Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Hallows Eve

As Halloween approaches, strange things begin to occur. Many who on an average day would be normal people living normal lives morph each year into a crowd of witches, warlocks, ghouls, goblins and, most frightening of all, CELEBRITIES.
Whatever happened to good old draped-in-black-and-cobwebs witches and wizards? Where are the pointy hats and demon-like masks? WHY ARE THERE CROWDS OF SIX YEAR OLDS DRESSED AS LADY GAGA??!!!!!
We talk about wanting children to remain innocent, about protecting them from the evil of the world, yet every year little girls go out on Halloween dressed as some of the worst examples of modern humanity, including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and the aforementioned Gaga.
"What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?' says mother to young daughter.
"A wicked witch!' says innocent little girl.
"Oh no dear, don't dress as a witch! It sends the wrong message. We don't want people to think of you as evil, now do we?'
'No. Why don't you dress up as Little Red Riding Hood? You love that story, and she was a nice little girl.'

So dressing up as a foolish little girl who makes friends with a wolf, tells him where she is going, is captured and almost eaten by said wolf is a good example for little girl? I have lost my hope for the future.

What message do we really want to send to little girls at Halloween? That dressing up as a scary witch is bad because you want to be seen as a nice little girl? That dressing up as princesses who don't have the brains to avoid the massive spindle/evil witch/ tower prison/wolf really obviously dressed as grandmother is a good idea? That it is good to be a weakling fairytale character because the prince always saves them in the end? Or perhaps dressing as a vapid, slutty celebrity who doesn't seem to own any pants is the new thing.

Is that really what you want to say to your kids? Now maybe I am not the right person to say anything (as I don't have kids, I can't really imagine what parents are thinking. Hey, I'm still at the stage of life where I think my parents are from another planet.) but none of these sound like the sort of thing I would want to be telling my kids.

Maybe I am just ranting because I am bored. Or maybe I am just saying what other people are thinking? I don't know about you but I still like the idea of dressing as a witch/vampire for Halloween. Traditional and fun. Plus, vampires in popular culture are hot :)

Do svidaniya (goodbye in Russian!)

Ooooh that reminds me. I recently rewatched one of my favourite childhood films, Anastasia! I used to watch this all the time when I was smaller, and I know I just ranted about fairytale princesses not being good role models but Anastasia Romanov was, at least in this adaptation. This film kindly glosses over the horrors of the deaths of the Romanov family and creates a fairytale out of the rumour that one of the young princesses, either Anastasia or her elder sister Marie, along with her younger brother Alexei, may have survived the slaughter during the Russian Revolution.
This beautiful film was probably my favourite as a child thanks to its suggestions of truth. The idea that a young woman, who disappeared as a child, could find family, fortune and her true love all in the space of a few weeks, and with a backdrop of chilly St Petersberg and glamorous Paris, was like a drug to ten-year-old me.
Just wanted to mention that.'


Friday, October 8, 2010

A Philosophy According To Nell

So I have been thinking (I know; a dangerous pastime, indeed) for quite a while about the difference between want and need. For years now humans in first-world countries have been able to convince themselves that although they want the shiny new pair of peeptoe heels, they need the new fridge with the improved climate control more.
And I agree, we do need the new fridge much more than those shoes (though having those as well would be a pretty good deal). But what I have been wondering is this: who was it who decided that the fridge was what we needed more?

But before you begin to worry, before you leap from the chair and close the page, this is not going to be an anti-fascism rant. Though I in no way support fascism or similar, today's post will not address the subject. Rather, this is a thoughtful ramble-on about need and whether our modern perception of the word is an accurate portrayal.
For example, consider the Cavemen; the Neanderthals, the 'Hobbits' and 'Pygmies' of the pre-Homo-Sapien world. I wonder if the parents of these beings educated their young ones about the difference between want and need. I wonder if they were even able to make that distinction? 

Because when it comes down to it the majority of the things in life life that we consider to be what we need to survive are simply creature comforts. The refrigerator, while an undoubtedly wonderful invention, could be done without if we reverted to the days when you obtained and consumed goods on the same day, unless they were the types of ingredients that could be preserved in a simple wooden box.
The oven and stovetop, other helpful household inventions, were created to replace the ancient art of cooking on a woodfire.
Just like a housewife in a 1950s advertisement, we stand in the kitchen and sigh, wondering how we could ever have got by without these inventions.

And there is the key point. Although we may not realise it, humanity was getting along just fine before the age of luxury living. Before televison-cars-radios-flatscreen-silverscreen-also-have-one-in-the-kitchen-seperate-fridge-ice-dispenser-oven-that-also-tells-the-time-playstation-really-awesome-computer human beings, or those that came before them, found other ways to live. 

They hunted and gathered their food, cooked it on spits over the open flames of the fire they had learnt to create, made toys out of wood and at night they slept under the stars.
For many this doesn't sound like a paradise. I admit that the lack of access to a shower and the Sims 2 would certainly put a dampener on my ability to see that way of life as comfortable.

Yet the only reason I percieve the way we live today as 'comfortable' is because I have been told that that is so! Since birth it is put into our heads that we are lucky to have what we do, that we need it to survive. Well perhaps we do and perhaps we don't. I believe that the only reason we need these creature comforts so badly is that we have never known another way of life.
Do you think that the first Neanderthal woke up every morning thinking that someone needed to invent a large box to cook things in, or an even larger one to keep game cool? No I don't think he did. And why? Because he had no reason to. He had food to eat, water to drink and bark to sleep on at night. 

To him, those were creature comforts. Now I'm not going to go out on the street and pitch my ideas to the rest of society. But I will air my thoughts to the few readers through my blog, as you can see. I just think that we should think about the difference between want and need. Because it may be a smaller gap than we thought.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

About Moi (for lack of a less egocentric title)

Bonjour mes amours. I love Europe, art, culture and fashion and i watch way too much television. My favourite writer and director is Joss Whedon and I follow his work religiously. I love vampires and would always pick Damon over Stefan, but would probably go for Jacob over Edward.

I laugh, I cry, I'm looking for love.
Au revoir
Nell xoxo

P.S. Don't ask me to choose between Spike and Angel. I would probably just do the Katherine thing and go for both. Selfish? Yes. Worth the while? Absolutely.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New to blogging

OOOOkkkkkkkk so hey there!
I am new to blogging and am still not entirely certain as to how it works. I suppose I will recount key moments from my day, make them sound interesting, "express myself" and all that. And I will! It just takes time.

So, rather than scramble to find something interesting about my day, I shall conclude with a an intriguing quote I came across recently:
"Why do people kill people who kill other people to show them that killing people is wrong?"

Why, indeed? A quote to make you think.
And that is my first post!

Au revoir xoxo