These past two years, defining moments in my summer have surrounded around Puja's and Regina's birthdays. Given they have the luxury of time to plan and not worry about school, they usually host parties or more extravagant get togethers. For comparison, Aniesa and I have been merely bombarded with cake and presents during lunch at school. The only flaw is that the "party" lasts for about 30 minutes and then we go take a math test or something. And weekends would be a time to hold a better event, but inevitably there is a huge group project worth a chunk of our grade due around that time too and it's just not feasible. But I digress.
Her 18th birthday was fairly similar to years' past: She opened her presents. We ate dinner. We watched Hercules. We made stupid comments about it. It's becoming a tradition of ours to watch the Disney classic together, specifically at Regina's house. I think this time made it three?
We slept over at Regina's house once it was over. When I awoke after a meager five hours of sleep, Regina told me about the shooting in Aurora, Colorado at a similar midnight screening of the movie and I was saddened. Why must these tragedies occur? I wish I had something more poetic to say, but I really don't. Must be the lack of sleep.
This quote helps sum up my feelings, though:
"The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about Basketball Diaries?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it. The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.” In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy." -- Roger Ebert
Recently, I made a profile on a site called Goodfilms, which is essentially the Goodreads of, well, films. I'd love to be friends with anyone via it, should you be interested! I think it's pretty neat to keep track.
I think by now everyone is flying to and/or packing for the Seattle Trip of Dreams and Wonder! I hope you guys have an AWESOME time and I can't wait to Skype with everyone. Travel safe and be smart! I'll eagerly read all about it when you get back.
Days until I start college: 37
Days until my birthday: 77