Beauty is A Matter of Opinion

What makes something beautiful?

Should it contain a certain shade of color or a well accepted feature?

Be a piece of music that flows like leaves in the breeze?

Be a magnificent looking house with smooth sloping lawns?

A night sky painted with the stuff of star dust or a crimson sunset rising over the city skyline?

All of these are nice examples but can be very shallow in the true definition of what beauty is. They only point at the surface, not what you really feel deep inside.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s what you make of something that tells it’s true meaning and purpose.

It can be something that is aesthetically pleasing and rings out a certain sound. It can shine brightly in the midst of turmoil surrounding it. It can be something subtle or loud and boisterous.

I believe no one can truly define what beauty is. It does not follow a strict set of rules. Beauty can be found in the murkiest, dullest points of life. A homeless man standing on a cold, dank street corner, the smoky mist from the ground rising around him; there is a certain beauty to that because if this man could be photographed a story would be told, a story of loneliness and desperate times. It would be very somber and soothing, allowing you to think to yourself and feel sympathetic for the poor soul.

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?

The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, comes up when I try to answer this question. It tells you to not make first impressions right away after just looking at the surface. The most beautiful part is contained on the inside, where it really matters. This beauty is not artificial or put on to satisfy someone else; it is true to the subject’s nature, to how they really feel. Anyone that thinks beauty is defined as something that is satisfying to a majority is wrong. This is far from the truth. Anything that is given some thought and consideration can have a trace of beauty in it. Again, it’s how you perceive it, how it captures your mind’s desire. Not everyone can follow the same path. Some find beauty on the long, dark road leading anywhere and others find it on the brightly lit path to happiness. It’s basically how you are feeling inside that makes beauty what it is. It shouldn’t have to be an artificial, please everyone kind of thing. It should be organic in nature and blend in with the fabric of the landscape. It should tap into your most precious memories and bring out a certain set of emotions in yourself.

In Response to the Daily Prompt: Absolute Beauty


A Two-Way Mirror of Events

People like me, that have a life desire of pursuing the near infinite answers of the universe, often sit bored on the couch or in front of the computer on Google and think like a philosopher, wondering about the alternative, parallel side of father time, where events in history took a different path. Bizarre scenarios such as one where the United States doesn’t even exist or where humans have built spacecraft in the 1800s and colonized on Mars.

So in the midst of time it is always nice to think…

What if?

This is the type of question that the world begs to know the answer to but, sadly,will probably never find the answer to, unless we can find a Doc Brown who can supe up an old station wagon with a Flux capacitor. Which, to tell you the truth, is not worth the effort. If time travel were possible, wouldn’t it have already been invented, in the future? We should have people from the future in our time right now, telling us of events to come, helping us avoid tragedies. And if they are here, they sure haven’t helped the world much seeing that all of the what ifs we bring up haven’t been reversed,for better or worse. It’s kind of like asking Santa for that toy you’ve always wanted but never getting it at Christmas, even if he does promise you. And let’s be honest, there is no man in a red suit traveling to millions of houses in 140 countries dropping into random peoples houses in the middle of the night to deliver rather expensive presents that are seen on the shelves of Wal-Mart and other stores year round. Even Superman couldn’t do that. Shoot, I just ruined Christmas for a bunch of kids…oh,well…they need to be taught young.

Okay, enough of my ranting. Here are some frequently asked about what if scenarios and my best answers as to what would happen, leading to the present day:  

If the attacks on the twin towers on 9/11/2001 had been avoided…

Pro: About three thousand lives would have been spared and the kids today would still have living family members and friends.

Pro: George W. Bush’s presidency wouldn’t have been remembered as so much of a joke but the man could have been respected and even gotten to speak at the 2012 Republican convention (where he was heavily shied away).

Con: America wouldn’t have beefed up security at airports and elsewhere and wouldn’t have been more prepared and aware against future attacks.

Con: Bin Laden would still be out there, America unaware of his devious plans, probably cooking up something even more destructive seeing that his “master plan” had been defeated.

Con: America would sink into total destruction and nuclear fallout, with severely mutated humans and animals (according to an episode of Family Guy).  

If John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated or Lee Harvey 

Oswald was caught in the act…

Pro: JFK would definitely have been reelected to another term, but…

Con: The Civil Rights Act wouldn’t have been put into action by Lyndon B. Johnson, making it quite tougher for blacks to win the racial movement (and JFK was not for equal rights).

Pro: The Vietnam War might have ended sooner.  

If Abraham Lincoln had cancelled his trip to the Ford theater on that fatal night and was still alive…

Pro: Lincoln would have gone on to teaching as a professor at a college after his presidency.

Pro: He would have likely lived into his 80s.

Pro: As a mentor, Lincoln would have stayed in the White House with his son Robert.  

Con: He would have wanted to ship the slaves back to Africa or to a small remote island, taking an emotional stand for the blacks being his strategy to win the people’s approval all along and to keep the Civil War under control.

If the Titanic had cleared the iceberg and not sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic…

Pro: The passengers, especially the steerage, would have gone onto America to live their hopes and dreams and find good paying jobs

Pro: Many of the well accomplished would have continued in their fields and gotten more fame, such as John Jacob Astor IV. Some of these people could have had fledgling businesses over in America, that might have continued on today

Pro: Perhaps the ship could have been sailed again and could have survived to this day and be put into a museum, fully intact

Pro: I wouldn’t have sat through a pointless 3D version of the film.

Con: Obviously, there wouldn’t have been a movie about the disaster, and we might not have heard of Leonardo DiCaprio for that matter.

If the Challenger space shuttle had not broken apart, and had successfully gone into space…

Pro: The teacher/astronaut Christa McAuliffe would have been celebrated for being the first teacher in space, not mourned for the loss of her.

Pro: NASA would have taken the developmental successes of Challenger and have applied them to future space shuttles

Pro: There wouldn’t have been a 32 month hiatus between missions, maybe allowing for another mission (possibly to the moon again?).

Con: Since there would have been no disaster, NASA wouldn’t have known how to react against possible future failures and wouldn’t have known what works and what doesn’t.

If the Internet existed a long, long time ago (Jesus’ time perhaps?)…

Pro: What we think we know now we would know for certain (If Ben Frankin really did fly a kite in a thunderstorm or if it was Christopher Columbus who first discovered the land that was to be called America.)

Pro: Things could have been done a lot quicker and efficiently, such as searching on Google for how to treat infections (not bleeding them out)

Con: People’s privacy and freedom would have been severely limited, especially back in the days of powerful empires. No one could have hid and the most powerful figures could have controlled and influenced people over the Internet in ways unimaginable for those days.

If dinosaurs had not gone extinct (damn you, meteorites or whatever did it)…

Pro: We could do more research on the dinosaurs and find ways to breed different types, leading to scientific advancements but…

Con: We surely wouldn’t be living like we are now because dinosaurs would have us literally backed up into a corner and…

Con: Other mammals (such as us) couldn’t have evolved and wouldn’t even exist  

If Steve Bartman had kept his hands to himself in 2003…

Pro: The Cubs would have been 4 outs away from the Promise Land.

Con: They would have made it to the World Series against the New York Yankees, but the curse would still have rung true with the Cubs being overwhelming over matched. Yankees win series 4-1 and Bartman is still unknown.

These are basically edumucated guesses, and rather pointless, but it is fun to paint a picture of an alternate history where everything is turned upside down. And until some crazy scientist comes up with a way to travel back in time we will never know for certain whether Galileo was smoking weed while gazing at the stars or if curiosity did kill the cat.

A Day in Hell

Complete with volcanic fires, roasting spits, chained slaves turning a wheel, and a madman called the Devil constantly scorching hellmates with his pitchfork.

