by Joshua Parker
When I was twelve years old my great grandfather passed away at the age of 96. For as long as I knew him he was living in an assisted living home, and slowly but surely deteriorating. My finial three memories of him are the last time I saw him, in which he insisted I was a girl, which wouldn’t have been so bad if my cousins were not there and tormented me with this fact until months later, the last time my mom saw him in which I refused to go because “I had better things to do”, and the day he died. My younger sister and I had just returned from school and I was eager to meet up with some friends and do twelve year old things. My mom called my sister and me into the living room and sat us down. This had never happened before and I was rather anxious. “Your great grandfather passed this morning, he was asleep, he didn’t suffer, do you have any questions?” My eyes welled for the man I had barely known. I choked and sob for my mistakes. I had never lost anyone until this point in my life and I had deemed my twelve year old life too important only weeks before to see him one last time. This is the moment I first felt empty. I left my house went to a friends and through a fog of events had my first fist fight. I tell you this because the empty feeling never really left. It isn’t constant but it wiggles its ugly face into my day to day often enough. It was particularly difficult when I was in high school, and my teenage angst added to the severity of my problems. When I was sixteen a friend of mine called my father and told him that she was afraid that I was going to hurt myself. That was the first time that he and I had a pleasant conversation in a long time (I had a lot of angst) , and it ended with an embrace, tears pouring from four eyes, and “I love you Josh.” Within a few weeks I was in therapy. That only lasted for a few months; it just is not for me. The reason for this confession is because books were and are my escape. The reason literature is important to me is because when I do not see a reason to get out of bed in the morning, or my chest feels hollow and as if it is one continuous mass at the same time I was able to escape into the words and worlds others had created. I could sit on the couch opposite my mom and dad and read a book. Books may have been enough to stop me from following through on my thoughts of suicide when I was a teen. Even now when I struggle to find a point in life I can lose myself for a while.
by Kaily Daida
There once was a wizard who gave each of the royal children a bag of tiny balls.
“Make of them what you will. Such is the characteristic bestowed upon your gift,” he said.
The eldest prince brought his black spheres to his artillery, where they learned to explode the balls from the ends of barrels. He brought down many foes and ruled his part of the kingdom with fear.
The eldest princess used her golden globes as a fiat currency. She stored the value of her land’s goods and services. Although they were objects without intrinsic value, her golden orbs became highly prized.
The second prince planted his brown balls in the soil and promoted the growth of plants. His land was the most bountiful in all of the kingdom.
The second princess illuminated the darkest alleys with her white marbles. From the shadows manifested the plights of orphans and widows. She destroyed the feudal system and built guilds of free people. A middle class developed and created a prosperous economy.
The last prince placed his red balls in glass cases and told his subjects that they were the eyes of god. His subjects worshiped his god dutifully.
The last princess used her green globes as a token of recognition. Possessors of a green ball were considered to be part of a distinguished society. She held secretive councils to discuss the affairs of the earthly and heavenly realms.
If you are reading this story, then you too have been given a bag of colored marbles. You hold the sovereignty to learn what you wish and say what you think. Through literacy, you can be an agere, someone that produces an effect. Literature is what one makes of it.
by Jane Mandley
In all my younger years of loving Jane Austen, I have never doubted my equal—if not greater—love of Mr. Darcy. Then a critical feminist lens was adopted through my undergraduate years and I found myself swimming in a sea of literary theory and social critiques in academia. While having previously read five of the six completed novels cover to cover, most of my more recent Austen-indulgences came in the form of the films, and I began to question whether embracing period-romances was backtracking in my current feminist world—that is, one seeking for social, employment, political, etc. equality with men. Elizabeth Bennet, there can be no doubt, is the most celebrated of all of Austen’s heroines for her forward ways of thinking, speaking, and behaving that reinforce ideals of our modern woman who should be free to do as she pleases. But in the end of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth “succumbs” to traditional marriage. With a historical perspective of the reality that women’s financial security rested solely on men in Austen’s day, a modern, feminist audience cannot blame Elizabeth for making due with what her world has to offer. However, her choice of husband can still be critiqued. Is Mr. Darcy truly worthy of such a woman as Elizabeth?—or in other words, is Mr. Darcy all he’s cracked up to be? Through a close reading of feminist attitudes toward women in the novel, Darcy proves to not only become a progressive husband by the end, but solidifies this non-traditional treatment of wives and marriage by his actions and statements throughout the entire novel.
by Zachary Green
And I don’t think you should lie to me with any nature poems
because you know you don’t think sand is beautiful
unless you are in a good mood, which you never are
That sweet spot in a relationship where y’all fit together like an old pair of shoes,
you may lack a sole or general structural integrity,
smell bad from the years of decay and sweat, and you might not like being seen in public with one another,
but hey they are always there when you get home.
On donor recipients and love: I read once that cross gender organs fail at almost the same rate as cross species organs. This is because the hearts of men and women are intrinsically different.
Confrontations are a sign of misunderstandings that lead to rash, often times displaced comments. Sparking such confrontation could be a simple gesture either physical or verbal and without much consideration. Conflict can be acquired by way of individual duals or mass battles. Now, since this is a piece only meant for simple prose I will peer on the brightness of language! A confrontation often times neglects either side of the argument. Therefore, in order to have confrontations cease, we as individuals need to lay our voice to side for a moment, and listen to the opposing end. Language and various terminology we use today inadvertently shape our opinions and understanding of one another through utterances that influence our views. Language is a cultural phenomenon subject to region, ethnicity, class and gender. Language in the instance of confrontation could also refer to body language or verbal language. The idea of speaking in different social contexts help uncover social relationships in any given conflict. Language and culture intersect making way for a plethora of misconceptions that lead to shaping our conscious views of one another.
