All posts by mturken

Theatre Things

Hello all,

So sorry I have not written in what seems like forever. I have been incredibly swamped with my school musical! I’ve mentioned a few (thousand) times on here that I do theatre, and more often, technical theatre. I am on construction crew and run crew, so I build the set and then move it around during the show.  I am also an actor, but I have not been in a show in a while. I have found instead that lately, I more enjoy filling my hands with splinters, getting immensely frustrated trying to build secret swinging doors, barely sleeping whilst finishing a set, wearing all black, handling dry ice because our fog machine broke (?), and making faces at people onstage in the hopes that they have to quell their laughter in the middle of a line.

In case you didn’t catch that part about barely sleeping, it’s true. Seriously. I have barely slept. Closing night was two days ago and I am just now starting to catch up on sleep. During the week before the show, or tech week (also referred to affectionately as Hell Week), I stayed at school building things until midnight, and then as late (early?) as one, two, three, and four AM. We would literally leave each other with a fond, “Have a nice nap!” and “See you in a few hours!”

I know most of my readers are probably balking at the absurdity of this. And for all you parents out there who are reaching for the phone and looking up the number of my school principal, hold on. None of us are forced to stay that long, and only a small group do. But we all do it because we want to. I love this stuff. I live for this. This whole week and half or so where I am drinking iced coffee like it’s water, experiencing an emotional roller coaster from lack of sleep, rushing to get things done, trying not to act on my mental “Show Week Hit List”, and neglecting all of my homework is my favorite time of the year. The thing for me about theatre is that I love it even when I hate it. Even when I am crying behind a set piece during the entire second act or making up mental threats for people who yell at me because they are just as stressed as I am, I live for this. Crazy? Maybe. Odd? Without a doubt. But I would not have it any other way.

Segue: This is why I’ll be majoring in theatre (and something else, who knows really?) in college. Which college, you ask? Tulane University, Class of 2019! I am very excited and paralyzingly horrified–refer to some of my other posts.

I think this gets you pretty much up-to-date with my always fascinating life. Remember to find my email in the “About Me” section in the top right corner of this site and email me with post requests or general business queries!

Submitted with undying love for,
theatre, construction, dry ice which you can in fact touch with your bare hands (just not for long), knowing where I’m going to college, and Tulane University,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Laugh Like a Crazy Person

Few things are better in this world than a really good laugh.

I’m talking side-splitting, belly-shaking, tear-inducing laughter. The kind where you can not stop and people are just kind of sitting there, uncomfortably waiting for you to STOP LAUGHING ALREADY and finish your thought. The kind that is often loud, never cute. As in you literally turn away or look down or cover your face because it’s that bad. You know the one.

Now when it comes to side-splitting, belly-shaking, tear-inducing laughter, it is best shared with others. I hope it is clear that when you laugh like this alone, you simply look deranged. Now close your eyes (no, AFTER you read this part, silly) and imagine someone laughing like this while you absolutely do not get the joke. Like seriously, nothing was funny. Or worse yet, someone laughing like this alone, as in they are quite literally all alone. Deranged right?

But when you share this crazed laughter with even one other person, it is one of the best feelings on the planet. To know that you are both in on this joke, this one thing that probably was not even that funny, but you are both left reeling and making that strangled “oh” noise after the laughter dies out. To know that you made someone laugh that hard or that someone made you laugh that hard is fantastic.

Furthermore, I thoroughly believe that laughing really hard with someone else strengthens your bond with that person (or people). It creates memories and it brightens your day. It also adds years to your life and all that jazz.

Moral of the story: don’t just laugh more; laugh like a crazy person more.

Submitted with undying love for,
laughing, crying, and being in on the joke,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Sexism Where You May Not Have Noticed It Before…

I’m sure it is quite obvious to everyone that there are sexist messages in social media–TV, movies, ads, music, etc. In regards to music, I’m sure we could all point out hip-hop/rap songs with sexist lyrics or messages. But this is too obvious (though still an issue). No, forget the gangsta rap. Songs like Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$)” or Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle” are easily identifiable as objectifying women. One less criticized place I have been hearing it is in–get this–country music.

First of all, yes, I listen to country. I listen to a lot of things. Country is not my favorite of the music I listen to, but I generally like some of everything. Go read my very first blog post, because I mentioned this, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to you if you are a loyal reader, which obviously you all are!

So yes, country music. I had not noticed until Maddie and Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song” (http://genius.com/Maddie-and-tae-girl-in-a-country-song-lyrics) came out, but this genre of music has been fraught with sexist themes as of late. Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye are a nineteen-year old duo who are actually the first females in two years to have a number one single on the country radio charts.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Upon further review, I noticed that there are TONS of country songs by male artists depicting some hot girl there to entertain them, not to be a real live functioning human being. Of course I know not all men share sexist views, but it is common enough that Maddie and Tae, and now myself, decided to write about it. Not only is their song catchy, but it calls male artists out, often directly, on the misogynistic clichés that appear in their music. Several of Maddie and Tae’s lyrics are references to–and digs at–other songs. Which is totally badass.

For example, “painted on cut-off jeans” refers to Chris Young’s “Aw Naw” in which he is about to leave a bar when he sees a hot girl taking shots and just has to dance with her and “show off those jeans you painted on”. He describes how he should really leave and was not planning on leaving with anyone, but proceeds to dance with this hot mystery girl until late into the night. Furthermore, he claims it is not his fault. Basically this girl is so hot that he had to stay. She made him. Isn’t this disturbingly similar to the ridiculous notion that girls wearing less clothes are just “asking” to be sexually harassed? There is much more to a woman than her jeans.

The lyric about these stereotypes driving them “red-red-red-red-red-red-redneck crazy” is a reference to Blake Shelton’s “Boys Round Here”, in which he describes country boys and how girls simply cannot get enough of them. I’m sorry, could you move? I can’t see around your HUGE EGO.

When Maddie and Tae sing that “shaking my money maker ain’t never made me a dime” and that they will literally slap someone if he tells them one more time he’s “gotta get [him] some of that”, it is in reference to Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That”. First of all, some of what? WE ARE PEOPLE, NOT OBJECTS. You do not just get to decide you want “some”. Rhett also describes a girl “shaking her money maker like a heart breaker”. Maddie and Tae valiantly point out how absurd this is. They’ve never made a dime off of theirs’!

The declaration that “there ain’t no sugar for you in this shaker of mine” and that they will “slide on over” unless the idiot doesn’t want to be slapped refers to Florida Georgia Line’s “Get Your Shine On”. This male duo is describing a hot girl (have you found the pattern yet?) and they insist that she “slide that little sugar shaker over here”, which, beyond being ridiculous, is rather disgusting. I don’t think I have to further describe how sexist the idea is that these men seem to think they can use women for their looks whenever they want. A woman being an independent and self-controlled human being seems fairly self-explanatory.

Finally, the ending’s “I ain’t your tan-legged Juliet” is a not-so-subtle dig at Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” in which he exclaims that the girl he is talking to can be his “tan-legged Juliet”. Charming. Lucky her. Just what she has probably always wanted.

I’m sure there are lots more references in the song, and all of the above ones (and plenty of other lyrics) can apply to several songs, but these are the most obvious ones. Whether or not you care about country music, I urge you to check out the link I included above to the lyrics of Maddie and Tae’s song, because it is truly clever and, again, totally badass. Hopefully, men can drop their dated clichés, their egotistical ideas, and their sexist views so that we can live in a world where it is obvious that a woman makes her own choices and that no means no, mister! A world where a girl topping the country radio charts is actually not so uncommon.

Submitted with undying love for,
feminism, feminism being the belief that men and women should be equal, feminism NOT being a radical and unattractive idea, “Girl in a Country Song” by Maddie and Tae, and calling people out on their bullshit,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Your Channukah Questions: Answered!

Ah, Channukah.

That age-old celebration of–wait–of what exactly? What even is Channukah? How many days is it again? What do you do? For god’s sake, how do you even play dreidel? I’m sorry, what? What the heck is sufganiyot?

Allow me to shed some light on the subject! This year, I’ve gotten a ton of questions about Channukah, which is understandable if you’re not Jewish, but I feel like I’ve even been getting some questions about things that I thought everyone knew. So here, for your enjoyment and educational purposes, are some FAQs and some not so FAQs. Consider your Channukah questions answered!

Q: What is Channukah?
A: Channukah, loosely translated, means “festival of light”. It is a Jewish holiday celebrating the miracle of the Jewish people surviving because of a little lamp of oil. But more on that later.

