Faith

Rob Kendall’s ‘Faith’ and the movements

‘Faith’ is a philosophical poem created in 2001 and published in 2002 that grips on the existential darkness. The play is characterized by flash, audio, music, kinetic, and poetry text’s genre. The author narrates the piece in a kinetic poem form in five different movements to achieve the play’s central theme and express the author’s struggle in dealing with logic and faith despair. The movements overlay each other with intent arguments. On the title page, the title, “Faith,” and its five verses are created in bold colored fonts; green, gold, red, and green; that signifies the radiated manuscripts created by medieval monks. Both the colors and the fonts are very elaborate and highly resembles calligraphy. These features create a religious mood, which helps in supporting the main idea of the poem.

First movement

Immediately after the title page, the piece transit into the first movement of the poem. Here the title statement takes the central position and is bombarded with the statement ‘logic’. Once ‘logic’ hits the word faith, it bounces off in an unphased manner. After every ‘logic’ touch, some simplistic and discordant music notes are made. The first movement concludes with the statement “so…” The yellow words roll in all sides in an illogical manner. The ending word ‘so….’ in movement one expressed the author’s creative decision of ending the first movement into another movement, thus building the entire idea of faith. According to Kendall, faith is highly resilient and thus more beautiful and stronger than logic in the first movement.  

Second movement

In the second movement, the author uses harp music with yellow-orange words to transform the message from the first movement into a decision of embracing faith and rejecting logic. The use of harps in this movement symbolizes angels and churches that are in ultimate faith. The poet uses some words that reveal the easiness of desiring a faith-based life than living it. The words reflect the poet’s struggles in evading his ‘mind’s logical answers of embracing an unknown depth. Kendall uses the word ‘consummate’ to express his desire for faith, but he’s consumed by the fear of the unseen, unfelt, and inexperienced events. The author struggled with the choices; …’ or’ …’ but’ …’ maybe’ depicting that living a faith-based life is proportional to courage and negating logic.  

Third movement

The two states’ orange and yellow words are merged with a red color into a third movement. In this movement, the words originate from the page sides and blended with words from the second movement in the complex sounds of the played organ notes. The new words appearing on the page blink and flip, giving their meaning in the poem. For instance, the flipping of the word ‘theory,’ which has initially been inverted, shows the sophisticated look of faith, accompanied by the uncomfortable feeling of the approach. Also, the blinking of the line ‘red winking neon logic’ gives the poet the warning to avoid the desire for a faith-based life and embrace the safe logic.  The movement captures the poet’s elevated tension that he cannot press the black button into the visionary would despite his desire for faith.

Fourth movement

In the fourth movement, the new words joined with words from the third movement are accompanied by music from a blend of organ sounds and a harp. This movement seems to be the most complex as it forms the basis of the poet’s decision making. The new words and the outgoing words from the third movement combine to form a unique piece that is different from other movements. The piece’s colors are similar to those of the previous movements except that some words employ certain meaningful movements, and others are faded. In this chapter, the poet makes an elegant movement with confidence as he approaches the logical ‘lip’. The line “Off the rocker (yippee!)” appears in downward orientation to express the poet’s negation as he makes the final decision. These words signify isolated spirited happiness and absence of constraint as the poet decides to live a faith-based life. Kendall shows the visionary and the incorruptible nature of faith when one chooses to take the ‘leap’. The word ‘leap’ appears momentarily on the screen and later leaps off the page.

Conclusion

In the final movement, the poet tries to close the poem but far away from the possibilities related to ‘faith’. The words drop to the page’s footer as playful music notes play in the background. The title word, ‘faith,’ of the first four pages appears at the header of the page but floats on the fallen statements in the fifth state. According to the poet, the process attached to faith-based living is determined by individuals’ fears and worries since they demand personal awareness and reflection. Both fears and worries are always absent in logical life. Poet finalizes the script by saying that faith brings full-bodied joy in life, while logic hinders one choice and embracement of this joy.

Works Cited

Review of Robert Kendall’s poem “Faith” http://electronicliterature66.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-of-robertkendalls-poem-faith-    i.html accessed 16 November 2020

Post #11: It’s all in the “choices” for narrative

This week’s reading was another interesting one with the electronic piece of The Hunt For The Gay Planet, by Anna Anthropy. This work tells the story of a female character’s journey through an intergalactic galaxy, where she aims to find a place specifically for lesbians: Lesbionica. The character searches all over, looking under rocks and in caves, at the different planets that she explores. As a reader of this piece, my experience with it was one surely where I felt mentally placed in a video game.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something about the whole project and story that made me feel I was playing a video game of some sort. In the past, I experienced similar works of electronic literature for our class, but never did I felt this deeply about it being video games. Perhaps it was the setting, the characters, the plot, the context, or even the fictional world in this work that made it feel as a video game. No matter which of these contributed to my experience and interpretation, I honestly enjoyed it a lot.

One thing that stood out to me, which supports this video game-like mechanics of the piece was how strong the piece is with getting the reader to interact through the ability to pick between choices. This choices help move the narrative in such a way that as the story progresses. For example, the way that the story is told, it seems that it was meant to build in suspense and action, with each time the female protagonist visited a new planet. In fact, the build-up is so particular with each visit, that there is a noticeable increase in narrative interaction of choices and content, each time the reader is places on the next scene. In this case, the choices are deeper in giving the reader pathways into deciding how the protagonist interacts with the world around here. This allows readers to feel as if they are controlling the main character in this game-like story. However, despite of having such nice freedom to do so, there is also the fact that the main character is somehow destined to a certain ending, where no matter your choices the end result was still the same. Still, giving the reader the option to affect the narrative so much before the ending, helps the reading experience tremendously. And this experience is one that it has become very familiar in recent video games with strong story narratives.

One famous video-game these days (similar to this piece in the design of choice-features for narrative progression) is one called The Witcher 3. This is a triple “A” gaming title with a fixed story and a fixed ending. But, before the ending, the person playing the game can have choices in the story, as they progressed through the map and different lands in the setting (sometime in old England). These choices affect the kind of interaction with different characters and environment along the way.

Overall, the reader experience for me was enjoyable because it brought back some good memories of similar games I played in the past, as well as proving me with a reading experience different of other electronic literature pieces. Everything about the work felt magical and attention-pulling, as I read more about the journey of this character in hr search for Lesbionica.

Hunt for the Gay Planet

This weeks piece “ The Hunt for the Gay Planet” was as interesting and fun to navigate as they come in our electronic literature journey.  The premise is fairly simple to figure out.  We start as some kind of space explorer who needs to make decisions on which planets we are going to descend to on our exploration.  As we settle down on each planet, we go out to explore for a bit and get a sense for the kind of piece that this is going to be.  The screens are pretty simple and there was no sound or anything in the background, so the onus seems to be on the reader to put together the setting themselves in this instance, meaning, there is not much there in terms of aiding you in setting the mood, so the reader is going to have a bit more license over how this piece interacts with them than in previous pieces that we’ve gone over that had visual and audio presence presented with the work.  Nonetheless, still very interesting and thought provoking.  

I think the theme of this writing became clear whenever we, the reader, would do a deeper and deeper dive into the planet that we were currently visiting.  Each time that we had seemingly come to the end of the journey on a particular planet, we seem to reach some kind of cross roads where there are a group of men hitting on our character or some artifact that illuistrates what a “traditional” lifestyle may look like, which our character does not seem to like very much and seems to get sick of fairly quickly. 

Finally, we end up in a bar like setting and are led on to the planet “Lesbionica” which is the type of planet that seems to fit what our character is looking for.  The, the path that I went down eventually brought to the Queen explaining that people had been “afraid of our kind” and made a deal confining her people to this “paradise” as it is being described in this scene.  I chose the pathway that turns our character to a rebel that takes the queen’s throne by storm and believes that she will lead this planet and its people to the takeover of other planets and such.

I found the overtones and messaging in this piece to be a very creative and interesting look into how people of different orientations may feel.  Not saying there is a coupy to try and take over the world, but more a commentary on the yearning to be free in a world that has not always afforded them the right to be that.  This was one of my favorite pieces thus far due to its simplicity and the storyline itself.  I can’t wait to see what Tom and others have to say about their own experience with navigating this piece. 

“The Hunt for the Gay Planet” Compared to “Queerskins” and “Pose”

As I read The Hunt for the Gay Planet by Anna Anthropy I found myself constantly drawing connections between it, Queerskins, and the television show Pose

The Hunt for the Gay Planet takes a lighter approach to the popular trope of being gay and searching for community. The piece is filled with humorous phrases and sentences such as “gay tools”, “nothing strikes you as queer”, “funk that noise” and the resistance of heteronormative cave drawings. Anthropy does an excellent job of providing lesbian representation in science fiction. Most science fiction pieces are told from a heteronormative approach. Anthropy rejects this practice by creating a lesbian character who is insistent on finding a place for those just like her.

Although Anthropy’s piece is more humorous than Queerskins and Pose, the pieces still relate greatly. In each piece, a gay individual is seeking acceptance and community. In The Hunt for the Gay Planet the main character is searching for Lesbionica; a lesbian planet where she will be able to live freely amongst women just like her. In Queerskins, the life of Sebastian, a young doctor, is documented through his journal entries. Sebastian was a man afflicted with HIV/AIDs during the height of the epidemic. Through his journal entries, readers are able to learn about how Sebastian was simply a man in search of love and belonging. He was rejected by his father and ignored by his mother. His search causes him to pursue relationships where he’s unappreciated and a relationship where he is loved until he finds out he has HIV/AIDs. In Pose similar circumstances occur. Gay men and trans-women during the HIV/AIDs epidemic search for community, safety, and acceptance. They create their own communities and “houses” within the ballroom community. In the show, viewers witness the discrimination that these individuals endure all in the pursuit of acceptance.

The characters in The Hunt for the Gay Planet, Queerskins,and Pose are all resistant to the oppression and discrimination that come with heteronormative practices. Although Sebastian must live in the shadows because of the discrimination that came with being a gay man, he is still committed to living his truth amongst those who are just like him. In Pose, the characters make it their missions to be unapologetically themselves. This ranges anywhere from being seen in the daytime to leaving their small towns to venture to NYC. The main character in The Hunt for the Gay Planet is intent on finding her gay utopia. When she arrives and finds out that the utopia she’s sought out for so long is ran by a puppet dictator who is controlled by the heteronormative and homophobic governments of other planets, she swiftly and courageously decides to overthrow the hierarchy and implement the acceptance and freedom she has desired for so long.

I believe it is essential that there are constant representations of LGBTQ+ individuals not only in electronic literature but in all forms of media. It is important to note that these representations shouldn’t always be rooted in trauma but should also employ elements of humor, courage, and tenacity — just like what we see in The Hunt for the Gay Planet.

‘Hunt for the Gay Planet’ by Anna Anthropy

‘Hunt for the Gay Planet’ by Anna Anthropy is a easily navigated satire that is full of twists, decisions, humor and exploration. This piece creates a world where gay people aren’t understood and, in order to be comfortable and live happily, have to find another planet to be openly gay and truly themselves. While this piece uses satire to express the topic, I think there is also a commentary. Gay people are often ostracized because of who they are in our world today. When I thought about living in the year 2020 ten years ago, I thought we would have cars that float and a pill that lets you live forever. I didn’t think we’d still be living in conditions where LGBTQ+ or people of color have to fight for their rights to simply exist in the same way straight white people have forever. I think this piece does a beautiful job of mastering and controlling satire while also making a modern day comment on the topic.

With your spaceship, your “star poncho,” and some potentially gay tools, you have to set off to find the gay planet. The first two planets seem abandoned and not the right fit for the character. The third is perfect with an emerald island with a bobbing sea and the grass “nuzzles your ankles like a thousand kittens.” Seems nice! There’s a huge whale with psychic abilities. Casual. But bad news about the psychic whale, it assumes you’re straight. I hate when that happens! Next you get to go to a bar and get buzzed when the bartender points you to Lesbionica. I like how excited the character gets when they believe they’ve finally found Lesbionica. With their heart beating and the nervous jitters, the enthusiasm of the character can’t help but rub off on the player/reader. Lesbionica is nothing like the character thought it would. It’s dark and dirty and people show their passion right on the street. Cops kidnap the character and Trudie to be the Queens new “slutdancers.” We learn from the Queen that gay women are limited to this planet because the Queen got money, weapons and technology. The Federation is scared and threatened by gay people and so they limit them to one planet. Just when I’m thinking there’s not enough action in this piece, the character gets to choke out a queen. With that, you are the new Queen and plan to begin a conquest of the galaxy.

I really enjoyed this piece, the story was engaging, the decisions were fun and the message and ideas we well formed and explored.

The Hunt for the Gay Planet

The Hunt for the Gay Planet was created in 2013 by Anna Anthropy. Gays and lesbians had a civil right to marry in only six states before 2013 when it became legal to marry in 16 states. Anthropy took a prominent and continuing issue of the gay and lesbian rights movement and created a fantastic piece.  

Like almost every electronic literature piece we have encountered, the background is pitch-black. However, this time, talking about the LGBTQ community, I was expecting a more colorful experience like the symbolic flag. This, however, by no means, means that I was dissatisfied with the piece. The quirky undertone of the work made up for the bleak background. Also, it became apparent that the black background was appropriate because the reader is on an adventure in space, going through a text venture to find the gay planet of Lesbionica. 

As we began our journey with the piece, there is a three-paragraph introduction; here is the last of the three:

“Well, enough! You’ve heard rumors of a secret paradise planet where people like you can be people like you, a glittering world where women walk arm-in-arm with women, where you can feel the heat of a lady’s reciprocating gaze without having to feel the burn of a thousand judgemental stares on your skin.”

This section spoke to me; it took me to my very introduction of this blog, where I mention that same-sex-marriage finally became legal in 2013 in merely 16 states. We have 50 states in the USA, and our gay brothers and sisters still had to look for a place to live happily, where they would be accepted without any judgment. As we continue the piece, we are initially looking at four planets:

  1. A small, dusty-looking planet.
  2. A strange-looking purple world.
  3. What seems more like a large asteroid than a planet.
  4.  A planet spinning on its side in the void.

I looked through the small dusty planet, underneath a rock, I even dug a hole and nothing. I proceeded to the second purple world; there was a cave, to the left, there was a dead-end, and another one to the right. I went straight and tumbled down an incline to a large space. I had so many choices: Go north, Try south, Slip east, Head west. I found nothing; I was once again at a dead end and had no idea where to go next, there were no other options, so I tried each direction afresh. This time there was something on the south side, a carving of a man and women holding hands, that’s definitely not it I. return to my ship to the third planet, the large asteroid. Finally, I find someone who knows where Lesbionica is, and I set off; I have arrived. 

I see naked women, a woman who takes my hand and says welcome home. I felt at ease until the story took a turn; she says you’ll be the right fit for the queen she needs new slutdancers, EXCUSE ME! I decided to run, but they captured me and took me to the queen anyway. I finally figured our main character was Trudie, but I was having too much fun pretending to be Trudie. 

This was twisted; Trudie went to find a place where she could be herself, only to be imprisoned again. This text’s undertone was fun and pretty accurate, with the constant reminder that Trudie and people like her are not accepted in our world and face so much criticism for being different. From the carving of the man and women holding hands on one planet to the scene where someone asks if she has a boyfriend to the gay bar, no one wanted to be her friend. And lastly, saving the world from a lesbian queen who sold her soul for weapons. Anthropy portrayed such a beautiful message through her interactive text game, and I’m here for it!