Posts Tagged: "Dispatches from Dystopia"

Dispatches from Dystopia: Society? None for Me, Thanks

Ciara Allen - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

“I would eat before shopping but I don’t want to end up crying while I try on jeans again”

Ciara“Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a God.”
Francis Bacon, inventor of the bacon strip, said this. As a person who enjoys solitude I would prefer to think myself the latter, but considering I sleep in a nest of wrinkled clothes and try to bite people whenever they put their hands near my face, I could be wrong. Either way, the quote resonates with me. This is not to say I don’t have any friends at all; before I became completely maladjusted I managed to bring together a respectable collection of companions, but now that I’m older and riddled with character flaws the thought of befriending people fills me with crushing existential dread.
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Dispatches from Dystopia: Misery is Relative

Ciara Allen - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

CIARA Henry_Wallis Death of ChattertonI always thought you were supposed to rise above adversity rather than revel in it.”

Despite being convinced I’m on the brink of death at the slightest twinge of pain, I am a hearty lass. I only get sick two to three times a year, and this time I was struck down with a real doozy. I spent nearly three days bedridden, certain my end was near. When you’re that sick, there’s not much to do but cry-nap intermittently and find ways of passing the time during the waking moments. Aside from drafting up my last will and testament (I have specified that my toy collection should not be donated but buried with me) and putting in some serious hours levelling up my Nord, Buffy (she’s an absolute beast) in my current video game, there was little else to do but visit various social media outlets to see what the rest of the world was up to while I lay infirm. This did not turn out to be my favourite pastime, because everyone on the internet was busy feeling even sorrier for themselves than I was.

Any quick perusing of online communities or blogs will expose you to the most pathetic collection of embarrassing eternal children you could ever encounter. Even as my brain dripped from my nose and I called out feebly for my mommy, I felt more resilient than these ninnies weaving their thin tales of personal victimization for anyone dumb enough to listen. Something about it seems more off colour than my own sickly pallor. Was it my disgust over this behaviour, or the force of my racking cough that made me throw up in my slippers? I can’t be sure, but it was enough to put me off the internet for the rest of my convalescence. Continue Reading

Dispatches from Dystopia: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Ciara Allen - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

CiaraAnother International Women’s Day has come and gone, and once again nobody has given me preferential treatment or bought me presents in honour of the occasion. Okay, perhaps I’m making the day “about me”. I know it’s bigger than that, but maybe there’s something to the lack of recognition I feel on a larger scale. You know, for broads in general. The gesture of an international day is nice, but it feels like an empty one. Conditions for women around the world are said to be improving, and yet we still hear of struggle, from surgical horrors in the Sudan to wage gap woes in the West. Is the world really becoming a better place for women, or is this just a beautiful lie?

This year, I decided to step up my role as a modern woman and do a two part social experiment based on superficial appearance alone. I wanted to see if perception of women in society is still in need of work. The results were varied . . . and possibly inconclusive. It begins with…

Part 1: “Professional Woman”

For this experiment I wore a sharp pair of leather shoes, a well-pressed coat, refined jewellery, miraculously clean pants, the whole nine. I decided to start my experiment walking downtown via Wellington. I didn’t get far, as when I passed the Salvation Army I encountered a man ranting to himself and swinging a hypodermic needle around in furious windmilling motions while his cohorts stared on bemusedly. I clutched my purse to my chest and booked it the other way to go home and cry. Part 1 was a failure and an embarrassment. On to… Continue Reading

Dispatches from Dystopia: The Taxman Cometh

Ciara Allen - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

CIARA windmill“I am an everyday tax-paying gal and boy, does it sting”

I used to think that tax season was a time for giving. That is, a time for the government to give back some of my hard-earned scratch as a thank you for being an upright citizen. I laugh now at my naiveté and limited understanding of personal finances and fiscal matters, with the laughter turning to tears and the tears turning to indignant rage and then the indignant rage turning once more into tears of woeful acceptance. I am an everyday tax-paying gal and boy, does it sting. For every year that I do incrementally better, the government reaches deeper into my pockets. This knowledge was hard earned, and I have to wonder, why the hell didn’t anyone warn me?

