Sunday, October 30, 2011

Feed Part 1

Titus and his friends decide to go to the moon for spring break because there wasn't anything to do at home.  Titus tries to sleep on the ride but his friends were being loud and obnoxious and he wasn't able to.  When they got to the no gravity zone he decided there wasn't a use trying to sleep when everyone else was having fun.  They got to the moon and the girls got their room and the boys there.  Titus was hoping to find someone on the moon to hook up with, he tells us how lonely it gets after the party going home alone.  The group tries to get into a party, most of the time it works because as a group they look older than they are, but this time it didn't.  They went to a club where there's no gravity and you fly around and hit each other.  It was there that Titus saw her, the beautiful girl that stood in the food area just watching all of them like they were idiots.  He followed her when he could, she was in the snack bar so he ordered a snack and watched her, she was wearing wool.  When she thought no one was looking she would let her juice come out of her mouth and watch it in the no gravity and she would lick with her tongue again.  The group came over then and he hoped they would shut up because they didn't really sound that smart.  The girls went to the bathroom because hairstyles had changed, Titus was talking about the girl and Link asked what she was wearing.  Titus replied that it was wool, like from an animal.  When Quendy returned from the bathroom she was upset that no one told her that her lesion had spread.  They all had lesions, everyone was getting them.  They assured her that it hadn't and if she met someone she didn't know before they wouldn't know what she looked like without it.  The guys told her to ask the girl in gray, and she said that it showcased her face because of where it was on her head.  It wasn't on a main line so it actually brought attention to her face, her's was on her neck and she wanted it to go all the way around her neck to look like a necklace but it wasn't there yet.  After this all of the other guys became fascinated with her and kept asking her to help them with their lesions and kept hitting on her.  At one point she stopped and looked at Titus and only at him, looking to see if he was going to say something too to hit on her, but he didn't have anything to say.  The girls and the girl in the gray spent time arranging Quendy's hair so that it showcased her lesion, which was good for Quendy because she's usually not the one in the center of attention.  They were all bored and decided they wanted to go to a club but first they wanted to get drunk.  They tried a place that wasn't supposed to ID but it had been torn down a year ago and there was a mall there now, so they all went in and went shopping.  No one really found anything that they liked but some people bought things anyways.  When they were done it was later and they still weren't drunk so they went back to the hotel and tried to break the locks off of the mini fridges but it was no use and all of the girls were watching something on their feeds.  They decided to go to the club without drinking and on the way there was a protest against the moon and even some were shouting about the feed, a chip in my head is death.  When they got to the club it was clear that Violet was uncomfortable but she said she would get used to it.  Titus and her were talking for a bit and they didn't like each other when all of the sudden the artificial gravity got turned off and Violet grabbed Titus, she apologized as they were floating down and he said it wasn't a problem.  They were all there when an old man with a bow tie came over to them and with his iron hand touched them and they all started broadcasting, yelling "We enter a time of calamity," over and over.  They couldn't speak even when they tried, they couldn't move, they couldn't do anything.  Titus saw the police coming and they beat the old man over the head which was when he finally stopped and they all stopped.  That's when Violet and Titus were finally able to hold hands and the police were saying in all of the kids' ears that they were going to have to turn them off now and when they did they all fell to the ground and that was it.

There were also what seemed to be advertisements that were in-between different chapters for different shows, products and places to go.

I was very confused what the feed was until the group passed the protesters and said the rant about the computer chips in their heads.  It's a tough reality to face but this almost seems where we're heading.  Everyone is obsessed with technology and people my age say that their phone is their life!  It seems no one can go anywhere without their cell phone.  When my father went to school there were only a few people who had laptops in class because only a few people could afford them, now there's only a few people with laptops in class because their laptop is too  big to bring to class so they have their IPad 2.  When you're hanging out with anyone they're always on their phone texting, whether it's people who are in the same room as you or people elsewhere.  We have the internet on almost every phone and if you don't have a phone that is capable of using the internet you're seen as having an "ancient" phone and people tell you to upgrade.  I'm sure there are many people who would see the benefits in having a chip in your head so that you didn't even have to have a phone you could just do everything in your head.  Having a tv right in your head would be so "beneficial" to people because then they wouldn't have to be at an actual tv to watch tv they could watch it at anytime.

