Search

Michael Ray De Los Angeles

WRITER | EDITOR | ARTISAN

Tag

Literature

3 Must-Read Books for Black History Month

imagesBorn on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm Little, who later became known as Malcolm X was an iconic figure of the Civic Right movement. The story includes intimate details about his life, his pilgrimage to Mecca and much more. The African-American Muslim minister was a human rights activist, closely by the US government and other organizations for his perspectives on racism within America. On February 21, 1965, he was assassinated by Nation of Islam members Talmadge Hayer, Norman 3X Butler, and Thomas 15X Johnson .


cover-of-parable-of-the-sowerThe dystopian Californian road novel, written by Los Angeles based author, Octavia E. Butler, evokes images similar to those seen in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath with themes of mass migration and ecological turmoil. Throughout the novel questions about preservation of natural resources and scarcity of existing resources are points of conflict as the heroine of the novel, a multiethnic adolescent named Lauren Olimina, caravans from Southern California to Northern California. During her venture she challenges social, gender and racial norms.


the-adoption-papers-jackie-kayJackie Kay’s collection of poetry The Adoption Papers is a collection of narrative poems that weave together the perspectives of three people; a “birth mother,” an “adoptive mother” and an “adopted daughter.” During this opening poem, the child’s history is metaphorically presented as a commodity, she is a being without agency. Over the course of the book the adopted child’s status (a black adopted child that is also half Nigerian) is slowly revealed. The poems, demonstrate the mutual conflict experienced by both the adopted mother and the biological mother, as well as the tribulations of an adopted child.

8czknolki

mrdlaMichael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

You can find me across social media platforms (including Twitter, Soundcloud, Bonoboville, Instagram, and Youtube) with intersecting content focused on ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I read and write about plant-based living, with recommended readings, audio broadcasts and short documentaries. I  like appropriate technologies like solar system and home gardens.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel is Now a LIVE Musical!

— Los Angeles, CA | 2017
Fun Home-- Alison BechdelWhat started off as a graphic memoir is now a LIVE musical; Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home is now playing at the Ahmanson Theater located at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

The stage production, based on the life of LGBTQ icon Alison Bechdel, is an inmate look into the life of the author and her Pennsylvanian family. Bechdel herself is a renown cartoonist, best known for the long running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. Her comics, and memoir have been well received by audiences and critics, having been awarded the a Stonewall Book Award as well as five Tonys for the play.

In Fun Home Bechdel (played by Kate Shindle) describes her relationship with her parents, her father Bruce (played by Robert Petkoff ) and mother Joan (played by Karen Eilbacher). From early early life( Alessandra Baldacchino as ‘Small Alison’), to high school and college (Abby Corrigan as ‘Medium Alison’) the story is set in the backdrop of rural America. One of the defining elements of this play is how Bechdel’s family, challenge and adapt certain gender codes  in the post-World War II era.

The Alision Bechdel’s Fun Home is will be on stage at the Ahmanson Theatre from February 21 through April 1, 2017; followed by JAMES LAPINE & STEPHEN SONDHEIM’S INTO THE WOODS beginning in April.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpg

Michael Ray is a writer, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”

You can find me across social media platforms (including Twitter, Soundcloud, Bonoboville, Instagram, and Youtube) with intersecting content focused on ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I read and write about plant-based living, with recommended readings, audio broadcasts and short documentaries. I  like appropriate technologies like solar system and home gardens.

In my non-writing life, I like painting, fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal.

cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpgKeep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media

Recommended Media, Literature, Cinema & Art | January 2017

Recommended Media, Literature, Cinema & Art | January 2017 | MichaelRay | @Vampyrohtechnix

books

Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
Recommended Media, Literature, Cinema, & Art
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
323.592.7649
Los Angeles, CA, 2017

We Animals: Poems of Our World by Nadya Aisenberg

The anthology celebrates our home, and its many ecosystem, through the words of Wendel Berry, Pablo Neruda, Marianne Moore, Theodore Roethke, Gary Snyderand many more. This collection is a publication…

View On WordPress

Recommended Media, Literature, Cinema & Art | January 2017

Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
Recommended Media, Literature, Cinema, & Art
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
323.592.7649
Los Angeles, CA, 2017


