#HumanityWashedAshore

The world has been rocked today with the emergence of this photograph of a drowned Syrian boy who had washed up on the shores of Turkey. The boy was fleeing his home. He and his brother were attempting to reach Canada where his aunt lives. The boat however capsized while carrying the boys to the Greek Island of Kos. The image has caused a stir across the world, sparking cartoons, hashtags, heartfelt obituaries and political controversy over the acceptance of so called ‘boat people’. I warn those reading this that you may find this image graphic. I have chosen not to blur or censor the image in anyway.

Syrian Boy Drowned

(i.ndtvimg.com/i/2015-09/syrian-boy-drowns-650-afp_650x400_51441283742.jpg)

I have chosen to keep the image as it was. I feel it needs to be shown in all it’s controversy. I care not for lying and coating the situation in a resin that makes the issue easy to stomach. It shouldn’t be easy to stomach. You shouldn’t flick through this as one does the local news. Otherwise we are not fully addressing the issue at hand. The issue is this: an infant boy who was fleeing his home is now dead. It does not matter where he comes from. It doesn’t matter about his age or his gender. All that matters is that a human being was denied the basic human right that you and I both take for granted every second. We sit here sipping on hot coffee’s, browsing the internet and complaining about trivial matters like a slowly buffering screen, while innocent souls are being made the casualties of war, political unrest, poverty and discrimination. We are a generation, a society, a culture of hashtags. #HumanityWashedAshore – whilst it means well, it means nothing. What have we done so far to help those in the same soggy shoes as the boy? Did we cause this? Why does this situation feel so oddly similar?

Let me take you back to the 1940’s. As you should be aware by now, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party were not only creating and battling in a world war but also killing Jews in what we call the Holocaust at the speed a factory produces in demand goods. The allies had the ability to bomb both the train lines that carried the supplies to the German army but also the train lines that carried innocent human souls to literal death camps. Now, what did we do? We bombed both! right? Nope! We did not. We carried on with the war, knowing full well the Nazi’s were sending Jews into gas chambers, death marches, labour camps and even lining them up, one by one and shooting them dead. The bodies of an estimated figure of 6 million Jews fell to the hands of the Nazis. We were well aware of the atrocities going on across camps in the third reich and yet we never touched a single railway line. That’s indifference. That indifference is still in full force, this time not towards victims of the Holocaust but little infants just like the boy who washed up on the shore. The same boy whom you wrote a heartfelt tweet about this morning. There are millions more of him holding on to their own boat praying that the next wave that hits won’t kill them.

By all means, write that tweet. Do whatever you feel compelled to do once reading his story. However, do not sit back and wait for the favourites, the comments, the retweets and reblogs and sit there proudly as your hashtag ‘HumanityWashedAshore’ collects them and does all the work. Your actions are just as hollow and meaningless as it is to consider bombing that train line to Treblinka. How many deaths must there be before we as a society finally decide to reach out our hand and save the boy drowning in the sea?

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No Tumblr, That’s Not OCD

No. OCD is ritualistic behaviours and habits that are created in order to soothe one’s certain persisting anxieties and or fear. For example: a person who has a cleanliness based OCD who is afraid of something being contaminated with germs; they will come up with ways in order to avoid that from happening as much as possible. For example they will not touch dirty laundry, railings or doorknobs with their hands. They might meticulously and constantly wash their hands to the point where the skin becomes raw and in a very poor and unprotected state. These behaviours are compulsive and can lead to a very large portion of the person’s life being swallowed up by those habits. Take another example of a manifestation of OCD nicknamed ‘the checker’: these people will check and recheck and make sure everything is okay and will not go about whatever they were doing until they have done so. It stems from an irrational and debilitating fear that something bad might happen if this isn’t done or they don’t do this. For example: when I was a kid, probably as young as 5, I had to say goodnight to my parents. Every night. If I did not, I was not be able to sleep whatsoever because if I didn’t I was convinced that something disastrous would happen and I would deeply regret it. It sounds incredibly idiotic now and definitely embarrassed me (and continues to do so), when I’d reflect on those years when I got a little older. At the time the fear was very real. OCD is not just some ‘clean person thing’ it is a very serious mental illness that has the ability to destroy people’s lives and even possibly end them in worst case scenarios. Sometimes it can manifest in small ways and is relatively easy to control like mine was and is. Other times it does get to the point where a person’s life is completely devastated by it. It’s not something to take lightly or misidentify.
So for all the confused 15 year old girls on Tumblr: no that’s not OCD that’s just a really mild case of OCPD. 

The Unwritten Rules Of Social Media #1

I just so happened to be scrolling through my Instagram last night and liked a few posts by the ‘obligatory follows’ A.K.A that one weird friend you have to follow because they followed you or that cousin you have to talk to every holiday. In doing so I realised something: there’s a sort of etiquette with social media that you have to follow or you’ll look like an ass.

Rule #1: You Must Like Even The Worst Of Photos

You must like the photo they just posted of a cheesy quote (or worse! A cheesy quote which titles a selfie *shudders*) that had more work done on it than¬†Jocelyn Wildenstein and was attacked by a barrage of crappy Instagram filters playing tag team. Regardless of whether you truly like the photo or not you must like it. I was once scrolling through Instagram and up popped a weirdly angled black and white filtered selfie captioned by the lyrics of ‘Say Something’ by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera followed by a blushing emoji. Now I have no idea what the actual fuck they meant by posting that. I figure it was some ambiguous hint to friends or possible ex-boyfriend, but honestly your guess is as good as mine. Now what did I do? I liked that photo. Why did I like that photo? Because I had to. Thank you, internet. I can barely handle a social situation in real life. Now I have to abide by rules that make me feel like a moron on the Internet too? Thanks. I appreciate it.