Saturday, March 21, 2020

Marcel Duchamp Essays - Modern Art, Orphism, Cubism, Dada

Marcel Duchamp Essays - Modern Art, Orphism, Cubism, Dada Marcel Duchamp subject = art 101 title = Marcel Duchamp Marcel Duchamp is considered as one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century by the modern art world. Duchamp, who participated in artistic movements from Fauvism to Surrealism, was an innovator and a revolutionary within the art world. Duchamp, being a founding force in the Dada movement, was also a main influencing factor of the development of the 20th Century avant-garde art. All in all Duchamp has become a legend within the art world. Marcel Duchamp was born on July 28,1887 in Blainville France. Being the brother of two prominent artists, Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Jacques Villon, it seemed only natural that the young Marcel Duchamp would participate in the arts. Also, his childhood home was abundantly decorated with seascapes, landscapes, and etchings produced by his grandfather Emile-Frederic Nicolle. As he himself put it, When you see so many paintings youve got to paint. In 1907, at age 17, Duchamp resolved to become an artist. Marcel Duchamp had the great fortune of entering the world of art at a most exciting time when the birth of Fauvism and Cubism was in the not so distant future. Although Marcel incorporated these styles he was never satisfied with any single style. He felt that styles were learned techniques which put creativity, exploration, and imagination in the background of the art scene. Duchamps view of the lack of creativity and originality may have prompted many of his later creations which, at the time of their production, seemed absurd. Throughout Marcel Duchamps career he dabbled in a wide variety of styles ranging from Fauvism to Cubism, all the way to the art of Ready-mades. Although he openly expressed that painting bored him, he did it quite well. Early in his career he, like most young artists, painted friends and family, things he was familiar with. Duchamps only formal training came at the Academie Julian in Paris from where he dropped out after only eighteen months to pursue his own interests. This seems to be a defining characteristic of Marcel Duchamps career, he did things that suited him, not what others felt was the correct thing to do. Marcel Duchamps artistic output began with portraits of people close to him such as family members and close friends. At this time Duchamp was experimenting with Fauvism, the art of the wild beasts. In this from of art one could use arbitrary colors. This is the reason one might see portraits made by Duchamp from around 1910 in which people are represented with greenish skin or blue hair. Throughout Duchamps career it was not as important to be totally accurate as it was to get a creative point or theme across. One negative view of Fauvism was that it was not intellectually stimulating for artists. This is a main reason why many artists, one of them being Duchamp, turned their artistic focus the avant-garde. Cubism, with complex planes and geometrically sound shapes gave artists the intellectual stimulation that they craved. Colors of the early cubist period were muted which put the spotlight more on the visual effects of the art. The possibilities of manipulation of the shapes to Duchamps own interests benefited him immensely. Duchamp prospered as he turned away from the conservative Fauvism moving towards the avant-garde and experimentation within the cubist mode of art. He discovered ways to manipulate his paintings to be able to show the intricacies of his favorite game chess. Duchamp believed that art should be left up to the mind rather than the eyes, just as in chess. His first production of the Cubist origin is titled The Sonata. It is said that many of the characteristics of this painting reveal influence from a group of Cubist artists, which included his two brothers, called the Puteaux Cubists. This group of artists rebelled against casual cubism ,which was practiced by the likes of Picasso and Braque, in favor of geometric precision. Duchamp was a pioneer in Cubism by the way he showed movement in his paintings. His first attempt at showing movement through the geometric shapes is titled Sad Young Man On A Train. In this work Duchamp uses four or five overlapping profiles moving from left to right across the canvas. The colors were dark symbolizing Duchamps mood at the time. He was preparing to leave Paris in favor of, what he believed to be a less commercial area, Munich. In another attempt at movement in Cubism, Duchamp created a painting known as Nude Descending A Staircase No.1. In viewing this work, the first

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Arguments for and Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Arguments for and Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research On March 9, 2009, President Barack Obama lifted, by Executive Order, the Bush administrations eight-year ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Remarked the President, Today... we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years. In Obamas Remarks on Lifting the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ban, he also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the development of a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government decision-making. Bush Vetoes In 2005, H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, was passed by the Republican-led House in May 2005 by a vote of 238 to 194. The Senate passed the bill in July 2006 by a bipartisan vote of 63 to 37. President Bush opposed embryonic stem cell research on ideological grounds. He exercised his first presidential veto on July 19, 2006, when he refused to allow H.R. 810 to become law. Congress was unable to muster enough votes to override the veto. In April 2007, the Democratic-led Senate passed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 by a vote of 63 to 34. In June 2007, the House passed the legislation by a vote of 247 to 176. President Bush vetoed the bill on June 20, 2007. Public Support for Embryonic Stem Cell Research For years, all polls report that the American public STRONGLY supports federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Reported the Washington Post in March 2009: In a January Washington Post-ABC News poll, 59 percent of Americans said they supported loosening the current restrictions, with support topping 60 percent among both Democrats and independents. Most Republicans, however, stood in opposition (55 percent opposed; 40 percent in support). Despite public perceptions, embryonic stem cell research was legal in the U.S. during the Bush administration: the President had banned the use of federal