Friday, 8 July 2011


This blog is such a weird space. It started off as an online journal with pictures of my trip to Alaska when I was 18. (If you don't believe me, check the archives!)

Then, when I went to university it turned into a blog full of my depressive, philosophical ramblings. I should have been using it to chronicle all the awesome stuff which goes on in university life, but that didn't really happen.

Then there was a gap of over a year.

So what now?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

My first blog post after 17 months of blogospherical silence

It's March 2011 and it seems hard to believe that my last entry was October 2009. How was it that I didn't make a single entry for the entire of 2010? Maybe I lost my vanity for a whole year. After all, that is the reason for blogs, right? The idea that I have something to say that is worth posting publicly. Otherwise we'd just keep private, offline diaries.

Well, this winter I started writing in a diary again. A real one - pen and paper. I haven't written a diary since I was about 15. It used to be about celebrity crushes, how bored I am in school, and arguments with friends. Some parts are also written in secret codes that I don't understand anymore, and I don't think I left myself a key. Now my diary has mainly been about driving lessons, how bored I am in lectures, arguments with my boyfriend, and my general worries and ambitions.

I'm still studying Philosophy. I'm still wondering why I'm studying Philosophy. I enjoy searching for meaning in life but I'm not sure if I truly enjoy reading dense academic texts. They're not written to be entertaining and while thought-provoking, they're not always inspiring. I'm scared of reading phenomenology texts or continental philosophy because it seems difficult to penetrate.

I don't know what I want to do with my future. I don't know what is even available to me. I guess I will end up working for "The Man", in some corporation or other institution.

At this precise moment in time my thought on life is this:

I feel as if I am detached from the entire universe, and it is a vast jigsaw puzzle with a seemingly infinite number of pieces. Some of the pieces are in places, in patches here and there, so it seems that there is a little bit of order.

But overall it is all so huge and there are a mind-boggling number of pieces. At the same time though, it feels like the jigsaw puzzle is at least theoretically possible to solve - all the pieces are there, but they are scrambled beyond belief.

Here I am trying to figure out what the big picture would turn out to be - and how do all the pieces fit together to form a real, meaningful image? How do I fit into it, how does everyone else fit into it: stars and planets, cups and tables, Barack Obama and my next-door neighbour, McDonalds and crisp packets, daffodils and ants?

But this is just my thought on life this evening. Tomorrow it will be something different. I have decided to write in this blog again so there will be an online record of a few of the thoughts that originate in my strange little head.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Objectivity or Subjectivity?

I'm trying to be all clever and academic this year so I can actually get a good degree... so here's a philosophical question posed by a tutor that I have attempted to answer... Objectivity or Subjectivity?

A great poet and a scientist stand in front of a beautiful tree, and their reactions are observed.

The poet feels inspired by a sense of hope and growth, and that he is in the presence of Mother Nature. Or perhaps he knows that the tree was planted as some sort of memorial to a friend, and it invokes sadness. Maybe it is early Spring and the new buds remind him of new life and fresh beginnings.

The scientist observes the species of the tree, its stage of development, the way the chlorophyll absorbs sunlight to sustain it, how the tree will benefit us by removing carbon dioxide from the air, and the energy we can use by burning its wood.

So which perspective is more useful to us as philosophers? Looking subjectively at the tree, the poet conveys a greater sense of meaning through symbolism and association. But the scientist's observations are more precise and we gain verifiable, substantial information.

We obviously need both perspectives for a deeper understanding of life, so perhaps our aim should be to primarily view upon things objectively, but to remember that everything has a subjective interpretation that provides just as much meaning.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Franz Ferdinand, I salute you...

Okay, okay, calm down Rebekah. It's just Franz Ferdinand... But no!

I am literally so excited about their latest album it's literally making me want to use the word "literally" incorrectly... No seriously, I'm so excited about it I felt like telling everyone. I'm not a sophisticated music-reviewer so this is just my personal ramblings : )

Firstly, I know it's not even "new" - it came out in January, but hey, I've been busy, I can't help being a bit behind the times. The fact is, I was at Glastonbury when I suddenly realised that Franz Ferdinand were not simply one of those 2004 bands to be forgotten about. I loved them when I was 14, but for the last couple of years I'd accindentally thrown them in the boring, generic indie-pop bin to compost beside the Kaiser Chiefs. It was definitely accidental. They were awesome then and they are awesomer now.

