Vagrant Journalism

Published pieces from the past, the present and of the potential future.

Posts Tagged ‘litj101bw’

5 June 2007: “Recognition, Restoration, Reparation”

Posted by Christina on March 6, 2009

soad-araratThis was our final project for the Arts Criticism class. We were to focus on how art has a role in today’s society and, regardless of what form it took, how society perceived the art.

“Recognition, Restoration, Reparation”

“The history of the Armenian people is a story stained with tragedy, destruction and injustice-but, nevertheless, also a story of faith, perseverance, accomplishment and hope.”

– Governor of California, George Deukmejian, 1983-1991

The late-19th century and early-20th century was witness to atrocities occurring in and around the areas of historic Turkey and Armenia. The dictatorial triumvirate of the Three Pashas, Mehmed Talat Pasha, Ismail Enver and Ahmed Djemal revolted against then ruler Sultan Abdul Hamid II and orchestrated the events that lead up to the year when everything culminated in 1915. These members of the Young Turks, an organization believing in the reform of the Ottoman Empire’s current administration, went to extreme ends to get their point across. They dictated the details of the massacre, leaving a profound effect on the years of World War I.         

Historically, in 301 A.D., Armenia becomes the first nation to accept Christianity as a state religion. Traditions die hard in such a tight knit community of believes and Christianity had become more than just a tradition, it had become their way of life. To be persecuted for such an integral part of their Armenian heritage and identity lead many to believe that they would rather die and be forced to defy what made up a part of them as a whole. In their tirade of wanting ultimate rule, the main goal of the Three Pashas was to persecute the Armenians for their religious beliefs, tearing apart families for their Christianity and trying to separately brainwash the babies and youth they collected and orphaned into following the Muslim way. It was the first mark of the new century that showcased how important a religion was to a nation and how far they would go for their beliefs.

The lengths to which their Young Turk Revolution rattled against Hamid’s monarchy extended across the Caucasus. It was through these motions that placed The Young Turk movement into a position to develop a culture-oriented life for their surroundings, which they did by ways of stealing and conquering the culture around them. Rampant pillaging, plundering and raping of an entire nation of people could never amount to any sort of intellectual, artistic or political advancement. In fact, in the shadow of their actions, they remained in a state of decline that brought them to an even lower position culturally.

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8 May 2007: Book Review – Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Cries from the Lost Generation

Posted by Christina on March 5, 2009

gatsby-sunThis was a book review for the Arts Criticism class on Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Reviewing Fitzgerald and Hemingway: Cries from the Lost Generation

With characters that lead lives seemingly more listless than another’s, both Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby showcase a generation that feels lost amongst themselves after the toils of World War I have given their psyche and overall outlook on the world the once-over-twice. We find a collection of personas who have reached the peak of their youths and are tirelessly enjoying clinging on to the tail end of those dreams for as long as they can. Hemingway’s leading man, Jake Barnes, battles with a form of apathy for his surrounding, which renders him a listless wanderer in his own life, and the undeniable emotion of human nature, one which makes him cry himself to sleep sometimes. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald’s main character, Nick Carraway, finds himself perhaps uncomfortably displaced amongst the recklessness of this post-war generation lost amongst themselves and is haphazardly thrown into the thick of it. Where we may question whether either character consciously accepts their fate or not, we most definitely find a force of resistance may trump one over the other’s.

Both Hemingway and Fitzgerald found themselves in common company throughout their careers. Taking part of a movement in Paris that housed a certain “Lost Generation,” a group of writers began to really find themselves. This period marked a coming of age for many notable writers we revere today who, well into their lives already sequestered into their specific niches, realized a revamping of style and personal outlook was due during this time. Bumping elbows with the likes of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and T.S. Eliot, the influences of their mantras and schools of thought show up as themes that run deep with both The Sun Also Rises as well as with The Great Gatsby. Both characters reflect on a new peak in their lives that lead to a cathartic understanding and simultaneous shock at the way society has since developed after the war.

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24 April 2007: Movie Review – Children of Men

Posted by Christina on March 5, 2009

365863867_d3dd990ce6_oI took a Literary Journalism seminar called Arts Criticism where we basically honed our skills in writing about various forms of art. I was excited about this class because with the New U, I was essentially doing just that. There’s a difference, however, and by the end of this class I had not only honed my skill in arts criticism but it gave me a new way of approaching the writing I did for the New U.

