JFK part 1 notes and copy/pastes

When Seymour Hersh pressed Angleton in 1974, about the events in Dallas, Angleton remarked cryptically, “A mansion has many rooms…. I’m not privy to who struck John.” This seems to indicate that he knew it was something more than Oswald. “My instinct about it is he was basically laying off [blame for the assassination] on somebody else inside the CIA,” Hersh said, “He was a completely crazy fucking old fart.” Perhaps, but its more likely he will be remembered for his maxim, “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the State.” The ‘Wilderness of Mirrors’ had come full circle…Chi Chi Quintero to Carl Jenkins to Rip Robertson to David Morales to William Harvey to James Angleton to Allen Dulles to David Rockefeller…

1.John Martino

“The anti-Castro people put Oswald together. Oswald didn’t know who he was working for–he was just ignorant of who was really putting him together. Oswald was to meet his contact at the Texas Theatre. They were to meet Oswald in the theatre, and get him out of the country, then eliminate him. Oswald made a mistake…There was no way we could get to him. They had Ruby kill him.”

2.Chi Chi Quintero

“Quintero was once quoted as saying: “If I were ever granted immunity, and compelled to testify about past actions, about Dallas and the Bay of Pigs, it would be the biggest scandal ever to rock the United States.””

Gene Wheaton also tells a similar story. He says Oswald was considered by him to be a stooge.

3. Antonio Veciana

“he first told to congressional investigators in 1975: that he saw Maurice Bishop with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas in September 1963, two months before JFK was killed.”

4. David Sanchez Morales

“lifelong friend Ruben Carbajal and a business associate of Morales’ named Bob Walton. Walton told Fonzi of an evening, after many drinks, when Morales went into a tirade about Kennedy and particularly his failure to support the men of the Bay of Pigs. Morales finished this conversation by saying “Well, we took care of that son of a bitch, didn’t we?” Carbajal, who had been present at the confession, corroborated it.

Morales was also named by Howard Hunt as a participant in the JFK assassination.”

Sylvia Odio

“”Leopoldo” and that the American was introduced to her as “Leon Oswald”.[ She said “Leopoldo” told her that the American was in the Marine Corps and was an excellent shot.[6] According to Odio, the American said Cubans “don’t have any guts … because President Kennedy should have been assassinated after the Bay of Pigs, and some Cubans should have done that, because he was the one that was holding the freedom of Cuba ”

HJ Dean: Excerpt from the 1990 manuscript/book CROSSTRAILS. The plan moved relentlessly as Kennedy’s final days dwindled away. I reported the details as they developed to my FBI Los Angeles office contacts. Guy ‘Gabby’ Gabaldon, the casual but cruel ex-marine, world war 11 hero of Siapan, was at any instant in contact with the principals and financiers of the intrigue, but he alone directed and manipulated the foot-soldiers of the infamy.
When the name of a Fair Play for Cuba Committee communist ( Castro’s network in the U.S.) was broadcast throughout the rightist circuit after the airing of an August 1963 radio program from station WDSU, New Orleans, Louisiana, Lee Oswald was “selected” by another of our John Birch Society associates,retired U.S. Army General E.A. Walker of Dallas, Texas. The was then chosen by Gabaldon as the fall guy in the secretive plot against Kennedy. None of us objected, and found it humorous to frame a communist. I quietly considered it as goofy as the weird but hazy arrangements to kill the president.

The Umbrella Man at Dealey Plaza

Who planted the seed in Witt’s mind to heckle the president? Perhaps it was someone who also shared an office in the Rio Grande building, – which included the Army Intelligence, Secret Service and the Emigration and Naturalization Service, who all shared the same cafeteria where Witt said he learned of the Kennedy’s distaste for umbrellas. Was it someone in cafeteria from Army Intelligence or the Secret Service who told Witt of the meaning of appeasement and symbol of the umbrella?

It is a building that Oswald visited a number of times. Witt’s references to Chamberlain’s umbrella and appeasement at Munich are echoed exactly by General LeMay at the White House a year earlier.

