Sunday, June 28, 2015

Urban Curiosity


For fun I decided to type my name into the Urban Dictionary and these were the results.

Some of them were fantastic.


Royalty Appreciation Post


      I've been fascinated by royalty since I saw the animated film Anastasia when I was seven years old. I was completely intrigued by the Romanov family, but most especially the four sisters and I spent a good deal of reading and researching them. Then in 2004, I saw the wedding pictures of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and my love for royalty suddenly expanded from the fascination of Russia's last imperial family. Since then, I've been an avid royalist for over 10 years and I believe that royal families play an integral part of world communication in in their respective countries.

     While royals are essentially powerless in the political spectrum, they can hold a great deal of influence in society. Royals have used their fame as a positive influence to bring awareness to social and world issues. They are oftentimes ambassadors for their country's humanitarian efforts and have made a great deal of success in bettering society. Although, they tend to bare the brunt of slander, gossip, invasion of privacy and neverending scrutiny of their day to day decisions, royals have contributed much of their lives into stamping down the stereotypes and creating for themselves their own identities. 


     Why is the world fascinated by royalty? Well, for centuries royals have always held a great deal of fascination and wonder for the common people around them. Wealth, fame, power, position and duty have all been common factors for royals all around the world as well as their family histories (both famous and infamous) that have been documented for years. While royals have been politically powerless, they have gained both affection and loathing from the majority of ordinary people who speculate and calculate their lives. 

     Royals are their own kind of celebrity. Only where most celebrities have to climb a social ladder, royals have no choice but to be born famous. Sometimes they are famous even before the announcement of their arrival and so they better live up to every expectation that people have for them or at least that was the attitude that was held for many years. Weddings and births are always new worthy and regardless of what anti-royalists say, there is no denying the excitement when a new member is added in the royal line of succession.


      For years, the film industry has been both a blessing and a curse for royals around the world. While most of the time filmmakers get the story wrong, there are those rare few that give respect and dignity to their chosen subject. While some may have historical inaccuracies such as love stories (The Young Victoria) and costumes (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), what I really appreciate is how royals have been represented as ordinary people born in extraordinary situations and their fears, dreams, doubts, successes and failures that make them human and real. 

     So yes, I love royals. I have my favorite royals couples as do most people. I keep a watch out for royal births and am always excited for a royal wedding. Good marriages are always refreshing and admirable and watching children grow up and take on their parents roles (maybe taking a few coming-of-age left turns from time to time) makes you realize they may not be as different as they are so often perceived to be.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Godfather Trilogy


     This is possibly one of the best film trilogies I have ever watched. Yes, they're bloody and violent, just as the book was, but there was real truth and depth to these stories; a family bound by honor, a father who would move heaven and earth for his children, a son who must carry a legacy he never wanted and a generational lifestyle that has defined a remarkable culture. Before Mario Puzo wrote "The Godfather" the mafia lifestyle was the stereotype 'goons with guns.' Audiences never thought that beyond the violence, the secrets and lies, were real families who were deeply ingrained in their culture and their love of life. 


   The Corleone family is just a small representation of a Mafioso family lifestyle. They fight, they laugh, they mourn, they hate and love with equal measure and betrayal is the ultimate unforgivable sin. They're sinners, saints, adulterers, murderers and dreamers. Family goes beyond blood, sometimes it's found in acceptance and loyalty. Yet, at the same time, family can also be used as validation for crime and chaos. The questionable theme of 'how far do you go to save those you love?' is repeated over and over again. Does the murder of one man to save your dying child allow you to toss your humanity to the wind? And is betrayal so deeply wounding that you would kill the one you swore to protect?

     ~ ~ ~

The Godfather

     Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is one of the most powerful and respected dons of the "Five Families" in New York. Running his 'family business' in his Long Beach compound, he is affectionately known as 'Godfather' and spends his days hearing the pleas of wronged friends who have sought his help to extract justice for their enemies. Benevolent but ruthless, Vito's business runs smoothly, efficiently and with no consequences; only the desired results of their inhumane actions. 

     Of Vito's four lively children his youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), wants nothing to do with the family business. All Michael wants is an honest and legitimate life as a business man, married to his longtime girlfriend, Kay Adams (Diane Keaton) and create a life separate from the one he grew up in. While the family looks down on Michael in disdain for his independence from his father's home, Vito actual wants Michael to break free and live his own life, because he knows that Michael is the only one of his children with the will and wherewithal to live legitimately and honestly. 

Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and his beloved father, Vito (Marlon Brando)
     When war breaks out between the Five Families and Vito almost dies in an assassination attempt, Michael puts aside all his dreams of honest living and finds himself embroiled in the bloody Mafioso war. After the death of loved ones becomes too much for Vito, he calls an end to the war and brings a new time of peace between the 'Five Families.' As Vito becomes older and weaker, Michael slowly begins to step into his father's place as the next Godfather, but in his own effort to protect his family from another war, Michael begins to descend into a secret second life of revenge, murder and vindication. 

~ ~ ~

The Godfather: Part II

     Two stories of two great men coincide in what is considered the greatest of all the Godfather films. In 1901, nine year old Vito Andolini escapes from a bloody Mafia chieftain in Corleone, Sicily and is secretly put on a ship headed to New York where he is alone with no family, no home and possibly no hope of survival. As time goes by, Vito (Robert De Niro) eventually marries and starts a family, but is struggling to put food on the table, especially when the the neighborhood thug, Don Fanucci has every innocent person under his thumb. 

     Out of desperation to save his sickly son, Vito and a small band of friends hatch a plot to bring down Fanucci and give to the small home city the freedom and justice they deserve. After Vito kills Fanucci, he soon becomes the new Don and makes a name for himself as a just and noble leader and so begins the legend of 'The Godfather' of Long Beach, New York. What Vito doesn't know is that his descendant Michael will become more bloody and ruthless than he ever imagined.

Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro)
     Fast forward the late 1950s, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Michael Corleone has run Mafia operations and family negotiations successfully for seven years. In a sense, Michael is happy with his wife and children. It may not be the life he dreamed of as a young man, but he has his family as well as extended members that rely on him for support and protection. When the family compound comes under a surprise attack, Michael goes on an extreme search that takes him from Vegas to Cuba in order to track down the man responsible for threatening his family.

     As Michael descends deeper into anger and hatred for those that oppose him, he becomes a stranger to his wife and children. Eventually, Kay can take no more of Michael and his Mafia life and leaves him. Slowly, Michael's once perfect world begins to fall around him, but he reaches his ultimate destruction when he discovers the family member that betrayed him. Now, he must make the impossible decision to either forgive wrongs or carry out justice in the name of 'family preservation.'

~ ~ ~

The Godfather: Part III

     Almost twenty years since his disastrous year of family betrayal and loss, Michael Corleone has devoted his life to charity and humane work. Honored by the Catholic Church for his good works, Michael believes himself to finally be freed from the illegal life of the mob after making all business and trade legitimate. While trying to mend his struggling relationship with his children, Anthony and Mary (Sofia Coppola), his former wife, Kay holds him in contempt and dread for the hell he put her through years before.

    When his brother's illegitimate upstart son, Vincent Mancini (Andy Garcia) asks him for help in a personal feud with another Mafia don Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna), Michael takes in wild and rash Vince in hopes of grooming him to take over the family business, as his own son has left to pursue a career in music instead of law and business. While Vincent grows into his role as future don, he finds himself falling in love with Michael's beautiful, but naive daughter, Mary. Knowing that this relationship will cause nothing but heartache and disaster, Michael tells Vince to end his relationship with Mary before she finds herself in danger.

Vincent Marcini (Andy Garcia) with his mentor, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino)
     After a bloody Massacre of Mafia leaders in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a new war begins and Michael once again finds himself caught in the middle of treachery and turmoil. While trying to protect his family, Michael begins to reflect on his younger life and the sins of his past. In a final effort to redeem himself, Michael confesses his sins to kindly Cardinal Lamberto and finally freeing himself from years of guilt and regret. While Michael believes that God may forgive him, his suffering is far from over and the cost of his sins may be more than he can ever bear. 

~ ~ ~

The Godfather 
     Dark, gritty and gruesome, The Godfather is not an easy series to get through and it's quite a lot to take in at first. While the story is about an unexpected and unwanted family legacy, it also highlights the traditions and customs of Italian-American's and their over-abounding love of family and life. Vito and Michael both made hard decisions that molded them into great men, but while Vito's greatness made him a hero, Michael's made him a monster that slowly grew overtime. Redemption and forgiveness are hardly acceptable ideals in the Mafioso, but it is what they secretly strive for in the end and not to be remembered as powerful dons, but as regular men who did the best they could for the ones that they loved. 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Great 'Poldark' Article!!