At Glastonbury when I noticed their new progressive style, not to mention fantastic playing, and a set which included a lengthy drum/percussion instrumental involving the whole band, it clicked that my 14-year-old music taste couldn't have been that misguided after all. I acquired the album as soon as I got back from the muddy festival and I've finally given it a good listen - and what I hear stuns me more than their live performance did.

They're still Franz Ferdinand: same intelligent lyrics, and Kapranos' cheeky-yet-sexy vocals remain, together with the 60s guitar sounds. The injection of electro into their music is brilliant and fitting, and I am close to ecstatic that they discovered the power of synthesisers. Yet the electro aspect does not suprise me so much as this album's sudden inclusion of trance, psychadelia and dub! Admittedly I have the two-disc "special edition" of the album which includes extra, even crazier tracks, but across the entire album the bass is ramped up, and the synthesisers are making you jig around with glee. For a concept album, it's pretty erratic, they've crammed many genres into it, but you can still tell it's Franz Ferdinand, and somehow they've made the techno and dub sounds fit perfectly. It makes a truckload of sense that their new producer previously worked with Hot Chip.

Anyways, Please listen to it. There is a lot of variety squeezed into one album - if you're looking for chart hits, listen to No You Girls or Ulysses. If you're after old-style Franz Ferdinand with a classic rock sound, listen to Bite Hard. But if you're looking for a taste of their new sounds, particularly recommend Lucid Dreams, which explodes into electro half-way through, Die on the Floor which progresses into four-to-the-floor trance (infectious bassline included), or Katherine Hit Me, which is pretty much exclusively dub.

Oh yeah, did I mention Alex Kapranos is the best-dressed man in the entertainment industry? No? Well that too. They just don't stop being awesome. I am so glad I rediscovered this band.

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Today is my last day of being 18... I guess that's not really a big deal. It just means I only have one year left of being able to blame things on "teenage angst"...

I haven't written on this blog since I decided life was going to improve... I'd say it actually has, apart from the fact the exams are closer than ever. I can't believe I'm already so close to the end of my first year at university.

I don't really have that much time to write right now, maybe in the week I'll update properly though.


Friday, 17 April 2009

High five.

I'm at a turning point! It's not winter any more! Life is going to change for the better from now on, because I have decided it will! : )

High five, world!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Dora the Explorer vs. sexual objectification of women

That's IT! Prepare for a major rant on one of my niggling personal hates. Something I've just read online has kicked me way off the edge and I'm about to sound off.

ENOUGH apathy, it's time for me to dust off my opinionated-bitch hat that I seem to have forgotten about recently... An old schoolmate on facebook reminded me of the time the army came into our school to drum up interest in future recruits, and I was majorly pissed off because I thought it was wrong, and I was really outspoken about it. That's the old me! I used to be the one that wasn't afraid to be different say how I felt!

Well lets all give a warm "welcome back" to the old Rebekah 'cause she's about to speak up.

Lets start by warning you that I'm not some mental femenist extremist. I'm fine with porn and the like. What pisses me off big time is the way little girls are being bought up increasingly sexualised in the name of profit. I'm not saying this for some moral or religious end, sex is awesome and we all know it, and I wouldn't want girls growing up thinking sex is a bad thing.

No, what pisses me off about it is that no matter how brilliantly a kid's parents bring them up, they're still infected by this media-driven consumerist bile that makes girls (and boys) grow up with the idea that looking sexy (i.e. appetising to men) is their primary purpose, and any other talents or ambitions are secondary. Its all in the name of capitalism.

I'll give you an example of what I mean. Some feminists say Barbie is a bad and unrealistic role model for girls, that if her proportions were life-size she'd be about 9ft tall. I disagree. Barbie may be the stereotypical bimbo we all love to hate, but I have evidence that she was not just a pretty face. No, she has had a more fulfilled career than any frumpy career-obsessed feminist out there. Here are just a tiny few of the jobs our dear Barbie has enjoyed in her 59 year life of plastic perfection:

Doctor Barbie, Veterinarian Barbie, United States Air Force Barbie, Astronaught Barbie, Nascar driver Barbie, even Paleontologist Barbie! And if you don't believe me, here's a copy of her CV in Wikipedia article form:

So we've established that I approve of Barbie. I have nothing against prettiness. At least Barbie and her plethora of top jobs shows girls that women can take on the same variety of careers and roles that men can. Trouble is, dolls like Barbie are actually on the decline. After being the top-selling toy for decades, she's been dethroned, and by the most hideous and disgusting little shits ever to disgrace the world of toys. That's right, Bratz. They've been the best selling dolls in the UK for a couple of years now.

