Mmmm Oedipus and the Sphinx


While in the museum, I found this gorgeous painting- “Oedipus and the Sphinx” by French artist Gustave Moreau. This painting uses a technique known to us as chiaroscuro. A way an artist uses lights and shadows to emphasize the subject of the painting. We can tell that the subject of this painting is Oedipus, handsome man with ideal body, and the Sphinx, the weird creature. He emphasized them not by just titling this entire composition, but also by the use of lights. The background and foreground seems to be dull and not so important and that is due to the amount of shadows placed in those regions. Not only that, but also the fact that all the light is literally on Oedipus and the Sphinx!

This painting clearly relates to classics. We’ve learned about Oedipus and his victory over Sphinx in the Drama unit, which by the way was my favorite of all. Oedipus defeated the unbeatable Sphinx by solving the riddle – “What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?” Everyone who’s gone to try the challenge never came back as they were killed, however the hero Oedipus gave the answer, “Man,” which then caused the Sphinx’s death.

-Diana, Team Mercury

Seeing Clearly

Lex Luthor is a well known villain in the comics published by D.C comics Inc. Lex Luthor is a billionaire scientist in constant battle with Superman. Many don’t know what has caused Lex Luthor to grown to hate superman with such a passion, him being a man coming from power and wealth what drives his hatred for superman. A common characteristic displayed by Luthor is his arrogance and unwilling to acknowledge Superman as the hero he is. There is many variations of what has caused this intense hatred for one another whether it be from the comics or film series but, one similarity between all of them is that Lex Luthor main goal is to eliminate superman to achieve his goal of world dominance. But in one specific animated film it goes deeper than that. Lex explains how Superman, who is not even a man because he is not human and was born on a distant far planet. This is almost similar to present day society where many people lack of respect for others from different origins around the world. Lex Luthor later claims that he should be called Superman for his intellect and vast superior mind. But as the film continues and Superman’s impending death , from the cancer he was diagnosed with, Luthor soon realizes why Superman deserves that title. During an interview with Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent ,Luthor was told if he and Superman were to put their differences aside how much they could’ve accomplished and how many they could have helped, but seeing nothing to gain from that Luthor would never join forces with his archenemy. Luthor’s is similar to that of Oedipus, Both being metaphorically blind to realize they are the destruction of their respective societies. Not until it is all too late to realize they are at fault do they realize what they have done. In Luthor’s case being blind by hatred has caused him to stir away from benefiting society. Oedipus being the cause for all the suffering in Thebes and neglecting the words said by the blind prophet Tiresias that Oedipus himself is the murderer of the former king himself and the cause of the plague. Luthor however did not realize until he gained Superman’s powers including Superman’s advanced sight that he sees all beings are connected and as he states “we are we’ve got”. He realizes how superman sees the world and why he is called superman and why he always follows the greater good. But as soon as he realizes his faults and loses his powers ,he demands superman return the serum to gain his powers back but as superman claimed Luthor could have helped even before gaining his powers to which Luthor agrees and sees the error of his ways. Oedipus after realizing he has succumbed to his destiny of murdering his father and being with his mother blinds himself out of despair and begs for his own exile as punishment. Both at one point being powerful men reduced to nothing.

-Al-Bishr Askar, Team Hephaestus

Freedom is Power

Image result for 1984

Freedom is a fundamental concept in the United States; but what if the desire for power triumphed over this basic human right? We get the dystopian world described by George Orwell in his novel 1984. The protagonist, Winston Smith, lives in a society constantly under government surveillance. “Telescreens” are installed in every citizen’s home to observe everything they do and say. Citizens can’t do anything which might allude to having individuality and free thought- crimes against the government punishable by death. In the book, Winston must sneak a diary into his home and write in it without the telescreen catching him. When entering his apartment, Winston drops the diary, sliding it past the telescreen to his chair which is out of the telescreen’s range. This complete control over the freedom of speech resembles the North Korean regime. The North Korean government is thought to listen to people’s conversations through their phones and monitor them thought cameras and microphones hidden in public places. George Orwell wrote his book to warn people of an oppressive future. He knew that if people didn’t stand boldly for their freedom, it could be easily taken away by a totalitarian government.
Power is also a central theme in Oedipus the King. Oedipus seeks power for the protection of his people but doesn’t heed other’s warnings because he thinks that they want to steal his power, ultimately leading Oedipus to his demise. Of course, we see different parties struggle for power in our government. Sometimes it seems that they don’t even take their constituents into account when making decisions. Power corrupts- that is the true message of Oedipus. Both 1984 and Oedipus warn us of the future and urge us to contemplate it through the stories they tell.

Elene T., Team Mars


With the large amount of contemporary social issues in today’s world, it was to be expected that J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, would place similar issues in her story. The setting for Harry Potter takes place in our own realm including two different worlds, the wizarding world and the muggle world. The term muggle refers to the normal humans who are unable to perform magic. Some see the muggles’ inability to perform magic to be an inferior trait and, therefore, see them as lower than the witches and wizards. This setting enables the creator to make villains who torment and, in some cases, kill innocent muggles. The contemporary social issue in the story is discrimination. The muggles are seen as unimportant and even ‘dirt’ to some of the witches and wizards who are typically portrayed as evil. Some of the witches and wizards go as far as calling magic-users who have a muggle parent ‘mudbloods’. A similar theme arises in Euripides’ play when Jason abandons Medea, his wife whom he has children with, for another woman. When Medea gets upset Jason states that she is just being overemotional and that all women are the same. He then states that the world would be trouble free without women. Because of her sex, Medea is being discriminated against, and treated as if she has little value. These themes of discrimination are shown in both of the readings and form the main plot in creating and shaping the stories.


In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows there is a scene in which Voldemort, and those who follow him possessing the dark mark, laugh after killing a fellow witch. They take pleasure in killing her simply because she studied muggles and believed that they are equal to magic users. There is another scene where Harry, Hermione, and Ron enter the Ministry of Magic and see a huge sculpture of wizards standing over Muggles who are being crushed at the bottom.

