Opression is a hefty subject

If you were to ask my school what it thinks of itself you would get a very superficial answer that would undoubtedly be a lie. My school is much like a teenage girl. Hidden self esteem issues, blurred by speeches made of false vanity and egotistical proclamations, the same way a girl my age would wear a dress short even though she feels uncomfortable. My school is constantly asking itself whether it’s good enough. Good enough to compete, good enough to be a school, good enough for anything it can get its hands on. I know this because I am who it asks. Every time I am given a small piece of paper for a few minutes of brooding in a stuffy classroom during lunch it asks me. It asks me whether its good enough. The glasses is cloudy and it can’t quite see so it has to ask. I don’t know what it aspires to be good enough for, I haven’t gotten that far yet, but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.
Maybe my school would be a little more confident if it took of the glasses that cloud it’s vision much more than they correct it. I don’t know, but then it might see its wonderful faults. The fact is as much as my school is ambitious, it is also lazy. As lazy as me. Work can only be done in specific conditions and even in those conditions it’s a hit and miss situation. We won’t work when it rains. We don’t like the cold. If its too hot we will bathe in the fountains. If the leaves are falling from the trees we will play. If need be we will do a math equation. As much as I complain my life with this school is a comical one. Irregular and dazed. It’s like a melancholy romance, not fated, yet still somewhat interested. I feel quite bad sometimes because I make it seem like the school and I are enemies. We aren’t. We simply bicker, still quite good friends, but with a habit for arguing. We are not incapable of getting along, we just don’t see eye to eye on some subjects.
It’s not that my school needs attention or anything of that sort, it just gives a damn. Too many damns. More damns than it ought and it occasionally gets tired and has to sit down. It is at times like this that I am at my least intolerable. I don’t think it’s my school’s fault. It was created on the foundations of a society based on oppression and first world problems. Still, it is tedious, if not painful, to be a part of something so concerned with its own reflection. Vanity is easy, under confidence is hard.
I scare my school. I scare it because I am not who I am meant to be. I am meant to be just another faceless student, blinded by either ruthless ambition or a need to impress, but I’m not. My school proudly advertises its values, I see them everyday. I’m sure it doesn’t recognise what they represent. I’m sure they only see words that have become so clichéd and over used that they no longer even resemble what they might of once. My school is one of the many vultures feeding from the beaten remains of once noble words like they are still trophies of honour. They see these words not as the scraps of ragged meat still clinging to the bones of long dead lions, but as if the lions still alive and sharing their flesh with smiles to go, but then there are always those people who don’t want to take part in the unconscious savagery of the vultures. People like me, who see past the honour boards and the awards, I threaten what they hold dear and I do it without even working very hard. It’s only now that my school realises how fragile their precious system is.
The best oppressors are those who don’t know they are oppressive; you can’t rebel against a system that doesn’t realise it’s own faults.
All throughout history people have been oppressed, looked down upon and scolded for looking up, but on these occasions and long periods of time it was often obvious. The oppression was dealt with using guns, bombs and insistent shouting, now all we know is text books, price tags and advertisements. Our society has us believing that we’re the best the human race is ever gonna be, but really we’re just the middle men of history. Corporations and companies have us buying stuff we don’t want with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even like, believing that we’re still going to turn out to be rock gods and movie stars. We have no Great Depression, or any Great War, we’re just sitting here with our first world problems wondering why we feel so bad. We get only these occasional little snapshots, brief ideas that never go very far and even when they do their too loud to be listened to. We think, we bathe, we eat, we sleep, we work till we die. At least when there’s a gun in you’re face you know whose team you’re on.
We must be the only society to be able to have oppressors oppress themselves, forced down by the rules and regulations that came from nowhere.
We are all just feeding off the dead lions, or left to starve and be ridiculed.

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My headphones and I

A couple hours ago my headphones broke and I immediately became broken hearted for my headphones are literally my best friend. If I was to be handed one of those silly little ‘lets get to know each other’ surveys by a teacher and it asked who was my best friend was I would very proudly write ‘my headphones’. After I got home from my doctor’s appointment that afternoon I immediately started searching the Internet for yet another perfect pair. Some would suggest that I just get another pair of the same kind as the ones before, but I would never be able to do that. Somehow it would feel like betrayal to all me and my headphones have done together. It would just feel like cloning my true love after they died, but without the memories. We live a very tightrope sort of life, my headphones and me. There is a very good reason that I like over the head headphones rather than earbuds. With headphones if I put them on it gives everyone a much firmer message. With ear buds they always look like they are just waiting to be plucked from their owner’s ears but when wearing headphones you seem to say “don’t bug me now. I am deeply in love with my music and I am just about to confess. Seriously don’t. Bug. Me” which is especially good for me. Plus, if I get the right brand and type I can annoy my school just enough to get a dirty look but not enough to send me to detention. You don’t have to attend my school to know that it is one if those schools that have a thing for the dress code and I am very passionate about calmly sidling around said dress code. Sure, I show up wearing the same damn dress as all the other girls but the lesser rules are the ones that I calmly sit on so nobody can see. My headphones are a big part of this. I where one stud diamond earring that I have been told makes me look like a pirate. This is against the dress code. I slip my boots of during class. This is against the rules. I wear headphones. You won’t find this in a rule book but they have never been happy about it. I wear bracelets on my left wrist. I should wear them on my right wrist, god know why. I wear a jacket that isn’t school uniform but it looks exactly like the ones the seniors wear.
It is easy to see how I slip under the radar while still getting enough dirty looks to satisfy my need to play against the rules.
My headphones are part of the set but I can wear them if they are broken. That’s just faking it… I also need to listen to music or my mind just actually wanders out the door while my body is still stuck in class. Needless to say the situation is dire.

This is not beautiful

“My brother killed himself
on the twenty-eighth Thursday of last year
and I missed four days of work
and my mom wanted to know ‘Why’.
My brother
he was always a fan of beauty
but what he did
was not beautiful at all.
And last week I got the news
that one of my good friends from high school
had overdosed
(again)
except this time
she’d gone too far
and now she was gone.
And I had a hard time falling asleep at night
and her mother
hugged me tight
and thanked me for coming to the service
but I did not
want to be there at all.
This is not
beautiful.

The girl down the street
would’ve turned 21 last year
and I can scarcely imagine
the wild times she would’ve
(should’ve)
had.
But she is buried six feet deep
after falling nearly 300
and she did not leave a note.
This is not
beautiful.

My freshman year of college
and my roommate was beautiful
and how I wanted to be just like her.
But she wore herself down
till she was
almost invisible
and if you blinked
you had to go and find her all over again.
So now her parents are no longer supporting her college tuition
but are paying her hospital bills
watching their daughter crumble.
This is not
beautiful.

So y’all can take your narcissistic
romanticizing
and glamorizing
of self harm and eating disorders and committing suicide
and shove them as far up your ass
as you possibly can.
Starvation is not beautiful.
Killing yourself is not beautiful.
Sadness
is not beautiful.
This note I am writing
is not beautiful.

But you
you are beautiful
and it’s about damn time you start believing it.
(via runiqu)”

I really don’t know who wrote this of whether they are happy or not or whether they felt better after writing this. I don’t even know whether I’m happier or sadder after reading this. I’m not a very good judge of beauty or anything for that matter and generally let other people do that for me, but I personally think that this is… more wonderful than beautiful. And while my experiences with suicide and harming yourself is almost nil I do know quite a bit a about humans and I think that this human is very very courageous and whoever you are I think that this piece of writing is very very brave.
With love,
Clementine

P.S I got this from http://nanao-anime.tumblr.com/post/80874787468/my-brother-killed-himself-on-the-twenty-eighth which is a tumblr site that I go to to get cool pictures to copy.