Q: Why do we celebrate Channukah?
A: If you want the full story, check out this link: http://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/article_cdo/aid/102978/jewish/The-Story-of-Chanukah.htm. Here’s the long story short: 2000 years ago, Israel was in control of the Syrians. Throughout many years and many rulers, they ended up very oppressed. They were not allowed to practice Judaism or study the Torah. A group called the Maccabees was formed to fight for the Jews. Antiochus, the king at the time, sent a much larger army to destroy the Maccabees, and in an epic battle, yada yada yada, the Maccabees won! They returned to Jerusalem to liberate it and clear the temple of idols placed there by the Syrians. They made a crude menorah out of metal but only found a small lamp of oil to light it with. Here comes the part you probably know–it was only enough to last one night, but it burned for eight! It was a miracle! Supposedly, God had protected the Jewish people, so a holiday was born.

Q: How many days/nights is Channukah?
A: Eight! Remember that whole oil thing? Told you it would be important.

Q: What do you do on Channukah?
A: We light candles on the menorah (adding one for each night), exchange presents, play dreidel, eat latkes and other yummy foods, and be generally merry.

Q: What is dreidel and how do you play it?
A: Dreidels are little spinning tops. We play dreidel on Channukah because when the Jews were oppressed, they would study the Torah in secret. Whenever officials would walk by, they took out the little spinning tops to make it look like they were playing with those instead of practicing Judaism. A dreidel has four sides, each with a Hebrew  letter on it. The letter are nun, gimel, hay, and shin, which is actually an acronym for “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham” meaning “A Great Miracle Happened  There”. This is in reference to the whole miracle of Channukah thing. Each letter also corresponds to an action in the game. When playing dreidel, place a large pile of candies (traditionally gelt) in the middle and give a few to each player. Take turns spinning the dreidel. If it lands on:
Nun: do nothing
Gimel: winner, winner, chicken dinner–take all the gelt!
Hay: take half the pile of gelt.
Shin: put one of your pieces of gelt back into the pile.
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When playing dreidel, remember that it can finish rather quickly. Feel free to play as many times as you wish before feasting on gelt.

Q: What are the Channukah foods?
A: Excellent question!
Latkes: potato pancakes eaten because they are fried in oil (remember the story?). Think hashbrowns meets dinner food. They’re delicious and traditionally eaten with sour cream or applesauce.
Gelt: those chocolate coins you use for dreidel. You’ve seen them at the store–they come in little yellow nets?
Sufganiyot: fancy Hebrew name for jelly doughnuts eaten because, once again, they are fried in oil.

Q: What is a menorah?
A: A menorah, or chanukiah, is a candelabra-type thing lit on Channukah. It has nine branches/candle-holders, as opposed to early menorahs in the temple as symbols which had seven branches. A menorah has places for eight candles for the eight days as well as an additional spot for the shamash or “helper” candle. You use the shamash to light the other candle. The shamas’ spot is in the center or on the side and is usually a bit higher than the other candles. After lighting the menorah, you do not blow out the candles, but let them burn all the way down until the flame goes out.

I hope this has been sufficiently helpful for any of you curious ones! f you have any more questions, comment or email me at chattymaddieblog@gmail.com!

Submitted with undying love for,
Channukah, latkes, gelt, being Jew-ish, and informing people,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Life Hacks

Recently, in case you’re part of my “older” audience and you do not know, there has been a sort of trend called “life hacks”. They are supposed to be like little tidbits of information and tips to make your life better and easier! However, in a delightfully entertaining turn, they have taken on a more humorous air as people (like myself) start to make fun of it. They are things like, “Life Hack: wear a seatbelt” or “Life Hack: sled everywhere in the winter”. So I have come up with a quick list of my own little tips. Enjoy.

Life Hack: Buy a T-shirt and some lemons. Write “Life” on the shirt. Give lemons to everyone.

Life Hack: Empty some vanilla pudding cups. Fill them with mayonnaise. Hand out snacks to your enemies.

Life Hack: Replace the contents of a Windex bottle with blue Gatorade. Walk around spraying it into your mouth. Tell people you’re on a cleanse.

Life Hack: Switch the salt and sugar in your house. Watch the chaos ensue.