In the Marines Oswald’s nickname was “Ozzie Rabbit,” which they said was based on a cartoon character popular at that time, and like Alice goes Through the Looking Glass and into the Rabbit’s Hole to begin her adventure, those who devised the Dealey Plaza operation incorporated Oswald, not as the real assassin or the Sixth Floor sniper, but as the patsy and rabbit that would be set loose to set a false trail and keep the official investigators from the real perpetrators of the crime.

In his book, “A Sniper Looks at Dealey Plaza,” Craig Roberts concurs saying, “I analyzed the scene as a sniper,….(and concluded)…it would take a minimum of two people shooting. There was little hope that I alone, even if equipped with precision equipment, would be able to duplicate the feat described by the Warren Commission,” so neither could Lee Harvey Oswald, or any Level Three sniper.

As has been pointed out, Amos Heacock, the celebrated Marine sniper and Vietnam veteran who went on to train snipers at Quantaco, Virginia, attempted to duplicate the feat attributed to Oswald, shooting the moving target in the head from the allotted distance, and he couldn’t do it.

“I would have never put anyone in the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) with so many locations that were much more advantageous,” Roberts said, “unless I needed a diversion. If I did, it would be a good place for red herrings to be observed by witnesses.”

As seen from the street below, the Sixth Floor Sniper, according to all witnesses who saw him, wore a white shirt (Oswald wore brown), and according to one witness (Amos Eunis) who got a clear view of him, the sniper in the window had a very distinctive bald spot on the top of his head, not a physical characteristic shared by Oswald. Like Oswald, the Sixth Floor Sniper probably had good reason to be there, possibly worked in the building or as a subcontractor or delivery person familiar with the area, or a policeman, someone who it wouldn’t seem suspicious for him to be there.

Nor did he leave immediately, as the Warren Commission Report has Oswald running down four flights of stairs to get to the Second Floor lunchroom in time to be seen there by Dallas Police officer Marion Baker ninety seconds after the last shot. The Sixth Floor Sniper took his time, did not run, and instead, as the photo evidence proves, he moved boxes around, putting one on the window sill that was mistakenly believed to have been used as a gun rest. He was still in the window nearly four to five minutes after the shooting when seen by a secretary from across the street. If not a TSBD employee or contractor, the Sixth Floor Sniper was possibly a police or sheriff’s officer who just stayed nearby and blended in with the other investigators when they began a search of the building.

The sniper’s analysis is that the Sixth Floor, Level Three sniper’s job was to divert and deceive, not to kill, and he did not take the fatal head shot, which was taken by a Level One sniper from a location in front of or behind the target, with a different style weapon and type of bullet, one that shattered on impact.

This sniper’s analysis is supported by the 1998 report by U.S. Federal Attorney John Orr that indicates the bullet that hit JFK in the head was a different type of bullet than CE399 and other bullets fired from the Mannlicher Carcano rifle found in the TSBD. Orr’s report convinced the Department of Justice, the FBI, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) to conduct further tests of CE567, bullet fragments from the limo, no mean feat.

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Commodus, Septimius Severus, The Barracks Emperors and Never Learning

RE: the rule of Commodus from 180-192 A.D. and Septimius Severus from 193-211 A.D., the waning last years of the Roman Empire. Commodus, a megalomaniac who exemplified the problems of the late Empire, was cruel and quite incompetent. Assassinated in 192. And so began the army made Emperors. The Dyarchy of Augustus is transformed into a complete monarchy. After the assassination of Commodus, the Roman throne is sold to the highest bidder, who happened to be Marcus Julianus, only to have the throne and title taken from him by Septimius Severus, who put an end to the Principate, or First citizen, and began the Dominate.
“Enrich the soldiers and scorn all others.”
Although the Severan Dynasty saw extensive public works, it was a state of constant warfare and economic decline. After the Roman army killed the last of his dynasty in 235 A.D., Rome began the period of the barracks Emperors. 26 of them over the next 50 years. During that period, only one Emperor died of natural causes.
Upkeep and maintenance of the army began to tax the Roman economy at this point. Land possession became concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The Proles fled to the city, or sought security in fortified Roman villas, which became Fuedal estates and Castles. The Roman government accrues a large amount of debt and mints worthless coins to increase the money supply( monetary expansion or Inflation).Cue Diocletian, the Tetrarchy, Constantine and the capital move to Byzantium, the Franks and Theodosius I. Minus the last push by Justinian, the end of the Roman Empire as it was known, killed at the Battle of Adrianople in 378 A.D. The legend of Roman invincibility is destroyed.