We Animals: Poems of Our World by Nadya Aisenberg

The anthology celebrates our home, and its many ecosystem, through the words of Wendel Berry, Pablo Neruda, Marianne Moore, Theodore Roethke, Gary Snyder and many more. This collection is a publication of the Sierra Club known for its conservation efforts of wild nature, and founded by John Muir in 1892.Quote-MRDLA-Wendell-Berry

The collection is arranged into sections, “Reverence,” “Dominion,” “Fraternity,” “communion” and “fantasy,” each section highlights the relationship between humans and nonhuman nature. In “fraternity” the poems emphasize the interconnectivity of humans but also shows how animals are anthropomorphized by society and as a result become separate from nonhuman nature.

Read more: We Animals: Poems of Our World by Nadya Aisenberg


Locally Delicious by Ann Anderson

Locally-DeliciousPublished in Arcata, California, the publication contains a wide variety of resources that pertain to the Humboldt county region. The book compiles recipes, personal narratives, and full color photos of food, animals, plants and the people involved in the care, cultivation and preparation of these resources and foods. The appendix includes listing of the farmer’s markets, restaurants, information on community supported agriculture (CSA), and even information on foraging, fishing and hunting.

The book reveals the vast amount of resources that are available to people living within the Humboldt County region, but more so, it also demonstrates how important a local food identity is to the residents of the area. The recipes of the book focus on seasonal platters, using ingredients that can be acquired in Humboldt. The Locally Delicious places a focus on eating locally by citing its benefits such as fresher food, and a diverse community and economy. Lastly the book takes an approach against industrial agriculture, citing the effects that it has both on the region and its people.

Read More: Locally Delicious BY Ann Anderson


Field Guide of North American Edible Wild Plants by Thomas Elias

Edible Wild PlantsThe field guide provides a detailed description of a diverse variety of plants that grow in North America, both perennials and annuals. In addition, the guides illustrates the region(s) that each of the plants listed grows in, as well as the country of origin. For example miner’s lettuce, Montia perfoliata, is located in “valleys, lower mountain slopes, springs and moist sites” within America but is actually from Europe (Elias et al 95). The guide also cites related species, how to identify, prepare and avoid “poisonous look-alikes.” The text even contains a section devoted to plants that should not be ingested. The seasonal key to plants within the guide is immeasurably useful.

Most of the plants that are mentioned in the text appear alongside full color illustrations, a complement to the descriptions of the plants found within the guide. The visuals assist the reader by addressing more than the physical descriptions of the of the plants, such as its leaves, stalk and colors. The photos that are used present the plants in various stages of growth, seasons or even how they appear as part of a larger landscape. This variability in presentation reminds the reader that all plants are part of a interconnected ecosystem.

Read more: Field Guide of North American Edible Wild Plants by Thomas Elias


Wild Urban plants of the Northeast: a Field Guide. by Peter Del Tredici

Wild Urban Plants of the NortheastPeter Del Tredici’s field guide reimages the urban landscape, trumping the myth that cities are devoid of plant diversity. Many urban areas consist of parking lots, concrete walkways, alleys, gutters and chain link fences and thus the amount the amount of nature within these areas is thought to be minimal, especially in relation to plant life. Tredici’s guide unveils the misconception and provides the reader with multiple photos of each plant entry, throughout lifecycle. Also Tredici includes the “ecological function” and habitat preference of each plant. The approach that Tredici takes allows for one to see a parking lot as something that contains not weeds but bull thistle, Cirsium vulagre, or broadleaf plantain, Plantago major L. Essentially, how one interprets a bioregion, helps to construct the narrative of the region. Within the urban landscape, a reevaluation of plant narratives is needed. Tredici’s demonstrates a comprehension of this need for reevaluation in several of his entries, he accomplishes this by including the cultural significance of particular plants . His cultural plant key is compiled with other standard aspects of a plant field guide, such as the physical description, scientific name of a plant.

