TV does NOT kill creativity. Bad choices kill them.

There’s no arguing with statistics, at least if they’re done right. Over 90% of American homeowners have a television set, whether it’s for company, sizzling their children’s brains, or yelling at bad sports players who will never hear you no matter how loud you yell. The point is, if you live in the United States, and you have enough moolah to live an average life, you’ve probably got one of those screens in your home.

    These babies are so popular they plague any normal household they find themselves in. If you’ve ever read any articles criticizing them, they’ll tell you “hide your kids, hide your wife,” because apparently television is ruining the world’s creativity. To put it into a metaphor, these articles paint television as some mass murderer who runs around your villages of creativity and either burns their huts down, or he turns into a cannibal and eats all the little idea babies and children until they’re all a bloody mess of bones in a bucket. The point is, television is now the butt of all the high school essay assignments, too easily turned into another part of today’s propaganda on how to make yourself a better person and blah blah.

    Okay, sure, television can be bad. Watching it is purely an act of absorption. The culture clearly soaked in each and every episode shown on those things clings to your skin like grease sometimes, I get it. I sure don’t want my kids watching Jersey Shore either, but that’s another thing entirely. If you decide to watch that crap, sure, turn the tv off. You’re wasting your time with those celebrity tv shows. Don’t show your infant them either, because tv’s don’t like developing brain cells.

    When you get past that; however, you have to realize that tv isn’t the ruination of society.

    One could make the analogy that television is like a hamburger or some sort of other greasy food. Sure, it feeds you one meal, but eventually, the harmful stuff crawling around in your red meat is going to tunnel itself into places in your body it doesn’t belong. That’s proven fact. However, if you’re going to stick to that analogy, think of it this way: sure hamburgers are bad, but not all of them are. Perhaps some of you don’t like the veggie burger out there, but guess what: it’s healthier, and it still tastes good.

    However, America’s problem here is not with television, the truth is, our problem is moderation. We’ve got the reputation as the obese country because holding back is not our strong suit. As luxuries are poured in all around us, it’s hard not to just indulge ourselves in the limitless wealth and prosperity that we receive. We become so transfixed with pretty shiny things that we forget that someone had to make these pretty shiny things. Last year, during Sociology class, we watched a video about a Chinese factory filled with girls who were making beads for the dinky bead necklaces for our Mardi Gras holiday. They get paid less than what we pay for them, which is like 10 cents. Plus, those bead necklaces are not as easy to make as we think, yet to us they’re some weird fashion accessory to apparently strip for. I can remember how those girls laughed when they saw what we do with those things. Those Americans are crazy, they said.

    Damn straight we are.

    There’s no question that we can spend hours in front of the screen, just as we Americans are in the habit of doing, but that’s where our problem jumps in. We spend hours and hours watching, and then time slips from our hands, our children are screaming on the streets, and the television becomes the black sheep in all of this.

    No, it’s not.

    If you’re a writer, it can actually be one of the best tools. Of course, I could be laying on the grass, staring at the sunshine, but on the television, you’re seeing the other side of writing books: when the characters created come into action in a world other than words. Cut out the television shows that really have no cultural value or fictional value, and you might learn something. I’m picking up screen writing because I like it that much. You think my writing life or creativity is dying because of television?

    Nope! My point exactly.

    Moderation is the key here people. Some of us need a wake-up call with what’s important, and that applies to a lot of people. However, we’re not aimless and we’re certainly not hopeless. Take what you spend time on and make it productive, then we’ll get somewhere.

    See you Friday. J

People I thank the Lord for… Part 2

    “It is no good that the man should be alone…”

        Genesis 2:18

    I just moved into college two days ago, and before I even arrived at the college, a friend was already offering her help to set up my room. Since, we’ve hung out, gone into town, accompanied me all the way to Best Buy and eaten with me. Times were awkward, great, we’ve laughed, met new people, and made this college shine several hues brighter.

    That’s friends are for, right? After a lonely summer, she reminded me of that.

