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Cabaret musical critical review by C.W. McGee

Cabaret (1972) - IMDb
A 1972 musical movie.

This 1972 musical is set in Berlin during the 1930s near to the rise of Nazi Germany. This movie focuses on aspiring actress Sally Bowles, performing in a Cabaret expressing her individuality & free-spirited nature on stage. One of the most interesting aspects of the Cabaret performance is that the female performers are caked in layers of makeup, whilst dancing and singing in non-seductive routines. It’s like it’s attacking the gender stereotypes and over-sexualisation of the female body in places such as strip clubs. This opposition to gender stereotypes is shown through the character Sally (played by Liza Minnelli) in her song ‘Life is a Cabaret.’

Life is a Cabaret song
Wilkommen opening song, creepy at first sight I know but that’s the the point of the song. To attack social norms, live & have fun celebrating all human differences.

The lyrics used in the songs show the Cabaret club in this musical as a place of music and fun. A place people can forget about their troubled lives, as the singing man in the second song says:


“Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
I’m Cabaret, au cabaret, to the cabaret!
Leave your troubles outside
So life is disappointing, forget it!
In here life is beautiful” Joel Grey (1972: Musical)

The struggles of the German people’s lives were only starting to get worst with the Nazi’s. But a Cabaret Is a performance piece to make people laugh, which the man and Sally do well with exaggerated dance moves and clownish style makeup. The makeup can be seen as a mockery towards the majorities ideas of how women should look. The man mocks this with the women’s exaggerated makeup by calling everything their beautiful, for example:

“So life is disappointing, forget it!
In here life is beautiful
The girls are beautiful
Even the orchestra is beautifulAnd now presenting the cabaret girls!
Each and everyone a virgin
You don’t believe me
Well, do not take my word for it
Go ahead, ask her!
Haha ha ha
Outside it is winter, but in here it is so hot!
Every night we have the battle to keep the girls from taking off
All their clothing, so don’t go away, who knows, tonight we may
Lose the battle!” Joel Grey (1972: Musical)

The wording ‘even the Orchestra is beautiful’ whilst being caked in makeup is making fun of how women are expected to look in societal norms. In the Cabaret it can be seen as a place celebrating differences and sexuality, as some men dress as women, even the host is being himself having fun which wouldn’t normally be seen in the 1930s.


Though the song Wilkommen is creepy looking, it is meant to be portrayed that way to celebrate differences. If you look closely you can see the camera angles are put back in the audience, as if you’re watching the Cabaret as an audience member. This is done intentionally to get the feeling of being there. This sums up the Cabaret in general. It’s all make-believe but they’re creating a false reality of diversity and fun to get away from the tiresome outside world.

The song is empowering appreciating life for what it is, ‘life is Cabaret’ saying I’m going to enjoy life here in the moment. The first song by Sally goes upbeat to sad about her friend Elsie dying of an overdose & drinking. It shifts from musical fun to the seriousness of an overdrinking death. But even in death, Sally sings how happy her friend looked like ‘the happiest corpse I’d ever seen’. Though this line is meant to be satire comedic on the outside; but serious in other ways about her friend dying of an overdose. This connects to the opening song Wilkommen, saying have fun & sing, you only live once. An example of living life in the lyrics:


“What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play
Life is a cabaret, old chum
Come to the Cabaret
Put down the knitting, the book and the broom
It’s time for a holiday
Life is a cabaret, old chum
Come to the Cabaret.” Liza Minneli (1972: Musical)


The musical fits the setting and character of Sally. It’s a surprising opening for a ‘love story’ but then again it shows there’s more to the story than that. It’s the people of society with small moments of rebellion against the prejudice; which is shown in this movie when a Cabaret audience member attempts to throw out a young Nazi but ends up beaten to death for it.

I love the LGBTQ vibes in this musical, as they weren’t represented in the 1930s at all. This is shown through some male dancers dressed in womens clothing and the host having fun making people feel comfortable at the Cabaret. It makes me sad that LGBTQ communities of the past weren’t allowed until now to express themselves without being made the butt of jokes in this Cabaret. This can be seen in the musical with differences being celebrated, but portrayed as jokes as this was the only way representation was allowed as the Nazi’s where rising. Even this wasn’t legal back then, as differences sadly were discouraged and punished under the Nazi’s reign.

Mein Herr song.

‘Mein Herr’ means my man and ‘the continent of Europe is so wide and fair, needing the freedom of the open-air’. These lines show Sally is a free spirit, saying ‘you’re better off without me’ embracing her uniqueness, saying she unbound like Europe, continental & unbound. An example of her free-spirited nature, wanting to live her life in the lyrics:

“The continent of Europe is so wide, mein herr.
Not only up and down, but side to side, mein herr.
I couldn’t ever cross it if I tried, mein herr.
But I do what I can
inch by inch
step by step
mile by mile
man by man.” Liza Minneli (1972: Musical)

If you look closely Sally uses her arms more than her legs dancing, they are flailing not being seductive again going against classic leg dances found in strip bars et cetera. The theme is beauty is internal, not external which is shown as she sits on a chair, not a strip pole. The song isn’t meant to be seductive, it’s all set up to be exaggerated and her self-expression.

This music was very pleasant to listen too, it’s songs with serious meanings of living life with its fun lyrics made this musical great in my opinion.

My interests and experiences that formed my beliefs of equality. By C.W. McGee.

