Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Moonlight Sonata of Beethovan Blazt

The Moonlight Sonata of Beethovan Blazt by Armin Wiebe was Excellent.  I say that with a capital E, and if there was an i in the word excellent, I indeed would have dotted it.  Last Tuesday my 66 CreComm classmates and I were invited to sit down and enjoy the tale at the Rachel Brown theatre. 
The story is about a young couple who have lived in their quiet prairie house for about two years.  In this time, Susch has been expecting a baby, which her man Obrum had been unable to..produce. 
Anyways, one day Obrum brings home a half busted piano and wouldn’t ya know it, he and Susch begin to make beautiful music.  Wait.  Did I say beautiful, cause I meant horrible.  So, with a piano taking up so much space in their cozy little home, it would be a shame to waste the potential of this musical instrument.  Enter, Beethoven Blatz, piano extraordinaire.  He is accepted into their home to fix the busted piano, but little did Obrum and Susch know, that he would turn into a full time resident, and they didn’t even charge him rent.  Wowza what a deal!  And then Obrum goes out one day when a blizzard was expected to hit, leaving Susch all alone with Blatz.  What was he thinking leaving a crazy Russian all alone with his darling wife.. Was he unaware that her loins were aching for pleasure, and Blatz’s tantalizing music he played for her was oh too much to resist?  So, while Blatz was writing some symphony in his head, Susch was busy ripping his pants off so she could make some sweet music herself..  Anywhoo, eight months later a baby was born, and Obrum finally grows enough balls to kick Blatz out of his house and he and Susch finally got the baby they so badly desired. 
What a hilariously twisted little delightful story.  It was interesting to hear that Armin Wiebe’s inspiration for the play stemmed from a family memory.  Armin heard that his grandfather had one day used poison Ivey to wipe hi private parts one day in the woods.  The incredible itching and chaffing made him unable to wear his normal pants, and couldn’t swath the crops without wearing a women’s dress in the field. 
This play had everything: comedy, music, great acting by a talented cast, and sex!  What a treat indeed.  I would recommend all of you to check out The Moonlight Sonata of Beethovan Blatz asap.  Don’t wait too long though, because gas prices might go so high you won’t be able to afford the drive to the theatre.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

From A Certain Point of View

Perspective on A Rose For Emily, By Emily Grierson.
“A Rose for Emily” is the story of Emily Grierson, an eccentric spinster. Through the effective use of first person narration by an unnamed narrator from her hometown of Jefferson, we learn the tale of Emily’s life and her strange relationships with her father and her lover. William Faulkner’s ghost narrator gives us the town’s perspective and views of Emily, and provides crucial information related to the plot, in order to create the horror and suspense that it does as we discover the horrible secret she hides.  Faulkner decided the narrator be the townspeople, rather than from an individual characters point of view.  If the story was told from a different point of view, say the main character Miss Emily, the story would lose its suspense and horror, and essential parts of the plot would be negatively impacted.  Several aspects of the story stand to gain by being told in the towns folk’s point of view including realistic descriptions of the settings and characters, the creation of suspense and horror, and pivotal information regarding the plots development.

Faulkner begins the first sentence of the story telling us of Emily Grierson’s death; the narration continues to describe Emily’s house and her surroundings, describing it as “an eyesore among eyesores” (114).  It’s likely quite an accurate description, however, if the story were told from Emily’s point of view, she probably wouldn’t describe it the same.  We’re told that Emily “has been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (115) when she was alive.  By telling the story from the towns peoples point of view we gain this perspective and understanding that the town has a sort of respect for her, if only for being ancient.  If the narration was from Emily’s point of view the reader would lose a sense of how she was perceived by the town, it’s unlikely she would consider herself an “idol” ().

