In Memoriam: JFR Editor Steven T. Seum (July 19, 1978 – December 29, 2017)

Dear readers, Jet Fuel Review has established a memorial page for our dear editor Steven T. Seum with some of his work as well as tributes from his peers and professors. This is work-in-progress as we will continue to update the page with pieces about Steve from students, faculty, and others. If you have anything you’d like to say about Steve, please send it to our JFR blog editor Michael Lane and/or Simone Muench, and we will post it on this page as we are able. If you would like to donate groceries to his family, there is information at the bottom of this page for a GoFundMe organized by Steve’s brother, Michael Seum, as well as a link to a food delivery service called Meal Train created by Amber Ruland.Simone Muench

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Steve Seum at the JFR Issue #14 Launch on November 30th, 2017

The Chronic Appeal
by Steven Seum

(Written for Dr. Jen Consilio’s Advanced Writing course)

“We are not to blame for our illness, but we are responsible for our health.”- Victoria Maxwell, BPP

Being overwhelmed by multiple, debilitating chronic health issues at any time in my life was mind-bogglingly unanticipated.  My back has been sliced and diced twice (once through my back, and the second time through a six-inch opening starting at my navel and going down past my waist).  I now have an artificial disc in the lumbar region of my back, I deal with chronic neuropathy, I have limited control over my right leg, and I have dealt with Crohn’s disease, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease, for the past twenty-six years of my life, all at the age of thirty-eight.  Unable to anticipate each day bares an undesirable burden.  I am incapable of anticipating when my back will seize up, as various muscle groups compensate for the injured region, or the surgically repaired and replaced areas of my back will ache a deep ache, pulsing in time with my heart, or if I will be stuck running, no, sprinting to the bathroom because of my Crohn’s disease and the side effects which come with it (the fatigue, the vitamin deficiencies, the joint pain)—a daily routine was ruled out long ago. This is how it is for anyone dealing with anything chronic or invisible, or those close to it—our family and friends—and the side effects that come with chronic illness and the depression, the lack of routine, and the inability to live a “human” existence (the “human” existence is simply a dream I have of a life apart from this dysfunctional body of mine).  There is much I would like to say, to those new to these chronic issues, which would provide a positive story or feedback of a structured regimen, but even the best of us know that the struggle for remission is an overwhelming and intimidating burden of this disease.

“As far as I’m concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.” – Neil Gaiman

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Jake and Michael’s Top 10 Albums of 2017

Banner credited to Michael Lane

You didn’t think we’d leave you without a 2017 albums recap, did you? Yes, this entry is a little later this time than previous years, with this posting in early January rather than mid-December. But that just means our lists are better and more refined than ever before, right?

Anyways, yesterday, Jake and I compiled our 50 favorite tracks of the year and actually ranked them together! With this post below, we have our separate top 10 album lists, which are built off of our mid-year lists back from June. And if you’re looking for even more album recommendations, last month, Music Blogger Dan Fiorio updated us with his own albums list that featured 45 of his favorites over three posts (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3). Also, sometime in the near future, I hope to have a list written up chronicling my favorite films of 2017.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s get back to what this post is really about: Jake and Michael’s Top 10 Albums of 2017.

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Jet Fuel Jukebox’s Top 50 Songs of 2017!

Here on the Jet Fuel Jukebox, we’re ringing in the New Year with lists! Below you can explore an expansive record of our favorite songs of the year, before coming back tomorrow to read all about our respective Top 10 Albums of 2017, which Jake and I have absolutely pored over.

And while the albums list will be exactly what you expect if you’ve read our previous entries, we’ve actually done things a bit differently for the songs list this year. In year’s past, Jake and I would simply choose our own 25 favorite songs and slap them together into one fine playlist with no rhyme or reason as to where the tracks landed. It worked, but missing from it was a cohesion of both our musical tastes.

