IGCSE Argue piece – ‘The fappening’

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the nude images that were leaked on the internet by hackers on the 1st of September of 2014 that infiltrated the phones of hundreds of celebrities. These people have been hurt. Badly. Their private photos and conversations have been thrown everywhere for all to see. Would you react with long heart-felt tweets on human morality? Or would you just shake it off? I personally wouldn’t act in a questionable manner, it is the internet after all, everyone’s a critic. As Actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead stated on twitter, “To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.”

Jennifer Lawrence, ever-growing celebrity and renowned actress who played Katniss in the Hunger Games movies was also a victim of this attack. She, along with many other actors has made clear their discontent and outright loss of trust in their fans. Many journalists and blog writers have debated about whether or not it is a crime to view these images, some saying that doing so is akin to being in possession of stolen goods. Others beg to differ, criticising the celebrities for sexting/ uploading personal and questionable media onto a cloud service when the contents of which can be exploited. In my opinion, none of these celebrities’ careers would be in jeopardy, ‘I was just so afraid. I didn’t know how this would affect my career.’ Says Jennifer Lawrence soon after discovering that her personal images have been leaked into the web.

Clay Aiken, congressional candidate, ‘offered up his two cents’ on the celebrity nude media scandal. ‘Anybody who takes inappropriate pictures of themselves deserves exactly what they get.’ He says this even though he would have been expected to back his fellow celebrities (he was a former American Idol contestant). This neatly brings me onto my second point. WAY too many people decide to fling about their unwanted Good For Yous and You Should Have Thought About Thats before they give enough thought to remember that celebrities are people too, not blessed golden children who have instantly lost the right to have a private life as soon as they gained their first acting/singing award. I’m sure that many people have sent the occasional nude picture to their loved ones, I mean – why wouldn’t they? Not many experienced hackers would go out of their way to hack an ordinary person unless they simply use brute force.
The apple icloud is well known for being hacked into, the account is, after all, accessible after a couple of security questions that anyone can guess. It’s just inconvenient that those answers had belonged to a celebrity.

By definition, only the copyright owner has the right to reproduce and distribute their works. If a photographer takes a picture, the picture is instantly his property. If someone creates an unauthorized copy, as well as an unauthorized download, then it is copyright infringement by law. So technically, the people who have downloaded and shared the images are committing a crime whereas it is not illegal to possess the content. Meaning that the angry article writers should stop scaring people and allow them to act on their own morals, if anything, their articles are what is advertising the event further and making the situation ‘worse’.

“You know what’s so unfortunate?” Actress Teresa Palmer says. “All the women got together and talked it out. We all had photos of boyfriends—some are famous, some are not—who are naked, and none of the photos of famous men were ever released. It was all women. So, it was a personal attack on women, and trying to shame women. I just think it’s disgusting that there were no men—I think there was only one male victim—so women were specifically targeted.”

In my experienced opinion,  I can assure you that this event is not going to end, well not for a long time anyway. Hackers all over the world could gain access to the most complicated of programs and organisations, meaning that almost all efforts made by apple and other online file storage companies will be counteracted.
The only hope our celebrities have in order to maintain their privacy is to not send nudes. At all. Boring? Yes. But essential for them to stay clean? Yes again.

IGCSE Component 2 Creative Writing Text Transformation: Remember me – Based On A Poison Tree.

Darkness.

Everyone is fast asleep in the safety of their beds. A sharp tap of the oak’s fingers attacks your window as it dies slowly in the night. Owls howl with their pathetic repletion of wisdom as grass sways to the orders of a subtle breeze. Midnight clouds float seamlessly across the sky as if escaping the horrors that emerge after day.

