Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I don't even know

I'm not sure what to write tonight. I have some thoughts, but they will not suffice. In an attempt to be original, I am reminded that so many others have written works that are almost identical to what I am doing now. So am I infringing on copyrights, or am I somehow skating around the thin ice?

I do not even know, but I feel like it is ok. Maybe three people will read my posts and I am in high doubts that any one of those three people will sue me or report me to some higher power. If they dare to do so, they will find out that I have zero dollars. So come at me if you think I'm overstepping my boundaries. Because that's all that patents and copyrights are. Boundaries that are seldom announced but always there.

The enclosure movement was successful in Europe because people started caring about their land usage. Lives became better and society was able to improve. Copyrights and patents are just like the enclosure movement. They fence in ideas so others are unable to grow upon them. Unlike the enclosure movement, ideas and inventions become locked in time unless others are willing to pay the price to use or improve upon them. So how are our crops supposed to grow if our ideas are waterlogged with legislation?

I understand that some ideas need to be protected, but there are plenty of others that can be released for adaptation and reflection. We need to be able to throw manure onto the pastures to help the crops grow better and stronger. But who I am I to tell people what they should do? I'm just a kid who is probably breaking copyright laws as I type. I don't even know. 

This was what I saw on my pier, let's hope I don't infringe copyrights so I can continue to ask you what you see on your pier. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Criticizing criticism

Being critical can either be a great skill or an evil curse, depending on the usage. Everyone can be critical at times. I definitely am critical of most things because inside my thoughts I am constantly debating the existence of everything. Yet, very few know what I am most critical about. 


The few things that I do not enjoy to criticize are literature, movies, and art. To me, these categories represent expression and to criticize them is to criticize their creators. That is why when we read novels in class that I dislike analyzing because we do not what the author is thinking while reading the book. Maybe they accidentally allude to Jesus on every other page. Also, whatever we criticize in these categories cannot change them. If you think the author should have used a more subtle way to explain the character's Achilles heel, there is nothing that can change that book. The words have been printed, shouldn't we accept, rather than criticize?

But everything must be analyzed with a fine tooth comb because apparently that betters society. I must say the criticism can be constructive, but it can also be destructive. It's much easier to criticize a dead man's work than work of a living author because no one can get hurt. What if T. S. Eliot's criticism of Hamlet set Shakespeare's life into a dark spiral where he could only think of those words for the rest of his life until his depression-filled cloud envelops his soul? Well then there would a problem in Denmark. As we criticize the living, we must remember to do so in a manner that reaffirms people rather than destroy people. 

This day on my pier I criticized criticism itself. Not well, because I am not fond of written criticism opposed to verbal or mental criticism. I invite you to sit on your pier and meta-criticize. It could become enjoyable.

Where is the Ham at?

Denmark is the home if Hamlet, but also one of my top vacation destinations. Other than the almost endless days, Denmark is home to some really great architecture and history. My dream is to watch the long sunsets from a boat off of the coast of Denmark. I have to thank Hamlet and Shakespeare for reminding me of this place. Hopefully one day I get to sit on the edge of a pier in Denmark.

Note: This was written on November 4th, but somehow was never posted.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To eat or not to eat


Man is it good. But at times, some people do not want to eat. It is alright if it is every once in a while, but if it is a constant feeling, there might be a problem. And if it is a problem, you might not be able to see it. Those around you will only notice if you make a point of it or they realize that you are losing weight at a rapid rate. It's hard to watch. It's hard to hear. It's hard to bear.

Seeing someone decide to not eat is painful, especially when you have as large of an appetite as me. Each day, they don't find appeal in foods they once loved. Then they get upset because they cannot eat even if they really want to deep down. It's hard to watch. It's hard to hear. It's hard to bear.

Doctors can only help so much, it is up to you to do the rest and fight for your life. But negative thoughts can hinder your recovery. The constant idea of dying is always on their mind. When they are upset, they scream it at the top of their lungs because their pain is unbearable. It's hard to watch. It's hard to hear. It's hard to bear.

When someone you love is suffering from stomach ailments and depression, you can't help but tearing up whenever someone mentions suicide because in your house, it could become a reality. In senior thus far, I have heard and learned about suicide more than I have had in my past. It could not have come at any worse of a time. The topic of depression and suicide make me worried. Watching videos and reading about it makes me terrified. But the worst part is coming home, wondering if it had taken over. It's hard to watch. It's hard to hear. It's hard to bear.

The first time that I heard a glimpse of real depression just about broke me. At first, I thought their actions were just disrespectful. Then I learned, they had more substance than I thought. When I hear outbursts of the cloud, I think back to that first moment and remember that pang of Hell that I had experienced. No one should have to see or experience these pains, but in our imperfect world it is a given. A given that I never would have thought could happen in my world. It's hard to watch. It's hard to hear. It's hard to bear.

