Monday, November 28, 2005

Winter

Cold air bites my skin,
breath suspended in a cloud,
frosted leaves crunching.

Monday, November 21, 2005

One

It's clear what this is about, I've just written it, I'll never forget why.



Another leaves to join the one,
quickly fading yet never leaving.
To show my emotions, just a tear.
Memories' decay does bother me,
how will he survive through time?

Still standing is his work,
monuments built of stone and mind.
Across the skyline they give light.
I'll hold on, knowing it'll be fine,
Through the pillars you live on.

Nameless and praised.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Fan Death

I found this site about fan death the other day at work. I can't work out what to make of it.

Look around http://www.fandeath.net and have a think. I'm trying to decide if it's a serious commentary on a strange social phenomena, or just a bit of anti Korean racist rubbish. It does seem to touch (albeit very lightly) on some almost serious points, for example the way it might be used to report suicides in a sensitive way. However it just doesn't strike me as being altogether an objective approach to a cultural difference.

So should I dislike it or not? I really can't tell. I also don't want to just leave it as that and ignore it, that'd be just as bad as thinking it was great if in reality it was racist.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Why does rebellion make sense to middle class people? (Or why do we have mini goths?)

This started off as a conversation with Rosie last night about "who are we to judge our own actions". In the course of trying to explain it we started to talk about her liking gothicness (I'm sure that's a made up word). I was using this as an example of something which is most likely a rebellion against her middle class upbringing, where as she said that she enjoys listening to the music and wearing black and big knee high boots. I'm not going to use this example any more, as it can be argued either way (if it's rebellion or just taste), instead I'm going to make it abstract by renaming Rosie to Alice and assuming that some magic machine has said it's at heart driven by a desire for rebellion. Alice still thinks it is her own taste and style, mainly as this allows me to explore the idea of where the self hiding desire to rebel comes from. One more word of caution in my analysis is that I don't mean to exclude upper or lower class people, it's just that I should "write what I know" and the majority of goths (of all types) that I know are from middle class families. (In hindsight perhaps as well as renaming Rosie to Alice I should have made her a Jetialic instead of a goth, but making up a social group would really just generate more problems.)

So what of Alice's life? She's had what could be summed up as a good life. She's never been left hungry, she's been given a reasonable amount of freedom over where she goes out and who she's friends with. Yes there will have been times where her parents didn't want her going out with that boy, but on the whole they were reasonable, so surely there should be no reason for Alice to rebel.

My first idea for a reason was to do with the middle class conscious/guilt that most middle class people experience. This guild drives them to recycle, it drives them to give money to charity; so don't get me wrong, it's a good thing, but it could also be the cause for kids wanting to rebel. I see it contributing to this in two ways. The first is that there is a desire to get away from the guilt of being comfortable when others are not, or by being comfortable at the expense of the environment. This would seem to make sense but I'm not convinced, it implies all rebels are cowards,which simply can't be the case. The second thought I had is a bit more difficult to explain.

I think the easiest way to explain it is by a analogy. Imagine that one of your friends is in pain. There is nothing you can do about it, so you get frustrated and angry. In your frustration and anger you punch the wall or throw a plate at the wall. Some act of destruction which doesn't affect the thing which is actually causing the anger. In this way being a rebel doesn't help others live a better life, but it allows you to be distracted, to do something to help ease the guilt that has been taught to you since you were young.

However I strongly believe that rebellion does serve a purpose, that it's not just a side-effect of a different social phenomena. While the previously mentioned reason does have a role to play I believe that it is also serves two other purposes. The first is one of asserting a style. It's not a case of being and individual by being part of a big group (a common criticism of goths) it's being an individual by not being what your parents were. I also think that by trying another lifestyle it is easier to settle into a house with a wife and two kids. By trying a different life we can be more confident that the one we have is best suited for us.

On the other hand some people find their other choice more enjoyable and more to their tastes so go with it. Perhaps this is the most important factor, that while our parents might want to shape us in their image, a strong desire to rebel allows them to only offer a helping hand in our development. So we should all be thankful, not just for having a choice available but also to the desire to exercise it.