Best Student Essays
DESTRUCTION & WARFARE SELF DIAGNOSIS WOMEN SAINTS VISUAL STORYTELLER
RETURNING FROM WAR LOCATING THE SELF CONGRESSIONAL CONTRIBUTION
BEING CAREFULLY TAUGHT Volume 24
Best Student Essays Volume 24 - Fall 2012 - Number 2
Elizabeth Thayer Editor-in-Chief * Anthony Derryberry Design Editor * Veena Patel Science Editor * Copy/Research Editors: Anna Adams Stephanie Delgado Krysten Julian Vital Mazor Bryan Wilcox * Jim Fisher Business Manager * Special Thanks To: Leslie Donovan Daven Quelle Carolyn Souther The Daily Lobo Staff
Cover Art: â€œAylaâ€? by Taylor Cheek
Correspondence may be addressed to: Best Student Essays UNM Student Publications Marron Hall 107, University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001 (505) 277-5656 email@example.com www.beststudentessays.org Copyright 2012 by the University of New Mexico Student Publications Board. Best Student Essays is published biannually by the University of New Mexico Student Publications Board. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the UNM Student Publications Board or the Best Student Essays staff. This issue of Best Student Essays was printed by: LithExcel 2408 Alamo Ave. SE Albuquerque, NM 87106
A Word from the Editor Elizabeth Thayer
Welcome to the Fall 2012 issue of Best Student Essays. In this issue of BSE are eight excellent essays that represent some of the best student work here at the University of New Mexico. We are lucky to have two excellent artists grace the front and back pages of the magazine, Taylor Cheek and Frol Boundin. This magazine would not have been possible without the hard work and determination of my staff members. They worked tirelessly to present in classrooms across campus, posting flyers, and editing these essays. I would like to thank Jim Fisher, Leslie Donovan, Daven Quelle, Carolyn Souther, the Student Publication board members, ASUNM, and GPSA for their continued support of this magazine. Best Student Essays has been publishing excellent student work for twenty-four years. I am proud to add another issue of BSE to this longstanding tradition. Enjoy.
Back Cover Art by Frol Boundin
CONTENTS Red Imported Fire Ants vs. People:A Relationship of Destruction and Warfare Amy Adams -Page 4 Diagnosing Tina Faris
The Evolution of the Hagiography of Women Saints Gianna May
Visual Storyteller Natalia Jácquez
Ox’s Eyes Andres Lazo
Locating the Self While in Crisis: A Comparative Study of Substance Dualisms Gabrelle Saurage
The Preferences and Motivations of Business PACs: An Examination of Congressional Contributions within the U.S. House. Clayton Lobaugh -Page 31 We’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught: Learning from the Courage of Rodgers and Hammerstein Lorien Megill -Page 37 Statements from the Cover Artists Cover: “Ayla” by Taylor Cheek, Back Cover by Frol Boundin A Final Word Elizabeth Thayer
-Page 40 -Page 42
Red Imported Fire Ants vs. People: A Relationship of Destruction and Warfare Amy Adams
In 1930, an import from Southern Brazil arrived in the ports of Alabama (Reed, Smith 100). Unbeknownst to the crew members, their cargo included living organisms that would ravage and thrive in the Southern United States of America. This unintentional introduction of Solenopsis invicta, or the red imported fire ant, began a relationship called “The Fire Ant Wars” (pbs.org), which continues raging between people and fire ants today. Fire ants exploit and destroy resources, attack humans and animals, increase harmful insect populations, and decrease beneficial insect populations. People eradicate fire ants by any means necessary, including pesticides, animal and plant controls, and viral infections. The history between people and fire ants consists of destruction by both parties, and to this day a state of total warfare defines the relationship between the two.
“Quarantine Zones” (pbs.org), directly comparing the fire ant population explosion and its associated problems to an epidemic. One of the reasons why humans despise fire ants is because they obstruct agriculture. According to the extension report Ken Kelly filed with the Baldwin County Office in Alabama, fire ants attack farm workers as well as equipment such as cutters and water pumps. They also infest bales of hay, leading to attacks on farm animals and preventing hay sales. Kelly reports fire ants consuming livestock, though this behavior is “normally only associated with immature animals during summertime when fire ants are starved for food and moisture.”(Kelly, 1). Kelly also complains that the harvest system becomes less efficient due to fire ants because the height of cutters must be adjusted, in order to avoid disturbing fire ant mounds. All of these situations are costly to farmers, and Kelly concludes, “we are willing to sacrifice whatever it costs Fire Ant Destruction to treat our land and get rid of fire ants.”(Kelly, 1). Fire The history of fire ants’ settlement in the United ants also obstruct agriculture through their dietary choicStates consists of fire ants wreaking havoc and overcom- es. For example, fire ants can directly destroy crops by ing population control measures, which explains humans’ eating both the seeds and the mature plants (Kelly). Fire overwhelming hostility towards them. The United States ants also indirectly destroy crops based on the arthropods spends over 6.5 billion dollars each year because of dam- they eat. Except for caterpillars, fire ants generally avoid age caused by fire ants (Sternberg, Perry, Britton 330). consuming other pests that prey on agricultural crops. InThe fire ant problem has spiraled so out of control that stead, they consume beneficial insects (Stiles and Jones, various areas in the Southern United States are labeled as 171). According to entomologists Coppler, Murphy, and 4
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Eubanks, “In both years of our study, aphid abundance was significantly greater in tomato plots with high den- Fire Ant Behavior and Biology sities of fire ants than in plots where fire ant densities In order to understand why fire ants are so dewere suppressed” (419). Biologists Judith H. Stiles and structive, one must understand how fire ants function. Robert H. Jones also report that in fields infested with Fire ants currently infest 300 million acres across thirfire ants, “Light levels, spider abundance, and herbivore teen states (PBS) due to their reproductive system (Taber abundance…were low” (171). Cases such as these reveal 45-54). In addition, fire ants’ diverse eating habits allow that other pest populations increase along with fire ant them to proliferate and thrive on the human food syspopulations while benign animal populations decrease. tem. Their defensive behavior lies behind the burning Agricultural problems demonstrate that fire ants wreak stings that destroy equipment and injure people. All of havoc in non-urban areas, but they also cause problems these behaviors and biological adaptations result in the for urban-dwellers through attacks on both peomost efficient way for fire ants to survive. The fire ple and electrical equipment. Fire ants often ant caste system ranks the queen above all mistake electrical currents as prey and/or other ants. The fire ant queen mothers all “Humans enemies, so they band together in order of the ants, and she can produce up to have not been able 500,000 offspring whereas other types to sting and bite electrical equipment (BBC). Fire ants continue their as- to successfully devel- of ant queens typically produce about offspring (pbs.org). The enorsault until they no longer sense elecop extermination mea- 10,000 tricity, attacking electrical appliances mous number of offspring produced until they break. An unknown numsures that target the contributes significantly to the fire ber of traffic accidents throughout ant overpopulation problem. Three to reproductive cycle.” five nests become established in a givthe Southern United States occur due en area after the mother colony releases to fire ants breaking traffic lights (BBC). Incidents of fire ants attacking and breakalates (sexual ants) just once (Taber, 45-54). ing microwaves also exist, especially if the ants It is difficult to disrupt the alate releases become positioned inside active microwaves (BBC). The because of their vast numbers and mating ritual. Humans body mass and high temperature tolerance (Francke, Co- have not been able to successfully develop extermination kendolpher, 104-13) of fire ants allows them to destroy measures that target the reproductive cycle. Successfully the microwave without burning to death (BBC). mated females shed their wings upon landing, and they Fire ants attack humans by banding together, dig- dig nests in order to establish new colonies. It takes about ging their mandibles into the nearest piece of flesh, and six to ten days for the eggs to incubate and hatch (Taber stinging seven to eight times per ant (Barncastle). The 45-54). The fire ant reproductive system is highly effieffect becomes amplified hundreds of times as multiple cient, so it is not too surprising that fire ant populations fire ants partake in stinging. Almost immediately the vic- abound. Large numbers of ants are consistently produced tim feels a burning sensation from the fire ant venom, during the warm months of the year. These nests can surand within twenty-four hours swollen red pustules form vive the relatively warm winters of the Southern United at the sting sites (abcnews.com). Unless infection occurs, States, and continue the cycle again the following spring. the pustules fade in a few days (ABCNews.com). Fire ant Fire ants are omnivores, which increases their survival attacks can end tragically if allergic reactions occur. Ana- chances. Worker ants prefer to eat sugars gathered from phylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction. Typical side plants and human food (Taber 37-41). The need to feed effects include dizziness, shock, chest pains, and nausea sugars to worker ants leads to crop destruction and occu(pbs.org). For example, sixty year-old Bob Cunningham pation of urban areas. Younger ants need proteins in order of Florida died of anaphylactic shock in 2008 after an to develop properly. Fire ants desperate for food will go attack that took place while walking his dog (Barncastle). after livestock, and will act unusually aggressive (Kelly). Another fatality occurred in 2006 to Janet Wallace Roedl Fire ants’ defense system relies completely on Shiansky, a sixty-eight year-old woman who lived in South chemicals, this allows them to rally together and sting Carolina (abcnews.com). At least eighty American deaths anything they perceive as a threat, including humans. Fire from fire ant attacks exist on record since 1930. Children ants release chemical alarms whenever they sense a threat. and people sixty years of age or older are the most at risk They release the alarm by raising their gaster, or abdomen, (pbs.org). as high as they possibly can (Taber 41). This behavior is Best Student Essays
called “gaster flagging” (Taber 41). Any worker ants in the vicinity sense the alarm, causing them to repeat the alarm. The alarm repeats rapidly, until every worker in the area knows of the threat (Taber 41). Swarming and attack quickly follows. Usually the worst cases of swarming occur when a fire ant mound is disturbed. A large concentration of fire ants is always stationed at the mound, and they all rush out of the entrance together immediately after recognizing a threat. The ants prioritize the well-being of the community over self-preservation, and they mindlessly sacrifice themselves in order to remove the threat. This is a main reason why greater injuries result from attacks that take place near a fire ant mound. Fire ants become more aggressive if the threat to the queen and young is high.
