Vip Wan Rinkle and the New Generation



Vip Wan Rinkle was a hasty young man, always in a hurry to see the world’s newest advancements as shown on those hip movies like Back to the Future II with hover boards and flying cars and all. Oh how rad that would be! Yet here he was, trapped in lame old 1999, where wheels were still a thing. His mom would always nag at him to appreciate the present because it was a gift and all that junk. He just knew that there was a whole new world of innovation waiting for him in 20 years, so why should he have to wait for it? He imagined the possibilities: artificial intelligence roaming the streets, holographic phones, and overall a world with little to no problems to worry about. With a newfound stroke of inspiration, he hollered at his loyal canine companion Doug to be his Doc to his Marty McFly and help him create a time machine to 2019. The details of this massive undertaking are far too complex for this story, but it was finished in one afternoon sitting if you can believe it. With the press of a button, Vip could finally ditch his preachy mom and live his own life in the future. As he passed through the time gate, he found himself in another body, one much like his own, but larger and hairier. It had seemed that time caught up to him as well. Doug had grown so old he could no longer move his paws,  leaving Vip no choice but to roll down a window and leave him in the car. As he entered his hometown of Fresno, he noticed it was not the metropolis he had envisioned and that it was mostly unchanged, save for a few buildings. The town seemed unaltered, maybe slightly larger and more populous. There were rows of houses he had known for his whole life lined up in his neighborhood with the same boring paint-job. That made it easy to find his house, where he expected to hear the shrill voice of his mother. And she did, unsurprisingly. “I can’t believe you ran away into the future so you could avoid paying my healthcare when I got older!” she nagged. “Not like I expected you to get a steady job anyways in this economy.” “What do you mean ma?” Vin asked confusedly. “Wasn’t the future supposed to fix everything? There was gonna be flying cars and hover boards!” “Oh you still won’t let that go you dolt? The future’s not always going to be about new fangled gadgets, spectacle, aesthetics and what have you– though it does scare me how much my phone can gobble as much as a turkey now. A lot more has changed in this nation’s soul than its shell.” After catching up with the media later that night, Vip understood what his mother meant, and how much work was left for this world that couldn’t be solved with a simple wheel removal. For now, his future fantasy would have to wait.



This piece is an imitation and a parody of Washington Irving’s short story “Rip Van Winkle” in which a man finds himself lost in time when he wakes up 20 years later in an entirely different America from the one he knew. In that story, Rip was genuinely shocked at the changed world around him, as the people and policies he once knew were entirely different. This imitation goes in a different direction by focusing on the fantastical and ideal nature of the future that people dreamed of by watching movies and media such as Back to the Future II, and demonstrates humanity’s constant hope of the future when things don’t go their way in real life. Just like any average 90’s kid, Vip thought that going into the future and skipping 20 years of his life would lead him to a world where technology was so advanced, there would be no worries in the world. Instead, he finds an America that is largely the same aesthetically and whose major developments have actually occurred within his country’s soul and ideals. While 90’s kids might not be impressed to hear that Marty McFly’s automatic drying jackets and playing cars do not exist in 2015, or even 2019, they might find it more interesting how far representation has come for minority groups in the media, how the internet has made it possible to have open conversations about the world, or how LGBTQ couples have generally become more accepted in society. The future has not completely fixed any of these issues, but it is clear people have made great strides in creating the America they want to see. Overall, “Vip Wan Rinkle and the New Generation” shows that while society may be evolving at a slower pace that most prefer, it is changing every day, and everyone has their own part in shaping the definition of what it means to be an American.

–By Jose Ramirez

The Ole’ U.S. of A., 2019

In the chair of our home

Sits the man deemed as unworthy.

And down a narrow road,

One only finds no mercy.

For our home has fallen

Into the grasp of another

Controlled and utilized

For a purpose unworthy.

Aye, the road ahead

Shows a slight glow’a hope,

From the cries of the innocent

Who seek justice for those who don’t.

Yet as the nights grow longer

And the years as well,

Our home lies in shreds,

From the man who still dwells.

(This sucks as a poem, I am so sorry your eyes were cursed to read this. I just can’t write poetry.)

