Thursday, 26 March 2015

Therapeutic people.

I am always completely fascinated by human interaction. The way we can irritate each other, hurt each other and mean the absolute world to each other just by simply existing is a wonderful thing. Our conversations shape who we are and how we think, we bounce off each other energetically like atoms in the atmosphere and we become individuals with the help and influence of a community around us.

Just by holding someone's hand you can lower your heart rate to calm down as if partaking in some sort of cheap, friendly therapy. Sometimes, babies at first considered still born have been brought to new life just by laying on their mother's bare chest. We are separate, powerful life lines to each other that create societies which once broken down can just be seen as organisms feeding off each other's creativity, work and love. Of course, as love is also hate we can use this power of interaction to commit the most atrocious acts imaginable and turn our healing abilities to harmful ones. This fascinates me also, the ability to control and damage another person, to let another human hurt you. We crave instinctively to push the limits of human interaction, as if a part of us knows naturally the vast impact we can have, in either direction, upon each other.

It could be argued that the true essence of being a human is within our interaction, and therefore this is why our acts of kindness, or displays of affection make our world go round. How utterly a person can soar with the undying support of the random human beings he has ended up having in his life. How wonderful that we never truly live alone because even in the absence of friends or family a person still desires to impress upon or absorb information from or react to the rest of their species. How lovely that if a smile is put upon your face by another person's greeting or action it will run like adrenaline through your memory for the rest of the day, or life.

And so, if struggling to find a solution to the seeming futility of our existence, look to the people you interact with everyday, the conversations you have, the moments you share and then revel in the complete, compelling joy it can bring.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Our Digital Age.

Photo Via

We are not in the middle of an industrial revolution. The youths are not partaking in a grand sexual revolution. Power fashion has been and gone, as have the Punk and New Romantic movements. The government should probably be dismantled and reevaluated but Russell Brand is still being laughed at with the younger generation only rustling their feathers slightly. There may be a big bang of social change and movement about to happen, but its lead up is becoming slow and tedious. It would seem that in this era the air has grown stagnant and our minds are switching off, but if you listen carefully the hum of a gigantic, new age is playing on in the background of our lives.

It has become so subtle that only the select few are aware of it happening, its occurrence being so fast that we forget now to bat an eyelid. It is just This and it is just That nowadays because someone has forgotten to tell the rest of us how to push this age along. The genii are running low in this area because no one has stopped to pick them up on the rush to get to Where We Are Now. And it is today, and this week, and this year that the experts have remembered they left the kids behind and are darting back to get them on the bandwagon. No one left behind a manual for the children of the Digital Age.

Computers have made our lives so simple that we've neglected the questions and the education needed for the next generation to know how to make them better, better, better. This world we've created is so cool that we just say "Wow, isn't that wicked?" and close our eyes and go to sleep because the experts will make everything even cooler tomorrow. But that's the problem, soon there won't be that many experts left. And there's another problem, "experts" is exactly the wrong word to use.

If every child was taught a programming language, which from the new government plans they will be, then there would be a full generation of developers, innovators and creatives to surge the Digital World to its peak and beyond. This new and slightly bizarre industry has a huge, gaping hole where a lot more workers should be working things out like never before. It is a wonder that it is only now that everyone is shouting "Look at this! Look how exciting it is!" like the BBC and its digital partners are starting to do with huge programmes such as Make It Digital. Make It Digital will, hopefully, contribute to inspiring toddlers, infants, and teens into the world of coding so that when the time comes the world will not struggle to recruit an army of digital artists and writers and engineers.

This time and age is so extraordinarily exciting, you just have to open your eyes to know that it's there.

Friday, 6 March 2015

My brain is a swirling mass.

My brain is a swirling mass of unfinished thoughts, questions, stories, ideas, school work, fantasies, identity crises, wishes, hopes and dreams at this moment in time and often it is awfully hard to make any sense of it. 

I have no space in my head to think of any of these things thoroughly and so my mind stretches out room in which I go blank, think of nothing at all, and squeeze everything important into corners I cannot always reach. I know somehow that these empty moments are wasteful because an echo of my subconscious will call for me to return, but I do not always want to return. Thinking of nothing is quiet and calm, safe even, and so slipping into nothingness is a form of escape.

