WINOL: Features Archive

At the age of just 15, Paul Blackburn was wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years. Presented, edited and produced by Tom Morgan.

Media Law - Year Three Notes Archive

A collection of posts looking at media law, including tips for journalists, case examples and information on the various codes of conduct. Click here for more.

American Election 2012 - US Embassy Report

Myself, Lee Jarvis, Sam Sheard and Kirsty McDonagh spent the evening at the US Embassy as part of WINOL's coverage of the 2012 American election.

Work Experience: The One Show

This blog post serves as a summary of what I got up to during my time at the BBC and also provides some information on how the One Show is run.

Work Experience: PC Advisor

After breaking up from University for the summer, I arranged two separate work experience placements to keep me occupied over the break. The first of these placements was at PC Advisor in London.

Work Experience: Basingstoke Gazette

After breaking up from University for the summer, I arranged two separate work experience placements to keep me occupied over the break. The second of these placements was at the Basingstoke Gazette.

HCJ Notes Archive: Year One and Year Two

A collection of lecture notes, seminar papers and seminar summaries from Year One and Year Two on the HCJ course at the University of Winchester

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Media Essay - Sony Walkman 1979

Designed in 1979 in Japan and released a year later in Britain, the first Sony Walkman paved the way for portable music devices unlike anything the world had seen before, completely changing the way consumers listened to their music.

The Walkman (which admittedly appears fairly bulky in the modern world) featured a cassette player and also supported the world's first lightweight headphones. It became known as the first personal tape player that was small enough to be carried around. When Sony's creation hit the market, it reinvented the concept of 'personal electronics', sparking technological developments that have ultimately led to the arrival of even more portable and complex music players we see today. This evolution suggests technological determinism is present within the industry, shaping how these products grow according to society’s ever-changing demands.

Personal tape players were available at the time, yet such products were too expensive for the average consumer, with some reaching up to $1,000. Sony took the personal tape player and re-marketed it with an affordable price tag ($200) and a friendly brand image, attempting to draw associations between the portable music player, fitness and youth. Technological determinism and the Walkman gave society a new perspective on staying active, which undoubtedly helped the product sell. The term 'Walkman' eventually became synonymous with the personal cassette; a true sign of its influence on the industry.

Sony's initial attempts to gain interest in their product within its country of origin proved ineffective. It was not until the company decided to ship the product to press, publications and Japanese celebrities that demand grew. Press voiced doubt over some of the devices functions. Questions were raised as to whether the public would be willing to purchase a device devoid of a record function. Their doubts were soon quashed, as a month after the device reached stores it had sold out.

As demand for the product grew, Sony broadened its horizons and prepared to launch the Walkman in Europe and North America. According to statistics, by 1995 the total number of Walkmans sold had exceeded 150 million. These were not purely derived from the 1979 version of the product, but the figures clearly proved both the original Walkman and its successors had global appeal.

Remarkably, Sony only stopped producing cassette Walkmans in Japan in 2010 (although it continues to sell in Europe and America) which suggests the 'retro', nostalgic feel of the product allows it to sell in a modern market. Media experts point out that other portable music devices such as the iPod (which is ever-evolving and particularly feature heavy) have led to the downfall of Sony's Walkman. The history of portable music players would suggest that the iPod may not have existed without Sony's initial push to bring music mobility to the masses.

It is here that the theory of technological determinism is somewhat relevant. The theory states that constant product development gives rise to new forms of media devices and uses for these devices. The evolution of technology saw Sony's competitors taking their concept and adding new features to their own product to put it in favour of Sony's. It was ultimately Sony who began the portable music players journey to where it is today.