"Bratz dolls come dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings, and feather boas. Although these dolls may present no more sexualization of girls or women than is seen in MTV videos, it is worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality" - American Psychological Association

Oh yeah, and did I tell you their obsessive mantra, their primary slogan? "Passion for Fashion!!!"

Fuck that shit!

Seriously, for FUCK'S sake! Parents buy these things for their kids?! So an entire generation of girls is being bought up OBSESSED with ultra-sexiness and NOTHING else. And I'm NOT blaming men, I'm not in the field of thought that believes this is one big conspiracy run by males to subjugate women. No, this is not even about sex, it's about PROFIT.

I hate it! I absoultely fucking hate it! Everything that surrounds a girl as she grows up is drowning her in consumerism. Buy all these sexy clothes and products and make sure you see all the right films and spend money on all the right things, because that's the only way you'll ever be sexy, and that's the only way you'll EVER be valued by anyone. Advertising and the media says fuck careers, fuck ambition, no matter how intelligent or talented you are, you're NOTHING if you don't look sexy and own all these expensive things that will make you look hot.

Don't think I'm obsessed with dolls and toys. That's not what this is about. It's not just dolls. It's everything, kids are drowning in it. All the cute teen rom-com films where the clever, talented yet slightly geeky girl only gets her "happy ending" when she's had her hair-straightened, gone on a huge shopping spree (always accompanied by the same old cheeky lets-use-dad's-credit-card joke), become the sexiest girl in school, and won over the hottest guy in school.

Nearly every female protagonist in a kid's film(and "grown up" films too) is ultra pretty. The ugly woman is always the enemy or the bad-guys hideous love interest. Meanwhile, male protagonists can be as butt ugly as you want. A beast, an ogre, Quasimodo, doesn't matter because guys can be appealing on talent or personality, whereas if a girl isn't physically gorgeous, she's nothing.

Can I just tell you what it aws that inspired me to write this rant down? It was Dora the Explorer. Dora the Explorer has always been awesome, in my opinion. She's kind of a tomboy but still popular and cute. She does explorer-y outdoors things, makes friends, solves puzzles, speaks two languages and inspires kids to do the same. Little girls can watch and know that they're capable of doing all these cool things too.

But guess what? It's too good to be true. After all, she is the posession of a couple of the same corporations that bring us all the other shit, Nickelodeon and Mattell. Yep, they just made a press release announcing a "makeover" for Dora. Well, now they've got their "sister" show (ha) with Dora's male counterpart Diego continuing with the adverturey stuff, why waste what could be a massive profit maker, purely in the name of conserving a generation of girls' self-worth?

"The new Dora, who will be revealed in the fall, lives in the big city and goes to middle school. She still solves mysteries but she's abandoned outdoor adventure for shopping, jewelry and fashion."

I have now lost faith in humanity. They haven't actually revealed her new look yet, only a sillhouette as a little teaser. Check it out (beside the old outdoorsy tomboy Dora):

That's not an image someone's made as a joke, that's the real thing sent out with their press release.

I'm actually lost for words at how stupid this is. I know you might think I'm totally overreacting, but I find this is just a symbol of our societies current values, this is just another example.

I know it might be ironic that I'm pretty vain myself, I like to look hot and I won't go into my sexual fantasies (which probably completely betray the essence of everything I say here). But the fact is that even if I could be the sexiest woman on the planet, I would never want to sacrifice personality, intelligence, or ambition. High-five if you happen to be both hot and clever, but if not, I'd rather be "intelligent and interesting yet ugly" than "beautiful and fashionable but dumb and shallow".

Ugh, it's so late at night, and I could rant about this forever. In fact, this is just a summary of something I've been theorising over and talking about quietly for a couple of years now. I struggle to write a 1500 word philosophy essay but I could easily write a real essay about this, including references and serious research.

I might come back to this with more examples of media ludicrousy later. Its not just girls that get this consumer brainwashing, but adults even more so, especially women. It's just that kids brains are too soft and squishy to resist advertising like we should be able to.

Who'd want to bring a child into a world that sucks as much as this? If you bring kids up in an anti-consumerist, non-conformist way, they'll just suffer cause they wont fit in and other kids wont like them. If you let their squishy brains get infected by the media brainwashing, then their lives will still suck cause their self esteem will be kept at a permanent low-level to create the pefect conditions for optimum profit.

