Augustus Across two classes

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In art class, we learned about Augustus of Prima Porta. That one sculpture we focused on, depicted Augustus as a God who descended from Aphrodite, with youthful characteristics. He was standing like a spear bearer in contrapposto. One thing that we did not learn in Art Class that came about in classics is the fact that every other emperor that came after him modeled their sculptures to look like him. One thing that historians found is that all Julio-Claudians looked the same until the Flavian Dynasty. The reason for this is because they wanted to legitimize their ruler.

-Izadora, Team Aphrodite

Sex is Sex Right?

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “My Wife Is Done With Sex. Can I Turn Elsewhere?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/magazine/my-wife-is-done-with-sex-can-i-turn-elsewhere.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-ethicist&action=click&contentCollection=magazine®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collection.

Dear Kwame A.,

It is very unfortunate that you are no longer permitted to have sex with the women that you are married to and have dedicated so many years of your life to and with. Any reasonable person knows that sex is a healthy process and it is an important factor in a big commitment such as marriage. I dont exactly agree with your desire to want to go have sex with other women, but that is not why I am writing this. You mentioned that a lot of people referred to you as a “dirty old man.” Your want for sex does not make you a dirty in my eyes. It makes you assertive for knowing what you want. You also mentioned that people have said you are “cheating and should be punished.” Well, what I wanna say is how is it cheating if you have received permission from your wife. What I advise you do is discuss this with your wife. You’re married to your wife and your wife alone, so the only thing that should be relevant in this situation is what she has to say. Everyone is always going to want to put in their own thoughts, but you must look past that.This is the type of situation where it is of utmost importance to voice your concerns to your wife so you guys can discuss what comes next together.

-Izadorius, Team Aphrodite

 

SexEthicist

Team Aphrodite Studying

 

As finals quickly approach studying has become a very important tool for team Aphrodite.  Since we left class a little early after completing our work, we decided to do a little studying on the second floor of the library. In this picture is Edyta, Bedirhan and my self (Izadora).

-sincerely yours,

Team Aphrodite

The Brooklyn College Kandinsky?

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I saw this piece in the Brooklyn College Library on my way out one night. This piece is acrylic on canvas and it is called Smart Paint #1. This piece was made by Luke Gray in 1998 and is part of The Brooklyn College Collection. When I first saw this it reminded me a lot of Vasily Kandinsky’s second Improvisation 28. Although Kandinsky’s piece is oil on painting while Gray’s is acrylic on painting, these two paintings do have commonalities. One thing that captured my eyes from Gray’s work is the variety of colors he used. From a certain angle, one can say that the colors are chaotically placed all over the place, but I see some kind of order. Also in Kandinsky’s second Improvisation 28, it also looks a little chaotic, but there are actual paintings of objects embedded within his work.

-Izadora, Team Aphrodite

 

Around The World Under an Hour

My first interviewee was Gabrielle. The interview took place in the third-floor library on a Monday evening.Gabrielle is from the Philippines and she moved to the U.S at the age of 16. Although she moved here to live, she actually identifies more with her Filipino side than American. One of the main ways she learned about her past and history is from school, her culture, and family members. One of the great leaders in her country is named Jose Rizal. He is important for starting a revolution against the Spanish through writing. Since there is always a lesson to be found in a story, from this story the people learned to never be afraid to come together to fight oppression.

My second interviewee goes by the name of Moridiyat and we spoke over the phone on Monday evening. Although Moridiyat was born in the United States, she actually identifies more with being Nigerian. She visits Nigeria every other summer and that’s how she learns about her past and history. She learns from her family, culture, oral accounts, and her home village which is called Abeokuta. One important leader from her country is named, Obasanjo. One of his most important accomplishments is refusing to trade with the  United States because he knew that at the end their intentions were not pure. They were only looking to trade at first and then invade Nigeria like they did to so many other African countries. From this, they learned to not let superpowers like the U.S. take advantage of them.

