A captive Narrative

The supreme power and greatness of the Mother, together with the faithfulness of her promise displayed, being a narrative of the captivity and restoration of the good dog jade, commended by her, to all that desires to know Mother’s doings to, and dealings with her. On the tenth of February, came more of the “people” with great numbers upon the land: Their first coming was at sunrise; hearing the neighing of the horses, looking out; our grass lay place was being trampled, and the horses were whipped sometimes leaving scars, they’re blood seeping into the land of the great Mother. They took 5 of my brethren dogs, and a puppy, and threw them into the river. My Alpha they took and slit his throat, he had attempted to help the others. I, and my two pups hid but soon they came and took away them both, oh well.

When I saw the two dead pups, the women bowed their head but kept moving, there was no howling or pawing, they did not care, and I too walked away because I had lost my pack. They were wild animals that had no morals.

When I woke I was alone with my ‘owner’.  These strange creatures were hostile, eyeing me often, but then also coming over to rub my head.  Their Alpha wore all black and commanded the others on what to do.  I was on my own with these feral creatures and I thought, “Great Mother give me guidance on what I should do”. Mother was our divine ruler that we worshipped and he was clearly testing me to make sure my faith was real.  We were no longer in the grassy woods where they had first begun to make these odd structures, but in a place with irregular trees put together in what I would assume is their way of shelter. There were no trees around and the smell changed, the land looked ravaged. They were hideous to me, they would feed me what they called ‘bread’ every day, instead of fresh killed meat, and then they would throw a ball and ask me to retrieve, begrudgingly I would while they laughed in joy.  They didn’t circle their food, sniff, and lick it, but nothing happened and either way the food was consumed. The betas and submissive people did not honor their Alpha, when he walked by they did not sniff his butt or bow their heads, they lacked class and respect.

There was one other loyal dog like myself around, they kept a contraption on her mouth. If she lifted her head they would smack her and eventually she would just whimper with her eyes closed.

When the full moon finally arrived after my never ending stay, they stayed in doors, I tried to explain that we needed to be out and run under the moonlight to honor Mother; to find food and honor the great Mother, but they neither cared or understood.

I knew that although this was foreign, If I were to make it out, away from these vial beings, Mother would reward me for my faith and servitude.

 

 

 

In this narrative I choose to follow the syntactical style of Mary Rowlandson in that most sentences I use are long and complex similar to Rowlandson. The diction used to critique the ‘people’ in the narrative are similar to Rowlandson’s choice in that here I use “owner”, and other terms that are familiar to a dog and not a person, similar to how Rowlandson defines most her narrative with terms and ways that only the Puritans would understand which could be creating a narrative bias as well. The events I choose to discuss are in a way mocking Rowlandson’s narrative in that throughout the whole narrative of Rowlandson she acts as though her captors were so terrible although they treated her better and took care of her. In this I choose to make her into a wild dog so as to express this notion of understanding other cultures and the ironic nature of the captive narrative. Rowlandson judges for the differences in culture although there is clearly a structure of class which is why I mention the absurd and incredulous tone of how the people don’t sniff each others butts. That is meant to mock the fascination with class and social etiquette that Rowlandson is obsessed with. In this Narrative, Mother, or more symbolically Mother Nature represents God and the powers and faith needed to believe in such a powerful thing. When the blood spills into the land of mother it’s a reference to when the smoke in the book went up to the heavens. Every part of the narrative is religiously charged.  I also choose to utilize formal diction to emphasize a religiously charged feel as Rowlandson does while simultaneously attempting to mock what little feelings towards others she appears to have. When bad things happen she states it rather than expresses her grief.

 

 

-Haley Halsey

Flight of the Drunken Airliner

It is a flight attendant
And he questioned one of three
“By your chipper smile and charismatic voice
Now what for do you accost me?