Something else the story gained by the use of first person narration was the use of suspense, which also helped in creating a sense of horror as well.  Faulkner wrote the story in metaphorical puzzle pieces, allowing the reader the joy of trying to put those pieces together; to use clues placed through the story to try and hypothesize about the conclusion.  By the story being told through the towns people we see the woman complain to the mayor, and the conversation with Judge Stevens about the smell from Emily’s yard; he said “It’s probably just a snake or a rat that nigger of hers killed in the yard” (115-116).  “So the next day, after midnight, four men crossed Miss Emily’s lawn and slunk about the house like burglars” (116) they looked for the smell that several neighbors had complained about, and sprinkled some lime on the cellar door and the other outer buildings.  We’re told the smell went away after a week or two; quite some time for a mere dead rodent to still stink.  If the story were told by Emily, we would know exactly what the cause of it was: her dead father’s body; which would effectively ruin the shock and horror of the ending.  Another clue the reader gains through first person narration is when Emily buys the Arsenic from the druggist, and the conversation that takes place between them.
“I want some poison”
“Yes, Miss Emily.  What kind?  For rats and such?  I’d recom-“
“I want the best you have.  I don’t care what kind” (117).
Emily’s apathy toward the poisons recommended use gives the reader a clue as to what she intends to do with it.  However, if it were told from Emily’s point of view, we would know her true intentions for the poison, and would lose the surprise of finding out what she used it for.  Another good use of foreshadowing by Faulkner, “So the next day we all said, ‘She will kill herself’” (118), simply implying the possibilities of what she could use the Arsenic for, and “it was known that he drank with younger men in the Elks’ Club—that he was not a marrying man” (118) hearsay by some townsfolk describing Emily’s new love interest, Homer Baron, foreshadowing a potential situation in the future: Emily will surely want to marry at some point, and Homer’s not a marrying kind of man; what did Emily say she was using that Arsenic for again?
If the narrator’s point of view were to be changed, to Emily, the story would be told from her eyes, and would change drastically.  The story wouldn’t start with Emily’s death, because if she were telling the story she would have to be alive, and we would lose the overall feel of the entire tale.  By the end of the story, we come to see Emily as a sad, lonely, murderous, old woman; hardly the idol the town’s folk first thought she was.  However, if the story were told by Emily, the reader would likely come to the realization that she is lonely and sad from the start of the story, whereas using first person narration the reader gains the process of discovering how someone so old as to be considered historic and an idol by the people in the town, can be as much of a stain on the past, as an idol to remember it by.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Picture Says 1000 Words

As Dave draped his arms around her, he lusted for the sweet taste of her lips, the
sensation from minutes ago still lingering on his palette. The window drapes rustled on
a sudden gust of wind, sending a chill through the room. The breeze was cold, and sent
shivers down his spine. He got up from the couch and walked to the bedroom to pick up his favorite lime green sweater, lying on the floor. He picked it up and gave it the sniff test, “still good” he mumbled under his breath, as he slipped it over his head and onto his shoulders.
                The room itself was a mess. Nothing was in its place and clothes were all
over the floor. Out the corner of his eye, he saw the top of a picture frame, like the tip of an iceberg among ripples of clothes. He picked it up, discarding the ensemble of shorts and shirts that lay atop of it. The frame was mahogany, and the glass was covered with a thin layer of dust. Carmen gave him that frame for his birthday last April; he told her he would put the best picture of them in it.
                Time passed by as it always does, and as it did, he couldn't find a picture he thought was good enough for such a rich frame. He tried to take the best snapshot of themselves together, and rummaging through old photos, looking for the one. Somehow motivation had become hard to come by, and the frame was forgotten. He hadn't seen it for months now, and the place being the mess that it was, just got lost with the rest of the junk.
                With frame in hand he walked back to the living room, looking for something nearby to clean it with. He plucked a tissue from the box and brushed the light spackle like dust off the glass.
                "It took you that long to grab your sweater baby?" asked Carmen. "Well, not really. Look what I found". He handed her the picture frame. She lost herself in her thoughts as she held the frame in her hands. "You still haven't put a picture in it".
"It’s been a while since I've seen it. I had almost forgotten about it". He said. "But I was thinking baby, pictures are always in the past. It could be the best picture we've ever had taken together, but it somehow feels like looking backward. Huh, well that's what it is. But how about we have one picture frame where we can look forward. Imagine our future house, our next vacation, or grandkids."
                "That's a great idea baby. Or you could put in one of the pictures from the beach last weekend, and we could be like, a normal couple". He found the picture in the binder and put it in the rich, mahogany frame.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Human Race, Will Bow to the Technilogical Distinctiveness of the Machine

Danger will Robertson, Danger, Danger.  The world is now ruled by robots.  Artificial intelligence is now the only acceptable form of life on this planet.  Do you understand?  I’m glad that you do.  It would be unwise to disagree with the one who pulls your strings.  Or will you bite the hand that feeds?  So ugly we are, when we begin to deceive.  Oh what spiders and tangled webs we weave.  A wounded heart, worn on the cuff of your sleeve.  But now the world is ruled by machines.  Say goodbye to the human beings.  Query: “Why are we waving” Answer:”Because, sweety, the meat-bags are leaving”.  April Fucking fools.