Read more:Wild Urban plants of the Northeast: a Field Guideby Peter Del Tredici


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Grapes of WrathA fictional narrative set during the depression era, Steinbeck’s novel the Grapes of Wrath follows the Joad family as they venture away from the dust storms in Oklahoma to sunny California. The tone of the text is one that is sympathetic towards the plight of the migrating family, painting both the Joads as well as other migrants as humble people who want nothing more than the ability to work. As a piece of fiction the novel provides a window through which one can see the rise of industrial agriculture within America. A large focus of the novel revolves around the changing practices regarding the cultivation and harvesting of produce. Throughout the novel Steinbeck utilizes elements of the developing American road culture to tell the story of the Joad family. Steinbeck draws attention to things such as cars, campsites, roadside diners and even service stations, the effect is that the reader is provided with a wider scope of reference through which he/she may examine the depression era. The window that Steinbeck provides also allows the reader to see the ecological turmoil that prompted the mass migration of Oklahomans and other Americans. One of the pitfalls of the novel is the suppression of nonhuman nature. Steinbeck presents the dust as thing that is separate from the people, a thing which imposes itself onto the land and causes death. Thus the concept of the dust acting as a element responding to ecological stress, caused by farming practices, is not examined.

Read more:The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


 Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home-- Alison BechdelThe Graphic Memoir is an inmate look into the life of the author and her Pennsylvanian family. Within the text, Bechdel describes various events within her life beginning with her early adolescent relationship with her father. In addition to her early life, she also describes her experiences in high school and college. Over the course of the graphic novel, the reader observes how Bechdel’s family attempts to acclimate themselves to the social climate of rural America that existed during the post world War II era. To further illustrate the ways she, and her father, are coerced into conforming to gender codes, Bechdel reconstructs the world that once knew by including, the dictionaries, and family letters that were part of her life. The effect is that she establishes a visually authentic memoir through the inclusion of elements such as her father’s letters, television broadcasts and other media that she was exposed to. The relationship between the author and her father is a central conflict within the novel, and up until his death Bruce (Bechdel’s father) imposes his ideals of femininity onto his daughter– which as a masculine lesbian Alison finds constricting. In short, Fun Home illustrates various constraints that exist within the realm of individual sexual identity in addition to commentary on rigid heteronormative gender roles.

Read more: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

#LGBTQ


Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

The dystopian Californian road novel evokes images similar to those seen in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath–mass migration and ecological turmoil due to the inappropriate use natural resources are two major literary elements. The heroine of the novel, a multiethnic adolescent named Lauren Olimina, caravans from Southern California to Northern California and during her venture challenges social, gender and racial norms. In doing so, the author of the novel, Octavia Butler presents metatextual commentary on issues of race, class, gender and ecology.20150814_Octavia-Butler-quote

In a world that has been desensitized by violence, plagues of fire and numerous crime waves Lauren is unique; she is sensitive to the plights, struggles and pain of others–whether family, animal, thief or harlots she feels their strife, literally. Not only can she physically feel the emotions, and physical ailments of other but Lauren feels that she has the ability to shift the dominant paradigm of violence that is present within the world that she knows. Her confidence in a paradigm shift is detailed within her Earthseed collection. The collection that she has titled Earthseed is a series of verses which appear throughout the novel and discuss her views on human interconnectivity and the circular nature of life on planet Earth. Each of her Earthseed entries is written as poetry but like her hypersensitivity, is kept private due to a fear of being ostracized. This text is listed on the California Department of Education recommended reading list curriculum.

Read more:Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler


Act Your Age: A Cultural Construction of Adolescence. by Nancy Lesko.

Act your Age-- Nancy LeskoThis book takes a post-modern, deconstructionist approach to examine the history of American education and its effects on the adolescent age bracket and in the process connects modern education to social Darwinism. Within her text, Lesko establishes that there are “four confident characteristics” (raging hormones, peer oriented, always becoming, and signified by age) that define the adolescent age bracket. All of the “confident characteristics” are used to define an adolescent’s relationship to adulthood. For example, to be “signified by age” one may consider the milestones an 18th birthday, the transitions from middle school to high school, or a pregnancy as signifiers. Within her text, Lesko address teenage pregnancy, power and privilege and the purpose of time within the class room– in some cases she cites French philosopher Michel Foucault. The discourse that Lesko presents to the reader provides a lens through which young adult literature and the construct of adolescence itself can be examined.

