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Thoughts on Boston

These are my thoughts on Boston. I don’t really have any recollection of what I was writing, and what I was trying to say while writing. Hopefully you will still understand.

Bad things happened in the world when I was a child. There were school shootings, robberies, murders, and acts of terrorism.

I could separate myself from these events, there was no need to care about war or evil when you are so little. I’m sure I was aware that there were “bad things” going on in my world. I was still warned that bad people lurked in dark corners, alleys, vacant parking lots. Bad things happened because bad people existed. Guns are bad. Knives are bad. Killing people is bad.

Now that I’m almost 20, I can’t begin to grasp this “bad” world that I live in. It’s no longer acceptable for me to go into my room and play with dolls, entering a fantasy world where there is peace for everyone. When I was little, this could be my escape. I could enter a different world and pretend that the things I didn’t want to exist, didn’t.

I can no longer do that. I can’t hide in my room pretending like these things don’t exist. They do, and how do I live knowing this?

After the Sandy Hook shooting, I thought of all the people I know who have kids in elementary schools. I thought of how the school district of my town cut down on security guards due to the budget. I thought of how my mom works as an aide in an elementary school, and how if there was a “Code Red” that wasn’t a drill, she would be responsible for protecting the children. I thought of what I am supposed to do when I have kids, and need to send them off the school. I don’t want them to go.

I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stay inside, and pretend that the world is a place of peace. Where are my dolls when I need them?

I’ve been following the updates on the Boston explosion for days now. I don’t know what it is about this event that has made me so drained, so angered and sad. I don’t even know anyone who was at the marathon, not anyone who was hurt at least. Why should I care? I don’t live in Boston. I don’t know anyone there.

I care because I am no longer a little girl in her room. I go outside, to class, school, the store—I walk the streets alone. I am aware of the world. I am aware of these happenings. I can never forget.

I can see myself years later. I can see myself remembering that I was a young girl, too young, to witness 9/11.I will talk about Iraq, Libya, Egypt. I will talk about Sandy Hook. I will talk about Boston. What else will I talk about?

We can’t predict the future. But we are supposed to move on regardless. You live and you learn. I don’t want to live, at least not in a world like this. But what choice do I have? What choice do any of us have?

I listened to a talk show yesterday, my favorite talk show (Elvis Duran and the Morning Show), and Elvis talked about how even though it’s necessary to listen to every detail of an event like Boston’s, at some point you just need to get off the computer and pull yourself away. I can’t pull myself away.

I’m drawn to news like a moth to a light. When the light is cut off, I’m fluttering around unsure of what to do. It drives me crazy. I need that light. I need the news.

I get so angered when people sit and pick apart the media, telling me they are too involved. They are too involved, reporters are annoying, they don’t know anything, the news is bias, they cover what they want to cover (shut up shut up shut up shut up)

My professor told me I need to have a thick skin to be a reporter. I am getting there.

I used to play Call of Duty with my brother. I got pretty good at it. I liked using the machine guns that would shoot a lot of bullets in a second. I thought it was cool to scope out an enemy, the shoot them in the head from so many miles away. I could plant bombs, playing “capture the flag” in the meantime. I threw grenades hoping I would get more kills than my brother.

What the hell is wrong with me?

What’s wrong with the world we live in? Why do people target schools or malls or marathons? I will never know this answer.

Hash tags on Twitter suggest I #PrayforBoston. I don’t include this tag. I keep Boston and their people in my thoughts. The runners run through my minds, make laps in my brain. The eight-year-old is someone I can’t get out of my mind. I cried so hard when I read that article. I still cry. I will never stop crying. I don’t even know him.

I think my breaking point was this event. I just want so badly for me to walk the streets without fear. I want to walk down dark alleys in a short skirt and be safe. I want to send my kids off with no thoughts in the back of my mind (is this is the last time I will see them?!). I want to not be worried when my boyfriend walks at night with his laptop. I want to go to big parades, concerts, marathons, and be unafraid.

I have to have a thick skin. What if my writing is recognized by a big newspaper, and they send me off the a story like Boston? What if I am one of the reporters that writes a story that lets a parent know their son/daughter in Boston is okay? What if I honored Martin Richard with a moving story? What if I was at the scene, tweeting away, letting people know what was going on?

