Saturday, October 29, 2011

The differences and similarities between Gattaca and Pleasantville

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The Similarities and Differences Between Gattaca and Pleasantville


It is very rare for films of different genres to share similar topics and ideology. Two films,


Gattaca and Pleasantville, offer this rare occurrence of having several things in common that make


both films similar yet vastly different while maintaining their uniqueness.


Custom Essays on The differences and similarities between Gattaca and Pleasantville




Gattaca is a science fiction film that focuses on the future and how it will be impacted by


human genetic engineering. It offers the basis that, one day we will be faced with the decisions to


alter the pre-determined attributes of our existence and thus must deal with a new form of


discrimination and segregation. Instead of people being judged by their race, religion, social class,


or sexual preference, they are judged by whether or not they are genetically perfect. Those who


are imperfect genetically are treated as second-class citizens and are deprived of resources that


their counterparts receive.


Like Gattaca, Pleasantville is also a film based several important social issues, but instead


of taking place in the future, it occurs in the late 150’s. The film is a creative fictional depiction


of two siblings being trapped inside of a 150’s sitcom and their effects on the citizens they


interact with. As the siblings began to share their ideals and beliefs with the people of


Pleasantville, it causes an uproar between the citizens who’s views they changed, and the citizens


who retain their conservative ways of life. It ultimately leads to the people of Pleasantville


judging each other by their differences, instead of their similarities.


There are several similarities between Gattaca and Pleasantville; some are more distinct


than others. Though executed differently, both films emphasize the importance of family. In


Pleasantville, David and Jennifer (brother and sister) help each other through their inhibitions


which ultimately leads them to achieving their goals as well as becoming more well-rounded


people. Without David’s optimism and support, Jennifer may have never opened herself up to the


awaiting experiences that Pleasantville had to offer. If not for Jennifer’s savvy and experience,


David may have never been able to overcome his obstacles with his communication barriers as


well as expressing his emotions.


In Gattaca, initially the family structure becomes heated due to the intense competition


between Vincent and his brother Anton. Anton, a genetically enhanced human, steers an inner


drive inside Vincent that stays with him throughout adulthood. Like in Pleasantville, a sibling is


an important force in Vincent achieving his goals and ambitions. Vincent also forms another


family once he reaches adulthood. Though not a typical family, he forms a sort of pact between


himself and his friends who know of his secret identity. His roommate Eugene (who’s identity


Vincent obtains) as well as his love interest, Irene; all are vital parts to Vincent reaching his goal


of becoming an astronaut so he can reach the moon Titan. Eugene provides Vincent with vital


blood and urine samples, dead skin cells, and also helpful insight. Irene gives Vincent moral


support as well as the love that he has been reaching out for his entire life. Without this “family”


Vincent would succumb to the evils of discrimination that haunt many of the citizens of Gattaca.


Another thing that both films have in common is that they both tackle the issue of


discrimination--though differently. Pleasantville compares white suburban ideals of the mid 150s


to a fantasy sitcom of the same era. A monochrome template is used as a metaphor for a white,


perfect, utopia, and Technicolor is precisely depicted on people or things that contradict the


norm. When the monochrome citizens realize that other citizens look differently, they begin to


judge and segregate from the citizens of color--just like how it occurred throughout American


history. The only solution to the problem was for the black and white citizens to accept the


“colored” people as regular people instead of strange or second-class. These are some of the


same revolutions that America had/has to face in order for progress among races to occur.


Like Pleasantville, Gattaca deals with issues of discrimination--but in a future setting.


While Pleasantville focused on where our society once was with discrimination, Gattaca deals


with where America is headed. The city of Gattaca was divided into two groups-- “valids”


(genetically enhanced) and “invalids” (naturally born). The society’s view was that valids were


superior than invalids and thus shall receive the top jobs and opportunities. Vincent, an invalid, is


faced with either settling for a maintenance job or seeking his dream of becoming an astronaut.


Unfortunately, only valids can hold positions of that status so Vincent has to do whatever possible


to obtain his goal. Vincent is forced to fight the system by any means necessary to prove that he


is worth of fair treatment. This leads to him working twice as hard to obtain the same privileges


and opportunities that the vaids have--similar to what African-Americans have faced over the


timespan of American history.


Both films also focus on the predetermined limitations of its characters. Before Jennifer


and David entered the world of Pleasantville, the people there lived their lives with frequent


monotony. Everyone possessed the same mannerisms, thought similarly, and never created any


wrongdoing. The grass was always cut, the weather was perfect (it never rained), and dinner was


always ready when the family arrived home. Everything appeared to be perfect in Pleasantville,


but looks can be deceiving. By the daily lives of the citizens being set, there wasn’t any room for


individuality. Without any individuality in Pleasantville, the city lacked depth in its citizens as well


as its history. All of these factors lead to vast limitations that prevent the society from tapping its


unlimited potential.


Gattaca’s predetermined limitations are set from a scientific standpoint. Through genetic


manipulation, children’s physical and mental attributes are set long before their birth. All genetic


deficiencies are removed, thus creating an almost perfect human being. The child’s chances of


mental illness, disease, and even their year of death are concluded as soon as the child is born. By


the children’s appearance, personality, and health being predetermined, it can become very hard


for them to live their lives in any other fashion then what was given to them. They are simply


depicting an image that others felt was “acceptable” or “perfect” and thus may make it difficult for


the people to become individuals.


The characters in both films struggle with identity issues. The Pleasantville people initially


lack a sense of identity and don’t find it until David and Jennifer come to grips with their own. As


David and Jennifer learn more about themselves, they then realize that they have the knowledge


and obligation to help the others around them. Pleasantville slowly transforms from a cookie


cutter suburb to a fluid culture of diversity.


Gattaca’s issues with identity center around Vincent and his determination towards


preventing people from finding it. By Vincent using Eugene’s identity to move up the corporate


ladder at Gattaca Corp., he finds himself using just as much energy preventing anyone from


knowing his true identity then he does using a false identity in the first place.


In conclusion, Pleasantville and Gattaca, though vastly different films, have several


similarities that link two well-executed movies.


Please note that this sample paper on The differences and similarities between Gattaca and Pleasantville is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on The differences and similarities between Gattaca and Pleasantville, we are here to assist you. Your persuasive essay on The differences and similarities between Gattaca and Pleasantville will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Alien: Resurrection

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In the her text, Popular Culture, Freccero states, “Science fiction most explicitly addresses the political, representing political fantasies through the imagining of alternative worlds, and thus invites the reading of ideological critique” (Freccero, pg. 111). The film Alien Resurrection is embedded thoroughly with representation of modern day cultural occurrings. In the film’s case, it is tackling issues such as cloning and outside womb reproduction, such as test tube babies, and negative representation of women by degradation from the men. The social commentary is perfectly obvious the bad guys are the military-scientific establishment, cold, heartless, mechanistic, oblivious to the human consequences of their actions and what happens when women succumb to blunt sexism.


This film picks up where Alien left off and certain people have saved some of Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) blood and it appears that they have successfully cloned her after eight attempts. Not only have they cloned her, but they have fused her DNA with that of an Alien, giving our heroine the body and mind of a human but the strength and acid blood of an alien. The opening line of the film is Ripley saying, “My mother always said there are no monsters...but there are.” You hear her say this as the camera pulls back and you see her being surrounded by scientists as they prepare to operate on her and deliver her “baby”, an Alien queen that was implanted into the host, Ripley. That statement in the first 15 seconds of the film enunciates the tone and underlying


message for the remainder of the film. Ripley, even though created by scientists, has sympathy towards these aliens. In her mind she knows that she must destroy them, but in her heart she feel pangs of guilt towards doing so, hence the apology to her “child” as it is sucked out the ship’s window. This turns the film into more a voyage of self-discovery then a horror/sci-fi adventure. I think the film’s message is that even though she was created by scientists, she still has emotions and cloning is simply uncalled for. Freccero states, “Alien was horrified by the blurring of the boundaries between nature and technology, further suggesting that nature might actually win out in the end in revenge for humanity’s audacity at having dreamed that technology would bring transcendence” (Freccero, pg. 117). I think that this film is repeating this message by showing cloning in a negative light.


