"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

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I know there has been a lot of stuff going on lately, and I'm sorry I haven't been blogging or brain farting recently. To tell you the truth, I was just too damn lazy. Also, my Grenade post was clearly a huge hit, and I wanted to wait until all the media coverage died down before I released another comment-less fiasco.

It's the holidays at the moment, but I'm rather annoyed that we only get one full week of holidays - so basically we had two days of school on the last week of term (what do you do in a two-day last week? Seriously.), then next week we have to go back to school on Thursday. But anyway, this post wasn't to criticize the education department, but nonetheless YOU SUCK.

Yesterday, of course, was the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as we now must call them. Personally, I think Prince Will and Princess Kate will stick better than D and D of C. Oh, and FYI, BBC, please check your facts before spewing them out on the international telecast. The Princess Lalla Salma is the princess consort of the King of Morocco, not a Princess of Thailand.

The wedding was considered very modern, in that it made the normal modern omissions in the vows - like the bride promising to 'obey' her husband. But I still don't like the giving away. Call me radical, but a bride is not a horse that is bought by the groom and sold by the father.

Other things making news is the Australian immigration policy and how the government has completely fucked things up. I know we're all racist butheads who can't stand blacks and Indians and Muslims getting into the country, but seriously, what do you expect from people who have been locked up indefinitely just because they want a better life? Of course they're going to riot. And Colin Barnett, don't kid yourself. You don't know anything about pain.

I don't applaud the riots in the Detention Centres, I disagree with the whole notion of mandatory detention for refugees in the first place. As I've said before, we are a wealthy country that needs the labour and societal contribution of foreigners, and yes, that includes refugees. And so what if they're a bit different from us - suck it up, you stupid white supremacists. We are no better than they are. We don't chose the lives we are born into, but we can change them. All these people want is a chance, not to be locked up like murderers. It's a bit rich that we, a flourishing democratic nation, should look down our noses to people who have lived the most wretched existance, and far from helping them, we accuse them of being criminals to this point, this breaking point where they have started behaving like criminals.

So there you are. It's like a wedding and a funeral.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Grenade: The Sequel to Innocent.

I tried to make a poem out of this song, but I couldn't. The lyrics were too good to be transformed, so here they are: tweaked, like I did to some other songs some months back. This reads kind of like a sequel to my version of Innocent.

Easy come, easy go
That's just how you live, oh
Take, take, take it all
But you never give.
Should've known you was trouble
What did I miss?
You passed me over,
Why did you pass me over?

I gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash,
You tossed in the trash,
You did.
I never asked for much,
Your love would've been enough,
'Cause what you don't understand is

I'd catch a grenade for you,
Throw my head on a blade for you,
I'd jump in front of a train for you,
You know I'd do anything for you,

And I went through all this pain,
You put a bullet straight through my brain,
But I still would've died for you baby,
And you wouldn't do the same.

Black, black,
Black and blue,
Beat me till I'm numb,
Tell the Devil I said 'hey'
When you go back to where you're from.
Mad man,
Bad man,
That's all you ever were, yeah
You'll smile to my face,
Then massacre my heart.

I gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash,
You did.
I didn't ask for much,
All your love would've been enough,
'Cause what you don't understand is

I'd catch a grenade for you,
Throw my head on a blade for you,
I'd jump in front of a train for you,
You know I'd do anything for you,

And I went through all this pain,
You put a bullet straight through my brain,
But I still would've died for you baby,
And you wouldn't do the same.

You set me on fire,
And you watched me burn down in flames,
You said you loved me,
You're a liar
Because you never, ever did.

But darling, I caught a grenade for you,
Threw my head on a blade for you,
I jumped in front of a train for you,
You knew I did everything for you,

And I went through all this pain,
You put a bullet straight through my brain,
But I still would die for you baby,
And I know you'd never do the same.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong

Dude this girl has got a problem.

Why is it that are conditions for Asians who want to go to UCLA and not white people? You know, about a million things about this chick could offend a whole variety of people accross the world. A million things about anyone could offend anyone. Which is why we are all equal. Equally bad. 

