November 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

High School Musical 3 follows Troy and Gabriella and company through their senior year of high school, ending with a heart-touching (not) number about how, even though the former classmates are traveling to opposite ends of the country to pursue their personal goals and dreams, they’ll remain friends forever. Millions of kids sat through those 90 minutes and likely believed every word of it I. I’m guessing that the few adults who attended either criticized the entire time or submitted themselves to 1.5 musical, colorful hours of the willful suspension of disbelief. Through this movie, Disney seems to be claiming that friends are forever. At least, they are in Hollywood. In front of the camera, never behind.

Even though life doesn’t usually work out that way, people still like to hope that it will. In my opinion, that hope is a big part of the reason HSM3 made $16.5 million on its opening day. Granted, a lot of the income was from elementary and junior high girls who just wanted to see Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens sing and dance. But I’d venture to argue that part of the appeal is the message that the movie portrays: the message that friends are fairy-tale quality and that all the people you like will like you back and that those you love will never leave your side.

As we grow up, we learn that this isn’t the case and that life is hardly a Disney movie. But we still like to dream. So I paid my $8 and sat through all the catchy songs and Zanessa nonsense and realized that, even though I was cynically criticizing the characters for claiming they would always be together, they were all doing and saying exactly what I had done and said. I used to have that same hope. As a kid, every time I met a new set of friends I thought, “these will be my buddies forever.” I was always wrong. At first it depressed me, because I missed my friends. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that an ideal social situation is not the one advertised at the end of HSM3, because for that scenario to work, time would have to freeze. But like it or not, we can’t stay in high school forever. (Thank god.) Life is constantly, fluidly moving forward and hence so must be our circles of friendship.

You get friends specific to your location and circumstance, and when either or both of those things changes, so does your peer group. The change isn’t a bad thing — in fact, if you were forced to drag the same set of friends through all of your life’s changes your social life could get unreasonably tiresome. In other words, “We’re all in this together” may be sung with jubilation at the beginning of high school, but its an anthem of doom to adult life.


True Life Haha

November 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

Joking about terrible diseases is a terrible thing to do, because thousands of people worldwide are afflicted with, debilitated from, and killed by the horrendous maladies so unfortunately ubiquitous amongst mankind. But for some reason, making fun of these illnesses is one of the funniest jokes available. I watched a show on MTV with some of my friends called “True Life,” a show that finds kids with some kind of defect and follows them around for a couple weeks documenting their difficult life. This particular episode was about a couple of kids who suffered from Tourettes Syndrome. The show incited disgust and sympathy amongst my friends, but that is as far as our benefactorial spirits would take us. The remainder of the weekend was not spent raising support money for Tourrettes research or thanking god that True Life isn’t making episodes about us; rather, it was spent jokingly excusing every fumble with “I have Tourettes.”  It was funny, and it never got old. (And believe me, there was a lot of stumbling and tripping and dropping things that summer weekend.) We probably could have marketed our own show — “True Life: We’re Horribly Insensitive But We Don’t Care.”

But I don’t think are actions are as disrespectful as they first appear. True, no healthy person should mock another less healthy person. But I think laughing about it is partially a cover up of our fear that it could happen to us. Additionally, speaking lightheartedly about evil traumas is our own way of celebrating the fact that we don’t have that disease. Everyone’s going to die someday of one thing or another, so while we’re healthy we eat drink and merrily mock those not so fortunate. Because soon enough, karma will catch up and it will be our turn to fall.

Typecast Me: The Rules of Brands

November 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

If you skateboard, you are allowed to wear Etnies. But if you do not skateboard, stay away from Etnies. Because if you wear Etnies people will think you skateboard, and if you do not skateboard then you are lying to the public. Along the same line.. Only surfers and people from Australia should wear Billabong. Only olympic swimmers can wear Speedo. Adidas is only for soccer players and only football players can wear UnderArmour. Lacoste is only for tennis players and Timberland boots are only for mountain men and construction workers, and camoflage is only to be worn in the forest and in war.

I hope by now you realize I’m joking.

He likes to think and drink pink ink

November 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

So there’s this kiddie show called “Charlie and Lola.” It’s about these two little 2D cartoon British kids who go around doing ordinary daily things like eating and schoolwork and recycling newspapers to save the earth. For some reason, little kids love it. The show, while mundane, has a unique charm, and I have at times been drawn in if not by the cute characters than by the effect of a well-turned British phrase on a case of sheer boredom. (“I feel absolutely completely dreadful, Chawlie!”)

While I was watching one day, Charlie and Lola were enjoying their afternoon snack: biscuits (that’s the British word for cookie) and milk. PINK milk. Pink milk is their favorite.

Why do little kids love turning food wrong colors? For some reason, it’s fun for them. Breakfast cereal, candy, juice, jelly, you name it — people marketing to younguns make sure its sopping with Red #40 and Blue #5.  If you don’t believe me, check the grocery store. And then when people graduate from childhood and get their I-Am-Now-Officially-A-Boring-Adult diploma they suddenly think wrongly-colored food disgusting. Instead of Fruit Loops they eat Raisin Bran without the raisins and and the Frosted Flakes without the frosting and Lucky Charms without the lucky or the charms.

I dare you to re-release your inner child and put food coloring in everything you eat and drink for an entire day, and enjoy it. Pink milk. Absolutely and completely charming, Chawlie.

The Devil Made Me Do It!

November 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve discovered the ultimate cop-out. Here it is.

“I’m Satan.”

Seriously, use it for anything — If someone tells you you’re a jerk, if you’re having a bad day, if you yell for no reason, if you crash your car — anything bad you do can be excused with those two little words. Think of any bad thing you could do that would not be absolved with that statement. Maybe you’re offended by this post. Maybe it seems sacrilegious, or disrespectful, or contrary to your beliefs or maybe it offends your lacking sense of humor. But I don’t care, and it really doesn’t matter what you think anyway. Because, well….

I’m Satan.

Is it in you?

November 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

Gatorade’s newest marketing campaign involves different stages of juice designed for different stages of performance. It is designed for athletes who supposedly need different types of chemicals before, during, and after their sporting event or competition or workout. Granted, this is true to an extent, but I doubt Gatorade has the capacity to fully meet these needs. Has anyone done a scientific study on this? I’m curious if Gatorade 1, 2, and 3 are really far superior than a bottle of sugar+salt+water. Just a thought.


November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Facebook is the most narcissistic thing   because everyone can post everything about themselves and think we all care as much as they do. Below is my evidence. Real facebook posts. Read at your own risk.

“It’s weird how much I want someone to make me soup right now.”  …Too bad no one wants to make you any

“Barn Sale this week!!! Excited! You should be too!” … Sorry, but we don’t care.

“Sure was nice not having to go to my 9:30 am class today” …Sure was nice that you told us. (?)

“according to the facebook quiz, I’m only 20% asian” …According to the hours spent on facebook, you’re 100% asian.

“on a homemade cleaning spray kick” ..not right now. right now you’re on facebook.

“Just ate the most disgusting trail/party mix in the world.” … keep your trail mix to yourself.

and my personal favorite:

“On the top of Mount Everest after winning the Olympics. Now off to my Broadway audition and tea with the Prime Minister!”

If you’re doing something worth posting about, you probably are having too much fun and/or are too busy to be on Facebook. I have no problem with spring cleaning, craving soup, or rejoicing over canceled classes, but I do have a problem with people’s readiness to advertise every little detail to the world. Facebook is personal, but it is also public. Have some tact.