Analysis of My Favorite Song, “PRIDE.”

My favorite song of the album DAMN. is definitely “PRIDE”. After I’ve finished listening and annotating the rest of the album, the song “pride”, stood out to me due to its introspective nature and the several dichotomies explored in this song. In “pride”, Kendrick Lamar delves deep into the problems he faces internally and acknowledges them in an unaggressive tone, which distinctively contrasts with some of the other songs of his album,  such as “DNA” and “HUMBLE”.  Overall, the distinct introspective nature of this song as well as its soothing melodies and low vocal pitch made “PRIDE.”  a more memorable and thus, my favorite song in the album DAMN.

Thesis Statement: In Pride, Kendrick explores 3 dichotomous choices, happiness/flashiness,  god idea of perfection/human perfection, animalistic/spirit nature of human psyche his alter-ego “Kung-Fu Kenny” wrestles with, as well as his acknowledgment of his own imperfections through the usage of biblical allusions, repetition, motif, and structure.

Key Techniques:

  • The use of the motif of coldness is reoccurring in this song as it represents Lamar’s acknowledgment of his several imperfections. For example, the phrase “Cold as December” represents how Kenny’s fame and power have led him to become desensitized towards people around him. Kenny’s motif of coldness represents his acknowledgment of how he is far from perfect, admitting that he is often cold and insensitive towards the people around him. Another example is the phrase “my feelings might go numb, you’re dealing with cold thumb”. The phrases “ feelings might go numb” and “cold thumb” represents how Kenny has lost his grip on controlling his emotions due to his escalating fame, and his emotional and physical distance from his loved ones. Kendrick’s usage of the motif of coldness in these lyrics acts as an introspection into his identity, feelings, and emotions as he explores the motif of coldness and its connection between his physical environment around him as well as his emotional environment.
  • Lamar’s repetition of “I care” through this song serves as a kind of pleading, in which Kenny pleads his audience to empathize with the harsh environment he grew up in and shortcomings he has faced in life.
  • The use of biblical allusions in “Pride”.  highlight the dichotomy of happiness/flashiness. The phrase “Happiness or flashiness? How do you serve the question?” alludes to Jesus’s teachings of the Kingdom of God, in which Jesus warns his  followers to give quietly, “Be careful to not display your righteousness merely to be seen by people, thus whenever u do a charitable giving do not blow a trumpet before you like as hypocrites do so people will praise you.”  This biblical allusion to Jesus’s teachings of the Kingdom of God relates to how Kenny is trying to impress others with his service, however, this action may provoke the increase of his fame, but only mask the deep unhappiness within.
  • Lamar’s chronological structure of verse one and verse two highlights the shift from explaining the several dichotomies he has faced, to the acknowledgment of his imperfections. For example, he ends the first verse with the dichotomy of happiness/flashiness and starts the second verse with several acknowledgments of his imperfections, such as “Now in a perfect world, I probably won’t be insensitive” and “I won’t blame you for the mistakes I’ve made or the bed I’ve laid”

Relationship between “PRIDE.” And the rest of the songs in DAMN: “Pride.” continues with the reoccurring wickedness/weakness dichotomy of the album, as well as adding on a few more dichotomies like happiness/flashiness,  god idea of perfection/human perfection, animalistic/spirit nature of the human psyche. Furthermore, the song “Pride”, serves as a micro-resolution for the previous song “Yah”, in which Kenny refused to answer God’s call. “Pride” parallels the first half of DAMN. with the first half of the book Jonah, where they both end on a positive note. In the bible, the prophet reconciles with the very god he’s been running away from and “Pride” ends with Kendrick acknowledging his imperfections and the importance of God’s call.

Global Issues Explored: The song “Pride” is definitely intertwined with the global issues of culture, identity, and community due to the introspective nature of this song. In”Pride”, Kendrick Lamar delves deep into his identity by acknowledging that he is imperfect due to his harsh environment growing up and shortcomings in life.

