Yeah, another late one. I know. It’s my fault and I’ll try to get these in on time from this point forward. Also I didn’t feel quite qualified to write this blog until I had already completed my first poem, but now that it’s done, let’s talk about poetry.
As I’ve already said, most of the poetry that I’ve found in school didn’t really leave a profound impact in my mind, at least, not one I would have wanted. I have, although, gotten life changing advice and new perspectives on many topics through poetry I have looked for on my own time. I am particularly fond of the spoken word format. It’s probably the only form of poetry that really does anything for me, unless you include rap as poetry.
Oh yeah you wanted to talk about academic poems. Eh. Like I stated previously, nothing read in class really changed my life or my worldview. Eldorado contained a clever lesson disguised as bad writing. It took me a while and a lot of rereading and things being pointed out to me for me to see that it really did have a deeper meaning, and it’s a good theme, but at least for the way I think, it doesn’t register at first the way other works can really captivate your thinking.
I’ll show you Suli Breaks, one of my most valued current poets.
Onto my poem, I told the story of a bank robbery with an unusual ending. The teller somehow gets the nerve to unmask the robber. I never really explained why he had the guts to do this, so we can only guess. When he does unmask the robber, it turns out to be an old friend of his, and the robber recognizes him too. The robber drops his weapon and the two completely ignore the fact that the robber just committed a heinous crime. As they are chatting for what must be a number of minutes, they discuss what they did back when they knew each other, and fill each other in about what the other missed. Completely to the ignorance of the two, a police task force responds to news of the burglary, but when they arrive at the scene, there is nothing suspicious to be found, and no obvious signs of a robbery, meaning no life ending violence ensues.
I initially had intentions of it not ending well for the robber, but I figured this was funnier, and told a deeper truth. That truth is that no matter what awful offense to society you were in the process of committing, your true friends can save you from an unsavory fate.
Time to kick off a very cleverly combined double blog to which hours of reading and hopefully accurate interpreting have led up to. I am going to start on the second book I read because it’s fresh in my mind. That’s enough of an intro I’d say.
My first impressions of No Country For Old Men immediately after reading it is that it was well written, and a lot of thought must have gone into it, but despite this, some of it definitely went over my head. That’s probably just my tendency to miss things. More than once I wasn’t sure of who was speaking, or who was being spoken about, and throughout the entire book it wasn’t always clear who the main character even was. For all the realistic characters and commendably vivid descriptions, there were plenty of vague statements, at least to me, and undoubtedly one extremely unrealistically invulnerable antagonist. When you first read the book you would think Anton is the main character, but he is the opposite. When the perspective shifts for the first time to Moss, then surely he is the main character? Nope.
Even on the very first page I didn’t know what was going on until I read it over several times. This repeated countless times all throughout the book. Yes, the writing is descriptive, but it just isn’t always clear. There were lots of in depth references about specific weapons and materials most people wouldn’t have caught on to, and so I wonder how many more I myself didn’t catch. I’m even starting to think that the book gets worse the longer it goes on. It’s set up in the beginning to be a spectacular thriller but looses steam quickly, and once you realize Moss is doomed it all kind of falls apart. Keep in mind all he had to do to avoid all conflict in the entire story was not go back into the desert crime scene. Sure it wouldn’t have been as entertaining, but I can think of countless other directions the story could have taken. More accurately, the longer the story goes on the way it is written, the less good outcomes there can be. Nearing the end it didn’t even feel like the same cool, quick, action packed book as when I started on it. I believe the entire focus fell from “A highly skilled man with no obligations is on the run with $2.4M and some expensive firearms” to “A bunch of old reminiscing Texan cops can’t quite catch up to a annoyingly bulletproof and situationally faultless, morally deprived murderer with all the time in the world and no personality to make everyone else suffer, including the reader.”, and that’s where the book shows its true colors. I’m not quite sure when the book stopped getting entertaining to me. I think it faded off slowly and I didn’t realize until it was too late, much like the futures of any decent character in the book.
(edited) I wasn’t initially planning to insert media here, but I have pity on those who end up reading a whole lot of something they might not want to, although I don’t understand how anyone could not want to read my work! Here, have a cool, completely unrelated picture.
No Country For Old Men ended up sort of disappointing to me, and I guess you can say it was the exact opposite of the previous book I read – The Drop.
