Micro-Essay/Macro-Hack

Fallout_3_Character_3_by_GhettoMole

Having a close look at this picture one can identify a character standing in the middle of with what appears to be a dilapidated capitol building as the backdrop. The picture above is from the video game Fallout 3 from the Fallout series. The name really tells what the setting of the game is: a post-nuclear wasteland right in the middle of the former capitol of the once glorious United States. The character in the middle of the image is what is known as the “hero,” (or villain depending on your actions) that you play as in the game.

This image was taken from a Deviant Art forum (http://www.deviantart.com/art/Fallout-3-Character-3-102739970) and was posted by a user named Ghettomole. It is a screenshot of the game and it was posted in 2008. The image itself is only about 1440 by 900 pixels and occupies only about 156 kilobytes on my computer’s hard drive. The image is supposed to take place somewhere in the near-future, post nuclear war.

The game serves as a homage to the 1950’s and takes and uses the spirit of the time to its fullest advantage. This game uses that time’s music and artistic style taking inspiration from art deco, abstract expressionism, and pop art as well as taking tunes from the Jazz and swing movements. This image brings up the driving question to the game: What would happen if a nuclear war had broken out in the Cold War era? This question, essentially a simple what-if scenario is what made me choose this image. This picture makes the superficial viewer think of what the background is but the deeper viewer will think why the background is as it is; why is D.C. destroyed and obliterated and why is that character there. The strange futuristic armor that the character has only adds to the intrigue as well.

Learning in lecture about the fervor and widespread fear rampant in and around the American psyche during the 1950’s Cold War made me think of this video game. Besides being a personal favorite, I also chose this image because I find it fascinating how far American society and culture in general has gotten; we can simply laugh and have fun with a scenario that used to strike fear into people as close as our parents.

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Hack #6

The Baltimore riots that occurred on Monday were on the news everywhere and very highly publicized. The death of a Black man named Freddie Grey at the hands of police caused outrage and made thousands of people hit the streets in protest, seeking justice for Freddie. I immediate saw the connection between the movements that were going on in the 60’s and 70’s that Dr. Putnam has talked about in lecture to those going on today: the image below, put on the cover for Time magazine, alludes to this and immediately got me thinking about lecture. It points out that even though we like to think about American Society today as a post-racial one, it is an incorrect assumption.Yet, today it was announced that the six officers involved in Freddie’s death would be prosecuted, something not usually done in cases like these. Is this a new step in the right direction? are we finally going to come to terms with our racist society and do something about it? Only time will tell, but the prosecutions announced today are welcomed step in the right direction.

baltimore-cover-final

Hack#5- The remnants of the Vietnam War: Agent Orange

I was reading the news on a website called Al-Jazeera when I stumbled upon a photo gallery. It was of children who carried birth defects due to a chemical used in the Vietnam War: Agent Orange. It was very graphic and was tough to see but really highlighted how, to this day, the citizens of Vietnam still feel the affects of the Vietnam War. Agent Orange was a chemical used during the Vietnam War to clear forests and destroy vegetation. The objective was to use the chemical to clear any forests and jungles who may be hiding enemy soldiers. After the war ended, many U.S. veterans who served in Vietnam and were exposed to the chemical suffered from diseases like cancer. It was at this point that it was shown that the chemical had very long lasting and very unhealthy affects on those who were exposed to it. In the United States, many veterans who were affected by the chemical sued the government and were able to receive compensation for their maladies. The Vietnamese however, were not able to receive any compensation and to this day, three generations later, still suffer from diseases like cancer and birth defects due to this chemical.

 http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/photo-gallery/2015/4/photos-in-vietnam-the-after-effects-of-agent-orange-persist.html

Hack #4

For my class essay I chose to talk about the Vietnam War’s influence in music, but more specifically its influence in punk. However, when i was researching, I kept on running into the very famous soul album What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye. This album was made and released during the turmoil of the Vietnam War in America and dealt with issues that revolved around the war and era. At the time the album was made, Marvin Gaye was going through as serious depression; his brother had just returned from serving in Vietnam, racism was very present in America, and poverty and inequality was seen everywhere. Marvin Gaye chose to have his album tackle this issues and the result was an album that has stood the test of time and remains a landmark classic. I would have loved to use the album but since I was focusing on the Punk genre I was unable to use it in my essay. Amazing album and definitely worth a listen today.

MarvinGayeWhat'sGoingOnalbumcover