Orientalism in Our Lives …

When I was first reading about orientalism I had never heard about it specifically. I knew about the idea but I was still very confused about why and how it comes across. It is in a way stereotypes mixed with racism mixed with a Eurocentric attitude.

When I was thinking back to my own life and how it influenced me at young age. Orientalism has been present in the media that surrounds me since a young age. Even Disney movies pushing this view. When you see costumes or superheros who are written by Westerners especially recently with the push for more diversity. They attempt to be inclusive and sometimes succeed, but still end up falling short. Even halloween costumes that portray a belly dancer or a general asian costume with no attention to the difference in cultures.

Orientalism is all around us and affect us all even on a daily basis, and the media is a large part of that. When everything was happening with ISIS or the affect effect of 9/11. The media was inadvertently (or on purpose) trying to make Americans believe that everyone that came from that region was bad. Even with the coronavirus we have a president crossing out corona and calling it the chinese virus. Which messes with people’s heads to make them think anyone of Asian origin has it.

Orientalism runs deep in our society and everyone has either seen it in action or been subjected to it. While I was learning about it the implications and the history it has is enormous and crazy how much of an impact it has had on our society.

The Secret of Stories

At the beginning of Chapter 12, while Rahel is at the temple Roy’s words stood out to me about the “secret” formula of stories. While being home I have been watching a lot of movies that my parents liked to watch in the 80’s and around that time. Roy describes the Power of Stories and why people choose to rewatch a movie or reread a specific book even after multiple years, and they still enjoy it as much as they did the first time.

The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. (218)

While the first part of the quote may seem unimportant at first, this is exactly the reason books or movies continue to be popular even though it has been years since they came out and are labeled “classics.” But the second part of the quote is what really ties it all together.

They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. (218)

This was giving me flashbacks to the beginning of the year when we talked about the power of stories, which I think especially is true with God of Small Things. The language and the characters are “fresh and different” the book is something different and has a different feeling when you read it. I think something that makes this book so enjoyable is because the book from the beginning is familiar and easy to enjoy. It doesn’t require a lot of deep thinking, but is still able to communicate a deeper meaning. Overall, this quote really made me think about all of the books and even movies that I reread and rewatch and the reason I keep doing it even though I already know everything that happens.

Guardians of the Galaxy – A Superhero Comedy

Highly recommend you watch the trailer if you haven’t seen the movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy, starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper is yet another addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie follows the Guardians as they start out at galactic criminals who only care about themselves, as they rise up to be the ones that spearhead the attack again the main villain, Ronan, to protect the planet of Xandar. With plenty of jokes and overall stupidity by each of the members there is still a depth you may not realize that is brought on by the jokes. Guardians of the Galaxy definitely deserves to be called a comedy.

Guardians of the Galaxy was the first Marvel movie to focus on a cast of criminals and be centered more on humor that any of its predecessors. The audience knows that the cast are not good people, we see examples of it in the first 20 minutes, and how they really only think of themselves. We are are still rooting for them even from the beginning. The Satirical Irony of the whole movie is that the Guardians have spent so long running from and fighting the Nova Corp, (aka Space Police), but the Guardians themselves are the ones that end up saving the Nova Corp and Xandar from the Kree.

While Guardians of the Galaxy is not a tradition Comedy, it still has the main aspects of what makes up a comedy. With the Guardians being the crazy and spontaneous Comedic Heroes. I mean the final battle is SPOILER a dance battle, that should be enough of a reason, to showcase their personalities. They still rise up and do what is right, even risking their lives for a planet that hates them. The Movie shows that even the most unexpected people can do the right thing and to not judge a book by it’s cover, Someone may be hiding something you can not see. Even an action comedy movie can have a deeper meaning if you look hard enough.

A Sketch for Women? Actions vs. Conversations

A sketch for Women created by SNL is a sketch surrounding the movement of a day without women in 2017. Where the female cast mates did not show up for work that day, which meant they ended up missing the writing day. This sketch is written by Men for Women about discussing issues that women deal with. However, Even though women’s issues are the topic of discussions women are still sidelined and do not have large roles and the only lines they get to say are “That is very kind of you to say”. It is a very satirical spin of the serous conversations the are being talked about concerning women’s issues.

Irony is a large part of this sketch because the issues being discussed by 2 male castmates. However, the women that are present in the sketch are shown to be struggling with the exact issues that are being discussed. However, they are being ignored and unimportant, sitting by and letting the men take the lead (not intentionally). At a point in the sketch Kyle gestures to Scarlett and Aidy to ask their opinions on the matter and then as Scarlet starts to say something is immediately cut off. The Irony of the whole situation is extremely obvious.

Hyperbole is also used throughout the sketch with Kyle stating that “It’s not fair how, women are taught that they are only valued for their looks, why aren’t we [guys] being taught that”. The tone used is definitely a joking one showing the statement to be a hyperbole.

The sketch is trying to bring attention to women’s issues by first talking about them on live TV, because those topics are often left out or pushed to the side. A reason they have the men talking that is not as obvious is that certain people may listen to what a man has to say rather than a woman. The sketch as a whole is making fun of the conversation about women’s rights and its effects, showcasing some of the actions women have to put up with while talking about the issues.  

