What is a charitable act?

So in winning an award at the VMA’s Miley Cyrus had an ex-homeless man accept her award. Publicity stunt or genuine act of charity? Who knows, but i don’t believe that any charitable act can be done one hundred percent selflessly. In all honesty i don’t think there is such a thing as a selfless person, emotionally everybody gains something, whether a person is willing to admit it or not.

This got me in trouble before, i don’t dispute that charitable acts are a good thing to do, quite the opposite. They’re a much needed force in a world full of horror, and ignorance. However, i do think that we all – deep down – get that good feeling when we donate, because we’re being a good person. Once again i’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it is a signal of the old saying “charity starts at home”; it starts with our feeling better. I do it myself, i say “there’s my good deed for the day”, my acknowledgement clarifies my argument. Feel free to disagree, i’m not expecting you to agree.

We’ve seen a number of charitable acts in the past few weeks, concerning the ALS ice bucket challenge. With my nomination came the decision to politely decline. I whole heartedly do not agree with testing on animals, having always been surrounded by dogs i don’t understand how one living creature can inflict such pain on another; in any form. Yet the charity for the Ice bucket challenge do, and although i understand it’s all for the greater good in the end; i just can’t comprehend it. And the catch in all of this, is as somebody pointed out to me yesterday charities are never going to completely divulge the methods they use to get results, which means we are all left in the dark. Some people won’t think about it, and that’s fair enough. They’re exercising their right to express their own opinion; however i am torn. Is it right to give money to charities which inflict pain on other living creatures to save another? Is this where we’re supposed to put Bentham & Mill’s utilitarianism into place? It just leaves one question; what if it is wrong and we’re actively helping in it?

“If music be the food of life, play on.”

Music and literature will forever be intertwined; both in my mind, and in reality. If it wasn’t for Bloc Party’s ‘Ion Square’, where they used E.E Cummings ‘I Carry Your Heart’, i would never have looked into Cummings poetry. Coincidentally the only poetry i can genuinely say i’ve enjoyed reading, apart from the odd Hardy poem, but who doesn’t love Hardy?

In the same sense different albums remind me of different novels, for reasons i just don’t know. I’ll be so ridiculously disappointed if the film adaptation of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ doesn’t include a Mumford and Sons song… And not only because the lead singers wife is playing Bathsheba. I genuinely think they’d fit. In the same way that Florence and the Machine’s ‘Never Let me Go’ reminds me of ‘Great Expectations’., there’s just something in those tracks which conjure up certain images.

But all this just reminds me of a Cummings poem, he writes:

“since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you”

I’m fully aware that this is meant in a different context, but i think it fits in beautifully with my argument. To begin with i sat here trying to understand why i find solace in music, and books… As some would consider it infinitely boring. But Cummings really does just put it right; who cares, just take it as gospel that it’s how it’s meant to be.

Employ me please..

“Enjoy your summer, it’ll be the last you ever have like this.” As comforting as those words are, it’s hard to enjoy your summer when for the past eighteen years you’ve been in some form of education system. Knowing that come September you’ll be gliding back into the warm embrace of education. However, when uni ends, or else you were one of the ultra-proactive students who began applying for grad schemes in October, you are probably left in the same situation as myself; unemployed and bored.

I remember seeing my brother in my situation, and telling him to stop moaning and to go out. Yet, it becomes more, and more difficult when a) your friends start to find work, and b) you have no money. You find yourself, sat at home alone scouring job websites, being told as i was last week “we’re only taking on journalism students”… Oh right okay, i’m guessing you were never in my position then? It’s just heart warming to see the want to help young adults, who were once in the same position as you.

One thing i am happy about however, is watching my friends one by one gain employment, and houses in some cases. I know that sounds sarcastic, but it honestly isn’t! It gives me hope, that i will get there, i won’t be the unemployed dog lady my entire life.

But seriously, someone offer me a job… I can’t take the current lack of activity in my life.

Here we go again…

Okay, so having sex outside a busy night club, isn’t the best idea. Nor is performing oral sex on twenty-four men for a ‘holiday’ be it a drink, or an actual holiday. I think the majority of people would agree, however are we not missing an obvious point? All involved are adults, whilst we may not agree with it, it’s their decision.

To add to that, the only people being shamed are the women. I’m not about to go into a feminist rant; there’s enough of those on Twitter. However, i do think that we should look towards the people who have happily uploaded the images onto the internet, friends of the participants, or just passers by, why has it become such a norm to do so?

Performing sexual acts in a public place, is never going to be a good idea, nor is it the classiest decision, on EITHER the men, or the women involved. However, at the same time those who recorded the imagery, posted the pictures, and happily wrote news articles blasting just the women involved, are in equally bad taste. Should we really condemn people for making an ill informed, embarrassing decision? I mean we all know a couple who have enjoyed some alone time in nature; and we don’t condemn them for their decision. We begin to blast the individuals decision when social media is involved, when their ill-informed decision becomes viral. The society we live in displays both the terrible aspects or humanity, and the good. Maybe we should start to display less of peoples bad decisions on social media, and instead display some beautiful moments in less seedy situations.

Excuses, excuses!

Like thousands of other individuals i find watching The Only Way is Essex, a guilty pleasure. The usual melodrama, however seems to be overridden by the constant “they’re family” as an excuse to meddle in the lives of their siblings. It is as though sharing blood with another person allows you the right to make their decisions for them. It’s ridiculous, when your sibling becomes an adult, they have the right to exercise their own free will.

Don’t misunderstand what i’m writing, there is, and can never be any greater bond than that of family. However, i don’t believe that families have the right to make their brothers, or sisters decisions for them. You’re there to offer them support, love them and help them. Family isn’t there to make all our wrong decisions right, a person needs to make bad decisions; date the wrong person, get an atrocious hair cut because in the end, the bad decisions build our characters. They make us more rounded human beings, as opposed to one dimensional beings with a lack of stories.

The cast of TOWIE just need to step back, and let their families make wrong decisions. The wrong will eventually become right, and they will have gained knowledge along the way. Knowledge that can only be acquired through your own mistakes. So they should really refrain from using the excuse as “they’re family” as an excuse, to meddle.

“Well i was a student”

Presumably a phrase which is continually repeated by thousands of recent graduates, i can count myself into that. I’m finding that after three years of answering “So what do you do?” With the obvious response of “oh i’m a student”, it’s suddenly difficult to respond. I was a student, now i’m an unemployed graduate; and an unemployed student seems more socially acceptable than an unemployed graduate.

Since walking out that final exam, about books which i’d rather forget i’ve found it remarkably easy to use the excuse of “i don’t know what degree class i have yet” as an excuse to avoid applying for any job which seems “grown up”. However, i do know it’s classification now, and i’m also aware that the jobs i’m applying for seem to scream “YOU’RE AN ADULT”, which is quite simply terrifying.

I’m guessing i’m not alone? Right?! Life after uni is difficult, you have to leave all the new friends you made, in my case the majority up North. Search for jobs; which as previously mentioned even with a degree you feel under qualified for. The former being governed by the latter, as without a job there’s no way of affording the train fare to see the people who, somewhat unfortunately, have come to know pretty much everything about you. We’re stuck in an emotional bubble, each of us bobbing along trying to navigate the future. As exciting as the prospect of having a regular income is, it’s still scary dealing with life after uni but at least, as we all move forward we can take the memories we made with us, and with it the inevitable people skills we’ve all gained. From how to write a passive aggressive email, to carefully understanding the best way to enquire who’s been using your razors… All of which will hopefully come in handy in the work place. If all else fails, there’s always further study to further avoid the inevitability of becoming working graduates.

‘On Beauty’ is rather beautiful.

After weeks of discussions in seminar classrooms, i noticed Zadie Smith’s name come up ALOT. So i thought i’d give her a read, scrawling through her books on my Kindle, ‘On Beauty’ caught my eye, about love, and all that other stereotypical stuff that girls flock to. Only it isn’t the stereotypical love story that we all know so well.

It’s about real love, the love i could never understand at twenty-one, the love between two people who have been married for thirty years. The love that’s been broken, and mended so many times, that people begin to question it. It’s beautiful. The way that it doesn’t conform to all the typical plot lines of a love story. Some would probably argue that it isn’t a love story at all; but it is. It just looks at love from a different angle, an angle we all look past because at twenty-one you don’t want to think about how fat you might get, or how your future family might irritate you.

It’s this which strikes me, it’s just simple, there’s no vampires declaring their undying love, no walks along the beach, and kissing in the rain. It leaves out all of that, and cuts through it all to the apparent tedium and repetition of marriage. When you grow tired of your husbands irritating habits, and you wish your wife was still as young and beautiful as when you first fell in love.

In my eyes it all comes back to one thing, that you don’t always get what you want, and things don’t always last. You can try, and try but sometimes it’s best to admit defeat… And realise you’re not the same person you were before. The simplicity of the novel asking you to look beyond the so overdone, and overused plot lines of romantic novels makes it brilliant. It’s beauty lies in its truth.

Seriously, stop with the quotes…

It has certainly been a while since i wrote something on here. I have fallen prey to writers block, and by this i mean nothing interesting is happening worth discussing. However, luckily for you, something hit me whilst reading an article on Buzzfeed. An author was commenting on how, she liked reading snippets of poems, but on further inspection of the full poem, she finds them boring. I agree, i think i’ve only ever read two or three poems, which i have actually enjoyed. The rest just bore me, they rarely make sense, and the punctuation always throws me. Blasphemy coming from a, now ex, literature student. But the truth all the same.

There’s something about taking a quote out of its context, it means so much more. You can add it in to fit your own situation. Make it sound how you want it to sound, sometimes other people say things better than you can. We’ve all been in a situation, where after an argument, in reinterpreting the events to someone, they say what you should have said, and you kick yourself. It’s the same with quotes, you can be reading, watching a film, or listening to music, and you hear something which resonates with your current mood. It perfectly explains everything, yet when you continue to read/watch/listen, the situation is different to yours.

I suppose it’s like everything, things come around at the wrong time, in the wrong situation, but then something better comes around and you wonder why you ever cared in the beginning. Waitings not all bad, waiting lets you see what you want, or what you need. What i need now is a job, as i’m finding days filled with nothing to do, are simply not all they’re cracked out to be.

Don’t steal my crazy.

There’s always been the theory that the people around us, have in some way influenced who we are and what we like. I don’t dispute it wholly, but i can see a few flaws. For example i still hate football, even after twenty-one years of my brother insisting it be on ALL THE TIME.

I realised this, in my stressed, slightly angry mood. With the memory of a recent conversation with a friend of ten years. We realised that we have different tastes in pretty much everything. For example, i like Game of Thrones and she doesn’t watch Game of Thrones… I like beards and she hates them. Despite this we rub along quite nicely. I’ve never tried to change her, and her me, well not recently anyway… There were a few moments in year seven. So with that in mind, how is it that the people around us influence us? Because after ten years, i still dislike R ‘n’ B and she still dislikes my eclectic collection of music.

I agree, that the people around us have a way of stopping us from being complete dicks, well or else you happen to stay in the company of dick heads. I just don’t think it’s fair to say that they change us, because i don’t think anybody ever does, and if they do i think you’d agree that it comes from somewhere other than the company we keep. I’d prefer to think of it as them bringing the crazy out in us, as opposed to them crafting you into a perfect cut-up of someone else (Too much Burroughs). I mean, it’s got to be in there somewhere, they just help tease it out.

King Joffery what?!

To be honest i’m not quite sure, which was the worst part about last night’s dream. The stressy, oh my god i’m going to miss my conference paper, or the fact Game of Thrones Joffery, with his purple face a’twitching spat at me. I mean, dreams make little sense at the best of times, but i really didn’t need to wake up at 2am confused to the high heavens. I appreciate a vivid dream, i quite like waking up and remembering them, always strange and never making sense. But some are so fundamentally ridiculous that it makes you wonder how your mind concocts them. For example, this particular dream alternated between, some friends old house, and my front room, buying hair scrunchies. With the added terror of being set upon, by one of fictions most notorious villains. It is not needed brain, and i am somewhat apprehensive to find out if he is successful in seeing me off in tonights dream, it’s like a bad ‘To be continued’,
on a low budget drama, where the camera shakes, and the sets look like GCSE art projects. Welcome to the world of the subconscious; where little makes sense, and you’re left in a whirl wind of confusion… Bit like Philosophy really.

And in case you were wondering, i didn’t miss my conference paper… It wasn’t even today. Thanks brain.