Whats true?

What do you see? What do you interpret? Why? Why do you think that? These are all questions our guest Mr.Taubman asked us during his presentation.  I was intrigued by how in-depth Mr.Taubman went when processing a thought. He took a simple 2D image and enhanced my mind as if I was looking at a 3D image from all angles. However, what I noticed was that all 16 students in the class had something different to say about the same image. Our visions were all unique. We view things with different perspectives and come up with our own meaning. The image was set and stone, but the meaning varied. What I got out of this was something bigger than interpreting an image, but rather coming to a realization that there is no right answer, anything can be justified. Just like the decisions made at Memorial Hospital.

In the article, The Deadly Choices at Memorial, controversial decisions were made by doctors. Doctors injected patients to fasten their deaths during a time of crisis without any consent. Many people view this as wrong because the doctors have no right to decide when a patient should die, however, I argue that the doctors were correct in their decisions because of the situation at hand. However, they didn’t inject the patients just to do it, but rather for the betterment of the patients. According to Dr. Cook, too many people needed help and weren’t going to make it, so the humane thing to him was to put them out of their misery as he says, “It was actually to the point where you were considering that you couldn’t just leave them; the humane thing would be to put ’em out”. The hospital’s conditions were awful, so putting those out, who had a less likely chance of living, to me, betters both parties. Dr.Pou stated, “help the patients that were having pain and sedate the patients who were anxious” because “we knew they were going to be there another day, that they would go through at least another day of hell.” We see examples that injecting patient would be a more peaceful death. Shown through the 80 yearly man who ran out of oxygen while getting navigated through a staircase and the two LifeCare patients who died because of their ventilators going out. Wouldn’t their deaths have been more peaceful? As we see here, her actions were justifiable because she metaphorically says that the hospital is like hell, which implies horrendous conditions. The triage system is undefinable. There are so many loopholes and different arguments that can be made. Really any viewpoint can be justifiable.

In the article, when you look into the faces of victims families, as well as the doctors, what do you see? What can you tell by the way they stare blandly into the camera? Distress, regret, maybe confidence? What does the color of the image imply? These are all open ended questions that may answer how theses victims, or integrators, feel about the issue.

Movie Misconception: The Good or The Evil?


My last blog post, published on January 30th, 2019, touched on the notion of protagonist blindness. I interpret it as being wired to root for the protagonist, and while doing so, seem to be blinded by all the negatives they do. This is a common theme among movies, even in The Shape of Water. We seem to be blinded by all the destruction Eliza causes through the heist of freeing a creature. The heist puts Giles at gunpoint, causes injury to a guard, destroys a car and causes overall havoc to the government-run facility. Eliza’s “opponent”, Strickland, is a lead character in the government operation and is displayed as evil, or the bad guy. He is seen abusing the creature with a stick, disrespecting Eliza and Zelda verbally, shooting the creature and Eliza as well as horrendously abusing the Russian doctor. However, through all this commotion, is Strickland actually the good guy? We are, in a way, overseeing the good of Strickland because he is chasing after the so-called “innocent”, Eliza.

I interpret Strickland as being a good guy. My first reason is that he catches the traitor scientist. The U.S was attempting to keep the creature away from the Russians. The scientist is seen throughout the movie leaking information to what seemed like Russian spies, however, Strickland does not allow that to happen because he kills the scientist and two spies. My second reason he is a good guy is that he is polite. While many interpret the scene where he “does his business” in front of the two janitors as disrespectful and disgusting, I see the scene as him showing character. He says, “Ladies, it was very pleasant chatting with you both (00:17:58).” He thanks the two ladies for chatting with him, which I see as nice. My third reason why Strickland is a good guy is that he is doing his job with great passion. He is a government official who is doing his duty of getting back what was stolen. He is chasing the bad guys.

As a viewer, how could one be rooting for those who do the illegal deed? While one can argue Strickland does many illegal actions, he does it however for the protection of the U.S (Killing the spies) and to attempt to regain the once owned government project. Strickland is actually the good guy. We are, in a way, overseeing the good of Strickland because he is chasing after the so-called “innocent”, Eliza. As a viewer think to your self, could Strickland be seen as the fallen hero?


Movie Misconception: What Are Ariel’s True Colors?