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Since I was a child, I have always loved nature. I have always been intrigued by the sights of Mountains, forests, and valleys. Rather than being a stereotypical boy who’s expected to follow the social norms, I was exploring places and finding adventures in the wilderness.
I have always been passionate about slowing down and admiring the world around me. I enjoyed being different and doing my own thing. But as many people know, we are reminded to live in a society that must abide by the unwritten rules. Many deny they exist, but the people who do not follow these expectations know what I mean.
I am a left-side brain user. I love expression and all forms of creativity. Honestly, I could not do science or maths if you paid me. Mysteries have always been more appealing to me than life-sapping lessons about useless symbols and numbers.
Rather than trying to impress the popular kids, I was being myself enjoying marathons of Ghost adventures, Ancient Aliens, and Sasquatch documentaries.
To tell you the truth, learning was fun for me; only if it involved mythical creatures and urban legends. I loved to question history lessons- Instead of being forced to accept the stories of corrupt people. But School is no place for ideas and opinions for people, I’ll tell you that!
I watched cartoons and fiction movies so much in my youth that I got sick of living in our normal boring world. During lessons, I regularly entertained myself daydreaming of traversing the skies on a flying bison or receiving a letter from Hogwarts.
I witnessed many good pupils being treated differently, which always frustrated me, knowing I couldn’t do anything to help them. You had to keep your head down and mouth shut in school. I sympathise with bystanders who see injustices, just as much as I do with victims. Because I understand that the fear of being labelled a “snitch” is awful.
I realise now, that the world around us, has been built upon the pain of others. From cities being built on the lands of peaceful cultures, the deforestation of the beautiful trees, and the growing scorn against races, and people with different sexual orientations. My goal is to help all those people: the oppressed, the wronged, and the defenceless, with my story telling and planned books.
Everyone deserves the right to be happy, loved, and appreciated. You matter, even if some people make you feel that you don’t. I say some, because not every person on Earth is bad. I learned that from the unconditional love and support of my family, who supported me throughout my darkest days.
Whether it is your friends, significant others, your parents, or anyone, just know, those people will love and support you throughout anything. I promise things will get better; like the seasons of nature, we change constantly and the worst feelings always get better.
My inspirations as a child were heroic fictional characters. Some being: Batman, Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Danny phantom, Avatar Aang, and Robin from Teen Titans. These characters were never afraid as they fought against the problems with humanity and won most of the time.
But most of all, they learned and grew from their experiences. My favourite animated character of all time was Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender. He showed me that no matter what your reputation, no matter what you have done, it is never too late to start over and fix your mistakes.
I knew these fictional characters were more than entertainment for kids. These protagonists were beacons of hope. They made me believe anyone could fight against evil injustices. I am sure they inspired many others growing up as well.
My aspiration is to create book characters that connect with people who are oppressed by the wrongs of society, and to give them hope to become stronger people. And to live in a world of equality and respect.

Death Fugue by Paul Celan – 1920- 1970 creative analysis review by C.W. McGee

This play has some significance for remembering the lives lost in the Holocaust. This poem deals with the consequences of the horrors of the Holocaust. As well as its effects it had on the German people and victims. The poem’s theme is about the aftermath of the Holocaust and war.

DEATH FUGUE | Paul Celan | Spectrum | Calicut University - YouTube


The poem uses strong language such as “Black milk of dawn we drink at night we drink you at noon we drink you evenings we drink you and drink” Paul Celan (1948: 1) this is an interesting line talking about milk specifically. Milk is a source of life babies need for sustenance to survive, which could mean the victims of the Holocaust are latching onto any form of life. But the milk is described as black, tainted but still needed to survive. Almost repetitive with the word ‘drink’ which supports my idea of them latching onto life.

How one captures the horrors of the Holocaust in a poems baffles me. A truly devastating experience only true victims could bring into words, something the poet Celan does well with lines such as:

“He calls outplay death more sweetly death is a master from Deutschland he calls scrape those fiddles more darkly then as the smoke you’ll rise in the air then you’ll have a grave in the clouds there you’ll lie at ease.” Paul Celan (1948: 2) It almost describes death as something of a master in Deutschland in Germany. It talks about smoke in the idea of someone turning into it, ascending to a grave in the black clouds. It may be talking about bodies burning in furnaces ‘rising in the air then you’ll have a grave in the clouds’. Those words have a dark connection to furnace burnings in concentration camps, which shows the inhumane nature of the Nazi’s.


The poem continues with repetition talking about black milk, also repeating how death is a master in Deutschland. The next part could be talking about a nazi soldier taking the life of someone as it talks about a gun in his belt, for example :”He calls jab deeper into the earth you there and you other men sing and play he grabs the gun in his belt he draws it his eyes are blue jab deeper your spades you there and you other men continue to play for the dance” Paul Celan (1948: 4). When he mentions dance he may be trying to lift their unfortunate situation into a life force by turning it into a dance. Dance is an expression, living in a moment, living in general.

In my opinion, the words Celan used describing milk as black and the likeliness of death in Deutschland makes me as a reader sick to my stomach. The fact the victims of the Holocaust and the people had to deal with a tainted form of life. Which is symbolised as the black milk just gives me insight into a corruption of their lives, having to deal with Nazi warcrimes.

