Had it right; cool Maou-sama 9
Gotta admire dem curves.
Coolness, like having curves, is caused by creation, a conceptual cuality that only certain cool cpeople can chave. James (but not Jessie) has this cool coolness. How can you tell? Well, his sunglasses aren’t there just for show. Well, they are just for show, but like, that’s because it /shows/ you not only the reflection of her beautiful eyes but also the reflection of James’s innate coolness.
It is plainly evident that people only go to Sentucky’s to cool down with the cool cashier. I’m sick today because of allergies. I really wish it wasn’t so hot…
Compare Emi’s tomboyish attitude to Suzuno’s polite, almost condescending femininity. While Emi shows the progressive de-sexualization of Ente Islamic society, Suzuno reflects Ente Isla’s reverse unmodernizationability due to her nonassimilation into postcolonial sexual norms. Even confronted with the harsh realities of Nihongo life, she steadfastly refuses to
The stupid slice of life conversations in this episode, the previous episode, and the (n-2, n-3, …, n-k)th episode represents the dullness of city life compared to their previous grandeur and splendour and doors and durrs. They really ram this ennui into our face by protracting their meaningless babbles for half the episode, every episode. Not only is it audiovisual, but simultaneously sensual; often, the urge to sleep overwhelms the urge to stay awake, which gives the entire setting a dreamlike experience.
This is usually because we’re dreaming, i.e. sleeping i.e. not paying attention due to its vapid nonsense.
tl;dr: maou-sama represents the stupidity of life because holy shit is it boring
Hah! The Rake, You Mowed Someone 8
The rains were a drizzle on the sidewalk. Red, orange, blue; seventeen rainbow colours dotted the streets in increasingly psychedelic displays of unnatural diversity. On the top of my porch, on the top of my wall; there they lay in the mid-autumn day of mid-fall.
There lay I, musing late in the autumn day, gazing off southward. A solitary rake, leaning askew on an old yew, old as you. Perched precariously between the branches it lay and lied and lies. Lies, sharp lies, white lies, bitter lies. How can you not know, rake? How can you?
It began that day in mid-autumn, a lonely thing, leaning and leaning so far she could drop and fall forever and nobody would notice. The swirling colours blinded and dazzled, a reflection of the times to come. Broken, unwanted.
Dust in the wind.
I never wanted her. Sitting cozy at home, wending the shores of the 24 Hours, through distant rains I crossed and checked. 3-Across: Groundbreaking innovation? Womanizer.
Then she started to fall.
Nature has no feelings. Nature does not see our sights, does not breathe our air, does not walk the stairs and talk the bears and balk at rares. In the mass of spinning leaves, my eyes reverting from the south, dropt.
The ground, incarnadine, as she dropt, all purpose-like, as if her destiny were to destroy and destruct and detonate. As she fell and flew and shattered all around her.
The rake, you mowed someone.
Cats are a cool 猫-sama 7
You know that really cool guy you want to be when you grow up? The guy with the hair and the teeth and the lips? The guy who does all those things you’d expect really cool guys to do, and more?
Well, I think I’ve met my future.
My New Feed Reader
(This is by far my most interesting and creative title yet.)
Thanks for all the responses to the previous post! I wasn’t able to respond (nor make this post!) on time due to academic concerns, but I think I’ve sorted things out now. The grand winner seems to be CommaFeed; not necessarily because it’s better, but because everything else has acute flaws that CommaFeed apparently doesn’t. Yet.
Cataracts Maou-sama 6
Nadie espera a la Inquisición española. And nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition to represent the Spanish Inquisition, either. Sure, they’re not actually Spanish, and they’re not actually inquiring into anything, but that’s alright…
Hack a Raccoon Maou-sama 5
Un choque español. Es la herencia de España que incluso en Japón, estas réplicas reverberan a través del espacio y el tiempo.
Observe Chiho’s state of mind. It is the province of the intellect that the prefectures of the brain know not of foreign tongues. Observe the devil hiding behind the fridge. His cool demeanour betrays his fiery heart, calmed only by the acclimatizing breeze of modern technology.
Hataraku 冒什么 4
Blood-saturated cholesterol is the topic for this week’s conversation. Everybody understands the need to stay fit, and being an exemplar of proper eating habits, Miki-T understands this more than all. As a strict vegan, she espouses the frequent consumption of beans and other fart-inducing vegetables. As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “Blood-saturated cholesterol is like mud-desecrated express patrols.”
冒什么 is also an ancient Chinese proverb. Literally, it transliterates to “To risk your life for the sake of retrieving a hat questions your questionable nature with questions.” Emilia risks her life when she DARES to be FAIR and to WEAR shoes that FARE quite IMPAIRED towards STAIRS. Even though the stairs keep on happening, she still trips because of guilt, fields, and acid; her new human body is weak, having seemingly forgotten all of her previous mental and physical training.
On a serious note, the whole earthquake thing was handled quite tactfully. Although I don’t have tact (people who unfollowed me on twitter know this), I somehow survive with my reputation INTACT, even if I ATTACKED the Family COMPACT.