funds for research. He did not ban private and state research funding, much of which was being conducted by pharmaceutical mega-corporations. In Fall 2004, California voters approved a $3 billion bond to fund embryonic stem cell research. In contrast, embryonic stem cell research is prohibited in Arkansas, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Michigan. Developments in Stem Cell Research In August 2005, Harvard University scientists announced a breakthrough discovery that fuses blank embryonic stem cells with adult skin cells, rather than with fertilized embryos, to create all-purpose stem cells viable to treat diseases and disabilities. This discovery doesnt result in the death of fertilized human embryos and thus would effectively respond to pro-life objections to embryonic stem cell research and therapy. Harvard researchers warned that it could take up to ten years to perfect this highly promising process. As South Korea, Great Britain, Japan, Germany, India and other countries rapidly pioneer this new technological frontier, the US is being left farther and farther behind in medical technology. The US is also losing out on billions in new economic opportunities at a time when the country sorely needs new sources of revenues. Background Therapeutic cloning is a method to produce stem cell lines that were genetic matches for adults and children. Steps in therapeutic cloning are: An egg is obtained from a human donor.The nucleus (DNA) is removed from the egg.Skin cells are taken from the patient.The nucleus (DNA) is removed from a skin cell.A skin cell nucleus is implanted in the egg.The reconstructed egg, called a blastocyst, is stimulated with chemicals or electric current.In 3 to 5 days, the embryonic stem cells are removed.The blastocyst is destroyed.Stem cells can be used to generate an organ or tissue that is a genetic match to the skin cell donor. The first 6 steps are same for reproductive cloning. However, instead of removing stem cells, the blastocyst is implanted in a woman and allowed to gestate to birth. Reproductive cloning is outlawed in most countries. Before Bush stopped federal research in 2001, a minor amount of embryonic stem cell research was performed by US scientists using embryos created at fertility clinics and donated by couples who no longer needed them. The pending bipartisan Congressional bills all propose using excess fertility clinic embryos. Stem cells are found in limited quantities in every human body and can be extracted from adult tissue with great effort but without harm. The consensus among researchers has been that adult stem cells are limited in usefulness because they can be used to produce only a few of the 220 types of cells found in the human body. However, evidence has recently emerged that adult cells may be more flexible than previously believed. Embryonic stem cells are blank cells that have not yet been categorized or programmed by the body and can be prompted to generate any of the 220 human cell types. Embryonic stem cells are extremely flexible. Pros Embryonic stem cells are thought by most scientists and researchers to hold potential cures for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinsons disease, cancer, Alzheimers disease, heart disease, hundreds of rare immune system and genetic disorders and much more. Scientists see almost infinite value in the use of embryonic stem cell research to understand human development and the growth and treatment of diseases. Actual cures are many years away, though, since research has not progressed to the point where even one cure has yet been generated by embryonic stem cell research. Over 100 million Americans suffer from diseases that eventually may be treated more effectively or even cured with embryonic stem cell therapy. Some researchers regard this as the greatest potential for the alleviation of human suffering since the advent of antibiotics. Many pro-lifers believe that the proper moral and religious course of action is to save existing life through embryonic stem cell therapy. Cons Some staunch pro-lifers and most pro-life organizations regard the destruction of the blastocyst, which is a laboratory-fertilized human egg, to be the murder of human life. They believe that life begins at conception, and that destruction of this pre-born life is morally unacceptable. They believe that it is immoral to destroy a few-days-old human embryo, even to save or reduce suffering in existing human life. Many also believe that insufficient attention been given to explore the potential of adult stem cells, which have already been used to successfully cure many diseases. They also argue that too little attention has been paid to the potential of umbilical cord blood for stem cell research. They also point out that no cures have yet been produced by embryonic stem cell therapy. At every step of the embryonic stem cell therapy process, decisions are made by scientists, researchers, medical professionals and women who donate eggs...decisions that are fraught with serious ethical and moral implications. Those against embryonic stem cell research argue that funding should be used to greatly expand adult stem research, to circumvent the many moral issues involving the use of human embryos. Lifting the Ban Now that President Obama has lifted the federal funding ban for embryonic stem cell research, financial support will soon flow to federal and state agencies to commence the necessary scientific research. The timeline for therapeutic solutions available to all Americans could be years away. President Obama observed on March 9, 2009, when he lifted the ban: Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident. They result from painstaking and costly research, from years of lonely trial and error, much of which never bears fruit, and from a government willing to support that work... Ultimately, I cannot guarantee that we will find the treatments and cures we seek. No President can promise that. But I can promise that we will seek them actively, responsibly, and with the urgency required to make up for lost ground.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Sexuality among Individuals with Disability Research Paper