Fire ant baits are the second type of chemical extermination, but parasitic fungi are also effectively administered through this type of extermination. Humans exploit fire ants’ tendency to eat anything and everything they can hunt and gather. The baits exist in pellet form (Tufts, Spencer, Hunter, Bextine 238), and they seem like an excellent source of sugars to the fire ants that collect them. Sodium alginate composes the pellets (Tufts, Spencer, Hunter, Bextine 238). Sometimes the pellets contain one or more of the variety of chemicals that can kill and/ or weaken them. However, the more popular and successful type of bait contains a fungus called B. bassina (Tufts, Spencer, Hunter, Bextine 238). Viruses are also administered to fire ants through pellet baits. Entomologists Tufts, Hunter, and Bextine studied the potential Human Extermination Measures extermination uses of a single-stranded RNA virus that Instead of gaining respect and sympathy towards only infects the red imported fire Ant. The virus is called fire ants upon understanding their biology and behavior, S. invicta virus-1, or SINV-1, and it kills fire ants with a humans utilize the knowledge to develop and develop ex- 96%-97% success rate under laboratory conditions. The termination measures. Humans administer chemical an- virus infects ants at all stages of life, including larvae. This ticides by taking advantage of ant defensive and foraging could finally address the fundamental problems humans behavior. The United States also promotes measures to face with fire ant overpopulation, for this virus could potentially disrupt the unchecked, efficient fire ant reproinfect fire ants with diseases and parasites from South ductive cycle. Fire ant extermination through America that naturally prey on them. In order viruses only recently emerged in 2010, so to locate fire ant mounds that manage to application of the viruses is not yet widesurvive extermination, humans also train “Humans exploit spread. Therefore research indicates dogs to identify chemicals that fire ants excrete for communication purposes. fire ants’ tendency to that SINV-1 is the most effective of eighteen strains of virus that infect The most popular kind of fire ant ineat anything and everysecticide is the liquid mound drench. fire ants in the genus Solenopsis. In this type of extermination, a per Biological controls of fire ants thing.” son sprays liquid composed of ant-killthrough animals such as the phorid ing chemicals directly over a fire ant fly advance humans’ policy of fire ant mound. According to Jerry Naiser, the annihilation. Porter, Graham, Johnson, most effective way to administer the drench Thead, and Briano studied the effects of reinvolves exploiting the fire ants’ defense mechleasing the Northern Argentinan fly, Pseudacteon anism. Before spraying the entrance of the mound, the litoralis Borgmeier, in Alabama (208). The fly lays its eggs, exterminator should agitate the mound entrance with a and the baby flies emerge by decapitating the ants (209). stick. A large concentration of ant workers will swarm the A single phorid fly effectively kills one thousand fire ants stick, and as they attack the stick they should be sprayed. a day (209). Unfortunately, phorid flies find the weather The fire ant workers will become directly exposed to the more inhospitable than fire ants, so phorid fly populations poison, and those that do not die immediately will carry do not increase as dramatically as fire ant populations. the poison back to the queen and offspring. The main Dogs also function as a form of animal control for fire target of any chemical anticide is the queen, and drenches ants through their ability to smell chemicals. The dogs are effectively reach the target because the chemicals gradual- trained similar to bomb-seeking and drug-seeking dogs. ly sink down to the queen’s quarters in the tunnels buried Dogs can smell the alarm chemicals that fire ants release, beneath the sprayed area. According to research conduct- and these chemical alarms consistently sound during a ed by entomologists Layton, McAdory, and Hudson, the human extermination effort (Hui-Min 226). Chinese redrenches collectively possessed an 89%-100% efficiency search with the fire ant-seeking dogs revealed that if a fire ant nest contains at least ten individuals, the dog can lorate (42). 6
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cate the nest 98% of the time (Hui-Min 225). This result is significant because extermination methods fail miserably if enough of a colony is left to reestablish itself. The dogs allow exterminators to determine if a mound is alive or not. Conclusion People detest Solenopsis invicta for their destructive practices, especially in the United States. Americans hate the red imported fire Ant because this exotic, alien species presents expenses and danger no matter where it dwells. Although the fire ant thrives in the USA, it does so at the expense of everything around it. Clearly the fire ant belongs in South America, for the natural parasites and diseases introduced from those areas can reduce the population levels best there. The fire ant population stretches across the Southern United States from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast, and people furiously counter this population explosion with extermination techniques. Now the predominant human perspective of fire ants calls for their eradication. Even with humans’ best efforts, the population explosion doesn’t decline. Extermination methods discovered since 2010 could turn the “Fire Ant Wars” back in the favor of people. The decades ahead will reveal the next step(s) in the adverse relationship between people and fire ants.
Works Cited Alison B13th, , prod. Floating fire ant bridge. 2011. Web. 30 Apr 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r04kAnzgjR4&feature=player_embedded>. Animals Behaving Worse: In the Line of Fire. pbs.org. KNME, 2012. Web. 30 Apr 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/ animals-behaving-worse/in-the-line-of- fire/909/>. Antlab GT, , prod. a floating fire ant raft is pushed down on the surface of water . 2011. Web. 30 Apr 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=2bdry7_5qck>. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bdry7_5qck>. Barncastle, Mary. “Fire Ant Bites Kill Florida Man.” pravada.ru. Pravada.ru, 9 Jan 2008. Web. 30 Apr 2012. <http://english.pravda.ru/ society/anomal/01-09-2008/106266-fireantman- 0/>. BBC , prod. Fire Ants vs Humans. 2008. Film. <http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=3vVUh- 194vU>. Beware of the Bugs: Fire Ants Can Kill Americans. ABCNews.com. Good Morning America, 2 July 2006. Web. 30 Apr 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Health/story?id=2143091&page=1 Coppler, Laura B., John F. Murphy, and Mickey D. Eubanks. “Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Increase the Abundance of Aphids in Tomato.” Florida Entomologist. 90.3 (2007): 419-25. Print. Fisher, Brain L., and Stefan P. Cover. Ants of North America: A Guide to the Genera. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. 141142. Print.
Francke, O.F., and J.C. Cokendolpher. “Temperature Tolerances of the Red Imported Fire Ant.” Fire Ants and Leaf Cutting Ants. (1987): 104-13. Print. Hui-Min, Lin, Chi Wei-Lin, Lin Chung-Chi, Tseng Yu-Ching, Chen Wang-Ting, Kung Yu-Ling, Lien Yi-Yang, and Chen Yang-Yuan. “Fire Ant-Detecting Canines: A Complementary Method in Detecting Red Imported Fire Ants.” Journal of Economic Entomology. 104.1 (2011): 225-31. Print. Kelly, Ken. “Extension Report.” Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Baldwin County Office, 23 May 2006. Web. 30 Apr 2012. <http://www.aces.edu/counties/Baldwin/pages/StableFliesandFireAnts. tmpl>. King, Joshua R., Tschinkel, Walter R.”Range Expansion and Local Population Increase of the Exotic Ant, Pheidole Obscurithorax, in the Southeastern United States (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).” The Florida Entomologist. 2007. 90, pp. 435-439 Layton, B., J. McAdory, and H. Hudson. “Effectiveness of Fire Ant Mound Treatment Products for Home Lawns.” Midsouth Entomologist. 3.1 (2009): 42-43. Print. Naiser, Jerry. “Fire Ant Control, Austin, Texas.” RealGreenLawns.com. Real Green Professional Lawn and Green Care, 2007. Web. 30 Apr 2012. <http://www.realgreenlawn.com/austin_texas/lawn_grass/fireants.htm>. Porter, Stanford D., L.C. Graham, Seth J. Johnson, Larry G. Thead, and Juan A. Briano. “The Large Decapitating Fly Pseudacteon Litoralis: Successfully Established on Fire Ant Populations in Alabama .” Florida Entomologist. 94.2 (2011): 208-12. Print. Reed, Jack T., and David B. Smith. “Comparison of Two Treatment Methods and Four Insecticides for Control of Individual Fire Ant Mounds.” Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. 1080. (1999): 100-5. Print. Sternberg, Troy, Gad Perry, and Carlton Britton. “Grass Repellency to the Red Imported Fire Ant.” Rangeland Ecological Management. 59 (2006): 330-33. Print. Stiles, Judith H., and Robert H. Jones. “Top-down Control by the Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta).” American Midland Naturalist. 1.146 (2001): 171-83. Print. Taber, Stephen Welton. Fire Ants. 1. Galveston: Texas A&M University Press, 2000. 32-54. Print. Tufts, Danielle M,Wayne B. Hunter, and Blake Bextine “Discovery and effects of Texas Solenopsis invicta virus [SINV-1 (TX5)] on red imported fire ant populations.” Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 104.3 (2010): 180-85. Print. Tufts, Danielle M., Kyle Spencer, Wayne B. Hunter, and Blake Bextine. “Delivery System Using Sodium Alginate Virus Loaded Pellets To Red Imported Fire Ants ( Solenopsis Invicta , Hymenoptera: Formicidae).” Florida Entomologist. 94.2 (2011): 237-40. Print.
Best Student Essays
Diagnosing Tina Faris
I bought a kit to grow my own herbs. To be more specific, the herbs were called zingy cinnamon basil, tangy lemon balm, and cool & fresh spearmint. I remember hating the names, thinking they were very twenty-cent supermarket knock-off. I opened the kit, feeling the peat swell in the one and a half cups of warm water. The seeds were about half the size of a grain of sand. I sprinkled them slowly across the soil, yawning. A week earlier dad and I had gone over to grandpa’s to plant his garden. He was crouched over his stomach on his couch feeling sorry for himself. You would feel sorry for him too if you saw his claw foot and oozing ankle. It now had nails going through the heel. Nails going through his heel. Nails. That’s all I could picture. I could see them through the cotton and tan ankle wrap. And then I was lying in the plowed garden. It was moist and seeped through my t-shirt. Underneath me I felt some worms eating their way through the decomposed vegetable rinds. I could hear it moving through the segments of their bodies. I still knew they were blind. They told me to open my eyes, or maybe someone called my name, but I think the worms had something to do with it. I woke into a darkening sky, but I could still see the reds bleeding, the end of the day. There were worms all in my hands and I felt them inching along my palms. Cold and anxious. They started turning all at once to look at me with eye-less faces, accusing me. Couldn’t you see them accusing me? People have said that Prozac is used to treat depression. 8
And OCD, sometimes eating disorders, other times panic attacks. “It’s multidimensional—like you,” dad would say. In any other context, that would be okay. But reader, tell me whether or not you think it a compliment when a father is comparing his daughter to an antipsychotic drug. Your answer has to be no. I think he was trying to be loving—well maybe not loving, but relieving. It was probably more relieving for him, so he could tell himself his daughter wasn’t a nut. So I was on Prozac when I went to grandpa’s. Side effects may include anxiety, extreme drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, abnormal dreams, sweating, abnormal heartbeat, memory loss, weakness, and drowsiness. And when I woke up on the soil, it was probably a combination of these, but I didn’t know. Dad had left again. He wanted to pretend I was happy, or maybe that I didn’t have panic attacks, or could it be obsessive compulsions? It’s not that I don’t want you to not know what I have, I just want you to see that these are all related. There’s no need to pull apart each diagnosis and analyze it. And judge me in the process. There isn’t. But of course you don’t believe me. And all you want to know is what mental illness I have, right? It’s real though. Freshman year I went to a counselor, Ms. Heude. Then I had depression. And what I mean by this was that I was always tired and couldn’t focus. I didn’t like things I used to love, photography, trying on old clothes from the 70’s, eating melted chocolate as I tanned on the roof. Mainly what came up in the
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conversation was my dad. Something like “he’s always are on that same continuum. They change with time and fake around me. Like he has two different personalities, context. So, I had to tell it to you this way. A way in but the other is also a fake.” I think I would’ve said some- which I had strange mental hallucinations and memory thing like that. But she would never ask “how does that lapses because of the Prozac. And it may not be Prozac make you feel, Christina?” She would be too personal and I’ve taken, per se, to rid myself of instability, but it was say something casual like “Yeah. I know what you mean. something similar, the idea at least. And you can say deI have a sister like that.” She was not my best friend. pression was true. It’s debatable on the others, but isn’t Her boundaries were out of line. I would try to fill her everything debatable? Aren’t facts always changing? Diagshoes and turn the situation around. I used philosophical noses too? And I did have sensory issues as a kid. My socks questions and intellectually burdened words. I should’ve known she’d just agree and have the same answers. I left. and my hair and my t-shirts with tags. And the way vel Then I took a bunch of psychology vet had a coarse opposition to what my fingers courses. I diagnosed myself with a sensory “I was trying wanted to feel. It made me immediately integration dysfunction, where I couldn’t rub some other fabric, disgusted. The to show you how cope with textures to the point of emopsych courses were true. The counseltional distress. The seams of my socks fleeting a moment or. were a particular tantrum-starter. If Daddy problems. What do you could be. How any sitthey didn’t line up correctly, meanthink? Maybe they were really probing precisely on top of my toes, I uation can be miscon- lems with my mother. Or maybe would throw my tennis shoes across they were both. Does it matter to strued, misunderthe room at the door and scream. The you? Does it matter when you know seams, you see, had to line up perfectthere’s been some kind of discourse in my stood.” ly. Not a single half-inch could be dangling family? You can relate. No one’s family is over my pinky toe or oppositely over my big normal. toe. And I could scream loud. Dad used to come in and just face me as I glared. I screamed and glared, screamed ____________________________________________ and cried, then glared and screamed and cried at the same time. He would roll another pair of socks over to me and This was an attempt of imitation of Lauren Slater’s leave. Every morning took an extra hour and I would be Lying. I attempted to replicate subject, tone, and form, all on late for the bus, fuming. surface levels. Slater’s subject dealt with a deeper issue than Later I tried diagnosing myself as schizophrenic, her diagnosed problem. She had family dilemmas. In her then bipolar. I did the typical diagnoses first, the really Afterword, she explained that she had been diagnosed with well known ones. After I couldn’t differentiate enough, multiple mental disorders, but her question was, were any of I tried others that were less heard of, or maybe just less them really true? The tone towards her audience in Lying was talked about, more bad “ju ju” related to them. These almost accusatory, but somewhat pleading. She wanted her were the personality disorders. These were the lifelong, reader to understand what she was experiencing, so she chose pervasive, and chronic diagnoses. At one point I was His- to directly address her audience. The tone towards her subject trionic, then Borderline and Schizoid. Obsessive-com- was inquisitive—there was always an inherent questioning pulsive dropped in there too. I was, I am, a medley of in attempts to understand her situation. It didn’t matter if undiagnosable mental disorders. these diagnoses were factually true because they were emotionally true for her, addressing the larger issues she wanted to tackle. Afterword: I did plant a miniature herbal garden last night. I did go to my grandpa’s garden a week ago. My dad and I went. We planted yellow and zucchini squash, cucumber, bush beans, tomatoes, onions, corn, and giant pumpkins. He never disappeared. I never woke up on my back. I was trying to show you how fleeting a moment could be. How any situation can be misconstrued, misunderstood. Our mental state is on a continuum and our relationships Best Student Essays
The Evolution of the Hagiography of Women Saints
From the beginning of the sixth century, the most common female saint was that of the Holy Queenâ€”one of noble or high birth who contributed money to a monastery and exemplified the practice of faith. Moving into the high and later Middle Ages, there was a gradual, but steady, increase of saintly laywomen, as well as a change in the expected behavior of women to achieve sanctity. Instead of demonstrating religiosity through martyrdom or wealth, women devoted their lives to God and received suffering and pain in His name. They took a more active role in the conversion of others and attempted to take control of their own religious lives. This clashed with the centralization of the church and the cloistering of nuns by the clergy. However, in spite of this, women still found ways to show their divinity, and further tried to press their presence in practicing religion. Their hagiographies, or the biographies of these saints, at this time displayed the transition from holy queens to pious laywomen, and further illustrated the new ideals of sainthood and its relation to behavioral social norms in women, whether the clergy agreed with it or not. Early medieval female saints came from a higher class; specialized religious roles were reserved for the more privileged, and the only other way to achieve sanctity was 10
to join a cloister and become a nun. Many hagiographies (also called Vitae or Lives) at this time were targeted towards these religious communities, occasionally representing patrons of specific abbesses and monasteries, who would, in turn, promote the cult of the saint. These Vitae would furthermore have a biased hierarchical structure, with emphasis on the social elite and their personal values. Although the Lives did attempt to display royal saints as humble to allow the lower classes to relate to them, the sense propriety was never lost. In one narrative, a royal saint, Radegund, uses her own divine power to make sure this structure stays in place when a certain servant woman named Vinoberga had the audacity to sit on the saintqueenâ€™s special throne (cathedra). Radegund was then said to have reached down from heaven to exact swift punishment on this woman for her extremely unseemly or improper behavior. At this very early point in medieval history, a female saint was made if she had an extraordinary status. Through her high birth, a saint would have power and ability to help the church, through founding monasteries by donating dowries, and in return, would be recognized for their religious dedication. Furthermore, many of these early female saints took on the role of generous patrons
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or abbesses. For example, the queen-saint, Margaret of These restrictions emphasized continual prayer Scotland (1046-93) occupied her sainthood as a patron; and restricted almsgiving. At this time, the largest number she contributed a great deal to the church, and, unlike of female saints continued to be cloistered women, who St. Radegund, she remained in the secular world and did still looked to create a foundation of a female order in not leave her duties of the court. In spite of her responsi- association with the new male one. Hagiography changed bilities as queen, she also lived a quasi-monastic lifestyle, to reflect this as well, altering with “the rise of mendicanand partook in fasting and long vigils, practicing humility cy, the transition from rural to urban life, the cult of the and austerity. Other female saints at this time were also Virgin, the rise of national states, the war against heresy, seen to be nonviolent and passive in their worship, as op- the new emphasis on the humanity of Christ, and the political struggles of the papacy.” The Vitae of St. posed to the later Medieval Ages. The hagiographies also emphasized “monastic spirituality, Claire of Assisi best suits this new model as it with its requirements of alienation from transitions into the late medieval period. the world, humility, harsh asceticism, a “She starved her- One of Clare’s first religious acts fascination with the passion of Christ, was founding an order for women to readiness of martyrdom, [and] the self and her son and parallel the order of St. Francis and cultivation of mystical experiences.” gave away nearly all the his Franciscans. Clare is often paralThe Lives themselves were written by leled with the hagiography of Franalms she begged for.” men, whose intention was to provide cis, but is never his equal, due to her a model for the nuns and holy women “lesser” gender. This is further illustratto follow, even if it meant changing the ed by Clare’s connection and supposed true histories, as they did with St. Radeimitation of the Virgin Mary. Her hagioggund’s Life, which had several different verraphy implies that Clare’s Life imitates Mary’s sions. However, although the clergy sought to emvirginity and maternity, which creates a model that phasize this social norm and enlist controls to ‘reinforce is specifically for women, thus restricting Clare in the fetheir own concepts of ideal female behavior,’ women in male sphere. The anonymous author of Legend described the later Medieval period began to be more active in their this, stating that sanctity should “let the men follow the religion, whether the clergy approved of it or not. new male disciples of the Incarnate World; let the women As the thirteenth century came around, the power imitate Clare, the footprint of the Mother of God, the and centralization of the church changed; a more institu- new leader of women.” The key in this is that Clare did tionalized structure emerged, which greatly devalued the write about following in the ‘footprint’ of a religious figrole of women in public life and took away their power to ure, but in her writing, the figure was Jesus Christ, not control their own money. Now, women had to rely more Mary. This fact best demonstrates the use of hagiography on their husbands and families, and convents were de- to teach a lesson, regardless of the historical truths. On prived of funds from the church and made unable to sup- the one hand, in historiographical terms, this is problemport their own inmates, let alone take care of the poor, an atic because it gives a male centric view (as it is generally action that had been an important part of female sanctity. written by a man) and ignores women’s own take on sancSaints had given up their wealth in the name of becoming tity. However, it also gives insight to how a male domipart of the “voluntary poor,” such as Margaret of Corto- nated world perceived these women and dealt with their na, who was determined to become a saint. She starved increasingly powerful attempts to suffer for Christ and herself and her son and gave away nearly all the alms she prove their righteousness. begged for. But now, the new institutionalization of the In spite of the church’s pressure to cloister womchurch restricted women from even considering playing a en in their convents and restrict their ability to give to part in the voluntary poor. the poor, women still maintained their sanctity through By the end of the thirteenth century, female obstinate methods. Women of noble birth began to recommunities were systematically pressured to embrace a ject their material goods and live amongst the poor, begcloistered rule and withdraw into dependency, conceiv- ging for money. This is evidenced in the Hagiography of ably because their right to the goods they renounced was Elisabeth, the widow of the Landgrave of Thuringa, who somewhat ambiguous in a society increasingly bent on ran away from her wealthy life, and whose compassion channeling wealth to and through men.’ ‘helped set a new moral standard, which equated poverty with morality and wealth with immorality.’ For women Best Student Essays
who were not able to give away their wealth due to lack the later period, extreme asceticism through near-starvaof it, for there was a great proliferation of laywomen and tion and mutilation was what made female saints blessed. married women becoming saints in the later Middle Ages, Virginity and chastity were emphasized throughout, but sanctity was proven through suffering. Because women this ideal was most extreme in the middle of the medieval were denied their role in the voluntary poor, they resorted period, when a woman had to completely reject her husto voluntary suffering, where they practiced self-depriva- band or potential suitor in order to remain sacred. These tion and self-mutilation to express their servitude to God differing versions of the topoi illustrate the perception of and ‘remain in the giving class.’ Food was one of the cru- what an exemplary holy woman should be, and further cial components to this experience of voluntary suffering. demonstrates the target audience intended. With the rise of detailed Lives in the high It was metaphorically connected to Christ’s body and to women in general, who lactated and provided nourish- Middle Ages and the rise of laywomen as saints, as opment. Several holy women at this time abstained from posed to holy queens, normal laywomen could seek to regular sustenance (sometimes relinquishing normal food emulate the actions and behavior of those placed above completely), and instead thrived off of the blood and the world. And, although the hagiographies of these febody of Christ in the Eucharist. If this host was denied male saints were subject to male bias and were edited to to them, then God would intercede with miracles and vi- achieve a specific message, women did have their influencsions to “nourish” them. The importance of food led to es; in placing more emphasis on suffering for Christ, they extreme fasting, which was often paired with other were able to mildly shape their histories and boldly forms of suffering, such as sleep deprivation display their attempts to put female sanctity and self-injury. in their own hands. Regardless of what “Women of These actions would be done the clergy did to restrict them, they still noble birth began managed to prove their worthiness to as a ‘renunciation of the world,’ or would be used as a form of purgato- to reject their material achieve sanctity. ry on earth. Hagiographers spoke of abstinence [from food] as prepara- goods and live amongst tory to and simultaneous with true the poor, begging for feeding by Christ. It was identificamoney.” tion with Christ’s suffering; […] it was also service of others. […] The Hagiographers and the women themselves saw self-starvation and illness as extensions both of Christ’s suffering on the cross and of the pains of purgatory. Women, such as St. Christina ‘the Astonishing’ had visions and believed that, by suffering, time tormented in purgatory would reduce and, once her own penance was repaid, she could suffer for others’ sins to allow them access to heaven without having to experience the anguish of limbo. This new practice, in light of a restrictive clergy, allowed women to find ways to continue in their sanctity and perform spiritual charity. The hagiographies of women saints in the medieval period tended to focus on “saints as models of suffering and inner spirituality.” Of course, what made a female saint throughout this period did change, but there were certain characteristics, such as visions from God or the state of virginity, that remained a constant topoi to indicate a saint. The variations between the different categories lied in the spectrum in which such characteristics could fall. Holy queens could show their devotion to God simply through a monetary contribution, while, in 12
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Bibliography Primary Sources: King, Margot H., ‘The Life of Christina of St-Trond by Thomas of Cantimpré’, in Medieval Saints: A Reader, ed. Mary-Ann Stouck (Toronto, Canada: Higher Education University of Toronto Press, Inc., 2008), pp. 436-452 Mooney, C.M., ‘Imitatio Christi o imitatio Mariae?: Clare of Assisi and her Interpreters,’ in Gendered Voices: Medieval Saints and their Interpreters, ed. C. M. Mooney (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), pp. 5277 Scott, K., ‘Catherine of Siena and Lay Sanctity in Fourteenth-Century Italy’, in Lay Sanctity, Medieval and Modern : a Search for Models, ed. A. W. Astell (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000), pp. 77-90 Secondary Sources: Bynum, C. Walker, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: the Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), pp. 13-30; 113-146 Duffy, E., ‘Holy Maydens, Holy Wyfes: the Cult of Women Saints in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth Century England’, in Women in the Church (Studies in Church History), Vol. 27, ed. W. J. Shiels and Diana Wood (D.S. Brewer, 1990), pp. 127-157 Goodich, Michael, ‘The Contours of Female Piety in Later Medieval Hagiography’, in Church History, Vol. 50, No. 1, eds. Dr. John Corrigan and Dr. Amanda Porterfield (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Mar., 1981), pp. 20-32 Lewis, K.J., ‘Gender and Sanctity in the Middle Ages’, in Gender & History, Vol. 12, Issue 3, ed. Lynn Abrams, Sarah Chambers, Eleanor Gordon, Ruth Mazo Karras, Regina Kunzel, and Alexandra Shepard (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2000), pp.735-734 McNamara, J.A., ‘The Need to Give: Suffering and Female Sanctity in the Middle Ages,’ in Images of Sainthood in Medieval Europe, eds. R. Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Timea Szell (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), pp. 1-221 Schulenburg, J.T., Forgetful Sex: Female Sanctity and Society, ca. 5001100 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 18-55 Webb, D.M., ‘Women and Home: the Domestic Setting of Late Medieval Spirituality’, in Studies in Church History, Vol. 27, ed. Diana Wood (London: Nelson, 1990), pp. 159-174
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Visual Storyteller Natalia JĂĄcquez
How do you tell a story in a photograph? Professional photojournalists have the answer to this question. Every photo they take is a representation of the person, event, or incident that has happened and was noted newsworthy. A photojournalist entails a process for every story theyâ€™re assigned. From the moment photojournalist is sent into the field he or she has a purpose of photographing a story and representing it as best they can. Roberto Rosales, 43, works as a photojournalist for The Albuquerque Journal, and as an instructor of photojournalism at the University of New Mexico. He is in the business of storytelling photographs. Rosales is one of the few Latino photojournalists in New Mexico. Born in El Salvador, Rosales made the journey to America with his brother to meet their mother in Washington D.C. when he was 10 years old. He graduated high school in D.C. and came out to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico and received a bachelor of fine arts degree. Since, he has taught photojournalism in El Salvador, New Mexico, and worked for The Albuquerque Journal for the past 12 years.