Who really is Lucifer? Well, ask yourselves: who broke the Family Compact? That’s right… Lucifer isn’t whom you’re thinking of. In fact, the person who broke the Family Compact probably isn’t whom you’re thinking of either, because honestly, who cares? Either way, Lucifer symbolically represents the return of Louis Riel. One can REVEAL this secret UNREAL by hearing a SPIEL from MushyRIELZ:
Both Lucifer and Louis start with the same letter.
tl;dr: The reason Emilia is so manly is because her GAR dad had sex with an angel. Shit, dawg.
P.S. The condom on Emilia forehead represents a condom on Emilia’s forehead.
Hat Racks 帽-sama 3
The pun is because 帽 sounds like ‘Maou’ and means ‘Hat’ in Chinese. Granted it’s not a terribly good pun, but the quality of my puns is proportional to the quality of the episode being covered; that is to say, this episode wasn’t terribly. I was terribly.
The connections this week were as deep as ever. For example, ‘Sadao’ is almost a palindrome but not quite. If it were a palindrome, it would probably become ‘Soadaos’, but Japanese people would spontaneously combust at the sight of such a monstrosity. Thus, a compromise is ‘Sadas’; however, the unfortunate comparison of Sadas to Sad-ass is quite unfortunate indeed.
Sa~tan’s transformation to super-buffness shows off the intense flexibility of non-UNISLO
clothing slothing. Notice how the only rips occur at his neck and shin. This shows UNISLOthing’s Achilles’ heels: they are at disadvantages to necks and shins, and are thus con-neck-shin.
Further connections occur when we closely analyze the various character archetypes that appear:
- Chi-chan represents annoying brats meant only for neckbeard fanservice;
- Chi-chan’s hygienic activities while on the couch represents the squalid state of Japan’s aging toothpaste industry;
- Emi’s initial shower scene represents
annoying tsundere antics meant only for neckbeard fanserviceuh, the artificial ravaging of traditional Aboriginal society by uncompromising Eurocentric social conformance;
- The bad jokes represent bad jokes;
- Wait, no, Chi-chan is an annoying brat meant only for neckbeard fanservice.
I thought the whole earthquake plot device was kinda too early, right after the nuclear plants and the recent one in China, but maybe they actually already delayed the airing of this anime (to now)… it’s also y’know the STUPIDEST POSSIBLE WAY to move a plot forward. The author probably wrote two chapters and then retconned it to add miscellaneous random earthquakes after realizing how profoundly stupid earthquakes suddenly coming out of thin air was. Really, the tone of 帽-sama is like the difference between the inside of a 帽 and the outside; one is inside the 帽 and one is outside it.
tl;dr: Japan has horrible earthquake protection training. All of those tables and everybody just stays standing like stranded stands on a strand of standings
Hate a rack Maou-sama 2
Everybody hates racks. I hate racks. I rack hats. Iran hats are alright but when it’s summer and the heat gets to your brain, sometimes, you have to settle for less.
Settling for less is the most recent lesser unsettling theme in Part-Time Job Work Lord King Demon.
We all remember the Indian Act, 1876’s effects on Canada, right? Well, that doesn’t actually matter because Ente Isla isn’t Canada and Sa~tan isn’t an Indian. No sir, he’s merely a representation of an
Indian native American, excuse me. So who is Emilia?
Emilia, like Sa~tan, is an outcast. Thrust into conforming to society’s inflexible norms, her mutual ‘alliance’ with Sa~ represents the INDIAN CONFEDERACY and their mutual support in the face of the White Man’s encroachment. Eventually, they failed because they were already croached, and as everyone knows, once croached, always encroached.
We explored a bit about different interpretations (meanings, analyses) in some previous posts. I might post a follow-up later if I have the time.
Now, we’ll move on to discussing /how/ we actually arrive at these meanings.
In the study of knowledge, epistemology (I did last year’s science fair project on that! I got 60% on it!), there are two main ways to acquire knowledge: a priori and a posteriori knowledge. One of these two types of knowledge is the name of someone in Catch-22, and so I vividly remember it due to hours of rolling on the ground laughing at how stupid the name was and how painful rolling on the ground laughing is. I would roll on the ground, laugh, and then laugh at my past self being in pain from rolling on the ground laughing. It was an odd activity.
Anyways, a priori knowledge is things you learn from prior knowledge. For example, knowing that the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees, that a right-angle triangle has one 90-degree angle, and that two angles are equal in an isosceles triangle, you know that a right-angled isosceles triangles’ angles are 45 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees.
A posteriori knowledge requires experience. You wouldn’t know who the current King of France is a priori; you would have to find that out (there is no current King of France!). You wouldn’t know whether you could play piano or not before testing it. You wouldn’t know that Life of Pi was a movie about the Life of Pi without knowing that.
