The blog that for everyone else was their seventeenth.

I’m a little late on this. Story of my life.

My initial thoughts on the work weren’t really much, but if I had to dig into the reality of it, I’d say it was quite an ambitious project for Walt, considering the length of it, the relevance of it to himself and his philosophy, and the amount of time he actually spent not only writing it but trying to apply his ideals within to his lifestyle and evolve along with this poem.

As far as the sections we were given, being the third and the ninth, I had little to initially conclude seeing as they initially made little sense to me. Still, at this very moment, I do not remember much about what they mean, so I will have to consult my notes to even attempt to satisfy your query.

So in review, section 3 started off mentioning how people were concerned with past and future events but did not concern themselves with the present, the only time which they have direct control of. Walt, being a man bent on self and societal improvement made it very clear through his own examples that others ought to also focus on what they can manipulate in the present day. He went on to talk about how he upholds views of gender equality despite society’s hardline opposition to this belief, backing it up by presenting the plain fact that man and womankind are absolutely necessary to the advancement of a people.

Advancing through the section, he stated how “Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile” speaking of himself. Only a transcendentalist would say such a thing, as most today would regard their being as comprised of parts with good and evil intent; good and bad influences domestic to the body. Walt would have argued this was purely a result of a corrupted society. This doesn’t make logical sense, but so be it. It is the work.

He said his dreams led him to realize what steps he could take to better himself, and he was left with a predicament as to focus on these current steps or be distracted wondering what he could be.

Some lines that stand out among the rest are

“Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream at my
eyes,
That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent,
Exactly the value of one and exactly the value of two, and which is
ahead?

This question is what I just covered, and it stood out to me because it feels like a familiar struggle to continue working when you want to reevaluate what it is you’re working towards.

Difficulty? Yes, almost everything about reading and interpreting this work was hard, and when I finish the test based on it, I’ll crack open an iced tea and be glad I’m done with it. You should also crack open a tea once you’re done grading the mess that is my interpretation of the poem.

The Bonus Blog

As you scramble through your feed in disbelief, you come across this post. No, you didn’t ingest something psychedelic earlier.

I absolutely am writing this blog just because I’m bored and don’t really have much critically impending work to be busy with. I suppose I could catch up on projects in Drawing, but you know how it is. I got time.

But what if I don’t? It’s been on my mind recently how I can be mentally screaming at myself to get up and do work, but on the outside, I’m just chilling. If I ever look at you, and you can tell I’m not paying attention by the dead look on my face, then that means I’m lost in thought and not aware of anything immediately around me, but at the same time I might be obsessing over the realization of my lack of productivity despite my quality of work, or something darker. I could be fighting a whole war in my head, trying to think straight only to be tormented by my willpower spiraling out of reach, but all you see is – 🙂

It’s sad. I’ve been depressed. All I can really do is carry on and tell myself it’ll be OK because I’m headed in the right direction. I have clothes and food at home, my grades are good, I’m not caught in a brutal civil war, my government, although prying, is not a glaringly obvious threat to my well being on the surface. Life’s bad, but life’s good. All I really need is the introduction of some factor to make my life more efficient, and not some tragic appearance that brings with it an unforeseen struggle.

In recent years it’s been more of the latter barging into my existence, but I’m not even close to losing hope given the fact that I really do seem wiser as time goes on. I can critique my past like the most educated of judges, but when it comes to even the present day, I don’t take much for granted and usually take it easy. Have I lulled myself into a false sense of security? Do I need to make a move this second to save myself from an otherwise inevitable unremarkable life?

These are questions I ask myself on a regular basis. If you could peek into my mind it would be the seemingly shallowest unestimatably bottomless chasm of thought processes, hopes, dreams, presuppositions, upheld morals, broken morals, and other neurological things you could never fully relate to.

I guess that’s how we all are. Maybe.

Honestly I have no idea.

If you want to help me out, then the next time you see me, remind me that I have something to take care of as soon as possible and that putting it aside mentally is unhealthy. If everyone I knew was a little harder on me and went out of their way to encourage me I might have less to worry about.

Now it’s at five hundred words.

What makes a government right, and what to do when it is not.

Would I say the government is best which governs least? It’s hard to say. I can however say with more certainty than one can usually afford that no matter if the burden of tranquility is left on the citizens or their ruler, corruption with permeate both of them as long as this earth exists. There is no perfect, sacrosanct, incorruptible form of ruling when the human nature is one of sin and selfishness.

A government ought not to reach further than it must at the cost of personal freedom, but it should seek to protect what it can in the purest of intentions, and act upon this fairly.

A citizen ought to look out for himself and his fellow man, and never falter to ill intent on his level. Not only this, but a citizen, both as an individual and as part of a larger conglomerate, they should seek to keep their own rulers in line with threat of revolution.

What seems to have been lost in the shuffle is government members who are relatable to and inseparable from their civilian counterparts. Gone should be the aristocracy of elitist officials.

The only government that could ever have my full respect would be one of utmost transparency and unmitigated righteousness when the possibility of corruption exists, whether it be from within the administration or from industry. Not surprisingly, I can’t come to think of a government with pure intentions. No ideology is immune to greed and degradation. I simply cannot respect a government held captive by bribes, as it is not just as well as all too common.

Civil disobedience has the same purpose that it always had – to make aware to your government that you, the inhabitants of the state, are displeased with current leadership decisions or policies and would like top see changes made. Provided you have a reasonable system of checks and balances and a system of passing laws that is navigable to those who ought to collaborate to express their disapproval of current law or enforcement, then I would say protest has it’s strength maintained.

The problem however is the views of those who choose to protest and what they decide to make their statement to the rest of the nation. In this day and age we see a lot of people protesting who certainly did not do enough research, and could be adversely uhhhhhhh screwing up the country. I don’t know how much time I have left to write this so I have to bounce out on colloquial terms.

Peace.

Thoreau, Emerson, and how to sort through ground zero.

Surely at first glace, centuries old Transcendentalist writings that are archetypal to the movement would decimate your train of thought. This may be the perfect meta example of the faults of society proposed by these writers, manifested in the fact that society has made us deaf to what they are trying to communicate. Either that, or these writers are borderline anarcho-primitivist revolutionaries who in today’s time would have rejected electricity. Which of these I cannot say, as it is more likely between the two.

What I know for sure is that these writers had similar views on what steps could be taken away from established civilization with intentions to better themselves mentally. Emerson had descriptions of a state of mind most would today consider delusional. I don’t believe Thoreau was quite to the point that he thought he could   a s c e n d   to the eight dimension, but his visualizations of imaginary farmers and property could be concerning to most.

In Where I Lived, and What I Lived For, we start off looking into the mind-frame of Thoreau and hear him tell us, or perhaps himself, about how he has mapped out his local countryside and got to imagining different properties and their owners in that area and how they might have evolved over time. He imagined purchasing farms, talking to the agricultural folk about their craft and argued over prices and methods. This was all in his head and did not come to pass in base reality.

Moving onto the conclusion, we hear of the results of his attempt to be sanctified from the masses. He seemed to figure out for himself quickly that he could no longer quarantine himself apart from the very society that led him to this conclusion. He stated that he felt as if he had many more lives to live, and from this we can reason that his little vacation was not satisfactory in that he couldn’t fulfill his extraterritorial aspirations when surrounded by foliage.

Like he did suggest, leaving behind society would in fact simplify your life in ways formerly unimaginable. Gone are the burdens of social interaction, contemporary work, personal hygiene, and even the use of spoken language. What you would miss is much of the aforementioned, and now in 2019, I assume you would not have use of modern technology, assuming you were a purist transcendentalist.

I wouldn’t have a problem camping, hiking, or otherwise being immersed in nature for a reasonable length of time, but give it a while and I too would wish to return.

To answer your last question, I do believe people have already taken this anti-societal advice to heart, and beyond. According to WIRED, there is a trend consisting of consuming traditional South American DMT recipes with a goal of freeing yourself from the stresses that modern life places on you.

Crazy? Yes. Crazy.

Ending the argument that never started.

So, you want me to reflect on how this debate changed my views and understanding of the topic? It would be nice if I had actually participated in such a debate. Without having argued with anyone on my topic of the death penalty, and not even having seen my opponent’s write up, I can only speculate the full scope of the other side. My research was limited.

Still, I was able to learn a bit about the issue through what I did research and conclude by myself. To quote Earnest Vincent Wright,

“If Youth, throughout all history, had had a champion to stand up for it; to show a doubting world that a child can think; and, possibly, do it practically; you wouldn’t constantly run across folks today who claim that “a child don’t know anything.” A child’s brain starts functioning at birth; and has, amongst its many infant convolutions, thousands of dormant atoms, into which God has put a mystic possibility for noticing an adult’s act, and figuring out its purport.

Up to about its primary school days a child thinks, naturally, only of play. But many a form of play contains disciplinary factors. “You can’t do this,” or “that puts you out,” shows a child that it must think, practically, or fail. Now, if, throughout childhood, a brain has no opposition, it is plain that it will attain a position of “status quo,” as with our ordinary animals. Man knows not why a cow, dog or lion was not born with a brain on a par with ours; why such animals cannot add, subtract, or obtain from books and schooling, that paramount position which Man holds today.”