I also think Celan comparing Deutschland to death shows how much despair circualted around during the Holocaust. The black milk being a common theme throughout the poem. I believe it links back to the ash, and smoke of war and innocent bodies burning. The taint of war the soot and ash infects life which is represented as milk. It represents the stain of war in Germany, a toxic reality of the life they had to live with after all the horrors and blood that was spilt.
This poem linked interesting language to Germany’s suffering during the later war years. It described death, killing, and the corruption of life with the war in a creative way.

2020 International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration
Remember all those souls in heaven lost to the evil’s of the Holocaust.

The Drunken Boat by Arthur Rimbaud review by C.W. McGee.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/55036/the-drunken-boat

Drunken Boat: And Other Poems from the French of Arthur Rimbaud:  Amazon.co.uk: Greinke, Eric: 9780977252473: Books

I will be reviewing the creativity of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s The Drunken Boat. The poem is structured in quatrain stanzas & is from the point of view of a boat going across the sea. It is a one hundred word poem about a boat who breaks free from a human after they’re killed. The boat believes its free from human society to travel around the world until it realises it’s being guided by “the poem of the sea”. Below is some creative poetry languague by Rimbaud:

“Into the furious lashing of the tides
More heedless than children’s brains the other winter
I ran! And loosened Peninsulas
Have not undergone a more triumphant hubbub

The storm blessed my sea vigils
Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves
That are called eternal rollers of victims,
Ten nights, without missing the stupid eye of the lighthouses!” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 3)

The part talking about ‘of ravenous waves’ could be a metaphor for the hardships in life. The personified boat facing ravenous waves looking for the missing beam of a light house, is like someone trapped by hardships struggling to find light.

I love the way Rimbaud personifies the boat, an object soaring the seas longing for freedom, it is such a unique concept. I like how the boat has ambitions wanting to be free like any living thing, for example:

“I was indifferent to all crews,

The bearer of Flemish wheat or English cottons

When with my hauliers this uproar stopped

The Rivers let me go where I wanted.

Into the furious lashing of the tides

More heedless than children’s brains the other winter

I ran! And loosened Peninsulas

Have not undergone a more triumphant hubbub” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 2)

The Poetry Foundation website.

The French poem was written in 1871, a line from the boat point of view gives readers a clue the era Arthur Rimbaud released it. The “boat” calls tribal people who killed its hauliers an inappropriate, racist name used against Indigenous Americans. This was common with supply ships such as cotton ships, having discriminative mindsets against Native American tribes.

“As I was going down impassive Rivers,

I no longer felt guided by hauliers:

Yelping redskins had taken them as targets

And had nailed them naked to coloured stakes.” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 1)

The theme of the poem is about Arthur Rimbaud’s desire to be free. But the boat finds out the sea is a lot more dangerous and unpredictable than it initially thought. The sea could be a metaphor for unpredictable events that wash over us in life, events that make some sink or swim. The boat in is like us thinking we are free from one situation but encounter the harsh realities of life we thought would be all sunshine and calm seas. For example:

“I was indifferent to all crews,

The bearer of Flemish wheat or English cottons

When with my hauliers this uproar stopped

The Rivers let me go where I wanted.

Into the furious lashing of the tides

More heedless than children’s brains the other winter

I ran! And loosened Peninsulas

Have not undergone a more triumphant hubbub” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 2) translated by WALLACE FOWLIE

The poetic language used in this is mind-boggling, creative & jumbled in parts that don’t make much sense. But the language is what I like about it. It was clever to make the perspective come from the boat. It blew my mind towards the end the trait of a good poet. I like the poem’s unique use of language and comparisons to other things, such as:

“The storm blessed my sea vigils

Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves

That are called eternal rollers of victims,

Ten nights, without missing the stupid eye of the lighthouses!

Sweeter than the flesh of hard apples is to children

The green water penetrated my hull of fir

And washed me of spots of blue wine

And vomit, scattering rudder and grappling-hook.” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 4) translated by WALLACE FOWLIE.

I love the strong words Rimbaud used such as ‘flesh of hard apples’ and ‘washed me of sports of blue wine’. I like how he compares different colours, things that you wouldn’t mix together like an apple having flesh. Some how, he makes the comparisons work in his poetry, for example:

“Sweeter than the flesh of hard apples is to children
The green water penetrated my hull of fir
And washed me of spots of blue wine
And vomit, scattering rudder and grappling-hook” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 5) translated by WALLACE FOWLIE.

This poem brings sensations of taste and smell to me as a reader, the way Rimbaud talks about colours and ‘bitter redness’ brings the poem to life for me. An example of his use of taste and smell poetry langauge:

“Where, suddenly dyeing the blueness, delirium
And slow rhythms under the streaking of daylight,
Stronger than alcohol, vaster than our lyres,
The bitter redness of love ferments!” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 7) translated by WALLACE FOWLIE.

The language in this poem is strong and I think it makes each stanza interesting to read, as it describes so many different things.

“Glaciers, suns of silver, nacreous waves, skies of embers!
Hideous strands at the end of brown gulfs
Where giant serpents devoured by bedbugs
Fall down from gnarled trees with black scent!

I should have liked to show children those sunfish
Of the blue wave, the fish of gold, the singing fish.
—Foam of flowers rocked my drifting
And ineffable winds winged me at times.” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 14) translated by WALLACE FOWLIE.

