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Movie Reviews

askmrwood:

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In the movie Paper Clips, it showed a middle school that resided in Whitwell, Tennessee, a small town that had a very close community. Whitwell Middle School, it was called, was teaching children about the Holocaust and the teachers had wanted to teach them about the prejudice and intolerance that causes violence throughout the world. The children were learning about the atrocities of the Holocaust, and how it caused the death of 6 million Jews. Teachers wanted the students to truly understand how horrendous the Holocaust was, so they wanted to come up with a project to help the kids understand why the Holocaust even existed. They decided to start the paper clip project. Teachers decided to collect the paper clips after students researched that Norwegians wore paper clips on their collars to show that they were against the Nazi regime, just like how the Jews had to wear the star of David to represent that they were Jews. When they started the project, students and teachers together wrote letters to famous people and celebrities and everyone else they could write to. Since the project was not yet known, they only received a small number of paper clips at a rate where it would take about 10 years to obtain 6 million paper clips. Many teachers were beginning to question whether or not this project would be a success. However, German journalists heard about the project and decided to be a part of it. They donated their own paper clips and they published articles about the paper clip project. The project was also being posted up on the internet so the project would be widely noticed. Soon later they received so many paper clips at a fast rate; and they were eventually able to gain 6 million paper clips and more as time went on. They had so many paper clips, the teachers and students decided they must store it somewhere that would be memorable. The German journalists had found a railcar that used to ship Jews to the concentration camps and shipped it to Whitwell where the paperclips would be stored in there for others to see in future generations. What I liked about the movie was how a Southern town was able to learn about the intolerance that occurred in the Holocaust. They eventually grew to be more tolerant and accepting towards others, when they once were people who were not willing to learn about other cultures and expand their horizons. With patience and gradual understanding, they saw the good effects of tolerance and how it could bring one to see how intolerance can truly hurt others. The students and teachers were able to see past the stereotypes and the racial prejudice that were so common everywhere. In this unit we are learning about tolerance, and Paper Clips shows what tolerance can bring to a town that had little acceptance of the outside world.

Movie Reviews

askmrwood:

If you’d like to submit a movie review, please reblog this post just like you were going to reblog a journal post. DON’T MIX THESE UP! This is for movie reviews only!

In the movie Apartheid’s Last Stand, South Africa was still under European rule. Much violence occurred due to the segregation that has been going on for years and years on end. This segregation would be called apartheid. Politicians were thrown into jail for intervening on the government. In the jail, politicians suffered and many died due to unfair treatment from the guards. Many in the jail lost their families and they resented the European rule and the guards. Children were even competing for education. Students were shot down by the police when they decided to rebel. Over time, when racial tensions decreased, Nelson Mandela and every other politician in jail were released. This caused Mandela to rise to power and eventually become president of South Africa. He worked to abolish apartheid and make the country independent and free of European rule. He was aided by some prisoners in the jail that were politicians also. Mandela also worked to bring peace to the country and prosperity. Many were able to become educated without competing, and eventually they forgave those who made them suffer in the past. People were able to obtain wealth in the cities; however people outside the cities were yet to be modernized. Those outside the cities had very poor sanitary conditions and they had small shelters. They were not able to forgive the atrocities that occurred in the past; and they do not wish to live in the city for they will be reminded of the apartheid if they do. The South Africans that reside in the city work to bring the people outside the cities to realize that apartheid is no more. The jail that once contained the politicians became a tourist attraction so others get the opportunity to learn what happened in the past. What I liked about the movie was that all it took was one person to change one whole country. One person who brought the beginning of a change in a country that was so holed up in prejudice and segregation. This movie greatly relates the unit we are in right now because the violence and the atrocities that happened in South Africa was because of intolerance and lack of acceptance. Europeans refused to accept the Africans for who they are and what they believed in, which eventually led to the hate and the senseless murders that was once an everyday occurrence in South Africa. It takes tolerance to be able to make a huge difference, and true determination to be able to care about a country enough to make an effort to change an entire country.

