Archive for September, 2014

Bad guy stereotypes

Posted: September 28, 2014 in Random
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Sith ©2009-2014 alxcote

Sith ©2009-2014 alxcote

When Star Wars: Rebels started unveiling their villains for the show, something struck me.  The bad guys are very recognizable as bad guys.  Look at characters like Darth Maul, General Grievous, and Asajj Ventress.  Clearly those are bad guys.  Look at their dark clothes and the markings on their skin.  This is great for selling toys.  It makes it very easy for kids to identify who the bad guys are.

Unfortunately, it isn’t so easy to identify the bad guy in real life.  The Star Wars prequels did a good job of illustrating this.  Senator/Supreme Chancellor Palpatine didn’t look like a bad guy.  He was someone that Anakin looked up to as a mentor.  He seemed like a friendly older gentleman with Anakin’s best interest in mind.  As we all know, he was a bad guy in disguise.  Much like in real life, the unsuspecting neighbor next door could turn out to be a horrible person.

What I’d like to see, tho, is the other side of the coin.  We’ve seen bad guys that look like bad guys. We’ve seen bad guys that look like good guys.  But what about good guys that look like bad guys?  What about someone that looks like Darth Maul but is actually a hero?  Having tattoos or wearing dark clothes doesn’t make you a bad guy.  I think it would go a long way to teaching kids that they can’t judge people simply by the way they look or dress.  Maybe this has already been done, but I can’t think of an example off the top of my head.

The struggle is real.

Posted: September 14, 2014 in Real Life
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"No Money" by patpitchaya via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“No Money” by patpitchaya via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Although it’s mostly used as a facetious hashtag, the struggle really is real. I had forgotten that for a while.  I didn’t grow up with much.  We made do. My mom struggled to make ends meet. I wore hand-me-down clothes before it was cool to shop a thrift store.  My haircuts were done at home by my mom. I didn’t have to worry much, tho.  Our house was paid for, so there was no worry about ending up on the street.

When I got older and moved out on my own, that’s when I really felt the anxiety.  Which bills do I pay this paycheck? Which ones can wait?  How long before they cut off the electricity? It was tough getting started.  Fortunately, I had a good job and eventually things leveled out.  As time passed, I found myself in a nice apartment, paying my bills on time, and even having a little extra spending money.  I wasn’t rich by any stretch of the imagination, but compared to my past, I was miles above.

It was easy to get comfortable. I forgot what it was like to see every paycheck quickly disappear as I paid bills.  I forgot what it was like to worry about not being able to pay something.  And then I met this girl.  She was struggling, so I helped her out.  She wasn’t able to make the ends meet.  I tried to connect them for her.  My bank account got lower than it had been in a while.  That’s when that anxiety I had forgotten about started to come back.  My comfort zone was smaller.  There were things I couldn’t afford.  I was reminded of the struggle.

When you’re living comfortably, it is easy to forget that others are barely getting by.  Aside from my real life experience, I think The Purge movies have done a good job of highlighting this.  Once you’re down, it is difficult to lift yourself up.  It becomes a vicious cycle of just surviving.  And those with the means to help would rather accumulate more than help the less fortunate.