Hamilton

My favorite scene(or song, rather, since we can’t view the actual musical) was Yorktown. It had a solid revolutionary vibe that was exciting. Although it spends a lot of time on the introductions of key characters, the musical seems to require it. None of the characters, as far as the pictures go, are iconic enough to be able to identify them by sight. This section of lyrics was particularly good:

To my brother’s revolutionary covenant
I’m runnin’ with the Sons of Liberty and I am lovin’ it!
See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians
We in the shit now, somebody gotta shovel it!”

The pattern of speech, while awkward on paper, works with the musical style. This song really amps up just before the chorus:

“We negotiate the terms of surrender
I see George Washington smile
We escort their men out of Yorktown
They stagger home single file

Tens of thousands of people flood the streets
There are screams and church bells ringing
And as our fallen foes retreat
I hear the drinking song they’re singing…”

When listening to the song, you can hear excitement in the performers’ voices as this song reaches a crescendo.

An unassignmented post

Research Assistant job – cool.

Self-motivated – cool.

Accountability via trust and results – cool.

Last-minute proposal for academic essay panel – moderate_level stress.

Last-minute proposal for academic essay I dont have time to research – sleep-disrupting_level stress.

I managed to write a convincing and seemingly knowledgeable abstract proposal on a topic i haven’t had time to research. It’s one of the more stressful things I’ve had to do, all while imagining myself reading this imaginary essay in front of a roomful of people.

I heard a story about an undergrad who wrote her essay on the importance of some author’s use of punctuation, and how it affected the meaning of their novel. At the end, someone more researched stood up and asked, “but what do you think about the fact [author]’s editor was the one who put all that punctuation in for him?”

Yep.

Revision of In-Class Essay on Kirsty Logan’s “The Rental Heart”

The voice in Kirsty Logan’s “The Rental Heart” is a vignette of personal transformation wherein the speaker grows from victim into willing participant in the game of love. “Rental” implies a certain amount of premeditated impermanence, an admission that these instruments of love(and thus the partners) are not to last.

“The problems came when the hearts got old and scratched: shreds of the past got caught in the dents…”

This passage is a nod to the addictive excitement new relationships inspire, and a veiled explanation of the speaker’s habit of discarding hearts and losing lovers. The stand-in organs are unreliable as substitutes.

“…the parts of me that I wanted to give to Anna were long gone, down the gutters of the city…”

The speaker chooses imagery that shows their broken heart as something that belongs in the gutter: it is no longer a functioning instrument, but a piece of detritus that is flushed away. The metaphor sets the speaker up as a broken thing as well, aiding the sense that the speaker is a victim.

The addiction to the love game soon follows:

“…the heart rental guy started to greet me by name. He gave me a bulk discount…”

The speaker’s implication is that there has been a transition from victimization to willing and frequent participant.

At the end of the story, the speaker relinquishes the impermanent sense of the relationship by removing the defective rental heart. We discover it does not hold any traces of the woman Grace.

“…but I hadn’t wanted to return it, to lose the image of Grace…no picture of Grace, no strands of her hair, no shine of memories, no declarations.”

The speaker, within the confines of the story’s fiction, transforms from willing participant in a charade, to willing participant in love. The speaker acknowledges their desire to drop the last shred of their sense of impermanence, and engage fully with the woman Grace, as well as with their own emotions.

Sarah’s Scribbles

This cartoon depicts the Past and Present and how the existence of the internet has changed how mistakes can often come back to haunt you. I’m not a frequent user of social networking content, but it’s easy to recall dumb things people say or do, that seem to linger on the web. Famous individuals probably get the brunt of it, as many people seem to have minor obsessions with celebrities.

My immediate reaction to this strip’s theme is a sense of disconnection. I grew up with an understanding that the internet was a massive encyclopedia, and that the ability to communicate with other users was solely meant to pass along that information. For that reason, the many social “communities” on the web are not something I spend time developing.

Sarah

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 was awarded to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 was awarded to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

There was some controversy over Dylan’s Nobel Prize. Are song lyrics literature? That’s more the question than whether or not Dylan’s worked deserved the prize. But in talking about literature, we’re also talking about poetry, and that seems to cut the bullshit off at the neck. Songs are poems set to music, and there really isn’t much of an argument to make against it:

“Mr. Dylan’s work remains utterly lacking in conventionality, moral sleight of hand, pop pabulum or sops to his audience. His lyricism is exquisite; his concerns and subjects are demonstrably timeless; and few poets of any era have seen their work bear more influence.” -Billy Wyman, The New York Times

Dylan wrote about the problems within the world he lived in such a way that their relevance continues:

” … Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial

Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while

But Mona Lisa must’ve had the highway blues

You can tell by the way she smiles … ”

-Bob Dylan, Visions Of Johanna

It looks like poetry, it sounds like poetry.

It’s probably poetry.

So Dylan won it, and there was some argument over that, but let’s talk about whether Dylan’s body of work deserved the prize over others: I have no idea. Music has taken such a different turn lately, in that the “sound” is what entertains us, and less so the message. Many will disagree, but music is something to take you away, to free you with rhythm and noise. The truth is, if Dylan had written those same lyrics down in a poetry anthology, we may well have never read them, glorified them, nor seen them awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. So, was Dylan awarded the Nobel Prize for his poetry, or for his fame? Good luck.