Um, what o.o (a creative title)

…This is some kind of joke, right?

Just yesterday I wrote a blog post that I would be leaving this blog (Flash Faction) and redirecting to my new one (The Gap Year Challenge). I wake up next morning to a flood of followers on, no, not the new blog, but this one, the one I was supposedly suspending.

Friendly message to online marketers: JUST. PISS. OFFFFF.

Huh. Maybe I should tell everyone I’m leaving The Gap Year Challenge and coming here. Or maybe it was something to do with the tagging. And maybe people are either dumb or not reading my blog (if it’s the latter screw you. leave me alone to cry in peace).

And if any of you recent followers happen to be reading this, maybe comment on why you followed? Because if you want me to buy your “fantastic new product”, I’d like to buy it as much as I’d like to buy a box of condoms in front of my mom. Which is not very much.

The nerve of people these days.

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Writing by hand…

Writing by hand is laborious, and that is why typewriters were invented. But I believe that the labor has virtue, because of its very physicality. For one thing it involves flesh, blood and the thingness of pen and paper, those anchors that remind us that, however thoroughly we lose ourselves in the vortex of our invention, we inhabit a corporeal world.

I’ve always found something more fulfilling in the act of physically writing out words, as opposed to digital word processing (it’s sort of like books vs ebooks). I agree with how, despite the advances in technology, we are still living in a physical environment, and we need to stay in touch with the physical reality. After all, the soul and the physical body are inescapably intertwined, and what is writing but a projection of a part of your soul? For this reason I try to write on paper when I am brainstorming, as it feels like my ideas are becoming almost a physical reality – but I do use digital processing for work I want to share or keep for a long time.

In Brain Pickings’ latest post, writer Mary Gordon explores the deep connection between pen, paper and the writer. Check brain pickings out! It’s a good site for explorers of the mind.

Cloud Atlas: Whitewashing, my ass!

So I’m all for equality in representation of all races in media: as I have mentioned before, the media is extremely influential in shaping our views – more influential than many give credit for.

But I say accusing Cloud Atlas of whitewashing/yellow-face is a ignorant overreaction.

Firstly, there is a mix of races in the cast: white, black and asian. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cast with any leading asians at all, suggesting that the Cloud Atlas casting team might not be ‘racist’.

Next: fine, some asian characters are white people dressing as asians – but there are asians playing white characters too! This shows that there must have been some reason to the race makeup, that emphasizes the deeper meaning of the story.

What is that deeper meaning? Well, in Cloud Atlas, the characters all portrayed by one actor generally have the same roles in each plot (e.g. Hugo Weaving was ‘the bad guy’ in every story, and Halle Berry was always the hero, or the romantic couples in each story are played by the same actors). This taps into the major theme of reincarnation in Cloud Atlas, showing that one soul can take many forms through its lifetimes, despite gender – or race.

So to all those critics, try to put things into perspective and fully understand the movie, before labeling the movie as ‘offensive’ just because the actors get to dress up as other races.

Click on the picture for the full infographic! All credit goes to KC-Eazyworld, whose site you will be directed to.

Pro-life or Anti-choice?

Last month, half a million protestors marched to Washington to protest abortion. This engaged a lot of discussion amongst my friends who hold vastly different views.

On one end: isn’t it murder to abort a child? Shouldn’t all life be valued? What if the baby becomes someone great? Doesn’t the child to live?

On the other end: Isn’t it a mother’s choice? It’s her womb, isn’t it? What if the baby poses a threat to her life? Or she can’t support the baby? In fact, is an unborn baby even considered ‘alive’?

What do you think about the pro-life activists?

I myself do support one of these stances and will elaborate on it in a following post.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/march-for-life-2013_n_2552570.html

Exams: the carnage of creativity

So recently I’ve been going through a form of modern day torture, i.e. having to sit exams.

Every day I’m holed up in my room studying, I wonder: is this it? Why is school so important, when it wasn’t my choice to make it a priority? Granted, learning certain skills is imperative if we are to make the right choices in the first place, but is the system right? How much time am I wasting memorising facts when I could be writing stories, or exploring the vast world that nature has to offer me? The world just outside my door, while I ironically travel an hour a day just to get to school?

Just some random thoughts about how upset I get that studying cuts so much into my free time. I feel like a SLAVE, people 😦 I want time to do my own thing. Don’t you ever feel the same? What do you think we should do about this problem of being too busy to do what you really want to do?

Books vs. ebooks

I like the feel of a book on my hands, the smell of old pages, the way I can flick through them.

I use computers everyday to study, but they will never replace books. It just feels like there’s a bigger distance if you’re reading something through a screen. Books are the physical link between reality and the fantastic world to which a book could transport you. A library is friendly because the spines of books surround you, each unique, each full of character. A library where identical, mechanical screens glare back at you is one that feels most unwelcoming.

I understand the many advantages of ebooks (eg when considering transport or storage) but this is my personal, emotional attachment to books acknowledging the importance of their existence. Hope you enjoy!

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100 Word Responses: Unfortunate Coincidence

By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying –
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.

Title: Unfortunate Coincidence

Poet: Dorothy Parker

Response:

This poem caught me, probably because of its implications about society and for the questions it forced me to ask myself.

Is Parker trying to say that one partner will love the other more at any given point in the relationship? OMG – if I take her seriously does that mean one of us is lying? Or is she just having a jab at certain relationships in which a partner is taking advantage of another? Do I know WHY I’m in a relationship – for my own needs or because I love my partner? Do I know HOW I love my partner – purely for lust or also for their personality? Also, have I chosen the right man? Is he trustworthy?

It’d probably be good to ask yourself these questions too before entering or during a relationship!

Rape, Sexism and the Media – A Perspective on India

Sexism still runs amok today, but with varying degrees in different cultures. Hollywood frequently depicts women as objects, but laws and a history of feminist movements make blatant sexism unacceptable in developed countries. So let’s take the case of Bollywood movies where males are dominant. They eve-tease swooning girls who have little or no character and dance in raunchy “item numbers”. With this offal being fed to the Indian masses, no wonder there is something of a rape culture being reaped there. This art imitating life imitating art cycle must stop, as movies are a vital cornerstone for social change.

A post I’d love to go into more detail with in the future, because I strongly feel that media’s affect on our lives is largely underrated, and would like to further develop my argument.

A stock item number, featuring scantily clad girls and overly suggestive dance moves (if you click on the picture, it’ll take you to the song).