BBC (2008). 'I Love 1979'. [Online]. Available from:

About (1997). 'The History of the Sony Walkman'. [Online]. Available from: http://inventors.about.com/od/wstartinventions/a/Walkman.htm

LowEndMac (2006). 'The Story Behind the Sony Walkman'. [Online]. Available from: http://lowendmac.com/orchard/06/sony-walkman-origin.html

CBOnline (2010). 'The Ode: Sony Walkman'. [Online]. Available from: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/after_hours/opinions/article.jsp?content=20101122_10018_10018

District and County Councils

The District Council and County Council both place the public as their number one priority, yet differ in terms of financing, funding, size and management.

In England, the local government is built around a single-tier / two-tier system. The County council and the district council make up this two-tier system, however each council functions differently in terms of its actions towards the community. Larger towns and cities tend to have just one council that takes on the roles of both the County and District Councils.

Whereas a County Council manages an entire county, the District County is trusted with just a portion of this county, meaning a County Council has a greater budget and therefore a larger influence on a bigger area. Between them, councils are responsible for providing a number of local services and it is the areas of education, social services and housing (in that order) that statistics have revealed take up the most money within the budgets.

County Councils deal with a number of issues including strategic planning for housing, schools and education, public transport, waste disposal methods and schemes, fire and rescue and trading standards. It is due to the scale of the area that the County Council manage that social care becomes a priority. A great deal of time and money is invested into projects that will aid the elderly or those who require medical care.

During our visit to the County Council's cabinet meeting at the Winchester Guildhall, a number of issues were discussed such as policies relating to adult social care. Felicity Hindson, Conservative Member for Meon Valley, questioned the morality behind charging individuals for care in their own homes. The Council also discussed policies concerning 'self directed support', home care and residential services. Above all, it was both the distribution of money into new projects and financial reductions from existing projects that were focused on during the meeting at the Guildhall. To summarise, County Council's have more money to put towards new projects and therefore more financial flexibility. District Council's must, however, invest their money more carefully into the local community.

District council's primarily deal with issues such as refuse collection, planning matters and leisure facilities. Members of the District Council are chosen by the public. Due to the smaller size of the District Council, its actions mainly concern the local community, explaining why issues such as tax collection are dealt with. District Councils also deal with planning applications and building regulations. A potential candidate for the District Council may stand as either a member of a political party or as an independent councillor. Councillor Kelsie Learney (who spoke to us about her roles and responsibilities as a council member) represents the Liberal Democrats, for example.

According to the 'Overview of the 2010/11 Revenue Budget' (available on Hampshire County Council's website) over £1.8 billion was spent within sectors including contracted services, supplies and services, capital financing and transport. In contrast, financial statistics for the District Council are far lower. Winchester City Council's 'Budget Book' reveals that the City Council has a budget of £12.5m. This highlights the difference between the budget of the County Council and that of the District Council.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Radio Bulletin - Final

Ok then, finally managed to put together my radio bulletin! Here's the 3 bits of audio stitched together for the final piece:


Script:

Hampshire County Council continue to discuss plans over the 'Broadband Project', an initiative that could take great steps in improving online communication and accessibility.

Users can expect improved online speeds of up to 2mb/s, a substantial improvement to current figures.

Alison Quant, Director of Economic Development for Hampshire County Council, described the project as vital, capable of having “huge impacts across the whole of society”.

The council remain optimistic despite news the project is not aided by dedicated funding. Councillor Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council, described how costs are largely going to be met by the customer.

-

Winchester's latest safer neighbourhoods meeting highlighted the importance of continued care for local homeless.

Winchester's Trinity Centre, which has been in operation for over 20 years, backs the "Spare Change for Real Change" campaign, which ensures donations are distributed fairly and equally via boxes in the town centre. 

Development manager, Sue McKenna, explained further

Audio In - 'instead of just giving..'
Audio Out - 'make a difference to homeless people'

-

Winchester's tourist information centre has picked up an award for being the best tourist centre of the year in the South East region.

Sarah Harfield, team leader, discussed the centres relationship with the local community.

Audio In - 'We try and provide..'
Audio Out - 'sets us apart from other TICs'

The regional award has secured the centre a place in the top 4 at the national finals, which will take place in Birmingham on April 15th.

