Writing Prompt: If I had to go…

I honestly do not know. It really is not a thing I have ever thought about, and initially I just thought of the least painful way to do it. A guaranteed but painless method. However, I just now realized that it is wrong- you should never just ‘disappear’. There is nothing more sad than that. So instead I thought to my self: How do I do it in a manner which celebrate the life i lived? And then I got the perfect idea!

I will never slip away without doing any good or fight for what I believe in. If I would have to do it, I would probably lock myself up in a room with only a computer. No food, no water. I would not be allowed to talk to anyone, not in person nor on the internet, and then I would just write. Until I died. Write the story of my life (not about it, though). That is how I would do it; literally pour my life into my last work.

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Writing Promt: Last Summer Everybody ….

It happened last year. I remember it so clearly.  I was walking around the mall, enjoying the the air-condition and doing some shopping, when I entered a random store. I do not even remember what they were selling, I only remember the sound. Or rather songThat song. Playing again, just high enough so I could hear it and get annoyed but to low for others to notice.

Quickly I left the shop. Actually I gave up completely and went home.

I do not know what I thought. Maybe that i possibly could not follow me all the way home? Nevertheless, as soon as i entered the kitchen I caught the sound. At very low volume, so it was hard to be completely sure. I refused to believe it until my mother abruptly yelled: “Oh, I love that song!” and cranked up the volume so I almost got blown straight out the door.

Absolutely horrified I turned around and fled the kitchen and went outside to my father’s workshop. Believing that I was finally safe, I sat down on an old barrel and watched him repair his vintage motorcycle.

“Eh, you hear that?” he suddenly said.

I looked up at him, not knowing what he was talking about, and shook my head.

With a grunt he got up and walked over to the broken radio in the corner of the shop. Confused I watched him. It had not been working for years- what was he doing with it?

He lowered himself and started fiddling with the machine, when suddenly music blasted out of the speakers. I nearly had a heart attack and felt my heart falling into the acidic pits in my stomach.

That song.

I almost screamed, got up and and ran to my room, desperately plugging in my earphones. Finally I could relax and manage the music myself.

I took in a deep breath and lied back on my bed. After a couple of songs the music stopped playing and an add came on.

I froze.

An add for that song.

 

 

Writing Prompt: Music


“Music is the strongest form of magic.”

-Marilyn Manson


It is true. Music is really a rare, powerful form of magic. It has the ability to turn your whole world upside down, to remove the sadness from a long, hard day, or to even strengthen that sadness and truly let your feelings spill out. As humans we are complicated, fragile beings. Sometimes words are simply not enough to express what we feel and think, but through sound and music it is suddenly possible to come out with all the voices of the world. Music is the magic keyword which opens up for everything you try to keep hidden and lets you combine and connect in communities with other people who think like you. It enables us to face the reality of our own world, because we now know that there are like-minded people out there.

From my own experience I can only nod and agree to Manson’s words. I think we have all tried it before: being in a certain mood, most likely a bad one, but then suddenly your favorite song comes on. The beat is just right and the sound makes your heart flutter in excitement, and before you know of it you are laughing and singing and dancing. That is the kind of power music has- no, not only the magic of the music itself, but there is a fairy tale-like  aura surrounding the artist and the fan base. Being a part of that can truly save lives.

Death Cab for Cutie, a Song to Love!

Death Cab for Cutie, originally founded in 1997 and releasing their first full album in 1998, is a band consisting of four members: Ben Gibbard as the vocalist, Chris Walla, who is the lead guitarist, Nick Harmer on bass, and Nathan Good as the drummer. Together they form this alternative rock band. Alternative is a nice word, because it is difficult to put one label on them. They are not so big in the music picture, at least not amongst the young, but after listening to some of their music I must admit that I think it is a shame.

Their sound is not bound by one category but can easily fit into a lot of different ones, however this also means that their music is not always the same, so you will maybe experience only liking some of the songs on their album, but that is just how it is with this kind of freedom. This is especially evident in their song “Black Sun”, released on 26th of January, 2015, as the lead single on their new album Kintsugi. The song starts out with a very prominent guitar sound, which actually follows it all the way through. This gives life to a captivating sound, almost funky. The vocalist, Ben Gibbard, contributes to this perfectly with his clear, emotional voice. Somehow he manages to almost act out the lyrics with only his voice, specifically in the line “When this black sun revolved around you!”. The way he sometimes drags out either the words or the space in between creates a loaded atmosphere which really gives you the opportunity to feel and revel in his deep vocals.

Listening to this song gives you a feeling of justice and revenge. You can almost imagine how you stand on a deserted field, finally telling someone the truth and once again ceasing new hope. This is also emphasized in the lyric, “and there’s a song yet to be sung.” The clean guitar sound is broken once in the last third of the song, where you suddenly are thrown a bit off guard, but instead of breaking the buildup atmosphere I feel like it only further pushes you out into space.

Surprisingly I actually really enjoy this song. Both the depth of the lyrics and how the instruments harmonize with the front singer’s voice creates a feeling that you have just overpowered some great force. It is nothing like most of the music we hear today, much less mechanical and processed. The song is in a category all on its own, perfectly fitting into the before mentioned alternative box. There it rests with other artists such as Panic! at the Disco, which is also an alternative rock band. The front singer of Panic!, Brendon Urie, has a voice which reminds me a bit of Ben Gibbard’s. They both sing with such passion and fineness, so after checking Death Cab for Cutie out, definitely try and give Panic! at the Disco a go.

