Dancing Shoes by Clark Azionaire

CHAPTER ONE EXTRACT FROM THE NOVELETTE “DANCING SHOES” by Clark Azionaire

One past midnight; even with the knowledge that work will be busy and hectic tomorrow, I still managed to stay up later than I planned to. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown to hate sleeping, the more I appreciated the imminence of death, and the more I realize sleeping is simply a waste of time. Or maybe procrastination from sleeping is possible now. Either way, I know for a fact I’ll have to get up early tomorrow and once again paint a gleeful smile in front of a busy crowd, impatient to get a taste of their oily meat, warm mush, and calorie-filled burgers.

The house stayed hush, everyone was asleep- almost everyone. Every now and then Josh would make an appearance, his face producing a rather mischievous grin in the dark. He enjoyed scaring me every now and then; I suppose a healthy dose of fear is good for everyone. Josh, my cousin, was younger than me by a mile, though his wisdom never ceases to impress me. There are times when he would act like your run of a mill teenager amidst hormones, whilst in some instances he would converse with me as if he were beyond his years.

Before going to bed we would sometimes talk about philosophy and the true nature of humanity. “Would the world live without humans?” he asked. I grimaced at the thought of this; humans are nothing more to Earth but a destructive force progressively killing her. Perhaps my appreciation of what nature had to offer roots from my admiration for Keats, but ultimately it was my loathing for their stupidity that led to human extinction dreams.

“Most likely; we won’t survive without nature.” I replied. It’s true, we rely so much on the land, if it was to someday come to complete annihilation, and we would die alongside her. Times we contemplated what the world may be like before the idea of Creation (for both religion and science), but his constant obsession over cows and their gleeful reunions usually brings our thoughtfulness to a halt.

Sometimes I truly wonder what goes on in this kid’s head. Ironically enough, he reminds me of myself when I was younger.

 

At the tender age of 12, I found myself strongly obsessing over cows. It was an odd choice of obsession, but it was definitely a step up from my cryptic obsessions in the past. After being dubbed a “happy-go-lucky”, there was never a day where I did not find myself smiling ridiculously, whilst screeching or getting excited about cows. School proved to be the perfect place where I can express a much more carefree side of my personality, since home never truly allowed me to do so.

This craziness continued for quite a while, and the crowd always expected entertainment when they saw me rolling in. Truth be told, it did hurt to be thought of as incredulously stupid and moronic, but I was far too gone for anyone to truly appreciate the fact that I wasn’t actually dumb or mentally incapable.

The blight optimism began to spread like wildfire; it seems my façade made me seem like the happiest child on the planet. Never was there a time where I wouldn’t be caught smiling, perhaps I would’ve completely forgotten how to frown had life after the last school bell not kept me grounded.

I’ve accomplished numerous regrettable actions during my time as a child; I suppose the worse was biting a bully till he bled. The taste of his blood was bitter, just as I expected it to be.

 

“Darkness is a vacuum, but whilst it is empty, it technically is still something. Although we’ve reached the point of nothingness, in non-technical terms, nothingness is still an existing concept; it’s not truly oblivion, but rather, a surface of it.” I continued.

We spent several hours arguing about how nothingness is still a concept, meaning a concept of existence is still existing in the idea of emptiness. His bed was opposite to mine, and so we usually whispered such conspiracies to one another until we were told to go to sleep.

Darkness enveloped the room; our only salvation was the lamp that faced the wall, providing a source of light. “Do you like to eat cows?” a whisper broke out. I rolled my eyes as I tossed and turned, it seems that after our philosophic chatter, we’re back with the cows. Perhaps this randomness is what kept my cousin grounded; perhaps it allowed him to feel less mature than he truly is.

There are times when he would tease Samuel, his younger brother, who generally disliked taking part in our conversations as we usually end up insulting him for his simple responses. His childlike innocence from the complexity of our stupid conversations keeps our arguments grounded, as he seems to be the sort of comical relief when things get pretty heated.

“You’re fat.” he would say to Josh.

Whilst he was directing this insult to his brother, it was me who initially becomes insulted as I was indeed fat, whereas Josh was barely normal: he was borderline skinny and normal. I’ve lived most of my life being told to hate myself for being overweight, so I grew up hating the mirror, seeing what was on the reflection. I hated the stretch marks that had appeared in my belly over time, I hated the pudginess of both my back and stomach.

“No, you’re fat” Josh returned. I once again found myself rolling my eyes, triggered by the insults these two skinny boys were throwing at each other. Filled with rage, I quietly shushed both of them and ordered them to go to sleep, my tone slowly becoming far tenser than I had hoped. “You’re both not fat so shut up and go to sleep” I remarked.

Samuel was only 9, and so much like boys his age, the dark is still a daunting and frightening place. He disliked sleeping alone, and so he would always sleep next to his brother, only to be abandoned in the middle of the night. Josh hated sleeping next to someone, so he normally waits until Samuel had fallen asleep until he moves to the top bunk of their bunk bed.

“He’s fat.” Samuel whispered to his brother as he directs the insult towards me. I acted far more nonchalant than I truly cared to admit- but this has been an ongoing joke between us, yet I never truly get used to it. I sometimes find myself going to the toilet in the middle of the night, staring down at the ugly scar-like marks on my belly, slowly forming around my abdominal and back area. From there, I would break down into tears and quietly watch as anxiety overrules all sense of reason. Sometimes seeing blood is my only form of comfort. Ridiculously petty, but it was a coping mechanism.

After ensuring both little monsters have fallen asleep, my next battle with Josh was his chronic snoring. For a boy no taller than five feet, he sure snores like a grown man. Tossing and turning was the drill of the night, or what’s left of it. The incapability to fall asleep seemed to be a more common disability than I had hoped, and yet I couldn’t help but feel that if I don’t fall asleep soon I’ll definitely mess things up tomorrow at work.

I have insomnia. It’s a self-diagnosed condition, but I had enough money to buy some sleeping medicine to help me get through the difficult transition between consciousness and the latter. Majority of my nights, I never truly fully crossover, I would find myself half-asleep all through the remainder of the night until the alarm goes off. One pill helps, and sometimes four still manages to be beaten by the insomniac monster.

When this sleeplessness persists, I sometimes flat out quit and simply make my way out into the balcony where my ashtray awaited. I realized that although smoking is noxious, the sensations it provided can be absolutely heavenly. Quietly tip-toeing my way to the seat where I almost always sit in, I grabbed a fag and held it in between my left hand middle and index finger, working on the lighter with my right hand index finger and thumb.

“I could even learn how to love like you…”I rhythmically hummed as I inhaled the black gas being emitted by the burning stick. Whenever I do smoke, I never fail to bring my mobile phone. Music makes this endeavor enjoyable, and so I’ve never smoked without music playing in the background. It romanticizes the vice, making it much more beautiful than it truly is.

Huff and puff; this continues for several minutes, even longer if I decided to have another. Just as I was about the finish, the song was also coming to a close. I was much more relaxed than before, perhaps I could finally have a good night’s rest.

Shit, its half past three already. It seems I was too relaxed to the point of hallucination- there was no way I would be having a good’s night rest tonight. Maybe I didn’t need it though, coffee is the one true ingredient for breakfast to keep you up on your feet all day, and it was what I needed to feel like myself once more.

I do dislike feeling too relaxed from smoking, but this sensation has always been worth it each time. I briefly remembered my first time, the rush felt so good that I kept on going until I could barely control my movements.

 

‘Twas early in the morning, much like now, and I had been battling my chronic depression as I had been since I turned 17. The darkness then no longer overwhelmed me; in fact I had already welcomed it. However, the inability to feel relaxed and fall asleep was beginning to become a bother. Smoking was glamorized by numerous mates of mine, they’ve even shared a couple of butts with me to try it, but I just never had the guts to truly inhale.

“Just try inhaling it,” Brody suggested. He had been a heavy smoker since he was 15, and so he was familiar with the sensations, but I was still a stranger to it. Whenever I was told to try it out, I pretended to inhale it, when in truth I kept the puff of smoke inside my mouth, never letting it gain access to my lungs. I would exhale the smoke and pretend I had been smoking. Ridiculous attempts to seem cool I suppose, but it was only natural considering social status was everything during high school.

When I looked at Brody inhaling all that smoke, progressively damaging his lungs and health, I contemplated about what age he might pass away. Such a young smoker, he won’t last long. I would never do such a thing, I would think to myself, a thought that now seems farfetched. This method of self-destruction still seemed new to me, seeing as I haven’t entered the wonderful world of depression, so my innocence to self-loathing was still a fresh wound.

“This feels good. I like smoking.” I replied to him after faking an inhaling action. Whether he was convinced I was indeed inhaling it or not, I was never sure. He always made you feel comfortable, even when he’s pressuring you into your own imminent self-destruction. It makes me feel remorse when I think of how two-faced I had been with him in some instances, mostly involving his relations with my best friend. I was never for it anyway, and I’m sure he knew it too. Or maybe he didn’t, I was a pretty good thespian.

We would sometimes talk for a while when we get the chance, reflecting on the many occasions which we both felt we had suffered. His were more generally towards his romantic affairs with Victoria, whilst mine were the amount of hard work I constantly put in to things that I hope would someday pay off.

Brody was the guy whom I’ve always looked up to, the embodiment of what I strived for. He was dark and handsome, mysterious yet relatable, and a crowd favourite. He was smooth with his words, and yet his distinct trait I’ve always been jealous of was his lack of empathy. He may feel the occasional sorry-feeling, but his narcissism leaves very little else to care for. I wanted that.

Whenever we would exchange stories, he would always talk about his broken heart, yet barely hold any regards to that of Victoria’s. It was one of the reasons I also despised him. He would constantly feel sorry for himself, acting like the victim of the situation, when in truth I know for a fact he had been the oppressor.

 

Sunlight was progressively filling the atmosphere as I finished my third stick, it seems I’ve spent several hours gazing at the night sky once again- I needed to break this habit.

As I made my way upstairs, I carefully glanced at the clock: 5AM. In a couple of hours I would have to take a quick shower and hope that the bus won’t leave me, like it usually would on Monday mornings. The bus system wasn’t terribly bad, but at times it would either be too early or too late, luck is an important aspect- or coming to the bus stop 20 minutes before the said arrival time.

I needed energy for the day, and yet due to my insomnia, I would once again have to rely on caffeine consumption to get through the day without a hitch. I found myself lying back in the comfort of my bed, yet both eyes and brain refused to stay shut. I was hoping I would get a couple minutes of nap time to feel a little bit refreshed, but no such luck today.

Times like this I wish I had chugged on some sleeping pills the night before just to ensure that I would be comatose for the rest of the night, but anxiety kicked in and I felt that if I did take them, I might not be able to wake up and completely miss the bus. What a fool.

Johnny’s Summer Fashion

With the summer heat slowly approaching Sydney, I say it’s time to begin choosing the right outfits carefully, and so to commemorate the beginning of my first Sydney summer, I have come up with my clothes line of what can be comfortable and fashionable at the same time for summer!

Introducing, the Summer Budget Line:

As a student, budgeting is the key element to successfully making it through the year, and so, working with what you’ve got is the best way to go. In front of you are outfits I have bought cheaply from numerous shops both in Sydney and Qatar, let me  break them down:

 

Shirt #1: Purple with Square Patterns – $11 from Qatar!

Shirt #2: Plain Blue Dress Shirt – S20 from Australia!

Shirt #3: Blue, Green, and Yellow Plaid – S15 from Qatar!

Shorts #1: Simple Grey Shorts – $10 from an Australian Sale!

Shorts #2: Commando Plaid – S20 from Qatar!

Belt: Batman Belt from Jay Jays – $4 from Australia!

Bag: Retro Canvas and Belt Design Messenger Bag – $50 from Tmart

Overall, these outfits cost me $130, which honestly isn’t too bad considering they’re not cheap knock offs, but they’re absolutely great as summer wear due to their airy nature, making you feel less hot than you already are!

Good luck with you summer!

The Ballet Issue: To Dance, Or To Quit?

Most Broadway performers have had years of ballet lessons, vocal lessons, and acting lessons. Majority of them discover this calling at a very age- and so they train hard with the support of their family, and they end up making it. Unfortunately, this calling was only recent for me. I answered this calling at the age of 15, my first time performing as a background character in a school play sent absolute euphoria through me that I spent the next couple of years performing in more plays, enjoying the way performing goes, and the thrill and fear and excitement that comes along with it.

However, these were school plays. They weren’t expecting a super experienced performer, just a newbie. So I was- but I guess my 2 year IGCSE course in Drama helped in developing me as an actor. Vocal wise however, I was sub-par level, barely any good if I’m honest. Though teacher’s saw my potential, I didn’t really give it much of a thought. Now, I’m honestly regretting it. I should’ve pursued those vocal lessons, but I was stupid.

Upon moving to Sydney, I was still a naive town boy fresh from the small town of Dukhan in Qatar. I easily grasped things, I let my optimism get through my head. So, on my second week here, I auditioned for an amateur play- only to be turned down. I came to that room confident, with my loose jacket, loose pants, and absolutely ugly shoes. Long story short, I was dressed terribly, and I was highly unprepared. They asked me if I’ve ever had vocal lessons, and I knew right then I wasn’t getting any part. After this little problem, I went straight to the toilet and broke down- regretting my optimism and belief that I could ever be a performer.

So after 20 minutes of uncontrollable sobbing, I wiped the tears off. A new goal was born, to learn. To make myself better. To work on me. Thus, this is where this newfound need to sign up for a ballet class came. I’m highly determined to improve my dancing (and vocals but that’s another story), but in this day and time, being a guy in a ballet class is something that would…well, probably be a little unsettling. Guys are all about sports! Not dancing…much less ballet. Call me a stereotype but I’m simply saying it as it is- at least that’s how I saw things growing up.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been having constant a change of mind, one day I would tell myself, “Let’s do this! You can’t get anywhere by chickening out!”, on the other hand, I feel like I’m about to throw up with just the thought of how much fear I’m feeling. However, today marked the beginning of this dance journey, I’ve officially signed up for the Adult Class, and there’s no going back. Literally, I’ve paid it off and you can only back out 2 or 3 hours before the class, so there’s no coming back from that. My mind is still going mad, my emotions unsure as to how this will turn out. I’m a wildly out of shape young man, on the cusp of being in between overweight and obese. Not to mention I’m barely 5 feet. Fear is what’s taking over my mind right now. But the thought that I’m now one step closer to achieving my ultimate goal, that somehow brings comfort to my otherwise exasperated mind.

A new experience. As I am writing this, I am not on my way to the class. My heart continues to pound as fast as the train that carries me to what may be the start of my dance endeavour, or the end of it. Only time can tell how this might go, but I’m trying to keep my head high, and I do hope my gut instinct were right to tell me to pursue this.

My gut instinct was wrong, not because it went terribly, but because I cancelled it. That was a great way to waste money. What an idiot.

It seems that this plan went kaput, because of my anxiety which led to flat out quitting. First it was worrying about the fact that I didn’t have the correct attire, next it was shoes, and from then on it was that I should just quit while I’m ahead. It’s been several weeks since I wrote the above content, and ashamed to say I didn’t go through it. I want to end this post on a positive note, but I have nothing else to say. I failed. I’m a failure.

President Trump: What It Means For The Liberals, Republicans, and Independents Alike

Libtards, a degrading title for liberals who strongly believe in their views. In numerous occasions they’ve been referred to as SJWs, feminazis, etc. I’m one of them, so don’t be surprised if this article is a bit biased- but I am in no means intending to insult or degrade anyone who opposes my views, but I would simply like to express my thoughts on the matter.

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Photo courtesy of The Independent

It was just a couple of days ago, 3 days to be precise, that the democrat runner Hillary Clinton conceded and gave the position of President of the United States to the man we now call “President Trump”. Riots, backlashes, numerous incidents have occurred since his coronation, and whilst I am highly against his appointment, I do not wish the man any harm. Therefore, I feel as though my fellow liberals are taking things too far with their actions. United States of America is all about unity, diversity, and freedom. However, from the past couple of days, I’ve been unsure about what this truly meant.

Due to recent scandals, both Trump and Hillary have been ostracized by their opposing parties- Clinton with her crooked ways and deleted emails, and Trump with his collection of misogynistic, racist, and xenophobic- boo boos. In short, both have done some pretty terrible things. However, what truly disappointments me is that after Trump’s election, numerous people have come from the dark, and what they have to say are pretty terrifying. It’s the Brexit all over again.

Humans really have progressed; we went from a period of acceptance and freedom, back to hatred and abuse. Why? I’m not so sure myself. Maybe it’s due to our impulsiveness, wanting to express our deepening hatred for a certain focus- and letting it explode at any given moment. Honestly, both parties, democrats and republicans alike, have shown a sense of inhumanity during this time. Republicans expressed their joy for the election of Trump, which I think is still wrong, whilst the Democrats mourned via holding violent protests and expressing their hatred on the matter. Meanwhile, the independents are reaching new levels of pride, acting high and mighty for their ability to deduce the stupidity of both sides. There’s no more humble individuals, just a group of hate filled monsters.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m reminded of a song I heard when I was very young, a song entitled “Where is The Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas. Maybe it’s time this song makes its return, because clearly people need to question themselves, where is the love? People have been so focused on proving themselves right that they’ve let their prides get the best of them, destroying friendships, respects, and sometimes even family. Isn’t it sad?

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Photo Courtesy of Fox Chicago

As a democrat, I have had my fair share of hate filled words towards Trump, especially a couple of days ago when he was elected. I’m truly ashamed for it, but I won’t take it back. It was what I had felt during that moment, and I won’t deny that. But they were merely whims, what I saw from others in my Facebook page alone truly frightened me. People have forgotten their sense of humanity, instead letting their hate get the better of them.

I’m done with all the hate, with all the struggles. My despise for Trump’s election will never fade, but I choose to see the best in the situation. I choose to have hope- to see the best in Trump. In truth, this sensation came in earlier than what I had expected, when he began to compliment Hillary, I immediately felt a sense of hope- maybe he won’t be as bad as people think.

Sure, he’s had…”boo boos” before his election, but much like how I believed people can change (such as Clinton), I chose to believe that Trump could possibly change too. Maybe he can be a good leader- not the best mind you, that position belongs to Obama in my eyes, but I think there’s a possibility he may be able to bring unity among the people. But clearly he cannot do that when riots are breaking out- some think Trump will be the one to cause a war, when it is clear the people are the ones setting the war off themselves. Stop letting pride take over you, find your humanity, find hope.

Democrats vs Republicans, who will win?

#WHEREISTHELOVE

The New Old Stuff: World Of Winx Review

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One thing I’ve always been proud of is my innate ability to admit to the unconventional things I do, and one of them is my love for female demographic focused shows. One of my all time favourite show as a child was the Winx Club. I remember going home quite early every day for a couple of years just to watch it. Not once did I ever deny my love for the show. Its story execution, the way it developed its characters whilst focusing on a sole story line to that of Bloom’s; it was honestly a breath of fresh air from all the stereotypical things I saw on TV then.

Upon moving to Qatar, I took a break from the show, several years actually. It wasn’t until the release of its fourth season, with its main theme as “Winx are back!” that I was into the show once again. It carried over several of the Classic Seasons’ aspects, whilst attempting to create a whole new thing. It was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I became an avid fan once more, joining forums, becoming dedicated to the franchise once more. That was until I wasn’t anymore. After its sixth season I had midway given up, the show’s formula became too repetitive, and they’ve even adapted Sailor Moon’s Monster of the Day. So to speak, it became too tiresome, and ultimately I got bored of it. I never had a problem with the show’s girly nature, however, I think there was a point where I felt that Rainbow wasn’t considering its male audience anymore. The show became full on glitter and fashion- the story now lacking, and it even ditched its character development.

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Children’s show, that’s what its become. Of course it was originally made for them, but it attracted numerous individuals due to its story execution (and catchy music). But its seventh season became so unbearable, I couldn’t make it past the fifth episode. Long story short, after its fourth season, it just wasn’t the same any longer.

When I had heard of WOW, I wasn’t wowed. The plot seemed silly, and I had every doubt in my heart- I strongly believed it would suck. Straffi had said it would be aimed to its older and loyal fans, meaning me, since the show came out when I was at that age that made me devoted to it. But I guess much like everyone else, I judged too fast. The art style was shifting to be more like its couture incarnation, that didn’t sound favourable to me. Until it was.

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Today I binge watched the show, from start to end. It had come out 2 days ago, but I was too busy this week. However, now that I’ve had a taste of WOW, I want more. Watching WOW felt like meeting an old friend, who’s changed so much, for the better.

Firstly, the new art style, definitely changed for the better. The shading, the detail, and the colouring was just beautiful- and it screamed “This is not completely bright”, this is the right kind of tone you’d want in a show about strong women in their 20s saving the world. The voice acting were well executed I’d say- it seems that they’re definitely sticking to Nickelodeon’s version of vocals, seeing as majority of the voices sounded very similar to that dub incarnation. No complaints here, I absolutely loved Romi Dames as Musa, though I do wish she reprise her role in WOW. But the cast for WOW did a phenominal job portraying these characters whilst giving them a personality.

The plot. What can I say, I’m a sucker for strong storytelling. The stupid boyfriend subplots are no more! Instead, we get numerous subplots that revolves around each character, developing them even more- whilst exhibiting their maturity. Did I mention that their foreshadowing techniques were just gold? The main show never seems to do that anymore- Rainbow was probably worried kids would get confused about why Dog Boy Brafilius was what he was if it were broken down. So instead it was explained in one scene in one episode. I mean I pretty much got the Professor Avalon subplot when I was at the tender age of 8, but you know, I guess they think kids are dumber nowadays.

Another aspect I enjoyed about WOW was that whilst Bloom maintained that de facto leader position, the show didn’t carry on as “Bloom and the others”, instead it gave the group the independence to which they can act on their own accord without her. That was constantly touched upon in the newer Winx seasons, but never continued for more than one or two episodes. So it definitely made me happy that the World of Winx were shown as the WINX, not the Bloom Show. In addition, the show truly carries itself, it does not depend on the previous story arcs, but instead intends to make a new story. So, there’s no “BLOOM IS THE CENTER OF IT ALL”, it’s more of they have a mission and they’ll complete it. I may be talking terribly about Bloom, but both she and Musa are my favourite characters. I’m just stating what it is.

There were numerous throwbacks that I highly enjoyed, I think one of the reasons I definitely loved WOW was because it carried the heart of the Classic Winx, whilst being a whole new concept at the same time. The backtrack music was absolutely divine, I have no further comment on it.

As aforementioned, its villain is definitely a step up from the main show. The build up to Tinker Bell was great. What’s even better is that although we have some knowledge to WOW’s villains, we are not immediately shoved information about them, instead we are left to process them bit by bit. In addition, the season ended in a resolution, but didn’t do its cliche movement of destroying the villains permanently, only to reveal they’re still doing well next season. Instead, WOW wowed us all by showing Tinker Bell’s escape, and revealing a plot twist with Jim.

No further spoilers from this point. I strongly suggest you watch it if you were a lover of the Classics- it definitely continues the heart of the original seasons. If the main series were to go by anything,  definitely suggest going by the WOW way. I’m all giddy for the next season already, I can’t wait to see what more Rainbow is going to do.

Positive Notes:

  • Absolutely loved the ending and the opening songs, their style is carried on from the main series.
  • The clear explanation of how the name Dreamix came to be, and how they go it.
  • Spotlight for almost everyone!!!

Complaints:

  • I get the show is a spin-off, but maybe a little bit of explanation about Roxy would be great. Last time we found her, the Winx told the world about their fairyness.
  • Spotlight for almost everyone except maybe Roxy! Wish we saw her transform.
  • Peter Pan world is not my cup of tea, but I guess its okay.

Comment your thoughts on WOW below!

Feminism- How Stupid Can People Be?

Tonight, I inadvertently joined a Women’s Rights rally: Reclaim The Night. Before you judge me based on my use of “inadvertently”, hear me out. I was on my way to the train when I saw a rally making its way around town. There were many participants, all willing to fight for what they believe in. As an activist, I wanted to join, I felt the need to. However, everyone seemed to be in groups, so I had some second thoughts. Alone? I’m not so sure. But no more than a second later, my mind was made up, and I immediately jumped in and joined them.

“Reclaim the Night! Rape is rape! Yes Means Yes, No Means No! Women’s rights! Fight, fight, fight!” I uttered and shouted those words from the top of my lungs as I marched across the streets of Sydney and voiced my beliefs out. I have never been in an activists’ rally before, but the overwhelming faith I had in humanity was at an all time high. These people were willing to fight for what they believe in, wanting to protect women from the ongoing harassment, even if some in the streets ridiculed them, whilst others whispered about its ludicrous nature.

“Rape is difficult to prove”, something that I’ve been told before. There have been times when false accusations have occurred, but it does not come close to the amount of actual victims proving they have been raped, and yet people are willing to look the other way due to such instances.

Social Justice Warriors, individuals whom fight for a cause they strongly believe in, though at times can be over the top. Many perceive these individuals as crazy, pseudo-intellectual, and just flat out clueless and moronic. They’re constantly alienated from having an opinion because they voice their heart out. Some would call this a dangerous social move; you can either go against the cause, or reach extremist levels. However, whilst such labeling is meant to be an insult, I am not ashamed to identify myself as one. Fight or quit right?

However, the ones whom identify as stupid to me are the self-contradicting misogynists whom believe they’re all for equality of both genders, but are actually attempting to achieve an alpha status. Egalitarians believe in equality for both genders, therefore there is no discrimination in their words towards either genders. However, pseudo-egalitarians are those whom say they fight for both men and women’s rights, but continue to insult feminists everywhere. Ridiculous and over the top as some feminists may be, they are still fighting for the rights of women, and such modern self-righteous warriors seem to think by insulting these individuals, they themselves are morally and politically correct. Self-contradicting much? I suppose that was more of a jab towards those kinds of people, but such individuals are definitely of the lower common denominator.

Today’s society, whilst is aware of women’s rights, continue to pretend its been fully implemented. However, the truth of the matter is, discrimination towards women still exist. Inequality still rules over the equality, but many prefer to look the other way. They’re no better than those who overlook Donald Trump’s locker talk.

