The Hate Virus

I have, on occasion, said that I hate people. I do. My biggest issue is when people are in groups they take on a group persona as opposed to an individual attitude of a reasonable person. Everyone wants to feel liked, to feel like someone cares about them. Everyone wants to be right.

Every month marks 30 more days since Pulse. And every month I realize how much we’ve forgotten. People who cried or posted heartfelt Facebook statuses asking “why” are now the people arguing with others through social media or making fun of someone different from them with their friends.

I am not innocent, but at least I can admit to myself that I am perpetuating hate.

However, as humans, we won’t be able to move past that hatred. There are some of us who are honest and express our concerns about other people, but then there are the silent ones, who sit in the corner brooding and waiting for the moment they can just leave the conversation and never speak to these people again.

I want to believe there is good in people, I want to believe there’s a chance that someone will remember Pulse (like I do when I’m being hateful), and change their attitude.But I know in all honesty that’s not going to happen. Hateful people will always be hateful. They will always leave nasty notes on people’s cars just because of a pride sticker or presidential candidate, they will always call someone stupid because they don’t agree with them, they will always ignore them when they ask for help, they will always treat others in ways they would never want to be treated. And my heart breaks for their lack of remorse.

It was a little over 3 months ago that we as a city, a state, a country, and as humans stood together in support of love and against hate. But that sentiment has disappeared in favor of continuing with our lives and moving on while the families of those victims and the survivors will never be able to forget. We are lucky to be able to hate and continue on like nothing happened. At least until it happens to you.

The Joker and Harley

…or How I learned to stop caring and hate the film, Suicide Squad.

I will admit that after reading a few reviews from questionable sources, I decided to see Suicide Squad and form my own opinion about the movie. A little background, I might be a huge fan of Batman (I totally am), specifically of The Joker and Harley Quinn. As a kid, being introduced to Harley Quinn was life-changing. She was everything I thought I was and wanted to be. Some kids want to be the Hero. I wanted to be the Villain.

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Harley and her other love, Poison Ivy

In watching Suicide Squad, one of the few things I can agree with was Paul Dini’s (One of Harley’s creators) statement that Margot Robbie, nailed the character. She did. Robbie did a fantastic job recreating the mixture of Harley’s adolescent manner and psychopathic tendencies with little effort. Harley is a character in which you never know which direction she will go because she is, quite obviously, insane. Jared Leto wasn’t bad either. There have been better Jokers, but I would not say he was awful. I do miss Harley’s accent though….

So what went wrong? Well, let’s start with the fact that for whatever reason, David Ayer and his team decided to focus on the Post-2011 version of The Joker and Harley. The public is being introduced to a new character (essentially), Harley and the rest of the Suicide Squad, which some fans of the comic will say, “Well, Xtine, that’s correct ’cause Harley was in The New 52 version of Suicide Squad (released in 2011)”. My problem isn’t with Suicide Squad, my problem is with the movie.

If you want to do a comic no one has heard of, maybe you should have focused on another version of it, like say, the earlier version since the majority of the movie centered on Deadshot anyway. Then maybe you wouldn’t have had the issues that you encountered when reproducing a truly tortuous and abusive relationship that is the Joker and Harley Quinn. That’s the movie everyone wanted to see but instead we only saw a watered down version of how their home life really is sprinkled throughout a boring, drawn out, lazy plot.

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Reading the comics, you’ll see the Joker, the love of Harley’s life, shoot her, punch her, leave her for dead, let her get captured and a slew of other terrible things that I feel like Jared Leto’s Joker would not do. Yes, the film Joker lets her get captured by Batman, but then he tries to save her on multiple other occasions. In reality, the comic Joker doesn’t even like her, let alone love her, so why would he even bother to make such moves to get her back?

I used to romanticize the idea of a Harley and Joker relationship just like most girls and boys are doing now, but then I realized that relationships should be healthy. The biggest problem with this film is that it seeks to change people’s ideas (or influence ideas) of how the Joker treats people. He has no room to love anyone. I feel that the message they are sending here is that this relationship can be sweet, loving and mutual when they aren’t on a murderous rampage but this just simply is not real. They are not Bonnie and Clyde, they are not Romeo and Juliet. She is dependent and unstable and he is a bona fide psychopath.

