Exit Through the Gift Shop Final

The film Exit Through the Gift Shop is a very good movie about expressing oneself. The film centers around the person only known as “Banksy.” He keeps his identity secret but is still one of the most popular artists working today. Paintings are often seen as a high art. People pay a lot of money to go see a piece of work in a museum sitting pretty in a frame on a blank wall. But Banksy goes around and paints using graffiti on public walls so that everyone can see and enjoy them. Although the film does not just center around Banksy, it focuses on many different graffiti artists and pretty much the whole culture of public art graffiti and how it has become so popular. At the beginning of this movement many people questioned whether these people were artists. Many thought they were just hoodlums who were trying to ruin public property. People questioned whether this was really art. It struck me that this probably occurs with all new forms of art that people aren’t used to seeing. When movies were first invented there were many people who didn’t consider them to be art. Even some famous artists such as Andy Warhol weren’t always regarded as artists. They would ask if a can of soup really should be considered art. Now an often discussed topic is whether video games should be looked as art. Although art is subjective. Not everything should be considered art, it is up to the individual to decide. Although if the creator of the work calls his piece art, than that is ok because he or she has every right to call themselves an artist. I truly believe these graffiti artists are great artists, and perhaps just because it is a new form of art is the reason why many people are skeptical about calling art. These people just may be used to seeing what they believe to be art in a museum or being sold for a lot of money. But creating something new and unique for the whole world to enjoy is a great way of expressing one’s self. People have the choice for how they want to express themselves. They can do this through publicity and getting their face and name out to the public. Or they could just let their work speak for themselves. Their is no right way. Because for many it is the work that defines them. This is the way Banksy expresses himself. He doesn’t want people to see his face because he doesn’t want to be defined by it. Anybody can be an artist as long as they believe in their work. And art should be shared with the world because it betters society. If people weren’t as worried about the fame and fortune than perhaps the world would be a better place and a more beautiful place. This is what Banksy is trying to teach.

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I have never picked up a hitchhiker before. If it were up to me I still would be continuing that streak.

Studying abroad in Australia was a amazing experience. Traveling all across the country will be something that I never forget. Although the trip that I had the most fun on was when I went to New Zealand for a week. I went with a group of five and we traveled all across the North island. Our plan was to rent a car and to just drive all around traveling to different towns. We started in Aukland and then made our way in our station wagon down to Waitomo. From there we drove to Rotoro and then to Taupo. Between Rotoro and Taupo we decided to make a pitt stop just to relax and take some pictures. We one a shot with all of us in it so we went up to a scrappy looking man and asked if he could take a picture of all of us. He graciously agreed. So we took the picture and as he handed the camera back he kindly asked where we were headed. We responded “Taupo.” He found that interesting because that is where he was headed to as well. And then he said something that nearly froze all of us. He asked for a ride there. None of us knew what to say. We just looked around at each other. I came to a revelation when I stated that there were no seats in our car. To which he responded, “That’s fine, I could just squeeze in the trunk.” We were left speechless again. I was always told not to pick up hitchhikers because they could be dangerous. Suddenly dozens of stories were flashing through my mind of terrible hitchhiking stories.  I remember hearing about one person picking up a hitchhiker who robbed him.  There was another of a couple picking up a man who was accused of being a drug dealer.  I even remembered one story of some people picking up a strange man and that man started tormenting and trying to kill the people.  That last one might have been a movie but I couldn’t remember if it was based on a true story.  This one didn’t look scary (although his unkempt beard didn’t him appear innocent), help he was probably only a few years older than us, but still, you never know. Then with a million thoughts rushing through my head one of the girls blurted out, “Ya, we could give you a ride.” A couple of gave the girl a stern look, but it was too late, the guy was already heading towards our car. We weren’t very far away from our hostel that we were headed towards so for some reason that made me feel better. Also since I was sitting in the front and was therefore the farthest away from the hitchhiker that would give me more time to react if anything happened, at least that was something that crossed my mind.

