Character Portraits, Day to Day Poetry, Day to Day Writing, Epiphanies

Day to Day Poetry # 21

I am in an unspeakable high —
riding the waves of progress and motivation,
blowing kisses at problems that seemed too heavy,
now lifting me in a mixture of cloud nines and sunshine waves —
I am a writer, a titan, a motherfucking woman,
hear me roar in daring expletives and nonsensical paradoxes,
the paradigm shift of the depressed and the fearless,
I am quivering in ecstasy and bathing in immortality –
Your negativity can’t touch me, toxic, poisonous woman –
I am in the throes of lightning speed movement –
and I keep going.

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Day to Day Writing, Reviews

Day to day Writing # 20: Attack on Titan’s take on Humanity

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Image from hiffary

                                       

  What makes this anime so good is that it makes us question what it means to be human – by comparing us to over-sized, monstrous human-looking giants whose sole purpose is to eliminate our existence.

WARNING : SPOILERS BELOW (OBVIOUSLY)

Yes, I know I’m late to the gun show, but I was only able to catch up to the Attack on Titan craze only recently.

After watching the first episode, I was instantly hooked. It took me only two days to finish the entire first season (yes, I know, I have a problem) and that was with me consciously trying to stretch it out knowing the second season is not out yet.

I finally had the pleasure of discussing the show with someone at a pub but he maintained that he disliked the show because it took the characters about five minutes of internal dialog before taking on a decision, which could be quite tiring especially in a show advertised as action.

I think this is is exactly what draws people to watching anime.

Each character in Attack on Titan has their own history, and each decision they partake in is deeply connected to their familial background and past.

Granted it does get quite tiring having to sit and watch them go through the reasons why they are participating in a particular action but I believe that is part of the anime’s emphasis on the humanity of the main characters.

What makes good science fiction is that query of what makes us human. This query is often brought out through contrasting human characters against androids (ex. Blade Runner, I robot) or in this case, against titans.

Characters such as Mikasa, Armin and Eren are constantly emphasizing that their decision to join the Scouting Regiment is to save humanity from the titans, therefore indicating that it is our conscious intent to take on a decision, especially one that is detrimental to our own safety (Remember, Mikasa says repeatedly that the most important thing is to “Stay alive”) in order to to maintain the safety of the greater good.

It is our ability to sacrifice that separates us from the mindless actions that the titans undergo.

The titans are quite the complex villain. On one hand, they are monstrous and they strike fear because of their grotesque cannibalism and destructive behaviour. On the other hand, almost all of them have dorky haircuts, smile in a creepingly vacant way, and they run amok the streets without any pants.

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Perhaps what makes the titans so creepy is the fact that they resemble human beings – however, they lack the qualities of what makes us human. For example, they have no genitals, which throws reproduction out of the window.

This could also indicate that they maintain no relationships with each other — which we can see through each episode as no titan, as of yet, has shown dismay over the death of another titan. Thus bringing me to my second point: they lack empathy. And empathy is such a strong, motivating force in the post-apocalyptic world of Attack on Titan because if it wasn’t for empathy, none of the characters would have wanted to be a hero – and Eren, would have never been able to keep his motivation in succeeding in his career as a Scout. We know this because everytime Eren is about to fail at a mission, it is the image of his mother getting eaten by a titan that keeps him going.

Personally, I can’t wait to see where they would go with this series. Do we ever find out if the titans are controlled by a corrupt organization that wants to annihilate human existence? How are they made? Are Eren and Mikasa ever going to get together?

I, for one, am just dying to find out.

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Character Portraits, Day to Day Writing, Epiphanies, Flash Fiction, Short Fiction

Day to Day Writing #19

My doctor, my executioner.

The Khan sits in front of me. His eyes are two portals across  his face that reflected not the person sitting across from him, but the glaring computer screen beside him. He has knobby, stubby little fingers that dance across his keyboard every time I talk, like a symphony of mental disorders and behaviour.

I am arguing with him. He asks, “Do you really think I’m here for my own benefit? Or am I here for you?”

He doesn’t look at me when he says, “I do care about your recovery. Otherwise, why am I here?”

