Travis Alexander, 30, was a successful motivational speaker and salesman for Prepaid Legal Services. In June of 2008, Alexander was planning on attending a work-related trip Cancun, Mexico with a female friend. However, around the time of the trip, Alexander disappeared, even missing a conference call on the evening of June 4, 2008, which is estimated as the night of his death. His roommate was under the impression that Alexander had already left for Cancun. Suspicious, his friends decided to check on Alexander.
They were greeted with a horrible odor as they walked into the home Alexander shared with a roommate. When they opened the door to his bedroom, they saw blood on the floor. They went into Alexander’s bathroom and found a gruesome scene. Blood was spattered all over the walls. Their friend lay dead in his bathtub. Alexander’s roommate had no idea that Alexander had been lying dead in his bathroom for five days.
Alexander’s friends called 911 and were asked if anyone had recently threatened Alexander and the caller replied that his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Arias, had been stalking him.
Investigators determined that Alexander had been stabbed from behind 27 times, his throat was cut and he had been shot in the head. His hands bore defensive wounds and a.25 caliber shell casing was recovered from scene. A bloody palm print was also found at the scene.
Travis Alexander met Jodi Arias at a sales conference in Las Vegas in 2006. Arias was also a salesperson for Pre-Paid Legal. Alexander was very successful at his job and also worked for the company as a motivational speaker and taught sales seminars. Arias was much less successful at her job, making just enough money to get by, while Alexander drove a BMW and owned a large, beautiful home. Alexander needed a date for dinner during the convention one night and a co-worker suggested Arias.
Arias grew up in southern California and is described as a rebellious teen who dropped out of high school when she was 17-years-old. She is described as an artistic person with a specific interest in photography. After dropping out of school, Arias moved in with a boyfriend and drifted from job to job. Mostly, Arias worked as a waitress and lived with a series of boyfriends. Through a friend, she heard about Prepaid Legal Services and applied for a job as a salesperson.
Travis Alexander had a terrible childhood as the child of two drug addicts who neglected him. His grandmother took him in and introduced him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He embraced the Mormon faith and became a leader in the church.
Alexander hit it off with the attractive and articulate Arias. Their relationship continued after they returned home. The two worked for the same company but for different offices – Arias lived in Palm Desert, California and Alexander lived in Mesa, Arizona. The two texted constantly and saw each other on weekends.
As investigators looked into Alexander’s relationship with Arias, they found out from friends that Arias was a very possessive and jealous girlfriend who would snoop through texts and messages on his phone. Alexander reportedly found this flattering, however, he did not take the relationship as seriously as Arias. She viewed Alexander as potential husband material while Alexander saw Arias as an insatiable “nymphomaniac” who was a lot of fun in bed. If she was in love; he was in lust.
Two months into the relationship, Alexander told her that he would only consider a serious relationship with another member of his church. Arias converted without hesitation with Alexander performing the baptism. However, Alexander didn’t see Arias as “wife” material. He wanted a woman who was more conservative and “chaste” for a wife. The two actually ended their relationship as a couple after five months but still continued to have a sexual relationship.
Alexander reportedly planned the Cancun trip early in 2008 and was intending on bringing Arias with him. By April 2008, he had changed his plans and was bringing a female friend instead. His friends told investigators that he said Arias had been stalking him and had even slashed his tires.
Investigators recovered a digital camera, which had been damaged in the washing machine. They were able to retrieve the photos on it, which were taken on June 4 at 1:40 p.m. The pictures were of Arias and Alexander in sexual poses with one of the last photos of Alexander in the shower at 5:29 p.m. The final photo was unclear but appears to be of Alexander bleeding on the bathroom floor. The bloody palm print found at the scene was found to contain DNA from both Arias and Alexander.
In the days leading up to Alexander’s murder, it was also discovered that Arias’ grandparents’ home was burglarized and a .25 caliber semiautomatic Colt pistol was stolen. The gun was never recovered but the shell casing recovered at the crime scene was a .25 caliber shell.
Arias was charged with murder on June 9, 2008.
Arias’ story of what happened the night of Alexander’s death would change. At first, she claimed that both her and Travis were attacked in his home that night and that the masked assailants allowed her to live. Then, she would change her story to that of self-defense against an abusive boyfriend. A psychologist would testify in her defense that she suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Arias’ trial began in January of 2013. She was found guilty of first degree murder in May of 2013. The jury was undecided on what Arias’ sentence should be and another trial began for sentencing in October 2013. The erotic images taken on the night of Alexander’s murder were presented as evidence to counter the prosecution’s assertion that Arias had been stalking Alexander and that he was afraid of her.
In March of 2015, Jodi Arias was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. She is currently serving her sentence at Arizona State Prison Complex-Perryville.
Snapped, Season 11, Episode 9; Oxygen Network (2013)
Dylann operated in isolation. He did not join groups, and he had little opportunity to discuss racism and his developing ideas. His internet search history includes searches related to racial content as early as 2008 (search for Aryan Brotherhood), and in evaluation, Dylann explained that he became ‘racially aware’ after Trayvon Martin was shot in 2012 and he googled ‘black on white crime’. As Dylann described in his confession, when he made that Google search, he was presented with FBI statistics that purportedly showed staggering rates of White women raped by Black men. He did not question these statistics, and apparently did not discuss them with others who could raise questions about their validity.
While there is no reason to believe that ASD can cause racism, ASD as well as other psychiatric conditions can fuel behavior in people that draws them to fringe political movements.
During those critical years between ages of 14 and 18, Dylann was reading information online, but he was not having many in-person conversations with others who could provide additional information or point him toward other sources. Dylann explained that the more extreme views he encountered online were off-putting at first, but he got more and more accustomed to them as he continued reading. He exposed himself to large amounts of racist information online and, in the absence of interpersonal relationships, work, or other hobbies, the interest swelled.
On the Internet, Dylann encountered extreme rightwing ideology. With Dylann’s disordered thinking and autistic focus and concentration, along with lack of exposure to competing points of view, racist thought became the most important thing in his life.
I’m standing on my soapbox today, so bear with me.
As early as 2008, studies began to show that Fibromyalgia
was an illness with ties to “extra” nerve endings and neurogenic
inflammation, though the primary culprit is considered to be “altered
signaling in the brain and spinal cord.” These are physical and chemical
issues within the body which generate widespread pain, tenderness in specific
locations, and a host of additional symptoms. The pain of Fibromyalgia can
occur in any body site (face, low back, neck, upper limb, thorax, abdominal,
pelvis, urogenital region), or in a combination of body sites (widespread
The following symptoms may also occur with fibromyalgia: Digestive
problems, including irritable bowel syndrome with gas, and alternating diarrhea
and constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, painful menstrual periods, problems
with balance, tension or migraine headaches, tingling or numbness in the hands
and feet, and even urinary frequency caused by bladder spasms. Fibromyalgia is
also often associated with sleep disturbance, and comorbidities (such as
depression, anxiety, anger, guilt, fear, and a range of chronic medical
It’s important to note that Fibromyalgia has symptoms that
resemble those of some rheumatic illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis and
lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus).