Life Hack: Walk up to a random stranger. Say hi like you haven’t seen each other in a while. Insist you know them. Proceed to give examples of fake situations where you have interacted. Get them to admit they know you. Show no mercy.

Life Hack: Go to a store. Try to pay for things in compliments.

Life Hack: Attend a sporting event. Fervently yell sports terms of every sport except the one you are watching. Count eye rolls.

Life Hack: Choose a victim at school, work, etc. Insist to everyone that it is said victim’s birthday. When they deny it, simply say it’s because they’re embarrassed. Make everyone break out in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday”.

Life Hack: Host a party and tell guests that you have hidden party favors around the venue. Describe amazing gifts that are supposedly in said favors. Get everyone to frantically search. Chuckle maniacally.

Life Hack: Dress up like a football player. Run around taking things from people’s hands and yelling “FUMBLE!”. Bonus points to have someone follow you around with commentary (i.e. “He’s at the ten, he’s at the twenty, he’s making his way to the end zone…!”).

Life Hack: Don’t buy a coat. Let your fiery hatred for humanity keep you warm in the winter months.

Submitted with undying love for,
life hacks, making fun of “trends”, and my good friend Jordan Dillard who thought of that last one,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

The College Craze

Good news: I received a request! So here it is: The College Craze (almost called The College Crawl, since I have visited twelve so far…).

The burning question is: what I am most looking forward to in college?

Well. What indeed?

Despite my growing unease and, consequently, growing efforts to quell the panic, I am really excited about college. New people, a new place, endless clubs and opportunities, study abroad, figuring out my life (that’s the goal at least), and those ca-raaazy college football games and parties and what have you! But I think it all boils down to one thing.

Independence.

Even now, I’m a rather independent person. You will rarely catch me asking for help–no, I can carry these various items just fine on my own, thank you very much!–and I honestly prefer being alone sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my friends, but I like my space. And although my parents are lovely people (and not just because they read this!), I am extremely excited to live largely on my own. My mother is not at all a “helicopter mom”, but I cannot wait to make my own decisions. To come and go as I please, to lounge around in pajamas all day if I want to, to be able to eat cookie dough for dinner, to make big choices about my future! Actually, that last part sounds terrifying.

As a senior, I have a lot more friends in college now than I did in past years, and while seeing their rollicking fun on social media instigates a fiery panic inside me, it also makes me yearn to graduate and move on! So to my readers: I am most excited about independence in college. And to my future roommate: I hope you like cookie dough.

Submitted with undying love for,
pajamas, cookie dough, independence, the part of my that is excited about going to college, six months until graduation (WOAH), and you for reading, my dear friend!
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Long Time, No Blog

Hello faithful readers! (Or sporadic readers. Or faithful reader–in which case, hi mom.)

I am so sorry I have been off the grid lately. Those college applications will chew you up and spit you out again. Note to self: apply to less than eight colleges. Another note to self: make sure that more than only three of said colleges are on the Common App. I didn’t post at all in the month of October! Do you know how upset I am about that?! IT IS THE ONLY MONTH IN WHICH I HAVE NOT POSTED!

*Quelling OCD*

But, I am done with all of my applications! YIPPEE!! I still have an award/scholarship and a couple Fine Arts things to apply to, but that’s beside the point. I have also gotten into three so far! Wow, the future! So I will hopefully be back to posting more.

That being said, I have a few blog ideas in circulation that are still being developed. Sooo here is your chance to make a request! Is there something specific you would like me to write about? A topic you want me to sound off on? A trend on which you would like my opinion? Someone you want me to give a shout out?  An event you would like me to give commentary at?! (I do birthdays, weddings, and bar mitzvahs.) Anything is fair game, so shoot me an email at chattymaddieblog@gmail.com and your request will be put through processing and handling (free of charge!). You can be any age to order.

Submitted with undying love for,
blogging again, being done with college apps!!!!, the future looming big and scary-like, Parks and Recreation (which I have started and finished while I’ve been gone), and all of you for reading!
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

The Truth About Israel

Every now and then on my blog, I tackle a very real and very controversial issue, not to spark anger in anyone reading, but simply because I believe that certain things need to be talked about. Furthermore, you don’t have to agree with my opinions, but my gosh, it is important to not only be educated, but to be able to hear those opinions which oppose yours. Today, I’ll be talking about the Israel vs. Palestine/Hamas issue (and yes, I know that Hamas and Palestine are two very different things). I will probably receive hate/skepticism/frustration, but I think it’s something that needs to be discussed in general.

