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Fall From Fame

"Fame is empowering. My mistake was that I thought I would instinctively know how to handle it. But there’s no manual, no training course." - Charlie Sheen


Fame is a very loosely defined term and can be brought about by a variety of things. You star in a movie, you make a funny YouTube video, you could have a good blog on Tumblr, write a famous novel, or be a part of some wild scandal. No one every said that fame needed to be a positive thing. We’ve all seen how it’s torn apart actors like Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan, and though some realize their mistakes, it takes others to their downfall. It may start off all good and dandy, but some people cannot handle the fame. Having people constantly talking about you and criticizing you certainly is not easy and plus there is the pressure to produce and excel. For others, there is an extreme pressure to stay relevant. A prime example of this is the beloved Truman Capote.

Ever since a little boy, Truman had been known for his rambunctious and flamboyant ways. Regardless of whether this was a cover up for the feelings of abandonment brought on by his neglectful mother… to this day that is his personality. In school, though he never tried, he was very intelligent and popular. He always had a lot of friends and was the center of attention. His writing truly brought him to a whole new level of attention, when his first short story “Miriam" was published in a magazine. A series of other works led to his time in the limelight and eventually a huge ego. Truman even hosted his own "Black and White Ball", claiming that only anyone who was anyone could get in. Capote knowing he had complete control would even taunt his potential guests with a Well maybe you’ll be invited, and maybe you won’t.” Really? These people were supposed to be his friends, but the attention got straight to his head. Moving on, after Capote’s great success “In Cold Blood” (which has been made into several movie adaptations on different aspects of the book) was when he truly began to fall. He never finished another book after that. He had a terrible case of writer’s block and of course the alcoholism did not help. Truman released a few chapters in magazine along with some other things. These… “other things” would include the deep secrets and confessions of his high society friends. He sold out his friends for a few dollars, some attention, and a spot in a magazine. His struggle to stay relevant continued right up until he lost all of his friends.

Truman Capote was, in lack of better terms, a sell-out. Unfortunately, selling-out is not too uncommon nowadays. The sad thing is that everyone is just so obsessed with being noticed and being liked that they will do anything just to keep themselves in the spotlight. It is actually pretty pathetic. Also, with all this selling-out everything becomes the same. Either society is seriously lacking a sense of originality or we are all too scared to switch up the program. Music is one of the worst, I repeat, WORST and most common place were sell-outs lurk. For example, my all time favorite band "Forever the Sickest Kids" were in my opinion, absolutely incredible. They are (were) an alternative band, that now focuses on (was taken over by) Pop music. Before, their lyrics were meaningful and now the lyrics are repetitive and pointless. I just don’t understand it. Why fix something if it’s not broken? They were beyond amazing before and now it’s somewhat depressing listening to them and hearing how much they changed. Even if they got a higher spot on the “Top 40”, they have lost some old fans in the process. Truman Capote’s name may have stayed in the news for a little bit after telling all those secrets, but at what cost? He lost all of his friends and in the end, everything else.

The moral of the story kids, is DON’T SELL OUT. You won’t win anything in the end.

Forever The Sickest Kids (then) - BREAKDOWN vs. FTSK (now) - WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME

The Graduate

"The Graduate". I had never seen this movie before we had started watching it in Honors English class. Little did I know, I had actually seen a few scenes from the movie in other … places. In the "Family Guy" episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" towards the end of the show, in a quick scheme, the wedding scene appears. Chris Griffin is not getting married but is a Bar Mitzvah in Las Vegas. Peter and Lois storm in and even block the door with a cross to get Chris back. Additionally, movies like “Wayne’s World”, shows like “Roseanne”, and many more take part in parodying this classic film. Personally, I think the film, even though we have not finished it yet, is good. It is widely known for its amazing cinematography and they really did a great job with it. All of the different shots and angles of the movie keep it interesting. It is not just one camera, facing one direction during the entire movie; they switch it up! Also, unlike many movies today there are ungodly amounts of nudity, violence, swearing, you name it, it is probably there. This movie though, left gave you a clear idea of what happened without all of this, and kept you guessing. The best part of the entire movie was most definitely seeing Mr. Feeny.

