Monday, May 16, 2011

Law and Order: Crime and Punishment

The purpose of this project was to create a Law and Order version of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Crime and Punishment as a novel dwells heavily on themes of justice and guilt. Law and Order does much the same thing in modern society today. The crucial difference between these two is that Crime and Punishment examines these themes from the point of view of a criminal, whereas Law and Order does it from the position of the police and prosecutors. This is causes each work to meditate on a different kind of justice. While Crime and Punishment is concerned with justice as it pertains to an individual’s guilt and sense of morality, Law and Order is concerned with procedural justice. In Law and Order, the concern is whether the right person is being put in jail, whether the rights of the individual have been protected as the state pursues its goal. These different approaches made it a challenge trying to adapt the Crime and Punishment into the five act Law and Order format.
Apologies, I cannot get some of the formatting elements to work correctly.


Teaser
Title Card
(VO)
In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.

Fade in Ext. Pawnbroker’s apartment--Evening

Two young men approach an apartment door, bickering indistinctly with each other. The older one knocks on the apartment door.

YOUNG MAN #1
Hey, Old woman. Open up. Customers!

There is no response from inside the apartment. The young man knocks again, impatient.

YOUNG MAN #2
Maybe she’s not home.

YOUNG MAN #1
Then why did she tell me to stop by tonight? Besides, the crazy old bat is always home. Hey! Alyona Ivanovna! Lizaveta!

He tries the doorknob. The door opens fractionally, then stops.

YOUNG MAN #1
(bewildered) The chain is on.

YOUNG MAN #2
(increasingly anxious)
Why would the chain be on if she’s not home?

YOUNG MAN #1
How should I know?

He continues pushing against the door.

YOUNG MAN #2
Knock it off! Come on, somethings not right. I’ll go get the landlord. You stay here.

He leaves.

YOUNG MAN #1
(mocking)
You stay here…

He pauses, looks at the door again and tries to look into the apartment through the sliver of space between the door and the frame, but can see nothing but shadows.

YOUNG MAN #1
Argh…

He leaves down the stairs.

FADE OUT

PLAY TITLE THEME

END OF TEASER


ACT ONE

FADE IN

Int. Pawnbroker’s Apartment

Sirens are heard in the background as police and crime scene technicians go through the small apartment. Sheets cover the two bodies on the floor, blood starting to soak through. Detectives Briscoe and Green enter the apartment.

Det. Briscoe:
Just the way I like to start my week, a double homicide.

One of the crime scene technicians approaches the detectives.

Det. Green:
Hey. What have we got?

Crime Tech:
Alyona and Lizaveta Ivanovna. Sisters. Both late sixties, early seventies. Perp did a number on them.

Det. Green:
What are we thinking? Botched robbery?

Crime Tech:
You would think. But whoever you’re looking at didn’t do a very good job of it. Looks like someone rifled through the bedroom but they didn’t get much.

Det. Green:
How can you tell?

Crime Tech:
There was a whole stash of stuff in the closet. Ipods, laptops, dvd players, you name it.

Det. Briscoe
Not exactly what I imagined Grandma meant when she said to put something away for a rainy day.

The look down at the sheeted bodies as the crime technicians and uniforms continue to swarm around the room.

INT. MORGUE

Detectives Bricoe and Green enter the morgue where Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers is scribbling something on a clipboard. Two bodies are laid out and covered with clean sheets.

Det. Briscoe:
What do you have for us, doc?

Det. Green:
Anything interesting on the bodies?

Dr. Rodgers:
Well, I can’t tell you much. The age estimate from the crime techs was about right. Older one had diabetes, would have made it hard for her to walk. Along with some of other problems of old age. But get this. The murder weapon? Was an axe.

Det. Green:
You mean...like a chopping wood kind of axe?

Dr. Rodgers:
Uh huh.

She hands her medical report over to them.

Dr. Rodgers:
If this was a botched robbery, you’ve got one interesting thief on your hands.

INT. STATION HOUSE

Lt. Anita Van Buren sits at her desk, piled high with file folders, sipping a cup of coffee. Detectives Briscoe and Green sit across from her.

Lt. Van Buren:
(incredulous)
An axe? Now I’ve heard everything. Are we sure this was a robbery?

Det. Green:
Old woman and her sister. Lived alone. No other family or friends. We haven’t been able to track down next of kin yet.

Det. Briscoe:
Not to mention the electronics store stashed in the closet.

Lt. Van Buren:
So what do you think happened?

Det. Green:
Perp enters the apartment. Runs in to Alyona. Chop chop. Turns around, sees the sister, and-

Lt. Van Buren:
I get it. Where did all of the electronics come from anyway?

Det. Briscoe:
Word on the street is, our little old lady was some kind of loan shark.

Lt. Van Buren:
Find out. Talk to the boys that found the bodies in the first place.