Freccero states, “Technology has been and is viewed as a predominantly masculine domain, indeed as defining late-twentieth-century advanced capitalist masculinity” (Freccero, pg. 10). This is very present theme in the film, as the men, both the scientists and the pirates aboard the ship, repeatedly degrade the women verbally. Over and over throughout the film, sexualized comments are made towards the women that signal that in the future, “The feminine is constituted as a threat and an object of desire in the space of fraternal bonding” (Freccero, pg. 107). In one scene, we see one of the lady pirates in the driver’s seat of the ship. A man pirate says to her, “No matter how many times I see a woman strapped in like that...it just does it for me.” I think this comment signals that even though the woman is capable of doing exactly what the man is doing, she is kept in her place, a place that is dominated by men.


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The text states that “The exercise of privilege over women, in the form of sexual violence, degradation, parody and selective exclusion, guarantees an important mediation between and among the men, a mediation that will keep them from turning toward and loving each other, a mediation that will prevent homoeroticism and produce homosociality instead” (Freccero, pg. 106). Homosociality is defined in the text as


...guaranteeing the control of social space by men only, while it also ensures that the fiction of a competitive structure will persist and eventually take over once the men themselves become patriarchs (106).


One might conclude that the “patriarchism” occurs when the cloning is successful or when the queen is born from the cloned Ripley. If she is the alien’s mother, one could view the scientists as being the father. The women are viewed as sexual objects placed on board the ship for the men’s amusement. The men, the pirates and the scientists, have camaraderie in bashing the women together. I think they definitely view Ripley as a threat to their male hierarchy. She beats up several of the pirates as she is playing basketball and they become very angry at Call (Winona Ryder) after they discover she has been talking with Ripley and say she is a terrorist. The pirates view Ripley as a two-sided threat one that may be desired as well as feared.


I find it interesting that in the first Alien film, the computer responded to


MU TH UR (Mother). This is a “oedipalized relation to the mother as the first all-powerful female figure who dominates the infant boy” (Freccero, pg. 107). The film Alien Resurrection has the computer responding to FA TH UR (Father), which could signifies that perhaps the tables have turned and the men have gained control of Ripley’s character and lessened her power. The book states, “One of the ways the patriarchy guarantees its reproduction and replacement, even from within the resistive and oppositional moment of fraternal bonding, is through a certain relation to women, the female body, and femininity” (Freccero, pg. 106). This is exactly what the men strived to achieve in Alien Resurrection total domination over women by means of verbal and physical abuse.


Overall, after analyzing this film, I think it had little to offer in the arena of cultural context. It could have gone very deeply into several subjects, such as cloning, yet I feel it merely danced around them as to appease the mass Hollywood audience.


Please note that this sample paper on Alien: Resurrection is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on Alien: Resurrection, we are here to assist you. Your persuasive essay on Alien: Resurrection will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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Mother Courage & Marxism

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“The aim of Marxism is to bring about a classless society, based on the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange” (Barry 156). According to Marxism, progress comes about through the “struggle of power between different social classes” (Barry 157). Class struggle is fueled by the competition for economic, social, and political advantage. The exploitation of one social class by another is seen in modern industrial capitalism. The result of this exploitation is alienation, leaving workers and the products of their work with only a monetary value, known as reification. Alienation is the primary innovation of Brecht’s epic theater. Through epic drama, Brecht shows this alienation between the characters and the audience. Brecht uses specific techniques in order to accomplish this. By using his episodic style, “a disconnected open-ended montage of scenes,” physical space, and “significant properties,” such as gesture, he forces the audience to see what is actually taking place (Brecht 75-76). The alienation effect is a derivation of defamiliarisation, where familiar actions are distorted through interruption, lengthening, or deceleration (essay bank). In Mother Courage and Her Children, Brecht examines the social injustices of war, the idea of capitalization through war, and how war affects individuals by changing their moral ethics and virtues. War is a business, which makes human virtues fatal to those who possess them.


Mother Courage and Her Children takes place during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) in Sweden. Anna Fierling, known as Mother Courage, struggles to make a living selling goods to soldiers, while at the same time keeping her children safe and out of the war


SERGEANT Peaceable I don’t think; look at your knife. You should be ashamed of


yourself; put that knife away, you old harridan. A minute back you were admitting you


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live off the war, how else should you live, what from? But how’s anyone to have war


without soldiers?


MOTHER COURAGE No need it to be my kids. (Brecht 7)


Her children are important to her however, Mother Courage faces an internal conflict of what she is willing and not willing to give up in order to survive. Although Mother Courage disagrees with the war, she is a businesswoman at heart and develops a co-dependency with the war. She is egocentric and selfish subscribing to capitalist principles, but is blind to their consequences. As the war rages on, Mother Courage realizes her business is jeopardizing the safety of her children and herself, but is unwilling to give up her wagon of goods. She pays the ultimate price for keeping her business, by sacrificing the lives of her children. “War is a continuation of business making human virtues fatal to their possessors” (Brecht 76).


“War and business create an all-embracing market in which everything is commodified” (Brecht 76). Mother Courage, showing a lack in moral judgment, pulls her wagon through war torn Europe to sell her wares as people are being killed. An army recruiting officer and sergeant see Mother Courage with her children as they roll into camp. Immediately, forming opinions on which class of people they belong to. Using degrading and dehumanizing remarks, the recruiting officer and sergeant refer to the women as “tarts,” Mother Courage as a “harridan,” and her sons as “trash” (Brecht 77-7). Holding her head high, Mother Courage presents herself as “Mother Courage with her wagon,” implying that her reputation precedes her. The sergeant’s response surprises her


SERGEANT Never heard of her. What’s she called Courage for?


MOTHER COURAGE Courage is the name they gave me because I was scared of


going broke…(Brecht 78)


This statement is prophetic, as it is her fear that determines her actions throughout the play, leading her to a tragic “pyrrhic victory” (Tolley). Mother Courage displays her fears in a contradictory manner. While tearing a sheet of parchment paper she says, “Eilif, Swiss Cheese and Kattrin, may all of us be torn apart like this if we let ourselves get too mixed up in the war” (Brecht 7). Mother Courage is scared and does not want her children involved in the war. The actual tearing of the parchment represents the family being on borrowed time and the fate of the children, as each one is torn away from their mother. A few moments later, Mother Courage states, “Come along, let’s move on now. Tain’t every day we have a war, I got to get stirring” (Brecht 7). Even though Mother Courage is afraid, she still relies on the war to survive. War is her deadly partner.


Mother Courage appears torn between making money and doing what is best for her children. Her predictions of doom for her family in scene one, foreshadows the entire play. Mother Courage pretends she is a fortuneteller and predicts the death of the sergeant, but is actually predicting the deaths of her own children and the manner of which they die. As Mother Courage prepares to leave camp, the recruiting officer sarcastically says, “Might as well look at that belt buckle, sergeant. After all, our friends here have to live by their business,” implying that Mother Courage lives off of the army, an image of vermin (Brecht 70). Mother Courage cannot resist a sale and begins haggling, unaware that the recruiting officer has taken Eilif. When she realizes that Eilif is gone, her response to Kattrin is less than motherly, “You’ll have to help your brother pull now,” showing more concern for her wagon than for Eilif’s safety (Brecht 70). She is done haggling and leaves camp without Eilif.


Two years go by and Mother Courage has not seen her son Eilif. She crosses Poland with the Finnish armies, and begins arguing with the general’s cook about buying a capon for the soldiers


THE COOK There’s plenty. They’re sitting on it.


MOTHER COURAGE (Triumphantly.) They ain’t. They’re bust, that’s what they are. Just


about starving. I saw some, were grubbing up roots from sheer hunger, licking their fingers


after they boiled some old leather strap. That’s way it is. And me got a capon here supposed


to take forty hellers for it. (Brecht 70)


Mother Courage insists her capon is the better choice over the rat and beef the cook wanted to use. Brecht strongly emphasizes food imagery here. The concept of food represents one of the necessities of life that drive men to act immorally. Mother Courage offers to sell a capon to the cook, who does not want to pay her price. She replies, “a rat you might get; ‘might’ I say because they’re all being gobbled up, five men spending best part of a day chasing one hungry rat” (Brecht 70). Contrasting the capon and the rat implies the army eats its own scavengers, which is the opposite of what normally happens. Vermin are scavengers fighting for resources, and the war serves as both a fighting and a feeding ground.


