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If there’s one thing that I learned after moving out from my parent’s house, it’s that life isn’t always easy. It isn’t always what I expected it would be. A lot has changed since I moved out. A lot about who I am, what my relationships are and with who they are, my beliefs, my standards, my taste in music, my taste in the culinary area of life, almost everything about me, has changed in some degree or another. And I guess that makes sense. It’s to be expected, seeing as how moving out is a pretty large step in the modern world. 

However, in all of this, there’s one thing I never expected to learn. Maybe this is just me. The way I was raised, the things I believe, maybe all of that has something to do with this. But something I have recently learned (or, more than likely, relearned),  is that, for me, it’s easy to be sad.

I understand how that must sound. Actually, I don’t. But I do understand how weird of a thought that is. Let me explain. Typically, my morale over the years always dips in the winter. I’m certainly not saying I suffer from depression. I am, however, saying that, for whatever reason, I don’t feel as happy in the winter. Around January and February, that time of year here when the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind brings more snow than change, I always feel as though my life could be better. I get restless, bored with anything and everything. I get the urge to get up and drive, just to do something. I get the urge to spend money, most of which I shouldn’t, on people and lunches and food and video games and music and other things. Like bonsai trees. I’ve never been able to figure out why this happens, this seasonal depression. I have heard that it’s not unusual, so I can’t be too concerned.

More importantly, this January, I focused my usual boredom on figuring more out about myself. And I focused on being sad, and why it happens to me. That’s when I learned that, for me, being sad is easy. I began to use it as a crutch to not talk, to be less friendly at my job, in my relationship, online in the lobby in a video game. I wasn’t aggressive; but I wasn’t being somebody I want to be. This crutch started to become a routine. At least, that’s what it felt like. 

Maybe it’s just me. I understand the seriousness of depression and sadness. I understand the cloud that happiness seems to be. But for me, my personality, being sad is easy. It’s the easy thing to do. It takes work to be happy. Work that I am more than happy to put in the effort for (irony or pun?), but work nonetheless. 

Overall, it wasn’t until today that I realized that being happy isn’t a difficult achievement around the right people or in the right environment. For instance, my girlfriend makes me happy. She makes life so much easier to bear.

Thinking along those lines, I started to ponder how God sets up life. (For those of you who don’t believe in God, or who don’t believe in things happening for a reason, I respect that. Please don’t take this as me shoving my beliefs down your throat.) With my life specifically, I began to wonder about all the steps it took me to get to where I am today, with who I am.

I’ve dated a few girls in my life. I can’t say that any of the past relationships ended the way that I wanted them to, if at all, but I realize now that I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. One girl taught me that, no matter how long you date or what the people around you expect of your relationship, sometimes it’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to fight for yourself sometimes, even if it makes a lot of people upset. Another girl taught me that it isn’t always okay to sacrifice your own happiness for anyone else’s, even if that means making stupid mistakes. Another girl taught me that, being the best isn’t always the best….for me. And another taught me to use the head on my shoulders when it comes to any aspect of life, not the other one. All of the relationships I’ve been in have taught me so much about life; mostly, all of the relationships I’ve been in have taught me how to be happy.

And now, with my current girlfriend, everything is excellent. And I have her to thank for that. Because sometimes, I need a reminder pertaining to happiness. And she does an excellent job of it. 

 

Thanks for reading.

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So, I realize that virtually nobody will read this first post. Except possibly the people who still follow me from my English 102 class. In that case, hello again, nice to get back in touch.

It doesn’t sadden me to know that I might have 20 posts before anyone even finds out I exist on this website. At least, it doesn’t make me as sad as I feel after I realize I overcooked the popcorn by about 10 seconds.

Mostly I’m just posting this to kind of get back in the hang of things. Mostly typing. My fingers have never been so uncoordinated on a keyboard in forever.

So goodbye for now. Maybe I’ll post something soon.

 

😀

At the beginning of this class, I wasn’t afraid of the person I was. I wasn’t afraid of my personality, my thoughts, my voice. Reverent and respectful, yes, but not afraid. Fear was something I felt only occasionally. Not because I’m courageous beyond all get out, but because I would ignore the feeling entirely. Fear didn’t exist in my mind. I couldn’t let it. I had seen too many people who would run their lives off the fear they feel for something. I didn’t want to live my life that way. No, I wanted my life to be something worth fighting for, something that left people wanting more. I came up with my life philosophy, my motto, per say, somewhere in my middle school years; I was between 10 and 13 at the time. At this stage in my life, I knew I was headed towards a medical field of some sort. Fresh in my mind were the memories of elementary school, shortened by a year. And in the forefront, my goals plastered to the windshield of the car I drove into the future, sat pharmacy; I wanted to be a pharmacist. It was after I concluded my career choice that I had to look deep within myself to find why I had picked pharmacy. And it was from there I figured out my daily calling in life: to leave people better off than when I met them. I wanted to make people smile and laugh, and, most importantly, I wanted to make sure people wouldn’t forget me. A heavy burden for my age, looking back. But I needed it.

And I’ve lived it. I’ve done nearly everything within my power to live my private little motto. And this English class wasn’t going to be any different. I planned on making friends (of the sort, however, I never would’ve guessed) and making people laugh (I would say I’m successful), just as I had always done. However, my attention was outward. My focus was on those around me. I had forgotten about myself when I entered this class. I was very aware of my goals, but I wasn’t focused on affecting me. Affecting others came easy, but changing who I am is a difficult process. I’m very stubborn. And I was very closed minded. Looking back, I’m very appalled to see where I started and where I’m headed. But the true journey will never be over.

The very first piece the class read was a piece by John Berger. Titled “Ways of Seeing,” Berger talks about the influence of power and money over perspective. More specifically, he talks about the influence people with money or power have over art and what is deemed to be of high value. He describes a group of people, of upper-class, money-holding status. According to Berger, these people are able to influence what paintings become valuable.

