Life Is a Cabaret

No matter to which form of media we turn, we are automatically bombarded with horrifying pictures or events. Sooner or later, we start to get used to those kinds of stories that usually involve unacquainted people. However, Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus allows us to build a relationship with its characters and the associated life stories. In contrast to other books, we don’t have to imagine anything in our heads but can see everything in black and white.

Right now, the Collin Theatre Center performs the musical Cabaret that is set during the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. While watching the show, the audience members laugh with and about Cabaret’s Emcee (master of ceremonies). However, in the final scene of the play, he shows up wearing a concentration camp uniform with the Yellow Star and the pink triangle. With this attached triangle, homosexuals were lumped together with rapists and pedophiles. And in the end, he walks off the stage through a gate labelled with the word “Dachau” under supervision of German Nazis. The powerful image of one of the main characters walking into this bright light baffles the audience every night. This reaction accentuates the fact that seeing something evokes a different sphere of emotions than reading does. We got to know this character not only in our imagination but were able to see him with our own eyes.


In another scene of Cabaret, the Emcee dances with a female gorilla proclaiming his love for her, and the song “If You Could See Her” ends with the words “she wouldn’t look Jewish at all.” This shows that Art Spiegelman isn’t the only one who wraps human stories into the shape of animals to communicate the horrors of World War II. Furthermore, it emphasizes the brilliance of this form of analogy.

The citation “life is a cabaret” connects all of these facets: people want to be entertained.  If someone is able to entertain his or her audience while including educational aspects and provoking emotional reactions, entertainment reaches a totally different level. And it becomes irrelevant whether this form of entertainment takes place on the stage of a theatre or on blank pages filled with visual life. The importance is to call attention to the past by presenting characters with a name, a visage, and ultimately a voice.


How to Ruin Your Reputation – For Dummies

At the beginning of the semester, each course’s syllabus contains at least one commonality: the part in which the professor tries to admonish students of plagiarism and its consequences. And every once in a while when a research paper or essay is due, this procedure is repeated all over again. However, some people just seem to be unteachable. They have the energy to look for online essays but can’t find the time to write their own papers. And as we read in the blogpost “Is College for Everyone?” (635), students who can’t manage their time aren’t a right fit for college.

Even without consulting today’s “plagiarism-detection software” (281), most professors are able to differentiate between the hard work of a student and the ever-growing “cut-and-paste”-society. As one of those “‘borrowing’” (281) students, you not only deceive your professors and fellow students, but above all, this scheme of “misrepresenting someone else’s work as your own undermines the goals of education” (284). 

How to Ruin Your Reputation - For Dummies

Once we are out of college, intentional and unintentional plagiarism won’t be accompanied by a failed course but the possible destruction of our career. In 2011, the German Minister of Defense abdicated due to accusations concerning plagiarism in his dissertation. At a moment’s notice, Germany’s most popular politician and aspiring chancellor had to abandon his pursued career path. He was publicly compromised, and even a website was created to find more plagiarized material in his doctoral thesis. And just a few days ago, the German Secretary of Education was deprived of her doctor’s degree and resigned because of fraud accusations.

The last two examples illustrate the following clearly: Plagiarism (frequently known under the synonym laziness) did, will, and certainly can ruin careers and lives. So, what would a solution to this problem be? The answer is easy: “give credit were credit is due” (282).

(citations taken from the book Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell)