vrijdag 25 januari 2013

Exams are overn vacation!

Finally after a whole month of studying, the exams are over. I'll have to do a few again in August and for some I'm not sure.
Today I had the hardest one, an oral exam: Phonetics. I definitely failed.

I don't have much planned for the vacation (except that I'll probably go trice to the cinema) besides being not bored. I want to read and write and study. Yes, study. The course Literature in English is continuing in the second term and in June I will have an exam about the first and the second term, so I have to keep up with it. I'll probably try to re-read all the general introductions to the periods and the author introduction and make a brief summary of it and I hope to re-read every single text before the exam. It will require careful planning. Anyhow, I'm going to enjoy my well deserved vacation!

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

This books had been on my to-read list for quite some time. My boyfriend saw the film a couple of weeks ago and insisted that I had to see it on the big screen but I refused until I read the book. A little while later he bought me the book. This small review is spoiler free.

I finished it in ten days. I would have read it faster if it wasn't for the exams. I must say I was very impressed. It is in a way a very light book that touches serious subjects. It's a book that forces that invites you to think, to try and understand. The book is full of 'lightly' philosophising about different aspects of life. I really enjoyed to read those parts. I have the feeling the book has broadened my mind and I love Pi's vision on religion.

Yann Martel is a great write and storyteller. I love how he describes the world and he is very good with emotions. His work is very inspirational and I was surprised how interesting he managed to keep the story while there was as good as no change of scenery for 200 pages. Almost nothing happens during those pages but on the other hand so much happens. It's really hard to describe accurate, you'll have to read it for that. It's a very tragic story that makes you wonder about certain thinks. I enjoyed it a lot and I would recommend it to everyone who can appreciate a good story.

So far for my small review. I will probably talk more about Life of Pi after I've seen the film.

donderdag 17 januari 2013

Fight Like A Girl

Today I finally found the new CD of Emilie Autumn, Fight Like A Girl, or in short, FLAG. I wasn't quite sure what I had to expect, for Emilie Autumn is very unpredictable. I both love Enchant and Opheliac and I can say I like FLAG a lot as well, but in my opinion, Opheliac is still the her best work. FLAG sound a bit like joke, because it's so full of sarcasm and the different styles of songs, which do not seem to match together, are spread all over the album, but it works.

Emilie Autumn will never be my favourite vocalist, but I adore her lyrics. What annoys me about FLAG is that it puts ever male human in a bad light, while there are plenty of lovely men on earth and there are some monsters of women on it as well. I do understand that 'hatred' of men is a part of her story, but she exaggerates. What is absolutely brilliant is the different voices she has done on the CD. I really enjoyed that!  If she is to return to Belgium I will probably go and see her again, since it has been a while and I love her show. I'm not going to go in detail about the CD since I just listened it once. Just a quick opinion should suffice.

This is my favourite song from the CD: 

For those we don't know: she has recorded a video for the the title song of the album (Fight Like A Girl) and I'm really curious how it will turn out!

zaterdag 12 januari 2013

Where has my heart gone?

Field of Innocence by Evanescence is one of my all time favourite songs. While the music on it isn't that great, I love the lyrics and the bittersweet feeling it gives me. I can listen this over and over again. 

zaterdag 5 januari 2013

Relics, why do people buy them?

I should be studying narratology instead of writing this, but else it would be stuck in my head and I wouldn't be able to concentrate: so here is another blog!

Someone posted on facebook that a grey corset of Emilia Autmn, that she wore and stage, has been sold voor about 2.000 dollar. It's so insane! I don't understand that people want to pay so much money for a second hand piece, because that's what it is. And what the hell are they going to do with it? Wear it? It's a 2 000 dollar corset! Hang it on the wall?

I wonder why people are actually paying so much for things that have been made/worn/whatever by an artist. Beside being to boast about it or to show it of to your family/friends/other fans, what use has it? If the money goes to charity I can understand why you would buy it, but I think most people want to give money to have the object and not to support a charity. You don't have to buy stuff from a celebrity in order to support a charity!

