Stop using your power to hurt others

Standard

In light of all the sexual assault allegations against so many I write:

Please think long and hard about what you are doing

Please stop and think about it

Please don’t do it

Don’t !

Think about the other person

Think about the agonizing pain

Think about if that was someone you loved

And how you would feel

Or just think about what is right

And if you still want to do horrible wrongs

Please get help

But …. !

No buts!

Just stop it!

Stop hurting others

They are scarred for life

Full of sadness, pain, and strife

Because of your actions

Stop the hurt

Stop the assault

And above all

Stop using your power to hurt others

Advertisements

Silent No More : The Atrocities against Women must Stop!

Standard

When the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Al Moore, and Charlie Rose (to name the four recent men) came out in the news, it shocked me to my core and make me openly weep as the news continued to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I screamed “why” so loudly but could barely speak. It frightened the people at home, but I was in so much horrible emotional pain so bad that my soul was on fire and my heart was drowning in agony. Up until this time Kevin Spacey was my favorite actor, and I was trying to finish season 5 of house of cards. Charlie Rose was a journalist I greatly admired. Harvey Weinstein created my favorite show: Project Runway. I haven’t heard of Al Moore but the notion of him running for a Senator representing our country is so wrong it makes me want to vomit.

Now besides punishment I strongly believe we have to first address and speak about the crime: rape and sexual harassment against women. The flood gates for victims to come forward have opened but that does not change what happened. Perhaps being able to speak about it helps ease the burden but I cannot imagine what that kind of experience does to a woman’s mind, spirit, and heart. My heart is completely broken and it didn’t happen to me. But it happened to millions of woman and continues to happen. Our president has bragged about groping women by saying “I say grab them by the *****” and was still elected despite his vile comments to multiple women including journalists and even attacking wives of fellow candidates. It makes me sick. Physically sick to think he is our president. The hunting grounds explored sexual assault on College campuses and I wouldn’t watch it because I was afraid. Now I’m disgusted with myself for not facing the truth in our society- sexual misconduct, violence, rape, and mistreatment of women is an epidemic that needs treatment.

Kevin Spacey was my favorite actor. Was. The movie Baby Driver was my favorite of the summer. But instead of thinking what I’m losing which is some movies and TV shows, thinking about what his victims lost is far more painful. I openly sob because I don’t know how to make this horrific action stop. I cannot stop it alone. We have to address the behavior causing agony to millions. And we must stop saying what they said in the case of Charlie Rose “that was Charlie being Charlie” is a direct quote. How can we say boys will be boys? So are we normalizing very despicable behavior? Yes, and THAT needs to stop. IT NEEDS TO STOP! STOP SAYING BOYS WILL BE BOYS!

When I lived in an apartment in the city I recall not feeling well and running to the store to buy milk to make my beloved coffee. The whole time I was alone until stepping back into my apartment, I was afraid of someone male attacking me since I was a young woman alone in the evening. That’s how bad it’s gotten in our society and in every society. It’s to a point where I am scared to buy milk. Isn’t that depressing? Isn’t that despicable?

Let’s not get away from the main point here, that sexual assault and harassment happens all the time and is actually very under-reported because women are scared to come forward. I was scared too.

I have never told anyone my story but I want to share it now to help others.

When I said it didn’t happen to me, I wasn’t being honest because I’ve never told a soul. Here goes:

We were all coming in from gym class my freshman year of high school. I was the fastest runner of the girls so I was fair ahead with the boys running inside to change before the bell rang. I turned around to see if I could see any of the my friends that were girls and that’s when he stopped running and grabbed me. He grabbed me and he tugged at me. The front of my uniform was so thin that the feeling was so horrific that I nearly passed out from shock. What I remember is him laughing and then running away. His friends laughed too. That laughter is still in my nightmares 15 years later. I ran so fast I beat everyone to the doors (we were playing softball and coming inside to change) and I blocked out the entire event. Never told a soul.

