Sunday, 21 December 2014

Growing Up is not my friend.

For most, and in many circumstances, Growing Up is not one's best friend. Growing Up is in fact the enemy of practically anybody with a poor, fragile heart. It always comes in the least expected moments, in quiet bubbles of ignorant bliss it blasts your peaceful mind with Grown Upness which usually means realisation of some horrid thing or another.

It grows in frequency and weakens the amount of pain it causes for eventually Growing Up is fully done and the inevitability has had time to sink in. It happens when you realise that Father Christmas isn't real and for the next few years that once very special day dips in magic and excitement until you can come to settle with the other festive joys. It happens when your body starts to change itself despite your desperate cries for it to stop and stay the same for ever and ever in clean and new perfection. It happens when instead of games running off pure imagination your attention turns less intensely to other distractions that need more material than just the wonders inside of your head. Suddenly boredom is so much more prominent and hours go by with not one ounce of inspiration for a game or even for a cushion fort to make. Younger children seem silly now and with your sudden superiority you try to ride this wave of hormones and understanding with as much dignity as any young person is capable of. Unfortunately however you just keep falling down and yearn for your mum to hold you in her arms so that distant memory of being held as a baby can sooth you from the imminent Growing Up you will have to do.

As you reach the end of the official stage of Growing Up it's possibly the most painful. The absolute realisation of a childhood utterly lost to broken memory and a box of toys and DVDs that now collects dust in the loft hits hard at random points in the day. It is like you are stuck between struggling through this last treacle like stage to get out of it, or desperately clinging to whatever you can hold onto so as not to leave any of it behind. It is like you are both being rushed along by a strong current, and suspended in a stillness that you cannot wilfully remove yourself from.

Growing Up is, as we all sorely remember and experience, really, really, really hard. So far I'm not sure if I'm near to the good bit yet. I can still feel pangs of sad nostalgia that open new, sore wounds of memory. I'm fully aware of a slight feeling of loss, and yet anticipation all at the same time. It really is a wonder anyone gets out of this part alive.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Death to uniform.

I have been wearing uniform all my life. From the age of 4 I've gone to school in red, then blue and then finally black. As a primary school child I paid little attention to my uniform. Clothes didn't exactly bother me, I was pretty preoccupied with other important stuff such as who will play mum in today's mums and dads game. Or if you were a child with a slightly overactive imagination like me, who will play the pregnant teenage daughter of the negligent mother in our more modern, more dysfunctional mums and dads game. But more of that later.

The point is, when one's individuality is only just beginning to form it's just simply more practical for the parents to have the same outfit ready everyday. The same goes for the lower years of secondary school, younger minds needn't be bothered with social conformity so conforming in minor ways such as wearing school uniform isn't at all a problem. The problem arises when the scepticism starts to kick in. When the individuality has finally arrived and it suddenly matters a great deal to the hormonal, bad tempered teenager. Suddenly you're being told to do something you most likely despise. To wear an ill fitting, uncomfortable skirt or blazer at the age of fifteen, an age riddled with crippling insecurity, is a little bit like death. One comes to the realisation soon after this age that, perhaps unintentionally or even wholly deliberately, you and all your peers have been trained into a uniform way of living and looking that is apparently the foundations on which the entire business world stands upon. Because then, of course, sixth form comes around and uniforms are abolished. Almost.

This is, for most schools, the pinnacle moment of uniformity. The boys will wear suits and the girls will look smart also. You will all look like lawyers and bankers or you will go home. The rules perhaps are more malleable for the girls, but totally unavoidable for the boys. This is the proper way to look. People will take you seriously like this, even if you have no say in the matter. Even if you'd actually prefer to look like an artist, or a punk, or a goth or any other fashion you can identify with. This is the adult world now, and we must all go forth together banded with ties and cufflinks galore.

Don't dye your hair, don't pierce your body, please wear a tie, do up your top button, wear a black suit, wear a matching skirt and blazer, don't show your shoulders, don't wear ankle boots, make sure your skirt isn't too short or too tight, and please, for the love of god, look the same as everybody else.

Looking your best is important, for most people it is even pleasurable. But everyone's 'best' is not the same, so please stop trying to tell me your made up rules.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

To the end of all things.

To the end of all things. Of all things good, happy and bizarre. I would like to say a thank you, despite each very sad good bye. Despite the moments after where everything returns to the mundane, the ordinary, the calm and the slow. It is in these moments where the end becomes real and the newly formed memories grow more distant and more surreal the more they're remembered. 

Oh happy dreams are only truly allowed to exist in our head whilst the outside world churns out its daily life with less sentimentality than we'd dare like to believe. But to these memories that happened only yesterday I do say thank you, because it is with them I can make up this strange and lovely fabric of my life and story. I hope it only grows in detail and vivacity as I grow older with it. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Case of Michael Brown.

It is not really relevant whether the witness statements or Darren Wilson's claims are correct in the case of Michael Brown. It's not really relevant how innocent each side of the party is. What matters is that this one moment has angered thousands of people, black and white, across America and overseas. 
If it was just another example of the questionable use of guns in the USA I don't think we'd really feel the same. The general consensus has been made clear on that one, it's not something to be changing any time soon.
But we are shaking our heads and banging our fists now because there is just one more story in the headlines to add to our huge, historical collection of racial discrimination that tips yet another build up of prejudice over the edge and into the ridiculous. 

It is 2014. We are pushing ourselves to the height of technological progress and creating things our ancestors would not have been able to conceive. And yet, we still have to fight against a very large and very unhappy group people who still fail to understand the concept and the goodness of equality. Who, for some reason, have not allowed history to bury its head in the sand to forget all of the awful things it had done but perpetuate it instead. They perpetuate this fear of the 'other', the 'unknown', the 'different'. 

Over the past 100 years or so the ball has been rolling, we've gained so much more than those at the beginning could have imagined and yet we are still so far from what we could achieve. Because young, black men are being shot mainly for the colour of their skin. Because these young, black men are often forced into following a life of crime because the ghetto concept still exists. There is still a separation between black and white. There is still white privelage. And I am truly, truly sick of it.  

The sides of the story in the Ferguson case are not relevant because the fact that Michael Brown was black should not be a factor that decides how trustworthy his side is. We should not be having to seriously challenge the American authorities like it's the 1960s all over again. I know that every protestor out there has enough energy to carry on screaming until somebody listens so I do not need to tell them to carry on, because I know that they will. Instead I will say that my thoughts are with Brown's family and everyone who is supporting them, because for some sad reason they need all the support they can get.

 Come on, America, for one of the most powerful countries in the world this all seems really  rather backwards. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

It's a Large World After All.

I've probably said it before and I'll probably say it again, the world is enormous and life is just one exciting/traumatic circumstance after the other. The planet is full of dangers lurking in certain whereabouts and magnificent wonders both compacted together on one rock. Our lives are so complex that the fantastical phenomenons of our bodies and mental capacities have us stunned at our own capabilities. There may be a reason for our existence, or there may not. Life could be just one big, brilliant scientific coincidence. Think how marvellous that would be.

However despite how already intricate our lives may be we still let ourselves be pummelled down by the tiniest, most unimportant issues life can throw at us. Whether these be a lull in our day to day lives with too much repetition so that we feel we're in an updated version of Groundhog Day, or an insignificant failure at school or work that can easily be improved upon, or the dissatisfaction with life that will come over in waves throughout our existence no matter how optimistic you claim to be. These are all natural problems we come to face, but to make a real deal out of such events seems so ridiculous. To want to call them crises is hyperbolic. They are not crises, they are just little hiccups in the grand scheme of things.

You are a working, vital part of this huge machine called Earth. You are small, but that's okay, because it means that those minor issues are even smaller. Life is still astonishing no matter how bored, or agitated or uninterested you are. Don't let the small things get to the heart, they're really nothing in the bigger picture.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Cheers, Love.

Call me a Bad Feminist but I don't find being called babe/love/sweetheart/darling by a man I might not know offensive or intrusive. In fact, I find it comforting. If a man serving me in a shop, or someone I serve at work calls me 'love' during a conversation in a friendly manner it actually brightens my day a little. It's the same feeling I'd get from a woman using the same endearing phrases. It is pleasant and shows an acknowledgement of your presence. It's often intended to put you at ease, and it does, for me anyway. 

I know that some women find this behaviour insulting. That they are annoyed by it if some creepy older man starts calling them 'sweetheart' but you have to look at it in context to justify calling such a phrase a form of harassment. Had said man followed said woman out of a bar and then called her 'darling' that would be creepy and definitely be harassment. Had he tried to chat said woman up inside the bar the same interpretation would apply. However, what if this man was just the bar man and said it to all of his customers just as a small part of his friendly disposition? Of course the woman has every right to find this irritating, we're all different, but there's no way it can be labelled as harrassment. And sometimes it is. Or at least complained about in a manner that would suggest it was some awful sexist faux pas. 

It's terribly precarious territory to start accusing women of making a fuss over nothing and I am by no means trying to make such a point. That's why we have such shocking stories of rape being unabashadely ignored. But if you start throwing accusations around of every day politeness being yet another form of sexism then we get ourselves into another mess. 

If as a woman, or even as a man, you are offended by being called certain names such as 'darling' then make sure that if you show coldness to whoever said it because of this that they weren't just being friendly. We need more friends in this world as it is. 

Friday, 7 November 2014

In defence of a fandom...

Ever since I was 8 years old there has always been something within in me that desperately hopes to hear a wheezing, whirring sound of a blue box turning up out of nowhere so that I could go away and visit the stars for the day. I am almost 17 and that wish only gets stronger.

You could say that being so involved in a television programme is juvenile and a waste of time and there are so many other things I could be admiring. I do admire lots of things, I find the world an extremely delightful place and I do a lot of things in it, but there is such a strong sense of escapism with Doctor Who that I cannot help but feel it is something rather special to me.

It is ridiculous, absurd and often very silly but I have been in love with the idea of the Doctor for a long time and its impact has a wonderful effect. We all whine and moan about Stephen Moffat's new plots that slightly go off on a tangent and end up contradicting everything that's been said before on the show but if you look past the sometimes precarious writing and focus on the conception it never really loses its magic.

Imagine that one day this old fashioned police box appears suddenly and out steps a forthright man in eccentric clothing. Somehow you get caught up in some save-the-day scenario that's both terrifying and exciting and afterwards he invites you to travel with him. But he doesn't mean just travel the world, he means the stars and all of time. You step inside the blue box to find it's infinitely bigger on the inside and can do all manner of peculiar but wonderful things. You meet historical idols, and fight unimaginable alien beings in far off lands that no other human has heard of. And eventually you come to realise that the man you've been travelling with is a mad genius who is kind and wise and dark and fun and represents every person you could be or have been. You know that in any situation you could possibly be in he will always, always save you and take you away. You understand, after a while, that no one is better than he is and that's just the most fantastic thing about him. Even when he changes his face, you can never really be scared with him around, you are always safe from every evil.

I think that the last bit, about having an eternal friend who can save you from everything, is the idea that most people connect with. Because for 45 minutes on a Saturday night you can escape from everything frightening and be in a world of possibilities. Sometimes, although it's a little bit sad, it feels like coming home when I watch Doctor Who.

And that's what I love about it. It's terribly British and quirky and nonsensical. And it gives you this brilliant imaginary friend that I think all of us want and need.

So there is something slightly ludicrous about adoring a silly TV show so ardently and I do seem like a bit of a loser, but I think that the Doctor is really, really cool. And that's a nice thing to have.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Shouting feminism to the wind.

Beyonce's said it, Emma Watson's said it, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston have said it...But what now? It's all very wonderful and lovely to see feminism become a mainstream word with  everyone getting on board but where do we go after making it a fashion accessory of the western world? Awareness and a peaceful high profile declaration of equal rights are vitally important in this feminist movement but what about the little, practical things? The things outside of wearing a t-shirt with the words "This is What A Feminist Looks Like" and posting a selfie with it on to Instagram.

Have any of our world leaders openly declared themselves as feminist and then demolished unequal pay immediately after? Why is that one still taking a long time to get going despite everyone happily shouting out the need for equal rights for men and women? There are more and more programmes out there to help girls get into the tech industry, into coding, into other industries and cultures seemingly bereft of any female input due to discouraging, 'traditional' attitudes. Shouldn't we be putting more of our effort and our online power into these organisations as feminists in order to get the ball really rolling?

We're beginning to see some 'Yes means Yes' and 'No means No' campaigns mainly in America, but why aren't all universities and all schools educating us on not only your right not to be raped, but also, rather simply, not to rape? Why isn't this more widespread? Why is it taking so long for people to really care about the fact that women and men are being raped and then ignored by the justice system? As feminists we should be pushing these issues right up into the noses of officials and saying 'DO SOMETHING!' instead of just using the word feminist in day to day conversation.

I do believe in the widespread social media outbreak of feminism and how it will positively impact the issues we're facing, but we do need a little more than just admitting to being a feminist to actually create more movement. When you call yourself a feminist, you should probably know why you're still having to call for that revolution, because otherwise it may all just be in vain. I don't do enough to battle gender inequality issues, but from now in I'll make sure I do. You can't just expect the earth to shift the moment you give yourself the feminist label, there's a little more pushing and a little more shoving to it than that.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

This relentless thing called life.

How do we pummel through this relentless thing called life? When moments of freedom reveal themselves it is too soon after that piles of bricks clatter down on your thoughts and you are buried so far under you struggle to breathe. This happens so frequently that after a while you begin to question why you rummage through these bricks until you find the air again despite the fact that one day you'll be trapped once more. When heavy thoughts rain down so unkindly you experience a blindness. Suddenly all of your love and your desires become smeared with black tar and you cannot see two feet ahead for the clouds are so dull, so grey, so cloistering. Surely the best answer would be to end. To end this feeling, end this cycle and free ourselves from this unwanted suffering that creeps up from below every time we suppress it. It takes such great mental power to suppress or override suffering that it is a wonder we have even achieved living for such a time. The constant raining over our heads starts to hurt after too long.

And yet these moments of freedom that we arrive at are euphoric and when we are flying through them there is not one thing greater than life. When love consumes us and we climb out of the pile of bricks suffering will cease without our notice and we cleanse ourselves of the raining thoughts of our own impending doom.

Life overpowers our darkness, overwhelms it. And so we keep going, keep going, keep going.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Stupid people.

What makes me clever? Is it the grades I get at school and the qualifications I will leave with? Perhaps it is the number of books I read, or even the type of books. Is it the amount I write? Is it what I write? Does my cleverness get measured on the difficulty of sums I can do off the top of my head? If I go to Cambridge university am I more clever than if I were to go to Surrey? Maybe if one teacher thinks I am wonderful in one subject but in another the teacher is concerned about my performance my intelligence is halved. Or possibly if I read a New Science issue once a year I could be deemed as a little smarter than I was before.

If cleverness were based on the amount of effort one puts into everything they do I don't suppose my cleverness would be as great as others. In school at least. If cleverness were based on the amount of ambition one has then by God I could quite possibly be a genius. If cleverness were based on the quality of conversation one upheld with every one they spoke to my cleverness would vary greatly. If cleverness were based on how one spoke then once again I would not know how to measure myself.

If I am not gifted nor talented am I not clever? If I do not get noticed by every teacher in the school for my work and marked as an extremely skillful student am I a little less intelligent than those who do?

Were I  to choose a career in acting, or in hair and makeup, or perhaps in fashion retail can I ever enter the realm of intelligentsia?

Who is even going to decide on my cleverness? My teachers? My university? My parents? My book shelf?

Were we to create a label called "Clever" and pick from a room of young people there would be a very small group. If a teacher was to choose some students to go into a 'Gifted and Talented' class not only would that leave a large majority with said teacher but it would deem the others as utterly giftless and talentless. How worthless those students would feel. Where on earth are those students supposed to go after that? Into talentless jobs? Talentless lives?

There is an incorrectly sorted category for clever people. Especially for young people and especially in schools. Cleverness is a spectrum, just like emotions and love you cannot possibly define it as one thing. Or measure it in any way because there are thousands and thousands of versions of 'clever'. If you do not fit into the Gifted and Talented box at school then you are zapped of some of your individuality. There you go off into the vast and endless sea of stupid people. You can still come to lessons but you'll never be quite as good as the intelligent ones. You'll probably be compared to someone you have nothing in common with and be asked to raise your standards to theirs. You will be put into a box and either taken out and admired from time to time or put away to be dealt with later.

Cleverness is an extremely difficult thing to deal with with young people. They're not fully formed beings yet. I am not a fully formed being. I think that the way young people are handled at school in reference to their intelligence can be very badly done. It can hurt and damage ambitions or ideas that are just beginning to grow. Perhaps, to anyone who is listening, we need to reform the way in which students are rewarded and we need to stop categorising them at such a tender age. If a child 'knows they are stupid' somebody has failed them.

We are not all clever, but then, what does clever even mean?

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Dear Hannah,

My funniest, sweetest, silliest only sister, what ever would I do without you? I suppose, though contrary to belief when you won't let me watch what I want on tv, that I would be desperately lonely without your presence. It would be a much quieter household I admit, but a sad one all the same. 

If you were not with me every second of every day when we go on holiday who would laugh at mum and dad with me? Who would make up silly songs on long journeys home or sing beautiful opera music when we do the washing up? Who would still play fight when we are far too old to do so or attack me rather forcefully as a form of affection? 

We would never have made up the most beautiful musical theatre production ever to grace the earth in the middle of the kitchen at the same time as putting away the dishes. I wouldn't have been so pleased if I'd have improvised alone. 

I would not be able to have my breath taken away every time you walk into a room and want to tell everyone that the beautiful girl standing there is my sister, if you were not there. If you were not there I would have no one to be proud of. I wonder how empty that would feel. 

Christmas would be dreadfully dull if I did not wake up with you each year and share the excitement of the Father Christmas presents we still get to enjoy. Nor would our birthdays be as exciting if we had only adults to share them with, which is why I write you this letter. 

I am sorry I could not be there when you turn 14, but I am more sorry you have even reached that age. I'm not exactly sure how it came about. I do know, however, that I miss the chubby, little you that was so earnest you were possibly the sweetest girl in the world. 

Although, despite missing your younger self I look forward to the new you. The older you. To be my ever-present friend. The only person in the world I can say "I hate you" to and be forgiven in only less than a minute. I love you, and I miss you, and I hope you have a happy birthday. 

Yours lovingly,


Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Angry Feminist.

Once again the word 'feminist' has been hitting the headlines in a positive light due to another talented celebrity using her power of influence to normalise the name of the movement. Emma Watson formally invited all men to join in the fight for equality as UN ambassador for women. After pointing out 'feminism' had collected a number of very negative connotations in the past decades she then continued to eloquently disparage all of this negativity around the word. The world sighed with relief again as somebody else successfully spread the word of equality and took the movement up a notch. Maybe, we all thought, this really will happen someday.

But why has a belief in feminism, which seems beneficial to everyone involved, become such a scornful phrase? There are many interweaving factors to this degradation of the word, yet one aspect we probably should take time to review would be the self-destructive quality that feminism can sometimes create. The 'angry feminist' stereotype is most likely quite a discouraging feature of feminism, and one that should be discussed and then discredited. You could argue that the angry feminist is just a belittling term used by men who still call women 'hysterical' when they display any emotion that isn't blissful ignorance. Women have spent years being silenced (and still are) so it's probably about time they screamed out to the world to tell it to go to its room until it understands what it's done. Also when you identify yourself as a feminist it's very difficult to understand how people can think differently to wanting equality so jumping at any poor sod who doesn't quite comprehend the word and demanding to know their reasons for not being feminist is easy to do. It is a bit like banging your head against a brick wall constantly when suddenly informed about the many injustices of the world and so not getting hysterically angry is really, really, really hard.

However, when we want people to be on our side responding rapidly to 'anti-feminists' with pitchforks and fires is possibly not the best move. Perhaps women who aren't certain about feminism are often intimidated by those of us who can quickly heat up when faced with yet another obstacle. It is not a question of not ever getting angry because not only would that be impossible but also completely pointless, it is more a way of responding to the little things with patience and agreeableness.

By all means get really irate and mad and furious at the inequality in the world to inspire the change it needs. But when someone smirks if you say you are a feminist because they fail to understand the meaning outside of its almost comical stereotype then whatever you do stay calm. It's arduous to be faced with this ignorance daily, but no one ever helps themselves by indulging a cliché.

If you haven't already, give Emma a watch because she really is spectacular:

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The ultimate 'me'.

I spend a ludicrous amount of time trying to plan out and understand who I am. I set goals for myself, make routines and plan activities that I think will make me the best version of myself. If I spend this amount of time reading and not watching back to back episodes of Orange is the New Black then I will be a much better person. I will probably be closer to discovering my ultimate being. The definition of my personal existence will make itself clear and I will continue being my true self for the rest of my life. I will be glorious. Forget all the other instances where I went against what I was supposed to be doing and spent hours being completely unsure with what to do with myself. From now on I will always know what to do, I will always be productive, I will finally be me.

I am aware that this entire thought process and the hours spent imagining the entirely idealised version of myself is a complete waste of time. It has suddenly come to my notice that every time I disappoint myself or every time I am not really being me will not only be buried under folds of time but are in actual fact just tiny threads of myself in the vast fabric of my being. I can never be anything other than myself and I have been doing just that for the whole of my existence. Instead of quickly trying to cover up versions of myself that I'm not quite satisfied with I will celebrate them. I will celebrate who I was yesterday, I will enjoy who I am today and I will look forward to who I am tomorrow. Each experience I have is experienced through the eyes of someone I have no control over. Every person I have ever been and ever will be is not totally decided by my own imagination but by my growth and development as a human.

I will never be who I am being today again and that is so brilliantly exciting. I will reinvent myself by accident every single moment I'm alive but each of these versions of myself make up for a whole person. I will never know who I will be based on my past and my present because my past and my present vary so infinitely. But I do understand that when I am disappointed in myself it is not something to be ashamed of, it is simply another me that will add only a tiny ripple to my life. I will change tomorrow. I will stay the same and alter myself simultaneously.

I am not sure exactly what I am saying, but I do know that it is just life. Being me is just life and I can either accept myself and enjoy it or spend all of it agitating over not being who I'm 'supposed' to be.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Gettin' down with the kids.

For those of us living in the dark ages a new discovery has been made that will make some blogging lives much easier. I say new discovery because for some reason I had not heard of this fabulous website Bloglovin. I have now. The world is at last at peace.

So, go on, follow The Fully Intended on Bloglovin on the link below!


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Watching people die.

So there's this footage of the Russian Civil War after 1917 that demonstrates an example of the Bolshevik's ruthless reactions and these two guys' heads are just blown off on camera and you see them die. Oh and if you look it up there's this photo of two black men hanging in the wind at a lynch mob whilst the white people cheer for the death of these men. They're both kind of gross, I guess, but it was a long time ago and I need to look at it for my history GCSE. Also did you know that in the video game Grand Theft Auto 5 you can just beat up a prostitute to death if you don't feel like paying her. How HILARIOUS is that?

It's not hilarious. It's not hilarious at all. Nor is it 'kind of gross' to watch or see real men die in front of your eyes. But teachers at school will show you this without warning you. It's historical evidence therefore no one thinks about how inappropriate it is to use and reuse a visual medium of a civilian's violent death to the point where it begins to mean nothing. It is simply a source of information. The person dying in the image or video does not even become a martyr of any movement or revolution, they are simply a bit of information. People die every day, history is just a huge collection of stories from the dead, but you wouldn't watch a youtube video of your great grandpa being blown up on No Man's Land in WW1 to understand how he died, would you?

However, that prostitute in Grand Theft Auto 5 is just a fictional character made up of code. It's not even real, you never actually violently murder someone. You just initiate it within the game and watch it happen. It probably entertains you.

We have started to completely desensitise ourselves to these extreme images of brutality. They mean nothing to us now, not even a twinge of empathy can be felt for those who have died in an often undignified manner. It is just an image, just a video and just a game. But I don't need to see a beheading to know how it happens. In any reasonable situation I would not be entertained by an act of ferocity.

Fundamentally I find it disrespectful. It is disrespectful for a class of bored, young people to look at an image of totally unjustifiable murder and barely feel angry that it happened. The lack of emphasis on the reality of these images is the result of thousands of films and games like Grand Theft Auto 5 that make us feel indifferent to genuine violence and death. There is no benefit of being desensitised to violence. You gain nothing but a deficiency of human empathy. And whilst it is statistically very unlikely for young boys to be inspired to gun everyone down one day, or to justify violence towards women, the normalisation of severe and immoderate violence is essentially quite terrifying. It does mean that lines between the unacceptable and the 'ordinary' will blur and people's judgement will change.

Violence unfortunately occurs with or without watching films or playing video games with abusive themes, but at what point does it really become unfitting to regard it from the safety of our own homes for our own voyeuristic enjoyment?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Beyoncé queen of the world.

Beyoncé may have just done the whole world a big favour. After years of men and women pushing against a stereotype for feminism being hateful and pointless a pop queen made it look very, very cool. Last year I wrote about how Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMAs was sad and uncomfortable to watch, this year I'm writing about how Beyoncé made a huge statement that affects people everywhere.

I'm not a big fan of her music so I've never really paid attention to Beyoncé's pop fame but her recent publicity act is one that has certainly caught my attention. "We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings the way that boys are. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls ‘You can have ambition, but not too much.’ You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man,” said the voice-over, accompanied by words from the talk on a large screen.  “Feminist. The person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” Enter Beyoncé with enormous white lights behind her reading 'FEMINIST'. She didn't even need to sing after that. That one intro would have been enough of a statement on its own. I think the entirety of the female population now understands that Beyoncé is a super fairy princess with magic super powers. Actually, we now all realise that we are the same Beyoncé just came to this realisation a lot sooner and will proceed to teach us our magical ways. 

I've seen many tweets pointing out that had Beyoncé not been a wealthy, beautiful, powerful, famous, talented pop star she wouldn't have been noticed. She would have been another sad, young woman shouting feminism to the wind where no one hears her. This is entirely true, she had the public lined up to receive her message. We were all ready and waiting. The thing is she also happens to be a wealthy, beautiful, famous, talented pop star who used her power to push an incredibly important message. And she did it with so much sass I think the world, the Western world at least, stopped and stared for a while to appreciate the beauty of what she was doing. Never before has feminism reached such a high status. It is now mainstream. It was reaching that status, but with a little help from pop culture Beyoncé pulled it up from the crowd and held it up for everyone to see. 

How many young people searched the word feminism after her performance and experiences their first feminist moment? How many people swallowed their words when they realised such an influential figure could use feminism to define the belief in equality? 

In a way it is sad that such effort had to go in to produce enough belief in feminism. But it's happened now and I truly believe that such a powerful statement made by such a powerful woman will go along way. Feminism has always been cool. Belief in equality for all is cool. I think Beyoncé just disproved anyone's doubts that it hadn't been cool in the first place. Thank you, Beyoncé. And for the first and last time in my life thank you pop culture and marketing, you finally got something right. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

That little bit of madness.

I am a nervous person. Not when meeting new people, certainly not when giving my opinion and not even when taking important exams. But I have a peculiar history of nervousness that can occasionally creep up on me when I least need it to. I used to be clinically ill with anxiety to the point where I could barely leave the house for an often irrational reason. That period, thankfully, is over but it does mean that I will forever be a little bit stranger than normal.

I suppose that when travelling far away from home one is bound to feel a little disconcerted, and so I am likely to feel fragile for a time. However, like a large amount of the population who have suffered from clinical panic attacks I often teeter on the edge of "I am a rational person who will deal with this uneasiness"which could potentially fall into "I am actually going to die here right now on this spot this is so unbearable I can't breathe I can't think help me." Which, understandably, can be rather unpleasant. I recently felt unstable in America, but I am now home and alive so one can only assume I survived various ordeals unscathed.

I have now spent years avoiding that awful feeling of being utterly out of control through various strategies and experience. This means that when it does creep up on me I can quickly push it away and stay calm in any scary situation I might find myself. I essentially walk around with a bomb in my head though handily the bomb disposal unit is right next door. I find myself a little bit weird because most of the things the average joe would find terrifying I think nothing of and in the situations most would shrug off I want to immediately find my mummy.

What I have learnt from all of my nervousness is that it's absolutely alright to be a little bit mad. Even quite a bit mad. Because not only are you actually in the majority, but it teaches you a great deal.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A love affair with classics.

To those who have been ever so slightly smothered unkindly by academia, I ask you to take note.

Please do not ask me to fill my shelves with Chaucer or T.S Eliot or Elizabeth Gaskell, for I have not the space. Please refrain from spoon feeding me Animal Farm nor 1984 because I really do not have the stomach. I request kindly for my words to be reserved for some light hearted article and not for a 1500 word essay or two on the poetic techniques of Siegfried Sassoon. In case you were wondering no I will not be eating up Wordsworth, nor grilling some Yeats for the odour does not depart from my room for weeks.

I'd like to remind you that whilst you endeavour desperately to load your minds with majestic vocabulary and complex concepts your hearts have been left empty and they beat wildly for fulfilment.

Instead of strapping each book to a chair and torturing the words out I would suggest a much more romantic method of ingesting the sweet syrup of literature.

Forget your university professor lecturing for long hours about Doctor Faustus, or Radio 4 suggesting Larkin should be read. Alternatively become best friends with Jane Austen for she was probably a right laugh and take all of the Bronte sisters out to tea. Have an intense love affair with William Shakespeare but marry Thomas Hardy later on. Go for a stroll with Mark Twain and let F. Scott Fitzgerald take you on a wild night out. Weep all day long for every character who suffers hardship and let your heart skip a beat for every one who you become infatuated with. Pull an all nighter with Mary Shelley and have lunch with Agatha Christie. Just, for Heaven's sake, become captivated by every book you ever read and follow your heart's every literary desire because we do not have long. Books, like everything in life, can't even follow us to the grave so fill your memory up with ones that make you laugh and love and cry.

Read because you can't think of anything better in the world and never, ever because you must.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Does swearing weaken your point?

I would say that I am a polite, well spoken 16 year old who is only foulmouthed in the right company, or in an appropriate situation. I even have a personal struggle with the 'c' word. It makes me cringe every time I read or hear it. It leaves me feeling uncomfortable if I ever have the urge to use it. Every other cuss word fails to make me even bat an eyelid but I would say that, on the whole, I'm a relatively mild swearer.

In the company of friends I have a tendency to cuss when I get angry or passionate in conversation. The more passionate I become the more frequently the swear words leave my mouth. If I were to speak like that in more formal company then I suppose people may be a little shocked. I can't be the most pleasant nor articulate speaker to listen to when all barriers are down. However, without overdoing it swearing can often have comic value. It can be witty before becoming too crude. So when swearing is used in a calculated and thought out manner I believe it has worth. It can be powerful, it can be ballsy, it can make people laugh. If I read something that uses cuss words often it can make the piece more relatable. More accessible. Instead of standing as a potentially pretentious article a swear word or two can make it seem more like a conversation around the dinner table late at night.

This does not diminish its effect, late night conversations can be equally as meaningful as a carefully crafted piece of writing. Granted if every other word in each sentence is fairly offensive then you'll probably come across as a little angry. Unattainable even. You inevitably get a bad name if you continuously spurt out provocative language. But swearing mildly and occasionally is no indication of a less than sunny disposition. Using swear words to fit in with a certain style of writing, a particular genre, causes no harm. If I was to say the word... 'fucking' perhaps but then followed it up with 'perfidiousness' surely I am not stripping away from my intellect. If I swear does that mean I degrade my opinion? Does that make me a bit too feisty?