-Jody Omlin

The Land of “The Free”: America 2019

By: Katherine Hernandez

I have recreated the poem “England 1819” By Percey Shelley.


An orange goblin, ignorant, hateful, with a vendetta for supremacy;

Presenting no balance to a country who claimed to value “equality.”

Through dirty money, scare tactics, and rigged polls,

The voice of the people was stripped three winters ago.

The face of a nation that now is seen as an embarrassment,

To all who know its name;

Spewing hatred, erasing history with racist lies,

As people claw, crawl, weep and live cold desert nights

For a chance to a better life.

With horrid mocks toward all minorities,

And selfish attempts to engorge the lives of those who already live like royalty.

No semblance of Justice, Equality or Honesty;

A society that feeds off his toxic energy,

In times where it seems we must fear authority,

There will be a light that shines on the backs of those

who created this land off tooth and bone.

Lady Justice will blow the final horn,

And Lady Liberty will follow,

To guide all of us into the future,

Into a place where we can reclaim our Home

Into a better Tomorrow.




America in 2019

I have recreated Percy Shelley’s sonnet “England in 1819” to fit today’s American society through our current time, space and circumstances.

“America in 2019” 

An old, orange, ignorant, and Soulless President;

democratic or republican, the illusion of a democracy, who enslave

Through mind control, – dirt from Mother Earth’s soil

Rulers who use others to See, Feel and to Know,

But they claim they worked for it themselves

Till they begin to die, to burn alive, without a fire.

The sensitive and the innocent abused, tormented and sacrificed;

An army of mental slaves, mindless and controlled

humanity on our current timeline controlled through

anything that alters our current state of consciousness: music, movies, drugs, and sex

anything that limits how much we See, Feel and Know;

Makes a double-edged sword, laws like Karma coming back

Mind control that cannot be seen with your two eyes – Karma coming back.

A democracy, Time’s best illusion, unveil –

Zombies from a glorious Phantom

Bursted, to ingest the demonic parasites through the

subconscious programming of your mind.

Karma coming back – Wake Up.



  • Brianna Barajas


A System of Convenient Truths

By: Leena Maria Beddawi

Something which may come as a surprise while going through Mary Rowlandson’s narrative piece about her time in Algonquian captivity, are the many ways in which the native people and herself get along, even with her being an English colonizer, she was treated with humanity and even made relationships with some of the natives themselves. The narrative itself acts as a journal of her time in captivity, and this becomes one of the few examples of an “accurately” portrayed relationship which goes beyond the war in which the Algonquian people found themselves in with the English colonizers, due to their abhorrent lack of respect and dignity.

Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation. The question, in brief, is…this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.”

― Noam Chomsky

However, that being said, the themes of genocide and sexism raised in Thomas Pham’s earlier blog post portrays almost entirely too well the reality in which we are in today, where the ignorance, misconstruction, or a purely imaginative version of history is easier for future generations to digest, therefore the watered down versions are given platforms to explain the past, and a whole generation of people are remembering and learning history based on entirely false accusations. This was how the American public would grapple with the many atrocities they placed onto innocent people, and how we currently allow ourselves in the age of technology to believe falsehoods because they are simply easier to deal with. Going to war with another group of people merely for something as quintessentially useless as power and land is the history of the world post-Anthropocene.

No matter how much easier it is to paint a perfectly sweet story about the” city upon a hill”, corroborated by evidence among the likes of Mary Rowlandson’s narrative, the history itself should not be erased, glossed over, or romanticized. As depicted in Dryden and Winthrop’s pieces as well, we see this manufactured folksy image reappear as if to show just how tolerant the natives were upon getting colonized, this is unsurprisingly a complete exaggeration of the facts which accurately define how Indigenous and English colonials treated one another. more people saw the success the false narrative genre was receiving and capitalized on said phenomenon. What is equally as successful is the number of counternarratives we see today which push past the propaganda like this and tell a story earnestly and honestly, but this “accuracy” has sadly become so muddled, most of it is subjective, but we believe what we want to believe, nonetheless.


