Love: Robron Style

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.

James A. Baldwin

 

Love isn’t finite. It’s is designed to be infinite.  For example, I love my parents. I love chocolate. I love Starbucks (like every good white girl), and I love old movies. All those examples are different people and objects that I love. That love is different. How I love my parents differs from how I love Starbucks.  No type of love is the same.

That brings me to Robert and Aaron.

Lately, mostly on Tumblr, I’ve seen ‘asks’ and comments on Robert, Aaron, and their love. Some are writing that ‘They can’t believe that Robert loves the baby instantly! What about Aaron? Aaron is always the one that gets shafted. He deserves better than Robert! Isn’t Robert betraying Robert by saying he wants to do right by his son?” (this is a mass generalization of what I have seen on Tumblr and a bit on Twitter).

Here is where I stand on these questions and opinions that are populating Tumblr and Twitter.

Robert and the Baby

We are along with Robert for the ride when it comes to the baby. Since we don’t see this pregnancy from Rebecca’s viewpoint, we are getting Robert’s.  Robert is framing the baby as a negative right. In his eyes, the baby is why Aaron is gone. The baby is why he is stuck with The White Family. The baby is why he lost the life he wanted.

However, like we saw on Friday and that terrified look as he felt that baby kick? That was the first kick into Roberts realization that the baby is a real thing. It is a little human being on its way into the world. It went from a concept for him to an actual living breathing human that shares his blood (for now at least).

Robert struggling with the baby but wanting to do better or love it isn’t a bad thing. It’s someone coming to terms with reality.  It’s normal to not bond right away with a child. It will happen when it is time. For Robert, he needs to go through all the emotions he has been fighting and hiding through his schemes and general sadness. When he is ready, he will bond, and it won’t be a betrayal or affront to Aaron.  The developing of that love is quite different from the love that is already there with Aaron. They are two different worlds that don’t meet.

This type of love, parental love is different from loving a partner.

Aaron’s Relationship to Robert and this Story

This isn’t Aaron’s story. He is in the supporting cast. The first rung of the supporting cast but he is supporting. There is a reason why Aaron has been absent. This story isn’t about him this time around. Last year he got an amazing story about his abuse where Robert was supporting. Backing Aaron up whenever he needed it. Helping move the story forward.

That is Aaron position in this story. It’s Robert on the front lines and Aaron is designed to help move the story forward.

Currently, In Aarons’ head, the baby is also framed negatively. It is the concept that broke up his marriage, made him think very dark thoughts and he cannot see the child without thinking of the cheating. Perfectly valid reasons to frame the child negatively. After breaking up with Robert and having a few moments with him, Aaron has removed himself from the narrative for a while. He is taking care of Liv, he is trying to get better mentally and physically and even went on a trip to visit old friends.

Now, with the baby being born very soon, Aaron will be thrown back into the narrative whether he wants to or not. He presence and his talks with Robert will push Robert forward in his journey to thinking of the child as a negative to a positive. Otherwise, this is Roberts story. His ‘come to Jesus’ moment if you will.

In six weeks lots can change in the narrative.  Aaron might find himself stepping up to help Robert, or he will find himself stepping back. We don’t know, but lots can happen in six weeks. Aaron is there in the background, helping push the narrative forward in small ways but ultimately everything he does is his decision. Robert isn’t forcing him to stick around. Aaron choices are his own as a supporting character.

Aaron still loves Robert (he always will) but right now that romantic type of love isn’t what is needed from Aaron to Robert. The love Aaron has for Robert as a friend is what is needed now.

Aaron/Robert Deserve Better Than Aaron/Robert

I’ve seen this going around quite a bit in the general ‘Robron’ fandom which makes me laugh. Robert and Aaron are two very perfectly imperfect people. They both have been through a lot in life. They both have made bad decisions. They have tried to be better people. They both have relapsed in small and big ways. They are both very layered and very human. They are full of gray, and that is what makes them interesting apart and together.

They are worthy of each other. Robert and Aaron are the type of characters that are always going to take five steps forward and six steps back. They will grow and do better but relapse. That makes them feel even more real and one hell of a super couple. A super couple that needs to get back to a place where they can communicate, trust and is an equal partnership.

A romantic love that goes beyond the typical. The hearts and passionate declarations. Robert and Aaron have that down. They have done that. The love they need to develop now? Is the mature love. That settled in love. The kind where trust, communication, and a partnership can form.

So, like I said in the beginning, there are different types of love that we experience every day. They don’t mean the same thing to each person or thing in your life, but it exists.  Same applies to the final act of this story.  It isn’t the end of the world that this baby has arrived. It just signals the beginning of the end of this story.  The end of one chapter in Roberts and Aarons lives. From this point on its going to develop into something different. Something new. Something worth waiting to see. We will see Robert grow from plotting revenge against people that just don’t matter to deciding to be better for himself, his family and baby. He will be learning about parental love and loving himself by making better choices.  We will see Aaron make the decision to back Robert up without sacrificing his feelings in the process. Aaron will learn to love himself and love Robert as a friend and as a partner. It will be worth the wait in the end.

What do you think? Tell me below or Tweet/Tumblr me @AmandaJ718. Until next time, see you around Emmerdale.

Thanks to Justine (@BeautifulHusbands) for coming up with the title

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Devil’s Advocate – The Two Main Theories

Like everyone else out there I have been racking my brain coming up with numerous theories (I have so many theories that are completely wrong too) on how the Robert/Robron story is going to end especially now, we have an end of Christmas Week. So, I decided to stick to the original theory (with a few add-ons) and the ‘Playing it Straight’ theory. Ok. Let’s make both theories work and not work.

‘Play it Straight’ Theory

Not a theory per say but if you get too theory happy these people come out of the woodwork. The people who think we are all wasting our times and this story will be played straight. Here is the theory as it stands.

Rebecca and Robert did have a one-night stand. It resulted in a baby that is Roberts. The two will have to learn how to co-parent. Meanwhile, Aaron will come around to loving the baby as will Robert. They get back together after Aaron decides he can handle dealing with a baby.  Rebecca decides to forgive Robert for all he has done. All three will end up co-parenting the kid. All is well in Robron land.