Hell, Michigan that is. Continue reading “A Day in Hell”

Zombies for President

It is the year 2109, the world has sunk into disarray and destruction. The zombie apocalypse has taken over, destroying nearly a third of the Earth’s population. Left behind are soulless, flesh-eating creatures that mindlessly roam the streets in search of brains, human kinds being the specialty. The few that were lucky to survive the outbreak have been forced to board up their houses, carry weapons, and stockpile as much food as possible. Learning how to defend oneself against a zombie attack is the key to surviving in this wretched world. Hope for a cure is small, super expensive, and highly unlikely.

Does this sound familiar to you? It’s the typical way in which the zombie apocalypse is pictured. Zombies are usually thought of as vile, disgusting things that never sleep, move with a shuffling style unless agitated and can only speak with moans and groans. These zombies are ruthless and anyone that crosses their paths unarmed is in for a real fight.

Of course, everyone knows zombies are not real and the chances of a huge zombie outbreak happening are minimal. First of all, and I got this from a documentary, a major zombie outbreak like the ones described in many television shows and movies would require such a lethal amount of viral infection, the likes that have never been seen anywhere on Earth. The documentary said the only virus that could possibly spread and infect billions in a small amount of time is a highly modified rabies virus, and even then it would still be very unlikely since a normal virus takes a few hours to days to incubate. A normal rabies virus takes a few hours to run its course on one human body, most of the time ending in death, and spreading to not just one but billions of people quickly to create a major zombie population would be highly unlikely, but not impossible if the rabies virus existed in many countries at once. The zombie population would have to survive long enough for humans to really feel like there was a challenge on their hands, not one that can be wiped out so easily. Also, to create a zombie some portion of the brain has to be retriggered from the disease, leading to a dead body that is basically a walking shell of its former self running on minimal brain power. It would sort of be like stripping a computer of all the main programs and files that make it work and leaving only the most basic things like a calculator and a place to write in codes. Not much to live on, eh?

So, what if zombies were possible? Would they be just like the ones portrayed in pop culture or would they be, shall I say it, more human-like ? What if they weren’t the kind that feasted on humans, but were just misunderstood creatures? Zombies are basically dead bodies reanimated with only the most basic brain functions still available

English: A zombie
English: A zombie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(walk, eat, make incomprehensible sounds). So what if the zombies could somehow learn things and return to human form, living normal lives again, like being resurrected?

The movie Warm Bodies showed the journey of a zombie that was half-human and, unlike his dead counterparts, found love on the street, and came “back to life” with this person. Warm Bodies tells the story of how the once flesh-hungry zombies turned into functioning people again with emotional connections to one another. It was one of the first “zombie romances” I had ever seen, completely flipping the zombie genre on its head and spinning it around a few times, crashing it into a wall. Of course, zombies are sub-dead human beings, so how can they speak English and have emotions and attractions when those traits are supposed to have been long gone? They can’t just come back just because a zombie looks at himself in the mirror or sees two people holding hands. It’s a comedy/drama, I know, but some things were so farfetched. Zombies don’t have full control over their muscles so how could R, the lead character, move the needle for the record player, open the door to the plane, or even drive a car? Again, it’s a comedy and shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s based on a book and I imagine the writer was simply trying to put zombies into a different light because, believe it or not, they were once humans like you and me. Did I mention the film was hilarious by the way?

Anyways, if people really could come back to life as zombies, maybe they could live among us, just with different needs and styles of living. Maybe the virus that makes them zombies wouldn’t make them so much like monsters but more like a person that came back from the dead to start a new life. If we could somehow speak to these zombies and make them understand, maybe they could be taught how to speak again and learn things. They could eat the same things as us, and do the same fun activities,developing that human part of their brain that had been lost. Or maybe…the zombie could be like a pet dog or cat, and roam around the house keeping us company, doing things a regular pet would do. We could even take the zombie out for a walk once in a while. I’m just speculating, ha ha.

