Saturday, March 7, 2020

Sample Business Recommendation Letter From an Employer

Sample Business Recommendation Letter From an Employer Students who are applying to a business, management, or entrepreneur program will need to have at least one recommendation letter that demonstrates your leadership ability. This sample recommendation letter is the perfect example of what a business school wants to see from both undergraduate and graduate program applicants.It has been reprinted (with permission) from Named ​one of the best essay services on the Internet by The Washington Post, EssayEdge has helped more applicants write successful personal statements than any other company in the world.Though EssayEdge did not write or edit this sample recommendation letter, it is a good example of how a recommendation should be formatted. See more sample recommendation letters. Sample Letter of Recommendation Dear Sir: Esti worked for me as my assistant for one year. I recommend her without qualification for your entrepreneur program. While working in commercial production, I often relied on Esti to put together creative presentations, for which she described and outlined the artistic approach to the project, researching illustrations and photographic reference materials. Her creativity, resourcefulness, and ability to see a project through really made these presentations distinctive and successful. When we went into production on the feature film Hotcha, Esti was able to observe every step of the process, sitting in on meetings and working with people in all areas of the production from the moment the production was set in motion through the release of the film ten months later. During this time, she was an effective communicator, often serving as my liaison to scattered members of the crew. She also coordinated projects involving numerous people, and her ability to work collaboratively while guiding the project quickly and effectively was outstanding. For example, when we suddenly needed to reconceive several action sequences that had already been storyboarded, Esti quickly found a new storyboard artist on location and worked with him, the stunt coordinator and the cinematographer through several drafts to make sure the new sequences worked, and then communicated with crew members from all departments, making sure everyone was up-to-date on the changes that were relevant to them. She even jumped in to draw a few last-minute storyboard changes herself. Estis sensitivity, diligence, energy, and sense of humor made working with her a joy. I highly recommend her as a welcome addition to the program. Sincerely,Jeff Jones

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Moving a business to Nigeria. Political and Legal, Demographics, Essay

Moving a business to Nigeria. Political and Legal, Demographics, Culture And Human Development Index - Essay Example The following paper discusses the many challenges of shifting business to Nigeria and recommends solutions to the soaring labor costs and increasing competition. Information regarding Nigeria’s demographic, economic, cultural, political and developmental situation has been analyzed leading to the decision that the company should continue to produce and sell in the US and not do any kind of business in Nigeria. Demographics of Nigeria Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. In July 2012, Nigeria was estimated to record a population of 170,123,740 people (Akinpelu 7). This translates to a population density of 184. 52 compared to 33. 114 people per square kilometer in USA (Hamilton and Webster 51). This indicates that Nigeria's resources, especially land, are quite strained. Such a high population density indicates poor planning and possibility of a nation not being able to sustain itself. Although the high population may indicate availability of cheap labor, lack of suf ficient funds from the government towards education leads to lack of quality human resource. This is not good for business and thus, it would not be advisable to move a business from New York to Nigeria on the basis of high population densities. In fact, USA has a population higher than that of Nigeria making it a larger market amidst growing competition in the business of manufacturing motorized scooters. There are 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria divided almost equally between Christianity and Islam. Religious differences have seen a history of intense religious clashes between Muslims and Christians causing poor business environments. On 20th June 2012, Red Cross estimated that 80 had been killed in Kaduna due to a Muslim-Christian conflict. To curb language barriers, English is used as the official language. The literacy level in Nigeria is estimated to be 78% compared to 99% for USA (Hamilton and Webster 73). This gives USA an upper hand while using these figures to compare quality of workforce between the two countries. Culture Being an African country, Nigeria has deep roots in its culture. With over 50 languages being spoken by the 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria’s culture is quite diversified and thus complex to generalize. This may not be good for business since it is complex to familiarize a business with the many cultures in Nigeria. Nigeria’s is however rapidly changing into a modernized country as a result of the rise of its movie industry known as Nollywood in the global market (Akinpelu 24). This shows that Nigerians are hardworking and creative relative to many countries in Africa but certainly not the USA which has the biggest and most developed movie industry in the world. USA’s culture is modernized and more uniform compared to that of Nigeria (Hamilton and Webster 93). USA’s culture is more liberal as compared to Nigeria hence making it easier to accommodate change as a strategy in business. Culture is an important facto r while considering modes of marketing in order to reach and convince a larger audience. Human Development Index Human development index is important in determining how developed a country is. This index captures information about life expectancy, education, literacy, quality of life and standards of living. With the inclusion of all the above determinants of human development index, we can comfortably classify countries as underdeveloped, developing or developed. Nigeria’s HDI was estimated to be 0.459 and thus classified as having low human development. USA’s HDI is classified as very high ranking 3rd globally with a figure of 0.910 (Hamilton and Webster 49). This makes US a better region to nature one’s business compared to Nige

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Journal Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 words - 76

Journal - Essay Example I took part in the creation of an effective campaign process that entailed the creation of posters and placing them strategically. â€Å"Leadership plays a huge role in improving organizational policies and protocols.† (Stevens & Cooper, 2009). Besides the intense teamwork, I spared time to proof read my project in readiness for submission. The week presented various value addition opportunities as I met preceptor with who I shared vital information on various discourses in the nursing profession (Budd, 2002). I attended yet another leadership meeting where I interacted with various departmental leaders. Furthermore, I continued working on the awareness raising exercise and saved time to polish my DNP project. I spent time working on the awareness creation project. Working with a teammate, we visited hospitals and clinics creating awareness and encouraging hand washing among other hygiene behavior (Baldwin, 1977). I learnt numerous interpersonal skills besides the ethics necessary in maintaining successful and efficient teams. Additionally, I saved time to work on my

