Conflict in Syria

So I haven’t posted in a while. For this unit it seems like most of the class will be talking about a domestic issue but I want to broaden the scope and focus on the conflict in Syria. You might be wondering how does this apply locally? There are international and Arab-American students from countries that participated in the Arab Spring. The students I know are not from Syria but are from Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, and Libya. They understand the complexity of the Syrian conflict as they themselves have witnessed overthrowing of leaders and civil war. My goal in is to help raise more awareness and use their commentary to provide insight on the issue. America is seen as the beacon of democracy and I don’t think the American people should forget others’ fight for it.

Some of my research questions I plan I aim to explore are:

  • What are their opinions on the American coverage of the issue? Is there a fair amount of coverage?
  • What is the best option to resolve the conflict?
  • What they expect to happen in Syria?

The biggest problem I think I’m going to face with this project is if they will be willing to participate. The students I know are graduate students and TAs so they are extremely busy and might not have time to do interviews. If that’s the case, I will turn my attention to American students and survey their knowledge of the situation and what they expect to happen in Syria.

 

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Headlines from World Sources

Obama on a “world without nuclear weapons”

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/26/world/asia/korea-obama-visit/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17507976

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/world/asia/president-obama-visits-south-korea.html?scp=4&sq=nuclear%20summit&st=cse

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/03/201232621827972261.html

Shooter in Toulouse killed and brother captured

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/25/world/europe/france-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/03/2012325222737387945.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17503396

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/world/europe/french-officials-want-to-investigate-gunmans-brother.html?ref=world

Killing of Trayvon Martin

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/03/201232423250839192.html

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/25/justice/florida-teen-shooting/index.html?hpt=us_c1

Alexandria: Aphrodite Foxtrot

 

Lust. Wrath. Envy. Greed. Vanity. These five sins are fundamental elements to creating a tragedy on the Greek level. This exotic foxtrot comes from the play Aphrodite: A Romance of Ancient Egypt which tells an erotic tale of a tumultuous love affair between a sculptor and a courtesan. The play was based on the erotic French novel Aphrodite – Ancient Manners by Pierre Louys. It was published in 1896, the play debuted in 1919, but the novel did not reach America until 1925. How did they produce the play without the book? In Paris in 1914, there was a play called Aphrodite, and it was also based on Louys’ book. In attendance were American playwrights who decided to adapt and present it

“Pierre Louys.” Wikipedia. 17 Mar. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Lou%C3%BFs&gt;.

Frondaie, Pierre & Gest, Morris. “Aphrodite.” Google Books. 17 Mar. 2012. <http://books.google.com/books?id=3vULAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false&gt;.

“Aphrodite (Ancient Manners).” Mynotera.com. 18 Mar. 2012. <http://www.mynotera.com/152385,auction_id,auction_details&gt;.

“Pierre Frondaie.” Wikipedia. 19 Mar. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Frondaie&gt;.

Cylinder Sound Beat Reflection

 

Alexandria: Aphrodite fox trot possible versions

Version #1

“Alexandria: Aphrodite fox trot” is a song composed by Bohemian born Dr. Anselm Goetzl. It comes from the play Aphrodite: A Romance of Ancient Egypt. The play is based on the book Aphrodite – Ancient Manners by Pierre Louys. It was his first novel and it was published in France in 1896. The novel was immediately met with extreme success. It is about a sculptor who falls in love with a courtesan. Louys was known for his erotic homosexual themes and fascination with classical times. Due to the nature of the book, it did not reach America until 1925 when it was published privately. However not long after in 1929, it was banned until the mid-50s as the government deemed it as corrupting and obscene.

Version #2

“Alexandria: Aphrodite fox trot” is a song composed by Bohemian born composter, conductor, and producer Dr. Anselm Goetzl. It is from the play Aphrodite: A Romance of Ancient Egypt which is based on the book Aphrodite – Ancient Manners by French author Pierre Louys. It was published in France in 1896 and was immediately a bestseller. This erotic novel about love, passion, and crime unfolds like a Greek tragedy. It takes place in classical times in Ancient Alexandria during the Ptolemaic dynasty. The protagonist, Demetrios is a sculptor and is the favorite lover of the Queen Berenice. However, he falls in love with a beautiful and seductive courtesan named Chrysis. She demands he prove his love by committing three crimes in which he agrees.

Alexandria: Aphrodite fox trot (re-done)

The version of Alexandria: Aphrodite fox trot found in the Belfer Cylinder Archive in Syracuse University was recorded by the Della Robbia Orchestra. However, the original was recorded by Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra in New York. This song is from the play Aphrodite: A Romance of Ancient Egypt. It is composed by Dr. Anselm Goetzl, a Bohemian-born composer, conductor, and producer. The play was based on the bestselling novel Aphrodite- Ancient Manners – a modern Greek tragedy by Pierre Louys, and was adapted by Pierre Frondaie and George C. Hazelton.

