High School Principal Declares School Cannot Choose Sides in the History vs. Mystery War of the Holocaust

Let’s set the scene:

Florida. 2019. Slavery has been abolished. Racism is frowned upon. Documented Historical events are accepted as truth.

And yet, an educated humanoid in The Sunshine State of the Free World expressed that his school could not take sides or force the student body to accept the Holocaust as an absolute part of history.

One of the parents had spoken up and asked why the genocide was not in the school’s history curriculum, and her kid’s dear old headmaster claimed that there are many differing opinions on what the true story is, and the school couldn’t lean either way.

Just like schools couldn’t “lean either way” back when Scope was having his students get down with evolution.

Just like schools can’t “lean either way” when discussing Donald Trump’s behaviorClimate change.

After receiving an unwelcome response to his comments, the principal hastily expressed that he was not saying that he did not believe in the holocaust, but rather that the school was avoiding controversial topics to keep conflict at bay.

Basically, some of us believe in Roswell, and others don’t, but no one is going to force kids to pop the champaign for the next UFO that visits our planet.

Say hello to the green little men. We’re just trying to be hospitable.

The Truth about Being Awful

For the majority of my life, I considered myself generally a nice person at heart. I’ve always done nice things for people, gone the extra mile to make others happy, been sort of a push over pretty frequently. I was no angel, but I was good. I was a good person with a bit of a dark side.

I was delusional. I am actually a shitty human being. I do and say shitty things, I make stupid mistakes, and I self-sabotage like it’s my job. Yes, I do many nice things, but those things do not overpower my crap-tastic tendencies. I am, by most definitions of the word, kind of an ass.

I’m not saying I’m evil, but saints and angels would laugh in my face if I tried to join their ranks.

And that was a really difficult realization to come to. It’s like going to bed thinking you’re a bad ass Snow White, and then waking up to a mirror telling you that you’re that bitch out here feeding people poisonous apples. It’s a depressing epiphany you can never quite stop thinking about.

But here’s the kicker, we crap-stormers are pretty much the majority. Only a select few of the world’s population are genuinely “good people.” Most of us are screw-ups who can’t stop pissing people off or putting every appendage we have in our gigantic mouths. We sometimes double-cross people, and sometimes we trip over our own egos. Sometimes we’re even more plastic than the face politicians put on in the morning before work.

And maybe it’s time to just be okay with that. It’s okay to be a sinner. It’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to make mistakes.

Yes, some mistakes are worse than others, and some mistakes are more intentional than we’d like to admit, but so what? Everyone has bouts of horrible misdeeds, and the sooner we learn to forgive ourselves for the egregiously awful predicaments we create, the easier our lives will be.

Life isn’t some Disney movie where the line between good and bad is clearcut and you’re either one or the other. The truth is, we switch sides. Every day, we switch sides. Sometimes we’re on the right side, and sometimes we end up on the left, where we willingly do some pretty bad things.

And that’s just what it means to be human. I am fine with engaging in suckfests that are spawned by my own hand. As long as I’m not wreaking havoc everywhere I turn, I think I’m okay.

And so is everyone else. Forgive yourself for that lowlife thing you did that one time years ago that people probably still fucking hate you for. Let it go.

Remember when we were younger, and we would watch Disney movies and root for the unlikely hero underdog fighting the evil overlord? Well, watch them again as an adult, and you’ll find yourself pretty much siding with Hades about how much of a little bitch Hercules is. Also, Zeus was a douche.

Anyway, we are awful meat suits, hear us roar.

Outrageous Opinions of Old: Of Race and Privilege

I am not a writer for social justice. I do not fight the denigration of basic moral codes and I do not work to eliminate complacency. I do not incite political action.

Most of all, I do not blame any person for the actions of their race, and I do not at all hate white people or even the WASP elite.

But I feel compelled to discuss the ridiculous reality that there are people who actually believe that racism is rare or nonexistent.

I realize that extreme sensitivity toward each other must die if we ever hope to achieve peace, but do not be so condescending as to claim that privilege does not exist–that people are not significantly treated differently based on the color of their skin and the nature of their beliefs. The content of their character is often overlooked.

I am the first to point out that I have privileges that many others do not. I come from an extremely rich family. I am very, very fair. If I am not wearing a headscarf, I pass easily as just another white girl. Unlike my brother, I have the option of stepping out of my other-worldly celestial stereotype almost flawlessly.

But I do not. I wear my scarf like he wears his skin. Blacks, Arabs, Muslims, Hispanics, South Asians, and many others, we are marginalized groups, and we are judged so harshly when we point out someone’s actions as “racist.” We are too sensitive. We are looking for a fight. We just hate white people.

Nothing grinds my gears more than the constant claim that we are compulsively assuming that all acts of unkindness are acts of racism. Not everyone who does bad things is racist.

To this, I will concede. That is true. Not everyone who does bad things is racist, but please do not spout your bullshit bigoted holier-than-thou god-complex-induced spiel depicting this situation as a mass of angry people victimizing themselves.

