The Perfect Storm – A Brainstorm

After a week of research, 5,000 words of writing and extensive argument development on English barbaric perception of their British Isle neighbors and the impact of dissection and vivisection on Hellenistic Alexandria and medicine – as separate papers, of course – I am finally back to writing something a little less academic and a little more colloquial.

Man have I missed this. Focusing on essay writing here has been a doozy. I have plenty more words to write though – 3,000 words on the impact of religion on European war is the next ugly beast in my path for the coming weeks.

As usual, I would like to refresh you intrigued lot (if there is a lot of you) about what’s going on for me here in London. I spent the past weekend enjoying what London had to offer in terms of Halloween and I was pleasantly surprised to find that people prefer to put on zombie or skeleton makeup rather than adorn a costume. I give more props to those who are willing to really go all out and paint their face rather than wear all black and call themselves a cat. It really adds to the whole scare factor and creativity, in my book, is always a huge plus. Especially if you’re really willing to walk around pubs and clubs covered in fake blood. A power move, if I may say so.

The weekend before I spent time with a couple friends in the wet and wonderful city of Venice. I have to say – water transportation is definitely more soothing than land transportation. While I was traveling from Venice to the islands of Murano and Burano, I realized how calm I felt moving from place to place just because I was surrounded by the water. Or maybe it was because I was having a weekend vacation before returning to my research and writing. One of the two.

All in all, the past week-to-10-days have been a lot, and it has given me some time to accumulate some thoughts. While I will not discuss them all in detail, here are a couple bullet points and some good reads that I may or may not get back to in later posts. Probably not. Depends on whether or not I consider them more. This is mostly a brain dump. A think tank.

  • Suits is a fantastic show. Great premise, lots of drama, easy to fall asleep to. Definitely worth starting, but understandable if it doesn’t mesh with your TV taste.
  • I finished 10:04 by Ben Lerner on the flight to Venice, and man was I satisfied with that book. Lerner does such a great job of blurring his own life into a piece of fiction while weaving in poetry, art and even a hint of film – the title itself comes from the time that Marty McFly has to reach the clocktower to go back…to the future! (my 2nd favorite film). I highly recommend reading. It is, in its own way, a great commentary on the future and the multiple possibilities of our lives as we live them. Also, Tyrone Beason of the Seattle Times gave a great review of Lerner’s work – also worth reading.
  • On the topic of novels – I’ve finally got around to reading some fiction while being in college and not being swept up in the amount of educational/textbook reading that I already have to do. I’ve found that I feel much more energized and enthusiastic about doing this assigned reading when I have the time to do my own reading – a feeling I haven’t had since my middle school days. It’s seriously reenergizing for my academic career.
  • One more thing on the topic of novels – if this conversation between President Obama and Marilynne Robinson doesn’t encourage you to read and write more, I’m not sure what will.
  • Ted Cruz’s “attack” of the moderators at the third Republican presidential debate led me to realize how odd his voice and his demeanor can sound. And then the New York Times’ Upshot posted this great graph/piece on candidates and the books they sound like and it all began to make sense to me.
  • After viewing “The Hunting Ground” documentary at Kings College and getting to discuss the issue of sexual assault with the director, Kirby Dick, I’ve realized how universal this issue really is and how poorly handled it is by the U.S. collegiate system, particularly due to the importance of college athletics (see: Jameis Winston’s sexual assault case that wasn’t). Moreover, the issues we deal with in America pretty frequently are so well handled elsewhere that it’s a bit shameful. I urge you to read this opinion piece on gun violence in America as seen by Europe and really consider what is wrong with the U.S. that certain issues like sexual assault, gun violence and other social atrocities are so prominent in our culture. I can’t go on for this topic as it upsets me to realize how many problems riddle my home country and how little has been done to fix this. Plus there’s just too much research to be done, and like I said, I’ve got other ugly beasts of essays in my path that are taking priority.
  • This piece by Josh Seiden is the written manifestation of how I am able to compose articles, posts, essays, what have you. Except the part on editing – I do that infrequently on this particular medium. Sorry; I think these are relatively clean copies, right?

That’s enough of a storm for one post. I also find it increasingly more difficult to create a docket for this sort of thing – too many thoughts go through my head at a time. But if you have any interest in discussing Paul Ryan and fatherhood, the dying nature of Twitter and why we love it, or European drugs versus American drugs and the regulation of both, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I love good company and better conversation.

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