That’s what I want to do, to write and let people know what is going on. This girl is grown up. I still choose to go into my fantasy world where everyone is safe, but I am aware of the real world I live in. I want to become fearless, but I think that is something that doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe you’ll read my byline one day, and remember what I wrote here, on this day. I want to show people that we can get over our fears. That despite all the “bad things” that will not change, there are the “good things” to recognize. Good people reside in hospitals, fire stations, police stations, (and news rooms). Good things happen because good people exist. Helping hands are good. Hugs are good. Helping people is good.

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Get Real Gagnam Style

Anyone with connection to the internet knows about PSY, a South Korean singer and songwriter.  He has become increasingly more popular as the days go on, but what made him such a huge sensation?

His fame started in his homeland, but gained even more fame in the U.S.A when Justin Bieber’s manager signed him.  His ridiculous video on YouTube gained millions of hits in just nine days.  His video is like a lot of other artists; weird enough that you keep watching and wish you could join in.

His video received more likes than the video “Party Rock,” a song by LMFAO which included the popular dance “Shuffling.”

His song also passed Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” on iTunes.

What’s better?  Is it his song that’s mainly in Korean except for one line of “sexy lady,” or is it the fact that his dance is so stupid everyone wants to learn it?

I would have to say the dance is what makes this man popular.  There are some people that love to listen to K-pop no matter what, but I can guarantee half of us would turn the music down if this song came on.  The fact that we associate it with the horse trot-side-whatever move it is, we can enjoy the song more.  I wasn’t even sure I knew what Gagnam Style was until PSY described it as being “noble by day and crazy by night.”  Oh, okay then.

How many other songs can you think of that are like this?  Personally I can enjoy “Party Rock,” but the song is better because of the shuffle dance you can do with it.  I remember perfecting the “jerk” dance my senior year of high school.  The song “You’re a Jerk” by the New Boyz has a good beat but the whole chorus makes me wonder if the “boyz” have any lyric writing ability at all, and the best part about the song is that you can do the dance to it.

So really in order to make a song popular  just think of a ridiculous dance that is sure to get everyone out of their seats, and you will surely see fame in no more than nine days.

The Forgotten Holiday

Every month there is some sort of holiday or special event that we celebrate.  You could live in the United States, England, or even on Mars, I don’t care where I just know that you celebrate something (be it a national holiday, a local celebration, or maybe your friend’s birthday).  Each of the twelve months has something to offer.

Except in November.

What’s that you say?  There is a holiday in November?  Oh, that’s right, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday in my book.  You may think I am crazy, but let me explain.

First, when kids start heading back to school, the stores start packing their items with superhero costumes, gore makeup, leaf decorations, pumpkin figurines, and big family size packages of candy.  We all groan and say, “But it’s only August!”  Yet we all stock up on the goodies and prepare for the festive holiday of Halloween.  Not long after Halloween merchandise comes out do we begin to see tinsel, jingle-bell cards, fake pine trees, shiny ornaments, dreidels, and Jolly ol’ Saint Nick.  Again, we groan, “But it’s only the end of October!”  Pretty soon everyone starts getting excited about December, and all the fun things that come with it.  Ah, just hear those sleigh bells ringing and jing ting tingaling.

Hold the one-horse open sleigh, we just skipped a holiday!

But I thought Christmas comes after Halloween?

We are forgetting a holiday!  Now, I don’t mean we are directly forgetting Thanksgiving, but unless you are in elementary school making pilgrim hats and hand-traced turkeys, you don’t really care too much about this holiday.  Maybe your mom made you go pick up some canned cranberry sauce and that made you remember that Thanksgiving is approaching.  You probably care more about Black Friday (that iPad is $100 cheaper…).  We are forgetting what the holiday is about.  We are too busy thinking of the vacation we get in December or the snow or the gifts.  Calm it down folks, it ain’t Christmas just yet.

It’s not our fault that we want the Christmahanakwanza spirit to come a little early.  With the stores packing their shelves with all of December’s favorite things it’s hard not to get ahead of yourself.  And that darn radio…

Whatever happened to listening to winter jingles when it is actually the time of the year?  I don’t want to hear how mommy kissed Santa and that you want a hippopotamus for Christmas, or that you want me for Christmas.  I don’t want to hear about chestnuts roasting on some open flame, or how some reindeer had a deformed nose that glowed.  I will listen to all of these perhaps the week before Christmas.

Call me crazy, but I would like to enjoy my November.

To all of you who rushed to put out your Christmas lights, and light-up reindeer and hanging stars and other gaudy ornaments of the winter season, shame on you!  It isn’t even December!  I would say a fair time for hanging up the decorations is  after Thanksgiving.  No earlier than that.