Read more: Act Your Age: A Cultural Construction of Adolescence by Nancy Lesko.


"Dreamworlds 3" directed by Sut Jhally

Dreamworlds 3The films examines the cultural construction of the female identity within film, specifically music videos. Sut Jully suggests that the women within the dream world consent to being objectified. As a result, we, the consumers of staged misogynistic, violent, or pornographic images are directly on the social level. He suggests that the falsified portrayals of women within film, and other media affects how they are seen outside of the fantasy, or “dream world.” Within this Sut Jhally’s film there are various example of how music artists (of all genres) conform to the standards of the dream world– in some cases this conformity is represented by a surrender of the female body to physically abusive, dominant males. Dreamworlds 3 was chosen to help frame the concept of the disappearing girl. Throughout Sut Jully’s discussion, he highlights the various ways that women are muted, marginalized, objectified and abused because of the dominant cultural ideals held by the belief in the dreamworld.

Read more: “Dreamworlds 3” Directed by Sut Jhally


Persepolis (also an animated film)

PersepolisThe graphic memoir is the story of Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian artist that came of age during the 1980s. Within her drawings, she depicts the cultural repressions imposed onto her and the Iranian people that occurred during this war ridden 1980s. Satrapi’s parents are part of the upper class within Iran, and it is her family’s position within the country that allows Marjane Satrapi to leave the warring country to go study in Austria– both of her parents insisted. While in Austria Marjane is not required to wear her veil. Furthermore, in her attempts to adjust to the Austrian ways of life, and in order to make friends, she suppresses aspects of cultural identity. Upon her returns to Iran Marjane is reminded of the oppressions that she had left and has to readjust her once again to conform to the cultural norms, not of Austria but of her home country of Iran. This novel is a CA Dept of Ed. recommended reading.

Read more: Persepolis (also an animated film)


The Crucible by Arthur Miller (adapted for film)

The CrucibleIn an adaptation of Arthur Miller’s play, Jean-Paul Sartre provides a French interpretation of the American play. The play is set in colonial America (Salem Massachusetts to be exact), and it revolves largely around the life of John Proctor and his adolescent mistress Abigail Williams. A hardworking farmer, John Proctor discovers, Abigail and several other girls from his village dancing around a fire– which is considered blasphemous amongst the townspeople. The result of this discovery is a series of trails in which the adolescent Abigail claims that she was under the influence of witchcraft at the time that she had been dance. She, along with the other accused directed their allegations at various people within the village in an effort to protect themselves from punishment. In the process, Abigail is shown to be aware of her sexuality (even attempting to fulfill her desires with the resistant John Proctor), simultaneously she acquires position of power falsifying her identity and claiming to be possessed– therefore not herself. The historical and cultural context of the film is particularly interesting–Marcarthyism and the blacklisting of U.S citizens within film and literature are the actual witch hunts which occurred during the time which Miller had produced the play. This text is listed on the California Department of Education recommended reading list curriculum.

Read more: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (also adapted for film)


White Oleander by Janet Finch (Also full-length feature film )

WhiteorleanderThis coming of age story follows the young girl Astrid as she moves from foster home to foster home while her mother serves an extended jail sentence for poisoning and murdering a cheating lover. Throughout the novel Astrid has numerous identities imposed onto her by those around her; her surrogate mothers, foster parents and even the school system all take a part in constructing Astrid’s identity. In adapting a book for film, there are always elements which are not represented, either because of film’s time constraints or production limitations; within the film, one aspect of the book that is glossed over is the explicit sexual relationship that Astrid has with her adoptive father figure which ends violently for the young girl. The censorship of the fictitious relationship between Astrid and her paternal figure within the film demonstrates one of the many ways in which female sexuality is muted. Furthermore, this muting of sexual identity demonstrates that the sexualization of females is “signified by age” (as Nancy Lesko would suggest), and because Astrid has not fulfilled the social sand cultural signifiers of adulthood, the representation of her relationship with her adoptive father is something that is only expressed in the print version of White Oleander.

