Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hi Dr. Lambiase. This is Enrica Richardson's blog.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Hi Dr. Lambiase, I wanted to post on your blog, but it didn't let me, so I just wanted to tell you, I hope that you have a rapid and full recovery. You are one of the best teachers I have ever had, because you make me think about things I wouldn't usually realize, and when a teacher appeals to your heart and mind as opposed to your ability to memorize trivial data in a short amount of time, that is a gift, a present, to that student. You have given me gifts I will carry with me always. I have gained a lot from your class, and I only wish I could thank you more properly, or better yet return the favor. Instead, I simply wish you and your family all the best, and my prayers are with you and yours at this time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Earlier today I watched a documentary on hate, and how it has become a global epidemic. This seems an exaggeration at first, but upon hearing a multitude of varying interviews and retrieving the same results, it seemed that this was justified. We all have values. This is part of what shapes who we are. However, oftentimes if someone does not share our values, we use it as a means to stand on our soap box, to become self-righteous, to belittle another human being because they don't think exactly like we do. Palestinians hate the Isrealites, Al Quaeda hates the Americans, whites hate blacks, on and on and on. It's silly when you really think about it. Diversity is what enriches the world, makes it interesting, and provides varying perspectives. If we all were homogeneous, the world would be such a bore, no better than Aldous Huxley's Soma induced Brave New World. After all, at the end of the day, we are all intrinsically alike, regardless of our varying passions in current events, the passions we feel are universal from one human being to the next. We all love, we all hurt, we all mourn, we all become angered, and yes odds are, at some point, we all hate. In this way we are all the same, we are all brothers and sisters, varying only by circumstance of culture or genetics. Inside we are all the same. It is not until we realize this, and embrace our diversity and simultaneous similarity as virtues of mankind that we will make any progress. As such we are left with an epidemic that has flamed to global ramifications, and only insight and compassion can extinguish the ever growing fire of hatred.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A friend of mine was telling me recently about the "bride burnings" that go on in other parts of the world, and it was unbearable to hear. He was telling me a story of a woman in India who married, and the husband's family believed that the dowry was insufficient, so they burned her in her bed, and then miraculously she managed to survive for a week, enough time to point out her assailants...the bride's father had borrowed money from all of his relatives, etc just to try to satiate the groom's family greed, yet to no avail...the groom's father was buying cars, etc. and nothing was good enough, so they killed the bride. It is incredible to think that things like this still happen, and that there are still such things as a "dowry" and that there are women who would die because of such a thing. It is disgusting. It is tragic. It makes one realize how much further we have to go abroad.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

National Geographic has always been my favorite magazine. Ever since I was a kid, I would gaze over the images for hours and feel astonished at how much wonder and beauty this world holds that the majority of us never even get to experience. I remember many years ago, I saw an image on the cover of the magazine of a woman/child with striking haunting green eyes that looked like they had a story to tell, but that were haunted and fearful. I was very young, but the image left an impression on me I never forgot. Well, now, some 20 years later, I saw the image again on the cover of National Geographic, for a Collector's edition, and felt inclined to purchase the magazine. Upon reading inside, I discovered that this image was taken of a frightened young woman in a refugee camp in Pakistan. The photo, upon release, incited curiousity, this image provokes questioning...and as a result, this woman's plight, or cause, was brought to light. This is how media can be positive, and good, and can redeem itself. If we could stray away from the Star Magazines and the Cosmopolitans, Vogues, Allures, and look at how much inspiration comes from abroad, perhaps journalism could be restored to something virtuous and honorable. A fund that National Geographic raised inspired by this woman's visual story raised over a million dollars. I hope that our current state of obsession with pulchritude is a phase, and that the rebellion, or antithesis of such will bring a resiliant passion for our fellow man that can redeem us and take us to a place as a society where we can improve the world, not dwell on the wardrobe malfunctions of Janet Jackson or the dating habits of Brad Pitt.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I was watching the Bravo Channel the other day, and saw an interesting new commercial. It was for Orbitz, and starred a youg gay couple and an older gay man both searching for places to stay in San Francisco. So two men are doing a search for hotels in San Francisco, and one of the men finds the "better" hotel, and then the commercial says something along the lines of "Orbitz finds the best gay friendly hotels". This seems contrived and silly to me for a number of reasons...if I were a gay male I would be highly offended. First of all, they just happen to be looking for a place to stay in San Francisco, which has a very high homosexual demographic. They couldn't travel to any other cities? Secondly, they are golden, because they just happen to be able to find a gay friendly hotel, thanks solely to the wonder of Orbitz. I think this commercial is insulting and belittling to homosexuals...it was feeding on stereotypes...another thing that really stuck out, that really reiterates this theme is the fact that, although most of Orbitz commercials have some comic relief, this one had a silly almost Old-Navyesque feeling to it. It goes with the stereotypes of gays as "gay" or silly maybe...it just seemed wrong for a number of reasons: it was trying to appeal to the gay population and in the process was actually quite offensive.

When watching Bamboozled, there were multiple things that bothered me. I thought it was a great film, very thought provoking, and well done, but it definitely leaves you with a gut wrenching feeling at the finale. Spike Lee does a great job of making you feel the anguish of these characters, their inner struggles, their societal struggles, and their struggles with one another. Above all else, it lets you see how hurtful and harmful the way our society has treated African Americans is. Also, it shows you how little progress we have truly made. It is abhorrent that in the 21st century, we still manage to belittle human beings on the simple and stupid grounds of something so silly as skin color. It was odd to me that some of the actors in this film wanted to distance themselves from the piece, because I thought it was one of the most powerful films I have seen in a long time, as Spike Lee never ceases to deliver. It is a film to be proud to be a part of , regardless of how emotionally disturbed it leaves us. I am glad I saw, it is truly eye opening...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The other day I was watching the movie "The Accused" starring Jodie Foster in her Oscar winning performance. It is a really moving story, and quite disturbing at the same time. The title of the movie, I am assuming, is referring to the fact that though Foster's character is a victim of a group rape, she is in fact the one who's character, actions, and integrity end up in the hot seat, not the perpetrators. Things like the amount of alcohol she had consumed that night, how flirtatious she had been in the past, and other such factors seem to be given much more relevance than they deserve. It made me wonder if such is often the case. Do we make our victims suffer a second time if they have the courage to accuse those who have wronged them? It made me think of a case I had heard of in San Antonio, where a girl had been raped in a parking lot outside of a bar, and later pressed charges. She also sued the owner of the bar, who then in turn hired a private investigator and was painted out to be a promiscuous woman because she just happened to go home with a guy after said rape claim. She lost her suit against the owner of the bar. After enduring something as painful and unforgettable as being raped, what could be more belittling to a human being than being then told that no one believed them, or perhaps thought that the action was invited or somehow justified? It makes you very disgusted with the way we treat victims in our society, when the accusers become the accused.

In doing my research for the recent theme analysis project, I found a lot of Jean Kilborne's statistics really interesting...it made me wonder if men are affected as much by the image pressures to look perfect as women are...oddly enough, the very next day there was a story on the news about how the rate of men with eating disorders is steadily on the rise. Now men find themselves struggling with bulemia, anorexia, and other ailments (overzealous working out, etc) as much as women. It seems that the way we are marketed to, advertised to, etc. is leaving a permanent scar on our society. In a society where a lot of emphasis is placed on image and physical appeal, we find ourselves losing more than weight the slimmer and slimmer we become.