The holidays around December are always fun.  It’s all about having fun with friends and family, and being thankful for what you have (and maybe getting a gift or two…).  But that’s also what Thanksgiving is all about.  Sure, it’s a total American holiday (especially since it revolves around eating) but who is to say we don’t have a right to celebrate?  You should enjoy the time you get to spend with your friends and family, sit around the table and talk about what you are thankful for, and of course, eat delicious and fattening foods.  Let’s just put the pause on December shall we?  Then maybe you will hear me singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

The Freedoms We Think We Have

After months of campaign ads, news reports, heated debates, and casual conversations, the day has come and passed: Election Day.

I know I am late on posting about the important day, but I couldn’t pass this opportunity.  Better late than never, right?  Ever since my Women Studies class back in high school, I was ecstatic for the day I would turn 18 and be able to vote.  Learning what women went through just to place a piece of paper in a box, is something I will never grasp.  But it was more than a piece of paper, it was the right to vote.  It was the right that all people should have, and value every day.

But, do we have a right to vote for who we want?  Recently, I have discovered the answer is no.  Slandering ads will tell you “Are you better off?” or “Can you trust him?” just to get you to go a different way.  Your friends will ridicule you for who you want to vote for, and your parents will be confused and say, “We raised you a (democrat or republican).”

This is the problem.  People have started to judge each other off of what party they stand for, or who they want to vote for.  Everybody immediately shuts down, and spews out their statistics and hard facts, and doesn’t listen to the other person.  Once you start talking about politics, people get angry.  Don’t tell me you haven’t experienced that.  This is why a majority of people, young and old, that I talk to say, “I don’t ever talk about politics.”

We need both parties, don’t get me wrong.  We cannot have a strictly Republican president, nor a strict Democrat.  I’ve noticed that most of America is divided between Republicans, Democrats, and those that do not care.  Those who really support a party will judge you if you say you stand for the opposite.  I experienced this the other day.  A guy at a coffee shop (which will not be named) would be really friendly and give me a free donut every once and a while.  He had overheard a political discussion between my friend and I, and once he heard that I was a ____, he acted different.  He wasn’t as nice, and I received no free donut that day (quite the disappointment).  If someone’s opinion can change how you act towards them that drastically, what does that say about us?  (Apparently it means that when you are a _____ you get no free donuts or casual conversation).

Isn’t that concept sad though?  Since I believe in something that others may not, I have to fear ridicule or disapproval.  How is this America?  We are supposed to have all of these “freedoms,” but people have begun to dismiss them, or abuse them.  You can’t talk about politics because someone may disagree with you, and instead of offering intelligent arguments, we yell and shout and get nasty.  It needs to end.

Whoever our president is, whether it be now or the next election, we should respect.  You may not agree with what he (or she) is doing, but he (or she) is still your leader.  Let’s just realize one thing: Our country will never be perfect.  How can it?  With all the differences we have, there is always going to be someone, somewhere that is unhappy.   People will blame whoever the president is, for all the bad things that may happen.  High gas prices, tuition is too expensive, rent is too high, energy isn’t efficient, no health care, people are impoverished, unemployment rate, etc.  We cannot keep looking at the past and say, “This president had the unemployment at ___rate, he did a great job.”  There were probably other factors that contributed to him getting the job unemployment rate under 8%.  There have been presidents who have paid for wars on “credit cards,” who have slashed programs, and who have watched us suffer a depression.  Do we constantly bring them up and blame them for everything they have done?  For the most part, no.  We blame the current president, which I believe is unfair.  Yes, the man in office is the leader of the entire country, but if you think you can do a better job, then by all means go enter the next election.  A majority of us like to talk the talk, and overall, we would never be able to do as good of job as the men that have run.

We must remember what our country was founded on, but we have to remember that our country is now changing.  Things cannot stay the same.  There are certain things that need to change.  Along the way we may see difficult times, but we should always try to move onward.  Living in the past cannot get us to the future.

We all have our differences, and I think that it makes us unique, and it is what makes America the greatest country to live in.  I think we should always keep one thing in mind though.  If you do not agree with someone, whether it be for who they want to marry, what they want to wear, what religion they practice, or who they vote for; you need to respect.  We all have freedoms.  You wouldn’t want someone to ridicule you for who you voted for, right?  So don’t do the same to others.

Something that I value most in my life, is having freedom.  We could live in a place where we would never have the chance to vote.  If you feel that you want someone in office, you have the power to do so.  This is something we should never forget.

My favorite presidential quote from JFK, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

I am Madi Moore. And I support this message.