The Other Side of the Mushroom

3 12 2009

As I mention in “Teenage Angst”, I don’t believe that Alice’s entire journey was a metaphor for drugs. However to say that Drugs and their metaphors don’t play a crucial part in Alice would be a downright lie.

From my point of view, there appears to be at least two scenes were drugs references are abundant. The first is at the very end of chapter one, this reference was the small bottle labeled “drink me”. This bottle is very important because if you read Alice’s reaction to it, it definitely gives you a sense that while the bottle wasn’t poison it certainly wasn’t good for her. The drug innuendos come in when the book says: it tasted “good”, made her speak strangely, and it made her size change.

The second and slightly more obvious of the two is the caterpillar and his hookah. I won’t go too far into the analysis of the caterpillar because I already did in “A Sense of Blue…” (To read this full blog I have a link at the bottom). The reason I mention it at all is because it was one of the more obvious drug references so I felt obligated to mention it at least once.

So why is it that Lewis Carroll put these mature references into a book that is quite obviously for kids? My only answer is because he was hoping that the parents who read this book wit their kids would pick up on the hidden message. I know I use the back and forth “Is it for kids or adults?” theme is one I use a lot, but it plays apart in every interpretation of Alice we can make.

The many drug references in Alice while are subjective to interpretation, are very universally accepted as both real and fascinating

Go to my blog entry, “A Sense of Blue,” for those who are interested for my take on The Caterpillar.

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Teenage Angst …

3 12 2009

While I have seen many blog entries over Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland being a metaphor for drug use I have yet to see one (besides my own), that talks about “Wonderland” as being a metaphor for growing up.

I believe that the story of Alice has always taken second place to its metaphors. So when I say the main metaphor of “Alice” is a tale of a child growing up, I believe that this is what the story is about in general. Throughout Wonderland you see Alice questioning, thinking and offending people. These actions are the kind of thing one would expect from a child and indeed Alice is one.

But if you read carefully you see that the three childish traits I mention slowly disappear the closer we go towards the end of the story. These three traits slowly turn into confidence, anger, and respect. When talking to the mouse at the beginning everything Alice seems to say offends the small rodent. A similar conversation happens with as nearly an interesting character towards the end. The conversation between Alice, the “mock turtle”, and the Gryphon, is very similar to the conversation with the mouse.

So the question is why does that conversation not end the way the first did? The answer is because Alice learned to hold her tongue. There are several instances where Alice was about to say something that would have offended both creatures, but she stopped herself just in time. This scene indicates that Alice genuinely does change throughout the story. In many of the scenes close to the beginning she was very shy and often worried. However at the end when she rows to her normal size she even confronts the Queen of Hearts. Once she does this she then wakes up from her dream.

Perhaps this means that having grown to her full height and confronting the Queen of Hearts was all she really needed to do to stop sleeping, or if we are considering it as the metaphor for growing up that she finally was an adult.





“We’re All Mad” -Natasha Bedingfield

3 12 2009
-Natasha Bedingfield (We’re All Mad)
“We’re all mad in our own way
Colours paint the grey away
Different people all the same
Each reveals a meaning
We’re all mad in our own way
Fill the sky with different shades
Read the story on each page
Each reveals the meaning

Sometimes I think I over analyse
As if I can control the time and place
Life isn’t something you try on for size
You can’t love without the give and take

Who’s to say that darkened clouds must lead to rain?
Who’s to say that problems should just go away?
Who’s to point a finger at what’s not understood?”

I was actually just browsing YouTube for new songs to add to my iPod when I came across this, and, well…it kind of gave me an idea.

Everyone’s been saying that Wonderland is definitely strange, and it’s hard to disagree. Because, well…none of it is what we would consider to be “normal” (whatever that is). What this song (or, well…this part of the song) says to me is that if nothing were strange to us, then it would be dull. We need the “colours to pain the grey away” otherwise we’d be extremely bored with life. In the second stanza, I like that she’s saying she thinks she over analyzes, because, don’t we all? If we could overlook the fact that Wonderland is just different to us, then maybe we could see something else. It’s just the same.

Wonderland, to me, would be like painting a rainbow backwards. Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red. It’s still a rainbow, but it’s not the rainbow we’re used to, so we automatically consider it “odd” or “weird”. Wonderland is like any other foreign place….they do things differently. So, why is it that we think everything about it is so strange? Is it because it’s a place where what is impossible to us is now possible? Or are we simply pushing it away because it’s different?

“Who’s to say that darkened clouds must lead to rain?” (Natasha Bedingfield).

To be honest, I feel that is one of the most powerful questions you could ask someone. The world has become so completely stereotypical, that we automatically assume things now.

“Who’s to point a finger at what’s not understood?” (Natasha Bedingfield).

Who’s to say what is mad versus sane? No one can make that call, because in the end, aren’t we all mad





Cover It Li–Oh Look, A Rabbit!

3 12 2009
This is a documentation of the ups, downs, problems and possible fixes of our first Cover-It-Live session.*

As we all know by now, this project is highly based on technology. We’ve all been glued to the computer trying to fill all the requirements for this project, one of which is that we use a couple web tools. During class my group and I used the CoverItLive, trying to get in a good discussion about Alice before the period ended.

Keyword: Trying.

It started out a hot mess, then just kind of disintegrated into a plain old mess.

