The bomb went off in the square. Children and mothers scrambled around in the fog, looking for each other.
Slowly, the toxic air began to invade their lungs.
Mass murder in the Vatican.
Image prompt taken from Trifecta.
The bomb went off in the square. Children and mothers scrambled around in the fog, looking for each other.
Slowly, the toxic air began to invade their lungs.
Mass murder in the Vatican.
Image prompt taken from Trifecta.
She stared out the barred window with a sigh. With her hand over her pink triangle, she watched the wind blow through the green, tear-shaped leaves. It was strange how the architects of this building could manage to make this hospital look so modern, yet so restricting.
This wasn’t an old fashion; it seemed hate was the new black. Or it had been, since Hitler took over the world. She took little consolation in the fact that the world’s population was down since the war that changed everything; in fact, it was a burden.
She just wanted somebody to love. Why did it matter so much that it was a woman that she would love? Even without Hitler, the world remained in the hands of the Nazi party. And most people, people like her, were too afraid to rebel. He’d killed everyone who rebelled.
She was just determined sick, stuck in this institute, and hidden from the world.
She rubbed her knee, imagining someone else there. Anyone else, someone to help comfort her through these bittersweet times.
No one was coming to rescue her. No one.
“Come on…” said the nurse at her side, forcing her to her feet slowly.
“What?” she replied, reacting slower than her body, already standing up.
“We’re rounding everybody up to go outside…” the nurse said.
She smiled. That nature, that freedom that she’d dreamed of just moments before… it was coming. Was there a hero out there after all?
As she squeezed out the front door, and unusual pressure enveloped her hand. She looked down at it, to see her other dream come true. Looking up to the person holding it, she smiled back at the face that greeted her.
“We can do it, just me and you,” said Val. She squeezed her hand. “I’ve always loved you.”
She almost melted, but remained firm on her feet even while her chest fluttered like warm caramel. “Me and you,” she said.
They weren’t free. As they reached the front garden, the staff chained the arms and legs of every woman there together, as they sorted everyone into lines. Val and Zoe stood beside each other.
We’re not leaving, she thought. Till death… She never thought it was possible… But now that she knew how Val felt, after all these years, she couldn’t go.
Not now, not ever. Not even if it meant…
A line of gunmen lined up against them. Heavily uniform, red armbands on each left arm, rifles casually at their sides.
Something must have happened. The world wasn’t willing to keep them alive anymore. Just a bunch of old dykes, no one cared about them.
She wondered if these same gunmen had been on duty all days, killing sick people like her. She imagined all the gay men in the hospital, the ones she’d met and talked to each day. Bullets splatting their blood, heads knocked back, brains flying.
It was a disgusting thought. She squeezed Val’s hand tighter.
She squeezed back. “Don’t worry, Zoe. I love you.”
And that was enough to distract her. No more did she think about bloody bodies. Now all that was on her mind was all the things she never got to do with Val. All the kisses, all the touches, all the rest of it…
And in her mind, she smiled back again, telling Val she loved her. Zoe was only too aware she didn’t, had never gotten a chance to fall in love with Val, but if she had, it would’ve been enough.
She could’ve been happy, just with that. Instead spending her last days mourning for the life she lost long ago; the one she never even had. Turns out it was up to her, all along. She wished she’d known that before.
The gunmen raised their double-barrels onto their shoulders, ready to fire.
She took a deep breath, counting along to herself. 3… 2… 1…
A jolt of black wracked her. She began to fall.
Question Everything. Personally, I think that’s true of all people. Never mind bigots of all sorts of things across all differences, there are assumptions too. And if Scott Westerfeld’s to be believed, (and I think he is) nothing ever is as simple as it seems.
That’s a principle I live by. It’s the reason I’m an atheist. It’s the reason I’m more open-minded about different sorts of people than some people are. It’s the reason I like to educate myself as much as I can.
Of course there’s no right or wrong way to be. There’s no shame in being different, even while people tell us otherwise. It’s this idea that I’m able to go on liking myself. You can’t just let people dictate your thinking. That can be easy or hard, depending on your sensitivities to your differences, but that’s something you have to say to yourself regardless of how you act outwardly.
Okay, there are a couple of screencaps from the above link I just have to comment on:
That is just not true. We’re Autistic, not Idiots. We’re well aware of other people, we just don’t entirely relate to them. And even that has it’s limitations; there are things about normal people we do relate to, just not in the way we process or communicate.
I may only be Aspberger’s, but at least I know that.
Bullshit. I have plenty of creativity. The wall between Autistic and normal people is merely what we show, not what we lack, in my opinion.
I was wondering recently… Why are the Mayans and their so-called doomsday prophecy so famous, and Chinese New Year is left on the back burner?
The truth is, the Mayan prophecy is just the end of an era for the Mayans. It doesn’t mean that we’re all going to die, just that now’s the chance to decide where to go from here, with all there is to worry about in this modern world.
If we’re speaking of foreign calendars, then the Chinese New Year can contrast with the Mayan calendar, and act as our redemption.
Let’s celebrate the spring of new beginnings with the start of Chinese New Year next February 10. It’s the Year of the Snake this year, which is my animal, so I guess it’s more significant for being my year as well.
This is my year to get active. Especially since I’ve already begun my new life on the Sunshine Coast, this will be my year of working, writing, surfing, and perhaps even blogging.
Start here and discover the truth. Mayan calendars were often misunderstood. Don’t waste your second chance not understanding the Chinese one.
It was highlighted on Modern Family once. Women who are successful are often seen as unlikable. They’ve even said it about Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
And I’ve always said, “I’d much rather be successful than liked.” After all, it’s true. But thanks to this article, I’ve also come to the realisation that being liked is something that I care about too. The reason I’ve always said that, though, is because I wish I didn’t.
I’ve never been liked. Not when I was growing up, not to the people around me. And I would bet that, even though my life has gotten better since then, it’s still something that rings true. It’s still something that undoubtedly happens, and it’s still a fear of mine enough that, like Daniel Koeker has recently said, I run from things like bad reviews and negative feedback.
Not just in writing, either. In my opinions. Which I can feel the need to express inside. I can be embarrassed easily.
And I do this partially because I’ve read that it’s something good writers do; even though it may seem childish to run from one bad review, it’s ultimately better for your health not to seek out those bad reviews. This, from what I’ve read from a writer who saw one bad review of something he’d written in the paper amongst good reviews…
I took all this in because it comforted me. I’ve always told myself I need to grow a thicker skin, but the fact that I could avoid bad reviews if I wanted, without guilt, eased my mind greatly. And I’ve always said anything that eases my mind is needed; my mind can be pretty uptight. If it’s too much, I’m afraid I’ll crack.
It was also comforting when Daniel Koeker said that criticism to a writer doesn’t have to roll of their back… I don’t necessarily have to work too hard on growing a thick skin. That helps.
The thing is, as a writer, likability goes hand in hand with success. At least in that arena, a woman can be both. After all, I consider JK Rowling to be likable. As do I find her series.
And I know that’s something, because looking back on how I think of my parents, I consider my mom to be a nag… and yet a compulsion to listen to my father. Hell, for years I wanted him to be my favourite parent. But our relationship just wasn’t like that.
Hell only knows why I think that way. Or why anyone else does, for that matter.
So, even with my issues, there’s one thing. If she can do it, why not me? (And yes, I’m paraphrasing Harry Potter when he was teaching Dumbledore’s Army there.)
Too many times she wondered if she was being transparent, if they could see right through her to the haunted child within. Haunted by her own father’s bigotry and violence, the fear for her life.
It was a cruel world. If there was any justice, her father would be in jail and she would be free to be herself. But there wasn’t, and never could be.
His crimes had been on the news. Even his trial had been. Her mother had done a good job keeping her away from the cameras. But she was always watching, always knowing.
It wasn’t by nature, but she was convincing in her hatred for gay people, anything to keep herself safe.
If he ever saw through her, she was as good as dead. That’s all he’d see in her, anyway.
So she was the fly on wall. She was used to it.
Looking back on the last century, Angus wondered how people could be such bigots in such recent history.
Of course, just like in 2000, the TV was full of specials celebrating and commenting on the 21st century. 2012 was considered the turning point in this new era; even though it was still rife with injustices, there was a global parliamentary rule that finally began to turn the tides. By 2042, the civil injustices were gone.
At least, that’s what he learned from watching one of the specials that were running everywhere on TV. 2100, the start of a new century.
And he was named after a McDonald’s burger. How was that moving forward?
This article struck me both in personal choices and sexuality, both as an atheist and a feminist.
And the writer of this article is right; at the very least, I do view sexuality as dirty and shameful. In my case, it’s hypersensitive, extending even to pregnancy, however essential it is to the human race, relationships and displays of affection.
Although I (quite happily) don’t really act upon sexuality or relationships, I do still think they’re a relevant point.
In our culture, there is an imbalance of sexual attitudes. In the media, society is sex-obsessed. Yet, and especially towards females, we see it as shameful. I wonder if anyone’s ever written an entire blog post about the psychology of oxymorons, because it sounds like an one to me.
The attitudes in sexual attitudes, both above and in rape culture, is as old as the bible; it’s a traditional value. And it has created an indulgent contempt for sexuality.
Recently, I saw this report about the baby bonus and Caltex supporting women – new moms – in the workforce. They had brought in a range of measures to keep these women in the workforce, in order to save money. Like allowing gay marraige on the registrar, it’s win/win.
It’s an interesting issue, because the last my family and I talked about the baby bonus, my parents — especially my dad — argued that it wasn’t fair; that they hadn’t had help with their childcare, and that they were coddling the new generation.
Maybe you’re wondering, “Shouldn’t any generation want the new generation to have it better?” Not in the current climate; young adults nowadays are seen as too spoiled, unprepared for how much worse they would have it if they hadn’t been born into today.
It isn’t true of everyone, speaking from Generation Y. More important in this debate though, is that the new measures, from what I can see, are in fact strengthening society.
It seems feminist practices are better for the economy. In fact, I would suggest that most moral rights are better for the economy and for society — and those moral rights do not come from traditional values.
If traditional values actually came from a positive history, I would disagree. But in reality, society’s moral history is shady and misled. Our civilisation is still evolving, after all.
Of course, then there are personal issues, which are both inclusive and exclusive of all these other issues.
I think this is one type of issue that everyone can relate to, no matter what their lives and minds are like. Morals and choices are unique to everyone. For example, the choice whether to marry, and when.
What is reasonable to one person is naive to another. One thing mentioned in the article that inspired this post is that when government money is going toward telling people to just wait until marriage, we are literally funding an idea that has never worked in all of human history, instead of supporting tried-and-true policies that could mitigate the harm of a sex-obsessed, but pleasure-starved, culture.
Of course, I’m sure traditionalists consider their beliefs to be “tried-and-true”, but the basic point of this quote is really what I’m going for.
It is interesting to think of good, moral choices as one strict formula. One good choice, compared to a variety of everything else… it’s not quite that simple, of course. There is always the complication of the little things that make your mind up, or the little parts match into your life.
However, if there is one good choice, the must also be one bad choice; the worst mistake. Something, apparently, that hasn’t worked in all of human history.
How then did the idea survive? The author didn’t supply any sources that must’ve lead her to that conclusion, so I don’t really know even the history she meant that it has never worked…
Of course, sex after marriage isn’t the only (religious) traditional value that has resulted in a fucked society.
Another immoral practice garnered from traditional values is circumcision, though I’m sure it doesn’t quite carry the same issues as premarital sex. Still, it’s certainly still problematic to society’s moral perceptions.
According to the article: It turns out that feminist values – not “traditional” ones – lead to the most stable marriages. And feminist views plus later marriage typically equals premarital sex.
But in these two simple sentences, I see yet another context. Morality in religion is something I’ve long questioned, ever since I became an atheist. Modern modes of morality have survived to the present day from religion, so it’s a very valid topic.
Religious people, even Hillsong people, are traditional. Hell, even people who believe in astrology are traditional.
Which isn’t to say there is anything wrong with traditional. I get traditional. Traditionalism’s fine, until you stop growing because you’re still clinging to old ideas that no longer make sense.
