I just finished up my Associate's degree. Some would consider this an accomplishment, but I really don't. I pretty much egoed my way through it, so It wasn't a major feat. What I am proud of is some of the things I wrote while pursuing said degree. In this series of posts, I'm going to be sharing some of these writings with you. The second is called I Write Sins Not Tragedies.
It has never been a secret that I really enjoyed Panic At The Disco!'s first album. It's my go-to album for creating a good mood. This essay was written for my U.S. Government and Politics class, taught by Mr. Stiles. He didn't think the essay was as fun as I did (I'd love to hear your thoughts on it). The original assignment was to write about what we thought our society's biggest problem is. Enjoy.
America faces many great and dreadful challenges, the greatest among these is more subtle than a gentle spring breeze that barely rustles the new blossoms on the apple tree, but is more terrifying than a rampaging grizzly bear with its sights on you when you've run out of bullets. The monster is loose, and now you have to choose, and prove that you can take it.
We live in a time when nobody is truly iconic. Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, way before Nirvana, there was U2 and Blondie, and music still on MTV, but nobody stands out any more. These days anyone can be famous, or at the very least infamous, for doing absolutely nothing. I can cite hundreds of examples of this, like the guy on Youtube that cried over poor Britney Spears (leave her alone!), Star Wars Kid, David Archuleta, Andy Milonaukis (famous for being an idiot). The list goes on and on, but I won't, for fear of getting too impassioned on the subject of fame traded for stupidity.
Television programs like TMZ and Entertainment Tonight, magazines such as Us Weekly, harass celebrities and political figures. They follow their daily lives, keep tabs on and report to the American public the number of kids a given celebrity couple has (Brangelina has a seventh on the way!), painful divorces, infidelities, and scandals of every sort. The real problem with these publications is that people care. Not only do people care, they purchase and study these publications weekly, and care more about the lives of public figures more than they seem to care about their own lives.
The newest copy of Life and Style Magazine features Lindsay Lohan quoted saying "I fear for my life," talking about her recent drug possession conviction. Lohan is now sentenced to jail for ninety days because she got high, because she got high, because she got high. Jeff Richens, a recent inmate at Salt Lake County Jail, has this to say about her 'fear for [her] life.' "Well, obviously, she fought the law, and the law won. Luckily for her, because so many people idolize her (ass), she got off easily." The biggest problem with this situation is, again, that people care, that they spend even a moment of thought on the issue. In a recent interview with this paper's author, Tony related to me a story in which he (completely sober), was pulled over, cited, and arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Faced with the same potential of a ninety-day stint in jail, not only did he face the injustice with his usual charm and a p-p-p-poker face p-p-poker face, but no screaming masses wept and lamented at his tribulation. Just a few emotionally unstable friends and loved ones.
The greatest challenge America faces is that instead of focusing on their own lives, investing in self-improvement, trying to make a better, more educated life for themselves and their children, the American public pours more time and energy into the lives of celebrities. I urge you that this must stop. Let's make it a better place, for you, and for me, and the entire human race. If people put a mere fraction of the time and effort into improving their own lives, improving their station in life, the effects not only in the household, but in the community, state, country, and even the world would begin to emerge. Things with seemingly no connection to this problem would be affected. Education levels would rise, not only in the collegiate setting, but down in the grammar and high school levels as well. Without Miley Cyrus and Ed Hardy telling our young women how to dress and famous morons telling our young men how to act and treat women (A note to all women: you are not better than I by virtue of your sex, nor am I better than you, but dammit, if you get angry with me for opening your door, I'm going to get all uppity about it as well), more focus will be brought to the classroom and relevant learning.
And in the workplace, less time wasted around the proverbial water cooler discussing American Idol (You and me will all go down in history, with a sad statue of liberty and a generation that didn't agree on who should have won season nine), or what happened on the latest episode of Lost, or another inane distraction from life, would mean more productivity, more preparation on proposals for how to improve the company or department, or how to proceed with a given project. More initiative would be taken, as the mind would become more agile in looking for inconsistencies and solutions to problems.
Drug use in homes would decrease drastically. One major pull for drug use is boredom, the need for excitement in life, and without the knowledge of this or that celebutante's newest embarrassment (Britney forgot her undies (oops, I did it again!)!), the new American would pick up a book or focus on a hobby, working toward mastery of a trade. But as things are now, people take a Valium and watch the TV or read a magazine to find out if Vince Vaughan and Jennifer Anniston are actually going to get together.
The American dream would be re-realized if only people didn't idolize every Tom Cruise, Andy Dick, and Harry Potter that comes across a television camera. My solution is a little extreme, and is justified with the resolute belief that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (and that it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission). My proposed solution comes in three parts, the first of which is a massive media campaign focused on promoting reading, writing, and the arts, professionalism, and promoting education. Once media saturation has been well established, six dozen professional head hunters should be hired, payable on death, to seek out and remove celebrities not living around movie studios; they'll be officially considered wanted (WANTED!) dead or alive. Which brings me to part three of the execution of my plan for fixing America. I propose the "accidental launch" (the CIA could help with the disavowal of knowledge of this) of tactical thermonuclear weapons on movie studios around the country, mostly concentrated in Los Angeles, Orange County, Malibu, and their surrounding areas.
If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, would you be proud of the life you've led? Of the impact you've had on your community, state, and nation? America, America, God shed his grace on thee.
I hope you enjoyed this, it was a bit long. The next entry of The Things is going to be A Discourse On Cartoons.
Tony Is Me.
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