Variations on the Theory

The above stands but the Whites find out what Robert has done to Home Farm and its business and cuts Robert out of the baby’s life. Robert, Aaron will have to fight for the kid in court against Rebecca.

Or

The above stands but Rebecca not being able to handle motherhood runs off leaving the baby with Chrissie who fights for full custody against Robert. Aaron is along for the ride.

For This to Work/Not Work

This only works if we know The White family will be staying and we know they are not staying for much longer. Also, the show would have to make Aaron suddenly be ok with the idea of a child being around. Having Aaron hurt himself over the thought of the baby ruins that idea. I mean, in a soap opera anything can be reversed but, in this case, this is a harder sell. Also, we would need Rebecca to become a rounded character, and that isn’t happening anytime soon. She is just a plot device in the story. A chess piece to be moved around. Which is why she would be ok with the revenge plot/breakdown that Robert is on. Move her wherever they need her.

That is where the variations come into play. No way would she be ok with that. So, fighting for the kid makes sense. However, once again, Aaron suddenly being ok with the kid after hurting himself…doesn’t calculate.

Personal Opinion

The show could go this way but they won’t. Everyone else is getting twists and so will the ‘cash cow’ aka Robron. That is one of their biggest couples out there. No way would they give them this straightforward of a story. Not when we know Robert is going to be at his lowest point which means a lot. This is Roberts journey, and that straightforward story doesn’t include that. It seems focused on Aaron which this story was never Aarons journey. It’s Roberts. Also, it’s just so freaking boring if it was played straight. It happens yes but Rebecca isn’t a character we want to see Robert have to co-parent with. She doesn’t have a life outside of him. To build that up and her presence in the village that will take time. Time, I don’t think the show has or wants to spend on her. Time is precious, and I think the show wants to spend it on Robert and Aaron. Not the crumbling White Family.

The Theorytm

The famous theory that either upsets people or makes the most sense to people. The one started on Tumblr by Taryn (@Itwasjustmisplaced).

Robert and Rebecca didn’t sleep together. For some reason Rebecca makes him think that they did and he is the father. Robert goes into a tailspin going after everything he thinks ruined his relationship with Aaron. Finds out he isn’t the dad and they didn’t sleep together. That brings Robert and Aaron back together. Rebecca and the baby become someone else’s problem. All is right in Robron land.

Variations on The Theory

Ross/Adam is the dad (They Slept Together/Didn’t Sleep Together)

All the above and if Robert isn’t the dad (didn’t sleep together/slept together) then who is? Ross has been sleeping with her since January and most notably slept with Rebecca the day after Robert. So, he is a big candidate. The Adam theory is a lot of fun and has the most drama and damage. Most hate it, but I refuse to let go, so I’m including him here. I need to write out a fleshed-out post about this and why it does work on its own. It might not happen, but it does work.

OR

All the above but Rebecca is a black widow.  To get back at Robert for all he has done to her she decides to ruin Roberts life. By making him think he is the dad it takes down all that Robert holds dear now. Forces him into a corner that would make her plans easier to set out.

OR

All the above and Rebecca is lying because she has taken something way too far. Rebecca is angry at him but still, loves him like she has claimed before. She lied to screw with Robert only she has let it go too far and now she is stuck in a corner of her own making. If she comes out now, she will look like she was trying to trap him and ruin Aaron and Roberts marriage. So, she sticks with it even though it is setting Robert down a dangerous path.

For This to Work/Not Work

This theory works on so many levels. It is twisty and gives Rebecca something to do other than blink and prance around Home Farm while her stomach changes sizes (up down up down).  It fits the pattern of all the stories that got big press this year. Nell’s twist. The Coira twist and now The Robron twist. It is fun and will be more interesting to watch. It is just good television. Regardless what one thinks of Iain MacLeod, as we have seen, he knows how to tell a story. He just has pacing problems. Which is understandable because every soap showrunner has pacing problems (even the precious Kate Oates).  It is a lot of time to fill and a lot of story to pace out. Sometimes, stories get left behind or screwed up. Nothing a few strokes of the pen can’t fix.

Why these theories might not work? Robert isn’t attached to the child yet. He hasn’t been to the doctor’s appointments, he hasn’t put his hand on her stomach to feel the kicking, he even used the kid’s picture to hide a camera. There is no attachment there. One could argue he will get attached to the baby after its born but even then, it doesn’t seem likely. If Robert is to keep going after The White Family, he won’t be attached to the kid. Maybe. There is something off there that changes a lot of the theories listed above. Robert is a legacy character. This kid should be bigger news than the show is making it.

Personal Opinion

The TheoryTM is the one that I personally love. It makes the most sense, and even the variations help flesh out the theory even more. I’d be more into the black widow theory because as I have said MANY MANY times…Emily Head would be a great soap villain. A great soap bitch. She can’t pull off angel. I don’t buy it. So, I’d love to see black widow also it makes what I am about to talk about make more sense.

What I Personally Expect from The Final Act

What I expect is a twist. I don’t think Robert is the dad because it narratively (right now) doesn’t make sense to keep a kid with him.  Nor does it make sense he would bond with the kid after its born. It can happen, sure, but I don’t see it. What I expect to happen is the kid is born in November. Then for some reason or another, all is revealed quickly and dramatically. This leaves Robert with nothing. All the revenge he has been planning against The Whites adds up to nothing, he doesn’t have a child, he doesn’t have Aaron or Liv. He is left with nothing. That breakdown we have been seeing goes into overdrive.

Robert falls apart while Aaron is the one that tries to get to him. He wants to talk now that everything is out in the open. He wants to figure out where Robert stands except Robert pushes Aaron away. Why do I want this to happen? At the end of the day, this story has always been about Robert and his choices in life. The choices he makes and how it affects himself and others. He will have to make the choice to want to look inward and try to figure out what he does wrong and how to fix that. Aaron can help of course, but this has to be on Robert. No one else. That brings us to Christmas when everything comes to a head. Robert will want to get better, and Aaron will want to help them. All is going to be ok in Robron land.

As for The Whites? I think Roberts scheming doesn’t help, but it raises a lot of issues that have always been there. Rebecca will always be jealous of Chrissie for being Lawrence’s favorite. Chrissie resents being lied to by Lawrence. Rebecca thinks she should get full run of Home Farm because she is the true heir to everything. Lachlan…he is just a special little psycho, isn’t he? Roberts scheming might bring up a lot of those old wounds. Let the fireworks begin!

What do you think? What theories do you like? Where do you stand on things? Tell me below, and I just might write about the Adam theory. Until my next thought overload, see you around Emmerdale.

 

Confusing Rebecca White

Photo Credit and Beta Reader: Justine @BeauitfulHusbands and @klainedestined.

Rebecca White is a confusing character.  If one were to watch her first scene and compare it to her last scene, it is like watching two different characters. Normally, this would be ok. That means the character has developed and changed with time. However, that is not Rebecca’s case. She has developed many different personalities. Currently, she is rocking the victim look. Now, there has to be a reason for these drastic changes.  People have talked about it but haven’t come to an exact conclusion.  So, I decided to take a whack at it. I broke down her time on the show, all the changes I’ve noticed and what could be the reason for these changes.

I don’t like Rebecca White.  I might never like her, but that doesn’t negate how problematic her arc and characterization has been on Emmerdale. It’s important to remember this as we go forward.

So, let’s go!

Rebecca Whites Timeline (In Three Parts) 

The Beginning – Helicopter Plans

Rebecca White enters the scene in a helicopter (something the town fears after that terror) and finds her way to her family, The Whites. Robert calls her in help get her family admits that they set Andy up for the shooting.  She starts off helping but slowly it becomes evident she wants to know if she is an heir to the White fortune and she wants Robert Sugden back.  Robert tries to keep her sweet and on plan when she starts enjoying her time with her family.  Then she keeps pushing before after the second kiss Robert tells Aaron what has been going on. After Rebecca finds out she is a White, she decides to start protecting her family (especially after Andy’s name is cleared).  Once Robert pushes her away declaring Aaron as the one he wants is when she wants her revenge. Trying to embarrass Aaron in the pub, who knows all, she is unsuccessful and leaves.

Rebeca is presented as someone who has traveled the world. She was raised with money and went to, the best schools. Wearing the latest styles (in large hats), she was someone who has done and seen a lot.  She is flirty, young and headstrong.

 

Roberts and Aarons Separated – The Incident

A few weeks after Aaron tells Rebecca off, the three are now friends. Rebecca is listening to Aaron and his issues with Gordon, helping Robert out with plans for Aaron and even helps out Liv after Robert is left alone after Aaron goes to prison. During this time, something shifts. Her flirting gets heavy and seems to want, a different Robert. Robert keeps pushing her away but trying to keep her as a friend.  After a nasty fight with Aaron in prison, Robert, who is drunk, sleeps a sober Rebecca. After he pushes her away, she gets angry and throws their past in his face, especially after she finds out she is pregnant the same time Aaron comes home.

Rebecca is well on the soap vixen road.  She appears to get everyone into a false sense of security through friendship while wanting to steal Robert away from Aaron and his family.  Then she gets what she wants from the incident only to be pushed away.  From that point on she becomes the victim of Roberts ‘user’ ways.  She starts to hate him.

 

Pregnancy and Beyond

Rebecca finally tells Chrissie about the pregnancy and decides that she wants to do this on her own. She doesn’t want or need Roberts help.  When Robert says he doesn’t want the baby, she gets angry and lets Ross shake Robert down. Then changes her mind. Then gets angry when Robert thanks her for not keeping the baby and decided to keep from him that she was pregnant.  So, to a shocked pub and Robert and Aaron, Chrissie tells everyone that she is pregnant.  She doesn’t want to be in the way of Robert and Aarons relationship but still tells Aaron to break up and run from Robert. After Robert decides to not to be in the baby’s life he keeps his distance but doesn’t. Rebecca stays with Victoria, decides she wants Robert on the birth certificate, wants money to help with the baby and shows him the scan.  Soon, Robert and Aaron fall apart, and she gleefully talks about it with Debbie and Victoria at the pub.  Happily, she accepts Robert wanting to help with Home Farm and be in the baby’s life, acting like everything will be fine because the baby has both parents around.

Her personality changes from happy to sad during one episode.  She needs Roberts help at every turn but dismisses him the minute her father gives her attention.  She seems happy to see Robert and Aaron fall apart but then hoped that the three of them could have raised the child together. She even wanted the two to be together but still told Aaron to run for the hills in the same episode. She just invites herself into Roberts life and thinks she should right to do that. It’s confusing and makes the character hard to follow.

 

Confusion as Big as Rebecca’s Hats: Personal Thoughts 

See the confusion? How did this happen?  Here are some of my thoughts.

Audience Reaction

Rebecca, in my opinion, was brought in to stir up the White Family, Robert, and Robron. A classic soap vixen, which is fine. I love a great soap vixen.  From my memories and some research, people were mixed on her but didn’t see a real reason to get too upset. She seemed to be heading down that vixen road and have so interesting conflict with her family when it all seemed to stop, right around November and Aarons pub fight. Something happened that made everything confusing. Her character varied from episode to episode. The storyline seemed to stop and go depending on what was happening to Robert and Aaron. The family storyline appears to slow too. Only coming up in weird moments.

So, with that, the general audience seemed to fall from mixed emotions to hatred. Predictability, the Robron fandom turned on her (I know there are fans of the character in the Robron fandom as well). The audience seems to be having a hard time relating to someone who keeps changing personalities from episode to episode. It also doesn’t help that she was a factor in the breakup of a very popular couple. When that happens, the character needs to be developed and handled with care. Rebecca? Was not handled with care. She was thrown at us with no instruction or warning, and now she is a mess.

Writing

Usually, soap writers can keep a steady characterization when reading for a soap. Especially the writers for Emmerdale. However, when it comes to Rebecca, that steadiness goes out the window. I can tell when certain writers are writing for her. There is a set that writes her as a saint; there are set that write her with an edge and then a set that writes her like she is a blank wall.  There is no continuity there which is odd for a show like Emmerdale. That is a problem. There is a miscommunication happening there that is ruining her character.

(Ok…it happens for a few characters. I know two writers who hate Robert and it shows.)