Monday, January 27, 2020

Egon Schiele: Influences on and Impact in Art

Egon Schiele: Influences on and Impact in Art Was Egon Schiele ahead of his time or just in touch with it? A master of expressionism or practising pornographer and paedophile? What was the driving force behind his most memorable images; those being his nudes and self portraits? Looking at economic, social, personal influences, was he milking the times and environment for self gain or was he a hormone raging self absorbed youngster finding himself? Introduction Expressionism is described in typically polemic terms in the preface for the 1912 exhibition in Cologne, featuring new artists of this genre. In it, it says: â€Å"the exhibition is intended to offer a general view of the newest movement in painting, which has succeeded atmospheric naturalism and the impressionist rendering of motion, and which strives to offer a simplification and intensification in the mode of expression, after new rhythms and new uses of colour and a decorative or monumental configuration – a general view of that movement which has been described as expressionism.† Schiele certainly fulfilled the loose terminologies expressed above, as a great deal of the subject matter he explored, primarily his nudes and his self-portraits, were concerned with the constant need to redefine and explore different ways of expressing these themes; a simplification and intensification in the mode of expression. At times, Schiele reduces the broad sentiments of Impressionism to a single streak; he cuts out all that is unnecessary, reducing his backgrounds to a simple wash of colour, and thus focuses on his primary interest, that of the human subject. Schiele was also extremely concerned with the notion of self in his work; he is frequently cited in critical work as a narcissist and, with over 100 self portraits to his name, each of which appear to be concerned with showing himself in various, often contradictory ways, this would appear to be true. But, beyond simple glorification of the self, Schiele seems to be doing something else in his self-portraiture. By picturing himself in such a varied and at times contradictory way, Schiele in turn questions his own authenticity, and attempts to align himself with that great canon of artist in society, as a contemporary Promethean or Christ-like figure. â€Å"Allegory, unmasking, the presentation of a personable image, and close scrutiny of body language as influenced by the psyche, all met most palpably where Schieles eye looked most searchingly – in his self-portraits, his odyssey through the vast lands of the self. His reflections on and of himself filled a great hall of mirrors where he performed a pantomime of the self unparalleled in twentieth century art.† Indeed, the ambiguity of Schiele as regards himself is a dense and complex subject, which regards both â€Å"truth†, and a more subjective appraisal of art in Viennese society during the time in which Schiele was painting. Schiele was also concerned with breaking down and fundamentally opposing the traditions of Viennese culture and art which, at the time, were largely very conservative in opinion. In his art, Schiele would strike out at the culture that celebrated Biedermeier art and the slavish reproduction of classical works that he was taught at Viennas Academie der Bildunden Kunste (Viennas Academy of Fine Art), which he was admitted to on the grounds of his exceptional talent as a draughtsman. Most prominently, he would break these rules, and was thus ahead of his times with his extremely controversial oeuvre, which broke from these schools almost completely, both stylistically and in terms of the subject matter that they conveyed. But it is extremely difficult, if not impossible when considering any artist to extricate him / her from the times in which he / she was born. An artist is inevitably bound to the world around him / her, and thus, it is important to consider the economic, social and cultural trends that were prevalent at the time. Schiele was part of the expressionist movement – which immediately set itself up against the heralded principals of art in Vienna, by setting up its own artist-led business entities, using the work and the life of Klimt as an example. I will expand upon the layered history that led up to Viennese expressionism, and hope to extrapolate the extent to which Schiele was paving the way for a new generation of artists. Schieles art was especially controversial in its subject matter. In his early work especially, unflinching portraits were painted that not only showed Schiele in uncompromising positions, but also subjects such as proletariat children, who were invariably portrayed naked, and painted with a grotesque and sickly eroticism that draws you unerringly into these taboo areas. Whether Schiele was deliberately trying to shock and provoke the modesties of the Viennese public, or whether he was trying to uncover a more universal, spiritual or sexual truth is subject to debate. Overall, in this essay, I will discuss how the history of Vienna impacted upon the work of Schiele, looking at the cultural, social and economic impact of Schiele. I will also look at how Schiele uses the self-portrait, especially how he chooses to either promote, or at least define the prevalent role of expressionist artist in his work. Then I will look at how the abundance of these controversial self-portraits, along with innumerable photographs of Schiele posing, in turn makes Schieles identity in his work more ambiguous. Then I will look at the more pornographic side of Schiele, and question how Schiele, deeply embedded in the cultural and moral codes of the time, reacted entirely against them and established his own, art of â€Å"ugliness†. History Of Viennese Expressionism Fredrick Raphael, in his preface to Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler, suggests something about the Viennese psyche; he says that: â€Å"In 1866, Bismarcks Prussia destroyed Austro-Hungarys bravely incompetent army at Sadowa. The effect of that defeat on the Viennese psyche cannot be exactly assessed. Austria had already suffered preliminary humiliation by the French, under Louis-Napoleon, but Sadowa confirmed that she would never again be a major player in the worlds game. Yet conscious acceptance of Austrias vanished supremacy was repressed by the brilliance and brio of its social and artistic life. Who can be surprised that Adlers discovery of the inferiority complex, and of compensating assertiveness, was made in a society traumatized by dazzling decline? It was as if the city which spawned Arthur Schinitzler and Sigmund Freud feared to awake from its tuneful dreams to prosaic reality.† Indeed, the times in which Egon Schiele was making his mark on the Viennese establishment was a time where the Viennese art community were at their most conservative, or most susceptible to lapsing into these â€Å"tuneful dreams†. Schieles self-imposed mission, it seemed, was to violently shake these people into a state of consciousness. But that isnt to say that Schiele existed entirely in a vacuum, living entirely by his own rules. Comini stresses that: â€Å"The content of Schieles Expressionism then was a heightened sense of pathos and impending doom, and an acute awareness of the self. Schieles Expressionist form drew from the great European reservoir of Symbolist evocativeness.† So, from a veritable melange of varying influences, Schiele managed to get his form, which combined that of exceptional draughtsman, with an inescapable desire for portraying the artistry of â€Å"ugliness†, something of which Schiele was something of a pioneer. In 1897, Schiele joined the painting class of Christian Griepenkerl; who was a deeply conservative artist devoted to neoclassicism, or the slavish devotion and replication of classic works of art. This involved long hours copying the works of the Old Masters at Viennas Academy of Fine Art. Schiele was enrolled for his superior draughtsmanship, but he was eventually alienated from it because he didnt see the relevance or the importance in neoclassicism. Thus, he became something of a troublemaker to the establishment, and was eventually forced out. This was echoed 100 years hence by the Romantics; an art group who pursued a loose programme intended to reinvest art with emotional impact. The Romantics, however, proved too unpalatable to the Viennese citizenry, who instead preferred the work of Biedermeier artists. Kallir says: â€Å"On the whole, Germans proved more receptive to Romanticism than Austrians who shied away from such intense expressions of feeling and took refuge in the mundane cheer of the Biedermeier.† She goes on to say: â€Å"Biedermeier [†¦] was geared more to the applied than to the fine arts, though in all its myriad incarnations it promoted the personal comforts of the middle class Burger. Biedermeier painting revolved around idealized renditions of everyday life, scenes of domestic bliss, genre pictures portraying ruddy-cheeked peasants, and picturesque views of the native countryside.† Being born into this highly stringent, conservative environment must have shaped Schieles defiance somewhat, as Schiele not only seems to break with what was established in Vienna as profitable art, but he almost seems to occupy exactly the opposite role. Even in works by Klimt, who was deemed controversial at the time, there are still elements of decorative palatability that makes his work visually and aesthetically appealing. Schiele seems to be deliberately working against this formula; which was brave considering that art, at the time, depended on patronage and buyers to actually sustain a profit. Schiele didnt seem concerned in the slightest that his work wouldnt get a buyer. In fact, the market is abandoned almost completely. In Schieles early work, art becomes â€Å"ugly†; his figures are pallid and atrophied; the composition of the pieces are unconventional and thus attack the sensibilities of the audience. Upon his break from Viennas Academy, and much akin to Klimt, whom he admired and painted on a number of occasions, Schiele set up his own group, entitled simply, â€Å"The New Art Group.† This was similar to Klimts route, as he set up the Viennese Secession, of which Schiele would play a part, which came from and used the tried and tested formula of the Genossenschaft betdender Kunster Wiens (Vienna Society of Visual Artists), a project financed by Emperor Franz Josef as a means of promoting art in the city. However, this system was not without its drawbacks. â€Å"Its progressive potential was [†¦] undermined by a policy of majority rule, which generally granted victory to the conservative faction. Within this context, the societys role as dealer was particularly disturbing to the younger, more forward-thinking minority, from whom exclusion from major exhibitions could have adverse financial consequences.