Let The Great World Spin-Miro

You ever have a perfect plan laid out? You ever think about it over and over again in your head, trying to find one flaw in it but never doing so? It’s so perfect that you start to wonder if you could have thought about it all on your own, but you look everywhere, and can’t find it. It’s, not to sound redundant, but…perfect. It’s so perfect you have Ed Sheeran’s new single “Perfect” playing in the background, adding to the ambiance of the events about to take place (of course, I am doing this to reference how music adds to the mood of a piece). Finally, your life can now be thought of as more than being alone in your room listening to pop ballads all day, eating potato chips, throwing your life away…uh, you get my point (I’m not speaking from personal experience, wink wink). You decide it’s time to execute it, and your heart sinks to the pit of your stomach.

This is exactly what happened to me over the course of the day. ready to type my perfect ideas on the screen, I looked below at previous posts to get an idea on the perspectives grasped by the book thus far, and saw Gee’s post. It was almost identical to what I was thinking. Almost every single world! My perfect plan…DESTROYED!!! I proceeded to drown my sorrows in Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” for 12 hours, until I decided to begin to write again.

Anyways, in all seriousness, I was reading through the posts after reading the book, and realized that Gee had a very similar though process when it came to this book. Not trying to copy her or sound redundant, I dug deeper into this perspective a little and came up with the following. Gee talked about the allusion to fairy tales, yet with a little morbid twist. I 1000% percent agree with that, but I do want delve a little deeper in the fact that Claire was smiling uncontrollably despite the fact that the sergeant gave the news of a death. Throughout the course of the chapter, I couldn’t help but think to myself that there was something off about Claire. It didn’t hit me until this very seen that there is something wrong with her: she is normal.

Think about it: in the city full of art, crazy people on the train, and even a guy who walks across the World Trade Center, she is simply normal. She even said it herself that she has lived the same old routine for 31 years! Even when she looks at a picture of her and her son at the beach, she describes the scenery with just physical details, no emotion whatsoever. She even described Joshua as just a boy. Just a boy?! That’s your kid for crying out loud! Something that seals this argument is that she has to choose her words for conversations with her friends, as if she is a robot that converses with people. She doesn’t let the emotion of the world, as represented by its colors, penetrate her to give her body life. That is why her hair always has that gray strand, because it is impossible to cut that part of her, as it is now a part of her she can’t let go of.

As far as interactions go, I stopped counting after 50 (I wonder where I heard this before). However, one interaction that really interested me was Claire and Solomon (it was really Lara and Ciaran, but that was too unoriginal). It surprises me how little a couple can know about each other even after being together for decades. This is true of all couples as all human beings have multiple layers to them, each of them unique to specific situations, hence Solomon cursing so bluntly after the sergeant talked about dying a hero.



How beautiful is Beauty?

This book, in 70 small pages, was able to take me on an emotional rollercoaster and a deeper understanding of one’s purpose for living. For one, their purpose can be to find beauty (whatever that means) within the humdrum of our dark, yet boring reality, like Corrigan, while others refuse to accept beauty as a part of life, like the boys’ mother, who even in her las moments on Earth, refused to let any light into her home simply because she believed it would damage her carpet, as if light is a deteriorating factor rather than a rejuvenating one.

This book and its meanings can be broken into two separate parts. The first is its geography and it how it affects the characters who inhabit it. When put very simply, the prologue and the end of chapter one, filled with the evils that are brought upon by the extreme pressures and influences of city life are bridged together by a more simplistic lifestyle that is created by the more relaxed environment of Dublin, Ireland. However, there is more meaning of this placement that simply placing a more relaxed environment (Dublin) in between two city-life environments. In fact, what it really shows is how two environments that appear to be the antithesis of each other at first glance can actually create similar emotions and actions of the people that inhabit these places.

