...than the sword (but that doesn't mean you'd rather get caught at sword point).
So, project African Underground is officially under construction. Some important links I have found while researching my chosen subject do a much better job at describing what I'm talking about. There's this link, which is very informative, not to mention makes me about want to scream. This page has the first paragraph of an essay that maps out how, even nearly 140 years (if I did my math right) after the slave-trade was banned in Africa, there are still around two million slaves in the world today. Many of them are children working off the debts of their ancestors. Little girls sold into the sexual trade for $20 to $70 at the age of fifteen (my age, might I remind you), twelve, even younger, simply to earn the income needed for their mothers and families to survive, and only barely at that. This life is NOT acceptable in America and it is NOT acceptable in Africa and it is NOT acceptable ANYWHERE, but it happens ANYWAY. This pisses me off.
On this site it explains that, in an exhibit at the Smithsonian, slavery has existed in all parts of the world, but it "did not result in dehumanization and death, as did transatlantic slavery." Their explanation for this statement is equally apalling, that it would be unwise "to concentrate on that particular phrase," but added that "it was a different slave system in Africa." You can imagine my reaction.
Slavery is, in an of itself, "dehumanizing." If by human you mean, well, human, and in the human being is a free spirit, free will, and a natural inclination towards, surprise, surprise, freedom. "Dehumanizing" does not merely mean violent, lethal, or cruel. To take away the human spirit, IMO, is enough to constitute as "dehumanizing," and to take away a person's rights, to own a human being as if he were a plot or land or a stuffed teddy bear is to strip that person's soul, their free will, from their essence. To do so is the concept of "dehumanization"! I don't care if some Smithsonian genius wants to be politically correct. Enslavement is to be owned, and to be owned is to not exist as your own person, and to not exist as your own person is to be dehumanized.
...end rant. For now.
In other words: "Slavery is slavery is slavery is slavery ... when you have little children, little girls that are being abducted or sold by their parents for economic reasons, being sold as sexual slaves in Burma and Thailand, it's all dehumanizing. Let's just be consistent; let's apply the same standards," Phillips said.
"Where is the outrage? The same people that want reparations for American slavery -- where is their outrage for Africans who are being slaughtered today?" Phillips asked.
Maybe I'm just going through a phase. But if one phase of mine does anything to help, whether for one person or for one thousand, then it doesn't matter. It's worth it.
End rant. No, seriously. I'm done.
Almost got squished by a four-wheeler today. It was fun.
So, I was talking to Carley today, and basically she said, "every time a conversation becomes awkward a dolphin dies." And so the following ensued:
Me: dolphins, the poor dolphins, they do so suffer at the hands of awkward conversationalists...tis tragic Carley: lol, it happens a lot in my art class too Carley: I swear, I could kill the entire dolphin population sometimes Me: aww, that's sad Carley: and then half of the whales and some of the giant squids too Me: WHALES Me: omg, Caitlin and Macy and I were talking about if whales could eat people today Carley: lol Carley: whales would eat people if they could, I'm sure Me: and Macy was like, "well, orca eat seals," and I was like, "there are some whales big enough that they wouldn't even NOTICE if they eat you, so," and Caitlin was all like, "whales don't eat people!" and Macy was like, "read Moby Dick," and we were all like "ROFL" Me: *shuts up* Carley: lol, you sound like you've had a lot of fun lately
So yeah. Just think about it, every time you're about to lapse into an awkward silence. Every time you do, a dolphin dies. And pretty soon they'll all be dead and then the whales will be bad, which might not be so horrible if they really do eat us, but really, there are a few people out there who I might, ahem, turn a blind eye to should they happen to slip their foot into a whales mouth or something so...*whistles innocently*
I came up with a novel idea (no pun intended, d'oh!) yesterday while we were driving in the car towards the lake. There was this small field of long, wild grass, the kind any short kid could build a paradise in, that grows really tall, taller if you're a kid I suppose, and where snakes lurk treacherously beneath rocks. In the field was a long, unnaturally straight line of yellow flowers. And this is how my brain works:
Line of flowers. What if there were a line of flowers that ran around a world? Like the equator. How would it get there? Why would it be there? It could be the last strip of magic on earth. Why would there be a last strip of magic on earth? Where would this earth be? Well, what if the line needed to be guarded? And if the line's the last magic thing on earth, than the rest of the people who don't live near the line who have learned to survive without magic might be afraid of it. If they're afraid of it, they might want to destroy it. So if they try to destroy it, there might be a war. And if there's a war, there have got to be generals. There could be people who guard the line. The war could start with those people being assassinated. What if the main character wasn't anybody important? That's pretty common, so what if the enemy wasn't somebody important? Wait, no, what if the war had been started a hundred years before the protagonist was born? What if the leader of the enemy did not really agree with the war but couldn't stop it?
