The Fault in Our Stars By John Green (spoiler free review)

Happy Tuesday!

Announcements

I apologize for the late post, I had a midterm paper due yesterday and I was sweating all weekend and yesterday morning finishing it. Also, lectures started again yesterday after spring holiday and uggh it’s a mess over here. I’m ready for summer.

There are some changes coming down the tubes, I’m not quite at liberty to talk about them yet but it’s all good news.  However I am EXCITED to announce that I have a new writer coming on board to write poetry, short stories, and more on Tuesdays.

If you want to submit pieces of poetry, short fiction, fan art, or if you’re a band who wants to do a press release for your new music video or album, or a young author looking for a new reader, or whatever feel free to get in touch with me. Here’s a link to my contact page.

I’ll tell you more when I have more details worked out.

End announcements

Spoiler Free Summary and Review:

The Fault in Our Stars is a book by the wonderful John Green, well known for the YouTube series Crash Course (Crash Course Literature being one of my favourtes, tied with Crash Course Philosophy with his equally wonderful brother Hank Green).  If you’re as late to the party as I am on this one, published in 2012 and movie adaptation released in 2014, you are in luck, my friend, because this is probably the best romance story you’ve missed. (1)  The Fault in Our Stars.jpg

The Fault in Our Stars is a Shakespearean style love story, as the title implies. “The fault in our stars” is a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, between Hazel Grace, a 16 year old girl with cancer that has spread to her lungs, and Augustus, a boy she meets in a support group,

After some awkward teenage conversation, Hazel and Augustus exchange favourite books to read. They bond over the cliff hanger end to Hazel’s beloved book The Price of Dawn.  Augustus gets in touch with the author of Hazel’s favourite book and puts the two in touch (for those taking notes, this is an EXCELLENT move; get me a personal meeting with Mark Z. Danielewski and I think that might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.)

The story goes on develop the arc of young love, but what sets it apart from other teenage love is that going into this story we have a game of Russian Roulette being played with Chekhov’s Revolver. The three main characters, Hazel, Augustus, and their mutual-friend Isaac, have advanced stages of cancer. The whole time I was, sometimes literally, in tears with anticipation of seeing who was going to die, and wishing the whole time that somehow no one would and that they could all go into remission and live long, wonderful lives together.  However, as per the rules of great fiction: characters have to get hurt.  In this case for me, the pain was worth the pay off.

 

Footnotes:

  1. If you’re into that kind of thing, romance stories that is.  See me? I may have a cold black heart but I’m a sappy sod for a good love story.  Speaking of I’m a HUGE pumping-blood-bleeding-heart for a good real life love story,  so if you have a good story about how you met your lovely partner or former partner and want to share, send me a message.

 

**SPOILERS BELOW**

Continue reading

MC Chris is Legit

mc chris

Who wouldn’t want to see a cartoon staring this guy?

MC Chris is great. He’s a nerdcore rapper which basically means he writes songs about star wars, becoming a zombie, and robo-tripping on prom night.  He has been trying to put out a cartoon for a really long time now, The MC Chris Cartoon, but it keeps getting shut down and that’s deeply frustrating.  Check out the pitch ^^^ it looks really really funny.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite songs by MC.

Fett’s Vette – The first rap song I memorized.

I Want Candy – who doesn’t?

Reese – I’ve tried memorizing this song but I can’t even keep up with printed lyrics.  Dude looses me towards the end of the history of chocolate/peanut butter riff.  He’s just so fast.

MC Chris is Dead – Don’t let him vomit on you.

Pizza Butt – “Is it delivery? No it’s Digiorno, microwave it and put it in a porno!”

DQ Blizzard – I don’t even know where to start..

WiiD – He’s a big fan of the green stuff.

Older Crowd – “PLEASE PARK IT MARGARET, I MUST DANCE”

Kill It – MC Chris you are my hero

I realize there is probably at least one person who reads my tag line “A literary blog…kinda” and think “Carbs! This toon(1) leans heavily on the ‘…kinda’ bit.” and sure I’ll give you that, but you want literature? Look at some of these lyrics. They’re poetry.

I’m a devious degenerate
Defender of the devil
Shut down all the trash compactors
On the detention level

Take this stanza from Fett’s Vette.  Look at the alterations of “devious degenerate” and “defender…devil”.  Notice the rhyme between “devil” and “level”.

World’s Fair, Chicago in the year of 1893,
a man named Milton, a disaster outta Lancaster, P.
Inspired by the Germans and their chocolate making machinery
he invented milk chocolate or stole it from the Swiss, that’s history.

So Milton built a factory, and a town and a park and a school for orphans,
made bars and kisses and chips real cheap so poor peeps could afford them.What a great depression – Nine-Twenty, not funny, no money in the pocket,
‘cept Pennsylvania where Milton kept on cranking out chocolate.

The Mr. Goodbar and then a World War and Milton did his part.
Made anti-aircraft guns and sent the soldiers chocolate bars.
Meanwhile they had a ship in, was secretly dipped in peanut butter
in his Pennsylvania basement. It was so exciting, cue the lightning/thunder.

Name’s Harry Burnett, you can bet my ass didn’t go to Harvard.
Be hold up in a cup, couldn’t have done it without George Washington Carver.
“I was living the high life – champagne, limousine, it was a trip,
then I died of a heart attack – all for naught, I was bought in fifty-six.”

Now please fast-forward to the seventies, scientists discover Penuche.
Peanut Butter’s too oily, Pieces takes their part in the food chain,
and their name is commonplace in the latest interview with a lady named Witherspoon.

Or take the history rift from Reese.  Notice the rhyme scheme in the first four lines, shortening brilliantly shortening “Pennsylvania” to “P.” to fit the rhyme.  Notice the slant rhyme in the next stanza between “pocket” and “chocolate” and more so notice the use of the “f” sound tying the entire stanza together from “factory”, “orphans”, “afford” and “funny”.

It goes on and on and it’s not only extremely entertaining but a sign of his linguistic talent.  MC Chris is not only a rapper but also a voice actor and a generally creative mind. My intent with this post is not only to raise awareness of this underrated sub-genre of hip-hop and this artist but also to hopefully bring to attention the cartoon pitch that MC Chris has been trying to make a reality for over 3 years now, a pitch I am invested in being a fan of his work.  I know I don’t have the money to back his cartoon but I hope that in raising more awareness about the pitch that maybe someone of influence will notice the potential.  Besides, aside from Rick and Morty there aren’t many genuinely creative, funny, and intelligent western adult cartoons.

If you watched the pitch and liked it, share it (don’t worry about sharing this specific post, the pitch would get lost in the word vomit).  If you liked any of his songs or all of them MC just began his Ten Year Tour with MC Larz and Mega Ran and is coming to St Louis on the 10th of November at the Fubar off Locust and the tickets are really cheap (like 15$ cheap). If you’re not a St Louisian, no worries: here’s a list of his tour stops.

mc chris tour

Anyway I know most of my audience are aspiring artists or writers so if nothing else, take a bit of advice from MC Chris: Never give up, Never surrender, Keep fighting the good fight until the end of the night. And don’t forget to check the ring, yo.

Footnotes:

  1. The proper gender neutral pronoun for cartoon or otherwise creatively created beings inc stick figures, animatronics, mascots etc.