The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber Review

“If a four-letter man marries a five-letter woman, he was thinking, what number of letters would their children be?”

 

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The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber is of Ernest Hemingway’s most celebrated short stories. It uses thematic elements better than almost any story I’ve ever found jealousy, fear, courage, and contempt are all present in this fine work. With his visceral simplicity, Hemingway examines what makes a man and the constraints of the individual from their social structure.

This story follows the titular character on his first safari. He is put in a dangerous situation and proves himself a coward. After facing the scorn of his guide and the fellow hunters, he resends whilst on another hunt. He rises to the occasion and grows as a person saving one of his peer’s life. His wife feels her power over him leaving and then kills him. The relationship between the guide, Wilson and Francis is examined in detail. The victim is painted as neither the wife nor Francis, but as the Francis.

The depths of the interpersonal relationships in this story are fabulous. The tangled net that is the Francis, his wife and Wilson shows the growth of the main character and the flaws of the others involved. The author poured himself into the story and it provides another example of the intensity with which Hemingway writes.

 

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“Macomber opened the breech of his rifle and saw had metal-cased bullets, shut the bolt and put the rifle on safety. He saw his hand was trembling”

 

 

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Weekly Poetry Pick

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D.H. Lawrence was a novelist, playwright, and poet known for his novels Lady Chatterley’s Lover The Rainbow.  His work often centered around the themes of nature, vitality, sex, and instinct. His writing style was so controversial that he was often the persecuted by censors. At the time of his death, he was a rumored pornographer who was thought to have wasted his considerable talents.  Highly influential, his work has been honored at a yearly festival in Eastwood.

 

Piano

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past. 

 

The above work is one of the best examples of a writer showing their appreciation for another art form. The tender way he describes the music heard is wonderful. I find this to be some of his strongest work and love how his passion drips into the meter of the words.  If you need more D.H. Lawrence in your life I suggest you enjoy more of it here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook. 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Jackson Dean Chase is an award winning author and number one best selling author. Mostly known for his work in the genre of the young adult science fiction and horror. Chase’s signature mixture of fantasy and pulp magazines has led to a fervent following amongst his readers.  This week we present the following work to showcase the poetic stylings of Mr. Chase.

 

Replaced

The world changes

too fast to keep up.

Just when you think

you understand it,

they pull the rug out:

technology,

music, 

fashion,

morality.

All dead, replaced by newer models-

as you have been, as we all must be

until the bombs drop,

the plague hits,

and the last light goes out

forever.

 

The above work is from Chase’s first poetry book Bukowski’s Ghost.  By the author’s own admission he fell in love with poetry because of Charles Bukowski. Much of this book is a tribute to the writing style and influence of Bukowski. Jackson Dean Chase does a great job of channeling a fantastic poet without of ever losing his own voice. The desperation and nihilism expressed within the above poem show how the writer is dealing with the passage of time and his connection with society as a whole.  It transcends being an accolade to Bukowski and forces the reader to take stock of their own place in the world. Truly an excellent piece from an excellent poet. I suggest you see more of the fine work of Mr. Chase here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Old Man at the Bridge Review

“‘Did you leave the dove cage unlocked?’” I asked.
‘Yes.’
‘Then they’ll fly.’
‘Yes, certainly, they’ll fly.’”

 

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Old Man at the Bridge is one of shortest works by Ernest Hemingway. Originally published in 1938 in Ken Magazine and republished in the collection The First Forty Nine Stories.  Often noted for the economical use of character development and the overall theme of what constitutes duty.

Written during his coverage of the Spanish Civil War, it tells the story of an old man fleeing his home town during artillery fire. Upon seeing the old man laying on a bridge the author asks about his well being. The exasperated old man tells about how he was responsible for the taking care of the animals after the town is evacuated.  He feels guilty about abandoning his duties and fleeing the twelve kilometers that have left him in his current state. The author encourages him to relocate to where the buses can take him to safety and the man reluctantly contemplates this. In the end, the writer observes that the animals may have survived, but the old man probably will not.

Sad irony and humanizing the victims of war reverberate throughout this text. You can feel Hemingway’s empathy for the old man. He doesn’t wish poorly upon him, but he cannot help seeing the situation as it is. A dark, humorous tale of survival and duty. Hemingway signature candor carries a depressing story and forces the reader to think.

 

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“It was Easter Sunday and the fascists were advancing towards Ebro.”

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook. 

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Jimmy Stewart is not the first name thought of when poetry comes to mind. Known for his distinctive speech pattern and easy going persona. His acting work included such classics as Vertigo, Rear Window,  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and It’s a Wonderful Life.  The beloved actor was known for his philanthropy work and political activism, but far less known was his dabbling in the world of poetry and writing. This week’s selection offers us a rare opportunity to hear the author reading their work.  Go here to see Mr. Stewart reading this selection.

 

Beau

He never came to me when I would call

Unless I had a tennis ball,

Or he felt like it,

But mostly he didn’t come at all.

When he was young

He never learned to heel

Or sit or stay,

He did things his way.

Discipline was not his bag

But when you were with him things sure didn’t drag.

He’d dig up a rosebush just to spite me,

And when I’d grab him, he’d turn and bite me.

He bit lots of folks from day to day,

The delivery boy was his favorite prey.

The gas man wouldn’t read our meter,

He said we owned a real man-eater.

He set the house on fire

But the story’s long to tell.

Suffice it to say that he survived

And the house survived as well.

On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,

He was always first out the door.

The Old One and I brought up the rear

Because our bones were sore.

He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,

What a beautiful pair they were!

And if it was still light and the tourists were out,

They created a bit of a stir.

But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks

And with a frown on his face look around.

It was just to make sure that the Old One was there

And would follow him where he was bound.

We are early-to-bedders at our house — I guess I’m the first to retire.

And as I’d leave the room he’d look at me

And get up from his place by the fire.

He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,

And I’d give him one for a while.

He would push it under the bed with his nose

And I’d fish it out with a smile.

And before very long He’d tire of the ball

And be asleep in his corner In no time at all.

And there were nights when I’d feel him Climb upon our bed

And lie between us,

And I’d pat his head.

And there were nights when I’d feel this stare

And I’d wake up and he’d be sitting there

And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.

And sometimes I’d feel him sigh and I think I know the reason why.

He would wake up at night

And he would have this fear

Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,

And he’d be glad to have me near.

And now he’s dead.

And there are nights when I think I feel him

Climb upon our bed and lie between us,

And I pat his head.

And there are nights when I think I feel that stare

And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,

But he’s not there.

Oh, how I wish that wasn’t so,

I’ll always love a dog named Beau.

 

The selected writing is from the book Jimmy Stewart and His Poems.  He reminisces over losing a beloved pet in a way that is both relatable and heartbreaking. Taking the reader on a journey, you get to know the dog and can feel the writer’s affection for the animal. His pacing and meter are excellent and I really enjoy reading the verse of Jimmy Stewart, I highly recommend that you hunt down some more of his work.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Garrison Keillor is a champion of literature, hosting both the Prairie Home Companion and the Writer’s Almanac on NPR. He has written over a dozen books, two poetry anthologies and starred in a 2006 film based upon the aforementioned Prairie Home Companion.  As a member of the American Association of Arts & Letters and The Poetry Foundation he strives to bring the written word to the masses.

 

Thong Song

To people raised in a railroad shack
It is known as your butt crack.
To people who are more verbally deft
It is known as the gluteal cleft.
Either way, it’s at the bottom of your back
Between the one on the right and the one on the left.

Some ladies’ swimwear of slender heft
Displays freely the gluteal cleft.
On this matter, my mind is shut:
Don’t walk around showing off your butt
Please desist at least
Until I am deceased.

Your gluteal cleft, I must insist,
Should be seen by your dermatologist
When treating a rash, or cyst,
And nobody else. No daughter of mine
Wears thongs. That’s the bottom line.

 

The selected work is from Keillor’s book Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound.  In his signature dry and witty tone, he analyzes a fashion trend that he doesn’t understand. His reflective opinion is sprinkled with his own moral values in a really enjoyable way. Without being high handed or overly negative he draws criticism to a concept he disapproves of. To hear a live version of the above poem go here. Or to see more of Keillor’s spectacular writings, go here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Reviewing The Watchmen

“Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.”

