Tag Archives: Student blogs

Ter Horst: ‘Alice in Wonderland’: imaginitive or drug-induced?

Imagine an anthropomorphic white rabbit leading you into his underground hole. As you fall down deep, you hit a door with a talking doorknob. Behind it lies a world where nothing is what it seems. The fact that everything you eat and drink will make you smaller or bigger is not helping either. The only creature that seems to be willing to help you is a talking cat, and on top of that, the Queen of Hearts decided it’s “off with your head!” All very adult issues at the least, I would say.

I had just popped my “Alice in Wonderland”-cherry in Ice Auditorium, and I was overwhelmed. This clumsy first time with young and modern Tim Burton had answered questions, but raised others that could only be answered by a new partner. And so I approached a much older and more experienced male.

Surely English author Lewis Caroll was poking fun at the moralistic novels so common in his time, when he published his novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865. The tale’s play with logic and multiple wordplays made the story popular with adults as well as children. It encouraged readers to use their imagination and follow creative rational pathways. Where had Lewis Caroll picked up this wisdom? LSD had not been around yet during that time, but was the mushroom fed to Alice inspired by the immemorial magic mushroom? Doctors prescribed opium as a medicine easily at that time, but Caroll’s diaries do not mention any drug use once.

Apparently the writer of this fairytale passed away a little while ago, leaving my questions unanswered. As I moved on, wealth caught my eye and I started seeing mister Walt Disney (unfortunately, also dead). He produced his animated “Alice in Wonderland” movie in 1951. Was his “Alice”-movie intentionally about a drug trip then? It would not surprise me, as naughty Walt had educated his young fans about taboos before: In the Lion King the petals that ascend into the air as Simba lies down in the grass seem to spell the word “SEX”, and the old priest in “The Little Mermaid” has been pointing out to having an erection under his robe.

If the story is a reference to one drug trip after another, including a caterpillar smoking hookah while sitting on a mushroom with magic powers, I still do not know, but it is not what is important either. What made “Alice in Wonderland” – new and old – such a good movie is the lack of a real plot, so that the audience can truly focus on the fun that imagination and playing with language can cause.

Doris ter Horst
Columnist Doris ter Horst can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Photo courtesy of RCA
Video courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

ASLC Senate meeting – May 3, 2010

Ter Horst: My secret mission: Anouk

My apologies, dear readers, but all this time I haven’t been honest with you. No matter how truly interested the Americans I met seemed to be, I always politely smiled and then told them my lies for coming to Linfield for one year: I didn’t want to go to one of the universities back home straight after high school. I liked the American system of campus life and the variety of course options. Then there was the location with Portland and the ocean nearby, and San Francisco relatively not so far away at all. Blah, blah, blah — all true, but never the main reason for my stay.
I am about to reveal my secret mission to you.

The American music industry is one of the biggest in the world, and that was particularly appealing to me when I was a little 14-year-old with only one goal in life: making my favorite Dutch artist world famous. I was in my room, listening to my favorite song, when I came to the conclusion that I was the only one that could help her: I had to fly away to the U.S. as soon as I was old enough and promote her music. Now that I am finally here, I have to admit that the relevance of this goal has decreased to me a little over the years (and perhaps I had not thought about my mission at all, until this weekend).

I was camping at the Oregon coast, and while I was admiring the beauty of my surroundings, I suddenly realized that the moment wouldn’t be so perfect if I wasn’t accidently listening to “Anouk” on my iPod. A day later I am studying in the grass, extremely moody because of the lack of sleep I had this weekend, and it is again “Anouk’s” singing in my ears that is comforting me. For all those complicated puberty-moments that you were always there for me: Anouk, I now reward you with this free advertisement on The Linfield Review website, to reach millions of new potential fans. It’s the least I can do.

Dear co-students, with great pride I introduce to you the female love of my life: “Anouk” and her 1997’s “Nobody’s wife.”

Doris ter Horst
Columnist Doris ter Horst can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Video courtesy of Dino Music

Jacobo: Delorean’s electro-pop pairs dance music with experimental sensibilities

Delorean‘s debut EP, “Ayrton Senna,” rises out of the sounds of synthesizers and bass beats before being overtaken by candy-coated pop vocals that are airy and floating, somewhere in between the style of the Dirty Projectors and Cults. The vocals are vague, perhaps antiquated, not lyrical – in that sense it is not pop music, but if you peel back the many layers of sound to be heard in this album what you have is, essentially, pop music. It’s that retrofitting of a genre that is representative of the status quo with an avant-garde sheen that gives Delorean its sound, and the “Ayrton Senna” EP its appeal.

It sounds like music for a summer drive, to the coast perhaps, the speakers blasting, eardrums pounding with the spine-tingling joy of loud music, music for friends, for lovers, for people who can sit in a car and not talk, just enjoy music and the comfort needed for an absence of conversation to be pleasurable.

This album is danceable, but you don’t have to dance to it. It’s not especially singable, but that lyrics aren’t hard to learn. The music is beat-driven, catchy, like the sound of Ratatat, Air and Phoenix crushed together and strained for any seeds or pulpy bits, the smooth, upbeat sound that remains is the kind that is sophisticated and adventurous enough to attract indie elitists and fun enough to woo MTVers. It’s music for a party, and partying, but whether its in the background or the foreground is up to you.

Delorean is a Spanish dance-pop band that formed in 2000, though their early EPs earned them little fame; they started out as a punk band before transitioning to electronic music. They created their own scene at a Barcelona club, playing live music there weekly, giving their sound the space to expand, evolve, mature.

I just discovered the “Ayrton Senna” EP this week, though it was released last summer to generally positive reviews, though the album didn’t gain them much exposure outside of the electronic genre.

Delorean’s first full-length album, “Subiza,” was released on April 19, and it picks up where Ayrton Senna left off, a mix of epic, spawling, layered tracks full of danceable music and pop vocals, though their sound has picked up more obvious “Merriweather Post Pavilion” nuances. All for the better, I say. Delorean is an interesting up-and-coming band that hasn’t quite hit the spotlight of stardorm yet, content for now to say in the realm of obscurity and quasi-fame among niche groups. However, “Subiza” definitely shows that this band has the potential to become a huge hit, particularly because of their ability to transcend genres and create a sound palitable to a wide array of tastes.

Jordan Jacobo
Columnist Jordan Jacobo can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

ASLC Senate meeting – April 26, 2010