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Volume 24 - Fall 2012 - N0. 2
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Volume 24 - Fall 2012 - N0. 2
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Ox’s Eyes Andres Lazo
“Did you kill anyone?” That’s the question that most Americans have frequently asked me after coming back from the Iraq War. Far from the war, before people looked me in my eyes again, or before giving me a firm handshake to say, “Hello.” Yes, even before that warm hug I longed for to welcome me back home to the United States, the cold question was: “Did you kill anyone?” Answering this question reminds me about the dreadful time I spent surviving in the Middle-East, and what I learned from our interpreter, an unexpected teacher, the Iraqi man we called “Ox”. (Ox, of course, was not his birthname, but rather a Westernized nickname that we used to protect his identity.) Ox helped me to look both inside myself and outside the closed borders that we commonly used to build structure in a foreign land unhinged by war. For me, Operation Iraqi Freedom began when my boots touched the scorching Kuwaiti airport tarmac in the late fall of 2006. I naively traded the American freedoms and conveniences I had taken for granted as a child, to count down the days until I would leave a place we called “The Sandbox.” (“The Sandbox” consisted of the current armed force services combat theatre.) After arriving in the country of Iraq (moving during night flights), I was soon indoctrinated with the rules that lawyers, politicians, and military generals had termed, “The Rules of Engagement (ROE).” Our training on the ROE consisted of various written rules neatly lined and stamped in black and white letters that interpreted our “acceptable actions,” defined our “hostile threats,” and hinted at the international consequences for breaking such rules. Our ROE was hammered repeatedly with our military doctrine, our prac-
ticed step-by-step policies and procedures, and the threat of international law (or shame for our country) under the Geneva Convention. In reality, life outside our Forward Operating Bases (FOB’s) was uncertain, a random “coin-toss” of events that made it difficult to interpret our ROE, and even more difficult to do the “right thing.” “Outside the wire” was a world filled with tectonic-splitting 110-millimeter sized bombs adapted to make Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s). These IED’s became our daily “Russian Roulette” while traveling in Up-Armored Steel Humvee trucks on muddy roads, over numerous potholes, and alongside open sewage canals. When one of these IED’s struck, it sent you on trip that started with loss of consciousness, mind-shattering doubts of choices, and ended with burning chasms of persistent ringing. It left behind a burn-in of deep painful memories, forcing me to question my own cemented moral compass, and for the first time I quickly tried to numb my nerves by seeking relief in smoking cigarettes habitually for the first-time. Rules were cloudy in the fog of war, and fear was ever-present when you could be carried forward as you played “hero” or you were left paralyzed in place as you came face-toface with your own demons. That winter was long, uncomfortable, and deadly for our US Army 25th Infantry, 3-509 Battalion, HHC Scout Platoon. Al-Haswah, Iraq from 2006 to 2007 was defined by numerous IED strikes that wrinkled us up into salty eyed military combat veterans.
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“Route Cleveland,” was a constant reminder of random me forward. I demanded that the children “Get the hell and indiscriminate bloodshed during that 13-month de- off the road! NOW! NOW!!! You better listen to me now ployment to Iraq. It was an unfinished road that dissected KIDS!!!” Up close, I saw light brown eyes in the boy and sky much of Al-Haswah, extending to the city of Al-Iskan- dariya to the west and moving east into the countryside. blue eyes in the small girl. As I approached, they remained It was marked by Iraqi Army and police checkpoints, con- stiff, terrified to move, their eyes practically popping out stant reports of small-arms fire, and jagged IED craters of their faces. I paused in that moment, unclouded from that made a twisted road for joint American-Iraqi forces. my anger it became apparent to me that someone much I remember “Route Cleveland” best because I almost died older than these young children must have sent them to there twice in one year, and also because it was labeled Route Cleveland. Finally, I threw the shovel in the wheel“Tier-1″ for being a reminder of the boundaries of our barrow and kicked it off the road. I pointed to the house (perhaps older eyes were pointing back through hidden very human actions. One Iraqi spring day, under the 122 degree Fahr- blinds) and they obediently ran away. I shouted more obenheit heat lamp beating sun, I learned more about war’s scenities to myself, but even I was in shock now. After the dangerous path and my close proximity to immediate children left, my right finger dropped from my rifle trigdeath. With no eyes in the sky (helicopters overhead) we ger and I started shaking. I shook, a small eruption started spent much of our week stuck in tin-boxes; our Up-Ar- from inside myself, a potent mix of adrenaline and my demored Humvee trucks remained parked in the middle and layed fears, and it became stronger. I started shaking more lining the road that was a Tier-1 Site: Route Cleveland. I because I was afraid of myself and heightened by the lines remember pulling boring guard duty shifts in the Humvee that war could make us cross when we tried to survive. roof turret and forcing sips of lukewarm water from my Time doesn’t slow down when an IED hits you; Camelback bladder. I would peer down my binoculars it actually speeds up. The night of October 21, 2007, at the road’s horizon, and randomly at the craat 2255 hundred hours, my life changed fortered “Route Cleveland” for any foolhardy “I pointed to ever on Route Cleveland. It was a loud bomb-setting terrorists. In a moment of then high-pitched ringing followed by the house (perhaps how surreal war can be, it was then a deafening silence. Enclosed in a vacthat two children, one boy (no older older eyes were point- uum, all sounds were dampened, but than 10 years) and his small framed I could see in the dirty haze burning sister (maybe 6 years old) brazen- ing back through hidden metal-glass raining from all direcly came within our machine gun blinds) and they obedi- tions. Without fail, I pulled my digcrosshairs when they jumped onto ital GPS from my front tactical camently ran away.” “Route Cleveland” in the mid-afterouflage pocket and read the words on noon. Trash scavengers for sure. MRE the glowing neon screen: 38 – SIERRA (Meals-Ready-to-Eat) hunters were com(S) – MIKE (M) – BRAVO (B) – 403 – mon in big city areas when we Americans 383. “Grid location is MIKE BRAVO 403 would casually throw our trash out of our Hum383” I then picked up the M240B machine gun vee windows. We had our orders to shoot anything that that was knocked over to the left side in front of me and moved on a Tier-1 Site. In fact, these two children carried placed it back on its metal holster. It rested snugly back in with them a wheelbarrow and even a shovel (which were the special Humvee turret seat, and then I could orient it used as evidence against bomb-setting terrorists). Conse- up, down, left and right again. I dropped the grey metal quently, we peered at these young children as a hostile rifle magazine near my right arm, which at this point was threat with the intent to plan attacks under our ROE. In ripped and scattered apart. I could see that 5.56-millimethat moment, I let my rage move me and I jumped off the ter bullets poured down through a damaged case down roof of our Up-Armored Humvee. Rifle in hand, I could below the turret hole. I locked my rifle back and loaded it feel my right finger, which traced the curve of my trigger forward with a fresh grey, metal rifle 40-round magazine mechanism (for weapons, a pistol was also at my side, but of 5.56-millimeter bullets. I was ready to fire again. At last, I asked the Humthis time it remained holstered.) I started yelling “KIFF!” “QIF!” (pronounced COUGH) because it was the only vee driver, truck commander, dismount, and our interIraqi verbal warning I knew to say, “HALT!” I must have preter, Ox: “Anyone hurt?” Pieces of thick turret glass and sounded like bloody-hell, and my yelling seemed to carry Up-Armored Humvee metal had created a pinball effect 24
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when struck by the powerful EFP (Explosively Formed Projectile). Copper slugs hammered back and forth towards my machine gunner position and walloped my head aimlessly. The hot, molten copper pieces dented the right side of my helmet, and left a caved-in impression. Remaining jagged metal-glass pieces that fell in the chaotic rain cooled in my arms and hands. That night I was evacuated. I tried to wash away the pain, the mix of dirt, metal, sweat and blood when I made it to a shower. My pupils still looked dilated in the mirrors, and I screamed the entire “Ranger Creed” by myself. I screamed because some way, somehow, I was still alive. What I learned most about surviving in a foreign land and the consequences of flirting with death, was from our interpreter, Ox. Ox and I had somehow lived through more than a dozen IED strikes, one RPG (Ruchnoy Protivotankovy Granatomyot – Russian for a hand-held antitank grenade launcher), one VBIED (Vehicle-Born IED) suicide bomber, and hundreds of scattered small-arms fire hit-and-run attacks. We worked together on countless missions for joint American-Iraqi forces in the dark, endless night hours, starting with sudden wake ups to look through the green glow of night-vision goggles, while flying in Blackhawk and large Chinook helicopters or traveling in Marine amphibious vehicles and old worn out Army M113 tanks. Ox was with me the first night our Humvee was hit and the last night, as I was pulled out after we survived the EFP on Route Cleveland. Burning memories of working together in combat, facing uncertain violence head on, and living through pain when so many people had lost their lives, sealed our bond and we were now brothers. Since I was leaving the amber sunsets of Iraq, I could only think “How was I going to say goodbye to Ox?” My last message to him was: “Don’t trust the Americans. Take care of your family, brother.” I wanted Ox and his family to find a way to survive. Well, I wanted all of us to survive and leave Iraq. Ox was the most patriotic person I had ever met. In spite of a lot of terrible things all around us, Ox had worked hard to connect very different people by linking the power of words. Ultimately, Ox’s words and daily work saved the lives of hundreds of Americans, including myself. On the inside, I do not remember the color of Ox’s eyes; instead, I remember his discerning scowl, the determination of his stare before a mission outside the wire, and the boldness of his desire to make his country a better place. I continue to follow lessons from Ox and the human lives that were once entangled between the neatly written black and white set of rules. So many young men and women went to war and didn’t come back home
to look their loved ones in the eyes, shake their father’s hand, or even give their mother a warm hug again. When I answer that cold question, I think of their courage, and remember the lasting impressions that burn when I close my eyes tight. No, I never killed anyone. Yes, I remember my friend Ox’s eyes: in the face of uncertainty, in a world at war, words are still more powerful than bullets or fists, and our humanity survives as the best part inside each of us.