Defying Justice: Lapis lazuli

lapis lazuli

The story of Antigone was written as a tragedy, about a woman who had two brothers that were cursed to kill each other to become the King of Thebes. This resulted in several things of which one her uncle, Creon became the King of Thebes, he decided that Eteocles would be given a proper burial but denied the other brother, Polyneices a burial. On lines 35-36, Creon ruled that “for anyone who does one of these things, murder by public stoning in the city is ordained.” And with that in mind Antigone decided to bury her brother consequences be damned, as a result, she was imprisoned.

Lapis lazuli made her first appearance in the animated series, Steven Universe as a gem trapped in a magic mirror. After she convinced Steven, a half human, half gem to free her she attempted to destroy her captors, the Crystal Gems, who were also Steven’s guardians. After being subdued by Steven, a tentative bond grew between the two even as she kept her distrust of the Crystal Gems because she believed that they betrayed their home world, by protecting Earth and choosing to fuse. While investigating some of the technologies left on Earth by the gems of home world, the Crystal Gems found out that home world gems were heading for Earth. These gems included; Jasper and Peridot, who were sent by their leader to capture the Crystal Gems and along with them Lapis lazuli.  While on board the ship, heading for home world to be prosecuted Lapis accepted her fate while her other companions chose to fight. It was during the final battle between Jasper and the Crystal Gems that Lapis was freed but was shortly captured by Jasper, who then gave her the opportunity to exact revenge on the Crystal Gems for imprisoning her for thousands of years by fusing with her. While fused with Jasper, Lapis took the opportunity to capture her by imprisoning them both under the deepest depth of the ocean.

This reminds me of the story of Antigone because just like Antigone Lapis was caught in the middle of a war between two people she cared about, and if they had followed the wishes of their superiors, they would have been saved but instead they followed their judgement and as a result were imprisoned.

Walk of shame

In the fictional television show Game Of Thrones, many contemporary social issues are explained within the television series. In the fifth season tenth episode, a scene in which really captured my attention and made me think about how women are treated and how public the walk of shame was when Cersei was forced to walk through the streets of King’s Landing naked in order for her to “redeem her sins”. The scene shows how Cersei was kept in a prison and leading up to her walk of shame, she was “bathed” and cut from the long hair that she had. She was then brought outside of the prison where she was being held in and in front of all of the citizens of King’s Landing she was forced to strip and walk through the streets. While walking naked, a woman behind her in robes walked with her and she would say “shame, shame” and then ring a bell and repeat this over and over. The citizens of King’s Landing that saw what was happening at first were shocked but then started to call her names and profanities and they all started to throw anything they could at her like food scraps and feces.

This scene of Game Of Thrones made me think about how nowadays women are treated and also how instead of keeping one’s problems to themselves people now instead spread their troubles and problems to others around them. This scene can be compared to how now people on social media use these platforms to talk about how their partner cheated on them and therefore use social media to humiliate them and lets others comment their thoughts and opinions about the partner or situation. Like in Game Of Thrones people use the public to humiliate others and “teach” them a lesson. The scene also reminded me of both plays of Oedipus and Medea. In the Oedipus play the way that the Chorus was outside the home of Oedipus and publicly announced that the people of Thebes wanted a solution for their starvation and lack of reproduction was similar to how Cersei was made to stand in front all of the citizens of King’s Landing and pay for her sins.

Similarly, in the play of Medea a connection that I found was how both Medea and Cersei were made to be seen as objects and not people. In the play of Medea, since Jason wanted to marry another woman of higher class and basically used Medea it made me think that Jason did not think of her as a person but as an object that he could just use and then throw away when he wanted. Like Cersei, Medea felt like an object that was thrown away and had to face the critics of those around her about her failed marriage.

Death of Tadashi (BigHero6)



In the movie, Big hero 6, Hiro just lost his own brother and doesn’t know how to face it. The pain of losing someone important is just terrible to feel, especially since Hiro is just a child. The scene i’m picking is the aftermath of Tadashi’s death(Hiro’s brother). Hiro started to close in and the movie shows him shutting out everything. The movie’s color scheme really showed the great sorrow that Hiro was going through too. The mood was dark, gray and dull making the scene, just so overly emotional and depressing. The audience watching this would feel the same and even cry a little for Hiro. In this society, when people die, it’s normal to feel sad because they were important. So like the norms in society, when people watch this part of the scene, they will either feel sad or pity for Hiro. 


In contrast to Oedipus, he saw his mother/wife die and he had a total meltdown. He was extremely sad that he was so foolish and ignorant. The same with Hiro, he went into a total meltdown mode and couldn’t stand up until he met Baymax. When compared to social contemporary, both are sad and tragic. The tragedy of losing someone precious is something no one wants to feel. However in their case, Oedipus realize he can’t run away from fate and Hiro have to face his problem. Everyday in this world there is tragedies and sadness, it will never disappear because if there is light then there is darkness too. It’s the whole yin and yang factor of the world that makes it balance. I believe that there is no such thing as a perfect world because this is reality. Reality can be very cruel and people have to accept reality. Just like Oedipus, he accept his fate at the end and Hiro too. By blinding himself, it symbolize his foolishness and inability to escape fate. Therefore, both Oedipus and Hiro was hurt because of the death of their love ones. Since Tadashi died in a fire, which was caused by somebody and Oedipus’ wife done taboo. Both are issues and they are related to the modern world because people have different opinion on taboo relationship especially with family. Also criminality can be justified as evil for a lot of people. So in perspective both are evil and hurtful. 

Sons of Anarchy


Charlie Hunnam goes by the name Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy. He plays a very important role as the vice president, eventually becoming the president of his motorcycle club. Single father Jax Teller finds his loyalty to his outlaw motorcycle club tested by his growing unease concerning the group’s lawlessness. While the club protects and patrols the town of Charming, Calif., keeping danger away. However, the club earns their money through an illegal arms business.

A social issue is a problem that influences a considerable number of the individuals within a society. It is often the consequence of factors extending beyond an individual’s social issue is the source of a conflicting opinion on the grounds of what is perceived as a morally just personal life or societal order. There are many social issues in the show sons of anarchy, particularly kidnapping. Kidnap is to take (someone) away illegally by force, typically to obtain a ransom; kidnapping is one of the felonies that have a larger social impact in a population. Jaxs son Abel, was kidnapped by the Irish gangster and IRA traitor Jimmy O. Jimmy killed Abel’s adopted family and abducted Abel because he thought Jax killed Jimmy’s son. Eventually, Jax retrieves Abel and takes him to a safe place.

