Month: January 2014

Like Father, Like Son

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“They called it Camelot.”
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Robert Dallek: well known historian and Kennedy expert, the guy that I usually see all the time in JFK documentaries and interviews. I am extremely excited to have begun reading his well-acclaimed novel “An Unfinished Life”. Just a couple of days ago actually, I’d read my first biography on JFK Jr. (it was amazing, as expected).

While reading “An Unfinished Life” however, I came across some characteristics about JFK that reminded me of some of JFK Jr.’s characteristics when I’d finished reading his biography days earlier. Of course, it’s no surprise to find similarities between them. But I just absolutely love seeing or pinpointing the resemblances between a father and his son, so I just want to take a moment to share with you guys the similarities that I’ve found so far between John F. Kennedy and none other than his namesake, John F. Kennedy Jr. Don’t hesitate to share other similarities not mentioned as well!

The two may bear of little resemblance: JFK with his sandy red hair and blue eyes, John-John with his dark hair and chocolate brown eyes. But of course, that’s just looks.

JFK had spent a portion of his teenage years at a boarding school called Choate. Multiple roommates would speak of how messy his room would be, clothes piled up in a corner. He’d been extremely disorganized and had a tendency to lose things. Similarly, JFK Jr. also had a horrible habit of losing things. He’d even had to put his keys on a chain to prevent him from losing them. But being the accident-prone guy he was, he would instead accidentally whack himself in the face with the keys.

In addition, JFK Jr. excelled at sports rather than academics, just like his father. The two of them got mediocre grades during school, and were both horrible spellers. JFK Jr., who had dyslexia, many times felt discouraged about his schoolwork. Jackie however, would rest assure him that he would overcome his obstacles. After all, his father had also been a horrible speller but he ended up becoming president of the United States.

What really struck a chord in me though was JFK’s decision to attend Princeton at the beginning of his college career instead of Harvard, which was where his father and his competitive older brother attended. JFK Jr. had chosen Brown University instead of the Kennedy’s trademark Harvard. The Kennedys are known for their daredevil and reckless personalities. Instilled within them are a sense of rebelliousness, and it was evidently clear that JFK had passed that very trait onto his son.

Of course there are other miscellaneous similarities such as how they both never had real trouble getting girls, their instant appeal towards the media, and how they both loved the sea.

Maybe it was these similarities that made the public so hopeful for America’s Prince. The King’s life had been cut short, his potential diminished. America was left to wonder if the Prince himself would take over the throne, bring Camelot back to its former glory and glamour. But unfortunately, his life had been cut short also. Hey. That’s another similarity. Golly gee.

I seriously just realized that. Wow.

On a brighter note, been addicted to John Legend’s “All of Me” ever since his breathtaking performance on The Grammys. Genius.

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Anchors

 

Isaac: Then how do you control it?

Derek: Find an anchor. Something meaningful to you. Bind yourself to it. Keep the human side in control.

In MTV’s Teen Wolf, the word “anchor” means much more than just a big metal thing that hangs off ships. Anchors, in the world of Teen Wolf, are people, feelings, places, anything that keeps the human side of the werewolf intact. This idea of having an anchor can also apply to the mortal side of life as well.

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Whether we like it or not, there is a side inside of us that contains some sort of beast, some sort of creature. It’s not supernatural, it’s not mythical. It’s human. The beast comes out when we’re angry, frustrated. It’s any feeling that seems to coordinate with the color red when being thought of. Red is known to be quite an angry color, after all.

In such times of darkness, evil, and despair, it’s hard to not let those feelings of negativity take over. That’s where the anchor comes in. It brings you down to your natural, calmer state, to tranquility and satisfaction.

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However, anchors do not necessarily need to be an outside force. Scott had always thought that Allison had been his one and only anchor, the only thing that can keep him human. During a transformation attack in Season 3B, Scott’s mother Melissa reminds him to use his anchor. Scott retaliates that Allison had been his anchor, and now that they’ve broken up, that he doesn’t have an anchor anymore. Melissa then gives Scott the best advice that one parent can ever give to a teenage werewolf: to be his own anchor.

With just enough strength and mental motivation, you can be your own anchor.

Some may have already found their anchors. Some may haven’t. If you haven’t found your anchor yet, do not fret. It may be a quiet corner in the park, a best friend, a teddy bear, a memory, a feeling. Life is all about learning, seeking, and trying new things. I promise you that it will come, even when you least expect it.

On a side note, I am loving Kira on the show. Can’t wait to see more of her and Scott in the new episode!

JFK Jr.’s Oedipal Complex

JFK Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bassette

“Christy, let me see you make a JFK reference to Frankenstein.” 