I do understand you like to collect relics as memories or something, but why buy them? I have several relics from gigs, meeting inspiring person but I haven't bought any of them, they were giving freely to me (with expectation of an entrance ticket to a gig or something like that). You have people that would pay to get an autograph or a picture with famous persons but I will never do that. I pay money to see their films, read their books, to hear their music. I'll buy tickets for their show and when I have money and I like it, I'll buy merchandise. Above all that they still want me to pay for an autograph or a picture? Fuck you.

People that love their fans would never do that, unless they have a crappy manager or are really desperate for money. I will not think less of someone who sell relics/pictures/autographs, but I think the people who buy it are pathetic. I could go on about this for quite a while, but I still have lots of studying to to, especially since I'm going to the cinema this afternoon. 

vrijdag 4 januari 2013

The zoo is cool, or not?

Yesterday I watched Mysteria/Live 2012 DVd from The Rasmus. In the backstage footage we see some clips of the band visiting a zoo. At a certain moment one of the band member looks at a gorilla and says: "This is so wrong, we keep them here as prisoners."

I have always loved the zoo. As a child, my mother used to take my sister, me and some friends to the zoo a lot. Of course when you are little, you do not realise that the animals are indeed prisoners. The zoo is a great place and nothing is more amazing to an animal loving child than to watch all these magnificent animals. Now, I am older and wiser. I really feel sorry for the animals trapped in the zoo and, for some reason, especially birds. They are the image of freedom to me. They can fly go everywhere they want, no obstacle like water, mountains or cities can stop them. It strange to see them in such small cages but most of those animals have never known freedom.  Sometimes I'm ashamed to be human.

I do believe that, if the animals are properly housed, the zoo is a great place. I can understand that we can't give animals unlimited space to roam and that it is already a lot better than 50 years back, but it can still be improved. If you compare the city zoo of Antwerp to Blijdorp, the zoo in Rotterdam, you'll see how much better the latter is. The animals have more space and the park is much more beautiful and less crowded (because it's domain is larger) than Antwerp. It is impossible for the Antwerp zoo to give the animals more space because they don't have the domain for it. They could compensate by housing less animals. The zoo is a great place for everyone to see exotic and rare animals without having to travel a lot. I know you can use picture to teach kids how certain animals look, but it's not the same as seeing the real, living animals with your own eyes! Animals living in captivity is also a great way to do research and to breed.

Besides zoo's, we keep animals ion cages at home as well: rabbits, hamsters, fish, birds, rats etc.  They are most of the time, especially birds and larger mammals, house in cages which are ridiculously small compared to the animal size and very often group animals are kept alone as well. My parents own a canary which lives in a very small cage and a rabbit. The rabbit shouldn't be kept on it's own, but we rescued it and have no place for another. It's kind of sad that in the small, lonely cage all the time, but better than being left somewhere outside in the middle of the winter.

As you may know, I have a horse. I try to keep it as natural as possible, but obviously I cannot leave him roaming around. He used to be locked up in a stable for at least 12 to 14 hours a day and when the weather was bad, sometimes for 24 hours or more. I hated it so I moved him to a new place and now he can stay outside all day. At night he is locked up with his friend on a smaller space right in front of the stable (which that can freely go into if they want). I know it's no ideal, but it's the best that I could do with the budget I have. If I could, I would house him in a large herd that have a very large meadow and stays outside all the time except in extreme weather conditions, but unfortunately I cannot afford  to spend 300 euro a month for housing alone. If, for some reason, I have no other choice than to house my horses where he cannot get out of the stable for more than an hour or four a day, I will sell him. I do not want to keep animals in such conditions.

Zoo are great, keeping pets is great if you give them proper care and housing. I will never ever house an animal in a tiny cage or lock it up in a stable for a whole day. That 's animal cruelty.