Sexuality among Individuals with Disability - Research Paper Example It is important to note that the lives of individuals with intellectual disability occur within various social systems that interact, including peer systems, work systems, family systems, school systems, legal systems, and community systems. Thus, it is vital to understand the mores and norms that may influence sexual identity development of such individuals through providing them with or mitigating opportunities for such development. According to Dukes and McGuire (2009), the attitudes that the surrounding individuals may have in relation to the sexual expression of individuals with intellectual disability is a measure of inclusiveness and openness of the community to such individuals(McGuire, Daly, & Smyth, 2007). As such, communities that are more inclusive will tend to have a more positive attitude towards such expression of the intellectually disabled as they are allowing them the same platform of judgment as the rest of the members of the society. It is clear from research that most caregivers are still overshadowed with attitudes when dealing with the sexual expression of the intellectually disabled individuals. Case in point, in the explorative study conducted by Isler, Beytut, Tas and Conk (2009), in which the concerns, opinions, knowledge and attitudes of parents of children having intellectual disabilities, it was clear that such parents have great concern regarding their children’s sexuality. It is important to note that most young people and children are shaped by the beliefs.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Compare and contrast the development of the colonists of Virginia, the Essay

Compare and contrast the development of the colonists of Virginia, the Puritans of Massachusetts, and the Native Americans of th - Essay Example Following that was persecution of the confessed puritans which led to their migration in escape of death. Back home in England, the church had big influence on the on people way of life and the diplomatic matters towards governance. So, when they settled in, they aggressively practiced their faith regardless of the say of the welcoming Indian inhabitants. The churches were started in New England, spread all through to Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire among others. The church leaders and the ministers were selected based on electorate method by all. â€Å"American Puritans could form churches with their owner will, in which they chose priest by themselves and they managed by themselves. There was no rigid hierarchy in church.† (â€Å"Review of European,† 150). The puritans had long desired to rule themselves and with time, the church popular concept based on their democratic free will spread across to other settlers; which led to the embrace of democracy in A merica today. The Indian Americans, for a long time had a different social structure of leadership more embraced on monarchy. A chief leader referred to as ‘sagamore’, directed the Indian people in various tribes, enforcing governance from within. If there was no son or the son was not old enough, then the widow was allowed to rule. â€Å"The right to rule (power and respect) came primarily from inheritance although some significant accomplishment or assertiveness by a warrior, for example, could qualify him to be a sagamore.† (â€Å"Narrative: Three Indian,†). This was arbitrary ignored by the white settler whose influential religious believes had sunk deep in Massachusetts. The puritans came in with the structured electoral rule while the Indians were ruled under monarchial system. Differences in cultures: The puritans’ women played no role in church and governance. All the important decisions were made by the clergy who were singly men. They had made their religious faith their culture and every action they deed had a supportive reason rooted in their faith. In the mid 16th century after the Europeans had settled they opened schools and colleges so as to promote education for every individual. Their strong motive was to enable everyone read the Bible as a plot to raise and ensure growth in Christianity. Puritans strictly followed the Bible doctrines and were keen to every little social detail. They marked the Bible as the peak book that contains right guide that can free a man from the trouble of sin that he entered in. They instilled education in schools and colleges something that the woodland Indian communities never implied to. A review of the European study reveals that â€Å"Puritans formed the first formal school in1635, which was called the Roxbury Latin School. Four years later, in 1639, the first American College –Harvard College was established.† ( 151). All this would later enforce Christianity and civilization; a literate population in the North. The American Indians instead lived in assembled families in dispersed villages and at times would meet for festivals at different season. It was a tribe who practiced fishing, hunting and gathering. Women would gather while men hunt wild animals for food and fur for trading. Native

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Ethics and Reality TV

Ethics and Reality TV Abstract Reality TV, like many other postmodern spectacles, operates on a deeply tenuous and ambiguous ethical grounding. On the one hand, the audience / creator model of exploitation can be seen as providing the viewer with entertainment and escapism. On the other it can be said to create a system of dependency and artificial need. The ethics of participation in game show style reality offers a similar contradiction which is dependent upon whether participants are free to choose, or whether they are in fact coerced by elements beyond their control. This dissertation will look at the various factors and paradigms (psychoanalytical, Marxist, poststructuralist) that constitute this model of reality. This requires a certain concretisation of terms such as ethics, and of what constitutes â€Å"reality† itself. The dissertation will also look at the politics of reality TV itself – namely, does Reality TV constitute a unique event in the development of television, or does it merely re flect a continuation for television producers to create ever more innovative methods of keeping our interests satiated? Is Reality TV itself the origin of the moral crimes, or is Reality TV merely a reflection of the ethical climate of capitalism in which we live? Finally, the dissertation will look at the possible futures for â€Å"reality† TV. Methodology As this dissertation is largely discursive in nature, and involves a widespread discussion of general philosophical and ethical themes, I will purely refer to secondary material. This will be assisted by the large and abundant materials that exist on the matter of â€Å"Reality† TV, ethics, and the conjoining of the two. I will use library materials, newspaper and magazine materials, as well as the raw footage of the Reality TV itself to generate an opinion and an overall discussion about the general impacts, considerations and ethical standards of reality TV, and whether constructive change is a) desirable and b) possible. What are Ethics? Ethics have proven to be a central part of philosophical enquiry for thousands of years. As such, it would be useful to summarize what and how this theory has