This Week at I Want Change
I've BEEN Wanting Change!
I haven't done an issue of IWantChange.org in
nearly a year! I've just been so crazy doing this
album, I haven't had time to do both. Unfortunate
timing for me, because as I took this year off of
IWantChange.org**. "Change" freakin blew up! I
feel like it was plucked right out of my brain. Of
course, we move amongst each other in so many
unknown ways, perhaps it was.
Anyway, I remember writing about Obama in '04(you
can read it HERE).
I, like so many of us, saw his
speech at the DNC and fell in love. Back then, his
presidency seemed only a whimsical fantasy. One of
those "Ohhhh, it'd be so nice if..." To now sit
here a short 4 years later and see it becoming a
reality is truly amazing.
For the first time in a long time I feel proud of
America. I feel (and also feel a little
manipulated by) hope! Hopeful of a new milestone,
of healing. Hope that we just might have a smart
person back in the drivers seat again. Hopeful
that he remains genuine. Hopeful that after
Tuesday, when the Change broohaha has died down,
we still strive for it.
It's a long road to not only repairing, but
moving our country forward, and it merely BEGINS
with changing who's in the White House. I'm
hopeful that in the coming years we'll take a hard
look at our selves and be honest with what we
find. For once we win this election(I'm
manifesting!), we need to look inward and address
our consumer culture, our disposable mentality.
We need to examine how we take in information. We
need to become critical thinkers again.
I'm hopeful of the tide of people that got up and
stood behind Obama. As with all leaders, Obama's
just another guy without our numbers. Not only
did we do this, but we can ALWAYS do this. The
power has always been ours to hold. I'm hopeful
that we remember this power, and use to it to
fight for a more just and balanced world - ALWAYS.
**for those of you that don't know,
iwantchange.org is a web magazine my mom and I
started in '04, long before change became Obama's
Growing up in the Public Eye
celebrities go crazy and how are we complicit?
By Lara Karuna, www.iwantchange.org
I wrote this a couple of years ago, but thought it
was appropriate to re-post in the light of Michael
Jackson's death. RIP Michael.
Turning on the news here in L.A. is like opening a
US Weekly magazine. Forget the war in Iraq, or the
possibility of sending over 21,000 more troops, or
any of that, no, instead let’s talk about Anna
Nicole Smith’s "tragic death," or Britney Spears'
suicide attempt, or Lindsay Lohan’s rehab stints.
I get it, the war is depressing, and a
celebrities’ downward spiral into drugs and
emotional instability make us all feel a little
better about our less glamorous, but perhaps more
sane existences. But, why do celebrities go crazy?
And how do they mirror our own societal pathologies?
My mom has always said that one of the most
detrimental things you can do when raising a child
is to spoil them and neglect them at the same
time. There’s just something about that
combination that ruins a person. I saw this happen
with my neighbor. She had a little girl who was
incredibly bright and, at three years old, already
beautiful. Her mother was an aging playmate that
made a decent living off of her fading beauty. The
little girl was given every material thing - fancy
clothes, toys, whatever she desired. Yet, her
mother left her alone, pretty much all the time,
watched over by ever-changing nannies. I witnessed
this beautiful little girl grow up, becoming more
and more neurotic as the years passed. My mom was
right. Something in the duality of getting
everything you can tangibly touch, yet nothing
that you can’t, destroys a human in inexplicable ways.
In a sense this is how we “raise” our public
figures. We adore them, giving them a false sense
of superiority. Day in and day out, everything is
focused on them. Staples of sycophants tend to
their every whim. Sooner or later they start
believing that their beauty, and/or talent make
them special, and really - better. In the same
breath that we adore them, we judge them just as
intensely. On this lonely pedestal, every act they
make, every “barefoot walk into a gas station
bathroom” is scrutinized, picked apart and
condoned or condemned.
Naturally, they all go crazy.
Mixed signals are not the only way we are “bad
parents” to celebrities. Not only do we reward the
shallow, we are unabashed worshippers of it. While
other cultures look to their elders for wisdom and
guidance, we pander to the young and the
beautiful. Concepts like integrity and honesty
have become lost ideals, old fashioned. Instead,
the prevailing sentiment is: ‘If you can get away
with it, do it.'
When I lived in India, I noticed that nearly every
cab driver had some type of god on his dashboard.
Whether it’s a Muslim symbol, a Hindu deity, or
Jesus' cross, I was always struck by the faith of
that country. Despite all the far-right bible
thumping, I believe America has lost its faith.
Between the pinheaded pragmatism of the left, and
the unimaginative, rigidity of the right, the
beauty and mystery of our existence has become a
bland, black and white war of semantics that
politicians use and exploit. In this age of
reason, very little weight is given to true
spiritual exploration. Instead, we resort to our
animalistic ways, looking for the best genes for
And it is these animalistic urges that lead us
toward the sparkle of celebrity and the escape of
entertainment. Man is mystical. And there was a
time when we lived, seeing our short lives as they
are: simple blips in an infinite history. This
mystical connection helped give meaning to our
little lives. Pursuing fulfillment was a matter of
the spirit not an insatiable drive to collect
THINGS. With the loss of our mystical connection,
our lives have lost their potency, and we focus on
minutia, forever trying to fill a void - a void
created as we abandoned mysticism and mystery for
materialism and reason.
In this modern age, we long to believe in
something, so we place our hopes and expectations
on the beautiful and the talented, expecting them
to behave in all the ways that we can't. When they
fall short, acting out, as so many of us would
when judged and adored simultaneously, we smugly
laugh, privately consoled by our own safe, yet
suddenly more rewarding lives. But, in Michael
Jackson's distorted face, or Britney Spear’s
baldhead, question not the insanity in them, but
instead the insanity in us, the society that