All posts by Leon

Spending – A Brief Reflection

English SAC: Context:

Topic: That illusions are always ultimately detrimental, even potentially destructive.

The Age – Opinion Article: Spending – A Brief Reflection

Few people would disagree that today’s world is driven by money, and that everything is measured by its dollar worth. Everything from a country’s living standards, to the value of an entire industry or group of people has been quantified. Fifty years ago, a debate raged around the world about whether this system of values based around hard economics was a good idea. People questioned the value that the white picket fence actually had. In today’s world, they don’t, and we’re all much the worse for it.

The great tradition of absurdist theatre is to look at the world around itself, and the illusions that world perpetuates, and tear them apart. Great absurdist playwrights like Arthur Miller and Edward Albee took this notion a step further, and gave the reality a human face, generally a controversial one which shocked audiences in the 50’s. They gave people a wake-up call, and they weren’t afraid of the often ignored elephant in the room. In the modern world, people are often told about abstract ideas like unemployment rates, and economic growth by governmental leaders. But what do those things really mean?

Perhaps, in the same way as Miller and Albee have done, we should put a human face onto the cost of growth.

Fifty years ago, the average family consisted of a successful father, an unemployed housewife, two-point-two children, a dog and a nice house in the suburbs. That family was often financially secure, and yet, people bemoaned the nature of that financial security. In today’s world, that family would be almost impossible. Today, the average mother and father share two or even three jobs, just to pay for their bills, and their mortgage, and their children’s education. Even then, they need assistance. What’s gone wrong between then and now?

Willy Loman, the tragic lead of Miller’s timeless classic Death of a Salesman, is exactly like the modern family today. Willy has been left behind by society, despite his hard work, and is driven to borrowing money from his neighbour and lying to his family about his job. Perhaps, as his wife Linda explains, attention must be paid to this man, and others like him, who have been abandoned by society. For all that this is repeated, however, how often is it followed? The rich-poor divide is increasing, and life is getting ever harder for the battler. The illusion of today’s quantified world would have everyone believe that the solution is money, that the solution is always money.

This is not so. Miller’s great friend, Edward Albee, in his play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, portrays four characters, all affluent, and all wronged by society’s unquenchable desire for success in everything. George, one of the play’s four characters, is an intelligent man, an intellectual historian at a university, who has been rendered an insecure failure by society’s, and his wife’s, desire for him to succeed even more than he already has. So both the affluent man, and the poor man have been grossly wronged by the society that uses money to objectify value.

The only option left for us to consider is that, just maybe, the social measure which we use is flawed; that money is not the answer to all our problems, and the infinite generation of money in ever-increasing quantities in the future won’t solve all our problems.

In an early 21st century revival of Death of a Salesman, the director of the play sent the script to several different modern day psychiatrists. Almost without fail, the psychiatrists advised the director that Willy Loman was a man suffering from some form of depression, and that this illness is what is causing Willy’s suicidal tendencies. When asked about this by The New York Times, Arthur Miller seriously objected. He explained that Willy wasn’t a depressive, but rather, a man weighed downby society, and various societal issues. Willy is seized by the mechanics of business early on, and not knowing any better, he leaps at the chance to make money, making this a necessity in his life. In his later years, as Miller depicts in the play, Willy is a shell of his former self, exhibiting a totally disheartened nature. He is character that has been taken up by life, sold the illusion that money is only ultimate goal in life, and when he is old and worthless to the “business”, he is thrown out, without any kind of help from anybody, but his neighbour. Granted, in the modern world, things like pensions are far more prevalent, but in the majority of society, pensions are worthless. The giant cog of business turns and turns, and sucks people in, people like Willy Loman, uses them, and throws them out as spiritually destroyed husks.

This social flaw is perhaps best exemplified in Albee’s Virginia Woolf. The characters are far more affluent than the Loman family, and far more successful. However, even the typical university family displayed by Albee has deep scars. The play’s two male characters are polar opposites. Nick is a young, up and coming, star, who specialises in biology, and represents the advent of the scientific age. He is like the psychiatrists diagnosed Willy Loman as a depressive, enamoured with the belief that science, and money, and other artificial sources are best locations to look for a solution to social issues.

