Heroism IRL Draws A Massive Audience At SDCC


(PCM) John Barrowman, star of Arrow and Torchwood, shared his powerful, painful and actually hilarious story of overcoming bullying, as part of the Pop Culture Hero Coalition’s panel at this week’s San Diego Comic-Con.

CBS Network News joined a packed room of fans and entertainment industry luminaries as Barrowman and NOH8 Campaign Founders Adam Bouska & Jeff Parshley joined the United Nations Association President Bettina Hausmann, Impractical Joker’s Joe Gatto, and Entertainment Weekly Senior Writer Anthony Breznican.

Created by actress Chase Masterson (Star Trek, The Flash) with heroism experts Carrie Goldman (Harper Collins’ Bullied) and Matt Langdon (Founder, The Hero Construction Company), the unprecedented coalition is the first organization to make a stand against bullying, racism, LGBT- bullying, cyber-bullying, misogyny and other forms of hate at comic-cons. The panel, END BULLYING! RESPONDING TO CRUELTY IN OUR CULTURE was the Coalition’s eighth convention appearance since it was founded in 2013.

“When pop culture icons make a stand based on their own hard experiences, it sends a powerful message to people who have been bullied or oppressed,” Masterson stated. “We’ve been where you are, or somewhere close. You can get through this. You can heal. And you can be there for other people. That victory spreads like wildfire. And that’s heroism, IRL.”

With a mix of profound vulnerability and hilarious story-telling (see CBS News video), Barrowman recounted his growing up experiences: “I was called fag, queer, and everything else.” He recalled being severely bullied, beat up and stuffed in his locker by a kid at school. Barrowman recalls, “I got all my friends around me, and I confronted this kid. And I said, ‘You can hit me, you can push me, you can bully me, you can do everything you want. You can punch me in my face. But you know what? I will get back up. I will always stand back up.’”

Getting back up indeed, Olivier Award-Nominated Barrowman was highly instrumental in the laws of Britain being passed for Marriage Equality. His work with British government led to him being named a Member of the Order of the British Empire, an honor bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II.

“The NOH8 Campaign’s involvement in the Coalition’s work at cons around the nation is extremely important to us,” said Bouska and Parshley, whose work was instrumental in the law for Marriage Equality. “We feel the topic of bullying is something that all con goers can relate to. If we can show

them that there are many people out there just like them, we can start to empower each person to stand up for who they are and in turn, stand up for others.”

“The best part of the Coalition is that it provides a forum for us to reach the most vulnerable people attending Comic-Con and remind them that they are not alone, that they have greatness in them, just like the characters they so admire. Watching the research from my book, Bullied, turn into a living breathing entity that helps people is a profound experience,” said Goldman, whose award-winning book and work as a speaker is internationally acclaimed.

“The feedback we received after the panel was overwhelmingly positive,” said Langdon. “It was great hearing how important the message was to people.” Langdon is an world-renowned heroism expert and speaker who heads the Hero Roundtable, an international conference on everyday and extraordinary heroism.

Breznican, who is author of the highly acclaimed novel Brutal Youth, states, “There’s no other panel at Comic-Con I’d rather be a part of! (Well, except Star Wars. I would love to be IN Star Wars.) But other than that, I’m beyond proud to be a part of the Pop Culture Hero Coalition and the good work and positivity they create in a world that’s not so far, far away.”

“The blend of imagined and real superheroes is at the heart of Comic-Con, and it will take heroes in all forms from all parts of the world to address bullying, intolerance, and hate,” said UN Association President Hausmann. “Being a hero doesn’t require a fantastic costume or hidden lair; rather it takes passion, courage, and a single minded belief that we all share an inherent right for dignity, equality, and freedom. The Pop Culture Hero Coalition takes exactly that stance and is committed to everyone being able to pursue healthier, happier lives, which enrich us individually and collectively.”

“I’m very happy with the turn out to the Pop Culture Hero Coalition panel,” enthused Gatto. “There were meaningful words of encouragement and understanding spoken from a diverse and caring panel of professionals, all with unique takes on the issue of bullying. And these faces in the crowd stared back as if to say ‘thank you for understanding.’ It felt great to do some good.”

Coalition Partners also include the Anti-Defamation League, Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up, CW Seed’s Husbands, GLSEN, Girl Scouts of America, Brave Girls Alliance and the International Bullying Prevention Association.

“Heroism IRL is something we can all do, every day,” stated Masterson.  We love superheroes. Why not be one?”