I Wasn’t Gone That Long: Updates, Favorites From 252, The Renaissance, and The American Analog Set.

But just for a brief period, all work blog related went into my ENG252 blog site, and naturally before that the ENG251 blog site. But alas, here we are again. Home page. Wanted to get a few currents and the going’s on for me: May 4th 2018: finished Western Civilizations class with the final test today. Did well, enjoyed the class. In this class specifically, we covered the time period beginning with the Renaissance(which I now Love, incidentally) and ending in current times. Loved Caravaggio, Jan Vermeer…Louis XIV, The Courtier. This was my first opportunity to delve into the Renaissance and the Reformation, The Enlightenment, a constantly changing and shifting Europe….power grabs and endless conflict over religion, the birth of a new nation, the United States, and its ultimate rise to the most powerful nation in the world. In our last presentation, the question was asked: Are we seeing the end of Western Civilization? In ways, yes. Some would argue that decline started in 1914, and didn’t ease up until 1991 or so….some say it was just after the Spanish American War ended in August of 1898, when America got the taste of Imperialism. Did capitalism play a role? How about the rise of non-western countries, like China, or India?Was Oswald Spangler correct? Let’s take a look at what one could assume to be definite factors of a declining power:
1.) declining birth rates.
2.) stagnant economics
3.) expensive, futile warfare
4.)  loss of western ethics, morality
5.) declining culture, decadence

I had a great Literature class this semester(with one of my favorite Professors, mind you). Before our first class meeting I snuck a peek at the readings list for the semester, and what do I find that is first on the list: An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. And, to be completely honest, the whole reading list stayed on par with Bierce, at some points topping him. Short story recommendation: The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte. I can not truly explain why this story moved me as it did. There are many more, I could list them all, but no. I will list some of the authors that have asserted themselves into literary importance to this author in the last two semesters: Flannery O’Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, Zora Neal Hurston, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Kate Chopin, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Willa Cather(A Wagner Matinee is amazing), Eudora Welty, Crevecour, Phyllis Wheatley, Whitman, Poe, and Jack London.
Seems my soul is searching for some Americana, deadpan style alternative music. Lately, I am in love with American Analog Set, Warpaint, Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile, Wilco, Pinback, Beach Fossils, Interpol…..
Big Math final Monday. Another semester down.

~keep up the struggle

Thoughts on Bill Strickland’s Ted Talk “Rebuilding a Neighborhood With Beauty, Dignity, Hope

 

I chose to review a speech by Bill Strickland called “Rebuilding a neighborhood with beauty, dignity, hope”. It was given in Monterey, California in February of 2002. After watching a handful of Ted speeches, I chose Mr. Strickland’s speech because of the inspiration and awe-inspiring story that the speech told.

Mr. Strickland was dressed in business casual attire, not too comfortable, but business enough to ask for donations to his cause, which I am positive he received. His voice and volume were perfect, especially since he had Herbie Hancock playing piano behind him throughout the speech. When the music from the piano hit a climactic volume, Bill kept his voice in front of it, above it, without yelling. I chose this speech above all the other speeches because I felt this speech was the most effective of all I viewed, partly because of Bill Strickland’s effectiveness as a public speaker, partly because of the message he gave to his audience, which I must say took to him better than all other audiences I watched. Bill had flair, not practiced, honed flair, but a flair that was natural, and the audience ate it up. This speech was a sales pitch no doubt, and I must admit the most noble I have ever seen. The honest story Bill told during his speech sold itself. The audience had already bought Bill Strickland within the first minute of his speech. Mr. Strickland used slides to illustrate his various projects and again he had Herbie Hancock playing piano during his entire speech, which at first I thought might be a major distraction, but It was brilliant. It was perfect, the only speech I viewed with this ingenious touch. It worked wonderfully with Mr. Strickland’s speech and the audience seemed to like it as well.