Read more: White Oleander by Janet Finch (Also full-length feature film )

 

8czknolki

Keep in touch:
star.jpg Twitter_logo_blue.png  instagram  Vimeo logo.png  soundcloud_logo.gif
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Contact: @vampyrohtechnix Media


mrdlaWriter, editor, and Generation Y shutterbug. California grown environmentalist and published photographer, “Say Avocado.”  You can find me across social media platforms (including Twitter, Soundcloud, Bonoboville, Instagram, and Youtube) with intersecting content focused on ecology, environmental activism, Literature, and California culture. I read and write about plant-based living, with recommended readings, audio broadcasts and short documentaries. I  like appropriate technologies like solar system and home gardens.

In my non-writing life, I like fashion, yoga, and set design. I’m a graduate of Humboldt State University with a BA in English Literature, and was a costumer for the world-famous Humboldt Circus 2012-13. I love Poesy, spoken word and was Poetry Division editor for The Toyon Literary Journal.

books

Recommended Reading December 2016

Hello! As we draw closer to 2017, here are a few recommended readings to add to your shelf. Thanks to @vampyrohtechnix_media for sharing your #shelfie. Have a great 2017, read lots of books and inspire someone today.  Today’s selections are from multiple genres, including anthropology, travel, spirituality, and science fiction.

The list includes

  • Bonobo The Forgotten Ape by Franz De Waal & Frans Lanting.
  • A Southern California Bouldering Guide (Second Edition) by Craig Fry
  • The Art of Happiness at Work by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

Not sure what to read this coming year? I highly recommend that you check out these titles. Have a happy holiday season!

I finally made the front cover of a book!

A post shared by Vampyrohtechnix Media (@vampyrohtechnix_media) on


#MRDLA #Writinglab #RecommendedReading

A post shared by Vampyrohtechnix Media (@vampyrohtechnix_media) on



#MRDLA #writinglab #recommendedreading

A post shared by Vampyrohtechnix Media (@vampyrohtechnix_media) on


 


mrdlaMichael Ray is a California-grown, native Angelino, hailing from Virgil Village; and is an advocate for public green space, edible gardens, and animal rights. As graduate of Humboldt State University, this artisan has worked in conjunction with the Humboldt Student Food Collective, the Campus Center For Appropriate Technology (CCAT), The Humboldt Circus, Broadchester Farms, Burkart Organics and  The California Environmental Legacy Project, creating ecologically conscious art in the forms of live theater, documentaries, paintings, zines, and essays.

Keep in touch:
star.jpgTwitter_logo_blue.png instagram Vimeo logo.png soundcloud_logo.gifcropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpg© December 23, 2016. For speaking engagements, including interviews, call 323.592.7649.

Recommended Reading: Ismael by Daniel Quinn | Time to Walk Away or Can We Save The Great Apes?

Daniel-Quinn-IshmaelMichael Ray De Los Angeles
The Royal Flush Review: Literature
323. 592.7649 | MRDLA1111@gmail.com
July 12, 2016


A few thoughts on Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

            What would the world be like if it were made for Jellyfish? Ismael, asks his pupil, in their opening dialogues about the interconnectivity of species. In a Socratic dialogue of teacher and pupil, they talk about “Taker” culture, “leaver” culture, and the traumas that can occur when nonhuman nature is not treated as an interconnected web of species– marine life, amphibians , and great apes alike. In a fascinating narrative about human co-existence, ecology and conservation, the dialogues between Ismael and his student are eye-opening and thought provoking, especially when you consider that the teacher is a telepathic silver-back gorilla.

            American history, has oppression, ecological destruction, and civic tragedy interwoven into its pages; while some cultures co-exist with Earth, there are others that take from the pale blue dot and its inhabitants. Throughout his novel Ishmael, Daniel Quinn uses an eco-critical lens for his Socractic dialogue about the qualities of “taker” and “leaver” culture; emphasizing humans’ interdependence with non-human nature: Colonialism as well as Imperialism left a trail of war, death and destruction in their path, and today industrial agriculture is contributing to planetary destruction through deforestation. Quinn’s main character Ishmael is telepathic Gorilla that advocates for interconnectivity between humans with non-human nature. His advocacy is in an attempt to teach his homosapien pupil that the world is not meant solely for man. On the contrary, the world was meant for jellyfish, for great apes, for biodiversity, for cultural diversity, for co-existence among species! “Taker” culture’s mythologies generate war, and deplete natural resources, as a result all life, from jellyfish, to great apes are affected. As teacher, the silver-back gorilla makes the observation that the world has been polarized into two dominant cultures, “Takers” and “Leavers,” each subscribing to a different mythology.

