Category Archives: Current Events/News

The Plight of a ‘Spoiled Millenial’

This is for my peers, who like me, are tired of hearing how awful our generation is.

Do you remember when we were kids and the important adults in our lives told us things like You can be anything you want to be, Dream big, You’re smart enough to change the world someday, or my favorite, The world would be a better place if more people had your heart. I know you heard something like that from someone in your life. So did I. All of those, in fact.

Well here we all are, adults, the age at which they said we would be living out those big dreams of ours and changing the world, but they don’t say those kind things anymore. No, now that we are trying to change the world as we were told, we’re just a stupid generation of spoiled and entitled brats. We’re weak minded, bleeding-heart liberals. Hmm… What happened?
They tell me we were left with nothing to fight for; we’re spoiled. Generations before us fought for everything we could ever need and they won, so we were handed life on a silver platter and that is what is wrong with us. I used to buy into this bullshit when I was young and inexperienced, but now I know better. (Apparently that’s where I went wrong and became a stupid, weak minded, bleeding-heart liberal. Oops!)

The part that boggles my mind is that some of the people who spew these insults about our generation are from the generations that fought against segregation and/or for women’s rights, people that we read about in our history books and looked up to. As radical as those ideas were at the time, I’m sure they were told the same, if not worse, but time showed us they were on the right side of history and I believe time will show we are too, because yes folks, we do have a fight.

Our generation has found its calling. Truthfully, we have found several, but they all fall under one category. We are the generation of tolerance and acceptance. This basically means that we believe in all the things other generations said they believed in, but many really only meant they believed it for themselves and people like them. Let me explain.

We believe in gender equality even when that means you get to choose your own gender, though I argue it is not a choice. It’s innate. It may be a foreign concept to you just as it is to me, but that is because we were born with the luxury of being who we feel we are, inside and out. I thank God that I don’t understand what it’s like to feel like a man in a woman’s body or a woman in a man’s body. Transgendered people go through life everyday feeling uncomfortable and unable to be themselves. That sounds like slow torture to me. I don’t need to know that feeling to know that it isn’t up to me to decide for others who they are. It’s not up to you, either.

We believe in marriage equality. This one is really simple, folks. I mean REALLY simple. The United States has a policy, separation of church and state. You’ve heard of this one. This means keep your church definition of marriage out of the state’s definition. Nowhere in the constitution does it say that LGBT people cannot get married. In fact, the law now says they can. Let it go! (Reminder, we’re the generation of tolerance and acceptance so we accept that you don’t like it as long as you tolerate it and just, I don’t know, look away?)

In fact, this is a good spot for a general notice. WE ARE NOT ASKING YOU TO LIKE EVERYTHING! We just ask that you tolerate it and admit that you not liking it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be allowed. I don’t like mustard, but I’m not asking the FDA to ban it!

We believe in actual racial equality. 151 years ago, the fight to end slavery succeeded. 62 years ago, the fight to end segregation succeeded. (Don’t ask me why it took so long. That’s just another on the long list of things I don’t understand.) Here we are half way through 2016 and through nearly 8 years of a black presidency, yet still dealing with racial inequalities. If you think otherwise, you live in a ridiculous bubble and you should find your way out before you suffocate. Before I get attacked by white people whose only argument is that we experience racism too, let me say that I do not believe in any way that only whites are racist, but I do believe we are the worst offenders in this country, and regardless, that’s not an excuse. Ever. Maybe, just maybe, if we hadn’t brought the concept with us when this country was founded, we wouldn’t experience the racial hatred we receive in return.

We believe in religious freedom. I thought all generations of this country believed in religious freedom as it was a driving factor in our inception as a nation, but apparently not. I mean, we still have antisemitism (hello, Mel Gibson!), many don’t even know that Wicca is a religion, and have you seen how Muslims in this country are treated? AMERICAN Muslims!? (Because yes, there are American Muslims. In fact, there are Muslims in all parts of the world, not just the middle east.) I don’t envy them, either, or the brown Hindus and Buddhists because you know, they’re brown and have an accent so they must be Muslim and that’s bad. Besides, we don’t even know what a Hindu or a Buddhist is, except one of them doesn’t eat hamburger. Right? Yeah, that’s it. #Sarcasm.

Allow me to remind you that white, Christian-born, American men have shot up schools, churches, and movie theaters right here on our own soil in recent years and there’s no massive movement calling for the heads of white Christian men for being terrorists. (Yes, those were acts of domestic terrorism. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. 18 U.S. Code § 2331 – Definitions.) Why do we not have a movement for their heads? Because we know with every fiber of our being that a few poor examples do not represent all of Christianity. Why can’t we recognize that for others?

Regardless of whatever religion you do or don’t believe, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the world was created as one. We are all God’s children or children of the world. Our borders are only man-made. Somehow those man-made borders give us the right to judge people on the other side just for being born there? I don’t think so.

We are the generation that believes your actions tell us what kind of person you are, not your gender, who you love, what color you are, or what God you do or don’t pray to and we are the generation that will fight to make sure you can be who you are, love who you love, and worship whoever you want to worship.

Are we perfect? Ha! NO! I’d say we’ve got a LONG way to go, especially when it comes to classism, but we are progress. Do I speak for all of us? Of course not! The fact remains that once upon a time, you told us we were going to change the world and now that we’re trying, you want us to stop. You’re angry with us for having different opinions, but guess what. That’s the democracy you raised us in, baby, and we’re not stopping!

I love this country, I really do. Do I think it’s the greatest country on Earth? I don’t know. I’ve never been to another one. Maybe. Either way, we’ve got a LOT of work to do and a lot of issues to deal with. I’m proud to be part of a generation willing to recognize those issues, admit our faults to the world, which by the way, is watching, and stand up for our beliefs. You should be proud. If we’re not a direct product of your loins, we’re certainly a product of the world you shaped that made us this way.

“Stupid, weak minded, bleeding-heart liberals?” Nah.

Strong, intelligent, compassionate human beings.

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The soundtrack for this post:

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The State of Pop Music

Be honest, who read the title and thought, “Hell no!”

That’s what I would think. Pop music is a genre that has long since gone down the tubes. It’s all over-dubbed, over-synthesized, and all you need, to be frank, is a nice rack. Boom! You’re a mega-superstar. Even those who have talent waste it. Mariah Carey can sing, excuse me, “That girl can saang!” But she doesn’t. Lady Gaga? Same thing. For her, it’s more about the gimmick than the music. –If you need proof, feel free to watch her here as Stefani Germanotta, before she was Gaga. She was a regular girl, in regular clothes, with a great voice, but that wasn’t enough. Even when she got signed and started going by Gaga, she couldn’t make it big so she sold her musical soul to the devil and made it more about the theatrics than the music.

I’m not dumb, I know people like a show. I like a show, too. I don’t mind when theatrics are abundant in a performance, but when it gets in the way of the music, when it becomes the main focus of the artist, it’s too much.

What I’m saying is that video really did kill the radio star. Did anyone happen to catch the 2013 VMA’s over the weekend? I haven’t watched in a few years, but the thirteen-year-old *Nsync‘er that still lives somewhere deep inside of me was just a little bit excited about watching the Justin Timberlake/Nsync performance, so I tuned in. Aside from him and Bruno Mars, I witnessed a live train wreck and wasted a few hours of my life that I will never get back.

Then sometimes, an artist or two will come along and re-instill your belief in something.

Examples:

Adele
Bruno Mars
P!nk
Fun.
Kelly Clarkson

Maybe you don’t like these artists, and that’s fine, but there’s no denying they actually have talent, they use it, and they give a damn about what they put out there. Mainstream radio needs a lot more of this and lot less of this:

Kids, let it be known that this image depicts a disaster, not a deity.
Kids, let it be known that this image depicts a disaster, not a deity.

Fund Your Creativity (Veronica Mars did it)

It’s a corporate world, there’s no doubt about it. To embark on a career as an artist, of any sort, pretty much guarantees poverty, unless of course you’re willing to sell your soul, so to speak.

Entrepreneurs, musicians, painters, sculptors, writers, inventors, etc., creators of all types need money to just be able to create and even more when it comes to sharing their work/art. If you’ve ever tried to get backers or just briefly checked out an episode of Shark Tank, you know getting that much needed money from an investor calls for giving up control.

Enter Kickstarter kickstarter badge

The soul purpose of the website is to raise money to fund creative projects. Fans/supporters can pledge whatever they can to help fund someone’s endeavors. For most campaigns, depending on how much you pledge, you get cool kickbacks that range from autographed cds/dvds/posters to a speaking role in a movie!

Although Kickstarter debuted in 2009, I didn’t become aware of it in January, 2012 when Alexz Johnson, a Canadian singer-songwriter and actress that I follow on twitter announced she was trying to raise $63,000 to tour the United States without a major label. I thought it was a really great idea, not just the tour, but the website. Alexz has a bit of a fan-base from her work on a teen television show called Instant Star so it was conceivable that she would be able to raise $63,000. Because of that, I didn’t quite understand just how great this website was or what it could do.

Then yesterday happened…

Once upon a time, 2004 to be exact, a show called Veronica Mars aired it’s pilot episode and went on to have a three-season run before being cancelled in 2007. That’s a full FIVE years ago! Though the show still has fans–who rightly feel the show was unfinished due to a massive cliffhanger–and star Kristen Bell had said she’d love to revisit her title character, after five years, everyone thought it was dead in the water. That was until Kristen and show creator Rob Thomas–no, not Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20–went to Warner Brothers, who own the show, and got them to agree to a Kickstarter campaign to fund a Veronica Mars movie. The deal was, if they could generate $2,000,000.00 to fund the film and prove there was a demand, they could shoot this summer and Warner Brothers would cover marketing, promotion, and distribution.

Veronica Mars

Well, let’s hope Warner Brothers puts their money where their mouth is. After leaving the meeting, Kristen and Rob, along with other Veronica Mars cast members went to Kristen’s house and filmed a promo video for the campaign. The video, full of familiar Veronica Mars style & wit, made sure to let the fans know that this was their last shot. If the campaign failed, the show was gone forever.

When they launched, just yesterday, they had thirty days to raise the money. Seems crazy right? $2 million in 30 days. Even Rob thought it was insane, but in just 4 hours they had raised half of their goal! After 11 hours, they sailed passed 2 MIL and kept going.

While I am a Veronica Mars fan, there were other things going on in the world on launch day, the choosing of a new pope for example. What drew my attention to this was the story of one particular supporter, Steven Dengler. Dengler, a wealthy entrepreneur, admits to not being a superfan of the show, but is a superfan of crowdfunding–the philosophy of Kickstarter. I stumbled onto an article about his donation and was intrigued when he said that he loves the way Kickstarter empowers artists. (Click here for the article.) “Empowers artists.” At first I thought to myself, more rich people should be so generous, then I wanted to pitch in my dollar, and then I started thinking. What could I do with that kind of support? What could any of us do? What could we create? Wow, this is a really cool thing!

If you create, have an idea that you think is brilliant, or have some money you’d like to throw at creative ideas, you should really check out Kickstarter.com 

To support The Veronica Mars Movie Project, click here.

How I see the State of the Union … and the state of the world (Current Events: Week of 2/11/13)

Ever heard that old saying, “The world is going to hell in a hand basket?” Well, it seems like we are getting pretty close. The economy remains in the toilet. – SOTU –  Cops are murderers. – Chris Dorner – North Korea is still set on pushing our buttons, – Nuclear Tests – and if they don’t succeed, we’ve got Captain Planet (Al Gore) reminding us that we’re killing everything anyway. – The Future – (Oh! And who knew the pope could quit?)

Current Events collage

Remember when you were a kid and you knew that everything in the world was okay? No matter what, some grown up would fix it–whatever it was–and the world would always be rainbows and lollipops? Why didn’t someone tell us that we were going to grow up to be Mr. & Mrs. Fix-It? Seriously, where was the warning?

I used to have that “America, the strong” mindset. You know the one I’m talking about; “I live in the United States of America. Nothing bad will ever happen to us Americans. We rule the world.” (Of course, September 11th happened and my generation got short changed on the childhood view of the world.) Even after that, I thought we would kick some ass and take some names; I never thought this would be the state of things in 2013. As a country, we’re still children. We have at least a few centuries before our “empire” falls, right?

soldiers_death_graphCasualties in IraqThese days, just turning on the news is enough to make you nauseous. It’s the same old thing everyday; “Another shot dead on the south-side tonight,” or “Two injured in Convenience store robbery.” If the local news doesn’t give you your daily downer, the national news is always there, passing out free hits of reality. We’ve got psychos shooting up movie theaters and more psychos shooting up elementary schools, even if there was an amount of therapy to help with that, who could afford it? And I don’t care what the government claims, we are still in two wars. Fortunately, the last of my deployed loved ones just came home, but I still know the ache military relatives get every time there’s an Iraq/Afghanistan update. (My heart is truly with all of our troops, their families, and everyone affected by the recent acts of gun violence.)

Fox News Airs Same-sex couple photo

Honestly, when the best news I can recall from the week is Justin Bieber getting shut out of the Grammy’s and Fox News
accidentally representing traditional marriage with a photo of a same-sex couple, something is wrong. But what can we do about it? I’m certainly no expert, but I do know that we influence the climate issues directly. So, there’s a start. What else? Well, our government representatives have just such a title because they are there to represent us, so we need to make them. Write letters, make phone calls, send emails, protest if you have to, but be heard one way or another. I don’t suppose there’s much we can do about North Korea and foreign affairs, but we can pay close attention to who we put in office, both locally and nationally. And of course if you’re religious, pray, not just for us, but for the world.

It’s time to get up off the couch and out of our depressed stooper. Once upon a time, we had a reason to feel that national pride we were raised on. If we want it back, we’re going to have to work for it.