This is me, laid bare. Don't poke too hard.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Monday, May 23, 2005
Today my parents returned from New York, which marks the end of my first post-exam week. Zack should be in school now, getting ready for his last exam, while I'm sitting here listening to new music, worn out from the last four nights.
On Thursday Lennard turned 21, finally allowing him to drink in New York, where he lives. I get a feeling his times there are just gonna get better now. While he was away, I was entrusted with keeping the house in order, which of course I did. In order to do that, though, I had to stay up till 5 last night cleaning up. I can't say exactly what I've been up to these past days, because none of it was especially kosher, but I can tell you it was one of the best weeks I've ever had. I met a bunch of new people, and had some great new experiences.
Now my parents are back, and they've brought me Lucky Charms, so anyone who knows me knows how amazingly happy I am right about now. Those of you who don't know me, I'm really happy right now. Exams have ended, I graduate in 2 days and the future is looking good. I've had a peek. Can't wait for it to start.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
“Break up civilization […] make something better out of the world”
What are the main criticisms of modern society presented in Fight Club and what alternatives and answers does Chuck Palahniuk provide in the text?
Palahniuk, in all his books, presents a new and interesting view of the world, and all his books comment on different aspects of society. Fight Club, as his first published book, paved the way for the rest. In Fight Club, he criticizes many aspects of society through the eyes of the unnamed narrator, a character who could represent any number of dissatisfied young middle-class men.
Fight Club is by no means the first book to criticize modern society, but it is one of the most widely read contemporary ones. Although I didn’t personally relate to a lot of the issues raised, I felt a connection with the novel. In less than 200 pages, it manages to convey a thousand messages and ideas. Palahniuk uses irony, cynicism and sarcasm to criticize what he views as the problems of society.
Of all the issues and alternatives discussed, I chose to focus on what I believe to be the most prominent, those of Work, Globalization and Materialism, and Religion and Spirituality. In every case, Palahniuk begins by showing what he believes to be the modern philosophy on the issue, and then through different means presents the reader with alternatives.
Although the alternatives are, for the most part, more interesting and appealing at first, they do develop flaws and Palahniuk goes on to discuss them. This results in more questions being asked than answered, but I think the point is to engage the reader enough to allow them to begin asking.
One of the main issues presented in Fight Club and criticized by the author is the issue of work, which is discussed throughout the novel. There are many references to men being bound to and identified by their jobs, and through the two protagonists the alternatives are examined.
In the characters of Tyler and the narrator, there are two alternative work models. The narrator has a middle-class white-collar job. He works and travels a lot, and is paid enough to buy a lot, yet his sole function is to “apply the formula”. He is a faceless drone to the upper management, and is not vital for the working of anything, because anyone could be trained to take his place. His views on the simplicity and uselessness of his profession are demonstrated on page 72,
“Pull a lever.
Press a button.
You don’t understand any of it, and then you just die.”
The use of the word ‘just’ in the last line suggests that after such a banal existence, death itself is nothing more than another meaningless task. The book portrays a world where young men’s jobs define them. This is exemplified in the first description of a fight,
“You saw the kid who works in the copy center, a month ago you saw this kid who can’t remember to three-hole punch an order or put colored slip sheets between copy packets, but this kid was a god for ten minutes when you saw him kick the air out of an account representative twice his size land on the man and pound him limp until the kid had to stop.” 
The men in this quote are given no names and no descriptions (apart from the comparison of size) and are defined only by their jobs. That is their given identity, and the author suggests that in the modern world, it is all they have.
Fight club, however, offers them an alternative, and a new identity, based on aspects of their real characters and ability to fight, rather than their position in the hierarchy of the work place.
The concept of work as defining identity is also challenged, and provided with an alternative. The two models are contrasted in chapter 3, where the narrator describes his job alongside a description of Tyler’s. The narrator’s description of his own job is limited to half a page, and is written in the form of a maths question, which suggests his boredom and the mundane nature of his work, “what I am is a recall campaign coordinator […] but I’m working toward a career as a dishwasher” demonstrating his lack of respect for his job and the lack of responsibility he feels.
