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Monday, December 14, 2015

Final: Imagine

"I hope someday you'll join us...And the world will live as one" (S.5, L.3-4). Being one of the most recognizable and significant songs of the 20th century, just simply reading the lyrics will generate the song's rhythm in your  head. Shortly after John Lennon's departure from the influential Beatles, he began his own solo career. Although fans all over the world were heartbroken by the disperse of the iconic band, many people were eager to see the kind of path that John would take as an individual artist. His most acclaimed song to date was "Imagine," for its saddening truthfulness and powerful meaning. The song signifies everything that John stood for as a peaceful revolutionist, and expresses the method of dreaming outside of humanity's social norms. Lennon makes reference to the disobliging ways of religion, war, and poverty all within only three minutes. In Lennon's stance in the song "Imagine," he remarks the wrongs in society by dreaming of a better reality and highlighting the contrast between the world's present and hopeful future.

In the first verse of the song, Lennon rebels against the dependence of religion and says to live in the moment. His resistance against religion's system of beliefs is abnormal to humanity and what the world accepts as true. He Imagines that there is no heaven or hell and that the here and now is the only world we will ever come to know. His simplistic way of describing this far-off dream comes off as calm and peaceful, since he is just stating his individual opinions: "It's easy if you try" (S.1, L.2).  He then continues with his observation about the world's reality, by mentioning that there is only "sky." Lennon's tone is not angered or violent, he just wants people to join his movement, that declares a life of freedom and thought. This verse focuses on one single topic of how many people of the world worry about afterlife. He gives a substitute to humanity's crutch on religion by offering a way of existing without worry about where you will be next. This verse is divided by notifying the way that many humans live in today's world, then envisioning a community where all people live in the moment.

This theme of non-conformity continues to the second verse, where Lennon focuses on the unnecessary wars that take place in the world. Known for his tranquil protests against the Vietnam War, Lennon had influenced many followers to join him in his peaceful outlook on life. Lennon begins his statement by dreaming of a world without separation amongst the nations of the globe. Again with his uncomplicated tactic of dreaming, he tries to convey that anyone can dream of this contrasting lifestyle. Lennon then makes observations about the end to violence and war: "Nothing to kill or die for" (S.2, L.3). He wants his audience to become available to curiosity and a conduct of peace. Lennon views all war as unnecessary, so he resolves the solution in the last line, with a transparent attitude.

His last verse acknowledges the poverty that reigns in our world, then describing that the unity of mankind can put an end to this corruptness. Lennon first dreams of a world with no values or possessions, conceiving a society where everyone has a clean slate and everyone begins as equal. With this perspective on life, John says there would be "No need for greed or hunger" (S.4, L.3).  Possessions are unnecessary, it's all about the type of characteristics that a certain person displays. He declares that the only way to put an end to this dependence on materialistic values, is to share them with all other people as a union. The most significant word that he provides in this stanza and possibly the song is "brotherhood." This single phrase captures the essence of his fight against poverty, representing that everyone in this world is equal and apart of a team with one common goal of prospering in life. He says that the only way to achieve at this ambition in life is to come together as a community and defy the unethical social gap in our communities.

The chorus that is repeated between the verses, throughout the song has the most definitive capture around the song as a whole. As each verse ends, it creates a solution to the problems that we have in the world, which lead to a positive hope for our future. Once the chorus begins, Lennon fully indulges himself into speaking directly to the audience that is listening to his statements. He claims that many of the listeners may think that he is the only person that believes in putting an end to these disputes, although provides clarity by asserting that he is just the first brave person attend to these subjects. He affirms the audience that anyone can be brave in the world, they just have to "dream" of providing hope to the world. In his final direction to how he wants the public to react, is to join "us" in this fight for peace and equality. In reference to this group that he represents, he recognizes all of the other non-conformists in the world that think like him. Lennon is knowledgeable of the fact that it is common for humans to think this way, but you have to start somewhere in order to make an impact on the world. His endings in both verses are slightly different, although have a giant connotation to them: "...will be as one...will live as one" (S.3, L.4-S.5-L.4). The difference in the word's "be" and "live" show the closeness that he feels with the audience by the end of the song. Lennon not only wants to form an alliance with all of the world, but also wants to unite as a family that "lives" as one. In each chorus, Lennon combines both the present and the future by speaking with the audience and claiming that it is not hard to join his cause for Imagining.

