Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lost and Found Interview

Chris: "What sort of setting does your story take place in?"

Sara: "My story takes place in a space station comparable to the death star although much less intimidating. At a certain point in the story, the setting is then switched to Malca. The story takes place several hundred years in the future from our time."

Chris: "Why is there tension between the two planets?"

Sara: "the Tension stems from the cultural differences. Malca is very much like the Middle East where women have very little rights of their own and are treated like second class citizens. Trayit is the exact opposite where the women are in power and the men are second class citizens."

Chris: "What is the purpose of the Alliance?"

Sara: "The Alliance has 20 members. They all banded together in an attempt to make galactic trade and relations easier. The Alliance is largely modeled after the UN."

Chris: "Do the politial stipulations reflect our world?"

Sara: "In a way Malca does because it's supposed to reflect how the Muslim world is today. Not so much Trayit because there is no country like that in existence."

Chris: "Does the princess become friends with Scarlet?"

Sara: "Yes, they were friends even before the kidnapping incident and maintain their friendship when they're trapped together."

Chris: "What movies or books inspired your story?"

Sara: "Since I'm a pretty big science fiction nerd, Star Wars and Star Trek are the most obvious examples. The Ender's Game was also another mentor text of mine."

Chris: "Why is John Do on trial?"

Sara: "John Do is responsible for kidnapping Scarlet and Sonya."

Chris: "This may seem like a dumb question, but since this story is taking place hundreds of years in outer space, will there be super advanced technology?"

Sara: "Indeed, hyper speed space travel will play a big factor. There will also be gigantic space stations that even rival the size of the death star along with smart matter(not revealing that yet)."

Chris: "Why is it so hard to break away from the Alliance?"

Sara: "It's not hard to leave, but it is hard to kick someone out. Requires the full support against the planet being kicked out. And I mean ALL the other planets must vote against the planet under dispute. Not the majority, but all."

Chris: "Do Scarlet and Sonya start off as friends or do they develop their friendship?"

Sara: "Scarlet and Sonya were already freinds before the kidnapping."

Chris: "What planets besides Earth do humans populate?"

Sara: "Most planets in our solar society and some planets that go past our solar system."

Chris: "What are some of the key differences between Malca and Trayit?"

Sara: "Trayit was controlled by the men previously before the women rebelled and took over. Ever since then, tensions have been high and it's a somewhat similar atmosphere to the Palestinian and Israel feud."

Chris: "Is the conflict between Malca and Trayit open warfare or more like the Cold War?"

Sara: "Very much like the Cold War. Both planets are always trying to meddle in each other's affairs. They would destroy each other completely if it came to full warfare."

Chris: "Will Malca and Trayit recieve help or build alliances with other countries?"

Sara: "No, because nobody else really likes them because nobody wants to put up with them and is one of the reasons why their not in the alliance. Trayit is trying to make it seem like there is equality by filtering information.

Chris: "Does this story take place in the far off future?"

Sara: "Yes, hundreds of years past our own time?"

Chris: "Is there a specific date?"

Sara: "No, I haven't pinpointed the story to a specific date."

Chris: "Are there any aliens in your story?"

Sara: "Aliens do exist and are mentioned, but all the characters in the story are human."

Chris: "How is the government set up for Trayit?"

Sara: "Trayit is ruled by a queen along with a council of nobles. In that regard, it's set up much like a traditional monarchy."

Chris: "How is the government set up for Malca?"

Sara: "Malca is ruled by a king, but it also has a council of nobles along with commoners. There is a little more political freedom compared to Trayit."

Chris: "Why were the two girls at the treaty?"

Sara: "Princess was brought along to see how politics work in the galaxy with her mother. Scarlet's parents were soldiers in the Alliance which means she now goes to school on the Alliance space ships scattered around the galaxy until she is eighteen years old."

