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The Underdogs

I’m a bit of a soccer fan.

 In February my Dad and I went to Melbourne to watch the Socceroos (Australian football team) play Saudi Arabia. The game was officially a World Cup Qualifier; however it didn’t matter if Australia won or lost, because they had already made it through to the next round. Saudi Arabia had to win to make it through. If they lost, their chances of going to the World Cup in 2014 were dead.

First of all, I have to say what a beautiful city Melbourne is. Its unique and diverse architecture is contrasted by the antiquity of the old trams and the dark olden buildings. It gives from first appearance a real modern cultural feel. Just east of the city, in East Melbourne (funny that), we unpacked our bags on a wet and cold day in a contemporary hotel. The next day gave us dryer weather but still forced us to keep our jumpers on.

The excitement and anticipation of that night was almost drowned out by the mornings thrilling tour of Melbourne. We caught a tram around the edge of the CBD, witnessing nurse’s strikes as we went, then rode an elevator 88 levels up to the Eureka Skydeck. From here you can see basically all of Melbourne; what an amazing experience from the tallest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere. The elevator up was quite an experience. It went 88 stories up in 30 seconds. I’m not sure how fast that is, but my ears felt the pressure for several hours after.

All this was a great way to spend the morning, but nothing could prepare us for the atmosphere of that night. The game started at 8:30 pm and so we got there at 7:30 in plenty of time to enjoy our one kilometre stroll. We walked past the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) where hundreds of cars were being parked for the night (on the fields surrounding), and finally saw AAMI Park, Australia’s newest sports stadium. Holding 30 000 people (which it would come close to filling) AAMI Park gives an amazing modern atmosphere for Australian sport.

The game started and the Socceroos were playing well, but by half time we were down 2-1. My dad and I had come to Melbourne simply to watch a good game of football. We said it wouldn’t be a bad experience if Australia lost; we just wanted to see top class soccer live. Well that’s easier said than done. At half time, we were absorbed in the Australian Spirit. Roughly twenty five thousand Australians were chanting, screaming and supporting their national team and we could not help but join in. When the Socceroos scored their first goal, the stadium erupted. We did not need to win, but when you’re watching your team live, you want them to win, and so the excitement of 25 000 other fans gets you fairly excited.

Australia went on to score 3 more goals, which led to their 4-2 win over the Saud’s. The game was great, but the Australian Spirit is what made it one of the best experiences for me so far. We were down 2-1 and with our underdog spirit fought back in a matter of minutes to win. On top of this, the noise inside of the stadium when these goals were scored was tremendous. Certainly something I was proud to be a part of.

So Fake

Do you claim to know someone? I mean really know them. Understand them. Recognise distinct and unique features about them. It’s a depressing thought that some people will go through life not knowing anyone in the real sense of the word.

My twin sister and I are very close. I would say that she is the only person I really know. I have close friends but I don’t know them the way I know bec. But I still wonder sometimes if I really know her. I know that, for her, she knows me probably best of all my family and friends, but there are still parts that she doesn’t understand and perhaps never will.

When you first meet someone they are most likely the most distant part of themselves. Another blogger inspired me to write this when she said that she will “never let you closer than you deserve”. Is everyone like this? It seems so. I think people have become too guarded.

Having said that, you can only truly be yourself when you are comfortable. I know for me, there are several settings that I physically cannot be myself no matter how hard I try, simply because I’m uncomfortable.

My parents have been married for 25 years. They know each other. Perhaps my Dad still misses things and sometimes Mum won’t understand my Dad, but generally speaking they know each other. But do all people get to experience this? Western society is so individualistic and it’s sometimes hard to break out of the stereotypes and divisions we are placed in, making it hard to be your true self.

I think to experience such a relationship, especially in today’s context, you really have to go out of your way and sometimes out of your comfort zone. And for what? Just so you can claim that you really knew someone?

Personally I am fascinated by human beings. Not in a scientific way, or a Sociologists way. I’m fascinated by everyone’s uniqueness. When you get to meet new people, it’s unlikely that you will see past the first few layers of who they are. Sure you can ask where they’re from. You can find out their likes and dislikes and other interesting things, but this is just one dimension. Experiencing other people is part of the human experience.

Don’t live a fake life, where your closest relationship is a texting friend, or a penpal. Yes it’s sometimes difficult to say this first hello, and it’s even more difficult to let that person meet the real you, but it’s worth it.

My Favourite Historical Myths

I’m currently doing a history project for school where I research an event from the past and write what I think really happened in 2500 words. I chose the French Revolution, and after 9-10 weeks of good solid research I can safely say that Queen Marie Antoinette never said “Let Them Eat Cake”, nor was she the type of queen that the French people made her out to be. The following are a few of my favourite myths that are taken for granted as Historical Fact:

Louis XVI had ‘Phimosis’, a condition which prevented sexual Intercourse

This cannot be proven. There are several letters from Marie Antoinette’s brothers and family members which suggest that Louis was simply not ready and uninterested in sex. Many people feel the need to diagnose his apathy for sex because they cannot relate to him. Louis was 14 when he was married, and his social skills were very poor. Louis was shy, not incapable.

Man in the Iron Mask

He did exist, and was held in the Bastille in France however he was not the king’s twin brother as represented in Alexander Dumas’ novel Man in the Iron Mask. It is possible that the prisoner was part of the royal family as the Bastille was maximum security prison for prisoners from the upper two classes of French Society, but as for being the Kings Twin brother, that’s a myth.

