Born in the Wrong Era

I often wonder if I’ve been born in the wrong era. Minding the politics and controversy in the older years, I fantasize over the fashion, music, and culture.

The clothes in the nineties, with the bright colored windbreakers, mom jeans, and Converse make me so happy.

In the fifties and sixties, the music was roaring, with soft tones and voices being interluded into the songs.

 

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

 

Many people were so much happier in this time and lived their life without restraints. They were carefree, and went with the flow of everyone else.

Nowadays, life is more constricted with people being obsessed with technology and social media, and not finding the fun in life like people used to.

Social media has taken over the world, and don’t get me wrong, I’m still an addict with it , but if it wasn’t in the world, I wouldn’t care. I’d probably be a lot happier.

Though many people tend to argue, times were in some ways simpler in those days, and I wonder if that is why we keep trying to copy it.

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Summer feels

I can’t wait for this summer. You know, in the past, people have always told me that junior year is gonna be harder than all the other years. But I had no idea that they were actually right about that!

I’m mentally and now even physically so exhausted that I don’t want to do anything but sleep. But guess what! I can’t!

That’s why I can’t wait for summer. I can actually sleep then. I won’t have anything to do but read, ride horses, go for runs with my dog, probably study for the SAT, go to my summer journalism program, and travel. I’m so excited to travel!

via static.tumblr.com

 

In the US everything seems to be so far apart. If you go on a two hour train ride here, you get to another city in the state. But if I go on a two hour train ride from my hometown, I end up in another country. I can’t wait to go to Paris, to Amsterdam, Berlin, to Greece.

I also really can’t wait to ride my horse again. I am so glad that I get to ride at my school here, I am so thankful for that, but it’s so different from my barn at home. I can go there whenever I want, I can stay there as long as I want, go on trail rides through the fields and forests, and I can actually get lessons. So, obviously, I can’t wait.

Of course I’ll miss all my friends here, as always. I’ll miss the amazing weather in California, and the amazing avocados and oranges, that simply don’t taste the same in Germany. But I can’t even tell you just how excited I am for this summer!

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Refuse

Photo credit: zmescience.com

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

The three words we have all (hopefully) heard since our early childhoods. Anytime you go to throw something away, they spin in a constant loop in your mind reminding you what to do with plastic and waste.

Unfortunately, these words have lost their meaning. I like to think that we are starting to become more environmentally aware, but the truth is that not much is changing; or at least, change isn’t happening quickly enough.

Here’s the thing: while we might all be aware of our incredible impact on the environment, we’re not actually doing anything about it.

After watching a TEDx Talk about this subject, I learned some frightening facts.

  • It is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish.
  • For many manufacturers in the world, the United States especially, it is less expensive to use new plastic to produce items than it is to use recycled plastic. In 2012, only 9 percent of post-consumer plastic was recycled. The remaining plastic was discarded.
  • “Without a profitable market in which to sell used plastic, many recyclers export it, in a process known as outsourcing waste. In 2011, America’s primary export to China was used plastic.”
  • Plastic does not biodegrade. Over time, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces called micro-plastic. These microscopic pieces of plastic are eaten by organisms, which are then eaten by tiny fish, which then are eaten by bigger fish, and so on. Eventually, the plastics that have been eaten by marine life will work their way up the food chain to humans. Even though we might not be physically eating it, the chemicals from plastic have been shown to be linked to obesity and cancer.

While it might not be our fault that the oceans are filling up with plastic, it is our responsibility as human beings to resolve this problem.

Photo credit: plasticsoupnews.blogspot.com

Oftentimes we are desensitized to the harsh reality of just how damaged the planet is becoming. Sure, we know that we’re not treating the environment as well as we could be, but maybe we think that it won’t really become a problem until we’re not around anymore. Maybe that’s right, maybe we won’t start seeing the real effects until our generation is long gone.

But if we don’t correct past mistakes, there will come a time when there is no land on Earth that is untouched by plastic. There will come a time when there is no more fresh water available, or when it is impossible to stay outside for longer than three minutes without being sunburned due to the ozone layer dissolving. There will come a time when our planet’s resources have all been used up so that it will no longer be able to sustain human life.

Photo credit: Ticotimes.net

So we have to start now. There are so many simple things that we can implement in our daily lives that can contribute to bettering the environment. The next time you get a drink at a restaurant, don’t take a plastic lid and spoon. Pack your lunch in a bandana or reusable containers instead of in a paper or plastic bag. Do everything in your power to end single-use and stop using unnecessary plastics.

Simply put, we need to stop teaching our children the words “reduce, reuse, recycle,” because they just aren’t working anymore.

We need only teach them one word: Refuse.

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Icarus

Don’t get too close to the sun, for you will fall

Don’t get to close to the water, for you will drown

Instead stay on the ground, just safe and sound.

So he did.

Day by day, he’d waste his life away

Blinded by the sun

Immersed into the waves that crashed against the shores

Don’t get too close to the sun, for you can’t fly

Don’t get too close to the water, for you can’t swim

Instead stay on the ground, where you might win

So he stayed.

He stayed on the ground, safe from the wind.

And life dreaded on

And one day he looked around while everything was safe and sound

He started to drown

Not in the shallow waters

He drowned inside himself, drowning in the pools of regret and sorrow

So he got up, and got out

And he flew far away, but he fell

He got too close to the sun, and he fell

He didn’t fly too close to the sun because he thought he could

He flew because he was told he couldn’t

Photo Credit: RaychulWhatsername Deviantart

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The Book Of Mormon

Over spring break, I had the opportunity to see The Book of Mormon live in New York City. To put it simply, the whole musical was pure genius. The whole show was hilarious, the choreography incredible, and the singing even more so.

However, despite how much I loved the show, I’m surprised that it’s even still on Broadway. I could easily say it’s one of the most controversial shows to exist, yet somehow, it’s not that controversial. In fact, according to some people I’ve talked to, Kinky Boots is more controversial simply because of the cross dressing, completely ignoring the fact that the Book of Mormon was offensive to just about every race, religion, and sexuality.

I could tell that the whole musical is basically satirical to the Mormon Religion, but in the progressive society we live in, I’m still trying to ponder how the Book of Mormon has not been shut down by Twitter and Instagram activists alike. Either people don’t watch Broadway shows enough, or it isn’t seen as a problem, even though one Tweet intended to be a joke could be interpreted wrong and ruin someone’s life.

Now, I’m going to dive into an overly, probably unnecessary, analysis of the whole musical and the music included.

For those who haven’t seen the musical yet, it follows the story of two young Mormons who travel to Uganda to convert the people there to the Mormon religion. The musical basically mocks the Mormon religion, but also uses offensive stereotypes of other races and sexualities to get their point across.

This whole analysis isn’t me criticizing the musical. In fact, it was probably one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen besides Hamilton or Aladdin, but I’m just genuinely trying to figure out how this musical hasn’t caused more controversy.

But then I realized the answer, and it’s because the entirety of the show is mocking the extremities of the Mormon faith and being entirely satirical of it. Maybe everyone who’s seen it and every critic who’s analyzed it has realized that that is the whole purpose of the show, and everyone who buys a ticket is ready to either be offended or be entertained on a whole new level.

First, let’s talk about the song “Hasa Diga Eebowa,” a song the citizens of Uganda sing when the two Mormons travel to the town for the first time.

To translate just the song title, it’s saying “F**K You God,” and that alone should’ve caused uproar to some of the people watching it, however it ended up just causing the whole audience to burst into laughter.

But the reason is that there were these people in Uganda suffering from hunger, a corrupt government, and many other issues (not to forget all the stereotypes of third world countries in Africa they mentioned), and there were these two guys trying to sugarcoat their troubles and convert them to their religion. That was saying that all their problems would go away if they followed the word of the book. Maybe that’s a flaw of all religions alike, that problems won’t just go away with a little bit of optimism. The song was criticizing that idea, but in a way that made it capturing and hilarious.

Photo Credit: popejoypresents.com

 

Next song, is “Turn It Off” which was basically a song about a little trick they had to turn off their emotions or “bad” thoughts, one of these, including homosexuality. Now that’s homophobic isn’t it? Was that the intention of the writers, or was it, yet again, being satirical about the faith? Were they criticizing the fact that the religion that preached to be good, was being bad to people who didn’t fit their standards? They weren’t necessarily being homophobic, but they were using examples of homophobia to shine light on the issues that came with the faith.

Next, was “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” which was my favorite song in the whole show. Basically, Elder Price broke rule seventy-two and was now having a nightmare where he was sent into Hell for eternity. There’s the fact that he was in Hell with Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Jeffrey Dahmer, but he thought he was the most evil of them all. Now, that’s being critical of the ridiculous expectations of Mormons and rules they have to follow. The fact that one little bad act was sinful, and left them believing that they were sinful at the same level as some of the most evil people in history, that’s ridiculous. Now, this example in the show is definitely hyperbole, but it’s still a real problem addressed even if it’s to a much lesser extreme.

Those are just a few examples, but how is this show that’s so insulting still so widely accepted as only comical?

Maybe it’s because it’s so hilarious that people don’t really care, or maybe it’s the fact that it’s a musical meant to be mocking and not actually real life, but isn’t the point of the show to mock the actualities of the religion’s extremities?

I don’t know the definite answer, I’m still trying to figure it out, but for now I’ll keep listening to the songs and continue to analyze this show one too many times.

 

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Greek Tragedy (pt. III)

Read pt. I here and pt. II here. — (music)

Spring.

The light filtering into the kitchen was the type of gray-white light that made her glow like a goddess. She was fastidiously picking through a bowl of cereal for the fruit, too focused to really care about the food. He came and placed a hand on her shoulder, stilling her arm, he tiptoed his fingers across her collarbone to her other shoulder and pulled her in, his bicep laying gently across the top of her t-shirt, his hand idly playing with the hem of her sleeve.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

It was still chilly outside and he could see a mist drifting by the window, the grass looked like blades of pure emerald. Rich and dark, sharp in comparison to the fogged and blurred weather. He glanced down into the grass under the window, he could just see the tale of a garden snake, he had begun to think of it as his pet this last month, disappearing into the grass. He tapped her twice on the arm.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m just trying to find the right words,” she hummed.

∆∆∆

As the weather had warmed she had grown colder and colder. The spread of tingling embers that always started in her ribs and shoulders, that radiated out when he was near her, faded into cool pinpricks, like rain or snow. The clock had ticked out the final seconds: tick, mine; tock, mine; tick, mi– and then it was gone, the ticking of the clock was gone. They were no longer tied together, something no longer felt right.

So she found a way to say goodbye.

∆∆∆

He knew he shouldn’t. But he did.

Stop.

He couldn’t help it. He had to look at her one last time, to look back on her like he always had, if only he could have walked the road in time, he could have let the music of what tied them together play as a reminder that she was there, she was real, she was his. But he had to stop — look.

Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

Today she was in white — she never wore white — mourning. She was frozen mid-stride, a raindrop stopped just upon impact with her nose. He reached out and hugged her fiercely, angrily. Wildfire’s searing nails dragged down every nerve in his body. If only he hadn’t looked. If only — he stared at her eyes: cool, unwavering, timeless. He bent down to her —

Start.

He was back in the doorway his back to her, turning away. He tried to spin back, feeling like reality had finally slowed to meet him. He turned just in time to watch helplessly as she slipped away, pulled by an unseen force.

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AP madness

Today my mom asked me if I have been feeling stressed lately, because I apparently looked a little tired. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, I am so stressed. Ugh.

Since the beginning of the school year, most of my classes have been leading up to these two weeks: the AP weeks. So, naturally, I’ve put a bunch of pressure on myself for doing well, or at least pass my exams for God’s sake.

lol…    via theodysseyonline.com

If my grade depended on them, I’d probably not care as much, ironically. If they counted towards my grade, I could at least try to do well for the rest of the year to make up for it. But if I do badly on my APs, there is literally nothing I can do about it. So no pressure!

It’s not like doing well on those exams could determine whether or not my dream college finds me worthy of being admitted. It’s not like passing them could mean I wouldn’t have to take a bunch of classes in college, which could possibly save a ton of money AND nerves. No pressure at all!

Well, at least there are about 180,000 other students living this nightmare with me, and at least I still have time to watch The Great British Baking Show now and then, and at least I now have an excuse to wear sweatpants to school. This all is definitely a struggle, but it could be worse.

(That still doesn’t mean I’m not stressed though…)

 

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