Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bratja Duet ~ German Seabass and David (docjazz4)

Note: This is for my music teacher. Please pay no mind to this post Mr. Kent. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

American Cultural Themes_Extended

Prejudice has been at the base of America from the day it was born. African Americans were bondaged for the majority of American history and segregated for most of the rest. These two concepts wove their way into the text using the black John Jackson. For instance, after his fortune is told, the judge and even Tobin (who dislikes the judge) keep the clearer meaning from him. The judge tells him that "All will be known at last. To you as to every man." I think this hints at the fact that he is somehow infereior now and will soon ascend to their status in the future.

There is also an extremely funny encounter between the owner of a restaurant and the Glanton Gang. The owner puts his hands down on the table and said, "Gentlemen...we don't mind serving people of color. Glad to do it. But we ast for em to set over here at this other table here. Right over here." Someone from the gang says, "He thinks were niggers." Glanton then says, "Mr Owens, if you was anything at all other than a goddamn fool you could take one look at these here men and know for a stone fact they aint a one of em goin to get up from where they're at to go set somewheres else." After a little more talking, Brown gave the owner a gun and told him to shoot the nigger. He didn't want to but in self defense. But Jackson killed him first. Basically, they were testing the owner with Jackson's life. Even though they knew he would win, it was still a cruel test with which to make him pass.

The idiot, before his demonic baptism by the judge, is basically a retard (hence the name idiot). The way society treats him is by putting him in a cage for all to see, as if he isn't human. Around this time period, Dorothea Dix led a crusade for the mentally ill. She argued in her report to Congress titled Memorial that there are, "Insane Persons confined within this Commonwealth, in cages, stalls, pens! Chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obediance." This paints a clear picture of how the idiot is treated. In America, prejudice towards the mentally ill has become more of a social isolation rather than a physical one. But that doesn't mean that society as a whole cannot care more for them. For instance, if it leaked that someone met a psychiatrist once a week, then that person might be labeled as psychologically unstable and be shunned be people for no truly solid reason.

Judge Holdon's Philosopies

The judge is the most myserious character in the novel and appears to know everything on anything. However, his strange beliefs and heretical position on subjects causes him to take on an otherwordly quality. For instance, when questioned on why he sketches and notates drawings of objects he finds, he replies that he wants "to expunge them from the memory of man." He later mentions the Anasazi, an old civilization that supposedly practiced cannibalism, and lectures on how they are "gone like phantoms and...All progressions from a higher to a lower order are marked by ruins and mystery and a residue of nameless rage." Basically, the Anasazi destroyed themselves and, because of that, they will forever remain a mystery to the human race, just like Holden himself.

When asked how to raise a child, the judge explains that "At a young age... they should be put in a pit with wild dogs...puzzle out from their proper clues that one of three doors that does not harbor wild lions... be made to run naked in the desert until..." He then states that "If G-D meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now?" No one answers his question. He merely concludes that "in the affairs of men there is no waning...His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his daydo you not think that this will happen again?" What does he say? He says that civilizations rise and fall and that man is destined to repeat its mistakes forever. They will rise and fall until the end of time.

Another interesting conversation in which Toadvine asks the judge why he writes in his little book and he responds by saying that, "Whatever exists in creation without my knowledge exists without my consent." He goes on to talk about how even "the smallest crumb can devour us." He believes that only nature has the power to keep men in bondage and that only when every unknown thing is brought out into the open will man be the "proper suzerain of the earth." A suzerain, he goes on to explain, is like an overlord whose will is dispersed through lower lords. For instance, the Federal Government of the United States is the suzerain over the State Governments. The judge illustrates by touching the ground and saying that even though he claims this ground, "autonomous life" still exists where he believes it should not. In other words, he wants the self sufficient creatures to depend on him and not be able to live seperately. He even mentions that "the freedom of birds is an insult to me. I'd have them all in zoos."

Later, the judge performs some magic with a gold coin and supposedly some horsehair when he states, "The arc of circling bodies is determined by the legnth of their tether...Moons, coins, men." He then proceeds to through the coin across the fire, wait a while, and have it fly back. Some witnesses thought their were two coins, to which the judge answered, "all men knew that there are coins and false coins." This implies that men are the coins and the circles made by spinning them are their spheres: spheres of influencing, being influenced, knowledge, and the such. Of course, there are "false coins," which could be explained as people who appear false (as in a false persona), or where their spheres are false, most likely not as big as they seem.

All of these arguements set forth by the judge include interesting and strange views that better inform the reader of how the judge thinks and what he believes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Image Study

The above picture represents the Comanche Attack on the Captain's group in which many strangely and extravagantly dressed Comanche slaughtered all but a few. In the attack, a legnthy description is given to their outfits. They wear everything from animal skins to a "bloodstained weddingveil." They also paint their horses, as above, with suns and birds and other such patterns. The importance of this image is that the Indians represent the Wrath of G-D. A notable feature of the book is the use of fire, (the suns on the horses) and the sleeping wrath G-D that is "sleeping." A mentor-like character called the Mennonite (a branch of the Anabaptist) warns the three new recruits including the Kid that, "the Wrath of G-D lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have the power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Hear me. Ye carry war of a madman's making onto a foreign land. Ye'll wake more than the dogs." And they did just that. They went marching into Mexico and the Wrath of G-D in the form of the Comanche met and destroyed them.
 The next picture is from when the Glanton Gang was in Santa Cruz. Right after the door to the stable they were sleeping in shut, the souls began to glow. In the paragraph, the mare that shared the stable with them, "snorted and shied at this luminosity in beings so endarkened..." Basically, these murdering thiefs still had intact souls with which could give off their inner fire, or the fire of Creation that burned inside of them. Somehow their souls come alive and are visible for all inside to see.

This represents all of the ruined churches in the book. All of the ruined chuches the Kid finds are in Mexico and, being a symbol for religon, G-D, and order, means that this region devoid of structure and full of anarchy has no G-D. G-D does not reach into Mexico either because He can't or because He doesn't want to. "There were no pews in the church and the stone floor was heaped with the scalped nad naked and partly eaten bodies of some forty souls who'd barricaded themselves in this house of G-D against the heathen."


This last picture is of the last encounter of the Judge, Tobin, the idiot, and the Kid. They are at Carrizo creek where thousands of bones of dead sheep lie and where the Judge wounds Tobin. This is also where supernatural elements come out: the judge, the idiot, and the expriest seem to be able to appear and disappear at will. This leaves the Kid as the only person who can make a solid stand. When he goes to shoot the horses, the idiot is seen watching him and his head makes a 180 and his draw drops open like seem demon from hell. When he turns around form shooting the horses with the intent of killing the idiot, he finds nothing there. Throughout this entire ordeal, the sense of being in the middle of a battle between the forces of good and evil is certainly felt.