Identify a Good Read

I recently read an article called, Total Depravity: The origin of the drug Epidemic in Appalachia lair Bare. This article was essentially about the opoid crisis throughout this part of America and how they speculate it came to be. This was a very enlightening post as it gave me some insight to how a culture and environment of drug use can come to be and how this cycle of usage develops and carries on through generations.

Opioids and other drugs of this nature are very prevalent in our modern society. However there are places with significantly higher amounts of this usage, for example, “Huntington, the second-largest city in West Virginia, once had a population of more than 100,000 people, but that number has reduced to some 48,000, and almost one-quarter of these, some 12,000 citizens, have either latent or active substance-use disorders.” These statistics are quite alarming to the average person as in our little town we would never think of one-third of it being addicted to this gripping substances. However, in areas such as Central America with a very sparse population, they seem to be a normal part of life. They beg the question of why? Why would there be so many opoid in these smaller regions and how did this culture of drug use become so normal?

This reporter, Richard Cooke believes that this opioid crisis can be linked back to when coal mining was very abundant in the area of West Virginia. “Around the same time organized-labor laws were weakened, a company called Purdue Pharma ‘invented’ OxyContin, which meant taking a powerful opioid analgesic, giving it a slow-release coating that could be circumvented easily, concealing its potential for abuse, and marketing it aggressively to working-class communities increasingly unable to afford preventative medical treatment for chronic pain.” When you think about it this does make a fair amount of sense. It is similar to heroin being used as commonly as Tylenol until it became clear that it was a very addictive and harmful substance. These coal miners obviously used OxyCotin very frequently and started at a very young age due to the painful and rigorous work in the coal mines, so it is no surprise that this painkilling agent became so dangerously popular and widely used. Not only was it widely used but it was cheap and particularly targeted lower class people who were unable to afford professional medical attention for chronic pain. This normalized use of these opioids continued even after restrictions had been placed on it and continue to this day to be a reoccurring problem in the modern world of West Virginia.

Now that the times of coal mining have drastically declined you would think that the use of these opioids would have followed, which is quite the contrary to what really happened. The use of opioids has now become a regular part of people in these areas’ lives and has drastically brought down the quality of life in that area. We are told stories of some personal experience with people that help us get a little insight into their lives, “That hole was present in his own experience: teenaged flashbacks to childhood molestation, hanging with the bad crowd in high school, years of snorting Oxy (though diabetic, he hated needles), recovery, then a slip from complacency. He decided to let loose for a night and within a few hours had a mistress/ drug dealer”. From this, we can see that the use of these drugs is not only prevalent within older generations but still remains commonly used within the younger ones too. After years of exposure to these actions and the environment, it’s no wonder why these people normalize this behavior as it is just so common. This brings us to the question of rehab and what people are doing to try and prevent lives being ruined by this entrancing drug. There have been many centers set up all around the more troubled areas that encourage people to come and try to set their lives straight. Many religious groups have also done this with or without bringing up the controversial topic of God, instead, they just offer support and guidance for these troubled souls.

Overall it seems that the opoid crisis in America will not be coming to an end any time soon, but hopefully will start to see a decline. As we have seen throughout history certain drugs seem to lose their luster over time. Such as in the cases of LSD or Mushrooms, they seemed to lose their hype of the 70’s & the ’80s were passed. We can only try to help addicts begin to recover and reevaluate their choices before they get sucked into this world of drugs and try to break the circle of addiction that has run in families for generations.

Time Travel

Time travel is a very predominate theme in a lot of science fiction and fantasy novels and still intrigues readers to this day.  I have always been particularly drawn to this concept and have often wondered where I would go if I had the opportunity to time travel, as this would be a truly amazing event.

I think that the first time I would travel to would be the Aztec era. I have always been really fascinated by their culture and way of life. Their place in history is one of power and skill. They were a very quick-witted and resourceful civilization and that is what I commend them for. Although it was quite a violent time I would still like to see how this era unfolded and really get to see how they could have changed little things they had done and possibly have become one of the most powerful civilizations in that area.