Another 'Poldark,' and once again it's scything the fans

By SUSAN KING

Ross Poldark rides again in a swashbuckling new adaptation of the hit series that helped launch
 "Masterpiece" in the 1970s. (Robert Viglasky / Masterpiece)
When the epic romantic TV series "Poldark" premiered this spring in England, its success took even the producers by surprise.

"The truth is you never know what's going to strike a chord with the viewing public," said executive producer Debbie Horsfield, who adapted Winston Graham's popular novels set in 18th century Cornwall about the complex Ross Poldark and the two women in his life. "We even sparked an interest in scything."

The eight-part series opened Sunday in the United States on PBS' "Masterpiece" and was greeted with largely positive reviews. Irish actor Aidan Turner has the title role.

Longtime "Masterpiece" fans are familiar with "Poldark." The original 1975 series, which starred the magnetic Robin Ellis, captured the hearts of U.S. audiences when it aired decades ago on the PBS showcase."Aidan plays Ross so amazingly," said Horsfield. "And as a character, Ross is very charismatic and very appealing."

"It's a known title for those who have watched 'Masterpiece''' said "Masterpiece" executive producer Rebecca Eaton, adding it was a "no-brainer" to do the new version. "The nature of the story of a dashing hero and a love triangle is appealing to younger viewers too."

original before being approached to write a new adaptation. She took the first two "Poldark" novels with her on vacation to read (Graham wrote 12).

"I think probably it took about three pages to realize they were fantastic stories and I wanted to do the adaptations."

Aidan plays Ross so amazingly," said producer Debbie Horsfield. "And as a character, Ross is very charismatic and very appealing." (Robert Viglasky / AP)
Horsfield deliberately didn't revisit the series while writing the eight scripts. "The '70s series had a whole team of writers. I didn't want to be influenced by the choices they made. The only thing I was a little bit intimidated about was doing justice to the books because the books are tremendous," she said.

Turner, who played the dwarf Kili in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" film trilogy, was Horsfield's only choice for the role. She had seen him play poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the 2009 series "Desperate Romantics" and as a vampire in the 2009-11 "Being Human."

"In both of those he was playing an outsider, rather damaged characters who were on the outskirts of society, a rebel," said Horsfield.

Turner recalled the morning when he received a knock at the door of his home in England.

"It was a FedEx guy with two Winston Graham novels and eight scripts with a little note that said we would like to offer you the part of Poldark," he said. "I thought, 'Brilliant, what was Poldark?' I went straight to the laptop and Googled 'Poldark.'''

Turner loved playing Poldark's massive contradictions. "He's a real character. He's not this benevolently saint character. He's stubborn and doesn't befriend the people he should. He's confused in love and he's temperamental. He has a healthy disrespect for authority."

The eight-part series opened Sunday in the United States on PBS' "Masterpiece" and was greeted with largely positive reviews. Eleanor Tomlinson and Aidan Turner star.
Ellis has been a strong supporter of the new series since it was announced, and he even appears in the third and sixth episodes of the show as a nemesis of Poldark, Rev. Halse. (Ellis describes Turner as "the real McCoy.") The actor is also returning for the second season of "Poldark," which begins production in September.

"It was quite an extraordinary moment when we had the two Poldarks together," said Horsfield.

"Robin was amazing," said Turner. "He was totally supportive and lovely."

Ellis, who lives in France and is a well-known cookbook author, noted how different it was to do the series four decades ago. "We rehearsed for six days," said Ellis. "And then we went into the studio and did it virtually from 7:30 a.m to 10 p.m. with five [video] cameras on set. Every so often we would go to Cornwall for two weeks to shoot the exteriors."

A lot was made in the British press of Turner's shirtless sequences in "Poldark," which showcased his muscular physique.

Such was not the case for Ellis.

"When I was playing it, I did take my shirt off once," said Ellis, laughing. "I took it off to wash in a scene and the next day I took my washing across the road to the launderette that I normally used. The lady who did my washing was Eastern European. She looked at me, wagged her finger and said, 'Big mistake.' I never took my shirt off again."

Source: LA Times


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vlog #6 - June


     Talking about my 4th blog anniversary, my followers (pros and cons), the negative aspects of my personality and what blogging had done for me as a writer. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Poldark and The Crimson Field


   Oh yes! To return to British drama is almost like going on a mini-vacation every Sunday night. With the ending of Downton Abbey in February and Call The Midwife in May, PBS' summer season has started off with the Sunday night premiere episodes of BBC's Poldark and ITV's The Crimson Field. Both of them were exceptionally good in their writing, acting, costumes, music and settings!

