My group’s question in class today was about the raid at the Stonewall Inn gay bar that sparked the Gay Liberation Movement, so I found a Ted Talk that discusses the gay rights movement and how it was influenced by the civil rights movement. The speaker is and African American lesbian and begins by talking about how the media constantly gives false information and uses the example of the 2008 election when Obama was elected president, and the right for gay marriage was taken away. At this time, a poll with incorrect information came out saying that around 70% of blacks had voted yes on Proposition 8, and even though it wasn’t true the media ran with the idea of African Americans being homophobic. She then goes on to explain how the two oppressed groups should be supporting each other and shows documentary footage of African American LGBT activists gaining the support of the black community. She compares the Montgomery Bus Boycott with the Stonewall Inn raid that sparked the Gay Liberation Movement and ends with the fact that I found most interesting. Nelson Mandela, the revolutionary South African politician and philanthropist, not only led South Africa out of apartheid, but lead his country to become the first country to ban discrimination on based on sexual orientation in its constitution.
This is a video of two of my favorite feminists, Tina Fey and Amy Pohler. In the skit, they display that there are many different forms of feminism, especially at 2:22. Here, Sarah Palin (Tina Fey) asks that the media stops using words that diminish them such as “pretty, attractive, and beautiful” and Hillary Clinton (Amy Pohler) asks the same thing and gives the examples “harpy, shrewd, and boner-shrinker.”
During the presentation about Emit Till I first shocked that I hadn’t learned about the event before, but I also knew that I had heard the name many times before. For spring break my friends and I road tripped up to San Francisco, and on the way I figured out where I had heard it – in a Kanye West song. I was driving and the song “Through the Wire” by Kanye came on spotify while everyone else was asleep and I couldn’t believe it. I had heard the song countless times and always wondered what he had meant by his girlfriend being afraid that he looks like Emit Till after his almost fatal car crash, and now I know.
My essay topic is arguing how psychedelic drugs shaped the late 60’s. With the increased use of psychedelic drugs in popular in society, the idea radical freedom, peace, and love became more pronounced. The Merry Pranksters, a group of frequent LSD users from California, basked in a bohemian lifestyle as they traveled the country in an old refurbished school bus enjoying life and attempting to change the world. They made the bus livable and colorful as they installed bunk beds, refrigerators, a broadcasting system, and a sign that read “Caution: Weird Load” and painted the bus with bright, swirling colors. Each member of the Pranksters took on a new nickname and dressed in painted “day-glo” and wore costumes made of parts of the American flag, capes, and masks. The Pranksters name is derived from their goal of “pranking” the average citizen’s mind and attempting to change their point of view mostly in politics. They refused to conform to the social norms in terms of appearance, lifestyle, and thought and strove to open people’s minds and make them ask questions. As Ken Kelsey, one of the leading members of the Pranksters, put it, “The purpose of psychedelics is to learn the conditioned responses of people and then to prank them. That’s the only way to get people to ask questions, and until they ask questions they’re going to remain robots” (Shlain, 121). Young people especially, did ask questions. With the rise of this counterculture involving protestors for peace and hippie culture, people displayed their different view of the world by “embracing new attitudes toward drugs, sex, popular culture, and politics” (Schultz, 46).
My roommate enjoys knowing random facts, so one day when we walked passed Trujillo’s she decided to tell me the history of how the Trujillo name actually has a somewhat negative connotation, so I decided to hack it. While I’m assuming that the Mexican restaurant chain isn’t named after Rafael Trujillo himself, this man was the dictator of the Dominican Republic from 1891-1961. He came to power by political maneuvering and torture, and he was assassinated in 1961.
I draw on my hand with pen almost every day and people are constantly assuming it’s henna, so I decided to research where henna was started. It turns out the origins of henna are difficult to track due to ancient people interacting with different cultures, but the most likely origin is within the Neolithic people in Catal Hoyuk, and it was used to enhance fertility. I found this interesting because the very first thing we learned in my art history class freshman year is about the ancient cave drawings of the people of Catal Hoyuk. While my hand doodles are neither henna or intended to inhance fertility, it was interesting to find that both the origins of art and henna are thought to be located in the same place.
A few classes ago, Professor Blum mentioned Pavlov’s theory which immediately made me think of this episode of The Office. Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov noticed that every time he walked in the room to feed his dogs they would salivate, demonstrating that something that is associated with the event of them being fed triggered the same physical response from them. He took this even further as he conducted an experiment in which he rang a bell every time he gave the dogs food, and found that the dog began to salivate at the ring of the bell. In this clip, Jim conducts the same experiment but replaces the dogs with Dwight, the bell with the sound of his computer starting up, and food with an Altoid mint.