Jesus’ Birth

Kid’s books and Manger scenes at Christmas represent Jesus being born in stables. There is no doubt that Jesus was born in a manger, and he was certainly born with animals in the room, but a closer look at the context and the houses in Bethlehem shows that he was more likely born in a “guestroom”, a room where some animals would sleep that is attached to the house. On top of this, there is not one passage in the bible that suggests Jesus being born in stables. The verse that says there was no room in the ‘Inn’ is also translated to ‘Guestroom’.

Christopher McCandless

This is one of my favourites, but perhaps a lesser known ‘fact’ than the other three. Christopher McCandless was the American idealist who gave up his college money fund to live a life reliant on his survival skills. His journey was made into a movie called ‘Into the Wild’ (definitely worth seeing if you haven’t already) SPOILER ALERT … This movie portrays McCandless’ death resulting from his consumption of a plant which makes it impossible to digest any food. Consequently he died of starvation. McCandless ate no such plant, he was simply too stubborn to admit that he needed help and didn’t make it back to civilisation in time. He died of starvation because he was arrogant, not ignorant.

We Will Remember Them

It seemed that out of battle I escaped thanks to the leaders who led, and no thanks to the leaders who fled. Tonight I lie in a dugout covered in mud while memories of the war flood my mind. The silence of the fields above us is more horrifying than anything I’ve experienced. In the corner sits a young man, hugging his knees and rocking. He was once a fit young soldier with a strong mind and a good humour but now he is a lifeless entity who jumps at every movement. Some despise him, others send him off for a diagnosis, but I envy him. Soon he will be relieved of his duty, sent back home to recover and in ten years time will be married with kids. The rest of us are destined to join those who lay above us, adding to the silence of death.

I do not fear death. I fear what death will make me. Death in this wasteland makes me one man out of thousands who died for freedom, but I won’t be remembered. I don’t remember any one name from any war in history, so why should they. Why should the future generations remember my name? My worst fear is to be stereotyped as a soldier who died for freedom. We are all very different. We had lives, we had families, and we had hopes and dreams, just like they will. I don’t want to be a name on a wall; I want to be a memory in the hearts of many and an inspiration to future generations. I am a patriot and I have no problem dying for my country, as long as my country recognises it as the act that it is.

…To all the soldiers who died for freedom,
we will remember them

No Time

I think that in today’s society, people take time for granted. To mankind, time is a constant part of life, the unchanging factor that brings order to society, but when you take time for granted you live your life in the pursuit of happiness, trying to earn money and meaningless things and forget to actually live your life.

The new movie blockbuster “In Time” has received bad reviews by most critics, saying that the director has gone downhill after his last few movies, and that it is a clever concept however it is poorly executed. I don’t agree with this criticism at all. The director has come up with a brilliantly new idea and it is filmed and directed fairly well. I enjoyed the movie a lot, especially the concept that time is currency and there were some very clever and funny moments where they used time puns such as “Who’s got time for that”, meant in the literal sense, and my favourite “You got a minute?”.

Of course if you don’t know what the movie is about and haven’t seen it then this won’t make sense to you, so here is a brief overview with no spoilers:
A sci fi action movie set In the near future; human’s aging gene has been switched off. At the age of 25, all humans stop aging and their time begins. Depending on who you are and where you are born, you start with a certain amount of time (for most it is one year). This time is displayed on your arm and continuously counts down until it reaches 0, then you die. To survive you always need time, which either means working for a payout each day, borrowing some off others with more time then you, or stealing it. The main character works at a factory and earns two days for 8 hours of work. A cup of coffee costs about 5 minutes, a bus ride home costs an hour and costs an hour and a car can cost from 3 months up to 10 years.

This idea is hard to get used to but once you do get used to it, it’s quite clever. Our modern society takes time for granted. So many lives are wasted on trying to find happiness, or buy happiness. Perhaps some people are so busy trying to make the best career they can, or save up to buy the perfect house. Some people will work and work all their lives, trying to make the best life possible, when they aren’t really living. This movie highlights these social problems and has a go at the way that society structures itself. This quest for “Utopia” (perfection) is what drives people today. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Stupidity On the Eve Of Recession

On the 12th of October 2011, the Australian House of Representatives passed the controversial Carbon Tax Bill with 74 votes to 72. You have to love the Gillard government’s attempt to make it sound appealing to Australians by calling it the “Clean Energy Bill 2011”; however I doubt it is fooling anyone. This is just a nice way of saying we are going to take more money from you because we have the power to do so.

The carbon tax put very simply, is a sum of money that companies will have to pay, per tonne of pollution that they produce to the government. In response to this, the companies have to make changes to be able to afford the tax, so they will lessen the jobs in their company or tax the public more money. The Carbon Tax affects everyone.

I applaud the government’s attempt to do something about the issue of pollution, because it is definitely an issue that needs addressing, but is now the right time to do so? Carbon emissions is a big problem, but taxing the big companies in Australia is only going to make less jobs available to workers and force these companies to put their own prices up, hence everyone is affected by the tax. The Bill therefore will not lower the amount of pollution produced each year, it will only cause more economic problems in Australia.

Less jobs in Australia, an increase in Tax for everyone and the same amount of pollution in the atmosphere. The Gillard government are either not thinking this through properly or have a hidden motive. Economists are currently saying that Australia is on the verge of a recession. The government is obviously in debt and so have introduced this bill to gain more money because they have the power to do so. I hope this is the reason because otherwise the people running our country have no idea how to do so. Introducing the Carbon Tax when we are on the verge of a recession is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.