Rimbaud was an open writer, writing from his soul/feelings and letting his poetic language go wild. He experimented, uniquely exploring poetry. Who would think to write a poem from the point of view of a boat? So, creative. This poem was enjoyable to read, I loved its creative language and engaging stanza’s describing the boat’s feelings:

“If I want a water of Europe, it is the black
Cold puddle where in the sweet-smelling twilight
A squatting child full of sadness releases
A boat as fragile as a May butterfly.

No longer can I, bathed in your languor, o waves,
Follow in the wake of the cotton boats,
Nor cross through the pride of flags and flames,
Nor swim under the terrible eyes of prison ships.” Arthur Rimbaud (1871: 23, 24) translated by WALLACE FOWLIE.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin book review by C.W. McGee.

The Fire Next Time - Wikiwand
Hello everyone, apologies for the late reviews been busy with university work lately. I will be reviewing James Baldwin’s The Fire next time story.
James Baldwin was an African American writer, and he was homosexual when discrimination was high at the time. He overcame prejudice by forging his own identity as a writer. He didn’t rely on his pain and suffering, but told his nephew the unfair advantages he’ll face in life because of his race in this letter ‘The Fire Next Time’. The tragedy of discrimination makes Baldwin’s language feel real invoking feelings of sadness within me as a reader. An example of Baldwin’s strong, emotional language:
“You may be like your grandfather in this, I don’t know, but certainly both you and your father resemble him very much physically. Well, he is dead, he never saw you, and he had a terrible life; he was defeated long before he died because, at the bottom of his heart, he believed what white people said about him.”
Excerpt From: James Baldwin. “The Fire Next Time”. Apple Books.
James Baldwin wrote for his nephew, trying to give him hope in a discriminative era. Baldwin absorbed and used it for his own set of values for the future. I connect with Baldwin’s powerful use of words, they flow well in a letter
format. He doesn’t sugarcoat the unfortunate reality his nephew will have to deal face, for example:
“Let me spell out precisely what I mean by that, for the heart of the matter is here, and the root of my dispute with my country. You were born where you were born and faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason. The limits of your ambition were, thus, expected to be set forever. You were born into a society which spelt out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity. ”
Excerpt From: James Baldwin. “The Fire Next Time”. Apple Books.

This goes back to a golden rule of characterisation, by using your own experiences and interactions with people to make your characters feel & sound real. I think it’s admirable Baldwin turned his pain into something that would help his nephew survive in a discriminative environment. He sadly talks about humanity, as it’s human nature to discriminate those not like the so-called higher class. An example of Baldwin revealing this unfair hierarchy is:
“I know what the world has done to my brother and how narrowly he has survived it. And I know, which is much worse, and this is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it. One can be, indeed one must strive to become, tough and philosophical concerning destruction and death, for this is what most of mankind has been best at since we have heard of the man.”
Excerpt From: James Baldwin. “The Fire Next Time”. Apple Books.
The way Baldwin explains his society looking down on their people tugs at my heart as a reader. The way he talks about it as if it’s a normal part of life makes me connect with his words and sympathise. An example of the theme of discrimination also shows in James last line; saying that even though their people have celebrated one hundred years of freedom, they are still trapped in their old mindsets. An example of this:
“You come from a long line of great poets, some of the greatest poets since Homer. One of them said, The very time I thought I was lost, My dungeon shook and my chains fell off.
You know, and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon. We cannot be free until they are free. God bless you, James, and Godspeed.
Your uncle,
James”

Excerpt From: James Baldwin. “The Fire Next Time”. Apple Books.
This shows in his writing at that time no matter how talented they were, society would keep them beneath white people regardless. This is so disgusting to think how some races were treated so poorly for no good reason other than they were different from others. As a reader Baldwin’s words to his nephew make me feel his past pain.
The fact Baldwin talks about the after-effects of previous generations descending from racism is a powerful topic to put into words. However, he brings a lot of emotional depth into his words, you can feel the raw pain he expresses towards his nephew, for example:
“Well, you were born, here you came, something like fifteen years ago; and though your father and mother and grandmother, looking about the streets through which they were carrying you, staring at the walls into which they brought you, had every reason to be heavyhearted, yet they were not. For here you were, Big James, named for me—you were a big baby, I was not—here you were: to be loved. To be loved, baby, hard, at once, and forever, to strengthen you against the loveless world. Remember that: I know how black it looks today, for you. It looked bad that day, too, yes, we were trembling. We have not stopped trembling yet, but if we had not loved each other none of us would have survived. And now you must survive because we love you, and for the sake of your children and your children’s children.”
Excerpt From: James Baldwin. “The Fire Next Time”. Apple Books.
This just shows writing often comes from painful experiences, to give others who feel pain the hope they need. This letter had emotional depth, a powerful theme of injustice and moving language that sheds light on an issue that still needs fixing to this day. Writers like James Baldwin showed the ugly truth some turn a blind eye too, but only through acknowledgement and compassion can issues such as racism be changed & ended.
1,306 Racial Equality Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Eve’s 1950 football dream by C.W. McGee. ©

Free Free Football Images, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on Clipart  Library
Anyone can do anything no matter what or who they choose to be.

C.W. McGee.01/© (copyright sign)/ ™ (trade mark sign) at the bottom.

Hi everyone, this story is based on a female footballer my Mum told me about. Her name was Lilly Parr, a woman who was subjected to sexism and injustices for being herself. She like many other women of her era weren’t allowed to play football. I based this story of a play Armed Response (South Africa) by David Peimer at my university. His play deals with themes of fear from crime and the lack of police and Institualised Discrimination on every level of life. I chose the idea of female injustice inspired by Lilly Parr’s football dream.

