Fatal fads

No one gives much thought to keyrings. Yet they are a focus of thousands of people around the world. Why? People in China have developed an animal keyring that is being sold en mass in subways and in the street. It’s extremely popular and it’s perfectly legal.

So why am I ranting about a legal product that is trending amongst China’s teenagers? The keyrings are a disgusting fad. Animal keyrings – it doesn’t sound so bad. I mean, everyone has owned a plastic giraffe or a meerkat that squarks loudly whenever you try and open the door. The only problem with that comparison is that the keyrings in China aren’t made from plastic – they’re real animals.

Turtles, salamanders and fish are being packed into little plastic keychains subjected to prolonged suffocation. This is consumerism gone awry. Veterinarians have disputed claims that the animals can live up to a few months inside the bags filled with coloured liquids. The average lifespan for turtles in captivity is 30 – 40 years. Animals in this type of captivity may die after a few days. The trend may be legal but it’s immoral and cruel.

We’re not so different from the animals trapped inside the key-chains for we are trapped inside a bubble of consumerism and despite our efforts to breathe the depleting moral air and to avoid immersing ourselves in the hedonistic waters no-one’s realised that we’re already drowning.

Free these animals and you free yourself.


Why this month could be the start or the end of my future

Woah… so that sounds a lot more dramatic than I expected. In all fairness, that’s how the teachers made it seem.

GCSEs. Four/five pointless letters that evoke fear deep in every teenager. Stress levels should be rocketing which is why I’m worried… because they’re not. It’s not like we’re that stupid, it’s just that when we sit down and open the paper all the words look wrong and we carn’t spel or cownt.

The funny thing is that we’ve already been forced to choose our A-Levels which will dictate the course of our entire lives. We can barely spend a night alone without burning the house down – so why are they making us choose our jobs? Let’s be honest. Can we be frank with each other, person-I’ve-never-met? Here’s the deal…I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!

They gathered two hundred of us into one room and handed out green sheets of paper. We know whatya doin’! Just because the A-Level form’s been printed on green paper doesn’t mean that it’s any easier or any more fun. In fact, if you wanted to make it easy for us, then you should have given us boxes to tick because I’m pretty sure I spelt mafamitacs methimitecs mathematics wrong.

To every teenager out there… you are not alone. There are thousands of us who sat that maths exam and who had to check on our calculators that 1 plus 4 equals 6 but we got there in the end.  It doesn’t matter that we don’t understand what’s going on in the news because we can  crack out a bit of Pythag and do…something… with that. Mostly nothing they teach us is not not useful…

We’ve got this.

Freedom of Facebook

Facebook has recently come under attack for failing to enforce its own guidelines on hate speech and violent imagery. Is it a website’s job to moderate the content its users post, or should users have complete freedom? Is there a happy medium? If so, how would you structure it?

Hmmm… Facebook freedom? There are some things that shouldn’t be allowed on Facebook such as videos or images of people taking drugs or pornography.

However, there are certain videos that should be permitted like the PETA video which can be considered violent. These raise awareness of issues that need to be addressed. Videos that are promoting violence should be censored.

Whilst Freedom of Speech is important, I do not believe that hate-fuelled propaganda should be permitted, particularly on websites.

Facebook must enforce guidelines about hate speech and certain violent imagery. However, like I said, when the images or videos are attempting to stop the violence that they portray, it is not inciting violence and therefore should be allowed. This is just my opinion.

Some Facebook users may argue that young children are using the site however, it has an age restriction of 13 which is an age where a certain level of emotional maturity has been reached. The videos are not only available on Facebook, they are available on YouTube as well. If parents are concerned then I think they should monitor their children’s use of the internet full stop.

There is never a ‘happy medium’ as there will always be people who argue that not enough has been done or the site is too restricting.

Facebook is striving to maintain the level of freedom that its users have. With regards to videos, Facebook should match its guidelines to those of YouTube. Facebook should enforce a ban that encourages users to refrain from hate speech considering discrimination is against the law.

In conclusion:

1. It is difficult to monitor what can or can’t be said without breaching Freedom of Speech but when opinions clearly overstep laws, such as hate speech, bans must be put in place.

2. Videos are monitored on Facebook already. However Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks should work together to produce a set of rules that all of the networks abide by.

Shhhh… it’s taboo.

So many people, including myself, avoid topics of awkward conversation because why should we speak out when there are other people to deal with the issues? What if we make a mistake and voice a controversial view? We can make mistakes as long as we learn from them but in order to make a change, we have to make an effort.

There are so many taboo subjects but I want to talk about rape. Yup. I want to talk about it. (I am focusing on female victims however I am not devaluing or disregarding the male victim accounts.)

Rape crime punishment

Image from The Guardian website

If a person’s judgment is, in any way, impaired then they cannot consent to sex. However, the Morgan rule states that if A thought B consented to it then it cannot be considered rape.

No one deserves to be or asks to be raped. Often the case is argued that if a woman, for example, is wearing revealing clothing then she is ‘asking for it’. A woman in a bikini at the beach is just a likely to be raped as a woman wearing a burka on a bus. Many women wear bikinis at the beach, does this mean that they are all asking to be raped. No. This argument is completely void of any sense and should be disregarded.

There is no ‘wrong place’ or ‘wrong time’. Women should not have to be cautious of where they spend their time. Rape should not be justified because the victim was in the wrong place. We all have a right to freedom and fear of rape and assault takes this freedom away.

Rape infringes on more than five human rights. This may seem like very few but human rights are what defines our society and our lives and our freedom. Without them, life would not be worth living. If any one of the human rights were to be abolished our lives would change dramatically. Stop and think about what your life would be like without your right to equality or freedom from slavery or personal security. 

Human Rights Day presents an opportunity, every year, to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere.

– The UN website.

How can we celebrate human rights when not all of us have them?

Recently, rape has featured on the news and quite frequently, may I add. It is not just the rapists that have blood on their hands, it is the also the people who refuse to address the problem now. In a year more people will have been raped so the issue must be overcome now. 

Midway – something worth fighting for.

This is the most significant post I have written so far and I can’t even begin to explain how difficult it is for me to write. How can I express that we have effectively murdered thousands without readers wanting to turn away?

Midway is one of the most remote places on Earth. It is 2000 miles from the closest continent. The juxtaposition of the natural beauty of Midway and the undeniable truth that our consumerism is killing it, is shocking.

There is little difference between us dropping a bottle in the street and our country dropping a bottle in the ocean. Rather than considering this a problem for higher powers to solve, remember that you are the country and together we must prevent further damage.

We have to care for the world because who else is there? The birds haven’t established courts of law and governments but then again the birds haven’t single-handedly destroyed the planet either.

Animals cannot be expected to differentiate between their food and our waste. This is our problem and we’re making it theirs by polluting their habitats.

We cannot shift the blame any longer. Rather than avoiding the atrocities that are staring us in the face, we need to address the problem and protect and restore the natural world before it is past saving.

We can’t do it by ourself? I beg to differ. There are seven billion people in the world and you’re telling me that half a quarter a tenth of the population is not enough? A tenth of seven billion is seven hundred million.

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