Movie Reviews

askmrwood:

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The movie, Hotel Rwanda, revolves around the manager of a hotel called “Hotel des Mille Collines” whose name is Paul Rusesabagina. Tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi people lead to war in Rwanda, where corrupted politicians are very common. Violence between the two groups eventually caused a huge massacre of the Tutsi people, along with Paul’s neighbors. Because of the killings increased, Paul shelter his neighbors from the Interahamwe, an anti-Tutsi militia group that aims to murder all the Tutsi people. But more and more refugees came into the hotel for protection since the UN forces cannot take action against the Interahamwe for they are forbidden to; therefore they can no longer protect the Tutsi people. It was up to Paul to protect all the refugees in the hotel while the violence is still occurring outside of the hotel. The UN forces attempted to evacuate some refugees away from Rwanda, but were attacked and forced to leave the refugees behind. As a last resort, Paul begs the Rwandan Army General Bizimungu to aid him in saving the refugees. Paul ends up using blackmail since bribery no longer worked. With the help of Bizimungu, his family and the refugees were finally able to leave the hotel to seek safety behind Tutsi rebel lines. One scene I liked to watch was when the refugees were able to evacuate from the hotel and survive once they reached the safe area. Paul was determined to keep the refugees safe and never gave up until his goal was reached.

This is related to this unit because the intolerance of the Interahamwe costed thousands of innocent lives to be lost. It was their hate and their lack of acceptance of another group’s view that led them to start a horrendous genocide that should never have happened if intolerance had not existed. However, because of Paul’s tolerance, he was able to save a large number of refugees instead of leaving them to die to the Interahamwe. Because of the difference between two groups, it sparked an event that led to the death of over one million lives. With intolerance as the heart of the cause, this movie shows how far one can do to another person who has different views. 

Museum Write-up

askmrwood:

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On the day of the trip to the museum, I thought it would be rather boring since I was never a fan of museums. Instead, I found it to be incredibly magnificent in its own way. It amazes me how acts of human beings can really make one realize that there are so many things that can make a person different. How one point of view can somehow bring a whole group of people with the same perspective join and be able to make a change in anyone’s lives. How well human beings can represent the whole argument between egoism and altruism and show how their own feelings can rule over them so easily.

In beginning of the tour, we saw an example of intolerance through a scene where a group of white men were listening to a radio talk show that discriminated others; and it slowly led to a fight between them and a black man. The fight would eventually lead to a severe injury to an innocent woman. After that scenario, we would be able to ask questions to some people that had different views towards prejudice. While I was choosing which questions to ask, I felt angry and resentful towards the radio talk show host because of his prejudiced and judgemental point of view. At that point, I realized there were millions more of people like him throughout the entire world. I felt that they have lived in a very “safe” lifestyle where they did not have to take their time and actually learn the differences in people; which would then lead them towards intolerance and maybe even hatred due to a lack of understanding.

In another section, we learned the differences between the hate crimes and the protests against hate crimes that occurred in the United States and the rest of the world. The amount of hate crimes that happened in the United States was absolutely immense. I noticed that America has too many intolerant people who are very unwilling to learn about others that are so different from them. I also saw that racism, sexuality, and religion were all the very reasons why people are so willing to act violently towards something different that they thought were to be the heart of evil. I started to think that people shouldn’t have been so “protected” as they grew up; or else they would not be able to accept new ideas and concepts that seemed so strange to them.

After that, we watched a video about how prejudice and racism can change a whole country entirely. Protests were almost everywhere, innocent lives were being lost due to the violence that occurs between people of different races and religion. I was stunned at how the intolerant human beings could get so worked up over different people. How violent they can get when something they see in their path is viewed to be “wrong”, or “evil”, or “satanic”. I even hoped they would be able to see the truth that’s right in front of them; when their views and actions affect others greatly.