The National Gallery sells more reproductions of Leonardo’s cartoon of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist […] than any other picture in their collection. A few years ago, it was known only to scholars. It became famous because an American wanted to buy it for two and a half million pounds. Now it hangs in a room by itself. The room is like a chapel. The drawing is behind bullet-proof Perspex. It has acquired a new kind of impressiveness. Not because of what it shows — not because of the meaning of its image. It has become impressive, mysterious, because of its market value. (Berger, 150-52)

Berger goes on to discuss how influential the camera has been in the perspective of art. He says on page 148 that the invention of the camera changed the way people saw things, and it immediately affected art. This can clearly be seen by some crazy pictures about perspective taken by photographer Daniel Adams (none of which were photo-shopped).

As is clearly visible, the perspectives presented by these photographs greatly challenges what the mind would normally perceive. Perception changed as the camera was invented. The brilliance shown here is just an example.

Our class assignment for the Berger piece was to go out and find a painting that spoke to us and to write about it. It seemed simple enough. I never planned to be affected like I was from this painting. The title of the painting is Untitled #62 by Ken Belanger.

When I first saw this picture, I actually stumbled with my thoughts. “What is your meaning?” I asked the painting. It didn’t force me to feel some specific feeling like paintings of landscapes often do. It guided and led me to feel anything. It longed to be the creator of a feeling, regardless of how rude, cruel, nice, and/or gentle that feeling could be. And, as I looked at this painting, I began to be more and more intrigued. I locked eyes with what I envision to be the eyes of something in the painting, and I stared for one minute, two minutes, three, four. The time flew by. I didn’t know how to feel. I tried to comprehend what the picture was of, what the picture was trying to show. And I think it was doing the same to me!

I’m not normally one to be moved by art, but this one was just a bit different. I had to figure out what this painting was, so I asked it just that: “What are you?” It was a new concept to me, the red hair of a possible creature being the face of another creature. So I stepped closer. I tried to see this painting as something of a mystery that I actually could solve—but it really isn’t for me to solve, is it?—so I studied it. Then I took a step back (and in the process nearly knocking over an expensive looking jar vase thingy with some figure as a handle) and examined the painting from further back. Again, I was fixed on the painting. I felt like part of me was involved, but the part of me that wasn’t involved was trying to rediscover this painting. I couldn’t quite get a grip on this work of art.

I tried to actually assess this painting. The red hair of what appears to be one animal slightly covers the face of another beastly animal. The vibrantly hot flame-like hair led me to the chicken-like head of the first beast. A protruding beak sits atop the stalky neck of a body lost in space. Oddly enough, a blue orb of swirling yellow and white seems to be placed on the neck of the creature, like a small wing. The wings of thunder, this creature has, thunder orbs that carry it away. But the other creature stands alone, menacingly, partially hidden by the hair of the thunder-flame chicken. It stands protectively, deftly defying the laws of mortal creatures with its lidless, still eyes. It stands to monumentally harbor the darkened, swirling space between the two creatures, to intimidate those who dare look upon it. The relationship between these creatures became more fitting, suddenly, as I realized how tight they were.

I thought about what Berger said of people “situating ourselves in” our surrounding landscape. “How should I see you?” I noticed I was standing where I should; I was standing in the little aisle and looking at the picture from the assumed position. So I decided to be a little unconventional about my viewing of this piece. After all, I was the only one in the gallery area. So I leaned to my left until I had the picture sideways. I leaned to the right now, laughing quietly at how I had been so easily subjective to the power of this picture and done its crazy bidding, leaning until I about knocked another sculpture out of place. Slightly mortified of how careless I had been, I decided to patrol the room. Like a guard protecting some hidden secret, I scoured the four corners of that little room guarding my little secret, always watching how the light seemed to hide some things and show others that I never would’ve noticed in my “normal” viewing area.

Again, from the far corner, I had a staring contest with the beastly painting. Again, I was compelled to get closer, the painting drawing me in. I fought back this time, resisting, even looking at other pictures to make my mysterious painting jealous. In the end, it won. I couldn’t resist turning back to meet the powerful colors of red, yellow, and (oddly enough) blue. This picture had me in its treacherously wonderful claws. And I didn’t mind. I rather enjoyed the experience. After looking like an idiot and a rather odd teenager, I decided this one couldn’t be more complex. It couldn’t mean more to me either. It was the perfect painting.

I came out of this meeting a changed man. I walked solemnly back to my vehicle, feeling oddly alone and ravishingly filled at the same time. A deep, calm laid its grip over me that day as I unwillingly accepted the truth that I had fallen to the beautiful luster of the piece. I hadn’t asked for the change to take place; because it did, I felt intruded upon, ungrateful for the disturbance within my own realm. But, as I felt the experience in its entirety take its toll on my mind, I realized how closed-minded I had been. The wisdom gleaned from the piece, as small and unexpected as it was, made me feel older and broader in my knowledge, as if a door to an unopened room had been unlocked. The inexplicably vast range of emotions I felt left me questioning the very depths of my nature, challenging me to another stare-down.

Still shaken from the Berger piece, our class moved right into a piece by Susan Bordo titled, “Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body.” It was a chapter from a larger book titled, The Male Body. Where Berger had argued that the way think affects the way we see things, Bordo argued the exact opposite: the things we see affect the way we look at and view other things in life. Bordo focused on the male body in advertising, questioning public norm. She said the difference between a nude or naked person was gender; nude women appear natural when they are unclothed, but men simply appear naked and undressed (197). She described many advertisements that showed the male body on open display, including one by Calvin Klein.

In 1981, Jockey International had broken ground by photographing Baltimore Oriole pitcher Jim Palmer in a pair of briefs (airbrushed) in one of its ads — selling $100 million worth of underwear by year’s end. Inspired by Jockey’s success, in 1983 Calvin Klein put a forty-by-fifty-foot Bruce Weber photograph of Olympic pole vaulter Tom Hintinauss in Times Square, Hintinauss’s large penis clearly discernible through his briefs. The Hintinauss ad, unlike the Palmer ad, did not employ any of the usual fictional rationales for a man’s being in his underwear — for example, the pretense that the man is in the process of getting undressed — but blatantly put Hintinauss’s body on display, sunbathing on a rooftop, his skin glistening. (199)

It was this type of advertising that inspired Bordo to write her piece. She describes how those with money—enough money to create ads like the one described above—have the power to influence society. And with that influence, the differences created by society alter the perceptions people have towards others.