Meditation is not quite the word for it, it is not a conscious effort. It is as if I am floating around as a living being and without something to keep me occupied I can float into a thoughtless expanse where the noise of the rest of my life is muted. 

When your eyes glaze over and your mind leaves the room are you daydreaming? I don't think that I am. When I daydream my mind and my body cannot sit still as I half mindfully make up a story, but when I stare into space it is more like deep sleep when you do not know that you are dreaming. As if my mind whirs on without me and I sit like a carcass left behind from my thoughts. 

Sometimes I will sit staring into space and thinking of nothing for what seems an age, letting minutes slip through my existence like sand through my fingers. I gain nothing from this, I am just on 


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Tempestuous literature.

I have come to believe that literature and other arts and I have a somewhat tempestuous relationship. I love it passionately and with great enthusiasm but can be often hit with its wisp of futility in over thought out extracts or introductions that lead me to question the exact purpose of adhering to literature works so vehemently. I also have reason to believe that in reading so extensively I have acquired the necessary understanding in order to write such bullshit sentences as these. It's a dangerous, figurative realm to enter. 

I have written before about the precocious pedestal literature academia sits upon in the sense of its relatively strict "Good" and "Bad" differentiation between various works, but have yet to discuss another of my qualms with the subject. Having had to read through an unbearably long introduction to a modern publication of Hamlet recently with its intrinsically written paragraphs on the contestable source of the infamous Shakespeare play I found myself thinking as I struggled through, "Who really cares about this bollocks?". This is of course no insult upon the ever wondrous language of the Bard, but on the lengthy, ever growing culmination of interpretations and critical analyses of different works in all literature. Who really benefits from this endless stream of other people's opinions? Has it really affected our evolution as intelligent beings? 

Well, truth be told, the answer to the latter is yes and the answer to the former is most likely everyone ever even if you are illiterate. Probably. I am a big hypocrite to express my disdain for the efforts made by academics in breaking down every art work, novel, poem or film created for enjoyment and benefit of both themselves and others for whilst writing an essay I'd rather not waste my time on seems pointlessly labourious I truly enjoy nothing more than having a lively discussion on a book or a play. What I often fail to remember is that where I may not agree or become engaged with every interpretation or a piece of work itself, the simple desire to understand the human condition is prominent in every branch of art and literature and also within those who adore both. Every book written is an attempt to understand something or someone with greater triumph which means that every analysis and interpretation is just a further attempt to break down what it initially sort out to explore and discover. 

This literature world I am wary of entering is not as futile as it sometimes appears to me. It may not be as blatantly useful as the immediate benefits to humanity or nature provided by careers like nursing or charity work or engineering can be, but it is a world dedicated to discovering and investigating a condition we've spent the last few hundred years trying to understand. So maybe I should just button my mouth shut and get on with it. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

My knowledge Your knowledge.

I have just spent the best part of an hour writing a blog post I was at first excited to share with the Internet. And then as I was half way through I was overwhelmed with the sudden notion that I perhaps shouldn't share these particular thoughts with strangers and acquaintances in a manner that wasn't, for me, intimate enough. There was nothing especially private about the thoughts I was writing about, they were probably just another case of teenage angst, but it was my teenage angst and actually I don't want everybody to know about it. There was something about how I was spewing this often inward and private contemplation that made me want to keep it to myself, for now.

I'm often in awe of people who have the ability to keep things to themselves and not share every waking thought and idea with anyone you meet like I have a tendency to do. I love intense, passionate conversation and so to generate that I must subconsciously open myself up to people so that we can talk and talk until the sun don't shine. For someone who can contently spend hours and hours by herself and be in her own, secluded world I have the biggest desire to let people know me, and for me to know other people. And so when I get the feeling that I just don't want to share some of my thoughts, it's an interestingly powerful sensation. It's almost as if my instinct is letting me know that keeping that particular idea private is what is best for now. To keep your thoughts to yourself is sometimes much more exciting than keeping someone else's secrets.

