And just like that, a little bit of my faith in humanity was restored.
Мир не без добрых людей… / Good people (by ArkadiYM93)
All the feels.
And just like that, a little bit of my faith in humanity was restored.
Мир не без добрых людей… / Good people (by ArkadiYM93)
All the feels.
Roger Ebert, 1942-2013
I had totally forgotten about these emails until the two tweets above jogged my memory.
This is a story about the nicest thing a non-relative has taken the time to do for one of my children without getting paid for it.
When Salinger was 7 she became plagued with nightmares about the film ‘Monster House’. Strangely, through a friend, I knew the screenwriter Dan Harmon (@danharmon, Creator of ‘Community’ on NBC).
So one day, in early 2008, I wrote to him:
Salinger has watched Monster House twice now.
Both times she has been plagued by nightmares for at least a week following the viewings.
She only watched it the second time because she was struck by the fact that 4 year old Henry was completely unfazed by it and figured it couldn’t have been so scary.
Me- What is the part that scares you so badly?
Her- That the woman is so evil that even after she’s dead and none of the kids care about teasing her anymore…she turns into a house and chases them. She’s too crazy, that’s pure evil.
Me- Is it the animation that’s creepy?
Her- No, it’s scary that someone is so mean that they could come back from the dead, become something that should not be alive and then try to kill people.
Henry- I think it’s AWESOME
It’s been 3 nights of her waking up crying and I totally blame you.
You should come over and rationalize the entire thing to her.
Okay, maybe you could just write her a note because she doesn’t believe I know the creator of her nightmares.
Here was his immediate and amazing response…….
Your Mom told me about Monster House scaring you. It sounds like one of the things that upset you is the fact that the house kept wanting to hurt people even after nobody wanted to hurt it anymore.
I will tell you a secret that sounds so silly, you might not believe it, but this is true: I never finished writing Monster House before my bosses turned it into a movie. And then different writers, people I don’t even know, changed the story in lots of ways, and the movie that you saw was not the story I wanted to tell you.
I think a good story, even if it is sad or scary while you’re watching it, should always make you a little less scared after you’ve seen it. Because even a scary story, if it’s a good scary story, takes us into strange, dark places that don’t make sense at first, and helps us see that they do make sense, and are therefore not so scary.
And that didn’t happen in Monster House. The kids go inside the house, and everything’s scary in there, but nothing starts making more sense. I don’t know about you, but when I go inside a giant scary monster, I expect to be rewarded for my bravery. There should always be something inside a monster that helps you understand it, and makes you less scared of it, and able to make the monster go away. Not just a bunch of stuff that makes you more confused and scared.
And why, after they escaped the house, did that old man tell them another scary story about a mean fat lady that didn’t make very much sense either? I’ll tell you why. Because Gil Kenan is a hack and Steven Spielberg is a moron. But hey, I shouldn’t be dumping this stuff on you.
Let’s just say, Salinger, that I have a lot of questions about that movie, too. And because I saw them making it, I know it’s not real, so it doesn’t scare me, but it makes me mad that it scared you, because I tried to tell them they were making a bad movie that was going to confuse and frighten smart children, instead of making children more brave, and they acted like I was stupid for being afraid that would happen.
I guess you and I are just smarter than other people, and I guess part of being smart is being scared of things that don’t scare other people. Henry’s a little younger than us and he just thinks the movie looks cool, which it does. And we won’t take that away from him. But you and I are looking at the movie through smart, sensitive, older eyes, and we can see how confusing it is.
The good news is, although our smart, sensitive, older eyes will probably always see more reasons to be afraid than other people’s eyes, we also have smart, sensitive older brains that can make sense of scary things, and make them less scary, not only for us, but for everyone else. Who knows what kind of amazing things you will be doing as you live your life. Maybe you will tell stories, or paint pictures, or sing songs, or climb mountains, or clean streets, or study insects or rescue elephants. But we know one thing for sure: you are going to be very special while you’re doing it, and you’re going to remove a lot of fear from other people’s lives, because you’re smart enough to see it, which means you’re smart enough to conquer it.