Wow, the sound of boots kicking a football is magic to my ears, even the pitch is ripe green and sweet, perfect for a lunchtime game. The way they dribble, pass it in such a co-ordinated way wow. Just imagine if they kick the ball here, I’d help them win for sure.
‘Great tackle.’ I cover my mouth instantly.
‘Piss off.’ Fat ginger Mike attempts to shout at me.
Baring my middle finger I kick the rail before coach spots me. Ugh, stupid smelly boys, a bunch of pig-headed dopes. I could run circles, dribbling round them. Just cause my hair’s long and forced to wear shitty dresses I can’t play footie?
I feel a nudge against my shin. My heart leaps finding a white footie ball on my shoe. The smoothness of its round surface, so light yet heavy in my palms. The boys scream distracted by Olly’s goal, nows my chance.
‘She’s perving at lads again!’ A group of girls with Bouffant hairs styles giggle nearby.
‘Na she’s perving at that ball ha.’
‘What girl wants to play football?’
About to lunge the football at those brats a tight force suddenly yanks me. Coach glares at me with stern gorilla eyes.
‘Girl I’ve told you once I’ve told you a hundred times, football’s for boys scram.’ He grunts snatching the football from me.
A few hours pass by as I walk head down my house street, a loud cheer catches my attention by the corner shop.
‘Well in boys.’ It’s Oliver the school footie captain tackling with mates. Maybe, I can show him my dribbling skills; taking a deep breath I march over to them palms tightly shut.
‘Oh, what’d you want?’ Their smiles fade away as my cheeks burn.
‘I…just wanted to ask… If I could join–‘
‘No, you’re not joining our team.’
‘But why I could help the team out just–‘
‘Do one we’re having no girls here.’
‘Just let me prove it ok, I train for hours every night!’
‘Liar! Girls don’t train, get lost.’ He said, I ball my fists swallowing my pain.
Sudden gasps fill around me, I don’t know what happened my knuckles hurt and Olly’s head slams on the curb. Oh shit, he looks up furiously holding his busted potato nose, blood streaming over his Man United shirt.
‘Get her.’ they sprint for me as I leap over nearby garden fences hiding behind fences. Must’ve been a half-hour now, they lost me near the park phew I need to lie down. Making my way to the house I can’t help kicking stones as I kick my door open.
‘Hello sweetheart, Hope you’re all ready for pot roast tonight.’ Said mother, dancing like a fool in the kitchen. Dad and Dave ignore me as usual screaming at a match game on television.
‘Yeah, that’s great Honey, Did you see Dean lad, all most had it!’ Father screams with my brother as the roaring football fans fill the living room.
‘Is Everton winning Dad?’
‘Get lost Eve, help Ma with tea.’ Dave shoves me the idiot.
I clench the table cloth in silent fury, whilst mother hums making my insides quiver. Just look at her, those wide red lips smiling so merrily, why?
‘Mother, why can’t we watch football with them? Why are they allowed to do things & we can’t?’
‘Well, we wouldn’t have anyone to cook dinner or clean, would we? That’s just our place Hon. Men go to work the women run the house and feed the children.‘ She said, laughing like a dope.
‘But that not–‘
‘Dinner’s ready boys!’
I storm out the kitchen thudding up the stairs. It’s just not fair, I don’t want to slave for men all day! Collapsing on my bed tears roll down my cheeks, It’s just not fair.
Hours of celebrating and screaming go by as I rot in my chamber of darkness; Father and Dave and all other men shout and celebrate like animals in the street. Guess Everton must’ve won this time, I toss and turn in my bed, unable to get this burning rage out my chest.

‘Enough’s, enough.’ I throw the covers shaking my shoe as my secret key clanks on the floor. The cabinet opens and there it is, Dave’s yellow football, my round holy grail.
The grandfather clock chimes 2 pm, no eyes wondering, no snitches snitching in the dead of night. Running down the chilly street I punch the ball into the air as I climb over the park fence. It feels so wrong yet feels so right.
‘We’ll see who can’t play.’ I kick the old yellow ball with all my might, The field is so green even in winter, damp yet just right. This is exhilarating, my muscles warming up, my heart racing imagining the roars of a thousand fans cheering me on. I smile every second kicking the ball, its soft surface against my knee.
‘She tackles, she shoots she scores!’
The end.

C.W. McGee.01 ™ (trade mark sign)

Review of The Birthday party by C.W. McGee.

Hello everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas and a happy new year tonight. Here I’ve done a review on an old screenplay ‘The Birthday party’ by Harold Pinter. It is a 1957 script play that follows characters living together in a boarding house. I like the sparse paced dialogue, it makes Pinter’s characters living in this boarding house feel realistic. The back and forth conversations between Meg and her husband Petey is an example of low exposition, and good flowing dialogue that shows their boring marriage for example:

Happy birthday 2 - freestocks.org - Free stock photo


“PETEY. Very nice.
MEG. I thought they’d be nice. (She sits at the table.) Did you get your paper?
PETEY. Yes.
MEG. Is it good?
PETEY. Not bad.
MEG. What does it say?
PETEY. Nothing much.
MEG. You read me out some nice bits yesterday.
PETEY. Yes, well, I haven’t finished this one yet.
MEG. Will you tell me when you come to something good?
PETEY. Yes.”
Excerpt From: Harold Pinter. “Harold Pinter Plays 1”. Apple Books.
Brief dialogue like this is short and straight to the point. This shows a boring marriage dynamic with Meg’s enthusiastic, taking control with the boarding house demeanour with Petey’s flat, boring answers.
Meg shows herself to have the highest status is this script being in charge of the boarding house. This puts her character status above the other men in the boarding house who rely on her organisational skills waking Stanley up and making breakfast et cetera. Below is an example of Meg’s ship captain, character archetype of the boarding house.
“MEG. Is Stanley up yet?
PETEY. I don’t know. Is he?
MEG. I don’t know. I haven’t seen him down yet.
PETEY. Well then, he can’t be up.
MEG. Haven’t you seen him down?
PETEY. I’ve only just come in.
MEG. He must be still asleep.
She looks around the room, stands, goes to the sideboard and takes a pair of socks from a drawer, collects wool and a needle and goes back to the table.
What time did you go out this morning, Petey?
PETEY. Same time as usual.
MEG. Was it dark?
PETEY. No, it was light.
MEG (beginning to darn). But sometimes you go out in the morning and it’s dark.
PETEY. That’s in the winter.
MEG. Oh, in winter.
PETEY. Yes, it gets light later in winter.
MEG. Oh.”
Excerpt From: Harold Pinter. “Harold Pinter Plays 1”. Apple Books.


Harold Pinter’s play received a lot of controversy from critics for his well-known use of play themes of not being told what to do by society. Later in this play this theme of not conforming similarly to bullying when Meg tries to be nice assuming it’s Stan’s (a failed pianist living in the boarding house) birthday. Meg mentions Stan loved to play the piano, but similarly to Pinter’s experiences with his play; Stan was criticised and gave into despair.


“MEG. I like listening to the piano. I used to like watching Stanley play the piano. Of course, he didn’t sing. (Looking at the door.) I’m going to call that boy.
PETEY. Didn’t you take him up to his cup of tea?
MEG. I always take him up to his cup of tea. But that was a long time ago.”
Excerpt From: Harold Pinter. “Harold Pinter Plays 1”. Apple Books.
Two characters Goldberg and McCann are later introduced invited by Meg for Stanley’s supposed birthday. Stanley’s character status starts as high when talking to the men during the party, but learning of his lack of life endurance to stand up for himself; Goldberg and McCann start bullying.
“GOLDBERG. Sit down.
STANLEY. Why should I?
GOLDBERG. If you want to know the truth, Webber, you’re beginning to get on my breasts.
STANLEY. Really? Well, that’s—
GOLDBERG. Sit down.
STANLEY. No.
GOLDBERG sighs, and sits at the table right.
GOLDBERG. McCann.
MCCANN. Nat?
GOLDBERG. Ask him to sit down.
MCCANN. Yes, Nat. (MCCANN moves to STANLEY.) Do you mind sitting down?
STANLEY. Yes, I do mind.
MCCANN. Yes now, but—it’d be better if you did.
STANLEY. Why don’t you sit down?
MCCANN. No, not me—you.
STANLEY. No thanks.
Pause.
MCCANN. Nat.
GOLDBERG. What?
MCCANN. He won’t sit down.
GOLDBERG. Well, ask him.
MCCANN. I’ve asked him.
GOLDBERG. Ask him again.
MCCANN (to STANLEY). Sit down.
STANLEY. Why?
MCCANN. You’d be more comfortable.
STANLEY. So would you.
Pause.
MCCANN. All right. If you will I will.
STANLEY. You first.
MCCANN slowly sits at the table, left
MCCANN. Well?
STANLEY. Right. Now you’ve both had a rest you can get out!
MCCANN (rising). That’s a dirty trick! I’ll kick the shite out of him!
GOLDBERG (rising). No! I have stood up.
MCCANN. Sit down again!
GOLDBERG. Once I’m up I’m up.
STANLEY. Same here.
MCCANN (moving to STANLEY[…]”
Excerpt From: Harold Pinter. “Harold Pinter Plays 1”. Apple Books.


Stanley’s status starts lowering as later Goldberg and McCann start firing rapid, hurtful questions about him which shows his silence and status raise in Goldberg and McCann. This dialogue exchange between the three shows the lack of remorse the fifties era and today has for people with low confidence who give up in life. For example:


“GOLDBERG. Right? Of course right! We’re right and you’re wrong, Webber, all along the line.
MCCANN. All along the line!
GOLDBERG. Where is your lechery leading you?
MCCANN. You’ll pay for this.
GOLDBERG. You stuff yourself with dry toast.
MCCANN. You contaminate womankind.
GOLDBERG. Why don’t you pay the rent?
MCCANN. Mother defiler!
GOLDBERG. Why do you pick your nose?
MCCANN. I demand justice!
GOLDBERG. What’s your trade?
MCCANN. What about Ireland?
GOLDBERG. What’s your trade?
STANLEY. I play the piano.
GOLDBERG. How many fingers do you use?
STANLEY. No hands!
GOLDBERG. No society would touch you. Not even a building society.
MCCANN. You’re a traitor to the cloth.
GOLDBERG. What do you use for pyjamas?
STANLEY. Nothing.
GOLDBERG. You verminate the sheet of your birth.
MCCANN. What about the Albigensenist heresy?
GOLDBERG. Who watered the wicket in Melbourne?
MCCANN. What about the blessed Oliver Plunkett?
GOLDBERG. Speak up, Webber. Why did the chicken cross the road?
STANLEY. He wanted to—he wanted to—he wanted to….
MCCANN. He doesn’t know!
GOLDBERG. Why did the chicken cross the road?
STANLEY. He wanted to—he wanted to….
GOLDBERG. Why did the chicken cross the road?
STANLEY. He wanted….
MCCANN. He[…]”
Excerpt From: Harold Pinter. “Harold Pinter Plays 1”. Apple Books.