The book explores the sensual world of courtesans set in ancient Alexandria during the Ptolemaic dynasty. The protagonist, Demetrios, a sculptor of the court and the lover of Queen Berenice, falls in love with the powerful and seductive courtesan Chrysis during a festival dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. Chrysis asks Demetrios to commit three crimes for her to prove his love and to gain her favor. Aphrodite was published in 1896 and was well received and extremely popular in France but due to its nature, it did not reach other audiences till the turn of the century. American playwrights attended the original production in Paris in 1914, they liked it and bought the rights and brought the idea back to America. Of course changes had to be made to accommodate to the American audience. The play debuted at the Century Theater in New York City and it had a successful run from November 1919 to April 1920.

Alexandria: Aphrodite fox trot

The cylinder of Alexandria: Aphrodite fox trot, found in the Belfer Cylinder Archive in Syracuse University, was recorded by the Della Robbia Orchestra. However, the original was recorded by Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra in New York. This fox trot was one of the tracks from the play Aphrodite: A Romance of Ancient Egypt. The track is composed by Dr. Anselm Goetzl, who was a successful conductor, composer, and producer. He was a versatile artist who worked in orchestras and Broadway. Goetzl was the the lead conductor of the Dippel Light Opera Company and the Metropolitan Orchestra. On the side, he also composed numerous light operas.  His works include the plays The Gold Diggers (1919) and The Rose Girl (1921), and films such as Deliverance (1919). Although he was not American, the majority of his repertoire was done in the United States. Goetzl, born in 1878 was originally from Bohemia. Unfortunately he died young in 1923 from complications following a surgery in Barcelona, Spain.

Aphrodite: A Romance of Ancient Egypt is a play written by Pierre Frondaie and George C. Hazelton, it was based on a book by Pierre Louys called Aphrodite- Ancient Manners. Goetzl along with Henri Fevrier were the composers of the scores for this play. The book was the bestselling erotic novel by Louys; it is a modern Greek tragedy. The book explores the sensual world of courtesans set in ancient Egypt in Alexandria during the Ptolemaic dynasty. Demetrios, a sculptor of the court and the lover of Queen Berenice, falls in love with the powerful and seductive courtesan Chrysis during a festival dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. Chrysis asks Demetrios to commit three crimes for her to prove his love and to gain her favor. Pierre Louys was known for being a provocative author who specialized in literature on homosexuality. His works were available in his home country, France, but they did not reach other audiences until much later. Aphrodite was published in 1896 and was well received and extremely popular in France but it did not reach other audiences till the turn of the century. The English speaking world was far more conservative until Roaring Twenties arrived.

American playwrights attended the original production in Paris in 1914, they liked it and bought the rights and brought the idea back to America. Of course changes had to be made to accommodate to the American audience. Several changes and new ideas were incorporated into the American production by the adapters Pierre Frondaie and George C. Hazelton. The artistic community was very supportive of the project and the biggest names during that time contributed to pre-production to make sure the play did the original justice. The play was performed at the Century Theater in New York City. It had a successful run from November 1919 to April 1920. The curtains went up on the brink of the Roaring Twenties where Jazz was the craze and flappers roamed the streets redefining womanhood. Due to the subject matter and the nature of the play, it could not have happened any earlier and was released at the right time.

Sources:

“Aphrodite” IBDB Internet Broadway Database. <http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=6730&gt;

“Deliverance” TCM Turner Classic Movies. <http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/493468/Deliverance/notes.html&gt;

“The World of Music” Etude Magazine. March 1923. <http://scriabin.com/etude/1923/03/the-world-of-music-march-1923.html&gt;

“Pierre Louys” Wikipedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Lou%C3%BFs&gt;

“Anselm Goetzl” Broadway World. <http://broadwayworld.com/bwidb/people/Anselm_Goetzl/&gt;

Frondaie, Pierre & Hazelton, George C. “Aphrodite: A Romance of Ancient Egypt” <http://books.google.com/books?id=3vULAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false&gt;

“Alexandria: Aphrodite fox trot” Syracuse University Digital Library. <http://digilib.syr.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/cylinder&CISOPTR=513&CISOBOX=1&REC=7&gt;

 

Remix is the future

Our culture today is a remix, nothing is truly original anymore from literature to music to movies, ideas are being reused over and over again, in fact they are so stretched out everything seems repetitive. How often do you see a movie and say, “Wow that was so original I’ve never seen anything like that before?” I imagine it’s probably not too common. It is increasingly hard to come up with solid original ideas because it seems like everything has already been done. So how do we evolve and progress our culture? According to Lawrence Lessig, the answer lies in remix. In his book Remix: Making Art and Commerce in the Hybrid Economy, he argues remix is creative, progressive, and beneficial to culture. Remix is not simply copying something but mixing various previous works of art to create something new. For example, as we saw in the movie RIP: A Remix Manifesto, the artist Girl Talk samples countless songs and mixes them all together to create new songs. The problem with remix is copyright. Lessig argues there should be copyright reform because the government is turning its own citizens into criminals by suing them over downloading and copyright infringement. In Remix, Lessig questions what should be legal and what should be illegal and where that line should be drawn.