I’ve got a lot to say about my experiences with Fibromyalgia
and the other chronic medical conditions I suffer from, but today I want to focus
on treatment options for Fibro. I’m given no treatment, as I refused to attend cognitive behavior therapy and the doctor at the Mayo Clinic, where I was diagnosed, doesn’t believe in treating Fibromyalgia with medication. He’s not alone.
The science journal Annals of the
Rheumatic Diseases recently updated an article they published in July of 2016
which focuses on the management of Fibromyalgia. This article is interesting
because it consists of 19 doctors from 12 countries combing through 2,979
studies to determine the absolute best treatment options for those who are
suffering from this debilitating disorder.
Their conclusion? The only treatment they STRONGLY RECOMMEND
is exercise. They decided that management for these patients, who are suffering
the same as patients with similar chronic ailments, should only involve patient
education and a focus on non-pharmacological therapies, mainly exercise.
Now I know and you know that exercise is a wonderful tool
for regaining our health, but there’s a problem here. A big one.
Researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University
recently published their own study. It concluded that four in five people with
fibromyalgia do no aerobic exercise. They were started to find so many of them
refusing to participate in even low-level activity, so they questioned the
patients and asked why they wouldn’t exercise. The responses?
An increase in pain and fatigue was the most common reason
given for not exercising.
I am one of those patients. I do exercise when I can; walking has had the least impact on my health but even that can cause major setbacks that leave me in bed for weeks– so why are doctors ignoring this? Why are they refusing to treat
patients with Fibromyalgia as if they have a real illness? Let me repeat something
I shared earlier:
It’s important to note that Fibromyalgia has symptoms that
resemble those of some rheumatic illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis and
My youngest son put this is in really easy to understand terms. Its as if there is something jamming the internet at your house, so the techs recommend you upgrade the jamming device.
Can you imagine a patient with RA being told they couldn’t
have relief from their pain and that they should just take up Yoga?*
This is shameful.
For those interested in reading the article, here’s the full
Macfarlane GJ, Kronisch C, Dean LE, et al EULAR revised
recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia Annals of the Rheumatic
* Not that those patients don’t get their own helping of garbage from doctors, from the ridiculous run around trying to get a diagnosis to the constant fight for proper medical care. Not trying to diminish any other chronic illness; ijs.
New day, new series of photos. I’m going to try to blog about the planets of the Solar System; First up is Mercury, which is the smallest and innermost planet. With a diameter ~4878km, it is smaller than some of the moons in the Solar System. The small planet in a 3:2 resonance with the sun, giving it a unique position where a single day takes 2 Mercurian years. It has the smallest tilt of any planet in the Solar System at just 1/30 of a degree.
Ryden. Ryan Ross and Brendon Urie. The two men who have royally fucked up my life. I wanted to “decode” their relationship. Song lyrics, interview, lore. Everything. If anyone has read M Theory about Sherlock, that is the feel I’m going for. I’m going to do this chronologically, but first a quick overview of Ryden and a little background. Even If you don’t believe they were in love, the loss of friendship is just as sad.
A lot of this is speculation. I love Brendon, Ryan, Jon, Spencer, Dallon and Sarah.
So, Ryan Ross and Brendon Urie are both known because of the band Panic! At the Disco. A band that has had no fewer than nine members. The originals, Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith, and Brent Wilson. Ryan and Spencer had been friends since they were five and had begun the band playing Blink-182 covers. Many splits over twelve years, leaving lead singer, Brendon Urie, the only original member left.
Panic! Was originally Ryan and Spencer Smith (original drummer’s) band, joined by Brent Wilson (original bassist) who was the one to bring in Brendon. The thing is, Brendon was originally the backup guitarist with Ryan as lead vocals. After hearing Brendon sing they made him lead singer and Ryan the lead guitarist. Ryan was reluctant to let Brendon take over, these were HIS songs about HIS struggles. Both Ryan and Brendon have talked about how hard it was for them to communicate on how to sing the songs. You might know the next bit, they sent some demos (Camisado, Time to Dance, Nails for Breakfast and Tacks for Snacks) to Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy bassist) who flew to LA and watched them practice. He ended up signing them to his label, decaydance. Ryan wrote all of the songs from A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, the album including hit, I Write Sins Not Tragedies. Chances are, this is the first P!atd song you ever heard. Ryan and Brendon were beginning to warm up to each other.
Panic! Really hit it big in 2006. They sold 10, 000 albums in the first week. Later on that year they won ‘MTV video of the Year’ for I Write Sins. They began to tour. This is around the time they started the ‘stage-gay’. You may have seen the ‘Perfect Passionate Kiss’ video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK25McZVK0c) . Later this year the first split occurred, bassist Brent Wilson was kicked out of the band. It was revealed that he didn’t record any bass on the album. Instead, Brendon had filled in and recorded all of the bass. The Nothing Rhymes With Circus tour replaced Brent with Jon Walker. The Circus tour’s most notable event was
Panic! Had a dancer named Dream, who every night would go on stage and say that Brendon was a virgin. In an interview, Dream said this was a lie. Greta Salpeter from Hush Sound, who was touring with Panic! Said that they went skinny dipping at Myrtle Beach around midnight. This is normal. Friends skinny dip together all the time. What makes it part of Ryden Lore is good ol’ Ryro’s livejournal post later that night.
6-25-06 01:21:28 PDT - (No Subject)
The moon bred new Atlantic life tonight. the salt burned you right out of my eyes. and secrets we’re not proud of were taken with the tide. We were all newborns with blurred vision and no sense of direction.
Today I saw cancer, cigarettes and shortness of breath. this is why I walk to the ocean. swim with jellyfish. I may never get this chance again. this is why if you want to kiss you should kiss. If you want to cry you should cry, and if you want to live you should live. You don’t have to love me. You already did. At least enough to keep me smiling from South Carolina to Virginia. it’s for lovers (orjustfriends) This is why I do it.
THIS IS AFTER BEING NAKED WITH BRENDON. UNDER THE MOONLIGHT. JUST SAYING.
Also, I’m going to mention a few lyrics here. I will go deeper into lyrics later on.
Hey moon, please forget to fall down.
I’m just going to say, it’s probable that Ryan and Brendon fucked that night. I think this lyric is about not wanting that night to end. Hey moon, don’t you go down. Don’t go down because that means this night is over. A night which was probably one of the best of their lives.