[ Bulletin Length - 1.52 ]

Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Communist Manifesto - Seminar Summary

In our latest seminar we took a look at the Communist Manifesto, which is widely considered one of the world's most influential political manuscripts. Written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the document lays out the purposes of the communist league, which was the first 'Marxist' international organisation. Marx was born in 1818 into a Jewish family, studying a mixture of law, philosophy and Journalism (much to the dismay of his parents) He met Engles in 1844, 4 years before the document was published.

Before looking further into the document, it's worth quickly going over the key terminology.

What is communism? Essentially, it is a form of socialism that abolishes private ownership. In other words, it favours the concept of living in a classless society, where property is commonly controlled.

What are proletarians? Defined as a member of the working class, although they are not necessarily employed. It's also worth mentioning that Marx felt that eventually the proletariat were likely to rise to power over the Bourgeois.


Who were the bourgeois? According to Marxist opinion, the bourgeois were classified as being part of the property-owning class, exploiting the working class (the proletarians)

The document begins with the phrase: "A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of communism". This is a reference to Hegel's idea of the zeitgeist. Hegel undoubtedly had an influence on some of the ideas explored within the manifesto. Marx introduces the text well with an introduction that justifies its creation, writing: "It is high time that communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself".

Part 1, entitled 'Bourgeois and Proletarians', begins with a statement that claims society has always tried to order its members. Clearly, as a communist, this is something Marx is against. He writes, "In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere is a complicated arrangement of society into various orders". Marx develops this point further using the example of Ancient Roman society, arguing that even today the problem of class divide is still present. For the bourgeoisie, its always been about commerce and commercial value. Everything stems from the economy and the demand for financial power and dominance.

The manifesto explains the dangers of the seemingly unstoppable growth of 'bourgeois society', stating: "Modern bourgeois society [...] is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spell". The bourgeoisie has taken people with impressive qualifications and roles (e.g lawyers, doctors) and identified them not for the skill they show in their work, but the money they earn for this work. According to Marx, society seems to find itself in a state of barbarism due to to much civilization, too much industry and too much commerce.

The connection between slavery and the power of the bourgeoisie is developed throughout the manifesto. The idea suggests that because of the machinery, the work of the proletarians has lost its character. In other words, charm for the workman has vanished. As the manifesto states, "The proletariat have become slaves to the machines they operate". It also goes on to describe society's transformation through industrial development, stating: "Modern industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist".

The second part of the manifesto explores potential solutions to solving the issue of class divide. The text begins by reminding the reader of the aims of the communists, which are: A) Formation of the proletariat into a class. B) Overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy. C) Conquest of political power by the proletariat. Marx suggests that private property should be taken away entirely, in favour of a society that revolves around collectivism. Marx goes on to put forward 10 points that state clearly his aims. They are as follows:

1) Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes
2) A heavy progressive or graduated income tax
3) Abolition of all rights of inheritance
4) Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels
5) Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly
6) Centralization of the means of communication and transports in the hands of the state
7) Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan
8) Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture
9) Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country
10) Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.

Lecture 3, Semester 2 - Raw Notes

-- Marx --

"Capitalism comes into the world dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt"

Marx - Born into a Jewish family, some of his family were rabbis

You could argue he saw himself as a modern day prophet. Born 1818 in Germany, converted to Lutheranism. Studied law, philosophy, journalism (much to the dismay of his parents) Met Frederich Engles in 1844 in Paris. Communist manifesto - 1848.

Marx was a Journalist and editor for radical newspapers in Europe. Fled to London where he lived until his death in 1883.

Tombstone: "Workers of the world unite. The philosophers have only interpreted the world - the point however is to change it" - Marx was different to other philosophers. He wanted to change the world fundamentally through philosophy. Overtly campaigning for revolution. 1848 - Marx publishes communist manifesto - Gave philosophical backing to the changes happening in Europe.

