Category Archives: Of concern

Book Review: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

It was bethe hosttter than Twilight. But that’s really not saying much.

First though: an admission! I actually did enjoy aspects of this book. I thought the idea behind it was very interesting, and it did keep me interested throughout. However, it made me very very angry. Mostly because of the types of characters Stephenie Meyer promotes and idolises. Great idea, shame it was written by her.

I would love to see the day when Stephenie Meyer realises that a love interest does not need to be an older man who physically assaults the main character. In The Host, the main character has two love interests (sound familiar?), one who tries to strangle her with his bare hands, the other who repeatedly knocks her around, causing her physical pain and injury. How romantic! I can barely contain my hope that I will one day meet a man just like Jared or Ian. And they fight over her, too! There is nothing more romantic than that!

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Films, Of concern, Ranting, Reading, Social commentary

To This Day

This stunning video, featuring a spoken word poem by Shayne Koyczan, has been making the rounds over the last day or so. And I can definitely understand why.

This is a poignant video, and a heartbreaking one. It focuses specifically on issues of bullying in schools, on name-calling and how something you call someone when they are eight, can still have an impact on their lives when they’re in their thirties.

We are graduating members from the class of we made it. Not the fadedechoes of voices crying out ‘names will never hurt me’. Of course they did.

I love the passion of Shayne’s narration. I love his use of words, and that he truly believes what he is saying. To This Day is a video that makes me cry. Because these situations do occur. Because name-calling does have an impact.

But it also gives me hope. Because Shayne’s message is one of awareness, and also one of hope.

You have to believe that they were wrong! They have to be wrong. Why else would we be here? We grew up learning to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them. We stem from a root planted in the belief that we are not what we were called.

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Filed under Amazed, Of concern, Social commentary

Dumb Ways to Die

 

In response to a recent increase in the number of train-related deaths, Metro trains (Melbourne, Australia) created this PSA to make people more aware of the dangers of behaving stupidly around trains. With a catchy tune and fun animations, this is a new and great way of increasing awareness of train safety! After all, being hit by a train is a ‘dumb way to die’.

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Filed under Of concern, Random, Social commentary

Is it okay to be left handed?

Just found this: another pretty awesome Australian video encouraging an awareness of bullying issues. The video was created for Beyond Blue, an Australian organisation which aims to prevent and support instances of depression. In the video, a boy is being bullied and tormented because he is left-handed – this is linked to LGBT issues and raises the question: why would you torment someone for being who they are?

A very interesting video!

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Filed under Films, Of concern, Random, Social commentary

A sad moment…

I just bought a book.

Normally, this is a good thing. I love buying books, or (more to the point) having books. I have a bedroom largely comprised of bed and books… I have three (reasonably large) plastic boxes full of books that I don’t currently have room for. That’s a lot of books!

But this time, the purchase of a new book is leaving me feeling a little bit sad. Why, you may ask?

I haven’t bought a book for three months.

Three months ago I made this post in which I stated that I would not buy another book until I had read every single one of the 30 books I had just bought, or until the next Juliet Marillier book came out.

Well, I still haven’t read those thirty books… (Though I did manage to read 21 of them!) But I just pre-ordered the newest Juliet Marillier – it is launched Australia-wide on July 1st.

Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be more excited about Shadowfell! It’s just the kind of dark adventure young-adult fantasy I love to read, and a Juliet Marillier work as well! That’s almost a guarantee I’ll love it! I’m just a little sad at the thought of breaking my three month streak. I was feeling quite proud of myself! There were many, many books I wanted to buy over these last three months, and I resisted them all! Very proud. 😀

But at least I know that Shadowfell will look pretty on my shelf. (I have the perfect spot for it!)

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And I learnt something about self-restraint over these last three months. There have been quite a few books that I was sure I needed wanted only to look at them again a few days/weeks later and realise that I don’t really need want them after all… There’s definitely something to be said about a waiting a few days before making a purchase…

Though that doesn’t mean that I’m not looking forward to hitting up some bookstores now that my dry spell is over. Because I am. Those bookstores will not know what hit them! 😀

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Of concern, Ranting, YA Books

Tagged (Cyberbullying)

Tagged is an Australian short film that deals with the effects and implications of cyberbullying. I mentioned it a bazillion years ago (Facebook and Cyberbullying), but only just got around to watching it, and I’m glad I did.

Tagged is brilliantly filmed, and deals with the issues surrounding cyberbullying in a fantastic, and highly realistic way. This is a must watch, particularly for anyone involved in schooling (teachers, staff, students, parents = anyone!). Digital ethics education is becoming increasingly important, and it is only through using and promoting films like this that we can ensure that everyone is aware of the implications of using the Internet for harm.

Go on, watch it! I think it’s fantastic.

Also, Tagged has managed to win Internation Media Awards for its portrayal of key social issues.

One last point before I go:

At the end of the day, cyber bullying and sexting don’t just affect the victim; it can have a significant effect on whole communities.

This is a serious issue for twenty-first century life and learning, don’t let it go unnoticed

 

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Filed under Films, Learning, Of concern, Social commentary

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 3

Day 3: Book that makes you laugh out loud

The easy answer to this challenge, is: most of my favourite YA novels. (At least the fantasy ones, the realistic YA I tend to read is generally pretty far from funny! :P)

Particularly, this applies to my Harry Potter books, and my Tortall novels. Both J.K. Rowling and Tamora Pierce know how to write a funny, fantasy-adventure story. And that is why I keep going back, reading them again and again.

And then I thought about it all a bit more… I never really like things to be all that easy. So, the roundabout (kinda cheating answer) is:

FAN-FICTION!

S.P.E.W. Does Not Approve by makani

I have read a lot of (almost exclusively Harry Potter) fan-fiction in my days… Ever since I was first introduced to it way back in 2004. Well, I say ‘read’. What I mean is that I’ve devoured it. In fact, I used to read so much fan-fiction that my dad actually firewalled fanfiction.net on our home network… What did I do? I downloaded stories while at school, copied them into Word documents, and read them on my laptop. I even got some stories professionally printed. I wrote fansfiction (we won’t go there!). Basically, for quite a few years, a lot of my reading was done online.

Why was I so insane about it? Basically, fan-fiction can be terrible, horrendous, bad on a level that is stomach-churning. But it can also be brilliantly written, thought-out and developed. I have read some fan-fiction stories that I could honestly say were just as good as the published works that inspired them. Some very, very talented authors have their beginnings in fan-fiction, I’m sure.

Also, though, fan-fiction can be damned funny! And this was the main reason I decided to go with fan-fiction to answer this question. Sure, Rowling and Pierce and many other published authors have made me laugh, some have even made me laugh out loud (I’m hard to please!), but the stories that have truly made me laugh out loud, made me guffaw and all the rest, have been fan-fiction.

To illustrate my point, follow on for some fanart!

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Filed under 30 Day Book Challenge, Books, Funny, Of concern, Random