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Crazy Train

I’m sad for the DC universe’s other properties when these are the films that DCEU (DC Extended Universe) is putting out. I will agree that the movie had some interesting and eye-catching effects but it was also executive produced by Zack Snyder so what else can we expect? Its a shame that DCEU is focusing their efforts on the mass public who have no idea of the background of these characters and yet still releases films that seem to start in the middle of a trilogy. Most people get confused, some people like it, and DC fans get mad and go on long rants about why you shouldn’t see it. Origin films have a purpose, don’t try so hard to set records while ignoring your public.

P.S. I truly wonder if the main reason everyone saw it was because they wanted to see why so many people hated it.

 

 

 

 

Perpetual Sadness with Spontaneous Outbreaks of Joy

I am legitimately tired.

I see everything that’s happened in the world and I am tired. I am tired of people, I am tired of humans, I am tired of us. All we are doing is killing each other. And no reason is a good reason to murder.

Obama was right, it’s not a black issue. But it’s also not an American issue. It’s a human issue. Dogs don’t walk around trying to kill other dogs because they don’t like the way their hair is cut, or what language they bark in, or which God they believe in. We don’t belong on this planet; we are roughage: taking up valuable living space for other beings that don’t kill for sport.

Besides just the senseless murders that have happened in the past 30 days, there’s more. There’s just simply being terrible, selfish people. Ignoring when someone needs help or turning away from something that shouldn’t be happening. We are to blame. As much as we’d like to say “it’s been like this for years and we cannot stop it”, we can. WE, not I. As a person, we can hashtag and cry and protest and fundraise and donate and volunteer, but as people, we should change. We won’t, but we should.

I’ll ask this again, who are we? Are we those people that hashtag a name and dedicate our Facebook to one cause while millions of people die miles away that we won’t even know about? Are we going to defend “Black lives matter” and yet ignore when police officers (who probably agree that black lives DO matter) are murdered in the streets?

We are matter. We will always be matter. And as living, breathing people, we matter now, but eventually we won’t anymore. Trayvon will be forgotten and commemorated through Wikipedia pages for our grandchildren. The 49 Pulse victims will be forgotten just like the 2,977 September 11 victims. We will forget as we age. We will forget to tell our children. They will learn in school about them and wonder, “How does this affect me?” We’ll plan parties, have birthdays, enjoy life, and forget, because that’s what we do.

Evolve. Make change. Not just by yourself but with others. Take the time to love someone who probably needs to be loved right now. Take time to enjoy the people around you because one day they could be gone.

Maybe, by some small chance, we can stop ourselves from ruining this world we’ve been gifted and never deserved.

My Body, My Home

International Women’s Day came and went, and with it, Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie and a collection of celebrities who either loved it or hated it. I have my own personal feelings (mostly dislike) toward pseudo-celebrities and their need to remain relevant, but in this case, I had to side with Kim K. She wrote an open letter, told everyone to mind their business, and defended herself by pointing out how empowering it is to love your body.

In my time with roller derby, I’ve noticed there are all types of bodies. The thing is, you don’t really see it after a while. Regardless of your size or shape, its the skills that make you a great player. A gal might look like she would be a good jammer, but naturally, she’s just better at blocking. You really can’t judge because there is no “derby body”, anyone can play (but you do get some awesomely thunderous thighs, tho.)

It took me a year to stop hating myself and my body. It was a process of eating heathlier, losing weight and accepting myself as I am, not as I thought other people would want. I never actually reached my goal weight of 110 lbs because I woke up one day, looked in the mirror and said “you don’t look so bad”, which is a compliment in my book. That’s all I needed to stop worrying about what I looked like in shorts, or thinking that everyone was talking about my celluite.

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My body is all mine, all of it, my possession. So when someone like Kim K. posts a nude selfie and defends it by saying “its my body, and I do what I want with it”, I can’t be mad at her. There are so many female celebrities with nude photos out there in internet world that they did not intend for all to see. What other way of empowering yourself than by posting one yourself because it is your body. I agree that it is a bad example for young fans, but the internet is bad for young fans. I think the person to blame there are the parents, but that’s a whole different post.