First of all, I always have and always will stand with Israel.

This is not just because of my Jewish heritage and strong sense of Jewish identity, though those play a major role. It is also because Israel is an amazing country and why shouldn’t it have the right to exist?

Recently, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, took place. This is one of only a few days a year when my family attends services at temple. The rabbi always gives a sermon on something going on the world or any other lesson they want to talk about. On Rosh Hashanah, my rabbi gave a really great sermon on this very issue, which sparked my need to write about it. Everything he said really rang true with me, and I will outline a lot of his ideas here.

Probably the most important thing to remember is that everything Israel has done–every rocket launched, every death caused, every horrific event come to pass–has been committed out of self-defense. Israel hates doing what they are doing, but what choice does one have? Palestine has continually attacked Israel, who then has no choice but to fight back–after several attempts at peace, I might add. Israel is and has been at the ready to negotiate peace; it is Hamas who continues to break such agreements. And each time Israel fights back, in an attempt to protect their civilians, Hamas and Palestine paint a picture of terrible wrongs done to them–putting their own civilians at risk in order to appear “the good guy”. I think this YouTube video, entitled “Israel vs. Hamas Explained–Cartoon” really depicts the conflict well. Here is the link, should you choose to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt-pEVeOL50

Israel is also, as I said, an amazing country that treats it citizens well and welcomes people of all races and religions. Israel is the only country in its middle eastern region–yes, the only one–who provides basic civil rights to its people. Many of the same rights that we enjoy in the US–to expression, to privacy, to many freedoms–are not given to many other countries, but are given to Israelis. That seems like a very together country that should be allowed to exist, doesn’t it? Furthermore, Israel “won” its land fair and square. After much conflict in the 1930s and 1940s, The UN proposed a plan (Resolution 181) to divide what was Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, and the city of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish populace agreed to what was suggested, while most of the Arabs disagreed. Violence ensued, and even after Israel declared independence, Palestine continued to try to take back their old land.

I could sit here and try to tell you about who is right and who is wrong and whatnot, but that is not the point. The point is that both sides have done and are doing terrible things, but for different reasons. And in the end, here comes the most important idea that I want to take from reading this.

Some people claim not to be anti-Semitic, but to be anti-Zionist. Semitic people technically includes a variety of ancient cultures, Jews among them. Anti-Semitism is defined as “discrimination against or prejudice or hostility towards Jews”. Zionism is the movement, mostly of Jews, for a Jewish state. Zionism is defined as “political support for the creation and development of a Jewish homeland in Israel”. But the idea that was really the over arching theme of my rabbi’s sermon, is that there is no real difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

If you have nothing against Jewish people, than why would you have a problem with Jews–a people who have faced discrimination and oppression for hundreds of thousands of years–creating a safe haven, a homeland, for themselves? Martin Luther King Jr. was once asked about his position on anti-Zionism. He responded, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” King was a man who recognized hatred and prejudice when he saw it, as my rabbi so aptly pointed out. Zionism is the push for Jews to have a place to call their own. If you are prejudiced towards/against that  idea, you are practicing anti-Semitism, for that is just another way to be anti-Jew.

If you still don’t buy what I am selling, take a look at the Hamas charter. In its preamble, available to anyone who simply googles “Hamas charter”, it states that “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors”. Furthermore, the hadith, or a report of the “teachings, deeds, and sayings of the prophet Muhammed”, mentions even worse. Such Islamic teachings state that Muhammed said: “Judgement Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him'”. These are words believed to have been said by the Islamic prophet Muhammed, and therefore, learned men of Islam believe that such events will and should come to pass. I am in no way trying to denounce or bad-mouth Islam, I just want people to know the truth about the hatred towards Jews, and that such hatred from an anti-Semitic and an anti-Zionist point of view are very connected.

Sorry that was a long post, but I hope you read the entire thing, as it is extremely important to talk about. Of course, I only covered a fraction of the information on this complex issue, but it was a fraction of information that I think is not discussed enough. There are a lot of lies floating around about this issue, and I refuse to sit back and let that happen without putting my voice in the mix. Maybe this post did nothing to influence you either way, maybe it did, but I truly want to be objective here. Yes, I have an opinion and a side in the issue, but overall, both sides are doing things wrong things. I just believe that one side has good reasons and one does not. Until next time!