 

Script Changes

In the same vein as the writers, there has been talk of the story changing and rewrites happening (some even think the story changed after the second Robert/Rebecca kiss).  This hasn’t been confirmed anywhere, but that could explain the confusion with the character.  When changing the direction of a story, it could mess with the characters motivation and direction in a show.  That might explain why the writers are all writing her differently.

 

Chemistry with Cast

Again, this is subjective. Personally, I never saw a connection there between Rebecca or Robert. I saw a small spark between Chrissie and Rebecca but its thin and flickers easily.  Not having chemistry with the people, you work with the sell the character and the relationships, plot points are hard to sell, and then things become confusing.It happens on every show, but usually, people don’t keep the character around.

 

Acting/Directing

Again, another subjective topic. I don’t want to step on toes but my own opinion? I’m not a fan of Emily Heads acting. It feels forced. Sometimes it seems like she is overthinking a scene and sometimes it feels like she doesn’t care. Again, personal opinion. However, that might be affecting how people see the character. Relate to the character.Much like the writers, different directors could be the reason why people are confused by her.

 

I hate Rebecca White. I can’t stand her. She isn’t a character that was written correctly. She was designed to shake things up with one of Emmerdale’s big couples. It needed a strong actress, writing, and direction. However, we have this mess. A polarizing character that has caused nothing but confusion, anger, and fighting among the fans and even media.  Hopefully, as we go into those Fall months we finally get some answers or a reason for Rebecca’s confusing behavior.

What do you think? Do you find Rebecca confusing or do you see a method to the madness? Tell me below or tweet me @AmandaJ718.  Until my next piece, see you around Emmerdale.

 

 

Three Best Thanksgiving Films to Watch This Year!

Welcome back! Thanksgiving. I know it’s a foreign term these days. Lots of us jump ahead to Christmas. Why? I don’t know, but I bet it is psychological.

Anyway…

Thanksgiving brings up lots of memories and feelings. Being my weird random pop culture self, I think about the movies I watched this time of year. Sure, I think about turkey, family and online shopping (like the normal American) but those Thanksgiving movies are the strongest memories for me.

I’m sure everyone has their favorite type of movies they like to watch this time of year. I have three that I always watch and for once I am not going to be talking about Hallmark movies! I assume everyone is giving me a high five right now. Nope? I don’t care!

Here is a list of my top three required Thanksgiving movies!

Home for the Holidays

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Home for the Holidays is one of those movies that no one talks about anymore. It rarely plays on television but when it does a strong wave of nostalgia hits me. What is very weird is I never saw this film till I was in high school. It makes no sense that I would get a nostalgic feeling while watching this movie.

That is the point of the movie, at least to me. The movie is about adult children coming home for the holidays. Each one is fulfilling a certain trope, but all disappointed in their lives…to a point. Even though all the characters are going through a lot of dramas the film still has a warm feeling. Almost like you, yourself had been to this Thanksgiving before or at least experienced a Thanksgiving like this as a child.

I like to watch this movie see a family fall apart just to come back together. I also watch it because no matter how bad Thanksgiving may go, it won’t be as bad as this families.

With Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning (this movie is chock full of stars) it is worth the watch to feel that warm family drama and realize your family isn’t so bad.

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a newer entry for me. I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with all things John Hughes (that is an upcoming blog post).  Let me just say that John Hughes have influenced me a lot as a writer. He is not the only writer that has influenced me but his work came into my life at a very exciting time.

This movie is one of my favorites of his because I love buddy comedies. Especially hate to love buddy comedies. It is opposites attract as two guys (John Candy and Steve Martin) get stuck in various weird positions as they try to find their way home for Thanksgiving. I think I love this one so much because Steve Martin and John Candy have a great chemistry between them. They play off each other so well. I sometimes wonder what else those two could have done. Maybe without them, Chris Farley and David Spade would have had a harder time breaking into that ‘buddy comedy’ type of film (controversial I know, but many of their movies remind me of this one).  I think Del (John Candy) is what truly makes the film for me. His ability to constantly be positive and try his hardest for his new friend (even when Neal (Steve Martin) is an ass) makes me root for him.

This movie is funny and reminds you that the holidays make everyone go nuts. Sometimes you need to relax and realize that life never goes to plan.

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Son in Law

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Son in Law is a Pauly Shore movie. Wait! Come back! Let me explain! Out of all the Pauly Shore movies, this one is my favorite, and it just happens to be set during Thanksgiving. A lot of people roll their eyes at how dull the film is. It is full of obvious tropes, and you can tell where the movie is going, but it still works for me. I hate to tell people this, but sometimes you just need a light, funny and sweet movie. Not everything needs to be dramatic.

This movie covers a common romance trope. Rebecca (Carla Gugino) from a small town in South Dakota goes to college in California. She does not fit in right away but with the help from her new best friend Crawl (Pauly Shore) she assimilates. Meanwhile, her boyfriend back home is waiting for her to come back for Thanksgiving to propose. Since Rebecca isn’t ready, she brings along Crawl to play her fake fiancé. Family bonding and hilarity ensues.

I love to watch this at Thanksgiving (all the time actually) because it is like visiting old friends. I get invested in these characters. You want the whole family (including Crawl) to be happy. The characters have a lot more going on under the surface that makes you love them.

The cast has great chemistry, and it does not slut shame the girl that is meant to be an irritant. In fact, the movie recognizes that she isn’t the problem, and she ends up becoming friends with the family. Sorry, went off on a tangent. It does not often happen in movies, so I like to point it out when it does. This movie is fun for everyone and can always get a good laugh out of me.

 

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 What are your favorite Thanksgiving movies? Let me know down below or tweet me @AmandaJ718! Until then, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!

 

 

Examining my Own Generation (Who am I, Exactly?)

I was born in July of 1987. I was born not knowing if I had a title. I didn’t even know my name or who the hell was holding me. I was just a mere human being.  As I grew older labels were added. My name, who I was related to and what generation I was assigned.  Most of my life I remember being called Generation Y.  Then 9/11 happened, and things got crazy (for obvious reasons).  After awhile I noticed my generation wasn’t being called Generation Y, but the 9/11 generation, the trophy generation and then we were part of the millennials. The generation was dropped. We went as one word now, like Prince or Madonna.