I was told that school would prepare me for “life”, giving me the necessary “skills” to walk out of the halls of academia and into the working fray. This may have been covered had I stuck around past the 10th grade, but my stunted education has only gifted me knowledge of Canadian geography and the human reproductive system. Still, I wish I’d been taught how to be a functional person instead of a useless information parrot with no clear career aims. Well, I did pass careers class but unfortunately that was where I decided I wanted to be a chef. How could I have known my already precarious mental state would be sliced, diced, and smashed with a meat tenderizer until I woke up one day in my mid-20′s and realized I had made a terrible mistake? But I digress. Continue Reading

Dispatches from Dystopia: The End Draws Nigh

Ciara Allen - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

CiaraYou never think it’s going to happen to you.

You start your life at a sprint, processing the world around you like a gross fleshy computer that poops a lot. You feel, taste, see and think all for the very first time and your mind is wide open. As you grow you slow to a walk and try to drink it all in, puzzling over the little things and taking long lessons in what it means to be. Then one day, you just stop. You stand still while the world is buzzing around you and you’re there. You feel old.

I know, the 50+ crowd is probably choking on their bran cereal as they read this, scoffing at my naiveté. Well, part of getting older is no longer caring what people think, so screw them anyway. If the internet has taught me anything it’s not what you are, but what you feel (I mean, just google “furries“) and I feel old. Like, ancient wizard living in the highest spire of a castle old. A box of gravy mix that has been in your Grandma’s cupboard so long all the colours on the packaging have gone milky yellow old. Perhaps more compelling than my own feelings, is the set of evidence. How do you explain these:
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Dispatches from Dystopia: I Will Not Speak of These Things Again

Ciara Allen - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

CiaraIt was January 15th, and I was mourning the passing of David Bowie and Alan Rickman by indulging in some bourbon cocktails so smooth the creator should be charged with reckless endangerment. A few drinks turned into a chaotic, blurry night at the bar. When I awoke, it felt like a million bees were living inside my skull. I was overwhelmed by nausea and the deep sense of embarrassment that tends to follow me out of an evening spent being drunk and exuberant. I wondered how many people I had accidentally been nice to (oh, the horror) and how many silver foxes left the bar with my number in their phones (no regrets there) but mostly I wondered when this behaviour would finally stop being cute. The opinion of most people I’ve asked is that it never was, but I think I just haven’t won them over yet. Either way, as far as I can tell when selectively comparing myself to others, I’m pretty much already a train wreck. The more time I squander away on hedonistic pleasures, the more I feel myself shriveling away to little more than a husk, like a worm on a hot sidewalk. Perhaps things aren’t so dire as that, but it may be time to address the fact that I need some structure and discipline in my life. Continue Reading

Dispatches from Dystopia: It’s Time to get Down to Business

Ciara Allen - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

CiaraWelcome to 2016. We’re all very happy to be here. Or maybe you aren’t, I don’t know. Maybe your resolutions have already failed, maybe you feel too much like the same person you were just a week ago (you are). As far as I’m concerned, the calendar merely rains ominous deadlines over what is essentially an uninterrupted march toward death. My excitement over the forthcoming Star Wars releases has me fairly invested in the next several years, but it clearly isn’t enough to distract me from my near constant existential ponderings. I must set goals to keep myself engaged in life, lest I die of ennui. Perhaps sharing some of those goals will keep me accountable.

1. Write a book of poems for children that won’t patronise or pander to them.

It would feature such works of gritty realism as “poor mister toad who died on the road”, “puppies or guppies, nothing is forever” and “your parents secretly think you’re a terrible artist”. If you don’t think your precious babies can handle these, start them off easy with “girls and boys can have different toys”. That’s right; I’m handling the tough conversations with whimsical prose so you don’t have to. You’re welcome. Continue Reading

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