 

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The Watchmen is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the comic book art form. Alan Moore writes and Dave Gibbons illustrates this dark and dynamic story following a group of retired superheroes. Taking place in an alternate time line, this story highlights and amplifies the cold war paranoia of America in the mid-eighties as World War Three seems to be growing ever closer. This comic examines the lives and moral struggles of a group of former superheroes when one of their own dies.

Full disclosure, I think this is one of the greatest books ever written. I have read it a number of times and find the somber subject matter fascinating. It is superheroes that are not the paragons of justice. It is masked heroes at their most human, their most selfish,most inconsiderate and most violent. It is a character study of those looked upon when the villains rise to challenge the helpless. This book has no clear cut protagonist, as it is written it show highlights the ambiguity that exists within us all.

Moore’s creation has been represented in a number other mediums. A 2009 Film, that was met with mixed reviews,a pretty stellar motion comic and a long rumored animated series and/or movie. This work has been universally praised as one of the greatest of all time. Gibbons’ art is highly regarded as it works so well with the ominous nature of the text. It blends and flows so well, it is marvelous. The Watchmen has the best implementation of the ‘story within a story’ concept I’ve ever read, with The Tales of The Black Freighter being smooth and easy to follow.

This book is well worth your time. Over and over again it is worth the effort. Even if you’re not a comic reader or if you weren’t wowed by Zach Snyder’s Film adaptation, I recommend it. This is truly one of the great pieces of American art. With a diverse cast of characters and a intriguing plot, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to give it a read.  See a sample of the graphic novel here or go here to watch the motion comic.

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“It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us.”

 

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook. 

 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

 

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Charles Bukowski is a legendary poet, short story writer and novelist.  His writings about the common man and how his environment impacted him was appealing and different. The influences of women, alcohol, the act of writing itself and humdrum of work were all present in his writing. A dynamically sense of self awareness continues to serve as inspiration today.  

 

I Might Get Traded

 

They sent the veteran second baseman

down to Fresno

so a 22-year-old kid could have

his playing time.

It’s a matter of investment:

Cheaper help

With a future.

Life in baseball

is limited.

But with a little luck in the Arts

you might last

right up to your deathbed.

Unfortunately

it took me

half an evening

just to write this.

it looks like

another slow night in

San Pedro.

 

 

 

The selected piece is from Bukowski’s book The Continual Condition. This work does an excellent job of pointing out the writer’s feeling the passage of time. He examines inwardly and uses the example of team sports to dissect his own accomplishments and his place in the universe. His frankness whilst dealing with self doubt is insightful and humorous. If you enjoyed this work I’d strongly encourage you to enjoy more Charles Bukowski here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Reviewing The Celebrated Jumping Frog Of Caleveras County

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Mark Twain is one of the most enjoyable writers to ever bless the art of literature. His unique wit and unmistakable style make some of the most fun reading. His use of language celebrates the everyman in a way that few other writers have been able to. Already being a fan, I knew I would enjoy this story. This is the story that put Mark Twain on the map. This is The Celebrated Jumping Frog Of Calaveras County.

The most relevant thing I can relay to any potential readers of this story is the substance is the least important part. This tale is all about the journey and far less about the destination. It follows the narrator, who is a western mining town for the first time. At the request of a friend, he meets a man named Leonidas W. Smiley. As opposed to giving the narrator the information he needs, Smiley weaves this overblown tale about a frog jumping contest.

The narrator suffers through the long winded tale of Smiley and interjects his opinions about it along the way. Presented in a clever way, Twain manages to capture the humor and suffering experienced when someone just won’t stop talking. Being a victim of your own courtesy can trap you in the wake of a windbag. The ending really makes this story and without ruining it, I must insist you take the time to read it. A short read, this provides a good escape and can easily be completed during a lunch break. I feel this is a great introduction to Mark Twain for new readers and a fantastic time killer for old fans. Enjoy this story here.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Thomas Hardy was a celebrated writer. Known primarily for his novelized critique of Victorian society in England. His most acclaimed novels were Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.  Hardy was also known for his dynamic poetry. His experimentation with style and his ability to manipulate language and stanzas in an unconventional way is powerful. His themes of loss and disappointment reverberate throughout his poems. His poems relating to the Boer War and World War One are amongst my favorites. I present to you one of my favorites.

 

 

The Man He Killed

“Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

“But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

“I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although

“He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.

“Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.”

Seeing the way the narrator interprets his enemy causes the reader to truly examine the humanity of both men involved. Hardy forces you to see that these are just two men who happen to be from different places. Others have declared them enemies, not the soldiers themselves. It delivers it’s point quickly and concisely without belaboring the point. If you need more of Thomas Hardy’s work you can find some examples here.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Sabres Of Infinity Review

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Do you want to play a game and read a book at the same time? Would you like to explore a fictional world that involves gunpowder and sorcery? Do you want something that is well written and original all at the same time? If so, Sabres of Infinity is the experience for you.

The creator, Paul Wong weaves a unique setting that has the player assume the role of a member of an aristocratic family who in deeply indebted. In order to relieve the debt, your family has sent the playable character to serve in the military. Through a series of options, you are allowed to chose the stats and characteristics of your character.

The story follows the character as they complete their training and interact with several of their peers. By selecting certain actions, your peers either become allies or rivals. After completing training and being assigned to active action you really get to see what an interesting setting the game provides.

The thing that really impressed me with this game was the writing. I found that I really began to care about the main character and his plight as he navigated the effects of battle. You find yourself dealing with hostile natives and questioning the motives of the war itself along with the manner in which your countrymen conduct themselves. It pushes the player to ask some deep questions whilst allowing you to immerse yourself in the character and the world presented.

I feel this game provides a great deal of replayability and I cannot wait to play it again and see what other options are available. I cannot wait to play the sequel Guns of Infinity and I feel that for the purchase price was well worth the price. All in all, this is worth the time and if you need a unique game with a great setting this is your choice. Check it out here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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On Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, I felt it appropriate to select some of his work. I believe that Poe’s reputation has preceded him.  He was a master wordsmith who contributed greatly to the genres of science fiction and the detective story. His signature macabre style and vast vocabulary still stand out amongst the throngs of written word. So in celebration of the man, I present to you one of my favorites.

 

 

 

Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone —
Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still —
From the torrent, or the fountain —
From the red cliff of the mountain —
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold —
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by —
From the thunder, and the storm —
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view —

 

 

 

The above work was never printed during Poe’s lifetime. He signed a fan’s autograph book with it and after a stringent verification process, it was confirmed as his. I love the panache of Poe to sign an autograph with an original poem. Alone does a fantastic job of capturing the feelings we all have when we are by ourselves. It seeps through the words and highlights the small things that he has loved by himself. All that he loves, he loves wholly by himself. It mirrors each of us, as we have those things that we hold dearest but do so by ourselves, alone. For more of Poe’s excellent poetry, I suggest you go here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Bucky Sinister was the pseudonym, of David Lerner.  He was a renegade poet active in both the New York and San Francisco. He embraced the bohemian life and published a large number of articles in a variety of publications. He cofounded Zeitgeist Press which focused on publishing poets involved in the Babar Cafe. Affectionately known as the T.S. Elliot of the underground.

 

 

 

I Was With Her Long Enough To Change Brands of Cigarettes

We had split a bottle of wine and a pint of rum
before we went into the fair.
It started with a kiss on the ferris wheel.
I didn’t know that actually happened until then.
One of my favorite days of all time…

Six months later
I gave her money that she referred to as “fetus money.”
We were long over as a romantic couple.
That day she listed why she hated me.

I had told her that I was sorry and I said so again
but those words can’t take away a clumsy fuck.

The way she talked to me
it sounded like her mistakes
never hurt anyone but herself.
My mistakes have bad aim
and always seem to hit those near me.

This work oozes with the sarcastic wit of a failed relationship. It shows the rapid decline of infatuation with a candor often left out most writings. A cocktail mixing sinister dark imagery and profanity with a self-deprecating humor.  The above poem makes me wish that much more of Bucky Sinister’s poetry was collected and published before his death. Several of his works are featured in The Outlaw Bible Of American Poetry.  If beat poetry in the style of Ginsberg and Pablo Neruda are your thing, you will love his writings.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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A Haunted House Review

“Nearer they come; cease at the doorway. The wind falls, the rain slides silver down the glass. Our eyes darken; we hear no steps beside us; we see no lady spread her ghostly cloak.”

