I write this, my friends, laboring under the delusion that someone is still interested in what I have to say after a six-month hiatus.
The Presidential Election is only a year away now (give or take a fortnight), and such a thought brings me back to 2008, which will forever live in my memory as a night of victory and celebration. Yes, I’m flashing back now, bear with me. We’ll get to the angry tirades in a moment…
…my school had an Election Night Party in the Student Union. A big screen broadcasting live from CNN took up a wall, couches and pizza were brought in, and practically everyone was there (my campus;’ student body of 500 could easily fit inside the room). You could paint pictures of the evil looks the Republican and Democratic Clubs were giving each other from opposite corners (disappointingly, no fights broke out that night). And when Obama was declared the projected winner, I was the first one, by a fraction of a second, to absorb it.
And let me tell you, my war whoop of excitement was probably the loudest.
The Democratic Club, as well as the portion of the student body who voted Obama (including myself), went berserk. My friends and I went giddy as schoolgirls and skipped around campus. A new era was dawning. We could feel it hanging in the air above our heads.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that air of hope and change has been blown away and diluted. And, (sing it with me now!) I blame the media.
You know how in those old Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul books, you probably skipped through the chapters on friendship, hope, and charity and went right for the ‘Death and Tough Stuff’ section? Yeah, the media does that too. Only replace the ‘tough stuff’ with ‘negative forces, stupidity, and controversy.’ Our culture likes to react to the negative. It’s just America’s way. I suppose it’s meant to be a reflection on the American Cinderella archetype, in that any good American can live in an absolute shithole but still rise up to become President. Dumb as a hammer? No problem! Minority? Who cares?! Surrounded by controversy when you got caught in that gay club after leaving the NOM rally? Good for you! It’s sort of the media’s roundabout way of portraying the everyday man’s problems for the non-everyday man.
And with that said, I give you The 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Nominees…
The Other Black Guy, TweedleDee, TweedleDum, Token Woman, Tall Man, and That Other Old White Guy
Each one crazier than the next. I won’t go into detail as to why each one of them scares me shitless as they inch closer to the nomination, but I rather want to focus on what they all have in common:
They all want to be seen as The Guy (or Bachmann) Next Door…who somehow still totes Corporate Politics.
What is the GOP’s fascination with being one of the good ol’ fellas, anyway? Meanwhile, being the very same party that supports the expansion and tax-breaks for Big Businesses and trickle-down economics.
Doesn’t that seem like a bit of a contradiction to you? I mean, if you were the party of the people, wouldn’t you want to bring the Big Man down and support the local businesses, farmers, as well as education in poor neighborhoods? In order to be the legitimate People’s Party….YOU NEED TO BE THE PEOPLE’S PARTY!
Talk about your logical mishaps. More so than their circular explanations against marriage equality, women’s reproductive rights, and cutting taxes for the wealthy 1%, this seems to be the big hole in the GOP’s most recent re-imaging. And yeah, they do get re-imaged a lot. But this ‘Hometown Candidate’ theme is a consistency each time…if you can call a contradictory label that doesn’t apply consistent.
Seriously, look at each candidate’s angle, and tell me there aren’t some strange contradictions abound. We have Michelle Bachmann, who mentions no less than three times in a debate that she’s a mother and foster mother to at least 20 children (madness). She represents the ladies, the everyday struggling mother, and she promises she’ll bring the woman’s and the mother’s touch to the white house. Yet, she is a firm toter of overturning abortion and women’s reproductive choices, as well as birth control.
Hermain Cain is ‘the other black guy’ who accuses Democrats of being racist, while constantly hitting at Obama for being ‘the WRONG black guy’ and using his race as his main selling point as ‘the guy YOU can relate to.’
Then there’s Romney and Perry, who I’m convinced don’t give a shit about whether or not they win the White House as long as they beat the other out for the nomination. I really think their constant bitching at each other makes each of them look decreasingly competent and more like rivals for Homecoming Queen.
I think the less said about Ron Paul, the better.
I think all of this just goes to show that not only does the GOP not know what the hell they’re doing in picking nominees, but that the GOP invests so much in the image of a candidate that they have nothing left to invest in the quality of the person representing their party. If anything, that will lead to the destruction of the party. Not their issues, not their funding. Because the most unassuming shell can open up to reveal a rotting inside.
Someone should tell the Republicans that not everyone likes their next door neighbors.
As I’ve said time and time again, the way the Baby Boomers and Gen-X-ers love to portray Gen-Y and Gen-Z royally annoys me. Are we really any more selfish or oblivious to what lies beyond the end of our noses than our elders? Do we really have more sex? Are we obsessed with trivial, mindless dribble like Jersey Shore for the reasons the Boomers think we are?