If I was a zombie I would feel, if possible, very angry at the way my kind have been treated even if we have to be shot down because we get out of hand. I would be thinking, “Damn, these humans think they so big and bad and they treat us like garbage, they deserve our revolt against them”. I would tell all the other zombies to stand up for themselves and at least prepare a little better against human attacks (wear some body armor or head masks or find a way to carry and use firearms).

If zombies had their own country, they would want equal rights just like everyone else. They would like to hoist their own national flag to praise and honor. They would like to watch their own TV shows and listen to their own zombie music (if groans and moans could be made into a tune). Instead of Hollywood, there would be Zombiewood where famous zombie movie stars and the like hang out at exclusive clubs and parties. Instead of zombies being the villains in every film about them, in Zomb they would be the things everyone is rooting for! The humans would be the enemies and what a great way to turn the tables. You know the video game Plants vs. Zombies? Well, in this case, it would Zombies vs. Plants since the zombies would be the heroes being controlled by the player. Different customizations and items could be unlocked to build an army of anti-plant fighting creatures. Other video games could follow this same path, where the villains are now the heroes and vice versa.

Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What about zombie politics? Every four years or so there would be an election for the next zombie President or whatever the leader would be called. Or maybe there wouldn’t a true leader and it would be a free for all, do whatever you want country.

Imagine zombies having their own sports teams to root and play for. Like the Corpsetown Zombies or Hellside Undead. They could participate in the Olympics too and would probably win a lot because all the real human competitors would get scared and run away – except the ones with shotguns!

If zombies had their own dance it might be called the Creepy Shuffle or Graveyard Step. Hey, there’s a new kind of music in town, it’s called Dead Rock! I would so be a fan of the sensational Deadman Balmer or the hit band Zombies at War. The living dead would have their own Zombipolooza where all the top undead acts come together to groan and moan in celebration of a great day of music.

And I almost forgot the fashion industry, if zombies ever had any interest in that sort of thing. Just imagine a zombie shuffling into a store and grunting at the owner that he wants to buy that new tattered, blood stained shirt on sale. Who cares about money in Zomb? If the zombie doesn’t get what it wants it will just eat the thing standing in its way!

I know, this is all silly talk and not realistic but it’s still fun to think that zombies could have their own culture and society if they were ever smart enough to have one. Zombies should have a chance to be the good guys, er…once in a while at least.

So sign the petition today to give zombies equal rights! It will benefit the world in great ways and help cut down that dividing wall between the living, the living dead, the living masquerading as dead, the dead, the not-so-dead, the some-what dead, the deader-than-dead, and the deader-than-door nails kind of dead.

Zombies: Support the Cause!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Fun Platform.”

If you were the new leader of your country and had the chance to transform something that’s currently an annoyance (or worse) into a very fun activity, what would it be? How would you go about the change, and why would you choose that particular thing?

The Elephant in the Room

You may have heard of the idiom ‘elephant in the room’, used to describe a controversial situation or problem that everyone knows about but does not want to discuss or acknowledge, for particular reasons. The meaning probably originates from the fact that an elephant in a room would take up so much space that it would be impossible to miss, even under a blanket. Though everyone knows the elephant is there they don’t want to mention it to stay out of an unwanted discussion that could be risky.

One example was tonight: Charles’ alarm went off at two in the morning and it continued constantly for about 20 minutes until Sandy got the nerve to go turn it off. It was an elephant in the room for a while because no one was acknowledging that the alarm was going off, even if they were trying to get some sleep and it was loud as fuck. It became very apparent at 2:10 am when it was still going. I began to think that Charles doesn’t have the sense to turn it off or is too fast asleep to even notice it. I just wanted to go into the room and turn off the damn thing for him.

Beep beep…beep beep…beep beep…the same monotonous tone over and over again, like a heartbeat only louder. It would be a great torture test. Lock a person up in a padded room with the annoying alarm going constantly also along with nonstop Justin Bieber music. It would surely drive them insane.

