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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JFR’s Managing Editor Weighs in On a Frightful Classic: “The House of the Devil”

Recently, we featured reviews from two students on the 2009 film The House of the Devil. Below is another perspective on the same film, written by Jet Fuel Review Managing Editor Sam Gennett.

http://bit.ly/2oewB8T

For film fans who are nostalgic for the ‘80s but are tired of re-watching Halloween to get their retro-horror fill, Ti West’s The House of the Devil (2009) is a refreshing rejuvenation of late ‘70s and early ‘80s horror. Shot on 16 mm film, this movie seems to have been teleported from the ‘80s into the 21st century. With the grainy film look, dim cinematography, and use of Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart,” West brings viewers back to the good ol’ days of flannel, indoor ashtrays, and Satan worship.

Samantha (Jocelin Donahue), desperate for money, takes a babysitting job, but didn’t we all learn what happens when you babysit after watching Elizabeth Shue in Adventures in Babysitting (1987)? Clearly, Samantha missed that film because she coerces her friend into driving her to a house in the middle of nowhere. They pass a cemetery on their way there, and the shot is briefly superimposed over the establishing shot of the house, effectively foreshadowing events to come. Continue reading

Woodstock’s Loss: A Review of “Searching for Sugar Man”

http://bit.ly/2gekr8X
http://bit.ly/2gekr8X

Most “rockumentaries” follow a standard formula: baby pictures, interviews with family members, the rise to fame, and the tragic drug overdose concluding with the death of the artist.

However, Malik Bendjelloul’s documentary on long, lost musician Sixto Rodriguez breaks this traditional format in Searching for Sugar Man. It’s a film one-part rockumentary and another part mystery, as a music journalist goes on a quest to find out what really happened to the enigmatic singer — did he really set himself on fire at a show? Or was it a bullet to the head?

The beginning of Bendjelloul’s film depicts animations of Rodriguez, an unknown troubadour in America but South Africa’s equivalent to Bob Dylan, walking down a Detroit street.

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Editor’s Perspective: Disco, Drugs, and Kids With Guns: A Review of “City of God”

Last week, we featured reviews from two students on the 2002 film City of God. Below is another perspective on the same film, written by Jet Fuel Review Managing Editor Sam Gennett.

http://bit.ly/2ff77RL
http://bit.ly/2ff77RL

Directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, City of God (2002) is a formalist film that explores the binary between power and peace through outstanding cinematography. The film takes place in Rio de Janeiro during the 1970s where our narrator, Rocket, walks us through the story of a poverty-stricken town that’s ruled by superfluous amounts of gun violence.

Many of the scenes are shot in high contrast lighting with subtle tints of gold, which resembles a photograph from the 70s and effectively catapults the viewer into the era. This tinting also connotes gold as the characters’ thirst for riches and power — the two ultimate driving forces for everyone in the film. In many scenes, the dominant contrast is a handgun in a given character’s hand; the camera is always emphasizing guns as they are the key to money, power, and the root of all evil in the film.

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​​In Memoriam: JFR Editor Lucas Boelter (Sept 23, 1990-Sept 24, 2015)

Dear readers, Jet Fuel Review has established a memorial page for our editor Lucas Boelter with some of his poetry, which deserves to be read. There are also tribute comments about Lucas from students, faculty, and others. If you have anything you’d like to say about Lucas, please send it to our blog editor, Michael Lane, and we will post it on this page as we are able. You can also read an interview with Lucas here

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Prayer

Imagine I have a hook
and your body splayed above me,
hooked, and it is as if each cut
breathes, like a mouth, into my
mouth.

We are kissing, darling,
how I have prayed for this.

 

 

Lucas Boelter’s intellect, imagination, and conscientiousness allowed him to be a striking writer and excellent editor. The qualities of his poetry, which you will see below, embrace the marvelous, contain an affinity for oddities, and involve dreaming and liminal states as they drift between levels of perception, invoking magical and dazzling tableaux with their lyrical complexities. They revel in the imagination, creating strange landscapes, refreshing tonal changes, and complicated sonic terrains as evidenced in his poem “Waterfall,” in which he creates sonic pulses, echoing the rhythms of falling water by building on the “w” and “l” sounds:IMG_2165

. . . It will be my
waterfall and we will have children who
will rest on my shoulders. I will be a
waterfall god of sorts. The children will
be called Cougar and Matthew and in the
parks we will stroll.

Although Lucas’s poems are quirky and whimsical, and often conversational, they are counterbalanced with gravitas as they investigate and pose questions about the nature of “being,” as in the closing lines of his sonnet with the loaded title “Rest Room”:

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A Crash Course in the GRE

http://usdegreesearch.com
http://usdegreesearch.com

Editor’s Note: Ryan Arciero, a Poetry Editor and Assistant Non-Fiction Editor for the Jet Fuel Review has written this blog post about the GRE, or Graduate Record Exam. If you are thinking of taking the GRE, or know someone who is thinking of taking it, this blog post is a great introduction to the concept of the exam and what to expect when taking it. This post also contains some tips for taking the GRE, so be sure to read all the way to the end!

A Crash Course in the GRE

The GRE. Even the acronym sounds rather intimidating, doesn’t it? While the general revised GRE — officially known as the Graduate Record Examination — does indeed pose a sometimes daunting challenge in the form of a comprehensive test, it is by no means unconquerable. With a little practice and some intense studying, the GRE might very well be a factor in helping you reach higher educational goals, and ultimately turning your dreams into a future career.

Now why, you might ask, would one even consider taking the GRE? After all, don’t we take enough tests in our actual courses and classrooms? This is certainly true, but the Graduate Record Examination is not for an undergraduate grade. Rather, it is a nationally ranked and standardized test that often serves as an admissions requirement for many graduate programs here in the United States. It is both created and administered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service), and mainly measures applicants’ writing and critical thinking skills.
Although the GRE test may be taken for several important reasons, including academic and career-oriented purposes, I intend to focus on three major points in this post. These highlights include what the GRE exactly is, the test’s major components, and lastly some valuable study tips and caveats based upon my personal experience.

Let’s get started!

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