† Similarly, the capitalist nature of art, coupled with the conservatism of the market made for a very difficult time for the progressive artist, and perhaps was a reason behind why Schiele opposed the artistic community with such fervency and vitriol, and often resorted to shock tactics and self-publicity to get himself heard. Klimts Secession operated on similar principles to the Vienna society: â€Å"†¦the Secession [†¦] was principally a marketing agent for its members work.† Thus, again it proved difficult for the younger, more radical artists to break through, despite Klimts support. Later, funds from patronage dwindled, so it was necessary for artists to seek out new markets. â€Å"The withdrawal of official patronage pre-empted the Secessionists to seek new ways of generating the sales and commissions necessary to keep them in business.† Ultimately, this meant that socialist, and personal art became more prominent a theme. The monumental, allegorical themes that Klimt and Schiele tended to attack (although Schieles work was deeply personal, it was also very monumental and took a number of influences from Klimt and symbolist art), no longer had a substantial market. Klimts decorative style, coupled with his established name, could still sell work to his established clients. Schiele, however, had no such luck, and it was only in 1918, the last year of his life, that Schiele managed to break even with his work. Although Schiele did not seem overly concerned with the economic potential of his works; in fact, he even seemed to equate poverty and suffering to the role of an artist in general, and Schiele was probably one of the most uncompromising artists of the twentieth century in terms of pandering to a particular audience; it is nevertheless important to consider economics, social and cultural conditions because, Schiele, by setting himself and his role as an artist in direct opposition to the establishment, also put himself in the long-standing tradition of artist in opposition to mainstream society. Kallir points out that: â€Å"The Secession, the Galerie Muethke, and the Wiener Werkstatte [, the latter two being establishments set up in the wake of the gradual reduction of patronage funds and a need to find and establish new markets for art], in the formative first decade of this century were peculiar products of their times that shared common aspirations and limitations. It was important to all concerned that these entities, although ostensibly committed to marketing art, were artist-run.† So, although economics were a concern in art, they were not necessarily, as dictated previously with the majority run Vienna Society of Visual Artists, primarily about making money and transforming the Viennese art scene into a profitable industry. Economics was an incidental concern, only foisted upon the establishment by chronic necessity: â€Å"The artists evinced a tacitly accepted loathing for art-as-business (Schiele could be particularly eloquent on this point) and a determination to place aesthetic considerations above economic ones.† So, as is fairly obvious from the art that he made, Schiele was against the motive of making money from art. But this reveals an interesting contradiction that plagued expressionist and other, later artists seeking to make a living from art at the same time as challenging the social and economic processes that ultimately fund its creation: â€Å"[I]f the primary goal [of these entities] was to serve the artistic community, these organisations could not entirely ignore their secondary purpose: to sell art.† So, Schiele, like many other artists, was cut between a requirement for money (which was especially apparent now that the former staple of patronage monies had all but dried up), and a requirement to express uncompromisingly his artistic expression. Schiele would not settle for the former, and instead pursued the latter with a vigour and an intensity that, at the time, was quite extraordinary. Schiele and Self-Portraiture. Of all the artists in the 20th century, or indeed any century, Egon Schiele was probably one of the most self-conscious. But, in Schiele, the self is a very problematic subject. Schoeder suggests: â€Å"In his self-portraits, Schiele shows himself as wrathful, with a look of spiritual vacancy, or as if racked by a severe spasm of hysteria; or arrogantly looking down his nose, with head tossed back; or apprehensively or naively peering out of the picture. Which Schiele is the real Schiele?† Schiele seems to instinctively divide himself into differing components, but also, he uses art to singularly pursue his own political views of the role of artist, in many ways using self-portraiture to assert, rather than fragment his own personality. The ambiguity with which Schiele regards himself can be looked at in a number of ways. 1. The Artist-as-Martyr It could be argued that Schiele was simply posing, or playing the varying roles of artist to gratify his ego. This is interesting because Schiele was definitely working toward a specific identity as artist. In 1912, Schiele was arrested for three days for publishing obscene works where they could be displayed to children. An item of his work was subsequently burned in the courtroom. In prison, he creates a number of interesting works of art, that are especially interesting because their titles read like manifestoes. Titles such as Hindering the Artist is a Crime, It Is Murdering Life in the Bud! (1912), For Art and for My Loved Ones I Will Gladly Endure to the End! (1912), and Art Cannot Be Modern: Art Is Primordially Eternal (1912). Certainly, judging from these titles, Schiele definitely has a number of ideas regarding the artist, his specific role, and what separates a true artist from a charlatan. Schiele, in his highly polemical, hyperbolic painting titles, equates the artist with suffering and martyrdom, suggesting that he will â€Å"endure†, and immediately glorifying the artist as a giver of life and eternal well being to the masses. Schroeder goes on to say: â€Å"Behind these works lies the idealization of suffering in the Romantic cull of genius, as updated in the last years of the nineteenth century through the writing of Friedrich Nietzsche and through the posthumous response to Arthur Schopenhauer. [†¦] The turn of the century saw the apogee of the Artist-as-Martyr legend, in which the relationship between suffering and greatness draws so close that the pose of suffering may in itself constitute a claim to the higher grades of artistic initiation.† So, the implication here is that Schiele was indeed acting a specific role of artist, that he was assuming a specific â€Å"pose of suffering† that was in many ways an act of fulfilling his societal role as an artist. Certainly these roles of suffering were explicit in his work. In Self-Portrait Standing (1910), Schiele portrays himself as contorted and thin; his face is twisted into an ugly grimace, and the colours used are mottled, pale and rotten. His arms are deformed and his positioning is unnatural and forced. His eyes are hollow and there is no context to the portrait; the background is a simple cream colouring. To exaggerate his alienation yet further, Schiele highlights his body with a shock of white. This has the effect of drawing the subject even further out of his environmental world, and, along with the forced hand gestures, serves to make us see the subject as an exhibit, rather than as part of a natural world. As Schroeder points out: â€Å"On the white expanse of paper, they do not exist: they are exhibited.† In his principal work, Hermits (1912), he paints himself with Gustav Klimt, whose own break with neoclassicism and ornate style of expressionism was a major influence on Schieles early work. Klimt is seen as asleep, or else resting on the shoulders of Schiele, who stands in front of him in a large black cloak. Mitsch suggests that in Hermits, â€Å"[s]eldom has the human body been visualised so exclusively as a materialization of spiritual forces [†¦].† But the painting is called Hermits, which suggests something about the role of artist that Schiele observed, although the painting certainly displays elements of the spiritual; as Steiner suggests, â€Å"he presents the master and himself in a picture where two male figures in monklike garb and with aureoles about their heads are seen on a monumental plinth.† In Hermits, Schiele and Klimt both look glum; Schiele stares defiantly back through the painting. The vast black cloak serves to homogenize the body of Klimt and Schiele, and thus portrays the role of the artist in general as one of blackness, of a biblical darkness. But, the title is more secular: Steiner goes on to say that: â€Å"We see Hermits (as the painting is called) and not saints, and the tone is no longer mystical and remote but one of delicate equilibrium between the two men – the elder, Klimt, deathlike, and the younger, Schiele, looking grim, doubtless because the artist leads a solitary life, condemned by society to suffer.† So, Schiele, in a very modernist way, is simultaneously divorcing himself from the establishment of the religious school of Neoclassicism, but is also contemporising it. In similar ways that Freud brought scientific rigour, and secular practice into studies of the human psyche, Schiele was in turn taking religion out of mystical, allegorical artwork, and instead putting himself into it. This artistic position, as forerunner to Klimt, in a sense, emerging from the body of Klimt, but staring out defiantly and uniquely, epitomizes Schieles position. Steiner suggests that: â€Å"At the time that he painted Hermits, Schiele was already seeing himself as a kind of priest of art, more the visionary than the academician, seeing and revealing things that remain concealed from normal people.† 2. The Artist-As-Protean The ambiguity with which Schiele forges his own identity can also be seen in a different way. The variance between different forms of self-portrait merely represent different sides of the Schiele character. This would certainly fit into the Freudian notion of self – as a stigmatized, fragmentary and anarchic collection of different preconceived notions. For instance; Freuds basic notions of Id, Ego and Super-Ego serve to fragment the self – psychoanalysis in general serves to this effect, and, in a number of Schiele self-portraits, he uses the quite unusual system of the double portrait to encapsulate this fragmentation. Fischer makes the point that â€Å"[t]he familiar repertoire of Freudian psychology with its ego and super-ego, conscious and unconscious realms, might equally be applied to these dual self-portraits.