Friday, September 9, 2011

When I was 15: hanging on to my idealism (or what I thought about on last week’s long run)

Warning: this post has 0 to do with running, and everything to do with the fact that right now this is the only blog I have.

When I was 15 I went to see Titanic in the theaters along with everyone else that was 15 in the year it came out. It was a “couples” date,  (oh High School!)

Titanic was all this leo and kate love fest, nekkid on the boat, falling in love, flying on top of the world, clinging dramatically to a piece of driftwood emotion-fest… for everyone else.

To me, it was very different. I cried at all the sad parts during the movie. I was slightly despondent after word which was probably 0 surprise to my friends since I was super introvert.

I got home, and naturally, my mother asked me how the movie was as she washed her face at the bathroom sink and I stood by.

I don’t remember all the details exactly, but I burst into hysterics. I HATED the movie. I was literally beside myself. I’d read about the Titanic, I’d seen history channel and discovery channel shows about it. I got the basic gist, the facts. What the movie brought home, which is exactly what movies are supposed to, was the reality of the situation.

They locked the poor people in the lower levels to drown and die. They didn’t even have a chance. I didn’t give two flying shits if Leo the poor son of a whatever made it out to wish his rich girlfriend some fake Hollywood goodbye. All I could think about was the injustice, the inhumanity, the cruelty, the selfishness. WHAT DID INCOME HAVE TO DO WITH MAKING IT OFF A SINKING SHIP???

I’m no mother theresa, giving up all my time to help the less fortunate. but WTF?! I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed about the horribleness of that situation. people were left to drown, with no choice, simply because of HOW MUCH THEY PAID FOR THEIR TICKET.

To this day, my mother hasn’t watched that movie because of my reaction. My reaction wasn’t a reflection of the quality of the movie, or the love story or whatever it is that makes tnt and tbs play it every damn second. I’m sure all of that was great. But that movie marks the first time I had to confront my idealism, my naiveté – and that my mother had to confront it as well (I’m the oldest).

It shaped my life, my outlook. I went on to study politics and policy. And now I work, tangentially, for the State of NY. I thought I was jaded by politics and infighting and sound bites. I may hate, with every ounce of my being, campaigning, but in all honestly, it was the horror of the reality of the super cheesy movie, Titanic, that keeps me hoping for a better world, a better US, a better NYS. A place where people care more about PEOPLE than they do about themselves. Where people are truly tolerant. Where people realize that even though we don’t have the same religious beliefs, that we have the same morals. Where people don’t lump others into groups and hate and fear what they perceive those groups to mean.


People care. They have to. I have to believe that.


Corny? maybe, but love one another…

“Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try. no hell below us. above us only sky. Imagine all the people, living for today. Imagine there’s no country. it isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. No religion too. Imagine all the people, living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer. but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will be as one.” ~Lennon.

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