Dear Disney Channel

Dear Disney Channel

You should and need to do better.

Dear Disney Channel,

When I was growing up, you were the pinnacle of childhood entertainment. I remember the week after "High School Musical" premiered, everyone talked about it and watched it when it was on. The TV shows and movies you released and played every week were not only the highlight of our weeks, but for many of us, they have become a symbol of our childhood. Throwbacks to a time where the ice cream truck came around before a new DCOM came on, or when we begged to watch just one more episode (even though we already saw it). A time where mass shootings were not an everyday thing and politics were just things our parents worried about. A childhood that many of us wish we could go back to. Children today are growing up in a far different world than those of us from the 1990s, but they need to learn the same lessons. The TV shows and movies you showed used to focus on friendships, family, bullying, body image, dealing with boys and girls and so much more. However, in recent years, you have shifted away from the meaningful TV shows and movies that we had growing up to things with less substance like "A Dog With A Blog." Is that is really the best that you can do after shows like "Lizzie McGuire," "Proud Family," "Even Stevens," "Kim Possible" and "That's So Raven"? I find it hard to believe that a billion dollar empire thinks that is the best idea they had.

You are an empire, and your ratings probably are doing just fine because you are still the go to channel for children and pre-teens. You know what else is great besides ratings? Helping to develop children into people who accept new friends, do not bully and don't worry about their weight. You have the power to help children, and society in return, by teaching them that plus size models can walk down the runway or that diversity is a positive. Ever since "Hannah Montana" and "Wizards of Waverly Place," you have failed in my opinion. What happened to movies like "Xenon" and "Brink" or "Eddie's Million Dollar Cook Off," where it's OK to do things that are not always popular?

We have been asking for a throwback channel for years; a marathon was great, but you can do more. Be a positive influence rather than a mediocre channel. When I think back on all the things that have changed since I was a kid, it goes clothes, music and Disney Channel. Start making some good TV shows and movies again. No more teen beach movies, no more dogs on computers. Use your power to teach the kids of today the same lessons we learned from your channel. All I ask is that you do better, for all of us.

Sincerely,

A child of the 1990s.

Cover Image Credit: Disney ChannelEARS

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Why You Really Should Consider Spending the "Day In Bed"

A Great Life Lesson from Morrissey

I don’t know why I’m writing this because this song needs no interpreting. It’s pretty simple. But still, I wanted to share it. I love the lyrics. And I know I’m not the only one who does (or might).

Morrissey’s second-most-recent single, “Spent the Day in Bed” is about—well—spending the day in bed. And forgetting the outside world and all its problems. We might look at this and think this song is promoting being a hermit or giving up, but actually, the lyrics are pretty brilliant since there is only one way to separate yourself from this hectic, crazy world, and that is to, at times, avoid it.

Let’s take a look at the lyrics:

“Spent the day in bed

Very happy I did, yes,

I spent the day in bed

As the workers stay enslaved

I spent the day in bed

I’m not my type, but

I love my bed”

Pause here to note Morrissey’s always-hilarious dark humor ("I’m not my type”). But as usual, despite the irony and dark humor, this song’s message is really serious:

“And I recommend that you

Stop watching the news

Because the news contrives to frighten you

To make you feel small and alone

To make you feel that your mind isn’t your own”

Truer words were never spoken! This is exactly what the news does. An article on Consequences of Sound says that Morrissey “rails against fake news” in this song, but I beg to differ. Morrissey rails against all news. Because as much as the media exists to bring us important information, it also gets its money and views/likes/etc. from hyping things up—intriguing people to the point of scaring them, so that they feel they need to rely on the news. It’s a vicious cycle.

I stopped watching the news, and I am so much happier. I’m not kidding. I still find politics interesting, I still find world events interesting, but life is so much more than news. I can serve people and address world issues without watching the news.

“I spent the day in bed

It’s a consolation

When all my dreams

Are perfectly legal

In sheets for which I paid

I am now laid

And I recommend to all of my friends that they

Stop watching the news

Because the news contrives to frighten you

To make you feel small and alone

To make you feel that your mind isn’t your own”

Here’s another reason to spend the day in bed: you can daydream all you like, and no one’s there to tell you, “That’s not possible,” or, “You’re silly,” or “That’s not how real life works.” You are free, with only yourself and God as companions. And God is love, and personal—dare I say the exact opposite of the news?