I don’t remember caring what I was called until I hit college and studied marketing.  That is when I noticed that each textbook had a different name to call my age group.  Some even seem to forget us late 80’s early 90’s kids existed. It brought on feelings I struggled to define.  I would ask for people’s opinions in class, on Twitter and among my friends.  Everyone seemed to have different ideas of what we should be called, how we acted or where we stood in the grand scheme of identifying generations.

I can never get a straight answer.

What generation am I officially allowed to be in and which one do I relate to? Are millennials just Generation Y with a sharper name? Something that rolls off to tongue especially when the media is mocking us?

Where do we stand?

What is a Millennial Now?

I researched into who falls into the Millennial prototype. Almost everyone had a different idea of who we are. From the dates to character traits, people who study this are just as confused as the people living life as a millennial.  It’s like, after Generation X, something happened. Sociologists didn’t know what to think of the kids born in the 80s or early 90’s.

According to an Atlantic article, each generation is clearly defined (Baby Boomers and Generation X) then things get hairy.  Generation Y is something George Masnick of Harvard Join Center for Housing Studies said was born in the mid 70’s to mid-2000s. However, this Atlantic article claims Gen. Y is made up and not to, “worry about it.”

So, Generation Y was just a placeholder since us kids that were definable. According to one guy at Harvard and a magazine publication.

Ok.

I found a website from someone named Jason Dorsey the self-proclaimed expert on Gen Y and Millennials. According to his research Generation, Y came about because they didn’t know what to call the kids born after Generation X. It was a placeholder.  Since then the idea of millennial took over and now that is what we are called. Though this was a good point, globally the use of Generation Y is much more popular than millennials. I didn’t even think globally. Like most Americans, I was only thinking about myself.

I also found an organization called, The Millennial Legacy, that feels that Gen Y is for the kids born in the 80’s since we would be considered an extension of Generation X. I feel like this is a reach but not a bad idea.

So, from this very limited research, I am to think that I’m a mix of Generation Y and Millennial. I’m allowed to identify any way I want regardless of what is popular in America or beyond.

You’ve Got Personality!

Trying to identify with what I’m called is even harder when all I see is how Millennials are perceived in the media. You could argue that every generation has been made the butt of the joke at some point, but millennials have whole shows dedicated to how “useless” we are.

The media runs with how obsessed we are with technology, self-absorbed with our own problems, raised by helicopter parents and we think we deserve a pat on the back for every little thing we accomplish.

Yeah, we have our issues. We are only human.  I doubt our issues will get the world blown up.  There are aspects of being a millennial that doesn’t jive with how I feel.  I’m sure every generation has people who don’t fit into the box the media has painted.  It just feels that media box has higher walls for millennials. I fall into some of the millennial traits I’ve read about, but at the same time, I don’t fit either.

Yeah, I have helicopter parents (Mom mostly), but that is proven beneficial to me in life. I learned from my mom that no one is allowed to walk all over me. Without my mom hovering over me as a kid I might have never learned that.  Same goes for the trophy comments.  I’ve accomplished a lot in my life.  I skated on Olympic ice. I graduated from community college, a 4-year college and graduate school. I mastered the art of knitting. I can float on my back in a pool for hours.  There are lots of things I have accomplished, and yet I didn’t expect anyone to care. That was all for me. For some reason, older people think being proud of those accomplishments means I’m feeling entitled to praise. I am not. It’s just another brick in that judgment wall.

In fact, I’m not the only one not to relate to how the media portrays us. We are much open to change; we were raised by single parents, and we have been witnesses to many traumas, which include 9/11, Columbine and Katrina (just to name a few).  We are more willing to communicate and overshare, which leads to different experiences to be shared with others.  We were taught to think globally (My god, I just quoted my alma mater. They must be so proud). We are taught to think beyond what we were told.  Like with any other generation, we are trying to be better. I feel like that isn’t bad at all. I relate to that idea of a Generation Y/Millennial.

Right now, if people are still reading, some might think I’m bitching and moaning.

Why are the other generations being so mean to me?

Blah Blah Blah. I do not think that at all.  I’m just trying to figure out where I stand.  Why don’t I feel like I fit that archetype the media has presented to me? Why do I feel like I’m falling behind a generation I was born into? I’m still not sure where I stand with my generation, but now, at least, I have an idea. I know that what the media has told me about being a millennial/Generational Y isn’t entirely accurate.  My generation ebbs and flows and is trying to do better. I can relate to that.

What do you think? Do you relate to your generation or are you still trying to fit in yourself? Tell me down below in the comment section!

Until next time.

A Goodbye Letter to the Bookstore

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I remember a time when I would eagerly look for two different stores in the mall. KB Toys and Waldenbooks. Both neon signs would make me so happy I could feel my heart skip a beat.

My love for KB Toys would wane, but my love for bookstores only grew stronger. I loved the smell of new books and fluorescent lights as I walked to my favorite section (Young Adult). I would run my fingers over the plastic spines as I quickly looked for books that were new. My oldest memories of my favorites series included The Babysitter Club (Claudia Kishi For the Win), Sweet Valley High, and The Boxcar Children.  There may have been some of The California Diaries and Little Sister series through in there, but that was the heart of my reading.

What was better than finding a new book in your favorite series? Finding a new author. As I got older Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, and Jackie Collins opened me up to new writing styles.

That was when I was younger.

Now that I’m 29 years old (insert joke about old age) I find my favorite genres of reading to be all over the place. That includes where I get my books. Gone are the days of walking into a Borders or Barnes and Nobles and feeling that skip of a heartbeat. Now, in the dead of night, I browse the online stores for a new hit or as the ordinary people say, a new book.

The traditional bookstore is dying. I’m not the first person to say this or will be the last. Gone are the days of walking into a bookstore and browsing for hours while listening to easy jazz. Now it is full of quick online buying while you have random television sounds playing in the room.

Let me say this now. I’m not against buying books online. Not even close. I love being able to grab the next title in a series at midnight. I like finding a new author through Good Reads. However, I miss walking into a store. Feeling the spines of books. Running across a new author or series at the ‘recommended reading’ section. I miss smelling paper as I open a book. Dog-earing a page when I need a food break.

