Random Girl With Internet Access

I believe I am what they call "bleeding heart"

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Top ten photos ( in no particular order) number 7

Top ten photos ( in no particular order) numer 7

Che, just chillin’ and having some lols with his buddy fidel. I think its really interesting to see such important historical figures in such a casual setting

TOP TEN PHOTOS (in no particular order)- Number Eight

TOP TEN PHOTOS (in no particular order)- Number Eight

this is Kim Phuc- the girl running naked down to road in the famous picture of vietnam. I had always assumed that she died but this is her- alive and well today 🙂

Top 10 photos (in no particular order)- number 9

Top 10 photos- number 9

Couldn’t have a top 10 awesome photos without the aurora borealis and the earth from space- so hears both at once

top 10 photos (in no particular order) NUMBER 10

top 10 photos NUMBER 10

some canadian teenagers managed to put a lego man in space! I chose this particular photo because I like the way the earth looks in the background. 🙂

Note

top 25 photos is being reduced to 10- its way harder and more time consuming than I expected

Continuous Prose on writers block- leading to an awesome idea

I got nothing…

So at the end of the term (or if you are indeed American: Semester) I promised myself that I could leave all my school work until after Christmas if I posted a long article on my blog every day. And today… I got nothing. I realise now that I picked a really stupid time to commit myself to a post a day, because I feel that every fecking post ought to be Christmassy. I’ll come up with an idea like “I could write about the pros and cons of communism” and then think – well that’s not very Christmassy. I haven’t really even done anything particularly productive with the time I should have spent writing. I mean I wrote the first two paragraphs of an article on celebrating Christmas as an atheist but it didn’t even go anywhere. I thought to write about gun control in America. I mean it’s not exactly seasonal but it’s topical. But I wouldn’t really be writing any thing anyone had before. Just the typical  “guns don’t kill people but they do help, the second amendment was written during a post revolution climate in which bears where a constant threat and semi-automatic wasn’t a thing, do you really think that the second amendment trumps the “right to life” bit” stuff. So yeah, I spent the day, on Facebook, watching YouTube, making a gingerbread house, wrapping presents and looking at cloths on the Republic website. Wait… I just got a great idea I will bring you the 25 COOLEST PHOTOS I CAN FIND ON THE INTERWEBS. Stay tuned.

Consumerism VS Festivity

I like to consider myself an anti-consumerist (despite constant failures to follow through in practice) and The Holidays have been turned into the biggest consumerism fest known to man. Or have they? Festive shopping, despite being done on mass, may be the least consumerist of all consumerist acts, as the shopper does not buy for themselves but for others. However consumerism is defined by Wikipedia as: “a social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts”- something we are definitely encouraged to engage with during the holiday season.

Before I give my advise I would like to remind readers that I

A)   Did not come up with all these Ideas myself, I will be looking throughout the internet for pointers whilst writing this, all sources will be referenced at the bottom

B)   Have at least partially failed to remove consumerism from my Christmas celebrations

C)   I am a teenager who has never had a full time job or lived away from home- this is just my opinion I am not claiming to be an expert on anything

Whilst the obvious and most commonly sighted way to keep big business out of you’re festivities is to “make your own gifts” 99% of the population runs into trouble here. This takes a hell of a lot of time, equipment for stuff making is often far more expensive than simply buying a gift and few people actually own the skills to make a good gift- not to mention you’ve got to pull all this off behind your families back. Not to mention many people expect store bought gifts so unless you are a very skilled craftsperson or a three year old your loved ones are unlikely to appreciate your efforts. So for this reason I will be offering tips on how to buy gifts in a non-consumerist fashion.

 

Include Personal jokes and sentiments

If you incorporate small personal jokes and thoughtfulness into the purchase of gifts this takes the focus away from the accumulation of material wealth and back to the relationship you have with this person. Recognise that you can get a far better gift with 5 pounds and a good knowledge of the recover than you can with a million and no knowledge of them.

Buy From Small local shops

I have brought most of my gifts from small local shops. This way you insure that your money doesn’t go to a tax haven and that you are paying for a childs football lessons not a third holiday home.

Don’t buy any “Disposable” crap

I havnt been entirely true to this value this year. I have offended with disposable reindeer antlers on the last day of school (put to shame by my friends beautiful, durable, handmade ones) and my family uses a disposable turkey tray every year. But we all know the spiel: landfills, wastefulness, not cost effective and so forth. Very bad. Best avoided.

Check where stuff comes from

I haven’t brought anything from Amazon this year. It has recently been revealed that they only pay 1% tax in the UK. I if you need to go to chains John Lewis and Lush both pay good levels of tax  . The Guardian has a fantastic charismas shopping guide with an “ethical shopper” section.

Give, and Ask For, Books

Nothing is as bad for consumerism  like educating yourself- and there is nothing consumerist about it.

Take the Focus Off the gifts

The holidays are about taking time away from work and stress to focus on you’re family, friends and being joyful (and for some people faith). If you focus more on this than the gifts then that is anti consumerist in itself.

Bagginsing

This is a favourite of my Grandmother Despite needing to be strictly reserved for those of your friends and family who are on the same anti-consumerist page as you are, bagginsing can be quite fun. It simply involves giving people your pre- loved possessions as gifts. If you don’t own anything your family would want you could always try charity shops and second hand stores. Some people will definitely prefer something new so keep that in mind and agree on bagginsing before hand.

Donation Gifts

Another one likely to piss off the pro-consumerist relation. Oxfam allows you to give a donation in someone else’s name as a Christmas gift alongside many other charities. You can even get an E-Card if you are running late. You choose what you give and options range from school supplies, to hygiene kits, to goats , to safe water for an entire school at the top end of the price range. But be careful I have heard many a rant against these.