In the play, a woman named Medea has many social issues, they’re anger and violence. Her husband is leaving her and marrying King Creon’s daughter. She is in misery and doesn’t know what to do. Medea was furious, she decided to take action. Medea said “best the straight route in which I am most skilled — to take them off with poisons” line 385. This quote foreshadowed Jason’s two daughters and wife death. Medea left Jason alive to keep him in misery.

Although the social issues in Sons of Anarchy and Medea are different, they’re both social issues in everyday lives. Jax had to deal with Abel being kidnapped. However, he overcome the obstacles and obtained his son. Medea was in rage with anger because of her Jason leaving her. Her actions were incorrect and could have been a better solution.

Mohammed team Vulcan

I want to suck your blood!!

I want to suck your blood!! That’s right I’m a vampire. No, I’m the one and only Druuuuuulaaaaa. That’s a dramatic entrance right? Well imagine that same statement said over and over and over again since the REAL Dracula existed?

The story of Dracula originates from a Romanian King, Vlad. The name literally means “Son of the Devil” which was no laughing matter. In order to defeat the Ottomans and scare them off, Vlad’s war tactic was to kill his own people by way of impairment. Innocent citizens were oiled and impaled alive so that their screams of pain and agony would scare about the larger army of the Ottoman’s. The story of Dracula is so gory the only way to understand it was by making Dracula a monster later called a vampire- demon who sucks blood to survive. What is true is that Romania exists from the bloodshed of their own citizens.

We see examples of Dracula in movie series like Twilight, The Count Dracula in Sesame street or my favorite Count Chocula.

Dracula, like Medea are vengeful and scary characters. Both make hasty decisions for the list of their family and and up killing their own blood. Medea enters the play having killed her father while Dracula, taken as a child for a rival army, kills his brother. Similarly, the United States is at war with itself struggling to determine which part of history to acknowledge. Recently there was the murder of a college student in Charlottesville who was at a protest to the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee. Today, without second thought we harm and even kill our fellow human beings (citizens of the USA or not) because we have different scales in which we determine what is right or wrong. Medea thought killing her child was good to save them from humiliation in being abandoned. Dracula sought vengeance in killing his family for not protecting his parents and protesters are killed because of hasty and emotional decisions. 

The Sphinx’s Riddle


The Sphinx, according to Greek mythology, was considered to be a woman with a lioness’ body, eagle’s wing, and a serpent’s tale. She was known to be a mystical creature who brought about terror and destruction. The Sphinx is a popular character who was also used by J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth of the seven-book series. (Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)

In Oedipus the King, the Sphinx was known to terrorize the people of Thebes. She was sent by the god Hera as punishment for the unresolved crimes of King Laius. The Sphinx sat between the city of Thebes and its people, refusing to let anyone in or out unless they successfully answered her riddle. Those who failed to were either eaten of flung off a cliff.

Similarly, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Sphinx was used to guard treasures and was known to become violent when anything threatened the treasure. In the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament (a large contest held between three wizarding schools), the Sphinx guards Harry’s closest route to the Triwizard Cup, which Harry must get to before the other contestants to win the tournament.

Both in Oedipus and The Goblet of Fire, the Sphinx represents terror, violence, and eventually, the protagonists’ confrontation with their destiny.

Oedipus left Corinth, his hometown after he received a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. As he’s passing by Thebes, he comes across the Sphinx and her riddle.“What is it that has a voice and walks on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening?” “A man”, Oedipus answers. With the riddle being solved the Sphinx plunges off the cliff, and Oedipus is welcomed into Thebes as a hero, is married to its queen, and becomes the new king. Unknown to him, however, is that the moment he solves the Sphinx’s riddle, he falls into the trap of the gods, and comes face to face with the fate he’s been running from. Not much later, the city of Thebes faces a plague, also a form of punishment for an unresolved crime; the murder of King Lauis. Oedipus’ pursuit of truth leads him to realize that it was he who murdered King Lauis, his father (when he was traveling from Corinth to Thebes) and that he had married his own mother, the Queen.

In the Goblet of Fire, after Harry solves the Sphinx’s riddle and crosses by her, he too, like Oedipus, has to confront fate. He faces a duel with Voldemort (the main antagonist). In the first three books of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter thrice avoids a dangerous, fatal duel with Voldemort, the darkest wizard the entire magical world has seen. However, once Harry gets past the Sphinx and gets to the Triwizard Cup, he falls into Voldemort’s trap, and upon contact with the cup (a portkey, which is an enchanted object that can transport someone to a specific location), faces the fate he and everyone that loved him was trying to save him from. Harry finds himself fighting Voldemort in a duel.

In both stories, after defeating the Sphinx, the protagonists find themselves facing the fate they originally are running from. The Sphinx in both stories represents fear, violence, and an arrival to the true fate. 


If Oedipus Lived In Suburbia


According to a NYTimes review, the “experimental Irish theatre company” (Brantley) Peter Pan has staged a show called “Oedipus Loves You,” which takes the original Greek story of Oedipus and places it in modern day suburbia. The story, told in “latter-day drag” (Brantley), opens up telling the audience that the show is meant to be shown “in an age of postmodern theory and the birth of postdramatic theatre” (Brantley), and it aims to examine “the metaphysical,political, and quasi-religious aspects of the Oedipus myth as it has been applied in recent theater history” (Brantley). We talked a lot in class about the importance of theatre to Athenian life, and how ALL theatre performed back then had a religious context. Peter Pan’s production does exactly that, but molds the well-known myth for a modern day audience. Someone going to see a original production of Oedipus in Ancient Athens would probably be going for the same reasons someone would go see Peter Pan’s re-staging of Oedipus Loves You; for commentary on political and religious issues in the safe space of an artistic sanctuary. According to Brantley, the actual production of the story is amusing in relation to the themes of the original story; the major difference being the show’s use of Sigmund Freud’s major concepts, like the Oedipus Complex, which obviously wasn’t talked about while Ancient Athenians went to see the play. As the show is shown in modern times, it has become much more of a comedic story then a drama, due to the absurdity of events in the original story. Ancient Athenians might have seen events in Oedipus as common occurrences, but Peter Pan’s production plays on the how amusing the events are, and “also considers the tenacity of the hold of that story on the Western imagination” (Brantley).