† A great deal of photography of Egon Schiele (of which a great deal exists) utilizes the effect of double exposure, thus, a doubling of the self. In one untitled photograph of Egon Schiele , he is seen firstly staring into the distance, while another image of himself looks back, observing himself intently. Steiner says that: â€Å"Schiele countered the sensory fragmentation of the self by means of a multiple self which came little by little to form a visual concept which reconstituted his unity with the world in a visionary way.† Indeed, during the time when expressionism was most active, a serious redefinition was underway, on the secular, theoretical grounds of Nietzsche and Freud, and also due to the cataclysmic human and social catastrophe of the Great War. In Hermann Bahrs 1916 book, simply entitled Expressionism, he says: â€Å"Never was there a time so shaken with so much terror, such a fear of death. Never was the world so deathly silent. Never was man so small. Never had he been so alarmed. Never was joy so far away and liberty so dead.† But he rallies against this bleakness, which is encapsulated in other modernist and expressionist works; works such as Eliots Wasteland and the paintings of Munsch and the German school of expressionism: â€Å"Now necessity cries out. Man cries after his soul, and the whole age becomes a single cry of need. Art, too, cries with it, into the depths of darkness; it cries for help; it cries after the spiritual: that is expressionism.† So, by ploughing the ambiguities of the self, this reading would assume that Schiele was, in many respects, crying â€Å"after his soul†, so to speak; searching among the myriad of different identities available to him, a concrete or at least a compatible sense of self that had eluded him, along with an entire generation of artists dispossessed by the Viennese establishment. The various parts of Schieles meticulous, and almost surgical self-analysis falls into a number of distinct camps, but also seems to, in a more generalised sense, work against the pattern of self-portrait or nudity established by other artists. Up until that time, generally speaking, the nude was seen in a grandiose sense: the painted nude women, such as those in Degas, were painted as Goddesses, resplendently beautiful, radiant, often placed in scenarios that depicted frolicking jollity or natural equilibrium; and the men, who were much rarer in contemporary art, were generally seen as heroic, muscular and noble. Schiele breaks entirely with this long-established tradition. Firstly, the school of nude self-portraiture at the time only comprised of a single person; Richard Gerstl, whose painting Self-Portrait, Naked stood on its own at the time as the only painting to be done of the nude artist. Schroeder points out: â€Å"Just how uncommon is was to depict oneself naked is revealed by the fact that before 1910 only one precedent existed in the whole of Austrian art.† Thus, Schiele was already putting himself in the position of pioneer of a particularly exhibitionist genre. But, in unsheathing the artist of the attire that would previously assign to him his identity, Schiele places a whole new dynamic in the art: the dynamic of the self itself. One of Schieles most important works Seated Male Nude (1910), Schiele portrays himself covering up his own face. Indeed, in most of his self-portraits, especially his early ones, his posture is contorted and manufactured; he is posing and the background again is simply a plain, unembellished white. In Seated Male Nude, Schiele is grossly emaciated, his feet have been cut off, and his nipples and eyes glow red, suggesting that there is a deep demonism within him. He is seen as grotesquely, disturbingly ectomorphic; â€Å"the figure looks as though it has been taken down from a gothic crucifix: it is angular, and looks carved: Schiele was seeing himself as Christ without a loin-cloth. The red highlights of his eyes, nipples, navel and genitals make the body look as if it were glowing from within.† But, also, the red â€Å"glowing from within† also exposes another central tenet of Schieles work – namely, that it gives the appearance that he is hollow inside. Schiele preserved his more allegorical, symbolic works for the medium of oil; paintings such as Hermits discussed earlier, and thus, this hollowness cannot be overlooked as having greater metaphorical meaning, and would suggest the reasons behind why Schieles self-portraiture varied to such a large degree; namely, that the inner self which Schiele was desperate to uncover, was absent, or simply defined as a mad, glowing redness. â€Å"[S]pastic and hunch-backed, or with a rachitic deformation of the ribcage: this was the artist as an image of abject misery – a cripple [†¦] the dirty colouring, with its shrill accents, makes the flesh tones ugly and aberrant. In Seated Male Nude, a self-portrait, the artist mutates into an insect. The absence of feet [†¦] [is] an amputation. This is a mangled soul in a mangled body. We see through the body into the soul.† Indeed, the mangled soul is non-existent, the inside is hollow and empty. So, insomuch as this is similarly affected by social and cultural developments at the time, Schiele is moreover offering a more detailed and theoretically astute reading of the self and warring and dissolute factions. Schroeder says that: â€Å"If all of these self-dramatizations reveal the true nucleus of the painters psyche, then he must have been a fragmented personality, unlikely to escape the diagnostic attentions of the genius Sigmund Freud. The question is just how much of his psyche is conveyed by his self-portraits, either those with grimaces or those that express a frozen resignation? What and whom does Egon Schiele really see in his studio mirror? [†¦] It makes all the difference in the world whether he is observing his own body as an act of direct, emotional self-knowledge or whether in his imagination he is slipping into someone elses role and experiencing his own self as that of another person.† So, that Schiele depicts himself as a variety of different people doesnt necessarily mean that he is living up to a certain artistic function; in a sense, glamorizing the role of the artist as a suffering person. Art As Pornography Schiele has been regarded by many critics as a pornographer. Looking at his paintings, which often draw attention to the genitals, to eroticized regions of the human body, as well as the contorted and mechanistic quality to the nude portraits, which appear twisted and exploited. Schiele was eventually put in prison for his indecency, although this was due to his eccentric practice of showing his work to the friends of the children who were painted, often nude. Schroder suggests that â€Å"[i]n Schieles early pictures of children the objective embarrassment of the models lowly social origins is reinforced by the embarrassment of their obscene nakedness.† This would suggest that the portraits themselves are designed to be as exploitative and as pornographic as possible. The children portrayed are certainly seen in an especially lurid light; and their embarrassment is portrayed by their forced poses, the absence of environment, etc. However, it is often difficult, at the time and later, to extrapolate eroticism from pornography, and in Schiele, this is particularly difficult. Schiele himself denied accusations of pornography, and certainly, the nudes have greater substance and meaning in terms of formulating an Expressionist identity of the self. Mitsch suggests that Schiele â€Å"expresses [in his eroticism] human bondage and is to be understood as a burden that is painful to bear. Aimed, from the beginning, at outspokenness and truthfulness, it assumes almost inevitably a daring form.† So, here difficulty with regarding Schieles output is highlighted. The work is about expressing human bondage, but it is also exaggerated and mutilated and â€Å"outspoken†. So Schiele acts as both pornographer and eroticist, and also strikes out more clearly at exposing the truth behind the body. Schiele himself commented on accusations that his work is pornographic made by his Uncle, by replying in a letter, saying that â€Å"the erotic work of art is scared too.† The painting Reclining Girl In A Blue Dress (1910), establishes this difficulty. In it, a girl is portrayed, leaning back and revealing her genitals. Her genitals are high-lighted in white, and draw the eye to the girls genitals using both composition and colour. The brush-strokes are strikingly crude, almost sketchy. Fischer says that â€Å"[i]t is impossible to defend this picture against the charge of pornography. Even so, Schieles radicalism of form places him beyond too simplistic a categorisation.† He goes on to say: â€Å"He was not merely out to satisfy a shallow voyeuristic impulse. Pubescent lust and delight in discovery, the naà ¯ve symbolism of distinguishing sexual features, and boyish stratagems for looking up girls skirts are combined in the twenty-year-old artists way of viewing the world with the invention of ingenious new forms, which took the Schiele of 1910 a step forward, out of the world of teachers and uncles and into the radical world view of the Expressionist avant-garde. In the years ahead, Schiele pursued this distinctive combination obsessively.† So, according to Fischer, even though his work was pornographic, the forms in which this pornography took and the means by which Schiele painted these pornographic images, allowed us to question the nature of the images and thus elevate them to something beyond pornography. Schiele was certainly obsessed with portraying the self: his images, despite being, at times, shamelessly provocative and deliberately controversial to the conservative Viennese public (the pre-conceived role of an artist to challenge the perception of the ordinary people would stress this, and was a certain depiction of the artist that Schiele would live by), would also put stress on the techniques and the principles applied to the painting in order to elevate it beyond mere titillation or voyeurism. In his nudes, Schiele was definitely looking to get closer to his, and societies view of the human condition in the confusing wake of secularism, the transmogrification of belief toward the self (in Freud and Nietzsche, for instance), and the selfs role in society. Naturally his view is not a particularly optimistic one, and he is frequently out to establish the pain in the heart of the self – his cut-off, mutilated and distorted figures serve to expose the more desultory aspects of the self, and thus his images appear less as pornographic, and more as pieces that actually challenge and oppose the traditionally porno