To check out the rough draft of "Lost and Found", click here

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Librarium(Rough Draft)

               "Hey, sleepy head!", called Charles from the bottom of the bunk beds. "It's orientation for the academy today. A golden boy like you should be on his toes for an event like this.", mumbled Charles as he was barely rolling out of bed himself. With that said, mentally forced himself out of bed and gradually walked towards the bathroom to prepare for the day. "Isn't the Emperor himself coming to give us a speech Charles?", yelled Roland as the showers sprayed water in a fury. "That's what the rumors say, but they are rumors after all. Honestly, with all the Librarium academies scattered across the globe why would the Emperor want to visit this one?", Curiously asked Charles with a puzzled tone in his voice. "Might be another speech on the importance of safeguarding magic and all that other rabble, but you know as well as I do who follows the Emperor wherever he goes.", Roland answered back. "The Wings of Justice...", gulped Charles. "You know, you should probably stop asking me questions right about now and get dressed yourself. It's our first year here at the academy and I'd hate to leave a bad impression on the professors. I will be the greatest wizard the Librarium has ever seen. Have I said this before Charles?", asked Roland condescendingly. "Yes Roland, you only remind me every single day, but we've wasted enough time already. If we keep this chatter up we'll surely be late!", yelled Charles, and with that in mind the two boys quickly washed, got dressed, ate their meals and proceeded to the inner sanctum of the academy.

               With the flood of other students pouring into the inner sanctum, the masses of bodies squirmed and squeezed their way to find a seat. As Roland and Charles searched a seat themselves, a girl with light brown hair put into a neat ponytail and a happy-go-lucky demeanor skipped her way over to greet them. "Morning gentleman, I'm pleasantly surprised to see you two actually made it on time.", cracked Charlotte with a teasing demeanor. "Honestly, does sleeping in on one of the most important days of our lives really surprised you?", questioned Roland. "Now that you think about it, no, it hardly does", smirked Charlotte with a small laugh. This band of three boasted and laughed as much as they could until members of the Wings of Justice made their way to their seats on top of the stage. Their golden masks glimmered in the light. Majestic and intimidating. The masses of students quickly came to a dreaded silence. The Emperor made his way down behind them, regal robes and scars ran down his face. He may have been an aristocrat all his life, but he had seen his share of warfare in the Oxford Conflict.

               "Young wizards and witches, let me begin by saying how much joy it brings to an old man's heart to see such fresh and eager minds enter the halls of one of the Librarium's academies. This is a special day for you all that you'll all remember fondly when you all see your children entering these same halls. Magic is a gift to mankind, but it is also a burden. Only the brightest of humanity can be trusted with this precious gift. If we were to simply let every single human on the face of the earth gain access to magic, the circumstances could be astronomical. Therefore, it is imperative that you all try to understand this at an early age: the entire human population is not ready to handle the responsibility that comes with magic.", with this said, all the students in the sanctum applauded. The Wings of Justice bowed and escorted the Emperor back behind the scenes of the Librarium.

               With the excitement of magic flowing in the minds of all the young wizards and witches, the year passed by within the blink of an eye. Roland was making leaps and strides to become top of his class. His aptitude for magic was marked above average and was even being considered to be inducted into the Wings of Justice. Charles didn't share the same kind of ambition Roland did and decided to study in order to become a professor since helping others was something he could happily see himself doing for the rest of his life. Charlotte would follow the same path as Charles and continue her education in order to become a professor herself. Everyone's lives seemed like they were going to be perfect fits for them, but things didn't go exactly as everyone had hoped.

               "We're going to pay a visit to some of the civilians in London for your first mission.", growled one of Roland's senior officers. Roland looked around the surroundings and was quite disgusted with what he saw. Buildings once glamorous and proud were reduced to rubble and the locals wore mostly rags and tattered old clothing long in need of replacements. Once they caught sight of Roland's uniform and golden mask, terror filled their eyes and ran furiously in the other direction. Just ahead were giant protests with makeshift signs such as "Down With The Emperor" and "Why Can't We Have Magic". While Roland was considered to be a diligently loyal soldier of the Librarium, he wished sometimes that magic could be shared with humanity, seeing as how much of the population lived like refugees and the plague was making a deadly comeback. "Let me show you how to deal with upstarts. Remember this." The senior officer leaped towards the crowd and immediately started snapping his fingers which produced multiple explosions near the protesters. The point of this was to try and frighten them, but a large portion refused to back down. The protesters charged the officer with rusty repair tools which the officer could only snicker at. "Fools", he muttered to himself before encasing the protesters in ice with elemental magic. One by one, the senior officer walked up to the frozen statues that used to be people and kicked them over. A horrified expression was painted on Roland's face as he watched what used to be people break into a hundred pieces as they smashed into the ground. "They never said anything about this at the academy..."

