Friday, 26 April 2013

The F Bomb

So, the other day at school I was sitting with a few guy friends and they mentioned something feminism related saying that it was pretty much synonymous to "extremists", and to share my own knowledge with them I replied with something along the lines of "Not all feminists are extremists, some feminists are extremists" and that the new notion given to the word made it seem like the entire concept of feminism is ridiculous and radical. Expectedly, they didn't have that.

Note: Before you indulge in that type of conversation with me or bring it up around me, don't insist on not listening to my perspective and instead just spout back at me what the world has been stuffing into your brain and realize that the "extremist" feminists are referred to as "radical feminists" not just "feminists" and by generalizing an entire movement into one degrading word you are telling the world more about yourself than you are criticizing or ridiculing feminism. And for the record here is the definition of feminism.

feminism |ˈfeməˌnizəm|
the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
See, advocacy of women's rights. That's it. It's some radical notion that women are people too. Holy shit. Really? Wow. I'm not some Feminazi, so sit down, here are some facts, educate yourself.

To be honest, I'm not entirely bothered to get my point across because I'm very well aware that you can never get your point across to everyone and that sometimes, you just have to stop getting so angry over people that refuse to be enlightened or less arrogantly, hear you out. Just breathe and slowly retreat from the zone of stubborn discussion.

Feminism in history is represented by revolutions and riots, so most people are generally confused when you say you're a feminist in the 21st century because you're not running around in rallies to support your cause, but excuse me dear Mr. or Mrs. Lovely Genuinely Confused Citizen, there are various ways to support a cause aside from protests in the streets, especially when the majority of the world has already established that women do have rights (I am aware that that's the logical thinking but surprisingly, many people didn't know that!!!!!!!!!!!111). It's like, girl, what are you complaining about, we open the door for you, isn't that enough? You get to vote or whatever, isn't that enough? No, lovely person, you don't have to open the door for me - although that would be classy and you'll get a lot of bonus points for that, so wahey - it's far more than the gestures everyone yearns for (Not really)

Nowadays, there are various other ways of showing support of a cause, because donating money to charity without actually visiting Haiti and helping out physically does not make you any less of a supporter. It's the same concept.

First of all, blogging. Feminism as a concept and belief is actually quite popular here on the internet and there are many blogs made by and/or targeting the demographic of young women. Blogs like Rookie and The F Bomb actively discuss the rights women deserve and their role in society in addition to how they're portrayed in modern media. A discussion started by Tavi Gevinson in her TED X speech (here) about what makes a strong female character was very interesting to me because it shows just why the image of women in today's men's eyes is so distorted.

Women are never characters that happen to be as complex or independent as most men characters. Instead a single characteristic they possess is emphasized in an attempt to make her seem like the strong character and fool young girls to think that their voices are being heard. Ha ha little girl, we are satisfying your every need by making you look like someone who's strength is her tendency to play up her sexuality, so from now on you have got expectations to live up to missy, don't be so uptight, stop complaining about how the majority of the "attractive, popular and "cool"" female characters have to go out of their way to satisfy everyone's (men's) needs.



Don't get me wrong, I love Grease, but this is one of those movies where it's just so obvious that the main message is "Being proper is your problem. Get hot and everything will be solved!"and it's just the same old plot;

1. Aww poor naïve Sandy. It totally makes sense why he'd be embarrassed to be with her and easily choose other "hotter" girls over her. 

 2. WAHEY Sandy + Make Over = TO-DIE FOR.


On the other hand, if you take a look at most movies where the "less popular" guy is trying to get the "super popular and hot" girl, he does that by being witty, intelligent and having complex emotions. Don't we all love the media!

Conclusively (for now, because I feel like I have a lot to say that falls under many subcategories and maybe I shouldn't cram everything in here!) I just think that feminism is definitely misunderstood in this generation and the standards of who can and cannot be a feminist are very irritating and alienating. That's it. 

Monday, 22 April 2013


For a while, everything felt repetitive.

I'm not quite sure when that was brought to my attention. Wether I've always known that it was all building up towards this. This disinterest in every little thing that once left me fascinated for hours. Or wether it just, sort of…happened.

One day it was just the same quiet whistling of air seeping through my window.

The same dim blue light that my eyes have no problem adjusting to anymore, even in the earliest hours.

The same specks of golden dust that hover above me as I lie on my bed, by the window every afternoon after school.

The same faces I've tried to decipher.

The same voices I used to relish.

The same words that kept my thoughts racing.

For a while. It all seemed to be lost. Gone. Nothing.

But here I am. Still recognizing the value of all those small things I thought have been recklessly rid of all meaning. And that was the moment I realized nothing lost meaning. In fact, I had nothing to hold on to but those little things. I became dependent on their presence. A morning too bright would push me off the norm scale. A voice unfamiliar would make me ache for familiarity. A touch out of place. A word too vague. A room too small.

You're staring at a key that is lying in the middle of a room. Within those 4 walls and door, are your worst nightmares. You scream. You pound at the walls. But there's nothing. It's always nothing. You know there's a possibility that that abandoned key might fit in the lock. You know there's a possibility of escaping that room. Wherever that door may lead, you just know it would be better than living your worst nightmare.

Yet day by day, you sit in the same corner, staring at those four walls, screaming till your voice is hoarse and your heart weak. And every goddamn day you'd think "What if…What if…What if…" despite the fact that it's eating you from the inside out, there's this inexplicable sense of security about it. A sense of safety in that corner.

That is what it's like to try so hard, you go numb. 

My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
- John Green
My story with "The Fault in Our Stars" is quite average but my connection with it goes a lot further than that. I first discovered it through John Green's YouTube videos, being a Nerdfighter for quite a while now, I felt absolutely obliged to read his creations. Not because I wouldnt be considered a "real Nerdfighter" if I didn't do so but because I just couldn't imagine what brilliant words that man could've come up with. And boy, was I right. Because I was in awe after every word. (No exaggeration was genuinely a beautiful experience) but anyways, back to my story, more about my feels later.

I remember carrying my book around school for a day or two without its "dust jacket" so it looked quite mysterious with its fully black cover and as I replied to people's expected questions "Oh what book is that?" and "What is it about?" I noticed a pattern in some of their responses. A bored "Oh" - after I say that it's about a girl who has cancer - that screams "oh my god, I'm not even interested" and it's upsetting but satisfying at the same time.

Upsetting because I can't imagine people are voluntarily missing out on such a wonderful experience and reality check opportunity.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Satisfying because I feel like that experience is my little secret, despite the thousands of people that have read it.. I don't think I could've said it better than the creator of this experience itself; 

“Books so special and rare and yours, that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”

Today I finally decided to sit down and finish it to the very last page. And so I did.

First of all, I'd like to thank John Green for creating a powerful female character. Hazel Grace is your average angst-filled teenage girl but at the same time she's intelligent and philosophical although she appears to be the type that would deny any accusations of that.

Augustus Waters, on the other hand, is the embodiment of philosophical theories. Time doesn't go by without him spewing out a very much appreciated and thoughtful comment that makes you want to put the book down, walk out of your own life and just reconsider every decision you have ever made. (Exaggeration? I think not) Especially;

"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations."

Which basically summarizes my entire existence in an intelligent sentence instead of blaming it on the Alexithymia. I don't think I have ever wanted to meet and get to know a character as much as I have Augustus.

I'd like to congratulate John Green on making me rethink my outlook on life as a whole. This book has made me see that there was no point "denying myself the simple pleasures" of life. It has made me want to read more, to write more. And most importantly, to think more.

So, conclusively, thank you John Green for this beautiful masterpiece.
(I apologize if this is all over the place. I am still helplessly "fangirling" over it)

P.S: I wrote this post for an old blog a while ago and since then I've probably reread this book 20 times.

♫ Crystallized ♫

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Rookie (40 Days)

Okay. I can't believe it. I've got 40 days, 1 hour, 53 minutes, 20 seconds and counting to the summer holiday. Finally.

