Can you imagine it?
This is what I posted on Instagram last night:
"Trying to spread the word: there have been dozens of shootings in Paris tonight- tons of hostages as well. Terrorists. The entire country had been declared in a state of emergency. Right now in France it is 1 am. The shootings started at a concert hall, and there were more during a sports game and at many bars. Tons and tons of hostages are being held in the concert hall where it started. This is the most significant series of terrorist attacks in France- it is gruesome, horrible and incredibly painful. If you're reading this, please spread the word. My heart is with everyone in Paris. So many innocent people have been and may be murdered tonight, on Friday the 13th, with so many more people held as hostage and others injured and so many people who will lose their loved ones. I don't know how to end this, but I just wanted to spread the word and increase awareness. This is an infamous night, and November 13, 2015 will be the death date on so many gravestones. Words can't express the ripping terror this is causing and painful horror it is."
I wrote it in a rush, tears close to falling, while listening to a BBC live broadcast and checking pages of live updates. This morning, in the aftermath of the attacks, I found out that around 127 people are thought to have died with 200 injured, 80 of which in critical condition. To see that there are humans with such sharp, sliding horror in them to do such a thing is almost too much to bear. As President Obama said, "This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share." (full speech: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/13/statement-president-situation-paris)
I hurts me to know that I can't do more than post pictures and write comments and articles to help the people of France in this terrible time. My father emailed all his Paris-situated friends. All but one have replied to say they are fine. My heart would have shattered long ago around this event, if I hadn't solely needed it to stay strong and do anything to help. I hope this serves as another wake up call for humanity that these things are going on in our world. Differences in religion have caused so many wars before and this may as well turn into one. We need to stop this. We can't wait until it gets worse, until the death toll rises. There are so, so many good, strong people in the world. Anyone can make a stand. Even if you're far away from the events of tonight, I encourage you to make a tribute to them. Spread awareness. Help. You can branch out from the shootings. Volunteer. Donate. Make a difference. Because last nights events have shown us that we definitely need some.
I’m going to have to be really vague in this article. Really, really vague. For reasons I’ll explain. But I needed to write this down, whether I publish it or not. Just bear with me, and if you’re involved with this story, I beg you not to get angry with me for writing it. I won’t mention names or hints, but if you’re involved and you know me, then you will know what and who I’m talking about. Unless you’re the main person I’m talking about. She’s a girl (that’s almost the biggest hint I’ll give about who this is). I’ll call her… Iva. Yes. That’ll work.
This girl, Iva, I know well enough. Not too much and not that little, but enough. What I’m going to write about here is something that got to me before her. That is almost the worst part. Iva told me she has some younger siblings. And of course she has her parents. This is what Iva told me. That’s what she thinks. But that is not totally true. The person she thinks is her father is not her real father. Not that she’s an illegitimate child or anything. Her real father died the day she was born (Downton Abbey…) and her mother married the person Iva thinks is her father when she was two. They had her younger siblings then. There. I said it. As I said before, she knows none of this. I knew it before her. And how old will she be when her parents have decided to tell her? 30. Yes, you read right. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. It’s wrong. It’s so, so wrong. I only wish I could tell her. But my telling her would be wrong. All I hope is her mother and ‘father’ come to their senses.
Once again, if you’re involved and you know it, please don’t get annoyed with me for writing. But maybe it’ll help convince the parents to tell her. Soon. And much before 30.
Pride and Honor. It sounds like a book, doesn’t it? I think I’m getting that from “Pride and Prejudice”. The older books have finer names, I think. Well, not finer exactly. I would say that they have simple names that encompass almost too much, while still encompassing just enough. Did you get that? I didn’t, but to be honest, it sounds nice and could require future contemplation. So I’m keeping it.
Pride and Honor. This again. Some adults are the most prideful creatures. I suppose everyone is prideful, though I think it shows up more in adults. Children and teens too, but I would say they hide it more at school and unmask it when they get home. But having extremely prideful parents might keep it masked then as well, and vice versa for the parents. If another in a person’s presence is showcasing a bad quality, the said person generally pushes that bad quality away from their selves. I’m not saying this with certainty, but it’s what I’ve seen. Mostly with myself though. It’s hard to judge what qualities others are pushing with their minds. This in other words being what people are thinking. How they are acting when they don’t talk. If I had any one super power, this is what I would want by far. To read other’s minds. It would make everything so much easier (and so much more interesting, especially as a middle school student).
