A Bit Political (+ Book Reviews)

We Tread on a Dangerous Path

It would be incredibly irresponsible of me to write a blog post without at least mentioning the depressing political moves of our newly-inaugurated president. There are many decisions that Donald Trump has made that I disagree with, but perhaps the one most heart-breaking to learn about was the ban set in place. The US Constitution states that people have the right not to be discriminated against for their religion.  If Trump’s executive order on immigration isn’t discrimination against religion, then what is it?

I urge you to watch John Green’s youtube video “Understanding Trump’s Executive Order on Immigation,” as he can explain what’s so messed up about the ban far more eloquently than I could. Even so, we as a nation are founded on a large variety of religions. We are supposed to be the open-armed, compassionate country that welcomes those looking for a better life. After all, was that not what ideals this country was founded on? That said, no matter whether you are left or right, we as a country should be a bit more careful about agreeing with policies such as these.

I like to think that you, as a reader and/or writer, understand empathy just as well as, if not better than, the next man. So imagine being in the shoes of these people who have not done us any wrong (and I’m not talking about the terrorists that this ban is supposed to help stop; I’m talking about the vast majority of the people who are affected by Trump’s order, who are likely innocent of any wrong-doing and who are looking for some place safe to live). Imagine their frustration, and their anger. Wouldn’t you be upset too? They’re not all monsters. This is not the right step to be taking in making our country a better, safer place.

I leave my case there, only encouraging you to stand up for these people, and be vocal about your dissent.

Book Review

Cloud Atlas

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Author: David Mitchell

Genre: Science Fiction (?)

Rating: 4.5 stars

This is perhaps one of the most clever books I’ve ever read. And if not “ever read,” then at least “recently read.” This book entails six different storylines that take place in six different time lines. All are completely separate stories, but they’re interlinked (some, obviously; others, a little less so). A bit of a slow read, truth be told, but it had some fantastic plots going on. Each part was cut into two, and written first in ascending, then descending, order. Like so: 1 – 2- 3- 4- 5 -6 -5 -4 – 3 – 2 -1. Most of them are really profound, and resonate as much in your soul as they do in the timeline of their world.

I’d recommend pretty much anyone read it, though if it gives you trouble, there’s a movie that stays… pretty close to the plot, and was amazingly done in any case.

Drama Reviews

Much Ado About Nothing

Author: William Shakespeare

Rating: 4 stars

I might find myself more inclined to like this play after some class discussions, but just from first impressions, I found this kind of lacking. It was supposed to be a really funny play, but a lot of the jokes seemed just to be puns. Thank Shakespeare for Dogberry, or I might’ve found the whole play to be a disappointment. And Benedict and Beatrice are beautifully witty characters, ’tis true. *Spoiler*, though I don’t know if one can actually have such things in a play that’s so old and well-known, Leonato’s reaction to Hero’s supposed infidelity to her fiancee, was surprisingly brutal and cast a dark shadow on the rest of the play.

The Good Person of Szechwan

Author: Bertolt Brecht

Rating: 4 stars

A fascinating play. It tugs at the question of goodness, and how one can go about being good when the world rewards cruel behavior. The characters were a bit simplistic, although I’m told that’s kind of Brecht’s point. Either way, I liked the questions that it raised, and its lack of an answer.

Death of a Salesman

Author: Arthur Miller

Rating: 3.5 stars

This play didn’t really do much for me. Maybe if I’d seen it rather than read it, the events of the play would be far clearer. Regardless, there was a lot of emotion and tension. Certainly, there was a lot of confusion when Willy, the main character, managed to have half a brain in the past and his memories and the other half in his present day. What it was trying to argue, I couldn’t figure out, though seeing the realism of son Biff clash against the naive and lost optimism of Willy was both interesting and enlightening.

Writing Prompt

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Here’s a thinker for you.

“I would gladly be the villain if what you really want is to be the hero.”

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