~ ~ ~

Poldark

      Back from fighting in the Revolutionary War, Ross Poldark returns home to Corrnwall, England only to find out that everyone has thought him dead for two years. In his absence, everything in Ross' life has changed. His father is dead, his land and tenants are are at the bottom of the barrel, his inheritance is next to nothing, and the girl he planned on marrying upon returning is now set to marry his cousin and best friend, Storyline sound familiar? Ross now has a choice, either leave Cornwall and set out to London to return to school or stay there and give his people a new life and make his inheritance something worthwhile. 

     It seems that Poldark is going to be a 18th century Robin Hood story that is heavy on drama. darkness and forbidden love. Now, it's obvious that Aidan Turner (BBC's Being Human, The Hobbit trilogy) is clearly the primary reason for viewing, but Aidan's acting is incredible! The war for Ross was a coming of age and he returns home different man determined to pull his life back together and bring his struggling tenants out of their debt and poverty. 

~ ~ ~

The Crimson Field

     In 1915, three volunteer nurses head to the war front in France where they are met with the dark, grisly and horrific realities of war. None of them are prepared, but all of them are determined to find their place in the hospital fields. While there, the nurses are met with the strict matron, the talented, but flirting doctors and the kindly colonel who tries to hold everything (and everyone) together. As intriguing as any other British Drama, The Crimson Field explores the day to day struggled, heartache, and even humor that is found in the WWI front.

     As the Edwardian era is my favorite time period, I was very excited about this one. While I thought that Call The Midwife was gritty, war hospitals have a whole different story. The nurses themselves are as opposite from one another as you can get, but they make for interesting character development that will continue on the next six episodes. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Wilsonmoff//Scarlet Falcon?


     I don't know why I'm all of a sudden posting about love relationships in movies and television, but normally I don't really care for the love stories in MARVEL; as most of them were already established years in advanced (and MARVEL is NOT about romance), but I feel that Wanda and Sam should have a chance with one another.

     They may not be a likely couple, but when the first thought entered my mind, I was like...that might work! After everything the both of them have been through prior to meeting the Avengers, they might have more in common than you think.

Both have dealt with personal loss and severe grief 

- Sam lost his wingman, Riley, served in two tours and went back home with (possible) PTS. 

- Wanda was orphaned at 10, used as scientific research for HYDRA and then lost her brother. 

After Wanda lost her brother (literally in battle), the one person who might be able to help her cope is Sam who is also a grief counselor at the VA in Washington, DC. 

Wanda's connections with HYDRA (for however long she was there) might also aid Sam and Steve into finding Bucky. Chances are she ran into him or at least knows of him during her time in HYDRA. 

Sam's incredible strength of character and duty driven manner coincides with Wanda's generous personality and sweet nature. Wanda depended on her brother for her confidence and to be her protector and Sam has a natural confidence that makes him a good protector.

     I don't know...maybe it will never happen on screen, but I think they would be a good idea and anyways, both deserve a chance at love. The only guy that Wanda has really ever trusted and loved is Pietro, which is fine, but he was still her brother (which also explains their rather awkward physical interaction in Age of Ultron). It's no secret that Sam wants to be in a relationship, but it has to be with someone who understands the work that he's doing and HYDRA, S.H.I.E.L.D., and now, the Avengers have them both on a level of equal understanding. 

     Call this relational premonitions, fandom predictions, wishful thinking or just fan-fiction inspiration, I think this is a relationship in the making (whether it makes it to screen or not). 


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Second-Girl Syndrome


L-R: Kate, Chloe Sullivan, Felicity Smoak, Eowyn
Yes, they all happen to be blondes...but I love 3 out of 4 of them.
     I'm going to be honest and say, I hate, hate, love triangles. They are usually shallow, melodramatic and really deter from the actual storyline. When it's a girl between two guys then it's equal on both sides. However, when it's a guy between two girls, it's an ugly situation, In most girl-guy-girl triangles, you have the preferred girl who usually gets all the hate and then you have what I've termed, the 'second-girl.' The girl madly in love with the guy who doesn't notice her and spends all her time pining over him. Originally, I called it Eponine syndrome, but due to Eponine's life in the story, she needs some sympathy (at least she got her own song). 

     The four characters I have listed below are all examples of second-girl. I hate Kate (BBC's Robin Hood), however, Chloe (Smallville), Felicity (Arrow) and Eowyn (Lord of the Rings) are all great characters. Sometimes their roles as the second-girl adds to the story, sometimes it's in their character development, but then the role can also be put upon them by fan's perspectives. Sometimes the second-girl gets the guy, like Felicity and temporarily Kate, and sometimes the girl gets a guy better suited for them, like Chloe and Eowyn, but however their story might end, the second-girl is one of the most difficult characters to write and they can either make or break the story.

