Sorry, try again next time.

Rejection is tough. No really, everyone is always saying it but holy shit it’s tough as hell and this semester of college has literally been a Christmas list of rejections. Why am I writing this post, dear blog readers? Because I was just rejected from both shows that I auditioned for in the spring – that’s right, I didn’t get rejected from one but from two – and the worst part is I didn’t even get a call back. That’s right, I sucked so fucking much that they knew I wouldn’t be able to play a part even if they let me read some of the actual script. Goddamit, go me. I’m feeling so dark and gloomy and incredibly sad right now. I’ve never not gotten a call back for a show and I mean I’m glad I’m learning this lesson now, but holy shit it bites a lot. This rejection has me feeling like I don’t belong in the theatre anymore and I know that’s ridiculous and stupid but goddamit, this stings.

The rejection comes so soon too – just this Monday I found out that not a single poem that I had submitted to the Literary magazine on campus had been accepted. Nothing, I literally cannot win at anything. I thought writing was my niche, I’m a fucking English major with a Theatre minor. I should reevaluate my fucking life because I’m obviously not talented at anything. Nothing.

For some reason being sad makes me extremely sexually frustrated and lonely – a loneliness and horniness that cannot be cured by porn alone, mind you – so I’m feeling extremely sad because no one likes me. Correction, people like me but they’re people I cannot like. I want to be held so badly right now and told that I am worth something. But no one can get a fucking clue, I don’t belong anywhere – I want to go home, I wish that I were loved and wanted. I miss my friends. I miss physical contact… I feel like I haven’t hugged anyone in so long – I’m so in love with this person and they will never fucking know because I know that I would be rejected because rejection is my middle name. I’m rejected everywhere, nothing I do is ever good enough. Rejection, rejection, rejection.

Rejection is tough – no really, and it doesn’t get better.

Censor The Roses: The Occupy Rose Parade Movement

One of the greatest spectacles in the world happens every New Year’s Day in Pasadena, CA – The Tournament of the Roses Parade has occurred 123 times since it’s birth in the year 1890 and is watched by approximately 5 million people worldwide. The Rose Parade, from its start, was created as a spectacle made to showcase the beauty of Californian winters – as Charles F. Holder stated in 1889, “In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.” He of course had no way of knowing that “Wall Street” would one day travel out west to Pasadena.

The Occupy Pasadena protestors were dead-set on harnessing the widespread publicity garnered by the Rose Parade; their plan was to create a sociopolitical float that would be seen not only by the hundreds of people that watch the parade live but also by the millions of viewers that watch it on their television screens – they were going to exploit America’s obsession with the commercial, they were going to broadcast the message of the 99% worldwide. The float was created, the 99% were gathered, and everything seemed to be going according to plan on January 1st, 2012 – unfortunately, the Occupy protestors did not realize that the primetime parade coverage would not include their float, in fact their float never showed up on any major broadcast.

The question remains, however, did the Occupy Rose Parade protestors fail, or did the censorship help their cause? It’s a tricky territory to navigate and an even more difficult question to answer on one hand the protestors weren’t broadcast to the mass audiences during the parade but on the other hand a Google search of “Occupy Rose Parade” brings up approximately 160,000 hits. Was a mass broadcasting on television ever Occupy Rose Parade’s goal, or was the movement just trying to stir up enough controversy in order to propel themselves into the digital world of social media and Internet news? There would have been advantages and disadvantages to both approaches and there are no definite answers in regards to the Occupy protesters’ original motives, all that is known is that only one outcome actually occurred and thus, only one outcome can be analyzed.

The perception that the Occupy Rose Parade protest failed stems from the fact that every single worldwide television broadcast cut to reporters in a booth in order to not give the Occupy protesters any airtime – this is no surprise; the society of the spectacular image is deeply rooted in consumerism and the Rose Parade is one giant advertisement for our culture of consumers. It could be easily inferred that television channels, with their wealthy corporate sponsors, would not have wanted to broadcast any images that could potentially anger these large corporations; for example, NPR covered the story of Occupy Rose Parade [as well as other stories] and in turn lost a lot of corporate sponsorship because corporations argued that they were too liberal and anti-corporation. And yet, even without the TV channels broadcasting, the Occupy Rose Parade protest still garnered an incredible amount of attention; the perception that the Occupy Rose Parade protest failed is utterly incorrect – it is undeniable that this protest’s contributions to the Occupy movement had a positive impact.