On the other hand, the descriptions of Tyler’s jobs are exciting throughout, particularly his work as a projectionist. The text is fast-paced, with short sentences and powerful descriptions of the sounds, such as the comparison between the snapping of sprockets and Gatlin-gun fire, and the physical surroundings, “the dark is hot from the bulbs inside the projectors, and the alarms are ringing.” There is always something physically happening, alarms ringing, lights flashing and Tyler splicing porn. It is such an intense environment that “at home, you’ll sometimes wake up in your dark bed with the terror that you’ve fallen asleep in your booth and missed a changeover.”
As often is the case in the novel, Tyler is presented as an alternative to the restrictions and oppression of modern life, and his work habits in particular demonstrate this. The first oddity is that Tyler works solely at night, which not only demonstrates his refusal to conform to the white collar 9 to 5 working hours, but the darkness symbolises the inherent subversive nature of Tyler and his actions. He works a number of jobs, but refuses to succumb to conformity, and maintains a certain degree of control in all his occupations and always adds his own twisted sense of humour to everything he does.
When he works as a film projectionist, he splices scenes of pornography into family movies, “only a hummingbird could have caught Tyler at work”, which in a sense reflects his entire philosophy on subversive actions. He enjoys having an effect on people, but always from a hidden platform. As a buffet waiter, he does all kinds of unsavoury things to food, which is Tyler’s way of waging a class war, where he exerts the subversive power that he believes all working- to middle-class men have. This is exemplified on page 166, when Tyler is explaining this to the commissioner, “The people you’re trying to step on, we’re everyone you depend on. […] We control every part of your life […] so don’t fuck with us.”
As appealing as this alternative seems at first, the narrator after some time begins to find it as dull and monotonous as his previous job. “We were running out of ideas, Tyler and me. Doing stuff to food got to be boring, almost part of the job description.” This brings up the question of how valid this alternative is.
However, soon in the next chapter we read that another way to make money has been found by Tyler, and it is even more subversive than his previous methods. Tyler begins to make soap. In the same way that flashing a frame of a “Grand Canyon vagina with an echo, four stories tall and twitching with blood pressure as Cinderella danced with her Prince Charming” or “fart[ing] on a whole cart of Boccone Dolce for the Junior League tea” is rebelling against society from an invisible platform, Tyler’s soap takes people’s insecurities, their fat, and sells it back to them as soap.
“Our goal is the big red bags of liposuctioned fat we’ll haul back to Paper Street and render and mix with lye and rosemary and sell back to the very people who paid to have it sucked out. At twenty bucks a bar, these are the only folks who can afford it.”
This quote shows that the Tyler’s acts are not rebellious against the everyday man, but only to those who don’t value themselves according to what Tyler sees to be the right system. This is the same as the men who are valued by their jobs, but in this case it is rebelling against women who value themselves according to their looks. Also, this again links to the aforementioned class struggle present in Fight Club.
Despite this new enterprise, Tyler continues to work as a projectionist and, together with the narrator, as a waiter, but when the projectionists union attempts to fire him, he uses the knowledge of his own practices, single frames of pornography, to blackmail the union. Now, instead of being fired, he simply doesn’t come to work and collects the pay check anyway. The narrator then does the same thing with his job as a waiter. They do this not just to exploit those above them, but also as a result of the frustration that, despite the power that they can exert during working hours, they are still seen as nobodies in the world. “At Tyler’s other job, at the Pressman Hotel, Tyler said he was nobody. Nobody cared if he lived or died, and the feeling was fucking mutual.”
This is the final alternative presented with regards to the working society, and it suggests that no job will provide the freedom that the men of fight club seek. The suggestion is that the rebellious actions undertaken while at work are little more than pranks, and to really be able to achieve change one has to shrug off the world of work and involve oneself completely into one’s cause. This is the idea behind Project Mayhem.
Globalization and Materialism
Globalization and materialism are factors that play a large role in Fight Club. They control the narrator’s private life and are seen as defining the lives of the middle-class. The first real appearance of the issue is in Chapter 5, with the description of the narrator’s apartment.
He describes his apartment as a nest, never referring to it as a home, which suggests its impermanence and the narrator’s “femininity”, the taming of his wild masculinity. He distances himself and the reader from his furniture by describing it all according to its name, colour and details, just as one would expect when reading a furniture catalogue. He calls himself a “slave to [his] nesting instinct”, which suggests that he has no control or opinion over what he needs or wants, and shows a belief that these items complete him, which is demonstrated in a quote on page 44, “Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled.” This illustrates his muddled priorities, in that he feels that his furniture is in fact a real issue.
However, we as the reader are shown that looking back, he now sees the error in his ways. “Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.” This is a prime example of the use of authoritarian narrative that is used often in the book. At the time of the disaster, when the description is taking place, he doesn’t feel this, but now he is able to reflect on what he perceives as being a meagre existence. By being so materialistic, he is allowing his identity to be globalized; he is becoming the same as many other people in the world, “And I wasn’t the only slave to my nesting instinct. The people I knew who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue.” This suggests that the need for material goods has replaced physical instincts with material instincts, and is a taming of what once were men with voracious spirits with stylish and soulless property.
The alternative presented for this aspect of society is apparent in Project Mayhem. The narrator, having lost everything in his apartment, is left with only “Six white shirts. Two black trousers. The bare minimum you need to survive”. This is echoed in chapter 17, when we learn about the first details of Project Mayhem, where the men applying have a similar list of things that they own. They have to give up everything except for as little clothing as possible, and their only monetary assets are for their own burials. This alternative is the extreme opposite, and reminiscent of the lives of Buddhist monks, who give up everything for enlightenment, and the same is expected for those joining Project Mayhem.
The book suggests that globalization is not at all a new concept, that the naming of newly discovered colonies after cities in England by the British discoverers was very similar, and that, if things do not change, it will be the new empires of the world, the large corporations, which will be naming new discoveries.
“The IBM Stellar Sphere.
The Philip Morris Galaxy.
Every planet will take on the corporate identity of whoever rapes it first.”
The use of the word ‘rapes’ is very poignant. It demonstrates the narrator’s (or Tyler’s) view on the issue very distinctly, because rape is always violent, never beneficial for the victim and is a true example of an abuse of power. This example is paralleling something that is already going on in the world, where large corporations install themselves in other cultures and, in the opinion of the narrator, metaphorically rape them, extracting everything that makes them different.
A strong image is given on page 61, “On the dresser, there’s a dildo made out of the same soft pink plastic as a million Barbie dolls, and for a moment, Tyler can picture millions of baby dolls and Barbie dolls and dildos injection-molded and coming off the same assembly line in Taiwan”, which really gives the reader a good example of how Tyler sees globalization. The contrast of the two uses of the pink plastic is a deliberate juxtaposition of innocence and sin, which is shocking to the reader, but this, in Palahniuk’s eyes, is a shocking world.
Once again, Project Mayhem presents the reader with an alternative. Its aims are stated as an attempt to turn back the clock on how the world has developed, back to a time before people were defined by their possessions and when a culture’s own benefits were their strengths, “Like fight club does with clerks and box boys, Project Mayhem will break up civilization so we can make something better of the world.” Tyler also describes his view of how the world should be, “Imagine […] stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos on hangers; you’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life.” This is a wonderful juxtaposition of the present and (Tyler hopes) future image of clothing. The clothes of today are rotting, they are useless, nothing more than decoration, whereas the leather is useful, and will last forever, in a way that clothes and fashion in general never do. Tyler’s image of the future is to take people back into the past, stripping them of these modern vices and simplifying life, to a time before we were corrupted by the need for wealth and material goods.
This alternative to the present situation is the extreme opposite, but because it is just an ideal in the book, we can never know how it would turn out. However, it provides an open question to the reader, and we are invited to find our own answers. Although most readers would be disgusted by the description of how globalization and materialism run the world today, they would find it hard to imagine how life would be without it, so it is an issue that provokes thought, which is one of the main aims of the novel.
Religion and Spirituality
Although religion and spirituality are not directly commented upon in the same specific ways as some of the other issues, this issue still appears more subtly throughout the book, in that the need for some form of spirituality is recognized and the lack of scope for this in the modern world is criticized.
The view in this book is that western religion (i.e. Christianity) is no longer relevant in the modern world. “If you’re male and Christian and living in America, your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if he bails out or dies or is never at home, what do you believe about God?” This quote demonstrates the sentiment of the futility of religion. It speaks directly of the men in fight club, and also gives the absence of the father as a reason for frustration. The relating of their father figures to God shows a parallel between the sense of abandonment and deceit that they feel with regards to them. They feel that they were promised things that were not true, “raised by television to believe that someday we’ll be millionaires and rockstars, but we won’t” and fight club is their way to revolt.
Even before meeting Tyler, the narrator has given up on religion and replaced it with support groups, and instead of trying to lose himself in God, he loses himself in the loss of others. He compares the feeling of being held by God to being held by another member of the support group, “Bob’s new sweating tits that hang enormous, the way you think of God’s as big.” Furthermore, the nature of support groups is religious, a place where people come together, to lose themselves in something, and pray for help and the fact that support groups take place in the basement of a church is also an obvious allusion to the spiritual and religious context of them, and the narrator describes his feelings of being “resurrected” when he is there.
It is there that the narrator begins experimenting with eastern religion, and talks about guided meditation and different charkas. This represents his search for enlightenment and it seems his search may have stopped at the support groups, until Marla Singer arrives. She too finds some sort of religious completion in the suffering of others, but represents the innate failure of the support group alternative, which we see when the narrator confronts Marla in a support group, “this is the one real thing in my life, and you’re ruining it”; that it can’t be shared because they are both there on false pretences.
The main alternative presented is fight club; where men get together to literally get their hands on their problems. There are a number of references to church with regards to fight club, the: “There’s hysterical shouting in tongues like at church, and when you wake up Sunday afternoon you feel saved”, which uses two strong themes of religious practice, hysteria and salvation, and parallels them with the primal screams and the sense of salvation felt by its participants.
The reason why fight club can be interpreted as a better alternative than the support groups is that, firstly, it is a group effort, like guided meditation, but much more tangible and secondly, nobody lies to themselves there. The support groups hide their true nature with names like Remaining Men Together for a testicle cancer support group and Above and Beyond for a group for brain parasites. On the other hand, in Project Mayhem, all the groups have very unambiguous names, such as Arson and Assault. When discussing the support groups, the narrator mentions that “every evening, [he] dies, and every morning [he] was born” whereas “you aren’t alive anywhere like you’re at fight club”. This comparison shows the main difference between the two, that one is more about dealing with death and the other about life.
However, even with fight club, the narrator continues with his attempted practice of eastern religion, and begins to find it frustrating, “until today, it really pissed me off that I’d become this totally centred Zen Master and nobody had noticed.” This shows the inherent problems of eastern spirituality when combined with western culture. As we’ve seen, western culture is based on everyone else noticing you, your job and what you own, which completely contradicts the nature of inner development nurtured by these eastern religions.
Project Mayhem’s aims of destroying society are closely linked to religion. In chapter 18, where a lot of Tyler’s dogma is revealed through the mechanic, the narrator says “How Tyler saw it was that getting God’s attention for being bad was better than getting no attention at all. Maybe God’s hate is better than his indifference.” This clearly shows that fight club and Project Mayhem are not godless ideals; they believe strongly in God and often act to spite him.
