I also finally realised something. I'm trying to remember what prompted this thought and I can't, but I think it came from a joke during study about me always being/thinking I am right about everything. I bet later on I'll remember it has nothing to do with that at all, but anyway, at some point in recent time, something dawned on me. I keep on saying how much better the world would be if everyone was like me, agreed with me, did what I said, thought what I thought, et cetera. People, as you'd expect, oppose this, either arguing that'd make the world boring or make everyone arseholes. I challenge both of those, but I've finally realised why I'd actually hate anyone, let alone everyone, to be like me. I've been whining that I'd like to meet someone similar to me because I don't really know anyone truly like me, but I've realised I wouldn't want to meet anyone like me either. It's not because that'd be boring or because they'd be an arsehole. No, it's because I highly prize individualism and being one's own self. If someone became like me, there goes their individualism, and what's more, there goes mine. (At this point I think I need to make the distinction between having similar interests to and agreeing with me on things, and actually being like me - you all should get what I mean) I'd still like to meet a few intellectual people, that'd be nice. They can share an aisle with me in the library.
Speaking of the library, for some reason today, Sophie and Kimberley (Kimberlea? I can't remember) found themselves in my aisle today. I was just finishing writing a short five-line poem when they turned up, and we spent the rest of lunch talking. I was quite surprised to realise I have more in common with Sophie than I thought ... plus, I got information on the Modern History practice test off her! Only pointers on what to study and what not to study, mind you. As it turns out, I can't overlook anything. Bah. But yes, rather good lunchtime, talking to people I don't typically talk to. Hanging around in the library definitely works for me - poetry, literature, and somewhat intelligent discussion.
Earlier today, on year level assembly, they gave us a bit of a talk about the formal. Who's not going? Me ... and no-one else. At least, I don't know of anyone else who isn't going. It's eighty bucks. Three words: what a rort. Furthermore, it's four and a half hours long. Four and a half hours of eating, dancing, and socialising, with a DJ who'll probably play songs I don't like. No thank you, that sounds thoroughly repulsive. I'm much happier not wasting my time. I don't know what people see in formals. You eat - yeah, well you can do that at home, and not only will it be cheaper, it'll probably taste better. You dance - that speaks for itself. You socialise - I'd rather invite people to my house that I know I like and have a gathering that's at least semi-intelligent. And you do this for FOUR AND A HALF HOURS? I'd rather spend my eighty bucks on something worthwhile. Plus, there's suit rental. In any case, it's on 31 July, and I think I'll spend it at home, cranking up Popmart Mannheim in a seventh anniversary tribute. It has the best Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me ever (the quote of Children Of The Revolution at the end just ROCKS), and Discotheque is amazing. Discotheque --> Can't Stand The Rain --> Stayin' Alive --> Black Betty --> Whole Lotta Love. That's a lot of snippets, and as a friend says, it has "the trippiest ending ever." I love Edge's grinding guitar. Discotheque had the coolest ending. Popmart Sarajevo's Discotheque probably had the best ending, when Edge gets the grinding guitar to wail something fierce during the snippet of Life During Wartime.
Wow, that got off-topic. I can turn anything into a U2 discussion. It's probably how I got onto the "I'm glad I'm an individual" topic actually, because I'm about the only person resisting the peer pressure and societal expectations of going to the formal. I do my own thing and that's that. If people don't like it, tough. That's their problem.
One thing interesting is that lately, the topic of America and Americans has been cropping up in discussions even more often. I had three separate discussions on them today. I'm sorry to the American readers of my LJ (in other words, I'm sorry to the vast majority of you), but the general opinion here of Americans is low. Everyone who's been there or knows someone who lives there has stories to tell. One guy, he used to be in my Maths C class - smart fellow, but he's from a non-English speaking background so he's not that spectacular at English. Well, turns out that the American schooling system is so easy and the people at his school are so thick that he's topping everything ... including English class. I nearly fell off my seat. That's just plain BAD. I'm hoping that school's an anomaly rather than a fair representation of all American schools. Before there's any misinterpretation, I'm not meaning this to bash America or Americans in any way, I'm just making an observation. I can't figure out why it's become such a common topic of conversation, it just has, and there's this attitude of "How the hell did these guys become the world superpower?!"
