File:Will r.jpg My name is Will Richer. Originally from West Des Moines, IA with a stop in Las Vegas, I am currently a senior student in the Game Art Design Program at The Art Institute, Seattle. I am serving my internship with Surreal Software!
I picked my favorite poet to imitate, Shel Silverstein. I’ve enjoyed his work both as a child and as an adult. He was a significant artistic influence in my life. As a child, I noticed his ability to do many artistic things at once. I thought it was so great that he wrote poetry and drew pictures and even played the guitar. He made it okay for me to become an artist. Even the picture of Shel on the back of “Where the Sidewalk Ends” made a lasting impression of someone who did not take themselves too seriously and was able to get down to my level and take his shoes off and have fun with art. The carefree, comfortable freedom of creativity. I remember hoping to grow up just like him. Now, as an adult, I find just as much joy reading his poems to my children and experiencing the newness and wonder of his talent all over again. Poems like “Hat” and “Warning” and, of course, “The Edge of the World” are family favorites shared and inspiring my children to think creatively and express those little thoughts and observations, no matter how simple or seemingly silly. To be honest, I had forgotten what an influence he had made on me until I wrote Zombie Cat. As I read my favorite poems, I realized that ten year old Will would be proud of the artist I became. Thank you, Mr. Silverstein.
The song “My Way” is a song that helped define two distinctly different artists; Frank Sinatra and Syd Vicious. It is a song about a man reflecting on his life. He has no regret for how he lived saying that until the end he did it his way. These two artists were completely different from their styles to the messages they sent to the world. While they sang this song, they were as much the same as they were different. Syd Vicious and Frank Sinatra’s performances of “My Way” are strikingly similar but distinctively different lyrically, artistically, and through their performances.
Lyrically, theses two renditions are different because Frank Sinatra could be considered classy and boastful while Syd Vicious’ lyrical changes included poor grammar and profanity. Frank’s version was well written and rehearsed in contrast to Syd’s obvious improvised performance. Also, Frank Sinatra describes overcoming obstacles to achieve success “my way” while Syd Vicious is less interested in success at all as long as he does it “my way”.
There are also several similarities in these two different interpretations. First, they both use the same chorus in each verse. When you analyze the written structure of both songs it reads more like poetry then song verse ending each paragraph or verse with “I did it my way“. Both deliver a message of true non conformity and independence from social norms. When you look at either rendition, it is clear that each is about a man alone facing the world.
As an artist, Frank Sinatra was elegant. He represented a classy, civilized time. A man’s man, women wanted him and men wanted to be him. Artistically, he represented the American Dream. Syd Vicious, on the other hand, was a punk, a non conformist. He represented everything the American Dream feared and, in fact, mocked at the American Dream with this performance.
Artistic similarities shared between Syd and Frank includes the fact that they were both band leaders. Being a style icon is a surprising similarity shared by both artists. Fans wore what they wore because they were wearing it. Mostly, it is clear that, artistically, both of these performances are timeless. Each performance was relevant at the time and still relevant today.
The differences in performance of these two songs are the biggest contrast of all. Frank Sinatra sang in arenas to thousands of fans and Syd sang in small clubs and bars. Frank wore expensive suits and Syd wore punked out thrift store garb. However, in these two very different ways, both artists were alone on stage, inspiring fans world wide.
In conclusion If I were to ask you what Sid Vicious and Frank Sinatra had in common you would probably tell me the were both musicians. To this I would respond they were both artists struggling to be Individuals Syd Vicious and Frank Sinatra’s performances of “My Way” are strikingly similar but distinctively different lyrically, artistically, and through their performances.
It was the fifteenth of May in the Emerald City. It was called the Emerald City in honor of the millions and millions of beautiful, mature, and wise evergreens that shaped the land. So many trees, in fact, that the Emerald City was obvious from far into outer space. For the humans that inhabited the Emerald City, the fifteenth was no more than the middle of the month. Just another day on the calendar, but for trees, this day meant something magical. The fifteenth of May was the most sacred of days. For a sapling sprouted on this day was given the gift of a wish on their 100th birthday. The humans of the city were foresters. They were builders and industry flourished and the humans grew rich from the abundant harvests of the trees. Patch after patch the Earth became bare from the greed and growth of the humans. Since the humans were so very much younger than their neighbors, the trees, they were grossly unaware of the devastation they were creating and the effects their appetites were having on the trees around them. It wasn’t their fault, really. Their ears could not hear the voices of the forest. And so it was, in the Emerald City, a sapling emerged on this most sacred of tree days. He was given the name Oakenfeld and was referred to as a chosen brother among the forest. Oakenfeld was proud to be chosen. He grew tall and wide and his roots were deep and nourishing to the Earth around him. He spent many of his days pondering his wish and dreamed of many things that could make him happy. He could be more beautiful. He could be taller than any evergreen and breathe the highest air only enjoyed by the oldest and wisest of his brothers and sisters. Oakenfeld spent much time discussing possible wishes with the other trees. “Oakenfeld, you are chosen. You must know the responsibility that is placed on your limbs” advised many of the trees in his forest. This was a big responsibility. Even for such a great and strong tree, Oakenfeld wanted more. The hundred years passed quickly and the Emerald City continued to grow. The forest continued to shrink around the city. The humans harvested more and more trees. They contaminated the water and the air that made the forest so lush and resilient. Oakenfeld watched many brothers and sisters get sick or harvested by the humans of Emerald City. Confident in what he must do, Oakenfeld had decided at last how he must spend his wish. To stop the humans from destroying his self, he decided that he would wish to live forever. He wished to be stronger than the human axe. He wished he would never rot or burn. Slowly, Oakenfeld began to feel cold. His roots became like ice deep in the ground. A chill spread about him. Creeping like moss growing slowly about him, the cold grew. His branches slowly stiffened and the leaves that made him proudest of all, fluttered away in the breeze. The air stopped whistling through him and a new sound was heard. It was iron. As the organic woodsy bark slowly fell away like the snowflakes, a shiny, metal, inside shone in the sun. Oakenfeld had transformed. Today, Oakenfeld stands still. No moving, no growing, but teaching, reminding. Oakenfeld lives forever reminding the humans to consider the neighbors of Emerald City.