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Violence and Politics :: Political Government Essays

Violence and Politics Let's talk about absolutely ridiculous pronouncements people make that either ignore simple fact or border on insanity. How about this one: Violence is no way to settle anything! Evidence suggests that violence is a very effective way of settling things. How about a few examples? In 1776, violence settled whether the thirteen colonies would be independent or remain under King George's thumb. In 1865, violence settled whether there'd be a Confederacy and a Union or just a Union. Between 1941 and 1945, violence settled whether Japan would control the Far East and whether Germany would control Europe. Violence settled whether American Indians owned and controlled the land now call United States or whether it would be European settlers and their progeny. In fact, violence has settled the question of land use-rights virtually everywhere. Violence and the threat of violence not only settles questions of land use; it settles other matters as well. For example, I have no problem with paying for the constitutionally mandated functions of the Federal Government - those enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. But I disagree with my earnings being given to dependent farmers, failing banks and poor people. Who has use-rights to my earnings is settled through threats, intimidation and violence. The U.S. Congress in essence tells me, "Williams, if you do not permit us to give your earnings to dependent farmers, banks, poor people, and any one else we deem worthy of your earnings, we will use violence to take your earnings and anything else you possess. Some readers might think that I am being overly hyperbolic. What do you think would be the outcome of the following scenario? I write on my IRS 1040 form: "I gladly accept my responsibility to pay my share of constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government. That share comes to about one-third of what you say I owe. I will not pay for activities not authorized by the Constitution." What happens. The IRS, the agents of the U.S. Congress, levies a fine and demands that I pay all they say I owe. I refuse. Then the IRS says, "We're going to confiscate your house." I say, "No you won't; that's my house." Then they send agents with automatic weapons to take my house. I stand and defend my house. The agents of the U.S. Congress kill me. The truth of the matter is that violence is such an effective and valuable means of settling differences that most governments demand to have a monopoly on its use.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Blood Promise Chapter Sixteen

