Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

This series is incredibly entertaining and the sarcastic humor makes this show and book far less serious than most science fiction pieces. The witty remarks that Arthur Dent makes to his comrade, Ford Prefect are hilarious because he sounds more annoyed with the situation than upset. I'd expect someone that lost their house to construction for a bypass to be infuriated with the situation- the ironic factor in this is that the end of the world is near anyways so it's not like Dent will be able to use his home or will anyone else for that matter. Dent's friend, Prefect suggests that the only just solution to the matter would be drinking four pints of beer and ironically he's correct hah! Another humorous aspect of this show is how Prefect thinks that he is a hero to Dent, yet he always gets the both of them into a heap of trouble... and with each of these little incidents becomes another episode. I did not finish all of the audio book clips but I can sense that the pattern for this program is that the two will never escape every problem and that along the way they meet people that they have already met or learned about for the "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy". This is how the character, Trillian came into the show. After saving/capturing Prefect and Dent they all came to realize that Trillian and Dent already met- on Earth! I love the connections that are made from one location to the next and how Earth remains in the stories and there is always some travesty. This show is somewhat like a soap opera... in space. Especially with the dramatic music that almost pokes fun at old sci-fy movies and literature. Even the dialogue is less serious than it is in other science fiction pieces. This audio series has great voices and because of that it is so easy to imagine each of these characters and their demeanors- the separation from dialogue between characters the narrator, or book's voice was especially entertaining and they definitely played off one another. I want to finish the series and surprisingly I enjoyed the show despite it's cheesy affects.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Revamped response!

I wasn't completely sure as to what literary response I should redo/develop until I saw that I wrote, "to be continued" after my "Interview With A Vampire" response... that made it the choice pretty secular.

The characters in this book are so complex- so humanistic that they don't seem dead, or reborn. I'm not even sure what the correct classification of a vampire is as for if they are living or dead. hah. The main vampires in this book have heightened emotions because they never got to live out every aspect of being human. Claudia in particular seems to be the most affected by time and aging because she would forever be a child... (Although she does die in the end of the novel and movie) besides that point she never got to develop into womanhood. As much as she was constricted by her outward appearance she was even more so by her "fathers", Louis, her protector and maker and Lestat, Louis' maker. Claudia was like a pet for Lestat. Perhaps he thought that he could create a better vampire than Louis turned out to be- since Louis is always questioning his authority and still remains so human in his actions. This of course makes Louis, Claudia's nurturer and partner. As Claudia becomes older she mistakes their strong partnership for a relationship. It is emotionally devastating when she realizes that her body will never match her maturity and to be frank, sexual desires. I believe that Claudia truly wants to be intimate with Louis. Lestat’s meals- healthy, beautiful women who have felt every grown-up emotion and don’t just know of them, often remind her of her imperfection. This unfair prospect angers Claudia because she never had the choice or chance to become anything more than she is, a child. She eventually learns to use her perplex persona as a mechanism to get whatever she wants. By playing innocent and pure she gets the kill, all while relying on her fault, being a child.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oryx and Crake

"Oryx and Crake", written by Margaret Atwood is a disturbing futuristic piece that could actually be feasible if people decided to "develop" the world in that way. Bioengineering is at the center of society in this novel and slowly bioengineering goes from bettering the genetics of animals and plants to totally eliminating humans as a race. The "Crakers", Crake's species that are his idea of perfection are horrific considering that they are not individuals any longer and they all have the same faults- the lacking of knowledge. Everything that was once humanistic, caring, and emotional are no longer in existence because of Crake's experiment and Jimmy/Snowman is sadly the only person to suffer through this apocalypse. The advancements in science are forever developing but in this novel Atwood illustrates the world after all of the advancements have been pursued. Another terrifying thing in this book that I can see relating to today is the secrecy of the government. It's something that most people fear and in this book knowing about the experiments and leaking information results in death. Even the people who felt like they were controlling their subjects were in fact being controlled by the government- and all respectable jobs were government based.
The past for Jimmy is the current day for us and it seems to be completely corrupt with all of the sex, drugs, and the illegal internet games (such as survival games). The future is even more bleak. To be completely honest I found this book to be depressing. Unlike the past sci-fy books/short stories I've read nothing seems to be positive about this futuristic scenario and this book is probably the closest thing to the truth when discussing the future. At the end of the story Jimmy/Snowman finally sees a small group of humans and he doesn't know how to approach them. It never concluded if he interacted with them or not and I think the fear that was instilled in him is of the most pathetic kind- he was scared of his own race!