Movie Review: Children of Men

Since our brains could grasp the concept of civics, we’ve been taught the trials and tribulations of governments gone awry. We all read the likes of 1984 and Animal Farm in high school, most likely, and learned about how societies crumble underneath a flawed rule. We also learned about rebellion and in going through each of our awkward teen years experienced our own form one way or another. Most importantly, we’ve watched through the symbolic gesture of all forms of art media what may befall societies that have been ripped apart and their rebellion against each form of the man.

More recently, we find these themes in films like V for Vendetta and perhaps even The Island where a utopian society has been driven apart by a government that was supposed to take care of them. In Children of Men, the idea of the failed supposed perfect society is revamped in a modern yet dilapidated version of Great Britain. The prospect of a new generation has been completely eradicated with a global infertility that has lasted for nearly two decades. Even with a society that has come as far as it has with technological advances and may have at one time held a positive outlook towards better living situations finds itself feeling as if the end of the world has already come. No one bothers with the streets and everyone leads a bleak life of nothingness and protesters feel rejected by their gods. This is where we experience a real post-apocalyptic world where the true meaning of the end of the world has arrived.

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8 December 2006: Last Night A Reefer Saved My Life – The Plight of the Cannabinoids

Posted by Christina on March 3, 2009


This paper I did for a class called Justice and Injustice where we were to write about some sort of injustice happening in the world. I wrote about the injustice received to small business owners, particular marijuana dispensaries because I liked to push the envelop as far as I could and to all kinds of edges. Here is yet another example.

Last Night A Reefer Saved My Life: The Plight of the Cannabinoids

“You know, the young people need to know the difference between drugs and medicine. Man makes drugs, in a laboratory. But medicine grows from the ground naturally. So there’s a big different between medicine and drugs. Watch out for the drugs.”

– Carlos Santana, Can’t Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945-2000

Adam Christopher Gingras enters his own house on a Friday night in the dead of summer with his arms high up in the air shouting, “I am unarmed and live here! I am coming in! Please, don’t shoot!” Four Orange County Sherriff Deputies have surrounded his house with their squad cars and are in his home with his three dogs.

“A car registered to this address was in a high speed pursuit this evening,” one curlicue says to him.

Gingras proceeds to explain how his fiancée had gotten into an accident with that car eight months ago. They were supposed to have their information taken off but the police traced the VIN number to the address they were at now. Now, Gringas, a medical marijuana patient and primary caregiver who knows more about the chemistry involved the each type of TCH chemical and what hormone they attach to than these self-proclaimed defenders of humanity’s rights and laws, is watching his plants get ripped from the roots and snipped at the bottom stalk by those same defenders.

“No, shut up, you can’t call your lawyer yet. Sit down,” snorts the curlicue.

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16 June 2006: “Destinations Where They’re Far More Suited Than Here”

Posted by Christina on March 2, 2009

mother-baby-motherchild74This was another piece done for a Literary Journalism class that focused on the aspect of basic creative writing when it came to a story. I took the approach of following a story that had already happened through research and interviews rather than stand alongside a story that was happening while the class was working on their respective assignments. My unconventional approach, while different than the rest of the class’s, was not incorrect but wasn’t very mainstream either.

I followed the story of a close family friend who had experienced trauma in her family life and while she has managed to take each day as it came, it effected her and the future of her remaining family deeply. However, this is her story of survival more than anything else.

“Destinations Where They’re Far More Suited Than Here”

Chances are, most ancestors of today’s first generation took that trip across the Atlantic, ended up in Ellis Island with pennies in their grandmother-mended pockets, woolen socks on their travel-weary feet and some home-spun hat on their racked heads. War and poverty tore people from their homelands, made them yearn for the stories of gold-laden streets with an abundance of opportunity.

Beirut, Lebanon was one such place. Where the late-1960s and early-1970s produced a war-torn country, citizens disenchanted with their homeland and most parents of today’s American-born generation waiting for the first chance to get out. Families sent their children away to free them from the burdens of a dilapidated government, thrust them in the face of opportunity. This usually meant the United States.

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