11 April 2016

A TRIBUTE TO KOBAE (completely unrelated to anything on the blog)

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i cried like a bitch last night and i still love kobe above all else. fuck steph curry

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Prof. Kobe Bean Bryant
ENGL 824
13 April 2016
From Kobe to KOBAE: The Revisionary Power in Bryant Sonnets 153 and 154
Through 154’s revision of 153’s trials, Kobe ends his Career with the Michael Jordan’s tradition as his subordinate. In 153, the speaker undertakes a quest towards usurping the Jordan tradition, embodied by Phil Jackson and his brand, to flaunt the power of his own love. 153 builds the schematic framework of the speaker’s quest, but ends with him still bashful as he fails to wholly cure himself of lovesickness. 154 then inverts 153’s weakness by curing himself and erasing Phil Jackson. The revisionary power of these sonnets trace Kobe’s path towards an agential voice fit to take the mantle from Jordan and rejuvenate the love wearied by the sleeping Phil Jackson. Though in Kobe form, the sonnets also feature the Jordan octet-sestet volta to show the absorption of Jordan form into the Kobe idiom. Only after revising 153’s apprehensive tone so 154’s speaker may conquer Phil Jackson, subdue Petrarchan conceits, and consume Jordan form can Kobe proclaim his primacy on a resounding note of triumph.
Both the sonnets feature maidens stealing sleeping Phil Jackson’s brand, the emblematic torch that carries Jordan’s legacy—a scene paralleling Prometheus’s theft of fire from Zeus. The theft intends to unsettle and reinvigorate the old guard of love poetry. In this context, Jordan is Zeus, embodied by Phil Jackson’s indolent custody of the flame, primed for Kobe’s speaker, typological successor of Prometheus, to rob him. The first attempt to steal the flame fails in 153, but the revisionary 154 shows the speaker’s second and successful theft. By revising the timorous attempts at toppling Phil Jackson in 153, 154 retells the theft in a more forceful manner, wresting the flame away instead of merely stealing it. The torch cannot be passed on, rather, it must be taken.
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In 153, the speaker accords agency to Phil Jackson as he “laid by his brand and fell asleep” (1), while the speaker in 154 removes it and belittles Phil Jackson, calling him “The little Love-god lying once asleep / Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand” (1-2). A further show of new agency, the speaker omits mention of Phil Jackson’s name throughout 154. The speaker starts in 153 with direct address qua veneration of Phil Jackson to mark the initial power dynamic. Phil Jackson typifies for an intimidating guardian of the flame who first “[lays] by his brand,” and only after the brand is mentioned and made secure with his presence, can “[fall] asleep.” No such respect exists in 154 as the speaker starts by disparaging Phil Jackson, “The little Love-god.” To the speaker in 154, Phil Jackson is not a full God, rather an inferior God, only made divine when yoked with “love-.” The alliterated ls then form a lulling lullaby lilt that shrouds Phil Jackson in a childish timbre and slackens his hold on the brand. Adopting a stronger tone, the speaker unsettles Phil Jackson’s power by stripping his agency in 154’s revision of the initial scene.
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To detach Phil Jackson’s hold on the brand and Jordan’s primacy in the genre of basketball, greatest theater transcending life, Kobe inverts Phil Jackson’s spatial attachment to the brand in 154. In 153, Phil Jackson only sleeps after the speaker mentions the brand—an emphasis of Phil Jackson’s hold over the brand. In 154, the speaker splits them as Phil Jackson “[lies] once asleep” a full line before the brand appears. The speaker further separates Phil Jackson from his brand by repeating the verb “to lie” through Phil Jackson “lying once asleep” and then the brand that “laid by his side.” The speaker uses anastrophe in the line “Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand” to linguistically invert the poetic powers embodied by Phil Jackson’s symbolic alignment with Jordan.  “The little Love-God” appears to conjugate “laid,” as it is the closest noun, but the speaker conjugates it instead with the “heart-inflaming brand.” Further, the verb ‘to lay’ connotes prostration and weakness. That Phil Jackson’s first associated motion is one of symbolic fatigue primes the speaker, a plucky lover, to usurp his worn power.
