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Why I didn’t Vote and Why I Won’t “STFU.”

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Around midnight on Election night, I was starting to feel bad for not voting. As I saw the direction the count was going in and Florida turning red, I felt a sense of unease that maybe I should’ve done my part. By 1am, the writing was on the map, and it was clear that Trump was going to win. I almost vomited. Then I reflected on the reason I didn’t vote in the first place, looked closely at the two choices forced on us, and quickly went to bed. By the time I got up in the morning, those feelings had washed off because I knew I was not the cause of her defeat. That morning on social media, many angry and bitter Clinton supporters were hurling insults at people like me for not voting, telling us it was our fault and we can’t say shit and can’t complain about Trump cause we let him win and we need to “STFU” and don’t say a fucking word about it. Like, really mad. Like, “I’ll punch you in the face” mad, as if people like me are ignorant and don’t know a damn thing about politics and only complain when shit goes wrong. But the issue is much bigger than my vote, or any third party voters. To understand why I stood home on election night, along with millions of other Americans, we need to address the root of our disenfranchisement, and listen, because we won’t shut the fuck up. Read the rest of this entry

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How to Write an Essay – 2013

This is the first in an upcoming series of instructional videos for writing composition. This brief video presentation shows you the basic elements of an academic essay structure, including the introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion. This instructional video was created for an English Composition course at Full Sail University. If you’re a new student entering any college or university for the first time, or returning to school after a long absence, this video should help you adopt a proper organizational essay structure.

Baraka with a Movie Camera: From City Symphony to Global Symphony

*This essay was originally written for a Graduate writing class on December 14, 2010.

At first glance, it would appear that a comparison of Ron Fricke’s Baraka and Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera is an unfair juxtaposition since the political and ideological messages of the two films vastly differ in both message and cultural sympathies. Man is a city symphony focused on a localized Soviet city of 1929. It celebrates socialism, modernity, industry and labor, while encouraging humanity’s coexistence with machine. Baraka on the other hand is a global symphony that celebrates humanism and spirituality. With its “one world”message, the film romanticizes nature while chastising modernity and society’s obsession with a destructive global-industrial consumerist culture. However, despite these thematic differences, there are many instances of overlap and parallel filmic moments the two films share in common, more specifically, their use of technological cinematic elements, poetic structure and experiment in pure montage that push filmmaking to limits beyond the classical Hollywood narrative composition that has long dominated world cinema. Read the rest of this entry

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