D12

To wrap up music week, I bring you the artist who saved me, who helped me make sense of the hardships in my world, who explained the dark feeling I have in my soul, when nobody else could.

As much as your pride tries to hide it
You’re cold, your touch its like ice
In your eyes is the look of resentment
I can sense it, and I don’t like it
(How Come, D12)
 
So many of us in Gen Y were raised on Eminem, with his pushing-the-limits material about taking drugs, getting drunk, sleeping with girls, and basically causing mayhem.  Related to this musical movement, but with more serious topics and deeper meaning, was D12, the rap group containing Eminem, Proof, Kon Artis, Bizzare, among others.
My love of this dark music is often seen as paradoxical to my outward life of mascots and stuffed animals.  I try to find happiness where I can, and try to look happy on the outside, but inside, am decently broken.  This is not a request for sympathy or a cry for pity; rather a proclamation of reality.  We are not always as we seem.
My wish is for people to be as D12 was: free to openly express their feelings within, to not always pretend that life is good and happy and positive when really there’s pain and downfall all around.  Upset and together is better than upset and alone.
Mascots bring people together and put smiles on their faces, if even for only the 3 hours of the game.  I see this as one of the best things that can be done in the world, and am thankful for such.
From Detroit itself, the home of Eminem and D12, is Paws, of the MLB’s Tigers.
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Paws loves blue and orange, eating stadium food, and taking vacations to Lakeland, FL (home of Tiger’s spring training.)
He looks like a weird version of Tony the Tiger, from Frosted Flakes, but hey, both are happy, so why not keep them both around?!
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Paws, Roaryof the NFL Lions, and Hooper of the NBA Pistons, are bffs!  Isn’t that cute?
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Tina Turner

Problems.  We all have them, and each time one pops up, it feels like the toughest one we’ve ever faced.  And it makes sense, because the problem we have right now is the only problem we’ve ever had that hasn’t been solved.  The pain we feel now is the only pain we’ve not overcome.  While it’s simple and logical to say that everything just needs to be put into perspective, it’s a lot tougher to minimize the feelings that go along with it.

Today is just tomorrow’s yesterday

some will die for you, some will lie to you
there’s all kinds of people in this world

(All Kinds of People, Tina Turner)
 
When you’re having a bad day, I mean, a really bad day, just remember that today is almost over: that tomorrow is a new day.  Remember that there are both good and bad people in this world.  You just have to find those who are good for you.
Tina Turner, of all people, has experienced this pain. Having an abusive father, mother who ran away when she was 11, and high school sweetheart who she broke up with after learning he was already married, her younger years were not exactly easy,  By age 23, she was married to her violent husband/musical partner of 16 years, Ike Turner.
After surviving all of that, she went on to have an extremely successful solo career.  For the next few decades, Tina’s accomplishments amassed, with top 10 hits, movies, and a net worth of $350 million.  In 2013, she got remarried, and moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where she loves it so much that she gained citizenship, and relinquished her US citizenship.  Good for you, Tina!  I am glad you found happiness!
Besides being the new home of Ms. Turner, Zurich is also where this guy lives:
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This is Cooly, the mascot for the 2014 European Championships, and while he has a crappy name, he is super cute and super athletic.  Is he gonna clear that hurdle?
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Yeah, I think the hurdle went well.  But crowd surfing- not so good…
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It’s okay Cooly!  We love you!!!!

Elvis

And when memories haunt me
And the tears starts to flow
I’ll just think of the sorrow
You caused me to know

No more for the past
To return will I pray
Gonna live for tomorrow
Starting today

(Starting Today, Elvis Presley)
 
Life is a series of hardships, of pain.  Whether it was designed this way from the beginning, or a tragedy of modern society, I cannot know.  But it’s what we’ve been born into for centuries at the very least.  It’s simple to think that the person next to you, the one who has more money, who has a spouse, a child; the one who has the answers, that their life is simple.  But the one who sang the above, who had the beautiful wife, the daughter, the fandom and fortune, was one with little happiness at all.  Elvis Presley, King of Rock and Roll, Army Sergeant, cultural icon, died at age 42 due to complications stemming from barbiturate and pain killer addictions.  The difficulties of life left him with a desire to cover pain with narcotics, sedatives, and amphetamines: 10,000 doses prescribed in the 8 months prior to his death.  Society’s fond remembrance is of course due to his musical influence, but should maybe be more than that.  To understand that there is no easy solution.  To be optimistic- think of the wondrous loves tomorrow could bring- easier said than done.
Southend United FC, a League One English Football Club Team, tried to embody Elvis’ legacy, nobility, and spirit in their mascot.  The team first decided on an eel, but was unsure of how to ensure this eel was popular, and therefore wanted to personify an already popular celebrity.  And here’s what the got: 
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Elvis J. Eel is, quite personally, one of the biggest mascot failures.  And I’m not exactly sure why he’s still around, except that the team’s previous mascot, Sammie Shrimp, was seen as equally ugly, but more phallic.  
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But their logo has the shrimp guy in it!  AHH!
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Elvis Presley, we’re sorry.  
       

