later, Meena will still have a burning hatred for her "friend" deep within soul. I'm pretty sure a guy villain would have just killed Aurora right then and there. Maleficent instead chose to give the family and kingdom sixteen years of worry and sorrow. This was pretty clever because they suffered so much more. As a side note, here are a few more things that make female villains scarier than male villains,
most women are very passionate creatures and as a consequence do not have any problem speaking their mind when they get pissed off whereas guys usually have a cap to their anger. Also, women are very good at manipulating men, especially beautiful women. Men secretly fear this. It's like women are antifreeze and men are helpless puppies, we know we shouldn't drink up the lies and deception but it smells so sweet that we can't help ourselves.
Normally there is a difference in physical ability. Where men might rely on brute force, a woman must carefully plan out and be strategic about her evil doing. I'm sure Maleficent had the whole, "curse the baby" thing planned out ever since high school when the queen with no name made fun of her for wearing so much black and having masculine features. It would have been interesting if she was invited to the shindig, how can you curse the baby after that? Well I suppose if you're evil it doesn't really matter. I sorta just wanna give Maleficent a hug.

2. How is color used to portray aspects of good and evil in Sleeping Beauty?
Just like every character had a theme song which gave them personality, every character also had certain colors which represented the qualities of the character. The evil of Maleficent was marked by black, green, scarlet, or sickly purple. We see these colors on Maleficent's clothing, her skin, her castle, the atmosphere outside her castle. These colors are also very heavy and dark which fit with the vibes we get from Maleficent.
On the other hand, whenever Aurora is dancing through or forest or the scene is set in the kingdom we see a lot of bright and warm colors. There are a lot of oranges, blues, pinks, and yellows which makes for a very friendly and inviting atmosphere. Usually these bright colors are accompanied with soft edges rather than the sharp corners we see on Maleficent and in her castle. By looking at the color they are drawn in, we are able to get an insight into the personality of the character

I love your analysis of women. We are rather good at holding onto grudges and manipulating men with our stunning good looks :D - Lenarama Lenarama Oct 2, 2011

I too love your analysis of women. It's sooooo true. Women do hold grudges for a long time. I agree that women do have skill in planning. I also liked how you compared the colors associated with a character and them songs.
- jserru jserru Oct 3, 2011jaclynserru

Love your first line it really got my attention, mainly because I love that quote but thats a different story. Over all I agree with your annalisis of female vs. male bad guys however, I disagree with the statement that men have to put a cap on their anger because with that logic how do you explain the male villains who want to destroy the world for whatever reason. -sdimpfel

September 20, 2011

1. In Medea, there are several characters who know of Medea's plans, and yet they do not try to stop her. Why do these characters let villainy happen? Do the gods approve of her choices? What are the implications of their approval or disapproval?
If I was a character in the play, and I knew of Medea's plans, I'd like to say I would have stopped her but would I have really? What could I have done? Step in between the knife and the child? Steal the children away from her and hide them in my house? Call the cops? There's not a whole lot I can do besides look sad and hope she doesn't go through with it. Those were different times, where people felt and thought different things. Maybe those who knew of her plans didn't have to call the police because the police for them were their Gods who saw everything? They figured, if what she's doing is wrong, she will be stricken down and all will be right in the world. But if what she is doing is right, and I stop her, then I will be punished.
It seems very much likely that Medea's actions were justified in some way. By the furies and gods staying out of her way, they are sending the message that Jason derserved it. I am one who agrees that killing her kids was not the best thing she could have done to get back at him. I was gonna make a point that it might not have been such a big deal if your kids died back then but the king seemed pretty upset over his daughter. Also I think parents loving their children is natures way of tricking moms and and dads so that the human race may live on. ALSO everyone makes note that killing your kids is pretty messed up. So I guess by mentioning the furies, Euripedes was demonstrating how he felt about Medea's actions. I believe he believed her to be in the right. Although like it was mentioned in class, he may have just put this dilemma before us for the heck of it. He may have not had a side either.