FADE OUT

End of ACT ONE





ACT TWO

EXT. Hudson University campus. Students mill about in the background as Briscoe and Green question Young Man #1 and Young Man #2.

Det. Green:
So why were you going to see Alyona and Lizaveta that day?

Young Man #1:
Well, I mean. I was just. Uh.

Young Man #2:
They’re um, friends of my mother.

Det. Briscoe:
Friends of your mother, huh? Well, we’ll need to talk to her then.

Young Man #2:
No, I mean…

Young Man #1:
We were just going to...talk to her about some stuff. She knew where to get some good deals. But then the door was locked when we got there and no one answered so...and you know what happened next.

Det. Briscoe:
Uh huh. A lot of people know about her, ‘good deals?’

Young Man #1:
Well, yeah. I mean. Everyone kind of knew.

Det. Briscoe:
Oh? How economical of you. College students in my day weren’t so frugal.

Young Man #1:
(Uncertain)
Well…

Det. Green:
Come on now. We’re just trying to find out who did this to those poor old women. We don’t care what kind of shenanigans you were getting up to.

Young Man #2:
If you needed cash...well, she would take stuff, you know? And sometimes she would sell it cheap. If you didn’t want your parents finding out.

Young Man #1 sighs in exasperation over his friend blurting everything out.

Det. Green:
(skeptical)
So you’re saying she would buy this stuff from you?

Young Man #2:
Not exactly…

Young Man #1:
They were loans. Yeah? Seemed safer to borrow from the little old lady than some punk on the street. Wasn’t cheaper though.

Det. Green:
Alright. Can you tell us who her customers were?

Young Man #2:
Like we said, everyone on campus kind of knew. I had a friend who used to bring her something every Friday for drinking money. Then he told his parents that the stuff was lost or stolen.

Det. Green:
Alright, thanks guys.

Detectives Briscoe and Green turn and leave.

Det. Briscoe:
Great, now what are we going to do, question a whole campus of drunk kids?

Det. Green:
Let’s go back. Maybe someone in the apartment building will remember something.

Det. Briscoe:
Oh, you mean the same someones who let the perp sneak out of the apartment the first time?

INT. Empty apartment building

Three painters in white painters uniforms are in the apartment. One is pouring paint into trays in the background, clearly distracted by the conversation taking place between the other two and Detectives Briscoe and Green.

Det. Green:
And you’re sure you didn’t see anything?

Painter #1:
We were working in here and then those two guys were yelling with the landlord, so we went to go see what was wrong.

Det. Briscoe:
You didn’t hear anyone coming down the stairs, anything like that?

Painter #2:
Sorry.

Det. Green:
Thanks anyway.

The Detectives turn to leave.

Det. Briscoe:
There’s another dead end.

Det. Green:
I just don’t get it. Even if the little old lady was a shark-who would go after her with an axe?

A figure appears at the top of the stairs behind them.

Workman:
Detectives!

They turn to look at him.

Workman:
You had better come see this.

Int. Police interrogation room

Raskolnikov sits in the room on his own, looking down at his untouched drink, looking dazed. The Detectives enter the room. Detective Green sits down across from Raskolnikov while Detective Briscoe remains standing near the one way mirror.

Det. Green:
Rodion Romanych Raskolnikov, am I saying that correctly?

Raskolnikov:
(correcting his pronunciation)
Rodion Romanych Raskolnikov

Det. Green:
You’re Russian.

Raskolnikov:
Yes. I came here to study at Hudson University.

Det. Green:
So you’re a student.

Raskolnikov:
(hesitating)
Yes.

Det. Green:
Alright. Now. What I want to know today, is why you were up in Alyona Ivanovna’s
apartment. Can you tell me that?

Raskolnikov does not answer at first, staring blankly down at the cup of water. Detectives Green and Briscoe exchange a look.

Raskolnikov:
(clearing his throat)
I-I just wanted to see about renting the apartment. I have friends...I heard about the murder from them. And I, I wanted to see if they were going to have the apartment ready for rent. It’s in, ah, a good location.

Det. Green:
Witnesses were saying that you were asking whether they had cleaned up all the blood.

Raskolnikov:
Yes. I heard. I heard that it was messy. No one wants an apartment with blood soaked through the floorboards, right?

The door to the interrogation room opens. Lt. Van Buren stands in the doorway.

Lt. Van Buren:
Detectives, if I can have a word?

The detectives follow her out. Raskolnikov can still be seen through the one-way mirror.

Det. Green:
What’s up? We finally got a decent suspect in there.

Lt. Van Buren:
Yes, well, we did you one better. We’ve got the perp.

Det. Briscoe:
What?

Lt. Van Buren:
One of the painters was found with a pair of earrings that were pawned to the old woman. His supervisor turned him in. We’ve got a confession.

Det. Briscoe:
How about that? Days of wandering around the city and the perp just falls into our laps.