I don't see any solution either. So, in conclusion, don't have kids! Anyway, all this opinionated ranting has made me tired. Hope I haven't bored you too much.


(Disclaimer: if I ever do or say anything which seems to contradict the opinions I've just written, whatever, we're all hypocrites sometimes. I still reserve the right to laugh at ugly people, turn myself into a sex object, work for an evil corporation if they pay me, or buy expensive consumer goods.)

Friday, 6 March 2009

Can't sleep tonight, zombified blogging instead.

Insert interesting and positive-sounding first sentence here, just to give the reader a bit of hope my blog won't be totally depressing today... (There are some good bits! And I promise I'll try harder next time to say something nice!)

I swear, I do try and think of good things to post on my here, something interesting or creative - but I always end up using this poor little blog as my little emergency rail, something to grab onto as I feel the ground slipping away beneath me into a chasm of crappiness and doubt. I mean, I've also tried writing in my diary (the old fashioned kind where you use a pen) to get all the moanings out of the way, so I don't have to keep spewing out emotional guff here. But, alas, it didn't work, sometimes I feel like this blog is the only way.

I'm not completely negative you know! Some cool things happen, I mean, I have my first radio show on Saturday at 10pm, which I will probably talk about some more on Saturday before I do the show. I'm a bit nervous, (even though no-one really listens) and this could either be really good or really bad, but I'm quite enthusiastic. You never know :)

Should I become a Buddhist or something? Seek enlightenment? I sometimes think I might just need a cheap way of injecting meaning into my life. I mean, Siddhattha Gotamalived on one grain of rice a day for a while before he became the Buddha, before he really got on the right track to enlightenment. I'm going to quite close to that level of starvation if I don't find a job soon, so I'm already on my way.

Some days I feel happy, some days I love the world, some days I'm almost confident and I forget my insecurities. But sometimes I just feel like the lonliest creature in the world. After a few months of pathetically trying to improve, I don't feel any better, maybe I should give up trying to change things on this level, maybe I should look beyond this plane and look for some kind of spiritual energy to put things in perspective. (Don't misinterpret this though, just because I might be thinking spiritually for five minutes, I still say 'fuck you' to most organised religion).

I was supposed to go to bed hours ago but I've had a bit of insomnia for the last couple of nights (annoying, cause I thought I was getting more sensible with my sleeping habits!) and the other night I kept getting up. I counted all the bedroom lights I could see in the part of East Slope visible from my window. I thought, those are other people like me, people that are still awake at 3am, 4am. I wonder what they're doing - writing an essay, reading, sitting there wishing they could sleep, or maybe just stuck in an internet coma. Each time I look out my window there are fewer lights. The last look, before I finally went to bed successfully, there were 10 other people awake somewhere in their East Slope rooms. I guess thats 10 out of... at least a hundred people, maybe more.

Another pointless blog post by yours truly,

Lots of (unrequited) love,

P.S. I MUST remember to post something that's actually INTERESTING on here some day!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Tell me, how can I be free?

When you write these blogs, you get a little "title" box to fill in above the main post - I never fill it in 'til after I've finished writing the post, because I never know what I'm going to end up writing about. I wonder what it will be today.

Well, I just got back from a talk arranged by a guy who's starting up a journalism society here, he got a Guardian journalist named Nick Davies in for a very, very interesting talk on corruption in the media, particularly newspapers. I won't go into detail because I wouldn't be able to do justice to the guy, but I will say that after listening to him talk, I definitely want to read his book. And perhaps consider a career in journalism, out of a vain desire to promote "the truth" and change the world a little. (Ha. Like I'm ever going to be motivated and efficient enough... Sigh.)

So that was the latest little thing I've tried as part of my vague effort to "do" things and experience life and uni, instead of just drifting through these important years of my life stuck in my own little world within my mind. I thought, it won't be forever that I'll have the opportunity to go and listen to these interesting speakers from around the country and world, so maybe I should start going to more of these public talks. There was only about 20 people attending, so plenty of space and time to ask questions and get inspired.

I'm waiting to hear back from URF, our student radio station, about getting a slot for a Saturday show. So hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be on air. This may or may not lead to fail, but it won't be an epic fail, because no-one really listens to the student radio anyway, especially not on Saturdays. But it's something fun to do, right?

