Category Archives: Thought and Image

Robert Frank (225/303/310/425/485)

FrankIndianapolis

Robert Frank, the celebrated photographyer, died on Monday at age 94. That’s a pretty good run. Probably his most highly regarded work, The Americans, is really worth examining. The images in this post are taken from it. You can find these and many more images at artstor.org, which is available through the library website.

 

General Alice (425)

That night we were divided into several groups. Then we went into the village and we started to attack.

Did you kill anybody?

During the fight, you know, I can’t tell you whether I killed anybody, but I certainly did attack. At the time there was no peace, it was just fighting. One bullet passed close to me. I shot twelve bullets. I was wounded three times. One here on my leg… One in my side… And one bullet passed this way… Another one just missed my head.

Was there no other way to get your freedom other than killing?

There was no other way. We had to fight to show we didn’t want to be colonized. There was nothing else we could have done.

What do you think about the British now?

I feel we are children of the same mother. Today we shook hands… And you are white! At the time we could not even touch each other.

What do you think about the time that the British were here in Kenya as the colonial government?

Apart from ruling us with an iron fist they helped develop this country.

Would the country have been better if they hadn’t been here?

At the time there was no school. I’ve never been to a class in my life. But now even young girls are in school.

Final Exam (220/415/425455)

General advice:

Look through the relevant posts on this blog since the midterm.

Seek out useful passages in the novels. Flag them.

Whatever notes you assemble should be IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE. Doing so is a hugely effective way to prepare.

Have a conversation about the course with some of your classmates. This is actually the purpose of a university education: to arrive at a fuller understanding of the world via discourse.

If you’re still working on a paper, use it as an opportunity to rehearse arguments that might be deployed in some of your responses to prompts on the final.

 

Legalize Their Robbery (415/425)

“Give me a hundred capitalists just as you find them here in Ohio and let me ask them a dozen simple questions about the history of their own country and I will prove to you that they are as ignorant and unlettered as any you may find in the so-called lower class. They know little of history; they are strangers to science; they are ignorant of sociology and blind to art but they know how to exploit, how to gouge, how to rob, and do it with legal sanction. They always proceed legally for the resaon that the class which has the power to rob upon a large scale has also the power to control the government and legalize their robbery.”

— Eugene V. Debs, The Canton, Ohio Anti-War Speech (this is the one that got him charged under the Federal Espionage Act, the same law that Bush II, Obama, and Trump have used against whistleblowers).