Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Communism - It's a Party!

I've been trying to find some time to post for a while now. It's not easy, with the whole wide internet available to distract me. (Erm, I wrote this BEFORE that last one... lots of ferry rides lately!)

Fortunately, the fates saw my situation and were kind enough to put me in the perfect position; over an hour of sitting around, with my laptop, and no Wifi in sight. I do have all the lovely movies I downloaded, but, being the smart, resourceful gal I am, forgot my headphones. Oops.

It's all good, though. One long ferry ride of writing to go!

I was standing in the lunch line the other day when I heard this quote: “Anyone under 20 who isn't a socialist has no heart. Anyone over 30 who isn't a capitalist, has no brain.”

Well well! Just a little cynical. It originated, obviously, with one of the girl's wealthy father. “It makes sense,” she explained. “When you're young, you have no money, so you want things like health care and equality. When you're older, you have all the stuff and you don't want to share it.”

It does make sense. I don't like it, though – it says something rather terrible about human nature. Rather true, too – we're selfish little beings. I hope that if I ever become wealthy, I can get over my own greed and share my fortune around a little. My parents are fairly socialist, of course, but they've never been wealthy so the issue has never come up!

Wealth is a bit of a trap, I think. Funny, but there's no such thing as rich enough. The poor want to be middle class. The middle class want to be wealthy. The rich want to be richer. The richer want to be the richest.

Let's look at McDonald's. (This is a little inspired because I recently watched the McLibel video.) They're rich. Hugely rich. Hugely successful. However, to imagine buying better grade food to encourage healthy eating? Forget it! They'd lose profit! Buying meat that isn't a product of animal cruelty? Profit loss. Be more eco-friendly? Profit loss. Paying decent wages? Profit loss.

However, when you're a massive, internationally successful company – how much does a little profit loss mean? A lot of money, but not a lot of damage to the company. The shareholders would still be able to live in luxury.

But that's not how it works. We suffer. The generation of tomorrow suffers. The animals suffer. The environment suffers. All so some chumps in suits can drive Hummers and live in mansions.

And no, it's not as simple as just not buying McDonald's food – they're everywhere, and when you send your cute little 6 year old to kindergarten and she sees all her friends eating this stuff, she's going to want to too. Nagging is a favorite in the marketing industry – why do you think they advertise to children so much? Most adults with money would much rather eat somewhere else (sushi, anyone? It's just as affordable!) but the spoiled kids of today don't make that easy.

(Yes, my generation is SO spoiled – raised on videogames and junk food and a ridiculously dumbed-down school system.)

This is what makes communism so attractive. You'd think there should be a level of “rich enough”. Two kids, a dog, an SUV and a townhome in a nice area?

I'm not a communist. Like the NDP, it's attractive but doesn't work.

I don't think capitalism really works either, though. It's all well and good if you're wealthy, but for the poor and the working middle class, it's not so great. If you want ultimate power in today's world, you don't need charisma or intelligence or even a good game plan. All it takes is a lot of money.

And it really has taken us over. People don't care about people anymore. Scraps of paper are worth more. Even the legal system is all about rewarding the rich. Oh sure, we have justice – for the wealthy. If you don't come with a bulging wallet, all you can do is hope for compassion.

Hopefully one day we'll get a new system. Someone will change things sooner or later. First, though, we need a socialist.... with some money.  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Poison for your soul

I love fucked up people.

At least, I love what society calls fucked up people. I don't have any mental disorders. I hope. I tend towards winter depression, but so do many people. However, many of my loved ones are a little mentally unconventional.

I've got a close friend who has anger issues. She has a tendency for depression and drama. I love her with all my heart and she's the most loyal friend I could ever ask for. About a year ago she started taking anti-depressants. The change, of course, was dramatic. She doesn't break stuff in fits of pique anymore, or scream and threaten people. (I've never known her to actually attack anyone.)

