The places I can’t go

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I’m a blob of existence
trembling in the wind
exploding
with the rage of the things I can’t be
and the places I can’t go.

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Fall Apart

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I guess this is what it’s like when things fall apart
When someone ingests and pukes out your heart
I wish I had known from the start
I would have never allowed that,
If only instead of stupid I had actually been smart
I want to cry and the time, I guess
For so long it has been beyond sublime
But that joy I had was just jumping the gun
For I no longer have any fun
The tears they run
Run really fast down my face
I’m spinning through time through space
The beautiful colors I once used to see
Are warped distorted and ugly
The reds and blacks stream together
Like a car crash in rainy weather
The blood and the dark
Blend with the rainy blurs and make their mark
Everything I think of, everything I want
Is just a taunt
Because I can’t allow myself happiness now
I’ve created my own fatal flaw, how?
I’ve stepped in the trap, lonely and confused
Mad, sad, angry, dismal, and used
I’m stuck staring at the car crash that is my life
I guess this is what it’s like when things fall apart

Silent No More : The Atrocities against Women must Stop!

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When the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Al Moore, and Charlie Rose (to name the four recent men) came out in the news, it shocked me to my core and make me openly weep as the news continued to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I screamed “why” so loudly but could barely speak. It frightened the people at home, but I was in so much horrible emotional pain so bad that my soul was on fire and my heart was drowning in agony. Up until this time Kevin Spacey was my favorite actor, and I was trying to finish season 5 of house of cards. Charlie Rose was a journalist I greatly admired. Harvey Weinstein created my favorite show: Project Runway. I haven’t heard of Al Moore but the notion of him running for a Senator representing our country is so wrong it makes me want to vomit.

Now besides punishment I strongly believe we have to first address and speak about the crime: rape and sexual harassment against women. The flood gates for victims to come forward have opened but that does not change what happened. Perhaps being able to speak about it helps ease the burden but I cannot imagine what that kind of experience does to a woman’s mind, spirit, and heart. My heart is completely broken and it didn’t happen to me. But it happened to millions of woman and continues to happen. Our president has bragged about groping women by saying “I say grab them by the *****” and was still elected despite his vile comments to multiple women including journalists and even attacking wives of fellow candidates. It makes me sick. Physically sick to think he is our president. The hunting grounds explored sexual assault on College campuses and I wouldn’t watch it because I was afraid. Now I’m disgusted with myself for not facing the truth in our society- sexual misconduct, violence, rape, and mistreatment of women is an epidemic that needs treatment.

Kevin Spacey was my favorite actor. Was. The movie Baby Driver was my favorite of the summer. But instead of thinking what I’m losing which is some movies and TV shows, thinking about what his victims lost is far more painful. I openly sob because I don’t know how to make this horrific action stop. I cannot stop it alone. We have to address the behavior causing agony to millions. And we must stop saying what they said in the case of Charlie Rose “that was Charlie being Charlie” is a direct quote. How can we say boys will be boys? So are we normalizing very despicable behavior? Yes, and THAT needs to stop. IT NEEDS TO STOP! STOP SAYING BOYS WILL BE BOYS!

When I lived in an apartment in the city I recall not feeling well and running to the store to buy milk to make my beloved coffee. The whole time I was alone until stepping back into my apartment, I was afraid of someone male attacking me since I was a young woman alone in the evening. That’s how bad it’s gotten in our society and in every society. It’s to a point where I am scared to buy milk. Isn’t that depressing? Isn’t that despicable?

Let’s not get away from the main point here, that sexual assault and harassment happens all the time and is actually very under-reported because women are scared to come forward. I was scared too.

I have never told anyone my story but I want to share it now to help others.

When I said it didn’t happen to me, I wasn’t being honest because I’ve never told a soul. Here goes:

We were all coming in from gym class my freshman year of high school. I was the fastest runner of the girls so I was fair ahead with the boys running inside to change before the bell rang. I turned around to see if I could see any of the my friends that were girls and that’s when he stopped running and grabbed me. He grabbed me and he tugged at me. The front of my uniform was so thin that the feeling was so horrific that I nearly passed out from shock. What I remember is him laughing and then running away. His friends laughed too. That laughter is still in my nightmares 15 years later. I ran so fast I beat everyone to the doors (we were playing softball and coming inside to change) and I blocked out the entire event. Never told a soul.

