Archive for the ‘ENG101’ Category

Cultural Assumptions

While reading my old textbook for English 101, I found a section in it about what the author calls “Cultural Assumptions” that is things that we take for granted.
The examples she gives are:

1-Communities accept us for who we are
2-True love conquers all, and
3-Entertainment is just for fun

I don’t know about anyone else, but I never believed these things.

Communities accept you as long as you provide them with the sense of dominance or a reason to admire you or a sense of assistance. That is, that people will accept you in a community as long as you make them feel like they can be in control, they can count on you for help or you remind them of what you want to accomplish or what you have accomplished.

True love, what the fuck is “true love”? I love you, you love me too? How do you even define that? if it is the willingness to sacrifice everything for a person because you love them, then it does not conquer all. Because I have been willing to do anything to help a person I loved, and it was all for nothing. So I don’t believe that. They’re too many factors for True Love to even be able to gain a foothold in our lives.

“The soap operas, the fairy tales, they all lie, True Love does not conquer all”- Anita Blake.

Entertainment is just for fun.

huh? It may start out that way, but int he end you always take away something with you always. Whether it be a “Never do that again” or a “the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff reminds me of my relationship with Daniel” or even a “can a Demon be hurt by fire?” which is at least a stray thought that may invoke more thinking. It might of been fun, but you noticed something, something stayed with you. And that is more than just “fun”

Breaking Dawn Review

Breaking Dawn is the final installment in the very popular Twilight Saga, authored by Stephenie Meyer, published in August of 2008. The novel finalizes the story of Bella Swan, a human, and her relationship with Jacob Black, a shape shifter, and Edward Cullen a vampire, who in the novel finalizes her transformation into a vampire after marrying her. The novel has gained much popularity, especially among younger teenaged girls, despite its intended older audience, and has lead to a movie which will be released on November 21st, causing many critics to call her “the American J.K. Rowling”

Twilight is one of the many series being written in the Urban Fantasy genre that has begun to grow in the United States, especially in the last ten years. It is, however, in this setting, that the Twilight Saga and Breaking Dawn specifically, shows its immature style. Breaking Dawn commits a form of literary treason to the genre in which it’s housed and the medium which it used to rise to popularity.

Urban fantasy is characterized by certain markers that set the fantastical in the contemporary. The vast majority of lead characters are female, educated and have a strong connection to the supernatural, and carry out both professional lives as well as secret ones. Isabella “Bella” Swan fits the profile, being able to defy the vampires’ supernatural abilities and despite her “outsider” perspective, manages to hold on to a popular and comfortable lifestyle. Bella is a high school student, whereas other protagonists in the genre are adult women, this immediately gives a different sense to the overall novel and style of writing.

The general attitude of Urban Fantasy is one that glorifies the odd or the awkward, serving as a form of social criticism by having powerful characters that are usually ignored by other fantasy and literature in general. Paganism, homosexuality, bisexuality, BDSM, ethnic minorities and social outcasts are heavily present in Urban Fantasy, all emphasizing a lack in need to be embraced by all of society. Rather than intergrading, they form mixed groups that understand that they are outside the norm and outside the good intentions of the people who are generally mainstream Christian humans, while still endowing those characters with very real human problems, such as unwanted pregnancies, questions of morality and very often, unrequited love and troublesome relationships.

In Breaking Dawn, Meyer fails to understand that attitude. Edward and Bella are allowed by their creator (Meyer) to live together outside the norm, and outside of human affairs, only after they adapt to them. Where in Urban Fantasy, marriage is not a priority and not a virtue in general, in Breaking Dawn, the vampires act in a purely human fashion, living upper middle class lives in a formalized one man one woman marriage setting. Meyer constantly emphasizes that Bella is an “ordinary girl” who just happens to be in love with a vampire, ignoring the outcasts. Save for the Native Americans, who she glorifies by giving them pure supernatural worth and ignoring their human aspects. Again, her characters are completely normal humans whose only problems are supernatural.

