A Toast to the Most Wonderful Teacher

This post here is dedicated to all the wonderful teachers we have in our lives. I’m sure everyone here can think of someone that you something that you could take away for the rest of your life. Teachers are not exclusive to the ones that we find in the classrooms and they are no doubt great ones. But here, I’m talking about a different teacher. One that has been with me, watching over me since the day I was born. This teacher is absolutely ruthless. She will beat you down hard and frankly just doesn’t care if you can get back up. She would not hesitate to toss you into raging river before you even know how to swim if she felt like it. Nothing you do seems to be good enough for this teacher’s test. Constantly, I am tested all the time and left wondering why should I even try. But despite all the difficulties and the hardships, at the end of the day, I want to tell her thank you for everything. It’s a teacher that we all know too well. Her name is failure. It’s a little cliche, but you know what they say; Failure is your greatest teacher. It really is.

Only by knowing and experiencing failure can we really learn to grow and develop to become something great. Too often we fear mistakes or the making of mistakes. But why? Failure is a fundamental aspect of our livelihood. It should be something that is embraced, not feared. Failure is an inevitability. Each and everyone of us have or will experience failure sometime in our existence and that’s okay because she has a lesson to give. See her as an opportunity to do and be better. The wonderful thing about mistakes is that you learn. You learn what success isn’t and that is a wonderful gift in and of itself. Failure is practically as low as it gets from success. But it is at these darkest moments where we can see ourselves truly shine because after all, the only place to go from the bottom is up. 

Education definitely had it right when it said that failure is just part of the learning process. Mistakes are inevitable and that’s simply how one learns. After all, that’s how science progress and make new discoveries. Good science is done through countless trial and error. The major discoveries in science didn’t just happen overnight. It took countless tries after getting it wrong so many times. Light and relativity are fine examples. The journey to discover the exact nature and speed of light took countless tries as great minds before the likes of those like Einstein got it right, but it was only because of those past failures of measuring the speed wrong that we were finally able to succeed. So what can we take away from all of this? There is no shame in failure. Progress depends entirely on it so why should we see it as some kind of anomaly. 

Unfortunately, this philiosophy does not seem to reflect how our society behaves. Failure can have serious consequences. One mistake could mean the termination of your job and no room for second chances. The first impression can be the last impression. Even education has lost its way. Grades and test scores carry so much weight that it leaves no room for failure. The slight mathematical difference between an A and a B could be the difference between acceptance into the college you want or rejection. 

No doubt that these actions present quite the conundrum. People need to be allowed to fail in order to grow and yet we shun those that do. How many of us have messed up somewhere in our life and wished that we were given a second chance but have denied someone else that very same chance? It is a problem that won’t be rectified until we change the way we see failure. 

So here is to failure, the greatest teacher that ever lived. Without her, we couldn’t learn and be better people. Do not be afraid of her, embrace her because making mistakes is part of life and what it means to grow up. So fall down, hard, painfully, and miserably. But do not stay down, learn why you fell and get back up. As Alfred Pennyworth from batman once said “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up”. 

Deconstructing the Masterpiece that is Neon Genesis Evangelion Part Three(Conclusion)

Welcome to part three of my deconstructing piece on Evanglion. I ended part two which you can read here http://chaoticdemon9809.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/deconstructing-the-masterpiece-that-is-evangelion-part-two-2/discussing how viewers were going to be given a second chance at having that satisfying conclusion.

Enter “The End of Evangelion”; a movie which give us an  alternate ending to episode 25 and 26 of the television series. Alternate ending is probably not the best word to use here as the word implies that it is not canon, but I would not know what other word to use due to the ambiguous nature of the film. The film can be seen as the true ending to the series serving as the controversial series conclusion’s replacement or it can be seen as complementing it depending on how you analyze it. As if there was not enough of that going around in this series. Regardless of whether you think the End of Evangelion is the definitive ending or not, it is a masterpiece of the highest order achieving where few pieces of visual media have ever done and taking the series to an even higher echelon of greatness.

