Little wonder we stumble in life.

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Six Sentence Sunday – Symmetry

There was something so attractive about it. He held out his hand, and I took it, ready to take the leap. I was scared, but I couldn’t admit it, even to myself.

I wanted it. That was something else I couldn’t admit.

There was symmetry between us, our desires melded into one, as we stepped into the abyss.

Six Sentence Sunday.

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The Ivan Project, #30

She couldn’t erase the memory.

Her grandfather in his dingy little room, glaring at her with that determination. The blaze that jumped from his hand, to kill himself — or to kill her.

Why would someone so old even bother with suicide? Why, after a full life? More importantly, did anyone care?

Most suicidals don’t think anyone would, including her. She had to know…

She moved slowly through space like it would catch her, dazed by the tragic mourners. Why did they care about someone so old? Wasn’t his time coming, anyway? Surely, there could be no love left for someone so passed his prime?

Yet here was the proof. Somehow, something in him had still lived in their hearts, some lingering identity.

None of them knew his death could be anything other than senility and a forgotten cigarette light. She knew better.

People kept asking her what happened. She kept lying.

His last moment remained secret. She could’ve saved him. She didn’t, because she knew how it felt to want to die.

Even knowing, she still wanted it.

She didn’t want anyone to stop her, either. The last thing she wanted was all those judging faces from a failed attempt.


Trifecta – Pulling Through

This week, the trifecta challenge was to build upon another 33 word challenge I’ve done before. Here’s the one I chose to follow on:

“I’m gonna count to three,” her mother warned. ”One…”

“No way, I’m not gonna… lalalalalalalaLALALALALALA–”


She paused, under the spell of three. She squeezed her eyes shut, crying. “Never.”

“What happened?”


Her mother’s eyes melted. “Who hit you?”

“Dad.” Her lips trembled, terrified.

“Oh, honey…”

How could he do this? Hit a defenseless child? Her blood boiled.

“It’s gonna be alright…”

He was gonna pay.

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The Ivan Project, #29

“You have to try this shot,” Ajit said.

She looked in Ajit’s face. His brown eyes were mischievous. He was such a dork, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t party… in his living room.

It was amazing, a delicious, head-spinning rush. “Oh my god, that’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted!”

“I know, right!” cried Ajit in return. “Hey, I know, let’s get Donny to try it!”

Ajit was trying to get everyone in the apartment to try this shot. And really, it was no wonder. Surely even Donny, who was uptight and refused to even touch alcohol, would at least have to admit that much.

“No,” said Donny.

“Aw, come on,” said Ajit, holding up the jello shot in a rubber cupcake wrapper, having run out of glasses. He sucked up half. “Here, now try it.”

He still refused.

Sharon grabbed the shot. “Maybe a little less…?” She sucked up most of the rest, leaving a  film of the red happy face drink behind. She handed it to Donny.

He looked down into it warily. He sucked it up. “It’s not bad.”

“Yeah!” Ajit and Sharon high-fived.

“Another one!” cried Ajit.

They were gonna get him so drunk… Sharon smirked mischievously.

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The Ivan Project, #28

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?


Friday Fictioneers – Peace and Chaos

She stepped up the stone staircase, looking around in appreciation. “It’s beautiful here, so peaceful…”

“Yeah, but it’s usually packed for the autumn viewing festival. Glad it’s summer. And for this shade.”

She looked back at Sandra. “What’s the autumn viewing festival?”

“You haven’t heard of it? In autumn, when the leaves turn different colours, Japanese flock from all around to sit under the autumn trees and see them. It’s usually chaos trying to find a spot. If you don’t plan, you might have to try several different parks.”

“Wow. I can’t imagine chaos in this place.”

“Come back in autumn,” said Sandra.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to go back to the Friday Fictioneers.

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How traditional morals have fucked up society

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.

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The Ivan Project, #27

The white light washed out the town in a bright haze.

Rushing to the window, she peered out trying to find its source. A tower of light rushed flat across the sky overhead, bright as the sun.

She watched it slowly disappear over the horizon seconds before the ground shook. She thought it was an earthquake; she clung to the wall and slid to her knees, covering her head with one arm.

But soon it stopped, and immediately she jumped out of the restaurant and ran to her car, driving off with a loud guzzle.

When Mongolia arrived, she finally met her European friend, fresh from an archeological hunt. He sighed, his face drawn as he met her. Telling her he had just spent months in the desert and found nothing.

He brightened up as he remember their deal. “You’re gonna love Europe. Much more exciting than the empty expanses of Russia.”

Now she was an old woman, resting safely in her chair in the home they’d put her in. She still remembered that bright light following her around Europe, glaring over her holiday for days, an ever-present reminder of the horror she felt, even now, from that day.


The Ivan Project, #26

“Mrs. Park said you liked me.”

She clenched her fists, looking into Cameron’s eyes. Calmly. Somehow, he got the impression that she was glaring at him.

“I don’t.”

He dared to doubt her. “It’s okay if you had a crush on me –”

“I didn’t! I mean… she caught it…”

He raised an eyebrow.

“–after it happened! I always end up being embarrassed of my crushes. Except…”




“No, he…” The eyebrow lifted — “was before you! At my old school. He…”

“Liked you? Maybe –”

“Believe me, I wasn’t his type.”

“How do you know –?”


His expression dropped.

“And then you were the same and… I felt like…”

“A hag?”

“Don’t you dare call me… I’m not some worthless…”

Tears formed. “I closed my heart off way before him. But then he… tore it all down…” A betraying smile. “– without even trying, he got to me… I realised I wasn’t as strong as I thought. But when I found out he… I still liked him… for two years… it hurt when I was alone… when no one I knew was around…”

Her head dropped forward, and he stepped forward to hold her. Even embarrassed, she was grateful.

Tears flowed free.


Where has the Occupy Movement come?

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.