Det. Green:
Are you sure? Something doesn’t seem right about this?

Lt. Van Buren:
You got anything on your boy in there other than an inappropriate enthusiasm for real estate? No? Then cut him loose.

End of ACT TWO






ACT THREE

Int. Police station

Detectives Briscoe and Green sit across from each other at their desks.

Det. Green:
This just doesn’t sit right with me.

Det. Briscoe:
Yeah? Well, what are you going to do about it?

Det. Green:
It seriously doesn’t bother you that out of the blue one of the painters confesses? Where’d he get the axe? How he split two women’s skulls open and not get one drop of blood
on his clothes?

Det. Briscoe:
Maybe he was just very neat.

Det. Green:
Lennie.

Det. Briscoe:
Alright. What do you want to do?

Det. Green:
There was something seriously not right with that Russian kid the other day.

Det. Briscoe:
Mr. Real-Estate. Also apparently a customer of Ms. Ivanovna.

He hands over a sheaf of papers to Detective Green.

Det. Green:
Man, I knew you weren’t buying this painter business.

Detective Briscoe stands, picking up his suit jacket from the back of his chair.

Det. Briscoe:
Yeah. Well, let’s go find some evidence. Prove I’m not wrong.

Ext. Apartment of Raskolnikov

Detectives Briscoe and Green approach the ramshackle house where Nastasya is watering some drooping plants on the back porch.

Det. Green:
Excuse me!

He and Detective Briscoe flash their police badges. Nastasya is both surprised and confused.

Nastasya:
How can I help you?

Det. Briscoe:
You live here?

Nastasya:
I am the housekeep of the landlady, but I do a bit of everything for the tenets.

Det. Briscoe:
You know someone named Raskolnikov? He live here?

Nastasya:
Yes, of course. He has been very ill with the fever until recently.

Det. Briscoe:
Uh huh. He here now?

Nastasya:
No. His mother and sister recently came to visit. He is out, with them I suppose.

Det. Green:
You said he’s been sick.

Nastasya:
Yes.

Det. Green:
You remember him being sick on the evening of July 8th?

Nastasya:
(shakes her head)
I cannot remember. Sometimes I bring him dinner, when I make
extra, but I don’t recall the dates.

Det. Briscoe:
Alright. Thank you for your co-operation, miss.

She nods and goes inside the house. Briscoe and Green turn to leave.

Det. Briscoe:
Sick, huh? That might explain being zoned out in the interview.

Detective Green stops suddenly, putting out a hand to stop Detective Briscoe as well. He is looking over at a small storage shed.

Det. Green:
Lennie, are you seeing what I’m seeing?

Det. Briscoe:
An outhouse masquerading as a storage shed?

Det. Green:
No.

He goes over to the storage shed, removing a handkerchief from his suit jacket. He leans down and reaches in to remove something from the storage shed. He holds up the axe that emerges triumphantly.

Det. Green:
Our murder weapon.

Int. Police Station

Assistant District Attorneys Jack McCoy and Abbie Carmichael are gathered in the office of Lt. Anita Van Buren.

Lt. Van Buren:
Have a seat.

McCoy and Carmichael sit down.

McCoy:
I understand the police have two suspects.

Lt. Van Buren:
Yes.

McCoy:
You know I can only prosecute one.

Lt. Van Buren:
You tell me which one you like. I’ve got a confession on one hand and the
murder weapon on the other. Neither of them has a solid alibi.

McCoy:
How about motive?

Lt. Van Buren:
The victim was a loan shark. From what we can tell they both owed her money.

McCoy:
That’s it? You can’t find anything else?

Lt. Van Buren:
My team has been working round the clock on this. If you’re not satisfied, you’re free to look at the case files yourself.

Int. Prosecutor’s office

McCoy stands eating a sandwich and reading a case file. Carmichael sits at a desk picking idly through a salad and doing the same. She sighs and leans back.

Carmichael:
Who do you like, Jack?

McCoy:
I would like having a case based on something more solid than circumstantial evidence.

Carmichael:
We’ve made cases on less.

McCoy:
Have we?

Carmichael:
There’s always the confession.

McCoy:
Hmph. It reads all wrong. You know that Abbie.

He sighs and sits down in his chair.

McCoy:
Call the police. Have them bring in Mr. Raskolnikov.

End Act Three





Act Four

INT. Courtroom

Abbie Carmichael stands at the podium for the prosecution. Raskolnikov stands next to his slick-looking lawyer Mr. Roberts on the side of the defense. Behind him, Dunya, his mother, and Luzhin sit in the first row.

Judge:
Mr. Raskolnikov, how do you plead?

Raskolnikov:
Not guilty, your honor.

Judge:
The people on bail?

Carmichael:
The people ask for remand, your honor. The defendant is accused of breaking into the home of two elderly woman and killing them with an axe.

