понеделник, 30 ноември 2009 г.

Untitled

I wrote this after i read The Catcher in the Rye, my favorite book for sure;) I decided to do something one evening and then write about it.

Last night I was just going to bed when my mobile rang. It was my best friend.
He had just finished meeting with his girlfriend. He invited me to his place. His parents were out of town and he was bored or something. I hesitated for a while, it was a school night but I did not care, and I said I’d go. I got dressed and started thinking about what classes I had tomorrow. I thought about it for a while but I could not figure it out, so I put a notebook in my bag and got out. I don’t know why I took my bag, it would have been easier if I had only taken the freaking notebook. My parents were sleeping, so I did not bother waking them up. They probably would not have noticed anyways. At the time they normally wake up I’m already at school or in the restaurant across from it, depending on my mood. I got a cab and drove off to my friend’s. I forgot I did not have any cigarettes on me, so I tried to bum one from the cab driver. He let me take one. Like ninety percent of the cab drivers smoke, it’s hilarious. I don’t normally ask people for cigarettes, its not that I’m ashamed I just don’t want to ask them. I can’t explain it. After I put it out in the ashtray, I told him to stop at the next open shop. I couldn’t last the whole night without any.
When I finally arrived, after I tipped the cab driver, even thought I hate cab drivers; they always smoke,even when you are trying to stop smoking, they still smoke, my friend’s sister opened. She was three years younger than us and was going to attend our school next year along with my brother. She was beautiful for her age and I bet you could have mistaken her for 16 or even 17 year old when she was only 14. I sat down next to her on the couch and lit a cigarette. My friend came with a bottle of 24 year old whiskey. He poured it into these coffee glasses. I did not like it really. Maybe it was because of the damn coffee glass I had to drink it from. Why the hell did he bring the expensive whiskey and the cheap coffee glasses? It makes no sense. Anyways , we did not have anything to do so we ordered food and downloaded a movie . The movie was called “Finding Forrester” . It was about this writer William Forrester that wrote a very successful novel and then got pissed at the world and started living incognito or something. This basketball Kid from the ghetto finds him and they start writing together. It sounds phony but it isn’t. It is really touching if you ask me. By the time it ended it was almost morning, the sky was starting to clear and the sun was showing from the mountain across. I fell asleep on the sofa. I cannot remember what happened with my friend, whether he fell asleep on the chair, or he went to his bed.

Othello Passage Analysis

Othello Analysis:Act II, Scene 3
Lines 280-310


CASSIO
Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!

IAGO
As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound. There is more sense in that than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving. You have lost no reputation at all unless you repute yourself such a loser. What, man, there are ways to recover the general again. You are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice, even so as one would beat his offenseless dog to affright an imperious lion. Sue to him again and he’s yours.

CASSIO
I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so
good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so
indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot?
and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse
fustian with one's own shadow? O thou invisible
spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by,
let us call thee devil!