My next thought was that there was no one in the room but where would Charles go at this time of night? I knew my mom was surely at work so there could only be one person responsible for this ruckus in the wee hours of the day.

How about I just go knock on the door to get his attention? It wouldn’t be rude since everyone else is trying to sleep and it makes sense to take care of the situation.

I guess it would be a great way for someone to sleep; it could put them in a dream state.

Is Charles trying to set the Guinness World Record for longest continued alarm clock beeping?

Finally, Sandy, who was sleeping right within earshot of the noise, finally had enough and went to turn off the alarm. Problem solved. No big deal and it isn’t remembered the next day.

Some better examples of the elephant in the room idiom:

There was some road kill on the side of the highway today as we were driving by. It just lies there and even though it’s apparent to everyone, no one is going to mention it because it’s disgusting and not worth bringing up. There are far more better things to talk about than a dead deer on the shoulder pass.

At the university library one day, someone was printing off about 500 copies of a large picture of Peter Griffin, in between important schoolwork papers and such. Though a lot of students and faculty saw the Family Guy character bright as day as it was shooting out of the printer constantly, it was passed off as such as they searched for their own papers within the mess.

That hideous green shade of wallpaper you just put up in the house? Everyone knows it hideous, you just realized its hideous, but since it was so difficult to put up no one is going to argue or say anything and figures to just let it be.

The fat guy at the China Buffet that takes the saying “All you can eat” literally? He’s been there for hours and the staff knows it, though they aren’t going to be discriminating and rude to the man by asking him to leave. They just wait until closing time when the buffet line is shut down and the man is forced to go home, watching in horror as the man eats everything AND the kitchen sink.

The Elephant in the Room has many cultural references. It is seen in politics, movies, TV shows, music, books, and other forms of media. All hail the elephant.

One example of its use in comedy involves someone who has on some ridiculous, outlandish clothes that are noticeable in a group of people who are all dressing formally. The man walks around the town in these clothes, people look at him and the man acts as if there is nothing unusual about his outfit. He walks into his office job, and everyone sees his outfit, do not ask why he’s wearing such ridiculous clothes, and eventually they just go back to their normal routines. The guy goes to the company meeting and sits down, clearly out of place with the business suits, but everyone acts as if this is a normal thing and greet the man in the same professional manner as anyone else there. Of course the people at home watching the show would be cracking up but the business people keep straight faces and continue on with their work.

The sitcom ‘The Office’ has a great habit of employing the elephant in the room idiom. Such as when, right after Michael Scott (Steve Carell) had left the show, and a replacement was being looked for, everyone is lying or sleeping on their desks or the floor for no known reason. No one walking around asks whats going on and leaves the viewers of the show thinking ‘What the hell?’ And of course Dwight Schrute always has his logical wisdom, of which has turned into a popular meme on the Internet.

Before I do anything I ask myself  “Would an idiot do that?” And if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing. – Dwight K. Schrute

Debt is often treated as an elephant in the room.

It’s such a sticky situation that bringing it up would cause head aches. No one wants to risk being blamed for or having to take charge of it. If a company is severely in debt and is on the brink of going under most employees are going to keep quiet about the apparent problem, since addressing it usually means that it must be dealt with instead of being “swept under the rug” or left to someone else. In politics, the idiom points to Obama and everyone else in the government not panicking about the national debt problem (in the far trillions), and choose to treat it as a back-burner issue, instead focusing on spending more money on programs that they think will be beneficial to the country, putting us farther in debt. It’s pretty obvious that we can never get out of debt, unless a magical reset button is pressed and everything turns back to zero (someone please come up with this, it’s only logical).

This idiom is a fun one to talk about, as it has many possibilities in the world. In fact, I have an elephant in the room with me right now. It’s the fact that I’m writing this article to inform you of the elephant in the room idiom and provide examples but I’m actually wasting my time and life writing this and you have better things to do, but I don’t really want to confirm that belief. Or have I already?

This video on YouTube offers a great example of the elephant in the room, which actually features an elephant…in the room.