Sometimes, you have really good intentions…but not everything that I do turns out to be a success. It’s always a huge coin toss, to be honest. Depending on how other people openly respond to it. Hehehe, but what can I say? I tried, right?
When I began the “One World Wednesday” updates on the site, I was really determined to put in some hard work and research and bring everybody together at a time when I felt like we were all being torn apart. I can’t, for the life of me, understand where the fear and unprovoked hatred for one another comes from, unless it’s coming from a specific person, at a specific time, for a specific REASON. I mean, how do you look at somebody that you’ve never met, that you know nothing about…and decide that you’re going to despise them? WHY??? What does that do for you? Seriously, take a moment and think about it. What does hating somebody that you don’t even know, help to elevate or even satisfy you in any possible way?
Racism. Prejudice. Sexism. Homophobia. Religious persecution. Anything to say that we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person standing next to us. I saw things reaching a boiling point a few years back, and I felt compelled to use what little voice I had online to maybe bring us all back together again. I can’t force anybody to change their minds or their feelings about the rest of the planet…but maybe I can provide a much needed glimpse into someone else’s world so that we can take baby steps towards reaching an understanding. You know? Maybe adopting a sense of tolerance, if not empathy.
The big tagline for “One World Wednesday” was clear, simple, and to the point. ‘We hate each other because we don’t KNOW each other.’ I wanted to make an effort to change that. This bi-weekly section on the Shack Forum was my valiant attempt to maybe get people to talk and respond and participate in ways that might garner interest from different ideologies, religions, and cultures, from around the globe. There was a time when the Shack had a wealth of information from a lot of different people of all ages, and we all got to learn from one another’s perspectives on life and love in general. I was making a legitimate plea to reach out to those people and maybe have them help me repair some of the damage that had been done.
So I dived right in and started looking up, not only videos and songs, but the history behind where they originated and what the meaning was in its creation. Where they derived their sound. Who was credited with bringing it to the mainstream. And I wanted to grab something from every country and culture in the world if possible. Let’s get to KNOW one another, you know? Check out parts of our shared experience that someone who’s never seen it before might watch and say…”Hey, that’s kinda cool!” I’ve always felt that the ultimate strength of humanity itself came from adaptation and learning from a wide variety of influences as we grow and evolve together as a species. How can any of us ever expect to find enjoyment and fulfillment in life if we just knew everything that there was to know already? That’s just madness. Even in my story, “Gone From Daylight”…vampires basically commit suicide once they believe they’ve seen everything that there is to see in this world. I doubt I would be any different. So let’s have a discussion about it. Let’s stop being too scared to speak up and educate one another instead of believing in this ‘fog’ of random blanketed nonsense that we think we know, but really don’t.
That’s the duty and the burden of anyone with a ‘voice’. And I wanted to use mine for something positive.
I started off with a big announcement on the board for people to see and anticipate what was soon to come. I was actually really happy to learn so much more about some of the stuff that I really enjoyed but took for granted. Soooooo much that I didn’t know before! I started taking notes and collecting videos and….GAHHH! I was so excited to share it with everybody! Hehehe!
My very first post was an easy pick. This was a few years ago, but it was getting hugely popular in a hurry, and I loved every single minute of it! So my first offering came from South Korea! And I tried to get as many people as I could to experience and enjoy K-Pop! Reading up on it, I didn’t realize how much those boys had to give up in order to live the K-Pop life, though. They’re not even allowed to date. Like…at all. Awwww, but they’re all so cute! It’s all work and choreography and live performances…it’s insane. But it shows in their videos. I mean…WOW!!! The dancing is mind-blowing, to say the least! And sometimes the videos are filmed, like…all in ONE shot! How the fuck do they DO that???
Anyway, K-Pop was my jump off point for this new idea of mine, and I thought it would be an amazing way to get people involved! The music is phenomenal, the dance moves are CRAZY…and if you can get 12 super cute boys together on the same stage to do pretty much anything…you’ve already got me hooked! Hehehe! So that’s where it all began!