I actually started a new book over Thanksgiving break called "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and it seems to have correlating themes with "Oryx and Crake" but it's main character, Katniss seems to be more positive even though her situation is also bleak. Katniss is apart of an actual live broadcast game in which she has to kill to survive... and winning is surviving. Her district also bioengineered animals for government use and had poor results. I'm only on page 50 or so of this book but I would highly recommend it as maybe another option to this week's reading.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My future

Ariel Kimble




what I do

situation.. family?


After graduation from Ringling College of Art and Design I spent about three years taking odd jobs here or there. These jobs were freelance, small advertisements that would never get seen. I did some spot illustrations for my old family dentist- it seems like I never leave the dentist once I get there! I had to ink little descriptions on how to brush properly for kids that ate far too much sugar and would have dentures by the time they were 30. It was quite fulfilling. As the years went on it became harder and harder to get a job- even one that didn’t pertain to my major, Illustration. By 2029, eighteen years after I graduated traditional art was obsolete, almost a joke. They didn’t even teach art as we know it in schools anymore. Around the year 2020 I went back to school to become an educator. I never had a passion for children and low and behold I ended up teaching them. The arts department at my school no longer used cheap markers but instead each child, each dirty, sticky handed child had a wacom tablet. I am making less than a year of Ringling now and living with three dogs. Three large dogs in my little apartment. I am not married and because of that I resent most of my friends who traded their individuality to be with a man.. or woman. For all that want to know I actually enjoy living alone in my 3-bedroom house in Ocoee, Fl. It’s right by Disney… the happiest place on earth.

2050-60 yrs

In the year 2050 I’m about 60 years old, pleasantly plump and know exactly what to order from my local Chinese restaurant. I retired about three years ago but it seems like I’ll have to start working sometime in the future because money’s getting short. I’ve gone through about two more sets of doggy triplets. All having names that start with the letter B, my favorite little girl being Bambi- a 120 pound hound dog. This is my life. Occasionally I take out my wi fit and attempt to hula hoop. That’s as much ativity as I get now a days. I used to always be cold but now I always seem to be hot- just like my mother. Oh boy! I keep the house at a nice 65 degrees with my plumpness keeping me warm.

2100- 110

Well, well it’s 2100 and I still have my real teeth. All the food now is in nasty gel formulas with the right amount of vitamins and nutrients to keep us going. I had a major jaw surgery when I was 20 where they removed my diskal joints and had to wait years and years to eat actual solid food. Now there isn’t any. The weather is disgustingly hot out and I can’t be bothered to have a garden or even tend to my lawn. That’s all okay because hardly anyone has a yard let alone anything green. I live in a concrete wonderland. I do however have a fabulous chia pet garden in the spare bathroom bathtub. I can’t believe I’m still alive- I should just get a big mac and get it over with. My local YMCA has a new senior program called “silver sneakers” and they pick me up twice a week to make sure I walk enough so I don’t get a blood clot. How nice of them. And wouldn’t you know it I have a senior activity on Thursdays that includes finger painting- with a synthetic vitamin gel that will supposedly keep me young.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kiki's Delivery Service

Hayao Miyazaki's "Kiki's Delivery Service" was my first Miyazaki film- which apparently makes me an outcast at Ringling. I was skeptical of his films because of their style... I really don't like the appearance of anime- but the story distracted me from constantly judging the movie's art. Actually I found the animation to be quite fluid and I wasn't at all bothered by the style. The backgrounds and scenery are unbelievable. When Kiki met Ursula in the forest the detail was astounding. So by visual means this movie definitely went beyond my standards.
I appreciated the positive light that Kiki was given, especially for being a witch. There was nothing remotely creepy or scary about Kiki or any other witch in this movie. I felt like I was watching "Casper- The Friendly Ghost" except with a witch. Everything was over the top sweet and Kiki always wanted to help- for a thirteen year old she was very selfless and by that I mean out of the norm. Kiki also had to have the classic staples for being a coming of age witch: the dress, the broom, and of course the black cat, Jiji. Jiji is quite honestly what the story needed; his dry humor and sarcasm worked well with the overtly sweet dialogue.
The quality or direction of this film was what made the experience worth while. All in all the movie is about witchery and magic. The movie made magic seem innocent and not at all harmful, in the same sense that Harry Potter does. Kiki's delivery service was the way that Kiki went about making her magic just and she used her power for good.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Glass Slip-Up

Louise Cooper's adaptation of "Cinderella" is hysterical! I love how Cooper practically mocks "true love". The original "Cinderella", or at least Disney version focuses on the magic of love... and how with just one look infatuation can seize power over the prince. Most people know that this occurrence, is to say the least, uncommon. I don't think that I know of one married couple that can actually say that they saw each-other in a moment and knew they had fallen in love. That's ridiculous. It takes time to develop a relationship... and obviously poor Charming did not. The result of his instant infatuation... Rell, an untamed, obnoxious beauty. Even though Cooper makes fun of the traditional princess story, she really makes a point to show the absurdity of "love at first sight". Her characters are what truly bring life to this story. I found myself questioning Uncle Dandini from the start- from his mannerism, concern for Charming's well being, and most notably colorful fashion. He just had to be gay. There is never, ever a mention of homosexuality in any fairy-tales that I know of- so I thought that this was great! Later on in the story when he mentions to Charming that he has found Rosa I noticed he also speaks fondly of Buttons. I waited until the very end to discover that Buttons was in fact a young boy who answered the door of Rell's home. I found this to be a pleasant surprise. Dandini found love before Charming! He met "Buttons" before he, Charming, and Rosa went back in time. That love indeed withstood time :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anansi Boys

It's going to be hard for me not to sound like a fourth grader and say "I really liked this book". But in all honesty I did. So far it's been my favorite out of the bunch and I think it's because the story seems modern, especially in the way that fantasy is told- not to mention that I actually had laughing spells. Rosie's "mum" is such a believable character even though Neil Gaiman made the characters a little extreme. I know someone that resembles Rosie's mother's personality and appearance so every time she was mentioned or the character complained I could not stop laughing... in which I received wide eyed glances from my roommate. hah!
I'm still not sure where I stand with fantasy as a genre. I like "The Hobbit" but I think that's because I've been told it's a classic and I read it when I was young so the whole fantasy world was more believable to me then. I was always afraid of being the girl who couldn't stop reading fantasy and from that couldn't function in reality. "The Golden Compass" was a little too fictional for me. I truly tried to become involved in Lyra's world... and I know that in each fantasy book there is an entire world to first learn and then become enthralled in. The subject of "dust" and people's souls was just too strange. There was nothing that I really grew attached to.
"Anansi Boys", however was very fluid in the way it was written and much like a sitcom. I really appreciate horror so I was instantly hooked when the gore part of the book was introduced. In order to understand the fantasy part of the characters I had to first learn the characters as they were in the "real" world. I enjoyed that Gaiman made a sort of puzzle for me- I had to first understand the story of Fat Charley and then with that I could piece together why Charlie became Fat Charlie and why everyone had their quirks. Not to mention that Gaiman had me hating Spider and then somewhat past the middle of the book I began to like him. Once Spider lost his arrogant God-like behaviors and started to show a conscience he was more human and he evolved from that point on into a person more like Charlie. He eventually became like Fat Charley in the way that he worried and finally felt embarrassment. I suppose that's what I found to be most endearing from the book was that the main character was not a superman type of guy but he actually had faults and was ashamed of them. The fact that when Fat Charlie became Charlie he did not want Spider to be apart of him but remain his brother actually astonished me. I was completely ready for him to be whole again- since Spider was actually just a part of Charlie and happened to be the more adventurous part. It was nice to see Charlie becoming the hero the hard way... as in he had to learn to deal with his faults. In a way this story reminded me of the Jungle Book from the way that all of the animal gods possessed a certain personality.
Last class I was almost done reading "Anansi Boys" and I thought I had everything figured out... at least aesthetically. Then when I looked back on what I read every character was rendered black! I couldn't believe it... I suppose it makes sense considering the stories came from Africa and in the stories were the characters. I also didn't factor in that Rosie and Daisy and practically everyone else.. including the blonde Maeve originated from some exotic place. The dialect from the old women in Florida did not seem completely Floridian- and I know since I grew up in central Florida... on the third largest dead lake in Florida. The english seemed broken and rough so I suppose they were of African descent as well. I think that's the only thing that tricked me! I think it's safe to say that I'm going to be a Gaiman follower from now on.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Golden Compass

[Just as starting note... I thought that I published this awhile ago... but it turns out it was saved as a draft! Oops. ] So I began to read the Golden Compass and to be honest I'm not completely enthralled in it. I'm not sure if that's because I'm not a huge fantasy fan or not. Actually I'm quite certain it had to do with dust! I suppose it could be deemed logical in the sense that everything is made up of some sort of matter. Dust is something that is mentioned from the start with Lord Asriel (Lyra's uncle/father hah!) but it always remains a mystery-never fully resolved. I felt like a lot of aspects of the fantasy world weren't quite developed. The world that was created seemed too much like our world, which I think was intended so that the matters being discussed (souls, right and wrong, passion and life) could be pondered and related to life as "we" know it.
I really didn't appreciate how every character, except Roger, seemed to be self centered.. I thought that Lyra was a just a quirky, independent adolescent but I also believed that she would save Roger. His death was a selfish sacrifice. On a positive I liked the representation of the soul and how it was not connected to the person. Instead of being the soul OF a person it was in the form of a daemon. That made me think of what type of daemon I would have... I'd probably mature into having a squirrel or something nervous or flighty hah :)
I'm glad I attempted to understand this book. I suppose it's like a new type of food that you either like or cannot stand. This was definitely no cupcake.

(I read the school's copy of "The Golden Compass"... it was missing probably twenty pages here and there.. so I watched the movie as well. Altogether an interesting read)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Hobbit

This story is very much apart of the fantasy genre. I first read J. R. R. Tolkein's "The Hobbit" when I was about ten years old or so and I absolutely fell in love with it... Harry Potter has nothing on Bilbo! I actually inherited a first edition copy of it (from 1937) with all of the original illustrations and green cloth cover.. so this particular book is very dear to me. Tolkein's descriptive imagery is really quite outstanding especially considering the use of song and rhyme that make up Bilbo's world.
An ironic part to this book is in the very beginning while Bilbo is "entertaining" the dwarves he listens to their enchanting music and can't even comprehend that the lyrics to the song reflect the journey he is about to ensue. All the songs and verses within the book are descriptive in the telling of location and what will happen. For a young adult book I think that the writing is quite inventive. Another aspect of fantasy that takes hold of Bilbo is how his persona and character is affected by the story rather than in most stories where the character is merely a character. The evolution Of Mr. Baggins is very humanistic and the fact that he craves/forced into adventure at a mature age makes the story even more fantastical. I also love the fact that a short "pleasantly plump" hobbit that is totally fixated on food and comfort becomes more and more like Indiana Jones. I will note, however that Gandolf does help in rescuing Bilbo and the dwarves since he can vanish and reappear so easily.
Their adventure includes encounters with elves, dragons, wolves, giant spiders, giant eagles, and goblins... this book has many rich and enchanted characters that are seen even now in popular fiction. Bilbo finds the lost ring from Gollum and uses riddles and trickery to keep it.. unaware of its dangers and ultimate power. Time is very precious to Bilbo considering his age and the ring seems to alter time [which forshadows the Lord of The Rings.] Along with the ring Middle Earth is introduced and also some of it's mysterious creatures. This is the only Tolkien book that I have read, but I've heard that it's one of the better. Ultimately this fantasy is portrayed so well that I don't want or need to question the fiction.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Interview With A Vampire

I must say that Anne Rice's story is quite enthralling and that the story itself is completely enchanting. "Interview With A Vampire" was one of those books that I was always curious about reading but I never really sat down and did just that. To my unknown knowledge, vampires were always from Transylvania, wore capes, and shared a strong relationship with bats... mostly because of Bram Stoker's "Dracula"; and that their only pleasure was in killing and feeding. The modern day vampire is more humanistic than that, and Rice's telling of Louis' s personal account of becomming a vampire seemed to be very relatable. Louis struggled with overcoming his former self.. a human, and his need for just (in being like a devil or angel and taking and giving life) and normality made him very real to me. Louis saw the faults in every positive aspect of being a vampire, especially immortality. Rather than thinking of this as a precious gift.. to forever live, he found it disgusting and unnatural. His creator, Lestat, however cherished the fact that he could live frivolously and that was only one of the differences that they have.

to be continued...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Strange, strange movie...