Mr. Strickland was very organized in his timing, and effectiveness of reaching every person in his audience. Bill gave his audience information they already believed in, here’s a good example from the speech and a perfect overview of Mr. Strickland’s message: “If you want to involve yourself in the life of people who have been given up on, you have to look like the solution and not the problem” (04:22). People in this audience did not buy into Bill Strickland, or his speech, because of what Bill does, they bought into Bill Strickland and his message because of why he does it. This speech was so successful because the audience believed in the message Mr. Strickland was giving and had to become a part of it. That, in my opinion, is the foundation of the success of this speech. The audience bought every joke, which was delivered with immaculate timing I might add, applauded on cue without prompt, and the moment Mr. Strickland thanked them for letting him speak to them, they were on their feet applauding him. Throughout the speech, I could see audience members physically agreeing with Mr. Strickland’s words, nodding in approval. There seemed to be a few hundred people there, and Bill was brilliant in body language, his presentation and the way he had the crowd with his words. I must admit, after watching this speech, I did a little research on Bill Strickland and actually bought his book, I guess he was that effective he sold me as well. Overall, great speech which I had originally thought I would not use due to it’s length (35 minutes 24 seconds). I am glad I gave it a chance. It was by far the best speech I viewed. The story is inspiring, it is courageous.

Revisiting O’Connor’s “Good Country People” ~ A Mrs. Hopewell Journal/Letter Final Chapter?

Things Are Looking Up at The Cedars

It was three weeks ago yesterday Joy was left in that barn loft. As you know, that monster of a man (I use the word man very loosely, as he was far from a man) took my daughter’s leg and glasses. Can you believe it? We have been all upside down here at the house ever since. We sure got taken for a ride I reckon. Mrs. Freeman and I had to go get Joy down from that loft, Lord you should have seen her face. You would think that monster took her soul. I am here to tell you she was broken. The whole way home she wouldn’t speak to us and for that matter, she wouldn’t even look at us. That was a long walk home with none of us talking, not sure what to say or what not to say. Joy was sensitive and ornery before this scoundrel did this to her. We did not want to put gasoline on a fire.

It has been a long three weeks let me tell you. Joy (she refuses to be called Hulga anymore and get this, this coming up Monday, she wants me to take her to the courthouse to get her name changed back to Joy) spent the first three or four days locked in her room. She has been crying a lot and has thrown away all her books that made no sense to me anyway. She still has crying fits from time to time, but the space is growing farther apart in between those fits of crying, as more days pass. One thing I must give her, god bless her, that monster Manley or Flem or whatever his real name is may have taken her leg, her glasses and for all intents and purposes her foundation in life for all she knew, but Lord knows he didn’t take her meanness. That child is some kind of stubborn. But, in her defense, it is a different stubborn now. In all my years, I never thought that I would say this, but I think this tragic event happening to Joy was the best thing that could have happened! It’s the little things that have changed you know? Do not get me wrong, she still stomps around the house in the morning and lords over those eggs like they are going to jump out of the skillet. I do not think that will ever change. But other things have changed and all for the better, I might add. Joy has started accompanying us on our evening walks as of late. Not the whole walk mind you, she could never walk that far on her new prosthetic, but she is trying! She has also taken to sitting out back behind the house and writing in a red notebook and, just between me and you, I peeked over her shoulder the other day and lo and behold the girl is writing poetry. I never thought I would see it in my time. It looks funny to write it and not think it, but it seems that Joy is starting to try and locate a little joy for herself. She seems to have acquired this astute determination about her, this drive to find who she is on the inside. But that is not the best part: yesterday she had me go with her down to the schoolhouse so she could find out what she had to do to become a teacher. Can you believe it? She told me she wanted to teach the little ones how to read and write. Yep, things are looking up around the cedars if I do say so myself.

Before I forget to write it down I just wanted it on record that Manley Pointer, the “Bible salesman” from a few counties over that caused all this mess, is actually Flem Snopes, from Yoknapatawpha County, in Mississippi. Apparently, his Daddy had gotten into some trouble over there and got himself killed leaving Flem and the rest of his family to fend for themselves. Well, Ol’ Flem made his way over here to our neck of the woods and well, you know the rest. He was picked up over in Meriwether County a few days after leaving here for trying to steal Brother Wright’s fake eye and dentures. I tell you there are all kinds of people in this world.

