We have reached a new level of absurdity this year. And it’s not just in politics, though that’s what has been on everyone’s mind since the election. We’re all experiencing post traumatic stress (PTS) brought upon by the biggest upset during a presidential race. However, let’s not dwell on the past – even though that’s what the media in general does best. We’ve been re-living election day for the past 12 months, and it’s time to move on people. The first step of healing is acceptance, so that we can forge a new path forward.
So let’s dive into a few topics that defined this year, and we’ll skip on the political circus – we’ve had our fair share on that topic already. One of the most troubling has been climate change, and specifically the magnitude of destruction caused by hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and numerous islands in the Caribbean. The damage and despair caused by hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria has impacted the lives of many people. The recovery process has been slow, and residents in Puerto Rico are still coping with the fact that power hasn’t been fully restored to the entire island.
The #MeToo movement has purged the cesspool that we call Hollywood. Harvey Weinstein has become the poster child for bad behavior, but the problem is rampant in all industries. Many prominent men have been accused of sexual misconduct and assault – Kevin Spacey, Senator Al
Franken, and Matt Lauer to name a few. All these men have seen their lives destroyed by these accusations, and so have the accusers – no one seems to be escaping unscathed from these allegations. And it’s not just women that have been victimized, men too have come forward to share their stories, so it’s an issue that effects everyone from all walks of life.
In all, we have gone through a lot this year, but we shouldn’t end on a bad note. At least we all got to see something special – the first continent-crossing total solar eclipse in 99 years happened this summer. A stunning display that most people had never seen, and likely not see again in their lifetime. On that day the moon crossed in front of the sun and cast a dark, moving shadow on North America. So at least we have that going for us.
From the darkest pit of the American underbelly we can hear them chanting: Dey-shey dey-shey Bah-sur-rah bah-sur-rah! over and over again in a hypnotic trance – roughly translating to as “he rises!” I’m joking of course, but then again that epic movie-scene from The Dark Knight Rises can be used as an allegory for the burning-hot caldron of fear and suspicion of foreigners that has plagued the US for the past decade. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – if we know our history – this has always been the case since the birth of our young nation. Have you seen the film Gangs of New York? Again, an amazing movie that reminds us all that we as a people actually haven’t changed that much in the past 100 years – history has a tendency to repeat itself, but I digress. I’m not going to make this post a deep dive into American history or the slew of films that can be very telling of our turbulent times.
No, let’s just focus on the meteoric ascension of the Donald – in part due to the popularity of his TV persona, however, if you really pay attention to the rhetoric his appeal is quite obvious. The Donald is the epitome of being a provocateur – the “Make America Great Again” supporters are just a bunch of folks that are tired of being lied to and have no other recourse, but to look for guidance from an “outsider”. Someone that won’t be easily influenced by political agendas and simply wants to improve their way of living – ’em I right? Partially, it’s not that simple unfortunately. The turn of the screw is the culmination of varying points of view on what it means to be, well, American – sparking a resurgence of tribal tendencies fueled by disappointment and frustration. People are fed-up with silver-tongued politicians, that in their view, have flushed their way of life down the tubes – enter the Donald. It’s really fascinating to watch this phenomena, once we remove ourselves from the politics, the Donald’s supporters are seeing their way of life transformed before their very eyes, and they want to get off the crazy-train. I’m looking at you middle-America. Fear… for lack of a better word is very compelling, and in this upcoming election year , it has catapulted a candidate that under different circumstances would have been nothing more than a novelty.
As our society evolves in the 21sth century, a sense of anxiety has engulfed our psyche – what do we make of renewable energy, women marrying women, self-driving cars, immigration, cat and dogs living together, leisure space travel, men kissing men, the Internet of Things, Pokémon GO!? Mass hysteria! Again, all these uncertainties have created an environment that is strongly motivated by cultural tribalism. We look for strong leaders that will take charge and make everything better in one fell swoop – hence the Donald’s appeal, by all accounts, he’s the embodiment of success in the US. So it’s easy to see how those that feel powerless are drawn to someone that wields it effortlessly and on his terms. It’s a very tempting proposition that can’t be ignored, but at what cost? We have become so frightened of the horrors that plague the rest of the world, that completely insulating ourselves from it seems to be the only option – it all ends in tears. The debate continues, and it is the ability to have a difference of opinion that makes our nation so great. We all have a point of view, and we can come together to air-out our grievances, so that we can move away from desperate ground – forging a path towards prosperity for all.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the author in this post and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the views of BuzzGrenade.