Most Urban Fantasy is highly sexualized, violent and criticizes the contemporary social system though their actions and their settings. One example is that of Anita Blake, who often points out flaws in society, such as prejudice toward minorities and though the novel presents several Asian, Black, Gay and Hispanic characters interacting in a American setting, while recognizing their heritage and even including their mythology into the general storytelling. Meyer attempts to do this by including Native American characters into her novels, however, their mythology is incredibly European, and largely ignores the Native’s own religions. Other urban Fantasy writers acknowledge the existence of other cultures and other perspectives though the actions of foreign vampires and other supernatural creatures, but Meyer’s foreign vampires act in a purely American style, ignoring the possibility of a rich cultural mesh.

The relationship between Bella, Edward and Jacob is largely based on sexual attraction. Bella’s obsession with Edward is described from a sexual perspective, Meyer does this in a manner that is very childish and immature, and using language that is heavily censored, breaking with the style in which sexuality is open and understood. The few sexual encounters that occur are omitted, yet the nature of the attraction is understood to be solely sexual based. The complex relationship between Bella and Jacob, which is described in a romantic way, is in the end cast aside as Bella marries Edward, with whom, other than an intense sexual attraction, she had nothing in common.

The main point in favor of the vampires in Meyer’s works is their behavior. While in other such works the vampires have a terribly childish and act in a very human manner, while stressing their inhumanness. Meyer’s vampires act as if they have thousands of years worth of knowledge and act in a way that both stresses the arrogance of having such knowledge, and the wisdom to use it. In other novels across the genre, despite the inhuman characteristics of vampires, they act very human. Rather than backing off when a fight is lost, or knowing when to act, the vampires act solely on emotion and in a very unintelligent way. Meyer’s vampires break this mold for the better. When faced with a large group of opponents offering peace, they wisely choose to back away, and reassess the situation. Meyer’s vampires also display a higher level of intelligence, having foresight and using their long lives to calculate and predict actions that will lead them to the better. It makes the reader actually believe that the vampires have existed before the conception of the novel.

The Novel’s popularity among the mainstream is largely due to its style and the break in tradition when writing into the Urban Fantasy genre. The confusion between lust and love appeals to a younger audience while the traditionally older audience of urban fantasy is left disappointed by the amateurish writing and the lack of complexity. Overall, Breaking Dawn fails to live up to the standards of the genre, while clearly paving the way to a more mainstream style, appealing to a younger and more specific audience. Unlike most works in the genre, Breaking Dawn serves no purpose other than to amuse, and fails to bring expansion to the genre. Meyer, in the terms of Urban Fantasy, has nothing of importance to give back.

Heroes, Thomas Friedman, English and the Crazy Street Preacher.

Today was, interesting. After a boring Anthropology test, I skipped BIO100 class (yeah i know, and i don’t care) and a mostly (except for a little brain tease and a chapter of the Baghavad Gita) boring ENG class. I ran into ASU’s crazy preacher and a disappointing trip to the library, i finally got home in time for Heroes.

So, from the beginning.

My Anthropology test was fifty questions long and took about fifteen minutes to finish, it was mostly a boring play with words. I am quite certain that i failed it, because i apparently wasn’t paying attention in class as well as i thought (next time, I’ll have to refrain from reading Yeats during class) After that I walked over to breakfast. I read a bit afterward and then after my iPod battery died I went back home to recharge it and maybe watch TV before English, since I had already decided to skip BIO.

I fell asleep and woke up just in time to get to English, where I read the first and second chapters of the Baghavad Gita, because the teacher went on analyzing Thomas Friedman’s latest Op-Ed. I am a big Friedman (The World is Flat) fan, but unfortunately, my English class dissected and analyzed the article past the point of no return. Which made me mad, because they missed the whole overall (holistic) point of the article.