Bookstores aren’t completely dead, but it’s heading there. At my local Barnes and Nobles, they have a bigger game section than children’s book section. The Starbucks section is even larger than certain parts of the store.

I understand to stay relevant in any industry you need to innovate and grow the customer base. That is what Barnes and Nobles are trying to do. However, according to reports, they are bringing in makeup.  What I thought was the death knell for bookstores (puzzles and games) wasn’t even close. Adding makeup might just be it.

Like I wrote in a tweet, when I go to Barnes and Nobles I want to get a new book, not new makeup. If I want that, I will head to Sephora.

I hope that someday brick and motor bookstores will become all the rage again. I miss going in and running my fingers over the spines. Listening to the conversations around me as I decide on which book to try out next. However, I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

So, goodbye traditional bookstores. We had a good run, and I hope to see you again.

In Defense of Sex and the City

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Welcome back to Valentine’s Day Month. As I wrote yesterday, I wanted to focus on Sex and the City. Lately, I have seen many people suddenly turn on this show. They have every right to their opinion, but the things they hate are what made the show so great. They hate on the friendships, the relationships and the characters themselves.

I felt I needed to defend these elements of the show because I feel like they are what made the show so good and reachable after all these years.

So, in defense of Sex and the City: I present my case!

1) The Friendships

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What I love most about Sex and the City is the friendship shared between the four main characters. Even better, even when they argue, they still find their way back to each other. I noticed a lot of hate concerning their relationships. One of the main complaints? No four women would ever be friends like that. Yes, I read that on a few Tumblr posts and IMDB.

It makes perfect sense that these four would be friends. Why? They balance themselves out. They even had an episode about how they balance themselves out. When Sexual Samantha and Prim and Proper Charlotte have a huge argument and don’t want to be friends anymore. They go and find friends that are just like their personalities. Let’s just say they come back together in the end because they needed each other.

The reason they are friends is because they balance and support each other. They call each other out on their bull. Sounds like friendship to me. I don’t understand why people would want them to be constantly fighting. We have enough women bringing other women down. I enjoyed seeing women support each other for once.

2) The Relationships

I have read reviews of this show calling the characters sluts. First of all, I hate that word. I do not think a woman who has a lot of relationships is a slut. She is just trying to figure out what she wants. She isn’t going to settle for anyone.  That could go for the characters on this show. They have so many relationships (in a collectors book I got they list every single guy they dated on the show. It is a lot).  Is that a bad thing?

Nope. Not even close. When this show was on the air, women on television were still using coded language to talk about guys and relationships. Many women didn’t have multiple relationships. They talked about what they wanted, but shows made them settle. Sex and the City had the nerve to say that love does not come that easily. Sometimes people don’t want to settle. They will not until they find someone that fits.

All the characters ultimately do settle down but it is with people who they didn’t think would work. Which shows that sometimes what you want isn’t what you need. Completely relatable.

3) The Real Characters

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These characters are real. They have individual strengths and weaknesses that don’t magically go away because the episode is over. The show had the nerve to make the lead character be a cheater. Carrie cheats on Aidan, who is a complete sweetheart of a human being. Most shows would not let their main character do that. Most writers and showrunners would be afraid of marring the image of their lead. The character that is meant to be the voice of the show. That is not real life, though. Good people do terrible things all the time.

That is what I love about this show. Miranda is cold and can treat people like crap. Samantha has a prejudice against people who settle down and have children. Charlotte is about being proper and following societies rules even when it doesn’t benefit her needs. There are times when you want to punch all of these characters in the face. Then there are moments you want to hug them or make them feel better. The characters are well rounded. Since they are well rounded, they don’t fit the typical comedy show tropes.

I love that, and it makes me appreciate the characters more. Damaged but they keep moving and growing while they figure out what they want. What else do you want in a character?

There are a lot of reasons to hate Sex and the City. I understand a lot of the complaints. However, to complain that you don’t like that a character did a bad thing or that a character is a slut on this show annoys me to no end. I feel like Sex and the City has a lot to offer in terms of being a woman, dating, men and your female friendships.

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Until next time, the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed!

A Look into The YouTube Star by a Confused Person

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Welcome back to the randomness people! What is on my mind at the end of the first month of 2016?

Well, it all started when I was watching YouTube videos. I was looking through my subscriptions deciding whether I should watch someone’s new vlog or a haul video. As I looked around, I started to wonder about this new type of television.

This is not the first time I have thought about YouTube and its effect on how we watch content on the internet (psst…read this post here!).  As I finally picked my video (I decided to finish watching a Linkara video I started earlier), I went on the internet to look up some information on the new type of celebrity.

The YouTube Celebrity.

Since YouTube was launched (I remember when it happened. Yes, children, I was there) in 2005 the internet has become the place for the world to put their funniest videos (screw you America’s Funniest Home Videos!).  Between the videos of funny cats and stupid children people started posting their reviews, skits and general thoughts onto YouTube. Slowly they developed a following and now they are celebrities and possible millionaires.

That is what I have learned from reading different posts on the subject. Along with many articles written by mystified people that work for Forbes and The Atlantic.

It is as if that are saying, silly YouTube celebrity! Content creation should be left to the professionals!

Seriously. That is how some of the articles I have read sounded like. They are mystified at how these people have become so famous. Some make fun of these “celebrities” and try to call them out for being fake for money. They think they don’t create anything of value. They pretty much try to bring them down.

 I will not lie. I’m stuck in the middle of this argument. I understand what those articles are saying and at the same time, I don’t agree with their argument at all.

Let me explain.

As I sat down and researched into this world that I visit constantly but have no real grasp of I, have found a few explanations for the mindset from magazines like Forbes, The Atlantic and Jezebel.

Money.

Plain and simple. It all comes down to money. Lots of these articles talk about content creation and how the content is getting sillier and sillier. Then they focus on the money they make. In some instances, according to a Forbes article, “PewDiePie…the Swede is the top-earning YouTube star on the planet, pulling in $12 million pretax over the past year, all for providing expletive-heavy commentary as he plays video games”.  $12 million dollars. $12 million dollars because he plays video games and is funny while doing so. Figures like that immediately make me angry. He gets $12 million dollars because he makes comments during a video game. Something I have done since high school.

That is when I understand their point. The YouTube star is making millions of dollars while doing something people do on a daily basis on their own. I’m someone who is struggling and trying to find my way after getting my undergrad and then masters degrees and these people make that much money doing random crap on the internet?!?!

For instance, Zoella, a famous British beauty haul vlogger, has about 4.4 million followers. All she does is open up products she bought, vlog about her boyfriend and dog and show off home décor. She makes an estimated 32,000 a month. So, about $384,000 a year (estimated). For opening up products, she is sometimes paid to present.

Yes, that noise is I, crying and wondering if I picked the wrong path in life.

I am also jealous as hell.  What did I do wrong in my life that I am not making that for talking about books, television or world events? Should I have been more active on the internet when I was in high school?

That is what I think all of those articles out there are talking about the most. They speak of the money they make. Which leads to jealous and then anger. Then they just start to go after these celebrities.

However, as I have learned in my life, counting other people’s money gets you nowhere in life.

Which leads me to the other side of the fence.

If we stop counting their money and look at their content, effort and marketing, the idea of the YouTube celebrity changes.

I have looked at my own favorite list of YouTube stars recently. I see the different ways they have to differentiate themselves from the million other content creators. I see the different storylines they have created throughout their videos. I see how much time and effort they put into the videos just to be torn about by internet trolls. I see them trying their best to make money from original content or ideas. Do not get me started on the copyright issues they come across sometimes.

We see the effects of all that hard work and instantly hate them for their success. In reality, they are working hard to build a brand. No different from what people have been doing since the beginning of time.

I recently found an article by a YouTube Celebrity that spells out that just because you hear about people making $12 million a year does not mean they all make that type of money. As the author, Gaby Dun, wrote, “The high highs and low lows leave me reeling. One week, I was stopped for photos six times while perusing comic books in downtown LA. The next week, I sat faceless in a room of 40 people vying for a menial courier job. I’ve walked a red carpet with $80 in my bank account”.  Not every YouTube celebrity is raking in the money. Some have a fan base but the partnerships and advertisements do not come soon enough.

When ads and partnerships do show up and start making them money, I have noticed people immediately go in on the YouTuber.

They just cannot win.

This mysterious world of the YouTube celebrity is not so mysterious after all. Like any industry, just because you see a few making money for doing stupid things does not mean the YouTuber creating interesting and original content is making the same type of money.

I will be watching this world closely. I am interesting in seeing where they world is going. Will be rise and became a viable industry or will the bubble burst?

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Tell me your thoughts on the YouTube celebrity. Do you like or do you hate them? Do you think they are the future or complete crap?

Until next month, the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed.

To Be Enjoyed In The Winter

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Welcome back! It is finally cold. If you are from the east coast and had to live through a Christmas, that was in the 80’s you are welcoming the change. At first, I was upset that it went down to 13 degrees overnight, but now I feel like it is finally winter.

What am I getting at here?

It is finally the time to watch my favorite winter movies. Winter movies? Like movies set during the winter? NO. Not even close. These films I am about to talk about are movies that only feel right when it is cold. I have tried to watch them in the middle of summer, and it felt dirty. These movies are best enjoyed when it is cold out. Maybe some snow. It has to be sweater weather to enjoy these films.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seasonal movies. Right?

Oh, god…I’m weird.

Thank God.

Anyway, let us begin my favorite cold weather movies.

Beautiful Girls (1996)

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Beautiful Girls is about a guy coming home to his small town for a high school reunion. All his friends all seem to be dealing with different relationship, identity and growing out of their teenage attitudes. The film’s title and trailer appear to be concentrating on all the issues these guys are having with different women, but the movie is more than that.

It is about that small town and the all-American idea. Some got out. Some stayed. This movie is about feelings. All of these characters are going through growing pains. Not knowing where to go with their lives. Trying to move forward but feeling stuck. I can relate hard to this movie. Only in the winter time, though. I get all introspective after January 1st. This movie encapsulates that feeling of being stuck, checking up with old friends and trying to find ways out of my situation.

It is a very warm movie. You fall hard for all the characters. These are the guys you grew up with and still see around your hometown. There are so many quotable lines that I still say to people. There is a questionable storyline with Natalie Portman and the lead character but don’t read too much into it. The lead isn’t going that way. He just freaked out about settling down.

Check out the movie the winter. Watching this movie any other time feels weird. It will make me want to relive the old days but make you realize that you have to keep moving forward even if you don’t know what lies ahead yet.

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

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I’ve talked about this movie in the romantic comedies for the soul post. I still need to mention it here too. This movie is a classic. Recently a lot of people were questioning if it is a romantic comedy classic.
It is a romantic comedy classic. I can see this movie being made in the golden age of cinema. Give or take a few elements.

This movie is set around the holidays and after but gives out this sweet, warm feeling to anyone who watches it. Hence, why I love to watch it the most when it is bone chilling cold outside.

I think I love this movie because the main characters don’t instantly fall in love with each other. They don’t even hate each other. They go through the motions of getting past the surface and getting to each other’s insecurities and real personalities. They get each other and know their weak points, and yet they still love each other. It is a lot of fun to watch.

Check out my other review to read more.

Either way, watch it. You will love it.

Reality Bites (1994)

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This movie might confuse people. It sort of lands in the category of introspection for me. I usually don’t watch this movie unless I’m feeling down. In the wintertime. This movie is about a group of Gen X-ers and their struggles to figure out their lives post-college life. Yup. That is it. It was written by Helen Childress and directed by Ben Stiller for the disenfranchised youth of the 90’s. Even so, I relate to these characters when I’m feeling sad about my progress after my time in undergrad and graduate school.

It doesn’t matter what decade you were born. You will relate to the struggles these characters go through. The film has this warm feeling radiating from it even though the characters are constantly in despair. What I truly love about the movie is no one gets a definite answer. No one has a satisfactory solution to their problems. They just keep moving and hoping for the best. Hearing that message in the darkest coldest time of the year gives me hope too.

