As an aspiring writer I’ve always felt a milestone that would indicate that I’ve made it in the publishing world is if there is a Wikipedia article about me. A few times I’ve told people that and they said “I’ll make one for you!” or something to that effect. While I appreciate the thought, they missed the point. The reason I believe having a Wikipedia article is an indicator of success is because it indicates that I’ve made my self well known enough that someone I’ve never met took time out of their day to write an article about me. Especially one that meets Wikipedia’s near indecipherable notability standards. A Wikipedia page about me written by a friend right now would get deleted within 24 hours, probably within a few hours.
I’ve never met any major celebrities per se, but I have met and even known a few people with Wikipedia articles. Here is a list of them in no particular order:
Jorge Luis Borges once noted that camels are never once mentioned in the Koran, which proves it is an authentically Arabic book. Anyone who isn’t from the Middle East writing a book set there would feel compelled to mention camels, whether it was necessary for the story or mere tokenism. Reading that Borges essay has given me a critical eye for set and setting, and now any details in a work I examine whether I think they were there organically or to remind you of the setting.
It’s truly astounding how whenever characters go to New Orleans it just so happens to be Mardis Gras or at very least Mardis Gras is gratuitously mentioned, similar with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. No matter what city a film takes place in, you can guarantee that whatever landmark it is known for will make an appearance. In Ratatouille the Eiffel Tower is present pretty much whenever they are outside, even Linguini’s shitty apartment had a clear view of it. That’d be some prime real estate. I’ve been to Paris and I know first hand the Eiffel Tower isn’t omnipresent, I didn’t even see it on my first day there because my hotel room wasn’t anywhere near it.
You can pass any other college gen ed class. Unless you have eccentric tastes in recreational reading material or have actually taken a philosophy class, you have no accurate idea of what philosophy is. Even if you meet either or both of those criteria you may not still. On Wednesday I have an oral final in PHL 201 then I am done with the Fall 2014 semester, and more importantly, done with philosophy. It’s not a fun class, but you can learn a lot from it. Applying what you learned and showing that you learned it is the challenge, so in a way I’m happy I took it at the same time I wish I didn’t have to. Whatever the case, I’m just glad I didn’t take care of that requirement when I was still in community college. My community college had one class, and it was online so instead of lectures you had to watch VHS tapes from the ’80s which only had one set available at each campus library. Screw that. Taking PHL with an actual professor was a much better course of action, so I’m glad I took that route. On Wednesday I will say goodbye to Plato, Descartes, and Aristotle.
Right now I’m Philosophy 201 and we’re going over Plato. Here’s an excellent adaptation from one of his books that we watched in class:
This story is derived from Symposium and is told by Aristophanes, who was the bitter enemy of Plato’s mentor Socrates. Its notable that Plato gave the best speech in the book to a rival, and I find the story itself a very bizarre alternative to Genesis or most other First Man and First Woman Stories.
Yeah it was about a year. It was like the last year or so of college and I’d gotten into playing 360 instead of reading. I started reading again when I entered community college and the first textbook I started with Intro to Theatre by Dr. Oscar Brockett.
I’m usually cautious not to use words I’m uncertain of, but when I was younger I did use words I read in books that have since acquired very different primary meanings. I remember reading the word “gay” and looking it up in my children’s dictionary (which was written in the ’70s, a very “gay” decade), and later using it myself to mean happy. This was maybe around 2000 or so, so I was like six. Suffice to say I had no knowledge of homosexuality, and wouldn’t until a few years later when it was all over the news about how California and Massachusetts would be legalizing same sex marriage. I first encountered the word “ejaculate” while reading Mark Twain and when I looked it up, this time in an unabridged Webster’s, the first definition was not the one the book meant. Amusingly a lot of these terms have been sneakily used in the past with our modern meanings.
I only read the first four or five Hardy Boys before getting utterly bored with the contrived formula and outdated dialogue using words phrases like “swell fellow,” but now I wouldn’t mind rereading them. Too bad the modern editions are censored.
Lots of people have noticed this: http://richmerritt.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/whats-your-egi-earliest-gay-influence-or-the-hardy-boys-made-me-gay/
You know, that asshole who’s been going back and forth between two girls (who also happen to be BFFs) for like seventy years. Fiction and nonfiction are like apples and oranges, sometimes you want the fictional one and sometimes you want the other. I just couldn’t settle on one, so I have to find a balance. As a general rule I do read nonfiction must faster then fiction, probably because the former doesn’t have to be read linearly. I don’t think its good to limit yourself to one type of reading, so maybe it isn’t a good idea to compare reading habits to someone like Archie who really needs to pull his shit together and stop being a selfish prick who wants everything.
And every other concept that is a judgment of worth. Every read Umberto Eco, everyone’s favorite semiotics professor turned novelist? He wrote a book titled on beauty. Okay read, nothing special. Then he wrote On Ugliness, in which he argues that art is actually dominated by ugliness and that beauty is defined as being the opposite of ugly.
Some brush off yellow’d pages
But knowledge is wine
Greatly enrich’d over time
The English Honors Society publishes an annual collection of student writings, and I submitted my poems The Wild Hunt and Ballad of William Walker to them. This back in like February, but I recently received notification that they would be published in this year’s anthology and on Wednesday everyone who made it will be presenting their work. This coupled with getting hired by the school paper are significant steps towards realizing my dream of being a professional writer. While these will greatly increase my audience it is you, my faithful Friends, who were my audience first.
Here are the poems: