I have always tried to express open views so that topics seen as controversial can hopefully be considered acceptable in the future. This is not to cause controversy, but rather to acknowledge reality. Not to become too uptight, but i often wonder why controversial issues are sometimes considered impolite or inappropriate. Knowing these topics do tilt towards argument, and therefore are offensive to some people, I see how argumentative responses often aren't desired. However, I cannot help but see a possible relationship between the removal of controversial issues and supression. In honesty I believe humanity and acceptance are achievable through risking negative opinion, in order for freedom of speech (and tolerance of this) to prevail. On another note, it is understandable that people may wish to portray opinions without argument and to be free from topics which develop into this - and therefore prohibiting content which proves to be controversial eases strain and stress on a short term basis. i do not morally agree that freedom of speech should ever be restricted, but it is understandable to prefer topics which are less debatable, or which do not risk bringing discomfort
All in all, i think the answers come in stating ones own beliefs whenever a desire to do so is felt. i know there are some wonderful viewpoints, and interesting thoughts which people should be able to portray at will. While i realise controversial topics increase the likelihood of insults or unreasonable aggression, i think it's worth taking the risk for freedom of speech, and understanding that while this is done, an aggressive response may well be recieved, but we should learn to accept annother person's right to be offended (and in turn to become offensive towards ourselves) I think a line can be morally drawn where freedom of speech transcends to behavior which is intended to harm a person rather than express a viewpoint. In showing tolerance in this, freedom of speech and humanity can prevail. I believe they are neccessary in this society.
I know you You were too short You had bad skin You couldn’t talk to them very well Words didn’t seem to work They lied when they came out of your mouth You tried so hard to understand the others You wanted to be part of what was happening You saw them having fun Seemed like such a mystery Almost magic
You thought that there was something wrong with you You would look in the mirror trying to find the flaw You thought that you were ugly And that everybody was looking at you So you learned to be invisible To look down To avoid conversation
The hours, days, weekends The weekend nights Alone Where were you, The basement, the attic, your room? Working some job? Just to have something to do? Just to have a place to put yourself? Just to have a way to get away from them Staying away from the ones That made you feel so strange And ill at ease inside yourself
Did you ever get invited to one of their parties You sat & wondered if you would go or not For hours you imagined what might transpire If they would laugh at you If you would know what to do If you would have the right things on If they would notice that you came from a different planet Did you get all brave in your thoughts Like you were going to be able to go in there Deal with it & have a great time? Did you think that you might be the “life of the party?” That all these people were going to talk to you And you would find out that you were wrong And that you had a lot of friends And you weren’t so strange after all? Did you end up going? Did they mess with you? Did they single you out? Did you find out that you got invited Because they thought you were so weird? I think I know you
You spent a lot of time full of hate A hate that was as pure as sunshine A hate that saw for miles A hate that kept you up at night A hate the filled your every waking moment A hate that carried you for a long time Yes, I think I know you
You couldn’t figure out what they saw in the way they lived Home was not home Your room was home A corner was home Anywhere they weren’t That was home I know you
You’re sensitive You hide it You fear getting stepped on one more time It seems that when you show a part of yourself That is the least bit vulnerable Someone takes advantage of you One of them steps on you They mistake kindness for weakness But you know the difference You’ve been the brunt of their weakness for years Strength is something you know a bit about You had to be strong to keep yourself alive You know yourself very well now You don’t trust people You know them too well You try to find a special person Someone you can be with Someone you can touch Someone you can talk to Someone you won’t feel so strange around You found that they don’t really exist You feel closer to people on movie screens Yea, I think I know you
You spend a lot of time daydreaming People have made comment to that effect Telling you that you’re self involved & self centered But they don’t know, do they About the long night shifts alone About the years of keeping yourself company All the nights you wrapped your arms around yourself So you could imagine someone holding you The hours of indecision Self doubt The intense depression The blinding hate The rage that made you stagger The devastation of rejection Well, maybe they do know But if they do They sure do a good job of hiding it
It astounds you how they can be so smooth How they seem to pass thru life As if life itself was some divine gift It infuriates you to watch yourself With your apparent skill in finding every way possible To screw it up For you life is a long trip Terrifying & wonderful Birds sing to you at night The rain & the sun The changing seasons are true friends Solitude is a hard won ally Faithful & patient Yes I think I know you
A friend's argument is that compassion for those in third world countries is futile. While this person supports some beliefs which empathize with minority groups, she critisizes most non-white and foreign exchange students. it seems odd to me to be against discrimination in certain cases then propel a similar predjudice towards another.
The statement, "it is pointless to care for anyone beside those you directly know. It's not our position to help anyone. They were born there so it's their fault and problem if they don't like their living conditions." shocked me. I feel the point of caring is so that those who are downtrodden can envision hope and perhaps believe that cruelty is not deserved. it would seem more effective (easier?) to only care for those a person knows, but generally speaking - i think apathy could be largely abolished if messages and changes were encouraged on an international level (ie the level of general globalised media.) It can be harder sometimes to choose discomfort over apathy, when faced with a need for change.