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Virginia Woolf’s A Haunted House is the perfect holiday short story. Being the time of the year for warm fuzzies and loving family, this one will surprise you with the way the story flows. I believe that this work would fall into the realm of unconventional Christmas fiction. So if you are a Die Hard and A Nightmare Before Christmas as holiday material kind of person, I think this would be a good choice for you.

I thought this was an excellent jump off point to Virginia Woolf’s writing and if you find yourself enjoying this you will enjoy Mrs. Dalloway or The Waves. This work follows a narrator who resides in a haunted house in which two ghosts are searching for something. As the story progresses, the author discovers what the two spirits are looking for. The imagery used is both hauntingly playful and ends on an upbeat note.

Overall, this is a good way to spend thirty minutes. A quick paced, upbeat story that finds a way to both be eerie and uplifting. The author leaves the reader in an era of suspense throughout. In a world saturated by the same Christmas stories, I think this would be an excellent addition.  This is most certainly worth your time. Read it for free here.

“Death was the glass; death was between us;”

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Susan Firer is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches women’s studies and creative writing. She has published six books of poetry and has been honored by her home city with the poet laureate.  Utilizing a vivacious and imaginative writing style she builds truly memorable poems.  You can view a  sample of her works here.

 

 

The Transit of Venus

The poppies start as aliens
end as husbands, a pause
of light, a dull scatter.
Transports dandelion clouds.
Venus passes between sun &
earth. Exceedingly rare, Transit,
have you noticed how close
the ode & elegy are?
(In the United States someone
dies every sixteen seconds!)
Husband, Supermoon, Venus
come & go. Death says there
is no you at the end of weather.
“Among the rarest of all predictable
astronomical . . .” Husband
presented me. The weatherman
says we are locked in the clouds.

The above is a great piece from Firer’s Transit of Venus.  I love this poem,  the way in which it connects all aspects of life so neatly. Successfully swirling wondrous mysteries and cosmic imagery into an elegant eighteen-line poem.  The final lines, in particular, resonated with me most of all. I will own this book, based solely on this poem and I hope that this writer continues to craft excellent verses for many years to come.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Reviewing Man Vs Snake

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I am a sucker for documentaries. Anything from the tsars of Russia to how a paperclip is made. I’ll watch deep thinking and downright stupid. My favorites are those without agenda bent on sharing a narrative for the sake of that narrative. This film did that better than any I have seen in quite some time and could easily be a front runner for on my favorite documentaries of all time.

Very much in the vein of King of Kong or Chasing Ghosts, Man Vs Snake delves into the world of vintage arcade game competition. It follows Tim Mcvey, who set a record score on Nibbler in his youth. When his score is beaten he comes out of retirement to reclaim his record.  Throughout the course of the flick, you find yourself really pulling for Tim. He seems like such a genuinely nice person, you really want him to taste success and reconquer his record score.

I’m not much into team sports movies that tell the tale of a miscreant group getting it together in the end.I am; however, a sucker for stories of people overcoming themselves and becoming victorious.  So if you need a nerdy, inspiring documentary this is the one for you.This movie hit me at a really good time. I needed motivation and it was delivered in spades. I related with Tim as he struggled to become a better person and it ended in a very uplifting way. Well directed and laced with little flourishes that really make it stand out, I highly encourage you to give Man Vs Snake a watch.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Reviewing War Is a Racket

“Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket. 1) We must take the profit out of war. 2) We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war. 3) We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.”

 

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Major General Smedley Butler wrote this work in 1935 after retiring from the United States Marine Corps. It is an expansion of a speech of the same title. Butler, a career military officer served from 1898 until 1931. During his tenure, he received two Medals of Honor, A Marine Corps Brevet Star, an Order of the Black Star and twelve other awards or medals. He was highly praised during his career and upon retiring he became an outspoken critic of the military system.

I am so glad that I was turned onto this book. Having someone so decisively and drastically critique their entire profession is astounding. He examines the way in which the United States wages war and breaks it down into five easy to follow sections. His sarcastic demeanor really adds some personality to this work. His heart is truly in the pages of this book. He sees war as a crime that is paid for by innocents in lives lost and money taken, as the title suggests he compares the war system to organized crime. He is brutally critical of the ‘military-industrial complex’ in a enlightened and refreshing way.  These were some of the best fourteen pages I’ve ever set my eyes on.

This book should be read in every history class. While some of the solutions presented are not the most practical or realistic, it could open a dialogue that could lead to some true answers. I believe that Butler’s wit and candor would really push even the most staunch military supports to reexamine the way in which foreign entanglements are conducted. This work reached fame when published in the Reader’s Digest in the thirties. I would really like to see another major publication take a chance and reprint this. I hope that all my readers will take a minute to enjoy this, I’ve included a link to the PDF here.

 

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“In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn’t join the army.”

 

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Jim Morrison is a rock and roll icon. His dynamic songwriting and piercing vocals helped propel The Doors to the legendary status they enjoy amongst music lovers. Easily one of the greatest frontmen of all time, Morrison’s charismatic way with words is something to behold. His collections of writings and poems are compelling and moving. I’d highly recommend any of them to fans of his music or just fans of surrealistic poetry, these are for you. There are a few examples of his poems on the following link.

 

Power

I can make the earth stop in

its tracks. I made the

blue cars go away.

I can make myself invisible or small.

I can become gigantic & reach the

farthest things. I can change

the course of nature.

I can place myself anywhere in

space or time.

I can summon the dead.

I can perceive events on other worlds,

in my deepest inner mind,

& in the minds of others.

I can

I am

The above is from Wilderness: The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison. While some have claimed this book is inaccessible, I never found it as such. I enjoyed this poem and the vast journey the reader is taken upon with it. The vastness and mental imagery are excellent and this could easily have a been a portion of a song. I found the transitions well done and you sort of waft through the entire piece until arriving at the end. All in all, this is a great bit of writing by an incredible writer. Truly Jim Morrison’s verses are some of the humanities’ finest.

 

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Reviewing The Communist Manifesto

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“The proletarians have nothing to loose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

 

Of everything I’ve read in the Adult Book Reports, this is probably the most notorious. Whether it is looked at as gospel or heresy,this is the book that inspired both revolution and McCarthyism. This is one of those banned books that I’m sure the purchase of puts me on a government watch list. This is Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels most well-known work. This is The Communist Manifesto.

This book was very difficult for me to read objectively.  I am diametrically opposed to almost every idea held within it. I do not believe that private property, free markets, and minimal government are the evils presented in the text. After I was able to disconnect my own personal views with what was presented within the manifesto, I partially understood its appeal. To throw off the oppressive overlords and have working class unite against them. To give the power back to those who sell their labor to merely scratch by. To get away from the oppressive hierarchy and have an equal share. Written in a persuasive and almost motivational manner, this book really pushes its points home through the writing. Marx and Engels obviously are true believers in their dogma and it reverberates throughout the text. They genuinely want everyone to have an equal shot at the surrounding and feel by uniting the downtrodden, this will be achieved.

When originally distributed this was a pamphlet. It is also presented in a way to appeal to the lowest common denominator. The target audience is obviously the poor and uneducated who will tear down the oppressive hierarchy. Those who are underfoot by tyranny will see this as a guiding light and begin to establish the ideas within. Divided into four parts, it can be easily recounted to others and broken down into small blurbs. It is an amazing piece of propaganda on par with something from the Civil Defense Corps or radical religious material. It is a powerful, persuasive and incredibly well-written text. It pushed me to think and examine my own politics, but never in any real way to convert me. If anything, whilst reading this I often found myself questioning the purpose of the state at all. This was an interesting read, if only for its historical significance.  If you feel the need to read this, take it with a grain of salt.

 

 

“WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!”

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Hellboy: Makoma Review

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Typically these adult book reports revolve around a piece of classic literature. Typically they are a new author or long heralded book that I’ve never read. Typically they involve something with a reputation for literary greatness.  Other times, I just read a really good Hellboy storyline and feel the need to share it.

