Musings on the summer and life

Today I got the e-mail from Gayle Murphy talking about the first day of the BFA on September 2nd and it really brought home the fact that in a weeks time I will be returning to UBC to begin my theatre training.


It is funny to think that 30 years to the day, my parents were also starting their journey to not only acting but finding love. I realize more and more how big of shoes I have to fill.

So my book for Italian 101 is bought and my class routes mapped and now all I can do is muse on what i accomplished this summer.

1) I worked my first Arts Umbrella Summer Camp

2) I apprenticed at Bard on the Beach

3) was able to pay my first term tuition without bawling into a ball and crying (pretty much)

4) only made a fool of myself once – or six times while going out.

5) allowed myself to be more open to all the shit that the word feels to throw at my face

I always want to write more but then i start and get bored so that is it…my summer in point form.

I also hope that this doesn’t show up on the Arts one blog hub….that would be strange lol

I hope someone out here reads this.

What have you all been doing this summer?

Things really are falling apart

so since I epically suck at the portion of this course that is worth the biggest percentage, I thought it would be appropriate to assure that the portion that is worth the least is always done on time and such, therefore I am doing my final mandatory blog post.

So this is not my first time at the rodeo of Things Fall Apart. It isn’t my second time but ladies and gentlemen of have read this book thrice (only to be beaten by The Stranger– 6 times) and so i feel like in the grand scheme of things I get what is going on — Atleast compared to Heart of Darkness which was just a freaking shitshow if i ever read one, i understood Les Liaisons Dangereuse more which was in french and written in the 18th century. but i digress.

So when I first read this novel I read it has a companion piece to this book called The Poisonwood Bible which is about a missionary family coming to the Congo and how everyone, but the crazy dad, go ‘native’ in some shape or other. My teacher (shout out to Ms.Clark) who i love hates HOD and so we didn’t to the classic pairing. I think that was very beneficial because I didn’t go into it pre-disposed to thinking that TFA was just a response to HOD. I was able to look at it as a stand alone novel.

I don’t think this is an amazing novel. better than HOD and much better than the majority of the pages i had to look at this year but this ain’t no amazing work of literary genius like some stuff. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice read and somewhat thought provoking but kinda just meh. Like I just feel that there is no point to this novel. I KNOW THERE IS but by the end of the novel I don’t feel like I know any of the characters that well and therefore i don’t care about any of the characters and therefore i don’t give a crap. It is sorta like Kingdom of this World in that regard. You barely know Okonkwo so when he hangs himself you aren’t left spinning. This is a weak example but when i read The Titan’s Cure (when I was like 11) I cried at the end of the book when Zoe was killed. The cathartic release was just so amazing and the tension that was built up through the novel and the connection created by the author was so intense that all I could do was cry (same thing in the film Atonement)

This is ofcourse a book of symbols. The most prominent, in my opinion, is the use of snakes throughout this book. If you read PWB you see the importance of snakes there too so that may be why I notice it. in TFA, Snakes represent the society itself, the African culture. It is one of their gods and therefore once that random guy kills it, the whole society falls apart. I also picked up throughout the novel this time all the times they reference hanging- oooooo foreshadowing ooooo

Apparently this book was written to show that Africans aren’t one dimensional characters but full fledge human beings but this novel does nothing to propel this. All the characters are flat and most are vicious and kinda dicks. If you want to read a book where this is actually done read Book of Negroes or better yet The Color Purple

I am done.

Now for my little tirade of sass.

Things really fell apart in the reading list this term (see my pun). i don’t think it it necessarily anyways fault, it is just how the cookie crumple. Although there were some highlights this term (Austen, Freud, Wollstonecraft) in general the readings this term (and mostly last term) seemed to continually get less and less interesting in my opinion. Now I will admit freely that I am not the brightest bulb in this bunch – in fact I may be the dimmest but I know I am not the only one who felt that these books just were…in a word…meh. I still have yet to really see the whole remaking/remodeling in these books. Like I see the connection in Kant and Genesis and Butler and Sophocles but that is all…..and maybe Hobbes and Rousseau if I knew what the hell the former was saying. I know that this isn’t necessarily a class of “Great Books” but i think that it could use a bit more greatness and less Haiti (everything goes back to Haiti)

But life ain’t all bad. I got into the BFA program (theatre) and so now I know my trajectory so I have come to realize that i don’t care about essays and Paine. I don’t need to. I remember as a child wanting to be a historian – yup not happening!

Coming to the end…


any who, I was looking at the lists of prompts that were given for Beauvoir and Conrad and number five instantly grabbed me “is Marlowe racist” I didn’t realize we would have the option of writing about Christopher Marlowe, how exciting. I will say briefly that Marlowe could be conceived as racist because all the characters are white and as typical in this time period whenever something is described as negative it is also black (i.e Othello) and don’t forget there is a play called the Jew of Malta. But does that make Marlowe racist or simply a product of his time like our friend Isabella Thorpe – that is up to you!

in our discussion of Heart of Darkness one thing kept going on in my head: the lyrics from Spring Awakening. I will try and attach the video below.

one more typed essay guys!

let me know if the link works.



Some musings on today and such

Hello UBC blog world,

Today in tutorial we discussed Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. As I said in my last post, I find it difficult to discuss was a key feminist text seeing that I am a white male and often seen as the oppressor of women and society – heck we white men are the oppressors of everyone (and I am not denying this). 

In the last few weeks I have tried to stay as quiet as i could during discussions, because frankly I have nothing to add and when I do add things I get either shot down or blank stares of WTF, but today I spoke up and said that i cannot fathom why so many women IN CANADA state that they are oppressed when comparatively they are so equal (if not perceived as better) I know that this will elicit many comments and frankly I am sure that most people are better read on this subject so I can’t argue my opinion with any solid first hand evidence.

my point is: Sometimes I find that “others’ not just women but any group that had been severely oppress in the past hold on to this as a barttering chip. Now I do not say that women and minorites don’t get underpaid compared to white men but sometimes (not always) i think this chip is played to discredit someone elses accomplishments. I know that it Ariela reads this, she will say that this is a problematic view point and I say: Oh well.


I was on the bus today and i frazzled pregnant woman got on the bus with a stroller. She was lookign quite rough and like any typical young mum with multiple kids. then she opened her mouth. I will admit I was eavesdropping and she began talking about quantum physics, and how by the age of 16 she had completed 2nd year physics and how she fiured out nuclear chemistry by herself yada yada yada and it reminded me of the discussion we had about how women seem to get yack no matter what they do and I thought she was a perfect example of a woman who can have both: be a mum and still be a goddamn phd scientist.


next year arts one should do Hamlet and the Lion King – remake/remodel the most famous play in the world.

De De De


only a couple more to do of these and then i can begin blogging about my BFA journey

so I read this about two weeks ago, so on the bus on my way to lecture I will be revisiting this text and adding on to this blog. i just don’t want to be told that I am late because it takes me so long to get home so i am going to do this half ass one and then improve on it.

So i will start this by saying that I thought Simone de Beauvoir was from the 18th century – apparently not. I feel like such a dork, but I am sure that in Manon lescaut they say that name at some point.

I totally get that women have been subjugated through out all of time, and trust me I am totally on her side. But I just find some times through out the text she goes a bit melodramatic (I hear Ola and Ariela shrieking right now).

I don’t know how much I agree with her view that “the eternal feminine corresponds to the ‘black soul’ and to ‘the jewish character’ i think what happened to the african americans/Europeans had it much worst off. Women were for sure misused because of their sex but most were not mass murdered via gas chambers or thrown on board a ship and left to rot as you were sold into slavery.

It is hard for me to criticize a piece of feminism because I am a white man and therefore if I am not 100% gungho then i am labeled as a misogynist and stuck in the middle ages. I am not. I agree whole heartedly that women are equal 9if not better) than men and should be treated as such and not like walking vaginas. I just think sometimes the way people go about expressing this is wrong and mean and vindictive,

Her text and her description of the sufferage of women reminded me of how women are treated in Gilead in Atwood’s THE HANDMAID TALE. Not completely, but similar

So the lecture was awesome (as per usual with Jill) and she highlighted something very interesting. She saying that when making out identity, we make the Others. It is very interesting i think. We all make a slave/master thing no matter what, even if we don;t mean too.

Simone de Beauvoir seems like a real cool lady. I desperately wants to read “She came to stay”. Sounds like an interesting look into a strange/intriguing menage a trois.

I have also come to realize that since january I have really stopped enjoying writing these blogs. I find myself not having anythign interetsing or thought provoking to say. I am so done with all this. I miss reading stuff for the enjoyment of it and can’t to be in the BFA and reading stuff that doesn’t have to do with boring stuff that I am too pea brained to understand.

so close.

the Pain of Paine


So here comes yet another post about how I didn’t comprehend the reading and how I feel like a complete idiot and reject.