 Thoughts On Paper

And the trapped have become the takers…..
Laughing, we must depart these rampant parts with chagrin. Blind and trustworthy we are out to steal the night.

Sight, so deep as to conceal slight, inconspicuous inconsistencies.
It’s shaky ground at best. To live or die by percentages. The diabolical have more places to hide and maneuver. Shaky hands in search of the broadsheet, the oracle of logic mainly lost to the just surviving. Insight is earned these days. To have it, and to have the ability to recognize it are two aptitudes unlike each other. One can admit the easier, less challenging appeals to the model mystic, less burden on your constitution to blend with the moral non-hackers, who wash out with the first ethical test of will~ the first social obstacle course makes tidy work of imposter dispositions. That’s where the stalk of a man lies, is it not?
The untouched nature so engrained in one’s spirit and being…..It is what and part of the why. Without the biased choice. It just is.
We can find that innate being within ourselves to offer the quaintest bit of light in this utmost darkness. It’s been there all along. Maybe it was waiting for us to get out of its way….for us to trust it.

We walk into morning Purposeful – meaning to blind eyes & abundant souls. Who requires rewards in this humble encapsulation of meaning?
You may walk proudly at your dreams and at your feats…..sink into the discipline of a quasi-Dorian Gray.

A painting of you, only getting happier, and slightly more insightful.

 

The Karate Kid vs The Kung-Fu Kid

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The Karate Kid versus The Kung Fu Kid

When Hollywood remakes a film, the formula for acceptance and recognition is a virtual walk on a tightrope. Generally, the concept behind remaking a movie is staying true to the original storyline and theme of the film being remade.  Perhaps someone should have informed Harald Zwart, the Director of the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid, that this balance in filmmaking is an intricate cog in the wheel of success. Mr. Zwart and his crew decided to work outside the parameters of this rule and mix things up a bit. A bad decision for those who appreciate cinema. The 2010 remake was co-produced between China and Hollywood, requiring a refinement in the story due to China footing the bill on most of the budget and about half of the filming taking place in China. Also, having a pre-chosen main character who is vastly different in age than the original main character required a story adaption as well. It is because of these changes to the storyline of The Karate Kid the 2010 remake loses the focus of the relationship theme that centered the original film.
The 2010 remake did manage to weave some of the intricate details of the 1984 version into its new storyline. The displacement theme stayed true for both main characters. Daniel moved from Newark, New Jersey to Los Angeles, California in the original film. His successor, Dre Parker, moves from Detroit, Michigan, to Beijing, China, in the remake. Also, both main characters also arrive in these new locations minus a father figure, which plays heavily into the backstory of their respective characters and their relationships with other characters. Another example is both the original and the remake keep their brainwashed bullies intact, Daniel having to deal with the Cobra Kai and their Gestapo-esque handler Johnny. Dre finds himself at odds with Cheng of the Fighting Dragons in the remake. The lack of a father figure for both main characters and the bullying to boot neatly add emphasis to the handyman role, who turns out to be the friend and mentor that brings balance to both main characters. In the original, Pat Morita played this role. The 2010 remake found Jackie Chan in this slot. The female interest aspect to the original storyline also follows over, though convoluted in the 2010 version due to the age changes of the main characters. Furthermore, both films end with our underdog hero winning out over all obstacles and tribulations in an overdramatic fight scene.
Where the 2010 remake begins to skew from the original film released in 1984 intersects in some places with the details that remained similar, while other additions to the story make no sense at all. The setting for the first Karate Kid is Los Angeles, whereas the remake takes place in Beijing, which entails its own storyline issue, as karate originates in Japan. No matter- the remake pushes on despite this story detail and young Dre learns Kung-Fu. Additionally, to accommodate the pre-chosen main character for the 2010 version, the director had to change the age of “the kid” to twelve, unlike the original character’s age of sixteen, relegating some of the carry-over aspects of the storyline, such as the relationship between the main character and the female love interest. Brian Eggert, in his review of the 2010 remake on the Deep Focus Review Webpage, sums this alteration up very nicely: “What’s more, Smith was an eleven-year old while shooting this film, though his character is twelve, but he looks about eight or nine. This presents a major problem when we are made to have our hearts swell when he kisses his violin-playing sweetheart (Wenwen Han), or engages in rather violent fights that look ridiculous because he and the other children in the film are so small” (Eggert, deepfocusreview.com). From viewing the original film, it is understood that the reason Daniel is singled out for bullying by Johnny and the Cobra Kai lies in Daniel’s pursuit of a relationship with Johnny’s ex-girlfriend, who so happens to be the movie’s female lead. This aspect of the story is not transferred to the 2010 remake, which was a critical error in judgment as it applies to the major theme of the original film. The change of the main character’s age coupled with the love interest tie to the bully took a major part of the original storyline away, completely changing the relationship angle of the film. Manipulating the age of the main character to accommodate Hollywood money made the relationship between the main character and the female lead questionable at best, downright unbelievable at worst.
The original Karate Kid found its lasting qualities within its emphasis on the relationships inside the film. This is exactly where the 2010 remake loses the center. In Brian Eggert’s review of the original Karate Kid on The Deep Focus Review Webpage, he summarizes this aspect as follows: “the audience is more concerned about Daniel gaining enough confidence to be with Ali, or Daniel honoring Miyagi with a fine performance in the tournament. These relationships are central to the story more than fighting. As Miyagi teaches, honor and balance in terms of the spirit and body are superior concepts to merely destroying everything in one’s path with a karate chop” (Eggert, deepfocusreview.com). One of the running themes of the 1984 Karate Kid was balance, in a mental and physical aspect. The word balance is not spoken in this context once in the 2010 version. Through Daniel’s relationship with Miyagi (Pat Morita), we learn more about life than we learn about self-defense. Moreover, the audience loses out on the remake in its relationship with the main character, who comes across as arrogant, and a bit crass. When Dre is bullied, one is less likely to feel the sympathy for his character due to his disposition. This is in direct contrast with Daniel, (portrayed by Ralph Macchio) who in 1984 scored an unforgettable place in the hearts of audiences with his vulnerability and with his ability to pull emotion from an audience scene per scene, as he needed in the original film.

