In the cult 2016 film Captain Fantastic lead character Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) lifts the mood when he celebrates “Noam Chomsky Day” early with his children. “Uncle Noam it’s the day of your birth!” the children sing; a rousing and hilarious chorus followed by cake.
The thing is, Noam Chomsky should be celebrated, and in an age of anti-intellectualism, this celebration becomes all the more important.
Why has this one man been awarded honorary doctorates from over a dozen universities internationally, had his name used as the eponym for a species of bee, and been voted the “world’s leading public intellectual?” …
“The first object of human association is the improvement of their condition.”-Thomas Jefferson: Declaration and Protest of Virginia, 1825.
Once upon a time there was a grand experiment to see if a country by the people, for the people, could survive the tests of time and never perish from the earth. Or so the mythology goes. …
The myth of “American Exceptionalism” is no longer the norm, even throughout most of the United States. As a matter of fact, the States aren’t even that united anymore, so the very country itself is on the verge of becoming a misnomer.
And yet where America leads, the world does, still, in many ways, follow. This is largely because of the corporate juggernauts that own the U.S. political system, in conjunction with the United States military overreach in nearly every “corner” of the globe, but regardless of the causes the fact that some truth remains in the old myths about the United States is important. …
In cinematography, eye-trace is a technique for directing the viewer's gaze to specific areas of the image across consecutive shots. It’s about understanding how to keep the audience’s gaze coherent from shot to shot, how to subtly direct the points on which they focus — without their even realizing it’s happening. Eye-tracing is one of the fundamental aspects of good filmmaking, but it’s also a vital component of “layered text” when writing prose.
In cinematography, eye-trace is vital because it keeps the viewer’s eyes from darting all over the screen from cut to cut. In long, slow cuts, this might not matter as much from a technical standpoint (as the viewer will at least have time to adjust their gaze) but if multiple cuts happen in quick succession, it can become immensely jarring. …
As we come to the close of the 2020 election cycle with the nomination of President-Elect Joe Biden, many are celebrating the first bit of hope they’ve had in an increasingly difficult year. But for those on the Progressive left, hope is also a cause for concern — because hope can lead to complacency. Because so many people are desperate for a “return to normal” without really understanding what “normal” is and why it’s accepted as such. …
Literary works cannot be taken over like factories, or literary forms of expression like industrial methods.
― Bertolt Brecht
One of the thing’s that I’ve missed most about life during COVID is the ability to go out to coffee shops. I used to do a lot of my writing to the background hum of life doing what life does. The ambiance of friends talking, lovers murmuring, china chinking formed the palette from which I drew the colors that infused my written worlds.
Now, I find myself working to the sound of cafe ambiance pumped through headphones by ASMR uploaders on YouTube. Studies have shown that ambient noise might actually make us more creative — from a completely personal anecdotal level I jive with this completely. …
I recently did an interview for a project about fan-fiction and writing-based roleplaying games in which the interviewer asked what some of my low points in these various communities were. I gave a couple of answers dealing with how psychological issues can manifest through these mediums before a thought occurred to me: how had I not mentioned sexism?
Wonderful writing can take place within fan-fiction. For the most part, the type of fan-fiction I’ve participated in has been OC-based (“OC” stands for Original Character, where the writer creates their own character but places them within a pre-constructed world, like the Star Wars or Mass Effect universes). …
a poem for hard times
In the middle of the night__grief arrives,
His bloody palm__on the hilt of a knife
and in the quiet hours__I am estranged
from the ones I love;__by His blade I’m changed.
Who I am is a mystery__that I cannot solve
(since I’ve never been__who I thought I was)
but the promise I’ve__always stood behind,
is to keep on going__even when I’m blind.
Well that’s a promise that__I may have to keep,
to go alone,__with eyes that cannot weep;
to fade away__in her memory,
to stumble on__alone but free.
There is nothing harder
than to be…
The automobile revolutionized the world. It added to the general trend of democratization; once mass-produced vehicles became the norm it became suddenly possible for a much wider swath of the disenfranchised public to travel freely, and freedom to travel is one of the staples of a open democracy. In the 21st century, a similar revolution needs to take place, one which permits people to “climb aboard” a mode of transportation better suited to the needs of modern citizens and the needs of a world wracked by climate change: the electric, pedal-assist, bicycle.
But, in order to explore this topic, we first need to explore the history of the car. Our exploration takes us back in time to 1914, a time eerily similar to our own. …
Bicycles are over two-hundred years old and yet remain a staple mode of transportation across the world. And it makes sense: bicycles and other velocipedes are cheaper than automobiles or horses, easy to self-maintain (even with limited tools), and are capable of transporting their riders large distances in a relatively short amount of time.
But, in the United States, bicycles have yet to “take off.” Sure, plenty of people in dense urban areas bike, but the number is still minuscule when compared to the number of drivers. Out of the roughly 328 million people in the United States, 222 million drive cars while only about 47 million ride bikes (about 12 percent of the population). …