And that's there Tell came in. Now, Tell is not aforementioned leader. He is a young, high-strung boy. He has various nicknames such as "that kid with an unfortunate name," "Telly," and "Beecher" (don't ask). He has a younger sister called Morgue (...) and his parents, Hem and Uriel (bad names are apparently a tradition in this family) are pretty odd folks. He's a normal kid, a natural leader, kind of childish and immature, but he'll mature as the story does. And he's going to be thrown into a war head-on. He's a little scrawny black kid with no hair and wide, round, innocent-ish eyes and when he grows up, I want to marry him because he's perfect. He's funny and intelligent and has the same problems I have with sentimentality. His personal motto, which he sometimes takes a little bit too far, is "Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow." He's so alive in my mind, and I've not even known of him for more than four hours. He's just kind of popped out of my head, and now his story NEEDS to be told. So. Now I know what I'm doing for NaNoWriMo. I spent about three hours today making up a time line for this story. And oh god, did I mention how much I love Tell? And his younger sister Morgue (not Morgan, but Morgue) is a real hoot, too.
I am insane.
I have one little block of dialogue for this story. Now, it's pure dialogue. There is no background or anything, so don't tell me how much it sucks, I know. But the scene is there in my mind and someday I shall get around to actually writing it out.
The Line Guardian: "I want to see that kid, the one with the unfortunate name..."
Random Sister Person: "Morgue?"
TLG: "No, her brother."
RSP: "Ah yes, Tell. It is a rather unfortunate name, isn't it? Their parents are mad, some say."
TLG: "Hem and Uriel? No. Not mad. Just following tradtion."
RSP: "I'll say."
Anyway. Went to see the family (Macy's) today. I actually got along better with them today than I ever have. Not to say I've never gotten along with them, it's just, I'm always so quiet when I'm there that I seem to be a non-entity. Today I spoke up, even though I felt selfish at some points doing so (I always feel so selfish when I speak...hence the existence of this journal...it seems like all I ever talk about is me, and it's really annoying when other people only ever talk about themselves...I hate it, but at the same time, when trying to think of something else to say my mind just BLANKS...X_X and the journal is meant for enlightened self-interest so I don't have to feel selfish say me, me, me, and I, I, I all the time) and I talked to people. Mostly about how A.J.'s nearly sixteen and I'm nearly fifteen and a half, and he's about to get his license and I'm about to get my permit, and we're the last of the "big kids." Abby and Kimmy are twelve, I think. Zach's nine and the others...I don't even know. Robert's the youngest I think, being two. Jake's three, I know. I don't know how old Meggie is...o_o So that was fun.
And then I did say I almost got squished by a four-wheeler, right? Didn't even get hurt, although I did scrape the sunburn I got yesterday something awful. A.J. was kind of freaked out - it was the first time I'd seen his "sensitive" side. He kept asking me and Caitlin, "Are you guys alright? Are you guys alright?" And we were just like, "Yeah, we're fine," and in my case, I was just giggling. I don't know. When it happened, I didn't really feel anything. I wasn't scared or anything when the thing tipped over, I can remember that instance, when the four-wheeler was at a complete verticle angle and we knew we were falling back, and all I could think was, "Hey, I've never been a patient at a hospital before, this might be kind of cool...but I bet it will be bor-holy crap, there's a four-wheeler about to fall on me...*rolls over*" Yup. Very calm. And when I stood up and made sure Caitlin and A.J. were okay, I started laughing. I couldn't stop. Just. *keels over*
Ended the day with a two hour bike ride. Just went up and down and up and down and up and down our street. My legs hurt just a little. And oh yes, yesterday Macy threw a fish head at me while we were down at the lake. I screamed and nearly fell in the lake. Which was actually really fun.
I have a death wish or something.
Martha's birthday party is this Friday - we're all going to the pool. YAY swimming. Fun. Only, her recommendation was, "We should swim from 11 am to 4 pm," and I was like, O_O holy shit, Martha, you're going to turn us all into prunes. So now I think we're gonna swim till we get tired and then go to a bookstore or something. SQUEE. So yeah.
Fun fun fun. More's happening this week than has happened in the past four months. YAY SUMMER.