*I currently don’t have the lyric booklet with me because I’m outside of Beijing, but my annotations will be up in around a week when I arrive back in Beijing.

IO Reflection

  1. What went well
  2. What you still need to work on
  3. Goals for next time

 

I feel like my individual oral went well in terms of the content. I feel like there was an equal amount of analysis in both texts. However, I still need to work on the 5-minute question part, because I kind of stumbled on that area. My goals for next time is to increase the level of analysis in texts and better the organization of my oral.

An Analysis of the Problem With Apu

Assignment: Analyze the final scene of the documentary, including the transcript (posted on DX). Start at 47.58 and view until the end. Write a blog post in which you analyze the filmmaker’s purpose and how it is achieved. Identify the specific techniques used and analyze their effects on the audience. Include still shots from the documentary as needed, along with quotes, to support your claims.

 

In The Problem With Apu, the narrator Hari Kondabolu examines the East Indian cartoon character Apu on the long-running TV series “The Simpsons” , and analyzes the normalization of racial stereotyping of East-Indians on television to an American audience. The prominent theme of racial stereotyping of Indians is conveyed through the utilization of a personal anecdote, rhetorical question, allusion as well as film techniques such as jump cuts. The main purpose Kondabolu is trying to achieve in The Problem With Apu is to highlight how the creators of The Simpsons have wrongly stereotyped East-Indians through the character Apu, as well as to inform the general American audience that the characterization of Apu is racist and discriminatory to people of India descent.

In the documentary The Problem With Apu, narrated by Hari Kondabolu, the filmmaker utilizes jump cuts to enhance the purpose of this documentary, which is to inform and help persuade to the general American audience that the Simpsons character Apu is a racist and discriminatory character, and it has to be criticized. The jumpcut to the scene of the ‘racist grandfather’ helps evoke a sense of humor for the audience to lighten the tone of this documentary. The filmmaker’s usage of jump cuts helps grab the audience’s attention causing them to focus on what Kondabolus is saying. The jump cut can be seen on 48:04.

The filmmaker’s usage of Grandpa Simpson helps captivate the audience’s attention again, as well as re-enhancing Hari Kondabolu’s purpose of creating the documentary of The Problem With Apu,  which is to persuade and inform the American Audience that Apu is a racist and discriminatory character. The phrase “the Simpsons is just like your racist grandfather” and the still above of, Grandpa Simpson holding a variety of signs that present extremely racist views of Indian people, alludes back to Kondabolu’s message. For example, two of the signs Grandpa Simpson is holding show ‘brownface’, which is extremely racist and offensive.  Overall, the usage of jumpcut and Grandpa Simpson helps regain the audience’s attention and help allude back to Hari Kondabolu’s purpose of creating the documentary of The Problem With Apu,  which is to persuade and inform the American audience that Apu is a racist and discriminatory character

 

Futhermore, Kondabolu’s personal anecdote at the end of this documentary (archival footage), jokingly describes the things he and his brother would say to his mother, like, “take that dot off your head?”, “why are you wearing bedsheets outside of the house?” “shut up and go make me food”. These phrases cause the audience to remember the overall theme of this documentary and help allude to Kondabolu’s opinions of why  the character, Apu, is racist and discriminatory.

Lastly, the rhetorical question asked at the end of this documentary, “can you imagine what she dealt with out of the house” helps indirectly cause the audience to remember why the character, Apu is racist and discriminatory, as well as evoking sadness for the audience.

Overall, in this snippet of The Problem with Apu, the usage of personal anecdotes, allusion and jumpcuts help achieve Hari Kondabolu’s purpose of informing and persuading the general American audience that the Simpsons character Apu is a racist and discriminatory character that has to be criticized.

