The Spirit Of Humanity – To Those Who Were Affected By 9/11

The Spirit Of Humanity

On this day, I shall remember…

My September blues cannot douse
The memory of the heat of red.
But neither can it extinguish
The incandescent fire of Man,
The Spirit Of Humanity.

On this day, I shall remember…

The crumbling concrete of our Twins
Shatters me, chokes me, destroys me.
But as concrete breaks when bones don’t,
Neither do the hearts of iron,
The Spirit Of Humanity.

On this day, I shall remember…

I am now old; my fire is
Slowly diminishing with time.
But so did the flames of that day
That were held back by our own,
The Spirit Of Humanity.

On this day, I shall remember…

The little boy outside sits on
His bike, waiting for his father.
Mother is the only one he
Has now, but is willing to push
Her son in the right direction.

In this boy, I see a strong light;
I see a blue sky, I see stars,
I see that great fiery will
Within him; I see a future,
The Spirit Of Humanity.

On this day, I shall remember…

I shall remember the people
Of the great Star-Spangled Banner.

The Shadow In Front Of Me

The Shadow In Front Of Me

This room is only big enough for one of us, Shadow
For I am the better man, while you are the nuisance, Shadow
Thinking that you can be me in everything I do, Shadow
But you are a thing easily forgotten, always left behind me, Shadow

Now you are standing right in front of me, Shadow
When you should be behind me, Shadow
But lately I’ve strayed from the light, Shadow
I’ve turned my back on the Sun, giving attention to you, Shadow

When I look at you, I see a time long ago, Shadow
I see a foolish boy, Shadow
A naïve man, Shadow
A reluctant adolescent, Shadow

Memories that now grow fonder…

You are a thing I despise, Shadow
A product of a dark heart, Shadow
But you are darkness, who cannot be without light, Shadow
As is the light of the Sun, which cannot be real without you, Shadow

And even as I say this, Shadow
You will say the same of me, Shadow
And the Sun will say the same for both of us, Shadow
For I am a thing betwixt you both, while you are a facet from another time, Shadow

Are you here to mock me, Shadow?
To show me the error of my ways, Shadow?
Or are you intrinsic, Shadow?
Do you serve a purpose to me and the Sun, Shadow?

I do know one thing though, Shadow
Without you, there is no Sun, Shadow
And without Sun, there is no ‘you’, Shadow
But without both of you, there is no ‘me’, Shadow

I know that you agree, Shadow
Because you say these things with me, Shadow
My existence spawned you, Shadow
Just as your existence spawned me, Shadow

Shadow, this room is too empty for one of us
Shadow, I am now a better man, while you are the nuisance I need
Shadow, you are me in every way in everything I do
Shadow, you are a thing I shall never forget; behind me, so I can look to light

Shadow… this is the Sun.

On Shaky Ground

On Shaky Ground

Seven billion blessed, seven billion cursed,
Entitled to a life, only to be dispersed.
Was it an existence dreams were made of? A choice?
Or picked from the wizard’s hat, an act we rejoice?

A prison made of rock, fire, water and wind,
The best kind of jail for all of those who sinned.
We were stripped of our wings, our own right to ascend,
But now we go in circles, doomed to six-foot end.

We are clowns performing our own fatal demise,
In the way tyrants conjure doctrines; petty lies.
And if feckless discoveries could kill lab rat,
Then curiosity could kill many a cat.

A world made of opposites, destined to conflict,
Like living to dreaming, like gardens to rock pits.
Are leaders to call themselves perfect? God’s servant?
Or egoists crafting the sublime that wasn’t?

Where there stands a grey forest, there was once a tree,
Which one pluck of its apple saw humans to plea.
And now as our stone fortresses conquer the man,
Welcome to the labyrinth; eternal and damned!

Seven billion blessed, seven billion cursed,
Entitled to a life, only to be dispersed.
Was it an existence dreams were made of? A choice?
Or picked from the wizard’s hat that tricksters rejoice?

