Saturday, 19 April 2014

Winter 2014 Reviews - Nagi no Asukara

Ok I'm bored and watching some Shojo, so I thought I'd cheat a bit and talk about one of the Autumn 2013 carry overs, Nagi no Asukara. 



The show is an attempt by PA Works to attain the levels of pointless emotional manipulation that they perfected with AnoHana

Ok that's a bit harsh on it, but emotional manipulation, or in this case constipation is a great way to describe this show I found. But anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.  I should actually talk about the show some I guess. 

I guess. 

See the thing is, I can't say much about the show without spoiling the fuck out of it. And it's a show that is worth not being spoiled for to be honest. The characters and story are so well drawn out at the beginning, and there is a definite payoff, but the show left we with such a meh feeling, I find it hard to talk about. 

To set the scene, Nagi No Asukara exists in a world where certain people live in the sea. 4 of those said people have to start going to the surface, and how they face off against racial discrimination on both sides, segregation and other social issues. 

At least when the show is at its best. 

At its best, the show takes a raw approach to laying out racial segregation issues that exst around the world, and rather than trying to explain them, just show them for all their honest concerns, unbased as they may be.

At its best. 

At the shows worst, it attempts to explain racial discrimination by way of supernatural elements, devolving the plot into a dodecahedron of love, and forgetting about our racial issues altogether. Looking over the series, it took a sharp nosedive around the end of the first cour. Hell, it feels tonally like 2 different shows. 

It's a real shame, because there is a lot of great stuff here. Our main character, Hikari (Nasuki Hanae) was annoying enough in the beginning that I actually considered dropping the show. His development alone across the series is teriffic, and his voice actor does a great job. In fact, most of the principle cast does a great job ( apart from the stoic one. he does a great job of being boring)



The production values on a whole are typically high, as you would expect from PA works. Smooth animation, pretty characters, and fucking beautiful backgrounds. The shows artwork really captures the feeling of living on the coast and I loved the atmosphere the art gave of. The music is wonderful, and there's a guitar player somewhere out there that I want to buy a drink for all the times their work had me on the edge of tears. 

See that's the thing with this show. It does so very much right, it's a real shame it gets the critical factor so very wrong. If this was purely a character based show, I would have been alright with the story getting lost. But in this case, I can't accept the way that the story basically forgot about the main theme about halfway through. Still though, the show is definitely worth your time. Just don't expect the second coming of Christ or anything, even if the author seemed to have a thing about that. 

Till next time, 

Toodle Pip

(A final note, this show does feature based Kana Hanazawa, so it also has hat going for it I guess)

Winter 2014 Reviews - Noragami

So Noragami aired last season. 

That was a thing apparently. 

I've always found it interesting to see how different fanbases react to a show, and looking at the reaction coming from those on reddit, and comparing it to that of the anime "celebs" on youtube, I was curious to see what the cause of all the division was.

Depending on who you spoke to, Noragami was either the most pointless, meandering bore of a show, or the glorious antithesis to that other action show that was on. 

What did I think? I guess lets find out.



Noragami follows Yato (Hiroshi Kamiya), a noragami, or stray god. Essetially, he is a god without a shrine. In order to work towards a shrine, he takes on jobs for a 5 yen fee, the jobs ranging from helping someone pass a test to defeating corrupted souls or phantoms. We also follow Hiyori Iki (Maaya Uchida), a highschool girl who's been turned into a half phantom and is relying on Yato to return her to her normal form. The other main character is Yukine (Yuki Kaji AKA dweeby prat) who is Yato's weaponized sould, or regalia. He has his own arc that we spend a lot of time on, but initially we don't get a lot of back story on him.

So far so good right? We have our main players, some plot points, and a decent world built already, what could go wrong?

The issue with Noragami has to be a lack of time. This was put together as a 12 episode show for an ongoing manga. On top of that, its a 12 episode show with an anime original arc. From a story direction standpoint, you have to wonder, what were they playing at?