~ ~ ~

Kate (BBC's Robin Hood)

     Brought in for the final season of Robin Hood, Kate was created to replace Marian (who was killed) and Djaq (who went back to the Middle East) and she had potential to be a great character, but the writers absolutely destroyed her. Kate is a peasant girl living in Locksley where she meets Robin Hood. She starts off with immediate dislike of Robin by first blaming him for her brother's death and then when she is rescued by him and Allan, she is completely rude and ungrateful. When another woman (who is absolutely terrible) walks into Robin's life, Kate is suddenly in love with him. Although, instead of just telling Robin how she felt about him, Kate was immature, childish and rude the entire time. She completely defined the second-girl syndrome with her pitiful and selfish personality and she only got worse as the season dragged on. 

     The writers were trying to create another Marian, but it just didn't work. They made Kate too feminist and too independent. Once she becomes part of the group, she thought she could be the queen bee and get Robin to herself, but Robin has his eye on Isabelle Gisborne and pays no attention to Kate in the beginning. She deserves it though for how she treated Robin. Season 3 was actually a very good season, but Kate almost ruined it.

~ ~ ~

Chloe Sullivan (Smallville)

     Now, to be honest, Chloe is a regular teenage girl who is talented and brilliant, but her crush on Clark Kent was really damaging to her character in the first 2 seasons of Smallville. Chloe has been in love with Clark since she first met him in 7th grade. Although Clark values her as a friend, he has been madly in love with beautiful and popular Lana Lang since he was 3 years old. Because of Clark's feelings for Lana and his ignorance of Chloe's feelings for him, Chloe tended to treat Lana badly in the beginning of season 1. Overtime, they became friends, but Clark was constantly coming between them. Lana couldn't help the way Clark felt about her, but she was always bearing the brunt of Chloe's anger. The hurtful part is that as friends, Chloe and Lana are great together,

     Chloe's problem (like Kate) is that she never came out and told Clark how she felt about him. So instead of telling him, she burdened Lana with her grief until it almost tore the two girls apart. So, needless to say, Chloe was very annoying in seasons 1 and 2 of Smallville and I really had a hard time liking her character. By season 3, Chloe has matured quite a lot and realizes that Clark will always just be her friend. When she comes to the realization, her friendship with Lana becomes much stronger and they really become an inseparable duo till Lana's departure in season 8.

~ ~ ~

Felicity Smoak (Arrow)

      I really do enjoy Felicity as a character, but she was never suppose to be a series regular. After her first appearance in season 1, fans and producers liked her so much that they hired Emily Bett Rickards to continue her role as the brainy computer whiz. Cool, awesome, she was another Chloe Sullivan...but then they had to go and put her in a love triangle. Now there's nothing wrong with Felicity being in love with Oliver, but I felt that being the second-girl distracted from her character at times. She's an absolute genius with a heart of the purest gold (and is really the only sane character on the show), but I felt that the writers somewhat rushed the Felicity/Oliver relationship and all fans saw her as was 'the better girl for Oliver.' She has so much more to offer the story in the beginning.

     While Felicity is in love with Oliver, Oliver, himself, is conflicted with the two Lance sisters. Neither one of them deserve him. In all actuality, Felicity is the only woman in the show that deserved Oliver, but I felt that only reason she was doing the work she was doing was only for Oliver. If someone else (with the same reasons as Oliver) asked her to to work underground for them, I don't think Felicity would jump immediately at the opportunity. Now, Felicity does end up with Oiliver in the end, but I hope fans appreciate her more than the girl who was in love with her boss.

~ ~ ~

Eowyn (The Lord of The Rings)

     Tolkein in a stroke of genius, wrote the character of Eowyn as a woman ahead of her time. Strong, fierce, beautiful and intelligent, Eowyn is the epitome of what a true adventure heroine is. Yet, in the midst of all her strength must be a vulnerable weakness and that happens to be her love with Aragorn. Of course, Aragorn is in love with Arwen, but what bothers me isn't so much the love triangle, it's the fan's perspective of both women in the story. Eowyn is a hero because she can swing a sword and ride into battle, so maybe she's a better match for Aragorn. Arwen, on the other hand, must make the hard decision of leaving Middle Earth with her people or risk her immortality and stay with Aragorn, so that makes her boring and unimportant. 