If you have never been pulled over without cause, if you have never been searched multiple times at an airport because of your skin color or clothes, if you have never been afraid of a police officer, if you have never been watched in a convenience store, if you have never lost out on a job you deserved because of your name, you cannot begin to understand what it means to constantly try to discern a friend from a foe. Almost all the racists have two faces. Just ask Hamlet. They’ve been given a face and they make themselves another. I plot twist the meanings. It’s still there.

And for all the people in the back nodding indignantly as I write this, I have a criticism for you, too.

There is nothing more counterproductive, insulting and bigoted than trying to compare the severity of your consequential pain created by a racist society to others. It does not make you better, to be more marginalized. It does not make you more rightfully indignant, to believe that other people’s socially ignited upset is collateral damage in a system specifically geared to destroy your group above all else.

It does not make you cooler to be hurt the most.

And for all others, if you truly believe that there is no white privilege, no systematic adulation toward white men regardless of their icky mistakes, then consider this:

This U S of A was built on the death and enslavement of those who already populated it, and the very people who caused and perpetuated this genocide have had their faces carved into a stolen land. They are celebrated for the success of outrageous agendas. We have a real-life example of how we justify the means so long as we enjoy the ends; We still until this very day celebrate the voyage of a man who did nothing but murder droves of people whose only crime was to show kindness to a bloodthirsty warmonger.

Let me sell you on Columbus Day, where the weekend never ends, there are no Miserable Mondays, and friendly all-inclusive neighborhood cook outs are hosted to mask the unpleasant underlying white guilt.

Batteries not included.

Swallow my Doubt & Turn it Inside Out

I discovered that a teacher at the school I work in played “I wish they knew” with the kids. The point of the game is to anonymously put in “I wish they knew” comments in a hat about a particular person. I didn’t know my name came up, until today.

Apparently, one of the kids wrote, “I wish she [me] would smile more. She has such a pretty smile.”

We also played name charades, and when a student pulled my name out of the hat, she said, “This person is really sarcastic and reminds all of us of disgust from Inside Out.”

Everyone immediately yelled out my name.

I’ll take it.

Dear White People: Labels, Labels, Labels

Watching controversial shows like Netflix Original ‘Dear White People’ has an extreme tendency to spark up a case of the fairly fluctuating fickle feels. One issue that has risen above the fold that I am inversely besotted to is the argument for and against “labels.”

Now, let’s get this straight: Subscribing to labels isn’t necessarily a juxtaposition to being independent and unique, and the opposite is also true. However, we can’t choose to refrain from being clad with specific labels if we don’t know we don’t understand which we would belong to if we did. If we are, we are simply following the newest trend of our society: It’s not cool to subscribe to anything but magazines.

Think Schrödinger’s Cat; The cat is in the box, but you have no idea if the cat is dead or alive unless you open the box. On a much, much smaller scale, we also cannot decide whether the labels really personify us until we actually explore them–i.e open the box.

So let’s talk labels. There are an ash ton of them floating around just south and north of the equator, but let’s simplify the list to our trending top three: sexuality, race, and gender.

Sexuality: an overarching umbrella. In its most basic family tree, you have your heterosexual, homosexual, and (perhaps arguably) asexual. But it gets complicated. You’ve got your Kinsey sixes, Kinsey threes, and just plain old Kinsey ones. You’ve got your zeros and you’ve got your fluids. Good luck counting them.

Next, race. You’ve got your classic black/white/hispanic hushed segregated system, but what happens when you’re biracial? Do you belong to two labels or have you created one of your own? Perceptions are everything.

Finally, there’s gender. You’ve got your cis, your trans, and your androgynous. The list goes on there too, but you belong to one of them, and you can’t escape that.

So, I would be an aromantic asexual Muslim Arab-American cisgender female.

These are labels that I cannot change.

And if we’re getting into the even more detailed form of my personal category, then I am an aromantic asexual epileptic diabetic Muslim Arab-American arguably marginally sociopathic cisgender female with an oppositional defiance issue and ADD.

That is a hell of a category, and those are a lot of labels. I carry each and every one of them, just like everyone else.

The only one I refuse to validate is “heteronormative.” Absolutely not.

Point is, believing that you do not subscribe to any epithets and are simply a unique, kindred spirit is nothing more than a delusion. You are branded by many individual labels. You are simply a compilation of them all.

Yes, you are you, and that is truer than true. Sure, there’s no one around, who’s you-er than you.

But that’s not what the cool kids say.

#DrSeuss

And Now it’s an Instagram

And now I have an Instagram. An Instagram, I have. My friend made me one years ago that I never used, and now, I’m using it.

That’s how badly I want to be a writer. I’m using Instagram; A platform I have largely criticized since I discovered it.

The username hendhsalah. I’m still building it, so don’t judge my lack of posting, please.

God I need a drink

of water.

I’m such a loser.

Beauty & the Beast: A Review I Didn’t Want to Write (Spoiler Alert)

But I have to. I have been trying to stay away from critiquing popular film and media, and up until now, I think I may have succeeded.