Noragami leaves so much merely hinted at and undeveloped, we could have had an entire extra 12 episodes out of this. Characters fight but then are forgotten, or just forget about the enemy that was so important just in the last episode. Secondary characters, beautifully draan as they are, are quickly relegated to exposition bots. 

And all of this is a huge shame, since Noragami does so much so well. To start the animation is absolutely beautiful and the art has a tremendous sense of tone with greys and whites harshly contrasted to the garish and vomit coloured phantoms. 


Our main characters are all gorgeously animated, reminding me of the better days Studio Bones has had, when shows as striking as Fullmetal Alchemist or Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 were the rule rather than the exception. 

The VA's all do a great job, especially the perfectly cast Yuki Kaji as Yukine. Yukine's arc relies on a lot of typical teenage angst, and if there is something that Yuki Kaji can do well, acting like a stroppy teen is it. Sticking to the sound, the soundtrack for the show is amazing, with the rather well know Taku Iwasaki taking the helm. There is the standard dark thematic songs, but the standouts have to be the battle themes, which are often just plain funky. On a final production note, the OP and ED are amongst my favourite this season, really seeming to stick to the production qualities and themes the show sets out.



(I mean seriously, look at the use of colour in that.)

But like I said, the story lacks focus. What we do get are believable dynamics, a love story that I can understand and relatable angst that doesn't rely on the world being super dark mega evil like some other shows in this genre. Noragami is very atypical of a shounen show, but it does what it does with so much love, it really seems like a shame that it's main flaw is that it's just too damn short. The finale seems pretty darn conclusive in taking the show as far away from the manga as possible, all of which leads me to believe that we might not get another season of this. 

And that's a shame. I really loved this world. I'd happily trade a crappy show or five for a second season of this.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Winter 2014 Reviews - Toaru Hikūshi e no Koiuta / The Pilots Love Song

Hi internet! Gonna try and do a thing here. Like a thing with structure. Before I start doing episodic reviews/commentaries, I thought for pactice, I'll review what I watched over the Winter 2014 season. It was the first time since my return to anime that I was watching as shows aired. 

Watching a show as it airs definitely gives a different experience to marathoning a show. The spaces in time between each episode can give you time to analyse and really absorb a show, rather than getting carried away with emotions if you were watching episodes on a binge.

Anyway, without further ado, here's a review of:

The Pilots Love Song


So you see that trailer? Seems pretty action packed huh? Probably seems like its got pretty high production values. Seems like its got a lot going for it. Well that's all a lie. And the worst thing is, it took me 12 episodes to realise that it was a lie.

This was a show that I picked up on a whim. Just after the season started, I just saw it on the crunchyroll listings, and though, hey, how bad can it be. And hell it wasn't actually that bad, at least whilst I wasn't thinking about it. 

The Pilots Love Song tells the story of Kal-El Albus, as he embarks on a journey aboard Isla, to the end of the sky. Isla is a giant floating rock, ala Laputa, and it was one of the first things that drew me about this show. At times it could be very very pretty. Once on Isla, Kal and his sister Ari are enlisted in the flight school so that they can learn to fly planes so that they can protect Isla. 

The shows artwork is genuinely beautiful at points, and there is often a lovely sense of warmth used in the colour pallets. 

Once on Isla, Super Dumbledore meets Claire Cruz, and they fall in love in about 6 minutes of screentime. 

Yes, I'm serious. 

To be honest, that's not too bad a thing for the show to do (it does far worse) but in hindsight, that should have been the point where I started to question the quality of the series. The story floats along at a reasonable clip with predictable beats and a story filled with themes of revenge and love. If anything, this is what the show does best, giving us an introspection on the characters mindset, using flashbacks and experiences to illustrate them. The characters are well defined, if generic, and aside from one shounen style yell, I believed the characters for the most of it. 

