Wednesday, November 7, 2012


     The song entitled "Piggy", written by Trent Reznor, performed by Trent Reznor, recorded by Trent Reznor, and edited by Trent Reznor, the sole member and founder of Nine Inch Nails. The song is on the album "The Downward Spiral", which was at least partly inspired by David Bowie's album "Low" and Pink Floyd's album "The Wall". When listening to both "The Wall" and "Low" it is quite evident the influence on "The Downward Spiral", and by extension, "Piggy".
     The song uses repetition with a variety of following phrases said in a plethora of tones and volumes to instill different emotions in the listener. For example: "Nothing can stop me now." The phrase appears multiple times throughout the song, often accompanied by some variation of: "'Cause I don't care anymore." This phrase pair can be heard being whispered, spoken, and something bordering on shouting throughout the work. The phrase: "Nothing can stop me now." also makes an appearance in many of Reznor's other songs, becoming something of a motif between works.
     The song "Piggy" could be seen as describing an abusive relationship, but considering that the album that it is on, "The Downward Spiral" is supposed to be a descent into madness and possible self-hurt, it seems far more likely that it is an internal argument. If one thinks of 'pig' in the song as himself (Reznor), then the song explains that the person in question (who is modeled after Reznor) is blaming himself for all of his failures. If this is taken into account, the chorus could be an attempt to convince himself to possibly take the final step. It is quite possible, however, that 'pig' is actually the character blaming someone else. Reznor said that  part of the inspiration for "Piggy" also came from the Tate murder. Reznor could be drawing a link from the accusation, 'pig', to someone he actually knew.
     The musical progression also has an impact on the meaning of the song. At the beginning, the  background music is slightly subdued, and isn't very significant, aside from setting the tone, and leaving a standard for comparison. By the end of the song, Reznor has gone into an erratic drum segment, further emphasizing the descent mentioned earlier. The theme of the whole album is reiterated both vocally, and non-vocally through each song.

Below is a link to the song:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Epic heroes are supposed to expose all of the valued traits in a society, and Odysseus, in Homer's The Odyssey, does just that. Odysseus is strong, hospitable, fair, and an eloquent speaker. However Homer makes Odysseus have not just one, but several flaws, including his hubris and lust. Odysseus is a very human epic hero.
The reason why Homer decided to make the most important character in his epic more fallible may link to accessibility of the story. The majority of the population is not as perfect as an epic hero, with wealth, and strength, and patience, and eloquence. In fact, the majority of the population is not even neutral in traits. The fact stands that most people, being human, have significant flaws. The flaws the Homer pointed out are only some of the ones the plague humanity. Lust, Arrogance, greed, the list goes on. This makes the epic more accessible is because not only do humans want someone to look up to, an idol, but they want a protagonist they can identify with. The reader feels less ashamed of his or her shortcomings because there is someone, a hero no less, that they can relate to.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

     Modern heroes are a lot like ancient heroes, but with some major differences. To begin, the flaws of the hero are much more prevalent in modern times. The flaws of a modern hero are much more intense than in ancient heroes. This is because modern humans want someone they can relate to. Also, most modern heroes take the form of either the underdog, or the unwilling hero. This is because modern people want to hear rags-to-riches stories, mostly because they wish to be instantly successful themselves.
     Overall, the modern hero is more "human". Ancient heroes epitomize the socially acceptable aspects of the time and place. Modern heroes usually show an imbalance of negative aspects to positive ones, but always succeeds in the end. Where ancient people wanted someone to model themselves after, modern people want someone to relate to.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

