The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Surrealismit’s more likely than you think

“The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd.” Of course, not all surrealists are anarchists. But the correlation is quite close. In the same way, not all surrealists are famous artists like Salvador Dalí and Henri Matisse; anyone can be a surrealist. In fact, reader, you are probably more of a surrealist than you may think. Surrealism has roots in every part of our modern society, even though the movement of the 1920’s has long ago died out. If in doubt, stop and think twice, because surrealism could be on that can of soda you are drinking right now (Do The Dew)! The reason we may not notice the hidden surrealism in our daily lives is probably because we’ve grown so used to it. When your friends say, “Dude, that’s so random!” they are defining surrealism. The elements beneath the concept are disorienting: irrational juxtapositions going against an expected outcome. One way surrealist poets, artists, and musicians attempt to create their work is by psychic automatism – recording spontaneous improvisation before any sense can be made of it. Surreal humor is by far the most prominent type of humor: puns, knock-knock jokes, irony and sarcasm all hail from a surprising, illogical statement we find so amusing. The Monty Python series couldn’t epitomize it any better, and the neat thing is that everyone loves Monty Python. Therefore, everyone loves surrealism. “Surrealism to me is reality,” John Lennon once proclaimed. Indubitably, it seems only appropriate that a band as influential as The Beatles would employ so many characteristics of surrealism, producing what is now referred to as psychedelic rock. “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” is in itself a nonsensical masterpiece that lives on to this day, its album art a perfect illustration of a surrealist atmosphere. We love absurdity. It’s even made its way into the newsstands. The Onion: America’s finest news source, is among the most widely-read newspaper by teenagers. Its pure satire swoons a large reading population, always guaranteeing a quality spoof that is worthy of a good chuckle. The name itself is thought provoking and ridiculous – why would anyone ever name a newspaper The Onion? Dude, that’s so random! The well-respected poet E. E cummings also spills surrealism into his literature, with contradicting verses and the like. His fragmenting style goes beyond hyperboles to tell provocative tales that lure the reader instantly. The signature syntax he is so famous for is heavily influenced by surrealist principles (does surrealism really have principles, though?), teaching everyone poetry is most beautiful when it makes least sense. So go ahead, dare to explore the strong hold that surrealism has over your world. It is the core of our society that fuels artistry and brilliance.

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