Cartoon Bears and Dealing with 2016

Huff-Post-WTF-GOPThe world has become super depressing in recent months.

Not that this breaking news for anyone who happens to be plugged into any type of media these days.

Every few weeks the profile photos of my Facebook friends change to pay tribute to the latest victims of devastation. Outcries for justice, law reform and just civilized humanity continues to trickle into all walks of life.

As I’ve shared before, acts of terrorism and public shooting sprees have always been part of my life as I am the generation  that was in preschool during the Oklahoma  City bombing, elementary school during Columbine High and junior high during 9/11. But as a 27 year old living in a major US city, recent weeks watching the evening news as left me nauseous.


orlandoA man (if you can call him that) has become a presidential nominee because of support behind his asinine ideal of building a freaking wall to shut refugees out of our country, in addition to calling for a registry of an entire population based on religion. Apparently he and those who support him are totally oblivious of what happened during World War II.

Innocent young men are being tasered, beaten, assaulted and shot to death by those who are supposed to be charged with protecting our freedom through ensuring safety because of the color of their skin.

Police officers who drastically differ from their disgraceful rouge colleagues now face increased fear for their lives while enduring open hatred aimed towards them, serving as the scapegoat for the sins of dirty cops.  Memorials around blood stained sidewalks are the new norm serving as a reminder of the fate of so many who made the decision to leave their house at the same time a mentally unstable, terrorist acted on plans of destruction.

webarebears_promoWith the heaviness of the news being almost panic-attack inducing, I decided to take a break from the evening news. And what better way to break from reality for a brief moment is to watch the complete opposite? This past week while eating dinner, my television has kept me entertaining with the hijinks of We Bare Bears.

Incase you don’t have any kids or haven’t made a recent break from reality, the 30 minute cartoon on Cartoon Network is about three adopted brothers who are fond of the internet, eating and scheming.

cn_cee_we_bare_bears__cn3__wallpaper_01_1600x900As much as the word lol is written in my daily text messaging, nothing has made me actually laugh out loud like watching this show- so much so Annie Cat was quite startled (we need to work on her sense of humor).

In case you’re wondering, my favorite character is Ice Bear because of my soft spot for polar bears (stemming from the Coca Cola Christmas Bears), and how he refers to himself in third person. Also, he sleeps in the refrigerator and for most of my childhood I tried to come up with a workable way to figure out how to sleep in one without suffocating. Spoiler alert- the puzzle was never solved.
tri-movie-postersDuring the 30s and 40s movies, especially cartoons, were massively popular because of their cheap ability to allow people to escape war and poverty plaguing the world. And while the movie theater has become a site of mass murders, the concept of becoming lost in a clear-cut world for a bit of time still remains therapeutic almost a century later.  

As an active adult who is plugged into to social media and the real world, a full escape from reality would never happen. Besides, in order to be part of the solution there cannot be retreating and avoidance. However for a brief hour each day while decompressing after work and everyday human-being stressors of the 21st century, We Bare Bears is unexpected soul food.

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A Generation Desensitized to Gun Violence

NY-Daily-News-CoverAlong with rest of the world on August 26th, I stared at my computer screen horror watching the final minutes of 24-year-old Alison Parker. The flooding of dread that washed over me while viewing the footage was not due to the graphic nature of the actual shooting. It was from knowing that when Parker woke that morning, she had no idea that instead of covering the news she would be an international headline story in the worst way possible. Her cameraman Adam Ward most likely had ambitions of capturing a newsworthy moment that would go national. 72 hours ago, he would have laughed if someone told him that he would be a household name after being captured by a camera wielding gunman.

My arms were covered in goosebumps sparked by terror as Lester’s camera crept up to the trio filming the fluffy feature piece for WDBJ morning show. Similar to watching a horror movie, I wanted to yell at the oblivious bystanders that all hell was about to erupt. But the image that has caused me to lose sleep the past two nights was the look of horror on Alison’s face. The screenshot that appeared on the New York Daily News the day after, that depicted the split second of realization. The dumbfounded expression of in-studio Kimberly McBroom only added to the gut wrenching footage. The entire world would watch her reaction on replay, as she unexpectedly watched her coworkers be executed on live television.

With my social media newsfeed flooded with reactions of the shooting this week, it was clear that I was not the only person who was particularly struck by this tragedy. Yet as I was reading the outpouring of reactions to the New York Daily News cover story, something occurred to me. Why was it that only an act of gun violence involving an element of shock caught the attention of the masses? Personally, this was first time since the Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 that an incident involving gun control struck a nerve. Again, it was the element of shock without a motive fueling the mass murders that left the nation outraged. In between the two massacres, there have been countless of public shootings that have been reported, but nothing registered as disturbing as the “typical public shootings’.  Perhaps the troubling situation is that myself, and others in my generation have become a bit desensitized to the mass public casualties. Just the fact that most people can understand the phrase ‘typical public shooting’ and the differentiation between massacres like Sandy Hook is troubling. Continue reading