While your mind is working to make sense of the fact that there are no E’s in the above quote, I would like to expand on it. When I began on this topic, I genuinely did not have a stance on it, but alas, I was assigned to present one side as superior. One’s mind does not like this proposition ab ovo, but as I started to dig into this topic and peered into excuses flung from both sides, both of which claim to have the only answer, I saw that this was not much of a fact based subject, and almost solely reliant on moral opinion and presupposition. I was in control

Truly, either side can present a perfectly acceptable, logically sound and statistically enticing stance on the aforementioned, BUT, not from the same convictions. You must surrender one stance to reason from it’s parallel. It would not have been much harder for be to tackle this assignment from the opposite side. That will be all.

Rhetorical Agility – Blog 13

Life is tough.

I drew my fate today to be arguing against the acceptance of a death penalty. My personal stance on the issue is hard to say. While it is without a doubt fair to take one’s life if they have taken one or more, it never truly solves the problem. Of course, a life in prison is no life at all, and one might argue that it is better to die than to spend decades behind bars. whether or not this sick definition of mercy is murder is also up to interpretation. Two wrongs don’t make a right is all I can really say. Another point to bring up is that execution is unconstitutional, and often it is. Something we cannot ignore is the terrifying reality that some death row inmates simply are innocent of all charges. What perhaps may be worse is that many cases will never be proven one way or another, being left up to the judge and jury instead of evidence, and so we cannot ever be sure that someone being put to death by the government deserved such a fate. Lastly you must consider that in stricter countries like China, you can be executed purely for political “crimes” and actions that you would be free to make in America, as well as most other nations.

If one uses Google to look into this, you are of course greeted with Wikipedia alongside several clearly biased news sources.

I plan a logical approach to this by presenting what I have told you above, but it would not be hard to accidentally slip into some appeal to emotion or the like. Most do not have pity for violent felons, but nothing is really off the table in a debate. It’s hard to feel remorse for serial killers, so this will not be my approach. If you get technical, you could say killing them out of mercy is the less severe thing to do, and you can see how this quickly tumbles into a paradox. I’ll try at all costs to avoid pulling the skepticism card. Nobody wins that game.

That is an illustration of my Rhetorical Agility.

What can be debated endlessly, and what must be done regardless.

As I’m being urged to come up with a good topic to debate, one cannot ignore the age old security vs freedom. If you are not familiar with this, it is the argument between having ample personal freedom and privacy versus having ample surveillance and law enforcement at the cost of individual freedoms. I would say that on one side you have people who trust the sense of safety they have in their own ability and their faith in the public to not result in catastrophe, and on the other you have people who would rather confide in the centralized government to look after the affairs of themselves and those they do not know. I would sooner place my faith in the people, given that this means reasonable folks I choose to surround myself with, than to submit unmitigated record of my will and actions to a governing body that cannot be accounted, contacted, or as time would tell, trusted. This is something we see in the United States without a doubt, but surely, this is a global issue. Main arguments for either side would be as to whether you can trust your government or your people more. This not only depends on the area and time being described, but can be very hard to prove either way, and unless major events make it clear, it cannot be ultimately determined. I’ll stick to my views given my place and time, but my opinion on this may not be the wisest choice in all cases.

What would I change about my school year? Like any year, a little more work could have resulted in measurably higher grades. A little diligence can go a long way, and this can apply to everything from independent projects to the most mundane of schoolwork, which I personally detest. So yes, without making major changes to my psyche that would result in a less unique me, I would like to be able to focus long enough to allow myself to do work I don’t enjoy, because in the long run you would undoubtedly see an academic payout of a few points.

This all starts with taking small steps on a regular basis. I have to sacrifice time I would normally waste on idle consumption of information that mostly does not benefit me, so its not like I’d be losing much at all. Time to move on.

A Documentation on the Importance of a Moral Code.

Over the last week, I was supposed to keep a list of 15 virtues drafted by the group I was a part of, which were modified from a list originally composed by Ben Franklin, and take note of when and how I violated guidelines set by these virtues in search of self improvement on the path to  a s c e n s i o n.

I did not.

But what I did do, was retain the memory of what I did in the last week, focusing on my mind state, and how I faced difficulties, either taking the easy way, or the virtuous way. Here is what we can learn.

I am well aware that this isn’t supposed to be some haphazardly organized confessional or anything like that, but to better understand me you have to know exactly what virtues I am in violation of. I would say that pretty much all of my problems can be traced back to a lack of Order and Industry. It’s very hard for me to keep a schedule and do things in an orderly fashion often, and I don’t need a log to know this is true, because it happens nearly every hour of every day. I am just not very good at managing my time wisely, or being able to make myself work in the most efficient way, or, at times, at all. It’s not like I’m lazy or don’t care, I just simply cannot focus. This goes back about five years, and I have never truly recovered since.

Nothing really comes to mind in the other categories. I could use a little more fitness, but I’m not in bad shape. The other virtues I think I am maintaining well, but that doesn’t mean I should simply take that for granted.

Mindfulness is a very powerful tool that is nothing short of required to keep your productivity in check.

Funny enough, the virtue my group decided wasn’t as important as the others, Silence, could benefit me greatly. I often find myself in idle conversations, and these, of course, don’t help liberate me from my tendency to mismanage my time.

It is true. If I want to get done what is required of me, I have to make a conscious attempt. Well, I’m off to try again, and hopefully this time I’m serious enough to make a difference.

An Organized Plot to Have Students Attempt to Make Sense of Disorganized Poetry

My first impressions of The Dodo’s Conundrum was that it wasn’t worth the effort in deciphering whatever intentional, or shameless mess of literature was in front of me in order to better understand what the author was trying to get across. I feel like I now understand the general idea of the work, but it wasn’t easy, and this is a good example of poetry that isn’t of much use to most people. It’s sort of esoteric, but not in a sense of references and allusions, but just as far as the way the author is thinking, and it takes a while to grasp. The sign of a good poem is when its lines can have multiple correct interpretations, but there is still an immediately apparent theme to most people who read it. It seemed to be popular opinion that this here poem was too densely packed with ideas so that it was not clear. Although, to whoever wrote this, I applaud them in creating a thinking experience than I can only explain like putting a portal on the ceiling and floor and jumping through. At one part I found myself running through thoughts very rapidly as I moved from word to word. It was, not quite imagism, but sort of the opposite, where my mind was trying to make sense of the obscure by launching my consciousness down every possible meaning behind every word building on the sentence, and simultaneously snapping back to the starting point so I could venture down another. It was a truly exhilarating experience, and I thank you with presenting me with this cryptically verbose social commentary. It was a lot of fun, and I suppose I must have struck the perfect balance between skimming over stuff I don’t want to process, and taking too long to read something so that I don’t read another word because I haven’t figured out the current line. I was observing new words just as I was almost done processing the last, while reading words that don’t make enough sense for me to stop thinking about what they could have meant before moving on, and it led to uninterrupted state of verbal dissection. Too bad it only happened once.

Needless to say, this was not a simple task to fill out the questions in Sound and Sense. I had to interpret a little, and once again, I was at first misguided on what I thought the poem was trying to accomplish. I can’t say whether this was harder or easier for Eldorado, because it was sort of the same thing. The author’s intentions had to be spoon fed to me for me to really understand. Some poetry I think I won’t understand as intended in a million years if it wasn’t pointed out. That’s okay though because I have plenty of other meaningful things to do with my time. If only I actually could get up and do them.

No More Poetry? 😢

I actually like poetry. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not some academic robot who craves tough assignments to complete, but I very much appreciate the art form of lyricism and what skilled authors are able to put down on the page. I wouldn’t really say that my recent education on the topic of poetry changed my view of the art in a noticeable way, but without a doubt, the requirements and drafting mindset presented to me for the formation of assigned poems may have been a step in the right direction in my own freelance writing endeavors. I always was aware of rhyme schemes and the like in works I consume on a regular basis, but this recent unit definitely refreshed me on the subject, and being mindful of the structure of what you’re reading is always a good thing. Moving forward from my first to my second poem I was focusing a lot more on my own use of literary devices, and by taking my time I was able to do this without sacrificing the quality of the story I was conveying. My second poem is about optimism, and I chose to tell the tale of a man who never let unfortunate events wipe the smile off his face. Although it was more intended for comedy than serious meaning, I exaggerated some of his positive conclusions from disastrous events that would just be foolish in real scenarios, and in hindsight, that can say something about excessive optimism. In my own life I have experienced how on one hand, optimism can save you from depression, but on the other, if you rely on it too much, you might start to ignore very real problems that might crop up if you don’t spring into action to keep them at bay. Now that I think of it, there’s a meme that has something to do with this.

Speaking of media, what about visual elements in poetry? I know for a fact that imagery can be used to help someone understand an esoteric or unorthodox interpretation of your work, or even generate funny views of what would otherwise be serious. What comes to mind is something like an illustration of a homophone or double-entente statement where naturally the reader would imagine what makes the most sense out of the sentence they just took in, but your included picture forces their brain to process the phrase in a new, hilarious, or uncommonly introspective way. That’s what I would do at least.

 

 

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