Of all the pieces we read in this class, this was the most shocking and uncomfortable piece. For me personally, this piece goes against a large portion of my beliefs. I definitely did not expect to read something of this caliber. When we first read it, I was unwilling to change. I was so stubbornly unyielding; I refused to read it to any depth. I didn’t like the ideas and concepts she presented (although I was aware of the truths they held) and I wasn’t prepared to let this piece become anything more than an assignment.

However, it wasn’t realistically possible for me to do something like that. With the amount of in-depth questioning we were asked to put into the essays following this reading, it was impossible to hold on to the bitter emotions I had. It wasn’t until after the initial assignment of this piece that I realized how much I needed to actually apply myself. And so, with as much reluctance as I could muster, I read into the piece as much as I could, focusing on every detail and allowing each new idea Bordo presented to seep within me. In the end, the piece became a part of me. It was something foreign and unexpected, but an important part of me, nonetheless.

After reading Bordo’s piece, I set out on a quest to find examples similar to ones she placed in her work. I noticed many interesting things. As advertising has changed, so has the stereotype of the male body. Women in any time period in any culture are more attracted to the physically fit, buffed up body of one male than the leaner, smaller body of another male. This isn’t to say a girl won’t like a male with a smaller body. But a woman will physically pay a guy more attention if he has broader shoulders, bigger muscles, and is more physically fit. The Calvin Klein ad below is a good example of a male stereotype in advertising. The advertisement isn’t prompting the heterosexual male consumer to look at the body of the model. But to the woman, the exaggerated, defined body of the male in the background screams for attention and physical touch. He becomes the main focus, whereas the actual product the advertisement is for is located in the bottom center of the picture. The entire purpose of advertising is to sell a product. But even advertising has become more than the product.

The product of this image is questionable. Is Calvin Klein selling the man, or the cologne? Notice the placement of the two. The man may be in the background, sure, but his eyes are directly challenging the observer, the authority thereof, even the very manliness that makes the observer separate from the picture. His eyes challenge the partaker of this image to figure out who is actually observing who. They distract you from the actual product being sold, which is conveniently placed in a smaller, less outstanding manner at the bottom of the picture. Imagine a scenario in which this picture is placed in a huge window-display, on a busy street in downtown New York. The people walking by wouldn’t notice the small picture of the product in the corner. The male in this picture takes up too much space to not be noticed.

This advertisement forced me to inquire the real reason behind any males in advertisements seen in today’s culture. It forced me to fully comprehend what Bordo was saying in her piece. I can’t try to fight the inevitable change that society is pushing towards, the perspective of the male body being put on display. And I certainly can’t ignore it. Therefore, I must acknowledge it for what it is. I did learn, however, that I do not have to fully accept it. This piece itself really opened my mind to the possibility and fact that others have a different perspective and way of thinking about things than I do. That shouldn’t have surprised me, but it very much did.

My mind was officially ripped open when we read our third reading by Laura Kipnis titled, “Loves Labors.” Her piece is about the ingrained idea of love in society, of monogamy and of adultery, and of the protesting relationship between the two and its expectancy. She states her meaning very clearly:

But gay or straight, licensed or not, anywhere the commitment to monogamy reigns, adultery provides its structural transgression — sexual exclusivity being the cornerstone of modern coupledom, or such is the premise —and for the record, you can also commit it with any sex or gender your psyche can manage to organize its desires around; this may not always be the same one that shapes your public commitments. (392-93)

The very thought of this made sense, as crazy as her example was. The way to protest monogamy and love was with adultery, although I had never thought of it in the presented light. And, as the words of Kipnis became clearer, I realized everything can be protested in one way or another.

The “Occupy Wall Street” is a great example. Although the actual movement is taking place on Wall Street in New York, those on the West coast have found a way to take part in the movement, too. “More than 1,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked cargo trucks at some of the West Coast’s busiest ports Monday [December 12, 2011], forcing terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt operations” (Collins). Nearly 3,000 miles apart, people are able to find a way to protest something they believe in. Even around the world, protests are occurring. Russia is experiencing protests right now against voting fraud (Heintz, Isachenkov).

Almost every person protests something at some point in their life, no matter how small. It can be anything from the rules your parent-figures set forward during your teenage years to the rules your boss lays out at your workplace. It can be an unspoken law, such as love, or it can be a stated rule, like the speed limit on city streets. It’s a natural reaction to growing up, transitioning, and learning. And, as Kipnis points out, it sometimes leads to uncertainty. “Given the declining success story of long-term marriages, as reported in the latest census, we’re faced with a social institution in transition, and no one knows where it’s going to land” (Kipnis 400).

The idea of acceptance is another example of a protestant movement. The current propaganda about this topic tells society to be accepting of everyone, no matter the history of the subject. But nearly everyone stereotypes, unknowingly protesting against the pressed matter. And the sad truth about stereotypes is that they affect everything. No person can escape the clawing thoughts against others. We do what we can, certainly. But it’s in our blood. And it challenges everything. It ingrains itself into every single aspect of the human life. Jobs, friends, spouses, and anybody we trust are all decided by stereotypes. They rule our lives, in silent, still domination. They demand our attention, our love. And they don’t even return the favor! They create feelings in us that we don’t necessarily need or desire. Do we even have control over our thoughts? The human race seems to be run by the thoughts in our minds, and if we can’t control our mind, how came control anything else? Stereotypes are just a stepping stone, just something we need to get over in order to understand our very species.

Despite our best abilities to fight against the raging thoughts of stereotyping, it is nearly impossible to do. Humans have been bred with the natural ability to stereotype. It’s because this idea and self-defense mechanism is so deeply implanted within our roots that it’s such a difficult subject to breach and reverse. It has become an anti-body, a unit of defense with its own defense system. It slyly avoids the attempts to reconstruct it, denying any attempts to isolate it. Altering the ability to stereotype within a person alters the entire identity of them, directly instigating a change within the race of humans. It would create an entirely new race of people devoid of thoughts towards other people. Stereotyping is, after all, just thoughts and opinions aimed at others based off personal experiences and learned assumptions.