Though New York City seems to be full of chaos, where days aren’t made official until the daily noise of sirens, as mentioned in the prologue, Dublin possesses evils of its own, where its relaxed mood isn’t always a good thing, as it seems as if the environment itself doesn’t even care about itself enough to even try to get out of its own grayness (Chapter 1). Here, McCann is trying to suggest that two completely opposite environments can cause similar experiences and all lead back to the same road filled with impiety and depressive stages. Nonetheless, each environment gives people the chance at their own escape from reality, from the heroin users and prostitutes of New York City to the drunks of Dublin along the shore line, as if their only hopes are for that very shore line to sweep them away to a new and better life, one they know will never come. Hey, I never said these escapes were great either. In essence, McCann suggests that no matter the society we live in, even the escapes that are given to us only create a new environment filled with as much evil and hopelessness as the last. We just don’t know it yet.

The next part of the book I want to get into is my feelings towards the characters of this book. First off, let me say I felt a deep connection to most of these characters, as I see myself or many of my close friends and family in almost all of these characters. The boys’ mother reminds me so much of my own mother, who is also very sweet and kind in her own right. Yet, what baffles me about the mother is why she seems to be so disconnected to life, from hiding her feelings when the boys decided to put on their father’s clothes, to not allowing light into her own home to prevent the carpet from getting ruined. The narrator is the one who feels most alien to me as he seems to look more at other people’s lives rather than focus on his own. It’s almost as if he lives his life through others.

Finally there is Corrigan. At first, I wasn’t really sure how to feel about him. t first, I thought of him as that annoying little brother who always gets all the attention from strangers because he is simply “too cute.” Then, I realized there was something much more philosophical to Corrigan’s lifestyle, from trying to find beauties within all the war and poverty in the world, to the charity he did all on his own without ever “sponsoring” a religion with a Bible, a collar, or any other religious symbol. This really proved to me that Corrigan was truly trying to create a beautiful world, something that can never truly be achieved, because what is beautiful to one, like what Corrigan saw in his last moments, can be total nonsense to another, like with what Adelita thought Corrigan was describing. From this, we must ask ourselves: how beautiful is beauty?



According to the little, yet very telling information we know about John Keats, he seemed to be sure of one thing throughout his short life (only living 25 years). He was absolutely certain that the only thing that one needs to know in order to survive in this dominating and exploitative world is that “beauty is truth, truth beauty,” a phrase first coined in his poem “Ode to a Grecian Urn.” Though this is heavily disputed throughout Diamond’s piece, there is one word that completely invalidates Keats’ belief system, which is contingency. If simply Googled, which is a commonality for anybody of the 20th century that doesn’t understand something, you will immediately get a definition stating that contingency is “a future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty.” In other words, it is something that could happen, but can’t be said with certainty that it will happen. Keats’ philosophy from one of his most famous poems is a prime example of contingency. This is so because a thing of beauty can’t be enjoyed forever, let alone a human being’s lifetime, because it won’t always be beautiful. Any piece of writing, specifically including Keats’ famous line, represents a frozen time in history. Of course, from Keats’ minute perspective, beauty seems to stay constant forever, because beyond human limitations to imagine any other world but ours. This obviously excludes some variations brought on to us by the Television and our own imagination, yet even then, we are only picturing the world changing around us, not us changing around the world, which is what is really happening. For a second just picture the future, let’s say… 500 years from now, what do you see? I can probably guess that it involves flying cars, futuristic buildings, and robots. How did you picture the people? Probably at least similar to what we have now, am I right? We don’t realize that in that time, we will have much smaller jaws and teeth, but much larger eyes that seem to bulge out of our heads. Why don’t we picture that? It’s simple: humans are stubborn creatures that would much rather believe that the whole world will change before they do because they think they have total control of their destiny, both socially and physically. My point is that since people believe that beauty is in their eyes, they can control it and know exactly what they are looking for. However, in reality, Diamond proves throughout his piece that time is one of the biggest controllers of beauty, not humans, as something beautiful from Keats’ time can be considered ugly today. Therefore, Diamond believes that the only thing certain in the world today is the struggle for something and the contingency that that very something can be obtained, rather than actually obtaining it. If it were certain what we would get and what we need, we would only have one culture, not the millions we have today. In simple terms, life and its joyous wonders are from the battle itself, not the actual achievement of getting it.