Roberts:
Your honor, this is ridiculous. The people’s case is entirely circumstantial. Mr. Raskolnikov is a man of small means, but is an upstanding member of the community, he will be returning shortly to Hudson University after his short medical leave. Additionally, his mother and sister are in the courtroom and willing to vouch for his whereabouts.

Judge:
Save it for trial, Mr. Roberts. Bail is set at fifty thousand dollars. Next case.

Int. Prosecutor’s office

McCoy sits at his desk, going through papers for trial. Carmichael enters.

McCoy:
Where do you suppose our poor college student got the fancy lawyer?

Carmichael:
Best guess? Sister’s fiance. He seems to be doing his job though. Motion to suppress.

She drops the papers on his desk.

INT. Judge’s chambers

McCoy, Carmichael, and Roberts are all seated in a semi-circle around the judge’s desk.

Roberts:
Your honor, the actions of the police detectives in this case amounted to unlawful search and seizure.

McCoy:
That’s nonsense, your honor. The axe was in plain sight from the side walk. The police had every right to seize the evidence before the defendant had an opportunity to dispose of it.

Roberts:
And I suppose you think the police have a right to patrol the city and seize every axe they see?

McCoy:
If every citizen showed up at a crime scene asking about blood, yes!

Judge:
Now, councilors.

McCoy:
Your honor, even if the search could be considered illegal, Mr. Raskolnikov had no reasonable expectation of privacy when it came to the communal storage shed, and thus no standing for complaint!

Roberts:
Nonsense. My client may not have had an expectation of privacy when it came to his fellow tenants, but certainly he had one from the police!

Judge:
Would it have been that difficult for your detectives to have called in for a warrant, Mr. McCoy?

McCoy:
Your honor, the police detectives were acting in good faith, under then understanding that with the axe in plain sight, they didn’t need one!

Judge:
Well, maybe they’ll be a bit more careful next time, hmm? Motion to suppress is granted.

Int. Hallway outside the judge’s chambers

Roberts stands stiffly as the three lawyers depart the judges chambers. He pauses instead of leaving.

Roberts:
McCoy, I believe I should tell you that I will be tendering my resignation as Mr.
Raskolnikov’s council.

McCoy:
Oh? Finally grow a conscious?

Roberts:
Not at all. It is simply a matter of...insufficient funds. But it should buy you a few days to try and throw a case together.

He turns and leaves.

Carmichael:
He’s right, Jack. Without the murder weapon we don’t have much of anything.

McCoy:
Then we’ll just have to find something.

Int. Prosecutor’s Office -- Late evening

Carmichael:
We have to go to the judge tomorrow morning.

McCoy:
And we still have nothing.

Carmichael:
The police found a witness. Gave the man who confessed an alibi.

McCoy:
It’s not enough. The police couldn’t recover the stolen goods. Couldn’t find any blood evidence. All we have is that Raskolnikov was a customer of Alyona Ivanovna and no one saw him the day of the murder.

Carmichael:
There is that essay.

McCoy:
‘Great Men are immune to morality.’ Yes.

He considers this for a moment, then leans forward.

McCoy:
Call Olivet. Let’s set up for a 730 exam. Maybe we can get lucky and plead this out.

Int. Psychologist’s office

Inside the office of Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, Raskolnikov shifts uncomfortably in a chair across from the doctor.

Raskolnikov:
I’m not crazy.

Dr. Olivet:
No one said that you were.

Raskolnikov:
Isn’t that why I’m here?

Dr. Olivet:
You’re here for me to address you fitness to stand trial. You haven’t been feeling well lately, have you?

Raskolnikov:
(uncertain)
No.

Dr. Olivet:
Have you ever been ill like this before?

Raskolnikov:
Not that I can remember. It’s just...it’s been so damn hot, in the city.

Dr. Olivet:
But you’re feeling better now.

Raskolnikov:
Yeah.

Dr. Olivet:
That’s good. Let’s talk about Alyona Ivanovna. You knew her?

Raskolnikov:
She loaned out money to college kids.

Dr. Olivet:
Like you.

Raskolnikov:
Like me.

Dr. Olivet:
Why did you need the money, Raskolnikov?

Raskolnikov:
I just. I did. It’s expensive, you know. To live.

Dr. Olivet:
Yes. Why didn’t you ask your family for money?

Raskolnikov:
They don’t have any. My mother and my sister were only able to come here because my sister got a job as a maid and a governess.

Dr. Olivet:
That must be very difficult, not being able to provide for them.

Raskolnikov:
Yes. The man she was working for was a pig. He wanted...and then she was going to marry some other bastard. But she realized it was a bad idea. I knew she would.

Dr. Olivet:
Can we talk about an essay you wrote?

Raskolnikov:
Which one?

Dr. Olivet:
Great men don’t have to hold to moral expectations of society.