Okay, I get it. Some Asians are annoying. Some Asians don't know how to function without their old Chinese grandmas. Some Asians do have a billion relatives they have to keep track of (I know I do). But whatever. Alexandra Wallace just offended one of the most ancient and grandest cultures in the world.

Not a smart move, that.

I've made no secret of my dislike of some members of the Asian community, but I don't brand the whole community. I am a proud person of Asian descent, and I know some great people who are Asian like I am. And you know what? Someone isn't good or bad because of colour. Whether someone is a royal pain the ass or an angel is irrelevant to race, religion or gender. I had a couple of white boyfriends who smashed my heart into pathetic little pieces, but I didn't go on a rant about how all white people are horrible and unhuman and should all be shot. In short, my problem with...well, people, is not because they adhere to their own culture and customs, but because some of them don't follow, you know, common sense and international laws.

But what angered me the most is the horrible mockery of whatever she was trying to mock. All my life people have been going up to me saying 'Look! I'm speaking Chinese/Korean! Ching chong, ching ching chong! Bok, bok bok choy!'

I don't even speak Chinese, and I could kick their ass in any English assignment. What makes football obsessions and an unhealthy addiction to hotdogs any better than me? - yeah, you heard me, C. So their insults are kind of moot, but still hurtful.

It is a human weakness to be scared of what you don't understand. It is a human weakness to want people to be the same. But you know what? PMS is a human weakness, too. And if I was paid a dollar every time I've been told to get over it, I'd be rich. So you know what? Get over it.

There are a lot of things I don't like about this place. There are a lot of things I don't like about a lot of the people I know. But I keep my mouth shut. You know why? Because I'm not perfect, and I know I annoy people too. And as unforgiving as people are to that, I still keep the outward facade that I'm understanding about the fact that people are human - although my mother does cop the worst of all my internalized rants. 

The world is a big place. You can't expect everybody to look the same, act the same, whatever. We're bound to have misunderstandings. But would you like it if I made fun of your language, if I picked out a couple of douchebags from your race and then totally ridiculed your entire ethnicity? No. So fuck off, Alexandra Wallace.

Just The Way I Am.

Oh, his eyes,
His eyes make the stars look like they're not shining,
His hair,
His hair falls perfectly without him trying.
You know that if I could,
I'd tell him every day.

Oh, I wish
I wish I could compliment him
But he just can't see me,
And it's so
It's so sad to know that he don't know me,
And every time he asks me
"Hey, are you okay?"
I wish I could say:

When I see your face,
There's not a thing that I would change.
I think you're perfect,
Could you take me
Just the way I am?

And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for a while,
And you'd be amazing
If you could love me
Just the way I am.

Oh, his lips,
His lips
I could kiss them all day if he'd let me,
His laugh,
His laugh
He hates but I think it's so sexy.
I'm so tired of staring
And quickly looking away
I wish I could say:

When I see your face,
There's not a thing that I would change.
I think you're perfect,
Could you take me
Just the way I am?

I'm no beauty queen
But I'm beautiful me
We're not meant to be
But we could be
Why can't they see that
You and I could be like
Shooting stars
Because when I look at you
I know that
All I want is everything.

And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for a while,
And you'd be amazing
If you could love me

Just the way I am.

Inspired by 'Just The Way You Are' by Bruno Mars.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Know She's a Doll.

A critique on the article 'Academics Like to Play with Barbies, Too' by Julia Griffin.

P.S. I'm sorry if it's too academically boring - it was a school paper for English. Just to prove that I can write a more refined form of ranting than what is normally on this blog.

I Know She's a Doll.
Edited by Mr Q and L.S.

