Sabrina’s Book Corner: Perfect Flowers

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Hello, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we are going to be discussing The Cellar by Natasha Preston.

The Cellar revolves around the kidnapping of a young woman named Summer. Summer was on her way to hang out with some friends when she was approached by a man who seemed to mistake her for another girl named Lily. The next thing Summer knows, she is locked in the cellar of the man’s house, along with three other girls.

At first, Summer wants to assume that there has been some mistake because her name’s not Lily. But she is forced to face the truth when she finds out the other girls’ names: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. 

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Día Con Miguel: A Discussion of “I Am Not Your Negro”

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The debate hall of Cambridge University is filled with graduates and undergraduates, with handfuls of people still left outside. James Baldwin, best known at the time for his eloquent essays and literature, such as Go Tell It on the Mountain and Notes of a Native Son, is debating William F. Buckley, an American conservative who laid the groundwork for Ronald Reagan’s presidency. The question up for debate: “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”

James Baldwin left his quotable handbook of statistics at home this day and decided to turn the audience inside out. Baldwin spoke of the destruction of his identity, a collective experience among the black community in the United States. The destruction of his identity, caused by the American population’s refusal to accept the growing racism in the United States, adding decades more to the centuries of oppression.

Baldwin spoke of his experience as something that came from an utter shock, from the realization of his ancestor’s upbringing, to the realization of the color of his skin. He expressed that everything in his world was white, from the sticks and stones, to the faces on television, to the faces down the block — all white. He continues to express his shock, the realization that he himself was not white, since he never looked in the mirror before. He explains, “It comes as a great shock around the age of five, or six, or even seven to discover that Gary Cooper killing off the Indians when you were rooting for Gary Cooper, that the Indians were you.” Baldwin’s analogy proved his offset. The country in which he was born left no place in society for him; nowhere to evolve, grow, or prosper.

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Words an’ Pictures: Of Mice and Men, an Introductory Spiel

I recently caught myself going through old papers of mine, when I came across some old pieces of tracing paper (I’ve never claimed to be much of an artist) that I had used around the 2nd or 3rd grade. Featured prominently on one of the pages was a tracing of a ferocious dogfight from a beloved childhood comic involving an intrepid pilot trying to take down a villainous pirate airship. This bold hero that I had so lovingly (albeit crudely) rendered was none other than who is arguably the most classic cartoon character of all time, Mickey Mouse, circa 1933.

The Mail Pilot, 1933
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Mickey Mouse is an interesting character to analyze. His fame and popularity have grown immensely over the years since his creation, but despite his ubiquity, relatively few know very much about what makes him tick which is in large part a result of Mickey’s massive success. Walt Disney made the conscious decision at a certain point to make the mouse a fairly one-dimensional character because he was quickly becoming less of a character and more a symbol for the ever growing Disney corporation. Between this tragic business decision and Mickey’s creation and introduction in 1928, however, lie some of the greatest comics ever written.

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Jet Fuel Jukebox for 3/21/17

You know what day it is? Tuesday! Jet Fuel Jukebox day!

Canadian sensation Drake dropped his latest album (mixtape? playlist?) this past weekend. And while neither Jake or I love the entire project, we’ve handpicked two tracks to highlight from it, “Passionfruit” and “Get It Together.”

Other than those two tracks, the newly updated 20-song playlist sees the return of Walk the Moon, NAO, and Neon Indian. Check out the entire setlist below, and give it a listen yourself!

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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Casual Critics: Bigger and Better – A Review of “Kong: Skull Island”

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I would never have considered myself a King Kong fan, but that instantly changed once I finished watching Kong: Skull Island. Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ 2017 reboot of the iconic, towering gorilla-beast contains more action and adventure than anyone could have expected.

In my opinion, this film brought the full package and more. Whether it was the fantastic special effects showing a skyscraper-sized monkey eating a cruise ship-sized squid, or the prefect ensemble of co-stars, or even the engaging story itself — every aspect of Kong had me submerged in the mystical world of Skull Island, the place where Kong is King.

The special effects of this film are superior to those of any movie that I have seen in quite some time. As the saying goes, one must “see it to believe it.” Although that may sound cliché, it could not be more genuine when pertaining to this particular piece. The dazzling precision of angles, sounds, and colors make this film intriguing and easy to enjoy.

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Sabrina’s Book Corner: Summer for the Dogs

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Hello, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we are going to be discussing The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

Andie had her summer planned out months in advance. She was going to attend a prestigious summer program for high school students who want to major in pre-med. Just as Andie is about to leave for her program, disaster strikes. Andie’s father, a successful Congressman, gets hit with a scandal — he is accused of stealing money from his own charity.

Now Andie is even more anxious to go to her summer program. Spending the summer locked in the house with her father is not in the plan. But when the program pulls her acceptance because of her father’s scandal, Andie is left without a plan.

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Día Con Miguel: A Discussion of “We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?” by Achy Obejas

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We came all the way from Cuba so you could dress like this? is a collection of six short stories that illustrate the lives of many Latinxs in the gay and lesbian community. Author Achy Obejas digs into the minds of marginalized people to give them their own voice. Their voices are comprised of personal memories, other people’s lives, and some fiction. Obejas provides an important narration for those who rarely get the chance to write, or even get the chance to speak, due to society’s harsh labels.

For instance, “Wrecks,” Obejas’s first short story, falls into the theme of self-destruction and the destructive course we take after a falling out. The first paragraph introduces us to a young woman who is ensuring she purchases the right insurance — that is, it should include Collison, not just liability. It’s humorous, really, she admits to driving recklessly after every breakup, yet she refuses to accept her demise. She gives us a list of her exes and the car crash that went along with each breakup.

First, Loretta, whom she says caused her to drive her car into a tree, making it inoperable. But before that, Doris, who caused her, as she says, to drive into a pole on an icy day in Michigan. All of this is important because she foresees the accident that will be, now that she has broken up with her former-girlfriend, Sandra. The car accidents are not enough for this young woman, as she continues down the road, falling into deeper, more horrific escapades, which include others. This young woman illustrates for the reader a universal perspective of anger and heartbreak, which can lead to a swirling demise either down a lonely, dark, icy highway somewhere off in Michigan, or up Lake Shore Drive on a sunny, well-lit day.

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