The last interviewee goes by the name of Ryan, and similar to Moridiyat, we also spoke over the phone on Monday evening. Also, Ryan was born in America, but he identifies more with being Jamaican. He learned about his past, through different aspects of his culture, family and little bit from school, But he doesn’t exactly trust what he was taught in school due to the fact that it was written from a European point of view. One important figure from his country is Bob Marley. Bob Marley was a Musician who made very influential music. One of his moving songs is called “One Love”. The main message in this song is a call for unity throughout humanity.

One common theme in those stories, especially the first two is that there was some kind of conflict between two countries. However, in the story of the arrival in Italy from Troy of Antenor and Aeneas, there actually warmth present between two groups. According to the story, “ A treaty was made between the leaders, the armies saluted each other and Aeneas became a guest in the house of Latinus.” he even lets him marry his only daughter. This shows us on how benevolent the king was. This particular ending is all the family with the concept of maturity coming together. It actually relates more to Ryan’s interview with Bob Marley.

 

-Izadora, Team Aphrodite

THE GREAT WAVE THAT SWALLOWED

 

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I moved to Long Island from Trinidad, and it was a good transition to move from the Caribbean to another island in New York because I could still enjoy some of the same things that I enjoyed in Trinidad, like going to the beach. One of my favorite beaches in Long Island is Smith Point Beach in Mastic. I loved that the waves were often rough and I loved playing in the sand because when I closed my eyes and just laid back in the sun, I could imagine that I was still on the beach in Trinidad.

 

Smith Point is a very unique beach and you need to walk down a long passage to get to the beach. On that passage, you will walk past a memorial. It took me two years to realize that it was a memorial because the first thing that I would notice was an image of a wave on the front and just some country flags. I was heading to the beach! I didn’t really think to stop and observe what the image and the flags meant.

One day, I finally walked into the memorial and I was heart-broken. The flags that were flying, represented the deaths of people that died in a plane crash right off the coast of Smith Point. On the front of a big, black carving of stone was an image of The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai. The wave is placed on the front of the memorial to symbolize the plane crashing into the ocean and being swallowed by the waves. Had you been at Smith Point standing at the spot of the memorial on July 19th, 1996 at 8:31 pm, you would have seen the plane crash and burn directly in front of you. All 230 passengers on board died.

Their names are on the back of the stone with the Great Wave, appearing to be part of the ocean and permanently part of the Great Wave. The Great Wave is tweaked a bit to fit the memorial, like Mount Fuji is no longer part of the piece. It’s peaceful, I like the idea of them being a part of the ocean, it’s haunting and comforting at the same time. The big block was supposed to look like shards of the airplane that crashed. Whatever belongings were found were put under the wave in the memorial.  It gives a completely new meaning to the Great Wave for me, it gives it a different purpose. The wave is almost eery without it’s blue color, replaced by black on the memorial. It is a good sentiment and definitely a life-changing memorial.

-Mckensi Pascall, Team Aphrodite

The Vermeer of Today

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This is a picture of me taking a picture of myself. Later, after taking this picture, I realized that there are some aspects of my picture that are similar to Johannes Vermeer’s, The Art of Painting. In Vermeer’s The Art of Painting, one of the people he painted in his painting is himself, and as you can see I am also featured in my picture. Although my picture is not an oil on canvas painting, there is also some soft lighting on the back wall, just as Vermeer had in his painting. 

-Izadora Joseph-Augustin, Team Aphrodite

See her See Caesar

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This is a picture of me and my cousin Juliette. Juliette’s name derives from the name Julius, of the great emperor Julius Caesar. It possesses the prefix “ Juli” which is Latin. As you can see there is a lot of warmth between us in this picture. Although this name derives from Julius, someone could have used the name just because it sounded lovely to their ears or because it is a family name that must be passed on.