The airlock doors swung wide open
And I am next to leave
The bags are got, I soon must jet
I hear the bag carousel weave and weave

But still he holds the passenger
There was a flight, said he
“Hey! If you’ve got a funny story,
Attendant! Come walk with me

The attendant speaks of a day past
Where the attendant lost his cool
A passenger was acting unruly
Truly seemed one great fool.

The attendant strolled the aisles
With the cart of goodies tall
Asking, “Would you like some nuts?”
For one man and the rest of all.

His day seemed to be going well
About as good as it could be
Some turbulence over Ohio
But blue, white skies to be seen

The attendant took his seat
When all his work was done
“What is that out on the wing?”
Is someone having a bit of fun!?

He peers through the porthole window
To catch a little glimpse
A strange figure runs from view
“Great… time to pass out the chips.”
A customer in row two said,
“Hey, brah? I want a beer.”
The attendant dawns a smile,
Trying hard to conceal the fear.

“What was that on the wing?”
The question panged his head.
He hands out the Coca-Cola.
While many passengers simply read.

“I must be going mad,”
The attendant quietly said.
He strolled off to the bathroom,
To cleanse his bowels instead.

He walked off to the stall,
Closed the door with a “clank.”
“This job…. It’s shearing out my soul
But, at least it’s money in the bank.”

The attendant cleans his hands
Suddenly—hears a strange sound
“Okay, what the fuck is going on.”
He searches the source like a hound.

He peers down the sink,
And, boy, what does he see.
A little green demon scurries down
The attendant is scared as can be.

The flight is soon to land
They’ve passed the Great Lakes
The attendant wants to leave,
He’ll do whatever it takes.

Some rough air as the liner falls
Through the open air
Some people suddenly awaken
Look out? The attendant doesn’t dare.
“I thought this job was easy…”
The attendant solemnly thought
Customer service was impossible
When in his mind fears were wrought

As JetBlue Flight 1052
Descended to the ground,
The attendants brow was furrowed.
His face: it possessed a frown.

“If anything else goes wrong,
Today will be my last.”
The future did not look rosy,
And certainly not the past.

The plane taxied to the terminal,
And a passenger got up too soon.
“Miss, could you please sit down?”
The phrase, it meant his doom.

She accosted him madly,
Trying to grab her bag.
“Miss, you’re breaking the rules….”
SHUT UP YOU NAGGING FAG!

The attendant was at wits end,
For a damned good reason.
He made his mind up now,
Because madness was in season.

He grabbed two cans of Coors,
For the jolly road.
He pulled the emergency exit,
And shouted with a goad:

“I quit, I quit, I quit.
I thought that you show know:
This flight has been the worst,
So, now, enjoy the show!”
He slid down the chute,
And ran from the terminal gate.
He sure had a blast,
But criminal charges soon await.

 

“Flight of the Drunken Airliner” is a parodic rendition of “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” using the trope of a forewarning tale, themes of travel, and questions of sanity. While my parody lacks much of the Romantic quality of Coleridge’s original work, I’ve decided to use the generic plot as a skeletal structure to outline critiques of modern capitalism. The poem is intended to be a hybrid of antiquated and modern diction, with colloquial dialogue that punctuates the regular flow of poetic language and poetic rhyme pattern. I’ve used the same rhymed stanza format to tell the story, but, instead of being divided into parts, it is a simple long-form prose poem.

The narrative is a hybrid between the “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” episode of Twilight Zone and the news story of JetBlue Flight 1052. By combining both fiction and fact, I expound on two stories which represent the anxieties of post-war capitalism. In the Twilight Zone episode, William Shatner’s character Robert Wilson takes a flight where he experiences psychological trauma, and, in the JetBlue flight, flight attendant Steven Slater claims to face emotional abuse from a passenger, causing him to quit his job in a hilarious flare of commercial rebellion. By layering these two stories on top of one another, obscuring the differences between the two, I hope to represent the insanity of commercialism, technological fetishization, and the soul crushing nature of customer service work.

