Tuesday, September 18, 2012

YOLO? No Bro!

I Dare Ya!

Don't you love popular sayings? I'm particularly fond of expressions like "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", "Laughter is the best medicine", "A Picture is worth a thousand words" and who could forget this one:

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However, one that is gaining a lot of traction is the expression ,"You only live once" (aka. "YOLO" to the youngsters). YOLO has taken pop culture by storm ever since the phrase was coined in a song by rapper/singer Drake. Now it's all over people's Facebook pages, on people's T-Shirts, flooding up the Twitterfeeds (#YOLO) and is regurgitating out from the mouths of the simple-minded masses.

And it seems this motto, which originally was meant as an inspiration to live a little and break from the normal mundane routine of life, is now an excuse to allow a person to do carefree moronic things then simply vindicating oneself by just saying, "YOLO." It's getting so absurd that people are tattooing this phrase onto themselves and adopting "YOLO" as a deen! That's right, a way of life!

And the ramifications are already being felt. Look at this news item below:

Aspiring Rapper, Tweets 'YOLO' About Driving Drunk and Dies Minutes Later 
Ervin McKinness, a 21-year-old aspiring rapper, tweeted about driving drunk at 120 mph minutes before dying in a fiery one-car crash that killed the rapper and four others. 
McKinness posted the now-ominous tweets about speeding while driving drunk on the account @ink2flashyy at 1:19 a.m. on Sept. 2. 
"YOLO" is an acronym for "You Only Live Once." The phrase was made popular by singer Drake, who used "YOLO" in his song "The Motto." 
Another tweet reportedly posted by McKinness talked about drinking and driving. The tweet read, "Driving tweeting sipping the cup f*** it YOLO I'm turning it up," according to the Daily Mail. 
At 1:40 a.m., McKinness died in a crash in Ontario, Calif., at Creekside Drive and Haven Avenue when the 2005 Nissan Sentra ran a red light, skidded out of control and slammed into a wall, according to the San Bernardino County Sun 
The car wound up in the backyard of a home. Marquell Bogan, 23, and Dylan George, 20, both of Ontario; Jonathan Watson, 21, of San Bernardino; and JaJuan Bennett, 23, of Rancho Cucamonga were also killed in the crash. 
All were pronounced dead at the scene except Bogan, who was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to CBS News. 

YOLO huh? Is the full expression, "You only live once, so shorten it by making poor decisions?" Ah, I get it now! YOLO is the sister of that other annoyingly overused phrase to justify dumbassedness. You know, "Life is short..." as in, "Life is short, so live it to the fullest!" which sadly is translated and applied by absent-minded youth in the same way YOLO is. 

Now it's no mystery that in order to gain popularity and acceptance in mainstream society, you have to do outlandish things. That's why the most popular kids in school were the class clowns, the most viewed videos on YouTube are ones where people are goofing off and acting a fool, and it's how reality stars like Flava Flav and Snooki continue to get TV Networks to write them paychecks. I call it, "fitting in by standing out" and it's practically an oxymoron. You're trying to be accepted as an individual by doing stuff most people in there right mind would never do in order to be in a group where everyone dresses, acts and looks the same. And this YOLO trend is no different. Inhibitions and consequences be damned! YOLO! Uh...no you don't.

From a Muslim perspective (and even in a Judeo-Christian perspective), it's always been YOLT: You Only Live Twice. You see, there's this little thing called afterlife (akhirah) where mankind will be judged for how they lived Life #1, in some folks case--the YOLO life, and based on their actions and decisions they will either be justly and generously rewarded or deservedly punished. And yeah, life IS short, so be careful with how you utilize it!

Below is a video, fittingly titled, "#YOLT-You Only Live Twice" which sums up my point. When it comes to the acting and dialogue, I wouldn't say it's the best and in some ways the short film comes off a bit corny but that's just the little fussy critic/storyteller inside of me. I'm not posting it to critique it. The message and intent is what's important. Don't be a YO-Loser and check it out.

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