Whatever it does I would hope that anyone reading any of my work and happened to stumble across a few swear words would either dismiss it or appreciate it was incorporated specifically into the style of writing I intended to use. If somebody mistook it for being a vain attempt at feistiness and then went on to somehow find that offensive then I say, well, get a fucking grip.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Sluts are old and boring.

It's become a common social norm that if a woman sleeps around she is consequently a slut, but if a man sleeps around he's a hero. I've been told that it's not sexist it's 'just the way it is' but here's why that is absolutely wrong.

Throughout history when every unmarried woman in every society was severely oppressed by a patriarchal society her dignity and status relied on her virtue as a maid. Were a woman to go to bed with a man out of wedlock her reputation would instantly be in tatters and should said man refuse to marry her it was highly unlikely any man ever would. Even if the woman had been raped it would still deem her unsuitable for any suitors that may come her way. However, the man's virginity was rarely ever questioned. I assume that many respectable gentlemen were honest about their sexual history and made marriage to their wives equal, but should they not be virgins before they married it would be unlikely for anyone to bat and eyelid. "Boys will be boys" I suppose they would have said. But a woman would be a slut, a whore, a harlot.

In our society there isn't so much destruction of a woman's dignity should she bed a man out of wedlock, no one even uses that word anymore, because we've gone through the sexual revolution. Right? Men and women in our Western society are able to sleep with whom they choose as long as both partners give consent and are of a legal age. Women are even allowed to admit they enjoy sex, contraceptives have liberated ladies everywhere. But there's a limit on the number of men a woman can sleep with, and the way in which she does it. A woman's number of sexual partners does not equate to a heroic feat but to disastrous consequences on her social status. There are plenty of names for women who aren't shy about who they take to bed, there are none for men who show equal promiscuity. Is the sexual revolution complete then? Or is a women's virtue still based on her sexual history whilst men can walk on by with as many partners as they want?

The new popularity for 'purity balls' in America are also quite staggeringly old fashioned. There is no alternative for a son to pledge his virginity to his mother until he marries, because his sex life is of no concern to anyone. It's the daughters who are monitored and disapproved of throughout their whole lives. They are not exposed to sexual freedom. Their sex lives are the property of their male superiors. Their father and then their husband. To me it seems like a very unfair deal.

I don't think women have been sexually liberated because every day there are obstacles to climb over when dealing with their own private sex history. For me I still see the archaic view of women's sexuality being judged and jeopardising their entire worth. It isn't just a case of 'that's the way it goes' it's a society treating the same manner differently for two genders. Which is inequality. 'Slut' is a sad word, a hurtful word because it's used in a derogatory manner specifically towards women. Until there is a male equivalent or until 'slut' is not used in a degrading way the sexual liberation of women is not complete. A woman's sex life is private, but an archaic element of our society seems to think it's everyone's business to judge. Slut shaming is without a doubt a very sexist issue. It needs to stop.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Why #yesallwomen shouldn't be exclusive to women.

The trend #yesallwomen has received all manner of commendation and criticism. There was the usual 'oh look at all these man haters trying to gain power' which always pops up and never actually makes sense, or the 'men are discriminated against too' which is very true but statistically it's the female population that needs the attention in order to address all manner of discrimination. And then there was an interesting criticism, one that struck me as a little contradictory, which claimed that this was an all female twitter protest that didn't need the men to join in. 

It wasn't a comment filled with misandry, but it was one I found difficult to comprehend in this particular online feminist movement. Why couldn't men join in? There were plenty of guys using the hash tag and supporting feminism, which to me was a gratifying thing to see. However, some women complained of their support being a little condescending and crashing in on the whole 'girl power' style. Now, I am definitely supportive of the idea of the 'sisterhood' where women unite to look after each other, but the idea of 'girl power' makes me want to be sick. If #yesallwomen was supposed to be just for women because of this 'girl power' reason then I oppose it. 'Girl power' contradicts everything feminism in the new age stands for. It appears to be a sickly phrase designed to make those little ladies feel like they're gaining something out of fighting against the all powerful patriarchy. For me it separates women and men into two different categories that excludes all males from taking part in feminism. It's a special club for girls who can't equal to the 'boy power' that they campaign against. It just seems like a fairly backwards concept. 

Feminism isn't about a struggle against the entirety of the male population it's an egalitarian movement to fight for equal rights for all. Yes sexism is faced everyday by almost all women in a way that men don't commonly experience, but that's all the more reason to have support from men in this movement. If we exclude men from our protests against sexism then we alienate them and make all of them the issue, which is not the problem. In an all male environment if there is not one feminist then we are not getting anywhere. We are failing, we are teaching girls to deal with male issues in a way that does not exterminate the issue itself. The guys are let off because it's not their movement. They can't be feminists. They can't believe in equality for all. 

Feminism is the movement for everyone to fight for the equal treatment and rights of every human being. It is not a girls only club. Please remember that. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Your body is not your own.

Should you possess female sex organs and consider yourself a 'woman' then let me warn you, your body will never be your own. Every morning when you dress yourself in whatever attire you desire please note that every judgement made of you that day will be made because of your appearance. Should you happen to be an intelligent, witty, talented, incredible person and attend an awards ceremony to receive commendation for your achievements, please wear something that will please the press and public opinion even if you feel uncomfortable. Remember, your body is not your own.

If you have a low metabolism and look rounder than the preferred forced stick insect style, please just lock yourself away in an attic somewhere even if you have something to be doing that's important. For example, if you're a doctor don't even bother because your excess in body weight might impede your job. That degree in medicine will NOT compensate for that muffin top. Oh and need I even remind you when you decide to act on your sole purpose as WOMAN and push a small human child out of your body that if the disgusting weight from carrying another person inside of you for 9 months is not lost within a week then you will simply be called out as having 'let yourself go'. Another friendly reminder, your body is not your own.

If you somehow become a celebrity (as a woman) don't forget to look like a strangely perfect human every time you leave the house because the press like to convince the population that you're not actually a person. The one time you do forget to cover your face with skin coloured liquid your picture will be taken and laughed at because it's always hilarious to mock how VILE people look without their painted masks on. Dear celebrities, your body is definitely not your own.

This is a very important thing to remember, if you have a vagina AND have strong opinions then it is scientific fact that your pubic hair will be excessive and the subject of public speculation. Mary Beard is a real life example of this, please take her situation as a valuable life lesson and don't discuss controversial opinions. Otherwise, the entire nation will know that you don't shave 'down below' which as we all know is a punishable sin written in the bible. I think she definitely learnt that her body is not her own.

To all women in the public eye, or in any profession or life style, your body is not your own.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

The lazy man's guide to what to think and know.