    My Mom and Dad helped me move into college, have been there every step of the way, and are still as encouraging and loving as they always have been. I’m thankful to have them as my parents, and I wish many others had the relationship that my parents and I have.

    I miss my brothers too, the two men in my life that have understood me but still give me hugs and talks on the phone.

    Forgive me, but I just love these relationships of mine.

    One Shout Out I have for a person in my life I Brant Hansen, a radio speaker for the Christian music station Air1. The day I found he had Asperger Syndrome, and yet he was still on the air, hilarious, and wonderful to listen to, I really felt I had a chance. I have that condition too, and seeing someone who could be successful in their work environment, and actually do really well… It’s really inspiring. I hope that man is on air for many days to come. He deserves that position, and livens up the very repetitive station. xD

    Another shout out goes to Mark O’Brien, one of my most active supporters. He gave me a statement to post this week:

    “ I vote for Prince Harry, and his love of the people. How he stays on the battlefield, stays on the front lines of welfare, stays in the peoples’ hearts as the Prince who would never be king, though, he was already a king.”

    -Mark O’Brien

    This is just a reminder to be thankful to the people close to you. It’s too easy to take these people for granted when they’re so wonderful every day.

    See you Wednesday!

    

The Value of the Written: What’s in between the book covers. (SO#16)

There were many reasons why I never completely enjoyed History class. I am a major fan of stories, and yet, I could never seem to plant my feet firmly into the subject. When I would read timelines, it would just become a barrage of information to cram into the already shaky attic of my mind, and I soon became sick of times and dates. It was like trying to eat a stadium’s worth of Jello, and then regurgitating it onto a test paper. That’s what history felt like in my head, but perhaps I was just thinking of it wrong.

    If you ask a common high school student about their English class, most of them will tell you they ended up hating the classics because they were boring blah blah blah. This is another example of coming onto a matter with a wrong approach of thinking. However, unfortunate high school students will never appreciate those titles now, because school never gave them the chance to find and love it on their own. Each book is like a recipe in a cooking class, except, instead of making and appreciating the delicious cake or bread the recipe creates, they try to pick out clusters from the flour or sugar, and try to derive meaning from them. I’ve heard too many teachers come up with farfetched ideas on what the novel is trying to say, and suddenly, I have to know these ridiculous ideas for a test.

    You see what happens to good things in classrooms? Sometimes I wish the world were just simple and sweet, that things didn’t have millions of onion layers to peel and cry over. However, life is just that, a bunch of layers to pierce through.

    It’s not all too bad if you have the right tools.

    Now, I’m out of stuffy high school, and I’ve finally gotten to think about it a little bit. History isn’t as bad to me now because I try to think of it the way I like to think about it: a story. One of the most sad of tales, to my opinion, in a lot of history is the story of the book, its rise and fall.

    To think of it, Twilight is nothing like Shakespeare, although, it might show today’s society’s obsession with vampires, but it certainly is no love tale to actually look up to. Shakespeare is not all that much better in terms of role models, but you can feel the culture in every word, the poetic sound of the plays, and, since Shakespeare was no original, you can see where his works came from. Back then, people weren’t too busy partying or something of the sort, and crazy geniuses could create beautiful, cultural works. Now, probably most geniuses are taking some sort of med, or pill to make the ouchies fly away. I know Tennyson would have probably taken some serious depression meds during the creation of his poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.”. That is to say, our culture really isn’t all that cultural anymore.

Books are running out of style, Borders is dead, and Barnes and Noble isn’t doing so hot either.

Popular music all sound the same, so we can remix it and people can jump to it… great, is this what my grandkids will know me for? Some drunken, party mobster?