Laura Kipnis changed my life very much. Besides Berger, she changed my life in so many unexpected ways. Most of them weren’t asked for, but all of them welcomed. Looking back, my mind was ignorantly closed to the vast amounts of optional methods of thinking in the world. I knew different ways of thinking were out there; more accurately, I knew (and still know) I didn’t think like most people. But the many different perspectives of a single issue still leave me astounded. From this piece, I concluded many things about myself. I am not a very well-rounded person, as my style of thinking leaves only one option available for every situation. I also concluded that, although I am not what I would consider “wise,” observing as many different options of thinking about a subject before acting would allow me access to a larger pool of wisdom than I ever imagined. That, above all else gleaned from this piece, was the most unexpected. Who would’ve thought a piece about protesting love—among other things—would teach me wisdom?

This piece also taught me about how a simple idea like monogamy is so deeply ingrained within our society and how destructive it can be to directly challenge it. My first impression when I read her piece was that it was funny and witty; it was a polemic, after all. But behind every jokingly said dis, there’s some sort of truth. And it really forced me to look at what I believe and why I believe it. Was it because I had grown up with my parents pushing it down on me, forcing me to bend and yield to their biddings? (That’s what parents do; they do it in a loving way, of course.) Or did I believe what I did—about everything in life, not just love—because that’s what I believed? Was it my decision to make, at this point in my life? I became a stronger person because of Kipnis’s piece; I became someone that I could believe in and trust because I knew how strongly my own decisions affected my life.

Confidently striding into our fourth reading—titled “Panopticism,” by Michel Foucault—was a mistake. The entirety of his piece shook the very foundation of my roots, questioning the very basic definition of myself. It left me wondering if a unique me even existed. And it was such a mysterious concept to grasp. It was there, ever-present in the current world; but, at the same time, it wasn’t there, just a figment of our imagination. Foucault says, “…in order to be exercised, this power [of the panopticon] had to be given the instrument of permanent, exhaustive, omnipresent surveillance, capable of making all visible, as long as it could itself remain invisible” (299). This very idea seemed to threaten any sort of security I had. Did anyone have any true secrets?

Foucault claims that the panopticon is based off discipline. It received its power from the invisible force of discipline it oppressed upon its subjects. According to Foucault, discipline can be broken down into three main ideas. The first, as he describes, is the inversion of discipline; with more oppression comes more revolution. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody with a teenage son or daughter; any form of oppression usually brings about discontent and revolt, which inadvertently causes more oppression, which causes more discontent. It becomes a never-ending, downward spiral of a cynically cyclical oppression-rebellion relationship. It requires sacrifice from two parties, which the panopticon doesn’t allow. The second branch of discipline is, as Foucault defines, is the wide-spread advancement of the panopticon into other factors. Once instituted in one area of society, the discipline and power become immediately necessary in all other forms of life; it becomes entirely and wholly functioning when it has spread to every corner it can. Like the morgul blade Frodo was stabbed with in The Lord of the Rings, the poison of the panopticon is fast acting, spreading rapidly. However, the kingsfoil herbs that helped slow the poison for Frodo won’t help here; nothing can stop the panopticon. It only satisfies itself when it consumes its host in its totality. The third definition Foucault offers is that discipline always climbs higher in the social tree; it always ends at the highest level of power in the society. In doing so, the panopticon then becomes entirely visible while seeing everything. It becomes a distinct power, hidden among the very folds of its camouflaged cloak.

The panopticon, then, becomes an overbearing thought in the governments around the world today. It rules without a ruler, protects without a protector, and exploits without a reason. It sees all, knows all, tracks all, and works silently and efficiently. It doesn’t need an operator, someone to govern its moves. All it does is watch, never letting its subjects out from its piercing gaze. It collects data, numbers, information. Records pile up in databases, consisting of detailed summaries and analyzed depictions of every living person in the world. In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf, a powerful, wise wizard explains the panopticon of Middle Earth; he spoke directly to the rightful king of Gondor, Aragorn: “The veiling shadow that glowers in the East takes shape. Sauron will suffer no rival. From the summit of Barad-dur his eye watches ceaselessly. But he is not so mighty yet that he is above fear. Doubt ever gnaws at him.” The panopticon presented in this trilogy is the great eye of Sauron, ever-watching, all-knowing. The character Saruman, Gandalf’s wizard master and former ally, describes the eye in a much more haunting manor while talking to Gandalf. He said, “Concealed within his fortress, the Lord of Mordor sees all — his gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth and flesh. You know of what I speak, Gandalf — a great Eye… lidless… wreathed in flame.” The very distinctiveness of the panopticon is unknown, possibly even to itself.

Foucault credits the panopticon’s formation to a man by the name of Jeremy Bentham.  Bentham built an architectural representation of the panopticon shortly after it was enacted in towns stricken with the plague. It was designed like a prison, with a central tower for the observer. The observed prisoners were placed in a ring around the central point, with walls sectioning each prisoner into his or her own cell. No contact would be allowed between the prisoners—it was designed so it could not allow communication of any kind. Windows placed on the outside of the ring are the inmates’ only view to the outside world. The resulting light cast into each cell would act as a sort of back-lit chamber for the observer, who would be able to see anything and everything from his tower. The central tower would have a full three hundred, sixty degree view of all the cells, with mirrored, one-sided windows. This would allow the prisoners to be viewed at any and all times, while they themselves would have no idea when they were being viewed. Just like the eye of Sauron, the eye of the observer could be anywhere at any time, always watching, always critiquing. The panopticon then became a mechanism of discipline and singling-out of prisoners.

The very thought of this was disturbing to me. Uncertain about the very secrecy of the knowledge I once deemed important, I was even more uncomfortable with the impending knowledge that I would never be able to find the panopticon of my life. It knew all too well that I was searching for it; therefore, the cloak was donned again, hiding every aspect of the panopticon from me. Searching for something that doesn’t exist is, as I soon figured out, a maddening experience. And knowing that I would never be able to find it had me running away with my tail between my legs. It tortured my mind, taunting me with representations of its power in everyday life, yet always remaining hidden itself. To forge a battle against the panopticon would be nearly impossible. Bloodshed would be avoidable. And, just as in The Two Towers, a red sun will rise the following morning, for blood was shed.

I abandoned Foucault’s piece with gladness, hoping to deal no more with the evil and truth “Panopticism” held within its words. But the ideas therein hauntingly implanted themselves within my mind, growing like a seed. The thoughts still exist, persevering through each and every day of my life. I can no longer look at the world the same, as the disciplinary power held by the panopticon becomes an ever-present reminder that my secrets are not my own. But the knowledge has helped me, too; I realize where the panopticon derives its power from. Knowing that provides the glimpse of hope that the panopticon can be overthrown. And I cherish that grip, never releasing it from my mind.