These rapid questions from Goldberg are similar to good cop bad cop routine. Designed to overwhelm a person. I like how the cruelty towards sensitive people like Stanley’s portrayed realistically, as it is hard for people to keep afloat with their dreams whilst ignoring toxic remarks. Stanley’s low status in life, giving up on his dreams because of others is what Harold Pinter could have done when most critiques hated his play. However, believing in his theme not listening he continued and ignored the bullying.


The 1950’s mindset that is similar to modern society looking down on people like Stanley who don’t stand up for themselves.
This play was filled with interesting, necessary dialogue which gives each character unique traits. This lowers or raises their character status with Meg being more liked then Stan, in the end, rising above her husband. An example of of Meg’s character raised in status:
“MEG. There’s some tea in the pot though. (She pours tea for him.) I’m going out shopping in a minute. Get you something nice. I’ve got a splitting headache.
PETEY (reading). You slept like a log last night.
MEG. Did I?
PETEY. Dead out.
MEG. I must have been tired. (She looks about the room and sees the broken drum in the fireplace.) Oh, look. (She rises and picks it up.) The drum’s broken, (PETEY looks up.) Why is it broken?
PETEY. I don’t know.
She hits it with her hand.
MEG. It still makes a noise.
PETEY. You can always get another one.
MEG (sadly). It was probably broken in the party. I don’t remember it being broken though, in the party. (She puts it down.) What a shame.
PETEY. You can always get another one, Meg.
MEG. Well, at least he did have it on his birthday, didn’t he? Like I wanted him to.
PETEY (reading). Yes.
MEG. Have you seen him down yet? (PETEY does not answer.) Petey.
PETEY. What?
MEG. Have you seen him down?
PETEY. Who?
MEG. Stanley.
PETEY. No.
MEG. Nor have I. That boy should be up. He’s late for his breakfast[…]”

Excerpt From: Harold Pinter. “Harold Pinter Plays 1”. Apple Books.

Stanely’s low status in life is similar to Pinter’s experiences with critics only he turned them into positives with continuing his playwriting. I give this play 10/10 for engaging dialogue with little exposition.

I’ll be posting a short micro-fiction in the coming week based off women’s football.

Micro fiction by C.W. McGee

Hello everyone, this micro fiction is inspired by the year 2000 play 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane. That play is about the struggling of psychologically distressed minds which is told from many different, non-specified characters. Parts of the play show their tormented thoughts some contemplating suicide. Their deep-rooted suffering some seeing life as unbearable and hate it.

I was inspired by this play to write a short fiction based of an issue that contributes to mental health issues. That being bullying, as a survior of it myself I feel the pain of those who’ve unfortunatly been through this. Whether that be in school, college, or even in jobs it’s still a great cause of suicides and ruins people’s mental health for years to come. This is a reason why I’m so passionate about tackling these issues with future books and short stories. This short story shows the inner thoughts of a terrified young girl similarly to the thoughts of the people struggling with mental health issues in 4.48 Psychosis.

Image result for fight bullying free to use images
The world is all ready flawed enough, why hurt each other?

Eternal hell by C.W. McGee © Copyright @callummcgee01.

Dear Diary,
My heart drops as the bell of Lucifer chimes through the playground. I already feel my heart racing, my ugly pale palms sweating like a pig. No, I can’t take another day here! I look to the sun, looking for the light in this inner turmoil of darkness. As always, Mum pointed me into the rusty black gates of suffering. It’s not even nine, and towering oafs knock me into lockers, throw scrunched papers at my glasses. They deafen with me with their immature cackles knocking me over every second. My breath is crushed out of me, trying to squeeze between herds of BO smelling beasts stampeding up stairwells.

I bottle my feelings, trying to hold onto my graffitied books. Like Demons, they prowl, seeping fear into my glass heart. I feel their judging gazes following me now, malicious grins fixating upon my crooked glasses and my freakishly large nose.

I sit alone too sick to eat lunch. invisible like the damned soul I am. Dinner ladies hide turning away as imps throw mash and gravy in my face. My bones rattle entering the gym hall, as wide and cruel as a torture chamber. Girls laugh and giggle, bonding as they hurl dodgeballs in my face. I can’t begin to describe the aches across my body, the grotesque bruises swelling over my arms. It hurts so much no one even looks at me. Some teachers snicker beneath their balled hands. Is every soul in this cursed building devoid of compassion and humanity? I fall to my knees, holding in tears as my glasses shatter beneath their trendy trainers. Suffering Is all I’ve ever known being here, Satan’s presence in its servants consume my soul like wildfire each hour.

I pray to God every night for this damnation to end. I get it my birth was probably the greatest sin of all. Have I not suffered enough already? I don’t know why I bother praying anymore. My voice falls on empty ears, fading into nothingness like the wind. As always, the demons within silence me in the cold of the moonlit night.
I hold years of tears behind pale dead eyes. Hiding like the coward I am in empty lockers. Towering giants scour corridors, laughing like mad jacks as they drag me out for another hour of torment.
I sit at the back of classrooms with the outcasts, all of them fading slowly like candlelights in winter. We are the damned ones, no angels to guard us, no friends to care for us; I wish I could fade out. Oblivion can’t be worse than this.

