Sunday, October 20, 2013

Preview: The Grapes Of Wrath

In Literature: The Grapes Of Wrath

"Of all the novels of that decade, The Grapes Of Wrath, etched most sharply the remembered contours of the depression, re-created most vividly the atmosphere of the days of crisis, of unemployment and starvation, of the dust bowl and the triple-A program, of relief and reform, and spoke most authentically the voice of the New Deal. "Burn the coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm. Dump potatoes in the river and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drop down into the earth. ... The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in the ditch and covered with quick-lime, ... and in the eyes of the people there is a failure and in the eyes of the hungry there is growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage." (Grapes Of Wrath)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In Search Of Sensationalism

"In American Journalism a new style emphasizing the unique and the sensational had been set by the Hungarian immigrant Joseph Pulitzer, who took over the 'New York World' in 1883. "There is room in this great and growing city," Pulitzer announced to his readers, "For a journal that is not only cheap but bright, not only bright but large, not only large but democratic - dedicated to the cause of the people rather than to that of the purse potentates - devoted more to the news of the New than the Old World - that will expose all fraud and sham, fight all public evils and abuses - that will battle for the people with earnest sincerity." 'Pulitzer's World,' commonly considered the nation's first modern mass-circulation daily, sold for two-cents a copy and in fifteen years increased its circulation from 15,000 to 1.5 million. Sensationalism meant a new prominence and vividness for crime, disaster, sex, scandal, and monstrosities." - D.J. Boorstin

An Inscription At The Cathedral Of Lubeck

Ye call me Maker, and obey Me not, Ye call Me Light, and see Me not, Ye call me Way, and take Me not, Ye call me Life, and desire Me not, Ye call Me Wise, and follow Me not, Ye call Me Fair, and love Me not, Ye call me Rich, and ask Me not, Ye call Me Eternal, and seek Me not, Ye call Me Gracious, and trust Me not, Ye call Me Noble, and serve Me not, Ye call Me Mighty, and honor Me not, If I condemn you, blame Me not.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Prejudice: A Global Problem

"Jonathan, A Korean-American, was a victim of racial prejudice as a child. As he grew up, he searched for a place where people would not prejudge him based on his facial features or racial background. He became a medical doctor in a town in northern Alaska, where his physical appearance was similar to that of many of his patients. He hoped that perhaps there, amid the cold winds of the Arctic Circle, he had finally escaped the even colder winds of prejudice. Any such hope was shattered when he provided medical assistance to a 25-year-old woman. As the patient came out of a coma, she looked at Jonathan's face and uttered a taunt with an expletive, revealing her deep-seated disdain for Koreans. For Jonathan, the incident was a painful reminder that all his efforts to move and to blend in could not provide him with an escape from prejudice. Jonathan's experience highlights a grim reality. Prejudice is found in every corner of the earth. It appears that wherever there are people, there is prejudice. The Global Face Of Prejudice ... Canada: "Despite embracing the country's diversity and instituting numerous legal and policy provisions to protect the rights of diverse communities, racism has continued to be a serious human rights challenge." - Amnesty International Briefing On Canada, 2012 .... Europe: "Fourty-Eight percent of Europeans believe that too little is done to tackle discrimination in their country." - Intolerance, Prejudice and Discrimination: A European Report, 2011 .... Africa: "Violence and discrimination against women remained widespread in many countries." - Amnesty International Report, 2012 .... Nepal: "Dalits ('untouchables') suffer from endemic discrimination, especially in the economic, social, and cultural spheres." - Human Rights Watch World Report, 2012 ... Eastern Europe: "Scapegoated abroad and the victims of prejudice at home, eastern Europe's Roma are the problem no politician wants to solve." - The Economist, 9-4-10 .... What Is Prejudice? ... People struggle to define prejudice. Some say it is a 'negative attitude or feeling toward an individual based solely on that individual's membership in a certain group.' Others say that this attitude is based on 'insufficient information,' which leads to the 'prejudgment of members of a group.' Whatever the case prejudices can be formed against another person because of his race, weight, gender, language, religion, or virtually any perceived difference. Despite the prevalence of prejudice, however, most people are quick to condemn it. This is truly a paradox. How could something so disliked be at the same time so widespread." - J.W.