"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Monday, January 31, 2011

What Australia is coming to.

Our brothers over east are battling floods and cyclones.

Half of the nation hates our Prime Minister, and all of us hate the misogynistic alternative.

The education system continues to appall much of the civilized world.

We and the world are still recovering from the GFC.

Australia has pathetic internet connection speed.

Alcohol, drugs, indigenous health and teenage pregnancy are still major societal issues.

We have impoverished neighbours who need our help.

Closer to home, many of Perth's hospitals are not keeping up with demand and need to be refurbished or replaced.

And what is our dear Premier doing?

Building a new sports stadium.

"It'll have like, two new colour schemes, for example, it'll be a different colour scheme when the Eagles play than the Dockers!" Our premier says excitedly over this pathetic project. We already have a sports stadium, and they're building another entertainment complex in the city for God-Knows-Why reason. For a small, uncultured city we have our fair share of entertainment and sporting grounds. Why the hell do we need yet another one based on mega stadiums in the US? Why is the Premier garbling on about colour schemes and stadiums that we do not need when what we do need is to give money to Queensland and to our neighbours, overhaul our education system, build more hospitals and regain our losses from the GFC, which seems all but forgotten? Why is our Premier ignoring those who are overworked and underpayed in favour of something as trifling as sport? Don't get me wrong, I understand sport is important, especially in this country, but is it more important than education? Than lives? Than helping our fellow citizens through hardship?

I don't understand what our government is coming to. We screen out foreigners we are afraid of because they don't have 'Australian spirit', but where is our 'Australian spirit'? Forget spirit, what is blocking these fat, ignorant, bigoted conservative bastards from doing what needs to be done? Their own intelligence, it seems, or rather, the distinct lack of such.

Australia is too boastful of the fact that Australia is a good country. What we fail to realize that whilst Australia is a good place, it is far from perfect, and it could be so, so much better. We can all be better Australians, and we can start by trying not to be the sport-obsessed, uneducated teenage-pregnant hooligans of the world, but instead meaningful people doing meaningful things and leading meaningful lives. But no, far from that. We have a Prime Minister who does not even have majority support, a misogynistic backward asshole for a Prime Minister alternative, a Premier who is too caught up in football to recognise that people die due to inefficient hospitals, and saddest of all, a population that for the most part doesn't even care.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Mad Hatter

Ah, we all love Bob Katter,
Our resident Mad Hatter,
The egg-throwing Beetlemania hater,
Who doesn't like us importing bananas into Australia.

We don't actually know what he looks like,
Under that bloody big Acubra
And to climate change he's just saying,
'I hope you got a big umbrella'.

He's all for the farmers,
He probably has cattle printed on his pyjamas.
He says that there are no gays in his electorate,
There probably are,
But under his hat he probably just can't see it.

Do you know what the sad thing is,
About this big bad mad Hatter?
That there are so many more of them,
Who are just like Bob Katter.

The Queensland Flood Tax Levy...thingy...

So at the moment there's been a huge debate as to where the government will get the money to rebuild the parts of Queensland that were destroyed by floods.

Queensland would also like you to know that just because the area flooded is the size of Spain, Queensland itself is the size of Europe. So please, please, please, pretty please come to Queensland, Home of the Floods Ex-Prime Minister Bob Katter um, Gold Coast.

Anyway. The fact remains that dear old God has left the Australian government the dilemma of pulling together billions from nowhere. Wherever they take it from they're gonna piss off somebody, and when you're a minority government you really don't want to piss off anybody.

Bob Katter, in his normal Mad Hatter way, is now claiming that if victims of the Queensland floods get monetary support than the people of his electorate should get money too. We really don't understand his logic - it's like Queen Victoria demanding the baby bonus. Bob Katter is...well, he's quite...he's nuts.

Tony Abbot has been whining on and on about how all our problems will be solved if we cut the promised Broadband scheme, but then again, just as we are in 2011 battling the floods he's in the last century battling the suffragettes and the first-wave feminists. Half the time he doesn't know what he's talking about and the rest of the time he's apologising/clarifying/denying things that he has said, and inexplicably surrounding himself with female family members to prove that he's all pro-woman and all of that, which he is not.

So far the government has cut some funding to education and teaching and all that jazz, and they're thinking of imposing a levy. For those of you who think 'Levy' and then 'American Pie', a levy is basically just an increase in taxes for a period of time.

I really don't know what to say on the matter because I am not a taxpayer, and from a non-taxpayer's point of view it seems reasonable that the nation pulls together and pitches in - it's supposedly a very Australian thing to do. But what I fail to see is that why, with all our 'Australian spirit' and all of that, a levy is necessary at all - surely if we were all 'dinky-dy' Australians with 'Australian values' those of us who could donate would have already, and so we really shouldn't impose a tax on people who may not be able to cope with it. It's sort of like imposed generousity, no? Hah, it's like society.

I personally think that the churches and the insurance companies should pay for it, because both of these organizations are clucking on about 'Act of God'. If it's an 'Act of God' why don't you do something godly about it, for God's sake?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blog Name

Over the years I have changed my blog name so many times, but I think I'm done with experimenting.

I have put up a poll with all the names I can remember that this blog has been called, and I would like you to vote for your favourite. And hopefully I will change it to that and it'll stay like that.

Also if you have an idea for a blog name put it in the comments, and I'll add them to the poll once this poll has finished.

That's the plan.

Friday, January 28, 2011

We Are Who We Are.

We are who we are.
Boy and girl.
We meet.
We leave.
We laugh, cry, fight, die.
We leave.
We meet.
Boy and girl.
We are who we are.

I dream of Darcys,
I dream of could be's,
I dream of maybes,
I dream of fantasies.

You dream of football,
And pretty girls,
Perhaps you don't dream at all.
I don't know.

We are an odd pairing,
Woman and man.
We are so different,
Yet so alike.
We love,
We hate.

I dream of big things,
And little things too,
A little farmhouse,
Overridden with children.
Will you be there, with me?

You dream of small things,
And big things too.
I guess I'm never in your dreams.
You're always in mine.

We're two clocks out of sync,
Two calendars based on different stars.
I follow the moon,
The possibilities of impossibility.
You follow the earth.
The impossibilities of possibility.
Maybe we'll share the same anniversary of love.

We are driven away by everything,
Connected only by the goddess of love,
The god of sex.
Such a tenuous link,
Maybe it will break.
Will it be our beginning/awakening?
Will it be our fall?

We are who we are.
Boy and girl.
We meet.
We leave.
We laugh, cry, fight, die.
We leave.
We meet.
Boy and girl.
We are who we are.

Will our lives ever be...guiltless?
Will we ever have...freedom?

Every day, girls from even the most privileged countries in the world, are subject to endless advertisement, criticism, brainwashing and promises of 'improvement'. Every girl is beautiful. Remember that.

Inspired by those inspiring if slightly hypocritical Dove ads.

A Guide to being a Good Feminist.

1. Never be afraid to fall in love - Love should not be characterized as something weak or submissive. A relationship built on love, respect and understanding makes you a better person, a better woman and a better feminist.

2. Hate some of the world, not all of it - Sometimes when you get lost in the history of the women's rights movement it seems like the whole world is against us poor females - but step back, relax, and remember that someone is neither a friend nor an enemy until you know them.

3. Don't preach or resort to extremes - Many feminists brush people up the wrong way when they get too carried away by their cause. Just like we don't like those door-to-door evangalists, we don't like hearing girls screaming 'BURN YOUR BRA!' in our ears.

4. Men can be feminists, too - not all men are out there to rape and pillage and plunder and rob us of our rights. Only some of them are.

5. Women have their faults, too - we're not Practically Perfect in Every Way, and we certainly shouldn't pretend we are.

6. Live life - like many things, feminism can often run away with you. Whilst changing the world is a grand responsibility for anyone, sometimes you have to take time out and enjoy the little things in life, and bask in the small triumphs.

The Mr Darcy Complex.

I think all of us suffer from the Mr Darcy Complex.

What appeals to us about Mr Darcy is that for a man who at first appeared to be so grotesquely proud and haughty and destructive and anti-love, he is a pretty impressive romantic hero with all the romantic heroic ideals of a romantic hero: tall, rich, good looking, kind, sensitive, generous, blah blah blah. It gives us girls hope that fags may not be fags, they're Mr Darcy's - good men hiding under a bad cover.

But Mr Darcy is a character, from a book. These fags are people, from real life. And fags are just fags, and will always be fags. I've learned that the hard way.

We all like to imagine our men to be Mr Darcy's, and ourselves as the Elizabeth Bennet who peels away his cold mask, makes him realize his flaws, and be the inspiration for such a character metamorphosis. It's our way of coming to terms with the many failures of love and the opposite sex. It also makes us come to terms with our own faults - our faults in character, in appearance, in situation - because Elizabeth got her new and improved Mr Darcy, so why shouldn't we?

Another great appealing feature of Mr Darcy is his exoticness to the Bennet sisters - they were country girls, unaccustomed to such rich and refined company. It's the reason why we schoolgirls are often attracted to men who are in uni, who have jobs and lives, because they seem so much detatched from the endless chore of school, and so different, so grown-up and exciting and mature compared to the poo-jokes and fart fascinations of the boys in the schoolyard.

We are all fools in love.

Pride and Prejudice: The Novel and The Movie.