     It has been eighteen years since Lord Odysseus left with his men for Troy. Others have returned after a short ten, but Odysseus still does not appear. No one knows if he is dead. No one knows if he is lost. No one knows if the Gods have hindered his passage. Everyone knows Odysseus has not returned. Penelope, Odysseus's wife, waits at their home, Ithaca, for his return. Unfortunately, she is plagued by suitors who wish not for her, but the power she holds. Eighteen years have passed, yet she still remains faithful to Odysseus. Their son, Telemachus, never knew his father, and thus is not yet as great a man as he. One day, after vigorous mourning by Penelope, she heard a song that invoked tears and pain. When she went downstairs to tell the suitors to turn it off, her son rudely interrupted her and denied her that privilege. Then Penelope went upstairs to mourn some more. Telemachus stated that he was going to search for rumor of his father, in response, Penelope mourned Odysseus some more.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Once upon a time, there was a young boy by the name Frank. He was of the West family, one of the wealthiest families in Serbia. Now young Frank (he was actually about seventeen years old) was very spoiled. If Frank West did not get what he wanted, he would turn angry. And no one liked Frank West when he was angry. In fact, no one liked Frank West when he was happy, or sad, or indifferent for that matter. No one liked Frank West for two reasons; the first reason, is that everyone in Serbia was bigoted against all humans younger than twenty; the second reason, is that Frank was a spoiled child of a wealthy family.
Now one day, on December 25, 1989, Frank West's family was celebrating Christmas (The West family was the only Christian family at the time in Serbia). Frank West was opening his presents and was happy with all of them, except for the soap and cotton clothes his grandmother gave him. But Frank did not get the one thing he really wanted: a pink iPhone 4s. Frank West threw a tantrum because of this. His parents and family that was present at fist ignored him, because he had episodes like this quite a few times a day. However this time was different. Frank West really wanted his pink iPhone 4s. He screamed, and shouted, and yelled, but to no avail. Frank even threw one of the books he got for Christmas, Anthem by Ayn Rand, at his father. Frank also uttered several explicit statements not fit to repeat in this story.
"I want my iPhone!" Frank West exclaimed while violently sucking his right thumb and trying to punch a hole in the wall. Unfortunately the only thing he managed to break was his left fist. Frank's parents, the authority of the West family, shared a look of disgust and Catholic elitism and decided that this was the last straw.
            "Go to your room and think about what you have done!" The West parents shouted in unison.
"Fine! I'll show you! I'll show all of you! You should have given me that iPhone!" Frank West shouted back, wiping his nose with his broken left hand and then licking the mucus off. Frank stormed off to his room with a proverbial storm cloud hanging over his sullen little head. He slammed the door to his apartment-sized room. Immediately Frank West knew what he had to do. Frank slipped under his bed on his stomach, ruining his new Christmas sweater with the disgusting, filthy floor, and grasped the handle of the trapdoor that was hidden there. Frank West had discovered this trap door when he was but a boy, no older than the age of seven. As he went down the ladder inside of the trapdoor, he recalled his first experience inside the dark, dank hole.
"Very slowly, don't want to slip." young Frank said to himself as he climbed down the ladder, barely able to reach the next step. As he progressed down the vertical tunnel, he thought he saw it coming to an end. Finally young Frank's foot hit solid ground. As he looked around, young Frank West noticed that the floor was made of some kind of grey brick painted with some kind of dark substance. The room was rectangular in nature, perhaps about the size of two thirds of an American football field. The light, by which young Frank could see, came from two fires lit from the back of the room. And in the middle, perfectly equidistant from both fires, was a black statue. From the wavering and flickering light of the two eerily luminous fires, lit on what appeared to be human bones, young Frank West could see it had two sharp and curved horns, two ears, two crossed arms, a goat's face, and two legs that resembled a goat's. It wouldn't take a genius to figure out what the statue was of, but young Frank West had no clue at the time. He walked closer, an ominous sense of dread filling his body, chilling him to the very marrow within his bones. Sounds that embodied young Frank's deepest fears and desires seemed to echo everywhere. This place frightened him. He ran as fast as his little legs would carry him to the ladder and climbed as fast has he could without falling until he was back in his room. A fear too terrible to explain took over his mind. Shaking in his bed, he fell asleep and forgot everything for quite a while.
On that fateful Christmas day, Frank West climbed down the vertical tunnel for the second time to see the black statue. He made it to the floor once more, furious about his Christmas wish not being granted, and heard a voice. The voice itself was too terrible to describe in human terms. But the voice spoke to Frank. The voice instilled a fear, an irrational fear. The voice told him that he could not do it, and to not seek for the power again until he can. Frank West was crying, his tears turning to smoke as they hit the ground. Suddenly, the world went black.
Frank West awoke outside of his family's house, confused and determined. He opened the door and rushed through. He looked around confused. Frank was outside of his family's house again. Confused, he opened the door again. This time, Frank simply looked through the doorway without entering. Frank West saw the back of his body. Frank was baffled. He reached out to touch himself on the shoulder, but the picture melted away to a blood red spiral. Frank slowly started to be dragged inside, arm first. Just as Frank was about to scream for help, a tendril made of the same substance wrapped itself around his head, smothering his shout. Before Frank could do anything else, he was inside the portal. Then, for the second time that day, he blacked out.
            And so the grand story of Frank West’s attempted redemption begins. With nothing but the clothes on his back, he set off, determined to win the acceptance of the statue. When Frank West woke up again, he decided the first thing he would need to survive was money. So he wandered, and wandered, and wandered, and eventually he found a village. Frank already knew he could not kill the villagers for money, so he asked for the most outlandish and high paying job he could find. Eventually, he found a job paying the equivalence of forty thousand American dollars. The job description simply said: Find and eliminate the two people holding one of us hostage in the gatehouse two miles from here. Frank West somehow knew, deep down, that this job was for him. He picked up a weapon suitable for stabbing, in this case, a knife that was lying near a gutter, and went to rescue the unknown person.
            Now, as Frank approached the lone gatehouse with no gate to manage, he readied his knife. He was about to open the door and storm in, when the door opened by itself, and one of the guards came out. Frank caught this one by surprise, and put a slash in the guard’s head. The second one, however, came lumbering out, and fell on Frank West. Fortunately, the second guard had fallen on his knife, but unfortunately, the guard also took a bite out of Frank’s shoulder as he went down. Ignoring the bite for now, and not noticing the guards weren’t bleeding, he proceeded into the gate house. Inside was a dimly lit, square room, half taken up by a cage that stretched across the entire chamber. Inside the cage, sitting very calmly was a woman swathed in blue.