Altering the original storyline of The Karate Kid forced the directors to put more emphasis on the fight scenes in the remake. Due to the lack of substance, as it relates to the relationship aspect of the 1984 version, the 2010 Karate Kid relies too heavily on violence, in direct conflict with the original story that downplayed violence for values and balance. By modifying the storyline to fit into a Hollywood agenda, the age change of the major character in the 2010 remake makes the better portion of the new film unconvincing, specifically in the love interest angle of the original film. Adults know a twelve-year-old does not understand the inner workings of a relationship that complex. The Karate Kid (2010) lost its credibility the most when it discontinued the ability for the main character to learn karate, hence the name The Karate Kid. They assumed no one would notice the main character was learning kung-fu, which is completely different than karate. Why not change the name to The Kung-Fu Kid? Agenda from movie producers would not allow it. These reasons make the 2010 remake fall very short of the intent of the original Karate Kid, that karate is only for self-defense, and Kung-Fu is for the remake, and for profit from brand recognition only.

kungfukid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Eggert, Brian. “Deep Focus Review – Movie Reviews – The Karate Kid (1984).” http://www.deepfocusreview.com/reviews/karatekid.asp. N.p., 06 June 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

Eggert, Brian. “Deep Focus Review – Movie Reviews – The Karate Kid (2010).” Deep Focus Review – Movie Reviews – The Karate Kid (2010). N.p., 11 June 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

The Karate Kid. Dir. John G. Avildsen. Perf. Ralph Macchio Noriyuki “Pat” Morita Elisabeth Shue. Columbia, 1984. DVD.

The Karate Kid (2010). Dir. Harald Zwart. Perf. Jaden Smith Jackie Chan. Columbia, 2010. DVD.