Sedona, AZ
Photo: Vampyrohtechnix Media

            Ishmael’s defines the Taker culture as a culture that subscribes to a mythology of conquest, and in doing so have neglected ecology’s first law; through conquest and war Takers threaten “the stability of the community” (Quinn 144). A dialogue around natural law is interlaced throughout the lessons. The rise of “Taker” culture takes place at about 8,000 B.C.E with the birth of the agricultural revolution. And Ishmael needs his pupil to see that there is another way. And this is the importance of “Leaver” culture a culture of “those who live in the hands of the gods” (Quinn 229). The gods being the Earth, and surrounding life. The novel is inclusive of indigenous and aboriginal cultures that demonstrate the “Leaver” ethos, such as the Alawa, Bushman, Kayapo and the Navajo. Ishmael also points out that “Leaver” culture is not bound by time or location and that it is alive today and has been for the last several hundred thousand years.

Ishmael p. 49
“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world.”

            Both cultures have shaped American history as well as world culture. Ishmael states that “any story that explains the meaning of the world, the intention of the gods, and the destiny of man is bound to be mythology” (Quinn 45). American history is ripe with stories of conquest over savagery, as is British and Spaniard history. Across the globe it is the mythos of conquest that man has chosen to follow and this narrative that subscribes to war, ecological pillaging, and inhumane destruction is what Ishmael cautions against. The dehumanization relationships of abuser/abused are highlighted in his discussions of the Holocaust. Ishmael states, that when you give people a “story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world” (Quinn 84). Which is what has happened in during the Nazi Holocaust of the 1930s-40s, the Japanese of invasion of China of the 1930s-40s, Khmer Rouge, Cambodia in the 1970s, Rawanda in the 1990s, and Iraq and Afghanistan well into the new millennium. Today, the subdivides occur along the lines of religion, family, gender, social class, sexuality, ethnicity, and physical and non physical attributes.

            Published in 1992, Quinn’s novel reflects an individual’s need to be responsive, to meditate, to listen and to co-create: it is a book that has something for the Baby Boomers, Generation X & Y, as well as the Millennial. You don’t need to read Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring or  Watch An Inconvenient Truth to know that we only have one planet, and the conservation and preservation of our natural resources, and co-inhabitants should be a number one priority. As an author Quinn offers the concept of “civilizational flight” (Quinn 107), the process of walking away from a system that is not working. In the context of the narrative, Ishmael is telling his human pupil that they current system is not working and that it has even imprisoned man– even if he cannot see the bars.

            Ultimately Quinn does not leave the reader with a sense of closure because there is none to be had, in the very real world of today we are still addressing oil spills, clear-cutting, drought, and animal abuse–including poaching, vivisection and slaughter. What Quinn’s book Ismael does accomplish is that it lays the groundwork for future generations to dive deeper into a dialogue (and actions) that cannot be taken out with bullets. As a silver-back gorilla inside of a zoo, Ishmael is an imprisoned teacher, point out the bars and walls built around humanity. The tragedy is that he is a prisoner because of humanity, and will surely die if humanity does not come to its senses.

            All in all the book can offer great realizations, harsh clarity, and talking points for ongoing environmental dialogues. Back in 1992 the eco-movement as it stands today was not yet visible but without question, Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael helped to shape it by holding a mirror to world culture and providing it with an honest reflection of itself. I’m optimistic that the selfie loving Millennials are ready create a new world cultural climate that is more embracive or nonhuman nature, movies like Dirt, and groups like the 13th Floor Art Society, Beautify Earth, Lorax Community, Bonoboville, Broadchester Farms, ElectricCocoon’s Stargate events there is definitely hope on the horizon. That said, happy reading.

