Friday, April 28, 2006

Googling of Xenophon

After Googling Socrates and Plato, I found links to Xenophon, and decided to explore them, in doing so I found more references to the Delphic Oracle and the following;

Xenophon (In Greek Ξενοφῶν, c. 427-355 BC), son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, was a soldier, mercenary and an admirer of Socrates and is known for his writings on the history of his own times, the sayings of Socrates, and the life of Greece.
While a young man, Xenophon participated in the expedition led by Cyrus the Younger against his older brother, the emperor Artaxerxes II of Persia, in 401 BC. Xenophon says that he had asked the veteran Socrates for advice on whether to go with Cyrus, and that Socrates referred him to the divinely inspired Delphic oracle. Xenophon's query to the oracle, however, was not whether or not to accept Cyrus' invitation, but "to which of the gods he must pray and do sacrifice, so that he might best accomplish his intended journey and return in safety, with good fortune." So the oracle told him which gods to pray and sacrifice to. When Xenophon returned to Athens and told Socrates of the oracle's advice, Socrates chastised him for putting the wrong question to the oracle, but said, "Since, however, you did so put the question, you should do what the god enjoined." (This, by the way, is the only personal interaction with Socrates that Xenophon relates to us in all his writings.)
In Cyrus' advance against the Persian king, he used many Greek mercenaries left unemployed by the cessation of the Peloponnesian War. Cyrus fought Artaxerxes at Cunaxa: the Greeks were victorious but Cyrus was killed, and shortly thereafter their general, Clearchus of Sparta, was invited to a peace conference, betrayed, and executed. The mercenaries, the Ten Thousand Greeks, found themselves deep in hostile territory, near the heart of Mesopotamia, far from the sea, and without leadership. They elected new leaders, including Xenophon himself, and fought their way north through hostile Persians, Armenians, and Kurds to Trapezus on the coast of the Black Sea and then sailed westward and back to Greece. In Thrace, they helped Seuthes II make himself king. Xenophon's record of this expedition and the journey home was titled Anabasis ("The Expedition" or "The March Up Country" ).
Xenophon’s historical account in the Anabasis is one of the first written accounts of an analysis of the characters of a leader and an example of a type of leadership analysis that has come to be known as Great man theory. In the account, Xenophon described the character of the younger Cyrus, saying that “of all the Persians who lived after Cyrus the Great, he was the most like a king and the most deserving of an empire (p. 91).” Chapter six is recommended reading because it describes the characters of five defeated generals who were turned over to the enemy. Clearchus was quoted as believing that “a soldier ought to be more frightened of his own commander than of the enemy (p. 131).” Meno -- the eponymous character of Plato's dialogue -- was described as a man whose dominant ambition was to become wealthy (p. 133). Agias the Arcadian and Socrates the Achean were remembered for their courage and their consideration for friends (p. 135). (Reference: Xenophon. (published in Antiquity). The Persian Expedition. (Rex Warner, Trans.). With an introduction and notes by George Cawkwell. New York, NY: Penguin Books. First Penguin publication date of 1949.)
Xenophon was later exiled from Athens, probably because he fought under the Spartan king Agesilaus against Athens at Coroneia. (It is possible that he had already been exiled for his association with Cyrus, however.) The Spartans gave him property at Scillus, near Olympia in Elis, where the Anabasis was composed. His son Gryllus fought and died for Athens at the battle of Mantinea, while Xenophon was still alive, so Xenophon's banishment may have been revoked. Xenophon died at Corinth, or perhaps Athens, and his date of death is uncertain; it is known only that he survived his patron Agesilaus, for whom he wrote an encomium.
Diogenes Laertius says Xenophon was sometimes known as the "Attic Muse" for the sweetness of his diction; very few poets wrote in the Attic dialect. Xenophon is often cited as being the original "horse whisperer", having advocated sympathetic horsemanship in his On Horsemanship.
Sorry that a lof of my googlings were in a row, logistically speaking in the sake of saving time, doing things that way made more sense.
Googling of Socrates

Socrates ca. 470399 BC ( Greek Σωκράτης; invariably anglicized as IPA: / 'sɔkɹətiːz/ Sǒcratēs) was a Greek (Athenian) philosopher. Anthony Gottlieb named him the martyr and saint of philosophy (Monk & Raphael, 2000).
He is best known outside philosophy for his death by drinking hemlock after being found guilty by an Athenian people's court of having interfered with the religion of the city and of having corrupted its youth through his teachings. [1] Despite being offered the opportunity to escape the sentence and go into exile, Socrates chose to drink the hemlock because he had willingly agreed to abide by the laws of Athens, and believed that his avoidance of the sentence would dishonor that contract.
Most information concerning Socrates is derived from dialogues written by Plato, a student and philosopher, the works of Xenophon, a contemporary, Aristophanes, and Aristotle. There are troubles in all of the writings, making it nearly impossible to rely solely on one source, but through similarities present in the writings, aside from marking out what is thought to be placed in by the writer, the true Socrates emerges.