2007 was pretty uneventful. They started to work on Pretty. Odd, around the same time Ryan’s dad passed away. They worked through it though. The band.
They released the first single Nine in the Afternoon, early in 2008. What stands out about this song is really the video. Despite having great lyrics, if you’re looking at this through the Ryden Conspiracy Theorist Lens™ like I am, the video really stands out. The end especially shows how comfortable they were around each other. It’s just really cute. I don’t want to talk about Northern Downpour yet because it’s 1 AM and I don’t want to cry right now. So we’re going to talk about When The Day Met The Night. This is the Sun and Moon theory. Ryan is the sun, Brendon is the moon. Some believe it’s the other way around. Please check http://analyzingpanic.tumblr.com/post/65592663208/i-think-its-the-other-way-around-ryans-the-sun for why I think this. I think that the song is a story. A story about how they fell in love.
When the moon (Brendon) found the sun (Ryan) he looked like he was barely hanging on. I think this is saying that before Brendon, Ryan was close to giving up.
Her (Brendon) eyes saved his (Ryan) life. Brendon’s love saved Ryan. Like it or not, Brendon’s voice is what gave Panic! That little boost that it desperately needed to make it big. Many other songs reference this particular piece of lore. Anyway, I guess I have to do it now. Northern Downpour. THE Ryden song. First, we have to talk about Ryan’s 21st birthday. Pete threw Ryan a party in New York, which is on the EAST coast. Ryan was the only one drinking age, so the rest flew to RAINY NORTHERN SEATTLE. Around midnight Ryan left his party and his girlfriend, Keltie Colleen, and flew to Seattle without warning. Maybe you’ve already figured it out.
I missed your skin when you were east. Ryan was on the east coast away from Brendon. This ties in with- You clicked your heels and wished for me. Ryan wished he was with Brendon.
I know the world’s a broken bone, but melt your headaches, call it home. THIS LINE. Ryan told Brendon to pay special attention to this line. Also, this is the line when Brendon would start crying while performing it after the 2009 split. The meaning though. I think it’s about how yes, the world sucks, and hurts. But if you ignore that, let the pain melt away, it’s home.
You may be wondering how we know about Seattle. The thing is, there’s photos of them there. Eating at the Market. Ryan in the same clothes as the night before. Seattle itself is very important. Ryan has said it’s his favourite place to perform. Ry was driving to Seattle when he got the call that his father died. Of course there’s also the “Maybe one day we’ll settle in Seattle” line. Also Bren breaking down while performing Casual Affair in Seattle.
Okay. I’m done with 2008. Bring on 2009.
If I didn’t want to talk about Northern Downpour, I definitely don’t want to talk about 2009. But I gotta. Fuck 2009. 2009 is the year of the split. The cited reason of the split is ‘Musical Differences’ I think that this is partially true. Ryan and Jon had begun to write music on their own. They had also started to make fun of Brendon’s attempts at writing music. The tension was building. They did try to work things out by going to a cabin to write their next album, Crickets and Clover. Never heard of it? That’s okay. It was never released. Now. Now we talk about Cape Town.
This was it. The End. I can’t really talk about Cape Town. No one knows what happened.
The Young Veins
Ryan and Jon left. They formed their own semi-successful band. There’s a few song we need to talk about. Lie to the Truth is all about how Ryan tried to love Keltie, but couldn’t. About how he wanted needed their relationship to stay private. But I really need to talk about Cape Town. Yes, they wrote a song about. BUT IT’S RYAN ROSS SO NO ONE FUCKING KNOWS WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT. POETIC LITTLE SHIT. Specifically, the contrast between it and The Calendar. I think that The Calendar is very important so I’ll talk about it separately later.
Cape Town vs. The Calendar
And I meant everything that I said that night. Brendon did mean everything he said. Presumably they had a fight.
I will come back to life, but only for you. THIS CHANGES THE LAST LINE. Yes, Brendon meant what he said, he was mad. But he was still in love. He can forgive him. Only him.
Woke me in the morning, asked me if I meant it. I’m assuming Ryan said some pretty shitty things to Brendon. But he didn’t mean them.
I loved, I left you, in Cape Town. Ryan did love Brendon, but they couldn’t stay together.
Vices & Virtues
I love this album. So much. I cried the first time I listened to it. I swear this entire album is about Ryan Ross. Every song has meaning so this’ll take a while.
The Ballad of the Mona Lisa
Say what you mean. Ryan stop being so cryptic and just TELL BRENDON WHAT YOU MEAN.
Let the sun rain down on me. Sun and Moon theory.
Give me a sign, I want to believe. Brendon wants Ryan to show him he’s still in love with him, Brendon wants them to be together.
You’re guaranteed to run this town. Good job, Ry! You finally have control over you music. Even later into 2009 Ryan and Brendon still struggled with how Brendon was singing Ryan’s lyrics. This is Bren being petty.
I’d pay to see you frown. Brendon wants Ryan to fail so he’ll finally realize that he needs Brendon.
Pleased to please ya. Brendon felt like Ryan thought that it was a privilege for Brendon to sleep with him.
You’re behind my eyelids when I’m all alone. Brendon misses Ryan. A lot.
I led the revolution, in my bedroom. This is talking about the fact Ryden was a LGBTQ+ relationship.
They don’t look like me. Brendon’s a cocky lil shit. Brendon knows that Ryan isn’t going to be with anyone more attractive than him.
They don’t sound like me. No matter how hard Ryan and Jon try, none of those songs they write can sound like his. They don’t have the vocal ability.
This one hurts too. Memories
With an unrequited love. Brendon felt that Ryan never really loved him back
She was the youngest of the family, and the last to be let go. Brendon was the youngest of a large mormon family.
Then they decided that they would try to make it on their own. The original four all risked everything for this chance that they would make it in the music world.
Oh memories, where’d you go? You were all I’d ever known. I actually think this is about Ryan and Spencer’s friendship. One of the unanswered questions of the split is, why did Spencer side with Brendon even though Ryan had been his best friends since they were five?
How I miss yesterday. Brendon and Spencer both just really want it to be 2009 again.
When July became December. An overarching theme of this album is summer ending. This is often related to the split.
But they couldn’t quite remember what inspired them to go. After the underwhelming debut of The Young Veins, Ryan and Jon would have to watch Panic! Make a comeback, without them.
They were fighting for their love, it was growing tired. Brendon and Ryan tried to make it work.
When the money lost momentum. Ryan and Jon were probably rolling in Panic! Royalties after they left, but although they still gain a little money from their Panic! Days, it’s definitely slowed down.
They were young and independent, and they thought they had it planned. Should have known right from the start, you can’t predict the end. At the beginning they were young, and desperate for separation from their parents. They thought everything would be perfect. You can’t predict how things will end.
Don’t let it fade away. I think that this is a message to us, the fans. Don’t let these first two albums be forgotten.