I’ve had my butt grabbed twice by men in public, once at a party and once at a bar. At the bar I didn’t speak out but at the party I screamed at that man, and I told everyone what he had done. Thinking about all this makes me come undone because I’ve always been afraid of intimate moments since that day when I was grabbed without wanting it. I didn’t want it.

There needs to be an outcry for change to stop this atrocity from continuing. Education is part of the answer. Normalization of the behavior just flat out needs to stop. I want to say to every victim that you are not alone and that you are a wonderful woman with value and people that love you. To Kevin Spacey and all the other men I named, those I didn’t, and to our president – you are absolutely vile, repulsive, and should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. It’s unacceptable, and it’s going to have to be stopped because the affects are devastating. I urge everyone to think twice before and please consider your actions that can change and destroy another life, another heart forever.

“Let Yourself Be Moved”: Haemon’s Pathetic Affect

Standard

Although the use of rhetoric is commonly a heated, debatable topic, rhetorical appeals are all extraordinary important in presenting any form of a claim. In terms of the three imperative appeals, there is clearly one that leaves the other two in a cloud of dust. While the ethic and logical appeals can be unmasked with concrete facts, the remaining appeal is left in the gray area, where anyone is free to adjust it as they see fit. Pathos, which is defined as a petition for catching emotions, dominates the potential arrival of change. By reaching a soft spot in a person, it is then possible to alter their view points on a certain matter. Furthermore, this smile you may create or tear you may cause will be visual, even tangible proof that pathos was efficiently exercised.
Pathos is not simple to proclaim, especially to someone of royal blood, much less a king. Creon needs someone to strike him right at the source of his conflict – his heart. Haemon, the “poster child” of pathos, sways his father’s heart in many directions, almost like a light switch. The light of reason can by turned on or off, depending on Haemon’s word diction. In the passage on Page 24, (Scene 3: Lines 80-91) Haemon extracts images from nature, forcing Creon to examine his morals more closely.
Haemon indirectly compares his father to a stubborn tree and goes on to say that Creon will be pulled from his roots. However, the line immensely important to Haemon’s reasoning was when the youth spoke not only to Creon, but to the entire audience as well. These two sentences sit not only in Creon’s mind, but in that of each individual reader as well. “Forget you are angry. Let yourself be moved.” He is plotting it out in black and white, singing it on the roof tops for every person with compassion to hear. The word move causes a need for some kind of change. Whether it be a big or small change, Haemon lays out in his proposal. What he is proposing is for Creon to let loose his rage, and listen to people, specifically “those who can teach”. If someone is knowledgeable in a particular area, let them teach you, Haemon declares. Age is not a factor either, which Haemon concussively, but effectively addresses. Haemon wants desperately for his father to reverse his thought patterns, before Creon goes head over heels overboard and thereby ending his voyage, the troubling voyage of life.

Does the Cruelty justify the means?

Standard

(In all that is going on this world I think this essay needs to be written)

In Machiavelli’s The Prince, we are given a detailed view of how to rule over people, gain land, and have political power in this manner through an unforgiving lens. Our author is incredibly skilled at taking any given scenario and given a particular set of variables, this is how you can conquer a particular area. He weaves historical examples into his “guide book”, and people are disillusioned into thinking that because he sites history he was a man of vision and good intent. The author is a master with words until his true colors come through. It can be argued that Machiavelli’s intentions were to get on the good side of a powerful family and that is why he wrote The Prince. That is the case many make. However, it is the execution of his words and methods that is very troubling to the reader. Machiavelli is interested in showing people how to achieve political gain but the level of cruelty is unnecessary, by pushing cruel methods over others more peaceful and furthermore claiming cruelty as necessary when that is not the only way that the ends can be reached.

In speaking of gaining territory, Machiavelli states “When a state accustomed to live in freedom under its own laws there are three ways of keeping it: the first is to destroy it, the second is to go and live there in person; the third is to let it continue to live under its own laws, taking tribute from it, setting up a government composed of a few men that will keep it friendly for you” (Machiavelli, 28). It is easily noticed that the first method listed is destruction. Those who argue it is not meant in order need to look further down where Machiavelli states “For in truth there is no sure method of holding such cities except by destruction” (Machiavelli, 28) going even further to say that if you don’t destroy the city, it will destroy you. All of Machiavelli’s reasoning is full of holes. Why does the first course of action have to be destruction, in a most unapologetic wipeout for the Prince’s gain? Furthermore, this mentality that that if I don’t destroy you, you will destroy me can have a shred of truth to it, but there are ways of ruling through negotiations that are more peaceful and don’t involve this complete destruction of a state in order to maintain it. There is this glaring assumption of human nature that Machiavelli claims. The weaker people will be easier to rule, but the strong will put up a fight and thus must be destroyed. He never offers a less intense, less cruel alternative measure and therefore is unnecessarily cruel in his methods.
Another example of cruelty that is jarring is the cutting in half of the man, which is an example from history that Machiavelli used but he goes a step further in what he claims this slaughter accomplished, another way cruelty is unnecessary to the reader but necessary to Machiavelli. “Having found an occasion to do this, one morning, he had Remirro’s body cut in two, placed on view in the public square of Cesena with a wooden block and a blood stained knife resting beside it. The horror of that spectacle gave people reason to be both shocked and gratified” (Machiavelli 36). Killing someone and then mutilating their body is a cold, gruesome act in itself. What elicits a reaction is the body being on display in the public square as to serve as a warning to everyone who sees it. Ruling a state through fear is something that Machiavelli agrees with and addresses later on in Chapter 17 (which interestingly enough only claims it adequately addresses cruelty). However, the concept of gratitude is really what should be found fault with in this particular section because it through the joy of not being cut in half that you are grateful for, and it is that ruling by fear is in itself cruel.

Machiavelli has a plethora of other options that he could restore to in order to achieve his end goal. He insists on cruelty being the vehicle that drives success of The Prince forward unapologetically and harshly so. His concepts of ruling and running a state work in the examples he presents or in his concept model. It does not mean that it is the only way to achieve greatness. On page 40, he speaks of a man not acting in virtue or fortune whose success through murderous acts is not celebrated because it was not the way to go about doing things in Machiavelli’s eyes. There is hypocrisy in this and to discover it one must dive further into Machiavelli’s arguments. In Chapter 17, discussing being feared vs. being loved he uncovers for us a subtle and disturbing aspect of his argument. It is about discarding your father if it serves your purpose saying this. “And if he finds it necessary to take someone’s life, he should do so when there is suitable justification and manifest cause; but above all, he should refrain from property other person, for men are quicker to forget the death of their father then the loss of a patrimony” (Machiavelli, 66). It speaks volumes about someone to value patrimony (the inheritance) over their own father. This subtly points to a strong, internal concept of cruelty embedded inside of our author that one cannot escape. It is curious how this one sliver of information gives us such crucial information that directly shows the meanness that lies not so far beneath the surface.

Machiavelli actually acknowledges cruelty by addressing it directly and makes an interesting claim about it saying “a prince, therefore, must be indifferent to the charge of cruelty if he is to keep his subjects loyal and united” (Machiavelli, 65). So what can be gathered from this statement is that wickedness, that evil that he acknowledges through the book should not apply to the prince if order is meant to be held. This brings us to be able to state that Machiavelli believes that cruelty should be ignored for the greater good of the prince. He even goes a step further in talking about a ruler that “preached nothing but peace and faith” (Machiavelli 70) and how that costs you power and reputation. He has the audacity to say that peace is actually someone’s downfall. He does not give examples of peaceful ways nor does he try to implement peaceful options into his lessons about attaining power. He states that you won’t get far using that but does not back up that claim, only to use more examples of cruelty.

Many people state the counter argument, that Machiavelli was using this book as a vehicle to discover a specific type of political theory without cruelty as a theme. He does go step by step explaining very detailed things about armies and rules to follow, for example in detail what armies are loyal to whom and at what time in Chapter 13. He explains the rankings of various troops stating , “with mercenaries the danger lies in their cowardice; with auxiliary it lies with their capability” (Machiavelli 57). This book can be seen as a strategic guide for how to conquer lands, and in stating that cruelty is disregarded as previously mentioned, does that in fact mean that Niccolo Machiavelli is not excessively and unnecessarily cruel? He seems incredibly convincing in many aspects of his concept of what the prince’s role is in obtaining and then maintaining power. We are flooded with historical examples of why his methods will work in practice not only on paper from Spain to Sparta. If we were to read it in this manner, we would come away with an incomplete meaning. Also, it would take a strong level of denial to not see the glaring examples of unnecessary cruelty in The Prince. Surely, more peaceful ways of doing things are possible and violence, death, and destruction are all extremes that become the norm for him.

To dismantle his concepts as not being cruel, he has a chapter on evil means and he says that there was a ruler who was wicked but his vigor helped him to become a commanding officer (Machiavelli, 39) and this drives at the heart of pulling away any doubt of the unnecessary cruelty that Machiavelli is clearly putting forth. This example says a lot more about what Machiavelli actually intends. He tries to steer away from this point but here he is happy to profess that if you are wicked, cruel, or evil (all his own terms) then it is not a stretch to say that if you have strength despite having a strong vice like the three above you can still rise and be a successful ruler. Again, peaceful solutions or being a kind ruler are not something he is concerned with in the slightest and that is made apparent here. In this light, Machiavelli opens the gate for the ability to say he recognizes that he is cruel but is much more concern with the ends. For him, the ends are what one must work towards and if those means that accompany the ends are cruel, then that is perfectly acceptable by Machiavelli.
In conclusion, Niccolo Machiavelli aims to convince his audience that there is a very specific way to obtain power through this chilling guide book of sorts, The Prince. He makes many claims that can be quickly dismantled in their unnecessary cruel way to achieve power. It is not to say that following these lessons wouldn’t give you the power you want, but at what cost? We have the example of destruction being a first restore for solving control issues. The fact that other measures are there, but that destruction is best is so cold and superfluous. There is the way of cutting a body in half and displaying it to instill fear. This is a transparent way that cruelty is seen. Mostly important is Machiavelli admitting that yes, cruelty exists but to acknowledge you will lose the backing of your subjects. He does not give alternatives and absolutely shoots the idea of using peace down. Through these examples, Machiavelli’s ends are cruel because his means are intentionally cruel. His tunnel vision of what is a means of obtaining power is unfortunate, because you can have power using Machiavelli’s methods. What are you willing to lose in your humanity to achieve that power is a chilling question to examine in order to decide for yourself where you draw the line.

March 7, 2016 and this poem still haunts me

Standard

 

A man with a plan he is not

Not any decent plan, anyway.

He belittles, rants, and offends

The rich he defends

In the building of his wall

He’d isolate us all

America is great because of:

Diversity of people

Respect

He does not have respect towards

Diversity.

That sets us apart and makes us remarkable.

The unique flavor of individuality is been threatened.

It boggles the mind that someone could support a man that says such offensive things.

Why are we allowing this circus to continue?

Truly, it’s a circus and the future of America is not a joke.

He is a joke.

We need a clear minded, reasonable, and understanding leader. He is not.

Let’s focus on making America great again with someone else leading us forth towards a great future.

 

Update : Is there hope for the kind of America that is being created?

Current Mood: Stop this train

Standard

Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
But, honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

-stop this train by John Mayer

I think in lyrics and these lyrics are how I’m feeling. You could stay it’s my current mood. Or it has been since the campaign for president began. Now, day after day the decisions Trump makes continue to be self-destructive but also destructive to America. I don’t know why but it feels like the walls are closing in on me when I watch the news or catch a story on my phone. Do you know that my best workout was when Trump was speaking at a town hall and I was so appalled by the lies and rude words he was spewing so I continued going on the treadmill until the talk was over. My dad was next to me, and I remember walking out of that gym that night thinking, there’s no way that after this type of behavior and performance he would be the republican candidate? Alas, worse than just that happened. So as I think in song, my current mood is Stop this Train by John Mayer because honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

-M