In-Class Entry 1/19/10
This past week we have read a lot of new material and one piece that I really enjoyed reading was Winn's essay titled Television: The Plug-in Drug. In modern society today, I don't think I have ever been to someone's house where they didn't have at least two television sets. Many families do have four or more TV's throughout their house. With this excess of watching television, it becomes hard to imagine what people would do without it. I believe teenagers would definitely be more productive with their school work because they would have less of a distraction when trying to do school assignments. What could they do at one in the morning when they are still up trying to cram their homework in last minute? Nothing. If this were the case though, I think internet would strongly take over and it would become more of a problem than television. Growing up I can't really remember doing many family "activities" other than getting together and watching a good tv show or movie.
Another piece that I liked debating in class was Gore Vidal's essay titled Drugs. In this essay, Vidal radically proposes that legalizing all drugs would resolve a majority of the country's issues with drugs. He tells his readers that he himself tried every drug there was to try and didn't like any of them. He put down the Manchu saying that one whiff of opium would addict its user forever. In only 12 short paragraphs, Vidal states that legalizing these drugs would take away the adrenaline effect of the user and he/she would therefore not want to use them because since they are legal, it makes using the drugs not as enticing. It would provide billions of taxable dollars for our government to make money from. Also, it would completely illiminate mobs, gangs, and mafias that are drug related. Vidal thinks that every man has the right to kill himself if he wishes to do so. This theory of dealing with drug usage is in theory a good idea to me, but the extent to its effectiveness in the real world would be limited. I think eventually that marijuana in the United States will become either legal or completely decriminalized. I think the drug topic is a very sensitive one and I enjoy reading about what people think about such mind-altering substances. In class, we learned about Dr. Leary and his extensive studies of LSD and other hallucinaginic drugs. I bet that was a very interesting thing back in earlier decades because so few people were educated about the drugs and had no idea of their effects.
As we continue our Body unit, I look forward to reading more material about topics we wouldn't normally be reading about. The class discussions are going to be getting more intense and I'm interested in seeing our new student's reaction to these debates. Ah I forgot to write about Iron John and the story about how boys need to separate from their moms and "take the key" to become a man. That had to have been one of the weirdest stories I've ever read but it did make some sort of sense.