Brantley, Ben. “Oedipus Loves You.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 May 2008,

Camille, Team Diana


Hell Hath No Fury

The scene is dark with an impeccable consciousness of regret hovering over you as you eat the third handful of buttery, salty popcorn. A few kernels spill over failing to make it to your mouth but your eyes are pasted onto the pail nonpareil actress holding a tendentious expression over the angry, frightened Reverend. The remnant taste of a cola you sipped four and a incessant seconds ago is still lingering off of your tongue and that’s when the phenomena occurs: scary salemWhy did I choose THIS net-flick?! Why does anyone choose a series to binge and who on earth in 2017 can relate to the Salem Witch Trials or a woman stuffing a rat down her husband’s throat?! Apparently a flock of WGN America’s Salem fans including myself.

Salem is a television show about the contras’ of freedom. We all have freedom to do whatever we please but the consequences are not so lithe or agreeable- often objectionable. Arguably, a young woman in love and separated from her true love by the religious tyranny of the Puritans, Left alone with a bastard child she enters the world of satanism to rid herself of child. She is later unable to alter her choices when her lover returns with burdens of his own. Torn between reviving Satan in hopes of creating a new world of peace and leaving her duties to be a mother and wife in an autonomous state.

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A Cross-Cultural Take on Oedipus the King

“The patients become the playwright’s plague-weary Thebans, the playwright’s grim and fearful chorus. Like the cast, they are all black, and the resonant but never stated implication is that they have AIDS.”

“…As a result, his fall has an element in it of just deserts, as though he were being punished for his hubris, and this robs from the mounting human tragedy that gives the play its brutal power.”

These quotes are from a 2001 New York times theater review of an adaptation of Oedipus the King set in contemporary Africa.

As a result of setting the play in Africa, the context of the story changes, meaning that there are different reasons as to why events in the play occur. The writer of the review, Bruce Weber, notes that instead of going through a devastating plague, the people that Oedipus rules over are struggling with AIDS. A plague as gruesome as the one that the Athenians were concerned with at the time of the original Oedipus story is not an issue that would concern anyone today, or in 2001, and so it is understandable that this detail would be altered for a modern adaptation. The use of AIDS instead of the Athenian plague makes for a much more relevant comment on modern African life for that time period, as in 2001, when this play was written, AIDS was prominent issue in Africa. The ideas are similar enough for the use of AIDS in the story to seamlessly work in the story – the people are upset that something so horrible has spread, and so they turn to their leader, Oedipus, for guidance. The story of Oedipus himself and his prophecy continues from there.

Furthermore, Weber observes how Oedipus’ weakness is still hubris, but his fall is somewhat different in this adaptation, which could also affect the theme. Weber claims that “…it’s hard to imagine him as a revered leader. He’s Oedipus the Prince, someone who suffers on his sleeve, who doesn’t have layers of self-certainty to be peeled slowly and inevitably away as his heritage and his fate are revealed to him.” Oedipus in this adaptation is a young, privileged, and somewhat lucky character. His demise is only seen when he blinds himself at the end. In the original play, Oedipus’ decision to uncover the killer of Laius by any means necessary in order to help his people is a noble one, and the audience can pity him when his fate is revealed, which adds to the purpose of the play itself – to find a “reason” for the Athenian plague. In this contemporary version, there may be a comment being made about leadership in Africa and how the situation regarding AIDS may have been handled poorly. There is a change in theme and purpose.


Weber, Bruce. “Timeless Tragedy, Transported in Time.” The New York Times, 30 Jan. 2001. Accessed 5 Sept. 2017.



OnStage, CLAS2, Euripides, Sophocles, Antigone, Oedipus, Medea




Who Am I?

In Mulan, Mulan sings the song Reflections which is all about who she is as a person. During this song she contemplates who she is and what other people think she should be. When I was watching this I realized this searching for your true self is very prevalent in contemporary society. We are constantly looking for ourselves, the transgender movement is an example of this. Transgender people are looking for who they are. They are discovering who they are meant to be regardless of what other people say or do, to look inside themselves and recognize that they aren’t necessarily supposed to be what they were told they were.

Similarly, in Oedipus the King, Oedipus is so focused on what the oracle and the prophecy says he ends up fulfilling the prophecy by accident. Oedipus was so focused on other people’s predictions and views that he was steered into making decisions he wouldn’t necessarily make for himself, like Mulan, when she is steered into marrying for the honor of her family. While Mulan pushes against the constraints on her and follows her heart by saving her father, Oedipus tries to defy the fates as well but ends up in their clutches at the end. Both of these stories, while very similar have different endings they both reflect on how outside influence can affect a person to a very deep level. Making someone who thought they knew themselves turn out to be something entirely different. This is reflected in today’s contemporary society with the transgender movement, people finding who they are regardless of society’s opinion of them.



Blinded: figuratively and literally

In this specific scene from Spider-Man 2, it’s clear that Harry Osborn, the son of Norman Osborn, has an unhealthy relationship with Spider-man, soon to be revealed as Harry’s best friend, Peter. Harry, unable to understand the truth, is strongly convinced that Spider-man murdered his father. Although Norman Osborn was portrayed as a gifted, inspirational, and successful man to society, in secrecy he was the city’s villain–the Green Goblin trying to destroy Spider-man. In trying to do so, the Green Goblin’s advanced technological glider mistakenly kills himself. No other to blame but the city’s hero, Harry begins to grow hatred strong enough to blind his judgments. Unaware of his surroundings, Harry willingly makes a deal with the city’s new villain, tritium for Spider-man’s capture.

Similar turn of events arise in Oedipus the King, where the country’s savior, Oedipus, becomes a slave to his emotions eventually leading him to his downfall–the loss of his family, sovereignty, and eyesight. As the play progresses, we can picture the city of Thebes being darkened by sickness. The only way to free the people of such ill is to banish or expiate the murderer of King Laius. Oedipus, desperate for answers, interrogates Teiresias to find himself a victim of accusations. Teiresias states, “I say with those you love best you live in foulest shame unconsciously and do not see where you are in calamity”(422-424). His argument with Teiresias ignited spite and fury resulting in Oedipus’s constant blame on Creon and Teiresias; simultaneously, his actions portray the dangers of too much passion. For example, instead of analyzing his position very carefully, Oedipus –figuratively blind– ignored the truth and ultimately became a catalyst to his demise.