Pride and Honor. I suppose I should mention what I mean by pride. My own personal definition. Well, not definition, exactly. How I view it, not in terms of opinions, but in terms of association. I’ll come upon this gradually. I thought most of this up swimming today. Without my family next to me. They were eating. I find when your family is swimming with you, they make a great deal of noise. You usually can’t think very much. But when they are eating, the water gets a great deal quieter. Even with all the other people on vacation. It always seems your own family makes the greatest deal of racket compared to the rest of them.
Pride and Honor. There’s a great difference. Like a brick and dinosaur. Nothing in common, right? Though I suppose I could use the usual analogies now- black and white, hot and cold. I don’t usually like to use them, because they in fact are very similar- they’re both colors and both temperatures. But they work in this case. So pride and honor. Like winter and summer or chaos and order. They are very different. Honor has to do with morals and dignity. Pride has to do with stubbornness and self interest. In “A Song of Ice and Fire”, honor is the most closely associated with the Starks. I’m not sure who to associate pride with. It’s too hard to choose. I don’t think I’ve ever met a human being without pride. Honor is something different. They weigh against each other. I’m non religious, but I thought up an analogy earlier today that I liked. It has a religious spark to it. The Saint and the Demon. Much more enticing than Good and Evil. And while it isn’t perfectly what I’m speaking of with pride and honor, it gives a bit of an idea. A nice, furnished, analogy.
When one is greater, the other weakens. That’s the basics, but the basics can be twisted. The big difference between them is, to me, that while pride can run out, just like honor, it won’t run out when honor gets too great. I think it would run out, if it ever did, in the most heartbreaking of situations, alongside honor. These morals, dignity and self importance and interest can run out. I’m sort of associating pride with confidence now. It makes sense. It’s not good to get overly confident. Over confidence is a lot like pride. Anyway, I don’t think pride can run out on its own. Honor can, but pride can’t. For some reason, good can drown much more easily than bad. (That somehow reminds me of the witch trial in the medieval times, where they would tie the suspected witch to a rock and try to drown her in water. If she drowned, she wasn’t a witch and if she didn’t, she was. Which, of course, resulted in death anyway. Not the perfect connection, but it shines a new light on the trials, I think. For some reason, my favorite times and traditions of history to study are the ones smoked with death and despair, like the Black Death, and, of course, the witch hunts. But I enjoy learning of the periods of enlightenment, too.)
One last thing I wanted to touch on- something I would call the age trials. (Previously I was calling them tests, but witch hunt talk changed my mind.) Just something quick. Basically, I’ve noticed that while pride shows up quite young in most people (varying from character to character, of course), honor can’t show up until it gets tested. Which usually happens much later in most lives. I guess I like to think of myself as an honorable person (key word: like), but I won’t ever know until I get tested. I’ll call this part of it the tests of honor. But I think I’ll hold on to thinking of myself as honorable for now. Just for now. Until I’m tested. I think that helps. Over confidence can get bad, but confidence is pure good. As long as it’s on your side.
My Top Five Reasons I'm Not Looking Forward to Next School Year.
1. My best friend is moving away... to another country... on another continent... across an ocean.
2. Another good friend is moving to a state south of my state.
3. My orchestra conductor is also leaving.
4. Another favorite teacher is leaving.
5. Summer is SO much more fun than school.
To start, let me make one thing clear. I know absolutely nothing about Marvel or anything of the like, and have never watched any of these movies. Not a thing.
However, a friend of mine (let's call her Teddy), who came to my school at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year is quite a fan. Teddy is also aspiring to be an author. She watched the movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron the night before it came out- not exactly the midnight premiere, but more like the 7:00 at night premiere. Anyway, that is not the point. The point is, Teddy, read this one bad review about the movie, by a man named Anthony Lane. I'll copy and past it below for the nonexistent readers of this blog to see (read it on the actual website here).
