Respect and privacy in the public sphere

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Goal of My Blog

Throughout my blog I tried to portray to the class that there is so much more to learn about our political figures than learning about the unnecessary, trivial gossip. I think there are many aspects to a leader that are important, for example, I think it is important for a leader to identify with his people. However, I think when the media skews what they are trying to say and then allow it to all blow out of proportion and mislead people, it interferes with the important information. We are obviously entertained by these things and enjoy reading them, but that does not mean that we know a lot about politics. It may be difficult to find factual information on these people and to some may even be boring, but it is crucial to our future. If we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in what Obama was wearing rather than what he was saying, we as a nation will be at a standstill.

On the other hand, there is some information we receive about our political leaders that I think is important. For example, do we really want a president who has cheated on his wife several times? Do we really want our president to lie to us? Even though it may contradict the point of my blog a bit, I think these facts that may not relate to how the person is as a political figure, they still should be taken into consideration. I found it shocking when people knew that JFK had been continuously cheating on Jackie Kennedy and still let it slide. It sets a bad example and it makes us as a nation look bad.

All in all I think it is important for any political figure to have good morals but I think it is unnecessary to focus on their family or how they used to act or try to find information on them to make people not like them. For example, when pictures of George Bush’s daughter partying were surfaced, the blame immediately went to him. Or how people accused Barack Obama of smoking pot when he was younger. Or how people purposely tried to dig up information on him to try to make people believe he was not a US citizen. We need to draw our attention to important issues that are going on in the world rather than the unimportant, insignificant, unnecessary issues. 

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Respect for Privacy

Before the shooting in Newtown, it seemed as though the only two people the media was focusing on were Hilary Clinton and Kate Middleton. Hilary Clinton fell ill with the stomach bug and got a concussion from fainting. Kate Middleton had to be taken to the hospital for morning sickness. I am not saying not to feel bad for them, but rather than overwhelm them with news and pictures of them, the media should have given them their space. If I was sick the last thing I would want would be paparazzi following me around. 
Hilary Clinton was supposed to go to Syria before she fell ill. What was shocking was that more people knew about her sickness than her goals in Syria or why she was going there. Instead of focusing on these people’s personal life, maybe the media should focus on what important issues they are trying to address. 

Romney and Obama’s Lunch Date

It may be a good thing to know that Mitt Romney and President Obama had lunch, but the way people reacted over the news to it was quite amusing. Remarks about a fist fight and who would come out of there alive were made. People were more concerned about who would win the “fight” rather than what they actually talked about and what issues were discussed. The focus of the articles written were concerned with how Romney acted when he left and how Obama acted when Romney left. It was amusing to read some of the comments. The media again was giving away unnecessary information. 

“Pivoting”

Obama and Romney “pivoted” throughout the entire debate. Whenever a question was asked they would either ignore it completely and only talk about what they wanted to talk about, or they would answer the question rashly and move on to something they wanted to talk about. This shows weakness in their answers because it shows that they do not have an answer. I felt that Mitt Romney especially pivoted. Occasionally the mediator would interject and try to get him back on topic and Romney would raise his finger at him and keep talking. I think even though Obama was not as well prepared, he acted more like a president than Romney because he answered the questions and he was overall more composed. It was frustrating to watch this because they weren’t giving direct answers, it seemed like they needed to be in a room alone before they were on national television.

“The question is not what position to take on abortion, economic stimulus or health care, though those issues have all proved thorny enough. It is how to pronounce the state name: “Missouree” or “Missouruh.’”

Right away this article is making fun of the fact that we are not focusing on the important issues. Instead of focusing on health care, abortion, and the economy, we choose to focus on the pronunciation of the state Missouri. I have noticed over the years that when people watch a debate they tend to try to look for the mistakes the speaker is making, instead of focusing on the core facts and the point they are trying to make. For example when George Bush pronounced the word nuclear incorrectly. People chose to attack him for that rather than listening to what he actually had to say. First off, imagine getting in front of a crowd and speaking for an extended period of time. We all make these mistakes. I myself find myself slurring my words occasionally when I read aloud in front of people. Second, people have accents. There is no reason to argue about how to pronounce Missouri, it is not a productive use of our time. I chose to blog about this article because it relates to my blog in a sense that we tend to focus on insignificant details. Instead of progressing, we are at a stand still and distracting ourselves with these unimportant mistakes.