I love how the fact that Violet is wearing wool is so strange.  She seems like she's from a different time, not like the others.  However, she does have a computer chip because she is turned off at the end of part 1 so she couldn't be from another time.  This is her first experience to the moon and doesn't seem like she's been to Mars either.  This seems rare for this time because it almost seems fairly inexpensive to go to the Moon because this group of high school students did it last minute.  I thought it was very strange, the Moon.  I think the reason the Moon is so great is because it is so rare to go to and such a special experience for astronauts.  Yet Titus described the moon as cold, full of trash and nothing but boulders.  He said that once the novelty has worn off there really isn't anything that wonderful about the moon, just that it brings him loneliness.

These lesions almost seem like acne today, but way grosser.  Everyone is still obsessed with how they look and Quendy is stressed that hers is on her face.  Violet's reassurance that it accentuates her face gives her confidence and makes the others want to know about their lesions.  I want to know what they're from and why people are getting them.  Titus says that the lesions are something that people are starting to get now.  So what are they that we're getting them now?


So we were supposed to count how many times we heard the word deserve in commercials, on tv and in life in general.  

Now let's be honest we weren't really going to go home and get a piece of paper and tally everything down, but I definitely did.  I was watching tv when I heard someone say deserve and it just clicked in my head, so I got a piece of paper and every time I heard deserve I would tally it down.  Grand total?   48

Also, give me a break I had the flu all weekend so all I could do is lay around and watch tv.

Example of a commercial with the word deserve:

Everyone deserves everything right?

A Silver Dish

Woody Selbst's father has died and he's trying to mourn.  His pop being a crook of a man with a wife and a mistress, was always looking out for himself and his gambling.  Woody remembers a story that took place during the depression after his father had left him and his mother and sisters.  Pop had told Woody a lie to take him to the widow that paid for Woody's tuition at the seminary.  While there Pop convinced the widow that he needed money to keep his business afloat, when the widow left to pray over her decision Pop stole a pure silver dish.  Woody and Pop got in a physical fight and Woody made Pop promise to put the dish back, and he did promise.  After they left and went to the bank, Woody found that Pop had not put the dish back.  Upon finding the dish missing the widow and her servant confronted him with the head of the seminary as well.  Woody swore that he had nothing to do with it and they would feel bad when they found the dish which they had simply misplaced.  He was expelled from school and his father didn't care.  By end Woody is remembering the hospital and how his Pop passed away.  Woody had climbed into the bed with him and held him because Pop was trying to pull out the IV cords that were in turn keeping him alive.  Again there was a struggle that made Woody remember the fight back at the widow's mansion, but this one was very weak and it wasn't really a struggle at all.  Yet Pop still found a way to die by his body heat dropping until he died as his son held him.

There was also a lot of talk of religion but the type of religion and who is which and what just confused me.  I understand that Pop was seen as a crook by his wife and sister?(she was the aunt but I don't know if it was Woody's aunt or Pop's).

They also made a statement of how Woody was considered a crook because he still spoke to his father.  Yet he took care of his Pop, mom, two sisters and his Pop's mistress.  He would foot the bill if they needed help and he sent them all on vacations.  He would dedicate days and a lot of time to make sure everything was taken care of.  When his Pop died Woody personally dressed him, and shoveled the dirt on top of the coffin. Feeling this is the last duty a son could do for his father.

I know that there is something significant with the meaning behind all of the talk of religion and converting and who is what and why but I just don't seem to quite grasp it.  I find it very sad that Woody was kicked out of seminary because of his father.  His father kept telling Woody that he felt bad for the girls because he couldn't teach them what life was about.  Woody's sisters remained single and lived with their mother and very christian.  Maybe Pop meant that hiding behind religion meant that you wouldn't ever do anything with your life but sit around forever.  Pop, although a crook, has done so many things in his life, he lived on the edge.  He put the trench coat down in the airport and was prepared to tell them that nothing in there was his, he put marijuana in the family turkey on Thanksgiving and again no one caught him.  That's when the downhill began in his health, when he was no longer getting a thrill.  I still want to know what Pop meant when he was saying they'll never get to live.