Who is Ultron? What is he? I went into “Avengers: Age of Ultron” not knowing whether the name referred to a man, a concept, or a laundry powder, and I came out none the wiser. All I can tell you is that it speaks in the voice of James Spader, and that it can’t make up its humongous mind whether to save the world or to trash it. (This is a Marvel movie, so the third option—simply leaving the world to get on with its daily business, in its own sweet and shambling way—is not on the table.) To start with, Ultron seems to be a computer program, and at one point it even squares off against another computer program—a ball of sparky golden light versus a ball of sparky blue light, bobbing and spitting at each other, without a human in sight. Maybe one day all movies will look like that.
As for our heroes, last seen in “The Avengers” (2012), the same team takes the field, pretty much unchanged, and still lacking a really solid tight end. We have Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and the guy with the bow and arrow (Jeremy Renner), whose name I can never remember. In a new and exciting bend in the plot, one of them turns out to have a wife and kids, which gives the gang a place to hole up and the wife a chance to say, “You know I totally support your Avenging.” Even cozier is a burgeoning affection between Black Widow and the Hulk—not someone you would choose to have a crush on you, but that’s love. In one deeply peculiar scene, they both confess to being incapable of having children. “I physically can’t,” he claims. Probably a blessing.
The story begins with a fight in a forest and ends with a fight in a city that floats in midair. In between, there is a fight in a castle, a fight on a freeway, and a fight in the wake of a cocktail party. The loudest fight is a tussle between Iron Man and the Hulk, which is part of a cunning scheme to rip the Avengers apart. Bring it on, I say. It has something to do with dreams, which are triggered by a blast of hypno-magic from the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), a new player in the game; each hero is disabled by harsh visions, tailored to touch upon his or her worst fears. I vaguely hoped that Thor would find himself holding hands with Hello Kitty, but no joy.
The experience of watching “Avengers: Age of Ultron”—which is not just long but, in Iron Man’s words, “Eugene O’Neill long”—runs as follows. First, you try to understand what the hell is going on. Then you slowly realize that you will never understand what is going on. And, last, you wind up with the distinct impression that, if there was anything to understand, it wasn’t worth the sweat. I gave up around the time that we were presented with something called the Mind Stone, yet another cosmic thingamajig, and apparently one of six “infinity stones,” which sound like the kind of stuff that Bilbo Baggins would hawk on QVC. All of this is a bitter disappointment, not least because the movie was written and directed by Joss Whedon. He is a smart and witty operator, as was evident to anyone who saw “Much Ado About Nothing,” the deft little jeu d’esprit that he knocked off in between this dose of Avenging and the last. Now and then, in “Age of Ultron,” amid the pap about “molecular functionality,” we get glimpses of what Whedon can do, as in the fine scene where Thor’s comrades attempt, in turn, to lift his mighty hammer. Could this be what it feels like to make a Marvel film, as you strive to free up the dead weight of all that cod-mythology? On the night I saw the movie, Whedon arrived to introduce it. “I’m really tired of it,” he said. Everyone laughed, thinking that he was joking. Now I’m not so sure.
Not the nicest review, right? Teddy definitely did not agree. So one morning, in homeroom, she typed up a response to this Mr. Anthony Lane. And it is BRILLIANT!
Dear Mr. Lane,
I have recently read your review of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and find that I completely disagree with what is being said. I could make a long and extensive list of everything that justifies my opinion and disproves your article, but I have managed to narrow it don to a few basic things that seem quite obvious to me.
