Fate is Chance. Destiny is Choice.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Life, the Universe and Everything

It's been a while again since I last did a post, mostly because reality beckons (when doesn't it?). It's my 21st birthday on Friday, so I'm going home this weekend, albeit with my boyfriend on the same train :-D I've always thought trains were sort of romantic - it's that whole 'platform encounter' thing that are always in old movies, when the train is hissing steam and the love of your life comes out of the steam and...*sighs*...a perfect movie train encounter. Also, one of my favourite films Before Sunrise starts with an encounter on a train when two people meet and fall in love with one of the best conversations in their lives - watch it, you won't regret it :) But train platforms are sad too...people having to say goodbye all the time. There's always next time though!

My project essay for my degree (a dissertation of sorts) is going to be undertaken using the subject of deafness and society - so I'm really looking forward to working out a question and researching it and so on. I'm not entirely sure what I want it to be about yet - whether it should be about the deaf community and society's perception of it or whether it should be something to do with equality/the disability question and so on. Most deaf people don't think of themselves as disabled, me included, although society is very ignorant about what being deaf involves, although I don't think this is anyone's fault in particular as modern perceptions are usually based on TV or film or stereotypes. I mean..I'm sure a lot of people would see a deaf person as being unable to interact with the world because they use sign-language or because they can't speak or use English properly.

Its quite sad really - I was watching a programme the other night (can't remember what it was called though its quite famous etc) and they made a comment about a deaf man in a theatre audience whose mobile went off and someone on stage had a go at him and told him to leave but the people on the programme were saying that why would he have a mobile in the first place or be at a theatre in the first place? Hmm...a rather ignorant view I would have to say - first of all there is texting technology and secondly, anyone can go to the cinema or theatre even if they can't follow it completely. As I mentioned in one of my other blogs, Cinema can be subtitled and theatre can also be subtitled - Stagetext do a lot of captioning around the country (www.stagetext.com). So there is no reason to make jokes like that even if they are initially funny - I laughed but felt really bad afterwards because I found it insulting and in bad taste when the laughter died down.

Anyway...I'll definitely give an outline of my project essay when I get some more ideas and talk to my project essay supervisor. The last year of Uni is actually quite scary to be honest, everything is much more serious and you feel as though everything is coming to a head - you have to work harder - this particular Sociology degree at York is all based on essays so theres no exams but it's still hard work as you have a lot of reading - although I've developed a real passion for the subject because it's so relevant to society..obviously!!

My favourite anime films ever have to be the films by Hayao Miyazaki - nobody else could make such profound statements and yet manage to make the artwork so beautiful and the characters so interesting and quirky. I am referring to the creator of Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke among others. Although I've collected all the episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion and bought the Hellsing series, and watched a couple of other Manga films, I don't exactly find them as watchable as Miyazaki's films. A lot of Manga appears samey - although I do agree that there are some extremely revolutionary films that changed the face of cinema and anime/animation out there. Films like Ghost in the Shell have obviously achieved cult recognition - but...as I usually am, I'm quite critical about film as with many things! Hmmm...a film critic..interesting idea ;) I LOVE Miyazaki's films though because they are so inventive and beautiful to watch :)

Its easy to understand entertainment/hobbies as a form of escapism - but something my boyfriend mentioned in his blog about gaming made me think about how our world sometimes seems extremely artificial. It's almost as though people have somehow stopped engaging with the real world as much as they used to. I've actually been thinking about this a great deal recently - is it harmful to spend too much of our time playing games, on the internet, watching TV and films, reading magazines, and so on? I'm not saying that doing these things is harmful, but doing them in excess probably is because I don't think people always appreciate how beautiful the real world actually is. The world itself gives us electricity, water and food, and yet a lot of people are afraid of truly connecting to the world outside our houses. I appreciate the imagination that goes into creating a good game, but yes, playing a game all day could mess with someone's mind.

I can't remember the last time I went for a walk in the woods - and I've been on some rather lovely walks (mostly when I was a child). I'm not afraid of going camping, although I would draw the line at completely natural camping as I like my showers and flushing toilets! I suppose I'm aware of entertainment such as film and games making perfect worlds on screen, creating utopias and perfect people when the real world could never be that perfect - and we should appreciate that imperfection more because it's reality.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Couple of Random Things...

Well..it's been a while since I've posted on this blog, mostly because of my sort of hectic life. I say sort of because although my weekends are kept busy, the weeks are kind of disjointed because my timetable means that I have Uni on Mondays and Thursdays and three days are free, it feels a little strange sometimes. I mean, if I don't have much work to do, then it can get a little boring because everyone else is busy and I've finished watching Charmed series 3 (yep, I'm onto series three now!), and it's kind of hard to think of things to do beside watch TV, read or go for walks (and I'm sure I've walked everywhere it's possible to walk around here!!). Having said that, I'm not complaining because some people have less time to chill out than I do so I suppose I'm lucky in a way.

It's 2 weeks til I'm 21 tomorrow exactly so I'm sort of thinking about what I want to do with my life at this point. I mean, I absolutely love studying because I like things that challenge me and keep my brain stimulated. I think if I was in a job where I didn't use my brain then I would probably end up feeling like I'm not doing anything useful. I've always thought I would like to campaign for something because I feel so strongly about deaf rights and about equal rights generally. I want to make a difference to the world - and although I probably will have to have a couple of boring moments along the way, that's my ideal in life, to make a difference for people, to support people and let them know there's people there to help them. But then again, I love to learn, especially Sociology, so I know at some point I may carry on and do a Masters degree or something similar.

Anyway...this is probably really boring but I don't care - I'm sure not many people read this anyway (especially since I get really few comments..how about none..blah). I guess we all have ambitions for our lives, but I don't think mine are so career oriented as some are. I just really want to be doing something I love doing, and have a happy life, a fulfilled one which keeps a balance. I don't want to be the kind of person who becomes lost in a career or lost as a mother/housewife etc.

I think it's difficult for women even now because although they have so much more freedom, it's quite a new freedom and quite a precious one, something that you still have to work at because there are still too many justifications for gender roles, there are still particular expectations about men and women, and it doesn't have to be like that.

It would be so good to have a real balance between genders so there is a truly equal society - one in which both men and women are seen as individuals in their own rights rather than worlds apart and completely different etc etc. I mean, all that crap about men being from mars and women from venus - I accept that we have particular hormones and physical characteristics but why should this mean women are seen as irrational and men as rational, or women as sex objects and men as the voyeurs?

I know there are some really lovely people out there and I don't mean this as an insult or anything like that. I'm just looking at a general overview rather than individuals - we are taught particular roles and that this is our lot and this is what we have to accept. But I know there are people who definitely don't accept these things. Maybe because I'm deaf I feel more aware of the injustices of things, of how things change for people according to what they look like, whether they can see or hear, where they come from, whether they are male or female. I know I'm sometimes irrational about particular things and I do apologise to ever suffering family/friends =P But I think some things need to be said, thought about and something done about them.

I'm kind of glad that I'm doing Sociology because it has really opened my eyes to what is happening in this world of ours, how it could be better and how some things should be. But I do accept that things can't change unless people actually wake up one day and think the world needs to change or everyone wakes up and changes the way they think about gender roles, about "disability" and other such subjects. There's always room for change where social life is concerned.

I've also been thinking about the things I actually want to do in my lifetime, and so I've devised a honourary list:

1. Move in with my boyfriend

2. Travel to: Japan, China, Prague, Russia, assorted States of America, Canada, Africa, the Carribean, the rest of Europe (as I've been to lots of places already, although I wouldn't mind going to them again!).

3. Have a beautiful black cat...well I don't mind what colour just as long as it's a cat!

4. Have something published (I write lyrics/poetry but perhaps I will write something of real note some day!)

5. Have my own library room...someday...

6. Ooh..perhaps I could actually have a bookshop :)

7. See as many art exhibitions as I possibly can in my lifetime

8. Have a Breakfast at Tiffany's moment outside Tiffany's in NY :)

9. Eventually have Children...although I would love to achieve most of what I want before that..most people do!

10. Have a true romantic moment in Paris, at night, with all the stars and a full moon...:)

Hmm...well...I know some of them are a bit frivolous but there's room in my life for that! I guess I really appreciate the simple things in life, those defining moments when everything seems happy in your world and you want that moment to last forever, it can just be sitting at breakfast on a Sunday morning with your boyfriend or it can be having a real laugh with your little sister or friends.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bizarre Things

Its kind of weird if you think about all the different time zones in the world - who on earth thought up time anyway? It's such a bizarre concept even though we all think its just commonsense. I mean, daylight saving time (clock going backwards or forwards depending on the particular time of year) is really disorienting because it only gets darker because we've gone backwards or lighter because we've gone forward, if that makes sense?

Erk no it doesn't. Did this particular person or group of persons think about the practical implications of time going backward and forward? It's almost as if we're going back in time or forward in time (we are, but I mean in a time machine sense). In fact, perhaps it is possible to travel back in time, but people have memories and without erasing memories it would be impossible to go back to a particular moment, because the people involved would remember. We do go back and forward in time though, especially when travelling to other countries and continents, which is just inexplicably weird. Erk, I say.

Anyway, I'm starting to wonder what really is out there, it's interesting that all these people believe in a God or Gods/Goddesses and so on. I mean, I'm not being disrespectful, I'm just one of those people who have decided to renounce religion because of the way I think - for example, I know many Christians who think being gay is bad (not that just particular Christians are like that, other people think that too), or that deaf people are somehow lacking or need to be 'saved' or something - yes, it's madness because deafness has nothing to do with whether you're a good/bad person or whether you need to be pitied.

I've always thought that some of the most extreme facets of certain religions have nothing to do with morality or acceptance, I think some religions are quite close minded and unaccepting. But it isn't just the reason I've changed what I believe, I don't think I ever really believed in God or the bible and so on. I'm a thinker, and I've always had a good imagination, and a belief in the good in people, I think its just that I rationalize things alot too. Its fine that people believe what they do but not if they are small minded about other people's ways of life (like some people have been quite awful about Muslims since particular attacks in London).

Having said that, I'm not getting all heavy again...it always seems to happen when I feel strongly about something :-) My life is okay at the moment, so much okay that I could probably sing about it from the rooftops, but I won't, so there :-P I'm sort of in a lazy phase at the moment, where my work is slightly neglected but I'm still managing to keep up *somehow*. To be honest, I may feel quite happy when I finish University next June, although the independence will be sorely missed and I'll probably start thinking about moving out from home again...and living with my boyfriend...and having a little black cat and living happily ever after until Monday morning when work will probably beckon :-P Oh, and bills!!

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