Denis and his two unpromised friends, Artur and Lev, were ecstatic that I was going to be part of their posse. But if they expected me to share their crazy enthusiasm for reckless Strigoi hunting, they were about to be sorely disappointed. In fact, it didn't take long after I joined them before they realized that I was approaching the hunt very differently than they were. Denis's friend Lev had a car, and we took turns driving to Novosibirsk. The drive was about fifteen hours, and even though we stopped at a hotel for the night, it was still a lot of continuous time to be cooped up in a small space with three guys who couldn't stop talking about all the Strigoi they were going to kill. In particular, they kept trying to draw me out. They wanted to know about how many Strigoi I'd slain. They wanted to know what the battle at the Academy had been like. They wanted to know my methods. Anytime my mind turned to those topics, though, all I could think of was blood and grief. It was nothing I wanted to brag about, and it took about six hours on the road for them to finally figure out that they weren't going to get much information from me. Instead, they regaled me with tales of their own adventures. To be fair, they'd slain several Strigoi-but they'd lost a number of their friends, all of whom had been in their teens, like these guys. My experiences weren't that dissimilar; I'd lost friends too. My losses had been a result of being outnumbered, though. Denis's group's casualties seemed to have been more due to rushing in to without thinking. Indeed, their plan once we got to Novosibirsk wasn't really that solid. They reiterated that Strigoi liked to hunt at places that were crowded at night, like dance clubs, or in remote places like alleys, that made for easy pickings. No one noticed as much when people disappeared from those kinds of places. So Denis's plans mostly involved trolling those hot spots in the hopes that we'd run into Strigoi. My initial thought was to immediately ditch this group and strike out on my own. After all, my main goal had been to simply get to Novosibirsk. With everything I'd learned now, it seemed logical that Siberia's largest city would be the next best place to look. Then, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that jumping into the Strigoi scene alone would be as stupid as one of the unpromised gang's plans. I could use their backup. Plus, since I didn't actually know where Dimitri was yet, I had to come up with a method of getting some information. I'd need help for that. We made it to Novosibirsk at the end of the second day of driving. Despite hearing about its size, I hadn't imagined it would be anything like Moscow or Saint Petersburg. And true, it turned out to be not quite as large as they were, but it was still just as much a city, complete with skyscrapers, theaters, commuters, and the same beautiful architecture. We crashed with a friend of theirs who had an apartment downtown, a dhampir named Tamara. Her English wasn't very good, but from the sounds of it, she was another unpromised one and just as excited as everyone else to rid the world of Strigoi. She was a little older than the rest of us, which was why she had her own place, and was a cute brunette with freckles. It sounded as though she waited until whenever the guys came to town to hunt, which I took as a small blessing. At least she didn't go out alone. She seemed particularly excited to have another girl around, but like the others, she quickly picked up that I didn't share their enthusiasm. When our first night of Strigoi hunting came around, I finally stepped up into a leadership position. The sudden change in behavior startled them at first, but they soon listened with rapt attention, still caught up in my superstar reputation. â€Å"Okay,† I said, looking from face to face. We were in Tamara's tiny living room, sitting in a circle. â€Å"Here's how it's going to work. We're going to hit the nightclub scene as a group, patrolling it and the alleys behind it for-â€Å" â€Å"Wait,† interrupted Denis. â€Å"We usually split up.† â€Å"Which is why you get killed,† I snapped. â€Å"We're going as a group.† â€Å"Haven't you killed Strigoi by yourself, though?† asked Lev. He was the tallest of the group, with a long and lanky figure that was almost Moroi-like. â€Å"Yes, but I got lucky.† That, and I also just thought I was a better fighter than any of them. Call me arrogant, but I was a damned good guardian. Or near-guardian. â€Å"We'll do better with all five of us. When we find Strigoi, we've got to make sure we take care of them in an isolated place.† I hadn't forgotten Sydney's warnings. â€Å"But before we kill them, I need to talk to them. It'll be your job to restrain them.† â€Å"Why?† asked Denis. â€Å"What do you have to say to them?† â€Å"Actually, it's what they have to say to me. Look, it won't take long. And you'll get to make your kill in the end, so don't worry about it. But†¦Ã¢â‚¬  This next part went against my grand plans, but I knew I had to say it. I wouldn't get them killed for the sake of my own quest. â€Å"If we get ourselves in a situation where you're trapped or in immediate danger, forget the talking and restraining. Kill. Save yourself.† Apparently, I seemed confident and badass enough that they decided to go along with whatever I said. Part of our plan involved going â€Å"undercover,† so to speak. Any Strigoi who was close or got a good enough look would immediately recognize us as dhampirs. It was important that we not attract any attention. We needed a Strigoi scanning for victims to pass right over us. We needed to look like other human club-goers. So we dressed the part, and I was a bit astonished at how well the guys cleaned up. Denis, crazy or not, was particularly good-looking, sharing the same dark gold hair and brown eyes that his brother Nikolai had. My few changes of clothes weren't quite up to partying standards, so Tamara delved into her wardrobe for me. She seemed to take a lot of delight in finding things for me to wear. We were actually similar in size, which was kind of amazing. With her tall, super-slim build, Lissa and I had never been able to share clothes. Tamara was my height and had a similar body type. She first offered me a short, tight dress that was so similar to the one Viktoria had worn that I just shook my head and handed it back. The memories of our argument still hurt, and I wasn't going to relive that night or in any way play blood whore dress-up. Instead, Tamara settled for dressing me in black jeans and a black tank top. I consented to hair and makeup too, and studying myself in the mirror, I had to admit she did a good job. As vain as it was, I liked looking good. I especially liked that the guys looked at me in a way that was admiring and respectful-but not like I was some piece of meat. Tamara offered me jewelry too, but the only thing I'd wear was the nazar around my neck. My stake required a jacket, but she found a sexy leather one that didn't take away from the rest of the outfit's appeal. Setting out around midnight, I couldn't help shaking my head. â€Å"We're the goddamned hottest vampire hunters ever,† I muttered. Denis led us to a club where they'd found Strigoi before. It was also apparently where one of their unpromised friends had been killed. It was in a seedy part of town, which I guess added to its appeal for Strigoi. A lot of the people there were middle- and upper-class young people, apparently drawn in by the â€Å"dangerous† aspect. If only they'd known just how dangerous it was. I'd made a lot of jokes to Dimitri about Russia and Eastern Europe being ten years behind in music, but when we entered, I discovered the ground-thumping techno song playing was something I'd heard in the U.S. just before leaving. The place was crowded and dark, with flashing lights that were actually a little annoying to dhampir eyes. Our night vision would adapt to the darkness and then be blasted when a strobe light kicked on. In this case, I didn't need my sight. My shadow-kissed senses didn't feel any Strigoi in the area. â€Å"Come on,† I said to the others. â€Å"Let's dance for a while and wait. There are no Strigoi nearby.† â€Å"How do you know?† asked Denis, staring at me in wonder. â€Å"I just do. Stay together.† Our little circle moved to the dance floor. It had been so long since I'd danced, and I was a bit surprised at how quickly I found myself getting into the rhythm. Part of me said I should have stayed ever vigilant, but my Strigoi alarm system would immediately snap me awake if any danger came. That nausea was kind of hard to ignore. But after an hour of dancing, no Strigoi had appeared. We left the dance floor and started circling the club's edges, then moved outside to sweep that area too. Nothing. â€Å"Is there another club nearby?† I asked. â€Å"Sure,† said Artur. He was stocky, with close-shaved hair and a ready smile. â€Å"A couple blocks over.† We followed him and found a similar scene: another secret club hidden in a run-down building. More flashing lights. More crowds. More pounding music. Disturbingly, what started to bother me first was the smell. That many people generated a lot of sweat. I had no doubt even the humans could smell it. To us, it was cloying. Tamara and I exchanged looks and wrinkled our noses, needing no words to convey our disgust. We moved to the dance floor again, and Lev started to leave to get a drink. I punched him in the arm. He exclaimed something in Russian that I recognized as a swear word. â€Å"What was that for?† he asked. â€Å"For being stupid! How do you expect to kill something that's twice as fast as you while drunk?† He shrugged, unconcerned, and I resisted the urge to hit him in the face this time. â€Å"One won't hurt. Besides, there aren't even any-â€Å" â€Å"Be quiet!† It was creeping over me, that weird stirring in my stomach. Forgetting my cover, I stopped dancing, scanning the crowd for the source. While I was relying on my senses to feel Strigoi, spotting them in the crowd was a bit harder. I took a few steps toward the entrance, and my nausea lessened. I moved toward the bar, and the feeling increased. â€Å"This way,† I told them. â€Å"Act like you're still into the music.† My tension was contagious, and I saw the anticipation sweep them-as well as a little fear. Good. Maybe they'd take this seriously. As we headed in the bar's direction, I tried to keep my body language oriented toward it, like I was seeking a drink. All the while, my eyes swept the crowd's periphery. There. I had him. A male Strigoi was standing off in a corner, his arm around a girl close to my age. In the dim lighting, he almost seemed attractive. I knew closer examination would reveal the deathly pale skin and red eyes that all Strigoi had. The girl might not have been able to see them in the darkened club, or the Strigoi might have been using compulsion on her. Probably both, judging from the smile on her face. Strigoi were able to compel others just as well as a spirit user like Lissa could. Better, even. Before our eyes, I saw the Strigoi lead the girl down a small, unnoticed hallway. At the end, I could just make out a glowing exit sign. At least, I presumed it was an exit sign. The letters were Cyrillic. â€Å"Any idea where that door goes?† I asked the others. The guys shrugged, and Denis repeated my question to Tamara. She answered back, and he translated. â€Å"There's a small alley out back where they keep trash. It's between this building and a factory. No one's usually there.† â€Å"Can we get to it by going around the club?† Denis waited for Tamara's response. â€Å"Yes. It's open on both sides.† â€Å"Perfect.