To be continued…

Thursday, September 6, 2012

     An archetype is the universally understood symbolic representation of an object. In the Mario video game series, the three main characters display glaringly obvious archetypes; Mario, the confident hero; Princess Peach, the damsel in distress; and Bowser, representing Satan.
     Mario is a classic, side-scrolling game with about as much of a storyline as most garden hoses. The premise is that Bowser, a giant, fire-breathing turtle, kidnaps princess peach. Mario, upon hearing of this tragedy, sets out on his 2-D adventure across strange lands and even stranger castles to rescue his princess. He jumps across the stage, eventually making it to a castle, and a bizarre creature (that he defeats), only to be confronted with a message: "Sorry Mario, your princess is in another castle."
     Mario is the fearless hero, transformed from his humble profession as a plumber, to fireball hurling powerhouse. Bowser, an evil, giant, spiked turtle (that can breath fire), personifies greed and evil, perhaps even showing the evil in humans, or giving form to Satan himself. Finally, Princess Peach, the damsel in distress, and the object and holy grail of the quest. All are well known archetypes, people can relate to the characters in some way, even if the relation is to the undesirable qualities.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

     The role of mythology, in past times, was to explain the unknown. For example, if someone wanted to know why droplets of water were falling from the sky, where there obviously was no ocean, they would invent a supernatural reason for it. As time passed, and general knowledge grew, mythology evolved into something used for entertainment, or simply to pass the time. Now, in modern times, mythology is not only for the enjoyment of those who know of it, but also to analyze how ancient peoples thought or believed.
     Back in ancient Greece, Mythology was used to explain origins, this includes everything from the city-states, to the geography of the area, to how and why civilized humans came to exist in the first place. One of the "mysteries" solved by Greek mythology is the inherent evil present in humans, which is explained by weaving the story of a woman created by the gods with an insatiable curiosity who was given  a box that she was told not to open. The box contained all the evil inside of the souls of man. Pandora, the woman with the box, seeing the horror, closed the box before the one beneficial attribute escaped: hope. The Greeks had countless myths just like these, explaining something that they did not quite understand.
     Today, The common person uses ancient mythology to entertain and enjoy. Perhaps to hone the art of storytelling. Those who have a job pertaining to it often use ancient mythology to better understand how people thought and acted in the past. Ancient Greeks used mythology for enjoyment as well, however they also used it as a valid historical and recent record. There are similarities between the two periods' usage of myths, but the main use differs so much it makes the similarities seem paltry. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

This post is supposed to be about me. Many people think I'm a pessimistic person, I disagree, I think I am realistic. The general consensus is that negative thoughts are a bad thing, but I disagree again. For example, if there was a movie that you wanted to see at a local cinema, it would be better to go in thinking that it is going to be sub-par so you'll be pleasantly surprised if it exceeds expectations, and if not, then it's as you expected in the first place. People also think the nonchalance I have about work is bad also, but it leads to a less stressful way of life, and one only has to search the internet for a second to find studies exclaiming that stress is bad for both physical and mental health. I did not mention the positive things said about me because I do not like being complimented, but neither do I like to be insulted. I wish for a medium.