Ink Spots – Short Film

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A Short film for Film Studies A-Level Coursework by:

Harrison Twinn: Actor, Director, Cinematographer, Mise-en-scene
Ollie Jones: Editor, Sound Designer

Synopsis:

Another day, another draft scrapped. This process was repeated many times over for this scriptwriter in solitude, and not even a litter bin could hold as much as what he has discarded. All his ideas, all his sparks of creativity, thrown behind him like waste. And so he writes and writes, tirelessly attempting to come up with a script for his upcoming detective film, only to repeat the cycle again.

But after starting anew countless times over, one final draft saw him to set free his imagination; to set his script into motion. The reason: the ability to bring his own thoughts to life, and all he needed to perform this impossible feat could all be done with his head, heart and typewriter. With such power, however, will he bring more than fiction into his story?

The answers are in the ink.

Time Travel = Something That Should Be Left To Fiction

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Time Travel. It’s always been something that we’ve found to be fascinating. We may have seen it in a film, we may have read it in a book with words that left you baffled yet excited. It may have even made scientists want to go through countless hours of research to try and figure it all out; maybe to even utilise it one day. But if you ask me, I think time travel, though it may seem like an awesome idea at a first glance, should be left to science-fiction stories and whatnot.

I’m a firm believer that time travel will not and will never be something that we can attain, let alone even utilise because of so many reasons – but I’ll come onto that in a moment. What I wanted to talk about is how time travel can be something that can cause more problems for us than it will benefit us.

Some people may believe that time travel can be something that can help us in life for a few reasons. The most (probably) common one is that, if we can take control of time travel, we can go back into our own timelines and undo the mistakes or bad things that have happened in our lives, be it a hugely embarrassing moment that you can’t erase from your memory or the death of a loved one. But if you think about it, those reasons for going back in time would pose a threat to our own mental wellbeing. No one wants those moments to happen, and some events in our lives that we would rather forget might even live with us forever; it would be nice to get rid of those thoughts, and if time travel were possible, anything we change in the past might even clear our minds completely of those horrible events that took place in the first place. But to erase those events would probably cause more problems than the events did… or would do… complicating stuff, huh? Anyway, what I’m trying to get at is that, to try and erase those horrible things would be to erase the acceptance that you had for those events. In other words, that embarrassing moment you had in your life or that cherished one who faced their time, were like lessons in our lives; lessons that make us stronger and help us to move on from those events. Time travel back into your past to rid yourself from those things would, in fact, wipe away that strength you had to the point when you were at your most vulnerable, making your past self, your present self, and possibly your future self into a figure that can’t progress in terms of their own mental state. It’s like going through your life without one single upset that could’ve made you come out stronger than you were before.

Another point on this matter would be that changing the course of your life in the past would turn you into a completely different person in the present, and you wouldn’t even know it whether you liked the old you or not… because there would be no ‘old you'; just the ‘you’ that existed throughout time with no faults whatsoever. Referring back to the point about strength and weakness, to make your events ‘perfect’ would most likely make you a weaker person than you were with problems in your life. Put it this way: Imagine your life being completely worry-free, where you never encountered one moment of sadness in your life – you would think that that life would suddenly turn brilliant, wouldn’t it? But what would happen when you encountered that first moment of sadness after erasing those bad memories? Because it would technically be your first time experience with that emotion, you would be completely distraught by it. Now, imagine coming across that feeling for the first time in the present time and you decided to go back in time to change THAT event. That would revert you back to more weaker state when you haven’t experienced that same feeling yet, and once you experience the feeling again, the same cycle would want to repeat itself. Then, you’d be caught in a problematic loop where you constantly go back in time to erase bad things in your life without any acceptance for those particular events.

In the case of rewriting your own past, it would be a dangerous move. But if you went to the past to change someone else’s past, or the events that caused an affect to everyone, the consequences couldn’t be any more problematic. To put it simply, the same principles would apply in the same way you would change your own past – changing someone else’s past or the past of the masses would be like rewriting history to the point when everything in the present you know could all change without you or anyone else knowing it. Sure, it might benefit the people in some way. But again, changing aspects of someone else’s past, which could’ve changed their lives for the better in the present day, would wipe that away and put them in a more unconscious sense of vulnerability in the present.

So, that would be the problems for going back to the past. But what about the future? Now, hypothetically, if time travel was invented, going into your own future might be more complicating than it would to change your past, mainly because the future you want to travel to hasn’t been written in stone yet. The trouble with sending yourself into your own future is that, unlike the past and present where you already know what has happened, you cannot tell what will happen, which could make the future a much more hazardous place than the past – you wouldn’t be rewriting your own history, but rather, you would be creating, or to put it more realistically, disturbing the events that would unfold in your future – the events that should’ve been written without you being there in the first place. Because you have no knowledge of what the future holds, you could blindly put yourself into a position where you, the meddler, could put a risk to your own fate, and even to many other fates if you so wished to see the future’s of others. There is no way you will know the effects of what you do in the future because it is the future, and like I said, it hasn’t been written yet, so anything you do there will be completely left in the dark. That is unless you go further into the future to know what happened, only to confuse the pattern even more. Also, what would happen once that future is told and becomes the present? Imagine this: You were the one who travelled to the future and wrote the events that were to come, and when that time comes, who will everyone see in the present. They will see the past version of yourself, the one who wrote themselves in time to write those fated events without any possible means of rewriting your travels to the future – because once you travel to the future (or even the past for that matter), that event is written and locked in time; any attempt to undo that event by time travelling would be meaningless since you’ve just written THAT particular time travel event into the timeline, even if you undid the last time travel excursion. Anything you do to the timeline that disturbs it will literally change everything; even the most minor change of events have the power to do that – that is what I think anyway.

Now, I may have said that the future may be a more dangerous place to travel to than the past, and it might be if we were given the chance to go to either one of those things. But if we go back to talking about the past, there is one thing that might be the most dangerous aspect out of the whole concept of time travel. This is just a home-brewed theory though, so this might not be something to agree on.

Think about going back to the past, to whatever time you wanted whether it would be a recent time or a time long ago. Now imagine changing the events that would’ve determined your present. I’ve already said that many people would utilise time travel to go back in time to undo horrible things in their own pasts or anyone else’s pasts, and this is the thing that makes things a lot more complicated. But imagine changing ONE of those events and you were successful in doing so. Then you came back to your present time. Here is the tricky part: what would’ve happened to the event of you travelling back in time in the first place? Well, quite simply, the event you changed might have had the power to erase that event of you going back in time completely. So, if we were to think more deeply about this concept and disregard what I said earlier on in this post, how could you have changed the event in the past if there was no event of travelling back into the past to begin with? There is one word for that: Paradox. In other words, you would’ve changed the past whilst changing the present in a way that shouldn’t have made these two crucial points in time happen – it’s like you were there, but you weren’t. That is one theory, but here is another, which indeed presents another paradox.

The scenario would be that, you travelled back in time and you successfully managed to change the horrible event. But if THAT had the power to rewrite to event in the present where you travelled back in time to that point in the past, surely there would be no means of getting back to the present, because you had no means of travelling to the past in the first place. Now, that wouldn’t necessarily mean that the event of you changing the past would disappear with it, which in turn will turn you, the person who changed the past, into a paradox. The change of event in the past will create a new ‘you’ in the present time, but because the ‘you’, who changed the past, is stuck in the past, there is one too many versions of yourself within the timeline, which might only mean one thing (this is only a theory)… the ‘you’ that’s trapped in the past will erase itself, and will be replaced by the new ‘you’ in the present, because that ‘you’ that’s trapped itself in the past would cease to exist. So, going back to what I said earlier, if we were given the choice to go back into the past, we can have the ability to change the past, but it comes at the cost of the present we know now – the sad truth would be that we would be unaware of these changes, and continue on in life without knowing any of it happening.

You would probably be struggling with all of this, and I can agree with you; it can be quite a brain-wrecking process to think about it. But… imagine if time travel was invented and everyone was able to use it – think of the seven billion people in the world who would have access to the options of changing the past or looking into the future. It would be utter chaos wouldn’t it? Seven billion paradoxes would be brought about.

Whew! That was a mouthful! If I repeated stuff, or I was rambling on for a while, apologies for that. But yeah… if time travel is something that we would pursue, I would probably be one of the guys who would ask you to think twice about that. And besides, I don’t even think time travel will ever be obtained, purely because we would’ve already seen signs of it in the present day, or even in the past. So, if you’re looking for time travel, it would best just to watch a couple of Doctor Who episodes.