Set Free

As Rowlandson begins to recount this story as a chronicle, she tended to make the focal point of the narrative on the occurrences and personal encounters that she’s experienced. I felt that Rowlandson’s storytelling wasn’t necessarily influenced by her own personal feelings, but instead it also does not signify that her narrative was objective. The style in which she writes this narrative seems to be in a perspective where she illustrates incidents given from an outside spectator. From an outside perception one could only assume that the storyteller does not share the same sentiments as the main character experiencing this torture. Much of history is told this way. She shares the narrative of her imprisonment after being set free. The tone throughout her story seems to be a bit informative as she makes this experience be taken as a lesson in life. Most cross cultural, cross linguistic, and cross-religious exchange between Rowlandson and her native Algonquin captors confirm, contradict, or complicate the history of intolerance against indigenous people during the English colonization of America is very intricate to answer.

During her captivity her captors treat her as dirt as the colonizers treated the natives. Upon colonizing Native American lands, Europeans viewed this movement and action of war to be something that would change the history of migration and its people. They had no resentment towards the men, women, and children that were slaughtered and sexually abused during their colonization. At this point in the narrative, the natives want revenge or at least they seek it. When the natives held her in captivity, colonizers viewed this to be an act of terrorism even though they themselves had done the same to the Native American people. In Dryden’s play we see the European attack towards the natives and their prejudice to forcefully become superior to Native American Indians. They were not only forced to fall under their Kings rule, but they were also forced to give up their lands in exchange for their lives.

On the other hand, you can see how standoffish Rowlandson was towards the indigenous people after they had killed her own. Again this narrative was written through an outside perspective, so I feel that even the narrator was unaware or at least biased towards the relationship of between Europeans and the Indigenous people. All in all, it would further add much more complexity to the history of intolerance as wars are often now fought for living rather than a battle stemmed from purpose.

-Rosalinda Flores

The American Holocaust? How to read Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative

For this Wednesday (2/13), students will offer an interpretation of Mary Rowlandson’s narrative that responds to theme of genocide and sexism raised in a previous student blog post: Do moments of cross-cultural, cross-linguistic, and cross-religious exchange between Rowlandson and her native Algonquian captors confirm, contradict, or complicate the history of intolerance against indigenous people during the English colonization of eastern North America?  Explain your answer in the context of our previous readings by Dryden and Winthrop.

The posts are due next Wednesday (Feb. 13th) by 9:30am.  Please categorize your post under “The Quest for Enlightenment” and don’t forget to create specific and relevant tags.  And please include your full name so that your TA, Zakir, and I know who wrote what.

The Administration

Somewhere over by what use to be Maryland, near the coast, in the city of B.C.E there lived a man named Beorge Gush. was a simple man. He got up everyday and did the very least of what he was meant to do as his wife nagged him about all his other responsibilities that he already knew about but was too busy watching SNL reruns to really care. One day she sent him to the next city over to pick up some oil she needed to cook and heat up the house. She wasn’t out of gas or anything, she just needed more in case the one she had at home ran out. He reluctantly got up, put on his jacket and walked out the town with a metal jug for oil. He got the oil right away as the people in the next city were easy to take advantage of. Before he got back to town, he stopped under a tree to take a quick nap.
“I dont wana see that deplorable woman anyway” he sighed as he closed his eyes.
 Not long after (something like 10 minutes he wrote once) he woke up and decided to return to the city. He noticed a huge wall standing at the edge of the city that he swore wasn’t there before.  He looked and was shocked as he didn’t recognize anything or anyone. These strange people were dressed like nothing Beorge had seen before!  Their light colored hair was nicely combed to the right and their skin pale and rough. They wore what appeared to be a soldier’s uniform with a particularly red colored helmet and a band on the left side of their arm with a picture of an elephant on it. Beorge watched them as they had huge glasses of beer outside right on the side of a street outside of a tavern laughing and talking loudly echoing through the streets. Beorge tried to walk quickly by them as they watched him with eyes so low you could barely see a sliver of blue coming from their iris and their banter competed with laughter from another group of young men not far away.They didn’t talk to people walking down the street or passing by them, they stayed in their circle of friends and laughed loudly amongst themselves.

