Tag Archives: Perspective

The Persistence/There Factor

Billions of hungry people around the world have been served at Mc Donald’s, capital B Billions.  That said, I will not be discussing food quality in this piece, I will discuss presence and how it as a resource is POWERFUL.

When you see those golden arches you are guaranteed that you can get a sweet happy meal, or some hamburger of some sort, always.  They have the THERE FACTOR: they are there.  Those arches are present.  You are aware that if you drive up to a Mc Donald’s you will be served and get your food.

That feeling, that knowing is persistence.  The feeling their presence gives is relief.  Those arches are almost always there on some traveler’s journey.  That is persistence, Mc Donald’s does it for you and billions others.  Persistence is integrity imagined.  Feeling makes us all feel.  That presence is power.

Understanding this about presence is valuable.

So the next time you want to make a positive impact: Be the first one there and the last one gone.  Every time.  Be those golden arches, show those around you that you can be guaranteed to do what must be done to get the job done.

Also, be that inspiration.  Show up early, do more than you must, stay longer, work harder, and keep coming back for more.  You will win with patience and practice.  You will take it to the top if you keep being there.

And here’s the reality:  others may tire out, they may lose strength.  You are not others.  Go one more.  Keep coming back and never give up.

When the outlook is impossible, prove the outlook wrong.  Stand like those arches and don’t sway.  Have the Persistence/There Factor, everyone’s Big Mac is waiting, you will give it to them.  They will reward you.  You will take it to the top if you never give up and keep trying.  Don’t stop.  Go.

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The Media Loves Trump

The new midlife crisis is professing your hatred for the president like a five-year old via social media for his assumed hatred as explained to you by a news media narrated and directed by advertisers. 

 

I’ve been told that in order to understand how a person is truly feeling in a photograph, cover up  their mouth and look at their eyes. The eyes don’t lie. What do you see? The same may be true with the press and  their relationship with Donald Trump; cover up the mouth, the headline, and what do you see? Forget the bad click-bait leads and negative coverage, who’s there: Donald Trump.

Perhaps, if Trump wasn’t in the news people would be bored, many papers wouldn’t be read, journalists wouldn’t get paid, and advertisements wouldn’t get seen. This would change the industry greatly.  Every newspaper and network every day would have to fill that Trump spot with something else, something more catchy. Social Media too.  In relation to that, I don’t think it would be possible.

Now, think back, has any other President of the United States of America ever had the press set a day nationwide to respond to an idea he may have had on any ordinary day, has that happened? What other president had millions out in the streets passionate, screaming about their opinions, beliefs, holding signs wearing hats or tearing down statues, just because they were the president?  I don’t think any other president… Not like this.

It’s amazing what our hatred blinds us to. Perhaps, Trump is making people more political, making people stand up and out for what they truly believe, and making people better because they are doing for themselves. Perhaps he is making each of us greater again.

Mundane, mediocre, and meek leaders would not have people taking such action, would not have us so motivated to make change. That is bold, that is planned. And that is no accident.

Trump is not asking anyone to write these stories or voice their opinion or protest… They are doing it for him, they are doing it in his name, oddly.

Read The Art of the Deal and you will understand your president better.  You will have insight that has been in our universe for the last twenty years. I will share some of that knowledge right now.  Trump says you can pay for good press. You can pay for mediocre press. But bad press is free. And still good.  How much bad press is out there today, for free?  Just Google the name Trump.  What do you find?

Further, the news media and journalists should thank Trump for making writing articles easy again, selling news easy again. Most Trump articles are basically saying Trump did something outrageous, hateful, or both, feel disgusted. They are usually the same format:  click-bait title, something bad about Trump, how you should feel, or what it actually means, etc… There is a cycle. Watch closely. Trump made journalists not try or think again.

We are getting standard boilerplate interpretations from the news media and social media about how we should think and feel about an individual, Trump.  They are not asking us to use our own better judgement, to think deeper on a subject, they are telling us, same.  We must obey and believe he is what they say.  The topic: him, Trump.  We are asked to believe in this idea about this person.