2. From Kaylee's presentation: Choose either (a) or (b) (a) Is Mao's quotation, "In this world, revolution is the mainstream" still true? (b) Do you have a limit or a threshold of how many people can die before a cause becomes unjust?
b) There are so many variables to take into consideration. You have different viewpoints and then you have actually being in a situation vs. imagining yourself in the situation. Initially, I would like to play Ghandi and say that there can be conflict resolution without violence. Nobody has to die for a cause, not a single soul. I think about it a little more and it seems like only in a perfect world does everyone walk the high road . There will be somebody who will take advantage of you. There will be somebody who will take your wisdom for weakness and kill you and it is those people will live on to tell the stories. Especially with the next question, I think that it's impossible to live in a strictly peaceful society because we owe our existence to being the most dangerous creatures on the planet. I eat you and I live on. So to compare the cause to survival of the human race, (because that is what I seem to want to rant about) I will pay whatever it takes. If I have 20 men, and you have 20 men, and there's only enough resources for twenty men, my first instinct is not to lay down and hand you life. My first instinct is to have life by taking yours. Maybe I'm just in a cynical mood today.

3. From Lawrence's presentation: Everyone has an inner beast, an animal hidden within the subconscious. What is yours and why?
I imagine my inner beast is some sort of primate. Screaming monkey. Maybe even a gorilla. This question is hard to answer... whoever picked it sucks.

I find it interesting that your inner beast is a screaming monkey, when you are soo quiet! But maybe that is the whole point. On the inside you're a screaming monkey, and on the out, you're a quiet Lawrence. - Oct 4, 2011

I was going to say the same thing as Jamie. Haha. I also really liked your answer to Kaylee's question. Yay for cynics! :) - Lenarama Lenarama

What you said about the possibility of the gods being the "police" is very interesting. I also like what you said about the fear of stopping another persons action for fear of punishment from the gods.
- tylerjames1992 tylerjames1992 Sep 23, 2011

I completely agree with your answer to the first question. It isn't like anyone really could have done anything to stop Medea, no matter how much someone wanted to. And I certainly hope Euripedes had a side, but I feel like maybe he just did put it in to confuse people for generations to come. And although your answer to the second question was slightly cynical, it is valid...I just don't think many people are willing to just how vicious we can be if need be. - reinada reinada Sep 23, 2011Reina

Wow that was very well said Lawrence. I agree that no one stepped in because there was nothing they could do . But i do believe that the gods were their police.

They saw everything, they knew everything, and they could get justice without having to go through a trial or anything. All they had to do was think "Oh that wasnt nice" and BAM strike Medea down with lightning. But they didnt so either they must have thought she was doing something right or they just werent there. Oh and for the inner monkey, I hope you refrain yourself from flinging your own poo. :)- HeyThereAri HeyThereAri Sep 24, 2011Ari

September 13, 2011

1. Why do you think that Dexter is a series that enjoys popularity in our particular moment in history? Could it have been popular at another time? Why or why not?
Kids today are crazy. They are all doing drugs and getting pregnant* because they see this happening on television. Fifty years ago we would have been the generation that rebels, but today we are just the generation who conforms. What was unspeakable fifty years ago, is plastered all over the cartoons of kids today. Death and murder sell so we see it on every other TV show. My Godson, who just started kindergarten loves CSI for example, it's his favorite show. The other day he was describing the show to me, he said "Ah man and he beat her over the head with a hammer it was gruesome!" The kid is five. I was amazed at how normal that was for him. Violence for people today is like special effects, we take it for granted and don't really appreciate the power of it. If someone a hundred years ago could see a science fiction film of today with aliens and ghosts walking around and limbs getting chopped off while people fly through the air they would, as the expression goes, "lose their shit."
We like Dexter the series because we like Dexter Morgan. What is it about this character that makes him so appealing to today's generation? Well first of all he is so damaged that any sin we have committed pales in comparison which makes us feel good. We like him because despite this, he manages to function in society and seems normal. We like him because he follows a code and doesn't do anything irrational. I think a show like this could have been popular when TV didn't exist, when horses were used as engines and there was one sheriff in town. I can see someone like Dexter thriving as an outlaw in an old western with a pistol at his side, killing off the bad guys of the American Old West.
*not all kids of today are doing drugs and getting pregnant.

2. What parallels can you draw between Dexter, Dr. Jekyll, Batman and Superman? Go beyond the surface. How are they different from characters like Beowulf?
Dexter: Kills people, want to get rid of evil, creates alternate personality to do so.
Dr. Jekyll: Mad scientist, wants to get rid of his own evil, creates alternate personality to do so.
Batman: Rich vigilante, wants to rid Gotham of evil, creates alternate personality to kick some ass.
Superman: The zenith of all this good in this world, fights evil, has an alternate personality.
I'm not sure what "the surface" is besides the fact that there is murder involved in the lives of all these characters and we have studied them all. They all have a certain need to fit into society but don't so they create an alternate personality. They're all also against evil. These characters are different from Beowulf because for one, Beowulf doesn't have an alternate personality. He is a badass pretty much all the time. He doesn't pretend to be something he is not.

