New Media Testament

At the beginning of 2014, I returned to my hometown to recover from a flu at my mother’s house. During my recovery, I read two books that changed my life. The first, you might know; the second, you unfortunately don’t.

1. Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)

West’s masterwork centers on the identity crisis of a Depression-era advice columnist in New York City. The novel is a work of surrealism, and it absurdly deconstructs the psychology behind religion and religious experiences. The book also expands upon West’s insight that “In America violence is idiomatic. Read our newspapers.” (“Idiomatic” refers to something that is an everyday expression.) Miss Lonelyhearts opened my eyes to the underlying reasons why violence has become such an important part of the American identity. It also shrewdly depicts the American media’s role in teaching the public to understand and interact with the world mainly through violent thoughts, words, and actions.

2. My God is Real (1975)

My grandmother self-published a book of religious poetry. I’d heard of this book a few times throughout my adolescence, but in 2014 I finally found one of the only copies. I found it in the back of my mother’s closet and read it cover-to-cover in one awe-struck sitting. I barely had the pleasure of knowing this woman before she passed away, but I found such comfort in her words — her words of a faith I supposedly didn’t even share. By reading her lyrical wisdom, I found something I never even knew I was missing: my own spiritual identity. To this day, whenever I feel myself slipping into anger, I repeat my grandma’s words: “We must forgive if we would have our sins forgiven above, so be concerned for erring souls but be concerned in love.


 My NEW MEDIA TESTAMENT

I am currently penning two projects (collectively known as “the New Media Testament”) to punctuate my own spiritual awakening.

1. “LONELYHEARTS FOREVER!” (a trilogy of novellas)

My trilogy will touch on the same aspects of American culture as its predecessor: media irresponsibility, religious hypocrisy, violence, misogyny, homophobia, racism, and even mental illness stigma. I will explore these themes through the perspective of an anonymous twenty-something blogger living in modern-day Brooklyn.

2. “My Love is Real” (a book of poetry)

My first collection of poetry will honor my grandmother’s book of poetry described above. Whereas her poems focused on Christianity, my poems feel more spiritual. This shift from religion to spirituality serves a twofold purpose: it makes the project more authentic to me, and it also makes the project universally relatable. The collection will feature 34 original poems in all, the same number included in my grandmother’s book.

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In eventually publishing this twofold project, I hope to inspire positive change in a world that seems so hopeless to many. I want to teach the truth that everyone is born with love and fear, and that neither of these should be a source of shame. To be mortal is to fear, and to be mortal is to love.

But hatred has never been intrinsic or natural to the human condition. Hatred is a LEARNED coping mechanism to deal with the presence of fear. I believe hatred, like any disease, can be eradicated through proper education, prevention, and treatment.

Love always,

Miss L.

Open your heart to me?

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