My (Morbid) Thoughts On ‘Charity’…

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have seen friends, family and celebrities partaking in the viral phenomenon that is the ‘ice bucket challenge’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of ‘those’ ranters who protest their hate for the challenge claiming that it ‘wastes too much water’ or doesn’t truly make a difference in the world; I have even took on the challenge for myself. However, it seems to have evolved into ‘a bit of fun’ rather than to raise money for the ALS charity.
The viral challenge has opened my eyes to the general concept of ‘charity’. As my thoughts deepened, I was actually rather sickened by the fact that as a race, we often have to get something in return in order to give to charity.
It seems to me that people are giving to the ALS charity without truly knowing what the illness is; I myself am not exempt from this accusation, donating money to fund for an illness which at the time this is all I knew:
1. It effects the brain.
2. Stephen Hawking has ALS
3. It prevents all bodily motor functions.
After the feeling of shame washed away, I began research and only then did I truly realise what a debilitating disease it truly is. It turns out that independent life is impossible after diagnosis, and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is 2-5 years. This makes Stephen Hawking truly remarkable as he is 72 years old. It is an absolutely life changing disease that can effect any family member with the gene.
Then my morbid brain questioned further, and I began to think about the other charity organisations which fund for equally terrible illnesses such as alzheimer’s, parkinsons, malignant cancer, cystic fibrosis… the list goes on. Where is their funding?
And then my brain took a turn into Tim Burton land, and it began to get truly dark. The ice bucket challenge demonstrates the selfish nature of humans, who only donate for the fun ‘dumping of ice’- indeed with most popular charity events there is also the element of selfishness. We have red nose day in the UK in which we purchase red noses, and wear silly tops while watching celebrities make fools of themselves on TV- We raise millions of pounds on this day, yet once again would we have raised this if we weren’t entertained?
And then there’s the sucker punch of a question that is on everybody’s lips.
Where does all of the charity money go? Millions each year every year is given to the charity, yet still we see the pictures of dying mosquito bitten African children. So far almost $90 million has been raised for the ALS motor neurone disease, and that’s brilliant. Yet the cynical part of my brains which has analysed the insatiable greed of the human race must question if the whole $90 million will go to the ALS charity, or in the back pocket of the ‘middle man’.

If you want you can donate to the ALS charity by texting ICED55 to 70070- but don’t forget that other charities exist that need donations, like these bad boys!
Cystic fibrosis- https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/get-involved/ways-to-donate/online-donation
Cancer- http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/donate
Alzheimers society- http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/donate
Schizophrenia- https://www.imhro.org/get-involved/donate-schizophrenia-research-help-people-schizophrenia
Polio- http://www.endpolio.org
Muscular dystrophy- https://www2.muscular-dystrophy.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=241&__utma=72262927.1157462188.1409243085.1409243085.1409243085.1&__utmb=72262927.1.10.1409243085&__utmc=72262927&__utmx=-&__utmz=72262927.1409243085.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=196190506

 

Letter to my 18 year old self.

Dear age 18,
You know I’m not good with birthdays and you are a particularly daunting one. I’m writing in the hope that you will go easy on me this year, and not thrust every ‘grown up’ responsibility into my lap that being 18 is said to bring; setting up a bank account was hard enough!
Being 18 is society’s way of calling me an adult, despite how immature I feel inside… I still laugh at poop jokes for goodness sake!
Some people tell me that you gave them the best year of their life. They could -legally- consume alcohol, and watch all the horror movies at the cinema. With you we can vote, and go to university too.
Then whats the issue!?
The truth is, I don’t really want you to visit me tomorrow. Not for myself, but for my mother who keeps on crying saying that ‘her youngest baby has grown up’and because you aren’t a real physical being, I feel very responsible for her tears.
One thing is for sure, you must be nicer than 17- He was a real jerk!.
I guess I’ll see you tomorrow 18. If I get drunk, you’re to blame!
All of my -dubious- love
Curly
XXX
P.S Bring play-doh
P.P.S don’t say I’m too old for play-doh… just bring it.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (AKA The abomination)

