Random

MY BEST LIVEJOURNAL ENTRIES FOR SPRING 07'

The two selected entries are:

Week 7 - Sept 5th (D.H LAWRENCE)

Week 12 - October 17th (Under Milk Wood)


 For this weeks entry I have decided to compose a piece of poetry inspired from reading “Odour of Chrysanthemums” answering question:

 
b) Describe the impact on you of your favourite piece of writing from either Woolf, Mansfield or Lawrence (you may do this in the form of a poem if you wish)
 
My Poem will follow a similar pattern to Lawrence’s prose; it’s called “The Lilies”
 
The Lilies
 
Mr. Cheltenham worked on the railroads,
While Mrs. Cheltenham worked at home handling washing loads.
They loved each other more than two devoted young lovers
Whose gaze would entrance even the most prudent of followers.
        Then there was Mary, there dearly beloved child of eight,
...Beloved was somewhat questionable
She had the appearance of an angel, eyes bluer than the tropical Caribbean
Definite and refined, smooth blonde fair hair, pure skin, purer than the monks of St. Bertin!
 
“Mummy! Mummy! Dad is coming home!” she would say as she
Eagerly awaited her fathers arrival from a hard days labour
“Darling, I’m tired” – an excuse that echoed throughout her mind
One day she picked some lilies, vibrant and luscious they were
Their beauty struck her, like cupids arrow strikes lovers
Their energy resonated deep within her, connecting her to the secret that lie dormant within nature, that truth – but too little to late it was
            Mary was suffering from pneumonia
It’s grip tightened on her week-by-week, day-by-day, and hour-by-hour
It had crushed, disjointed her!
She was growing weaker
Weaker in the flesh
Weaker in the mind
            But weaker in the spirit….
Nevertheless to her dismay, her loving parents, loving was somewhat questionable
Never heeded to her physical, or spiritual call
“Help! Help!    Mother!”
            I thought I had done it!
            I thought I had revealed my pain
But it was my soul, urging me on, crying out to my flesh to express my pain
 
“Honey, Mummy’s doing the washing, go play outside”
“Mary, read this new book that I bought you while Daddy has a rest”
            and so much more, denied – like the Peter – I wept
But it wasn’t me who had to weep, it was those facades!
Who are full of love but have no love to offer!
“Mary, my dear, what’s the matter?
Oh! How I have longed to hear those words!
It was my Aunt Alexandra who had uttered those words of pure gold
Answering my internal cries. She has understood me, she had taken me to the general practioner, but it was too late, my physical pain had won, I had wrestled with it, but death was inevitable…
 
“My dear Mary! I’ve been such a fool!”
As Mr. & Mrs. Cheltenham observed the body of their daughter in the coffin
Still preserved in innocence and beauty, they gazed in awe more than grief
Her vibrancy still resonated within them as if she was alive!
Mary’s mother caressed her forehead
Their skin connected, with slow hypnotic movement
“How could you! You have acted foolishly!” Aunty Alexander stated
Mrs. Cheltenham discovered that she had denied her daughter
“I myself have died”
“I have committed a murder, worse than the criminals of London penitentiary”
The smell of the lilies
The power and awe of their presence
            Seems to have calmed me with an uncanny exposure. 
                            
                                                                      Anthony Tassone
The poem illustrates the lack of move by Mary's own parents, how they were concered with an assumption of their daughter as just an ignorant young girl. However her conscience is far more profound and spiritual developed than that of her parents - who are concerned with their superficial lives. Like the mothers daughter in the "Odour of Chrysanthemums" the child embodies the innocence and beauty of character that is lacking in her parenst and within the conscience of society. The lilies are a metphor of how Mary has connected with nature and her innocence has picked up on the wonderment and the beauty that is found in nature. Like the mother in Lawrences prose she feels nothing but guilt and regret that she was wrong - like the mother in my poem, her assumption of her husband as a pub booser was far from the truth. "She had denied him what he was - she saw it now" (Lawrence 2257) summarises the same theme of my poem. Through Mary's death, she comes to the realisation that she never knew her daughter, never had time to be with her caught up in her own life.

Anyway, thats my ranting

Have Fun!!!

Ciao
 
 
 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

Week 7 - Comment on Mariams Blog

Hey Mariam

Great insights into Virginia Woolf's work. I believe that Woolf had many demons within her that she had to face, internally and externally. The external really created and spurred on the demons that she had to face and the line you state “phantom” and of killing “The Angel in the House” (Woolf 2153) is one of the demons she has the face. This patriarchal system, with the notion that women are merely 'owned' by men (typical of the 19th and 20th century) really lowers the spiritual and intellectual possibilities of women. A woman with a free spirit and a mind of her own is a danger to the conventions of the society, just like Winston and Julia are challenging the control of Big Brother in 1984. Woolf, like Orwell, had this vision of working from the core of our conscience, what Percy Shelley called a "Blithe Spirit" in the poem "To a Sky-Lark". Essentially this carefree, un-controlled atmosphere is something that Woolf wants to shout out to all women across the world.

"Moreover, Woolf further illustrates the ability of her imagination to expand and delve into possibilities and freedoms"

So true. The power of the imagination is second to none. I cant remember the quote but Einstein said something about the power of the imagination as the integral part of human existence. It allows us to break free from all our pressures and demons into a world that is boundless - what Id like to call a 'utopia'

Anyways, keep up the great work :)

Ciao

 
Week 12 - October 17th (Under Milk Wood)

Under Milk Wood

a) Imagining you are a theatre critic attending the opening night of the play, write a review of
either Under Milk Wood or Arcadia?