Lessig’s presents five changes that should be made to the current copyright laws in America. The first approach is to distinguish professional remix from amateur remix and deregulate the latter. An example of professional creativity would be Girl Talk, people who create mashups for a living and do it professionally. Amateur would be like someone posting fan videos on YouTube for fun. He argues that amateur remix needs to be deregulated through “free use” and that the government should stop applying “fair use” to amateur remix because they are not “copies”. His definition of copies is simply making something more accessible by not changing any of its original content. For example, a copy is when someone puts a song on YouTube so everyone can listen to it or someone uploading a movie on a file share site so anybody can download it. Normally the point of amateur remix is not to make a profit but for sharing and enjoyment so it shouldn’t be charged. I agree that free use should be applied to amateur remix because it’s a noncommercial sector and people aren’t looking to make money out of it. Like Stephanie Lenz, she simply posted a video of her son dancing to Prince’s “Let’s go crazy.” She meant no harm by uploading that video, she just wanted to show her adorable child dancing and having fun. There are many people who do that, take the baby dancing to Beyoncé’s “Single ladies” yet no lawsuit was given to those parents.

The second change he recommends is that the companies should relinquish some of their control over copyright. He claims that corporations are protective of their reputations that’s why they are so concerned with copyright. If somebody decides to take clips from Disney movies and create some sort of propaganda that would tarnish Disney’s name, of course they would be worried. Disney doesn’t want to be associated with or be responsible for anything that is offensive and will hurt its clientele. “This problem comes not, paradoxically, from a lack of control. It comes from too much control. Because the law allows the copyright owner to veto use, the copyright owner must worry about misuse,” Lessig said on page 257. If corporations are more lax about their copyright then that will lead to more creativity. It makes sense what Lessig is saying, by letting go some of their power, they can cut back on unnecessary expenses such as lawyers while at the same time allowing remix and creativity to flourish.

How do you think Warner would feel about this video? Turning Harry Potter from innocent to sex crazed?

Another reason why Lessig believes copyright reform is better is because the current copyright laws are extremely complex and difficult to understand which brings us to his third reform: simplify. If adults can’t understand this literature how does the government think children are going to respond? Lessig suggests that Congress should follow European’s model of copyright laws but doesn’t elaborate on the differences between the two. The copyright laws are long and difficult to read. In our day and age, almost everything is digital and on the Internet. Children will not understand the concept of copyright because everything is available to them through the Internet. My 12-year-old sister has been using a computer since she was about six years old, a few years ago she started converting videos to mp3 even before I knew that existed. Kids growing up in this period expect and want everything; they will not care about copyright.

The fourth change is decriminalizing the copy. According to Lessig, he says the government shouldn’t be worried about the copy, about reproducing the same ideas, but should instead worry about its distribution. For example, instead of being concerned about an artist sampling a beat, the company and artist should be worried about the other artist distributing that song with their beat. So on YouTube, there are many uploads with just music for the sake of sharing songs. This is what the government needs to regulate. I’ve seen on YouTube, the audio being stripped or the video taken down because it violated the copyright, but there is a way around it. If people state in the video’s description that they do not own it or have links to where people can download and buy the song, YouTube will leave it alone. YouTube lets them be because they are helping spread the word about the artists by putting links to Amazon mp3 and iTunes.

His fifth reform is decriminalizing file sharing. We are in the digital age now and there is no going back. Lessig recognizes that there is no way to stop file sharing sites for music and movies so he suggests charging people to join so at least this will generate revenue to compensate the artists and corporations. I think of it like radio airtime. Artists make money by having their songs played on the radio, this should apply to p2p sharing. This format will not criminalize citizens and corporations and artists will be getting paid at the same time. Here’s an interesting article on royalties artists get through airtime.

It’s understandable why the corporations are crying foul because they aren’t receiving royalties through piracy, but honestly all music and film companies are part of a bigger conglomerate so they have other revenues. I agree with most of Lessig’s reforms especially with the third and fifth ones. Remix is the future and instead of fighting against it, the government and corporations should accept it and find ways to make money from it. From charging fees on file sharing sites to receiving a portion of a mashup, the music and film industries will continue to make money. They should learn from the past that innovations help them make money. In a previous post, I commented on the development of VHS, had the Supreme Court deemed it illegal, the film industry would have never make as much money as it does now. The way to end piracy is to reform the copyright acts and simply it so everybody understands it.

Peter Gabriel + Gnarls Barkley = AMAZING

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