I Want to Become a Superhero (I Think)

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I’m conflicted, y’all. I’ve been conflicted for about a year now actually and it all has to do with my own knowledge of how this whole funky system is working.

I love being lazy. I also love reading and watching documentaries. The reading and documentary watching, however, is effing up my desire to be lazy. Case in point: the food industry.

As I wrote on here previously, I’m a vegetarian. I dabbled in it in the past, but it was more so for health reasons. After seeing the ugliness of how animals are treated – how they live, what they’re fed, and so on – I gave up on chowing down on animals.

Even you, bacon. I still love you though.

Don’t tell my future wife.

Now I’m on the way to becoming vegan because I became aware of what happens to animals after they can’t produce milk, eggs, etc.

VEGAN.

I used to make fun of vegans. If we were in high school, I’d probably be tempted to steal a vegan’s lunch money, buy a burger, and seductively eat it as a single vegan tear trickles down their vegan cheek.

NOW I’M BECOMING ONE OF THEM.

Well, I watched a documentary called Food Chains that covers how the food industry thrives based on the poverty of farm workers. Not farmers, mind you; those barely exist anymore. I sort of knew these shenanigans were going on, but to hear the details… Good Jeebus….

So now I want to grow my own food too. Problem solved, right?

Nope. Not at all actually.

I watched a documentary called Blackfish that details the straight up grimy nature of Sea World. You know, how they mistreat orcas, how they lied about the death of trainers, and the ILLEGAL way they captured whales.

I read about the lack of integrity in mass journalism. I read about politicians who get away with crimes that affect citizens while low level criminals get prison time like nothing. I read about the outright lies of capitalism and the roots of poverty. I read about how misinterpretations of something as simple as the bible cause the discrimination of, say, homosexuals.

I read too effing much.

Now, I could turn a blind eye to all this and just say I’m going to do me. I’m going to separate from all of this and live the best life I can without contributing to the negativity. It sounded like a perfect plan.

Almost.

I think a lot of people do this. But if everyone does this, the BS continues. Can I sit on this knowledge and try to play the “I’m just one person” card? That just feels like a cop out to me.

Listen, I want nothing more than a quiet life away from everything with the love of my life, but it’s tough for me to just ignore this nonsense. I can do it for a while, but I always come back to this same place. Can I just ignore this and keep living? Am I okay with knowing others suffer to make this machine move?

That’s a lot to ignore. The proverbial elephant in the room, I suppose.

This isn’t a call to action. Everyone is free to do what they want, even if I don’t agree. But I think it’s time for Clark Kent…

Er… Bruce Wayne. Clark Kent is a dork.

…I think it’s time for Bruce Wayne to let the world know he’s not standing for it.

It’s put up or shut up time.

Peace out, party people.

Daily Opinion: Making a Case for Bronies

Brony rainbow wig

A friend of mine told me about this show called King of the Nerds, a stupid competition reality show where “nerds” play different games to earn the title of King of Nerds. It’s hosted by two stars from Revenge of the Nerds.

This is America, folks.

And being a good American, I watched an episode of the show fully knowing I’d be a shade stupider going forward. But I’m a good American so I fulfill my duty. I’m basically a patriot/hero.

A patrero?

*cough*

Boy, was I in for a treat. I can’t say all of these people were nerds. I classify nerds as smart and not all of them fit that criterion. The show should have been called King of the Nerds, Dorks, Geeks, and Socially Inept. There was one guy in particular that had my attention. He classified himself as a Brony.

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Holy s**t, they caught one out in the wild.

If you don’t know what Bronies are, they’re guys who are way (too?) into the cartoon, My Little Pony.

Brony

Way (TOO?!?!?) into it.

Anytime I have even the mildest of momentary interest in something, I fully indulge. First I checked Wikipedia. Then I randomly checked different Brony sites I found. Then I watched a documentary about Bronies called (duh) Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. I was simply captivated by this, mostly because I grew up in the 80’s where kids would question your sexuality in a not so nice way if you even hinted at liking something that wasn’t explicitly for guys. These guys love My Little Pony and they don’t give a G-rated holy heck what you think about it.

So okay, everything gets popular for a reason. Instead of writing off the show, I watched an episode to see what it was all about.

So here’s the thing…

It’s a cartoon. But it’s one that seems to want to boost the confidence of its audience. There are some really positive messages, but not things like beware of drugs or brush your teeth. They were all about peace and love and being happy with who you are. These are some pretty awesome messages.

