Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Little Satire for You...

Note: This is an attempt at a humorous/satirical article. My aim is to poke fun at my generation and how seriously we take ourselves. I realize that I am guilty of many of these charges, and I also realize that not every single young person acts in these ways. I have only observed these characteristics in a number of my peers and would like to call attention to them in what I hope ends up as a humorous yet convicting essay. Also, for clarity, I would like to note that these are the words of one person—sort of a dramatic monologue, leaving the reader to infer what is being said between the statements of the Millennial.  

A Completely Serious Article: Or, a Conversation with a Millennial.
Are Millennials cynical?
We’re not cynical. No, we’re not cynical at all. We’re not sarcastic, either. Does that answer your question? No? Well, let me spell it out: we are probably the most sarcastically fluent generation there has ever been, and we are extremely talented at being apathetic and cynical. Is that better?
Well, you kind of interrupted me while I was trying to update Facebook. I had this brilliant status in my head, and then you came up to me, and now it’s gone. Thanks, man.
No, it’s fine, I’ll just get back on later. Right after I check Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest. Maybe after that I’ll see what’s on Netflix…
Uh, sure, I’ve got a minute. What’s up?
Millennials—yeah, I guess that’s what they’re calling us. They say we could be one of the greatest generations yet. But I’m not sure about that. I mean, everyone is stupid, man. Except for me and my friends. Oh, you should meet them, they’re hilarious! And brilliant, too. There’s one guy who I swear is the next Einstein. I’m pretty sure he’ll invent something really awesome…someday. After he lays off the drugs. On second thought, maybe I’m the only one who really knows anything.  
I have a ton of great ideas, you know. Sometimes I lie awake and think about all the things that are wrong about the world and how I would fix them if I could. But I never write them down, and then in the morning they’re gone, but I know they were awesome ideas when I thought of them. And anyway, when I think about that stuff, most of the time I just get depressed because I’ll never be famous enough to get my ideas out there.
Oh, I know everyone’s a celebrity these days. I mean, I guess I could be famous, if only someone would discover me. You know, I am a really awesome person. There are so many unique things about me. Like, get this: I totally dig obscure coffee shops and plastic mustaches and old baggy t-shirts and bands that nobody’s ever heard of. Sometimes I even wear glasses—and I don’t even need them! My vision’s 20/20! They should probably make a movie about me. I’d go see it.
…what was that? Sorry, I was just checking Twitter. What were you saying?
No, I’m not much into reading, I guess. If it’s longer than a hundred and forty characters, I probably won’t pay attention. And forget reading books. I don’t even download electronic ones on my tablet anymore. I tried that once. What a waste of seven dollars.
Newspapers? They still make those? I thought everything was on the Internet these days. …Well, no, I don’t read them, obviously. The only people who read those actually need the glasses they wear. Trust me: one of these days, the printing press will be obsolete—in fact, I’d say it already is! Everything is on the Internet anyway. No one needs to pay to kill a tree just so they can have a book to hold when it’s way easier to just get it online. It’s the way of the future, people. The way of the future…
What? Yeah, I’m totally normal! I’m just like anybody else, you know. I like hanging out with my friends and going to movies and stuff. I post pictures on the Internet all the time. I’ve got all the social media accounts, like any self-respecting person has. And I’ve got an app for all of them on my smartphone, plus a ton of games. I probably spend more time on my smartphone than I do with living, breathing human beings.
Why should I be worried about that?

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Paper!

Today's post is a pretty lengthy one, but I just had to share this paper that I wrote, because its topic is one of my favorite television shows: BBC's Sherlock! Yup, I'm a fangirl. Seriously though, it's fantastic show. Perhaps my essay will inspire you to watch it...

