A warped nostalgia…

Music is art. To me, art has one highly important function. Art should make you feel. It should open up a part of you. It doesn’t matter how, but it should. It could make your heart feel like its been twisted with a spaghetti fork or it could make you want to jump for the sheer joy of life. A lot of the eighties music I listen to, specifically Queen, appears to have the spaghetti-fork effect on me. I cannot even begin to fathom why, but in my mind the music and the stage presence of this band is the most beautiful of artworks. The way Freddie Mercury would dance around signing his heart out, Brian May’s crazy  hair and his intense concentration as he pours out amazing tunes on his guitar. The passion I feel radiating off their music is overwhelming and so extremely fascinating. Perhaps I am just an overly emotional little girl, but anything which can cause such a heightened sense of emotion and wonder is, to me, truly and utterly beautiful.

So, have decided to come out of the closet. Not THAT closet. The closet which I call the ’embarrassing fangirl closet’. I appear to have developed a massive celebrity crush on Freddie Mercury. Now this falls into both the second and worst category of crushes (those being ‘gay’ and ‘dead’).

I’m pretty much convinced that Queen is the greatest band of all time.

Due to this crippling crush of mine, I have spent an awful amount of time not only listening to Queen, but also watching their gorgeous music videos. Repeatedly. This has led me to spending hours viewing the videos of many other bands, all of which seem to be from some magical bygone era. All the magic of the seventies and eighties then proceeds to bubble out of me into inexpiable tears and heaps of gooey nostalgia (and yes, that is a perfectly scientific and very accurate description). This is just Slightly crazy, considering the fact that I was only born in 1997.  I do not quite know how to describe it. This can not be described as nostalgia, because that implies that I have had those experiences and that I miss them. It is rather a case of the deep regret and disappointment I feel at not having experienced those occurrences. Heart-breakingly, I am a sixteen year old girl who exists far from that era. Sometimes I believe I was born into the wrong decade, and that I would have been far happier in an older world.

P.S. This post was extremely difficult to write. I have been logging into WordPress in a terrified state every couple of days, attempting to write some and then trying to figure out how to stick everything into the right order. I’ve been coming back here day after day, slowly but surely building up to something which I hope vaguely resembles a real post and not just the ramblings of some teenage nut-bag with an internet connection. For some reason this is a topic I feel rather strongly about, and this makes it difficult to write about. On the plus side, I do believe that the torture I put myself through to produce this post was worth it and I managed to spew out something of some quality for the Bottomless Void of the Internet to feast on.

 

I am an African

From what little I gather from the media and the wonderful world of the internet, it appears as if people’s perceptions of Africa are not all that clear. So today I thought I would give some first hand views of what it is like to be African (because the views of some sheltered middle class sixteen year old are so trustworthy, I know). Bear in mind that this has been written as a response to the way that my friends and I have seen Africa being portrayed in mostly American media and is in no way meant to offend anybody.  Sadly, many of the stereotypes of Africa are true. There is poverty, hunger, rape and a very serious AIDS problem. I personally experience this on a daily basis as my car stops at a traffic light and I see hungry children begging for food. It happens every time we drive out of the city and see the masses of shacks. But I’ve had far too many depressing posts in the last while, so with my public service announcement out of the way I will move to the lighter side of Africa.

I am the whitest person I know. As in, people occasionally attempt to drive wooden stakes through my chest. So, if anyone reading this truly thought that you don’t get white people in Africa,then BAM! Colonization happened, people. I live in South Africa (which, as the name suggests, is in the South of Africa). I’m really not to certain what the international media is like, so to you my country could be non-existent, evil or awesome. Even if you’re not sure what South Africa is all about, perhaps you’ve heard of Nelson Mandela. I’m sure he’s famous everywhere. So, now that you have a familiar face to put to this place, let me continue.

There are NO wild animals running around. Granted, there was a story on the news this morning about a hippopotamus which escaped from a nature reserve, but I’m pretty sure that happens everywhere. Probably with alligators though. While we’re on the topic of animals, I have never ever used an animal as a mode of transport. EVER.

Another thing which may or may not come as a surprise to you is that we are connected to technology. Well, maybe not that much of a surprise since I’m blogging this, but us Africans do have internet. Which logically leads you to the fact that we have electricity. Television, movie theaters, malls. We don’t generally sit on rocks and do African-ny things in leopard print on Saturday nights.

So anyway, I just wanted to stop any of those stereotypes from creeping in on your perception of Africa. I sincerely hope they were not ture in the first place.

 

 

So, my friend is dead.

Now, I know that many will not care to hear this story. It is simply one of far too many deaths that occur every single day. I am going to paint you a picture. With this image you can do what you please. You can allow your eyes to flicker over it, take in a smudge of colour and a shape. You could also, however, look a bit deeper. Instead of seeing this is a teenage girl moaning about the seemingly insignificant death of a classmate, see it as the sharing of a tale and a sharing of emotions which could in some way affect you. Allow this post to change the way you perceive life and death, even if the change is only a slight one.

Picture a boy. He is in his teenage years, around sixteen. Dark hair and eyes. Seems pretty average. He is also, however, a teddy bear. He is the boy who is often seeing loping around on his own, often with a motorbike helmet tucked firmly under his arm. He walks with the quiet confidence of one who knows who he is. He walks as if he is happy.

He is the boy who will appear out of nowhere and draw you into a bear hug so tight that it feels as if your ribs are going to crack. You could barely have spoken to him, but he would embrace you not as a compulsory greeting, but as an unhindered display of friendship, caring and affection.

He is the boy who sees your valuables out in the open and puts them away so no-one will take them.

He is the boy who will casually enter a conversation with a calm smile on his face, occasionally offering a tiny yet valuable sentence.

He is the boy who was knocked off his  bike by a taxi.

He is the boy who has been in a coma for days, and he is the boy who just lost his life.

Now, everyone at school knew he was in a coma. The fact of the matter is that we are teenagers. We carried on with our normal routines, our average lives. We never stopped to consider the fact that he may not be back. In our young, inexperienced minds there was no doubt that he would be. Us, who as a whole have not experienced death. Us, as a whole have have barely experienced life.

We are teenagers. We are at the point where we can finally open our eyes to what lies ahead of us, yet most are lucky enough to be free from the burdens that plagues adults. The responsibilities, the decisions, but worst of all, the concept of death. Death can happen to anyone at any time, yet at our age we still somehow believe that it is reserved for grownups, that we will not have to deal with it in the foreseeable future. The death of a friend is the universe’s way of giving us all a slap in the face, a way of telling us to open our eyes. Death does not only prey on the old. Death does not only pick the weak. Death does not discriminate. Death can take anyone, at any time and for us, the young and the innocent that is an extremely tough pill to swallow.

An hour ago, I heard the message tone on my phone. Not unusual at all. I opened up the message and saw the words ‘****’s dead’. I looked at those words, I blinked and I went back to surfing the internet. The words were there, but the feeling was not. A few minutes later I set aside my computer and really thought about it. This kind, sweet, amazing boy ceases to exist. I saw him every day, and now I will never see him again. So I came here, and I began to write. I wrote about the boy who didn’t deserve to die and I wrote about the ignorance of myself and my peers. Then, it happened. The tears arrived. The uncontrollable sobs took my breath away.

I can not understand how the life of this innocent, harmless young man could have been ripped from him before he had the chance to experience it. So I cried. I cried for the death of a boy who may not have been a close friend, but a boy who was a huge positive influence on my life. I cried for the realization that my positive view on life had been shattered by one cruel sweep of Death’s sickle.

I sincerely hope that this post has provided a different and helpful view of life and death. I shall leave you with a quote by an unknown author.

” Life asked Death, ‘Why do people love me and hate you?’. Death responded, ‘Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.”