The Artifice Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:55:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rebuilding The Future Sat, 17 Feb 2018 10:39:36 +0000 The year 1960 saw the release of George Pal’s imaginative production of H.G.Wells’ ‘The Time Machine’, considered by many to be a classic. At the end of the film, the main character ‘George’ returns to the distant future to help the newly liberated yet child-like Eloi build a new society, taking just three books with him to aid his venture. As his friend comments to another character ‘…which three would you have taken?’. Considering the wealth of knowledge we have access to in the 21st Century, which three books (factual or fiction) would you choose and, more importantly, why?

]]> 0
Star Trek Discovery: Ash Tyler Fri, 16 Feb 2018 03:46:55 +0000 In Star Trek’s newest installation Star Trek: Discovery, we are introduced to a character named Ash Tyler, potrayed by Shazad Latif. Ash was a prisoner of war in a Klingon ship, was tortured and ultimately raped by one of his Klingon captors. You see Ash dealing with symptoms of PTSD that progress through the show. Ash’s mental state causes flashbacks, which ultimately lead to violence and even death of those In his way. How does the sympathy of Ash’s place as a male rape victim clash with the violent nature he takes on when having episodes? Is he less sympathetic or moreso because of these violence inducing flashbacks caused by the torture he recieved?

Cool guys and glasses in anime Thu, 15 Feb 2018 19:39:25 +0000 In anime there are many stereotypes which deviate from Western views. For instance, the boy in school with glasses and straight A’s may be worshipped in Japan but oppressed in Western nations. I would love it if someone could research the value of these stereotypes in different cultures!

Technical Competence Vs. Quality in Classic Cinema Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:47:57 +0000 I recently re-watched Tod Brownings 1931 adaptation of Dracula, along with the Spanish language reshoot made the same year. Later, I watched an analysis of both films that was arguing the english language version was superior due to the technical proficiency of the camera operator. They compared the number of tracking shots, pushes, and dolly shots, then judged the quality of the film based off those numbers.

Personally, I find this to be somewhat of a silly way of judging a film’s quality, but I couldn’t help that agree with the author of the video that the English version looks much better than the Spanish one. Should the technical execution of a film, especially classic film, play a role in our subjective judgement of it?

Of Monetary Value: The Artistry of the Undervalued Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:29:09 +0000 In this day and age the arts are one of the most freeing career paths a person can choose, from drawing and painting to animation and sculpture the field is vast and full of potential. Discuss why people devlue the art of learning these subjects, often expect work to be done for free, and then celebrate the art as beloved. Do we value the work and undervalue the artist? Is this ideal changing? Discuss how this mindset and belief that art is not of valur affects the “little” guy while allowing large main stream corporations to become highly monetarily successful.

The “Write” Way Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:55:22 +0000 Writing is a verb, it is the action of placing words on a page in a way that is coherent, but writing can be so much more impactful than that definition would have one believe. Writing is the ability to make words dance and paint vivid and vibrant pictures in the mind of the reader. The ability to write is one requiring practice, patience, imagination, perseverance and so much more. It is a fight to get the words on the page in a way that both you and your potential reader can understand. The writing process can be daunting if your understanding of the medium is lacking in any way, and yet it is so important to continue.

Getting Started

To begin writing, some semblance of a topic is required – be it a topic picked based on audience, personal preference, or necessity. Writing for a class, for example, an author may be given a topic or a set of potential topics or themes to choose from within. When writing if the author is writing non-fiction, writing something the author feels is disingenuous or goes against their beliefs and values can often be an excellent choice. When an author writes for about a topic they are passionate about, the passion truly can be felt in the writing, however writing with passion can allow the possibility for logical fallacies to infiltrate the piece. This is not a guarantee; however, it is a possibility.

When writing fiction, this need to be factually correct changes. Logical fallacies are less of a problem when looking at fiction, because fiction as a medium is often disingenuous to reality, that is arguably the point of fiction. When writing fiction, author’s preferences and passions are going to be the most prominent and important topics to consider. If a fiction author does not like science fiction and decide to write an epic about space travel and astronauts the writing will likely seem as tired and forced as the author feels writing it. This is not to say writing around disinterest is not possible, however writing to passions is going to shine through.

Once a topic is decided a plot is required before beginning the story. Plot being the device the narrative follows to tell a story, or in the case of nonfiction essay style writing the plot would be the developing a form of topic sentence and planning the following paragraphs of the essay to follow.

Essay style plots are often self-explanatory, following the progression of the topic sentence or the story being told. Some different styles of essay writing include descriptive essay, where a story is told taking time to touch every detail and create imagery, expository essay where a topic is reported or explained, or persuasive where you conduct and argument and argue the correctness of your stance, among many other forms. These plots often follow a simple pattern based on the needs of the piece. Creative style plots however have much further variance.

