Tag Archives: Writing

blank

She stared at her phone, eyes tracing over the letters that spelt out his name.

There was a war going on inside her head – should she call him? Should she even bother anymore?

The fight between the couple had taken place a few days prior, and now she laid in her bed, her heart heavy.

They had barely communicated since the argument, and it was beginning to take a toll on the girl.

She hated the entire situation.

More so, she hated how the situation made her feel.

Since when had she become so dependent on another individual?

She had always forced herself to see the downfall of every relationship – that way when they ultimately ended, her heart wouldn’t hurt so much. Yet, here she was, completely infatuated with a boy who refused to open up to anyone.

The most recent text messages between the couple glared at the girl. She couldn’t bring herself to contact him in any sort of way. She didn’t want to bother him.

So instead, she tortured herself by rereading the same stupid argument, in hopes that he would contact her first.

Her chest swelled from anxiety, she couldn’t stand conflicts.

The girl’s over controlling nature was fighting its way out – telling her to text him, to pour her heart out and cause a scene. But her rational side was telling her otherwise. She had already said what she needed too, it was up to him now.

She tossed her phone onto the empty side of her bed. She couldn’t look at that stupid conversation anymore, nor could she bring herself to delete the messages.

Her emotions were a complete mess. Caught between being angry, upset, and disappointed, she couldn’t focus on anything other than the lump in her throat, and the pain in her head from lack of sleep.

She sighed.

Was he as bothered as her about the situation? Could he sleep, or was he tossing and turning as she had been every night since the argument?

The questions burned into her brain, repeating over and over. But, she wouldn’t dare ask him.

Perhaps she should just let the situation be, and allow the relationship to fizzle out. After all, what was the point in blowing on an already dying fire?

Her thoughts were then interrupted by the obnoxious ding of her phone. She rolled over in bed, towards where the discarded technology was.

The screen lit up a second time, signifying there was, in fact, a message waiting for her.

Yet, the contact name was not from the individual she was hoping. Instead, it was her mom, telling her to come down for dinner.

The girl sighed for the second time. Maybe she really should let it go…

Learn to Lie #1: Start Small

The first lesson in lying in your every day life is to start small. Little white lies as they call it.

Find an opportunity in a short conversation with a stranger to tell a small lie.

For example:

You’re at a Starbucks, you order a grande pumpkin spice latte because you’re feeling the autumn season approaching even if summer is still trying to cling to the air like that coffee stain on your white shirt.

The barista asks for your name with his pen in hand and an expectant look on his too polite face. You’re just about to tell him your name, but you remember that awesome movie you watched just last month that you’re still excited about. A light bulb switches on above your head and you tell him, “Peter Parker.”

He does a double take and sees the absolute confidence in your stare. He chuckles, he’s probably judging you so hard in his head and is probably gonna write a book about the stupid names people have given him while working as a barista but you don’t care. You’re fucking Spider-Man and no one is gonna stop you from believing that. Even the itchy red and blue leotard you’re wearing underneath your coffee stained suit isn’t going to let anybody tell you otherwise.

Follow this first step and you’ll be on your way to becoming a pro-liar.

deadly mistake

He stared at the woman with wide eyes.

Her words repeated like a broken record:

“That door you just kicked down was for your protection, not mine.’

He looked back at the door – it reminded him of a wide monstrous mouth.

The woman laughed softly, rocking back and forth in her cross-legged position. She had a gleam in her eyes he found unsettling.

The man took a step away from the door, only to be knocked on to his back.

A decaying hand wrapped around his ankle.

He screamed.

The woman laughed.

His finger nails ripped and cracked as he tried to claw his way out of the room. Yet, there was no use. The hand dragged him into the awaiting door, a trail of blood following behind.

The door slammed closed, drowning out his screams.

The woman was quick to rise from her spot on the floor.

She picked up a cloth and bucket of water and began to clean the blood from the hardwood.

the door

Bright sunlight streamed through the crack of the open door.

Tentatively, I took a step forward, pushing the door to open wider. A long white hallway stretched forward, it seemed to stretch on forever.

I walked down, my bare feet slapped the cold floor.

The door slammed behind me – hinges screeching.

I walked for what felt like hours, passing by the same white walls, until finally, I came to another door.

It resembled the same one I entered through – blue wood, gold accents, and a decorative knob.

Slowly, I knocked.

Once.

Twice.

Three times.

And just as expected, the door swung open.

Immediately I bolted up right, gasping for air.

The familiar beeping of the monitor welcoming me home.