Now I am wondering how do you brainwash people, news media? Repition? Exaggeration? Groupthink? Herd mentality? Say bad things about someone? Who’s the Shepard?  Who’s the sheep?

As unfortunate as it sounds to his critics, the news media, social media, and the world love Trump–they subconsciously seek him out, he makes them money. People buy what people are selling when Trump is in it.  Look at the paper, who is in every paper?  Look at the TV, who is on every channel?  Trump.

He is the ultimate spectacle. People write endless op eds about Trump signaling and professing their obsession, no matter the bias. (This essay is about Trump.)  There are college courses based on him, no matter the persuasion. There are entire talk shows, news segments, and caucuses solely  dedicated to him, no matter the slant. And still he is the main character. That is a HUGE presence created for someone by those who despise him, unaware that visibility, in our great time and great nation is most powerful.

This Trump obsession is apparent, visibly, tangibly, and deeply disturbing. The news story and Trump are interchangeable, and have been for the last two years. We do not go a day without. Now, talk about how I’m wrong about who, you guessed it: Trump. More ubiquity, you can see it right there.

So, don’t be mad at Donald Trump if you don’t like him, be mad at yourself for looking for him, be mad at your news source for pushing his product 24/7. That’s what free will is all about; this is a free market, we live in it.

Don’t go looking for snakes, as someone once said. Ah, but snakes get people’s attention and sell papers, sell stories.

The Trump obsession may simply be supply and demand of the greatest spectacle in human history, Donald Trump. Any conscious media will not miss out on such a payday. Prepare for four more years of it, money talks; networks want to be paid. If you want something different, contact your media and ask for better, sit down and talk to that Letter to the Editor person and let them know they are furthering the problem by discussing it exclusively.  If they don’t change, then you might know what is true and what is not true.

If you want something you have to ask for it, or write for it.  I believe Donald Trump wants it.  He wants America to be great.  He wants to be talked about nonstop.  He wants to be in our minds and in print every day.  He tweets constantly, ad nauseam.  Do you want to help him get it, or do you want to help yourself?  I believe the media knows what they want and what they love to report on, even if their mouths don’t match their eyes.  They want more of Trump, they know he is money.  And he knows it too.
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How Irish Literature Established a Fictionalized Gender

How Irish Literature Established a Fictionalized Gender
By Terry Scott Niebeling

Within Irish culture and literature, there are many great divides, sorts of impasses, in relation to religion and nationalism, and also, especially, in relation to gender. Gender in Ireland is an understanding brought to the forefront by writers and playwrights as a hot-button topic, established, by what seems innocuous intent. This presents an image of the proper, or decidedly generalized Irish woman. In establishing a gender, male writers depict the assumed typical Irish woman in her natural element, she is true to family, true to duty, and appears, always dependent and unsure, and reliant on the male’s wants and needs. What Irish male writers do, by creating an archetype for Irish women, is to enable a preconceived notion of a group through observing an individual, through single examples, and thus degrades and enforces these stereotypes on a diverse group. In this action, there exists a logical fallacy, the fallacy of composition: one part of the whole cannot represent the whole entirely, absolutely. This gender construction is a status placeholder, allotted and acknowledged by those in close proximity, and those in the mainstream, those who witnessed one individual, not an entire group and wrote on that. In Irish literary culture, by way of written word, there is an immense disparity in gender, and an assumption on the roles each gender plays.

The masculine perspective in Ireland, per writers e.g. Joyce, Martin McDonagh, establishes a pariah shut-in interpretation of women, and this formula for a gender, by “Othering” the kind, creates a subjective perspective authored by men. This act alone assumes and mislabels an object as subjective and discrete, predictable, lowering the female status to an “ism”. Irish writers have presented gender, not as objective, but subjective, creating a vast stereotype which damns, and absolutely requires dispelling. Irish females are iterated by men in the past-tense, not in the present because of these texts.