To Be Continued...


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Comments on Free Blog Posts

Thursday, November 10, 2011

China: The America of Asia

        The 20th century was no doubt dominated by the United States of America. With so many engineering, military, and cultural innovations throughout America's short history, many people today hold the U.S. as one of the greatest, if not the greatest nation of the world. If history is to repeat itself, America like so many other great civilizations will eventually fall and the torch will be passed onto a new developing super power. China's influence throughout the world is spreading with an astounding rate and looks to even surpass our nation.
        America has seen better days. With the economy in decline, people out of jobs, soldiers still in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the politicians in Washington being as unpopular as ever, the U.S. isn't performing at full capacity as it always has. Bureaucracy halts progress to a standstill, only leaving workers and officials with headaches. Despite the many criticisms of the Chinese government's methods, when there is a project underway, It gets done. Fast. No red tape, no agreements, and no external factors to interfere with the workers and projects. For example, the high speed rail trains connecting China's coastal cities have only been built within the past four years. Despite China's authoritarian government being restrictive and harsh, you have to give credit to the rate of progress thats been taking place their over the past decade.
        The people of China have are as motivated as ever and look to take full advantage of the new opportunities presented to them by the Chinese Communist Party. It's quite ironic, the dream of becoming wealthy and westernization is spreading like wildfire in a country where the government still keeps a tight hold on the political arena. That is what the situation in China has ultimately come down to: the opportunity of wealth in exchange for the public to stay out of politics. For the majority of China's 1.3 billion population, they are content with this deal. Millions of Chinese far away from the coast have traveled to the coastal cities with the dream of earning their own wealth. China is truly becoming Asia's America.
        A growing concern for all nations in the world is the rising price and depleting source of oil and other limited resources. While we struggle to keep good relations in the Middle East, China has built close ties with countries with large quantities of oil that we refuse to do business with such as Iran and Sudan. The Chinese government simply doesn't care about their business partner's political position or global opinion. While our country frowns upon negotiating with oppressive regimes, we are in no position to pressure China to severe ties with these nations. Our debt to the Chinese reaches into the trillions with little to no thought of how to possibly pay that much money back.
        China is rapidly establishing itself as a key player in the world. Its size and economy requires it to consume massive amounts of raw materials and resources. Is America to become like Rome: an empire in decline? For the time being, It's China's world. We're just living in it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Comments For Mentor Text #2

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Armored Bears Make Everything Better

