Tag Archives: rant

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.

The Invisible Games?

“Wheelchair access. Bullshit.”

That was the reaction of my summer camp mentor while, as we hiked through a forest, we discovered that the path we’d been told had wheelchair access for our disabled team-mate did, in fact, not. As a result we spent two hours lost in a forest, with six tired teens taking turns to push a wheelchair through knee-high mud in an attempt to find a good path. When we got back we complained to the hiking organisers, and they didn’t give a damn. They just didn’t care.

And as you probably saw in the title, I believe that the exact same attitude is going on in the London 2012 Paralympics. The BBC (the British Broadcasting Corporation) has wrapped up their celebration of the London Games with the full-bodied Olympians; the government decided to hand over the rights to airing the Paralympics in the UK to another TV station, Channel 4. Not that 4 isn’t fairly respected, but when the British government passes on giving coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics to the national TV station, their decision seems only to reek of apathy.

The Paralympics had a small relay of the Paralympic torch through London to Stoke Mandeville, in huge contrast to the Olympic torch’s passage through 1019 different locations across Britain. We’ve already had Boyle’s fantastic opening ceremony and the not-so-fabulous closing ceremony held for the Olympics alone, instead of putting a closing ceremony at the end of all the Games to include the Paralympics too. Gold-winning Olympians had individual postage stamps printed in their honour, yet the Paralympians had to fight for the honour. It feels like the disabled are being treated like second-class citizens: everything is smaller and quieter and almost invisible in regards to them.

Granted, I don’t expect the British government to splash out ridiculously like they did for the Olympics, but I do expect them to adequately encourage their tagline for the 2012 London Games: “inspire a generation.” What better way to inspire my generation than by showing the courage and sheer perseverance that athletes have displayed in spite of disability? Instead these Games are toned down, held right at the end when everyone is going back to work and school, and not even recognised with the same national coverage as the full-bodied Games? At the very least, tickets to the Paralympics have been eagerly snatched up this year, restoring my faith in the British public. Because I am rather disappointed in my government.

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Feel free to strongly disagree. Got rather ranty in this post.

The Problem With Teen Writers

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No, this post will not be a long complaint about how poor teenage writing irrevocably is. Though as a teenager, I can honestly say that a lot of it sucks. I’ve seen it. I’ve edited it. I’ve been there, though I can confidently say that I’ve moved on from that.

No, this post is about how the world sees teenage writers. In my previous posts, a great number of people reacted with surprise when they learnt that I was a sixteen-year-old girl.  I’m sure some people really think I’m some balding forty-year-old guy somewhere. Because people weren’t only shocked at my approach to the subject matter, they were shocked at the grammar, punctuation, and intelligence with which I wrote. I’m no super-genius, I await my GCSE results on Thursday with bated breath. So why is it so rare to find a teenager who can write well, and write intelligibly? Why is such a thing a shock to the masses? Why is it such a shock to me?

The answer is: I don’t know.

Teenagers aren’t stupid. The times may have changed, but we haven’t actively regressed in our intelligence. Even the advent of chat-speak hasn’t significantly impaired our ability to use the English language, because some of the smartest people in my school spL lyk dis and get A*s without a problem (then again, our grading system is suspect at the best of times). Yet if a ten-year-old starts to write a novel, and you compare their writing to the average nineteen-year-old’s, you would not be able to tell the difference. That isn’t a joke, I see this everyday. You’ve probably noticed it here on WordPress–many teenage bloggers do not have the faintest idea of how to construct a sentence in regards to proper grammar and punctuation. And you’ve probably noticed the same trend amongst some bloggers in their early twenties, who have left school and even gotten through university without learning to correct this problem.

So what do we do? Let me tell you.

The biggest insult you can give a writer is that they write like a teenage girl (or Stephanie Meyer, but then that’s the same thing). Yet good teenage writers do exist, like S.E. Hinton, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Helen Oyeyemi, and some people would add Christopher Paolini, though I personally don’t think that he is. Admittedly, these people seem to be the exception to the rule, and there still exists the stigma that all teenage writers are bad, which I discourages many young people from even trying to be better. But. There are blogs. And there are talented teenager bloggers out there, and websites dedicated to helping aspiring youth writers. There are even a few competitions for us to get involved in if one looks hard enough. So I suppose what I’m really trying to say is: next time you see a good teen blogger, give ’em a pat on the back or a word of encouragement. If you meet a kid who says they’d like to be an author one day, don’t laugh and suggest something more “practical” (God I hate that). Point them to a forum, or a to competition they can enter. And try not to strangle them when they say: “Thx, LOL!”

The Thank You Post

A hug for everyone, courtesy of Pooh and friends. ;)

And I truly mean it. Thank you, all of you who have taken the time to read and comment on my Freshly Pressed post. Both those who agree and those who disagree with me, and especially the latter for commenting with the respect each human is due another. Because of the subject matter, I was worried that a feature would mean many negative or even downright abusive comments, or that the whole comments section would descend into a gay-Christian bashing war. I’m glad to say that the WordPress community has proven me wrong on both accounts.

There are so many comments that my Gmail and WordPress apps have both crashed multiple times with the notifications. 😉 I watched my daily views shoot up from a max of 16 to a whopping 1,583 and counting. Numerous people have liked my post, or shown their support, or at the very least wished me luck in my spiritual journey and life.  Many have resolved to pray for me, and regardless of our disagreements I thank you too, because this is only an extension of love. I never imagined my post or thoughts could attract attention like this, and I’m touched from all the people telling me that I’d made a difference to them with my maturity and refreshing ideas. I’m glad I could make that difference with this little expression of thought.

I am a woman, I am sixteen, and I am a Christian. I might be critical of the flawed idea that is religion, but my faith in Jesus Christ is a conviction for which I do not need to fall back on religion. I have certain ideas about Christianity, and whether or not I or you believe homosexuality is a sin is irrelevant to gays and Christians living together peacefully. My post was made to say that re-conciliation is possible, not to push my views down your throat. I have my own personal relationship with God, He understands me and I try my best to understand Him. Some people say my understanding is wrong, but that understanding is still my own and is no greater or lesser than another’s understanding of God.

A big hug to all my new followers, likers and commenters, thank you for giving time out of your day for me. 😀 I’m sorry I haven’t answered everyone’s comments yet, with the influx of comments if you have any personal queries you want quickly and directly answered it would be best to send me an email. Thank you all and God Bless!

Mind the Gap: I’m Gay and Christian

This is the 21st century in the free Western world, yessir.

Yes, I’m wading into this whole debate. Well, not wading, more like already stuck in the middle and trying to be as quiet as possible. GAY-BASHING CHRISTIANS, the papers and protesters say. GOD HATES FAGS, the Christians say. And I’m there, sitting right in the overlap: I’m Christian, and I’m gay.

All this means is that 1) I happen to believe in Jesus: I follow his commandment to love God and my neighbour, upon which all other rules of the faith hinge, and 2) I also happen to be interested exclusively in women. The media doesn’t show us a lot, they like to show the two extreme views in the gay-Christian debate.

In the media: Christians aren’t fans of gays.

All the Christians in the headlines talk about is stoning the gays, how sinful being gay is, and how much God hates the gays. They mention how people like me pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, so that we can justify our wicked ways. As usual, they neglect to mention that every Christian does that. After all, I’m not sure I know a Christian who observes the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur, a festival which must be observed according to the book of Leviticus, which is also the book of the Bible admonishing gay sex between men. Neither do I know of any good folk who stoned their child to death for (inevitably) speaking back to them–can’t have your kids disrespecting you now, as the Bible said.

In the media: Gays aren’t fans of Christians.

I have a few friends, formerly of faith, who abandoned it once they came to terms with the fact that they were gay. Because they believed the two were incompatible. And many gay rights activists dismiss the homophobic Christians by making light of their faith, by equating a belief in God to a belief in fairies. For people who preach about equal rights for all, they don’t do a very good job of expressing that belief, and they alienate a potential support base in gay Christians (we do exist!) or Christians who are straight but support equal rights.

Both opinions are stupid.

Well, in my humble opinion. Both sides are so busy shouting at each other, they don’t even try to look for a way forward. They could, should, find a level playing field by getting to understand the mindset of gay Christians. The activists could attempt to understand the convictions of our faith, the Christians could attempt to see why we believe we are God’s gay children. If either side could, for one moment, believe what we believe, maybe we could end this war. Instead we are dismissed as self-hating by gays, and as false Christians by those of faith. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Anyway, next time another such a debate kicks off (next week, probably), I just wonder if someone’ll say: hold up, let’s stop shouting and talk. If we can’t be friends, we don’t have to be enemies. There are people who have reconciliated their sexuality with their faith, and maybe we can do the same.

Or maybe not.

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A follow-up article: The Thank You Post

Ni hao!

Er, no, I’m not Chinese. I’m simply interested in the language. Anyway, welcome if you’re reading this, and if you’re not…well, you are.

You can call me D.L. Aiden, not a real name, of course, but a pseudonym. I plan to blog about life, my love affair with the written word, and the fiasco that is British politics. Possibly video games too. Stick around if you will, though I’ll give you fair warning: I tend to rant.

And if you wonder why my blog is themed around crows and my header picture isn’t…well, I wonder too.