Creative Project 4 on “Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club” by Derek Whitis

Creative Project #1, PHIL 114 Global Moral Issues, Summer 2017, Purdue University

Creative Project Week 4

Creative Project Justification Week 4

Creative Project Week 4: “Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club”

PHIL 114

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The image I have submitted for my creative project is actually a screenshot from a video game I play called “Just Cause 3.” The screenshot is a scene of a modern-day town, similar to what you would find in Juarez, Mexico. On the street, a gruesome gun battle has just taken place, leaving dead bodies and destroyed cars smoking in the aftermath. Two civilians are seen hanging from a telephone pole, likely hung there before the gun battle took place. These two visuals however, are not the most disturbing thing in this scene. On the right you see two women, one old and one young, walking along the side of the road, not even giving the graphic scene a moment’s notice as they continue on with their day. I was inspired to create this scene after reading the conversation between Javier and Carlos on pages 34-35 in the short story “He Has Gone to be With the Women.” In this conversation Carlos attempts to convince Javier to leave Juarez and come live with him. Javier refuses, offering a single line of reasoning for it.

“What would happen if everybody left?” Javier Said.

“Then the city would die.” Carlos replied.

“That’s right, Carlos.”

After reading this I made a very strong connection to some of my own experiences in playing video games. Often times there are sequences of intense action and violence that take place around innocent bystanders. What always caught my attention, because I always found it to be so unrealistic, is how after the action stops and dead bodies, burning cars, and destroyed buildings litter the landscape, all of the people that live there, the innocent bystanders, soon resume the normal activities as if nothing had even happened. Now this is of course because of how they are programmed, but yet is it so unrealistic? Javier refuses to leave a city swallowed by death and destruction. He has a strong connection to that city, and no matter how bad things get, he will not allow the city to die, he chooses to carry on. Suddenly the scene I have seen many times in video games, the scene I have created for this project, has a stinging touch of reality. No longer do they represent goofy AI not reacting to the surroundings simply because of the limitations of their programming. These could be real people, in real cities and towns, who simply choose to, instead of fleeing from their beloved city leaving them and all they love to die in their wake, push forward. They continue to live for what they love, for what they feel connected to.

USA Feds and Mexican Cartel Standoff by Mason Arnoldy

Creative Project #1, PHIL 114 Global Moral Issues, Summer 2017, Purdue University
Justification of artwork:
This is my creative project for Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the US and Mexico by Beto O’Rourke and Susie Byrd. The sketch depicts a standoff between two people and is supposed to represent the battle between the U.S. government and the Mexican cartels that smuggle drugs into the United States. The U.S. person is just a generic law enforcement officer, but the person representing the cartels is loosely based on “El Chapo” who was mentioned in the book and, at least up until his recent arrest, was the leader of one of the major cartels. The key detail about the image is the gun in the U.S. person’s hand that is not pointed at the cartels, but is instead held backwards and pointing at the U.S. person. This is representative of how many U.S. policies and actions have consequences that actually benefit the cartels and hurt U.S. interests. This includes the fact that there are members of U.S. law enforcement that allow themselves to be bribed to look the other way or even to help cartels smuggle drugs and the fact that marijuana is illegal in the first place despite little to no evidence of it being a significant danger to society. The authors lay out solid reasoning based on market analysis for a change of policy and the legalization of marijuana to combat the cartels. I think one of the most effective and central lines in the book is a question posed on page 87: “If, like alcohol prohibition, marijuana prohibition has led to more harm than good – more lives destroyed, more money spent, more tax revenues foregone – then does it make sense to repeal its prohibition and treat marijuana more like alcohol?”
O’Rourke, Beto, and Susie Susie. Byrd. Dealing Death and Drugs. ; The Big Business of Dope in the U.S.and Mexico. N.p.: Cinco Puntos, 2011. Print.

Failed Prohibitions, Absurd Consequences by Jen Howard Cordova

Creative Project #1, PHIL 114 Global Moral Issues, Summer 2017, Purdue University
Justification for art #2
This art piece is to show how those in higher positions lead to create laws that, in truth, create the mindset of monsters. Then, in turn, justify killing the monsters it creates and gives a false sense of victory. In the end, the demise is really of those who encourage the creation and the true monsters are those who create them.

Illegal on Charcoal by John Bontrager

Creative Project #1, PHIL 114 Global Moral Issues, Summer 2017, Purdue University

Kentucky Club

Justification for artwork:

In my artwork for “Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club,” I used a charcoal drawing of a man’s back that I found online to represent Nick from “The Art Of Translation,” although the figure can stand in for any immigrant that is stereotyped and profiled in the U.S. I put the word “illegal” in red on the back of the figure to represent Nick’s wound, and various words that Nick looks up in the story float around his head in both English and the Spanish equivalent. For this piece I wanted to try to encapsulate the way that language can define and shape both ourselves and others. My main inspiration for the piece came from pages 57 and 63 in the novel, particularly the quote that reads “I looked up the old words in the dictionary, words I’d once known the meaning of: home, death, knife, skin, blood, knife, hate.”

Warm House by Alec Cunningham

Creative Project #1, PHIL 114 Global Moral Issues, Summer 2017, Purdue University

Burning Card House

Justification of artwork:

The piece that I have created and photographed is based on the book Cosmopolis and emphasizes the point that perfection in and of itself is frail and unfulfilling. Erick Packer is young, rich, brilliant, physically strong and an overall embodiment of perfection. When Eric bets wrong on the yen and loses, he loses his perfection and thus wants to have a grand fall from grace. Page 201 (in iBooks, not the physical copy) emphasizes this theme when Eric “sat in the car borrowing yen and watching his fund’s numbers sink into the mist on several screens.” The house of cards represents “perfect” life; empty and frail. Money represents what citizens of a capitalistic economy build their lives around. The playing cards emphasize the gambles and risk taken to succeed. The fire is the inevitable fall.