NCFOM Started off great, despite the uncolloquial high precision of the writing, but ended up slowing down and becoming a sour revelation, straying from the action ending in an unneeded and unwanted commentary on character and regret. In an opposite fashion, The Drop started off slow and not very entertaining, just steadily building backstory for emphasis, and then exploded into an ending I never would have predicted.
Out of the two I’d say NCFOM still takes the cake for having more relatable and lifelike characters you could see yourself around, unless that is you’re some random scumbag from Boston. Pretty much everyone in The Drop was revealed right off the bat to possess deeply troubling character flaws, save for the protagonist Bob, who seemed good natured. This is the exact opposite of NCFOM in where you had hoards of criminals outnumbering a select few good willed people comprised of law enforcement and civilians. In The Drop the police weren’t even half decent role models, shamelessly throwing away morality at any chance to do so, where as in NCFOM they were questioning their own character traits and talking about what they could have done better.
Back to Bob, The Drop had a very clear main character, where NCFOM swung around several perspectives. This isn’t in particular a bad technique when writing a novel, but carried out to the extent it was in the book, often switching views mid chapter, things got confusing. Did I mention there are no quotes to separate dialogue from narration in the entire book?
Those are differences and faults in writing in these two stories that stand out to me off the top of my head. Now is as good a time as any to actually answer the questions in the prompt. Both books I grabbed off the shelf in the public library hastily because they looked entertaining and like they had some quality writing within. I didn’t plan on taking lots of time to find the perfect book, and its not like I had tons of time to do so either. I selected what I thought were well written novels. I don’t think my assumptions were wrong, but the stories were definitely not at all what I had expected.
In The Drop I immediately and almost exclusively empathized with Bob, as the author very well may have intended. All the other main characters, save for maybe Bob’s cousin at times, I didn’t really care much about. Some of them I even wanted to see get what was coming to them for the undue havoc they wreaked on the narrative. It’s only fair.
Once again we see the two stories making themselves parallel to each other in a suspiciously regular way. In No Country For Old Men, most of the characters were average law abiding folk who wanted more peace and less destruction upon their world. The exception of course were members of the drug gangs and the vigilante hit men who circled them like vultures. I empathized for Moss start to finish, viewing him as more of a main character than Sheriff Bell. He brought a lot more to the story without a doubt. In the very beginning of the story I was even rooting for Anton to get away from the police. I guess that was the George Carlin in me, being entertained by civil situations spiraling out of control. My unbothered view of such a killer changed when he interfered with Moss’s success. They both wanted to triumph, and only one of them would come out on top. The story could have been made entertaining in my opinion had the two worked together, but this sadly was not the case. It would be interesting to see something like that play out, but for now all we have of the story is what was written.
Neither of the books were that bad, and were quite entertaining at times, but all in all they are far from perfect. I wouldn’t recommend either of them to anyone who doesn’t like to think about gritty depictions of crime. The Drop’s slow start was made up for in the end, but it ended very fast and almost out of nowhere. You honestly aren’t missing much if you don’t read it. As for No Country For Old Men, The beginning was excellent, and could have gone in almost any direction, which was the fun of it, but as the story became what it became and sorrowfully receded into a four-dimensional meta analysis of lost opportunity, my overall impression of the work was not without damage. I’d say its worth reading as you may like the ending’s chosen path more than I did, and because cohesively it is still quite well written with a level of insight exceeding many.
In the end it’s up to you, but if you could make it through 1300+ words from me, you could easily stomach one of these books.
(edit 2) I feel bad about this wall of text so here, have a soothing background song to complement your further reading.
You can bet that my initial story ideas strayed a little from their origins. I have the same main idea, but lots of small ideas were lost in the shuffle. It’s not like they were ever crucial concepts, just non-canonical lore tossed in to complete an assignment.
I initially thought there would be more interaction and mention of Mike’s family, but they pretty much had no role in the story. I also told myself Mike would end up directly fighting the mob in the streets of Phoenix, but this was liquidated down to a single altercation outside Burger King, which I only used because I said in the Storyboarding slides file that needing a burger was a minor conflict. It’s not too late to change that. 😂 Anyway, I also first envisioned more detailed conflicts with Mike’s friends and local gangs.