“Well done Kate.”

I looked up, meeting eyes with the professor. His green eyes sparkled, his blond hair standing up wildly.

He was impressed. I sighed, thank god.

“Take her back to her room please.” The professor muttered to his assistant. “She’s done well today.”

formula

I bit my lip, my eyes frantically gazing over the equation.

What if I couldn’t figure it out? What if I wasn’t ‘gifted’ like They said I was?

They would be disappointed if I couldn’t do it. No one ever wanted to disappoint them.

Would I get punished?

Would I get put back into the white room?

A chill shook my body. I hated the white room.

Sighed, I ran my hands through my hair, tugging on my scalp. “Just focus. It’s simple, you’re over thinking it.”

I took another look at the equation:

H+2W = L

Was it a code? What was I solving for?

Perhaps if they have given me more information I wouldn’t fail so miserably every time!

I stood up, my frustration getting the better of me. Hot anger pulsed through my body, my hands shook. I saw red, the blood roared in my ears. I was sick of this, of not knowing what was going on.

I was tired of staring at stupid, meaningless numbers and letters.

I swiped the papers and pencils off of the desk, they clattered to the ground, sounding like gun shots in the dead quiet room.

Suddenly, a group of people rushed in.

Men grabbed on to my arms, their grip tight enough to leave bruises as I struggled to break away.

the key

They found the key at the bottom of the well, just like the treasure map showed.

Although, it was not the key they had been envisioning; when first coming across the map, Hunter and his friend’s pictured something old and rustic. They had always imagined a delicate key, with an intricate design – just like in the movies.

This key… was plain.

It had some curves to it, but the design was simple.

“What do we do now?” Holland asked. Her brows were pulled together, her nose scrunched up; it was a typical look she gave when she was confused.

“Does the map say anything else, Hunter?” Jack held the key in his hand, gazing at it intently as if the key would shout out answers to him if he stared hard enough.

“Um,” Hunter pulled the map out of his back pocket, unfolding it and looking carefully. “No, nothing else.”

“Maybe we’re missing a piece of the map?” Holland began to pace.

Jack shook his head, his lips pressed into a flat line. “This is useless, we travelled all this way, left our homes, for a plain key? Where’s all the treasure you promised us, Hunter?”

“Jack calm down,” Holland hissed.

“No!” Jack waved her off. “I was promised treasure that would allow me to help my aunt. A key,” he held it in the air, “is not going to help me pay for her medication. This key is useless! This whole trip is useless!”

In his anger, Jack threw the key. It flew across the yard of the abandoned farmhouse, landing with a clatter on the gravel driveway.

“Jack!” Holland shouted. “We get it, we’re disappointed too, but you don’t have to throw a fit. I mean… Hunter? What are you doing?”

While Holland had been trying to reason with Jack, Hunter had made his way to the discarded key.

He couldn’t believe this was the end of the search.

He wouldn’t believe it.

Hunter crouched down, a grin plastered on his face as he gazed at the now-broken key.

The two rushed over, taking in what was before them.

“Oh my god,” Holland whispered.

They key laid in a small pile of metal.

However, sticking out of the top of the key was a small slip of paper.

Another map.

The search was back on.

buckets and robots

“Beep-de-bop!” A boy shouted, giggling.

“Commander! The robots are taking over! Code red, I repeat, code red!” The second boy yelled, his bucket turning into a special helmet.

The two boys had been playing ‘robot’ for hours. Beginning right after breakfast, past lunch, until now.

The sun was starting to set.

The streetlights beginning to come to life.

The ‘robot’ jumped on the commander’s back, beeping and bopping.

“Ah! There’s too many of them commander, I can’t fight any longer!” the soldier yelled dramatically, falling to the ground.

“Taylor! Henry! It’s time for dinner!” A voice called from a nearby house.

The boys perked up, gazing at their mother who stood on the front porch.

“Coming!” They called in unison.

They darted into the house, tossing their buckets into the front yard.

‘Robots’ would have to wait for another day.

 

orbs and tattoos

It was the middle of the night when I awoke, gasping.

A burning sensation rose along my stomach, stretching from my rib cage down towards my navel.

Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt.

Lifting my oversized shirt, I noticed a faint outline that hadn’t been on my body before.

The outline was darkening by the second, taking on colour.

A brilliant silver.

A deep teal.

Rich red.

Black.

The design that took form was intricate, full of swirls and overlapping lines.

Although seemingly random, it made perfect sense.

Excitement vibrated through my body, as I pulled off the covers with my tattooed hands.

