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For Beginners® is a documentary, graphic, nonfiction book series. With subjects ranging from philosophy to politics, art, and beyond, the For Beginners® series covers a range of familiar concepts in a humorous comic-book style, and takes a readily comprehensible approach that’s respectful of the intelligence of its audience.
The great works of Plato and many philosophers of the past have played a huge role in the development of the Western world, but speculations aside, how much do we really know about the messages conveyed?
When it comes to Plato, we will probably never stop discovering new elements of his work. The most recent discovery was made by Dr. Jay Kennedy from the University of Manchester, who spent five years submerged in an in-depth study on Plato’s “The Republic.” As described in the Greek Reporter, his research concluded that the text was written according to a precise musical code. Since Plato was a follower of Pythagoras, Kennedy claims he was likely influenced by Pythagoras’s idea that nature was completely mathematical, and that even the stars danced to “a harmony of spheres.” Musical notes can also be interpreted mathematically, and Kennedy found twelve sections of music related words in Plato’s text.
Kennedy claims, “…a pattern he suspected was related to the twelve notes of the Greek musical scale. It was like a musical score — locations in the text associated with love or laughter played out with harmonic notes, while associations with war or death were marked with dissonant screeching sounds. ” This fascinating revelation only increases the deeply profound nature of Plato’s work, and brings us to wonder what else we have yet to discover.
Sienna Arpi, Inten
From how many stars it received, to how many millions it raked in during the first weekend, we can’t get away from entertainment news about the latest Blockbusters. On the other hand, what about content, meaning, and the underlying messages of films? When we compare the reports about numbers to the reports about actual content, we have to ask ourselves, what does our society truly value?
Blogger, Thomas Swan compares the quality of film reviews these days to artist Manny Farber’s “Termite Art” theory. Termite art refers to small, independent films. According to Farber’s theory, “termite art is far more powerful than its counterpart, white elephant art, i.e., the blockbusters” (Swan). Farber felt that termite art was more adaptable and more unique. Swan observes, “Discussions about its [films] merit are not really that important. Down the line, the anticipation of a film’s earning potential conjures up more excitement than the film itself does.”
What would the great artists of the past think of mainstream society’s film industry today? More importantly, what do you think?
Sienna Arpi, Intern
In spite of its ever-growing female attendance, Comic-Con International has come under great scrutiny for the treatment of its female attendees. Women dressed as their favorite characters often feel threatened simply walking around the convention, especially given the lax harassment policy governing festival behavior.
According to the Daily Mail, a quarter of women who attend the convention have been sexually harassed. Many of these women– some of them minors– are made to feel unsafe at a convention meant to promote fun. In fact, the overwhelming presence of harassment has led to a sort of guerilla defense against it, with groups and individuals alike banding together to fight harassers (a battle quite fitting of its own graphic novel). Groups like Geeks for CONsent – who advocate a safe and harassment free environment with the motto “cosplay does not equal consent” – have been gaining recognition with their petition calling for a clear and official harassment policy at Comic-Con.
The petition (which has over 2,700 signatures) has brought international attention to a problem that the annual festival seems to have overlooked. While Comic-Con reps insist that their harassment policy is clear and available to all attendees, the outcry since the convention last week may drive it to draft a more specific code of conduct. The harassment policy itself is barely accessible to the public, who must navigate Comic-Con’s labyrinthine website (again, a task fit for a comic book plot) to discover just three brief sentences instructing proper conduct.
With personal accounts of harassment, assault, and blatant disrespect growing even faster than Geeks for CONsent’s petition, the need for a stronger policy is becoming concrete. Surely every festival-goer is entitled to the same safe and relaxed outlet for their comic book passion, regardless of sex, age, or other factors.
–Lily Trotta, Intern