The thing is, we, as women, are constantly judged by the way we act, dress, live, etc. From adolescence, we are self conscious of ourselves and, for many of us, we never really get over it. Women need to stand up for each other and say, “Hey, if you think you look good and you want to post that nude photo of yourself, go for it. I wouldn’t, but that’s not my body, its yours.” Do what you feel, when you feel…as long as you don’t hurt any body else. ;P

Post Graduate Job Frustration

Searching for a job is probably one of the most stressful parts of graduating from college. You’ve completed all your classes, put yourself in debt, followed your (or your parent’s) dreams and now its time to get a big kid job. But no one tells you how hard it is to become an adult. And once you get into your big girl pants, you can’t help but feel as if you’re just dogpaddling in a mudslide.

The biggest problem is that the career you studied for usually wants you to already know what your doing before they hire you. Experience: the necessary evil of all jobs. If you don’t have experience you won’t get hired; if you don’t get hired, you can’t get experience. The best way to bypass this catch-22 is by doing an internship while taking classes. However, if you are a working adult it can be difficult to fit in an unpaid internship with a job that pays the bills.

The issue should be addressed in college, but the problem is, it isn’t. There is so much emphasis placed on completing your degree, but not necessarily on getting a job in your industry. This is why people who go to career colleges make it there alot faster than people with a Master’s degree in English. Advisors in school need to ask the right questions: do you know what kind of experience you need for what you want to do? Do you see yourself in this career for more than 10 years? If you rack up debts, can this career help you pay it off?

Essentially, is it worth it?

But advisors aren’t the only ones to blame. Parents push their kids to pursue college and take out loans even when they don’t want to go. In the end, they drop out, still stuck with debt, and still not sure what they want to do with their lives. It’s something that a person has to figure out for themselves. Though it seems like a great idea to go from high school to college, it might be best to just take a break and evaluate.

Director Kevin Smith as a Writer’s Role Model

My recent infatuation with the career and life of director and writer Kevin Smith began after I saw the 2014 horror/thriller, Tusk. The film, starring Justin Long and Michael Parks, is more of what I would consider a genre blending comedy horror. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

I always wait past the end credits to see any special inclusions directors like to sneak in. The end credits of Tusk included a recording of a SModcast in which the idea for the film was introduced. This started me on a journey into the writing and personality of Kevin Smith.

Prior to my obsession, I had seen most of his movies and never really considered the writing. However, Tusk and SModcast came into my life when I had begun looking at writing as a real career and a real passion for me. Kevin Smith’s films haven’t won Oscars and his writing isn’t as appreciated as it really should be, and he knows it. In fact, he makes fun of himself often on his podcast, SModcast, and the thing I admire the most, is that he never apologizes for his movies or his opinions.

I find people who own their writing, and what they say with it, very impressive. Writing is very personal – I equate it to slicing your wrists open and putting it on paper – and screenwriting is extremely difficult to keep entertaining script after script. Somehow, Smith has been able to do this repeatedly, regardless of the box office returns. This is why I think of him as my writing role model, someone who has inspired me to pursue my dream despite feeling like its “too hard”.

Now, I know a good amount of people think he’s a cool dude, who smokes weed all day and doesn’t really care what you think, but I actually don’t believe that. In fact, I think he does care, a great amount. Anyone who puts that much effort into a script must care for their work and that is what a true writer must do.

Focusing on the hate of hate crimes

This year, social media and the news has exploded with racially motivated crimes, riots, and general hate around the United States. Much of the focus of these crimes have been about the races, sexual orientation, or beliefs of the people involved in the crimes, especially after the rash of police shootings that occurred earlier this year. Hate crimes seem to have risen in these recent years, even provoking folks to demand the Confederate Flag be taken down, despite its historical significance.

It feels like either people have a selective memory or they just want to imagine that hate and racism were never this bad in the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, there are those minorities that have experienced real hate within their daily life and they can never forget, but they do become numb to the hate they see on television.