Next, I would like to go to the Renaissance period. This time in history was very important to the development of our modern society. I have been interested in this period for a while now and have always wondered what the influential people of this era, such as Martin Luther or Davinci would have been to talk to. The arts and music of this era were also very influential to modern society and I would have liked to see how it becomes intreated in form the MIddle ages ideals where it wasn’t even remotely important to their new ideals where it was a main focus.

With a time machine, the idea of going forward in time is also a possibility and believe me when I say that it is an opportunity that I would definitely take. I am always thinking of the future and what it could hold, that also sometimes leads me to worry too. With things such as climate change and tension between nations I always am left to wonder what kind of a world I will be living in my adult years. So with that, I don’t think I would want to see particularly my future but just see the advancements that the world has made and learn the history that we have not seen yet. Overall this is what I would do most promptly if I had the offer to travel through time as the future is what interests me most.

To me, the idea of time travel is one that amazes me and may not be too far being fantasy. With the way science is going, it is quite possible that the ability to travel through the fabric of time could be a reality. With that, there are always concerns about what could happen but as is always said, nothing great ever happened without taking risks.

 

Teleportation

In a world where teleportation had indeed become a main source of transportation, we could have endless opportunities to travel to places we have always wanted to.  If I had a choice to transport to anywhere but here there would be many great options. However, there are a few places that I have a lot more inclined to visit.

The first place I would choose to visit would be New Orleans. I have always been really intrigued by the culture and history of this area and I think it would be a very interesting experience.  I have wanted to travel here since I had read about it in a novel a while back. I  think that the atmosphere of the place is very mysterious and has a very rich history that I would love to explore. Along with its old charm, the place also has a lot of spiritual presence such as ghosts and voodoo. Obviously, there is no proof of this however I still think it would be a very cool experience to learn about these old beliefs and customs as it is nothing like what we have here.

Not only does New Orleans have a very rich and intriguing history but it is also where an amazing festival known as Marti Gras takes place. From what I have read and learned about this festival it seems like an amazing experience. With all of the new sights and sounds of the festival, it would be a very hands-on way to experience a culture very different from our own and get to see how they choose to celebrate their beliefs.

Along with the rich history and festivities of New Orleans, they also have a very appealing climate that draws me to want to visit the place.  Although it is very hot and humid they also have amazing scenery that makes for the somewhat uncomfortable weather. Not only is it a warm climate but the food in New Orleans is known to be some of the world’s best.

Overall I think that going to New Orleans would be a very interesting journey that would expose me to a very rich and old culture full of mystery which is really what I find most amazing about the place, its sense of mystery.  So if teleportation does become a thing of common use in the future, sign me up to go an adventure of my own to this wonderful place.

Songs I Never get tired of

Music has a way of connecting and bringing people together. Whether it’s through a favorite song or shared experience music undoubtedly speaks to us on a deeper level. Although every type of music varies we can usually find meaning within the song or try and decipher what it means to us as a person. We all have songs that we can’t help but leave on repeat and that is what I am here today to discuss with you today.

“Home Welcome Home” by Radical Face.  I will start off with a song that is very well written, with amazing vocals and beautiful backing tracks. This song I find is very impactful and moving not even in just the lyrics but just the power of the guitar and piano in the back. I truly find it to have some of the best backing track I have ever heard. That song with the lyrics which depict a man coming home to his childhood home and being flooded with the memories of his past. But not those of a negative impact but optimism as we can tell from the lyrics that they didn’t have much growing up but they had love and that’s all that mattered.  I really think this song is so moving to me because It makes me think of my old home and all the memories I had made there. Honestly, I just think this is an amazing song as it is or acoustically it still holds all of its power and emotion.

“Way down we go” Kaleo. This song is just beautifully crafted. Not only this song but every song by this band. Kaleo is an amazing group of vocalists and musicians. Way down we go is just such a beautifully crafted song with so many elements that make one that I could never bored of. Every time you listen to it you can seem to find a new meaning to the lyrics and what they are trying to say and interpret them in new ways.  I think that the meaning of this song really comes down to whether we will fall off of the success we have. The lyrics seem to imply that being successful and happy in our lives is precious and it is a slippery slope. What I mean by that is that it is very easy to mess up and lose all you have created and established in your life as nothing is permanent and can always be changes. Within the first line, there is also a question, “Oh, Father tell me, do we get what we deserve?” I think that this line implies a sense of guilt in the singer for some unknown reason as if he were questioning whether he deserves all he has accomplished in life. As you can see there are many interpretations of this song which makes it very intriguing to me. That accompanied by the amazing sound and vocals makes for a song I always seem to enjoy like new every time I listen to it.

“Broken Bones” Kaleo. I have once again another Kaleo song because this is one of my favourite bands and one of my favourite albums. Broken Bones is very different in terms of the style of music in comparison to Way down we go and that is what I love about this band, their diversity and raw talent to change their style of music. This song has a more Louisiana blues type of vibe to it and utilizes that genre very well. Broken Bones swingy and free sound makes it a really gripping song that I always enjoy. Now the meaning of this song may seem obvious by the lyrics as it is clearly stated that it is about working on the railroad against their will, so in other words slavery. ” For every hard-earned dollar I make/ There stands a white man just to take it away”. These singers really use the tone and genre of the song to portray a message of being free and that struggle to do so.  And I believe that the line, “The devils gonna make me a free man” is not referring to a devil but what people are intolerant of. What I mean is that this devil to on person may be a saviour to another and that intolerance and prejudice clouds our judgement of that and makes us see these saviours as devils, and only because of small-minded views. I think that the ability to tell a story like this within a song is a talent and makes me think very highly of these musicians and their ability to combine storytelling and art to create such gripping music. 

As I have said a million times before in my life music is truly an amazing thing that brings people together. It can tell stories that speaking could never accomplish and it can really change your point of view. As they say, music speaks a thousand words and that is very true as not only are you hearing the words but also experiencing the sound that goes with them to really know what they mean.  Music has been a big part of my life as I have grown up in a very musical family where a simple song means so much more. Overall I believe that it is a very important thing to be exposed to and to appreciate as it brings so much joy into our lives each day. 

Poems

To this Day By Shane Koyzcan 

To this day is a moving poem about the effects of bullying and how it can stay with people forever. It shows how one mean action or comment can lead people to have a lifetime of insecurity and emotional baggage. However, as the first part of the poem is about the pain, the second half is just the opposite. It is there we see the true message and that being that you can make it through whatever is hurting you and that you are perfect the way you are. No one ever truly understands what you may be going through but that’s what makes you special and makes your battle personal to you.

 

Shine By Shane Koyzcan 

This poem is essentially made up of all the worst things you can think of in terms of tragedy. However, there is one phrase that is repeated… Shine. It is with this phrase that we are called to shine a light on these tragedies and expose them to the world, the author wants us not to ignore all of this pain but to shine a light on it and try to not let it be ignored and pushed to the side as just another sad accident. This poem makes us face the hard truth that the world isn’t all that it is made out to be and that tragedy is at every corner and that we should not avoid but help to better it, even if that just means acknowledging what it is that has been ignored.

 

Troll By Shane Koyzcan 

Troll is about the effects of cyberbullying and how it can go from being harmless to a tragedy. It goes on to explain how the words we say over a screen seem harmless to us but can be detrimental to others. How words can be enough to drive someone to a very dark place. There is no resolution offered however we are given a bleak sense of hope as we are learning to live in this age every type of bullying. Overall this is a poem about how much words can affect people and what those effects could cause.