She's hardly ever angry anymore at all. Instead, she's mopey. Depressed. Gloomy. She doesn't care about much anymore, except dark rooms and bong tokes. She's apathetic to pretty much everything, and desperately lonely. A date gone wrong or a fight with her boyfriend will almost guarantee suicidal thoughts. She's as insecure as insecure gets, terrified of people's opinions and caked with makeup. A far cry from the wild, emotional girl she once was. I love her all the same but I miss her fire. Of course, it's her decision to make – I'll never know how it feels to go through that, and I cannot judge her.

I have another close friend who is manic depressive. A couple, actually, but one in particular I'm going to talk about. She's excitable. Emotional. Dramatic. As loving as a person gets, but if you get on her wrong side all she has for you is fire and brimstone. She loves to love and loves to hate. Like most manic depressives, she's all extremes and emotions.

She doesn't take anti-depressants. She can't, because of the liver damage they cause. Instead, she bounces through a world of emotions. She deals with her depression as sensibly as a person can, and never takes it out on those around her. Her manic moods are whirlwinds of excitement and affection – to be honest, I love them. She's one of the greatest friends I've ever had.

“Anti-depressants?” she says. “Remember, honey, anti-depressants are for society's sake. They don't benefit the individual.”

I have one friend who I think legitimately needs her prescribed anti-depressants. At least, they don't seem to be doing her any harm. She's a rape victim, a cutter, has made past suicide attempts. Like many depressed people, she's got several issues stacked up. I don't know what they all are, I'm not going to ask. Maybe there are things that she could do as an alternative, but I don't know enough to make those judgments.

For the rest of my friends, though, I think they're a shortcut doctors like to use. They do get paid to put people on these medicines, you know. Is it really necessary to prescribe anti-depressants and schizophrenia medications to someone who gets really angry? She doesn't hear voices, and she never said a word about suicide until after she started taking her pills. If I had the power, I'd enroll her in boxing and get her a psychiatrist. I respect her decision to take the prescribed medicine, of course – she's told me many times how difficult it is for her to deal with her anger. I can only imagine. I do, however, think there are way better ways to help her!

Pills are everywhere. Sleeping issues? Have some drugs. Upset because your life isn't going well? Have some drugs. Got a cold? Have some drugs.

Okay, it's great that we have medicine. But when has it gone too far?

My best friend in the entire world is schizophrenic. I never learned this until recently. She took medications for a while, but stopped. Now she have a well paying job and a home of her own. No drugs, occasional drinking. Of course, she works way more than is probably healthy, but everyone needs a coping method. I think, if someone in that position can deal with their issues and overcome them without medication, it can't be as necessary as some people believe.

I have nothing but respect for my friends who deal with their demons on their own. I think that we as a culture tend to consider mental issues a lot worse than they really are. No one is perfect – we all have our issues. Those with diagnosed ones shouldn't be hushed down and drugged up. What's the crime in being extra emotional? If anything, people with bipolar disorder or anger issues just act the way we all wish we could!

Society would like us all to be muted, well behaved and normal. There isn't a lot of room for extremists or people who are overly different. This is not because we are a bad society, but because that is how societies function – the individual must sacrifice for the good of the whole.

It is the responsibility of the individual to take care of themselves. Don't fall into that neat little trap your well-meaning peers have made – its about what makes YOU happy, not the neighbours. Wreck your furniture, not yourself – better to break a chair than swallow those poisonous little white pills.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Usual

Life is never boring. I don't even know how people get bored! Seriously, there's always something to do. Something to say. Something to think.

I'm in my new spare block. :3 I have half days now, so plenty of time to do what I feel like! Time to get things rolling, methinks. I'm starting on a creative writing course. Ahh, yes,  I did say methinks. Methinks my literature course is getting to my brain! I find myself wording things oddly during my classwork, too. That's okay, I don't mind the eloquence that comes from reading too much Shakespeare.

For some reason my social life always seems to bounce up after a breakup. I think it's because I feel like I have to compensate for all the extra time I have to myself. Not to mention how those little friendships with guys suddenly bloom! Says something about the guys, but that's okay; as long as they know about the boundaries in place.

