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Friday, Dec. 2

December 2, 2016

CNF Workshop: Today we finished Round 5: Kasper, McKinzie and LeRoy. Good job.

I gave out the new Round 6 packets: for Monday, Pilch, Kashuba and Hall. For Wednesday: LeRoy, McDanel, Adamson. For Friday: Kasper, Bullock and Hulick. (The latter two are on the blog; I’ll give you copies next week.)

You know what that means…we’ll be looking for Round 7 essays on the blog by 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12.

Screenwriting Workshop: Today we finished up Round 2 with Payton and Spencer. Stay aware of your due dates for Round 3, and also stay aware of the requirements for Round 3.

Public Speaking: Recitations. Here’s how it went: I offered five points of extra credit for anyone who went today. (And most did — nice!) Anyone who didn’t go today goes Monday, with no penalty.

I began giving back the midterms by meeting with people individually. We’ll try to continue that Monday.

I also gave out four new poems for a second recitation next Friday, Dec. 9.

Here they are, if you were absent: recitation-poems-12-2-2016

You only have to choose one. They’re all very short, so no notecard this time. And I really want you to pay attention to selling me this poem. It’s great to have it memorized; the next step is to convince me you know what the poem is about.


Horror: Today we talked about just war theory, and tried to apply it to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII. Was the bombing justified? We discussed it by using these four tenets of classic just war theory, as espoused by the great Catholic thinkers St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas:

  1. A just cause. (Pretty much as it sounds: is there a good reason for us to go to war?)
  2. Proportionality. (That is, is the response proportional to the original provocation?)
  3. A reasonable chance of success. (We shouldn’t wage war and risk losing lives if we have no chance at all of achieving any aim.)
  4. Proper authority. (Is the person/entity who decides we go to war, or causes/perpetuates the war, the right one to make such a call?)

We talked about this because it’s important to understand the effect two world wars had on the Western psyche. Existentialism would never have gotten off the ground as a viable philosophy if people in the West had not lost faith/questioned authority following these two devastating events, and the moral questions they raised.

Lovecraft was ahead of his time in espousing his brand of existentialism (cosmicism), but even he was affected by the events of the First World War. Another way to look at this is that the world had seen real horror, the likes of which had never occurred in human history. The moral framework of horror, just like the moral framework of society, was shaken by the events of the 20th century.

And from there, where else could we go but zombies? It’s important to recall, though, that our modern conception of the zombie as a flesh-eating monster is a fairly new idea. Zombies (or “zombis”) come to us from Africa by way of Haiti, and were originally thought to be reanimated people who could work tirelessly on sugar plantations.

Read more about them here. We’ll talk more on Monday about how we got to our modern idea of zombies.

Survey: Combined: Bookbinding activity.

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