The Difference Between Being Weird And Being Different

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I’ve been pondering on some stuff lately, and whilst I was looking on my Facebook account the other day, I stumbled across something that gave me a lot of thought to the subject. While I was scrolling through my news feed, I stumbled upon someone who was using ‘Ask.fm’, a website where anonymous people can ask other people questions, no matter how ridiculous the question may be. This person (not giving any names) was sharing a link to their ask.fm account, telling everyone to ask them a question – and they didn’t sound very mature by the way they ‘asked’ for questions. Instead, they just told everyone to give them questions and make them ‘interesting’. To me, that was a bit disrespectful, considering that they were telling their own friends to give them ‘interesting’ questions without sounding like they were thinking of some of the people to be boring.

I digress though. When the link was posted up on their timeline, I took the opportunity to ask a question myself. My question to them asked them what made them similar or different from what society considers to be ‘normal’. The response, however, wasn’t very satisfying; without mentioning anything about what made them similar to societal norms, they only told me about how they saw themselves to be different and weird to other parts of society. Honestly, and this is just my opinion, there wasn’t a lot that I saw in their answer that made her different than most people; rather, there was more of that sheep-among-the-herd scenario in their words. Even more so, they didn’t give any examples as to why they considered themselves to be someone who stands out from the crowd, and I know this person quite well.

All that I’m about to say is purely my thoughts on the matter.

When I saw this answer, I had thoughts that this individual wanted to believe that they were different than most of society – and I don’t find anything against that, because I know that every single person on this earth have their own unique set of traits that set them apart from everyone else. But, especially in the younger generation (my generation), certain factors have contributed for that to change, and not in a good way. What I’m trying to say, is that many people in my generation, and maybe lots of individuals in others, all look the same; most people nowadays wear the same branded shirt, follows the same trends, and follow the same mindset as one another, and this has brought about a stagnancy in the way we try to progress and change in ideals.

This person who I questioned didn’t so much call themselves different as such, but instead called themselves weird. It was obvious to me that this person thought that both of these terms meant the same thing – that’s nothing to have a go at though, because they are very similar in meaning. But there is one difference that sets them apart, and that difference has somewhat to do with conformity.

In my view, to be weird means that you are an ‘oddball’, which is good, but in a way that still makes you a conformed individual. To be weird means that there is a difference in your behaviour to others, but you are the same as the others in terms of other things. This is true for everyone, including myself – we want to rebel against certain similarities in the human race, but we always have some level of conformity so that we don’t feel so insecure about ourselves. Even the ones who are striking in appearance have some binds to some societal norms. There are some definitions of being weird in the younger generation, such as being immature so you can make others like you – in this case, this is what this person that I asked my question to might have wanted as well. Weird might be the new norm for society, where its differences have become similarities, and it has become a form of entertainment so that others can utilise it for the sake of being liked and accepted. In fact, in everything that started out as weird, they have turned into the norm and has become a socially acceptable thing amongst the masses. So, in other words, to be weird is to be caught in a loop of a never-ending search for difference when, really, the things we see to be a thing that stands out are actually forms of fitting in at some point or another.

Now, difference, to me, is something entirely different to weirdness.

To be different, a lot of things about yourself have to change. This is taking it from a wider, philosophical view that I have taken the time to think about myself. To me, difference is something we cannot know in all of its glory. Us humans cannot be ‘different’ from one another because we are all of the same species; we all have human flesh, human blood, human faults and even human imperfections, all of which we cannot change in order to be different. This is the problem when some of us call ourselves ‘different’, because when we say it, we don’t actually take other things into consideration apart from how different we all are in terms of our unique capabilities and traits – so here, I argue that we only know so much of ‘difference’ to a point where we can only compare ourselves with what we already know now, such as age, gender, race, sexuality, abilities and so on. But to completely understand difference, in the full meaning of the word, we have to utilise what we haven’t or are not capable of discovering about ourselves as a human race. So, in other words, it’s almost impossible to become completely different from anyone else. It’s like there’s a padlock in all of our minds that we cannot unlock unless we have a key; a certain key that we can’t find. But then, even if we do find that key, that same vicious cycle would continue; once someone finds that difference, everyone will want to join in, and it becomes a norm, desperately searching for another different thing.

It’s a lot to take in; I even exhausted myself trying to think about all of this. This was just a thought I had, so there may be some fault in what I have said. There is one thing for certain though. We may not be able to be completely different to everyone else, and can only rely on weirdness to satisfy, even though it doesn’t entirely mean difference. But there’s something better than being weird, and that’s being yourself. There is nothing more unique than yourself, both physically and mentally, and if you don’t focus on what everyone else finds socially acceptable and follow life by your own rules instead of thinking too much of what people will think of you, there will be some distinct different in you to others.

About the person, I have no real grudge against them or anything. The conversation between us just sparked those ideas in my head. It’s good to be weird, and no one is stopping you from being weird. But like I said, it is better to be yourself and no other person.

Those were just my thoughts on the matter, but if you took the time to read all of this, then it is very much appreciated. If you have any thoughts on weirdness and difference, feel free to share you’re own ideas. Thank you.

The Inner Storyteller

solitude“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” – Albert Einstein

This I find to be true, not just in me, but in everyone when they take a quiet moment to self-reflect and introspect. I have done this for quite a lot of my life, and, honestly, I don’t know why I feel the need to do so all the time. It’s nothing that affects me negatively, and it’s never a problem for me. Rather, I find myself feeling… enlightened… like I was tapping into my inner self so that I could find some peace and serenity in myself. This doesn’t have a lot to do with religion, even though I do have some beliefs of my own, but to take the time to analyse my thoughts was a very useful thing for when I want to find the true ‘me’.

This introspection I regularly go through has taught me to dig deeper into myself than many in my generation do, and just like Einstein said in the quote above, my time in solitude has surfaced a lot of creative thoughts that I never would have considered if I wasn’t soul-searching. This has brought up ideas both ideally and realistically, and these ideas are the ones that I wanted to share, in the future, on this blog.

I have watched many films in my life; some of them were corny, and some of them intrigued me. But there were films that I have watched that I have taken to heart, which have encouraged me to start analysing my inner ‘shadow’. One of these films was ‘Memento’ by Christopher Nolan; possibly my favourite film and my favourite film director. As well as the movie centring itself around the main character’s short-term memory loss whilst retaining his long-term memory before the certain incident happened, this film had taught me that many, if not all humans are, without doubt, fallible creatures. The main thing I loved about the film was that it didn’t follow the morality system that many other films have; one of which when the villain commits horrible acts against the protagonist, and the protagonist is portrayed as the ‘perfect hero’ who doesn’t seem to do anything wrong. However, ‘Memento’ shows every character’s faults, including the protagonist’s – this was the thing that got me thinking, “Every human in this world, no matter how moral or immoral they are, no matter how much they are trying to do the right thing are not, will always have that imperfect side to them.” And then I thought something else, “What imperfections do I have?” And it’s films like those who make me think that way; to make me search for the faults and problems with my own existence. And if I’m honest, when I came to terms with my imperfection, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way – because my own fallibility has given me the ability to introspect. Otherwise, if I was perfect, which I am not, I wouldn’t have bothered… and that would be a very bland way of living. I shall explain this is an further blog post, however.

It was because of these new-found thoughts through my soul-searching that I have also had thoughts of sharing them with others in many forms; one of them being in this blogging site. Ever since I watched films such as ‘Memento’ I have been inspired by think about what my own creative thoughts could muster up in a feature film – and then that was what I wanted to be when I grew up… a film director, or maybe a screenwriter or something within that line of work. I’ve always been passionate about telling stories, and to take part in something such as that would be a dream come true for me.

Soul-searching in solitude was a very beneficial thing for me. It has taught me many things from an early age about the most amazing concepts and even everyday things, such as learning to respect my elders and to even become acquainted with others. To take the time to analyse one’s thoughts, feelings and faults has taught me to progress in maturity, and it has even motivated me to think on the future sometimes. It is even a great healer in all sorts.

But that was just something I wanted to share with you. This was just an introduction to what I have to offer. If you have taken the time to read this, I appreciate it very much. I do hope you can join in on what I have to share with you, and I hope it can benefit you as well as it will myself. Thank you again.