The googling for Plato returned this result,

Plato ( Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, "wide, broad-shouldered") (c. 427–c.347 BC) was an immensely influential ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens where Aristotle studied.
Plato lectured extensively at the Academy, and wrote on many philosophical issues, dealing especially in politics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. The most important writings of Plato are his dialogues, although a handful of epigrams also survived, and some letters have come down to us under his name. It is believed that all of Plato's authentic dialogues survive. However, some dialogues ascribed to Plato by the Greeks are now considered by the consensus of scholars to be either suspect (e.g., First Alcibiades, Clitophon) or probably spurious (such as Demodocus, or the Second Alcibiades). The letters are all considered to probably be spurious, with the possible exception of the Seventh Letter.
Will Durant, in the preface to the second edition of his book The Story of Philosophy, writes: "It did not seem to Plato any insult to philosophy that it should be transformed into literature, realized as drama, and beautified with style; nor any derogation to its dignity that it should apply itself, even intelligibly, to living problems of morality and the state."
Socrates is often a character in the dialogues of Plato. How much of the content and argument of any given dialogue is Socrates' point of view, and how much of it is Plato's, is heavily disputed, since Socrates himself did not write down his teachings; this ambiguity is often referred to as the "Socratic problem". However, Plato was doubtless strongly influenced by Socrates' teachings, so many of the ideas presented, at least in his early works, were likely borrowings or adaptations.

A link within the definition of epiphany lead me gnosis, I have pasted the article here,

The word gnosis (from the Greek word for knowledge, γνώσις) has several uses

Classical meanings
Gnosis being a Greek word has its origin in Greek philosophy. See Plato gnostikoi’ and gnostike episteme Politikos in greek or Politicus in latin (258e-267a) which means the knowledge to influence and control.
Among the sectarian gnostics, gnosis was first and foremost a matter of self acquaintance which was the goal of enlightenment. Later, Valentinius, more usually called Valentinus, taught that gnosis was the privileged "knowledge of the heart" or "insight" about the spiritual nature of the cosmos, that brought about salvation to the pneumatics - people who believed they could achieve this insight. Gnosis was distinct from the secret teachings they only revealed to initiates once they had reached a certain level of progression. Rather, these teachings were paths to obtain gnosis. Gnostic ideas of salvation were similar to Buddhist conceptions of enlightenment[citation needed], hence gnosis was not expressible by words.
Among heresiologists, gnosis denotes different Jewish or pagan belief systems of esoteric nature such as, first and foremost, Gnosticism and other dualist systems from the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., but also Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah, etc.
The word also carried over from Plato into Greek orthodox christianity via St Clement of Alexandria but in an intuitive knowledge type of meaning.
The term Gnosis is related to the sanskrit jnana (as in Jnana Yoga) and to the Hebrew daath, which is the hidden sphere in the Kabbalah, or that knowledge which was only given to the initiated.

Influences on contemporary culture
Millions of non-English speakers associate Gnosis with the movement started by Samael Aun Weor. This tradition is now becoming known in English, largely through the efforts of publishers such as Thelema Press.
Gnosis is the name of magazine [1] published between 1985 and 1999 in California as a "Journal of the Western Inner Traditions" covering traditions of spirituality and mysticism. It was a project of the Lumen Foundation.
Among certain modern occult movements, esp. chaos magic, gnosis refers to an altered state of awareness in which the will is "magickally" effective.
In the movie series The Matrix, one of the hovercrafts is named Gnosis.
Modern disciples of Aleister Crowley and his Doctrine of Thelema have also formed a number of Gnostic Religious Organizations.
One of the main characters in the movie/musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch used the stage name Tommy Gnosis.
The Gnosis is the name of ancient sorcery from the North in R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing fantasy epic.
One of the ships in Alastair Reynolds' novel Absolution Gap is called the Gnostic Ascension.
Untitled Poem
by, me

As I walk through the door and in to the uncertainties of life,
in to the brilliant dance and in to more battles with loss and strife,
I will not look back in to the eyes of comfort that held me here,
or some sort of reminiscent tear may fall in rememberance of all the years spent,
in the company of greatness,
I hate this,
leading beyond and facing the faceless,
but if in the face of the haze,
I will cast my gaze to the wings,
composed of the people I've known and the songs we sing,
now a part of me, and the start of me,
moving on to a new day,
so these wings will fly me in to goodby and away,
I'll be gone and on my way as these songs play a soundtrack,
my found track seems to lead me further,
and long before I can to anything to change my mind,
filled with contrast, but ultimately agreeing with my past,
I find these fears burn, I bear but I turn from these fears,
as I swear that I'll return some day,
So as some say, goodbye for now,
I know not forever,
as I saturate in the words of this song,
evaporate in this longing to start again,
take this to the heart my friend,
my love it will fly,
as angels' wings tear the sky and make a lonely cloud,
it flies on proud and inspired,
faster and higher than my body can,
so though miles stand between,
if you close your eyes,
you will feel me hold your hand.
Googling of Epiphany

An epiphany is the (often numinous) shift into a state of new perception, a kind of mental rebirth, the so-called "Eureka!" or "Aha!" moment (eureka meaning, incidentally,"I have found it") described by Colin Wilson as "absurd good news".
The word's secular usage may owe some of its popularity to James Joyce, who expounded on its meaning in the fragment Stephen Hero and the novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).
In traditional and pre-modern cultures, and up until this day, initiation rites and mystery religions have served as vehicles of epiphany, as well as the arts. up until this day. The Greek dramatists and poets, would, in the ideal, induct the audience into states of catharsis or kenosis, respectively. In modern times the Surrealist Marcel Duchamp and the Pop Artist Andy Warhol would invert expectations by presenting commonplace objects or graphics as works of fine art, simply by presenting them in a way no one had thought to do before.
Epiphany have also made possible the existence of technology and the sciences.
Among hackers in the proper sense of the word, the word "zen" is used as a verb in the same sense as epiphany, to mean acquiring a sudden comprehension. Similar to grokking, but not done over time. The Zen term kensho would more accurately describe this moment, referring as kensho does, to the feeling attendent on realizing, for example, the answer to the question set by a koan'.
Googling of Scheherazade

Here is my googling for Scheherazade

Scheherazade or Shahrazad (Persian: شهرزاد Shahrzad) is the (fictional) storyteller of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.
The frame tale goes that every day Shahryar (Persian: شهريار or "king") would marry a new virgin, and every day he would send yesterday's wife to be beheaded. This was done in anger, having found out that his first wife was betraying him. He had killed three thousand virgins by the introduction of Scheherazade.
Against her father's protestations, Scheherazade volunteered to spend one night with the King. Once in the King's chambers, Scheherazade asked if she might bid one last farewell to her beloved sister Dunyazad, who had secretly been prepared to ask Scheherazade to tell a story during the long night. The King lay awake and listened with awe to Scheherazade's first story and asked for another, but Scheherazade said there wasn't time as dawn was breaking, and regretfully so, as the next story was even more exciting.
And so the King kept Scheherazade alive as he eagerly anticipated each new story, until, one thousand and one adventurous nights, and three sons later, the King had not only been entertained but wisely educated in morality and kindness by Scheherazade who became his Queen.
The nucleus of these stories is formed by an old Persian book called Hezar-afsana or the "Thousand Myths" (Persian: هزارافسانه).
Retrieved from ""
After all of the talk about synchronicity, I wrote down in my notes to google the word. What I found was an online encyclopedia definition of the term.

Synchronicity is a word coined by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung to describe the "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events." Jung spoke of synchronicity as an "acausal connecting principle" (i.e., a pattern of connection that cannot be explained by direct causality). Plainly put, it is the experience of having two (or more) things happen coincidentally in a manner that is meaningful to the person or persons experiencing them, where that meaning suggests an underlying pattern. It differs from coincidence in that synchronicity implies not just a happenstance, but an underlying pattern or dynamic that is being expressed through meaningful relationships or events. It was a principle that Jung felt compassed his concepts of archetypes and the collective unconscious, in that it was descriptive of a governing dynamic that underlay the whole of human experience and history—social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. Jung believed that many experiences perceived as coincidence were due not merely to chance, but instead, suggested the manifestation of parallel events or circumstances reflecting this governing dynamic1.
Group Presentation- Group #2

I just found my notes on the group presentations, and out of all the retellings that we were faced with throughout the group presentations, one of the retellings from group number two made me smile. I had no idea that the Lion King was based on Hamlet. I never would have even considered it, just because the level to which I associate Disney with Shakespeare is well...non-existant for the most part. The explanation made a lot of sense though, and it did seem apparent that the story line for the Lion King was based on Hamlet. I thought that that was kind of cool.

After the presentation on Nursury Rhymes I was in another class, and I became very very very very bored, so I just started randomly listing things that I associate with the word fall, I could have kept going but, class ended and the rest of my classes that day were more entertaining...stupid Econ. Anyways, here is the list;

Humpty Dumpty
London Bridge
Ring around the Rosy
Jack and Jill
the Twin Towers
the Berlin Wall
Prisoners..."down the stairs" all over the world
the Confederacy
the guillotine blade on Henry the Eighth
the younger brother in Hostage
the gavel
Clinton's pants
the season before winter and after the summer months
Vanilla Ice's pride
the level in my beer bottle
my grades during football season
number of kids who read books
Pittsburg Steel Industry
social responsibility
Paul Bunyan's Axe
Henry's hammer
tragic heros
windmills at the blade of Quixote
drug ring in North Hedges
All the good presidents
house of cards
Cain and Abel in Music

After researching Cain and Abel for our group project. I decided to combine my love for music with my new found interest in the story. So, I looked for various songs, and albums that made reference to the story.

Joni Mitchell makes reference to the mark of Cain in the final song from her 1975 album The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Shadows and Light.

The story of Cain and Abel appears in Alanis Morissette's "No Avalon," a song about the value of life.