The play “Othello,” written by Shakespeare in the beginning of the 17th century is a marvelous example of a piece of literature that has survived the test of time because it discusses many things that are relevant in the modern world as well as in Victorian England, such as love and prejudice. This particular passage brings up one of the important themes in the play, namely that of reputation, and through it reveals much about the two characters and about aspects of their personalities. Cassio is shown as someone who cares a lot about the norms and opinions of the society and can be dubbed ordinary and normal; he is devoted to fulfilling his duty and does not seem to have any personal goals or real individuality. Iago, on the other hand, is shown to have a completely different way of thinking: he is more intelligent, more far-sighted and somehow distant from the expectations of the society and the way it is structured; he also has a better comprehension about human nature.
Shakespeare has created an ambiguous portrait of Michael Cassio, who, even though brave and honest (values that are celebrated and upheld), is also portrayed as somewhat dull and unintelligent, his morals overwhelming everything else. His position as lieutenant of Othello is the most important thing for him; he has no real personal goals or strivings besides to fulfill his duty and uphold his reputation. From a modern point of view, this way of life is limited and narrow. When he loses this reputation, he feels that he is no longer human, that his life is futile and pointless without his service of his master and the latter’s benevolence: “I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial” (Act II, Scene 3, 280-310). This exaggeration points out to the somewhat abnormal way society is structured, as the servitude to someone else appears to hold the highest value for this character, who is otherwise honest and brave. The way Cassio reprimands himself in the next lines shows his powerful sense of guilt, but there is an important nuance in it. He feels guilty not so much because he himself has done wrong, even though he suffers because of his lost reputation, but because his actions have brought shame on his master: “I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so/good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so/indiscreet an officer” (Act II, Scene 3, 280-310 ). The lieutenant even tortures himself by graphically describing his condition of inebriation with all its embarrassing aspects. Michael Cassio, a person who is exemplary in the Venetian society, has little regard for his own personality and his own self; he identifies himself with his duty and with his duty only.
Iago, on the other hand, is quite the opposite character. Doubtlessly he is a primarily negative character and the villain in “Othello;” nevertheless, in this passage the reader can see that he is the voice of sanity, a person who has a deeper understanding of the society and the flaws in its structure. He advises Cassio to be reasonable, to think clearly and to perceive the fact that reputation is changeable and, after all, not so important: “Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving. You have lost no reputation at all unless you repute yourself such a loser” (Act II, Scene 3,280-310). Iago voices the idea that how one feels about himself is much more important than reputation and what the society thinks; not only this, but he makes a huge accusation on the very way society is structured: it is illogical, and many people can have merit even though they do not deserve it. In this way, he provides the reader with a completely different vantage point from which to view the Shakespearean world. It is ironic that the character who is infused with evil and who is supposed to be completely repulsive, his words only lies, speaks rationally and clearly. True, the purpose behind his words is to harm Cassio, but his actual speech is, in fact, true from a modern point of view. It is important to note the word “honest” as it is used by Iago: “As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound” (Act II, 280-310). In this context, it seems the word “honest” is meant to mean straightforward, simple, and without and hidden thought because Iago allegedly thinks that only material wounds matter. In other words, Cassio’s real trouble - losing his reputation - would be of little concern to Iago, who cares only about reality, facts, and material things.
In conclusion it can be said that this passage reveals much about Cassio and Iago, especially their attitude towards society. Cassio, even though a positive and amiable character, is shown to be limited in his perspective and to care too much about society’s opinion, whereas Iago, who is a villain, is revealed to be intelligent and adept at understanding the makings of the world. In this way, Shakespeare once again manages to create complex situations which are everything but black and white.

вторник, 13 октомври 2009 г.