Then there were several sections that were concentrated on the topic of the Holocaust, seeing as it was a huge event that was caused by prejudice and lack of acceptance. While we were going through different parts, we were also learning how Adolf Hitler came to fame and what he believed in. Due to WWI, the Germans were already suffering from fatigue and depression and they were on the brink of insanity. I could actually FEEL their despair and agony that resulted from humiliation that Germany has brought upon them. I saw how desperate they were getting, to be listening to a man who was viewed as a psychopath. They wanted happiness and prosperity, not resentment and poverty. I could see how they were being compelled and brainwashed to believe that it was all the Jews’ fault and that Germans were the perfect race. I pitied the Germans because of how lost they were during the aftereffects of WWI. I thought that no one deserved that, yet they went through all that pain just because they were Germans. But I also pitied the Jews for the constant persecution they kept going through for centuries. Six million lives lost due to Hitler’s powerful voice that compelled Germans to follow his regime. It was heartbreaking to see newborn babies being killed right off just to prevent the Jewish population from rising.

All the acts of intolerance I saw and learned throughout this experience were because of their external environment. Many would assume it is because of their human nature, but I think it’s not. Simply because when they were young, they obviously did not believe that people of different views were wrong and that they shouldn’t exist. But the people around them can easily influence them until they grow up to either be tolerant or intolerant. I think these kinds of acts came from fear. Fear that different people will eventually overrule concepts and ideas that they originally were so accustomed to. From fear, comes hate. From hate, comes violence. With violence, comes more violence. This is a vicious cycle that will never end unless everyone with a lack of acceptance will realize how pointless it is to try and prevent a certain type of race, religion, or sexuality from existing.

Current Events

askmrwood:

If you’d like to submit a current event, please reblog this post just like you were going to reblog a journal post. DON’T MIX THESE UP! This is for current events only! Remember to INCLUDE THE NEWS SOURCE (link) of where you got your current event!

In June, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit China to discuss Iran’s nuclear program with Chinese president Hu Jintao. Ahmadinejad will be a part of the SCO meeting hosted in Beijing. Iran is currently under constant pressure to change its nuclear programs and the security council chief will meet with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany to close a deal to cease monitoring Iran’s suspected work of nuclear weapons. However, China has vetoed on the UN security council and demanded for sanctions on Iran. They have constantly pressured a negotiated solution to the dispute. Also, the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao warned Tehran to cease their objective of acquiring nuclear weapons; however Beijing has been hesitating to publicly warn Iran. The Communist party newspaper, The People’s Daily, warned Iran in an article that increased US pressure towards Iran. This would further risk worsening the situation.

I think that if these tensions continue to increase, this will spark another world war. I also hope that Iran will cease to create nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons should not even exist at all; I believe that the power is far too great for human beings to handle since they bring immense destruction towards the Earth and can affect humans greatly. Also, I think that the use of nuclear weapons is immoral and it violates the moral values in human beings. I hope people will be able to realize the power nuclear weapons hold and be more cautious towards it in the future.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/23/iranian-president-china-nuclear-talks

Current Events

askmrwood:

If you’d like to submit a current event, please reblog this post just like you were going to reblog a journal post. DON’T MIX THESE UP! This is for current events only! Remember to INCLUDE THE NEWS SOURCE (link) of where you got your current event!

In the Pakistani city of Karachi, gunmen opened fire at a political rally, killing 9 and causing riots. The violence was a reminder of the fact that the city was home to many armed political parties that harm the citizens and fight among each other. This would also lead to more outbreaks of violence. The city police chief Ahktar Gorchani claimed that more than 30 were wounded in the shootings. Cars and shops were destroyed following the attack also. A police officer claimed that the police were still trying to restore order at the time, so the attackers are still anonymous. Karachi is full of ethnic and political tensions and is also believed to be a place for Taliban and Al Qaeda militants to hide in. The attack started because the Pakistani Navy court-martialed  three officers since they were being accused of associating with the militants that attacked their naval base. However, the Pakistani Taliban took the blame for it and said it was retaliation for the murder of bin Laden. 