Writing about this is reminding me of the common criticism of the nature of the Internet being that too much is shared. "I don't want to know if someone just ate a sandwich" or "I don't want people to know if I've just had a colonoscopy" are frequent comments worthy of banging one's head against a wall several times. There is no rule to say that you must read someone's tweet about the sandwich they've just eaten, nor that you must make a Facebook post about personal medical treatments and visits. The whole idea is that now this free flowing stream of information exists and that this information can be both good and bad. It is up to whoever participates to filter what they want to know and not know, what is good and what is bad and by distinguishing this for themselves they can then understand what they wish to contribute to this growing pool of ideas and feelings and facts and figures.

I, for some reason, felt it was not the time to express a particular private thought I was having and I feel good about not sharing it, but it doesn't stop the thrill of pressing 'publish' and sending my other thoughts out into this virtual world of free judgement and understanding. I'm just aware that I am in control of what I am choosing for everyone to know about me, which is healthy and good.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Films are like drugs (I imagine)

Source via

I love to watch films. I love to watch witty romantic comedies, classic 90s teen flicks, classic 80s teen flicks, beautiful indie films with a poignancy incomparable to any Hollywood film, black and white classics, anything with Audrey Hepburn, thrillers with some awful, painful message interlaced throughout, films too clever for their own good, off the wall films, and mostly all films I can both cry and laugh at. 

I love to watch films because, like books, you are completely and utterly immersed into a new world so far from your own it can be like living a short, wonderful second life. However, unlike books, films are quick and so the thrill of them only lasts a few hours. And so I suspect that much like the concept of taking drugs, watching films is like having a short blast of imagination to make you feel - anything. Whereas with books, as much as they are the most essential human necessity other than food, they take an investment of time. Characters you will have to spend days or weeks getting to know, depending on your reading speed, and stories whose endings are away in the distance and not definitely coming after an hour and 49 minutes.

Films are miniature worlds created for an audience unbeknown at the start of its creation but filled with absolute love from every writer, director, actor, producer involved. Without knowing the reaction it will receive a film relies on a band of people to give time in their life to create something to share with the rest of the world. If it flops, then a film hangs in a sort of limbo of a life that could have been lived, but if it succeeds then an international audience can connect through the world captured on the screen. 

Sometimes, if the film is particularly wonderful, one can watch said film so many times the lines and scenes become a part of your mind and someone else's world and creation can make its way into your own heart. The rush of a good film is an experience of a connection with an artist you've never met, but have understood on one level of their being. 

Unreal stories with unreal people in an unreal world can have a silly effect on my own world, but it feels wonderful all the same. And when I'm feeling down, or bored, or simply in the mood to watch a film, I can enter another realm for a short while. A realm entirely made up of every artistic medium available which, to me, is pretty beautiful. 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Hang your head upside down.

Source: Tumblr page 'Maudit'. 

It is all very well to say that, when in a chipper mood, one is able to adapt and control the intensity and significance of the emotions one might encounter. 'Happiness is a choice' you might declare as the sun is shining, or you've received good news, or you are inexplicably cheerful at that moment. But when a dull cloud appears over your head out of boredom, or a series of unfortunate events, or a long spout of sunless weather, that choice becomes a rather difficult one to make.

That opt for happiness is suddenly not so easy to muster up. It is far more effortless to remain in whatever bad mood you've found yourself in.  It becomes indulgent even to allow yourself to wallow pathetically in your own sorrows. Any emotion other than contentment is of course permitted, and natural, to experience both randomly and for good reason. It is perhaps much more pitiful however to remain in a less justifiable foul mood than to be genuinely inconsolable as a cause of some unfortunate circumstance. And yet both promote a challenge to regain a more pleasant sensation no matter the triviality of the blues you've acquired. Especially when the blues equate to the feeling of wanting to either bite someone's head off or dig yourself a very deep hole for yourself to never again come out of.

Happiness is, quite honestly, a choice. It just takes a few more minutes dancing manically in the kitchen or hanging upside down off the edge of your bed (both excellent ways of releasing endorphins) to let yourself chill out, observe your own bad mood, move on and enjoy the rest of the day. For one, it is far from desirable for others to be in the presence of somebody who finds themselves in a less than jolly mood.

 And so, if you'll excuse me, I will just be off to do some terrible dancing with my good friend David Bowie in my room for a short while.