A hum of a breath escaped my lips.

I had to wake the others, we were close to the orb.

We could finally bring it home.

girl

“I’m sorry.”

With that, she walked into the rain.

She didn’t look back.

That was the last time anyone saw her.

The town was full of rumours after her disappearance – as if they could make sense of what had happened that horrid night.

Some believed she was abducted by aliens.

Other’s thought she ran away to join the circus.

Yet, they weren’t even close to the truth.

The truth was much darker than any of the simple-minded townsfolk could ever come up with.

To this day, her scarred face was imprinted in my brain, as she looked at me with pity and despair.

I only wished the spirits were taking care of her, of the girl I loved.

256 birthmarks

Her mother hated her the moment she was born.

Despite the child’s long blonde locks, warm brown eyes, and contagious smile, she could not find an ounce of love.

There was only resentment.

Resentment all towards a single arrow-shaped birthmark.

The daughter – full of self-loathing and rage – didn’t understand her mother’s indifference.

Until, the day she turned sixteen, and fell deathly ill.

It was then when she learned the truth about that ugly mark on her skin.

She was not the only individual with a small arrow-shaped spot.

Hundreds of people – 256 to be exact – were born with the same birthmark.

They were the ‘chosen ones,’ able to gain abilities like none other.

If they survived the sickness.

Upon this discovery, the girl wept.

Now she understood the indifference of her mother, the hatred.

Her mother knew – she would become a monster.

one hell of a day

“How did the meeting go?”

Kate sighed rubbing a hand over her makeup-smudged face. “Not as good as I hoped, the company wants to sue.”

“That’s going to get messy.”

“Don’t I know it.” The water running into the sink interrupted their conversation for a moment. “Did you go to see Julia?”

“I tried.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“She didn’t want to see me.” Her brother, Connor, sighed. “She wanted to see mother.”

“Mom won’t see her, why doesn’t Julia understand that?”

“She refuses to give up I suppose.” He shrugged. “Either way, she told the nurse – who told me – that she would not see either of us until we brought mom.”

“She’s being ridiculous!”

“Julia will probably get over it. You know her obsessions, she’s adamant about something for a week, then gets over it. She’ll be begging us to come see her soon enough.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“I hope they company decides not to sue.”

“Me too.”

Breitbart: A Reputable or Treacherous News Network?

By John Luu
February 28, 2017
954 words

If we, users of the Internet, were to accept everything we read online as facts, then there would be a widespread of fear and confusion. To combat this, users can use media literacy to tackle “massive information literacy problems [such as] … fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and other types of spin” (Caulfield, 2016, para. 7). Polarized news sources that are based on political perspectives can provide opportunities for Internet users to exercise their media literacy skills to determine if it is a reliable source of news or not. Breitbart is a good example of a notorious and influential right-wing conservative news outlet that is heavily producing bias content and thus have implications on youth’s political opinions.

Firstly, Breitbart news appeals to the conservative publics. Its main website allow like-minded users to contribute political news and opinion articles, which are often bias. It can also allow for the “production and circulation of discourses, … and debating and deliberating” (Fraser, 1990, pg. 57) of opinions. Breitbart provides this public with a possibility to engage and participate in commentary through its comments section. Since this site is intended for right-wings, the vast sea of comments are clearly echoes of conservatism. In figure 1 and 2, users America is Great Again and DiscusstedConservative shares their right-wing political beliefs in the comments section and their usernames plainly points out their political views as well. There are even the upvotes for these comments, which suggests that more people agree with their comments.

 

Figure 1: Article comments. Screenshot taken from www.breitbart.com

 

Figure 2: Article comments. Screenshot taken from www.breitbart.com

 

Furthermore, other comments reinforce that Breitbart has a large following of conservatives that remind us of their traditional values.

 

 

Figure 3: Article comment on traditional values. Screenshot taken from www.breitbart.com

 

Breitbart’s merchandise also blatantly illustrates their support and promotion of Republican views. Figure 4 shows of a t-shirt with a border wall logo that references Trump’s wall plans and the mug in figure 5 depicts a rhino behind a target scope, suggesting that democrats are a “scourge upon the Republic” (Breitbart Store, 2017) which points to a bias political opinion.

 

Figure 4: Border Wall Breitbart Tee Shirt. Screenshot taken from https://store.breitbart.com/collections/all-products/products/border-wall-t-shirt

 

Figure 5: Breitbart Mug. Screenshot taken from https://store.breitbart.com/collections/all-products/products/rino-hunter-jumbo-coffee-cup

 

In addition to their publics engagement through the comments section, Breitbart News Network creates sensationalized headlines that attracts attention and fear.