Then after class I ran into the Preacher who goes by JK (Just Kidding maybe?) He went on for about an hour and a half screaming about Jesus hating everyone and how he was a prophet of the lord because he wasn’t a “perverted homo masturbating weed-head” like us (which made everyone laugh). He only seems to serve as comic relief for us. He promised to be there again, so i have to remind myself to take my Bible to contradict him, if he ever stops shouting that is. Which leads me to believe, sincerely, that he is on something, weed perhaps? or maybe some prescription stuff?

After this, I managed to get home again, eat, sleep for about an hour, then watch some Stargate Atlantis and then finally Heroes!

Heroes: Villains (I love writing that) episode 303: One of Us, One of Them, started out with Flint, The German, Knox and Peter (in Jesse’s Body) starting out a bank heist, while Mama Petrelli purposefully gave Sylar (Gabriel Gray) a new ability, and Noah Bennet meet his new partner, who happens to be (as i predicted) Sylar, who is now beginning to explore a new ‘good’ side.

At the end of the episode, Micah meets Tracy (who, as i also predicted, is a clone) and Future Peter finally pulls Peter out of Jesse and then everything goes to hell as Knox escapes, Sylar harvests Jesse’s power, Flint gets shot, and The German is possibly dead, much to my grief because The German seems like such a calm and twisted individual.

Meanwhile Claire and Meredith have a little masochistic mother-daughter talk, when Meredith forces Claire to explore her feelings via locking her in a metalic train wagon and heating up.

Why the Tao Te Ching (daodeking) Can Never Be Briefly Disscussed.

First day of ENG101 (yes, i am picking on the class again!, but I bring this up again for a reason, as previously mentioned, born in my ASB102 class)
We had a small discussion about Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. One student said that one chapter in particular (Chapter 3: Hushing in Ursula K. LeGuin’s translation, my favorite version) where it says:

  So the wise soul
  governing people
  would empty their minds,
  fill their bellies,
  weaken their wishes,
  strengthen their bones.
meant that the wise government would have to keep their people in ignorance. But this idea is completely contradictory to the fundamentals of Taoism. Especially if taken in context, not only with the culture, but with the rest of the text. For example, as i told Rob, my favorite chapter, Taoing says:

  The way you can go
  Isn’t the real way
  The name you can say
  Isn’t the real name.

As LeGuin says:

  “to those who will not admit morality without a deity to validate it, or spirituality of which man is not the measure, the firmness Lao Tzu’s morality and the sweetness of his spiritual council must seem incomprehensible , or illegitimate, or very troubling indeed.”

  So, the very idea that a government would act while keeping ignorance among the people could be understood, especially after reading Chapter 17, it again appears that the ideal leader should be manipulative and keep the people without thinking. But the meaning, once place d in context, is just the opposite.

Once such ideas begin to be understood or discussed there is a tenancy to forget the the original purpose of the Tao Te Ching was not to be a manual for leaders, but a guide to the Tao. literally, the having the Way guide the Way. much like the concept (or non-concept) of Zen.

Back to the point I was trying to make. The Tao cannot, and should not be summarized. It is not responsible, and not beneficial either to the students or to the Tao itself.

By the way, I strongly recommend reading the Tao Te Ching, several times of course. I read a chapter or two every day. I am not a spiritual person, or religious, but I read of the Way and I try to live in the Way. I especially recommend LeGuin’s translation. other translations are very forced, and forcibly translated in order to have political meaning. LeGuin’s version is translated with the poet in heart. Translated for the sake of Tao and beauty, not for classroom politics, and Western obsession with dry ideologies.

Actually I recoment all of LeGuin’s Works, especially The Telling, and Gifts. Both are beautifully writen and, if you really must, have deep meanings and parallels in society today/

BIO100 and ENG101

At this point I really hate my biology class. The subject we’re tackling now is evolution, and since I love evolution I actually though that I would love it, but it turned out to be a Evolution for dummies, much like that of Dr. Nash at the beginning of ASM104 (except she was good at introducing the material) and we’ve dragged onto day four. Having taken two whole days to discuss Creationism, which Dr. Nash talked about for maybe a minute. That was a fucking pain, because everyday of my life I have some creationist breathing down my back. Having my BIO teacher discuss all of it, is by far, almost suicidal.

