Fasces at City Bank

City Bank Farmers Trust Company Building


As my group and I did our rounds, going from building to building and fillling out the worksheet, we came across perfect examples of fasces when we went to the City Bank Farmers Trust Company Building. Though it may seem strange to have found an example of it at the bank, as sown in the picture above, the fasces represents a certain kind of strength and unity, attributes which I’m sure the architects and the heads of the bank wanted to ingrain in their image of it.

Skaie Cooper, Team Ares

From Guns to Glory

”Are we going to be able to screen and determine everyone who is going to be a threat? Of course not,” she[Ms.Riddle]  said. ”We are not a perfect society , and there is no way we can create perfect laws.”


In Lawmakers look to boost Guns in school, the author explores a school society that is haunted by a pattern of school shootings, the most recent having been Connecticut’s infamous Sandy Hook massacre. Though it is agreed across the country that the act was indeed deplorable and shocking, divide came in deciding how to tackle the problem of school shootings. Among the heavy debate of this issue, the state of Texas  offered its own solution, one that almost seemed to be the exact opposite of decreasing violence. Its solution was to allow school staff to carry their own firearms , in order to defend themselves should such an emergency occur.

Of course, this proposition was met with much backlash from other states, who condemned the allowance of firearms as being counterproductive. However, state represenatatives, stood by this proposition, which would allow teachers to protect their students, and countered that trying to screen for the kinds of people that would commit such a  crime would be a far more daunting and unrealistic task. This counterclaim claim leads to the quote mentioned above. It isn’t an ideal situation to arm teachers and other school staff with firearms, but  in a matter of otherwise life and death, it would indeed be the best choice. Ms. Riddle, the Texas representative, in acknowledging that our society is not perfect, justifies what would otherwise be seen as a completely outrageous decision.

The article seems to mostly speak in reluctant favor of the gun law in Texas within the school environment. Though it is a law, a decision that is undesirable, even to those who propose it, it is ultimately a decision made in light of the imperfect world in which we live in, one that is harsh, untrustworthy and indiscriminate,even preying on the innocent children and unassuming teachers of the then recent Sandy Hook shooting. It is one that embodies justice , especially in the lense of Plato, who makes the claim, within his excerpts, that “People love it [Justice], not because it is a good thing, but because they are too weak to do injustice with impunity”. The representative and by extension, the people of Texas embrace the usage of guns for protection within schools, not because it is ‘good’ but because it is the best decision that could be made. Other states against the law would allow the injustice of the school shootings to continue, not wanting to create the x-factor of allowing armed staff and would make that sacrafice for the sake of lawfulness,  but Texas, in forfeiting its lawfulness, allows the rigid neutrality of Justice to put a more plausible end to the school violence.

Smith, Morgan. “Lawmakers look to boost guns in school.” New York Times, 28 Dec. 2012, p. A19A(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA313191533&it=r&asid=4963e9e803df3db2b6cdeed9c11336b1. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.



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