        Mystery, conspiracy, oppressive regimes, and armored bears. What's not to like about The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman? During this year, one of our projects is to write our own story while pulling inspiration from various pieces of literature that are similar and add ideas to our own work. In my previous blog, I explained how Wizard's Hall helped me gather more ideas and inspiration for Librarium while making comparisons in the process. While reading The Golden Compass, I was able to draw more ideas and noticed shocking comparisons to my story Librarium. Not only has The Golden Compass been a pleasure to read, but has benefited my ideas and plot development.
        The main protagonist of the The Golden Compass is a young girl by the name of Lyra. Overall, her personality and character aren't drastically similar to Roland of my story, but their early childhoods and attitude towards family are somewhat on par with each other. Lyra is raised by the scholars of Jordan College in Oxford, England and grows up not knowing the truth about her parents who are presumed to be dead in an air ship accident. Lyra is quite care free and content with having things remain the way they are. Before the shocking turn of events that are thrown upon Lyra, she's very much content with spending the rest of her days frolicking around Jordan College with her ragamuffin friends. "That was Lyra's world and her delight. She was a coarse and greedy little savage, for the most part. But she always had a dim sense that it wasn't her whole world; that part of her also belonged in the grandeur and ritual of Jordan College."(Page 36, The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman). While Lyra adores the environment she has grown up in, the same could not be said for Roland of Librarium. Since members of the Librarium aren't able to converse freely, restricted to the walls of the academy, and heavily encouraged to follow the Librarium's propoganda, Roland feels like a bird in a gilded cage at best. While all of the Librarium's academies offer some of the best educations in the world, Roland feels that sharing magic with the world's regular citizens is a much better use of spreading knowledge rather than keeping it all to one's self.
         One of the things I'm really trying to emulate from my mentor text is emulating a creature, weapon, or force that creates as much fear as armored bears do in The Golden Compass. Armored bears are intelligent polar bears that act as mercenaries and body guards and make themselves even more fearsome by donning themselves in plated armor. "They been raiding the Skraelings for centuries. They're vicious killers, absolutely pitiless. But they keep their word."(The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman, Page 109). My goal is build up the hype of the Wings of Justice in Librarium the way armored bears are hyped up in The Golden Compass. The Wings of Justice will serve as the strongest military power the Librarium has and are constantly on witch hunts to oust those who would oppose the Librarium and seem like a legitimate threat.
        There are also other elements that I haven't included in my story that I hadn't have even considered. In the Golden Compass, the Gobblers are a group of people that steal young children on the Church's behalf for reasons unknown to the populace and isn't revealed until near the end of the novel. Not to spoil the novel, but what they do with these stolen children is not pleasant in the slightest. "As for where they took these lost children, no two stories agreed. Some said it was to Hell, under the ground, to Fairyland. Others said to a farm where the children were kept and fattened for the table. Others said the children were kept and sold as slaves to rich Tartars...And so on."(The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman, Page 45). I would really like to incorporate something as despicable as kidnapping in my story. I feel that it will really paint the Librarium as completely pitiless and be seen as a "ends justify the means" kind organization.
        With excellent and inspirational ideas from both Wizard's Hall and The Golden Compass, my story can only benefit from these masterful works of literature. I would recommend both books to anyone looking for an exciting story about overcoming seemingly impossible circumstances and the supernatural. Not to mention armored bears because who doesn't think that's cool?



Thursday, October 6, 2011


        Think Harry Potter was first well exceptional book about wizards? Ladies and gentleman, allow me to direct your attention to the original wizards tale, Wizard's Hall. Far superior and original, Wizard's Hall would set the stage for J.K. Rowling's best-selling series Harry Potter. One of our current projects for this year is creating our own stories with provided material such as novels or movies. The idea is that these similiar pieces of entertainment will provide us with inspiration and comparisons to make when composing our own work.
        The title of my story will be called The Library. Similiar to how Thornmallow in Wizard's Hall was a boy with obvious self-esteem issues, but ultimately succeeds in defeating the evil wizard Nettles due to the reocurring theme of always trying no matter how futile a situation or obstacle may seem. "And it turned out the inhabitants of Wizard's Hall were glad indeed that Thornmallow studied there. Not because he was the world's greatest wizard. But because he meant well. And he tried."(Prologue, Wizard's Hall, Jane Yolen). The main character I'm creating for my story also shares a similar guideline of trying in seemingly impossible odds when all others succumb to a lack of hope or courage.
        The setting of my story takes place in an academy dedicated to furthering a young wizard or witches education in the knowledge of magic. Just like the school of Wizard's Hall or Hogwarts, my story has an academy called the Librarium. In the Librarium, instead of educating students so that they can help others or perform good deeds with magic, the Librarium uses that talent to further their autocratic control over the world. I'll go into more detail about that once I publish my story. Going back to Wizard's Hall, the organization and structure of how the system works will be similar, but with more of a militaristic hierarchy. "For example, if you wanted to add meat to your soup, you could make it appear as if there were meat there. We learn to really change one part of a thing at a time in second year."(Page 33, Wizard's Hall, Jane Yolen). Like Wizard's Hall, the year system offers many privileges and benefits as well as more advanced spells to those stay long enough. This could also be compared to the Hogwarts year system and I may even consider adding houses.
        Lastly, both my story and Wizard's Hall build up towards a sinister wizard that felt excluded from everyone else when they attended their schools and found taking that anger out on those associated with it. The villain in my story is actually the head of the Librarium and confronts the protagonist about his loyalty towards its cause. Nettles, the antagonist of Wizard's Hall is also seeks complete dominance of those around him and even expands past the academy like the villain in my story. "If we cannot stop him, we who are the best and brightest in the land, he will make us all disappear, and he will then own Wizard's Hall. From there, why, he could go on to own all of the Dales."(Page 85, Wizard's Hall, Jane Yolen). A difference between my stories antagonist and Nettles is that the villain in my book has had complete control for many years while Nettles seeks that. While Nettles was a highly regarded wizard in his day, the villain of The Library has always far surpassed all his colleagues. Not to mention, the villain of my story creates a beast just as fearful if not more than Nettle's beast made of everyone's dark emotions.
        With the ideas and inspiration of Wizard's Hall, I feel I have original and imaginative material to seek examples from. Three weeks ago, I didn't even know Wizard's Hall existed, but it has quickly became a quirky and enjoyable book that I would recommend to anyone who even remotely likes Harry Potter. After all, it did come first.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Prologue To Librarium