The difference is like the difference between physics and math:
physics isn’t useless um, knowledge of physical laws come a posteriori, whereas applications of those laws to situations are a priori knowledge. If you were Helen Keller, you would still be able to receive a priori knowledge, but not as much a posteriori knowledge. Well, Helen Keller did, but she’s HELEN KELLER and you’re not.
So, what does this have to do with meaning?
You see, whenever we experience literature, be it a book, a play, an anime, a long-winded incomprehensible puerile diatribe by racist prepubescent teenagers on YouTube, we experience literature. The knowledge we gain is a posteriori.
But after the experience, when you think about it in your brain, you are acquiring a priori knowledge. This is when you synthesize the experiences you’ve received to form a coherent (or incoherent if you’re like me) picture of the meaning you got from it.
But does this actually count as acquiring new knowledge? Here’s my question to you. Is it possible to acquire all your meanings of literature a priori? What would happen to somebody who never experienced others’ reactions to literature, but only the raw work of art itself?
What’s better? Meaning through self-reflection, or meaning through discussion? You can reflect on this or discuss it; just don’t be too mean.
I CHALLENGE ANYONE HERE TO PLAY THIS AT NORMAL SPEED. I also challenge anyone there and anyone not here, as well as people who can’t hear/are bears/rare hares
(Sorry for lack of comeback post so soon after new season. I just watched some episodes of Maou something something which marks the first episode of anime I’ve watched in like four months or something. Currently busy with district science fair stuff but that’ll be over tomorrow.)
Hataraku Maou-sama! 1
What is cultural assimilation? It’s a concept that many people intimately don’t give a toss about, and neither should you. Unfortunately, you’re dealing with Hataraku Maou-sama! (literal translation: ‘Demon Lord-customers work!), one of the most profoundly insightful, cultured, and reflective Chinese cartoons of April 2013.
The main character, Sa-tan (-tan is a endearing suffix in Japanese, and to pursue O-New’s policy of conservative liberalization, shall be henceforth redacted to -y, a corresponding English endearing suffix), is a stranger in a strange land. Say says yes to strangers’ strange sayings in strangeland.
To observe his gradual assimilation into strangeculture, we have three useful metrics:
1) The amount of strangespeech Say says;
2) The amount of strangegovernmentsupport Say receives;
3) And the amount of strangefood Say eats.
Obviously, Say has been completely
Americanized I mean Eurocentrized uh Japanesified ASSIMILATED. This assimilation makes Say’s ass similar to other nations’ asses.
Here’s a transcription of a Kirby song (I’ve been transcribing lots of Kirby songs!). It’s what happens when you eat spicy curry. I’d accelerate it 800% but after several months of inactivity my fingers would probably fall off. EXCEPT THEY CAN’T CAUSE IT’S SPRING so they’d probably spring off, which is just as bad.
But I’m coming back to posting now, and this post proves it.
JUST KIDDING HAPPY APRIL FOOLS. Oh, it’s not April Fools anymore? Now what…
Birds, Snails, and Pretty Colours
O-New is a blog, so I’m going to do blog-like things on it today. This includes things like posting low-quality videos nobody wants to see and images of ~daily life~ because apparently bloggers do that.
In other words, pictures of birds, snails, and pretty colours.
Sweet Like a Crow
[Remember this poetry post from thirty years ago? No? Well, neither do I, nor do I remember writing this post, but apparently it was half-finished and I guess I never hit publish? I’ll write a more eloquent post with an actual argument later.]
Here’s the second poem I chose to recite, ‘Sweet Like a Crow’.
What do you think of after reading this poem? If you’re tempted to give some lofty appeal about the pointlessness of reality and the audio escapism that postmodern music offers, stop right there.
It’s about the poet’s niece’s HORRIBLE singing.
The Common Hero: Elevating Expression, Words Transcendent
[Because my mind hasn’t yet adjusted to normal post-writing processes, here’s another school essay in lieu of contemplative anime analysis. It’s a comparison of James Joyce’s Ulysses (of which I’ve only read the first three chapters!) and Homer’s Odyssey, which our entire class read previously. After getting some flak for dissing Dr. Campbell last time, I wax lyrical over his ‘accomplishments’ now. This time, the word limit really is 1000 words, which I’ve once again filled completely…]
In 1949, comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell discovered a pattern in diverse cultural myths: the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey’s 17 stages encompass many mythological plot points, including Homer’s ancient epic, the Odyssey, and James Joyce’s modernist classic, Ulysses. While neither Telemachus nor Ulysses’s first protagonist Stephen Dedalus display heroic traits, their journeys still exemplify Campbell’s monomyth—a Hero’s Journey without a hero.
The Odyssey starts with Telemachus seeking information of his father. His house is overrun with rowdy suitors, and he feels powerless against them. He commences his own Hero’s Journey to find Odysseus. The main themes in the Telemachia are the suitors’ unwanted domestic occupation and Telemachus’s spiritual growth as he meets Nestor and Menelaus. When he returns, he has become a man.
