Calvin and Hobbes comics are usually short and sweet, and either in color or black and white. For works of art that seems so simple at first glance, it’s a wonder how Bill Watterson mangaed to fit in such profound pieces of life advice/philosophical dilemnas within them. This comic in particluar is only four panels with no color. The comic is aesthetically pleasing to those who appreciate the minimalist line art and exaggerated expressions, and is fit with a sense of nostalgia for others who grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes comics.
Yet, with only one exchange in dialogue and two extra panels of silence, the comic speaks volumes. It gives us a simple message that questions the morality of keeping creatures in capitivity. In most cases, whether it be children or entire ogranizations who are looking for a profit, when humans see something they consider beautiful or interesting, they feel the need to keep it somewhere they can look at it whenever they want to. Children who capture insects or uproot plants from their habitats do so because they don’t know any better. When Hobbes implies to Calvin that keeping his newly captured butterfly is morally wrong, Calvin lets it go. Despite this, there are plenty of older people who keep beautiful things in captivity for their own gain.
Again, the message here is simple. If a child can understand the consequences of keeping beautiful things in captivity, why don’t we all follow Calvin’s lead?
Within the Graffiti park, you can find a beautifully painted mural of Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter who took inspiration from nature, her culture, and herself. Kahlo’s art embodied elements of her own identity, so it’s fitting that the college student who painted this mural added a few modern elements to the painting. Just to name a few: coffee, instant ramen, a cell phone, the the book that Kahlo is reading all seem to be important parts of the anonymous painter’s identity, and there are much more that I’m certain the painter could never fit into a single painting. The Graffiti Park allows a safe place for artists to express themselves. Freedom of expression is such an important right in America, yet many Americans either forget that others are allowed to express different opinions, or forget that you can be held responsible for abusing said freedom.
This tribute to Kahlo couldn’t possibly make passerby feel so uncomfortable that they feel the need to report it and get it taken down, but the same can’t be said if Kahlo were replaced with a certain cheeto man wearing a red cap with the letters MAGA printed on the front. This isn’t a declaration of my political beliefs. Far from it. Rather, I am stressing that it is important to remember that freedom of speech goes both ways. Most higher education institutions seem to house a majority of liberals, and I fear than many conservatives are too afraid to express themselves because they don’t want to be criticized. Of course, if exercising that freedom leads to one or more individuals getting hurt or killed, then the punishment dished out to the perpetrator is justified no matter what their political beliefs are.
One aspect of Kant’s philosophy discusses the freedom to make public use of one’s reason in all matters.The path to enlightenment requires that one expresses oneself and allows others to express themselves freely. Kant uses multiple authority figures, ranging from an officer to a ruler, as examples of those who use their power to place many restrictions on individuals. These restrictions all come down to Don’t argue! and Obey!, which prevents one’s ability to gain enlightenment. Kant then goes on to assert that humans must freely reason with other humans to promote enlightenment, and very few restrictions may be placed on private reasoning so that enlightenment may not be hindered.
This philosophy interests me as someone who grew up feeling like they didn’t have a voice. I had been told on multiple occasions that it was never because I didn’t have much to say (which was something I believed was the case for a long time). Instead, it was the opposite; the few people I take the time to talk to on a regular basis know that I could go on about interesting topics that I have researched, and I would be more than willing to debate about them in order to gain a new understanding of that particular topic. The problem lies in the many adults in my life, and many other young adults’ lives, who belittle our opinions and cast them aside simply because they believe us to be “ignorant” or “too young” to say anything meaningful. This phenomenon is delved into by Isabel Song, now a UC Berkeley alumni, who talks about her own frustration with the issue.
The adults in the world who refuse to listen to younger generations despite the fact that they are more than capable of holding productive, mature, and enlightening conversations are (according to Kant’s philosophy) “cowardice”, “immature”, and averse to becoming enlightened themselves.
Hi! My name is Jasmine Okereke. I’m a Clinical Psychology major and Health Social Issues minor, but I have only taken one (1) class that is relevant to my major/minor despite being a Sophomore because I have too many gen eds and prerequisites! Go Revelle College! All joking aside, my interests include writing and performing and visual arts. I have played saxophone(s) for eight years, and I make pottery and stained glass projects when given the supplies. I have also been writing a story and drawing its concept art in my free time for a few years. Of course, with all the art that I dabble in, I refuse to make a career out of them because my parents told me not to.
My favorite book from the HUM series would have to be Montaigne’s The Essays. Montaigne’s first chapter openly discourages readers from wasting their free time by reading his book, going so far as to to a book about himself frivolous. Montaigne’s sense of humor can be seen throughout The Essays, and it even made me laugh out loud a few times. I know. It’s weird. (Another great book that isn’t from the HUM series is Murder in Perspective by Keith Miles. Check it out, it’s the only book I bothered to finish in high school.)