 
What an Experience! I’m yet to grasp, or to make tangible the rich imagery of Thomas’ artistry. In his search for innocence Thomas plunges us into the small town of ‘llareggub’, whose name spelt backwards spells ‘buggerall’. Perhaps this is Thomas’ critique on human society with the scenarios and character situations purely satirical and quite preposterous. Nevertheless Thomas’ excellent use of language creates some kind of alternate world that whilst captures the reality of a world we have come to know but through our laughter at the triviality of the scenario’s we come to realise our own actions in terms of…are we like the characters in the radio play? What makes us human? Are we conscious of the true meaning of life or are we dwelling within our subconscious blind to the things that really matter in our life.
 
In the situation of Mr. Waldo we see Thomas’ underlying meaning through creating an anti-thesis. What I mean here is that Thomas creates contradictory statements and images. His images blend into eachother through his free-flowing language but at the same time they collide. Thomas’ techniques create conflict in the various scenarios but he juxtaposes sounds, vowels and consonants to create a physicality, which pierces the conscious mind. In short, Thomas’ language is a ‘hybrid’ in an attempt to reach the unconscious mind. An example is “Mr. Benyon, in butcher’s bloodied apron, spring heels down Coronation Street, a finger, not his own, in his mouth. Straight faced in his cunning sleep he pulls the legs of his dreams and…” (Under Milk Wood 14). Getting back to Mr. Waldo, we see how he is physically a grown man, not the most successful but he has the mentality of a 14 year old. When he says “hush love hush! I’m widower Waldo now” (Under Milk Wood 8) it’s almost as if he sounds like a little teenager who’s playing little romance games. Thomas is definitely trying to get into touch with an innocence that is lost in adults that is only evident within children, an innocence that was lost in the horrors of World War 2.
 
But above all from my viewing of the play, the incomprehensibility of his language with its lack of simplicity really stood out for me. I guess this is what Thomas wants us to be concerned with, as he probably wants us to take his play literally. Thomas’s language demands, or should I say begs us to be studied closely and understood as if we were studying a nucleus under a microscope. Look at this line:
 
“Listen. It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning, in bonnet and broach and bombazine black, butterfly choker and bootlace bow, coughing like nanny goats, sucking mintoes, forty winking hallelujah…” (Under Milk Wood 2)
 
The line demands to be understood. The imagery that is gained is only consistent with the comprehension of the language. For example, the chill squat chapel conveys a chapel, filled with a cold and sterile atmosphere (the word squat is interesting, you visualise people crouching because of the severity of the cold). Bombazine (fabric), butterfly choker (women’s neck accessory) and bootlace bow (bow on shoes) create further imagery of the people in the chapel who are falling asleep (forty winking) to the hymns, with sounds of people coughing. Its language that makes you isolates each word. Truly amazing!
 
Whilst Llareggub is a dreamtime reality, a melting pot of different scenarios steeped in triviality and conflict it is the collision of the dream state and the conscious state. Thomas is showing us, through his language, the deficiencies of humanity that make us align our personalities to the characters to the play in the hope that we can transform our own conscience. In other words, if we look at Miss Price as an example who has erotic fantasies of Mog Edwards (lines like “ I will warm your heart by the fire so that you can slip it in under your when the shop is closed” (Under Milk Wood 5)), we can view the imperfections of the characters to change our own lives. In a sense we learn from their trivialities and mistakes to help our own.
 
Thomas Vs. Morrison...

 
Thomas, as modernist artists tries to seek this inner truth of consciousness. The play is set against the aftermath of one of the greatest catastrophes – or should we say, one of the darkest eras’s of mankind, of human history. Thomas deliberately adds touches of satire and comedy to evoke sense of happiness and joy whilst yet uncovering some sort of inner truth. When I saw the play I immediately was drawn back to the human experiences of Jim Morrison from ‘The Doors’. What can we say about him, a profound mystical man and best, and maniac junkie and psychotic at worst, similar to Thomas! Thomas and Morrison are almost parallel in experience and in ideas. Like Thomas, Morrison aimed to unravel some sort of truth that was just eating away at his unconscious, desperate to break free into their conscious world. As Morrison puts it from William Blake “opening up the doors to perception” (The Doors Movie, 1991)
 
Jim Morrison’s language is so poetic that it creates another world of mysticism (connecting to a higher source), in a sense he creates his own utopia. Morrison, it is argued, was a poet who was ill suited to the life of a rock and roll star in the turbulent sixties. He creates a dream world where his language brings the reality to life. He compares music to “black liquid chrome filling the night” (The Doors: 30th Anniversary DVD), metaphorically giving music an unusual yet powerful ability to fill and spread through the conscious mind in order to reach the unconscious. Much like Thomas's use of language and language devices!
 
 The Doors - One of my favourite bands. Like Thomas, their modernist approach in finding truth by tapping into the uncsconscious was something that is truly remarkable.

That’s my rant
 
Cheers
 
Last week of Uni! Yay
 

Enjoy some of these clips...