Ulysses’s first part, also called the Telemachia, chronicles three hours of an ordinary, insignificant Dublin morning in 1904, as Dedalus contemplates life. Dedalus is an ordinary young man living with a ‘friend’ who insults his dead mother and snatches away the house key. The first chapter’s last line is “Usurper”; thus, Dedalus believes his ‘friend’ usurped his home (Joyce 35), like the suitors usurped Telemachus’s. He too embarks on a subdued ‘adventure’, meeting with his anti-Semitic employer, Deasy, and ruminating life along the beach. This parallels Telemachus’s fruitless meeting with Nestor and Proteus’s information about Odysseus. Deasy lectures that “a faithless wife first brought the strangers to our shore here, MacMurrough’s wife and her leman O’Rourke” (Joyce 53). Actually, MacMurrough abducted O’Rourke’s wife, preceding the Norman Invasion of Ireland (Braín 1152.6). Nestor’s reputation for wisdom, yet lack of useful information, corresponds to Deasy’s historical ignorance. Proteus’s shape-shifting represents change, so Joyce’s interior monologue narrative style constantly changes direction, yet illuminates Dedalus’s perspectives on life and regret over not accomplishing childhood dreams.
The Telemachia displays many early monomythic plot points. Telemachus’s Call to Adventure is Odysseus’s disappearance. Athena aids Telemachus by spurring him on; after reaching Pylos, he has Crossed the First Threshold into the unknown, away from the his home’s safety. The Telemachia ends here; later, Telemachus’s Belly of the Whale is the suitors’ ambush, and he Atones with his Father in Eumaeus’s hut. Odysseus’s adventure is more overtly monomythic, but Dedalus corresponds only to Telemachus.
Dedalus’s Call to Adventure is his ‘friend’ demanding drinking money and the house key, paralleling the suitors’ thankless cadgering. A milk woman indirectly spurs his journey by exacerbating Dedalus’s scorn of his ‘friend’; Campbell observes that “the milk woman is the role of Athena, who comes to Telemachus when he is 22 and tells him to go forth, find his father” (Campbell Disc 3). He Crosses the First Threshold after his meeting with the obtuse sexist Deasy, who gives Dedalus thick racist remarks and his salary. Finally, he enters the ‘unknown’: his own mind. To readers, this is shocking: few writers would illustrate natural human thought with natural—illogical—first-person topic transitions. Readers are truly venturing where no man has gone before.
The Odyssey’s monomythic scope is more obvious than Ulysses’s. Telemachus sets out on a voyage, and Odysseus wanders the wine-dark sea for a decade, encountering fantastic creatures. Telemachus is not a hero. He starts weak, irresolute, and naïve, but grows through his journey. However, the monomyth is about the story, not the character: protagonists can even be morally repugnant ‘villains’, their Ultimate Boon perhaps being world destruction, as long as they venture into the unknown and return with an Ultimate Boon. Thus, the Odyssey, as a monomyth, transcends the Hero’s Journey—it is a journey without a hero.
Ulysses lacks the Odyssey’s scope, merely detailing an ordinary Dublin day. However, as the Odyssey transcends the Hero’s Journey, so does Ulysses. Joyce’s writing elevates Dedalus’s thoughts to a godlike level; the sheer breadth and range of his interior monologue’s allusions equate his commonplace musings to an epic. He sees midwives carrying a misbirth, and ponders about an unending chain of navel cords, linking all humanity back to Adam and Eve: “Gaze in your omphalos. Hello. Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one” (Joyce 57). This connection to the Genesis broadens his monologue’s temporal scope; a typical day on the beach and Dedalus has already alluded to all human history.
The grandiosity gradually decreases over the chapter. He broods on what could have been in his own past: “Remember your epiphanies on green oval leaves […]? Someone was to read them there after a few thousand years, a mahamanvantara […] You were going to do wonders, what?” (Joyce 61, 63). This shows his disgust with his past’s naïve optimism. Like all epics, the scope is first historical, and now personal. Eventually, reality overtakes his philosophical reverie, and his thoughts deal with the immediate: “My handkerchief. He threw it. I remember. Did I not take it up? […] He laid the dry snot picked from his nostril on a ledge of rock” (Joyce 76). This concludes the chapter, a tour de force from Eden to snot. Although the setting is a walk on the beach, Joyce’s purview transcends its humdrum nature: from molehill to mountain, from the mundane to the sublime.
Both Ulysses and its hypotext, the Odyssey, contain early monomythic plot points. The Odyssey transcends a Hero’s Journey because Telemachus is not heroic, yet his tale is still a monomyth. Ulysses transcends the monomyth because, although Dedalus’s ‘journey into the unknown’ is ordinary, Joyce’s interior monologue transforms his thoughts into a genuine adventure. Thus, both Ulysses and the Odyssey represent the monomyth.
It is only appropriate: Campbell, a Joyce scholar, borrowed the term ‘monomyth’ from Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. These two works, Ulysses and the Odyssey, stand as a testament to the monomyth’s ubiquity—so many works embody the monomyth that we learn nothing from cross-comparison! Joyce creates an oxymoron—a common hero, shaping the power of literary form into a medium of literary expression. Stephen Dedalus’s Hero’s Journey has no hero, has no journey; Joyce elevates the everyman to create a hero, his words transcendent.
