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To War is Human, To Relinquish Unlikely

The film cache of War World I, World War II, and Vietnam dramatizations are continual fodder for the curious and critic alike. The ancient battles of Europe and Asia have had their turn in front of the camera lens and the recent terrorism and rogue posturing leave no doubt that the theaters will draw revelers back in droves for the foreseeable future. Does the war formula of the past persist in terms of viewer expectation and recent innovation such as night vision? How does the ever changing geopolitical agenda and the socioeconomic appetite influence the confrontational depiction on the silver screen or the plasma screen? Does CGI enhance or devalue the tendency to transcend the dilemma physically, ideological or existentially? Consider the early stop motion techniques of Jason and the Argonauts (skeleton sword attack), War Games (teen hacker), The Hunt for Red October (espionage), or Terminator 2 (apocalyptic dream) for analysis of realism and suspension of disbelief in new battle fronts. Are psychological warfare or cyber-attacks in virtual space the future of wars, drone missions and stealth raids a nascent ploy, or is there still a place for the dog fights and tank ambushes of early combat?

  • Seems as though there are two different things going here: 1) Movies on war, meaning actual wars or probably well-known battles, and; 2) battle scenes associated with fantasy such as as Jason and the Argonauts. These need to be distinguished. – Joseph Cernik 4 years ago

Machiavelli on Republic states and Hereditary Lineage

Machiavelli spent much of the second half of his life concerned with regaining a governmental position in Italy following their political coup. For a statesman, ironically, Machiavelli was a quiet and shadowy individual, though his opinions on political rule are strong and controversial. He believed that a prince must always present himself as perfect and that all countries out to have a constant cavalry in order to have a fortress of sorts(though he disapproved of most stone fortresses). This made sense in his time due to the roaming barbarians that would eventually take over his country. Machiavelli believed no man can hold power without a knowledge of tactics and to trust no one. Such a Prince has only few advisers and admirers are brushed off, otherwise the Prince will lose respect, a ruler he says must be simultaneously generous, holding festivals, and mean or brusque, occasionally cruel without reason. Do you agree with his philosophy? Do you find it hypocritical?

  • I read Machiavelli's writings, and I'm confused about what an essay would focus on from what I read here. Maybe just focus on whether Machiavelli is still relevant and, if so, why. – Joseph Cernik 4 years ago

War depiction in Anime

Explore how war has been depicted in anime. Series like Gundam, Attack on Titan, Evangelion, Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece have all depicted wars. Explain how these series explore war. Are the wars realistic, do they take the wars seriously. How does animation take away from or add to the depiction of war? Can anime like One Piece accurately depict war, due to its humorous nature? Does the humor make the depiction of war easier to watch? Compare how more serious series like Attack on Titan tackle this topic. Are they more successful? Overall, focus on how the most popular anime portray war. What are common themes and reasons for war in these series?

  • It may be helpful to explore the concept of what a "successful" portrayal of war would even constitute. Morever, what kind of wars--international? civil? How do these series explore the socioeconomic and psychological causes or ramifications of war? (Magi would be a good series for the latter question, it's basically Economics 101 as of late!) – Tiffany 8 years ago