Music pounded throughout the streets, coming from the nightclub. Four teens rushed through these same streets, giggling.
“Guys!” One shrieked, laughing. She pointed towards a dark building covered in graffiti, every window boarded up. “Let’s go exploring.”
The boys whopped in agreement, but one teen disagreed, falling behind. “I don’t know guys, it’s creepy in there. I don’t want to get caught.”
“Come on Jenny,” one boy nudged her shoulder with a bottle. “Have another drink, it’ll give you courage.”
She took the bottle, taking a long swig, squinting her eyes from the burn of the alcohol. “No seriously, Haley that’s dangerous if we get caught in there…”
“We won’t!” Haley laughed, drinking a darker liquid. “Derek, give her some more, she needs to start having fun!”
Jenny rolled her eyes, gazing at the other boy. He had his arms draped around Haley. “Kyle, do you want to go in there?”
Kyle shrugged, his eyes were glossy. “I don’t see why not.”
Derek pulled Jenny towards him, “come on, don’t be a wimp.” Leaning down he began to kiss her neck.
Jenny closed her eyes, sighing. “Okay, fine.”
“Yes!” Haley shouted.
“Let’s hope they have a bed in there, huh?” Derek whispered in Jenny’s ear. Goosebumps rose on her skin, she took another swig from the bottle, it burned less this time.
The group ran to the side of the building, the boys ripped at the thin wood that laid in front of a window, while the girls searched for a rock heavy enough to break the glass. The sound of the glass shattering could hardly be heard over the loud music coming from a few buildings over. One by one they climbed inside.
Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been so MIA… school really kicked my butt this semester. Lately, I’ve been feeling really unmotivated and frankly, unhappy. I’m just incredibly tired and burnt out. However, I could feel myself growing frustrated with the lack of writing projects collecting virtual dust on my computer. As much as I love the mini pieces I’ve written for this blog, I want to start beginning attention back to the larger pieces I started years ago.
I’ve decided to breathe some life back into my old ‘Wattpad’ account, and I will be posting this old/new project ‘The Damned’ on it. Hopefully, I can discipline myself to update frequently.
The piece you’ve read above is a little preview of the story, and I’d love if you checked out the full version on my Wattpad account linked below! Thanks
If you’re like me, I’ve always found videos of calligraphy that show up on my Facebook newsfeed really therapeutic and mesmerizing to watch. And so, two years ago, I began to rummage through the internet for online tutorials and printed out masses of practice sheets to begin my newfound hobby.
I started from my local craft store, Michaels, and bought several nibs, nib holders, black india ink and a pad of smooth marker paper. From there it was practice, practice, practice until I started developing a preferred style of writing that seemed most natural to me. Below, you can see a layout of the nibs I have collected over the past two years, along with a few of the pen holders that accompany it.
Nibs + Holders
The Speedball/Hunt nibs were the first few I bought from DeSerre’s: they come in a pack with two holders. The great thing about nibs (or calligraphy in general) is that they are really affordable…but keep in mind that they are also fragile if you don’t store them well. The ones I buy typically range ~$1-2 CAD each. My absolute favourite nibs are the Leonardt 40 (I use this one the most) and the Hunt 99. I find that I tend to steer towards nibs that are more flexible (less stiff) because it helps me write more naturally.
Nikko G and Zebra G are the couple I read lots of blog posts on. I was able to track down a couple of small art stores that carry these nibs in Hong Kong, and being super inexpensive they also came in packs of three in the case that one may accidentally be broken or misplaced. Here’s a quick comparison between the raved on Nikko G and my favourite Leonardt 40.
I don’t believe there’s anything special to talk about about my holders. The one you see on the top with a part that sticks out is the oblique holder. It basically helps you write on an angle that some people may find difficult when writing with a regular holder, but I don’t tend to steer towards it. I find that I grab my Tachikama wooden holder the most as most of my nibs fit in it. For my smaller nibs I use the brown Hunt holder that I purchased with the nibs — again, really affordable.
Ever since I laid hands on my Finetec Pearl Metallic Inks palette I have never let it go. I absolutely LOVE the iridescent glow that it produces when activated with water. Used typically for watercolour brushes, I use a few drops of water and mix it with a small brush for several seconds, then paint it onto the nib. It’s not the cheapest out there, and I purposely purchased it on my last trip to Hong Kong because it was difficult to find in Vancouver. Nevertheless…absolutely stunning.
I did start off with using black india ink but it’s been getting old and I haven’t thought of replacing it since I always just use the Finetec palette. With the help of Photoshop, I digitize my writing and invert the metallic ink on black paper which gives the look of black ink written on white paper (#lifehacks).
I started off using your standard white paper, but found that the sharp (fragile) tip of the nibs would repeatedly catch onto the paper and gave a rigid feel to my writing. I purchased a marker pad from Michael’s that really helps with that problem. The paper is really soft and light, which helps with write smooth, continuous lines so I definitely recommend it for practicing. Typically, I like to use just any card stock I can get my hands on. My mom really enjoys making cards and she has collected a TON of coloured card stock paper, so I usually just take some to use and it’s great for calligraphy too.
Calligraphy really does take time and practice. At one point when I started, there were times when I did feel discouraged because I wasn’t satisfied with it! In the beginning, I had really wonky, awkward strokes and it really didn’t feel right to me. Those are also the times you need to push through and give yourself even more reason to keep working on it because it takes time so remember to be patient with yourself. Once you start to feel progressively more comfortable, you’ll start to develop your own writing style. I still do feel incompetent sometimes and I really do like keeping calligraphy as a hobby because I know I definitely still have room for improvement! Hope this helps.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Furthermore, other comments reinforce that Breitbart has a large following of conservatives that remind us of their traditional values.
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.
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.
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.
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
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