I can’t understand it. Until you know someone or learn their limits, you shouldn’t underestimate anyone, regardless of age, sex, race or anything. I’m talking mostly about the age one here, since that’s the one I’ve experienced most. Yes, I know we haven’t dealt with the “real world” yet. So what? It doesn’t mean we’re worthless. We can pay attention to the news, we can learn, we can have opinions. And yet, some adults seem to think otherwise. For example, I haven’t had to pay taxes yet. But for some reason, my parents don’t think I understand how much it sucks. I do. I listen to them, I hear people talk about it. I’ve heard enough to know what it’s like. Or, I’ve had people read my writing and say “I never thought someone so young could write with such a vocabulary!” Well, maybe it’s because they never give them a chance. You can’t judge all of our skills by some of our skills. I know, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, but here’s one scenario where it doesn’t apply. In this, we are all our own chains. Yes, we’re young. Yes, we have talents. Get used to it.
On the Internet, identity hidden behind a screen, people show who they really are. They become less afraid to say what they want, less afraid of people judging them. But for some people, this is for the worse. They get what some call “Internet Tough Guy Syndrome.” I believe there’s a Penny Arcade strip that explains it perfectly.
But why? Why do so many people feel the need to act tough or idiotic on the Internet? Who are they trying to impress? Or are they just trying to take out their frustration with their lives on people they don’t know, with no guilt? I think the last one is the most likely. What do you think?
Here’s another thing: chatspeak. I hate it. It’s not any easier to read, in some cases it takes longer to type, and it’s just a general bastardization of the English language. What’s the point of it? I wish I could say I’ve only seen teens use it on IM or when texting, but that’s not the case. I’ve seen it used in essays, in formal conversations, etc. By adults. Now, I know that English isn’t the easiest language. But that’s no reason to rape your native language. It makes me sad. Language is a beautiful thing, and it doesn’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect.
That’s what I want to do. My little corner of the world is…cultureless, if that’s at all possible. I want to travel, to meet people, to really experience different lifestyles, rather than just being a tourist. I’m studying French and Spanish right now, and I’m taking up German and Latin next year. I travel with my parents a lot. We’ve been to St. Maarten/St. Martin (depends on which side of the island), St. Thomas, the Bahamas, and that’s basically it. I live close to the Canadian border, so I’ve been there a lot, too. But we’ve always gone as tourists, never as travelers. Some of my friends who are taking German right now have the opportunity to go to Germany for a few weeks this summer, and I’m so jealous. My brother could study abroad in England, New Zealand, Australia, and tons of other places. But he won’t, when I would kill for that kind of opportunity. He’s comfortable here. I’m not. I’m going stir-crazy here in this average suburb. “The suburbs have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth,” as Rush said in Subdivisions. Truer words have never been spoken. I need to get out, but I can’t. Not for another 3 years, at least. But when I leave, I’m going to New York City. I know what you’re thinking. “High taxes, high housing rates, crime everywhere, 4th most miserable city in the U.S.” I know all of that. But NYC is a city where everything happens. There’s never boredom, never quiet, never dullness. Not to mention, it’s one of the biggest cultural mixing pots (not to mention artistic centers) in the country. I need that life, that energy. And I’ll travel. Anywhere and everywhere.
Terry Pratchett, one of my favorite authors, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was back in December, and I just heard about it today. It sucks. He’s one of the greatest minds of this era, and his mind is being eaten by disease. If anyone can find a way to contact him, tell me. Send him your love and support, and then go out and read his books. You won’t regret it.