Pride and Prejudice has maintained it's popularity due to it's uncanny relevance to modern day society, despite the manifold differences between the world today and back in 18th century England.

But even a book famed for it's universal appeal has a couple of WTF!? elements. This is a study guide of sorts, based on Pride and Prejudice, both the novel and the 2005 movie.

Synopsis (based mostly on the movie):

Elizabeth "Lizzy" Bennet lives with her family of middle-upper class gentry with some financial strain in Longbourn, near Meryton when a wealthy gentleman, his sister (in the book, two sisters and the husband of the eldest) and his closest friend rent Netherfield Park, the grandest house in the county. The gentleman in question is a Mr Charles Bingley, a very eligible bachelor of 5,000 pounds a year (That would be a lot. like 500,000 pounds in today's money.) and is immediately attracted to Lizzy's elder sister Jane Bennet, who is considered the beauty of the county. The sister (sisters and husband) are mildly aloof and condescending on the Bennets, however they take a liking to Jane, but Mr Bingley's friend, Mr Darcy, is blantantly rude and haughty towards the entire county, being an extremely wealthy man of double Bingley's income. Through his cold and condescending manner he manages injure Lizzy's pride through a casual jilt on her plainness ("not handsome enough to tempt me") and has seemingly earned forever her bad opinion of him, due to her habit of judging people based on first impressions. Mr Bingley falls blindly in love with Jane, but both Mr Darcy and Bingley's sisters are appalled at the lack of propriety shown by the rest of Jane and Lizzy's family: the relaxed and unsociable Mr Bennet, silly and narrow-minded Mrs Bennet, who's desperation to get her daughters married into good families drives her into actions that make her a social embarassment, Mary Bennet, the plain, dull, overachieving sister, and Catherine "Kitty" and Lydia Bennet, who are as silly and excitable as their mother. Mr Darcy is further concerned by Jane's apparent indifference to Mr Bingley, believing that a marriage between them would be as a result of unmatched levels of affection, and for the sole benefit of improving the Bennet's social standing. This is later revealed to be a misunderstanding of Jane's quiet and shy nature.

As the Bingley's and Jane grow close, Jane is invited to dine with the ladies of Netherfield Park, but through intervention by Mrs Bennet rides there on horseback in the rain, catches cold, and is forced to stay at Netherfield for several days. In order to tend to her, Lizzy hikes through mud to Netherfield, scandalising the prim and proper Bingley sisters. Caroline Bingley, the unmarried sister, grows jealous as Mr Darcy begins to pay Lizzy particular attention during her stay.

After Lizzy and Jane return to Longbourn they are visited by Mr Bennet's cousin who will inherit the Longbourn estate, due to the lack of male heir on Mr Bennet's part - which would leave Mr Bennet's widow and any unmarried daughters destitute and at the mercy of this said cousin upon Mr Bennet's death. Mr Collins, who is described as a silly, pompous and self-important man, intends to solve this dilemma by marrying one of Mr Bennet's daughters, thus creating peace between the families and obtaining a wife, which he believes is one of his very long list of things he must do as part of his role of clergyman. He is attracted to Jane, but after Mrs Bennet warns him (erronously) that she is soon to be engaged, he turns his attentions to Lizzy. Mr Collins soon proposes to Lizzy, but she cannot reconcile herself to the idea of marrying without love, let alone the idea of marrying someone she considers to be ridiculous and socially awkward, and rejects him. A wounded Mr Collins then leaves the Bennet's to stay with the Lucases, another family of minor gentry, and proposes to Lizzy's best friend, Charlotte Lucas. Lizzy is appalled when Charlotte accepts him, not out of love but for fear of becoming an old maid, the desire for her own home and financial security - plain, not wealthy and twenty-seven, Charlotte was considered far from an eligible for marriage and considered herself to have 'a lot to be thankful for'.

During Lizzy's awkward encounter with Mr Collins she meets Mr Wickham, a seemingly charming member of the militia stationed in Meryton for the winter. After witnessing a cold encounter between Mr Wickham and Mr Darcy, Mr Wickham recounts that he was a childhood friend of Mr Darcy, who's father bequeathed to him the rectory on their estate. He then goes on to claim that after old Mr Darcy died, the current Mr Darcy gave the living to another man, reducing Mr Wickham to the poor state he is in at the present. This fuels Lizzy's sympathy towards Mr Wickham, and also her hatred towards Mr Darcy.

Meanwhile, Mr Darcy and Bingley's sisters have convinced Mr Bingley to leave Netherfield and go to London, and Caroline Bingley writes a heartbroken Jane a letter telling her of their departure, and hinting that she intends her brother to be matched with Georgiana Darcy, Mr Darcy's sister, and Mr Darcy with herself. Lizzy, convinced that Mr Bingley was taken away against his better judgement, sends a disillusioned Jane to London to find him. Lizzy grows lonely in the absence of her best friend and the departure of her sister to London, and so visits Mr Collins and the new Mrs Collins at his parsonage near Rosings Park, where she is introduced to the condescending and haughty Lady Catherine de Burgh, Mr Collins' patroness and her daughter, the extremely wealthy but sickly heiress Anne de Burgh. Whilst at Rosings Park Lizzy meets Mr Darcy, who is revealed to be Lady Catherine's nephew. He is accompanied by his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, who later slips that Mr Darcy deliberately separated his 'closest friend' (Mr Bingley) from an 'imprudent marriage', citing the 'lady's' (Jane) indifference and family.

During Lizzy's stay with the Collins' Mr Darcy visits her several times and attempts, unsuccessfully, to talk to her, with comically disasterous results. He later plucks up the courage to admit his love and admiration for her, and proposes, although her admits that he likes her against his better judgement, but he is willing to overlook ' her inferior birth and his rank'. Angry and insulted, Lizzy rejects him, citing his treatment of herself, her sister and of Mr Wickham, and claims that due to 'his arrogance and conceit and selfish distain of the feelings of others' makes him the last man that she could ever be 'prevailed upon' to marry. He leaves, humiliated and jilted, but returns bearing a letter.

In the letter Mr Darcy tells his side of Wickham's story: the old Mr Darcy had left Mr Wickham the rectory of the estate, with the intention of Mr Wickham entering the Church. Mr Wickham made it clear to Mr Darcy that he wasn't going to take orders and demanded instead the full monetary value of the living, which Mr Darcy gave him but was gambled away within weeks. Mr Darcy then refused a plea for more money, and then Mr Wickham cut off all ties with the Darcy family. He returned 'last summer' and declared a passionate love to 15 year old Georgiana Darcy, Mr Darcy's young, naive and highly eligible sister, and tried to persuade her to elope with him. After Mr Darcy stated his intentions of cutting Georgiana off from her generous dowry of 30,000 pounds upon her elopement, Mr Wickham vanished. Mr Darcy then defends his actions concerning Mr Bingley and Jane Bennet, saying that they were wrong, but 'in the service of a friend' and that he was driven by the Bennet's complete lack of propriety. Lizzy then rethinks her treatment and opinion of Mr Darcy, and also the behaviour of her family and how it affects them.

Lizzy returns to Longbourn to learn that Lydia has been invited as a companion to her aunt on a trip to Brighton. Lizzy tries to persuade her father into disallowing her scandalous younger sister to go, but Mr Bennet, convinced that Lydia's poverty will act as a deterrent against 'any real mischief', decides that exposing Lydia to society will teach her of her own lack of importance and inferiority. Lizzy than accepts an invitation from another aunt to be her companion on a tour of the Peak District. During their travels they tour Pemberley, Mr Darcy's estate, where Lizzy runs into a changed Mr Darcy, intent on showing Lizzy that he can be civil, caring and courteous. Lizzy also meets Georgiana Darcy, and finds her closer to her brother's description of her than that of Mr Wickham, thus prompting Lizzy to accept the credibility of Mr Darcy's letter.

Lizzy's tour is cut short when news reaches her that Mr Bennet has left for London because Lydia has run away with Mr Wickham, who is revealed to have no intentions of marrying her, and has disappeared without a trace, thus ruining the entire family. They depart immediately, but shortly after she returns Mr Bennet is sent a letter by their uncle, saying that he has found Lydia and Mr Wickham and that Wickham will agree to marry Lydia on the condition that Mr Bennet provides a dowry of 2000 pounds, which is equivalent to 100 pounds a year. Mr Bennet agrees and Lydia is married, but the family is puzzled as to why Wickham accepted Lydia on such a meagre dowry. Lydia then slips that Mr Darcy was at her wedding, which he funded along with Mr Wickham's monetary demands in exchange for marrying Lydia, which amounted to about an entire year of Mr Darcy's income.

After Lydia leaves it is revealed that Mr Bingley is returning to Netherfield, but his sisters will be staying in London. Soon after her returns he proposes to Jane, and Lizzy suspects that Mr Darcy may be behind Mr Bingley's return and proposal.

Soon after Jane's engagement Lady Catherine de Burgh arrives at Longbourn unexpectedly, anxious to clarify that rumours, inadvertently spread by Mr Collins, of Lizzy's engagement to Mr Darcy are false. After much verbal abuse on Lady Catherine's part Lizzy admits that she is not engaged to Mr Darcy, but refuses to promise that she will never enter into an engagement. When news of his aunt's vist reaches Mr Darcy he allows himself to hope that Lizzy will give him a second chance, and proposes again, which Lizzy accepts.