You may notice that I haven't said an awful lot about the plot. That's because neither does the show. Until the info dump that is the final episode, we are like Isla, floating towards an uncertain point, with no real idea of what will happen there. And that is the biggest issue with The Pilot's Love Song. it gets lost in its lack of a plot, and when it tries to have one, it is far too little too late. Enemies will come and go, allies will arrive, and in all of that, you have to rely on our rather generic cast of characters to keep our interest. And they do until the plot shows itself and is shown to be a pile of poop. 

To go onto a technical level, so much of what is here is just so very by the numbers. The artwork whilst occasionally very pretty, is often just plain boring. Add to the murky and blurry draw distances, and those horrid bits of action where all the detail kind of fades away, and its not really that good a package anymore. 

The music is all pretty much stock standard stuff, and whilst the ED is pretty cool, the OP was skipped almost every single time for me. The VA's all did a reasonable job. Standouts for me were Aoi Yuki as the female lead and Kaito Ishikawa as the antagonist of sorts. Aoi's performance varied between delicate and firm, and it lent a lot of believability to her relationship with Super Dumbledore. Ishikawa as Ignacio was generic as hell, but he was enjoyable evil sounding for the most part. He also got to narrate the episode previews, which always put a bit of a smile on my face.

Overall, I still have mixed opinions about this show. On the one hand it had me very into it for the majority of its runtime, but on the other, the shortcomings once revealed were so glaring it pains me to see that I missed them. It's often said in criticism of media that the ending of a show is of paramount importance, and that is definitely the case here. The final act twist's and the ridiculous lack of plot really meant that this ended on a damp squib rather than soaring high.

6/10

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Spring 2014 Anime Analyses... or something

Spring 2014 Anime Analyses.... or something 


Hello internet, resurrecting this long forgotten blog so that I can talk about anime somewhere. I restartedd watching anime about 8 months ago, after about 8 years away, so I'll be covering a mixture of currently airing and older shows as I go.

Anyways, on to business.

What have I watched this week?

Bokura wa minna Kawaisou /The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behaviour


This show had a funny schedule, the first episode airing on a Thursday and the second on Friday, on Crunchyroll at least. Essentially, I think what happened here, is crunchyroll picked it up after the first episode, and as such the simulcast is delayed to be fit into the rather sparse looking Friday schedule.

Kawaisou  seems to be a coming of age/romance show revolving around Usa Kazunari and his senior Ritsu Kawai.

Yup


There's a character named cute  in this show.


The show itself seems fine enough. Very pretty artwork, very nice voice acting (featuring based Kana Hanazawa) and a warm music direction. It has the high production values that Brains base are well know for, and is generally good fun to watch. 




The issue I have with it, and this is after 2 episodes, is just how darn generic it seems. So far there is nothing that makes me think "yup, this show is doing something great",  or "wow, that was some great introspection". Everything seems to be the producers painting by numbers, which will lead us down the path to some well worn tropes and messages. 

Status: Alive but there are signs that life is failing 

What now: I'm giving it the three episode test. Hopefully it'll improve. I want another Sakourasou 

Gokukoku no Brynhildr/Brynhildr in the Darkness

When I saw the PV for this, I was hyped. When I found out it was from the people that brought us Elfen Lied, I was not so hyped.....

Honestly, the first episode was pretty good. Brynhildr follows Ryota Murakami after he meets Kuroha Neko, a mysterious transfer student who resembles Ryota's dead childhood friend. The setup of the show actually came across very well, with a nice voiceover really helping us get to know the oddball of a main character. The one thing that put me off with Elfen Lied was that there was no reason for me to even try to get into the characters, since the show started a batshit crazy pace, with a kill everything attitude. This on the other hand spent an entire episode building the budding relationship and setting up the McGuffin of the series.


I'm interested enough in the premise of this show that I'll keep on watching it. The production values are all pretty much top notch and the OST seemed pretty badass in the first episode. If the show gives me a reason to care when shit hits the fan, I think this might be pretty darn great.

