littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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The Symptom of Individuality

The lobotomy was created in the 30s and later gained popularity for patients displaying things like anxiety, among other things. This was the part that hit me hard; I’ve suffered from anxiety from a young age, and imagining being giving a lobotomy for such a minor problem in comparison to its solution is horrifying. If I had gotten one before I turned 14 (I sincerely hope they didn’t give lobotomies to children), I’d have never become a writer, because it would’ve cut me off from all kinds of creativity or even identity. Lobotomised victims even lost interest in their own lives, not surprising since they were also cut off from being itself.

Lobotomies were used for depressed patients, but it’s little wonder that the treatment didn’t make that problem worse, since both depressed and lobotomised people perceive no point in functioning. It’s likely that the times the treatment was popular in reflected attitudes of behaviour; instead of embracing individuality, it seems as though people prized good behaviour and civility. Anybody who didn’t conform had to be fixed.

This is a terrible attitude to have. I personally find it horrific that people would go to such extremes to control others. It seems to glorify ignorance (seen but not heard) and punish rather than treat those who struggle to fit into society. I personally prefer the idea of shaking the world up and promoting open-mindedness.

That’s why I’m a writer. I want people to understand people, which is the exact opposite of the effect the lobotomy had.

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The Words I Can’t Say

#1493 – Asexual Awareness Week. Today I’ve been reading up on my old favourites on wordpress, ithinkincomics and onlyfragments, when I found this.

My first impressions, the first thing I wanted to say is this:

Oh honey, you’re not ugly and unacceptable. You’re beautiful. There’s no reason to feel ashamed of yourself. And I know no words I can say, or write, will make up for that feeling if you really feel it in your chest…

I’m not asexual, or anything like that. But I feel you. Or I think I do. There was perhaps a point when I felt like that, when everyone seemed interested in that and I didn’t. I was only a teenager then, but now I know that wasn’t true. I was just repressing my interests, and I didn’t even know I was doing it. I did it for years, and when I finally woke up to myself… I felt a bit like that too.

But I don’t anymore. Even if I never say it aloud, how I feel, what I want, I am far more at ease than I was when it started. I’m at ease with myself, even if I’m not with other people to the extent that I tell no one these things. But I do feel them. I’m far more the adult now, who knows herself. At 25, you’d think I would be.

So I hope anyone who reads this who is unsure knows it can get better, whatever your personal struggles are.


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The Second World War Two

The two women were talking with such familiarity that it was hard to believe they were speaking another language.

“Do you know what they’re saying,” Matt asked, nodding his head towards the two gossiping Indians.

“I don’t speak Indian, I’m afraid. But I do speak Japanese.”

“You speak Jap?” he said, as though he’d been dragged out of time from the second world war. “Me and my brother have one. If I bring you along, can you translate some of the things he’s been saying?”

“Sure. Yeah, sure, maybe. I mean, I don’t really know; I only speak basic Japanese, so I’d only really be able to understand so much of what he’s saying…”

“Well okay,” he said. “I guess that’s close enough. Come with me.”

I followed him, and met up with his brother. “This girl says she speaks Jap. She might be able to translate our perps words.”

Sam looked at her. “Okay, but don’t get freaked out by what you see in there. It’s all for a higher purpose…”

When the boys walked me in, the room was dank, dripping, black and darkest grey, rotting. The Japanese man was tied to a chair in the middle with rope, his face bleeding and eyes piercing. Under him, there was a huge pentagram in what I considered to be his blood.

Shocked, I moved forward towards him emphatically. “Doshita no?” What happened?

Bitterly, he spat out a response. All I heard was, “Anata no tomodachi wa…” before a string of words punctuated by anger spewed from his mouth.

“What did he say?” asked Matt.

I turned back to him. “I don’t know,” I admitted. “All I caught was, ‘your friends’…”

“Yeah, right, okay…”

I turned back to the man. “Anata wa… nani ga hoshii desu ka?” What do you want?

He spoke again. He repeated ‘your friends’, but one other word stuck out particularly. “Shinu?” I cried.

“Shinu!” he repeated adamantly.

“What’d he say?”

“He wants you dead,” I repeated, still staring at shock at him before I turned to Matt.

“That’s it, he’s dead –”

I spread my hands out, protecting the Japanese man. This was not World War Two, and this man was not evil.

“Get out of the way, Emily,” said Matt.

“No,” I said. “You brought me in here to translate his words, and that’s what I plan to do. You really wanna go ahead and kill him just because he wants you dead? Look at him! You’ve obviously tied him up and tortured him, what do you expect from him? You wanted information, right?”

“She’s right,” said Sam.

“I don’t give a damn!” cried Matt. “She can’t tell us anything anyway, so barely speaks it! Get out of the way, Emily. I promise you he deserves it!”

“She was able to tell us he wants us dead,” said Sam. “Maybe she still has some use.”

Matt looked between Emily and Sam resentfully. “Fine,” he said, “I’ll give it one more shot. But that’s it, alright?”

“Got it,” said Sam.


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You’re All Different: A look at fiction and society

Recently I was thinking about a documentary I once saw. It was about Merlin, that wizard of myth originally created by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Towards the end of that documentary, it talked about JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. It said that the two famous authors used to meet in a pub and talk about Merlin; and that characters in both their writings had a character based on him, the one Aslan, and the other Sauron.

