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I am going to take this time to not to talk about superheroes, but something else that is very dear to my heart: How I Met Your Mother. If you have not watched the Season 9 Finale, DO NOT READ THIS!!!! This is going to be filled with so many spoilers it will ruin it! With that said…I want to…

The Last Forever, Our Final Farewell

I am going to take this time to not to talk about superheroes, but something else that is very dear to my heart: How I Met Your Mother. If you have not watched the Season 9 Finale, DO NOT READ THIS!!!! This is going to be filled with so many spoilers it will ruin it! With that said…I want to talk about the controversial end to one of my favorite, if not my most favorite, television show.So much happened in the series finale, I feel like I should split this post into the key, main things that occurred.


Barney & Robin:

The entire 9th season we spent leading up to the wedding of Barney and Robin, and it was a very good season with a lot of laughs and great memories. However, in the first part of the one hour series finale, Barney and Robin get divorced, something that frustrated many fans on Monday. People commented on this event in the show, expressing their frustration, that if you really love someone you work through it, you just don’t give up and take the easy way out. And I would agree, but that is not real life. To think that people just work through their problems and do not get divorced is naive!! I would love to live in a world where divorces don’t occur, but they do!! Sometimes couples that we think are amazing just don’t work, they fall apart, they want different things, they may have even realize that they made a mistake and no longer wish to be married. Yes, Barney and Robin loved one another, but they were unhappy in the relationship, thus it makes sense why they would get a divorce. We had seen the entire 9th season leading to this event, to Robin and Barney ending their marriage. They were both lone wolfs, doing what they needed or wanted to do and not involving the other. We had even seen their relationship in the 5th season, and it ended horribly! They were both unhappy then and in 2016. While I am 110% for Swarkles (Swarley and Sparkles) I understand why they would end their marriage.

You also have to think, this show has an underlying tone of realism, of real life. Yes they joke around and laugh and make fun of each other, but there are moments that are sad and heartbreaking. Some examples?! Marshall’s Dad dying, Ted being left at the altar, Robin finding out she can never have kids, Barney confronting his father who abandoned him, Lily wanting to leave in the middle of the night and not be a mother anymore, and the divorce. All of these are sad and hard to swallow, but they are real life and they are what made this show so good. We knew these characters, they are our friends, our family, our neighbors. We knew them because these things have happened to them, they may have even happened to you. That is what made this show so great.


Barney:

Thus, with the marriage over, Barney was again single. And this made people even more upset than the divorce. A friend of mine commented on Facebook, “Why? The finale was a complete character regression and rejection of canon developments!” And I can see why she would be frustrated. Barney goes back to banging chicks, pulling off plays, and almost pretends as though he was never married. But if you think it, that is all Barney knows. When we first met him, he was a playboy bachelor who was going to be awesome and having a ton of sex until he was 80. Yes, he did regress to who he was before, but this time it was different. Rather than just having meaningless sex with woman because he was awesome and wanted to add to his list (or in his case scrapbook), he used this meaningless sex to move on from his divorce.


He was hurting and this was the only way he knew how to move on. We have seen him do things like this before. When he and Robin broke up the first time, Barney was back in the game that very night. In previous break ups, he would have the gang to smack him over the head and tell him how much of an idiot he was. He would give a long winded speech about how he was too awesome for that, but deep down, we knew that they had gotten through to him, if only a little. This time, with everyone moving on with their lives and he had no one to help him through the divorce. He had to figure it out on his own, more or less, and he did it the only way he knew how.

It wasn’t until the birth of his daughter that he realized what he wanted to make him happy. With when we first met Barney, nine years ago, he was the bachelor, playboy who was never going to get married. When he was with Quinn, they almost had that happily ever after, but neither of them trusted one another. He almost ruined his relationship with Robin because of that very thing, but promised to be honest with her (after telling a butt load of lies!!) The point is, he grew as a person with each relationship, but he wasn’t willing to give everything that we was to any of them, until Ella. For the first time in his life he had something that meant more to him than money or woman or even suits. He had the most beautiful girl that he could hold in his hands. So while Barney did regress as a character, it needed to happen if he was going to progress as a father.

Tracy:

First of all, I love, love, love Cristin Milioti as well as Tracy McConnell. She is awesome! She was the character that each member of the gang needed at their lowest points during Season 9. She was funny, witty, and super cute. She really was the perfect girl for Ted, and we saw that perfection between the two of them. But I have seen something in other reviews, opinions, comments that makes me shake my head a little. People are saying that they “killed off” the mother, that we spend nine years only to learn that she was dead! And I am going to come back to the same thing I said earlier…How I Met Your Mother is a show based in reality and in real life, spouses die! It sucks, I know, but it happens!! To wish that life could be this perfect place in which nothing goes wrong and everyone lives happily ever after is not real!! Life isn’t Disney.

That being said, we got a sense from earlier episodes that Tracy was going to die. During “The Time Traveler”, when Ted rushes to her apartment and expresses his love for her and how he wishes he could have those extra 45 days with her was the first indication of her fate. The second indication we get is when Robin’s mom shows up for the wedding. Tracy says, “well of course she was going to show up, what kind of mother would miss her daughter’s wedding?” Ted gets a somber expression upon his face. And as the shot pans out, the song playing in the background is “If You See Her, Say Hello” by Bob Dylan. The writers did not just throw this idea upon us at the last minute. They have been building to it for a while. I agree, it does suck that she dies, but Ted got 11 wonderful years with her. They had two beautiful children together, and for the first time in his life, he had the real thing. While 11 years is not long enough, those were some of the best 11 years of his life.

Robin and Ted:

This is the thing that I think got most people upset. The common consensus of those who disliked this ending said that  Ted moved on to quickly, that they killed off the mother so he could end up with Robin. Someone even said that the show should have been called “How I Met Your Step-mother.” And I get why people would be upset, I really do. But, Ted waited the appropriate time to do anything (half the time of the relationship: 6 years) and was even hesitant about it initially. We had seen Tracy give Ted permission to move on with his life in Vesuvius when she said, “I just don’t want you to be the guy who lives in his stories.” She knew she only had a select amount of time left and didn’t want him to spend the rest of his life mourning her death. As for telling his kids this story, he was, in a way, asking for their permission.

And with Ted’s grand, romantic gesture, with the blue French horn, have come to two separate scenarios that could occur. The first is that Robin and Ted end up together, but never get married. The reason they failed the first time was because they wanted different things. Robin wanted to travel the world, Ted wanted to have kids. They both were able to get that and could now live their lives, happy to be with each other. The second scenario, the one I like the best, is that this launches Ted back into dating in hopes of finding someone as amazing as Tracy. I mean, this exact motif is how Season 1 of How I Met Your Mother began. Either way, what the show was attempting to demonstrate to us, with Ted’s gesture, is that life goes on and you have to keep on living it, even if heartbreak hits you hard.

Things I Would Have Changed:

While I loved everything that the cast, crew, writers, and anyone else involved in the making of HIMYM, there are a few things I would have liked to see changed. The first is the name of Marshall and Lily’s third child. We never get to know that and I wish we did. We also never learn what happened to Marshall and Lily. Do they move to Queens or what?! The second, I wish they would have slowed down the finale. We went through almost 20 years of events in the span of an hour, and because there was so much information to get through we didn’t get enough time to be excited or mourn, or wonder, or even reminisce about the past 9 years. While I loved everything that Craig and Carter gave us, I wasn’t able to let it all in because as soon as I did, we had moved on to the next thing. The third and final thing I would have changed is the kids’ reaction at the end. They kind of sounded douche, like, “Mom has been gone for six years. You and Aunt Robin are awesome together, just go for it.” It seemed as though they didn’t have much respect for the death of their mother. How I would have liked to see it would have been something along the lines of, “Dad, Mom has been gone for six years. We know you loved her, but she would have wanted you to be happy and keep on living your life. We know and she knows that you still love her and you going after Aunt Robin doesn’t mean that will change.” Small things that I would have changed, nothing super major.

Why Does How I Met Your Mother Matter?

