If It Weren’t For Steven

Disclaimer: This post is going to be mainly me discussing Steven Universe, so if you want to watch the series with no spoilers at all then go do that, you don’t want to be here.

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Sometimes there are tv shows that come along that just change the way things in that genre completely, when it came to cartoons I’d say that Adventure Time was the first to change the cartoon genre of this generation. It was a cartoon that was both playful and fun on the surface, but was packed full of meaning and messaging that was both helpful to adults and children alike. It was, and still is a cartoon that is meant to be for everyone.

And so from Adventure Time, all the stars aligned and new creator with an idea so brillant was born.

Steven Universe was created by Rebecca Sugar, an artist working on Adventure Time who ended up leaving to work on her own TV show, Steven Universe. She is officially the first female cartoon creator in history according to this wiki article I’m skimming. Also she’s only 3 years older then me, she makes me feel like I could create something amazing.

rebecca sugar

And parts of me tweak out on the absolute unfairness of this fact, but at the same time at least it’s happening now, and I can’t think of anyone worthier of carrying the meaningful catoon torch like Rebecca Sugar.

rebecca sugar quote

Steven Universe is more then just a cartoon to me, it’s a friend. I started watching it on the week of the inevitable breakup, and even since then I’ve learnt so much from this show.

So the main premise of the show is that there is an alien race of space rocks called Gems, they are literally gemstones that project a light form of their choice, for this reason all the Gems are female as they don’t reproduce, they are grown in large groups. Anyway, the Gems essentially want to conquer everywhere so they had planned to use the Earth as a way to grow more Gems and deplete the worlds resources thus destroying the planet. A couple of Gems, the main one being Rose Quartz decide to try and save the planet, and they succeed for a while. Rose ends up meeting a human named Greg Universe and decide to have a child. In order for the child to exist it meant that Rose had to give up her gem and form in order for the child to exist.

And that’s who Steven Universe is half human, but also half Rose Quartz, he is essentially his mum.

This cartoon does not patronise the kids with perfect characters and unrealistic situations, already this show starts of with a pretty intense theme. And as much as it’s an incredibly colourful and all round beautiful show, it does an excellent job at confronting you with situations that make you think, without feeling afraid of it.

garnetwisdom

I mean, just look at these main character designs;

crystal gems

How’s this for showing every body type? And it’s not just like this for the main characters either;

beach city

This is a bit of the cast of the Beach City town people. Rebecca Sugar goes above and beyond to show you as many different people as she can, because this how real life is. She doesn’t throw these characters in your face either, she portrays them as normal people doing their own thing in the town.

Also I love that there are a couple of short Gems, it’s the only show that brings up the concept of feeling weak because of being small.

Not only that it tackles just about every subject, and in a non preachy way. All of the main characters have their issues, sometimes they even do truly shitty things, but it’s always put into the context of that character being in pain or there being a reason of why they acted like that.

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This show also does a beautiful job at explaining the concept of love and relationships. The fact that Gems can fuse together in order to create another person thats stronger then both of them, is a pretty decent metaphor for sex and relationships. They show how fusion can be corrupted, and how people can be manipulated into doing it when they don’t want.

I’ve never seen a cartoon bring up the topic of consent before, but this topic gets brung up a few times throughout the series, just to concrete the fact that No means No in any circumstance.

And of course being a show this amazing and emotionally mature, it’s been banned a lot, mainly in Australia. Because the Gems are all female its safe to assume that there are lesbian relationships in it. In fact, one of the main characters, Garnet, is a fusion of Sapphire and Ruby, and because of how powerful their love is, Garnet has the ability to be Garnet all the time, whereas with every other Gem Fusion they eventually need to split apart or else they come corrupt and dangerous to be together.

I can’t think of a stronger metaphor for love then that.

ruby and sapphire

I love the whole concept of Garnet. I love how strong she is because the relationship is so strong. I love her design, her huge hips, her strong black woman vibe. She is the ultimate picture of strength, with all the sexiness because of her feminimity. I think showing a female character like that is incredibly hard to do without turning the character into an overly sexualised joke. This show celebrates the female form in my opinion.

garnet gif

This show isn’t based on lesbian relationships though, it just chooses to show all forms of relationships, straight and homosexual respectively.

Anyway, there’s so much more I coud say about Steven, and there might be more posts along the lines so expand more on it.

Maybe.

But you should do yourself a favour and watch this show. Everything about it is good and relevant.

Also it’s inspired some art out of me, here’s one of mine;

Steven Universe collage

Including the music which is just catchy on so many levels.

This song mainly, it’s one I go back to whenever I feel like everything is getting too much.

Fuck Your Forced Positivity

Disclaimer; this opinion is coming from an incredibly unregulated emotional person, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, or the whole fucking shaker.

The reason I am writing this is because I’ve seen a lot of positivity blogs, youtube videos and whatnot. And I feel like I need to get my opinion out on this, not that I’m incredibly sure I’m correct or anything.

But in my opinion, forced positivity is more then just an incredibly annoying mindset for anybody else experiencing these vomit-worthy positive people, I think it’s an incredibly unhealthy mindset.

Because happiness is a state of mind, and to even achieve that state of mind, it requires you to experience emotions you don’t want to experience.

There is no such thing as feeling happy, if you have not experienced sadness.

There is no satisfaction without first experiencing problems to overcome.

All of our emotions are important, we are the smartest species on the planet, yet most of us can barely stand the feelings that make us uncomfortable.

Fear exists, because without fear, we wouldn’t have bravery. And to say that fear doesn’t exist is fucking delusional.

That’s what I think about forced positivity, it’s delusional. It is not truth.

It’s the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand going, la la la, if I can’t see or hear it then it can’t hurt me.

Guess what? Life fucking sucks and we are all going to die one day. Think that’s harsh? Life is fucking harsh!

And guess what? It doesn’t matter whether you ‘push out some good vibes’ or beat your head against a wall in frustration, nothing is ever going to change the above fact. The world will keep turning whether you are crying or smiling, the universe doesn’t give a fuck about you in particular, it’s too busy being awesome and holding planets and shit.

And if you’re angry about that then good, be angry, anger can be one of the most useful emotions that we have. Because if you’re angry about something, it means you’re not happy with whatever it is you’re angry at. It means you’re more likely to want to change that situation over sitting there and being content with it. Because nobody is content when they’re angry.

If everybody got angry at the world’s situation then maybe it would change, but sitting around praying or telling people to smile because the world is beautiful, does not change shit! In fact it just shows how easy your life is and how fucking selfish you are because these poor struggling people are bringing you down with their sadness.

Sadness is also important, because when we feel sad we have more of an ability to undestand other people. You really think we are all connected in this world through our happiness and good deeds? Fuck no, this isn’t a disney movie, we are all connected by the pain that everyone experiences just from being alive.

This is what empathy is, and it’s incredibly hard to have any empathy for anyone else when you’re too busy concentrating on your own fake happiness.

There is much more wisdom in pessimism then there is in optimism. Pessimism lowers your expectations so that when things do go wrong (which they will) it’s less painful. Pessimism makes you question things and people, making you trust your own instincts over anything else.

There is also a lot of beauty in sadness. Some of the best art and music was created with this emotion.

If you don’t feel scared in a world like this, then what the fuck is wrong with you? Are you living under some positivity rock? Why aren’t you scared? There is danger around every corner, and theres a huge percentage that something really bad will happen to you.

There is so much to be afraid of in this world, and people with no fear usually take stupid risks and die. I know that seems like black and white thinking but it’s true.

Without fear, there is no self preservation.

Fear is not a useless emotion! Fear stops us from doing dumb shit, like walking in front of oncoming traffic or diving into the ocean thinking we can swim in that depth.

And without first being afraid, how do you then face that fear and learn from it?

This is not meant to be a post telling you not to try and think positively or hope for better things, even though it may seem like I am.

Hope is all we really have in this world.

All I’m saying is, don’t be brainwashed by these people who seem to think that if you ignore every other emotion aside from happiness, then everything will be ok.

Because it will never be ok if you think like that.

You need to face up to the emotions that make you uncomfortable, it’s your brains way of telling you that something is wrong and you need to work on it. You need to respect those emotions, because if it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t be capable of feeling happiness at all.

Society has forced us into this state of mind, where we feel broken and wrong because we aren’t as happy as what the media keeps pushing out that we should be. We label emotional people as sick, we force them full of pills and we loathe their very existence because they’re always such ‘downers’.

Positivity is just another tool in the system used to sell you shit. It’s just mass manipulation so that you’ll continue to buy things.

We are more human for feeling bad, because life is hard and people get hurt so much.

You don’t have to be strong in this life, but you do have to be brave.

You have to try, try your fucking hardest.

We try and we hope, and that’s all we can do.

We have to give all of our emotions the respect they deserve, instead of disregarding them because its too hard to face.

You need to be brave, not positive.

 

 

I <3 Aussie Punk Music

I’ve been feeling brave enough to listen to music lately, even enjoying it again and riding the waves of the heavy emotion it brings me because of the amount of memories attached to it.

So it may seem slightly ranty but it’s only because I remember 14 year old me got triggered a lot by music.

Mainly because I had an obsession with trying to be the exact opposite of what my parents wanted me to be at that age.

So my favourite band was Sex Pistols, I listened to mainly 70s and 80s punk music, sewed patches on a jacket of my favourite punk bands and everything. I was especially poud of the giant Sex Pistols back patch on that jacket. And considering my brother was the person who was actually doing the same thing but in the right time period, I wonder where the love of that genre came from?

(Oh and by the way, I made that jacket when I was 14 and I still fit into it now because I haven’t really grown in height on anything. Lol.)

I was an angry kid back then, about everything man.

One could say, I was a Prisoner Of Society… 

And USA I gotta say, you guys fucking killed punk music with your pop punk bullshit like Blink 182 and Greenday.

Congratulations, not only did bands like that kill punk, it dug it back up then spat on it, then proceeded to take a shit all over the decomposing corpse of punk.

There is only one other genre that sits side by side to punk and that is Rock, dammit! Not Pop, like what the fuck dude, pop is the exact opposition to punk! Punks hated the popular shit, they cancel each other out, this is just music common sense right?!

Right?!

I mean, fuck, I could even except it as just a different genre like Hardcore Pop or something, just don’t disrespect a genre that meant so much, to me in paticular, by slapping pop next to it. 

Punks hate mainstream!

Sigh…

And this is like my 14 year old tantrum anger flaring up, it’s probably highly irrational and I honestly haven’t kept up with the music scene at all. I fully admit that this anger comes from a place of somewhat ignorance as I have a limited knowledge of bands.

So I’m kind of like, sorry but not sorry US for what I said, because it’s just these bands in particular that just really fucking grind on me, and I hate the fact that your country produced them and brought this awful fucking pop/punk bullshit to the mainstream.

But the good thing about US producing such trash music at the time was, it started making me appreciate my own countrys music.

Because I loved the 90s and 2000s punk rock music, bands like The Spazzys, The Distillers, Frenzal Rhomb, Spiderbait, TISM, Yidcore and The Living End.

See how many bands I can list off the top of my head that stayed completely true to the very nature of punk and where just talented people in general. And not only that, I’m sure that if I asked my nephew right now who does keep up with the heavier music side would give me a whole list of decent punk bands who are fairly recent.

But I think out of all of those bands, the first ones I heard were Spiderbait, TISM and The Living End, only a couple of tracks, on a mix cd.

But the song Prisoner Of Society by The Living End truly was my teenage anthem.

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And I wanted to introduce anyone who hasn’t already heard of this band, because not only is it one of my favourite bands, it also incorporates a freakin’ Double Bass instead of just a regular bass, I mean, that’s pretty cool, I dig it.

It also helped contribute to my passion for art, and justice, and all that type of shit, and that’s something that means a lot to me.

So I’ll leave you with these 4 songs, as I believe they are kind of relevant in this day and age still, as well as them being so meaningful to me.

Prisoner of Society – 1998 – Second Solution/Prisoner of Society EP

Who’s Gonna Save Us? – 2003 – Modern Artillery

Wake Up – 2006 – State of Emergency

Roll On – 2005 – Roll On