Marx believed that you could explain everything about society by analysing the way economic forces in society shape social, religious, legal and political processes

"Everything's economically determined"

Aristotle - Man is rational
Plato - Man is political
Kant - Man is moral
Hegel - Man is historic
Marx - Man is productive

Marx - We are productive, man is a tool-maker.

According to Engels, Marx achieved a fusion of:

1) Hegelian philosophy (especially the philosophy of history and dialectics)
2) British Empiricism (especially the economics of Smith)
3) French revolutionary politics, especially socialist politics (man is born free but everywhere is in chains)

His method was scientific, believed he was using the same method as Darwin. Researched every aspect of society to try and understand it. Worked for years at the British Museum - painstakingly working his way through the vast amount of material

-- Hegel --

Believed the subject of this historical spirit and through history it is seeking self-understanding

History ends when spirit will achieve full self-knowledge - become the absolute spirit. The process works through the dialectic

(Zeitgeist - the spirit of the age)

History has a purpose, moving towards an eventual end. Marx attacks Hegel's dialectic idealism / mysticism - Geist, battle between good and evil. The real dialectic, he thought, was rooted in money, the economy. Class struggle.

"Marx sought the explanation of the historical process between man and the material conditions of his existence. Marx's theory of history is therefore called 'dialectic materialism'"

The property-less working class - proletariat - have nothing to lose and everything to gain. "Nothing to lose but their chains, they have a world to win" - Other groups stand to lose private property and social status, and so cannot be relied on to act in a selfless way

ALIENATION

Marx's theory of alienation relies on his theory of human nature - like Plato - Marx proposed the tripartite self

The theory of the human person having 3 different aspects / sets of needs:

1) Alienated self - The natural needs are perverted by a capitalist system e.g. sex is dominated by the male-dominated nature of society

2) Unalienated self - Species self understands we are all part of one another. This will emerge in a communist state

Capitalism alienates men from themselves and from each other. People begin to value things over each other. Work is the loss of the self - it belongs to another - it does not develop the body or the mind. We are alienated from our need for satisfying work. We are also alienated from our higher species needs - as yet to be fully known or realised.

"It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers" - Everything's economically determined. Marx says it doesn't have to be like this! Communicate society capitalized by equality.

COMMUNISM

Thesis - The Bourgeoisie (free market capitalism, liberal state, individual rights)
Antithesis - The proletariat
Synthesis - Socialism

Seeds of its own destruction - "Capitalism produces all the things in profusion, but most of all it produces its own grave diggers" (Marx thinks inside the capitalist system are the seeds for its own destruction)

Intense market competition. Bourgeoisie would inevitably seek a competitive edge by exploiting their workers. Workers cannot afford the product of their labours - unemployment, market crash. Capitalism Will try to survive by investing in better tech, exporting the products (competition and imperialism) the state using the surplus on state expenditure - education, military

Marx is historically determinist - he believes that the fall of capitalism and the rise of the proletariat are equally inevitable. Finally the proletarians would rise up and dispossess the Bourgeoisie. Dictatorship of the proletariat. This would result in socialism. People work together for the common good and the state would wither away.

Communism will be a garden of Eden.

No difference between mental and physical labour. Freedom of expression, no alienation, Utopia is not neccesarily a theory, it's based on fact!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Radio Links

Here's what I've got so far. I recorded my Part 1 script and also edited together Part 3 today in the radio booths down on campus.

Part 1 Radio Audio

Discussing the proposed 'Broadband Project'

Part 2 Radio Audio

Exploring the recent work of Winchester's Trinity Centre

Part 3 Radio Audio

News on the success of Winchester's tourist centre

Radio Script - Part 3

Here's my 3rd section of audio for the radio project:


Script:
Winchester's tourist information centre has picked up an award for being the best tourist centre of the year in the South East region.

Sarah Harfield, team leader, discussed the centres relationship with the local community.