        In one of my earlier blogs, I talked about how Wizard's Hall and Harry Potter influenced my own story and what I was able to pull from these stories to shape my own. For this weeks blog, we have been given the privilege of writing about whatever we wanted this week. I have taken the opportunity to give a better explanation of my story's setting along with descriptions of some of the protagonists relationships.
        First off, The Librarium is the dominant government in the world that controls all of the worlds nations. Every first born of every family is taken away to be taught the study of magic. The Librarium is the only institute with adequate teaching in magic and the study of magic outside the Librarium is illegal. When the children are taught magic, they are also that the outside world hates them for their gifts and talents. The librarium paints itself as the only government body in the world capable of maintaing order in the world and will go to extreme lengths to make sure it maintains its iron grasp on the world. It achieves this by brutally putting down all oppositions violent or non-violent. In the Librarium, there are multiple paths to take: military, becoming a professor, or joining the Wings of Justice. The latter being the Librarium's gestapo and silencing all threats both inside and outside the Librarium's sphere of influence. I really like what I've done with the Wings of Justice because they're supposed to represent the absolute best and loyal the Librarium has to offer. Heavily feared throughout the world, they're referred to as "one man armies" because of their astounding knowledge and use of magic.
        My main character was the first born of his family, but wasn't taken as an infant by the Librarium. When he was an infant, his family fled from the city to the rural areas of the country to try and avoid be imprisoned by the Librarium. The main characters name is Roland and his family was imprisoned by the time he was 5 years old. Rather than imprison him as well, the Librarium wiped his memory clean and planted artificial memories into his mind. It didn't quite work to full affect though, Roland suffers from flashback regarding his real family which confuses him because the memories planted in him reveal he was taken as an infant just like everyone else. Thus, he heavily dwells on these flashbacks and what they could possibly hint at. Roland is regarded as a very talented wizard and strives to make the most of what the Librarium has to offer in education. The more he starts putting the puzzle pieces of his memory back together, the more he loses faith in the Librarium and even openly criticizes their policy of ruling the world. This will eventually cause the Wings of Justice to turn their heads...
        Once Roland decides to rebel against of the Librarium, he starts forming a plan to share the knowledge of magic to the general  public. Knowledge is power, and roland knows it is one of the many ways the Librarium is able to keep such a firm grip on the world. Roland isn't alone on this journey, he has close friends that support and even influenced his views throughout their years in the academy. His best friend Charles for example is his best friend, but their friendship will be put to the test once Charles swears loyalty to the Librarium and even starts training with to become one of the Wings of Justice. Alice on the other hand, is comic relief and knows Roland will do the right thing. She plays more of a neutral role between Roland and Charles and generally daydreams which has earned her the nickname "Alice in Wonderland".
        I felt that I wasn't able to go into as much detail as I wanted to during last week's blog. The more backstory and information I come up with for my story, the more confident and comfortable I feel about it. My hope is that when people read my story, they won't scratch their heads and think to themselves "what's the story behind this?". Instead, I want the reader to be at least somewhat familiar with the backstory. That's why I plan on working a short prologue into the rough draft and final draft of my story.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Resolve of Antigone

