Moonlight Would Provide The Spark

[Three Cheers For Five Years – Mayday Parade]

Serena brought it to my attention that I never finished this post.

As this was two years ago and I’m not bothered enough to check back, I’ll do them all now. I actually have a post in draft for the last few days that I didn’t write, but since I have to sleep within the hour, this might be faster.

Day 01: Your views on death, how you cope, etc. – If I answered this already, forgive me. I guess my answer will be different now. Since then, I’ve come across two deaths, one close but not extremely close to me, and another in my own family. Both were very sad but not in the shock tragic way. The former is definitely very upsetting, since it was my friend who battled cancer for eight years, and who ultimately lost to it. The thing is, the whole family knew it was coming, so they had time to prepare, to spend time and to smile and laugh. Her last days were spent in the company of her friends and family, so all things considered, it was pretty beautiful. The second death was my own grandfather, and it was a bit of a shock, but he was old, he lived a full, happy life, and there were no prolonged pain and suffering. He left my grandmother with a place to live, money to spend, and they had a lifetime of memories together. So my views? Death sucks, obviously, since it’s the ending of an existence, but I’d prefer to think about them when they lived, and how good they lived, and in that way they can continue existing in a sense, and positively so.

Day 02: How you introduce yourself to new people. – I try to be myself, but for the most part I gauge the situation. It’s easy to create a public persona, a funny, slightly inappropriate jokey, kind of persona, and just let that take care of the social conventions. But let’s be honest, we all do that. It’s how society is made for us to survive in, and instead of condemning it, think about the kind of people in your life around whom you could drop your public persona easily. It makes times with them even more special.

Day 03: What you think about love. – Judging by the time stamp, this was initially written just before I met Amelia. June 2011, I was pretty into someone else, and it wasn’t requited. I would have been a bit naive, hopeful but ultimately cynical about it. Now, I think it’s probably at the stage where I think love is definitely something which can fix someone, but also an elusive something which you may never know you’ve had, because who knows what love is? How can you tell you’re in love, and not just deep infatuation? And more importantly: does it matter? If you’re happy, and they’re happy, and your sex drive is VERY happy, then does it matter if it’s not really “love”?

Day 04: Write about someone you love. – Please see previous posts about Amelia. SORRY I just have to sleep very soon.

Day 05: A list of things you fancy doing. – Lately, I’ve been working more, so I do appreciate down times when I can read a good comic or book, or watch some shows while playing Jetpack Joyride, or reading about cool new techie things. I also really, really enjoy cuddling Amelia’s dog Meg.

MEG3

Day 06: Recommend some books to read. – This might just show my immaturity and taste in literature, but a few books I’ve been recently reading that I really enjoyed:

Perfume – the Story of A Murderer by Patrick Suskind (yes, I saw the movie first)

A Song of Ice and Fire (the series Game of Thrones is based off of) by G. R. R. Martin

Repotting Harry Potter – A Professor’s Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-Reader by James W. Thomas (a wonderful way to also read through the series itself as you go along)

The Casual Vacancy (Where Rowling shows she really, really understands how people work) by J. K. Rowling

White Fang (literally one of the first adult English books I ever read, and I fell in love with it) by Jack London.

I’m also going to recommend some comics which I like.

Saga – Image Comics. The illustration is astonishingly beautiful, and Fiona Staples conveys emotions so artfully that some panels are laugh out loud funny, because of the way she’d draw the characters. The story is also compelling, but now that I’m waiting monthly for them instead of consuming them in one go, I feel like it’s so slow!

Chew – Image Comics. I have a thing for Image. Chew is funny and then punch-you-in-the-guts heartbreaking without notice. It takes quite a lighthearted approach at a really, really morbid theme, and it’s so fun to see where everything is headed.

Rising Stars – Image Comics. This series ended a while back, and I blew through it in one day. I’d wanted to savor it slowly, but before I knew it, it was pitch black and I had a sore butt, but I was just sobbing at how things turned out. It’s like Heroes, but better (which isn’t saying much, I guess).

American Vampire – Vertigo. Ever since reading Preacher (which is also good, but I won’t put it on my list), I thought Vertigo would come out with weird-ass things (just like Hellblazer too), but American Vampire’s story really SUCKED me in, even considering the fact that it had time jumps and deviations in protagonist focus. The world which Snyder created is so engrossing I wish they could make a bigger thing of it.