I think this song is about Brendon’s mistakes as a lover and friend. About how it bothers him that Ryan can seemingly just keep going without him. Brendon knows he fucked up by letting Ryan leave, he wants to trade those mistakes for peace of mind
Ready to Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)
You’ve got these little things, that you’ve been running from. Ryan had a troubled childhood that still haunts him, it’s why he can’t stay with someone from his past. These tiny things following him everywhere.
I’m ready to live. Fuck Ryan Ross. Brendon is learning how to be in Panic! Without Ryan. Learning to live without Ryan.
Get me out of my mind. Brendon wants to think about anything but Ryan.
Always this song fucks me up too
When the world gets too heavy, put it on my back. I think this is about how Ryan wrote songs about his struggles, then Brendon had to sing it. Brendon would have to carry part of the burden.
You’re taking me apart. Brendon is slowly being pulled apart, Ryan left him. His band is split in two.
It was always you, falling for me. Brendon now sees that Ryan did love him.
I’m the light blinking at the end of the road, blink back to let me know. Despite everything, Brendon is still waiting for Ryan. He’s begging Ryan for a sign that there’s something worth waiting for.
I’m a fly that’s trapped, in a web, but I’m thinking that, my spider’s dead. Brendon is still very in love with Ryan, but he’s beginning to believe that there’s no hope for them.
Lonely, lonely little life, I could kid myself, thinking that I’m fine. Brendon feels alone without Ryan. Yes, he has Spencer, but it’s not the same. Even though he knows that Spencer can’t replace Ryan in anyway, he can make himself believe that.
If you don’t let it out, you’re gonna let it eat you away. Ryan and Brendon were keeping their love a secret and it was slowly destroying them.
Pray I could replace her, forget the way her tears taste. Brendon tried to replace Ryan and Jon with Dallon, but it wasn’t the same.
Put another X on the calendar, summer’s on its death bed. Summer was when their love both blossomed and and died.
There’s simply nothing worse than knowing how it ends. Brendon had said in interviews that he’d hoped that they’d be together forever. I bet if you’d told 17 year old Panic! That it would end with them all hating each other, not talking. Toxic relationships. They would have hesitated before signing to decaydance.
And I meant everything I said that night, I’ll come back to life, but only for you. This is hinting at the resurgence of Panic! Literally 90% of the songs on V&V were about Ryan. Panic! Came back, but for Ryan.
Don’t want to call it a second chance, but when I came back, it was more of a relapse. Whenever Brendon gave Ryan a second chance it felt like he was doing drugs again, like he was high. Like he had broken a promise to himself.
THIS SONG IS ABOUT SARAH. I CAN MAKE AN ARGUMENT FOR MOST OF THESE SONGS. BUT. THIS. IS. ABOUT. SARAH.
This song is special because it’s technically the last song written by Ryan Ross for Panic! He didn’t write all of it though. We need to start with the french.
Dès le premier jour, ton parfum enivra mon amour, et dans ces instants, j'aimerais être comme toi par moments, mais depuis ce jour, je n'ai qu'un seul et unique regret
From day one, my love your perfume intoxicated, and in these moments
I want to be like you at times, but since that day, I only have a single regret. Most of this comes in again later.
Here I am, composing a burlesque. What’s really important about this line is how Brendon performs it. This is the last line Ryan ever wrote. Brendon will often perform it mockingly, many people have interpreted it as Brendon being petty af and making fun of Ryan.
I only shoot up with your perfume. Only Ryan can get him the high he craves.
I’ve got just one regret to live through, that one regret is you. Brendon regrets Ryan, regrets their love.
I’ve got just one regret to live through, and I regret ever letting you go. This changes the meaning of the original line. Now, it’s about Brendon regretting letting what he and Ryan had die. He thinks he should’ve held onto it as long as possible.
Mona Lisa, pleased to please ya. This makes me think that the Mona Lisa is Ryan. Even though Brendon regrets leaving Ryan, he knows he was never as much to Ryan as Ryan was to him.
The album as a whole
Brendon is a salty bitch.
Not much happened between this and Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die. Brendon cried while performing Northern Downpour. Idk not much. Oh yeah, Brendon and Sarah got married.
Too Rare to Live, Too Rare to Die
I think this album is a lot of Brendon accepting his sexuality, Ryan+Jon being gone, and the future. A fair amount of this album was written by Dallon.
This is Gospel
This song is about Spencer and his struggle with addiction.
When I saw Panic! In concert, Brendon said this was about a girl in Vegas. I think that there’s some parts that apply to Ryan though. I think when Brendon sings about no one knowing who was there, he’s talking about how they’d had to keep their love a secret.
Girl That You Love
This song was dedicated to Ryan Ross in the album notebook.
Drop every pretense. Pretense literally means an attempt to make something that is not the case to appear true. So basically Brendon is saying, ‘hey Ry, yeah remember how we pretended we weren’t in love. Yeah stop that’
The song’s about how Brendon felt addicted to Ryan’s love, always saying that it would be the last time.
I actually think this isn’t about Ryan, but instead Brendon realizing that it’s okay for him to have these feelings for another man.
This song is talking about how they’d both just said, ‘Oh it’s okay, we’re young, fooling around.’ If you want to cry watch this video of Brendon singing Casual Affair and breaking down. In Seattle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhXDQBZNdIE
End of All Things
I am always yours. Yes, Brendon’s married and loves Sarah. But this song is about the end of an era. Ryan will always have a hold over Brendon, but this song is Brendon trying to move on.
We are young again. Brendon wants to go back to the beginning. When they were young and happy and carefree.
In these coming years, many things will change, but the way I feel, will remain the same. Brendon wants Ryan to know things will change, he’s married now. But a part of him will always care about Ryan, no matter what.
After Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die Spencer left. He left to go get help for is drug abuse. Brendon began to work on Death of a Bachelor. Ryan…. Ryan kept being emo™.
Death of a Bachelor
Doab is about Brendon falling in love with Sarah, getting married, AGAIN trying to move on.
My life started the day I got caught, under the covers. Brendon didn’t know what life was truly like before Ryan.
Who was I trying to be? Why were they trying to hide it? Everyone guessed anyway.
Then the time for being sad is over, and you miss them like you miss no other, but being blue is better than being over it. Brendon knows he should be over Ryan by now, but he still misses him. And to Brendon, being sad about the split is better than forgetting about the love he shared with Ryan.
Death of a Bachelor
Do I look lonely? Hey Ryan. Ryan look. I’m married and still in the band. I’m still friends with Spencer. I’m not lonely.
And when you think of me, am I the best you ever had? Does Ryan still miss Brendon like Brendon misses him. Is Brendon still the best relationship he ever had?