The amount of media created by the Occupy Rose Parade protest may not seem significantly large at first but the fact of the matter is that the hundreds and thousands of images and media were created in just one day. Occupy Rose Parade did not have the luxury of having a long timespan to work with – they did not have the luxury offered to other Occupy encampments of having a flexible timeline with room for error in their methods of capturing and archiving of the movement, in Occupy Rose Parade it was “do or die,” it was “now or never.”

Occupy Rose Parade was curiously cooperative and willing to negotiate with the city of Pasadena; unlike other Occupy locations there were no arrests or any nuances of violence present in Occupy Rose Parade. The atmosphere of the protest was oddly whimsical, it was almost exactly what one would expect at a parade – the videos capturing the event are filled with protesters smiling and singing and reciting passionate but powerful speeches. The soundscape of Occupy Rose Parade is truly enthralling; the original chant of the movement, “We Are The 99%” can be heard in the background as a jazz band wails away in full swing under the singing, heart-felt proclamation of “We Shall Not Be Moved.” It’s almost hard to believe that such a peaceful, imaginative protest was so harshly censored by the mass media.

The Occupy Movement has been incredibly creative from the start, and Occupy Rose Parade was no exception. The protesters created a 250-foot banner of “The Constitution” which was followed up by a 70-foot Octopus made entirely out of recycled plastic grocery bags – the symbolism of these two floats were the furthest things from mysterious or philosophical. The Occupy protesters have always gone for bold choices and attention-grabbing tactics so it comes as no surprise that their first float would be a giant replica of The Constitution of the United States of America as a way of challenging large corporations and accusing them of breaking the law. The Octopus float on the other-hand is slightly more emblematic than the float of The Constitution – “The Octopus represents Wall Street’s stranglehold on political, cultural, and social life with tentacles that reach into your pocket to get your money and a tentacle to get your house.” – the Octopus is not symbolizing an actual living octopus, it is representing corporate greed.

The sociopolitical floats, the intimate speeches, the public outrage over the censorship of Occupy Rose Parade, and the pervasive power of the Internet came together to form an overwhelmingly successful digital archive of the protest. The Occupy protesters did not need the corporate powers of the mass media, they were able to spread their message on hard work and passion alone. The triumphs of The Rose Parade protest in the face of a culture of media that was intent on censoring the movement are rightly significant – as one protester put it, “This [the occupy movement] is the real Rose Parade, and the other is the Rose Charade.” In the end, the real failures were those TV stations that censored the movement – by not covering the Occupy Rose Parade protest they missed out on covering a part of history.

Black Fried Egg

“Fuck money!” screamed no one on Black Friday.

Ah, what a day, I didn’t buy anything on sale but plenty of people I know did indeed take advantage of the killer deeds (and by killer, I reference the fact that people die on Black Friday… a lot.) Anyways, the reason I’m writing this post is because I’m currently in New York City for Thanksgiving weekend and have been treated to truly exquisite meals and luxurious experiences – for this I am eternally grateful – however, I can’t help but become sad because I as a person, greedy as I am, do not think I could ever join a career simply because the money. Actually, no, correction, the last two “plans” I’ve told my parents were actually chosen by me – doctor and lawyer, but they were chosen because I felt as if I could be comfortable with those professions; it’s true I could be, but I won’t be.

I will never live the life I’m living these past few days, I simply won’t. I’m majoring in English – a humanity, oh horror! – and am not that intelligent, the best I could ever do would be some lame job only earning about 40k a year, if that, and right now I’m totally okay with that reality. I realize that I’m young and stupid and have never really hard to support myself but I honestly don’t feel as if I could major in anything else but English, I adore English, I want to write and be happy and live a free, wonderful life even though I know that will most likely not happen and I will end up homeless living in a box.

The most recent step I’ve taken towards living my life to the fullest is taking classes that actually interest me instead of courses that I feel will be most “beneficial” when I am in my job. I was taking a philosophy class (to think critically, and intelligently, and impressively, oh my!), a rhetoric of law class (because I was going to be a mighty lawyer!), a math class (still taking it, so what it’s core), and a backgrounds to American and English literature (still taking it, yay! It’s required for the major.) But now, I’m taking an infinitely better schedule: Queer Theory & Literary Criticism (fuck yeah, my interests put together!) and Actors & Acting (a class going towards my eventual theatre minor, that’s right THEATRE MINOR, SOMETHING THAT MAKES ME EXTREMELY EXCITED AND HAPPY.) I’m so fucking pumped my dear blog-readers, I finally feel as I’m doing something right (although I felt the same way after deciding on my last two future careers but that aside, so pumped!)