For those unfamiliar, Hellboy is a well-intentioned demon who works for the Burea of Paranormal Research and Defense and fights off dark forces. Written with the perfect mix of Lovecraftian horror, folklore, alternate history, and quick wit these stories are excellent. For the most part, each story arc is self-contained and very friendly to new readers. The creator, Mike Mignola has crafted a universe where anything is possible and will whisk you away at a moments notice.

Makoma, or A Tale Told By A Mummy In The New York Explorers’ Club On August 16, 1993. Is a two-part story in which Mike Mignola teams with comic legend Richard Corben. The artwork throughout this book is superb, but I feel that this particular arc shows everything Hellboy does well. It features a traditional fable and incorporates the humor and horror elements that are a staple of the series. The dueling elements of Hellboy’s destiny as a demonic tool in the apocalypse and his good intentions are prominently displayed in these comics.  The African folkloric theme was sublime and did an excellent job of immersing the reader into the narrative. An easy to follow and exciting story make this an extremely enjoyable read. I’ll admit that this is a bias review, I love Mignola’s work and Hellboy is one of my absolute characters in fiction. If you need a quick read or an introduction into the series I highly recommend this comic. I’ve included an Amazon Kindle link here where you can pick these up for a few dollars. This is money and time well spent, so I encourage you to give them a try.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Saul Williams is a force of nature. A prolific and prophetic poet who emerged onto the slam poetry scene in the late nineties. He was the star of the films Slam and Today, was the lead in the Broadway musical Holler If you Hear Me, has released five records and six books of poetry. His spoken word performances are some of the most powerful that I have ever witnessed and I highly suggest you enjoy more of his work here.

She

We sleep
In the same house
But it is we
Who have a
Long distance relationship

I presented
My feminine side
With flowers
She cut the stems
And placed them gently
Down my throat
And these tulips
Might soon eclipse
Your brightest hopes

To aim
Is to take oneself too seriously
By focusing without instead of within
re arrange and re member
Aim…I am
The right letters are there
It’s the wrong composition…

 
The above excerpt from Saul’s slam masterpiece She. This is some of my favorite writing of all time. He is one of the few authors who can still send a shiver down my spine with every time I read his work. This poem explores the plethora of thoughts, emotions and feeling experienced during the relationship with the mother of his son. With vivacious and poignant imagery he shows how two people sometimes no longer fit together. This is one of his finest and if you enjoyed the above sample, I hope you will seek out his other work. There is truly a plethora of greatness authored by Saul Williams.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Excuse Me While I Disarm

 

 

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“Remember the first rule of gunfighting … have a gun.” – Col. Jeff Cooper

 

 

Concealing a firearm is a pain in the ass. I mean a royal pain in the ass. Those who choose to conceal carry know this all too well. There is a sadomasochist nature in trying to keep a piece of steel and/or polymer hidden. It is an abusive relationship between comfort and concealment. It is a balance of concessions, as the gun you carry is often not your favorite nor the one which you shoot the best. You will find yourself constantly comparing your current carry gun to others on the market and debating the merits of the two. When you do choose a firearm you then find yourself cycling through holsters to find a reasonably cozy and practical option. You are in a constant state of flux and always open to selecting a better option.  

After you have chosen the combination of gun, holster and carry method you become fiercely loyal to it. Once your functional layout becomes a habit, it becomes second nature to equip it each day. Without any additional thoughts, you find yourself putting on your gun each morning along with fresh underwear and deodorant. It becomes a necessary part of your life. It is a tool you dare not go anywhere without. You feel as ready as you can be if danger comes. You train as much as possible with your chosen tool and have developed a relationship with it. You may own multiple firearms, but that one is your go to carry gun. You’re always aware that it is there, but it doesn’t consume your every thought. It is an old friend that is ever present.

Then it happens. You arrive at a location where due to local laws or regulations you are not permitted to conceal carry. Standing outside of that location an internal dialogue erupts. Do you ignore the sign and rules or do you proceed? Does the current situation and environment allow an easy and safe way to remove your firearm? What happens if this is the day you really need that gun? My friends and family usually know what it means when I go to back to the car before I enter a facility. If questioned I usually utter the phrase “Excuse me while I disarm.” I remove my handgun, secure it and return to the party I came with. As we proceed I try to not make a big deal out of it, but it is. Not getting into the politics involved, I hate being unarmed. If I am awake, I generally have a firearm on me or close. It is my choice and I do it safely. When I am forced to remove it, I feel exposed. I am very aware that I do not have a pistol on or near me. I find myself hoping that this is not the day I will desperately need an effective means of defense. The day is overshadowed by “what ifs” instead of “what ares”. The entire experience never as enjoyable as it could be. I would feel much better if this place allowed me to carry and I know I am not alone.

My final thought is this, if you own a business maybe you should rethink that no guns allowed sign. It has an effect on your customers, but many will never voice this. Most will quietly cooperate, but I highly doubt they will frequent a place that doesn’t allow them to conceal carry. It is a heavy decision for me to remove a firearm and enter any establishment, no matter what wonders lie behind those doors.

 

 

“Carrying a gun isn’t supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be a comfort” -Clint Smith

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

The Island of Dr. Moreau Review

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“The crying sounded even louder out of doors. It was as if all the pain
in the world had found a voice”

 

 

H.G. Wells is a master of science fiction. His works helped define the genre and are still heralded as fantastic. His works have been adapted into every conceivable form of entertainment and his ideas presented are still used or improved upon. I’ve read his most well-known works like War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Time Machine and The First Men on the Moon.  Wells’ ability to commit such imaginative things to paper in a concise manner is pretty astounding.

The Island of Dr. Moreau is a book I’ve wanted to read for quite some time. I’ve seen the abysmal 1996 movie and knew that the world had far more potential than presented in that film. This book was a highly entertaining read. From the very beginning the protagonist, Edward Prendick was easy to identify with. A man of science who wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is thrust into a world filled with savage heresy that he cannot fully comprehend. Wells does a great job of building the anticipation for meeting the doctor. His reputation precedes him with a sense of electric tension. When finally seen, Doctor Moreau is every bit of mad genius you want him to be. His fanatic dedication to his craft is his all-consuming goal is awe inspiring. He quickly dismisses the pain he causes as a necessary evil to his overall goal.  The dichotomy between Prendick and Moreau is a vast chasm, revolving mostly around their ideals of science. Prendick is aghast at the barbarism he sees and not until the conclusion do you see how deeply he was impacted.

There are multiple parallels between this book and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The ideas of “playing god” and creatures versus creator is explored thoroughly. The reader explores this well thought out theme and it forces them to deeply reflect upon it. I admired the way that the author balanced these thoughts with a cohesive plot. As the reader, you sympathize with Moreau’s creatures. In the climactic final struggle, you find yourself fully rooting against the Doctor. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it. The end is depressing, but I feel that it benefits the overall story greatly. A relatively short read, this was well worth the four hours it took to finish.

 

 

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“I must confess that I lost faith in the sanity of the world”

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Attila The Stockbroker is my absolute favorite poet of all time. A punk poet and folk singer who has written seven books of poetry released forty albums and performed over three thousand concerts. He has toured nonstop for thirty-five years and has maintained a DIY attitude his entire career. Arguments Yard, his autobiography came out last year and if you need some sharp-tongued, high energy social surrealist poetry in your life I highly suggest you check out his work here.

USE OF ENGLISH

The phrase ‘politically correct’
is not at all what you’d expect.
But how has it been hijacked so?
I’m going to tell you, ‘cos I know.

You’d think it should mean kind and smart
Radical and stout of heart
A way of living decently.
Well, so it did, till recently.

And then some cringing, nerdy divs
Sweaty, misogynistic spivs
Sad, halitosis-ridden hacks
all wearing lager-stained old macs
with spots and pustules and split ends
and absolutely zero friends
(Yes, living, breathing running sores:
The right wing press’s abject whores)
Were all told, by their corporate chiefs
To rubbish decent folks’ beliefs
To label with the phrase ‘P.C’
All that makes sense to you and me
And write off our progressive past.
Their articles came thick and fast
The editors gladly received them
and loads of idiots believed them.