Okay. I’ll try my best.

In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the Oedipus complex plays a crucial role in the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and his creation. Because Victor lost his mother, he is in constant search of companionship, which leads to his fondness and romantic relations with his “cousin” Elizabeth. She’d been taken in by Mrs. Frankenstein herself, and proves to serve as a liable version of his mother.

I am no expert in psychology but there are a couple of things that I do know based on my reading so far: the Oedipus complex, Freud’s idea that the child has sexual desires for the parent. It is said that children often grow up to marry people who remind them of their mother or father (depending on the gender) or have similar characteristics in general. I am honestly no expert and my knowledge in psychology is extremely limited so correct me if I’m wrong. But I do believe that history repeats itself, which would make sense in correspondence to the Oedipus complex since history is basically repeating itself with people. It seems unusual and quite disturbing to know that you have hidden desires for someone who is basically another version of your mother or father. But for JFK Jr., the Oedipus complex seems to be quite true.

JFK Jr. with his mother, Jacqueline

JFK Jr. was deeply influenced by his mother. After all, he looks just like her. But even though he was the splitting image of his mother, he had the reckless personality that his dad was notorious for. He liked action, excitement, adventure. Jackie confided with friends that she was actually very worried about John because his recklessness just made him all the more liable for injury and even more possibly, death.

They say opposites attract. JFK Jr.’s reckless nature ultimately wooed over Carolyn Bassette, a woman who, ironically enough, was often compared to Jackie. They were both very private, introverted people. JFK Jr. had grown up in the spotlight so he’d been used to all of the paparazzi following him around and such. But Carolyn wasn’t used to that at all. So she’d always put her face down and hunch her back whenever she was in front of the cameras. Her elegant and sophisticated fashion sense also won her comparisons to Jackie.

Check out JFK Jr. vs. The Paparazzi!

In my personal opinion, I find it no coincidence that JFK Jr. had married someone so strikingly similar to his mother. Not exactly in looks per se, but in my reading I distinctly remember that Carolyn was a person who consisted much of the same personality traits as Jackie: private, headstrong, stubborn, controlling. John had also married Carolyn after his mother’s passing, which may (or may not, who knows) correlate back to his need of a mother figure. However, author Edward Klein, who was also a close friend of Jackie’s, wrote that he is inclined to believe that had Jackie lived to see John marry Carolyn, that she would’ve disapproved. Even though Carolyn was similar to Jackie in some aspects, she was also incredibly unstable. She had cocaine and insecurity issues and a hot temper as well, which resulted in many fights with John. He desperately wanted children, but she refused. It frustrated him to no end.

Well Caroline Kennedy’s son, John Schlossberg, is said to be the approaching prince of Camelot, with his said-resemblance to his late uncle. I am curious as to who he will marry in the future. Caroline Kennedy, like Jackie, is also extremely private and cautious. She may look like her father but her personality is completely inherited from her mother. It’d be interesting if John also marries someone who shares the same introvert-type aspects.

Now can we all just take a moment to admire how JFK Jr. was chosen as Sexiest Man Alive back in People’s 1988 issue. Stunning.

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Also, really enjoying Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back”.

Sources: The Kennedy Curse by Edward Klein, which I am still currently in the midst of reading.

Death: The Ultimate Popularity Booster?

Marilyn Monroe and James Dean

Marilyn Monroe and James Dean

The great die young, apparently.

It’s no secret that I have a strange and possibly unhealthy interest in people who aren’t around anymore. For lack of a better word, dead people.

A couple weeks ago my dad asked me who my favorite actor was or who my Hollywood male interest was at the moment. Without hesitation, I quickly opened my mouth to say, “Cory Monteith.” But then he sharply added, “An actor who is actually alive right now.”

Well that stumped me. I couldn’t think of anyone at all, other then maybe Teen Wolf‘s Tyler Posey.

I began to ponder about my grand obsession for the people of the non-living: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley, JFK, Cory Monteith. Do I like them for them? Or just simply because they’re not around anymore?

When famous people die, the response is crazy. Their names are on every tabloid, all the news stations. Tributes are broadcasted all over television, at award shows, in TV shows. There’s non-stop publicity for weeks or even months. Because of their death, they’ve suddenly become this popular topic, this person who all of a sudden seems so great, so talented.

Since we’re suddenly bombarded with all of these great things about that deceased person, we’re left to admire their shining points: Whitney’s powerful voice, Michael’s signature moonwalk.  We begin to see how valiant or extraordinary that person was. We sigh to ourselves in admiration, as well as a hint of sadness because, well, that person is gone and we can’t meet them, ever (exactly what I do when I read things about the Kennedys to be honest).