Last week I thought that I should investigate the genre of horror a little more with watching the recommended movie, "No Such Thing". I was so distracted by the hopefully low budget acting and special effects that it took me awhile to appreciate the story. Honestly the monster seemed to look like the Beast from "Beauty and The Beast" and it was hard to keep from laughing... especially with his Disney heroine wardrobe. I can see the connection between Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and "No Such Thing" in the Gothic sense. There was a romance that was of course unconventional and possibly destructive to others (the possibility of endangering others and the actual significant other deems this movie Gothic) and the subject of life and death was quite prevalent in the film. "Frankenstein" focused on creation and the unknown responsibilities that go with creating life, while this movie's direct focus is ending the life of the monster and the danger of it's existence being known.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!

I was so excited to read this book since hearing all the hype. I began this book this summer and have finally worked my way through it. The addition of zombies to Pride and Prejudice makes the characters not necessarily more "deep" in emotion but definitely more fun. For instance Elizabeth Bennet in the original is very quick witted, smart and cunning but lacks a superior trait to her sisters, she is known as being plain... this new rendition made Lizzy the most powerful predator in all of England. She was known for being decent looking and for her quick wit but this new warrior quality that she possesses makes her the most amiable match to most men and surprisingly enough her training in the Oriental Arts gives her family and herself a higher status than Pride and Prejudice. In PPZ, higher society, such as Lady Catherine de Bourgh and of course, Mr. Darcy are well trained in the deadly arts so by Miss Bennet being trained and exceeding slaying standards she is welcomed into the upper class. Class was a very important subject for Jane Austen to explore especially since she was a lot like Elizabeth although without Miss Bennet's luck. It also seems that zombies are portrayed without class, as the disease can strike upon anyone and because of their lack of identity it is not daunting to kill them. The zombies themselves pray upon the weaker lower class. Just like Mr. Bingley's ball when all of his waiting staff and cooks were prayed upon and Bingley's only concern was for the lost desserts. Although the zombies are not the heroes of the love story they do in a way save Pride and Prejudice from being strictly satirical and wordy. I do love the original, however this book gives an opportunity for a comeback and the zombies are the comic relief. One of the book's finer moments for me was the description of Darcy's attraction for Elizabeth and how he admires her muscular built. That honestly made me laugh, especially while comparing the frail Miss Bingley who also seems to be a predator in the romantic sense. This book was altogether very well composed and the scenes that had the "unmentionables" seemed to be the jewels out of the novel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Classic Goth: The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

Since I have already read "Frankenstein" I decided, out of the selection, to read Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde". I have just begun the book but I can already see a strong psychological likeness to that of "Frankenstein". In the book Mr. Utterson, a lawyer who deals with wills is beginning to piece together the strange characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jekyll, a fellow colleague of Utterson has designed a will in which all of his belongings and practically his whole being will be given to a Mr. Hyde. Jekyll, himself has not been seen for the for a while and a noting curiosity comes from this. The haunting factor of the situation is that none of Jekyll's friends knows Hyde. Hyde also was mentioned to Utterson in a grueling story that defined him as being a wicked, cold being that had "crushed a girl" just before revisiting the will. The thoughts of this mysterious man fills the mind of Mr. Utterson and on one crisp fall evening he walks to the house where he was told Hyde resides. The quiet night reveals footsteps and they belong to the cryptic Mr. Hyde. The meeting of the two is very awkward and this chills Utterson even more so... especially when he asks about their "mutual friend", Jekyll. Hyde is almost angered at the fact that someone knows who he is - besides Dr. Jekyll of course. After the encounter Utterson finds a home that Hyde quickly mentioned and onwardly looks for his dear friend. This is where it becomes notable that Jekyll is gone... being or mind.