To some extent, I believe that humorizing the poem has done away with much of its historical, literary bite, but I’d argue that situating the poetry within a contemporary context is a useful act in and of itself. Where “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is wholly a ghastly story of naturalistic revenge within the context of a moralistic tale, “Flight of the Drunken Airliner” is meant to be far less proselytizing. With the modernity of the rendition comes the indeterminacy of a moral lesson, and I hope that I’ve left enough for the reader to digest and make their mind up for themselves.

Peace

—Nathaniel Schwass

Wordsworth of the Modern Day: America, 2017

A Modern imitation of Wordsworth’s poem:

Jefferson! Your declaration has turned against you:

America needs your return; She has become the home of political unrest.

Of corrupted shores: rebellion, terrorism, and insanity,

Seaside, the great country of freedom,

Has revoked her own former glory

Of Democracy. We are our own demise;

Please! Rise from the grave, return to life;

And return us to Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy.

Your writings like a guiding sign, and long forgotten:

You once had a voice that lead to our country’s liberation:

Clear as a cloudless sky, open, unyielding,

So did you wish for this fate,

In regretful acceptance; and yet your heart

At the destruction did not sway.

A Beautiful World of Ethereal Places and Ephemereal Wonders

Their colors are distinct as those of the sun and regularly and obviously blended, though less vivid, fine specimens may be found any night at the foot of the upper Yosemite fall, glowing gloriously amid the gloomy shadows and thundering waters, whenever there is plenty of moonlight and spray.

– John Muir

Dear my fellow venerable peers and aspiring scholars, I present to you a plea.

Awaken your slumbering reverence of nature within. This world that we share asks for our appreciation now more than ever. The strength of a movement is determined by the collection of the will of its individuals. Wordsworth intuitively composed his poetry at a time of boiling industrial forthcoming, but do not hesitate to relate its antiquity to the pertinence it has in a world of modern environmental peril. Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads is as contemporary to our present problematic endeavors with Earth as you could possibly imagine. Their words continue to speak for a voiceless mother Earth, the most beautiful of all planets we have ever encountered. As students of the University of California, Merced, we are granted an opportunity to embrace a pioneering spirit that has fueled and characterized the United States of America for centuries. Considering our proximity to the greatest wilderness of them all, Yosemite, we are living embodiments of Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis, which spoke to the roaring passion for Western expansion and human inquisitiveness. Go forth and revel within the temples of awful (awe-inspiring) natural wonder, avoid the temptation and distractions of modernity, as they serve no true purpose to your free-spirited soul.

Wordsworth and Coleridge have me lost in a world of beauty and pain. Romanticism speaks to me like a siren-wailing fire truck calls to a lonesome canine to howl incessantly. I’m enamored by this imaginative prose, delicate as a rose, insinuating thoughts of philosophical scorn, like an unforgiving thorn. I have literally and figuratively lost myself in the forests of the Sierra Nevada, blanketed by chilling darkness, but it was then, that I had ever felt more alive. I was young then, and my eyes scrambled in the twilight in fear of black bears. I know now, that these lovable bears in comparison to fearsome grizzlies of the north or population dwindling from receding landscapes of polar bears, are not to be feared. Fresh mountain wind,  towering sequoias revived me from my past loathsome troubles that lay insidious within my mind for so long. The landscapes of this breathtaking mountain range lay etched in my thoughts even with my eyes closed, and are now ingrained in me for the rest of my existence.

