Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Power of Absence

Back in middle school I was what people would call a dunce or a class clown. Always having a good time zip tying my classmates' bookbags, putting laxatives in my English teacher's coffee, and of course the classic putting a cellphone in the roof and calling it while Taylor Swift plays. In all my years I was abused by detentions, but there was one day where I was too sick to come to school. A day... another... and another... and then a week. In my mono infested bed I pondered, "how are my classmates surviving without me?"The truth is there was a power struggle as the Julius Caesar of jokes was gone. I came back to find that my other classmates had attempted to play pranks, but they failed. They needed me. And we need Upton Sinclair. 
In US the fact that Sinclair was killed off showed the need our society has for a socialist activist that goes against the grain. The assassination of Sinclair was a means of highlighting his radical importance in history and in society because if he died of natural causes or a random gang shooting he would have been buried an icon, not a hero. In his absence a hero was created. A national symbol was created. Upton Sinclair was reborn into importance. In America the reenacting of the assassination it gave me a different vibe, however, almost as if there was another me in class unscrewing table tops. Diluting the individuality of my pranks.            The actual assassination of Lincoln followed by this fake assassination undermines the importance of it to me. But this idea of multiple assassinations and color change brings the idea of reincarnation into a similar light as US because it is the personification of a new life.
As far as popular amusement goes- I was king. But in both these books the second coming of Sinclair and Lincoln was meant to please the audience. There was a need for Sinclair and the audience was amused by Lincoln's new character. Thinking about it- popular amusement seems to be the main reason for their return and my pranks.
History- I went down in history for setting a new record for votes in the Vice Presidential race (29), but these figures are known as historical giants for being radical in their revolutionary fields. This could be the source for the overwhelmingly popular demand to bring them back. Their place in history books is  mocked in both books. Sinclair and Lincoln's coming back seems to be a metaphor for the constant need for social change in our country. Some people like to see me turn off the Smartboard, while others try to stop me- it's cyclical and always supported and opposed, which sounds like melodrama to me.

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