While ascertaining the meaning and value of a label, you must look into the agency creating the label. This assessment is similar to understanding who writes history. In the case of Irish gender identity, the female persuasion is explained (in these instances) through the eyes of males. This patriarchal observation gives females a patina of disparaged hue, one of subservience, one of a life filled with chores, family responsibility, and sheer lack for personal pleasure and fulfillment. Within The Beauty Queen of Leenane, the reader is introduced to what you could assume is a traditional family of western Ireland. Immediately, dynamics are skewed; readers are given bickering women, embattled over food in a kitchen, caring for one another, while one, Maureen hopes for more, and the other Mag, wishes to keep family around her to care for her, because she does not want to be sent away from her home. The only reprieve from this situation for Maureen is to find the next male that shows her attention. This male is her ticket, her future. McDonagh gives these women a typical aspect, one from a male perspective; Maureen’s salvation is through a salacious male after a one-night stand. Not only does this situation come across as fictional, it comes across as lowering Maureen to a level lacking, needy for love. Her only outlook on life depends on that of another, particularly that of a male.

Another example of the stereotypical Irish female is presented in James Joyce’s Eveline, a story from Dubliners. Within this story the reader is shown a woman in love, about to commit to a relationship, which her family disapproves of, naturally. Eveline is sure she is in love with a sailor named Frank. It appears, at first, as if Eveline is set in her ways; she will leave, she must. Yet after some contemplation and a melancholic climax at the train station, she leaves and appears to directly disassociate herself with her future life and lover, for one of the past. In this story, pressures from home, the familiar, specifically from her father, create a cognitive dissonance within Eveline, affecting her decision. She, a young woman, has her whole life ahead of her, yet she inevitably has to choose between two males. One side of this story focuses on the independence of Eveline. The other side focuses on the considerable influence males around her have on her decision, essentially her fate. Eveline’s fate is chosen by the pressures around her. The males within proximity judge, label, and degrade her, in hopes that she performs her task as the stereotypical Irish woman. Eveline, we can assume, becomes a caretaker for the family, a creature that exists at home and cares for her father and family’s needs rather than her own. And fate is just a go-to word which explains it without actually explaining it. She was fated to attend to her family.

To that, a concept that is most astonishing, when considering these gender stereotypes, and the frequency of utilization, is the stark contrast between movement and labeled-gender; moreover, location: west and east, within Ireland; and homebody versus traveler, without. Purpose and place of the character, the individual, is allotted by this movement. If the individual is mobile, the individual is male. If the individual is immobile, the individual is female. Through experience one sees this from west to east, or vice versa. The more progressive and more mobile individual is located in the east of Ireland. The less progressive and less mobile individual is located in the west of Ireland, perhaps. In the west, our group experienced males who drove vehicles, busses and ferries; accordingly, we experienced women who were sedentary, in shops and cafés, similar to the character roles depicted in Once and The Dead. In Once the audience is shown a woman stuck, unmoving in her ways, tied to her husband and family. She, “Girl” (her name is exactly one of gender), exhibits convictions to a male (or two males), and to her family. To contrast, “Guy” does not live by these same rules, he is free to go back to England, and to search for his love. “Girl” is not able to branch out, to find love, which does not allow her to move on, or move in any manner. Within The Dead, again, the women are portrayed as housemaids, cooks, organizers (at their own party, Women’s Christmas), furthermore none of the women appear to be experienced travelers. While Gabriel writes for a newspaper abroad in London, -embarrassingly so, Gretta sits at home contemplating Michael Furey and the love she could have had. The women within these texts lack mobility, and conversely, the men are free to go anywhere, free to move at will.