Status: Feeling Strong

What Now: Unless there's a massive drop in quality, keep on watching



Isshuukan Friends / One Week Friends

Now this.

This

It may sound a bit sad, but this was the show that I was most looking forward to this season. It seemed to fit all my tastes. Small, character based, cute, honest. And then I watched the first episode.


The first episode of this show was amazing.




I'll be honest, I don't think I'll see a better single episode of any show this year. Hell, as far as first episodes go, I'm struggling to think of a better one than this.

One week friends follows Yuki Hase and his burgeoning relationship with Kaori Fujimiya, a girl in his class in middle school.

One complication.

Fujimiya forgets all her personal memories every Monday.


And that's the setup of the show. It's a wonderfully simple setup and it's brought across in that way. The first episode introduces our main characters and establishes why Hase wants to be friends with Fujimiya. It builds their relationship over the course of a week, introduces the McGuffin and ends with our female lead having forgotten about the lovely week we all just experienced. 
It captures the small sadness of the situation so well, I was on the edge of tears. 

The edge of tears after one episode, this shit is great.


As far as production values go, this is Brains Base again, so it is very nice to look at. There is a warm, watercolour aesthetic to the colour pallet, and the characters are drawn in such a delicate, light way. It's like a mixture of Moe and realistic styles, and they all look great. Both of the main VA's are relative newcomers, but they bring a real sweetness and innocence to their delivery. Sora Amamiya (Fujimiya) is the standout, as her voice goes so well from cold to the bubbling joy that is the middle of the week, before returning to the cold, almost tsundere delivery at the start of the second week. It really was lovely delivery all around.

Status:  Very Strong

What Next:  Keep watching. I'm in love with the first episode, I really hope they keep this up.

Kamigami no Asobi / Mischief of the Gods



This is the third show that Brains base are airing this season, and it's pretty strong as well. Kamigami follows Yui Kusanagi (Sadly not our heroine from Ghost in the Shell) after she is transported to the realm of the gods, where there is a war or something or other, and they all will compete to woo her.

This is a reverse harem of my favourite kind. Female orientated shows have to work harder to get screentime and Brains Base are doing their work here. The show is completely over the top, from a ridiculous magical boy transformation, to having flowers literally bloom behind each of the male characters after they are introduced.

The first episode did little other than introduce the main characters, but I have high hopes that this will be my guilty pleasure this season.

Status: Pretty good

What next: 3 Episode test, but I think it'll get right past that.

Kenzen Robo Daimidaler

Halfway through the second episode of this, I wondered aloud to myself, why am I still watching this? When I couldn't find an honest answer, I stopped.

Kenzen follows a teenager who discovers he has the power to use a giant mecha whenever he gets a boner. The enemies are anthropomorphized penguins with front "tails" (read: penises). Every female character is basically waiting for our main character to grope them.

For al of the shows outlandishness, I was bloody bored by the second episode. Its amazing how dull the show really is. Also, the mech is fucking ugly.

Status: Dropped

What Next: wipe my mind of penguin penises

Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii / The World is still Beautiful

This show had little to no publicity. I hadn't even heard of it until I randomly saw it on Crunchyrolls website, and I clicked he link half out of curiosity. As it stands, the show was a pleasant little surprise Soredemo  follows Princess Nike (of the trainers) as she travels to a distant, powerful empire to marry its king. Pity the king turns out to be a king.

This show, as it turns out, is really a fantasy Shoujo. So it's like twilight the anime right? Not really.

The first episode introduced our protagonist, but also gave us a taste of character, and I think that is the shows definite strength. Nike is a great character, opinionated, honest, and dedicated. She has a lot to say, and clearly has her own opinions about the empire she is supposed to marry into. I think this could be the sleeper hit of this season, since the first episode was very strong.

