Don’t Fear The Reaper

“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” (1976) written and sung by lead guitarist Donald Roeser from the rock band Blue Oyster Cult redefines the process of death as an eternal embrace of love into the afterlife rather than an agonizing moment that you are dreading.

Death is extremely scary to most people because of how unpredictable it is, but having the courage to accept it makes the process much less painless. People leave the Earth fearing the ‘end’ of their lives but forget the journey they just had and the new one they’re about to start. The song’s message correlates with Emily Dickonson’s poem, “Because I Could Not Stop For Death,” in that death(The Reaper) came to someone unexpectedly; however, death is portrayed as a gentle and easygoing man as he leads his lover into eternity.

The song begins with:

All our times have come

Here, but now they’re gone

Seasons don’t fear the reaper

Nor do the wind, the Sun, or the rain

In nature, death is viewed as a normal process in the circle of life. But modern human society has portrayed it to be a painful event that must be avoided at all costs. This phrase eases the minds of listeners and reminds them that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Getting caught up in your own human nature causes people to forget that they came into the world where Earthly nature rules.

Come on, baby (Don’t fear the reaper)

Baby, take my hand (Don’t fear the reaper)

We’ll be able to fly (Don’t fear the reaper)

Baby, I’m your man (Don’t fear the reaper)

The chorus directly follows the first few lines of the song implying that “The Reaper” wants to join in nature with his lover but can’t unless she is willing. This reassurance encourages her to take a leap of faith and join death as they fly away to heaven.

Valentine is done

Here but now they’re gone

Romeo and Juliet

Are together in eternity

Their time on Earth may have ended but their love has moved on toward’s a greater existence that exceeds mortal nature. Romeo and Juliet signify their love by dying together but it doesn’t necessary mean that suicide brought them closer. It is Romeo’s soul who leaves first but waits for Juliet to cross over so they can be together. They wanted to love each other while alive but because their love is so strong they are able to find each other in the afterlife.


Ms. Duszejko’s Knowledge of Science

Throughout the novel, “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead,” Ms. Duszejko reads and deciphers people’s astrological signs. By believing her graphs to be true, she puts people into categories before even having a conversation with them. This ultimately affects how everyone in the story is viewed because we cannot fully put our trust in her knowing she believes in something that’s not proven. Despite her belief in astrology she also has some very particular knowledge of science, and as we know science creates the rules that define our existence. Ms. Duszejko obviously knows how science works but thinks of it differently than most.

When talking about Dizzy being more quick witted than her she says, “I have a Theory that salt is very good for the transmission of nerve impulses across the synapses.” She references a very difficult topic that people only in biology courses would know about, meaning plenty of time was put in to learn about something that was just a theory to her. Her “theory” is correct in that it helps nerves send signals across gaps between cells causing them to activate quicker, but why is it just a theory to her. Whenever it comes to astrology she never second guesses herself and always has the right answers for everyone but herself. By switching the roles of science and fiction Ms. Duszejko cannot compare her emotions to anyone else because what she believes to be true is only true to her. For her astrology is like the ‘main science’ of how the world works and everyone elses ‘main science’ is like fiction/astronomy to her. This flipped mindset is exactly what separates her from the rest, as she often sees things as “black and white”(good or bad) and makes a quick decision accordingly. From this, Ms. Duszejko lives in the pretense while everyone around her walks past neglecting her needs; just as she neglects everyone else’s before she even meets them.

Major League

As we all know, major league sports are about the best of the best athletes coming together to compete with each other for fame and glory. But in the movie, Major League, the story takes on a very different direction from the typical sports movie genre. The film takes place in Cleveland, Ohio, where a former showgirl and now widowed Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton) is the new owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball club. Phelps hates the city of Cleveland and wants to move the team to Miami but in order to do so she needs the attendance in the stadium to go down. Her plan is to put the worst professional ballplayers on a team in order to break the lease from Cleveland.

Raggedy Baseball players from all around were called up to try out for the Indians as their season of losing approached. Some of the washed-up players were a young pitcher Ricky “Wild Thang” Vaughn who was a felon and pitched 100 mph with no control to third-baseman Roger Dorn, who was a former MLB star but won’t dive for the ball to prevent injury. You can hardly call any of these players professional, with them all having a major problem effecting how they play baseball. The team starts off the season very slowly but when they learn that Phelps is going to release them no matter if they win or not they get their act together and win the pennant. The irony of these shabby ballplayer that were hired to lose and won it all in the end is exactly the type of story and comedy people can relate to.

The film follows Aristostle’s definition of comedy by following characters who the audience can relate to very easily. Pair that with an antagonist that’s very wealthy and your in for a world of laughs that mocks the rich and praises the working class. By the end of the movie each character solved their problem and used their new found skill to propel the team further into victory. A majority of the comedy is driven from Phelp’s plan to get them lose but is actually the reason they decide to change their old ways and become real profesional baseball players in the end. And with every character trying to win just to spite their owner, it shows how people would react to being lied to in a comedic sense that uses realistic scenarios and unrealstic baseball players to convey how anyone can accomplish something if they try hard enough.