Countenancing Nick is George, an older, unsuccessful, washed up man who represents the dying social ideas, debates and values of the past. George is the man who responds like Miller, arguing that the only way to solve social issues is through social systems, not drugs like Prozac, or the billions of dollars it took to develop it. Today’s world, today’s reality even, objectifies human lives and concerns so much so that everything from education to a lack of socio-economic fluidity can be solved with money and money alone.

Society is suffering the same delusion that destroyed Willy Loman’s life, and would likely have destroyed Nick’s life, were Albee to show it to us.

Perhaps the solution society should embrace is to abandon this illusion, and return to the truth, that social change is the only way to improve society, not money, before our society ends up like Willy Loman and George: spiritually destroyed, deeply disheartened husks living constantly miserable lives, bar a few redeeming moments.

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Capitalism vs. Human Kindness

Just before we begin, for those of you who are reading this outside of Australia (if you exist), Gina Rinehart is Australia’s wealthiest woman and person (valued at almost 100 billion dollars, I believe) and she is a mining tycoon. In response to a tax proposal from the Australian Government, Gina Rinehart began an ad campaign and is attempting to buy newspaper agencies out in order to get to the end goal of aborting the tax. The tax works under the principle that all mineral wealth that is dug from Australian land should have a tax on it, something twenty or thirty percent of all profits. The idea is that the destructive mining of Australian land should benefit the Australian people more.

If you have any kind of rationalised reason for why the idea behind this policy is wrong, please let me know via e-mail if you still have it when I’m done (twitchyraven@gmail.com).

The case has been repeatedly made (mostly by big-business) that we live in a capitalist society, and one of the core tenets of a capitalist economic structure is: if you have the means to achieve/pursue success, you also have the right to achieve/pursue that success. Of course, this tenet is affected by law, like any other action. So if you have the means to shoot somebody and take all their money, which could be construed as pursuing success, you shouldn’t, because it’s still illegal.

Now, for a number of reasons, I have an ideological difference of opinion with this concept. I personally am a fan of a philosopher called John Rawls, whose political philosophy I encourage you all to look up or even wikipedia. Aside from that, I also believe, as the title suggests, that this form of capitalism and advancement and propping up of success goes against human kindness, which is something we should all strive for.

In this capitalist society, it has come about that Gina Rinehart has become very rich by exploiting the land that we live on. When something challenged that wealth, she scrambles and spends large amounts of money to defend it. Human kindness, as a rule, would dictate that if she could instead spend that money to help other people considerably poorer than she, such as the disabled or mentally challenged, she should, because it would be kind to do.

She would likely respond by saying, as most capitalists do, that: people are poor mostly by their own lack of effort. I contradict that, always, saying that capitalism provides the opportunity to become rich, but not to the disabled or the mentally challenged, almost by definition. If you are incapable of pursuing success for whatever reason, capitalism and you are going to have problems, because as the rich get richer and bathe in money and buy expensive cars and houses, you are going to have trouble putting food on the table.

Luckily for you, the government exists. The government provides some level of base equality care to people who need it, say, the disabled. They get the money to do this from tax.

Naturally, when the government introduces a perfectly logical tax, the rich that it affects automatically scramble to try and stop it and keep their wealth. The concept of capitalism has become so entrenched in the Western World, that these rich people have forgotten the reason we have taxes and government: to help the unable, to do a human kindness. Now, the populace gets angry at the mention of a tax that won’t give them an instant benefit, or do others a human kindness. That, however, is the problem of instant satisfaction in today’s society, and not the point of this.

Author’s Note:

Again, this was previously on tumblr, which is being abandoned. Enjoy. Criticism encouraged.

The point of that whole little diatribe was to point out that people who attempt to combat a tax that will undoubtedly help others just because they want to stay rich, are in fact the evil bastards of the world.

