Bite the Ballot

Recently, I was invited to a speech delivered by Matthew Barzun, the ambassador of the US embassy in London. To say I was excited was an understatement. Politics and foreign policies were some things which I never really showed much of an interest in during school time. However, outside of school my interests ranged from the weirdest things (not that politics is weird). But I never fully understood politics. Although, that was probably due to the lack of knowledge I had of it and the lack of time to actually sit down and research about it. Of course I knew who the prime minister is but the values and beliefs he had? Not so much.

The speech itself and the issues we talked about during the time we had, intrigued me. And from then, a couple of weeks later, the group of us who were present at the speech were invited to the US embassy in London itself, amongst other guests who were older than us. We were invited to a session for the ‘Bite the Ballot’ scheme enabling and encouraging young voters.

I’ll skip to the main point here: some of the ideas and issues announced at this Q&A session had me thinking and agreeing. The CEO and social activist, Michael Sani mentioned the lack of education in politics in schools, saying that he believed that if young people were educated in this sector, they would perhaps be more involved in the politics of our country.

I completely agree with his view on this matter. If young people, like myself, were educated and informed about political systems, we would understand enough to have a voice in it. Because it is our future and our generation that will be effected by the political decisions made. I would love to have a say or even thought, on who I would like as the next election winner. But I’m too young to vote. But those that can should, because it’s the future of your country, you should have a say in it.

I understand that politics is important but I don’t know much about it. I personally don’t know enough to have a say in it. Without prior knowledge: I stand nowhere, I have no voice in this matter. That, I believe should be changed.

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The Build-Up of Action

Let the countdown begin.

And get ready for 6 years of fighting with over 30 action-packed movies brought to you by the pre-eminent comics from Marvel and DC.

Let me start firstly by declaring, although Agents of SHIELD, Gotham, Arrow, The Flash (and Constantine) continue to run marvellously (see what I did there; marvel – marvellously, haha no? ok) neither Marvel nor DC are willing to stop there. Currently, Marvel have just announced another series titled ‘Agent Carter’ inspired by both Captain America movies where we will watch Peggy Carter balancing two lives; one revolving around secret missions for Howard Stark. (Yep that’s Iron Man’s dad.) The show’s debut will be on the 6th of January 2015 during the mid-season season 2 break of Agents of SHIELD. Excitement is an understatement.

Likewise, I am utterly and overly thrilled at the recent announcement of Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad becoming a movie in late 2016 – a long time away but anticipation never ceases. It has been rumoured that DC’s latest announcement casts Will Smith as Deadshot, Cara Delavigne as Enchantress and many others including Tom Hardy. Speaking of DC I won’t even begin to start on Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice…

Marvel line-up includes:

(2015) The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and The Fantastic Four.

(2016) Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War (oh my gosh another Chris Evans movie; I can’t wait), X-Men: Apocalypse, Doctor Strange and Sinister Six. Honestly, I cannot wait for Spiderman’s supervillains – Sinister Six.

(2017) Venom Carnage; Marvel really love Spiderman don’t they? Well I do too. Wolverine 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, The Fantastic Four 2 and Black Panther.

(2018) The Amazing Spiderman 3 (I’ll never be over Gwen’s death),  The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, Captain Marvel and Inhumans.

(2019 – if I’m still alive) The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2.

DC line-up includes:

(2016) Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. (Sorry, I wish there was more too.)

(2017) Wonder Woman and Justice League.

(2018) The Flash and Acquaman.

(2019) Shazam and Justice League 2. DC seems to be taking it two at a time, unfortunately for us.

(2020) Cyborg and Green Lantern (reboot).

DC really needs a Black Canary movie, don’t you think?

Now I’ve got to get back to revising for my Geography exam tomorrow – learning about the causes of earthquakes. I doubt I’d get the mark for saying Thor’s hammer caused it.

Don’t spend too much of your money in the Cinema. ;p

‘Young people today have an easy life.’

(Speech against ‘young people today have an easy life’.)

The internet. You may think it’s one of the most privileged forms of technology for us young people but did you know 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber threats online? The internet may make life easy for young people of this era however, there has been an increase in cyber bullying in the past few years as well as general bullying. These days there are many more ways of harassing us young people and cyberbullying is only one form out of the many hundreds. Now tell me, how many of you have ever received a text or call from an unknown number?

School. The stress and pressure of exams are inevitable to every young person today. Years ago nobody cared; young adults lived a stress-free, happy, fun life. But now you barely see a real smile on the face of any teen. Happiness and joy is scarce. In this modern era we live in, 11 year olds are ordered to study for their GCSE exams and pass with flying colours otherwise they are doomed for life. Teenagers are forced into making life-changing decisions which is absolutely preposterous!

Today’s young people face very high unemployment rates as house prices increase by the minute and university fees increase by thousands each and every year. The world is becoming more expensive; you’re probably thinking how does it affect me? But don’t you know we grow older by the minute, walk out into the streets and you will see kid’s before the age of 16 out hunting for jobs, aimlessly trying. But luck isn’t on their side because in the UK the unemployment rate for even 18-24 years olds is 18.5% so how much lower would it be for a kid of merely 14? We, young people are starved of opportunity.

Have you seen the news lately? Did you know that suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens? And they say we have it trouble-free but they should think again because depression – that was never easy. We even have a date – world suicide prevention day. Every year September the tenth then again it never existed before and that shows for young people today life is never easy.

“She can paint a lovely picture but… this story has a twist. Her paintbrush is a razor, and her canvas is her wrist.”

What makes a hero?

In actual fact this post has been prompted as soon as I saw my brother’s school hosting a hero/heroin dress-up day to raise awareness and money for BBC children in need. And I’m here thinking why in hell don’t they do this in my secondary school (high school for you Americans). It would be a fun day of dressing up as your favourite superhero or someone who is a hero to you but no, my school is drop dead boring. Honestly, the reality that youngers than myself participate more often in charities and awareness raising astounds me.

Aside from that, you have to dress up as your hero which can be either superhero or someone of real life importance. But what exactly makes a hero? Surely it can’t just be a masked citizen hunting for justice.

You’ve got ones like Spiderman, Hulk and others, those who have been genetically modified with superhuman abilities and fight against crimes and evil villains. Plus, it comes with the job of impressing the girl they like.

Google’s definition of a: Superhero

noun

a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers, such as Superman.

However, superheroes don’t always have to have superhuman powers for example Green Arrow and Iron Man; p.s. their costumes don’t count. And they still fight for justice and against criminals for the wellbeing of their world or city in fact.

Next are the real life heroes. Policemen fight against criminals; they don’t have superhuman qualities or masks; would you say they are heroes? I definitely would. First thoughts may not perceive them as such but dwelling on the thought may change perceptions. Even your grandma or mum or brother could be your hero.

A previous post of mine slightly looked into this matter about celebrities too. They may be considered as a superhero maybe not yours but for someone else. Individuals have different views on their hero and remember I guess it could always be anyone or anything.

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  • Who is your hero you’d dress up as? And Why?
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Life is full of IF’s and BUT’s.

“If I had more money, I would give more to charity.”

“If I had more time, I would participate.”

It never stops does it? The endless amount of times someone or even yourself will do something under the condition of something else. But – now there’s another one, another objection, another way to find an excuse. Except I am using it as the preposition not the noun – why is there always an excuse made? Why does one always look for a way of escaping a problem? A way of escaping life?

There are some people out there who are living without the necessities yet we live with the luxuries and still complain. We make an excuse for not doing something like giving to charity. Haven’t you ever heard that one penny can make a difference? And it’s not just a false claim. It should give you the comprehension that doing anything doesn’t require a condition or an ‘allowing’ of such things; it’s only done with purpose and intention. The ultimate goal.

“If this” and “if that” won’t help a cause because if I could eliminate starvation hell yeah I would. But I can’t. Not just by sitting here wishing but instead actually taking a stand to achieve my desired goals because saying “if” and “but” isn’t going to make my dream achievable.

Don’t say “you can’t” because you can. Don’t say “if” or “but” just to make an excuse. Because then what you ‘wish’ for isn’t worth it.