The Barbie doll is proof that we can say one thing and do another - after all the criticism of Barbie's 1 in 100,000 body that would supposedly suffer from chronic diarrhoea, they still fly off the shelves fifty years after the original dumb blonde was invented - two a second, no less. And because last time I checked three to seven year old girls don't have the resources to fork up ten dollars on a piece of plastic, it must be the adults who are buying this toy that has proven to have disturbing effects on the average girl's self esteem and eating habits. But apparently being an all-American Made in China icon trimps all, as Julia Griffin writes in her article 'Academics Like to Play With Barbies, Too'. In her article Julia Griffin attempts to remain neutral between the pros and cons of the world's bestselling toy, but her use of language either deliberately or accidentally dismisses all the disturbing statistics she brings up.

Julia Griffin's contradictory article begins with the title 'Academics Like to Play With Barbies, Too' - the use of the word 'academic' implies that the article is an observation of the Barbie phenomenon from a purely objective, factual view. However, it alsp presents the 'academics' as the neutral party, represented by the author, separating herself from the 'feminists and public campaigns' she describes as 'attacking' Barbie despite her popularity. She also says that West Virginia Democrat Jeff Eldridge's proposal to ban the sale of Barbie and 'other similarly unrealistic dolls' because they 'place an undue importance on physical beauty to the detriment of the intellectual and emptional development' is a 'threat'. By using negative language on Barbie critics she subtly establishes herself as being pro-Barbie despite her neutrality.

Grifin then goes on to analyse the body stats of Barbe that has the 'feminists and public campaigns' worried, but only after she states that 'Barbie has hardly been known for a physically attainable appearance', effectively marginalizing any criticism she's going to heap on the world's favourite piece of plastic. She also only focuses on Barbie's measurements prior to the 1997 makeover - in which Mattel modified the barbie mould so that she would 'better fit in to modern fashion' - and so referst to all the measurements in the past tense. This gives the idea that the disturbing statistics are a thing of the past, and that the neo-Barbie is not as extreme. This is further extended by the use of the word 'historic' before she claims that Barbie's waistline is, proportionally, 39 percent smaller than the average anorexic patient. After writing that Barbie's fat-to-body-weight ratio was 'way below the 17 percent required to menstruate', she then jokes 'perhaps this explains why she's never had kids', brushing away what would be a very serious problem had Barbie been a live person. By contrasting the ugly facts with dismissive and past tense language, Griffin puts forward the impression that she is worred about the Barbie statistics, but is instead dismissing them as a 'thing of the past' - much like we would dismiss a barbaric chapter of history as 'been there, done that'.

Griffin goes on to state that 'physical attributes aside, whether Barbie truly poses a detrimental threat to girls' physical and emptional development is still under debate'. She says that on one hand, Barbie is 'pretty and apparently anorexic', but on the other, 'she is alsp presented as a smart, loveable woman with limitless goals and opportunities'. Whilst this is an attempt to contrast a positive with a negative, they are connected and are all part of the Feminists Problem With The Barbies - Barbie doesn't present two separate messages of 'anorexia' and 'success', but connects them - telling girls that 'you have to be skinny to be successful'. This is further reinforced by Barbie's unrealistically successful life - becoming a teacher, surgeon, veterinarian, astronaut, U.S. Air Force Thunderbird pilot, Canadian Mountie and independent presidential candidate in the space of fifty years, a fact that is inadverdently highlighted in Griffin's flawed analysis of Barbie. By separating a negative Barbie issue into a pro and a con, the article gives the appearance of an even-handed judgement of the Barbie craze.

The article then quotes a psychologist finding that girls aged between 5 and 71/2 exposed to Barbie were more likely to have a lower body esteem and a greater desire for a thin body than girls exposed to the 'more realistic' Emme doll, but that the situation is reversed in girls older than 71/2, where negative self esteem issues were associated with the size-sixteen Emme doll instead of the size-two Barbie doll. This is justified as being an example of the desire to be thin internalized inside the mind of a child, and that realistic body figures only reinforce this desire to be thin, rather than reversing it. Griffin's use of quotation marks around the word 'realistic' when referring to the Emme doll casts the realism of the doll in doubt, and the findings of this improperly-referenced experiment are used to transfer the blame of poor self esteem from the Barbie doll to the phenomenon of 'internalizing the skinny desire'. The experiment is then dismissed entirely in the next paragraph, by quoting another, more recent psychology finding that could not directly blame Barbie for any body image issues, thus cancelling out the findings of the previous experiment, and stating that scientists have linked negative body image to the beauty ideals of the media as a whole. By quoting psychological experiments the article appears to be basing its argument on 'academics' and 'fact', but by interpreting and then dismissing the psychological findings and diffusing the blame to other factors of low self esteem it instead presents more information in favour of the harmlessness of the Barbie doll.