So, in preparation for the summer I ordered this beauty for 17 dollars and I am just unbelievably excited (I don't understand how I'm still coherent. How is that even possible?) I'm an avid reader of Rookie but since I haven't been on the bandwagon of the whole Tavi Gevinson thing since the start, reading through the book - which is basically a collection of the best articles in addition to other wonderful stuffs - is not a waste! I am going to breakdown when it arrives. That's how much of a fangirl I am.

I compiled a list in my journal of all the movies/tv shows/books I want to spend the summer holiday watching/reading. It's basically a collection of neo-noir films, 80s & 90s tv shows I don't have the time to watch throughout the year and wow tons of books of all kinds.

Speaking of books, I borrowed Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" from the school library today and I am unbelievably excited about starting it. Sylvia Plath as a person has an unbelievably fascinating story (I don't really know wether fascinating or morbid is the right word, but I'll go with fascinating).

Ahhh..I've scanned in some of my lists so I might post them here later because when I make a commitment with the internet, it sort of pressures me to stick to it and that helps! So I am making a commitment to you; possibly non-existent reader.

♫ Breathing in Chemicals ♫

Friday, 19 April 2013

Riot Grrrl Manifesto

BECAUSE us girls crave records and books and fanzines that speak to US that WE feel included in and can understand in our own ways.  
BECAUSE we wanna make it easier for girls to see/hear each other's work so that we can share strategies and criticize-applaud each other.  
BECAUSE we must take over the means of production in order to create our own moanings.  
BECAUSE viewing our work as being connected to our girlfriends-politics-real lives is essential if we are gonna figure out how we are doing impacts, reflects, perpetuates, or DISRUPTS the status quo.  
BECAUSE we recognize fantasies of Instant Macho Gun Revolution as impractical lies meant to keep us simply dreaming instead of becoming our dreams AND THUS seek to create revolution in our own lives every single day by envisioning and creating alternatives to the bullshit christian capitalist way of doing things.  
BECAUSE we don't wanna assimilate to someone else's (boy) standards of what is or isn't.  
BECAUSE we are unwilling to falter under claims that we are reactionary "reverse sexists" AND NOT THE TRUEPUNKROCKSOULCRUSADERS THAT WE KNOW we really are.  
BECAUSE we know that life is much more than physical survival and are patently aware that the punk rock "you can do anything" idea is crucial to the coming angry grrrl rock revolution which seeks to save the psychic and cultural lives of girls and women everywhere, according to their own terms, not ours.  
BECAUSE we are interested in creating non-heirarchical ways of being AND making music, friends, and scenes based on communication + understanding, instead of competition + good/bad categorizations.  
BECAUSE doing/reading/seeing/hearing cool things that validate and challenge us can help us gain the strength and sense of community that we need in order to figure out how bullshit like racism, able-bodieism, ageism, speciesism, classism, thinism, sexism, anti-semitism and heterosexism figures in our own lives.  
BECAUSE we see fostering and supporting girl scenes and girl artists of all kinds as integral to this process.  
BECAUSE we are angry at a society that tells us Girl = Dumb, Girl = Bad, Girl = Weak.  
BECAUSE we are unwilling to let our real and valid anger be diffused and/or turned against us via the internalization of sexism as witnessed in girl/girl jealousism and self defeating girltype behaviors.  
BECAUSE I believe with my wholeheartmindbody that girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can, and will change the world for real.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Brain Wash

I've been wanting to talk about something for so long now, especially after watching episode 6 of My So-Called Life (if you want to watch it here) which talked about what I want to talk about today. And the substitute teacher in that episode makes them think.

Sure, more is revealed about him afterwards, but he was still not afraid to be unlike most teachers and allow the students to think..but more about that later.