As we were driving we asked our new companion what he was planning to do in Taupo and where he was thinking about staying. He said from the back of the station wagon that he wasn’t sure. He thought that if the hostel we were staying at looked nice he might think about staying there. Oh no. I have seen to many horror movies that this whole situation felt like a cliché. Completely unsettled about everything I nervously made chit-chat to break the nervous silence. He said his name was Markus and was from Germany and was traveling all around New Zealand for several weeks. We continued talking and oddly we got more comfortable with him. He seemed relatively normal that time actually went by pretty quickly. Most Americans are told to say away from hitchhikers, but what many don’t realize is that it is quite common in many of the other places around the world, and it may becoming a more popular way to travel again (here).

By the time we got to the hostel none of us minded that he stayed in the same hostel, although we had our own room so we knew he wasn’t going to actually be sleeping in the same room. That would be too much. We parked and all got out and we went to our room and he to his. And that seemed like the end of it.

The next morning we were in the kitchen eating breakfast talking about what to do. We were debating which trail to hike. Suddenly Markus chimed in with his thought. He told us that he has hiked each of the trails we were talking about and which was the best. Since nobody had any idea about which trail was the best we went with Markus’s choice. He then asked to join us for breakfast. This seemed like a much safer move than driving in a closed car with a stranger. Again he charmed us with his personality that he was rapidly becoming less of a stranger and more of a friend.

It turns out Markus was right because the trail Markus suggested to us was perfect. It had everything we wanted from giant waterfalls to beautiful scenic shots. We knew this would not have been possible without Markus. Later on when we were back at the hostel we ran into Markus again. We told him all about our day and he was just glad that we had a good time. Markus then had an idea to cook all of us dinner that night. Since we hadn’t had a home-cooked meal in a long time we declared without hesitation yes. But to show that we were not just a bunch of moochers, we offered to get the alcohol.

I don’t remember what Markus cooked that night but I remember it tasted good and was very colorful. It might have been some type of stew filled with fresh vegetables, I’m not sure. But I do remember the alcohol tasted good. As the night wore on and the bottles emptied we shared stories from back home and talked about where we came from. As the common room emptied and the clock approached midnight Markus asked if we had seen the hot springs yet? We didn’t even know there were hot springs. He then asked if we were up for it he could show them to us. Now? Sure, why not. It’s not like we had anything better to do so we grabbed the rest of the alcohol and went for it.

It was about a mile walk from the hostel but it seemed shorter. We arrived at the park and it was pitch black. We just followed Markus’s voice. He led us to these pools filled with natural spring water that was probably about 90 degrees. It was like a spa. So we all dressed down to our underwear and jumped in. It felt amazing. To be under the clear sky staring at the blanket of stars in a place I have never been before and knew that I might never be again, was such as surreal experience. And then I thought that this wonderful moment was due to this stranger that we picked up only the day before. I’m not going to lie but I was very suspicious of him having no idea who he was. Now here I am with my stomach full of food that he had made and sitting next to him and drinking wine in a hot spring in the middle of the night nowhere near any other people. Even thinking about this now it seems rather stupid, but it felt peaceful at that moment. After some time we headed back to the hostel and to our beds. We had to get up early the next morning because we were moving on.

We were all packed up that morning, we were just waiting for Markus. He asked us to give him a ride a few miles down the road. It never even occurred to us not to help him out. When he arrived he squeezed into the trunk and we drove off. We got to a roundabout and Markus asked to let him off there. It seemed rather deserted around but he told us this spot was fine. So he got out and we all said our good-bys. We even exchanged contact information with him in hopes to keep in touch. Then our group got back in the car feeling like we just lost a friend because in a way we did. We slowly drove off with all our attention behind us as we watched this mysterious man walk down the road not knowing where he was going but were just thankful that we ran into him.