Fables – Vertigo. Also a surprisingly not weird series. It’s like Once Upon A Time but not so whiney. The reason I got into it was because I read a review for Wolf Among Us, which is the Telltale Game’s prequel to Fables. The game sounded fun, and the comics did too, so I gave it a go. Great decision, cannot wait for the game now.

Numbercruncher – Titan Comics. This was one of those random new comics recommended by Comixology, and I gave it a go. It was strange to start with but then the premise really grabbed me, then it continued being extremely awesome, and it’s something I’d totally re-read slowly while contemplating the idea behind it.

The Bunker – Hoarse and Buggy Productions. Yet another random digital-only recommendation, which turned out to be very time-travelly mind-bendy stuff. It’s slow in picking up and just started, so it’s not built up to much yet, but the creators are promising something huge, and I hope they deliver!

Day 07: Write about the arts (music, art, dancing). – Obviously, these things are all around us and we don’t realize it. It feels like these institutions have been built to such an elitist state that, if you’re not AMAZING AND TOTALLY ACE at it, then you’re relegated to “sucking” and “keep it as your hobby”. I mean, for most people, it probably is a hobby anyway, but they don’t need you to tell them that. I wish I was good at all three, because musicians/artists/dancers are sexy, but I think I’m okay with just writing and storytelling.

Day 08: Write a poem. – I once took a creative writing class where one of the assessments was to write a poem. I think poems are also built to be something more than it needs to be. Poems are meant to be a gathering of words in a way which draws beauty and instills thought and emotions into the reader. Just because you didn’t write it in a bloody sonnet format doesn’t make it any less special. A limerick isn’t any lesser than a haiku. A kid who wrote an acrostic poem using the word “MOMMY” and writing about how much they love their mother means a lot more to that mother than anything Hemingway could have come up with, because poetry isn’t about how poncy you are, it’s about the emotion behind it. In other words, I can’t really be bothered writing one right now.
Day 09: Photo of your favorite pillow. – I only have one pillow, and it’s light blue. Unless you want a photo of Meg again?

Day 10: How you wake up in the morning. – I tend to wake up more often to alarm clocks than not, then I take 10 minutes to scroll through my overnight Twitter feed, especially for interesting news, then I get up and do my stuff.
Day 11: Write about your sibling(s) or what it’s like to be an only child. – Being an only child can be lonely sometimes, and also your parents pressure you a lot, since they only have you to make them proud. But, you get lots of stuff, so whatevs, right? It’s getting late and these questions ask too much of me!
Day 12: Your relationship with your parents. – I think this is a bunch of worms which need to remain in the can for tonight.
Day 13: Write about what you believe in, be it God, yourself, etc. – I believe in finding happiness, and one’s innate right to be happy, no matter how. Of course, if being happy means you absolutely need to go on a killing rampage, then maybe you shouldn’t be happy, or even alive. I’m not really one for all-life-is-sacred, because in the end we have about 6 billion on this planet, (I’m the only one with the uncanny ability to be awesome,) about half of them is in a constant state of poverty and probably dying, and the other half cares that a deranged gunman not get a death sentence? Again, let’s keep those worms for another day. My point is, being happy is all you should aim for, because once you die, who knows what else comes after?
Day 14: What you do for Valentine’s Day. – I’m not allowed to celebrate this day because Amelia hates it.
Day 15: Write about the best gift you’ve ever received. – It’s hard for me to pinpoint the best gift, since I constantly want and get tired of new things. I think that a photo album that a friend gave me when I left my old school was probably the most heartfelt and sweet thing, though.
Day 16: Write another poem, about the weather. – Roses are red, the sky is blue, the rain is gray, brown is poo.
Day 17: Post your favorite gif.

