American History X

American History X takes a look at racism in a different way. I believe this movie is about more than just a neo-Nazi and his political opinions. I believe this movie is about family relations, and how people from outside your family has the ability to destroy your relationship. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t let people intrude your personal life if you don’t like them doing so.

I think the movie is worth watching, mainly because it’s a great movie with an important message. It has a lot of great scenes and the main protagonist Derek Vinyard is a great character that you connect with later on in the movie. In the start of the movie he’s a character you don’t really have any bonds with, but later on you start sympathizing with him and his family. I would recommend this movie to people who like action movies with a deeper message.

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Spotlight

The Boston Globe assigned a team of journalists in 2001 to investigate allegations against a priest accused of molesting several underage boys in Boston. As the investigation goes on, the case just got more complex, almost 6% of all priests in Boston had either molested or had performed sexual actions with underage boys. Spotlight, a movie directed by Tom McCarthy quickly gained popularity and won several prices such as the “Best Original Screenplay” award in 2015 for its great ability to recall a story not based upon previously published material. The Boston Globe team had known of similar cases surrounding priests molesting children, but they never gave the incidents a lot of attention. I am going answer question 6 and 9 from the “Study worksheet for Spotlight” in this post, as well as address some of my own thoughts surrounding this topic.

The Boston Globe is known for doing investigative journalism surrounding different cases from around the world. Instead of just making a small news coverage, they try to gather as much information as possible, and fully investigate the case. As the team kept on working on this case, the problem just seemed to expand and never stop. After a lot of investigation, the team figured there were approximately 90 abusive priests just in Boston itself. They contacted a lot of the victims and talked to them about the incidents. By doing this investigation, they exposed on only the priests in Boston, but priests from all around the world who had molested underage children.

The movie portrays the molesters as normal priests, and they make it clear that most of the priests didn’t want the boys to suffer. In one of the scenes in the movie, a journalist from Boston Globe knocks on one of the priest’s door and asks if the had molested underage boys. He quickly answered yes, without any hesitation, followed up by him clarifying that none of the boys here harmed. This is of course the priest’s point of view, and many, including the victims meant they had been harmed not only physically, but mentally. Many of the victims had been through rough times after the incidents and some of them still to this day struggle to move on. The movie ends with a list of all the places where priests had molested children, and the list was not short to say the least. It included priests ranging all the way from England, Norway and Sweden, to Spain, Argentina, Brazil and several other countries. This was a common problem that almost never got addressed in the media.

The movie reveals that the Boston Globe had got a list in 1993 with 20 priests who had molested underage boys, but they never followed up on this, until later, when they realised how big of a problem this was. Many would try to hide this mistake, but Baron, the leader of Boston Globe’s team, commends him and his team to expose the crimes as soon as they have all the information they need. This is an important lesson for the viewer, to not hide the mistake you did when the right thing to do is to expose it. They did not try to hide it when they realised they did a mistake by not investigating this earlier. The viewer can apply this lesion to their own lives. When someone makes a mistake, we must give them a chance to make it better again, not shame them for what they didn’t do.

Conflicts in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

There are several conflicts taking place at the same time in this book. The main Character, Changez struggles with feeling welcome in America after the 9/11 attacks, mainly because of his looks. People seem to react to his beard and he does not like the looks he gets. Changez must integrate himself to America all over again in way. Underwood Samson is the agency Changez works for. He is sent to work in Chile while Jim returns to America. Changez is so sick and tired for his job that he decides to tell his boss he quits. Jim manages to convince Changez to take a break from work instead of quitting. There is also a conflict between Changez and himself. He has problems to concentrate and focus on himself because of his feelings for Erica. Changez thinks about Erica so much that he forgets about other things in life.

In the first quote, Juan-Bautista talks to Changez about a group of Christian boys who were put in a Muslim army. They were utterly loyal and ferocious. I think Juan-Bautista is referring to how Changez will end up if he keeps on being selfish and quits his job. If he quits his job he has nothing else to turn to.

In the second quote, Juan-Bautista said he was invading a country with kinskip to his. Kinship is a network of relations that form an important part of the lives of all humans. I think he is indicating that he attacked someone who not really was his real enemy by saying this statement.

The Relutant Fundamentalist

The setting in The Reluctant Fundamentalist takes place at a café in Lahore. The year is unknown, but most likely somewhere between 2001 and 2007. The main Character is heavily affected by 9/11, and we are therefore sure it’s happening after the attacks. Changez talks to who we know as “The American” in this café and it all happens in one day. As well as Changez talking to the American at the café, there are also other sub settings. Stories from New York, Philippines, Chile and Greece are being exchanged between the two.

The inciting incident in this story are both the American sitting down to talk with Changez at the café, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The attacks are a part of the subplot, mainly because changez talks about this story with the American. The relationship between Changez and Erica is the main conflict in this book. They start off by having a great relationship, but ends up struggling to keep their relationship going.

Changez’s personal traits are kind of hidden. The reader doesn’t get to know a lot about him, other than that he is perceived as a nice guy among others. Changez is going trough a change during this story, and we get to know him a little bit better, but not enough to be able to say we know him. In the start of the story, Erica is presented as a beautiful, confident woman, but changes into being fragile and weaker looking. The Character who is flat in this story is the main character, Changez. We get little to no information about him other than how he feels about Erica. We get more information about Erica, and she is a round character. Changez and Erica are the characters who change during this story. The other sub characters are not being talked about a lot, and we don’t get to see them change.

First person point of view is the predominant narrative style used in this book. Almost everything is told through Changez and his point of view. By doing this, the author makes it, in my opinion, more interesting. We get to know how Changez feels about the different things. If the story was told in third person, it would have been harder to understand Changez’s thoughts. The themes in this book are love, culture difference and adapting to a new society.

Justin Trudeau’s speech

Justin Trudeau held a speech to the Assembly of first nations of Canada in December 2015. His main goal of this speech was to get the Assembly’s trust and faith, and he surely gave the Assembly what they wanted. Several times during the speech, the Assembly gave Justin Trudeau a standing applaud. He started off by saying “thank you” in several different languages, and stated he could keep saying it in 60 more languages, but couldn’t because he only had 20 minutes to spare.

During his speech Justin made several promises to the indigenous people. His main promise was to do what it takes to reform a new relationship between Canada and the indigenous by giving them more rights, funding and protection.

Forgot to post this blog a few weeks ago.

My thoughts on 9/11

On the 11. off September 2001, a terrorist attack happened in New York where two passenger airliners were hijacked and flown into the twin towers. After watching the documentary with raw footage from 9/11, I realised how huge this terrorist attack was. At the time, I was only one year old, and I did not experience the news announcing this was a terrorist attack or an accident. I can imagine all the confusion and fear people had during the time after the attack were huge.

I rarely hear anyone talk or write about the other planes that were hijacked and flown into the pentagon and the one that was heading to Washington D.C. The damage done at the World Trade Centres was bigger than what the other planes caused, but I think the people who were killed or hurt at the other locations should get the same attention as the people how died in New York this day.