Miss Elizabeth 'Lizzy' Bennet (later Mrs Elizabeth Darcy): The main female protagonist of the novel/movie, and the love interest of Mr Darcy. The second and favourite of Mr Bennet's daughters, Lizzy is described as being moderately beautiful, twenty years old, headstrong, stubborn and quick to judge. 

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, Esq.: The main male protagonist of the novel/movie, and the love interest of Elizabeth Bennet. A man of large income and vast property, he is initially proud, cold and haughty but shows that he can be caring and compassionate towards those he cares about. He is described as being tall, handsome and twenty-eight years old.

Mr Bennet: The father of the five Bennet sisters, Mr Bennet seems quietly resigned to his fate as a financially strained gentleman with five unmarried daughters and no male heir. He is particularly close to Lizzy, but he has little patience with his wife or the rest of his daughters, although he does not attempt to change them, being merely content with teasing and gently joking about them.

Mrs Bennet (nee Gardiner): The mother of the five Bennet sisters, Mrs Bennet is a narrow-minded, silly and excitable woman who does not understand her husband, her daughters or her own ridiculousness. She is particularly close to Lydia, but is immensely proud of being the mother of Jane, who is considered the most beautiful lady in the county. Her business in life is to get her daughters married, to save both them and herself from poverty upon Mr Bennet's death.

Miss Jane Bennet (later Mrs Jane Bingley): The eldest of the Bennet sisters at twenty-two, and the love interest of Mr Bingley, Jane is the foil of Lizzy's character, being calm, quiet, tolerant, shy and reserved. After whethering out the family dramas of the novel, she accepts Mr Bingley's proposal. Lizzy is closest to Jane of all the sisters.

Miss Mary Bennet: The middle of the Bennet sisters at age eighteen or nineteen, she is considered the plainest of them all, and thus strives to distinguish herself through literary and musical accomplishments, but she is described as having 'neither genius nor taste'. In the movie it is hinted that she has a crush on, or at least admires, Mr Collins.

Miss Catherine 'Kitty' Bennet: The second youngest of the Bennet sisters at age seventeen, she is as silly and irresponsible as her flighty younger sister. Despite being two years older, she is passed over in the fateful decision to take Lydia to Brighton.

Miss Lydia Bennet (later Mrs Lydia Wickham): The youngest of the Bennet sisters (although the first to be married) at fifteen, she is described as being flighty and headstrong. She sparks scandal when she runs away with Mr Wickham, but due to Mr Darcy's intervention it is patched up as an elopement, after a monetary deal allows a wedding to take place. Lizzy is scandalized at Lydia's lack of care of the concern and near-ruin she caused her family.

Mr Charles Bingley: A wealthy bachelor new to the neighbourhood, he is the closest friend of Mr Darcy and the brother of the haughty Caroline Bingley and Louise Hurst, and the love interest of Jane. Easily persuadable and naive, he is convinced by his sisters and Mr Darcy of Jane's indifference and unsuitability as a bride, but he later returns to Netherfield and proposes.

Miss Caroline Bingley: The unmarried sister of wealthy bachelor Charles Bingley, Caroline Bingley is proud, snide and fashionable, and a condescendingly friendly companion to Jane Bennet. She expresses distaste towards the Bennet family and assits Mr Darcy in removing her brother from their company and back to London.

Mr William Collins: a pompous, socially-awkward and self-important clergyman, Mr Collins is a cousin of the Bennet's and, as the closest male relative of Mr Bennet, the heir to the Longbourn estate. He attempts unsuccessfully to find a bride amongst the Bennet sisters, and eventually marries Lizzy's best friend Charlotte, who accepts him out of want of financial security. He boasts endlessly about his patroness, the Lady Catherine de Burgh.

Miss Charlotte Lucas (later Mrs Charlotte Collins): Plain, unwealthy and too old to be considered an eligible bride, Charlotte Lucas is Lizzy's sensible, practical friend who accepts Mr Collins' proposal out of want of financial security. Charlotte accepts the gravity of her situation as an unmarried woman with no money, whilst Lizzy does not.

Lady Catherine de Burgh: Proud, condescending, self important and haughty, Lady Catherine de Burgh is the meddlesome aunt of Mr Darcy and the patroness of Mr Collins. She plans to have her daughter, the wealthy but sickly heiress to very extensive property, Anne de Burgh, married to Mr Darcy, and is scandalized at rumours that Elizabeth, a woman of 'inferior birth', has become engaged to her nephew.

Mr George Wickham: A leiutenant in the militia based in Meryton, Wickham squandered away the generous living provided by the Bennet family and won Mr Darcy's hatred by attempting to run away with Mr Darcy's beloved sister, Georgiana. Through his superficial but effortless charisma and charm, he attempts to woo Lizzy and successfully seduces Lydia into running away with him with no promise of marriage.

Miss Georgiana Darcy: The quiet and amiable younger sister of Mr Darcy, she is considered to be an extremely wealthy and eligible heiress and prospective bride. Young and naive, she was almost convinced by Mr Wickham, who was after her 30,000 pound dowry, to elope with him, but was left deserted and heartbroken after Mr Darcy warned Wickham that he would not receive a penny of Georgiana's inheritance. She is musically gifted, and becomes close to Lizzy.

The WTF bits: 

Marriage, 18th century style: Marriage in 18th century England was of paramount importance in maintaining and elevating the social and financial circumstances of your family. For women, marrying well was the only way of gaining financial security, and the very few independently wealthy women were often widows of the rich and famous of England.

The idea of a 'gentleman': Mr Bingley, Mr Darcy and Mr Bennet are all considered to be gentlemen in that they do not work in a particular trade, but instead amass their income through the profits of their property and the money and interest accumlated on a family account given to them by the Crown, which may have been several generations back. Mr Darcy is the richest, with an annual income of 10,000 pounds, which I guess would be roughly 1 million pounds in todays money, which comes from his wealthy family, connections and his vast property. Mr Bingley is also considered to be highly eligible, but his wealth is smaller and more recent, totalling 5,000 pounds a year (500,000 pounds). Mr Bennet's income is relatively modest, which I calculate based on Lydia's dowry to be about 2,000 pounds per year. (200,000). Mr Wickham, Mr Collins, Mr Gardiner and Colonel Fitzwilliam would not have been considered gentlemen - Mr Wickham claims he intended on entering the Church and inheriting the rectory of the Darcy's estate, in which case his income would be provided by the Church - this fate is instead the livelihood of Mr Collins, who is the clergyman Mr Wickham claims he wanted to be. Mr Gardiner is stated to be a businessman, and Colonal Fitzwilliam as well as Mr Wickham have military careers.

Dowry: It was tradition for a woman to be given a certain amount of money upon her marriage, from which her yearly income was drawn from - this was to secure her and her husband's financial security should he lose his income or predecease his wife. A dowry was roughly triple a bride's father's annual income (Mr Darcy's income was 10,000 pounds, and his sister Georgiana's dowry was 30,000 pounds.) Georgiana's 30,000 (3 million pounds) pound inheritance would amount to a yearly income of 1,500 (150,000) pounds a year on a five percent interest - this was considered an extremely generous income for a woman. Lydia's allowance 100 pounds (10,000 pounds) a year was relatively meagre, with the sum of her dowry amounting only to 2,000 pounds (200,000 pounds). Mrs Bennet is hopeful that her daughters will attract suitors who will not need dowries - 2,000 pounds would be of no significance to rich men such as Mr Bingley or Mr Darcy. Should all of the Bennet sisters require incomes of 100 pounds a year, Mr and Mrs Bennet's income would be reduced to 100-200 pounds a year (10,000-20,000 pounds). In addition, if Mr Bennet dies before Mrs Bennet she would be utterly destitute, as none of her daughters would be able to support her and Mr Bennet's income passes not to her but to Mr Collins. In the book and the 1995 TV serial it is revealed that Lydia's dowry, which was upon Mr Wickham's demand in exchange for marrying her and saving the family from social ruin, is actually double of each of the sisters' intended dowry - All the girls were set aside only 50 (5000) pounds a year, or a dowry of 1000 pounds.

Elopement: Marrying without permission (eloping) and living together without being married (running away) was considered highly improper and scandalous behaviour in 18th century England, and often resulted in the woman's dowry being cut off, the man losing his job or sources of income and the disgrace of both families, particularly the woman's. Mr Wickham is mentioned in the book/movie as attempting to run away twice - once with Mr Darcy's sister, Georgiana, and with Lydia Bennet, Lizzy's youngest sister. The first attempt with Miss Darcy was intended to be an elopement, in which case Mr Wickham would have unrestricted access to Georgiana's generous dowry. He abandons Georgiana when Mr Darcy reveals his intentions of cutting off Georgiana's dowry should she attempt to elope with him. Mr Darcy is distressed at the hurt and damage this attempted elopement and subsequent abandonment of his sister, then only fifteen years old, and this cements his hatred towards Mr Wickham. The second time Mr Wickham runs away is with Lizzy's sister Lydia, but due to her poverty he has no intentions of marrying her, unless the Bennet family can pull together a significant monetary bribe and pay for the wedding, which they cannot afford. The two hide in London so that they cannot be found and Lydia taken away by force, but Mr Darcy tracks then down and bribes Mr Wickham with a year's income, and also funds their wedding, thus changing the deeply disgraceful idea of a 'fallen sister' who has 'run away' into a less scandalous elopement.   