Share one more drink with me, smile even though you’re sad. Brendon is married. Ryan can never be that person for him anymore, but Ryan has to pretend that he’s happy for Brendon.
Fuck this song. If I went through every song that could possibly reference Ryden/Original band it would take pages. So here’s some highlights.
We’ll stay drunk, we’ll stay tan, let the love remain. The summer before the split, where they toured around the world. That is summer that Brendon is talking about. The summer when the band got along, where they ALL loved each other.
Golden days. Brendon thinks these are the best days of his life. He knows that when he’s older he’ll look back on his life and remember the summer spent with his three best friends is the of his life.
Time can never break your heart, but it can take the pain away. Brendon knows that eventually thinking about the split will hurt less.
House of Memories
This song is a problem. I hate it. So much. HOUSE OF PROBLEMS. It has the same problem as the last one. Highlights;
Memories turn into daydreams. Brendon longs for days of Pretty. Odd And the memories have slowly morphed into daydreams about what could’ve been.
Promise me a place, in your house of memories. Ryan promise me that you won’t forget what we had.
I THINK OF YOU FROM TIME TO TIME, MORE THAN I THOUGHT I WOULD, YOU WERE JUST TOO KIND, AND I WAS TOO YOUNG TO KNOW. Brendon knew he’d miss Ryan, but thought it would be rarer. Now looking back, Brendon realizes that what they had was worth keeping.
These thoughts of past lovers, they’ll always haunt me. This is a message to Sarah saying I love you, but I can’t let go of him.
Memories tend to just pop up. Brendon doesn’t want to miss the old Panic! But he can’t help is. -Don’t Threaten Me With Good Time
Can you do a little guide of 1st gen, 2nd gen, and 3rd gen Kpop girl groups if you know the difference? I thought wonder girls was 1st gen. Thank you!!!!
1st gen are the earliest kpop idols. Most aren’t known by current kpop stans but they are very respected as they are the pioneers. They set the foundation and paved the path for future idols. Back then, there weren’t NEARLY as many debuts as now.
1st gen (90’s - 2000): fin.kl, god, hot, ses, shinwha, koyote, 4men, turbo, seo taiji and the boys, baby vox, etc
2nd gen is given credit for making kpop more international and are considered the leaders of Hallyu. Because the 2nd gen was very impactful in its 10 years, it’s easier to categorize it by the early and late debuts, since it feels strange to most people to see names together such as miss a and boa as if they debuted near each other.
Early 2nd gen (2001 - 2008): rain, boa, txvq, epik high, super junior, big bang, snsd, shinee, kara, 2pm, wonder girls, brown eyed girls, iu, etc
Late 2nd gen (2009 - 2011): 2ne1, block b, infinite, beast, f(x), apink, sistar, miss a, after school, mblaq, teen top, nine muses, girls day, etc
3rd gen is the current crop of idols. This is the generation with the most debuts per year of all time. The market is now over saturated which makes it harder for the current idols to have the same achievements as the previous generation. They look up to 2nd gen idols for their major accomplishments and 1st gen idols for their longevity. These are the groups that most new kpop fans know/stan. Some of these may seem like they belong to the 2nd gen bc of their age and lack of connections to the newer debuts, but they are actually just early debuts of the 3rd gen.
3rd gen (2012 - now): exo, bts, red velvet, twice, gfriend, seventeen, got7, Lee hi, mamamoo, vixx, bap, nu'est, ailee, ladies’ code, crayon pop, lovelyz, exid, monsta x, astro, nct, ikon, day 6, clc, pentagon, etc
Pluto is the slowest moving planet. It spend anywhere from 10 to 30 years in one sign, and because of this, Pluto influences many of the things we see in entire generations. Pluto tells about life challenges, how week seek out power, and the drastic differences between generations. Find out where Pluto was when you were born and what this did to the generation below. (All the information about the generations comes from the notes I took during a “Generational Differences” class)
Pluto in Cancer: 26 May 1914 - 14 June 1939
Duration: 26 years
How does Pluto in Cancer affect the Traditionalists?
Cancer is known for being a traditional sign, so having Pluto in Cancer during a generation called “The Traditionalists” is no coincidence. This generation is known to be extremely conservative and hold family values high. Cancer in Pluto has influenced people to be very loving and caring towards their families and close friends. They may not be logical thinkers, but they understand the depth of things. It is difficult for Cancer in Pluto to deal with any change. (Once again, The Traditionalists). They expect young people to be their definition of respectful which means being disciplined and understanding. They find it hard to let go of their traditional values (For example, a man must marry a woman and vice versa), so conflict between this generation and Millennials (who’s Pluto in Libra and Scorpio influences them to fight for justice and equality) is expected.
Pluto in Leo: 14 June 1939 - 19 August 1957
Duration: 19 years
Generation: Late Traditionalists (1939-1946) and Baby Boomers
How does Pluto in Leo affect the Baby Boomers?
Leo is a fire sign, and know for being competitive, yet optimistic. The Baby Boomers are known for going after what they want, specifically in the work force. They believe teamwork and optimism are important. Pluto in Leo is optimistic and a great leader. The placement of Pluto in Leo influenced this generation to be very enthusiastic and risky. Pluto in Leo is are much more creative and colorful (color television began in the 1940s, how ‘bout that?) people than Pluto in Cancer, so conflict between these two groups is expected. They don’t stand for people who are constantly negative and will surely point it out when you’re being that pessimistic.
(Here’s where the dates get crazy)
Pluto in Virgo: 19 August 1957 - 5 October 1971, 17 April 1972 - 30 July 1972
Duration: 15 years and the months between Libra
Generation: Late Baby Boomers (1957-1965) and Early Generation X (also Generation Jones)
How does Pluto in Virgo affect the Gen Xers?
Gen Xers were a very independent group. They also became very skeptical about things and felt the need to analyze for themselves. Having Pluto in Virgo, a very analytical and logical sign, definitely influenced this thinking. They value a work life balance, and are great at organizing ways to do this. This new value and interest in work can be seen because now both parents in household were working, despite this, they didn’t hold much value in their careers. To them, it may be “just a job”. They can be very conservative, but nowhere near as much as the Traditionalists. They value honesty and believe that one earns respect. They can be critical towards others, but also hate criticism. Millennials and early Gen Z people tend to notice this hypocritical nature, especially when Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are criticizing them. Virgo and Capricorn are very compatible, so there is a chance that late Baby Boomers and early Gen Xers will get along with the Gen Zers. The relationship for those Virgo x Capricorn will most likely be parent (who had children late in life) to child, and sometimes be young grandparents to child.
Pluto in Libra: 5 October 1971 - 17 April 1972, 30 July 1972 - 5 November 1983, 18 May 1984 - 27 August 1984
Duration: The few months between Virgo, 12 years, and 4 months the following year
Generation: Late Gen X (1971-1980) and Early Millennials (1980-1984)
How does Pluto in Libra affect this time?
