Monday, September 28, 2009

Empty bliss; Selfishness

So I was continuing my now-ritualistic re-watching of Smallville--my guilty pleasure teen drama show (I think it's like my personal version of Twilight)--and something struck me. The characters in that show are actually good people. (at least in Season 1)
Not many popular stories today actually have that essential quality: good old-fashioned family wholesomeness. I hadn't really noticed it much when I originally watched the show because I was twelve at the time, and innocence was all I knew.

Now it's hitting me: this world is seriously screwed up.

I'm tired of hearing people whine and complain about life, throwing out profanities with every other breath. I'm tired of people spreading hate and mistrust, passing off their strife-mongering as "wisdom." I'm tired of people tearing down everything that's good, just, and honest only to satisfy their own anger and self-loathing.
I hate the fact that over the years, I've almost become one of them. When I was young, I was idealistic and hopeful. I honestly believed in doing the right thing for the right thing's sake. I believed in being unselfish, even if others weren't. I was a good kid.

I've been jaded over the past few years. I made the mistake of falling into the false promises of the world, and forgot who I was.

I don't know exactly why I changed. It might have been the fact that my dad died in 2004; I don't know. I know I changed a lot that year, and I thought that it was for the better. I matured a lot, and I shifted my priorities. But perhaps my priorities were shifted the wrong way? I think they may have been.

I've thought a lot lately that I don't feel myself; I think now I understand why.

Luke 18:16-17
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

While watching Smallville tonight, I recaptured how it felt to be me at age twelve. I don't know if I thought of myself as such at the time, but looking back now, when I was that young, I acted and felt like a child of God. I had a constant sense of peace. (the peace that passes all understanding?)
I felt that peace when my dad died, too, despite the fact that he was my best friend in the world and I'd just lost him forever. I honestly believe that it was a combination of God's amazing grace and the prayers of countless friends and family members. However, at the time, I, in my ignorance, had figured that the peace I felt was a sign that I was doing things right; that I was growing up and becoming my own person. Maybe that was the problem? I chose to follow my own desires rather than letting go and letting God do the leading. It wasn't a conscious thing; I had no idea that I was doing it.

I do remember that within ten seconds of finding out that my father had died (of natural-yet-random circumstances, for those not in-the-know), I immediately thought "what do I have in my life that's good now?" My immediate mental answer was the name of a girl that I had feelings for at the time. It was at that point that I thought that I needed to grow up and make my own family, because my current one was broken.

Not long after that, my mom told me that she had had a type of revelation: that I wasn't fatherless, because God would be my father.
I mostly ignored that, and that was a mistake.
I chose to follow my own desires, rather than do what was actually right. Whereas before I had always done the right thing just because I was a good kid, at this point I had changed. I stopped knowing what the right thing to do was, and started trying to figure it out for myself. It wasn't instinctive like it was before, and it wasn't me.

I want to go back to how I used to be. Honest, genuine, and responsible. (not that I'm a "bad" person now, but still.)

My grandfather (who was a pastor for many years) said something very interesting to me once: there's a difference between "love" and "like." Love is an action, not a feeling. It can be a feeling, but it doesn't need to be. You don't have to like someone to love them; you can love them by showing them kindness, patience, etc.
I think that in my youth, I had that "feeling" of love. I was a genuinely loving person because love was in my heart. I had a kind of intrinsic joy. I hadn't been jaded by life's struggles, and I didn't live in fear of loss. Nowadays, my heart is tempered too much by my thoughts; I have to pass everything through a mental filter. Well, no more of that.

I'm going to be different. I will not simply trudge through life trying to accomplish vague goals that I set for myself. I will be my best, not simply because I choose to be, but because I choose to be the kind of person that wants to be. It's a mindset, and one that I've forgotten until now.
For the first time in a long time, I think I'll sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I've been putting together a list of music tracks that I relate to on some deep level. Each song either seems to resemble me or is something that I feel a strong personal connection to.

Harry in Winter - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (soundtrack)
It's tinged with a strain of sadness and loss, yet still powerful at the same time. Melancholy yet vivid. I feel like that all the time.

Angel Main Theme (The Sanctuary Extended Remix) - Darling Violetta
The opening theme to the TV series Angel. The deep tones of the cello in the opening lead straight into the rock, which is awesome.

Bring Me To Life - Evanescence
This may be my favorite song of all time. Seriously. It's got amazing emotional strength and kickawesome guitar riffs.

All Along The Watchtower - Battlestar Galactica: Season 3 (soundtrack)
A weird Indian-style cover of the Bob Dylan song. Until you actually see/hear its significance in BSG, you probably won't like it. Once you do, however, it's amazing. Its morally confused nature fits perfectly with the types of moral questions that BSG asks of its audience.

That Thing You Do! - That Thing You Do! (soundtrack)
It's just a catchy 60s-style pop rock song from the greatest 60s-period-piece-movie of all time. I listened to it on repeat for about a year straight when I was twelve.

Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho - Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End
The theme from POTC has always been a favorite of mine, and Hans Zimmer took it to amazing heights in the end credits of the third movie. It's got two new added musical themes, one that's just an extension of the main theme (like a bridge), and another that works extremely well as a love theme for Will & Elizabeth. It's like he found the tone that heartstrings resound at, and played it for all the world to hear.