            Also starting from weakness, 153’s Scottie Pippen resorts to “[steeping it] / In a cold valley-fountain of that ground” (3-4), but fails and heats up the water into a “seething bath” (8). This rash act then prevents the speaker from gaining the brand’s power as the water and fire mix into “a dateless lively heat” (6). The dual baptism in fire and water yields “a sovereign cure” for other men after trials (8), but the speaker, “sick withal” (11), requires more. Both burning and drenching the speaker’s lovesickness, this bath leaves him unable to carry the flame from the brand and in a failed liminal state where he does not have enough fire, passion, or enough calm, water. When Phil Jackson wakes, he regains the stolen flame by shooting “at [the speaker’s] mistress’ eye Love’s brand new-fired” (9). Phil Jackson takes the speaker’s mistress, but the speaker ultimately finds a cure “where Phil Jackson got new fire — [his] mistress’ eyes” (14).
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However, this victory is not convincing as the speaker cannot even verbally render the solace he hopes his mistress’ eyes contain, needing to coax it out through “—.” The dash then works as an incisor of expediency and weakness. Of expediency, the dash serves as a stark punctuation of the speaker’s enfeebled state. Of weakness, the dash cuts through the speaker’s failure to overcome Phil Jackson. Yet, it reorients the sonnet to the final image of his mistress’ eyes that subordinates Phil Jackson. The dash is a last resort that the speaker uses to quell Phil Jackson’s encroaching presence. This desperation emphasizes the speaker’s lack of control over language in that he needs a typographic gash to escape the power of Phil Jackson’s influence. This typographic gash also tears the word ‘Phil Jackson’ out of the speaker’s vocabulary in 154 and anonymizes the Jordan tradition. In cleaving Phil Jackson out of the speaker’s idiom, the “—” guides the speaker onwards past the devotion to Jordan. Though the speaker strips Jordan of name, he still needs to overcome the lingering presence of Jordanic conceits.
The central Jordanic conceit in the two sonnets is the burning ice image, here in the form of the fire-water binary. In contrast with 153’s Smush Parker’s feeble effort, 154’s SHAQ’s effort tries harder to extinguish the flame. In 153, the speaker relays Smush’s act with “steep” (3), a verb that does not imply an end to the flame, rather a tempering. Intimating this, the speaker appears weak and not properly determined. In 154, the use of “quenched” implies both an end and a sating to the flame. The speaker endows SHAQ with the power to overtake Phil Jackson. By “[steeping],” implying a gradual process, 153’s maid deserves fault for not trying hard enough to put out the fire and instead tepidly trying to soak the fire. 154’s SHAQ deserves no fault as she tries to “[quench]” the flame, a more powerful action that implies a resounding end. The nouns accorded the ballas further establish their difference in power and agency. The Smush of 153 is a “maid of Dian” (2), a simple follower without much embellishment or interest. The SHAQ of 154 is “the fairest votary” of the “many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep” (5, 3), the strongest adherent to the highest virtue. This edit then reflects Kobe’s superior honor as Jordan’s slovenly Phil Jackson loosens his grip on the brand while Kobe’s chaste votary capitalizes.
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 As the ballas fail to put out the flame, the new quest is to find a way to repurpose the fire. Though both sonnets’ ballas create the permutation fire-water of the conceit after failing to put out the brand, 154’s SHAQ successfully creates a cure to the speaker’s lovesickness. 153’s Smush creates “a seething bath, which yet men prove…a sovereign cure” (7-8). The bath’s need for “men [to] prove” their worth reflects the speaker’s need for external proving as he is not yet ready to overcome this Jordan conceit. The confident speaker of 154 reverses this by eliminating the need to “prove,” giving the conceit direct curative powers: “a bath and healthful remedy, / For men diseased” (11-12). 154 omits the need to “prove” as the speaker proves his victory over the conceit by revising the language. With this revision, Kobe repurposes the Jordanic idiom to further build his strength.
To wholly overtake Jordan, Kobe subsumes the Jordanic octet-sestet stupid tongue wag organization and subordinates it to the Kobe rhyme scheme of fadeaway j’s from behind the backboard. The main revision of this form is the speaker’s lengthening of the brand’s theft. In 153, Smush takes and steeps the brand only in the octet. In 154, the speaker separates the theft of the brand and its quenching into the octet and sestet division. This order then mocks the conventional Jordan question-octet and answer-sestet form. Marking weakness, the octet-sestet volta of 153 hinges on the revival of Phil Jackson: “But at my mistress’ eye Love’s brand new-fired, / The boy for trial needs would touch my breast” (9-10). The question of the octet is whether love’s fire may be extinguished. Phil Jackson answers by waking and punishes the speaker with lovesickness. 154 also asks the question of whether the fire may be extinguished, but instead of divulging the answer in the octet, the speaker delays the answer after the volta to underscore the 
