Thursday, May 1, 2014

Future questions from class


In 5 years
Things wont be too complicated, I hope to have job. I hope I stay out of prison. Any changes 5 years from now would be very slight. Phones and computers would be better, etc. The government would become more corrupt. I could imagine another avoidable disaster like and oil spill. Tattoos would be commonplace

In 10 years
I assume I’ll be married. I think the government would do a lot better once the baby boomers start dying out. Gay marriage would probably be legal on a federal level. The US would probably be in another war with a different country. The US is always part of some war somewhere.  All the houses probably have operating systems, but not my house.

In 20 years
I do not want to think about “my kids” but I assume that teens will either look super saturated or gray and boring when it comes to clothing. I’d still be working in animation. Animation has been around for 100 years and judging by the fact that everything uses animation nowadays I assume it’s only get more popular in the future. The US would probably start to lose a lot of international influence. It would go from a military state to mercenary state. There better be a female president by now.

In 50 years

I’d have a robot servant to help my old bones. I probably would not understand to youth at all. There’d probably be a significant change in attitude to the climate change. More things would be earth friendly, no plastic bags I’m sure. In 50 years there’d probably be at least a few horrible wars I’ve seen. Maybe I live in China or India because the US is no longer a world power. There should be a good transportation system by then, like the Amtrak on speed but actually connecting major cities, not just the ones in new England. Phones would be embedded in my arm like an omni tool.

Clockwork Orange - revise

I watched the Clockwork Orange movie first then read the book.

I understand why Clockwork Orange is out there but people don't really want to call it Science fiction. Burgess has set up this sub culture in England that truly never existed. I guess people want to call it a science fiction because so much of the book is invented. The culture, slang, and Ludovigo treatment are all made up. It's essentially a different world. But i wouldn't call it sci-fi because the author was just trying to make a point. It's not about science it's about the fear of youth. There's a lot of symbolism in the book.

According to the forward the reason why Burgess constructed such a unique world was because he wanted the book to be timeless. He didn't want it to be dated. Which is why Alex listens to classical music because it's already proved as timeless. And when modern music is referenced it's done vaguely without names. He invented a new form of slang because using current slang could also be dated. This is why he created a new world.

One thing i know a lot people complained about in the book was the Nadsat or the slang. That it was easier to understand in the movie listening to someone use than reading it. I had a little trouble with it at first but since the slang is based of slavic words I had little trouble with it (I'm slavic myself.) But it's clever because it's not just using words from another language but incorporating into another language. Like the word "ruka" (which means hand) is turned into "rooker" in Nadsat. It's an englishified version. It's really clever. "Ptitsa" means "bird", but in england "bird" is slang for "girl" so "ptitsa" is "girl." Burgess uses words in this book to hold so much meaning. Take the droogs, though their name isn't explained to have a meaning "drug" (pronounced droog) means again or another. The title of the experiment Ludovigo is not just a reference the Ludvig van Beethoven. The word "ludo" means crazy. I can only imagine the other secrets hidden in the words of this book but I really enjoyed.

According to the forward, one of the reasons why Burgess used so much Nadsat was because he really didn't like violence. Which is funny because this is a very very very violent book. Maybe he though he was censoring himself that way, but smashing your noga into some veck's zoobies still sounds pretty violent. This feature was lost in the movie because the audience didn't need to interpret anything, they'd just see Alex kick some guy in the teeth.

I should discuss the ending because it's very different in the book. In the movie, Alex is "cured" of the sickness and it's implied he returns to his old ways. The book continues after this scene. Alex with a fat check from suieing Ludovigo does return to his old ways and even gets a new crew of droogs (I think the meaning of "another" is working here. Imply that since the beginning there's be another set of droogs) and even though ultraviolence doesn't make him sick anymore he just not satisfied. He's also the oldest member of the new droogs while previously he was the youngest. Quite simply that things Alex did as kid just doesn't interest anymore, he wants to be an adult. Alex basically grows up and leaves behind the childish world of the droogs while yearning to be a responsible adult. The movie ending is visually satisfying but it loses this message.

I think age and youth are very important in this book. Alex was always the youngest everywhere, with the droogs, robbing the elderly, in prison, and among the scientists. The only time he was with younger people was with the two "ptitsa" who he didn't understand at all and with the new droogs, whom he disliked. Alex seemed to have a disdain for generations that weren't his own.

Blood Child

Blood Child was very strange but I did enjoy it and it made me think.

Though I've complained about writers holding back too much information before I liked it in Blood Child. I think it's because it was a short story so it didn't take 50 pages to explain who the characters were. I like the way that the author let the scenes build from nothing to an image. She let the reader picture what was happening on their own instead of making the reader struggle to find the author's point of view.

The Tlic/Terran living situation is a head scratcher. I want to call it negative but this situation is much better when the Terran showed up and attacked the Tlic only to be enslaved by them. Now the two species have a mutual relationship. Now the Terran live on a reservation, which maybe is meant to allude to Native American reservations but honestly the more I think about it, it feels like a farm. A well maintained farm with happy sheep but a farm nonetheless. When the worms are transfered from the man to the achti i felt like it was a metaphor. The worms didn't see the Terran as anything different from the farm animal. The Tlic/Terran relationship might be positive but they are not equal. The Tlic are the superior beings who live longer and are the original inhabiters of this planet. The Terran are lesser in all honesty. I feel bad for the Terran.

BUT, from the Tlic point of view their species needs to survive. So they must USE the Terran bodies to progress their species. Tlic need Terran even though Terran probably don't need Tlic. It's not like the Tlic like doing it, but it must be done. They're doing a bad thing but there's no other option. At least the Tlic are as nice as they can be to the Terran about the situation.