Cry3I used this reacting to when Amelia said that we were no longer in the honeymoon period.
Day 18: Your plans for tomorrow. – I work 8 hours.
Day 19: Write about something you fear. – I’m scared that Amelia will find being with me too tiresome as times goes on, because we either have to hide it from our families forever, or come out and face the consequences. We’re both bi, so I’m worried she’ll end up finding it easier just to be with a guy who she can be public with. But that’s silly, because she loves me, and her dog has basically imprinted on me so it will take too long for it to love someone else.
Day 20: What did you eat for dinner last night? – Dad fried up some Spam and we ate it with burger buns and he also made soup.
Day 21: Your favorite thing to drink. – SO I HAD MY FIRST WET PUSSY (well…”second”) TONIGHT AND IT WAS DELICIOUS AND I LOVE IT.
Day 22: How you take your coffee or tea. – I usually have a latte with one sugar, but I used to do double shots with one sugar as well. I take tea black with one sugar, unless it’s green, then no sugar.
Day 23: Your favorite thing to wear. – I like wearing hoodies because they feel like mobile blankets.
Day 24: Another poem, about the shoes you wear most often. – Roses are red, my shoes are purple, some bits are black, so black and purple.
Day 25: Write about where you live. – I live on a street predominantly white, and we used to have a problem with some kids down the road, who would ding-dong ditch us, and they escalated to kicking our trash over, harassing my mom when she’s working in the front yard, and once egged our house. They’ve stopped recently, though.
Day 26: Your favorite smell. – Amelia! Also bacon. OH IMAGINE IF AMELIA COOKED BACON!
Day 27: Your thoughts on the internet. – I don’t see a problem with the internet itself, I see a problem with people. It’s like guns. Yes, guns are bad things and they kill people, but honestly, a gun sitting there by itself wouldn’t be that scary, but you put a pair of hands on it and WOAH it’s a problem. It’s the same thing with the internet. It’s a great way to connect things that are otherwise unable to be connected, but once you put a human behind the mouse and….
Day 28: Write about how you feel today. – I’m a bit annoyed that I spent all day watching TV and not doing some writing, but it is my rest day after all, so I should just be happy I got to rest. Next week is a tough working week, but I’ve got Pokemon Y to look forward to on Saturday!

Advertisements

I’m out

Today, this happened.

Basically, “studies” have shown that children who grow up in a married environment are more socially and mentally developed than those who are raised by single parents or raised by separated parents.

They go on to list factors, like the fact that single moms are statistically more likely to not have graduated university – which is an intellectual factor in the upbringing of their children. Or, that being around an environment of love and stability is more nurturing for the children.

As you can imagine, so many single moms and dads out there cried foul. But I’m going to cry foul on a different topic.

The most obvious one that I will rampage on about, is the fact that the news article boasted a more-or-less nuclear family as its head image. Oh look, a mommy and a daddy would be the ideal environment for socially and mentally “developed” children! But what if there are two mommys or two daddys? What if they loved each other intensely, not married, of course, because they can’t, but they’re together…would the children still be as socially and mentally “developed”? Now, the study has said nothing regarding a homosexual parent pairing, but you can’t help but get the feeling from this article (so published in ohoho The Herald Sun) that homosexual parents aren’t even going to be considered, cos we all know they’re going to raise socially delinquent and destroyed children anyway – much less socially and mentally “developed” children.

Secondly, what is with the statistic about college educated married mothers? The implication here, at least how I read it, seemed to be that a single mother became so because op, she got knocked up early on, deadbeat dad is never around to help, so she’s had to forsake education to care for her children. But are all single mothers like that? What if a woman wants a kid but just can’t find the right father? What if she’s got a freaking PhD but no ring on her finger? Would she be less likely to raise a socially and mentally “developed” child?

And what is “developed”? Why does it conjure the idea that children in a separated and non-nuclear family will be out in the Big World wondering, “gee, how do I love? I have never been around real lasting love before…how do I know if I am doing it right?”

I don’t know who did this “study”, but this is one of the most conservative and narrow-minded stories I have read in a long time that passes itself as social science.

Alex.

Pretty, witty, and…bright?

A Sex and the Screen post after a long while!

Just a quick note: in the part where I said “who outside of this topic knows the difference” between “gay” and “queer”, it’s referring to the fact that Queer Theory in many ways completely contradict the (perhaps accidental yet inevitable) ideas of “Gay Pride”.

I think I may have mentioned something similar to this post in a previous post, so forgiveness please if this is a bit of a repeat.

But yesterday I was having lunch with a few friends when one of them left to buy food, leaving behind her mobile phone. As all immature friends do, I found the name of her closest (and therefore, by theory, the most tolerant of strange antics) friend, and wrote something along the immature lines of “hey baby I miss you and your funny laughs”. This other friend is also female, by the way.