I cannot say anything. I watch what I say, so a beast is not woken. I wonder if when I tiptoe, they can hear that I am not being real with them. It hurts me to not be me when I am around the cloud. To tempt the storm would be to release the emotions that could end the storm for good. I do not dare to tempt the tempest. I miss how we once were even if we fought most of the time. But I didn't have to pretend most of the time. I could be me and they could destroy me with harsh comments, but that was a better time than this. At least then, I was the one getting hurt. It's hard to watch. It's hard to hear. It's hard to bear.


"To be or not to be" is a quote that means more to me now than ever before. Hamlet may have said them, but he never had to feel their pain. It is one thing to contemplate life when you are a fictional character, but when you are real, it literally destroys everyone in your life. Hamlet isn't real, but his words almost seem to publicize the idea that contemplating life is a necessity when things get tough in life. I did not realize until this point in typing that his words actually make me mad. I imagine that suicide was not as common as it is today, but I could be wrong. This play, this character made suicide an option for those dealing with depression. If these words had never been scripted, far fewer people would even consider taking their own lives. How can this be a question? To be is the only option because life can only get better as long as you can see it that way. Hamlet may have been depressed by his situation, but he does not need to contemplate taking his life. He is a prince who is sad. He is not a man with problems deeper than an abyss. It's possible for him to have saw a light at the end of his misery. He need not say his famous lines because now, it's a common thought in depressed people. Thanks a lot Hamlet. You make families fall to pieces. You made people who were shining stars in their own ways burn out before their time was up. You are the reason that heart strings are pulled, torn, and  thrashed. Your words have made depression worse than it has to be, and for that I dislike you. It's hard to read.

(Don't mind the spanish subtitles)

This hurts me so bad. The one suffering does not realize that they are making the ones around them suffer as well. To watch someone with depression is comparable to watching a soldier walking through a field of mines. One wrong step and they can be gone. But we always hope that the soldier finds their way to the safety of the meadow. We try to help, but sometimes we need to be quiet. We need to help, but sometimes we are thrown aside. We aspire to help, but sometimes it works. There are times where things seem almost normal and times where you just want to cry. We hope that love and patience can make good days last longer. Some days, its just not possible no matter how hard you try. What we must remember is that Hamlet's words are only words. When those words become actions is where we lose. We cannot let that happen. Keep fighting and cheering for them, even if they do not want to hear it. Because you know that life is beautiful and one day they will remember that. This is what I see from my pier, I hope you do not see the same.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Polonius Effect

Reciting words of wisdom can be influential, but they are only as good as the person who is saying them. If a person says an astounding piece of advice, it means nothing if they themselves do not follow what they preach. And we all know someone who is guilty of this.

I am dubbing this the "Polonius Effect." There are two components in my theoretical, observational effect.

Polonius, a character in Hamlet, is the reason for my creation of the "Polonius Effect." Polonius repeatedly has great quotes, but they have no substance because he does not heed them himself. Hamlet sees right through his workings and has no value of trust for the man. Polonius is somewhat of a hypocrite. He believes himself to be a man of high stature, however, I feel as though he does not know that he is not as grand as he sees himself. 

The other component is a sense of narcissism. In my opinion, I believe Polonius is narcissistic. Because of his narcissistic tendencies, he can preach his wise words without feeling like a hypocrite, even though he is. His enlarged sense of self causes him to almost condescend his wise words to Hamlet and the others in the play.

I do not know about most people, but at times I feel like I am a culprit of the "Polonius Effect." But at times, it is necessary to be this way so others do not follow in your path. But if you are being a Polonius for the majority of your day, you might need to reconsider some things. Help me to spread awareness of the "Polonius Effect" and help to better society with the suppression of Polonius's all over the world. To help, hashtag #stopPolonius so others can question your tweet.

As always, thank you for sitting with me on my pier. This is what I saw on my pier, what will you see on yours?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Where Luke Bryan and Hamlet Collide

After seeing the title of my post, you are probably wondering what I am talking about. First off, you probably have never heard of Luke Bryan or Hamlet. Second off, you probably don't understand how they are even remotely alike. But surprisingly enough, they are alike. At least in my mind.

Last Wednesday, the Country Music Awards aired and presented the faces of country music with awards to honor their contributions to the art. Many vocalists were asked to perform on this special night. On this night, Luke Bryan commemorated his siblings that passed away with his song "Drink a Beer." (The references to alcohol in his song are no worse than the references to wine in mythology books which we read in class).