On a more serious note, the message of this movie holds true to all. Growing up is hard and finding your purpose in life in even harder. Benjamin excelled in athletics and school, an overall well-round person. He grew up with his parents more or less handing everything to him (seeing as they are rather wealthy) and even through college he still had a schedule made for him. After graduating though, that was it. There was no one to hold his hand and tell him what to do. Benjamin needed to decide what he wanted to do and he was not ready for that. In the beginning of the movie, his parents threw him a large party and constantly congratulations and suggestions were being thrown at Benjamin. He wanted nothing of it. The temptation of Mrs. Robinson is what started him on his downward path. This happens to teens and adults all of the time. All it takes is that one triggering factor to put you on a completely different path. Most people do not even realize what is going on until it’s too late. In Benjamin’s case, it took Mrs. Robinson’s jealously of her daughter for him to realize he needed to shape up.

Growing up really can be a scary thing, I know that even sometimes I worry about my career and future. Of course having a plan is very important, but also I believe that there needs to be some flexibility within it. When everything is laid out step-by-step for a person, you end up like Benjamin. When it is finally time to put on the “big boy pants" and be an independent individual, the person will struggle greatly. Now, though the ideas contradict each other, basically, you need to know what you want to do, but live a little. If Benjamin would have been able to realize this, then maybe things would have worked out differently for him. I find it funny that throughout the whole film he is looking for a purpose, and even at the end he still has not found it. I would have liked to see this resolved, but I guess this "mysterious element" leaves room for a sequel.

I just couldn’t help it.

KONY 2012

On Friday, March 2, some invisible children representatives came to our school to present a showing of the “Kony 2012” documentary. I was not there to see it, but from what I heard it was a truly life changing experience. I never really knew too much about what was going on in Africa right now. I heard about the genocide in Darfur and Sudan, and believed them to be connected to the Kony problem. Little did I know, this was not true. Kony is a problem himself along with his Lord’s Resistance Army. Their purpose is a government based off the Ten Commandments (talk about misinterpretation). Like I was told to, I went to the Invisible Children YouTube channel and the first video I watched was "Protection Plan". Three things happened:

  1. I cried
  2. I cried some more
  3. I felt an insane hatred for Joseph Kony

I simply cannot understand how one person’s mind can become so diluted from reality that they believe kidnapping children and killing people is for “a good purpose”, but I’ll go back to that later. My heart was slowly breaking as each second passed by in the video, and the fact that I couldn’t do anything about it was even worse. These people, thousands of miles away, are more or less helpless to the destruction and evil around them. Their villages are so remote, it took days for Limai to give notice to the town of Dungu, for the need of medical assistance (a man was confused for an LRA member and shot by one of the Republic of Congo soldiers). We sit here, complaining about our economy, how horrible our country is, and our petty high school problems while these people are looking death in the face on a daily basis. I could not even imagine to live in fear like that. I want to jump on a plane these countries and help more than anything. It sounds silly, but all I wanted to do was hug every single man, woman, and child, and tell them it’s going to be okay. I’m truly hoping that one day it will be; that these people will be able to live a free life without worrying about the next LRA attack or when their children are going to be taken away from them.

What makes this whole situation even worse, is that it’s kept so under wraps. In our day and age, with all the news coverage and media, I would think this would be the number one topic of world affairs. I honestly just heard Joseph Kony’s name the other day in class. Now that I know what he’s capable of and what he’s been doing though, I’m somewhat disappointed in our country. We, as Americans, have always referred to ourselves as the “Big Brother” nation. We are always jumping into conflicts and helping to resolve them. Even if we are not wanted, it has never stopped us before. So why now, as these villages are being pillaged, women are being raped, men are being killed, and children are being made into soldiers, do we sit back and watch? We have absolutely no problem engaging in wars with other countries, so instead of destroying more lives, let’s save some. Now is the time to get involved and I plan on it, hopefully the rest of America better yet the world, will catch up on the trend Invisible Children is setting.

Let’s make that a zero.

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