I’ll reference something else now. In Australia, currently, we have a government health system called Medicare that works reasonably well, and covers everybody for not that many things, the latter part being it’s major flaw. So, as in, for example, America, people like their private health care funds. In Australia, at the moment, there exists also a rebate for private health care subscribers. This comes from the government, and everybody, not just those on private health care, even the poor who rely on Medicare, have to pay a tax to fund the rebate.

Recently, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has proposed to change the rebate, so that anybody or any family who earns a collective total of more than $250,000 a year should be unable to make use of rebate. They argue that this should be means tested.

There has been staunch opposition by rich people who actually earn that much. Think about this, though. They can easily afford it, they’ll just have to fly around the world a little less each year, but they still oppose it. What they are effectively saying is that people who earn 60 grand a year, which is not much in Australia, should pay a tax so that they, the rich who earn more than 250 (at least four times the poor people in this example) grand a year, get a discount for something they can easily afford anyway.

I ask you. Is that human kindness being shown, or is it the selfish greed that drives the capitalist ideology?

Author’s Note:

This was previously on my tumblr and is being re-posted here because I am abandoning my tumblr account. Enjoy.

A friend of mine recently remarked to me that he didn’t want to be a journalist any longer because he believed journalism was dying. I think he meant that real investigative journalism was being butchered by the twenty-four hour news cycle.

I happen to completely agree. In my opinion, and granted, I haven’t been following politics or journalism for a very long time, Kerry O’Brien, former host of 7:30 on ABC, was the best interviewer in Australia. He actually asked interesting questions and the reactions of the people he interviewed told you things even if they didn’t answer themselves.

I can no longer find that. All I hear about these days is how Tony Abbot said that x policy was bad and reckless and would destroy Australian’s financial lives, or how Julia Gillard lied about the carbon tax, or how Craig Thompson is facing charges. Basically, all we hear these days are constantly reported, completely annoying sound bites that every news channel hooks on to and we can no longer see investigative journalism.

An example. Let’s use Tony Abbot, because, deep down, we all have a desire to make an example of him in some stupid way. Tony Abbot is shown on various news programs criticizing the government’s policies, mostly because he believes they will destroy the economy. Now, see, I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t actually care about that sound bite. What I want is for a reporter to interview Tony Abbot, and ask him to explain, in reasonable detail, how exactly the carbon tax will destroy the economy.

Another example. Journalists have long been the people who “fact check” what the politicians say. Tony Abbot and the Coalition say that most other countries in the world don’t have a carbon tax. Right. Anybody want to know the facts? That’s bullshit. Sure, the undeveloped countries in Africa don’t have a carbon tax, but they’re poor. Almost all of Europe does. In fact, when I was in Germany not three months ago, I was sitting at a dinner table and mentioned that fact that Australia doesn’t have a green energy policy. That made them all laugh. They actually thought it was a joke, at first. Funny, isn’t it?

My point with all of this is simple. The twenty-four news cycle has bread the necessity for the news agencies to say something all the time, and because they can’t constantly be interviewing politicians, they’ve decided they should interview other journalists instead of actually analyzing, in an intelligent manner, what politicians are saying.

I don’t care if Julia Gillard lied about the carbon tax. What I want the media to tell people, is what exactly is the carbon tax? What will it mean for the everyday person? What will it increase the cost of? Why is it necessary? What will it do?

I am a high school student, doing debating. The first thing they teach you at any level of debating is that policy/argument needs three levels: the idea, the analysis, and the evidence that it will/won’t work. Politicians and the news have the idea sort of there, the evidence sort of there, and absolutely no analysis.

Anybody else want to know exactly what a policy will do?

A final note about the politics of Australia. I have a friend, 30 odd years old. Here’s a conversation between me and him, that perfectly exemplifies what the Australian people seem to be widely doing. He is an Abbot supporter. I am not.

Me: “Why do you hate Julia Gillard?”

Him: “Because she’s ruining the country.”

Me: “How? How is she ruining the country?”

Him: “Ummm….”

And that right there, is the problem.