I don’t know where this went

Mum says I shouldn’t write this. She said that I will write bad because I’m tired, or at least that’s what I’m guessing. She used a word starting with the letter P. I don’t know what meant, I can’t pronounce and I can’t spell. Sometimes people assume I have swallowed a dictionary, because I occasionally use words that sound like they have come straight from the Victorian era. This can be both annoying and charming.
Unfortunately for my mother, at least, I am stubborn and am really bad at doing what I probably should. I wanted to make this post about writing but I seem to of gotten off track. I can’t say that this is a particularly unusual thing for me. I start out thinking about something really important and then it’s gone. Vanished the thing you were just holding and all I am left with in the knowledge that it was really important.
I am sitting on the deck and it is dark and cold, but I am wrapped in a blanket that has green and red and matches my crimson headphones and the porch light in looking down on me. I can see the streetlights going over the bridge in the near distance. Mum’s ikea birds are sitting in the tree in our back yard like bird shaped stars. They are illuminated by little bulbs that look like little glowing hearts. That is both a clichéd and whimsical thought. Dad’s prayer flags that he brought back from Nepal are gently swaying in a breeze I can’t feel. The sky is not yet black but I doubt that colour is far away in the distance. Night is here but it has not yet taken us. One day dad brought home little disco balls to hang on the deck. They are twinkling happily at me. The bamboo wind chime is hanging a little ways a way from me as I sit. It sways like the prayer flags.
I always root for the underdog. Always. I don’t know why and I am always disappointed when they lose, but I can’t help it. It isn’t a voluntary thought. While I really don’t care for winning when I’m personally involved I can’t help but wish other people happiness and if winning is going to make you happy, go for you life.
I’ll root for you.
Something I have leant while going through cancerous period in my life is that I am completely indifferent to death. I believe that it is far braver to suffer than to die, but to be brave there has to be something painful to be brave against. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t take death lightly. I just don’t care for the idea. My mortality is, as far as I’m concerned, only my business of I make it that way. I’m going to die. My family is going to die. My friends are going to die. Yes, this topic can be incredibly morbid, but fuck. There is so little we can do about it. As an atheist I don’t believe in heaven or hell, nor do I think there such fabulous ideas and in general I choose not to speculate about the great beyond, but I do ponder death. Not because it is morbid and scary, but because it is interesting. I’m much more interested in the ways of which we go than the even itself. In the end the same damn thing happens, the reasons why can be tantalising, but naturally sad.
I view cancer as kind of internal terrorism and that suck shit balls, but hell, it’s in my life, there is nothing I can do about that so the best thing I can do is figure out why.
Once again my thoughts have strayed from their original course, but I doubt I would have gotten far with my initial topic of choice. I wonder if I am writing in the way Mum said I would. I can’t tell but if I am I apologise, but if I’m not they I hope that this piece of writing does something good. I can’t think what but as long as it has a good effect on something I really don’t care.
When I was in year one I had a year of wandering. The teacher was really into talking to us about the most mundane things like why our parents might serve us veggies or why we shouldn’t go to the bathroom on our own. In general this was how we spent our mornings and afternoons. The other kids were happy because, well, we weren’t really doing any actual work, but I was seven and bored shitless. After a little while of almost falling asleep with the boredom of things I already knew being spelt out to me I did what bored seven years olds do I snuck out of class. I realise now that this probably wasn’t one of my wisest moves, but I never got caught, so what the hell? It wasn’t actually as difficult as you would think. All you had to do was back up while the teacher was chatting and sneak out to door as quietly as possible. I doubt the teacher even knew I was in her class by the end of the year. I never went out for very long, just long enough to gain the courage to come back in. Sometimes the teacher would ask where I had gone and I would tell her I had gone to the bathroom. She never questioned that. I don’t think I learnt anything that year. My year of wandering.
Last year my school held one of its many plats. The play was ‘The king and I’ naturally I went along because it meant I would get out of geography and science. All who have seen the play will know that the king dies at the end and while the king is on his death-bed he asks his eldest son who will be king after him what he will do for the new year ceremony to which the son replies “I will hold boat races” when the king asks why the boy answers “because I like boat races”. While watching this I thought ‘yup, that how I’m going to live my life, because I like it’.
Once again I have noticed that I have let this go one and perhaps I am droning but whatever. I will publish this anyway and see what happens.
When ever I think this it never ends in a good place.
Oh well.

Anger, offence and a torrent of reflective humility and fortunate vanity.

Sometimes books are really terrible. Sometimes they really are. I just wasted a good half day reading a stupid little book that even as an inexperienced writer I could correct and alter its paragraphs. Unfortunately for me the stupidness of the accused is not something I seem to be able to put down. I can disagree with everything it represents. It’s blind narrow-minded writing. On average I am not a particularly judgemental person. Sure, I observe like nobodies business and, lord knows, do I have opinions on what I have observed up the wazoo. Still this book… angers me in an odd way because it feels like a an act of disrespect to the storytelling of my generation. I can accept as an avid reader of teenage fiction that there are a lot of books out there that are so sappy it kind of makes you want to gag, but still the writing talents have not diminished, they have just become a whole lot more difficult to find. For example, The Hunger Games. Awesome book and rightfully quite famous. The Book Thief. Another great book. Not quite of my generation but still hugely appreciated by us. A less common one would be The Night Circus which I have taken quite a liking to. I guess that’s the reason that I feel so angry now. I despise the idea of stereotyping and generalisations even though I occasionally guiltily succumb to them and I don’t like the idea that all teenage fiction is twilight-y bullshit. I spend the majority of my time as a hide from society inside my own head conjuring up and writing down stories and I feel… quite… offended to think that my somewhat not bad stories would still fit into the same category as the book I just read. Of course I could never hold myself so high with something I care this much about. I have written some truly terrible stories in my time. We are talking some real sappy shit here. I can’t say how I feel about my past epic failures, because at the time I didn’t realise just how bafflingly terrible they were. I like to think of writing the same way I think of art. There are the pieces made by people who really know there shit. The guys who dedicate their lives to knowing their shit and make a point of letting everyone know they know their shit. Then there are the guys who really don’t know their shit and are humble enough to admit that until they are ready and have perfected themselves enough to run at the world with their guns blazing. Then there are the people who not only don’t know there shit but can’t accept that so they run at the world with a broken slingshot that they think is a plasma gun.
I think that pieces of writing just like pieces of art should always be attempted but never out put until your sure that you understand what good means in the context of what you’re doing. When I first started writing which was in about year five I did not know crap. It was around the time that I began reading on a slightly higher level, but still when it came to really good literature I would have see it if it started screaming my name and dancing the waltz with my sisters. I started writing because I wanted to. Thats the reason I do anything. My thoughts were along the lines of “Hey, I’ve thought of the outline of a story. I think it’s pretty cool. How ‘bout I write it down in this little purple notebook I found in under my bed one time”. As you can see I was not a particularly complex thinker at the time, now, on the other hand, I have complex thinking leaking out of my ears. When I showed people my writing, in my little purple notebook they thankfully congratulated me for trying and kept their well-earned critical complements to themselves. Naturally I felt like the toppest of all the top shit. Fortunately I always feel like that so it didn’t really make much of a difference. As I got older and I read more and more and understood more and more I discovered I wasn’t as top shit as I had perviously thought, nonetheless as I went though my terrible stories I still continued to believed that the most recent addition to my terrible stories what the best, all the while looking upon the one before it critically. Every time I wrote a story I would look back on the pervious one and find a few of my mistakes and I would be sure that I didn’t make them again. I continued to make more and more stories and they slowly, slowly got better. I am still doing this and will probably continue to do this for the rest of my life, because as my teachers have proudly preached to me “You can only get better”.
Anyway the point of this post it simply to spread the lesson the you must see and understand your mistakes to know the worth of your piece.

No.