As we were driving I continued to reflect on Markus and his impact on our trip. Sometimes you have to leave room for the unexpected and take a chance on people. I have a feeling I was not the only one in the car thinking this. I’m sure all of our thoughts were preoccupied because we just drove by a group of hitchhikers without a single thought to stop, barely a glance.


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blog post 6 final

I have repeatedly thought to myself that I was born in the wrong generation. According to the Pew test, they to think I belong in a different generation since I scored a 65.

There are many things about me that make me seem like I belong in a different generation. One is social media. I do not utilize social media as much as other millennials. In fact I probably use social media a lot less. The only kind of social media I use is Facebook. And even that took me a while to adopt to my life. I was the last of my friends to open up an account. And I wasn’t even the one set up my account. My sister did not understand why I didn’t have a Facebook so she is the one who set up my account. And even though I do still use Facebook occasionally, I do not constantly check it. I rarely post anything of comment on my friends’ statuses. I mainly use it for communication. But that is about all the social media for me. I don’t use twitter, instigram, vine or any of that other type of stuff. I do text on my phone if that counts. I probably wouldn’t even have a blog if it wasn’t required for this class.

I do read and gather a lot of information off the internet. But that doesn’t stop me from reading the newspaper. I usually read the newspaper a few times each week. I don’t know many other people who read the newspaper.

Another major aspect that my friends make fun of me for is the types of movies I watch and the music I listen to. I do watch and listen to modern movies and music, but most of the time I prefer movies and music from previous generations. All of my favorite bands are from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Most of the time I listen to music from those periods of time. I don’t even like most of the popular bands or artists today. I think a lot of them sound awful. I have arguments with my friends all the time about how this generation’s music sucks, at least the popular bands that everybody knows. It is similar with movies. I love watching movies but I don’t go to the movie theaters very often because a lot of the movies that come out don’t appeal to me very much I’d rather just rent an older movie and watch that instead.

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Matt Was Here Final

Sometimes it is difficult to write a personal story. To open yourself up and share with the world something that has a lot of meaning to you and you want to tell that story the right way so that other people could enjoy it as much as you do. Andre Aciman does that in both his stories titled “Intimacy” and “How Memoirists Mold the Truth.” He opens himself up and you could tell that he puts himself out there for others to see. That is something that I would like to do. I do not think you have to write a version of yourself that is a mirror image of your true self, I think you could write more of a reflection of yourself, at least that is the way I like to think about it. If you are a character in your story then you want the character to be entertaining and interesting. This may result in adding a few embellishments about yourself. I try to write an honest version of myself but I also want the story and character to be first and foremost entertaining. A writer may want to show an alternate version of himself or herself and would therefore like to be perceived in public that way rather than who he or she really is. I am not saying that is what I am doing in my story, but I am also not saying that is not what I’m doing either. There definitely has to be a truth about yourself in the story and often times the seed for an idea will come from a truth. There are also many different ways to express oneself. That could be through a narrative, interview, or poetry. Although writing is not the only way to express yourself. We are constantly expressing ourselves every day through our actions, even though many of the times we don’t even think about it. Also it is important to keep in mind that we may never know how to express our complete self because we may not know our complete self. One reason for this is because we are always changing and we probably don’t even realize it. We change as we get older and gain knowledge and meet new people and go through different experiences. So as we go through life and are expressing a little bit about ourselves along the way it adds up to a nice little story because it is all connected. And as we look back it can tell the story of our lives and how we got to be who we are today. So even though my story is not over yet, I have enjoyed it so far and hope the reader will as well.

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blog post #5 final

“I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it’s the government.”

“I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”

“I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.”

“I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

“It’s interesting that these themes of crime and political corruption are always relevant.”

“There’s no such thing as simple. Simple is hard.”

“We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities.”

“I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws?”

“Maybe every other American movie shouldn’t be based on a comic book. Other countries will think Americans live in an infantile fantasy land where reality is whatever we say it is and every problem can be solved with violence.”