What Needs To Be Done

Author’s Note: This is my creative piece for the context of justice. Hope you like it, would appreciate some kind of response. WARNING: Has strong language and themes.

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“It is the intention of this hearing to determine the culpability of Captain Jones in the shooting and hospitalization of Major Brandt,” the Judge said. He was a military Judge, a hard-faced man with grey eyes. He sat atop his high chair, behind his bench in a skeleton-like courtroom. Jones and Brandt’s lawyers were both there, plus the appropriate courtroom personnel. It was a fairly standard court room construction for what essentially amounted to a court martial. The events about to transpire, of course, were absolutely extraordinary.

“The Defense shall give their opening statement,” the Judge said. It was customary. Jones’ lawyer stood. He was a shrewd man, grey-haired and almost fifty with the kind of glasses that always made it appear as if he was peering at you curiously.

“Good morning, your Honour, Prosecution. My name is Mr Grey,” surprise, surprise, “and it is the intention of the defense to prove one thing today. My client admits to the assault of Major Brandt.”

The Prosecution was grinning, as if his day just became a dozen and half times easier.

“However,” Grey continued, in that voice that carries rapt attention and dares interruption, “my client did so under extenuating circumstances. Namely, the defense of innocent civilians who were, at the time, incapable of defending themselves. It is our intention to prove that Major Brandt’s racism and extremist bigotry led him to raising a gun to a family’s heads. It is our intention to prove that my client saw only one way to stop Brandt from murdering five people: shooting him in a non-lethal location.”

If a pin had dropped in that courtroom right then, not only would everybody have heard, but they would have ignored it. The skeleton crew, numbering about twelve, in the room were all staring at Grey as if we’d grown thirteen new bodily appendages in just as many seconds. Their owlish blinking was rather entertaining. The bland Judge merely sat there, his mouth slightly agape. This case was about to get a lot more complicated, and more than likely, it would also garner a lot more media attention. Attention that he really didn’t need.

The Judge took a moment to recollect himself and picked up his hanging jaw. Brandt’s lawyer stood up again.

“Your Honour, the Prosecution requests a short recess. We need some time to reexamine our case,” he said.

“Granted,” he said. “We will reconvene tomorrow at ten.”

He banged his gavel and everybody filed out of the room.

It was devilishly hot. This area was a frying pan. Every soldier dreaded it. Hell lived on this little patch of earth. It was expansive, and the glare of the rocky desert with small patches of dirty grass could blind an unprepared man.

But these men were far from unprepared. These men had trained for over a year to be here. Special Forces. The best of the best, the hardest of the hardest; the most indomitable people in the world. They were also, in hindsight, probably the most insane.

They parked their Humvee, beige to match the barrens. It was a little village they were visiting, one of the many in this area. With what amounted to mud huts for homes and poppy seed fields for farms, one would be lucky to find a cow amongst these villagers. They got their money and their food mostly by providing the insurgents with drugs to sell internationally.

The thud of the troop’s boots was obvious in the air. None of them wore helmets. All of them had guns.

They walked into the village, joking.

“Do you reckon we’ll see some action today, Dash?” Jerry Malone asked. Jerry was the joker of the group. Brandt, the lunatic captain. Jones, the calm second. Malone, the comic relief. And Sharp, the witty retort.

“Maybe. These guys aren’t gonna shoot at us though,” Dash Sharp replied, nodding at some villagers who were going into their houses.

“Look at the shits. None of them want to stand with us,” Brandt said, pointing with his gun. Jones’ head snapped around so fast, you could blink and miss it.

“’Cos when we leave, the guys with guns will come in here and shoot their wives and take their damn cow if they’re seen with us,” he replied. Jones was the calm one. The rational one.

But sometimes, it was hard as hell to stay calm when your commanding officer was being a dick.

“Plus none of them have your titanium balls, Brandt,” Jerry sniped in. They all laughed at that one.

“Alright, would the Prosecution like to call its first witness?” the Judge asked.

Brandt’s lawyer stood. He was wearing almost exactly the clothes as the previous day. Jones hadn’t bothered with his name before, but now he knew. His name was Mr Hart.

