Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where Do I Begin?

Should I Go This Way or Should I Go That Way?

Just to put it out there all links below come from Jstor.

1. Foreign Affairs
Vol. 76, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1997), pp. 100-114
2. Social Forces
Vol. 81, No. 1 (Sep., 2002), pp. 231-254
3. International Migration Review
Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring, 1970), pp. 22-43
4. Polity
Vol. 34, No. 1 (Autumn, 2001), pp. 89-105
       So Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the part I hate the most. The figuring out what to focus on. Puerto Rico is a country dear to me, its part of my culture, my homeland. As far back as I can Go links back to Puerto Rico. How can I pick just one? So yes, as you have guessed, I have yet to find a focal point I want to focus on, BUT I do know my general areas of search. As I roam through search engines, I find my self interest in Puerto Rico's "statehood" status. BUT until Im sure, its back to the drawing board!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Morals, Values, Ethics,

How Do We Know Which To Trust

        One of the main things that captured my attention was the series of events that take place one after another. The contrast between American Pride and Vietnamese  Destruction.  A question I cant help ask myself is, Can Americans feel proud of where they come from and their military if such destruction is happening in a country we are responsible for "helping"? Watching this video honestly baffled me. At one point a solider was sitting and speaking to a group of mothers about how they are responsible for teaching their CHILDREN not to care about Vietnamese people. Another man, was quoted saying  "the action he is taking is the action one would expect from the president." REALLY? The president is expected to start a War while devastates a country with out reason to constitute his actions? That interesting. The images were just graphic all around, we were able to see bombs being dropped and the effects it had on the Vietnamese  people. At one point in the filmed it showed a women trying to throw herself into the grave of a deceased Vietnamese solider.  Surrounding her were children holding pictures of whom I presume to be their fathers. It was sad as a whole.
        The way the images were placed created a flow. The football scenes for instance served a purpose  to show that after a while the war was continued for one purpose. To prove that the United States was number one. "This is no longer about the football game, this is about showing those suckers they can not win." That is exactly how the United States viewed the war after a while. It was no longer about aiding the Vietnamese people, it was about showing them they could not win. They was a scene at the brothel, which honestly caught me off guard. I didn’t really understand it's place meant at first, but as they video went on I made the connection. The government officials and American soldiers spoke of how "uncivil" and  disgusting  the Vietnamese people were but when it came to their entertain and pleasure these people were used to their advantage. These uncivil and disgusting women were suitable to serve American soldiers.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Yo Soy Boricua, Pa Que Tu Lo Sepa"

            "Yo Soy Boricua, Pa Que Tu Lo Sepa" - I Am Boricuena, Just So You Know. This is an anthem I grew up cheering to. Every year, I go out to the Puerto Rican Day parade and dance to the music playing, wave a flag that symbolizes such a beautiful country as floats parade on by. Then it’s off to grandma’s house to enjoy one of her home cooked meals. But why do I do this? Why am I so proud of being Puerto Rican? How did this country come to be? How was it formed and why is it still fighting for its independence? For these and many more reasons I have chosen this "country" as the one I have want to research.
            I don’t exactly understand how these two "countries" have come in contact with each other. I put quotations around the word country because Puerto Rico is considered a common wealth of the United States. What does that mean exactly? “Hey umm yea you can be your country but not exactly ok? You still belong to the United States. Smile!” Politics it cracks me up sometimes. I mean if I had to take an educational guess, I would have to base it on my knowledge of American history. I would said these two countries have come in contact because of immigration, migration, war, cultural exchange, economic exchange and just because there close to each other.
            Well that’s what I picked up form reading Wikipedia. Many have complaints about this particular encyclopedia but honestly? It’s not so bad. It sort of like a “data dump” as Professor T called it. It gives you a little bit of everything. Granted some say there sources are not always reliable but sometimes sources which are reliable can be of no good use to a person. (Again a little fun fact I picked up from Professor T.) To research something on Wikipedia you have to have patients. There are lots of links, a lot of external resources, and no transitional sentences. Wikipedia is not going to give you an argument, it’s simple a list of facts.
            I tell you one thing though I found a pretty interesting source. I clicked on one of the number’s by the words (yes people they have a purpose, I was amazed to. Lol) and was sent to a document called “Hearing before the Committee on Resources”, presented in the House of Representatives. It was 204 so I obviously didn’t sit and read the whole thing but it basically contained the arguments of different people concerning the independence of Puerto Rico. It seems like a pretty good read. You should check it out. The links down there in red, cool huh?  vv

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Bother? America Knows Best.