Alright so I read this 3 times. First I just read it, second I read it out loud(which the people I was in the library study room with appreciated) and the third time I just tried reading it again and I can honestly tell you I do not understand it.  I don't even have any specific questions because I don't understand any of it to ask questions about!

I definitely got something about people using a lot of drugs, some musicians, artists, and psychiatric patients and hospitals.  I hope that's a good enough summary to show I read it because that's honestly all I can give you.

Any help??

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Harrison was not the same as everyone else, he was extraordinary and for that he was punished.  The law of the land is to be exactly like everyone else, and if you were any better then you were to wear a handicap so that you would soon be like everyone else.  George was special, he was smart and for that he had to wear a head radio that gave sounds on a set interval that made him stop thinking.  George's wife, Hazel, was not special.  She often forgot things and didn't really know what was going on, very confused.  George was thinking about his son Harrison when he got another sound.  Harrison was fourteen when he was taken to jail because no handicap could stop him and he was planning to overthrow the government.  A new bulletin came on the television that said that Harrison had escaped and not to try to reason with him.  When all of the sudden Harrison was at the ballet that George and Hazel were watching.  Harrison declared that he was the emperor and he took off all of his handicaps to reveal how beautiful, masculine and strong he really was.  He said that any woman that was willing to take off her handicaps would be his empress.  A ballerina did so and Harrison took off her mask last to reveal how stunning she was.  He then ordered the musicians to play without their handicap and he and the ballerina danced.  Next the pair defied the rules of gravity and kissed the ceiling!  When all of the sudden the woman in charge of the handicaps came in and shot them both and gave the musicians 10 seconds to get their handicaps back on or they'd be shot too.  George had left the room to get a beer and when he returned he asked why Hazel had been crying.  She didn't know, saying it was something that was on the television.  George told her to put the bad out of her head and everything seemed to be back to their normal.

FOR REAL???!?!!!?!

I love competition and everyone wanting to do better than someone else.  This makes our society advance because there are always improvements.  The trick is knowing when something is a competition and when something isn't.

I find it funny that George wouldn't take out the balls because if someone was better than another they could slip back into the dark ages.  To me the world they're living in are the dark ages.  I couldn't imagine being just like everyone else, there's no way any of those people could be happy.  In America now I believe that there are people who are still unequal in rights, however I think that everyone should be unequal when it comes to their abilities.  In one scene Hazel says that the announcer should get a nice raise for trying his best, though he has a speech impediment.  Hazel says that he tried with the abilities that God gave him, he did his best.  Well aren't we hindering those who have the handicaps?  God made them different than average, He gave them gifts and by putting handicaps on people we're taking away gifts that God has given.

The Handicapper General definitely had a God complex.  She made all of the rules, figured out how to handicap those who were special and when someone defied the law she killed them.  If they're trying to get away from competition and some people being better than others, then why does she have so much power?  Shouldn't she have a handicap?  I definitely feel that she's allowed to think and isn't that against the rules?

Ernest Hemmingway

Alright because I'm going with initial reaction now I'll tell you exactly what I thought when I was finished reading this.

Well damn.

probably more like "well daaayyyum" if I'm being completely honest.

A couple has gone to Africa for a Safari.  They are not happy together but they both know that they're stuck.  When Fancis went to hung the lion he shot him but the lion went into the brush.  Their hunger, Wilson, pointed out how no one likes to go in after a lion because you don't know where he is until you're on him.  The group goes in to look for the lion, as Macomber's wife waits in the car.  When Francis sees the lion he runs away as the others shoot him.  This is one of the most embarrassing moments of his life.  Later back at camp his wife pretends to put it our of her head, as does Wilson but Macomber couldn't get it out.  Later that night Macomber woke up and his wife wasn't there, but when she returns he know immediately what she had been doing.  She had slept with Wilson and he was furious.  Francis wanted to talk about it just then but she said in a very sweet tone that she didn't want to and fell asleep.  In the morning Francis made it so clear how much he hated Wilson and his wife was a very fake nice once again.  They both knew that neither would leave each other.  When they went out for the day's hunt his wife again came along.  This time Francis show the buffalo and had such a high.  He immediately go confidence and his wife noticed.  One of the buffalo had gone into the brush and the men had to go in and look for it to kill it.  This time Francis wasn't scared and he went in to help.  the men were shooting the buffalo, when all of the sudden the wife shot a bullet from the gun in the car and it struck Francis and killed him.  Wilson said "don't worry people will think it was an accident,"  different sayings like that.  Macomber's wife is sobbing and telling Wilson to shut up but he wont, and she says please shut up and he says thank you that was much better.