The author then presents two further experiments, this time blatantly in favour of Barbie-like dolls - that they reinforce gender roles and social values, and that the phenomenon of older girls destroying their Barbie dolls neutralizes the negative effects Barbie dolls may impose, as destroying Barbie dolls is seen as a sign of rejecting Barbie's perfection. by scientifically justifying the article's bias, the article remains a facade of neutrality despite all the evidence against Barbie being neutralized and all evidence in favour of Barbie being highlighted.

The article never explicicitly states specific arguments against the Barbie trend, or presents subject-specific arguments against the 'feminists' that are 'attacking Barbie'. Instead, all criticism is negated by the author's argument that Barbie 'remains a cultural icon of America and the world, beloved by girls and collectors alike', by appealing to the power of the masses - if they all do it, it must be good. Julia Griffin's article 'Academics Like to Play With Barbies, Too' is an example of a poorly-disguised defence of something that is not being judged, but championed by not only Griffin, but the world over. Griffin's use of persuasive and misleading language subconsciously makes us think that hey, the Barbie isn't really so bad after all.

But the final nail in the coffin for the argument against the hypocrisy, unrealism and sinister negative impacts of Barbie is the line that the article finishes with:

'she's a doll, people...'

Copyright 2011 Lady Solitaire. No part of the above work may be reproduced without written permission from the author.

See! You've been conned all this time! Lol.

Click here for the original article.

BTW, I don't know the author wrote the article personally and this isn't a personal attack on her career or her writing. A student's gotta do what a student's gottta do...to get 99%.

Typical Asian Cunts.

So today I was at the bus stop with my godmother and my sister, cheerfully minding my own beeswax after watching a movie and going shopping (Paul, fyi, which was amazing) and this old fart sitting at the station mutters 'typical asian cunts'.

WTF, man?

First of all, what the hell does he mean by 'typical'? He could hardly think us cheapskate because we were using public transport and not lounging in my limo, because he was doing that too. I don't care if he got mugged and raped by an Asian gang, you just don't criticize people based on race! I've had some pretty nasty encounters with creepy old white men like him, but I didn't judge him - before he called me a cunt, that was.

What kind of bastard calls women cunt these days? What did I do? Do people realize how uncultured and totally fucked up they look when they just spew out all this unrationalized abuse? We take comfort in the fact that he's old, and he's probably going to die soon. But I think about how many people he's infected with his blatant and totally uncalled for racial prejudice. We are an Immigration Nation - this country leans so heavily on the services and gifts of the immigrants we all are - and we all are immigrants, white, Aboriginal or Asian. We all came over in boats, one way or another, at some point in time.

This asshole, this crinkly prehistoric son of a bitch, ladies and gentleman, is proof that racism is still rampant in our 'of course we're totally multicultural and tolerant' Australian society. I stopped buying that bullcrap ages ago, but this is the first time such shocking language has been said, to my face, just because I'm not white. So don't tell me it's all okay, because it's not. Everyone who has ever told me Australia's never racist before (actually, they tried to tell me that Australia was never racist, but it doesn't take a history nut to figure out what a big fudge that was) was someone white and condescending. Sometimes you have to be yellow to see the bleaker side of things.

I have white friends, and white teachers, but I'm beyond colour. I like people who are nice to me, who are smart and sweet and friendly, regardless of what they look like. I had a white boyfriend who turned out to be a complete freak of nature, but I'm pretty sure we can't blame that on his race any more than we can blame it on his acne or his instant noodle leg hair. I don't want to be known as That Asian Girl, and I certainly don't want to be known as That Asian Cunt. I'm as Aussie as anyone is, but I don't feel accepted here - I just feel like sometimes, based on all sorts of things that I can't control, like my race, gender, abilities, I'm a second-class citizen. We all have so much to offer to this beautiful country, myself included. But sometimes you have to wonder - do they really deserve it?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Teenage Dream.

Let me tell you about my
Teenage Dream.
All I want is
I want to be like a
I want to be like a
Shooting star,
I want you to tell me you're not
Really far.
I want you to be like an
Or Superman,
I want you and I to grow old.
But I want to see our legacy
Grow tall and strong.

I want white dresses and
A nirvana that is free of
I want you to be Romeo,
I'll have a go at being
But most of all I want this solo act
To become a duet.

So now you know my
Teenage Dream.
I don't ask for much.
All I want is

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This is What Happens in the Loony Bin.

Ever wondered what happens to the inmates of a fully-selective academic school?

Perth Modern School's Phoenix Choir, the audition-only boys chamber choir.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About Year Eleven.

1. English is not an 'escape route' away from Lit. They're just as hard.

2. Year eights do get more and more annoying each year.

3. A good lunch (and a strong cup of coffee) is essential.

4. Marks plummet. Straight 100%s become straight 70%-if-you're-lucky.

5. Recess: sleep.

6. You will lose 10% per day for overdue work. This year, it's not just an empty threat.

7. Be prepared with discreet earphones, a carefully concealed iPod and strategically arranged hair and headpieces for those long and tedious lectures about Life In The Future.

8. Every university will try to convince you that that uni is The Best Uni Ever. It is not.

9. The highlight of the year is going to all the classrooms and laughing at the junior school after senior school early close. Yes, that is how sad your life is as a year eleven student.

10. If you want to say something, say it. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to be something, be it.


I know a lot of people who lose sleep over poetry.

It's one of those horrible necessities of English lit. in high school, but as you might have guessed, I quite enjoy it.

What do I see in poetry? I see an artistic way to be a bitch. I see an eloquent way to be as fantasically weird as I am. I see a way to express myself without sounding corny or suicidal. Death, love, life...such things need special words.

My poems are about me. They're about my relationships with people - with my dad, my friend, and the boy in the back of lit class. They're about what I see and how I feel. They're about my frustration, my anxiety, my anger. My hope, my bliss, my happiness. Big things like that. When words fail, poetry triumphs.

People dismiss poetry. They think it's corny, or too difficult, or useless. But when you read my poetry you're looking through a tiny window into my soul. And what you'll see there is something deep and haunting and magical. Everyone has a little Garden of Eden, complete with Snakes of Sin, in their souls - the difference is that mine has little peepholes, little snapshots. Beauty is wasted if the eye cannot behold.

The Perfect Story Syndrome.

I'm one of those many people who pretend to be writers.

Sad, isn't it? I spend all of my time when I'm not at school sitting in front of my computer in my pyjamas writing on this blog or surfing the net whilst praying that somebody is reading said blog.

I suffer from what I refer to as The Perfect Story Syndrome. It speaks for itself - I can think up really, really, perfect stories.

Now this sounds all cool, until you realize that the best stories aren't the perfect ones. It's why awkward moments are the most interesting to relive. It's why there's always a tragic flaw in characters, because otherwise they're all just Boring McBoring.

The problem is I love my characters too much. I live some parts of my life that are missing through my characters, and when you do that you don't want things to go wrong in their life, because then you're forced to return to your own. And so I ruin them with boringness.

My solution to this is to turn to poetry. The stories will come later. Promise.
I love you,
I love your smile,
I think our conversation just then
Will keep me going for a while.
I love how you talk,
I love how you laugh,
I wish I could just love that,
But it's not quite enough.

