Blog Post 10

The two versions varied greatly even though they were both the same songs. The original of David Bowie, was very easy to follow with very distinct sounds and limited vocals. Beck’s rendition however included not only many voices but also many instruments. Beck’s version was also in video format so not only was the music vastly more dramatic so was the images that I saw in my head, in comparison to that of the Bowie which was much more calm and concise. Beck’s was so much more packed than that of the original. It reminded me of the jazz performance a lot,  because of the large number of musicians featured in that one piece, there was a necessity to work together in harmony. That was what I noticed in the Jazz performance as these artist all with different sounds had to work together to create a musical piece. They each had places where they had to wait for others or take a solo, and therefore it was very similar to the second version of Bowie’s song.

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One of my favorite songs states “Its better to feel pain than nothing at all”.  The feeling of pain is an essential part of life, and rather than sleeping through it all without any sense, it is better to live even if their will be pain. The feeling of pain is not only natural but in a way it is a necessity. If there was no reason to alleviate this pain then there would be no need to live. If we achieve true euphoria without psychical or mental barrier then there is no point in putting effort into changing things. However with this pain our world is ever changing, trying to find new and better ways to solve our pain. And through these efforts sometimes we fail but other times we gain even by accident. This is what Boxer communicates when she states ““When people forge tools or build things, they are often trying to alleviate discomfort. But first they must define the discomfort”. We have the need to create things because we have the necessity to fix the pain we are experiencing, without this vital part of life we cannot have the creative force of pain driving us to push on.


When I saw the Laocoön statue in person this summer, it didn’t really affect me as much as it did after I read this article. I never really thought about the story behind it when I observed the art, I definitely appreciated its beauty and grace, but I didn’t think that this was an art that people looked down upon. When you see a muscular guy struggling against monstrous tentacles, the first thing you really think of is a heroic story, however it was one of punishment and terror. As this man went against the gods and is art to show the aftermaths of disobeying authority. Boxer states “the sculpture [of Laocoön] didn’t change, but the idea of pain and justice did”, and I completely agree with this, because when we think of justice and pain we don’t think about putting this out in the public for people to view and admire. We feel pity for those that go through pain, rather than enjoyment that they got what they “deserved”, and we would never relish such images of pain now.

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Part I:  The crimes that the judge initially describes are the ones committed through necessity and done in order to make a living. The crime that the tight-rope walker commits however is a crime done purely out of Petit’s own desire and curiosity, rather than the an essentiality. Petit’s crime is scene as a work of art, and by the judge a kind monument that truly represents New York. A place of chaos, insanity, and beauty all mixed together.

Part II: The doubling up of the two cases furthers the contrast between two different kinds of crimes discussed in part I. Even though the judge is forced to give some sort of consequence for Petit’s actions, he still has a lot of sympathy for him from the get go. Before event facing the trial he already thinks about how bizarre this will be and he is very effected by this court case. He sees Petit’s crime in a very different light than he does of Tillie and Jazzlyn. This is why he has an internal conflict on what he has to do as a judge rather than what he actually feels about the crime committed by the tightrope walker. When it comes to Tillie and Jazzlyn, the judge is very prejudice, and he immediately sees Tillie as a representation of the lower class, and stereotypes her. Rather than thinking about the crime he thinks about looking good in front of the reporters that came for the tightrope walkers case. It is isn’t until the end when he feels some sort of empathy after realizing the mother and daughter relationship, where his real feelings start to come out. The contrast between the two cases that happen on the same day reveal how different people and crimes are viewed and how different prejudices exist.

Part III:

The prologue is the explanation of Philippe Petit’s incredible tightrope walk between the twin towers. This event is interpreted in many ways wether it is the admiration of the human will, or wether it is to find the beauty in everyday things, or whether in the case of some of the characters such as Marcia, a resurrection of her dead son, all the characters are somehow affected by this image of a man walking in the air. It literally stops the chaotic New York, and this event is not only a different symbol for each of the characters in the book but its also a symbol of interconnectedness and unity amongst them. This wasn’t apparent in the prologue but once the story ends it bridges back to this event, as connections are made between characters that are not expected and out of the blue just like the tightrope walker.

Continuing off this theme of uniting people in unfamiliar and random ways, Jaslyn and Pino two strangers ended up getting together in the last chapter. These two strangers unexpectedly got together and it formed a bridge with the earlier symbol of the tightrope walker and how different connections are constantly being made on accident or by chance.

Blog Post 6

I listen to a wide range of music and music plays a huge role in my life. I listen to music at every opportunity and I truly love indulging myself in different music to help me in a sense get away from the reality. I love the sensuous element of music just like Copland discussed in his writing. I love being able to daydream with music, and one powerful element of music is that it brings me back memories bout me or someone about someone I care about. When a musical piece makes his connection with me it has meaning to me in a special way, even though maybe the music itself might have a very different meaning. Although most of that music involves words, I also listen to a handful of EDM(electronic dance music). A significant part of this genre involves no words or very little words in its work. While some of this music such as Hardwell and Martin Garrix help me change my mood and daydream away, a recent artist that I have been listening to in this genre is Porter Robinson. When I discovered his music it seemed so different from the mainstream EDM and instead of hyping me up and giving me a rush of energy, even though some of it is upbeat, I felt more melancholic. It was a weird connection that I had and I couldn’t stop listening,  some of his work had extremely little amount of words and somehow it still gave me goosebumps. I have truly appreciated his work from then on and have been listening to him a lot recently.