You’ll find that most who use the term
Will only do so to affirm
Sad, bigoted, outdated views
they’ve swallowed via the Murdoch news.

 

 

I giggled aloud whilst reading this poem for the first time. The line hovered between linguistic elegance and hateful bile is breathtaking. Attila’s use of a simple rhyme scheme adds a bit of irony and taste that wouldn’t be present if this work was written in free verse. He cleanly states his views and challenges the reader to step above what is socially acceptable. Very on point, Attila drives his point home in his classic style. If you enjoyed the above, I highly suggest delving deeper into his works.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Electioneering and How I Learned the Limits of Free Speech

 

It was two o’clock on your average early voting day. People standing in line in a state appointed building. Filing through the line and answering question about their voting status.  I stood amid the throngs, holding my voter registration card, my state ID and my diligently researched sample ballot so I could chose the best representative who coincided with my beliefs. Oh, and I was also wearing this.

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As the line spiraled toward the actual booths, one of the volunteers said that I couldn’t vote in the shirt I had chosen. It was a violation of the Texas polling place laws, where your intentions of which candidate you choose cannot be displayed. I was a bit shocked at this, but I was offered alternatives. I could either turn it inside out or they had an apron I could wear over it. I declined both methods of being controlled and quietly left. Over the last few days, I have voraciously read and researched the regulations around what is called, electioneering.  To the best of my knowledge I had violated the following.

Sec. 61.003.  ELECTIONEERING AND LOITERING NEAR POLLING PLACE.  (a)  A person commits an offense if, during the voting period and within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter may enter the building in which a polling place is located, the person:
(1)  loiters;  or
(2)  electioneers for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.
(a-1)  The entity that owns or controls a public building being used as a polling place may not, at any time during the voting period, prohibit electioneering on the building’s premises outside of the area described in Subsection (a), but may enact reasonable regulations concerning the time, place, and manner of electioneering.
(b)  In this section:
(1)  “Electioneering” includes the posting, use, or distribution of political signs or literature.
(2)  “Voting period” means the period beginning when the polls open for voting and ending when the polls close or the last voter has voted, whichever is later.
(c)  An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.”

This article is not intended to be a woeful tale of how my voting rights were violated, I went back several days later and cast my ballot in attire that was acceptable for the state mandated dress code. I am of the belief censoring the political intentions of anyone, especially at the place of voting is heresy. To determine that these freedoms are benign in designated places baffles me. When I recounted this tale to family and friends, I was met with confusion that I didn’t know this rule as law. The most cursory Google search corroborated their opinions. It also revealed that every election cycle a handful of people are either removed from polling places, arrested or fined for electioneering violations.

If voting is performing your civic duty or patriotic responsibility, shouldn’t fundamental human rights be observed during those actions? Applying a wide allotment of restrictions to a place, simply because it has a voting booth is counter productive and wrong. The bureaucratic process of voting is already a hassle, but only the stupid or determined will persevere through the gauntlet of inconvenience to cast a vote. It seems with every passing moment, additional limitations are placed upon your ability to merely exist. The hardest ones for me to swallow are the ones buried so deep in rhetoric, you discover them only by unwillingly defying them. Land of the free, indeed.

 

 

I found the following to be of great use on this subject

http://law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4685&context=expresso

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/EL/htm/EL.61.htm

http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/electioneering.asp

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Dorianne Laux is an award winning poet whose free verse poetry has a simple and elegant meter to it. Her ability to draw the reader into the beauty of the everyday is astounding. Laux has taught creative writing at the University of Oregon, Pacific University, and North Carolina State University and lives in North Carolina with her husband.  I strongly encourage all my readers to visit her site.

Ray at 14

by Dorianne Laux

Bless this boy, born with the strong face
of my older brother, the one I loved most,
who jumped with me from the roof
of the playhouse, my hand in his hand.
On Friday nights we watched Twilight Zone
and he let me hold the bowl of popcorn,
a blanket draped over our shoulders,
saying, Don’t be afraid. I was never afraid
when I was with my big brother
who let me touch the baseball-size muscles
living in his arms, who carried me on his back
through the lonely neighborhood,
held tight to the fender of my bike
until I made him let go.
The year he was fourteen
he looked just like Ray, and when he died
at twenty-two on a roadside in Germany
I thought he was gone forever.
But Ray runs into the kitchen: dirty T-shirt,
torn jeans, pushes back his sleeve.
He says, Feel my muscle, and I do.

 

 

I found the above poem thanks to the Writer’s Almanac Podcast with Garrison Keillor. I truly enjoyed this work. The writer does a commendable job of paying tribute to the deceased while showing the love she holds for Ray. It pushes the reader to connect with their own life and draw the parallel that when someone passes, they are never truly gone. I found a lot of comfort in the message from this poem and look forward to reading more work from this poet.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Reviewing Black Mirror Season 3

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I love anthology series with twisted themes and dark satire of the modern society. From Twilight Zone to Outer Limits to Tales from the Crypt, these are the shows that appeal to me most. The first two seasons of Black Mirror were easily some of the best television I have experienced as a viewer. Charlie Booker’s ability to create such well written scenarios pushes you to a explore emotions and thoughts rarely examined on your own.

I’ve looked forward to the new releases via Netflix for some time now. My anticipation was pretty high going in and this season did not disappoint. Thematically this season focused more heavily on the culture’s relationship with technology and communication than the previous two seasons. I particularly enjoyed how it dared to peer into the future and make some startling predictions about what will become societal norms. From the open of episode one, this season was exemplary. Each episode felt more connected than they had in the past, but I think that thread helped the overall journey.

Outside of the fourth episode ”San Junipero” , season three of Black Mirror was stellar. I’ve rewatched them all and as always the finale was one of the strongest episodes of the season. I find myself eagerly awaiting the next thing this show has to offer. I cannot recommend this show highly enough and it was easily the best thing I saw all of the Halloween season. Go watch it now.

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

The Witch Review

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Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

 

 

Occasionally as an adult, you lose touch with the mystery and wonder that fairy tales bring. You find yourself mired in the reality of life and forget what is lying just beyond sight. What is lurking in the darkness, just out of reach. The Witch does an excellent job of bringing those fears to the front.

First off, this is a fantastic horror movie. I mean fantastic. It goes all in by shoving you into the atmosphere of early 1600s New England. It envelopes you in a world that forces you to believe in witchcraft. Aided by well executed dialogue and some stellar child acting the viewer sees the zealot nature of the protagonists. The earnestness of their convictions make the threats presented become all the greater to the viewer. The tension is built consistently and evenly until it reaches a highly compelling climax.

The thing I enjoyed about this movie more than anything else, was it’s return to classic tropes. In this movie, witches worship the devil, seduce and eat children, sacrifice animals and bathe in the blood of virgins. It builds on the legends from childhood stories and makes them genuinely scary. This movie gives you second thoughts about walking in the woods alone. A great addition to any Halloween.  

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Reviewing The Purge Franchise

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….Incoming reports show this year’s Purge has been the most successful to date, with the most murders committed

 

It is rare that a series of films, let alone horror films are good through the duration of their chapters. There is usually a sharp decline in storytelling and usually by the time the series dies, fans find themselves apologizing for it. Anyone who like the first Paranormal Activity can’t enjoy the direction the franchise has taken. The Purge series has managed to be enjoyable and interesting with each new film. With a fourth film in the works, this series continues to expand on a universe that the viewer would like to see more of.

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When The Purge was released in 2013, I was pretty enthused about it. The entire dynamic of this world interested me. Citizens living in a place where a government sanctioned night of crime was encouraged.  It sounded like all the good parts of both Star Trek and the Twilight Zone. I wasn’t too into this movie when I saw it the first time, but with each subsequent viewing I have enjoyed it more and more. While it plays like a pretty standard home invasion movie, as the series has expanded it serves as a unique window into this world.

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In the second movie, Anarchy the audience finally sees the violence and mayhem from a first person perspective. Taking place one year after the first film, it leads our newly introduced protagonists through the Los Angeles streets. You see the depravity on a scale only hinted at in the first movie. Seeing the monstrous things humans will do to one another when they are legal really forces the viewer to think. In my estimation this is the strongest film of the series.

