Enlightenment Vs. Romanticism

Enlightenment Vs. Romanticism

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The ideologies that sprang forth from the Enlightenment and Romanticism are essentially the most drastically important ideologies that have been created in modern history. From them has developed just about every political, social, economic, industrial, and cultural movement that exists today. The results from them are every struggle we view today as commonplace. Capitalism vs. Socialism, bourgeoisie vs. middle class, white collar vs. Blue collar, city life vs. Country life, etc. Both of these movements have and will continue to impact the way we perceive society, nature, and God for the rest of time.

Once the renaissance era, which produced a plethora of marvelous (and often religiously motivated) structures, paintings, and contraptions, had ended, the next movement to spring up in Western civilization was the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. The leaders of the Enlightenment, which consisted of intellectuals and artists, sought to use logic and rationality to solve human problems. They viewed religion and its representatives as nothing more than snake oil salesman who were attempting to seize wealth and power by spreading ignorance and superstition throughout the world, and they made an effort to combat these so-called forces of ignorance with the mind and with reason. It was highly critical of monarchies and empire, and it helped develop the founding ideas of democracy. The enlightenment and its workers would plant the seeds of political revolution throughout the world, particularly in colonial America. The enlightenment planted the ideas of independence, order, and accountability in the minds of many civilians.

One of the fathers of the Enlightenment, Francis Bacon, developed the idea of implementing rationality in science. He practically invented the modern scientific method. From his teachings and ideas would come Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, and many other brilliant scientists and thinkers. The Enlightenment would ring in the founding principles of secularism and suggested the very new and controversial idea the man didn’t need God, that God was not interventional, or even that there was no God. The Enlightenment sought to bring about order, which had become a foreign concept in the reigns of monarchs. Philosophers and political thinkers like John Locke attacked monarchy and suggested that a government should be ruled by its people.

Romanticism started up around the mid-1700s and “ended” around 100 years later. Romanticism was a focus on the hearts and minds of humans, and appealed to their human nature, their passions, love, and other emotional areas. It did not believe in a God, nor did it believe that God believed in man, but it sought to bring unity to people and nature. Romanticism changed the way the things such as love, nature, children, innocence, sex, and government are viewed. It attempted to bring about an independence from government, and separate people from the love of money and rather focus on matters of the heart. It encouraged people to go on adventures, to fall in love, and to pursue dreams and goals.

Romanticism and Enlightenment have brought about many movements, some good, others bad. But the important thing to realize is that the concepts, perspectives, and ideologies brought forth in these eras have defined society and structure as we view them today.

Cover Image Credit: yorku

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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