I’m hoping that the teach will pick it up and actually do something of interest rather than babble on for the idiots, in which case, i might have to sneak in one of my good books in and read while he rambles on for the kidos.

Now about ENG100. It is an OK class, like I’ve said, it has the potential to be amazing, if we had more time, and i wasn’t stuck in such a um, pathetically idiotic, group. Today, my OCD got the better of me in the middle of class, I had to go fix the flag, which was bunched up on the pole rather than placed correctly on the pole. and after that I had a minor problem as I counted the chalk marks on the board and actually resisted wiping them clean. Which I will more than likely not forget for about a year or ten. There were eleven chalk marks on the board by the way.

Some idiot said that the country was founded on Christian values, my though was: “huh?” I shall say no more, because if I go on, I will use cuss words and that is never good.

After I got over this, we moved on to more readings and ended up talking about Machiavelli again. The teacher brought up the issue of the torture in regards to the presidential debates. And again all I have to say: Human Rights violations, if we want to preserve our image and enforce them, or have any moral standing, we must first eliminate them (violations) at home.

Then we discussed Stephen Carter, my though was, he’s an idiot. In a later post, I will tell you why.

English Essay, Take Two

So I re-wrote my essay and rather than taking an analytical view of it, I went all out Bodhidharma on them. Hopefully this time I get my point across.

