(I’m trying to BuzzFeed this shit.)
As I write this, it is January 4, and millions of New Year’s resolutions have already been broken. People made lofty commitments for the new year in their haste to better themselves, and they abandoned them faster than Netflix and their streaming movie selection.
In the past, I’ve done resolutions and goals, but this year will be different. I offer my hopes for 2014 that are beyond my control, offering the universe the chance to do my bidding. (*insert evil laugh*) As much of my writing and thought process is focused on pop culture, expect to see many in that vein.
1. I Hope We Figure Out This Racism Thing
Racism will never truly go away–despite all the efforts from clueless people to proclaim American society as post-racial. (If you need evidence of the everlasting fad known as racism, read TheRoot.com.) But I hope–HOPE–that more people realize the power of their bigoted words and actions.
Whether it’s not posting a racist joke on social media or, heck, NOT committing a hate crime despite that nagging urge (no, they’re NOT taking away your white women), go above your horrible base instincts and lay off the acts steeped in belittling a culture other than your own. We really don’t need to know that Asians are supposedly bad drivers, let alone that black people are inferior.
And while we’re at it, let’s re-evaluate institutionalized racism–whether it’s black people shopping at Macy’s and Barneys, affirmative action laws being challenged, or New York City’s awful “Stop-and-Frisk” law.
Stereotypes may be fun to indulge in (especially if you’re an asshole), but maybe find a hobby to better yourself. Minorities don’t need to be on the receiving end of your shit.
2. I Hope We Stop The Shaming Trend
It’s a never-ending cycle: fat-shaming; race-shaming; slut-shaming; SHAME-shaming. “Shaming” joined bullying as a popular form of psychological oppression in 2013, and it mostly popped up online. (Hi Jezebel.) The term “shaming” sounds so passive-aggressive, and it becomes a reality when internet users latch onto an issue big and small–lashing out at their peers without really knowing the person or the facts.
I’ve gone on record as supporting people to feel and express their feelings, but that comes with a price: being all dicky with their words. (I’m no saint on this topic, either.) Maybe if we acknowledge that shaming is really about people being bastards, we can dig deeper into the issues that set off so many nerves and actually have some good dialogue.
3. I Hope We Get Off Reality TV Shows
If I’ve learned anything from the Duck Dynasty fiasco (besides the racism, the homophobia, and the fakeness), it’s that people will support anything–to the point where they’ll force companies to continue profiting off of hate-filled brands, because money. The investment people have with such a brand is troubling, as is the prospect of audiences with similarly vapid shows.
I know that this form of entertainment provides escapism for folks, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of exposing the troubling undercurrent of hate and carelessness bubbling under the surface. People like yukking it up at dumb folks; I get that. But that crosses a line when you’re writing angry screeds for Cracker Barrel (its name a self-fulfilling prophecy for its customer base) to carry your favorite show’s products (with said dumb folks) OR ELSE.
I hope that with this tipping point reached, people go back to idolizing knowingly-fake shit on television and movies (though The Big Bang Theory doesn’t need any more attention, thanks), actors, musicians or sports stars–four things that are hurting for eyeballs. They have mouths to feed and coke habits to indulge!
4. I Hope The Deconstruction of Celebrity is Completed
The trainwreck(ing ball) known as Miley Cyrus gave pearl-clutchers everything they wanted in 2013: a sneering, tongue-wagging, (faux)-twerking, public pot-smoking, culture-reappropriating, sexual exhibitionist of a monster person. Well clutch those pearls to the point of crushing them to powder: IT’S ALL THE PART OF A CHARACTER! DESPITE CLAIMING IT WAS HER REAL PERSONALITY IN HER MTV “DOCUMENTARY”!
Having now blown the lid off of the fakeness of persona (as I hoped people would sarcastically continue to idolize celebrity), I hope other artists come out as products of a confused, fuddy-duddy music industry. While Lady Gaga’s celeb-deconstruction campaign collapsed on itself last year (the soft sales of ARTPOP hint at this), let’s hope others point out the BS that comes with large promotional campaigns, let alone the persona that comes with selling art for millions of dollars.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence is refreshing in this regard because of her candid interviews and behavior revealing a quippy, almost-human person. While it remains to be seen if people will feel the same in 5-10 years (society disposes of celebrity when they either figure someone out, or they realize they no longer want to fuck a once-hot woman), I hope more artists shake the foundation of plastic promotion and persona by being human–warts and all.
While I’m leaving my hopes in the hands of fate, I can at least try to will something to happen in 2014: to travel more; to visit more friends; to have better health; to date; and to get into a great relationship. But that’s all boring stuff. Whatever happens this year, it will be entertaining, and writing about it will be a hope fulfilled.