From the beginning of the class to today, I have changed more than I ever imagined. The knowledge each piece instilled in me has greater enhanced the person I imagined myself to be. I have become a more confident person, both in my abilities to think for myself and in my abilities to think with a broader, more open mind. I feel as if I’ve come out of this class with more experience, more wisdom. I feel as if I’ve endured through centuries of time, continually learning from myself and those around me. I never imagined this class would have such an impact on me.

I never asked to be changed. But I did nothing to fight it. As Biblo Baggins would say to me, “It’s a dangerous business, Tyler, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” I came into this class, the road, if you will, not knowing where I was going. I didn’t keep my feet. As a result, I was taken along in the current of the pages, pushed aside by the torrent of knowledge buffeting my head, impaled with the warnings of the world, and forced to heed to the will of the writings. I’m glad my situation was as thus, else I would never have sowed the awareness and understanding of so many aspects of this world that I did.

The friends and acquaintances I gained from this class were unexpected as well. Many of the people in the class opened up on levels that I never thought would occur; as is the wont of intimate conversations, our group became tightly knit, woven together like the lines of fabric in cloth. Our lives have become entangled, knotted together like bramble. The unity of the experiences we went through has drawn so many various groups of people together with so many various backgrounds, and we all went through the same thing. I have no doubt that some were more affected than others, but I feel it’s safe to say that we’ve all been affected in some way.

With great sadness, this class is at its end. As I’ve grown from the experiences of a painting, to the unsettling awkwardness of sexual men, to the protesting of monogamy and love, to the final structural eye of the government always watching our every move, I’ve learned so much about myself and others. Watching myself grow in this class was an astounding occurrence. I hope I continue to grow and change in the same ways I have in this class. As Gandalf has said,” All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” And I intend to do just that!

Works Cited:

 

Adams, Daniel. “Brilliant Examples of Forced Perspective Photography.” 88 Brilliant Examples of Forced Perspective Photography. InstantShift.com, 24 Aug 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2011.

 

Berger, John. “Ways of Seeing.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 9th ed. Eds. David Barthalomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 139-165. Print.

 

Bordo, Susan. “Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 9th ed. Eds. David Barthalomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 187-233. Print.

 

Collins, Terry. “Protesters halt operations at some western ports.” Associated Press. Google, 12 Dec 2012. Web. 12 Dec 2011.

 

Foucault, Michel. “Panopticism.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 9th ed. Eds. David Barthalomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 279-310. Print.

 

Heintz, Jim, and Vladimir Isachenkov. “Russia Protests: Thousands Rally Against Vote Fraud, Putin.” HuffPost World: The Internet Newspaper: New Blogs Video Community. (2012): n. page. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

 

Jackson, Peter, prod. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. New Line Cinema, 2001. Film.

 

Jackson, Peter, prod. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. New Line Cinema, 2003. Film.

 

Jackson, Peter, prod. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. New Line Cinema, 2002. Film.

 

Kipnis, Laura. “Love’s Labors.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 9th ed. Eds. David Barthalomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 388-412. Print.

 

Looking back over the class as a whole, I have very thoroughly enjoyed it. Each reading built upon the last and they all had an interlocking connection. If a class were to go about doing the same assignments and using the same materials we did, I would have a few suggestions to make. The very first one is that, despite class discussions and all the offered help, some of the subjects were rather confusing. They took a large amount of time to think over and, with all the other classes and the other jobs us students are involved in, finding the time to organize thoughts became a very difficult process. They required brainstorming, then organizing, and finally revising. I felt very stressed through some of the pieces to come up with the correct answer, as I lacked the time and the energy to focus on this subject for too long. However, I feel as though the information was presented very clearly. If I had the desired length of time to put towards the assignment, then it would be much easier to confidently complete. I also very much liked how the blog forced the class to communicate and befriend each other. Despite the differences that posed for the actual classroom setting, it opened up an insight to each other’s lives that I feel we would’ve missed in the normal classroom setting. I really enjoyed how engaged everyone was during the classroom discussions, as this also helped open up the floor to everyone. And I was surprisingly shocked to see all the different talents in the class; it was an awesome opportunity to take part in those and see how things in everyday life can actually be compared to the lessons we were learning. The examples presented by classmates really helped make some confusing topics clearer, and it gave us all a focal point in our papers. Things that I didn’t really like as much was the amount of work, but that’s because I tend to skate by on as little work as possible. I also didn’t like how some assignments were due over the weekend, as it was a disruption in my few hours of escape. When they were due on a Saturday or Sunday at 5 PM, it took away from the weekend experience for me. However, that’s something that I should just be able to suck up.

As for how the class affected me, I could not entirely tell at this point. I can feel some of the reactions to the class, and I know that some are yet to come because of it. I feel as though the experiences in the class have greatly changed the person I once was. I feel as if a great amount of wisdom was placed within me, as if all the experiences and knowledge of the authors we read has somehow been transferred to me. I know my perspective about life, love, happiness, and everything else in the world has been changed because of this class. Growing up has never meant so much to me; it’s always been an action, not a feeling. And it’s because of that feeling that my head has exploded from the middle. My thoughts about how people view things and about how I view things have been humbled. Even the way I react to situations will be changed because of this class. All the different perspectives of people really surprised me, even though I knew they were there. This class really forced me to look into my own style of thinking and question the very depths of who I was, and I enjoyed the challenge.

At this point, I would like to thank everyone in the class. Without the joined effort of everyone, this class would’ve been an entirely different atmosphere. I very much appreciate the openness everyone had, and I really think respect went a long way. The friendships we’ve all gained will be extremely beneficial to us, I think, and I look forward to seeing everyone outside of class!

And thank you, Veronica, for making this all possible. Without you, our class wouldn’t exist—literally! With the help of your powerful insights, your ability to respond quickly to our questions, and the speed at which our papers were handed back, the class was very successful. The friendly setting of the class went a long way to making everyone comfortable, and talking and discussing things with everyone was based off your little nudges; you were the pinnacle of our discussions, and they would’ve soon digressed had you not been there to step up for us. No amount of thanks will quite suffice!

And so, with great sadness, this class has drawn to its end. Friend me on Facebook, stay in touch, stay safe, and never forget the impact your friends have on your life!

Thank you all for the wonderful experience! I shall cherish the memories!

Tyler Briggs

At the beginning of this class, I wasn’t afraid of the person I was. I wasn’t afraid of my personality, my thoughts, my voice. Reverent and respectful , yes, but not afraid. Fear was something I felt only occasionally. Not because I’m courageous beyond all get out, but because I would ignore the feeling entirely. Fear didn’t exist in my mind. I couldn’t let it. I had seen too many people who would run their lives off the fear they feel for something. I didn’t want to live my life that way. No, I wanted my life to be something worth fighting for, something that left people wanting more. I came up with my life philosophy, my motto, per say, somewhere in my middle school years; I was between 10 and 13 at the time. At this stage in my life, I knew I was headed towards a medical field of some sort. Fresh in my mind were the memories of elementary school, shortened by a year. And in the forefront, my goals plastered to the windshield of the car I drove into the future, sat pharmacy; I wanted to be a pharmacist. It was after I concluded my career choice that I had to look deep within myself to find why I had picked pharmacy. And it was from there I figured out my daily calling in life: to leave people better off than when I met them. I wanted to make people smile and laugh, and, most importantly, I wanted to make sure people wouldn’t forget me. A heavy burden for my age, looking back. But I needed it.

And I’ve lived it. I’ve done nearly everything within my power to live my private little motto. And this English class wasn’t going to be any different. I planned on making friends (of the sort, however, I never would’ve guessed) and making people laugh (I would say I’m successful), just as I had always done. However, my attention was outward. My focus was on those around me. I had forgotten about myself when I entered this class. I was very aware of my goals, coming into college at the age of 17, but I wasn’t focused on affecting me. Affecting others came easy, but changing who I am is a difficult process. I’m very stubborn. And I was very closed minded. Looking back, I’m very appalled to see where I started and where I have ended.

The very first piece the class read was a piece by John Berger. [Help!!!]

 

 

[Okay, so this is my intro. However, I’m a little confused about where to go from here. How do I use quotes from the pieces (Berger, Borde, etc.)? What do I do next? How should the format of the rest of this narrative look? Is this where paragraphs from my past essays should come? Please help!]

The panopticon is, by any standards, an overbearing thought in the governments around the world today. It rules without a ruler, protects without a protector, and exploits without a reason. It sees all, knows all, tracks all, and works silently and efficiently. It doesn’t need an operator, someone to govern its moves. All it does is watch, never letting its subjects out from its piercing gaze. It collects data, numbers, information. Records pile up in databases, consisting of detailed summaries and analyzed depictions of every living person in the world. In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf, a powerful, wise wizard explains the panopticon of Middle Earth; he spoke directly to the rightful king of Gondor, Aragorn: “The veiling shadow that glowers in the East takes shape. Sauron will suffer no rival. From the summit of Barad-dur his eye watches ceaselessly. But he is not so mighty yet that he is above fear. Doubt ever gnaws at him.” The panopticon presented in this trilogy is the great eye of Sauron, ever-watching, all-knowing. The character Saruman, Gandalf’s wizard master and former ally, describes the eye in a much more haunting manor while talking to Gandalf. He said, “Concealed within his fortress, the Lord of Mordor sees all — his gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth and flesh. You know of what I speak, Gandalf — a great Eye… lidless… wreathed in flame.” The eye of Sauron only lives through the ring, the one thing in Middle Earth that can destroy him. But his power comes from many things, including his thousands of minions.

The panopticon that Michel Foucault describes in his work titled Panopticism is of the very same nature of the eye of Sauron. He first draws an illustration from the late seventeenth-century about what a town needed to do if the plague were to strike. The acts that were carried out included things such as seclusion, isolation, surveillance, inspection, and registration. The order and hierarchy formed by those in control became the most basic, most instinctive from of panoticism. It became supervised and enclosed, where no one person could make a move without being noticed, noted, and punished; it became a model for extreme control and discipline. According to Foucault, the panopticon is power derived from discipline, and the time of the plague was the perfect situation in which it could be enforced.

Foucault credits the panopticon’s formation to a man by the name of Jeremy Bentham.  Bentham built an architectural representation of the panopticon shortly after it was enacted in towns stricken with the plague. It was designed like a prison, with a central tower for the observer. The observed prisoners were placed in a ring around the central point, with walls sectioning each prisoner into his or her own cell. No contact would be allowed between the prisoners—it was designed so it could not allow communication of any kind. Windows placed on the outside of the ring are the inmates’ only view to the outside world. The resulting light cast into each cell would act as a sort of back-lit chamber for the observer, who would be able to see anything and everything from his tower. The central tower would have a full three hundred, sixty degree view of all the cells, with mirrored, one-sided windows. This would allow the prisoners to be viewed at any and all times, while they themselves would have no idea when they were being viewed. Just like the eye of Sauron, the eye of the observer could be anywhere at any time, always watching, always critiquing. The panopticon then became a mechanism of discipline and singling-out of prisoners. It became a way to induce power to those supervising or observing. The panopticon itself became power.

The definition of discipline and the true panopticon itself, then, becomes blurred and questionable. According to Foucault, discipline can be broken down into three main ideas. The first, as he describes, is the inversion of discipline; with more oppression comes more revolution. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody with a teenage son or daughter; any form of oppression usually brings about discontent and revolt, which inadvertently causes more oppression, which causes more discontent. It becomes a never-ending, downward spiral of a cynically cyclical oppression-rebellion relationship. It requires sacrifice from two parties, which the panopticon doesn’t allow. The second branch of discipline is, as Foucault defines, is the wide-spread advancement of the panopticon into other factors. Once instituted in one area of society, the discipline and power become immediately necessary in all other forms of life; it becomes entirely and wholly functioning when it has spread to every corner it can. Like the morgul blade Frodo was stabbed with in The Lord of the Rings, the poison of the panopticon is fast acting, spreading rapidly. However, the kingsfoil herbs that helped slow the poison for Frodo won’t help here; nothing can stop the panopticon. It only satisfies itself when it consumes its host in its totality. The third definition Foucault offers is that discipline always climbs higher in the social tree; it always ends at the highest level of power in the society. There’s always somebody higher on the food chain of power. As Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn said in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the first episode in the series, “There’s always a bigger fish.” There’s always a bigger fish in the sea of power.