Pluto was in Libra in the middle of two widely different generations. It’s much harder to see the similar affect Pluto in Libra had on these generations. This placements influences people to want to explore and understand the world. It also influences people to want to create harmony and justice within the world. This is very obvious to see in Millennials, as many of them identify as feminists, fight for racial equality, and fight for LGBT+ rights, however this is less obvious for the Late Gen Xers. They were growing up with the early Gen Xers who had Pluto in Virgo. Pluto in Libra influences the Late Gen Xers to compromise with the Early Gen Xers who uphold their own values. Those born between 1971 and 1980 are what I like to call “Millennial Xers.” These “Millennial Xers” allowed for the Pluto in Virgo values to rule their life. However, now that Millennials are in their 20s and 30s and beginning to enter the world, these “Millennial Xers” are expressing their Pluto in Libra influences much more.
Pluto in Scorpio: 5 November 1983 - 18 May 1984, 27 August 1984 - 17 January 1995, 21 April 1995 - 10 November 1995
Duration: The few months between Libra, 12 years, and 8 months later that last year
Generation: Millennials! (also Generation Y)
How does Pluto in Scorpio affect the Millennials?
The Millennials are all about diversity and technology. Pluto in Scorpio has influenced these individuals to be intense and have strong emotions. They fight for human rights and have a talent for helping those that are considered different become accepted. They focus their mind on more taboo things such as sex, the occult, death, and the mind. They try to remain positive, but definitely focus on darker things. Because of this, there may be conflict between these Millennials and Baby Boomers who value positivity and lighter topics. Pluto in Scorpio are strong people who question all the rules, and can gain much power if they try to. Having Pluto in Scorpio can explain the interest that Millennials have in sex and taboo things (like astrology!).
Pluto in Sagittarius: 17 January 1995 - 20 April 1995, 10 November 1995 - 27 January 2008, 13 June 2008 - 26 November 2008
Duration: The few months between Scorpio, 14 years, and 6 months later that last year
Generation: Late Millennials (1995-1999) and Early Generation Z (2000-2008)
How does Pluto in Sagittarius affect the Early Gen Zers?
I’m very very excited about this one, because, boy, does it explain A LOT.Having Pluto in Sagittarius influences people to be blunt and expressive. They want to be the center of attention and can be extremely impatient. They have this optimistic belief that they can do anything they set their mind to. All things that the young people in the world now have been known to do. They value freedom and want to find this for other people who don’t have it (EQUALITY!). They don’t conform, are bold, and free-thinking. They think on a global scale now and want to explore the world and history (may explain their interest in old things: vinyls, comic books, etc). They are less likely to believe in religions and may even create their own. Why do Millennials not get along with their elders? First, Cancer and Virgo are two of the least compatible signs of Sagittarius. To refresh your memory, this means the Traditionalists, Late Baby Boomers, and early Gen Xers are very incompatible with Millennials. Yet, Millennials are the stronger and more expressive ones who are willing to fight back when someone questions them.
Pluto in Capricorn: 28 January 2008 - 13 June 2008, 26 November 2008 - 20 January 2024
Duration: The few months between Sagittarius, and 17 years
Generation: Late Generation Z (2008-2024)
How will Pluto in Capricorn affect the Late Gen Zers?
We’re not really sure how this group of people act right now, as the oldest ones are only 8 years old (as of 2016) and the majority have yet to be born. Having Pluto in Capricorn should affect this generation to be patient yet ambitious. This will be very different from the previous generation who’s almost never patient. The older generations who shame Millennials often are less likely to shame those with Pluto in Capricorn. They are organizers who want to create structure among the chaos. Last time Pluto was in Capricorn was during the American Revolution, where structure in the chaos paid off greatly. These people want to create order and know that persistence pays off. They are likely to be great politicians, which is good news for those living in America right now during this very odd presidential election, but also for the rest of the world which seems like it’s just going farther and farther downhill. We put a lot of hope and faith into this generation to make the world better, and with Pluto in Capricorn, they may just succeed.
my journals from fall 2008 to early 2017. I haven’t been totally consistent with how often I write– I go through periods where I write daily, and then sometimes I write like five entries in a year. journals 1-4 are from one period of my life, 5-9 are from another, and the last two are from my current “arc” haha.
I found a video of Jared during his 8 minute solo interview at sdcc 2011, where he says he liked season 4 because "I married the costar. Uh, I married the guest star." Seriously. Now I'm thinking that might have been a real slip, and maybe he liked s4 so much because that's when he and Jensen had a... ceremony...? What do you think?
Hello, dear Anna!
It’s not the only time Jared lets it slip that he married his co-star. ;)
Here’s the part of the interview that you’re talking about. He does do a pretty nice job at fixing it.
(27:31) Here’s another interview where he said “I married my co-star”, but this time there’s no fix. I doubt he even realised his mistake.
1/3 Hi! First of all I wanted to confess I absolutely adore your blog, I'm always excited when you published a new post. It seems that you've been following J2 from the start, so I'm wondering do you think they are acting bolder now? Especially Jensen, he has dropped so many bombs since, I don't know, S10? The “No, not ‘hey guys’. This is for us.” and "damn is he loveable" and the almost kiss...Jensen has no shame at all, I love him.
Please accept this gift
as my apologies for taking forever and a day, as that
beautiful Oasis song, and please
don’t go away.
Thank you for your lovely words and I’m glad my
ramblings make sense to you. There’s a name for that condition tho, when two
people share in each other’s craziness, my dear friend Freud called it folie à deux.
I guess it shows that my J2 Madness has been
with me for long. Yes, J2 chemistry got me good and hard on the first episode of SPN that I watched, back in 2005. I remember looking at Jensen, especially, and
thinking: “man… That boy is a good actor but I guess he didn’t get that look
quite right. That’s not how you look at your brother.” So, the what’s wrong with this picture made
me search for the actors and, sure enough, there were rumors, of course. As for
But let’s get to your question. You’re absolutely right: the Js have been acting bolder and bolder,
especially after the move to Austin, the #AustinEra. Jensen has let his Alpha
show after his Beta’s breakdown in 2015; he may have managed to avoid his boy’s
breakdown in 2014 but it eventually exploded in the following year. I’d say the
events that lead to Jensen’s move to Austin, made him show to the world he is
an Alpha through and through—and what an amazing Alpha he is! After the 2015
Breakdown, his Alpha became even more dominant and it is now impossible, at
least for me, to see him as anything but.