Those bittersweet feelings of sadness and admiration are even worse when that deceased famous person dies young. “He had so much potential,” we may say to ourselves with that same sigh. “It’s such a shame.”

Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith

“You never know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” is the cliche phrase. But it seems quite plausible in this case. We don’t know how great a person is, well, until they’re dead and gone. I hardly knew who Cory Monteith was until he showed up everywhere on tabloids with his death. Now he’s gone and all I can do is look at his twitter and sigh to myself, because he was such a humble and funny person. His humor and personality is rare in Hollywood, actually. I guess that’s why people loved him so much. I really wish that I could’ve met him.

On a brighter note, check out Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through The Night”. My favorite throwback song at the moment.

“The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us”

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‘The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us’ is a six-part documentary series by National Geographic, narrated by Rob Lowe, that portrays the 80’s as the decade. It was the decade that led us to have what we have today: iPhones, the internet, interracial music, pop culture, media, movies, TV, even ice cream. Without the 80’s, this documentary argues, none of that would even exist.

This documentary was more interesting and life-changing for me than anything else I have ever watched. Seriously.

It opened up my eyes to the evolution of technology, society, music, people. I was reminded of how everything worked in the dark ages, before technology became prominent, before Facebook, before everything that is relevant today.

More importantly, it showed what it meant to work hard. This documentary may have just been simply to put together monumental events during the 80’s. But it also talked about very inspiring people, people who worked very hard at what they did. People who were driven to overcome whatever obstacles they faced.

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Steve Jobs for example, even though he got fired from Apple, his own creation, still continued to persevere because he loved what he did. He was so passionate about the Macintosh and computers that I could feel it practically oozing out of him. His headstrong personality and charm in the interviews shown in the documentary actually made me wish that he was still alive so that I could meet him someday. But I can’t, unfortunately.

However, from the documentary, I did find out about his speech at Stanford, which I would also recommend for those who feel stressed or worried about their future. It also serves as an amazing piece of inspiration. This is personally one of my favorite parts of the speech:

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Gives me chills.

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Ronald Reagan, the great communicator. I’d always known about his assassination attempt, but not in depth. Little did I know that it’d actually been like a Kennedy 2.0 of sorts, with much anticipation and anxiety from around the world. With the Kennedy assassination being so distraught, I don’t think could even handle another lovable president gone.

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Ronald Reagan came back stronger than ever after his assassination attempt, big smiles and all. His recovery and nonchalance on the matter made me even shed a tear. Much of this documentary in general made me want to just cry buckets because it was so moving. Or maybe it’s just me and how easy I cry at practically everything.

The documentary also features Madonna (whom I also now deeply admire and I’ve been listening to her songs non-stop), the Rubik’s Cube, Jane Fonda, Calvin Klein, and much more. This documentary literally made me fall in love with the 80’s because everyone just seemed to genuinely love what they were doing. Nowadays, it’s just all about the money. Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels speaks more about this in this article, which I completely agree with every word he says.

I sincerely recommend watching this documentary. I learned a lot from it (that’s an understatement) and it has also given me a new perspective on today’s pop culture, as well as the evolution of society.

Now, here’s Cory Monteith’s version of ‘Jessie’s Girl’. Simply because this song is my jam, and I love Cory Monteith. Who, unfortunately, I am also unable to meet personally. This happens a lot, it seems…

What am I waiting for?

Is it graduation? Acceptance? Love? The boy?

When will my life begin?

For the past couple of days, I’ve been pondering about the question that has been asked so many times that it’s grown cliche: what is the meaning of life? I remember watching a movie in Bio once that said the meaning of life was for reproduction, so that new lifeforms can grow and evolve on Earth.

But if life’s purpose is merely for reproduction, is it really worthwhile?

Right now, to me, it doesn’t seem so. I am expected to work my butt off in high school, then in college, throwing away my youth and what fun I can potentially have, constantly worrying about my future and filling my days with school, homework, tests, grades, COLLEGE, MONEY. All for a future that may or may not happen. What happens if I work my butt off, but then I don’t end up with the salary that I want? With the life that I want? What is life anyways? To me it seems as if my life won’t be able to start until I’m in my mid-20’s, even my 30’s. Can I really wait that long without giving up or cracking? Is life really meant to happen this way? Am I just wasting my youth doing all of this schoolwork?

I always feel like I’m waiting for something to happen, always waiting for my life to just start.

But isn’t life too short to waste time not doing anything? I won’t be seventeen forever. I won’t be young forever. But how do you have fun with life without jeopardizing or worrying about your future?

What if it doesn’t get better?

It’s been a ponderous week.