The future was not necessarily changed by John's effective words, but it takes a process to stray away from the conformity of today's society. Although Lennon was killed before he could finish his movement, his work is not undone, it continued after his death. Many followers continue to fight for the cause that he displayed, but this song provides a good reminder of how to remain curious and imaginative of a different life. The famous song will live forever as John's most memorable melody and shows that legends truly never die.

The Mercury Man

Billy Loveman

Freddie Mercury

             The outstanding singer, Freddie Mercury was not only one of the best vocalists of all time, but he lives throughout history as a legend. Mercury stood up for freedom of equality and liberation, while also writing music that gave meaning to his values. Towards later years in his life, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDs, which was a new, yet deadly disease at the with you time. By this time in his life, he had earned the fame and immortality across the globe, making a sustaining mark in society. Although dying at a young age, Mercury had made several accomplishments in the music industry and had explored unknown territories within different genres with his band, Queen. The areas that the world remembers Mercury for are his rise to glory, his mixing of themes and categories, and the influence that he had on the rights in society.

             With the original name, Farrokh Bulsara, Mercury was born in Zanzibar, East Africa, to two British-born parents. His father had moved the family here to continue his occupation as a cashier at the British Colonial Office. Here, the family lived in a small flat and Mercury began to take piano lessons at the age of 7.  When he was 8, he was sent to an all boys school in Mumbai, India, where he would form different bands and establish his piano and vocal talents. Here, he would cover many rock and roll bands, and he would exploit his natural talents for music. "A friend recalls 'he had an uncanny ability to listen to the radio and replay what he heard on piano.'" When he was 17, his family and him fled Zanzibar because of violent revolution that was occurring, then moved to Middlesex, England. Mercury worked tirelessly and many different odd jobs, while also working toward his dreams in the music industry. Hopping around different bands, one after the other failed to take off. In 1970, he joined with Brian May (guitarist) and Roger Taylor (drummer), where they had initial management by just Mercury himself. By this time, Mercury had foreseen hope in the band, so he devoted all of his time to the success of this band. He named the band "Queen," full well knowing its gay connotations. Mercury changed his last name from Bulsara to Mercury and went by Freddie, establishing an eternal name throughout history. In his early years, Mercury worked his "ass off" in music education and made several logical decisions that would lead to his success and fame in society.

             The international sensation that Queen earned was due to the complex songs, harmonies, and genres that they took on. Freddie Mercury lead the band in concerts through his flamboyant, yet awesome performance style, giving off a theatrical and operatic edge. It was not established to the public that Mercury was homosexual until an interview in 1974, making it the first time ever that it was cool to be gay. Mercury became very open with his sexuality and everyone in the world didn't mind it, in fact they appreciated his behavior and the stage personas that he had. Mercury had a natural talent of a four octave range, using this advantage to cover genres that no one had attempted in music history. Queen created unorthodox song structures and complicated harmonies that sounded beautiful. The lyrics were inspirational to many people because the meanings related to Mercury's emotions and made the songs all more powerful. With songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, Bicycle Race, and We Will Rock You, theatrical stories were told and enhanced through insane vocal scales. They also manufactured many rock operas based on the unique songs and albums they had written, expressing even more of a theatrical essence. Known as one of the best bands ever to exist, Freddie Mercury lead Queen to several record breaking accomplishments and successes in genres that had not yet been explored by rock and roll yet.

             The primary reason that Freddie Mercury is long remembered, is for the influence he had on people standing up for their rights and peacefully fighting for the liberties that the free world was promised. Having a homosexual background, many religious and outside anti-gay activists loathed Mercury's personality and the symbols he stood for. In the music video for I Want to Break Free, the members of Queen cross dressed and highlighted risks for sexuality, while making a meaning to freedom of sexual orientation. This music video was subsequently banned by MTV for "inappropriate sights," sparking a rage throughout America and all fans of Queen. To this day, the video is still banned by MTV and prohibited from people of certain ages. Queen would soon release songs, like Radio Gaga, expressing how they were being forced to conform to society's rules and could not express their feelings. Songs like these had the crowd collectively pumping fists to the dance and singing along to the powerful lyrics. Many followers joined in on the fight for liberation in America and also made an effort to earn rights for all sexual orientations. Towards the end of his career, Mercury would make others songs that dealt with different circumstances and the current dilemma that he was internally or externally battling. For example, he sang The Show Must Go On with immense passion about his battle against AIDs.  Mercury soon died from this deadly disease, although rose as a significant figure that made efforts to creating an equal world. Mercury was a powerful role model that gave influence to gay rights, freedom of speech, and passion for individual beliefs.



Living In Fear

Mother's Blog About "Living In Fear"

Growing up in the 70’s was a gift.  I remember the only thing I was scared of was the “boogie

man” and he wasn’t even real.  My grandparents lived down the street from me which meant I

never had a babysitter. We used our home phones to call our friends and we actually wrote letters

to them over the summer.  We played outside and never once feared there would be a drive-by

shooting or terrorists on our streets.

Times have changed and it makes me sad.  Our children get on airplanes to see their

grandparents and now we do the same to see our children.  Our kids would never consider using

a home phone and sadly the “boogie man” today is very real.   I worry about the impact fear and

disconnection will have on our children.  A social worker at New Trier told me last year they

were in triage treating kids with anxiety and depression.  I am certain the Paris shootings have

raised the level of worry to an even greater level.

Our oldest daughter Marin is working at NBC in New York City and was chosen out of 16,000

applicants.  She is living her career dream, but she won’t get on the subway because she is

terrified of the terror threats.  Our middle daughter Carly has plans to study abroad in Florence,

Italy for her spring semester.  She studies Art History and is excited to have the opportunity to

live where so many masters created their work. But she is terrified of the terror threats.  Our son

Billy is still at home and thankfully does not have terror concerns … yet.

So how do we keep our hopes and dreams alive for our children without giving in to worry?

And how do we keep them from worrying?  I lay awake at night wishing for Marin to move

home, for Carly not to travel abroad and for Billy to attend college close by.  But I know this is

not possible.  I also know firsthand that worry is a waste of time and we can’t stop our children

from their journeys.

So I rely on two things to get me through the day, and the wee hours of the night.  My faith and

70’s music.  I pray, I meditate and I listen to Pandora’s 70’s station.  Prayer keeps me centered

and connects me to a source that keeps me calm.  And since I can’t live in the 70’s, I keep the

music flowing in my 2015 life.  It’s a great reminder that good is greater than evil and putting

peace and love into the universe is our best shot at changing the climate of our world.  We’ve

never needed the peace sign more, so I say bring back the 70’s in any way we can – through

music, peace, love, putting down our i-phones, writing a letter, calling our grandparents and

taking a break from worry,

Attacks on Paris

Billy Loveman
English 3

Terrorist Attacks on Paris

The terrorist attacks on Paris caught the attention of both the world and all of social media. Hearts were broken across the globe and people became sick to their stomachs in reaction to the major tragedy. At least 129 people were killed in this violent attack, that caused fear and tension between many different countries. The masterminds and prosecutors of these attacks were apart of a group called ISIS (Islamic State). This terrorist group seeks to cause fear and violence across the world for no good motives. The foundation of their religion is based on killing others and themselves, in order to spark chaos. They have began many training camps across the Middle East and already executed many other minor attacks. They have been born into a community where they have an established anguish for America and the freedom that it represents. Not only does ISIS hate America, they hate many other western cultures that believe in democracy and express the belief of liberty and freedom as well. Many believe that this group cannot be stopped, while others believe that violence could be the solution to this extreme problem that is occurring in our modern world.

A huge manhunt is undergoing, in search for the accomplices of these attacks and for the men who masterminded the bombings. These terrorists showed absolutely no mercy and had no humanity while hunting down hundreds of innocent civilians. While some believe to take this action with peace and shed no reaction, France and America had taken their chances into a different direction. The two countries dropped more than 20 bombs on militant areas within Syria, that had a population of around 200,000 people. This was made out as “an act of war,” showing that this type of battle and violence is now amongst the world. This reaction caused escalation to the attacks and killed around the same amount of civilians that ISIS killed in Paris. Not nearly the same amount of people have recognized this attack, as they did for Paris, showing how countries within Europe are much more praised than countries like Syria, which are in the Middle East. These back and forth raids will cause more nuclear and scare of violence within the world, resulting in an all out war. Although it may seem unethical to do so, but America needs to take action with ISIS and respond in the only way that ISIS will listen to. If this must cause war, it needs to be taken, since ISIS is too dangerous to keep uncontained. Those who perished in the Paris attacks should be avenged and these western countries must be willing to stand up against the intolerable and immoral group of ISIS, in order to do so. Is war ethical under these circumstances or not? I believe that if it is the only way to resolve alternate violence against innocent people, it will be necessary to result in violence for beneficial causes, so everyone can feel safe in this world.


Billy Loveman


              WWIII is defined as a full in war between majority of the globe's nations, in subsequence to WWI and WWII which occurred in the 1910s and 1940s. Since the attacks on Paris and hearings about ISIS training camps in the Middle East, it seems as if there are puzzle pieces and previous battles being established before a much larger and involved war. One can almost feel like history is in the making, like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand before WWI and Pearl Harbor before the U.S.'s involvement in WWII. The real question is how has WWIII not been officially established or outlined in response to all of the commotion in current times? In response to this common question, many people focus on the violent causes that are leading up to a major war and the actions that different nations are taking in reaction to these roots towards war.

               The Paris attacks had been the most effective terrorist attacks on civilian soil spin Europe since WWII, causing the continent to go on a partial lockdown, to protect from alternate attacks of violence. Shortly after this event, a Russian fighter jet was shot down by a member of NATO, getting yet another country to become involved in the undertones war in our midst.  In the article How Is This Not WWIII?, the author stated, "If this had occurred during the Cold War, we would be bracing for the possibility of a nuclear war." In reaction to this attack, President Putin called a meeting with the UN of security, while NATO called their own emergency meeting, signifying the separation between teams for the "war." On the other side of this battle, Al Qaeda fights for recognition amongst the world and still remains as a competitor of ISIS. The Shiites battles the Sunnies, the Arabs are against the Iranians, and the Kurds are against ISIS as well. This expresses how there is a vast amount of rivalry and fight for territory amongst the Middle East, creating even more of a dangerous war zone than the free world could have expected. This sets in the hazard for soldiers from France, Russia, or America to stepping into the Middle East, because then they risk interfering with civil rivalries that are not their fights to battle. In the midst of these other parties forming against ISIS or even for ISIS in the Middle East, an alternate alliance has formed to battle against the violence that the world may face. This includes Russia, Turkey, the U.S., the "anti-ISIS coalition," and France.  Many other smaller unions have formed to fight ISIS as well, but don't have the support of a full nation. The group, "Anonymous" is a computer hacking alliance that originally used their methods to exploit the faulties of government. But in subsequence to the attacks on France, they have turned their focus on ISIS, launching their biggest operation ever and have also declared cyber war on them. Representing Switzerland, Peru, and the UK, they are mainly focusing on defending France because of the attacks by using cyber attacks against ISIS. They have released videos that state their hatred against ISIS and how France will come out of this experience even stronger due to the actions that they will take. Another example of domestic fights against ISIS is gang violence in the U.S. The largest rival gangs in American society are the blood and crips, who claim that they have also declared war on ISIS. Thousands of members met in a park in Brooklyn recently, stating that ISIS is "soft," yet these gangs really know what it is like in the world. They claim that they will rent cruise ships and attack members of ISIS in the Middle East with all of their manpower. Despite that violence is being created, it makes Americans feel that domestic violence is being dissolved at the moment and everyone in the world now has a common enemy. Overall, nations are creating both enemies and allies for the chance of an upcoming war, while many others groups have unified to use their methods against the terrorist group, ISIS.

               President Barack Obama and Putin have both handled the reactions to the ISIS attacks very differently. Obama has stated that American military is making major efforts in containing ISIS by sending air strikes against Syria alongside France's Air Force as well. While Putin has sent massive military force into Syria in order to enforce the end to the conflict in the Middle East with armed soldiers and risking many lives. America has 150+ planes deployed in Syria in order ultimately bomb them, while Russia and France really only have around 35 planes each. ISIS has made influence on certain areas of operations, so their believers have made many targets around the world, sparking violence with no purpose. The Syrian World War hosts the coalition of more than 60 nations around the globe, which is about 1/4 of the nations in existence.  War is a factor in everyday life, but if this turns into world war, violence will prevail across the globe and nuclear destruction may be a factor, which is a scary foresight to have.