While haggling with the cook, Mother Courage hears a familiar voice. It is her son Eilif being congratulated by the general for his heroism. Using his business know-how, Eilif has confused the peasants over selling their oxen, catching them off-guard. Grabbing his sword, Eilif began “hacking ‘em to pieces” (Brecht 71). Eilif asks the Chaplain for his thoughts on the matter. According to the Chaplain, the Bible does not provide examples of killing for food, because God always provided it, therefore God is not fighting for the army (Brecht 71). This is juxtaposed with the general’s statement that God is on the army’s side, implying that God allows the killing of peasants to feed the army. This obviously shows a corrupted view of Christian morality. Eilif then sings “The Song of the Girl and the Soldier” for the general, which tells the story of a soldier who dies for ignoring the advice of a wise woman (Brecht 71�7). This story runs parallel to Eilif’s life. Ignoring Mother Courage’s advice, he continues killing peasants even in peacetime, and eventually dies for it.


Three years later, we find Mother Courage, her children, and the Chaplain as prisoners, with Mother Courage pretending to be Catholic to protect them from the enemy


THE CHAPLAIN But my faith makes it particularly dangerous for me.


MOTHER COURAGE (Gets him a cloak.) Goes against my conscience, this does. Now you


run along. (Brecht 74)


Mother Courage does care for the people around her, however her concern for survival is greater, as she struggles with giving away merchandise without being paid. With the enemy arriving, Mother Courage is frantic to find Kattrin in a “strumpet’s hat” and wearing the red boots (Brecht 74). Kattrin is fascinated with Yvette’s red boots, and refuses to part with them. The red boots are affiliated with prostitution, but to Kattrin they symbolize beauty, luxury, and femininity. Mother Courage tells Kattrin to give the boots back to Yvette. Mother Courage worries the soldiers will rape Kattrin, so she covers her face with ashes to conceal her (Brecht 74�75). At the same time, Swiss Cheese is entrusted with the “regimental cash box,” which Mother Courage tells him to get rid of for their safety (Brecht 75). Swiss Cheese knows it is his responsibility, and hides it in the wagon instead. Mother Courage being afraid, uses cutting remarks towards her son, “If it weren’t for you Swiss Cheese, things’d be easier, I brought you up to be honest, you not being clever, but you got to know where to stop” (Brecht 75). Again, we see an imagery of vermin as Mother Courage says, “We’re prisoners, but same like fleas on dog,” indicating she would rather take care of a bag of fleas, than deal with her own children (Brecht 75). Her children are careless, and Mother Courage is afraid they will reveal their identity to the enemy. In doing so, she is debasing their humanity and their status as individuals.


Mother Courage leaves Swiss Cheese in charge, as she and the Chaplain go to buy a Catholic flag and some meat. They warn Swiss Cheese to leave the cash box alone and to watch for spies. Swiss Cheese wants to hide the cash box by the river, until it is safe to retrieve it. Kattrin, unable to speak, tries to warn Swiss Cheese of the danger as he leaves with the cash box. The spies arrest Swiss Cheese and bring him back to the wagon, where Mother Courage denies knowing him. They insist he cooperate, by telling them where the cash box is hidden, or he’s “a goner” (Brecht 76). Refusing to divulge the information, he lies for the first time, and denies knowing anything about it. Mother Courage uses Yvette to haggle over sparing her son’s life. By the time Mother Courage agrees to pay their price and to sell her wagon, it is too late. Mother Courage negotiates too long, and as a result Swiss Cheese dies. Yvette is disgusted and says to Mother Courage, “Well, you got what you asked for, with your haggling and trying to keep your cart. Eleven bullets they gave him, that’s all” (Brecht 78). The soldiers bring Swiss Cheese’s body to Mother Courage to see her reaction. When she sees her son’s body, she denies knowing him in order to protect Kattrin, the Chaplain, and herself. Swiss Cheese was known to be virtuous and honest, however, the first time he does not tell the truth, he is killed for it. An interesting comparison is made between Swiss Cheese and Jesus Christ. The Chaplain sings the “Song of the Hours,” the trial and death of Christ, which is similar to what Swiss Cheese is going through. Mother Courage denies knowing her son three times, as Peter did to Jesus, and they were both put to death.


Frustrated, Mother Courage sings the “Song of the Grand Capitulation,” a song about a young girl with high hopes, a broken spirit, and being ruled by others (Brecht 7). The song indicates that Mother Courage hates her own life and what it has become. Years of wartime suffering have frozen them into fixed forms of begging, informing, and lamentation. When she was younger, Mother Courage didn’t take orders from anyone, but after a short time she gave in to the pressures of society. She capitulated in order to survive, and is suffering as a result. In other words, either you capitulate or you die.


It is now 161, the war is spreading to other areas, and there are many injuries. Mother Courage refuses to cut up her “officers’ shirts” to use as bandages, because she knows that she will not be paid (Brecht 740). Mother Courage is so attached to her wagon and in protecting her interests, she is unfeeling towards the victims and their suffering. Kattrin, enraged by her mother’s inhumanity tries to intervene. Hearing that a baby’s life is in danger, Kattrin risks her own life to save the baby’s. As Kattrin cares for the baby, her actions seem to be out of revenge towards her mother. Kattrin sees herself as the good mother and Mother Courage as the bad mother. There are great differences between their personalities. Mother Courage has hardened over the years, and is unmoved and uncaring towards others, whereas Kattrin is compassionate, representing a true hero. Mother Courage again shows us where her priorities lie, at the Commander-in-Chief’s funeral


MOTHER COURAGE You don’t think war might end, then?


THE CHAPLAIN What, because the commander in chief’s gone? Don’t be childish. They’re


two a penny, no shortage of heroes.


MOTHER COURAGE Ee, I’m not asking for fun of it, but because I’m thinking whether to


stock up, prices are low now, but if war’s going to end it’s money down the drain.


(Brecht 741)


Her concern lies more with her business than with the war ending.


Mother Courage is interrupted from her conversation with the Chaplain, as Kattrin enters out of breath. She was assaulted, and has a wound above her eye


MOTHER COURAGE …Worse than wild beasts they are. (She ties up the wound.)


THE CHAPLAIN It’s not them I blame. They never went raping back home. The fault lies


with those that start the wars, it brings humanity’s lowest instincts to the surface. (Brecht 74)


This statement is so true; war and conflict bring out our animal instincts of survival. Kattrin has been a tragic victim of the war. As a child, she lost her voice when a “soldier stuck something in her mouth” (Brecht 74). Now she is disfigured from defending her mother’s merchandise, and blames her mother for her disfigurement. Mother Courage curses the war for scarring her daughter, however in a contradictory manner, she inventories the very items that cause Kattrin’s scarring.


At the peak of her business, Mother Courage says, “I won’t have you folk spoiling my war for me. I’m told it kills off the weak, but they’re write-off in peacetime too. And war gives its people a better deal” (Brecht 74). Her business is all that matters to Mother Courage, and when she hears that the war is over, she becomes upset. Her business depends on the war’s continuation. War is her breadwinner and provides for all basic human needs. The Chaplain, who has been ineffectual and cynical thus far is outraged at Mother Courage’s behavior, and puts her in her place


THE CHAPLAIN You should not blaspheme against peace, Courage. You are a hyaena of the


battlefield.


MOTHER COURAGE I’m what?


THE CHAPLAIN But when I see you picking up peace betwixt your finger and your thumb


like some dirty old snot-rag, then my humanity feels outraged; for then I see that you don’t


want peace but war, because you profit from it; in which case you shouldn’t forget the ancient


saying that whosoever sups with the devil needs a long spoon. (Brecht 745)


This motif of vermin is evident as the Chaplain labels Mother Courage as a “hyaena of the battlefied” (Brecht 745). This depiction of Mother Courage equates her with ugly, scavenging animals, which live off of dead carcasses, invoking an imagery of filth. It also indicates that money, greed, and war are evil. Mother Courage is concerned with unloading her stuff before prices drop, so she heads to the market, just missing Eilif. Escorted by soldiers, Eilif arrives in handcuffs to say goodbye to his mother. He is being executed for committing murder during peacetime. Brecht creates an ironic juxtaposition regarding Eilif. Eilif dies for the same reason he was considered a hero during wartime. As Eilif is killed, Mother Courage is conducting business as usual. She returns unaware that her “favorite son” is dead, and is in a hurry to leave with her wagon, because the war is on again (Brecht 746).


