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Dark Ecology: Race, Gender & the Environment

English 252 @ Hunter College

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Power!

Playlist for the book Prospero’s Daughter.

  • Monster by Rihanna and Eminem

This song is relevant to Carlos and Caliban because they have Prospero’s voice stuck in their head.

Monster Link

  • Power Of the Empire – Empire cast

This song is relevant to Dr. Gardner because he seeks power.

Empire Link

  • Prisoner By Weekend feat. Lana Del Ray

This song is relevant to Carlos and Virginia love.

Prisoner Link

  • UnKiss me By Maroon 5

This song is relevant to Arianna and how she felt.

UnKiss Me Link

  • Wicked Ways By Eminem

This song is relevant to Dr. Gardner and how he used wicked ways to become powerful

Wicked Ways Link

  • Won’t Back Down By Eminem feat Pink

This song is relevant to Carlos as he fought for is right.

Won’t Back Down

  • Yes By Demi Lovato

This song is relevant to Carlos’s Mom.

Yes

  • You’re So Beautiful by Empire Cast

This song is relatable to how Carlos’s dad saw his wife beautiful.

You’re So Beautiful

  • Worthy By Jeremih feat. Jhene` Aiko

This song is relatable to Virginia and how she felt.

Worthy

  • Where Are U Now By Diplo and Justin Bieber and Skrillex

This song could be relatable to how Carlos and Arianna feel when they think of Arianna’s mother.

Where Are U Now

  • What is love By Empire Cast

This song could be representing how Carlos felt when he Arianna was meeting a suitor.

What is Love

  • Not Afraid By Eminem

This song is relatable to Inspector Mumford and Carlos. Its representing how Carlos took his stand and wanted Mumford to join him.

Not Afraid

  • No Pressure By Justin Bieber

This song is relatable to how the Fisherman felt about Arianna.

No Pressure

Links:

All links to songs are added under the songs.

Citation of Prospero’s Daughter

  • Nunez, Elizabeth. Prospero’s Daughter: A Novel. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006. Print.

“Don’t be sick, Lets go to the Frick”

http://www.frick.org/collection/areas_collectionHCF1905_0.jpg

Henry Clay Frick was one of Americas most successful industrialists, he has created masterpieces of western painting, sculpture, and decorative art, displayed in a serene and intimate setting. The Frick Collection offers a unique presentation of artwork.

During the semester, we have visited a few places and even enjoyed a walk in central park to explore and see a statue of Shakespeare, however my favorite trip this semester was visiting the The Frick Collection. It was my favorite because, in class we have explored “close reading” Where we take a passage and analyze the passage and go in depth of what the author is trying to indicate to the readers. In the Frick we explored “close looking” which was a little different. Instead of reading a passage we were asked to go into the painting and try to see whats going on in the painting, why was it painted this way? and what kind of paint was used and why? I found close looking very interesting and more “real”, you were able to see the painting in many different ways and it was easier to analyze.  I think close looking helps to see details in artwork that you couldn’t see before and it also helps with creating another story within the painting which I found intriguing, because I never looked at artwork that way. Sometimes you see a painting as a regular painting, but the truth is they all tell a story you just have use your close looking skills in order to put the pieces of the story together.

We were all paired off into groups and set off into different rooms to close look some paintings. The tour guide that we had was amazing she gave us some much information about all the paintings and their purpose. I really loved all the artwork that was displayed out for everyone to see. I will always close look art work wherever I go. Below are some art work that my group and I were able too see. Test your close looking skills and tell me what you see.

IMG_1495.JPG

19091121.jpg.png
Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning, 1826 a caption
19141122.jpg.png
Harbor of Dieppe: Changement de Domicile, exhibited 1825
19141119.jpg.png
Cologne, the Arrival of a Packet-Boat: Evening, 1826

A Stolen Voice

The content may contain subject of disturbance.

