Sunday, December 7, 2014

This Needs to Stop. Today.



"Get away [...] for what? 

Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I'm tired of it. It stops today
Why would you...? Everyone standing here will tell you I didn't do nothing. I did not sell nothing. 
Because every time you see me, you want to harass me. You want to stop me [...] Selling cigarettes. 

I'm minding my business, officer, I'm minding my business. 

Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone
Please please, don't touch me. 

Do not touch me. 

I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. 
I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe
I can't breathe. I can't breathe."

These were Eric Garner's final words.

The officers around him did not perform CPR

__________________________________________
Rest in peace Mister Garner.

This needs to stop.
I want change.
Now.












I am tired. 

I. We. Can't. Breathe. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gone Girl: Not My Type of Beer (Do Not Believe The Hype)

Warning: serious spoiler alerts!


I usually give a movie about 10-15, sometimes 20 minutes to decide if I like it. If the story doesn't grip me, or seem promising by then, I will be likely turning it off. After all, I do not like wasting my time. Of course, in theaters, it is a slightly different story. If I do encounter a bad movie, I have to stay for the simple reason that I paid for the experience and I do not like wasting my money. After all, I can at least write a blog post about it.

Gone Girl was one of those movies that I would have turned off if I had seen it on TV at home. But I was in a theater. And so I watched the whole movie. All of it. It was long. Precisely 149 minutes long. That is 2 hours and 29 minutes.

Initially, when I decided to go and see Gone Girl, I was excited. I mean why wouldn't I be. The movie had gotten just as much buzz as the book did (which I hadn't read) and everyone I know who had seen the movie praised it to the sky and back. But the excitement didn't last long.

Let me explain.

So, the movie starts with this love story developing between Ben Affleck's and Rosamund Pike's characters (Nick and Amy). They meet for the first time; he takes her for a walk and shows her an incredible sugar dust storm–how romantic; then he kisses her and puts two fingers on his chin as a token for his dedication to her or something like that. Boom. They end up moving in together; get married and then move from the city into a small town; nothing extraordinary so far

Next, their marriage seems to deteriorate. He looses his job which takes a toll on their relationship because of financial issues. The usual marital problems arise. Next, he is gone all the time. She doesn't get the attention she wants. Yawn

Now the movie begins when the plot twist we all know about comes up: On their fifth wedding anniversary, she disappears.

He has no idea where she went. So the search begins. The police suspect him after they find a speck of blood in their kitchen, but he of course if just as clueless as to her whereabouts. Witty lines are being exchanged between him and the suspicious female detective. This goes on for a while. The people in his neighborhood turns against him thanks in part to negative media coverage, and the only person who ends up standing by his side is his twin sister. (We watch this for what feels like an hour.)

Then, the movie, probably half way through, gets another turning point: Amy appears again. She is not dead! She has not been murdered by her husband. Surprise! We find out that she has framed her husband for her murder, and that she is on her way to a motel to then, in a few days, kill herself. Pretty psycho if you ask me. Now the story could be going somewhere.

I'm thinking, she must have a good reason for this, and I am eager to find out.

We follow Amy talk about her plan. How she managed to make the kitchen look like a crime scene; how she gets away unseen etc. etc. 

OK, now, lets wait for her reasoning–the chance to make this story great.

There it is. She saw him cheating on her with a woman half her age. Oh, he cheated. I'm disappointed again. Another cliché. But wait, he did not just cheat on her–it is more fucked up than that! Guess what? The moment she discovers another woman in her husbands arms, he kisses the woman and puts his two fingers on his chin in the same manner he did to her when they first met. Say what?! Nah uh!? He did not do that, did he! Yes. He did. How fu... I am being ironic here. 

That is it. That is the explanation we get: She snapped after he did the two finger thing. She plotted this whole murder. She wanted him to rot in jail for the rest of his life. She would even kill herself to execute her plan.

Oh, but then she realizes she doesn't want to kill herself, because why should she? She deserves a good life. And so she contacts an ex who believes everything she says, which is, Nick was trying to kill her and she ran away.