The winter of 164 is harsh and business is poor. Cook and Mother Courage discuss going to Utrect to run an inn. Cook tells Mother Courage the inn does not have room for Kattrin, and that her looks are a liability for business. Mother Courage considers the proposition, but refuses to leave Kattrin behind to survive on her own. Overhearing their conversation, Kattrin’s spirit is damaged.


Cook sings the “Song of the Great Souls of the Earth,” in an attempt to hock virtue as merchandise, because they are hungry (Hansson). The contention is that man can survive without virtue, but not without food. Through this song, Brecht parallels the lives of Mother Courage to Solomon, Eilif to Caesar, Swiss Cheese to Socrates, and Kattrin to St. Martin. The song indicates that each person lives their lives to one of these virtues wisdom, bravery, honesty, and compassion, and that their virtues fail them. Mother Courage risks the lives of her children and loses; a final defeat. Cook makes a direct reference to Eilif in this scene. He essentially says, Eilif became a cutthroat to survive, which did not spare his life, so whether you are a cutthroat or a person of virtue, there is no chance of survival (Brecht 748).


Mother Courage and Kattrin travel over the “highroads of central Germany,” harnessed to their wagon like workhorses (Brecht 748). They pass a farm where they hear singing of endless prosperity, as Mother Courage envisions her life of endless toil. This shows the injustice of a class system. Mother Courage and Kattrin continue on their journey, where they come across a farmhouse and park their wagon (Brecht 748). An ensign and three soldiers come upon the farmhouse, and insist the young peasant show them the way into town. Their motive is to murder the townspeople and to take their oxen. The peasant, his wife, and Kattrin begin to pray for the townspeople and their safety. Kattrin slips away, and for the first time in the play, she becomes the dominant character. She performs a heroic deed by risking her life to save others. Climbing up to the stable’s roof, she begins beating her drum, hoping the townspeople will hear it. Ignoring the threats on her life, Kattrin beats her drum even louder. Kattrin refuses to capitulate, and dies as a result. This act of self-sacrifice brings her to martyrdom.


Kattrin represents the ideal person. The kind of person we should all strive to become, honorable and compassionate. The peasants assure Mother Courage that Kattrin will have a “proper burial” (Brecht 751). Mother Courage slowly counts out her coins to pay the peasants for her burial. She is quick to dispose of her daughter’s corpse in order to “get back in business” (Brecht 751). As she pulls her wagon away from the farmhouse, she sees a regiment marching by and calls out to them, “Take me along!” (Brecht 751). Mother Courage presses on with her business. Her business serves as her material and psychological support. She does not let anything interfere with conducting her business, not even the deaths of her children. With Kattrin’s death, Brecht shows that helping others does not always pay, and only people like Mother Courage are capable of surviving in the world as it is now. By despising Mother Courage we are brought to the realization that the world does need changing, and until it does change we cannot exist in the idealized world that Kattrin represents.


Brecht makes ironic use of business dealings throughout the play. Mother Courage loses Eilif to the army, when trying to sell a belt. Eilif defeats the peasants pretending to negotiate with them. When each of her children dies, Mother Courage is haggling at the market. With hopes of living off of the army, Mother Courage loses both of her sons and her daughter, in essence the army lives off of her. One obvious lesson Mother Courage never learns is, by doing business with war, you will eventually lose everything. Another lesson to be learned is, by not doing business with war, you will die. In other words, you have to capitulate or you die.


According to Marx, “the division of labor in modern industrial production has altered the relationship between mankind and the world” (Brecht 7). With modern industry, “workers sell their labor in order to produce commodities” (Brecht 7). Capitalist production conceals how these commodities are produced, giving them a “natural life of their own” (Brecht 7). As these commodities “come alive,” the workers are “dehumanized, incorporated into the machinery of production” (Brecht 7). This exemplifies the change in Mother Courage. Giving in to society’s terms, Mother Courage works hard to support her children on her own. Enduring hardships, confronting danger, and surviving in a man’s world, she ignores her own pain for her children. Once she capitulated, she became intertwined with her business and the war, her actions were robotic and without emotion; she was possessed. Being financially dependent on the war and its continuation, her wagon is her means of survival. Her business practices exemplify this. She protects her interests shrewdly, inquiring into the fate of the war with only her profit in mind. These business practices emerge from the social conditions that determine the characters, thus committing her to war. This is evident from her reactions to the deaths of her children, showing little emotion. She ultimately finds herself alone with the one thing that she treasures, her ramshackle wagon with its tattered flag. The dehumanization of human personality and associated comparison to vermin, illustrates the effects of war on the population.


Brecht’s intention on writing Mother Courage was to communicate his beliefs and to make people aware of two major issues facing society, war and capitalism (Hansson). According to Brecht, “people deserve the wars they get if they subscribe to a political system which is unfair and favors a specific sector of society, namely capitalism” (Hansson). In other words, if the system is unjust in any way, war and conflict are inevitable. Brecht’s primary goals in epic theater are to estrange the audience, to provoke thought about the play, avoid attachment to the characters, and not to meet their expectations. In this way, the audience is forced to confront the issues at hand and decipher the meanings behind what they are being shown. Brecht wants to draw attention to “a bad system, not bad people,” making the audience realize that war is unfair, because “one person’s hero is another person’s villain” (essay bank). Brecht’s primary focus is to illustrate the “trickle-down effect” war has on ordinary citizens trying to survive, keeping the war in the background (Clay). Brecht incorporates the Bible into his play, by showing how it fails society. An example of this is when the general stays to Eilif, “Hacked ‘em to pieces, did you, so my gallant lads can get a proper bite to eat? What do the Scriptures say? ‘Whatsoever thou doest for the least of my brethren, thou doest for me,” implying that God condones killing people for food (Brecht 71).


Brecht incorporates certain techniques to alienate his audiences in order to inspire “critical detachment” (Zysshe). For staging, he uses a “very bright white light” fixed evenly upon the set, eliminating the possibility of creating an atmosphere (Hansson). Scene changes are made “in full view of the audience” (Hansson). The wagon in Mother Courage and Her Children is the focal point of the play, and remains on stage the entire time. The actors do not become their characters; they simply show their character behavior. Gesture denies the audience the potential to empathize. This form of theatrical acting is unfamiliar territory for audiences, which induces critical analysis. The characters in Mother Courage and Her Children are self-contradictory, which is particularly alienating to an audience. It is difficult to relate or empathize with them. Mother Courage is the best example of being self-contradictory. The “jingle-like” sales pitches distracts the audience and draws attention away from the character, so they can focus on the real issues being presented (Hansson). Brecht also uses silence as part of his alienation program. Kattrin’s muteness is the most obvious example of this. A less overt occasion using alienation is when Mother Courage hears the drums heralding Swiss Cheese’s death.


Brecht’s epic theater does not place any “artificial constraints” on time and place (essay bank). In Mother Courage and Her Children, Brecht uses twelve isolated scenes that “connect in a pattern that defines the action,” instead of enclosing characters in a fixed place and time (Zysshe). Each scene begins a different period of time moving on to different locations, thus forfeiting any dramatic climaxes. By using this form, we see that time passes, and that people change when their social conditions change. By using the aspects of character, song, structure, style, and staging, Brecht ensures that the audience remains detached, and their expectations are not met.


War is neither a supernatural force nor a rupture in civilization, but one of civilization’s preconditions and logical consequences. In other words, war is not a force of the elements, but the workings of men. At the end of the war, Mother Courage has lost most of her humanity and hates the war for ending. The question raised is how far is one willing to go in order to survive, and at what point should one stop living for nothing and be willing to die for something? “The play leaves us with a powerful reminder of how humanity is worn down by war and what is lost by those who survive it” (Vera).