This movie is dated as hell. It will make you roll your eyes sometimes. I do love how Childress and Stiller understood where MTV and Television, in general, was heading. Yes, there is a reality show prediction in this movie, and it is entirely right.

When you are feeling lost in the cold nights, watch this movie and understand that you aren’t alone. Everyone is lost at some point in their lives. We just have to keep moving and doing what is best for us now. Don’t judge yourself by other people’s standards. Just do what is best for you.

These movies are what I love to watch when it is too cold to venture outside. So, I hope you curl up on the couch and watch these movies when you are feeling down. A warning, though. These movies are good for those long cold nights. Try to look at them in the summer, and your soul won’t understand the message.

What are your favorite winter movies? Let me know below in the comments section!

Until next time, the randomness has needed. Hope you enjoyed!

Shoe Money Tonight! aka Why You Should Watch Sports Night

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Welcome back! As promised, I will be talking about the television show Sports Night. One of Aaron Sorkin’s first forays into television. It was one of my first taste of Aaron Sorkin’s writing. This show will forever be part of my ‘Forever Favorites’ list. It only lasted two seasons, and many people seem to have forgotten the show, but I’m here to give you three reasons to try it out or come back to re-watch.

For people who do not know, Sports Night is about the behind the scenes drama that comes with producing, writing and starring in a late-night sports news and recap show. It follows the producer, Dana as she wrangles the staff, which includes Jeremy, Natalie and the anchors/writers of the show Dan and Casey.  She answers to Isaac, who deals with the network brass (he is also the best character ever).

Why should you watch? Read on to find out!

The Characters

The characters are what make the show so much fun to watch. Each character has a particular place in the show. Without them there the show just would not work.  They are all puzzle pieces that fit together in a fun quirky way. Each piece needs each other to survive. That could be said for all of Aaron Sorkin’s characters. They need each other to work well together. They have viewpoints but can be persuaded to change their minds.

These characters are flawed. They can make you want to throw them against the wall sometimes. However, you are still with them as an audience. You want them to grow and succeed against the network, against J.J. (the most annoying character ever) and their old ideas.

The Quotable Quotes

Much like most of Aaron Sorkin’s work, there is some great dialogue. Things that you will be quoting long after you see the show.  The characters do have those famous long speeches, but they were never without merit. The one character that gave the best speeches were Isaac and Dan. They were emotional, straight to the point and made us understand a character’s mindset on a situation or topic of conversation. Sometimes it is funny and sometimes incredibly serious and true. Even today a lot of the topics talked about are still issues we deal with. Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

“So, don’t adjust that dial; and while we’re gone, if any talking animals ask you to buy some tacos or beer-for God’s sake, do what they tell you…” – Casey McCall

“Shoe money tonight!” – Dana Whitaker

Look, I got into this because I like getting people to like sports. And I’ve turned into a PR man for punks and thugs. And any atrocity, no matter how ridiculous, or hideous, or childish, it doesn’t matter. I make it sports. Ten-cent bagman whacks a skater’s leg with a crowbar, that’s sports. Second round draft pick gets cranky in a Houston bar, and that’s sports. And let’s not forget the mother of all great sports stories – a double homicide in Brentwood.” – Casey McCall

My favorite speech comes from Isaac and the episode The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee.   The episode covers six football players refused to play under the Confederate flag that flies in the stadium.

“Exaudio, comperio, conloquor. That’s a Latin phrase that translates “To listen, to learn, to speak.” Those words are carved into the stone arches that form the entrance to the undergraduate library at Tennessee Western University. This afternoon, an extraordinary young man named Roland Shepard made what had to have been an excruciating decision. He said he wasn’t playing football under a Confederate flag. Six of his teammates then chose not to let Shepard stand alone. And I choose to join them at this moment. In the history of the South, there’s much to celebrate. And that flag is a desecration of all of it. It’s a banner of hatred and separation. It’s a banner of ignorance and violence and a war that pitted brother against brother, and to ask young black men and women, young Jewish men and women, Asians, Native Americans, to ask Americans to walk beneath its shadow is a humiliation of irreducible proportions. And we all know it. Tennessee Western has produced some outstanding alumni in the past hundred years. People of wisdom and vision. Strength and compassion. One of them is Luther Sachs. Luther Sachs owns Continental Corp. Which owns the Continental Sports Channel, which you’re watching right now. Luther Sachs is a generous alumni contributor to Tennessee Western, with a considerable influence over its chancellor, Davis Blake, and its board of trustees. Luther, you’ve got a phone call to make. You’ve go to call Chancellor Blake, and tell him to take down that flag, or he can stop looking for your checks in the mail. You’ve got to put these young men back in a classroom. And I mean pronto. These boys are gonna make you proud one day, Luther. I challenge you to do the right thing. Not an unreasonable request to make of a man whose alma mater declares, “Exaudio, comperio, conloquor.” “To listen, to learn, to speak.” In the meantime, God go with you, Roland Shepard, and you six Southern gentlemen of Tennessee. God’s not done with any of you, yet.”

The Issues Covered

With that speech, the show includes many issues. You could look at this as a warm up for The West Wing and even The Newsroom. This show goes through different topics like sexual assault, domestic violence, divorce, racism, drug use, suicide, illness just to name a few. Some of it relates to sports, and some of the topics affect the main characters. Either way, the issues are talked about in a natural way, and the characters do not shy away from different opinions on a topic. The issues are not usually solved in the half hour, but there was a healthy debate.  A lot of debates that are still important in 2016.

The actual downside of the show? It has a laugh track. Some idiot somewhere decided this show needed a laugh track/real audience. This show doesn’t need help. It isn’t an average sitcom. It was much more than that.

This show is great and ended way too soon and on a cliffhanger! Not cool ABC. Not cool to let the show fall like that (Goes for you too Aaron Sorkin. He was so busy with The West Wing he let Sports Night fall apart).  I still think it is worth watching and enjoying for these reasons and many more.

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You can watch the whole series on Hulu, and it is available on DVD in a nice collectible set. It is filled with commentaries, specials, and deleted scenes. It is pretty awesome.

So, what do you think? Will you give Sports Night a try? Tell me below!

Until next time, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!