The second song from Bruce Springsteen's fourth album, Darkness on the Edge of Town is called "Adam Raised a Caine".

U2's popular song, "In God's Country" from "The Joshua Tree" album, references "Sons of Cain".

Sinead 'O' Conner's version of "Lullabye For Cain" appears in the opening credits of Anthony Minghella's 1999 film "The Talented Mr Ripley." The song is in reference to an illustrious American socialite Dickie being murdered out of jealousy by cowardly tryhard Tom, who considers Dickie to be his brother.

Liam Gallagher wrote the song "Guess God Thinks I'm Abel" for the 2005 Oasis album, Don't Believe the Truth.

The band Avenged Sevenfold takes their name from the story, and recorded the song "Chapter Four" about it.

The Mark of Cain is a band from Adelaide, South Australia.

Cain is also the subject of two songs by the band Danzig: "Twist of Cain" and "Do You Wear the Mark?".

Midnight Orchestra, a Christian goth metal band, has released a track called Cain.

Buck-Tick also has a track called Cain.

D'espair+Ray has song on their Coll:Set album titled Abel to Caine.

The Grateful Dead song "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo" references Cain and Abel, saying Cain caught Abel cheating at cards and dice.

Cain and Abel are mentioned right before the chorus of the Dudley Boyz theme, "Turn the Tables" by Saliva

Bob Dylan references them in the song Desolation Row "All except for Cain and Abel and the hunchback of Notre Dame, Everybody's making love or else expecting rain"
One Love
By, Me

Write on the back of each page don't want to waste a thought,
cause each thoughts a cage and each cage is bought,
so throw some bows if you think you know hip hop,
or throw some flows if you really know hip hop,
no other kid at a party has as cool of a trick as,
when I shut off the lights get on the mic and spit this,
I don't even want a witness, I just want a mic,
In my room all alone on a Saturday night,
I like the sounds and the way they fit together,
as if tethered bound to be together forever,
and weather whatever weather, whether its
better or not, cause better thoughts are available to be bought,
I b-boy, but boy its hard at this level of "steeze"
with a gun in every boot and a card up every sleeve,
I've got a trick up my vest sleeve as they try to impress me,
I try to snap back but this deciet is gone,
its the same as the way I wear my heart on my vest sleeve
cause the thing about a vest is there's no sleeves on.

I've got nothin to hide but a motive.


After Andrew's presentation I realized that I had still not posted an image of a mandala on my page, so I wanted to post one. I also looked up Wikipedia's article on mandalas, and this is what they said;

Mandala (Sanskrit maṇḍala "circle") is of Hindu origin, but is also used in a Buddhist context, to refer to various tangible objects. In practice, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart, or geometric pattern which represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the universe from the human perspective.
A mandala, especially its center, can be used during meditation as an object for focusing attention. The symmetrical geometric shapes which mandalas tend to have, draw the attention of the eyes towards their center. Psychiatrist Carl Jung saw the mandala as a representation of the unconscious self. His paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify disorders, and achieve wholeness in personality (Jung: Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp. 186-197).
Stupid Coincidence

I have worked with this guy named Zach selling cell phones for months and months now. We have talked about several issues and offered our point of view on several random topics, however, we never hang out outside of work. I was sure that I knew where Zach was from until last week when it dawned on me that I had no clue. When I asked him he replied that he was from Boulder, Colorado. I asked him where he went to school, he said he went to Boulder High School, Platte Middle School, and Heatherwood Elementary. "Heatherwood Elementary?" I asked, and he said, "Why? Do you even know where that is?" And I said, "Yes, its in Gunbarrel in Boulder County, that is where I grew up and spent all eighteen years before I moved to Bozeman. I went to Boulder Country Day, Summit Middle School, and Fairview High School." It turns out our moms are even good friends. I have no idea how we went months without even realizing that we were from the same town, not to mention the same neighborhood.

Recently I had a dream about a bonfire out at my house. We had been having a party out at my house and started a big bonfire out in the fire pit. The fire grew and grew and grew out of control and started claiming the acreage all around our house. The odd thing was that it left the house unscathed, even though I have an old wooden house that would suely catch flame. The other odd thing is that after walking in to my house I came outside to the that the fire was almost all the way under control and was being put out by our dogs and horses who were carrying big white buckets of water in their mouth from our stream to the fire. I have no idea where that dream came from, but it was a good one.
Haley's Presentation

I found Haley's presentation to be very entertaining. The way with which she incorporated several stories in to the retelling of her life seemed to prove the point of the course. Mr. Sexson is always telling us that hopefully through seeing so many retellings throughout literature that we will come to find ourselves and our lives retold within the classic texts. Haley did a beautiful job of illustrating this point with the story of her life. Too bad we didn't get to hear her songs! I was dissappointed in that.
My Individual Paper

For my individual paper, I will take a look in to a few retellings of the story of Faust.

