Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thoughts on Things

So, Syria has been in the news a lot for the past week, and while I'm not going to pretend I'm Jason and I'm overwhelmingly well versed in world politics, I have been thinking a lot about it.  That picture over there to the left?  That's Syria, taken recently and published in the Washington Post.  Seeing this made me think about how I recently watched the movie Elysium, and I was really uncomfortable when watching the conditions people were living in on Earth in the movie while the fortunate got to live on an immaculate space station.  I sat there wondering how anyone could live in the conditions shown in the movie, and I found that for that and a few other reasons, I just wanted the whole film to end.  On an intellectual level, I know people around this world already live in those conditions, and when I look at this photo of Syria, I'm brought right back to that film moment where I thought "People shouldn't let these things happen".  The sad fact is, however, that we do let these things happen.

I've been told pretty recently that I'm the sort of person who has a passion for things that most people can't understand.  I don't feel things in small, compartmentalized ways.  I can't do that.  I don't compartmentalize. I am more like this:
So when I see things like what's going on in Syria, I start to wonder why we have so much news coverage and no one is DOING anything.  In some ways, I feel like countries like the US, Canada, and most European countries are those people living on Elysium compared to what Syrians experience.  And we're all here, sitting around, drinking our lattes and bitching about how it costs so much to have your teeth professionally whitened, and these poor people are getting bombed with chemical weapons that are killing their children and we're all "Oh hey, no big deal.  They don't have oil".  And we sit around shouting that anyone would even propose the idea of a ground invasion there, or going to war with them for MURDERING INNOCENT PEOPLE WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS.  Remember when we were all "Oh hey, we're not going to do this WWII thing because handle that one Europe.  That Hitler guy, he's a real firecracker!" and then sat around shocked and appalled when we found out what happened to millions of Jews while we sat around doing nothing?  I'm not saying history repeats itself or anything, I'm just saying that maybe we've seen things like this before.  And don't misunderstand me, I'm not advocating for war, but I am advocating for life.  I'm advocating for some of these people to be spared the hell they've experienced at the hands of their own people, and if some other people have to get their hands dirty to help accomplish that, then maybe that's what we should be doing.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and all that other Star Trek stuff.

I think what struck me the other day while listening to the NBC Nightly News interview a six or seven year old boy in Syria about what happened, and how his father had to stay behind to fight with the rebels, and how he doesn't know if he'll see his father again, is how we as a society can be surprised when little boys like this grow up to be angry teenage boys with large guns and a very deep rooted hatred of others who would allow these monstrosities to happen.  We are so keen to fight these wars on terrorists, but we do nothing to fight the conditions that breed those terrorists.  I can't help but feel like if we have the ability to achieve some sort of stable environment in some of these countries with troops, and we began building more schools instead of dropping more bombs, we'd be giving these suffering children the ability to do more than be angry teenagers with guns.  We'd be giving them the keys to a different future, or at least the opportunity of hope that there could be one.  Today's kids are tomorrow's leaders, and if we keep dropping these bombs, or allowing others to drop them, we breed leaders who know no better than to drop bombs.  There's got to be a way out of the cycle, and I don't know what it is, but I wish we could all start to see that terror starts in the young, when they feel terrified and begin to turn that into anger and fight back.  

At any rate, I hope that little boy from the news broadcast finds another way and another future for himself, if he is allowed to have one while we all stand by and watch his homeland get blown to bits.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Supposed To

I don't write here often.  I look at people who have blogs who diligently keep up with posts and find something to write about, even if it's mundane, but for some reason I can't find it in me to sit down, even on a semi-weekly basis, and write something in this space.  Sometimes I wonder why that is, why I can't come up with even a few sentences to post that say "Hey, this is me".  The more I think about it, the more I remember that I used to write.  Constantly.  I had notebooks filled with stories, or poems, or ideas for things when I was in middle and high school.  I had this weird creative button that just could not be turned off.  I would sit at home tapping away at my computer every night, even after hours of theater rehearsal and homework, because there would be something in my head that just had to get out.  There was a voice that just had to be heard, thoughts and emotions that just had to be expressed, even if it was in fiction.  I had to get it out and let it live somewhere else.

And then at some point, that voice disappeared.  It went silent, and I don't hear it anymore.  Moreover, I don't hear my own voice anymore.  Not really.  Somewhere on the path to adulthood, that creative spirit, that need to JUST BE got lost.  Maybe it was crushed under the weight of responsibilities, or maybe I became cynical and decided no one listened or cared so there was no point in carrying on with something that didn't mean anything.  It didn't pay my bills, or do my homework, or get me to and from my job, or push me toward any of the goals I was supposed to have as an upstanding and productive member of society.  That little light in me just....blew out.  And I think maybe more than the creativity went with it.  More and more, I find I second guess myself on what I'm supposed to do in any given situation.  I am not supposed to get angry about some things, and I am not supposed to talk to people a certain way.  I am not supposed to talk to people about my life.  And, inevitably, whenever I do something that feels right, it is always wrong.  Never what I was supposed to do.  So at some point I stopped doing any of it.  Sometimes I find I wait for someone else to give my opinion to me, because it's probably the one I'm supposed to have.  I don't make decisions because I don't know if it's the one I'm supposed to make.  I find when I actually do express a true thought or opinion to anyone, inevitably it leads to disagreement and I end up feeling like I'm wrong and I should have just listened to what I was supposed to do.  I share myself, and people almost always leave.  So I don't do that.  I actually started slowly deleting that "self" piece, and soaking up the supposed to from everyone else.  And when I stray from the supposed to, I hear things like "We will NEVER be on the same page about anything" and I stat thinking that there is something wrong with me, that I can't come up with the supposed to on my own.  In so many ways, it would be easier.  It would be easier and nicer to just have those closest to me tell me what to think and feel, so I could never be wrong.  It hurts to be wrong.  It hurts to know that the way you handle something is all wrong, or how you talk to someone is all wrong, or how you think is all wrong.  It would be so much easier if I could just know what I'm supposed to be doing.

The truth is, I feel like a lot of different people have this vision of my particular supposed to, which I'm sort of afraid is nothing like me, and I have so little self left that I'm afraid to give it up.  I'm often told I'm impossible to please, which I guess I'm not supposed to be.  From my perspective, I have high standards.  I admit that.  I expect a lot, but I also give a  lot and hold myself to the same standards as everyone else.  If that makes me somehow impossible to please, all I hear is that I'm supposed to lower the standards so everyone else can do less.  I don't want to do that, but it's what I'm supposed to do to keep people happy.  It's one of the few pieces of myself that I have left, and I feel like I'm supposed to give it up.  Maybe I am.

But I have a hard time writing here because I don't know what I'm supposed to write.  What do people actually want to hear from me?  What the hell do I have to say that is worth reading?  What voice is there in me that anyone gives a damn about?  What am I supposed to do here?