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Hollywood- I’m not mad, I’m just really disappointed.
It seems the rumours are true, and you have run out of ideas, so much so you continue to butcher the superhero franchise beyond recognition. First there was the abysmal ‘Green Lantern’ then the not-quite-so-bad-but-still-rubbish ‘Captain America’ and now this!?
I draw the line at hero on hero violence. Social media is buzzing with the news, and proclaiming their excitement of the announcement. Am I the only one who is covering their face, and crying a little for you?
I can already predict the whole plot- Batman and Superman begin as enemies who eventually ‘talk it out’ and form and alliance to defeat evil. The movie will end with an ominous hint to a further ‘Justice league’ movie.
Who else can ignore the fact that this is a very unfair fight. Despite being a skilled badass, Batman is still human (albeit a human who is handy with a grapple and a cloak). On the other end of the spectrum, we have an alien with pretty much every power you could want including: unlimited flight,super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability,x-ray vision, telescopic vision, heat vision, microscopic vision, super-hearing, super-breath,
super-ventriloquism, super-intelligence
.
Good luck Bats- the powerless superhero, who is against every kind of murder. Have you got any kryptonite hiding in your belt by any chance? No? Oh dear…
I’m aware that I’m being very judgemental, slating a movie that hasn’t even been released in the cinema yet. I’ll reserve complete judgement until I see the movie- but first impressions are important, and the concept of a hero fighting a hero does not make a good impression on me.
There are some ideas you can work with and reinvent, and there are others you just have to scrap and bury deep (deep deep deep) down in the grave of bad ideas.
Sorry Hollywood, but someone had to say it.

My Creative ‘Eureka’ Moment.

Last night I had what I thought was a creative ‘eureka’ moment. I had a vivid dream that that I thought was a great idea for a young adult novel. As soon as I awoke, I had a buzz of excitement in the pit of my stomach at the ‘amazing’ dream I had.
I remember thinking: ‘This will be a huge seller, I can tell!’ as I scribbled the dream down in the hazy 5am light, hoping I could read when it came to writing this ‘brilliant’ novel.
Well of course, you know where this is going.
The idea would never be a best seller. At best, if it ever were to be published, it would end up in the bargain bins in those ‘jumble-sale-esque’ shops. It was so bad, that when I re-read it, I was doubled over laughing wondering how deluded a person can be when they have just woken up.
I bet the suspense is killing you, so here it is! My ground-breaking, best selling, mind blowing story idea!
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Cant read it? I couldn’t either. After many minutes of staring and ‘what the hell?’-ing, Here is a translation of what (I think) I wrote:

‘Adam and Eve and apples. Set in modern day where Adam and Eve are sent to purgatory by God. Last warning of the apocalypse, where they collect apples or everyone dies.
Like ‘The Running Man’. He chases them and is surrounded by lazers.
A Hobo is disguised as the devil. Devil represents evil humanity.’

Somehow, my brain had merged the Bible, a video game, and the movie ‘The Running Man’ to form a ‘super’ story. I must have had a high temperature, because even for me that story is messed up! At what point did my brain think that the addition of the hobo was necessary? And better yet, that the hobo is the devil (plot twist!)
The sad thing is, this isn’t my first creative ‘Eureka’ moment. So many dreams I have scribbled down, and only one to date as been somewhat ok- AKA not insane.
Maybe I’ll show you them another time- once I get over the embarrassment of showing you this one!

Never Wake A Sleeping Owl…

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The inspiration for this blog occurred at exactly 10:13 this morning. I opened my eyes to see my mother and sister standing over my bedside- as soon as my eyes opened the torrent of abuse began…
“Wake up!”
*Rips open the curtains*
“You’re so lazy!”
“It’s past 10am- I’ve been up since 7am, and I’ve already cleaned the bathroom AND walked the dog!”
To which I reply (or more mumble in my just-woken-up delirium)
“10am? That early!?”
This is a scenario that only other night owls and I can understand.
If you are uncommon with the terms ‘owl’ and ‘lark’ (in the human sense), they are basically names for those who sleep early and rise early (larks) and those who sleep late and rise late (owls);You will come to see that I am most certainly the latter…
Larks can call us ‘lazy wasters’, but they fail to recognise that we only went to sleep at 3am this morning, while they were probably out by 11. Furthermore, we don’t stay up late because we want to, but because we are biologically determined to do so. Our nocturnal circadian rhythms force us to spend those unfatigued moonlit hours surfing the web, or finishing that essay last minute.
I think night owls have been given a bad reputation for being ‘lazy slobs’ who waste their day, and when I tell a lark that I am an owl they pity me.
But should they?
Studies suggest that night owls are wealthier and wiser than larks, being described as “innovative thinkers” who have success in later life. Famous night owls include Barrack Obama, Charles Darwin and Elvis Presley.
Granted, there are some famous larks including George W. Bush- but that’s fine, you can keep him…
President Bush quote

In short, respect the sleeping patterns of one another! I wouldn’t shake my lark mother and sister at midnight screaming “Why are you sleeping!? It’s still early!”.
So please- don’t wake us at some godforsaken hour like 10 am, because it may aswell be 5am! And after all, you wouldn’t want to see us when we’re cranky…
owl

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P
ictures taken from google.
They misunderestimated me- http://lbsommer-author.yolasite.com/funny-political-signs-and-quotes.php

Angry Owl is angry-http://cheezburger.com/3916038656
Featured image- http://500px.com/photo/56239332/angry-owl-by-leonardo-casadei

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England’s Squarest Teenager.

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If you’re reading this, then I have somehow managed to understand the controls of my laptop. Not only this, but I have found my way (after 2 years) around WordPress and found out where the ‘publish’ button is (probably after a google search). This is right after I have tried to translate the slang of Facebook posts into English, and struggled with the concept of cropping a photo.
But here is the twist- These are things which should be innate to me, because I am a teenager of the ‘technology’ generation.
Technology and I have never really been the best of friends.
When it comes to installing, setting up, rebooting and all that lingo, my technological failure is always inevitable; whenever I see a bunch of wires that need plugging in, or an app which needs to be updated, my brain implodes.
Nothing is worse that when a teacher asks you to fix a DVD player, or an interactive whiteboard as they assume me to be a technology ‘wizz’- the interaction goes a little like this:

Teacher: Sarah, you’re young- help me fix this mechanism.
Me: *walks embarrassed to the front of the class room. Sings ‘eerie meenie miney moe’ to determine which cavity to shove the wire in. Chooses. Shoves. Lights explode*

I recognise the beauty, of technology and how far it has advanced society- it’s just a shame that I’m hopeless with it!
As many people know, with technology comes the internet, with the internet comes social media and with social media comes slang…
Let’s just say that the urban dictionary has become my best friend, as my generation insist on talking with abbreviated letters of the alphabet.
Here are some of my favourite finds:
ROFLMAO! (Rolling on the floor laughing my ass of!) as in ‘I was ROFLMAO to discover people really used this to communicate’.
Another nugget of gold is NIMBY (not in my back yard)- a personal favourite, because I can’t think of a single use for it- yet this apparently has versatile use, as it reached 24 in the top 50 popular text acronyms… oh society!

I guess it’s not all doom and gloom! I’ll never be one of those teenagers who are always on their phone, because I’ll never master the art of texting… or ‘txt-ing’ (apparently the ‘e’ is dispensable).
Anyway, I’ll stop typing now before my laptop decides to inexplicably die on me. Wish me luck, as I try to differentiate a ‘tag’ from a ‘category’ and end up merging the two together anyway… GIHT (God I hate technology)…(did i abbreviate right?)

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Are Women The Instruments Of Their Own Inequality?