The post Heroism IRL Draws A Massive Audience At SDCC appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

This is Jacobi Oscar Kafer, by Ginger Fish

This is Jacobi Oscar Kafer.
BY: Ginger Fish

Jacob1I stopped for coffee & to go the bathroom at a Starbucks in the Venice, CA area, & this gentleman walked up to my cycle today to spray windex on it, & clean it. My first reaction was “Stay away from the bike” then I stopped myself; he looked broken & mentally & physically worn from the sun, so I turned to him and said “Go ahead and clean it, I’m gonna run into Starbucks for coffee, & when I come out I’ll give you $10″.

I’ve been meaning to clean my bike but I just haven’t found the time to do it. The Starbucks was busy & I wondered when I came back out if he would still be there. When I returned, he was working up, down, & all around the bike. I’ve had my bike detailed at my local Harley dealership & it costs around $150 for them to do the same job this gentleman is doing right now for a fifteenth of the cost.

I finished my coffee & told him I didn’t want to take up anymore of his time today. I reached into my pocket & pulled out all of the spare bills I had that totaled a whopping $36 & handed them to him. I said I wished I had more to give him, & the expression of respect and joy that built up inside of him was immeasurable.

As I bent down to unlock my Helmet, and after I had put it on my head, I reached into my saddle bag to organize a few things I was carrying, and as I did this, he starting working feverishly scrubbing my helmet clean right as I knelt there wearing it. I thanked him for a job well done & went on my way. I got about a half mile away when I decided to turn around.

I found Jacobi in the corner of the parking lot crying with his head held down as tears ran down the bridge of his nose, as if to say I’ve had enough of the struggle & humiliation today. I asked him if could please take a photo of him with my cycle so I could remember him & this job he has done so well. Again he filled with great joy and gratitude for the little bit of respect I bestowed upon him.

He stood proud and strong with an inherent sense of satisfaction & pride for his ability to bring happiness to another person & to contribute to something that brought someone else so much joy today. I was homeless for about a year around 1990 & 1991, so I understand some of what this man has to endure on a day to day basis. As I thanked him again & began to exit, more tears started streaming down his face.

I said to him “please don’t cry” “I have an old friend named Jacobi, & now I have a new friend named Jacobi”. I saw my own feelings of self worth and pride shining through Jacobi as if he was my own child. Never take for granted a helping hand. Even if it’s from someone whom you truly feel doesn’t have a helping hand to give. We are all one.

Sincerely, Ginger

The post This is Jacobi Oscar Kafer, by Ginger Fish also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

21 Year-Old Saw An Old Man At Walmart, Who Refused Any Help.


By Morgan Wheeler Via Facebook:

“I walked out of Walmart today and got in my car. As I began to pull out, I had to wait for a man in a wheelchair to pass by. As I watched him, I noticed that he was missing his right leg from the knee down and was wearing, what appeared to be, old, government issued, combat boots.

He was (from my guess) in his late sixties/early seventies and seemed to be stopping to take a break.

He had not realized that I had started my car and was attempting to pull out, so when he saw me, he waved in an apologetic manner and rolled forward three more times and took another break. I backed up my car the inches I had previously pulled forward, put it in park, turned off the engine, and got out.

I walked up to him and introduced myself. I asked him if I could assist him with his shopping today, and he, quite grumpily, said that he was doing just fine and was not getting much anyways. Me, being as stubborn as I am, insisted and proceeded to push him and tell him a little about myself. He interrupted me and said that he only needed help to the door, to which I picked up where I had left off before he interrupted me. I told him about Fayetteville, and my horses, and my nephews (I had parked a good ways away from the doors).

And when I reached the doors, I continued to push him and talk. We reached the produce area and I asked him to tell me about himself. He reluctantly looked at me and began telling me that he lived in Sod – Lincoln County, and that he just recently lost his wife. I asked him if he was a veteran, to which he replied that he was – but with pain on his face, so I changed the subject and asked if he had made a shopping list.

He handed me a list with only four things on it: peanut butter, soup, bread, and bananas. So we began shopping and I continued to talk… hard to believe – I know. Once we had gotten the items he needed, I asked if he needed the essentials: milk, eggs, butter. He told me that he might not make it home, without them going bad. So I questioned how he got to the store. He told me that he did what he was doing in the parking lot until he got to 119 and then hitch hiked with a trucker to the parking lot. So I called a taxi for him and grabbed the essentials plus a few other things and put them in the cart.

After placing a gallon of milk in his cart he was crying. People were passing by us, looking sideways at him. I knelt down and asked him what was wrong and he replied, that I “was doing far too much for an old man that I barely knew.” I told him that where I am from, and from the family I was raised in, we help one another, no matter the task and that I had never met a stranger. I also told him that he deserved everything I was doing for him because he fought for my freedom and sacrificed so much. We made it to the check out line and I paid for his groceries, against his request.

When we got outside, we waited for the taxi together. He thanked me over and over again and appeared – to me- to have been in a much better mood than when I found him. When the taxi arrived, I helped him load his groceries and wheelchair into the taxi and asked the driver to take him home and help him into his house with his groceries. I gave him the only cash I had on me – $44, also against his will. I told him thank you for his service before closing the door. Tears formed again and he thanked me one last time and said, “God bless you.”

I returned to my car, and could not help but cry. This is the world we live in today. How many people passed him and would have continued to pass him while he struggled? How many people are willing to give their money to Vanity Fair to read all about Bruce Jenner and not help a veteran pay for his groceries?

Today was a truly humbling experience for me, and I consider myself extremely blessed to have the capability of understanding what is truly important in this world.

THAT man was a HERO, and far too many will say otherwise. I am sorry that this post was so long, and if you have read it to this point, I hope you are as humbled as I was. God bless the men and women who have fought for our right to view the wrong people as heroes, and thank God for the people who know better.”

The post 21 Year-Old Saw An Old Man At Walmart, Who Refused Any Help. also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Taylor Swift Grants The Wish Of A Cancer-Stricken Delaware Teen


photo credit: Matt Christine for PCM

(PCM) Thanks to the assistance of the police department in Dover, Delaware, pop superstar Taylor Swift was able to grant the wish of a cancer stricken teen who was unable to attend Swift’s sold-out concerts at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA this past weekend.

The Dover PD produced the following video about the life of 13-year old Victoria Marsh, who was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer late last year after discovering some pain in her ankle. The video has been viewed over 1.4 million times on Facebook, and eventually got the attention of Taylor Swift and her team, who made young Victoria’s wish come true.

Swift invited Victoria, who also suffers from Downs Syndrome, and two of her sisters to a private meet & greet back stage just prior to her amazing performance on the “1989 World Tour”. Unfortunately, Victoria’s doctors were not able to clear her to attend the actual concert, but she did receive an 8-hour pass for the hospital to attend the meet & greet with her favorite musician.


The Dover PD were overjoyed to help make Victoria’s dream come true and posted images of Victoria and her sisters meeting her idol on their official Facebook page. Such an amazing story, as we are so glad to hear that young Victoria’s #Swiftawish came true.

The post Taylor Swift Grants The Wish Of A Cancer-Stricken Delaware Teen also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Toms Donates Shoes For Bare Feet Instagram Photos


(PCM) Each year in May, L.A. based company Toms Shoes makes an interesting request of their supporters by asking them to spend one day going barefoot for their “One Day Without Shoes” campaign.  This year to expand on the campaign, Toms has jumped on the social media bandwagon and have incorporated Instagram into this year’s campaign.

The company is asking supporters to post images of  their bare feet on Instagram and hash tag them #withoutshoes. Toms Shoes will then donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every image posted. The campaign is good for up to 1 million posts and is being used to raise awareness for children’s health and education.

The campaign will last from May 5-May 21 and is an extension from their normal procedure of donating a pair of shoes for every pair of shoes that is purchased. Also, this campaign is open to everyone, not just Tom’s customers, meaning that anyone can take a bare foot photo and post it on Instagram with the hash tag to help a child in need receive a brand new pair of shoes.

Toms Shoes was founded back in 2006 and since their formation have donated over 35 million pairs of shoes to children in need.

The post Toms Donates Shoes For Bare Feet Instagram Photos also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Political Dancer Fights The Baltimore Violence


(PCM) Many people are beginning to refer to 23-year old Dimitri Reeves as the first “political dancer”, as he has taken to the streets of Baltimore amidst all the riots and violence to bring about a message of peace using the power of music.

Reeves has been showcasing the powerful message behind the hit Michael Jackson song “Beat It”, but blasting it on a speaker and dancing in front of both police and protesters/rioters.

There have been several viral videos pop up online that showcase Reeves dancing away to the song and in away distracting those around him from the violence. In fact, Reeves was even caught busting his moves out on top vehicles and right in the middle of the street.

It seems that choosing “Beat It” as his song of choice was due to the message portrayed in the video for the song where singer Michael Jackson breaks up a fight for the use of unnecessary violence. Reeves says that his message is “Just think. It’s that simple.”


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