Posted in Monday Mayhem

No More Dystopia

Last week I wrote about Utopia. I made a correlation with Star Trek, its technologies and moral code with that of the present era. Not only is the world currently absent from a Utopian paradise, but it also lacks the motivation to change what is broken. It will take some time before anything changes.

Mussolini at Palazzo Venezia
Mussolini at Palazzo Venezia

With that out of the way, I’d like to talk a bit about the other side of the equation. Naturally, if there is a Utopia, by all arguments, there should also be a dystopia.

For those new to the concept, dystopia is what happens when a warped sense of reality begins to rule a society. For instance, a world leader proclaims that funny hats make people happy, and the only way people will ever be happy is if they wear a funny hat. Of course, a segment of the population will grasp the concept and make it their own, but like all fads, it will fade away. However, if that leader decides people are better off dead than not wear a funny hat, and he or she makes it a national law to wear said funny hat, all of a sudden that nation becomes a dystopian society. Simple, right?

Imagine if the concept wasn’t all about a funny hat but about something bigger.

How much genocide has taken place due to a Utopian idea that took a wrong turn somewhere? I once read that humanity’s worst moments happen because of good intentions. A Utopia gone bad is not what this world needs now.

Am I sounding an alarm? I sure am. This world needs solid leadership that will not follow centuries of corruption and scandal. The direction needed to clear the waterways, plow the garbage from the streets and never turn a blind eye to those in need, especially the homeless, is lacking. That direction can only come from a change in mindset.

I hope you don’t think I’ve gone insane. Actually, I hope you do think that. If I can be an example for others, then so be it. I’m exhausted hearing the same old story repeatedly that new leadership will bring positive change, new leadership will provide for the masses.

My take on it? Don’t just say it. Do it.

We the citizens of the world don’t need politicians meeting together, enjoying $2,000-a-plate meals, driving around in fancy limos ad nauseam. We the citizens of the world demand action. We’re sick of hearing excuses. No more lies. No more stories. We want to see you with rolled up sleeves ready to work. Not just before election day.

I challenge you, politicians, to prove me wrong. Show me where you’ve stepped in to eliminate hunger for kids living in poverty around the globe. Show me where you’ve proven yourselves worthy for intervening when families have not died for defending their homes in times of war. Show me how you’ve eradicated pestilence and disease for the weak and unfortunate.

Because it is only when the heart changes that the world will become a better place. Politicians have to recognize goodness comes from the top down. Without that—there isn’t much hope other than maintaining the status quo that has been around since time immemorial.

I challenge you, leaders of the world; make a change for the better. Not just in words. But in action.

No more dystopia.

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Calhoun

A few weeks ago, I celebrated Women Who Wow Wednesday with my tribute to Incredible Women, three females from Pixar’s film The Incredibles. It was the first time I shined a spotlight on animated characters that epitomize true heroism. This week, having recently seen Wreck-It Ralph, I want to concentrate my efforts on Calhoun, the tougher-than-nails soldier of death who can burn a hole through any alien that comes her way.

Sergeant Calhoun
Sergeant Calhoun

Rather than take the traditional route of describing Calhoun in all her glory as a brazen warrior and defender of Hero’s Duty, I thought I’d take a different approach.

What is a true hero?

A true hero is someone who goes beyond themselves to fulfill a role they never intended on fulfilling. We can recognize these people by their humility in what they do. They do the job never expecting anything in return. The satisfaction they gain comes from making the world a better place to live. Sometimes they have to make decisions that will hurt those they love. This is necessary for the greater good, even if it may harm a few of those who they’re trying to protect.

On the other side of the coin lies the enemy. They’re slick, smooth talking, and always ready with an answer as to why things are the way they are. Their oily tongues pay tribute to the eloquent words they speak. They reassure those in peril all will be well. All will change. All will be better—if—no one disrupts the status quo. Their countenance is that of light, but in their hearts lies darkness. They are snakes ready to pounce on the innocent.

In the center of it all rests a virtual Utopia. A city no one would suspect as having any problems. On the outside things seem to run smoothly. The citizens receive their meager allotment of resources in exchange for their forced labor, although they don’t know its forced. The city runs without difficulty as long as everyone completes their assigned duties.

Sergeant Calhoun Portrait
Sergeant Calhoun Portrait

If everything’s running smoothly, why ruin it?

The hero usually is the first one to recognize something in the Utopian garden is just not right. Sometimes, it’s the hint of how the enemy answers questions without ever revealing anything. Sometimes, it has to do with how superficial things look. It could be anything, really. But in the midst of it all is the hero, knowing something needs fixing.

In the movie Wreck-It Ralph, Calhoun is that hero. A golden-haired character with a dark backstory, she recognizes something bad’s happening to the world she inhabits and needs to fix it—fast. As opposed to a diplomatic solution, she opts for proactive engagement. With Calhoun, there’s no such thing as aggressive negotiations because with Calhoun there’s no such thing as negotiating. She slaps on her weapon and fires. No 20 Questions. No sob stories of how she feels neglected and unloved, blah, blah, blah. She just fires.

Now, wouldn’t life be easier if everyone follows her example? I’ll leave you with that thought.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

Have you seen Wreck-It Ralph? What did you think of Calhoun?