These are quite the bold statements but I completely stand by them. The End of Evangelion showed exactly what the series was capable of being. The film pushed the envelope further by bumping up the series to an R rating which allowed it to explore the series more mature and dark themes without the restrictions that a lighter rating would have imposed. One of the more impacting scenes occurs in the very beginning of the film where Shinji is trying to find comfort in a comatose Asuka because everyone else has either abandoned him or he is afraid to confront them. Asuka’s breast becomes expose as Shinji tries to wake her and he masturbates to the site of this to which he replies that he is fucked up. A scene like this could not be possible with the television series and yet it feels very much like Evangelion.

Some of the questions that we were dying to have answered from the series is finally addressed and there is finally a plot that is actually concluded. With the defeat of the final angel, Seele reveals their true intention by planning to start the end of the world through the hijacking of the evangelions. Shinji’s eva specifically holds the key to human instrumentality; a project where all souls would merge together to transcend current human existence. Seele and Shinji’s father successfully initiates the project and Shinji is left with the choice to decide the fate of all human beings. In the damaged state that he is in, we see Shinji choosing death for everyone. It is at this point where the End of Evangelion truly shines. The film’s beginning acts addresses the plot that was missing from the series while the remaining final acts return to what Evangelion was always about, the psychoanalysis of characters.

In one of the most disturbing and chilling scenes in the entire series, Anno takes us deeper into Shinji’s mind trips. The setting mirrors a previous scene where Shinji an Asuka have their first kiss, but this time he more or less confesses his feelings for Asuka telling her that he needs her and wants to stay with her. Instead of returning his feelings however, she rejects him, accusing him of only wanting her because he needs comfort and there is no one else to give it to him. He loses his mind further and begins to strangle her played to a montage of beautiful but somber imagery. It is here that he arrives to the conclusion that nobody wants or needs him, so everyone should just die and all souls begin to merge as one.

Luckily, not all hope is lost and it is perhaps only in this dark hour that one of the show’s prevailing themes could be communicated effectively. When the world merges into one, Shinji realizes that all he was doing was running away. He was afraid of making that connection with others and accept the pain that inevitably comes with making connections. But knowing this, he accepts that pain and the knowledge that he will be hurt because he also knew that his happiness was real as well. With this, he rejects instrumentality and chooses to return back to the world where people are separate and where it takes effort to understand one another. It is only Shinji who appears to be back in this world, but his mother reassures him that anyone has the possibility to return so as long as they have the will to make it happen.

The very final scene deserves some discussion as it is probably one of the most talked about and controversial endings of all time. We see Shinji lying by himself surrounded by a sea of LCL. He turns over and sees Asuka lying there besides him and begins to strangle her mirroring what happen earlier to which Asuka simply caresses him and Shinji breaks down and stops.

The brutality of it all does distract from the fact that it is perhaps one of the most tender moments between the two. But it would not be Evangelion if things were that obvious. Asuka’s caressing of Shinji is significant in that they are finally able to express their feelings to one another in a way that both of them understood. Lets try to make sense of what I mean. Shinji rejected the world offered by human instrumentality; a world where everyone’s hearts were as one and with no suffering. He desired a world where there was pain and where people could hurt him. He strangles Asuka to confirm that it was that world indeed. Shinji hoped to feel the presence of another person and hope that she in turn would hurt him like she always did. Instead she gently caresses him affirming that she loves him. Asuka was the girl whom he had wanted to see. She was the one who had hurt him and whom likewise have been hurt. But even so, he accepts this pain because it also brings happiness. This was what Evangelion had always been about. The difficulty of communicating our hearts with others and the pain that such a contact could bring. Underneath all the symbolism, psychoanalysis, and dark and gritty content, this was what Anno was trying to communicate.