     Somehow, people think that because Eowyn fights in battle, she's the better of the two women. That because Arwen is a more subdued and tranquil, she is weak and serves no purpose. Eowyn may get the sympathy vote because of her hard life with her dysfunctional family, but does that make her more deserving than Arwen who had a happier life? Both women are equally strong and important. Eowyn is the point of reference for her family and Rohan, and Arwen is the center of all of Aragorn's most complex decisions in his life. 


Introvert or Shyness?

After my post "Vogue Introverts" that I wrote on 6/6/2015 I had a several discussions with someone who is much more knowledgeable on the issue of introvertism than I am, so I'm redoing this post for more factual and truthful information. 



   Lately, I’ve noticed a certain term that seems to be everywhere and used all the time by people my age. Introvert. Now, instead of saying that someone is shy or has a quiet personality, they say that they are introverted, but is introversion really the same as shyness? In some ways yes, but in other ways no. An introvert personality is by no means a bad thing, but it can be difficult to deal with. I, myself may have had introvertive traits my whole life and I've hated it.

    When I was growing up, being shy was not considered cool. If you were shy, you were the weird kid (it really doesn’t help when you’re also the only homeschooled kid in the church youth group). People were always being told to be more outgoing, talk more, and participate more. Now, society has seemed to give people the idea that being shy gives you some sort of mystery element, which is termed introvert. It’s perfectly acceptable to call yourself 'an introvert' and not just say you're shy.

    Shyness is simply being nervous around people, for a temporary period of time. Introversion is a deeper almost mental situation. Introvert personalities share similar traits with shyness, but introverts may have a hard time coming to terms with the issues that make them the way they are. Introverts (by proper terminology) are people that restrict their contact with other people and pursue solitary activities such as reading, writing, etc. However, I believe that being an introvert goes deeper than being reclusive.

     Introverts can be around people, but not for long periods of time. They have to have some time alone, as someone said, "to recharge their batteries," Introverts have been known to do well among groups of people, but they must have some time alone or they can become very overwhelmed or stressed out. Maybe this might come from fear or nervousness. In many ways, after someone described it to me, I thought it sounded luck running a mental race. Start out slow and then find your comfort zone, but at the end, you need some time to relax, before you can start over again. No two personalities are the same and you can't judge one person by another.

     Shyness is also a multifaceted personality, but at times it is less to to do with people and more to do with one self. It can range from being nervous in public to being afraid of what people think of you (it has sometimes even been categorized as selfishness, which I think is going to far). Whereas introverts need to relax and unwind, shy people need to build self-confidence and independence.


     I didn't understand what this board was at first until it was explained to me. I thought it was simply a personality test, but it is actual scientific testing that is used to determine where one falls on the scale of introvertism. My question is, how long did it take to compile all that evidence and data to make one scale?? I believe that you could possibly fall into more than one category there. It seems to be primarily used for people who have gone through severe mental abuse and may not know where their general personality lies. It almost looks like a spiritual gifts test that determines where your place in the church is (if you haven't taken one of those, you should!!)

     I don't think someone should fall into the lie of not caring about what people think about you. You're family and friends are the ones who have to put up with you and their opinions matter. Although, don't end up centering your whole life on what they think. They're are their for moral support and criticism to help mold you into a good person. 

     What I'm trying to drive home here (and I never write a post about social issues, unless there's a point behind it.), is that saying you're an introvert and being an introvert can be two separate issues and I don't believe that someone can be completely introverted either, they can have other contrasting personalities that help balance their introvertive personality. If you're saying you're an introvert because you believe it's the same or similar to being shy, chances are you probably missed the mark. Also, don't claim to be an introvert just because it's the cool thing to do. Check yourself and ask other people around you what they believe your personality to be. All personalities are different and people can have different traits of introversion and yes, it can be difficult and oftentimes lonely, but the world is not meant to live in alone.

Personal thanks to Jamie for better explaining these issues to me! I want to always be honest and fair in what I write and it can be hard for me to accept criticism (although, Jamie wasn't doing that all!), but it's the only way I can grow as a writer. 



Monday, June 8, 2015

Assemble & Unite: Always There, Old Friend


     Finding friends can be difficult and finding good friends is even more of a challenge. Friendship is one of the most important relationships in human living. From childhood we are encouraged to be friendly and befriend others, and we carry this with us our whole lives. The term friend can have a whole manner of meanings behind it. Like love, friend is more abstract in feeling than it is concrete in physicality. Friends (real friends) hold you to a level of accountability; they are honest and sacrificial. Friendship can give you comfort in your times of grief and provide you with a sense of never-ending trust and respect.

