Burn Another Bridge, Break Another Heart

Lost this song and finally got it back yesterday. Missed this song a lot!

Heading into the annoying period of exams. I think I’ll be fine but I do have to get my ass into gear to start studying a little. Also, one essay.

I did enrollment stuff for 2011 yesterday, and the subjects I picked meant that Semester 1 will once again be full of writing, and Semester 2 research. I kinda hate that. But near as I can tell, I won’t have a single exam next year. Just. LOTS OF WORDS.

I have beaten the Elite Four.

I simply cannot wait til I am done with my exams. Then it is 15 posts a month on this blog, right? I have been neglectful.

Alex.

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Final Uni Blog Post

I don’t know if I’ve done enough but here it is, the final uni blog post for Sem 2 2010.

I did my re-enrollment today, and if all things go well, I will be doing a LOT more uni blog assignments next year. If the tutors seem lenient, I will continue posting them here. If they don’t, I can go to them and be very sweet and all like “but this is a chance for me to better myself”.

Anyway:

So, in a final desperate attempt to blog on the last day (after writing this I’m going around commenting), I will write about fan culture.

There seems to be a group for everything. There is an entire society based around the worship of machines with turbine blades that, when activated, create a movement in the air that comes as a relieving cool breeze on a hot summer’s day.

Oh there’s a pun for ya.

No, actually I’m talking about the bunch of people who go nuts at the mention of something they collectively like. YES, electronic fans may be an example, but in this context, I am talking about media related things.

I asked my friend – you may remember her as Brenda from the previous post – why she used to ‘fangirl’ over what she fangirled over so much. (Fangirl, FYI, is apparently the term used to describe the group of females who worship electronic fans.)

She replied, “Because they’re perfect. They’re the whole package.”

What was the extent she’d gone to, to fangirl?

“Sent a postcard, bought shit off the internet.”

In my experiences, that is definitely not as manic as they come. Unless, of course, the postcard she sent included a lock of her hair, and the shit she bought off the internet was literally, shit off the internet. Then yeah.

I’m not saying I’m exempt from the slightly demeaning things a person does to get closer to a public figure/TV show/etc etc they adore. I follow blogs dedicated to actors and actresses I like on Tumblr, I was tempted to buy a jacket simply because it was the “official NCIS special agent windbreaker”. But these acts of trying to live out what we love are getting more and more recognized – though sending locks of hair is still creepy, in my books. Sidenote, Brenda didn’t actually do that.

Perhaps ‘recognized’ wasn’t the word. I was going for ‘more and more exploited-by-the-media-and-made-to-become-a-determiner-of-what-kind-of-person-you-are’.

Just because a guy likes Glee doesn’t make him gay.

Just because a girl likes watching gory horror movies doesn’t make her a sadist.

(If you like Justin Bieber though, oh, I have nothing to say.)

The media markets Glee and horror movies towards girls and guys respectively, and with good reason – stereotypes exist because they are obviously valid to some extent – but it annoys me when I personally change what I publicly declare as something I like, (or not just me, but people in general) because the stigma of liking something is so strong.

A lot of people say I should like Scrubs. I say “it’s okay.” To be honest, I don’t like it that much, but because Scrubs is almost the epitome of what people expect me to like, it seems I should like it.

No one expects me to like teenage melodramatic shows like The Vampire Diaries. Plus, liking vampires gets you automatically grouped into the sphere of Twihards. I liked vampires way before I even knew what Twilight was. I like Vampire Diaries because I like the way it looks – I can be shallow too. I decided to openly like the show just to prove to myself that I can be a fan of something that people don’t expect me to be.

Why do we have to be branded a certain way for things we like? Why, when someone says “I like Korean dramas” do we automatically brand them as pretty-boy loving teenage girls? Does the Korean media not produce more grungey shows where the actors don’t look androgynous?

Why can’t people just like things, and have other people go, “oh okay cool, as you were”?

There is too much crap given to people who identify themselves as a part of a fan culture, and there are too many people allowing the crap to be crapped.

Last post ends here. Over and out. Guns blazing. Etc.

The prev gif didn’t work. I changed it.

Alex.

Time to do my final CMEL essay, then study the crap out of Self, Asia and Linguistics.

Alex.

Not because…

I went a little bit OTT with my rambling for today‘s Project 365. That underlined “today” links to the original post. I also included parts of what I wrote down here. Today was meant to be a day where you dress in purple to show support for gay rights. It is to symbolize the part of the LGBTQ flag, which represents soul, or spirit. It is in memory of the 6 boys who killed themselves over bullying for being gay – or for being suspected of being gay. (May have copied and pasted that last part from my 365.)

Do you wonder why people dress in purple today? What does it achieve? I’ve read someone’s wondering at why we don’t just donate money towards organizations that help and support the youths who are being bullied, instead of wearing purple.

Money may fund organizations, yes, but it doesn’t create acceptance. It doesn’t stop the world from seeing gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transexuals (and the Q which I’m sure stands for Questioning) as an Other (here’s my Self and Other ramblings coming in). It doesn’t stop people from thinking that gays choose to be gay, or that it’s a disease, or whatever weird conceptions anti-gays – or even non-anti-gays, just, people in general – have.

So, in this case, wearing purple to show that you support gay rights (and to show commemoration for the deaths) means a lot more than emptying your wallet, right?

I had a thought today about what it would actually be like if gays had the same rights as straight people. I guess it could never happen, because real acceptance would be a world that is something like this:

When a child (let’s for the sake of cohesion, call the child Sam. It’s a unisex name, but I will make Sam a girl) grows up, and reaches the age when she starts liking people, the other kids will tease her. The malice in their words only exists because Sam now has cooties, not because Sam likes another girl

When Sam is a little older, her parents will let her go to the movies without an adult, but only if there an older sibling chaperoning. Sam will beg her older brother or sister not to tell their parents that she’s really going out with a crush, because her mom will pinch her cheeks, say “my little baby is growing up” and making her feel embarrassed, not because her crush is also a girl.

When Sam enters high school, she starts dating officially. Sam and her partner will have people stare at them, because everyone thinks they’re a really cute couple, and not because they’re both girls.

When Sam is about to graduate, and her relationship with her partner is getting kind of serious, the other parents will gossip behind their backs, because they think the two are too young to really be that serious, and not because they’re both girls.

When Sam enters university, she won’t be inundated with fliers asking her to petition for gay rights. Gays have the same rights as straight people in the same way that left-handed people have the same rights as right-handed people (a little pun there).

When Sam starts working, and there is an office party, she will bring her partner. When she introduces her partner to her boss and co-workers, there will be a moment of awkwardness, because the partner had just recently quit the job before Sam started, and not because they’re both girls.

When Sam is getting ready to be married, her mom sighs in exasperation and stress, because Sam insisted that the wedding happen next month, and not because they have to move to a certain country just to be able to get married.

When Sam wants to be a mother, there is a huge problem which reduces Sam to tears, because she realized that her body is not fit for mothering a child, and not because she and her wife are having a hard time being accepted for IVF treatments and adoptions.

When Sam’s child goes to kindergarten, and both Sam and her wife go to pick the child up, the parents of one of the other children warns them to not play with Sam’s child, because Sam’s child has a habit of hitting other people, not because Sam’s child has two moms.

And, not once in her life, will anyone ask her who the “man” of the relationship is, because a relationship was never defined as between a man and a woman.

The fact that real acceptance lies in a reality where there is nothing to accept, because it’s all normal, means that it can never really happen, because in our current world, even if we’ve reached that level of full acceptance, we’ll constantly and consciously be thinking, “this is fine, this is normal, go with it, don’t act any differently”.

Still, that’s better than what we have now, and what have now is better than what we used to have.

In other news, (I forgot to add this to my 365) I tried to change mobile phone carriers today, but it doesn’t seem to have worked, so I will have to call them tomorrow. When I called them tonight, I said, “I changed to your carrier, but I get ‘Invalid SIM Card’ sign instead.” He goes, “when did you change (and try to port your current number over to our carrier)?” I said, “at 5:55.” He said, with possibly the most annoying smug voice ever, “And what time is it now?” “7:40.” “You have to wait 3 hours for it to port.” “3 hours? For sure?” “EXACTLY 3 hours.”

Well, fuck you smug-chug, it’s been nearly 5 hours and I still have an invalid SIM card. If when I wake up tomorrow it’s still invalid, I’m going to call up again and if I get you, I’m gonna smug you right back.

Thank you to Jac who stayed with me for the 2 hours it took to get my SIM card. Something went wrong with the order I made over the phone over the weekend, so the girl at the store, Caroline, had to do it pretty much all over again. It took her AGES and I felt so bad making her do all that when it should have been all done already. And I felt bad for making Jac stay so long since she had assignments and tests next week.

Yep. I know I am not writing much these days here. I think I’ll make myself write at least 15 posts a month over the summer break, right? Okay, so December, January and February, I must must must write at least 15 each month.

Alex.

Madness? THIS. IS. PLAYSCHOOL!

I wrote a REALLY long post in my Uni blog today. (The title was “There’s a bear in there, and it disapproves”)

Without going into risky waters of likening anything to pedobear, I will clarify that yes, I am making a Playschool reference.

I was on the phone with a friend who is still in Yr 12 this year, and in the process of our conversation I mentioned that I actually used to watch Playschool up until I was 17. You know, when you’re reading a book in the living room and complete silence unnerves you (at least, it unnerves me) so you turn on the TV just for the sound. I used to do this during my school holidays, when my parents weren’t home.

In those days, we only had ABC, Seven, Nine, Ten, SBS and that other channel with the fish swimming back and forth for 5 hours each day. During the day, the only shows on the commercial channels were old-grandma shows, like Days of Our Lives (which I did end up watching during a period of time when I stayed home cos I was feeling a bit feverish and thought I had the Swine Flu but that’s another story), or those boring fishing shows for stay-at-home dads. I was a teenage girl. Those shows not only FAILED to capture my attention, they actively DESTROYED my SOUL.

SBS was usually showing a Russian news anchor firing off rapid speech, and for a while I thought he was recounting a particularly distasteful rampage of a rapist, he sounded that angry, but then the story turned out to be some old lady turning 90. (A bit of racist stereotype there. BY THE WAY, I totally got this off the Simpsons. I searched but can’t find the video clip to show you.)

So I was left with ABC. Remember, I had no amazing new choices like GO! or Seven2, or SevenMate for TV shows I actually like, and there weren’t two other ABC channels where I can watch more Arthur (which, by the way, is still awesome).

So, while reading my book, I would have ABC running in the background. As you would, you start to recognise all the shows, and you start sort of having this guilty pleasure in putting down your book when the familiar “There’s a bear in there” comes on.

I admitted to my friend on the phone, who is Yr 12, about to turn 18 and way too cool, that when I was in Yr 10, and I was watching one of the episodes of Playschool (my favorite playmate was Karen, the only Asian chick. Dude. She clearly was better) I actually learned, from Playschool, that avocadoes grew on trees. I had no idea before that. I didn’t know WHERE they came from but I didn’t think it was trees. So there I was, 16 going on 17, doing a VE&T course at Swineburne outside of my school hours, and I learn from PLAYSCHOOL.

When she heard this, my awesomely-cool friend (who we’ll name Brenda, cos that’s totally not her name or anything) started laughing hysterically. She was actually having difficulties stopping, and so I sat there for about 5 minutes while she wheezed with laughter at the other end. When she finally decided to breathe again, she clarified, “YOU learned from PLAYSCHOOL when you were SIXTEEN!?”

And so, 8 paragraphs in, I finally get to the point of this post.

I have spent the past…hmm let’s see…probably since Yr 6 I have been laboriously building an image of myself. Admittably, in Yr 9 when I changed schools, I threw away most of my work and tried to start anew. Still, the point is that, as a young adolescent, I spent quite a lot of time creating this certain image of myself.

And this included the stuff I bought and consumed. I started caring about my hair a lot more when my parents finally let me go to an actual hairdressers, and I cared about my clothes (though still not as much as most girls my age) near the end of Yr 9. I especially started caring about my media image (and this media I mean by internet and technology gadgets etc) by Yr 10, when it became apparent to me that my goals in life involved the Media heavily.

I deleted my old blog on Xanga (which looked great, but had horrid spelling and grammar and it was full of me bitching), and started one on WordPress after going to a Journalism Convention thing. I deleted that WordPress as well, but not because it was horrible like Xanga. You don’t need to know why. I got a new WordPress in Yr 11, and has kept that since (yes, that’s the WordPress that this appears in as well).

I held of getting Facebook for a while, because it felt like it was giving too much power to other people to mold what I appear to them – they comment, they tag, they like – but, in the end, for communications’ sake (and because everyone else was doing it) I got one.

I didnt hesitate in getting Twitter, because that, I felt, was me in power. On my profile, you only see what I posted. I may not have many followers, but it wasn’t like the follower count was at 0.

Finally, I got Tumblr. I got it on the basis that I felt my WordPress wasn’t pictorial enough, and I wanted more pictures. Tumblr gave me the power to follow people with similar tastes to me, and for me to repost what I like. This action of reposting what I like shows to people who subsequently follow ME what kind of person I am.

Brenda was a friend I’d met on Tumblr through mutual friends. The image she received of me initially was a sarcastic and cynical one I have on my Tumblr account. She told me that she thought I was rather “snarky” on Tumblr, because I wasn’t hesitant in shooting anyone down, and I wrote captions that were borderline rude.

She added me on Facebook, which didn’t change her opinion that much. I linked both my Twitter and Tumblr to Facebook, so whatever public image I create on Tumblr and on Twitter, I have to maintain it on Facebook.

But then she added me on MSN. MSN is definitely much more private than Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter. I am more like my physical presence on MSN. And it was there that she saw I was different.

Still, I kept a certain image of myself on MSN, as I do in every day life. I was vocal about how much I love TV shows like NCIS, Glee, HIMYM etc, and I wasn’t shy to admit I love Pokemon – anywhere. But one thing that I do not admit too vocally was my tendency towards children’s shows (Arthur doesn’t count). I like watching them to see what they consider approrpiriate codes to present to children, and also because it’s kind of funny to see grown adults play with dolls.

So when Brenda regained her regular breathing pattern, I realized that the image that I’d created had been slightly shattered by the fact that I apparently do something that goes AGAINST the ideology I created about myself. No matter what I said to her, I will always have the label of “Playschool lover” on my forehead.

I’m saying this out loud now, not only because it goes with the topic of branding through what we consume, but also because I don’t see how watching Playschool makes me a loser. It’s all subjective, right? I personally don’t get why people watch the Kardashians show, or that show with Snooki in it. I used to love the Idol and X Factor shows, but I have began to see them as contrived and fake. Playschool is purposefully fake, it’s purposefully staged, but I don’t see any underhanded influencing of the audience (yes, they promote mostly a heterosexual nuclear family, but I honestly don’t see any positives in confusing really little kids with the gay-rights thing. Teaching kids about gay-rights can come a bit later in life, and of course is solely dependent on their own parents).

I’m sorry for such a long post, but I really tried to not use big complicated words because I hate reading them too.

Alex.

In other news, and this I swear was not a request…haha okay it was a teeny bit a request but I’m more than glad to do it:

I think I’m a decent singer, but no way I have enough guts to lead sing in a band. My friend JAYMEE, however, has the guts. And, thankfully for her, the skills to back those guts up.

Check out her YouTube account: MyNameIsJaymeeNotAmy, and below is one of her videos. (And, no, I’m not running ads or plugs now, she asked me to and I think she deserves it. If I don’t know you and you randomly ask me to plug you, um, no.)

Check out her wild emotional hand gestures and her soulful eye closing!

Alex.

That’s so intense! 42!

Yesterday I went to Jacky’s birthday party, which is where the first part of my title comes from (explanation later) and, of course, today is 10/10/10, which is 42 in binary.

Jacky’s birthday was a last minute decision on my behalf, and it was a great decision actually! Mandy gave me a ride to Jacky’s place, and we had finger food at his really awesome house. Played pool for a bit, and then watched Annie and Anna make Jacky a last minute card. They drew Jacky is a balding man with blue eyelashes and full red lips. I gave him sleazy eyebrows.

Clare got a Blackberry! I was really excited because when she gets internet on her Blackberry I can communicate with her with the BBM.

After a while, Clare and I played on Guitar Hero, and sort of did that until Jacky came back bearing lots of pizzas. Had the pizza, then had cake! Jacky took 5 or 6 tries before he managed to blow all the candles out – especially since one re-ignited itself.

Annie and Viv C tried to smother me. Elaine did nothing to help.

Then came the tried-and-true tradition of watching Mandy be a part of Super Mario Bros. Hungy, as Luigi, felt compelled to pick up Mandy’s yellow Toad and throw it into the lava repeatedly.

Then, of course, Mandy played MarioKart. Okay, to be honest, everyone played but Mandy was the loudest and the most INTENSE player. Ad- and I probably came close to bursting a kidney laughing at her intensity. “Move over fatass!”

At a very late point in the night, when a lot of people had gone home, I left with Dorothy and Mandy. I had sore throat from laughing non-stop at Mandy’s intense MarioKart playing.

Alright, so I went to bed at 1 am, ready to pry my eyes open at 8 to meet up with Gil. (Pearl)

I got to the city at around 10:30, having stayed awake on the train with my fantastic Pokemon Yellow. I felt rather cool playing it (on the way home, an Asian guy gave me a smile of approval after seeing my Gameboy). I got to Flinders Street, to find that the crossing to Fed Square was blocked for the marathon. While waiting for Gil to come, I kept an eye out for Steven. It was really…well inspiring is an overused word but, still, you know, inspiring to see all the runners. I saw this really old grandma keep her head down and soldiering on near the end of the run. There were these two girls who dressed in angel wings (sorry I forgot to take a photo) and holding a sign that read “never ever give up”.

Of course, there are douchebags who cut across the path of the runners because they’re too lazy to go down the steps next to the station and come up from under the bridge. Two of them cut across this guy who had pulled a hamstring, and one of them said to the other one (holding a cigarette) “this is just stupid!”

When Gil arrived in her adorable gray beanie (which didn’t give her hat-hair) we went to line up for the tickets to Tim Burton. That itself took over half an hour. Still, it was really great to just chat with her about her cougar-ness. Oh yes. My friends, Gil is a cougar (she can deny it, but it’s true).

The Tim Burton exhibition made me want to just draw again. I used to draw when I’m trying to listen in class – people say I’m distracted but I pay better attention when I’m drawing – but I hardly do that anymore. I guess, though, I actually have to take notes in Uni. I dunno, maybe one day soon I’ll sit myself down away from the laptop and have a bit of a draw. Nothing as fantastically quirky as Burton’s, of course, but I can try.

The Burton version of Hansel and Gretel made Gil and me crack up – because for some reason, the witch was a man, and Hansel and Gretel were Asians in German clothing. That, and the low budget made the overall show hilariously…scary. The talking clown/gingerbread man is sure to give Gil nightmares.

After staying on our feet for nearly 90 minutes, Gil and I decided to have lunch at…Maccas. It was a good thing we went to Maccas to sit down and eat actually, because we ended up talking for about 2-3 hours about Code Geass (because that’s her obsession), Ouran Host, then somehow FRIENDS, and then Simpsons. The table next to us saw 3 different diners come and go, and we still sat there.

When, finally, at around 4, we thought we should go. Still, it was a fantastic way to spend 10/10/10, which by the way is 42, which by the way is the answer to life, universe and everything.

