AMBUSH! Arts & Culture
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
― Émile Zola
― Émile Zola
Op-Ed: My First Poetry Slam
by Sage Addington '18
Well, first I had to put on my big boy pants and get the courage to walk downtown. I found out about the event because I am on the gallupARTS mailing list. As it turns out, there is a poetry slam every first Friday of the month at ART123 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. The monthly poetry slams aren’t to be confused with Gallup’s Annual Poetry Slam each April. Here is the event structure and guidelines from the gallupARTS website:
1. Advanced registration is not required, but is encouraged. Sign-ups will be handled on a first-come-first-served basis. Sign up via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or starting at 6:20pm the night of the event.
2. Poets may share either original or credited work for the Open Mic.
1. Advanced registration is required for the Slam Competition, either via e-mail to email@example.com or in-person by 7:15pm the night of the event.
2. Performers must present original work for the Competition.
3. Judges will be selected onsite.
Since this was my first time, I was not able to tell the difference between my experience and a typical experience at a Gallup Poetry Slam, but according to the slam director, this slam was not a “real one” for many reasons. For starters, the slam did not start at 6:30, it started at 6:50. Most slams end around 8:30 because there is a guest reader, but this month there was none so the slam ended at 7:30. There was no slam competition at this event. This month also included a theme: women. This month’s slam celebrated Women’s History Month with poems by women, about women, for women. Luckily for me, I am a woman. I decided to come to this poetry slam a bit last minute, so all I had were some cheesy love poems.
Turns out, you don’t have to read poetry of your own, if you don’t have any. You can share a poem, as long as you give credit to writer. I found this fact out while “Sign-ups” happened; sign-ups are done by writing your name on a clipboard that gets passed around. I was at a corner seat and was never passed the clipboard, but when the sign-up sheet made it back to the front, the director informed the audience that if they didn’t sign up, they’re still allowed to read a poem after the list is completed. The director broke the ice and opened with a poem she had wanted to share, and a poem she had written herself.
The first person other than the director to read was a girl I unfortunately can’t remember the name of. She was an indigenous woman and confessed to the audience that she, “[Hadn’t] done this since high school.” I was able to talk to her after the poetry slam, and we shared some words. She told me her poem was inspired by her and her friends time at Standing Rock, protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She said, “There’s just so much to fight for.” In her eyes we spoke a silent language, one that understood perfectly. She told me of a time where she was homeless and struggling, advising me to, “Just keep writing, [because] that’s all you can really do. This world is so… Everything is so… [Bad]. And all you can do is write, and let it out. You can’t keep everything bottled up.”
Poem Inspired by Standing Rock
"The greed, money, and power, they are selling the soul of the Earth.
Father Sky and Mother Earth, crying out to stop the pain.
Destroying lands, building oil companies.
Chemtrails fly above.
Air polluted, toxic waste.
My ancestors fought for the distance land.
They were terrorized for their rights; mocked, jailed, terminated against.
Our heritage pushed away.
I’m doing history, fighting for our existence.
We’re fighting for water.
My brothers and sisters stand and resist,
Praying to four corners, killing the black snake.
Mother Earth arise and call for peace.
We know water is life.
Who are you to judge me?
I am indigenous.
The hardest thing is seeing those frozen to death, homeless, drinking; trying to testify the struggle I face today.
My soul is fighting inside, my ancestors are crying inside.
Fighting, blood, money, destroying our tribal lands.
We stand here in peace saying, “We are still here!”
My relatives found murdered with no justice.
Left alone, every sister is murdered, or disappeared.
All those missing and murdered, with no justice to proclaim; with a stroke of a pen, takes away who we are.
First nations, we stand up, reviving the Earth.
Stand with one nation, stand with justice that defines you.
I’m just being real, from eyes you see my struggles.
We stand unarmed, remain in peace, because I say enough is enough.
We are still here."
About two poems in an obvious walker from outside came in to listen. The poetry slam is free so the host of the slam provided him with a chair and for a while everything was fine, until people started to act rude. I personally appreciated the walker’s vibe and the fact that although he was a little intoxicated he was appreciating poetry! After each poem, not during, he would say something along the lines of, “That’s beautiful, man,” and “You’re an amazing writer.” Half the people around him would hush him and a man playing a keyboard would repeatedly say in clipped tone, “You need to be quiet.” Eventually, at the very end of the poetry slam, this lead to an argument in which the walker said, “I’m an American too, man. I have free speech.” The host asked that he’d be quiet if he didn’t have anything to say by women, for women, or about women. The man repeatedly said, “I’m sorry,” was quiet for the rest of the time, and went so far as to hold the door for every single person to leave the event.
I enjoyed the experience, but not how most of the crowd treated the poetry-loving walker. It was sort of ironic how there were a few white individuals who introduced themselves in Navajo, talked about the various Native schools they had once taught at, and proceeded to be rude to the Native man that wandered into the Poetry Slam. Despite that I would definitely go again, I had a good time.