But just a few minutes ago, I came across this post on tumblr:

My grade 4 teacher took my desk away because I would draw on it. I was to sit on the floor for months as my punishment. (Deserved or not, to an 8 year old this was really embarrassing.)
My grade 7 teacher went into my desk to go through my folder of (admittedly angsty) art without my permission, then went to my mother. Because of her I was forced to see the school psychiatrist regularly.
My grade 8 teacher told me art could never be a career and that I would end up without any worth, working somewhere trashy for my whole life.
My grade 9 teacher ripped up my entire art folder because I was drawing in class, after bawling in front of everyone she then chased me into the washroom to lecture me while I hid to cry in a stall.
My grade 10 teacher didn’t believe I had painted something by myself, she told me it was plagiarism and gave me zero. When it was in fact 100% mine.
This is just few of many.
Thirteen years have passed and I am ashamed to admit that any of this still affects me. These instances for which I am sure are insignificant to any of you shook my confidence, sucked the passion out of my only escape, and made me feel as if my hobby was wrong, worthless, and should be hidden; and for that I will never forgive them.

And it just fueled everything I wanted to say.

Teachers or any authority figure, to be honest, have the belief that they are the figure of authority and that they deserve and demand respect. I don't disagree. But I don't agree.

Respect is earned not given away for free or demanded. Respect cannot be expected by one that shows no respect towards others. I mean, I feel absurd saying that like it's a brand new fact, but you'd be surprised how many people don't quite realize that.

But, besides respect, simply because you are in an authoritative position does not mean that you are right. I don't care if you're in charge of some über successful business firm or the person with the highest IQ. You may be deemed superior, but alleged superiority does not mean perception, vision, intellect. It is not difficult to be normal. It really isn't. If people weren't chameleons when it came to social interaction with people of different "ranks" in society and didn't use such a patronizing tone and attitude towards people "inferior" to them, we wouldn't have such a medieval problem. (Although, to be honest, I doubt medieval people had this problem, so excuse my comparison medieval people)

I absolutely hate it when teachers feel they are in the position of complete authority and begin to stuff their own personal beliefs and opinions down my throat. We can have a civilized and open minded discussion without coming to an agreement. An agreement is not vital. The world disagrees because people are different and that's just the way it's meant to be. The end. Perhaps I'm not the wrong one here, maybe you have the problem and craving to be right 110% of the time.

You can't be.
And you certainly cannot (and do not have the right, b y t h e w a y) to enforce your opinions.

Your occupation (and if you're actually meant to be a teacher, your passion) is to teach the young minds in your classrooms how to find and form their own opinions. You're expected to tell the less confident ones that their opinions matter and allow the more confident ones to freely express them, or at least, be able to believe in those opinions without constant condemnation and ridicule.

Students spend the majority of their time at school and perhaps the teachers have forgotten just how difficult it was to open yourself up for judgment, first thing every damn day. It gets difficult and to gain their respect, you should give them your understanding and respect for that matter. It should be mutual for things to work out smoothly and believe me, teenagers will easily give you the respect you desire if you are considered understanding or sometimes just plain amusing or straightforward (many teenagers find it comedic and interesting when teachers are sarcastic and just..get it)

So perhaps it's time for everyone to treat it like a battlefield of clashing perspectives and just try to understand each other. Because living in other people's shoes could never be easy but if we try our best to empathize, it will all work out.

That's pretty much it. That's all I wanted to say.

Monday, 15 April 2013

♫ Good Morning, Trouble ♫

So, I found a list of songs that Harry (wow, we're on first name basis. I mean Harry Styles) has tweeted or talked about and I listened to some of them and absolutely loved them, this is the playlist inspired by some of those songs and others that I've just been unbelievably obsessed with lately!

Here's the track list:

1. Good Morning - Ed Drewett 3:24

2. Cough Syrup - Young The Giant 4:11
3. Riot Van - Arctic Monkeys 2:15
4. Submarines - The Lumineers 2:41
5. Trouble - Ray LaMontagne 4:02
6. Tightrope - Walk The Moon 3:29
7. Jenny - Walk The Moon 4:05
8. By Your Hand - Los Campesinos! 4:08
9. Brother - Matt Corby 4:13

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Libraries Make Me Happy

Today was my first day back after spring break, and guess what? I already want to shoot myself in the throat. Damn, school! You never fail to disappoint!

I was quite excited to check out some books I found out about from the lovely world of the inter webs from our school library, but guess what? They didn't have any! I can almost hear the round of applause and the whistles of enjoyment, they're just a little drowned by the screaming of my book-hungry soul. 