Raskolnikov:
Oh. Yes.

Dr. Olivet:
Do you really believe that? That great men should be excused murder?

Raskolnikov:
No. I was just. Arguing a point. (he hesitates) But it makes sense, doesn’t it? It happens. If you are great, people will forgive you anything. And doing things that most people would consider immoral, can still make you great.

Dr. Olivet:
Do you believe that you’re a great man, Raskolnikov.

Raskolnikov:
(blushing)
No. No. I don’t.

End Act Four




Act Five

Int. Prosector’s office

Dr. Olivet faces McCoy and Carmichael

Dr. Olivet:
It’s an interesting justification he’s come up with.

McCoy:
Justification or not, did he know what he was doing was wrong?

Dr. Olivet:
I can’t say about his mental state at the time, if he was as delirious as his relatives are claiming. But given what I saw today, he understood the consequences of his actions.

McCoy:
Thank you Elizabeth.

She leaves

McCoy:
Excellent. Very sane defendant and no evidence against him.

Carmichael:
Do you think the judge will dismiss?

McCoy:
We’ll be lucky if she doesn’t.

There is a knock on the doorframe. Svidrigailov stands in the doorway.

Svidrigailov:
Mr. McCoy?

McCoy:
Yes?

Svidrigailov:
You are handling Raskolnikov’s case, yes?

McCoy:
Yes.

Svidrigailov:
I am Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigailov. Raskolnikov’s sister, Dunya used to work for me. I am currently staying in the room next to Mr. Raskolnikov’s girlfriend. And, well, I overheard the most interesting thing tonight.

McCoy:
And what would that be?

Svidrigailov:
A confession.

Int: Courtroom

The prosecution and the defense are both seated at their proper tables. Raskolnikov is now represented by a public defender, Mr. White. Behind him sits Sonya.

Judge:
Mr. McCoy, have you located your witness yet?

McCoy:
The police are doing everything they can to locate Mr. Svdrigailov, your honor. He is not responding to his phone. We are checking all of the area hospitals as well as his home.

White:
You honor, I would like to renew my most strenuous objection to the inclusion of this witness. The defense has not been given proper time to prepare.

Judge:
We’ll see about that after Mr. McCoy actually locates his witness.

Detective Green enters the courtroom. He goes to McCoy and whispers something in his ear. McCoy is obviously displeased with the news.

McCoy:
Your honor, it seems that Mr. Svidrigailov will not be appearing in court today.

Judge:
And why is that, Mr. McCoy?

McCoy:
I have just received word that he took his own life this morning.
The whole courtroom stirs, quiet murmuring going through the audience. Raskolnikov inhales sharply at the news. He looks back to exchange a look with Sonya. He stands.

Judge:
Mr. Raskolnikov?

Raskolnikov:
I did it. I killed Alyona and Lizaveta Ivanovna.

The courtroom stands in shocked silence. Sonya smiles.

End of Act Five

Elements of a Hitchcock Film

NOTE: Unfortunately, my movie will not work as a YouTube link. I am working on a way to attach a link to the blog. My abstract below explains the movie itself.

For my project I created a short movie entitled “Elements of a Hitchcock Film.” In this movie I highlighted five characteristics, each of which is demonstrated in many of Hitchcock’s films. I focused on his use of attractive blondes to play the female leads, his strategic use of staircases, his cameo appearances, the MacGuffin as a device in film, and most importantly Hitchcock’s well-known element of suspense.

The aim of my project was primarily to increase awareness amongst my viewers. Many students, especially in my generation, only know of the main Hitchcock movies such as Psycho. There are many Hitchcock films that are often overlooked by the general public. I also wanted to encourage further exploration of Hitchcock’s works because the various elements Hitchcock employs in his films are more meaningful when analyzed from more than just one film. I hope to inspire deeper thought in the audience. Perhaps symbolism in a certain scene is overlooked, but when I point out that Hitchcock has a habit of using a certain symbol, device, or element, its significance will be more apparent.

Hopefully on some level, watching my movie will inspire questions such as: What does Hitchcock’s use of attractive blonde females say about the culture and the time in which he created these films? How does the use of a MacGuffin affect the viewing experience for the audience? What is Hitchcock trying to do with his cameo appearances? All in all, I wanted to point out some interesting characteristics employed in Hitchcock’s work and cause my audience to notice and think about them.

Hitchcock’s work has stood the test of time. With newer technology, current films are much more dramatic and realistic with special effects. However, audiences still see Hitchcock’s work as meaningful and influential. Throughout this project I was considering this and I hope my audience will spend time thinking about that as well and ask themselves why he is still celebrated and has not been replaced and forgotten.

This project was my first time using the iMovie software. Much of my time on the project was spent learning how to use the program through online tutorials and trial and error. I was able to use a wide variety of tools in my movie. I incorporated film clips, transitions, titles, an interview, and I created a PowerPoint presentation, which I then adapted into a movie. I also learned how to cut music, edit existing clips, create a DVD, and to customize the menu of that DVD.

All of the editing, research, and formatting took hours for every one minute of footage that appears in my final movie project. I also spent a lot of time viewing Hitchcock films, clips, interviews, and reading about his unique directing style in order to determine which I elements to showcase and how best to communicate them to the audience.

A Modern Streetcar Named Desire

An updated version of selected scenes from A Streetcar Named Desire, performed by some kind volunteers with minimal to no acting experience :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KJ6WCkmU3I

Alfred Hitchcock Blog

http://alfredhitchcockfans.wordpress.com/

Here's a link to my blog on Alfred Hitchcock. Enjoy!

James Powell

Chronicle of a Death Foretold Drawing


When I read the first paragraph of Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ description of Santiago Nasar’s dream caught my attention. I became interested in deciphering the meanings of Santiago’s dreams of walking through timber trees and flying through almond trees. Since I am a psychology major, I found it fascinating to research the meanings of the dreams. To help explain my ideas of the meanings of the trees, I decided to make the trees the main focal point of the drawing and have Santiago overlapping the two trees. The tree on the left (green tree) is the timber tree and the one on the right (pink tree) is the almond tree. To describe the meanings of each tree, I wrote what each tree means in the corresponding tree. To tie the dreams into the novella reality, I drew main scenes from the novella on the outside of the tree that the scenes related to.
I ended up researching the meanings of trees in dreams through the website www.dreamforth.com. I found that an almond tree symbolizes experiencing great pleasure and joy in life and that it is a sign of upcoming marriages. In the almond tree dream, Santiago dreamt that he was “in a tinfoil airplane and flying through the almond trees without bumping into anything” (pg. 1). I found that flying without trouble in a dream implies dealing with circumstances well elevated above some situation with a different point of view on things. Dreamforth said that timber trees symbolize good fortune and peace. Santiago’s timber trees were lush, which signifies new beginnings, development, and desires indicative of uniqueness and maturity.
After researching what the trees mean, I went back through the novella to see how the trees relate to reality. I found that the trees represented positive outcomes for the dreamer; however, during the novella, there were no positive outcomes for Santiago. As a result, I decided that Santiago’s dreams were what he wanted his reality to be like. Since I felt that way, I picked out important scenes and drew them outside the tree that they went against. With the almond tree representing marriage, I placed a broken up marriage symbol on the outside because the marriage between Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Rom├ín didn’t last. Also, Santiago’s engagement to Flora Miguel fell apart once she found out what Angela accused Santiago of. I drew the tombstone to symbolize how Santiago had no life on the day of his death and how “he already looked like a ghost” (pg. 194).
Since flying without trouble symbolizes a different point of view on situations, I drew the eyes of Hortensia Baute, who was the woman that thought she saw blood on the knives, with the reflection of the knives, to show her point of view of the events leading up to the killing. Since lush timber trees represent new beginnings, I placed the door from Santiago’s house with a blood pile below it because Santiago did not have a new beginning, but instead had an ending with death. I illustrated another broken marriage on the timber tree side because that demonstrates how new beginnings that should have happened were destroyed. Santiago dreamt about peace, but in reality, there was no peace between him and the Vicario brothers, which is why I drew the knife. Because Santiago Nasar’s dreams about trees demonstrate what he wants his reality to be like, I colored blue around the trees. The blue shows his happiness that he has when he is in his “make-believe” reality. I colored the rest of the poster board black to represent Santiago’s twisted reality. Santiago didn’t have the joy he wanted in his life, but unfortunately had depression and horror.
After viewing my drawing of Chronicle of a Death Foretold, I hope that the audience will understand why I felt the way I did about Santiago Nasar’s dreams. I want the audience to develop a new way to read into the novella and develop a better understanding of why Gabriel Garcia Marquez started his novella off with Santiago’s dreams.

The Time Capsule

When I began thinking about what I would focus my creative project on, I had a choice between the Eichmann in Jerusalem trials or the music we studied in this course. I love to sing, and after Dr. Laird shared with me how she thought that showcasing a talent of mine to display a theme of the course would be a great idea, and I agreed. I had really high ambitions initially: I wanted to have a few of my friends who played musical instruments to accompany me on a CD-release of different songs. I created a green screen so that I can put different backgrounds behind me as I perform using iMovie technology. But after Professor Laird put timing into perspective, I realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to work around everyone’s schedules. So I decided to condense my project a little. I began looking up artists who represented the different styles of music (i.e. spirituals/sacred music, jazz, blues etc.) to see what songs had I personally heard before to make sure that I could clearly distinguish between them. I was reminded of W.C. Handy, Etta James, Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, and many others who were notable representatives of the different changes that African American music has undergone. As I applied this to my creative project, I decided to incorporate snippets of a performance that we, the LBC Gospel Choir, did earlier this semester. The Negro spirituals we performed are an example of the sacred music that we talked about over the course of the semester. As I began to think further about the themes of this particular humanities course, I immediately considered the relationship of the present to the past. I wondered how I could display this in my project, and decided I would create a time capsule for my grandchildren, giving them a small, yet significant view, of how music has changed over the generations. Rhythm and blues (R&B) is a prime example of an offspring of a style of music. Music is often shaped by grasping the fundamental basis of one genre and “changes it up.” I implored my grandchildren in the video to examine the music of their day and compare it to the music of my generation, as well as the songs during slavery.

After doing this time capsule, I'm actually considering during a time capsule of my experiences at Mizzou. I encourage you all to do the same!! It's been great, and have a great summer!!

Click here to see the video:
http://youtu.be/M0uFK-wLLZQ


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MPR's "Classic of the Week"

Go to this address:

http://www.opendrive.com/files/26711817_SJOil/Interview%20of%20Dr.%20Palonsky.m4a

to listen to my creative project. I created a mock radio program that discussed classic literary works. My program is called “Classic of the Week,” and it is broadcasted on the fictional MPR (Mizzou’s Public Radio). The classic about which I discuss is Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. I summarize the basic plot and setting and then address questions regarding the work. Primarily, I address: how modernism shapes the novel; how Woolf’s life influenced the work; Peter and Clarissa’s compatibility; and if Clarissa was a likeable character. The answers to these questions are not personal opinions—I answer them with experts from the literary field. Dr. Timothy Materer and Dr. Palonsky are featured. And, Dan Philyaw and Teddy Nykiel, students currently taking Modern Era, “called in” to voice their opinions. Check it out.

Go Ask Nietzsche

GO ASK NIETZSCHE

A weekly publication

Nietzsche Quotes of the Week

There are no facts, only interpretations.

- From Nachlass

Dear Nietzsche:

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and half, and I really think hes The One. I moved in with him two weeks ago, and things have been going great.

However, one of my friends seems to think hes cheating. I have to admit; he has been going on a lot more business trips than usual, and hes been staying really late at work. She even said she saw him flirting with a bunch of girls at the bar on guys night.

I cant decide whom to believe. Should I confront him, or trust him? After all, weve been together a long time. How do I find out the truth?

- Confused In Love

Confused In Love:

It seems to me you are missing the point here. As I have said before, there are no facts. Have you read none of my books? It appears you have not, and neither has your friend. She seems stupid; must be German.

Anyway, to the point: whatever you and your friend have been noticing are merely interpretations skewed by the rumors she is obviously spreading. If she hadnt said anything, would you still be worried and analyzing his every move?

The answer is no. If you want a real answer, ask him. Otherwise, your convictions could mean a dangerous end to your relationship.

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

From Human, All Too HumanVol. 3, Issue 36, 4-25-2011

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with morality at any point.

- From The Antichrist

Christianity was from the beginning, essentially and fundamentally, life's nausea and disgust with life, merely concealed behind, masked by, dressed up as, faith in another or better life.

- From The Birth of Tragedy

Dear Nietzsche:

Growing up, my parents never took me to church or forced me to ascribe to any religion. Now that Im older, Im trying to decide of faith is the right choice for me.

Ive read several of your books, and you seem to completely hate Christianity. Ive been to a few Christian churches. Despite what you write in your books, they seem like great, welcoming places with good philanthropic policies and strong moral beliefs. Why do you hate them?

- Kind Of Christian

Kind Of Christian:

Ha! Of course you think theyre great, welcoming places with good philanthropic policies and strong moral beliefs. Thats what the Christians want you to think! Why do you think they have so many followers?

No ones going to join a religion that seems terrible and unwelcoming with no idea of philanthropy and weak moral beliefs. In fact, there is nothing that seems less appealing. It would be stupid to think that someone would even give that kind of religion a second thought.

Do not become a Christian, whatever you do. Christians are weak and use their massive numbers to overcome those of us who are strong enough to stand by our own set of beliefs and morals. Christians weigh us down; they make us blind to all moral opportunities by threatening us with the sin of not sharing their faith, and therefore going to Hell when we die.

If you become a Christian, you will undoubtedly lose yourself. You will become weak; you will become a mere pawn in their game of bringing down the strong. This is no way to live.

My honest advice to you is to choose no religion. Be a free spirit, especially because no particular religion satisfies the needs of every human being. Whether you choose Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Scientology or something else entirely, it will never fit all of your wants and needs. Instead, find your own perspective to be truly happy.

“At the bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique human being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.”

Man is the cruelest animal.

Dear Nietzsche:

My daughter just turned 11 and started middle school this past August. She has always had a lot of friends, but she started growing really quickly and now stands taller than most of the boys. Shes a very beautiful girl, but the kids have started to tease her for being bigger than everyone else.

She comes home from school crying almost every day because of the mean things the kids say to her. They tell her shes an Amazon woman and that she should go back to the jungle where she came from.

I try telling her not to worry because theyll all be as tall as she is soon enough, but it doesnt seem to be helping. She cant see past the present and understand that theyre just jealous of her and intimidated by her height, even though she isnt really that tall. She wont even wear her favorite little heels anymore. What can I do?

- Concerned Parent

Concerned Parent:

As hard as it is, I wouldnt worry too much. Just keep doing what youre doing. Beauty is completely subjective (as they say nowadays, its in the eye of the beholder), and most people are fickle and compare everything solely to themselves, as if they are the epitome of beauty, the best thing there is.

However, who are we to say that we ourselves are the epitome of beauty; that humans are more beautiful than anything else? Imagine what we look like to a cow, or a penguin. They certainly have different standards than to idolize a human.

Or imagine how we appear to a possible higher beauty. We probably look like mere garbage, something they wouldnt dare come near to for fear of being tainted by our ugliness.

Your daughter will be fine. In time, the boys will be chasing after her just as she hopes they will. In the meantime, just understand her feelings.

"No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

Dear Nietzsche:

I recently moved into a dorm room this past August, and I have a roommate for the first time. Things started off really great; we became friends quickly and started spending almost all of our quality time together.

However, Ive noticed lately that shes getting bossy. No matter what I do or say, she has a better idea. She even tells me what to wear and how to act. Its getting on my nerves, but I have to live with her for at least this year. Should I stand up to her controlling ways, or should I let her walk all over me for the sake of having peace in my life through May?

- Submissive Student

Submissive Student:

Are you serious? Never give in to anyones pressures. Sure, it may be hard and it may create some troublesome drama, but do you want to become a mindless figment of todays abhorrent society? I should think not.

As I have said before, The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try I, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. Your roommate truly sounds like a nightmare.

However, despite the sacrifices you may make to keep your individuality, you are keeping something far more precious than anything money is able to buy. You are keeping all of the things that make you you.

I cannot stress the importance of fighting against conformity. If she says, Change your clothes, you say,Change your judgments. You will never regret this decision. I guarantee it.

Quote Dissection with Friedrich Nietzsche:
This weeks most popular quote:

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

- From Beyond Good and Evil

Rumor has it that people are feeling a little uncertain about the meaning of one of my aphorisms from Beyond Good and Evil: Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.

Once and for all, I would like to place emphasis on the fact that my aphorisms and published thoughts are such skeletal beings because they are open to your own personal interpretation. If I were so foolish as to create an idea that had a single meaning, wouldnt I be stifling the very individualism I have fought so hard to encourage?

Having said that, I will discuss my personal interpretation, though somewhat vaguely. The abyss itself can be anything one wishes it to be: a literal abyss, darkness, thought or evil.

In this interpretation, the abyss is evil. When you spend too much time facing down and studying evil, if it is everything you eat, sleep and breathe as you are trying to ward it off, it ultimately will become an inherent part of you. It is impossible to fight something off forever. Evil, if you flirt with it, is unavoidable, and eventually it will find you.

As people who immerse themselves in psychology or literature ultimately become psychologists and literature professors, people who immerse themselves in evil with every fiber of their beings, no matter their honorable intentions, will ultimately become evil.

This is not to say that one should avoid evil at all costs. A person who continuously avoids evil for fear of it is living a life too cautious to be enjoyed. There is a balance to be found, a balance which cannot be explained even by me.

Face evil when necessary, because a time comes in every persons life when he stands before it, and do not submit to its intriguing powers, for they are too strong. However, do not ever be so bold as to flirt with evil; it will get you as it has gotten so many in the past.

Friedrich Nietzsche is a world-renowned philosopher.

Go Ask Nietzsche is completely written, edited and published by Nietzsche himself.

Jeff Mason's Song

This is a song inspired by Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. It describes a man who commits murder and then kills himself for guilt/fear. It is not a very deep song, but I believe it's entertaining nonetheless. I did not make the instrumental. The song goes in a different direction than Dostoevsky's novel, as the protagonist decides to off himself. The song also mentions his child, who unwittingly watches the news coverage of his dad's misdeed. In this way, the protagonist is seen in two ways: a loving father, a drastic gunman. This idea is reminiscent of Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem; every normal and functioning citizen has the capacity for evil. It may be that a caring dad stumbles into a violent situation. This is why the reason for the initial murder is not specified. The "why" doesn't matter, a question whose answer is really only known to the perpetrator, now dead. Instead, the importance of the story is in the yet to be realized consequences of the father's actions, that curious limbo of ignorance in which we find the protagonist's son at the song's close. I hope the audience thinks this is groovy.

http://www.opendrive.com/files/26631969_0N6NU/cut+out+to+FL.mp3