Appearing in Leviticus, the concept of a scapegoat is that of two goats — while one is sacrificed, the other is released into the wilderness to carry the sins of the community. Family dynamics and the process of development can lead to the scapegoating of a family member, as someone unfairly blamed for the errors of the group. How does a process such as this taint an individual’s worldview, faith, or trust in others?
How important is the organization of society when it comes to individual mental health? The following allegorical short story addresses the impact of ideological brainwashing, its self-perpetuating cycle, its destruction of its opponents, and the pushback necessary to create a balanced society composed of free-thinking individuals.
The thesis of the following piece is that the eternal return of difference is the onto-ethicality of humanity. The idea of eternal return has emerged in various religions and societies throughout time — namely, the theory argues the universe goes through repeating stages of transformation in an infinite cycle. Though this idea of cyclical time lost traction with the rise of Christianity, Nietzsche reintroduced the concept, which became fundamental to his work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In presenting the idea of eternal recurrence, Nietzsche tasks us with the dilemma: what would we do if this were true? Rather than wallowing in despair at the fear of having to endlessly relive the tragic human condition, Nietzsche encourages us to embrace eternal recurrence — as this, he argues, is the ultimate expression of love for life and for life on Earth. However, the author of this piece argues all theory and conceptualization of the eternal return (even Nietzsche’s) takes a backseat to the “highest feeling” of the eternal return.
The following flash fiction/script originated from a nightmare that left the writer in a panic. How does the act of creation serve to transform negative experiences into positive ones? Is art the defining feature of humanity — the primary difference between us and all other animals? Though art has the potential to be dark and disturbing, it often exalts features of our human condition unlike any other act. What can we learn about ourselves through the art we create from confusion and suffering?
The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the United States in a way that leaves US citizens wondering how this great nation could be affected so severely. On top of facing a pandemic, US citizens have been met with increasing polarization both in the media and in politics, leading to mass confusion and ignorance — how are we to solve a problem we can’t fully understand?
Whatever side of the political spectrum one falls on, we can all commonly agree that it’s problematic when a child is indoctrinated into the ‘wrong’ thought patterns, that they have been turned from the truth of the world. But, can we as a society, collectively come to a consensus regarding a few basic truths? There are commonalities that run through us all, uniting us as the human race — so why can’t we see them? Is living in peace with one another an unrealistic dream? If we are united by our need to stand up for what we believe to be true, can we ever see eye-to-eye if our beliefs never align?
What roles do hope and expectation play in our lives? How can social obligations impact individual fulfillment? Can hopelessness be utilized as a life strategy to attain serenity? “Nobody’s Favorite” is a short story addressing the use of language and the nature of hope in humans’ self-perception.
There are many external hindrances to success throughout an individual’s lifetime, but, often, internal roadblocks can keep us from being who we aspire to be. How does fear of failure or survivor’s guilt factor into our self-confidence, self-esteem, or desire to achieve? How do fear and shame keep us immobile? Is it easier to accept mediocrity rather than take a chance and risk disaster? This story interprets a well-known Greek myth for a modern audience, reminding us there is a time and place for fearless acts if we are to reach our true potential.
The controversial and well-known Lolita by Nabokov forces us to address taboo topics and confusing realities in a way that only art can do. How do relationships often represent unrealistic ideals? Despite the novel’s taboo subject matter, can it teach us something about the dynamics of normal relationships? How do different art forms allow us to address immoral behaviors, social faux-pas, or the negative features of our human condition productively?
In this story, the protagonist has been battling a chronic condition for many years. There has been ups and down, but he is faced with a decision about freedom and living which could have drastic implications. All will die, but how? All will suffer, but how? All have the opportunity to find freedom in some thing, or some action, but the implication and vastness of the human freedom may be defined only in the individual’s heart.