Beorge came to what he believed to be his house, but his house was long gone. In place of not only his house but his whole street stood a long wide one floor convenience store. A huge sign over the door read AmeriMart.On the sliding door of the store there was a headshot of a man and underneath it read, SPONSORED BY THE ADMINISTRATION. He leaned in closer to try and get a closer look of who was in the picture but he didn’t recognize him at as he looked like all the young men he saw on the street with nicely combed hair and sparkling blue eyes. “Don’t get your hot breathe all over the Admiral’s image!” someone yelled at Beorge from behind his back. “The Who?” Beorge replied. “THE ADMIRAL!” someone else yelled from the side of the convenience store. “Hes only responsible for you being here! Alive and free in this great city! How did you even get passed the wall?!” Suddenly Beorge began to hear more and more voices surrounding him. The voices yelled “Commie!” “SJW Trash!” “Sinner” and so many other insults Beorge couldn’t keep even decipher what they meant. The crowd continued to surround him. Hands reaching out towards him as he tried to walk back but more hands were there. They got him from the neck and as a team did the deed. 


Reasoning: My piece is a parody of Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. I wanted to focus on the scene where he comes back and realizes his town is completely different with changes symbolizing the changes in the country during the time. I wanted to do a piece of the current change America is facing. I tried to turn the satire feel of the changing town to the next level and attempt to create allusions and references to keep the comedy element of the satire present with the names of the people and city all refer to something political. It sounds a little weird but I named him Beorge Wush because I wanted to keep it sort of historically relevant and imagining George Bush slept threw Obama’s presidency and arrive in Trumps America made sense to me.  Trying to bring out what I thought of a bit comical in Van Winkle, I attempted to make symbolic connections to the major changes of Van Winkles town. The people changing to mean and extremely political in Van Winkle have turned into nazi looking guys in the parody. As for the form and style, I read over Irvings work and tried to identify key elements of style to try and imitate.  I noticed the ending was very interesting in the way he rushes the action as Van Winkle goes from one scene to another discovering horrible things every turn before he is confronted. I attempted to use this method in the piece to bring the same story telling element seen in Irving’s work and also to keep the short piece eventful and interesting. Overall I was attempting to deliver a similar message Irving was writing about during his time. He focused on the changing political atmosphere and how sudden and serious these changes can be and how easily someone in the right mindset, like an average joe, can be affected.

-Noel Nevarez

Dear Woke of my Country


Dear Woke of my County

Dear woke of my county, darkness engulf all that we see.

The orange leader is killing us slowly.

I want to be proud of this nation, and it to be free.

All we do is give to this nation, but we lack equality.

Stay bright and loud to fight our way through this.

Have you woken up yet? This country was never great.

This country is spiralling into the abyss.

We need to clean the executive slate.

Dear woke of my country, be the light that we need.

Spread love and cleanse hate.

Don’t give up, we can succeed.

We must “Win”, because our county is at stake.

The pulse of the muslims and the mexicans,

Throbbed for the glory of this country.

We must unite Americans.

And get rid of this orange junkie.


For this creative writing project I choose to imitate Thomas Moore poem, “Dear Harp of My Country.” Moore’s poem is centered around Irish nationalism, he writes to preserve and protect his culture. Moore want Ireland to be free from the choking grip of the United Kingdom. Britain’s imperial conquest during the 18 century effective began to silence Ireland’s culture. In 1763, Britain won the 7 years war, causing the formulated of the United Kingdom. Irish literature illustrates how the Irish were rebelling against the expectations to assimilate into British culture. This caused the tensions between Britain and Ireland to only rise. Moore is of Irish descent, meaning, that this poem is his attempts to preserve his culture in a time of “darkness.” Moore is proud to be an Irishman and his poem calls upon his countrymen to join in and fight for Ireland. I wanted to take this idea of use it for the basis for my intimation poem. Instead of uses it in the original setting, Ireland, I instead choose to use modern day America. I did this because I see that the Message in moore poem is relevant now in america because of the current presidency. Both Moore and I feel that our voices are not being heard our in politics. Trump seeks to minimize the people’s voice. We can not become silent to the wrong we see, because if we go silence and stop fighting we normalize the behavior and allow it to become culturally acceptable. Trumps hate is  harmful on what it means to be an American. I Call upon the America’s to stay “Woke” and continue to fight against inequality and hate that the White House is trying to force us to subscribe too. We need to be loud. We need to fight against President Trump  and prevent him from running this country into the ground. The term woke, is modern day slang about staying socially conscious. So if you’re “woke” spread the message and stay loud. The authorial voice I used for this poem was built in the context of modern day America. While I did want the voice of my essay to my own, I did want to keep it similar to the original. So I went through the original and picked out terms I liked and used it in my poem. Also, I kept the same structure and rhyming pattern as the original poem. my format choice were to more accurately imitate this poem. While my poem is similar to the original, it is still very different. The biggest difference between the two people is the seen in the voice and language.  When i was creating my poem, I choose a different setting than moore. This difference caused the caused the language of the poems to be different; but the similarities in purpose of the creation of the two poems  causes the two poems moods to be similar.