What is the Hot Topic Foundation?
by Sage Addington '18
“Everyone at the store explains it a little differently, but it’s actually really cool,” Pierce said, “The Hot Topic Foundation is a non-profit and the way it works is by donating your leftover change after a purchase. They use the money to bring music and art stuff to underprivileged children. They work four other non-profits I think.” She joked that during work there’s always the one angry lady at check out who glares and asks, “What’s that?”
According to the Hot Topic website, the Hot Topic Foundation teams up with non-profit organizations to help inspire and encourage young people to express their individuality through fields like music and art. The foundation is over a decade old as it was founded in 2004 at the suggestion of some Hot Topic store associates. Over the past fourteen years, the Hot Topic Foundation has given nearly $9 million in grants to the non-profit teams they work with. The Hot Topic Foundation currently works with three organizations that help young people express their individuality through the arts. The three organizations include the GRAMMY Foundation, Little Kids Rock, and Notes for Notes.
These foundations are actually really awesome. Little Kids Rock partners with school districts in training public school teachers innovative curriculum and donating all the instruments and resources they need to have amazing music programs. The GRAMMY Foundation’s mission is to develop an appreciation and advancement of recorded music in American culture by organizing programs and activities that engage the general public, cultural community, and music industry. Notes for Notes designs, provides, and staffs after-school program studios inside Boys & Girls Clubs where youth can create and record music all for free. The main goal of Notes for Notes is to educate kids on the behind the scenes of music production.
Movie Review: Emo The Musical
by Sage Addington '18
This movie gave me emo P!TSD (Yes, that was a Panic! At The Disco joke). When I first read the title EMO The Musical while scrolling through Netflix, I literally gasped and yelled, “What is this?!” EMO The Musical is a 2016 production and has a Romeo and Juliet setup as an emo boy falls in love with a Christian girl. The main conflict is the main character, Ethan, and the love interest, Trinity, are in rival bands wanting to compete in a battle of the bands type of event. Ethan wants to prove himself to his friends and Trinity wants to maintain her faith. This setup made me excited to see the film because I was once Christian, once an emo kid, and once an emo Christian kid. The movie is about an hour and a half long at 94 minutes and is also a satire of high school based musicals.
This movie is truly for emo kids and the formerly emo, but even if you never put on coon eyeliner or fried your hair straightening it, you can still have a good laugh. Baseline stereotype jokes about My Chemical Romance, not liking labels, and skinny jeans cracked me up because every emo has been a stereotype at one point. The movie went as far as including small details only true emo kids could appreciate like string chokers. It was hard for me not to laugh at the portrayal of how uncomfortable the Christian kids were around the emo ones; it was painfully and hysterically accurate on more than one occasion.
This is a musical but it’s not like any other because it’s hilarious while still making catchy songs. It’s hard to find a balance where you can be funny but still produce musical style music. I found myself enjoying the songs, even the flat ones, because they sounded like a legitimate emo band I would have listened to when I was younger. However, I will warn you, if you are someone who doesn’t like an occasional messed up suicide joke, some aspects of this film will annoy you. This film not only pokes fun at emo kids, but also pokes fun at some negative aspects of Christianity, so If you don’t like jokes about religion, this film may not be for you. As an emo phase survivor, I have to say this film may be funnier to you if you can actually relate to it.
Ambush! Art: Art and Literary Magazine
Ambush! Is publishing their yearly art and literature magazine in April, and we want your submissions! Last year only four students made submissions and one teacher. The magazine still came out great, but this year we are hoping to include more Gallup High artists than in 2017. To allow total creative freedom, there is no limit to what you can submit (as long as it can be printed). Feel free to submit your drawings, paintings, photographs, poems, and short stories. There is also no limit to how much content you can submit, so go crazy. If you have art, we want to see it!
Not only do we want your works, we want to know a little more about you. Who is the artist behind the art? It is completely optional, but if you want, you can choose to fill out a short questionnaire to go in your biography beside your artwork. The questionnaire will be left at the very bottom. If you want to submit any art or writing, you can do so in two ways. You can either physically drop off a copy of your work to Ms. Sweetwyne in room A202 or submit photos and documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you choose to submit any photos digitally, please send them in the highest resolution you can. If you choose to submit photographs of your work, please try to take the photos in the best lighting you can. If you have any questions regarding submissions or anything else, feel free to contact the newspaper.
Question: What is your name?
Question: What grade are you in?
Question: Why do you like art?/Why are you an artist?
Question: What is your favorite media to work in?
Question: What is your favorite content to create?
Question: How long have you been practicing art?
Question: What do you want to accomplish as an artist?
Last Week's Poll Results!
Last week we asked Ambush! Readers a strange question because there was no article to go with it. We asked readers if they've ever been hospitalized and 100% of poll takers said no.