Monday, May 30, 2011

What I Learned From the Time 100

Sting has mesmerizing eyes. Seriously. Just look at those bad boys. I could get lost in them.

Paul Ryan is a cocky looking SOB. (had to be said) His whole look just says, "I don't care that my ideals screw over the lower classes - they didn't work hard enough anyhow." You don't see that in his face? Well, I may be a bit cynical. But just wait a few years. If Ryan has his way, you'll see it the way I do, but then it will be too late.

Colin Firth is about as close to perfect as a man can get. And it isn't just about that profile. It also isn't just about his phenomenal ability to act in a multitude of roles and capture audiences of all ages around the world. What else is there? Well, he was named Philanthropist of the Year from Oxfam for his work on the Make Trade Fair campaign which focuses on global trade issues. He and his wife also launched Brightwide, a political activism site that offers free films.


Glee may be a cheesy show, but it is making a difference. I know. A show about a high school show choir and all of the drama that goes along with it. But Glee is also doing something that not many other shows have been able to do. It is telling high schoolers (or any age group for that matter) that it is ok to be who you are. Take the 'Born This Way' episode. By the end of it, the majority of the characters had confronted the one thing they are most self-conscious about, and learned to accept it. And then there's the reason that this one made it on the blog in the first place: Chris Colfer's "pitch-perfect portrayal of a gay teen" put him on the Time 100 list. If you know me, you know that this is an incredibly important issue for me. To see a gay teen as the star of a show - as well as in multiple supporting roles - is fantastic. Hopefully once being gay becomes less 'taboo' in our culture,  the bullying, the gut-wrenching stories of people not being able to live their life as they were meant to, and the heart breaking suicides will come to an end.

The world will (unfortunately) always be at war.  There is not one single picture to represent this one. I just did a rough count, and of the 100 most influential people of 2011, 17 had some connection to a current world conflict. Some were influential because they started conflicts, some fed the conflicts, some tried to stop them, and some provided aid after the conflict. But nonetheless, there were (roughly) 17 influential people involved in conflict. I don't mean to be a pessimist, but unless our race evolves in a way the makes power and control less desirable, war is inevitable.

Our future depends on true education reform. Here's where two of the most inspirational people in my life come in. Geoffrey Canada and Michelle Rhee. They are proving that true education reform needs to be child-focused. That means we need to get down and dirty and fire some teachers, close schools, and make some generally tough decisions. But the thing is, the research supports their actions. Change is never easy. But if we want to see future generations succeed, and if we want the United States to have an education system that we can actually be proud of, then we need to start looking at the research and focusing on the kids.