Archive for the ‘Arts/ Literature’ Category

And then some music videos were just stupid. But we still loved them.

Thank you Alex, for polluting my eardrums again and finding this.

This was probably the inspiration for Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign against drugs.

Controversies over photography in the Vietnam Era

Here is the story of the retouched photo from Kent State:

Here is a video interviewing a photographer who took a photo of an SVA colonel executing a prisoner of war, and discussing the fallout from the picture.

Clip from Rebel Without a Cause

James Dean was one of the iconic young stars of the 1950s– the epitome of cool. This film, often considered a classic, was released after he had died in a tragic automobile accident.

Rebel Without a Cause

About Monsieur Batignole- A movie about the Resistance to the Nazis

Go here:

“The unseen Dorothea Lange”

Found this link about the famous photographer, Dorothea Lange, whose iconic photographs of migrant farm workers during the Great Depression put a human face on the suffering that the working classes endured during this crisis.

I’m actually posting this more for later this year, but here is it anyway.

Norman Rockwell’s paintings of the Four Freedoms

Read the story behind the paintings here:

Although Norman Rockwell was not liked very much by the art critics, he was enormously popular. His work was far too sentimental to be critically acclaimed. However, as a draftsman he was quite skilled, and he was very adept at using small details to get his point accross.

The first freedom was the freedom from want. This poster became the most famous and was also known as “The Thanksgiving painting.” Notice how he draws the observer into the painting by having the man in the lower right corner looking back outside the painting at you, thus placing the observer in the family gathered around the table. As a poster (not in the original painting), this painting is being used to encourage enlistment and support of the military.


Another freedom was freedom of worship. Notice the inclusion of the German-looking woman who is obviously Roman Catholic, since she is praying the rosary. This one also includes an African-American.


A third freedom was freedom from fear. Mom and dad tucking the kids into bed– and yes, siblings shared beds and bedrooms all the time in those days, even though this is a two-story house.


And a final freedom was freedom of speech. As the link explained this was based on a real incident at a school board meeting in the town where Rockwell was staying. The man speaking was opposed by almost everyone in the room in what he proposed, but they still respected his right to speak. And class distinction does’t matter– he’s in work clothes, while nearly everyone else is in a suit and tie. Those were the days!


Notice how three of these paintings were turned into posters to encourage buying war bonds.

Poetry in World War I: Owen’s “Mental Cases”

Before reading the poems, read this brief introduction. Then read this poem, complete with explanation.

Mental Cases

Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight?
Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows,
Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish,
Baring teeth that leer like skulls’ teeth wicked?
Stroke on stroke of pain,-but what slow panic,
Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?
Ever from their hair and through their hands’ palms
Misery swelters. Surely we have perished
Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish?

-These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them,
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable, and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men’s extrication.

Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented
Back into their brains, because on their sense
Sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black;
Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.
-Thus their heads wear this hilarious, hideous,
Awful falseness of set-smiling corpses.
-Thus their hands are plucking at each other;
Picking at the rope-knouts of their scourging;
Snatching after us who smote them, brother,
Pawing us who dealt them war and madness.
————————–Wilfred Owen

Links for More Information:
More of Owen’s poetry
The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Archive

Poetry of Langston Hughes

Mother to Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.


The Negro Speaks of Rivers

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Extra credit books to read

If you so choose, you will complete a project on one of these books by April 22 at 7:23 am. You may only do this extra credit project if all assignments have been turned in. This can be worth up to 3% of your final grade, depending on the effort required to read the book and the effort put into the project over the book. But if you are not going to devote effort to this, DO NOT DO IT, because there will be no “pity points” awarded. This will not be accepted late.

Many of these are also available on Kindle and/or iBooks or Nook, and are often cheaper and readily available that way.

Alan Taylor— American Colonies: The Settling of North America
Arthur M. Schlessinger— The Cycles of American History
Nathaniel Philbrick— Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
David D. Hall— A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England
Michael Klarman— From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality
Kenneth T. Jackson— Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of America
Joshua E. London— Victory in Tripoli: How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation
Christopher Tomlins— Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865.
Gary B. Nash— History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past
Fred Anderson— The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War
Daniel J. Boorstin– The Americans: The Democratic Experience
Daniel J. Boorstin– The Americans: The National Experience
Robert Middlekauff— The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789
Jon Butler— Becoming America: The Revolution before 1776
Jon Meacham— American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
Mary Beth Norton— Founding Mothers & Fathers: Gendered Power and the Forming of American Society
Joseph J. Ellis— Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
Gordon S. Wood— The Radicalism of the American Revolution
Bernard Bailyn— The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
Melvyn Leffler— For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
C. Vann Woodward— The Strange Career of Jim Crow
Joseph Wheelan— Mr. Adams’s Last Crusade: John Quincy Adams’s Extraordinary Post-Presidential Life in Congress
David M. Kennedy— Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945
Grant Foreman— Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians
Daniel Rasmussen— American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt
Sean Wilentz— The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln
Harry L. Watson— Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America
Bernard De Voto— The Course of Empire
Bernard De Voto— The Year of Decision: 1846
Sylvia D. Hoffert— When Hens Crow: The Woman’s Rights Movement in Antebellum America
Steven E. Woodworth— Manifest Destinies: America’s Westward Expansion and the Road to the Civil War
Elliott West– The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, & the Rush to Colorado
Edmund S. Morgan– American Slavery, American Freedom
Bruce Levine— Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of Civil War
Richard Hofstadter— Anti-Intellectualism in American Life
Eric Foner— The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
Eric Foner— Reconstruction
Doris Kearns Goodwin— Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Drew Gilpin Faust— Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War
Daniel Walker Howe–What Hath God Wrought: the Transformation of America, 1815–1848
Robert Morgan— Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of Westward Expansion
Ira Berlin— Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation
James M. McPherson— Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
Gary W. Gallagher— The Union War
Winthrop D. Jordan–The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States
Emory M. Thomas— The Confederate Nation: 1861-1865
Andrew F. Smith— Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War
Harriet Beecher Stowe— Uncle Tom’s Cabin
David S. Reynolds— Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America
Amanda Foreman— A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War
John Lewis Gaddis— We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History
John Lewis Gaddis— The Cold War: A New History

Word Cloud- Gettysburg Address

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Here’s basically how word clouds work: the more times a word is used, the larger it is. This gives you an idea of words that are used repeatedly.