Satan’s bell chimes down the blackened halls at noon once again. My damnation ends for today.
Don’t know where I’m going from here Diary, maybe I’ll write in you again. Maybe not.

My strengths and weaknesses in writing:

To understand which type of writing you want to do; I’d advice read many different books as you can, find what genre clicks with you, what stories interest you. Stories I love usually have in-depth descriptions of the world they are set in, such as The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I am inspired by plots that take place in entirely fictional worlds like Middle Earth; usually, they have incredible descriptions of scenery and characters.
In writing, you must understand it’s your characters, even supporting ones that make your story worth reading. Humans are unique and mysterious creatures, like books we have pages of stories to tell about our lives. I’ve learned focus just as much on your characters as you do with the plot. Remember, well-written, believable characters give readers a reason to stick around with your plot twists and story plot.

Make sure when you establish your characters personality traits, don’t make them do things they wouldn’t normally do just for plot convenience. Episodic scripts usually are guilty of going out of character for the sake of gags such as Family Guy or Rick and Morty. It ruins the flow of your plot and discourages new readers not to care about well planned out plot twists et cetera.
I make characters with believable flaws and stay grounded with their traits to seem real to readers. I want to write characters that connect with people, who go through things like bullying and show how to fight back against injustices. Stories that have a beginning, middle, and end are my favourite narrative types; a journey that changes the characters over time with never-ending obstacles like life.
I want to write stories that focus on the emotional and physical growth of my characters as they travel through fictional realms I’m currently building in drawings.
Though I’m developing my skills in writing, I am still relatively new learning about narrative stories, character arcs, plot, and dialogue. I would say my descriptions with showing the five senses in my work is my best asset in writing. I am good at describing how characters feel through first/third person POV. Writing draft surrounding descriptions with character dialogue is difficult for me as it needs to sound real with emotion in every word. My advice is type dialogue and environment descriptions separately then once you’ve edited them as best you can merge them into a singular document.

Three pictures that inspire my creativity:

This is the sleeping princess moutain in Penmaemawr, Wales outside my family caravan site.
This a hidden water stream near my sight in wales I go to connect with mother nature.
The heavenly sights from the trams in Llandudno is one of the most inspirational places I’ve ever seen, like something from a painting.

I am a person who’s always been connected to the emboidments of nature: seas, forests, fields and open valleys. These places I’ve shown here are very special to me, they hold many happy memories for me growing up.

Working Class Hero – John Lennon song review by C.W. McGee

Every one of the Beatles songs will forever hold a candle to my heart, being the first band I ever listened to as a child, the fact they started in Liverpool my home town. Watch the incredible music video below showing Strawberry fields, and the all too familiar struggles of being a lone wolf child in a predator filled school.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMewtlmkV6c.


John Lennon and The Beatles all came from humble beginnings, not born into richness like snooty narcissists, cough Donald Trump cough. They used their good and bad experiences as every day people like us- to influence their song lyrics. I love how they began climbing the ladder of success step by step in the underground tavern and earned their well-know success from humble beginnings.


Getting to the point, this solo song by John Lennon is one of my favourites because of its relatability of struggles in life; feeling like an outsider for so many years myself makes me empathise with John’s melancholy lyrics.


The working-class context in the song shows the life of a schoolboy going through another day being ignored, judged, and forced to listen to brainwashing lessons all young people must accept without question.


You can tell the way John sings these lyrics he spoke his lyrics instead of exaggerating them through loud voice tunes and background instrumentals. The genre of this song is country, which flows nicely with the strums of the calming guitar instrumentals. You can hear the emotion in his voice, squeaks of hurt as if these memories of unfair struggles of being middle class left a scar in his heart.


The first lyrics:

“As soon as you’re born they make you feel small,
By giving you no time instead of it all
‘Til the pain is so big, you feel nothing at all,
A working-class hero is something to be,
A working-class hero is something to be.” John Lennon (1970: Acoustic)


This line shows John Lennon admired people who managed to keep their hopes up despite the disadvantages being middle class always dragging you down. I share John’s belief in the lyric sentence ‘As soon as you’re born they make you feel small, By giving you no time instead of it all ‘which I believe is one-hundred per cent true’ as we are all taught you must work to provide structure for the rich people who step on us to get to the top. These experiences of not fitting into the brainwashing social systems do leave scars on people; as society tries desperately to drain our individuality into branded cogs, to work forever as everlasting slaves in their societal factories.


Other lyrics:
“They hurt you at home and they hit you at school


They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool
‘Til you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules’
I feel those lyrics come from John’s experiences, as he sings these in a low, slightly frustrated tone. Again he shows the unfairness of being in school environments trying so hard to fit in with others expectations but failing at every turn.” John Lennon (1970: Acoustic)


More lyrics:
‘When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty odd years


“Then they expect you to pick a career,
When you can’t function, you’re so full of fear.” John Lennon (1970: Acoustic)
Being a current university student this statement about being forced to pick a career is so relatable, the fact John sings these lyrics with such believable sadness and passion in his voice makes me love this song even more.


I give this song 10/10 for being so relatable and bringing out the home felt country vibe of the guitar instrumentals.