Some of the problems in third world countries include serious poverty, poor living conditions and sanitation, lack of jobs, food, water and education. A growing issue is the debt some third world countries owe to richer countries. Due to tumultuous conditions, many countries have borrowed money in order to improve living conditions, and have only become further in-debt. Unfortunately most richer countries participate in the great "power play" of global economy, so while some countries attempt to stock the latest top brands in new products, others struggle to gain enough food and water to survive. If debts were cancelled it would mean the start to improving living conditions for everyone. It is generally a part, or even responsibility of humanity to care. One quote is, "what was yesterdays ripple can become tomorrows tidal wave." To me this quote examplifies the effectiveness of caring, even on smaller details.
Sometimes world problems are thought to be the fault of those who suffer from them, and the victims of cruelty are considered the cause. i do not understand how a person can possibly be responsible for the conditions they are born into, nor why a person should be forced to restrict themselves if an environment causes harm. Many people who portray wrongs, or are proof of the existence of wrongness (victims of racism, predjudice, injustice, apathy) are often labelled the "problem." i think this is sometimes driven by a fear of the connection between a person's apathy or dominance, and the oppression another experiences.
at the end of our discussion I was asked, "why do you talk of injustice if you care so much? Why aren't you going ahead to change something?" i feel awareness is what leads to ideas, and ideas are potentially a cause for change. without realisation, changes can go unnoticed. solution comes from change. change comes from discovery.
If you raise awareness through creating an alternate peaceful vision rather than re-iterating a violent response, a stronger impact can be made. Focusing on the negative aspects of one issue only increases the power of that issue in comparison. Rather than working on "destruction" of what is considered injust, focus must be placed on awareness and understanding. It saddens me greatly to see violence justified as any response, including the response easiest to emphasise with - uprise against violence or injustice. Our own ethics are destroyed if we allow ourselves to break them for those who's ethics differ to our own. Even the most horrible violators of human rights have rationale and morality. It is the inability to emphasise with a person of diverse views which leads to dehumanisation and the justification of harm. The actions of a murderer and those of a pacifist are all connected in the sense human possibility is infinite, and our natures are transient. The mistakes of humanity are wounds each and every one of us carries - the murderer is no less human than the crying child who may later hold that gun. I am as much myself as I am a "terrorist," "soldier," "politican," "murderer," "member of the G8," "an anti-globalisation activist," "pacifist." Violence cannot be justified toward anyone. Look to understanding. No-one is less human than anyone else.
Such good intentions end up with consequences of the worst sort. I was recalling how obliged I was to smile. I owed it to him not to be the kind of girl to shy away. I had seen him perform during one swift moment of my life. But still I lowered my eyes to the floor, my mouth folded so tightly in the corners like a hospital bed sheet. Can you imagine?
When I returned from my lesson, I hid myself in a bathroom to write a letter which mirrored my tears. Oh, the anger. Isn't it beautiful? Anger like a log split by fire. I didn't realise it, but my nerves gave me the apparent ability to appear disinterested and cold. His fingers wrapped his fist like a snake about to devour some poor creature. I heard the anger on his breath thunder enough to terrify me. I hoped he might notice how nerves wreck my playing, but he said to me, "You've hardly practised this at all have you?" I thought it odd, but I did not argue. Already my fingers shook enough for me to fill myself with disappointment. I had the manner of a wordless girl, as I always did; no matter how hard I tried to portray some other image.
"Give me the pencil. I'll write it on if you can't be bothered."
"Do you think you can TALK to me next lesson? There's no point me teaching you if you won't practice. Goodbye."
The line which hurt me most of all was, "I can see you're shy. There's a difference between shyness and rudeness. You're just rude." I was so filled with this worthless feeling that even after he spoke to me, I couldn't help glancing to the floor again and again. I can't say I'd felt worthy to answer his questions.
"Last Sunday you said music was a part of the soul. There's no soul in you now."
Two bottles of wine made for magnificent conversation that day. But fear... fear itself strikes me as a kind of painful drainer to the soul. And it's burrying me.
my bare hands, and my feet on the wooden floor were so cold i could not stand, could no longer cling to anything. i fell forwards. fearing the steps, i bent my hands around the post, intwined my fingers together. i appeared to be dreaming, and in time i regained full consciousness, opening my eyes to look at her whose mouth and lips were caked with dryness. her skin had been scorched and her fingernails were uncut. she kept pausing and staring into my eyes, as though willing me to speak before her. and always looming somewhere at the cliff of my mind was the photographic image of her skin, as if her wild, running body had inhabited my very spirit. the image was eternally out of reach, just slightly faded, madenning me in her refusal to answer my desires. was there a purpose in my lust? or did the swirling thoughts of night exist to torment me, to occupy the spaces of imagination, to, in a discontent way, comfort me, give some meaning to life?
