Own it.

 “I just don’t really believe in patriotism.”

 

I read this phrase when discussing the World Cup today. I was told by my nephew that nationalism is stupid – and honestly, he’s not wrong…But he’s also not right. Nationalism can be a tool used for horrors best described by examples of Nazism, and other horrors, but it can be a wrecking ball for good. Without nationalism, many of our proudest moments as humans would never have happened. Landing on the Moon? Nope. Defeating the Nazis and liberating their death camps? Kiss that goodbye. Creating the internet? Don’t think so. 

So why fight against it? Because you’re rebelling for some lost ideology that you’ll change in six weeks? Your philosophy teacher said so? Nationalism creates pride and when pride comes into place, fantastic things can and will happen. I promise you. When you take pride in something, let’s say your car – you take care of your car. You clean it, wax it, keep it well oiled and maintained but if you don’t? It falls apart. When you take pride and assurance in your home, because that’s where you live you maintain the walls, the fixtures, the doors, the floors, you make sure she’s ship-shape and without that? Your home turns into a slum. The people of Detroit lost pride in their home and look at it now – so what happens if we create a generation of anti-nationalist Americans? Widespread decay and apathy? 

And we wonder why some generations hate us. We’re a fantastic generation, and I believe in us but sometimes our entitlement and apathy really piss me off. It’s not like generations of people fought for freedoms so that you can live in a suburb or anything. The lack of understanding, and the displacement of tradition and honoring where we’ve come from is what’s causing this and I can promise you, it’ll bite us in the ass. 

Take pride in your job. Whatever you’re doing, do that and work to be the best at that. If you don’t like what you’re doing with your life? Change it. There’s still time to change the road you’re on. Take pride in your home, fix it up, repaint it. Don’t abandon ship just because the floorboards are creaky. Take pride in your family, trust me – you only get one so treat them well and it’ll pay off in due time. Be proud of your country, she’s all we’ve got and yeah, times are tough ladies and gentleman. I know that, but things will get better. Things are always grim before they get better and good things are coming, I promise you. Countless forerunners have given us opportunities to be where we’re at – and yes, some have squandered it, but the gift is still there. 

Take pride in who you are, what you are – no matter what. You’re a human being, you’re an Australian, a Cambodian, an American. You’re black, you’re white. You’re straight, you’re gay. You’re a woman. Take pride in that, and wear it like armor and never let go of it. Wear your flag like a badge, flash it out and take a stand on that. Be proud, you’re a wonderful creature. 

Millions of years of evolution, hundreds of years of fighting and squabbling have lead us to this point – don’t abandon yourself or your fellows. This ship is still strong. #GoTeamYou #USA #IBelieve 

I don’t want to hear about the “bad blood,” anymore.

Racism, sexism, women’s rights, men’s rights, economic barriers, student loan debt, never ending proxy wars, joblessness, homelessness, veteran’s affairs, healthcare, NSA spying, wiretapping, torture, civil unrest. What do these things have in common? They’re problems. They’re not just problems for the public, or massive worries for the individual, they’re party problems. They’re problems because not only are they not getting fixed – they’re keeping us bogged down and socially attentive to small problems that we forget to focus on the biggest problems.

Racism is a problem, it always has been and it will continue to be. Why? Because we’re human, and if you think that that’s not a good enough answer? I’m sorry. This is a problem that can be put on the backburner. Sexism? Same thing. Overall is it bad? Of course. Can we fix it? Surely. Does it lurk about in the worst possible way, looming over all of our nation and our future? Hell no. Women and Men’s rights don’t exist individually. They’re Human rights. Stop treating them as specific problems for each sex and work together on overcoming them and guess what? I won’t have to read stupid memes from Facebook pages bitching about them. It works for you – and it’ll certainly work for me. But what, again, is the issue I have? The problem with modernity is that so much widespread problematic issues overtake us, and we stop on each pebble and argue over that stone on the path instead of looking at the entire road.

It’s true. You know it is, and even if you disagree with me on most issues – you can’t deny I’m right on this. We have bigger fish to fry, so to speak, and those minnows that you’re arguing over and wasting your energy on can wait. Trust me. I’m a student of history. You want justice now? It’ll have to wait.

We, as American citizens, have to look at the big picture and focus on one task at a time. Stone by stone, the road will be made but we can’t lay the path if the forest is standing in the way. The biggest issue right now? A sixteen trillion dollar deficit looming over a possible worldwide economic breakdown. Now, if you think that women’s rights is a bigger problem then please, allow me to explain myself for a moment and then you can shun me.