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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Writer's choice

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In Night by Elie Wiesel, their are several instances of public hangings. Elie feels


different about hanging the three men who steal soup, and the sad eyed angel. The public


hangings are used as examples to what happens to prisoners if they break one of the


rules. Elie has vivid memories about the public hanging. He tells us about them in the


Help with essay on Writer's choice




novel.


One of the instances of a hanging, was when the sad eyed angel was hung. He was


a kapo in the camp Elie was in. Elie liked him because of his kindness. He seemed to be


the only officer in the camp that had an ounce of compassion. He hung for knowing


about a secret weapon stash and not telling about it. For Elie, this symbolized the death


of hope. This is where he started to loose faith in god.


Another instance of a hanging, was when the three men where hanged for stealing


soup. This did not effect Elie in the same way. He felt that they brought the death on


themselves. They were paying the price for stealing the soup. He did not question the


hanging. He knew if you break the rules, you will be killed. It was common knowledge


in the camps. I am sure the men knew this, they were just overcome with hunger and


could not think strait.


The hangings lowered Elie’s faith in god. Everytime someone died in the camp,


Elie would stop believing in god just a little more. This ended with the death of his


father. The first hanging Elie witnessed, was devastating. He had never seen anything


like it. One horrific experience for Elie was when one person did not die during the


hanging. He did not weigh enough for the fall to break his neck. He hung suffocating for


a while.


All the hangings were terrible experiences for Elie. Nobody could not walk away


unaffected by the hangings. Every public killing deteriorated Elie’s faith. The sad eyed


angel was the end of hope for Elie. After that, he understood the murderous nature of the


Holocaust. Elie walked away a completely different person than how he entered.





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Western Philosophy

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Philosophy as a discipline isnt easy to define precisely. Issuing from a sense of wonderment about life and the world, it often involves a keen interest in major questions about our selves, our experience, and our place in the universe as a whole. But philosophy is also reflectively concerned with the methods its practitioners employ in the effort to resolve such questions. Emerging as a central feature of Western culture, philosophy is a tradition of thinking and writing about particular issues in special ways. Thus, philosophy must be regarded both as content and as activity It considers alternative views of what is real and the development of reasons for accepting them. It offers all of us the chance to create and adopt significant beliefs about life and the world, but it also requires each of us to acquire the habits of critical thinking. Western philosophy is considered generally to have begun in ancient Greece as speculation about the underlying nature of the physical world. In its earliest form it was indistinguishable from natural science. Thales of Miletus (early 6th century BC) was the first philosopher of historical record to find the first important school of Greek philosophy in the city of Miletus on the Ionian coast of Asia Minor and he was considered the first Greek philosopher because he was the first to give a purely natural explanation of the origin of the world, free from all mythological ingredients. Thales was revered by later generations as one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece; he was interested in astronomical, physical, and meteorological phenomena. He proposed that all natural phenomena are different forms of one fundamental substance, water; he believed evaporation and condensation to be the universal processes.” This made him an important figure in Western Philosophy.


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Monday, October 24, 2011

Relationships between husbands and wives

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HUSBAND AND WIFE RELATIONSHIP


In the United States, marriage is a commitment two people make for the rest of their lives. The average American marriage lasts seven years. Well over half of all marriages end in divorce. Statistics of infidelity have rose fifty percent since the 170’s and continues to rise. One out of every three marriages ends up in a divorce. What people don’t understand is that the relationship between a husband and a wife should be sacred and trustworthy, without the trust and honesty there can be no marriage. A monogamy that is loving, sharing, and devoting one’s self to another person for the rest of their life.


Even some of the most primitive people look upon that very highly, but some of us have conveniently moved away from that. Two people in a marriage who are totally committed to each other will nourish and grow closer to each other everyday they are married. This brings them together as one; unlike some people believe they need to express their love to more than one person. They feel that one person is not enough to keep them satisfied emotionally, spiritually, and also physically. They believe that not being monogamous will open heart and soul to new and adventurous experiences. I believe monogamy is the best form of marriage. When two people get married they make life-long decisions to stay together as the wedding vow says, “until death do us part.” Marriage is a commitment that not everyone is willing to take. I think if you have an intimate relationship with one another r, with one person who means the world to you and who makes you happy to be alive, how you can possibly share that kind of love with anybody else. Considering marriage is all about devoting one’s self to that special someone. Being faithful in a marriage makes one feel accepted and loved, knowing they will always be there for them.


Genesis 4 it clearly states that a man and a woman must unite as “one flesh” in order for their marriage and therefore parenting to work. They must see their children through one set of eyes that involves one set of goals, share one set of values, and act as one body when it comes to loving, teaching, and disciplining their children. They realize, that the single best thing they can do for their children is take extremely good care of their marriage. We can say that they are truly “one flesh”.


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The lack of this one flesh union is displaced by the roles of father and mother. That instead of focusing on one another, they focus on their children, who therefore occupy center stage in the family. Instead of being of “one flesh”. These couples are at a greater risk of divorce shortly after the last child is “brought up”. A we all know, many married couples with children never even make it far. The reason being one flesh becomes two fleshes. The legal divorce only formalizes what has been already been there. The problem is that marriage is not what you or your spouse wants. It’s about what God wants from us, his children. It’s not about meeting what you and your spouse call “needs”- which are nothing but self-centered wants. When each of you already have a list of “needs” that you bring into the marriage, that each expect to meet, you already have two fleshes. You can only be one flesh by putting aside your individual pettiness and listening to God. Not you.


Like any other relationship with time, the husband and wife relationship constantly changes. People change, society changes, as well as expectations. What we need to know as a society is that we need to “tune up” our relationships. Not let the emotional separation caused by hurts and disappointments, barriers, biological and psychological changes, and dreams and hopes that have been dissipated by time and as a result build a bridge that we are unable to cross.


What most of us don’t know when we become married is that which requires more energy, perseverance, honesty, and courage than any other pursuit they’ll probably ever meet. Real success in a marriage involves coping with day-to-day events with the motivation to “go for it”. It’s the right attitude in both partners that can turn a marriage around, change minds, open hearts, heal families, and solve violence. But for some of us that right attitude doesn’t come easy. Sometimes no matter how much you may try, if the other party does not cooperate it’s not going to work. It’s like bumping in the wall, over and over again. Eventually you get tired, tired of trying, tired of getting your feelings hurt and seeing that the other person just doesn’t care. And what’s worst about it is that the end you’re so worn out, that you stop seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The person that’s suppose to be with you through thick and thin, support you, and be your best friend, and when you see that reality is nowhere close to that, it’s very disappointing, and very demoralizing. It makes you feel like a failure, because despite everything above all you still think maybe there was something else you could have done. Maybe if you would have done something different somewhere along the line things wouldn’t have turned out the way they did. The feeling of helplessness, when you know you do have the power to make a difference fills you with grief.


Some of us do a lot growing up at the beginning stages of our marriage, not just as a couple but as an individual. Especially if we marry at a young age, we are still finding who we are as an individual, and at the same time we’re trying to find out who the person is that we married. Because it doesn’t matter how well you think you know your partner, after you put on those rings and leave those church doors, it’s a totally different ball game.


I personally know some individuals that have admitted to this for their first 5 years of their marriage. Admitting that they were immature, selfish, and just not in the right frame of mind. The majority of these types of marriages don’t last, but I extremely admire the ones that do. I don’t quite understand though how some individuals can be in a type of relationship that they are being abused in some kind of way. Whether it is emotionaly, psychologically, or physically. WWhy would you stay with someone that obviously shows that there’s no love, either that or they have a serious problem. Why don’t they do something about it, are they in some kind of abusive relationship cause’ they like it? Because that love nonsense is obviously not getting them anywhere. And even if they do seek help, help is just not enough. In some relationships the situation gets so bad that it’s almost impossible to start over. Sometimes it’s better to just end it, both individuals may not want that, but sometimes it’s just the best thing to do. Healing our families; Can a marriage be turned around? You need two ingredients, an open mind and a change of heart. That is so much easier said than done. The absence of love is sometimes present, and then there’s nothing that couple can do. The question, of “Why are we together?” comes around. Some of us try and be heroes and attempt to salvage whatever has not been damaged and try to be builders and reconstruct. That’s usually the hardest, since you’re so full of anger and resentment. It’s very hard to let that go when you’ve been submitted to it for so long. As much as you may try, it’s going to very difficult. It’s almost like pretending it never happened, and that’s nearly impossible. No matter how many years go by, the memory will always be there, unerased in our minds. Fresh like a first coat of paint.