i'm very socially anxious. all bodies around me seem to move in slow motion. i find myself almost completely still. i have a face, two arms, two legs, in a corner - this constant awareness of where i am standing is as present as my heart (which sounds rather like thunder) or my breathing (which is like lying by an ocean.) i think i outcasted myself, but in saying so.. i never believed i had a choice in the matter. i kept my head over paper so i would not feel my face flush upon trying to speak. i began to write of imaginary characters to make up for my lack of social interaction. full eight hour days of being unsettled, of either trying so hard it brought me to tears, or sitting in the background pretending i did not wish to talk. it's in human nature to say we never want our hearts most true desire out of fear it shall not come about. it takes bravery to speak of dreams.
you know, i don't really blame my alcoholic father, but in some sense i do not have the courage to answer him. my words lie in the corner of my mind, small scrappy words forcing their way into the maze of my throat between the rough and rusty uncertainty that tells me to keep silent. there is really nothing to say. except that i have let this bite on my skin grow, from not bringing words of anger to light. he always slept as though he was dead, a doll-like figure, snoring, a dribble of wine across his cheek.
it is as if i now know where i am. when i move, i do so with purpose and certainty. the stillness and silence was only an episode of my past. i sip this soft white tequila before work. my bubble of warm comfort which enables me to speak with a power years of therapy could not bring. i can meet the beautiful eyes of my customers and serve them with assurance.
..the rain, a lull of faraway music, a symphony between the ribbons of dark sheets embellishing the land.. there's a conversation between the earth, growls which immitate thunder. my eyes have become peekholes, i gaze into a universe filled with indigo, and a darkness i cannot comprehend.. water splashes incoherently to the dance of a three year olds rhyme..
i am burried between blood and bone... faces swoosh, a magic carpet before a mirror until the reflection transforms, a vessel within an encasement of stars.. i have tried to emulate the shadows under your eyes, shook and quaked in the aurora of their lullaby, all i misunderstood... you were, after all, a stone, a gleaming emerald stone, in the case of my heart... my symphony of rhythms, of autumn wonder, froze into a statue..
i feel the corners of my mouth turning with hope and lust...a kind of hysteria rising inside me while these unstoppable useless reminders of my old life appear in the light and sleep like cold things from another place, another world... those words from that faraway dream casts me into deep reverie. who am i? a quiet rosemary fear that chants and sings and whispers.. the stillness and silence is only a memory in that strange weather at the end of the world. i know that tonight.. or tomorrow almost certainly there will again rise mounds of surface skin, oceans of moving, touching, burning skin, warm with a tingling edge.. only a dream.. there's this new university where i am commencing a course in music/education. they have a funny little college where i will be staying. meals provided, caring hands reaching out to strangers (for a price..) there are parts of freedom i love and detest equally..silence has been my friend for eight hour days or more. i feel as though sometimes im missing the point....
i was lying at the end of the bed. i've found the sprinkles of smoke fascinate me as they form spirals. the boards on the roof are a maze in which a chandelier fills the centre. i think i am a traveller seeking the warmth, the light the roof beams connect to as though confirming the chandeliers beauty. beauty... beauty is such an ugly word, yes i know.. (and so subjective..) each corner drinks from the celestial glow, but the four pillars...heavy...dull, disconnected..are a decoration alone where the sense of light is... far less prominent? yes, well.. i've found i exist on a part of those pillars. i help support the walls. with closed eyes i see myself rising from the pillar until i too... may bask beneath that light.
i wish i knew how to sacrifice.. (not in every sense of the word) i would like to exhume some sort of force. i would like to explain, to be honest and recieve honesty. words, i have no talent with spoken word..silly silent girl, oh, why don't you throw something at her? yes, you know, she won't say anything.. charming, isn't it? old memories.. oh don't you just love the association between a person not speaking, and one unable to hear?
there is always such a battle between what i want and what is right..
perhaps i represent all the wrecklessness of youth... whim based on sense, fact drawn from perception...... i feel so distracted today.
you tell me.. men, men are bastards... and women, women are psychotic.. what a funny thing to say..
the wind sung that symphony which always precedes a storm..
family are connected like seaweed that lines the shores. the same sea water, weather, cloud, or turning wind or moment of rain always comes at the same time. dark waters flows between each of us, but i do believe in willpower. we are connected like seaweed, but it's always possible to sight the murky waves with a spot of light where the sun still laces the sea..
a world could be built on a dream, just like a sandcastle, but the waves could snatch and trample that idea back into the sand as quickly as it had come.
silence is a blank page - as infinite of possibility as a music score which lacks notes. silence is the glove of the artist, it appeals to the imagination, dreamer and idealist. it is the creation before creation begins. Portraying everything and nothing. like the curves of a chellow, low, moist, fragrant, silence dances in the darkness of the mind. It is the perpetuation of an eternal moment, a diver hovering, a paused rhythm, an enclosure between sunrise and sunset which remains as much a part of the present as the absense of it. silence is everything. silence is nothing.
..ive always found i've been more the person someone must make friends with, as opposed to the person who makes friends. i think i find self-preservation rather difficult because i defined myself alone (not metaphorically, in the bliss of solitude).. the ability to retain all elements of the self, in soul, in emotion and in being is a skill i still have to develop.