On 1Q84 And Haruki Murakami's Alternative Universe

On 1Q84 And Haruki Murakami's Alternative Universe

Reasons why 1Q84 is perhaps the greatest literary mystery and my favorite book.
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I have to admit I often find Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 reclining against my bookshelf in all its bare realism and eroticism.

I could recite to you every detail of Aomame’s first encounter with the world of 1Q84: a heterodox where two moons float (you might think the archetype science fiction, but I promise I will later prove you wrong) and essential guardrails stationed on Tokyo’s Metropolitan Expressways - but not when the opaque is left indecipherable.

Mr. Murakami is known for his odd and troublesome organizations. He is also known for his inconsistencies. While his stories tend to fall into vague allusions, Murakami is still a skillful artisan who leaves his readers (eventually) in awe. Of course, 1Q84 does not disappoint. There is a given inkling of George Orwell's 1984 just by its title. The notions of "Big Brother" and surveillance linger throughout the story as Murakami crafts his lengthy dystopia. Many find 1Q84 a banal series of reiterations, yet, its aura lies in the contrast between the ordinary and its sci-fi setting.

Submerged within Murakami’s Tokyo, it is to my chagrin that I fall to a conclusion - it was not the star-crossed lovers Aomame and Tengo, the mystical cult, or the equally fascinating Orwellian references that furrowed my brows and ushered my troubled mind into both awe and turmoil. Albeit the loose ends and boring protagonist, I find myself even more entrenched as I indulge further into the inking of a genius, one who refused the petty obligation to abide by any metrics.

Perhaps, after all, standards do not apply to a parallel universe where even the slightest detail belongs to a shattered piece of stained glass, ultimately impenetrable and coherent. Like a book confined in a cosmos, 1Q84 is governed by the loose organization, erratic shortcomings, and unexplained redundancies which resulted into expansive questions targeting the cornerstones of human ethics: what is the beginning and what marks the END? A passive work of conceptual art, defining the triviality of Tokyo’s most mundane inhabitants, 1Q84 is an epitome of grand epistemologies, oftentimes too esoteric and aloof, made reality.

Murakami is a modern-day inquirer, one who is shrewd enough to ask the deepest questions I fear, uncover my conflicting egos, and scramble me like an unfinished omelet. With my toes curled and snugged securely in fuzzy socks, I wallow within the sinister dystopian of my literary dreams.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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