Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ayah's Eyes: An Excerpt from Punk Rock Logic

The excerpt as promised.

“Late again Mr.Little?” Came the cold accusation of Mr. Dunbar Eric’s Calculus teacher. “Whatever.” Eric muttered under his breath out of earshot of his teacher. “I heard that Mr. Little detention. Again. What is that 5 in the past two weeks?” Eric silently looked around the classroom for an empty seat. He spotted one and walked towards it pausing as he realised it was next to Ayah. Ayah was a quiet girl. Most likely the most quiet girl of girls who are quiet. No one really talked to her besides the other Muslim girls in school.  I mean how could any anyone hold a conversation with a diminutive black clad form. Everyday she dressed in all black flowing gowns and dresses complete with a full black veil that covered her entire face save the small slit at her eyes which revealed her deep caramel complexion and piercing black eyes. Eric took his place next to her. She shifted in her seat sitting more upright and leaning forward in deep concentration. “It must sucks to dress like that all the time.” Eric thought. “I mean she has like no friends and everyone makes fun of her.” “I wonder if her husband forces her to dress like that.” He had once seen a documentary on women in Afghanistan and saw how they had to stay indoors and wear full body veils when they went out. The women they interviewed hated their lives Eric recounted. The would get married when they were like 9 or 10. “What a strange religion.” Eric shuddered. “I wonder if she hates her life?” Eric stole a glance at Ayah. Feeling his gaze she shifted uncomfortably in her seat while staring at her notes. “Mr. Little!” snapped Mr.Dunbar “Perhaps you know the answer?” “Uhh” replied Eric “Screw it ,sue me it’s hard for me to pay attention because you suck at teaching.”  A collective gasp escaped from the breasts of the students. Eyes reduced to slits Mr.Dunbar pointed at the door “Leave!” He commanded. “Whatever, dude.” Eric replied. As he scooped up his backpack he stole another look at Ayah. Their eyes met and she quickly looked away blushing. Confused Eric left. The result of his confusion stemmed from Ayah’s eyes’. She didn’t have the same look of entrapment and loneliness Eric was so used to seeing in his own while looking in the mirror. No they were different. They boasted of answers and freedom and caring, compassion. Wisdom. Eric wanted that all of that. A single look. “Strange” Eric muttered as he strolled down the corridor.
That night Eric dreamed of Ayah. Those haunting eyes that had all the answers.

-From Punk Rock Logic

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Intermediate Punk Rock Rhetoric (J0hnny F!3Nd)

Hey everybody!

My name is Johnny Fredrick aka Johnny Fiend and I am a senior script editor and cinematographer at Local35. For this post I sat down with Yusuf for an interview about a short story he wrote for the spring 2014 University of Pittsburgh official student publication Forbes and Fifth titled Punk Rock Logic. Below you will find the interview and next week we will premiere an excerpt from the story.

JF: Hey, Yusuf How are you doing today?

Y: I'm alright [Laughs] Alhumdulilahi rabi lal amin!

JF: ...

Y: [laughs]

JF: Anyways... you want to explain Punk Rock Logic, sort of where the idea comes from or what, basically explain the, uh story.

Y: You are really bad at interviews man.

JF: Thanks man, that means a lot.

Y:[laughs] Punk Rock Logic the title, well actually comes from a Lupe Fiasco song, umm, Gold Chain, [proceeds to sing the lyric] "Man you can't be punk from projects, firm disbeliever of that punk rock logic was creat- "you know.

JF: So Lupe all the way?

Y: [shrugs] ehh issh fan-ish, but... yeah the story is actually based off of my senior year of high school kinda with much embellishment and of course a difference in characters to protect the innocent [laughs]. Actually whats funny or...like, whatev- like, The main character his name is Eric and even though he is loosely based off of me-

JF: Wow! how humble of you sir!

Y:[shugs and laughs] ehh I'm Yusuf West like the Muslim little brother of yeezy.


Y: Yeah, I mean like what the character, like what happens to him is some of the things I went through my senior year but the actual character, Eric was a character created by my friend Sean Gilmore, he directed a movie and Eric was a college-aged punk rock musician-

JF: Played by you...?

Y: Weeelll, when you say it like that it makes me sound arrogant.

JF: Well considering the situation...

Y: [laughs] As I was saying before I was accused of things I'm not doing- Eric is a character already created not by myself, but Punk Rock Logic IS my imagination of his life before he met uhh...I can't remember the other characters name but he was played by a kid from Point Park University named Drew. I have a script around here somewhere [Looks around the office to no avail].But besides the point I wrote the story from personal experience so yeah it's my story but it is also his. Does that make sense?

JF: Yeah, no I think people will be able to understand. But what is this movie?

Y: It's called The Muse it was uhh Directed and Written by Sean Gilmore a Pitt Student. It was made, acted in by a bunch of Pittsburgh people. Um Ben Hatmaker you know him, he Produced it, umm Olivia Brown an actor from CMU. Drew Clouse another Pitt student was the cinematographer... a bunch of you know.

JF: Oh,ok So where can we see this?

Y: Well we shot it over the summer but, uhh, last I heard it was in super post-production. You know college kids schedules and stuff.

JF: So I was proof reading your story and I noticed there was a lot of detail of the scene. Research or-

Y: Ha, Yeah I was punk rock senior year. Like before I started converting or like practicing Islam.

JF: From East Atlanta? How'd you find Punk?

Y: [laughs] Well when I got expelled from school I had to go to alternative school and so-

JF: Expelled? For what

Y: You know gangs, fights, blah blah blah. It's not important.

JF: Tell me that later, man

Y: Yeah off record though.

JF: That's fair.

Y: Anyway I always thought I was pretty big and bad but man when I got to Alternative school the kids were, man it was ridiculous, they were vicious fights like every class, and not like I mean they were like fighting the security guards and the teachers. We used to have riots like every other day it was magnoon! Tauyab! So I was like yo I gotta put on a front before I like die [laughs].

JF: Wow. so you went with punk?

Y: Yeah, I remember there was this kid at my homeschool and everyone was scared of him even the quote un quote thugs. He was a goth or like a metal head, death rap guy, black kid though so, [laughs] funny enough he was in alternative school with me we became friends there since our scenes were similar it was natural we hung out. We both did music played guitar listened to punk, metal and rapped all that so... yeah. Unfortunately he is now in jail for murder...


Y: Yeah...

JF: Well that's such a sour note to end it on let's try to fix it. Anything you'd like to say Yusuf?

Y: Local trey five i do it for the numbers, LTF I do it for the letters Local up, 3-5 up. Nah but seriously We have a film that should be coming out in mid March so look out for that everybody.

JF: Ah, yes the Scheduling thingy. Ok well thats all for now wanna grab some 'za?

Y: You know it bro.


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