I knew something was going to happen as soon as the wife noticed the confidence that Francis had gotten from the kill.  She was in control until that moment.  She could do whatever she wanted because she knew that he wasn't going anywhere, that they were both stuck.  Yet, when Francis realized that he had confidence and could leave his wife and still had time to find someone it was apparent.  Wilson even said at the end, "he would have left you."  It's like the kill was so eye opening for him, he didn't have to be controlled by his wife and didn't have to put up with the way she treated him.  His wife was so comfortable with this relationship because she knew he wouldn't leave her, and she couldn't leave him because she had passed her prime.  That's why she felt she could sleep with Wilson because she completely dominated the relationship.  Whatever she said or did Francis had to go along with it and had to be okay with it because he was stuck.

But not anymore, and he knew it and she knew it.  So she had to stop it from happening.  Now that he was dead people will feel sorry for her that her husband died.  Not looking at the fact that it wasn't an accident at all.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Langston Hughes

Theme for English B
This poem is so simply and honestly put that it's purity becomes complex.  He addresses that he does not know who he is at 22, but he does know he's Harlem.  He is the only black student in his class, the only one to know what it's like.  He points out that being colored doesn't make him not like the same things as other people of different races, but he is different.  We are all a part of each other, that is America.  America is many different races, whether we want to be or not...we are.  We all learn from each other, no matter color or age.  Freedom, freedom is what white's have and black's are still fighting for to this day.
The lines where he says:
"As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me---
although you're older---and white---
and somewhat more free."
gave me chills.

As I said before this is so simply put and yet hits so hard and is so true that you can't help but lose your breath.  To this day saying everyone is equal is impossible, but being the only black in a room full of whites would intimidate me and make me uncomfortable.  Yet this man does it and he has no problem saying exactly how it is.

At first when I read this I didn't really know where to start.  Then I remember the title "Harlem" and where that is and what happens there.  In Harlem everyone starts with a dream, and as the years go on those dreams disappear when reality sets in.  There are gangs, children to feed and people to take care of so the dreams of individuals to get out of Harlem or make a difference are quickly forgotten in order for things to be taken care of.  Being in a place and just sitting down and observing and seeing that everyone around you has given up a dream for someone or something else is eye opening.  So what happens to these dreams that everyone gave up?  Where do they go?

Countee Cullen

Yet Do I Marvel
I was a little confused reading this at first.  I’m still not super for sure what’s being written about.   The writer is saying that they don’t doubt that God is good, but if He’s so good then why is a mole blind, why must his Son die, why is Sisphus destined to such an awful fate.  If God is so good then why do these things still occur.  We are have too petty of minds to look at the brain that God has that has such an awful hand.  So why does God make bad things happen if He’s so good?

Looking at their heritage what is Africa to them?  They have been three centuries removed from the land that their father loved.  They lie there all day listening to the different sounds of birds, herds and trampling in the grass.  When thumbs are pressed against the ears, they can still hear the beat of drums.  Africa is the book that one thumbs through until they fall asleep(people often forget of them), people forget about the bats that circle through the night, the cats that stalk their fleshy prey that feeds by the river bank, the snakes that shed but once a year.  There they lie not finding peace from the pounding feet, up and down and treading out a jungle track.  Lying never safely from the rain as it comes at night and during the day.  Next he turns away from the heathen gods and goes to christianity.  His conversion being high priced, but now being taught humility through christianity.  Sometimes feeling as though if God/Jesus was black he would feel more comfortable, like they were born a kindred spirit.  At his sometimes impatience and dark moments he asks for forgiveness.  In the end I feel like he is saying that everyone is civilized but he hasn't realized it.