You know what else? Watching all this stuff, I’ve never seen an asshole Brony. Maybe this is all Brony propaganda and I’m playing right into their cartoon pony loving hands/hooves, but I like to take people at face value. These guys are harmless.

But would it be so bad if more people in the world were like that? You know… HARMLESS. Harmless means harm is not happening. Get my drift here?

I’m not saying we need more Bronies. I’m saying we could use more harmless people.

Though I personally couldn’t watch the show past this moment of curiosity, I tip my hat to you, Bronies. Rock on. Be who you want to be. Not enough people in this world actually do that.

But some of you still go too far…

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Previously: Life Is Awesome if You Have a Deadline

Randomness: Peace through Pennies

peace penny

It’s 2015 and America still uses pennies. That’s pretty ridiculous considering the prices of things in our society nullify their usefulness. Also, no one likes them. Don’t believe me? Go to a store and pay for something using more than four cents worth of pennies. That cashier hates you and your stupid pennies.

F**k you, pennies.

Aw, I didn’t mean that. You know what I’m going to do? Every time I come across a penny, I’m going to draw a peace sign on it. The monetary value is still as worthless, but maybe now it may be a positive message for someone.

I’d pay a penny for a little peace.

Daily Opinion: Life Is Awesome if You Have a Deadline

Photo Credit: Erik Fitzpatrick
Photo Credit: Erik Fitzpatrick

What would you do if you only had five years left to live?

Yesterday I found out this guy named Monty Oum died a couple weeks ago. You probably don’t know him and he certainly didn’t know I knew of him. He made an animated video a number of years ago called Haloid where the protagonists from the videogames Metroid and Halo fought each other. The fight choreography was nothing short of sublime so I became an instant fan.

I followed Monty as he created increasingly impressive independent projects. After he moved on from that I continued to keep tabs on him as he dove into animation gigs for video games. He finally ended up at a company called Rooster Tooth where he brought his style to an already popular video series called Red vs. Blue.

I randomly searched for him yesterday because… who knows? Sometimes I get a thought and I just roll with it. I found out Monty got to develop his own original series with Rooster Tooth called RWBY. I also found out he died of an allergic reaction to a standard medical procedure.

Bam, dead at 33.

Still, to me it seemed like Oum led a pretty kick ass life. From what I remember of the guy, he was obsessed with anime, fight choreography, and dance, things that inspired him to the eventual creation of his passion project. Even if he only got to enjoy it until the no so ripe old age of 33, the dude still lived his dream.

What would you do if you only had five years left to live? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d be doing the exact same thing I’m doing right now. I have a bad case of tunnel vision, y’all. I have my eyes set on the life I want to live and no one can stop me. It’s not like I want much; I just want a happy, chill life with my wife-to-be, away from all the stress I used to have. Oh yeah, and the dog too. If I knew I had only five years left to live, the only difference would be I’d walk around knowing when my time is up.

Most of us live as if tomorrow probably isn’t our last day. But if you knew it would be your last day, I bet you’d be living life differently to some degree. Maybe you’d travel somewhere. Maybe you’d spend time with loved ones. Maybe you’d just spend some time reflecting. My point is why would anyone want to live otherwise? Is being unaware of when we’re going to die an invitation to only kind of live the life you want? Yes, yes, I know; not everyone has the opportunity to do what they want. But if you do, do it. Because who knows? You may only have five years left to live.

Previously: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Vegan Cheese

Daily Opinion: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for Vegan Cheese

daiya cheese

I may have to become a vegan. I don’t want to be vegan. I went vegan maybe four or five years ago and I only lasted maybe seven months. Do you know why I stopped?

Cheese is effing delicious.

I went vegetarian sometime last year and I haven’t missed meat at all. Truthfully, when I went vegan back in the day, it was simply for health reasons, but my recent vegetarianism was sparked by something else.

You may not agree with me, but I have a theory about living things. Basically, evolution shows that creatures that develop attributes that are beneficial to survival are the ones that survive. Essentially, life does what it can to keep living. But sometimes I wonder how much resistance comes into play. Is there a scale to how much life “wants” to live? I know that sounds dumb, but why is the level of resistance for a cow so much more than, say, a head of cabbage? If I were to start chopping up either of them, one would scream and struggle while the other would be seemingly indifferent.

So I stopped eating meat. That combined with just how horrible the food industry can be to animals, particularly in the US. I have no problem with anyone else making the decision to eat meat; I just personally don’t want to play a part in all that. I want to leave as positive of an impact on the world as possible.

But then my fiancé had to go mess all that up for me. We were speaking on Skype last night and she says, “I may have to become vegan.” After laughing my ass off at the very notion of vegan cheese (ugh), I realized she was serious. She asked me one simple question: How many years are cows pumped for milk? See, in the pre-internet days, I would have thought it was the majority of their lives.

Nope.

We milk those suckers for about four years and we throw them into the beef market.

Goddamn it…

Well this messed up the game for me. I don’t want to give up dairy products, but knowing this makes me want to become vegan. But I don’t actually want to be vegan. Catching a theme here?

So can I have my cheese and eat it too? Maybe. I’m going to damn well try anyway. So here it goes: my fiancé and I have been back and forth on whether or not we’re going to travel for a while or find somewhere to settle down. I personally feel like we may end up settling down. If we do, I want to be as self-sufficient as possible. I’d want a garden/greenhouse, solar paneling or some form of green energy, and a 3D printer. Can a brother own a cow in order to avoid becoming vegan?

This is how much I don’t want to be vegan… I’m thinking about owning a cow. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d ever write that. But is it so crazy? Those suckers produce 2-3 gallons per day. Maybe I could share a cow with other people who really don’t want to become vegans for the same reasons as me. Anyone want to share a cow for milking purposes? Hit me up.

Argh… this is ridiculous. I mean, I know I don’t have to become vegan, but my logical side is conflicted with my desire for delicious food. How can I get past this? My fiancé is already thinking about this too. If she becomes vegan then it’s likely I’d end up following suit. We can’t let that happen, people!  Andre can’t survive on vegan cheese!

Okay, take a breath. Being vegan isn’t the worst thing in the world, right? Life could always be worse. Still, I’m reaching out to all of you to help me figure this out. Is there anywhere in this world that doesn’t send cows to slaughter after milking them dry? Are there any companies from which I can buy dairy products while guaranteeing the cows won’t become burgers in a few years? If I can only get milk, how the hell do I make cheese?

#priorities

If I can’t figure these questions out, I’ll be forced to become vegan. Well, not “forced,” but you know what I mean. I’m going to definitely cut back on the amount of dairy I consume, but in the meantime, you better bet your ass I’ll be searching for a solution to this dilemma. Because, you know, CHEESE IS EFFING DELICIOUS.

Previously: Why So Serious?

Positivity of the Week – The Answer of Love

Photo Credit: Benurs
Photo Credit: Benurs

Why do we need love? Why does it exist? Plenty of animals exist that don’t show this notion of love (as far as we can tell), so why do we need it? Well, though we may not need it, we have it and, if used properly, it can be the remedy for all things. Think about this seriously. Love would stop all wars. It would stop inequality.

Discrimination.

Poverty.

People who love each other wouldn’t love money enough to know poor people exist at the expense of that greed.

People who love each other respect the fact that everyone’s belief system is valid as long it does not hurt others.

What other emotion can do all that?

But we don’t use it more. Why? Such a powerful solution in a world of men and women searching for answers. In a world where some people chose hate, fear, anger, jealousy… things that never bring us answers.

I’m not even asking you to think with your heart; approach it logically instead. Love creates happiness, empathy, and builds trust. Those other emotions don’t; they only hinder. So despite where we are as a society now, if more of us chose love at all levels, we’d resolve many of our issues.

What are you going to choose?

Previously: Everything Will Be Okay

Daily Opinion: Let’s Take a Moment to Enjoy Some Positivity

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There’s been some ugly news as of late. We have ISIS killing people, Russia being… Russia, rioting in Ferguson, football stars beating their wives and children, Bill Cosby rape allegations and everything in between. Through ALL of this, let’s just remember most of us aren’t jerks.

There are over 7 billion of us on this planet. The jerks don’t represent us. I firmly believe most people simply want to live their lives and nothing more. So for all the people out there for you that have this mentality, just know that as many jerks as there are, there are also people diligently working to make the world a better a place.

Be thankful for that tomorrow, will ya’?

Peace out, party people.

Previously: Ferguson Shows How Broken American Society Is. Here’s How We can Start Fixing It