Monthly Archives: September 2012

Prose #1

An old story, one also published elsewhere on the web. I need time to think of what my next blog post will be about (suggestions most welcome). If you decide to read it, I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you might even spare the time to tell me what you think. 😉

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Of (Metaphorical) Mice and Men

I’m really growing sick of reading online articles now. First I gave up on the Daily Mail, a tabloid which uses sensationalist headlines and gross exaggerations of Britain’s immigration problem to attract readers. Next I’m almost ready to give up on Yahoo. I still read The Guardian, as it is not as sensationalist, but sometimes its articles are a little too forced, a little too left-wing for me to bother with (also, its commentisfree contributors can sometimes be down right annoying and self-righteous). Yet I suppose you could call my disgust somewhat misdirected, as it is really the comments section on the Daily Mail and Yahoo which boil my blood.

Reading the blatant racism, you’d often think we were stuck in the early 20th century. Or right back in the days when Europeans discovered other continents and their people.

Granted, and thankfully, not all commenters act in such a way, but if an article refers to a minority than the topic always rears its ugly head. Last month, I wrote a post on the freedom of speech. I disagree with the content of many comments sections, but I recognise that it is a person’s right to make them. I also don’t like to indiscriminately throw the word racist around. So what angers me is the cowardice. The sheer cowardice. I don’t understand why people would make such comments on the anonymity of the internet, and then go back out into the world and say nothing. I may sit here blogging about various things, but I express the same views in real life. Online, they complain that they cannot spout their views because the government will throw them in jail, accuse them of racism, etc. But so what? The “immigrants” they refer to fought for their right to live in Britain, even at threat of physical harm. Even the publicly-despised and radical Muslim clerics continue to shout their views despite widespread hatred and in-between getting arrested. So what are those who wish to “defend” Britain waiting for?

*Sigh* I don’t like to get involved in this whole issue. But I was tired after a long school day and a few posts on The Student Room website got me seeing red, and I responded rather critically to a thread. In hindsight, I know I should not have said some of things I did and I do regret that I said them. However, the issue of racism is one that needs to be addressed. In the West it’s handled the exact same way in which gay rights is: with a ten-foot pole. Some members of the White British community are panicked by British immigration, especially when they see places like Bradford, Luton or Peckham. Some members of minority groups, particularly Asians and Blacks, walk around with a chip on their shoulder and blame all their problems in life on racism, and love to play that card. But the answer to this isn’t to put up walls, try to kick each other out of the country, or to shout each other down. That solution has never worked. Once again, the only way through this is sitting all the groups down and undertaking the arduous process of changing minds. People like to say it doesn’t work, but the truth is humanity would be nowhere if minds didn’t change. And we’d still be back in the stone ages if those minds didn’t change together.

Writing and Pop Syndrome

DISCLAIMER: I don’t actually own one of these. But I really want to.

This was meant to be a novel-writing blog. Well. A blog geared around the idea that I write, with dashes of other subjects too. It isn’t quite, but I like it that way. Motivating myself to blog motivates me to write. Just last month, I entered a writing competition, and I await the publishing of its longlist tomorrow with bated breath.

The novel I’m working on almost died an early death. I was 57,000 words in, nearly at my goal of 72K. I had but a vague idea of its ending, and could not muster up the creative energy to finish. I was absolutely stuck. I spent two months trying to figure out what was wrong, and I had my epiphany last week: the chronology of events was badly mixed up. I hadn’t even decided which chapter was the opening one (Yes. You’d think that might be key). The resolution: I’m rewriting it word from word to string events together coherently, while making minor edits along the way. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, because I’ve recaptured that urge to finish and the sense of direction I had at the beginning of the project. And that is a wonderful feeling.

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Now for the odd part of the title, because I didn’t want to make two posts in one day (and this won’t be long, anyway). This little ramble-rant was inspired by a question I was asked yesterday. I’m not exactly old-fashioned and I’m not one of those hard-line feminists, but am I the only one who is sick and tired of all the scantily-dressed pop stars? Why do you have to be half-naked to be famous? Our society’s obsession with sex and women is so ingrained and overt that Madonna, trying to rake back the fame she had when she was young, is now flashing her breasts at fans to emulate pop “stars” like Rihanna and Katy Perry. God, I feel embarrassed for her. I’m not a great fan, but the only female pop star who seems to have a sense of decency and class is Beyonce. The male stars are guilty of the same thing; they all boast about sex and money to appeal to male fans, and toughness to appeal to the female (along with same old love songs). And thus I’m glad for people like Adele, Emeli Sande and Florence Welch, who can sing well without relying on sex to sell themselves.

Fresh Starts

Don’t you just hate fresh starts? Or is it just me?

On Wednesday, I will be thrown into a new school to join the mass of hormone-driven young adolescents known as Year Twelve, a.k.a Senior Year if you’re American. 😉 Sure, I go along with a bunch of high school mates I’ve known for just under two years, but the majority of the student body will be strangers to me. There will be new teachers, a new floor plan to get used to, five lessons for me to scramble around finding, and glass doors to walk headfirst into (I almost always end up doing this in a new building). Most importantly, I will fail horribly at introducing myself.

I always feel incredibly helpless when I’m thrown into a new environment. The confidence I’m told to muster up never arrives. Does anyone else feel the same way, whether it be at a new school, workplace or town?

I’m very bad at meeting new people. I’m rather introverted, so I tend to be shy around people I don’t know. I do try to speak more, yet it rarely works. I’ve noticed that extroverts tend to start conversations by talking about some aspect of themselves, and I can’t do that well because I’ve always found talking about myself boring (and a bit narcissistic). I can’t start things off with my name, either, because people always mispronounce both my fore and surname. The first they never seem to hear properly, the second they notice is African and so they attempt to pronounce (I have never understood why) with some strange accent. They never get it right.

But perhaps I worry too much. Perhaps by some miracle someone might one day pronounce both names right; perhaps at the end of two years, someone might even be able to spell it correctly. Perhaps someone might find my oddness somewhat endearing, and maybe when I walk into that glass door, nobody will be around.

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Hopefully, school starting won’t disrupt to a great extent my ability to post frequently. I know I’ve been a bit sketchy during the past week just attempting to get ready for it, but the thing about the school period is that it tends to help me get organised, oddly enough.