I hope one day I can finish writing a movie that they don’t change so much, and if you see it, I hope it makes you happy. Until then, I heard that Wall-E is very good, you should go see that. And next time Monster House is on, just remember that the guy that wrote it told you it was dumb.
And after 4 years of knowing each other online, I finally met him 2 weeks ago: @danharmon, nice guy/genius.
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about same-sex marriage, more so than usual, with the U.S. Supreme Court poised to make a definitive ruling to set precedent in the matter. In the case of human existence, however, there is really only one correct side for any just law to be on.
This is my philosophy on life:
People should be free to do whatever they want, say whatever they want, and believe in whatever they want, as long as their actions are not to the detriment of other living beings. Basically, like Bill and Ted said, just be excellent to each other. That’s all.
I believe a person named Jesus Christ once said something in a similar vein. I don’t believe he ever said “Love everyone—except the gays, and the Muslims, and the Jews,” and whoever. Seems he was rather unconditional about love, and anything in the same belief system that would run contrary to that philosophy should have a person seriously questioning the system as a whole. That’s my belief. You might believe something different. And you know what? As long as you’re not hurting anybody, that’s perfectly okay.
I don’t believe in religion, but this isn’t an attack on religion. If anything, this is a defense of it—because while I don’t subscribe to any one religion, I’ll cut out my tongue before I say it’s not okay for other people to believe what they wish. Me not believing in religion does not make it okay for me to say no one should be able to believe in religion, in the same way that it isn’t okay for a religious person to impose their beliefs upon those who believe anything to the contrary. That’s not what life is about, and it’s not what government is about.
So, regarding same-sex marriages: I really don’t see how allowing two people who love each other to spend their lives together, regardless of their sex, hurts anyone—and I can’t imagine having more love in the world would make it anything but better.
And when people understand that, and respect that, and realize that this world is made beautiful by the billions of unique ways human beings interpret and navigate life and love, that is when we are the best people we can possibly be.
Anytime someone questions my support for President Obama I’m just going to pull up my Tumblr and show them this.
This is freaking fantastic.
A version for tumblr that can be read without opening a new tab, since plenty of people would scroll past this story otherwise.
The bravest woman on Earth.
Alright let’s talk about this for a quick second. This girl fought for her right to be educated. Was shot & almost killed for the sake of her right to go to school. And here us Americans are, begrudgingly dragging ourselves out of bed in the morning, whining about how badly we hate school— that we go to for free— and how we all just want to “drop out” and start getting married & popping out kids. We have it backwards, America. An education is the most important thing we could ever hope to attain- you can disagree with me all you want, but it’s the truth. As a teacher, I am saying that we abuse our rights to attend a school for free, where our biggest complaints are the early start times and the homework. Seriously?
There is a girl out there who was shot in the head for her right to go to school. And we’re still gonna bitch and moan about how we “have to” go to school? I’m sorry, but no. That’s just wrong. Get it together, Americans. For pity’s sake.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren slapping around some bank regulators who don’t want to answer her perfectly logical question. Can we get more of this, please? And, y’know, some ensuing accountability as a result?
For now, I’ll just be thankful for Senator Warren and bask in the glow of these people squirming.
Swinging is already a pretty great way to spend some time, but swinging inside a mirror-lined room turns the humble pastime into something awesome. This room is an installation entitled The Phoenix is closer than it appears. It was created by artist Thilo Frank at the Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark. The room measures 4 x 4 x 8 meters and has no windows, but the mirrors make it appear to stretch infinitely in all directions along with infinite reflections of yourself happily swinging away. Fun, freaky or a bit of both? You’ll have to travel to Denmark and give it a try.
Ohhhhh I want to go to there.