During the early years of J2, Jensen was much more
reserved to the outer world but at the same time, they couldn’t help but show
how in love they were—the difference is that they were mostly free men and the
rumors didn’t fly above the radar. Their chemistry bled through the characters and all was
well until people started talking. J2 were not careful. Vancouver is a liberal
town with people who really don’t bother with your gayness or fame, so they
started being sloppy. They ended up drawing attention from a then famous
gossiper, Ted Casablanca, who probably had an ITK source, and waited until the
boys premiered the movies they had filmed to start gossiping about them,
linking them to Blind
Let me just make a quick pit stop here and tell you that
half this info is true and the other half either a case of misinformation or purposefully
twisted for effect. Jared (supposedly Judas) would never have acted like that
towards Jensen. J2 were always a unit, there was nothing one would do behind
the other’s back; what we see now has always been their M.O. Those were
difficult times for them but they were fighting together, not against each
other. So read the blinds but with a grain of salt.
The Js indeed, rumor has it, were pressured to take measures
to cover their relationship, as early as 2008. Take this resurrected thread
on spn_gossip, for instance:
As for Jensen “I Don’t Give A Fuck” Ackles, I’m
pretty sure he’s had it with bearding and PR. He’s suffered the pains of hiding
himself and has seen more than his share of suffering from his loved one. I’ll
tell you what: there is no need for damage control for their slips simply
because the marriages, kids and wife stans have given those boys free rein to
even kiss on a Con stage, I’d say. We see it every day when TinHats point something
out and are attacked by #Hetards defending J2’s heterosexuality.
Most of all, I think Jesen IDGAF Ackles has had it with
#Hetards. They started off just being an annoying source of awkward laughter but are now a source of second-hand embarrassment, managing to be annoying to
the point of repeating stupid same questions again
And always being unceremoniously squashed by our Alpha (All hail to you, KingJensen!).
I know that 2017 seems to have started with two left feet
but nothing the Js do is unplanned. These men are strategists and I believe the
events we’ve seen since the beginning of the year are telling us J2 are laying
the groundwork for the end of SPN, and the end of their bearding contracts. Just
take a few things into consideration and a possible hidden meaning to them:
— Launching of Family Business –> DH’s and her family’s financial security
— G’s IG –>
the fame she wants so much
— J2 not being seen outside work/Cons –> they’re not attached to the
hip and they're obviously not together
J2 have 2017 and 2018 to carry out their plan and let their Beards
walk on their own feet. Then, by the time episode 300 is done we will see
changes. Do you want to bet?
“Black swan” is used a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. I cannot think of anything that better describes President Obama. His win in 2008 was a surprise in every possible way. His win against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primaries was completely unexpected. His win against John McCain, even more so. No one at the beginning of 2008 would have imagined a young black man with the name Barack Hussein Obama would be elected, twice, as the president of the United States. As surprising as his elections were, the effect he has had on the country has been even more significant. Depending on what side of the political spectrum you belong, the effects of his presidency is either extremely positive or negative. What isn’t up for debate is whether or not the effects are significant. He is also one of the most misrepresented, misunderstood, misaligned political figure in my lifetime, and an argument can be made in the past hundred years. As a black swan, President Obama went against the entire American history of presidencies. In every way, he stood out in contrast to his predecessor and opposition. From the first time I heard him speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 to his last days as President, he has reaffirmed my belief that America didn’t deserve him or Michelle, but I’m damn glad they were here for us.
In early 2008, I was a Hillary Clinton supporter. I thought she had the necessary experience and qualifications to be a very good president. As the Democratic primaries played out, I saw something in Barack Obama that made me think he was what we needed at this time in our country’s history. Not because he is a black man, I saw this was a secondary perk, but as someone who has a great grasp of history, ideals, and the importance of pragmatism. As a devout pragmatist, I rarely see politicians who fully grasp how moving the country forward as much as possible is more important than ideological purity. Like Justice Stewart’s view of pornography, when it comes to pragmatism, “I know it when I see it.” The more I watched candidate Obama, the more I knew he understood progress in ways very few politicians have or do. After eight years of one of the worst administrations since Hoover, what America needed was someone who knew how to move us forward ethically, legally, politically in a rapidly changing world. As much as I liked and respected Hillary, I felt Barack was the one who could move us forward at that moment in our history.
On election night, when he came out on stage in Chicago’s Grant Park to give his victory speech, I have never felt more proud of my country. As I wept, listening to him speak, I couldn’t imagine how African-Americans must be feeling. As much as his election meant to me personally, I could not imagine the significance it had on Black America. I grew up seeing the violent police actions against peaceful Civil Rights protesters. Even though the Civil Rights Act became law, I have been well aware of how ingrained and widespread racism is in American society. I never, ever thought I would see a black person elected as president. Yet, here was the black swan president-elect in front of a quarter of a million people in Grant Park and millions more watching on t.v. and online laying out a shining beam of hope and a path towards progress. Telling everyone that we are all in this together and it is up to us to demand and work for change. It was everything I’ve believed in and worked for my entire adult life. At that moment in time, I felt America had finally turned the corner towards the equality, justice, and fairness promised in the country’s founding documents.
Within months, this feeling of hope was replaced with feelings of frustration. Frustration not at President Obama, but at the cabal of conservatives who met on the night of his inauguration to discuss their strategy of stopping and obstructing everything the new president proposed. A group that included: Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). Along with former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, and Republican consultant, Frank Luntz. Their meeting has been well-documented and their purpose was to make sure that Republicans not support anything and obstruct everything put forth by the new administration. Keep in mind that this strategy was laid out at a time when the country and the world was going through a serious economic downturn. Their efforts were focused on making sure the new administration failed. Even though he wasn’t there, then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made it publicly known his main goal was to make Obama a one-term president. The GOP was on board, lock-step, to make sure President Obama, and by proxy, America fails.
Not long after learning of conservatives’ plans to obstruct President Obama, my frustration turned to the far left who turned on the new president because they didn’t get what they thought was their due. They wanted single-payer health insurance, banks taken over, and bankers thrown in jail. Single-payer was never going to happen with a coalition of only sixty Democrats and Independents in the Senate. All it took was one to be against it and the whole deal fell apart. With Blue-Dog Dems like Jim Webb, VA, Landrieu, LA, and Ben Nelson, NE, and Independents like Joe Lieberman, there weren’t the votes to get single-payer even put up for discussion, let alone voted on or passed. For reasons that can only be explained as a complete lack of basic civics knowledge, the far left blamed President Obama for these Senators never going to vote for single-payer. It doesn’t matter that President Obama accomplished something every Democratic president since FDR had tried to do but failed, comprehensive health care reform, they were upset. Never mind the number of uninsured would drop to the lowest in history, they didn’t care. They had their mind set on a unicorn and when they didn’t get it, they blamed President Obama for not personally delivering it to their doorstep.
