Yea. Change. It's here. Whether you like it or not.
So, the election wasn't as close as many may have thought it would be, but everything else lived up to the billing. I have so many conflicting thoughts about everything that went down last night. So I'm going to try to get them all out in the most coherent way possible.
First, I am typically pretty quiet about my beliefs. I used to be a bit more vocal and passionate, but as time has gone on I've learned that I like to sit back and watch the dogs fight and take pointers from both sides. I'm always a dog ready to fight, but who would rather watch and quietly keep to myself. I feel very strongly about many of the propositions that California was voting on. I did not, however, feel it necessary to hold a sign on a street corner or sport a bumper sticker on my car. This is not how I influence, this is not the message I want to spread. The message I attempt to spread every day is equality, the strength of individuality, the power of contrast and personal opinion. I do not like to impart my beliefs on others because I don't want to influence them one way or the other. I like people to think for themselves and I like to think for myself, so if I ever inquire about one's beliefs, it is simply out of curiosity. I am MORE interested in why you believe what you do rather than what you believe.
But this election season had a different air to it. Something about it made the process seem somewhat fresh. Everyone had a stake in this election one way or another. Debates were raging across the internet and on the street. Harsh words were exchanged, frustration was at an all time high. I admittedly got caught up in the fracas more than a few times, which I am not proud of. I tried my hardest to maintain objectivity and respect, but when disrespect is thrown you can only dodge so much.
So I awoke on election day determined not to discuss anything, just to vote and quietly use my voice. As the day went on, the election results were polarizing. Barack Obama took the White House and almost everyone was extremely happy or extremely sad/angry.
My initial, very personal reaction was elation. After all, it is not often that a person or team (I'm looking at you, 49ers!) I follow and support actually gets to the promised land. I've been an Obama supporter since 2006, even calling the Obama vs. McCain election when Clinton was the front-runner for the Democrats. I soon after discovered Joe Biden, whom I also have a great affinity for. I studied both and liked what I saw. I got my own personal dream ticket when the two joined up. Even on the Republican side, McCain was my favorite of the potential nominees, though he noticeably became influenced by the party as the campaign went on. His concession speech was the McCain I remember respecting greatly. The McCain I would've loved to see more on the campaign trail. So, my dream ticket won tonight and instead of having my personal celebration and excitement for this, I immediately grew concerned for the disenchanted citizens of my country.
Call me crazy, but I care about the state of EVERYONE in my country. I'm not content with just half of us supporting our new president. I became very angered at the negativity and harsh words thrown around after Obama's win was secure.
I saw so many conflicting things yesterday. I don't know if I saw more positive or negative, but I saw a lot of both. I saw a country that, at least for a day, believed in the political process again. A country that cared deeply about this election and the future of our country. I saw many people who voted McCain voice support for Obama. I saw people preaching unity and togetherness. I saw hope.
Then I saw anger. I saw words of absolute hate. I saw people wanting to flee our great and beautiful country because of a simple act of democracy. I saw insults and unwarranted anger and overpassioned responses. I don't like this side of my country.
We aren't supposed to be quitters. We are a united country that always strives for a perfect union. It doesn't matter if such a lofty goal is attainable, the point is that we are supposed to unite behind our fellow men and women, our leaders, and ourselves. No matter if your vote went to the man, woman. or the proposition that won or lost, your vote was your voice. Democracy is a beautiful thing until someone loses, but thats the point. But we cannot look at anything as a loss, we need to look at this as a new chance for our country to mend itself and come together.
Because our views may be different, but our issues are all too similar. We all worry about the economy, about the war, about the safety and future of our children, about our freedoms, and about our lives. We all have different ideas on how to fix these problems, but at some point we need to just try one idea. And we all need to come together on this, despite our differences.
So yes, my "guy" won. Yes, I saw an amazing voter turnout, especially amongst my generation. Yes, I saw passion and belief and pride again. But I saw too many bad things as well... and I hope we move more toward the good.
Because the future of our country depends on the attitude, the ethics, the support, and the unity of our citizens.
I came across a very interesting article that compares Obama and McCain's tech policies. So if you can't find a reason to support either candidate based on social and economic issues, because let's face it... those issues mostly are streamlined due to party affiliation, then look at these differences.
Anyone who reads my blog HAS to be interested in technology and jobs and things like that, so this is an article geared towards that.
Leave any thoughts in the comment section as always.
I noticed Mr. Riddell posted a quick Q&A and I decided to be fair and answer all of the same questions myself. Here are my responses.