If there is something that Ted has taught is over the past nine years, that all of the characters of How I Met Your Mother has taught us, is that life can be hard, it will often kick you down and try to keep you there. But you cannot give up. With friends by your side you can make it through anything. They can help you laugh, they can help you through tough times when you mourn. They can make fun of you, sometimes when you don’t want it, but in the end you know they love you. More than not, your closest friends become your family and those are the people who make everything in ones life special. As Barney Stinson said, “It isn’t legendary unless your friends are there to see it.”

What I want to leave you with:

I figure I should leave with not my words, but the words of Ted Mosby himself. Thank you How I Met Your Mother for the past nine amazing years. Thank you for the laughs, the tears, and the slaps. It has been an amazing journey that I would not have traded for the world.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Q-rW433l0

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night

I am sure that most people know Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corp, or at least GL from Ryan Reynold’s depiction of the character in the movie Green Lantern (which we won’t be talking about because it is an awful movie.) But while many people may know about Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corp, what they may not know is that there is a slew of other Corps in the DC Universe, varying in meaning and message. To be exact, there are nine Corps in total, including the Green Lanterns. These Corps are as follows: Orange, Indigo, Red, Yellow, Violet, White, Black, Blue, and of course, Green. And as each Corp has a different color, they also have different ideals that empower them.


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Orange: The Corp of Greed, those who seek power for themselves and only themselves. The orange light of avarice will be discovered and manipulated by a being whose greed knows no bounds” Because of the nature of greed, Due to the nature of greed, only one being can wield the Orange Ring at once, any more would cause infighting among the Corps members, as they’d be unable to share the power.

The Oath of the Orange Lantern Corp: This power is mine, this is my light. Be it in bright of day, or black of night. I lay claim to all that falls within my sight, To take what I want, That is my right!

Indigo: While some people might argue that indigo is just another shade of blue or purple, in this area, indigo is its own entity. Those of the Indigo Lantern Corp are actually members of an indigenous tribe of nomads. The ideology that empowers these nomads is that of compassion. The Psychology of Superheroes, describes compassion as being able to have empathy for someone while maintaining enough distance to understand their motivations.

The Oath of the Indigo Lantern Corp: *Note: This is a fan translation* In sorrowful day, in misfortunate night, We help those, who need our might, with the Lantern power of Abin Sur, we rid your misery…with compassionate might!


Red: Rage, that is what gives those who follow the Red Lantern Corp power. Geoff Johns describes the Red Lantern Corps as likely being “the most violent of the Corps […] based on violent reaction driven by emotional eruption – rage – instead of any clear-cut plan of war.” Those filled with rage are unable to think clearly, unable to think intelligently, that the only thing that remains is an animalistic sense surging through them. (Interesting enough, some of the characters from the Red Lantern Corp were based off of characters from the movie 28 Days Later).  

The Red Lantern Corp Oath: With blood and rage of crimson red, ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, together with our hellish hate, we’ll burn you all—That is your fate!


Yellow/Sinestro: Originally a member of the Green Lantern Corp, Sinestro founded the Yellow Lantern Corp. Based on fear, the Sinestro Corp is the archenemies of the Green Lantern Corp. They believe that fear is more powerful than willpower. Many of the main villains of the DC universe are members of the Yellow Lantern Corp, from Mongul, Cyborg-Superman, and even Scarecrow, believing that fear is their greatest way to control others.

The Yellow Lantern Corp Oath: In blackest day, in brightest night, beware your fears made into light. Let those who try to stop what’s right, burn like his powers…Sinestro’s might!


Violet: The power that emanates from the Violet Lantern Corps’ rings is that of love. This is not the sappy, Disney fantasized, ‘true love’. The love of the Violet Lantern, is the idea of what keeps a married couple together for 50 years. Love is one of the strongest emotions that feeds off of the wearers state of mind.

The Violet Lantern Corp: For Hearts Long Lost. And Full of Fright. For Those Alone In Blackest Night. Accept Our Ring and Join Our Fight — Love Conquers All — With Violet Light!


White: Those who are members of the White Lantern Corp follow the ideals of life. They get power from when the wearer embraces life, given them more power. However, the power from the white ring is unable to bring those from the dead back to life.