Mercury

Since people seemed to enjoy the mascot post pertaining to Prince, I have decidedly made this “Music Week.” So another day, another notable artist.  Happy Tuesday!

When asked who you think the best musical artist of all time is, do you have difficulty choosing just one?  There is much talent out there, of course, and so deciding on the ultimate greatest might be challenging to some.  But for me it is easy – Freddie Mercury.  He can sing, write, and perform, in such different genres, without the A -Chorus – B – Chorus – Bridge -Chorus format that is almost every modern song.  He vastly outshines even David Bowie in ‘Under Pressure,’ and David Bowie’s talent was no laughing matter.

We often think of Freddie Mercury as a British talent, but in fact he is from Zanzibar, which is modern-day Tanzania.  He lived in Zanzibar until age 17, when the Zanzibar Revolution (overthrowing the Arab minorities in power) took place.  Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, relocated with his family to Middlesex, England, in 1964, where he went to school and held various jobs while continuing his interest and post-secondary studies in music.  That is until 1970, when he formed the band Queen.  The rest is history, forever being remembered for his theatrics, 5 octave vocal range, ingenius songwriting, gender bending, and AIDS awareness.
If I could only reach you
If I could make you smile
If I could only reach you
That would really be a breakthru
(Breakthru, Queen)
 
Hopefully between the release of this song in 1989, and his death in 1991, he was made aware of just how much of a breakthrough he’s made to so many of us, and the impact he’s had on the culture, both musically and socially.
Mercury, to me, you are the king of the musical jungle, the lion of composition, the simba.  Known mostly as the son from the Lion King, simba actually means ‘lion’ in Swahili.
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Which is likely why Tanzania’s most popular soccer team is Simba Soccer Club. Founded in 1936, the popularity is strong as ever, with a stadium for 60,000 fans.  And yet, none of those fans have suggested there be a mascot.  Lame.  So here is the logo:
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It’s cute and all, but will never be as memorable as Mercury.

Prince

Last Thursday, we lost an artist much bigger than I had ever imagined.  Prince was always big in my mind, but he was born where I was born, and therefore I assumed it was just a Twin Cities kind of thing.  But the mayhem in the music world since his death is shocking- I mean, MTV is playing music, in 2016!

Prince Rogers Nelson reminded us all that to be weird, to be absolutely-do-not-fit-in different, is not bad, and should even be celebrated.

Never let that lonely monster take control of you

Be glad that you are free, free to change your mind

Free to go ‘most anywhere, anytime

Glad that you are free, there’s many a man who’s not

Be glad for what you had baby, what you’ve got

(Free, Prince)
Easier said than done, of course, because loneliness is quite the ailment, but be proud, and stand tall.  Be authentic in life, no matter what people say.  If we were all as strong as Prince, the world would be much brighter, more colourful, and full of smiles.  The remembrance of such a musical hero has brought wondrous things out of his hometown, with thousands coming together to sing his songs, rainbows being photographed with smiles, and the Minnesota Twins (MLB) sponsoring screenings of Purple Rain at Target Field.  Good move, TC Bear.
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TC Bear has been with the Twins for 17 seasons, batting and throwing left, and just being all-around cute.
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The Twins also did this at Target Field:
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Goodnight, Sweet Prince.  But you’ll always be alive and well in Minnesota hearts.

Columbia Rocks!

It has been almost 2 months since I chose a mascot of the day, and while I enjoyed the busy feeling of tax season, I am glad to be back, looking at the happiness of characters.

According to some of my recent dude contacts (aka Tinder creeps) my love of mascots and stuffed animals makes me ‘creepy’ and ‘weird.’  Yes, I am totally weird, but it’s not like these things kill.  They are there solely for happiness.  Like, there is so much stress and difficulty and bad in the world, so why not just add a little joy sometimes?  But, my logic is not of a typical ideal, and therefore, I shall be single for the near future.
But singledom is not nearly as awful as the first 45 minutes of a romcom portrays.  In fact, it is kind of amazing.  Singledom means that I can go to baseball games with my friends anytime I want.  And now that Columbia has an A team, the Fireflies, it is pretty much my favourite hangout spot.  Baseball, booze, friends, and of course this cutie:
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This is Mason, and I guess he is a chubby firefly.  He lives at the stadium aka the Mason Jar, and is just freaking awesome.  Mason might just be the best part of this Met’s minor league team, since the 500 record is not likely to last. Unless most of the games are at night, because the logo glows, and that might just be enough to throw some pitchers off.
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Columbia’s pretty awesome, huh?  Oh, still no?  Okay, well, last Thursday, 10,000 people thought differently, so booyah.  So let’s glow fireflies! WOOO!
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Bonus: I got a photo with the cutie!  How awesome is that?!?!?!
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