Submitted with undying love for,
standing with Israel,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

The Trouble with Teenagers

Here’s the thing.

You know those assumptions adults tend to make about teenagers? We’re all bad drivers. We’re irresponsible. We drink illegally and smoke drugs off the wazoo.  And don’t even get them started on our manners. You know what? They’re not true.

I mean, sure, those assumptions are all a little true. There are several teenagers who shouldn’t be driving, lots who drink/smoke, and tons who are irresponsible. But couldn’t the same be said of adults?

Ask any teenager–we are tired of being treated like a.) children, b.) felons, or c.) time bombs that are bound to go off at any second. We just want to be treated as people, and furthermore, as adults, if you could manage it, because for the most part, we act like it. And I would say that adults are starting to realize this. They are beginning to abandon their petty assumptions about our irrational behavior. But here’s where the trouble with teenagers flares up–someone goes along and proves one of those assumptions. Runs a red light, fails to study for a test, gets caught raiding the liquor cabinet, or disrespects authority. I don’t know, you name it, they do something to send adults’ trust plummeting once more.

As much as I want teenagers to prove their maturity, I just can’t uphold my faith in them when even a few do stupid things over and over again.

Example: Last night, someone (or a few someones most likely) came up my street and hit a few of the mailboxes with a baseball bat before moving onto a street a few blocks over from mine. Now of course, this could have been anyone. But–and here comes the trouble with teenagers again–how often have you heard of adults doing that? Smashing mailboxes with baseball bats is a crime that my generation thought of–those rascals.

Now once again, no one wants my generation to succeed and own up more than I do, but it is situations like this when I sigh and shake my head at the people I call my peers.

I would also like to take this time to address the mailbox whackers, not they will ever read this, I’m sure, but you never know. This shout out goes to those mindless behemoths who, instead of watching a movie or playing a quiet game of Monopoly or something (like a civilized person), decided, “Hey! I know what we can do! Let’s take this baseball bat and hit stuff! Other people’s property even!” probably met with choruses of “YEAH!!!!”.

Well. Thank you for, what, increasing the aesthetic beauty of our mailbox? Reminding us who’s boss? Exercising your swingin’ arm? Breaking in your new bat? Excellent work. You cracked our mailbox quite nicely! But next time you are feeling vapid and in need of entertainment, might I suggest playing with a ball of yarn or something instead? I’m sure that could fill the black hole in your brain just as well.

Submitted with undying love for,
acting like a mature human being, waking up to the police at my door asking about the value of my mailbox, and Generation X,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

 

Why Do We Say That?

Wow, hi there! I know I’ve been saying this a lot but long time no see! Or long time no read…

This time I really have been absolutely ridiculously busy with….drum roll please…………..COLLEGE ESSAYS! *disappointed sigh from the audience* I really have been wanting to post more, but all of the writing I have been doing has been for colleges. However, today I put my foot down and reach into the furthest corners of my brain where perhaps some sanity and cohesive thought still lies in order to bring to you: Some Phrases and Stigmas That I Think Are Ridiculous and Should Be Rethought in Today’s Society! (Notice I shortened the title a bit at the top there!)

There are a lot of phrases, ideas, stereotypes, sayings, and expressions today that we say and hear and don’t think too much about. But a lot of them, if you think about it, don’t make a whole lot of sense. So here we go.

1. Sick as a Dog, Working like a Dog, and other expressions that have to do with dogs
Just one question: What?? What connection is there between being sick and dogs, or working and dogs. I happen to think dogs are just lovely creatures–why would working someone to death (there’s another weird and rather ominous expression) be compared to working them like a dog? That doesn’t sound too nice! And what, are dog sicknesses just so intense and so memorable for dog-owners that the saying has just stuck? If someone has a legitimate explanation, by all means, leave a comment or email me promptly.

