Recently discovered, or been enlightened about a fantastic website aimed at everyone, for writing 750 words everyday. After you've written the 750 words about whatever you choose, the website then takes you to your statistics, showing you things like your writing speed, how long you took to write it, what you were concerned about during writing it and other nice little touches like that. It's a really well designed website, made by a really nice guy who clearly has the right idea, and is perfectly simple to use yet wonderfully interesting and clever at the same time. A great idea for everyone of any age and profession to use it for whatever reason may occur. You can even keep it as a diary if that's what you wish, and if you usually find it difficult to keep a journal this website is great at driving you to jot down something everyday.
A friendly and fun to use tool, I highly recommend it for anyone.
Saturday, 21 April 2012
Gay marriage. That seems to be the topic everyone's talking about. The right to marry a man or a woman no matter what sex you may be. It seems pretty simple, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong indeed. Some, for a reason that I do not understand, have managed to find issues with this very simple, very natural way of life. They want to prevent same sex marriage because "marriage is God's gift and should be between a man and a woman". This is of course relying on the untrue fact that everyone in the modern day is Christian or conservative, wanting to keep "traditions". They're not. People have moved on, it's over, everyone's equal. Or not, even though the majority of the population probably don't care whether someone is gay, female or black anymore because we've all realised how stupid we were being, there is still a group of people spread out into different countries who are not willing to accept the fact we're all human beings.
In my personal opinion, being gay is both a choice as well as a natural desire. Gay rights have allowed those who prefer the same gender to choose whether they ignore it, if they really want to, or to pursue their instinct and love whomever they long for. I think we all have it in us to be homosexual, because it's basic human desire to be intimate with one another. It's basic animal desire, actually, it is one of the nicer attributes of life. Love and sex isn't just about reproducing, it's about the need to be touched and to be intimate with each other. We're not solitary animals, we're sociable, we would be locked inside our own heads if it weren't for everyone else. It's just that some people feel more attracted to certain genders, like their own, than they do the opposing sex. I don't believe it's a 'thing' that's decided the day you were conceived, it's the way your subconscious decided you preferred to desire.
What really shocked me recently, however, is what a teacher told their religious studies class, in my class, about what "changing the meaning of marriage" would do. At the time, I was confused as to whether they were telling a fact that certain groups of individuals would then fall into a dangerous category or whether is was just prejudice. They told the class that if gay people would be allowed to marry and not just have a civil partnership, thus changing the belief that marriage is between a man and woman, then issues such as pedophilia and incest would "fall under the radar". The way that the teacher said it meant it was difficult for me to judge whether they were stating someone else's opinion or their own but after discussing it with my parents and looking back, it became clear they were using a very prejudice opinion to sound like a credible fact. During the class I did find myself thinking, and expressing that I'm pretty sure you can't put homosexuals and pedophiles under the same classification I was, worryingly, beginning to believe that this was an actual issue. I was under influence because of my ignorance of the matter. That's never happened to me before.
I now realise that the judgement the teacher had made, made very little sense. Changing the traditional definition of marriage no longer shared by every individual to a more open minded one will not suddenly change the law. Disregarding old fashioned Christian views will not allow older men to marry young children. Incest is already something that happens without being noticed and a change in a word's meaning will not spontaneously make the law allow family to marry family. The whole statement is absurd and a gigantic leap in conclusion that was quite scarily made to seem liable to an entire class of ignorant youth. When the pupils would argue points against the judgement the teacher would simply reply with "but you're opening a whole can of worms" or something along those lines as if it were an issue that actually existed.
This not only caused me to experience a possibly non deliberate form of indoctrination but quite extreme prejudice as well. I've already exercised my belief of not believing everything you're taught but now I have properly witnessed an untrue fact being taught as if it were real. I think, in a way, it's good to be made aware of these possibilities and to stay individual and independent with whatever someone tells you, question it, question whether you want to believe it. More importantly stay away from discrimination and fight for rights such as gay marriage because then you're a little bit closer to a more equal world.
Saturday, 14 April 2012
I love reading, I just don't do enough of it. I could blame it on the fact that my laptop and the mysterious, wonderful world of the internet distracts me but it mostly comes down to the fact that I can't be bothered. And that, in itself, is awful. It does depend on what book I'm reading at the time, whether it's so good I never want it to end or whether it's a book I picked out in a hurry and criticise it the whole time I'm reading, which ever one dictates on how long and when I'm prepared to read it. The most likely time is just before I go to sleep, which is also the most likely time I'll keep myself awake exploring the internet, Youtube is the worst culprit. It teases you with it's recommendations with enticing thumbnails and wacky titles that are just too good and intriguing to ignore. I can stay up for hours at a time on my laptop doing nothing significant or remotely educational/important as time whizzes by like someone turned up the speed of minutes. It's not good for me and I need to stop it.
Reading is one of the most fantastic things human beings do in the entire world. It can educate you on any subject single handedly, teach you new vocabulary without you even realising, feed the imagination with wonderful and exciting stories that are never to leave your memory. You can marvel at the works of people who've crafted words into their own masterpieces and tuned the techniques like that of a paintbrush, painting the page with magnificent images that every single person in the world can make their own. Different books can mean anything to anyone. The stories are what you make them to be, the characters are given to you for you to play around with sculpt them to who you wish. The information can be taken in in whatever way you want to interpret it, whatever YOU want to learn. That's what makes it so special, like art, it is never one specific thing it is a thousand things in single sentence. It is you written on paper.
So why I don't do it every waking minute of my existence, or why some decide they dislike it, is beyond me. To be fair, the printing press is slowly bidding farewell to the world and giving its revolutionary fame to the new and fast growing web which has more and more blogs, articles and stories uploaded every single day. Which I do read, every single day just not in the same way as books. Kindles are fast becoming widespread throughout the population as books are digitally downloaded onto the almost paper thin technology. Which, in my opinion, completely defies the point of a book. Books smell of the story they carry and are weighed down with the marvellous words they hold so the longer I can put off a Kindle the better, for me. What I need to do is balance the reading I do online with the reading I do offline so that every day I ingest a good amount of words. If the amount of reading I did online was a great amount then it wouldn't matter so much how little I did with books, but it isn't and both are irritatingly low.
I am fully aware of the fact this is completely and utterly down to me. It is not down to the fact that I was not brought up that way (which is certainly not the case with a Dad who practically eats books for breakfast, lunch and dinner) or the fact I don't have time or even that my school don't encourage me enough. I am the one complaining that I just simply don't read enough, therefore, I simply have to start reading... More. I just need to search harder for books that allow me to lose myself in stories I feel withdrawal from when they end. Fall in love with characters so much they become real to me. Cry when characters die as if they had been a life long friend. And most importantly just allow those stories and people and information to inspire me in ways I never imagined.
The world doesn't read enough. I've now decided. Everyone of every age needs to read a million times more, because then, I fully believe that we, as a race, will feel much better for all the words we take in.
Monday, 2 April 2012
You know what? We live in a bloody beautiful world. It's pretty obvious, once you look, but people seem to forget that and dig themselves into holes of depressing subjects that actually have very little effect on our lives. We also forget this and seem to have some sort of disconnect from the brain which makes us think it's ok to litter. Everywhere. I mean every time I see litter in a particularly beautiful place, more than anywhere, I want to cry. Of course, there's always my mother ranting on about it until we get into the car and then ten minutes into the journey that has that effect on me but it's still wrong. There are bins for a reason. Ok?
Back to being depressed about tiny, weeny little things and making them very big things. I went on holiday this weekend to Okehampton, Dartmoor where I have now decided is my second favourite place in the world. It was beautiful, I was with good friends and lovely people, I laughed so hard it ached and I did things I wouldn't normally get the opportunity to do. It was amazing, basically. And on the way back, speeding along the motorway with my dad way over the speed limit, I felt so happy and grateful just thinking about what I'd experienced. It made me realise how lucky I was to know and meet such nice people and do exciting things. I realised that the little things which somehow managed to get me down, were so insignificant compared to how happy I could be. Yes, I still have homework to do and tidying up and school to go to, but none of those matter or seem as vexing when you have people who make you laugh.
There are wars, inequality, discrimination, poverty, starvation and injustice happening every minute of every day in the world and whilst these are very important subjects it's surprising how upsetting stories dominate the news. I am all in favour of getting impactful issues across to the public in order to raise awareness, I would shout about them to anyone who cared to listen if it came down to it, but we need not intend to make the matter worse by depressing everyone. We need to inspire people, instead. Have stories about fantastic people who give a damn about these issues and do something about it, raise awareness at the same time as lifting everyone's spirits! I genuinely believe we, especially as a nation, are notorious for complaining because that's what we see in the media all the time. No wonder everyone seems down most of the time, they've been indoctrinated with news about everything that is wrong.
Go outside and see for yourself that we're all actually pretty damn lucky to even been given a chance to live on this planet. No matter what situation you're in, you always have a reason to be happy. You're alive. Happiness is a state of mind not an object you can buy. When you feel down, smile and go for a walk in the countryside or if that isn't possible, just smile.