BREAKING NEWS: Terrorist Attack, After Terrorist Attack.

Oh look another terrorist attack.

Brussels explosions: Airport and metro hit with ‘at least 13 killed’ – BBC News

Seriously this is going to start to become common news. I’m no where near as shaken about this as I was by the Parisian terrorist attacks. I remember watching the video and seeing this policeman shot outright. Ruthless.

It makes me want to pursue journalism even more. To be able to cover stories like this and be in an environment that changes with the minute. 

Regardless these terrorists are becoming like ever buzzing flies to me. They fly right near my ear, make me shiver and shoo them, only seconds later to have them land on my hand, mocking me. 

I do not want children in a world like this. I don’t want to be a woman in a world like this. I don’t want to be young in a world like this. I don’t wish to grow old in a world like this. I have to clean up the mess these men and women are making. They bomb towers, they kill magazine editors, they crucify people for their beliefs, they film as they behead their people, click upload to Twitter, they chase citizens out of their country, and now we see that again they bomb and attack the innocent. 

It is all the same.

It happened in Roman conquests, the crusades, in the French Revolution, the American civil war, the KKK, the Armenian genocide, the holocaust, Vietnam, dictatorships in South America, Africa, Yugoslav wars, 9/11, and now we see it again. We never learn. It appears human life comes at the price of the name and the ethnicity labeled on your identity card, the cross in your hand, the star on your shirt and the black flag on your back. It’s all for the same god, the same man, the same ideas, the same name, the same truths and the same lies. It won’t ever stop really. We’re far too stubborn.

Forever Young.

Listening to Forever Young by Alphaville. It’s becoming eerily relevant nowadays. Written in 84 right. The Cold War ended in 91 if I learnt anything in History. 
“Let’s dance in style, let’s dance for while.

Heaven can wait, we’re only watching the skies.

Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst

Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?”
Reminds you of anything similar going on as of right now? The war on terrorism, anyone?
The world keeps going around and around. We’ve never known anything besides war. Think about it. 

My grandparents we’re born in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. They were born in the aftermath of ‘The Great War’ and were children during WWII. They had kids in the early 60’s. My dad was born 1960 and my mother in 1963. They grew up during an intense period of political unrest. Dad was born in Australia, while his parents were Italian. Most likely hit hard by WWII. My mother was born in Uruguay. A small country in South America with close ties to Cuba. A communist country. Home of The Cuban Missile crisis. Heard of Operation Condor? (www.latinamericanstudies.org/chile/operation-condor.htm)
My mother left Uruguay in ’77 and moved to Australia. A country that had just fought in the Vietnam War. Both my parents grew up in a time where war saturated TV screens and sometimes their homelands. 
The Cold War ended in 1991. Now ten years later, 9/11 hits America. Thus bringing the war on terrorism closer and more political unrest and tension. All I have known is war. No doubt all I will ever know is war, and I am sad to say that no doubt it will be all my children will know too.  We never learn. Now as France is being attacked by terrorists, we now watch the skies in fear of a bomb. 
“Let’s dance in style, let’s dance for while.

Heaven can wait, we’re only watching the skies.

Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst

Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?”
Again.

#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?

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. 

Dear Stigma:

I have depression, general anxiety disorder and a whole other buffet of various anxieties. But my depression’s always been the one that embarrassed me most. There was a reason why I was always afraid to even utter the word ‘depression’ let alone admit to my own depression that it did in fact exist.

About a year ago now, I was eerily close to suicide. I was prepared and willing to swallow boxes of all the various prescription only medications I had at my disposal. Sure, I know, I know, overdoses are the most common form of suicide, yet wield the least ‘successful’ results. That’s right, I did my research. But you see, I had an ace up my sleeve. I’d been diagnosed with ADD as a kid and still take the medication when needed. With the anti depressants I had already owned, the ADD medications, sleeping tablets and various pain killers I was sure I was at an advantage when compared to my adversaries. I, funnily enough was not strong enough to follow through. I went to sleep that night giving myself an ultimatum and left it all to chance. It takes a certain strength to willingly end your life. It’s strange to say given the stigma, but it’s true. To put the gun to your head is on thing, but to pull the trigger is another. 

I spent the next couple of months weaving in and out of psychiatrist appointments and psychologist, the lot and in secret taking my frustrations out on my arm with various items. One desperate attempt included a pen lid.

I often hide my arm under a sleeve. I am ashamed still that I had come to that. Every so often with a liberal and forgetful, tantalisingly human movement of my arm in which my sleeve falls down to wherever it may. Whenever I catch someone glancing at my arm. Whenever I feel vulnerable I feel ashamed at myself.

I however have chosen to push past the embarrassment. Every time I feel a situation calls for it I bring out the obligatory speech which explains my history and eventually extends the hand to those who need it. To those I suspect might be in a similar boat to what I had been. The stigma itself is terrifying. 

It is the stigma associated with it that made me feel so weak for succumbing to it, in bowing down and bending to it’s will. It is the reason why I fell so far. The stigma must go. I refuse to stop being open about my experiences until all are comfortable in having the conversation. 

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.

I Just Spent The Last Half Hour Shaving My Legs.

Yes. You read that right. I did in fact spend the last last half an hour shaving my legs. Do I live in the Stone Age? No. How ’bout a rock? Surprisingly that’s a no too. Then why did you just spend the last half hour shaving your legs then Lana? Enlighten us! Well, my shaver broke. Well, somewhat. 

So, a couple of weeks ago I was shaving my legs, with an electric shaver, in the shower. Yes, I know, I’m an idiot. That was a recipe for disaster. I’m very well aware of that. But that’s besides the point. Now, I am of course blessed with the grace and the coordination of a Greek god. So much so infact that a tennis ball could be whirling at my face, hit it and fall to the ground, then a couple of seconds later I’ll react with a confused “what?!” Proceed to walk away, but find myself tripping over that yellow, fluffy, fluro ball of death instead.

Now I, and my grace, accidentally dropped the buzzing electric shaver onto the pool of a shower floor. It then fell open and the batteries flew out. Like two very angsty teenage birds flying away from the nest. I then freaked out, put it back together and forgot about it. 

[Flash forward to about a week later]

“Why must my legs have hair?” Reluctantly, I go to shave my legs. Same old, same old. While doing so I notice a strange brown-orange-yellow coloured fluid pouring out of the shaver and on to my legs. Battery acid. Hooray. 

[Now flash forward to the next week]

“Screw this! I have to do it! My calves are starting to look like the Amazon!” I must shave my legs. But how? I have an idea. The electric shaver contains all I need to shave my legs, sans a battery. The battery and the motor just make my job easier. I can manipulate the actual razor bit in order to shave my legs. It works. Not very well. Or fast. But it works nonetheless. So I park my butt on the floor and get to work and slowly slowly trim down the Amazon to a local forest. That’s good enough for me at this point in time. 

I was reflecting later on why on earth I felt such a need to trim my legs and remove the hair. It’s just hair. It’s meant to be there. Right? Ha! Oh innocent little female you! No, it’s not. You must have legs that are as smooth as silk. No hair must be seen. Because, well you see, we don’t really have a good reason besides it looks better? Can you settle for that?

No, unhealthy modern beauty standards. I cannot settle for that. I’m not going to go on a feminist rampage and refuse to shave my legs and armpits and braid my pubic hair. I prefer to have shaven legs. Though, why would it matter whether I did or I didn’t anyway? Why must I? Tell me. I’d really like to know.