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The latest movie, Election Year has garnered the most critical and commercial success. Taking place eighteen years after the previous film, this one delves into the ruling structure of this world. It shows the motives of administration and the twisted turn someone who has grown up in a world of purging can be like. I wasn’t too fond of the ending, but the ideas they throw at the viewer are astounding. This is the most thought provoking and sentimental of the series.

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All in all, these movies are great at getting you to care about the characters involved and putting them into a suspenseful environment. Danger is only a step away and anyone can be your undoing. The antagonists are portrayed as both menacing and diabolical. They truly push the plot along and waiting for the next image of savagery keeps you engaged. These films are very enjoyable and I look forward to the next offering in the story. These are certainly worth your time.

 

 

Just remember all the good the Purge does.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Nosferatu The Vampyre(1979)

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Time is an abyss…

 

During the month of October our tradition is to watch a horror movie every night all thirty one days. I usually don’t have a plan or a theme, I just snatch films at random. I always try to sample some of the newest offerings or at least enjoy a few that I haven’t ever seen.  As with most traditions, I have a few I favorites I’ll rewatch every year. No Halloween is complete without The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Omen, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and my personal favorite, Nosferatu.   

Nosferatu is a silent film horror classic. An unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula the iconic imagery of this film is deeply embedded into popular culture.  Max Schreck’s portrayal of the monster was so convincing, rumors of him actually being a vampire still circulate. Nosferatu is so great on every level it physically hurts, I will always enthusiastically recommend it.  During my searching for movies I came across the West German remake from 1979 called Nosferatu the Vampyre. I have seen the title before, but I assumed it was just another recut of the original. There are several edits that have added different styles of music and whatnot trying to increase the experience. As I looked into this movie, it is highly reviewed. Extremely highly reviewed. Everything from the set design to the acting were giving shining, 5 star marks from all critics. How can I not watch such a marvel? How could my Halloween not include such a masterpiece?

Maybe I am not the target audience or I am too dense to appreciate the subtle artisitc nuiances employed in this movie, but this movie sucked. This movie fucking sucked and I don’t mean a little, I mean a lot. It was so goddamn tedious to sit through and managed committed the most egregious sin of all, mediocrity.  When a remake is so boring it makes you question the quality of the original and the source material simultaneously, you have truly achieved something. I really don’t understand how this thing was given the golden crown of cinematic achievement by so many people. I didn’t do anything for me other than make me wish to watch the original. I didn’t see the point of this remake at all, when a movie as stellar as the 1922 film exists.  Save yourself some time and the only enjoy the Nosferatu worth knowing.

 

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Death is not the worst. There are things more horrible than death.

 

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Antigone Review

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Sophocles’ Antigone has sat, unread and ignored upon my bookshelf for at least four years. Written in 441 BC it continues the story of Oedipus Rex’s children. Seeing the next saga of the famous story always intrigued me and I couldn’t think of much more frightening and disturbing this Halloween season than being the child of such an infamous man.

I tried to understand and enjoy this story. I honestly tried.  Knowing the language gap would be a challenge I read the historical context and used a study guide to help me digest the contents of this play. I went into this one with genuine effort. I wanted to complete this book and feel like a smarter and more well rounded person. I wanted to know the continuation of the story and be able to discuss it in detail. I wanted to revel in the merits of ancient Greek writings. I was unable to do so.

This book took so much effort to complete. It was a slow, ponderous read and I felt more like I was reading it out of obligation than out of enjoyment. Without knowing what happened via summaries, I would have never been able to follow the plot through the text. Perhaps I lack the depth of intelligence to appreciate this particular work, but this was not something I can recommend. This just isn’t worth the investment of time or energy.

 

 

 

-My nails are broken, my fingers are bleeding, my arms are covered with the welts left by the paws of your guards—but I am a queen!-

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Snow, Glass and Apples Review

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“Lies and half-truths fall like snow, covering the things that I remember, the things I saw. A landscape, unrecognizable after a snowfall; that is that she has made of my life.”

 

I love re-tellings of famous stories from a different points of view. In Snow, Glass and Apples Neil Gaiman takes Snow White and turns it on the side. He reimagines this fairy tale and tells it from the eyes of the wicked stepmother.

First and foremost, this story is a blast. The skillful reinterpretation of a well known fairy tale and changing the perspective in such a drastic way truly makes this worth reading. Sure you have your traditional elements like dwarves and apples, but there were several things I didn’t anticipate to happen, including necrophilia and vampirism. More than anything the twisted tone that the author takes this story in is breathtaking. Gaiman has stated that he wanted the reader “to think of this story as a virus. Once you’ve read it, you may never be able to read the original story in the same way again.” That feat was easily accomplished and I can not heap enough praise upon this.

This fresh look at well trod material is invigorating. Just go read this. It is worth every eerie moment and you can easily finish it within a lunch break. I highly recommend this as it excels at everything a short story should do well.

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“If I were wise I would not have tried to change what I saw.”

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Halloween Matters

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“If ever there was a holiday that deserves to be commercialized, it’s Halloween. We haven’t taken it away from kids. We’ve just expanded it so that the kid in adults can enjoy it, too.” -Cassandra Peterson

 

With the thirty-first fast approaching, I would like to remind everyone that Halloween is the greatest time of the year. It’s that special, magical season when all things spooky and paranormal are embraced. When kids go door to door and solicit for candy. When horror movies flow like water and women are allowed to dress extra slutty and not be called whores. When makeshift haunted houses rise from the nothing and sell cheap jump scares. This holiday allows us all to disconnect from our daily live and to play make believe.

The most important service that Halloween offers is it allows us to enjoy the macabre. At some level, we all fight the evil inside ourselves. All of us possess inner gremlins that are held at bay by our own conscience. Halloween allows us to see that internalized terror and brings it to the forefront. In reality there are mysterious horrors lurking around corners and deplorable acts waiting to occur. There is little ways to combat these threats outside of vigilance and preparation. With Halloween, we get to read the monster novels, wear the costumes of supernatural, and make light of the devils that scurry about. Zombies, ghouls and ghosts are fantastic ways to face the fears we all have. By taking some flavor of fictionalized fiend and spinning it into art or entertainment we embrace the best parts of humanity while still acknowledging the worst.

Creativity and imagination flourish more so during the month of October than any other time of year. It is the rare occurrence when ingenuity finds a way to rise to the top, even if it is for the sake of costuming and decorating. So I encourage you to dress up, give candy to trick or treaters and listen to the Monster Mash. In the end, we should have some fun with our own dark side.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

1984 Review

1984

If you want a review of George Orwell’s 1984, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

The setting is of no consequence and the characters are irrelevant. Unless, of course the Party deems it to be.

In that case it would take place in London, England part of Oceania around the year of 1984 roughly 30 to 40 years after, what appears to be, a world wide revolution that followed an atomic war. A world that started diverged from our timeline near WWII. We follow the daily life of Winston Smith who’s job is to rewrite history, a younger girl, Julia, who’s rebellion is purely of self interest, a man of privilege and orthodoxy and both ally and adversary, O’Brien, and finally the true protagonist of the story, Big Brother, the omnipresent embodiment of the world in its totality. Or, if it was recast today, a blogger, a millennial in every hipster of the word, a priest (perhaps either Catholic or Scientology), and Steve Jobs.

People have said that Orwell was afraid of our privacy being taken away by force and had no idea that we would willfully give it away with things like Facebook and other social media sharing platforms or through voting and accepting security measures to “keep us safe” that forfeiting privacy and freedom But, I think, THAT was exactly how he thought it would happen. That they would be tricked and rewarded and scared into giving up what they hold dear and not just by their leaders but also by their friends that were duped as well.

For what I think of it as a book, for a deep subject it should be an easy read but that might be because it repeats it’s self a lot. So, if you don’t understand a concept you will have a second chance to wrap your head around it. But if I had do give any big criticism it is that when talk about Winston’s life as it does not relate directly to the rest of the world, it can drag a bit. Lucky, Orwell is more interested in the world than the characters and almost seems to have wanted to write something akin to Plato’s Republic but did not know how to do that so he did it in a more stranded novel form. Or maybe thought Winston, Julia, and O’Brien would be a guise in which the the message could exhibit itself to act as a focusing point for love, fear, and reverence, emotions which are more easily felt towards an individual than towards an idea. I personally like the book within a book style of writing. Something about a fictional nonfiction book really appeals to me. It happens in the book version of Starship Troopers, and in a movie called the Confederate States of America (it is done as a BBC documentary about a the south winning the civil war)

This is part review and part analysis because I do tend to ramble on. So if you do not want that here is your jumping of point.