What Is the Question Im I am Answering?
What Do Lucy’s observations tell us about the relationship between the United States and The West Indian country she comes from? What power relationship are involved and how do they play out?

         Lucy’s initial reaction to the United states States obviously wasn’t a good one. She slept in a room designed to fit a maid, a room unlike the one she had back home. The room she was given was a maid's room. The way she describes the room it seems as if she's an item or "cargo" that was shipped. She then goes on to express how she feels by saying "But I was not cargo. I was only an unhappy young women living in a maid's room, and I was not even the maid. I was the young girl who watches over the children and goes to school at night." Not only is this an early sign of the power system set up in the household, but it begins to show how her ideology of this new lifestyle is being shattered. She begins to develop a system, where she wakes up in the morning, takes the girls to school, picks them up, feeds them food, reads to them then puts them to sleep before she is off to her classes. She sits at the dinner table with the family that so kindly invited her into their home and has dinner. From the outside looking in it seems simple enough I'm sure, but if ou analize teh you analyze the situation, actually observe the exchange its it is a clear sign of power. She tries to share a dream with them, a dream which to her symbolizes how close this foreign family as has become to her. "When I finished, they both fell silent. Then they looked at me and Mariah cleared her throat, but it was obvious her throat did not need clearing at all. . ." Lucy said ". . .Lewis made a noise and said Poor, poor Visitor..." (Kincaid 15) Instead of understanding what she was trying to tell her them, they made fun of her, dismissed her statement. This has become the American way. When American's do not understand or are faced with the unknown, its people act as if they are superior. They set up systems of power, to demonstrate their importance and dismissing the opinions and values of all other cultures. Many ask why is this? Simple. Because of Fear. Americans fear the unknown, the possible lose loss of power that comes with succumbing to another way other then the "American way".

"America in the World"

                     What Is the Question Im I am Answering?
               How does this text depict “America In The World”?
    In the story Lucy Lucy By Jamaica Kincaid, America itself is depicted as worn out. I get the There's a sense that her hopes of this new wonderful country is shot down by the actual site. Here you have this girl, Lucy, who comes from Jamaica, to work as a nanny and better her education. In her homeland, she dreamed fantasized of an escape, to a get away to do better things with her life. The story explains how she spends many nights, dreaming and fantasizing about the buildings, parks, and all the monuments that represent New York City. Yet when she gets here there and see’s this those so called “symbol’s” of freedom, or new life, they arent are not quite what she expects. To her “they look ordinary, dirty, worn down by so many people entering and leaving. . .” (Kincaid 4). They dont do not seem so “shiny” nor appealing any more; they just seem like she “. . . could not be the only  person in the world for whom they were a fixture of fantasy” (Kincaid 4) Now this is an interesting line, because it symbolizing the many people from different countries that touch American soil. Do they feel the same way? Are their opinions like Lucy's? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Isnt it funny?

3) Or, choose something else specific from the writings that you'd like to respond to. Again, be specific: make direct reference to the text.

      In Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid , I noticed a major cultural difference along with a false sense of "family" between Lucy and her "host family". I call them a host family for several reasons. They welcome her into their home with a condescending sort of attitude. Instead of treating her as a young adult, she is treated the way an adult would treat a child who does not know any better. Many do not notice but there is a fine line between insulting someones intelligence and trying to correct a mistake that is made. I sense disconnect in the relationship. The family is already set with there "six little perfect blond heads" as she writes. Sure she mentioned "they welcomed me into the family and told me to make myself at home. And surely they must mean it because no one world say such a thing if they didn't." Here is were I noticed the cultural differences, or her sense of ignorance. Where she comes from the word family is not weight by blood lines but by the closeness of a relationship. The family whom she is residing with mentioned her :making herself at home" as a sense of hospitality, one of which most Americans say to guest and visitors.

      She mentioned she had a dream, she was running around naked and the husband was chasing her trying to catch her while the wife stood at the doorway of the room and shouted 'catch her'. She shared this dream at the dinner table as a representation of how close she felt to them. "I shared this dream with them so they could see how close to my heart they have come, only those dear to me appear in my dreams" she said "But i don't think they understood what i was trying to tell them" I agree with her, judging by the looks they gave her and the way they laughed at her telling of the dream, they didn't not get the sentimental value of her words, instead they laughed and most likely found it pointless to hear. She overlooked this event because of her lack of understanding. While she is trying to welcome them in as a part of her family she doesn't see the false sense of welcome they are distributing. They view her as a worker in the house, and most likely nothing more. Even the maid expressed not liking her because of the way she acts and dresses. Its ironic how she chose to leave her country and her family for a false sense of welcome.