Let me answer this with my favorite quote from West Side Story (which I love for the Jets/Sharks dance-fights, NOT the Romeo + Juliet plot). An elder character named Doc is scolding the group of Jet kids for harassing a Shark girl:
DOC: “You make this world lousy!”
JET BOY: “We didn’t make it, Doc.”
I think that explains it all. I really believe that every youth generation becomes the product of whatever the generation before it puts in front of them. How else do we learn anything? What sucks is the fact that the same generation that made us also criticizes us for behaving the way we were taught. And then that criticism turns into the bullshit we find on television that supposedly is ‘real’ or at least what we’re expected to be like. I think the Boomers would be surprised as to how many of us Gen-Y folk are disgusted by how we’re portrayed.
Case and point: The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
This show, for me, is the scripted, upper-middle-class version of Jersey Shore. It’s just as shameful, just as embarrassing, just as ridiculous. It’s one of those shows that I sincerely hope doesn’t become the Happy Days of Gen-Y.
The premise started off almost promising to be something of substance. Teen girl gets pregnant. Pretty standard nowadays. She decides to keep it…not surprising seeing as the ‘brilliant’ mind behind the show also brought you 7th Heaven. Life is flipped upside down. Blah blah blah.
Then, things started taking an extremely offensive turn. The show started becoming about the teen cast talking about nothing but sex, sex, losing virginity, sex, sex, and someone ELSE getting pregnant (guess we silly kids can’t learn a damn thing from others’ mistakes) and deciding to keep it (thank you Brenda Hampton). At one point, the Evangelical True-Love-Waits Poster Girl character loses her virginity the night her dad dies in a plane wreck and blames his death on the fact she didn’t choose to wait (I’m not going there, not room on the internet). The adult’s subplots are no better, and just as mindless. The parents, of course, remain oblivious to the fact their kids fuck around more than Mata Hari on Valentine’s Day. These sixteen-year-olds discuss marriage as a legit option at their age, for Christ’s Sake. No college, no prospects for their future other than marriage, kids, sex, and sex. Every season-finale cliffhanger so far has been either ‘is she pregnant?’ or ‘are THEY sleeping together?!’
Oh, and I don’t even need to mention how abortion isn’t an option for ANY of the pregnant teen characters, nor adoption. You make it, you keep it. That’s the way it is. And somehow, after the baby pops out, life is suddenly a bowl of cherries, only with an adorable, seven-month-old bundle of joy fresh out of the pubescent oven.
Oh, and lest I mention the grossly oversimplified teen stereotypes used. It’s almost satirical how many shells and labels are used in this show. You have the ‘Cute Outcast’ female lead, the ‘hipster’ kid sister who’s got more sense than anyone else but constantly is undermined, the slut, the manwhore, the dork, the Asian couple a la Glee, the busybody best friends who in spite of their ‘BFF’ status are hardly heard of, the Bible-thumping cheerleader, and the misguided former Bible-thumper who dates her on and off. Seriously, where’s Molly Ringwald? Oh snap, she’s their too, playing the mom (ironic casting, far out).
So, where to begin?
Should I rant about how the whole show goes out of its way to portray ALL of the characters as dumber than a box of rocks? How they’re all either sex-crazed horn dogs or extreme prudes with no middle-ground? The poor writing? The poor acting? The usage of a cliched scenario for the purposes of preaching the conservative agenda of the head writers?
No. Instead, I’m going to take a deep breath and just hope that the reason this show is so popular is because kids tune in to make fun of it. I know that’s why I did for awhile, before it got too unbearable.
The thing is, look who our parents are. The late Boomers and the Gen-X-ers, the leaders of the Sexual Revolution. Free love, birth control abundance, sexual exploration and curiosity for younger and younger kids. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve very liberal. I believe if you’re smart about it, why not?
What I can’t stand is the fact that when WE do it, they have to scold us and whip out the old Abstinence-Only card. Oh, and write shit fests like Secret Life. Make us, and then insult us. Didn’t Thomas More write about that in Utopia?
You’d think the Boomers would learn from the fact that the Greatest Generation did the EXACT same thing to them. You know, the Boomers were raised by Betty Crocker and GI-Joe Veteran. Why do you think they fought back to create their own identity and started the Sexual Revolution to begin with?
Unfortunately, Gen-Y isn’t as rebellious. We just sit and watch The Situation sleep with his thousandth faux-Guido chick trying to bring back the Beehive.