From the multiple readings we read in and out of class there seems to be a contradiction in the depiction of Caesar’s character. In the book Cassius Dio, which is, “an account of the assassination of Julius Caesar by a Roman senator living in the late Second Century CE writing a history of Roman in Greek”, such dictions of Julius Caesar are present. Subsequently, to Caesar becoming dictator the people had a lot of respect for him, thus they constantly praised and honored him and they even went as far as, let him have sexual intercourse with as many women as he pleased. With this kind of proposition in the air, “… men suspected him of being inflated with pride and hated him for his haughtiness…” While here he is depicted as being overly prideful; in the “Lives of Illustrious Men excerpts” the actions that are depicted by Caesar are not at all prideful, in contrary, he was very humble. Following the death of Pompey, “Caesar could not keep back tears, and he took care that the head was burned with many costly perfumes.” Based on the actions being described here, I think it is fair to say that Caesar is not as prideful as those other men might think. Just like other people honor him, He also honored Pompey and approached him with utmost respect especially after his death.– Izadora, Team Aphrodite

The Last Will be The First

In The Holy Bible, specifically The Old Testament, in the book of 1st Samuel chapter 17 we find the story of David and Goliath. This story is the tale of a shepherd boy called David who was doubted by many but eventually ended up being triumphant over the giant, Goliath and the Philistines with the use of a slingshot. This, in turn, relates to Donatello’s David. His Statue of David showed him with one foot on Goliath’s head with a sword in hand. Although the statute is not entirely accurate because Goliath’s life did not come to an end by a sword but by a rock, there is a message behind the statue. The tiny David represented the Florentine people and Goliath represented the Duke of Milan and all the other people who tried to take over Florence. In Addition, this represented the freedom and liberties the Florentine people possessed.                                                                -Izadora, Team AphroditeIMG_2184

Filipino Vs. Haitian

This picture was taken in the Brooklyn College Library alongside my friend Gaby. One thing I’ve learned in this class so far is that “the others” were considered barbaric. In other words, anyone who was not Greek would be looked down on because to the Greeks their speech sounded like so, “Bar-bar-bar”. Here the same concept applies because Gaby here is Filipino and I am Haitian. Since ethnically we are in different groups, to me she fits in the group of “the others”  and that same concept can be applied to me coming from her point of view. It is very fortunate that we did not live in those ancient times otherwise, we would not have only torn each other apart, but we would be cruel, judgemental, and would treat each other like we are lesser than human. But today, due to evolutions in society we are able to accept each other’s differences.                                                                  -Izadora, Team Aphrodite 

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By Them, for The People

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As I read the article, “ The Commandments” by Jill Lepore, it seems like the intended audience are people interested in the history of the constitution of the United States. The original paper copy of the constitution itself. I feel like the author is constantly making connections with the search terms. It is very easy for her to make those connections since the words “Constitution” and “ United States” usually go hand in hand. Especially, in regards to the topic at hand. One Example of that is when the author states, “In 1875, the Constitution found a home in a tin box in the bottom of a closet in a new building that housed the Departments of State, War, and Navy.” In this phrase, the author obviously mentions the word constitution as she does in many other sentences in the article, but she does not tell us the location of the constitution directly. Yes, she is not saying it instantly, but as the reader, I know that the Department of State, war, and Navy is located in the U.S. One quote from the ancient text that seems to be relevant to the selected publication is, “Monarchy first changes into its vicious allied form, tyranny…” I find this relevant because before the United States turned into a democracy, it was being ruled by a Monarchy which eventually took advantage of their power and changed into a tyrant rule. Which is exactly why it became more than crucial for the United States to remake its government that abides an inclusive constitution, hence the phrase, “We the people”.  

-Izadora, team aphrodite

Citation: Lepore, Jill. “The Commandments.” The New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2011, p. 70. Literature Resource Centergo.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=LitRC&sw=w&u=cuny_broo39667&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA246875296&it=r&asid=09fa84985772c1939902c76300dd370d. Accessed 6 Nov. 2017.