Although I did manage to get 2 books; Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo which I borrowed from Jonathan and Ghost Children by Sue Townsend which - to my surprise - I found at our library! Who would've known?

Speaking of all this book stuffs, I've recently fixed up my little bookshelf on my desk and it's got a collection that I'm sort of proud of at the moment, aside from the missing books that I've read yet haven't got around to getting my own copies of. Which is unfortunate because I feel like most books that I do have on display only represent a small portion of my life, in addition to be the portion of my life when I was quite young, so it's quite distant from what my interests have slowly developed to become, yet somehow, still very interlinked? If that makes any sense.

I mean, the books I used to read as a younger elementary student consisted of Jacqueline Wilson, a few Jean Ure books and small attempts at understanding the gibberish of Shakespeare. But gradually, despite my shift of interests, I still find the characteristics I carry from my experiences with certain books. Jean Ure books were always about a chaotic or trouble seeking teenage girl that was either unbelievably sassy or just confused and stubborn therefore refusing anyone to accuse her of being wrong. And now, I'm reading things like The Virgin Suicides, whose main characters are teenage individuals who acquire similar personality traits except, they're more mature.

So I'm hoping that by the time I've collated all my favorite books, I'd have a shelf of transition. A timeline book shelf.

Friday, 12 April 2013

♡Fashion Icon♡ - Marina & the Diamonds



A huge musical and aesthetic inspiration to me is Marina Diamandis (aka Marina & the Diamonds). In addition to her brilliant music style, her fashion sense and visual techniques of her music videos just pique my interest and love for vintage and pin-up/rockabilly overall look.

Her unique attire's usually described as "vintage, cartoon and cheerleader", especially in her music video "Hollywood" where she's ironically depicting the "American Dream" as a complete joke.
Diamandis also mentioned that she sometimes makes her own outfits with clothes she buys from charity shops. Ahh. See this frustrates me because I have all this creative and artistic motivation to make my own clothes out of thrift shop clothes but guess what, I can't! You want to know why? Because there are no thrift shops where I live. None. Nada. 0. Nope. So the only alternative I have are overpriced clothes that you can't just wing it and redecorate!

I first discovered my love for pin-up themes when I watched P!nk's "Raise Your Glass" video, where she sported the traditional Rosie the Riveter costume and I remembered the various things I've read about the persona and the era of Rosie, so wahey, I did my research and I loved it!

Some of my favorite pinup dresses from Tiger Milly

For some reason I love anchors and the traditional sailor colors. Wow. 
I am strange.

Back to Marina. She was usually seen wearing clothes by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Laura Mackness, Beyond Retro, Motel Rocks and Jervoise Jackets. I especially lovelovelove Jervoise! Their items look simple yet gorgeous! Their color spectrum pretty much summarizes the items of clothing I have in my own closet! It upsets me that they dont have a branch here, but hey, I can enjoy from afar!

Winter '13/'14 Collection = All the stars!

The grunge feel to all their outfits, the morbid stories I get in my head of where this girl has been and where she's heading makes wearing the overall attire a lot more..real? 

I'd gladly and quite instinctively write a story about each of those different outfits because in my head this style and type of clothing relates to everything I love about pop culture, mainly vintage pop culture of the 50s-90s.

The aesthetics convey stories and that's what makes them different and special to me. 

(I'm not insane)

Ahh I have so much to share! Maybe I'll make a part 2. Wahey!

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Tonight I watched “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” for the second time and this time I decided to watch it with an open mind and a journal at my hands; noting down all the little details that made the experience complete.

The movie’s basically about a 9 year old, Oskar Schell, an “amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist” who embarked on a unique journey in New York City in hopes to find the lock that matches a key he found in a vase left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001.

Personally, even without a purpose, I found his journey remarkably idiosyncratic…in a very good way. On the envelope of the key was printed the name “Black” and to begin his search he mapped the homes of all the Blacks in NYC and calculated just how long it would take him to visit them all. Throughout the journey he runs into people who have all lost someone or something. People that are just as damaged as he is, if not more. And I think that, alone, is a healing process. What I especially love is how he takes a souvenir and a picture of every person he meets, even the ones that refused to speak to him and screamed at him to leave. He documented everything and something about that is so riveting, perhaps because of my underlying fear of the oblivion of memories that I hadn’t acknowledged prior to typing up that sentence. 