If we suffer a complete economic meltdown here’s a picture of what happens: Your money will become worthless, dollar for dollar it’ll devolve back into it’s ingredients; cotton and paper. Your food will become more scarce, and trust me when I say that, because as modern Americans – we’ve never known hunger, not real hunger anyhow. Social programs, and safety nets will fall through completely. You may not like police officers driving behind you, but you’d certainly miss having the protection of them should all Hell break loose. Manufacturing will dry up, jobs will become nonexistent and you’ll be left bereft, hungry, scared and since all communication systems will fail, you’ll be alone with no Tumblr to turn to. Your homes will be raided, your families could and probably can be taken for whatever profit they’ll provide, transportation will become nullified as roads will be blocked by vacant vehicles, and without any fuel to supply vehicles, good luck driving away to a better place. Medical facilities will become rampant with disease and death, plagues will be fueled and with no doctors or specialists to research cures, you’ll be left alone to your own devices. Good luck, social activist #123298028. Your polisci class will certainly help you when you’ve got a case of the superflu. Water systems will either dry up or will become diseased and corroded. Life as you know it will end. No hospitals, no communications, no money, no protection, no infrastructure. iPhones will not save you. Your iPad will not be able to connect you. Twitter will not be able to hash it out and you’ll have nothing but your own self. If we fall, everyone falls. Remember that.

After a few years of the starvation, with no hope in sight you’ll consider suicide, but before you do remember this: Should all systems, here, fail, one of two major things could happen. The government could collapse and that would probably lead to a Military Coup, martial law, and an oligarchy of military prowess. Have fun with (our shared) liberal values. I’m sure the Dictator would love to go halfsies on a coffee with you while you debate the finer issues of mass hysteria. Or, worse could happen in a complete takeover by a foreign power. That would be just the bee’s knees. Wouldn’t it? A nation of former conquerors claimed by a new outside force? Delightful. Surely. But there is a third option, life would falter, all systems go down and rampant Warlords give claim to a modern feudal system providing, of course, that you even live to survive to this moment.

So, may I ask you something? Of course I can, you’re reading my post, after all, what future do you want? One where those aforementioned issues are taken care of, albeit slower than you want, or the three horsemen after us? Your choice, everyone. We have bigger fish to fry than abortion, your civil rights are needed, noted and deserved, trust me. I feel the same way, but we have a task – that is to figure out how to fix our economic apocalypse before it happens. If we lose, we lose everyone and everything we’ve worked all these centuries for. I have my own issues, but I know we as a nation and as a people have to work towards the biggest picture, then the stones will fall into place and all will be well. You can’t expect old white guys to fix every single issue as you spit them out, can you? So don’t force them to try. Put aside our petty malarkey for awhile and work together. Hell, maybe that alone will fix most of the issues we have. 

And who knows, maybe you’ll be saved from the SuperFlu. Sorry it’s been a few weeks, readers. BBN is here to stay, I promise. 

Also, Congratulations to the United States Men’s National Team on that incredible victory, last night, over Ghana! #IBelieve 

The Story of You.

To the readers, friends, family and anyone out there willing; I’m embarking on a mission. That mission is The Story of You. 

For the next six months I’m going to be asking questions of friends, family, and strangers to tell our generation’s story while we’re young. We, the Millennials. I only ask that you help me with this by answering questions, short or long answers will always be accepted because that’s what I want to do – I want to tell our story while we’re still young so that twenty years from now we’ll be able to look back say “That was us, that was me. That is the story of our generation.” When I’m done, I will post my entire article, for everyone to see. 

Thank you, and have a great night. 

174.

   Two days before Memorial Day another school shooting. Two days before we remember the glorious dead who’ve sacrificed every thing we are shocked, again, as a nation by the horrible acts that occurred yesterday in Southern California. Or, are we shocked? The occurrence of school shootings increasing as the days roll on and somehow we’ve lost track of what’s important through the visceral carnage and death; that there is life lost and all could have been avoidable. 

   It’s not a shocking thing to say that we’ve almost given up caring about shootings anymore. Yes we sound appalled, then we say things that we say every time and in two months we forget their names. We forget the faces of those who were murdered, slaughtered and then we forget the name and face of the one responsible. After awhile, we as a society just forget about the whole thing until another mass shooting occurs. Rinse and repeat, rise and shine and move on. Why do we do this to ourselves? How long can we sustain this notion that guns are okay as long as everyone has access to them? How long can we lie to ourselves like this? It can’t be for too much longer.

   Since the Virginia Tech shooting, one hundred and seventy-four people have lost their lives to random shootings in this country, including the Sandy Hook massacre, the Aurora Colorado Theater shooting, Tuscon and Gabriel Giffords blasting. Here, let me repeat this for you:

 One Hundred and Seventy-Four people have died from random mass shootings since the Virginia Tech Massacre. 174. 

  Now, if we take everything since Columbine? It’s 348. This is where you work, this is where you learn, these are places where your kids place, where your husbands and wives teach. How much longer are we, as Americans, going to allow ourselves to be blind to the facts? That mentally unstable folks are getting weapons by the boatload, arming up and killing us? What will it take? 500 people dead? 1,000? How many more bodies until people as a whole are outraged enough to say that enough is enough? 