I’ve had my butt grabbed twice by men in public, once at a party and once at a bar. At the bar I didn’t speak out but at the party I screamed at that man, and I told everyone what he had done. Thinking about all this makes me come undone because I’ve always been afraid of intimate moments since that day when I was grabbed without wanting it. I didn’t want it.

There needs to be an outcry for change to stop this atrocity from continuing. Education is part of the answer. Normalization of the behavior just flat out needs to stop. I want to say to every victim that you are not alone and that you are a wonderful woman with value and people that love you. To Kevin Spacey and all the other men I named, those I didn’t, and to our president – you are absolutely vile, repulsive, and should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. It’s unacceptable, and it’s going to have to be stopped because the affects are devastating. I urge everyone to think twice before and please consider your actions that can change and destroy another life, another heart forever.

Two Face (Throwback to my first review)

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How can you enjoy living when everything around you is swirling dangerously in a cyclone? This question plagued me as I witnessed The Social Network. When I saw the preview I was so excited for this film I stood in place, forgetting about the world around me. The song creep by Radiohead, remade by Scala, explains Mark Zukerburg so well! (I don’t belong here.) It is so much about friendship, betrayal, and life, and not centered around facebook completely. The themes of greed and loneliness travel throughout. In fact I do not have a facebook account and I truly enjoyed this film. The main Mark Zukerburg, is introverted and is starving to belong to a sorority, The Phoenix. His friend gets invited and this is where they start to drift apart. Mark is SO angry that he is not in. Although Eduardo has the money so he is important. I can feel the tension cutting the air and see it. The non-verbal eye contact in this film is astounding! This film’s director (who has done Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) brilliantly takes us through a series of flashbacks between the deposition and what led up to it as we see Eduardo and Mark’s friendship dissolve because of the creation of “the facebook” which just becomes “facebook”at the suggestion of Sean Parker. He is in the film long enough to leave me impressed. He created Napster, is broke, and is a villain!
Played masterfully by Justin Timberlake who I expected to butcher his role, did a remarkable job as the puppet master of this movie. Although Eduardo tries to warn Mark, Sean Parker has him strung on by the end of their first meeting at a restaurant as Mark hangs on to every word. Eduardo is our hero in the story but he cannot save Mark because Mark has been taken by computers, technology and greed. The movie shows Harvard’s beauty but human cruelty. When three Harvard elites want Mark to help them launch a website, he agrees. They end up suing although I watched as one of the twins did not want to sue for the longest time because he “was a gentleman of Harvard”. The lawsuits really interested me, and although this movie goes so quickly, everything is a joke to Mark. The cinematography, the lighting, and the quick way that Zuckerburg talks are all absolutely genius. There was an empty theater but I adored so much about what this film means. Mark Zuckerburg is truly two-face, pretending friendship, but hypnotized to making a name for himself. 500 million friends now, by to whom is he really connected to? I feel like he has become a computer a robot, with no emotion. Even if you do not like Facebook like me, you might find this film captivating. So blinded by compulsiveness Mark dies inside. This move truly displays acting and images that left me pondering and awestruck. It is blended with rich fragrant spices of sex, alcohol, violence, and, fury. After all the lawsuits it is about this – “young people who will stop at nothing to get what they want.”

Exploring the World within The Iliad

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Reading this for the third time, I am struck by all the things I missed by reading in haste and without enthusiasm. Talking about it with our class furthered my curiosity and showed the value of the text in a way I had not considered. Our discussion explored the roles of Agamemnon and Achilles, the oaths made between various characters, the crucial role that woman do play, and the way in which the Greek gods interact with each other and mortals. In only three chapters there is so much to cover. I would like to focus on women’s roles, Agamemnon as a ruler, and the role anger of the gods has in affecting change. Power dynamics between certain characters is also something I want to explore.

Using the information we have so far, we saw how important women are in this text despite constantly being referred in a demeaning way and as “prizes”. There are obvious things that can be pointed out. Helen caused an entire war by being captured, and when she finally does speak she blames herself. This is an odd statement as it was not her fault. She wishes she had died, but as was pointed out in class her voice besides that one passage (and the one with Aphrodite) is largely missing. We get accounts from the author about her terrible beauty, but seeing the world through her eyes is difficult, and it feels passed over. It was suggested that a text from Helen’s point of view would show the other side, but we have other important women figures presented to us. Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera all have roles they care out that influence the story in varying degrees.  For example, despite Zeus being the leader of the gods he fears Hera which is funny considering how he speaks to her. Moving away from women’s role in the text, Agamemnon is presented as the lord of men. Is his leadership truly great and well planned or is he merely an arrogant jerk?