Word Count: 1000 (not including title)
Braín, Tigernach U. The Annals of Tigenach. Edit. Corráin, Donnchadh Ó. Cork: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts, 1996. Web.
Campbell, Joseph J. On the Wings of Art: Joseph Campbell on the Art of James Joyce. New York: Highbridge Audio, 1995. Audiobook.
Joyce, James A. A. Ulysses. London: Random House, 1992. Print.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. Toronto: Penguin Books, 1997. Print.
Three years ago, I made this post.
Since then, we at O-New have been pumping out one post, every day. For the past three years.
But of course, all that changed last month. Why? Nobody knows. A combination of homework-related stress, reignited interest in erstwhile pastimes, and the general inferiority of this season’s anime waned my blogging spirit, and thus, I stopped posting. For a month.
O-New’s not going to last. I’ll have even less time and less interest in anime next year. But before it all gets old, I’d like to try again. Just a few more months before the end. Who knows? Maybe O-New will continue.
Who knows why I bother? But my life just seems… off, without writing. Perhaps one day I’ll sever myself from the yoke of writer’s insecurity. Perhaps, one day, I’ll grow up a bit from this fantasy. Because blogging really is a fantasy: writing mindless opinions about children’s cartoons to a non-existent audience of children who watch those cartoons, in the vain hope that my opinions might matter.
They won’t. I’ve lost track of O-New’s original goal. And before this is over, I’ll find it. Then, it’ll finally be over.
(To reorganize this mess, I’ve moved all posts published after January 13th to other dates. Just like in 2010, there will be no posts between January 13th and February 15th.)
Winter 2013 First Impressions
Hello friends. It’s time again for our first impressions of the new season of anime. Today I will be giving my impressions, because the other O-New writers are either busy not watching anime, or not writing for O-New. I hope I can meet your expectations myself. (more…)
Maiyuu Maid Yuusha 2
Maoyuu’s entire selling point is ~economics with boobs~.
Add maids into the mix and everyone’s happy.
Except, no, not really. Do maids have any significance in the situation’s context? They’re a good comparison of modern employment vs. serfdom but no, not really. Take away the maids and nothing’s left out. The maids are an accessory: nobody dislikes them, but they’re practically useless.
Similarly, all the fanservice around Maou is practically useless. Fanservice not being all ~boobs~, but also her moé attitudes towards Yuusha. Did we need that hour-long sofa scene? No. Did we need that hilariously dull body-pillow scene? No.
But they’re aesthetically pleasing. They’re the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down, and the medicine is ~economix~.
Maoyuu is just a glorified economics textbook. This isn’t rocket science. Someone (can’t remember who, tell me if you remember) once said: “Spice and Wolf is about characters, with some random economics thrown in. Maoyuu is about economics, with some random characters thrown in.”
Like a textbook, the author wraps Maoyuu in bright pictures and colourful ‘real-world’ examples that drive up production costs a thousandfold. Like a textbook, Maoyuu is just a lecture transposed into another medium. Like a textbook, Maoyuu also suffers from masterful pacing: serf girl mutters, sotto voce, “You’ve never been starving, have you?” Cut to comedy music. Let’s imply that starving serfs is totally a joke! Yeah! (That said, who would want to starve half-servile labour? That’s a recipe to losing money, fast…)
Unlike a textbook, we’re not in an economics class. We don’t need to learn this. Is Maoyuu actually doing a public service? Is Maoyuu an educational anime?
Yes, yes to both. Sure, it’s patronizing 1984-ish (actually manipulating the war so that ending it will be easier?) ~COMMUNISM~ crap, but short of Moshidora, the edutainment doesn’t get much more obvious.
Maoyuu is an educational anime through and through. Nothing else.
Btooom! Manga Quarterly Review 4
Hi guys. I’m really late on this because I had this as a draft for one and a half months.
Btooom! has a manga. I’ve followed it for one and a half years.
Btooom! also has an anime. I’ve followed it for one and a half months.
Thus, if you’re following the anime, there will probably be spoilers ahead; however, this is a shounen battle manga – you know that Sakamoto’s not going to die, and spoilers shouldn’t affect you at all. Unless you’re a 14-year-old psychotic teenager with a penchant for ravishing dead bodies. In which case you might be (excusably) shocked at my profoundly astute recognition of your identity:
C’est la vie
I wrote this abomination of mental diarrhea at the height of my fever-induced delerium last Wednesday; lethargy filled me from the crown to the toes, and I could do nothing but mope and whine and write. I left it on my computer in case I wanted to do something with it and decided, why the heck not: nobody’s going to read to the end anyways, so I’m just going to post it here.
In it, I somehow manage to cover all eight of my classes and their associated midterm exams/projects. If that doesn’t merit a literary achievement, it certainly was a mental one… it’s Hell Week right now for me, so this also explains the inexplicable lack of posts from my part. Mad props to redball for doing the first impressions post—solo—last week.
