Depression, sure it’s one great big laugh isn’t it?
Having a perfect life, loving family, loving friends and everything else you could ever want. A nice warm bed, delicious food, and everything else that one could ever wish for.
Despite all these wonderful things that should create happiness, you can still hate yourself. Still hurt yourself. Still give up on yourself. Still lose interest in your hobbies. Still be too tired to get out of bed. Still be too tired to do the things that would cheer you up. Despite having a great life, you can still feel like shit.
Fuck you, human mind.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to write up an article of sorts about Papal Infallibility. It’s the most hilarious thing to have ever faced us as human beings. I’ll define it now in a minute, but first allow me to define “dogma”.
Dogma, Noun: A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Basically, a dogma is a law of sorts. It is information that is given as truth, without any evidence in most cases. Now, let’s define Papal Infallibility.
Turns out, as I sit here researching the topic, I have misunderstood the concept. In this case, forget this entire post. Instead, enjoy this random fact:
"Scuba" (as in Scuba Diving) is an Acronym. It stands for "self contained underwater breathing apparatus".
Nacho Man Celli
Yesterday I wrote a letter to the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn TD. Well, when I say letter, I mean email. However, if he doesn’t reply by July, I’m going to make a thousand copies of this letter, and put them in his mailbox in his house. I’m not kidding. Here’s the letter I wrote, please give it a read.
Dear Ruairi Quinn,
I am writing today to ask for you to consider a change in the current Leaving Cert system. I sincerely doubt a reply to this email, and even more sincerely doubt any action to be taken. I do however have faith that you will at least read this full email. I shall briefly give you a small background on myself, so as to further enhance my points that shall follow. I am 17 years old, and currently in 6th Year, about to start my Leaving Cert this Wednesday (June 6th 2012). I do not wish to evoke sympathy in my following statement, I am only stating this so I can put forward a point later in this email: I suffer from a severe, ongoing depressive illness.
My first point is as such: The current Leaving Cert system is an incoherently bad assessment of one’s skills and abilities. Let us take English as an example. I have many friends in Ordinary level English, and even some in Foundation level. This in itself, without even taking grades in to consideration, will extremely affect their chances of getting in to a College/University of their choice. The English exam is a test of one’s knowledge of the language, and one’s ability to use the language. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that some people simply can not put pen to paper and write a coherent English essay. This fact does not at all take away from their ability to use the language in my opinion, as if they were asked the question in person, and asked to answer orally, they would be easily able to get their point across. If we argue that the English exam is a test of knowledge of certain texts, then we also argue that is a test of memory, which I find to be unfair. Why not inform candidates of the exact question about to come up? Perhaps not even the exact question,that might be TOO fair. At the very least, we could inform candidates that “Poet X and Poet Y will 100%, DEFINITELY be questioned on the exam”. Giving this information does not diminish the test of knowledge, nor the test of ability to use the language, from the exam; it simply allows us candidates more room for improvement, and thus giving us a higher rate of success. Why should we waste our time studying something that may not even come up on the exam itself? This is not an accurate test of our abilities in the language. By telling us exactly what poet will be examined, exactly whether “General Vision and Viewpoint” or “Cultural Context” will be examined, a serious amount of stress will be relieved, something which I will discuss later in this email. English is only one example. Every subject examined in the Leaving Cert is an unfair judgement of our potential abilities. I have friends in Foundation level Maths that could program the worlds finest computers, yet they are denied a place in Computer Science courses throughout Ireland simply because of the level of Maths they are capable of. Can you honestly say that you consider this to be fair?
Stress is a serious concern for anyone partaking in the Leaving Cert this year, and for all the years that have passed, and all the years that will follow. You know what stress feels like, every human being on the planet does. As a grown and obviously educated man, I am sure you are familiar with the concept of the “fight-or-flight” response to stressful situations. I can think of very few people who have the”fight” response in terms of the Leaving Cert. On the other hand, I would assume that at least 80% of candidates would have the “flight” response. Again, I wish to evoke no sympathy, I only wish to state a fact: I have friends who have been hospitalized because of the things they have tried to do to escape the Leaving Cert. I have seen friends develop illnesses such as Circumstantial Depression as a result of the stress and pressure they have faced. It’s bad enough that we have parents forcing us to study and teachers making us feel bad due to a supposed “lack of work”. In honesty, I know I can only speak for myself. I have harmed myself to help relieve the stress of the Leaving Cert. Yes, not a good tactic, but it is a tactic nonetheless, and one which many teenagers throughout the country choose. For “normal”candidates, without an illness, this stress is unbearable. For a candidate with a disability such as myself, this stress is equally unbearable, if not more. I do understand that there are schemes for people like me (DARE scheme), however this scheme does not guarantee all applicants entry. The applicant gets no form of confirmation prior to the result day. Not all Colleges/Universities accept this scheme, and on top of that, each College/University has a set limit for students they will accept through this scheme. Once again, do you consider this stress and pressure to be fair?
The final issue I wish to discuss is that of alternate routes of entry to Colleges/Universities. I have already briefly discussed the DARE scheme, and I will not bore you of the details of the HEAR scheme which I am sure you know of. Let us use Computer Science courses as an example for this issue, and let us assume that the course requires 450 points. As it stands, I can do my Leaving Cert next Wednesday and achieve 450 points in July, and head to College this September. However, with 5 passes in Ordinary level (30 points minimum) I can enroll in a PLC course of 2 years length, and get into that same College course of 450 points two years later. This aspect of the Leaving Cert is fair in my eyes. However, I find it unfair that most schools do not discuss these options with their students. There should be more discussions about this option, as knowing more about it will significantly reduce stress levels, without a doubt.
If you can honestly say, hand-over-heart, that the current Leaving Cert system is fair, then I ask you to disregard this email. If not, I implore you to at least reply to this email. I understand that in 2011, you called for reform. A noble cause. However, your reform focused solely on Maths. Something else must be done. I’m not going to insult you and say that I know how to run the Government. I will not insult you and tell you that I can do better. Truth be told, I can’t. I know there is nothing you can do for me and my Leaving Cert, I’m not requesting something as ridiculous as that. I sincerely believe that no living person deserves to be put under such a tremendous amount of stress and pressure. Frankly, I find it immoral. Please, as Minister for Education do something about this. If you have made it this far in my email, I thank you for reading, and I hope you find the time to reply. I have enclosed my contact details below.
Michael Clonan.Nacho Man Celli
Some news for all ye fair Ladies and Gentlemen! Due to popular demand*, I will be blogging full time this summer. I aim to blog once a day, or once a week AT LEAST. I have plenty of ideas, and this summer I will have plenty of time.
Look forward to some new blogs you guys!
Nacho Man Celli
*Popular demand = Me nagging myself to blog more often.
There’s something that has been bothering me for a while now. What is it you may ask? Well, it’s the fact that I haven’t blogged in a while that has me annoyed. I have so many ideas, but rarely have the time, or effort, needed to put pen to paper! (Finger to keyboard in this case). Either way, I’m here now, and I have something to write about.
Fighting. Is it really worth it? No, I’m not talking about petty arguments amognst strangers on Facebook, or fist fights amongst friends. I’m talking about something a lot more serious. Fighting for your life. Fighting to survive. Fighting to save yourself, from your thoughts. The biggest fight I have ever had in my life was with myself. I shouldn’t say was, rather IS. It’s ongoing, and it always will be. Sure, things will cool down for a bit, but temperatures will rise again.
Fighting your thoughts is probably the hardest thing you will have to do in your life. That’s the truth for me anyway. However, my question is, is it really worth fighting for? Things will always get better, but what goes up must come crashing back down again. Is life really worth living for these glimmers of hope that we have? I’m constantly trying to keep myself from slipping away, but eventually the mental capacity to do so just wears out.