Deducing the Success of Sherlock
             If any nation’s television shows could be considered fresh and artful, surely the prize would go to Britain. Shows such as Doctor Who and Downton Abbey, as seen on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), have become immensely popular because of their originality and cleverness and have attracted millions of viewers. A newer BBC series is no exception. To say it has enjoyed enormous success would be, as its main character would say, “elementary.” From the creators of Doctor Who has come a modernized version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved mystery stories known simply as Sherlock.
            Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, writers for Doctor Who, were on a train en route to a Doctor production set when they began discussing Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes mystery A Study in Scarlet. It was then that they decided to create a modern adaptation of Conan Doyle’s tales. Both men being aficionados of the original Holmes books, Moffat and Gatiss desired to remain true to the character of Sherlock Holmes while imagining how Holmes would operate in modern day Britain. They base their episodes on classic Conan Doyle stories—some lesser known than others—but add twenty-first-century twists such as modern technology. Their Sherlock can be found using his cell phone to cross-reference information, updating his website from his laptop, or studying a piece of evidence with a microscope. They believe this is consistent with the original character, since Conan Doyle’s Holmes was known to use any tool he could in order to gather information. In their version, Holmes’s partner, Dr. John Watson, also makes use of popular technology, keeping a blog in which he recounts the cases they solve together for the general public to read.
            Some of the iconic elements from the original stories have been implemented in the new show, including the famed address 221B Baker Street. Holmes’s archenemy, James Moriarty, also makes several appearances throughout the series. Conan Doyle wrote that Watson was a veteran of the Second Anglo-Afghan War; Moffat and Gatiss portray him as having served during the present war in Afghanistan. Even Holmes’s implied lover, Irene Adler, is featured in one episode. Other characteristic features include the particular styles of clothing worn by the actors (the iconic “Sherlock Holmes” look consisting of a deerstalker hat and inverness coat) and the landlady of 221B Baker Street, Mrs. Hudson.
            When casting the character of Holmes, the creators could imagine only one man portraying him: Benedict Cumberbatch. Though he is not considered an extremely attractive man by popular standards, Cumberbatch’s appearance is strangely intriguing, much like his character, whom Conan Doyle described as being very tall and having eyes that pierced. His charisma lends itself to his role even further. Cumberbatch portrays a very eccentric Holmes who spends much time lying on his couch or composing music on his violin, but can often solve cases without even leaving his flat. As Conan Doyle described, Holmes was a man who could not let his mind be still, and Cumberbatch depicts this quite accurately. With his quick speech and even faster mind, the audience can hardly keep up—sometimes cannot keep up at all—leaving them in awe at the situations he untangles. Cumberbatch makes a very believable Holmes and has even been called the greatest Holmes actor yet.
            Finding a suitable Dr. John Watson for Cumberbatch’s Holmes proved to be slightly more of a challenge. Many actors vied for the role, but with Cumberbatch playing Holmes, there needed to be excellent chemistry between him and the man who would play Watson; not just anyone would do. Martin Freeman eventually received the role of Watson, and for good reason. He provides a brilliant foil for Cumberbatch’s character, and vice versa—the two actors have obvious chemistry and work very well together, bouncing off one another effortlessly. Freeman’s Watson is an ordinary yet smart man next to Holmes, making him relatable to the audience while simultaneously showing Sherlock that perhaps not all people are the complete oafs he thinks they are. Freeman portrays a level-headed Watson who sometimes acts as Holmes’s moral compass, as Holmes is somewhat of a sociopath and does not always think about the effects his actions have on others. But Freeman’s Watson is by no means static. His character grows and deepens throughout the series as their adventures transpire, endearing him more to the audience as well as to the great Holmes himself.

            Gatiss and Moffat’s interpretation of the great Victorian detective has delighted television viewers the world over, and the superb acting and chemistry between Cumberbatch and Freeman only adds to the integrity and likeability of the show. Even purist Conan Doyle fans can enjoy this modern take on the classic cases of Sherlock Holmes since the creators and actors stay so true to the stories and the characters themselves. Hardly a negative word can be said about the series, which has received almost totally positive critical acclaim as well as several distinguished awards. Conan Doyle once wrote a line in which Holmes says, “There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before.” Although it may be true that BBC’s adaptation of the classic mysteries is not the first, it can definitely be said that it is a fresh way of looking at those stories, and perhaps even the best interpretation of the characters yet.

