Kevin Korb – Shoehorn

The shoehorn drops from out of nowhere. It makes clinging sounds just as a coin does when it drops on to the floor. I’m too far from the shoehorn to see it but I recognize it by the sound it makes when hitting the ground. It has a unique sound that comes about due to its odd shape and weight. I walk up to it and its sitting there facedown. It looks like a typical still-life painting. It lays there in a way that people will know that it has been used for many many years and has been through a lot…The shoehorn wants to be reminded its history. It has been passed down from person to person for so many years that it has become confused as to who was its original owner.

Fresh Paint – Kevin Korb

On July 2, filmmaker Sam Bacile posted a satirical video on youtube that not only displayed Muslim prophet Muhammad, but depicted him as an immature, savage, sex-hungry murderer. Two months after it was posted, on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, violent protests sprung in Eqypt and Libya toward the contents of Bacile’s video. U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, was killed in Libya along with three additional Americans who were embassy employees.

Rather than the fact that the prophet Muhammad was depicted so poorly, the protesters in Egypt and Libya were enraged simply because the prophet Muhammad was portrayed in the online video. In Muslim religion, any sort of visual representation of sacred figures is strictly prohibited. This characteristic of Muslim religion is widely known so it can be easily assumed that Sam Bacile and the other producers of the video were well aware of it. This certainly does not imply that they knew that there would be such a catastrophic response but they must have obviously known that Muslims would be angered nonetheless.

According to Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, the four murders left Americans confused, angry, and fearful towards the Muslims’ harsh reaction. But the question is: should Americans be feeling this way? Should they be so surprised that this offended Muslims so immensely? The article questions this by describing how we once had this issue in the history of our country. Colonists at Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay prohibited images of Jesus Christ in their churches and scratched out crosses in their books. Also in the early Republic, artists avoided drawing forms of God and Jesus in their pieces. Painter Washington Allston addressed this when he stated “I think his character is too holy and sacred to be attempted by the pencil.”

Let us not forget how insulting the video was in the representation of Muhammad. If you click on the link below to view the video, you will see how childish and unintelligent Muhammad is portrayed as. The video is satirical but Muhammad is clearly disrespected and insulted.

By no means does this justify the violent protests resulting in the deaths of four innocent Americans, but shouldn’t Americans acknowledge the fact that this video is absolutely inappropriate and insulting towards Muslims? Should there be some way to monitor the content of videos that are being posted on the Internet so that they could be removed if they are clearly made to insult others? Should Sam Bacile and the other producers be punished for what they did despite their freedom of speech?


A Longing for Unity

“The distant soul can shake the distant friend’s soul and make the longing felt, over untold miles.”        – John Masefield

I live on one side of a long, broken bridge. On this end, also known as my actual hometown, I stand peering across the bridge trying to find a way to unite with the place that I call home, Buenos Aires. This beautiful city is where my entire extended family resides; where all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents get together to celebrate special occasions, Christmas, New Years, birthdays; where my relatives spend evenings together playing cards, talking, laughing, eating, and watching soccer, all without me. My entire life I’ve been longing for some kind of unity with the people I love dearly overseas; jealous of all those around me who can enjoy this simple, yet precious luxury. Despite this, I’m grateful to have these people be a part of my life and I cherish the brief opportunities that I have to be with them, fully aware that there are others out there who are much less fortunate.