Opinion Day

I find it interesting that sometimes new college students find it difficult to disagree with a source. It seems the social media culture attacks deconstruction, as when one gives a negative opinion about something on Facebook, those who oppose automatically feel “trolled,” and bash back even if it wasn’t their thread.

Well, I think opinions are good and if you agree with everything, the world is boring.

  • The last season of “Game of Thrones” was awful. Everyone knows the battle scene in episode three was too dark, but my biggest issue was and still is, the death of the White Walkers. I realize the writers threw in the cheap foreshadowing that if you got the Knight King you got them all, but Arya jumping in at the last minute was a cheap twist. The dropping of the knife was comic book in a series that was otherwise Shakespearean in presentation, and the ultimate showdown of Night King to Three Eye’d Raven was stolen from us. CLEARLY, the better ending would have been the real hero of this saga, Sam, getting together with Cersei’s doctor and hand – Qyburn, he who experimented with mad genetics (example – The Mountain), and the two of them finding a way to make dragon glass air-born. Not only does this unite the two warring factions and cause all kinds of drama that way, but when they manufacture the “gas masks” for the humans, it makes for an amazing final war scene visually, as the masked heroes reign and the White Walkers drop from this disease as they are being bashed to shit.
  • The Queen movie has been compared to the Motley Crue film, and it isn’t even close. Even though the Queen film had some weird mistakes in continuity, the overall portrayal was top notch.  (“Fat Bottomed Girls” couldn’t have been featured on their first American tour, since that was promoting their third album Sheer Heart Attack and the songs “Now I’m Here” and “Killer Queen” in 1974. “FBG” came out on Jazz in 1978. Also, the film depicts the band writing “We Will Rock You” in 1980, when News of the World came out in 1977).
  • A negative statement about ME! I never heard of the rock group “Fanny.” I know…weird name reminding you of your grandmother or something, yet, watch some of their videos. For a band in the early 70’s (Pre-Boston, they who changed the game technologically), and Fanny playing LIVE, this all girl band was FAR better than The Runaways, and most other male projects. All four sing, all well, and they can really play. The songs are the perfect transition from the soulfulness of the 60’s to the smoky feel and harder-edged guitar sounds of the 70’s.
  • Horror is not a genre. It is a spice, present in all fiction and dramatic productions. It is a question of flavors, quantities, and levels. Schlocky horror movies simply fall too much in love with the flash and scorch of the condiment. Hey, some people like eating a bowl of hot peppers. I’m more a meat and potatoes guy, who likes a shit-load of hot sauce.
  • There has been a theory and practice in higher education floating around the last decade or so, that would claim students should learn composition (in remedial and 101 classes) without the “modes” or rhetorical structures. I have sat in on many a meeting where they push for this, yet, when the question is asked as to HOW we EXACTLY teach composition without building a student lexicon of narrative reflection, straight information, compare or contrast, analysis, and synthesis (the latter two listed in the core competencies no less), the given professor dances around the subject. This smoke and mirrors philosophy, to me, can only mean two things. First, the teacher is giving up, plain and simple. Second, the teacher is lazy. Framing the portions of a research paper, especially during argumentation, in these rhetorical structures, came from the classic Greeks. It was revived by the Puritans, and remains the template from which students can order their thoughts. If you are going to teach without the “modes,” please show your plan. Please.
  • While we are on the nerdy Englishy stuff…the Oxford comma is a must (MLA is wrong). In a three horse gallop (a short list), if you don’t put a comma before the last conjunction, the latter two items seem less important than the first.
  • Stop overusing semi-colons. While once in a blue moon it is stylistically cool to “boing” sentences off each other, too many looks like you don’t know how to cure run-ons. (Example: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Count the semi-colons and colons on the first few pages. What?)
  • The comma does NOT go after the conjunction, even though it seems “trendy.” Stop…it goes in front of it. Always.
  • Though Youtube has tutorials that claim conjunctions can, in fact, begin sentences, don’t think it doesn’t look grammatically inferior. If it is your stylistic choice (in an effort to appear colloquial for example) so be it. Don’t play that it is “good English.”
  • Never start a sentence with an “ing” word. Often, you get a fragment, but more often, a passive sentence. I knew a high school English teacher back in the day who GAVE HANDOUTS PROMOTING this shitty, fucked up, ass-backward form of writing. She claimed it gave sentence variation. Well honey, you went and fucked up a generation of kids, destined to “sound scholarly” by relegating the more important shit to the back of the sentence. Sort of like sitting in a beanbag chair in the basement all day playing “Call of Duty” instead of getting a job.
  • Back to artsy stuff…I didn’t like the latest season of Black Mirror. The interactive episode was a total ripoff, always leading you to see all the scenes anyway, all of them veering toward an inevitable “non-ending,” which was a cop out. The three regular episodes were rather bland. The one with Miley Cyrus was stupid in terms of the doll, that which was far from intriguing. The one with the kidnapping contained a social media statement we’ve been hearing forever and a hostage standoff so common it could have been a Lifetime Original. The best of the bunch was “Striking Vipers,” where two dudes acted out the latent homosexuality of dudes playing video games all night together, while also illustrating the interesting concept of being inside the game. Altogether however, I am still so in love with the depth and richness of episodes like “White Bear,” that I’ve become spoiled.
  • Music-wise, since I write rock articles, I am part of a few FB groups that love metal. Many of them treat the 70’s like I do the 60’s, as basically irrelevant. Both of us are wrong. First, the 60’s can’t be ignored for the blueprint. The 70’s gave us the full course meal. “Metal” to me is only a thread, not the whole suit. In fact, I don’t separate hard rock and metal. If they are good, they are good, regardless of the trimmings. Good music didn’t start with “The Big 4” (Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica), in fact, I played clubs in my glam metal band back in the 80’s and both glam and the speed metal made up the UNDERGROUND. The mainstream (and enemy) was New Wave, so I never made the distinction between the hair guys and the beautiful dirtbags. PLUS, I saw metal as the reaction to New Wave BASED on the music of the 70’s, whether it was pure metal (Saxon, Priest, Maiden, Sabbath) or hard-ass, awesome rock (Van Halen, Purple, Queen, Kansas, Styx, Floyd, even the softer stuff like Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles…and even the Southern stuff like Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and The Outlaws). People. Music didn’t “begin” with speed metal. If you’re going to find a common denominator and starting point, make it The Beatles, and if you’re like me, you will defer to The Who, the band in the same era that translated better to the 70’s.
  • The growl vocal. Hmm. I have friends in the business who believe in and utilize the growl vocal in metal, so I must tread carefully here. Still, I must admit I don’t prefer it. I realize it is an art-form in itself and takes great talent to execute, but it doesn’t sound great to me. It sounds generic. It does not seem to reach the dramatic level it would imply either, as the “volume” translates more like static than something aesthetic. That said, I have heard it used effectively in counterpoint. The new band Meka Nism sports a front-woman with a lovely, almost operatic voice, so the brief explosions of the growl from her come off wonderfully dynamic. Oliver Fogwell of Our Last Enemy (Eclipse Records) has three or four different styles of the growl, all with varied flavors and tones that come off massive, and I will always love the song “Wash it All Away” by Five Finger Death Punch, exactly as is.
  • The news sucks. Still, if you lie on camera and the camera shows it, even your cries of “selective editing” can’t possible convince us that what we just saw with our own eyes was “fake.”
  • The Pokemon game people play online is awesome. It is also way too complex for me to bother learning. Might as well go get a Ph.d and get paid for the work.
  • There should be netting on baseball fields going all the way to both foul poles. How many little girls have to get hurt…
  • Women should be given the opportunity to play hardball through college. The only reason we don’t have women in the MLB is that the money (scholarships) is given for softball.
  • If you watch Fox News and think you are getting the truth, you are a willing, hateful idiot. If you watch CNN and think you’re getting the whole truth, you are a slightly smarter willing, hateful idiot.
  • We need new political parties. What we got is broke. Two scarred, fat junkyard dogs who only know how to bite each other.
  • If one more person on Facebook asks a stupid question, like “Favorite metal bands…” and puts the word “Go!” on the end of it like I am in kindergarten, I will slice my face up with razor blades.
  • If I change my profile picture on Facebook and get more than one like (as in from my wife) the world has gone totally mad.
  • The new Chucky movie looks awful.
  • The show The Office is raucous. I’d never given it a chance, but binged recently.
  • Email is not “work.” It is better than texts.
  • If you offer me couscous, humus, or anything “soy,” I will promptly vomit.
  • Light beer is good. Try Busch Light.
  • America’s sport used to be baseball. It is now football. I fear the only way to save baseball is to make it seven innings rather than nine, and re-work the count, as in two strikes and you’re out, and three balls and you walk.
  • King is still the best working author.
  • Seven is still a great film.

About maronovitz2015

Michael Aronovitz is a college Professor of English. He is also a horror writer and rock music critic. -Seven Deadly Pleasures, (Collection), Hippocampus Press, 2009 -Alice Walks, (Novel-Hard Cover), Centipede Press, 2013 (Paperback), Dark Renaissance Books, 2014, (Electronic Version) Cemetery Dance Publications, 2016 -The Voices in Our Heads, (Collection), Horrified Press, 2014 -The Witch of the Wood, (Novel), Hippocampus Press, 2015 -Phantom Effect, (Novel), Night Shade / Skyhorse Publications, 2016 -Dancing With Tombstones, (Omnibus Lifetime Collection), Cemetery Dance Publications, fall 2021. -The Sculptor, (Novel), Night Shade / Skyhorse Publications, fall 2021. -More than fifty short stories published in magazines and anthologies. More than one hundred published music reviews.
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