It’s only when I examine certain traditional thoughts that I reject it, out of the morality and respect that should be present in all of us.
When Darwin wrote his Origin of Species, he labelled it “provisional”. What this meant was that it wasn’t complete, and if a school of thought ever evolved to prove it wrong, then it was wrong, and we should move on.
I think all thought should be provisional, until it’s proven itself unequivocally true.
Because that’s how we learn, that’s how we grow. And it’s clear that we still have room to grow. We haven’t completely grown yet intellectually, and after all, isn’t that what life is?
You either change for the better, or for the worse. You never stay the same. Life is a journey… and that’s one thing that hasn’t been disproved.
It began last year. It’s hard to believe its only been that long.
I’m not going make any fuss about anniversaries, because last year, the movement passed me by with pressing hardly any impressions on me at all.
First I heard of the movement was from a few home-made signs stuck onto the barriers around a few bus stops in Parramatta, a major suburb of Sydney.
I don’t remember where I was going everyday– probably work — I just remember the routine of traveling; walking along outside the train station and crossing the street to get to the end of the bus stops on the other side, catching a bus from there. The usual daily back and forth… when I saw them as I passed. Eventually, my curiosity was piqued.
I remember the slogan on the paper, ‘We are the 99%’ but not much else of what it said. And I remember thinking, “Hey, yeah! That’s right!”
I didn’t know of the history. I didn’t know know it was a movement. All I knew was what the paper told me, about the philosophy of Occupy. And I mildly agreed with it.
My opinion after reading the whole thing at the time was that the protestors had a good point, though it’s direction raised little more than a shrug, not understanding how they thought they were gonna fix it. But I did think their point of view was interesting.
I doubt I would’ve gone to an Occupy protest even if I had known about it, or the details of getting there. I hardly knew much at all about it, and even if I did, I haven’t gone to protests that I actually cared about, like Walk Against Warming. I could say I’m just not an activist, but the real truth is that I just don’t get out enough.
Even if I want to, I feel like I can’t. It probably stems from not being allowed out, sometime in my past…
I’ve been reading on Wikipedia about the Occupy Movement. Wikipedia said that New York was the first city of the movement, on the 17th of September (where the so-called “anniversary” comes from, though I don’t think it counts if you weren’t following the movement to start with).
Wikipedia also said that the protests in America shifted dialogue “from the deficit to economic problems” such as unemployment, that isn’t such a problem there, more there than it is here.
So, one year on, where is the Occupy Movement now? Well, here’s what it said about Australia…
“Occupy” demonstrations took place in Canberra, Wollongong, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, as well as smaller towns around the country. At the Occupy Melbourne protest on 21 October 2011, approximately 150 protesters defied police orders to clear the area, and were subsequently removed with force. 95 arrests were made and 43 reports of police violence were filed.
Occupiers returned the following day in a walk against police violence, re-occupying multiple sites since. Occupy Sydney has continued an ongoing occupation since their initial police eviction, marking 6 months on 15 April.
The occupation began on 15 October 2011 outside the Reserve Bank of Australia in Martin Place. The Martin Place occupation was evicted by NSW Police on 23 October 2011. A smaller group of participants re-established the occupation which has been continuously maintained to date despite police attempts to shut down the protest. The last major eviction attempt was on 2 February 2012 in which 7 people were arrested and a significant amount of property was seized.
Despite media reports at the time that declared the end of the occupation, protesters maintained a continuous presence at the site. As of June 2012, occupants continue to maintain a constant presence at Martin Place, regularly holding discussions and activities that encourage public participation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately; The Male Privilege Checklist. I think many men are either are unaware of the things they have, or they do know and flaunt it as a way of shoving in our faces so they can say they’re better and we’re nothing. Of course, there could be a third option, but…
Those men are just sad. If they have to do all that to reassure their own minds, I could almost feel sorry for them, if not for the invalidation they put us through. Especially when one considers the vast amount of girls who have to adhere to gender roles that put them down.
After the Tosh.0 article, I have been thinking more and more about the subject of feminism, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get. I have officially sworn off the series, though I used to enjoy it, the anti-feminist comments he frequently spouts has become too aggravating for me to sit through.