The Doors  - Touch Me   
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PECk9A-07Pw

The Doors - Love me two times
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCz9VRuZv0E

(check out the line "mean and rueful of the western dream": sounds like Conrads critique on imperialism) 

____________________________________________________________________________________

Week 12 - Comment on Marcs Blog

Hey Marc
 
I’m glad to see you imagined yourself as Captain Cat. You connected so well with the character during our performance and you drew our emotion of his dreams of past colleagues and affair with Rosey Probert. Coincidently, whilst the whole play takes place in a dream reality that tries to draw our innocence, captain cat tries to draw out hidden desires that resonate within his consciousness through the power of dreams. I like how you said:
 
"To inhabit the world of this play makes me feel like I’m in some other world, a world that takes on metaphysical assertions. I feel like I’m dead, but at the same time alive. I feel like I have all around me other worlds at my disposal, where I can take knowledge anytime I please. It feels like I’m inside the surreal world of an amazing poet/artist, where music and sounds juxtapose imagery, and where I have absolutely no conception of time"
 
Especially for me, in my connection with Mr. Waldo, he is in another world of his own. He is shrouded in innocence, dreaming of all the women he had relations with in the past. What he doesn’t realise is that love involves some sort of metaphysical element that transcends the reality. When these women come into his imagination, they actually haunt him as he took these relationships as a little game. Whilst the conflicts of his mind are brought into reality from the dream state, they show how innocence is still very much alive in all of us, but it takes effort unsurp it from within ourselves. So essentially Thomas' pursuit in finding innocence is that innocence has been lost from humanity, but through conflicts and various human activities, innocence can be evoked from deep within us. It has just been suppressed from the horrors of WW2.
 
Cheers
___________________________
Thanks MG
Random

WEEK 12 - Under Milk Wood

Under Milk Wood

a) Imagining you are a theatre critic attending the opening night of the play, write a review of
either Under Milk Wood or Arcadia?


 
What an Experience! I’m yet to grasp, or to make tangible the rich imagery of Thomas’ artistry. In his search for innocence Thomas plunges us into the small town of ‘llareggub’, whose name spelt backwards spells ‘buggerall’. Perhaps this is Thomas’ critique on human society with the scenarios and character situations purely satirical and quite preposterous. Nevertheless Thomas’ excellent use of language creates some kind of alternate world that whilst captures the reality of a world we have come to know but through our laughter at the triviality of the scenario’s we come to realise our own actions in terms of…are we like the characters in the radio play? What makes us human? Are we conscious of the true meaning of life or are we dwelling within our subconscious blind to the things that really matter in our life.
 
In the situation of Mr. Waldo we see Thomas’ underlying meaning through creating an anti-thesis. What I mean here is that Thomas creates contradictory statements and images. His images blend into eachother through his free-flowing language but at the same time they collide. Thomas’ techniques create conflict in the various scenarios but he juxtaposes sounds, vowels and consonants to create a physicality, which pierces the conscious mind. In short, Thomas’ language is a ‘hybrid’ in an attempt to reach the unconscious mind. An example is “Mr. Benyon, in butcher’s bloodied apron, spring heels down Coronation Street, a finger, not his own, in his mouth. Straight faced in his cunning sleep he pulls the legs of his dreams and…” (Under Milk Wood 14). Getting back to Mr. Waldo, we see how he is physically a grown man, not the most successful but he has the mentality of a 14 year old. When he says “hush love hush! I’m widower Waldo now” (Under Milk Wood 8) it’s almost as if he sounds like a little teenager who’s playing little romance games. Thomas is definitely trying to get into touch with an innocence that is lost in adults that is only evident within children, an innocence that was lost in the horrors of World War 2.
 
But above all from my viewing of the play, the incomprehensibility of his language with its lack of simplicity really stood out for me. I guess this is what Thomas wants us to be concerned with, as he probably wants us to take his play literally. Thomas’s language demands, or should I say begs us to be studied closely and understood as if we were studying a nucleus under a microscope. Look at this line:
 
“Listen. It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning, in bonnet and broach and bombazine black, butterfly choker and bootlace bow, coughing like nanny goats, sucking mintoes, forty winking hallelujah…” (Under Milk Wood 2)
 
The line demands to be understood. The imagery that is gained is only consistent with the comprehension of the language. For example, the chill squat chapel conveys a chapel, filled with a cold and sterile atmosphere (the word squat is interesting, you visualise people crouching because of the severity of the cold). Bombazine (fabric), butterfly choker (women’s neck accessory) and bootlace bow (bow on shoes) create further imagery of the people in the chapel who are falling asleep (forty winking) to the hymns, with sounds of people coughing. Its language that makes you isolates each word. Truly amazing!
 
Whilst Llareggub is a dreamtime reality, a melting pot of different scenarios steeped in triviality and conflict it is the collision of the dream state and the conscious state. Thomas is showing us, through his language, the deficiencies of humanity that make us align our personalities to the characters to the play in the hope that we can transform our own conscience. In other words, if we look at Miss Price as an example who has erotic fantasies of Mog Edwards (lines like “ I will warm your heart by the fire so that you can slip it in under your when the shop is closed” (Under Milk Wood 5)), we can view the imperfections of the characters to change our own lives. In a sense we learn from their trivialities and mistakes to help our own.
 
Thomas Vs. Morrison...

 
Thomas, as modernist artists tries to seek this inner truth of consciousness. The play is set against the aftermath of one of the greatest catastrophes – or should we say, one of the darkest eras’s of mankind, of human history. Thomas deliberately adds touches of satire and comedy to evoke sense of happiness and joy whilst yet uncovering some sort of inner truth. When I saw the play I immediately was drawn back to the human experiences of Jim Morrison from ‘The Doors’. What can we say about him, a profound mystical man and best, and maniac junkie and psychotic at worst, similar to Thomas! Thomas and Morrison are almost parallel in experience and in ideas. Like Thomas, Morrison aimed to unravel some sort of truth that was just eating away at his unconscious, desperate to break free into their conscious world. As Morrison puts it from William Blake “opening up the doors to perception” (The Doors Movie, 1991)
 
Jim Morrison’s language is so poetic that it creates another world of mysticism (connecting to a higher source), in a sense he creates his own utopia. Morrison, it is argued, was a poet who was ill suited to the life of a rock and roll star in the turbulent sixties. He creates a dream world where his language brings the reality to life. He compares music to “black liquid chrome filling the night” (The Doors: 30th Anniversary DVD), metaphorically giving music an unusual yet powerful ability to fill and spread through the conscious mind in order to reach the unconscious. Much like Thomas's use of language and language devices!
 
 The Doors - One of my favourite bands. Like Thomas, their modernist approach in finding truth by tapping into the uncsconscious was something that is truly remarkable.

That’s my rant
 
Cheers
 
Last week of Uni! Yay
 

Enjoy some of these clips...

The Doors  - Touch Me   
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PECk9A-07Pw

The Doors - Love me two times
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCz9VRuZv0E

(check out the line "mean and rueful of the western dream": sounds like Conrads critique on imperialism) 

____________________________________________________________________________________

Week 12 - Comment on Marcs Blog

Hey Marc
 
I’m glad to see you imagined yourself as Captain Cat. You connected so well with the character during our performance and you drew our emotion of his dreams of past colleagues and affair with Rosey Probert. Coincidently, whilst the whole play takes place in a dream reality that tries to draw our innocence, captain cat tries to draw out hidden desires that resonate within his consciousness through the power of dreams. I like how you said:
 
"To inhabit the world of this play makes me feel like I’m in some other world, a world that takes on metaphysical assertions. I feel like I’m dead, but at the same time alive. I feel like I have all around me other worlds at my disposal, where I can take knowledge anytime I please. It feels like I’m inside the surreal world of an amazing poet/artist, where music and sounds juxtapose imagery, and where I have absolutely no conception of time"
 
Especially for me, in my connection with Mr. Waldo, he is in another world of his own. He is shrouded in innocence, dreaming of all the women he had relations with in the past. What he doesn’t realise is that love involves some sort of metaphysical element that transcends the reality. When these women come into his imagination, they actually haunt him as he took these relationships as a little game. Whilst the conflicts of his mind are brought into reality from the dream state, they show how innocence is still very much alive in all of us, but it takes effort unsurp it from within ourselves. So essentially Thomas' pursuit in finding innocence is that innocence has been lost from humanity, but through conflicts and various human activities, innocence can be evoked from deep within us. It has just been suppressed from the horrors of WW2.
 
Cheers
 
Random

Guitar heaven..

Hey all

Ive recently been practisin non-stop for my bands concert comin' up on December 16th! I can't wait! Im playin Bass guitar and are covering some legendary bands and music from Dire Straits, The Sunnboys, Tina Arena, Averil Lavigne, Pat Benetar, Stevie Nix, Joss Stone and many others. But I've lately been drouling over some guitars from Turramurra Music where I get all my musical equipment..here are some:  

Random

WEEK 9 - LJ Entry

4. a)  How relevant do you think Orwell's views on the abuse of language are in todays society? 


In studying 1984, Shooting an Elephant and Politics and the English Language Orwells message definitely has a place in contemporary society. Newspeak in 1984 is a key allergory for the destruction of language as it induces a state of unconsciousness - essentially meaning we a drawn into using language that is "tacked together like the sections of a pre-frabicated hen-house" (Orwell 2386). 

Since the party control society, Newspeak is its weapon of the demise of thought through narrowing down the use of words. The Party, headed by the mysterious Big Brother has created a dystopia in which the workers of the Ministry of Truth, Love etc. contribute and conform to the society Big Brother has created. In effect history, language and the arts have been taken out of society leaving its citzens dead, unconscience and unable to liberate their minds through expression. He "who controls the past controls the future: who controls the past controls the present" (Orwell 37) is a powerful insight that I believe is especially relevant to todays society as with powerful governments and influential politics in their aims for power and conquest, contolling society is control of the past, present and future! - I mean afterall with all that power, who knows what a politician may do to justify and action, or make themselves look angelic by changing a detail of history for example.

The power and impact of language is something of grave importance. Orwell uses the example of a dying metaphor which has "lost all evocative power and are merely used because the save people the trouble of inventing phrases themselves" (Orwell 2386). This ties into Orwells simile of a phrases tacked together to that of a pre-fabricated hen-house as when we say something we make reference to ridiculous metahors that have lost the imagery, poetic nature and impact that language innately possess. The metaphor "toe the line" (Orwell 2386), how rediculous, realistically how does the imagery of the line tie into a point a person can make? The phrase is one that is already made and is one people refer to to avoid the 'mental strain'  of inventing one on their own accord. This ties into the line from 1984 when Syme says "Dont you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to reduce the range of thought?" (Orwell 54). Essentially through reducing vocabualry we systematically lose our capacity to understand the full meaning of words. Syme says "If you have a word like "good", what need is there for a word like "bad"? Ungood will do just as well..." (Orwell 54), which irradicates other similiar positive-like words like splendid and excellent as he goes on to say. For example Splendid means 'magnificant' and just narrowing the connotation of the word good to the word good eliminates every other shade of the word. 