This perfectly reflects North Korea’s perpetual hatred of the United States. During the Korean War, North Korea suffered twice as much compared to South Korea because of constant attacks enforced by U.S. troops. Since then, our interference sparked North Korean propaganda against the United States. Propaganda eventually progressed into threats of nuclear attacks that still persist today. These set of emotions enforced by the North Koreans endanger millions of lives, including their own. Blinded by aversion, led by ignorant leaders, and brainwashed by demagogues, North Koreans have looked away from the truth to whatever fits their agenda.

  • Amirjon, Team Juno


Lost In Space


“Lost in Space” is a movie that came out in 1998 about the Robinson family being sent into space with a pilot who specialized in space war. Their trip in space takes a turn for the worse when someone is payed to destroy the space ship and the Robinson family. This attempt would have worked but the 10 year old son hacked into computer system and stopped the shipped from completely being destroyed. While all this is happening the space ship is heading right toward the son and the only way to escape with out hitting then sun is to open a gate that can lead anywhere in space. The gate is opened but now they are lost in space no where near where they were supposed to be, if it couldn’t be any worse there are creators   trying to kill them and get on the ship. This is when problems arouse between Professor Robinson and Major Don the pilot because both have different ideas on what to do to survive.

The setting of this movie takes place in space September of the year 2058 in an unknown galaxy. The setting of the movie plays a huge role on contemporary social  issues. For example, in this movie the setting is lost in space trapped on a ship yet there are still social issues being faced. One example of a  social issue faced in the movie “Lost in Space” is the fight for power. Being in a situation in where many lives are in danger brings out the  best and worst in people, in this case it brought out the worse in Professor Robinson. Professor Robinson began acting as a dictator on ship and this started to become a problem when Major Don makes a decision for the safety of the family. This causes problems because neither wanted to admit that they were wrong and admit that neither knew what they were doing. The setting played a huge role in creating this problem because if they were not  lost in the middle of space they would not being issues on how to get home or find their way.

The play “Oedipus the King” setting is in Thebes during the time the plague was spreading. This also caused social problems like it did in the movie “Lost in Space”. Oedipus like Professor Robinson didn’t handle a time of crisis too well he also was fighting for his power again Creon who he thought was aspiring against him. The setting contributed this this problem because if it wasn’t during the time Oedipus wouldn’t have sent Creon to the gods and the prophet wouldn’t have came and Oedipus wouldn’t have accused Creon of trying to go against him.  Setting plays a huge role on social issues  in a piece of writing or work.

Dina Becaj Group Athena


That’s So Ignorant

In the television show of That’s So Raven, in one of the episodes called True Colors, Raven and her best friend go together to a job interview for a fashion store called “Sassy”. During their interview both Raven and her friend gave fashion advice to a client and while Raven gave great advice and the client ended up loving her makeover, her best friend didn’t do so well and the client did not like her fashion choices. When it came to make a decision the interviewer ended up only giving the job to Raven’s friend and the reason why was because the interviewer did not “hire black people”.

This scene in particular was very significant because usually in a Disney show that is made for children, it usually does not discuss about racism. This episode was one of my very first encounters with what racism really was and even nowadays it is still a very serious issue in America. Nowadays especially with the new laws and regulation that the government has issued over the past few years, many people of a darker skin complexion from all types of backgrounds are living in constant fear of being discriminated against and possibly be physically hurt because of their skin color. The interviewer in this episode of That’s So Raven, reminded me of the types of people in America that believe the same thing that the interviewer believed in, which is that people of color are less than or “not superior”. There are still some people in America that believe that because a person is not a fair or light skin color, then that would automatically mean that they are uneducated or worthless. This interviewer in this episode also reminded me of Oedipus and how he believed that his authority that he gained from answering the riddle given by the sphinx gave him the power to look down upon others. Oedipus constantly boasted about how he saved the people of Thebes and was blinded by his pride and stubbornness to see that he was also the one that was also causing his people to suffer. Both the interviewer from That’s So Raven and Oedipus shared their ignorance to see that instead of seeing just the surface one should see the skills of a person.


Jealousy and Unhealthy Relationships

A fictional character, Snow White from the movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs lives with her stepmother, wicked Queen who doesn’t love her. The Queen is jealous because she wants to be known as “the fairest in the land,” and Snow White’s beauty surpasses her own. Snow White takes refuge in the forest in the house of seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother.The dwarfs grow to love their unexpected visitor, who cleans their house and cooks their meals. But one day while the dwarfs are at their diamond mine, the Queen arrives at the cottage disguised as an old peddler woman and persuades Snow White to bite into a poisoned apple. The dwarfs place her in a glass coffin in the woods and mourn for her. The Prince, who has fallen in love with Snow White, happens by and awakens her from the wicked Queen’s deathlike spell with “love’s first kiss.”

The contemporary and social issue portrayed in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the jealousy and hatred of the queen towards her step-daughter. This jealousy and hatred takes the queen to such an extent that her inner self forces her to kill her daughter to be the fairest lady in the world. This societal issue is also visible in today’s modern society where children often face detestation and envy from their step parents which often affects their lifestyle growing up as a child. They are rarely considered as the real children and don’t get sufficient care from the step-mother. Sometimes, new parent in a child’s life is a whole other person with a different perspective and expectations and this imbalanced and unhealthy relationships affects both mother’s and child’s life.

This imbalanced and unhealthy relationship is also illustrated in the Oedipus. Oedipus murders his father, Laius and marries his mother, Jocasta and have children with her. It was his fate that he had no knowledge about his identity and the reality. This unhealthy relationships between Oedipus, Jocasta and Laius is similar to the imbalanced relationship between Snow White and the Queen because it was all in their fate to be with each other and also everyone dies at the end. The portrayal of jealously in the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs depicts the lack of love between the step mother and the child. And, the portrayal of the unhealthy relationships between Oedipus, the king and the Jocasta, his mother and his wife depicts the fate and the lack of the knowledge of his identity. It can also happen in today’s society where a child is not loved by the step mother or a male has illegal relationship with a female.