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More Like, “Bwrong”: A Review of “Bright”

http://bit.ly/2lchxWi

Netflix’s first big foray into blockbuster filmmaking, Bright, comes courtesy of End of Watch director David Ayer, Chronicle scribe Max Landis, and prominently stars the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith. I’ve previously enjoyed the works of these three men, but haven’t felt quite right in recent years regarding each of their respective output in the industry. I mean, Ayer was also responsible for the absolutely reprehensible Suicide Squad from last year, Landis is now potentially (and perhaps unsurprisingly) a piece of human garbage, and Will Smith hasn’t made a truly good film since The Pursuit of Happyness all the way back in 2006 (I Am Legend is alright too, but that’s also 10 years old now). After viewing Bright, I may have to reconsider the quickly fading fandom I have for any of the people responsible in the making of this movie (except in regards to Landis, because if what is coming out about him is actually true, then there will be no reconsidering — only regret). What I’m trying to tell you, is that Bright really is as bad as all of the critics are saying it is.

But let’s start with the little that Bright does get right, shall we? Well, the film actually introduces a compelling enough premise; one in which the lore in fantasy stories like The Lord of the Rings aren’t only relegated to the Middle Ages, and have instead been fast-forwarded to a present-day Los Angeles that’s not too dissimilar to our very own version. Of course, what makes the film stand out is that this world inhabits humans among orcs, elves, and fairies, as well as the magic that come with them. In one of the film’s only noteworthy pieces of dialogue, we are even presented with the idea of a great, millennia-old war having been fought between the humans and the mythological creatures that still live beside them today. When you realize that this single, seemingly throwaway line is among the only notable pieces of dialogue in this thing — outside of the many quotable bad ones — you can truly begin to understand why Bright is as awful as it is.

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Jet Fuel Jukebox: Super Late Night Edition

Anyone still awake? Probably not. Oh well. We’re still going to put this brand new Jukebox up right now!

This will be our last regularly scheduled playlist of the year. We’re going to take a few weeks off until the very end of the year, when we will be publishing a special Top 50 Songs of 2017 Jukebox, along with our respective Top 10 Albums of 2017 lists. So be sure to check back in then for more lists featuring great music!

For now, though, Jake and I have 20 new tracks for y’all to try out, including new tracks from BROCKHAMPTON, MGMT, Charli XCX, and Sufjan Stevens.

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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Between Rock and an Indie Place: “Control (Secretly Sorry)” by JR JR

http://bit.ly/2AaeHrf

Random fact: This is the only band that I know of who has undergone a major name change successfully. The band JR JR — formerly known as “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.” — released their single, “Control (Secretly Sorry),” earlier this year in October. They’ve just come off their nationwide fall tour, and the indie-pop band now gets to celebrate the widespread success of the song.

As the title insinuates, the song demands attention and takes control of the listeners immediately with loud, fast, and upbeat electronic music. Everything about this song is directly in-your-face. They do not hold back on the ‘kitchen sink’ use of what I’m assuming was every instrument they had available to them.

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Welcome to Tommy Planet: A Review of “The Disaster Artist”

http://bit.ly/2mrMckQ

Over the course of two weeks in the summer of 2003, an indie film called The Room made an almost nonexistent splash when it screened at only two theaters in the heart of Los Angeles, returning a mere $1,800 on an apparent $6 million budget. The film should have likely disappeared from the annals of pop culture altogether, but The Room is one of those “so bad it’s good” kind of movies — one commonly (and deservedly) referred to as the greatest worst movie of all time. Its destiny would be to soon become a beloved cult-classic of larger-than-life proportions, with many of its biggest proprietors among Hollywood’s most well-known stars — one of which is James Franco, whose latest endeavor is based on the film’s ludicrous production.

Directly inspired by a 2013 novel of the same name and written by The Room co-star Greg Sestero, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is Ed Wood for the millennial generation. Like the infamous film it is based on, James Franco directs, produces, and stars in The Disaster Artist, and is unbelievably brilliant in his portrayal of the film’s notorious creator, Tommy Wiseau. Franco absolutely nails every aspect of the man from his accent to his mannerisms — almost to the point that it seems he was quite obsessed with Wiseau. His co-stars are similarly wonderful, with his A-list friends and frequent collaborators making up many of the supporting roles (including Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, and Josh Hutcherson).

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