Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Do We Ever Really Grow Up?

Hopefully, if you're over 18 years old you don't behave like this, but still . . .
Most of us wear many different hats. Today I've gone from marketing executive extraordinaire (cough) to domestic goddess to veterinarian and finally to the present hat of choice - vapid blogger. All within the space of two hours. This got me thinking about my view of adults as a child.

At a younger age most of us tended to look up to adults as if they were an entirely different species, super human/super heroes - if you will. Adults were capable of curing our ills, providing sustenance and being inexhaustible wells of pocket money (Where did it come from? Did we even think about that?). They could do cool 'grown-up' things like driving cars, have loads of keys on their key rings with actual uses for them (How cool is that?). And ultimately, adults could (seemingly) cope with all the things that appeared so terrifying and alien to us as children.

Here's the catch. When you turn 18/21 or at what ever age your particular culture deems you an adult, a fairy Godmother does not suddenly descend via bubble* in the manner of Glinda from the Wizard of Oz, casting a spell upon you which renders you now a fully functioning adult. No magic spell erases all that you were or are. You're still the same person you were yesterday. But now suddenly you're plunged into adulthood . . . without an Idiot's 'How-to' guide. Holy crap, where do we go from here? You begin to realise that the adults you looked up to, whom were the same age that you are right now, couldn't possibly have been the demigods you once thought they were. In fact, at this point you're likely starting to realise they were probably just as shit scared and confused as you are right at that moment.

Age is but a number. Just because you are X age does not mean you should behave in X manner, should not like (or should) like X, nor should you have achieved X. We all develop differently based upon a myriad of factors. Notably our individual personalities, life experiences and outlook. There are people that want to start families by the time they're 20. There are people at 30 that can't even comprehend starting a family, but maybe one day . . . There are people of vastly (or not so vastly) different ages that find an affinity with each; a matching of outlooks, tastes, experiences etc. This kind of companionship is perfectly acceptable between adults. Unfortunately sometimes society's archaic moral stance can be negative towards such relationships.

Of course, we are all subjected to the essence of time, which can sometimes influence and hasten decisions. By a slightly cruel twist of fate and evolution our hearts and minds don't always correlate with our biological clocks.

So, at what point do we 'grow up'? I put it to you that we may never, in fact, 'grow up' in what is the traditionally perceived way. With time, experience will make us wiser and more familiar with certain things. But really, are we all just scared children doing the best we can with the hand we have been dealt?

Pardon me while I depart to try complete a particularly tricky part on my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Playstation 2 game . . .

*Sorry, I just had to get a Wicked reference in there somewhere.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Thoughts on 'Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness' by J. Randy Taraborrelli

I've been a fan of Michael Jackson's music and in awe of him as an entertainer from a young age, but it's only until very recently, as an adult - at 28 years old, that I've become interested in him as a person. At this particular time in my life, I have become curious to learn and read about the most influential and interesting people in history. For example: Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Malcolm X, Winston Churchill and so on. Michael Jackson seemed like a logical choice when compiling my list. He was, it could be argued, the most influential and most successful entertainer that has ever lived, and a very curious character with a very unique life's journey.

I am not and never have been one of the 'crazed fan' types who put Michael on a pedestal, believing he could do no wrong. I believe if I did so, I'd have been a contributor to his premature demise. That is to say, ultimately I believe certain factors, which include the 'god' worshiping of and the propaganda by the tabloids to paint a picture of Michael as a 'freak', led to the dehumanisation of Michael Jackson and ultimately his death.

One of the biggest conclusions that J. Randy's book left me with, was that what Michael really needed was some 'tough love' from someone whom was unswayed by his status and wealth. For every person that told Michael 'no' there was a person that would say 'yes'. There was his family, of course, but unfortunately it would appear they had their own selfish agendas to control Michael for their own means. Thus, understandably, Michael pushed them further and further away. Then there was Lisa Marie Presley, probably the only person that could have potentially made a difference, and she did, for a time.

But I'm afraid the salvation of Michael evidently was impossible. If you didn't give Michael what he wanted, he'd find someone that did. Hell knows there's enough greedy and selfish people in the world as there are good ones.

When I began reading this book, I was skeptical, skeptical that the author was maybe just another 'tabloid junkie' writing more sensationalist and bias garbage. However, after completing around 30 pages I began to realise that maybe, just maybe, this author was doing his utmost to be objective and withholding his personal biases (if there were any).

Overall I found the book an interesting read. I'd suggest, however, taking everything that is stated as fact with a grain of salt. Unfortunately the real truth only Michael knew. God rest his soul.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Creative Compulsion

I think people of a similar creative persuasion know that being creative isn't a choice - it's a compulsion, an instinct. To deny it equates to insanity. I think that's what separates artists from the fame whores and reality TV stars. It's also part of the reason I am ever reluctant to participate in a TV talent show, even though some people incessantly encourage me to audition for the likes of X Factor.
 I personally want to create something I feel is brilliant and unique, which doesn't necessarily mean commercial (and big money for anyone). I feel like the whole world has gone back to front in recent years, or maybe it's always been like it. Didn't it used to be the case that being accomplished/a master in something was admired, then popularity naturally followed? Now it seems to me, that the popularity is the main goal and talent is a secondary factor. No doubt driven initially by big corporations wanting to make a quick buck. Because that sort of stuff is the most widely available, the general public are only exposed to that, thus expectations are lowered. And because big corporations are generally only interested in the bottom line, they then exclude funding artists that could be successful, because they don't think they will make them enough money?

I'm so sick of the increasing celebration of mediocrity. I can't vouch for the rest of the world, but it seems we love a bit of blandness in this country. What ever happened to innovation? Everyone wants to be the next [insert name]. How about crafting own identity? 

I think the public will always value quality, no matter what. It's just a shame a lot of it won't get heard by people, because we're all so busy scurrying around in our manic 21st century commercial lives. 

Of course, it is possible to be commercial and good, but it's only a lucky few that accomplish that unique mix. You've got to be be driven to the point of madness, or be mad to be successful, it would appear.

Poorly? Do Yourself In & Relive The System?

I genuinely pity people that don't have a grasp on how difficult it is for people with ongoing health difficulties of any kind. More over, I'm disgusted to learn some people think these people would be better off killing themselves and "Doing us a favour" to relief your taxes. Wow, what's it like to be a monster with no compassion for your fellow man? It would be karma for you to one day suffer, and have the same restrictions, difficulties and prejudices placed on you - then let's see what you think.

If people can help themselves, great, but if they need support to live a life close to 'normal' as possible, you want to deny them that? Stick them on food stamps, nothing more, so they have to suffer in poverty their whole lives? Does that really sound morally right to you? Also, counter-productive. I think the fact remains, those that want to help themselves in some way always will do so, and those that really don't want to will always find a way to play the system regardless.

So what do we have left? Those that need help suffering the worst. Millions of pounds in 'saved' tax money being fed back in, in a roundabout way to help the same people.

Why Be 'Normal'?

Observation - Why is it 'odd', 'boring' or 'annoying' that some people have interests in other things other than football or other interests that are more common? Especially when it's generally accepted as OK to be obsessed with the likes of football, but not with, say, theatre? Isn't it a little a small-minded and hypocritical to belittle people with different interests to you?