Back To The Drawing Board

I recently came into a lot of free time, which is a nice way of saying I got canned. The good news is, I have money in the bank (which is a phrase that makes me think of bad hip hop), The bad news is I have to start this whole begging for work thing over again.

So I’ll be standing on my corner of the internet (no, not for that, get your mind out of the gutter), like an old-timey newsboy, waving my resume to anyone who will read it, knowing most will take it and toss it in the garbage. But  have to keep optimistic about this whole thing, or then I’ll give away how unhappy I am at interviews and they’ll have yet another reason not to hire me, right along with “Too young”, “Too inexperienced”, “Too reserved”, and “Not what we’re looking for”. But, according to recent news, Millennials such as myself are doing a little better in the job market, so I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed.

I’ll also have to find a way not to take rejection so personally, even if, in it’s very nature, rejection is very, very personal. Nope, I’ll just have to grit my teeth, say “Thank, you for your consideration.” and hope the next thing pans out. And people wonder why I’m stressed.

Apparently, this is what your early twenties are supposed to be like. And I’m finding that, as I rapidly approach birthday number 24 still living at home and essentially leeching off my parents, I’m wishing more and more that this is just a movie and I can fast forward to the most successful part of my life. Yep that’s me, a (semi) grown woman, hoping to wake up one day with the career of my dreams, a thriving social life, and an ever expanding bank account.

But then I realize that usually, even in movies, most successful people have probably been in my position, unhappy with their current situation, wishing for simpler times, and not really seeing a way out of that mentality. But eventually, it gets better, through some combination of hard work and luck, things change. And you reach that point where you think “I did it, I’ve succeeded in being an adult”.

That is the feeling I’m working toward, that’s what keeps an optimistic view in my peripheral vision even if all I see in front of me is bitterness, it keeps me getting up in the morning and keeps me going through the day. And if I lose sight of that goal, I don’t know who I’d be.

Mutual Acceptance

I’ve talked about the hypocrisy of the LGBT community before, but there’s so much more to say, it would probably cover many more posts so here I go again.

And yes again I consider myself an activist for this community, having volunteered for my local pride festival twice (and planning a third time), often publicly speaking out when I see intolerance. But at the same time, this community, like any other, is not without its faults.

First, I’ll talk about the problem with the concept of “tolerance” as opposed to “acceptance” as the aim for many LGBT organizations. Of course, 100% acceptance of any cause is highly unlikely, but it’s a better thing to aim for than tolerance. You tolerate a small child kicking your seat on an airplane, or a hair in your soup, but neither one of those things is a positive experience. Tolerance implies something inherently negative, and I believe that we should instead aim for acceptance.

Which brings me to my real topic. Someone wanting acceptance, or even tolerance, from others should pay the same respect for people who they don’t agree with. There is an inherent disrespect in the LGBT community toward Christianity. This is understandable, considering the stance that some Christians hold toward homosexuality. But this is a stance not taken by all Christians. And in fact, there are several Christian organizations that accept and welcome gay members of the church, and even gay pastors.

But still, mentions of Christianity in LGBT circles is met with at best, a roll of the eyes, and, at worst, outright contempt.

This is the worst hypocrisy I’ve seen from the LGBT community. Tolerance goes both ways (pun intended) and yes, even most Christians cannot stand the Westboro Baptist Church.

So, I you’re looking for someone to disrespect, choose the WBC. They’ll get the same level of respect they give everyone else, none. And when you see a church-run booth at your next pride festival, keep an open mind, thy go in knowing the level of disrespect that could come their way, and that takes an incredible amount o bravery.

Funny Women

This is a late/early post for me, but what the hell.

Recently, while watching an episode of Young and Hungry (which is a pleasant surprise), My brother said this:

“I think women are finally starting to get comedy.”

This reminded me of the stance that he and many men have on female comedians (not Comedienne, this word makes me sick). And that is that women aren’t funny.

The most common “argument” for this attitude is that most female comedians only talk about three things; their period, their relationships, and their vaginas. Of course this doesn’t hold much water when you point out the men frequently talk about the equivalent male subjects; Their penises, their (usually terrible) wives, and their (usually nonexistent) sex lives.

So what makes men inherently “funnier” than women?

The fact that they aren’t women.

In fact, the most successful female comedians I can think of are famous because their act isn’t stereotypically feminine, but instead stereotypically masculine.

They focus on crude humor, swear incessantly and employ heavy use of shock humor.

I can count on one hand the amount of male comedians who don’t use the above tactics, and. like their female counterparts, they’re not nearly as successful.

But why?

Is there something about masculinity that’s “funnier” than femininity? Is being male more relatable than being female?

The short answer is yes.

From an early age, we are so inundated with stores from a male point of view that it’s genuinely shocking to find a story that is female-driven. And when we do see them, we see them as of lower quality because that’s how we’ve been taught. Women aren’t seen and heard on film, unless they’re backed by, or talking about, a man.

Until recent years, an action film with a female star, who could hold her own, was nigh unheard of. And female-driven comedies were all of the romantic kind. Now, with the recent addition of films like Salt and Bridesmaids, this is quickly changing. We have characters like Black Widow fighting alongside men. And comedians like Ellie Kemper getting national attention. 

In other words, Hollywood is starting to get that women can be funny.

Now, if only they could recognize more women of color…

 

 

When Did Supernatural Become a Four Letter Word?

I’ve noticed a trend in horror films in the last few years, and that trend is science. By this I mean they use science to talk to ghosts and/or demons, to summon ghosts and/or demons, or both.

I have no real problem with this, there’s nothing wrong with an EVP recorder in a haunted house film, or a few. But these instruments have appeared in nearly every haunted house film in recent years. To name a few, there’s Insidious, The Conjuring, The Innkeepers, and The Apparition. That seems like too many to me, which brings me to my point.

what’s wrong with supernatural or paranormal explanations in films?

You could argue that ghosts and demons aren’t real (which I find debatable, but that’s not the point), but movies aren’t real life, that’s why we watch them. So what’s wrong with something that’s not real being in a movie that isn’t that realistic in the first place? Why can’t the ghost have been summoned by an overzealous teenager just getting into ritualistic magic? Why can’t vampires be there because of magic? Why do zombies need to be formed by a mutated rabies strain? It’s getting exhausting to see all this science where magic should be.

So I say embrace the magic. Hold a seance to contact your dead grandmother, kill that werewolf with a silver bullet, and banish that demon with white magic. Just make it believable, and make it scary. Because that’s the only thing Horror needs to be.

Writing 101 Day Seventeen: No one, Nothing, Small

When I was younger, I always felt like I could blend into the the background. I’d walk past people I didn’t even know and “know” what they were thinking. Those thought always boiled down to this; “You are no one, you are nothing, you are small.”.

I’ve grown to be much more self-aware, and less self-effacing since then. But every once in a while, those thoughts come back to me. My greatest fear is that those thoughts are all true, that everything I want, I can’t have. Sometimes I find myself withdrawing from the outside world, avoiding people because I think it will make those thoughts go away, but it never does. All it does, really, is make those thoughts come out, full force.

Not having the noise of other people, of music, or traffic, brings me back to those three thoughts. “You are no one, you are nothing, you are small.”

To tell the truth, I am small.

I stand at a whopping five foot one and a half. But my voice is not small. I’ve spoken up when no one else had the guts to do it. I’ve spoken out against what I believe to be injustices, and I’ve stood in front of a microphone on shaking legs and spoken to one of my idols (on tiptoe of course). If you give me an issue I’ll speak, and sometimes I don’t stop.

I may be no one to most people, but I know I’m someone to at least four, and that’s enough for me. I have family, and I have friends, and they all see me as someone. Someone to talk to, someone to laugh with, to argue with, to love. And I’m someone to those who hate me as well.

I most certainly am not nothing

If I was nothing, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I wouldn’t be making a fool of myself for the whole world to see. And I certainly wouldn’t care enough to fear being nothing. I am a writer, I am a baker, and I am an aunt, it says so right on my profile, right under my picture.

But, despite my best efforts, my fear of being nothing, no one, and small keeps me from being the best person I can be. Fear has a funny way of doing things we would never want it to do. It can make us turn away from opportunities that could change our lives for the better; it makes us stop in our tracks and second guess what we’ve done before. But fear is something we can overcome. I’m living proof of that.

Two years ago this little blog of mine didn’t exist. It was still a seed in my head, growth stunted by fear. But now I’m sitting in front of my keyboard, baring my insecurities for something that not many people will read. But not many people is better than no one. A blog is better than nothing. and the internet is anything but small.

 

Being an aunt is the best birth control

 

Yes I’m gonna talk about kids. Mostly about how I’m not gonna have kids until I’m at least thirty. Why? Because I’m an aunt. I have to beautiful nieces and an adorable nephew whom I adore, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve put me off even entertaining the idea of having kids for a long time.

How? Well obviously you’ve never met any small children.

First, there’s the small detail of how for the first couple years of their lives (give or take a year), they poop in their pants. And guess who the responsibility of cleaning that up falls to when their parents aren’t around? Yep, their auntie and uncle. I’ve seen enough poop (in every color of the rainbow, mind you) to last three lifetimes.

Then there’s the fact that kids do not shut up. Again, I love my brother’s children dearly, but I find myself dreaming of a place I can go to that is just silence. I hated screaming children even when I was a screaming child myself, and adding 20 years to my life has only made that hatred more pronounced. Little high pitched peals of laughter aren’t much better either.

Another detail I’ve yet to mention is that their parents yell as much as they do. It doesn’t matter who their yelling at and why either. They yell at their oldest for smearing peanut butter on the walls, they’ll yell at the middle child for copying her sister’s peanut butter art, and they’ll at the youngest because he just figured out how to get out of his high chair (and he’s so proud he won’t stop showing them).  They’ll yell at each other for various reasons, mostly about the kids. But still, they yell.

Of course there’s the good as well. The parts of the kids that make me want to have some of my own. There’s the way they say good morning to me no matter how late in the day I come out of my room. There’s them asking me to play a game with them, and how happy they are when I say yes. There’s how much I’m learning from them, and how much they’re learning from me. And the most important one of all, that my middle niece is like my twin, she even has my eyebrows.

So yes I’m planning on having children of my own someday, I love children, and they respond well to me. But that “Someday” is years from now.

 

Feminism and men’s rights

 

I recently read an article which contained only one paragraph about feminism, yes only one. I’m not criticizing the article for that fact, because it wasn’t about feminists, but you wouldn’t know that from reading the comment section.

Yes, I know the old saying (well as old as it can be in this internet age) “Don’t read the comments” But on this particular website I always read the comments. Mostly because a lot of them, if not most, can be rather intelligent and funny. Of course if that was the case for this particular article, I wouldn’t be typing this right now.

Most of the comments were from angry MRAs (Men’s rights Activists). Now I  fully agree with a lot of the issues these men bring up. Mainly the way the family court system gives a lot of loving and good fathers the short end of the stick when it comes to custody. But this particular argument was about rape.

Rape, needless to say, is a very touchy subject. Men and women are both victims of rape, this is a fact I cannot deny. But I also cannot deny the fact that women are taught to actively avoid rape.

As a young teen, I sat in my middle school gym with my other female classmates, and we were taught ways to avoid rape. We were told to always travel in groups, to wear clothes that were harder to remove by force, and to not kick a man in the crotch (this would only anger him) but to go for the eyes. I think it’s safe to say that the boys were not taught this information. But they also aren’t taught healthy attitudes about sex.

In our society we teach men that sex is a prize to be won. That it’s something you can get out of a woman if you are nice enough to her or give her enough things. As a man, if you’re not having sex, you’re losing. What about that makes people think that men won’t use sex as a power play, or that some of them, if self deluded enough, won’t go after it at all costs?

How is putting sex on a pedestal for men any different than making it something to fear for women?

We teach our boys that no means no, while at the same time telling girls that being assertive isn’t “ladylike”. We teach men that skirts and dresses mean “easy access”, and encourage women to wear them, then scold those same women for wearing “skimpy” clothes after they are raped. We imply that all men think about is sex, and that they can’t control themselves around a skirt and a pair of long legs.

If you deny that this is true, then you didn’t grow up in the same society I did.

Because I grew up in a society which thinks that women are something to be objectified while simultaneously scolding women who are sexually open. A society which paints men with bulging muscles as the ideal, and covers its mouth in shock when athletes are discovered using steroids.

Yes there are “Faminazis” and misogynists out there. but yelling at them and not taking action doesn’t solve the problems that created them in the first place. It’s treating the symptom and not the disease. We need to address the problems themselves.

And yes, we need to prepare for the consequences, because the people who are deluded into believing that sexism isn’t a problem for both sexes and want the world to stay as it is will fight back. These people don’t want change, because they directly benefit from everything staying the same. The only way for anyone to change the world is to realize that sometimes, they want the same thing that their “opponents” do. They’re just not listening.

 

Just venting (sorry)

I feel like I have to write this. like if I don’t, I’ll just feel even lower than I already do,which, to be honest, is pretty damn low.

I’m 22 years old, I live with my parents, and I’ve never had a job. All of these things combined make me feel like a massive failure. The worst part is, everything I read about “Millennials” confirms this fear. I’ve spoke before about how we’re considered the useless generation, how our parents hate us for having such a low percentage of ourselves in the workforce. But we’ve also lived through a massive economical crisis. A crisis that, in my opinion, is taking too damn long to get better.

The media doesn’t help either. Movies ad television depict kids straight out of college, or even high school, as having full time jobs. In film world, all 20-somethings live on their own, have good jobs, and it’s been that way for a while. Meanwhile, in the real world, more and more people past the age of 20 are living at home. Including myself.

Sure, they say it’s getting better, but I’m not seeing those results. I’m still sitting here, at my parents’ house, writing for a very small readership (but seriously I love you guys, thanks for putting up with my shit). I’ve been looking for work for four years, with practically no results. I’m getting interviews, but they’re so few and far between that I still suck at them. I’ve developed serious anxiety which affects me every day, and I find myself on the brink of tears, for no real reason, on a regular basis.

I know, I’ll probably get a job eventually. But that’s the problem, eventually is not now. Eventually is not where I am at the moment, and I feel myself getting further and further from it with each fleeting second. I feel like a dog on a treadmill, chasing a juicy T-bone tied to the front that I’ll never really catch.

And that’s the problem. I hate not having something to do. I hate being alone with just my thoughts and my anxiety. They are the things that tell me I’ll never get what I want, the things that tell me to just give up; and one of these days, I’m afraid I’m going to listen.

 

 

In response to “First world problems”

There has been a particular trend going around on the internet that I despise, and that trend is “First World Problems”. This is run on the idea that people in places like Great Britain and the United States do not have “real” problems. I have to agree that a broken cell phone in no way compares to drought and starvation, but that’s not the idea behind this trend. The idea is to belittle people for their very real problems, and I can’t support that.

I said before that a broken cell phone does not compare to starvation. But a broken cell phone is a genuine problem. it’s not any less real because your not starving, and the complaint is not any less valid. The people who debate on the validity of these problems are hypocrites.

When something of yours is broken, or something has gotten in the way of your plans, what is your first reaction? is it “At least I’m not starving.” or is it “I hate my life.”? It’s more likely that it is the latter. And why is that? its because we get comfortable with our lifestyles, no matter what that is; and when there is a perceived threat to our comfort we react negatively. We lash out, and that is normal, we’re only human. everyone has the right to complain about their problems. No one has a monopoly over what is an “appropriate” problem valid of complaint.

“First World Problems” is just another way of justifying guilt.

Why does the internet hate “Man of Steel”?

Man of Steel came out nearly a year ago. I’d like to remind everyone of that before you pile hate on me. Warning: Major spoilers ahead.

Now, to the point, I saw this film on opening day, in 3D, what’s my verdict?

I loved it.

In my opinion, Man of Steel was the best superman film since Superman II. Why? For the first time, I felt like he was a relatable character. He felt like someone who had been ostracized by his peers his entire life, like he couldn’t relate to to any of the people around him. And that’s exactly the way he should feel.

Superman is an alien (sorry for the spoilers), so he should feel alien. He shouldn’t be instantly accepted by society as a hero, because that just wouldn’t happen. If you saw a news story about a super-strong man with X-Ray vision, flying around your city in blue underwear and a red cape, you wouldn’t be excited about it. No one would be excited about it, especially not if someone demanded his head in exchange for the safety of your planet.

But I’m getting slightly off topic. I came out of Man of Steel being pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. imagine my surprise when the first review I read tore the film a new asshole (for lack of a better phrase).  Most of the complaints came from the different interpretation of a few main characters, like Superman and Jonathan Kent, but mostly Pa Kent.

Jonathan Kent, in the comics and many (many) adaptations. Served as a voice of reason for Clark. He fit this role in Man of Steel as well, but more as a father who wasn’t sure how to raise a son so radically different from himself. I liked this interpretation because he didn’t sound like a platitude spewing robot, like in many adaptions in the past. A perfect example is when Clark, as a child, saves his classmates fro drowning in a schoolbus using his super strength. Kent confronts his son, telling him its something he shouldn’t have done, but quickly backpedals when Clark asks him if the kids should have died. This is a major scene in the film, and one that is disliked by most critics. But, really, what is he supposed to say: “Good job on potentially blowing the cover you’ve maintained for your safety, Clark!”?

I don’t think so. Instead, he tells Clark that maybe it was the right decision to save his classmates, but he’s also exposed himself as different, more different than his classmates already thought he was. This makes his decision later in the film, at his death, well within his character. He knows the world isn’t ready for Superman, and he’s right. The first thing the military does to Clark is put him in handcuffs.

The second thing that is most criticized about the film is Clark killing Zod. We’re talking about a man who held an entire planet hostage in the pursuit of one man. Zod was planning on turning earth into Krypton on top of the corpses of his human victims. This is a man who made it clear that if Earth wasn’t going, he was.  Clark actually actively avoided  killing Zod for most of the film. it wasn’t until he was faced with an ultimatum that he finally resorted to killing the only remainder of his entire species. Critics act like this is an out of character decision for Clark, claiming that Superman doesn’t kill. But he most certainly does. Superman killed Zod at least three times in the comics. But again, not the point.

Man of Steel introduces us to Superman essentially before he was Superman, and thus with none of the preexisting “rules” that Superman comes with. The action of killing Zod could be the catalyst for him swearing off the act of murder. It could be the formation of his no killing “rule”. Presenting us with a Superman this early in his superhero career will help to establish him as a more complete character. We could see him learn what it truly means to be a superhero, and see him become the “golden boy” that fans know him to be. It opens the door for growth and change in a previously dull as dishwater character.

To me, this is the film that finally made Superman interesting.

As for the level of destruction, it wasn’t Clark, not all of it anyway. Most of the destruction is a direct consequence of Zod’s actions, either from the terraforming machine, or him literally slamming Clark into buildings, it was all Zod. But that’s a whole different rant entirely.

I totally agree with the critics about the “Romance” though. As much as I love Amy Adams, it was too early for Lois to be romantically involved with Clark.

And by the way, Superman Returns wasn’t that bad either.