 

 

 

 

 

Global Issues Post

    This article titled “By 2030 over 50% of colleges will collapse”, written by Thomas Fry provides eight reasons  why over 50% of colleges will collapse in 2030. Fry begins this article with an anecdote about Mozart, and how after his death his wife was forced to earn a living, so she began selling her late husband’s manuscripts and turned the former messy paper scraps lying around the house into a tidy income stream. Fry states that “lucky for her, she lived after Gutenberg’s printing revolution had begun in Europe allowing her to leverage the power of rapid reproducibility” Fry utilizes this anecdote to allude to how during those same 200+ years where the printing revolution occurred, colleges have barely changed. This anecdote helps provide general insight for the readers, on how Fry will comment on the implications of technology and its impact on the future of education.
    The overall theme in this article is the implications of technology and its effect on education as well as figuring out what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century. In this article, Fry celebrates technology and embraces the digital era, “Each industry has forged its own unique path into the digital age”. Fry also tries to convince and persuade people who run colleges to change alongside the rise of the digital era to prevent public institutions from becoming obsolete. Furthermore, Fry pressurizes his young audience to change and to keep pace with technological progress,
     Fry appeals to logos in this article by providing his readers of prospective and current college students with evidence to his reasons, and to ultimately persuade them to agree with him on his views. At the beginning of this article, Fry provides a “4 key metrics to consider” to provide some background information for his readers to note before he began explaining his beliefs about the future of colleges. Fry appeals to logos by providing statistics to support his views, for example,  “according to Andrew Ng, founder of Coursera, “When one professor can teach 50,000 people, it alters the economics of education”. However, phrases like “Sudden realization that “the emperor has no clothes!” creates a humorous and informal tone in this article. Furthermore, Fry writes a metaphor, “several driving forces are causing the world of higher ed to feel the ground shift beneath its feet”, this metaphor re-emphasizes his point of how he believes higher education will collapse very soon.
    I chose to find an article that focused on the global issue of beliefs, value education because I feel that education is a field that would most likely be impacted by the irreversible technological progress of the 21st century. I’m very interested in how technology will impact the future of society’s main values and beliefs. I thought that exploring how technology will impact our future education will help us understand society’s beliefs and values and help gain a better understanding of what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century.

Chin-Kee: a startling caricature of negative Chinese stereotypes

This panel is on page 50.

 

In American Born Chinese, the prominent themes of racial stereotypes, particularly American stereotypes of the Chinese and other East Asian ethnicities are conveyed in the panel above. In this novel, the primary example of these stereotypes is Chin-Kee,- a startling caricature of negative Chinese stereotypes. He is Danny’s larger-than-life Chinese cousin who, to Danny’s embarrassment, comes to visit every year. As shown in the panel above, Chin-Kee wears antiquated Chinese clothing, the tradition Qing Dynasty queue hairstyle and he literally has the stereotypical “yellow skin”, buck teeth, and eyes squinting so tightly that the pupils cannot be seen. Chin-Kee’s name also sounds like the ethnic insult “Chinky” when said aloud. All of these physical stereotypes of the Chinese are directly conveyed through the physical image of Chin-Kee. The icon in the panel above is Chin-Kee, because he represents all the stereotypes Gene Luen Yang believes Americans have of Chinese people.

Furthermore, in the panel above many stereotypes of Chinese people can be emphasized through Chin-Kee words, “SUCH A PLETTY AMELLICAN GIRL WITH BOUNTIFUL AMELLICAN BOSOM! MUST BIND FEET AND BEAR CHIN-KEE’S CHILDREN.” The author places an emphasis on the way Chin-Kee speaks by purposefully changing the r’s to l’s, to display the stereotypical notion that Chinese people can’t speak English properly and have an accent. The phrases “bind feet” and “bear Chin-Kee’s children” exaggerates the old culture of China and again, highlights the stereotype American people have on Chinese culture, believing that all Chinese women must bind their feet and have children. Gene Luen Yang utilizes the caption of the panel above to highlight the stereotype that Chinese people are overly-loud and obnoxious. The facial expressions of Danny and Amelia display fear and embarrassment of Chin-Kee.

Overall, the panel above conveys the novel’s central theme of racial stereotypes, and particularly how American people portray the Chinese. Gene Luen Young effectively portrays these stereotypes of the Chinese through the caricature of Chin-kee and captions.

 

Paper 1 Reflection

In my first paper 1, I feel like I presented my ideas in an organized manner. However, my analysis of the effects of literary techniques was very limited and I should’ve written more of my ideas in detail.  To improve, I should’ve read the text more carefully before I began writing. I also should’ve incorporated more literary techniques in my essay. Furthermore, to improve, I should’ve analyzed more on the effects of literary techniques. Lastly, I should’ve included more sophisticated vocabulary and my introduction and conclusion should’ve been longer.

My target goal for the next Paper 1 is to write a more persuasive, detailed analysis of how language is being used. Another goal is to utilize more literary techniques so that I can analyze more.

 

“To Live”

2:01:02-2:03:35
This scene occurs towards the end of this movie where Xu Fengxia (the daughter) suffered from Postpartum hemorrhage, where an uncontrollable amount of blood is leaked after birth. I  thought  this scene was very significant because it encapsulated the overall theme of the movie, which is overall about the regrets Chinese citizens had when they discovered the detrimental effects re-education had impacted their lives and others during the Cultural Revolution. The scene where Xu FengXia starts bleeding and the nurses, in a state of shock and panic saying “We’re just students, we don’t know what to do”, clearly displays how  Maoist ideologies, like, getting rid of the educated heavily negatively contributed to the overall wellness of Chinese people.
 
The mother and father’s facial expression shows tremendous sorrow and guilt which displays their regrets and their realization on the importance of keeping the educated and intellects, like Dr. Wang.  
Zhang Yimou’s utilization of a editing technique called “cutaway” creates a sense of action and heightens the climax of this film. The distinct contrast seen in the two stills above, in a sense, relates to the theme of regrets. Before FengXia suffered from postpartum hemorrhage, her parents were happy that she had given birth to a healthy baby boy. However, right after that, the nurses came running to them, drenched in blood, screaming that they “don’t know what to do,” alludes to the detrimental affects Maoism and  particularly re-education. When the Cultural Revolution began, people were hopeful and excited, however towards the end, many people like the characters in this movie (FengXia and her parents) eventually discovered how Maoism and specifically re-education had strongly negatively impacted their lives and future.

Propaganda Poster

The purpose of my propaganda poster is to persuade the people of Beijing of all ages to adopt a “better” lifestyle by recycling, driving battery-powered cars, replacing energy with solar panels, eating organic goods and biking, in order to help prevent climate change from happening in the future. I decided to make a propaganda poster about the subject of climate change and the future of Beijing, because climate change is currently a very important topic and I think the majority of the people in Beijing’s current lifestyle of smoking, over-use of cars, burning coal etc is contributing to climate change and pollution. I purposefully made the photo on the left black and white because I wanted it to highlight the picture on the right due to its relation to the purpose of my propaganda. I utilized juxtaposition by placing the two collections of photographs next to each other because I wanted it to contrast with each other and highlight the picture on the right in a positive light. Overall, I used a scare-tactic in my propaganda poster, by making the audience believe that if they currently smoke, contribute to traffic on the road, burn coal and use plastic, their future will be polluted, dark and negative just like the collection of black and white photos on the left. The slogan of my propaganda poster reads “The future is in your hands…so, pick the future you want!” I chose to make the font bolded to emphasize my point and I colored the word “future” and the phrase “so, pick the future you want” in green because it’s similar to the colored-picture and green symbolizes happiness and positivity. Lastly, the photo of me in the middle pointing at the picture on the right is to convince my audience (people from Beijing) to pick the “green lifestyle” to prevent climate change.