Gurleen Kaur, Team Venus

“Exito Aqui”


Exit here…

Spanish tends to be the one that ends up with a bad translation. The “Exit only” sign, has the Spanish translation be “Exit here”. A subtle change, where this sign only tells those leaving the Subway counter to exit here, Spanish-speakers would be very confused here, in that it would say that the exit is located here. Exit to what? The store? The line? The counter? Even more so, the Spanish translation isn’t even accurate, the word “Exit” in English isn’t “Exito” in Spanish. It is “Salida”. The translation is borderline hilarious, showcasing some truth in the stereotype of English speakers adding an o at the end of a word to make it sound Spanish. Such examples include “Caro, Entrero, and Telephono”.

The translations being completely different can be seen in the readings we had as well. For example, in Oedipus Rex, there’s a text, that states “Sweet-voiced daughter of Zeus from thy gold-paved Pythian shrine. Wafted to Thebes divine,What dost thou bring me. My soul is racked and shivers with fear. (Healer of Delos, hear!)”, (line 296-300). The translation of the same lines reads as follows, “As you have held me to my oath, I speak: I neither killed the king nor can declare the killer; but since Phoebus set the quest
it is his part to tell who the man is.” (ii). The translation completely omits any sign of Gods, and goes straight to the point of what happened, showing how in the times of the translation, the idea of Gods being the ones to look to has decreased. The low impact of Gods has made texts such as Oedipus become more like modern tales, meant to also illustrate lessons, but without any divine intervention, rather, flaws and consequences occurring due to the direct result of the mortal, and not the Gods at hand.

#translation #CLAS2 #Team Cronos #Oedipus

A modern take on Antigone

“You get the feeling that it’s not just the ill-fated souls of ancient Greece that this sun looks upon. It’s staring straight into the audience as well. That stately drumbeat that we hear every so often is marking the pace of everybody’s death march.”

“It may be Mr. van Hove’s intention to show that even the most adamantine souls can be brought wailing to their knees by life’s blows. The point registers, for sure. But like much else in this thoughtful but strangely detached production, it’s one we register in our minds but not in our hearts.”
       In regards to the quotes from the article connecting to the play, death played a major role in Antigone, as it essentially sets the stage, and is the driving force between the main character, Antigone’s, desire in the play. With the death of her brother she yearns to pay her respects, despite the king’s authority telling her not to, and these issues and themes most definitely connect to a contemporary, and ancient Athenian audience. These issues are similar to what the Ancient Athenian audience might have been thinking about, as they enjoyed plays that had a central theme, and those that had a deeper meaning. Fate and rules, which are themes of Antigone both have relevance to a contemporary audience and ancient Athens. Fate because of the fact that it was beyond Antigone’s control that her brother Polynices had died, but felt as though in her heart it was her duty to honor him by burying his body, despite defying Creon’s wishes. To a contemporary audience, fate is something we can all understand too well, when we often have to make a decision between two important things. Rules can most definitely relate to an ancient Athenian audience, as it played a major role in society, In regards to theater, it was often used as a form of tax, as wealthier citizens would pay for theater production, and also the housing and feeding of the actors. However some differences in issues that the ancient Athenian audience may have been thinking about is a play’s particular relevance to their daily live, and the times in which they would attend to go see a play. In ancient Greece, theater was apart of a religious festival, so while it was used for entertainment, similar to modern day, it also had an important purpose, which can be considered sacred on some level. 

Brantley, Ben. “Review: In ‘Antigone’ at BAM, Agony and Despair in Inexorable Motion.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Sept. 2015,


Kung Fu Panda is a movie franchise I’m sure many are familiar with. It follows the exploits of a gluttonous Panda, Po, who goes from being an enthusiastic fanboy, to the humble leader of the Furious Five and the defender of China. A common theme in the movies is the concept of fate, or rather the inability to avoid fate. This concept is first shown in Po, who, despite being reluctant to accept his role as the Dragon Warrior ,eventually lives up to the title, many times over. However, the concept of destiny and fate seems to apply to all of the many characters in the series, good or bad, one of the most prelavent examples being Shen. Shen makes his debut in Kung Fu Panda 2. He is a Peacock King, obsessed with fighting fate, more than any other. Seeking to maintain his rule and high standing as a king, he constantly consults the ‘Soothsayer’, a foturne telling goat, for advice. When faced with the possibility of his kingship being threatened by “a warrior of black and white”, as told by the Soothsayer, he eliminates everything in his path, this being any Pandas and even his own parents. However, his mad rush to quickly silence any possible threats, leads to his own downfall, with Po eventually defeating him in a final confrontation. Though as expressed by the Soothsayer, Shen could have certainly maintained kingship, his arrogance, cruelty and paranoia lead to his demise. In the end, he, a black and white warrior himself, fell to his own schema.

Shen’ tale is one eerily similar to Oedipus. They both exemplify an arrogance and greediness that leads to their downfalls. They try to fight fate, which in of itself isn’t terrible, but their methods ultimately seal the tragic fate which awaits the two. A lack of desire to humble oneself and control their violent tendencies makes them susceptable to the tradgedies of their fates. In the world of Kung Fu Panda, the pressure and stress of fate is known not solely to Shen. All of the characters, even his ‘conqueror ‘, Po, know the cruelty of fate. Though Po felt the stress of fate and its expectations for him, expectations which he at many times tried to run from, through humility he was able to accept and eventually conquer the obstacles which fate laid out for him favorably. Shen, his polar opposite in the movie, lacked this humility needed to shift his fate favorably. The raw and unbridled desire to dominate fate led to an equally harsh end. Such is true of Oedipus. He also lives in a world where many people are subject to the fate which the gods bestow upon them and the will which they hold over them. Even the gods of Greek Mythology themselves are subject to the strings of fate. However, there is a stark difference in the reaction. Odysseus, a ccontemporary king of Greek myths, also was reluctant to accept  his fate, which, in his case was engaging in war. However, a humility towards the gods of their world allowed him to endure the obstacles  and ultimately be rewarded. Oedipus knew no such humility and as retribution, was made the most humble and pitiable of humans or any beings for that matter, by the end.