   When we watch movies or read stories, we’re always what I call “protagonist blinded”. We are wired to root for the protagonist, and while doing so, seem to be blinded by all the negatives they do. For example, in “Sea Story” by AS Byatt, we are blinded by all of the psychotic things he does like stalk Laura at the bar, continuously email her when all his messages go undelivered and harm sea life in an attempt to message Laura. Can you now realize a movie you watched where a character you were “rooting for” does horrific things? As kids, we always viewed The Little Mermaid, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, as a fun and uplifting family film that captures a mermaid attempting to gain love and affection. However, as we grow old and become wiser, we see that the once seemingly pure Ariel is actually sinister.

The 4th commandment is “Honor thy father and mother”. This statement means children must obey their parents, show them respect and take care of them when they’re old, Ariel doesn’t do any of that. Right at the beginning of the movie, Ariel can be seen breaking one of her father’s rules to go above water and being in contact with human life. Even though her father has told her multiple times no to do so, she ignores him and does so anyway. Also when her father, one of the most powerful men in the sea, confronts her she doesn’t apologize but rather talks back and reasons her case. Ariel doesn’t show respect nor obedience to her loving dad just trying to protect his daughter. At the end of the movie when her dad grants her legs, how is she just going to leave her whole family behind? How is she going to not say bye to her sisters and or take care of her dad when he grows old? This is a selfish act. The desperate Mermaid can also be seen as sinister when she is in contact with the devil. Ariel was lured by evil entities and signed a deal with the devil, like the classic story “The Devil and Tom Walker”. Ariel can be symbolized as “Tom”. Both get into contracts with the Devil to obtain something that will give them physical and or mental wealth. When Ariel fails her contract, the one whom she shows disrespect to bails her out. She leaves without even apologizing for being the cause of this whole mess. Now what if her contract with the devil was a success? She would’ve left everything/everyone behind without anyone knowing what really happened. She doesn’t care about those who she grew up with. Ariel is seen as a sinner when she saves the prince. If her dad Triton controls the sea, I believe he could’ve been the cause of the shipwreck because he didn’t like humans. Ariel messed with the destiny of the humans by going against her dad’s will.

     The view of Ariel is a misconception. Young girls see her as a role model but do we really want our younger generation to grow old and be a so-called “brat”? Ariel was selfish,caused all this danger, almost risked her dad’s life as well as the rest of the sea (because Ursula was almost in power) just so she could follow her lover.


A Grain of Nature; Something bigger than us

   What is the precise meaning of art? It is an ambiguous question that has no right answer, or does it? Art bears the form of speaking without having to state anything. Its a vital form of communication, prominently in the early 1800s when the sole way for Military and European travelers to display American landscape was through paintings. Pictures were made to persuade and make lasting impressions of the contemporary world. A painting can reveal mood, feelings, aspirations, and much more, but it all depends on the personal interpretation of the observer. Painters can freely capture anything they desire, however it was critical to convey the correct message as art became a distinct symbol that defined countries. As portraits became popular among upper-class wealthy citizens, the theme of man dominating nature became extremely conventional; shown through the ‘Landscaping People’ section, “the landscaped portrait unites man and nature in a setting the human presence dominates and controls.” Especially in a time where America was still finding its identity, did artists really want to be in a country where man was seen as “more substantial” and more “esteemed” than Gods initial creation, the wild? Was the increase in paintings of American landscape just a coincidence or was it to identify America as a country true to its natural values of respect towards Mother Nature as opposed to the Europeans who wilderness had almost vanished? In the online exhibit “The making of the Hudson River School” by the Albany Institution of History and Art, we recognize artists enhancing the view of Americans by revealing the natural beauty around them through art.

  With images of humans being superior to nature, Americas identity becomes frail. For examples in Major Dix‘s self-portrait, the description says he “towers over the landscape.” Its to be seen as a background of his inspiration, but is also viewed as man being bigger than nature, which is not true. It was important for artists to change that persona and identity before it becomes a staple of the culture. The online exhibit continuously presents artists doing all they can to display the worlds natural beauty rather than man being greater than nature.  The “Patrol Scene”, for example, shows a picture of a towering tree with a couple that is drawn small and is obviously not the main focus of the picture. The examples continue with the painting, “Looking towards Troy”, which portrays a beautiful lake with a miniscule image of a man on a horse, “Landscape with a figure on the road carries on the same theme as well as “Camping by Greenwood Lake”. Paintings brought forth the truth of nature. They projected systematic observations of the landscape and displayed the hidden spiritual truths within. The painting “Morning, Looking East over the Hudson Valley from the Catskill Mountains” displays the concept very well as the figure looking over the rigid mountains, “stands mesmerized as if witnessing the creation of the world.” Urban growth continues to separate humans from nature, but through the vivid work of past artistry, its identity will live on forever.