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Cory Hershberger

Neurotic/eclectic critic obsessed with pop culture who enjoys good food, good company, and, most of all, good books.
Cory Hershberger has written 52 posts for A Multitude of Drops

Caught in the Grip Unyielding

As I’ve experimented with creative writing throughout my high school and college years, one inescapable truth became quickly evident: my writing just drips with melodrama. Everything is overblown and grave, with overwrought adjectives and intense mood. (This is probably why I love Florence + The Machine so much.) With that fact firmly kept in your minds, I present my latest piece of poetry, inspired by a throbbing headache yesterday that I could not shake. Continue reading

A Brief Word on the Olympics and the Value of Criticism

Here’s the thing: I like a healthy dose of both sides, positive and negative, in my Olympic coverage. Another thing: the Olympics are awesome and probably always will be, but they’re also a cultural event, a sizable blip on the world’s pop culture radar. Because they’re in the spotlight, they’re open to criticism, and we’re seeing more of it during these 2012 games than ever before.

As someone who prides myself on my ability to think critically about all sorts of things, I happily support staff writers for magazines and websites writing articles like this one (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8220839/terrible-fashion-2012-london-olympics) that are a little jokily snarky about the Olympics in one way or another. This writer is still clearly having fun watching the Games, but he’s also not letting the glitz and glamour of it all cloud his razor-sharp critical mind. He spits a little good-natured vitriol towards the Olympic fashions, a minor part of the Games at best. (Best line: “He looked like a man whose apres-swim tinnitus is ‘Let’s Get It On.'”)  Continue reading

2012: My Favorites, So Far

This year, I decided to take my well-documented desire for organization and order one step further and keep a catalog of all the books, movies, music and TV I consume. I typically develop grand plans like this, adhere to them for a week or two, and then laziness sets in and the plans just fall by the wayside. But this year has been pleasantly different, and my catalog of consumables stands long and proud on that menu bar above.

As of June 30th, I have read 29 books, listened to 34 new albums, watched 51 movies and viewed 15 seasons of television this year alone. (Those figures are a little unsettling, but I promise I am also a productive member of society in addition to being a pop culture fiend. Also, most of those TV shows were not full 22-episode seasons.) I figured it would be a worthwhile exercise to whittle down the list to a few favorites in each medium, and what list would be complete with an honorable mention to the worst entry as well?

(I should note that the lists below are not made up of books, movies, shows and albums that have necessarily been released in 2012; rather, they are simply the books, movies, shows and albums I’ve read/watched/listened to in 2012.) Continue reading

An Attempt at Poetry

I am not a poet. I’ve always wanted to be one, deep down, but I just never put the time and effort into it that I should have. That, however, doesn’t stop me from trying.

For this little ditty, I wanted to move beyond the limitations of the haiku form, but I wanted to stay with short, three-line stanzas. The whole poem stemmed from the title line, which popped into my head while I was writing an email to my friend Kelcie. It wasn’t intended to be so dark, but it developed a mind of its own while I wrote it, and I just went along for the ride. Be gentle, Internet-world. I am but a fledgeling poet; young, and enamored with melodrama and wordiness.  Continue reading

Journey 2: The Unintentionally Hilarious

About two weeks ago, a few friends and I decided to kill an evening by going out to eat and then seeing a movie at the dollar theater. The pickings at Lexington’s local dollar theater were slim, but eventually we decided on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. What a fortuitous choice it was. I laughed harder at Josh Hutcherson and The Rock loping around Jules Verne’s CGI-ed island than I have at any recent film I’ve seen. Unfortunately, not all the laughs (read: most of them) were unintentionally funny. In order to preserve the exquisite experience, I’ve penned a recap of the kids’ adventure flick below. I can only hope it makes you laugh a fraction of how much I did in that nearly-empty theater. Continue reading

The Afternoon Haiku Challenge

Earlier this morning, my friend Dut mentioned to me that he challenged himself to write five haikus in fifteen minutes, equally motivated by boredom and a desire to enhance his poetry skills. Not one to be left out, I thought this was an excellent idea and took it upon myself to enhance my own burgeoning poetry skills (which are fully on display in this “classic“).

I tweaked the idea a bit, though. Initially, I wrote five haikus in fifteen minutes (three of which are included below), but I also decided to take a theme and write a haiku series on it as well, spending no more than three minutes per poem. I did this once with the colors of the rainbow (Challenge 2 below) and once with a keyword (Challenge 3 below, built around the word “dream”). The results of this little afternoon adventure are below, and I’d love to know what you think, Internet-at-large. Continue reading

Fringe-y List-Mania!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of guest-posting on my friend Kelcie’s blog, On The Fringes, and I wrote a whole bunch of mini-lists outlining some random opinions I hold. For the sake of keeping all my online ramblings in one place, I have recreated the post here as well, minus a paragraph or three targeted at the Fringe fanatics, as I like to call readers of her blog. Here’s the original post, and check out the rest of that Fringe-y wonderland for Kelc’s thoughts on fashion, music and all sorts of things.

But here’s the meat of the post: Cory’s Cascading Cavalcade of Cogitation Collections. I make no claims of objectivity in my opinion catalog below. Continue reading

Post-Movie Thoughts on The Hunger Games

So, I joined the throngs of people this weekend who packed into movie theaters around the country to watch Katniss Everdeen, she of the fiery-lady fame, open up a can of whoop-ass on her fellow Hunger Games tributes, and pull in the third-highest opening weekend ever. ($155,000,000!) My pre-movie concerns were thankfully in vain, and while the adaptation was not perfect, it was deft, faithful and pretty darn enjoyable. Continue reading

Pre-Movie Thoughts on The Hunger Games

I’m leaving to see the latest pop culture phenomenon/movie adaptation, The Hunger Games, in about an hour after initially reading the book last May and then re-reading it this week. While I don’t think the book is the best thing ever to hit bookstore and library shelves, I do think that it’s a quick and exciting read that does a nice job blending plot and “message” for a young adult audience. In an attempt to be concise/brief/laconic (read: things I’m not), here are a few issues I’m excited to see the movie tackle and some points I hope they adapt well. Expect another post soon for my post-movie thoughts.

Continue reading

A Perfect Little Moment

You ever have those moments where everything is just kind of perfect and you wish you could bottle it all up to relive over and over?

It’s the simple things for me. I came home from work and it was absolutely gorgeous outside: sixty-five degrees and sunny with a light breeze. I grabbed a lawn chair and sat outside on our porch (I use the term loosely; it’s basically a concrete slab) with a book, my iPod and a mug of tea.

And everything just worked out.

I found an excellently comfortable position to sit in, balancing my feet against a post and leaning back in my chair. My tea was warm and soothing while birds flitted nearby, chirping back and forth, enjoying the weather in their own right. Gavin Creel’s Quiet EP hummed softly in my ears, the acoustic ballads the perfect soundscape for the gradually darkening sky. The air smelled crisp and fresh, despite it being late February. I read bits of Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply off and on (when I wasn’t occupied by watching squirrels, birds and the neighbor’s dog) and I happened to be reading a section where a main character waxes nostalgic on Cleveland, his childhood home, namedropping locations near and dear to my heart. Children a few houses over were playing in the yard, shouting happily and occasionally crying for a few brief seconds. I got lost in thought tangents, thinking about birdsong, science and beauty. The air started to cool and rain clouds began to move in just as the EP ended and I reached a stopping point in my book. I went inside and couldn’t stop smiling.

It just seemed like the world burned brighter for that little half-hour. All at once, it was wistful, nostalgic, honest, refreshing, pensive, amusing, beautiful…

…and perfect.

"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."

-Virginia Woolf, "A Room of One's Own"

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