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Locating the Self While in Crisis: A Comparative Study of Substance Dualisms Gabrelle Saurage
During a crisis ordinary conceptions of self and the normal boundaries of consciousness may be brought into question. In this paper I explore ontological implications suggested by such a crisis while considering two systems of substance dualism: the Western or Cartesian concept of MindBody and the Indian system of Sāṃkhya and its concept of Pūruṣa-Prakṛti. Intro to the Systems Sāṃkhya is a classical orthodox Brahmanical system of natural philosophy dating back to 200 C.E. “Sāṃkhya” means enumeration or number, and most of the Sāṃkhya-Kārikā, one of the founding texts, is a listing of the components of the natural world. Sāṃkhya posits two “substances”: a material one, “prakṛti” (nature), and pure consciousness, “pūruṣa” (person). Pūruṣa is immaterial, eternal, and sentient, while prakṛti is the material world, always changing and insentient. There is both a psychological and cosmological component to the Sāṃkhya system, whereas Cartesianism seems to be more personal. René Descartes, while not exclusively responsible, most concisely expressed a latent intuition most Westerners feel in his famous Meditations that is, a distinction between the interiority of the mind and the materiality of the extended body. In a sense,
he subjectified our minds while objectifying our bodies with his dualistic “thinking thing” concept of selfhood. Whether we have been cultured to think this way or not, in the West we rely on this dualism for self-identification Most of the time in such a way that we rarely question the subject-object internal-external schema. But as mentioned before, a crisis may bring this into question. The Crisis Loss of identity induced by trauma or crisis is a well-documented phenomenon, but what are perhaps less explored are the ontological implications of identity separation. I had what could be considered an ontological crisis while in labor with my daughter; that is, my “consciousness” split in two. At first I thought I was experiencing Mind and Body as separate states, but that I, the self, was equally both or perhaps neither. I was self-reflectively traumatized as I endured the physical and mental event of natural childbirth. Although I associated the self-reflection with the “mind” side (and certainly of all times in my life I was most acutely aware that this was exclusively my body), I did not associate the “mind” side as Self. I was equally a traumatized intellect and an enduring body.
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The real curiosity was not the split. Modern psychology would call this adaptive dissociation. In general, dissociation can be beneficial to people undergoing trauma and is largely considered a normal coping ability. However, we should not dismiss dissociation simply as a disorder when this “natural” state may reveal a disclosive phenomenological event. The ontic dissociative event may have ontological implications. What is most curious about my dissociative experience is that the categories of Mind-Body did not match up, specifically in regards to pain. Pain in the Brain Pain is one of those undeniable experiences of ownership that philosophers like to point to when examining selfhood and identity. Yet this is exactly the phenomenon that did not align with the Cartesian Mind-Body analogy. My pain was not associated with the “body” side. My experience of pain while in labor—both the wrenching physical endurance and the equally excruciating mental anguish—was experienced by the “mind” side. My “body” side was simply enduring, surviving; while the “mind” side was thoroughly suffering. So who or what is suffering? Modern Western analytic philosophy is concerned about pain and the brain. Saul Kripke, in Identity and Necessity, does not want to reduce pain, a mental state, to be identical with a brain state. Kripke argues that a mental state cannot be identical to a brain state because if they are identical, then they must be so necessarily. His argument is as follows: since we can conceive of one state existing without the other (pain existing without a brain state) they cannot be identical. Here the modern analytic philosopher may invoke the “possible worlds” explanation: there is a conceivable possible world such that pain could exist for an entity that has no brain state. But I find this questionable. Has such a brainless mental world experiencing pain ever been demonstrated?The “possible worlds” explanation is just a more elaborate version of the Cartesian MindBody problem. Positing a “mental world” is purely metaphysical. It does not get any closer to answering how the Mind interacts with the Body at all. In fact, several problems arise when we give the Mind-Body substance dualism a hard look, here
I will discuss three that seem most important. Problems with Substance Dualism: Irreducibility Are mental states irreducible? In Cartesianism we speak of the mind as if it is a unit, a single object. Why do we believe the mind is a unit and why do we speak as if it is identical with Self or the “rational soul”? How are Mind and Body related to personal identity? Derek Parfit says, “identity is all-or-nothing” in his essay Personal Identity. Mathematically this is justifiable—any object must at least be identical with itself. But is this an appropriate way of thinking of the self? From a legal perspective, yes. Unitizing the self to determine property ownership or define personal rights is socially productive, but conceiving of a single identical unit moving through time and space, growing up and growing old, becomes problematic, conceptually and philosophically becomes problematic. Legally, we are equating identity with a body, which would make the body irreducible. Yet, both the “irreducible” Mind and “irreducible” Body are known to change over time, and in response to each other. How are they separable, irreducible, and also one-in-the-same? Aren’t mental and physical states interdependent? Even without a crisis in mind, more common, less traumatic physical events create mental events everyday: such as ingesting certain chemicals, from caffeine to LSD, exercising, or even being outside on a pleasant day. An intense physical trauma can create a mental condition (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for example), and modern psychoanalysts have developed a variety of treatments for such conditions. But when we think of the Self as an object, a unit or a body that induces mental states we risk sliding into epiphenomenalism. Epiphenomenalism is the philosophy that mental events are caused by physical events, more importantly, that the interaction is one-way. Epiphenomenalism reduces us to mere spectators of our lives, which Cartesianism does not want to assert ultimately, but then it’s still not clear how the Mind interacts with the Body.
“My “body” side was simply enduring, surviving; while the “mind” side was thoroughly suffering.”
Interactionism One of the strongest analytic arguments
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against Mind-Body Cartesianism is its inability to account for mental causation—that is, how can a mental substance act upon a physical one (Watson 1966)? Cartesianism posits two substances, a physical one and a mental one, separable but “correlated”. Correlation does not imply causality, yet the phenomenological experience of being a self seems to. Mental activity is both engaged with and acted upon by physical activity . We never experience an exclusively mental state. Citing physically dormant states while mentally active, such as sleep or coma, does not qualify. Mental states, whatever they are, are still only verified by observed physical activity, such as electrical activity in the brain. There has yet to be evidence of a purely mental state in which no physicality is associated. Which brings into question the validity of a purely mental state or the idea that Mind is separable from Body at all, and further casts significant doubt on the possibility of a brainless “possible world”. So where is consciousness? Localization Consciousness resists location. As “thinking things” in Cartesianism, we tend to situate our Self inside our bodies; we are effectively a Mind housed in a Body. This promotes the desire to locate consciousness in the brain (for Descartes consciousness resides in the pineal gland, and for Aristotle in the chest), but if we locate consciousness in physical space we struggle with separating the brain and an abstract “mental space”. How can consciousness be (1) separate, (2) correlated, and (3) within the physical substance?
familiar ego sensation, the Cartesian thinking “I” is ahaṃkāra, but it is also a reflection. If we can extract the actions of perceiving from knowing within consciousness—we have better correlations to the Sāṃkhya divisions of the cognitive functions. Buddhi is the knowing function of the mind, and manas is more akin to perception. Therefore, perhaps Mind-Body can be more intimately and accurately be sliced into Knowledge-Perception. Still neither represents the Self-proper, they only point to brain functions. For Sāṃkhya, consciousness is pushed out of the mind, even out of the material world. Pūruṣa is not synonymous with a “mental space”. Therefore, the line of division between the two substances in Sāṃkhya is askew and perhaps stranger than the Mind-Body divisions of Cartesianism. Sāṃkhya, however, faces the same challenges as Cartesianism does with interactionism and locality, but the demarcation between the “substances” creates significantly different solutions. Because “prakṛti” is an “insentient evolute,” Sāṃkhya has a different conception of causality. It’s a satkāryavāda system—that is, all effects preexist or are latently present in their cause. Therefore, causality does not depend on correlation between substances. The cosmos evolves of its own accord. Pūruṣa does not actually interact with “prakṛti”. In fact, the goal of liberation is for pūruṣa to realize this non-interactionism deeply. Ultimately pūruṣa was/is never really part of this material world at all, therefore consciousness is not located in the brain. There is no conflict between “physical spaces” and “mental spaces” for Sāṃkhya. Therefore experience of pain can just be in the material brain. In the Muṇḍaka Upanishad, an ancient text that predates (but influenced) the Sāṃkhya-Kārikā, there is a wonderful narrative about two birds sitting in a tree: Two birds, companions (who are) always united, cling to the self-same tree. Of these two, the one eats the sweet fruit and the other looks on without eating. (MU 3.1.1) This is closer to my dissociative dualistic experience. There were two selves one the observer and one the experiencer, but both equally present and engaged.
“There has yet to be evidence of a purely mental state in which no if physicality is associated.”
Sāṃkhya Solutions By comparison then, the Cartesian Mind-Body dualism did not matchup to my dissociative experience how does Sāṃkhya fare? For Sāṃkhya, there are several separable functions to what Western traditions collapse into a single term “Mind.” The mind, manas in Sanskrit, is the conveyor of sense data to the higher cognizing functions. Decisions are not made here, manas simply presents the information from the senses to the intellect. The buddhi (the will or intellect) categorizes the data, makes decisions, and sends actions, etc.—yet the buddhi is not sentient. It is a reflection of consciousness, of pūruṣa. Like a mirror reflects light, the buddhi reflects pūruṣa. The 28
The Upanishad continues
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On the self-same tree, a person (pūruṣa) immersed (in the sorrows of the world) is deluded and grieves on account of his helplessness. (MU 3.1.2). Pūruṣa is immersed in “prakṛti”. Pūruṣa is deluded and suffers on account of his perceived helplessness in being bound with and entangled in “prakṛti” Liberation is realizing that everything you associate with the Self—mind (manas), ego (ahaṃkāra), intellect (buddhi)—is an insentient reflection of true consciousness that is not entangled with the material world. The causal links between buddhi, manas, ahaṃkāra, and the physical world are separable from consciousness. The Sāṃkhya solution to all of the problems with substance dualism is to completely remove consciousness from all ties to physicalism. This eliminates the need for the substances to interact or the need to locate consciousness in physical space. This also eliminates the irreducibility of mental states, because they are reducible to functions and processes (i.e. buddhi, ahaṃkāra, and manas). And so we have the following relationships:
ed with it. Buddhi, ahaṃkāra, and
“Only when some- manas are ready-to-hand most of time, as the primordial comthing breaks (or when the portment of our everyday lives. something is in crisis) do Only when something breaks (or when something is in crisis) the tools become do the tools become presentat-hand, and only then do they present-at-hand...” enter our awareness. Brought
Ready-To-Hand Mental Tools For Sāṃkhya it is as if the Self, as pūruṣa, uses the tools of buddhi, ahaṃkāra, and manas— and in so doing is constantly deluded into identification with the tools, with prakṛti. Essentially, the carpenter has confused himself with the hammer. This analogy has phenomenological connections. Martin Heidegger uses a hammer example when discussing equipmentality. In Heideggerian terms, this confusion between the carpenter and the hammer would be confusing Dasein (the being that is concerned with its own being) with the ready-to-hand equipment. The Heideggerian sense of ready-to-hand is using an object without theorizing, that is without analysis or questioning its purpose; while a present-at-hand object draws your attention to its purposiveness (in the Kantian sense). Present-at-hand objects stand out from their environment instead of being integrat-
into our awareness the present-athand tools of the functioning mind are then noticeably separated from the Self. The dissociative event discloses the mental tools. Cartesianism asserts not only that these tools are the Self, but also that they are united as the one undeniable thing. For Sāṃkhya, they are only prakṛti. But what about sentience? Is sentience identical with consciousness? This gets at the heart of the difference I see between the two dual substance systems and the inherent problem with the Western concept of consciousness. Sentience is contemporarily defined as something that has a feeling or sensation of consciousness or of sense perception. For Sāṃkhya, this is contradictory: sense perception cannot be equated with consciousness. Cartesianism conflates sentience with consciousness. As long as sensation and perception are entangled with consciousness, extracting or locating a viable definition of consciousness in a dualistic system will fail. The mechanics of positing a “mental space” vs. a “physical space” are irreconcilable if metaphysical explanations are both excluded from analytic discussions and then later incorporated as a “possible world.” Testimony as Empirical Evidence In the West, John Locke was the first to refer to “consciousness” in the modern sense as “the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind,” and Descartes was the first to use “conscience” in the modern sense. Descartes calls his cogito an example of “conscientia vel interno testimonio.” And that’s really all he ever has, testimony. It works because we can all carry out the same thought experiment and subject ourselves to an eternal internally, but is this evidence? Both traditions acknowledge some credibility to testimony. For Sāṃkhya it’s as qualified as scripture. They distinguish three “pramāṇas”, or means of knowledge: Perception, Inference, and Testimony. But for the experiencer, the lived moment is as certain as any demonstrative perception or rational inference. So, in a very real sense a testimony
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is empirical evidence for the experiencer. To be properly scientific we must ask, can it be repeated? My experience is not unique. As mentioned before, dissociation is a well-documented psychological condition. So yes, it can be repeated. But even in repetition only the experiencer knows her own experience. What may be evidence for me remains inaccessible to the rest of the pūruṣas. So I can only offer this testimony of an ontic dualistic state of consciousness brought about through crisis and pain analysis, which suggests a deeper ontological condition of the Mind and Body as merely material brain functions in relation to the Self.