I have found many websites advocating that we should agree with our friends and family not to gifts for each other. This could work but I will not deny that gift giving – if done correctly- can be a good way to tell the people we love that we care about them. So long as we keep our money away from international chains who don’t pay any tax.  And make sure you buy you’re conservative friend a subscription to The Guardian- or is that like buying someone deodorant.

 

Bibliography

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumerism

http://makewealthhistory.org/2012/12/18/the-changing-culture-of-disposability/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/christmas?INTCMP=SRCH

http://www.wikihow.com/Celebrate-Christmas-Without-Going-Broke

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped/ecards?intcmp=hp_131_hero_shop-ecards_2012-12-18

Personal contact- Pat Hall

 

 

Silliness

Just concerned that I ask Santa for a yellow Christmas present, I’ll get blue :0P 

Review of “Feminist Frequency”

Review of Feminist Frequency’s Youtube Videos

 

Anita Sarkeesian , host of “feminist frequency”, a web series on YouTube analysing the representation of gender in TV and film, recently gained allot of attention after she announced that she was planning on making a series of videos analysing the role of women in videogames. She has always had a love- hate relationship with the people of the Internet, but her enemies found this idea particularly unacceptable. She was subject to a mass hate campaign, which she described as a “cyber mob”. She was sent multiple threats of death and rape as well as videos showing her likeness being raped by videogame characters. However her friends responded by donating far in excess of her requested amount to her indie-go-go campaign.  The series of videos will now be far in excess of what was originally planned. She talks about her experience hear (http://www.upworthy.com/a-bunch-of-sad-insecure-dudes-attacked-a-woman-and-everyone-got-what-they-deserv ) however I am going to write about her videos that are already out there. All the videos I discuss will be referenced at the bottom of the article.

I personally enjoy her videos. Not enough people recognise how the common themes in our literature, drama and other arts reflect how our society thinks about certain ideas or groups of people. Sarkeesian, whilst I do often disagree with her, gets people thinking about this. I am so tired of the “its just a story” line in response to my concerns about things like abusive relationship patterns shown in twilight being romanticized. She displays this best in the “tropes vs. women” series and I hope her “tropes vs. women videogames” series will be just as interesting.

I was shocked when she applied the Bechdel test to all the Oscar nominees with disastrous results. I had never heard of the Bechdel test before and I am thankful for her introducing it to me.I am not sure about her idea of adding a “60 second” rule to the test, as it would remove the “lowest common denominator” element from the test. The best thing about the Bechdel test is that no one can claim that with the Bechdel test you are being petty or nit picking, its really the least you could ask for.

I also enjoyed her analysis of advertising to children Sometimes I feel like I am the only person in the world who notices not only the disgustingly gendered nature of advertising to children but also the lack of ambition, which is advertised to young girls. Sarkeesian points this out in a blunt no nonsense fashion. I agree with her almost entirely on this point. Companies advertise in a nature that encourages girls to be nurturing and boys to be ambitious offering almost nothing in the opposite direction. I am glad someone with as wide an audience as Sarkeesian is pointing this out, even if many of her viewers are just their simply to make comments like “make me a sandwich bitch” and “tits of gtfo” (Sarkeesian however is impressively effective at removing these and blocking all comments if they get out of hand)

I am not without my reservations with Sarkeesians videos. She has often been accused of “problem hunting” something which I definitely think where evident in her analysis of True Grit and a photo-shoot of the glee cast (I must mention, however that I have never seen true grit). It often seems that she either has a problem that women are being shown in a traditional gender roles or that they’re strength comes from being “like men”. In the latter situation “problem hunting” is definitely evident in my opinion.

She also seems to struggle with complex morality, some thing I am in love with. Whenever a “bad” entity is shown to have “good” qualities she accuses the artists making the film or TV show as endorsing the “bad qualities”. This was particularly evident in her analysis of “the doll house” (I must mention here that I have never seen the doll house). She also seemed to demand allot of transparency from “the doll house” by saying that they “haven’t discussed weather or not this is rape”. It seems to me that it is being discussed simply by the doll house’s presence. This also seemed to translate into one of her tropes vs. women videos in which she discussed “mystical pregnancies” which she believes “reduces women to their biological functions” whilst this can be true, she fails to mention the incidences in which the hi-jacking of women’s bodies is shown as distressing, with a little tweaking this trope could be made into an interesting commentary on women reproductive rights.

Overall I think that whilst feminist frequency appears to have very black and white view of the world and a small dose of ‘never enough’ syndrome (the only media I have ever seen her satisfied with was the first book and film of the hunger games, the first two series of veronica mars, and a terminator spin off- this is since 2009), I appreciate her analysis and I think she brings some important problems to the fore. I would also like to point out that whilst, should you find Sarkeesian a pain, you are entitled to whatever opinion you want, there is NO EXUCUSE for the level of harassment she has received.

Tropes VS Women By Feminist Frequency:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqJUxqkcnKA&list=PLBBDFEC9F5893C4AF&index=1

Feminist Frequency on The Oscars and The Bechdel Test:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH8JuizIXw8

Feminist Frequency on Toy Ads and Gender

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZn_lJoN6PI

Feminist Frequency on “true grit”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbiP3wxImAY

Feminist Frequency on Glee Photo Shoot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX5IXYoPzDA

Feminist Frequency on “The Doll House”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvDg8VeGWJs

Feminist Frequency on “mystical pregnancies”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rhH_QGXtgQ

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