The Depth at the Surface
Zen is something that by its very nature cannot be defined. It cannot be described, categorized or even captured in song, story or poem. But I can tell show what Zen is not, and I can show why even that in itself, is Zen.
Having lived in both the United States and in Mexico for extended amounts of time has made me realize that we are all victims, and that we ourselves are our victimizers. If we want to see our greatest enemy, we only have to look at a mirror. It is in the very actions that keep us alive, that we guarantee our deaths, and this I realized cannot be escaped. It is perhaps one of the few unalterable and obscure rules of our existence. But of all the discoveries that I’ve made, both in the US and in Mexico, the one that took me the longest to understand and perhaps the most difficult to lose to Zen was the one I finally understood, in of all places, standing at the edge of a bridge, looking nearly fifty feet below at a small trickle of water that was called, in all of its irony, a river.
Things, whether by some unwritten law of the universe or by fate or even by chance alone, will always gather in groups. Trash floating in a busy Mexican City street or humans in that city itself, always end up in groups, in piles. We find, as a species, and as objects themselves, a sense of comfort in groups. We stand strongest in groups, but it is also in groups where we commit the great fallacy of Zen: we are also at our weakest. Trash on the side of the street can be set afire, humans in groups will run to their dooms, not even bothering to know why, all they know is that everyone else is going, and that they cannot stop, even if they want to. This I realized on the bridge.
Water flows to the sea, it is inevitable, like humans running to death. But it is in this grisly realization that I realized, that death is the only thing keeping up together. No matter how cold that water is, no matter what color it is, or how far it has run, it will end up at sea, just where it started out. And humans are the same; we are all connected, not in a symbolic or metaphoric way. We are all literally connected; we are all descendants of the same reproductively successful ancestor, and no matter how much we think we differ, we are all cousins, and we are all running to our deaths. Only one thing really matters: how much life did that water give? How much life did that water take? How many lives did we touch? How many lives did we fail to touch? Such is the Zen of our existence.
As I realize this, I also take not of the water itself, not just its trajectory, and I find myself thinking about the multitudes and the groups again. Each individual molecule of water clings desperately to another, and in their haste to belong to something, they form a tension, a tension strong enough for bugs to run across it, a desperation strong enough to amuse children when they blow a bubble of soapy water though a loop. And despite what may be happening below, the surface always remains the same, undisturbed, and pristine. And so do the facades of men and women alike. We will embrace a philosophy, and we will live by it, until something forces us to reconsider, and then we will leave the band, we will search, and explore. We may become Moslem after being Christian, we may become American after being Mexican or French, and then we will rise up and cry injustice, and try to force the river to flow the other way. But we will not succeed, because even though we may not realize it, we are still part of the same current, and we are still running in the same direction, despite all of our life altering actions, we have nothing but switch positions on the surface of the current. We may have brushed up against the undercurrents, who in themselves are another group with the same agenda. We may say that we are wiser because we have seen the suffering of our cousins, we may be wiser because we shared Christ with them, or because we showed them Nirvana, or Allah. But in the current, we have done nothing, but help it faster along.
From the bridge, I realized that not all men are like that, I realized that there are pebbles and drops as well. Drops, people who leave the current, seeking depth that is so difficult to accomplish on the surface, they will seek for that life altering moment, and when they find it, rather than selfishly keep their salvation, they will stupidly run and jump back into the flow. Their arrival is not welcomed by the surface and the tension drives the drop back, wrestling with the loose water and the opposing impact from below. These men arrive, and after a minute or two will stir up the surface, and for a moment, hope shines though, but after that moment passes, that drop is nothing more than a part of the surface, running still. Great men and women have been like drops, they stir the waters and our thoughts and then fall back in, either after death claims them of they simply surrender. Some men, however, are like pebbles. Jesus, Darwin, Gandhi, Watson, they are pebbles.
Drop a pebble into a pool, and you see a splash, a fight of confusion and resistance, when that surface is broken, and the ripples expand and touch all of the surface, and some are plunged into the depths without wanting to and finally see the big picture, others are tasseled about and twist the meaning of the words, the movements of the water and run with it in an entirely different direction, but never leaving that precious tension. The pebble sinks, to the bottom where creatures to foul to see the light of day or the darkness of the night live. And so these men also fall to the bottom, Jesus: crucified, Darwin: mocked, Gandhi: reinvented, Watson: forgotten.
Their ideas are twisted and made part of the surface, because at their core, they are too difficult and too heavy for men to lift. That is one thing that men and water do not share, water does not have a choice, but men do. Men, if we desired, could let go or our simple, superficial pseudo-philosophies and rise up, unaided but by our own vision and strength and become monoliths, monoliths that after millions of years will still stand even against all of the assault of time.
We do not, why not, I cannot understand. It is like Zen, either you know, or you do not, and clearly I do not. But this I do understand: we like to be unnoticed, one single molecule of water in the flood, one pebble in the gravel, one drop of water in the rain. One mediocre and un-extraordinary person who will be noticed because of how well they blend in, and sadly, we believe that even those who by their very definition should be more than human should be just like us, no one of any great importance; because we believe that we are all created equal.
I do not know why we want greater men to be lesser. I understand why water acts the way it does, but I do not understand the monotonous herd of humans. But here is one more thing I understand, one thing that is not Zen and Zen at the same time. I understand that despite the great flow of the river we all share something that does have meaning: this moment.
This single moment, as you read this while I write it and a little 14 year-old blond boy with a pocketful of marbles runs to his friends, a full radiant smile on his face, and an older, gray haired man aims a high powered assault rifle.
This moment, when a shady politician, no greater than the junkie looking for his morning fix only ten floors beneath him, cries out about the Moslem terrorists, and that boy’s smile fades away as a bullet rips across his head because his Moslem parents live on the wrong side or the river and the multitudes wave their arms in unison at a football  game, and not a mile away a group of men, all sharp angular figures cutting across the night yell out in outrage about the illegal aliens in their country.
This moment, when a man and child die in the desert because had they not left, they would have died at home, and the politician smiles along with millions more, smug in their ideas and the belief that he is a great humanitarian because he sent a young man to kill another far away.
This moment, and we are all in it. We are all sharing it, all six billion and a half of us. Like all of our cousins, we are dying, and living in this single moment, propelled forward by the past and watched passively by the future. Imagine it, all our DNA jam-packed in one moment. We are all connected, and the worst part is, that for all of our dedication to forming “us and them” groups, it is not a metaphor, not a philosophical ‘oops’ that we can overlook.
Some of us may be the soft underbrush of the forest, where the deer pisses and the raccoon decomposes, and few of us may be the towering trees that hold up against all living beings, and may never fall. But we are all human, and we all family.
All this I realized, and forgot, standing on a bridge over a trickle of water, that only two days before had washed away my father’s hometown. And telling you this, whoever you may be, is not Zen, it is the opposite of it in fact. But I hope that in telling you this, perhaps I managed to take your hand, and run downstream with you, and along the way, give you a little bit of that paradox named Zen, and maybe, just maybe, made you a drop or perhaps even a pebble.