I have since wondered whether the documentary got it wrong, and they were really talking about God. I know at least one of them was a Christian man, and by assumption, so is the other. But that thought didn’t sit well with me, so for a while, I pretended it really was Merlin.

I realise, though, that the reason Merlin sits better with me is because I know he isn’t real, and I’m also assuming other people do too. After all, I watched the documentary; I know he isn’t real. But the fact is, other people won’t have seen it. If those people suddenly started saying that Merlin really was the one who created Stonehenge — Geoffrey’s most famous tale, and one he invented to give Merlin some credibility — it would piss me off. Because I know full well (from another documentary) that Stonehenge was actually created in the late Stone Age by early man.

Another popular story about Stonehenge was that aliens helped. That one pisses me off even more; what does it say about how man sees himself? Do we think we’re capable of nothing? Stonehenge was a great human achievement, and far from the last. And we did it all by ourselves.

But I digress: what I’m really trying to say is that I don’t think people believe in Merlin, but they do still believe in God. And that worries me, because stories have power, especially stories people think are true but aren’t. I write stories myself, but I would never try to pass them off as the truth. And yet, at the very least, the writers of the bible have done just that, in order to persuade — manipulate — people to act and think a certain way. They use fear of hell at the very least to inform this.

What pisses me off about God is that it gives people an excuse not to think for themselves. Like those stories of Merlin or aliens, it gives people something to alleviate either responsibility or pressure, and makes them complacent. Perhaps they want to relax, and maybe that’s understandable, but it pushes down our potential, it takes away from us what we could do, it takes away from us self-belief and puts it into something else, so we become little more than sheep or cattle, following a grand master. And I’m not okay with that.

I’ll admit once I thought I was worthless, when I was a kid I even imagined a God and thus believed it. And then when I was a teenager, I continued to struggle. But the point is, I wasn’t worthless. And the fact that we have to make up ridiculous stories just to cope with ourselves or our lives is insulting to me.

Monty Python’s The Life of Brian put it best:

Brian: You’re all individuals!

Crowd: Yes, we are all individuals.

Brian: You’re all different!

Crowd: Yes, we are all different.

Crowd Member 1: I’m not.

Crowd Member 2: Ssh!

Brian: You’ve got to work it out for yourselves! Otherwise–

Brian’s mother ushers him from the window.

Crowd: Ooh, that wasn’t a minute.

Brian’s Mother: Oh, yes it was!

Crowd: Oh, no it wasn’t!

Brian’s Mother: Now, stop that! And go away!


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Preparing for Uni: Japanese

I have been watching the University website for updates on what to read and how to prepare for my classes. At the moment, I’ve been particularly looking at Japanese. The University has a Facebook page for students of Japan and Japanese, and sometimes people post links to cultural things.

Here’s one.

These are particularly interesting. The last one particular grabbed me, because it’s a phrase I’ve heard before on Facebook, if in a different context: Hate Speech.

In this case, it’s a buzzword that started when anti-Korean protests in a Korean section of Tokyo happened sometime last year. Either way, it’s a particularly important phrase for a number of things, and as I’ve seen on Facebook, important to know the difference between it and Free Speech.

Here’s another one.

Here’s another Facebook link I found. I already do some of these, but there is probably a wider range of music I could listen to, and making notes on things is something I didn’t think of.

There are also tips for those living in Japan. These are things I would probably have thought of anyway, as I often eavesdrop on people when I’m bored anyway, and the same goes for reading signs. In fact, once when I still lived in the Sydney suburbs, when I used to catch the train into Parramatta, there were a few Japanese people who lived even closer to the bus stop, who came out and started to talk in Japanese. They even took the same bus!

The problem was, the only word I actually caught was ”かぞく” (kazoku), which means family. But I knew it was definitely Japanese, because one of the girls had a luggage tag that said so.

Another time on the bus, I met a girl who was studying Japanese too, because she had the same textbook as me.


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Friday Fictioneers – Time Church

church_and_tree-claire-fuller

 

He was mobbed by the sweltering crowd as he weaved his way through the crowd. He didn’t know what time his portable time machine had taken him to; but he had to be fast. The Time Police were capable of tracking his time activity, and it was only a matter of time before they caught up to him.

Going at this rate, they’d catch him any moment now. He decided to escape the crowd and duck into the pristine church.

Silence. He took the nearest door out of the room and sprinted up the stairs.

At the top he could see everything.


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Dull On My Feet – Daily Prompt

Dull – Daily Prompt

Perhaps I should explain this. I went with my mum to the local Uni recently; I looking into going next year to study a Double Major of Japanese and Creative Writing. This scene was when we were in line to talk to Admissions.

My feet are sore; strained, burning heels. I rock back and forth, fidgeting. How much longer?

“Do you need to go to the toilet?” mom asks.

“No, I don’t,” I say. I don’t say I’m fine, because I’m bored, and my feet ache.

How much longer? When are these people done? How much bloody longer, already?

Finally, someone is free to ask. “Can I help you?” she asks.

Before I can respond, mum says, “We’re just waiting.”

Oh, that is so cryptic. I hope the woman understands…

“Okay,” the woman says, and passes on.

Dammit, mum, you had one job! I should’ve just talked.

“Can you help us?” mum calls, and the woman comes back.

Relief. Answers, finally.