developed over the years, and what tends to form the debate around â€Å"ethics† now. This is essential in order to gauge the relationship between â€Å"good† ethical conduct and the recent phenomenon of reality TV. Ethics was originally conceived as a way to engage with morals – literally, it can be seen as an attempt to establish a â€Å"moral philosophy† for living, and is concerned about notions such as what is right and what is wrong. It exposes the various difficulties between making certain decisions or of living life in a particular way. Understandably, the concept and the notion of good moral behaviour and bad moral behaviour have changed radically since the initial formulation of Western ethics in Ancient Greece over 2000 years ago. While modern moral reasoning bases its understandings upon the writings of Plato and Aristotle, it has mutated radically as regards to who the subject of the writing actually is concerned with. Whereas Plato, Aristotle and the ancient Greeks were concerned more about the self – e.g. how to morally explain the individual – whereas the modern ethical practice is more concerned about how to treat others in the first instance. Annette Hill comments that â€Å"Modern moral philosophy is therefore primarily about public good, and the development of moral values within particular social, political and cultural groups, and also within particular secular societies.† (2005, p. 110). Rather than acting, then justifying behaviour, modern ethics are primarily concerned about what exactly one should do in the first place, and is about the relationship between the self and society, the promotion of the notion of the â€Å"public good†, and of partaking in particular acts, often against the self or the will that would otherwise have a harmful effect on society. Major paradigmatic models incorporate this model of public good into their progressive ideologies. Central to the Marxist model (which I will be later applying to the phenomenon of reality TV), is the relationship between the working classes and the ruling classes. This is argued in Marx as being ethically dubious, because while the proletariat are enslaved by the capitalist system by their work, the ruling classes benefit from this relationship infinitely. Therefore, from a Marxist context, capitalism and the ways in which this model distributes wealth can be seen as the primary mechanism from which morality is corrupted. Similarly, religion and faith is often touted as â€Å"scapegoats† for unethical behaviour. The existentialist Friedrich Nietzsche formulated his own quasi-religion / moral philosophy based on the concepts of the Ubermensch and the theories of eternal recurrence. His position is existential, and forms a central part of what constitutes ethical matters today. Existentialism is, put simply, a belief that man creates his own belief systems. The existence of something precedes its essence; namely, the process of doing something is more important than the assignation of certain methods of thinking or reasoning behind it. A person is not innately good, but instead he acts good. Robert Anton Wilson (1990) comments that â€Å"Nietszsche’s existentialism (1) attacked the floating abstractions of traditional philosophy and a great deal of what passes as ‘common sense’ (e.g. he rejected the terms ‘good’, ‘evil’, ‘the real world’, and even the ego.) (2) also preferred concrete analysis of real life situations [†¦] and (3) attacked Christianity, rather than defending it† (14-15). As such, an existential critique of reality TV would tend to eschew concrete moral conclusion based on the grounding that reality TV exploits people, and therefore it is bad – moreover, the pheno menon of reality TV is based upon a number of larger social trends and mechanisms; a whole system of belief that doesn’t necessarily taint reality, but actually comprises of reality. Therefore, the existentialist may attack Reality TV, but Nietzsche would presumably argue that it is an expression of human will, Marx would argue that it represents merely an extension of the capitalism that seeks to exploit the workers and Kierkegaard would argue that his role is to determine that people have the choice to make their own decisions. Both Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were not concerned about notions of abstract truth – they were existential insofar as their concern was about day to day existence. In the absence of the notion of truth, over Nietzsche’s â€Å"will to power† and Kierkegaard’s system of choice and personal autonomy, the system of modern moral philosophy was overturned by the new ethical paradigm. Nietszche argued that the ubermensch would not do bad things because it would be detrimental to his own will to power; a moral system of good and bad is, ultimately, irrelevant to the ubermensch, because the parameters of decision-making have been changed. This ethical reasoning in many ways bled into the individualism of psychoanalysis, which is a factor that comes into play in a great many of the reality TV programmes: as I will argue later, the obsession in reality TV with rendering perverse the Freudian neuroses (described by him as anal, oral and genital fixations), combined with the capitalist, consumerist desire to pacify the â€Å"slaves† within the semiotic network that constitutes television, creates a scenario whereby the human self is rendered obscene. A psychoanalytical analysis of Reality TV creates many discrepancies; moreover, it is the combination of pacifying the autonomous will of the individual, combined with the exposition of Freudian unconscious â€Å"discoveries† that makes reality TV objectionable to mainstream technical issues. However, before I try to extrapolate the various issues at stake in the arguments for and against reality TV, the concept of reality TV, in particular what the term â€Å" reality† means in this context, has to be explored. What is the â€Å"reality† in Reality TV? Jean Baudrillard and other philosophers coined â€Å"poststructuralist† by Western scholars would undoubtedly be impressed by the ironical use of the term â€Å"reality† in reality TV. One of Jean Baudrillard’s key issues is the argument for â€Å"hyperreality†. He suggests in Simulacra and Simulation (1994) that the hyperreal is â€Å"real without origin or reality† (1). Indeed, the concept of â€Å"reality† TV where participants are asked to stay in an enclosed space for weeks on end and told to do surrealistic things (Big Brother), or to stay on a desert island (Temptation Island, Survivor) is unreal in itself, but the term â€Å"reality† instead applies to the logic that contestants exist rather than actors or performers. It is a â€Å"genre† of TV in which the controlled amateurish quality of the programme is exaggerated into a package