I will admit this right now. The first few chapters of the book are complete write offs for me because I can’t recall one thing he said. I know he addressed George Washington and pretty much fan girled all over him, but that is all I got out of it.

I think I can summarize what he said in all those chapters in one sentence: Monarchies suck and America is the best.

That made me think: We all now insult America for thinking that they are the best country in the world, even though they have major societal issues. However, if you look at it, how does the USA have such a big ego”? because outsiders in monarchist countries who thought that Republics were the best. So really can we blame the USA that much?

It wasn’t until his last chapter that I bought into his argument (PS I love monarchies so everyone can just cut it out) The usage of going step by step and looking at the taxes and better/cheaper ways of maintain the country was super fascinating.

Once again I don’t have all that much to say about Paine because he is just a pain.

The Sex was (not) Spectacular

Hey all,

Here comes another blog post from yours truly.

So this week (next week) we had to read Foucault’s book (i dunno if it is an essay or what) called The History of Sexuality Volume 1: An introduction. When I first learned we were reading a book about the history of sexuality I was super excited because finally we were reading something that wouldn’t make me want to jump off of Buchanan A; finally something that would keep me engaged, because it is about a subject that i don’t find to be archaic and a waste of my time (sorry Hobbes, I still don’t a rat’s ass about you and your polisci things). Unfortunately as I began reading more and more of Foucault’s work, I came to the realizations that:

A) He is a dry writer. Like my god, add some sort of literary device to keep the audience engaged. Now I am not saying that he needs to jam apostrophes (not the ” , ” type_ throughout his dissertation, but please please please use some sort of interesting language.

B) If you are going to pick a subject like sexuality which is so exciting and, may i say it, carnal, you have to give everything you got. Instead of making it interesting, Foucault literally made it so dry that I was about to start doodeling all over the words.

I also couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. He started by stating that the repression of sexuality started during the Victorian age, which I totally agree, but I could never figure quite out whether he was pro or against sexual repression. He evidently did some research but I never found myself be gravitated to any side of the argument. I don’t know if I am just an idiot or if it was lost in translation, but wowza.

I want to go more into an interesting discussion about the philosophy behind this book, but I can’t because I just didn’t get it.




Let’s Talk about Dicks Baby

So here is the post we have all been waiting for, Freud’s Dora!

To begin; Penis, Dick, Cock, Member, Organ, Lollipop, disco stick, Anaconda, Black mamba, manhood, Baby Maker, Second head, Bald Eagle, woody, Cattle prod, dong, schlong etc.

Now that we got that out of the way, i can continue on with my blog post.

I think that everyone in general was very excited to read this analysis because A) it’s Freud so you know it will be weird and awesome. B) It is written quote well and C) it isn’t Hobbes. I know that Freud has been a name that i have heard thrown around alot but i have never read any of his stuff so I was so interested to dive into the screwed mind of the man who created the Oedipus complex.

First off I have to say that I am of two minds about Freud. On one hand I applaud his fearless pursuit of theories during a period which stigmatized so much BUT after reading the analysis all I could think about was that he seemed to berate and lead Dora in his questioning to get to the answers that HE wanted. it seems to me that Freud was so stuck in his own theories of what the psyche was, that he could not see clearly that maybe sucking your thumb doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to perform fellatio.

One element of this text that i thoroughly loved was the characterization of all the characters. At times i felt that like I was reading a romanticism era novel. It truly was as cryptic and full or twists as Frakenstein or its contemporaries.

Did anyone else find Freud to be very egocentric throughout is analysis of Dora. When he deduced that Dora wanted “to have a kiss from me [Freud]” because upon waking up from the dream she smelt smoke. LIKE CUT ME A BREAK. It sounds to me that Freud was developing feelings for the patient and needed to rationalize it.

I also loved how Dora was not afraid to talk back. She seemed reluctant to speak and through it, we came to understand who she was more and more.

I was also so happy that in the end she ended up happy and married and pretty much said “fuck you” to Freud.

So yeah. Freud is messed up,  but awesome and apparently if anyone gives someone a jewelry box, it means they want to get freaky!


Maybe Jane Austen doesn’t need to die in a dark, dank hole.

