Posts Tagged ‘violence’

“A poll released Wednesday of nearly 150,000 people around the world says seven of the world’s 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America.

Many of the seven do poorly in traditional measures of well-being, like Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven criminality that give it one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Guatemala sits just above Iraq on the United Nations’ Human Development Index, a composite of life expectancy, education and per capita income. But it ranks seventh in positive emotions.

“In Guatemala, it’s a culture of friendly people who are always smiling,” said Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor. “Despite all the problems that we’re facing, we’re surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all.”

Gallup Inc. asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year if they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day.

In Panama and Paraguay, 85 percent of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list. They were followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

The people least likely to report positive emotions lived in Singapore, the wealthy and orderly city-state that ranks among the most developed in the world. Other wealthy countries also sat surprisingly low on the list. Germany and France tied with the poor African state of Somaliland for 47th place.

Prosperous nations can be deeply unhappy ones. And poverty-stricken ones are often awash in positivity, or at least a close approximation of it.”

Positive emotions aren’t everything. People living close to Nature is well grounded yes. They are likely to develop more positive emotions than one who has had for Christmas a glock or AR15. What positive emotions can he have unless he goes out  and tries it on anything moving? Keep encouraging children ‘Sport! come on try take this to dangerous places, for your own protection’and you will learn soon enough. It shocked me no little to read of the 11 year old boy in Utah taking his weapon to school. When schools have become such lethal place for shoot-outs all I can say American education has become soul-less. Warning signs were there. The warning ‘Why Johnny cannot read’ should have had companion primer like’Why Johnny’s parents cannot read the writing on the wall’. Neglect and wrong parenting methods have reaped their havoc. Parents trusted progress too well to shape the character of their wards. We see their long range consequences now. A child in Gautemala may never see the inside of a school. At least he has unspoilt nature for school. If he is let to build on positive emotions without interference from well meaning busybodies, he may even learn to be happy in life,- living with what little one may call as fruits of ‘progress’.

The day after the Sandy Hook massacre there was a surge in body armor jackets and guns. I say these people are lemmings. Lemmings I thought were only in cold Arctic regions. No people well pick up the characteristics as naturally as the static on the TV screen of background radiation. (When nature teaches you, what one learns of human nature takes some shape and color.) What do the lemmings teach us? We see the behavior of lemmings in the mindless reaction of people to some events.They respond en masse as a Pavlovian reflex. Progress built up peer pressure and it has made this least attractive trait shape progressive societies. Peer pressure to steel the soul of children to face adversity like an iron spike would have been the ideal. But modern society are in hurry :where not life but status symbols define man’s worth. It translates into ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ syndrome.In order to be seen successful possess as many cars as your neighbor and so on. It is peer pressure at work. Training children from birth to be natural and self-reliant will not do for the so called city fathers. The young have to conform to peer pressure instead. When one waves flag you gotta wave one or when one beats the drum the rest has to march like robots. No wonder progress has been so badly shown in practice. Does not anyone read Emerson or Thoreau and learn to trust in his or her god-given individuality any more? 

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First let me give opinions of an anthropologist and a biologist. ‘Our emotions make us unique 

While human aggression is a naturally evolved phenomenon we have in common with other animals, the difference between human and animal violence comes down to the complexity of the emotion driving it, said Elizabeth Cashdan professor of Anthropology of Univ. of Utah in 2009.

Aggression in few animals goes beyond protecting one’s territory, mates, offspring and food — there is some evidence that domestic dogs and chimpanzees do hold grudges, said Carrier, a Biologist also from Univ. of Utah — but human violence has evolved to stem from less typical sources.
“Humans are unique in the complexity of their social relationships and their highly developed social intelligence. Revenge and spite are quintessential social emotions and so are not likely to be found in many, if any, other species,” she said.
“For example revenge killings, and the cultural institutions that support and restrain it, 
shape human aggression in new ways,” said Cashdan. The intelligent reasoning that lets most of us override any innate desire to be violent also makes some people, such as parents that kill their children, as well as institutions justify violence illogically, experts say.
With our complex brain we splice frustration, fear for the future all the emotions violent and beautiful into shapes never thought possible. A chimpanzee can never commit hara-kiri a ceremony to wipe of dishonor. Whereas a man can flagellate for God or to show his intense sorrow for a dead saint.

Worry over the future

An understanding of the evolutionary roots of human aggression could help institutions make better policy decisions, according to experts.
“Evolution didn’t just shape us to be violent, or peaceful, it shaped us to respond flexibly, adaptively, to different circumstances, and to risk violence when it made adaptive sense to do so. We need to understand what those circumstances are if we want to change things,” said Cashdan.
Though conflicts like the ones that occurred in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s may seem a distant memory, the tipping point between peace and that sort of violence is a finer line than we think, said Carrier.
“My personal opinion is that Western society, as a whole, is in mass denial about the magnitude of the problem that violence represents for the future”.
In a caste riddled Hindu society breaking rules of gotra the village elders may punish man and woman with death. If we consider such acts can only occur in a primitive society think of Grimmer of Texas, America.
Rachelle Grimmer, 38, pulled a gun on the welfare office supervisor, Roberto Reyes, and her two children out of her frustration at being denied food stamps. The office’s other employees were able to safely evacuate the building, according to the San Antonio Express.
A SWAT team surrounded the building, and officers communicated with Grimmer throughout the ordeal.
But at midnight — shortly after Grimmer hung up on police — three shots were fired, causing the police to storm the building.
(abc Good Morning America-7 Dec.2011)Frustration in progressive society is over future and in a primitive society is over the past. While we speak of superstition and ridiculous beliefs of the other cultures how we feel about future rely on the brain that is less than efficient. Our emotions we may shape into new forms but cannot escape the forces that bear upon the brain.

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Bonnie and Clyde is considered a landmark film in cinema history: it broke many taboos and was popular with the younger generation as was The Graduate released in the same year.
The line “We rob banks” ranks at #41 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movie Quotes.
Some critics cite Joseph H. Lewis’s Gun Crazy, a film noir about a bank-robbing couple, as a major influence. Forty years after its premiere, Bonnie and Clyde has been cited as a major influence in such disparate films as The Wild Bunch, The Godfather, Reservoir Dogs and The Departed
The film’s final scene, edited in slow motion, is obviously influenced by the European new wave films,[Originally, the film was intended to be directed by Jean-Luc Godard or Francois Truffaut, who opted out and made Fahrenheit 451 (1966) instead.] but that doesn’t detract from the position of the film as a turning point of the New Hollywood era.

This film is set during the Great Depression when great many lined before soup kitchens a few took to robbing banks. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were robbers and they made quite a stir doing just that. The film was directed by Arthur Penn, and starred Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow and Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker. It was produced by Warner Bros. – the studio responsible for the gangster films of the 1930s, and it seems appropriate that the same studio should consider the crime/gangster genre in a new light: the film is violent, innovative and gives a four-ulcer job of robbing banks loads of glamour.
The film opens with a golden, old-style Warner Bros shield, grainy, unglamorous, blurry, sepia-toned snapshots of the Barrow and Parker families (at the time of Bonnie and Clyde’s childhood) play on a black background accompanied by the loud clicking sound of a camera shutter. The credit titles are interspersed with flashes of more semi-documentary, brownish-tinged pictures. The text of the major credits fade from white to blood red on the dark background. 30’s hand-cranked phonographic music (Rudy Vallee’s popular love song of the period Deep Night) is faintly heard – a haunting omen from another era. The films doesn’t let you forget the period while the petty hoodlum and his drab and unglamorous gun moll become larger than life before our eyes. Look at the way they cavort in cartoon-style slapstick comedy [a tribute to Mack Sennett's silent films).
When they first met in Texas in the early 1930s the real Bonnie (19 years old) and Clyde (21 years old), weren't glamorous characters: she was already the wife of an imprisoned murderer, and he was a petty thief and vagrant with numerous misdemeanors. They were 'white trash' couple and described "the Southwest's most notorious bandit and his gun moll" in the local newspaper. Their brief, bloody crime spree (involving kidnapping and murders) ended on May 23, 1934 alongside state Highway 154 near Arcadia, Louisiana (the town nearest to the ambush site in north-central Louisiana), when the desperados were ambushed and killed by four Texas lawmen (led by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer), accompanied by Bienville Parish Sheriff Henderson Jordan and his deputy Prentiss Oakley. Their bullet-ridden vehicle was hit with 187 shots. In actuality, the 25 year-old Barrow and 23-year old Parker were armed and ready for the ambush when they were killed. Currently, Louisiana's largest outdoor flea market (held one weekend a month) originated in 1990 in Arcadia as Bonnie and Clyde Trade Days.
‘The film considerably simplifies the real facts about Bonnie and Clyde, which included other gang members, repeated jailings, and other murders and assorted crimes. One of the film's major characters, "C.W. Moss", is a composite of two members of the Barrow Gang: William Daniel "W.D." Jones and Henry Methvin. In 1968, Jones outlined his period with the Barrows in a Playboy magazine article "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde."