of neuroses that have usurped and transcended reality itself. Secondly, TV is edited, dis seminated and packaged in a particular way that, according to Baudrillard, substitutes itself for reality; in one judgement of hyperreality, Baudrillard suggests that it represents â€Å"more real than real†, and eventually usurps reality. The concept of â€Å"reality† in reality TV destroys the â€Å"sovereign difference† between the map and the territory (1994, 2). As such, reality TV exists as an exemplar of this particular moment in late capitalism where the simulation of reality has evaded and transcended the real itself. To stress this theory further, I will look more generally at what Baudrillard means by hyperreality, and cite some further examples of how this theory can be established. Like Nietzsche, Baudrillard begins with an interrogation of the â€Å"real world†, arguing that because our perceptions of reality are rooted in semiotic languages and discursive structures, that the concept of an external, objective reality outside of the self can not be established, and merely bases itself upon a chimera or a lie. Instead, Baudrillard argues that reality is merely a system of communication, in which reality has become a commodified, capitalistic device. In The System of Objects, Baudrillard offers a critique of the advertising industry. While many of the images used by, say, the automobile industry are deliberately faked or exaggerated, the nature of this exaggeration, and the extent to which these images are promoted over and above the actual reality of what the car is (ultimately, a device for getting from one place to another), the specific, advertised car itself becomes an impossible object – a representation of reality that lies beyond reality itself. For instance, recent advertising that features a car that transforms into a dolphin does not have any prescience in reality, nor does it even attempt to establish itself as real. Instead, it embodies in the vehicle certain images or â€Å"realities† that, acc ording to Baudrillard, become reality and, as such, substitute reality for a marketed, plasticised illusion that â€Å"represents† reality to a greater degree. This theory can be extended to encompass many other factors that seem based upon manufacturing and colonising the real. Pornography represents a reality of sex that transcends and usurps sex itself; a soft drink with a non-existent flavour, such as â€Å"wild ice zest berry† (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperreality) creates a â€Å"reality† in linguistic terms that has no relationship to â€Å"modern† as opposed to â€Å"postmodern† reality. Again, advertising generates a reality that exaggerates and simulates the real in totality; there is no attempt made to reproduce reality, but instead signs and signification operate within themselves, applying to only their own logic. This reality can be seen in terms of reality TV as well. Programmes such as Survivor, Big Brother and other reality TV programmes that synthesise the game show format tend to exaggerate the realities of the participants. The world in which these â€Å"real† people interact is one which is completely fabricated, usually to exaggerate some narrative or mythological scenario which the viewer is undoubtedly familiar with. Big Brother, for instance, plays with the familiar Orwellian notion of total surveillance and dystopia – Survivor plays on the themes of the desert island, featured in many historical and literary myths that date back to the Bible. As such, depending on what opinions we have about what reality constitutes, these types of program are undoubtedly far off the mark. Post-production techniques are used to exaggerate the dramatic tensions between people; often people who would ordinarily have no contact are forced into relationships with one another, and it has been insinuated that certain parts of reality TV are scripted beforehand, in order to prevent the programme from becoming tedious or formulaic. What does this development in the notion of â€Å"reality† do to a discussion of the ethics of reality TV? Firstly, the production processes of reality TV are heavily reliant upon advertisers and private corporations concerned about making money. Such companies do not generally have too scrupulous a reputation for ethical marketing or behaviour. Product placement is a regular feature in reality TV, which, if looked at from a Marxist point of view, leads to the synthesis of what is seen as common sense â€Å"reality† and of corporate desire. The existential view of reality, while in a kind of agreement with the ambiguity of reality TV, would argue that reality as it is presented here merely represents a faith or a religion that substitutes the pure will (choice or autonomy) of the individual into a scenario where all things are scripted, edited and controlled by forces that depend upon the viewer becoming pacified and infantilized. I argue that the reality in reality TV merely represents a particular version of reality. As post-structuralist philosophy would suggest, the notion of objective reality in the postmodern age is simply a psychologically, sociologically and metaphysically attuned network that serves to create a religion or a mythical structure of â€Å"truth† and â€Å"reality†. While Nietzsche would argue that Reality TV subdues the personal will, and of human folly and weakness, reducing the viewer to the level of passive consumer, he would also argue that it is not the ethical place of people to assume that this dynamic of â€Å"exploitation† (as Marxists would posit) is necessarily wrong. Indeed, criticisms of Nietzsche’s critiques of Christianity, while vitriolic and hateful in tone, overlook the simple premise that Nietzsche’s intention himself was not to create a system of objective truth himself. Because, as he postulates in Beyond Good and Evil: â€Å"In the womb of being, rather, in the intran sitory, in the hidden god, in the ‘thing in itself’ – that is where their cause must lie and nowhere else! – This mode of judgement constitutes the typical prejudice by which metaphysicians of all ages can be recognized; this mode of evaluation stands in the background of all their logical procedures; it is on account of this their ‘faith’ that they concern themselves with their ‘knowledge’, with something that is at last solemnly baptized ‘the truth’† (1973, 34). As such, the creation of truth, upon which grounds Nietzsche was sorely condemned for throughout the 20th century, was not Nietzsche’s central desire – indeed, the establishment of a particular truth ignores Nietzsche’s attempts to negate the this preoccupation with â€Å"truth† and â€Å"reality† present in the mind of the â€Å"metaphysician† and the abstract philosopher. The existentialist is