Talking about his heritage is interesting from the different descriptions of everything experienced in Africa.  The end is what is interesting to me and what I wonder about.  Is he saying that he hasn't realized that everyone is civilized just in different ways?  Talking about Africa he seems like his nose is up to the way of life there because they sleep in the rain and there's the continual beat and nothing really modern.  I feel like he's saying we're all civilized but being civilized is different depending where you go. Just feelings and guesses :)

T. S. Eliot "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Beginning translation: If I believed my answer was to a person who'd ever get back to the world, this flame would keep still without moving any further. But since from those undergrounds no one has ever come back alive, if I hear what's true, I answer you without fear of infamy.

This seems super sad to me, not like what I expect a love poem to be about at all.  He keeps talking about his age, line 41-42, 43-44, 120.  At the beginning he is saying there will be time to do different things.  This made me feel like he was growing older throughout the poem or is writing this with age and looking back on his younger times.  I was also thinking that maybe he’s talking to someone who he loves, but isn’t in love with.  For instance, maybe this is written to his daughter and he’s telling her that there is always time to live and not to grow up too fast, that he won’t be here forever so he has to tell her everything before he’s gone which is why he’s getting older.  He could be saying that there are always people that will think that they’re better than others and not to let that fool you or change who you are.  I was also thinking that maybe he was afraid to love which is why he was always asking the reader is it worth it?  He didn't know whether the risk of doing anything was worth it and so he watched his life pass by.

The times where he says “In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo,” makes me feel like he’s surrounded by people in different classes, and those of lower classes try to show that they’re in higher classes, that they fit in.  

T. S. Eliot "The Wasteland"

Well wasn't this just the most confusing piece to read on the planet? I kind of just want to make my blog post a large question mark and leave it at that:


but I won't.

This is split into five different sections, though it didn't help  me a bit.  The titles didn't always make sense compared to what was written in that section.  There are many different ideas talked about ranging all over the spectrum.  The meaning behind a lot is lost on me because I don't read poetry well.  The way in which he wrote changed at different parts of the poem, which also threw me off.

Section 4 seemed very sad to me, and it also confused me.  Being dead totally sucks, but are these two dead dead or just dead inside?  They have been dead for a fortnight(line 313) but talking about he passed the stages of his youth and entered a whirlpool.  To me this seemed like they fell into a bad drinking habit maybe(hints death by water?) and then they looked back on their lives and the different stages all while or before being swept into the whirlpool of drinking and spinning around in this habit just stuck and can't get out. I was got caught in a whirl pool just off the coast when I was younger and I couldn't get out, only when I was pulled out by my oldest brother was I free from the encircling fear that I had.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mark Twain

The War Prayer begins with the excitement and patriotism that is going on during this time.  The pride of fathers, mothers, sisters and sweethearts of the soldiers who are being sent off to war and those who are coming home.  The town will send off troops the next morning so they gather in the church to pray, they pray that their men seek victory and that they will do things to bring pride to their family.  During this church service an old man comes into the church and stops the pastor and begins to talk.  He says that with these things the congregation prays for there is also an opposite.  He says if you pray for your men to win then you are also praying for others to lose their lives, homes and food.  There is always an opposite side to what you are praying for.  When the man left it was said that he was a lunatic because he didn't make any sense.

This is an interesting look at religion and people of every time period.  This old man is incredibly right in that when you pray for something good to happen to you, you are also praying inadvertently that something not so good happens to someone else.  Whether it be something less important like rain for a crop, or more serious like someone's life and shelter after battle.  The people called him a lunatic because he didn't make sense, but I think what's really happening is that they don't want to look at themselves as anything but good Christian folk.    In the bible God says to look at the log in your eye before pointing out the sick in someone else's, I think this is where Christians have difficulty in this story.  If these people were to actually think about what this "lunatic" of a man said they might try to just pray in a way that won't also be taking away from someone else.