I was extremely happy to see that people had fun with the first offering, and many of them became K-Pop fans right away. Even bigger than I was, sending me emails to turn me on to new groups and songs that I hadn’t heard before. I felt really good about that. It warms my heart to know that other people out there were getting a kick out of something for the very first time, and I couldn’t wait to do more.
My next post was about the mania behind ‘Telenovelas’, which were Spanish soap operas, but were written as short series with an actual ending in mind. Technically…Telenovelas was the original version of ‘Netflix’. SUPER dramatic and full of over-the-top acting and situations, I had a lot of fun with that as well. Also, we had a few Shackers that were either deaf or hearing impaired, so the next offering was on ASL (American Sign Language), talking about it’s creation and how it’s interpreted by those who use it. Also including tutorials on lip reading and translation. Shortly after that, I gave everyone a peek into the smooth African sounds of Isathimacaia, which has a really cool history behind it as well if you ever care to look it up. 🙂
Unfortunately…ambition and ability don’t always line up like I wish they could. Putting those posts together were a LOT of hard work, and research, and watching videos to make sure I picked the right ones…and all on top of working a 9 to 5 job and running the site and writing stories and answering emails…it was simply too much for me to carry on my own. And, at the end of the day…people were watching and enjoying it…but there was no discussion happening. No comments, no interaction, no participation. And that’s what I was really hoping for. It was the point of the whole project. Otherwise…it’s just me giving out more free entertainment with no response. So, with a heavy heart, I had to let it go. I was thankful for what those posts did for a few people during that time, but it wasn’t something that I could keep going all by myself for much longer. But, like I said, hehehe…I tried!
I was looking forward to diving into mixology (Making drinks professionally), UK Grime rap from Blackpool, which was big at the time, Buddhism and Wiccan beliefs, Hong Kong action films and its history, as well as the origins of Anime, the video game revolution, comic book culture, the flashy ‘drag queen’ community, the Aborigines of Australia, etc. I wanted to get into Inuit customs, see what Canada had to offer, Egyptian history, Germany, France, Russia…every post would have been a journey to another part of the world, which I think would have been cool!
‘We hate each other because we don’t KNOW each other.’ I still believe that tag holds true. I don’t think we’re even aware of how much the things we enjoy in life comes from our union and embracing of another culture. Our favorite foods, our drinks, our monuments, our language, our medicine, our science, our sense of humor…we’re all borrowing and leaning on one another to make this whole ‘humanity’ thing work. And once you start deliberately limiting yourself to ignore certain parts of that community for…whatever reason…then you lose. You immediately become dumber than everybody else who’s learning new stuff each and every single day. And that’s your choice. I wish you well.
But, for the rest of us? Who actually likes to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant on a Saturday night? Who like eating sushi, or drink Irish whiskey, or nod our heads to some new hip hop, or learn the newest dances from Tiktok…we’re having a BALL! Hehehe! We ENJOY our influences and our unity as a human being. So…those other people can stay huddled up in their basements and pretend that it wasn’t a gay man that painted the Sistine Chapel, or that the Statue Of Liberty didn’t come from France, or that America didn’t belong to the Native Americans before it was stolen from them…and I’m fine with that. Just know, the rest of us are partying too hard to care anymore! Hehehe! So…I don’t know…have ‘fun’, I guess.
I’d rather join the rest of the party than exhaust myself trying to fix whatever the heck is wrong with you. ::Shrugs::
I’ve always tried to do something good with this website. Always have, always will. And I might only help one or two people at a time…but I feel it’s worth it. When given the chance to speak…I think we should speak. “One World Wednesday” was my shot at getting people to listen to one another, hopefully in an entertaining way. And even though it isn’t around anymore, I’d like to think it made a bit of a difference to the few folks who were listening.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll bring it back someday in the future. We’ve got a LOT of ‘Earth’ to cover, after all! Hehehe! But for now? It’s an old hidden gem from the website that I like to think back on fondly from time to time. It makes me smile.