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I was brought up in a world where women called fixing a hinge “mans work”, and believed men were ‘gentlemen’ if they opened a door for a woman.
I was also brought up in a world where feminism exists.
I was brought up surrounded by women who protest about the injustice of being oppressed, while telling their husbands to do their ‘job’ and fix the boiler.
Is it just me, or is there a double standard?
Women cannot be ‘autonomous’, and a ‘powerless victim’ simultaneously.
We have to choose- and I choose independence.
I believe that some women hide behind their stereotypes, and perhaps don’t fully comprehend how much further it prevents women from achieving equality.
The uncountable times I have heard women ask ‘who’s the man in this relationship?’ After they put up a shelf or fixed a tap.
Why is this ‘mans work’?
The last time I checked, women are intelligent and are more than capable to hammer in a screw; the association with men and strength does not mean that women don’t have muscle of their own.
My own mother fits into this type of ‘pseudo-feminism’, claiming that she will never be dominated by a male, or fit the stereotype of a woman.
Yet the first thing she taught me was to have pride in my appearance, and never leave the house without looking presentable; I cannot recall a time where she encouraged me to develop a rounded personality.
Indeed, she also encouraged her daughters to ‘marry a rich man’ when we got older. Even at a young age, I wondered why she didn’t encourage me to earn my own living, or trust in my ability to succeed without a man.
Through her off-hand, and often humorous comments, my mother -and other women like her- are unwittingly stagnating the ability for women to become independent.
The very definition of feminism is ‘equality of the sexes’- how can equality be achieved when women themselves set boundaries for ‘what women do’ and ‘what men do’?
I felt the need to write this blog, because I have read many articles which blame males for restriciting women. I am certainly not excusing the role of men in preventing women from achieving autonomy- indeed I recognise the highly patriarchal and mysogynistic society in which we live.
However, I also believe that some women themselves can be the instrument of the destruction of feminism.  We have to stop creating boundaries and stereotypes for both genders- only then can true equality be achieved.

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Featured image: http://theprincetontory.com/main/contemporary-feminism-fighting-false-enemies-2/

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Letter To My Younger Self

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Dear me four months ago,
Are you dead? Because you’re certainly not living!
You don’t know it now, but you have traded four months of your life for an uncertain letter of the alphabet, that may or may not help you get into university.
Do you think it’s worth it?
The endless stagnating days, where there’s always a stressor at the back of your mind; whether it be university, or exams, or how you should have skipped breakfast to get an extra hour of work in.
You self obsessed moron…
Always thinking about yourself, and if you’ve done enough practice papers; Did you ever ask your dad how his work is going? You know, the work that has kept you above the breadline your whole life? Sure times have been hard, what with the economic crisis and all, but he’s a big boy, he’ll be fine!
You precious little priority!
I don’t want to be mean younger Sarah, but your attitude to work makes me sick- literally! Exams are over, yet I’m still so tense that I can’t sleep, as not having anything to do or worry about is alien to me!
You gave up reading and writing- the two things you really love- for so long, that I feel guilty if i ever open a book that isn’t educational, or write a paragraph that doesn’t form a mind map.
Do you remember what Dad always tells us?
“Don’t forget to smell the flowers”
Instead you crush them underfoot; time spent “smelling flowers” is better spent learning ridiculous facts that become redundant the moment you’ve written the exam.
Think of the bigger picture younger me. A-levels are a step towards a slightly bigger step of university, which is another step towards the bigger step of work, and so on.
You compartmentalise these sections of life, and see failure as a thing to be feared.
You don’t look at the bigger picture.
Take too many ‘steps’, and you’ll reach the summit wondering what you did with your life other than read, copy, memorise, forget. Read, copy, memorise, forget.
I know you hate being cheesy- but it’s called for. Life is a journey, younger me, and you should enjoy every second of it- not just what you receive at the end.
Stop stressing the stupid little things you absolute idiot, and start sniffing some flowers- even if some of them smell like shit.

Love from me in four months time.
XXX

 

 

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