On Wednesday I'm going to use this blog to upload a nude photograph of myself. Yep, you read that right, a nude photograph. Have I gone mad? Am I so desperate for readers that I'll do anything to get their attention? Do I have a clever escape plan? Or am I really going to do this? There's only one way to find out: Visit my blog on Wednesday and see for yourself, it might be rather unpleasant but I'm sure morbid curiosity will bring you here! I shall see you then… Heh heh heh heh heh!
In a recent English Literature seminar that I had, we were talking about emotions in fiction and it made me think about just why we like certain things. Why, for example, do we enjoy a story which is really sad? Or one which is very frightening? My conclusion was, that human beings feel pleasure from every single emotion that they feel, even the bad ones.
It's quite easy to demonstrate that humans get pleasure out of feeling some emotions (like happiness) but it becomes a little difficult to say that about others (like sadness). My theory is that, even feeling sadness, paradoxically, gives us pleasure, I believe humans get pleasure from all emotions, but usually the feeling of sadness happens at the same time as something bad so we don't get a chance to enjoy it, so we like the feeling of sadness, we just don't like the lost friend (or whatever it is that's making us sad) and it outweighs that pleasure of emotion so much that we don't realise it at all.
My seminar teacher summed up my theory quite well by saying "so art is life with a safety net?" and that is pretty much exactly my point. Art allows us to feel sad, but without actually doing something which affects our lives at the same time and so allowing us to enjoy the feeling.
_ My Mum has given me a few objections to my last entry 'Friendship' so I thought I'd address them now. First, she said that I made my family look bad, which I didn't mean to do, I was just using what they said as something to contrast my view of friendship with. There's no real reason to like most of the people you know anyway, since they probably don't like you very much if they don't know you that well.
Second, the point of my entry seemed to be misunderstood. My Mum asked if that meant people should try and be good friends with people who damage people's things or hurt others, but again this isn't the impression I meant to give. My point was that, so long as people aren't hurting anybody, there's no reason to judge them. If somebody actively does bad things to others why should you be friends with them? What's stopping them from doing the same to you?
Third, she said that it seems very dismissive of my friends if I 'like everybody' but this is very far from the impression I was trying to give. I have a rather small circle of people I consider to be my close friends, and I think they're all very good people who have their own unique qualities. I just meant that I still quite like, and am happy to see, people I don't know all that well too, but it doesn't compare to the relationships I have with my close friends.
I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions which others may also have had.
I was talking with my family just the other day and I was quite surprised to hear them say two things: first, that they don't like the majority of people and, second, that they wouldn't be friends with people who did things they didn't like or disagreed with. I have to say that I am of a completely different view on both of these points.
I may only have a small number of friends who I'm very close to, but I still like all of the other people I know. My family said that if they didn't really know somebody all that well, they weren't really all that bothered about them. I suppose there's nothing wrong with this, I mean, if you don't really know somebody, how do you know that they're not secretly a very bad person? But, then again, at the same time, how do you know that they're not secretly a really nice person? No matter who it is, if I happen to bump into somebody I know I'll be very happy to see and talk to them. Perhaps that's a little too optimistic, I don't know. But, what I do know, is that it must be nicer to be happy every time you see somebody than to be disinterested unless it's one of your closest friends.
But I wasn't particularly bothered by the first point, perhaps you get even more joy from your closest friendships that way? My main problem was with the idea of not being friends who do things you disagree with. My friends do all kinds of things which I disagree with: drinking lots of alcohol, smoking and being involved with sexually explicit things which I'd rather not think about to name three. But they're still my friends, and who am I to judge them? If those are the things they enjoy doing, so be it. If it's making them happy to do those things, I'd be making them unhappy to try and stop them. They're not harming anybody, so there's reason to pass judgement. I'm sure you may say that they're harming themselves and so I should dissuade them, but they're intelligent people with their own free will, they know drinking too much can be bad in the long run and it's their choice about whether they do drink and how much. I value all of my friendships with people very highly and if they were ever doing something that would immediately harm themselves or others, I would intervene, but I have no right to oppose they're choice of recreational activities. While I may not like the idea of a lot of the things I've mentioned I can see that they are all good people, and since they are good people, I can only hope to have long lasting friendships with them all.
_ I think I may have mentioned once before that my friend Dalfino Madrigal Keyte made his own album called the 'Record of Matches' which is inspired by a poetry collection called the 'Book of Matches'. His album is now available to listen to online via SoundCloud, so I suggest you give it a listen; there are a number of good tracks on there. There's quite a wide range of music on it too, there are regular old alternative rock tracks, crazy experimental tracks and instrumentals as well. Whatever you like, I imagine there'll be at least one track that you enjoy. Here's a link: http://soundcloud.com/dalfinokeyte
I imagine that, to most people, The Republic is probably just thought of an old and boring book about philosophy, but this is definitely not the case. Rather than explain his philosophical views about the world in a regular old essay-type format, Plato creates dialogues between contemporary philosophers and Socrates. This format means that it never seems to get boring; in fact, it's quite funny sometimes, especially when they go off on bizarre tangents and start discussing things like naked old ladies at the gym.