 

 

Carpe Vitae: Rory O’Shea vs Hulga Hopewell Character Analysis

Carpe Vitae: Living Life or Succumbing to Physical Disabilities

Living with a disability comes complete with challenging obstacles in an already convoluted life. Some of these obstacles are obvious, such as the lack of ramps for those who rely on a wheelchair, not enough material offered in Braille for people who are challenged visually, or lack of closed captioning for people with hearing impairments. Other obstacles physically disabled persons face might not be so obvious, such as society’s prejudices against people with disabilities, or low self-esteem the disabled person feels every day. It is a personal choice to either claim the disability and make the most of life or let the disability control and devour.  When the reader meets Hulga Hopewell in Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People”, it is apparent that she has let her disabilities define her. On the other hand, when the viewer meets the main character in the movie Rory O’Shea Was Here, it is obvious Rory has chosen to make the most of life and play the cards he has been dealt. While both Rory O’ Shea and Hulga Hopewell have physical disabilities that obstruct their ability to live a normal life, Rory has made the wise choice to live life to the fullest. Hulga has chosen to let her disabilities control and define her as an arrogant and hateful person.

Hulga Hopewell is ashamed of her prosthetic leg and her weak heart. She was born with the weak heart and acquired the prosthetic leg in a hunting accident when she was 10 years old. One of the perplexing things about Hulga is she left home for college, obviously doing well enough independently to reach the level of a Doctorate degree in Philosophy, but oddly moved back home after college and fails to exhibit any interest in changing that arrangement. She exploits every opportunity she can to be mean, hateful and arrogant to everyone around her. Hulga is a proclaimed atheist that has no intent to help others nor improve her own existence in life. She has let her weak heart and prosthetic leg infect her and disfigure who she is at her core. These disabilities have brought her unhappiness and left her feeling cheated in life, which explains the atheism. Hulga must feel a fair and just God could ever allow this atrocity on anyone. In the story “Good Country People”, Mrs. Hopewell speaks of Hulga’s unhappiness and unappealing behavior as a choice Hulga makes, she says: “Sometimes she went for walks but she didn’t like dogs or cats or birds or flowers or nature or nice young men. She looked at nice young men as if she could smell their stupidity” (O’Connor 441). The core of Hulga’s existence is a rude, hateful temperament that wishes the same unhappiness she feels on all around her.

When we meet Rory O’ Shea at the beginning of the movie Rory O’ Shea Was Here, he is arriving at the latest of a string of institutions in which he must call home. With his hair in spikes, black boots and leather jacket, he is being rolled into the foyer in his wheelchair. The administrator of the facility demands Rory introduce himself, which he does in the following manner: “Rory O Shea. Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Besides the full vocal range, I have the use of two fingers on my right hand, sufficient for self-propulsion and self-abuse”. (O’Donnell, Rory O’Shea Was Here) Rory is 20 years old and from living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He knows most who have this disease do not live past their mid-twenties. Rory is quick-witted, foul-mouthed and very charismatic. From his sharp sense of humor and infectious smile, we learn he is far from giving up on life. He seeks independent living desperately knowing his time to live is limited and feeling caged by having to follow the rules of institutionalized living. He befriends another resident of the institution, Michael Connolly, who has cerebral palsy and because of the disease a serious speech impediment. Rory talks with Michael being the only one who can understand him, and finds out he has been institutionalized his whole life, never having the chance to live on his own or make his own decisions. During a most touching scene between the two, Michael and Rory are talking about living on your own and doing things normal people do, Michael asks Rory, “What’s out there?” and Rory responds, “What’s out there? Out there is out there. I should be out there. Michael, don’t you want to be like everybody else? To get drunk…. get arrested…. get laid?” (O’Donnell, Rory O’Shea Was Here). It is in these crass questions Rory’s desire for life is found. It is these nuances that reveal his passion for living while he still can. Throughout the movie, Rory pushes the limits of all around him finally achieving independent living for himself and Michael. By doing so, we do not see a selfish act by Rory, we see an act of selfless service.