Timothy Morton explains ‘dark ecology’ as a means of expressing the “irony, ugliness, and horror” of ecology. So, what does that mean in the real world? It is the deformity in nature, be it environmental or human. One example of this deformity is rape, a subject our culture demeans but does not put an effort to prevent it. It degrades women, if she is the victim, but is not the case for men. If a man were to claim that he was raped, he would be ridiculed by society. According to society, men are not seen as victims but rather seen as the culprit. Hence, we do not hear about those cases often. In cases of rape, the fight that women have to put up with in order to make their voices heard on a larger scale of the justice system, is unbelievable and unimaginable. One would think that in a time where we are incredibly advanced in technology, justice for rape might be clear as well right? Well in reality, compared to technology, justice for rape is similar to the technology in the 1800’s, barely there. That is only because the world is run by men, who do not see rape being a problem and do not see it through the victim’s eyes. They are not able to comprehend what being a rape victim feels like or how undermining their actions are. To them, the idea of rape is not rape, it is a means of pleasure, not only for the man but the woman as well.

I chose this topic because it has been a problem ever since the creation of men and women and it is relatable to our class. Recently, I was asked to watch the movie “Thelma & Louise” directed by Ridley Scott, a movie about two women, Thelma Dickinson and Louise Sawyer. Thelma is a married woman with a controlling husband, who makes her decisions for her, as if she has no opinion of her own. Louise is Thelma’s friend who works as a waitress and has a boyfriend who is a musician. Tired of the same lifestyle, they both decide to go on a two-day mini-vacation away from the problems. Thelma goes without her husband’s “permission” which according to the society at the time that the movie takes place, is inexcusable. On the way to the vacation place, they stop at a roadhouse, where they drink a little and dance with people and let loose. After a while, Thelma starts to feel uncomfortable in the environment and starts to feel sick so, Harlan, the person she that she dances with takes her out of the roadhouse for some fresh air. Once outside, he starts to forcefully kiss her and rip her clothes. He, in this moment would have taken this chance to rape her if Louise had not come to save her. As they walk away, Harlan makes nasty remarks toward the women forcing Louise to kill him. Because Thelma did not give into Harlan’s advances, Harlan takes the chance to ridicule her. This goes to show that if a woman does not give into a man’s sexual intentions, then the woman is the one who gets humiliated because of her choice not to give in. Louise helping Thelma escape from Harlan shows his failure. If Thelma and Louise were to go to the cops to tell of this, they would be the one who will be blamed because they were the ones drinking and they were the ones who decides to dance with Harlan. In the end, they would be the one getting blamed. The fear of no one believing them as they were drinking, forces them to go on the run. Louise asks her boyfriend to bring her life savings which she gets robbed of by a man she had tried to help by letting him hitch a ride. After that moment, they commit a series of crimes, some to survive and others to teach creeps a lesson, all of this escalates only because of one fear, which was whether or not the society would believe Thelma if she were to tell about the attempted rape and Louise killing a MAN in self-defense? Louise knows the answer already because she had been raped in Texas but no one was there to help her. No one stepped in, to help her serve justice. The dark nature of men was revealed to her then. Hence, the answer at large was no.

This issue should not only be raised in a movie, but also has to be questioned in reality. Recently a female was raped by a drunk Stanford student whose father described the rape as, “20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” What the father did not think was, how the “20 minutes of action” had impacted the young woman. He did not think of the pain that the “20 minute of action” had caused. He did not think of his son’s prosecutor who had publically defamed, and humiliated the victim, for his son’s “20 minutes of action.” He did not think the “20 minutes of action” had taken her life from her. Not only did it physically affect her, it affected her psychologically as well. It took her dignity from her. It took away something that she cherished the most, her independency, her freedom. After his son had the “20 minutes of action”, the son told the world “She Liked it.” Not only was the father who believe in the “20 minute of action” but so did the judge. In fear of not causing a “severe impact” on the 20-year-old, the judge gave a rapist only six months of jail time and three years of parole. So, the “20 minute of action” by a 20 years old men was not taken seriously as even grand larceny offenders will receive 1- 4 years of jail time however this man whole stole something so precious from a woman that because of it she will live in fear for the rest of her life however, her dignity, her independency was not enough to be worth of 1000 dollars. This showed that robbery of something worth a 1000 dollars was more criminating than taking someone’s innocence, and her pride from her. This shows that the justice system had failed her and not only her but all other rape victims out there. It failed to show that rape victims should not fear to raise their voices against it. It did not protect the other weak innocents by giving a more meaningful sentence which would instill fear in other perpetrators. Instead a rapist was given jail time so lenient that a year worth of fighting for it and facing the humiliation seemed worthless and embarrassing. The young women walked out with more fear than she had walked in with, fear of the justice system and fear of men. For the man it was a sense of pride for taking something forceful from a women and putting her on display for the mortification. For him, it was a win, something he could be proud of and something his father is proud of, but for the woman, it was a horrid situation, something that will haunt her for as long as she lives and something that she cannot take back from him.