Creative writing plot generators are abundant on the internet, but beyond that because of the nature of the style – the fact that it does not need to be factual – allows the creative writer a sense of freedom the essay writer does not have, alternative facts aren’t welcome in essay style writing. The creation of a plot may be sparked from a show or movie, a dream as is the case with Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, or perhaps other forms of random daily inspiration. When a plot has been pinned, and a topic picked the writer may start writing.

For both styles doing prewriting or drafting may be a helpful way to peg down the plot, bubble charts with branched topics off the main idea are often preferred with essay style. With creative a highly used device would be drawing up a plot arc, drawing points along a physical manifestation of the way a plot builds.

The Actual Writing Bit

When it comes to writing no two authors are the same; however, after a topic is found writing must start at some point, no matter how much drafting is involved. Beginning a piece can be an intimidating task, so at times authors opt not to begin the piece. Some choose instead of starting a piece on page one starting somewhere in the middle can help the writing process along. The best advice for a writer of any age, gender, proficiency, is to write continuously, be this on a daily or nightly schedule, or just making sure to write periodically through the day. This action of constant work builds practice and skill, enabling the writer to become more skilled and proficient in their work, along with increasing their stamina and ability to write more in a shorter amount of time.

Another practice that often helps in completing a piece would be completely ignoring spelling, grammar and syntax errors. This suggestion, though seemingly blasphemous, is very useful to many writers as their focus and flow are not interrupted because and was spelled ‘amd’.


The other reason why editing while writing is unnecessary, is because it is the next step in the writing process. When it comes to editing practice makes perfect, however it can be beneficial to leave the piece along for a few days. When the author leaves the piece be and moves on with their life, the connection to what was written fades enough to truly see the flaws within the piece. Coming through a separate date and editing allows a fresh mind to look at the piece, maybe that paragraph should really be in a different section, or this dialogue doesn’t fit the character, these are more likely to be noticed after some space is taken from the work. With clarity of mind and a fresh sense of understanding of the piece returning after a few days often reveals a better piece hiding under some tactful editing. If someone aside from the author is the editor, the best practice for growth of all parties is having all changes, suggestions, and comments visible and optional to the author. Having other parties read the piece can help to add more clarity or understanding in places that perhaps made sense to the writer but wouldn’t make sense to an audience.

Final Piece

Once a final piece is created if can be printed, turned in, or kept for personal enjoyment. The only necessary piece is time, if an author puts time into their piece, one day it will come out. Prewriting, taking time and care, and making sure to take space to make a better creation can be helpful in a writer’s journey, though not required. Every writer’s process is different, however these pieces can often be found to help the writer along their way to accomplish their goals, in the end achieving those goals is the only thing that truly matters.

]]> 25
Star Trek: Discovery – Decent or Dud? Thu, 15 Feb 2018 08:54:36 +0000 An analysis of the newest addition to the Star Trek franchise. Does the 2017 update to beloved 80/90s spin-offs like DS9 and Voyager really pack the same punch? Or is possible that older TV shows and their newer instalments are want to be affected by nostalgia and fans, as much as they are by new script and plot?

America, Can You Really Do Anything? Wed, 14 Feb 2018 17:12:14 +0000 In America, the commonly known ‘American Dream’ ideal exists where if you put in hard work and with a little “bit o’ luck” you can accomplish anything. Discuss the socio-economic and political barriers to this ideal. Examine social issues such as racism, sexism, and white-privilege, noting how their effects promote or dampen the possibility of this ideal becoming a reality. Use examples from media, books and film in order to argue your point.

Book Suggestions: Of Mice and Men, McTeague, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Passing (Nella Larsen).

Movie Suggestions: Citizen Kane, Pretty Woman, La La Land, Good Will Hunting

Japan through the lens of anime Tue, 13 Feb 2018 18:59:16 +0000 Anime is mainstream, there is no question about that. Yet, why is there such a lack of intensity of discussion about Japanese movies that aren’t animated, with the exception of Akira Kurosawa’s films, especially Seven Samurai and Rashomon? Any thoughts on what is causing this? Feel free to add any information on Japanese cinema and animations’ reception internationally as well.

What is the most appealing thing about anime? Tue, 13 Feb 2018 01:51:57 +0000 Anime as a genre and a community has far outclassed those of any other form of cartoon media. What is it about the Japanese shows, which vary through all sorts of story genres and artstyles, that come together to create such an appealing platform for all ages? Why is it as popular as it is?

]]> 0