King Lear provides the reader with an interesting story that poses the intriguing question of right vs wrong and justice vs injustice. Throughout the story, we are taught to think of King Lear as a cold, selfish, and narcissistic human that has brought negative deeds upon himself. However, when King Lear is left out to die in a storm by his daughters, we are left to question whether this was just or morally acceptable, despite all of his harmful and atrocious previous acts. The question of right vs wrong and justice vs injustice spans way past the confines of 1606 and is as relevant as ever in 2021 as the entire world is fighting for its soul. James Baldwin once said, “ignorance, allied with power is the more ferocious enemy justice can have”. As I think about Trump’s acquittal in the senate, China’s Xinjiang internment camps, and read about the betrayal of King Lear, I can’t help but think that ignorance, driven by hate, is leading to injustice and hatred winning in the war against righteousness and justice worldwide. “Justice” is an ideal that aims to lead people into a more righteous and fair world, however, when it is met with hatred and ignorance it can sometimes be overpowered. Martin Luther King Jr once said that “The arch of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. However, I don’t know if I believe it. There has not been a time in this world where humans have not taken advantage of others and used them for their own personal gain. While I do believe that humans, for the large part, have the ability to think empathically and morally, our instinct to want more tends to lead us to be forever unsatisfied and thus take more by whatever means necessary. While I hope that justice will prevail in all matters, the past combined with how little time we seem to have left in the future, leads me to not be too optimistic about righteousness and justice making a comeback in the war it is so badly losing.
The song I am writing about is “Heart 4 Sale” by Rod Wave. This song is one of 12 on his third studio album, Hunger Games 3. This 3rd album established Rod Wave as one of the top up and coming artist from Florida. However, his national popularity didn’t come about until he performed his hit single “Heart On Ice” on a genius live youtube performance which went viral for his natural singing abilities and profound lyrical writing.
“Heart 4 Sale” is an examination of his emotions and history of emotional abuse that he has endured throughout his journey of finding the right person. This song speaks to his feelings of inadequacy and lack of control over his thoughts as he writes to the “future owner” of his heart. This song’s central theme is the human limit of heartbreak, and by putting his heart for sale in the song he explains his limit and the unbearable emotions that heartbreak brought him.
Rod Wave’s repeated use of personification, metaphors, and hyperbole to explain his feelings is genius as it allows the reader to comprehend and relate to such a complex issue that can’t be explained or felt fully otherwise. This song, through its use of literary techniques, is a piece of art. If you have been heartbroken anytime in your life, you can feel and understand what these otherwise absurd lines mean and the weight they hold. Rod Wave through lines 4-10 for example, implores personification, metaphors, and hyperbole in his effort to express his emotions in a unique way that allows the listener to connect deeply.
I have this heart, but I can't control it
It loves what it loves, it does what it wanna
Tried to lock it up, but it jumped back on my shoulder
Don't get me wrong, it's a good heart and it's golden
But it's been stolen, on top of that, it's been broken
Drug through the mud, it's driving me insane
Tryna spread love, pickin' fights with my brain
Rod Wave has a unique ability with his voice to give his lyrics meaning past what is just written on the page. While Rod may use assonance in lines 11 and 12 when he says, “Don’t want it literally, so over it mentally, So tired physically, it distracts and hinders me.” The thing that makes the lyrics meaningful is his voice, not just what is being sung. 99% of other artists can sing these same lyrics but they will just tell an ordinary story of frustration and exhaustion. When Rod Wave sings it, you feel the true meaning. You can feel the helplessness, the agony, and the desperation. Rod Wave is from St.Petersburg, Florida, and grew up in projects, so these feelings are authentic and personal. These real-life experiences are how he makes soul touching music that cannot be replicated or faked. This song is a story of heartbreak and a failed attempt to move on.
Rod Wave is a unique talent that can bring the emotions you’ve long forgotten or the feelings your battling now to light and allow you to feel understood and re-attached to reality. When listening to Rod Wave, I would be careful because his authentic writing and voice can make life seem so intense and serious, but if you listen to understand, his voice serves as a beacon of hope and preaches a message of universal acceptance. If you wish to listen to some happier and naturally uplifting songs, I would suggest Letter From Houston, Rags2Riches, and Praying Grandmothers. If you are in the mood to hear the struggle and feel understood, I would recommend Dark Clouds, Heart On Ice, and Popular Loner. I think the latter is his best work, but because he is so incredibly talented, he can uniquely tell a story in either mood.