This essay/blog showed the ugliness the world has within it. The aspect of dark ecology that is manmade. That despite being put on trial a rapist got away with a lenient sentence. A woman had lost her privacy and her confidence, two women had lost their freedom and all of the other victims that are out there, had lost their voices because of the unjust done to them along with many other women who or did not try to fight it, because according to the world “20 minutes of action” would ruin a life, the person who has performed the action, not the victim who is the recipient of the malicious crime.

work citation

Movie:

 

Thelma & Louise. Dir. Ridley. Scott. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1991. DVD.

 

Picture:

Thomas, Emily. “Rape Is Grossly Underreported In The U.S., Study Finds.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Nov. 2013. Web.                                     <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/rape-study-report-america-                      us_n_4310765.html>.

 

For more information on the case:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/06/04/you-took-away-my-worth-a-rape-victim-delivers-powerful-message-to-a-former-stanford-swimmer/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.5d14a54270eb

 

Modern Tempest Act 1, Scene 1

Act 1

Scene 1

Aiza Khan, Keminsto, Geovanni Hyman, Hkwon, Xuxiang Li

Scenery/ Setting

  • In a plane with many scared people but one
  • Hostess and the King advisory quarrel
  • Constant attacks on the plane

Props

  • Sunglasses
  • Costumes
  • Stage
  • Lighting
  • Special effects
  • Sea

Costume Design

  • Suits
  • Hostess uniform
  • And co-pilots uniform

Director/ Assistant Director

  • Ship, is now a Plane.
  • Who causes the Storm? Savages who contain weapons.
  • How did the plane crash? Missiles.

Stage directions

Enter Co-Pilot,

A young female enters the pilot cabin trying to help the pilot

Pilot:

Sam I don’t think we will be able to make it, the engine is failing and the wind is making it impossible to land safely. The only way to have a chance at survival is to steer this thing towards the water and we need parachutes. Did the hostesses find them?

Sam:

No sir, they did not.

Pilot:

God damnit! Those men are not making it any easier for them. Can you go and relax their nerves because we do not have enough time!

Exits Pilot.

Enters Hostesses and men in suits.

Sam enters the passengers cabin. (BOOM) Plane gets hit again. Everything slows down, as if the scene is playing in slow motion. The king and his men could be seen screaming however, their voices sound like as if they are coming from distance, having little or no impact at all on the audience. The hostesses are suppose to be running but it seems as if they are still. Sam cannot comprehend the reality. Fear of not surviving has her gripped. Panic starts to blossom in her chest. To Sam, time became still, as if years have passed and the scene is still not going any faster however, in reality it only has been a few seconds. Some hostesses are trying their best to cover the hole from the sides but are failing to stop the wind from taking over. Others are looking for more parachutes franticly but the fear has them blinded. Suddenly, something snaps inside of Sam and she realizes she’s not going to die, not today, not because of some savages! She’s a fighter and she will continue to fight.

Hostess:

Captain! Captain! Are you okay?

Sam:

Damnit! I’m fine. How are we doing on parachutes?

Hostess

Ma’am we do not have enough!

A man, usually the one who shows great bravery and courage, was worried and maybe for the first time scared. He got up and started to walk towards another man but this man is younger and seemed as if he was not fazed by the current events instead, he stared out the window, at the blue ocean, lost in his own thoughts.

Sam:

King Alonso, PLEASE BE SEATED!

The King seems to ignore her and continues to his son and sits with him. 

Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo enter.

They approach Sam and start questioning.

Antonio:

Are we going to survive?

Sam

Sir, if you could stay seated, it would be safer and almost easier on us.