I guess I should be working on my Philsophy essay right now, but it's quite hard and boring, and I haven't updated this blog for a while. Also, I started feeling a bit... meh... so I thought "quick, quick, do something, anything, before you get sucked into the big black wormhole of suckiness and then nothing gets done for a whole week!" So writing this blog is temporarily postponing a fight with my own head :-) Ah, the joys of being insane.

Some people punch a pillow, get drunk, or have a lengthy chat with Dr. Quack, I just write on my blog. Yeah, it is public, but I've always been an attention seeking drama queen, what's wrong with the world having access to some of my craziness? If you ever have a shortage of madness, you know where to come.

Am I being a boring person at the moment? I want to be one of those people who make the lives of everyone around them more exciting, but its not quite happening that much at the moment. I can be like that, but I don't get the opportunity much when I'm poor, stuck indoors, and bogged down with essays and assignments. I want to do something crazy and fun! I want to be unleashed from my cage!

How can I do this? I feel like I have to get out of the country to be free - but I'm poor so I can't. How can I be free? How can I get more from life... without giving all my money to The Man?

There are all sorts of little things I sometimes wish I could do, things that make me happy, small release. Swimming (even though I'm not a good swimmer), dancing on a sandy beach, watching the sun rise, riding my bike along the seafront and feeling the wind in my hair, dancing anywhere, doing a handstand, going on a rollercoaster, listening to music while doing all these things...

Well, it's nearly the end of winter anyway - good thing too.

I need to do amazing things, I swear it, I have to. I want to go round the world and flash everyone a smile - that way, even if I don't change anything, at least a good few people will have seen one extra smile in their lifetime.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

All sorts of things...

So, I've been totally on the oppposite end of the depressive spectrum today, thankfully - been totally wired and inspired all day. I achieved a reasonable amount. None of the stuff I SHOULD be achieving (such as getting a job or studying) but eh, that stuff is boring. I've been bouncing around to my music all day and spring cleaned and tidied my entire room, even though I originally set out to just sort out my desk drawers, I had a great dinner out of hardly any ingredients (getting to the poverty line right now) and I made up my mind to actually try and do things with my life.

That decision came from finding this old book that all my teachers and friends signed at the end of school and sixth form..Some people wrote all sorts of nice things about how far they thought I'd go in life. And I thought, everyone used to have such high expectations for me, and recently I've lost a lot of my sense of aspiration.

I don't think I should throw all that away. I should try and be the best I can be. That means I have to take some risks and forget my temporary lack of confidence. I should get out and do something. Which is why I've decided to... well, thats part of my sneaky plan. I won't reveal what it is until I'm a little more convinced it won't fail miserably ;-) So don't give it away, people I've told. (Means you, Sophie and Emma.) Anyways, I'm determined to do at least something creative with my life. I just need to find my place, and I may as well start now while its not too late.

Also I've been a bit slack with my "more photos" objective. Here's a photo of yours truly... after a long explanation :P

In my sudden rush of creativity and inspiration, not only did I have a nice idea for a novel which I will probably never write, but I also had this dumb idea for a piece of art, (and I wouldn't take the word "art" too seriously here), which I started drawing, and then remembered that I'm too rubbish at drawing to do justice to it. I mean, it did look pretty good in my head. I wont bother explaining my exact imagination but it had a woman in it, and I'm so terrible at drawing anything real, like people. I'm better at abstract doodles. (Lame, I know). If I said the photo was going to be a levitating (possibly fairy) lady DJ in space playing on invisible floating decks, that is a sillier sounding image of what I had in mind. If I could transpose the image in my head into reality it would have looked so cool, I swear.

Anyway, I thought, maybe I could get lots of pictures off the internet and form the picture from a collage of photos instead. Then I realised it would look crap. Then I thought, what I really need is someone to pose the way I'm imagining, then I can try and draw it and copy it. Then I thought, maybe it would be better as a photo anyway, or maybe a combination of more than one photo and some other effects to get what I was aiming for. Then I realised I didn't have a model so it was all imaginary. Then for a while I thought, I would be the ideal model because I know exactly what I've got in mind. Then I realised I didn't have a photographer. Then I thought, oh damn I have a crap camera and no photography skills. Then I thought "sod it" and ended up photographing myself and thus ending up feeling very vain.

I realised, even though one of my favourite photographers may be totally awesome at self portrait, I am useless at all kinds of photography plus I just look silly. (Person I'm referring to: Icelandic lady named Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir: link to some of her stuff )

I ended up giving up on my original idea. It was too hard. Oh well. Grumps.