So this is where Gillian Flynn looses me for good. This whole time, the story is mediocre. And the hopes I have for the story to really take off and become something good is being crushed when we find out her reasoning which is just another disappointment after the other disappointments. From the point you realize the wife has plotted everything because he cheated on her–and did the fingers on his lips thing–it stays just cheesy. 

Now we get to see how crazy this character, Amy, really is. She doesn't just want to see her husband in jail, she by the way, had also framed an ex for rape before, and she uses that trick again with the other crazy ex of hers before she ends up killing him.

So... this woman has not become crazy when her husband cheated on her, or their relationship had failed. Nope, this woman was crazy to begin with.

Then, after successfully killing the ex who took her in because he believes her husband is evil, Amy returns to her town because she decides to like her husband again–since he gave TV interviews and he seemed to finally understand how a decent husband should treat her. Now he seems more likable to her. 

When she returns, Nick is not happy and hopes the world will find out what she had done to him. But, he quickly realizes no one will believe him and so he ends up staying with his phsycho-wife, who is also pregnant. He has no choice.

Why? Maybe because no one would believe him. And if he would leave her, he would pretty much be the worst person on the planet–after everything his wife had to go through–being kidnapped by her ex, who raped her, whom she killed in defense. Right, because no one will believe him, he doesn't leave!

So, in short, this movie is about a crazy lady who goes as far as framing ex's for rape. Murder. And then forces her husband to stay with her although she despises him. 

Despite the fact that the actors did OK. Despite the fact that David Fincher shot the movie, despite the fact that Gillian Flynn got to write the screenplay adaptation, this movie sucked, because the story sucked. 

Nothing about this story was believable. Nothing about this story was great. Nothing about this story was relatable. Nothing about this story was interesting enough to suck me in.

I have no clue why everybody loves it so much. Maybe after all, there is a difference between what books can do and movies often fail to do, which is really explain the depth of the characters and their complex motives. In the movie, it was all too flat for me.

This was just not my cup of tea, or as they say in Germany: this was not my type of beer.




Here is some of the incredibly bad dialogue at the end of the movie:













Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 Is a Teenager (We Will Never Forget)

13 Years Later
As the memorial lights pierce the Manhattan sky in memory of. September 11, forever a dark day. We cried a thousand times, tears of unjust suffering here and elsewhere. The numbers 9+11 in combination, innocent no more. These numbers forever engraved our minds with horror. So we chant: united we stand.

Louder. Forever. You and I together.




















I also wanted to share a quote from "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". It is one of my all time favorite novels. 
(Don't read on if you haven't read the book, instead, read the book by Jonathan Safran Foer.) The ending is so powerful and genius. In it, the protagonist Oskar reverses the horrors of the imagery of "the jumpers" who jumped out of the twin towers windows, before the building collapsed. 

"I ripped the pages out of the book. I reversed the order, so the last was the first, and the first was the last. When I flipped through them, it looked like the man was floating up through the sky. And if I'd had more pictures, he would've flown through a window, back into the building, and the smoke would've poured into the hole that plane was about to come out of." 



Monday, August 18, 2014

My Twitter-versary!

I just turned 4 on Twitter... 

You tell me if that's an accomplishment. 

I will go and eat some cake now. And you, um... follow me on Twitter I guess.






A few thoughts on social media:

1. Even if you have ended a relationship with a person once dear to you, social media hasn't. Unfollowing or unfriending is not effective and doesn't prevent you from seeing pictures and posts of or with that person: You will always be connected on social media.
2. I always took selfies, even before there was a word for it. I called it: taking a picture of myself.
3. I regularly sign out of Facebook and Instagram on my phone, usually when other people's lives become too much to take for various reasons.
4. I once interned and became a social media specialist. My role was to manage the company's blog, Twitter and Facebook. Our Twitter strategy was: follow as many people as you can and hope they will follow back.
5. When I worked at Germany's equivalent to New York Magazine (in the sense that they are both news weeklies) I realized that the most updated news I can find were on Twitter, it blew my mind that the news' landscape had changed significantly.
6. Knowing how to create a following is a great skill that almost EVERY company desires. My heart desires not to know more about it.
7. I am a grammarian, even on Twitter and Facebook.
8. Twitter made me find pictures of my bf's ex. I regretted searching for them.
9. It pisses me off when people post pictures of their babies on Facebook or Instagram out of respect for the children that some day will be adults.
10. I am more media savvy than my whole family including my ten year younger sister. (I was the first one in my family to have a laptop and unlimited internet.)
12. I met my first boyfriend online; we were trying for forever and lasted 10 years. This makes me feel old.
13. The reason why I haven't deleted all of my social media accounts including Facebook and MySpace is that it is a history of mine I can't erase, because doing so would feel like a part of my life were to be undone.
14. My current boyfriend doesn't have a Facebook account. I think he is pretty smart. Then sometimes I think he is weird for that. I believe we are a great match.
15. My hashtag on Twitter is #TheFlawedHero.



That said, this reminds me of this article I read in the New York Times a few days ago titled:
Generation Nice: The Millennials are Generation Nice.

Here is an excerpt:

Suddenly, as you may have noticed, millennials are everywhere. Not that this group of people born after 1980 and before 2000 — a giant cohort now estimated to number at least 80 million Americans, more than the baby boom generation — was ever invisible. What’s changed is their status. Coddled and helicoptered, catered to by 24-hour TV cable networks, fussed over by marketers and college recruiters, dissected by psychologists, demographers and trend-spotters, the millennial generation has come fully into its own. The word “millennial,” whether as noun or adjective, has monopolized the nonstop cultural conversation, invariably freighted with zeitgeisty import.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Heroine

My Huge Eyes Spy



I remember when I was in 6th grade, about 12-years-old, in Germany, I noticed skinheads hanging out by my school. I was so afraid they would do something to me (I have a Turkish dad) if they noticed me. My stomach would hurt and I kept my distance, trying to rush to the bus to get home. As a child I was really afraid of skinheads (I still kind of am, but now more so because I know how ignorant they are).

Mo Asumang grew up in Germany as well. Her dad is from Ghana and as an Afro-German I am sure her experiences must have been similar, if not worst than mine. However, she decided to confront racism head on by talking to people who hate. When a clip of her talking to a Ku Klux Klan member surfaces online, my stomach turned again, as I watch her speak to him. She documented her experience in a film: Die Arier. This woman truly is a heroine! She is so brave and I can't wait to watch her full documentary.

Throughout the course of my life, I went from being a kid who wanted to be blond and blue-eyed to someone who mostly accepted her looks. Mostly only because somehow I still struggle with my exterior, but not to the extent I once did. I think generally it is hard to accept yourself as a woman today. Especially considering the depictions of women in the media and the images of how we should look like and the pressure it creates on us (but that is another future post).

My 'huge' eyes (as I was made aware many times as a child), my olive skin complexion and darker hair are now the assets I am most proud of.

I love being me.




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Story We May Never Forget

Solomon Northrup



Today I came across an article. It is the original article published in the NYTimes on January 20th, 1853, about Solomon Northrop titled: The Kidnapping Case: Narrative of the Seizure and Recovery of Solomon Northrup. 

I can't even begin to fathom what Solomon had to endure in his lifetime, or grasp how he was able to bear it and bring up the strength necessary, for years and years and years, so that he would see the light of day again. One of the paragraphs that struck me the most was when the author describes how Solomon was forced to punish one of his equal, a 17-year-old girl female slave.

For those who watched the movie "12 Years a Slave" already have an idea of what Solomon had to do. It was one of the most difficult scenes to watch; however, the reality of it was even more cruel than what director Steve McQueen depicted on screen (if that is even possible).

Here are some passages I wanted to share:

"He [Solomon Northrup] was sometimes compelled to perform acts revolting to humanity, and outrageous in the highest degree. On one occasion, a colored girl belonging to Eppes, about 17 years of age, went one Sunday, without the permission of her master, to the nearest plantation, about half a mile distant, to visit another colored girl... She returned... and for that offense called up for punishment, which Solomon was required to inflict. Eppes compelled him to drive four stakes into the ground at such distances that the hands and ankles... might be tied to them, as she lay with her face upon the ground; and having thus fastened her down, he compelled him while standing by himself, to inflict one hundred lashes upon her bare flesh... Eppes tried to compel him to go on, but he absolutely set him at defiance and refused to murder the girl."

I feel it is important to remember this part of American history, always, as it continues to effect not only direct descendants of slaves, but all of modern society (i.e: the prison system, education etc.). As McQueens mentioned during his acceptance speech for receiving the Oscar for Best Picture. "Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northrup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today."


In Germany

I have noticed that a lot of German's don't grasp the importance of this story, or stories like these. Despite our own crimes committed and our horrors of history.

Racism comes in many shapes and forms and sometimes it starts with mutual respect, or the lack thereof. In Germany, it is acceptable to use words that that refer to people's race and color, which gives an expression a racist undertone. Expressions like "Black-Africans: Schwarz-Afrikaner" are commonly used. There is a cake in Germany "Negro Kiss Cake" etc. Usually, if you point it out to someone they reply they didn't mean it in a racist way.

But ignorance is not bliss. I think people need to be more sensitive when it comes to humanity's struggles, no matter what the struggle is.

If you refer to someone as "Black-African", why wouldn't you refer to yourself as Caucasian-German? Sounds ridiculous, right? Equality starts with every single individual. I hope if someone who hasn't been aware will read this and reconsider their ways.

Help break down color lines.

Educate yourself.

Watch the video below. Think about how the small things like mentioned above matter.






Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Friedrich Liechtenstein is' "super-geil"


I don't usually post videos on my blog, but this made me laugh so hard, so I decided I HAD to share this.




Here is a little bit of background information:

Edeka is a German supermarket chain, and this is their latest marketing campaign. The reason why it is so funny is the following.

In German the word "geil" literally means horny. However, the word evolved into a slang word which also describes something really awesome. Seeing this gentlemen looking at ordinary grocery products like super plush toilet paper, or battered fish and calling these items "super-geil" or "richtig-geil–really-awesome" sounds not only hilarious, but considering his casual use of the word, which the elderly would typically avoid due to it's origin, makes this a hit. Not to mention this guy's, whose name is Friedrich Liechtenstein, swag... I mean charm! *

Here is an article from The Guardian.


*This is also a perfect example of a smart way to apply "anglicism." In Germany, as in many other non-English speaking countries, English words are mixed in with their language to sound cool or hip. (Which obviously is a huge debate because more and more languages lose their identity–long story). I am not a fan of anglicism, but in this case, I find it very smart because it uses so many, that even a non-German speaker can get the gist of this campaign–making it even more powerful and giving it global potential!** 

**By the way, I saw "Edeka" brand cheese at a supermarket (Harvest Market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) which tastes wonderful, unfortunately I can't eat it due to allergies. You should try it if you see it. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Beautiful Life

Sometimes
 life is so beautiful, 
thinking about it makes me want to cry
of joy, of course. 
In a twisted way it is kind of painful, too. It's so beautiful it hurts.



Note to self: 

Advice doesn't work until the person we were attempting to advise has their own experience with the issue. Then they will try to give someone else the advice that doesn't work.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Setting It Free





















I did not know where to go with it. 

I took it with me. Like an invisible string that was tied around my leg. I was dragging along, tangling up in everything I passed.

I did not know where to go with it.

I scrunched it up and swallowed it.
Pushed it up under my cheeks. 
Divided it into different spots of my forehead.
Hid it in the upper area of my eye sockets.
Deposited it into one side of my skull.
Placed it in front of my eyes like fog. 
Attached it to my muscles in my lower legs.
Let it flow up and down my arms, all the way to the finger tips. 
Glued it onto my bones in both feet.

I placed it in all of those places.
Now I am consciously letting it go, for it had served its purpose.

It slowed me down. 
Made me weak.
Had me cry.
Took my voice.
Tied me up.
Paralyzed  me.
Hid the light from me. 
Made me fall
Stole my heartbeat. 

Good bye sadness.
Farewell fear.
I do not need you to show me the world through your tinted glass anymore. 

I accept.
I agree.
I am setting myself free. 


  
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