Short Story

Snake in Disguise


Nick, the product of a family of lawyers, lived and studied in the capital city of Bulgaria. Having the privilege to study in a private school, surrounded by money and sophisticated people, he managed to grow bored with everything the world had to offer him pretty quickly. School was not of any great interest to him since he had no real motivation to succeed. He always knew that even if he failed his parents would just take care of things. The one thing he really valued was his friends: Jeremy and Peter. He spent every afternoon with them, doing all those things young teenagers do.
In his second year of High School, he flunked some subjects, more precisely mathematics and American literature, which he thought were of no importance and was forced to stay and study during the summer if he wanted to graduate. Consequently, his parents started putting too much pressure on him for bringing this shame to them, that their only son was a failure. Nick did not really care about what his parents had to say about the situation but went to school anyway. He was not alone though, he was grouped with a senior who flunked half his subjects also. This particular guy - Kevin, they called him Tooth because when he was in eighth grade, some guy accidentally tripped him in the school cafeteria and Kevin punched out all his teeth, he was bad news. There were rumors that he had been dealing drugs in school for a couple of months now.
After a couple of days, Nick heard that Jeremy and Peter were going to the seaside with a couple of girls for who knew how long. At first he did not care but when he finished summer school the next day and had nowhere to go, he felt abandoned. On the way home, he saw Kevin smoking on the bus station.
- Hey, Kevin.
- What's going on, man? - Casually asked Kevin and exhaled the cigarette smoke.
- Not much, wondering what to do. - replied Nick.
He glared with reluctance at Kevin and asked if he could bum a cigarette.
- It was my last one, want to smoke up instead? - proposed Kevin.
Nick was not really sure what Kevin meant but agreed anyways. They were on their way to Kevin's apartment which was not really far when he started realizing what they were about to do.
- Drugs? Really? - Nick asked with a trembling voice.
- What drugs? It's just pot, that’s not a drug. People don’t understand, relax.
They did what they went there to do and Kevin convinced Nick to stay the night in his apartment. On the next day, instead of going to summer school, they went to see Kevin's friends and saw them smoking. One of the guys there passed a cigarette with marijuana to Nick and he picked it up with great caution. He thought to himself: Nothing happened yesterday, what can happen now, and inhaled. He felt the same strange way he felt the day before and liked it.
Kevin and Nick grew close and skipped a whole week of school together, and experimented with different types of drugs each day. Jeremy and Peter had been back for a couple of hours from their vacation and called Nick. Nick got scared, he knew that they would not accept what he did the past week with Kevin and kept his mouth shut. They decided to go to the movies together. Jeremy and Peter waited for Nick at the city mall; they had brought their girlfriends with them. When Nick came, he saw them with their new girlfriends from the distance and felt unsecure. He decided not to go with them and sent a text message to Peter saying he got held after school. Nick called his "study buddy" and took a cab to meet him. Kevin said that they had to go and pick up something from a friend.
An hour later, he arrived in one of the shady neighborhoods of the city. Getting out of the cab, he saw Kevin and a couple of tall, large guys standing on the curb. It seemed like they were waiting for him.
- Hey, there. - Nick reluctantly saluted.
- Hello there, boy. Let's go - said the deep voiced gorilla.
Nick glanced at Kevin and noticed that his eye and jaw were swollen.
-Kev, what happened to you? - He asked.
The deep voiced gorilla slapped Nick across the face and told him to keep his mouth shut. They started walking toward Kevin's car. Kevin opened the trunk and threw a suitcase over to his so called friends. At that same moment, a police car stopped right behind them. Kevin quickly jumped in the driver's seat and his friends started running, leaving the suitcase on the ground. Nick tried to get into the car but he tripped. Kevin took off. The blood from Nick’s body quickly rushed into his head and prevented him from realizing the gravity of the situation. The policeman quickly found out that something was going on and ran toward the spot where the car was moments ago. He asked him what had happened but Nick did not say anything. That same instant, he glanced at the suitcase that was next to him. The policeman opened it and grinned. It was full with marijuana.
Nick was sentenced to accomplice in drug distribution, and ultimately got expelled from school due to obvious reasons. When Kevin was interrogated by the police, he stated that he never interacted with his classmate Nick before. Kevin's friends were nowhere to be found. Being behind bars, the young sophisticated boy from the private school had to cope with problems that were beyond his abilities. Unwilling to look at his parents and friends in the eyes, to explain what he had gotten himself into, he felt more alone than ever. Having all the time in the world, Nick contemplated his inevitable visitations in the unwelcoming atmosphere of his prison cell, being interrupted only by the distant but lucid laughter of the guards.

вторник, 6 октомври 2009 г.

Violence in Movies

It would not be an exaggeration to say that most of movie production lately depends entirely on the attractive force of movement. The problem is that dynamics and tension are not promoted by dramaturgy but from a mix of difficult situations and primitive arguments. Instead of reasonable human beings, on the screen appear gorillas whose brutal and aggressive logic inspire dark and semiconscious associations such as the ugly and sick.
The latter cut their foes’ necks with the ease that they light a cigarette with. Their callousness promotes violence like a model for behavior, instead of disgust and despise. It is obvious that the success of those movies is greatly supported by professional cruelness. By crowding the scenes with neurotically-worrying and sexually-cruel images producers and directors put a painful psychological burden on the viewer.
It is like all movie creators have decided to turn their backs on the universal necessity – art to be art. This does not mean that it should promote cheap and clichéd models of behavior. Art is a world of visions that deserve to be turned into reality. The stubborn attempts of people to reach into the core of their destiny while facing the unknown, their desire to achieve harmony and find the meaning of life have always been a goal of real art.
At the same time, the contemporary hero from the screen is too busy punching someone to take a peek into his own soul. Directors create a world of anarchy, chaos and disgust is created, a world in which the “others” are the enemies by definition – that is not real art. The power and extent of real art gives birth to ideas and feelings, recreates perfect moments - it does not create monsters.

вторник, 15 септември 2009 г.

Welcome to my Bloooog;)

Hey guys, this is my first attempt at creating a blog for all my friends. I am probably not doing a great job , or not yet at least. I am at my school's computer lab and unfortunately i do not have a lot of time left. It is my first school day of senior year, it has been pretty exciting so far. They mix the sections so you get new people in your section each year. Its almost like gambling either you get really lucky and you will have fun all year long with your friends , or you get stuck with some people you do not know . I saw my schedule after i got late to school today and stayed in the wrong English classroom for like twenty minutes until I figured out there was this other guy with the same first name as me. I met my new English teacher who kind of made me do this blog. At first I was skeptical , but to be honest it is really fun. Well, there it is - saved by the bell.

Vassil Stefanov