Inquiry 3 Proposal

For this project, I am choosing to write a song based on the “call to nature” presented in “The Wild”. My song may or may not have an accompanying video, based on time and technical restraints. I am currently writing it to be in a Bluegrass style, so as to be appropriate with the mountain scene found primarily in the Wild. It is hard to say how long the song will be, but I predict that it will be between 2-4 minutes long, depending on if I want an instrumental break.  My song is about moving away from the everyday stress and restraints of the civilized world, and escaping to the serenity of nature in its purist form. Personally I find time in nature reinvigorating and healing, much as Strayed did. To avoid the Novelty or forced aspect that can appear in works not from direct inspiration to the creator, I am avoiding a finite subjects and leaving the song more about an ambiguous “I”. I felt that writing Strayed’s story directly would have made the song cheesy and un-polished. Currently I am in the process of writing the lyrics and composing music to accompany them. If all goes as plans the instrumentation will include Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, possibly Fiddle and, unlikely but not impossible, Drums.


This text, while very theoretic as we were forewarned in the calendar, was surprisingly simple for me to understand. When a work is, as that one, largely based on a reader’s interpretation, I figure what matters are the things I did understand and take out of it, rather than the finer points I may have missed. I also appreciate the Idea of borders and gaps in explain what we don’t understand. Intertextuality will play a major role in Inquiry 3, as the process of relating two separate projects is the basis for that characteristic.For inquiry 3 I need to accurately and seamlessly relate my work to the work I am using, making sure they relate appropriately. I think a modern day example are the songs that sample older tunes within themselves. This is a unique form of Intertextuality, but I defend it nonetheless. Specific examples are the titles  “Booty Swing”, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”,  and Eminems “Crazy in Love”.

2B Progress

Clearly Unfinished, here is the current draft

Chorus is ignored due to repetitive and non-insightful nature.
REM’s iconic song “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”,is a fast-phrased stream of consciousness that tells the tale of, as the title states, the End of the World. The artistically formed metaphors and the speed at which they are being related, however, make it difficult to understand exactly what this end is, and why. Written down lyrics remain longer than spoken, and upon dissecting the lyrics of the song, an Idea can be gleaned as to what Michael Stipe (the lead man of REM) may have been foretelling.

The first line of the song opens strongly with “That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, and Lenny Bruce is not afraid”. Already an audience is left scratching their heads as to the purpose of the line. It is probable that the earthquake refers to the many earthquakes described in the BIble. Starting with an earthquake could refer specifically to Day 3 of creation, or seen as the end off times as seen in Revelation 11:19- “And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.”(Source 3) Perhaps Stipe is alluding that the creation of something new is the destruction of what existed prior. If the reference was to Revelations than the alluding to the end of the world is clear. He may simply have wished to begin his song with something quite literally “Earth Shattering”. Lenny Bruce, a controversial American comedian is named alongside this natural disaster, seemingly out of place. The phrase certainly catches the ear of the reader, what is it that Lenny Bruce is not afraid of? The obvious are the earthquake and the end of the world. But why specifically Lenny Bruce? One possibility is his name fits the pattern found later in the song (Which will be discussed in due time). Additionally, Lenny Bruce was known for his monologues on taboo subjects and infused with scatological language, indicating that Lenny bruce may simply have not been afraid of anything (Source 6).

The second verse is largely literal, with only a few lines being unclear. The reference to hurricanes, speed, strength, fear, and fire are all physical manifestations that may be related to the end of the world. The meaning of the “End of the World” begins to change at this point, when Stipe describes a Government for Hire and a Combat Site. While neither of these are apocalyptic, they are clearly unwanted situations. Stipe, a major figure in political statements, expresses his dissatisfaction towards governments that act with monetary interests in mind, and toward war. The Furies, Greek and Roman Mythological creatures, and described as breathing down your neck in the next line. The Furies were spirits of female and justice, and so Stipe indicates this way that justice is necessary toward the corrupt governments in the previous line.

The third verse holds very little meaning, as most of it is made up of un-related verbs. The bits that stick out, however, coincide with the End of the world theme. A breakdown of the media, “Reporters Baffled”, “Save yourself”, a theme in any apocalyps. Stipe also says “listen to your heart bleed”. “Bleeding Heart” refers to one who believes in liberal social programs (Source 6), saying to listen means REM is asking people to follow the liberal opinion. and the Rapture is directly mentioned in this occasion, both bringing back up the biblical end as well as supporting the earlier mentioning of an earthquake.

Six o’clock is known to be Newshour in television, and this is confirmed with the statement following, “TV hour”. What is being reported on follows next, “Don’t get caught in foreign tower. The only event that concurs with both the time and the description of getting caught in a tower was the Iranian Hostage Crisis, which took place from November, 1979 to January, 1981. On November 4th, students over ran the U.S. Embassy in Iran, taking over 60 people hostage. (Source 3). Multiple meanings can be derived from this. Stipe is rather obviously indicating that the action of taking people hostage like this is a sign toward the end of the world. Perhaps because it was students and not an official action, which shows a breakdown in order, or that innocent people are pulled into conflicts, something similar to the fear of a nuclear war. If civilians are not differentiated from soldiers, than war becomes a much more widespread and brutal affair. The Foreign Tower also throws back to the songs earlier lines of “government for hire and a combat site”, as both of these were present in the case of the Iranian Hostage crisis.

Following that line, the fourth verse continues in the pattern of the song, lining up rapid lyrics the provide glimpses of what REM sees as the end of the world

Response to Ronald

I find Ronald’s essay interesting i the fact that it is an angle I have never been exposed to. Having always been the student, I have seen the effects of several of his points without directly seeing the cause. Take, for example, his description of teachers being able to recognize good style, but being unable to foster it. Many times I and my classmates have been told a piece of writing was not up to par, but when driven for more details a teacher comes up short handed. This is due in part to them being exemplary readers while only being above-average writers. They hold their students to a level of writing that is equal to their own, and therefore find it hard to teach. I appreciate Ronald’s readiness to compare writings to prove his point; it clearly labels what she means and provides a sure path to being right/wrong in her point of view. Or prehaps just good/bad at style.

Inquiry 3 Brainstorming

I would most likely write a song for this project,music is my forte medium of art. It would take some work as I do not consider myself a skilled songwriter based on past attempts. The subject would also be very difficult.I hate overly cheesy songs, so I would like to polish it and make it sound as if it was meant as a popular songsong to be ingested by the public, not written for the sake of a project. Due to my acoustic preference I may use The Wild as my basis, with its wooded setting I could more easily write a folk tune about it than, say, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.I will likely film myself playing it as the final project to turn in,so I would need to get some decent software on my computer, but that wouldn’t be overly difficult. I may purposefully parody other songs and mash them together, but they would need a common theme for that to work. As of now, a simple acoustic song is my plan, perhaps if I can manage the software i can back myself up with some other instruments. Playing is easy, writing is difficult.