The strong individuals whom walked alongside me as we all marched through the streets of Sydney, those are the ones I admire, the ones I perceive as heroes. I’m not one of them, I had a moment of weakness, had I let that rule over me I would have just stood in the sidelines. I still had doubt inside me. However, these individuals wholeheartedly committed to the cause, and for that, they are the heroes in my eyes.

As for the movement as a whole, being Reclaim the Night, check out their website at (http://www.isis.aust.com/rtn/). You’ll learn a lot about their philosophy from there.

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The Disastrous Age of the Gen Alphas

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Photo Courtesy of Social Factor

The Age of the Gen Alphas:  where learning is overpriced, job opportunities within hospitality are belittled, and majority would rather watch the movie than read the book. I think my only question is, where did it all go wrong?

Post-Millennials like myself are said to be the iGeneration, due to our capability to easily adapt to technology, and because we were born within the era of technology’s rise. Whilst technology has definitely brought the world up its feet, it’s certainly had its downs too. Par example, I suppose people are becoming lazier- that includes me to be honest. I won’t be a hypocrite towards this matter. However, my issue is, people are reliant on technology that they’re becoming dumber. The amount of useful information against useless once must be equal online, but I think it’s a shame people are starting to lose interest in knowledge itself, and would rather rely on technology. That’s how far it’s gone.

Personally, I highly despise eBooks. Sure they’re simply a digital format of the story, but I feel as though that’s another issue to be brought up. It’s been theorized that too much screen time can strain our eyes, and the creation of eBooks seem to worsen this. Why are we still seemingly ditching the books? To save nature? Well, I suppose that’s true. But there must be a balance; a middle, much like it had been in the past.

Moving on, I wanted to bring up the belittling of those who work in fast food franchises. Recently, I started working in KFC as a customer service team member. I’m not saying this so as to create a protective bubble around me, but rather, I wanted to explore my respect for those who work within this field. I’ve always respected them, though not everyone is like that, some show clear disrespect. See, I’ve only been working for a month, and I have to be honest, whilst I do enjoy it, the job itself can be very difficult, especially during rush hours. Not to add problematic customers. But I digress, no matter how difficult it may be, I still enjoy it, I suppose the fast pace and social interaction is part of the fun. But the feeling of accomplishment at the end of each shift, that’s definitely my favourite part. Sure I still mess up, but I’m learning, and I’m enjoying that too- gaining experience.

Segway.

A couple of months ago, I was in sheer panic. Before my last minute option to go study in Sydney, I was having a difficult time deciding where to go. Sure, my parents and I came to a compromise of studying in my second home country, but I didn’t feel that it was enough. I wanted something new, something exciting. So whenever I had the opportunity to go to University and College Fairs, I sought the chance. I think besides their amazing hot air, the other thing these universities had in common was how overpriced they were. Literally, attending in one of them could lead me to years of debt, not to mention how long they took to complete. Well, actually I didn’t mind that. But the payment price, I think it was too much. I didn’t know knowledge could be so expensive, especially since I could easily access these things online. The only difference would be is that in the end, you get a framed piece of paper that you get to show off as one of your accomplishments. Okay that does sound pretty great- gives us a chance to feel even more entitled than we already do.

So, who do we blame for these developments? The baby boomers? The millennials? Post millennials? Am I simply using references people might not be aware of? Maybe. However, what I can definitely say is that, things can only get better. Majority of both millennials and post millennials are being belittled nowadays (mostly by baby boomers), however, the important thing to remember is that while our generations tend to be highly optimistic and idealistic, these characteristics have helped many successful individuals get to where they are (or were). Now, I’m not saying that everyone gets their chance, that’s a Death of A Salesman American Dream rookie mistake- but if you think and believe (and have the resources) to see your goals through, I say keep your head high, and keep on going. Don’t let these big things get in the way of achieving ultimate success. Aim high, but not too high that you’ll hit a plane. Keep things realistic, whilst being idealistic at the same time.