“When the going gets tough, the tough get an Uzi”

“How I wish, how I wish you were here
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here”

“Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells ”

“If you should go skating on the thin ice of modern life, dragging behind you the silent reproach of a million tear-stained eyes, don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice appears under your feet”

“If the cloud bursts thunder in your ear, you shout and no one seems to hear. And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes, I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon”

“Well, nobody’s perfect.”

“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.”

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”

“Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!”

“Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac…It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!”

“Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals … except the weasel.”

“Books are useless! I only ever read one book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin… but what good does that do me?”

“Oooh, so Mother Nature needs a favor?! Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys! Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she’s losing. Well I say ‘hard cheese.’’

“If I owned a company, my employees would love me. They’d have huge pictures of me up the walls and in their home, like Lenin.”

“I tolerate lactose like I tolerate people.”

“Anything that’s for free, people will take. They don’t discriminate.”

“Sometimes I start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope to find it along the way.”

“My philosophy is basically this. And this is something that I live by. And I always have. And I always will. Don’t ever, for any reason, do anything to anyone, for any reason, ever, no matter what. No matter … where. Or who, or who you are with, or where you are going, or … or where you’ve been … ever. For any reason, whatsoever.”

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post 3 final

I enjoyed both of these essays. I was engaged by both and they kept me interested throughout.

I enjoyed “Genetic Tribe of One” because I was really able to see just how lonely the author was, or whoever the main character was. I was pulled in from the very beginning. Teachers aren’t usually the ones you think of as being lonely all day because they are surrounded by people all the time. But when you think about it an elementary school teacher could be a pretty lonely place to be. You are surrounded by people, but those people are anywhere from 5-10 usually. Yes those children depend on you, but you cannot develop and real compelling relationships with those kids because they are still very immature. It is difficult to have thought provoking conversations or hang out outside of school with somebody who is learning how to read and write. And it is the same procedure every year. New kids come in and you teach them the same things. It is very cyclical and can be very redundant.

She has gotten so used to being alone that she is now possibly too comfortable being alone, just going around singing random songs and not presenting herself in the best fashion. She now thinks that everything about her is destined to make her lonely, even her blood. She considers herself to be a part of a group that is less than .01 percent of the population. That’s a pretty small group. I like one of the last lines, where she claims she is “the onliest.” Not only is she lonely, because there are millions of people who consider themselves lonely, but she is the only of her kind, which shows just how isolated she is. I felt bad for but she seems to have grown comfortable with it, which makes me not as worried for her.

The second essay was interesting but not as much as the first one. I felt that it dragged a bit. It started out with an interesting idea where someone analyzes what the pain scale means and what each number represents to the author. Although after a while reading it did become a bit tedious and I just wanted it to end. The story might have been more engaging if it were shorter. Still, it was an interesting idea to base a whole essay just on one small thing like a pain scale. It did progress nicely throughout as we built towards the most extreme pain imaginable. Although a lot of her examples seemed specific to her and not really what I would consider to be not very painful or very painful.

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Blog 1 final

So here I am. I like to write creatively, not just boring pieces for the sake of writing. Often I focus mostly on quantity. I think it is important to constantly write if one wants to become a good writer, but I think it is more important to focus on a piece and try to make it the best it can be. However, I usually have some trouble sitting down and editing my work so that is something I should work on. I hope to work on my identity when it comes to writing. I would like to compose a self that reflects a part of me, but not the whole me. To create an almost alter ego when it comes to writing. I remember the professor always suggested to write as much as possible, not just what is on the syllabus. Last year she suggested that people try to write a novel during novel writing month. She also wants us to observe a lot, that is why there aren’t a lot of classes on Friday. I think observing others or nature and just jotting down ideas is an important thing to do that could have a great benefit on your writing. There is a lot of writing, but it is pretty consistent with what you expect from a lower-division university class. I want to try and focus more on incorporating other mediums. Music and pictures could also express ourselves and I think they could benefit our overall writing when we are composing our self.

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