Before I sink into my emotions, I’ll go back to the film and save that little chat for later. As I mentioned earlier, Oskar refers to himself as a pacifist which I find largely foreshadowing the now expected reaction he would have towards the twin towers’ collapse. Other than the instinctual grief of losing a father that you were unbelievably close to, a huge build up of anger and frustration caused by confusion. His drive comes from his craving for logical reasoning. He was going to go out and find what the key fits to help him make sense of things that don’t even make sense like his father “being killed in the building by people that didn’t even know him at all”

Another thing I absolutely love about the movie is how a 9 year old is depicted so differently in comparison to most movies about young children his age. Perhaps it’s there to emphasize his own intellectual level as being superior to his peers, but some viewers and critics theorize that Oskar’s perhaps autistic or has ADD. But because I find whatever his medical status is irrelevant, I wont talk about that. In the end Jonathan Safran Fœr created a 9 year old that was distinct and novel and I believe that that – to me – made the film important to me on a personal level.

Also, Oskar’s scrapbook continues to motivate me to document everything because something about looking through time periods and people you’ve explored is so compelling to me.

I loved it.


I’ve been sat here for the past hour typing and erasing entire blog posts to the point of frustration. I didn’t know why I was struggling so much when what made writing so fascinating to me was how intuitive it was. So I have finally decided on what to do; I am going to attempt to gather all my thoughts under a subheading in an attempt to target all the topics that have been bouncing about inside my head.
I’m at a stage in my life where I’m confused. And I’m confused as to what’s confusing me and why. So in an attempt to figure that out, I will write about the things that have been especially on my mind the past few days.

I. Nostalgia
nostalgia |näˈstaljə, nə-|A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations: I was overcome with acute nostalgia for my days in college.

Lately I’ve been consumed into the past, not my own personal past, but just the world’s past. I find myself infatuated by the image of teenagers – or just people in general – in the 60s – 90s. Perhaps I find their culture intriguing because I haven’t experienced it, but it was just different. There was a lot going on. Outspoken people weren’t scarce, or at least not as scarce as they are now. I guess that’s the main reason I’m amazed and mesmerized by the beauty of that rebellious time period.
Therefore, instead of being caught up in the past, I have found my way to adapt my desires and cravings for a different spectrum of pop culture and that is through my blog. I’ve started this in hopes of getting to know people that feel the same way as I do. People that are intrigued by the honest, the ominous, the pariahs.

II. The Pariahs
A few days ago, it was the 19th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death and being an avid and perceptive listener of Nirvana it struck me quite hard to realize just how long it’s been since he took his life away. Being reminded of how powerful and empowering he was to me. Kurt; whose rejection of the mainstream made him even more popular within it. He appealed to outsiders everywhere and he appealed to me.

On the night of his 19th anniversary, I searched the internet for his journals, which were published by his wife Courtney Love (who, infact, was also an icon of power in my eyes, in addition to the vulnerability she possessed mainly by being attracted to such a chaotic industry fueled by inequality towards women.) I finally found the journals and I could feel a spark of exhilaration form in the pit of my stomach.

It was probably the wrong decision to go on a journal hunt at 2 in the morning, because that consequently left me up till the morning, my eyes burning from staring at the screen for hours, but my brain surging with compassion , understanding and desire to have known the writer on a personal basis. He had so much to say and I found myself just rereading some phrases over and over again because I felt like he was reading my mind or writing down my soul’s content.

I aim to truly find myself by the end of this journey. I acknowledge that this post has been all over the place but this has been occupying me for weeks and I just couldn’t wrap my head around my strange cravings to explore the unknown or the rejected.

I feel if I go on any longer, I will begin to ramble and rambling never gets anyone far. So hopefully I will attempt to explain my feelings and thoughts better through the course of this adventure.

*Exhales* I'm so deep, yo.

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