But I digress. Notice how the news makes you “feel small and alone.” Obviously Morrissey is opposed to this, which implies that he is pro-community and friendships. And having someone tell you “You’re not alone” or “I’ve got your back” is one of the most comforting things you can hear. Of course, while you’re spending the day in bed you may not be inclined to call a friend, but you might. Perhaps tomorrow you can call a friend. I don’t say this to preach; I often resist doing this, but when I do I’m always glad I did. It really does get you out of our own (depressing) head.

To continue:

“Oh time, do as I wish

Time, do as I wish

Oh time, do as I wish

Time, do as I wish . . .”

This can be read as “This is my time to do as I wish” or as a command: “Time, do as I wish!” Of course none of us has control of time, but perhaps this is Morrissey’s way of expressing his wish to slow down time. I often wish this. Sometimes, lying in bed really does make time seem to slow down.

“I spent the day in bed

You can pleasure yourself

But I spent the day in bed

Pillows like pillars

Life ends in death

So there’s nothing wrong with

Being good to yourself

Be good to yourself for once”

I love this verse. Morrissey can’t help but mention death, but for those of us similarly inclined it’s only a good, solid reminder that nothing here is permanent and suffering will soon be over. And as a result (and on a much happier note), be good to yourself! This is as cheery as Morrissey gets, and it’s pretty surprising and wonderful. So many of us forget to care for ourselves in this dreary world. But in order to make any kind of positive impact on the world, we have to be in good health—mentally and physically (as much as possible). So be good to yourself. Thank you for this message, Morrissey.

“And no bus, no boss, no rain, no train

No bus, no boss, no rain, no train

No bus, no boss, no rain, no train

No emasculation, no castration

No highway, freeway, motorway

No buss, no boss, no rain, no train

(Line repeats)”

This is a sigh of relief from not having to deal with chaotic, post-modern life. It’s also quite funny, in that Morrissey equates this lifestyle with being both castrated and emasculated. That’s pretty harsh, but also humorous. By not having to engage in this frenetic non-stop world, Morrissey can be himself—a man. And we all can be our real selves, not having to hide behind facades or respond in “appropriate” ways the world promotes.

This song makes me want to spend a day (or several) in bed.

And on those days when I want to spend the day in bed but can’t, I remember this song and relax a bit, knowing that I don’t have to rush around quite as much as I think I need to. Life is not worth it, and this postmodern, fast-paced world is not real life. Real life is slowing down and reflecting and taking action as needed. Real life is, sometimes, spending the day in bed.

Cover Image Credit: The Daily Beast

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Life Lessons We Can All Learn From 'Polar Express'

Polar Express is a classic holiday movie that can teach us all important lessons about life!

"The Polar Express" entered our lives thirteen years ago. The film followed a young doubtful boy who got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a trip to the North Pole via a magical train, the Polar Express. The boy learned to not only believe in the magic of Santa Claus but also in himself. While rewatching the movie this holiday season, I took note of the several life lessons that the movie taught.

Seeing is not always believing.

At the beginning of the film, the young boy does not believe in Santa Claus as he has never actually seen him. But through the belief of the other kids on the train, he is able to believe that Santa Claus exists at the end of the film, showing the viewers that sometimes belief in the something is most important.

Anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

Throughout the film, the sleigh bell becomes an important symbol. In the beginning, the boy is unable to hear the sound of the bell as he has no faith in Santa Claus. At the end, however, the boy persuades himself to believe in himself to believe in Santa Claus. Once he does he is rewarded with the sound of the bell. This scene shows the viewers the value of believing in ourselves.

Hot chocolate makes everything better!

This one's an obvious one, who doesn't love hot chocolate! But apart from that, the young boy makes some of his best friends in the film over a warm cup of hot chocolate proving that hot chocolate is always the best remedy!

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.

It is only when the boy allows himself to push his boundaries is he able to embark on an extraordinary adventure and discover the magical world of the North Pole.

Friends can come in all shapes and sizes.

The boy meets some pretty interesting kids on the train and while at first is a little taken aback by the different types of kids, he eventually learns to love and accept them all.

"The Polar Express" is an iconic film because of its lovable cast and stunning visual animations. But it is also loved by adults and children alike for the important, relevant life lessons it teaches.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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