I suppose you could say the version of the story that got written is condensed in a way, or perhaps my early envisions of it were unrealistically not concise and had too much going on. I don’t know. If I really wanted to I could expand this story; add a few pages, and throw in all the stuff I first brainstormed for the sake of… completion? Peace of mind? Not even sure what the purpose would be. I can’t give a definite reason why my story changed, or at least streamlined itself for sake of progress. Maybe if I wrote down all the potential interactions in the story it would never get done. Maybe I’m mentally cutting corners subconsciously to save my grades.
Not to sound narcissistic but I love the whole ill fate time loop thing I threw in here. There are probably similar stories out there, but I personally have never read anything else like it so far. I don’t like how some of my conversations feel a like forced and I may have to rewrite them to make them sound a little realer. Here’s a picture of Nas.
How’s my first book? Well, I’m almost done with it. Matter of fact, I think its due today back at the library. Yikes. When I finish it and zoomzoom back to the library with it I’ll cop a new one. I’ll update you on that. Thanks for reading pal.
Alright. Strap in. It’s time for what you normies call Blog 5. I’m blasting only the finest tracks to stay in an optimal mindstate. It’s relatively late but mind is over matter 24/7. Getting this in is better than sleeping seeing as it affords the security that I did something arguably productive all week.
Here’s my story. Mike Taylor is not an ordinary G. He was forced into a life of crime by friends and tough social conditions in early 21st century. He starts off with all the willpower in the world to counter the environment that wants him to snap. We see a gradient of mindsets and actions that finally plummet Mike into mercenary status. When it’s all said and done Mike wants another chance at this thing we call life, and he harnesses the awesome power of a relic that sends him right back to where it all began. He goes back with renewed willpower, but the same happens and he becomes a nervous, reckless self saboteur bend on mere survival. This is a cycle. Maybe even a metaphor for life itself in the inner city. I’m not aspiring to come up with a glaring social commentary here, just running with what excites me to its literary limitations. If I offended anyone then it’s not my problem.
How did I come up with this paradoxical action story about mental duality in the hood? I have no idea. It just flows. Like any of my original ideas, it was formed out of nothingness, or is too complicated to predict the origins of, much like weather. Aha! It’s both! It’s a tornado! Yes, this is a tornadic brainstorm of new and old ideas and concepts that took nothing short of my need of an original story to compose. I am not exactly sure whether or not this story idea stemmed or evolved from prior ones of mine. Keep in mind this was not my first idea for a story in this class when the assignment was mentioned, but given the requirements for the story, and the lack of details in my primary idea I decided that my first story was better left for another time and place. Maybe you’ll get to read that later. We will see, but for now I have to draft this one.
I wouldn’t say that in class activities affected the formation of this story much if at all. It goes very against the grain of traditional plot layout and content of the story itself. You will see what I mean soon enough. I know you just can’t wait. Well, neither can I.
Here’s your obligatory media. Actual footage of me after writing this blog works well enough.
This is what most of you would refer to as Blog 4. But I think differently. This is why 2018 won’t be like 2018. Apple sucks.
OK BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING – (The part where I think before I start to type).
I am reading a book called “The Drop” by Dennis Lehane. It’s sort of hard to describe, but I’m not finished with it yet anyway. It’s about a bartender in Boston and the characters surrounding him; it chronicles their adventures and misadventures. One strange thing about the book is that it is set in the present day, yet it would fit fine almost anywhere in the 20th century. There is very little which ties the story to a contemporary milieu. I can’t say if this was intended, or that the time period just wasn’t very important to the narrative and didn’t tend to interfere or intersect in any conscious way.
Being about crime, the story is a little gritty at times, but that is to be expected from something in this genre. I can’t say I was shocked, but maybe I wasn’t fully immersed in the underworld feel of the book and so certain less savory occurrences felt like they stood out from the plot in an awkward way. Maybe that’s just me.
It is worth noting that the main protagonist seems to be the only major character so far that has no serious moral/character flaws. After witnessing the actions and decisions of all the characters, he seems to be the only person I would trust or want to associate with. This could be a sure designation of him as the only “good guy” in a world consumed by evil.
I’m not quite sure where this story is headed, but it seems to get more and more serious and threatening to the safety of the characters as it goes forth. I just hope it all turns out well for the main character Bob (yeah such a profound name) because he’s the only one who doesn’t deserve to suffer. The stakes are being raised and it wouldn’t be unlikely for some huge disaster to take place, with the exception of some huge miracle that pulls Bob out of harm’s way. It’s probably not gonna turn out like that but there is always hope.