Oh and as for my future plans, I’m hoping to one day receive a PhD in English and become a professor – yes, I realize that’s difficult but that’s the plan right now and I will stick to it, you know, until my next “dream profession” comes up. And just for some more fun stuff, I’m going to go see Pippin on Broadway this weekend and I’m so fucking pumped, it’s a dream – actually though, I love you Broadway – and I hope I can still see your shows on a professor’s budget. ;)

Fire // Love // Cliché

Dear blog-reader, why is love so fucking important – why can a single emotions cause so much bullshit in the lives of humans? I don’t know – in all my 18 short years, I haven’t figured it out – and I don’t think I ever actually will. I don’t know why I write poems for people I barely know. I don’t know why I let my gilded thoughts of crushes consume my mind. I don’t know why I become obsessed with talking about how much I love whichever person. I don’t fucking know, and I don’t fucking know why I stop loving when love is shown towards me.

I’ve always complained about the wonderful, worldly phenomena that exists in the lives of every single human being: I love you, because you don’t love me – and you love me, but I don’t love me. The irony of course is that we cause the same pain that we feel, leading into a wonderful fucking cycle of heartache and self-loathing.

Why am I not good enough?

Why can everyone else be happy?

Why am I such a loser?

Why, why, why?

–  But then I realize that I’m thinking about love in a hopeless and romantic way that only an English major could be content living. I wrote this following passage out of sadness one time and it’s one of my favorite things that I’ve ever written. (Note: I don’t think this statement is objectively correct, it’s simply an opinion.)

~

The pangs of being an English major are these (or this, perhaps it is simply one pang, or idea):

Majoring in English is majoring in hopeless romanticism and idealism; an English major believes that the literary tropes and ideas of ‘poetic justice,’ ‘soul mates,’ and ‘after a string of bad things, something good must happen,’ exist and that these tropes and ideas manifest themselves in real life. The unfortunate reality is that they do not, and any perceived manifestation is simply a coincidence, the application of hopeless romanticism and idealism in a world where they neither belong nor exist — they will only ever exist on the pages of written stories.

Majoring in English means majoring in disillusionment and heartbreak. 

I hope you never date an English major; I hope you never date me.

~

And in a sense, I firmly believe that I am completely fucked and unlovable. There is literally no reason in my mind that anyone would want to end up loving me – I’m rash, and emotional, and not that attractive, and bitter, and hopeless, and I have nothing financially to offer. Look at me, I’ll put you on a pedestal and love you wholly and write (shitty) poetry about you but I will not be able to ever forgive and forget. Once something shatters, it’s over.

God, I shouldn’t be alone with my thoughts. And yes, I’m currently “in love” – and yes, the person I love does not love me back nor do they know. I even wrote a sonnet about them and I don’t want to end this post with the sonnet but I feel like I must, even though it is a terrible sonnet and one of my worst poetic pieces… I titled it “singeing spell.”

~

Lost burnings in my chest return with rage

and threaten to ignite the blood inside –

Oh phantom ardor! Pyromantic mage,

mercy, let this scarlet torture subside,

What have I done to deserve your torment?

Blame me not for my infatuation,

I’ve never loved before to this extent;

when will you end this torrid temptation!

Inspire me, but not with your fire,

touch me, but leave not a blistering scar;

immolate my heart upon your pyre,

but leave your heart untouched by my cruel char.

Love me not or never; for if you did,

you’d find your vermilion spell undid.

~

I mean really, would you ever want to date someone who wrote this type of shit for you? – then why do I insist on writing like a complete imbecile.

Inis Mac Neasáin: Eyes & Characters in Joyce’s “Dubliners”

Eyes – the reason reading exists – and their descriptions are often overlooked in literary works; frequently, their descriptions are only used to enhance the attractiveness of a blonde-haired, clear-eyed protagonist in hopes of appealing to a readership’s inherent adoration of beautiful heroes. Although the choice of character eye color in most novels may seem arbitrary, in Joyce’s Dubliners, carefully chosen eye colors and eye-centric scenes become integral to understanding Joyce’s narrative storytelling.

Every possible human eye color is found within the text of Dubliners but the one that Joyce chooses the most frequently is blue – blue eyes appear in the collection a total of seven times; more specifically they appear in the story Ivy Day in the Committee Room every time a new character’s eye color is mentioned. However, the choice of blue was not arbitrary, a close reading of the stories revealed an interesting phenomenon, the character’s that were described as having blue eyes were also the ones most obsessed with material possessions and worldly pleasure.

The thieving maid with “her unabashed blue eyes” in Two Gallants is the first character described as having blue eyes (aside from the sailors from An Encounter whom embody all possible eye colors.) Her connection to Corley helps solidify her connection to material goods; Corley’s conversation with his friend Lenehan, is mostly about how the maid (or slavey, as Corley calls her) makes a living by working at the house she steals from – she pilfers mostly cigars and cheese in order to keep Corley’s attention and shows no intention of stopping (a claim that is made clear by the gold coin she gives Corley at the end of the story); in a sense Corley serves as a male-prostitute for the blue-eyed maid, further solidifying her obsession and reliance on material goods and worldly pleasure.

Ignatius Gallaher is the second major character on which Joyce bestows blue eyes. This insufferable “antagonist” in A Little Cloud is a pivotal character in the collection of stories for a reason greater than his “bluish slate-colour[ed]” eyes. Ignatius Gallaher shows that every character in Dubliners that has dreamed of escape from Dublin has been incorrect – wealth and/or leaving Dublin does not equal success or an escape from the stagnation and boredom infused in Dublin’s residents, for although Gallaher is prosperous and successful in his career, he is absolutely insufferable and obsessed with bragging about his travels and “knowledge.” He is alone and hides in the worldly pleasure of alcohol; his eye color shines vibrantly in the text.

The next pair of “dark blue and steady” eyes belong to Mrs. Sinico from A Painful Case; she is easily the most tragic blue-eyed character. Mrs. Sinico plays the supporting role in Mr. Duffy’s story and the reader is only aware of her when Mr. Duffy is aware of her. While Mrs. Sinico’s obsession with material goods and worldly pleasure seems more acceptable and permissible, it is still reliance; in Mrs. Sinico’s case she gains such a dependence on Mr. Duffy (and alcohol) that she takes her own life. The character of Mrs. Sinico can be read as a glimpse into the possible future of other blue-eyed characters – an obsession with worldly pleasure can end a life.

The next three characters with blue eyes are all protagonists in Ivy Day in the Committee Room – Old Jack, Father Keon, and Crofton are the only characters in the story that have their eye colors described by Joyce. Ivy Day is characterized by the flippant nature of all the characters in the story, as well as by the pervasive presence of alcohol. The characters in this story (particularly the three mentioned above) show no true allegiance to any cause and instead only seem to swear fealty to the worldly pleasure of alcohol and inebriation.

Another eye color that is commonly utilized by Joyce is the color grey (though the color green is tied with grey, grey is much more concrete in its connotations.) This eye color appears a total of three times in Dubliners; it is cleverly used by Joyce in order to mark or indicate characters that are only liked by others because of underlying motives or outlying reasons.

The first character in Dubliners described as having grey eyes is Jimmy Doyle in After the Race. Although Jimmy starts off as a carefree, affluent youth, the reader is able to quickly pick up on the fact that Jimmy Doyle is a nouveau riche – his rich friends are able to be careless with their money but in the end Jimmy ends up poor and embarrassed after a card games that drains him of his wealth.  While Jimmy seems to fit in with the wealthy at the start of the story, by the end of it the reader is lead to infer that he only ever fit in because he was perceived as being a wealthy gallant.

Polly Mooney is chosen by Joyce to bear the burden of grey eyes in the story The Boarding House – her love affair Mr. Doran is what ends up justifying her eye color. In this story, Joyce treats the reader to heavy doses of dramatic irony; we, as the audience always know what is going on in the boarding house, whereas Polly is cleverly duped into believing that Mr. Doran actually loves her. Were it not for Mrs. Mooney’s conversation with Mr. Doran, or more importantly Jack Mooney’s silent threat, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Doran would have married Polly– her grey eyes are justified by the fact that she is only “loved” because of the threats of which she is unaware.

The final character with grey eyes is the heroine of Clay, Maria – the connotations between grey eyes and the status of outsider are painfully clear within this story. Maria cannot seem to do anything correctly in Joe’s house; she forgets the plumcake on the tram, Joe becomes cross at everyone for not being able to find the nutcracker for Maria, and in the end she cannot even sing the verses of her song correctly. Although it can be argued that Joe does actually love Maria (there is no reason to say that he does not) it is fairly obvious that his allegiance to her only manifests itself a few, short times a year – he does not in fact do anything to help her out of her poverty, she remains as an outsider in a wealthy home.

The importance of eyes, however, does not simply stop at the connotations between statuses, character traits, and colors; Joyce regards eyes in such a high manner that he ends four of his fifteen short stories by focusing in on the character’s eyes. Three of the stories utilize eyes in a similar fashion – the heroes eyes fill with tears that stem from various emotions, whereas the last story of the quartet does the exact opposite of the previous three, the heroine’s eyes show absolutely no perceivable reaction.

A sense of hope is associated with the eye-centric endings that involve tears – in the stories Araby, A Little Cloud, and Clay the men of the stories feel such intense emotion regarding their situation that they are moved to tears. The tears of these characters can be interpreted as hopeful because of the pervading theme of paralysis throughout the stories of Dubliners – although these protagonists are paralyzed, they can still cry – they are not yet dead; they are not as bad off as other Dubliners, others such as Eveline.

“Her eyes gave her no sign of love or farewell or recognition.” The final sentence of Eveline serves as a counterweight to the endings of Araby, A Little Cloud, and Clay. In Eveline the metaphorical air of the story is extremely stagnant and stale and any sense of fresh hope is brutally murdered in the climactic scene at the end of the story – Eveline throws away everything she had dreamt of because of a sudden, last minute panic attack; unlike the men of Dubliners, Eveline was not paralyzed – she was dead, her eyes were dead.

The symbolism of eyes is nothing new in the world of literature, however, the specificity in which Joyce crafted Dubliners allows for the rewarding of close reading, something that is most likely not the case in other works of literature. Joyce’s Dubliners is a masterpiece filled with intricate details; claims that he spent hours choosing the particulars of every scene, for this reason, cannot be doubted. The lives of Dubliners are expertly recounted in this collection of stories – and the eyes of Ireland shine, forever brightly, within its pages.

I’m Dreaming of a White… Thanksgiving?

There’s a strange loneliness that accompanies the status of being a West Coaster on the East Coast – I’m not used to weather conditions below 35 degrees, I wear 3 layers of jackets (at a minimum), I keep asking “It gets colder?!,” and I had no fucking idea that your hair freezing was a thing. It’s definitely not as glamorous as the BuzzFeed articles make it seem, I’m just saying, 27 Questions People Ask You if You’re From California is completely inaccurate here in Beantown, MA – besides, BuzzFeed, you forgot to add that everyone asks you, “Why the FUCK did you move out here?” to which I promptly reply money. And even now, the loneliness is here.

Okay, I’m just being melodramatic; to be fair it’s the first day of Thanksgiving break and everyone is at home with their family, which is totally understandable – if I could go home to San Diego right now I would’ve been on a plane already, but alas not all is lost; I’m going to New York City (yes, center of the universe!) and I couldn’t be happier. I’m going to see my newly-married sister and her newly-married husband // my brother in law (they’re visiting, they live in San Diego); we’re going to live the life. But anyways, I guess I’m an extremely dull blogger, I mean, why the hell would anyone want to read about my life – “Hello, my name is Sebastian and all the ego on this blog is going to leave a salty flavor in your mouth.”

Ah, but let’s see, dear blog-reader (assuming anyone is out there; I doubt that because this blog is gross) what could I talk to you about… let’s see. Cold weather? Check. Thanksgiving plans? Check. The Last 5 Years? NO. Oh god, oh man, if you haven’t listened to The Last 5 Years, boy do I feel sorry for you; what is The Last 5 Years, you ask? Well, dear blog-reader, it’s a love/sad story/musical about the failed marriage between an up-and-coming writer and his failed actress wife – it’s told in reverse by her and normally by him and they meet in the middle (for their only duet in the show!) at their marriage and holy crap, it’s incredible. I’m actually obsessed with it and I can’t stop listening to it, and why? Well, dear-blog reader, my pal Kevin asked me to go see the show with him on Saturday and I (had heard of it before, but didn’t know the music) said yes – and I’m angry now because this show is ruining my life and destroying my feelings; The Last 5 Years is a charged blender and my emotions are in it.

So yeah, go listen to The Last 5 Years while I think about what the hell this blog is going to be about – I don’t really want it to be a personal “Tumblr-like” blog because I left that lifestyle behind for a reason (it was consuming my life!) but I know that I’m going to post a lot of poetry on this thing so be prepared for that as well – either way I know that this blog is just going to be a very pointless, time-wasting mechanism I’ll use in order to vent and talk about how much I am enjoying life here on the East Coast and hating, intensely, the weather.