So this week is the start of February. I always like starting a new month like starting a new year. One month can hold many things in it. February holds one of the worst days of the year unfortunately and that is Valentines Day. Yes I suppose it is ok if you have a girlfriend but even then most people moan but if you are single it is a big slap in the face just to remind you of the fact. A friend of mine who said she worked in a restaurant and would work Valentines day, always found it amusing that while she was waiting tables, a guy would be watching a T.V screen in the restaurant and not paying any attention to the girl or two couples would be in a fight or there was a couple who, it was rather obvious that this was their first date. Still I'd imagine serving tables on that night would make you good tips because no guy wants to look cheap on the night of the 14th.
Valentines rant over and I figured I would talk about my dissertation. Being in my last year of University we have to write a 10,000 word dissertation. This can generally be on any subject to do with American studies and the most popular areas are history, politics and literature. Being more of a history/politics person I researched and researched and came up with a title; The Living Room War: the American media coverage of Vietnam.
This is an area that has been written about but is not so popular when talking about the conflict. With the rise of television sets in America in the 60's, Vietnam was the first War to be televised and with barely any censorship in the way it was reported. This is my focus. Did the American media help lose the war?
The above image is probably one of the most famous images of the conflict and one of the most striking and haunting images to ever be taken. The picture shows a photograph taken by Eddie Adams on February 1, 1968. It shows South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing a Viet Cong officer in Saigon during the Tet Offensive. The event was also captured by NBC News film cameras, but Adams' photograph remains the defining image. Although many assume the officer for being a murderer, many question (including Adams' after he took the shot) as ro what you would do if you had been fighting the enemy for so many years and in the intolerable heat of that day the enemy pictured had taken out a few of your buddies?
Anyone who is not upto date on the conflict, the Vietnam war (1955 - 1975) was about stopping communism taking over in Vietnam after the fall of China. The American Government pledged military support to the South to repel the North with devastating consequences.
After the picture, Adams stated that he regretted taking the image and apologised to Chief Nguyễn Loan for taking the picture and any shame or hurt it had caused his family. The question of whether the media should be allowed such access to conflicts has always been questioned from this image on.
Well after that short history lesson and my Valentines rant, there is not too much to write about. Tonight I have my dark noir literature class and we are looking at Freud and the 'uncanny,' a word that raises doubt, fear and insecurity as well as Edgar Allan Poe stories. If anyone has read Poe short stories, please feel free to comment here on them. I'd very much like peoples opinions on them, especially "the fall of the house of Usher," (1839) "the pit and the pendulum," (1850) and "William Wilson" (1842).