Monday, January 02, 2017

The New Era in January of 2017

In this information age, information about popular culture has gone rapidly. Books, documentaries, and other forms of media have documented the corruption, the hypocrisy, the human exploitation, and the other evils found in the mainstream popular culture. These celebrities are human beings. Therefore, they aren’t perfect and they shouldn’t be placed in an infallible pedestal. In that sense, we should not be shocked if some celebrities spew outlandish and ridiculous statements. In the final analysis, we have the right to find that happiness in our lives. Life is very short, so joy and happiness are legitimate, indispensable goals to seek. Happiness has nothing to do with disrespecting others or maligning others in an evil fashion. Treating your neighbor as yourself is a true concept and ideology that we must all believe in and follow. That precisely means that when we encounter another human being, we should act courteous and righteous. It is also entails the fact that we should stand up for our human rights too. Also, it is very true that many celebrities, politicians, judges, journalists, spy chiefs, generals, etc. have been involved in intrigue and corruption for decades and centuries in our modern age. That is why the CIA has been exposed doing Operation Mockingbird, which is about the CIA infiltration of much of the media. There has been the Savings and Loans banking Scandal which is about Charles H. Keating and others being convicted of financial corruption. 2017 is a new year, a new day, and a new era. We take this time to celebrate, to continue our bonds with our families plus friends, and to realize how precious life is. So, we not only keep the faith, but we advance the beauty of positivity, camaraderie, human tolerance, and joy. To all of the great friends: you certainly inspire me. I will be a better man in 2017 than in 2016. Also, people can redeem themselves. I believe in redemption. I believe in black liberation and human rights. Things happen for a reason and I'm glad to have the opportunity to communicate my thoughts on a myriad of issues and to inspire others in this journey. I have faith for the future. The reason is that our ancestors suffered a whole lot worse than us and they continued to persist. So, we still rise. 2017 will be a year of many anniversaries and new realities. We will always stick by our principles and express that wondrous love for our communities. In life, we embrace the premise of finding happiness. Finding joy and happiness is one of the greatest parts of life. Happiness has nothing to do with selfishness or an inflated ego. Happiness deals with contentment with one’s self, helping others, and love. Happiness is one guiding principle which has improved so many lives and has been innovative in advancing hope and freedom in the Universe. History has taught us to never quit and to follow our aspirations legitimately. We shall. We will continue to rise.

There has been a huge influence of popular culture in the political world. Donald Trump is the new President. The majority of voters voted against Trump, but he won most of the Electoral College. We live in a new reality. Trump will have control of the CIA, the FBI, drones, and nuclear weapons. Trump has promised to restrict immigrant rights, advance the interests of corporate interests, he wants to ban certain Muslims from coming to America (even if they are tourists), and wants to repeal the ACA with a free market health care system (not universal health care). The voters of Trump must realize that they support Trump and his views too. The evil of ethno nationalist jingoistic extremism which is found in Europe is found in America. Trump boasts about disrespecting women, but many hypocrites (who claim to be religious) voted for him. The GOP is the party of the alt right. There have been massive hate crimes in America after Trump was selected by the Electoral College. What is disappointing is how people like Kanye West, Jim Brown, Omarosa Manigault, and others allying with a male like Trump in claiming that he will help people. Trump’s proposed cabinet represents the same oligarchical interests that people have opposed. Many of these proposed cabinet members like Sessions are outright far right extremists. Jan Chamberlin, who was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, quit recently, because she had to follow her conscience to disagree with the extremism of Donald Trump during his inauguration. The powers that be allowed Trump to be President in order to promote a more authoritarian existence in society. In fact, the Trump team is struggling to get musical acts to perform during the Trump inauguration. The musicians who will perform are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Jackie Evancho, the Missouri State University Choir, and the Rockettes. One shining light is that many progressive people (who are in popular culture and who are not in popular culture) are speaking their minds to oppose the agenda of Donald Trump. They are going out to protest, to work in their communities, and to fight for what is right.

