Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

ImageComic Books. Comic books just aren’t for kids. There is a depth to comic books that many people don’t even realize. Right now, I am super into Green Lantern. So here is a quick run down of Green Lantern for those of you who have no idea. Basically a Green Lantern is one person in a universal space police force. Instead of carrying guns, they carry a ring that they can use to create images of anything they can imagine. The ring is actually powered through willpower. And that is where things become interesting. As long as the Green Lantern has enough willpower, he or she can create anything. It becomes even more interesting because Green Lanterns are chosen because they can overcome great fear. When the ring selects a new Green Lantern, they look for someone who can overcome fear. Fear is the opposite of willpower. Fear blocks willpower. And that is a common theme in literature as well as life.

Willpower. Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would do anything to achieve it? Getting passed obstacles and overcoming setbacks to get to that mountaintop? Athletes can be familiar with this. Have you ever had that game that no matter what SHOULD have happened, you played out of your mind to change the out come. Willpower manifests itself in strange ways sometimes. Willpower is a want and an urge to be decisive in the outcome of an event. But it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as it sounds. It can be getting up off the couch and doing something besides watching TV. It can be choosing the salad over double deep fried cheese. We all have willpower. Some of us use it more than others. Willpower cannot overcome everything though. There are some events that no matter how much willpower and effort you pour in, will not come to fruition.

Fear. See fear paralyzes. It makes people stop and rethink their willpower and their actions. See fear isn’t more common than willpower but it is easier to see. There is an entire movie genre based on fear. Usually when a sentence has the word “don’t” in it, it is based on fear. Fear of being caught, fear of being addicted, fear of loss. Most people associate with not doing something as laziness but that is the easy answer. Fear destroys life. The only thing fear has accomplished is to create panic and ignorance.

Me. See if I could be one superhero, I would be Batman. If I WAS a superhero I would be Green Lantern. I am one of the most stubborn and hardheaded people I know. I act before I stop to think about the consequences because I see what I want and I go for it. I have enormous amounts of willpower. I am tired of people questioning that. I am tired of people not believing in what other people can do. People FEAR what other people can do with willpower, with fight, with drive. They point to one event here or there instead of looking at the entire picture. Everyone has speed bumps in life. I have enough willpower to take those speed bumps and make them give me more willpower than I had before. If fear paralyzes and destroys, willpower creates. Humans in general need to stop fearing each other and rather help each other use their willpower to create something better. See the Green Lanterns have an oath. They say, “In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light.”  They believe in the willpower to overcome. Even when the odds see monumental and the blackest night surrounds you, you have the power to overcome great fear.

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.- Vince Lombardi

See growing up is an adventure. For the first part of your life, you are basically told how to live and told what is good and bad. Often you don’t even question all of what you are told to do. Some people do question and they get labeled rebels and outsiders. Then as you continue to grow older and responsibility and expectations get set upon you, you start to see who you really are. What happens when the training wheels of life are taken away? What happens when your pedaling and steering on your own? See society and life are both scary monsters. Life is unknown, and society is often unpredictable.

Growing up requires confidence and belief. I grew up in a society where people want you to be perfect. When a teacher called on me, I couldn’t be wrong. When I played soccer, perfection was expected out of me. When I graduated high school, if I hadn’t gotten six academic excellence awards it would have been a disappointment. Spending the first 23 years of my life in school, As were demanded. There was no other option for me but perfection. We now live in a society of fact checkers and private lives becoming public because of the internet. Perfection is demanded even more than it used to be.

Growing up doesn’t always mean maturity. Sometimes a body grows up without a mind making equal strides. It is difficult to find maturity. It doesn’t always come naturally. It has to be worked at and a constant effort must be made to mature. See here is the funny thing about perfection: to achieve perfection you have to admit you aren’t perfect. Call it irony. You have to figure out what isn’t perfect to be able to fix it. So in a society that demands perfection, do we allow people enough time to figure out what is wrong and fix it? Or when are we just going to accept that perfection doesn’t matter because in the end it is unattainable?

You ever go to the library just to get out of your house? No? Well that is okay because I do it enough for both of us. It is not socially acceptable to completely ignore everyone else around you in any other place besides the library. Currently I am sharing a desk with a girl who is probably 18. I was never good with telling age, and its like they can perform plastic surgery with makeup and add ten years in five minutes anymore. Wait who am I joking? This girl is at the library at 3:30 PM on a summer Wednesday, she doesn’t wear makeup! Do you wear makeup?

But back to what I was discussing. We are currently facing each other, not because we are trying to catch each other’s eye and spark a romance, but because that is how the desk is set up. Which is the worst set up ever. We are currently both on our laptops, but what if we were reading? When I read I like to relax and take it easy. All I would see is her predator eyes lurking over the top of the book trying to catch glimpses of me. There is nothing less comfortable then having a book lurker. Maybe I have watched too many Lifetime movies with my mother.

We are both using our laptops and I can only assume this girl is watching some sort of funny video on youtube, probably something to do with animals and musical instruments. Now when I am sitting alone in my room, and not having an out of body experience, I can’t tell what I look like when I am using my laptop. I never realized how dumb it is to see someone sitting at a little rectangular object and randomly laughing, while not being able to see what they are looking at. That would having a family movie night and your family making you stand behind the TV so that you just had to guess what they were watching, and before you ask, no that did not happen to me. Maybe.
So every time I hear a giggle, I give her a look without actually fully looking at her, but she still knows that I’m looking at her. So here I am, in a place of knowledge, completely judging a random stranger for doing something that I always do. Not to mention her annoying giggling interrupted my serious blog I was writing. Oh well. This is better anyways.

I always watch the 5 O’clock news. A couple of weeks ago, I was watching the news and a report about the death of Davy Jones came on. No not the Squid-Guy from Pirates of the Caribbean but a member of the Monkees. My mom leaves the kitchen (she was actually in the kitchen, I’m not being sexist) and stands in front of the TV. She turns to me and does, “I had such a crush on him.” The look is what will stick in my memory though. My mother had looked at me like she had just heard about the death of the first boy she ever kissed or her first middle school crush. She had such emotion in her eyes for someone she had never even met. I have always thought those screaming girls trying to touch Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers were ridiculous and stupid. Now I have to live with the fact that my mom may have been one of those screaming girls’ forbearer.

There are certain days in my life that I remember clearly. There are the obvious ones like graduations, vacations, special dates, September 11th, and Obama’s inauguration. Then there are two days that I remember that I probably have no business remembering. I remember being 9. I remember sitting on my couch watching MTV. I remember hearing the little ditty that signaled that an MTV newsbreak was coming. I remember Kurt Loder coming on the television. I remember him announcing that Tupac Shakur had passed in the hospital away after being shot.  Now, since I was not a ghetto 9 year old, I did not have a large understanding of Tupac. That day inspired me to look into the life and art of Tupac Amaru Shakur, but there will be more on that later. The second day is a bit easier to recollect. I remember being at work. I remember getting a text. I remember other coworkers getting texts. I remember no one believing it. I remember getting off of work, going home, and turning on the news. I remember them announcing that Michael Jackson had died. I remember this as clear as day. Why are these days mixed in with other days that shaped my life and changed the world? I know when I get older, my kids and my grandkids are going to come home from school, well if school as we know it still exists, and ask me. For their homework, where I was and what I remember about 9/11 and the aftermath. I will recall that my mom woke me up early to tell me that something bad had happened. I will remember the school not letting us watch anything on TV. I will remember being scared. I will remember the decision to send troops to Afghanistan. I highly doubt that any teacher will send the future generations home with questions for their parents and grandparents about where they were when Tupac died.

See, I have an obsession with Tupac. He got me interested in rap music. He got me interested in Black history. He got me interested in activism, poetry, using words to actually mean something and being human. It took a while after his death but I slowly opened myself to the world of Tupac’s music and art. I tried to understand him and the people in his music. Being a kid from the suburbs, this opened my eyes to a world I didn’t even know existed. I even bought a shirt with Tupac on it. Now for a man to wear another man’s face on my chest, there has to be some love there. There are only three men I have shirts with their face on them. All of them can be identified by one name, Tupac, Kobe, and Obama. I loved Tupac. I watched movies, listened to music, and read books dealing with Tupac. Much like to many others, I elevated him to a sort of Thug Angel, like Michael Eric Dyson calls him. I even wrote my senior capstone paper on the connections between Tupac and the Civil Rights Movement. And here I was thinking that screaming girls had something wrong with them. I rationalized it by saying Tupac stood for something. My love for him is more substantial because there is something behind it, something besides looks.

Society hasn’t just started to worship celebrities. It may be more extreme now, but it is nothing new. The infatuation with celebrities is the common belief by not only us (the common folk), but also them (celebrities), that they are perfect. We see them on TV, hear them on the radio, or read their words and because of this all their actions have a sense of invincibility, a sense of perfection. We hear about all the money they make and fantasize about being them, but that is not why we watch. We watch to see them become human before our own eyes. We elevate them to godlike status and then watch as the human on the inside begins to crack the god on the outside. We watch as we realize even with all that money, they are still just bones and flesh. Even with everything at their disposal, they still make mistakes.  This is why Bono does not have the following that the Kardashians do. Bono does almost everything right. He uses his money and status to help. That is why people see Bono as pompous and arrogant. His actions seem almost nonhuman compared to others. This fallibility that even the celebrities show, it is why I can idolize a convicted sexual criminal (Tupac) and an alleged sexual predator (Michael Jackson). Their sins don’t kill them. They only make them human.

Look at Charlie Sheen. He suffered one of the most public downfalls in recent years. All those years of acting like a god, doing mountains of drugs and women caught up to him. All that WINNING was actually losing. Millions of people were caught up in his seeing that having tiger blood and being a Vatican assassin were slowly breaking his godlike persona. I was wrapped up on the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, where he appeared more human and down to Earth than the roasters who were supposed to be bringing him down to Earth. Lindsay Lohan is another case. She is my celebrity crush. I saw Mean Girls seven times in theaters. It kills me to see her keep falling down the rabbit hole and not figuring out how to get back out. We don’t like to watch people fail. We like to watch people realize who they truly are.

See people like to say that kids do not have idols anymore. There are few people in the public realm who display the morals for children to look up to. If our society has come to the point where we are looking towards celebrities for role models, we may have gone too far. Celebrities can inspire us. They can speak to us with their performances and their words. They can help us escape the realities of the world. That being said, just because they are in the public eye, does not mean that they have a degree in manners and morals. If you want to complain that kids have no one to look up to, I have one thing to say to you, “Be the idol that you want your kids to have.” I want to go back to the days when elementary school kids would paint a picture of their grandparents and say they were their heroes. I miss the days when all kids wanted to be when they grew up was their dad or their mom. If there is a lack of idols in the world, it is because the parents and the older generations are not teaching their kids that celebrity worship is acceptable up to a point and not providing them with someone who is an idol. You may feel like you know your celebrity crush personally, but you don’t. So do you want your kids idol to be someone they don’t know?