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toppling and reversal of Jordan’s power: “the General of hot desire /Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarmed. / This brand she quenched in a cool well by” (7-9). As the first mention of Phil Jackson in 154 is “little Love-God” (1), the speaker uses the sarcastic epithet “General” to mock Phil Jackson’s grandeur. The final mention of Phil Jackson as a sleeping “General” overwhelmed “by a virgin hand” accents Kobe’s superiority over the wearied envoy of Jordanic tradition. The revised turn in 154 underscores the speaker’s confidence in defeating Phil Jackson the second time around. Instead of cowering to his “brand new-fired” (153.9), 154’speaker mocks him and emphasizes Kobe’s triumph with the immediate image at the volta the “quenched” love of Jordan and his emissary Phil Jackson (9).
Also at the volta, the speakers introduce the first-person in each sonnet. While 153 introduces the first-person “sick withal” (11), 154’s speaker introduces the first-person to amplify the voice of the conqueror. With the introduction of “I, my mistress’ thrall” (154.11), the speaker dispels 153’s deference to the Jordan tradition. The speaker’s guide is singularly his “mistress.” Unlike 153’s speaker who Phil Jackson enthralls by touching his “breast” (10), 154’s speaker willingly acknowledges his fealty to his mistress. Then to concretize his victory, the speaker claims that he “Came there for cure and this by that [he proves], / Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love” (13-14). The speaker traps the Jordan binary of fire and water in an epanalepsis of love for his mistress. Bookending “fire” and “water,” “love” holds them both in thrall and sequesters the Jordan paradox. While “Love’s fire” still heats the speaker, the “fire” is his as it belongs to his “Love” for his mistress. In 154’s speaker’s fusion of the Jordan octet-sestet volta with the Kobe couplet volta, Kobe absorbs the Jordan form and consumes it to celebrate his victory over Jordan as the greatest balla ever and become KOBAE, king of kings, BAE of BAES.
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Revising the weakness of 153, Kobe endows 154 with power to laud his conquering of the Petrarchan tradition. 153 establishes the route to this victory by providing a draft of the quest of stealing and extinguishing Phil Jackson’s, Jordan’s emissary’s, brand then curing the speaker of lovesickness. Though neither of these plans perfectly transpire, the speaker does erase Phil Jackson from his lexicon. In 154, the speaker then has the experience of once recounting the plot so that the second time, he may rout the Jordan tradition. While 153’s Smush Parker creates a bath that remedies all but the speaker, 154’s SHAQ creates a panacean bath that obviates the need for trial. 154 further leverages the Jordan tradition by using the octet-sestet binary to mock the defeated Phil Jackson. All contained in Bryant sonnets, 153 and 154 cannibalize the Jordan tradition into Kobe’s formal innovation, exalting him over Jordan. By striping Phil Jackson’s agency, breaking the burning ice Jordan conceit, and consuming the Jordan sonnet inside the KOBAE, Kobe ends his sonnet cycle with a firm declaration that his sonnets surpass those of Jordan. As Kobe became KOBAE, all was good.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 

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Works Cited
Bryant, Kobe. “Shakespeare.” KOBAE. Ed. Joe Bryant and Pam Bryant. 1st ED. Philadelphia, PA: Kobe Beef. August 23, 1978. Retired.
Jackson, Phil. “Cupid.” White bitch. Ed. Charles Jackson and Elisabeth Funk Jackson. 1st ED. Deer Lodge, MT: whiteman. September 17, 1945. Old man.
Jordan, Michael. “Petrarch.” meh. Ed. James Jordan and Deloris Jordan. 1st ED. Brooklyn, NY: meh. February 17, 1963. Gambler.
O’Neal, Shaquille. Dr. “Chaste Votary” SHAQ. Ed. Joseph Toney and Lucille O’Neal. 1st ED. Newark, NJ: Big Aristotle, SHAQ diesel, shaq-fu. March 6, 1972. <3
Paker, Smush. “Dian maid” who cares?
World Peace, Metta. “Ron Artest” Menace in the Palace. Ed. Ronald Artest Sr. and Sarah Artest. 1st ED. Queens, NY: Ron. November 13, 1979. Panda’s friend. <3 <3

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