3. From Miles's presentation: Why is the character of Dracula/the drinking of blood considered sexual?
I'm going to answer assuming it's women who are sexually attracted to Dracula. I realize anybody could be attracted to him but for now I'll just focus on women. I'm not a woman, I'm just throwing out some ideas and of course this doesn't apply to every single woman. That being said, Women are attracted to the danger that comes with Dracula. To be more general, they like bad boys. I vote that this comes from the days of Cavemen when women had to look for the strongest, bravest, most intense and powerful man with the biggest club who could protect them and their family from the wooly mammoths and saber-tooth tigers?
Though this doesn't explain the whole, sucking out your life force question... that I explain by saying that women think it's intimate that Dracula needs their life force inside of him? Or maybe they just think it looks hot, like an intense necking session. Though I doubt those who find that attractive have ever had it happen to them. I imagine having your blood sucked out of you would be much less seductive if it were actually happening to you. I feel like the victim's thought process would be something like "...ooh... wait? ow? no? Stop? Please?"

4. From Hunter's presentation: Why did Jack the Ripper get away with his crimes when the media coverage/police investigation so great?
Dexter wasn't around yet to solve the case.
There are a lot of reasons he wasn't caught. The police weren't efficient, people were scared to report him or suspect him, he was just good at what he did, he just got lucky? I don't think there is any specific reason as to why he wasn't caught.

A) I just want to point out that I love the blunt way you put things. B) I completely agree with you about the possibly too common way we appreciate violence. I think we often lose sight of the fact that these violent things that we see portrayed on the entertainment that we watch actually happen to real people. And, the fact that we are teaching our children to take it for granted is ridiculous. C) I love your list of parallels. Sometimes I think we look to much below the surface and miss the obvious things. D) your answer to question 4 was great. The end. - Lenarama Lenarama Sep 15, 2011

I think your idea about our enjoyment of Dexter due to the fact that it makes us feel better about our own selves is really cool. If Dexter can be this mentally disturbed and live a normal life, we can easily forgive ourselves of things that had seemed horrible to us. The comparisons that you have seen between different characters is interesting.- Droybal Droybal Sep 19, 2011Daniel

September 6, 2011

1.The poem Beowulf expresses distinct characteristics that are necessary for an individual fulfill to be a good king, as we discussed in class. What guidelines are implied for successful villainy
If there is such a thing as successful villainy, we would not know that the villain was a villain. We would think he/she was our friend. Typically though I’d say a “successful” villain saw themselves as the hero. This would help them convince others that their side is the one worth fighting for. They would also be ruthless, brave, and willing to take risks, otherwise they’d never accomplish anything. A good villain must be smart, all bronze and no brains loses every time. They must be feared and command respect. It doesn’t hurt to be able to spew fire or fly. It's funny how similar a good villain is to a good hero.

Villain-O-Meter 3000

10.5] {Medea} She scares me.
10.0] {Dexter} This was tough, but he fits all the qualifications of the perfect villain because we see him as the hero.
9.0] {Joker} He's very good at what he does, create chaos.

7.5] {Grendel} I'm with Jona in the argument that if it spent twelve years eating my fellow man, it's evil.

6.5] {Iago} He's manipulative and clever but not very scary.

6.2] {Mr. Hyde} Because he just doesn't give a single toot. Not a one. He's like yeah I run little girls over, so what?
5.8] {Captain Hook} Very clever, had a lot of potential but needed something more

5.5] {Jason} He just reeks of douchebaggery.
5.0] {Dragon} He/she was just doing his/her job, that makes him/her neutral in my book.

2.5] {Captain Hook} He did horrible things but I think he was just misunderstood.
2.0] {Grendel's Mother} She is a sweetheart and did no more than any other good mother would have done.

1.8] {Maleficent} She did one bad thing in 16 years, and didn't even succeed.
1.6] {Prince Humperdinck} is a coward and not very intimidating, reminds me of a spoiled child.
1.4] {Vizzine} He had the right idea but his head was too big

0.0] {kitteh} although some would argue they should be a ten.

3. How would you characterize a successful class discussion? What features are present? Which are absent? How would you suggest we best accomplish such a discussion?
The reason the discussion last Tuesday was stopped was because it was pointless. Everybody was talking over each other in an effort to get their voice heard. I think it’s great that nobody is shy and everybody wants to share their ideas but it’s also important to sit back and listen sometimes. I think good discussions consist of 80% listening and 20% talking.
As a side note, the discussion seems useless if everyone agrees with everyone else. I think there would be more growth if some people brought up topics that caused strife amongst the classmates. I will be looking for opportunities to do this. Play devil’s advocate.
As for a resolution to this problem, I think the groups is just too big to control anything that happens. You have something so say but someone jumps in front of you, the topic switches and suddenly there's something completely different going on. It makes for a fast paced but unproductive seminar.

First off, I love your scale. Kittens are definitely the least evil thing, fo sho. Secondly, I'm pretty excited for a devil's advocate, just so we can get some real discussion. Hopefully it cause strife :) - Kayleethegr8 Kayleethegr8 Sep 9, 2011Kaylee

I LOVE THE SCALE haha I argue that the kitten is like a 50! I like the whole entire idea of devils advocte I think it be nice for us to have some good arguements it makes the opinion more valuable. - CarolineNess CarolineNess Sep 9, 2011

Your villain o meter is great and I like the way that you set it up to include neutrality, not just simply evil, although it is hard for me to agree that Grendell's mother wasn't evil at all. It's really good to read your page and know more of how you think. I'm really exited to see what ideas you can come up with as "devil's advocate" and think it's a really good suggestion for the rest of the class as well. -angelica

A) I love the kitteh :) B) I'm always a fan of a devil's advocate. Things are boring if everyone agrees with everyone and no one is bringing something shocking and different. C) I love your point about the similarity between good villains and good heroes. It is one of the many reasons I love Dexter. D) I'm with you on Grendel. I'm generally not a fan of cannibalism. - Lena

Gotta love those hermaphroditic dragons! Though, based on its level of protection, I'd assume it's a female? Though whole maternal instinct thing, I think. And your kitty is freaking awesome- Kharli


August 30, 2011

1. Abraham Lincoln wrote that “the true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any thing, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it have more of evil, than of good. There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good.” Relate this quotation to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Ok... so Hyde is completely evil so according to Honest Abe we must reject him. Done. Goodnight.
I am split however as to my views of what Mr. Hyde is.
I want him to be the picture of freedom and release. There's something exciting about a life with neither consequences nor conscience. If you've ever seen the movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray you'd know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately Mr. Hyde is not what I would like him to be. Mr. Hyde is described as a sort of concentrated evil that lives inside Dr. Jekyll and if this is the case there is no good within him and he must rejected.
I find myself not wanting to reject him.
Not because I advocate trampling little girls or killing innocent old men, but because I know that life needs a little bit of evil. Batman is nothing without the Joker, Mufassa is nothing without Scar. I life without conflict would be bland indeed. I don't see how the evil that lives within the souls of men is any different.
Honest Abe is talking more about acceptance of someone or something even though they may have their flaws. I agree with him. I know I'm not the only one who wishes that Dr. Jekyll would have accepted the Hyde within himself as he would accept his lungs or legs. It was the good Dr. Jeckyll who released the evil upon the world by rejecting it. If he had the wisdom to accept the evil knowing all the while he was stronger than it, well... we would have read another book for this class.

I totally agree with you about what would have happened if Dr. Jekyll accepted his 'evil'. There would have been no story if Jekyll had just shrugged it off and decided to deal with it. I like how you related the quote to the book and the whole idea of 'acceptence', even acceptence of some evil. - reinada reinada Sep 1, 2011Reina

August 23, 2011

first picture I've ever posted of myself... weird.
I am the guy who does like like to bring attention to himself. I sit back and watch. I am the guy who assumes that whoever is reading this has better things to do with their life. I am the guy who over-analyzes everything but is aware he is doing it so pretends to stop but... does he? Yes... he does. But... does he really? I like to observe my surroundings but am usually discouraged at what I see so I laugh at it. I am reserved and hard to befriend but if I like you, I am your best friend. I do not like that I have used the word "I" so many times. I want to study something practical and gain knowledge which can help people. I want to fix broken people, put them back together like I did my toys when I was young after I was finished taking them apart to see how they worked. I enjoy listening to music, especially music which I can create a music video for in my head (I make the best music videos in my head.) I enjoy long walks on the beach, reading a good book when nothing else is possible (like when I'm waiting on a bus) I also enjoy dry humor from witty people, it intrigues me.