The painting “Buttermere Lake: A Shower”, instills moody thoughts in a gloomy overcast. I initially see a bleak landscape of melancholy, that speaks of a desolate past. The rainbow from the painting reminds me of Lower Yosemite Fall’s moonbows. We are within 2 hours of North America’s tallest waterfall. An exciting thought to contemplate itself. I look within these dark clouds of anguish and uncertainty, however, and I find hope. Just as I once lost my wallet and my keys in Yosemite and panicked for my life, I would eventually calm down and see that they were exactly where I had placed, underneath a pile of my belongings. There is always hope even in death and absolute remorse. Even if you cannot see it, there is always light somewhere within or somewhere far beyond the twilight zone. It is only in darkness that light truly shines. Be courageous in the face of overwhelming odds. Fight on until your last dying breath, and submit to no oppressive force. I reference another poem that carries my sentiments. “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” – Dylan Thomas

Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower exhibited 1798 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Joseph William Turner’s painting carries multiple aspects of Romanticism within its frame. It is an encapsulation of the feelings and emotions of The Lyrical Ballads. Expostulation and Reply discusses enjoying nature even if its morals and lessons taught are not as direct as a lecture of philosophy or a laboratory session of science.

"You look round on your Mother Earth,
          As if she for no purpose bore you; 
          As if you were her first-born birth,
          And none had lived before you!"

William is expostulated by Matthew. Why does he seem to mindless observe the world with his mind adrift in solitary rumination?

"Nor less I deem that there are Powers
          Which of themselves our minds impress;
          That we can feed this mind of ours
          In a wise passiveness.

William explains his penchant for wonderful Mother Earth. He feels that he assimilates notions of patience and lessons of wisdom in the stillness of meditation and deep contemplation.

Landscapes like the one Turner paints and the ones that you can come across after hiking to a viewpoint are so powerful, that you can’t help but lay speechless. I recall the times I’ve been such amazing views like Glacier Point and Angel’s Landing, and I sat startled and comforted by the immense grandeur for hours.

I make one last reference to another one of Wordsworth’s poems. I ask that you consider your lifestyle and your attachments to materials, just like Wordsworth attempts to convey the contempt of materialism. A life is meant to be fulfilled with experience, and not meaningless objects.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers
.

The World is Too Much With Us

William Wordsworth

Earth day is on April 22. Also, National Park Week is April 15-23. On April 15 and 16 and again on April 22 and 23 you can visit any national park in the country free of charge. As the heavy snowfall from this year’s dramatic winter begins to recede in the Sierra Nevada, I encourage you to take part in experiencing our world within its raw natural boundaries, rather than dwelling within unsatisfying cities. The following link is a website that has been instrumental in my transition from childhood to young adulthood. It has guided me with a knowledgeable content of incredible hikes in Yosemite and also carries a comedic and informative style of prose. Check it out! http://www.yosemitehikes.com/hikes.htm

One last note. Last winter I explored Zion National Park, and after embarking on a notoriously scary but enjoyable hike, I found a drone sitting atop Angel’s Landing. Flying drones are strictly prohibited in these National Parks, and I felt obligated to find the owner before a ranger confiscated it. I’ve been looking for the owner ever since. After a considerable amount of time debating with myself internally over ethical matters, I decided to examine the footage of nature. I was absolutely blown away, and I feel compelled to share. I hope that everyone has the desire to embark on their own expeditions. I recommend the HD setting for enhanced theatrics.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas Pham

Not just a language, but a state of mind

The status of the English language has changed drastically since the time of Samuel John’s Dictionary (1755) to Macaulay’s and Ray’s call for English language education in India in the sense that the English language now is no longer just a language, but a ‘state of mind’. The English language at first was sloppy, but through time it became the language of the Western hemisphere and of development.

The English language plays a vital role in American and British identity. Although, the American accent sounds very different from a British accent, the colonists may have changed the English language to distinguish it from the British, but they also kept it as a reminder of something to strive for. The English language is what gave America a culture of democracy, freedom, and liberty that they had not had before.

In class (3/3/2017), we discussed a thesis about Johnson, Macaulay, and Ray and how it can be improvised. The example thesis stated that Johnson, Macaulay, and Ray considered the English language as an imperialist language which is a language that would rule other cultures. This not a bad idea, but there’s more to that. English has evolved so much that it is no longer just a language, but a ‘state of mind’. When the British colonists invaded other lands they didn’t just leave behind their language, but culture and ideas. They left their trademark, and this trademark brought forth ideas into developing nations. The English language also helped the British because now they had some common ground with the natives. For instance, India has elections and is far more democratic than its neighboring Arab nations that use Arab as the official language yet are far less democratic and less developed. Another example, is Canada and the U.S. are leaders of the free world, and both were territories of Britain whereas Mexico belonged to Spain. Spain took from Mexico yet never gave them nothing in return whereas Britain gave the U.S. ideas and enlightenment.

-Benjamin Montes

Mary Rowlandson Political Influence

What Mary Rowlandson writing was unethical despite the fact that some may feel sympathetic towards her. Although Mary’s grief may have led her to such extreme actions, which she believed to be justifiable under the eyes of GOD, her addition to the history of intolerance to others and this genocide were not ok. Although the tragedy she suffered in which she lost her children due to an act of violence from the native Americans who killed her children while in her arms is sad, it can, later on, be seen as how this moment in her life became a scapegoat for her actions. Upon hearing this sad story of her children dying before her, Rowlandson becomes an image of distraught and anguish that cries out for sympathy and here is also where we begin to see justification of her acts due to sympathy towards a woman (who was clearly a part of a movement to establish colonies in the name of Christianity) that looked emotionally and mentally abused. However despite looking like a fragile woman whose only intentions was to help the Native Americans let go of such gruesome lifestyles and actions by showing them the way of God, some claim despite the tragedy that occurred, it is not justifiable to sympathize with this women and the loss of her children due to the fact extreme acts of violence and her true underlying intentions.

As one sympathizes with her it is important to also keep in mind the white colonialist/ imperialist voice that asked for the voice of her people but not; where was the voice of the native Americans in all of this? Did the women in the Indians side not lose children due to the wars as well? But the fact of the matter is that women did have political influence caused by sympathy that reflected from one of the most “weakest” members of their society as well as the use of religion. Religion, Christianity is the key factor, to the type of power and influence it can have no matter what gender one may be. For instance, Thomas invites the comparison of both Anne Hutchinson and Winthrop’s feud: “Remaining confident with the belief that God remained within her, she countered Winthrop’s accusations intelligently over days of trial, but she would cement her fate as her character showed eminently whilst addressing the court in an impassioned outcry, ‘You have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm…Therefore take heed how you proceed against me—for I know that for this you go about to do to me, God will ruin you and your posterity and this whole state.’” Anne Hutchinson was able to argue with Winthrop over religious beliefs by using religion against him thus proving that in a free and development an integration between the natives and the colonist, the woman also had a saying in the movement.

Mary is not so different, her works became propaganda to millions of puritans/or colonist to justify the murdering of people do to Indian retaliation.

Quote

Sure women did not have authority the same way man did, but they were really influential through writing,(as we can see with the case of Hutchinson v. Winthrop) because writing erases gender; that is if people do not view the name of the woman on a piece of literature; or if the woman writer uses a fake name to publish her stuff, as it was done around these times; or more unethically, the man in charge, allow for works like Mary to be spread around to gain “sympathy” and be justifiable of their actions to their own people, without even considering the fact that there is another side of the story, resulting in the justification to wipe the Native Americans which I theorize, might have been the beginning of the separation between the colonist, politically and ethically. Thus, fast-forwarding to the present, the creation of both political parties: Republicans and Democrats.  In short, although Mary Rowlandson may not have written her piece as a means of political involvement, it seems that maybe it was politically manipulated and pushed the religious ideas to back up the colonist view of the native Americans to be nothing but cruel people and savages.

Enrique Ramos

Contradiction Within The Royal Society

Thomas Prat’s essay, The History of the Royal Society of London, for the Improving of Natural Knowledge, focuses on the abandonment of eloquence in speech and writing in order to thrust the ideas within scientific knowledge into a much clearer and obvious light. Such alienation of language served as a fundamental idea at the start of The Royal Society’s establishment during the 17th century.

Taking a look at The Royal Society in the 21st century, the community is still active in it’s “mission” to progress the understanding and acquisition of scientific knowledge on a more massive scale. Specifically, listed under their “Priorities List” we find:

  • Promoting science and its benefits
  • Recognising excellence in science
  • Supporting outstanding science
  • Providing scientific advice for policy
  • Fostering international and global cooperation
  • Education and public engagement

While the first four bullet points include “science,” we can safely assume its core idea of empiricism is still relative. What becomes contradictory though, for the site, is its priority to “foster international and global cooperation.” How can such cooperation exist if the precise alienation of eloquence is thrust upon its explanations of the physical world? Or rather, at what point does language become “flowery” or “purely didactic”? There exists not a standard for simple language to advance one’s point. While the priorities don’t explicitly address the issue of language, the absence of the importance of plain language is still a problem, considering it was one of the early points enforced by The Royal Society in the time of founding such a scholarly community.

Furthermore, plain or in this case, “scientific” speech is only understood by those who study the field, thus rendering their global engagement limited to scientist and scholars. The limitation of language is such a backwards-thinking idea, you might as well require everyone to only speak in Latin or Greek; seeing as how the classics so heavily influenced the foundations of The Royal Society.

Therefore, true cooperation cannot exist if the language in one’s writings or speech is too “flowery” or “simple” for one another within the society. Arguments and even annoyance would ensue, taking into account if it held meetings with speeches and ceremonies of the sort. It would be a hilarious chaos.

-Daniel Corral

Returning to Primitive “Purity and Shortness” in the Royal Society

Thomas Sprat wrote in his “History of Royal Society of London,” text that “they have exacted from all their members a close, naked, natural way of speaking,” they being the royal society. What this means is that the members had a vernacular that was mostly understood by “wits or scholars,” and in a society that wants to share their knowledge–not boast–they ought to have the power of sharing a common tongue. The Royal Society is known for their history of great scientific and historical power with big name scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and in more recent time, Stephen Hawking.

The primary objective of this organization is to “work to to support excellence in science, building a home and future for science in the United Kingdom.” In reading Sprat’s work, his version of the history of this society, it seems as though the times have not altered this primary goal. He states: “The Society has reduced its principal observations… to be nakedly transmitted to the next generation of men, and so from them to their successors.” The main goals expressed in both the website for the Royal Society and in Sprat’s text both coincide nicely together, in that, they want to continue their legacy, or their passion for science onto others and build that foundation.

The main argument made by Sprat is that the members of the society ought to learn how to do so in a clean, concise fashion. He argues that the writers should “return back to the primitive purity and shortness, when men delivered so many things, almost in equal number of words.” Meaning that he wished they could go back to the basic fundamental of scientific writing: short, educational, and quality works (not quantity). By looking at the website, I’m sure he would be content with how the Royal Society has turned out; the layout is clean, concise, and doesn’t scare the reader away with any fancy, unfamiliar jargon.

–Daniel Lizaola Lopez

Science History

Francis Bacon wrote of a world which was so perfect due to its inhabitants thirst for knowledge. This Utopia he describes would “enlarge the bounds of the human empire”. The Royal Society of today is aims to “recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.” There does seem to be a parallel here between Bacon’s vision of a utopia and the Society. The society states in their Strategic Plan for 2012-2017 “Scientific knowledge is a public good, contributing profoundly to human culture and leading to wide economic and social benefits”. This sounds incredibly similar to Bacon. They see science as a necessity for culture to function. What has changed between now and then would probably be the Society’s wish to reach out to the working class community. In the 17th century the Royal Society was for the elite. If you had money and status you were able to enjoy the benefits of learning and discovering science. The present day Society states in their Education subtitle that “the Society is committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to appreciate the value of and engage with science”

-Maya Gonzales