The news media and documentary filmmaking are the basis of domestic and foreign relations for everyday Americans. The duty of the news is to provide factual information in a way that ordinary people can understand. However, certain news outlets like Fox news have rapidly become opinion based and not factually based in their reporting. News media reporting off their biases and putting out opinion pieces while presenting them as fact becomes extremely dangerous to the American public who look to them for factual reporting. This type of opinion based reporting has become commonplace. An example of this is when Fox news infamously backed and glorified Donald J. Trump’s comments on Mexican illegal immigrants. He said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best, they’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.” While we have many media outlets that run more like tabloids than new stations, we still have a few credible reporting outlets. The New York Times and the Washington Post for example, which immediately after hearing Trump’s comment went to real statistical research from credible sources like the Cato Institute, which found that in a study of “Illegal immigrants are 47 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives.” This misinformation and biased reporting were among the many widespread examples of racism, hatred, and plain lies being spread and reported on by specific media outlets. This type of misinformation and fear-mongering in the media leads to unreasonable ill will and negative stereotypes towards others outside of their community. Many Americans’ global knowledge relies solely upon the information their source of news gives them, so when opinions start to take the place of facts in the news, you live in an age where you are only left with two opinions. As Denzel Washington said, “You can either read the paper and be misinformed or don’t read and be uninformed.” You must now decide which is better because unbiased and factually accurate news is becoming harder and harder to find.
Camus’ theories of life in the “Myth of Sisyphus” better illuminates the way I see the world. Camus’ description and explanation of the “absurd man” and why the absurd man is able to get more out of life makes me realize how to live life to the fullest. Camus says Sisyphus is happy and gets more out of life because his detachment makes him have a heightened awareness that thus makes him more open to experiences. When I think about my life I like to believe I am an open minded person but my attachment to certain ideals or norms has definitely led me to decline and not pursue experiences that may have been good for me. Camus also says that the absurd man’s absolute content with what he’s doing allows him not to seek explanation or justification for what he’s doing. I think this is really important in my life and others’ as well because many people seek justification for almost everything they do and social media has just made that even worse. I think that once we learn to become less reliant on others’ views about ourselves and we stop worrying about getting validation and justification from others then we can fully live life how we want and not how we are persuaded or forced to. Camus also believes that the absurd man lives his life happily because he has no “what if’s” like normal humans, he is just 100% commitment to the task at hand. This is another key to life that I already knew but I’m still working on. Humans naturally have the fear of making the wrong decision, missing out, and obsessing over what could have been. This is usually compounded with the constant need for validation and justification and leads to unnecessary stress and torment in many people’s lives. Once a person is able to stay focus on the decision they do choose and they don’t overthink or consider the “what if’s” then they will have a much happier and much more successful life. I believe Camus’ theories of life in the “Myth of Sisyphus” are interesting, correct and have large impacts and implications in our everyday lives. I ask of you to also consider his points and be open minded to changing the way you behave and think!
Since America’s creation, there have been many weird and unjust laws, from the Jim Crow laws to Marijuana being classified as a schedule 1 drug, America has been built upon initially unjust laws. In reading One Cut, you will learn about one of the most unjust and unusual laws still in existence in America, Felony Murder. Felony murder is described as “when an offender kills in the commission of a dangerous or enumerated crime, the offender, and also the offender’s accomplices or co-conspirators, may be found guilty of murder.” Now, this may seem not too crazy, but when you hear the stories of the law actually in use, you may change your mind. One example is Marshae Jones. As Ms.Jones was in a parking lot when she and another woman began arguing. After a few minutes, the words turned into a fight. Amid the fight, the other woman, Ms.Jemison, pulled out a gun and shot Ms.Jones in the stomach. Ms.Jones at the time was five months pregnant. The fetus ended up not surviving the gunshot wound, and a jury in Alabama indicted Ms.Jones, the pregnant woman, of manslaughter under the state’s felony murder rule. The felony murder rule, like many other laws, has unfairly targeted, in the majority of cases, minorities. As society heads towards an age of revolution, a time where blatant discrimination, the oppression of minorities, and unjust laws are looked down upon by most. Will Felony Murder be one small part of the systemically racist American legal system that will be removed during this revolution, and should it? When looking at the statistics and hearing the stories, the answer should be obvious, the felony murder rule is illogical, prejudicial, and grossly unconstitutional and should be repealed.
Why is the facility tasked with this inhumane drug research named “Spiderhead”? I think the easy answer is that the lay out of the building closely resembles a spider. However, I think the true meaning is much deeper than that. I think the facility is called Spiderhead because of the resemblance between what is happening within the facility and how spiders naturally kill in the wild. Inside Spiderhead they persuade and trap unsuspecting prisoners and criminals and they slowly experiment on them with drugs. They eventually give the humans, like Jeff, Darkenfloxx that leads them to often die. Spiders in the wild build beautiful webs that trap their unsuspecting prey within and then spiders after a prolonged period of time slowly inject their venom and kill the prey. I think the resemblance in the methods of trapping and killing their prey is the reason the facility is called “Spiderhead”.