not concerned a bout abstractions, but instead he is concerned about the establishment of productive myths. In this respect, the â€Å"reality† of reality TV (at least where participants and audience are volunteers) is real and, dependent upon how greatly you herald such issues as personal autonomy cannot be anything but a moral, voluntary exchange. Marxism and the streams of thinkers that have come to be associated with Marxism tend to think very differently about the self. Socialist philosophy suggests that the human freedoms posited by the American and British administrations during their â€Å"free† market experiments are merely a chimera designed to obfuscate and paper over the exploitative system of exchange that operates between rich and poor. Contrary to existentialism, Marxists suggest that voluntary participants (in such things as reality TV) have to adhere to some greater moral code, because the dynamic of exchange exposes basic human vulnerabilities that exist in everybody. Their concept of reality is based upon a politics of exploitation, or a dialectical exchange between two opposing factions, one of which is exploited, and the other is dominant. Such Marxist theory can be used to explore this notion of â€Å"reality† in reality TV further: the dynamic between rich and poor (used in â€Å"crude† or traditional Marxism) creates a system of exploitation between the working class and the ruling class. This can be extended into linguistics and semantic theory, and forms the central tenet of deconstructionist theory posited by Jacques Derrida. Derrida argues firstly that the structuralist theories of Ferdinand de Saussure depended upon a relationship between the signifier and the signified – namely, what is being represented and what it represents. While Saussure argued that this framework was stable, and that the signifier and the signified never changed, Derrida and the deconstructionist theorists argued that the relationship between the signifier and the signified was always subject to â€Å"play† and fluctuated constantly. Moreover, the limitations of human communication meant that our perception of the world was limited. Derrida argues that the world is conveyed in language and discourse. Derrida takes this further, arguing that Western language has always based its functionality upon what he calls â€Å"binary oppositions†, in which one is seen as inferior, while the other is seen as superior. These oppositions run the gamut of human thinking and is what abstract philosophy tends to ignore: for instance, the dichotomy between man and woman is the subject of many feminist writers: while man can give women the same material rights, linguistically, woman still represents the absence of masculinity. Similarly, reality is seen as superior to the simulacrum, as explored by Plato’s myth of the cave, in which he argues that one pure object exists, and that everything else is a copy, and therefore inferior to the real thing. Derrida argues that deconstruction provides a solution to this problem, and by exposing and making conscious these oppositions, and deliberately working against them creates a system of simultaneous difference and equality through semantic â€Å"play†. As such, the ethical concept or exchange between the directors of reality TV, the participants and the audience create an interesting dynamic of exploitation that tends to eschew simple ethical thinking. To say that these reality programmes are bad ethically (a string of reasons have been posited, from the sensory deprivation of participants, to the unsavoury and voyeuristic nature of the program, to the use of the grotesque, to the implementation of torture techniques) avoids the overall issue that participation is â€Å"voluntary†. However, the previous arguments (deconstructive, Marxist, feminist, existential) all have radically different arguments as to what exactly constitutes â€Å"voluntary†; the notion of voluntary participation is a key issue in philosophical debate, and can be seen to surface in the ethics of advertising, fast food consumption and the selling of junk to young people. The question revolves around the concept of â€Å"reality†; namely, wh ether we are in control or whether our choices are determined by mechanisms and structures of power, addiction, and deep psychological needs. Reality TV argues that it exists as a form of entertainment. In the following section I will look at the dynamic of exploitation; particularly upon how reality TV exploits certain human qualities or â€Å"realities†, and renders them perverse. Reality TV: a psychoanalytical approach Reality TV, especially the phenomenon of the game show Reality TV programme, namely such programmes as Big Brother, Survivor, Big Diet, Celebrity Fat Club, Temptation Island, Bachelorette and Boot Camp exploit numerous psychoanalytical desires in order to â€Å"hystericise† reality and to render ordinary impulses and desires perverse. This exploitation, which I will argue is central to the strategy of corporatism and central to the postmodern malaise raises a number of ethical questions concerning the position of Reality TV in contemporary society, is endemic in the phenomenon of reality TV, and appears concerned primarily as either a reflection of, or a creation of, many issues that plague Western consciousness. Reality TV attacks certain concepts and, via gossip columns and TV journalism in other media, makes these things hysterical. One such topic is that of the â€Å"normal† relationship. While Big Brother tends to vet the participants based upon their position as s exually â€Å"perverse† (the last series of Big Brother featured a transsexual and several homosexuals) eccentric or colourful in order to engender conflict within the house and to maximize the entertainment value that can be derived from this â€Å"reality† that is constructed, the vision of the ordinary relationship, which occurs with relative frequency in the Big Brother house, is one that is treated with extreme shock by both participants, media, the programme makers, and eventually, the audience themselves. Jan Jagodozinki (2003) comments that â€Å"each reality game ‘hot-houses’ and hystericizes ‘normal relationships’, engendering paranoid perception where no one is to be trusted† (323). Of course, ethically this hystericisation serves the purpose many mass-mediated and televised spectacles seek to achieve. In a Marxist, postmodernist context, the media (especially the ‘modern’ mediums of television and brand advertis ing) wishes to engender a consumer whose only relationship to the outside world is through the corporatist-owned signification of signs. We are marketed towards in order to create an atomised, pseudo-individual whose only relationship to him / her self is through signification and