It was a typical, sunny, and exceedingly hot summer Sunday in Las Vegas. I was five years old, riding comfortably in the front seat between my parents. There weren’t seat belt laws and child car seats in 1975. As we drove I was taken to wondering about the many mysteries and magical moments of life and I began to sing some of the children’s songs from church earlier that day. “Home can be a heaven on Earth”, I sang. Then it hit me. I was worried.
“Daddy”, I questioned. “What’s heaven like”? “How come some people are Mormon and some people aren’t “? And the following conversation has never left me. I can’t remember word for word, but the points are clear and, now, when I feel lost on my road, I remember this moment, and am comforted.
“Well, Darlin’”, calling me Darlin’ has always made me listen. “What’s your favorite place? The best place you can imagine”? I thought about this for only a second when I confidently blurted out “Leatherby’s”! Leatherby’s was an ice cream shop; the real old fashioned type where they make the ice cream in the back, behind the counter and a glass window wall so you can see the marvelous processes of the creamery. White iron tables, two straw floats, grilled pb & j’s, and the most delicious Oreo cookie ice cream even before there was Oreo cookie ice cream. My favorite place!
He laughed a little with no surprise and then he explained, “Heaven is like Leatherby’s. Everything you love will be there. There are people you don’t know and some that you do. Do you know how to get to Leatherby’s”?
“I think so, maybe”
“Well. There are lots of ways to get there. We could take the freeway or we could take the side streets. We could take a long time to get there or we could go right to it and get there right away. Some people might need to stop and ask for directions and some people might have a map. If you’re little, you might need some help getting there. Some people might not know that there is a Leatherby’s at all! Some might get lost and never get there. That’s kinda what church is for. For some people, they need some help and someone to show them how to get to heaven. When it’s hard, if you have a friend to go with you, it doesn’t seem so bad. Sometimes we need church to help us find our way. Just like there are all kinds of roads and ways to get to Leatherby’s there are lots of churches and people to help you get to heaven. It doesn’t really matter what way you go, as long as you get there, you get ice cream. There isn’t a wrong way, unless you don’t get there at all. It takes as long as you want it to and you make it as hard or as easy as you decide. If someone asks for directions, help them get there with you. Share”.
It was a moment of shining clarity. I completely understood, in my own five year old way, exactly what he was telling me. I have never in my life been confused about religion, just fascinated with all the different roads to Leatherby’s. I know when I get there I will have an Oreo ice cream sundae with my Dad and this time, I’ll pay.
Duty" By Luke M
I’d like to start this review by saying bravo Mr. Marten this is by far my favorite piece written in this class. Accept Zombie cat I’m pretty proud of that one. When I herd at our mid quarter review that Luke had done a peace similar to my Perspective peace I thought it was only right to review it.
There are several reasons that I enjoyed this peace so much. Number one is Lukes literary style I found it to be Intelligent as well as entreating. His obvious knowledge of the star wars universe (one that rivals my own, no easy task.) made it so easy to immediately be taken into the short story. The tale was like a mix of Star wars, the Normandy scene in saving privet Ryan, and Republican Commando. A video game that the player gets to play a Ellet squad of clone troopers. All three get very high marks in my book.