One friendship that did get squashed was the one with my ex-boyfriend, though. That's okay - I'm beginning to realize that, despite his good traits, I don't really enjoy the condescending way he treats me. I believe in each to their own; I think that people have the right to their own opinions, but not the right to press those opinions on others. Somehow I'm just no good at being friends with ex's. It seems my golden record goes on. Oh well! Such is life - there's only one direction to go, onwards and upwards.

What's with heartbreak, anyways? I just don't get why people get so into these relationships. We're seventeen - chances are everyone is going to betray you. My friends always come with their sad faces and sob stories - "I trusted him!"

Why don't people learn?  You can't trust anyone! At least, you can't trust them to love you forever. Not at an age where no one knows that love even is. Don't set your heart on that first date - things come up. Don't fall so fast during the chase - it's a "chase" because someone has to run away. Whoever falls harder gets to do the chasing.  It's a horrible, painful, disgusting, manipulative process.

You can't trust people not to break your heart. A human heart is such an easy thing to break! You can't trust them to follow through on their word, to love you the way you love them, to put you in front of other things in your life. You can't trust them to treat you right or follow through on their promises.

And it's not because everyone is bad. Its because we're all just humans, and humans aren't dependable. Humans are flighty and stupid and emotional.  If you want true love, get a dog. And maybe, maybe as we grow up things get better. After all, lots of couples get married and stay together for years and years. But right now ? Right now we're young and hormonal. We don't know anything and assume we know everything. Every little crush feels like true love, and we probably wouldn't know true love if it roundhouse kicked us in the face.

So chill out. Think twice. Make backup plans. Don't assume that that boy with that reputation is going to act any different for you than he did for the last girl. Don't assume the heartbreaker girl will leave yours intact. None of us are perfect, no matter how great we might seem.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

There's nothing in it for you, 'cause I'm living it all for Leyna!

First of all, I've never loved a man like I love Billy Joel. For those of you who don't know who Billy Joel is... shame on you.

Life sure has been interesting lately. I went to visit my father last weekend; he announced he's going to get married! Just a wee bit of a shock, since my dad has spent the majority of his life avoiding getting married. Anyways, my new stepmom is nice, and best of all, I get an adorable little 8 year old stepsister! We're all going to live together, which should be interesting.

My parents are insanely stressed out. I have to say, my life is so interesting. I'm surrounded - absolutely surrounded by people with mental disorders. I love them all, though. I can't imagine life if they weren't the way they are, either. Even my best friend has anger issues, which have been squished into all sorts of other fun problems by her anti-depressants. Yuck. I fucking hate those things.

I think I'm attracted to people with issues. Not so much romantically - I'm not romantically attracted to anyone, really. Well, Paul Rudd in Clueless, but he's over twenty years older now than when the movie was made, and not nearly as hot. But as friends? The crazier they are, the more I love them. Which, I will tell you, is just asking for stress!

Lately life is all about school. Holy. I do homework all the freaking time. Except for times like right now.. erm. Oh well. I guess this is just an update about my life, because I don't have anything specific to say.

I've been really interested in religion lately. Well, I ALWAYS have, but especially lately. Not in becoming religious - in religion, and how it fits into our culture. Mm. Nothing worse than ignorance!

Ha, the other day my friend and I had this big long debate over something I'd posted on facebook. He wrote a blogpost about it - you can look at it here on his blog. Anyways, I'm an angry feminist with no sense of humor! But that's nothing new, feminists never have senses of humor. (I'm not really a feminist, I <3 men. I <3 having rights, too, though!) I guess I do take his comments too seriously, though, but then again, it's his responsibility to ease off when things get serious if he's just joking! Either way, I don't think that rape is ever deserved or a "lesson" - it's inhumane and rapists deserve loooong sentences - I think about ten years at the least. I'd say it's a bit more serious than stealing a car, eh?

Anyways, I'm going to go do something useful. Maybe I'll put a real post up one of these days, about religion vs atheism, or anti-depressants. Something.