Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of motivational posters and other useless stuff

So I'm watching this pretty cool comedy called Modern Family and I stumble upon a couple of scenes that fit nicely with something that's been on my mind for a while. Not sure how well I'm gonna be able to get my point across. But here goes. Scene 1: In the dad's attempt to comfort his step-son, he brings him a poster that says: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger", to which Manny, the son and my favourite character on the show, retorts "That's not true. Lots of stuff that doesn't kill you makes you weaker. My friend's grandfather had a heart attack, now he needs a machine to breathe.”

This motivational poster of course reminded me of all the crap we see on Twitter and Facebook these days. Dalai Llama: "The road to happiness is a road best traveled happy." JFK: "If you don't love your enemies, you can't love your mother." RevOMG: "God is God and this is all we need to know." Why do I have access to all these lovely quotes? Because for some reason, people feel the urge to keep passing them around, like a general statement about life that a dude came up with is going to help them feel better about themselves. But I digress.

Back to Modern Family, Scene 2: Manny's gay half-brother is reassuring him after his own friends didn't invite him to the party they were throwing: "This is the funny thing about growing up. For years and years, everybody's desperately afraid to be different in any way. And then, suddenly, almost over night, everybody wants to be different. And that is where we win".

I hate to admit it but I was jealous of that quote. Yes. I was jealous of something someone said on an American sitcom. Because the more I interact with people, the more I feel that we are a long way from being there. I am realizing how little we have progressed in terms of accepting that which is different, whether we are teenagers or grown ups. Let's just talk relationships. If you're gay, single and not interested in marriage, engaged but to a person outside of your sect, married but not interested in kids, divorced (God forbid!) or have any other non-conformist attitude, you will always feel like an outsider. Because you are. Because you live in a society that does not embrace individuality.

Why are we so afraid to be different? Isn't that the only way we can achieve our full potential? How innovation starts?


Loulia said...

Aww, I love Manny too! Love how he drinks his espresso coffee all the time. I also love seeing him interact with Gloria.

Khaled said...

Manny and Gloria are awesome!

And it looks like you're back inside my head. I remember that scene very well, and I remember thinking to myself, how come I sometimes feel like I'm still in high school. How come every time I go to Beirut, it feels a bit like I went back in time. Why are there people out there who's mere presence in a room is enough to bring back the insecurities of my school days?

Also, the Dalai Lama really pisses me off too!

Matt said...

You forgot the not married, living in sin, but with kids! We are a cool non-conforming group too! Although not being from the Middle East it's not such a burden to carry.

Anonymous said...

Here's a motivational poster for ya:


It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile

But it doesn't take any to just sit ther ewith a dumb look on your face

(you'll love this site, it's full of motivational posters that actually... make sense: http://www.despair.com/)

Loulia said...

Haha. This one's my all-time favorite:


Sacrifice: All We Ask is that You Give Us Your Heart (set to a Mayan temple background)

eshda3wa said...

this [the middle east] is where individualism comes to day