engagement with the hyperreal. As such, consumer need is created, manufactured in the dream factory of advertising, and disseminated through mass media to create demand for a product that was, prior to the embellishment of reality through hyperrealistic signification, useless and unnecessary. Reality TV simply contributes to this feeling of post-human disgust with the mechanisms of the body and the unconscious mind. For instance, the drives expounded by Freud (labelled by him as genital, oral and anal), are attacked with frequency in a number of these TV reality shows: In Big Brother, participants are deprived of food, and are occasionally â€Å"treated† to products from the outside world when they participate in a particular task (the oral, anal dichotomy). The lack of privacy in toilets suggest the programmes obsession with these excretive functions; also, the relationships that occur among these â€Å"ordinary† people are exaggerated with an unparalleled degree of disgust and hysteria both within the programme and external to it in other â€Å"gossip† columns and TV magazines. This suggests an obsession with the genital drives that are echoed in other reality TV programmes. The hystericisation of normality â€Å"are the very symptoms that plague the American landscape, namely the preoccupation with the excesses of the drives – anal and oral (food / dieting) [†¦], genital (seduction) [†¦] trust, [†¦] extreme physical exertion [†¦] authority† (Jagodozinki 2003, 323). These drives are isolated and compounded in a manner that many would figure as unethical; the audiences watch the TV – voyeurs in their living rooms – rendering all these desires perverse and alien. The anal / oral functioning can be seen in all manner of these game show / reality TV hybrids. In Survivor, participants experience food deprivation, then are force-fed the junk food of capitalism. Reality TV provides us with either a perverse kind of promotion of these desires, or else exaggerates and satirizes these principles that already play a huge part in the advertising, producer / consumer relationship of (most of) Western society. For instance, many of these reality TV programmes are obsessed with food and excrement, the balance between which is, of course, expressed in terms of physical weight: Game show reality programmes such as Fat Club, Big Diet, Survivor and Big Brother, as well as innumerable documentaries, talk shows (Gerry Springer, Rikki Lake, Oprah Winfrey all tend to devote a disproportionate amount of time to â€Å"exposing† obesity in ways that carefully tread the dual lines of exploitation and grotesquer y, and non-pervasive exploration or passive â€Å"documentary†, often with a focus on the former) all focus on weight, eating and consumption as a mainstay of their challenges. In one edition of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, pop-mystic and spoon bender Uri Geller was forced to eat live slugs while some other minor celebrity spent most of the programme complaining about his constipation. As such, natural processes such as eating, drinking and excreting matter becomes exaggerated to such an extent that these very bodily processes become shameful. Jagodozinki comments that â€Å"Survivor players are foced to follow exactly the same starve and binge mentality of bulemics† (2003, 321). The Freudian drives and impulses are concentrated upon by programme makers in order to engender an interest in the programme that, if it were a representation of ordinary, mundane â€Å"reality†, would presumably be too scant to provoke widespread interest. Similarly, other drives are obsessed over. The genital desires, marked by an obsession with sex, lust and seduction are exploited through programmes such as Big Brother, Temptation Island and Bachelorette, where sexual, relationship related trysts are exploited by the programme makers in order to maximise audience ratings and profits from their programme. For instance, whenever a relationship threatens to bubble over in Big Brother, the programme makers, along with the media vehicles that feature Big Brother (showbiz magazines and tabloid newspapers, for instance) tend to simultaneously glorify and pervert the developing relationship into a grotesque and abominable spectacle. Trust and paranoiac fantasies are also played with in the post-production of Big Brother. The format is automatically designed to expose hypocrisy: while participants are forced to work together and live together, participants also have to periodically vote each other out of the house. As such, issues of trust and paranoiac functions are exploited, in a microcosm, of the contemporary world that constitutes â€Å"reality† TV. As such, the difficulty with exposing the ethical indiscretion of reality TV is simply that it can either be seen as a hyperbolic reflection or satire of current prevalent trends in Western society, or that it can be seen as contributing to the effects of â€Å"consumerisation†, and can therefore be seen in the light of Marxists who approach the exploitative mechanisms of mass media with grave suspicion. Louis Althusser’s system of â€Å"interpolation† which in his words, is described as having the following relationship with ideology: â€Å"ideology interpolates the individual as subject, [†¦] this interpolation is realized in institutions, in their rituals and practices† (2001). As such, the ideology of guilt, of loathing for the body and of the consumerisation of the general public through the exploitation of these particular vulnerabilities is, according to Althusser, interpolated and disseminated through mass media, or, as he calls it, the  "ideological state apparatus†. And any form of mass media that adheres to these capitalist desires against the individual and for the â€Å"subject† is also catering to systematic oppression to the masses and is therefore morally reprehensible. So, what is the argument in favour of reality TV? Namely, that it bypasses these ideologies and instead presents us with a â€Å"reality† of ordinary people, unencumbered by the traffic of biased representation one tends to get in drama and fiction. The function of reality TV, according to this argument, is to present to people life as it really is. I would argue, however, that this is not the case for a number of reasons. The psychological stresses that subjects are put under are, in themselves, unique in these game show / reality TV programmes. It would be extraordinary to presume that everyday people would be forced to endure these psychological strains. Moreover, the dissemination and the editing of these pieces together serves a dual function: firstly, it imposes a strict narrative upon the happenings based upon a desire to entertain. Entertainment can be achieved through the exploitation and exaggerations