Don’t Forget The Males

“I am a strong, independent woman,” she would tell me. “Be strong, independent women,” my English teachers would constantly say. A strong, independent woman. Society promotes, applauds, and praises such an image. Don’t get me wrong—I praise it too. Yet, along the line, as a male, I feel somewhat lost—I have never heard any encouraging statement regarding males ever. Although women’s rights are major stepping stones towards gender equality, gender equality is two-way—you cannot leave men out of the equation, something society is doing often.

The main reason behind why men’s equality isn’t focused upon often is the false notion that males already have it good. We males already have the resources. We males are already naturally supported by the work environment. We males can readily adapt because the status quo favors us. We males don’t have to worry as much because things will go our way.

False. False. False. False.

The last time I remembered, my high school classroom had perhaps more girls than guys. They were learning the same things as I was and had the same teachers as I had. I don’t remember receiving special VIP treatment just because I was a male. If anything, women have more resources, because there are always those pro-feminism organizations that offer scholarships and programs to females. Where are those pro-masculinity groups? Oh wait, society calls them sexist because it’s male-only, so they can’t exist. I guess somehow female-only is not sexist at all.

Trends are as well showing how more and more women are receiving college diplomas than men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are now 33% more likely than men to earn college degrees. As a result, there has been a correlation where women are gaining jobs and men are losing them. Two years since the recession, according to USA Today, men lost 74% of jobs while women only lost 26% of jobs. This is great news for women, and as a person who loves gender equality, I support this. However, once again, men don’t have it as good as society thinks.

Of course, women are behind in many areas, such as domestic abuse. Even in those cases, though, women get much coverage from the media, and society is actively improving the situation for women, as seen with the many anti-domestic abuse bills passed in the government. Yet, what happened to those cases where men are abused? Society often dismisses it as impossible or ridiculous, yet it is not impossible. There are as many as 10,000 cases in the United Kingdom, for instance, where men suffer the abuse. Yet, no coverage. For a man to be abused is simply not “manly” enough and deserves no special attention.

That leads into the most false notion– that we are adaptable because the status quo favors us. If anything, the male stereotype is perhaps the most rigid stereotype of all—the status quo lashes against men if they ever step outside of the stereotype. For instance, one would think that Brent Kroeger, a person who aspired to be a stay-at-home dad, is adaptable—he’s a male transitioning into female roles. One would think that a pro-gender equality society would support this—no. He has to avoid mentioning about it everyday, because of the nasty comments he receives and because “I don’t want other men to look at me like less of a man,” said Kroeger. Same goes with male nurses or male preschool teachers. While society is relentlessly promoting females to transition into male roles such as scientists and lawyers, there is a disturbing lack, if not criticism, of males moving into female roles. That is not gender equality—far from it.

Personally, I feel this rigidness. As a male, I am expected to be macho, buff, and courageous. Sometimes, though, I do get cowardly, such as when I shrink back from confessing to a girl I like. What do my male friends do? Do they support me? No. They relentlessly tease me, criticizing my lack of courage, that I wasn’t masculine enough. As University of Illinois sociology professor Barbara Risman said, “Boys make fun of other boys if they step just a little outside [the stereotype].” If girls are even called cute when they are shy, why can’t I be shy then too? As stupid as this sounds, my cowardliness or “feminine” side should be tolerated if this were a true gender-equality society.

I know many girls who dress up like boys, and there is a sense of pride in it. A boy wearing a tutu? He must be mentally flawed. It’s perfectly fine if a girl runs around crazy and dirty with a ball in her hand. A boy playing with dolls and knitting? He must be mentally flawed.

If anything, society is flawed when it comes to gender equality. Although there are still setbacks for women, there are perhaps even more setbacks for men when it comes to breaking traditional gender roles. True gender equality will require society to be equally supportive of males transitioning into female roles as it is now with females into male roles. We are far from that, but if society takes action now, it is never too late.


Israel’s Disgrace

Instead of blogging something new, I decided to share this Times article by Joe Klein, which perfectly describes my exact feelings on today’s nation of Israel.