The screenplay was written by David Newman and Robert Benton. (Robert Towne and Beatty have been listed as providing uncredited contributions to the script.)
Its producer, 28 year-old Warren Beatty, was also its title-role star Clyde Barrow, and his co-star Bonnie Parker, newcomer Faye Dunaway, became a major screen actress as a result of her breakthrough in this influential film. Likewise, unknown Gene Hackman was recognized as a solid actor and went on to star in many substantial roles (his next major role was in The French Connection (1971))-tim dirks.

Warner Bros-Seven Arts had so little faith in the film that, in a then-unprecedented move, they offered its first-time producer Warren Beatty 40% of the gross instead of a minimal fee. The movie then went on to gross over $70 million world-wide by 1973.

The instrumental banjo piece "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Flatt and Scruggs was made famous to a worldwide audience as a result of its frequent use in the movie. Its use is entirely anachronistic, however; the bluegrass-style of music from which the piece stems dates from the mid-1940s’(wikipedia).

The film was given Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Cinematography.
Directed by Arthur Penn
Produced by Warren Beatty
Written by David Newman
& Robert Benton
Starring Warren Beatty
Faye Dunaway
Michael J. Pollard
Gene Hackman
Estelle Parsons
Music by Charles Strouse
Cinematography Burnett Guffey
Editing by Dede Allen
Distributed by Warner Bros.-Seven Arts
Running time 111 min.
Language English
Budget $2,500,000 (estimated)

In a historical perspective
Earlier films that recounted similar adventures of infamous, doomed lovers-on-the-run who are free and accountable to no one include Fritz Lang's You Only Live Once (1937) with Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney, Joseph H. Lewis' cult classic Gun Crazy (1949) with John Dall and Peggy Cummins, Nicholas Ray's They Live By Night (1949) (remade by Robert Altman with its original title Thieves Like Us (1974) from Edward Anderson's source novel and starring Shelley Duvall and Keith Carradine), and The Bonnie Parker Story (1958) with Dorothy Provine and Jack Hogan. Later outlaw-couple films include B-movie Killers Three (1968) with Diane Varsi and Robert Walker, Jr., Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973), Ridley Scott's Thelma and Louise (1991), Kalifornia (1993), and Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers (1994).]
Penn’s masterpiece won two Oscars for Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons in an over-the-top performance) and Best Cinematography (Burnett Guffey) for its great evocation of period detail, with eight other nods for Best Picture and Best Actor (producer/actor Warren Beatty), Best Actress (Faye Dunaway), Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman), Best Supporting Actor (Michael J. Pollard), Best Director (Arthur Penn), Best Story and Screenplay (Newman and Benton), and Best Costume Design (Theadora Van Runkle, who later worked on The Godfather, Part II (1974)). (Although Robert Towne, who later wrote Chinatown (1974), worked on the final form of the screenplay and served as a special consultant.)
In retro:
In the late 1960s, the film’s sympathetic, revolutionary characters and its social criticism appealed to anti-authority American youth who were part of the counter-cultural movement protesting the Vietnam War, the corrupt social order, and the U.S. government’s role.

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A Fortune Cookie ©

A treasure-seeker went into the Arabian Desert. The night before he set out on the last leg of his journey he was in an inn where he picked a fortune cookie. Within the cookie was a strip of paper rolled neatly that read, ‘Ask kindly and do not forget to thank me for the favors’. He went to the oases as darkness fell and he had no difficulty to reach the Tomb of the Unknown Traveler. He could also find the exact spot where the treasure lay hidden. A figure now sat there as if deep in prayers. With one bullet he killed him. Rudely shoving the dead aside he began digging up. He might have kept at it for a length of thirty minutes before the shovel hit some metal.
It was a box. Before he could open it a shadow fell over him. It was that of a Jinn who put such a fright into him and he fainted.  By and by he recovered. The Jinn pointed out to the dead and said: “Did you ask him kindly?”  The treasure hunter remembered the fortune- cookie. He managed a smile and croaked, “Too late for that.”
Before dying, out of fright to be sure, he seemed to see in that face of the dead man an uncanny resemblance to himself. He was also past hearing the words of the Jinn, who exclaimed, “Not even a thanks for the favors done to him. Does not anyone believe in a fortune cookie these days?”

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