We Need To Talk About Kevin

It has been really hard for me to blog since last Wednesday. I’ve tried to pick another subject, I even had a Valentine’s day post on my mind. But then the world stopped when I heard about what happened in Parkland FL.

I came out on many different sides over the following few days. I cried over the thought that those kids would never get to the walk the stage as they graduated high school. I cried as I watched the video of Jamie Guttenberg’s dad speak about the fact that he couldn’t remember if he told her that he loved her that morning before she went to school, I cried thinking I couldn’t remember the last time I told my mom I loved her. I was enraged that people on Facebook were making fun of one of the victims parents because he had on a Trump shirt, he just lost his daughter. I was enraged at the thought of the kids who survived having something so pure taken away from them, their innocence. I was unnerved when I heard that a kid brought a gun to Marcus high school, my high schools rivalry. I was unnerved when I heard that four schools in Texas reported kids bring guns to school the next day. I spent a good two days trying to sort out my emotions.

And then I thought back to a movie I watched in a college film class, We Need To Talk About Kevin (WNTTAK). IT was one of those films that leave a scar on you, the kind you can never unsee. It’s not one I lightly recommend people to watch, but if you do watch it then clear your day. It’s a film that I am still two years later processing through. The film deals with a high school massacre, but on a deeper level, it deals with the idea of evil inside of a person. Is it our nature to be evil or are we nurtured to be that way? The film is constantly asking this question and then turning everything you think in every way possible.

I remember after the seeing film that I went home and told my mom, who loves romcoms and generally happy films only, about this movie. I felt that there had to be a way to talk about Kevin, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around how to talk about Kevin. And then it hit me today I think the thing we need to talk about when it comes to kids like Kevin is a combination of nature and nurture.

Each time we have a mass shooting the person holding the gun always seemed to be accused of being mentally ill. But the conversation always seems to steer towards guns. I hear the phrase ‘guns kill people’ and think no people kill people. Whether you believe in the Bible or not one of the oldest recorded acts of murder dates back to Cain killing Abel. People have used cars (July 2016 in Nice, France), knives (London Bridge attack June 2017), planes (9/11), homemade bombs (Oklahoma City bombing April 1995). The point is that evil will always find a way.

But on the flip side, I don’t think that anyone should be able to get an AR-whatever. I can see the practical reason behind having a handgun, shotguns, rifles, (my first blog on guns: Guns In America) but still, no one has been able to give me a reason that someone needs an AR-whatever as a necessity?

So while I think having access to an AR-whatever needs to be stricter and more controlled I don’t think banning all guns is the answer. Pick up a history book y’all.

Let us go back to the mental illness topic. If everyone one, or close to all, have been deemed mentally ill then it sounds like that’s a good place to start with preventing future mass shootings. Why is that we have turned our backs on helping those that are mentally ill? Is that we think we could be offending someone? Or that if just treat them like every other person on the street that is sane that they will just fall in line?

We as a country have turned our backs on those who need us, we have stopped looking out for the mentally ill and getting them help. We as a country have told every single person they are important and special. We as a country have done this to ourselves. We have handed out trophies to the kids who barely even tried. We have raised our kids on microwavable TV dinners in front of the television. We have let ipads and televisions become our babysitters.

I read somewhere that the average parent only spends 40 minutes with there kids at night. What happened to helping mom cook dinner, and washing dishes with dad? What happened to learning how to set the table properly and learning good conversational skills at the dinner table. What happened to bedtime stories with funny voices form mom and dad teaching us how to blow bubbles in our chocolate milk that we made with Hershey syrup.

We as a country are broken, we have spent so much time trying to make everyone feel included and telling each individual that they are special that we are missing when someone isn’t doing okay. Somewhere along the line we stopped paying attention and started letting each other slip through the cracks.

As a country we are at a critical moment, thoughts and prayers are great, but policy and change is what we need. Congress needs to get up off there comfy little asses and put together a plan.

Our children, America’s children are precious, each one of there young lives shouldn’t be concerned less valuable than a stance on guns. Each one of their lives is worth fighting for. Children should be able to walk into a classroom and learn. They shouldn’t have to sit in a seat and wonder if that one kid that was acting kinda weird the other week is mentally stable enough to be in class with them.

Children should have the right to be children. We need to stop putting them in situations that force them to grow up quickly.

We as a people, we as a country can let the victims, most of who were just kids, become another face of the many victims that came before. Or we can start fighting for those who don’t get to have a voice anymore, we can start checking up on each other, and start by changing things in the home. Change rarely starts in a big way. Change usually starts in the small spaces filling up those cracks that have been letting so much slip through.

It is time we had an open and honest conversation about Kevin.

 

I Love You Josh Gates

Fair warning y’all this is me about to fangirl in the post below.

I love you Josh Gates, or really I am in love with your TV shows. You can find him on the travel channel, but don’t worry y’all he is actually one of the good ones to watch.

If you are like me then you absolutely cannot stand those reality TV shows that start off with a host or a team of people who promise to search for and give the answers to mysteries and then literally find nothing. I just literally wasted an hour of my time watching you tell me nothing. I was completely turned off from watching reality TV shows for a long time until one night my mom asked me to hang out with her and over a glass of wine, she introduced me to Josh. And I was hooked. Anytime I watch TV with her now she knows not to even ask what I would like to watch, she just turns on Josh and I’m rooted into my seat.

A few of the reasons I love Josh Gates is that he actually goes out and does all the crazy stuff, like diving in the pitch black night in murky shark infested waters to bring you answers, or hunting down legends deep into caves with leeches in the dead night, or hunting down ghosts into old ruins even when things get a little scary. I have seen him jump from a helicopter into the water, seen team members run into the water to try and get a better shot of something they see out in the distance, and seen them run into rickety structures because they heard a noise. The show is packed with nonstop exciting adventure that will keep your eyes glued.

If you’re not sold yet, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t be, then let me tell you about his personality. His commentary alone always brings a little extra chuckle to the show, his team will sometimes act out famous movies scenes when they arrive in a place, they almost always show you how the team interacts with the locals and the funny situations they get into (like standing with no pants on the street or a getting a local facial hair trim), the chemistry that the crew has on screen is amazing and another reason to stay seated. Or when its just Josh alone he can stand his own, making it a one-man show that keeps you entrained.

But the best part is they actually make a decision on what they found. He tells you, yes I think there is something more here and here is why. Or he tells you no, here is why I don’t think there is anything more here and it’s just a legend. The show even goes the extra step to bring in experts to help explain and justify what Josh is telling us! I feel like I spent an hour being entertained and excited, not let down. And with very busy life schedules we only have a limited amount of time to unwind.

If you are like me and tired of the boring old TV shows that build you up high and then let you down plummeting off a cliff at the end, then check out Expedition Unknown and Destination Truth. You will not regret it.

10 Cultural​ Reference I Missed In Hercules

I rewatched Disneys Hercules for the first time in my post-adolescent life the other night. It didn’t take very long into the movie for me to start catching cultural references that went right over my head as a child.

I could definitely spend all day breaking down the movie, but I am going to only lay out my top 10 cultural references I missed.

  1. My Little Pony. Towards the end of the film, Pain and Anxiety transform into a pink female horse to tempt Pegasus away from Hercules so he can make a deal with Hades. These two little characters have caused quite a lot of trouble throughout the film. But unlike the other things they transformed into, the pink horse they took the form of had a heart-shaped tattoo on its butt. It didn’t take much googling to find that the toy company tried to revive itself in 97, the same year Hercules came out. I wonder was it product placement or an animator’s childhood creeping in?
  2. Venus De Milo. During Hercules date with Meg, he skips a rock across a fountain. That rock hits a statue that is standing, knocking off the two arms. Hercules has just finished the famous Venus De Milo that we know today. As a kid, I had no idea how FAMOUS that statue was.
  3. Marilyn Monroe. When I think of Marilyn Monroe and her most famous moment I draw in my mind the image of her standing over a grate having her white dress skirt blown up in The Seven Year Itch. Of course, as a kid I had no idea why when Hercules flew past the stars a girl, matching Monroe, dress’s skirt flew up.
  4. Narcissus. This one might be my favorite line of shade thrown in the movie. Hermes tells Zeus at his baby showing off event (not really sure what to call it?) that he “hasn’t seen this much love in a room since Narcissus discovered himself”. It got me curious as to if he was a real god or not. So I googled it. And turns out in Greek mythology he is, and he is the root of the word narcissism. The more you know! (anyone else remember the star from their childhood?)
  5. Hercules stores. This one is almost reflecting of the viewers. I have been to Disneyland before and grew up in a time when movies such as the Lion King, Hercules, Toy Story, Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast, Mulan, Bugs Life, Tarzan…All these movies had become so important in childhood cultural. I can remember having all the movies on VHS. I remember having the toys and being in love with the films, singing along to the tunes. In the film the people of the towns are so obsessed with Hercules, they wear his shoes, drink his soda, buy his action figures. Basically what all of us were doing at the time in the 90s, and still today.
  6. Scar. As mentioned before Lion King was a big deal when I was a kid. I was OBSESSED with it. And what I never realized watching Hercules as a kid was that dear old twisted Uncle Scar makes an appearance. Hercules is being painted onto a vase and is wearing Scar on his head. Maybe glad I didn’t get this one as a kid.
  7. Weaknesses. Hades is discussing how everything has a weakness. I don’t think this was super essential to the plot line but it gave me a good chuckle. He compared weakness as Pandora to its box and The Trojans to betting on the wrong horse.
  8. Oedipus Rex. I read the play when I was a sophomore in high school. And for anyone who hasn’t read it, the play is kinda disturbing to its core. Hercules even starts to mention that he thought his life was messed up but after seeing the play Oedipus, and then he gets cut off, making many parents happy they didn’t have to explain the Oedipus complex to a five-year-old.
  9. Phil’s would be heroes. Phil, the small little goat man? Anyways, Hercules seeks him out, the trainer of heroes, to help him become a true hero. Phil tells him he doesn’t do it anymore, listing off like every hero in Greek mythology. Seriously, this man trained all of the big names. Jason and the Argonauts, Cleopatra, Odysseus, Perseus, all the seus, Achilles.
  10. Damsels not needing saving. This is my favorite. Hercules thinks he sees a damsel in distress, the thing he has been training for all those years. He goes to rescue Meg, but she snarkily replies that she’s a damsel in distress but doesn’t need saving. I want to be her so bad! Yes, girl, you don’t need saving. You don’t need to be rescued. Meg, Mulan, Lilo, Moana (and I’m sure more leading ladies). They didn’t need a man to come by and defeat the bad guy for them. They took charge, they had the balls to be their own hero. Go on damsels in distress, go on and save yourselves, I believe in you.

These are just my top ten. A few mentionables are Meg getting struck by statute cupids arrow before singing I won’t say I’m in love, The Fates talking about how big indoor plumbing will be, and Hercules tossing an alien spaceship shaped like a saucer.