A few years ago, I drove from Jerusalem to the West Bank, to the city of Bethlehem, to have dinner with TIME’s Palestinian stringer, the late Jamil Hamad. He was a gentle and sophisticated man, soft-spoken, and levelheaded when it came to politics. After dinner, I drove back to Jerusalem and had to pass through the bleak, forbidding security wall. An Israeli soldier asked for my papers; I gave her my passport. “You’re American!” she said, not very officially. “I love America. Where are you from?” New York, I said. “Wow,” she said, with a big smile. And then she turned serious. “What were you doing in there,” she asked, nodding toward the Palestinian side, “with those animals?”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

And that, of course, is why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “won” the Israeli election. That is how he won the election even though there was a strong economic case against him, and people were tired of his ways, and about 200 former Israeli military and intelligence leaders publicly opposed his dangerously bellicose foreign policy. He won because he ran as a bigot. This is a sad reality: a great many Jews have come to regard Arabs as the rest of the world traditionally regarded Jews. They have had cause. There have been wars, indiscriminate rockets and brutal terrorist attacks. There has been overpowering anti-Jewish bigotry on the Arab side, plus loathsome genocidal statements from the Iranians and others. But there has been a tragic sense of superiority and destiny on the Israeli side as well.

This has been true from the start. Read Ari Shavit’s brilliant conundrum of a book, My Promised Land, and you will get chapter and verse about the massacres perpetrated by Jews in 1948 to secure their homeland. It may be argued that the massacres were necessary, that Israel could not have been created without them, but they were massacres nonetheless. Women and children were murdered. It was the sort of behavior that is only possible when an enemy has been dehumanized. That history haunted Netanyahu’s rhetoric in the days before the election, when he scared Jews into voting for him because, he said, the Arabs were coming to polls in buses, in droves, fueled by foreign money.

It should be noted that those Arabs represent about 20% of the population of Israel. About 160,000 of them are Christian, and some of them are descendants of the first followers of Jesus. Almost all of them speak Hebrew. Every last one is a citizen—and it has been part of Israel’s democratic conceit that they are equal citizens. The public ratification of Netanyahu’s bigotry put the lie to that.

Another conceit has been that the Israeli populace favors a two-state solution. That may still be true, but the surge of voters to the Likud party in the days after Netanyahu denied Palestinian statehood sends the message that a critical mass of Israeli Jews supports the idea of Greater Israel, including Judea and Samaria on the West Bank. This puts Israeli democracy in peril. The alternative to a two-state solution is a one-state solution. That state can only be Jewish, in the long run, if West Bank Arabs are denied the right to vote.

There will be many—in the Muslim world, in Europe—who will say that the results are no surprise, that Israel has become a harsh, bigoted tyrant state. It has certainly acted that way at times, but usually with excellent provocation. It is an appalling irony that the Israeli vote brought joy to American neoconservatives and European anti-Semites alike.

When I was a little boy, my grandmother would sing me to sleep with the Israeli national anthem. It still brings tears to my eyes. My near annual visits to Israel have always been memorable. About a decade ago, I was at a welcoming ceremony for new immigrants—­thousands of them, Russians and Iranians and Ethiopians. And I thought, if Ethiopians and Russians could join that way, why not, eventually, Semites and Semites, Jews and Arabs?

That was the dream—that somehow Jews and Arabs could make it work, could eventually, together, create vibrant societies that would transcend bigotry and exist side by side. The dream was that the unifying force of common humanity and ethnicity would, for once, trump religious exceptionalism. It was always a long shot. It seems impossible now. For the sake of his own future, Benjamin Netanyahu has made dreadful Jewish history: he is the man who made anti-Arab bigotry an overt factor in Israeli political life. This is beyond tragic. It is shameful and embarrassing.

Detrimental Effects of College Rankings

As a high school student, I know firsthand the pervasive presence of college in a student’s life. From volunteering to grades to hobbies, college is always in mind.

However, not any college works. Students aim for the nation’s best colleges, and to find the best, they turn to ranking systems—specifically the U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings. Apparently, it doesn’t just function as a ranking system; it can dramatically influence the behavior of colleges that strive to top the rankings to garner more applicants. The results? Detrimental.

For instance, a key aspect U.S. News analyzes is the amount of money a college spends, whether on classes, teachers, or facilities. Less money spent therefore correlates to a lower ranking, encouraging colleges to spend recklessly. Indeed, benefits have arisen—many universities now contain top-notch research centers and professors. Yet, this reckless spending has not only added to the inefficiency of the college financial system but also to the already staggering tuition rate.

Another aspect is selectivity. The more selective a college is, such as requiring higher SAT scores and GPAs, the higher its ranking. What does this mean? Colleges will, once again, lavish money on ads to entice more applicants. A larger pool of applicants, however, does not result in a larger number of admissions; thus, the acceptance rate is lowered. Perhaps more drastic is due to higher standards, colleges that once catered to pools of lower standings will all now rush for the same elite 2400 SAT score students. Good for the elite, but there will be fewer options for students who aren’t, putting them at a severe disadvantage.

The aforementioned problems trace back to U.S. News’s college rankings, composed by literally, magazine editors. This calls into question: are these rankings even accurate? In many reported cases, colleges easily cheated the system, like in 2011 when employees at New York’s Iona College lied about test scores and other statistics.

Perhaps the better question is, is a ranking system necessary? Harvard University consistently outranks the University of Chicago, but is Harvard really indeed better? Surely, Harvard is superior to community colleges, but even comparing those two is inaccurate; for a student struggling with high school academics, Harvard would in fact be the worst choice. In essence, it’s all subjective.

Ultimately, the easiest way to fix the ranking’s overwhelming influence on colleges lies not in colleges but in applicants and their families. Colleges want to climb the ranks only because applicants follow the rankings. Unfortunately, many families have the incorrect notion that the only good college is a highly-ranked college. Society must rectify this notion, possibly through public campaigns or counselors; this will all allow for a more efficient system.

My Theory of Photography

My first point to make: I am no professional photographer. I am simply an amateur– a passionate amateur however. Before you continue reading, please check out my photography page (<–click).

Now, looking through my page, I’m gonna be straight up honest– a good amount of those photos aren’t “wow” or amazing. A good amount I might even say aren’t good quality. However, what I want you to notice is not the pictures themselves, but the captions. And so keeping this in your mind, I will now dive in to my view of photography.

Society has a big misconception of art. Artworks that look good or unique are praised, and those that aren’t are immediately bashed. A regular person visiting an art museum would most likely look at just the pretty pictures and statues, and say “Wow that looks great” then move on.

Duchamp and his “Fountain”

The artist that defied this (and my favorite artist of all time) was Marcel Duchamp. He embodied the concept of anti-art– if you look at this artwork “Fountain,” it is quite literally  an urinal turned upside down. When first shown, people were outraged– how in the world could this be art? A disgusting piece of urinal cannot be art! The art exhibition show that presented it was looted, and sadly, to this day, there is no surviving piece of Fountain– it was so scandalous it was destroyed.

Going back to Fountain, however, is it art or not? I asked my friends– and a majority of them said no. True, common sense tells us it can’t possibly be art. But that’s because we are living by the societal definition of art, a definition that needs to be fixed.

I argue the Fountain is art because it makes you think. Duchamp’s art was never meant to be visually appealing; in fact, he was fighting against the standard societal norm that good art has to be visually appealing. Rather, I believe that art should be mainly emotionally and intellectually appealing rather than visually appealing. Just looking at Fountain makes you think– what is art really? Is this art or not?

Same with any other art like photography. I remember going on a Facebook group called “Photographers on Facebook,” and as I scrolled through the pictures, it was the same thing over and over again– close-ups of animals and flowers, shots of lightning, pictures of sunsets, etc. The only real meaning behind these pictures? Just because it’s “wow” or good-looking. After a few days on the group, I left because my eyes were being destroyed just looking at these generic pictures over and over again. In other words, good picture quality doesn’t set you apart, and good picture quality alone is in the end just a documentary of the subject– not an art.

I’d call this art– taking a picture of a blank white wall. Probably nothing too good to look at, but I’d find it beautiful– no, not the photograph, but the concept itself is beautiful. A blank white wall. For some, it may convey a feeling of emptiness, lack of activity. For others, it could simply be just a white wall. For me, the very idea that it is a white wall, with no subject, no portrait, no nothing, but whiteness– that excites me. The very feeling that it rebels against the conventional standards of photography. Amazing.

My photo “Second Time Around”

The point is, people in general take photography too literally– they focus only on the beauty of the photo, not the concept itself. And that’s the point of my photography page– when I post a picture of a guy walking, I don’t really mean, hey, look at that guy walking. I mean, look at the way he walks. Look at the way he slumps his shoulder. Look at that shadow following him– it’s more than a shadow. Look at what he’s carrying– it’s more than just a trash bag. Then look at the intense sadness that radiates from all those details combined.

If I were to just post a photo, nobody would get it. That’s why I back it up with captions– I want to show people that viewing photos is more than just what’s being seen, but that it can be deeper. And that is the kind of photography I aim at promoting.

Caged In The School System

I remember in English class a few weeks ago, my teacher was going over the concept of the American Dream. So to start off, she asked my class: what is your American dream? The first student she picked on answered, “Uh… probably go to a good college.” Second student she picked on said, “Go to a good college, and then get a good job.” Third student—good college and good job. Fourth student—good college and good job. Fifth student—good college and good job. And so on. The whole time, I was just thinking, wow, much diversity.

Not that there’s anything wrong with pursuing a good college and career. After all, it does provide a good shot at a secure financial future. Yet, what troubles me is how, out of all the possibilities, everybody had the exact same dream, almost as if they all had the same parents. Or perhaps a better explanation, they were all under the same system—this system of school, grades, college, and education and its essentiality in life that has been propagandized to us students.

So was I. Back before high school, I wasn’t just under this system, I was into it. Give me a history textbook, and I would read the whole thing like it was a story, even the sections that the teacher skipped. Give me some math, and I would spend hours trying to figure out a method different from the textbook’s. I was even reading high school books like Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations in elementary school, although I didn’t know it that time. Overall, my parents had really stressed education in my life, and I embraced it willingly.

Only thing is, I did it for the grades. I only did it for college as my parents told me to do, because I believed that my future was dependent on college. Not just any college, but it had to be one of those top-notch colleges or I would become homeless. Ridiculous ideas like these permeated my mind, and as a result, my attitude towards a subject was highly reliant on grades. If I got the A+, I “loved” the subject. If not, not so happy about it.

By the end of middle school, however, I had found my passion for writing and the arts, which was only reinforced throughout high school. It was a time when I thoroughly enjoyed a subject, regardless of letter grade. I was also getting tired of just doing tests and homework; to me, it began to seem more and more retarded, because who takes tests in real life? By then, my thought process was much more matured, and I realized not all people who went to community colleges were failures, and that colleges don’t really determine your life. That success wasn’t really about high salary and good name colleges, but more about personality, sympathy, and work.

Most importantly, I realized that all that time I was a caged bird that didn’t even know it was caged. I had thought my cage was my haven, and I had docilely accepted the hand that fed me. But at that moment I refused my parent’s insistence to pursue a science path just because it paid more than a writing career, at that moment when I decided to screw worrying about college, it was the first time I looked out my cage—out of the society, the environment, my
parents, school which had carved for me a path to follow, which told me this was the way I had to do it. I looked out my cage, and I was freed.

Unfortunately, the majority of students is caged, and will likely refuse to admit they live in a cage. Hopefully, there are those who can be freed in the long run. Ultimately, the basic message is not to promote disobedience of parents or society or whatnot; they are definitely only doing what they think is best for you. Rather, the message is to change that “they think” into “you think,” to not let your vision be limited by anybody else, to make sure that your dream is definitely your dream, and to not be the same boring guy whose main goal in life is to go to a good college just because society demands so. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

This article was meant to target my school audience, which is a very academically orientated school. However, I believe this can apply to any high-performing school environment and to the many students around the world whose entire life is revolved around college and education.

Why I Chase Suffering

Recently, ISIS has beheaded two Japanese journalists. Not too long ago last year, they also beheaded two American journalists. Were they soldiers? No. All they were was just normal people who wanted to travel to less fortunate places to help out. Some may call them brave, and I guess and in a sense yes they are. I’ve been mulling about it, though, ever since I was talking about this to a friend.

There was a picture that I stumbled upon, and here it is:

Photos like this stun me. (This won the Pulitzer Prize by the way.) They attract me. The deepness, the pain, the shame– all of it just really connects this to me. If I were to pursue anything in photography, I’ d like to take pictures like these. To be honest, in the bubbled society I live in, there’s really nothing too interesting to take pictures of. I mean, I could take pictures of streets or birds or flowers and make them WOW quality, but in the end, I don’t really connect that much. It’s just a picture. And the humans at my place are too well off to take anything too interesting. But I feel places of suffering are something more attractive, something much more connective.

When I showed this to my friend, he asked me, why do you want to put yourself in harm’s way? And he pointed to the journalists in ISIS and said I could end up just like them. True, true, I’ve always wanted to live in Honduras, and I know I’d probably be killed too. But my response would be– why wouldn’t I? I don’t want to grow up like the typical person, get a job, go home, and sleep everyday. That’s boring. I don’t want to be the ordinary person who just lives in the comforts of his home. I want to step out of this society and do something.

You see, I believe everybody’s life is like a story. Most people decide to write their lives normally– college, jobs, family. But I want my story to be an epic– I want to experience experiences not normally experienced. I want to be the protagonist who goes through many tribulations but passes them. I’d rather have a short dramatic life than a long, boring life.

And it’s not just that. It’s also because, there is something beautiful about suffering. If our whole world was an Utopian society where everybody was happy and well-off, well bullshit. That’s stupid. I guess for most people it’d  be nice, but then what becomes the point of life then? Just to live happily and that’s it? There’s no purpose.

You see, when one suffers, something human comes out. Your weak places are exposed but your strong parts are revealed as well. You learn something too– you learn what it means to be human. It’s hard to explain, but maybe I’ll touch upon this later for another post.

Or maybe I’m just addicted to suffering. Ever since my incident, the only thing that really comforts me is suffering. There’s something that feels out of place when I see people laugh and have fun at my place– it’s a good feeling, but I feel something off. The balance is off– they’re having fun, but they’re not suffering as much. It’s like me and them we have it too good.

The point is, why do journalists like those beheaded by ISIS do what they do? I doubt it’s because they chase heroism. I doubt even if it’s just really only for a good cause. At least for me, it will be because I’m searching for the right place where I belong. I know it’s not where I live, and maybe it’s not in those poor places either. But I want to go where suffering goes, merely for the sake of it, even if I end up dead. Because if I don’t go, who I am will be dead. My spirit and identity will be dead.  My art won’t flourish.

Well I realized I accomplished practically nothing in this post haha. Signing off.

Education’s Competition Problem

To my readers, I am aware that I haven’t been blogging much, but thanks to a friend of mine, I will start a renewed interest in blogging more often, perhaps at least once a week, if not more. But for today, let’s start off by establishing how a typical competition works- say, something like a speech competition. There well be participants in the speech. There will also be judges. One by one, the participants go up and present,  and based on whatever rubric the judges have, each participant will earn a score. Through the score, the competitors are ranked first, second, and so on.

Now let’s take a second competition. It’s a competition of the animal kingdom. Our judge will be a human. And the competitors will be the following: a chimpanzee, a goldfish, a giraffe, an elephant, and another human. And what skill will they be competing in? The ability to climb a tree. It is this competition that will supposedly determine the future success rate of these competitors.

Now, we let this glorious competition begin. First, we have the chimpanzee. Dam, he can climb! Alright, he passes. Oh, then we have the goldfish. Nope, he fails. A giraffe– yea he can reach high, but he can’t climb. So much for the elephant. And the human– almost, but not as good as the chimp.

So obviously, the chimpanzee is gonna be really successful in his future survival, and all the other organisms can just give up in life. That’s what this competition is saying; that’s what our educational system is saying.

And that’s the precise problem with our educational system. It’s competition-based. It tells who wins and who loses based on only one asset of skills. But is the giraffe, elephant, and human really going to fail in life just because they can’t climb a tree? The giraffe has a high neck to make up for it. The elephant may not be agile, but it definitely has serious strength. And humans- why they’re the most dominant species on Earth right now. Same with the goldfish. As Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a goldfish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

The same goes with us students. Our educational system aims to procure the most successful people in the future, and the way the system determines that is via a set standard. Oh, you have a higher SAT score? You have better grades? Alright, go ahead to a good college. You’re not doing so well in school? I’m sorry, you won’t be doing so well in your future. But really? As you can see, that’s definitely not the case. Grades, scores, and the amount of extracurricular activities– all those things colleges look for– they don’t tell anything. Once again, they test only one asset of skills. They miss out on the student’s hidden potential.

Each of us is unique– in the way we think, in the way we act, in the way we write, in the way we talk. There is no set standard, no set rubric, on what defines good or not. Each of us is good in one way or another. To repeat, we are all geniuses. So the aim of the educational system should not be to determine who’s better or not based on one scale, but to supply an environment where each and every individual can have his or her genius shine out.

To be honest, I don’t have a good solution. But this is a problem that will require more than one mind to solve. It will require a collaborate effort from students, parents, and society as a whole.

LUDOVICI: Superiority of Art over Science

Something I totally agree with.

The Great Conversation

Science has bestowed many benefits on mankind; and therefore, there are a large number of people who revere and glorify it. An article posted on in June of 2014 expresses the sentiments of these admirers of Science. “Science empowers us to shape every aspect of our world. Thanks to the power of science we can improve our health and wellbeing, explore new worlds, and make our world a better place; the only limits are those we imagine!”

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More Than Just A Gift

Christmas—what is it? Look up the dictionary and it will say: “A legal holiday celebrated on Dec. 25 and an occasion for exchanging gifts.” So, according to the dictionary, it is about presents. I mean, why else do people flock the stores during Black Friday to buy gifts? Why else is the most anticipating time of Christmas the moment you get to open your presents? Why else are the wrappings and bow ties so delicate and fancy?

The aspect of gifts seems to as well dominate many Christmas stories. Santa—he delivers gifts. Frosty—in the end, the antagonist gives in because he wants gifts. Grinch—he tries to take away gifts but realizes he’s wrong. Same with The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Nutcracker, and other stories—just gifts, gifts, gifts. As a result, I grew up believing that the meaning of Christmas laid underneath all those gift wrappings. The meaning of Christmas had to be gifts.

The Christmas Carol is, as well, no exception from this theme of presents.

I remember in 7th grade, my English teacher made us read The Christmas Carol. I was shocked—I had read the story before during elementary school, so why was a middle school teacher making us read this? The plot was fairly simple for any little kid to understand. A cranky old guy named Scrooge hates giving presents and is very egocentric. During the night before Christmas, he sleeps and encounters three ghosts: one of the past, present, and future. With each ghost, Scrooge goes through many experiences, and by the time he leaves the last ghost, he realizes that it’s better to be nice and give gifts. Moral of the story? Give gifts. Seriously. This was just like any naive children’s book with “inspiring” generic messages like “Believe in yourself” or “Never give up.”

By this time, I wasn’t even bothering with the story in class. I knew all there was to know. I mean, after all, this is just another dumb children’s tale, I thought to myself.

Turns out I was the dumb one myself. After reading the story, our teacher made us watch the Tim Burton’s movie version of The Christmas Carol, and suddenly, what seemed pathetic on paper became heart-stirring on screen. The words on paper came to life. The symbolism, the imagery, the contrast, but most importantly, the raw feelings one could get from it—the frustration Scrooge felt, the intense sadness of the poor, and the joy when Scrooge corrects his wrongs—all of that connected with me intensely.

So I realized that the greatest gift is the spirit of giving itself. But let me define what this “spirit” is—it is the very feeling of joy that one experiences when helping out others. It is also the very hole in one’s heart when one sees people in need. It is the very ecstasy I felt when I saw Scrooge, a sinful man, change and develop into a better character. In other words, it is feeling itself—the type that bonds one with another. That is Christmas.