There are some very interesting ideas and well argued points of view in this book. A particular favourite of mine is the way in which it is argued that a person is better off being nice to people then being rude (or being 'just' than 'unjust' as it is worded in the book). Plato also has the rather lovely idea that you can love your partner wholly platonically and so not need to have sex with them. His simile of the cave is also a wonderful introduction to the world of philosophy (I shan't spoil it).
Having said that, Plato also has a number of rather crazy ideas. He thinks that there should be a 'sex lottery' (one secretly controlled by the government) where you have to have sex with a random person each week or each month or something. He also says that a false religion should be started up so that people can be kept in their place in society and that all art should be abolished.
Despite the weirdness, I still think Plato should be read. His relatively normal views are very interesting to learn about and his crazy ones are rather amusing. This book would be a nice introduction to the fascinating world of philosophy for anybody who's interested. I'd score it as 8/10.
(buy it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Republic-Penguin-Classics-Plato/dp/0140455116/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327316096&sr=8-1)
I realise my blog title is awfully critical and that I don't want my blog to be an awfully critical place, but this SOPA law seems to be to be very bad, so I'm going to have to make an exception in its case... Plus, I do like my blog titles to be alliterative and 'SOPA Sucks' certainly achieves this.
Anywho, I want to start this entry by saying that I'm against pirating things over the internet. When I can buy something I never download it for free, it's just a small principle I have. Having said that, there are lots of films and pieces of music that're very obscure and are either very difficult to buy commercially or no longer available in any form; when I physically can't buy something, I will watch or download the music from the internet, and this isn't something I feel bad about at all. If an obscure artist wasn't particularly successful when they had their first album out, or if a film wasn't very widely viewed, then people illegally downloading it on the internet could increase its popularity and then due to all the internet following maybe it would be released commercially again and the artist would begin to make money once again. But with SOPA this will be impossible, any site containing copyright infringement could be taken down entirely.
To summarise I would just like to make a simile of SOPA: Imagine the president of a country saw that another country had a lot of thieves who were coming in and taking back to their homeland, what he does is launch nuclear missiles at the country to stop the thieves. That's how I see SOPA.
Just to add a small disclaimed, I haven't thoroughly researched SOPA, I've only read a few articles so, if I've made any errors here feel free to tell me.
I've just seen the last episode of Sherlock series 2 and have a few theories; I thought I'd better write them down while it's all still fresh in my mind! I may very well be a little late to the Sherlock speculations (having only just seen it) but I have a few ideas that may, or may not, be relevant when the series comes back. Anyway, here are my theories:
1. Molly was involved in his survival
My reason for thinking this is that Sherlock decides to visit her at the mortuary towards the end of the episode. He says something along the lines of "You're right, I do feel sad, I think I'm going to die, but there's something you can do to help..." Molly isn't seen again for the rest of this episode... How exactly was she going to 'help' him?
2. Moriarty isn't really dead
His death would have been quite easy to fake, and I thought his suicide was a very big shock. Perhaps it was a lie. Sherlock never even checked the body thoroughly.
3. Mycroft was involved in his survival
When he sees in the newspaper that his brother has died he doesn't really appear to be particularly sad. You may say this is because Mycroft is a very stoic person who would never show his emotion, but look at how he reacts to finding out he'd helped Moriarty to ruin Sherlock, he seems sadder at the thought of his brother's reputation in the media than he does about his death, perhaps because he knows he's alive. Incidentally, in the original short stories, Mycroft is involved with his brother's faked death...
4. Sherlock has a double
There's no explanation for the little girl being so terrified when she sees Sherlock. Perhaps Moriarty (or his men) have a very convincing Sherlock disguise (disguises are a big part of the Sherlock Holmes short stories) or there is a man who looks extremely similar to him. This could have been what actually fell from the roof.
These are the only interesting points I could think of, and all of them are probably of no consequence, but it's interesting to speculate nonetheless. I'm sure other people may have already made these points too, so I don't want to claim that they're original!
Yesterday I was happily reminded of a video I'd seen online some time ago. This is it, and it's by far the nicest video I've ever seen. Since it’s of such high quality, I couldn't really resist sharing it here on my blog. Perhaps you're feeling a little sad or gloomy? Then this video will definitely be the medicine you need. It's just so heart-warming in a way that can't really be described. I imagine you'll especially like this video if you quite like animals, but even if you don't I can't imagine there's any chance of you disliking it. So here is Christian the Lion:
Here's an extra post for today. I'm currently in a Creative Writing lecture and five minutes of the sound of a rainforest (or something like that) was played and we were told to write about what we hear. It's not that impressive, but here's what I wrote:
A forest is full of life, it can be heard through its cacophony. Frogs, insects, birds, they all contribute to the beautiful music of nature that gently flows from the places on the Earth which have yet to be touched by the hand of man. There’re lives in these forests people can’t even begin to fathom, from the ants living inside an immense nest within a tree, to the beaver which has made an abode by digging a tunnel from the bottom of a river. Here the Earth is as it was one hundred thousand years ago, it is entirely unchanged, these awe inspiring locations give us a window into the ancient past, a time when there was absolute freedom, there was no worry of war, hate, race, religion, sexuality, economics or anything that humanity bothers itself with today. We cannot help but write down or recreate the beautiful world that surrounds us, it’s our vain hope to create something which embodies only a fraction of the sheer perfection that emanates from the natural world. To see this place is to see the universe pure and untempered.
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