If I’ve depressed you, I apologise. If I’ve depressed you, I want you to fight it. As for me, I’ll have to make my mind up on that.
Nacho Man Celli
Coughing. Sneezing. Hiccups. These are all examples of involuntary actions. Are people judged and hated because of involuntary actions? No. Of course they are not, that would just be full on fucking retarded. If a man sneezes, is he put in jail? No. If a woman coughs, is she hung? No. If it is involuntary, it is something we can not control. This is universally understood. Why am I writing all this? Well, because there are other involuntary actions that people ARE judged and hated for.
Sexuality. Sexual attraction is an involuntary hormonal response involving an increase in neutrofins and testosterone. Fact. Sexuality is involuntary, we can not choose who or what we are attracted to. We can not control it, just as we can not control a cough, a sneeze, a hiccup or even the subconscious cycle of blinking that goes on every second of every day.
Homosexuality is immediately punishable by death in EIGHT countries in this world. It is immediately punishable by life imprisonment in THIRTY countries worldwide. Sneezing is not a punishable crime in any country. Coughing will not, I repeat NOT result in death in any country on this Earth. Hiccups, yes you guessed it, are not punishable by law in any country worldwide.
I do not understand how a person can be punished for something they do not, and can not, choose to do differently. You are attracted to who you are attracted to, full stop. Men, Women, Transexuals even children. (Now, by saying children, I am NOT justifying pedophilia. I am simply justifying the fact than men or women can be attracted to children. Acting on it however, is 100% Illegal, not to mention morally wrong, and just plain disgusting.)
Everyone needs to learn to grow the fuck up and treat people of different sexualities with respect.
Nacho Man Celli
As far as I’ve seen, the majority of people want to “fit in” with the crowd. However, I have also seen a lot of people who have the guts to be themselves in public, and for these people, I have a lot of respect.
Being “different” allows us to better understand how people work. Social life is a LOT more complex than you would think, when it comes to psychological and mental standards. A lot of what we do socially is subconscious. Ever act one way around a group of friends, and then act slightly differently around other friends? I know I do. For example: there are some jokes I would tell to certain friends that I wouldn’t dare say to others, in fear of being judged. Subconsciously we act different around groups of friends to protect ourselves. I do believe it is to protect our ego.
I suppose that last paragraph kind of went off point. I apologise, you see I recently got a "Psychology For Dummies" book, and I’m just fascinated by it. So just so you know, I’m not just pulling this information out of my ass, it is actually coming from somewhere. It’s also coming from personal experience. Now, back to my main point. I find that being different is far better than conforming to non-existent social "laws". If you’re different to others, odds are you’ve been judged, and that’s a good thing. If you’ve been judged by others for who you are, if you’ve been stereotyped, then you know what it feels like. Therefore, you are far less likely to do it yourself. That makes you a better person.
Fuck anyone that calls you weird for being who you truly are. Sure what do they know? They wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what it feels like to be themselves. They wouldn’t know what it feels like to feel good in their own skin. They’re only judging you because they’re jealous of what you have: happiness within. Don’t ever let them, or anyone else, tell you otherwise.
Be yourself. You should be liked for who you are, and hated for what you’re not rather than be liked for something that you’re not.
In the words of Slipknot:
FUCK YOU ALL, FUCK THIS WORLD, FUCK EVERYTHING THAT YOU STAND FOR… AND DON’T YOU FUCKING TOUCH ME!
Nacho Man Celli
I went back to school today, just for the hour. It’s the beginning of my final year in school. We were brought in for the routine “Welcome Back” speeches from our teachers and Principal. Of course, when you’re in your last year, most of these speeches are more like prep-talks for the exams we will be doing at the end of the term. We were just finished listening to the last speech, about to leave, when our Principal had something to say.
He told us that Joseph Olwill, a guy in our year, had died the previous night. I have known Joe for the past 12 years at least. I went through Primary and Secondary school with him. I grew up with him. I spent entire Summers with him. The news, obviously, came as a huge shock.
Joe was easily the funniest guy I have ever known. He would bring a smile to anyone’s face. He was always the life of the party. I’m not even making this up. Joe was also one damn crazy bastard. He would do the weirdest things, simetimes at the most inappropriate times. One such example, which Dan reminded me of today is this: We were in school, and there were posters up for a fundraising event being organised by the Fourth Years in our school. Out of nowhere, Joe rips down the poster and starts laughing like a mad man. Our principal was right behind him.
Joe did crazy stuff like this all the time! He was honestly one of the nicest people I have known, and as I said earlier, the funniest. There’s not much more I can say about it. My thoughts are with Joe and his family, and I know I’m not alone. I created a page on Facebook in his memory, because there wasn’t already one. I asked people to share their memories. In a few hours, it already has 328 likes, and over 30 Wall posts of memories.
You will be missed, Joe. I’ll miss you in Music. I’ll miss giving you a lift home. I’ll miss walking to and from school with you. I’ll miss the laughs, I’ll miss the smiles.
Nacho Man Celli
Well, Summer for me is coming to a close. It didn’t go by fast, but at the same time didn’t go slowly. It was just a nice, relaxing Summer holiday for once.
As I said in my previous blog, "Happy Anniversary", I’m finally in a happy and comfortable place. Usually Summer would be the worst time for me, but thankfully, this Summer was a HUGE exception. I can easily say it is the best Summer I have ever had. No, I didn’t go on Holidays. I didn’t go on trips. In fact, I didn’t even leave Dublin, let alone the country! Despite that though, it really has been the best Summer of my life, and that is mainly due to the face that it was happy.
This blog is a look back over my Summer. I must admit, it has been quite a productive Summer. Plenty of things have happened, and this blog is just a list of those things.
Celebrity Contact: This Summer I have had some celebrities reply to me over Facebook and Twitter! Needless to say, I’m delighted. Now, when I say celebrities, I don’t mean the likes of Stephen Fry or Paris Hilton. I more or less mean “my idols” than celebrities, but either way they are famous to some degree, especially to me.
In terms of famous replies, that’s really it, apart from one very special thing I’m saving for the end of this blog. I’m delighted by each one of these replies, and I will of course never forget them! They all happened in the space of 3 months. Amazing!
I actually have a lot more to show for this Summer than I originally expected. As a lot of you may know, I vowed this Summer that I would do a bass cover of every Billy Talent song ever recorded. To be honest, I did that quite a lot faster than expected! I put each cover album up for free download, and between the 3 Billy Talent Albums and the album "Cover Artistry" (A 10 track album of bass covers from other favourite bands of mine), I have hosted 50+ downloads of my work! The support of everyone has really meant a lot for me, and I thank each and every one of you that downloaded any of my covers!
Other than what is listed above, I haven’t really done a whole lot more. I got my nipple pierced at the start of summer, and got a Laptop at the end. In between that, I’ve just been with family and friends, going to the cinema, hanging out and such. Like I said at the start of this blog, it’s not necessarily the amount of things I did that made this Summer the best of my life, but rather the quality of it. I’ve never been happier in my life.
Here’s the thing I was saving until the end of the blog. A RT from my favourite band in the whole world. Billy Talent. Along with Portal, my other obsessions include that of Billy Talent. I have an entire wall in my room dedicated to them. Don’t believe me?
Told you. Anyway, after assembling my shrine, I took a picture and tweeted it to the guys. I woke up the next day with a load of emails notifying me of replies from people on Twitter, commenting on the picture. Turns out, the guys Retweeted it to all of their followers! I was so god damn happy! It’s amazing to know that your favourite band has taken notice of you, even if it was just one glance at a picture!
I go back to school tomorrow for my final ever year, before College that is. I’m going to take it easy and not stress myself. I’d rather be happy than be worried about exams that, in reality, make no difference to my career/course choice. (Seeing as in Ireland there are a thousand courses I can do before College if I do not get my points)
Nacho Man Celli