Teachers often mistake my vibrant reluctance to play the game with disrespect for them personally, which is really not true. Unfortunately for both parties I can only go so far in respecting them that I start disrespecting me. I won’t respect them because they’re older than me, or because I have to call them by their last name. I won’t respect them because they are honestly trying to give me an education or because they have the ability to give me detention. I will respect them because they are fellow human beings and being a human being is hard enough without having people being dicky to you.
To many people my gracious and not quite conventional attitude to the world would be regarded as a ‘problem with authority’. I’m not really sure I understand this. I have no problem with authority, I just don’t take it seriously. It’s all very well to tell me what to do, but the least you can do is give me a good reason why.
The school motivational system basically entails the following:
Student: “I don’t want to”
School: “Do this and we will give you a brightly coloured piece of paper with your name on it”
Student: “I can do that all on my own, thank you”
School: “…okay. But if you put in five of these we will give you $2 to spend on sugar”
Student: “I already have $2 and I still don’t want to do it”
Teacher: *sighs* “fine, if you don’t do it we will have to put you in a room for fifteen minutes with air conditioning during a heatwave”
Student: “That’s cool with me. See you at lunch”
You can see how hopeless the whole system is.
The best example I can give on how morally corrupt the school system is my well loathed cross country, which it essentially running in a big goddamn circle that unless you win is going to make you feel kinda crappy about yourself. I can understand how some people find joy in running in big goddamn circles and I am perfectly willing to let them continue running in big goddamn circles but for everyone else, it’s just running in a big goddamn circle.
The unfortunate truth is that no matter how many times your PE teachers says its not about winning the person who comes last is still going to feel really, really terrible and quite frankly I am beyond not cool with participating in something that is inevitably going to make quite a few people feel crappy and embarrassed. The question is how much do you have to want to win that you go so far as to make other people feel bad. I realise that of course this is not the aim of the competition but it is a side effect and people have to start taking responsibility for that.
There are always going to be things that people are going to force us to do but I don’t believe that being forced into doing things that both bring you no pleasure and will serve no good effects on you and the people around you is something that should be done as a practice. It’s like being bullied by your boss. Sure, it’s good to do what your boss says but that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with anything that makes you feel crappy and doesn’t serve any real purpose.
I also find many PE lessons quite disrespecting towards me as a person. Consider this: many times in my life people have asked me why I won’t do sports and often it’s the normal reasons. I’m too hot or I’m just feeling lazy, but in general my first and foremost answer is ‘I have better things to do’. Every second of my life that they take away from me while I’m being pointlessly forced into running in big goddamn circles is a second I could be using to do more interesting, productive and more happiness enforcing things.
When it comes to the various institutions in my life I have many a few choice words but unfortunately the people that are at the mercy to these institutions aren’t being paid to listen to me while they honestly can’t do anything about it, so all I can to is state my own hopefully subtle protests.

Rain

My school sucks at rain. When it rains its like the whole school goes into a state of both disarray and daze. We become solitary penguins. Swarming together in corridors and shelters. We wander mindlessly around looking for somewhere out of the endless drizzle that always seems to know where you are. A thousand lungs breathing the same warm damp air. Strangers following one another even though you have no idea who they are.
On rainy days so many friendships are reformed. Nobody has the energy to be awkward. Nobody has the care. You find yourself residing in the company of someone you haven’t talked to in ages. Or somebody you don’t even know. You don’t talk. You don’t socialise. You don’t text. You don’t play games. You listen to music and watch the drops of rain slide down the windows.
When it rains it is as if the whole school has decided that the only thing worth doing
is to breathe. Things like productivity and persistence and determination, they don’t matter. Late homework? Don’t care.
The best you can hope for is doing text book work. But the thing is though you don’t hope for the best because just like everyone else mental consciousness is suddenly such a trivial thing. When it rains you don’t pay the asking price. You just continue on your journey without a thought going to waste. Thoughts on days like these become such valuable things. If you think about something then that thing is important. When our minds and our bodies become rusty with dampness and you are thinking it is the basic equivalent of a miracle.
Rehearsals, shows, matinees, due assignments, homework all stop. It doesn’t matter whether it is achingly important. If rain is dripping even the idea of productivity is calmly looked at and then dismissed.
Throughout the day all you do is seek warmth and shelter and spare no thought to anything else unless it is of the utmost importance.
This is rain.