“Yes, your Honour. The Prosecution calls Captain Dashiell Sharp to the stand,” Hart said.

Dashiell Sharp was witty by nature. He was witty at training, witty in the field. But when you put some fancy military dress on the man, he was immaculate.

“Do you swear?” asked the Judge. Dashiell placed his right hand on the book of God by him.

“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” he swore. Mr Hart stood up.

“Would you recount the events that took place on the fourth of June this year for the court?” Hart asked.

This time the courtroom was almost full. This wasn’t trial by jury, as was military custom, but the press would still dig their claws into the back of this case. A soldier shoots another soldier to prevent racism? The scenario begged to be sensationalized.

“We were sweeping through the town, looking for weapons caches, when we came across a man and his family standing outside the front of their house…” Dashiell began.

——————————————-

“Are you sure they meant this village? These people are all freakin’ farmers,” Malone asked. Brandt turned to him.

“The thing about this damn place is that any one of those damn farmers could pull a gun out of their thirty-two and a half layers and shoot your eyeball out the back of your skull,” Brandt shot back. “And of course I’m effing sure they meant this village.”

Malone, suitably chastised, muttered a, “Fine, fine,” and stepped back into line with Sharp. Sharp and Malone made up the back line, and Brandt and Jones took the front end of the unit. They rounded a corner, into a little dead-end road. At the far end of the road (or rather, dirt path) was a man, standing a few meters in front of his family, all of whom were outside what was probably their house.

“Who the fuck are they?” muttered Brandt. Dashiell could barely make out the under-the-breath remark.

“Locals,” Jones replied.

“I know that, but why are they outside? All the others are pissing themselves inside,” Brandt said. Jones shot him a look, and Dashiell looked over at his friend. Even Malone, the guy who always laughed, was frowning at their leader’s behavior. “Let’s go find out.”

Before anybody could stop him, he was approaching the man.

“So you’re man enough to stand out here and look at us, huh?” Brandt said in Arabic. They all spoke the language; one of the reasons they made a valuable SpecOps team.

“Yes. You come into our town and sack and disturb and do nothing for us,” said the man. His wife sheltered her children behind her.

“What the fuck do you mean, we don’t do anything for you? We’re trying to free you from people who want to fucking kill you,” Brandt spat.

——————————————-

“Why didn’t one of you try to stop Major Brandt at this point?” Mr Hart asked Malone. Malone shot him a withering glare.

“Because we didn’t think it would go as far as it did. If I knew now what would have happened, I’d have knocked Major Brandt out and tied him to a post,” Malone replied.

“Continue,” Hart commanded.

——————————————-

“Your freedom and our freedom are not the same,” said the woman. The man nodded. Brandt looked like he would blow a fuse.

“You think we’re the same as the Taliban?” Brandt shouted. “Well, I’ll show you the fucking difference.”

Brandt pulled his assault rifle up, aimed at the family. “If I was the Taliban, I’d fucking shoot you!”

“The Taliban only shoot those who don’t do what they want,” replied the man. “We don’t want you in our house, so you cannot search it or destroy what is inside. Are you going to shoot us?”

Brandt unclicked the safety.

——————————————-

“What was going through your mind when your superior was threatening this family? Did you think they deserved it?” Mr Hart asked. Jones frowned at him.

“No, I didn’t think they deserved it. I was thinking that there are better ways to make the villagers believe we aren’t the Taliban, to make them see that they aren’t trading one dictator for another,” Jones said.

“More peaceful ways?” Mr Hart. The disdain in his voice was evident, and yet, totally unchallenged by the entire room, now full to the brim with reporters, family, and military personnel.

“Better ways,” Jones insisted.

——————————————-

If Sharp and Malone were lost and confused when Brandt pulled his gun up, they were even more impotent when Jones raised his, unclicking the safety professionally.

“You don’t know what you’re doing,” Brandt said, not lowering his gun, or altering his aim.

“Yes, I do. I’m trying to save a man’s life,” Jones snapped back. “Put the gun down, Major.”