Audio In - 'We try and provide..'
Audio Out - 'sets us apart from other TICs'

The regional award has secured the centre a place in the top 4 at the national finals, which will take place in Birmingham on April 15th.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Japan Earthquake - Live News

Japan has been struck by an 8.9 earthquake which is the largest the country has ever experienced. A tsunami warning has been issued for Japan, the Philippines, Hawaii, the Pacific coast of Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and also Central and South America.Terrifying stuff. Keep up to date with the events in Japan using the link below:


| http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698 |

Update: The BBC have posted an extensive report on the events in Japan. The link for this report, which includes some incredible pictures and footage, is below.

 | http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12711226 |

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Radio Script - Part 2

Admittedly, I'm not delighted with our latest story, but we did well with what we had. We took a trip to the Trinity Centre to learn about the work they do here in Winchester. It was really interesting to have a look around the facility and see what was on offer for visitors. Here's the audio file:

Many thanks to Sue McKenna for talking to us! 
| http://www.trinitywinchester.org.uk/ | 

Script:
Winchester's latest safer neighbourhoods meeting highlighted the importance of continued care for local homeless.

Winchester's Trinity Centre, which has been in operation for over 20 years, backs the "Spare Change for Real Change" campaign, which ensures donations are distributed fairly and equally via boxes in the town centre. 

Development manager Sue McKenna explained further

Audio In - 'instead of just giving..'
Audio Out - 'make a difference to homeless people'

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Recent Post Summary

Here are the links to the blogs I posted today. I had some content in my 'drafts' folder, so I thought I'd get rid of them and publish them finally!

1)  Seminar Raw Notes - Hegel

2) Lecture 2, Semester 2 - Raw Notes

3) 'Ozymandias' - A Closer Look

4) 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' - A Closer Look

5) Kant and Hegel - Seminar Summary

I also paid a visit to the 'Trinity Centre' earlier today for my radio project. Expect the audio for that to arrive sometime tomorrow!

 Hegel. A complex fellow to say the least.

Kant and Hegel - Seminar Summary

Our second seminar of the semester saw us delve into the world of Kant and Hegel. First, lets take a look at Kant, the founder of German Idealism.

Born in the East Prussian town of Konigsburg in 1724, Kant was the writer of the 'Critique of Pure Reason', a text with some particularly interesting ideas surrounding the concept of reason. Unlike Descartes, Kant didn't write for the general public. Instead, his works were both inspired and written for fellow philosophers, which could go some way to explaining why some of the concepts he covers are fairly complex. Above all, Kant seemed focused on the concept of time. Time, he said, is not external to the human mind. It was, in fact, a part of the way the human mind organised and came to understand sensory impact. Kant's early work actually dealt more with science rather than philosophy, which is where we can go into further detail.

Philosophy in the 18th century was dominated by British Empiricists, among which included Hume, Locke and Berkeley. Kant was considered a liberal with regards to his views on politics and theology. Striving for progress and reform, the German philosopher had a clear love of freedom. He stated: "There can be nothing more dreadful than the actions of a man should be subject to the will of another". It is here we can draw a link between Kant's views of freedom and the views of a typical romanticist. Freedom, for example, is a typically romantic concept. It's all about freedom of expression, the cultivation of emotion and being unbound by society and law. As Russell himself states in his book 'The History of Western Philosophy': "The whole of German idealism has affinities with the romantic movement".


A nice humorous overview of Kant's philosophy. It's definitely worth exploring the YouTube channel this video comes from. There's alot of useful and funny content on there that's relevant to the course

Kant's most prominent book is titled 'The Critique of Pure Reason', exploring the idea of experience. Kant's book aims to prove that, although none of our knowledge can transcend experience it is partially 'a priori (based on hypothesis rather than fact) and not inferred inductively from experience. That was a fairly long-winded sentence wasn't it? Put simply, you have to experience something to have knowledge of it. Knowledge can't 'exceed' experience. It is from this idea that we realise time and space are relevant to the argument. Time and space are both concepts that don't technically exist externally, meaning they can't be learnt from experience. According to Kant, the 'outer world' causes only the matter of sensation. It is our own mental apparatus that orders this outer world in time and space and supplies the concepts that are relevant. Time and space are not concepts, they are examples of 'intuition', Kant argues.

'Perpetual Peace' by Kant explores the idea of freedom further. In the text, he advocates the federation of states, which links into what I said earlier in the post when I mentioned Kant's views on forced will. "Reason condemns war", he writes. Perhaps we could tie this idea of mans will with the concept of 'general law'. Anything you do, you have to be willing for it to become a general law. This could have modern-day examples. Christianity, for example: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". This idea echoes what Locke says in many ways. That is, the idea of natural, inalienable human rights. Russell says it's possible to interpret Kant's views as 'each person should be counted equally'.

Now we move onto Hegel. Complex bloke, I must say. The sort of guy I can imagine nodding my head dismissively as he tried to explain one of his new, crazy ideas to me.

Although Hegel criticised Kant, it's clear that his system could never have arisen had Kant's not existed. Towards the end of the 19th century, a large majority of philosophers were Hegelian, proving that Hegel had a significant impact on the philosophical world.

Hegel discusses the idea of 'the absolute'. It is through relentless change that we become absolute. We get there, as a race, through the dialectic process. The dialectic method of argument is commonly split into the categories of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. This method argues that progress is achieved through the conflict of opposites.

Thesis? - Think of it as an idea, a concept or a historical movement

Antithesis? - Think of it as a direct reaction towards the thesis
 
Synthesis? - Think of it as a way of seeing what is similar between the thesis and the antithesis, and then having the ability to form a new idea through these findings

You could  draw a similarity between the concept of the absolute and an entity that encompasses everything. God, for example. Hegel states that we move this way because of a spirit, the 'Zeitgeist' - 'the spirit characteristic of an age or generation'. So what exactly is the Zeitgeist in simple terms? A sense of the time. Right now, for example, the zeitgeist is revolution. Recent events in Libya and Egypt have proven this. For Hegel, change is a good thing and something that we should always strive for.

In his book, 'The Philosophy of History', Hegel describes how 'the state is the actually existing realized moral life'. Essentially, the state is an individual and its purpose is not merely to uphold the life and property of citizens. Interestingly, Hegel is against the idea of forming institutions for the simple reason that doing such a thing would help prevent conflict! War is good, Hegel argues. He refers to it as 'The condition in which we take seriously the vanity of temporal goods and things'. Conflicts of states, for example, can only be decided by ear. Hegel also shows support for this idea in his 'Doctrine of State', where he justifies 'internal tyranny and external aggression'.


This video may also prove useful. It's a lecture on some of Hegel's ideas.

'Ode on a Grecian Urn' - A Closer Look

Thou still unravished bride of quietness!
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flow'ry tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal -yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoyed,
For ever panting and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

I thought it would be interesting to have a look in more detail at the works we discussed during the lecture on Romanticism. Lets start with an 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'.

The text begins with a description of a beautifully crafted Ancient Greek Urn, which Keats seems to admire greatly. He refers directly to the object as a 'historian'. Perhaps it is the pictures upon the urn that, in Keats mind, give it this title. The pictures tell a story of the period. Keats describes the images upon the urn. He seems to be questioning what it is he sees before him. "What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?"

Keats describes a scene involving a group of men chasing women through a forest. "What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?".

The speaker appears to be piecing together the clues the urn reveals to create a more vivid picture. It is through the use of rhetorical questions that the reader begins to realise the speaker has a very loose grasp on the meanings behind the images upon the urn. Keats then goes on to address the idea of music. He studies the images of musicians on the urn and attempts to imagine their melody. The theme of eternal life is also explored, with Keats writing: "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave". As long as the urn remains intact, so too will the musician upon the urn and so too will the trees upon the urn. Until the urn is destroyed, the beauty of music, life and nature remain preserved.

Keats continues to explore the idea of the urn having the power to preserve. The speaker studies a man upon the urn pursuing a lady. He writes: "Thought winning near the goal - yet, do not grieve; / She cannot fade, thought thou hast not thy bliss, / For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!". Keats suggests that the lover should not be fearful, as he is part of a picture. This picture will remain preserved and as a result, so too will the mans love.

As the text reaches its conclusion, Keats begins to become more emotionally invested in what he is saying. Lines such as "O Attic shape! Fair attitude!" and "As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!" clearly emphasise an overwhelming sense of feeling. Keats concludes with further ideas referring to immortality. He writes: "When old age shall this generation waste, / Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe". Even when the speaker has passed away, the urn shall live on, telling its story to future generations through the images crafted upon it.

The influence of Romanticism on the speaker is clear here. The idea of the mans love for his lady living on, for example, is a typically romantic concept.

'Ozymandias' - A Closer Look

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert.
Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

I thought it would be interesting to have a look in more detail at the works we discussed during the lecture on Romanticism. This is 'Ozymandias'.

Shelley begins by setting the scene, beginning with the line: "I met a traveler from an antique land/ Who said.." As an audience, we know the text is in fact a description of a conversation between a traveller and a speaker. It's nice that Shelley gives the text a context in this way.

Shelley begins with the travellers speech. He starts by writing: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Stand in the desert". Here the speaker starts his description of the statue that lies in the middle of the desert. The language used is very grand ('Trunkless legs of stone', etc.) It's almost as if the speaker is showing respect to the statue. Does its menacing appearance entitle it to this respect?

The image of the partially formed statue raises questions amongst readers. What happened to the other sections of the statue? Shelley only mentions certain parts of the structure. Could the other sections have been damaged through conflict? Natural forces? For example, Shelley's description of the legs as 'trunkless'proves there is no body to the structure. He also goes on to describe the 'shattered visage'. I personally like the image of the visage partially buried amongst the sand.

The traveller gives a more precise description of the 'visage', stating: "whose frown / And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,/ Tell that its sculptor well those passions read". From this description, Shelley describes how the structure is so well constructed its almost as if the facial expression of the visage is insightful and revealing. As Shelley says himself, it's a 'telling' object.

The speaker goes on to describe the inscription at the foot of the structure. "And on the pedestal these words appear: / 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'". Readers are now made aware of the fact the stone structure is infact a model of Ozimandias. This was one of the many Greek names given to Ramses II, also known as 'Ramses the Great'. This mas was regarded by many as the most powerful  pharaoh of the Egyptian empire. The inscription at the foot of the structure oozes with a sense of authority and unrivaled strength. "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Despite this theme of power and authority, I personally feel the text ends on a rather tranquil, relaxing note. I think the line "The lone and level sands stretch far away" paints a picture of a rather tranquil scene in the middle of the desert.

Lecture 2, Semester 2 - Raw Notes

Romanticism

The creatures of Prometheus (1801)

* 'Bringer of fire' - Stole fire from the gods to give to mankind
* The myths surrounding Prometheus have an influential force
* Prometheus punished for his act. Chained to rock, mountain. Vulture tore away at his liver.
* The 'Bringer of fire', the creation of mankind
* The renewal of humanity

Prometheus adopted as a god of Romanticism. See Beethoven, the creatures of Prometheus.

Lord Byron, 'Prometheus' - 1816
Mary Shelley, 'Frankenstein' - 1818
Percy Shelley, 'Prometheus Unbound' - 1820 - Prometheus signifying freedom

Romanticism - A general Euro-American movement arising out of the late 18th / early 19th centuries ('Romantic in the sense of its own self differentation')

Prometheus - The champion of the oppressed kind. A god who embodies the spirit of 'liberty, egality, fraternity' from the French Revolution

See Percy Shelley, letter to Lord Byron (1816): "The French Revolution is the master theme of the epoch in which we live"

(( "Ozymandias" - or Percy Shelley's Promethianism ))

Shelley's 'Promethean' revolutionary spirit infuses his 1818 sonnet "Ozymandias" - Also known as Rameses II
This was composed following a visit to the British Museum - Inspiration at work

The sonnet form is most often used to elevate and Shelley plays on the idea of "empires built on sand". Also suggests the subversive role of the arist in the face of tyranny. Shelley's sonnet articulates a critique of imperial power in the name of revolutionary art.

