Creedence Clearwater (and my) Revival

I know what you’re thinking:

Yes, he’s back again. Yet another post about how he had to go off and live his life, but now he’s going to be good to all his readers and followers and never leave us hanging again.

Well, no, actually. If you’re a longtime reader of this website, and I know there are at least a few of you out there, then you’ll know the “I’m back for good” posts are kind of a running gag on this site. Each summer, I write a post asking for forgiveness after school and work wrested my efforts away from writing, and then I promise to keep a consistent stream of content from here on out. After which, I promptly relapse into inactivity.

But I’m not going to do that this time. I won’t make any promises; I’m going to show you, my faithful readers (that haven’t yet found the “Unsubscribe” button), that The Future Writers of America lives on.

Revive more!

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The Blog Lives!

I know, with a title like that, I better have a good explanation for where I’ve been all these months. Well, the truth is what you loyal readers have become accustomed to at this point: life got in the way. I know, it happens to the best of us. First, it was my job as a student journalist eating up my spare time, then the end of the semester. And then my laptop died.

At first, I thought that was the death knell of the blog. Only after it had happened, hindsight informed me that I had never actually thought to write down the password to my WordPress account on anything but the piece of paper that I first came up with the idea for TFWOA on. Of course, the paper vanished the moment I scrambled to find it. For a couple weeks, I didn’t even have a computer to write on. After the browsing data was lost with the old machine, I thought that was the end of my one and a half year writing odyssey.

At this point in the dry spell, some of you were breathing sighs of relief, I’m sure. “That crazy Leftist and animal fiction writer finally got picked up by the State Department.” Sorry to disappoint, but I’m still a rogue on the Internet, and now I have my microphone back.
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Writing for the Masses #2 (Motivation)

Motivation

Welcome back to the revolution, comrades.

Today, in our struggle to rise from the oppressed writing class, I offer you a very powerful tool; motivation. Indeed, from the very basic caloric requirements to shift the muscles in our fingers to the higher order of wanting to sit down at a keyboard and convey our stories from aimless thoughts in our minds to well-organized, compelling narratives, motivation is key. So, in keeping with the theme of redistributing intellectual wealth to the downtrodden masses, I borrow from a much more successful work. This time I switch it up with Liam Neeson.

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Writing for the Masses #1 (Music)

Music

Welcome back to the revolution, comrades.

Writing for the Masses is the idea that by banding together, we small-time writers can buoy each other up to glory and that long-thirsted for success. On this journey, I will borrow the rhetoric and megalomaniac tendencies of the early Marxist revolutionaries in hopes of inspiring the downtrodden masses to rise up, on a smaller scale, of course. But, hey, if you feel like overthrowing the capitalist exploitation machine in your spare time, I won’t stop you.

Now that the back story’s out of the way, time to move on to justifying how I can use other people’s ideas and works and still call these posts my own. Think about it this way: a professional elite holds all the intellectual capital and experience (specifically, the knowledge from that experience) above the masses who struggle and strive to gain a small spot in that elite. I say we redistribute that capital to those masses, just like the land redistribution programs seen in Maoist China without the whole “starving millions of peasants through the pitfalls of collectivized agriculture” hiccup (see Great Leap Forward). See? An idea that’s quite painless in comparison. I’ve found a lovely compromise here.

On to what you all really came here to read about.
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Explorations in Music #3

Let’s kick this off by journeying back to the bygone era of yet another classic rock band. Thirty two years ago, in 1983, before the word “Fuck” was put in front of the phrase by NWA, The Police created some truly thought evoking songs. From “Every Breath You Take” to “Wrapped Around Your Finger” to “Walking on the Moon” to “Message in a Bottle”, these guys had something good going.

But, as fun as it would be to take each of those songs in turn, I’ve selected my personal favorite as the subject for today’s segment. 1983, back when Reagan was in office, the US was the good guys, the USSR was bad, and any regime that wasn’t communist was A-okay in our book, no matter how brutal and anti-democratic, The Police released ‘Synchronicity II” as part of their album Synchronicity (go figure). The lyrics and rhythms of this song make it one of my favorite songs they’ve ever done. So, without further ado, enjoy “Synchronicity II” by The Police.

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Explorations in Music #2

Springsteen the Politico

Before I even say anything else, just listen to perhaps his most well-known artwork. You’re probably saying, “Artwork? But this is just a song.” Trust me, there’s much more to it.

Now, I know the undertones of this piece are quite noticeable to the trained listener, and I’m certainly not the first to talk about the message here, but it still bears repeating. Continue reading

Explorations in Music #1

“Die alten, boesen Lieder”

First off, listen to the song below. Yes, I know it’s in German, but you don’t need to know the language to understand the underlying message. Trust me, I took six years of it and can only translate two words. You can get it too.

(The lyrics end around 2:40, but feel free to keep on listening to the piano.)
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