So if we’re looking at this scenario in a heteronormative way, we’d see that both of my friends, being straight, would find the sudden flouting of the codes by the first friend (let’s use names because I’m confusing me: First friend whose phone I used is called T, second friend is called B) would put her outside of the heterosexual group, but because B knows that T is straight, it would thus become an amusing and perhaps ironic mess with tradition, calling more attention to that friends are sometimes allowed to break convention with each other, rather than T actually would call B “baby” in a slightly sexual way.

And, I have to say, in any other circumstance with any other pairing of friends, this text may have been milked for all the immature humor it contained, with B replying in a similarly suggestive fashion, T then taking it a bit too far, and B laughing it off and they all giggle later on about how weird they were (and how platonically close and comfortable with each other they felt).

Yet somehow, in this instance, the humor of the breaking of codes seemed to have completely escaped B. B knows that I’m friends with T, therefore she might have been able to guess that T’s phone was used by someone else, but instead of replying with the “lol haha give T her phone back”, B replied with “um WTF what are you talking about?”

And it was in this instance of denying the humor (I’m not saying that being gay is funny or whatever, but it seems that the general idea is if you’re something other than straight, that’s lulz) that suddenly made the text incredibly awkward. Suddenly being suggestively un-straight made things uncomfortable and it took a lot of careful wording for me to inform B that T didn’t write the message but at the same time continued the line of joking.

The really sigh-worthy part of this is, B and T have both on previous occassions professed their “okayness” with gay people (because it’s something you just end up tolerating isn’t it), but on more than one occassion they’ve proven that any activities considered outside of the Charmed Circle (bar the, you know, heterosexual promiscuity and infidelity or whatever), so sexually deviant actions and thought, etc etc, render them very uncomfortable to the point of them saying “ewwww!”

And this very long example brings me back to Warner’s point – that it’s become unfashionable to critique the gay movement or pride. It’s become unfashionable but it’s not not a fashion, much like flare jeans are now looked upon with distaste but everyone still has an old battered pair in the back of the closet (haha closet).

And regardless of whether you actually secretly (or not so secretly) still wear those flare jeans around your house, and maybe to a friend’s, or just when you duck down to the shops where no one you know will see you, or if you actually burned those flare jeans because they’re FLARED FFS, there is still that memory of those flared jeans (btw, in case you lost it, the flared jeans is a metaphor for criticism of gay pride – which is viewed synonymously with queer, because I mean how many people outside of this topic actually know the difference?) being worn and being liked at some point. You just no longer want to admit out loud that you like flared jeans.

B and T wear skinny jeans these days, but I still remember the days when they used to wear flared ones, and not realize that one day they’d have to deny ever liking it. I think they secretly still like it.

Alex.

Since blogging is meant to end on Friday and I have an essay to write today, that will be the last one.

Alex

The Difference…

When people say “I don’t care what other people think about me”, there is a fundamental difference to what they mean and what it actually means.

What they mean is that when they do things, they have some concern about how other people might see them; they see how they might be negatively seen, and then decide that doesn’t matter, or they decide that they shouldn’t care if it matters or not. Then their actions follow accordingly.

I’m not saying that this way of thinking is “wrong” and not the “real” I-don’t-give-a-damn-about-other-people. I’m saying this is probably the most common meaning people have when they say “I don’t care what other people think about me”.

The ACTUAL – or perhaps I should say the OTHER – meaning is when the person doesn’t even think about how it might be negatively viewed. Not only do they not tell themselves not to care about how they might negatively viewed, they didn’t even think that they would be negatively viewed.

I bring this up because – and I’m not saying I think the “better” way, because I mostly think in the first way, if not be wary of how people judge me completely – it occurred to me today that the title for my post yesterday could be misunderstood as something else. I didn’t even think about it that way: the title was a quote from the movie I’d seen. The fact that my mind didn’t even think of the consequences means that on a core level, I really don’t care.

Anyhoo, just some thoughts.

Alex.

Silky Smooth, Lips As Sweet As Candy

[What It Feels Like For A Girl – Glee Cast cover, original by Madonna]

Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be

I think up until this point in my life, I’ve mostly totally admired every aspect of only two people, and those are Dani and April. But seeing as I already wrote one to Dani, I think April deserves a mention here.