As most people are aware the most obvious, shall I call it - abuse of the english language is evident in MSN conversations. I mean ever since Ive read all three Orwell works Ive taken more notice and concern for how stuffed up it is! This abuse of language "really put the hook in me" as Willard says (Apocalypse Now: Willard).   I think the consequences of this abuse has a twofold effect:

1. Narrowing of Thought -  When responding to this notion, a certain quote comes to mind from 1984
                   "War, it will be seen, not only accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychological way" (Orwell 200)

I believe the destruction of language is a war, a war waged by political elites to manipulate, pervert and distort the very beauty that language naturally possess and use it to meet an end. This end , is used to manipulate the minds of humanity in order for politicians to achieve their own desires for power. The line "Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them" (Orwell 2390) really justifies the point I'm trying to make as politicians never answer in a straight YES and NO, they always beat around the bush with vague, un-directed language that really leaves you with no satisfication.
    
2. Destroys the effect of Words - 

In the use of 'MSN Language' as mentioned above how many times do we try to abreviate words with examples:

ppl = people
lol = laugh out loud (yes I know Ive used it to, but its so corny, stupid and really, a modern day chilche now
brb = be right back

There are plenty more but how rediculous are they? I mean when you really focus on these phrases they narrow are vocabulary. When we are introduced to them we being to use them following a created 'convention', if you will. I feel this related to 'Shooting an Elephant' where Orwell's persona was trapped or constricted into "trying to please the natives" to what they "expect of him" (Orwell 2382). In a sense if we adopt this type of language we constrict ourselves to this form of language, use it to please others since everyone adopts the attitude "why write more?" and finally we suffer from limited vocabulary and terrible spelling!!!

Well thats my two cents (another stupid cliche!)

Cheers

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Week 9  - Comment on Mariams Blog

Hi Mariam

I loved your insight:

To me, one of the most essential insights of the novel ‘1984’ is the complete unconscious subversion of the mind to Imperialist systems and how oppression reduces people’s power of thinking ability. Orwell uses the power and manipulation of language throughout his novel to depict how a society can exert so much control over a people that their ability to reason and REBEL becomes dormant.

When language is destroyed and abused the first thing that becomes 'victim' is our thoughts. The Rebel in us, as you point out Mariam, becomes suppressed since we loose the capacity to reason logically since we cant find the language to express what we feel!!! In a sense we become 'dumbed' down so that politicians can carry out there aims in invading a country, or waging war etc etc. We become unconscious to the fact we are being controlled since our expression is extremely limited. Language destroys what makes us human - the capacity to think freely, and express ourselves cleary.   

 

Random

Some interesting music..

Hey all

I was listening to JTV saturdays about two weeks ago and one particular song caught my attention. It's a band called 'The Go-Betweens', who were around from the 1980's and are still making music today. The song is called 'Cattle & Cane', for those who havent heard it. The guitar riff was just so captivating with its unusual construction and textures brings this feel of melancholoy. the same experience I felt when reading 1984.  It hightlights the monotony we face in life in the form of a schoolboy coming home, to a house of 'tin and timber', an image filled with poverty undertones. The song also highlights how we often waste our imagination, our creative energies through lifes endless monotony. I guess to some extent this shares some similarity and intertextuality to 1984, and Big Brother creates a society with aimed at control of the imagination and suppression of creativity. This is acheieved by exterminating the use of expression as the quote "writing wasnt illegal, it was punishable by death" (Orwell). "i recall a bigger britgher world, a world of books" (The Go-Betweens) sounds like the realisation Winston comes to in wondering whether life had always been like this. Thats why he is obsessed with that little object he buys from Mr. Charringtons pawn shop, since it embodies a world that is unlike the one he is living in. When I heard this song it immediately made connections to 1984, its really weird haha.

The Go-Betweens - "Cattle and Cane"

I recall a schoolboy coming home
through fields of cane
to a house of tin and timber
and in the sky
a rain of falling cinders
from time to time
the waste memory-wastes
I recall a boy in bigger pants
like everyone
just waiting for a chance
his father's watch
he left it in the showers
from time to time
the waste memory-wastes
I recall a bigger brighter world
a world of books
and silent times in thought
and then the railroad
the railroad takes him home
through fields of cattle
through fields of cane
from time to time
the waste memory-wastes
the waste memory-wastes
further, longer, higher, older
  


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCbyByY-A6w
 
Click this link to see it...


Cheers
Random

Week 7 – Inspiration by D.H. Lawrence

For this weeks entry I have decided to compose a piece of poetry inspired from reading “Odour of Chrysanthemums” answering question:
 
b) Describe the impact on you of your favourite piece of writing from either Woolf, Mansfield or Lawrence (you may do this in the form of a poem if you wish)
 
My Poem will follow a similar pattern to Lawrence’s prose; it’s called “The Lilies”
 
The Lilies
 
Mr. Cheltenham worked on the railroads,
While Mrs. Cheltenham worked at home handling washing loads.
They loved each other more than two devoted young lovers
Whose gaze would entrance even the most prudent of followers.
        Then there was Mary, there dearly beloved child of eight,
...Beloved was somewhat questionable
She had the appearance of an angel, eyes bluer than the tropical Caribbean
Definite and refined, smooth blonde fair hair, pure skin, purer than the monks of St. Bertin!
 