The conclusion that is made suggests that there are no relevant religions for the modern world. However, the importance of the effect and structure imposed by religion is not questioned, as throughout the book the characters are always looking for something to fill the hole left by the abandonment of Christianity. Although it is suggested that no religion is right, it is made clear that what we need to do is change them, renew them, and not abandon them.
Having analysed these three different issues, along with the alternatives presented, a trend has formed. Although none of the alternatives are suggested as the final possibilities, in fact most had problems of their own, they do offer some insight into what the answer might be to the question of what is wrong with modern society.
In all the cases, the main problem initially was the lack of identity and individuality. In work, the men were only identified by their position in the hierarchy and not missed once they left. Through the different actions they took, they were attempting to make an impact that would have an effect, as is demonstrated with the splicing of pornography in films. Through globalization, they lose their individuality because of the mass-produced world in which they live. They are defined by their possessions, and if everyone has the same possessions, what individuality do they have? In religion, they are lost faces among a crowd of nearly 3 billion people, and attempt to get noticed by God through gaining his contempt.
It is clear that despite the lack of an answer, the reason for the problems is there. A feeling of lack of identity is present in all the characters, except of course Tyler.
Tyler wants to give the men their identities, and tries through fight club, and at the beginning of Project Mayhem. He sees himself and the others of his generation as “God’s middle children […] with no special place in history and no special attention.” He wasn’t only after those who wanted to join, but through the homework assignments (in particular the one concerning Raymond K. Hessel described in chapter 20) we see his attempts to use Project Mayhem to influence the ‘greater good’.
However, as the final criticism in the book, we see Tyler’s original views and aims becoming skewed, and he begins to lose sight of his original goals, which is when the narrator begins to rebel against him, and begins when Robert Paulsen (Big Bob) dies, “A man is dead, I say. The game is over. It’s not fun anymore.” The final comment that this provides is that the only way to assert your true identity and individuality is to remain independent. Palahniuk is telling people to rebel, even if it’s against those who you were rebelling with in the first place.
The comparison of the narrator and Tyler is right at the heart of the identity issue and therefore of all the issues that I have addressed. The narrator represents a negative world, where the glass is always half-empty, while Tyler represents the answer or alternative to this. While the narrator is an introvert, unable to assert himself and bad at relationships, Tyler is wild, aggressive and very popular. An important difference between them is the fact that Tyler is credited with a name, an identity, while the narrator’s name is referred to, but never revealed. The narrator represents the question, “what do I do about my life?” and Tyler provides the answer, which may not be clear or specific but is definitely “change it”.
 Palahniuk, Chuck Fight Club (Vintage, London, 1997) p. 30
 Ibid. p. 48
 Ibid. p. 31
 Ibid. p. 27
 Ibid. p. 28
 Ibid. p. 28
 Ibid. p. 31
 Ibid. p. 85
 Ibid. p. 31
 Ibid. p. 80
 Ibid. p. 150
 Ibid. p. 113
 Boon, Kevin A. Men and Nostalgia for Violence: Culure and Culpability in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club from The Journal Of Men’s Studies, Volume 11, Issue 3 (Men’s Studies Press, Mont Alto, 2003) p. 267+
 Palahniuk, Chuck Fight Club (Vintage, London, 1997) p. 43
 Ibid. p. 44
 Ibid. p. 43
 Ibid. p. 40
 Ibid. p. 171
 Ibid. p. 125
 Ibid. p. 125
 Ibid. p. 141
 Ibid. p. 166
 Ibid. p. 16
 Ibid. p. 22
 Ibid. p. 24
 Ibid. p. 51
 Ibid. p. 18
 Ibid. p. 119
 Ibid. p. 22
 Ibid. p. 51
 Ibid. p. 63
 Ibid. p. 141
 Ibid. p. 141
 Ibid. p. 178
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Following a strange conversation with Lynne about whether or not her physics teacher looks like Chuck Palahniuk (I say yes, she say no) I got interested and started reading up on him.