“You’ll be court marshaled for this, Captain,” Brandt growled.

The slightest hair fell through the sky, and like a breath, it happened. The almost imperceptible twitch of Brandt’s index finger wasn’t missed by Jones. The sound of a single gunshot cracked through the open plain, echoing against the mountainous walls of the valley.

Brandt was one the ground, clutching his leg and screaming, trying to get at his gun. Jones kicked it away and stood over him, his rifle pointed at Brandt’s chest.

——————————————-

“My ruling is as follows: Sergeant Dashiell Sharp is cleared of any involvement in the events of June 4,” bang of the gavel, “Sergeant Jerry Malone is cleared of any involvement in the events of June 4,” another bang, “Captain Michael Jones is determined to be culpable in the events of June 4 and so is dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces,” said the Judge, with another bang. It was supposed to be the final one. Cameras clicked. “And finally, Major Mark Brandt is suspended from duty, pending an inquiry into his actions during the events on June 4.”

The cameras went into a furor, and the entire room was drowned in white lights and shouts for comments.

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INQUIRY INTO THE ACTIONS OF MAJOR MARK BRANDT: JUNE 4TH/2012

Subject of Inquiry: Major Mark Brandt
Purpose of Inquiry: To determine culpability and if necessary, punishment.

Events in Question: Attempted shooting of innocent civilians in the theatre of war, possibly because of extremist racist tendencies.

Result of Inquiry: Major Mark Brandt is found to have been acting with mission parameters and violated no orders, standing or otherwise active.

Comments: Major Brandt was doing what he needed to do.

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fin

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 Leon O.

The Dark Knight Rises – A Grand Finale

Entirely contrary to Austin, I absolutely loved this movie, both from a media/film perspective, and more importantly, from a story perspective. I will try to avoid giving any kind of spoilers besides character’s names.

 

Firstly, in response to Austin’s criticism, the opening plane sequence is perfectly explained to the person who pays attention to the film. There was one civilian on that plane, a Dr Pavel, I believe, and he is later instrumental to Bane’s plans. Secondly, how do you mention the Joker when the actor is dead? I think it’s perfectly fair of Christopher Nolan to put the Joker in the past. And finally, the themes, such as anarchy, aren’t spelled out to the viewer because, like all great stories, it assumes some level of intelligence in the audience.

Without getting into a play by play of what happens in the film, here are my thoughts. The film has stunning sights, extraordinary character depth, and a grand finale the likes of which I haven’t seen in many a while. Sufficed to say, it makes the nightmarish 19-Years-Later seem exactly as garish as it read, and does exactly what that literary scene monumentally failed to do.

Bane is portrayed exactly as he should be: an agent of freedom. Of course, this isn’t the kind of freedom we’d normally talk about, because what Bane views as oppression is what we view as something of great importance.

We see a totally new side to Bruce Wayne. In the past two movies, he’s been the untouchable Dark Knight of Gotham, but, possibly because of several brilliantly written revelations, we see him not as the legend he tries to become, but as the man, the human being, that he is.

And of Catwoman, most definitely my favourite character in the film, few things can be said. Superb acting from Anne Hathaway and brilliant writing by Christopher Nolan make her a character at war with herself, a person on the cusp of the one defining moment that all characters of brilliant literature have. That one choice, that can alter everything. And while her answer might be predictable to lover of great characters like myself, it is nonetheless greatly enjoyable to watch her develop as a character. So, yes, I loved Catwoman in the film. Definitely my favourite character.

From a film perspective, the movie has such beautiful sequences that they are difficult to capture with words, and the ever amazing musical accompaniment, courtesy of the superb Hans Zimmer, make this film a true visionary masterpiece of cinema. The film blends a dramatic finale with an action epic, and unlike any other film I’ve seen in the last decade, is flawless in its execution.

This third and final film in what is likely to be known as Nolan’s Batman Trilogy for years to come is no less epic than any other superb cinematic trilogy, no less brilliant than either of the Star Wars trilogies, or Lord of the Rings, or The Matrix. In fact, this trilogy deserves to sit atop that great pedestal of trilogies.