I sometimes fear that by reading a newspaper I might accidentally ingest a pre-prepared, carefully executed, one-sided opinion that clouds my own judgement. Because often I'm afraid that that is what journalism is forced to be. An unapologetic sausage factory of biased, untruthful propaganda for extreme left or right wing politics. Or essentially a lazy man's guide on what to know and what to think on a government party of their choice.

I never, ever completely believe what I read or see through media for the dread of having a forced outlook thrust upon my unsuspecting self. If the subject is interesting enough for me to want to form an educated opinion then I might look elsewhere for opposing information or for typicality of the source to make absolute certainty that what I have just read is close to the truth. What I always do without fail, however, is take a mental note to always make sure that my own opinion and judgement has not been incorrectly affected by the deliberate release of certain information by the media.

Perhaps my wariness of newspapers and their selective journalism has been enhanced after my reading of Orwell's 1984. Just the idea of ruthless censorship and total control over how a body of people think is enough to make my skin crawl. I am inspired to keep myself separate from being too loyal to a governing body, or from any society when approaching how I judge and view things. For following a general consensus of opinion can only destroy and damage individualistic thinking.

Fortunately I think that by always having an awareness of the information you receive everyday can help you form opinions that are truly your own and formed by nobody but yourself. If the question "why am I being told this?" is constantly running through your mind you can dodge indoctrination and stay true to yourself, without the fear of your thoughts being damaged goods of a forceful approach to journalism and news reporting.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

"Feminism" is just a phase I'm going through.

What you can do at 16 in the UK: You can buy premium bonds. You can sell scrap metal. You can join a Trade Union.  You can join the Armed Forces but cannot go into a war zone. You can choose your own doctor. You can claim social security benefit. You can work full time. You can leave home with your parents' consent. You can get married with one parents' consent. You can drink wine or beer with a meal in a restaurant.You can have heterosexual sex. You can have homosexual sex. You can hold a licence to drive a moped. You can apply for a passport. 

What you apparently cannot do according to the general consensus of people my age is form and express developed opinions on matters important to yourself. If, like I made the mistake of doing, you decide to open your mouth and debate with your fellow class mates it will soon get turned into a reputation and be used as a twisted insult against you. My main cause for expressing my opinion was my passion for feminism. The other day I was told that "feminism" was a phase attention seeking teenage girls go through.

Evidently the entire feminist movement currently going through its 'third wave' has been made entirely from hormonal young girls wanting to impress someone. Fighting for equality is something I will get over eventually. When I grow up into a woman I will lose this passion and become willing to be a slave to the patriarchy and give up every hope and dream I ever had. I will forget about the terrible injustice women are facing in places like Afghanistan once I have finished puberty. I will discover that it's awfully uncool to believe in absolute equality for men, women, homosexuals, and any other 'minority' dealing with prejudice. I will simply grow out of this phase like I will grow out of wanting to dye my hair  blue. It's a trivial, teenage interest of mine. 

Also, the male gender is completely incapable of sharing the same feminist views as me as 
it is actually a specific hormone that makes me desire equality.

Really, it saddens me greatly that so many still feel threatened by the word 'feminism' and fail to understand what it means in this day and age. It also frustrates me that I am often thought of as strange for having conveyed an interest in gender politics at an age that is apparently 'too young'. I struggle to comprehend what I should be doing instead. Perhaps I should close my mouth to please the majority of my peers. Although, I shall probably continue to perplex and aggravate them by debating and expressing my opinion until I am blue in the face and they finally, finally understand. Yes, I believe that is my preferred option.  

Monday, 14 April 2014

Big boobs and big bums.

I've spoken about this before but I feel it needs mentioning again. The representation of the female form in the media is currently a very dodgy area. The key issue being the unapologetic objectification of women in almost every aspect of marketing, presenting, and celebrity pop culture. We're reaching the point of no return with girls younger than 15 being sexualised for the single purpose of making money and attracting attention. The popular usage of women in media as props when they have big boobs, tiny waists, big bums and a pretty face is getting a bit ridiculous. However, it's not the explicit sexualisation that's completely awful to me, it's the disempowering of female sexuality that it inflicts.

The female form is and will always be breathtakingly beautiful, no matter what category of beauty each body falls under. Due to this beauty every woman holds the power to exploit their own assets in a way that is incredible and wonderful. Objectification can take away from this ability and belittle it because it takes the power of sexuality away from the woman herself and puts it in the ugly hands of marketing corporations and television producers and newspaper editors. It then no longer becomes beautiful and empowering, but sad and vulnerable. It makes every honest attempt at pure and wild sexualisation look dirty and wrong.

I do not think that often the issue is over-sexualisation, but that the women involved are out of control of the representation of their own bodies. Sexuality is weird and wonderful and it saddens me to see it in such an ugly and unnatural way.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Words are power.

There is a power that comes with a love of words. It endorses you with the ability to write and to read with a passion that can only lead to the power of knowledge. It unlocks passages to communication, and enables you to readily learn about secrets and facts and feelings that an entire section of society often cut themselves off from ever having access to.

Once you have found and established your life long affair with words there is no going back. There is no need to go back. You allow yourself to enter new worlds, understand new emotions, comprehend complex concepts, express unfathomable ideas, and discover a new rhythm to life you had not before recognised.

With these words you can stop wars, win arguments, fight inequality, free the innocent, create stories, describe political ideologies in a thousand metaphors, teach morals, educate millions, and touch the heart of a person on the other side of the planet who you may never even meet.  Even the loneliest man can find companionship in words, they are the world's largest and most loyal safety net for hopelessness and emptiness.

And you can learn, learn, learn to your heart's content about every piece of knowledge you may ever want to know.

Words are powerful. Find a love for them and you give yourself their power. You've found a key to just about anything you want to achieve and you can't ever lose it. A love for words, once discovered, will be tattooed on your heart and mind until the day you die.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

RIP Poetry.

I find the idea of 'studying' poetry in school somewhat objectionable. Teaching a class of students to analyse and interpret poetry is no bad thing, poetry is wonderful if you can take it to be your own, but making them take an exam in a formulaic essay structure about the poetry is what I find hard to understand. The other day we were, rather ironically, asked to analyse this poem;

Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

(by Billy Collins)

We were asked to force a few paragraphs onto the page in the "Point Quotation Analysis" structure that's been drilled into our heads since year 7. It was hard because being told to find the reason behind the poem's structure and language technique is sometimes impossible when it's highly likely the poet himself used enjambement that doesn't actually mean anything. It's just there, being part of the poem. The fact was there was a room full of pupils desperately trying to pull meaningless 'meaning' from the poem whilst totally missing the point of it.

Although it was to no fault of their own, from day one we are taught to take a poem apart, shake it up and down and scrape random bits out ''to find out what it really means''. You can not just read a poem a few times, enjoy the simple pleasure of one's own interpretation, perhaps remember it off by heart and move on. There must be at least a paragraph's worth as to that caesura's purpose or that two line stanza as a chorus. And if you don't write that down properly the examiner won't give you marks because you don't 'understand' the poem.

Instead you can try and kill it. Take its purpose as a poem away and write in standard, boring old prose about how it 'demonstrates', 'conveys', 'presents', and 'develops' its primary and definite theme. Then, once the exam is over, you can choose to never look back at poetry again as it's left a bad taste in your mouth as the difficult jumble of words that carries a meaning you must always discover.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

People on trains.

I do so often find pleasure in the simple act of people watching. The common location of this somewhat mysterious pastime is on a train. The Underground in particular. I don't travel to London as often as I would love to, but when I do I always find myself pondering the elaborate and unknown lives of my fellow train passengers.

Sometimes it is an unsettling feeling to suddenly realise the sheer mass of humans I do not and will never know. Every person on the train a stranger to me must also be aware of the lives they will not enter, the paths that will not cross, my own included. We must all share a mutual thought, and yet lead strange and separate lives to one another. I do not know these passenger's middle names, or how many children they have, if they have siblings, whether they are orphans, if they're in love, nor the household they will return to at the end of the day.

And yet, for one short moment of their existence, I have a tiny window into their varied and wonderful lives. I see a small selection of their mannerisms; perhaps they look at the floor to avoid eye contact, slide their glasses up their nose every few minutes, fold their hands neatly in their laps, tap their foot continuously, play with the split ends of their long and straggly hair. Maybe there are stories behind the mannerisms, childhood traumas, inherited nervous ticks, acts of self consciousness.

When people read books on the train I wonder what else the have read in their lifetimes, what they hope and plan to read in the future, whether we would have a nice chat about books if I bothered to ask. They might have shelves and shelves of books at home, or they might hate the clutter. They could be considering purchasing a kindle. Perhaps they're even bored of the book they're reading now.

An older woman is on the train and I wonder if there are children she is thinking about. Or a man sits opposite who worries about the next time he will see his daughter he lost custody over. A couple sit next to me. Are they in a new relationship? Is he thinking of proposing? Do they live together? Will it end soon?

As soon as I arrive at my destination I walk off the train and never think about those people again. I doubt whether I could remember all their faces. But for a moment we unknowingly shared a few minutes together. Were passing friends. We use the train as our metaphor for the lives we share, and the different places we go to. Some of our journeys are long and arduous, others short and merciful.

I never greet nor bid farewell to these people on trains, but I do note the few moments we share together. They are fuel to my daydreams, instruments in the passing of my time.

Thank you to the people in my people watching. I'm glad we could share a few simple moments.

Thursday, 6 February 2014


Why is indulgence often frowned upon? As if feeling good about one's self and enjoying the luxuries the world has to offer is a sin. Must suffering really be a necessary part of life, if it can be avoided by simple indulgent activities. That would be the opposite of indulgence would it not? A personal subjugation of every possible enjoyment to a hard working existence, only managing to indulge with guilty consequence.

I say that if you already have the willpower to put effort into necessary and potentially unenjoyable work, then you are entirely permitted to indulge as much as possible. Eat as much chocolate, watch as much crap television, sleep in as long as you like, stay in bed for a whole day, spend hours doing a hobby. Feel wonderful afterwards and replenished by a day or so of luxury that you have not just allowed yourself but have taken as a mandatory duty to yourself. There is no question of guilt because pleasure is your privilege, a right. It is not even a treat, it is only the natural inclination towards indulgence that will probably make you very relaxed and content.

So please, please indulge yourself. You only have yourself to please.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Lena Dunham is my spirit animal...

I have a habit of seeing successful young female writers storming the media and feeling an irrational fury and hatred against that person. That is the unfortunately ugly way I subconsciously channel my envy for another's life.

'Why does she get to write a hit tv show that's super awesome and is beautifully representative of a current young generation? I could totally do that better than her, and it would be a million times awesomer. I bet she's actually a bitch.'
- The recent yet no longer applicable opinion I had of Lena Dunham.

I used to hate Lena Dunham because she was leading my dream life before me and taking all my glory, but then I watched Girls, read some interviews, stalked her twitter and fell deeply and admirably in love with her. This girl is unbelievably cool and funny and I How could I have ever felt bad feelings towards her? It's not her fault she's done amazingly well at such a young age because of her wit and talent. Let her be an example to you, not a source of hatred. Let her path influence your own. Idolise her, if you want. And I think I have.

I think in making such a quick change in opinion I have taught myself it is much healthier to think well of people you may envy, and to love them for what you don't have. They've obviously done something right and you can learn from it.

It is also completely ridiculous to actively despise someone you've never actually met, and only a little bit mad to love someone you don't know.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

One more time with feeling.

The significance of everything and anything is subjective to the individual. When meaning exists for some, the same thing can be a matter of indifference for others. This also signifies that a lot of what we think is important, is purely because of how we have interpreted the event or the object or the situation. Perhaps even the feeling of sentimentality is entirely fictional, that meaning doesn't really exist. No other creature celebrates Christmas or birthdays, for them it is just another day. They don't feel disappointment, or expectation, or experience any anti-climax.

It is not to say that sentimentality is bad, or the downfall of the human race. No, it is what can primarily define us as a species. And possibly we fill meaning into every single tiny moment and thing of our lives to cover that hole we inevitably feel when curiosity gets the better of us and our answers will not suffice. It may be the fear of the unknown phenomenon of life after death, or the meaning of life, or the reason behind our existence that causes us to fill in the gaps as a peace of mind.

What we cannot do, but what we continue with daily, is let the sentimentality define our lives in the way we define our sentimentality. For that allows your day to be 'ruined', for disappointment to creep in, and for further misunderstanding. Instead, if you allow yourself to enjoy the meaning and feeling you create for everything with the acknowledgment that it may not really matter then you understand your own subjectivity. If you accept the 'bad' outcomes of the day you felt meant a lot as a part of the meaning then disappointment does not exist. It is all okay, the feeling still has the same effect.

That is near impossible to achieve I know, but it's a thought to have at least.