Habitual Gestures

Body language seems to be what most people focused on when it comes to speakers. Body language is supposed to be the most reliable way of understanding what the speaker is actually saying. However, sometimes I believe body language can be examined too much. Sometimes we do things with our bodies and people get the wrong idea about what we are saying. So even though it is important to look at body language, I do not think we should base everything off of it because it can be overanalyzed. Obama’s body language is overall more inviting than Romney’s in my opinion. Obama is calmer and his hand gestures are less harsh. Whereas Romney’s are fast paced and more aggressive. His aggressive tone adds to his gestures, making it almost forceful. Obama has a way of making people listen to what he has to say without being too forceful, making him a better speaker in my opinion. For example, when watching the debates, you can see how Obama’s finger pointing is less accusing and forceful. Romney points right at the mediator or whoever is speaking, making it a little combative.

Is Our Generation Too Ironic?

I definitely think our generation shies away from sincerity. Throughout conversation we are constantly making jokes rather than having a genuine, heartfelt conversation. The “hipster” phase is not necessarily a new social group. It may be different, but throughout time there is always a certain rebellious group. In the sixties we had the hippies, in the twenties we had the “promiscuous” women, there is always a group that may be “frowned upon”. As long as they aren’t hurting anyone they are harmless. I do not have a problem with them but I do agree with Scott that their “aura of being misunderstood” is frustrating for both them and us. Their need to be different can often hurt others because it comes off as snobbish and that they think they’re above everyone else. Many hipsters don’t send this message but there are some that do.

How Obama Handled the Terrible Shooting

After hearing the news about the Newtown shooting everyone was devastated. Posts on twitter and Facebook overwhelmed everyone’s news feeds. The shooting was appalling and truly awful. Despite this tragedy, it was nice for once to see all over the news that Obama was on the first flight to Connecticut to talk to the families and go on national television. It is a hard thing to see your president cry, but it was nice to see that the media was focusing on broadcasting this video of Obama giving his speech rather than focusing on the trivial things about him. When Obama said he was there “not as a president, but as a parent”, it made him more likable and it made people feel as though they could identify with him. His speech was touching and it was touching to see that everyone came together all throughout the public sphere.

Paper Brainstorming

One reoccurring theme throughout Snow is fear. Each character shows their fear in different ways. During this time the people of Turkey were afraid to stand up for what they believed in. In Snow the religious girls are afraid to stand up for their rights to wear head scarves. Ka shows his fear throughout the book for love and his memories. Ka and Necip have a conversation about Necip’s landscape,

“But doesn’t life make us unhappy?”

“We do that to ourselves. It has nothing to do with the universe or its creator” (pg. 150 Snow). Necip seems to be the only character without fear. He is positive about the world and the people in it. He stands up for what he believes in, “according to one tall tale, the bullet that hit one of Necip’s green eyes and the other that hit his wide smooth forehead did not kill him instantaneously; some eyewitnesses claimed that for a moment the teenager had looked at the stage and cried, ‘I can see!’” (pg. 170). Necip represents hope in Snow; Ka admires his wisdom and tries to understand how Necip goes through life with such a positive attitude. Throughout the novel, Ka seems to always be asking questions. Ka is always unsure of himself, showing his fear.

The theme of fear also ties into happiness/unhappiness and conforming to society. As we discussed in class, what is one supposed to do when everyone around them is doing something wrong?

For my paper I am writing about several examples of fear and how it relates to conforming to society and how it effects one’s happiness.

How Obama is Coping

President Obama has been taking a lot of heat recently and Christmas time is the perfect time to regain everyone’s trust. This article was written portraying Obama and his family in a positive way. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/06/obama-national-christmas-tree_n_2249632.html?ir=DC

It is interesting to me that this is what it takes for a president to make people like him. When people see this article they will be more inclined to support him. I think it is great that Obama is finding ways to relate to the public, but it is funny that this is what the media chooses to publish about him.