Friday, January 3, 2014

I'm Gonna Make it Through This Year if it Kills Me

Those are lyrics from a song called "This Year" by the Mountain Goats. A bit more dismal than how I feel right now (and it has nothing to do with the bulk of this post), but it's a fantastic song. You should go listen to it sometime.

I returned to school Thursday, and we immediately dove into new stuff. More specifically, in English class we are going to study the work(s) of Stephen Crane. Our English teacher usually adds some sort of contextual end to it [in this case to Red Badge of Courage] , but only after introducing some of the author's other works. In this case, we read Crane poetry. And I couldn't stop reading, which is really weird for me. I cannot poetry, end of sotry.

So when we got home, I googled Stephen Crane, and read through the intro to Red Badge, and found some interesting bits about him:

  • He was the son of a [Methodist] preacher
  • He worked in journalism for a while, and connected through some articles what war was like. Namely, the American Civil War.
The poetry is something I could've written (not in the average "oooh, I don't understand art" way but in the "I identify with this person" sort of way). Read this, for example:
A Man Said to the Universe
A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!"
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
Since I read this, I've been thinking about how true it is. In essence, the universe picks and chooses what is notable, much like society. It sort of reminds me of that scene in The Polar Express where Santa Claus tells that know-it-all kid that a bit of humility could do him good. Humility can do us all good.

One should not be judged on anything but the merit of his/her deeds, the motives for those deeds, and how they reacted in the face of it. Arrogance is not a virtue, it is annoying.

After pondering all this, my hallucinating mind came to the startling conclusion: I am Stephen Crane. The evidence is (not) concrete:
  • I am the son of a[n Orthodox] priest
  • I am considering photojournalism as a career path
  • I am a docent at the Espy Post: a museum dedicated to the Civil War vets
  • His style reminds me of what I perceive as my own style (wacky, disjointed, yet metaphorical in its meandering to the point where I can understand it)
This proves quite concerning, considering he died at age 29 and never married, but past that I can probably deal with being Stephen Crane, except, you know, tuberculosis. See what English class does to me? 

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