Via its account of Egyptian power, the sonnet alludes to the current imperial power of the British Empire. - Remember statue of Rameses 2nd is in the British Museum! Thus, Shelley's poem suggests the existence of a certain museum - imperial complex. Its anti-tyrannical stance seems to be addressed more towards British than Egyptian forms of power in 1818.

 Links to more recent events - Mubarak's downfall. Suggests Prometheanism is alive today in Egypt.

(( Asthetic Promethianism ))

Prometheus myth inspires other writers. E.g. John Keats and his 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' - 1820
Keats ode is a museum-poem, much like Shelley's Ozymandias

'Ode on a Grecian Urn'

 * Signifies an element of self-conscious artifice in the artistic act of creation
 * An opportunity for Keats to demonstrate poetic skills in the process of celebrating the very artistry of the Grecian Urn
* Opening lines - "Highly wrought"

Personification - The Urn as a bride. Alternating line length. Signifier of creativity.

The Urn consecrates art itself as a supreme value. E.g. Urn as an art object outlasting humanity. Keats shapes ode in such a way as to end with an absolute affirmation, put into the mouth of the personified urn. The ode manifests a typical romantic protest at a certain devaluation of art in the industrial capitalism of the day.

Raymond Williams / Betrand Russell - Influential commentaries on the meaning of Romanticism.

According to Russell - Kant switches from aesthetic Promethianism to political Promethianism.

Lord Byron's view of Prometheus, 1816 - "Thou art a symbole and a sign / To mortals of their fate and force"

Seminar Raw Notes - Hegel

Hegel

* Although he criticised Kant, his system could never have arisen if Kant's hadn't existed
* End of the 19th century - Leading philosophers were largely Hegelian
* Hegel stated that the real is rational, and the rational is real

The whole, in all its complexity, Hegel calls "the absolute"

Through relentless change, we become the absolute. We get there, as a race, through the dialectic process. An entity which encompasses everything - e.g. God. We move this way because of a spirit where we will eventually become absolute. The Zeitgeist is helping us take this journey.

* The absolute is spiritual

"Reason is the conscious certainty of being all reality"

What is the Zeitgeist? A sense of the time. Right now, for example, the Zeitgeist is revolution. Permeates every aspect of culture. Hegel believes this dialectic process is guided by Zeitgeist. Hegel is all about change. This explains why he has certain views on war and conflict. Change is good in terms of dialectic.


[ The Philosophy of History ]


* "The state is the actually existing realized moral life"
* The state is an individual, each state is independent as against the others
* The purpose of the state is not to merely uphold the life and property of the citizens
* He is opposed to the creation of institutions. (e.g. world government) because it would help prevent war!
* War is good - The condition in which "we take seriously the vanity of temporal goods and things"
* Conflicts of states can only be decided by war


[ Hegel's Doctrine of State ]


* Justifys internal tyranny and external aggression

Hegel's view - We can only know reality when we have completely mastered the appearances since the appearances (phenomena) partially hide and partially reveal reality.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Radio Script - Part 1

Hampshire County Council continue to discuss plans over the 'Broadband Project', an initiative that could take great steps in improving online communication and accessibility.

Users can expect improved online speeds of up to 2mb/s, a substantial improvement to current figures.

Alison Quant, Director of Economic Development for Hampshire County Council, described the project as vital, capable of having “huge impacts across the whole of society”.

The council remain optimistic despite news the project is not aided by dedicated funding. Councillor Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council, describes how costs are largely going to be met by the customer.

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