Are there actually people out there who believe that troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are fighting for our freedom? Wot plz
‘Reality TV’. Now at first I would never ever ever have classed The Only Way Is Essex as reality TV because having watched about 5 minutes of one episode it seemed like the most ridiculous and blatantly fake programme I have ever had the misfortune of watching. Who are these people? Why have they all of a sudden decided that their lives are interesting enough that people would want to watch them? However, for some reason people actually do seem to like this kind of thing. Throughout the short time that I spent watching it I was constantly reminded by narrators and ITV presenters that it was in fact real and that anything could happen so I should definitely keep watching. This is so absurd to me, how could it possibly be real?
So after typing the title into Google and doing what little research about the show that I could actually stomach (deciding that Wikipedia would be informative enough), I found out two things. The first was that these programmes are classed as reality TV. The second was that The Only Way Is Essex is classed by many people as England’s version of The Hills. Now, I hated The Hills too (surprising, I know) but I have actually seen maybe an episode or two of it and remember quite clearly before it started the voice over woman would say that some scenes had been created for my ‘entertainment’ (although I wouldn’t class it as entertainment), meaning that it was in fact scripted and so therefore not really a reality TV show at all. Is it just me, or is this is exactly what ‘Towie’ seems to be, except possibly worse because it’s filled with complete morons who think they have problems because their boyfriend was texting someone else or they had an argument with their friend which somehow wasn’t resolved by meeting up at the nail salon (!)? I despair.
Obviously I know that it’s a matter of opinion and that just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean everyone else takes these things so seriously that they stay up half the night writing about them, but I really cannot get my head round what people actually enjoy about this programme, or any others similar to it. I mean, these peoples lives aren’t even that interesting! So if anyone wants to enlighten me, or confirm that it is actually real, it would be appreciated.
Debates are fun, but only with people educated well enough to actually put forward a good argument. The worst, most frustrating (but at times entertaining) people to argue with are racists and fascists in general, which I think is mainly because they don’t actually have a proper argument to go with their warped theories. Also most of the racists I’ve come across tend to be illiterate and unable to speak anything remotely close to standard English, which is pretty ironic considering one of their most used “arguments” is that people of different nationalities/races/religions don’t speak the language.
One of the funniest yet most annoying arguments that I’ve been involved in was on Facebook, when a group I’d “liked” posted a status saying something about how “Muslims should step into the 21st century and integrate properly with society”. Aside from this being a completely ridiculous statement, the people agreeing with it didn’t even have anything to back up their opinions with. I couldn’t resist commenting, and pointed out that every single Muslim I know is fully integrated with society (although I wouldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to integrate with a bunch of moronic racists), and at this I was hounded by comments stating that because they don’t eat pork, Muslims are not fully integrated with society.
I spent about ten minutes looking at the screen of my laptop in disbelief. Are there actually people in the world who think like this? It’s quite scary knowing that there are people around who believe that choosing not eating pork is a justified reason to hurl abuse at another person. I think I’m beginning to lose faith in humanity.
I was pretty speechless at this and eventually I asked whether me being a vegetarian, and therefore not eating pork, meant that I too was not fully integrated in society. Unsurprisingly this is fine, it’s solely the decision not to eat pork that the racists disagree with. Some of them didn’t even bother answering, and reverted to just repeatedly posting things like “oink”, “bacon” and “sausage”, so at that point I decided it was fairly obvious who had won that little argument.
So yes, a highly frustrating but entertaining and also slightly terrifying insight into the minds of some of the people we (unfortunately) have to share a planet with.
I’ve been wondering whether or not to actually bother blogging about Joseph Kony because I’m not sure whether this ridiculous “Invisible Children” lark really deserves any more of my time, but I’m still annoyed so I’m going to rant some more.
Yesterday evening I came across the video and although my first thoughts were that it was just another cheesy American scheme to make more money than actually help people, admittedly I did shed a tear. I’d heard about Joseph Kony before, and already knew some things about what was going on. I’m not denying that the situation in Uganda is terrible and in no way do I think we shouldn’t help out, but this project is really getting on my nerves.
Late last night, this morning and throughout the day my Facebook newsfeed has been buzzing with the name “Kony” and how we should all please take time to watch the video and raise awareness of what is happening. Fair enough. However, it seems that most of the people who are posting this video don’t have a clue what is going on, they don’t care and are using it as an excuse to jump on the bandwagon; the newest “look at me, I’m such a martyr” craze to hit Facebook.
In my opinion exposing this man to thousands of teenagers isn’t going to have much of an affect other than tricking people into thinking they’re actually doing something worthwhile, because while America holds on to it’s 1st World status, with money and armed forces and weapons of mass destruction, they don’t actually seem to be doing an awful lot to help out countries less fortunate. Instead, they’ve built up all these amazing, money making, social networking websites and in order to prove how useful they are, hey I know! Why don’t we make a short film to be shared across these networks?! Wow, saving the world one youtube video at a time! Truly inspirational.
I wonder what the people of Uganda, if they are actually aware of all these people who suddenly care about them enough to watch a video, think about how all the major countries in the world who have the power to help them are going about it. If I lived in Uganda I’d be pretty pissed off to be honest. But, as the video explains, the American government won’t interfere in anything that’s not putting their national or financial security at risk. What a joke, considering their ever so helpful war against “terror” (and personally I think Joseph Kony sounds pretty terrifying, no?). But hey, I guess they have their reasons.
Then of course we read articles claiming that only around 31% of money raised by this charity actually goes to the people who need it, with the majority of the money funding the creation of the videos. Well I didn’t see that coming. This seems to be the case with a lot of so called “charities” these days. Incredibly, hardly any of the people I know preaching the importance of this video and the charity behind it have even researched the organisation or even the cause. Am I the only one who thinks this is ridiculous?
I half expected the video to end with a reminder to stay tuned for next weeks edition, soon everyone will own the DVD box set covering every country in the world with conflict like this. Stay tuned, kids! You too can change the world, just share this video and buy our merchandise…
Update: Please see this post for ideas on where to donate to help people in Northern Uganda.
Update 2: Please see my more recent post for clarification and expansion on issues raised here.
The video below, Kony 2012, has been doing the rounds on Facebook, G+ and Twitter today in an attempt to bring to the world's attention the plight of…
Just found myself reading an article about a woman who’d decided three years ago to become a vegetarian and since I myself am a vegetarian I thought it would be an interesting read. Sadly I soon realised it was actually more strange ideas about vegetarians. The opening paragraph began with something along the lines of “It’s hard being a vegetarian in a world designed for meat eaters.” Well yes, I understand why it could be difficult occasionally although personally I rarely have any problem at all finding something to eat when at a restaurant. However, a world designed for meat eaters? Okay, a few hundred years ago it may have been a world designed for meat eaters. What a ridiculous idea. I can survive perfectly healthily without eating meat or fish, and for this reason it is my belief that eating meat is just senseless killing, not for a person’s own well being, as it was centuries ago, but rather for one’s own appetite.
I don’t usually preach my views on eating meat to other people mainly because I don’t appreciate people doing the same to me and because arguing with meat eaters is generally completely pointless (as well as the fact I eat dairy products and believe the dairy industry to be just as bad, if not worse than the meat industry), but today I’m going to. Throughout most of high school, whenever anyone heard I was a vegetarian their first reaction would always be “What do you eat?!” to which I usually always responded with what I hope was an “are you an idiot?” look. Are people genuinely this stupid, or is it just because being brought up to eat a slab of meat with every meal somewhat reduces the variety of non animal products that people eat?
Another thing that really gets on my nerves is when people who eat meat go on about how absolutely revolting or heart breaking it is that people eat rabbits, dogs, cats, horses, frogs, snails, snakes, and whatever other animals are eaten across the world. To me, killing and eating a dog is exactly the same as killing and eating a cow, or a lamb, or a chicken. What is the difference? Is it purely because dogs are kept as pets? Personally I wouldn’t eat a dog and I definitely wouldn’t be able to kill one but I wouldn’t be able to kill a cow either, and if I couldn’t kill a cow then I wouldn’t eat one.
Last year I had an argument with my Citizenship teacher when he gave a speech to our class about how whaling is “inhumane” and “disgraceful”. All I could think was how this man, who regularly joked about how much he had enjoyed his chicken tikka masala the previous evening, was trying to tell me that killing a whale for it’s meat by spearing it from a boat is inhumane when electrocuting or stunning an animal and then slitting it’s throat is perfectly fine. My grades in his lesson quickly deteriorated after this little speech of his.