     Antigone, in a series of plays that show some of the worst crimes of man such as incest, murder, suicide, betrayal, and other such sins commited by humanity and by many characters in the Theban Plays, Antigone proves to be a character that is utterly incorruptible. Throughout the plays King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone, Antigone shows absolute loyalty towards her father, forgiveness for others misdeeds, and isn't afraid to stand up for what's truly right in the face of authority.
        As Oedipus learns that he is truly the one that killed Laius, Oediupus falls into a deep sorrow and utterly convinces himself that he is not even fit to remain in Thebes. Cast away by his own wish, Antigone and to a lesser extent Ismene take the role of being their father's eyes and ears. "Antigone here, ever since she grew up to womanhood, has been an old man's nurse; poor child, the partner of his vagrant life, hungry and barefoot, she has roamed the wilds, through sun and storm, unflinching, with no thought for home-keeping, so that her father should not want."(Oedipus at Colonus, Line 338-350, Sophocles). Oedeipus says it himself, Antigone has given up much of her life in order to take care of her father who was cursed by the gods the day he was born. Antigone has basically give up her own personal life, friends, relationships, and other things must people take for granted. In a position where most people would grow understandably frustrated and annoyed, Antigone places loyalty not only to her father, but to the other members of her family above her own wants and needs.
        Antigone has a fierce loyalty to her father, but the same could not be said for her brothers Polynices and Eteocles who are in a fight between themselves and Creon for the Theban throne. Antigone once again as a compassionate and noble character. "No; then I will not ask you for your help. Nor would I thank you for it, if you gave it. Go your own way; I will bury my brother; and if I die for it, what happiness!"(Antigone, Line 64-66, Sophocles). Even when her brother Polynices didn't stand by Oedipus at all when he was exiled by Creon, Antigone still cares very much for her brother. The fact that Antigone is showing forgiveness and care for a family member that arguably abandoned her and her father during his exile should speak volumes on just how much Antigone values charity.
        Finally, in the final play Antigone and her sister Ismene discover that their brother Eteocles will recieve a proper burial, but Polynices will not because of his actions recruting an army out of borders. Creon's say, which Antigone considers the law of man, states that because of this traitorous action Polynices will not recieve a proper burial. "I did not think your edicts strong enough to overrule the unwritten unalterable laws of God and heaven, you being only a man. They are not of yesterday or to-day, but everlasting, though where they came from, none of us can tell."(Antigone, Line 453-457, Sophocles). Antigone believe that Creon's orders to deny Polynices a proper burial is an act of disobedience to the divine laws of the gods. Honor and respect for her family drive Antigone into believing that she has done the right and respectful thing against the opressive rule of Creon.
        With the climax of the Theban Plays, Antigone has proven herself to be a character that defies the social norms of any woman during that time period. If Antigone had a morality compass, family would unanimously be the first moral to be written. Antigone displays loyalty to her father, compassion and forgiveness to her brother, and a strong sense justice against tyrants like Creon. As in my title, Antigone is a light in the dark for a rather dark book.

Week 2 commenting

3rd Graders:

Week 2 Morality Compass

A morality compass is something special that anyone can appreciate and learn from. The points that I have chose for my morality compass are ideals that I feel are the most important to me in my life and how I've come to identify my sense of what's special in my life.
        Family is the most obvious and crucial point on my morality compass. My family is always there for me and I always try to do what's best for my family instead of doing what's best for my own self interests. We all become frustrated and sometimes even angry with our family at certain points in our lives, but family is the one thing you can always count on when your back is against the wall or you need support through difficult tragedies. Friends you have may come and go, but family is something you will always have in your life. My mother has always been supportive of whatever I have chosen to do with my life, whenever I needed to talk to someone my father always knows the exact right advice to give, and my brothers made me appreciate the personal items I had even if they were hand-me-downs.
       Speaking of family, the one thing my family has repeatedly teach me is to always have good karma on your side. The concept of karma is quite simple: performing good deeds is rewarded somewhere down the road. This could be anything like being treated well back or a stroke of good luck. Some people I've met in my life find this concept a somewhat silly and I can see why from their perspective, but it's something I feel really motivates me and other people around me to go about our daily lives with examplary attitudes, behavior, and respect for other people as well. Many people around me actually find this humorous, but the show "My Name is Earl" has the main character focused around the idea of karma because of some of the actions he performed early in his life that he believed resulted in bad karma caught up with him and made him lose his winning lottery ticket. Not a bad show at all.
        My next point is something that I take a lot of pride in despite recieving criticism from the people around me. Independence makes me feel like I don't have to depend on anyone to accomplish my goals and make decisions that I feel were my decisions alone regardless if they were poor or smart decisions. I learned early in my life that I didn't just want to do follow groups blindly or simply always go with the majority. Instead, I chose to make well thought out decisions and to pursure activities and interests that might not have always been seen as popular by other people, but still offered me a sense of self and independent choice and reason.
        Tied to independence is the final point of my morality compass. Creativity is something I praise whenever I witness it whether it's from and individual, movies, television, videogames, etc. It honestly pains me to see Holywood seem so uninspired with most of the movies that come out in a year. Rolling my eyes is simply something I can't resist when I see a group of kids praising a sports simulator which barely gives the customer any new content(here I am talking about video games in a blog, aren't I such a nerd?) or the next generic military shooter that also comes out every year with the same old formula. Making leaps in bounds to try and produce something that may seem a little odd to the general populace is something I always appreciate and continue to support to this day.
        These are the points of my morality compass and what I hold dearest to me. To anyone who reads this blog and does enjoy sports games and military shooter games, those games are absolutely fine and I'm not condemning anyone who likes those kinds of games, but I just feel after so many years of the same old thing it has become a quite predictable genre.

Week 1 Comments

And here you have it:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Spectacle of What We Live By

          Morality...there are a number of theories behind how we come to grasp what morality is, but in its most basic sense, it is knowing the line between right and wrong. Good and bad if you will.
          First of all, our first ideas on how we view morality begin once we are able to walk, talk, and understand other people's actions and behavior. More specifically, how we are raised and the lessons we are taught from our parents. When a child performs a certain task, action, or behavior that is met with applause and happiness from the mother or father, the child will begin to realize that these tasks, actions, or behavior are the "good" or "right" way to go about an individual's daily life. Likewise, when a child performs tasks, actions, or behavior that is recognized as "bad" or "wrong" it clicks in the child's mind that performing these undesirable actions will only be met with disdain and dissapointment. If there is a punishment on top of the parental scolding, that will leave and even impact on a child's future moral choices, mind set, and future behavior.
          Religion may also become an external factor on an individual's sense of morality, but that may depend on just how religious that individual might be or even how that individual's friends or family might be. For the sake of this blog, lets say that an individual was a Christian. On top of the moral support from their friends and family, the teachings and lessons of The Bible also offer a moral guide. In religion, following the teachings and lessons of God and his followers is looked upon as moral and humane behavior. As you might expect, behavior and actions going against these teachings were labeled as sinners and punished in some of the worst ways ever imagined. The Ten Commandments themselves are a very straightforward moral guide.
          My last thoughts on morality stem from what popular medias such as television, books, movies, videogames, and what the popular media portrays as moral. For example, in any typical movie or television series you have your protagonist and antagonist. The protagonist is portrayed as doing the right thing, fighting for a noble cause, sacrificing for the greater good, etc. The protagonist's behavior will leave an impression on the audience's viewers with a portayal of moral heroism. Many role playing video games offer players choices throughout the game which offer different results and reward depending on which moral path they choose to pursue. The popular video game Mass Effect allows players to create their own character and complete a number of quests. The catch is depending on how the player's character interacts with the rest of the game's characters is kept in check by the game's morality system. Solving problems through diplomacy and peaceful negotiations will yield the player paragon points while if the player's character is cruel, ruthless, and violent, they will yield renegade points. Turning on the news is the easiest way to view a society's general moral standpoint and how it portrays the concept of right and wrong to the rest of the country.
          All of these influences shape our very minds on how to view our own actions as well as other people's actions and will continue to do so for future generations.