Sparknotes providing knowledge

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 04, 2008 12:00 AM GMT
    Angels in America has been on my mind lately. Heres an analysis of topic Love & Justice from Sparknotes...because Sparknotes is so reliable for how we conduct our lives. icon_smile.gif No. But it does shine light on one of the most valuable theater pieces of our generation. I thought I'd share it with you guys.

    Sparknotes on Angels in AmericaThroughout the play characters grapple with questions of love and justice—whether it is just to abandon a loved one, how to care for others, whether to incorporate villains and enemies into the communities they disavow. Belize's call for Louis to join him in forgiving Roy, which appears in Act Five, Scene Three of Perestroika, resolves some of these questions by pointing out a way to unify people while accepting their limitations. Belize acknowledges that Roy was terrible, and so his sins are not excused. But as Belize notes, forgiveness is only valuable because people are flawed—if Roy had been loving and kind there would be no need to forgive him. Forgiveness drives the final events of the play: it is what allows the characters to rebuild their community in the play's epilogue (Prior must forgive Louis in order to love him and remain friends with him), what permits Ethel to return to the afterworld in peace, what enables Harper to put Joe out of her mind and begin her life anew. It mends the calamities of Millennium and allows relationships and societies to be strengthened.


    And to expand on the above, I present to you the words of the lightweight intellectual, Cornel West.

    Cornel West they go hand in hand. I mean there is always a very delicate interplay between individual actions and institutional conditions. But there is no such thing as institutional conditions without any individual actions and no such thing as individual action without institutional conditions. So there is always personal responsibility.


    At the same time, there should always be social accountability. We shouldn't talk about one without the other. When we do talk about both, I think we recognize that it is always possible for persons to work hard, to sacrifice and to make a difference in their life. That's true for nearly any set of social conditions as a certain constant in human life that even limited years that one has just cracking a smile makes a difference in peoples's lives. People have agency; people have responsibility; people have a choice to do that. Or you could be mean. See that's true in the concentration camp. That's true on Park Avenue.


    But as we know, we are a little more complicated than that because you have power, wealth, influence circulating in a variety of different ways. Therefore, it is going to take much more than cracking smiles in order to make the world a better place. You are going to have to organize, mobilize, bring power and pressure to bear on various status quos in place. That's where the structural institution comes in. There is no fundamental social change by being simply of individual and interpersonal actions. You have to have organizations and institutions that make a fundamental difference. Yet, there is no organizations and institutions that are worthwhile in terms of fighting for and dying for unless there is some individual integrity and character and virtue that is at work within various individuals in those institutions especially their leaders.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 04, 2008 4:43 AM GMT
    Bump
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Dec 04, 2008 5:09 AM GMT
    CitizenSol said
    Cornel West they go hand in hand. I mean there is always a very delicate interplay between individual actions and institutional conditions. But there is no such thing as institutional conditions without any individual actions and no such thing as individual action without institutional conditions. So there is always personal responsibility.


    At the same time, there should always be social accountability. We shouldn't talk about one without the other. When we do talk about both, I think we recognize that it is always possible for persons to work hard, to sacrifice and to make a difference in their life. That's true for nearly any set of social conditions as a certain constant in human life that even limited years that one has just cracking a smile makes a difference in peoples's lives. People have agency; people have responsibility; people have a choice to do that. Or you could be mean. See that's true in the concentration camp. That's true on Park Avenue.



    Is your point essentially that this is all connected?

    At the risk of commenting on a piece I'm not familiar with and sounding like an idiot, here goes... this entire quote sounds like we are talking about a relatively rigid sort of "institution." I do not think that can extended to talking about a social group.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 04, 2008 5:30 AM GMT
    styrgan said
    CitizenSol said
    Cornel West they go hand in hand. I mean there is always a very delicate interplay between individual actions and institutional conditions. But there is no such thing as institutional conditions without any individual actions and no such thing as individual action without institutional conditions. So there is always personal responsibility.


