How can I sleep? (Tumblr Picks)

There’s nothing more satisfying than filling up your Tumblr page. It’s the internet equivalent of being an artistic hoarder and staring at your impossibly stuffed living room that is no longer liveable. Do you know what I mean?

As I enjoy Tumblr so much, but so few people actually follow me on the site, I’ve decided to show off my finds every so often on this blog. This idea is what you call a whim, so don’t hold your breath on me following through on my promise of regular content. I’m a lone wolf. I can’t be tamed. And so on and so forth…

How can I sleep by gothvoid

How can I sleep by GothVoid

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Obscene Interiors by Von Brandis

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Huichol woman (1977) by National Geographic

A painted prayer blooms on the cheeks of a Huichol woman, who uses lipstick to form a background for flower petals, symbols of fertility. Emblems of a sacred bird march across her headdress. In the solitude of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico’s Huichols still heed a pantheon of deities who rule their hearts- while the government introduces modern ways to help their bodies and minds.

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Collage by Tess Johnson

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Too Big by Deep Dark Fears

Dear iPhone (a love letter)

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Dear iPhone,

I hope you don’t mind this informal address, the tagline 5c sounds so silly now that we’re… together. It’s been a long time coming, many of my friends have been suggesting we give it a go for years now. But you know, I’m stubborn (a trait you’ll learn to love), I just couldn’t see what was right in front of me.

And what is in front of me?

A slick body, cool apps, and smooth multi-tasking abilities. Oh babe, you’re such dream.

We’ve had less than 24 hours together and already I’m invested. We’re a pair now. Me eating food and you uploading it to Instagram – that is so OUR THING.

INSTAGRAM

Sure, there could be problems on the way. You have a small memory, I may have to delete some of my Spotify playlists. But bae, you are worth it. If only so we can try that new Periscope thing that everyone’s talking about. With a love like ours we can afford to experiment.

Now going into this you should know that I’ve been hurt in the past. Samsung Galaxy S3 really did a number on me. He wasn’t reliable. He was slow. He even died in public. It was mortifying. I thought I would never get excited about a phone again.

But now I’m on the road to forgetting those bad memories. Maybe I have an 8GB of memory too.

So here’s to us iPhone and the next 24 months (subject to upgrades).

xoxo

Weird Things That Make Me Happy

Today has been dubbed ‘blue Monday’ because it’s apparently the saddest day of year. Just to recap, January is also famous for other fun loving days such as ‘divorce day’ and ‘fuck it, let’s make a suicide pact day’.

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In these times of winter gloom, it helps to know what makes you happy – what really makes you happy. Sure, in a survey you might list your sources of happiness to be your friends, your job, or even… your kids *shudder*. But these are pageant answers, publically acceptable responses that make you seem like a nice normal human.

What you need on a day like this is true joy, the joy that can only be gained from the weird stuff you watch cathartically on the internet. Such as…

That Soothing French Interview

I don’t know why but I find nice voices to be the most relaxing thing on earth. Renee Zellweger has one of these voices, but sadly my favourite interview of her isn’t on Youtube (it’s an interview she does for the ‘behind the scenes’ bit on the Miss Potter DVD). However, I found the next best thing when I discovered this old interview with French New Wave star Anna Karina.

There was a point last year when I listened to this video every night before I went to bed. It was my French bedtime story. I just like the way Anna can make ruffles look cool, or say things like ‘I didn’t eat for two weeks’ like it was no big deal. Also, at the end she puts on a wig. Just because.

Dogs 101

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found out that Animal Planet have basically created a dog-lovers Nevada. The Dogs 101 series basically features a video on every.single.dog.breed. I have spend hours watching these videos and weighing up which breed is right for me (I’m not even getting a dog).

Some personal favourites of mine: the Labrador (obviously), pugs (their eyes can pop out – ew), and the weird mop dog.

Zalfie Vlogs

If I was a 13 year old girl there probably would be no shame attached to this activity, as it is I am 23 and yes… part of me is ashamed of loving Zalfie. However, there’s something that’s just so nice about watching two nice people just go about their day. They go shopping more than I can, they have a pug puppy, Zoella has a lot of time to get her make-up just right. It’s just all so nice.

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Of course, what they put on camera is probably very carefully edited but isn’t it reassuring that no matter how shitty you day, you have the guarantee that someone has been having a good day? God bless Zoella’s candle shopping.