Rory O’Shea uses the resources around him to attain his goal of living independently. The same could be true for Hulga if she strived for a fulfilling life. In fact, people that live with disabilities account for the biggest minority in the world (Caprino, Forbes.com). For example, the website for the Center of Disease Control shows that in 2015 22 percent, roughly one in five adults has a disability. Of that 22 percent, 13 percent (one in eight adults) suffer from a mobility limitation(www.cdc.gov). That is the most common functional disability type. Both Rory and Hulga fall int o this category. Both have made different life choices due to their personal disabilities. Rory has chosen to live as close to normal as possible. Hulga, on the other hand, has given in to her disability and let it turn her into a jaded and arrogant person. From John Ditsky’s overview of “Good Country People”, he says of Hulga “she contents herself with a Philosophy that abhors the contemplation of nothingness and an attitude that holds her above the “nice young men” of the region” (www.go.galegroup.com). She only wishes the same unhappiness she feels on everyone around her. Rory has accepted his disability, claimed it his own. Hulga cannot accept that the life she has, prosthetic leg and all, is fate. She cannot recover from this fate and decide to modify and move on. Ironically, similar arrogance can be found in both Rory and Hulga, of course for different reasons. Rory has a burning desire to live as self-reliant as he can which is saying a lot as Rory is completely dependent for basic accommodations in life such as eating, bathing, and travel over distances. Hulga Hopewell is arrogant and rude for selfish reasons. She only lives to badger and belittle all those she meets. Holding a degree in Philosophy she must be intelligent. It is a shame she let her disability define her she could have made a difference in the world by showing others who are disabled that nothing can stop a successful life when the right attitude is in place.

Every person who lives with a disability has the choice to embrace that disability and use the resources that are found in their community or what is available to them. Each person who has an ailment that offers a unique challenge in life has the option to assess what it would take to live a meaningful life and not miss anything the world has to offer. Rory O’Shea decided to live independently and show others who were dependent on care facilities for the disabled how they also could find the same freedom he fought for. While Rory is wheelchair bound and needs others to supply him the basic necessities of life, Hulga Hopewell chose to see her prosthetic leg, weak heart and bad eyesight as a weakness, and it changed her into a mean, arrogant person whose only happiness lies in judgement of others. Hulga never accepted her fate and never made the decision that she would claim her disability and be the Philosophy Professor she wanted to be. Rory made the wise choice by choosing life.

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Works Cited

Caprino, Kathy. “The World’s Largest Minority Might Surprise You, And How We Can Better Serve Them.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 14 Apr. 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2017. <https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2016/04/14/the-worlds-largest-minority-might-surprise-you-and-how-we-can-better-serve-them/#6beb0f5c496f&gt;.

 

“CDC: 53 million adults in the US live with a disability.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 July 2015. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

 

Ditsky, John. “Good Country People: Overview.” Reference Guide to Short Fiction, edited by Noelle Watson, St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resource Center, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GLS&sw=w&u=avl_cvcc&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CH1420006057&asid=404316791d2c50e32d1bb151fb5fc847. Accessed 13 Apr. 2017.

 

O’Connor, Flannery. The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, and Writing. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martins, 2016. Print. “Good Country People” pgs. 438-451

 

Rory O’Shea Was Here. Dir. Damien O’Donnell. Working Title Films/Studio Canal, 2004. DVD.

Victorian Monsters and Gender Roles From The Time…..

From the beginning of this course, it was apparent that Men ruled the Victorian society(as the hierarchy of the culture viewed it) and women had segmented duties and roles in that society. The further along we traveled in this journey, the more this system, and it’s rules and societal viewpoints became evident. A few examples: The Brides of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula…..anything that appealing and voluptuous must be of a macabre origin….fallen women as Victorian society would gauge it.  How about the lack of women altogether in a few of our stories? These little nuances, these hints, these clues we get as to the “place” of women in Victorian land…… school for finding a suitable husband, the “angel of the house”; that passive, docile, ever supportive woman that this time period built. I have wondered since the beginning of this class if any of these authors ever pondered the fact that the social view kept at the time would not last forever, that maybe women at some point in the near future would attain a higher level as society goes, and claim more as power positions go……and this attitude, this assumption of women’s roles would serve as a stain……just a thought. Keep reading my friends~ more blogs coming soon! T

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