Saturday, November 27, 2010

Current Affairs & The Cartoons People Make of Them

The characters in this cartoon are two scientists, and they are studying the event of climate change. The message of the cartoon is that we do need to take better care of our environment. I think this is pretty funny, but I guess not everybody will. One scientist is saying that climate change is being driven by insufficient use of twisty lightbulbs. He's referring to energy saving fluorescent bulbs. I think I agree to some extent. Fluorescent bulbs are better for the environment, but they are a bit more expensive, and not everybody can "waste" money on them, which I can understand.
  The characters in this cartoon are a couple that are from Canada, and they are addressing the issue of global warming as well. The message is that global warming is there, and it affects everyone. The humour is developed by the wife's answer to the husband's question, "Our igloo melted..." Again, I agree to an extent. I'm not sure global warming has become that drastic yet.

A Canadian Song Analysis: Canada's Really Big-The Arrogant Worms

When I look around me,
I can't believe what I see.
It seems as if this country
Has lost it's will to live.
The economy is lousy,
We barely have an army,
But we can still stand proudly
'Cause Canada's really big!

We're the second largest country
On this planet Earth,
And if Russia
Keeps on shrinking,
Then soon we'll be first...
(as long as we keep Quebec).

The USA has tanks,
And Switzerland has banks.
They can keep them, thanks.
They just don't amount,
'Cause when you get down to it
You find out what the truth is.
It isn't what you do with it,
It's the size that counts!

Most people
Will tell you
That France is pretty large,
But you can put
Fourteen Frances
Into this land of ours...
(it'd take a lotta work, it'd take a whole lotta work).

We're larger than Malaysia,
Almost as big as Asia.
We're bigger than Australia,
And it's a continent!
So big we seldom bother
To go see one another,
But we often go to other
Countries for vacation.

Our mountains
Are very pointy.
Our prairies are not.
The rest is
Kinda bumpy,
But, man, do we have a lot.
(we gotta lot of land, we gotta whole lot of land).

So stand up and be proud,
And sing out very loud,
We stand out from the crowd  'cause
Canada's really big!

So, obviously, the main message of this song is that, "Canada's really big!" It's true. Like the song states, Canada is the second largest country in the world, and it's bigger than Australia, which is a continent. I think that's pretty crazy. 
The song states that we should be proud of our country, and I think that means that we need to be patriotic. Everybody thinks that the grass is greener on the other side, you know? I. personally, think we've got it pretty good here. We have lots. Many countries don't have even have half of what we have here. We have a lot of space. We're not overcrowded, like many Asian countries. The weather here really isn't all that bad. We have yet to experience a natural disaster that reaches the magnitudes like that of Haiti, Chile, or Thailand. Our lives are happy, for the most part. 
One of the videos of this song mentioned that the Arrogant Worms were asked to sing "O Canada" at an athletic event of some kind, and they felt that they needed to sing something different, something that stated (kind of) what Canada represented to them. I think it did a pretty good job. It is a pretty patriotic song, and let's face it, after repeating "O Canada" every day in elementary school, and then at every school event later on, it can get kind of repetitive. I'm not saying I dislike "O Canada". I'm saying that songs like these allow for a change. It doesn't always have to be the national anthem. 
This song is great, and it does explain Canada pretty well. I'm pretty sure if I was supposed to describe Canada for a young child who had never been here, I'd sing this song. It just fits. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Literary Devices Found In Fiddler on the Roof

Literary Devices Found In Fiddler on the Roof
Literary Device
Where Found
-the Fiddler represents each person in Anatevka. They are trying to stay balanced, like a fiddler, using tradition.
-the pots represent the life that the family will be leaving behind.
-pg. 2(Act 1: Prologue)
-pg.152(Act 2: Scene 8)
-pogrom is alluded to when the constable has a brief conversation with Tevye
-the eviction of the Jewish community in Rajanka is alluded to by Avram
-pg. 53(Act 1: Scene 5)
-pg. 25(Act 1: Scene 2)
 -the Fiddler-also a metaphor. He is compared to every person in the village of Anatevka.
- Hodel and Perchik dance at the wedding. It is a metaphor for what could be called courtship or dating.
-pg. 2(Act 1: Prologue)
-pg. 98-99(Act 1: Scene 10)
-when Tzeitel is compared to Fruma-Sarah.
-when Motel is compared to King Solomon in one of the Tradition reprises.
-pg. 60-61(Act 1: Scene 6)
-pg. 67(Act 1: Scene 6)
-Tevye is an allegory. He represents the common man.
-Tevye’s bible references, specifically when he talks about the chicken.
-entire play
-pg. 31(Act 1: Scene 2)
-Tevye’s horse is given human traits. Tevye says his horse becomes lame and loses his shoe deliberately so that he can rest.
-Anatevka. In the song, Anatevka is given the characteristics of being underfed, overworked, and obstinate.
-pg. 20(Act 1: Scene 2)
-pg. 144( Act 2: Scene 7)
-the nightmare. Fruma-Sarah’s anger provides great imagery. You can see her sneaking in by night to choke Tzeitel.
-“Miracle of Miracles”-you can see the wall falling down in Jericho and the Red Sea parting
-pg. 80-81( Act 1: Scene 7)
-pg. 70( Act 1: Scene 6)
-the eviction of the Jewish communities in many Ukrainian towns and villages
-the conversation between Tevye and the Constable
-pg. 25(Act 1: Scene 2)
-pg. 51-54( Act 1: Scene 5)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Chavaleh"- In Response to Fiddler on the Roof

Little Bird, Little Chaveleh,
I don't understand whats happening today.
Everything is all a blur.
All I can see is a happy child,
The sweet little bird you were.
Chaveleh, Chaveleh.

Little Bird, Little Chaveleh,
You were always such a pretty little thing,
Everybody's favorite child.
Gentle and kind and affectionate,
The sweet little bird you were.
Chaveleh, Chaveleh.

I'm not sure why I love this song so much, but I do. It speaks to me. Maybe I love it because it reminds me of myself. I think that Tevye and Chava were very close, and that relationship between father and daughter reminds me of myself and my father. My father has always reminded me of Tevye, since I first saw this musical and really understood it. I must have been about 10, and Tevye was a lot like my own father, so much so, that I felt I needed to identify with a daughter of his. When I saw the movie again when I was 13, I realized that I was more like Chava than I had originally thought. She is the one that loves to read, but also is incredibly smart. She is a child at heart to some degree, but she also seems way more mature than her years.

This song is sung by Tevye, and he seems to be very emotional while singing. He's upset, and rightfully so. His daughter, his "Chavaleh", abandoned tradition, and married someone not of her faith. It almost seems that Chava is Tevye's favourite of his five daughters, which may be wrong, but also makes sense. She's Tevye's  baby girl. Tevye probably feels that she is the one that is most likely to make a difference, or make something of herself, something that isn't really possible.  

I think this song definitely adds to the musical. It's not all happiness in real life, and this musical proves it. There aren't necessarily happy endings, and in Chava's case, sometimes the rest of your life may not involve those you love. She is disowned by her family, and moves away with Fyedka. This song helps to illustrate just how depressing something like that would be. This song will probably always be my favourite, and I thought I'd share it with the world.