I like you,
I like your grin,
I like how you make me think
This is a game I could win.
I like how you walk,
I like how you're buff,
I wish I could just like that,
But it's not quite enough.

But I hate you,
I hate how you just ignore,
I know I'm not perfect,
But surely I deserve more.
I hate myself because
I love you so,
I hate myself because
I can't let you go.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Why are you yelling?
Let's start again,
"Hello, dear, how are you?"
I don't want to see your crinkled brow,
Smile, daddy, I hate frowns.
If you don't love me
Why did you make me?
Daddy, daddy,
I love you,
Daddy, why can't you love me too?

Mummy tells me
You keep a roof over my head,
But it seems to me a
Bank account would do nicely in your stead.
This water I tread is made of tears,
Because you never smile at me;
You haven't,
For years.

You seem to me like a great big wall,
Old, rugged, still, tall,
But most of all it's bored bored bored,
I'm tired of this, daddy,
I'm tired of this war,
I loved you once for love,
But now it's just a chore.

What goes through your head?
Do I even want to know?
Why do you look at me like I'm some freak show?
I'm you,
I'm your own flesh and blood,
But I'm through,
I've had enough.

Inspired by 'Daddy', Sylvia Plath.

Monday, April 11, 2011

For Cristy.

Together we are a harmless harmony,
A dutiful duet,
They don't like my rock and roll,
But they like our motley minuet.

It's amazing how rude they are to me,
When I am I sans you,
If you and I were joined at the hip,
We wouldn't have a clue.

Friends are a rare commodity,
But weirdness is rarer still
You won't be offended, Cristy,
But this poem is as weird as you.

When you were younger
Do you ever remember
Hiding in cardboard fortresses?
Well I was always alone behind my box,
A buck toothed girl with mismatched socks,
But I think I've found my wartime buddy,
You laugh when I laugh,
I think that's funny.

I'm a pretty lousy friend,
Sometimes I get so tired,
I think up all these elaborate plans,
That always seem to backfire.
Life is a game,
I'll be your sidekick,
Will you be mine, too?
We might not have much to gain,
But that's fine,
As long as we both laugh as we lose.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

...you are perfect to me.

Warning: Mature audiences only.

Do Schools Kill Creativity

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Do you think Venus ever felt like this?
I doubt it.
It is not what we do,
Or who we are,
But what they think that counts.

Do you think Cleopatra ever felt like this?
I doubt it.
It is not what we be,
Or who we meet,
But what they see that counts.

Do you ever think about how I feel about this?
We are one,
But we are better two.
Your God made
Adam for Eve
Her God made
Venus and Adonis
Their God made
Isis for Osiris
But my God
Forgot my other half.

What is it that they had that I have not?
Beauty is a fickle friend,
Fortune even worse,
What was once a charm,
Is now my barren curse.

It is a grand thing to be half of a whole,
Remembered throughout history
The rush of love,
The burn of passion...
The fable from fact
That never grows old.

It is better
To be just oneself.
Perhaps we could have remembered
Cleopatra without Antony
But we didn't.
That's the point.

And so no matter how grand
Or how great
Or how good or otherwise,
Loneliness seems my lover,
And death my life's plan.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Treasure Forsaken

Who would have thought there'd be so much
Blood in him?

Black blood,
Blood stopp'd in the vein,
Dried blood,
Blood that does not know pain.

Who would have thought there'd be so much
Blood in her?

Free blood,
Blood that flows on the lunar order,
Love blood,
Blood the river of life.

Who would have thought there'd be so much
Blood in me?

My blood
Is wasted.
It is
Treasure forsaken,
It is
Water poured upon the ground.
To dry;
My love,
To die.

Let's get God out of the Classroom

There are many pros and cons about private and public schools. One is bloody expensive, another will cost you peanuts. One has nicer buildings, another generally has nicer people. But one of the most important factors is religion.

Here, private and independent schools are mostly religious. Catholic, most of them, and quite a few are sex-segregated, at least for secondary school. And I wouldn't go to one, personally, nor would I send any children of mine to one. But I'm not totally opposed to it. Most of them offer what schools should offer - sound, wholesome education, all in the name of God and stuffy uniforms.