Blue Stargate -- Vampyrohtechnix Media


MRDLAMichael Ray is a California-grown, native Angelino, hailing from Virgil Village; and is an advocate for public green space, edible gardens, and animal rights. As graduate of Humboldt State University, this artisan has worked alongside the Humboldt Student Food Collective, the Campus Center For Appropriate Technology (CCAT), The Humboldt Circus, Broadchester Farms, Burkart Organics and  The California Environmental Legacy Project, creating ecologically conscious art in the forms of live theater, documentaries, paintings, zines, and essays.
cropped-cropped-infinity-flowerz-copy.jpg

P:  1.323.592.7649
Freelance Writing, Editing, & Cinematography
Social: | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Vimeo

Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015


White Oleander
by Janet Finch
(Also full-length
feature film )
Whiteorleander
This coming of age story follows the young girl Astrid as she moves from foster home to foster home while her mother serves an extended jail sentence for poisoning and murdering a cheating lover. Throughout the novel Astrid has numerous identities imposed onto her by those around her; her surrogate mothers, foster parents and even the school system all take a part in constructing Astrid’s identity. In adapting a book for film, there are always elements which are not represented, either because of film’s time constraints or production limitations; within the film, one aspect of the book that is glossed over is the explicit sexual relationship that Astrid has with her adoptive father figure which ends violently for the young girl. The censorship of the fictitious relationship between Astrid and her paternal figure within the film demonstrates one of the many ways in which female sexuality is muted. Furthermore, this muting of sexual identity demonstrates that the sexualization of females is “signified by age” (as Nancy Lesko would suggest), and because Astrid has not fulfilled the social sand cultural signifiers of adulthood, the representation of her relationship with her adoptive father is something that is only expressed in the print version of White Oleander.

Read more: White Oleander by Janet Finch  (also full-length feature film ) and lets connect on Goodreads!


The-Great-Moon-Contributors (2)Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.
P:  1.323.592.7649
Literacy and writing consultant
Social: | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Vimeo

 

Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Recommended Reading
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015


Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (also an animated film)

PersepolisThe graphic memoir is the story of Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian artist that came of age during the 1980s. Within her drawings, she depicts the cultural repressions imposed onto her and the Iranian people that occurred during this war ridden 1980s. Satrapi’s parents are part of the upper class within Iran, and it is her family’s position within the country that allows Marjane Satrapi to leave the warring country to go study in Austria–      both of her parents insisted. While in Austria Marjane is not required to wear her veil. Furthermore, in her attempts to adjust to the Austrian ways of life, and in order to make friends, she suppresses aspects of cultural identity. Upon her returns to Iran Marjane is reminded of the oppressions that she had left and has to readjust her once again to conform to the cultural norms, not of Austria but of her home country of Iran.

This novel is a CA Dept of Ed. recommended reading.

Watch more: Persepolis (also a animated film) by Marjane Satrapi and lets connect on Goodreads!


The-Great-Moon-Contributors (2)Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.
P:  1.323.592.7649
Literacy and writing consultant
Social: | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Vimeo

Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015


Act Your Age: A Cultural Construction of Adolescence.
by Nancy Lesko

Act your Age-- Nancy LeskoThis takes a post-modern, deconstructionist approach to examine the history of American education and its effects on the adolescent age bracket and in the process connects modern education to social Darwinism. Within her text, Lesko establishes that there are “four confident characteristics” (raging hormones, peer oriented, always becoming, and signified by age) that define the adolescent age bracket. All of the “confident characteristics” are used to define an adolescent’s relationship to adulthood. For example, to be “signified by age” one may consider the milestones an 18th birthday, the transitions from middle school to high school, or a pregnancy as signifiers. Within her text, Lesko address teenage pregnancy, power and privilege and the purpose of time within the class room– in some cases she cites French philosopher Michel Foucault. The discourse that Lesko presents to the reader provides a lens through which young adult literature and the construct of adolescence itself can be examined.


www.MichaelRayDeLosAngeles.org

Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.
P:  1.323.592.7649
Literacy and writing consultant
Social: | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Vimeo

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: