We’ll Only Get The Afterglow

[Summer Fades To Fall – Faber Drive]

Last night I stayed up until 3 reading GivesMeHope on my phone. It was a liberating experience. If you like those inspirational stories on MyLifeIsAverage and if you’re sometimes weary of the misfortune on FMyLife and if, when you’re reading MyLifeIsG you think to yourself, “Oh for fuck’s sake I get that you’re happy stop crowing about it,” then this is a good site for you, because it doesn’t necessarily happen to the writer, but it’s guaranteed to jerk a few tears from feeling hearts.

This was one of my favorites, and it was also one of the highest ranking ones:

A little girl was dying of cancer and her younger brother had a match for the bone marrow she needed. The doctors told him it was a matter of life and death. After he had the surgery, he asked the doctors how long he had to live. He thought if he gave his bone marrow to let his sister live he would die but he did it anyway. GMH

On some level I guess it’s good that there’re these sites that sort of…document the good and the bad of life. But I hope that everyone can experience something worthy of a story on each of these sites themselves – yes, even FML, because how can you measure a perfect life when there was nothing bad to compare it to?

Alex.

A Night Out With The Beast

(No, I’m not talking about Dani’s cleavage. Ahhh in-ish joke.)

I am extremely glad I have something I can post under “social life” again.

Last night I had a really full night, because it was Julia’s birthday dinner as well as Beauty and the Beast, the combined musical by MacRob and MHS.

The evening/night started when school ended and I headed off into the city with Sonam, Tiff, Vania and a bunch of others who, to make this blog more coherent, will only be named and censored when need be. We planned to meet up with Julia, Bel and Jen (and a similar other bunch) later on at the restaurant.

The plan had originally been to go to this cafe on Little Collins to let Tiff perve on some hot guy. We were slow getting out of the school so we powered up Little Collins (Town Hall side) only to find that the cafe (assuming it was the one April recommended) was closed. So we powered back down to the other end of Little Collins where we were about to enter Laurent. It was full so we went down a causeway and went into an Asian-run Italian themed cafe. It wasn’t bad, quite cosy, but it wasn’t as good as Giraffe (and I forgot its name).

After drinking and paying for coffee (I read my drink price wrong which held us up for about 10 minutes as Lisa tried to compensate for my stupidity) we went back down to Swanston St to catch a train up to the restaurant. There was some sort of giveaway going on and there was a mass of people on the opposite side to the Town Hall. I thought it was a gig but apparently not.

Went up to the restaurant. I forgot the name of the restaurant, but it was Italian and you get there via the Glen Iris tram stopping at Stop 31. Most of the people arrived and we started eating. There were pizzas and gnocchi and pasta and so forth and we all had a pretty awesome time joking around and making fun of Jen – who is such a good sport – and eating. A while into dinner we realized that the other end of the table was definitely having more fun than our end, so we tried to think of something fun to talk about but all Jen could do was bleat (literally).

Then food finished and we all made a racket taking pictures and singing happy birthday AGAIN. Jen and JenT tried to harmonise for 5 minutes to no avail. Then, when Tiff went to the bathroom Suse had the bright idea to hide under the tables so that when Tiff came back out she wouldn’t know where we were. We did it, and we were totally idiotic, with us giggling and hissing “SHH” all the time.

Got told off by the owner of the store so we paid and left, and decided to walk to MHS instead of tram.

Had a pretty interesting conversation with Lisa on the way there. I had to find a bathroom halfway down and unfortunately got lost coming back out (IT WAS MAZEY OKAY?!).

Got to MHS with time to spare, and waited around for Fel, Bee, Shaz, Mash and Fel’s friend Ryan. Turned out they’d passed me and were inside already (despite Bee saying she called my name I was annoyed and cold). Met Ryan, and saw a Yr 10 MHS guy with uber long/big blonde hair. I can’t describe it. It’s sort of punk/skater boy, shoulder length, huge fringe etc. He was an usher so I kept on trying to see his hair.