Candidate Corey Long's However-Many-Points plan for the Music Scene
Problem: You might be saying, Mr. Long, our record sales are in the shitter! How is our music economy going to survive?
Major labels need regulation. I see a future where Indie and Major labels work together more exclusively. What we are seeing now is abandonment as soon as interest doesn't immediately peak in an artist. Albums and Singles need time to flourish and Labels need to give bands that time. Bands in this scene are hard-working and deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. They are simply trying to achieve the American Dream.
As for the economic issues in the music scene, I think that music doesn't sell itself quite as well as it used to. What we need to do is take the negative aspect (the fact that people are downloading music for free) and turn into a positive. Streaming music online to garner interest is a great thing. Even better is when a pre-order bundle includes a vinyl disc, other various merch, and an immediate download of the album upon release date. Not to mention bonus tracks and bonus material. We need to find ways to sell music again, and we are starting to see some really good things.
Problem: There are all these "Scene" kids and "emo" kids everywhere! I don't know what to do!
A major problem in our scene is branding and stereotyping. Admittedly, there are plenty of people in the scene who are a bit eccentric. This, however, gives us no reason to judge them. We are all entitled to our opinions, but I have always had a policy that there is no tolerance for no tolerance. There are a lot of young kids in our scene and they admittedly get lost in the superficiality and the look of the scene, but some people need that identity and that muse. Just because bands like Panic At The Disco or Fall Out Boy or Paramore may not speak to any of us in a profound way doesn't mean they don't mean the world to many many other people. I understand that people feel an entitlement to the scene, but the whole premise of music is freedom, expression, individuality, and community. We need to remember the fundamentals of our scene and learn to accept those who are different from us.
Problem: Why Does Corey Long hate the scene so much? Why must we endure his feelings of equal rights towards crappy bands?
It's funny to me that Ryan Riddell would pose a fake question like this just to use the opportunity to attack me. I have a great love for this scene. I buy over 100 albums a year and tell all my friends to check out the bands I love. I take my friends to shows and support the local bands in my area. I was in a band just like Mr. Riddell, and though his band definitely played more shows than the two bands I was in, I still was very active in the Bay Area scene. I love this scene with all my heart, music has saved my life on many occasions and is the fuel to my motivation in every aspect of my life.
Bands deserve equal rights because those are the foundations of our scene. Punk Rock was founded on the premise of not conforming and not following the trends. Though this notion has been a bit illegitimized, the foundations are still strong at their core. Even bands that we may deem 'crappy' deserve to play their music. We live in a free country and music is a form of expression that anyone is entitled to, just as we are free to choose which music we support and listen to.
In the next week my campaign will unveil some new ads and a few more surprises. Look forward to a debate between Mr. Riddell and I, as well as our choices for our runningmates. I thank you all for your support.
Well ladies and gents, this is my 100th blog on AP.net. In a little under a year I have managed to be bored enough to vomit my thoughts into this little space 100 times. What's even crazier is that I have garnered a good amount of views in that time. I have about 100 friends on AP.net and a good amount of them check out my blog, including a couple of staff members. I've written poems, songs, angry rants, and music, movie, TV, and video game reviews. I've posted videos of me performing songs and reading my rants or reviews. I've even begun collaborating with another AP.net user (RyanFTW) and venturing into other cool entertainment ideas.
I want to thank all the people from the work thread, despite all the drama, who helped me through a lot of this really rough year. Special thanks to Alyx, who has been a true friend to me and someone who has talked me through all my craziness. I want to thank Lizzy for seriously changing my life in the last few weeks and making me feel like I can do anything. I want to thank Ryan for being crazy enough to come up with the ideas we are actually pursuing. I want to thank all the staff here at AP.net, especially Jason Tate, for giving me a soapbox to stand up on and providing this wonderful site where I spend most of my time.
Last, but not least, I want to thank all my readers/viewers who give me purpose and give me validation that what I think and write and film is entertaining, significant, or just somewhat interesting. I hope you all continue to stick around, I have a lot of cool stuff planned.
Now it is time for me to introduce the "Save The Music" campaign that stars me and RyanFTW. We are campaigning and competing for your votes to be elected Music Scene President. I hope you all will support me and help me to win this scene back. Here is my introductory video:
Here is all the info you need to stay up-to-date with our campaigns, debates, and other info. Remember to vote!
Corey Long Vs. Ryan Riddell in the Music Scene Presidential Race. A month long series dealing with the music issues that are at the hearts of all Americans. Vote for your favorite candidate by visiting his channel or blog in the links below!
There is a new political party that we haven't given an official title yet. It has millions of followers. It has Democratic, Republican, and Third Party values. It is indicative of many Americans, showing no stronger correlation with Men or Women, Blacks or Hispanics, Middle Class or Affluent. It simply exists in the people who hold their opinions with a certain regard and won't even regard anyone else's opinion. This party exists in the people who like to cut those down who don't think like them. This party exists in the people that are apathetic and think that as long as they look out for themselves they don't need to worry about anything else.
And what do we call this party? The Elitist Party? The Arrogant Party. The Generation Y Party? For argument's sake, let's call this the Elitist Party, because it plays on a general theme of this election.
The Elitist party is not strictly anything but a collection of subcategories. Liberal Elitists will say that conservatives always attack character and make false claims and never attack the issues. Conservative Elitists will say that Liberals make unrealistic promises, put too much in the government's hands, and that they are out of touch with the 'average' American. Third Party Elitists say the general American public is bipartisan and too extreme to one side instead of meeting in the middle where issues can actually be resolved.
So there is no right answer. There is no correct stereotype to make.
Because, you see, there is no party that can make a claim to sharing every detail of opinion for every member of that party. Because the truth is, there is no one person that shares your exact belief system. Granted, there are people who are close. Very close. Inches away even. But there is some fiber of belief that separates you from every other person in the world. Yet we are forced to all fit into a category. I've looked at dozens of political parties, finding many that match me one way or another. But in the end, when it comes down to the big decision in November, I have two choices. Democrat or Republican. Even though I don't completely agree with the ways of either party.
And the proof is in the polls. You have registered Republicans voting Democrat and vice versa, you have Third Party people like me voting one or the other. When it comes down to it we all have to pick one of two. Not necessarily the one we really want.
And then because of this party system, we take sides and argue and accuse. We talk condescendingly to our peers and write them off as ignorant if they don't completely agree with us. Well that's the problem. NO ONE completely agrees with anyone. There is always some conflict. But no one is ever willing to accept another point of view or find valid points in different arguments. We can't just blindly believe that everyone will think our opinion is correct, even if we feel so strongly that it is. We can't force other people to think the way we do. So why can't we debate and talk and discuss without animosity? Why can't we consider other thoughts and let those thoughts influence us?
I know that my beliefs change often. I see valid arguments all across the board. That is not to say that I don't have opinions of my own, but I'm not going to ever discredit someone's opinion, no matter how stupid or out of touch I think it is. I don't need to disclose what I believe in, because that isn't the point. The point is that I have a hard time finding someone who can talk about different opinions without feeling like they want to convince me to think their way.
So, essentially, this Elitist party is why we have parties. Because there is no way to have a true Democracy. Too many people don't like to think for themselves and like the ease of choosing something off a menu rather than making it themselves. So this is the alternative we are stuck with.
So all I ask is, don't attack others or be snobby about what you believe in. Acknowledge a valid point when it is made, agree when to disagree, and vote based on what you believe in. Don't let people talk you out of that unless you truly believe in what they are arguing. Don't give up your individuality.
Man, I love Drumstick ice cream cones. Totally delicious. I took a break from working out tonight so I could do some good old fashioned web-surfin'. I read a TON of news and visit a TON of sites on a daily basis. Here are some links I think you will enjoy that I visit pretty regularly:
I go here for my music news of course. I browse my 49ersblogs, other sports and fantasy news, tech and video game news, politics and general news, movie info, and many others. I also visit the typical social networking sites, this one being my most frequented. This video site is amazing. I watched the entire series of Arrested Development and the second season of Friday Night Lights on it. Youtube is great and all for videos from the average person, but for good quality movies and TV Shows for free, you can't go wrong with hulu. I buy all of my music from this site, as well as my books for school, posters, other technology, supplies, etc. If you want to get your life organized, one more site I'd recommend is this one. Go here for lyrics, and here for tabs. Those are all my favorite links so I hope you can make use of them. I'll take recommendations from anyone else if they have any.
A few more links you should check out because you love me are:
Donate to the American Heart Association for my Heart Walk
I really do love them. But I hate them almost as much. I understand the frustration it brings to many people. I don't understand, however, how people can just not care about the leadership of our country.
Never has the entire world been so accessible than now. I can miss something on TV and catch it by recording on my DVR or viewing it online anytime I want. I can have a presidential candidate email me about what he is doing next, hell, this candidate can even text me updates on my phone.
With all this information at our fingertips, it boggles my mind that my generation is not only misinformed, but doesn't care to be informed at all. And then many of those who do listen to what they see on TV or in other various media outlets accept what they see blindly. I'm going to use a few analogies to help explain myself.
If an ESPN analyst tells you that your favorite team or player is going to have an awful year, you may accept that as a possibility, but do you just accept that as an absolute truth?
If a reviewer says one of your favorite albums or movies is crap, do you accept that as an absolute truth?
If you are religious and your pastor/whatever tells you that your way of life is wrong, do you go and change everything about your life just because he/she said so?
You see, we've reached the point in the election when it isn't about politics anymore. Right now, it is about who can fool you the best. Every stupid little detail is going to get hashed and rehashed over and over again. Every word will be scrutinized. Every voting record reviewed. Every absent glace mocked.
So, this is your job as an a citizen of a country that likes to boast its prominence and dominance and superiority to actually live up to the name we try to create for ourselves as U.S. citizens. Don't be part of this bravado and don't be part of the ignorance. I'm not telling you who to vote for, I'm telling you to vote and be informed when you do.
I, myself, am not afraid to voice my support for Obama/Biden. I'm not some bandwagon supporter either. I've supported both candidates since 2006. I saw Obama speak in Arizona before the primaries (coincidentally right before I saw Bill Clinton speak a few days later), and I saw Biden make an appearance on the Daily Show around that time. After seeing both men and hearing what they had to say, I researched their rhetoric and voting records. I liked what I saw from both: Obama being an eloquent speaker I felt could rally the youth who had a good voting record and pretty typical Democratic agenda, and Biden a firey, experienced policitian well-versed in foreign policy.
So last Saturday, when Obama texted me his choice of Biden as his VP candidate, I got my own version of the 'dream ticket'.
And as I've been watching the Democratic Convention, I've been thinking about the history being made here. I never thought that the first election I voted in would mean so much. I never thought I'd actually look up politicial news and keep track of primaries and make donations and watch videos of speeches and be moved. I never thought I'd do any of this. That in itself is a good sign for young Americans who have been moved by this coming election.
Seeing Hilary Clinton speak on Obama's behalf was also surprisingly touching to me. I saw something I liked in her, considering I wasn't a big fan for quite some time. I never thought Obama, the guy I liked so much back in 2006, would actually be where he is right now. I relate to him, he feels like a human to me. He is flawed but strong and persistent. He plays relatively fair and is geniune.
I understand why people would want to vote for McCain. People are resistant to change. People are self-involved and feel that as long as they have been okay during the last 8 years, they shouldn't have to worry about what others have gone through. People think a slowly declining system is better than exploring something new.
I just don't see how people don't want to bring our troops home, provide more people with healthcare, help our middle and lower classes achieve some financially stability, improve schools, etc.
I know what all of this is like. I work in the health insurance industry. I've talked to people absolutely devastated by a lack of health coverage. I was lucky enough to receive a surgery costing over $30,000 for a few copays because of my coverage. I have a cousin in Iraq. He is a proud soldier and has volunteered to go back. I just hope that he doesn't die in vain for being so loyal to a country sending him to fight a war that has an unclear purpose. I had to take an extra year to save up money just so I can go to college. I've already accepted that to get where I want career-wise I will have to get into a hole of debt. I have another cousin who has over $300,000 of loans from dental school, and even he goes to third world countries to provide dental services to the needy.
These people are who we need to support. We can't always be about ourselves, it isn't a good way to live. If we look after our fellow men and women we will get the same in return. I have no problem paying a few extra taxes if my parents will recieve better care when they grow old. I have no problem doing what I can to lower college tuition and improve high school education. I have no problem doing what I need to do so my friends and family can get the same kind of health coverage I have.
And if you want to argue that I haven't doine anything? I'll let you know that I have worked in the health insurance industry at a not-for-profit company and sent letters to legistlation to advocate changes in healthcare. I have offerred to speak at high schools about financial responsibility. I have expressed interest in going on mission trips but don't have the money to afford such a trip at this time. I have given $1000 of my own money for a scholarship that I gave to a graduating high school student who needed some extra aid.
I'm asking you all to think outside yourselves. I'm asking you to vote with your best interests as well as others around you in mind. I'm asking you to research the candidates and really think about who is going to do a better job. I'm not asking you to vote Obama over McCain, I'm asking you to vote well informed.
So I've been meaning to write this for a while and it finally got to me enough that I felt the need to blog it. Before we continue, I think I've written a blog for every day this week... I like that.
Anyway, once upon a time I was an arrogant kid coming out of high school who had spent four years acting and singing. Maybe I wanted to continue doing that but being the cynical realist I am, I didn't want to be grouped with all the other 'actor' friends I had. So, I did a few things to try to establish myself as a separate entity.
First, I went out-of-state to Arizona State University so that I wasn't another California-dweller. I wanted big change and I wanted distinction.
Second, I wanted to find a way to combine my love for theatrics, my love for writing, and my love for intelligence. I settled with journalism because it was a way for me to be on TV or radio, a way for me to write regularly, and a way for me to stay involved in what was going on with the world.
Those who know me know very well how these ideas failed. There are the countless excuses for why I left ASU; the money, the person I became when I was there, the jumping-without-looking mentality that had driven all my decisions since starting senior year of high school, etc. What isn't mentioned much, and the subject of today's blog, is how my 'dream' major completely failed me.
The media has gone to hell. Plain and simple. The legitimacy is gone. The integrity is gone. The sensibility is gone. 'Entertainment' News is the biggest money maker. Politics have been turned into a game of misquoting and misrepresentation. Regular news has become so morbid that it has desensitized the public. There is no uniting factor anymore, instead the media just divides us.
And imagine being one of the young hopeful, coming into a place where you thought creativity, intelligence, integrity, and truthfulness would be the very essence of the air you breathed and instead finding it filled with deceit, outside influence, superficiality, and lack of morals. It's like running outside expecting fresh, icy cold air and breathing hot, ashy air instead. It smothers you and crushes you at the same time.
I think the worst part was the lack of hope, the lack of anything to be excited about. And when excitement was generated, it was because someone famous had died, or because a school had a mass shooting, or because a political candidate made 'elitist' remarks.
People wonder then, why the switch to business? I get it. Business is just as evil if not more. The business I am part of now determines who gets health insurance by whether or not a person is healthy. I get to tell people who have similiar problems to me that they can't get help from us. So, what's better about that? I guess it's the nature of things. The political system is why the health insurance industry is the way it is. It's a result of our capitalist society, our emphasis on individuality, flourishing business, lack of governmental control, and lack of wanting to help anyone but ourselves.
And that is fine. That is how we choose to be in America, it works and it makes sense. Why should we all work so hard for ourselves AND pick up others along the way? Let a person be a product of their own work ethic. A poor person earned his place and a rich person earned his.
I guess with business, there is some sort of hope. There are jobs to be had, an economy to be tended to, product to get out. Sure, someone always gets hurt, but there is good that comes from it. I mean, in the end, my company does help many many people. There is trade-off and compromise and, one would hope, a dedication to improvement. In business lies the American Dream, the idea that a homey bed and breakfast can succeed. The small venue that helps up-and-coming bands get recognition. The start-up internet website that gives people the resources to find fun things to do. Yes, there are the Enrons and the Wal-Marts... but every good has an evil attached to it.
But I don't see the good with the media. The media has perpetuated an obession with entertainers to the point that it drives them to arrogance, insanity, drug-use, and inappopriate behavior. The media has driven politics to the ground with a focus on over-analyzing every action a person makes and scrutinizing every single aspect. There are senior military advisors who never served in the military. There are people paid by whomever to go on TV and spew nonsense. There are anchors who achieve their dream by reading a teleprompter influenced by whatever billionaire pays to keep the studio running. There is no good news. No one cares about humanitarian efforts or groups who strive to make the world better. Instead we hear about who has killed whom, why every aspect of our lifestyles are failing, and how everyone we elect is letting us down.
We become separated by what we are shown. It's all bipartisanship, it's all about taking sides. Clinton supporters call Obama an elitist, Obama supporters call McCain a Bush Jr, McCain supporters call Clinton an overexagerrated liar. Then people start to base their opinions on the most ridiculous things. They don't like Clinton because she voted a certain way or Obama because he knew someone or McCain because he's old.
I don't ask people to take away their opinions of a candidate or an issue. I ask people to not be so influenced by the media's bullshit. Even sports media has become ridiculous, telling people a player won't do well because of his lack of experience.
And thats the other thing... why the big focus on experience? Experience is important, but not as much as people like to think. All the time, people come in with less experience and succeed at their jobs. It's why some rookies play better than 7 year veterans in sports, it's why a younger person can be someone's boss, it's why a student can discover things that 20-year scientists can miss. Every person is different, every aspect of success is differentiated.
Stop believing age-old formulas that simply don't apply to every situation. Stop believing something just because you read it online or heard it on TV. Form your own opinions, do your own research, or simply be apathetic in your own resentment. Whatever you do, just don't let the media fix your mind.
And if you want honest thoughts without outside influence or perpetuated, bipartisan ethics, then read a blog. You may not agree and you may not like, but you can bet it has more integrity than what you see on TV.