Antonio

Well, I’m not going anywhere without answers! Now, are we going to survive?!

Sam

Sir, you need to be seated and let me do my job! If you wish to survive, let me do my job!

Sebastian (angrily):

You women, are no good! Let me talk to the pilot myself!

Sam:

Let me be clear SIR, I AM A PILOT! And if I were you, I would take myself to my seat and pray to god for forgiveness for all the sins you have committed and ask of him to fix your corrupted soul, and I would let me, as a CO-PILOT, do MY job. Because if I don’t do my job, that’s when you should be worried. Now, if you do not take this WOMEN’S advice seriously, I will personally make sure you don’t survive. So, did I make myself clear?

Gonzalo takes Antonio and Sebastian away.

Sam Rushes to the pilot cabin

Enter Pilot 

Pilot:

GOD DAMNIT! THE PLANE IS ABOUT TO CRASH IN THE WATER! DO WE HAVE ENOUGH PARACHUTES?

Sam:

(Screaming over the engine and wind sound) NO! WE DON’T!

Time seems to be racing to the end and everything seems to be going too fast to comprehend the situation. Despite having enough parachutes no one realized they did, as no one had counted. The fear of death had everyone startled and disorientated. Everyone but one soul, was affected by the crashing plane. Everyone was praying for safety and a miracle but one soul, the prince. 

Exists Pilot and Co- Pilot

 Enter Angry Gonzalo takes Antonio and Sebastian

 Antonio

How dare she speak to us in that tone?

 Sebastian

Actually, I’m sort of relieved after talking to her. I have faith that she will save us and after she does, I will hang her. As we have witnessed, she is a fighter and will fight to survive and as long as she does, we will survive as well. After that, we will publically hang her, so that no one will dare to talk to us in such a manner.

Gonzalo         

At the moment, I’m more focused on who is trying to kill us. And, what are the odds of the tempest coming out of the blue, when we are getting hit by missiles, as if those savages are controlling it. All I hope is that, even if we are to die, I die on land and be buried with dignity and honor.

Plane gets hit again, screams are heard, and the plane crashes. Tempest had calmed down and an evil being had won.

End of Act 1, Scene 1.

links for more reading on the tempest

http://nfs.sparknotes.com/tempest/

Works Citation

Crowther, John, ed. “No Fear The Tempest.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 6 Apr. 2017.

Shakespeare, William, Gerald Graff, and James Phelan. The Tempest: A Case Study in Critical Controversy. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. Print.

The Shelley Prophecy

migranti-mare-2016

As a result of evolving international conflicts, the migrant crisis has been currently at the forefront of political discourse. Mary Shelley, in The Last Man, eerily predicted such a time in Western Europe. In The Last Man, readers are introduced to a migrant crisis caused by a plague. Although the plague manifests itself as a human disease, which decimates mankind, Shelley may also be implying that irresponsible stewardship on behalf of governments can become a plague which infects and erodes the political structure, which, in turn, creates instability within the nations. This instability becomes an impetus for many to leave their country of origin and relocate to another country. According to Mary Shelley, the burden rests on the government to protect those they govern. Failure to do so will cause chaos.