Public schools here are, in theory, secular. And I'm a profound believer in secularism. I think it's unfair that children are born into religious households and are expected to be obedient to whatever religion they happen to be born to. Did anyone ask if they wanted to be a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew? No. I also believe that very young children don't fully believe religion and what it entails, so they either don't take it seriously, which means the virtues of religion are wasted on them, or they take it too seriously and become our next generation of tyrants.

But the problem to my dilemma would be simple - go to a public, secular school.

But, you see, public schools here aren't really that secular at all. It varies from state to state and area to area, but all public schools lean slightly to the right and, I think, slightly into the bosom of God. I know of public schools who have compulsory religious education, and by religious education we mean bible and scripture lessons. When I was in primary school we had a School Prayer. I remember it, vividly:

O God we pray that you will help us
To be thoughtful and kind to each other,
Friendly and honest in all we do,
Grant our live shall be such that
No word, thought, or deed shall ever disgrace the name of our school,
Or shame those we love best,

Now, it's not exactly a jihad or a Hail Mary, but as I got older I found this prayer more and more offensive. Prayer is for religious people, and I have deeply private and personal reasons why I am not religious. Why should I pray to a God I do not believe in, do not believe exists?

Now, an idyllic school wouldn't have a school prayer. Prayer is for churches, for societies where participants are there on a volunteer basis. A reasonable would have the prayer, but not have teachers watching us like a hawk to make sure we say the blessed words.

Whenever I tried to complain about saying the prayer, they said the same thing, all the time. 'Just say it to your own God'.

This, my dear friend, is why I disliked Christianity and Christians as a whole for a long time. It is an easy thing, as a child, to balk at something and dislike the whole lot. For me Christians were a rather unreasonable lot. Who are they to tell me what to say? What do they know about being, feeling, utterly Godforsaken? Nothing, I tell you, nothing.

I have friends who had it a lot worse. Why should children of all beliefs be forced to attend classes about a single religion? Since when has Christianity been the be all and end all of everything? We are a free country of free men, and yes, free children. Treat us that way.

They tell us we live in a free country, and perhaps that is true. There are no laws against freedom of speech and religion. On the surface all are equal and at liberty.

But freedom has its ways of ensnaring people. The paper may say one thing but the people...the people say another. In a society of few rules people make up their own. It is insecurity. We need rules to know that some stranger isn't going to go 'boo' in the night. Social persuation, Australians are particularly susceptible to that. If they're doing it, I'm doing it. If they're not doing it, I'm not gonna be the first.

So in anything - religion, politics, whether one wears strips or spots - it is not what, but who, and how many, that matters. The lack of rules is very clever. We're trapped in our own social invulnerabilities. There may be no rules that says that I must participate in Christian beliefs, but Judeo-Christian values have infilterated the core of society, every single element, for better or for worse. But societal betters and peers force you into things. If I hadn't said the prayer it wouldn't have rubbed up the teachers very well, but lets face it, I was never known for buttering up primary school teachers, but if I had openly voiced out against it I would have been a freak. And over what? They're just words. But they mean something to them, and it's a great offense to them, that I not participate what sometimes seems more of a cult than a religion sometimes, to certain people. And those words, and the absence of them in my life, mean something to me.

People can't take individuality, uniqueness. It absolutely terrifies them. If I give you salt, you're okay with it, because you know all its going to do is make your food salty. If I give you some unlabled foreign spice, you'd freak out. And I was the spice, dear friend, amongst all the salt. Social ostracization is the worst punishment of all, and I think Australians use and fear it quite nicely.

I said the damned prayer, and I lost all my respect for religion and religious people. Religion is about peace and tolerance, not about dictators frightening the gullible into things. It's explotation, especially to primary school students. It's a vulnerable target for people who corrupt the religion of Christianity into a business.

Religion is a private thing. Perhaps if I had given adequate time to meditate upon it, perhaps if I don't spend my life with people hounding me with the endless question of heaven and hell, I would have chosen one and settled nicely into it. But I've given up on the whole notion. If religion is pure truth, innocence, then people have blackened it with our own sin, our own greed for power, and to be part of the masses. I see nothing in it now for me.

If you want your child to have religious education, go to church. Or a private school. Or both. People with strong religious beliefs really have no place in secular education, just like people who are as profoundly atheist as I am have no place in religious education.

Get God out of the classroom. Stop doing all this crap in the name of God. If God exists, I doubt he'd be happy with these so-called evangelicals who have corrupted religion and diseased our society with false pretences and empty promises. They give everyone a bad name. We have a right to a secular society.

Friday, April 01, 2011


People often confuse studiousness, smartness and intelligence.

Studiousness is a talent. Anyone with half a brain can be studious - it doesn't make them smart or intelligent. It just means they can stare at a book longer than the rest of us, and get more out of it than most.

Smartness comes in two forms. There's the bookie smartness, which means that instead of just staring at a book and learning how to pass an exam, you can think about it. You can ask the basics. Who, what, when, where...and why? Why? The second kind of smartness is a social smartness. If the only thing you are accustomed to is a book, then you're not going to get very far in life. People smartness. Wit, charisma. It's a form of smart. It saves your neck.

Intelligence is something else. Intelligence is not something you're born with, but it's not something you can acquire or gain or manufacture. It's just there, or it's not. It's a higher level of thinking. When you talk to someone who is intelligent, they have substance, they're bursting with things to say. They can relate to things you present to them, compare it to things they know, take from it what they didn't know before. Everything in the world poses a question to an intelligent person, everyone in the world is completely different in the eyes of someone intelligent.

Intelligence is a double-edged sword. The world is sharp, defined, clear, beautiful, but it's like an artist trying to explain the simple beauty and majesty of his work to a blind person. It doesn't work. With intelligence, seeing is believing.

I admire people who can study well, I really do. I wish I had it in me to sit down, shut up, and actually do something productive. I have my spurts, my grand moments of massive industriousness, but it's not like I can sit down for three hours every day and look at the same books over and over and actually consider it a good use of my time. But studious people tend to be rather dull, rather one-dimentional. I love the written word, but it's only one means of learning - and I truly detest people who go through life with the mantra of 'if it's not in the book, I don't know it'. These days we have to write books and web pages about everything. The more how-tos you read, the more common sense drips away.

I think I'm a tolerably smart person. I don't understand people but I know how to hold my ground against them - which is quite another thing from charisma, but I get by well enough on it. When it comes to learning, 'why' is the thing in my head. I want to know how the world works. I think numbers and formulas oversimplify our intricately imperfect world - there are anomalies in everything that maths and science just can't account for. The kind of understanding I look for is a true knowledge of why, and why it didn't happen.

Perhaps we all think we are intelligent. I certainly think so. I'm not going to pretend that I don't think I've got anything good to say, because I do. I've got plenty to say, and just because you may not agree with it all doesn't mean it doesn't come from an intelligent mind.

Intelligence is something I prize in myself above all. It's not about school marks, or success. It's about a connection, one intelligent person to another. It's something I value the most in friends - because intelligence is a deeper connection, a blood tie. I get you, you get me. It's not about agreeing - I rarely agree with the intelligent and the more intelligent than me. But it's...it just is.

There's a spark in an intelligent person's eye. I can tell if someone has got something good to say by the look in their eye. An intelligent person is never bored of the world around them. They may be infuriated, frustrated, complacent, but there is always something to fascinate. Anyone genuinely bored not just with what is in the passing, but with life in general, lacks intelligence in my opinion.

But sometimes they have this spark, but they just haven't got it. They've got nothing good to say. It's like arguing a case in court with no evidence. A trapdoor does not stay shut unless it's been bolted. Otherwise you fall straight through your own trap.

What do you think? Do you think you're intelligent? Do you think I am?