Archive | February, 2011

All in Favor of The End o’ The World

25 Feb

Maybe it’s the Geology class I’m taking or maybe I just like the thought of life-as-we-know-it ending in a massive explosion (the same way it began, how’s that for neatly tied ends?)  Regardless, Drivel Magazine’s winter 2099 issue is strangely satisfying, despite the image it presents of our future as one pregnant with sexual misconduct, global destruction, and corporate takeover.  Who knew the end of the world could look so good—and be so funny?

                Part-raucous indecency and part-social commentary, Drivel began in the winter of 2008-2009.  In its four issues, Drivel has inhabited numerous forms, beginning with a parody of People Magazine.  The editors then made a wild shift for their second offering, a riff of The New Yorker (containing a great piece on English Majors which is still posted above my desk).  With its third installment the pseudo parasitic-magazine inhabited Martha Stewart’s vineyard, and now, with the arrival of this fourth piece to the puzzle, Drivel is finally hitting its stride.  What before seemed like a somewhat schizophrenic rendering (let’s do low brow, now high brow, now who knows what?!) is emerging as a spectacular display of range.

                In the latest offering (a mostly fabricated Time Magazine-esque review of the 21st Century), Drivel pokes fun at what our world might become if current global, economic, and social trends are exaggerated to the extreme.  In an article titled “Exxon Mobil Elected President” (dated Winter 2010),  contributor Stephen Graves reminds Obies of the celebratory attitude following Obama’s 2008 election: “Hoards of students sallied out of their dormitories and cooperatives the evening of November 2nd, 2008, seduced by a violent, sexualized hope for the future…Yes, we wanted to get laid; instead, however, we were fucked.”

                Running along the bottom of each page is an illustrated timeline of Drivel’s faux-century, an enjoyable compliment to the longer articles, and perfect for a quick shot of humor that features Oberlin and world-scale catastrophes alike.  Although some of the articles lack a notable critical edge—such as Pika Power (about how pikachus are being “milked” for their energy) or Oberlin Becomes First College to Admit Mollusks—I’m okay with an equal balance of satire and parody, as long as the satire remains sharp.  I don’t know which is the bigger feat—that Drivel can make me buy into the end of the world as a good thing, or that they’re probably the only people on campus who can maintain a sense of humor during the month of January.

A Nice Idea…or maybe just not enough sleep.

21 Feb

Hi, my name is Ariel and I’m the mind behind OCbooklove.

I’m a third year creative writing major at a Oberlin College, which is just outside Cleveland.  I write primarily fiction, but I’ve taken a lot of courses in nonfiction lately so that’s becoming an interest too.  I also write articles for the sports section of our campus paper.  I’m hoping that someday writing will pay my bills, but until then (read as, until I actually have bills) I’m focusing on surviving my last year and a half of undergrad so I can move on to bigger and better things (chiefly…sunnier places!).  I’m originally from California and from a large family (4 kids) so moving away was a difficult but needed transition.

I also play tennis–have been playing since I was a little kid–and am captain of my college team.  Uhhh what else?  I love welsh corgis…if you give me a puppy I will love you forever!  My favorite color is green, I like guinea pigs (pretty much any and all cute animals…oh and babies!), and books!  How could I forget books!?

Books sparked my love for writing, because long before I ever wrote my first short story, I was an avid reader.  As a child I had a couple of distinct phases–I loved the Nancy Drew series for a while, and in middle school I was a hardcore fantasy/scifi fan.  Now I’d like to think my tastes are a little more refined, but I’ll read anything (I read Twilight…and New Moon…And Eclipse…AND horror of all horrors Breaking Dawn).  Sports books, books on writing, books on cooking, life, memoirs, fiction pieces…I simply love to read.

Which brings me to OCbooklove.  I came to the realization that studying at a liberal arts school means there’s a lot of other book-loving folk like me around…and a lot of other writers too.  I also came to the realization that I really haven’t read much of what my peers have written.  That’s a little odd, and a little sad, isn’t it? 

SO, the point being…

I thought, it would be interesting to try and capture the written-arts culture of Oberlin College in a single place–to write about the work professors and students are creating, to chronicle readings by visiting authors, to write about alumni, to consider the topics that move this campus and its writers.  In a nutshell, I want to celebrate and to share the excellence and diversity of Oberlin’s distinct voice.

❤ Ariel