† We hurried out of the club by the front door, and I divided our group into two. The plan was to come at the Strigoi from both sides and trap him in the middle-provided he and his victim were still out back. It was possible he could have led her elsewhere, but I thought it more likely he'd want to subdue her and get his blood right there, particularly if it was as deserted as Tamara said it usually was. I was right. Once my group had split off and peered around behind the club, I saw the Strigoi and the girl lurking in the shadow of a trash can. He was leaning over her, mouth near her neck, and I silently swore. They didn't waste any time. Hoping she was still alive, I came charging down the alley, the others on my heels. From the alley's other side, Denis and Lev also came running. As soon as he heard the first footfall, the Strigoi reacted instantly, his staggeringly fast reflexes kicking in. He immediately dropped the girl, and in the space of a heartbeat, he chose Denis and Lev over Artur, Tamara, and me. Not a bad strategy, really. There were only two of them. Because he was so fast, he probably hoped to incapacitate them quickly and then turn on us before we could flank him. And it almost worked. A powerful hit sent Lev flying. To my relief, a couple of trash cans blocked him from the building's wall. Hitting them wouldn't feel good, but if I had the choice, I'd rather hit metal cans than solid bricks. The Strigoi pounced on Denis next, but Denis proved remarkably fast. Unfairly, I'd assumed none of these unpromised had any real fighting skills. I should have known better. They'd had the same training as me; they just lacked discipline. Denis dodged the blow and struck out low, aiming for the Strigoi's legs. The hit landed, though it wasn't strong enough to knock him over. A flash of silver showed in Denis's hands, and he managed to partially swipe the Strigoi's cheek just before a backhanded slap knocked the dhampir into me. A cut like that wouldn't be lethal to the Strigoi, but the silver would hurt, and I heard him snarl. His fangs gleamed with saliva. I sidestepped Denis quickly enough that he didn't knock me over. Tamara grabbed his arm, holding him so that he wouldn't fall either. She was fast too and had barely steadied him before leaping up at the Strigoi. He swatted her away but didn't manage to hit her hard enough to push her far. Artur and I were on him by that point, our combined force knocking him against the wall. Still, he was stronger and the pinning was brief before he broke free. A responsible voice in my head-that sounded suspiciously like Dimitri's-warned me that that had been my window to kill him. It would have been the smart and safe thing to do. I'd had the opening, and my stake was in my hand. If my crazy interrogation plan failed, the others' deaths would be on my head. As one, Artur and I leapt out again. â€Å"Help us!† I yelled. Tamara threw herself against the Strigoi, landing a swift kick to the stomach as well. I could feel him starting to shake us off, but then Denis joined in too. Between the four of us, we wrestled the Strigoi down so that he lay back-first on the pavement. But the worst wasn't over. Keeping him down wasn't easy. He thrashed around with incredible strength, limbs twisting everywhere. I heaved myself up, trying to throw my body's weight across his torso while the others restrained his legs. Another set of hands joined us, and I looked up to see Lev lending his strength too. His lip was bleeding, but his face was determined. The Strigoi hadn't stopped moving, but I felt satisfied he wouldn't break away anytime soon, not with all five of us holding him. Shifting forward, I placed the point of my stake at his neck. It gave him pause, but he soon resumed his struggle. I leaned over his face. â€Å"Do you know Dimitri Belikov?† I demanded. He shouted something incomprehensible at me that didn't sound very friendly. I pressed the stake in harder and drew a long gash against his throat. He screamed in pain, pure evil and malice shining out from his eyes as he continued swearing in Russian. â€Å"Translate,† I demanded, not caring who did it. â€Å"What I said.† A moment later, Denis said something in Russian, presumably my question since I heard Dimitri's name in there. The Strigoi growled back a response, and Denis shook his head. â€Å"He says he isn't going to play games with us.† I took the stake and slashed at the Strigoi's face, widening the gash Denis had made earlier. Again, the Strigoi cried out, and I prayed club security wouldn't hear any of this. I gave him a smile filled with enough malice to match his own. â€Å"Tell him we're going to keep playing games with him until he talks. One way or another, he dies tonight. It's up to him whether it happens slowly or quickly.† I honestly couldn't believe those words had come out of my mouth. They were so harsh†¦ so, well, cruel. I'd never in my entire life expected to be torturing anyone, even a Strigoi. The Strigoi gave Denis's translation another defiant response, and so I kept on with the stake, making gashes and cuts that would have killed any human, Moroi, or dhampir. Finally, he shot off a string of words that didn't sound like his usual insults. Denis immediately translated. â€Å"He said he's never heard of anyone named that and that if Dimitri's a friend of yours, he'll be sure to kill him slowly and painfully.† I almost smiled at the Strigoi's last effort at defiance. The problem with my strategy here was that the Strigoi could be lying. I'd have no way of knowing. Something in his response made me think he wasn't. He'd sounded like he thought I was referring to a human or a dhampir, not a Strigoi. â€Å"He's useless then,† I said. I leaned back and glanced at Denis. â€Å"Go ahead and kill him.† It was what Denis had been dying to do. He didn't hesitate, his stake striking hard and swift through the Strigoi's heart. The frantic struggling stilled a moment later. The evil light faded from the red eyes. We stood up, and I saw my companions' faces watching me with apprehension and fear. â€Å"Rose,† asked Denis at last. â€Å"What are you hoping to-â€Å" â€Å"Never mind that,† I interrupted, moving over to the unconscious human girl's side. Kneeling down, I examined her neck. He'd bitten her, but not much blood had been taken. The wound was relatively small and bled only a little. She stirred slightly and moaned when I touched her, which I took as a good sign. Carefully, I dragged her away from the trash can and out into the light where she'd be most noticeable. The Strigoi, however, I dragged into as dark a place as I could, almost completely obscuring him. After that, I asked to borrow Denis's cell phone and dialed the number I'd kept crumpled in my pocket for the last week. After a couple of rings, Sydney answered in Russian. She sounded sleepy. â€Å"Sydney? This is Rose.† There was a slight pause. â€Å"Rose? What's going on?† â€Å"Are you back in Saint Petersburg?† â€Å"Yes†¦ where are you?† â€Å"Novosibirsk. Do you guys have agents here?† â€Å"Of course,† she said warily. â€Å"Why?† â€Å"Mmm†¦ I've got something for you to clean up.† â€Å"Oh dear.† â€Å"Hey, at least I'm calling. And it's not like me ridding the world of another Strigoi is a bad thing. Besides, didn't you want me to let you know?† â€Å"Yes, yes. Where are you?† I put Denis on the phone briefly so that he could explain our specific location. He handed the phone back to me when he finished, and I told Sydney about the girl. â€Å"Is she seriously injured?† â€Å"Doesn't look like it,† I said. â€Å"What should we do?† â€Å"Leave her. The guy who's coming will make sure she's okay and doesn't go telling stories. He'll explain it when he gets there.† â€Å"Whoa, hey. I'm not going to be here when he arrives.† â€Å"Rose-â€Å" â€Å"I'm out of here,† I told her. â€Å"And I'd really appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone else that I called-say, like, Abe.† â€Å"Rose-â€Å" â€Å"Please, Sydney. Just don't tell. Or else†¦Ã¢â‚¬  I hesitated. â€Å"If you do, I'll stop calling when this happens. We're going to be taking down a few more.† God, what next? First torture, now threats. Worse, I was threatening someone I liked. Of course, I was lying. I understood why Sydney's group did what they did, and I wouldn't risk the exposure. She didn't know that, though, and I prayed she'd think I was just unstable enough to risk revealing us to the world. â€Å"Rose-† she tried yet again. I didn't give her the chance. â€Å"Thanks, Sydney. We'll be in touch.† I disconnected and handed Denis the phone. â€Å"Come on, guys. We're not done tonight.† It was clear they thought I was crazy to be interrogating Strigoi, but considering how reckless they were sometimes, my behavior wasn't quite weird enough for them to lose their faith in me. Soon they grew enthusiastic again, high on the idea of our first kill on this trip. My uncanny ability to sense Strigoi made me even cooler in their eyes, and I grew confident they'd pretty much follow me anywhere. We caught two more Strigoi that night and managed to repeat the procedure. The results were the same. Lots of insults in Russian. No new information. Once I was convinced a Strigoi had nothing to offer us, I'd let the unpromised go in for the kill. They loved it, but after that third one, I found myself growing weary both mentally and physically. I told the group we were going to go home-and then, while cutting around the back of a factory, I sensed a fourth Strigoi. We jumped him. Another scuffle occurred, but we eventually managed to pin him as we had the others. â€Å"Go ahead,† I told Denis. â€Å"You know what to-â€Å" â€Å"I'm going to rip your throat out!† the Strigoi snarled. Whoa. This one spoke English. Denis opened his mouth to begin the interrogation, but I shook my head. â€Å"I'll take over.† Like the other Strigoi, he swore and struggled, even with the stake against his neck, making it hard for me to talk. â€Å"Look,† I said growing impatient and tired, â€Å"just tell us what we need to know. We're looking for a dhampir named Dimitri Belikov.† â€Å"I know him.† The Strigoi's voice was smug. â€Å"And he's no dhampir.† Without realizing it, I'd called Dimitri a dhampir. I was tired and had slipped up. No wonder this Strigoi was so pleased to talk. He assumed we didn't know about Dimitri turning. And like any arrogant Strigoi, he was happy to tell us more, clearly in the hopes of causing us pain. â€Å"Your friend has been awakened. He stalks the night with us now, drinking the blood of foolish girls like you.† In a split second, a thousand thoughts raced through my head. Holy crap. I'd come to Russia thinking it would be easy to find Dimitri. I'd had those hopes dashed in his hometown, nearly causing me to give up, and I'd swung the other way, resigning myself to the near impossibility of my task. The thought that I might be close to something here was staggering. â€Å"You're lying,† I said. â€Å"You've never seen him.† â€Å"I see him all the time. I've killed with him.† My stomach twisted, and it had nothing to do with the Strigoi's proximity. Don't think about Dimitri killing people. Don't think about Dimitri killing people. I said the words over and over in my head, forcing myself to stay calm. â€Å"If that's true,† I hissed back, â€Å"then I've got a message for you to deliver to him. Tell him Rose Hathaway is looking for him.† â€Å"I'm not your errand boy,† he said, glowering. My stake slashed out, drawing blood, and he grimaced in pain. â€Å"You're anything I want you to be. Now go tell Dimitri what I told you. Rose Hathaway. Rose Hathaway is looking for him. Say it.† I pressed the point to his neck. â€Å"Say my name so I know you'll remember.† â€Å"I'll remember it so I can kill you.† The stake pressed harder, spilling blood. â€Å"Rose Hathaway,† he said. He spit at me but missed. Satisfied, I leaned back. Denis watched me expectantly, stake poised and ready. â€Å"Now we kill him?† I shook my head. â€Å"Now we let him go.†