Then again, I might have failed even worse than before, who knows?

I Believe In Temperance Brennan

This is my personal narrative essay about my beliefs and philosophy.

Because it was supposed to be in narrative form, i made up some of the details. storytelling is after all, a form of lying to tell the truth.

I believe in Dr. Temperance Brennan. Her attitude, her philosophy, and her demeanor in life is both admirable and beautiful. As a believer in Bones (her nickname) I am an atheist, I find naturalist explanations for everything and certain fundamental ideas of society are often lost on me, or refuted by me. Like Bones, I do not believe that fear is a motivator, I do not have faith in psychology and I can over explain everything with amazing success. Like Bones, I have a small band of faithful friends and a long list of people who I do not remember, but who remember me as the one person who they really dislike because of his arrogance, intelligence and cold and often calculating attitude.

My first connection with the Fox Network character was during the ad for the pilot episode. One quote stuck with me, and I have used it often enough: “oh, you mean people with high IQs and basic reasoning skills?” This is often after an accusation about how ‘you people’ are different or odd or downright wrong. I believe, as Brennan does, that people are intimidated by intelligence, or envious of it, and seek out to find something wrong with those who are better than them. It may be a very un-American thing to say, but honestly, all men are not equal, some are better, some are smarter, faster, stronger or something that sets them apart, Bones often points this out, as do I, and I take a nice amount of nasty glares for it too. Once people realize this, perhaps we will be able to achieve something in life, intelligence is often mocked and scientists are feared by the public. In Bones, the FBI agents refer to the scientists as ‘squints’ because “you know, that’s what they do, they squint at things in labs and have no notion of the real world” as Booth (Bones’ partner) put it in the first episode. So as part of believing in Brennan, I believe that people are too separated from reality, they embrace a hopeless fantasy and deny anything outside of it. Anything that has science backing it up will be mistrusted and anything involving blind faith will be embraced, because people naturally assume that men like Einstein and Darwin are really no better than them, they are after all, only men, and “all men are created equal”

A part of believing in Bones is never drawing conclusions before analyzing, in one episode, Bones’ grad student, after sorting though a victim’s belongings, mutters “a picture begins to form” to with Bones replies: “No Zach, we are scientists, we never draw pictures or conclusions without all of the evidence.” So in my life, I never draw conclusions before knowing like I have enough evidence to back it up, hunches are just hunches, not anything to trust in. In a more condensed way of saying it: we are scientists, even in everyday life, using logic and reason to discover the world, conclusions muddle our vision, we dispel evidence against our preconceived notions and even forge evidence to support whatever conclusions we drew, regardless of how fallacious they may be. Sometimes being a scientist has its drawbacks, in my life the one example that sticks is the following:

My best friend Nikki (who often compares me to Bones) talked me into seeing The Dark Knight, she used the argument that it’s a culturally acceptable tradition to go with friends to movies you do not want to see, in order to make them happy and strengthen the friendship (she also begged). I agreed and went to see a movie that was on my ‘never watch list’ (yes I really do have one) There I found a guy with who I had a close but long distance friendship with, as always we flirted for a while, and while Nikki watched we fell back into old patterns, which drew glares from men and women alike in the hall. After he left, Nikki turned to me and asked if I was ever going to actually ask him out rather than go on with our somewhat subtle unspoken relationship. I smiled, and recalling a scene from Bones I answered:

“You know how Bones looks at human remains and analyses it before making a decision?” after she nodded I continued:

“He’s like human remains, and I haven’t made a decision yet”

She smiled and took me to the worst movie experience of my life, and in good old Bones style I asked her to refund me.