So really, what does this mean for us, and for our children (God and Goddess forbid we have them)? Will we tell them to suck it up and deal with our shit like the Boomers did (and continue to do) for us? What IS it with every adult generation losing their understanding for the youth? We all were the youth generation at one point? At what point in time to we just throw all of our frustrations to the wind and believe it’s our turn to toss our bullshit on the kids?
It reminds me of this tradition my college has. The first day of every school year, the freshman have to wear signs with their names on it for a week. if they are caught ANYWHERE (bathrooms and bedrooms included) without it on their person, seniors force the poor freshman to sing a kiddie song on top of the senior table. Then, at the end of the same year, the freshman create ’20 Days’ for seniors. The last 20 Days of classes, seniors must comply to the ‘theme’ for each day by wearing what the calendar says (an example may be ‘silly hat day’). If they don’t, a freshman, in vengeance for being subject to the same humiliation none months prior, will force the senior to sing on the table.
Ah….revenge. Maybe that’s the magic word.
Which, really, makes the whole thing even more repulsive. It isn’t about learning or not learning from youth what kids should and shouldn’t have to put up with, but rather taking out hidden frustrations on the new generation. Maybe it’s all just another bit of proof that humans are petty, ugly creatures.
And we all know much I hate people and how incredibly stupid they are.
Only now, it’s physically taking a toll on us. Teenage girls are now actually trying to get pregnant behind K-marts to get onto 16 and Pregnant for the fame it brings to them and their boyfriends. Fake tans and douche-bag haircuts that make you look like trash are more popular then ever. It’s madness, and it’s harming us.
Seriously, guys, this needs to stop. I’m genuinely pleading with the media here. I don’t want my generation to be the ‘Fame-Baby’ generation. The Spoiled Brat Millennials who expect everything to fall into the palm of their hands. The kids who don’t learn anything when their best friend had unprotected sex and end up getting knocked up themselves. That is what you, Baby Boomers, are making us.
But you don’t care, as long as you get your Social Security at 65, right? Yeah, fuck that. And fuck you.
Normally, I despise these meme things. They do nothing but spam your Facebook wall and suck up precious time you could be spending doing important things (like memorizing lines for your acting final). But I have been neglecting this blog as of last, and that’s really just because I’ve had nothing to say. So here it is, your average iTunes meme for your viewing pleasure/displeasure/apathy.
RULES: They aren’t rocket science. Go on iTunes, shuffle, and write down the title of whatever pops up first for each question, and see how many actually make sense! Mwahaha…sorry. I promise I’ll take up writing legitimate things again soon.
1. How would describe your personality?
Suerte by Shakira (had to google this…it means ‘luck.’ Truth be told I feel anything but lucky today)
2. What do you like in a guy/girl?
Pass the Dutchie by Musical Youth (I guess I like a decent Jamaican pothead…a ‘Dutchie’ refers to a kind of blunt)
3. How do you feel, today?
West Side Story Overture by Sondheim (Um, okay, I’m game for gang-fighting with some Puerto Ricans…I think)
4. What’s your life’s purpose?
Rock Me, Amadeus by Falco (Getting banged by dead musicians…isn’t everyone’s life like that?)
5. What is your motto?
You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi (now I just sound like a harlot)
6. What do your friends think of you?
Something There from the Beauty & The Beast Soundtrack (This one actually makes a little sense)
7. What do you think of your parents?
Breakfast at Tiffanys by Deep Blue Something (damn, I was on a one-question roll there)
8. What do you think about very often?
You Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer (I went from skank to prude in three questions…go me)
9. What do you think of your best friend?
I Will Come to You by Hanson (dont judge me on the fact that Hanson is in my iTunes)
10. What do you think of the person you like?
We Built This City by Starship (yes, my love, we fucking built this thing, now we gotta live in it)
11. What is your life story?
Captain Jack by…errr….Captain Jack (I really fucking wish I was Captain Jack…Harkness)
12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Broadway by Goo Goo Dolls (no, silly, I want to be ON Broadway!)
13. What do you think when you see the person you like?
Boys of Summer by Don Henley (and autumn, and winter, and spring, ironically the season I’m going to see the least of him is during summer)
14. What do your parents think of you?
Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran (well, they do always complain about grocery bills when I’m home…)
15. What will be played at your funeral?
One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head (back to being the slut…the Thai slut, either that our a Chess player)
16.What is your hobby/interest?
Your Love by Outfield (definitley the slut)
17. What is your biggest secret?
Legal Assassin from Repo! The Genetic Opera (ha, at least I’m a bad ass by night)
18. What do you think of your friends?
When You’re Evil by Voltaire (chalk another one up for being accurate/making sense)
19. What should you post this as?
Whatever the hell I want…it’s my blog.
What did I learn from doing this? It’s no less stupid than it was before I started.
“As much as I hate to admit it, there is a bias against Christianity in this country. [Soul Surfer] A movie about a girl using faith in Jesus to rebuild her self confidence causes controversy but a movie like ‘Easy A’ which portrays Christians as stupid over zealous pricks gets critical acclaim.” –Anonymous On FB
For the record, I believe the person who wrote this to be decent man, and considering I’ve derived this from how little I know him, that’s a pretty hard thing to say with confidence, but I do.
Soul Surfer, which comes out this week, I believe, is an autobiographical story about that girl several years ago who’s arm became a Lean Cuisine meal for a shark, and her journey through recovery, tested faith, and overcoming all to continue her passion, which is surfing.
The ‘faith,’ as you probably have already deduced, is that delightful little acceptable-excuse-for-everything-in-this-country: Christianity.
Now, let me make my peace quickly with Christianity here and now. I have my little gripes about the faith itself, but that is why I do not believe in it. I can let our differences go and move on with my life. What I loathe is not the church, but the choir and their evangelical Song of Hell that’s directed at everyone but the mirror. It’s those who brainwash kids to spread the word and the fundies who will use violence in the name of Jesus who anger me so much. Oh, and the politicians who use it as an excuse to take away my rights and my friends’ rights. They can go to hell.
Back to my point. Yes, I agree, in many, many cases in American media, Christianity is treated like crap. While I DID like ‘Easy A’ I liked it for it’s satirical nature…not it’s antagonistic usage of conservative people. Christianity, for the most part, does not deserve such portrayals in more serious media, which it still sometimes gets.
However, I must interject on behalf of my neopagan breathren and sister-en (?) and say that Christians shouldn’t bitch about films like ‘Easy A’ or ‘Saved!’ These films, at least, are flaming satires and don’t hide it. There are some cases in pop media where Christianity is given a positive spin. Like Soul Surfer, yes. But also in the multitude of openly Christian singers, country and mainstream pop (annoying as they are *coughcoughDISNEYCHANNELcough*) who are portrayed as honest people who trust in Jesus.
Try slapping the old Wiccan label an on honest musician, and what do you get images of? That ‘honest’ just seems to disappear, doesn’t it?
Pagans get SHIT when it comes to media portrayal nowadays. Or…ever…days. The archetypical teenager goth/emo punk who lives at Hot Topic and is borderline-sociopath is all you’re going to see. Ever. Not only is it not an accurate depiction, but it’s consistent across the board and completely embarrassing.
Just look at The Craft, which came out almost twenty years ago. You have a group of…well…teenage goth chicks who are borderline sociopath as the main characters. And they’re Wiccan. Surprise!
Fun fact, the film’s star, Fairuza Balk, who played the Craziest of Them All is, in fact, Wiccan in real life.
See? At least Christianity gets a good fighting chance not to make a negative name for themselves. We neopagans never had the chance. It started way back in the Roman times when Catholics became the kings and pagans became lion food. Thanks, Pope WhatHisNuts XVI, thanks a shit ton.
I guess, historically, that’s a case of turnabout, as the Roman pagans weren’t so nice to the Christians first (yes,again with the lion food). But didn’t Mr. Jesus preach that whole ‘turn the other cheek’ thing?
The whole idea of evil heathens never changed, I guess, because here we are, 2011, and the only good portrayal of pagans I’ve seen is a girl-power version of Morte D’Arthur that didn’t even get a theatrical release. It’s called Mists of Avalon and it remains to this day among my Top 5 Favorite Films Ever Made.
Unfortunately, Mists isn’t even contemporary in terms of time frame.
At the end of it all, the secret word for the whole thing, is discomfort. Religion is not a very graceful topic to bring up in private or public, let alone in popular media. It’s hard to relate to because if you do have common ground with one religion, you may inadvertently be insulting someone of another faith who happens to be in the same room. Hell, just for being neopagan, every citizen of Utah has a genetically inborn thirst for my blood. The only way one can successfully remove the awkward is to insert humor up it’s butt instead. Then at least the uncomfortable laughter can be masked by genuine laughter.
I don’t see why people need to get so defensive over it all. We Wiccans take these dumbass versions of ourselves with a grain of salt for the most part anyway. Why? Because we know it’s all stupid.
My question now is, why are so many Christians so testy? Compared to Wiccans and other minorities, you really don’t have all that much to complain about. So just sit back for once, and enjoy your new pro-Christian movie.
Oh, and the next time you steal one of our holidays, take the sex out of it, and turn it into an excuse to pig out and then pray for forgiveness for it, might I suggest Litha? Lots of bonfires, lots of dancing, lots of food. Funtimes.