Atlanta: A Satirical Look at Reparations

The show ATLANTA follows an up-and-coming rapper and his group from Atlanta, Georgia trying to make it big in the music industry.  But this seemingly innocent plot is precisely why ATLANTA feels different when watching it.  The show takes events and stereotypes in real life and completely flips our original perception of them.  By using realism in how they shoot and make different scenes they then add surrealism to the story which creates a new experience that forces you to look at old ideas and stereotypes in a new light. 

In the third season, there is an episode called, “The Big Payback,” where a whole new cast is introduced and no context is needed from the previous storyline.  It takes place in a time when reparations for African American enslavement are legal and white people are being sued for millions of dollars.  The episode follows a white guy named Marshall who is partially divorced, makes a middle/upper-class income, and most importantly minds his own business.  All aspects of his life start to flip when his job starts laying off people whose ancestors were not enslaved.  A white coworker looking at her DNA chart yelled, “100% Nordic! Are you kidding me,” then a black coworker passed by and laughed.  She snapped back at him and said, “This concerns all of us Will,” and he replied, “No it don’t Ash.”  This satirical hyperbole exposes how white people have ignored the repercussions of slavery by having exactly what happened to many black fathers start to happen to Marshall.  By completely going into a very uncomfortable topic and juxtaposing our original perceptions of what reparations mean to African Americans we can gain a fresh new perspective on the awkward situation between people.

Despite his job being on the line Marshall isn’t very concerned with what’s going on until after he gets home that night.  A black woman named Sheniqua Johnson showed up at his house and sued him for giving her $3 million because his family owned her ancestors.  In the scene, she storms into his house claiming it was hers, and starts rambling on about how nice of a house he has so therefore he must have money to pay her.  This flip of the narrative traces back to how white people arrived in Africa and bought slaves without their consent.  Marshall eventually gets her out of his house but is very confused about how or why this is happening to him.  Eventually, he loses his job, custody of his daughter, and social life in the span of a day just as Sheniquas ancestors went through.  Marshall is initially very angry because he didn’t do anything to deserve the treatment he’s getting, this exposes the feelings African Americans went through even after slavery.  To African Americans, slavery still haunts them in ways that only they can see, Marshall gives us another perspective of how he feels when he gets taken advantage of for something he couldn’t prevent.  

ATLANTA pokes fun at the idea of how serious reparations mean to African Americans.  By using a very realistic scenario in a very surreal way we can uncover a layer behind the scenes of ordinary life.  It’s only when this superficial layer is broken down that we can see Marshall’s perspective just as well as Sheniquas’s.  Bringing this surreal scenario to life in a modern-day outlook toy’s with our minds in more ways than some jump scare movies.  Because of course, African Americans would never just start suing white people for reparations because they didn’t do anything to deserve it.  But just as their ancestors were forced into enslavement and were caused much harm in systematic ways to this day, it makes you reconsider and think more deeply about why they are asking for these levels of compensation.

Speak No Truth

Throughout The Tragedy of King Lear, truth is scarce and huge parts of the play are derived from deceiving people. The most deceived of them all was Lear of course with the corrupt power system of the family he grew up in. Everyone around him would say the things he wants to hear but not the hurtful truth that would enrage him. Over time Lear’s mind is always going have a king mindset of ruling his kingdom, but with no kingdom to run, he is left with this immense confusion of how if his daughters said they loved him so much then why are they treating his gift of his kingdom like it was there’s, to begin with. With this power in Lear’s head, he banished Cordelia and Kent who were some of the only people who spoke the hurtful truth that Lear needed. Also because this is a tragedy Lear was made to suffer through the storm as a torment for his own actions and it was only after the storm that Cordelia and the French army came back to try and restore what he had lost.

Besides Kent and Cordelia, the fool also gave the truth in a very confusing manner but it always made sense to the situation. Lear enjoyed the riddles and rhymes even though they speak of the very bad things that are happening right in front of him. And despite being a jester his words are meant to be taken as truth, but even then Lear just laughs and doesn’t see what’s causing all of his confusion. The riddles could only distract him for so long for then he needed to face what he feared most. The fool along with Kent and Cordelia are looked at as crazy for standing up against the king and saying nasty things. But it’s really these characters that affected Lear the most and without them speaking out their truth and not caring for the punishment is what helped Lear along his journey. It is ironic however that Lear should’ve been listening to Kent and Cordelia who were looked at as fools, but he looks up to an actual fool for good and truthful advice.


Recording artist Brent Faiyaz’s debut album Sonder Son shows the harsh reality of the inevitable loss of innocence that everyone goes through in life. The word “Sonder” is a neologism and it translates to the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. The whole album is based on this neologism, and how we respond to it throughout times in our life. The seventh song “L.A.” speaks about a specific part of people’s lives when they move to a new big city or place and try to make it into the career they’re chasing. And what often comes with moving to a big city is learning the new environment you’re now stuck in and how to survive on your own. “L.A.” speaks in the first person from Faiyaz’s experiences of being an up-and-coming R&B singer in Los Angeles and the struggles he’s going through while also expressing how he wouldn’t give it up for anything else.