The politics of dating: Lizzy Bennet and, indeed, Jane Austen grows up in a very different world than we do. There were strict rules when it came to men and women - what kind of men/women you could meet and what you could do with them, what you must do, what you should do and what you should not do. For example, regardless of rank, it was the role of a gentleman to rise from his seat and bow when a lady entered a room, and not be seated again until the lady sat down first. There were also very few socially-acceptable opportunites for men and women to touch, skin on skin - of course kissing, embracing and pre-maritial sex was completely out of the question. Such rare opportunities for holding hands are dancing and helping a lady into her carriage or onto her horse - these moments are greatly exaggerated as they are very exciting moments that we would now consider trivial and everyday encounters. It was much more acceptable for women where were acquaintances or close friends to hold hands, link arms or embrace each other in public...less so for men, a tradition that continues today.

Accomplished women: A great emphasis was put on 'accomplished' women - normally rich ladies such as Georgiana Darcy or Caroline Bingley who are elegant, fashionable, fluent in the 'modern languages', read widely, and are accomplished in needlework,drawing and music, and avoid scandal and maintain a high standard of propriety. The Bennet sisters, in the absence of a governess, a tutor or frequent trips to town for the 'benefit of the masters' were given a standard education for women of their middle-upper class rank - they learned to read and write in English and perhaps French, and were trained in embroidery and more practical needlwork such as making clothes, and perhaps very basic history, geography and biology classes at the hands of their father. Other activities considered necessary for an 'accomplished woman' were largely optional for the Bennet sisters - Lizzy replies that her sisters do not draw and only she and Mary know how to play the pianoforte 'a little, and very poorly.'

Inheritance: Inheritance of fortune and property was often entailed to the male line - this is the case of Mr Bennet's estate, which would be given to Mr Collins instead of the Bennet sisters or Mrs Bennet. Charlotte Lucas, the daughter of a benighted gentleman, is also not an heiress as she has brothers who will inherit her father's income, and so she marries as she does not want to be a burden on her family. Georgiana Darcy has a generous dowry, but she will not inherit Pemberley on Mr Darcy's death - they will go either to his male children, or his female children in the absence of both male heirs or an male entailment, or to a male relative, who would be responsible for Mr Darcy's widow, unmarried children and Georgiana, if she is unmarried. A possible glitch in this plan is that Mr Darcy is legally Georgiana's guardian as well as her brother, as she was underaged at the time of her father's death. This would make Georgiana his ward as well as his sister, and a possible heiress to his lands and fortune.

Titles: Because there are five Bennet sisters, Jane Bennet would have been addressed as 'Miss Bennet' and the rest as 'Miss Elizabeth' or 'Miss Mary'. Alternately, Jane would have been 'the eldest Miss Bennet' and then her sisters as 'the second Miss Bennet' and 'the third Miss Bennet' and so on.

Lady Catherine de Burgh, with her title as 'Lady', would have been addressed as 'Ma'm' or 'Your Ladyship' during conversation.

Upon marriage women took their husband's last name, as is customary today, and would have been referred to as 'Mrs Jane Bingley', 'Mrs Bingley' or 'Mrs Charles Bingley' - this latter style is rarely used today.

That's it. That's all I can think of. If you're a student, I hope this helps. If you're not, I hope I bored you thoroughly.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I try not to ruin my mood with idle thoughts of luck and fate. I don't like the idea of luck or fate or God. It gives me less control over life.

This is in no way meant to be taken seriously, but I've often wondered whether certain facts about me have affected my life.

For example, my pacemaker. I used to fancy that because my heart didn't work properly it was somehow repulsive, like I was a faulty good, a cracked gem next to a perfectly cut and polished one.

Another curious fact about me is that my due date was February 14th - auspicious day, no? But, being the typical unglamourous me, I missed it, came early, on some other unglamourous day. Hit and miss...my birth sounds a lot like my love life.

I am dreading Valentine's Day. As much as I hate it, I hate the flowers and the heart decorations put up everywhere, as if to say 'niner-niner' to everybody who's alone on this day where we celebrate love on the anniversary of a priest being stoned to death.

It's a human instinct, isn't it, to want to be loved. It's a pretty sucky instinct. If you think of all the pain and inconvenience and abused cartons of ice cream, it's a pretty stupid instinct. Because with the inherent desire to love and be loved, there is this inherent desire in others to take advantage of that.

It's very easy to say that I shouldn't be affected as I am, by hormones and love songs and romantic novels. But I am. I'm a girl, I'm a human, just smarter than some. I'm not ashamed of how I feel. It's what I want, just like lots of people want lots of other things. There's nothing wrong with that.

One thing I love about Pride and Prejudice, one of my favourite novels, is that Elizabeth Bennet is a modern, feminist character who has the same goal as we all do - falling in love. Love is not something silly and feminine and weak, love makes you stronger. Love is not a goal only for those who throw the women's rights movement out the window, and I hate it when people think I'm a hypocritical feminist because I do dream one day of falling in love and getting married and having children. My feminist beliefs have nothing to do with that oh-so-unreachable dream. Not all of us want to die old maids, you know.

I don't think society moves in sync with our human clock, our wants and needs at different times. It is neither socially desirable or acceptable, or indeed, compatible with the wants and needs of the male sex, but for women our mothering instinct manifests itself now, whilst we are still legally children. Our want of career is ever present, but if we give in to our human needs rather than our social ones, then our careers are often ruined, simply because of a lack of understanding and sympathy of the human life.

But still, Valentine's Day. I'm not going to go out, I'm going to study as much as possible, and I will not listen to Taylor Swift or watch Pride and Prejudice or read The Time Traveller's Wife. I don't think I can take it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ice Skating

For those of you who don't know, I am a very lazy person. I relish a challenge, but a different kind of challenge than the conventional definition of the word.

I don't like challenges that drive you to eye-bleeding exhaustion, that drain the life out of you or, even if you don't get to that extreme...challenges I find difficult.

I like challenging boundaries. I like challenging expectations, demands, opinions. I like challenging other people, and I've made a lot of enemies that way. For example, I liked skipping a grade in English because that was challenging people and making a lot of enemies, but there was nothing really difficult in it for me. On the other hand, I detest a whole variety of things because they don't come easily, like English does.

But this hasn't held true for ice skating. If you follow my track record I should hate ice skating. I have to wake up early. I'm one of the oldest beginners at the ice rink. It's often mind-numbingly cold. My feet feel like they're on fire for most of the time. I'm not particularly good at skating.

But yet I love it. There's something indescribable about it that makes me wake up early on weekends and endure my boots from hell. There's something incredible about the feeling of floating across ice that makes you tolerate sub-zero falls, and bruises on your knees, ass, palms and pride.

I think I'm addicted.

Sometimes all I do is count how many days it's been since I last went to the ice rink and how many days until I can go again. I think I'm obsessed. There's this thrill that comes with almost falling, this thrill of going so fast that you're a blur, there's a thrill of standing in the middle of a deserted ice rink and feeling like the queen of the world.

I swear, it's better than drugs.

Wrong Number

I really shouldn't hate it when people call us and it's the wrong number, because I do it all the time.

Do you know how I know it's a wrong number? They call out a normal name.

"Hi, is there a Helen there?"
"Can I speak to Louise?"
"Yo Angie, wassup?"

If any of them say something in the realms of 'Jeeeeeeeen' or 'Jesus' then I know they've got the right number, but they've clearly never heard of Asia before.

But when they do get the wrong number, I hate it when they say "Is it the wrong number? It can't be the wrong number."

No, I'm just screwing with you buddy, because everyone knows that I don't dream of having a normal name like Helen.

"But this must be the number it's 3049 6308, it's 3049 6308"

No it's not.

"You must be wrong."

No, I'm pretty sure that this is my number, this is my phone and you're not supposed to be calling it.

"Oh, haha, you are wrong. Sorry. Bye!"

I'm wrong!?

For those of you who don't have a brain, that is not my number. My name is not Helen. And I did not actually say that to the poor bugger who just called me. But that is what he said.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Love is about ego.

At least, it is when you're a teenager.

People don't understand that when you're a teenager it's not really the person that matters. It doesn't matter if you'll never go out with them unless you're half-drunk and he/she is photoshopped and wearing a lot of makeup. It's just that you want people, any people, to love you. If the guy you like loves you too, then that's the bonus.

It's in this frame of mind that many of us enter adolescence. And some of us get our prayers answered - we are the gods of idolatry for the majority of the opposite sex. And then for others, you go largely unnoticed.

It's not that you want that. It's not that you want chocolates or jewellery or hugs or kisses or cards...okay, I'm joking. You want that more than you want food or water or oxygen. But I'm saying is that the worst part about being a mere mortal in love is the ego bashing.

Why don't they love you? What's wrong with you? You love them, why can't they return the favour. What's so good about her, what does she have that you haven't? You quickly drown in poisonous thoughts like these.

It's a part of the teenage psyche I have tried hopelessly to avoid. No matter how I try it still hurts when you're not in the limelight of the love games. As Amy March said, you don't need many lovers, you just need one, if he's the right one.

But even if we only want one, we always want many. Because if you don't have many, how do you know if you'll get one?

March of Solitude.

And so I march my march of solitude,
I will not be afraid of what I walk into.
The less I have
The more I get to keep and not share.
This is what I get 'cause you don't care.

And I can see you now,
Taking the easy way out,
You can doubt yourself,
But you can't doubt me.

You talk when you think I'm not listening,
I hear but without tears I'm incomplete.
It's not what I have
But what you don't do that separates us
So you can laugh cause

I will march my march of solitude,
I will not be afraid of what you do.
The more I have
The more you don't understand
My life is my command.

And I can see you now,
Taking the easy way out,
You can doubt yourself,
But you can't doubt me.

You're just double standards,
So substandard,
You're content with nothing,
You've taken everything.
You can console yourself,
With lame excuses
And you can't live without your prejudices
People think now,
You're the hero,
They can't see past
My obscurity
You can't live with the fact that

I've long given up the goal of normality
You know I can't stand mediocrity.
I guess I could live without your hypocrisy
But I know,
One day,
You'll be sorry.

I can march my march in solitude,
I know you're afraid that I'll pull through.
The less I have
The more you bring tears to my eyes.
You were once my friend but now it's time to say goodbye.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A couple of days ago I reached a daily reader peak of 87.

I would just like to thank each and every one of you for making this blog more successful than I could ever dream of.

Writing is my pride and passion and it is a joy to share my thoughts with the world.

Over my time as a blogger I have graduated from primary school, skipped a grade, survived the great hail storm of '10, had my heart broken by three douchebags, gotten a new pair of glasses and a new pacemaker, bought a new Taylor Swift album, a new dog, and a new computer. Writing has truly been my personal brand of heroine through good times and bad.

Thank you for your continued support.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


You know, for a pretty ingenious piece of mass-murdering machinery, we are ashamed of quite a lot of our mechanisms.

Farting, for example. Everyone does it. However, in school it is virtually illegal to fart. Do you know how many stomachaches that induces? As if we don't have enough things to worry about at school.

And, apparently, I suffer from this highly infectious disease. Men are terrified of it, and, in consideration of their feelings and not of ours, it must never be spoken of.


I know guys are terrified of periods, but to be honest, girls are freaked out by wet dreams. I think the latter is gross. They're both gross, but unfortunately, they're both natural.

I don't understand why periods are such a taboo. They're lousy - the cramps, the bloating, the Grinch comparisons. And we're girls - girls need to talk. Taylor Swift has built her entire career on this premise.

It's not fair that one) girls have to go through this EVERY BLEEDING MONTH (excuse the pun) and 2) we're not allowed to talk about it. Like it's somehow our fault, or something. That boys can not only trample over our feelings and our love lives and our hearts but also our biological shit too.

Taboos are the most counterproductive things in our society. What's the point of not talking about it? It won't go away, it won't die from lack of attention. Humans are social animals. Social animals need to talk things out, not hide the evidence in heavily-deodorized bins and bathroom cupboards.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jim Parsons at the Golden Globes

Congratulations to Jim Parsons, my favourite actor, on winning a Golden Globe for his performance as Sheldon Copper PhD, my favourite character on The Big Bang Theory, my favourite show.

On a slightly sour note, I cannot believe that The Big Bang Theory lost the Golden Globe to Glee. I know I've just pissed off about half of the gay and teenage girl population, but I guess I'm a bit more of a 'Buzzinga!' person than a 'Let's sing at totally unrealistic times at a totally unrealistic school' person.

Nude Patent Leather Pumps.

You know, I rarely follow fashion.

I love looking good, but following trends isn't really the way to go. Trends are just downscaled craziness from the catwalk, and the catwalk is a place for size zeroes. I am not a size zero. I am a very proud size 10. 12, in Australia, home of Miranda Kerr.

Due to my general ignorance of trends, I rarely notice them - I have trained my eye only to pick out ones that a) I can recreate without having to buy anything b) I can recreate without having to buy anything expensive and c) Ones that look good on me - But I have, however, noticed an awful lot of nude patent leather pumps.

There is an unprecedented number of nude patent leather pumps showing up in stores - and it must be unprecedented, because if it wasn't I wouldn't have noticed. Patent leather is expensive, at least when it's en trende, and I don't like it. I look revolting in nude (hah. insert inappropriate joke here.) - I know that for a fact, because last time I tried to put a nude matte lipgloss on I looked like I was really ill and when I tried to put on my sister's nude dress I looked like a corpse. Also, being not yet fifteen, I am not accustomed to wearing heels and hence only have one pair - black peep-toe satin, which I think is much more stylish than nude patent leather pumps.

I've often being fascinated with the fascination with nude. Why would you want to look like you're ill, a corpse, or naked when you can look well, alive and, well, dressed - in bright colours. My whole wardrobe is stocked up in vibrant shades of red and blue and purple and black - bold colours. But not pink. That's another fascination I find fascinating. I very rarely like pink.


You know, I consider being vegetarian from the moment I wake up until the moment I see meat on the table.

It's a weakness of mine. I have to succumb to it.

I have so far resisted succumbing to the comforting and controversial bosom of God, and I have so far resisted, with very little effort on my part the teenage urges - sex, drugs and alcohol. I have even resisted the temptation to succumb to social convention and deny myself the opportunity to accelerate my academic program.

I can't succumb to vegetarianism.

I love the idea and I can see clearly the principle behind it, but it's too late - I'm addicted. I cannot think of a good meal that would not include meat. I am affected by the idea I am eating the corpse of something that once had a life, right until I put a piece of roast duck into my mouth. And it is impossible to feel bad after tasting such a thing, that my lust for meat has cost a soul it's life. Actually, I only think of such things after I have eaten a piece of badly prepared meat that I think about it.

It seems hypocritical that I condemn the consumption of whale and dog meat whilst I busily scoff down steaks and sausages. Pigs and cattle are animals too, are they not, not unlike whales or dogs or, indeed, humans. One could say that I have a pet dog and therefore couldn't think of eating one of it's species but I've seen cattle before, I've seen pigs before, I've even touched a very grumpy Highlander cow. But yet I have no qualms in eating it. The fact that animals are farmed for consumption in a very...sustainable manner is no comfort, in fact, it makes me feel worse - these animals were born to die.

I truly admire vegetarians. For me it would be denying me one of my life's greatest joys, in the absence of fame or money or a numerous collection of long luxurious holidays or boyfriends that aren't douchebags. Really, when you're me, meat is a great source of comfort, as is my blog, my mother, and my writing. God knows what I would do without them.

I console myself with the thinking that I, as just one person, will not impact the meat industry that much whether I chose to eat meat or not. They will still slaughter the same number of animals every year, whether I deny myself roast pork or not. It's an unsatisfactory excuse - if all those people who think that voting Greens is 'no use' voted for them, then together we could make a Green Prime Minister. Maybe it would even be Mr Hanna, my politics teacher next year. What a wonderful place this would be if that happened, although I would be desolate without a satisfactory politics teacher, espcially one who didn't have a Bratz pencilcase.

Mr Hanna, incidentally, is also a vegetarian.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Little Women Disatisfaction.

I've just started to read 'Little Women' (I know, kinda late. But I never got my hands on it before now) on my Kobo, and I've watched some clips from some of the adaptions on the internet.

I must say, I'm quite disappointed.

Some of the older ones are atrocious. I've always disliked how movies in the prior to about the 70's always have to incorporate the current day's fashion and hair into a historical piece - so you get Princess Mary Tudor in a French hood and a retro perm in Anne of The Thousand Days, pour exemple. Same deal with Little Women.

Another thing that is steadily occurent is that they always cast some 20 or 30 year old as Amy March. The reason is quite silly - Amy March, being the youngest of the 'Little Women', changes the most, physically, throughout the story - wherelse Beth dies before she gets very old (sooo sad) and the eldest are introduced as being 15 and 16 - virtually adults. The 1994 takes the obvious route by casting two actresses for the role of Amy March - a pre-teen Kirsten Dunst and an older actress to play the love interest of Laurie, played by Christian Bale who was double Kirsten Dunst's age and height at the time. I don't understand why they didn't do that sooner - it would have made much more sense than a 30 year old trying to fit in to a classroom full of little schoolgirls.

The 1994 version with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon is by far the best adaption, but I don't understand why a remake hasn't been made. There has been a resurgence in recreating period pieces - Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice - why hasn't Little Women had their revamp yet?

Btw I am two chapters in and LOVING the book.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

'I would never have liked it'

One thing Amy Chua claims is that no child is bad at anything, they simply think they are. She can prove that with a particularly dramatic episode involving her, her daughter, and a piano piece she couldn't play.

Several heated tantrums and a lost voice later, she could.

I used to think I could neve do maths. I was never born to do maths.

In public, I still subscribe to this theory, to get teachers off my back. They didn't believe me, but at least this so-called ignorance was more accepted than what I really believed:

I could be good at maths. I could be good at anything. I just don't want to. I want to be good at English, so I'm good at English.

That would have gone down well with my math teacher.

Lately I've added to that. It is possible to make a child good at anything, although that may cost any mother-child affection that ever existed between you. But you can never get a child to like certain things. Some things they will initially resent, and then later enjoy, and some things they will detest all their lives. I used to resent ice skating because I was bad at it, and looked like an idiot. Now I love it, because I'm better.

I will never love maths.

People think of me very narrow minded when I say that, but it's not something out of trivial childhood failure. Maths is something that I genuinely find no joy in, or achieving in. I see no point to it, no means to an end, I have no desire, passion, inclination of any sort. It is not a tunnel that I chose not to pass through, but a tunnel that never existed for me in the first place.