2) For one thing, it is related to the theme of the class which was villains. Almost every story has an antagonist, so why specifically a childrens antagonist? We could have watched any other show really. We are going to watch The Dark Knight which few would consider a childrens movie, yet it has the same hero. Maybe we watched a children's movie so we could compare the villain of yesterday with the villain of today? Perhaps it was chosen so that this question about why it was chosen could be asked? It made for a good introduction into the class, it was fun which I expect this class to be. I think it was helful to see this certain type of villain, the villain of a superhero must be almost as appealing and witty as the superhero himself. Children watch this and get a vision of what a villain should be, then they grow up and create villains of their own. Maybe we are starting at the beginning and will explore deeper and darker villains and material as the course plays out; this answer appeals to me. We had to start somewhere, why not start at the beginning? I seem to be twisting the question into why this movie was chosen first as oppose to why a childrens movie was chosen at all. I guess I'll end by saying that some things are timeless, superman and batman are both timeless. They appeal to not only children but to adults as well (who are really just children who learned how to act in public.) At the heart of things, The Joker and Lex Luthor make for entertaining villains and that's why this children's movie was being viewed in a college class.
Lectures Attended1.) "CHESTER NEZ: NAVAJO CODE TALKER" On Tues, Nov 15th in the SUB Ballroom at 6pmChester Nez was one of the original 29 Navajo Code talkers, he along with the writer of the book "Code Talker" presented stories from Chesters past. Started off by talking about how it was the only unbroken code in modern warfare. The Navajo word for "Ant" is "Wolachi" (or something like that) and so "Wolachi" became the letter "A" and so on. They spoke of how Bording school was tough and the matrons were mean so the navajo's learned to think under pressure, they also had learned stamina and cooperation from working on the reservation. All the neighbors cooperated to raise the sheep, there were no fences. Chester's mom died when he was three and so his father moved in with his mothers family. There was a sad story about how his Grandmother had built a sheep herd and his family had 1000 sheep and one day the Government came during the dust bowl era and 700 sheep that Chesters' family owned were burned alive. That was the moment Chester decided that he didn't want to depend on the reservation, he said the thing that scared him the most was that he might make a mistake. He spent 4 years in the marine corps, he kept saying over and over that he was sorry to see someone he went to boot camp with laying dead on the beach. He met some of the relatives of these men. He used to have nightmares and that war was a terrible thing to see. He said the enemy would attack at night and it was very scary to go through. Listening to Chester just made me feel sorry for all those who have to go to war and it makes me grateful that I have never had to see friends of mine dead on the beach or have nightmares of the war in my head. I'm very grateful for these men who fight for freedom.
2.) Red Cross Presentation on Community CPR and wound dressing training on Wed, Nov 16th at the SUB
Learned how to give Community CPR which differs from regular CPR because the part where you give breaths is eliminated. Also learned how to dress wounds and things like what to do if a person is in shock. I think everybody should know these basic first aid techniques because just knowing gives you the confidence to step in if you see someone drop from cardiac arrest. Most people would feel inadequate and a life might be lost because of this. I learned not only how to save a life, but was given the confidence to be able to do so in a situation if it arises. I hope I never have to use these skills and although having them available is sort of burden, it is mainly a relief.

3.) The Fall 2011 UNM Dance Showcase Produced by the students of the UNM Ballroom Dance Class on Wednesday, Nov 30th from 6-8 p.m. Johnson CenterWatched some pretty great moves get performed in Johnson Center. There was Argentine Tango, Cha Cha, Salsa, Ballroom Tango, International Rumba, Country Western, Four-Count Swing, you name it! One of the more interesting dances featured an older gentleman being paraded around by a nice young lady wearing a lot of leather and equipped with a whip. I believe this was with Rachelle Bustamante and Bill Zimmerman and featured the song Poker Face by Lady Gaga. My favorite is a toss up between a Cha Cha with "Omar DeLaO and Company" dancing to Moves Like Jagger and a Viennese Waltz with T/R Intermediate Waltz to a tune from Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire. Overall it was a lot of fun and people on the floors seemed to be enjoying themselves. I could tell that a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into the performances and it was a treat to watch. I know I couldn't have kept up with the performers. However I am considering Mary Anne Tomson's "Bellydancing" class though, maybe make some new friends.