I think that the police should be able to enforce the law to prevent attacks in the cities from occurring. They should be able to protect the civilians from harm. Also, I think the people who chose to shoot at the rally should realize what they have done. Their reasons for what they do is based on their emotions and how they feel. I hope in the future they will be able to think more rationally about this instead of having to use violence to solve their issues. I think that violence is never a good solution to any type of conflict, and will only create fear and even more conflicts. This would lead to even more hate, and this would become a vicious cycle. 

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2115448,00.html

Current Events

askmrwood:

If you’d like to submit a current event, please reblog this post just like you were going to reblog a journal post. DON’T MIX THESE UP! This is for current events only! Remember to INCLUDE THE NEWS SOURCE (link) of where you got your current event!

Tensions rise in the Lebanese capital Beirut after the fight between pro- and anti-Syrian Lebanese factions. It started after the death of an Anti-Syrian Sunni cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahed, and an associate. The anti-Syrian Lebanese community reacted immediately and predictably; with protests covering the roads and closing them off. Conflicts between the two groups in Lebanon have been occurring since 2005 when Sunni leader Rafik Hariri was assassinated; causing the split between the supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the anti-Assad. The cause of the violence was the arrest of a Sunni Islamist called Shadi Mawlawi. He was arrested for being at a social services center run by an anti-Syrian politician, where he was compelled to go to the center. He was then charged with being a member of a terrorist organization, which almost caused the Sunni community to tip over. Anti-Syrians like Saad Hariri warned against a possible conflict between the army and the people. So, religious and political leaders from both sides remained calm. However, the incident increased pressure on Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a Sunni from Tripoli, who must make decisions with the opinions of his government and his hometown constituency weighing down on him. I think that these two groups need to be able to talk it out and cease the violent acts. Hate only comes from hate, and that includes violence. The groups’ emotions rule them, so they would go to extreme measures just to get what they want. I hope in the future they will realize how they are affecting their surroundings and will be able to stop themselves from going any further.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2115386,00.html

Current Events

askmrwood:

If you’d like to submit a current event, please reblog this post just like you were going to reblog a journal post. DON’T MIX THESE UP! This is for current events only! Remember to INCLUDE THE NEWS SOURCE (link) of where you got your current event!

In the heart of Yemen’s capital, Sana, hundreds suffered casualties due to a suicide bombing. The suicide bombing occurred during a military parade rehearsal near the palace in the capital when a man in a soldier’s uniform set the bomb off. This was said to be the deadliest terrorist attack in years in Yemen, which is now under the United States’ concerns towards terrorism. Militants that followed Al Qaeda claimed that they were the ones who planned the suicide bombing. The group, known as Ansar al Shariah, said that the bombing was for Yemen’s defense minister and retaliation against the government campaign against Al Qaeda’s sanctuaries. The attack caused demoralization of Yemen’s security forces and troops who were already suffering from poor pay, ill treatment, and corruption in the higher ranks. Some of the casualties were members of the Central Security Organization and a paramilitary force led by Yahya Saleh, a nephew of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.  However, Yemen’s new president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, pledged that he would fight against Al Qaeda until they are freed from Al Qaeda, no matter how costly the sacrifices will be. He is currently working with the U.S. to fight against Al Qaeda, and at the same time battling other problems he must face. In the past, Ansar al Shariah has avoided attacks on soldiers and frequently updated posts to further weaken the soldiers. The United States has sent American military and counterterrorism assistance in Yemen to launch campaigns against terrorism and be able to prevent Ansar al Shariah from inflicting any further harm. I think it is a good idea that the United States is now paying more attention to the terrorist attacks that is going on in Yemen. I believe it will bring the militant group’s activities to an end. In the future, maybe it will prevent any more terrorist attacks and further harm. However, I hope there will be a definite limit to how much the United States can provide in terms of supplies and military forces.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/world/middleeast/suicide-attack-in-yemen.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&hp

two ears, one mouth: Journal Post #3

askmrwood:

egoism: the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one’s personal interest; selfishness