Only a person knows that about themselves, and, granted, they are normally wrong, but they're the only person who can be right. Something they will later enjoy is something that, after only a relatively short attempt at it, and perhaps a small early success, they feel a drive to achieve in. I know I will probably get nowhere special with my ice skating, but for some reason I have this fierce desire to be...accomplished - 'achieved' is not really the word I'm looking for here. My ice skating is perhaps one of the only productive things I do for my own personal enjoyment - unlike my writing, which I hope to use for my own career benefits. Ice skating is something pure in my very goal-driven life and world.

I still will never love maths.

I feel very tempted to write 'suck on that', but I won't.

Ahaha, but I just did.

Oh, the joys of English.

On Amy Chua and 'The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother'

I must first say that I disagree with pretty much everything Amy Chua has said or done in regards to the raising of her children.

However, as an Asian kid in a Western society exposed both to the Eastern and Western views of parenting, I believe I may be able to provide a unique view of the matter.

It is an Asian belief that it is a parent's duty to nurture the child to survive. This is fundamentally different to many liberal Western parenting beliefs that omit the last two words 'to survive'. Indeed, the emphasis is primarily on the 'nurturing'.

One of the ways Asian parents drive their kids to achieve great heights it to manipulate a child's desire for parental approval. If nothing is ever big enough, good enough, shiny enough, strong enough, a kid will try harder. They believe such liberties can be taken because children have this ingrained concept that their parents love them and want the best for them, no matter what. What they don't understand is that children are not born with that, and will turn against anyone, parent or no, if they deem it necessary. This is particularly evident in adolscence.

I have watched this technique unfold on a childhood friend of mine, from primary school. He was raised, in true Chinese tradition, by his grandparents, and I remember him vividly - he never wore fashionable clothes, or listened to fashionable music, although he did, through his intelligence and honesty and strength of character, win one of the most attractive girls in our grade as his girlfriend for a period of time.

This boy was a genius. In years six and seven I remember him skipping math classes, instead sitting at the back of the classroom as I used to during year one phonetics classes, working out of a workbook I would later encounter in my accelerated math class in my accelerated school in year eight, and later still encounter it in my nightmares. He was a gifted cellist, despite the slight stilted roboticness that can come with a kid who is talented but forced into relentless hours of practicing. Too much practice can be a bad thing.

But I have never once seen his grandparents at a school recital or a concert. He has never received so much as a 'well done' for his many academic achievements. Not only was he brilliant at maths and music, he was also a fairly high achiever in all areas (except, I suppose, sport), something I could not boast of. He rarely showed it, but I could tell that he worked not just for his own gratification, but for the approval of his grandparents, which he rarely got. In the end, he was not sent to the school that I was sent to, because it was 'too far'. His grandparents subscribed to the theory 'nothing's ever good enough', but that didn't extend to the associated theory 'nothing's ever good enough for you'.

I have noticed a trend in some white households to be too indulgent of their children, and too blind to their many natural or habitual faults. 'Of course you're not fat, darling', 'A C is fine, darling, it's a pass', 'Don't worry darling.', etc.

I personally think my parents have found the right balance - my mother especially is quite liberal, if still quite Asian in her liberal methods. For someone like me the first technique would have fallen flat on its face - I was always a child in constant need of praise, or comfort, of the sure reliability that my parents would always love me no matter what my faults and shortcomings were, and I felt depressed, defensive and lost when I felt I was denied that. But my parents were not given to giving out praise wantonly - they never called me thin, because I never was. They never praised my maths or my sport, because nothing I ever did in those areas were praiseworthy, at least not to Asian standards (although, to be honest, there are no Asian sport standards, with the exception of soccer, which my family doesn't follow).

A child needs a fine balance between shaping, independence and comfort. If you shape your child too much you lose your child and replace him with a robot, a robot too perfect for anything. If you constantly abuse your child your child becomes hardened, a different kind of robot, but a robot that is unaffected by both criticism, which they are used to, and praise, which when it arrives is foreign. Too much comfort and you end up with a Jabba the Hutt - a fat, greedy, ignorant monster who is only beautiful in his own eyes, and that of his mummy darling.

Emotions cannot be completely disregarded in parenting, as Amy Chua has done. Children are highly-strung and are emotionally extremely fragile. As I say over and over, they find it very difficult to realise when something is being said 'in their interests', especially if something hurtful or degrading is said. Some kids are like my friend - almost completely resilient to any shit their parents can throw at them, 'for the greater good' or otherwise. Others, like me, would completely drown in an ocean of self pity, I know it.

I'm not saying that children shouldn't be pushed at all. Different children have different encouragement needs. Some have all the zeal and passion they need to rocket into success, others may need gentle prodding. But kids become defensive if parents start being too demanding, whiney or nagging. It's a tough battle.

But if you can strike the right balance, youd child will be removed from it's faults, or at least, removed enough to be acceptable, independent enough to make it's own way in the world, but know enough as to not hate their parents entirely. It's a hard balance to strike, and I don't think Amy Chua recognises it, much less find it.

A child is not a machine that you can push and push all day. A child is easily impressionable, and quick to learn lessons you don't teach them. Asian parents are constantly under the misconception that because they are parents, blood relatives and natural guardians, they can simply do what they like to their children with no respect to their rights and feelings, and get away with it - they trust too much in the security of blood, they don't see the value of love. But children can sometimes detatch from and ignore who is saying what and why, and only focus on what is being said, and so one must be very careful of that. Amy Chua, it seems, was not. Amy Chua seems to be under the illusion that her children have the capacity to forgive and forget what she did because she did it in their best interests - or did she? What is so good about being top in everything? Being the mother of the kid top in everything has a lot more perks. And anyway, even if her children could forgive and forget, with a mother like that, would you really want to?

A mother is not made when she delivers a child. A mother is not an infinite position of priviledge over another human being's life. A mother is a mother who nurtures and defends her child, and prepares him for life, but not in traumatizing, damaging and legally-questionable ways. A mother-child relationship is one based on a delicate trust, and must not be abused by either party.

Sadly, however, it often is.

Immigration Nation.

I'm proud of being the daughter of immigrants. It's not always easy, but I'm proud of who I am.

Growing up as an immigrant, or as a family member of one, is a lot easier now than it was. But there's still the prejudice, and an immigrant's uncanny ability to point out, despite not picking on, flaws of society is what makes the natives so...uptight.

But it varies from place to place. Even a thirty-minute drive can change things so much.

My family originally settled in the Perth Hills, where both my sister and I were born. My dad liked the hills - Korea is very mountainous, so my father was a very fit and outdoorsy person, and it reminded him of home. It wasn't an extremely isolated place - my parents still worked in the suburbs and the city and commuted daily without too much trouble - but we were still one of the very, very few Asian households in the area.

Once you get down from the Perth hills you get posh people who live in posh houses in posh suburbs who probably haven't heard of kung pow chicken or soy sauce in their lives, and then you get the areas which are quite literally over-run by Asians. Attitudes swing from the grudgingly tolerant to the openminded to the condescendingly friendly to the conservative haters from suburb-to-suburb, despite Perth being a relatively small city.

The next area we moved to was near a good school and the south part of the river, but wasn't as luxurious and refined as some of the upper class suburbs up north - although I still grew up in the shadow of mansions or, indeed it seems to me, young and living in an old unrenovated one-storey house, miniature palaces.

My primary school was a mixed bag of ethnic and financial backgrounds. There were Indians with parents who didn't speak English, the blonde, blonde, blonde, blondes who could blow fifty dollars the way the rest of us would blow five cents, and the Asians. The teachers were almost all white, with some Asian ladies who were teacher's aides who were treated with the same condescending suffocating friendship that all of us Asians were given.

When I first came to school expectations on me were quite different than the expectations of the white kids. Most of the white kids hadn't read a single word until they were dumped at school, and most of them were suffering from too severe a case of separation anxiety that they didn't learn anything. On the other hand, being the daughter of two academics who had to use their brainpower to get them to where they were, I read regularly from a young age, and was at least encouraged to look at the pictures and gaze at the words. Before primary school I had no concept of a 'housewife', and for as long as I can remember my mother as well as my father worked full time, so I spent a great deal of time in childcare. It didn't mean I was detatched from my parents - on the contrary, I was much closer to them than the tantrum-prone 'others', but I was used to, even enjoying the independence of spending the day away from the sharp eye of parental care.

When I learned to write (I could read from when I was four - writing came later) due to a strange way my brain worked, missing a little school (although for me it seemed like a lifetime) to go to hospital, and being left handed, I wrote backwards, like Leonardo da Vinci. They thought it was a learning difficulty. Nobody ever accused da Vinci of having a learning disability, but then, da Vinci wasn't Asian. The other kid with a recognised learning disability was an Indian boy who I remember vaguely - I remember him being quite small, having an unusual name and had autism - he had an obsession with drawing what appeared to be washing machines. In hindsight, I fulfilled that critereon too - small and coloured. The writing of most of the white kids was a good deal worse, but they were just 'developing'.

