Elvis the King of Rock

Music has been an important factor relating to history since it began. Throughout the millennium there have been those who would experiment with new sounds and would be cheered for doing so. One of the most notable figures in the world of experimentation with music is Elvis Presley. He lived in poverty and moved around a lot during his early life claiming he would play music on the grandest stages in America. Little did they all know that he would actually end up as an incredibly successful musician.

Born on January 8th 1935 and died on August 16th 1977. Elvis Presley’s life was short but well lived. He lived in both Tupelo and Memphis during his early years and thus was exposed to different musical styles. He released his first single “Heartbreak Hotel” during January of 1956 and it quickly became a number one hit in the united states. However this may have been due to his sound was a combination of rock as well as soul. This blurred racial boundaries and thus made him popular but somewhat controversial as well.

On March 24th 1958 Elvis was inducted into the army. He could have easily became an entertainer for the troops and taken the “celebrity wimp out” but he refused and wished to be treated as an ordinary soldier. That choice is truly what keeps him as an ordinary Joe in my eyes and not just another self obsessed musician. He loved his music yes, but he was willing to risk his life for the rights and freedoms that he had become accustomed to. It is this moment where he surpasses countless others and thus should be recognized for it.  This was not the only opportunity he was given to leave ordinary military service either. He was offered in 1959 to join special services but he refused. He was determined to not be treated as anything more than a soldier and that is incredibly admirable. Now just because he was an ordinary soldier does not mean that he did not do extraordinary things while in service. Elvis Presley both donated his army wages to charity as well as bought televisions for his squad.

He did well by all those that he could and throughout his life did countless live performances. He recorded many songs and was dubbed “the king of rock” or simply “the king”. Unfortunately the king’s greatest weakness was his food addiction. Some say that he ate close to 100 000 calories a day and this lead to his tragic heart attack on August 16th 1977. By that point drugs and his food addiction had made him a shell of his former self. His death was tragic but by that point he had already lost his life.

I am looking forward to learning more about Elvis for many reasons. He has been my favorite musician for quite some time and thus learning more about the man behind the music is a fascinating idea. Another reason that I wish to learn more about him is related to the fact he was a humble person that refused to dodge military service. He was willing to face his problems head on and that is something that this entire world could use more of. This quality in anyone is not only admirable it is respectable and thus I hope to honor it and the person that he was during this project.

All in all Elvis Presley life was short but bright and I hope that he will be remembered for his success and not his shortcomings.

The Written Word

The written word has always been a way for anyone to show their opinions to the world and throughout history has changed. The first real attempts at writing were small images or markings to represent sounds or things. However from that point it has expanded exponentially to the point where anyone (such as myself) can post my thoughts and ideas on the internet for the entire world to see with minimal effort. Now in the last millennium or so a book has been the go to source for good writing.

Now my class was lucky enough to go on a field trip to Macleod’s bookstore and the Vancouver public library.  The library was truly stunning. Many levels of books books and more books made it difficult to find anything specific but thanks to computers used to search the library I was able to pinpoint the location where some relevant books should have been. Unfortunately there were housed in compact shelving and therefore i could not retrieve it without assistance. It was difficult to find someone who could access the shelving but I was thankful when I found someone that could. Just to make things annoying the book was not there so unfortunately I did not retrieve any books on Elvis Presley.                                                                                  Macleod’s bookstore was surreal. It is also the true embodiment of the saying “controlled chaos”.  Books thrown everywhere on the floor on the shelves and some even laid simply in piles or strewn against walls. Now while it is basically anarchy inside there is a sense of calm and beauty with the way things work. As always just being surrounded by books makes one feel that they should be quiet and calm as much as they might want to do otherwise. The smell of old books calms the nerves and makes one feel at home with their surroundings. Now as nice as all that is I was (thankfully) able to find a book that appears quite interesting called “The Serpent And The Rainbow”. Thus far it has been about one scientist who is trying to figure out Haitian zombie’s and how they work. To the point at which I have reached it is a compelling story that has asked some big questions which are difficult if at all possible to answer.

So in the end it was great day looking at the written word and how it has affected the world.

Why was religion key to history?

Religion. It is the one thing that countless attempt to use to answer questions that cannot be answered. In modern day society science can be used to explain a couple of things that relate to our existence. But in history and during the English civil war religion drove people to do insane things to prove their ideals.

Violence relating to religion is a theme that was to common then and it is to common now. Then it was in some ways an all out war between the two sides and nobody thought that this was strange. Now it still brings forth fear in people with terrorism and terrorist groups. Back in the middle ages ages it was protestant and catholic. Nowadays its any group that we deem harmful such as Isis, or any group that is harmful to others. But did they and do we have the right to harm them in retaliation?

With history religion is far more dominant as a cause for action is greater then anything else. There were rulers who would form new religions so that what they wished could be done because what they previously believed did not suit their needs. But the question is if you are willing to change certain rules what will stop you from changing others? If you change the world so that you like it better who else can and will do so?

In the end religion has and is a powerful motivator for countless people all around the world. But as the world changes can and how will religion change with it?