Works Cited Fischer, Jainina. “Dissociative Phenomena in the Everyday Lives of Trauma Survivors.” Boston University Medical School Psychological Trauma Conference. Boston, 2001. Halbfass, Wilhelm. On Being and What There Is, Classical Vaisesika and the History of Indian Ontology. New York: SUNY Press, 1992. Hart, Onno vand der. The Haunted Self:sturctural dissociation and the treatment of chronic tramatization. New York: W.W. Notron, 2006. Jha, Ganganath. The Tattva-Kaumudi. Queens College, Benares: Bombay T. Tatya, 1896. Kim, Jaegwon. “Lonely Souls.” In Metaphysics, An Anthology, 588-595. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Kripke, Saul. “Identity and Necessity.” In Metaphysics: An Anthology, by Daniel Z. Korman, and Ernest Sosa Jaegwon Kim, 122-137. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Quine, W.V. “On What There Is.” In Metaphysics: An Anthology, 7-15. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Virupakshanananda, Swami. Sāṃkhya-Kārikā . Mylapore, Madras: The President Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1995. Watson, Richard. “The Downfall of Cartesianism.” The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff), 1966.
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The Preferences and Motivations of Business PACs: An Examination of Congressional Contributions within the U.S. House. Clayton Lobaugh
As Political Action Committees (PACs) participate more within the democratic process, their influence should be the subject of greater scrutiny amongst voters, regulators, and scholars alike. Business PACs, in particular, should be extensively examined, since they contribute more funds to congressional representatives, and demonstrate more complex patterns of contribution than any other type of PAC. The extent to which business PAC contributions can sway and determine elections makes it important to understand what motivates these PACs. If we can understand their motivations, then we can predict how these contributions are shaping our political process and, in turn, our national legislation. The research in this field can provide scholars with a greater comprehension of the interplay between money and politics. In examining political contribution patterns, it is understood that business PACs are rational actors that contribute to representatives likely to enact policies favorable to their interests (Poole, Romer, & Rosenthal, 1987). However, this brings into question how business PACs assess political representatives and determine which ones to support. It is often presumed within the literature that business PACs will support representatives primarily on the basis of their institutional assets (majority status, committee assignments, etc.) regardless of party affiliations or ideological stances. This type of PAC contribution strategy, focusing on gaining political access, is referred to as the “practical” strategy of investment. This practical strategy has generally been contrasted with the “ideological” strategy (Brunell
2005), wherein a PAC will consistently contribute to certain representatives solely on the basis of party affiliations. It has been demonstrated throughout the literature that business PACs, in following the practical strategy, are highly responsive to the institutional assets of representatives (Gopoian, Smith, & Smith, 1984; Romer & Snyder, 1994; Rudolf, 1999; Cox & Magar, 1999). As a result of these findings, ideological concerns are often dismissed as an inconsequential motivation for business PAC contributions. However, parts of the literature have shown that business PACs do not make their contributions in an ideological vacuum. Specifically, Gopoian, Smith, and Smith(1984) and Brunell (2005), provide empirical evidence that business PACs follow a more nuanced strategy of political investment. Following these articles, my research examines business PAC contributions during a transition of power (i.e. majority status) during the 109th and 110th Congresses. This analysis is meant to measure how business PACs differently “appraise” Republican and Democrats given the same levels of influence. The purpose of this research is to investigate how business PAC contributions are influenced by a representative’s institutional assets (majority status) and ideology (partisan affiliation). It is expected that business PACs, in pursuing a practical strategy of political investment, will consistently contribute more funds to representatives within the majority party. It has been established in earlier studies that business PACs reward majority status since it provides supported representatives with a procedural advantage in passing legislation (Cox & Magar, 1999;
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Rudolf, 1999). My research replicates these analyses in order to observe any recent changes in how business PACs value the asset of majority status. This study will also measure how business PACs value partisan affiliation by comparing contributions across party lines. It is expected that business PACs will have an underlying preference toward the business-centered ideology of Republicans, which will be observed by comparing the contributions to both, holding majority status constant, Republicans and Democrats. If the results demonstrate that business PACs reward certain ideological positions over others, then this research will provide evidence that business PACs, in the aggregate, aim to reform national politics as well as access it. Business PACs as Pragmatists and Partisans. The literature on business PACs has investigated the subject through “two lines of inquiry” (Rudolph, 1999). The first line of inquiry asked how business PAC contributions are allocated to different candidates, whereas the second line questioned how business PAC contributions influence congressional voting patterns. The focus of my research is to address the first line of inquiry by assessing the motivations of business PACs. The current literature on this subject stems from two seminal analyses (Gopoian, Smith, & Smith, 1984; Poole, Romer & Rosenthal. 1987), which identifies the variables surrounding business PAC contributions. In addressing the motivations of business PACs, Gopoian, Smith, and Smith(1984) tries to determine whether contributions were made on the basis of narrow concerns (key votes, committee assignments, home districts) or a candidate’s ideology. In analyzing PAC contribution behavior in the 1978 House elections, they find that the priorities of business PACs varied across sectors. Gopoian et al reveal the complexity of this subject by demonstrating that some sectors (such as the defense industry) are focused on narrow policy concerns, while others (such as the oil industry) are motivated more by ideology. This article opened the literature to the idea that business PACs could have several motivations simultaneously affecting their decisions. Poole, Romer, and Rosenthal (1987) use data from 386 House races, within the year 1980, to develop a model for how business PACs allocate their money to different representatives. They conclude that PACs contribute more to those who are in a close race, have a favorable voting record, and have strong institutional assets. These findings reaffirm the assumption that PACs, by seeking political access, act in a rational (i.e. self interested) manner. This study laid the groundwork 32
for studying the relationship between PAC contributions and the different attributes of representatives. Proceeding articles within the literature pursue this subject further, but mainly focus on assessing the importance of various institutional assets. (Poole, Romer, & Rosenthal, 1987). Rudolf (1999) examines how the specific asset of majority status impacts business PAC contributions in the aggregate. He finds that majority status, between 1989-96, consistently attracted greater contributions from business PACs, whereas labor PACs did not respond to changes in majority status. This analysis indicates that business PACs generally pursue a “pragmatic” investment strategy, whereas labor PACs pursue an “ideological” strategy favoring the Democratic Party. Cox, and Magar (1999) again confirm the effectiveness of majority status in attracting business PAC contributions by researching the 103rd and 104th Congresses. These studies successfully establish the idea that business PACs predominantly care about a representative’s institutional assets. However, it seems strange to imply that business PACs would make their political decisions from a completely apolitical perspective. It is also counterintuitive to propose that business PACs would neglect to use their political access to reform the overall business environment. The literature, in more recent studies, examines the extent to which business PAC contributions create broad changes to the political and, in effect, business environments. Brunell (2005) addresses this issue by searching for signs of ideological preferences in the contribution patterns of PACs. His study reasons that PACs support incumbents in order to gain necessary political access, whereas PACs support challengers in order to change the political landscape. Brunell argues that PACs are deliberately altering the “marginal effectiveness” of their contributions by deciding whether to support cash-strapped challengers or financially-secure incumbents. His analysis, examining PAC contributions through 1979-2002, determines that business PACs are contributing more often to Republican challengers (than incumbents) and Democratic incumbents (than challengers). This finding indicates that business PACs have an underlying preference for the Republican party, even if they cannot always pursue this ideological preference. In addressing what motivates business PAC contributions, the literature provides strong evidence showing business PACs are principally interested in acquiring legislative favors from representatives with influential institutional assets. However, the literature
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also yields results suggesting that business PACs seek broad changes to the business environment by supporting ideologically-sympathetic Republicans. My analysis of business PAC behavior will include the aforementioned alternative explanations and also expand upon the previous research. This paper will test the seemingly opposed conclusions of the literature, and appraise the extent to which the “practical” and “ideological” strategies both explain the behavior of business PACs. Business PAC Decision-Making: An Algorithm for Political Investment In pursuing their rational self-interest, businesses form PACs when the potential gains from political investment outweigh the financial costs of such involvement (Poole, Romer, & Rosenthal, 1987). These business PACs then make political investments in the hopes of maximizing their legislative returns. The literature suggests that business PACs mainly pursue the practical strategy of political contribution (Romer & Snyder, 1994; Rudolf, 1999; Cox & Magar, 1999), while also, at times, demonstrating a clear ideological preference for the Republican party (Gopoian, Smith, & Smith, 1984; Brunell, 2005). In order to explain these findings, this paper argues that business PACs engage in a multistep decision-making process that integrates both the practical and ideological strategies of political investment. I suggest business PACs are practical in the sense that they will contribute to representatives in the best position to enact favorable policies (i.e. having relevant institutional assets). However, I argue business PACs will also express their ideological preference toward the Republican party through higher contributions. Thus, this theory of business PAC behavior is able to unify the previous findings of the literature into one integrated model. The literature has already established that majority status, and similar institutional assets, are more important to business PACs than ideological/party affiliations (Cox & Magar, 1999; Rudolf, 1999). This leads us to our first hypothesis stating that business PACs will consistently contribute more to representatives in the majority party. However, the extent to which ideological concerns influence business PACs remains inconclusive. It would be reasonable to assume that business PACs must have, at least, some political party preference. Business PACs, being rational entities, would be expected to prefer a more business-centered ideology than a less business-centered ideology. Assuming that business PACs have this preference, we can conclude
that they will contribute more (ceteris paribus, or holding other things constant) to representatives possessing such an ideology. Conventional wisdom dictates that Republicans have a more business-centered ideology than Democrats. Thus, this leads to our second hypothesis that business PACs will contribute more, all else being equal, to Republicans than Democrats. Business PACs decide to support politicians based on institutional assets. However, I predict that business PACs will determine how much to contribute to a politician based on how congruent their views are with those of the business PAC. This theory will be tested according to the two parallel hypotheses of this research. Hypothesis 1: Business PACs will contribute more to the majority party. Hypothesis 2: Business PACs will contribute more (ceteris paribus) to Republicans. Null Hypothesis: These hypotheses will be tested alongside the null hypothesis that “Business PAC contribution levels will be similar across congressional status and partisan affiliation.” Measuring the Allocation of Business PAC Contributions The data used in this analysis comes from the Center for Responsive Politics, a research group that tracks the effects of money in politics. In this analysis, the dependent variable is the amount of business PAC contributions given to representatives in the U.S. House. Specifically, I measure the change in contributions relative to the independent variables of majority status, partisan affiliation, and ideological position. I record the change in contributions from the 109th (Republican) Congress to the 110th (Democratic) Congress, and determine how funds are allocated to the different political parties. There are 374 House representatives in my sample population, consisting of 187 Republicans and 187 Democrats. This sample population is comprised of all the representatives who served during both the 109th and 110th Congresses. Studying this constant sample population allows me to examine how a transition of power (i.e. change in majority status) affects contribution amounts to the same Republicans and Democrats over time. The ideological attributes of representatives are quantified using a dichotomous variable describing partisan affiliation, and Pool and Rosenthal’s DW-NOMINATE scores for ideological positions. The DW-NOM-
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INATE ideology scores are assigned to representatives based on their past voting behavior, and range from the most liberal positions (-1) to the most conservative positions (1) on economic issues. This study defines the Republicans in the 109th Congress and the Democrats in the 110th Congress as possessing majority status. This independent variable of majority status remains unseparated from political party, since this allows for a direct comparison of majority status Republicans and Democrats. Comparing contributions in this manner reveals how business PACs “value” each political party when they possess the same institutional assets. The aggregate changes in business PAC contributions from the 109th to the 110th Congress are encoded into a difference (contribution Δ) variable. Bivariate T-tests are employed for both the 109th and 110th congressional data sets in order to determine whether the contribution gaps between Democrats and Republicans are statistically significant. The contribution change variable is also put through a bivariate T-test in order to estimate how contributions shift during a transition of majority status. In this paper, I also use a multivariate regression analysis, using OLS regression, to gauge the effects of political party and economic ideology on contributions from the 109th to the 110th Congress. Research Results Table 1 displays the results of the bivariate t-tests on both the 109th and the 110th Congresses. The results for the 109th Congress reveal a substantial gap between the mean contributions for Republicans and Democrats. The mean contribution to Republicans is shown to exceed the mean contribution to Democrats (by around $182,345.50). This gap between the mean contributions is statistically significant at p ˂0.001, which indicates that the null hypothesis that mean contributions to both parties are equal can be rejected in accounting for this difference. However, it is difficult to determine through the 109th Congress results alone whether this statistically significant contribution gap is the result of business PACs favoring majority status or Republican ideology.