   This Memorial Day I want all of you to think about that, even if it’s only for a moment. While you’re eating burgers, drinking beer and on the lake I would like you to consider this idea for just a moment. Yes, consider and think about those that have lost their lives in service for the country, but consider those that have lost their lives in random acts of violence. Thank you, and have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. 

174 since April 16th, 2007.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past, or as I like to call it; “UP YOURS, AVENGERS.”

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“Look, Cyclops, it’s Marvel’s Avengers! Should we say hi, or just not even acknowledge each other due to distributing rights?”

ImageSince I was a small, three year old child I have long Marveled [pun intended] at the X-Men. They were my Saturday morning funtime, my toys entertainment and my first intro into the world of super-heroes and comics. Am I biased when I say that the X-Men is my favorite part of Marvel? Absolutely. Am I biased when I say that Jennifer Lawrence is the shit: Hands Down? Of course. Finally, am I biased in admitting that Hugh Jackman is the one man in Hollywood that both terrifies and makes me feel the most comfortable because he’s such a cool dude? Fine, yes. Most obviously, I love the X-Men. Yes, Spidey’s cool and all that, Batman totally rules (especially since he’s the only DC character I will ever, ever care about) and yeah – the Avengers are all cool I suppose. But nothing comes between me and my love of the X-Men. Now, on the review, shall we?

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Spoilers fall after Magneto. You’ve been warned so don’t get pissy if you spoil your dindin.

Days of Future Past here on out will just be called either “Days,” or the movie I’m talking about, just so we’re clear here because this is complicatedly uncomplicated. Cool. Also, I’ve already placed Magneto to warn of spoilers so, again, here be spoilers. You’ve been warned twice now.

ImageFirst off, let me just say that Evan Peters stole the show. Hands down, Quicksilver dashed away any hopes that the Flash is better in any way, shape or form. Now, Peters’ performance was excellent. Comical and witty, the petty-thief was fun to watch. I also enjoyed the nice little nod to him being Magneto’s son. Oh – you didn’t know? Yeah. I said there were spoilers.

The plot of Days was actually fairly simple, which being Hollywood I understand. Hugh Jackman’s character, Wolverine is sent back in time to stop Mystique from killing Tyrion Lannis – I mean, Bolivar Trask. Due to her vengeance on Dinklage’s character, damn near the entire species of Mutants go extinct from the onslaught of the Sentinels (machines made to adapt to each mutant’s powers, killing them by exploiting individual weaknesses). What I liked most about the future aspect of Days was the premise that everyone had something to do. There were no characters just aimlessly standing around, waiting for the Big Bad to show up. Kitty was sending Jimmy back in time (mentally), Colossus,Sunspot, Blink, Storm and Bobby all are patiently awaiting the murderfest that’s about to ensue from the Sentinels. So, they are kind of standing around but at least they’re just hanging around for a reason: waiting to die. Which is fine by me, Also something good: Anna Paquin’s reduced to a measly cameo and that is excellence because she is just awful in every way. Anyway, Wolverine is sent back in time, and super-hero high-jinks run amok throughout Washington D.C., Paris, Vietnam and New York. Neat. However, this could not all be possible without the return of the fantastic Bryan Singer. Good job, Bryan. Stick with X-Men, Super-Man sucks anywayImage

ON TO OTHER STUFF!

The acting was superb, as always, with Mcavoy and Fassbender reprising their roles alongside Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen respectively, were all fantastic. (Again, I’m biased because Magneto is my favorite Marvel character) All of the characters were phenomenal with one small exception; Bolivar Trask. I know it was the writing and not Peter Dinklage’s fault that his character’s villainy felt so minuscule in comparison to Sebastian Shaw in First Class. Trask felt somewhat empty, just a random scared scientist hellbent on wiping out an entire species for global peace. Dinklage did well in his portrayal and is actually the only complaint about the film I have sans the “Uhh, I thought Phoenix killed the Professor in Last Stand. How the hell is he…” but then I remember it’s a super-hero movie, so I shut the fuck up with my logic and just go with it because it’s awesome. Lawrence did a fantastic job as Mystique but as well established as she is – I expect nothing less.

With the already mentioned plot-hole, I found nothing else wanting in the film except that I just was left wanting more, and that is never Imagea bad thing. It means the film was grand, which brings me to my final point:

ImageThis could very well have been the greatest Super-Hero Movie ever made and I mean that. Did it blow the lid off of the series? Definitely. When I say this I hope someone wants to skewer me, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a better film overall, in every way shape and form than Marvel’s The Avengers. I’m just being frank here. Does it carry the emotional hoopla of the Dark Knight series? No. Was it more entertaining? Definitely. Does it kick Spidey’s websack in? Yes, yes it does and honestly can’t wait for Apocalypse due out May 27th, 2016. Also, stay after the credits for some Four Horsemen awesomeness.

I give X-Men: Days of Future Past an 9.3/10. More witty than the Avengers, smarter than the Amazing Spider-Man films, and just plain better in every way than any previous X-Men film. Go see it.