After that I started to apply the concept of everyone-is-human-remains to everything and everyone. I did that already, but I never related it to Bones.

A believer in Bones believes that plastic surgery is barbaric and primitive. In one episode, Bones explores her relationship with plastic surgeons and she states:

“How arrogant do you have to be to believe that you can do better than millions of years of evolution?”

As expected, I agree. Plastic surgery, outside of reconstructive surgery, is in my opinion, evil. Not many things get to be labeled as evil by me, other than religion. But Plastic surgery (circumcision included) is one of those things. Notions of beauty change, and they do so from culture to culture, and generation to generation. I believe that someday we will some to see non-medically needed plastic surgery with the same distain that we see the use of neck rings to extend the neck and male circumcision with the same rage that we have for female circumcision and other forms of mutilation.

Bones is a beautiful woman, which in de facto patriarchal societies is a sign of weakness. In order to break that idea and in order to be able to back up her threats she is an experienced martial artist and an incredibly good shot with a small caliber gun. I am a Mexican in a predominantly white society and I am the opposite of what a good male is considered to be in our culture. In order to back up my threat and avoid being beaten for other certain codon differences (seen with disgust by ‘normal’ members of this superficial society) I am a martial artist, with some training in aikido, tae so do, tai chi and very rudimentary ba gua. Like Bones, I am also good with a gun, much to the pride and help of my dad, whose job for thirty some odd years included a gun and a badge. I don’t own a gun, but I can use one if the need ever arose (hopefully I never will)

Bones is blunt and does not know when to lie. I could recount in innumerable amount of stories when I was too blunt or not subtle or kind enough to lie. One instance that is engraved in my memory is the one time I made someone cry in a classroom debate. Her name was Rachel and the topic was culture (as an anthropologist without a degree, this was my subject area) we were discussing ethnocentricity and although I am an ethnocentrist, I draw the line somewhere (where exactly I’ve never been able to test). She believed that it was right for one culture to completely assimilate and consume or destroy another, not only that, but that it was the obligation of one stronger culture to destroy another one (she is Mormon, so this idea is central to her faith) I disagreed, I challenged her to compare her beliefs and give examples of that idea in practice. After I while a named a few: Nazi Germany, Emperor Hirohito’s Japan, The Dutch Congo, Apartheid South Africa. Clearly she did not take well to my examples. But I was angry and I needed her to understand what she was saying, so I went on a discourse about the Rwandan and Darfur Genocides (something I feel strongly about, also something reflected in Bones). After a while, past the point when my usually higher pitched voice lowered and my volume rose (entirely subconsciously) in anger and dismay, she began to cry, and I went on, comparing her, her beliefs and her family to Stalin’s Soviet union and other less pleasant examples. Later I apologized and we still manage to get along, despite the fact that she’s at BYU and I am at ASU, and the obvious disagreements in philosophy. But since I’ve begun to practice the Buddhist concept of ‘active self-restraint’ and so far, I have proved to be very good at it.

The last parts of believing in Bones are multiculturalism and multilingualism. Bones speaks English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Latin and German. And she understands the social structures and cultural norms of various cultures and peoples. Something that I believe is essential to the survival of our growing global community. I myself speak English, Spanish, and French and am learning Latin and Italian, and I also understand the social structures of several groups and nations, something that will come in handy when I rejoin the United Nations after specializing in Human Rights and Social Justice in my Doctorate (after a Master’s in Forensic Anthropology) So as a part of being like Dr. Temperance Brennan I believe in interaction and mutual respect in diplomatic relations between countries and even between individuals. I may not believe that you are right, and I might draw the conclusion that a certain person belongs locked up, I will still get along with them, respect them and in return I expect the same.

Obviously, I have some errors to work out, but you get the idea, no?