Regardless of how big the fish is, there are always more fish. And, just as Foucault wrote of the panopticon, other writers have too. These other writers include John Berger, Susan Bordo, and Laura Kipnis, among others. Each writer introduced and detailed a form of the panopticon visible in today’s society.

John Berger wrote about how people view things and how society altered and affected that view in a piece titled Ways of Seeing. According to Berger, a group of people with a strong influence on society that has power are considered the elite . These were the ones with money and resources. The elite are the upper class of society that don’t associate themselves with the normal person, the average citizen. According to Berger, these elite people have power through their money. With their money, they have the power to induce a process he calls “mystification.

This process is best described by the author himself. Berger states, “The meaning of the original work no longer lies in what it uniquely says but in what it uniquely is. How is its unique existence evaluated and defined in our present culture? It is defined we an object whose value depends upon its rarity. This market is affirmed and gauged by the price it fetches on the market (149-150).

What Berger says here is that a “work of art” is only as valuable as its very price on the market; it has more spiritual worth and rarity based on its monetary price. And its monetary price is decided by those who have enough money and resources to give it hefty price.

Berger’s description is exactly what the panopticon is: influence based off power. Those in society with power define what becomes important to the rest of society. They define what culture is and how it changes. They become a sort of living panopticon that morphs itself with the flow of time, forming and becoming the trends of popularity within itself.

Bordo’s essay is extremely similar to Berger’s. According to Bordo, however, the way society show us things affects how we view other aspects of life. Bordo’s main focus throughout her piece entitled “Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body” is advertising and how males are becoming a large part of it now. She discusses how there’s something in the public display of people in advertising that is desirable, yet never attainable. We always desire what advertising tells us we are not. After describing an advertisement displaying a young male in underwear, Bordo says, “Homophobia is at work in this taboo, but so are attitudes about gender that cut across sexual orientation” (192). This taboo she refers to is created by the panopticon in society. It’s created by those creating the advertisement, according to Bordo, and it works extremely effectively. She goes on to say the following:

In 1981, Jockey International had broken ground by photographing Baltimore Oriole pitcher Jim Palmer in a pair of briefs (airbrushed) in one of its ads — selling $100 million worth of underwear by year’s end. Inspired by Jockey’s success, in 1983 Calvin Klein put a forty-by-fifty-foot Bruce Weber photograph of Olympic pole vaulter Tom Hintinauss in Times Square, Hintinauss’s large penis clearly discernible through his briefs. The Hintinauss ad, unlike the Palmer ad, did not employ any of the usual fictional rationales for a man’s being in his underwear — for example, the pretense that the man is in the process of getting undressed — but blatantly put Hintinauss’s body on display, sunbathing on a rooftop, his skin glistening. The line of shorts ‘flew off the shelves’ at Bloomingdale’s and when Klein papered bus shelters in Manhattan with poster versions of the ad they were all stolen overnight (199).

In this very relevant example, the panopticon is being used by Calvin Klein himself, and society responded in kind to the power advertising had.

After seeing the advertisements, people wanted be like them. They bought the underwear because they wanted to appear like the men presented. The power of the panopticon wielded by Klein put the desire of people to be like the men in his advertisements, and therefore put them under a judgmental eye. The panopticon, at this point, revealed itself and became easily visible, seen just as easily as a reflection in a mirror. Yet, it became even more watchful as its power increased and its hold on society grew tighter.

Like Bordo and Berger, Laura Kipnis wrote about the panopticon. in her piece, “Love’s Labors,” she discusses the public view of love, society’s concept of monogamy. Protesting the very stable belief in society is the idea and practice of adultery. Commonly seen as inappropriate or rude, it fights the belief system shared by many people in this world that it is correct—both morally and politically—for marriage to be shared between two people (this view generally couples itself with the idea that these two people be male and female, not both). She does a good job of describing what a “good relationship” is. She says,

…  A ‘good relationship’  would probably include having — and wanting to have — sex with your spouse or spouse-equivalent on something more than a quarterly basis. (Maybe with some variation in choreography?) It would mean inhabiting an emotional realm in which monogamy isn’t giving something up (your ‘freedom,’ in the vernacular) because such cost-benefit calculations just don’t compute. […] A ‘happy’ state of monogamy would be defined as a state you don’t have to work at maintaining (394).

Society has placed these vises in our lives through every mean it can, including (but not limited to) movies, music, writings, and educational systems. And this idea originated from the panopticon in society, passed down from generation to generation, becoming closed-minded and stubborn.

The power of the panopticon can once again be seen clearly, working in culture since it first received power. The ideas of monogamy have been so engrained in humanity that they have become nearly impossible to reverse.

As the effects of the panopticon have become completely noticeable in society, the machine itself has seemed to disappear. Now, it has become totally and entirely visible, yet entirely unverifiable. The effects are there, yet the source cannot be found. It now rules without a ruler, and protects itself and society without a protector. The panopticon is a source of power, untraceably evident, intensely immense. Only time will tell if it can ever be stopped. Only time can tell what dark grips it has over society. Only time can tell…

Works cited:

Berger, John. “Ways of Seeing.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 9th ed. Eds. David Barthalomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 139-165. Print.

Bordo, Susan. “Beauty (Re)discovers the Male Body.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 9th ed. Eds. David Barthalomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 187-233. Print.

Foucault, Michel. “Panopticism.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 9th ed. Eds. David Barthalomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 279-310. Print.

Jackson, Peter, prod. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. New Line Cinema, 2001. Film.

Jackson, Peter, prod. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. New Line Cinema, 2003. Film.

Jackson, Peter, prod. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. New Line Cinema, 2002. Film.

Kipnis, Laura. “Love’s Labors.” Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 9th ed. Eds. David Barthalomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 388-412. Print.

Lucas, George, dir. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Leavesden Film Studios, 1999. Film.

Essay 5 Part 2 Rough Draft

 

[Due to my work schedule, I do not have time to do a full version. I will, however, post one as soon as I can. As for now, here is what I have.]

 

Berger’s essay:

-power comes only to select people

-relates to how the panopticon eventually makes itself the highest form of government

-power associates itself with money

-panopticon goes to the highest social power, which is always the government itself

-the way we view art is based off how much money someone has claimed it for

-the way we act is based off how many people are watching,

 

Bordo’s essay:

-advertising is greatly affected by those with money

-those with money have power

-panopticon is power

-advertising affects how we view society

-because of point one, the ones with power decide what society deems acceptable

-panopticon is power, so it decides what is acceptable

 

Kipnis’s essay:

This one is tough.

PLEASE HELP!

The panopticon is, by any standards, an overbearing thought in the governments around the world today. It rules without a ruler, protects without a protector, and exploits without a reason. It sees all, knows all, tracks all, and works silently and efficiently. It doesn’t need an operator, someone to govern its moves. All it does is watch, never letting its subjects out from its piercing gaze. It collects data, numbers, information. Records pile up in databases, consisting of detailed summaries and analyzed depictions of every living person in the world. In The Lord of The Rings, Gandalf, a powerful, wise wizard explains the panopticon of Middle Earth; he spoke directly to the rightful king of Gondor, Aragorn: “The veiling shadow that glowers in the East takes shape. Sauron will suffer no rival. From the summit of Barad-dur his eye watches ceaselessly. But he is not so mighty yet that he is above fear. Doubt ever gnaws at him. The rumor has reached him. The heir of Numenor still lives. Sauron fears you, Aragorn. He fears what you may become. And so he will strike hard and fast at the world of Men.” The panopticon presented in this trilogy is the great eye of Sauron, ever-watching, all-knowing. The character Saruman, Gandalf’s wizard master and former ally, describes the eye in a much more haunting manor while talking to Gandalf. He said, “Concealed within his fortress, the Lord of Mordor sees all — his gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth and flesh. You know of what I speak, Gandalf — a great Eye… lidless… wreathed in flame.” The eye of Sauron only lives through the ring, the one thing in Middle Earth that can destroy him. But his power comes from many things, including his thousands of minions.

The panopticon that Michel Foucault describes in his work titled Panopticism is of the very same nature of the eye of Sauron. He first draws an illustration from the late seventeenth-century about what a town needed to do if the plague were to strike. The acts that were carried out included things such as seclusion, isolation, surveillance, inspection, and registration. The order and hierarchy formed by those in control became the most basic, most instinctive from of panoticism. It became supervised and enclosed, where no one person could make a move without being noticed, noted, and punished; it became a model for extreme control and discipline. According to Foucault, the panopticon is power derived from discipline, and the time of the plague was the perfect situation in which it could be enforced.

Foucault credits the panopticon’s formation to a man by the name of Jeremy Bentham.  Bentham built an architectural representation of the panopticon shortly after it was enacted in towns stricken with the plague. It was designed like a prison, with a central tower for the observer. The observed prisoners were placed in a ring around the central point, with walls sectioning each prisoner into his or her own cell. No contact would be allowed between the prisoners—it was designed so it could not allow communication of any kind. Windows placed on the outside of the ring are the inmates’ only view to the outside world. The resulting light cast into each cell would act as a sort of back-lit chamber for the observer, who would be able to see anything and everything from his tower. The central tower would have a full three hundred, sixty degree view of all the cells, with mirrored, one-sided windows. This would allow the prisoners to be viewed at any and all times, while they themselves would have no idea when they were being viewed. Just like the eye of Sauron, the eye of the observer could be anywhere at any time, always watching, always critiquing. The panopticon then became a mechanism of discipline and singling-out of prisoners. It became a way to induce power to those supervising or observing. The panopticon itself became power.

The definition of discipline, then, becomes blurred and questionable. According to Foucault, discipline can be broken down into three main ideas. The first, as he describes, is the inversion of discipline. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody with a teenage son or daughter; any form of oppression usually brings about discontent and revolt, which inadvertently causes more oppression, which causes more discontent. It becomes a never-ending, downward spiral of a cynically cyclical oppression-rebellion relationship. It requires sacrifice from two parties, which the panopticon doesn’t allow. The second branch of discipline is, as Foucault defines, is the wide-spread advancement of the panopticon into other factors. Once instituted in one area of society, the discipline and power become immediately necessary in all other forms of life; it becomes entirely and wholly functioning when it has spread to every corner it can. Like the morgul blade Frodo was stabbed with in The Lord of the Rings, the poison of the panopticon is fast acting, spreading rapidly. However, the kingsfoil herbs that helped slow the poison for Frodo won’t help here; nothing can stop the panopticon. It only satisfies itself when it consumes its host in its totality. The third definition Foucault offers is that discipline always climbs higher in the social tree; it always ends at the highest level of power in the society. There’s always somebody higher on the food chain of power. As Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn said in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, the first episode in the series, “There’s always a bigger fish.” There’s always a bigger fish in the sea of power.

[I’ve been having a hard time with this assignment, so these are just some ideas]

Order of essay:

– reword and summarize Foucault’s essay
   — should be first half (ish) of essay

– gently embrace Berger’s essay
   — summary of Berger’s essay (paragraph)

– review of Bordo’s essay through Foucault’s essay
   — summary of Bordo’s essay (paragraph)

– glimpse of Kipnis’s essay
   — summary of Kipnis’s essay (paragraph) 

– conclusive and cohesive expansion between all three

– conclusion 

[like I said, I’m having a difficult time with this. Any advice will help!]

The example I found is on page 296, where Foucault talks about how military discipline has changed. “Military discipline is no longer a mere means of preventing looting, desertion, or failure to obey orders among the troops; it has become a basic technique to enable the army to exist, not as an assembled crowd, but as a unity that derives from this very unity an increase in its forces; discipline increases the skill of each individual, coordinates these skills, accelerates movements, increases fire power, broadens the fronts of attack without reducing their vigor, increases the capacity for resistance, etc.” This is essentially an important aspect of how unity and discipline has changed throughout the ages. To this day, I believe this is very true. Our military is the most disciplined members of our society today. The reasons for that, not only as Foucault has stated, include the return of the person back into the societal frame of the economy. The character building aspect of the military is incredibly important. The basic principles that military discipline was based on are still being used today, but now they have direction, they have a purpose.