C’est la vie. Such is life and life is such. A life of lives lives lively. Liveishly? Livelylike? Livelily? Consider the livelilies in the field. They study not; neither do they write. So society spurns them, casts them aside. What use have we for lilies? C’est l’école. Senegal. Say lego. Lilies are unproductive. Humans would also be unproductive if we didn’t go to school. But school takes a long time and that time takes away from the time that it would take us to take a hike and make something. Few people live over a century. No lilies live over a century. We must maximize the work humans do in their lives. Each extra year of education increases productivity by 0.56. Transform into quadratic vertex form and calculate the vertex. (-b/2a, 4ac-b^2/4a) gives an optimum human productivity of x when years of education are increaseh by y. Calculate x and y in exact form.
Because we’re all just numbers, numbers in the face of the societal God that is optimization and industrialization and productifization and efficientization. We’re organic machines, vegetables to be harvested for fuel, lilies that toil in the field, spinning, spinning. Why do we work so God-approved hard? Is it worth it now? Sacrificing all those bloody midnight hours for an extra mark, that 0.56% away from getting an A, and now an entire week wasted. Everything ventured, nothing gained. Going to school at 7:00 in the morning to retake a math test because 75% just wasn’t good enough. Fuck me in the foot if I actually do better this time what with the world spinning around me as I spin and the teacher spins out another math test, a midterm this time, a midterm that I can’t retake because I already retook a test and the teacher’s too lazy to let anyone retake more than one test in a year. Anti-China policy #1: stop students from compulsively retaking tests in a futile effort to achieve more than they haven’t achieved. Am I Chinese enough now?
I blame the cold. I blame the fresh mountain air and the cool, clean breezes of trademark Vancouver Hospitality™ others call rain, liquid precipitation, the tears of God as he struggles to understand: why aren’t people being more productive? Why are so many people doing nothing in the rain? They’re just sitting there, not moving… what a waste of time! I blame the mandatory P.E. strip everybody has to wear. We had P.E. strip in elementary. The vice-principal had 13 words everybody must remember: something something be on time something something pee ee strip something something something. Memory serves me well as tennis serves me well or volleyball serves me well. Waiting outside an hour in the rain. Volleyball wasn’t outside, but for someone whose only shorts are emblazoned with the school’s currish emblem, coldness is to me as bad luck is to that girl in that anime. Which girl? Which anime? Why do anime girls never get sick despite always wearing less than I ever will?
I remember that look on the P.E. teacher? Assistant? His face when I told him I was sick this morning. “Go home! I was just sick last week! Don’t sic [sic] me again!” The verb, sic, was necessarily preferred to the adjective, sick. Which he used, I shall never know, and neither did context reveal to me. Was he a teacher or just the assistant? He seemed a sprightly young fellow, and hung out with the girls in our class. But he also lounged around the teachers’ lounge, where I found him lounging in the absence of the actual P.E. teacher who wasn’t my legal P.E. teacher, because my legal P.E. teacher was hit by a car over the summer, yet the school still decided to give her two classes in the same block to teach. She must’ve been a really good teacher to watch over two classes at once. I walk over to him during attendance as he converses with some generic girl and tell him, I’m leaving. Without missing a beat, he shoos me away with a pompous lack of reaction before catching me off-guard: “Wait, which one of them are you?”
Not, “Who are you,” but “Which one of them are you?” What did ‘them’ mean? The students? That wouldn’t make sense, because I’m none of them, I was physically separated from all of them by the direction I was in and by the condition I was in. Why ‘them’? It had to be something that included me, because I’m one of ‘them’, but didn’t include the P.E. teacher-assistant-hybrid. The P.E. assistant-teacher wasn’t a student, and he also wasn’t…
…Asian. Situated as it was, our entire school was entirely Asian, save the French Immersion minority. There were only two non-Asians in our P.E. class. Did he just refer to an entire continent of cultures as ‘them’? Could he really not tell the difference between ‘us’? The audacity of… and the tone of his voice, that half-laughing, half-mocking sneer that momentarily claimed his mouth, as if he had made a nice joke by deindividualizing the entire class he was supposed to assist-teach. It felt weird. It wasn’t like my non-Asian friends telling genuinely offensive anti-Asian jokes which should really get my blood boiling but doesn’t. Here was some stranger, directly insulting every essence of my first-world-raised being, us who are taught from birth in our ‘specialness’, how each of us is a little lily in our own special little lilyponds. Do not toil—you’re special! Do not spin. Do not pass Go. Collect $200 anyways. This wasn’t racism. This was life. C’est la vie. If this mild annoyance disturbed me like this mentally incapacitating headache, then true racism would be the chronic cancerous tumour of mental termination, an end of life as life knows it.
Then, I saw. Saw his eyes met nobody’s but his pencil, searching down the list. What did ‘them’ mean? The names. “Which one of these names are you?”