Enterprising Young Men - Star Trek (2009 soundtrack)
This is the new theme for the 2009 Star Trek film; it's great. It's essentially an adventure theme in space. Now, it's true that Star Wars had that already, but Trek is science fiction, while Wars is fantasy. The fact that this track takes the "we will reach the stars" angle of science fiction and adds fun to it is great. Unlike Star Wars, which is set in a Galaxy far, far away, this theme for Star Trek seems to say "Hey! You can have amazing adventure in the real world!"

May It Be - Enya - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
This is the song that plays over the end credits of The Fellowship of the Ring. It's great; it's filled with acknowledgement of immense hardship and sadness, yet encourages hope through it all. I find a lot of solace in that. And half the chorus is in Sindarin, so that makes is awesome in my book.

The Fellowship Reunited / The Return of the King - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
This is the stuff that plays over the ending scenes of Return of the King. My absolute favorite part is at 2:15, where the music seems to climax. It's a unique theme that seems to represent the final triumph of good, as well as Aragorn and Arwen's long-awaited marriage. Of all the musical themes I've heard in films, this one seems to be the one that I keep going back to. It's "the end." After all the struggles and heartbreak of life, there's a final reward of hope and undying love. It's essentially the musical form of what I'm constantly waiting, wishing, and fighting for. It's who I am.

English is fun! (or it SHOULD BE)

Hey Internet!

So one of my English teachers is slightly.... bitchy.
I don't mean that in a really bad way; I just mean that she's extremely strict about certain things that simultaneously do and do not make sense. I got my grade for my first English test today, and I got a 67. Seriously. An ENGLISH exam.
It took me about twenty seconds of looking over the test to realize that it wasn't my actual knowledge that was the problem; it was the fact that I seriously didn't know what she wanted out of my written answers. By my estimation, I should have gotten somewhere between 80 and 85 on that test. That's not super-great, but it's a far cry from a D+. Now, see, I've gotten bad grades on tests before. It's something that I deal with when it happens, and I never ever complain when it's actually because I messed up and didn't study. This instance, however, is me getting a bad grade not because I didn't know the material well enough, but because I didn't know how much information my teacher actually wanted. Every teacher has their own individual grading style--like a language--and until you learn that style (it takes only one test, usually), you very well may end up screwing up.
This is why most teachers drop one of the test grades; they know that at least one test will be a screw-up for completely legitimate reasons. Unfortunately, I really doubt that this teacher will do that. I'm thinking of talking with her next class about it. I might use the "even if you don't change *my* grade, at least consider dropping a test in your future classes." That way I can show that I'm not just out for myself in that argument. That's right; I am sneaky and oft-manipulative.

Oh, by the way, readers, DO NOT SKIP CLASSES. IT IS A BAD, BAD IDEA!!!!

Yeah, so I started skipping classes every now and then during the last few weeks (which is about 80% of the entire semester thus far), and now I'm really sunk. It's not horrible, but it's to the point where I have a couple classes that I can't/shouldn't show up to until I do the reading to actually catch up to the class. And considering that I have HORRIBLE study habits, that means that I am essentially locked out of my own classes until I change my ways and become a better person.
Yeeeeeahh....... I am never skipping classes like this again.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


What I'm thinking at the current moment:

I love the X-Men.

Halo is fun.

School is slightly frustrating.

I need to develop focus. I really don't have much of that.  I figure that if I can actually learn to study and put all my energy into doing well in school, I can ace it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More, please.

I was browsing the web when I happened to come across these fan-made images.

See, Wonder Woman is one of my favorite superheroes, and one that goes largely unappreciated. She's not just someone who smiles and flies around in an inbisible jet; she's an Amazon warrior and ambassador for peace. (yes, that is somewhat of a contradiction)

The artist responsible for the above images did some really amazing work, and I desperately hope that someone at Warner Bros. sees those images and takes a hint.

Please, someone make a Wonder Woman movie. Now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


There's a rather large aspect of geek culture that I'm beginning to despise: snowballing.

Geeks/nerds/whatever tend to react to films, TV shows, books, and other major forms of geek media with a herd mentality.  For instance, Transformers 2 originally had a very mixed response from the geek crowd, but has now become a generally reviled film, to the point that many geeks will make strong absolute statements. ("Transformers 2 is utter ****. Anyone who likes that film is obviously stupid.")
Other such films include Star Wars Episodes I-III, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men 3, and Spider-Man 3.  Now, I have immense problems with most of those films as well, but I would never say that they are completely and unequivocally wrong in each and every way.  Yes, the Star Wars prequels are a bit disappointing.  Yes, Wolverine made Logan's story far less compelling than the comics did.  Yes, Spider-Man 3 was a mess of a film.  But does that mean that it's wrong to like those films in spite of all that?

Other films are often put in the reverse position, and placed on a type of "geek pedestal" that must not dare be challenged. (The Dark Knight, for instance)  However, instead of merely "defending" these stories, many of these fanatical people take it a step further and actually attack those who have differing opinions.  Some people say that The Dark Knight is too slow and weary; are those people absolutely wrong?

It frustrates me to no end when people don't see that being so aggressive and arrogant in their opinions is just hypocritical and moronic.  What does any person gain when they attempt to tear someone else's credibility asunder?  Does it make them feel better about themselves?

Can't we just enjoy our stories without having to critically analyze every minute aspect of fictional works that are becoming increasingly more complicated as time goes on?