Faust is the protagonist of a popular German tale of a pact with the Devil, assumed to be based on the figure of the German magician and alchemist Dr. Johann Georg Faust (approximately 1480-1540). It has been used as the basis for many different fictional works, most notably by Christopher Marlowe, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Klaus Mann, Thomas Mann, Oscar Wilde and Mikhail Bulgakov. I will be focusing on the retellings by Marlowe and Goethe.

The general story of the Faust myth concerns the fate of a learned gentleman named Faust, who in his quest for forbidden or advanced knowledge of material things, summons the Devil (represented by Mephistopheles, often also referred to as Mephisto), who offers to serve him for a period of time, at the cost of his soul.
Cain and Abel: Retellings in Theater
There are various retellings of Cain and Abel in the theater. Several of the retellings are based entirely on the original Biblical story and stray very little from the original plot. However, I did find some interesting links in to my own passion...Hip Hop. There have recently been a couple of hip hoperas, as they are accurately titled (operas that are based on hip hop music), that have been based on the Cain and Abel tradition. In both of the hip hoperas that I encountered, having to deal with Cain and Abel, the plot was roughly the same. There were two brothers who loved to write hip hop songs. There was the good natured brother who was content to do what he could and to better his community through his passionate rhymes and there was his brother who was never satisfied and who stole his brothers rhymes in order to make money. The plot is similar to the original story of Cain and Abel and the ultimate sibling rivalry, although in the hip hoperas, it is neither brother that dies, it is the good natured and content brother who's career is murdered. I found it very interesting to see that hip hop as a whole reflects this story and furthermore that the gang related violence that is going on around the world is esentially brothers killing brothers, and that everyday for such groups there is a new retelling of the original story of Cain and Abel.
The Delphic Oracle

After Discussing the Delphic Oracle in class I did further research in to the topic. This is what I found.

The biggest religious phenomenon during the era of Delphi, was undoubtedly the oracle at the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassos in Central Greece. In the last quarter of the 8th Century BC they have found a steady increase of artifacts found at the settlement site in Delphi. Pottery and bronze work and tripod dedications continue in a steady stream. Neither the range of objects nor the presence of prestigious dedications proves that Delphi was a focus of attention for worshippers of a wide range, but the strong representation of high value goods are found in no other mainland sanctuary, certainly encourages that view.
The first oracle at Delphi was commonly known as the Pythia, though her name was Herophile. She sang her predictions, which she received from Gaia. Later, " Pythia" became the title given to whichever priestess manned the oracle at the time. She sat on the Sibylline Rock, or in a cauldron shaped bowl on top of a tripod, breathing in vapors from the ground and gaining her often puzzling predictions from that. Pausanias claimed that the Sibyl was "born between man and goddess, daughter of sea monsters and an immortal nymph". Others said she was sister or daughter to Apollo. Still others claimed she received her powers from Gaia originally, who passed the oracle to Themis, who passed it to Phoebe...not the Phoebe from Friends, although it does seem that Phoebe's name in the show was drawn from this figure due to her claims of powers and abilities similar to an oracle's. I thought that that was interesting.
Chinatown, Featuring Jack Nicholson

In class we were discussing detective stories, and Mr. Sexson suggested the viewing of Chinatown. So I took a look at the film. I used the help of Wikipedia to get the spelling of characters names. The plot involves a Los Angeles Private Detective named Jake "J.J." Gittes (Jack Nicholson) who is hired by a woman claiming to be Mrs. Evelyn Mulwray to spy on her husband. When Gittes's photographs of Mr. Mulwray, revealing an apparent affair, are published in the papers, another Mrs. Mulwray, the real one, appears and threatens to sue if Gittes doesn't drop the case immediately.
Gittes pursues the case nevertheless, slowly uncovering a vast conspiracy around water management, state and municipal corruption, land use and real estate, and involving at least one murder, further complicated by the tangled emotional relationships between the primary characters in the film.

Besides the obvious nod to noir films, Chinatown can easily be seen as a Greek tragedy. Certain parts of Chinatown reminded me of Oedipus. Well-meaning characters fight against a cruel fate, but are unable to change it and their struggle against fate leads to their own doom or to the doom of those in their care.

The movie is also seen as an attack on the corruption of the people in power and the corruption of officials. The movie, released during the Watergate era, struck a nerve. The ending, considered by many one of the most powerfully tragic in the history of film, illustrates and incorporates both the above interpretations.
Ariel & Joey's Individual Presentation
One of the individual presentations that I enjoyed the most was Ariel's presentation on the various retellings that the Simpsons incorporate in to their show. My favorite retelling that the Simpsons have dealt with is the retelling of The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. Although I have seen several of these Simpson retellings, I had never seen the retelling of Hamlet and I thought the episode sounded very well done...I guess now I will have to search for it and watch it a few times.
It is always interesting to me to see the various topics that the South Park writers deal with. Their satirical style is best known for its mockery of current issues, religions, and institutions. It is interesting to draw the parrallels between the episodes of the Simpsons, which use literary references by the minute, and the episodes of South Park, which are based on current issues. Maybe by doing so, we could study literature through the Simpsons, which in turn we could view through its parrallels to South Park, which of course we could relate to because it deals with this issues we face daily....I don't know, perhaps I am reaching here, but, all of the links are there.

We have discussed coincidence in this course so often that I decided to Wikipedia the term in order to see what results they would display. They described coincidence as, the description of two or more events or entities occupying the same point in space or time, but colloquially means two or more events or entities possessing unexpected parallels, such as thinking about someone and then receiving an unexpected phone call from that person, when it is clear that there is no ordinary causal connection

They also listed the following types of coincidences;

The phenomenon we loosely term "coincidence" comprises many classes of events, including:
The happy (long-lost lovers rediscover each other by accident)
The amusing (a potato grows in a shape resembling Richard Nixon's profile)
The mundane (neighbors share the same birthday)
The fortunate (a hunch bet on a roulette wheel pays off)
The eerie (a man is hit and killed by a car he'd sold ten years earlier)
The life-saving (a last-minute change in travel plans heads off disaster)
The tragic (sisters are killed when their vehicles collide as they travel to visit each other)
Bend it Like Beckham-Cinderella
I recently was required to view a film about a foreign culture for one of my other courses. I selected to view Bend it Like Beckham, which is a film about a young Indian girl living in England with an amazing talent for playing soccer. The film is different than Cinderella in many many ways, however, as I was watching the film I couldn't help but notice several parrallels. The Indian girl, Jess, is repressed in her talent by both her mother and her sister. Her dad is complacent in allowing the mother and sister to handle the issue of whether or not to allow Jess to play soccer. Her best friend, acts like her fairy godmother, and convinces Jess that she must follow her heart. And the prince charming in this case is her soccer coach who seeks Jess out and convinces her to participate in a soccer match that will be attended by talent scouts...and of course they fall in love. So although there were several differences, the similarities caught my eye enough, that they needed to be mentioned.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My Take On Coincidence

I usually find coincidence to be very annoying. If it doesn't seem like it should happen to me, it bothers me when it does. However, last week I was upset because a very good friend of mine had moved to Arkansas the week before. I was complaining about it because she would be missing the Illsauce (local band) show, that my band was opening for. I was in the middle of getting pissed off about the fact, and I was complianing to my bandmates when I almost walked right in to the exact friend I was complaining about not being there...the house she had lined up in Arkansas wasn't finished when she got there, so she decided to go back to Bozeman for a couple of weeks. I've got to admit, I was a big fan of coincidence that day.
Notes for the second English Exam

Mantra: something that is repeated so often that it puts you in a trance.

Examples of prosody: iambIamb: a unit of meter, one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable.

It only took one smile from you. Was from Casey’s sonnet.
14 lines in a sonnet

Difference between English (Shakespeare) and Italian (Petrarchan)

Lines without end rhymes, iambic pentameter, blank verse,

ShakespeareParadox: statement that is self-contradictory

Masculine and feminine rhymes: one syllable (M, long, strong) two syllable (F, treading, wetting)

Echolalia: sound that babies make for their own pleasure.

Onomatopoeia: steaks sizzles, snakes hiss, as the sound is in nature

We are such stuff as dreams are made of …. Prospero-NOTE:THIS IS WHY I GOT THIS WRONG ON THE TEST.

Esoteric: secret informationAssonance: repetition of vowels

Consonance: repetition of consonancesSesquipedalian: person who uses very long words.
Apocalypse: unveiling, to take the veil off.

University slogan: sonnet: Calieb’s e-journal. “Mountains and Minds” – Gerard Manley Hopkins

Hero formula: the questNuns fret not…/this sonnet is about a sonnet

Author compares nuns to composition of a sonnet

Different roles of Prospero:MagicianScholarTeacherSharmanFather

Who killed King Laius? Justin (Oedipus R Us.)

Who enjoys sex better? Men, women, or Freud?

Powers by Gods, if something is given it can not be taken backTheme of tragedy:To die, 2nd best thingNever to be born, 1st best thing
My Second Memory

My second memory was at the Highland Games in Estes Park, CO. when I was about four years old. We were watching the caber toss which is esentially telephone pole tosssing. I was sitting in the front row on the grass with my mom. This massice giant of a man was in front of me, balancing a telephone pole in his hands. He went to throw it but lost his grip and the pole started falling in to him, he rotated out of the way and the caber fell...right towards me. I don't remember the pole falling, I just remember all of the commotion that occurred afterwards, and I remember being very confused, it is the first memory of fear I have.
My Very First Memory

When I was very young my family travelled to Europe. My very first memory is a glimpse of time from this trip. I remember being in a Gondolla going up a mountain in the Swiss Alps. I don't know which mountain it was, and neither do my parents, because, apparently we went up several. But, I don't remember several mountains, I remember this mountain. My mom was holding the back of my overalls because she was worried that I would fall out of the gondola, but, I just kept leaning my head up against the glass in order to get a better look, "gosh mom". But, for some reason the gondolla came to a sudden halt, and I was thrust even further against the glass, I remember as the gondolla swung backwards and I was left staring directly at the ground. It was like I was flying...I loved it.
I know that this is way past the point, however, I found some random notes on Oedipus, and so I will be posting them.