I imagine him waking up in the morning. He won’t kiss his wife before he leaves. He will probably cuddle his newborn baby goodbye, to gain reassurance about the why, to strengthen the how – how he’s going to keep paying the mortgage on his house, how he’s going to pay for his baby’s care, how he’s going to keep up his and his wife’s lifestyle.

Because once you get intertwined with the why, it gets ugly. It gets subjective. It gets to that feeling of pointlessness and hopelessness creeping in.

Because it’s the how that keeps his hands on his steering wheel, as he drives through the rush hour traffic, his morning coffee burning in his Pink Floyd mug, on his every day route to the mental hospital.

“You can justify it in your head any way you want,” he tells me, “but all people are, are their actions. Everything else is construction.”

“So,” I begin, a tirade of what dug deep into my heart: “how about this story – of a girl confined here last autumn. You gave her permission to spend the day with her family for her 26th birthday. She made reservations at a restaurant and told everyone in the ward about it and got everyone excited for her. Then, they told me — she had an argument with you the morning of her birthday. And as she was entering the elevator with her parents, you threw the form at her as the elevators were closing in.”

I pause for effect. He shows no emotion. Just flagrantly blank. Fingers forever composing that symphony on his keyboard.

An eyebrow raises. “And so?”

I fall for the trap – lured, bait and hooked. “You formed a patient on her 26th birthday. On her birthday! How is that anything but a blatant misuse of your authority? How is it that you allowed her to have day passes and as soon as she disobeyed you – you trapped her? In here?” I throw up my arms to show him the place we were in – his office, my prison.

“I am not at liberty to talk about other patients here. And you know better than to bring another person up when you’re supposed to be here for your recovery.” He stops typing and sits back, cocking his head a little to side to indicate that he is now observing me. “Nevertheless, I’ll satisfy your curiosity. I’ll satiate your need for a conclusion. I don’t do things without a reason – you’ll just have to trust me that she displayed such emotional fragility that made me believe she wouldn’t be safe outside of the hospital.”

What a professional answer.

“Did I answer your questions?” He asks, challenging me. “Have I reassured you of my good intentions?”

I will carry this conversation with me, long after my discharge date. Another patient, a 40 year old superwoman, would smile at me and tell me she recognized the Khan’s humanity after seeing his Pink Floyd mug. I will be sitting next to a manic-depressive woman, cowering under her covers as music plays from her laptop, and begs me to stop being friends with somebody she hated. I will be in bed, listening to a story about one drunken night, when she comes home trying to comfort him, and then tries to go to bed with him. I will be listening to promises of being helped when I’m down, of being loved when I needed it, all the while realizing that people’s actions, never reflected the things say.

But I won’t know this until a few years later. I won’t know this until I am in the centre of distress and disappointment. I won’t know this until the moment I have to force myself to open my eyes, to move my arms, to sit, straight up – and face another day, no matter how broken.

And so I say, “Yes,” because I don’t know any better. I say, “because it’s your actions that define you. Everything else is construction,” because I can only repeat what he had just told me, imitating in vain to compensate for the fact that I lack the luxury of experience.

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Day to Day Poetry, poetry

Day to Day Poetry #18

For the first time ever
I told someone new the truth about myself
Unedited, raw, Gonzo
and the blatant honesty that came out of my lips
pleasantly surprised me,
as it didn’t occur to me until that moment
how hard it was for me to admit the truth —
which is why as much as I hate liars,
I can’t help but realize that all they are,
are cowards –
and it’s much harder to hate a coward,
than it is to hate a liar.

But last night I was brave,
Last night, I was brave.

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Day to Day Poetry

Day to Day Poetry #17

Discovered a new part of Toronto,
where a redhead stared out a window wistfully,
commenting on how nice the weather was despite the rain,
and a young couple looked for bachelor apartments,
while wearing backpacks and
scratched their noses unknowingly —
and an old man driving a car,
stared at his hands and yelled at them silently —
and punk rock blared out of apartment windows,
besides Lake Ontario, overlooking the Gardiner Express Way,
the land of misfits and  insanity.

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