Blog Post 5

Copeland states that there are a few ways of listening to music, one which involves the sensuous plane where the music doesn’t have much meaning but to pass time. The second which is the expressive plane. When I listen to music, I tend to listen to both types, but I don’t really listen to classical music at all. The only times that I do end up listening to classical is at school, and therefore thats why the Beethoven piece had a lot of meaning for me. It brought back a lot of memories, and thats why I love about music, it has a way of connecting with us in some way. I couldn’t make the same connection with Tchaikovsky because it was my first time listening to his work, thats why I listened to his music in a more sensuous plane, compared to Beethoven where I was really thinking about the art, and when I used to listen in school I didn’t listen so carefully and since I didn’t enjoy classical very much I didn’t really appreciate Beethoven’s work like I did when I listened to it now.

Union Square

With the man I love who loves me not,
I walked in the street-lamps’ flare;
We watched the world go home that night
In a flood through Union Square.
I leaned to catch the words he said
That were light as a snowflake falling;
Ah well that he never leaned to hear
The words my heart was calling.
And on we walked and on we walked
Past the fiery lights of the picture shows —
Where the girls with thirsty eyes go by
On the errand each man knows.
And on we walked and on we walked,
At the door at last we said good-bye;
I knew by his smile he had not heard
My heart’s unuttered cry.
With the man I love who loves me not
I walked in the street-lamps’ flare —
But oh, the girls who ask for love
In the lights of Union Square.

Miró Miró on the Wall

The title of this chapter refers to the Catalan artist Joan Miró. Miró was a painter sculptor and ceramist born in Barcelona, and he was popular by his style of surrealism. The phrase “miró miró on the wall who’s the fairest one of them all?” alludes to snow white where the evil queen asks the mirror on the wall who the fairest one is. The queen expects the answer of this question to be herself as she is extremely self-conceited. This is used as by the author to make a comparison to the new character introduced in this chapter, Claire.Claire is a rich women living with her husband on the upper east side of Manhattan. Claire lost her son in the Vietnam war and she joins a group of other women who have also lost their sons in the war, in order to help one another out. These women gather at each persons house and hear the story of the house owners child. Claire was the last one to host the group, and as she is the host she is very nervous about her appearance. She constantly thinks about how the other women are going to think about her and her house. She is incredibly insecure and believes that her friends will start to dislike her. This relates back to the queen how she cared so much about her appearance and she looked at the mirrors and asked the mirror to reassure herself. In this case Claire being rich has paintings around her house and so she is looking at them and trying to change the way her house looks because she wants to impress the women. It is not until the end of the chapter that Claire realizes these women are not here to impress each other but they are here to grieve and help one another overcome the loss of their sons.

Let the Great World Spin

The prologue labelled Those Who Saw Him Hushed, explains the events that took place when a man, named Philipe Petit, walked across a tight rope between the twin towers. Column McCann narrates this story in sort of the perspective of a bird, as the events taken place are seen from another perspective. New York is known for its busy and chaotic style, but as there is suddenly silence and people gather around to watch this build up tension, as police sirens and firefighters rush to the scene, there is large anticipation amongst the crowd and the reader. This made me think about the perspective of Petit, it must have looked liked the whole world is there under him, looking at what he might do next. I also have a special connection to this story, as when I first arrived into the United States, I barely knew english, therefore I read children’s books to improve. My favorite book that I had read and one of my first was actually a picture book about this same event. I read teh book with the same excitement as the people mentioned in the prologue. I could not believe that this was possible, and I couldn’t imagine how someone was brave enough to do such a thing. This was actually one of the few things I had known before coming to New York, this interesting story about a tight rope walker. Therefore the prologue really made me interested in this book, and made me constantly think about the ideas and themes present in the prologue as I started to read the first chapter.

Throughout the first chapter, I have most connected to Ciaran. Not because of his family or the events regarding them but in the way of discovering a new lifestyle and a new country. Dublin is 3,176 miles away from New York, it has a very different culture, lifestyle, and all around look. I also arrived in the Bronx when I first came to New York. I came from a longer distance however all the way from Istanbul. Which similar to Dublin, is a very different city compared to New York. Just like Ciaran I was discovering this new culture and style through an outsiders lens. Therefore I felt connected to Ciaran in the sense that we are both immigrants.


Stanley Diamond argues that the statements made by Keats in his poem are flawed as Keats asserts that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever”.  Keats is trying to explain that beauty has the power to affect people, as it can change their emotions for the better not just temporarily but “forever”, meaning that this pleasure is never-ending. Diamond believes that this assertion is “forced” and that joy can be related to much more than just beauty. He argues that this claim creates a spiritual problem. Not only is this problem evident in Keats writing but also in the other authors that write in the romantic style.  Romanticism focuses on intense emotion, particularly of the individual. As Keats shows great appreciation to beauty he suggests that beauty has a spiritual source. Thats where Diamond attests that this is not only flawed but also dangerous. Transcendental is defined as something that relates to a spiritual or a nonphysical realm, Diamond believes that poems such as Keats which relate to spiritual beliefs can prove to be dangerous to ones inner self, as it could cause someone to fall into despair.  And he proclaims that Keats is not the only one in making such claims about spirituality but one of the many “Western poets” whom bring up similar themes.