But even so, that’s all I’ve been thinking of. Why did I go to school? The response would have to be this. People would look at me disapprovingly, and when, by a stroke of fortune or a stroke of the major arteries, they themselves succumb to the disease of human incapacity, who’ll take the blame? Find the most ‘logical’ explanation. It’s common sense, right? But it’s Wednesday and on Friday, we submit our French film projects. A grand total of two scenes filmed over seven hours Sunday as I lay on the floor—the floor!—of that room with the dimmable lights and giant television set, while we waited for our camera to recharge itself. The camera was a literal potato wired up to a 4×4 red monochrome LCD display screen that approximated the red light shining backwards through the pinhole. We had four iPhone 9GS+s, but everybody was too busy playing 2004 Flash games ported to iOS.
I’d say it was all an excuse. We used ‘recharging battery’ as an excuse to not do shit. For three hours before I arrived (because nobody told me there’d be a meeting), three people did nothing but translate two scenes in already-written English into French. Each scene had three lines. One of those people was a native French speaker. I arrived, the fifth member arrived two years later, and while I lay on the warm, soft, disease-matted carpet, they clicked around on their iPhones and now I know how I got sick I know how I got sick now.
I’m a bloody idiot.
It’s due on Friday. We need to shoot eight more scenes, as well as finish writing the actual script for those scenes—in English, not French. Translating the script is another beast entirely. I know, I tried it, and promptly succumbed to a large dose of not-giving-a-fuck anymore. I have two more scenes with me in it, and then there’s dubbing the French because we shot those scenes not having translated the script yet. If we finish all that within two hours tomorrow because the only guy who knows how to edit has school plays going on every night this week from 5:30 until 10:00, then we can hand in our French project. But if I’m sick tomorrow then I’ll have to skip the next day and get a doctor’s note in the vain hope that the teacher gives us an extension instead of yelling in our faces that we should’ve started sooner WE SHOULD’VE STARTED SOONER
A lifetime of procrastination begs to differ. We should’ve started later. Look, they shot three scenes yesterday in two hours. Productivity! 3 scenes/2 hours with 4 people. Person A can shoot one scene in two hours. Person B can shoot one scene in four hours. How many hours will Person C and D take to shoot the entire movie together? The implication is that I shoot an average of negative one point two scenes every hour. Shoot. Skipping school has its advantages. If she gives us an extension, we just got three extra days. If she doesn’t, I will literally become the bloodiest of bloody pulps, the mushiest of mush, my bones ground into paste, my organs cut into bite-sized chunks, my meat stewed into gravy and served on a platter to appease Armok. Your arm OK? No soap, radio. My arm is paralyzed from the fingers down. Falling down, tripping, moving my foot up to stop the fall—wrong foot—crack. Hitting the pavement while accelerating at 9.8 metres a second. Blood red, crimson, palm not OK: four cuts, bandaid slips, too much blood. Now two warts on my fingers. Now lip bleeding. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Doctor, doctor! It’s OK, no apples here; come, Eirin, save me!
It’s midterm weak. Midterms are for the weak. The strong stay at home, lie in bed of an unknown delirium and appear all fine and well the day after the midterms to find out all their group projects have failed. Science fair? BAM! You just lost 25% from your term science mark! Planning project? BAM! You just failed the entire course because that’s the only assignment this entire term! In the teachers’ minds, spinning: “Let’s give these poor bastards more pointless projects because it’s midterm week and they need one project for every single course! That way, it’ll be a FULL-COURSE MEAL!” Strings field trip next week sounds nice, but that’s two hours of nonstop performing and lugging cousin-sized violas on ~public transit~ (poor bassists) in a class we could study in. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? This fever isn’t killing me. Am I stronger now? Can I lift, bro? Please?
The God of Blood answers from his omnipotent throne, made from the ashes of countless anvils He has wrought with his bare hands: “Has the Campbell opposition changed their stances?” It is a task, an ordeal that We must struggle through to find the light that He promises, the light of a Good Future™ where we might be Good Numbers that increase our productivity by 0.56 each year until the year of parabolic maximum. To appease the Blood God. It seems meaningless now, but someday, someone will ask you; “What do you think about the Campbell opposition during that year when they said those things?” And you might respond in the affirmative, or in the negative, and you’ll think back to those halcyon days when you were lying in bed with a fever, typing out these monotonous words while praying to God, let Him have mercy on me, let He that deals divine judgement on souls spare my marks! Take my sons, take my fathers! Leave my grades alone!
“wat a horrible time to be sick lol”
“do you have the note cards”
“o ya i should probably buy those lol”
So the God decreed, “And I shall require, on the 29th of January, a supply of note cards appropriately purchased from capitalist establishments, that one may take notes on; And notes on other media, shall by this day be—Prohibited.” Was he being sarcastic? Was he implying something there? What did the ‘lol’ mean? If he was being sarcastic, he could have not really meant ‘horrible’ and ‘sick’; maybe he thought I was faking it? For what? So I could possibly get an extension for a French project we already failed, by association with me, that failer of failures? Or was he genuinely sympathetic towards my slightly irritating plight? Regardless, I’d have to buy those note cards before I can start taking notes on that in-class essay on the 29th. Did the Campbell opposition change their stances? Tiger stance to a dragon stance?