Totally different topic now. For a while, I've been straddling the fence on the topic of cloning and in debates, I've argued both sides, typically in favour of it. However, my position has changed. As part of our unit on ethics for SOR, we're watching a couple of videos on cloning, and I'm simply shocked. I simply can't support cloning or stemcell research or anything like that any more. Human life is inherently sacred, and to experiment on the unborn embryos and the like is morally repulsive to me. Furthermore, the vast implications of cloning are too much to make it worth the risk. Genealogical confusion and the social impacts upon society are bad enough, and with the possibility of making designer babies ... how can I support that? Just think of the implications, take this to its conclusion. People won't be accepted as having strengths and weaknesses any more - weaknesses will be errors in programming. Human life will be stripped of its very meaningfulness. Creating and terminating it will become no big deal. Essentially, we will not be playing God, we will be playing Satan. Scientific advancement? Maybe, but at what social, emotional, mental, and spiritual cost? Dare we throw away our whole society for the sake of SCIENCE? Simply, NO. It cannot be allowed to happen. The dilemmas that could result from cloning and the horrendous implications of designer babies are not worth thinking about.
A typical argument in favour of this research is that diseases can be eliminated and physical abnormalities avoided. However, this ignores the fact diseases exist for a reason and that abnormalities are what make us individuals. Sure, it may be tragic that someone is born without one arm, but should we tamper with creation? Furthermore, who are we to say that they will have a more fulfilling life with two? I am thankful no-one tampered with my albinism. I want to be an albino, but if we had designer children, I wouldn't be. I could get into a lot more detail with this, but I won't because this entry is long enough. My basic point is that cloning and all related scientific research should not be conducted and poses a grave risk to humanity.
I can't help tossing in some more U2ness here. The demo of Twilight is frigging awesome and I wish it hadn't been tampered with. OK, so what Bono sings between 2:40 and 2:55 is pretty indecipherable (I first thought it was Gaelic but I'm now sure it's English), but that adds to it. Edge's riff on the Boy LP version was better in my opinion, though. On The Contract Demos, it's very interesting to hear the live early performance of The Electric Co. WITHOUT The Cry. The only other Cry-less Electric Co.'s that I know of are the ones from The Joshua Tree Tour, when that song ended its live run. I'm desperately hoping it'll come back on the next tour, though I'm not optimistic. Here's the songs, grouped by album, that I think have a chance of being played live again.
Boy: I Will Follow, Out Of Control (definitely at the last concert ever), possibly The Electric Co.
October: Most likely nothing. Maybe Gloria, and I think there's a chance of October before New Year's Day.
War: Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year's Day, 40 (definitely at the last concert).
The Unforgettable Fire: Pride, Bad, MLK, maybe A Sort Of Homecoming and The Unforgettable Fire.
The Joshua Tree: Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, One Tree Hill (in New Zealand), Mothers Of The Disappeared (in South America), and if we're lucky, In God's Country and Exit.
Rattle And Hum: Desire, Angel Of Harlem, All I Want Is You, maybe When Love Comes To Town.
Achtung Baby: Even Better Than The Real Thing, One, Until The End Of The World, Mysterious Ways, maybe The Fly.
Zooropa: Stay (Faraway, So Close!). Almost certainly nothing else. The Wanderer as a tribute to Johnny Cash, maybe?
Pop: Staring At The Sun, Gone (we know the band likes playing it), Wake Up Dead Man, maybe Discotheque and Please. I'm hoping for a return of Last Night On Earth.
All That You Can't Leave Behind: Beautiful Day, Stuck In A Moment, Walk On, possibly Elevation and Kite, probably New York in New York.
Miscellaneous: 11 O'clock Tick Tock, Party Girl, Spanish Eyes in Spain, maybe The Sweetest Thing on Ali's birthday.
Excluding The Wanderer as a Cash tribute, that's a total of forty-seven songs, enough for this two setlist idea of theirs. I realise there are notable absences and I'm hoping I'm wrong about them, ESPECIALLY Hawkmoon 269. I want my Hawkmoon!