So here is my first literary blogpost of the year and I think this is a good book/reading to start with.

this is not my first time around the Austen rodeo. In the past I have read Sense and Sensibility, or as I like to call it – WTF nothing happens as well as Emma, also known as SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND GET LOST. As you see from my intense bolding of the seocnd titles, you can probably deduce that I find Jane Austen and her writing a waste of my ever so precious time, or atleast i did! (cue duh duh duh)

When i saw that Northanger Abbey was on the reading list, it was bitter sweet. YAY we aren’t reading more philosophy (atleast for a week or two) and NO, I have to read about women sitting. Luckily enough in Northanger Abbey the women do not only sit, they also walk, bathe and ride in carriages.

In all seriousness, I did enjoy reading Northanger Abbey. It was a quick and easy read with some good characters and a nice flow..

Now I think Imma go through the cast list and have soem fun with it.

CATHERINE- I want her to get a life, stop reading novels and get it in. ( can i say that on a UBC blog?)

HENRY- Stop being a wuss and learn to flirt. I imagined him as this like awkward but super good looking man..i.e Paul Rudd.

P.S anyone else get a bit freaked out when at the end they were like ” …begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of twenty-six and eighteen: (p186) like i have read enough Phillipa Gregory to know that like that happened, but still….That shit is ratchet.

Mrs. Allen- Stop buying dresses and work on your face/talking (she reminds me of Mrs Bennet)

Isabella- Now this girl knows what is up. I know she and General Tilney are supposed to be the villains, but honestly, she was fucking boss. She wormed her way into a strangers confidence and used her to get at her brother, as well as other men and like was not afraid to get violent (i.e the scene when she grabs Catherine’s arm) I laughed so much at her glibness and how stupid Catherine was in respect to her. There should be a spinoff for Isabella Thorpe.


Those are the characters that i really remember. i know there are others but no one really cares so whatever.

My major issue with Austen is that all of her stories/characters are interchangeable. Like all of her books are about a middle class girl falling in love and her misadventures. Now I know that that is what sold back then but holy cow, be a bit more original.  Atleast with this book, it has the element of a parody of gothic novels (although i felt that there wasn’t enough of it).

I did enjoy how the narrator would address directly the reader — that is always fun.




When Will my Reflection Show.

Some people may be shocked by my openness with making my reflection a blog post but..YOLO

1. I think my biggest improvement this term has been meshing my own unique voice and a more analytically and academic style of writing. If you look at my first essay (Plato/Genesis/Kant), you would notice that it was a lot of opinion and had a thesis that was more difficult to prove contextually. I started this year with the idea that creative thought would get me good grades. This was soon disproved. I think I have improved in making my voice less prominent (although still there). If you look at my Marlowe/Bulgakov essay, my voice is still there and yet I use much more contextual evidence and intellectual language. I am still not at the point where I can just loose my personality, but I am getting there.

2. Although only Megan has commented on the wiki page (and only for two of my essays) I have a pretty good Idea of what have been frequent comments on my essays.

A. My first comment that I feel like i got multiple times was my syntax. I come from a much more “englishy” and creative writing background, so I enjoy using similes, hyperboles etc and I have noticed that in a few of my essays this has caused confusions. This was most prominent in my Antigone essay and my Rousseau one. Both times I was criticized for choosing the wrong word, making my point unclear. I thoroughly disagree with this criticism because this is a very subjective opinion. The english language is involving and therefore we shouldn’t be judged on the definition of words. Awesome by definition means excellent and impressive. I know that in today’s society, it has an argo slang to it, but it is just a great word to use.

B. I have also been told on numerous occasions (i.e every single essay) that i don’t fully explain my points, thus making them interesting and invalid. This was prominent in my Rousseau essay when I did not explain thoroughly all of my points (i.e the first two points). I think that I addressed this in my Carpentier essay and am definitely trying to improve on  this in my upcoming Walcott/Cesaire essay. I think my main issue in this is that I think I have explained my points enough and believe that the reader will understand my thinking and make the connections, but they don’t.

C. I have awesome unique titles and introductions that really attract and grab the reader. This was particularily strong for Antigone and Rousseau. I think that the intro and the title is the most important part of the essay because it is what sets up the rest of the essay.

3. Next term I want to work on two things:

I) I want to continue working on the clarity of my arguments. Not moving on to a new point until the first point is clearly laid out and unpenetrable by counter arguments.

II) This is kind of stupid, but i want to work on my use of semi colons, colons, dashes and commas. I think the use of diction is so powerful and the choice of a comma, a colon or dash can totally change the readers perception of the text.

III) Not hating Philosophy


So there you are, This is my reflection!