Dear April,

As much as I chastise you about being a vegetarian, and complain that you treat me like crap, I actually don’t care much about the latter, and immensely admire you for the former. Though you never exactly had steak swimming in your bloodstream, it would have taken some effort to not eat meat, am I right?

From the moment I met you, you were independent and you were supportive of others even though at times you had nothing yourself. This, if anything, had grown in the past 4 years. You never got so angry at my stupidity back in Yr 9 and 10 to the point where you blew up at me (I can recall one or two occasions where you pushed the brink). And, yes, har har I’m still stupid now, but you agree I’ve gotten better right?

I say that I wish I could be you, not meaning that I wish I had your life, but I wished I had your traits. I wish that I am as brave and independent as you (yes, I can hear you say JUST GET AWAY FROM THE TV/COMPUTER SCREEN AND DO IT), and that I have that knack of having people fall in love with me from the get-go – in other words, I wish I had “summin goin’ on”. I wish that, even under stress, I can figure out solution to problems without resorting to yelling at people, and that I could eat as cleanly as a mouse, and that I have grand plans for my future that isn’t restricted by any parental of self doubts.

It would be a comfort to think that, even to a tiny extent, I’d given you support and comfort to what you have given me. I try to imagine going through high school without those aimless walks to the canteen, and those stupid jokes, and it makes me shudder. I think it was mostly due to you that I didn’t live through that typical emo-kid highschool spiel.

A few hiccups aside, you are, I think, the quintessential “Role Model Auntie”. I know you hate kids, but let’s for a moment say that there is a bunch of cats that need a good hoomin role model. I think that you are the perfect candidate to make them into fantastic lolcats. I am trying to say that any kid that goes through your education will come out strange but definitely an outstanding member of society. I mean look at me.

I love you, April MC.

Alex.

Some random title…I don’t fucking know…

Ok coming up with witty titles is hard, especially when you’re not quite sure what you want to write about yet. So in this instance “you” is “me”. Bad grammar? Bite me. (That was aimed at Dom, who criticized my grammar in an email.)

I don’t even know why I started one, a post I mean, just that I felt like writing.

Right now, I am on MSN with Julia. Before that I was on with Vania. I mean, I’m still with Vania. This does NOT sound like cheating.

Julia dropped me a line on Facebook asking if I was online. I wasn’t. So when I was I said so. Comments were exchanged, and Julia came on MSN and started talking to me. At first Vania and I thought she would ask me about Monash tomorrow, and I was a tad disappointed because I thought Julia was going to, you know, strike up an exciting conversation with me.

I think the way I structured that sentence is about to confuse you, because I was wrong about being wrong.

Julia is now talking to me exactly how I thought she would be talking to me before I thought she would be talking to me about Monash. And I am really honestly enjoying it. I enjoy the fact that she’s talking to me properly (not like…not that she usually I dunno grunts at me) and I enjoy talking to her past grunts. Metaphorical ones, of course.

It just seems that sometimes I am missing the huge amounts of gratitude that I owe people. Whether they were being nice “out of duty as a friend” (to paraphrase myself) or if they actually give a shit, I still owe them a thanks. But sometimes, and it’s not that I forget, but I just don’t feel the gratitude towards them because their care didn’t actually SOLVE the problem I was having, and if anything, at the time, their care made me feel worse. But as social conventions require, I thank them and I say I’m okay.

I am okay now, though, in all honesty on my stupid blog, I am okay now. But what am I mean to say then? “No I’m shit, but hey look there is honestly NOTHING you can do to help.” That doesn’t make them feel better. People – and this is so cynical – try to help other people because by being all humanitarian they in turn feel better themselves. So if I deny them that chance to feel better for themselves, then I just made someone else unhappy.

I’m coming off as a liar, I know. I’d meant that…seeing as they can’t do anything anyway, let them have their good feelings. Because in the end, it’s the people who seriously, genuinely (and be honest to yourself here, you know if you GENUINELY care) want to help that won’t stop at a “yeah I’m okay” because they can tell if something’s wrong.

Shit this is one of my worst grammatical posts yet.

Okay, this isn’t going to lead anywhere, but I’ve written out half a thousand words I’m not backspacing it now.

Thank you, Julia.

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.