January Workshop - Jennet

Class led by Arielle Lemoyne

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Jennet Jones
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January Workshop - Jennet

Postby Jennet Jones » Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:23 pm

Age of Wonders

We live in an age of wonders.

Come on, look at us. I don’t know who you are or where you live, but I can absolutely guarantee that you have access to some sort of gadget that lets you access the internet – because you’re reading this now.

How amazing is that? I’m way over here, typing my words into a laptop that will let me share them with you – with everyone else in this class – and potentially with millions of other people all over the world. Pretty cool, huh?

We live in a world where an ordinary person can write something and make it available to millions of others. Where an ordinary person can go looking and find essays, poetry, stories –anything – written by people all over the world. It’s amazing.

Can you imagine that just one lifetime ago, it was so expensive to share your thoughts with people far away that most people could only write letters or make phone calls? That’s right, you could only talk to a couple of people at a time, unless they were in the room with you.

Can you imagine that just one lifetime ago, the only way to reach out to lots of people was so expensive that you had to get personal approval from a company to do it? That’s right, publishers, broadcasters, and studios were gatekeepers of the media, judging who was worthy to let their voice be heard.

Can you imagine that just one lifetime ago, you had to go to the library or the bookstore if you wanted something to read? And that you were limited to the selection that was available? That’s right, you could actually run out of things to read, or not be able to find the thing you wanted at all.

And now… it’s over.

Now I want you to stop and think, and answer me truly. That’s right, say it out loud even though I can’t hear you (unless you record it and post the audio file). Don’t worry about feeling silly, just say it out loud. (Unless you’re online from a library, because talking in the library is rude.) Just answer this one question: Can you read the entire internet?



I didn’t think so.

That’s right, we now have so much information available that it is literally impossible for one person to consume it all.

There is so much stuff online today that the problem is digging through it to find the bits you want. And it’s available to normal people, not just the rich. And normal people can add more, without having to get approved by gatekeepers who think they know what ideas you should think.

Some people like to speculate about what a post-scarcity economy will look like. Well, we’ve pretty much achieved it for information. We’re not going to run out of things to read ever again. It’s mind-blowing.

This is what an age of wonders looks like, and we’re all alive to see it.

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Ariella McManus
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Re: January Workshop - Jennet

Postby Ariella McManus » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:06 am

I guess I'm a bit biased here, as this is a topic that I believe strongly about myself. So from the minute I started reading it; I was already sold. But speaking strictly about the poem itself, I particularly love the way your words paint not only a picture but evoke an emotion. You have a real artistry with phrasing; keep that.

Your tone is definitely in the conversational style I associate with slam poetry, so on that score you were spot on; good job! I loved the bit about not talking in the library because it is rude; that bit of interspersed comedy made me smile. I could actually 'see' someone performing this work at a really cool coffee house and have it be a hit. I'm sorry that I'm not offering much more constructive feedback, but I honestly can't find anything negative to say about it at all. I wouldn't change a thing! I don't have that much experience with slam poetry myself, but from what I can tell you blew this one out of the water.
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Lavinia Rookwood
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Re: January Workshop - Jennet

Postby Lavinia Rookwood » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:08 am

I think you put into words something I've been clamoring about years! No but seriously, even when I have my negative moments about online and the digital age, I do feel like it's been a game changer for mostly good reasons. I love how you compare it to an age of wonder, repeating it near the beginning and the end to sort of make that like an bookend thought for the whole poem. And you can almost hear you sort of slamming your foot and getting louder with each "that's right' in the middle. Or maybe that's just me that would slam a foot, but the repeating there sort of works like punches. Like you're shaking the audience to sort of wake up and realize what they really have in front of them. Then you lead into a sort of breather moment with the 'and...it's over'.

I think that's the thing I like best. I can actually see how a person, even if it's not you, might perform this. I can hear how their voice would change on lines, grow hard or soft, how they might move their hands. And so I think that was really cool.

And no, I can't read the whole internet. :P
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