In The Last Man, upon the arrival of refugees in England, their presence causes a variety of issues. As the plague emerges we read, “Crowds of emigrants inundated the west of Europe; and our island had become the refuge of thousands…Many of the foreigners were utterly destitute; and their increasing numbers at length forbade a recourse to the usual modes of relief.” The desperateness of these refugees was evident, as “The crossing of the sea could not arrest their progress.” Nor did a vessel at sea suffering a shipwreck dissuade them. Furthermore, the migrants are vilified and we read that “their lawless spirit instigated them to violence;…” The migrants arrive and violently sweep throughout the country, burning and murdering, with plans to capture London. How did Mary Shelley foresee this migrant crisis? We can only surmise that Shelley, as an avid reader, learned to think critically about history, psychology, and scientific concepts. As the author of Frankenstein, we see that Shelley was a forward thinker and visionary. She was able to take all of the information available to her and predict what was possible for humanity given man’s nature. True to Shelley’s prediction of forced migration and refugees traveling to safer shores to escape danger, today the world is experiencing a migrant crisis of unprecedented proportions. Since 2013, millions of migrants and refugees, due to political unrest, war, and poverty, have been forced to flee their homelands. Forced to leave their homes in Iraq, sub-Saharan Africa, Libya, and Syria, many face a treacherous journey and must confront the dangers associated with the crossing of borders or traveling by sea. Issues plaguing their journey include human trafficking, rape, shipwreck, or refusal of entrance at the border. Once they have entered the host country, many refugees face other challenges. The refugees need services, homes, and employment. Refugees may be victims of violence and racism as well. Many host countries were not prepared for the deluge of immigrants they have received. Citizens of the host countries are concerned with lack of resources, violence, and the continual flood of immigrants. As a result, there has been an upheaval in many of these countries caused by racial tensions and fearful citizens calling for immigration reform. Citizens are mobilizing in order to prevent the usurpation of their culture and land by the foreigners entering their borders. Many of these citizens are now blaming their governments for the flood of immigrants into their communities; for poor decision-making and implementation; and, for the lack of foresight on behalf of their politicians. How this migrant crisis will resolve itself remains to be seen.

Mary Shelley’s Malthusian Objections In The Last Man

The EU And The Refugee Crisis

The Real Reason For The Mediterranean Migrant Crisis

Europe’s Refugee and Migrant Crisis In Numbers 2016

The Economic Impact of Forced Migration

Europe’s Migrant Crisis Explained–WSJ

10 EU Migrant Crisis Facts (Video)

Europe’s Migration Tragedy (Trigger Warner-Images May Be Graphic)

 

 

Back to the Concrete Jungle

picture-uhaccd7bb3015f31de5e68ef6d92bcdae-ps2d50fd876dbee3f48055d50cf754f83-137-english-ct-bushkill-pa-18324
This is actually near my old place. Image by www.trulia.com

I spent about a few years living in Pennsylvania. I remember being about five or so when we moved into a little townhouse on the side of a mountain. It didn’t mean much to me then, but in hindsight, that’s pretty wild. I could just look up and see more of the mountain range in the distance. I remember, even then, how small and inconsequential I felt. Obviously, as an adult, I can verbalize much better how startling the contrast was. But there’s something beautiful about a feeling that you can’t quite or don’t want to put into words.

I guess what I’m getting at is that I’ve always associated my childhood with the backwoods of Saw Creek, Pennsylvania much more than the concrete jungle of NYC I was birthed in.

Maybe it was the air. It was always sweet and fragrant.

Maybe it was the tap water. Nah, just I’m just clowning. That tasted pretty bad.

Maybe it was the stars that winked at me during the night. They were comically vivid.

Maybe it was the array of wildlife I saw. Deer would come onto the lawn.

Maybe it was all of these things. Maybe it was none of them. This was more than fifteen years ago, after all. My memories could just be distorted and all.

But I distinctly remember a creek behind the place we rented out. Compared to the only other natural body of water I had seen at the point in my life, Jones Beach, the difference was startling. I could see right through. The sunlight glinting off the fish. The little pebbles buried deep into the bedrock. I’d see people walking down the road with their catch of the day.

Nothing was ever rushed. If anything, we were the odd ones out. No one else locked their doors, and that made us the strange ones. Weird shit, right?

It was a slow life there. A peaceful one. A good one, even. If you were into having nature as your backyard. This is the kind of place Ralph Waldo Emerson would’ve advertised for his whole ‘return to nature’ thing.

But honestly, at this point in my life, I don’t see myself ever going back. It was just too stagnant. Maybe it’s the pollution here that’s messed with my mind. I like to think it’s the bomb-ass food and that sense of urgency only NYC has.

Saw Creek, Pennsylvania is where I see people going to live out their lives and die. And I don’t feel I’m quite there yet.

I guess I’m happy that I’ve traded the natural landscape, animals, and wood nymphs back for tall buildings, expensive cigarettes, and the godawful MTA (still way better than the NICE buses to LI, though).

I don’t see myself leaving the concrete jungle anytime soon.

nyc
Image by Kate Kendall

 

 

 

 

 

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