And because this is Competition Writing, not Competition Film Club, I’d like to say, quite honestly, that if this movie was made as a book, I’d review it with as glowing praise as the film. A story is merely the first dimension of conveying something. The second is undoubtedly film. And like all dimensions, they cannot exist beautifully if they are not in concert, and of equal brilliance. So it should be sufficient to say that I thought this film was absolutely beautiful.

As for a rating, well, if I’m to be constrained by the concept of stars as a system, I’ll at least use the power of metaphor to convey what I think this movie deserves. Next time you’re outside at night, look up at the sky. And if you can see more than five stars wherever you are, something like the amount you can see is what I’m giving this film.

 

Timekeeper

I am two thousand six hundred and forty one years old. I have walked this world, and others, for a seeming eternity. There are beings older than I, of course, but they have long since abandoned the passage of time and left to sit in crystal encasement, unconcerned with the reality around them, seeing only their memories, a civilisation long.

In my long years and memories and realities, there has been only one constant truth, one inescapable fact, one thing that always comes to pass, irrelevant of circumstance and person. This one universal truth, is that everything must eventually end. Even my time will end. The suns will die, the vast expanse of space, filled with little glimmers of light shall become cold and dark.

People will die. Civilisations will fall. Happiness will end.

No one can run from the all pervasive reach of time, its whittling power or its devastating blows. Mountains will fall to dust, kings shall be toppled and seas will dry and become deserts.

I have stood and watched, the ever impartial scribe, to the only true power in existence. Some believe in gods, some in God, some in fate and others yet believe in nothing. Some believe in death, others believe death is insignificant. But nobody can escape Time. Every god in existence has faded because people no longer believe, and this is the power of Time. So vast it is, that even the greatest of changes in the present is the most insignificant of events in the greater scope.

You, dear friend, shall experience the power of time. As it passes you, your friends will grow old, your lover die. Your bones will grow brittle, and to death’s gate you shall come. Invariably. Inescapably. Your happiness shall end, your challenges shall end, your peace shall pass. Your culture shall adapt.

That is what I have seen, and it is what I shall see. For time is repetitive. What has happened before shall happen again. Mistakes are made over and over, and nobody can ever prevent that from happening.

I once thought that time does not ever really pass, but that the characters may change and the setting too, but the actions are always the same. Some may view this as true, but I no longer do. I look at the world, and once where I saw the unescapable, unseeable Time, now I see people, and actions, and leaders and heroes. Where once I saw the determined, now I see the spontaneous. Where once I saw the repetitive, now I see change. I am avoiding the grander pattern, and looking at the minute an the hour. It may appear to be change to me,min this moment, but when I look at every moment in my long life, I see that change is not new to a time. The specifics of the change, perhaps, but the essence of change is like Time itself: constant. It is intuitive in our hearts to see other hearts, and to avoid the brutal scope of reality. And it is this amazing feat within us all that allows us to humanise that brutal scope, and to affect it and to change it for the better. And for the worse.

Evil does not exist in the realm of Time’s domain. Evil exists from us, it is of us, and it is only the power of affective thought that allows to commit evils. In times scope, there is only being. Things are, or they aren’t. They come to pass or they do not. There is no determinism, simply luck and choice. Time doesn’t command evil, nor does it influence it to cause a certain series of events. That lies within the blessing and the curse of choice. For while we may choose to improve our reality, to make it better for us, we may also choose to annihilate.

That is the beauty of time, and the horror of people that I have borne witness to. We are not the measure of time, we do not control it, we cannot defeat it. Time is our judge, jury and executioner. As it passes us, we shall be either good or evil, and only we shall know, for only we understand good and evil. Time does not understand respect and courtesy, just as it doesn’t understand our brutality and our terror.

And this, my dear friend, the reader of my ramblings, the person in the future, whose name I shall never know, brings us nicely to my original point, and my final point.

Time is life. It is birth and it is death, and it is the complications in between. It is also before our birth and after our death, but those are stories for different lives.