Clearly Evangelion has a lot to say and few anime or all of visual entertainment have dared to be so ambitious and for that alone, it deserves to be commended. Evangelion does have its critics and there are a good number of them. Some of these critiques point to the characters that do not develop over the course of the series and the negative traits that Shinji possesses. To them, Evangelion is one of the most overrated anime of all time. I think these critics miss the point however. I disagree in that the characters do not have any development. In fact, they are developed so well that there is so much to analyze as I have done here. No doubt they cite that the characters are all still messed up by the final act and they have not improved themselves. But they fail to pay attention to the journey in between. Each of the characters do develop. Shinji becomes less of an introvert and opens up to his classmates; a change from the boy who was so unsure of himself from the start. Rei also slowly becomes less introvert and starts questioning her loyalty to Gendo. These are flawed characters whom we can see some aspect of ourselves in. We go through up and downs in our lives never staying forever happy or sad. We live through good times and bad times. Anno was trying to portray the characters in that light. They experience ups and downs and the final act was merely a time where they were all messed up from something.

As I said before, Shinji is not the typical protagonist in that we do not aspire to be him. He is flawed and human and perhaps that is why people hate him so much. One of the big critique is that Shinji is too much of a whiny wimp and not to mention he brings the world to an end. But Shinji is just a fourteen year old boy who has been forced into an extraordinary situation. How many of us could truly say went through the things he have and not come away harmed in some way. When all is said and done, Evangelion will forever be one of the more unique shows out there. How many who have seen it can actually walk away and say that it was a show like so many other. In conclusion, Evangelion is an absolute masterpiece that will forever go down in history as one of the finest pieces of visual entertainment.that you owe it to yourself to watch.

And that’s it for my first deconstructing series. I hope you enjoy the long read. I admit I got carried away and did not expect to write so much. This won’t be the last piece I do a deconstruction on so stay tuned.

Deconstructing the Masterpiece that is Evangelion Part Two

And i’m back with part 2 of “Deconstructing the Masterpiece that is Neon Genesis Evangelion”. The first part which you can find here
http://chaoticdemon9809.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/deconstructing-the-masterpiece-that-is-evangelion-part-one/

I went over  basically the logistics and background information of the show, this post will discuss what exactly made this show great.

On the surface, the plot of Neon Genesis can be enjoyed as a sci-fi mecha end of the world action series. But that wouldn’t set itself apart from the overcrowded mecha genre of the 90s. There is more than meets the eye here. Evangelion has never really been about the mechas that the characters pilot, but about the human characters that pilot them. The giant robots are essentially a plot device used to tell a much deeper story. It is a coming of age parable and examining some of our human flaws that we know all too well. What made these characters so enduring to this day is that they were all interesting but flawed. In them, we see ourselves and our own voice.

Evangelion is a story of many things, one is a story about loneliness and how people deal withand confront it. Shinji suffers the hedgehog’s dilemma in that he longs for connection with others but is afraid of getting hurt in the process. His feelings of uselessness leads him to believe that nobody loves him and so he is left feeling alone. Rei too is troubled with this affliction. Underneath her cold and introvert exterior lies a person that too, is longing for something. She ponders the meaning of her existence. Misato masks her loneliness through drinking and putting up a cheery and carefree persona while Asuka masks it through a display of confidence and superiority.

Perhaps one of the more interesting illustration of this loneliness comes from Shinji’s interaction with Asuka. Shinji is attracted to Asuka, he sees in her everything that he wishes he himself could be. Unbeknownst to him that is it a mask that she holds up to hide vulnerability.The feeling is mutual, as she too is attracted to him. But Shinji takes Asuka’s signals the wrong way. He sees her teasing as evidence that nobody wants him and so does not respond the way that Asuka hopes for to which Asuka views as rejection from Shinji. Combine this with her pride and issues of inadequacy, she completely breaks down near the final act but tells Shinji that she hates him before she does. The fallout between these two is probably what is most responsible for the outcome of the conclusion.

Shinj Ikari is not your typical hero in that he is not what we aspire to be. Unlike other pieces of fiction, Shinji does not necessarily develop into a better person. Rather, we experience him going through an emotional roller coaster of the good times and bad times. At the start of the series, we see him making greats strides towards improvement. He is making friends at his new school and he is receiving approval from those around him including his father. This is all made possible because he is an Eva pilot. The series poses the question “why do you pilot the Eva”. For Shinji, it is because his very existence is tied to it. Shinji depends on the Evangelion because it gives him his identity. Without the Eva, he believes that he is nothing. People need him because he can pilot it to destroy the Angels and so without it he is left without a purpose. His father finally gives him words of praise and this was only made possible through the Eva. In the final acts of the series, Shinji falls into a state worse than when the series is started through a series of many unfortunate events. He falls into depression and is again left to ponder his very existence. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as the fate of the world rests within his hands and in his condition, he chooses death for the planet.

The series created a large amount of controversy with the final two episodes. In what was supposed to conclude the series, episode 25 and 26 seem to all but abandon that idea completely. Many fans, my friends, and myself included were literally screaming WTF when the credits start rolling. Never mind the fact that it left off nowhere where episode 24 ended, but just so many things were unresolved. Just what exactly is the mysterious human instrumentality project that Shinji’s father and the mysterious Seele organization were trying to orchestrate? What were the fate of our characters after the death of the final angel? Just who or whatis Rei? We don’t get much answers to these questions and it felt like the creators just decided to up and quit the story before it was finished. What was left was an inception like mind trip through the perspective of the show’s various cast. The backlash was intense, but Anno insists that the ending was fine the way it is and no other ending was ever needed.

In some ways I could agree with that point. The story of Evangelion has always been about the deconstruction of the human psyche with the giant mechas and science fiction elements as plot devices used to tell that story. Episode 25 and 26 saw us delving deeper into the psychology of our characters and understood more what their demons are. Each of the main characters get their piece in the conclusion, but the focus is mainly towards Shinji. Human instrumentality begins and Shinji is forced to confront the meaning of his existence. He is shown a possibility of a new world and realizes that reality is whatever you make of it. He is then greeted by all the characters congratulating him. Trust me, it will make somewhat more sense when  you actually watch it. I said previously that in some ways I could agree with the Anno in that this ending was all that was needed, but Anno should concede to the fact that the ending would leave viewers invested in the plot far too unsatisfied and wanting a more proper finale. It would be hard to justify abandoning a well developed and intriguing plot. Fortunately, viewers would get a second chance at having the proper conclusion to a masterpiece.

I will cut this post here. I didn’t expect to write so much, trust me I didn’t. Stay tuned for part 3 which I promise will come really really soon.

Deconstructing the Masterpiece that is Evangelion Part One

I hope to make this a reoccurring thing. Welcome to the first of my series of articles I will call deconstructing. It is where I pick apart various pieces of entertainment mediums and analyze and discuss everything from themes, characters, story, flaws, strengths, etc. This first one is probably not gonna be as polished but hopefully the next ones if there will be next ones will be much more improved as I get the hang of this.

Love it or hate it. Anybody who is familiar and into the anime medium has probably heard the title Neon Genesis Evangelion being thrown around somewhere. Despite the original television series airing nearly more than two decades ago, the recent film tetralogy has brought the franchise back into the modern fold and discussions continue to be made about the impact of this series on the anime medium. Regarded by some to be one of if not the greatest anime series of all time but by others as one of the most overrated ever, there can be no dispute of the the title’s more iconic status in anime even if it was well deserved or not.

I definitely come from the camp that believes the former. In fact, I think it is not just the finest animated series, but one of the finest in the history of visual entertainment. Neon Genesis Evangelion was so ambitious and tried to convey so much in its 26 episode run and a movie. On the surface, the anime appears to simply  be another sci-fi mecha action series. But Evangelion is so much more than that. The series is a look at the human condition with a bunch of Freudian psychology analysis. So lets try and delve deeper and find out just what exactly is the masterpiece that is Neon Genesis Evangelion.

