Micro Essay/MACRO Hack

Flower Power (131 KB JPG)                        lifebuzz-acec29fdbe5f7ed78aaad37d8e1a439d-limit_2000(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/17/AR2007031701300.html)

This particular image has always fascinated me because it depicts such a powerful a scene that even I myself as a writer do not feel words could get the point across in such an effective and moving manner. With this photograph outside of the Pentagon in 1967, a man by the name of Bernie Boston painted an eerily accurate depiction of the anti-Vietnam War protests and for what exactly it was that so many protesters stood. The man at the center of the photo placing flowers (carnations) into the barrels of the guns belonging to U.S. soldiers is George Harris III, and his is the face that will live forever as the physical representation of the term “Flower Power”. This  photograph proves so iconic, in fact, that the only Google search criteria I used in order to relocate the photo for this post were the words “Flower Power Photograph”.

In one interview, Boston recalled that he had been ready to photograph the scene for the Washington Star after witnessing U.S. troops marching through the demonstrators with guns loaded and helmets on, he knew something important was about to happen. It was only once the soldiers had begun to corral the demonstrators that Harris decided to step up to the plate. With that single peaceful action, he was able to show the world what the anti-war movement was really all about- peace. After all, what better way to combat the violence of the war than with an innocent symbol of natural life, a flower.

The initial bombing of Northern Vietnam in 1965 at the hands of the U.S. military first sparked the fire that fueled the anti-war movement. It was at this point that Americans, specifically college age “hippies” and left wing political/social activists, began to question the true intentions of American involvement in Vietnam; were our troops really there to protect Southern Vietnam from communist rule? Another concern on the minds of skeptical young liberal Americans was whether we were handling the situation overseas correctly (or more specifically, if violence was the answer).

At the time the photo was taken, it received little publicity, but once Boston began entering it into photography competitions, it received almost immediate recognition and was even nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in late 1967. Some of the major attributes that makes this photograph so timeless, are its coloration and its quality; no pixelation, complete clarity, unfiltered black-and-white coloration, and a great angle from which an entire scene can be viewed clearly, without bias.

CTL Showcase

CTL Showcase for H110 | Love Library | Media Center | Room G | May 12 11:00am-1:00pm

IMG_8057I’m so glad that Roe v. Wade ruled that women had the right to choose for themselves in the eyes of the law. Thank goodness pro-choice issues are no longer up for debate, right? Women are legally protected, aren’t they?

#theDECISIONhasBEENmade #getOVERit #ProLifeViolence

Hack #6 — Gay Liberation Movement

Although we’ve come a long way since the 1970s in terms of advocating for sexuality based equality, and have even begun to legalize gay marriage across the nation, the fight is long from over. The band, Panic at the Disco!, recorded one of my personal favorite songs emphasizing bisexuality called “Girls/Girls/Boys”. The chorus is intent to prove a point to audiences around the world with its final (and perhaps most important) line, “and love is not a choice” in order to continue to fight the prejudice in our nation that once outlawed same sex relations in the bedroom altogether. “Gay Power” is still being fought for in this progressive day and age through many art forms such as music in the song linked below.

Panic at the Disco's lead singer Brendon Urie on the cover of the band's latest album

Panic at the Disco’s lead singer Brendon Urie on the cover of the band’s latest album

Hack #6 — Paying for Pink

Today, we focused in both large and small lecture on women’s movements. In small section specifically, there was much focus on the gender based wage gap in America today. (On average in California specifically, a woman only earn 84 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same job.) When I was on my friend’s Tumblr account the other day, I noticed a post that struck me, because although we all know about the wage gap, I had no idea the difference in product pricing in stores. This phenomenon is often referred to as “The Pink Tax”.


The Pink Tax

The Pink Tax

Hack #4 — Religious Wars/Conflicts

There is much discontent over whether the we as a nation have involved ourselves unnecessarily in religious conflicts that are not any of our business in the first place. The Vietnam conflict is a great example of such involvement. Today as I walked across campus, I became very distracted by an altercation between a Fundamentalist Christian set on professing his beliefs and the word of the Bible and a young man who, although a follower of Islam, knew the passages from the Bible from front to back. It seemed to me a wonderful reflection of such religious conflicts on a much smaller scale.                               FullSizeRender

Hack #3 — Twitter Hack

Last week, Professor Blum gave us the idea to Tweet at him about the “economic affluence inequality throughout history”. In my opinion, what’s the most shocking isn’t the gender pay discrepancy throughout our past, rather it’s the present pay difference between men and women by state in the U.S.

The gender pay gap in the United States as of 2013 showed that the smallest wage gap (by state/congressional district) was in Washington D.C., where women make 91 cents to the dollar of what men make. The largest wage gap was in Louisiana, where women make only 66 cents to the dollar of what men make .

(Since I don’t have a Twitter, I used my friend’s account to spread the word.)


Hack #2 — “Little Boxes”

The song, “Little Boxes”, originally performed by Malvina Reynolds, was written as a commentary on the monotony of 1950’s cookie cutter suburban neighborhoods. When I was wandering the city immediately around campus one night, it was dark, and I found myself having to pay close attention so as not to get lost in the never-ending array of seemingly identical houses and neighborhoods. The experience reminded me of this song and all that it represents. I’ve included my personal favorite version of the song as sung by “Walk off the Earth”.


(This is the sky view of the somewhat “cookie cutter” neighborhood surrounding SDSU, as well as the campus itself.)

Hack #1 — Comparing Song Lyrics

Hack #1: Comparison of The Hunger Games’ “Hanging Tree” as sung by Jennifer Lawrence and Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”. Where Holiday’s song is a somber and emotional portrayal of the all to frequent and prejudice lynching of black Americans at the time of its transcription (1937), Lawrence’s song portrays a love affair between a murderer hung for his crimes and his lover. I hear an eerie resemblance.


“Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
They strung up a man
They say who murdered three.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met at midnight
In the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope,
Side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met at midnight
In the hanging tree.”

-Jennifer Lawrence


“Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South
The bulgin’ eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burnin’ flesh.”

-Billie Holiday

HACK #1 (weeks 1-3)