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Public Service Announcement


When I finished college in late November, unemployed and living at home, I started watching “it gets better videos” to cheer myself up. Yes, I’m aware it is more than a stretch to compare myself to a struggling gay, bisexual or questioning youth, but the simple credo, “It gets better,” has held me loosely together as I stumble from one unpaid internship to the next.

Spring is the air and inspirational graduation speeches are flooding the internet. Although some of them are wonderfully candid and inspiring, the advice they give comes from on high. These people have achieved success and so no matter what they’ve gone through in the past they no longer have that intrusive beast, doubt, perched on their shoulder. They may think they still have it, but the doubt of a successful person is not the doubt of a twenty-something with only the vague outline of a dream.

My friends have been trickling out of academia for the past year with varying results. The best advice I’ve heard so far came from my friend Leena. She graduated last year and simply stated that she wished someone would’ve been real with her and told her that life is hard.

And to this I will add, life is hard and it is okay to be disappointed. It’s okay to be angry with the situation you’re in. It’s okay to say, “I could’ve been a contender!” with great angst and sadness every time you feel like you’ve wasted your undergraduate years studying something that isn’t going to make you any money. It’s even okay to be mad when your friends get internships and jobs before you.

Inspirational speakers say things like, “do something you’re proud of everyday” , “find something you love in the job that you can get” , “make something that matters.” To that I say, it’s okay if you don’t.

To the class of 2012, I herby give you permission to not believe in yourself all the time, to feel bad about not following your dreams, to not even have dreams and to feel like your life is one terrible mistake after the next. It’s okay. You are not alone.

Life is hard. There is no yellow-brick road leading to your destiny. You can’t achieve things just by wishing really hard, sometimes you can’t even get them by working really hard. But, if you’re lucky you have at least one person telling you not to give up. And they will reach down into that abyss you are wallowing in and tell you to get a hold of yourself.

Life is hard, yes. But it’s not just hard for you, it’s hard for everyone. Don’t let that bring you down, allow it to empower you.

What I’m trying to say is that you should not stress yourself out by feeling bad about feeling bad. (Because you will.) You need to allow yourself to admit, “this sucks,” when it sucks. But at the same time, you need to look in the mirror, make direct eye-contact and tell yourself, “it gets better” and you need to say it like you mean it, because then maybe you will.

The trailers for the movie “Lockout” present us with the classic criminal redeeming himself by helping out the very cops he despises with a sci-fi twist. His task? Rescue the president’s daughter and stop a space prison  full of “escaped” criminals from crashing their massive orbiting station into the earth.*

All of this poses some ethical questions about the future.

Mainly why do we reward our criminals with a trip to space? That’s like reading a guilty verdict and handing them a check for 20 million dollars, which is the average amount you’d have to pay to get someone to fly you to the International Space Station for a week. And these convicts get a free trip to space for life? Talk about wasting public funds.

It also would probably cause a spike in crime because I’m pretty sure everyone wants to go to space.

But beyond that basic flaw, based on the trailer the movie also seems pretty illogical. Why is the president’s daughter allowed into a maximum security prison in space? Why is their best bet to send one man (described only as “kind of a loose cannon”) to rescue her? And most importantly, why do the prisoners want to leave space?

I don’t plan on seeing the movie but I’m sure the guy playing Bruce Willis in space will have enough special effects to make him look badass even with the lack of air to fuel a lot of big flames. And hey, at least it’s set in Space. Everyone loves space. 

 

*This is mere speculation. I have no idea if this is the actual premise of the movie.

I’m not one of those people who don’t like to admit when they’re wrong, I’m the type to milk it for all it’s worth. A couple of weeks ago I tweeted something along the lines of “I’ve met the Lorax and he sounds nothing like Danny DeVitio.” And although the Lorax I met was a statue and didn’t speak at all, technically my statement was true.

Of course I was attempting to say I was not okay with what Illumination Entertainment had done to Dr.Sues’ classic. The trailers made it seem like they were going to painfully stretch a short story into an hour-long movie, make a buffoon out of the Lorax with the help of Danny DeVito and turn it into a love story.

Then to add insult to injury they premiered their movie on Dr. Sues’ birthday. But, I love the classic Lorax and Alejandro likes to see animated movies so we went to see it anyway.

And I’ll admit they didn’t butcher it. Danny DeVito did a good job. They recreated scenes from the book and added subplots that didn’t totally ruin the overall message of the story. I was pleasantly surprised that the only thing bothering me during the movie were a gaggle of teenagers talking and texting loudly during the film.

Sure, this is definitely a movie for kids that may be borderline brainwashing them to be more conscious about the environment, but so was the book, so, I’m okay with it.

This is a man’s world,” is a song by James Brown that probably just got stuck in your head for the rest of the day. It is the intro that Jennifer Hudson awkwardly sung to Tina Fey when she got the Mark Twain prize for American Humor. It is also a popular cultural saying.

The phrase attempts to celebrate women but comes off more as putting them in their place. It is also full of lies.

This is not a man’s world: it’s an ants.

Bare with me.

The Earth is home to many creatures and plant life. The weight of these things is calculated as biomass and in the large scheme of things, 7 billion human beings don’t weigh a lot.

The total biomass of all humans on Earth is equal to the total biomass of all species of ants. This means that for every human alive on Earth there are roughly 1.5 million ants crawling in and around their stuff.

Other creatures that outweigh us: termites, squid and krill.

I’ve never seen a termite in person and I don’t live in a body of water, so what concerns me the most are the ants.

What’s not to fear about ants? They are everywhere. They are very organized. They always have hoards of back up and they adapt easily. Multiple times ants have crawled out of my computer.

Now I’m not suggesting that there is not an unwanted hierarchy based on race, gender and class in human society (there is). All I’m saying is that regardless of who is on top of human pyramid we are all just living in an ant’s world.

For more frightening facts about ants visit Youtube and prepare to spend approximately 20 hours listening to David Attenborough tell you why we should be very afraid.