War Horse (US Tour, 2012)
Nothing short of remarkable, War Horse is the deceptively simple tale of a young man and his horse who are torn apart by World War I. At its core, however, the play is a powerful reaffirmation of human compassion and peace.
The narrative focuses on individuals, whether they be simple farmers or seasoned military officers, while speaking on behalf of the entire world regardless of stature or race. The play opens with a simple, pastoral setting that turns cold and dark when World War I breaks out. Even in the bright moments that emerge from the darkness, there is still the weight of what has happened and the characters are never the same. The innocence of the pre-war era is lost forever. The difficult transition of childhood to adulthood rings true for Joey, his owner Albert, and all across Europe.
War Horse also provides many perspectives on World War I. In one of the funnier and more touching scenes, Irish and German soldiers see Joey caught in barbed wire; both camps send soldiers to go rescue him. The two soldiers, from rival sides, do so in peace and flip a coin to decide who gets to keep Joey. Both are cordial and amicable to one another for this entire transaction. Even in times of greatest despair, the human capacity for friendship and goodwill can still shine through.
The horses themselves are masterpieces all on their own. Particularly the adult Joey (the titular War Horse), who is so strong he can carry riders on his back, the mechanics and believability of the horse puppets are truly marvels to behold.
Fortunately, even with such amazing spectacle, the play exercises a strong restraint by not over-using them. The audience is given several moments of young Joey, alone on stage, to observe the jaw-droppingly realistic movements and subtleties of the horse puppetry, so by the time the human characters show up, the audience’s attention is no longer just on the horse.
This same restraint is what makes the final scene so exceptionally powerful. The reunion of Joey and Albert is a beautiful and emotionally satisfying moment, but the show is better weighted by Albert coming home to his mother. The play’s main character may be a horse, but the core message is one of pure humanity and compassion. A
It may be incredibly pretentious to Reblog yourself but idgaf. I just saw War Horseagain tonight and I strongly re-affirm my original grade of A. A powerful and unforgettable piece of theater. I have never seen anything like it and I doubt I ever will.
While I agree with ASUC Senator Noah Ickowitz’s statement encouraging the importance of ridership data to definitively and objectively decide whether a renewal of the Class Pass referendum provides an overall benefit rather than cost to our student body, this necessity for hard fact is precisely why the referendum needs to be passed this spring election.
As a member of the Class Pass Committee, I can attest that a portion of the technology fee he mentions will lead to clear data on student ridership of AC Transit buses.
One goal of the technology fund is to develop technology like the Clipper card, which riders scan to pay admission to AC Transit buses, and to incorporate this technology into the Cal 1 Card. With technology that scans each individual card, reliable data can be generated to calculate the average number of rides per person rather than a general figure for total rides taken.
This information will help future students decide whether to renew the Class Pass with hard facts rather than personal experience or speculation.
It is certainly refreshing that the Senate has recognized student participation and ridership as a crucial factor when funding transportation, particularly after it spent a reported $400 to bus three students to San Francisco. I applaud the change of heart to one of fiscal responsibility, although I wish the senate had exercised more caution when determining the number of students to bus in support of a polarizing political cause than it did for supporting unlimited public transportation, which the Class Pass provides for thousands of students.
Like insurance, the Class Pass offers a more affordable alternative for those who need it most. Even if students who live close to campus may not use the buses, the Class Pass provides an invaluable service to students who live further away, such as in Clark Kerr or University Village, as well as those who work outside of Berkeley.
I agree with Senator Ickowitz. The Class Pass referendum is an imperfect one. Without clear ridership data, it is difficult to accurately assess the value that it provides to Cal students.
However, that should not prevent the Senate from approving the referendum to be on the ballot. Only the students can decide for themselves whether or not they find value in the referendum, and that opportunity to decide must be given to them on this spring’s ballot.
Scores of students and staff members are up in arms over the Berkeley College Republicans’ Diversity Bake Sale, which sells baked goods at different prices based on the customer’s demographic. Yes, its message is blatant and offensive, but it is also a legal expression of free speech. Speech, even hate speech, is protected as long as it falls outside the sphere of “fighting words” to incite violence. It’s safe to say a bake sale does not intend to do so.
Students have the freedom to make whatever kind of speech they want, offensive or inoffensive, as long as it does not invoke violence. The issue is whether or not BCR should continue to receive funding from ASUC, which is a legitimate discussion to be had. The BCR’s ability to receive financial support from ASUC is on trial, not students’ individual abilities to freedom of speech. If we wanted to wage an all-out war on hate speech, why don’t we pursue whoever draws all the swastikas and scribbles all the racist/sexist/homophobic speech all over our university?
If the university is going to pursue the route of eliminating hate speech altogether, it must do so comprehensively, not just make an example of the BCR and leave it at that. If, however, it follows legal precedent and allow such speech to continue, we must stop demonizing every utterance of speech that offends us. If we at UC Berkeley truly value our right to freedom of speech, we must embrace that in any manifestation thereof, including what former Supreme Court Justice Holmes coined as “Freedom for the thought we hate.”