2. I Can’t Hit a Girl
Oh, please. Fine, I’ll hit you!
Now let me be clear: I am in no way violent or prone to hitting, and everyone who knows me can attest that while I am sassy, sarcastic, and sometimes pessimistic, I would last approximately .5 seconds in a fight. So I am not, of course, encouraging hitting! Use your words! But that male stigma is just ridiculous: “If I beat her up, everyone will hate me because I hit a girl and if I let her beat me up, everyone will laugh at me because I got beat up by a girl!” There’s this great line in 22 Jump Street, said by the villain, but still. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are cops trying to bust a drug dealer, and one of the “bad guys” happens to be a girl. At the end of the movie, her and Jonah Hill are fighting, and she punches him in the face, urging him to hit her back. He insists that he is not going to fight a girl, and she shoots back with, “If you thought of me as a person instead of a woman, you would hit me and not feel bad about it.” While men should absolutely treat women with respect, men should also treat men with respect. Everybody should treat everybody with respect. But in situations of self-defense, or if a fight does break out, punch who you gotta punch! A girl is a person, not a separate class of human to be stepped around and not looked directly in the eye.

3. There are Starving Kids in Africa…
Hear me out.
Don’t you just hate it when you’re complaining about something, and someone pulls this card on you? Maybe you’ve used it too, but you’ve got to admit, when you hear this, you kind of want to tell the person to shut up. Now, I completely understand where it comes from; a lot of the time, especially here in the good ole USA, our problems are miniscule compared to the problems of other places/people. We should definitely be more grateful for what we have and have the ability to recognize when we are being selfish or ridiculous. However, that being said, everyone has their problems. Some are big, some are small, but no matter who you are or what your experiences have been, you will never fully understand what that person is feeling, and it is not okay to downplay what they are feeling. To say something along the lines of, “Stop being ridiculous, there are starving kids in Africa and you’re complaining about (fill in the blank)” is to say, as my friend Weldon so eloquently put it today, “Stop being so happy because someone else could be happier.” IS THAT NOT RIDICULOUS? You are allowed to be sad about whatever you want to be sad about! Your topic of choice may not be that big of a deal, true, and yes, if you are completely being a spoiled brat or throwing a fit over something unimportant, then someone should definitely put you in line. But generally, your problems are your problems, and you reserve the right to feel as upset about them as you want.

4. Number Three in Reverse
This, as you may have caught on, is not a saying, idea, or phrase. I mean literally, Number Three (See #3) in Reverse. Just as you are allowed to be upset about what you want, when you want, you are just as entitled to your own excitement. Isn’t is just the worst when you are excited about something–I mean really excited, stupidly excited, even giddily excited–and someone tells you that “It’s not a big deal” or worse, to “Calm down”? It’s awful! Like oh thanks for squashing my dreams! Don’t underscore other people’s successes or joys in life! Sorry that you aren’t looking forward to something like that person is or that you aren’t happy about something, but it’s not okay for you to tell them not to be enthusiastic about something for goodness sakes!

5. YOLO
Jesus. Christ. This dumb. Thing. If you are not a part of my generation, this probably isn’t a problem for you, and it is starting to die down for my age group too, but it is still running rampant, and did for a while. Perhaps there are some of you who don’t know what YOLO stands for because you either A. are a hermit, B. are part of the “older” generation, or C. just got Internet, like, today (in which case, welcome to the Internet, congratulations on getting here, and thank you for visiting this site!). For those of you, YOLO stands for You Only Live Once. No duh, right? When this saying first started popping up, I truly was confused, and I was that kid saying, “Yeah. No way.” and “Wow, you mean you guys only live once? That’s rough, I live waayyyy more times than that pathetic number!” Furthermore, and here’s where it gets weird, this phrase sounds like kids are saying, “Take care of yourself! Wear your seat belt! Stay in school! Don’t do drugs! Cause you only live once!” But no. They are not saying that. They are really saying, “Hey, might as well try drugs! Might as well eat that doughnut! Might as well try cliff diving even though I have a faulty bungee cord! YOLO!” Ah, the logical and forward thinkers of my generation. I am truly proud.

So that’s all for now, since I do have to save some time for those aforementioned essays! I hope you have begun to rethink some of these weird and rather annoying stigmas and expressions, and perhaps started to come up with some more that just aren’t right! Remember! I still need an answer on that dog thing!

Submitted with undying love for,
applying to college (just kidding), but really not being able to wait until college, my lovely rants, blogging, free time, and you for sticking it out from my last post til now,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken