What a Week: Research Splendor, Texts, Interview

Traces of Connectivity

Researching Darwinism and the Alice texts this week, I came across a slang terminology that applicably embodies half of my theory<>…so very exciting. Also reading Alice beyond Wonderland ed. Cristopher Hollingsworth and The Selfish Gene by the great Richard Dawkins, but today I need to do a lil research assistance for a fellow scholar. The topic is political {gnashing-of-teeth} so I approach with caution – timidly toting Max Weber’s Essays in Sociology. The Capstone is progressing, and I am enjoying the process. Again, I apologize for not disclosing these amazing concepts I’m working, but I cannot take my info public until the end of session (August).

Interview with Earl Pereira from The Steadies

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My editorial internship with Punchland.com proved positive this week with an exciting opportunity to chat with Earl Pereira from The Steadies. Click HERE to read the full interview, “Silver Lining Sensation:  Love Revolution by The Steadies,” and listen to their contagiously-happy tracks. What brings me extra <smiles> is that The Steadies incorporates positivism with music. As followers may note, my #PursuitofOptimism research has been lacking since the project was rejected as Capstone theory. Picturing positive vibes pinging off Pereira recharged the authority of optimism. I’ll make sure to visit the group today with an up-lifiting update, inspiring poem link, and band website. Listening to this album invokes reggae-beach-happiness. My fav track:  “Phoenix.” Check out The Steadies latest video below to energize your weekend.

“Take Me Home” by The Steadies from Love Revolution:

 

Picture and video c/o @TheSteadies

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To Prince

My heart breaks, I can’t believe you’re gone. The world bleeds your loss. A trembling tear is all I can offer. My words, they’re caught in emotion. 

Dr. Faustus in 2016: Twisted Lyrics

“I Took a Pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner from At Night, Alone.:

Looking for Meaning…

Song Interpretation:

I am so busy with research, but I cannot get this song out of my head. Nor, can I think of anything else until I unburden my mind of this flexing metaphor. There’s not time for a lyrical breakdown, but I’ll return to expound.

Philosophical Bend:

I feel Faustus lurking. Once one knows too much, they can never go back. Posner says, “You don’t wanna be high like me, never really knowing why, like me. You don’t wanna step off that roller coaster and be alone. You don’t wanna ride the bus like this, never knowing who to trust like this…” University and individual research presents more, and often conflicting, information as to what a person learned during their childhood and adolescence. Learning can enlighten the mind, but one must lose their innocent understanding in the process.

Sure, he’s referring to singing and his life devotion to music. Same concept applies to diverse artistic expression. High Philosophical Art questions and prods at reality, consciousness, meaning, and purpose. What happens when the “rules” are really figments meant to ensure group delusion? Philosophy demonstrates subjective and objective truth, reaching for but rarely attaining universal implication. Break that down:

nothing is real, nothing is true

amounts to feels, what can one do?

Well…once you kneel, then you must stew.

{read that last line in a deep baritone, just for snickers}

Posner’s chorus:  “All I know are sad songs…” – When one has searched for knowledge, toyed around with epistemology, learned to bend fact to one’s purpose, innocence is lost. Not sexual innocence, deeper than that – fundamental understanding. All that is left of personal experience is “sad songs” or a seriously hollow existence. Philosophically, there is a sense of false comfort that cushions the harshness of reality for those who accept “belief” or conform to society. Once one “knows” the rampant delusions, meaning is lost.

Man, the meaning…it has to come back. See…I feel that we can create meaning. Mount up, Artists. Lady World, she needs creative spin.

Poetic Evolution: Milking Coal

Milking Coal

 

You were not enough,

– warped genes on mass destruction.

I took bits of you that glimmered,

left the hull to wither.

Your best parts shined unique,

– wasted in you but infusing in me.

When I don your flair every eye

stares. Rolling your flow, bobbing your

track, the words just go – cruel attack.

Despair not, I will carry your good.

– nurture perspective wrapped in thunder.

This part of you I immortalize

while you siphon poison –

rotting the physical, losing grip.

 

 

Picture c/o:  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/96/18/1f/96181f4358a1eedf38aa095621a2e388.jpg

Friday Fictioneers: “Motherland Initiation”

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo Prompt by J. Hardy Carroll *
“Motherland Initiation” * 100 words * Angela Shaffer * 8 Apr 2016

jhardy

 

Motherland Initiation

Cali choked down senior sorrows and put on a brave face. Pennsyl-tucky, Mother called it, with a laugh and a snort. Determined to make the best of a bad hand, Cali followed the scrawled directions. She wasn’t prepared to see the building that haunted her dreams looming ahead. Nor did she find the welcome comforting.

“You’ve finally come,” hissed a voice like razors, slight on her neck.

“The doctor’s been looking for you.”

Cali struggled but found her arms secured.

Laughter from the dark, …a prank.

but that didn’t explain her déjà vu or the organic pull towards the darkness.

***

Hello Fellow Writers and Readers ~

As always, special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for a mini-break from reality with Friday Fictioneers. Thanks this week to J Hardy Carroll for the interesting photo prompt. I can’t wait to read everyone’s take!

If you’re new to Friday Fictioneers, click the Blue Frog below to read and contribute.

Friday Fictioneers: Morning-After Vertigo

Friday Fictioneers * Rochelle Wisoff-Fields * Photo by Maria Gail Stratford *
Morning-After Vertigo * 85 words * Angela Shaffer * 1 Apr 2016

mg-buildings

Morning-After Vertigo

Wind whipped tangled locks,

traces of late-night havoc still

clinging to the skin. Seeping

regret tinged red and green –

jealous as an itch on missed flesh.

 

The edge altered reality, tilting

the grip, slipping the step, blurring

the hold – slighting gravity.

 

Double the trip and let the mind

dip farther past matter. Stretch out,

reaching, grasping, swiping –

pregnant as a pause on hushed lips.

 

If tottered too far up the steep sweeping

stoop – binge on delusion in last fleeting

moments. Until the bottom comes quick.

 

~ Hello dear Readers and Writers …

Thank you, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for fun Friday fiction. Thank you, Maria Gale Stratford for the photo.

Since April is Poetry Month, I crafted a few lines inspired by how dizzy I got thinking how high up the building was – and how much further the Marriott stretches. I saw a party-girl waking up disoriented and curious, foolishly teetering on the edge – the edge of the building and the edge of decency.

 

Click the Frog to read diverse interpretations of this photo prompt from Friday Fictioneers writers.

Thank you for reading!

@MmePhilosopher

 

A Kinder Way’s Meet n Greet Wknd

<>Great idea! I love finding new blogs to read. Deserves a share.
Check out my site for philosophical contemplation, scholarly essays, rants, poetry, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction. I also like to share motivating and inspiring quotes and/or thoughts I see online as an attempt to encourage positive self-determination. I’m a thinker, a writer, and I have dreams of embracing the artistic physicist deep inside. #PursuitofOptimism #Dionysian
@MmePhilosopher  {in twitterverse}

Welcome to my first Meet and Greet! Come on in and stay awhile!

via Meet and Greet Weekend! — A Kinder Way

Grades Posted …{le bow}

Humanities 571 Individuals, Societies, and the Spirit

{or…what will forever be the “religion” class I survived}

Survived may not be the right word. Ole girl managed to pull off a 98% on the final paper and score an overall 96.7% for the course! As expected – good news and bad news with these results. First off – the bad so the good will have a final word.

Bad News:

  1.  For me, a 96 is a low or just barely, an A – my other pieces from the last four to five courses have shown high A’s, as in 100% ‘ers.
  2. I know I promised to post my last integral essay – a look at the sociological authority found in music and collective effervescence. However, since Prof finally gave me a good review, and declared that with a few grammatical corrections – the paper is publishable! {yes, this is the good, lol} Why it could be viewed as “bad” is that I cannot post the piece online as I will adjust for publication.

Good News:

  1.  My writing confidence is restored. Over the last sixteen weeks, Prof has not enjoyed my style, word choice, or ability. His comments greatly affected my ability to write as I constantly questioned every thought I formed. But now, in this final piece, Prof turned the tide and accepted my writing.
  2.  I may be able to publish this essay! Seeing the words “this piece is publishable with a few tweaks” made my day.
  3.  571 was my last course before the Capstone. The light at the end of the tunnel is flashing a “go ahead” sign, permitting me access to proceed towards my goal.
  4.  I, hopefully, will never have to read Weber or Bellah again {fingers crossed}.

The good outweighs the bad. I am happy with the 98% on the piece, and the possibility of publication. I learned a great deal in HUMN 571 – I think the most important grain is that “religion” is actually a means to form society. If dogma is removed, what is left is society. With this in mind, I am less hostile towards religion. I see it more as a means than an ends. This could be why I am so put-off by current Humanism and Atheism attempts at thwarting religion – because it’s not about dogma. Religion is community, or individuals working together to improve their environment.