The Premise

To the unfamiliar, Neon Genesis Evangelion is an anime series directed and written by Hideaki Anno that first aired in 1995. For the rest of the article, I will mention the show’s titled simply as Neon Genesis or Evangelion to avoid redundancy and shorten the time it takes to constantly type it. It is the story of fourteen year old Shinji Ikari who is summoned by his estranged father to pilot the evangelion, giant biological weapons that are mankind’s last hope. The world is on the brink of destruction by gargantuan creatures called Angels and only Shinji along with the fiery Asuka Langley Sohryu, and quite and mysterious Rei Ayanami can pilot the evangelion to combat these creatures. Together with his fellow pilots, Shinji must defeat all the Angels to prevent the event known as the third impact which would mean literally the end of the world. The plot may sound like just another entry into the doomsday sci-fi genre, but trust me when I say there’s much more depth to it which I won’t spoil all of it here. But to allow for a deep discussion of a show that has been around for more than two decades, I will have to discuss the plot and characters that would contain some pretty big spoilers.

The Characters

top left: Misato, Asuka, Gendo

bottom: Shinji, Rei, Ritsuko

A huge part of what made Evangelion so interesting was its characters. They had a depth that you did not see much in the medium and broke many conventions even to this day. The cast is what this series has always revolved around and these iconic characters forever immortalized the series.

Our main protagonist is young fourteen year old Shinji Ikari. He is by no means the hero in the shows that we aspire to be. Plagued with daddy and abandonment issues, Shinji’s flawed disposition ultimately leads him to much suffering. At an early age, Shinji witnesses his mother’s death right before his eyes and his father abandons him. As a result of these events, Shinji feels that he is unworthy to be loved and wanted. He is the prime example of the hedgehog’s dilemma which says is an analogy describing the challenges of human interaction. Two hedgehogs cannot get too close to one another or risk having their spikes hurt each other, but by avoiding pain they face the feeling of loneliness. Shinji shows evident attraction to the the three main girls of the series but his lack of self worth causes him to believe the girls are all just screwing with him. He finds solace in the few kind words that his caretaker Misato and Gendo gives to him when he pilots the Eva with success. These words validates his existence and he feels a a small flicker that maybe he could be loved and needed. This sentiment becomes his raison d’etre which in turn means that his very identity and existence is tied to piloting the Eva.

Next we have Rei Ayanami who is the first evangelion pilot to be picked. Mystery completely surrounds this girl. She seems to show little to no emotion except when in the presence of Shinji’s father. But she is not without soul and her character is one of the most popular and iconic of the series. Her meeting with Shinji shakes her foundation and she begins to question her existence and her faith in Shinji’s father. There is definitely more to Rei than meets the eye and I can assure you that some of it will be explained at the end of it all but I won’t spoil it here. I urge everyone to watch the series and find out on their own.

Rounding out the Eva Pilots is the fiery red head Asuka. Like Shinji, she is fourteen years old but seem to possess qualities opposite of Shinji. She is fierce,outgoing, confident, and popular among her peers. Perfection is what she aims for including being the an Eva pilot. She is what Shinji wishes that he could be for himself. Underneath her seemingly confident exterior however, lies a more fragile girl with demons of her own to face.

Aside from the young pilots, there is captain Misato Katsuragi. She is the pilots’ commanding officer and chief of operations at Nerv. Eventually she becomes guardian and caretaker of both Asuka and Shinji and takes them in when they have nowhere else to go. Essentially, she acts as the mother figure to Shinji. Like the rest of the cast, she too mask a darker

This concludes part one of the deconstruction of Evangelion. Check out part two coming real soon as I talk less about the logistics and get into the real meaty stuff that makes this show tick.

White Privilege and the American Myth

My facebook feed has been blowing up quite a bit this week with some of my friends posting their outrage in some way to an article published in the conservative Princeton Tory titled “Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege”. The conservative sphere have been all over this guy and just eating up everything this guy has to say. It is as if they have found a champion of sort. A young millennial with some conservative views, they’re like a needle in a haystack. Perhaps that is why his article is receiving so much attention. I’ve heard all these misunderstood views before, the only difference this time is that it is said by a young Ivy League educated student. Because his article has received so much attention, I feel the obligation to respond to some of the points to prevent misinformation among the masses. The writer argues in the article that the phrase checking your privilege is insulting because it doesn’t tell the entire picture. Kinda like stereotypes. It doesn’t tell about the struggles that the individual goes through and demerits their achievements. He goes on and uses the example of his grandparents who have gone through many struggled in their life such as his grandparents escaping a concentration camp during the holocaust and coming to the United States with next to nothing so he condemns people who say that he did not work hard for his achievements and  that he owes it all to some inherent privilege he has by the color of his skin. The writer closes with saying that he will not apologize for his so called white privilege and should not have to. So basically this writer is just another typical white male who is ignorant of their white privilege.