“Mummy! Mummy! Dad is coming home!” she would say as she
Eagerly awaited her fathers arrival from a hard days labour
“Darling, I’m tired” – an excuse that echoed throughout her mind
One day she picked some lilies, vibrant and luscious they were
Their beauty struck her, like cupids arrow strikes lovers
Their energy resonated deep within her, connecting her to the secret that lie dormant within nature, that truth – but too little to late it was
            Mary was suffering from pneumonia
It’s grip tightened on her week-by-week, day-by-day, and hour-by-hour
It had crushed, disjointed her!
She was growing weaker
Weaker in the flesh
Weaker in the mind
            But weaker in the spirit….
Nevertheless to her dismay, her loving parents, loving was somewhat questionable
Never heeded to her physical, or spiritual call
“Help! Help!    Mother!”
            I thought I had done it!
            I thought I had revealed my pain
But it was my soul, urging me on, crying out to my flesh to express my pain
 
“Honey, Mummy’s doing the washing, go play outside”
“Mary, read this new book that I bought you while Daddy has a rest”
            and so much more, denied – like the Peter – I wept
But it wasn’t me who had to weep, it was those facades!
Who are full of love but have no love to offer!
“Mary, my dear, what’s the matter?
Oh! How I have longed to hear those words!
It was my Aunt Alexandra who had uttered those words of pure gold
Answering my internal cries. She has understood me, she had taken me to the general practioner, but it was too late, my physical pain had won, I had wrestled with it, but death was inevitable…
 
“My dear Mary! I’ve been such a fool!”
As Mr. & Mrs. Cheltenham observed the body of their daughter in the coffin
Still preserved in innocence and beauty, they gazed in awe more than grief
Her vibrancy still resonated within them as if she was alive!
Mary’s mother caressed her forehead
Their skin connected, with slow hypnotic movement
“How could you! You have acted foolishly!” Aunty Alexander stated
Mrs. Cheltenham discovered that she had denied her daughter
“I myself have died”
“I have committed a murder, worse than the criminals of London penitentiary”
The smell of the lilies
The power and awe of their presence
            Seems to have calmed me with an uncanny exposure. 
                            
                                                                      Anthony Tassone
The poem illustrates the lack of move by Mary's own parents, how they were concered with an assumption of their daughter as just an ignorant young girl. However her conscience is far more profound and spiritual developed than that of her parents - who are concerned with their superficial lives. Like the mothers daughter in the "Odour of Chrysanthemums" the child embodies the innocence and beauty of character that is lacking in her parenst and within the conscience of society. The lilies are a metphor of how Mary has connected with nature and her innocence has picked up on the wonderment and the beauty that is found in nature. Like the mother in Lawrences prose she feels nothing but guilt and regret that she was wrong - like the mother in my poem, her assumption of her husband as a pub booser was far from the truth. "She had denied him what he was - she saw it now" (Lawrence 2257) summarises the same theme of my poem. Through Mary's death, she comes to the realisation that she never knew her daughter, never had time to be with her caught up in her own life.

Anyway, thats my ranting

Have Fun!!!

Ciao
 
 
 

 

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Week 7 - Comment on Mariams Blog

Hey Mariam

Great insights into Virginia Woolf's work. I believe that Woolf had many demons within her that she had to face, internally and externally. The external really created and spurred on the demons that she had to face and the line you state “phantom” and of killing “The Angel in the House” (Woolf 2153) is one of the demons she has the face. This patriarchal system, with the notion that women are merely 'owned' by men (typical of the 19th and 20th century) really lowers the spiritual and intellectual possibilities of women. A woman with a free spirit and a mind of her own is a danger to the conventions of the society, just like Winston and Julia are challenging the control of Big Brother in 1984. Woolf, like Orwell, had this vision of working from the core of our conscience, what Percy Shelley called a "Blithe Spirit" in the poem "To a Sky-Lark". Essentially this carefree, un-controlled atmosphere is something that Woolf wants to shout out to all women across the world.

"Moreover, Woolf further illustrates the ability of her imagination to expand and delve into possibilities and freedoms"

So true. The power of the imagination is second to none. I cant remember the quote but Einstein said something about the power of the imagination as the integral part of human existence. It allows us to break free from all our pressures and demons into a world that is boundless - what Id like to call a 'utopia'

Anyways, keep up the great work :)

Ciao

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WEEK 4 - Conrad & Coppola - Insight on violence in contemporary times?


2. a) Do you think Conrad and Coppola are identifying one of the root causes of continuing violence in the world today?


This week’s discussion is an analysis of the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola. In answer to the question I believe that both artists have tapped into the consciousness of modern man and profoundly discovered something very special, but also concerning. Both artists highlight that mans consciousness is driven by wants. Wants, in the form of what I can get out of something, how can I benefit from this situation etc. From a theological perspective a man is driven by his conscience, but from a psychological perspective he has a tendency to be driven by his superego. His superego directs him to do and act in a way that is ‘approved of’, in this case appealing to an ideology that appeals to imperialism. But this negates what mans consciousness really NEEDS

The line “the mind of a man is capable of anything…” (Conrad, 1916) highlights that man can make any decision for whatever reason irrespective of it being right or wrong. We see this in Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness”. Driven by greed to exploit the natives of Congo for as much ivory as he can, he ends up going mad by his unfamiliar surroundings. Marlow also feels the same as he mentions, “we were cut of from the comprehension of our surroundings” (Conrad, 1916). Conrad wants to highlight how we can be driven by a certain aim, with such confidence, egocentricity and personal self-interest that when we reach our destination is it really what we want? Can we handle our decisions? Kurtz, driven by greed is so hyped up in how much he can gain, is instantly made so small and insignificant that he comes to the realisation in the line “the horror! The horror! (Conrad, 1941). His soul had been “assaulted by the powers of darkness” (Conrad, 1926), in which darkness is personified as a power – a power that envelops his whole consciousness. For me personally I don’t have sympathy for Kurtz. Marlow narrates “the wastes of is weary brain were haunted by shadowy images now – images of wealth and fame…” (Conrad, 1940). Here, Marlow delves into the mind of Kurtz as he paints a picture of all the very things Kurtz has lived for. But now Kurtz is a mere “shade of the original Kurtz” (Conrad, 1940) reduced to a “hollow sham” (Conrad, 1940). The use of hollow sham indicates how trivial our actions are, always living on the surface of our existence. This ties in nicely into the root cause of violence today as a country goes off superficial reasoning and logic in a justification to invade another country. For example the Americans invading Arabic nations in order to gain wealth in the form of oil is an example that highlights mans consciousness pre-occupied with superficiality. But where does it get you? Now America is caught up in a rebuilding effort in Iraq that they caused!! If we worked from the inner core of our consciousness we can be much more informed to see through our “souls as translucently pure as cliff or crystal” (Conrad, 1942). That’s what post-modernists try to achieve, to seek truth in life and this is what Conrad wants to achieve. But what about Coppola?
 