 

Picture c/o:  http://previews.123rf.com/images/alexmillos/alexmillos1104/alexmillos110400461/9336277-Pen-and-paper-success-sign–Stock-Vector.jpg

No to Negative Action

Good afternoon, dear Readers…

I received a letter from #AHA (the American Humanism Association) today regarding the humanist plan of action for 2016. First off – yes, I am a Humanist. I believe in good without “god.” What that means to me is that I believe the individual is able to strive for good without supernatural threat, to “be good” purely because striving for betterment is improvement of the self. I understand my limits – all I can control is myself. This creates a heavy internal morality that guides my decision/action process. I am a Humanist because I think humanity is able to create many wonderful and terrible things. I also am a Humanist because of the whole philosophy-bit – the reading, researching, and learning. I am a stronger Humanist due to scientific theory and empirical data. Humans are amazing life forms, but humans are also only a fraction of species.  The latest craze for evolution.

So…what’s my beef? Well….I do not care for negative action. I do not think that I will truly be better by discrediting, harming, or removing another. I do not think that negative action inside of Humanism is a good advertisement for “I believe in good without god.” What I mean is I do not think attacking the religious minded is fair play. Humanism will not be better by tearing down religious statues or decimating belief. I know – often matters are acted on in a defensive form, but still…becoming a monster will not rid the world of monsters. There must be another way of reducing the authority of religion than to declare war between secularism and theology.

No, tax payer dollars should not be spent on religious idols/statues/monuments – but that does not mean that already constructed works should be removed or destroyed. Tax payer dollars are a hot-topic for many issues. What it sounds like, behind all the gloss, is that Humanism has to be in direct opposition to religion. And that doesn’t sit well with me. Religion, like music and science, are expressions of humanity. Making another lesser will not make me better. Personally – NO, I do not “need/want” religion in my life…but that does not mean that other people cannot benefit from a religious message. Religion works at bonding society together, looking to one’s community for aide and support. I mean, I do not need/want to attend a sporting event but that does not mean that sports should cease to be. Seems rather limited. One of the reasons I look to secular education is to broaden my experience and understanding of the world. I do not do limits.

I will not limit another individual from living their lives – even if that means that they have to look to religion to answer their life questions. So…No, I will not donate funds to support the elimination of religion. I cannot support this because some people still need religion, or at least believe that they do. All I can control is myself. I have no interest in controlling other people, and I wish that message was echoed in Humanism. I feel that, at the heart of humanism, there is great good possible. We are looking for answers, see what all these human beings can do and create.

The Atheists, too, are hell-bent on decimating belief. I have called myself atheist for quite a while, yet I do not agree with the current Atheist-Hatred that is rumbling through society. Let us look at what an atheist constitutes:  question everything, look for reason, note personal experience, question again. As Atheists, it is our job to keep searching. We are seekers. Again…there is no need to become a monster. In that we question everything and continually search for rationality, I would like to note that the answer has not yet been found. Atheists need to keep looking. That means that we do not have time to argue, aggravate, or attack “the believers.” Reason suggests that they have not read as much, nor questioned. – Why then waste precious moments that could be spent positively researching and thinking? I am not saying they are lost causes that should be abandoned – I think all life matters, each subjective person is important. But there is no reason to debate – both sides are convinced. Change the subject, walk away, ignore the post. Get back to contemplation. The moment one is “certain” I daresay belief still reigns.

 

Picture c/o:  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/9b/e6/39/9be639189fe6a5339daff06284600f24.jpg

Japonisme: The Japanese Influence on Victorian Fashion

MiMi Matthews wrote this piece to discuss Japanese aesthetics and adaptive culture.

Mimi Matthews

The Japanese Parisian by Alfred Stevens, 1872.

During the mid-19th century, Japan opened trade with the West for the first time in more than 200 years.  The influx of Japanese imports that followed inspired an intense fascination with Japanese art and culture.  This fascination manifested itself in the paintings of Victorian era artists like Alfred Stevens, Vincent van Gogh, James McNeill Whistler, and Claude Monet.  It also had a profound influence on Victorian fashion.  As the 2015 book of Clothing and Fashion states:

“The obsession with Japonism in fashion hastened permanent departure from the cumbersome Victorian layers and maximalist aesthetic, anticipating the minimalism of 20th-century modernism.”

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