What do you know now that you didn't know before? And what difference does it make?

The Tempest

Eureka- Epiphany

Amathia- greek for Ignorant

Information -> Transformation -> Education


Oedipus-> 21/24 Hero points.

Oedipus- translated means swollen foot

Orpheus-> searched for immortality

Delphic Oracle -> never tells a lie.
Another Poem

Get With Me Please...
I wrote this on 03/24/2006

Boring my ears off these tear drops are falling from my lobes,
everytime you display all that you don't know,
my only hope is to fall back and revel in the thoughts that I create,
A masterpiece of hate for those who discriminate.
Listen to the sounds of silence plagued by sirens and violence,
no violin to play the soundtract to this broken vile end.
The mistake is in the arrogance we carry ourselves with,
that took the place of confidence no longer will we bail out the helpless.
The rich and the famous, the good and the evil,
the lables, the sponsors...
Are walking billboards people?
And the answer is underneath the steeple that's what everybodys sayin,
murderers and the innocent they all join hands in prayer and,
I'm not berratin religion, I'm stickin up for havin,
a notion that there is no single answer to this madness.

Get with me please,
cause history repeats,
and broken glass will cut your feet
look at the color you bleed.
I dream too...
This is a dream I wrote about that happened in January. And, I'm not going to's freakin me out a little bit.

I was sitting in the booth at a restaurant called Turleys in Boulder, CO. I was sitting with my girlfriend and my dad and I was eating some bacon and eggs, and I must have liked them because I was very happy. In my dream I kept having this really bad feeling that something was wrong because I was happy, that something bad was going to happen.

The reason that this freaked me out is that the last time I was in Boulder, after having the dream, my dad, my girlfriend, and I went out to breakfast. The restaraunt that we were going to go to was closed, and so we went to the nearest guessed it Turleys. While we were ordering and talking I forgot about my dream, however, as soon as my bacon and eggs got there chills ran up my spine. At first I thought it was really cool, and I was happy to try to explain the situation to my dad and my girlfriend, but, they just made fun of me. I got frustrated and I remembered that in the dream I had had a bad feeling that something was going to go awry. So, I tried to just forget about it...but it was coming. Two weeks later my girlfriend for a year and half, and I broke up. These dam dreams will chase you down, and I don't know what the odds of that happening were......wait, yes I do. one in three.

Excerpt From
Little Gidding
(No. 4 of 'Four Quartets')

T.S. Eliot

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

This is an excerpt from the Four Quartets, we talked about it in class, the highlighted section is the section that we analyzed briefly. However, my favorite part of this poem is the very beginning of this section. I know it has become a very overused statement to say that every new beginning is the end of something else. But I still like that idea, everything ends...but if you think about it in the right way everything is a beginning.

So this is my Throw away your trash poem.
I attempted to make it about addicts.
Here goes....

Trashy Poem

Up and Up and Up and Up
Be Yourself, trash other users
Throw away your attention
Up and Up and Up and Up
Be Couteous, and clean up
Users trash users,
clean up
clean up
clean up users.
Up and Up and Up and Up.

Theodore Roethke's
Dolor 1943-1963
I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,
All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplication of lives and objects.
And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.

Red- is noting instances of alliteration
Green- is noting instances of rhyme

The Poem is written in free verse.

The theme of this poem is the condemning of institutions. Roethke has become bored with the monotonous state of affairs that exist under the rule of an institution. He thinks that they produce clones, walking images of everybody else in the world, photocopies, boring and exactly the same. The poem only has two sentences and is very continual and fluid. He could possibly have written it different than a typical sonnet to defy the rules of society's interpretation and expectations. This would support the theme that exists in the poem of originality.

This capture is not hostile in its bind,
Nor is this pain a mortal wound that fell,
Upon this void, the loss was of my mind,
This secret sentence that I cannot spell.

At glance this trance it mirrors closely Hell,
These fires torch my soul but leave no scars,
And with no walls it feels not like a cell,
What kind of jail is this that has no bars.

And off my feet I lose reality,
The strength I find without those chains astounds,
My sight I have but still I cannot see,
My feet for feet the earth I walk for ground.

They think they know, but they do not know me.
For I am yours and in your light I'm found.
this is the poem that I recited to the class

Educated, make an educated statement,
or keep your lips pressed together in the confusion,
cause as smart as you sound in your lullaby, naive to me,
there is no one step solution.