The world of 1984 would be described by us a totalitarian, but by O’Brien as the exact opposite, English Socialism, and by the writer of a book within this book, Emmanuel Goldstein, as Oligarchical Collectivism, which I personally think is the closest. The politics, morality, and economics of Oceania are the main interest of the story of 1984. So much so that it required there to be another books within it; the above mentioned manifesto of Goldstein. One thing to note is that everything in 1984 is unreliable. Winston’s memories of his childhood before the revolution, news broadcast, O’Brien’s speeches on Party doctrine, and Goldstein’s accounts of the rise of the Party and how it appears to function; there is not outside the Party. Even the Victory Gin is not gin; it is Saké! It is also conceivable that Oceania is not bigger than England and the rest of the world is carrying on in the usual manner, similar to the North Korea situation.

There are three levels of society: the Inner Party about 2% of the population, the Outer Party about 13%, and ’the proles’ about 85%. Only Party members have the constant monitoring by the telescreens (a TV that watches back) and the Inner Party are the only ones “permitted” to turn them off for brief moments. The Party views the proles as energy to run society at best or slaves at worst. But it is not the kind of slavery that has chains. Throughout the book it is said if there is any hope to bring down the Party and Big Brother it lies in the proles, but it is also pointed out that the proles are kept too busy or otherwise entertain and preoccupy to revolt. They just don’t want to because from their view nothing is wrong. They go to work and get paid, come home, read a book or go to the bar, go to sleep and do it all again the next day. They live. Sure the conditions are not that great to our modern day western standards, but its seams that they live about an average life for someone in say, the industrial revelation or, well, Europe in the early ’40.

It actually looks like, to me, that the prole are the most free and it is the Outer Party that is the most oppressed and the Inner Party is somewhere in between. If anything can be believed there is no Capital of Oceania, and other than Big Brother (who I doubt is real) there is no true leader, and there are no laws. But as this is a Dystopia, something is wrong with all this freedom. It is an Idea that is in charge. I think at one time the revolution was a good thing and meant a lot of good for the world, a lot like in Animal Farm , it got perverted and out of hand. I think there is not government at all. I think it is everyone collectively, out of an imagined fear made manifest, doing what they think they have been told to do. Like the Borg or ants they do what they do because of the Collectivism part. I think the early years of the Party were so effective that they did away with there own founders and laws and now the Party only exists to exist.

O’Brien said the Party is “interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.” I don’t think that is true particularly because of what he says later “the individual is only a cell? The weariness of the cell is the vigour of the organism. Do you die when you cut your fingernails?” it exist to exist and power is a byproduct. Your liver does not have high morals of keeping you alive and functions to do that; your lungs aren’t striving to impress your heart. They all are doing their own thing, oblivious to each other, and it happens to keep you alive. In the same way I think the various Ministries and organization do what they do because that is what they do. The Inner Party is no better off than the Outer Party in any meaningful way. And the proles care just as little about the Party members as the Party cares about them. If they are in hell, it is one of the Twilight Zone ironic hells of their own making.

I know this was long winded (this is actually the shorten version) and I apologies for that. Let’s just say that I am overcompensating for the fact that Cody does all the article and political ramblings on the website. I have more I could say, maybe there will be a tie-in segment in an upcoming episode?

I don’t know what all this says about me but I will leave you with a revelation that Winston had about the book he read that is both profound and one of the best and scariest things to think about when you read a book yourself or hear people talk about books they liked:

” The book fascinated him, or more exactly it reassured him. In a sense it told him nothing that was new, but that was part of the attraction. It said what he would have said, if it had been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in order. It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already.”

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Ryan S. Brewer is the co-host and editor of the Bored Shenanigans podcast (when he releases one) available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of Brewer’s Shitty Writing very sporadically here or as episode descriptions. Also he has nothing else to enjoy anywhere else, but you can find Cody’s poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or the Faceyspace. 

Burmese Days Review

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“But the whole expedition -the very notion of wanting to rub shoulders with all those smelly natives -had impressed her badly. She was perfectly certain that that was not how white men ought to behave.”

 

Burmese Days was George Orwell’s first novel, published in 1934. Set in 1920s Burma it follows a timber merchant and the people that ripple in and out of his life. The motivations, while important are far less pertinent to this story than the interactions within it. This story does an excellent job showing what life was like for natives and Europeans living in imperialistic Burma.

The setting that Orwell builds here is fantastic. He goes to great pains to have the reader see what the interactions between the natives and the colonists are. It becomes clear that the colonists do not see the natives as equals, but rather tools and resources to be used to their own end. It also becomes clear as the novel progresses that Orwell loved Burma. His descriptions of the environment and the geography are so vibrant that it becomes clear that he truly loved it there.

The thing that I found most interesting in this novel was it’s ability to highlight the degrading British Empire. In this work it is obvious that years of rule by England have worn down the Burmese people. Corruption exists at a casual level as everyone is vying to gain a little bit more wealth or power. Though subtle and laced throughout, this theme shows early signs of what would become indicative of Orwell’s writing. He does a commendable job showing what a long period of rule from a far away state does to a group of people.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was simple to follow and while a bit dull in parts, the ability it had to keep the reader engaged. The infusion of Burmese culture never let you lose sight of the setting of the story and was tastefully sprinkled throughout. I read this book in about two days and found it to be worth the time spent. For those Orwell enthusiasts like myself, give Burmese Days a try.

 

“It is one of the tragedies of the half-educated that they develop late, when they are already committed to some wrong way of life.”

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

George Orwell Complete Poetry Review

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-…Nothing believing, nothing loving,
Not in joy nor in pain, not heeding the stream
Of precious life that flows within us,
But fighting, toiling as in a dream…-

 

I’ll be honest, this collection of poetry wasn’t what I expected. More accurately it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I desperately wanted left leaning, anti-totalitarian verse draped in social satire. I wanted elegant lines questioning the very intention of imperialism. I wanted first hand experiences of humanity falling into mob mentality. I really wanted to fall in love with this book.  I wanted to be as infatuated by this collection as I’ve become with Orwell’s essays and novels. I wanted this to be the shining gem of Orwell September. I wanted this to be something, it was never going to be.

For a little background, this collection was published in October of 2015 after being withheld for many years by Orwell’s estate. By the author’s own admittance, he never held much fondness for his poetry.  This book gathers some of his earliest writings from his youth  all the way to his later life. It does a commendable job of prefacing them, so the reader can more fully appreciate the events of Orwell’s life. From the standpoint of historical interest and curiosity’s sake, it is fun to see how much his style evolved, but that is about where the fun ends. The poetry just isn’t very good.  In the words of  Dione Venable, the editor of this collection, “Orwell wasn’t a wonderful poet, but in his poetry he’s gloomy, he’s funny, he’s happy, he’s sad, and in the last things he wrote, you feel his pain.” As you read through it, you see him experimenting with  various styles and rhyme schemes but few ever seem to really resonate.

Now that the negatives are out of the way, there are a few pieces in this collection that are quite good.  In particular I enjoyed Ironic Poem About Prostitution and As One Non Combatant to Another. The dark satire that reverberates in these works is familiar to the fans of his writing. They provide a glimmer of what I had hoped for when I found this book. Other than a few lines from a smattering of poems, this entire collection left me feeling a bit flat. It was eighty two pages of mediocrity. I appreciated seeing another side of such a highly exalted author. I enjoyed seeing small shades of his excellent novels in these poems. Unless you’ve read everything else he’s ever written or your inquisitive nature just can’t let this one go, I would suggest you just pass on it. Sadly, this is the first Orwell I’ve ever read that I can’t really recommend.