In all honest the situation sucks but that's what it is. I can't think of a positive solution that'd make both groups as happy as can be. That's just the way it for them. Mutual relationships between species like this is common in the animal kingdom, but as humans we don't really think about this. I'm glad the writer looked and animals when coming up with the story, they really feel like a different species from humans.

Mona Lisa Overdrive

I was really excited at first to read Mona Lisa Overdrive because it was one of the major inspiration for the Matrix movies which I'm a huge fan of.

This is gonna be short because I just flat out hated Mona Lisa Overdrive. It was confusing as hell. I couldn't tell when people were in the real world, or if they were in some MMO, or if they were hacking. I never had a clear image in my mind of what was going on. I'm sure that was the intention but I just didn't enjoy it. I had trouble keeping up with the characters too. I didn't even get that far.

I guess I see the inspiration in the Matrix with how what i think is that digital world is treated. And it makes reality a confusing place. But I read just a few chapters and I can't even tell people what this book is about. It should be rewritten.

The Stars by Destination

The way the book described teleportation in the introduction was real cool. It felt like I was reading a newspaper article or historical document. It seemed real and logical. I understand teleportation has been done before but the writing of this was different from what else I've read. It was a good set up. The organization of the writing really made things seem futuristic.

At first I was worried about Gully Foyle, I thought he'd be a typical oldschool scifi hero. But he really caught my attention! Foyle is describes a very common man, well maybe a bit more lethargic than the common man and he's been surviving by himself in a wreckage in space for over a hundred days. A truly hopeless situation. I can't think of a more hopeless situation than being alone in space. Just by reading his thought he seems like a man that given up, he even calls his little room his coffin. "Deep space is my dwelling place and death's my destination." That sounds like a man ready to die. (if he's so ready to die why did he try hard to survive for over a hundred days.) But Foyle's "Aha!" moment is when a ship that could rescue him simply flies past him instead.

Foyle goes into a rage. A simple animalistic hate and fury forces him to move forward. It's great to see such familiar anger in a futuristic book. I think this rage helps motivate Foyle to save himself by salvaging the pieces. And propelling himself to safety. But Foyle reaction to the ship simply passing him is enticing. This is a man who had essentially given up on survival. This might've been because he was just a man in space. And you can't really get angry at space for killing you, it's like blaming nature for your problems. When the Ship, Vorga, ignore Foyles signal for help he goes into pure fury. He has a scape goat now. He has something to hate for all his trouble. And this hate its what saves him. Though unlike before he's not driven to survive, he's driven to seek revenge. At this point Foyle isn't some clean cut space cadet. He looks and talks like a primitive madman.

I regret not finishing this book but I'll probably save it for a plane ride and finish it

Ananzi Boys

Ananzi Boys is probably my favorite Gaiman book, right off that bat.

I wasn't too familiar with African storytelling, I knew a little of Anazi beforehand but the book seemed well researched.

The "casual" magic in the book is what made it so entertaining. How simple things some how had power and would stick like old Mr. Nancy's nicknames for that Goofy Dog or Fat Charlie, how easy it was for Spider to lie to everyone. Little things that are clearly unnatural but wouldn't be called supernatural by the bystander. I think this is a clear mark of Contemporary Fantasy. To try to work magic into our world without making is shocking .

Fat Charlie and Spider have two opposite personalities. Fat Charlie is careful, concerned, a little soft. While Spider is careless, adventurous, and mischievous. I do like that among the brothers Gaiman didn't decide to to the good twin/evil twin thing. While the boys are very different I wouldn't call Fat Charlie good, he's just a regular man. And I wouldn't call Spider evil though he's done some awful things in the past. (The thing about Tricksters in myth is they aren't evil, they don't particularly have ill will they're still nuisances and you don't really feel bad if something happens to them.) Their distinct personality are seemingly explained when the old woman in florida (i forgot her name right now) tells Fat Charlie that he and Spider used to be one. But he was such a problem child that she used magic to essentially rip the trickster out of him.

What's really fun is that Fat Charlie and Spider seem to switch personalities when Spider steals Fat Charlie's fiance and Fat Charlie becomes more interested in the policewoman.

Anyway in the end Spider proves that he does have a soft side, and he isn't so careless while Fat Charlie shows off his own cunning trickster personality. It's funny these two boys were essentially half a person. But when they met instead fusing our whatever they stayed separate but became fuller character with more dimension to their original personalities.

Very cool read, i'd recommend it to a lot of people

Bone - Jeff Smith

Bone is a really cool book, the characters Fone Bone, Phoney, and Smiley all feel like the walked out of an old comic strip. They're very simple and very appealing. The comedy between Smiley and Phoney is pretty stooges-esque. But despite what you expect looking at the cover Bone is a fantasy epic and it's pretty entertaining as things turn.

Normally i wouldn't dream of mixing such silly looking character with realistic ones. The bones don't look like they came from another town, the look like the came from an entirely different comic. But it works so well. It's in the way it's written how the characters respond to eachother's antic. Because real life IS funny. People sometimes act like cartoons. Rosie and Lucius can have big reaction and make jokes aswell, it's not reserved to the Bones. Sometime that rat creatures have you fearing for the heroes life. Sometimes you're laughing at the rat creatures for bickering about quiche! There are distinct personalities in Jeff Smith's writing. but the characters are all very relatable.

I know it was one of the really silly stories but the Great Cow Race cracks me up. It highlighted how low Phoney was, how silly Smiley could be. The second Phoney says he wants to take part in the race you just know somehow things are going to go wrong. But you don't know just how wrong things go until you read it. But that mess of spread with the rat creature colliding with the cows is pretty unforgettable.