 

The titles of Breitbart articles is arguably sensational and misleading, which can insinuate fear amongst its audiences. For example, an article titled Report: Social Media is Driving Americans ‘Insane’ (Nash, 2017), is blaming social media as a detriment to Americans. The argument of this article is based solely on one external source (Nash, 2017), which limits the credibility of Nash’s article. Also, Breitbart News website is designed to capitalize the letters article headlines, which can project an alarmist tone to readers. Before concluding his article, he mentions that “left-wing media was largely responsible for the public distress following Trump’s win” (Nash, 2017, para. 7). Upon further investigations of Charlie Nash, the young tech reporter is found with bias opinions on Liberals and the offensive use of a gunman for his tweets on his Twitter account. With the conjunction of Nash’s online activity and opinions, is it evident that his content can be seen as bias towards a certain political ideology.

 

Figure 6: Charlie Nash’s Retweet Showcasing Dislike for Liberal Ideologies. Screenshot taken from https://twitter.com/tciccotta/status/836098983135166468

 

Figure 7: Nash’s Tweet With Use of Elliot Rodgers, Murderer and Misogynist. Screenshot taken from https://twitter.com/MrNashington/status/833495979219415040

 

Referring back to his article, he claims that social media is a problem. This can ignite fear mongering amongst Breitbart readers/visitors and may believe that social media is actually affecting Americans. These types of “fearful headlines draw people in by capitalizing on their concerns and anxieties” (Boyd, 2012a, para. 3) that can shape opinions based on insufficient or incorrect information. Overall, Nash’s contributions to Breitbart faces an ideological trap of technological determinism. As Watson (2016) explains technological determinism, it can be applied to Nash’s content which it is presented through a deterministic stance, believing that technology determines human behaviour and ignoring the “subtle investigations of use and adoption practices.” Through the use of fear as an attention-grabbing tactic, Breitbart News can influence teen opinions.

 

With the rapid rise of teens as digital natives, bias online news outlets affect teen’s political education. For teens, the networked public is their new playground for social interaction and a participatory culture of generating and posting content to be seen (Boyd, 2014b, pg. 206). Some teens even actively follow politics and transcribe their political opinions into their networked publics (Boyd, 2014b, pg. 206). However, with questionable and unreliable news source such as Breitbart on the rise, the spread of misinformation can persuade teens into misleading advocation. For example, teens may jump on the bandwagon of the ‘Men’s Rights Activism” simply because a conservative news outlet promotes it or that it appears edgy to defy ‘political correctness’ (Hadfield, 2016). With such a large following, Breitbart has no issues spreading their opinions.

 

 

Ultimately, Breitbart News is a immense and proliferating bias news sources that favours the conservative ideology, which has a negative impacts on adolescents. However, news cannot be fully objective, because there will be varying levels of bias in every news. Personally, Breitbart News is an appalling news outlet that are more anti-liberal than their proclaimed conservative stance. On the contrary, one might disagree and support Breitbart’s opinions; which by all means, their gaudy merchandise can be found and purchased through their blaring advertisement on the homepage.

 

References

Boyd, D. (2012a). The Ethics of Fear and How It Undermines an Informed Citizenry. Retrieved from http://www.poynter.org/2012/fear-undermines-an-informed-citizenry-as-media-struggles-with-attention-economy/192509/

Boyd, D. (2014b). It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Caulfield, M. (2016). Yes, Digital Literacy. But Which One? Retrieved from https://hapgood.us/2016/12/19/yes-digital-literacy-but-which-one/

Fraser, N. (1990). Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Hadfield, J. (2016). The Men’s Rights Movement: A Smart, Necessary Counterweight to Man-Hating Feminism. Retrieved from http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/08/02/mens-rights-counterweight-feminism/

Nash, C. (2017). Report: Social Media is Driving Americans ‘Insane’. Retrieved from http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/02/24/report-social-media-driving-americans-insane/

Watson, S. (2016). Toward a Constructive Technology Criticism. Retrieved from http://www.cjr.org/tow_center_reports/constructive_technology_criticism.php

 

Archetypes: Ruler

Power is not everything, it is the only thing. Taking responsibility not only for his own life, but the lives of others, the Ruler is one of the most recognizable and easily corruptible Jungian archetypes. This is the archetype of power, plain and simple, but what comes with power is a dangerous tightrope walk between order and … Continue reading Archetypes: Ruler