 

 

Pagan
So here are you, and here am I,
Where we may thank our gods to be;
Above the earth, beneath the sky,
Naked souls alive and free.
The autumn wind goes rustling by
And stirs the stubble at our feet;
Out of the west it whispering blows,
Stops to caress and onward goes,
Bringing its earthy odours sweet.
See with what pride the the setting sun
Kinglike in gold and purple dies,
And like a robe of rainbow spun
Tinges the earth with shades divine.
That mystic light is in your eyes
And ever in your heart will shine.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Why I Write Review

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This essay is one of George Orwell’s most highly touted. With it, he uses his own evolution as a author to show the reader what makes a good writer.  He analyzes his childhood writings and through a contemplative lens, he shows what motivations shaped him. This essay is a refreshing and interesting look at a person’s journey, laced with excellent insights into one of the greatest writers of all time.

Orwell breaks down all writer’s motives into the following four characteristics; sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse and political purpose.  He states that these four exist with varying degrees of intensity, depending upon the writer’s environment and personality. I rather enjoy the notion that all literature has been penned by people under the influence of the four above ideals. It takes some of the intangible out of writing, while still pushing one to ask even more questions.

More than anything in this essay, Orwell’s discussion of his creative choices made during the process of writing Animal Farm is excellent. He made a conscious effort to blend political ideology into an artistic narrative. For an author to look back objectively at their own works and discuss their merits and failings is valuable. You see how his tastes changed and how fluidly his work reflected the environment he inhabited. This short essay is worth the read, as it provides a fascinating opportunity to see inside the mind of George Orwell and what he felt motivated a writer. 

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Your Heroes Were Human Once

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“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Those words from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance felt very appropriate for this article. It seems that in any community there are always certain people whose reputation precedes them and are held up to a godlike standard. In the firearms community, some of those demi gods are Jeff Cooper, John Browning, Massad Ayoob and Elmer Keith.

We’re going to focus on Elmer Keith here. For those of you who aren’t the gun nerd that I am, Elmer Keith was a prolific firearms writer and enthusiast. He wrote for multiple firearms publications and had nine books published. He was instrumental in developing the .357 magnum, the .44 magnum and the .41 magnum. He developed the “Keith” style bullet which offers more reliable penetration for hunting applications. Over the tenure of his life, he influenced so many people and became known as quite the polarizing figure.

These are the blurb facts that I was familiar with. I knew the hit list of why he mattered, but didn’t know how he traveled down the path. I was pleasantly ignorant until I learned of this little episode. Elmer Keith was a novice reloader and while developing a powerful load for a Colt Single Action Army, it blew up on him.  In the man’s own words;  “When the gun rose from recoil of the first cartridge I unconsciously hooked my thumb over the hammer spur and thus cocked gun as it recovered from recoil. When I turned the next one loose I was almost deafened by the report and saw a little flash of flame. My hand automatically cocked gun and snapped again but no report. I stopped then knowing something was wrong. The upper half of three chambers was gone. Also one cartridge and half of another case. Also the top strap over cylinder. My ears were ringing otherwise I was all O.K.” (American Rifleman, August 15, 1925)

These are the little things that are glossed over by those who pray at the sanctuary of Elmer Keith.  No one mentions that as the catalyst that turned the man into the myth. No one ever said this rudimentary mistake began his journey down the path of becoming iconic. If someone had mentioned this to me, I guarantee I would have been far more interested in the man.  In the last few weeks, I have devoured vintage Elmer Keith articles and fallen in love with his brash style of writing. I have enjoyed his zest for life and his take no prisoners attitude. The man was extremely knowledgeable and has a great way of teaching the reader. I see that he was worth the hype.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I like flaws. I gravitate to people who fight through the muck and fail. I need to know that you fucked up before you succeeded. I need to know of the faults to appreciate your accomplishments. If we will humanize our heroes and demote them from their gold plated altars, people might be more apt to appreciate them. They certainly won’t resent them or ignore them if they know they made the same errors we all do. I guess the takeaway is keep your idols in perspective. If you really want others to respect them the way you do, keep your starry eyed gushing to a minimum.

Need more? Ian at Forgotten Weapons has an excellent video showing the aftermath of the blown cylinder here. 

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Rip Van Winkle Review

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Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle is embedded deeply in the fabric of American culture. Along with Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, this character has been referenced in popular media for nearly two centuries. This story takes place during the time of the American Revolutionary War and follows a man after he drinks some home brewed liquor from a mysterious stranger and awakens eighteen years later.

The changes experienced by the protagonist during a relatively short period of time are cataclysmic. The status of the world he knew is spun out of control. He is forced to quickly try to understand the manner in which his surroundings had changed. In short order, he learns his wife had died, his friends are gone and his children are adults. Along with these revelations, he is also declared a traitor as he supports the government that he knew to be in power.

This story plays on your emotions and you see the drastic shift Van Winkle must digest. Though the evidence is there, he has difficulty accepting how different everything is. He has missed multiple family moments and memories, time forgot him. Van Winkle must also digest the stigma of his own reputation. Having just disappeared without explanation his family and neighbors assumed thought the worst of him for almost two decades.

The most enjoyable part of this story is easily the political implications. The average man, ignorant to current events unknowingly supporting the former regime is met with violent rebuke. The idea that in a few years, someone can shift from a loyal patriot to an enemy is fascinating. It further highlights the consequences of having missed so much in a short period of time. This forces the reader to capitalize on the time they have and not waste it. Irving does an excellent job pushing so much thought into such a short story. This is well worth your time clocking in at under thirty minutes, it is deserving of reading and continual adaptations.

 

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans pod cast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his work here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Is Effort Overrated?

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Cream always rises to the top. Sure it’s an easy colloquialism that is meant to inspire everyone to try hard. It is the style of saying usually reserved for guidance counselors and posters with cute animals on them. So what happens when the cream just gives up because the dairy fights them every step of the way.

Cryptic, I know. Ready yourself, I’m going to elaborate. We’ve all been told to work hard, apply ourselves and give a little extra. This is the secret to success and what we should aspire to be. Just do more because it’s the right thing to do. Great ideas that aren’t given the proper method to thrive.

Face it, some people are never going to apply themselves. Some people are going to skid by doing the bare minimum and that is fine. The application of self isn’t really the issue here. The issue is when those who don’t really exhibit any effort fuck it up for the rest of the people in the room. When they become the majority and lower the standards.

This is where those who legitimately try truly suffer. When the standard are so low, those willing to better themselves and give their all are ostracized. The system of do as little as needed is upset by their presence and they are either forced out of it or are absorbed into it. You either conform or are exiled.

With less being demanded of the individual why bother to compete? We are punishing the truest assets and not rewarding them. We are discouraging motivation and creativity by snuffing out everything it should be. Surely those with any desire will find a way to succeed, but it’ll be on their own merits and in spite of their environments. Good luck my dear overachievers, good luck.

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans pod cast. See more of his work in the article section. Also enjoy his poetry blog here.

 

 

 

Jekyll & Hyde Review

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We’ve all been told forever how classic the classics are. As a way to better myself I have decided to read some of these classics. Are they historically significant? You bet. Are they entertaining? We shall see. I understand that literature is subjective and somethings just really strike a chord with some people. That being said some things are just overrated. One of those things is Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

We all know this story. Well, we all know the pop culture synopsis of this story. The short version is a mild mannered professor has a mysterious connection to a dangerous man. That connection isn’t made clear until the reader discovers Jekyll and Hyde are the same person.

I wanted to like this book, I really did. I wanted this book to captivate and intrigue me. This book did neither. It was a ponderous and boring read that only was mildly interesting. I assumed that both the duality of man and goo versus evil would be discussed at length. I expected to dive deep into the conflicted mind of a mad genius. I was wrong. More time was spent discussing what makes a gentleman, a gentleman and the importance of someone’s reputation in Victorian era England. It lacked suspense and any elements of horror. Outside of an interesting core concept, this book offers very little to keep the reader engaged. If you need some Robert Louis Stevenson in your life, go with Treasure Island and pass on this.

I feel this book is a victim of it’s own reputation. It was difficult for me to stay on task during this brief story and it felt like a conscious effort to keep reading. Any time a book feels like work, that is never a good sign. Overall, a pretty uninspired experience.

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans pod cast. See more of his work here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here.