Based upon all of this, I have decided to give this single 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is solely based upon this one song. Overall I really want to praise it, because I truly find it captivating, however I still had to listen to it a couple of times before really falling in love, and I sometimes find it a bit uniform, as they more or less repeat the same instrumentals. If you are a fan of a clean, distinct sound with vibes of funk, pop and rock, and a passionate voice, this song, and maybe even this band, if definitely something for you.

Characterization: Marcus Strang’s Theme Song

 

Black Sun

Death Cab for Cutie

 

There is whisky in the water
And there is death upon the vine
There is fear in the eyes of your father
And there is “Yours” and there is “Mine”
There is a desert veiled in pavement
And there’s a city of seven hills
And all our debris flows to the ocean
To meet again, I hope it will

How could something so fair
Be so cruel
When this black sun revolved
Around you!

There is an answer in a question
And there is hope within despair
And there is beauty in a failure,
And there are depths beyond compare
There is a role of a lifetime
And there’s a song yet to be sung
And there’s a dumpster in the driveway
Of all the plans that came undone

(Not all of the lyrics included)

 

I have chosen Death Cab for Cutie’s song Black Sun because the song reflects the role of the FBI-agent. Listening to this song is gives you a sense of seriousness, also taking into consideration the lyrics. The lyrics sound like something fit for a thriller while it still has a cheery undertone to it because of the melody. This is why I think it fits perfectly. While Strang is a serious element in the story he still breaks out from that role by doing something unconventionally. For example, on page 167, the 2 last lines: “P.S.: We all love your TEDTalk. I’d love to see the latest on Samantha 2 if time permits.”. Here he breaks the serious atmosphere around himself after an important message, a little like the song talks about “How something so fair, be so cruel” while right after it continue with talking about songs yet to be sung and the beauty of failure. The song itself is a bit contradicting, just like how we would imagine a FBI-agent and how Strang acts. In the first verse there is also the line “There is ‘yours’ and there is ‘mine’”, which reminds me of how Strang decides to leave as soon as the intervention begins, page 201, line 7-8: “AGENT STRANG: if this has all of sudden turned into an intervention, that’s not really my thing.”

Who the heck are these people?!?

Bernadette: Bee’s mom, earlier architect, does NOT like people

Bee: The teller of the story (though she does not seem to be the protagonist?), 15 years old, heart problem, small for her age

Elgin: Bees father and Bernadette’s husband, works for Microsoft, seems as he tries to help Bernadette

Manjula Kapoor: Bernadette’s virtual assistant, lives in India

Ollie-O: Yeah, this guy ….

Audrey Griffin: Known as ‘gnat’, their neighbor, really doesn’t like Bernadette

Tom: The blackberry guy

Soo-Lin Lee-Segal: One of Audrey’s friends, works also at Microsoft (admin in Elgin’s department)

Ms. Goodyear: A part of the school community

Bruce Jessup: Dean of admissions at Choate

Hillary Loundes: Director of studies at Choate

Jacob Raymond: Guy who sees and recognizes Bernadette

Dr. Janelle Kurtz: Shrink (Elgin writes to her concerning Bernadette)

Paul Jellinek: Professor of architecture at USC, the one Jacob wrote to (worked together with Bernadette when she was an architect)

Setting

Setting plays an important part in every book, especially in Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

For example, the family lives in an old, rundown building. This is a perfect picture of how this family functions: the constantly have to patch together holes, in some cases actual holes in the roof, but also holes in how the act towards each other and the characters around them. Generally the family seems to act more around rather towards each other. This also goes for the location of the home. It is placed on a 12000 square meter hillside with the house placed in the center. This is a perfect picture of how the mother, Bernadette, is as a person. She is distant towards other and she herself is broken drown. So what we can determine is really that the home is Bernadette.

Another Personal Response


“Riding the crest of globalization and technology, English dominates the world as no other language ever has, and some linguists now say it may never be dethroned as the king of languages”.


It is true that English does rule, however I am not sure if I agree with the quote. Tendencies right now depicts a world where the count of people with English as their first language is drastically falling. However, the number of people speaking it as their second language is raising. This leads to the fact that more and more people becomes bi-, and even multi-, lingual. It does not really make sense that English will stay as the king of languages if there is another language which more people have in common.

As mentioned before, more and more people speak two or more languages. In countries like Denmark it is not unusual that people actually speak three languages; Danish, English and German. However if you descent from another country, like Arabia or Russia, it is not uncommon to also speak that as a mother tongue. As we learn more and more languages it might not even be necessary to have a common international language.

So in conclusion, judging by how the world looks now, English is already on it’s way to dethroning, as more people speak several languages. On the other hand, it is very difficult to guess the future, and English might as well stay on the throne, just for a little while longer.

Motivating a New Generation

“The key to revitalizing a language is by motivating a new generation of speakers.”

To revive a language is definitely a difficult task, in some cases maybe even impossible, but I must admit that I agree with this quote. If we want to save a lost, or almost lost, language, we have to turn to the youth. Take for example the native inhabitants of the US. They once had their own language, not to mention their own culture, until the Brits arrived and forced their language and customs on the Natives. Today almost no descendants of the Native Americans speak their mother tongue. However, if we want to revive the language, I also believe we have to bring life back to the culture surrounding the language. It will make no difference to teach the new generation a language if they do not have a reason for using it.

So revitalizing a language is not just revitalizing the words, but the meaning behind them. I do understand why some people chose to abandon their mother tongue. If no on else is even able to understand it, it makes no sense to keep talking it. Which is exactly why, if we want to save the languages, we have to not only motivate the descendants of the native speakers but also outsiders. Again with the example in the US. Teaching the Natives is not enough if we want to encourage them to speak it. We have to encourage as many as possible.