Chelsea Welch, the US waitress who was fired after she posted a picture of a tip receipt on Reddit, wrote for us:
I was a waitress at Applebee’s restaurant in Saint Louis. I was fired Wednesday for posting a picture on Reddit.com of a note a customer left on a bill. I posted it on the web as a light-hearted joke.
This didn’t even happen at my table. The note was left for another server, who allowed me to take a picture of it at the end of the night.
Someone had scribbled on the receipt, “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?”
I assumed the customer’s signature was illegible, but I quickly started receiving messages containing Facebook profile links and websites, asking me to confirm the identity of the customer. I refused to confirm any of them, and all were incorrect.
I worked with the Reddit moderators to remove any personal information. I wanted to protect the identity of both my fellow server and the customer. I had no intention of starting a witch-hunt or hurting anyone.
Now I’ve been fired.
The person who wrote the note came across an article about it, called the Applebee’s location, and demanded everyone be fired — me, the server who allowed me to take the picture, the manager on duty at the time, the manager not on duty at the time, everyone. It seems I was fired not because Applebee’s was represented poorly, not because I did anything illegal or against company policy, but because I embarrassed this person.
In light of the situation, I would like to make a statement on behalf of wait staff everywhere: We make $3.50 an hour. Most of my paychecks are less than pocket change because I have to pay taxes on the tips I make.
After sharing my tips with hosts, bussers, and bartenders, I make less than $9 an hour on average, before taxes. I am expected to skip bathroom breaks if we are busy. I go hungry all day if I have several busy tables to work. I am expected to work until 1:30am and then come in again at 10:30am to open the restaurant.
I have worked 12-hour double shifts without a chance to even sit down. I am expected to portray a canned personality that has been found to be least offensive to the greatest amount of people. And I am expected to do all of this, every day, and receive change, or even nothing, in return. After all that, I can be fired for “embarrassing” someone, who directly insults his or her server on religious grounds.
In this economy, $3.50 an hour doesn’t cut it. I can’t pay half my bills. Like many, I would love to see a reasonable, non-tip-dependent wage system for service workers like they have in other countries. But the system being flawed is not an excuse for not paying for services rendered.
I need tips to pay my bills. All waiters do. We spend an hour or more of our time befriending you, making you laugh, getting to know you, and making your dining experience the best it can be. We work hard. We care. We deserve to be paid for that.
I am trying to stand up for all of us who work for just a few dollars an hour at places like Applebee’s. Whether a chain steakhouse or a black-tie establishment, tipping is not optional. It is how we get paid.
I posted a picture to make people laugh, but now I want to make a serious point: Things like this happen to servers all the time. People seem to think that the easiest way to save money on a night out is to skip the tip.
I can’t understand why I was fired over this. I was well liked and respected at Applebee’s. My sales were high, my managers had no problems with me, and I was even hoping to move up to management soon. When I posted this, I didn’t represent Applebee’s in a bad light. In fact, I didn’t represent them at all.
I did my best to protect the identity of all parties involved. I didn’t break any specific guidelines in the company handbook – I checked. But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.
I am equally baffled about how a religious tithe is in any way related to paying for services at a restaurant. I can understand why someone could be upset with an automatic gratuity. However, it’s a plainly stated Applebee’s policy that a tip is added automatically for parties over eight like the one this customer was part of. I cannot control that kind of tip; it’s done by the computer that the orders are put into. I’ve been stiffed on tips before, but this is the first time I’ve seen the “Big Man” used as reasoning.
Obviously the person who wrote this note wanted it seen by someone. It’s strange that now that the audience is wider than just the server, the person is ashamed.
I have no agenda here. I seek no revenge against the note writer. I have no interest in exposing their identity, and, at this point, I’m not even sure I want my job back. I was just trying to make a joke, but I came home unemployed.
I’ve been waiting tables to save up some money so I could finally go to college, so I could get an education that would qualify me for a job that doesn’t force me to sell my personality for pocket change.