Now look at this beautiful b i r b that might represent doom.
My initial reaction to the work of DnTW is that it is a very matter of fact representation of a man’s life gone horribly wrong. It is not too similar to anything I have read recently, but it reminds me of Aesop’s Fables in a way, as a story that leads up to a single lesson, which could save inexperienced people from trouble in the future. That’s about all that’s familiar here.
This story lends itself to be set apart from my previous readings, and this is further exemplified by the simple fact that I haven’t read as much as many of my compatriots. It’s different because of its length, and the shameless action of throwing away characters. Not like I care too much. This story didn’t have too much going for it right from the beginning. It was written to be read and picked apart, and here we are, dissecting and inspecting. Notice the random picture I threw in so you wouldn’t get bored. Beautiful isn’t it?
I get the impression that the society in this story is a very gullible foolish one that is disproportionately prone to disaster. I don’t know if this was supposed to be a dig on people at the time, or if this was just a blatant exaggeration for the sake of the plot. Either way, I know why this was a short story. This narrative is virtually impossible in my opinion from supersequent experiences to drag out and keep interesting for a more generous number of pages. Any “deal with the devil” type of story seems to wrap itself up fairly quickly. And that may just be the nature of stories of this type, that protagonist victims to soul selling have perpetually short expiration dates.
Perhaps that was the very point Irving was trying to get across. He definitely is trying to tell us something with the demise of the unfortunate Tom Walker. It’s only sensible to think that he wants us to distance ourselves from moral debauchery and hypocrisy, exactly how he painted the Puritan church to appear. Could this have been an early form of political satire? Hmm.
I wouldn’t change much of this story because for its time it made plenty of sense, and there is little that actually ties the narrative to the time period it is in when we boil down the lesson here. There are still religious hate groups, spouses can still be violent, and people will always be gypping each other for profit. Sure, people don’t use horses as primary forms of transportation in our day and age, especially in the given location, but it’s pretty hard to build an underground garage upside down.
Well, here we are. Week two was the setting for a little education you might say. I learned about what makes a story “ethical”, and why virtually no modern stories are well accustomed to this method. Sadly it is true. Directors would rather milk a series for the most money possible than deliver a well crafted cinematic narrative. I’m different. I’m happy making only a measly $200 million and giving viewers something they will remember. Let’s be honest, in the far future, highly regarded movies will vastly outlive their actors and directors.
Anyway week 2 was a bit of a readjustment, and I’m started to get back up to speed with the whole school thing again. After 3 months you sort of forget what it’s like to have obligations and go into a who knows how many square foot refrigerator. Back on the road of experimental food combinations, I this time pioneered the expansion into cantaloupe/grilled chicken sandwich developments, to which I was disappointed, but not surprised. I mainly blame the poor quality of the cantaloupe for the off putting flavor, although it is quite possible that it is just not as viable a hybrid as watermelon and cucumber on spicy chicken. I will give further updates if I truly discover a culinary breakthrough.
I will likely formulate a more concise “blog” this week due to a lack of will to create literary masterpieces when all I want to do is think straight, never be ignorant, and get goals accomplished. Let’s take a look at that word, and the dishonesty of its current context. What am I blogging? Surely not my own life in any kind of order besides what has been laid out for me. The term blog implies for me an autobiographical sense that would be nothing but misleading in this recurrent series of glorified essays in which I fill with verbosity for a sense of progress. I am at war with my own mind. This is not a rant. This is called honesty. All I’ve been blogging is my current state of mind. Oh how exponentially multipolar it is. I don’t even have proof that anyone reads these. Not like I need exposure. Security is essential in an age where every possible organization with power seeks to destroy you simply because you possessed a very dangerous weapon known as free thought. How did we get on this subject? I don’t know and I don’t care because right now I just want to feel like my life is going somewhere, so I need to get this out of the way so I can start to think about everything I’ve been putting off for the last month or more. You are allowed to interpret this any way you wish, but please clear up misconceptions before you go running away with inaccurate theories. Sorry if it seems like I went off the deep end. I just wanted this done and I have a tendency to type what’s on my mind when my hands meet the keyboard.
The first week of school was a reverse exponentiation of sorrows, regret, squandered opportunity, and the feeling best described as a high rpm downshift resulting in a fried transmission. (You saw the picture so you know exactly what that means.) But like any reverse exponentiation worth its weight in murex, it wore off quickly, and by the end of the week, I had almost settled in to the 180 day grind known as junior year at BHS. My downward spiral into old, uncomfortably familiar habits of procrastination came full circle when I gave a brief presentation spilling out my heart to my honors literature class, once again immersed in a cycle of paradoxically cared for yet postponed projects.
You could say the good of this week was an obligatory change of pace, and like Tupac Shakur said, “…I guess change is good for any of us…” Also good is that I seem to have a decent lineup of classes this year, which seem to be scheduled a little better than last year. I would explain but you probably don’t care. Just ask me for details if you end up losing sleep over the mysteries of my bad schedule last year. Another pro of my first week is the introduction to an honors class that pertains to my interests, and I hope the sink or swim mindset will force me to apply myself like never before. Wasted talent is an awful thing you know. I personally know this a little too well.
And now the bad. I’m a bit of an optimist myself so I don’t typically start from a point of reference like this unless temporarily drowned in negative energy. That did happen once this week. I could barely think straight for maybe 45 minutes, but then I listened to some good music, and what a cure that was. Here’s a couple excerpts from the aforementioned songs of medicinal proportions.
“Take a deep breath and don’t overthink it; take a deep breath and stay positive.” –Brandon Perry, aka K.A.A.N.
“No such thing as a life that’s better than yours.” –J Cole.
Let’s resume on The Bad. One stupidly “hidden in plain sight” drawback about being back in school is just that. Being in school. That means less time to sleep, less time to come up with projects I may or may not pursue, less time for everything. That along with more pressure to do work that ranges from, dare I say it, fun, to educational, to unmemorable, to downright arbitrary. This is the nature of high school. We don’t always talk about it, because complaining usually gets us nowhere, but trust me when I say the power to reform this system is in our hands.
“Life is a balance; you lose your grip – you can slip into an abyss.” –J Cole.
The above quote is especially relevant when dealing with high school. Time management is essential to your physical and mental health here, and I find it hard to manage my time wisely more often than not. I simply don’t have the time or will right now to give an example. Let’s move on because it’s late and I need some sleep because I put off writing this. Whoops.
The ugly? The only ugly thing last week was the fact that a so called fruit parfait from the cafeteria cost me $1.60, and was one of the sourest things I had ever tasted to memory. I don’t blow my quid on garbage like that. Never again. I don’t even want to know where the school sources their food from, because it is hands down the lowest quality I have ever seen or tasted. If you go the grocery store right now, and purposely look for the worst food you can find, it will still be at least twice the quality of the pseudo-nutrition they dare to distribute to us in the cafeteria. I don’t even know how that kind of food is LEGAL to supply to someone for the intention of human consumption. They ought to stop wasting our tax dollars and invest in some real sustenance. We want our children to thrive, not just survive. Ok, done ranting.
My expectations you ask? Oh ha heu ha hae hoo. I have learned to expect nothing. You cannot count on anything in HS, because it’s up to you to get anything worthwhile done. Also there is the fact that I sometimes lack situational awareness and think myself into oblivion. If you see me not paying attention in class, please make it clear to me. When someone has lost focus, they aren’t aware of it yet. I don’t want to make any “set in stone” predictions about this year because they will probably either be negative and hold me back, or be better than my results and make me feel bad in retrospect. But no doubt, I want to try harder than ever before to really apply myself to my work. The work that counts, that is.
I think I will enjoy this class – Honors Lit. You’re an interesting character and I think that an extraordinary teacher along with a curriculum that fosters creativity is a winning combo. I also think American Cultures will be enjoyable. I seem to be inclined towards history and English topics. I do not think I will enjoy Geometry. Math isn’t always inherently difficult per se, but it is somewhat time consuming, tedious, and hard to want to learn, which makes it hard to pay attention to. And it’s the last period of the day which means I just want to get out of the building and go home and fall asleep for 3 hours to make up for the little sleep I got the night before. That’s gotta change.
I haven’t really been notably surprised much this first week if at all. I hope and pray that any surprises this year will be ones for the better. And with that, we are at 1,000 words. SURPRISE!
Here is some extra media, as requested.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd1Kv05ojV4 (Listen to this to break up the monotony of reading blogs. I know you have the supernatural ability to listen to songs and read consciously at the same time.)