Thank God there are still books and movies though. Call me escapist all you want, but actually, reading is good for you. I’ll give you ten quick reasons why:

  1. You’ll kill the Your Grammar Sucks videos.
    1. The reason this video series actually works is because people online are so haphazard on spelling and grammar on the Internet. You’re painting yourself as an idiot on a place that everyone can see, and hard to erase. Connecting any dots?
  2. You’ll regain faith in humanity
    1. I certainly did. If a writer can make up a good guy from their guts, that means a good guy has to be out there somewhere.
  3. Escapism is actually good for you.
    1. Well, not entirely, but reading is proven to lower stress. Just allowing yourself to immerse in a book means what’s going around you disappears. Goodbye anger issues for the next five pages…
  4. Get a job.
    1. I’ve heard employers like people who can flaunt how smart they are, and how better to prove yourself a smart-ass (I decree I may use only one bad word per post, sorry. :P) than to throw around big words like parsimonious or callipygian? (Don’t look up those words.)
  5. You could make some (imaginary) friends.
    1. If you’re someone who sucks at making conversation, what other than to find some book-junkies like you to connect with? Then you can gush on your Twilight or Fifty Shades of Gray with a bunch of other people and give the books the fan-service it deserves.
  6. Your English Teacher might actually start to like you.
    1. Reading means you might actually learn to write, meaning all of those bad essay grades can finally at least come up to average! Then you can make friends with your teacher while you feign interest in the book you’re reading in class.
  7. It could prove you have a heart.
    1. When you get that character crush, you know you have feelings again. You are not some heartless nerd, you’re a man or woman who loves a (fictional) character.
  8. You can become a know-it-all punk.
    1. You might learn how to answer some trivia from what you learn in books. Impress all your friends with snippets of random information!
  9. Your brain can come out of the closet.
    1. Reading, hard core or couch potato style, actually helps with the blood flow up in the attic, meaning reading could be the essential vitamin of the day for your brain!
  10. You can stab a few stereotypes in their butt.
    1. We are inevitably affected by culture, but when you see that fictional character of a different race or culture become stupendously awesome, then everyone of that race can be the brother/sister of that character.

Even if the culture of reading may be falling apart, it’s still important to go pick up a volume, or at least buy an e-reader. I know it’s difficult to pick up the book you despised back in the old high school, but seeing it from that non-school angle might help restore your love of reading. At least do it for your brain!

See you this Wednesday, on a review of one of the Sherlock Holmes books!


The Secret of Prodigies that no one ever told you (SO#15)

They say intelligence is born somewhat of genetics, yet, when I look at my own family, I have a father who went to Harvard, my two brothers were the top of their class, and yet, when it comes to me, I’m always a step behind. Worse than that, my brothers hardly had to do any work, and yet they sprung out on top, when silly old me actually attempted to do the same, yet had none of the same results. My oldest brother has a genius IQ and seems to have the cards just playing out for him… I won’t downplay his effort, I know he put his heart into it, yet it’s bittersweet. I could never dream of doing the things he’s done… nor would I want to. I’m no fan of the complications of computer science, I just tend to have a lot of friends who major in it. Needless to say, I just wonder, where did the genius IQ and Harvard go when it came to me? I certainly didn’t receive it, not the way they did. But that’s got me thinking, perhaps I’ve been going about intelligence the wrong way.


    Just to begin, the IQ test is not the best measure of intelligence. Don’t trust it.

    It has its merits, no doubt about it, but it’s skewed towards us rich white folk with enough money to put our children in schools. The reason the IQ test was made in the first place was to make the teacher’s job easier back when schools began. They could separate the fast and slow kids into their groups so a curriculum could be more focused on inidividual’s traits. However, when the USA stupidly decided to use this test to choose which immigrants could enter the US way back when, it was just stupid. Of course an African, who may have never seen a school building in their entire life, would not be able to answer the questions an IQ test gives you. IQ IS NOT WHAT MAKES YOU SMART.

    IQ definitely can prove a intelligence on a limited scale; however, it’s just like any test. If you haven’t taken the class and have never heard of the subject, you’re not going to pass the test for it. Simple as that.

    So question, what differentiates us and the geniuses who just bleed intelligence, the prodigies? Why is it so easy to tell who is smarter and who isn’t, when the IQ test is biased? Why aren’t we all geniuses?

    According to the Lumosity blog, there was one trait that all child prodigies had in common. HINT: It’s not IQ.

