Alex Guillen Mr. Gerdes
Response to Jill Lepore’s: “The Prism”
The violation of one’s privacy and different events that have aroused within history that regurgitate a violation of privacy is the theme surrounding this article. In addition to this the article is centered around the idea that as individuals are defending their privacy more and more methods are being developed to try and invade that privacy, especially more so in this modern day and age because technologies are being developed that were unprecedented hundreds of years ago. Another theme expressed in the article is the idea that American culture today can be viewed as a paradox because many individuals love being seen and hidden at the same time, that the only thing that is loved more than privacy is publicity. Lastly, two big events that occurred and are currently occurring that reiterate a violation of privacy are the incidents with Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian exile in London in 1844, who had his mail read by the British government without his consent and the N.S.A. collecting data online for years by tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies.
Personally, I believe this article is quite interesting and entertaining and is strongly supported with reliable sources and anecdotes. The author uses a certain literary prose and Biblical references in an attempt to capture the audience; and the author also structures the article in an effective way. For example, the article began with an anecdote about something not very well-known but then connects it with the N.S.A. and the current Obama Administration in order to improve our understanding of the event. This article relates to U.S. history because it incorporates the Obama Administration as previously mentioned and at the same time it refers to earlier American history. For example the article speaks of Olmstead v. United States in 1928 in which the court considered the constitutionality of wiretapping. Eventually Olmstead was convicted but after serving three years’ hard labor was pardoned by Franklin Roosevelt in 1935. Clearly, this article has different aspects of the long history of the United States which is one of the reasons it is such an interesting, capturing article. Response to Jane Mayer’s: “A Word from Our Sponsor”
A documentary filmmaker, Alex Gibney, created a film called “Park Avenue: Money, Power, and the American Dream” which was centered on the growing economic inequality in America. Gibney uses the contrasting ways of the individuals living in the most expensive apartment buildings in Manhattan on 740 Park Avenue and those of the underprivileged people living in the Bronx as a case study. However by doing this Gibney puts David Koch, a billionaire industrialist who resides in 740 Park Avenue, under heavy scrutiny. This caused problems because the film was set to air on public broadcasting entities such as PBS, WNET, WGBH, and ITVS and Koch was a donor to all these companies and he was also a trustee of both WNET and WGBH. Many of the head executives of each of the companies were not sure if they should allow the airing of Gibney’s film because of the fear of upsetting Koch. Eventually due to the many problems that came about Koch decided to resign from WNET on May 16 as he felt he was not supported as well as he should have been by the media organization he gave so much to.
I believe this article is interesting and is applicable to young students all the way up to adults because it provides an insight into not only the growing economic inequality within American society but also the way in which the possession of money translates to power. The author does a good job of presenting the information in the article because she gives different accounts to add more detail into the theme of the article which surrounded David Koch....
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