     Some friends last a season while others last a lifetime, but there are also friendships that may break and the breaking of a friendship can damage a person in more ways than they realize. Broken friendships are created from betrayal, jealousy, hate, anger, lies and deceit. What is broken can be fixed, can’t it? There is an old saying that true friendship is like fine china, once broken, but made stronger with mending. That doesn’t always mean that mending is going to be painless.

     The broken friendships of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, and Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr are classic examples of broken friendships. Forged from betrayal and deceit, their broken friendships can tear harder at the heart and the soul than a tragic love story. The person who once trusted with your life is now the person you can never trust at all.

~ ~ ~

Capt. Steve Rogers & Bucky Barnes

     In the case of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, there was no choice at all. Steve and Bucky were friends since childhood and grew up together. War separated them and then brought them back together making their friendship stronger than ever. Then after Bucky was killed in an accident, Steve almost went into a downward depression than only Peggy could get him out of.

     Fast forward 70 years later. Steve Rogers in now living in modern times and learning to relive his life in a very different world. When suddenly he comes face to face with his former best friend, who is now the deadly assassin only known as The Winter Soldier. One could safely assume, that Steve is confused, but even more so terrified. Now, Steve must make a choice, save his friend or stop him.

     On Bucky's side, he's been kidnapped, mutilated (they actually sawed off his entire left arm), abused and brainwashed. He has no idea who he is or what he is. All he knows is his duty and mission and that he must carry it out. When he comes across Steve on the bridge, certain memories are triggered ad he begins to ask questions. "Who was the man man the bridge?" or better yet, who am I and how the hell did I get here?

     Although Bucky and Steve's friendship was broken through HYDRA and their diabolical plans, it was never broken by themselves. Both have been made to be enemies, but their friendship runs so strong and so deep, that not even HYDRA has been able to crush the soulful friendship that has remained intact for over half a century. When Steve refuses to kill Bucky and would rather die than give up on his friend, something in Bucky changes. His humanity is revealed and for the first time, someone sees him as a human and not a machine. Someone is here to help him and not hurt him.

     After Bucky saves Steve's life, he has a choice, either report back to HYDRA or run. Either way he becomes a fugitive with no where to go to, but he takes a risk and hides, while going on his own mission of finding out who he is, all because one man said that he was his friend and refused to let HYDRA or S.H.I.E.L.D. break the friendship they had forged so long ago as children.

~ ~ ~

Charles Xavier & Erik Lensherr

     They say that opposites attract and for Charles and Erik, this is an absolute truth. Both men meet in 1962 to create a CIA faction made up of mutants in case of world attack. While they had severely different childhoods, what brings them together is their desire for mutant freedom, but in very different ways. Charles wants equality between humans and mutants, while Erik wants supremacy over humans. In spite of their contrasting views, both are committed to gathering and training young mutants to control their abilities and live ordinary lives.

     What Erik and Charles meet, Erik is a man who has been broken since childhood. Stripped of his dignity and hope, all Erik has is his anger that fuels him everyday to accomplish his personal vendettas. While Charles is aware of all that is happening with him, he can also see a small amount of goodness in Erik and that belief in Erik's goodness is what unites them and makes them friends. Charles sees what Erik cannot. Charles is able to bring to light all the dark paths that Erik has taken and tell him that he can be a better person.

     While Erik appreciates all that Charles can see, he has known his own revenge since he was 13 and believes that to be his true ally. Choosing his own path of destruction breaks the allied friendship between him and Charles. Time and again Erik stabs Charles in the back for his naive beliefs in his soul and his humanity. Charles is not someone to give up easily and in spite of their different sides that they are, if they themselves can unite a mutants, maybe they an also unite a world. First, Erik must learn to care about the rest of the world. 

     As old men, Charles and Erik are still going at it with one another. Erik planning on suppressing humans and Charles spending every moment he has protecting them. So why does Charles not give up on Erik? That question can have more than one answer. First and foremost, they are still mutants and in the prejudiced and hateful society, mutants need to unite if they are ever going to survive. Charles lives his life trying to dwell on the good in others and tries to understand the human heart and nature in everyone. 

     Although, they are on opposing sides, Charles and Erik never really ended their friendship. It was still there holding on to a couple of threads. Although broken due to their different beliefs and allegiances, both still remembered a time when they thought they could change the world together and use their abilities to create a better life for their own kind. 





