I Wasn’t Gone That Long: Updates, Favorites From 252, The Renaissance, and The American Analog Set.

But just for a brief period, all work blog related went into my ENG252 blog site, and naturally before that the ENG251 blog site. But alas, here we are again. Home page. Wanted to get a few currents and the going’s on for me: May 4th 2018: finished Western Civilizations class with the final test today. Did well, enjoyed the class. In this class specifically, we covered the time period beginning with the Renaissance(which I now Love, incidentally) and ending in current times. Loved Caravaggio, Jan Vermeer…Louis XIV, The Courtier. This was my first opportunity to delve into the Renaissance and the Reformation, The Enlightenment, a constantly changing and shifting Europe….power grabs and endless conflict over religion, the birth of a new nation, the United States, and its ultimate rise to the most powerful nation in the world. In our last presentation, the question was asked: Are we seeing the end of Western Civilization? In ways, yes. Some would argue that decline started in 1914, and didn’t ease up until 1991 or so….some say it was just after the Spanish American War ended in August of 1898, when America got the taste of Imperialism. Did capitalism play a role? How about the rise of non-western countries, like China, or India?Was Oswald Spangler correct? Let’s take a look at what one could assume to be definite factors of a declining power:
1.) declining birth rates.
2.) stagnant economics
3.) expensive, futile warfare
4.)  loss of western ethics, morality
5.) declining culture, decadence

I had a great Literature class this semester(with one of my favorite Professors, mind you). Before our first class meeting I snuck a peek at the readings list for the semester, and what do I find that is first on the list: An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. And, to be completely honest, the whole reading list stayed on par with Bierce, at some points topping him. Short story recommendation: The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte. I can not truly explain why this story moved me as it did. There are many more, I could list them all, but no. I will list some of the authors that have asserted themselves into literary importance to this author in the last two semesters: Flannery O’Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, Zora Neal Hurston, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Kate Chopin, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Willa Cather(A Wagner Matinee is amazing), Eudora Welty, Crevecour, Phyllis Wheatley, Whitman, Poe, and Jack London.
Seems my soul is searching for some Americana, deadpan style alternative music. Lately, I am in love with American Analog Set, Warpaint, Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile, Wilco, Pinback, Beach Fossils, Interpol…..
Big Math final Monday. Another semester down.

~keep up the struggle

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