Spartan Girl!


I'm a journalism freshman at MSU, and I hope to eventually publish my own novel one day.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Valentine's Day

I loathe this holiday.

At least when I was little, we'd have a party at school, with snacks and fun games. Since middle school, there have been no parties. All I could look forward to on Valentine's Day was see other people with roses, candy, stuffed animals, or any other kind of present from their boyfriends or their friends.

I, on the other hand, never got a thing. Not even from my friends. I think two of my friends send flowers that the yearbook was selling for a fund-raiser last year, but that was it.

Everyone knows that this holiday--once a feast day for a particular saint--has been completely blown out of proportion by corperations in order to get their products sold. Why must it come at the expense of the feelings of other single people? I mean, am I the only person that feels like crap on this stupid holiday?

The strange thing is, if I did have a boyfriend, I really wouldn't care about Valentine's Day. I'd only ask that he would remember my birthday and our anniversary (Christmas too, yet that goes without saying). As long as I had a boyfriend, it wouldn't matter to me.

However, seeing as how I don't have one at the moment, I always feel jealous whenever the day comes around. It isn't because of the nice gifts everyone else has--I already stated that I wouldn't care if my boyfriend forgot Valentine's Day. No, I'm jealous because those people have someone. I don't. I don't even have that many friends anymore; I've lost contact with most of them, since they've gone off to different campuses or wherever.

Another thing that makes me hate this holiday is that romance is dead, more or less. Most romance stories/movies today are fluffy pieces of sap. I roll my eyes whenever I walk past the romance sections (or as I refer to it, "the smut section"). I'm annoyed when my mother has some drippy romantic comedy on, regardless of how much it sucks. I had no intention of seeing or reading The Notebook never will.

I even look at some of the famous love stories and cannot for the life of me find them the least bit romantic. Here are some examples:

Romeo and Juliet-I read the play (not to mention saw two movie versions) back in my freshman year of high school. Does anyone realize that the events--boy and girl's families are fueding, boy and girl meet, fall in love, get married, commit suicide--occurred in less than a week?? True love? More likely raging hormones. The scary thing is that I found out about a real life incident in which a teenage couple killed themselves just because their parents didn't want them together. Also, I think it was obvious that Romeo only loved Juliet because she was supposedly beautiful. He meets her one night, then they get married the next day! They barely knew each other, and people are calling this the greatest love story of all time! That's not romantic, that's pathetic.

King Arthur (i.e. the story of Lancelot and Guenevere)- The first and most obvious problem I have with this story is that Guenevere was married to Arthur while she was really in love with Lancelot. They go on and on about how they both love Arthur, yet it doesn't seem to stop them from seeing each other. Whether or not they actually did the deed varies with each version of the legend. I could sympathize with Lancelot; in spite of his faults, he really was a good guy. Guenevere, on the other hand, not only cheated on Arthur, but also treated Lancelot like dirt! She was always rejecting him, causing him to go off into exhile, then expected him to defend her honor whenever someone accused her of witchcraft! Although it takes two to tango, I find Guenevere more at fault for the whole thing because she, unlike Lancelot, never expressed remorse about her actions until Camelot was destroyed. And just because she joined a nunnery at the end doesn't mean she automatically turns into a good person.

Tristian and Isolde- I didn't see the movie, but I know enough to see the similarities to Lancelot and Guenevere. Same old story: love affair destroys a kingdom. Yawn. Notice how a lot of stories seem to be about affairs? Perhaps the media influences their appeal.

Gone With the Wind-Seen this movie a million times. We bought the DVD for Mom, but does she watch it? Nooo, she waits until it's on TV. Anyway, Scarlet treats Rhett like dirt. I don't know why she spent so much time longing after Ashley. He was such a dork. Besides, Melanie was nothing but kindness itself to Scarlet, and she repays her by lusting after her husband? Maybe some people don't like the fact that Rhett left Scarlet at the end, only others (like me) understand completely, which is why the "Frankly, my dear..." line is so famous. Everyone can relate to that.

You see what I mean? The love stories that aren't completely ridiculous usually have a sad ending. Don't think I'm completely unfeeling; there are some love stories that I like. I though that the myth of Eros and Psyche was sweet. I like the romantic movies that are lighthearted as well as intelligently written (see my favorite movies in my profile for examples).

But I'm not a complete sap. I know the difference between real love and fake love. I think a healthy amount of cynicism help prevent me from ending up in a bad relationship.

Thoughts? Comments? As always, I don't mean to offend other people, this is just my opinion that I needed to get off my chest.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Racism goes both ways

Something's been nagging on my mind lately. It all started when I saw previews for the new movie Something New. For those who do not know, it's about a man and a woman falling in love. The woman happens to be African American, while the man is white. Their relationship raises eyebrows, particularly among the woman's family and friends, who keep encouraging her to start a relationship with an African American man.

Last semester, I did a project about how families are portrayed in the media for my journalism class. My team's main point was how so few interracial families are on TV (it's always an all white family, an all African American family, etc). You'd think I'd be pleased with this new movie for featuring an interracial relationship, but I'm not because it's making a big deal out of what should be nothing.

I don't understand why interracial relationships are so controversial. The last time I checked, there was no law saying we can't marry someone who isn't part of our ethnic group. We are all people, so the color of one's skin or ethnicity shouldn't really matter when it comes to relationships. Forgive me for sounding naive, only I thought we were behind the days of racism.

And yet that movie seems to demonstrate how racism seems to work both ways. I don't think it's right for people to be prejudiced against any different minorities. Don't you think it's hypocritcal for African Americans to complain about racism, then turn around and be racist against people who are different than they are?

Maybe I'm missing some sort of point, because I really don't understand this. I would like to think that society may have progressed to be more accepting of different people and/or the choices of lifestyle people make. But between this topic and the number of people who are trying to permanently ban same-sex marriage, I guess I was wrong. Sure, people are making movies like Something New and Brokeback Mountain and many people are giving those topics a lot of attention, yet what does it account for if so many people are still intolerant of others for whatever reason?

Perhaps I seem to be taking this a little too seriously. After all, Something New is only a movie and its intentions appear nothing but admirable. Still, it just bothers me with its display of how ridiculous racism can be--on both sides.