This is…probably not the best photo but yeah, that was the one on my phone. The ones on Pearl’s camera…is on her camera. She’s not online at the moment.

She doesn’t look 20 huh? Old ass.

Alex.

We Started At Zero

In the past month or so, more than 4 youths in America killed themselves because they were bullied at school for being gay.

This is Ellen Degeneres’ message regarding the matter. I’ll let you watch this first.

When I heard that the youngest of the boys were 13, I felt that stabbing pain of heartbreak – 13!

The oldest of the boys were younger than me.

When I read the news article, I actually sat there, shocked, for a few solid minutes. I could only stare at the faces of the boys, smiling back at me. I tried looking for any sadness in their eyes, and shadow in the curve of their smiles, and I couldn’t see any. These boys who, when the shutter clicked, had so much happiness, had been pushed to end their own lives to escape from the teasing. And for what? For being exactly who they are, and liking people that they naturally are attracted to.

When I was 13, I was in my first year of high school. My worst problem was that my closest friends in primary school all went to different high schools from me – I had to make new friends. And I did make new friends.

The THOUGHT of killing myself – or even HURTING myself – because I’m upset, didn’t even occur to me at that age.

Being different to other people is hard, but sometimes it’s easy to change it, even if it makes you a bit upset. The skill of fitting in is crucial in the early years of teenage-hood, I won’t even sugar coat it, I did it, you did it, I know that everyone did it at times. Maybe you’ll even realize that changing yourself a little to fit in actually pushed you onto a path you feel better with – or led you to that path, whatever. I know that I really wanted to make friends with Dani, so when she recommended music, I listened to them (oh, Dani, don’t see any less of me). It was a good thing that I did that, because I ended up loving the music in my own right.

However, there are things you just can’t change. You can try to deny it, but there is no way you can change it. Things like being attracted to people who are the same sex.

So, there you are, being very different to people around you, and you can’t change it. You’re not at the age where saying “fuck it, I am who I am” does anything. At these times, having at least someone on your side is crucial. The sad part is, and I know what this feels like, with things like being gay or bi, you actually feel like there is no one who would really be on your side. Even your closest friend might turn their back on you in your imagination of how events might go.

Even if you are brave enough to tell someone, then it becomes that THING where it needs to be kept secret, because you just KNOW there is gonna be an asshat out there who would make your life a living hell if they found out.

For these boys, the asshats found out.

I’m pretty sure this is the first time I made a direct reference to it here, but yeah, I am bi. I know quite a few of you will probably already know this, or guessed it by implication, but this time it’s written down here. (By the way, if you know me or my parents personally, can you please not tell them? Both of them are rather homophobic and I really am not ready to tell them yet. Don’t be that asshat and screw my life up.)

I am incredibly lucky. From the first person that I had the courage to tell, and all the subsequent people after that, all of them have been fine with it. I wouldn’t say that they’ve all embraced it with open arms, but I haven’t lost any friends over it. I won’t kid myself – there are very likely people who have sad bad things about me behind my back, and I’ve had a few say un-nice things to my face, but I have enough love from all my friends to help me pass that. And that’s why I say I am incredibly lucky. I would be count myself blessed if my parents could accept it too, but I’m not looking for miracles ha.

I honestly feel the utmost sympathy for anyone who is suffering because they don’t feel that luck and love that they need. I would be willing to talk to anyone who needs a pair of ears to receive their problems. But I wish I didn’t have to say that – I wish that kids don’t need a complete stranger’s support to be okay everyday, that if they need someone to help them, they can do what I get to do, and call up a friend to unload onto them.

It’s just plain wrong that these boys felt like they didn’t have a single one of these friends to talk to.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with them, so why were they made to feel like they had to end their lives?

May their souls rest in peace in, if they so believed, heaven. Yes, because even if I am not religious, I don’t think that an all-loving God would bar a 13 year old boy from having eternal peace.

If you’re feeling upset about something, please tell someone. People have a habit of surprising you in the amount they can care.

Alex.