...and there you have it! Have you ever seen Sherlock? What do you think of it? 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sentence Revision Time!

Last semester, my writing professor gave us an exercise. We were to write 5 descriptive sentences, 5 how-to sentences, and 5 narrative sentences, and then go back and revise them. It was fun! Here's what I came up with:

5 Descriptive Sentences:
1.      The walk from my room to class was, in a word, miserable.
2.      Even through my bedroom window I could see it would be, as there was freezing rain falling.
3.      As soon as I stepped out into the gray morning the downpour pelted my face, forcing me to stare at my feet as I tramped quickly though fresh puddles to the classroom building.
4.      The wind didn’t help matters much, biting my nose and cheeks and hands.
5.      As I clenched my fists and shoved them into the pockets of my steel-colored coat, I wished nothing more than to be back in my soft, warm bed, but I walked on, knowing I had gone too far to turn back.

            I knew the walk from my room to class would be miserable as soon as I saw the freezing rain outside my bedroom window. When I finally stepped out into the gray morning, the downpour pelted my bare face, forcing me to stare at my feet as I splashed through newly formed puddles to the classroom building. The wind didn’t help matters much, biting my nose and cheeks and hands, and as I shoved my clenched fists into the pockets of my steel-colored coat, I wished nothing more than to be back in my cozy bed, but I walked on, knowing I had come too far to turn back now.

5 Narrative Sentences:
1.      “Wait! Wait!” Lucy shouted as she ran after the big yellow school bus.
2.      But the red brake lights never lit up.
3.      Lucy sighed as she watched the bus drive away without her.
4.      Late again, she thought.
5.      She would have to explain to Mrs. Marcus why she was late for the fifth time, and this time, there was no excuse.

            “Wait! Wait!” Lucy shouted as she ran after the big yellow school bus. But the bright red brake lights never lit up, and she sighed as she watched the bus drive away without her. Lucy was late again, and now she would have to explain to Mrs. Marcus why she was late for the fifth time, and this time, there was no excuse.

5 How-To Sentences:
How to Bathe a Cat
1.      When you want to bathe your cat, you will first need to acquire dish soap and towels (which will probably end up being unnecessary).
2.      Next, proceed to chase your cat around your home.
3.      Eventually, you may capture your cat.
4.      In the event that you do, place the cat in water.
5.      Finally, you  will garner countless scratches on your face and arms and then proceed to let the cat go free, wet fur and all.

          When attempting to bathe a cat, first acquire unnecessary items such as dish soap, a water source, a tub, and towels, and then proceed to chase the cat until it is caught. Next, try to place the cat in the tub of water and garner numerous scratches. Finally, give up and set the cat free, wet fur and all. 

...well, that's that! Why don't you give it a try?

A Little Poem

Here it goes--my first post with actual writing! 
An Attempt to Write a Romantic Poem 
I wanted to write a poem for you
But it turns out
I’m not all that good
At writing.
I wanted to write something
Simultaneously sweet
And clever
Something that would make you
And cry…

But it turns out
I’m not all that good
At writing.
So I’ll just say that
I love you
And if I could write a verse to express
My feelings for you
You would probably ask
For a restraining order
Because we’ve never met
But I like you…
Very much.

(*Insert heavy amounts of creepy stalker vibe*)

A wild blog appears!

Jessica Darnell, here, coming to you LIVE from Tulsa, USA. 
I was told recently that I should start a blog. For some strange reason, I have decided to embark on that endeavor. As I've never kept up a blog before, I'd like to start out with something simple: just a few old writings of mine from my first two years at college. Perhaps eventually I'll get to writing other types of posts...maybe I'll even talk about my life (gasp!). Of course, it's up to you, dear reader, to decide whether or not this silly blog is even worth keeping up. And I'm counting on you to share your thoughts! But I digress. I simply wanted to introduce myself to the blogging world, and now that it's out there, I'm going to post my pieces, sit back, and wait for whatever the Internet throws at me (be it pie, tomatoes, or maybe--just maybe!--encouragement).