We discussed Agamemnon’s bizarre strategies, the way he treats his warriors, and his deep arrogance. He has strange tactics that seem counterintuitive to a successful outcome, such as asking everyone to flee, that we pointed out don’t sound like sound strategies. His strength as a great warrior is certainly true, but it is the great men among him such as Odysseus that make him successful. He gets good advice to have everyone in his army to fight by clan but I feel if he was a great leader he would have already known that himself. Agamemnon’s character flaw is his deep arrogance and inability to listen to reason. By taking the daughter of a priest he angers Apollo who unleashes a plague upon his army. He walks around wondering, why are these bad things happening, which is laughable since he caused them. When it is strongly suggested he return her in exchange for three to four times to the gift, he refuses. Is Agamemnon doomed (I mean he is cursed) to be simply a huge jerk or as the story develops will we see him develop as a character? I feel he will stay a jerk (to put it nicely) but although he is angry, his anger and that of other mortals is small compared to that of the gods.

On the very first page, the rage of Achilles is brought up. The anger of mortals, but also gods or God is crucial to the development of plots in The Iliad as well as the Bible. As a class we considered God’s motivation in the Old Testament, the Sumerian gods in Inanna, and the Greek gods we become familiar with in The Iliad. I see anger or rage playing a huge role for both the mortals and the gods within the Iliad. Anger is an important emotion that the various gods have because it creates action. When God is content, the Old Testament isn’t very dynamic. But when God is angry or in a scheming mood, many things happen and evolve in the mortal world. In the world of the Greek gods, because there are many of them they can anger each other. Their relationship with different mortals complicates things further. For example, when things are working out for some of the gods, another god, Aphrodite rescues Paris. This disrupts things for mortals, while demonstrating that the Greek gods take sides. It’s also notable that everyone hates Paris, even his own brother. Thus, having one God disrupting things is difficult for the people of the Old Testament. But having many gods with scheming, self-serving agendas and relationships with mortals is an entirely different situation. Anger turns the plot in The Iliad in remarkable directions, while contentment amongst the gods brings a stop to action. Contentment brings boredom to the Greek gods. Then the cycle of scheming and doing something to cause rage stirs the pot further potentially starting or making current wars worse in the mortal world.  The concept of violence and war is prevalent in The Iliad. It is a warlike atmosphere and it is seen as glorious to fight, judging by the language Homer uses. It is discussed in The Iliad to kill Agamemnon very early on but then it is decided to not do that. Is it about glory and honor that war is seen in a positive light? Or is the anger of mortals and gods an excuse for wars and much bloodshed?

Another man of war, Achilles who is doomed to have the shortest life span is also examined. We discussed how Achilles’ father was almost Zeus, so his “rage” and behavior may correspond with the fact of missed potential. There is not a question that Achilles is a great warrior and as a result he and Agamemnon have a huge verbal fight where Achilles says he isn’t going to take orders from Agamemnon anymore. There is a power struggle because Achilles must give up his prize, a woman, to Agamemnon. It’s interesting that within the same side (in terms of the war) such differences appear. I see Achilles as blinded by rage, but then weeping after giving up his prize. Why doesn’t Achilles just keep the prize? This seems to show that although he said he is not obeying Agamemnon, he must still listen to him. This power struggle is fascinating, and it is interesting to compare that to the power struggle between Helen and Aphrodite.

After Aphrodite snatches Paris from death, she goes to find Helen and wants her to surrender herself to Paris. Helen does not want this, because being captured was enough and she refuses to have sex with Paris ever again. Aphrodite threatens her with intense words and she submits herself. In this scene, Helen loses the agency she had and it will be interesting as the story unfolds to see how Helen behaves in the future.  The power struggle here is different because Aphrodite is a goddess, but Helen has such terrible beauty that a war started over her. Perhaps Aphrodite wishes to knock Helen down since Helen is receiving so much attention. Through all the power struggles in the text, it will be interesting to see how the progression of the characters continues, and how the gods interfering cause the course of events to shift even more.