The song begins with an introduction, “City of Angles, Land of God. The City of Demons, Looking for Us(2x).” Faiyaz begins by setting the tone for the rest of the song by saying how the “City of Demons” is looking for the “City of Angels” showing how Los Angeles is composed of good and bad people. The song immediately separates people into categories already showing how different people are compared to each other. Next, he sings, “L.A., L.A., The Place of All Places. Drug use and dark faces can make or break you.” Faiyaz is explaining how even though Los Angeles is the most popular city in the world and people make it big here, you can still be brought into dark times by bad people trying to use you for your new fame. But even still, knowing the risks he chose to achieve his goal of making it big in music.

When Faiyaz later sings, “Yeah, I’m proud that I’m chasing something. ‘Cause I don’t know better than being broke, bored, and back at home.” He wants people to understand that he chose this life of nothing but drugs, violence, and money willingly all for the intoxicating feeling of chasing his music dreams. This status that Faiyaz is chasing can only be attained through hard work and dealing with the good and bad people in your life. He then sings “But oh, what a feeling (How it feels). Oh, what a thrill (You will kill). To look down from these hills. Put the life I knew behind.” Faiyaz is expressing that the life he’s chasing consists of so much excitement and thrill that people would “kill” for his position. This balance between danger and fame is exactly what Faiyaz was chasing from early on in his career. The lyrical phrase, “to look down from these hills,” is to refer how Faiyaz has made it to the top and is looking down on all the people who haven’t made it to fame yet. However, fame means a lot of people are going to come into your life and some of them will be bad. Towards the end when Faiyaz sings, “And everybody wanna know me, Just to say you own me,” he means people want to be friendly with him just to get some of his fame. Fake people in Los Angeles are coming for him to take some of his fame like leeches sucking him dry. Overall, the song expresses Faiyaz’s emotions and events going on while he pursues his career. While doing so he is learning that everyone around him lives a vastly different life with very different goals and he has to cope with this feeling of being alone because he is so different but also there is a feeling of being together because we are all so different together.

Camus’ Theory Applied to Us

Tre B

The Stranger gives us a very unusual perspective on an idea most people think they know the answer to, but according to Meursault and Camus they are doing everything wrong. The idea in question is the answer to life or what is the purpose of existing. To most people things like sports, music, cooking, and family are reason enough to live for because they enjoy having it in their life. Camus’ theory would only work if you were the only person livng on earth because you have no one else to interact with, but because there’s more than one person on earth social interactions and problem will occur no matter what. This means that lifes true purpose isn’t just to feel existence itself and do nothing but take what life gave you and make yourself and those around you the happiest for the time we have to live. If all you did was focus on the future then you would never live in the moment for which you truly said you wanted too. Just because death is inevitable doesn’t mean you should throw away the people or things you that gave you joy even if it’s not forever.

Coming of Age “202 Checkmates”

In the story of 202 Checkmates we follow a 11 year old daughter trying to defeat her old man at chess. It is a classic coming of age story with the girl growing up and seeing the hardships her parents are going through and how she deals with them. The reason we read a common story like this is because of how the author portrayed chess in the fathers and daughters relationship. Every parent has some outlet with their kids whether it’s a sport, instrument, books, computers, video games or chess. This outlet serves as a safe place where kids and their parents can talk about something they both enjoy and can make conversation about it. Chess gave that opportunity for the father with him and his daughter playing everyday even after arguing with his wife. By playing a simple game the daughter now had a goal to accomplish and the father had a way to break some of the tension in their family. Chess taught the father about life from his dad and now is passing it on to his daughter even though shes caught up in playing the actual game. The father was trying to teach his daughter that chess was more about representing life then playing and we know she learned that at the end when she let her father win. The daughter learned to sacrifice her win to see her dad happy which is something the father wanted from the start so even though she could’ve won, the father won in a different way.

Understanding Benjamins Theory Of Subjectivity and Power

Individuality comes with certain conditions that have to be met in order for people to form relationships.  The male species has the ancestral nature to dominate and think of anyone else as sexual objects or helpers to him.  And in order for relationships and bonds of love to form people need to recognize who other people in society are.  If someone does not give attention or show any feelings towards a person then that person ceases to exist.  This power imbalance is what made the patriarchy into what it is today with males not recognizing females as equals and just sexual objects.  This intense battle of trying to dominate one another makes the process of forming relationships harder than it needs to be.  Think about the quiet kid that sits in the back with his hoodie on and headphones in, and that nobody has talked to or knows anything about him, after high school that person is forgotten because of the lack of dominance he had over people.  They viewed him as nothing special and not a threat so they gave him no thought.  The power hierarchy which all people have in their minds is what keeps the bonds of love from being formed. Her theory makes me see the social exchanges between people as machines rather than human beings.