As a mixed race child, I dealt with prejudice throughout grade school. I grew up in a Mexican household and related mostly to those with my same background, despite my caramel color skin (which was darker than most Mexicans I met at the time). I tried my best to fit in with the Hispanics in my class, but most judged me before getting to know me. I was subjected to racial slurs, pet names like ‘negrita’, and being outcasted altogether. It was painful and, for years, I was ashamed of my skin color.

Despite the mention of my race, it really wasn’t the slurs that bothered me. It was the unprovoked hate they had for me before they knew me. Similar to the way the victims in Charleston were judged by another human as being unworthy to live the rest of their lives. But, regardless of race, hate is the true problem here in America.

It would be a great change to see the news broadcasted without mentioning races and leaving photos off of the screen. Ambiguity would show us the incredible amount of crime between human beings. As humans, we have so much in common but hate causes us to focus on the one item that makes us different. But as Americans, that one difference should be the thing that brings us together, not tear us apart.

Celebrating Father’s Day without a father

Father’s day was always a confusing holiday for me.

I grew up without knowing my biological father and even the forced Father’s day projects in grade school didn’t make me want to know him either. It’s quite possible that he later became a better father to another child or maybe he was a good father before me. The point is, he has been nothing but an absent father to me and never deserved any of the construction paper ties made by my tiny child hands. Instead, those ties went to a more deserved man: my grandfather.

My grandfather was always a funny man to me but also strict enough to feel he knew best. I never questioned his decisions, I always tried to speak to him with respect, and, even after his death, I always asked for his approval. He was a genuine father, a present father, and that’s what every child needs.

Recalling those grade school days, I remember being teased that my grandfather wasn’t my “real” father. Despite their hurtful jabs, I knew my classmates would never understand the naturally occuring connection we had that usually comes from a biological father-daughter relationship. And honestly, I was okay with that. I know that if my real father had re-entered my life, the father-like position my grandfather held in my life would not have changed because he just simply meant more to me.

So happy Father’s day to every father, whether he’s a caring father figure, a biological father, or even a father to an animal child, every present father deserves to celebrate the day. Construction ties and all.

Why I Decided to Be a Fat Bride

Recently, I looked back on the photos taken at my wedding last October. My cheeks are plump and round, my eyes are pinched half moons, and I look genuinely happy. It’s been 7 months since I wore my laced, long sleeve dress, and I realized that I had become exactly what I was scared of becoming months before my wedding day had even arrived: I was a fat bride.

Engaged women are always bombarded with Facebook posts, Pinterest repins, and Tumblr reblogs featuring waify, lilaced-crowned brides under weeping willow branches and twinkling Christmas icicles. Basically, women are pressured to believe the ideal marriage spawns only from socially approved ideal weddings.

I fell into that system of brainwashing, and since our engagement lasted 2 years, I had 730 days of constant social media constructed wants. I found myself on a low carb/low taste/low food diet and worked out consistently for about a month. I lost nothing but gained about a year’s worth of stress in just 25 days. Eventually,  the month of the wedding arrived and I found myself with a wedding dress two sizes larger than I hoped to be on my big day.

Truthfully, I allowed myself to become a “fat” bride because I needed to be able to remember myself. I had always struggled with my weight and trying to lose more than 50lbs in 2 years was no different, so I destressed and decided to be myself on my wedding day.  Seven months later, the warm happiness coming from my photos is more satisfying than the idea of being a “model” bride. I was Christine getting married, not Bride #300,000,001 getting married.image

In  the end, the only person concerned with my weight loss was me. And I was just as happy being “fat” as I would have been being “thinner”, maybe even happier because I wouldn’t be starving.  A wedding day is the day where you should look your best but still be you and, unfortunately, too many brides fall prey to the social media gods and look their best as someone else.

The idea of being “fat” depends on who is saying the word, and those people probably wouldn’t be invited to your wedding in the first place so why change?  Being authentic will only contribute to the happiest day of your life. My advice for any engaged, non-slender individuals: Imagine 50 years from now, do you want to see yourself in your wedding, or someone else’s idea of you?