Why Democracy?

Originally published 11/12/2016. Lead image from Aaron Kittredge via Pexels.com. Why We Should Be Thankful for Democracy A bad president, elected by the majority of voting citizens, and political gridlock. These two phrases are enough for some to doubt the ideology that everyone should be allowed to vote or that a leader should be chosen … More Why Democracy?

The 5 Story Elements that Hook Me

I’ve been giving some thought lately to why I enjoy the books/shows movies that I do. Because in some cases, the media I consume is popularly considered to be good, and sometimes it’s popularly considered to be bad. And in many other cases, there is something that captures the hearts and minds of my friends and millions of other people in my demographic, but just don’t do it for me. 

So I think I’ve finally found the five things that make or break a story for me. As far as I can tell, a book/show/movie/play/story only needs one of these elements to appeal to me in order to get me hooked.  … More The 5 Story Elements that Hook Me

Should you solve relationship problems with gifts?

So who is right in this situation? Can we ever reach an agreement if everyone in a relationship is either on one side or the other, and therefore will always be biased?

No matter who is at fault, if a couple cannot talk out their problems like mature adults, no matter how small or how petty, one of them needs to leave. … More Should you solve relationship problems with gifts?

On Symbolism, Part 4: Digging Deeper

So from that quick class analysis, we learned that… Shakespeare was Christian. Seriously, we did not go any farther on this topic other than to say that the handkerchief symbolized the Garden of Eden. That’s it. Nothing more. No questioning the human subliminal or why it’s the “forbidden fruit” and not the “forbidden meat.” We identified the alleged symbol (since it’s Shakespeare, I give it 50/50 chance of being intentional), and then we moved on to look for the next. … More On Symbolism, Part 4: Digging Deeper

On Symbolism, Part 2: What is a Symbol?

One of the biggest downsides to how symbolism is taught in English class is that it gives students the wrong idea of what symbolism is. By graduation, students are split into two camps: one camp where all symbolism is a myth made up by academics and another camp where the blue-curtain brand of symbolism is sacred.

Symbolism is a real thing, but its name has been so warped by public English classrooms that I’m more tempted to call it something like “associative meaning,” “connotation,” or “object emotion.” But the most basic definition of a symbol is something that has meaning beyond what it is in a literal sense. The key here is that the meaning has to be understood in order to be an effective symbol, even if that understanding is subconscious.

In other words: people don’t need to be taught how to find symbolism. If it’s an effective symbol, then the intended audience should register on some level that the symbol is important. Symbolism analysis, then, should focus on articulating the feelings that one already experiences when coming across a symbol, not digging to find made-up symbols. … More On Symbolism, Part 2: What is a Symbol?