Ah, high school. Long may the memories of our idyllic youth reign. Care to ride a bus down memory lane?
Right now, you’re back in that big cafeteria, with its unmistakable aroma and stratified seating arrangement (including the categories “Talk of the town,” “Varsity athletes,” and “Stephen King die-hards”).
Or, you’re ecstatically celebrating your sports team’s victory, which validated your school community’s decision to tell the rival campus to, in essence, stick it.
Cool memories. So how come you didn’t go with “My English teacher rocks?”
Maybe it’s because you made your English teacher cringe. Like, a bunch of times.
How so? It was probably the bad writing habits that tend to pop up at that stage in our lives. Like acne and mood swings, such habits are inevitable. Perhaps your memories of your English teacher aren’t so rosy because they took pains to nip these habits in the bud.
The question is: are these habits a thing of the past? High school is so yesteryear, but can we say the same about our bad writing tendencies?Continue reading
There are a couple of songs in Hamilton that I would rather skip. (Yes, Lin Manuel-Miranda devotees. Have at me.) Frankly, “It’s Quiet Uptown” is too painful for me to hear. As a father of two, I wouldn’t dare to imagine the pain of that loss.
And the other song? “Hurricane” just sounds so… meh. It’s an ominous, somber tune that heralds the coming of scandal in Hamilton’s life and career. By design, it’s one of the sadder melodies in a play packed with infinitely more memorable tunes. Whenever I listen to “Hurricane,” I try to find some redeeming quality that justifies two minutes of my attention.
Now, I may have just found it.
You see, the lyrics to “Hurricane” establish one of the main themes of Hamilton. Of course, any aficionado of the play will tell you that legacy, death, nation-building, and love are the musical’s backbone. The theme underscored in “Hurricane,” though, is a little closer to home—a humbler concept compared to those sublime motifs.
It’s writing. Yes, you heard that right. Hamilton—with all its duels, cabinet meetings, and sexual innuendos—is all about writing.Continue reading