Author’s Note

This is the story I entered I to Time To Write. I know it seems very narrated, and that is kinda what I was going for when I wrote it. Anyone have any comments?

Cheers for reading,
Leon

My Name Is Love

Author’s Note: 

This story is the product of writers’ block. When I can’t write something, I take something in my surroundings and write about it, just to get the words flowing. At the time, I was listening to a song called Heart of the World by Lady Antebellum, which is a beautiful song and which prompted this. Fair warning, this is very whimsical.

Leon

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Hello. My name is Love.

I come in many shapes, and just as many forms. Nothing links them, and nobody can explain them. I am Love, and I am many things: feelings, memories, sounds, sights.

When just the right kind of music is played, and just the right nerve is struck, you feel me. It starts in your belly, warmth, that you can’t ever feel anywhere else but when you meet me. It spreads, slowly, gives you tingles in your arms. It sits in you until you let it go, until, like all things, it fades away. You can feel this warmth even when you hear the saddest of songs, you can feel this warmth when you just want to get up and dance. And you aren’t the only one. Maybe for different music, sure, but everyone feels it. In their heart, in their soul. I touch you where no other feeling can reach you.

I am the kindness you see in the world. I am the man who saves lives, the soul who prevents suicides, the child whose innocents pierces reality. I am the kind man who helps the homeless and the sad man who feeds the pigeons. I am the man who sits alone on a bench and stares across the lake, just the same as I am the woman who sits beside him and makes him smile. I am the person who see once on the train and don’t forget until three weeks have passed. I am the brave man who stands up to terror to save one man or a thousand, and I am the judge and the lawyer who face injustice. I am the policeman who walks the streets and saves lives and livelihoods, and I am the detective who fits for the truth and brings evil to the eternal scale to be judged.

I am what you feel when you stare into your lover’s eyes, and trail a finger across their arm, and flight a hand across their stomach, and rub circles into the small of their back. And I am all those things when they are done to you. I am the peace after the passion, and the warmth by the fire. I am the morning ember in your heart when you wake beside the person you love. I am the hug you have with family seen often or not. I am the party when everyone comes together to celebrate the grandmother’s birthday. I am the kiss before the dawn and the kiss after the sunset, I am the person who cares about your day, and the person who holds your hand when pain is all you feel. I am the spirit who touches you when your heart is broken, and I am the spirit who tells you to pick up the pieces and move on; just as surely I am the person you meet who helps you.

I am every colour. I am the rage and passion of red, the calm and piercing eye of blue, the raw of green and brown, the light of the yellow sun, the good of the revealing white, and the bad of the destroying black. I am every colour on you rainbow, just as I am the rainbow itself and every eye that beholds it. I am the beauty under the clouds, when the sun is covered.

I am the kiss in the rain, the hug in the storm. I am the person who holds you when you fear the thunder stroke. I am the person who holds your hand under a summer’s sun, and I am the person who gives you their coat under winter’s white clouds. I am the person who walks away, and I am the person who runs after you when you leave. I am the beggar on their knees, pleading with you to stay. I am the person that lets you cry on their shirt, and I am the person who picks up the pieces of your broken heart. I am the person that stands there and faces the end with you, and I am the thing you least want to let go of. I am the adventure you run away on, and return home as well. I am the lie you are told, and the forgiveness you give.

I am beauty and I a sorrow. I am kindness and I am reality. I am what you feel and who you are. I am who you love, and who you forget. I am the breaker and the healer, and the lover and the leader and the inspirer. I am the untouchable feeling and the undeniable truth. I am the raw spirit of your soul, the calm peace of your mind, and the overpowering feeling of your heart. I am the strongest man’s weakness, and the weakest man’s strength.

I am what you would die for.

I am Love. I am entirely indescribable, and yet you know when you feel me, who you meet me, when you step into my shoes. I am the universal truth that nobody can explain, and the most beautiful feeling in the world. I am every emotion, and no emotion. I am you and you are me, and I wish you to feel me as often as can be.