However, enough is enough. Beauty & the Beast was my absolute favorite movie growing up. Me and my parents and brother watched it every single year by the fire place when it snowed.

And sure, it’s not exactly the pinnacle of sane or reasonable, what with all the Stockholm and beastiality, but it’s a good movie dammit.

Where do I begin? Let’s break this down.

Hold on to your hats, folks. This is going to be a long one.

Music:
Not only did they randomly add songs that never existed before, the first song was different. It was difficult to sing along to, and it was awkwardly executed.

The “Gaston” song was a cheap heap of unimpressive acting. It was originally an upbeat, funny, obnoxious number that you couldn’t help but break out in song with. In this movie, the song was slow, slightly disconcerting, and not at all fun or light-hearted. It was a tribute solely to Gaston’s hubris without the snarky and bouncy undertone.

“Be Our Guest” was perhaps the greatest failure of them all. Lumière’s singing was slow and boring. The plates were dancing to a beat that was more suitable for a serenade than an entertaining dinner show. I cannot fathom why the directors would do such a thing.

Cast and characters:
Belle. Emma Watson is a good actress. That is undeniable. I don’t care that her voice was auto-tuned. No complaints on that front, either. However, I don’t think that she quite captured the spirit of Belle. The acting wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, either. When I look at her, I don’t see Belle.

Gaston. Gaston, Gaston, Gaston. They cast an unfunny version of the original character that does not make up for his narcissism with anything humorous. Gaston is a terrible person, but we love watching him and singing his song. This guy was not Gaston. He was a creepy stalker type antagonist that seemed really out of place, and he was far too evil.

I wanted to hear my favorite line: “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking…”

New guy couldn’t pull it off. No disrespect to the actor, but he was not cast for the right role.

LeFeu: I loved him. It was a perfect casting. He was funny, he was true to his character and there should be zero complaints about him. Excellent in every single way. I think Jonah Hill would have been a great casting for that role too, but as it is, this actor did a remarkable job.

Now, let’s talk about Lumière. This was perhaps one of the most agitating parts of the movie. Lumière is my favorite character in Beauty & the Beast. He is funny, charismatic, sarcastic, and debonaire. In the remake, to put it frankly, he is flat. There is no charisma. There is no spirit. It’s just a metal thing with a face on it that looks unpleasant at best.

Belle’s father. Where was the loving and a little off his rocker inventor that kept blowing things up and creating all-too-dangerous inventions that probably wouldn’t be very helpful? He wasn’t even remotely eccentric, in the remake. He was a beloved character who was turned into a wise old man with secrets about Belle’s mom.

Beast. No. He was far too rational with Lumière in the beginning of the movie, and his tempter wasn’t quite up to par. The Beast was supposed to be tearing things to shreds and roaring at literally everyone around him. He was forced into a more humane demeanor, maybe to decrease the psychotic element of beastiality, and it just didn’t work.

Poor old Cogsworth. This character was hysterical in the original movie, but he barely had lines in the remake. His and Lumière’s dynamic was a major part in the story. Bye bye, best friends.

Scenes and Storyline:
Let’s go through it in order. The introduction can only be described as gratuitously ostentatious. It set the scene for a disorganized and mediocre film.

The inventor’s invention. The original movie showed Belle’s father in a frenzy with logs and axes flailing around. He was creating something that would never likely be sold to any sane person. In the remake, he just sits at a desk playing with what looks like a windmill. They have a calm conversation and he then goes off to the market, not an inventor’s convention. It was nothing short of awful.

Upon entering the castle for the first time, Belle’s father is not greeted by the castle’s many inhabitants. He helps himself to food and drink, like a common thief. He gets tossed in jail by his own doing. Not defending the cruelty, but it wasn’t entirely uncalled for.

Gaston ties Belle’s father to a tree and leaves him for the wolves to eat him. Then, the enchantress shows up and saves him, just for her to leave him in town to get thrown into what I can only assume was the asylum. I’m just going to let that logic sink in.

Belle watching her mother’s death; That was unnecessary and did nothing but elongate the movie negatively. It wasn’t even really that clear, and contributed nothing to the actual story. It was just far too depressing.

The fight in the castle. It wasn’t bad. It had a few good moments in it, but the enchantress took way too long. By this point, I was begging her to get on with it so I could go to bed.

The final scene. It was fine. It was comparable to the original movie.

Final notes:
They destroyed so many things that it was almost a whole different film. If it weren’t titled ‘Beauty & the Beast,’ it may have been good cinematography. They did not do the original movie justice.

I understand that this was not intended to be an exact copy, but so many elements were such complete perversions of the original that the nostalgic feeling that may have been entwined in this picture was non-existent.

This was not Beauty & the Beast. This is was Stockholm warped into something pseudo-wonderful to distract viewers from everything that is wrong with it.

Oh, and the Beast isn’t supposed to know how to read, by the way.

That was fun. I’m going to start writing more reviews.

Feel free to yell at me.