Adventures of Frangipan

Friday, 21 January 2011


I'm feeling really down at the moment. Part of it comes from the bigger issues like the state of the world: climate change, greed, injustice, etc. I like to feel positive about these things: to hope that things will improve. But sometimes I get really down about it and wonder how long I can be a part of this world.

And part of it comes from personal issues. I was at home over Christmas and didn't have a brilliant time: I didn't see as much of my friends as I hoped to, I didn't really do very much, I was really lethargic and I did almost no work for university. Now I'm back in Newcastle and I'm still struggling to motivate myself. I'm stressed about the course because I know how much I should be doing compared to how much I am doing. I'm stressed about RAG because I don't seem to have many associates. I'm stressed about the Photography Society because I feel like I'm failing in every aspect of it. I just about have enough money to pay my rent and bills, but not to pay for food or going out or anything else. And I'm not doing any exercise, which I paid for up front.

I'm struggling to get to sleep, which means I'm sleeping in late. I can't seem to motivate myself to do anything. I'm angry and upset. And I don't like myself very much at the moment.

I just want to snap out of it.

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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Disasters: What Makes Them Newsworthy?

Just a brief observation about the recent disasters around the world:
  • The Queensland floods affected an area the size of France and Germany, and approximately 200,000 people. About 12 people have died and dozens are missing. Damages are estimated at billions of dollars.
  • The Sri Lanka floods affected more than 1 million people, displacing approximately 325,000 people. At least 23 people have died, and damages are estimated at $500 million.
  • The Brazil mudslides killed at least 400 people and made thousands homeless. So far $480 million has been authorised for emergency funding.
Doing a quick search to find out how many news stories have been published about this (and I'm not pretending there's anything accurate going on here), ther are about 1000 stories about Sri Lanka and Brazil, and almost 20,000 about Queensland.

In comparison, searching for the Haiti earthquake from 12 months ago returns almost 12,000 results.

I wonder what is used to decide whether articles should be written and published. Could it be that we place a lower value on their lives? Or does it eventually all come down to the money value of the damage, meaning we care more about money than life?

Either way, it doesn't sound good. The value of the damage should not trump lives affected in the media coverage. And there shouldn't be a difference between lives in rich and poor countries, and white and non-white countries.

As Scroobius Pip says
Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-English speaking countries as to those that occur in English speaking countries

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Saturday, 1 January 2011

Resolutions 2011

Yep, that time of year again. Looking back on 2010's resolutions:
  • Become a vegan: started late and probably made a couple of errors along the way, but I'm getting better at it.
  • Reduce emissions: no idea! Heating and electric has been easy but not the car, until I moved to Newcastle in September and I've been walking much more.
  • Exercise more: I haven't made a concerted effort at this. I joined the gym in uni which started out pretty well but has fallen away recently.
  • Become an activist: I have been doing more petition signing and writing to politicians and decision makers, but I could definitely do more.
And ones for 2011:
  1. Go teetotal: I did it for 14 months then stopped for no apparent reason. I've had a good time whilst drinking again, but I think it's time to stop again. It was about proving I could enjoy myself without alcohol, be fun without it, and also as a rebellion against what's expected in our drinking culture. I'm more nervous about it this time round with my new university friends, but I'm willing to give it a go.
  2. Stop torturing myself: I'm expecting (or hoping) certain people will change. And they won't. And it's about time for me to be honest with myself and give up on it. Just stop pretending.
  3. Work hard: So far I'm on the cusp between a first and a 2:1, and I'd really like the first. As well as the grade, the lecturers can probably do a lot for me in terms of internships and work, so I need to make the most of this time.
  4. Be an activist: I really need to do more on this. It's who I want to be and I shouldn't be afraid of sharing my knowledge and expressing my opinions. It's the only way to change the world.
I'll also be continuing the veganism, exercise, keeping my emissions down, and as always, try to blog more.

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