of these specific, Freudian functions. In order to condense 24 hou rs of time into half an hour, programme makers have to edit the raw material of â€Å"reality† in a way that generates interest in the overall product. The effect of this is to highlight these desires and dramas and to generate a narrative of disgust from the raw material. As such, events are scandalised, hystericised, and processed through the â€Å"state apparatus† of Freudian drama. This is satirised in the film The Truman Show. Jagodozinki (2003) comments that â€Å"The banality of his everyday life with its mundane repetitions is the very opposite of media hype which happens off camera or is worked in ‘live’† (328). The function of this segment is to highlight the principle that these dramas are not reality; simply because the subject is â€Å"real† and falls into the pigeonhole of â€Å"non-fiction† by programmers, the ways in which these â€Å"documentaries† are assembled tend to fall into dramatic stereotypes associated with the exploitation of Freudian impulses, checked with a Marxian system of exploitation. The World Is Flat: â€Å"Infotainment† and relativism Modern news programming tends to cut and splice events of widely different qualities – from serious news items about plagues, famines, death and suffering to items about cuddly toys and cats getting stranded in trees. Also, programming on commercial channels are cut every fifteen minutes with a barrage of advertising, with the effect of sharply combining the â€Å"reality† of news footage and reality TV with the â€Å"non-reality† of advertising. Ethically, this places TV in general under the accusation of numbing the viewer and transforming him or her into the amoral, relativistic, emotionally numb and philosophically nihilistic consumer infant that sociopaths and corporations tend to prefer. As such, arguments about the â€Å"reality† of reality TV being less produced than fiction tends to falter instead, the handle of â€Å"reality† has the effect of simply lowering the viewer’s (or consumer’s) guard. The juxtaposition of mundane e vents in a fast barrage of creative editing sensationalises the mundane. In a triumph of style over content, some reality TV shows and news features use music and montage to create the illusion of event, when there is no event to speak of. â€Å"Real life† documentaries and long-running reality TV programmes, such as Changing Rooms and DIY SOS utilise quirky (and somewhat insipid) montage sequences with humorous music in order to generate a homely, friendly appeal. However, almost all reality TV programmes appeal to consumerist desires (an endless procession of programmes about house hunting, gardening, buying), or exploitative voyeurism (house cleaning programmes about â€Å"dirty† people, unsympathetic obesity programmes, a fixation upon sexual or cosmetic acts). Ethically, reality TV however, only ser

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Out of the Norm (Breaching Experiment)

Breaching experiments are most commonly associated with ethnomethodology, a Breaching Experiment is an experiment that seeks to examine people's reactions to violations of commonly Accepted social rules or norms. Norms are defined as the expectations, or rules of behavior, that Develop out of values. For this Project, I was required to violate a norm. Basically doing Something â€Å"out of the ordinary† it’s not common at all in society, in this project we’ll find out What is people reaction by recording myself doing something that calls their attention like what I Did in this project. Asking people around the mall for â€Å"HUGS & KISSES† or saying randomly â€Å"Hi†, to them pretending I know them for a while, at the time I start developing my experiment Was difficult for me to keep a straight Face while doing it.The reaction of individuals at the beginning of this experiment was negative and doubtful, Not all dared to give me a hug, out of the ob vious fear of the camera, many had not clear What was my purpose of giving hugs so they preferred to continue with their walking Ignoring me at all, but certainly that didn’t stop me to continue researching more looks and Reactions.As well as there were people who rejected me, there were many people affordable, who gave me a warm host smile and definitely my hug. It is impressive how within a few hours of doing this Project I carefully analyze and determine the acceptances and denials of society by doing Something out of the ordinary on a typical and current day.At home I created a colorful poster to call attention of the pedestrians, it was rare for me to say to People that â€Å"Hugs and Kisses† were given away as it’s obviously this kind of experimentations Is not common at all, but that is what this experiment was about, as you seen in the video not All people react to our proposals same way so, many run away, others ended up agreeing by Being intimidated by a camera, others for being seen well to the others,  many did not wanted to Do it, others felt happy and congratulated me as intensive because of my project, others were Frightened.In fact I received positive and negative critiques, Talking about genres it as an Advantage for us as girls by received the opposite gender immediately acceptance which is a Positive response, in relation to the women they were restricted somewhat by noticing our Presence, but it was certainly a charming and fun project. Worth to mention that learning and Enjoying, what you do, is what really matters.When you are a participant in this class of experiments, you experience reactions from people Directly. From all this we learn that the criteria for each person must be respected not necessarily Being all of us alike, our way of thinking varies, leading us to think and act according to what is Taught to us, what we see and experience every day in our different cultures. Now days, in many Countries they do not use physical contact as a way of greeting or cordiality meaning that it Wouldn’t be right to go against the rules that have already been implemented and established in Their cultures.Then, how about people whom beliefs are only based in what society thinks and implement with The past of the time, without letting them create their own criteria?Well these people live daily a routine guided by the rest, and their way of seeing things is totally According to what society thinks is right or not although often have radical changes are not Really common sense to many of the individuals.Whether you way you think or believe in things is based on society or the rest of the people.. You are the owner of your criteria, accept the new changes around, adapt yourself and also opt to Implement what you think and believe is right for the growth of cultural knowledge of society in Which we live.