It is a bit ironic that the whole time I was reading The Christmas Carol without feeling—without Christmas itself. Only through the movie could I feel it. Had I read the story with more emotion instead of regarding it as dumb, I would have perhaps felt the connection from the first instance. However, just like Scrooge, I changed for the better. From my materialistic view of Christmas, I finally saw the emotional value behind it.

Each gift you will get during Christmas is like the story The Christmas Carol. Initially, I saw it as just as story, and so can you see your gift as simply a gift. But to truly understand Christmas, don’t just view it as a gift, but try to see the emotional meaning behind it, the love and effort made, just like how I saw the emotional connection from the movie.

Too many times in our daily lives, whether it is a story or a gift, we miss out on this emotional connection. We usually take things at face value, not realizing a deeper level behind everything that we encounter. Christmas is the time to remember that a gift is more than a gift, that a story is more than the words one see, that one’s family is more than just the people it comprises of. Christmas, once again, is the emotion and feeling between people. Once we realize this we can truly appreciate and understand the meaning of Christmas.

Rant #1


Idk. Im tired of life.

You know, these glasses of mine. I’ve seen through them so much. My ups and downs, my anger, my pain, my everything. But they were always clean.

Now, I don’t know if im drunk or whatnot, but I see a scratch on them.  Yup, it’s not noticeable, but it’s there alright. Just like the one on my heart. I guess I can ignore it, and not care about it. But I can’t. It’s right there. Bothering me. Itching me.  I try to get rid of it with water, clothing, anything, but it still stays there. Sigh. I give up.

Sometimes, you just gotta let the scratch be a scratch. It’s like a chemical reaction. Once it’s taken place, there’s no going back. Entropy, they say.

But there is one way to solve this. Maybe if I get new glasses that have no scratch and I can throw the old ones away. Wouldn’t it be nice? Maybe then I could be at peace. Only problem is, these glasses won’t let go. They’re glued to my ears, my head, my face. Glued to my fucking existence.


I love that word. Well, it’s a bad word, they say. Well, all the more reason to love it. Who fucking cares if a word is bad or not? Why do I have to be in a fucking system that determines what’s right and what’s wrong, what I should do or what I shouldn’t? Just let me fuck everything over and do it my own way.


Maybe I am drunk right now from reading all those Gothic stories about drunk people killing black cats. I just don’t get the purpose of reading Gothics stories in English class- what kind of life lesson do they teach? Besides that all of us are evil? Please. And then all this stupid analyzing and shit. Really just turns my stomach inside out. It’s like teaching a bird what its wing is constructed of but never letting it fly.

Fuck again.

Now I remember two days ago, I was actually feeling the desire to get high on drugs. I was really stressed out, and my brain was hurting like hell. And all I could do was think about all the stress I was having. And I was stuck in that thinking. And I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be nice if someone gave me some pot and let me get high, then I’d be forced to forget about all this stress? Then I’d be in my own dream land, and for once, have a good time?

Yea, I remembered. I felt like insane, like an animal craving for something. Drugs. Yea, I know it’s bad. But fuck. Stress is like that inner evil you see in Gothic stories, this “spirit of Perverseness,” where this inner evil is something that’s a part of you. And I remember how it really became  a part of me, this deep inside longing.

Oh fuck.

Just realized I’m kinda like Obito in Naruto. How the girl he loves dies when he was young, and then he’s like, omg my world is gone.  So he attempts to take over the world and tries to create a world where everything we want exists as an illusion. But it’s an illusion world. Kinda like drugs, don’t you think. Guess Naruto is deeper than I thought.

Sigh. Girls.

I feel  guilty kinda saying this, but there’s this girl I like. She kinda reminds me of Obito’s girl, Rin. But she’s really cheerful, deep, and thoughtful. I remember one time, we meant to do a high five, but I don’t know how, it became clasped hands. And in that moment, it was like a pause. Wow.

But fuck. All the girls I’ve liked by a law of nature won’t like me back. So I shouldn’t bother.

Apparently, this went from glasses to girls. I must be drunk. I’ll end here,  I guess.