Tag Archives: History

Summer Reading 2019 #3: A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man


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Even as I go through the last few weeks of Summer, I still put in time to do some more reading.  The last book I finished was All That Heaven Allows by Mark Griffin.  All That Heaven Allows chronicled the life of Rock Hudson, an international movie star who gained his fame during the 50s and 60s.  Other than covering his acting career, the book also dived into Hudson’s closeted personal life (which included wild parties with the young men in Hollywood!).

Today’s reading takes us away from the excitement of Tinseltown and transports us back into 19th century Ireland.  It tells the fictional tale of the religious and spiritual awakening of a student that goes by the name of Stephen Dedalus.  This is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

 

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was written by James Joyce.  It centers around Stephen Dedalus, a young man who attends the Jesuit-run Clongowes Wood College.  It is there that he suffers ridicule from his fellow classmates while learning the schoolboy codes of behavior.

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Stephen’s father ends up getting into debt, causing the family to move into Dublin.  After moving to Dublin, Stephen starts attending Belvedere College (thanks to a scholarship obtained by Father Conmee).  He later squanders a large cash prize from school on prostitutes, further distancing himself from his father.

As Stephen abandons himself to his sensual pleasures, his class is taken on a religious retreat.  The boys sit through sermons and Stephen pays special attention to those on guilt, pride, punishment, and the Four Last Things (death, judgement, hell, and heaven).  It is then that he starts a new journey towards a better life.

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This novel was rather interesting to read.  Some of the language was unfamiliar to me, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.  There were times where I felt like I was transported back to 19th century Ireland picturing green mountains near the ocean.  I didn’t need any pictures, for the words were enough to take me to the peaceful areas of Ireland.

With that, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was worth reading.  Interestingly enough, this was James Joyce’s first novel and it was amazingly done.  I personally enjoyed reading it, for both the story and scenery it provided.

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Check out A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man if you want to start reading some works of James Joyce.

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POSE Season 2 Premiere (Vogue, ACT UP)


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Image result for POSE Season 2

We are in the middle of June, which means that Ryan Murphy’s other series POSE is in full swing.  Season two premiered last week, with the story turning even darker.  As dark as the story gets, the ballroom culture thrives further than ever.

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Just like last season, POSE touches up on familiar events that happened in the past.  Whether they be big or small, they had a major impact in shaping America as it is today.  Two interesting references popped up during the season premiere.

Today, it’s time to go a bit deeper into these elements:
Madonna ‘Vogue’

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Madonna released her famous song ‘Vogue’ back in March 27th, 1990.  It was the music video she released that truly helped her make a major splash in the world.  Interestingly enough, Madonna’s inspiration was through vogue dancers and choreographers Luis Xtravaganza as well as Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza of the Harlem ‘House Ball’ Community.  She was introduced to ‘vogueing’ at the Sound Factory Club in New York City.

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That Madonna hype was a major element within the season premiere. Blanca was of many characters excited to see the ballroom culture becoming more mainstream over time.  Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ skyrocketed in popularity, showcasing a whole new world of dance to audiences worldwide.

ACT UP

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Pray Tell attends yet another funeral of someone who passed away from HIV/AIDS.  Nurse Judy Kubrak takes Pray Tell to attend his first meeting with the group ACT UP.  He eventually joins hundreds of others in an ACT UP Protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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ACT UP is short for AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power.  It is an international grassroots political group that was founded in March 1987.  Their motto was ‘Silence = Death’, which was how the episode ended.

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The episode also referenced the infamous ‘Stop the Church’ incident at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.  On December 10th, 1989, over 4,500 protesters gathered outside a mass at the cathedral to protest the Cardinal’s public views on homosexuality.  A total of one-hundred and eleven protesters were arrested that day.

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All of this was referenced in the very first episode.  It has only been one episode so far and various elements from the real world are already coming into play.  Two major trends in history, Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ and ‘Stop the Church’, were woven together within season two of POSE.

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That’s all for today’s discussion on season two of POSE.  Another episode premieres tonight, which means more colorful references will be discussed within the story.

Castle Bam Skate Park


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It has been quite a while since we have heard from famous skateboarder Bam Margera these days.  The Jackass/Viva La Bam star has been on the down low since having his first kid Phoenix Wolf back in December 2017.  Even after his rowdy stunts he performed in his shows, Bam is still deep in his own craziness.

And yet, Bam Margera is still planning his own public events for his audience.  Whether it be a meet and greet or a special skate session, Bam is still shredding his skill to audiences nationwide.  His latest project involved his very own house, Castle Bam.

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These days, Bam Margera utilizes the Castle Bam house for public parties.  Patrons from all around come to Castle Bam for a night of food, skating, music, and lots of fun.  Local skaters from Pennsylvania stop by to shred around Castle Bam.

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Just last week, Bam hosted a celebration of the grand opening of the official Castle Bam Skate Park.  The event featured an art show, a premiere of Bam’s new film, and rapper Yelawolf.  Castle Bam will officially be a public skate park for skaters who want to drop in for a skate sesh.  Skaters all around can do some gnarly shredding around Castle Bam.

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Fans of MTV’s Viva La Bam will remember the Castle Bam house that was purchased on season 2 episode 1 titled ‘Castle Bam’.  Bam and his crew (Ryan Dunn, Rake Yohn, Brandon DiCamillo, and Raab Himself) find this secluded house with acres of land and a unicorn mural that was painted on the side.  They move into the new place, re-decorating the entire house to Bam’s liking.  Since that episode, the setting of the show revolved around the Castle Bam house.

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Other than Viva La Bam, Castle Bam was also filmed for Bam’s other series Bam’s Unholy UnionBam’s Unholy Union followed Bam Margera and Missy Rothstein to the days leading up to their wedding, which happened back in February 3rd, 2007.

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After more than a decade since Viva La Bam ended, Castle Bam is still popular to this day.  People still visit the Castle Bam house to get a sense of their own awesome adventures.  Skaters, musicians, artists, and fans of Bam Margera come down from all across the country.

Here’s to Castle Bam, still standing tall after years of mischief and debauchery!