In contemporary society, crime tells the story of both Oedipus and of Shen. Instead of fate though, we have Law. The Law(federal and religious), acts as the overarching aspect of society which all of us must submit to. Those who commit crimes, be theft, rape or murder, are those who refuse to submit to the law, just as Shen and Oedipus did not submit to fate. All of us, whichever the country, are subject to the law and all people have felt the harshness and unfairness of law at some point of another. However, we acknowledge that it is a necessary force in order to maintain some semblance of peace in the world we live in, and we are better off for it when following it. People who commit crimes, justifiable or unjustifiable may have also felt the sting of law prior to committing crimes, yet feel they have the authority to go against it, as though they alone have felt the unfairness or constrainment of it. They fail to show humility in the face of the law, both federal and religious, and suffer for it, either dying or being sent to prison. By that point they may feel humility in the face of law just like Shen and Oedipus with fate, but by that time, it is too late.

Skaie Cooper,Team Ares

Oedipus and His Position of Power


We’ve spent time discussing Oedipus’ fatal flaw: Hubris. His prideful manner led to his downfall. He was rash in his decisions and quick to anger. What we haven’t asked ourselves is; what made Oedipus a tragic hero? As quoted by Ben Brantley of The New York Times; “Power makes a freak of those who wield it”. Oedipus, alone at the top, was presented with a problem that was his to fix. A Plague had spread throughout Thebes leaving its citizens devastated and Oedipus is committed to finding the cause of it. Tiresias the oracle reveals that Oedipus himself is the curse. Proud as ever, Oedipus immediately refuses to accept this as truth and threatens to kill Tiresias. We see here how power has affected his mindset. Oedipus is so focused on using his power to fix the problem that he is blind to the answer right in front of him. In addition, his pride doesn’t allow him to see the god Apollo’s truth as greater than his own. We see these traits fairly often among modern day politicians. One example of this is in recent events, when president Putin of Russia decided to invade Crimea and the Ukrainian mainland after being warned by the western nations not to. This resulted in heavy sanctions being placed upon Russia and its people. The sanctions were placed on the import of Russian oil and export of food to Russia. This resulted in the inflation of the ruble and lack of food for the public. Similarly to the people of Russia, the people of Thebes were suffering because of decisions made by their leader. When a leader only listens to himself and does not heed the advice of others, he will find himself much like Oedipus, “Lonely both at the top and at the bottom”.

Gabriella, Team Hestia

Brantley, Ben. “THEATER REVIEW; Private Horror Made Public.”, 6 Oct. 2000,


Something Wicked This Way Comes

Free will, prophecies, and fate- themes that seem to transcend time and weave themselves into our stories and literature, begging the questions of whether they truly exist and where they come from. Shakespeare’s Macbeth explores the three in a tale of trying to “play God” to one’s fate and, in doing so, meeting it tragically. In the play our protagonist Macbeth encounters three witches (shown above) who prophesy that he will one day claim the throne. Intrigued by this prospect, Macbeth informs his wife who then manipulates him into murdering the current king, Duncan, and framing another. Although Macbeth’s ploy is successful, Macbeth and his wife grow mad with guilt- the former slew in battle and the latter driven to suicide.

We see a similar turn of events in Oedipus. Born to Jocasta and Laius, the infant Oedipus is prophesied to one day murder his father and wed his mother. In an attempt to avoid this fate, the king and queen exile Oedipus and sentence him to death. Through what can only be fate (wink wink) Oedipus avoids this untimely death and grows up far from his home and parents. Once a man, he travels far and away to Thebes- unaware that this is his home- accidentally slaying Laius and later marrying Jocasta- unaware that these are his parents. Upon realizing his sins Oedipus gouges out his eyes, physically and metaphorically blinding himself. Where Macbeth tries to achieve his fate, Oedipus runs from it. Still the fate of both men is met- each shrouded by carnage and tragedy.

The scene I have chosen from Macbeth addresses the contemporary yet not-so-contemporary issue of free will. In the scene Macbeth is, literally, approached by his fate: the three witches (to which we can draw the parallel of The Fates who appear as three witches in Greek lore). The witches then tell him his fate of kingship, raising multiple questions: Was this always his fate, or has the act of them telling him this prophecy created this fate for him? Had he not been told this would he become king? Would he be murdered for his treachery? Would Lady Macbeth kill herself? Similarly, in Oedipus we can ask ourselves whether any of the events would transpire had the prophecy been withheld from Jocasta and Laius. Does the act of telling the prophecy set it into motion? Or has it always been in motion, with the act of telling simply a means of propelling it? Can we escape from our fate once we have become aware of it? Or will we always find our way back to it as we run away? These questions are simultaneously ancient and contemporary; we have been pondering these truths since civilization began and continue to do so today. We have sought answers through religion, philosophy, and literature. The question of free will versus fate is one that is explored both in Oedipus and Macbeth. It is one that continues to plague us today as we must each ask ourselves whether we are the commanders of our own minds or if there is another- a greater, incomprehensible thing which permeates us completely and decides the past, present, and future. These are questions to which we have infinite answers and no answers, and questions we must continue to explore through Shakespeare, through Sophocles and through those few and far between.

#OldisNew #CLAS2 #Sophocles #Oedipus #TeamJuno, SophieShnaidman #Macbeth

Long Ago and Far Away: Star Trek and Race (1968)

In Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek a common social issue that is regularly commented on is the issue of racial equality in 1960’s America. Having a white man and a black woman in the same workplace was so incredibly taboo that the only appropriate setting would be the deck of a Starship. This allowed the breaking of barriers, both physical and metaphorical.

The scene comments on the contemporary social issue of racial equality. The setting of the scene consists of the two of the main characters acting in a play, where Willliam Shatner’s character must kiss Nichelle Nichols’. This episode was aired at a time when interracial relationships of any kind were often frowned upon by the majority of Americans. Laws called anti-miscegenation laws that banned relationships and more importantly marriages between interracial couples still existed in dozens of states, mainly in the southern and mid-western states. This scene directly and intentionally challenged the very fabric of these laws and the building blocks of racist society. The push to help dismantle the complex issue of racially equality and systematic oppression in the United States took many hits in the year 1968 with the assassinations of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, but took a step in the right direction with the inclusion of this cultural milestone.

In comparison to the play “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles both use the theater as a medium to address complicated topics that would be too dark or be considered to sinister or inappropriate to be discussed in an open setting. An example of terrible and perverse topics in “Oedipus Rex” are acts committed by Oedipus which include patricide and incest which were frowned upon by the society. The parallels that are shared between both Star Trek and Oedipus Rex are not the messages they share but the use of similar mediums that are used to display their individual messages.

