To My Dear Friend, Kellie Halushka

My earliest memory of you was in our third grade classroom, sitting cross-legged beside one another while we waited our turn to say three things about ourselves that we liked. I remember how most people in our class repeated each other’s words–“I like that I’m smart,” “I like that I’m nice.” I was no exception. And I’m not ashamed to say (although I was slightly at the time) that I peeked at your list of self-love.

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No More Horsin Around

SPOILERS FOR ALL OF BOJACK HORSEMAN AHEAD.

As I’ve previously statedBoJack Horseman is a masterful show, balancing between genres to unapologetically tell the story of a depressed, alcoholic horse-man trying to become better. It manages to weave episodic storytelling (i.e. the one where BoJack steals a shot with his director for a movie he’s starring in) into the grander seasonal storyline (his director is fired for her participation in that scheme) which connects to a broader theme (BoJack needs to make amends for the people he’s hurt). Now that I’ve finished Season 3 within 3 days of its release, my faith in the show’s writers grows stronger. Here’s to Netflix’s most famous reverse-centaur.

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Clocking Out

I just read a heartbreaking story about Jerika Bolen, a 14-year-old girl who has made a very difficult decision for herself and her family. She’s decided to self-euthanize due to Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a very rare and devastating physical condition that will inevitably cut short her time here on this earth. I found this news terribly sad, and I questioned the morality of it. I began to wonder whether we truly have the right to our time in this universe. And rather than figure out a definitive answer to that, I naturally dwelled on the topic for far too long.

Because the most beautiful thing that we as human beings will ever experience is not love at first sight, or the thrill of a satisfying career, or a supportive family, or our dope Snapchat story from Lollapalooza. It is time, the only resource that we share and control, the canvas onto which we paint our lives. We spend it on experiences, take it from the departed and give it to the newcomers, and share it with those we care about.

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Pray For Us

Have you ever had an existential crisis? Not necessarily a serious, identity threatening one, but the kind where you stare at the mirror for a few seconds and ask yourself philosophical questions. I think I had mine at some point in elementary school, and I figure it’s more or less the same for everybody. “What happens after we die?” and “Why are we here?” and “Who am I?” are all quite a lot to handle at any age.

Many turn to religion to answer these questions. In fact, pretty much every religion began this way. One person hypothesized reasons for our existence and a few others nodded their heads while murmuring. A group then formed out of this existential guessing game, and inevitably, these answers morphed as they trickle down generation after generation, like a timeless game of telephone. What’s sad is that The Answers, originally intended to create worldwide harmony, have instead become a medium of conflict.

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God by Default

You either love Kanye West, or you hate him. I don’t mean that as a cliché; rather, I genuinely don’t believe that anyone familiar with the man can have a neutral opinion of him. In fact, many people partition their beliefs (“I loveeee his music, but I hateeee his personality!”) to be agreeable. Honestly, that’s the simplest way to put it. On one hand, he composes sharp, witty, irreverent lyrics that can make you laugh and ponder in the same line; on the other hand, he publicly announces that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on a nationally televised fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims. On one hand, he hand-crafts his own unconventional beats, tailored to each song; on the other hand, he publicly humiliates rising star Taylor Swift (and by extension, Beyoncé) at the 2009 VMAs.

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BoJack Horseman

When I was younger, I was terrified of adult animated comedy shows. They were such fickle bastards; I’d initially think they were innocent cartoons, watch them in front of my parents, and then four “fucks” and three sex jokes later, my parents would flip a shit and do everything but discontinue our cable service.

Things have changed since then. I’ve been invested in Family Guy, with its wacky cut-off gags essential to the show’s comedic engine, and Rick and Morty, a recent Adult Swim cartoon about an alcoholic genius scientist traveling around time and space with his mentally challenged but morally upstanding grandson. Recently, on the recommendation of a friend, I began watching Netflix’s hilarious, wacky, and heartwarming new animated series, BoJack Horseman.

And like they say, the third time’s the charm.

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Mind Reading

I watched a TED Talk a couple weeks ago with daring but awe-inspiring implications. Long story short, the talk, given by Screen Engineer (did not know that was a thing) Mary Lou Jepsen, described advancements in technology and neuroscience that can allow digital devices to read images from our brains. It means exactly what you think it means.

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A Social Mask

The word “introversion” has experienced a heroic transformation in connotation since its genesis. From its objective definition of “turning inwards,” the word has gone to imply shyness, social awkwardness, and friendlessness before finally rising from its oppression and inspiring introverts to recognize their own power. It’s interesting to see the harrowing journey that this word undertook, as its connotations have fluctuated several times.

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