They completely miss the point about the phrase check your privilege. One of the worst offense you could do in my humble opinion is to complain about or criticize something without actually knowing what it is you are talking about and this writer certainly does not know what the phrase check your privilege actually means. Checking your privilege means acknowledging that the systems and structures put in place benefits the group in the majority. It does not mean that every white man got where they are merely because of inherent privileges nor does it mean to demerit their achievements. Being a male myself, I belong to the majority gender or at least the gender that this system and structure seems to prefer. I most likely will never know and experience rape nor be a victim of gender discrimination in the workforce, etc. That is a privilege that I acknowledge and it does not mean by doing so that my efforts and merits are discredited. It simply means that I acknowledge that certain things are stacked in my favor because of my gender. Now lets get to the fact that despite our young ivy league freshmen complaining about not having any kind of white privilege, his post reeks of white privilege. Lets examine this passage below:

It has been my distinct privilege that my grandparents came to America. First, that there was a place at all that would take them from the ruins of Europe. And second, that such a place was one where they could legally enter, learn the language, and acclimate to a society that ultimately allowed them to flourish. It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character.

 

Yep, white privilege all over. This passage uses all sorts of bullshit rhetoric regarding what I call the American Myth. The writer does not realize that his grandparents were “allowed” to flourish here in the United States and gain legal entry because of white privilege. Asians and Latinos did not have such a privilege to be granted citizenship and equal protection under the law.  While his grandparents were allowed to come here and flourish, Chinese were excluded, Japanese americans were put into internment camps, and blacks were segregrated in various parts of life. Experiences like these the writer’s grandparents and parents would never have to experience because of white privilege. So yes, young Ivy League student, check your privilege because you clearly have missed it. Otherwise you probably would not be writing such a piece that is so misinformed and lacking of knowledge. Okay enough of the bashing and criticism. The writer is only a freshmen in college. For that I give him credit for a well written piece. Maybe its his naivete and his views will change as he advances further into his education or maybe not. But I respect him as a dignified human being to be able to express such views. For those that did not read the article. A link can be found below. http://theprincetontory.com/main/checking-my-privilege-character-as-the-basis-of-privilege/

A Brand New Odyssey. Cosmos’s Triumphant Return.

File:Cosmos spacetime odyssey titlecard.jpg

Science makes a triumphant return to television with the revival of the documentary series cosmos now titled A Space Time Odyssey hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson. Like the previous series by Carl Sagan, Odyssey will span 13 episodes discussing awesome science with updated science information and discoveries since the original show that aired in 1980. The updated show also benefits from modern day special effects and CGI that its predecessor did not have access to. So far, 8 of the 13 planned episodes have aired and our journey with Tyson has taken us to the origins of life, evolution’s tree of life, the very nature of light, and many more.

The use of modern day CGI and animation makes the discussion of the material rarely dull and the eye popping visuals will grab the attention of even the most uninterested. A personal standout episode for me is episode 2. Tyson delves into the our origins discussing our tree of life and evolution. We see both artificial and natural selection via our best friend, the dogs. Support for evolution is mentioned as Tyson discusses that evolution is a fact and goes into detail on what exactly that means by answering what Science means when it uses the term “theory”. A misconception is that a scientific theory means a possible prediction or explanation for something and has not been proven. That may be the case when we use the term in our casual conversations, however, Science uses the term differently. A scientific theory means a prediction that has been verified through observation, testing, and other sources of evidence. Tyson also provides a possible explanation for the evolution of eyes which shows that its perceived complexity and perfection is completely within the realms of possibility through natural selection.