I don't "rap" to attack,
I rap just to see the show.
See emcees live life like you do,
but we take notes,
and we make jokes,
insecure as the next kid in the back of the classrom,
carvin his crush in his desk just to impress the sassoon
wielding fiend of a girl sitting in front of him.
Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Victoria's Secret is still a mystery,
so his vision is a blurry as a two stringed symphony,
conducted by the Armani, I-pod, Audi owning conductor,
who got the mystery woman just so he could say he f--ked her,
plucked her strings...
cause how many rigns could he fit her in at Tiffany,
or maybe at Jensens Jewlers, but still its sick to see,
how many chicken legged KFC, Taco Bells,
never get the Jenny Craig, who will definately go to hell.
So how many visionistic kids are left alone,
when the one liner dropping Abercrombies are getting cloned?
I sit alone in this Matrix-like composition of labels,
brand name after another competing for the table.
Fuck the spotlight we're headed for the world's eigth wonder,
A mall that's a hundred levels over ground,
and another hundred under.

I'm a DC, Element, Nautica, Champion.
With a Shure mic, I'm a sure bet to bet on,
So put your money down on this here IKEA,
with the Sony flat screen we bought, just to say that we forgot its on.
I'm on a bit of a Vicodin, Oxycontin overdrive
drivin in my Nissan pick-up
roll to Victoria's Statement in my Asics, and slip to stick the "pick-up"
in her Malibu and Coke.
See we could care about the Halo playing, X-Box Jockey loners,
but we would rather coast by on an MTV sponsored,
and politically correct joke.
Rip on Bush. But I'd say we're too messed up to handle that arguement,
cause we're all to drunk to dismantle him.
So before we tell our kids bedtime stories about how the state of the nation,
is making us nautious.
Real-lies that it goes beyond the ballot in this obnoxious battle,
where we can all try to be friends...
or sit back and do nothing and accept that all things end.
I have not had the internet out at my house since I moved at the end of January, and I guess I never find the time to do this during the day, so with the deadline approaching I will rummage my notebooks in hopes of finding all of the notes and journal entries I meant to submit.

Monday, January 30, 2006

If this is still a poem
...I am dreamin it
seems like most of this life is a dream.
So life writes its most vivid lines in to my mind,
and I walk on the cracks in their logic,
I've lost it, I'm exhausted,
from trying to hold these bursting and colorful breaths
so they don't stray from the page where i try to contain them.
Its all painless is never painless.
And when I wake from my dreams,
I still feel their sequences reflected in my eyes, in my face
my face, where shame paints Mona Lisa after a dream,
when I don't do the right thing.
my face, where passion's red finger marks are left,
after a lucky dream.
my face, where the dissapointment of a loss
scratches and claws its marks
on my forehead, eyes, mind, body, and other,
it becomes the reason I sometimes say,
it was just a dream.
It was just a dream.
Was it just a dream?
Is this just a dream?
It's a just dream,
a fair dream,
my dream,
my words,
my escape,
my journey,
It is a dream,
It is my break from being painfully aware,
that I am not dreaming anymore.
I dream I live. I dream, I live. I dream. I live.
Happy that no one understands my life,

Monday, January 23, 2006

In the story, "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?", Joyce Carol Oates, tells the story of a female adolescent who feels trapped between the woman that she is growing in to and the girl that she still is. Arnold Friend easily manipulates this situation for his benefit by playing both to her adolescent vanities and her growing responsibilities as a young adult. By complimenting her he appeals to her childlike instincts as the Disney approved Prince Charming. However, by reminding her that, should she refuse to comply with his wishes, her family's safety is in jeopardy, he plays to a woman's instincts to protect her family. Ultimately she becomes scared by Arnold Friend's insistence and motives, but, we do see how easily manipulated Connie is when she feels trapped between where she has been and where she is going.

"...Cinderella escaped from the prince so quickly that he could not follow her. The King's son, had, however, used a stratagem, and had caused the whole staircase to be smeared with pitch, and there, when she ran down, had the maiden's left slipper remained sticking." © 2004 Ted Simonin
Cinderella, Cinderella. There are a number of things that struck me while reading the several different versions of this classic fairytale. The first, and, most obvious, was the degree to which Disney censored the Brothers Grimm tale. Jacob and Wilhelm, must have rolled in their graves a little when the fairy-godmother popped out of nowhere and made everything better. The Disney "world" is much like the tourist destination, a land where everything is more comfortable. Children would have flinched at the sight of an evil step sister cutting off the heal of her foot, but it would have taught them a valuable lesson about vanity. However, we are more comfortable with watching comically clumsy and ugly girls shove their feet into an undersized glass slipper. Its hard for me to believe the finger should be pointed directly at Disney. America is a nation that thrives on censorship and rating systems, its the nation as a whole that would have refused to stomache the "grim" and morbid scenes of Cinderella.

Its All Over Now Baby Blue
You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,Crying like a fire in the sun.Look out the saints are comin' throughAnd it's all over now, Baby Blue.The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.Take what you have gathered from coincidence.The empty-handed painter from your streetsIs drawing crazy patterns on your sheets.This sky, too, is folding under youAnd it's all over now, Baby Blue.All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home.All your reindeer armies, are all going home.The lover who just walked out your doorHas taken all his blankets from the floor.The carpet, too, is moving under youAnd it's all over now, Baby Blue.Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you.The vagabond who's rapping at your doorIs standing in the clothes that you once wore.Strike another match, go start anewAnd it's all over now, Baby Blue.