Status: Pretty Good

What Next: Bring on the next episode

Kanojo ga Glag wo Onatera / If her Flag Breaks


A silly little harem of a show, the first episode was good fun. Our main character, Souta Hatate can see flags on top of peoples heads that even they aren't aware of. The flags can tell different things, whether they are looking for friends or love, or if their lives are coming to an end. Souta makes all his life choices based on them, and often tries to protect those around him.

I'll stop gushing, by saying this. This show is a mess. The animation is dated, the artwork crude, the sound nothing special, and the pacing was all over the place. But what it was, was crazy. The 24 minute episode I watched was shitballs full of fun, and I its a ride I want to stay on I think.

Status: Average silly fun

What next: Keep watching. unless it gets cringey, this seems like fun


That's all I've had time to check out so far. I'm also planning on picking up Captain Earth, Mekakucity Actors and Ping Pong: The Animation. I'll try and check them out and then update this as and when.

Signing off for now,

Toodle pip

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Stop Kony

Ok I'm going to start of by saying that I whole heartedly agree with the principle that the "stop Kony", movement is trying to achieve. It is a noble cause and I'll be the first to denounce child abuse and child slavery. Moreover it is a smart campaign in the way that it is using social media and good old fashioned awareness and fundraising activities to get its point across.

The reason I was so incensed by the campaign is the pure and unabashed naivety of it. Do you honestly think that the removal of one terrorist leader will restore safety, or even some kind of unity to the world? Do you honestly see this as such a key thing that all other problems in the world can be addressed like this in a year on year basis? Hell, do you honestly still think that peaceful protest can achieve anything?

OK

It is just so darned stupid and processed and designed to emote a reaction and get you to open your wallets for the "cause", yet it ignores so many problems. So many that I'm going to list them in an easy to read and understand section.

Reasons STOP KONY is stupid

1. Uganda has problems OTHER than Joseph Kony

This is a logical first port of call. President Yoweri Museveni, war hero twice over, president since 1986 is emerging as a self serving and corrupt official, largely leading the country into a state of high inflation and crushing of freedom of speech. Arguably, these are issues that a modern Uganda has to face, and by simply painting the face of Joseph Kony as the only problem that Uganda faces, undermines a real need for reform within the country. This was apparent 8 years ago when constitutional reforms made it so he can run for as many terms as he sees fit. Add into that, the detaining of political opponents, deploying riot police at peaceful protests, and his connection with anti-homosexuality groups, this has led to several EU countries removing financial backing for Uganda(Reuters 2005). This in a time where inflation has reached 30.5%(Buisness week, 10/2011). The problems which Uganda faces are far wider than a guerilla fundamentalist with a penchant for child soldiers.

2. Africa has so many problems, to narrow it down to even one country is inexorably naive.

If we compare the Africa of today, to that of even 20 years ago, there are signs of change, yet it is hardly lifestyles of the rich and famous for the vast majority of the continent. Here's a small list.
Somalia famine and tribal war. Oh and the lack of any government in a large section of the country.
Famine across half the continent, lack of modern systems for food, water, healthcare, even clothing.
To say that Africa has its fair share of problems is like saying hedgehogs are not very cuddly. To be so naive as to say that all we need to do is abolish this one maniac, it will bring the entire world into order is frankly ridiculous for any charity, let alone a multi million dollar company.

3. The company themselves are not the most reputable

As Visible Children so eloquently put, the company is one-dimensional and ill advised. Not only that, they are a symbol of the modern overbloated, overstaffed charity. as a non profit organization, there finances are public. Last year alone they spent over 8 and a half million dollars. Only 32% went to direct services within Uganda, the rest going on staff salaries, those really well produced emotive videos, and transport.

Besides that the company is supportive of military intervention, to the stage that they actively spend money on rearming the Ugandan army, and making those connections to US legislation. This in a country with a leader who is beginning to appear to have no wish other than to rule until he dies.
'I think I've been fairly clear on why I don't enjoy the sentiment that this campaign has brought about. if you want some more evidence check this tumblr feed out, its far better written and sourced than mine.
http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com.nyud.net/

4. The imagery draws comparison with very key things

watching that really well produced video was a bit of a queasy thing for me. The imagery is of the modern western world coming to the rescue of the poor African state. This alone is a dangerous idea, in that we use this to make ourselves sleep easy at night, thinking that we have done our part to save the world.

And the imagery of Hitler! the genocide intervention charity (www.genocideintervention.ne), has found evidence of genocide in 5 countries, Sudan, on Uganda's northern border being one of them. Yet we are let to believe that genocide is not worthy of mention in order to protect the children. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that killing of children and the use of child soldiers isn't a bad thing. I'm saying that its in no way as bad as the eradication of a race of people. If anything the campaign is clearly designed to tug on heartstrings, because animals and children somehow need more help than an entire race. It's selective in he information it gives you, so as to maximise its profits towards its single minded goal.

One final point I do want to make is this though. The way that this campaign has swept across social media in the last 2 days is simply amazing. For a charitable company to achieve that is, a first I guess. But it doesn't make any of the countless other causes any less real, or any less needy. Joseph Kony is a terrible sick person, and regardless of this campaign he more than likely will go on being a bane on humanity till the day he finally dies, but because of one campaign making us feel better about ourselves, do we turn a blind eye to genocide and government sponsored eradication? Thats the scary thing here, if we all get sucked up into this one thing, we run the risk of thinking that nothing else is a problem, even those that are, arguably, more horrific and more pressing.

Peace out guys

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Hurt

Ok
Originally this was gonna be a blog post about some really interesting subject like depression or optimism or which cheeses go best with mature coke. But I was on the internets earlier(always a bad start), and I came across a bit of a problem.

People argue about things that are based on opinions formed by incorrect information.

That is, people are misinformed, and then they go on the internet, and vent. And when they vent, they inherently frustrate someone else, which means that everyone argues, and we are left with something like this:



What this video shows is that the internet is filled not only with idiots, but idiots who don’t know when they are wrong. Also, said idiots have learnt very bad grammar. Now this poses the question, what shall we do with these festoons of the internet? Or how should we rehabilitate them?

To be perfectly honest, there has always been a massive section of society I feel, have no real use. These people should be disposed of, preferably from a high height, onto spikes.



Perhaps what we should really be doing is using message boards to send out educational messages of love or harmony. Rather than arguing about things that we know nothing about, we should have a crack team of super, nay, UBER nerds who surf the internet constantly commenting and addressing the inaccuracies of the internet. In this way, we can control the internet, and gain back a portion of society.

And then the bastards can start to pay their taxes.

The reason I got angry about the internet in this way was cos of a song that Leona Lewis is releasing. Basically, it is a cover of Hurt originally by Nine Inch Nails.
Here’s a link:



Now I like this song. In the kind of way I like toast. It’s alright, but I won’t wax lyrically about it like it’s the best thing ever. Neither will I dismiss it as a terrible piece of pop, cos, to be frank, Leona has an awesome voice and it rings of depth, if not pain and misery.

The things that are annoying me, are people firstly, stating that Johnny Cash wrote it. It was of course written by the awesome Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails. To some extent that is the definitive record I guess. The thing is, if you scroll anywhere on the internet, you find fudgetards, of the sole opinion that that is not the case. This is where we, the normal minded people, need the power of the UberNerd. The UberNerd would be respected enough that he decides the winner in a comment post argument, he is the end of the argument, he is the law.

The other thing that annoys me is that people, including the “great”, NME magazine, are stating that the record has more in common with Johnny Cash’s 2002 version of the song. Ok so you can compare them all, here’s the original songs:





Listening to the 3 versions together, common sense would dictate that there is only one answer. The internet is blinded by love for the late great Man in Black. They refuse to acknowledge that Leona ‘X factor’, Lewis, could have anything to do with a song about suicide and drug abuse.

The reality of it is, from a technical point of view the NIN version is just like Leona’s. It maintains the off key 4th note in the hook, the piano paints a beautiful picture. The key factor more than anything is that the chorus resembles this image of triumphant love rising above it, in all its tragic majesty. It moves you and the crowd, it makes you feel warm and gives you hope. It is very much about this person being the only good thing about this persons life.

If we take a look at J. Cash’s version, it is more than anything a tribute to those who have stood there with him. It doesn’t build to much, all it is, is him and his voice and that piano. The piano is the backbone, maintaining that that one person, in this case his late wife June Carter Cash, is the one who kept him to his point. This is no triumphant release, he is albeit as humble about his life as he is reflective. The final note, that he as a person would not change a thing if he could go back, is the real crux of the song. The track abruptly ends, and we are left with an old mans memories.

Honestly I can’t see how you can really draw comparison between the three records in such a way. I have been rambling for a good while I think, but to be honest, I love the song, it is one of my favourite tracks of all time. Also, the video for it is one of the finest musical montages I have ever seen, and it gives me shivers every time I watch it.

OK, I’m done now.
Might not update this for a while, gotta work on a concept project that I thought of.
That said I might write another tomorrow.
Go cuddle some kittens
Peace out J

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Place Where Dreams Come True

Hey Guys,
Frank Sinatra once sang that life went in Cycles, that always there's laughter and then the tears. Life has a habit of not letting you go smooth, always hiding something else around the corner.



The song always made a lot of sense to me. I mean it is a pretty simple sentiment. Life comes and goes, we all exist in a larger scheme. Listening to it tonight, it kind of struck me. I go through cycles myself. I'm kind of in the middle of one now, and that is perfectly normal for me it would seem. As normal as eating 6 Mars bars in a row on a whim. But hey that happens I guess.

I am going somewhere with this, I promise.

After that I started to think about how we all look at things differently. I recently had one of my colleagues (I know right, I'm employable! who woulda thought it) called me bipolar to some extent. I understood what they meant by that so I disn't really take it as an insult. But what it got me thinking was this:

Why do we need to label people in such a way?

I know it was a completely innocent comment, but at the same time it was a clear observation that I acted in some way different from that person. And for that reason I was assigned a label, a title, a name, a derogative term even. It's as though as a race we can't stop ourselves from differentaiting all the different people until we are little more than bricks in a wall, numbers in a machine.



I know it may seem a bit funny that I should react so strongly to a harmless comment as such, but it really angers me in principle. As people we have a society that accepts everyone, but makes sure they are labeled and filed accordingly. We're constantly referring to people as gay, straighr, ugly, pretty, crazy, free-spirited, wasted and so many other terms, it seems to me that we spend far too long trying to file people away, and not enough time getting out what they have to say.

The other thing I wanna talk about is a pretty major story I guess. I'm sure you've all heard about the death of Gary Speed on Sunday.
If not:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/15910648.stm

Now I don't really wanna add too much to what has already been said, other than his loss is a tragedy to football and his family, and my thoughts are with them at this time. The point I wanna make is to do with how no-one knew what was going on with him.

Obviously we don't and may never know the exact reason that Gary Speed took his own life. It's also clear that no one expected or knew anything about it. This asks the question, how does a person hide so well?

In our society, that we habitually, pigeon hole and number people, we still can't identify those vulnerable to themselves. I find that quite shocking. I find it a disgrace in fact, that we as humans, find it easy to criticize and make fun of difference. Yet we struggle to acknowledge those who are different, those who need help and those in need of a label to help them cope.

The point I'm trying to get at is that we all spend so much time interacting with each other, judging each other, labeling each other. In this period, where we have an all time high of suicides, especially in the young male demographic, can't we as a race start to look out for each other?

What we lost in Gary Speed, I can only attribute to one factor. That no one noticed. And that is the real tragedy, that we as people have forgotten to notice each others existence anymore.

Why have we let it get that way?
Peace out