Fasces in Manhattan

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This is a photo of a Roman coin on the side of Citi Bank. Roman currency is important because it was made out of precious materials and depicted powerful images. This is placed on the walls of Citi Bank to show the power of the Romans and also connect an ancient form of money to the modern currency. Placing coins on a bank subconsciously makes you think of money and it is a good advertising strategy that is used by Citi Bank.

Greece in the Borough

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I took this photo in front of Borough Hall in Brooklyn. I saw the columns and I immediately thought about Greek architecture. There were six columns at the front of the hall and the column design specifically reminds me of the Parthenon in Greece especially because of the even number of columns going across the building. The first and most notable difference for me was the fact that Borough Hall is not open, like the Parthenon. You can see straight through the sides of the Parthenon while Borough Hall was extremely closed off and private. It has a different function as well, the Borough Hall is used . It is described as a Greek Revival styled building. It is Brooklyn’s oldest public building, built between 1846 and 1851. It was once a city hall, a jail and a courthouse. It is now where the Borough President’s Administrative Offices are and serves as a public space and backdrop for film shoots and press conferences. The courtroom also serves as the set for some scenes in ‘Law and Order.’

The Parthenon however, was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena and was used for worshiping purposes. These buildings are both historical monuments and both needed to be renovated at one point due to damages. They are both in doric order with pediments at the top. Borough Hall took its influences from the Parthenon and Ancient Greece and it is absolutely noticeable.

“Then, Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked. You will Learn Respect, and Suffering Will be Your Teacher.”

 

Television Show: Avatar, The Last Airbender

Season and Episode: Season 1, Episode 12 “The Storm”

Character Focus: Prince Zuko, his father, Fire Lord Ozai and his sister, Princess Azula.

In Relation To: Medea.

Show Description: This is an animation televised on the Nickelodeon Network based around a fictional world where the planet is divided into four nations, each with special earth aligning abilities. It is divided between the Fire Nation, the Water Nation, the Earth Nation and the Air Nation, all with people that are given special ‘bending’ abilities allowing them to control the elements of their alignment. The Avatar can control all elements. The Fire Nation believes that they should be in complete control and they decide to try to wipe out and take control of every other nation because they believe that they are superior. The show focuses on the protagonist, the Young Avatar, Aang and his journey to save the world with his friends along with the parallel story of Prince Zuko, the young teenager that tries to defeat the Avatar because his father has convinced him that it’s the only way to restore his honor, after her banishes him.

Episode Description: In this particular episode of the first season, “The Storm”, there is a terrible storm that has hit and it is a pivotal episode because this storm triggers flashbacks for both Aang and Zuko, both enemies from the beginning with parallel stories of abandonment and  purpose. Aang’s flashbacks make him feel guilty about running away and neglecting the responsibilities of being an Avatar for one hundred years, causing the Fire Nation to start and win the war; while Zuko’s flashbacks are of his father punishing him for speaking out against his grandfather in the father’s room and presence. He punishes Zuko by forcing a father and son duel, Zuko refuses to fight and Ozai permanently scorches and scars his eyes with fire and banishes him from the kingdom.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” has always had underlying themes of war scattered throughout every episode and every setting that the characters ever dwell in. It’s in the dialogue, the setting and also laced heavily in flashbacks. One character in this episode says, “I guess I might have just imagined the last one hundred years of wars and suffering.” This particular episode was an episode that dealt with a lot of flashbacks, so the audience got to peer into the dynamics of the start of the war, and the people that controlled the war, not just the people on the receiving end. Looking at the dynamic of the Fire Nation, it is very similar to European Imperialism and it is showed in the imagery and setting throughout the entire show, like a divided a world in the title sequence and the Fire Nation flag hanging over other nations as a sign of conquer. They both deal with a world power wanting to dominate weaker nations to benefit off of them and remain the most powerful. It shows how a need for a resource can turn into greed at any moment and that when a little taste of victory is won, it is very easy for a nation to become power hungry.

The effects of imperialism still exist strongly within the world today, and now the goal is to subtly maintain power in the world. America has rose as a nation and unfortunately to stay on the top of the world, the requirements are to maintain some control over the rest of the world, whether it be military bases, territories or the media. As someone that grew up on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago, I always watched American television. It was what was shown in nearly every household in my country, even American news would talk priority over the news of my own country. American media circulates the world and I think that shows a very subtle bit of power that is injected into multiple countries so that the world, whether consciously or subconsciously, engages and submits to American culture, standards and social norms.

Besides the global issues, the ideas of domestic violence has always been a struggle that society has had to deal with as a whole. Each nation throughout time has had to deal with the problems of domestic violence within the individual home and the problems of abuse, neglect and revenge. There’s often been so many instances where parents have taken out their stress and feelings of anger on children, minds that aren’t fully develop enough yet to deal with the wrath of an angry parent.

In ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender” in this specific scene that I am focusing on, Prince Zuko has spoken out to his grandpa in his father’s war room.  Prince Zuko’s father is the son of the fascist man that started the war with the other nations. I would even go so far as to comparing Fire Lord Sozin, (Zuko’s grandfather) to Hitler, it would not be surprised if the attitude of that character was modeled after any fascist ruler. In the war room, Fire Lord Sozin was speaking about using an entire faction of new soldiers in his troops as a decoy to distract an enemy while the more experienced soldiers snuck in from the rear. Prince Zuko spoke out against his grandfather and said that to sacrifice all of the new soldiers on the front lines without their knowledge is an act of betrayal. It was true what he said, and it showed that Zuko, even as a kid, understood empathy, a very important characteristic of his, extremely important to his growth in the show. Zuko’s grandfather and father were disrespected and so his father challenged him to a fight where Zuko refused to fight the man that created him. Before burning Zuko’s eye, his father says, “You will learn respect, and suffering will be your teacher.” It’s something that even my father says to me now, the idea of learning from experiences that you’re told will be painful. But not everyone experiences life the same way, and suffering is not always the teacher, nor does it mean that it’s the parents job to inflict suffering on a child just because they were taught harshly by their reality.

The troubles that must come mentally with being a fascist ruler is grand, and to take that out on your son is terrible. Ozai permanently scarred Zuko’s eye and banished him from the kingdom, sending him on what he thought was an impossible mission, awaiting his failure. While this happens, Zuko’s sister, Azula watches on with a sick smile on her face, stifling a laugh. Similarly, Medea has taken out her vengeance with her husband on her kids. After committing the act of murder on multiple people around her, she has finally indulged in the ultimate act of revenge, killing her own children. Like Azula, Medea has no sense of remorse or human feelings of regret and empathy.

Children are developing seeds that need to be nourished and filled with vitamins, not hatred. Children are not born with feelings of animosity in their hearts and are so symbolic of innocence. Her act of killing them extended beyond revenge, it turned into self-hatred, like Zuko’s father let his own cruelty poison his child.  She let the hate turn her heart so cold that she could not see the beauty in her own products, only the side of them that she didn’t want to see and the pain that she knew it would cause their father. Madea, like Ozai, did not care about the outcome of the child. She did not care about their futures, or the fact that they were kids. No matter what, a parent should never take out their anger on a child, especially if the situation that caused the anger was not directly inflicted by that child, whether that be in fiction or modern day. Children now still deal with the issues of a parent’s misdirected anger and it’s the leading cause of child depression and child abuse. It can cause much more harm to a child because their brains cannot fully make sense of things, only the idea of hatred that they’ve put onto themselves. They begin to blame themselves for the way that their parent has treated them. Their ideas of love become warped and they’ve lost a sense of their innocence because it is robbed by a selfish adult that has experienced hardship and decides to inflict that hardship on a child and possibly ruin a portion of that child’s life, or his/her life forever.

 

#Medea #TheLastAirbender #CLAS2 #TEAMAPHRODITE #Longlongagoandfarfaraway #Elsewhere #Euripides #Euripides’Medea