Just some thoughts…

Lately there’s been a lot going on in the news and media dealing with the three social issues that I like to think of as the most important social issues to grace the last century and a half.  It’s not that these issues haven’t been around for a whole lot longer than that–they’ve been around since the beginning of social construction in civilization.  However, in the last 150 years, these issues have come to the surface and been tackled time and again in the rising time of modern, western, and industrial civilization.  You can probably guess the three issues I’m talking about: Race, Sexuality, and Gender Equality.  And though we’ve reached a time in history when it seems that people can live in free and peaceful harmony and equality, there is still so many things left to be said and addressed.  I worry profusely for those who think otherwise.  Articles like this one, from Fox News, makes it clear that there is still a long ways for the world to go before we really reach equality.

When we play this pointing fingers game, this blame-game, this “who’s right and who’s wrong?” game, I know the world’s vision of rights, equality, and justice is still skewed. After all, equality is not about turning the hate from the oppressor to the oppressed, or simply switching the roles of these two, or even considering one side the “oppressor” and one side the “oppressed”; rather, equality is about just that–seeing both sides as equal, both sides as the same, and not sides at all, but rather one.  We are all people; we are all of the same species.  Time and biology and heritage has told us and shown us that we have our individual differences, but these cannot be generalized, not on more than an individualistic scale; I am no more different from my brother, or any other man than I am from my mother or any other woman; biologically or otherwise.  I do not think that men are less than women, I do not hate them or think them less than me for being raised in the same paternalistic society that I was.  In fact, I believe that most men, like most people in general, are decently capable of reasoning through the social constructs of our culture, and any society really, when they take the time to do so, and really take into account all points of view, in accurate measure.  However, I also think that some women, just like some people in general, are just as capable of confusing the truth about equality with very well-spoken but woefully ill-directed opinions and observations about society.  There is sexism, and racism, and homophobia prevalent everywhere; it happens in large scale (like the Trayvon Martin case–whether or not either side let race involve their judgement seems to be debatable; however, with the media and the response of the masses, the issue of race is still an undeniably large one in our society), but more often than not it happens in the small scale, in the comments, and the jokes, and the side remarks, and the small judgments we make everyday.

And I just think, what’s wrong with all of us?  Why do we put up with all of the small stuff? The small stuff is what fuels the fire; the big stuff is just the consequences of that fire.  And at the same time, why do we spit out all that small stuff?

I’ve been watching a lot of The Office lately;  I know, you’re probably thinking “Oh, yeah, Michael Scott is pretty bad about all of that,” and while, yes, when Michael Scott opens his mouth, I hear a lot of shocking things that I would not be surprised to hear come out of the mouths of a lot of people, I was actually thinking more about how everyone in the office just kind of puts up with it, particularly Pam.

Don’t get me wrong, the reason I have grown to love the show so much is Pam and Jim’s love story, and I really admire Pam’s self-awareness, and her ability to go along with things and remain professional.  However, it disappoints me and kind of frustrates me that she puts up with so much blatant sexism.  She is clearly overtly sexualized by her male coworkers, and particularly by her boss, but I just can’t understand why she doesn’t stand up for herself.  Yes, she does not go along with their sexism–if they request something of her that makes her feel uncomfortable, she defiantly says, “no,” but most of the time she just sits there and takes it quietly.  Maybe she is just more mature than I am, but it frustrates me to no end how passive she is!  And I wonder, are most people this passive?  Is this why we just take the small stuff, and let it accumulate into the big, fiery disasters that are tragedies like the Trayvon Martin case?

Who knows, maybe I would be just as passive if I was subjected to the sexism, racism, and homophobia that occurs on a regular basis in the fictional Dundermifflin office. But I’d like to think otherwise, and I hope you do, too.

Yours truly,

tlc

Ten Reasons Why “The Goonies” is the Greatest Film Ever Made

I’m sorry, but before you read this post, you’re going to have to do the Truffle Shuffle. Do it.

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Do it.

Okay, now on to business.

Last night I spent a wonderful evening enjoying the company of friends and watching my favorite movie of all time, The Goonies. (which is also why I didn’t make my personal deadline of posting this on Friday)  And it got me thinking, why do I love this movie so much?  I mean, I obviously can spot movie gold when I see it, but can everyone else?  Why isn’t this movie everyone’s favorite?  Because it darn well should be.  So, to prove my point, I came up with ten really good reasons why The Goonies is the best film ever, no contest, no questions asked:

1. The soundtrack is epic.

Imagine a soundtrack chosen by Cyndi Lauper and full of bright and awesome ’80’s songs, and you have The Goonies soundtrack.  Not to mention, it was originally released on LP and cassette tape.  That’s pretty hipster.  But the real magic is in the movie score. Not only is the music full of that awesome ’80’s movie sound, but it complements the tone of the film and each scene in ways that most other films just don’t get.  And let’s just put it this way: the first time I watched the film, I was certain that John Williams had composed the score.  Kudos to you, Dave Grusin.

2.  PIRATES AND TREASURE.

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You can’t tell me you don’t love pirates and treasure.  I mean, Pirates of the Caribbean was a thing for how many years?

3.  The screenplay has teens and tweens pegged down to an art.

You can’t deny that those kids, and that dialogue was acting gold.  Come on, Brand and Andy trying to make-out every time they come within a two-foot radius of each other, despite the fact that they are lost underground, on the run from the Fratellis to save their own lives?  That’s such a teenager thing.  And Mikey, the cheerleader of the group, having such a ‘Disney innocence’ to the way he believes in the power of being a goonie.

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“It’s our time down here!” Adorbs.

4. Every character is fun.

You ever watch those movies where you just think, “There are too many people in this film.” James Bond movies are the ones that do it for me.  They just always have too many characters with zero personality, or the same character archetype constantly being reused. The Goonies is most definitely not that way.  You have loveable Chunk, who is the inevitable tag-along, constantly messing things up on accident, and being quite hilarious at it the same time.  And cute, funny Data, who brings humor and diversity to the group, as well as that typical ’80’s inventiveness that channels a sort-of Back-to-the-Future vibe (though the films came out in the same year). Then there’s Mouth and Stef, who bring all of the sarcasm and sass to the group.  And you can’t forget Sloth, the beloved, soft-hearted monster-man. No matter who it is, each character is genuine and brings more laughs to every situation.

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5. The Truffle Shuffle:

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Need I say more?

6. Josh Brolin is in it.

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7. Samwise Gamgee is in it.Image

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I know, it’s a little surprising to see how Mikey grew up, but it’s okay, because he helped save Middle-earth.

8. It’s possibly the most quotable movie, ever.

I mean, come on. Come oooonnnnnn.  <–Get it?

“Heeeeyyyy Yooouuuu Guuuuuyyyssss.”

“Booby traps. You mean, Booby traps?  Booby traps! That’s what I said!”

“First, you gotta do the truffle shuffle.”

“Andy! You Goonie!”

“Goonies never say die!”

“Down here, it’s our time. It’s our time down here!”

“Baby? Baby? Ruth!  Baby?”

“Sloth love Chunk!”

“Look at all the Rich Stuff!”

Should I go on?

9. The bad guys are awesome.

You know why I always love Home Alone and Home Alone 2 so much as a child? Because the bad guys were stupidly funny, but they put up with a lot. The Fratellis are like that too, only a little less stupid. Plus, they got spunk. And Francis has a toupee.

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“I don’t wear a hair piece!”

10. It’s a memorable homage to childhood.

Finally, the top reason The Goonies is just too awesome not to be the greatest film ever made is that the film is a celebration of everything that is great about being a kid.  In a very reality-based, modern take on Peter Pan, the film is about adventure, imagination, friendship, and never really having to grow-up.  Made with kids, for kids (it’s PG13, so maybe not little kids) and especially kids at heart, The Goonies is that little bit of childhood dreaming that you never really give up or want to forget.  Remember that end scene when the pirate ship sails away? Chills. Or how about Mikey’s speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NEKzLiXfuc

So great.

So there you have it, ten reasons why The Goonies is the greatest film ever made, my favorite movie, and why it should be yours, too.  If you still disagree, then you must not have ever seen the movie, and you are sorely missing out.  Go watch it. Right now.

Yours truly,

tlc

Short and Sweet–the 4th of July

Okay, I’m on a bit of time crunch this week to make my self-inflicted deadline (my fault).  So I am going to keep this post simple and to the point: My thoughts on the 4th of July.

I know it’s the 5th of July, so this post is already a bit late, but seeing as it is still the season of summer and celebrating patriotism, I still think it’s appropriate.  I actually had a lot of fun this year–since I am staying with my siblings over the summer holiday, I spent both the 3rd and the 4th celebrating with a group of my sibling’s friends, watching fireworks from a chair nestled near a fire pit, roasting–or rather, burning–marshmallows and making s’mores.  Yum. But still, I got to thinking, why do we, as a country, celebrate the 4th of July the way we do?  Making colorful explosions in the sky and going deaf, one crackling firework at a time? Clearly, there is a LOT of nationalism running through the veins of Americans, even those who gripe and complain about our “corrupt” politicians and “socialist” or “capitalist” views as a country.  I mean, I’m not criticizing those people, I’m one of them–I have plenty of frustrations with the way this country is run (not that I feel I have any answers to those frustrations).  I am always just in awe at how we, as Americans, can stomp our feet and complain loudly about our country and the way we live, and at the same time wear stars-and-stripes t-shirts and go pyro-for-a-day celebrating our freedom, and the institution of liberty which we as Americans have so firmly been nurtured to believe in.  I love America.  I love freedom.  I don’t think even our freedom in America is perfect. I’m not sure if it can be, with so many people and a government to keep the peace and safety of the masses.  (I’m not sure if that’s really what our government does, anyways).  But even when I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, even when I am one of those people who cheers and happily exclaims, “Happy 4th of July!” it still boggles my mind that we celebrate so readily our freedom, despite our own hypocrisy and faults.

Yet, at the same time, I think that’s okay. It’s okay to be a bit hypocritical; everyone is. It’s just a way of life.  There will never be any black and white; only gray areas that bleed into other gray areas.  I think we should always strive for changing, for fixing and perfecting, but we should never get angry at not being perfect, not living in a perfect world, or a perfect country.  And I think we should always celebrate our freedom and our homeland, but we should also be willing to embrace others’ homelands, as well.

 

So there you have it, short, simple, and just some thoughts all jumbled around in there. Happy (belated) Independence day, everyone.  Remember where you came from, give thanks for your freedoms.

Yours truly,

tlc