This lack of mobility comes with a price. As a group we ventured further to the west of Ireland, this mobility of gender, or lack thereof of, became ever more apparent. Jerry our bus driver carried us along narrow roads, regaling us with local experience and traditional lore. We learned a little something from Jerry, whether good or bad, -from the Irish male perspective. We were told of a jogging path along the shores of Galway, and what Jerry called it; a name which was rooted in woman’s anatomy, perversely. When we came to the ferries, we also learned that it was piloted by males. After arriving at Inishmore, with the sweater shops and cafés, we were introduced to women. Those of a gender stuck inside. Whether or not they remained inside or not throughout their day is unimportant, the image given is one of a static condition, in comparison to that of the males. We were given the perspective of a male through Jerry, through his microphone, while he maneuvered his bus. While I purchased my wool wares and lunch, I heard few tales of experience from the women attending to me. Even that last sentence feels oddly disparaging.

Accounts of experience learned through the journey were given ubiquitously by those Irish males we had come into contact with. Those reiterations of experience will hold a place within us for some time. Because we journeyed to a new area we saw. Had we not, we would lack that of which we experienced. By way of experiencing we become more seasoned, flavored, more educated, well-rounded, and intelligent. As a foreigner, taking in the literature and the real-life encounters, one notices that things are not as described in a book, but different. Though, if that stereotype is carried over from a book and assumed genuine it can diminish the character of real-life in a way that it cannot progress. If Irish women are depicted as shut-ins, homicidal for the love of a male, and destined to be caretakers for their families, in frequently read literature, then who is to oppose this generalization when met with it head on? Those who observe both the literary and physical examples can only go on those experiences, respectively.

In both of these stories, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Eveline, the female gender is depicted as unable to leave, -though not unwilling (interestingly), stuck in ways of the past. There is one sole duty of a woman in the Irish community. That duty is to maintain her family, appreciate the desires of males, and to be content with that existence. Perhaps Joyce and McDonagh thought to represent an aspect of life. This representation, this realism they experienced; although the reality they create is one of sedimented ideology, beliefs, thoughts, concepts based on ways of the old. By presenting females in such a light, these authors have squelched that gender’s very social ascension, and the literal status of women in Irish society. What is even more disturbing is that readers today may take these literary works, examples, and estimations as genuinely definitive. In this exchange of “knowledge”, Irish women become misrepresented in their own culture’s historical “masterpieces”, by those writers who made the time to designate a single example as true of an entire group. These stories are protocol for what good Irish women do, not what progressive Irish women do. Stay safe, stay orthodox.

Some Irish literary works have cast a stereotypical shadow, a female archetype, by way of male playwrights, -those who appear modern and progressive and authentic to locality, within Ireland. By way of employing a label, a caricature typecast of the female gender, and their static ways, notions, and goings-about, certain Irish male authors have placed Irish women at a disadvantage. These authors enable a stereotype which proliferates and thrives in present-day culture, in the very existence of these stories. Had readers not been exposed to such generalizations, those iterated by male writers, readers, as observers may have had the opportunity to view Irish women with a fair and objectively sound eye; however now, with this literature, the concept of an Irish woman is sedimented in subjective design, fictionalized, an anomaly to be pondered and put forth.

Work Cited:
McDonagh, Martin. The Beauty Queen of Leenane. London: Methuen Drama in Association with the Royal Court Theatre, 1996. Print.
Joyce, James. Dubliners,. New York: Modern Library, 1926. Print.
Once. Fox Searchlight Pictures :, 2007. Film.

Equal parts Equal; Gilda and everyone else

Gilda_trailer_hayworth1            Gilda is a striking and beautifully shot movie, Rita Hayworth’s talent highlights this quintessential noir.  Silhouetted characters, shadows, and hazy deception are used heavily throughout the film.  Straight on glam shots pose as useful with a starlet such as Rita Hayworth, especially when showing character interaction.  We see long profile shots with facial manipulation, a sexual allure; smoke drifting out of the frame, darting doe eyes, the introduction of the character of Gilda being a prime example.  The camera shows the men walking up a flight of stairs, a woman’s voice in the background, and then we see her.  They have essentially found their queen herself in her castle, falling all over her newly found luxury and fine garments.  Front and center, there is nothing else in the shot but Gilda.  From this point on the movie is changed.  These men, unsuspecting as they were, have their worlds turned upside down by what seems to be love, or possession of something labeled as “love”, or this amazing woman, Gilda.

Subtle hints in direction fill up every moment of the film.  Gilda starts out with the roll of dice- literally, face first into the camera, from the ground up.  I suppose this captures the entire concept of the plot; Johnny moves from the ground up, then someone dies on the floor.  We see the roll, the gamble, and the pan up.  The viewer is given insightful narrative of the sorted people around the protagonist, and the need to leave, and then Johnny is caught in a dark alleyway, gun to his back.  He has come to the end of the line.  This is when we meet Ballin Mundson, a casino owner.  Ironically, Johnny is saved by the very knife that will in the end kill his would be killer; the person who once saved him from his would be killer, Mr. Mundson.  Why is this well-dressed casino owner in this dark and mysterious alleyway saving an inconsequential bum’s life?  Is Johnny his patsy?  We won’t find out until later, but the opening scene has it all.

I feel Johnny’s life being spared is an ode to living by the sword dying by the sword for Ballin, considerably when we see how quick he is to make sharp and drastic decisions, such as, nixing the Number 2 Black Roulette man.  We see Ballin walking around with an innocuous looking cane, and then boom, the next moment it’s a blade ready to slice at whatever, or whoever is in the way.  Also this plays into Johnny and Gilda, when they are ready to do whatever, whenever to get whatever they want whenever.  They are sharp and ready to monopolize on any advantage.  They attempt to cut each other down with jealousy, words, possessive antics, and cold stares, at times without being detected.

Gilda gives these men power.  She becomes the third-wheel in what is a seemingly well-oiled machine for a business/relationship.  It is later revealed that both Johnny and Gilda come from the same knit.  They are very similar, if not spouses (which I assume they were).  Mr. Mundson essentially loses his mind because he cannot control the movements of his bride.  In a sense the director has created Gilda as a possession, an object, whoever has this possession is in charge, yet Gilda has plans of her own, clearly.  She does whatever she wants, she doesn’t ask for permission, and she is outspoken- rather risqué for the time (1946).  The men appear pensive and timid, especially in times of dealing with lover’s betrayal.  The culmination of this pent up aggression results in violence towards Gilda, and further deception by Ballin, the one we believe is being deceived (when he fakes his own death, excessively: plane crash/explosion into the ocean).  The director may be giving a nod to the idea of equality, equating Johnny and Gilda, and Ballin to Johnny and Gilda.  Everyone is pretty much equal in their betrayal and deception.

Johnny starts from the bottom and quickly rises to the top, as Gilda eventually does, as Ballin once did himself.  Johnny even expresses to Mr. Mundson, something to the effect of, “I taught her everything she knows.”  I feel as though both Johnny and Gilda have fallen in love with the same man, and again with each other, for similar reasons: security.  Johnny’s almost effeminate appearance and boyish charm seem lover-boyish, also his jealousy towards Gilda and Ballin’s relationship with Gilda shows the love he has for the man, and for Gilda.

Another interesting theme in the movie is the barbershop attendant, who looks like the Wizard of Oz, who always acknowledges Johnny as peasant, as if even if he has all of these lavish material possessions, power, he is still the same at heart, a lowly peasant.  One can compare this to the love/hate relationship he has with Gilda, even if he appears different now, he is still very much in love with Gilda all the same, and powerless to her charm.

A dangerous relationship; how BNSF will end Amtrak

“Our records indicate that you are scheduled to depart on Amtrak train number 28 from St.-Paul-Minneapolis-Minnesota at 8:00AM on Friday August 8 and arriving in La-Crosse-Wisconsin.
That schedule has been affected by late-operations. Alternate transportation is being provided over some or all of your route. To speak to an Amtrak representative about travel options call us at 8772319448 at your earliest convenience.

We apologize for any inconvenience and want to thank you for being a valued Amtrak customer.

Sincerely,
Amtrak”  preston

Amtrak PDF: Amtrak Empire Builder Detours in North Dakota to Speed …
A dangerous relationship; how BNSF will end Amtrak,

Recently, times couldn’t be harder for Amtrak. The passenger train empire has been delayed indefinitely because of crude oil and fracking freight in North Dakota and Montana. As if America’s transit infrastructure couldn’t get worse, ironically so, it has. As we speak, passengers suffer major delays throughout the country while BNSF halts passenger travel for freight with priority, dangerously so; Amtrak pulls to the side as non-renewable resources are transferred nationwide, these detours and pull-offs create increasing stays at the station.

Generally, I take Amtrak for transit out of the Twin Cities area, to southern Minnesota. As I am not a car owner, the prospect of any bus, plane, or rail travel is ideal, and more environmentally sound than said car, yet if it doesn’t serve its purpose as a timely institute it lacks the one quality it relies on; movement.

Several times I have attempted to take Amtrak and each attempt varied only in wait time: a possible “three hour” delay, and a new list of excuses. One thing that remained the same was: we took a bus. The last time this happened, I took the opportunity to inquire as to why. The melancholic voice on the line described how he was unsure if he would have a job at Amtrak in a year because of delays caused by BNSF; passengers were keen to the plights of rail travel, and profit numbers were down. I hung up the phone with nostalgic thoughts of young America confident in its punctual mode of transportation; the locomotive.

It is truly sad to comprehend that the very thing that started the expansion of this great nation, the U.S., will get brought to a screeching halt by the depletion of natural resources and the need for corporate expansion. The Amtrak attendant explained that once the oil fields dry up the tracks will run smoothly again, because BNSF owns the rails on which that stretch of land (North Dakota and Montana) sits, and the land the rails sit on- that being said,  they won’t allow Amtrak to build on their land. It seems a futile enterprise.

Apparently BNSF is building an alternative track for freight; however that remains to be seen.

Amtrak has to realize that complimentary donuts and bottled water won’t make up for trains not being in at the station; and buses are not trains. The slap in the face comes when buses are sitting outside of the station and  trains are sitting near oil rigs, or near fracking sites, in another state; Amtrak attendants had previous knowledge and neglected to mention this on the ticket sight.

Why won’t America prioritize progressive and environmentally friendly travel- travel that America built itself on?

Is it because of natural resources and the money made from the sales of?

Irony comes hard when one must take a car over train travel because the resources that fuel that car are holding up passengers trains at the station.

Has the need for more seized the growth of railway transit in America, or have we neglected the very thing that could promote better transit throughout the nation?

I thought of this on a bus sitting at a train crossing waiting for BNSF freight cars to go by while our train sat in another state, this was in Winona, MN.

Simon and Garfunkel, as Hipster as possible, before it was cool

Simon and Garfunkel are pure college Americana.  They represent timeless intrigue in inquiry. Knowing without. How could we, as intellectuals, exist today without Mrs. Robinson, The Graduate, and questioning the American Government, sans these hip musicians and their whimsical poetry? This is the power of inquest in prose. They shed light on issues with melody and verse.

 

How far away have we come as a culture?

 

We could have gone it alone, but would we be less artsy, abstract- less trendy, less hip?

 

Where would the American hipster be?

 

Simon and Garfunkel are more than just two uniquely obscure poets.   They enact frailty, open and honest, wounded individuals, not unlike the American counterculture, naked for judgment.

 

Their lyrics speak to those weeping from oppression, melancholic optimism, confused on policy, and in love and stuck in the United States we call home.

 

As relevant today as the beatniks of the 50’s and 60’s; a rose by another name, hipster, we can smile at sadness, this apathy, and laugh in the face of danger only with lyrics so true, they represent a walk down the mall on campus in the waxing summer sun.

Careers after College; Happy SysAdmin Day!