Year one was a year of some confusion for me. My teacher recognised my talents in English and, not wanting me to be bored and therefore frustrated and difficult to manage, I sat at the back of the classroom doing year two grammar from some old 60's exercises we were inexplicably still using, whilst the other children learned that 'ch' made a 'cha' sound. It was with good intentions, but I remember feeling confused and isolated at the back of the classroom, excluded from classroom activity - the only other times they did this to students was when a child was misbehaving. Nobody told me that I was doing advanced work - I figured that out for myself when I realised my work was more complex than 'ch'.

Before year one, in pre primary, my bubbly and loud personality, as well as my stint in hospital had made me quite popular amongst the other children. My academic talents soon broke down any popularity I might have gained, with both the white kids and the Asians, who were all good at maths, and I was beyond lousy at it - because the 'maths' at that point was merely being able to write the numbers from 1-10, and those Asian kids already knew multiplication and short division and, probably, pi. I couldn't even write a 3 properly.

Year one was also when the ESL program started - students who were deemed to be 'English second language' students were given intensive English courses directed by a matronly old lady who clearly didn't pass English in high school. They looked at my face, rather than my accelerated English program, and I was tossed in with all the other kids who weren't white.

The classes were, needless to say, beyond boring and completely useless even for people who couldn't speak English properly. It didn't strike me then but it strikes me now how rascist that was.

The rascism in my primary school fluctuated as I continued on there, but some things I found icredulous was the defensive attitudes of the 'whites'. I called the whites, as I call the whites now because that is what they are - white. I didn't know the more politically-correct term 'Anglo-Saxon' then, and to be honest, I don't really think it applies now. I never used it in an offensive way, only to point out certain trends and occurences in white culture and their attitudes towards us, but I was accused of being rascist, despite all the rascism against me and my people both then and now, in varying degrees of severity and hurt. This accusation was not only incorrect but also hypocritical - the white kids made no attempt to scale down their impressive sporting ribbons, medals and trophies whilst all the Asian kids were hastily given tacky 'You Did a Great Job!' stickers. I remember teachers telling me not to boast about any English award that may come my way, because it would make the other children felt bad. Nobody ever thought about how I felt watching yet again the blonde, tanned, sleek kids on the podium whilst I clutched my unconsoling sticker.

Another thing they were defensive about was the existance of rascism at all - in fact, they thought of Asians as rascist because we often noted the academic shortcomings of the white children, which is nothing more than an observation in a very social and sport-driven society. Asian kids are smart - we learn very quickly we are nothing but bad at gym and the victims of toilet whirlies, so our way out is to study hard and gain scholarships, which is what I did - well, maybe not the study hard bit. I think I can attribute my academic scholarship to genetics, talent, a bit of big-headedness, confidence and sheer luck.

When I was thirteen, just after starting high school, we moved again to an area where to be honest, everyone is more involved with the beach than with each other, and because I do not go to school with many of my neighbours as I did when I was younger I can't gain the general attitudes of the people around me. But this sense of friendly condescention is gone, and the people here treat us...well, like normal people.

My new school is also largely absent of rascism - although I did raise a few eyebrows as the Asian girl leapfrogging all the 'white' subjects and failing miserably at all the 'Asian' ones, but not too much - I would have copped it a lot worse at another school. As an academic school most of the teachers judge you for what you can and cannot do, not what they think, based on your race, what you should and shouldn't do, which is the way it's meant to be, I think. The English and Sose departments have been enormously supportive of my academic pursuits...the other departments not so much, but I think I can blame a good deal of that on myself and my academic shortcomings.

The student hierarchy, however, is largely race-segregated, even more than before. In a fiercely academically competitive environment (even one that pretends to be otherwise, in an effor to remain 'cool'), the divide between Asians, Others, and Asians that Don't Make the Cut is even more defined than before.

But I guess we'll have to live with that. We are all born who we are, as we are and where we are for a reason.

Back to December Video Premiere

Taylor Swift has released the music video accompanying the second single off her new album, 'Speak Now'.

So sad, isn't it? This video isn't as narrative-based as her previous videos, so basically it's about Taylor and her boyfriend after a breakup, with flashbacks to her writing a 'Dear John' (incidentally, another song off the album) letter, putting it into her boyfriend's jacket, and him finding it.

FYI that guy looks nothing like Taylor Lautner. Casting fail.

Asian Parenting

White kids have nightmares about Asian parenting.

To be honest, a lot of Asian kids have nightmares about it, too.

It's the stereotypical thing - the thin, bony angular woman with jet black hair and a purple-lipstick frown that stands out amongst the crowd of jolly plump white housewives at the primary school playground. That woman is the mother of the unfortunate child with buck teeth, thick glasses, unfashionable clothes, a slew of A grades, and more trophies, certificates and medals than all of their classmate's IQ points put together. The only consolation for this poor Asian kid is that they do get good food...but only after they've finished their math homework, after school tuition and three hours of violin practice.

I thank God daily my parents are not like that.

But still, it is hard growing up with parents who are, despite great effort, radically different to the society in which you grow up in. Growing up my teachers, through endless craft classes in which we attempted to make 'Mother's Day Presents' and 'Father's Day Presents' drilled in on how 'your daddy would just love it if you made a cricket-bat keyring,' or, 'your mummy would just love it if you made these crepe flowers properly.'

I'm pretty sure I was the only kid who drew computers and yin-yang signs onto all of my gifts destined to sit next to my sister's superior handiwork (I hate glue. Glue sucks. It's gross and sticks to your fingers and turns black.) My mother doesn't like crepe flowers. I don't think I ever gave them to her because they weren't crepe flowers by the time I had finished with them, more like crepe-felt-glue-and-pipecleaner confetti. In year two we had to make ties out of 50-cent elastic, calico, tie dye and masking tape. Of course my dad didn't wear it. My dad doesn't 'hang out' and 'play footy' in the park, so he couldn't wear it whilst he was 'fooling around with his mates at the backyard barbie'. My dad only wears a tie to work. If he had worn my tie to work he would have been fired.

Growing up yellow in a white community, you have certain expectations on your parents, and it's hard when they don't meet these expectations because they never realize you had them in the first place. And it works vice-versa too - I know I've failed my parents in more Asian ways than I can imagine.

Sometimes parents say things and you take them the wrong way. When you're a teenager you forget who's saying it - you just focus on what's being said, and yeah, sometimes the truth hurts. But parents are our natural allies in this world. If we can't trust them to have our best interests at heart, we can't trust anybody. Sometimes the greatest lessons teenagers have to learn that even when the whole world seems against you, your mother will always be fighting with you, even if she seems to be fighting against you.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Equalitist Equilibrium Dilemma

The sex war has been going on and on since the dawn of time. The fact is, as two seperate sexes, we simply cannot reconcile ourselves to our faults or the faults of the opposing party. It's a men are from Mars, women are from Venus thing.

But as I said, I'm from Pluto. I'm trying to be a mediator.

The problem is that, for example, if women point of the flaws in men, men immediately assume that women assume that they are Practically Perfect in Every Way - this works vice versa. What we have to recognise is that women can be whiney and men can be violent - and yes, I suppose, the other way around. Men have overridden women's rights and trampled on our dignities for centuries but, in frustration on the lack of progress in the women's rights front, sometimes we are reduced to attacking the most trivial faults in men, which, if you know anything about men, is a very counterproductive activity.

One fault I have found occurrent in men is their lack of empathy - empathy is a primarily female thing or, at least, associated with women. Women grow up - men pretend to. When women are screaming in the agony of childbirth it is the natural reaction of some men to wonder why all the doctors and midwives aren't focusing on him. Justifiably, but perhaps unwisely, we women take umbrage at this.

But it's not just men who like being the centre of attention. Women are naturally flamboyant creatures, which has lead to much stereotyping and then discrimination and bitterness on both parts to both parties.

Another female instinct is the desire to be loved, which often clashes with feminist ideals and is a point of criticism, which is unfair. I'm not proud to admit that I have spent a good part of my adolescence mooning over boys, but I'm not really ashamed of it, either. It is a failing in women, but then, there are many failings in men.

From my research on the internet (read: attempting to read misogynistic anti-feminism, anti-women blogs. the horror.) men seem a little threatened by the feminist movement, and try to supress it instead of understand it. The feminist wave can be seen as a small tsunami of sorts - a result of a deep disturbance deep in our hearts. Granted, some male prides may be washed away by the wave, but it serves as a defiant and desperate way to ensure continuing respect for women in the same away a tsunami commands man's respect for nature. Perhaps it is natural to feel fear for this, which two centuries ago was virtually umprecedented. Perhaps it is guilt, for all the issues that have been swept under the sex war carpet. But not hate. After all, we deserve this battle just as men never deserved all the others.

I can tell you from experience that boys and men can be irritating, annoying, heartbreaking assholes who have no consideration for those who love them despite all their irritating annoying heartbreaking farked-upness. Many men can tell you from experience the same about girls and women. Neither should be taken as sexism - just some well-deserved abuse aimed at exes who should go die in Auschwitz instead of the Jews.

Equality is not about abolishing maternity leave or ignoring man-flu. Equality is not about having one communal bathroom instead of sex segregated ones. Equality is not about ignoring the differences between the two sexes, but accepting them. Equality is not a society based on nitpicking and wars over trivial hurts, but a society based on mutual kindness and respect.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Victorian Floods

My heart goes out to those affected by the Victorian floods, and also the Brazil mudslide disaster. Have faith, whatever that may be.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Queensland Floods.