First, I feel that the article is undereducated. Not that it is badly written, or that you are not a strong author or something akin to that. I mean that the article obviously lacks a researched background. As far as I can tell, you watched the prequel The Avengers and left it at that. However, this is not sufficient. You claim not to know who Ultron is, yet I can tell you just from the commercial that he is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) made, according to the movie, by Tony Stark, who then went rogue trying to purge the world of anything that he deems inferior. That is to say: he wants to kill all life forms on the planet and start anew. I also know quite a bit about Ultron just from reading his page in the Marvel’s Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide Book. For example, in the comics, he was created by Doctor Hank Pym, the original Ant Man, to have thought patterns based on those of his designer, then became psychotic and bent on killing all humans. Whenever he was defeated by the Avengers, he’d come back having upgraded himself to be better, stronger, and far more deadly. Another piece of research you could have done was watch a few of the more recent episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division), and read a comic or two regarding Ultron. Even watching their recent hit The Guardians of the Galaxy would have helped understand the concept of the Infinity Gems.
Another problem with the article is you complain about the length and number of fight scenes. I would like to kindly remind you that the prequel, which you complimented, was roughly 2 hours and 23 minutes, two minutes longer than Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel movies are always long, and they pack as much adventure and interest into it as they can. Also, you held the Pride and Prejudice movie in high regard, and that lasted a whole 6 hours. So complaining that the movie was long is completely nonsensical, based on your opinions of past movies and similar characteristics. Also, the movie is bound to have fight scenes, and a lot of them. You said in your article “The story begins with a fight in a forest and ends with a fight in a city that floats in midair. In between, there is a fight in a castle, a fight on a freeway, and a fight in the wake of a cocktail party.”, which is to be expected. You have listed only five fight scenes, while most Marvel movies will have a few more than that. The main reason I disliked Iron Man 2 was because there were only two pathetic fight scenes. The Marvel fans want a lot of fight scenes, which is why we go to see Avengers: Age of Ultron rather than 50 Shades of Grey.
Finally, you complain that the movie is “…still lacking a really solid tight end”, which makes it obvious you have not looked into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU for short). The plan out for the films to be released is extensive, with many more movies involving the Avengers in the future. Given your lack of knowledge of the MCU, I’ll explain to you. They release the movies in “Phases,” a clever reference to the projects that S.H.I.E.L.D. makes, also called “Phases.” Phase One consisted of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: the First Avenger, and The Avengers. They are near completion with the release of Phase Two, made up of the following: Iron Man 3, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor: the Dark World, Captain America: the Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant Man. The next step is Phase Three, which will produce movies such as Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy: War of the Kings, Inhumans, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War Part I, and Avengers: Infinity War Part II. The movies are planned so far in advance that the last movie on that list is planned for release in the year 2019, by which time I will be starting my [classified] year of high school. Therefore, there must be some unresolved conflict so as to bring it back up in future films and television series.
Overall, I thought your review lacked research background, consisted of invalid complaints, and had absolutely no foresight whatsoever. That is not to say that I am not frustrated by the movie. They have changed many things from the original comics, including the complete disregard for Wanda and Pietro Maximoff’s parentage (which, granted, is more of a debate of copyright infringement than a purposeful and willingly made choice) and the true creator of Ultron. However, your negative remarks were mainly directed towards the movie’s lack of ability to help you understand, and I personally disagree with that being a valid argument.
"Teddy" a.k.a. [classified]
P.S. The Vision is red and green, not purple.
Pretty good, right?
Ceylan, with permission from Teddy.
I. FEEL. AMAZING.
On Saturday, I posted my prediction for the name of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's second child and first daughter, after previously guessing that the little one would be a girl. I stated that I loved the name Mary Diana Charlotte, but I decided and said my official guess would be Charlotte Elizabeth Diana (keep in mind no one revealed how many middle names the princess would have). And this morning, after finishing my French test (and of course not slacking off), I might've looked online to see if the name had been released yet and I might've seen this.
Princess. Charlotte. Elizabeth. Diana. The exact name I guessed. Here, I'll prove it.
Look back if you don't believe me. That post was posted Saturday and hasn't been edited since. I GUESSED IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. Then again, it does combine the two things I am most obsessed with- Names and Royalty.
Alright, I realize that it is closing into the night and the Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge's second child and first daughter's name will probably be released to the public tomorrow or the next. She was born this morning, after all. But I needed to get this in before, and despite the fact no one will read it, at least not before the name announcement, I might still go back looking through archives and laugh at how far from what happened my chosen name ended up being. Interesting experience.
