According to Novelist Salman Rushdie, “Art can be dangerous. Very often artistic fame has proved dangerous to artist themselves.” The question is how dangerous is art really?

The danger that novelist Salman Rushdie spoke about in the opinion article that he recently wrote in the New York times speaks on how art can endanger the artist. However, it is not truly the art that endangers the artist, yet it is the fame and prominence that the art brings to the artist that seems to also bring the danger for the artist. In the article, Rushdie used China’s Ai Weiwei as an example of how an artist’s art can endanger the artist. Ai Weiwei’s art has given him prominence which he has in turn used to enter political circles in China and begin to be a voice against the government. This newfound voice against the government and its position in certain events has endangered the life of Ai Weiwei. He was recently arrested and is apparently supposed to be charged with tax evasion and pornography which many believe the government is attempting to plant on him. This is just one of many cases against artists that has seemed to incoporate art as being dangerous.

In terms of writing, painting, dancing, and musical performing and producing, art can still be deemed dangerous for the artist. Many times artists are ostracized because of their work and its relevence to the social issues of the time. The lives of artists start to become dangerous when they get involved in political issues. One artist that I’ve viewed to be ostracized by the public for his view of political issues is Spike Lee. Spike Lee is a world-reknowned director, producer, actor, writer, and activist who hasn’t been afraid to use his art to tackle the negative issues in society. He has taken much heat for getting involved in political issues. I cannot say that his life has been as dangerous as Ai Weiwei’s due to the freedom of speech amendment that is relative in the United States in comparison to China’s laws. However, I will say that writing, painting, dancing, and musical performing and producing are dangerous to the artists depending on what the artist is attempting to express through the art and depending on what the artist does with the fame and prominence that is gained from the creation of that art.

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The Defintion of a “Real” Man and Society’s Influences on Manness…

Merriam-Webster defines a man as “an individual human; especially: an adult male human” but I believe that there is more to being a man than just to be a male. In order to truly define what a “real” man is, one must know the essence of the “realness” that is being challenged. In order for someone to be considered “real”, they must exhibit “real” qualities. This means that one’s actions must outweigh one’s words. Too often males tend to speak about what they will do and how they will do it but they never actually commit to doing anything. This is especially prevalent in the African American community.

The definition of a “real” man is one that is extremely skewed in the African American community. One of the major reasons for this problem is the lack of positive African American men in urban communities. I have to narrow my example of a man towards the urban area because that is what I know the best. I come from an urban area and I actually come from a single-parent household where my mother is the sole parent, so I have the personal experience to speak on men, or the lack thereof, in urban communities. Being that there aren’t many positive male role models in the African American community, many of the male youth tend to look toward the media for a definition of what it is to be a man. When this happens we are left with young African American males who only see their futures as being either rappers, professional athletes, or gangsters. The media tends to portray the African American male as these sterotypes but doesn’t give any type of alternative. This becomes the source of a downward spiral for the African American male. With no “real” man to learn from there are many men produced who tend to be just boys in a grown man’s body.

I would have to say to solve this problem, “real” men should become more apparent in the urban African American community. The definition of a “real” man is a male who exhibits the characteristics needed to make a change in his community, while also enhancing the lives of those around him, providing for those in need of him and leaving a legacy for other males to build upon. As stated earlier, society has influenced African American manness in not so positive ways. As it pertains to all manness, society looks at males to be dominant and brute as they were projected to be in cave men times. A man must be macho and cannot cry for that makes him weak and to be weak is a sin on manness. Society also influences the urges of man. According to society, a man must be sexually-driven in everything that he does as well. He must have the most flashy things for that equal success. He must sleep with the most women and live a very eccentric life style. These are just a few of society’s influences on manness.

However, being a man, or better yet a “real” man is different for every male. It’s all based on the perspective of life.

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Considering The High Cost of College is Getting a College Education Worth It?

The question that was presented to us during class was this: Considering the high cost of college, is getting a college education worth it? This question is one that is being presented more and more to the world of academia. With the popularity of so many self-made billionaires, like Bill Gates (Creator of Microsoft) and Mark Zuckerberg (Creator of Facebook), being flashed towards the minds of millions around the world, the thought of needing a secondary education is becoming more and more prevalent.

Technology is advancing and growing day by day. Through technology, many people are making their living and many of these people don’t have college degrees. So the question comes up on whether getting a college degree is worth it. I believe that you have to look at it from a multitude of views to really understand the question.

When first asked you might immediately think the answer is yes or no, but it’s actually not that simple. Before I present my answer, I’d like to say that there is no wrong answer for a question like this and that the worth of college really depends on how the person answering the question feels toward college.

To me, from a monetary standpoint, getting a college degree is worth it. I know the high cost of college can be a burden on the minds and pocket books of many college students, but the future success that is expected from this college degree should be enough to drive any student to success. It’s supposed to give you the ability to stand out from others, obtain a secure job, begin a career, and live life. However it doesn’t work out that way for many people. Many people seek a college education without knowing what they want to be educated in and then they become engulfed in something that annoys them and this leads to a horrible life. I sometimes say that a college education isn’t worth much but it’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience. As far as the information you are challenged to gain in college, you can get that information for places like the internet. However, what you can’t get from the internet is a renowned doctor of professor who’s aid in a certain subject might help open doors for you. College is truly about finding and building those networks that you can use to propel yourself to the next level in life.

So to answer the question of is a college education worth it, I’d like to say yes. It’s a quest of much more than finances and it should lead to self-discovery if the right qualities are searched. Just think of all of the people who would love to be in college or even have to opportunity to obtain a collegiate degree. Do you think millions of people would want that college degree is it wasn’t worth anything? I think not. Now think of what you might be limited to without a college degree. Everybody isn’t a Bill Gates or a Mark Zuckerberg. Usually everybody’s just the Average Joe.

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