I wasn’t born when the original show aired on television and have not had the opportunity to experience it, but I can confidently say that this revival is a worthy successor to Carl Sagan’s original programming. I am surprised a show like this is airing on fox’s Sunday Lineup. I guess we have Family Guy’s creator Seth McFarlane to thank for that. I’m sure his reputation and financing helped to get the show to air.  Odyssey is a very informative and entertaining ride every step of the way. Tyson presents the science in a way that is accessible to a more mainstream audience but at the same time, doesn’t compromise on the facts. If you were ever to appreciate the beauty that is our universe and natural world, this show would be the one to do it for you.

A show like this needed to exist given the fact that the scientific literacy in this country is not where it should be. A recent poll showed that a majority of Americans are skeptical of evolution and the big bang. Odyssey provides an opportunity to show these viewers a better picture of how science works and operates. 5 more episodes remain, and I look forward to where this journey will go. To those who have yet to tune it, I highly recommend you take this journey of discovery with Tyson. It will be a good one.

Waiting for the Winds of Change. Gen Y’s Apparent Apathy and John Mayer

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I often tell my friends that I absolutely love John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change”. They can’t seem to figure out why I have such admiration for the song. Besides being lyrically and musically pleasant to the ears, it is a moving apology piece for my generation. I had a conversation in class with my professor and she criticized us for not taking more action. It is easy to complain, but harder to actually find solutions she said. We young people seem to not care about the issues plaguing our time. But I would have to disagree on that statement. Apathetic is not the word I would use. I attribute our apparent apathy to a lack of empowerment. We feel like we have no real power to change anything and so we do nothing at all rather than attempt a seemingly futile endeavor.

John Mayer starts the song off by saying that him and all his friends are all misunderstood. His critics say that we they stand for nothing and there’s no way that they ever could. This is not true as we see everything that going wrong with the world and the leaders who are leading it, but we just feel like we don’t have the means to rise above it. Hence, we wait for the world to change. The song also alludes to hope that one day his generation will rule the population and when that time comes, things will be better. So until then, we keep on waiting. But do not misunderstand. The song is not advocating a passive response to issues. It is not telling us to simply just wait for things to change. The song is an apology trying to explain my generation’s apparent apathy.

I am not sure if it was John Mayer’s intention to create an anthem for Generation Y, but I think it did in the end regardless. I cannot speak for all my fellow Millennials, but I think the song is something that my generation can identify with and relate to. We have our values and beliefs and we are so discontent with how the world currently is. But we are left with wondering what we are supposed to do to change it. The system is too corrupt and too powerful for us to oppose it. We are but ants trying to strike at the sun. So it seems better to just wait until the day we may inherit our birthright; to succeed the previous generation and lead the world where we know that we will do things right. Apathy then does not describe what my generation is. We care about the issues, but we feel like we don’t have the means to do anything so we do nothing.

Perhaps the most troubling issue of our time is the environmental problem facing our species. It is a problem that we can barely grasp and conceptualize given our seemingly comfortable lifestyle, but the severity of the problem is far too real. I mean, we’re literally talking about the end of the world here. If you do not agree or believe that global climate is real, then you are beyond help. It is a mess that generations from before have shoved on us. Sadly, we are not doing enough to stop this problem. Why? It is not that we don’t care, it’s that we feel powerless. I am often asked what could I possibly do, I’m just one person. I think the statement embodies much of our sentiment. We’re just one person. We couldn’t possibly change the system, so we’ll just wait on the world to change and why not more is being done.

So here is to John Mayer for creating a song that is an apology to the misunderstood Millennials. To my fellow Gen yers. I know we inherited a huge mess, but we have to be less passive. Though true that our birthright is to one day rule the world, there may not be a world to inherit when that time comes. Things need to be done now and you are not alone. One person can do little, but great actions and movements all start with one person. Even if things are far too big for us and it is all futile. At the end of the day, I’d much rather be the ant trying to resist my demise than to have done nothing at all just waiting for the end.