(Obligatory Post About the End of the World)

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that everyone has been talking about it for the last week or so. Yes, yes, according to some calendar created by the Mayan civilization, the world is supposed to end sometime on Friday, December 21st, 2012. Despite mostly universal anxiety over the possibility of it happening, there is not a consensus as to what will happen and precisely when. For example, two particular groups of scientists believe the world will end due to an asteroid or a large solar storm (otherwise known as a solar flare). Others, though, such as David Morrison, an astrobiologist at NASA, are unsure that such a comet or solar storm could occur. Morrison argues that there is no immediate threat in the solar system, such as a comet, that could potentially cause earthly destruction within the next 500 million years. The assumption Morrison makes is that all comets in the solar system that are near the earth have been correctly and adequately tracked. However, being an astrobiologist at NASA, his opinion seems like a believable one. As for a solar storm, Morrison is more open to that possibility (that a solar storm could occur on Friday, December 21st). Morrison, however, debunks this is well, assuring the audience of the website that solar storms do not usually kill millions and at most cause troublesome electrical outages. To top it all off, Morrison refutes the idea that December 21st is a special date, claiming that there is in fact absolutely “nothing special” about it. Perhaps he begins to stereotype a little bit when refers to all believers of an apocalypse in stating that there are “thousands” of people on the internet, who “are not scientists”, who post apocalypse theories. The critical assumption here is that none of the apocalypse believers are credible, knowledgeable scientists.

One of the theories of a possible comet going un-tracked mentioned in the article is that the comet could lose its reflective ice surface, thus becoming dark and untraceable. Once again, Morrison provides evidence to dispute this, saying that NASA has the ability to, and still does, track these kinds of comets using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.

Being of a scientific nature myself, I find it hard to believe an apocalypse will really happen. I’m not going to waste time here researching a bunch of data about how comets are not flying towards or earth or how solar storms are really nothing to worry about. Instead, I’m going to look at timely evidence that I think we can all agree on: how the world didn’t end with the Millerites, how the world didn’t end in 1999 despite Nostradamus’s predictions, how the world didn’t end in May 2000 when the planets were supposed to align, how the world didn’t end on 6/6/06. The long story short is that there is absolutely nothing to worry about; there is no more evidence to support this apocalypse as there is to support any previous one.

The Horrifying Abomination that is Honey Boo Boo

Honey Boo Boo. Even the name sends waves of anger flashing through my brain. First of all, even the title of this popular TV Show gives me chills – in a bad way. Has America really arrived at the point where we allow childish language to permeate into television titles? Thinking about it a little more, ABC stands for “American Broadcasting Corporation” (acronyms.thefreedictionary.com). NBC stands for something of a similar sort. Honey Boo Boo stands for “Holy Dear Jesus God, Get This Crap Off My Television Screen Before I Vomit All Over It!” This show is a grievance to all humanity. As the great American political leader Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Indepedence,

“[W]henever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. “

Although it may not seem an obvious connection at first sight, Honey Boo Boo can insert itself into this equation as well: Firstly, Honey Boo Boo is destructive, certainly for the mind; therefore, it should be the right of the people to abolish it and eradicate it from existence. In its place, we shall institute television programs that do not turn our brains into malleable mush.

And so I declare the grievances of which Honey Boo Boo stands culprit:

I.) Honey Boo has taken over the minds of millions of Americans. It is of no secret the usurping and controlling nature of this television show. The entire success of Honey Boo Boo rests on the ability of America to laugh at its own failures – a critical mistake that we cannot make.

II.) Honey Boo Boo does not serve any sort of educational purpose whatsoever. What does one learn from watching Honey Boo Boo? How to mispronounce words? How to dress like a sack of potatoes? How to become the scummy monsters of the Earth?

III.) TLC has recently approved more episodes of Honey Boo Boo. TLC stands for “The Learning Channel.” I believe this connection is blatant enough.

IV.) Honey Boo Boo is turning an innocent child, Alana Thompson, into an object of American social media. She, essentially, is devoting her life to making herself and her family look like a gaggle of fools. Therefore, not only is Honey Boo Boo melting American minds, it is melting that of Alana. Essentially, by watching Honey Boo Boo, America is encouraging its children to act with stupidity and ignorance.

To keep this at reasonable length, I shall stop at that point. But I shall say this: America. Stop Watching Honeey Boo Boo. For our country’s sake. Please!

Finally, a Post of Enjoyment!

I have come to the realization that the majority of my blog posts, especially those of recent times, have been rather dark and “scary”. In order to maintain that sense of balance between seriousness and humor which most humans share, this post shall be of a more light-hearted nature. Sounds fun, no? Let us begin!

Today, I wish to talk about a favorite website of mine, and that would be Memebase. Memebase, as one could likely deduce from its denotation, is a base of memes. However, this is obviously of no help to someone who does not understand what a meme is. A meme is essentially a picture with text overlayed on top of it – the purpose is to express some form of sarcastic complaint or point about a particular topic. The appeal of memes is their ability to poke fun at just about any topic. This is why I read memebase.

I want to, of course, provide a couple examples of specific memes which I particularly enjoy. The first and foremost one is the “Willy Wonka” meme. The purpose of the Willy Wonka meme is primarly to provide counterarguments (often condescending) to popular social, economic, political, or religious beliefs. As an example:

As one can see, a Willy Wonka meme (it’s official title being “Condescending Wonka” or sometimes “Creepy Wonka”) is designed in a sarcastic manner, often using rhetorical statements to get a point across. In other words, Willy Wonka does not really want one to explain his or her problems; he uses the phrase “Please tell me….” in order to reveal the discussed subject’s ignorance.

Another favorite meme of mine happens to be “Overly Attached Girlfriend.” As one can presume from its title, Overly Attached Girlfriend is a photo of a girl with rather creepy-looking eyes, with overlayed text usually describing some sort of stereotypical girlfriend-y sentiment. Since I am obviously not an overly attached girlfriend myself, I believe another example of a meme will better serve my purpose:

See what I mean? Absolutely creepy, I tell you.

As one can tell, memes are one of the most effective ways to provide arguments and sentiments on the nuances of society: they are funny yet informative, quirky yet serious, kind yet slighting. They provide a unique balance to any sort of argument that, say, an essay, or a speech cannot provide. All hail memes! Just joking, that would horrendously absurd.

More on the Negativities of Social Media

To anyone who has read this blog before this moment, it is no secret that I despise many of the oppressive, unfortunte qualities of current social media (for example, Facebook, Twitter, or just about any other interactive site on the internet). Social media tends to increase stereotypes, as alluded to my post on yoga pants. Social media tends to turn us into zombies. Social media tends to reduce and limit beneficial interactions between parent and child. However, most importantly, social media brings into reality the dangers of child predators.

This topic came into mind while I was viewing a Katie Couric special last night. In this special, Katie Couric highlighted the inherent correlation between social media (again, tweeting on one’s iPhone, facebooking on a laptop, et cetera). However, this special was not your run-of-the-mill news report, with the news anchor reading scripted lines off of a sheet of paper. This television special was extremely effective. Why? Katie Couric utilizied an impressive list of sources to assert the dangerous connection of social media and child predators. Katie Couric had personal information – she herself is a mother of a teenage daughter – and outside information; among the members of the audience were child sex predator experts; and as for the critical sources, Katie Couric interviewed three child sex predators and asked for their views of various nasty subjects related to child sex predators.

Unfortunately, as I did not record the show, my specific details will be somewhat scant – sorry about that. But anyways, Couric interviewed three child predators : one of them was a college professor in his 50s; one of them was a 45-year-old man looking to have sex with underage teen girls; and the third was only 23-years-old, who set up a web site to entice girls into sharing nude or scandalous photos of themselves.

These child predators were not cautious as to their details. All of them openly admitted their apparent attraction to underage teenagers. All of them spoke with fluency and confidence in their voices when they so openly orated their personal encounters with child pornography and sexual intercourse with underage teens. And all of them gave similar advice to the parents of underage teens: RUN.

The candor of these three child sex predators absolutely shocked me. In this case, it is apparent that even child predators (obviously the common sources of child pornography and child predator-ing) are unable to, or perhaps do not even wish to, provide real, chilling details about the horrible child sex predator epidemic in the United States. If I were a teenager’s parent, I would take their advice: Get rid of the iPhones. Get rid of Facebook. Get rid of Twitter. Don’t trust anyone. And, of course, if worst comes to worst – RUN.

More Celebrity Failures: Rihanna

She fell in love with him.  He said he loved her.  Then, he beat her.  They separated – and now, they’re back together.  This seems like he plot to a horrible Lifetime movie, doesn’t it?  I wish it were so.  Unfortunately, this story is all too true – specfically, these are outlines of the celebrity relationship between Chris Brown and Rihanna.

The two met and started dating sometime in 2008.  They were known as a very romantic couple, often seeing publicly kissing and hugging.  It seemed like a fairytale relationship: A successful rapper pairs up with a successful singer.  What could go wrong?  Well, obviously something did on Sunday, February 8th, 2009, when Chris Brown was arrested on assault charges, suspected of beating Rihanna (specifically in the face).  Long story short, Rihanna and Chris Brown obviously separated from each other.  Over the next several years, Rihanna and Chris Brown continued to work separately, each releasing their own profitable albums and singles.  It appeared as though the water had calmed and the fish were swimming in separate schools.  However, this past Monday night (in the present time), Rihanna and Chris Brown were seen together, leaving a hotel and sitting together at a nightclub.  It marked the first time the press had concrete evidence of their pair’s reunion – although there had been some suspicions of this over the last few months or so, the press this time managed to take photos of Rihanna and Chris Brown, once again, snuggling and kissing.

Rihanna reunited with the evil in her life.  She even felt as though the public and the press criticized Brown too harshly.   In an interview with Oprah Winfrey on August 19,2012, “She went on to explain to Oprah that at first she was angry, frustrated that Chris would hit her, but after seeing the devastating backlash that Chris Brown had to endure she actually felt bad for him. “I felt like the only person that people hated at that time was him,” Rihanna said. “It was a weird and confusing space to be in because as angry, hurt and betrayed as I was I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help,”.” (Z6Mag.com, 2012).  I simply don’t understand Rihanna’s recent actions.  I suppose it is natural to feel some lingering sympathy for the one you once loved.  But why would one reunite with one of the greatest evils in their life?  Does Rihanna not recognize the rampant possibility of another beating?  The answer is: obviously not, because she continues to play Chris Brown’s game.  In addition to all this, at least of Monday night, Chris Brown already has a girlfriend – who isn’t Rihanna.  So not only is Rihanna denying herself freedom from the tyranny that is Chris Brown, she is also encouraging his immoral deeds.  In one way, Rihanna does have some merit in her words: yes, Chris Brown does need help.  But it also appears to me Rihanna believes she can provide that help.  Well, to be frank, no Rihanna, you can’t.  Let Chris Brown solve his own issues before you hurt yourself.  Again.

Celebrities And Their Astounding Lack of Driving Ability

Justin Bieber gets a speeding ticket.  Amanda Bynes involves herself in multiple car accidents and the police impound her car.  Lindsay Lohan suspected of DUIs.  Throughout the years, celebrity figures in popular culture have been infamous for their vehicular issues.  What is the deal with celebrities and their inability to drive  a car?  Let us get down to the details and facts of this rather puzzling concept.

First and foremost, I personally belive the main reason why celebrities have several troubles concerning cars and driving is simply because many celebrities believe they are invincible.  They have immense personal wealth and large mansions that have the ability to hold tens of cars.  For example, Justin Bieber was driving a chrome Fisker Karma when he got a speeding ticket – a rather expensive car if I do say so myself.  Interestingly to note, in this case, Justin Bieber and the Dennis Zine, Los Angeles city councilman, cited the paparazzi as an excuse for Bieber driving at one hundred miles per hour.  Perhaps the paparazzi did truly threaten Bieber and were the main cause of his reckless driving.  This, however, still does not vindicate Justin Bieber for his actions.  To keep it short, driving at one hundred miles per hour is reckless and dangerous to those drivers around you – no matter how much your personal wealth.

There also was the case of Amanda Bynes.  A child star on Nickelodeon, Amanda Bynes has come into the spotlight recently for her shoddy driving technique.  Over the last year, according to various articles from People.com and TMZ.com, Amanda Bynes has involved herself in multiple car accidents – ranging from simple little bumps to a DUI.  She even drove on a suspended license:  “The actress, 26, who has been charged with a DUI and two counts of hit-and-run, has been spotted acting increasingly erratically over the last several months, including “bizarre” behavior at her gym, according to a source, and being involved in a string of car accidents.” (People.com, 9/20/2012).  Like Bieber, Amanda must think she is invincible – she obviously thought that she could drive a car on a suspended license and not encounter ramifications.  Distorted perceptions of reality often cloud and taint the minds celebrities.  It’s not necessarily that they have no sense of reason or logic, as one would likely think.  Rather, the more likely scenario is that celebrities lack a sense of responsibility.  Celebrities accustom themselves to limitless money, limitless resources, limitless power.  It’s time that celebrities learn to own up to their actions, pay for their misdeeds, and consider the legal and social consequences of their idiocies.   So, to Justin Bieber, to Amanda Bynes, and to other celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan: be better drivers!  Stop embarrassing yourselves in front of the world!  Stop drinking!  For the love of mankind, Please!

The Grandeur of Awards Shows

The glitz.  The glamour.  The flashing lights.  The sparkling dresses.  The classy tuxedos.  The red carpet.  This is the grandeur of awards shows, a time when celebrities gather together to acknowledge the best in their field.  Awards shows, such as the Emmys or the Academy Awards recognize the talent of all professions within the acting/show business world: the Emmys has an award for best lighting; the Academy Awards has awards for best sound mixing and special effects; and of course, no one can forget the importance of best actor or best actress in a lead role.

The 2012 Academy Awards pulled in aroud 81.0 million viewers during its primetime Sunday airing.  What is it about celebrity awards shows that pull in so many viewers each year?  Perhaps it is the musical numbers; perhaps it is the emotional speeches the awards winners always give; or maybe it is simply the natural sense of appreciation for extreme talent.  This was the case in point for the 2012 Academy Awards.  That year, a black-and-white, old-style film entitled “The Artist” was up for a very large number of awards.  In an era of iPhones and Twitter and electronic zombification of the masses, “The Artist” won five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Lead Role, Best Costume Design, Best Directing, and Best Original Score.  The actor who won for Best Actor, Jean Dujardin, was not even well-known in America at the time – in fact, he was the first French actor ever to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (IMDb: Jean Dujardin biography).  Personally, I had never even heard of the film.  Now, some critics argue that the organizers of shows such as the Academy Awards are stuffy, white, old men and that the public does not get enough say in the determination of who gets what award.  These worries assume that the organizers of the Academy Awards have no idea what they are doing; one has to remember that being a critic is a JOB for those people.  And, if you’ve spent your whole life perfecting a skill such as that of critique, you probably are adept at such a skill.  I have the utmost respect for the people who decide the winners of television awards.  Needless to say, The Artist deserved every award it won.  Why?  It excelled the most in each of those categories.  Sure, personal bias is somewhat inevitable (what exactly does “Best Actor” mean, after all?).  However, as they say, only the most fit shall survive.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a clip of “The Artist”, taken from Youtube.