Ineluctable modality of the audio-visual. He says these words with a digital accent, one with no sarcasm detection. We may lower-case no-punctuation caps-exclamations-maximum on twitter if we’re being sarcastic, but he cannot. The culture of texting vs. the culture of often-at-home twittering. He does not say these words, nor do I hear them. He types the words, no, the letters, on the keyboard with his fingers. He feels the words. Ineluctable modality of the sensual. Story of my life, à la Joyce. Is this how I think? Not with pictures or ideas—with words. Do you dream in words? What was the last image I image-ined?
Ulysses is a modern masterpiece. Even looking just through chapter three, you see the rich interwoven tapestry of words and language that Joyce bends to his will. He’s a master artisan that manipulates, carves, and molds language itself into expressing more than language. More than meets the eye, more than the ear hears, more than the conscious mind can ever process—Joyce paints a picture of THOUGHT itself, making his characters more than simply human. The characters become us, we become the characters as we’re literally swept into another’s shoes, and body, and mind. Have other books done this? Possibly, but none to the refined needle of trenchant wit and biting description that is Ulysses. And definitely none have its epic scope, flooded with allusions. I used to think allusions were pretentious bullshit—who cares if you’re referencing some dead white guy? But no: they add scope, each allusion is a new story that enhances a tale, and Ulysses is that tale, a tale of tales, a mundane epic about a common hero, the towering modernist achievement of the century.
Writing essays is fun when you don’t have a headache—but you need to choose a topic. That’s the hardest part, because choose a topic you don’t like, and you don’t have yourself an essay. Have another choose a topic for you, and you don’t have an author. “Compare Ulysses to the Odyssey,” so the God decreed, “Rough draft due Friday.”
Weighing the options in my head, weighing mentally a loaded die that flipped over, once, twice, heads, tails, spinning like the world around me and my head spinning around and the God of Blood weighed in with a shatter of the skull, a weight upon it that sent vibrations of nausea echoing down my throat. Consider the lilies of the field. They don’t have throats. That’s why they don’t toil. That’s why they don’t spin.
Skipping school tomorrow and the next day? Failing our French film project? Having no class time to prepare for midterm week?
C’est la vie.
It is a thing. I procrastinated last week, because I was paralyzed from sickness.
That didn’t turn out too well. We (two people; the third disappeared) crammed our planning project until 1:00 last night. We presented it today without rehearsing, and it turned out OK. Unfortunately, we had to hand in our socials essay notes early—otherwise, it’d be unfair to the people who have to write their essays Monday instead of Thursday.
Unfortunately, I didn’t actually have any notes. But before I could go home and start taking them, we had to finish shooting and dubbing our French film project. It was due last Friday, but we got an extension because I was sick until today.
Filming should’ve taken until 6:00, but the cameraman got the wrong extension cord, and we had to go to his house to finish dubbing. Seven hours later…
…it was 10:00 when I got home. With an entire socials essay to finish researching (including outline, bibliography, and citations!), I wanted to get to work. Instead, I’m writing this post because I’m just too goddamn tired.
Tomorrow, I have to start and finish writing an entire English essay, and study for the science unit test I missed last week. Math midterms is on Thursday. Science Fair is due on Monday, and we haven’t started that either.
See, at this time, I always tell myself: stop procrastinating! Finish all of these as soon as they’re assigned! But whenever I get the ‘don’t procrastinate’ feeling… I’m too busy. I never feel busy when the due dates aren’t rushing up at me. All of these were assigned before winter break; yet, I didn’t start until now.
How do you guys deal with procrastination? Do you just roll with it anyways? I know many students just push everything to the last day, and we end up only mildly unscathed… but it surely isn’t the best way to go about it.
The whole point of this post was to tell you: save some homework-related ramblings I wrote and will publish tomorrow, I’m pretty much dead this week. Expect complete radio silence.
Courage in Tamako Market 3
[MUSHYHIJACK: I have rescheduled this post to clear January 13th – February 15th of any posts. The original posting date was January 25th.]
Imagine for a moment that the simple things in life become the most difficult. Everything is turned upside down. What if it were easier to be cold and distant than to be warm and friendly? What if saying “thank you” felt unnatural and impossible?
If Maoyuu were a JRPG 1
Imagine if Maou were a evil zombie robot demon from hell who eats babies and farts death and disease. Would Yuusha still befriend him? Would they still work together? Would people still watch it?
I mean, c’mon, honestly why did Yuusha not kill Maou the moment she declared her identity? It wasn’t her calmness or willingness to bargain—it was ~boobs~
~boobs~ saved the world.
P.S. it’d actually be pretty funny if Maou were an evil zombie robot demon and Yuusha befriended… it. +1 would kickstart