I know perfectly well that a person has the right to eat meat just as I have the right not to, I just wish people would educate themselves a bit more before they decide to digest an animal purely because it tastes good, they haven’t had to kill it themselves, it was on special offer and it wasn’t something cute and fluffy.
Today the main focus of the local news seemed to be the quite miraculous heat wave we in the UK were lucky enough to experience. Apparently today in Huddersfield temperatures reached around 11 degrees – practically tropical! As you can imagine I was out sunning myself for as long as possible, making the most of what was probably the most sunshine we’ve had this year! Although it only reinforced my longing to leave this country as soon as possible and head somewhere far warmer. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good things about living in the UK, and there are loads of beautiful places around to visit. But I don’t see why people would live here their whole lives when there are so many new and exciting places waiting to be explored. Sounds so cheesy, but I can’t wait to get out of here and see new places. I’m bored of the same old routine usually carried out in subzero temperatures. Someday I will spend Christmas on the beach eating ice cream instead of Christmas pudding.
One thing I absolutely cannot stand is rude people, and the place I seem to come across a large amount of grumpy, annoyed/annoying or just down right rude people is on the bus or in the bus station. On average everyday I have to take four buses travelling to college and back, and so unfortunately I usually encounter these people on a daily basis. Today was one of those days. The buses to and from college are ridiculously busy, and today was no exception. A friend and I were standing near the front of the bus home as there was no space towards the back or any seats, but we are always aware of people getting past us to get on or off, and so we were trying our best not to take up too much space. The bus stopped, letting on a middle aged man who looked like he hadn’t smiled in at least a year or two and he awkwardly stood in front of us, waiting to get past. My friend moved as close as she could to the side of the bus and the man just stood and looked at her as if she had just insulted him and said “What, do you expect me to climb over you?!” before pushing past us quite aggressively, muttering about us under his breath.
First of all, there was clearly enough space for him to walk past and secondly if anyone spoke to me like that I would be more likely to try to take up as much space as humanly possible rather than move out of their way, why do anything for someone so completely unnecessarily rude? It’s true what they say, manners don’t cost a thing, and sometimes when you’re actually polite to people you might just find they treat you with the same respect, just a little tip for anyone who was unsure.
Why do I find that writing for this blog comes quite naturally to me, but when it comes to my English Language coursework that was due in last Friday, I can’t seem to write a thing?
Why, even though I’m perfectly aware that time to finish all the homework I should have started last weekend is slowly running out, do I sit staring blankly at Facebook for hours on end doing absolutely nothing even vaguely productive?
Why, despite how motivated I am to finish college with good results, do I continue to leave all my work to the last possible moment?
I love sitting in a car, or a train, or even on a bus, and just staring aimlessly out of the window at the blurry images of people going about their everyday lives, or watching as shops, houses, bustling cities or peaceful countryside flash by. I find that this is the best place for thinking, thinking about any number of things. Yesterday while we were driving home my grandparents got lost in the middle of nowhere, and so I was able to lose myself in my own little dream world for a little longer while the world whizzed by on the other side of the car window. I was thinking about the future; gap years, university, generally what I want to do with my life. And that’s when I finally came to terms with the fact that the only thing I genuinely want to do is to write. So when I got home I turned on my laptop, took a deep breath and started typing. Once I’d started it was hard to stop, and even after I finally closed my laptop I still had ideas buzzing around in my head, keeping me up.
I’ve always had this great fear of people actually reading my writing, which sounds ridiculous, why waste your time writing if you don’t want anyone to read it? I hear you ask. I don’t know, I’ve always had this fear of not being good enough. But it’s time to be brave. This morning I woke up to even more views on my blog, and although it put a huge smile on my face I must admit that it scared the hell out of me. Immediately I regretted uploading anything. In my head all I could think was,it’s not good enough, they’re all going to read it and think I’m stupid. But now I’ve calmed down. Even though my most read article is one about a pond snail named Stevie, I’ve been given so many lovely compliments about my writing and overall I think that being brave is definitely the way forward!