Will it “Be Alright”

Be Alright by Dean Lewis (Single) To find the full set of Lyrics : Be Alright

Poetry and Music and very similar these days, both are striving to make the reader or speaker often times feel some type of emotion or feeling. In Dean Lewis’s song “Be Alright” he is trying to do just that.

The Main theme of the song is that we can always rely on our friends or family to help us when we are disappointed or unhappy. The Main set of Lyrics that are repeated throughout are:

And my Friend said

“I know you love her, but it’s over, mate

It doesn’t matter, put the phone away

It’s never easy to walk away, let her go

It’ll be alright”

Similar to Poetry in the neoclassical period that often focused on romantic love. This song talks about how the speakers friends in this case know that the speaker is struggling and expressing that it is not easy, but you will get past it.

The Song talks about lessons that the speaker knows but still does not want to like how time heals all wounds. This is similar the the lesson or what of a poem, that eventually everything will be ok, and it just takes time. The speaker is talking to his friends the audience about his break up. Although the song does not use a lot of language devices, becised repetition the main goal of the song is to show the emotions that the speaker is feeling. The music adds to the message because it is a mix of minor chords however, there are major chords used when the speaker talks about growing and healing.

At the end of the song the repetition used is important:

It’ll be alright

It’ll be alright

It’ll be alright

It’ll be alright

It’ll be alright

The repetition used here helps to further the message that It will be alright, something that the song has been explaining the whole time.

Girl Power

Beloved has many themes throughout the novel, but a theme that I noticed is the strong female presence. Throughout the Novel, woman are represented and show as strong and independent despite going through unimaginable situations. The start, Sethe was a slave and successfully escaped from her plantation. She kept pushing when she was escaping and believed in her own abilities.She was able to value her life as more than just as a slave but as a human being, choosing to escape. All of the women in the novel, despite their struggles and the obstacles they must combat, work together to make the best life possible, Denver and Sethe where doing well working together long before Paul D showed up. Denver has a good mother to look up to, I mean Sethe crawled through woods and gave birth in the middle of the woods to Denver. Although Denver quite different from her mother in certain aspects of her personality, she is able to recognize when Sethe is no longer to continue the household duties, and she must venture down the road to get food, and get steady work, to support the household. Beloved at its core is about women helping each other, and the strong bond they have with each other.

Lovers to Strangers

The story of Saeed and Nadia, is a story that is often not written which is why Exit West is a great book and touches on themes and topics that are often talked about in the media. However, the love story between Nadia and Saaed, and their journey from being Lovers to almost Strangers is very common in the entertainment world. From books to movies and most commonly music the love story of Nadia and Saeed is quite common, from how they where close to growing distant and moving on from each other.

An example of this love story is in Katy Perry’s song Small Talk with one of the main lines being “we went from strangers to lover the strangers in a lifetime”. Just like Nadia and Saeed did, they where both lovers at the beginning and where each others emotional support and “other half” and the beginning. As the story progress Nadia and Saeed love in a way dies out, and they become separated emotional and later physically. The journey they took helped them bond at the beginning and as the journey they took ended Nadia and Saeed began to grow distant. Just like Katy Perry’s song it talks about how they had a great journey and then ended up being almost strangers in the end.

Existentialism and the Dolan Twins New Video

Social Media is a large part people’s daily lives, in this day and age. It has its positives and negatives as everything does but it also has a connection to existentialism, especially for influencers and people the heavily rely on it. Recently the dolan twins uploaded a video basically saying that they are taking a break from youtube to focus on their lives more and not be pressured to keep up the uploading schedule they were on.

Many influencers have a obligation to upload or post something every day or weekly, to keep interest peaked and continue to gain fame. Some youtubers and social media stars have recently come out and talked about the pressure of social media, which has always been a topic that comes up. Social Media has consumed people’s lives to a point where they only think about how many follows or when the have to upload a video next. The Dolan Twins and Shane Dawson have both talked about how uploading took over their lives and they were never able to truly grow up or do anything else. Their life was consumed and they found meaning in their life by uploading and filming.

Existentialism fits into this because the Dolan Twins found that the purpose of their life for the last 5 years was uploading and posting. They now have no idea what to do. They were controlled by the social structures to believe that uploading was the most important thing in the world. When in all reality it was not and they have reached the point where they realize that and have “broken free”. The Dolan Twins have become unburdened and have taken charge of their lives.

“Sonny’s Blues” and Whether Music is Really a Saving Grace

In Sonny’s Blues, Music is an extremely important aspect of the Story, it is what let’s Sonny be himself and Sonny truly becomes almost a different person when he is playing music.

However, Music is also what seems to drive Sonny to drugs and eventually ends up in jail. Music almost breaks his relationship with his family and his brother especially. So, is music really the saving grace for Sonny’s life, even with all of the pain and trouble it caused him. Although music has many positives and is a pivotal and good part of Sonny’s life, the unintended side effects that music brings. Makes it a question wether or not music really is a good part of the story.