My thoughts are with those affected by the ongoing Queensland Floods. Please donate generously.

White Australia, One Australia, My Australia.

Well, gee, this is something they forgot to mention in their endless sermons on Australian history. It was always convicts and settlers, convicts and settlers, convicts and settlers and exploreres and goldrush.

What they failed to mention was that Australian history is rampant with blatant rascism, discrimination and ethnic cleansing.

We know all about how the white guys treated the Aboriginals badly, because I guess that's such a huge part of our history that it couldn't be avoided. But they failed to mention that at various points in history White Australians have pretty much discriminated against pretty much every other race group who have ever set foot in this Land Down Under. When we did our goldrush research in year six, which is basically when it started, they forgot to tell us the horrific abuse against the Chinese gold prospectors - and to be honest, they weren't too happy when I found that out myself.

White Australia was a policy created soon after Federation with the aim of making Australia a utopic haven for the 'White Australian working-class man'. It was a time when Australia feared what was referred to as the 'Yellow Peril' - that the extremely populous and reasonably powerful nations of Japan, China, India and Korea would swoop in and invade the white civilization, contaminating it with yellow barbarianism and suppress the superior white race.

After the war, however, the Western World were being extremely cautious against pissing off the Eastern countries, in particular Japan, who were trying, unsuccessfully, to push a multicultural equality act to become international law. Britain and America disagreed, but they were trying to be diplomatic - after all, the war that had just passed was supposed to be 'The War to End All Wars'. So Australia invented an immigration policy wherein a prospective immigrant had to write down a fifty-word dictation read out to them, often with complicated and confusing grammar and spelling. Sure, it didn't say they were trying to keep the Asians out, but it sure did, anyway. This idea has morphed into what we have today - the test to see if one had 'True Australian Values' or, what we should call it, the Test To Keep The Muslims Out, because that is what it is.

If you couldn't pass this dictation test then you couldn't enter the country. If you did pass it and you weren't sufficiently white enough, no problem. They would give you the test in Italian or French or any of the other 'white languages', as if all of the 'True Australians' of the 'superior white races' knew all these languages from birth. It was effective ethnic cleansing, even if it wasn't labeled so.

And from then you hear horrible stories - the natives of neighbouring islands who were shipped to Australia and forced to labour in the sugar cane industry were forcibly deported, some having to leave Australian wives and children behind, forever. Chinese families, split in two - a father in Australia, and a mother and children in war-torn China, which was at that point in time being invaded by Japan, who also tried to invade Australia because Australia seriously pissed off the Japanese diplomats at Versailles.

We all know that the Aboriginals are treated badly, then and today - what my darling teachers failed to show us was that it wasn't just out of fear or whatever, but because the whites believed that the Aboriginals - or all black people, for that matter - were less evolved, that they were a link between monkeys and humans, and therefore not really human and so didn't have to be treated as such. These easily adaptable creationists believed that the Aboriginals were a remnant of the past, and were a race - or a species - that was dying out.

This attitude continued well into the latter half of the previous century, with John Howard's 'One Australia' policies, that refused to acknowledge and apologise to the Aboriginals and opposed multiculturalism. Quote: 'I certainly believe that at the moment we need...to reduce the number of Asians'. Oh, yes, and dear Pauline Hanson:

"Immigration and multiculturalism are issues that this government is trying to address, but for far too long ordinary Australians have been kept out of any debate by the major parties. I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. Between 1984 and 1995, 40 per cent of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate. Of course, I will be called racist but, if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country. A truly multicultural country can never be strong or united. The world is full of failed and tragic examples, ranging from Ireland to Bosnia to Africa and, closer to home, Papua New Guinea. America and Great Britain are currently paying the price. Arthur Calwell was a great Australian and Labor leader, and it is a pity that there are not men of his stature sitting on the opposition benches today. Arthur Calwell said: Japan, India, Burma, Ceylon and every new African nation are fiercely anti-white and anti one another. Do we want or need any of these people here? I am one red-blooded Australian who says no and who speaks for 90% of Australians. I have no hesitation in echoing the words of Arthur Calwell."

Get farked.

We invaded Aboriginal territory. We barely have the right to call ourselves Australian. These so-called 'True Australians' are not Australian at all, they are just people barging over what is not rightfully there's, claiming it for their own, and then let nobody else follow in their footsteps because we would overrun them, even though that's what they've done to the Aboriginals.

There is a common saying amongst political conservatives: 'If it ain't broke, then don't fix it'. Normally they're referring to the constitutional monarchy, which the republicans of Australia is trying to abolish, but I think it can apply here. Australia, with all it's faults, inconsistencies, hypocricy and bloody history, is now functioning as a reasonably happy, healthy, wholesome community. Why must we break it up by forcing all the Asians and blacks out? It's not whole, but it's not broke, so don't fix it.

Rascism, and, indeed, discrimination in general, is rampant in Australian society, even today - no matter how they try to deny it. It is not purely fear that drives them - fear would be forgiveable, if not justifiable. But it is a belief that whites are superior, that men are superior, that heterosexualism is superior, which is the grounds for most of the discrimination today. 

I don't see why white people are so offended when I put it to them - as a race, in general, with few and far between noteworthy exceptions, they have been extremely derogatory and discriminative against the other races. I have history on my side, and personal experience.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Speak Now

Silly poems I made from the lyrics of Speak Now: 

I'm starting to think one day I'll tell the story of us,
'Cause you were the best thing that's ever been mine,
And now I don't know how to be something you miss,
And there's nothing I do better than revenge,
'Cause all you are is mean.

Songs: The Story of Us, Mine, Last Kiss, Better Than Revenge, Mean

Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone:
She's not a saint and she's not what you think, she's an actress,
She took him faster than you could say sabotage.
I never thought we'd have our last kiss,
I never thought we'd ever end like this.

Songs: Dear John, Better Than Revenge, Last Kiss

It's okay, life is a tough crowd; 32 and still growing up now,
Please try and never grow up
And I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you,
You're still an innocent.

Songs: Innocent, Never Grow Up, Long Live

I sit on the floor wearing your clothes.
You lost your balance on a tightrope,
And if the chain is on your door,
I understand
But I never thought we'd have our last kiss.
I can't look back now,
I'm haunted.

Songs: Last Kiss, Innocent, Back to December, Haunted

It was enchanting to meet you
And I see sparks fly whenever you smile.
I love your handshake meeting my father,
I love how you walk with your hands in your pockets;
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you.
The lingering question kept me up,
2:00 am, who do you love?
I'm starting to think one day I'll tell the story of us,
How we met and the sparks flew instantly...
You've made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter.

Songs: Enchanted, Sparks Fly, Last Kiss, Long Live, The Story of Us, Mine.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Actors to Watch

1. Joseph Gordon Levitt (Ten Things I Hate About You, Inception)

After a brief hiatus to attend university, 'That Hot Guy From That Heath Ledger Movie' is back and packing a punch with some serious critically-acclaimed pieces. See him in the Leo DiCaprio blockbuster Inception, and in the starring roles of independent films 500 Days of Summer and Hesher.

2. Saiorse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones)

Rocketing from virtual unknown to one of the youngest people ever to be nominated for an Academy Award, at just sixteen Saiorse Ronan is famous for more than just having a weird name (which is more than I can say...)

3. Emma Stone (Zombieland, Easy A)

One of Taylor Swift's best friends Emma Stone has seemingly popped out of nowhere in critically acclaimed teen comedy (that's a change) Easy A, with a Golden Globe nomination to her redhead name.

4. Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, My Sister's Keeper)

Also one of the youngest people to be nominated for an Academy Award, Abigail Breslin seems to be born and bred for the screen.

5. Kristen Stewart (Panic Room, Speak, Twilight)

If you've seen any of Kristen Stewart's other work you'll know that yes, she can do so much better than undead vampires.

6. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

The star of many failed sitcoms, unknown theatre actor Jim Parsons was rocketed into fame as the neurotic, obsessive-compulsive genius Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory, which earned him an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination DR. SHELDON COOPER FOR THE WIN.

7. Natalie Portman (Star Wars, Black Swan)

Uber-smart Natalie Portman has broken out of her Star Wars rut and packs a punch in new critically-acclaimed thriller Black Swan.

8. Georgia Groome (London to Brighton; Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging)

Most of us only know her as 'the girl who made that thong movie funny', but Georgia Groome is actually a critically acclaimed child actress from the controversial thriller London to Brighton.)

9. Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker, Wild Child)

Pretty-boy Alex Pettyfer has made a name for himself as the hot man candy in those tacky tween films, but his film resume is apparently taking a darker, more mature turn, starting with Beastly, coming out in March.

10. Ashley Greene (Twilight, and, erm, Twilight)

Easily the prettiest of the Cullen Cast in Twilight, Ashley Greene has a relatively small role in the cult vampire series, but according to critics we should expect to see a lot more of her.

11. Taylor Lautner (Twilight, Cheaper By the Dozen 2)

With those abs to put Robert Pattinson's glittery booze-tum to shame, Taylor Lautner can, apparently, act. So we will, apparently see this in the years to come. Apparently.

12. Lily Collins (The Blind Side)

Lily Collins has signed up for numerous roles coming out soon in an attempt to break away from her 'pretty person with the rich parents' image, including the role of Juliet in an upcoming Romeo and Juliet remake. Let's see if her talents can match her beauty or her coveted fashion sense.