Your inner critic is a bitch

Image Credit: Lorenzo Petrantoni

Before this post begins I should really tell the reader more about the writer. She’s pretty thick. She has a lot of books she’s yet to read, but unfortunately because she’s so dumb she’s a really slow reader. She has difficulty reviewing books because of this problem; she’s too embarrassed. Everyone else can read twelve to seventeen books a month, subsequently providing a plethora of content for their audiences, whilst she cannot. Because she reads so little in a month she eventually realised, thanks to me, that she obviously doesn’t love books as much as she thought she did, and that others love them way more. Therefore, it would be a disgrace for her to even step foot in that field of creative outlet. In the literary, academic and publishing field she is nothing but a joke and a fraud.

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deleting myself online

In early November, on a particular day, six people messaged me ‘happy birthday’. Three of them were relatives (my mother, cousin and an aunt), the other three friends. That was all.
This was the result of my first birthday off social media, making my 26th birthday probably the most sincerest one I’d had in over fourteen years. To contextualise: a month prior I had decided to log out and block myself from all of my social media accounts. Admittedly, this was initially undergone as a form of temporary hiatus, but last week I decided to make the change permanent. Continue reading “deleting myself online”

Hating Christmas doesn’t make me a bad person

Artwork by Sarah Musi

Today has been nothing but bizarre to me, and I’m sure my experience is relatable to someone out there, albeit someone in a minute minority. It’s the 18th November and today I built a Christmas tree. Not one for myself of course, and when I say built I mean slot a ton of plastic branches into a plastic stand and then stuffed some decorations onto it half-heartedly. My partner comes from a normal family; one that enjoys Christmas, get excited for it even. They like it so much they do it twice; one real one with the family and the other fake with their neighbours. As you can judge from the date, this was all in preparation for fake Christmas of which I was kindly invited to attend. However, I warned my boyfriend well in advance, back when we started dating, that I was going to be pretty clueless when it came to this season, or rather, pretty contemptuous of it.

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The Changeling

The Changeling
by Cinzia DuBois

tw: the following story covers the issue of eating disorders.

History is full of stories of heroes failing where they should succeed; and when they fail, they usually do so spectacularly. Don’t get me wrong, heroes are all very good at their job; they’ve completed many masterful quests and epics which have enraptured and enchanted me throughout my life. There are tales, however, usually hidden amidst fragments of Greek and Roman poetry, Norse mythology and Middle-English scriptures, which reveal the kinks and holes in the legendary tapestries. These tales recall the mythological arrows which can pierce the unpierceable armour, and speak of storms which drown unsinkable ships, of illimitable stamina exhausted by reality and of undying love broken by death. Some of these tales are true, others complete fantasies; but the large majority tend to be elaborate exaggerations and imaginative twists on reality: contortions of the real, infected by the human imagination. What lore quietly reveals to us is that no one is invincible or infallible; everyone and everything is susceptible to err, damage, fault and weakness. There is always a way to defeat the invincible hero, just as there is always a way to destroy the invincible beast. No matter how powerful and frightening the enemy, or how heroic the hero, how kind the fairy, how loving the mother, how daring the daughter; lore has repeatedly told us that no one ever completely safe.

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invisible tragedy

The events of 2016 incited a great exodus, an exodus which has continued to expand, strengthen and perpetuate the following year with little to no sign of stopping. What erupted from the shattered remains of the twenty-first century’s passions, hopes and progression was a spiralling pandemic which has shaken the world economically, socially and politically. Scientifically speaking  this epidemic is documented as a ‘social de-evolution’, but by everyone else it is merely referred to as digital apathy. Over the past year social media usage has been in rapid decline. Millions of people across the world began to leave their beloved social media sites: Twitter usage fell by 23.4%, Facebook by 8% (this percentage alone, seemingly small, equates to 132 million people). Instagram also took a 23.7% plummet, and Snapchat 15.7%.

Why? Many theories have been forwarded including boredom, ageing and frustration, but none of these take into account the overwhelming exhaustion users have undergone the past twelve months. Social media for many became a bombardment of tragedy upon tragedy, from gun crimes to terrorist attacks, hate speech, racism, homophobia, snap general elections, US Presidency campaign, and Brexit. People have been leaving social media to escape the tragedy of it all, or rather, what we as society have construed to signify the tragic. Tragedy, you see, shouldn’t belong in the realm of reality, and yet it does. For you see as Oscar Wilde argued: Life imitates art, a hypothesis which has never been demonstrated more poignantly than in the concept of “tragedy”.

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Against Self-Criticism

artwork by Robert Arneson

In the competitive and moral world that we live in, self-criticism, or rather self correction, is essential to evolution, development and betterment of both the individual and society. However, Some of us are so good at this that our desire the better the world takes priority over our own well-being, and we easily fall victim to an excessive version of self-criticism, a state of self-flagellation: a dangerous condition which fosters depression and creative sterility. We go beyond the self-corrective directness necessary for improving our shortcomings, and instead masochistically berate and destroy ourselves over foibles which are largely socially perceived flaws and inadequacies we assign to ourselves upon comparison.

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Victim “Feminist” – Taylor Swift & Commercialised, Superficial Feminism

Before this essay even begins I would like to stress one important, nay, the most important message of the following production: the following critique is not an attack on Taylor Swift, and if that’s what you’re here to see enacted you may feel slightly underwhelmed. Whilst I personally am not a “fan” of this particular singer (being more a hip-hop and rap kind of woman myself), Taylor Swift is, I’m sure, a lovely person. She entertains millions of people and ultimately makes them happy; a service which in of itself is worthy of commendation. I have no interest in “dragging” a fellow woman, attacking anyone’s character of insulting anyone; whilst doing so may be beneficial for online traction and views, it wouldn’t produce a productive conversation, and certainly wouldn’t stimulate intelligent reflection on the self or society.

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