  • Conor Morgan

An American Sky

It was never this hard before, thought Guillermo De La Rosa as he stretched out his arm, pulling himself out from a muggy tunnel; it was daytime when he reentered the United States—San Diego. He untied the torn, red flannel from about his waist and dusted himself off, and when he got to wiping the sweat from his brow, he began to cry. “I promised you Natalie. I promised you that we would watch the American stars until the day we die,” he whimpered to an empty space beside him. Clutching the shirt to his face, absorbing the tears, he recalled the last time he saw his family: they were all there, standing outside by the patio with distraught, confused faces as the police car rushed out the driveway. The mother of the two little boys stayed by the door, hunched over, screaming into her shaking hands, while the boys ran to the street where they saw their father looking back at them, “Papi! Please! Don’t go!” That was the last time he saw Arturo and Diego—twelve years ago—they were seven and nine years old then. Wiping the last of his tears, he gathered himself and grabbed his backpack, rushing to the city to find his family.

He found himself in an old town where he would play handball with his old friends, all of which were now either in Mexico or no longer played. So, he decided to visit the courts in hopes to see people playing, but found nothing but a spray-painted fence covering unwanted debris. Different variations of “Fuck Trump” covered the entire fence; same words, different style. He was shaking his head with both perplexity of the court being torn down, and with amusement towards the graffiti, when he heard a crowd of young adults yelling what he had just read. Down the street, a Chicanx movement group was protesting the latest Trump executive order. Guillermo didn’t understand why they were shouting profanities aloud while there were children around, and he had an even deeper misunderstanding of what they were protesting. “You’re not with the movement old man?” a young man in a neatly combed hairdo asked Guillermo. “No? Uh. I-I-I don’t know, I’m sorry… My-my-my family…” he anxiously replied. “NO?! Well if you’re not going to fight for our rights then stay out of our way!” the young man shouted. Confused by what had just happened, he walked to a bus stop where he could still hear the faint chanting of the group. He was relieved to discover the bus route had not changed, and neither had the fare. Stepping off the bus, however, felt different; the wind that met him as the doors opened fell heavy on his shoulders. Nearing his old house, he felt his bones quiver, which made it hard for him to keep himself from falling to his knees, but soon enough he found it—with a new red door. At that moment he looked up, and realized the sky was no longer the same.

To Readers (if you exist),

I chose to recreate Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” in relation to its theme—or at least what I could take away from it as the theme. There was always this sense of uncertainty with defining anything that I found within the story. Life is constantly changing, as are the times, and I wanted to reflect on that with my own short story. I knew I wanted to recreate Irving’s story because I wanted to relate it back to the situation with immigration in modern day United States, to sort of satirize Trump’s America. Therefore, instead of a blatant attack on the U.S. president, I wanted to use a personal inquiry of my own to push the story forward. I imagined what it would be like if my own father had reentered the United States, what his interactions with others would be like, how he would feel. So, that’s why my story follows an undocumented father that reenters the United States after twelve years to reunite with his family. His encounter with a young man at a protest, for me, was both extremely funny and upsetting through the irony set in place. Here you have a privileged man protesting for the rights of undocumented folk shaming Guillermo for not “being about” a movement, which can be both funny and disturbing in the sense that the young man is being hypocritical. I ended the story with a new red door and a completely different sky—not the “American” one he promised his lover they would share forever, which was meant to symbolize how much the times have changed, and perhaps, how he may never make it back.

–Daniel Lizaola Lopez