I don’t know if I will go back on this after I calm down, but I have been looking back on it. I’m not the type of person to waste my time on YouTube watching the kind of rubbish Tosh frequently plays, but when my sister got me into the show, I figured I could make an exception for Tosh.
It’s not frequently that I’d watch his show, just as it’s not frequently I’d watch such useless crap online. I always consider it a sad commentary on modern society that this is what most people care about, rather than anything that actually matters.
I’d think you’d want to see something that’d make you think. Something that’d make you feel. Something compelling, at least. But no.
But when I started watching Tosh, I figured that this stuff could be entertaining in its own right. There were certain nuggets in the viral wasteland of popularity, at least. I didn’t even mind his slams at women, disregarding them and treating them as simple-minded and unserious jokes.
Since I was young, I absorbed people’s bullshit. When people told me that when boys bully girls it means they “like” them, I believed it. I was bullied very generally as a child, so this did apply to me. It made me feel special to be bullied then, though I never outright said the reason, for fear of embarrassment.
And it was something to be embarrassed by, never mind the impossible standards people put on girls, let alone me. Eventually, I dismissed the lie, having learned the truth. I started to feel that I wasn’t worth much, and I carried that feeling through life.
There was a lot I disregarded. This feeling is likely what caused me to close myself off to people. Again, this started to make me feel like I was special, because I no longer had the same emotional vulnerablities as most, and I would not be swayed by lies meant to weaken me. I was a proud loner, and I didn’t need others’ approval.
But closing myself off wasn’t what I always thought of it as. When I was a fair deal older, I learned the kind of feeling granted from having friends. I’ve also realised all it’s disadvantages too, like certain parts of my person that are underdeveloped. Social skills, sexuality, willingness to grow past anxieties, and hygiene.
These were all things that were stunted far back. And it had led this way because I felt none of these were necessary for fulfillment.
This is the sort of field of problems women face in their lives. Not these specific problems, of course, these are entirely personal. But it doesn’t really seem like much of a fight when men have so fewer debilitating problems that are ingrained in women from the start.
This is why it’s no big argument to say that they’re better. They perpetuate this set of values in us for their own advantage.
Indeed, these problems are not just limited to body issues. Certainly, many women dress provocatively in order to feel good about themselves, as the ideal of prettiness has been taught to them since primary school. It’s just that body problems are the visible tip of the iceberg.
For a girl, it’s hard to fight against all the invalidation and disapproval that exists in the world. That in itself can cause many problems for girls in general, particularly when it leads them to make foolish decisions later in life. Anyone who’s ever seen How I Met Your Mother knows Barney Stintson is a very good common example of this.
But of course, there are also the girls who dive into deep decisions without thinking or understanding what they’re getting themselves into at large.
Even the girls who don’t feel insecure in themselves (and that’s an honest minority) have their own problems. I recently heard of a woman who was so pretty, most women hate her out of jealousy and most men lavish attention on her. This woman is at a certain disadvantage too, especially considering that she’s a journalist and just doesn’t get appreciated beyond her beauty like she deserves to. Not to mention all the negative and positive gender reinforcements that shapes her perspective.
Ashley Judd is one person in the media who has struck back against this misogynic culture, writing an article against a tabloid who called her face “puffy”. Since then, it has fuelled BuzzFeed to join her by having a countdown of celebrities the media has called fat, and now Judd’s new-found twitter activism.
Many others on twitter are following her lead. According to one link, ”We are the media now… we can start our own revolution“.
Clearly, I’m not the only one embarrassed by how low our society’s values are right now. I know that there are plenty of people, and not just women, who disagree with the majority values in our world that damage so many girl’s and women’s self-view.
Maybe we can level the playing field if we do. Maybe then we can show the men who preen that we are no better or worse than each other. We are all different. If you think you’re not, you’re dreaming.
One outlook has been that people form groups, and anyone outside those groups that are different are enemies. What people don’t understand is that we don’t have to think that way. Everyone has their weaknesses, and their strengths.
As women, we don’t need to be politically correct. We just need to be seen as equals. We don’t have to change our entire natures to better all of us, we just need to widen our understandings of people. Because, after all, what else can any of us be but human?