  “Results reveal one consistent trend. Regardless of their performance in every other aspect, all prodigies placed in the 99th percentile for working memory ability, or the ability to store and manipulate multiple pieces of information. Used in everyday life to juggle multiple activities or hold onto a thought when interrupted, working memory proved to be the most exceptional trait shared by every prodigy in this study.”

    That’s it? Working Memory? That’s all they had in common? No alien transformations or huge foreheads acting as solar panels of genius intellect and such things? No, it’s something as simple as having an exceptional amount of SHORT TERM MEMORY. Being able to keep what is relevant in the brain. No wonder Sherlock Holmes makes so much sense, if a man were that observant and knew what each thing he observed meant, connecting the dots is certainly elementary, my dear Watson.

    Of course, memory is not the entirety of what makes one a genius, they do tend to have higher IQ’s, and they probably have many other traits, such as highly-developed problem solving abilities, and having been raised in the right environment to harbor the kind of memories they needed to become who they are. I hate to say it, but not everyone can become a genius, there is some genetics going on in there and environment, and brain capacity… but the point of this blog is to prove that that is not all there is. Geniuses and prodigies are still HUMAN, even if we sometimes paint them otherwise.

    To end this off and make you think a little on what you should be doing with you head, have a Sherlock Holmes quote.

    “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

    Have a good week… and look forward to ANOTHER HARRY POTTER REVIEW! (Sorry, had to do another one. Goblet of Fire is my favorite of the series, it deserves a review.)

    (Link to the Lumosity article, if anyone’s interested: http://blog.lumosity.com/prodigy/ )

That Smile is a Miracle- Free Verse(SO#14)

 

 

 

 

My head holds no value for time

My instrument was never for precision

    The clock strikes with hard hands

Upon its innocent white bottom.


Tell me- am I wrong?

I never had the confidence

    To tell truth sliced in lies

When I can’t tell the difference between them.

 

    You may call me naïve, young

For me to speculate on years

    But precisely what am I to look forward to?

To becoming a copy-paste adult?

 

    Never forget- spring comes again

And again and again and again

    Is every breath a cycle to blend in the mind?

Or am I just a waste of time?

 

But your smile forever comes to mind

Again, again, and I smile inside

    Time will take me wherever it pleases

But your little gifts keep me alive.

 

~~

    Call me random, but I love doing random things. It is simply in my nature. Forgive the poem, but I was spurting feelings I have felt for a while, I suppose. In awkward words and no sense of rhythm, I speculate on this time I have.

    However, if I were a deity of some sort, (which I assure you, I don’t think of myself as one), then perhaps, wouldn’t it be hard not to think this way? Life can become somewhat of a pattern, and if one is not a witness of the little miracles in every day, I could see it becoming something dull. We would be slaves to the economy I suppose. Capitalism has to work somehow.

    There are miracles.

    I was working for my church’s VBS today. It was the first day. I had had a total of 5 and a half hours to sleep, and in all honest truth, my heart was not entirely up to the task. What was a miracle to me was not the VBS itself though. I played with those kids all day, and honestly, along with the ups, there were plenty more slopes to fall into. Plus, there are the piles of things I also have to worry about, tasks I have to do at home, like write my novel for the workshop, write this blog, do my finger exercises, spend time with my parents, etc. I know that sounds relatively easy compared to what some others do, but I worried.

    I worry for my finger a lot. I broke my pinkie recently (story here: https://rookswriter.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/this-is-what-happens-when-i-play-sports/), and I just got out of the cast this week. I know it’s too early to worry about it, but I can’t bend it yet. I can bend it a little more now, but the thickness I feel in my finger, the feeling that I could move it, but it doesn’t move. I would be lying if I said it didn’t frighten me. Hands are such an important and dexterous part of your body; I can’t believe I took for granted that fact for so long.

    At the end of this VBS day, I felt like a dirty rag. I did my job well, I think, but I could feel the heaviness underneath my eyelids. I was pretty much ready to collapse into the car when I looked back.

    One of the children smiled and waved at me. Her mother did too. The child’s face beamed at me with a sort of light in her eyes. The authenticity of her smile, gosh, I can’t forget it. It was as if someone had just packed it in a present and had given it to me for Christmas. It had that kind of magic.

    That’s why I believe in miracles. That’s why I believe I can go further than perhaps I think I can. You can too.

    See you this Wednesday, with a review on Legend by Marie Lu.

5 Reasons why Breaking my Pinkie wasn’t so bad after all (SO#13)

Now, I don’t know about you, but when you’re pretending to be a teapot, having your cast act as a spout really raises your credibility. Since my arm is now one huge bulk of blue fiberglass action, my arm now more closely resembles that of the smooth curved spout of a teapot than of a human arm. I must say, it’s a deal-breaker for the kids. Now, I can sing ‘I’m a little Teapot’ with no guilt on my conscience.

    Those matters aside, I must say, this thing isn’t all boos boos and pity parties: it can actually be a useful tool that improved my summer plans. Although I can’t hang on the beach and sauté myself like the rest of you suckers, I certainly am not wallowing in my own misery here. In fact, here’s 5 reasons why this thing has improved my summer vacation.

5. Human Slaves

    I’m not only speaking about my parents here, a lot of people are just out to help me. I can now look 10 times more suave because my mother has to help me write, and her handwriting is 10 times better than my normal dominant-handed writing. People do judge you, at least a little, by your handwriting, so I now appear much more civilized. Mwahahaha. Don’t forget people helping me do anything that would require two hands, like walking the dog, or lifting anything heavy. I did try to do things by myself for a while, but then, eventually, I realized I was annoying people just by trying to. Might as well leave it to them. xD (And I extend my thanks to all my dutiful servants.)

4. More Time to myself

    Although this means I’ll be making less $ this summer, after a difficult college year, delaying the start of my job actually allowed me to kick back a little. I do want to start working as soon as possible, but I can’t say I don’t appreciate the hours I’ve had not having to worry about it.

3. A better Weapon

    If I ever had to face an enemy now, I can surely use this hard cast to put a dent into someone’s head. Violent, yes, and very likely to hurt myself as well, however, I do feel safer. I don’t think even a baseball bat could break this thing!

2. Great for Parties

    Ever had to worry what you’ll talk about with your friends? No fear! You’ve got a great conversation starter right on your arm! Of course, it gets repetitive at times, but adding a little spice to your explanations doesn’t hurt. Seeing the different variation of human reactions is quite hilarious. My favorite though was when my best friend came up to me and starting cracking up. (Funny thing is, she broke her ankle like a few weeks later. And though it is horrible of me to say this, I felt she received retribution that day.)

  1. Good excuse to come up with stories about how you got the injury

    By the time I finished college, I had come up with 4 different stories, including beanstalks, punching sharks and adventures with knights! I eventually came to the point where my friends would violently prod me for the real story. I did tell them eventually, but the suspense was enough for me.

    So if you ever break your arm, HAVE NO FEAR! Of course it will have repercussions, I have no doubt of it, however, it’s not all a downer!

    On another note, look forward to a scene from a novel I had been writing recently this Wednesday! I’m switching the title to ‘Unmarked’ for now, because of a huge setting change I made! Wish me luck!

    To Wednesday!

    A.C. Rooks

To All My Readers (SO#12)

Gratitude

Gratitude is riches
It’s the golden rule of wealth

An act of gratitude
The power to change
The circumstance of life

The more grateful
I can be for what I have
The more riches
I will receive

Any graceful thoughts
Are literally creating wealthy
To have a rich life
Is to be grateful for everything with my life
It’s such a blessing thing to do

The magic of gratitude
Like it possible for me to live in an abundance life
The more I focus on feeling gracious
The more blessing I will magnificently feel
Like magnetic

Feeling gratitude for my life
Guarantee I will receive more
I will have so much gratitude
When I truly feel it
by Ismael Mansoor

~~

Here’s a poem for all my readers… Thank you so much for the support! You guys are the peanut butter to my jelly, the flower to my stalk, the light to my lamp, and so much more. J So thank you so very much!

See you Wednesday!

A.C. Rooks