Thursday, November 4, 2010

Long Paper Proposal

A 300-500 word proposal that outlines your working thesis for your long paper. You should utilize at least one outside source when crafting the proposal, cited in MLA format. The proposal should be posted to the course blog site. 5% of course grade.


  1. For my long paper assignment, I shall write on the 1960’s documentary film, “Woodstock.” The idea came to me when I began to ponder on a single specific scene in the documentary. In this scene, a young pair of teenagers is interviewed about the reasons why they were making their “quest” to Woodstock. Surprisingly, their reasons strayed from sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Their answer lay in the belief that there was something far greater than the said reasons, and that they were just looking for “something else.”
    I believe that today’s generation of young people mistaken Woodstock for “love-ins,” drugs, and music. Instead, I want to communicate to the reader that Woodstock should be seen as a symbol for something far greater: a subjective learning experience for the young and wandering, an existential realization. Because so many stereotypes are made about the audience of Woodstock, the reader should be enlightened that most of the young people of the Sixties were on an existential quest to create one’s life (Fitzgerald). They were there to meet new people, make new memories, and create new symbols. I will delve into these symbols and stereotypes using both “looking back” and present perspectives of Woodstock, and I will enlighten the reader of the importance of overall experience.
    I will also explain the differences between today’s teenagers and Sixties teenagers through examples of communication differences, music festivals (whether symbols, meanings, or actual events), and the idea of “freedom.” I will cite sources regarding the parallels between today’s existential heroes and the past, such as Jon Krakauer’s article on Christopher McCandless. I am very excited to begin working on this piece, and I hope to successfully promote and enlighten the reader to forget about everything and experience the outside world without sounding like a hypocrite.

    Works Cited

    Fitzgerald, Bill. "AN EXISTENTIAL VIEW OF ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT." Adolescence 40.160 (2005): 793-799. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 10 Nov. 2010.

  2. I apologize for the lack of indentation, the blog somehow fails to recognize my organization. Sorry, I tried!

  3. Angry flowers, Violent Echoes of The Sixties

    “The success of the sixties was to make visible
    and vocal what was largely unseen or ignored”
    (Van Goose and Moser).

    The sixties represent the lifting force of a generation who challenged and questioned authority. It was a generation that demanded social and political change. It was a psychedelic decade of freedom in every sense—sexual, musical, you name it!

    For some, the sixties represent a decade of lost hopes and broken dreams, a flower that lost its power. For others, the sixties symbolize a time of a great turmoil and violence that ruptured America. Regardless, the legacy of the sixties shaped a generation and carved a political landscape that can still be seen today.

    This paper will be an examination of the sixties with an emphasis on violence and its ramifications with respect to society today.

    Many agree that violence in today’s society has its roots in the sixties, pointing fingers at the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground for their “armed struggle”. The path from political to mainstream violence seems improbable. As a result, according to Varon, one needs to consider a set of questions concerning the origins, the purpose, and the effects of political violence. For a further debate, it is important to consider the overall message of the following documentaries : Berkeley in the 60’s, In the year of the Pig, Weather Underground and Gimme Shelter. Each documentary emphasizes some form of violence in different settings, where “American democracy was not functioning exceptionally well in the decade, given the violation of the basic civil rights of African-Americans and other racial minorities, fierce opposition to the war fought on the basis of government lies, and the widespread belief among the young that American democracy was a sham”(Varon).


    Goose, Van, and Richard Moser. The World the Sixties Made: Politics and Culture in Recent America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003.

    Varon, Jeremy. Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

  4. Today, a few decades after our forfeit from Vietnam, it may be beneficial to look back and ask if the army ever discovered the element of a strategy in Vietnam that, given events, might have helped American win the war or at least keep the soldiers from refusing to fight. Had those elements and situations existed how could they have been mixed into a strategy that could have served American goals? In retrospect, how could we have won?

    An effort to isolate Vietnam politically should have been the first step, attack their alliance system with an accelerated diplomatic strategy focused at getting Russia and China to support us and not just tell our president what he can’t do. Once the local people who we were there to liberate were mostly self sufficient, capable of building up and maintaining their own defense, and the new government could be able to negotiate from a position of power, the new government could negotiate with the north for an end to the war. With its alliance system already severely weakened with our initial efforts, the north would be presented with the costly alternative of an expanded war on its own soil if it refused the treaty.

    In hindsight, it was our failure to reassess our strategy, and to realize that the north’s power was a similar of own critical weaknesses that caused our inevitable withdraw. In order to attack North Vietnam's strategy, we should have strengthened the collective will of our solders and our citizens back in the states. (1)”As well, our capability to fight an unconventional war was limited to the training of a few South Vietnamese Special Forces along the border.” Our failure was a total collapse of the South Vietnamese government, yet it seems the overriding factor in the loss was South Vietnam's dependency upon our presence to survive. The Johnson Administration's failure was a series of critical mistakes forced upon South Vietnam, but it is also easy to see that the army plunged into metaphoric quick sand by destroying the possibility of South Vietnam playing a primary role in its own defense.

    Works Cited
    (1)Shelby L. Stanton. GREEN BERETS AT WAR. San Francisco: Presidio Press, 1987.

  5. The civil rights movment/ majadi Radwan

    it has always facinated me the way of the world. How the bad always triumps over the good, how no matter great the cause theres always somone or somthng that opposes it. I find it very intresting how the 60's efected many gernerations to come and not only the ones that were alive in that time but everyone especially people of color. I want to do my long paper on the illusion that civil rights movement won the war. I think it did when some battles but no leaders stood up and took the place of the great Dr King Jr after he was gunned down. It seemed a hole generation excepted defeat and turned on each other. There was many things that could have took place after he was shot like the peacefull marches that took place, when they were making head way. the violence that broke out after he was shot was just what the opposing side wanted, the tearing apart of all he stood for and ultimatley sacrifised his life for A peacful movement. After he died all hell broke loose as if tearing there on communitys apart would give them some peace. There was no real leaders to step in. there reaction was not wht Dr King would have wanted. There has been so much racism and hate between the black community after he died balck on black crime went rampid in black communitys drugs and violence was the new face of black america. I wish the world could be different but it seems that the bad always trumps the good. What is opression what is love amongst your fellow man these are all topics I hope to indulge in with my next paper. Thank you. Majadi radwan