Table 1. Two Sample Bivariate T-Tests on Contributions
The results from the 110th Congress demonstrate that Democrats, as a result of acquiring majority status, receive a larger mean contribution from business PACs than Republicans. At first glance, this result appears to indicate that business PACs shift their contributions solely on the basis of majority status. However, the difference between the mean 110th Democratic and Republican contributions (around $14,781.59) is statistically insignificant. Although Democrats gained business PAC contributions by becoming the majority party, Republicans did not lose a comparable amount of contributions by becoming the minority party. This finding suggests that the Republicans and Democrats of the 110th Congress received statistically similar amounts of business PAC contributions despite having different levels of procedural power in the House. If business PACs only contributed to representatives on the basis of majority status, then the 110th Democrats should have received a greater mean contribution than Republicans by a statistically significant margin. However, as illustrated in Figure 1, business PACs did not significantly decrease their contributions to minority status Republicans. In Figure 1, the ideological premium that business PACs provide to Republicans can be observed as the gap between the mean contributions given to minority status Republicans and Democrats. These findings suggest that business PACs employ a “practical” investment strategy when contributing to the majority party, and an “ideological” strategy when contributing to the minority party.
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Figure 1. μ Business PAC Contributions (109th, 110th Congresses)
business PAC contributions if they switched from majority status (Democratic party) to minority status (Republican party). This finding was statistically significant at less than 0.01, which further indicates that business PACs contribute to representatives using the practical strategy of political investment. The coefficient for economic ideology shows that a representative would receive an additional $125,921.30 in contributions as they adopted more conservative positions, as ranked by the DW-NOMINATE ideology scores. However, this relationship is statistically insignificant. Suggesting that business PACs might be giving Republicans an ideological premium based on partisan affiliation (See Figure 1) rather than the actual ideological positions of the representatives. Table 3. OLS Regression Analysis by Contribution Δ, Party, and Ideology.
In addition to these results, another t-test was used to examine the significance of the contribution change variable from the 109th to 110th Congress for both Democrats and Republicans. The findings in Table 2 show that Democrats, as a result of becoming the majority party in the 110th Congress, received an average increase of $162,764.50 in contributions. Republicans, on the other hand, received an average decrease of $35,331.67 change in contributions after losing majority status. These findings are significant at p ˂0.001 and reconfirm that business PACs contributions will shift accordingly to whichever political party holds majority status. The statistical significance of the regression model does hold up at p ˂0.001. Nevertheless, table 3 Table 2. shows that the r-square value is relatively low with a valTwo Sample Bivariate T-Test on Δ Contribution (109th to ue of only 0.1291, meaning that I am explaining only 110th Congresses) around 13% of the PAC contributions can be explained based on either political party or ideology. However, the purpose of this paper is not to predict future business PAC contributions. The first hypothesis of this paper posited that business PACs consistently contribute more to the majority party in order to gain political access. This hypothesis is confirmed from the statistically significant findings of my bivariate t-tests (See Tables 1 and 2) and the political party coefficient of my regression analysis (See Table 3). The contribution change variable was also put The second hypothesis of this paper stated that through a OLS regression analysis in order to determine business PACs would contribute more to Republicans the extent to which political party and economic ideol- than Democrats, given the same institutional assets. ogy influenced the change in contributions. As seen in This hypothesis is substantiated by the statistically inTable 3, the coefficient for political party reveals that a significant finding of the 110th bivariate t-test (See Tarepresentative would see a decrease of $320,466.10 in ble 1) and the comparison of contributions during the Best Student Essays
109th and 110th Congresses (See Figure 1). These findings indicate that business PACs simultaneously pursue the goals of acquiring political access and advancing their own ideological reforms regardless of party. Conclusion The purpose of this paper isto identify the political preferences of business PACs by examining how they allocate their contributions over different congressional periods. This paper proposes that business PACs first assess representatives based on “practical” concerns (i.e. institutional assets), and then assess representatives based on “ideological” concerns. The hypotheses from this theory state that business PACs would contribute more to the majority party, but would provide more to Republicans when compared to Democrats. These hypotheses were confirmed through bivariate t-tests and a standard regression analysis. Although business PACs contributed slightly more to majority status Republicans than majority status Democrats, business PACs contributed significantly more to minority status Republicans than minority status Democrats. This suggests that business PACs are providing minority status Republicans with an advantage in fundraising as a reward for their business-centered ideology. The findings of this study lead to two important implications: one regarding the scholarly research on this subject and the other regarding the impact of business PACs in Congress. Firstly, the literature should no longer classify PACs as mainly following either “practical” or “ideological” strategies of political investment. PAC contribution behavior should be categorized along a spectrum of these two motivations rather than as a dichotomy. Secondly, the important empirical finding of this study is that business PACs are contributing significantly more to Republicans than Democrats as the minority party. This suggests that business PACs, despite being motivated to support the majority party, contribute extra funding to minority Republicans. Future studies should test these results using data from other transitions of majority status, and expand the data to include contributions to all representatives within these Congresses. It is important that future scholars continue to refine our understanding of how Congress is affected by the preferences and motivations of business PACs.
References Brunell, Thomas L. 2005. “The Relationship Between Political Parties and Interest Groups: Explaining Patterns of PAC Contributions to Candidates for Congress.” Political Research Quarterly 58 (4): 681- 688. Cox, Gary W., and Eric Magar. 1999. “How Much Is Majority Status in the Congress Worth?” American Political Science Review 93 (2): 299-309. Gopoian, David J., Hobart Smith, and William Smith. 1984. “What Makes PACs Tick? An Analysis of the Allocation Pattern of Economic Interest Groups.” American Journal of Political Science 28 (2): 259-281. Poole, Keith T., Thomas Romer, and Howard Rosenthal. 1987. “The Revealed Preferences of Political Action Committees.” The American Economic Review 77 (2): 298-302. Romer, Thomas., and James M. Snyder, Jr. 1994. “An Empirical Investigation of the Dynamics of PAC Contributions.” American Journal of Political Science 38 (3): 745-769. Rudolph, Thomas J. 1999. “Corporate and Labor PAC Contributions in House Elections: Measuring the Effects of Majority Party Status.” The Journal of Politics 61 (1): 195-206.
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We’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught: Learning from the Courage of Rodgers and Hammerstein Lorien Megill
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are names that are well-known by many Musical Theater fans. They were masters at writing the sort of songs that work their way into your mind and won’t let you go, and crafting characters and stories that linger in memory. The influence of this incredible partnership in theater and musicals reaches far beyond the writing of catchy tunes and interesting stories; they wrote musicals that were exceedingly more seamless than the earlier musicals of other composers. In these new productions, dance and song were integral parts to the story line, performed by fully-developed characters. I believe that at the heart of Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s contributions to musical theater and their continuing legacy lies their bravery and willingness to delve into controversial subjects that had previously seemed inappropriate for musical plays. To show the impact and courage with which they wrote, I will focus on Oklahoma! (1943), which deals with such issues as the outcast and adapting to one’s ever changing environment, and South Pacific (1949), in particular the song “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught,” which faces prejudice head on. The play that started it all was Oklahoma! (1943). This dynamic duo’s first collaboration (based on Rollie Lynn Riggs play Green Grow the Lilacs ) was unusual from the start. In the New York Times review published April 1st of 1943, Lewis Nichols raved over the musical, touting it as “truly delightful,” and saying that “Wonderful is the nearest adjective,” but in the end
even Nichols, a clear fan, is not quite sure how to classify this show, ending his review by saying, “Possibly in addition to being a musical play, Oklahoma! could be called a folk operetta; whatever it is, it is very good.” (NY Times, April 1943). And whatever it was, it continues to be very good nearly seventy years later, with a film adaptation (1955) and frequent revivals, including a 1998 revival at West End starring Hugh Jackman. This show was different from the soft and subtle opening of the show with Curly singing about the “bright golden haze on the meadow” (Rodgers and Hammerstein 7). Unlike other musicals that had come before, Oklahoma! did not rely on the usual tricks such as show stopping numbers that often had little to do with the show itself, and parades of scantily-clad girls dancing across the stage. In OK! The Story of Oklahoma!, Max Wilk touches on this new musical form and the way it came across to audiences: “they’d never seen a show remotely like this one. Forty minutes had passed before there’d been an ensemble of girls, and even then not one of them had revealed as much as her shapely calf!” (Wilk 15). Oklahoma!’s dancing and singing were worked into the show and the story, rather than standing outside of it. When they did dance choreographer Agnes de Mille ensured that the attention of the audience was focused on the skill of the dancers rather than their outward appearances. What furthered the unique quality of this show were the more serious themes running through it. The
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themes centered around the villain, Jud Fry, are sinister. There is something scary about Jud from the beginning, with Laurey voicing her concern to Aunt Eller. Even Jud’s creators were concerned about him. Wilk quotes Hammerstein as saying: “He was heavy fare for a musical play. Yet his elimination was not to be considered because the drama he provided was the element that prevented this light lyric idyll from being so lyric and so idyllic that a modern theater audience might have been made sleepy if not nauseous by it.” (Wilk 82-83) This is just one example of Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s refusal to alter their shows merely because they were covering new ground that seemed unsettling and unfamiliar to people. The “problem” of Jud was more than just the character himself—he also dies. Right after Curly’s wedding to Laurey, Jud, angry at Curly being the recipient of Laurey’s love, confronts Curly. While Jud tried to harm Curly earlier in the show it is clear now that he is far more serious, as he approaches Curly with a knife and the two fight: “JUD pulls out a knife and goes for CURLY. CURLY grabs his arm and succeeds in throwing him. JUD falls on his knife, groans and lies still” (Rodgers and Hammerstein 80). The idea of having Jud die was not well received by everyone: “According to Helburn the Theatre Guild’s own backers were still uncertain. ‘You cannot have a murder in a musical show’” (Wilk 182). But Rodgers and Hammerstein were not deterred just because someone else told them that they could not do something. Jud’s death though, is more than just an interesting dramatic device, or a way to get rid of the obstacle in Curly and Laurey’s path; Jud places himself in a position where he is working against the little society in which he lives. He is also an outsider and makes no moves to integrate himself, insisting that things go his way. In his book Our Musicals Ourselves John Bush Jones addresses the all or nothing attitude Jud possesses: Even in Hammerstein’s sometimes idealistic world of eradicating prejudice, some irreclaimable groups or individuals (similar to Jacques and Malvolio in Shakespeare’s romantic comedies) cannot be brought within the finale’s circle of reconciliation and must either be done away with (as is Jud) or banished. (Jones 145) When the issue of Jud finally comes to a head it is a result of another problematic aspect of his character: his unhealthy and unrequited obsession with Laurey, which she is aware and afraid of. In Jud’s song “Lonely Room” he reveals some of this obsession, along with his selfishness and stubbornness when he sings: “I ain’t gonna 38