Movie Trailers

I really enjoying being emotionally manipulated by instrumental music and choice sound bites. A good trailer is like crack for me. Here are some of my current favourites:

  • Selma
  • Tyrannosaurus (watch the actual film at your peril)
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Unbroken
  • Never Let me Go

This Guy

I don’t know how the internet survived before this guy appeared. He is our new God. The God of Swift Sass.

Real Life vs. Internet Life: Is the rivalry coming to an end?

The cardinal rule of the internet is that you will never understand it. The moment you think you have it understood, the second you feel comfortable, something will happen that will make you do a double take. Take this blog for instance. Now I am the first to admit that I have been a bit… negligent. That’s the only word that can sum up my act of leaving it desolate and abandoned for nearly, what, three months? Four? I feel like I’ve treated it like I do my house plants, and my house plants have never fared well.

But unlike my house plants, this blog hasn’t withered, which is what I mean when I say the internet is a strange place. This month, on Oct 11th my blog received nearly 6000 hits in one day – ONE DAY! Why did this happen? Where did you people appear from? Why do you all love that one post I did about Ewan Mcgregor’s penis? Jesus, get your act together internet.

Of course, stranger things have happened on the internet than just my blog getting a self-esteem boost (yes, the reason I am writing on here again is down to flattery, I’m weak like that). Take for instance http://fortydaysofdating.com/ – I know you’ve all heard about this viral sensation.

Meet Jessica and Tim from FortyDaysofDating

If you haven’t (jesus, have you lived under a rock?) then let me sum up the project for you. Two attractive friends spent fourty days forcing themselves to be in a relationship to see if real emotions, or as tumblr likes to call them, ‘feelz’, could develop. If you want to know the results of this social experiment, I highly recommend that you give their blog a read through as it is a fantastic read, but this particular blog post isn’t about the love affair between two hipsters but the idea of our lives and the internet. Or rather, our emotional lives and the internet.

I can’t help but wonder, as I look at two people write openly and honestly about love, sex and friendship, whether or not the boundary between our online lives and our virtual lives is slowly disappearing.

I will be the first to admit that my virtual persona is very much a calculated construct. When I update my Facebook, I careful present to the world a version of myself that I would consider cool – whatever that means. I post pictures of myself in bars, I show myself smiling and I only ever reveal the things I’ve succeed in. I never show myself as a failure. I don’t want people to see my emotional break downs.

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My need to present myself in a certain light is another part of my blogging absence. Around the time of my departure from ladybitsandbobs, I suffered a pretty nasty break-up. Not nasty in the sense that there was yelling, but nasty in the sense that it hit me pretty hard. For a long time it was all that I could think about, so naturally it was all I wanted to write about. But how do you write about your feelings regarding another person, when said other person can just go a quick google search and have it before their very eyes?

When I look at the fourty days of dating blog, I wonder if what those two people revealed was true to themselves. Are they telling the whole truth? Because when it comes to relationships and the fall-out of a relationship, people can discover sides to themselves that can be pretty ugly.

We all leap at the chance to show people that we’re eating in fancy places, but would need the threat of death to reveal to the world how we get ourselves through our emotional hiccups. But maybe this is changing.

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Maybe in the future facebook will be replaced by something that isn’t reliant of taking people’s lives on face-value. Could you see yourself using the new social media called FEELZbook?

‘Today Heather has watched two seasons of Sex and the City in one sitting because she is trying to convince herself that singlehood is amazing and not an indication of her failed love life.’

‘This evening Heather joined an online dating site because she is lonely.’

‘This morning Heather deleted her online dating profile because all the men scared her and made cats a very viable option.’

While these statuses would by no means gather me cool point, and are nowhere near as transferable to the likes of instagram, I wonder if this is where our internet lives are heading. And if this is what the internet of the future is made up of, what would your future profile say about you?

Let’s Talk About #TwitterSilence

In a way this post is long overdue. In the time it’s taken me to get settled into my new house, online feminism has been having a relative shit storm.  You probably know this storm by its brand name – Twitter.

Oh Twitter…. In the realm of social media, twitter has always held a special place in my heart. I love twitter. Unlike Facebook, it’s not considered a social insult to abstain from following people you know in real life. In fact, it’s almost weird to solely follow those people you went to high school with but no longer talk to. You don’t have to listen to the inane statuses that tell you about their latest new born, or how their latest gym session went. You can follow proper people, people you want to listen to like journalists, writers and certain celebrities (you know, the non-crazy ones).

Of course, you can follow the crazy ones. You can follow Stacy from down the road and read tweets from Britney Spears’ press team that tell you she’s having a ‘great time’ in whatever part of the world her tour takes her. You can do all of that, or you cannot. Twitter can be what you want it to be.

Twitter can also offer a great sense of community. You build up a small group of people that you enjoy engaging with online. You reply to each other’s tweets, you share links you think they will like and you can even engage in thought provoking discussions. It can be like a little online family.

But having discussions is very problematic online. You see the internet isn’t really made for calm, intellectual discussions. The whole anonymity of the internet brings out the worst in people. Suddenly the calm turns to rage. Suddenly people don’t think they have to listen to another person, it becomes all about their thoughts, their opinions and their feelings. Face to face you have to listen, you have to at least try to understand, otherwise you risk getting a fist put in your face or you might actually see the tears in the other persons face as you tell them to ‘shut up you dumb cunt’.

But on the internet, these visual consequences that pull on our moral fibres are hidden away. And this can be strangely liberating. I imagine the feeling is similar to that feeling you get when you take a wee in the shower, or walk around naked when your house is empty. Trolls probably reveal a lot about human nature, I bet there’s a whole field of psychological research dedicated to their existence.

However, lately this trolling behaviour has been in the headlines for reasons outside of science. Death threats, threats to rape, to gang rape, to bomb – the women of twitter have been bombarded with abuse. Caroline Criado-Perez has been the face of these twitter abuse stories. You may remember her from her victory over the Bank of England. There have also been other women involved such as Mary Beard, Helen Lewis, Grace Dent and the controversial figure of Suzanne Moore.

Before many of these women left, Caitlin Moran set about trying to tackle this mess with her campaign #TwitterSilence. The premise was simple – a boycott of twitter for one whole day.

Now I have to admit, the idea of a twitter silence had me torn. On the one hand, I like the idea of people being able to easily band together and stick it to the man. It was an easy protest to show support, just loads of people abstaining from twitter for one day. Yet on the other hand, the idea of silence being the weapon of choice against bullies seemed… well, wrong. You don’t tell victims to stay silent.

These sentiments many other people shared and Moran made it very clear that it was okay. In fact, she encouraged it. She didn’t believe hers was the one and only way of fighting the abuse. If people wanted to spend the day shouting back at the abusers – GREAT! In the end, I believe Moran just wanted to get people talking about the issue at hand and to try and inspire some camaraderie. This I liked, so when Sunday rolled around I was torn about what form of protest I should take.

However, twitter quickly made my mind up for me. Logging onto twitter on #twittersilence was like entering a warzone. From my point of view, the people who claimed to be team ‘shouting back’ weren’t actually shouting back to the trolls who had been abusing the likes of Caroline, but were focusing all their energy on attacking Caitlin Moran.

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Some of the tweets that were abusing Moran were understandable, and by that I mean they came from the kind of people who were probably in the troll camp which Moran was fighting against. Yet the ones that really angered me came from the online feminist camp. Apparently Moran wasn’t doing feminism the right way and this therefore justified a day of mocking her for her perceived feminist failures.

At this point, can I just point out that there is no definite ‘right’ way to be a feminist? There are many different camps of the feminist sphere, not all of these camps have the same ideas, but I would think support of one another wouldn’t be too hard a task. Sure, you don’t like twitter silence but it was undertaken with good intentions. Instead of spending your time denouncing it, why not come up with your own way of showing support for the cause?

In the end I tweeted #TwitterSilence and left the site because of fatigue. It was tiring to watch feminism tear itself apart and argue with people who were supposed to be allies. Was that the right reason to join twitter silence? Probably not, but I really wanted to show that sometimes we can pull together and unite under one banner. Of course, twitter silence was a massive failure, with or without my participation it would have been doomed. In the end, rather than get rid of the trolls, twitter silence just made trolls of the feminist movement. It made some people look as bad as the people everyone was against.

And even now, I wonder if my silence was the right thing. Did I join to support or to deny what I was seeing? Should I have shouted back against the trolls or the feminists? Who was in the right and who was in the wrong? Ironically, trying to answer these questions has left me speechless.