The far-left had the same unrealistic attitude about the bankers. Never mind that most of the damage done from the mortgage crisis came from products and actions that were perfectly legal, the far left wanted heads on pikes. Never mind during his administration the largest fines ever imposed by the government have been against financial institutions. Never mind he helped get Dodd-Frank passed that is the strongest laws and regulations against the financial sector since FDR. Never mind he came up with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and put far-left hero Elizabeth Warren in charge of it, they didn’t get the unicorns they felt was due them. While the right was organizing and whipping up the masses into an anti-socialism frenzy, forming the Tea Party, having town hall meetings around the country, and spreading lie upon lie on social media and in emails, the left was pouting. Democratic members of Congress ran away from Obama and the Affordable Care Act because they were scared to stand up to the crazies on the right. Progressives sat out the 2010 midterms because they didn’t get their unicorns. The results of this have been catastrophic. Meanwhile, the black swan president kept finding ways to move the country forward.
It wasn’t just far-left progressives who abandoned President Obama in 2010, it was also many Democratic members of Congress who lost their spines and balls at the sight of a bunch of angry octogenarians at town hall meetings. They could have stood up for the Affordable Care Act, the stimulus, the auto bailout…but they didn’t. They ran away from the President and his policies. Policies, now that he’s left office, Democrats in Congress are saying have to be defended with every ounce of effort. Instead of touting how these policies helped the working class, these cowardly Democratic officials hemmed and hawed out weak ass explanations while the opposition was organizing and pushing outlandish talking points and lies that became ingrained in conservatives’ belief systems. Meanwhile, the black swan president kept finding ways to move the country forward without help from lawmakers from his own party.
With no way to get anything passed in a now Republican-controlled House, President Obama moved the bar of progress forward anyway. He made sure the DOJ didn’t defend DOMA. He expanded protections to the LBGT community. He had the DOJ investigate corrupt and racist police department practices. He got Syria to turn over its chemical weapons. He negotiated a treaty with Iran ending their nuclear weapons program. He did more to fight climate change than any president in history. He helped push a revolution in renewable energies. He expanded federally protected lands. He oversaw the longest positive private sector jobs growth in history. Whether it was the environment, health care, rights or jobs, President Obama did more than just about any modern-day president. And, he did it all with the least amount of help. FDR had major majorities in both houses of Congress every single one of his terms. President Obama had a slim majority in the Senate for a couple of months that was lost when Ted Kennedy got sick and eventually passed away. From that point on, he had no luxury of a working majority in the Senate and Republicans making sure nothing would get done.
Despite unprecedented political opposition, President Obama moved the bar of progress forward. Despite unrelenting racist attacks, he never lashed out. Despite the lack of support from members of his own party, he never turned on them. Despite having his legitimacy questioned from day one, he held his head up and acted with dignity. If you had to construct a president from scratch, you’d be hard pressed to construct one that would be better than President Obama. This doesn’t mean he didn’t have his flaws. Every president has them. However, his flaws were his willingness to believe his opposition had some bottom to the level to which they’d go, some basic ethical principles, some common ground from which he could work with them. Unfortunately, Republicans had no such limitations on their morals or conscience. It is easy in hindsight to blame President Obama for missing the nature of his opposition. That he wanted to believe the better nature of people could only be called a flaw by the most cynical of people.
As the black swan president, Obama had to walk a razor’s edge that no one in history has had to tread. He had to be twice as good, twice as nice, twice as everything in order to even be considered “normal.” If he would have been “No Fucks To Give Obama” from the onset, he would have accomplished nothing. His pragmatic nature knew and understood this. Unfortunately, like so many other things, too many progressives did not understand or appreciate not only the unique situation President Obama was in but how deftly he handled it to the betterment of us all.
Unfortunately, the razor’s edge he had to walk was not understood by even those who claim to have been his allies. Whenever I hear criticism of him from the left, I always ask, “What would you have done differently?” Inevitably, their response comes down to some idealistic act that completely ignores the realities and variables President Obama was faced with at the time he had to make his decision. “I would have pushed for single-payer!” Great, now explain how you would have got the Blue Dog Dems to even consider it so it would be discussed in committee, let alone reach the point where it would be voted on and passed. “I would have closed Gitmo!” Not without approval from Congress. “I would have jailed bankers!” Okay, on what grounds? A lot of the causes of the financial and mortgage meltdown were legal. “I would have helped those who suffered from the mortgage crisis more!” How? What mechanism would you have used and how would you have gotten the majority of Congress to approve it because it would have to have financial help and that has to go through Congress? It is easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback. Hundreds of thousands of fat, lazy, living off their self-perceived glory days of high schools sports do it every day on sports talk shows. Political decisions don’t occur in a vacuum. They happen in a very complex environment with dozens of moving parts and hundreds of personal agendas. Wanting someone to do what you think should be done does not translate to what can be done. I’ve closely watched major political figures here and abroad for the good part of forty years. In this time, I’ve never seen anyone get more bang-for-the-buck than President Obama. Democrats had a workable majority (60 votes) for all of four months and one week in 2009. That is the amount of time President Obama had legitimately get all the things the left say he could/should have. For two hundred and eight weeks of his presidency, he had a workable majority for seventeen with an opposition party that refused to work with him on ANYTHING but please go ahead and tell me about how he should have done X or Y.
When the history books are written fifty years from now, when I am long dead and gone, I have no doubt that President Obama will be viewed as one of the most influential presidents in American history. Sadly, like other influential presidents before him like Lincoln, FDR, and Johnson, he was not truly appreciated in his time, even by those of his party and those who claimed to be his ally. I will always be proud of my vote for him, twice, to be our president. I will always be upset at those on the right and the left who tried to undermine him. I will always believe that America didn’t deserve him. I will always be damn thankful we had him. He was the black swan. He came out of nowhere. He defied all conventions and history. He had and will have a dominant role in history. He will forever be my president.
When I think of President Obama, I am reminded of the scene at the end of “Excalibur” where King Arthur is talking to a mortally wounded Sir Lancelot: “You are that and much more. You are its greatest knight, you are what is best in men.” President Obama was our greatest modern-day president and what is best in men.
Keith Haring painting a mural on
Houston Street and Bowery in Manhattan, 1982.
This was Keith’s first major outdoor mural. It became an instant downtown landmark after Keith painted it in the summer of 1982. The mural was up for only a few months in the summer of 1982 before it was painted out but its image remains imprinted in the memory of many people who were part of the downtown artist community in the early 1980s.
In 2008 the Keith Haring Foundation, Goldman Properties and Deitch Projects recreated the mural using the extensive photographic documentation of the original work. The work was unveiled on May 4, 2008 the day that would have been Keith Haring’s 50th Birthday .
Keith’s former collaborater, graffiti artist Anel Oritz (LA II) contributed by tagging the wall and filling in the negative space with an intricate black interlocking pattern.