As a conclusion, marriage is like being in the military. It’ what you make of it, you either suck it up and move on, or you groan and moan and be miserable the whole time. But despite everything, you should enjoy it while it lasts.





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Sunday, October 23, 2011

personal

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Personal Goals 1


Personal Goals Paper


Erick Perez


GEN 00


Custom Essays on personal




DR. Flo Richman


June 0, 00


Personal Goals


Personal Goals Paper


As a new student at the University of Phoenix I have set many goals for myself.


One of my main goals is to obtain my degree. I attended Montgomery College in the past,


but I found myself trying to do too much at one time. Meaning working full-time and taking to classes per week was very strenuous and exhausting for me. I attended Montgomery College for years and in that time span I only obtained about 40 college credits. I didn’t apply myself as well as I could have, as a student, most of the time I found myself in a rush, due to work and other things going on in my life. The University of Phoenix is more or less a new beginning for me.


Because, of my hectic work schedule and sometimes lack of effort. I found myself turning in assignments late and withdrawing from classes, I thought I could not handle. This was a very unpleasant situation for me, my grades suffered tremendously. I felt that was throwing money away at times. That is not a situation; I would want to be in again. I plan to do everything that I should have done before, attending class, meeting with my team and completing all my course work are my primary objectives. Maintaining an above average GPA is very important to me.


Prior to enrolling at UOP I was unaware of their leaning techniques. Learning through teams is something I can use in the work force. I have always been the type of person who takes on a task alone. Now, I do not have a choice in the matter, which is a good thing. Working with my teammates will enable me to learn from their experiences and see different points of view. I also think that working with other team members will eliminate the factor of someone “slacking off”. Not, only are you responsible for yourself


Personal Goals


but your team is counting on you to do your part as a fellow student. The accountability factor for a student to work well with the others is very important


Attaining my college degree is very important to me, not because I have been at it for a long time. But, because of all the competition there is in the job market. Most of my co-workers who are in the same position I’m in have their bachelors or are working on a master’s degree. I do not feel as if they are more qualified than I am but I need to better myself as a working professional. When I leave the company I am currently working for I do not intend to leave with just experience. After I finish with my bachelors I intend to pursue a master’s degree. Even though I am still in my twenties I fill that I have a lot of lost time to make up for, I did not start college until I was years old.


In all, I know I have set very attainable goals for myself. This is a new experience that I will enjoy. Working with my team is something I look forward in doing. I know I will learn from what they have to offer. I believe my team brings a lot of cultural diversity to the table, which will be instrumental in completing our projects. Once, I obtain my degree, I will feel that most of the hard work is over. It will be one of my most important accomplishments in life, aside from graduating boot camp. I will consider it my new beginning after UOP.














Personal Goals 1


Personal Goals Paper


Erick Perez


GEN 00


DR. Flo Richman


June 0, 00


Personal Goals


Personal Goals Paper


As a new student at the University of Phoenix I have set many goals for myself.


One of my main goals is to obtain my degree. I attended Montgomery College in the past,


but I found myself trying to do too much at one time. Meaning working full-time and taking to classes per week was very strenuous and exhausting for me. I attended Montgomery College for years and in that time span I only obtained about 40 college credits. I didn’t apply myself as well as I could have, as a student, most of the time I found myself in a rush, due to work and other things going on in my life. The University of Phoenix is more or less a new beginning for me.


Because, of my hectic work schedule and sometimes lack of effort. I found myself turning in assignments late and withdrawing from classes, I thought I could not handle. This was a very unpleasant situation for me, my grades suffered tremendously. I felt that was throwing money away at times. That is not a situation; I would want to be in again. I plan to do everything that I should have done before, attending class, meeting with my team and completing all my course work are my primary objectives. Maintaining an above average GPA is very important to me.


Prior to enrolling at UOP I was unaware of their leaning techniques. Learning through teams is something I can use in the work force. I have always been the type of person who takes on a task alone. Now, I do not have a choice in the matter, which is a good thing. Working with my teammates will enable me to learn from their experiences and see different points of view. I also think that working with other team members will eliminate the factor of someone “slacking off”. Not, only are you responsible for yourself


Personal Goals


but your team is counting on you to do your part as a fellow student. The accountability factor for a student to work well with the others is very important


Attaining my college degree is very important to me, not because I have been at it for a long time. But, because of all the competition there is in the job market. Most of my co-workers who are in the same position I’m in have their bachelors or are working on a master’s degree. I do not feel as if they are more qualified than I am but I need to better myself as a working professional. When I leave the company I am currently working for I do not intend to leave with just experience. After I finish with my bachelors I intend to pursue a master’s degree. Even though I am still in my twenties I fill that I have a lot of lost time to make up for, I did not start college until I was years old.


In all, I know I have set very attainable goals for myself. This is a new experience that I will enjoy. Working with my team is something I look forward in doing. I know I will learn from what they have to offer. I believe my team brings a lot of cultural diversity to the table, which will be instrumental in completing our projects. Once, I obtain my degree, I will feel that most of the hard work is over. It will be one of my most important accomplishments in life, aside from graduating boot camp. I will consider it my new beginning after UOP.






































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Discussion on Power Plants

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Natural Gas Power Plant


Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is created when decomposed plants and animals are subjected to intense heat and pressure within the earth over thousands of years. It is the carbon content in natural gas that is combusted to generate electric power. Since humans consume natural gas at a significantly higher rate than it is naturally produced natural gas is considered a nonrenewable energy source. A typical natural gas power plant is shown in Figure 1.





Figure 1 Natural gas power plant.


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The electric power from a natural gas power plant is generated using a similar combustion process as oil and coal fired power plants. These fossil fuel based power plants use steam driven turbines and generators to produce electric power. The University of Washington uses a natural gas power plant with a diesel powered back-up system. The general process of electric power production using a natural gas power plant is now described. The natural gas is transported to the power plant through a pipeline or drawn from a tank. The natural gas is then fed into a natural gas fired turbine where combustion takes place. The combusted gas is combined with air form an outside air intake then pushed into a heat recovery steam generator. The hot exhaust is used to heat treated water to form pressurized steam. This pressurized steam is then forced through a steam turbine, which is connected to an electric generator. The generator produces the electric power that is then boosted using a transformer. The pressurized steam then passes through a condenser where it is turned into hot water. The hot water is cooled in the cooling towers and is then recycled back into a storage tank or is discharged. Pollution is expelled from the heat recovery steam generator. The most abundant component of pollution from natural gas combustion is carbon dioxide. More discussion on the environmental impacts of natural gas power plants compared to oil and coal fired power plants is presented in the next section.


Environmental Aspects


With the greenhouse effect being a major concern in today’s society, many cities have recently turned to utilizing natural gas power plants to reduce emissions because of the sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases these plants produce are .5%, 5% and 60% lower, respectively, than those of a coal-fired power plant, while still maintaining zero emissions of mercury, lead and cancer causing pollutants.


Natural gas is 80 to 5% methane. Methane is a global warming gas 0 times worse than CO (Carbon Dioxide) at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Because natural gas combustion emits less CO than either coal or oil, its advocates argue that it can mitigate global warming if used as a replacement fuel for transportation and electrical generation.


(The New England Gas Association. “Natural Gas and Power Generation” http// www.nega.com/industry_trends/gp_generate.pdf)


Natural Gas


(Ontario Clean Air Alliance “Going Gree A Consumers Guide to Choosing Cleaner Electricity.” Online posting. http//www.cleanair.web.net/whatsnew/fs1.pdf


Coal plants are the single largest industrial contributors to this crisis. Coal plants are major producers of Nitrogen oxides, which combine with other pollutants to form ground-level ozone, one of the most noxious parts of the smog brew.


Sulphur dioxide, which contributes to the yellow haze that hangs over Southern Ontario and is a major factor in causing acid-rain damage to our lakes, rivers and forests.


Mercury, which can in even tiny amounts have a devastating impact on the human nervous system, especially for children and the unborn. Exposure to mercury can cause brain and kidney damage and even death. Mercury exposure has also been linked to impairment of childrens reasoning skills.


Lead, which is also particularly harmful to children and can cause brain damage, impair growth, damage kidneys and cause learning and behavioral problems.


Heavy metals, including cadmium and chromium, which are known cancer-causing toxins.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Electricity from Natural Gas.” Online posting.


http//www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/impacts/natgas.htm


AES Calgary ULC. “Technical FAQ’s” (Image of Figure 1 taken from here and modified.)


http//www.aescalgary.com/q_a.html


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Friday, October 21, 2011

Make a Ddifference

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I have seen many different letters over the past few months that have being circulated among disciples locally and internationally, I am sure some of these letters have also reached the hands of “non-members”. I endorse many of the things that have been noted because I myself have been a recipient of many such treatments, however very few of these letters I have seen, speak of how to make things different, it seem as if the “bad” things that have surfaced in resent times far outweigh the “good” things the kingdom of God offers . I do not want to be taken wrongly, I do believe we need to voice or concerns and problems and to see to it that they are addressed accordingly. We who believe in God’s church, should ensure that the kingdom of God is reasonably promoted as a safe haven for people who are seeking God.


My position on the different situations in the church continues to be a principled one and that while upholding the principles of the bible and the respect for the role of our leaders, we should fully respect and praise God for the long and valued relationships that He has allowed us to build over the years.


What has prompted me to write this letter, is for the fact that the more letters I read the more it seem to me that many of us are seeing our leaders as the “evil one”. Are we forgetting that the war is not against “flesh and blood”. Are we forgetting the devil is consistently working to divide God’s people. David is one of the greatest leaders I have read about in the bible, his humility surpasses many as too the respect he had for those God placed over him, we all should imitate him. Our freedom in Christ should not make us disrespectful to our leaders at any point. Galatians 51 reads; ..”You my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love.” Do our leaders feel loved by us or do they fell targeted, disrespected, insecure, uncertain or apprehensive. I believe God has revealed all that He has so that His kingdom will advance and for us to grow in love and holiness.


Many of us have walked away saying that there are no changes, no difference, things are the same way, but how can we help or ensure that changes come if we are away from where the changes will take place, we need to be men and women of honor who will stay the course, who will fight for God’s Kingdom, and be determined to see Jamaica won for God, but only together as “ONE” can we make this happen. We should never forget what the bibles says… “He does not take his eyes off the righteous; he enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever” Job 67


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I will speak of the changes that are very noticeable in the Western region (if I am allowed to call it by such name). It is very clear that our leaders here in Western have seen the need for every disciple to freely vent their feelings of different matters, we are not preached to and even when a message is being delivered, there is a feeling of sincerity and openness. I am not only speaking for my wife and I, but many who I have conversed with in relation to how they feel about the changes they are experiencing in Western. We do not get the feeling that there are opaqueness or reluctance in sharing exactly what’s going on in their lives or the church as a whole. It is clear that many leaders are at different levels in their understanding, openness, willingness, and most of all conviction of where they should take the groups they lead after all that has happened. However, we ALL make up the church and we all should feel the responsibility to help each other get to the point of holiness and stop being complainers.


I make mention of the above because of the different things I have heard and letters I have read of what is going on in different parts (regions) here in the Kingston churches and a few of our satellite churches. We are not each others enemies hence we all should take responsibility (not saying that the leaders should not be held accountable) of how, as a church, we have gone wrong and where we should go from here on in. As we see in the bible many instances where people imitated others so that they can be more mature as disciples, ..I implore many especially the leaders who seem not to have a tight hold on their ministry to imitate Gregory and Simone Baugh who I have seen take on the heart that will lead this ministry the way God wants it to be lead (no, they did not pay me to write this line…. smile).


It is said that, “In argument, truth is born.” Even though sometimes feelings and emotions come into play that confuse the issue at hand, usually an argument results in a new insight on the subject. Even if a person holds strong views that are unshaken by anything his adversary may say, he may nevertheless gain from the confrontation. It forces him to organize and analyze his views, leaving him with a clearer understanding of the subject than before. Further, his opponent’s arguments help him better appreciate his views and their differences. The concerns forces both to look inwards, at their character and value system. I encourage both “full time staff” (leaders) and “regular members” of the Church of Christ to approach each other in this light so that we all can live together in unity, love and with a bright hope of getting to heaven.





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Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Policy Towards Mexico: Revitalizing Relations and Refocusing on Critical Elements in Cooperation

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Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Policy Towards Mexico Revitalizing Relations and Refocusing on Critical Elements in Cooperation


Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico have maintained social and economic ties for the last four decades. The relationship has been governed by the wider Caricom/ Mexico Economic Cooperation Agreement, and by a series of non-economic agreements that were signed by Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico in 18 the Basic Agreement for Technical and Scientific Cooperation; the Agreement on Educational and Cultural Cooperation, the Agreement between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of Mexico on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Traffic in and Use of Narcotic Drugs and Psycho-tropic Substances and Related Crimes, and the Agreement on Academic Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries. In an era of free trade, diplomatic efforts naturally tend to be focused on the economic element. However, given the insignificant amount of trade that has been carried out between these two countries, it may be more practical for Trinidad and Tobago to pursue a foreign policy towards Mexico which will emphasize co-operation in a range of service-related areas, rather than concentrate on trade in goods.


Mexico’ Foreign Policy towards Caricom


The Caricom/ Mexico Economic Cooperation Agreement has been the basis of Caricom’s relations with Mexico. There were no trade concessions in that agreement, which largely focused on mechanisms to improve trade, such as information exchange, trade promotion and cultural and technical cooperation. Overtures from Caricom have been made to conclude a trade agreement similar to that with Venezuela and Colombia, but without success. Trinidad and Tobago is in the process of discussing a possible Free Trade Agreement with Mexico, but generally, the latter is regarded as too competitive by the Caricom countries .


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Through the Mexico-Caricom Cooperation Programme, countries which the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), of which Mexico is a member, has designated as “non-cooperative”, receive assistance. This non cooperation is defined in terms of those Caribbean states not effectively cooperating with the OECD in combating money laundering or pursuing tax practices which are harmful to OECD resident investors.


Mexico is also pursuing an initiative to allow St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Haiti to enter into a cooperation agreement with that country. In this respect, Mexico proposed a “Caribbean Conference on Maritime Delimitation” which was held in December 001. The Conference approved its Rules of Procedure, elected officers and opened the Registry of Maritime Delimitation Negotiations. Both Mexico and Belize registered their maritime delimitations. It would be a regional forum that seeks to encourage all relevant parties to sit at the negotiating table.


Mexico favours the OAS Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM), which is aimed at evaluating the compliance of OAS members in their implementation of anti-drug measures. It also supports the promotion of new ways of cooperation against transnational organized crime. Mexico sees Caricom and the Caribbean region as forming a “third border” with that country. In the Mexican context, it is apparent that this Third Border policy has as its objective a Mexican diplomatic and economic thrust into the Caribbean. The country has thus sought to increase its trade, diplomatic relations and political influence within the Caribbean region.


There is in existence a Programme of Cooperation between Mexico and the University of the West Indies. In addition, there are tertiary institutions in Mexico which participate in a scholarship programme for Caribbean and Central American students. These studies are carried out mainly at the Masters level. Among the participating institutions are the Universidad Autonoma de Quintana Roo, The UNAM, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Universidad de Guanajuato, Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, the National Polytechnic Institute and CINVESTAN.


Trinidad and Tobago/ Mexico Relations


Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico established diplomatic ties on April 0, 166. To date, the two countries continue to enjoy friendly relations particularly since both nations played a key role in establishing the Headquarters of the Association of Caribbean States in Trinidad. A trade relationship does exist between the two regions and Trinidad and Tobago’s main exports to Mexico include iron and steel, ammonia, methanol, aerated beverages, and machinery. Our main imports from that country are chick peas, natural barium, iron-ore agglomerates, poly-acetals, ethers, iron sheets, electronics, tubes, aluminium foil, and cellular plates and reception apparatus.


Companies in Trinidad and Tobago, such as the Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) and Courts (Trinidad) Limited have been conducting business with well-known Mexican companies such as CEMEX, an internationally recognized cement manufacturer, and MABE, which is involved in furniture manufacturing. CEMEX, which has a 0% shareholding in TCL, recently lost its bid to acquire the total shareholding of TCL. In addition, CARONI (175)Ltd. has benefited from the donation of plant seeds from the Government of Mexico in the implementation of its diversification programme. The Mexican company BUFETE Industrial, which maintained a strategic alliance with Caribbean Ispat, the national iron and steel company of Trinidad and Tobago, recently concluded operations.


Moreover, in the area of small business development in Trinidad and Tobago, it was suggested that the Small Business Development Company, the Development Finance Company (DFC) and the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) could benefit from cooperation with the Mexican Entrepreneurial Bank, NAFINSA (Nacional Financiera), the largest development bank in Latin America and the most important financier of small and medium enterprises. NAFINSA has indicated its willingness to assist in providing technical assistance and both the ADB and DFC have advised of their interest in establishing some form of cooperation. In addition, in 14, the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property indicated its interest in negotiating an Intellectual Property Rights Agreement with Trinidad and Tobago. This is yet to be followed up.


There have been concerted efforts over the years on the part of both countries to improve and deepen bilateral relations. In July 14, a Trinidad and Tobago delegation visited Mexico to hold talks with Mexican government officials and private sector representatives to seek support for this country’s entry into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to strengthen relations between the two countries. It was proposed that a Memorandum of Understanding be signed indicating the intention of both countries to undertake the following agreements on


· Double Taxation


· Visa Abolition


· Bilateral Trade


· Intellectual Property Rights


· Bilateral Investment; and


· Technical Cooperation (there is also an existing Technical Cooperation Agreement between Caricom and Mexico)


Of these arrangements, the Visa Abolition Agreement in respect of holders of Diplomatic Official passports was concluded in 17, and an agreement for Technical and Scientific Cooperation have been signed between Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico. A Draft Memorandum of Understanding and a Trinidad and Tobago Model Double Taxation Agreement were sent to the Government of Mexico for consideration. A response is still outstanding. High level contacts also occurred in 16 when the two countries met for talks on the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement between them, with the provision for subsequent accession by other Caricom states. Other possible agreements have been discussed with a view to enhancing trade and investment between Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico.


In 18, a number of agreements were signed between the two governments


· Agreement on Educational and Cultural Cooperation;


· Basic Agreement for Technical Scientific Cooperation;


· Agreement on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Traffic in and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances;


· Agreement on Academic Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries.


The four agreements have been ratified by both countries and have entered into force following the relevant notifications by both Governments. The decision was also taken then, to initiate negotiations for the conclusion of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. The Government of Mexico had submitted a draft text for the consideration of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and preliminary discussions were held in Mexico in 17.


In spite of these agreements though, Trinidad and Tobago’s relations with Mexico are not as vibrant as those which exist with the former and other Latin American countries. It is felt that in an era when the FTAA will soon be the most formidable trade arrangement in this hemisphere, the island state will do well to practise a new diplomacy towards Latin America and particularly, to enhance its relationship with Mexico.


The Future of Trinidad and Tobago-Mexico Relations


In terms of economic relations, the United States is by far Mexico’s largest trading partner. The coming into play of NAFTA further compounded the commercial ties. Strong growth in U.S.-Mexico trade reflects, to a great extent, the large trade volume in intermediate goods, or those that are further processed for additional export. The maquiladora trade, which by definition involves joint production facilities in both countries, actually expanded in 15 even when total US exports to Mexico fell following the 14 peso devaluation. This emphasizes the significance of efficiency gains from intra-industry trade, an important dynamic of U.S.-Mexico economic integration.


NAFTA affected key Caribbean export sectors and goods, particularly textiles and apparel. To the extent that tariff differentials led to trade diversion, Mexicos welfare has been improved at the expense of the Caribbean countries. Trinidad and Tobago certainly can not compete with the United States as a trading partner of Mexico.


The trade between Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago is a miniscule proportion of total trade for the both countries concerned. From 15-18 Trinidad and Tobago maintained a favourable balance of trade with Mexico. This trend was reversed in 18 however, with the trade balance plummeting from $USD 118,07.0 to -$USD 40,555.0, and continuing this negative trend the following year, as the table will indicate. Mexico’s trade with Trinidad and Tobago is dominated by steel products. The export of wire rods and ferrous products comprised 5% of Trinidad and Tobago’s total exports to Mexico in 15 and 88%of this trade in 16. (US$7M). Methanol is the next largest item in Trinidad and Tobago’s exports to Mexico, comprising 5% (US$6.5M) and 11% (US$.M) of total exports in 15 and 16 respectively . A few minor manufactured products are also exported. Trinidad and Tobago’s imports from Mexico are concentrated in the category of food preparation- milk, baby food, cereals, coffee- and other manufactures- chemical products, electronic instruments, and some machinery and tools.


The existing trade is not really significant in terms of value or volume. It is dominated by products from resource based industries which require special bulk arrangements. The rest of the trade which comprises general cargo, often less than a container load (LCL), is dependent on a regular scheduled shipping service. This is one of the key factors that limit travel and trade links between Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico. The lack of a competitive, high frequency direct shipping or air service on the routes, hinders the development of trade, particularly in manufactured and semi-manufactured products, between the two countries. There is thus an urgent need for the further liberalization of air and sea transport between the two regions.


Another obstacle to trade is the language barrier. At present, even though a cultural programme is in place, there is only minimal contact between the two peoples. There is a high level of ignorance on both parts, with regard to history, culture, and language, and the problem can only be rectified by more meaningful interaction between the two populations.


Given the relatively low level of trade between the two countries, it is quite doubtful whether Trinidad and Tobago’s foreign policy towards Mexico should be focused on concretizing commercial linkages in the area of trade in goods. Indeed, the cooperation should perhaps centre on trade in services, as well as non-economic issues such as collaboration and assistance in education, technology, health, transportation, government and external affairs, and environmental issues.


In fact, cooperation in the area of tourism should be explored in greater depth, particularly with regard to consultation, exchange of information, joint promotion in advertising Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico as quintessential tourist destinations, and financing and training of human resources. The offshoot of cooperation in tourism is collaboration in music and entertainment. Trinidad and Tobago should seek to encourage the development of joint private sector initiatives that could support the music and entertainment industry.


Cooperation in educational and cultural matters is a key factor in strengthening relations between Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico. Of course there is already in place a scholarship programme for Caricom nationals, of which some Trinidadian students take full advantage . Indeed, in 1, three nationals of Trinidad and Tobago were pursuing university programmes in Mexico in Tourism, Agriculture and Regional Planning. Another was undertaking research at the prestigious Colegio de Mexico, and two other nationals were offered scholarships to pursue studies in Tourism. Since then, additional scholarships have been granted by the Mexican government in a number of areas, especially the area of education. However, there needs to be a consultation mechanism that will make it possible to streamline cooperative activities and projects in the fields of education, restoration and conservation of the cultural heritage; painting and sculpture, music, dance and theatre; archives, libraries and publications; audio-visual material; youth and sports. Special emphasis should be placed on the problem that language differences present in realizing exchanges in education and scholarships and therefore, efforts should be geared towards preparing Spanish and English language promotion programmes.


In terms of technology transfer, the telecommunications sector is undergoing rapid transformation in Central America on the whole, and as such, Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico should encourage collaboration and co-operation between information technology and telecommunications providers in both regions, as well as develop joint statistical projects that collect data and information on inter-regional investment, migration and business activities in the countries. Moreover, technical workshops should be promoted to build regional knowledge of the markets, and stimulate entrepreneurial interest and participation in the industry.


The possibilities for collaboration between Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico are endless. Admittedly, import/export activity is of the utmost importance in this era of trade liberalization; but smaller economies like Trinidad and Tobago must think “outside the box” in order to maximize the benefits they can obtain from linkages with their more developed counterparts.





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