It was great to experience one of my favorite scenes in star wars from a perspective that not many people take into consideration. I love the way Luke made me care about a character that Gorge Lucas made every effort to seem unimportant and expendable. Luke put a face behind the mask of a storm trooper. I loved the Idea of this. My favorite part of the short story was the beginning when the clones were waiting for the battle to begin. I thought it was great how that scene reminded me of the storming of Normandy scene in saving privet Ryan without feeling like a total rip off. Its funny how War can be the same I such different settings. I thought the idea Luke had about the rebs reprogramming the droids to charge was clever. Finally the doors opened and the battle began. "Epsilon Squad you are the tip of the sword... breach, breach, breach!" I love it for the first time ever I was rooting for the Storm Troopers crush those rebel scum. I laughed when that Stoner TK420 went down. One thing is for sure. When ever I watch this scene in one of my favorite movies I will always wonder witch colon is TK-699.
Next was the engineering section. Even though I’ve seen this part hundreds of times and in the back of my mind I knew that when he saw the beautiful girl he was about to get blasted I found myself hoping he was the one to stun her so that We could follow TK-699 threw all my favorite star wars battles perhaps see him rise up threw the ranks of the empire only to be stranded on Endor after the death star is destroyed. But that wouldn’t be much of a short would it.
To sum it up I like to say that if things don’t work out for you as a game developer you definitely could make a go at being a science fiction writer. Great short Luke!
The name’s Han. Han Solo. I’m just a man trying to make my way through the galaxy the best I can. I got my ship, the Millenium Falcon, which I won in a high stakes game of poker from a man named Lando Callrisian. But, that’s another story. At my side is my first mate, Chewbacka, a wookie that I saved from the slave mines of Endor. He swore a life debt to me and now I’m stuck with the walking carpet. Truth is, Chewy saved my hide more than once. Anyway, I make my keep as a smuggler, working for the Huts, a group of notorious gangsters who preside and rule on the planet Tatooine. So there we were smuggling a load for Jabba when some Imperials come out of no where and demand to board my ship. Long story short, I’m forced to dump my cargo and those damn Huts stuck me with the bill! That’s how this whole mess started. Desperate for some credits, I was in the cantina at the Mos Esley spaceport. The town was flooded with Imperial Stormtroopers. Which, in hind sight, should have been my first warning. Tatooine is a planet so far from Corison that the Imperial has never had the resources to control it. This is why the Huts have been so successful here. So here I am, in the bar, when in walks an old man. Says he needs transport to Alderan and wants to avoid any Imperials. “That’s the real trick”, I said to him. “I will make it worth your while”, he assured me. With that sack of credits in his hand, I knew I could pay the Huts. Suddenly, a wide eyed crop duster appears in the doorway with two droids which everyone knows are not welcome in the bar. They start a fight with some local degenerates and surprisingly the old man busts out a lightsaber and cuts a hand off. Jedis. What have I got myself into? I didn’t have time to worry about it because just as I try to get up to go, Guido, that poor excuse for a bounty hunter, blocks my path and sits at my table. I know he wants his money. “Tell Jaba I’ll have his money” I assure him. And, despite the reports, I shot first. Now, I know this is going to create some attention that I don’t need right now, so I apologize to the bar keep and toss him some credits. “Sorry about the mess.” But I’m not. He got what was coming to him for sure. Better him than me. I mean, I just got a transport job. Easy money. Quick trip to Aleran and I’m in the black again with the Huts and a little in my pocket, right? What could happen? Well, I’ll tell you what could happen. Damn Jedis. Think its nice and simple all sweet and easy and the next thing you know you’re in a garbage scow with a high maintenance princess barking at ya and some elementary Jedi with a learners permit on the saber and Darth Vader himself knows your name. Take it from me and learn from my mistakes. The next time you stumble on some rambling, half erased, messed up message from some little droid older than dirt, just ignore it. Just his erase and go on your way. “Help me Obi Wan…” Hear me….Just say “no”. Your planet’s gonna get blown up anyway. Moral to the story? “No reward it worth all THIS”!
Scene from Dogma.
This quarter was an interesting one for me. I must say that I always enjoy Steve’s classes. There always filled with awesome in class discussions and I always feel like I get my moneys worth. That said even though I got a lot out of our Literature class, and would be glad to have to take a Lit2 ( as long as Steve was at the helm) it was definitely a love hate relationship. I loved the structure of the class and I understand the reason that we read My Jim. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed the book I found it hard to read and very depressing. Although I did like finding out what became of Jim.
I did really enjoy writhing my Chrestomathy and reading everyone else’s Chrestomathy. Zombie Cat and Leather bees are my favorite pieces I’ve ever written. Leather bees is my favorite explanation of religion that I’ve ever heard and I’m super happy to finally have the opportunity to share it with the world. Also I’m so proud of zombie cat. I would say I did a great job with this assignment. Even though I’m a little ashamed that I needed that mid quarter push to get the ball rolling. If I had to give myself a Grade in this class I would have no problem saying I earned a grade in the A range. I completed every assignment, and definitely contributed to class decisions.
Before I go I would like to say thanks Steve. You are a great teacher. Your classes were by far my favorite GE classes at AIS, especially the Public art project in Humanities 1. We are lucky to have you as a teacher. Congregations on getting published It is very empowering to see a role model of mine reach a life goal!
Thanks Will Richer