For Instance, placing a “the” in front of the word ‘Americans’ (the Americans) as opposed to saying simply ‘Americans’ this concept deals with unconscious language discrimination. By placing a ‘the’ in front of the term that is automatically separating the speaker from the group without even realizing. Now that is not to say people don’t do this intentionally. However, when having two distinct perspectives we need to tread lightly and think 70 times prior to speaking or making any kind of physical gesture. Humans have the ability to do much damage in a matter of seconds this could be done with simple terms or physical behaviors. While discussing anything we need to make sure our speech reflects respect for all regardless of difference. In doing so, we become aware of our surroundings and seek first to understand rather than be understood. The power of language either physical or verbal is definitely the cause for all conflicts within any given society.
For example, in some cultures pointing a foot at an individual while sitting could be reason for major argument that will possibly lead to being shunned by society. This action, in a diverse community would seem absurd but think about it on a logical level, a foot is to be used for stability the bottom of the foot is always on the floor by pointing a foot at someone it is as if implying the person is below them or unworthy of respect. This act of common respect would not be known in a society of differing cultures but logically it makes sense. Obviously pointing a foot is not as deep an issue as verbal or physical assault/insult but it is a detailed example that has potential to lead to something greater. However menial, this gesture might be it is still a physical action that could lead to an averse, reaction.
Another example, would be verbal language manipulation such as, political texts or media outlets. Political forums or texts don’t get straight to the point. Politicians obfuscate the meaning of words deeming the messages unclear for average citizens. As George Orwell mentioned in his essay “Politics and the English Language,” people use dying metaphors to mask real meaning. Orwell explains that there are two common qualities to language discrimination; staleness of imagery and lack of precision. Political writing is likened to bad writing. According to Orwell, whenever this is not true the political writer is usually a rebel of some sort. Politicians are usually repetitive in hopes of winning over the audience with terms that are constantly used to evoke a sense of hostility towards the subjects whom they (the politicians) speak out against.
The obfuscation of meaning is a prime example of verbal language that will lead major societies to battle one another via contrived manipulation by loud voices. In today’s world people use language to lash out on specific groups of people as we’ve seen throughout history. However, today due to “free” speech people have virtually broken every obligation to respect. Now, it is no longer something to talk about when an individual is blatantly disrespectful or discriminatory against one group of people. People today have broken virtually every limit they would have once adhered to. It is not in society’s interest to be this limitless and without bounds of moral whether they be physical or verbal. Our society has reached a point where nothing is mediated. No form of speech is not acceptable and no form of behavior is looked down upon.
From first-hand observations I have noticed that society is regressing rather than progressing. It is the 21st century people may view the new world as a “modern” seemingly “acceptant” society when in actuality it is that much more discriminatory. The world today looks down upon morals, and any creed based beliefs. The deliverance of speech against those who deem themselves “conservative” by class are the ones getting a push back from society. Free language no longer means an attempt to examine or bring to light realistic events that will have us as individuals think outside the box. Critical thinking today means a mainstream outlook on deeming all traditional behavior or speech as an old closed minded lifestyle which has no place in the “modern” world.
The Art of confrontation lies in the essence of being able to neutralize or set ablaze a minor miscommunication. Many would oppose this notion with abiding by simple human moral by thinking, confrontation should not be seen as an artistic behavior. However, does argument and confrontation not take much talent and individual uniqueness to implement? Realistically every confrontation needs some kind of talent in order to enact. If a person were to focus only on the heuristics of confrontation, we could potentially see the vital influence it has on culture today. The process of learning the eloquence of confrontational gestures is what makes confrontation an art. Confrontation today, has led to an idiosyncratic talent which has long been overlooked, for centuries. This is due to the negative connotations associated with argument or misunderstandings. As difficult as it is to see this kind of ability as a generative ideal for emotional exchange it is often defined as anything but, art. Now, of course, this whole piece regards the “Hegelian Dialectic” which is the idea that social and political structures provide the framework guiding our “thoughts and actions into conflicts that ultimately lead into a predetermined solution.” The aesthetics of art are combined with the pragmatist philosophies of moving emotions to higher grounds. This is not astonishing at all and basically sums up the idea that conflict is seen as an art form. As a John Dewey suggests, art is any aesthetic process. Perhaps, we can dive into the aesthetic of confrontation in the coming chapters.
Rhetoric, or rhetorical process needs to be identified in such a manner where the combination of language and manipulating the syntax of the terminology used creates a leveling between the “discourse community” and the writer or speaker. As a Daniel Fogarty argues in his piece Roots for a New Rhetoric “new rhetoric must expand beyond the art of persuasion.” Well, let us dissect this further: the art of persuasion is basically a sub-category to the art of confrontation. Both groups meet their own agendas by promoting expressive language through fantastical theories to further their own ideals, by way of indirect subversion of writer/speaker with audience and reader. This scoring of language leads to confrontation via any device.
A free based world today simply means that we can utter all absurdities so long as they are not in congruence with any rules that would use respect as a mediating structure. I chose to write this informal but informative prose piece on language because it is something that has been on my mind. It is important for all of us to become aware of what is really occurring in our world today. Although, writing can also be used to limit writers themselves, by using structure or criteria that would focus their topics on a certain type of rhetoric. Confrontations in today’s world might not even be defined as opposing arguments, come to think of it. All confrontations seem to be subject to regions or certain groups to define them as such.