*Currently no oath for the White Lantern Corp*

Black: The Black Lantern Corp is one of the few Corps that can actually be considered to be the antagonists of the Green Lantern Universe. Why? Because they are the masters of death. They are given power by the death and demise of those around them. (Which is probably one of the creepiest things in comic books…or in the DC Universe at least)

The Black Lantern Oath: The Blackest Night falls from the skies. The darkness grows as all light dies. We crave your hearts and your demise. By my black hand… The dead shall rise!

Blue: The Flash was a member of the Blue Lantern Corp, and there is one thing I know about Barry Allen (the true identity of the Flash) he is empowered by hope, the same thing that empowers the Blue Lantern Corp. When all things seem impossible, he and the others of the Blue Lanterns, fight through with hope to get them through their darkest days. They were created to bring hope to the future in the light of so much destruction, when good faces overwhelming odds.

The Blue Lantern Oath: In fearful day, in raging night, with strong hearts full, our souls ignite. When all seems lost in the War of Light, look to the stars, for hope burns bright!


Green: The Green Lantern Corp, home of many heroes in the DC Universe, such as Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart. Like all of the Corps, the Green Lanterns are fueled by a great emotion: will power. They are powered by the Green Lantern and the Guardians of Oa. The Green Lanterns are intergalactical peacekeepers, each one being based on a different planet across the universe. What makes this Corp different from the others is that, instead of the Corp selecting its members, the ring chooses the wearer.

The Green Lantern Oath: In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!!!


Okay, so I know that was kind of long, but it was worth it in the end! So looking past what these Corps stand for, what their message is, the question must be asked, like I have asked so many times before, why does it matter? What is the point? The point is this: there are so many different emotions, so many different ideals that we often do not stop to think about what it means. That is what this entire blog has been about, making people stop and think about what they think and why!

Like the Lantern Corps, people allow different emotions and ideals to lead their lives, even if they don’t think so. There are those who come to college, telling themselves they will work hard, study vigorously to succeed (willpower). There are others who study for a test because they are afraid of failing the test and the class (fear). There are those who wish to live their lives to the fullest because they are afraid of death (death). There are those who use compassion in their everyday lives to help them forward (compassion).   

Now none of these ideals are better than the other, they all lead people throughout their lives. For some people, many of these ideals are brash, corrupt, and even immoral. To others, the more brash ideals get the job done that others may not. But this is not about good and bad, best and worse, it is about what works for each individual. Many people follow a variety of these ideals, not just one. However, just knowing what ideals directs one life is not enough. Asking why is the most important thing. Do me a favor: take a moment to think about what emotions and ideals you let direct your lives and why!

So while you may not wear a power ring or speak an oath, the ideals of the Lantern Corps are applicable to our everyday lives. Just remember to ask the questions that so many people brush over, never really thinking about.

Take A Moment to Smell the Roses

I’m not sure what is going on in the world. What do I mean by this? I just heard about a man from Florida who stopped at a gas station, next to an SUV filled with teenage boys playing their rap music at a very high volume. The man asked them to turn down the music, which they did, only to return it to its normal level. Therefore, in his frustration, the man proceeding to fire at the SUV, killing a 17 year old boy inside. The SUV drove away, as the man continued to fire at it. He was arrested, but was not sentenced for killing the boy, but rather for shooting at a moving vehicle. Another man shot at a car full of teenage girls who had egged his car as a Halloween prank, killing one of them. Now my point is not to depress you as you read this, my point of bringing up all of these horrific acts is to ask a question: how have we come to this? How have we come to the point in which we are so angry, so cruel to one another that if someone goes against us, they must be “punished.”  

It is as though we need some catastrophic event to bring us together, to allow us to be respectful with one another. I remember my Dad telling, after 9/11, telling me how people around each other would be courteous in every aspect of their day. When driving, people were not honking, forcing their way to their destination. People were not always angry with one another, not in a rush. It’s terrible that it takes something so terrible as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Irene, or Sandy to bring us together.

Now again, my point isn’t to make you feel terrible, or to say that the world an awful place filled with awful people. My point is to make you start asking those tough questions, to make you stop and think about what is going on in our lives. We are so focused on go, go, go, “it’s all about me” type mentality that we stop to ask the questions, “WHY?!” We are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives that we think everyone is in our way, that everyone else is the problem.

So how does this connect to superheroes and college? Like any superhero, or college student, there are those moments when we can rush in “guns blazing” or we can take a step back and take a moment to think about the decisions that are before you. Think about Spider-man. After his Uncle Ben was killed, Peter Parker hunted down the man who killed him, got the revenge he thought he deserved. In the end, after killing Ben’s murderer, all he got wa pain and heartache, regret for the decision that he had made.

So this is what I ask of you, that I want you to think about as you go through your days: take a moment to slow down, smell the roses, as they say. I’m not saying that you can’t be angry or get frustrated at those around you. There are days when people just aren’t thinking straight, but don’t go around blindly as so many in our society do. Think about the decisions and choices you are making. And please, do not think that I am speaking down to you, that I think I am so much better than you. I am still the guy who screams at people as I am driving! I too am trying to figure this out. My point in writing this is to get the conversations started and to have you stop for a moment and think!

 

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!

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I am spreading my wings a little bit here, but it connects to superheroes, so I think it is good! I saw The Lego Movie last weekend and it was AWESOME!! It was my childhood jam packed into a movie. It brought back memories of my older brother and I creating new ideas from the little blocks. It made me laugh, it made me reminisce, in short, it was awesome. Maybe because the main theme song of the movie was called “Everything is Awesome.” But other than the fact that the movie’s theme song was awesome, the movie focused on two very interesting and important ideas, in my mind.

Now while this movie is advertised towards kids, it can be enjoyed by everyone, and everyone can learn something from it, even if you didn’t play with Legos as a kid. And what can be learned from it? The two ideas that the movie focused on are creativity and that everyone is important, everyone is special.

The main character, Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt, is just a normal guy. To those around him, there is nothing spectacular about him, he just blends in with the crowd. He doesn’t even consider himself to be special, he doesn’t crave to be special. But that is not how life works. There are two kinds of people, in my opinion, those who are born for greatness and those who are forced into situations in which they can become great. And while some people would rather ‘build’ as the instruction manual directs us to, what we do can lead to greatness. (I am not saying that those who follow the rules cannot amount to greatness, far from it).


And while there are those who follow the rules, live as the instructions tell them to, there are those around him, people who one might call rebels, who do not build by the instruction manuel, who take pieces that they see around them and make whatever they can out of them. It is something that any kid who has ever played with Legos knows. The first time you get a box of Legos they follow the instructions to build whatever is in the box, but after that first time, you use your creativity to build whatever you can imagine. Maybe you will build a robot or a blaster gun, maybe you will build a huge skyscraper or a spaceship. All you know is you can build anything as long as you can imagine it. And that is just it, Legos, The Lego Movie, all of it, teaches kids, adults, all of us, that there are endless possibilities as long as we can think it up in our heads.


So what is the point? Why should you care? Why should you have read this blog post or see this movie? Like superheroes, like Lego characters, like you who is reading the words I am typing, everyone in the world is special. We all have something that makes us unique, something that those around see as being spectacular, even if we cannot see it. You are special, because you believe you are, because people around you see that you are special. And that is the point of everything, of superheroes, college, Legos, of this blog. What you make in this world, be it from a box of Legos that only you will see, or something so great that the world gets to bask in it, it was from the imagination that only you could have conjured.


So before I end this post, I want to leave you with somethings to think about:


Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” -Steve Jobs


So, be creative, be special, be you, and go see The Lego Movie.


Fear is the Mind-killer

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Possibly one of my favorite lines from Dune, if not all of science fiction literature. We all have fears at times, and will continue to have fear in our lives. What do you do to get past the fear and get done what must be done?


Making the Tough Choices

One thing that I have always loved about superheroes, especially when I was a kid, was they always do the right thing. When a tough choice comes barreling down towards them, they stand fast and take the decision head on, doing all they can to save those around them. We have seen heroes do this time and time again, often saving those they love, and others who have been victims of loss. I think we all can think back to the Death of Gwen Stacy. Spider-man tried to save Gwen, but in the end was the one who caused her death. So why do we continue to love Spider-man? Idolize him after such a tragic event? Because he TRIED! He fought to save her. But one character who just has never sat well with me was Dr. Manhattan.

*Side Note: This is not a review of the new Watchmen Graphic Novel! This is a critique of Dr. Manhattan as a character!*

My cousin, an avid comic book lover, like myself, brought this personal vendetta against the character into the lime light. If you have never seen the movie or read the graphic novel, Watchmen, first of all, you need to change that! For those of you who have either no idea or only a slight inkling to whom Dr. Manhattan is, let me enlighten you. But before I dive into who Dr. Manhattan is, and what I have against him, let’s take a look at the entire Watchmen series. Watchmen is based during the early Cold War era. It is a depiction of an alternate history in which these characters assisted the US in winning the Vietnam War. After the war, freelance vigilantes are banned and most of the heroes have gone into retirement or are working for the government. The story line focuses on the main characters deal with an investigation into the murder or a government sponsored superhero. Any more would ruin the awesomeness that is Watchmen. So that is the story of Watchmen, and now we can look at why Dr. Manhattan is one superhero who takes the easy way out.

Dr. Manhattan, named after the Manhattan Project (the creation of the Atomic Bomb) and based on DC’s Captain Atom, was originally a physicist by the name Jon Osterman who was transformed into the glowing blue man by Intrinsic Field Subtractor in 1959. Basically all of his atoms were torn apart and he was than put back together as a nuclear mess! Make sense? If not, I understand…I didn’t completely get it either! By the time the story begins in 1985, Dr. Manhattan has all but removed himself from the human race. He still has many human habits, such as wearing clothing and interacting in personal relationships, like the one he has with Laurie Juspeczyk (Silk Spectre a former superhero). But as time progressed, he found it difficult to continue to live a mundane life. He with drew from the human race, going as far as to go to the surface of Mars to try and understand how humans think. The guy sees the past, present, and future all happening simultaneously, so I can see why he is so detached from the human race. While everyone is living their lives for today, he is living his life in every single day that every was or will be…it is kind of a lot! It is a little odd, I know, but to each their own.

But that is not where my problem with him lies. So many superheroes have had moments in which they leave the battlefield, throw in the white flag and call it quits. Spider-man did it, Captain American and Iron Man  both did it, so did Batman and the Flash at one point (though only for a short time). I have no problem with heroes leaving the night life, the save the world life. It is a hard life, I get it! What I cannot understand is a decision Dr. Manhattan decided to make, one in which he thought would be best for humanity. While it was Ozymandias,  the man behind the plan, who did create an abomination of a plan to rid the world of its evils, it was Dr. Manhattan who did nothing to avert it. Ozymandias’ plan was simple: use Dr. Manhattan’s powers to destroy New York and in doing so, World War III between the US and the Soviet Union would be avoided. Instead of attempting to kill one another with nuclear weapons, they would be more focused on their new common enemy: Dr. Manhattan.

So what is my problem with Manhattan? He sits back and does nothing. He takes the blame and leaves the planet, returning to Mars once again. Again I ask, what is my problem with him? Here is the problem…Any other superhero, one, would have continued to be present during any hardships. The first time Dr. Manhattan left Earth was because it was believed that he was the reason people whom he cared about were getting cancer. He fled to avoid his problems (in my opinion). My second problem with him is the fact that he more or less gave up. He condoned the deaths of millions to avoid the deaths of billions. I understand that is admirable, but any other superhero would have found any other way to save not only the billions, but also the millions. They would have done whatever needed to be done to keep people from dying. In my mind he took the easy way out. Whether he thought he was doing a benefit for the world, keeping others from being injured, or just avoiding a future that had only consequences, I don’t know, but there are so many other decisions that could have been made in order to avoid Armageddon.

So alas, when it comes to superheroes, Dr. Manhattan is one that doesn’t hit as high as others. To recap, it is because of his detachment from humanity and his final decision that set him aside as a lesser superhero. While I LOVED the Watchmen graphic novel and am super excited to read Before Watchmen, I cannot consciously give praise to a character such as Manhattan. What do you think? Was Dr. Manhattan’s actions just? Did he have any other option? If so, what could he have done differently?!


The Things Breaking Bad Teaches Us

Like any good story, there is a good guy and there is a bad guy and we can usually tell who is who. Sometimes it turns out that the bad guy was the good guy and the good guy was the bad guy, but that is beside the point. But what do we do when the main character starts out as the good guy, has good intentions, but because of his actions, turns into the bad guy? I know I am asking you to think in a black and white world, which we most certainly do not live in, but how do we comprehend this? The best example that I can think of, in most recent years, is Breaking Bad. A high school Chemistry teacher, Walter White, is diagnosed with an aggressive strain of cancer and is given less than a year to live. Having a teacher’s salary, he will be unable to provide for his family once he is gone, so he has to find a new form of income. And he found that new income very quickly: cooking meth.

Okay, so here is why I am writing this post, it is not to just tell you to watch an amazing show. One of the biggest morals of the show is drawing  the line. They ask the question time and time again, how far would you go? Now I am not saying that, at any point in your life, are you going to have to cook meth or anything of that severity. But the question must be asked, how far are you willing to go? There will be so many times in your lives, not just in college, in which you have to make decisions. Some of these decisions will be harder than others, some may even seem impossible to make, but the point of this, the point of asking this question is to consider: how far would you go?

Some people would be fine with going that far, I know I am one of them. If push came to shove and I had to take care of my family through any means possible, I would do what needed to be done. Others, however, have drawn their line much sooner and would find any other way, through was that were less drastic. The important thing is to find out for yourself, where do you draw the line? It is something that each person must learn for themselves, and each person has different limits.

Now this is the first post that I have put up that does not include superheroes, probably won’t be the last, but it does connect to something that I talked about in some earlier posts. When you make these decisions, it often reflects upon your morals and your moral compass. Often when people make decisions that are questionable, like Walter White cooking meth, it is often because we stray away from our moral compasses, what we know to be right and wrong. So, while you may never have to make a decision so drastic as seen in Breaking Bad, do remember that the person you are today has gotten to this point by following your own compass. When the tough choices do come up, and they will, make sure you keep following that compass. More than not, it will point you in the right direction.

 

New Years Resolutions

Before I go any further I want to say, Happy New Year! I am a huge fan of the new year, no matter what year it is. The New Year is time for us to start a new, to forget the mistakes that we made in the past year and continue to propel  forward with any success of the past year. But what I really like about the New Year is the New Years Resolutions (or if you really want, a New Years Revolutions). Why do I like the resolutions? Because at the beginning of the New Year we strive to better ourselves, we want to all we can to make ourselves better for ourselves, our loved ones, our friends, and even society. While we may not all stick with our resolutions, many of us giving into our past habits, it is the fact that we put into our minds that we would be better this year than last. This is exactly what I believe superheroes strive to do. While they do not always succeed, they always put into their minds that they are going to be better today than they were yesterday. Today is the day that the better themselves as well as society. Like us, they try to do what they can to make the world a better place, even if only for a couple of weeks.

Happy New Year! I hope you all have resolutions that you can stick with and make you even better and happier for 2014.

 

The Hero who Reminded Us How To Be Heroes

I really wish I had, had the opportunity to do this blog sooner and would have done this post so much sooner, because this is a story so very close to my heart. I am sure, if you have seen the news or been online in the past few months, that you have heard of Bat kid! This is Bat kid:


Right? Super cute kid! This five year old from San Francisco is battling against leukemia, so his mom contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation and asked them to give him a dream of a lifetime…Save the city alongside Batman! He got to ride around in the batmobile (which was a 2014 Lamborghini!), defeated bad guys, such as the Joker, Riddler, and others, and was given the key to the city. He did even more than that, but what makes this story even more special is the fact that THOUSANDS of people lined the streets, cheering him on as they saved their city from evil. To tell you the truth, this is probably the greatest superhero I have ever seen. No lie. 


But I am not just writing about this inspirational kid, because it is a great story, I am writing about it for a much deeper reason. Bat kid teaches us that no matter how old or young you are, whether you are six feet tall or just over three feet, even if you are health as a horse or fighting a disease that isn’t fair for you to have, anyone can be a superhero. We don’t need to wear a cape and cowl to be a superhero.  A superhero doesn’t need to save the city or wear a costume. All that a superhero needs to do is believe in themselves and show up. This little boy taught us that a superhero can be anyone. I would think that to him, the people who showed up to help make this day such a memorable one are heroes, just as much as they consider him to be one. So here is my challenge for you. Go out into the world and do something that affects someone, even if it is just one person. Because affecting someone’s day just might have them see you as a hero.

 http://vimeo.com/79541124

Our Own Secret Identities

Whenever we think of superheroes, we me at least, they are always connected to their secret identities. Whenever someone says Batman, you think Bruce Wayne; Superman, Clark Kent; Spider-man, Peter Parker; the Flash, Barry Allen. You get the idea. We immediately connect the hero with the individual. Its likes that psychological exercise. One person says a word and the other person responds. Okay, I think you get the idea. 

But what about you? What is your secret identity? To give you an example, people know me as Jacob Schornak: comic book nerd, outgoing, funny, hot tempered, and the guy who loves suiting up! But what they don’t know, what I don’t let them see, is my secret identity. Things that only those who are closest to me know, and it took me years to let even those people know who was beneath the exterior. Now I’m not saying it is a facade. The person I am to the world is the same person I am to my closest friends, but they know the deeper parts of me, my “secret identity” which the rest of the world does not. 

It can take us years to let people know our secret identities. We are often afraid that if we show people the parts of us that may go against the norm, that these people may not accept us for who we are. We hide it to ourselves, believing that if we keep quiet no one will notice, but you do! Everyone’s secret identity is different, but that does not mean that anyone’s is better or more important or more difficult to share than another’s! Telling someone that you are gay, or have a gambling or drinking problem, or telling someone you have cancer, or that you have dropped out of school, all of these are different, but ALL of them are hard!

Now I’m not saying that you should go home and tell everyone you know what your secret identity is. That is for you to decide, for you to come to terms with. My only hope is, as you read this, whether you be heading to college, in college, or just living life, that you think, “what is my secret identity?” Be aware of the identity that you are keeping to yourself and ask yourself, who am I willing to share this with? Knowing who you are is hard, telling other people who you are is even harder!

What Should We Call it….

College is one of the few times in your life, if one of the only, in which you will be with such a large amount of people of the same age group as yourself. While you all may be in the same age range, everyone you meet in college, yourself included, are different and unique. You will be exposed to new ideas, new cultures and ways of looking at the world. You will be challenged, forced to consider where you stand on social and moral issues, and it may be difficult. You will meet people of different race, sexual orientation, and ideals. The people you meet in college will help to shape who you will become as a person, if you let them. But here is the thing, when you get to college you have to make a choice. Are you going to accept people for who they are or are you going to judge them and believe that because they are different that makes them bad?


Joss Whedon, director of such blockbuster hits as The Avengers and Toy Story, has brought up a new idea of recognizing and showing equality, something that we all should strive for in college and afterwards.  


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDmzlKHuuoI


Now I’m not saying that you are a genderist by showing this video. The point is to make you think! While you may not consider yourself to be a racist or a sexist or any other negative ist word there is, the question you have to ask yourself is do you accept everyone for who they are? When you are in college and after, will you continue to accept people for who they are or will you judge them because they do not fit into the boxes that society considers to be “correct?” These are questions you must ask yourself, because while college may be the largest congregation of people in the same age range as yourself, it will not be the last time you will be around a diverse range of people.

Moral Compass and Superheroes

I have loved superheroes since I was young. They have always been a kind of moral compass for me. Whenever I was upset with a situation or struggling to decide what to do, I would always look to how the superheroes I grew up with handle such a situation. Obviously, superheroes have not been my only role model, but they have been one of many things/people I look to when times get tough and I’m not sure what to do.

Who is your role model? Have they helped define your moral compass? How will you use that compass to navigate your way through the transition to college?