Coppola, like Conrad seeks this truth in a journey through the soul. Willard, the parallel character to Conrad’s Marlow journeys up the Nung River in Vietnam to “terminate” the office Walter.E. Kurtz whose “methods had become unsound” (Coppola). Willard is the main narrator like Marlow, and we come to know the intimate side of him and his rapid pre-occupation with Kurtz. Marlow is disturbed, crazy and in a sense less human as a result of his experiences with the Vietnam war. Coppola highlights how the value of a human being, in this case the native Vietnamese in the eyes of Anglo-white Americans, is worthless as he says “charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500” (Coppola). His consciousness had become dead. Violence was commonplace and in a sense he had grown in a ‘binding relationship’ with violence as Willard takes the mission in terminating Kurtz in the line “I took the mission, what else was I gonna do?” (Coppola). Along with the horrors of child inoculation, in the quote the “piles of little arms” and the unfamiliar surroundings Kurtz, like Conrad’s Kurtz goes insane. Even though Willard thinks the generals “handed him the wrong dossier” (Coppola) the journey up the river soon teaches his conscience a lesson that unfamiliar surroundings do crush his ego and any aims he has making his feel small. One scene that really gave me goose bumps is when Willard and the crew come into contact with that Vietnamese boat. The violence hear highlights how man has become a killing machine, neglected the call from his conscience to act in a responsible way. What really horrified me was how Willard shoots the injured woman on the boat! With no remorse, no regret! This is contrasted by Chef, one of the crewmembers, finding a little puppy on the ship bringing an aurora of innocence, beauty and a sense of relief. The puppy brings a different atmosphere to the killing and evil of the scene, as well as the movie, with its innocence.
For both Kurtz’s it takes death to come to the realisation of their actions and what they are doing to the natives. Their conscience, for the FIRST TIME IN THEIR LIFE, has been informed so they can see “the horror! the horror”! (Conrad, 1941). Just like Ivan Illych they have had an epiphany and can now spiritually see. A man can be as clear in his mind but be see misguided and misled in his conscience as in the line “the man is clear in his mind but his soul is mad!” (Coppola) (Talking about Kurtz).
 
So essentially the root of violence in this day and age is deeply explored by Conrad and Coppola. They both highlight the utmost importance of ones consciousness to become the focus, to work from within it, rather than to be concerned with peripheral concern.
 
Cheers
 
P.S. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts, it’s a little long but I have to express my feelings. Afterall that’s what English is about      :)




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Week 4 - Comment on Marcs Blog

Hi Marc
 
I Love your insights! It’s true when you say:
 
"We live in an age that is dominated by politics. Politics creates war. Imperialist think likes others to take on its values, modes of conduct, religion and systems. The imperialist power will help the neighbouring country but there usually is a cist – ownership or control in some form"
 
Modern mans conscience I believe is very much still utilitarian based because he is still living in "an age of surfaces" (Wilde) as Lady Bracknell says in "The Importance of Being Earnest" from last semester. Politics, in the area of foreign affairs, delves deeply into control of supposed, "Lower races" as you say Marc. Imperialism I see it is an exchange at many levels. One level, as you say Marc, is control in exchange for wealth (in Heart of Darkness IVORY). But from a deeper level it is an exchange of a moral conscious, in exchange for a savage and evil conscience. Imperialism has a very 'affective' influence on all parties, either way something very profound is lost - the capacity to look within ones self.
 
Cheers 

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WEEK 2 - LJ Entry

“Dulce et Decorum est” - trusim? or fascade?

1.. (Week 2) a) Which poem introduced in the first two weeks has left a strong impression on you? b) Write a poem or descriptive piece modelled on your favourite poem from the first two weeks.


a) For this weeks question we were meant to select one poem for our entry, but I just couldn’t split it, so I picked TWO that have really caught my attention. The two poems which I have selected are “Dulce et Decorum est” by Wilfred Owen and “Thou art indeed just, Lord” by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
 
