RCL 6 It’s What I Do

As a conflict photographer, it is no surprise that Addario sees more than her fair share of war and conflict while doing her job. However, she also deals with conflict in her personal life and even within her own mind. There was one quote that I believe can be considered as the crossroads of all of these conflicts. On pages 151-152 she says, “The sadness and injustice I encountered as a journalist could either sink me into a depression or open the door to a vision of my own life. I chose the latter.” This quote really got to me because it connects to my life. I’ve never been a big fan of big changes in my life. Ever since I was a kid they just made me nervous. And obviously leaving home, leaving everyone I knew behind and going to a college that nobody from my school goes to has been the biggest change in my life so far.

This past summer was the most fun of my life. I enjoyed every second of it and became closer to my friends than I ever had been before. But I knew deep down that our days together were numbered, that all of us would be going off to schools around the country. This started to have an impact on me in August. I was so sad about leaving everything I loved behind that I began to realize I wasn’t even thinking about what I had to look forward to here. When I realized this everything changed. I knew that I was going to encounter a world of experiences here and couldn’t let nostalgia ruin that. I knew that, even though my hometown felt warm and safe, my time there had to end. I realized the future could be whatever I wanted it to be. From that moment on, I have never looked back.


The Beatles were at the forefront of social change in the 1960s. They opened the floodgates that popularized political music to the American public. Though their accomplishments in music are virtually unrivaled, it may not have been the same were it not for some of their inspirations, namely Bob Dylan. His music was political even before the Beatles’ was, though he wasn’t able to make it as popular. Like the Beatles, he called for social and political change in his songs. Most notably in his hit “The Times They are a Changin,” which many consider to be the most political song ever.

Dylan compares the social change to a flood with the line “And admit that the waters around you have grown. And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone.” What he is saying here is that society is beginning to accept African Americans and that this acceptance is spreading like a flood, and that if people become tolerant they will be fine, but if they resist the change society will leave them behind. This sentiment also is evident in the line “Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone.” “Swimming” refers to becoming tolerant. Those who remain racist will not be able to cope with the new accepting world and will, according to Dylan “sink like a stone.” Dylan calls for “writers and critics who prophesize with [their] pen” to stop lying to and negatively influencing the public and to start being good journalists.

Dylan makes a number of Biblical references talking about how those that have been oppressed by those in power will soon be in power themselves, and that those who were in power will be powerless.

This song’s influence became clear immediately after its release. It was instantly used as an anthem for social change. Beyond the 60’s, the song has continued to have a lasting message of acceptance. This is because, despite originally being written about the Civil Rights movement, the general lyrics are universally tied to acceptance over intolerance.


The song is civic because it calls for people to strive for social change. Dylan was very rightfully disgusted by the treatment of African Americans in America at the time and was glad that things had begun shifting in towards equality. All things considered, this song can more or less be described as an absolutely scathing diss track directed at any racist or intolerant people. It was extremely effective in its goal to spur change, as it became somewhat of an anthem of acceptance.

How The Beatles Changed Music

From the moment The Beatles hit the public radar it was clear that they were no ordinary rock group. They instantly began challenging basic ideologies surrounding rock and roll as well as music in general. In addition to their ingenuity in the recording studio, they also completely altered the course of music in America, and in the process broke the barrier between the British and American music industry.

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Music in America during the early to mid 20th century was mostly made to be danced to

The Beatles wrote their music to be listened to

They weren’t the first to do this in America at the time but they were the ones who successfully made it happen.

After they succeeded music in America shifted to the point where most music was made for listening instead of dancing

Don Maclean even brought attention to this in his hit song American Pie with the lyric “We all got up to dance, oh but we never got the chance.”

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Music in Europe and America was frankly different up to the early 60s.

“The reputation that was out there in Great Britain was that you can’t make it in America. They just want to listen to a different kind of music.” -Michael Cheney

The Beatles were different in that many of their inspirations were American musicians, most notably Bob Dylan.

Once the Beatles broke through to the American public the idea that British musicians couldn’t make it in America was quickly and violently forgotten.

Quickly after the Beatles hit it big here the cultural phenomenon known as the “British Invasion” struck.

This was when bands from Britain came to America and started having tremendous success. The Rolling Stones and The Who being the most notable to follow in the Beatles footsteps.

While The Beatles storied run as world famous band was criminally short, their impact is one that will never be forgotten. From their creativity in the studio, to their arrival in America, all the way down to the day they tragically broke up, The Beatles were changing the way people thought about music. Though they stopped making music together almost 50 years ago their impact is still being felt today and will be for a long time to come.

RCL Blog 3

Addario uses no shortage of powerful and enticing writing techniques. Whether it’s her use of colloquial phrases or strong powerful diction, her style of writing constantly serves a purpose throughout the novel. I will be focusing on the latter for this blog. On page 93 when Addario is describing the US invasion of Iraq she is using extremely vivid language. She uses a lot of figurative language and powerful diction to really paint a picture for the reader. Everything about that section, her word choice, her analogies, metaphors, hyperbole, etc. is made to make the audience feel like they are there with her, watching as missiles fall from the sky and gun fire echoes through the landscape. I believe that had she used more formal, less imaginative tone and diction in this section it would have been a much less interesting read and would not have stuck with me for all this time after reading the book.

While I used that specific section as an example, the use of powerful language is not the writing strategy I was admiring. What amazed me about her writing is that the way she wrote varied greatly based on the story she was telling. Her voice as an author has such tremendous range that no matter what she was writing, it always perfectly complemented the story she was telling. This is something that I want to incorporate into my blog. I’ve always felt a little unsatisfied with my voice as a writer and I would love to improve it using this strategy. If I am able to make my voice as a writer more in tune with the topic I’m discussing and what I’m saying about that topic I feel like I will have taken my writing to the next level, which is something I have been longing for since the start of high school.

RCL Blog 2

Addario tells the story of her Nana’s love story as a method of moving her narrative forward. The story of her fading love of her Nana causes the reader to question whether or not Addario is capable of love. This is reinforced by her retelling of the earlier story about her failed romance with Uxval. The questions about her ability to love were answered by her deep love of photography. Her passion for photography outweighed something many people consider to be the most fulfilling feeling in life: love.

While I haven’t yet found anything in my life that I would put over life itself I do have things I am passionate about. Most of all, my love of film. There is nothing I enjoy more when I’m by myself then getting comfortable, popping some corn, and watching a great movie. I feel the best films are the ones that make me want to watch them over and over again. I am far from ashamed to say that movies like Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting and Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige and Dark Knight Trilogy have done just that. But my love for films doesn’t stop at merely watching them. I love analyzing them, thinking about them, and of course talking about them. The best directors are doing more than just telling a story, they’re sending a message, creating a narrative. They want you to think about their work and become engaged. While now it is a great passion of mine, discovering my love of film did not happen under the happiest of conditions. My first two years of high school I was very antisocial. Outside of soccer season, I did little else after school than homework and useless pastimes. Halfway through my freshman year, I started watching movies on demand to pass the time on lonely nights. I quickly became enthralled in film history, watching all the classics. From Casablanca to Star Wars and everything in between. By the end of my sophomore year, I had developed a solid friend group so my movie watching became less frequent. I do not, however, love it any less than I did at first. I am excited to talk about films in my blog. I am planning on talking about what I do and don’t like about certain movies and traits that make some films and break others.

RCL Blog 1

A passion is always thought of as something that automatically makes you happy, but I don’t necessarily think that is the case. Something you’re truly passionate about can drive you crazy, it can frustrate you, a passion can either make or ruin your day. The reason it’s a passion is that despite all the frustration if that thing wasn’t in your life you might feel empty or even meaningless.

One of my great passions in life is watching every game my New England Patriots play. They absolutely frustrate me and have both made and ruined my Sundays (granted they’ve made it significantly more than they’ve ruined it.) However, if I didn’t have their games to look forward to every fall and winter there would be something missing from my life. Even though sometimes I can’t stand watching them, (see the first 40 minutes of the Super Bowl) I would never even think about missing a game without a reason. I would love to write my blog about the Pats. I could write about trades, injuries, weekly game recaps, and I would also love to write some in depth game analysis such as how players are performing beyond the statistics and where their play could use improvement.

Another passion of mine is film. To me, there is nothing more satisfying on a quiet night than getting comfortable and watching a really good movie. While this passion, unsurprisingly, doesn’t drive me nearly as crazy as football, I still get upset when I waste my time and possibly money on a bad movie. When it comes to cinema I really enjoy deeply analyzing film and trying to find underlying messages and symbolism the director has so intricately hidden beneath the plot and dialogue. I would be extremely happy to write my blog every week about a movie I watched, especially one I love. I could review it in depth and even give my detailed analysis of it.