Yep, you read that headline right – someone done did it! The cojones on these guys is unbelievable, 1,368 feet above the streets of NYC they jumped into infamy. The view of the city is spectacular and the free-fall is more impressive than anything that Hollywood has ever dreamed of in any action movie – unreal. So for your viewing pleasure, below is the epic leap – they should have yelled “Freedom!’ all the way down, but that would have been too crass we think… maybe.
Clothing; from the shirt, trouser, shoes and wrist watch that we wear are an extension of who we are as guys. Having a sense of style is a must in order to get noticed by the ladies, ’cause honestly no one can ever say that they have scored by looking like they’re homeless or clueless for that matter… unless they have some serious game or are really, really good looking but that’s getting off topic. The chicks are trying just as hard to get noticed and its nice for us to to let them know that we are doing the same. However, that does not mean that in order to get the ladies you have to dress like a chick. That being said we have to ask; what’s with the tight jeans, bro? Really, we ask ourselves this question every time a dude walks the street in super tight jeans. Men have no business wearing tight-ass jeans. Women can wear jeans that are painted on for all we care, the tighter the better! So, lets leave the tight jeans to the babes who are better at pulling it off, pardon the pun, but lets not be too negative. There are two situations where tight jeans get a pass, if you are 1) in a rock band or 2) a rock star, then you be excused for wearing ball wrenching jeans, otherwise you look like an idiot. When did this trend start? It must have been in the 80’s during the punk rock scene in NYC, but who really knows ’cause it seems that nowadays everyone is on a retro kick for some reason. Let it go.
Moving on, having a portable music player is an accessory that most of us can’t live without. If you think we’re kidding try leaving at home your iPod or MP3 player for the morning commute, it’s a gut wrenching exercise in patience ’cause throughout the entire commute you’ll have to listen to every douchebags phone convo and mindless chatter, annoying. Needless to say its crucial to our sanity to have an option to tune out the BS of everyday life, but tuning out has taken a horrible turn with the introduction of the mega retro head phones that seems to be part of every hipster uniform. Really, what is the deal with those things? Wearing them must be as painful as looking at them for sure. Are they trying to look like Princes Leia from Star Wars ’cause it sure looks like their fashion cues are coming from a galaxy far, far away. What happened to the good old days of compact technology? The idea was to be able to carry all your gadgets without the burden of them being bulky and heavy. Nowadays, the bigger the gadget the better… look at the iPad! Nuff said.
Last but definitely not least, we come to the epitome of pop junk. The rise of the “Reality Television” show. The idea was cool during the early 90’s with the ‘The Real World’ but now the phenomena has gone from awful, the ‘Jersey Shore’ to unbearable ‘Wives’ series. We understand that mindless entertainment is just that, mindless… this type of entertainment says a lot about us as as society, but the hell with it ’cause we are not the moral compass here, ha! We watch these numb-nuts every week hoping that there is something to get out of the whole production, perhaps they are good for something ’cause they sure make us feel good about ourselves, right? The fact that these shows are popular is understandable ’cause its hella fun to watch these fools act like idiots, it’s like watching a car accident over and over until you become so desensitized by it that it becomes surreal. And who do we have to blame for this disaster, MTV, VH1, Lifetime? Maybe… MTV was the channel that brought us non-stop music videos and edgy programming back in the day has turned into a reality television machine that cranks out the hits every season for the past 18 years. But that would be an easy cop out ’cause the Network is only supplying the need of the masses. The real culprit are the consumers that eat this crap up every week and ask for more… bon appetit!