Should We Let Them Go?

8245307340_b2732a5285_z.jpgPhoto ©2015 by Raxon Rex [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

I recently rewatched one of my old favorite superhero films from Japan that I first watched when I was a child.

The premise of the film was that a father lost his wife and child due to a chronic, incurable disease. His wife’s spirit was able to pass on to the next life, but his son’s was trapped between the world of the living and dead as a lingering spirit. The father was given the opportunity by the villain organization of the film to revive his son and return him to the world of the living and possibly even his wife, but the cost was to sacrifice thousands of lives in order to do so. The heroes managed to stop the plot, but throughout the film the son made it clear that he was ok with staying dead, but his father refused to listen. This fact gave me some ideological questions.

It made me wonder to myself, if we had the power to bring back someone we know to life, would we take it? Do we have the right to forcibly take them away from the land in the sky and bring them back to this world? Would the dead be willing to accept their fate and reject their revival? Questions like these arose after I watched the film and even I don’t have my own answer to them.

Stories Matter

Photo ©2008 by Honou [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

2936937247_a44e91ca09_z.jpgWhere do stories come from? That was a question that I began thinking about months ago. During these months, my classmates and I were in the process of reading the book The House on Mango Street. The story of this novel was built up on a large series of stories from the narrator’s life. Each story was unique in their different way. I have written blog posts about this book before and like my peers, I have tried to find and build up an answer to my question. While reading this novel, I believed that there was no way I could answer my question, but after reading this novel and sitting down to think, I began trying to find answers.

A majority of the chapters in the story are stories that the author creates are most of the time random and have no definite significance. This led me to believe that my question was almost unanswerable if I used this novel. Watching a video one of my peers found online helped me change my opinion.

One of the quotes from this video was:

[A story] doesn’t have to be magnificent. Power is about lighting up dreams to action.

This quote made me think that there had to be some meaning that had to be in this book, even if there were no connections between all of these random stories. I hoped that finding some sort of meaning in this book, I could also find an answer to my question.

It literally took me 10 minutes after watching this video for me to find an answer to my question through this book. I took note of the topics of a large majority of the stories in the novel and realized that stories could come from anywhere. Each story was inspired from different topics, all diverse and different, yet they all had the purpose of building up the novel’s moral.

8717570390_f91fedffdd_mFor example, the very first chapter The House on Mango Street was written to tell the narrator’s first experience in her new home as a child. She saw how ugly and poor the building was and could not help, but complain about it. It was inspired by the narrator’s complaints and built up a sympathetic opening. This story was an opening of how most of the characters in this story were suffering in the neighborhood that they all lived in.

Photo ©2013 by David in Lisburn [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

 

The chapter My Name is one example of an important chapter in the novel. The narrator gets inspiration to tell this story from the origins and meaning of her name in her Mexican culture. She talks about how she hates her name and feels as if she has no control over her life by having this name.

untitled-copy-2The chapter No Speak English was written to talk about a female immigrant named Mamacita and her interactions with American people and her family. It was quite a sad story to talk about; it was inspired by the narrator’s observations about this immigrant who was one of her neighbors. The neighbor had a difficulty adjusting with the new land she and her family moved to and her unwillingness to learn English, leading to her being shunned by most of her neighbors and even her own children. 

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All of these stories had an origin whether they were notable or puny, showing that a story can come from anywhere. Even the first sentence of the final chapter gives this implication. Though they were usually unconnected and not sequential, most of these randomly inspired tales had a purpose that was built up to show readers how they should be thankful for what they have and think about how not many other people can enjoy things like they can.

This story helped me in finding an answer to my question on where do stories come from. The fact is that stories have no definite beginning because they can come from just about anywhere. The House on Mango Street demonstrates how even the simplest of stories can come from a large variety of places. Though it seems absurd, the art of story telling does not always need to be the same as any other story. The uniqueness of its origins makes a story interesting and how the story is built helps demonstrate a great purpose. Any book an author creates are inspired from whatever he loves and sees around him and it is his duty to make those sources of inspirations into vivid, enjoyable stories.

“No Speak English”

mangostreet2Going back to the book The House on Mango Street, one of the many stories gave me questions was the chapter “No Speak English.” In this chapter, the main character, Esperanza, talks about a neighbor named Mamacita, who is a Mexican immigrant like her. Unlike Esperanza and lots of her other neighbors, Mamacita refuses to speak English, even though the country they moved to, the US, is mostly speaks English. This makes me wonder what Mamacita is so afraid of in learning English. She consistently desires to speak and hear only Spanish. She does not even speak broken English and only learned a five English phrases that have no regular uses or that can get her out of needing to speak English. I want to know what is she so afraid of to not learn how to speak English. It concerns me that her stubbornness is straining her relationship with her husband and son and makes her looked down on by the neighbors.

Dreaded 2016

US Map.jpgThis is a bit of a late post, but on Monday the 7th last week, we read an article from Mickey Edwards of the LA Times relating to the chaos of this year’s presidential election. The article prominently discusses how this year, it would be more than likely that the supporters of the losing candidate would cause revolt that would destroy our entire country. Before the election, I questioned why this year’s election extremely competitive supporters. Maybe I never noticed it in the past because I was young, but I swear that I do not remember the presidential election being this intense compared to other years. I always saw the election as peaceful conflicts between the candidates, but all I saw this year were two people insulting each other. While I am glad to see that there isn’t any revolts like how Edwards worried in his article, I really hope that this year will end on a better note.

It makes me realize that 2016 was not the best year for the world: lots of shootings, many well-known celebrity deaths, death of Harambe, etc. True most of these topics occurred years before, but they were not so extreme or massively prominent as this year. I just pray that 2017 will turn out better.

Running Out of Ideas

20161106_161601.jpgI have a really bad case of writer’s block right now. We are supposed to do three blog posts a week about what is going on in our lives, but I am now left clueless. I like writing about a lot of things that I like or occur during the day, but recently I have been running out of ideas. Normally, ideas would come to my mind and I would become inspired to write it down. Recently though, I sometimes find myself staring at a blank screen, frustrated with myself and questioning why nothing can inspire me. I sometimes end up having to randomly browse Google Images, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and a lot of other sites to find some sort of inspiration, but it is hard to do so when I have no idea what to look for. After almost an hour of thinking, I finally got an idea for my third blog post. I would write about myself having a hard time thinking about a third blog post. That is how this blog post you are reading right now was inspired.

One Bad Day

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Photo ©2014 by ♣ Digitalluis ♫ [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

“All it takes is one bad day to turn the sanest man alive to lunacy.”

-The Joker

The Joker is one of the most notorious villains. He is murderous, psychotic, and overall insane. Despite these flaws, the Joker has shown cases of going out of these phases for just a moment and speaks about things that someone sane probably cannot see in the minds of people like him. The quote above is probably one the Joker’s most famous quotes from his most darkest story, The Killing Joke, which I recently read in a local bookstore.

The great thing about this story is that it tells an amazing interpretation of the Joker’s origin and birth. Once an average man, one bad day turned him towards a path of terrorism, laughs, and lunacy. In debt and trying to support his pregnant wife, the man the Joker once was got involved in helping two mobsters stealing money from his place of work, a chemical factory. The man would use his share of the money to help support his wife and soon to be born child. On the day of the heist, the Joker’s wife died in a car accident, but the mobsters forced him to help them anyways. The heist went wrong; the two mobsters died in a gunfight and the man had to escape by jumping into a vat of unknown chemicals. Emerging from a pipe into a rainstorm, the man stared into a puddle and saw nothing but a man with bleached skin, green hair, red lips, and a sinister smile. The Joker was born that day, once a sane man just like us, but a bad day turned him insane.

The quote above is something the Joker mentions in the present-day of the story, ambiguously referencing his own private origin. Thinking about it, this quote is shown to be very true to many individuals. The Joker’s opposite, the Batman, became a dark and even considered insane man who pummels criminals in the night dressed like a bat because his bad day was seeing a mugger murder his parents. Many people in the real world would probably not change as drastically as these two, but they would most likely be emotionally and mentally hurt after one bad day, that changes who they are.

Questions

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Photo ©2008 by andrechinn [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

I just read a blog post by a fellow peer at school about his thoughts about the universe and our relation with chimps. That made me wonder about the first of everything.

I asking questions to myself like:

  • How did the first story appear?
  • How did the first organism on Earth appear?
  • Where in the sky was the first star of the universe?
  • What was the first planet like?
  • Why did the first Big Bang occur?
  • When will be the first case of teleportation occur?

Questions like these random ones just flowed through my head. I doubt that most of these questions can ever even have a definite answer. For all we know these questions may be answered tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or just never answered. For some reason I feel like this is one of the reasons why we ask questions. Finding an answer gives clarity to one’s mind and moves one step forward in understanding the universe.

Finally… Rain

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Well, after weeks of heat, even though it literally is supposed to be Fall, we finally get our first case of pouring rain in California. It makes no sense to me why this is probably the hottest fall season we had in so many years. I mean sure it is sometimes hot, but that is when summer was about one to two weeks before. It has been nearly one and a half months since summer ended, and I am just annoyed about it up till this point. Today probably is just another case of rain that occurs for one day, and stops, but at least I am having hopes that the temperature in California improves soon and begins cooling down.

Video Game + Doctors = ???

29597281914_e4ffe1aeac_zPhoto ©2016 by antoku hero [CC-by-2.0]

Yesterday, I talked about how Japan creates very influential television shows through their tokusatsu genre. I have enjoyed one of their most successful series, Kamen Rider (trans. Masked Rider), for nearly seven years. Kamen Rider releases a new season every year with a new hero inheriting the title. Each hero lives through a normal life, but when creatures that threaten the world appear, they protect the people that cannot fight back. Every Kamen Rider has their own special motifs like a wizard, ghost, time traveler, race car driver, and so many others that I cannot even list right now.

For this year they are combining the theme of doctors and gamers to create their newest and one of the most unique installments of the series, Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. So far, the plot follows a struggling, video game obsessed pediatrician, who works with the desire to put smiles on everyone’s faces. When Japan was inflicted with a special virus that was released from a video game world that invades a host, corrupts their bodies, and turns into a monster that works to continue spreading the virus and repeat the process. The pediatrician would receive a special device that transforms him into Ex-Aid, combining his love for video games and the desire to help patients in need. The power of the device allows him to cure the virus hosts by defeating their monstrous forms and return them to normal. This series is pretty new with only three episodes by the time I write this post, but just by watching the show, many would agree that it does have some promise.

Anybody Up There?

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I believe that one day beings from other worlds appear up in our sky and state their purpose for visiting us earthlings. If they do come, what will they be like?

Photo ©2008 by MayankBhogal [CC-by-2.0]

Will they look like how we imagine them in our media and entertainment…

Photo ©2010 by Beckie [CC-by-2.0], Photo ©2008 by apastor85 [CC-by-2.0], and Photo ©2012 by Laurent Canniccioni [CC-by-2.0]

or something else completely unexpected?

Will they be intelligent, human-like, or even a comprehendible language?

The possibilities are potentially endless, but where are they now?

Our space-traveling capabilities are very much limited, but that does not mean that there could be something out in the universe that is capable of doing so. Earth cannot possibly be the only life-sustaining planet out there in the universe. IF the universe is infinite, I question (even with the thousands of years of history we have) how have we not seen anything yet?