Out of Class Artifact

This past Wednesday, I went to go see animal expert and conservationist, Jeff Corwin, speak in Braden Auditorium.  The advertisements for this speech he was giving spoke about trying to prevent endangered species from becoming extinct.  The tour he is on is called “100 Heartbeats” which sounded to me like a serious title for an informational speech on a serious and sad issue like endangered species.  I thought to myself that Jeff Corwin was coming to inform us on how we can help save animals which many social movements have been doing for years.  He did not do a very good job.  He spoke a lot about himself and hardly about the what I feel he should ha been speaking about.  He told  humorous (to some) stories from his childhood instead of educating me and many others about the specific animals of the world we need to help.  He was cut off by an ISU faculty member after an hour.  Maybe if he would have kept on going with his speech he was going to get to those serious parts but I have a terrible feeling he knew he would be off after about an hour.  I felt he did a pretty poor job of sustaining this movement to help endangered species.  I didn’t learn anything about that movement at all.  Instead, I now know too much information about the early childhood of Jeff Corwin… and its not too exciting.

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Vietnam Artifact

The Vietnam war was not a social movement, though it sparked many, but it was a movement with a goal.  The goal for America’s involvement was to crush the communism in Vietnam and therefore prevent the domino effect from happening in surrounding countries.  The interesting part about this war was that the draft was used in America to provide enough soldiers to fight the communist Vietnamese  soldiers.  This was sort of America’s way of sustaining the movement of the war.  They needed more soldiers,  in fact tons of soldiers to fight a war and the way to keep them coming was to have the draft force many young men into war.  This sustained the war movement because it allowed for America to continue in the war for numerous years.  I cannot imagine what it would have been like to be drafted.  Being forced into a bloodbath that many of us never truly understand is crazy.  Obviously, those who chose to fight are honorable people and died with great pride.   I feel if I were drafted at the time and went into war, I would find myself saying “I don’t really know what is going on here or what the government is doing here”.  I would say that today if I were drafted.  I hope it never has to happen again.  I thought this field trip to the museum was great.  It was my first field trip in college and it was very interesting.  I think it is important to attend special things like this and relate them to what we read and learn in class.  That’s the point of classes, right?  We are supposed to take what we learn and realize how it connects to the world we live in.

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Artifact 2

Coactive strategies are used by social movements to legitimize their place in society.  They use these strategies to show the general public how the movement is with them and on the same level as them in opposition to a concept or institution that has different beliefs and morals.  Coactive strategies include displaying similarities, common causes and shared experiences between the movement and the people.  The social movements hope that identifying themselves with the public and showing the public that they are on the same side will help influence the general public to join their movement and to be in favor of their beliefs.  

A great example of this is found in a clip from the movie American History X.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouphOqv7qlk&has_verified=1

In this clip a member of a racist white supremacist group sings racist and hateful lyrics over the song and melody of the Battle Hymm of the Republic.  The Battle Hymm of the Republic is a song that became famous during the time of the Civil War.  Since then, it has gone on to become one of the most famous and popular patriotic songs.  It is played at all types of American Government celebrations including the National Conventions for both the Democrats and Republicans as well as the Presidential inaugurations.   Needless to say, the song screams America and all that it represents.  The character in this clip is singing the lyrics to the Johnny Rebel version of this song which came out during the sixties.  The lyrics are filled with racist terms and beliefs.  By recording, releasing and singing this song, the white supremacist movement is trying to make a connection to all of America.  They are taking a song that has a melody which we immediately associate with America and making the lyrics about hate.  They do this so we as Americans will put the two together and say to ourselves that this song has great American history to it and the lyrics are about white supremacy so as a result white supremacy is a very American belief which all Americans should believe in.  They are trying to connect with us as Americans so they can legitimize their beliefs in our eyes.

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Artifact 1

The other day during class we discussed Persuasion.  Persuasion is a simple concept which most of us understand.  I would simply describe it as the urging or advising of others to follow an idea.  Persuasion can be verbal and non verbal.  A great example of non verbal persuasion would be the use of weapons during a war.  By displaying the amount of fire power one side has, they hope to persuade the other side to give up.  The song “Instant Karma” written by John Lennon is a great example of verbal persuasion. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqP3wT5lpa4

Instant Karma’s gonna get you,
Gonna knock you right on the head,
You better get yourself together,
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead,
What in the world you thinking of,
Laughing in the face of love,
What on earth you tryin’ to do,
It’s up to you, yeah you.

Instant Karma’s gonna get you,
Gonna look you right in the face,
Better get yourself together darlin’,
Join the human race,
How in the world you gonna see,
Laughin’ at fools like me,
Who on earth d’you think you are,
A super star,
Well, right you are.

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,
Well we all shine on,
Ev’ryone come on.

Instant Karma’s gonna get you,
Gonna knock you off your feet,
Better recognize your brothers,
Ev’ryone you meet,
Why in the world are we here,
Surely not to live in pain and fear,
Why on earth are you there,
When you’re ev’rywhere,
Come and get your share.

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,
Yeah we all shine on,
Come on and on and on on on,
Yeah yeah, alright, uh huh, ah-.

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,
Yeah we all shine on,
On and on and on on and on.

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun.
Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun.
Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun.
Yeah we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun.

I have always viewed this song as being a persuasive song.  I think Lennon is trying to tell all the people of the world to simply take a look at themselves and the society they live in and realize what is wrong with it, whether it be hatred, racism, war, greed…  He uses lines such as “Laughing in the face of love, What on earth you tryin’ to do, It’s up to you, yeah you”  to influence these people to embrace the love in their lives and that they as people have the power to create a less negative world.  When he asks “why on earth are we here, surely not to live in pain and fear” he persuading humanity to look at one of life’s greatest questions and see that the world we live in could not be the answer to it.  He is telling the people there needs to be some changes made and uses the lyrics to persuade the people to act on this.

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