Friday, January 3, 2020

Block Grant Essay - 921 Words

Block Grants Definition: Money granted by the federal government that a local authority can allocate to a wide range of services. Significance: This allows the state/city governments to use the money in a general sense, so they can spend it where they need to. Categorical Grants Definition: Money granted by the federal government to state and local governments, with strict limitations on how it is to be spent. Significance: This forces the states to comply to the government’s regulation if they want money. Contract with America Definition: A document released by the Republican Party in the 1994 Congressional election.The key points were: decentralizing federal authority: deregulation, cutting taxes, reforming social programs, increasing†¦show more content†¦In the first federal system there were 13 states and it included over 87,000 state and local governments. Fiscal Federalism Definition: a concept of federalism where funding is appropriated by the federal government to the states with specific conditions attached. The legislation can be in the form of mandates. Significance: This type of government allows the federal government to hopefully become more efficient and effective at solving government financial problems. The federal government has the power to properly distribute income and to make the economy stable because it is more â€Å"flexible†. Formula Grants Definition: Money awarded to states that specifies a precise formula that is used in determining the amount of funding that a recipient is eligible to receive Significance: This type of grant that is awarded by the OSEP that allows children with disabilities to get a free public education from the ages three to twenty-one and supports early intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities so they can get the help they may need. Mandates (Unfunded/Funded) Definition: Funded are regulations passed by Congress or issued by regulatory agencies to the states with federal funds to support them. Unfunded are regulations passed by Congress or issued by regulatory agencies to the states without federal funds to support them. Significance: Unfunded mandates allow the national government to tell the state government to doShow MoreRelatedFederalism in Welfare Programs Essay1628 Words   |  7 PagesFederalism In Welfare Programs POL 201 August 15, 2013 Federalism and Welfare Programs This essay is to inform you of federal policy issues involving welfare causing conflicting debates between national, state, and local government and how these conflicting issues relate to federalism. Federalism is â€Å"A government system where power and authority are shared by national and states governments, with the ultimate authority derived from the people. (Levin-Waldman, 2012). 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