    At the same time, there should always be social accountability. We shouldn't talk about one without the other. When we do talk about both, I think we recognize that it is always possible for persons to work hard, to sacrifice and to make a difference in their life. That's true for nearly any set of social conditions as a certain constant in human life that even limited years that one has just cracking a smile makes a difference in peoples's lives. People have agency; people have responsibility; people have a choice to do that. Or you could be mean. See that's true in the concentration camp. That's true on Park Avenue.



    Is your point essentially that this is all connected?

    At the risk of commenting on a piece I'm not familiar with and sounding like an idiot, here goes... this entire quote sounds like we are talking about a relatively rigid sort of "institution." I do not think that can extended to talking about a social group.


    The first quote is talking about Tony Kushner's Angels in America.

    The second one is Cornel West's evaluation of AA politics but obviously casting a net on every group and the entire barrel as well.

    He's talking about the relationship between the Community and the Individual. Of course this standard can apply to a social group. AAs, LGBTQ, Russians, Germans, Central Americans, the U.S senate, has traits that define it as a group. True, individuals in that group doesn't have to exhibit those traits, yet at the same time they have a responsibility to acknowledge their obvious kinship to their "social group", recognize that despite their individual differences, outside and inside influences create a "culture" that as nurtured humans, individuals are inevitably affected and if those traits are indeed negative, the individual within that group must work to eradicate as much as they can, even if they bypass the negative traits.


    Does that make any sense? lol.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Dec 04, 2008 5:57 AM GMT
    Yes, it does make sense.

    The examples you referenced are a broad range of different types of groups. How we can categorize and assign characteristics to a group such as "The US Senate" is vastly different than how we can categorize and assign qualities to a group like "Russians." If you were to meet a U.S. Senator and a Russian right now, you would know far more about the U.S. Senate than you would about "Russians."

    I think its important to understand though that what you are talking about here is a slippery slope down towards racism or sexism.

    None of this is especially controversial. It's why racism, sexism, and so forth have persisted for centuries. Humans love to use archetypes excessively in cognition - creating order appeals to us on some base level.

    I do need you to explain your last line though... and you still haven't really given me a statement which I can flame about.


    CItizenSolindividuals are inevitably affected and if those traits are indeed negative, the individual within that group must work to eradicate as much as they can, even if they bypass the negative traits.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 04, 2008 6:26 AM GMT
    styrgan saidYes, it does make sense.

    The examples you referenced are a broad range of different types of groups. How we can categorize and assign characteristics to a group such as "The US Senate" is vastly different than how we can categorize and assign qualities to a group like "Russians." If you were to meet a U.S. Senator and a Russian right now, you would know far more about the U.S. Senate than you would about "Russians."

    I think its important to understand though that what you are talking about here is a slippery slope down towards racism or sexism.

    None of this is especially controversial. It's why racism, sexism, and so forth have persisted for centuries. Humans love to use archetypes excessively in cognition - creating order appeals to us on some base level.

    I do need you to explain your last line though... and you still haven't really given me a statement which I can flame about.


    CItizenSolindividuals are inevitably affected and if those traits are indeed negative, the individual within that group must work to eradicate as much as they can, even if they bypass the negative traits.


    Sometimes I write in stream of consciousness. Sorry about that. I'm trying to discipline myself. icon_redface.gif

    The list is pretty broad but I believe we're able to evaluate any and every group and apply the Community-Individual framing on them. The U.S senate, for example, does have its own culture. When referring to "the Russians", I was using it as an example of national culture.

    I can't see how this collapses into racism or sexism. Please explain that to me. I'm saying we must balance Individuality with Communitarianism. Its impossible to avoid the community's place in the individual's life. The complexity of the human politic demands people think in weird ways.

    Examples

    Blacks males makeup a significant amount of cab robbers. But we also know most black cab riders aren't apart of this group. The question remains. When the cab driver see a black man hailing him, does he take into account that picking up a black male customer has risen the risks of being robbed (community), or does he ignore a very real risk by treating the black hailer as an complete autonomous individual?

    A woman has a choice of having sexual relations between two men, a straight male and a bisexual male. Statistically, her chances of getting an STD, including HIV rises significantly when choosing the bisexual man.