“If it’s important to you you’ll find a way, if not you’ll find an excuse.”

Waste time wisely.

The worst thing: it isn’t endless.

Time will never disappear but the time YOU have will slowly dissipate.

Bored out of my mind, for some reason I find myself awake most nights even after 2 or 3am. I’m always wondering why? But then I comprehend that it’s me. My brain is wired weirdly making me feel as though sleeping would ‘waste time’ or I could do a ton of things in the hours I sleep. I guess I should re-think, yes time should be spent wisely but whoever said that sleeping or relaxing isn’t spending time wisely? Getting enough sleep doesn’t mean you’ve wasted hours of the day impractically. It’s just giving your brain a break from the long, stressful hours you’ve put into the day.

Is it just me or do you feel like there aren’t enough hours of the day? My reasoning: I come home from school, its 4pm. I eat something and sit down with my family for a bit, its 5pm. I start doing homework, its 7pm and now I’m rushing to get it done, so it’s almost 8pm. I eat dinner, tidy up and its 8:30pm. I pull open my laptop, watch a 45 minute TV show episode and it’s roughly 9:30pm. I realise my exams are this year so I start studying, I look up and it’s 12pm. F*** when am I going to sleep? If I sleep now I’ll get 7 hours before school tomorrow. But I haven’t even finished reading the book I’m currently on and it’s already been a week, neither have I written a blog post, visited my phone, written the next chapter of my story….

What have I even accomplished today?

Mentally, I think: nothing.

Waking up the next morning, and it’s another re-run of the day before and the day before that like a cycle that never ends. But today, I’ll change the accustomed. I’ll stray away from the methodical. Because time isn’t endless so I should probably waste time wisely.

Marvel Vs DC

Personally I couldn’t decide myself because Spiderman is hot and Batman is kickass! No, I’m joking well they are, but both have incredible qualities. For starters I do believe Marvel is more of the fantasy genre than DC because Hulk has the power to be strong using it against evil whereas the Green Arrow has the intention to be strong and fight for justice.

Other worlds are generally included in Marvel and it’s a whole lot science fiction based with the fictional realm of Asgard and all. It seems to be more about power which is great and makes it less realistic conforming to fantasy. Having said that, I believe DC has more events taking place which link to the crisis of the real world.

More on that subject, DC in some way could give people hope that someone or even some people could help in some ways. Let’s be realistic no-one is going to turn into the green Hulk, or find a hammer only they can lift. Conversely, Batman has no magical powers; he’s just a man – but a wealthy one may I add. The Green Arrow isn’t actually green but can fight and beat you within seconds. It gives people hope that if someone steps up others can take a stand to. If one person tried to help injustices from happening other people can too. On the other hand, both Marvel and DC suggest that evil or ‘bad people’ can be defeated and this isn’t just fantasy – it’s truth too.

But then again people watch fantasy to escape reality and in that sense Marvel would just be perfect for them. DC wouldn’t help you escape it would lead you to the mind-set that there are worse people suffering out there. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but wouldn’t exactly be an escape. Recently I say a post on twitter saying “telling someone they can’t be sad because others have it worse is like saying someone can’t be happy because others have it better.” In all honesty, I understand the point they are trying to make and this links back to an escape from reality.

My perception of most superhero’s wearing a mask would be that they take on an act of bravery and bring about justice, peace etc. not for the attention or fame but instead for the better welfare of humans. The masks helps to show that it could be anyone and anyone can do such things if it truly comes from within.

Then again, quite a few superheroes come from a wealthy background and maybe that’s where they are going wrong. Don’t get me wrong there’s aren’t many wealthy superheroes but Iron Man has the Stark company and Batman lives in a mansion! I understand that they need their wealth for their superhero identity because I doubt Iron Man could have the whole suit commodity going without being wealthy. However, on the plus side their wealth goes to show that it doesn’t matter; even if you’re rich you don’t only have to use your money to do good actions in the world.

All in all, I would say that I love both Marvel and DC and depending on how I feel I’ll watch either because honestly they are both fantastic. Let me know which you prefer or any general ideas in the comments section. 🙂