Friday, 15 April 2011

Vow of Silence Follow-Up

Okay, so I said no blogging... but, I think that it is more important to share my experience than refrain from blogging just for the sake of saying I didn't communicate all day.

So did I keep my vow? In grade nine I attempted the Vow of Silence and I lost my phone while walking, so I had to "pause" the vow in order to find my phone. No, I wasn't using my phone, but I had it on me in case of emergency and it fell out of my pocket. Another Vow of Silence came at the beginning of grade ten, only it was for Free the Children. I showed everyone a sheet of paper explaining what I was doing, and showing a few facts about child poverty throughout the world. Many people tried to get me to talk. I didn't appreciate it. I added to the slip of paper: "By trying to make me talk and break my vow you are not supporting the cause and are just being annoying." Despite my efforts, I ended up saying "hi" to a stranger on the street and saying "thanks" when my teacher handed me back my summative. I felt disappointed with myself and so I accidentally said a whole sentence to my parents. I also was writing many things down so as to be understood (which completely defeats the purpose of the vow). So I messed up, but I still think that it was better for me to go on with the vow for as long as I could rather than forget the whole thing like half the people who start the vow but give up by first period.

This time, however, I managed to stay silent the whole day, except for one word: "ya". But I don't think I'm going to count it because it was barely audible. I had just finished reading a beautiful story when my friend asked me, "Isn't that a sweet story?". I decided to forget about it and continue for the day, so I really hope everything goes well for the rest of the night.

One thing bothered me though today. I constantly heard people making fun of gay people. It bothers me that I became so used to hearing these comments that it took a day like today to pick them out from the rest. I bet some people hear homophobic comments on a regular basis, but I didn't think I usually did. There are different ways of degrading gays. I used to define it in my head as insulting a gay person based on their sexuality. But today I realized that it's not just insulting gay people; it's calling a straight person gay; it's saying "that's so gay". Many people don't realize how these other comments are hurtful. Calling someone gay if they have not told you that they are gay is like calling a First Nations person an Indian. What's so wrong with calling them an Indian? What's wrong with calling a straight person gay? The person might not necessarily think being gay or being an Indian a bad thing. The difference is that it has a negative connotation by definition and that they are not what you are calling them. Also, saying "that's so gay" is said when something is wrong or stupid or annoying, which insults any gay person by associating being gay with being wrong, stupid, or annoying. Why can't we come up with something more intelligent to say than "that's so gay"? Why not say "that's so wrong/stupid/annoying"?

My English teacher had an interesting idea. She thought that everyone should go around today shouting about gay rights and accusing those who bully gay people and make mean comments. I think that this might sometimes be effective, but not necessarily. For one thing, I doubt if many other teachers would appreciate yelling and vicious arguments in the middle of class. I think that the Vow of Silence is like peaceful protesting. People (especially those who like to talk a lot, like me) will get noticed if they don't breathe a word for a whole day. Eventually enough people will notice, and discrimination will begin to cease.

Despite my criticism, my school at the very least has come a long way. There are several openly gay and lesbian people, which means that at least some people are not afraid to be themselves. Kudos to them!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Vow of Silence

Tomorrow, April 15th 2011, I will take the vow of silence to support gay rights. This means I will attempt not to communicate (except by writing to teachers) in any way–no talking, no texting, no writing, no emailing, no blogging! and only absolutely necessary gestures or writing or sign language (because I know a few signs).

The vow of silence is meant to symbolize how homosexuals and bisexuals feel afraid to open themselves up because they do not feel accepted by the world so they stay silent. I look forward to a future time when one is not defined by their sexuality. Sexuality is something one does not have control over. Some say that people choose to be straight or gay. If this were true, why would someone want to openly announce their difference to the world only to be prejudged, mistreated, and not accepted? A person can, however, choose to accept their own sexuality for what it is and share it with the world or they can choose to live someone else's life by shutting their true feelings inside. I want to see the day when no one feels ashamed of their sexuality.

I never understood what the big fuss is all about. What does it matter to you if someone you know is gay? They are normal human beings who just happen to like human beings of the same gender. There's nothing so wrong with that – hey, it's even good for the planet if more people are gay. That means that they are less likely to have children, therefore reducing the population. Or they might adopt children in need of a home which helps poorer families.

Animals and prehistoric humans have even been gay. The belief that homosexuality goes against nature is partly untrue. It makes sense that our paleolithic ancestors would need to be heterogeneous in order to reproduce and carry on the species. But making sure humans don't die out is the farthest thing from our advanced modern minds. In the same way humans adapt to nature, nature adapts to humans. If our population starts becoming too overwhelming for the planet, nature will attempt to fix the problem. In the same way cancer has become a major problem in the last few decades causing many deaths, homosexuality is another factor thought-up by nature to decrease the population. So in our generation, homosexuality is part of nature's plan.

It's kind of late to start the vow now, but I encourage everyone to speak up for gay rights, whether or not you take the vow of silence, though, is your choice.

Monday, 11 April 2011


So let's get one thing straight: what's "Dodecahedron World" all about? What is a dodecahedron anyway? Take a look at the picture! It's one of the five Platonic solids, whose unique properties were discovered by Plato (hence the name). I am currently writing a fictional story involving the Platonic solids. The story takes place in Old Kingdom Ancient Egypt, not in Plato's time, however. I am absolutely fascinated by Ancient Egyptians and their way of life. I wish there were some way of researching Ancient Egyptian way of life without getting bombarded by 1000 page hardcovers with endless historical data that I don't need to know! I don't want to know which year queen Hatshepsut claimed the throne, I want to know if the pharaoh was called "Pharaoh" by even his own wife, or the likelihood of Egyptians having blond hair. So far I've looked at a few children's non-fiction books, which surprisingly seem to provide a decent introduction to the subject. But I'd love to find a more efficient researching method soon so I can continue writing!

So all that is to be one topic for this blog. I am also very interested in learning as much as I can about the food we eat and how it relates to our over-all health. When I was 15, I had decided to become a vegetarian (not vegan) for a number of reasons: I thought that vegetarians led a healthier-than-normal lifestyle, I wanted to consume less energy (as it takes two or three times less energy to support a vegetarian) and I was in protest against inhumane treatment toward animals. I also think it's going against mother nature to pump livestock full of various chemicals and hormones and then ingest them. Well, I was vegetarian for six months. When I tell people this they say, "Oh, did you miss meat? I would– I couldn't give up my meat."

The truth is that I realized that it was not possible to live a "normal" (and I say "normal" as in "healthy") life by excluding animal products which hurt animals from my diet. The problem was not that it is cruel to kill animals to eat. It was not that each individual person was consuming more energy than was good for the planet. I realized the real problem: Humans are constantly rebelling from nature, "fixing" it to suit our needs and wants. We've expanded our population to well past what is considered sustainable, and then we try and fix all the problems which occur as a result. I had realized that becoming vegetarian wasn't going to fix anything–or rather that I shouldn't try to artificially achieve a healthy diet, but that I should go with what we humans are naturally meant to do. Soon I will explain in more detail what my opinion of the most natural way to go is.

These are my major concerns in life at present. More will surely evolve soon. I expect to post every chance I get and whenever I think of something significant to say on this blog. Hopefully this means more than once a week. Who knows, though–it could end up being every day.