leave her alone! Goin’ outside, Git myself a bride, Git me a women to call my own” (Rodgers and Hammerstein 48). As a character, Jud’s behavior is juxtaposed against that of Curly; his harsh promise to “git” Laurey is contrasted with Curly’s halting and humble marriage proposal: “Laurey, please ma’am-marry me. I—don’t know whut I’m gonna do if you—if you don’t” (Rodgers and Hammerstein 69). More than just the difference in the two men’s pursuit of Laurey is Curly’s willingness to make some modifications to his way of life and better become a part of society. At the auction for the picnic baskets Curly sells his gun and horse for his future and to win the date and protect Laurey. After Laurey accepts Curly’s proposal he tells her: “Oh, I got to learn to be a farmer. I see that!” and then later in the same speech: “They gonna make a state outta this, they gonna put it in the Union! Country a-changin’ got to change with it!” (Rodgers and Hammerstein 71). This kind of patriotic, pro-America attitude coupled with a desire to work with the people around him came at an especially poignant time when the country, in the middle of a World War II, was especially in need of it. Six years after Oklahoma! started the shift in the way that Americans both viewed and performed musical theater, Rodgers and Hammerstein again did something unexpected, yet true to form. They took big and somewhat daunting ideas such as war and racism and set them on a tropical island, telling the story partly through song and dance. In South Pacific, adapted from James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific (1947), Rodgers and Hammerstein use the show’s two romances and relational struggles to take on prejudice. In act two scene four, after Nellie Forbush has declared that she cannot marry Emile de Becque because she “can’t help” but have a problem with the Polynesian mother of de Becque’s children, Lieutenant Joseph Cable counters this view with a song called “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught.” At this point in the play, as Cable is dealing with his feelings for a Tonkinese girl named Liat, he realizes that his difficulty with coming to terms with his love for her is not something intrinsic within him, but rather the way he was trained. The brief but powerful song that comes out of his revelation does not mince words and is abundantly clear in its message: “You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate–You’ve got to be carefully taught!” (Rodgers and Hammerstein 347). This song met its fair share of resistance, with some people believing that it had no place in a musical show. Many Americans were uncomfortable with it, and there
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was intense pressure to cut the song. In “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”: The Politics of Race in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, author Andrea Most talks about the extreme measures some people went to in an attempt to rid their state of this musical: “During a touring production of the show in Atlanta in 1953, the song again raised hackles, this time offending some Georgia legislators who introduced a bill to outlaw entertainment having, as they stated, “an underlying philosophy inspired by Moscow.” State Representative David C. Jones claimed that a song justifying interracial marriage was “implicitly a threat to the American way of life” (Most 307). But, just as in the case of Jud Fry, Rodgers and Hammerstein refused to be badgered into backing down and eliminating something (or someone) that they knew to be essential to their show. In Our Musicals, Ourselves, Jones quotes Rodgers’ own thoughts on this song: “‘It was perfectly in keeping with the character and situation that, having lost his heart, he would express his feelings about the superficiality of racial barriers” (Stages 261). But Rodgers also says “Carefully Taught” “was not intended as a ‘message’ song,” yet it stands out as the most explicit statement of Hammerstein’s concern about learned biases in the entire Rodgers and Hammerstein canon” (Jones 152). It was not that the two set out to write a song that would stir up controversy, but rather they wrote truthfully and refused to back away from that truth even when pressed; it is this honesty that gives the song such impact. Hammerstein wrote lyrics that reflected what he believed was right, illustrating his desire to overcome prejudice, but the blatantly honest song also stays true to the character of Lieutenant Cable. Because Cable is a thoroughly developed character—one who shifts from a slightly naive young man with his familial prejudices, to confusion over what he’s always thought was the truth, and finally to the decision to follow his heart and stay on the island—it is not jarring or unexpected when he sings this song. When Rodgers and Hammerstein courageously chose not to cut “Carefully Taught” from the show they not only maintained their own integrity, but also that of the character they had built in Lieutenant Cable, and consequently the show as a whole. It is this kind of care for their values and how those values come across that is part of the lasting impact of Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s most important musicals such as Oklahoma! and South Pacific. In Richard Rodgers’ autobiography, as quoted by Wilk, he says: “The chief influence of Oklahoma! was simply to serve notice that when writers come up with
something different, it had merit, there would be a large and receptive audience waiting for it. From Oklahoma! on, with only rare exceptions, the memorable productions have been those daring to break free from the conventional mode” (Wilk 262). Rodgers and Hammerstein were more than just a talented song writing team. They paved the way for other socially relevant shows that came after, such as West Side Story (1957), Les Misérables (1980), and Rent (1996). They wrote characters who had real problems and were developed enough to convey real emotion; they courageously stood by their choices even when met with opposition; and they showed that even in the midst of song and dance it was okay, and even necessary, to talk about important aspects that actually mattered in America, and in the lives of their audiences. They changed the landscape of musical theater, and left an impact that is still rippling and will continue to do so for many, many years to come. Works Cited Jones, John Bush. Our Musicals, Ourselves: A Social History of the American Musical Theater. Hanover: Brandeis UP, Published by UP of New England, 2003. Print. Most, Andrea. “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”: The Politics of Race in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” Theatre Journal , Vol. 52, No. 3 (Oct., 2000), pp. 307-337 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25068808, date viewed; 4/27/2012 Nichols, Lewis. “Oklahoma!” Rev. of Oklahoma! New York Times 1 Apr. 1943. Web. Riggs, Lynn. Green Grow the Lilacs: A Play. New York: Samuel French, 1931. Print. Rodgers, Richard. Musical Stages: An Autobiography. New York: Random House, 1975. Print. Rodgers, Richard, and Oscar Hammerstein. Oklahoma! In 6 Plays by Rodgers and Hammerstein. New York: Random House, 1955. 7-84. Print.’ Rodgers, Richard, and Oscar Hammerstein. South Pacific. In 6 Plays by Rodgers and Hammerstein. New York: Random House, 1955. 273-366. Print. Wilk, Max. OK!: The Story of Oklahoma! New York: Grove, 1993. Print.
Best Student Essays
Statements from the Cover Artists
Cover Art: “Ayla” Poetry comes from the unconscious, of course. Nothing is more beautiful than the person just beneath the scrapes. As a photographer, I pull inspiration from magazines like Vanity Fair, Dazed and Confused as well as the richly colored ad campaigns of Gucci and Prada. Film studies and movies are my first love so my undertakings always have a cinematic element to them. Tarantino especially influences my style choices. When you’re shooting a film, everything needs to be planned down to the last detail. When the images are still, you have more freedom. Characters and their situations just develop as you click. Either way, I tend to stray away from documentary style and prefer a staged hyperrealism. I have a world of respect for people who can capture a meaningful photograph on their morning walk, but I view the medium as a way to create a world from my own f----- up subconscious. I find it cathartic...calming. Reality and unreality meet in a magic twilight when the director yells, “Action!” -Taylor Cheek
Back Cover Art: My work explores the symbols of a complex relationship between humanity and its habitat. The impact that human-made objects have on entire landscapes, the evolution of artificial and natural elements into symbiotic ecologies, I see as monuments of our relentless desire to control and modify the environment. Drawing on feelings of nostalgia and despair, and using images of the remnants of once idyllic settings as well as objects found on location, I create emotionally charged, deeply layered compositions that speak to the temporality of human aspirations. Formally, I am exploring the technical possibilities of a full range of printmaking techniques in creating complex textures and relationships between color and form. The compositions themselves are often abstract; in moving away from direct representation, I aim to show the conflict inherent in man’s desire to control and change nature and his need to survive, as well as to present the possibility of seeing our past as a source for change. The technique of digital collage allows me to reform and reshape source imagery to be later combined with digitally altered drawings as well as marks made directly on plates. This combination of methods serves as a monument to the process of both natural and human-made transformation. -Frol Boundin
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Best Student Essays Submission Guidelines Best Student Essays is now only accepting electronic submissions. Students may submit written essays, photo essays, and cover art online at beststudentessays.submishmash. com/submit. Details and instructions are below and on our website: beststudentessays.org. All forms are available on our website. Directions: 1. Carefully read the complete Submission Guidelines. 2. Have a UNM faculty member or instructor nominate your work by filling out the electronic Faculty Nomination form. 3. Go to beststudentessays.submishmash.com/submit to create a free account and submit your electronic Submission and electronic submission form. Guidelines for Submission All submissions, excluding submissions for cover art consideration only, must be accompanied by a faculty nomination. Nomination forms must be filled out and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by the nominating faculty member or instructor. Submissions without faculty nominations will not be considered for publication. Submission forms are available on our website. Each student is limited to two submissions. Essays longer than 10-12 pages may be edited to accommodate space limitations. Upload your electronic submission and submission form to beststudentessays.submishmash.com/submit. All documents must be .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf format. Nonfiction Submissions Turn in complete nonfiction essay submissions electronically at beststudentessays.submishmash.com/ submit. A complete submission consists of an electronic copy of the essay and a completed electronic submission form. Photography/Art Submissions Turn in completed photography and art submissions electronically at beststudentessays.submishmash.com/ submit. A completed submission consists of the photo essay or cover art image files (JPEG format), a completed electronic submission form, and an electronic copy of an artist statement. Artist statements may not exceed 300 words. Photo essays submitted for publication within the magazine must have a faculty nomination. Photography and artwork submitted strictly for cover art consideration do not need a faculty nomination. Submitting on Submittable (formerly Submishmash) To submit, go to beststudentessays.submishmash.com/submit. You will be asked to create a free account in order to upload your submission and submission form. After creating your account, you can upload your work and our staff will be notified of your submission. Deadline for Submissions Spring 2013 : Febuary 25th, 2013 ***Questions, concerns, or for more information contact: email@example.com
A Final Word Elizabeth Thayer
About Best Student Essays Best Student Essays is a student-produced magazine that publishes nonfiction writing by undergraduate and graduate students at the University of New Mexico. The magazine was established over twenty years ago when Paul Bleicher, a graduate student on the Student Publications Board, proposed the idea. Bleicher felt that while outlets existed at UNM for journalistic and creative writing, there was no venue to recognize high-quality, nonfiction academic writing. The first issue of Best Student Essays was published in the spring of 1989. Since then, BSE has published biannually: one issue every fall and spring semester. Best Student Essays is the only campus-wide publication that highlights the nonfiction work being produced by our students. In recent years, BSE has included photo essays as explorations in nonfiction that are perhaps less conventional yet equally deserving of recognition. There is also often a cash award granted to the “Best Essay” submitted, adding even more prestige to the merits of publication. The BSE staff is entirely composed of students, and in order to aid their evaluation of essays submitted, all submissions to BSE must be nominated by a UNM faculty member. The magazine accepts nonfiction work produced for UNM courses, work produced at other institutions, and students’ personal work. BSE publishes all genres of nonfiction, including academic essays, scientific writing, foreign language with English translation, research papers, memoirs, and photo essays. The cover art is also solicited from UNM students, making every aspect of the magazine entirely student based and student produced. Now in its twenty-fourth year, BSE continues to present high-quality writing within a high-quality medium: a well-designed and carefully compiled professional magazine. Here’s to many more decades of celebrating student work.
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