My English student teacher sat in front of me, coincidentally, and I wasn’t sure if it was her because her hair had changed. But it was her.

I don’t think I’ll give a review of the musical because I can’t be bothered, but I thought – and this was agreed upon – that this was the best one in the 4 years I have been here (and I went to every single one of them). The costumes, especially Cogsworth’s, was SO COOL! And Mrs Potts ACTUALLY had steam coming out of the spout of one “hand”. Or the hand of one “spout” whatever.

So, if you have the time, there is one last show tonight at 7:30 at MHS in South Yarra. Tickets aren’t that expensive and it’s totally worth it. No idea if it’s sold out.

Afterwards, we said bye to Ryan and (OH YEAH I saw Khanie during intermission and talked for a bit) Fel’s dad drove us home. I slept at 12:30 in time to be woken up at 6:00 by my dad forgetting to turn off his alarm (he was on conference so of course he wasn’t there to shut it).

“Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme…Beauty and the Beast.”

Alex.

What’s left?

That was a pun. “What’s left” was my insanely punny way of saying “what’s wrong?”

I won’t be able to reproduce the arguments exactly, or at all, really. And I hope Bee’s okay with my posting of it here.

On the train ride home today, with Fel and Bee, Bee started a discussion about the Saudi Arabians stoning women to death for a certain reason within their society. I think it was as a sort of punishment for committing a crime but I really can’t remember.

Bee put to us that we really shouldn’t (or rather, not “shouldn’t” but that it doesn’t really achieve anything if we) decide and see whether it is “right” or “wrong” for them to do this. Their society and culture does not view it as “wrong” and we only see it as such because we were brought up to see it that way.

My basic argument had been that it is wrong and we can say that it is wrong even without understanding fully their culture because every human has a intrinsic right to live, and to take away that right (or the “arbitrary deprivation of their lives”) is intrinsically wrong.

Bee countered (along with Fel) that it is not actually our “right” to live. “Rights” were¬† a convention set up by society. Sure, we have the “will” to live, but in certain situations that will to live does not amount to anything significant.

(This, by the way, is a horrendously abridged version of the debate we had, and in the wrong chronological order as well.)

Thus, by convention, we believe that the stoning of these women are “wrong”. Are they actually “wrong”? And what is “wrong”? By saying that such acts are wrong, it does not do anything to help or stop it from happening, and really “it’s just them complaining” (in the slightly paraphrased words of Bianca herself).

I then put to her that, “Yes, it is just complaining. But by complaining you are at least giving that slight possibility of something BEING done, whereas if you don’t complain nothing will be done and that’s that. It’s like a kid complaining to his mom about being hit by his brother. Complaining about it MIGHT get the mom to tell the brother off, or the brother to stop, but not complaining about it will just make him keep going, or make the situation worse.”

That stopped Bianca for while, but we’d also gone on to another topic.

Are humans intrinsically evil?

I’d put that, yes, humans are intrinsically evil. Take for example the Stanford Experiment. When given the power and the authority, all humans will inevitably start relishing in the power, and abusing it and whomever their power grants them command over.

Fel had argued that while humans may have evil parts in them, intrinsically, it is also true that there are purely good parts in everyone. Absolutely everyone. Bianca agreed, saying that even Hitler had good parts in him, because despite what his actions really were, to him they were the “right thing” (and here is that term again) and his acting upon these beliefs show he is a good person (was that your point, Bianca?)

The discussion then petered out at that point. No one “won” per se but I think Bianca had the slight upper hand in the end, regarding the Saudi Arabian argument.

What is it that you believe? Were those actions wrong? Were those actions justified by the cultural differences? Is society to blame? Is there actually no way of determining whether those actions are right because, in the end, there is no such thing as “right”?

Alex.

P.S. I’m not going to be patronizing, just helpful. If by chance anyone who read this wasn’t sure what “intrinsically” actually means:

Princeton: belonging to a thing by its very nature; “form was treated as something intrinsic, as the very essence of the thing”- John Dewey

So sort of like saying “water is intrinsically wet”. Sort of.