Where Do We Go From Here?

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I AM CONFUSED, LOST, AND IN SHOCK that Donald Trump just became the 45th president of the United States of America! I really don’t know what to make of this whole thing, right now. It is strange, ridiculous, and beyond my human capacity of understanding. And this truly defies and throws into question everything that I’ve been taught as a child—-like, to be kind to others, that good things happen to good people, and that I should treat other people the way that I would like to be treated. This will certainly take some time to get used to. Moving forward, though, I know that I am not going to be alone when I say this; that a lot of us—-on either side of the political spectrum—-are gonna have to rethink our basic and fundamental values.

And while we’re at it, can someone please explain to me how 63 percent of white men voted for this guy? or, even worse, how did 53 percent of white women voted for him? Have they forgotten that this was/is the same guy who, at one point, refused to pay his undocumented Polish workers back in 1998? The same guy who called for 11 million undocumented Mexicans to be deported back to Mexico? The same guy who blatantly offended Mr. Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim American soldier who’s son died to protect his unit? And the same guy who encouraged his supporters to “carry” black people out on a “stretcher” at his rallies?

But yet, those same white people who voted for him will turn around and say that Donald Trump winning had nothing to do with race—-but everything to do with protecting our country and making it “Great Again.” But we, who our parents taught us not to hate, and we, who hold these words of Martin Luther King Jr., to be true, that our “children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” know what they meant when they said “Make America Great Again.”

This entire thing has been about race since the beginning and there is no one who can tell us otherwise. We know that when they say “Make America Great Again” that it doesn’t involve people of color, but people that are feeling anxious and nervous about the cultural shifts in America. Despite all of their selfish anxieties, the true and inescapable reality, which a lot of them who voted for Donald Trump were/are afraid of, is that in the year 2030 our great country will be more diverse and multi-cultural—according to current projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. And in addition to that, Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist has noticed that demographically, our country is “only going to get gayer, blacker, browner, more Asian;” and that women of all ethnic backgrounds are going to break all barriers that ought to be broken. In his view, no amount of hate or indifference can stop what is soon to be inevitable. Therefore, the question becomes; how much change can straight white men and white people handle, he wondered?

Although Jose Antonio Vargas posed a great question for all of us who aren’t benefiting from white privilege and aren’t a part of the white-male stereotype to think about, I disagree with what he is trying to insinuate; i.e. white men or white people are the enemies of change. And it’s not that at all. What is the problem, however, is that it seems like some of us were taught as a child to love, respect, and appreciate the differences in other people, while the rest of us missed out on those important and fundamental lessons. So you see, it is not a group of people that are at fault here, but rather, the apocryphal stories of hate, intolerance, and superiority that they were brought up with as a child.

So in view of this, the real question then becomes; can we, who were taught to love, respect, and etc, re-teach those who missed such fundamental lessons? And the good news is, yes we can! And not only can we do that, but we must—-because the projections of our society is depending on us to do so. Now, if you’re like me and your wondering; where do we go from here?…..my response would be that we go out and show those people who weren’t properly taught how to love and respect; some f*cking love and respect! And while we’re at it, show them that we will not tolerate bigotry, misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, anti-immigrant rhetoric, etc, etc, etc.

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The Addiction to Celebrity Culture

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One of my biggest pet peeves is when I am reading a news site and I pass by an article that discusses a celeb beef, a new celeb relationship, or announcing what a celeb wore or how hot their abs are. It drives me crazy, and definitely not in a good way. In fact, it makes me feel worried for the state of things once again. I believe it is mentally unhealthy to put so much stock in celebrities; let me tell you why.

The only reason people pay any attention to the celebrities and their lives is because they are famous for being on TV, for their music, or whatever else puts these people in the “public eye”. People become obsessed with celebrities, simply because other people have become obsessed with them. I mean, would Justin Bieber be as popular if he didn’t start off marketing to teenage girls just hitting puberty? Probably not, and Justin and his PR team knew that. That’s why they started marketing his own line of women’s perfume in the beginning of his career. What exactly does Justin Bieber know about women’s perfume? Does that sound remotely mentally sound? It isn’t, and nor should it.

Also, people get addicted to celebrity culture because they are thirsty. Yes that’s right, T-H-I-R-S-T-Y. So thirsty, they look like they are really worried about re-populating the planet after 3/4 of the population has died, as opposed to just having a sexual attraction to a person. This aspect of celeb addiction, I find uniquely sad. If a person can’t realize how easily manipulated people are becoming when they are shown a “pretty” (I use quotations to signify the reality that most celebs’ physical appearance is manufactured) face in order to buy something, see a movie, or to endorse a politician *hint hint*, then that person needs to wake up to the reality of what celeb culture is actually about. It is a tool of manipulation, no more, no less. Can you think of another point as to the existence of it?

Celeb culture sets up impossible standards as the reality of what humans should aspire to, even though the celebrities themselves can’t live up to it either. One example is this whole idea of being America’s darling, of being the apple of everyone’s eye and the kind of person that makes the world swoon every time they take a breath; their name is always on someone’s lips. First off, it is annoying when pop culture find a new person to obsess about and spam them to the world. Every other headline is about them and everything they are doing because people just need to know that this person exists *eye-roll*, even if they are a total ass, or even crazy.

Even though, I like Hunger Games and the X-Men franchise, I will use Jennifer Lawrence as an example. When she first gained popularity, people wouldn’t shut up about her. It was, “Jennifer Lawrence this, and JLaw that”, “she’s the new IT girl”. Whatever that means. In a nutshell, she was the bee’s knees in Hollywood for awhile. However, when she was telling off a reporter in a manner that rubbed EVERYONE the wrong way for asking her about the Oscars when he meant to say Golden Globes, and for taking photos at the same time. It just came off mean instead of her being funny like she tried to make it sound, and everyone laughed along with her. It wasn’t funny though. It was a-hole-like. That is another problem with celeb culture. Because they are celebrities, they get to act like how they want and treat people however they want, simply because they are famous and “universally loved”. 

When are people going to realize that celebrity culture is extremely damaging? When their young daughters start taking skip days to go get botox or cosmetic surgery to “appear more sexy” instead of sneaking off to go to a movie? A guy who spent over $100,000 to look like Justin Bieber died from cosmetic surgery. Or how about when people are starting twitter fights with other people over a celeb’s personal problems and they start saying some truly messed up things. That is an every day occurrence. I think it is going to be a big wake-up call for people when they start to understand that what happens in celebrities’ lives really shouldn’t matter to them. It is pointless, damaging to their psyche, and it is somewhat sad. It’s not to say that you can’t be a fan of a celebrity’s work. Just don’t sell your soul to them, just because some celebrities have sold their souls to the Hollywood machine.

 

Getting Drunk Is A Waste Of Time

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Getting drunk is a waste of time and money. As an illustration, picture yourself at a bar by yourself and because there’s nothing for you to do, you start talking to people. But, after a while of this, you then realize how pathetic it is to talk to people who are also wasting their time by getting drunk and spending their money, inappropriately.
 While still at the bar, you think to yourself, “maybe being home, alone, is what I was looking for?”
Nonetheless, rather than recusing yourself, you force yourself to continue the process of talking—hoping some kind of happiness would come out of it. But, sadly, that pathetic feeling from before creeps in again, and this time, you realize what a joke the whole bar-experience has been, that, you walk away finally removing yourself from the equation. “Those people at the bar are so afraid of being alone, that instead of doing that, they wallow and rub elbows with other people who are just like them,” you thought.
 Now your back home, with only time as your companion, regretting the whole bar-experience and idiosyncrasies of that particular night. Something about being back home and accepting your own solace is  comforting, so you kick back and relax a while. At last, and although your back to square one, all those emotionalisms from when you were at the bar, collapse and you raise your solo glass, and say, “cheers to bad choices.”