I've decided to come up with my answer based on the top 7 royal baby girl names that currently have been in the running: Alice, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Victoria, Mary, Diana and Alexandra. First of all, considering William and Kate's first (Prince George) had two middle names (Alexander Louis), that is the same I'll do with this one. I'll lead to my answer step by step.
For a middle name, I love the idea of putting Diana, Elizabeth and Charlotte- Diana would honor the Prince's late mother, Elizabeth would honor his grandmother, her majesty the queen and Charlotte would honor his father, Charles, Prince of Wales. For first names, I have to say I just adore Mary and Charlotte (yes, Charlotte again), simply because they are both beautiful and classic and still able to stand up nowadays in modern naming trends. Now, that leaves me with a rather long list.
Charlotte Diana Elizabeth
Charlotte Elizabeth Diana
Mary Charlotte Diana
Mary Charlotte Elizabeth
Mary Diana Charlotte
Mary Diana Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth Charlotte
Mary Elizabeth Diana
Yes, quite long. But looking at the list, I find my favorites to be Mary Diana Charlotte and Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. And between the two, I have to place two categories.
My Favorite: Mary Diana Charlotte
Most Probable: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana
Yes, my favorite is rather clear. All three are beautiful names and just flow so well together. But I think the second is the more probable of the two. Think about it. Queen Elizabeth II and Lady Diana Spencer- his grandmother (the queen) and his beloved late mother. Despite their bad relations with each other, I would find it likely that they would honor them in the name. And right now, according to name popularity and the sibling sets, Charlotte seems, to me, more likely than Mary to be bestowed upon the little princess. But it doesn't matter now. Let us see what the result is!
Look at this picture above. You see a castle. A pretty normal castle it seems. Not too Happily Ever After Disney-ish or dan dan DAAAAHHHHHNN!!!!!!! evilness. Normal. Maybe something you'd see on a trip to Europe. Now look at the one below.
Yeah, you might not be so enthusiastic about that. If someone asked you, "Hey, wanna spend the night?", and if you're anything like me, you'd be freaked and say no. But you wouldn't mind too much on the next one.
Which brings us to the idea of appearance vs. reality. A topic that comes up repeatedly in a seventh grade English class' discussion of Macbeth. And now everyone says, "Yeah, yeah, we know, Ceylan, don't judge a book by its cover and all that skurlipoop," in which I would reply, "Not completely," in which they would say-- actually, never mind to this fake conversation of mine. Let's move on, shall we?
Appearance in appearance vs. reality isn't just what one looks like, when you come to the real world- or, as I like to call it, a normal sized private middle school situated in a reasonably big city. My grade consists of a little less than 100 students and I know every person's first name, last name, and roughly their status or interests. But I am probably wrong on every single one of them who is outside my friendship group. Why do I admit this? For one reason. My peers think that I'm- wait for it- quiet. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I guess I am a little quiet in Math. And maybe it's because I don't join in in the loud conversations happening across the room in Digital Design. But when I am around my friends, I am most definitely not quiet. So it's not just your appearance causing people to make wrong assumptions about you, but, I suppose, the impression you give off in places that are not your most comfortable place to be. And don't get me wrong. I'm rather good at school, actually. I'm in the better half in my grade, at least. But where I'm the most comfortable is with my friends and family, because that is where I am the happiest.
One more thing- this is not true for everyone. While I consider myself having 4 different personalities (one with family, one with friends, one amongst peers and one amongst people I don't know very well), others may be their only oneselves all around. I wouldn't know, since I've only ever been me- a silly, weird, crazy and talkative person obsessed with the oddest things. I'm a filmmaker. I'm a violinist. I'm a writer. I'm nothing else. And if people see me as something else, I don't care. Then they are just seeing one sliver of the person I am. I am me with my friends or family (yes, or- putting them together would just be weird to me) and only then. And when people accept that about themselves and their world, that is when they can stop caring about how they look and are doing around strangers. They can be happy and successful and do whatever they want, because that is how you strengthen your chances of that. You be you.
P.S. I went from castles to tips on how to live a good life. Wow.