This guy is one of the best writers around, despite the debates. He takes issues that are often previously untackled and makes it funny, shocking and inspiring. I have most of his books (anyone with spair copies of Haunted and Invisible Monsters, feel free to give me a late birthday present) and I read them over and over. They're not only great for reading, they're great for quoting for ToK. They make good topics for the Extended Essay, too. Let me know if you want to read mine, I'll put it on here.
An example of his viewpoint, here's a passage from Lullaby (one of his best):
"Centuries ago, sailors on long voyages used to leave a pair of pigs on every deserted island. Or they'd leave a pair of goats. Either way, on any future visit, the island would be a source of meat. These islands, they were pristine. These were home to breeds of birds with no natural predators. Breeds of birds that lived nowhere else on earth. The plants there, without enemies they evolved without thorns or poisons. Without predators and enemies, these islands, they were paradise. The sailors, the next time they visited these islands, the only things still there would be herds of goats or pigs. .... Does this remind you of anything? Maybe the ol' Adam and Eve story? .... You ever wonder when God's coming back with a lot of barbecue sauce?"
Of course, he's had his share of criticisms. People accuse him of inspiring lunatics to go ahead with crazy plans, starting Fight Clubs and bombing the shit out of government offices, but this is what he has to say to that:
"Wow. Bummer. I can't control that, you know? All I can control is how much fun it is for me to do it. And beyond that, I can't control whether people are going to go to it, whether they're going to like it, how they're going to interpret it. I can't control it, so I don't even worry about it."
It's true, isn't it? He writes a book and if people decide to go crazy, that because they had crazy in them anyway. Books are all based on reality, and Fight Club was written because he saw something missing in society, that men needed somewhere to be together, and this was his answer. Anyone who's read the book knows that his answer fails, but hey, critics and crazies never understand books.
Fight Club was made into a game, which I find totally counter what it's about (same could be said for the movie, but it was so fucking good), and although I have my criticisms, this is what he had to say:
"I don't care what they do with my book so long as the fucking check clears."
And I think that's great.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
The most common question asked of me in recent times is 'So, how's studying going?'. It's not. But that's ok, in my twisted sense of logic, because this time next week I'll be pretty much finished. All I have left is English p2, History, Environmental Systems and Portuguese (in that order, which adds up to 9 exams) and only two of those require studying. Sure, they're both Higher Level subjects and sure, I'm screwed for them, but hey... no, there's nothing I can say to make this ok. I'm royally fucked, and it's my fault. There, I've admitted it, so don't go telling me. I know.
I had a funky doodle weekend, though. On friday I went to my first Lisbõa Alta Sociedade Party, and it was awesome. Lynne (my Lynne) invited me to her mother's opening (of Armani Casa, lovely furniture shop) and so, in one fell swoop, I got to meet her mother, her brother, her cousin (who said I reminded her of someone who turned out to be me) and her stepdad. And a bodyguard. That was cool. Anyhoo, there was champagne there, and it was around the corner from McDonald's so you can probably imagine how cool it was. I got baptised as an honourary Chink, dubbed Bai Tse, which means idiot. Wonder why. I had a McDonalds bag on my head... that could be it. I love champagne...
Then it was off to Lynne's place, where I finally got to watch 50 First Dates... as if that meant something to me... This then blurs in my mind to the next night, where I find myself back at her house, watching Idle Hands (heehee) and then the end of A Knight's Tale (heehee) and meeting Stitch (Lilo's buddy). When asked if he liked Disney, he replied 'NO! Make me a sandwich!" and when he asked "Are you hurt?", I replied "Yes I am!", which sent Lynne into hysterics. Hm. Easily amused by the whole name thing...
Anyhoo, if you've noticed a change to the Single Status notifier on the left, that's because of her. We'll see how it goes. As this falls strictly in the 'very personal' category of things, I won't be writing details, but you can follow major events by watching status notifier. If it says 'FUCK YOU BITCH', thats a sign of things going wrong. I doubt things can possibly go that wrong, but its a landmark.
So, now that I have my beautiful suit and my beautiful woman (girl), I can safely say that I have everything I need.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Anyone who really knows me knows that I need only two things: a beautiful woman and a beautiful suit. Yesterday, I got halfway there.
That's right, I bought a brand new suit for the 3 proms and 2 graduations that I'm going to. Although I was going to go for jet black (like my old one) this other one called out to me and... aah. I'm keeping it as a surprise for those who want to see. I love it. I wish I was wearing it now...
This is not the point. You wouldn't understand my sick fascination with suits, but they are just the sexiest things to wear. As I discussed with a friend yesterday, men have very unattractive bodies (unlike women, who are goddesses), and I think a suit is man's solution. It covers the weird normal look with class.
I know the common question now is, how's the studying going? Well, to be completely honest, It's not really going at all. I'm kinda screwed, but we'll see what happens. I wouldn't be surprised if at the last second I turn around and it's all ok. It's happened before.
Now, with the pretence of needing to work, I bid you adieu.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
It's not very often that you can have a last day twice. However, St Julians has often shown that the impossible is only improbable (like who could've guessed I'd ever finished my extended essay?).
Yesterday we had our final assembly, a full week after our last day. St Julian's is an old school, and like all old things, they enjoy a good tradition. The Last Day is something that has real expectations for year 13s, for obvious reasons. You want a day to remember, don't you? The tradition is as follows:
We sit on the stage, in our uniforms for the last time. We sing the school song (there's a school song??) and it's a great time. Lots of camaraderie. This year was extra special, because Carolina (who's in our year) is a presenter for SIC's Disney Kids show, and a film crew came to record the event for the show. It was supposed to be a regular 'Day in the Life of Carolina', but for some reason they didn't understand that the last day is anything but regular. Some people didn't come to the assembly, because they thought assemblies are boring. They are, but there's something symbolic about the last one and I think it sucks that they missed it. It was a good thing. The TArts group got up and gave a speech for our fave teacher, Mr Scully, and gave a framed photo of us in funky costumes to remind him that we were the first and best TArts he'd ever have. The picture is there, on the right, in the photos. Twas great. After the assembly, some of the primary school teachers came in and talked about some of the students that had been there since age 4. This was pretty nostalgic, and kinda sad for me, because it reminded me of how I'm really (and always have been) just a visitor in the school.
After this, we had time off to prepare for the truest and most loved tradition of our school, which has existed for the better half of a century. We (by we, I mean some of us) went to Carcavelos, to the chinese shop (we've been going out near there for nearly two years, and it's the first time we stepped in the place) and stocked up for the blessed event. That event, of course, is the
Two years of IB, which is two years of relentless competition and painful mind games between us students. The water fight gives us a chance to blow off some steam, as it were. To add a touch of irony, it was raining when we started. I'd bought a nice set of water pistols, and borrowed a bigger gun off of Scott (gotta give it back to him...) and had at it. It was great. We were all completely soaked within seconds of the bell which signalled its start. Even Hugh, who was hell-bent on not taking part, was seen with a gun and a couple balloons to toss. It was a battlefield of jets of water, balloons crisscrossing the air and bags and buckets being poured on people. Shirts went from dry to transparently wet (hehe) and socks went from comfy to squelchy. What a blast. Lots of people were taking pictures, and if I manage to get my hands on any, you'll be the first to know. After everyone else, that is.
Gui, from Dominic's, made a goodbye video for them, and since i was on MSN while he was working on it, he asked me to write a poem for the end bit. I'm not a poet, everything I write is cheesy, but here it is.
essay, coursework and oral
often the cries have been choral
together in pain, we felt no strife
and so, we hope, prepared for life
times of laughing, times of sadness
times of goodness, times of badness
screaming, crying, working, lying,
may we never forget the madness
as long as we are alive
we're the class of 2005
whether we've known each other for 2 years, or 18, it'll be forever before we forget
This was our last last last last day.
And it was great.