  • Most humans seem to fit the theory of egoism (see above). Is this wrong? Why or why not?
  • Give several examples of what we’ve studied this year of how egoism has brought good into the world and…

I think most humans would fit the theory of egoism because I think that all humans are selfish. Not naturally selfish, nor were they born selfish; they just grow to be selfish in time. They are only selfish because they usually feel that they deserve to have things they want, and not have to sacrifice the things they love just for another. But I don’t think all humans are selfish; I think that they know their own limits. I believe that it is the way they are raised that causes humans to be the way they are. But some won’t be able to control themselves and will go to extreme measures for their own selfish reasons. I think humans are selfish when no one is stopping them, or when they are allowed to continue to act for selfish reasons. For example, in the Russian Revolution, V.I. Lenin was allowed to overthrow the czar for what may be selfish reasons, and no one had the power to stop them; therefore, he was able to continue with his deeds and rebel. Just like how Mao Zedong was allowed to continue to turn China into a communist country without anyone being able to suppress him, he was able to turn his dream into a reality. However, I think the quote “each person must live their life as a model for others” simply means that you wish to be a person that someone else would want to be. A person who wants to be a role model would be someone who knows his/her limits of their selfishness and knows how to control it. They wish to influence others to live towards a better life. I also think the quote implies that everyone must take on the responsibility they have to teach the children and the innocent that they must understand reality and be able to guide them through the harsh times. I think that people need guidance in some point of their lives, or else they might end up going the wrong path and make the wrong choices. I think that the quote goes well with egoism vs. altruism because egoism comes from a person’s desires, but it is also a person’s desire to care for others, regardless of their own situation. It is the person that decides whether they want to be a role model for others, or if they want to follow their own personal desires. It’s important for each person to live their life as a role model because as I have said before, I think that everyone needs some kind of guidance in their life. I don’t think a person actually has a solid idea on what their moral values should be, or what they should do, or what they should say. I think that as children grow up, they learn from their surroundings, and how they are as they grow is affected by how they were raised. Children need guidance the most since they don’t know anything and they have no awareness towards anything; therefore, that is why they need role models to look up to. If there were no role models, there would be less and less tolerant people in the world and more selfish people. I do believe each person live their life as a model for others because without role models, no one would have any idea what their moral values should be. They wouldn’t know where to go, what they should do, how they should do things; they would be very lost. Role models can influence one to do many things, whether bad or good. It’s all just based on choice.

two ears, one mouth: Journal Post #2

askmrwood:

Tolerance: a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

  • Why is tolerance such a difficult value for most people to have?
  • Why do you think intolerance has existed since the…

I think tolerance is something people should work hard for, instead of just having it  without doing anything. It takes effort to be tolerant of something because you’d have to learn about it and become educated. Humans are not willing to expand their horizons and learn about knew things that may change their perspective on everything. They group a certain type of people up and think that everyone in the group are all the same, without learning about each individual and what makes them different and unique. They always like to be right, and they’re not willing to change if they have to be wrong about something. I think intolerance existed since the beginning because most humans have lived in the same type of lifestyle and were taught in the same type of environment on a daily basis. They weren’t aware of the fact that there were other humans with different moral values and lifestyles. For example, when we were learning about imperialism, we learned how European countries would take over African countries, assuming that ALL of the Africans were “wild”. Even educated Africans were thought to be on the same level of education as the uneducated. Europeans thought they were too ‘“different” so they did not treat Africans the same as they would to their own race. There is no difference in tolerance between world nations, it’s just that they have their own way of showing their tolerance. I think government systems shows how much a country can tolerate. Totalitarian governments have no tolerance of anything at all since they control every aspect of an individual’s life, whereas in democratic governments, there is a much higher level of tolerance since you are able to vote and speak as you please.

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