First we had to get a CoverItLive account, which took a minute. Then we started to have a little fun with the messaging. Ryan misspelled something, Vance pounced on it, I rolled my eyes. And then we started trying (there’s that keyword again) to get organized.

Ryan tried to start us off with a question, but we were too busy being excited little teenagers to really stay focused for long.

I know part of my problem was that this was just so cool! I mean you’re typing along, and then BAM! It’s out there for all to see! Crazy right? And then there’s the ever-present pull towards a normal conversation; with the joking and the teasing and the somewhat random comments.

We were totally focused before we started, so what happened?

Well, I think it was kind of like the new-toy-on-Christmas-morning deal. You remember when you were little, and you would go running over to the tree at an insane hour in the morning and attack the presents? And you did NOT care how the toy was supposed to work, you just wanted to play with it! That’s what happened here. We got a new toy, and man, we played with it. We did get a few productive comments in there, but about half of it was us just goofing around with the new shiny thing. Random rabbits would pop up and run away with the conversation, and we had no trouble in following them down their rabbit holes. We’d also start talking outside of the CoverItLive, which wasted a bit of time and got us waaaay off track, only this time someone reading the post can’t tell what on earth just happened.

Maybe if we had a bit more time to play with our new toy, then there wouldn’t be so many pointless rabbits for us to chase after, because we’d be more used to using it and it wouldn’t be such a fun time anymore. But that’s just my take on everything, I have a feeling my group may disagree 🙂

* This isn’t about the Annotated Alice, or really anything to do with the story. It’s about how the project threw new bits of technology at us, how and why problems came up, and possible ways to prevent them in the future. Whether or not this counts as a blog, I don’t really mind either way. It’s just something that I think will benefit the reader and hopefully make them chuckle.





What Now?

3 12 2009

As the Alice project draws to a close, we all lift our heads from the computer screen look around and ask, “What Now?”

We all sit, going about our school day and wondering what exactly will happen when the clock strikes five.

Will the judges scoff? Will they praise our ability to reason? What will become of us?

Many of my friends, as I look around the room, are rapidly typing; their eyes transfixed to the screen in front of them, as we all desperately try to accomplish one more blog. We are spent we are tired and we are waiting.

In less than seven hours we will be turning in a month and a half of our work to complete strangers for their critique and comments.

The White Rabbit has called us to the stand. May the “King of Hearts” judge us lightly…





Happy Ending

3 12 2009

This is my final post, and it is about by Mika, the British pop artist.

Happy Ending

“This is the way you left me,
I’m not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No Happy Ending.

Wake up in the morning, stumble on my life
Can’t get no love without sacrifice
If anything should happen, I guess I wish you well
A little bit of heaven, but a little bit of hell

This is the hardest story that I’ve ever told
No hope, or love, or glory
Happy endings gone forever more

An’ I feel as if I’m wasted
And I’m wastin’ every day

This is the way you left me,
I’m not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No Happy Ending.
This is the way that we love,
Like it’s forever.
Then live the rest of our life,
But not together.

2 o’clock in the morning, something’s on my mind
Can’t get no rest; keep walkin’ around
If I pretend that nothin’ ever went wrong, I can get to my sleep
I can think that we just carried on

This is the hardest story that I’ve ever told
No hope, or love, or glory
Happy endings gone forever more
I feel as if I’m wasted
And I’m wastin’ every day

This is the way you left me,
I’m not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No Happy Ending.
This is the way that we love,
Like it’s forever.
Then live the rest of our life,
But not together.

A Little bit of love, little bit of love
Little bit of love, little bit of love[repeat]

This is the way you left me,
I’m not pretending.
No hope, no love, no glory,
No Happy Ending.
This is the way that we love,
Like it’s forever.
To live the rest of our life,
But not together.”

This song is melancholy. It is a passionate farewell for everything given and everything taken, for lessons learned and lessons taught. This is Alice for me on some level. I enjoyed this and I hated it. There were lessons, love and freedom, and conversely there were sleepless nights, anxiety, and confusion. Now Alice and I part, to live the rest of our lives, but not together. She will wake up from this project and never remember the dream that was, but I will forever remember the Wonderland through which we traveled hand-in-hand.





Mad as a Hatter…

3 12 2009

A few weeks before we started work on this project, I was at the library when I picked up a book entitled The Looking Glass Wars. Seeing an opportunity to see perhaps a darker side of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland I checked out the book and sat down to start reading. After two or three days I returned the book. It had not been what I had hoped for. It was a story about Alice finding her true love and fighting against the oppressive Red Queen or something like that. I didn’t enjoy the story and it wasn’t portrayed very well. However, it did mention something that made me wonder.

Every character Alice ever interacts with is either a playing card or an animal, except for one. This one characters perhaps one of the most famous characters out of all of Alice. The Mad Hatter. To jump strait to the core of the matter, I believe that the mad hatter entered wonderland from the real world, in a very similar fashion that Alice did. The key difference was that Alice was able to escape before going mad. I think that when an adult entered Wonderland there already rigid and structured mind could not believe in talking animals, broken physics, and a reality based upon these things. I believe that when the Hatter at the time somehow wound up in Wonderland he snapped. Now how long ago this was I cannot say. I think that it may have been a while, because not only is the now “Mad Hatter” quite comfortable in his new surroundings, he also made no attempt to contact Alice. Of course this is only a theory besides the fact that they are the only two humans in Wonderland there is no other evidence that the Mad Hatter is anything more than one of many beings from Wonderland.