GUYSGUYSGUYSTHIS IS HUGE FOR ME PLEASE

syrensphynxwitchtier:

ishaloveshardcore:

slowlydescending:

forgottenwinterfrost:

MY MOM SAID IF THIS GETS 500,000 NOTES SHE WILL FINALLY CALL ME “KHYLE” AND REFER TO ME AS HER SON PLEASE THIS IS A HUGE STEP FOR ME AND HER

we’re gonna get you your 500k notes. I swear. Idgaf if i have to reblog this 4000000x myself.  


^thats the fucking spirit!!!!!

I reblog this every time I see it

A Response to My Chemical Romance

[I apologize if this gets a tad bit personal.]

The rock band, My Chemical Romance announced they were breaking up Friday March 22, 2013. The news was taken poorly by thousands of Killjoys all over the world, who have been patiently waiting for new material and tour dates. There are many rumors circulating about why the band broke up, but nothing concrete has yet been released.

Personally speaking, My Chemical Romance was a huge part of my life at one point. I stopped listening to them a couple of years ago after being rather disappointed by their fourth full-length album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. I have been dealing with mixed emotions. I am a little bit sad that there is no possibility of a new album more reminiscent of The Black Parade or Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and it is always sad when a band separates, especially after so many years.

Mostly, I am content. It was about time for them to stop. I would prefer they settle down and be with their families and work on other things than out touring and trying to produce more music that simply can’t live up to their first three albums. They had a great run. Few people can say they have traveled the world, made music for a living, and helped so many people through art. All good things must come to an end and MCR was a really good thing in its prime.

I fully respect their decision to stop making music together as My Chemical Romance as well as all the other die-hard fans who are mourning the loss of their favorite band. Stay strong and look alive, sunshine!

My Beef With the Grammys

The 55th Grammy Awards were last Sunday. Even though I am a huge music fan, this year was the first year I seriously invested myself in the awards. I went all out, watching the Special Merit Awards, the pre-telecast, and the television broadcast. Throughout the three ceremonies, I noticed some problems that I would like to address here.

            About seventy awards are given out during the pre-telecast, leaving only ten to twelve for the actual televised event. The TV broadcast presents the pop, rap, and country awards while the pre-tel presents all the tech, orchestral, rock, metal, jazz, blues, Christian, children, new age, Latin, and less mainstream country awards. That is a massive variety of musical genres that don’t even get mentioned in the broadcast. I understand that they can’t do all eighty-something on live television, but some variety would be nice.

            Tell me why rap gets so many specific categories—what the hell is “urban contemporary”?—and nearly all of them get aired. Why not pick the two biggest ones and replace others with rock or jazz? Also, why are the same people and groups up for so many different awards? I know the Grammys are supposed to represent the best of the best, but if they diversify their categories and their nominees, more people are going to have an opportunity to be represented at the show, even if they don’t win.

            On the topic of categories, the Academy likes to lump people into these broad groups like “rock” or “pop”, which is easier for them to do, but not a very accurate representation of the musicians. Florence + the Machine was up for a “pop” award. I would not have put them in that category. I also would not have put The Black Keys or Jack White in a category as vague as “rock”, but I’m not in charge. Ideally, an alternative rock category would be best for those three groups.

            The reason I watched the Grammys this year was that my favorite band—Halestorm—was nominated for best “Hard Rock/Metal Performance”. They won, which was incredible and very emotional. However, I don’t think it was fair to the other nominees—Lamb of God, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Anthrax, and Marilyn Manson—to have to compete with a young hard rock band. Hard rock and metal are very different genres and should have been treated as such. It would be like making a jazz/blues category or pop/hiphop. Similar, but not the same.

            I think the reason there aren’t separate rock, hard rock, and metal categories is that there is a strange complex that exists between rock/metal musicians and mainstream award shows like the Grammys. When they received news of their nomination, Lzzy Hale—lead singer of Halestorm—said that bands like them don’t care about the Grammys until they get nominated for one. Rock and metal bands don’t prioritize awards like some pop, rap, or country artists do. However, that’s not to say they don’t get excited when it eventually happens. As I said earlier, diversifying could bring in a new audience to the Grammys, as well as new listeners to groups faithful Grammy viewers may have never heard of otherwise.

            One thing I really loved about the broadcast this year was that The Black Keys and Jack White got to perform. Jack’s performance with The Peacocks and The Buzzards was amazing. I definitely think it was the best of the night and that isn’t coming from me because I am heavily biased in favor of Mr. White, but from all the Tweets and Tumblr posts I saw immediately after he performed. That show needed some shredding guitar and the live audience and home viewers ate it up.

            All I am trying to say here is that the Grammys would be better off presenting a more diverse selection of nominees and categories to please more demographics.

A Response to President Obama’s State of the Union: Education

            Last week, President Obama gave his State of the Union address. In it he covered a broad array of topics ranging from immigration to guns to minimum wage. One word that caught my attention above everything was “education”. Education has been a long, tough battle here in America recently. Schools are losing money and having to cut teachers, after-school programs, sports, and even whole departments. American students also don’t give a shit anymore. That’s a huge problem.

            A major argument I have heard is that college is a waste of time, so why try in high school or middle school? I can’t decide how I feel about this. I think real world experience is very valuable, but if kids aren’t learning enough in high school—and with all these cuts, most of them aren’t—then college can be equally as valuable. There are some jobs that require more specialized training and greater expanses of knowledge that simply can’t be taught at a high school level.

I love college, personally. However, I could certainly do without the general education requirements. I am a journalism student and a linguist. I can’t do math worth shit and probably won’t need a whole lot of it in my future career. The same goes for science. Why am I wasting so much time in science and math GenEds when I could be taking sociology or history or learning a new language?

President Obama really got my attention when he began talking about the German education system. We all know the Germans have their shit together. German students have the opportunity to graduate their equivalent of high school with an associate’s degree in technology. That is something we need to do here in this country. With the rate at which technology is spreading and usage is increasing, the next generation of Americans is probably going to be tech-savvy by the time they finish elementary school. Giving American high schoolers the opportunity to get a degree in technology would benefit the workforce greatly. IT and other tech jobs can be taught easily in a fairly short amount of time. So why not do it in high school?

There are other fields as well that could offer degrees in high school like foreign language. Given the proper amount of diligence, time, and instruction, a ninth grader could enter school monolingual and graduate bilingual easily.

President Obama has the right idea about beefing up the high school curriculum as well as making pre-school more widely available and affordable to give kids a strong foundation. Kids enjoy learning. If they are under stimulated, they act up or lose interest. Offering higher quality education at different levels could increase graduation rates, the workforce, and the standard of living. I am definitely eager to see how this works out. America needs to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to education.

So I’ll go back to my little travel blogs in a few weeks when I can get my travel journal from home. For now, I want to start writing more thought-provoking pieces. If you aren’t fond of my semi-casual writing style, then please don’t read them. I may curse and use some fluffy words. If that isn’t your style, this isn’t your blog. I do have a lot to say, though and would love constructive criticism outside of “why did you say ‘squishy’?”

I’m currently taking a theory of communication class that I totally love, so I am going to try to write up some posts addressing some of my favorite theories from the class.

Enjoy :)

~Ashton

The State of American Journalism

I have a few big dreams, but one is to change the current state and mission of American journalism. I have seen women objectified too many times. At award shows and on talk shows women are always asked “who are you wearing?”, “what’s your secret to staying thin?”, “what kind of diet are you on?”. Men, on the other hand, are asked “how did you prepare mentally for this role?”, “How did you feel when asked to do this movie with such a great director?”. Now, that isn’t to say men aren’t objectified or degraded from time to time like when David Beckham or Mario Lopez get asked to take their shirts off. If I ever work for a large network and the writers give me something to say that is shallow and meaningless, you better believe I will be thinking up my own questions. There are three women I can think of who have called out reporters for asking stupid questions: Lzzy Hale, Anne Hathaway, and Hilary Clinton. To them I say, “right on!”

My best friend showed me an article about how even the national news giants like The Washington Post run cover stories about sports and celebrity gossip rather than things that really matter like the state of the American economy, poverty, human trafficking, what is happening with the EU and the effects of the Arab Spring. The articles that plague the pages of large news sources are too squishy and cuddly. The article I read contained a quote from Joseph Pulitzer that I loved: “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”. People need to know what is going on. Too bad if it makes them squirm. It is perfectly okay to make people feel uncomfortable as long as they are hearing the truth.

Something else I would love to tackle as a journalist is misconceptions. I feel like people—especially Americans—are fed the wrong ideas about things. They don’t realize that a pretty good chunk of Africa is doing just fine and doesn’t need our help and that donor fatigue is really screwing up the local economy. They don’t realize that Germany and Russia are completely different countries now than during the Wars. Germany is a major powerhouse and Russia is one of our best friends. China is another big issue. I used to be with everybody else thinking China was just one gigantic factory that sucked up American jobs until I met and became good friends with a girl from China. Hearing the way she talked about where she was from and how her life has changed since she moved to America has totally turned my perception of China on its head.

On a religious note, America is heavily Christian (as well as a lot of the Western world) and religious stereotypes run rampant. If I hear “the Jews killed Jesus!” one more time I am going to snap. News flash: Jesus was a Jew too. Most people were. Not to mention all the negativity surrounding Islam, but that’s a whole other can of worms. Satanism is another “religion” I see getting crapped on. Not very many people truly understand Satanism and they are afraid to research it because they think the devil is just going snatch them up. I’ll make another post later about religious stereotyping, but just to cover the basics, Satanism is a hedonistic ideology, not devil-worshipping.

That’s all I am going to talk about right now.

A Trip To Europe: Part 1

June 22, 2012

                My mother (who will now, and always will be, referred to as Mum) and I left for our fifteen-day trip to Europe at 6 o’clock in the morning EST and arrived at my great aunt’s house in Theale, Reading, England at 12 o’clock in the afternoon BST. We gratefully arrived at her doorstep after a one-hour drive to the airport, a seventy-five minute plane ride to Toronto, Canada, a six-hour layover, a three-hour delay on the runway due to lightning, an eight-hour flight into London Heathrow Airport, a taxi to Hayes Train station, a forty-minute train into Reading Stations, and finally another fifteen minute taxi ride. It took twenty-five hours all together. Thankfully, my auntie thought we were leaving the next day, so she was not particularly bothered by the fact that Mum and I arrived five hours later than anticipated.

                Most of the first day was spent sleeping and trying to catch up with family. We did, however, meet with another great aunt and a cousin of some extension for dinner in Theale. I had heard on television that because of England’s massive Indian diaspora, the Indian food in England is second really only to India’s. Although, I could challenge that statement by saying England has cleaner water and therefore less likelihood of the spread of disease via infected or contaminated cooks, waiters, and cooking materials. Anyway, we went to a restaurant called Theale Tandoori.

                The wait staff was impeccable. The restaurant was very clean and hip and nicely cared for. One of my aunties and I are both vegetarian, so she helped me pick the best meatless dish. I believe I ordered a vegetable korma. Where I live we do not have Indian food, so I had no idea what to expect. I remember the korma being a goldenrod color and tasting very distinctly of coconut. It was a little sweeter than I would have liked, but not bad. Everyone said their food was very good. The staff was extremely kind to us. They gave us all red roses and complementary drinks and chocolates after our meal. Mum and I were totally baffled by how wonderful the service was, but my English relatives looked unfazed. We later came to realize, that most sit-down restaurants in England are like that.

                We all turned in early that night because the next day, we were headed to meet more family in London.