Stanley Kubrick is a legendary director. He is also a screen writer, a producer, a cinematographer, an editor, and a photographer. He is one of the greatest and influential directors in cinematic history. He was born in July 26, 1928 in Manhattan, New York City. His father was Jacob Leonard Kubrick and Sadie Gertrude Kubrick. Both of his parents were Jewish. His ancestors included Polish, Austrian, and Romanian people too. He created many films that were adapted from novels, which talked about issues of life, and discussed about the mysteries of the Universe. He saw the Bronx as a youth. He loved literature from an early age. He read the Greek and Roman myths and the fables of the Grimm brothers. He traveled into Europe to research and to grow his filming skills. He learned chess. Kubrick himself was a member of the United States Chess Federation. He credited chess in developing his patience and discipline in making decisions. He was a photographer for Look magazine during the late 1940’s and the early 1950’s. He made short films later. His first major Hollywood film was The Killing for United Artists in 1956.  The rest is history. His 1957 film was Paths of Glory in 1957 that starred Kirk Douglas. He made the historical epic Spartacus in 1960. Kubrick followed his own independent path. He went into the UK for years in making his films. His home at Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire, which he shared with his wife Christiane, became his workplace, where he did his writing, research, editing, and management of production details. This allowed him to have almost complete artistic control over his films, but with the rare advantage of having financial support from major Hollywood studios. His first British productions were two films with Peter Sellers, Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964). His films utilize distinctive music, detail, and a certain style with meaning. In other words, every scene in his films had a specific reason on why they exist as he was a perfectionist. He controlled heavily his filmmaking process. He controlled his film’s writing and editing too. He conducted massive research involving his products. He worked with actors and actresses loosely too. His films were ahead of its time. He innovated cinematography.  The scientific realism and innovative special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was without precedent in the history of cinema before that time. That film earned him his only personal Oscar, for Best Visual Effects. Steven Spielberg has referred to the film as his generation's "big bang", and it is often included in polls of the greatest films ever made. For the 18th-century period film Barry Lyndon (1975), Kubrick obtained lenses developed by Zeiss for NASA, to film scenes under natural candlelight. With The Shining (1980), he became one of the first directors to make use of a Steadicam for stabilized and fluid tracking shots. A Clockwork Orange (1971) was a controversial film from Kubrick. Most of his films were nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, or BAFTA Awards. His last film, Eyes Wide Shut, was completed shortly before his death in 1999. Eyes Wide Shut is a film especially filled with mystery, symbolism, secret, ritualized parties, and it outlines things about what happens in real life. Just before he passed, Kubrick wanted to work with Spielberg on creating a film that dealt with AI with the possibility of Steven Spielberg directing it and Kubrick producing it. Later, Spielberg directed the 2001 movie, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.” The film was produced by Kubrick’s longtime producer and brother in law Jan Harlan. Sets, costumes, and art direction were based on the works of conceptual artist Chris Baker, who had also done much of his work under Kubrick's supervision. Spielberg knew the significance of this project as he gave credit to Kubrick for his influence in the film. Kubrick also wanted to do a film about Napoleon, but MGM cancelled that film project. He read hundreds of book on his life and researched Napoleon's personal memoirs and commentaries. He respected his Jewish heritage and wanted to show the world that his heritage was very important in his life. Stanley Kubrick was a genius in filmmaking and research. We certainly acknowledge his talent and are further inspired to advance creativity and human thinking involving our own lives.

Sociology is one of the greatest studies involved in our lives. Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. It relates to studying social problems. It deals with human social relationships and institutions. It’s a diverse field. Sociology is a beautiful subject. It can relate to studying religion, family, the state, divisions in race and class, culture, crime, etc. It studies how human beings exist in a complex world. Sociologists gather evidence in research and other methods to form theories and plans on how things operate. Many sociologists analyze census data, historical documents, surveys, and have laboratory experiments too. One of the greatest sociologists in history was WEB DuBois who studied African American life in America during the 19th and 20th centuries. Sociology always requires people to think critically and ask questions since questions motivate research and the discovery of answers. Sociology doesn’t just deal with concrete analysis or research. In the final analysis, sociology advocates the improvement of society and the building of better relationships among human beings.  Careers with sociology backgrounds are huge. Research institutes, the criminal justice system, public health plus welfare organizations, advertising firms, survey groups, medical centers, etc. hire people with great understanding of sociology constantly. Sociology studies the social order and how people interact with each other. Confucius and Plato deal with research in social roles of society thousands of years ago. Early sociology has been found in medieval Islamic people according to some researchers. Ibn Khaldun is said to be the father of the modern field of sociology. His Muqaddimah was perhaps the first work to advance social-scientific reasoning on social cohesion and social conflict. The word sociology (or "sociologie") is derived from both Latin and Greek origins. The Latin word: socius, "companion"; the suffix -logy, "the study of" from Greek -λογία from λόγος, lógos, "word", "knowledge". It was first coined in 1780 by the French essayist Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836) in an unpublished manuscript. Sociology was later defined independently by the French philosopher of science, Auguste Comte (1798–1857), in 1838. Auguste Comte and Karl Marx researched in sociological terms too. In sociology, positivism dealt with people wanting to research human interactions by using the scientific method or by natural scientific means. Anti-positivism dealt with researching sociology in using critical analysis and rejecting empiricism. There are many schools of sociology today.

Human culture is diverse. They are found worldwide among people of many colors and nationalities. It deals with the intersection of knowledge, beliefs, art, law, custom, morals, and other parts of any human society. A culture is a way of life. Anthropology does deal with studying cultures too. For years, many people have research the many celebrations, rituals, and patterns of human culture. In human societies universally, there is language, social practices, ritual, dance, music, art, spirituality, technologies (like cooking, shelter, and clothing), etc. Today, we have a complex array of technology being involved in human culture. There is multiculturalism in the world. Multiculturalism is the concept that values a society of peaceful co-existence and mutual respect among different cultures inhabiting the same planet. With wars and other conflicts going on now, we have a very long way to go in establishing real, total peaceful coexistence among all cultures. Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism holds that cultures cannot easily be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is necessarily situated within the value system of a given culture. The civil rights movement, the U.S. feminist movement, the environmental movement, the counterculture, and other movements dealt not only with political including social issues. They dealt with culture too. Cultural diffusion is when culture is spread in many places or globally. One example is how English is spread globally and how other cultures adopt ideas and practices form other cultures. Scholars like Matthew Arnold and Edward Tylor contributed their thoughts on their evaluations of culture.

By Timothy

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