I had heard this song probably a hundred times before because I have his album and I love that song. But until last Wednesday, I hadn't HEARD it before. The lyrics were brought to the foreground with his emotions bringing their true meaning forward. It was beautiful and sad and touching and I couldn't help but tear up. Like had lost both of his siblings and had found a venue where his love for them could be shared and remembered. His love for them lives on through the melodies that escape his heart. 

Hamlet also lost someone he loved; his father, the king of Denmark. After Claudius had married Hamlet's mother, Hamlet was obviously upset. His father's body wasn't even cold and the wedding bells had already rang. No wonder Hamlet was a moody man at the opening of the play! Hamlet was unable to grieve his father before he was replaced by his uncle. Claudius then went on to insult the poor boy when he was already down and hurt. 

I promise Luke and Hamlet have more in common than a death in their family. I'm getting there.

Luke and Hamlet both have a ledge where they go. In Luke's case, he is sitting in the edge of a pier drinking a beer, according to the lyrics. He doesn't know what else to do with himself after learning the catastrophic news, so he walks and finds himself at the edge of a pier. On his pier, he can reminisce, curse, and pray while trying to comprehend what has just happened to him. Hamlet finds himself on the edge of the castle walls with Horatio. There he finds a ghost of his deceased father. Luke found his brother at the pier while Hamlet found his father on a wall that overlooks the water. They are both able to communicate their feelings and are able to get a grasp on their lives in some way. Even though Hamlet plots revenge after meeting with his father's ghost, he found a way to cope with what is happening in his life like Luke does in his song.

I have not lost a loved one in my lifetime, so I cannot understand the pain that either of them are going through. I do know that everyone has their own way of handling death. Grieving is unique to the person. Whether it be watching the sun set or plotting revenge, it helps to overcome the loss that you have experienced. Hamlet and Luke both experienced tragic losses and are worlds apart, but they both felt a deep pang that drove them to looking out to the ocean'a horizon.

So if you are ever needing a bizarre pairing, think about Luke and Hamlet. It can surprise you how much they are alike in certain lights. Then again, I haven't finished Hamlet. So maybe they aren't alike in the end. But you can say that Hamlet and Luke share some similarities that would surprise you. Today, Hamlet, Luke Bryan, and I shared a pier. What did you see on your pier?

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Changing Wind

Wind is a powerful force. It disperses seeds for new growth while also providing a cooling effect. Wind is also an energy force that is being collected in areas all over the world.

This morning, while I was perusing Twitter, I came across a tweet from The Guardian that said that Ethiopia has built the largest wind farm in subsaharan Africa. The wind energy captured from the wind farm will help to sustain Ethiopia's economic growth while providing energy for more of its inhabitants. This is a huge step towards a better Ethiopia. But at what price?

In order to gain something, generally we must give something up. It is just like what our mothers said: you want respect, you must first give respect. But how do you know what you have to give up in order to get something? Not everything has an obvious price tag like in the department store.  In my English class, we are coming up with innovation projects. In order to fix unknown unknowns, we go through a process called crows vs. crops. Basically, other students nitpick our projects and help us figure out its opportunity cost. In short it is what finalizes our cost-benefit analysis.

Windmills in Ethiopia
I'm sure that Ethiopa had some sort of cost-benefit analysis. But there seems to be a problem with the farmers that they displaced: they were not compensated enough for the defaulting of their land. This movement towards electricity for all might have some additional possibilities. I am not saying that their project was ill-planned, but I do have some ideas that could help the health of the nation.

The land between wind turbines is usually wasted. But Ethiopa could install a mild farming it grazing program so that fewer farmers or shepherds are displaced. This way, the food supply is less affected by the installment of the wind turbines. It would be a win-win situation for both the government and the people of Ethiopa.

Another possible idea that I have, if possible with their current or future resources, is to fill the space between the windmills with solar panels. This would be really pricey, but would increase their energy by millions of kilowatts! With more energy available, people would start to build communities that utilize this renewable energy. 

As I said before, I am not criticizing their project because I am a huge fan of their innovative step towards an improved nation economically and socially. This innovation is great. Ethiopa is using the metaphorical lemons that they recieve from nature and turning them into sweet lemonade. This was my view from my pier today. What do you see from yours?


Tuesday, October 22, 2013



Teachers tend to enjoy asking that question, as do students. This question can lead to a meaningful response or to a "because I said so" kind of answer. Either way, thought is provoked.

Yesterday in my English class, I found a website that had 50 incredible questions. These questions had no right answers, but provoked quite a deal of thought. Unlike a lot of questions asked in school, I actually answered them for pleasure rather than for a grade or stamp. I was able to sit back and respond to these questions without being judged in some way. It helped to free my mind a little. 

When I sit on my pier, I always ask myself questions. The questions in the link below reminded me of the thoughts that I can have when I'm in reflection mode. I invite you to sit on your pier and ask yourself some of these thought provoking questions or even come up with your own. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More ice, fewer problems?

This year, it was reported that there was 5 million acres of ice in the Arctic Ocean after the summer, up from last years post-summer acreage of about 1 million. What does this mean?


People tend throw around statistics and hope to get people to think the way that they do. In the end, that strategy does not help the greatest good: we as a people. But this statistic was supported by a great article published by theguardian.com. In this article, they explained how that this increase in ice did not disprove the idea that the globe was warming. But my question still remains. What does this mean?

Does this mean that polar bears and other Arctic creatures are going to survive  the summer months when the ice is melting? Does this mean we can drive more SUVs? How can we be sure that any evidence explains peoples' theories? 

When I read articles about global warming, I generally trust those that predict rather than those that say that the environment is downright heating up. I try my best to find articles that display both sides of the issue. Just like in Othello, you can't trust everyone because you don't always know what angle people are working. Iago might just be behind that article you're reading, so be careful.

Does more ice mean fewer problems? Probably not. There is so much research conducted on this topic. It's not just the vast areas if ice that matter, it's also the thickness that is being measured. According to The Guardian, the problems related with Arctic and its ice are not receding. The thickness of the ice has actually gotten thinner which is not good. There are plenty of problems with the Arctic ice. But with further research and better environmental practices, hopefully we can help to slow the ice from melting and save the animals that inhabit those cold areas. That's what I saw from my pier today. What will you see from yours?


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Breaking Bad into Good

Bad ideas. Why can't they be good? What if bad ideas are good and good ideas are bad? Someone has to test out the bad ideas so as a society, we can know if they are really bad. Oh wait, there is a place where bad ideas are put to the test: it would be called Youtube.


Not only are people testing out their terrible ideas, they are also posting them to Youtube so others can laugh at their failures or find a way that they can do it themselves. The latter is what is interesting. People continue to do stupid things even though its tried and true that those actions are not of the intelligent nature. I get a kick out of their attempts of stupidity until they get seriously hurt. I imagine that there are times where a bad idea becomes an incredibly brilliant discovery. I do not believe I have witnessed such a circumstance in person. But someone had to be the first person to jump out of plane and land on their feet, safe and sound. I am not telling anyone to do idiotic things that will hurt them, but I am encouraging people to try out some bad ideas that could have great possibilities.

Merri Lightbody

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Pier at Night

Last night I went to the pier with my friend. (Shocking, right?) We were facing the north, looking at Long Beach and its surroundings. There were so many lights, whether in the ports or on the oceanic oil rigs off of the coast. But when we turned around to leave, the other side of the pier was pitch black. My friend was paranoid about the never-ending blackness while I was captivated by its untouched essence. In my eyes, the darkness of night is much more beautiful than a night lit up by the hands of humans. (Unless it is Christmas time and there are pretty, energy-efficient lights up). 

I am terrified of things that lurk in the dark, but somehow I feel that the dark is a beautifully, natural idea. Most people do not realize that the dark does not have to be so dark. City lights are just as pollutive as carbon dioxide. Light pollution hides the natural light of stars. That is one of the many reasons why cities disappoint me so. The best lights are those that are millions or even billions of miles away that are so bright that I can see them here on this earth. It's fascinating that those balls of immense, yet distant energy can shine through to my heart. City lights are only as good as their expenses. The night's stars are extraordinary in every way imaginable.

So when you walk out to the edge of your pier, make sure to notice the stars, if there are any. Make a wish upon a star and make a pledge to preserve their path to your soul. Don't let those city lights keep you from seeing the original night life.

Merri Lightbody

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Point

Not everyone was made to write a blog. I am probably one of those people.

This is an english assignment. I was not in class when my teacher assigned the blog so I am going off of a very broad explanation that I received from a couple of my classmates. However, I would have gotten the same vague explanation from my teacher if I had been in class that day. But that is what I like about his assignments; they are open to interpretation.

I am somewhat glad to have an assignment where I can express myself in a creative way instead of writing essays about literary devices and their affect on an audience that I could care less about. With this blog, I can voice my opinions or just vent about things that I care about. It's almost exhilarating.

The real point of my blog is to sit from my vantage point (check the title) and examine the world around me. I invite you to embark upon my grand adventure through the various topics that interest me and those that I am somewhat required to converse about.

“For our stories are not yet finished, and perhaps will never be.” -Piers Anthony
Merri Lightbody