Old stories made new through abandonment

Peter Parker is a fictional character that has been portrayed multiple times in film. Peter is depicted as a young adolescent and an outcast. He goes to school and faces the teenage struggles of fitting in, being liked, and getting girls. When he goes home, he finds himself living in a household with only his aunt, as his uncle was murdered and his parents left him when he was a boy. The viewer knows that he is left because, “We see the pair leave a young Peter with Aunt May and Uncle Ben, telling the future web-slinger, ‘There is something your mom and I have to do’”  (Eason, Comic Book Resources). Peter is forced to cope with the betrayal of his parents every day and knows that he will probably never see them again. This is also seen in the opening of The Amazing Spider-man, where Peter is brought to his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. His father says that he has business to attend to and scurries off with Peter’s mother.

The contemporary social issues that Peter faces are similar with the contemporary issues in our society. Just like Peter, people in today’s society are brought up on one person households where there isn’t a significant other. All humans at some point have been abandoned and have had to deal with this loss for a long time . A large amount of adolescents think highly about fitting in and being with the “popular crowd” just like Peter Parker.

The contemporary social issues that Peter faces are similar with the contemporary social issues in Euripides, Medea. Medea is a figure in Greek mythology that was faced with abandonment as well. Medea was left by her husband Jason for Glauce. Faced by this tragedy, Medea is also abandoned by her home in Corinth, as Creon forces her to leave and never return. She is forced in a position where she has to deal with the loss of her home and the man that she loves so much.


Euripides’ Medea.”,

Eason, Brian K. “The Secret History of Spider-Man’s Parents.” CBR, 11 Aug. 2016, Accessed 4 Sept. 2017.

Fate Or Free Will

In this specific scene the iconic character of Anakin Skywalker, who has been recreated numerous amounts of times (cartoons, books, comic books, movies, etc.), faces a glimpse of his universally known destiny…of becoming Darth Vader.
The fate of the great Jedi, Anakin Skywalker, is a well known story.  He was once regarded as a legendary war hero for the great republic by the mass population of worlds that had heard tales of his exploits.  But not only was he known as a hero, he was also known as “The Chosen One”.  The being that would inevitably bring balance and peace to the force.  The Jedi Order had raised Anakin on this great prophecy that had been foretold over the millenniums, that the Order had existed for.  This prophecy had been so ingrained and burned into his head that he spent nearly all of his life attempting to live up to it.  For any being, that is a measure that is difficult to live up to.  Being hailed as practically a messiah is not easy for anyone to live with because they have to constantly try to live without exhibiting any flaws, which for any normal being is impossible.  This prophecy would inevitably break Anakin, because like the average person, he had many flaws.  He was emotional, temperamental, caring, loving, compassionate, and much more.  These attributes albeit don’t really seem all that terrible for a person to have, but for someone such as Anakin especially with the powers that he had, was dangerous.  Which is why it was a common rule for Jedi to try to abstain from producing strong emotional ties, for fear that such ties would lead them down the path of the dark side.  In the end his predetermined “fate” of becoming the Chosen One did not come true.  The story of Anakin Skywalker constantly begets the philosophical question of whether or not if we all have our own predestined fates or if we have the power to choose.  Anakin ended up choosing his own path, choosing to seek forbidden and ultimate power, and choosing to be corrupted by the dark side and transforming into Darth Vader.  

The question is an issue that many people face in the modern world, especially millennials.  I myself am unsure of whether or not I have my own predestined fate that is slowly fulfilling itself as my time on this earth progresses or if I have free will and am making my own choices.  Do we have a fate and if so, will anything we do cease to change our fates?  Or do we have a choice and does every choice we make end up changing what inevitably happens to us in the end?

     This motif or theme is very prevalent in the story of “Oedipus Rex”, otherwise known as “Oedipus The King”.  But unlike Anakin, Oedipus wasn’t able to choose his own “fate”.  In the story Oedipus, who was orphaned as a child because of his father being told of the prophecy that his own son would end up killing him and marrying his wife, was told of the infamous prophecy while on his adventures.  Oedipus would then spend a good portion of his efforts trying to stop the horrible prophecy from happening.  Which in the end would be futile, as he had ended up killing his father, marrying his mother, and subsequently manually relinquishing his sense of sight (taking his own eyes).  Like Anakin, Oedipus knew his “fate” so-to-speak, but because of the fact he ended up self-fulfilling and sealing his own fate.

I believe that Sophocles wanted the reader of this epic to ponder on the question of fate and free will, amongst other things whilst reading “Oedipus Rex”.  

#OldisNew #CLAS2 #SEAN #TEAMARES #Oedipus #Sophocles

The Power of Ignorance

In this scene from Insurgent it was revealed that Divergents were never the problem to their society, but actually the solution. The leader of Erudite, Janine, refuses to believe the truth because she follows her own thought that Divergents’ who are so different from others would end up destroying the five factions. In reality, she is the one who is creating chaos between the factions. Her ignorance blinds her from the real truth and similarly in Oedipus the King, Oedipus also is put in the same situation.

Thousands of people are dying as the plague spreads across Thebes. Oedipus, the king of this land tries to find a solution to the disease and to stop it from killing more citizens. In order to do so Oedipus must find who Laius’ murderer is. The prophet Tiresias arrives at the scene, he knows the truth but does not say until anything until Oedipus started to insult him. He slowly begins to reveal the truth about the murderer/curse “[…] you are the land’s pollution” (line 400). The blind prophet hints Oedipus that he is the one who is the main problem, the one that cursed the city into plague. However, he continues to taunt Tiresias and it led to an official statement that Oedipus is the “[…] murderer of the king whose murderer you seek” (lines 415-16). This angers the king and refuses to believe in the prophecy because it is not the answer he is looking for. At the end of the play Oedipus finds out that he is the one that killed Laius, his father. His ignorance towards the Prophet’s vision led him to finding out the truth in a harsher way, it also hurt and involved more people than he intended to. In today’s society, some people are too selfish to see that what they do can often lead to controversies and chaos like in Insurgent and Oedipus. 

 #Hera #OldisNew #CLAS2 #Oedipus #Insurgent #ignoranceisnotagoodpower