What I find fascinating about Owens poem is that he recreates this mad euphoria of the soldiers at the Western Front. Gas was used for the first time at the Battle of Ypres in 1915. Lines like “Gas!Gas! Quick, boys – An ecstasy of fumblings” (Owen, 1974) highlights the intense movement of the scene. It’s just an orgy of madness and Owen really conveys how intense war was on the front. He contrasts the ironic title whose message was “It is sweet and meet to die for one’s country”. Owen looks to contrast this and present the facts as they were – that war is destructive! This is further re-iterated in the last line of the fourth stanza “The old lie…” (Owen, 1974) as after all of Owens descriptions he comes to a revelation that this ideology is a blatant and evil lie. A lie where “innocent tongues” (Owen, 1974), meaning the young men at battle, killing themselves off for an evil cause. The soldiers suffering from the gas are described in lines like “and floundering like a man in fire…” (Owen, 1974) and dying “under a green sea” (Owen, 1974). Especially the latter is extremely effective metaphorically likening the gas to a ‘sea’. When I read this line it felt that the gas was some sort of inescapable presence adding another dimension to its existence. “Drunk with fatigue” (Owen, 1974) also conveys not only the mental but physical drain placed upon the soldiers being sapped of all their energy. But I believe that their consciences are also being drained as they have lost what makes them human. The soldiers have become a pawn in the war effort the voids them of any ethical thinking. I would have hated to see propaganda during the war that encouraged fighting and ‘helping the boys’ on the front. Where has ethical thinking gone? Mr. Bush may have to answer to his own conscience on that issue. This leads me to my next discussion on Hopkins poem.
 
“Thou art indeed just, Lord” highlights how injustice is prevalent in our world in lines like “why do sinners’ ways prosper? (Hopkins, 1524). Linking it to Owens poem the injustice is that why do innocent men have die for an unjust cause? While evil men organizing the war prosper through ammunition and other means? It truly is a shame that evil will prosper and Hopkins asks why “disappointment all I endeavour to end?” (Hopkins, 1524).
 
These two poems have had a profound impact onto my outlook of the world, especially Owens poem, which really is a reality check on how we look at the greatest war ever fought on earth. 
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b) A War Poem by Anthony Tassone

Inevitability

The Battle ends
       - For Now
Spared, I retire to my quarters
for yet another day
How long would I last?
How much time would pass?

Like a hermit crab i seek solitude
in my lowly quarters
Ah! England, how I miss thee
But alas! Another 5-9!
The shot at the beginning of the race
       - It has begun...

Limbs, extremities galore!
Oh but how could there be more?
Howitzers to make you deaf
Gas to make quench

The battle ends
      - For now
I sat sipping my soup
All men vying for a coup
My soul cries out 
I want to go back to my humble aboad!!!


Thanks
 
Cheers
 



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WEEK 2 - Comment on Marcs Blog


Hi Marc

Its interesting how you said that Hopkins has the ability to place the reader between the creative and destructive forces of their souls. As a former priest, Hopkins' poetry I believe is like a sort of prayer or prophetic call to us, the reader. He intends for the reader to come to a realisation and awake to their 'inhibriated' actions so to speak. As Hopkins says "The world is charged with Gods granduer" (Hopkins, 1516) but if we abuse nature "it will flame out" (Hopkins, 1516). He aims to tap into mans conscience and reflect on his actions and evoke a chnage within us. A change that is not only mental, but spiritual to see Gods presence in all things.

Also Marc you mentioned the line “nature is never spent” (Hopkins, 1516) and hit the nail on the head. Nature will always be there, but we have to take it upon ourselves to align with it, and importantly treasure it.

Cheers


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WEEK 2 Poem Entry

Beast of Burden

As I gaze upon the night sky
Black...as thy inner self
What have we created?
This culmination of misused energies?
This monster, this hybrid, this evil -
       But we are all attune to it...

This monster - 
Has consumed me
This machine of industry
They say we are better for it
As sweet as honey
As cold as ice
Once realised the monsters true intentions
Like a gentle lamb he comes
Like a scorpion he strikes

But ah! for those glorious hills
defiantly deep, wondrously wide, marvellously magnificent
makes man oh so small
and leaves the monster for dead
transparent foiliage, sunny leaves
and with daffodils so tender
and rose pedals so slender
Ah! Drink it in slowly

Yet to my dismay
There is no escape!
I have seen the light
        - my soul has uplifted
Nothing can compare
What is there to spare?
With inevitable despair
The beast has be sunk its
striking teeth into my heart
It has control of me
But alas! The Light!
The beast is no more!


                                                
Anthony Tassone (2007)

He everyone. In the theme of industrialisation and technological pre-occupation in the 20th Century I decided to write this poem (drawing from the Charlie Chaplin movie also). The Beast of Burden is industry/technology and it is contrasted to the narrator describing the presence of Christ in nature. Nature inevitably defeats the evil nature of the beast in one 'revelation' like ending. Enjoy

Cheers 

 
Franz Marc: The Fate of Animals
I found this painting by Marc and it really spoke out to me. In a way it linked to the nature aspect of my poem as this monster, industry, has consumed man but in doing this has broken his link to nature. Even though this is a romantic notion it resurfaces in the modernist and post-modernist artworks as mans conscience has been darkened by 2 world wars and the destructive atom bomb. With such a bleak outlook, who can blame people like J. Conrad writing "Heart of Darkness"!!.  Therefore man will not be concerned with nature but with ideologies occupied by everthing technological!! Not Natural!! The 'monster' has trained men to 'idiosyncronise' his actions. To behave in a certain way that neglects nature so that his conscience, like in Chaplin, is directed to truths in a technological society. This modernist work reflects this as the horse, which works as a metaphor for nature and its fate that rests in mans hands. Life is an 'intrinsic cycle', everything relies on one another and when the cycle is broken, calamity occurs.
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New Semester :)

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to another semester. Back to the grind as per usual sadly. I was getting quite used to the holidays, enjoying tranquil sleep-ins and my lovely leisure time. Oh well 'sa la vie' (thats life!) Anyways this semester is shaping up to be a big one so im hoping to get straight into it with ease. 

Cheers