Saturday, June 6, 2015

Vogue Introverts

   Edit: 6/9/2015 - Although, I redid the post and made it more of a compare/contrast post, I'm leaving this one up for Jamie's comments on the issue. 


   Lately, I’ve noticed a certain term that seems to be everywhere and used all the time by people my age. Introvert. Now, instead of saying that someone is shy or has a quiet personality, they say that they are introverted, but is introversion really the same as shyness? In some ways yes, but in other ways no. An introvert personality is by no means a bad thing, but it can be difficult to deal with. I, myself may have had introvertive traits my whole life and I've hated it.

    When I was growing up, being shy was not considered cool. If you were shy, you were the weird kid (it really doesn’t help when you’re also the only homeschooled kid in the church youth group). People were always being told to be more outgoing, talk more, and participate more. Now, society has seemed to give people the idea that being shy gives you some sort of mystery element, which is termed introvert. It’s perfectly acceptable to call yourself 'an introvert' and not just say you're shy.

    Shyness is simply being nervous around people, for a temporary period of time. Introversion is a deeper almost mental situation. Introvert personalities share similar traits with shyness, but introverts may have a hard time coming to terms with the issues that make them the way they are. Introverts (by proper terminology) are people that restrict their contact with other people and pursue solitary activities such as reading, writing, etc. However, I believe that being an introvert goes deeper than being reclusive.

    I believe that what really separates introversion from shyness is (and I could be wrong) that introverts simply do not like people at all and avoid being around them, and they're somehow okay with that. They have a hard time interacting with others and tend to have difficulty with social skills. Introverts are deep within their own minds and thoughts, and probably not people who like to talk about themselves. So, if you’re on Facebook and Twitter 24/7 talking about yourself don’t term yourself as an introvert. Introverts are also people that can be difficult to get along with.



     The Nobel Prize winning mathematician, John Nash, is the perfect example of an introvert as is portrayed in A Beautiful Mind. The man was so deep in his intelligent mind and thoughts that he had no problem shutting out the rest of the world, which made it hard for people to reach out to him. John’s schizophrenia didn’t help either, but his introvert nature is probably one of the factors that triggered the schizophrenia. The other college students didn’t understand him (they did like him though), so without realizing it, John’s mind created a friend that he was desperate for.

     If you notice in the movie, when John is around people in the real world, then Charles doesn’t appear. He only comes around when John is lonely, desperate or very stressed. I’m not saying that introversion is caused by schizophrenia or vice versa, but John Nash’s life (at least, how it’s seen in A Beautiful Mind) is real look into the life of a real introverted person and the loneliness they tend to live in.


    Other examples of introverts would be Natasha Romanov, Katniss Everdeen and Wanda Maximoff. And that is probably why the term introvert is so popular, because theses characters have made the introverted personality a cool character trait. To be an introvert gives you mystery and edge and almost playing hard to get. What the reality is, is that their introverted personalities have made them miserable. The inability to trust others, to find a reason to laugh or even live, has caused them to live negatively and be afraid all the time. At least in the beginning of their stories; overtime (and with the help of the right people) they begin to see the world differently and slowly come out of their shells.


     I also believe is that judging your own unique personality based in this statistic board is a useless waste of time. All it is, is a scientific data that is probably going to change in the next couple of years. An official personality test that isn't to different from the quizzes and tests you take online. Only you can know your own personality type.

Mine is: Silently judging and verbally opinionated while plotting the downfall of society's stupidity. You might think I'm joking, but I'm not! That's only a small part of my personality too. Your personality shouldn't be 4 letters on a board. It's what you see yourself as and also what others see you as. And you need to care about people think about you to. Don't fall into the lie of not caring about what people think about you. You're family and friends are the ones who have to put up with you and their opinions matter. Although, don't end up centering your whole life on what they think. They're are their for moral support and criticism to help mold you into a good person. 

     What I'm trying to drive home here (and I never write a post about social issues, unless there's a point behind it.), is that saying you're an introvert and being an introvert can be two separate issues and I don't believe that someone can be completely introverted either, they can have other contrasting personalities that help balance their introvertive personality. If you're saying you're an introvert because you believe it's the same or similar to being shy, chances are you probably missed the mark. Also, don't claim to be an introvert just because it's the cool thing to do. Check yourself and ask other people around you what they believe your personality to be. All personalities are different and people can have different traits of introversion and yes, it can be difficult and oftentimes lonely, but the world is not meant to live in alone.


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