Everything is dark, almost pitch black, but there is enough light creeping in from outside to outline a small, uninteresting room. Fluorescent star-shaped stickers glow a dim green at the ceiling of your bedroom. Dead, rotting posters decorate your walls, childhood crayon drawings cling on for dear life at the side of your table. You seem merely a small lump in the dark brown covers that lay on the mattress when I recognise you. I see you stirring in what seems to be a deep sleep. My feet shuffle across the dark-green carpet that seems invisible on top of the rough, wooden floor. My hands lean onto a wall to keep my balance and instantly flinch. That wall, the one adjoining your parents’ room, it reeks of death.

A short wooden stool stands between the door and your bed, it restricts my ability to watch you sleep. I lift the stool, but a solitary leg hangs below the rest, scraping as it moves across the floorboard.

Once again you duck your head slightly and curl up into a ball. The sound must have woken you up, it always does. Even through the covers I can tell that the last cobwebs of sleep have withered from your mind, a fog that hangs over your senses, remaining through your delusion of lucidity.

Silence.

I see you’re not scared any more. Are you about to look up out of your covers? Your duvet is moving slightly, your arms are extending, and I can see it. Yes, show me your foot, take it out of your covers.  I grab your foot and smother you before you scream, it’s always such an unpleasant noise isn’t it? As I look you straight in the eyes they roll backwards.

You were my best friend.
Why did you leave me?

We share so many memories.

Yes, those memories, let’s go back to three years ago. It’s instantly day time, the sweet smell of optimism and youth fills the summer air as children run and play. Grass is swaying above the dirt as it does this night, except the trees that were scattered around the park had been given such life, as if it had been breathed into them by the surrounding blue jays that sung with celestial joy. An ocean of heads and laughter hit your senses, so staggering you fall on your knees and tighten your eyelids in pain. You’re standing in that field.
They laughed at you. Those kids. They insulted you because of me, and you betrayed me, you denied any existence of me. You began throwing away my drawings and stopped talking to me. Your ‘loving’ mother said that it was about time. She was the first to go.

In a blink you stood at her funeral, you’re hit with the sharp piercing pain of winter. The men in sombre black stood, circled around her grave, their hands shaking in the cold unforgiving air. Children that seemed to cling onto the black-clothed men began throwing lilies onto the coffin as you turned away from the people and cried. Tears slowly dripped from your face and onto the mud that surrounded the willow you leaned upon. A man put his arm on your shoulder but you bawled and started pounding at him with your fists, several more men gathered around you and held you down. You lay on the muddy floor, the dirt that lay with you left brown stains on your suit but you didn’t care. That was when I stood above you, tears fell down our faces, you blacked out, and I ceased to exist.

You were eight years old right?
What did I do wrong?

Your stomach lurches at the third and final memory, you’re in the same place as before, except you stand alone. There was no man to hold you, no woman to guide you. The gravestone you face belongs to the only other man you knew who held your last name. Frost glistens on the stone as the snow begins to fall, your chest starts shaking uncontrollably as you fall to your knees once again. Frozen hands shakily raise to your frost-bitten cheeks as tears fall through the gaps in your fingers; your eyes raw and as broken as your young heart. Your eyelids clench shut and you begin to whimper. Why me? I hear you try to force between choking sobs. Why does it have to be me?

We snap back to present day. Your memorable blue eyes turn to me knowingly, before widening in fear. Tears slowly fall down our faces.

And once again, I ceased to exist.

IGCSE – Argue Coursework

Good evening London, today I will be portraying what I feel on the matter of parental guidance on the internet. I guess this topic is highly debatable seeing as this is probably a touchy subject because it criticizes the actions of adults and how they choose to raise their children, but nonetheless, this really needs to be, in a sense, brought to light.

Children are naturally curious, being brought up in a world where everything is hidden would defeat the purpose of growing up and adults need to start understanding that. I mean – not that I condone the advertisement of ‘Adult things’ to children, it’s just that they should be aware of the dangers. Such as betting sites and the element of stranger danger. Of course, the odd porno or any other ‘terrifying’ thing would pop out of nowhere and onto your child’s computer screen, but that wouldn’t occur if you remove your cookies and/ or history- (heheh).

Okay, I can tell some of you guys feel  offended about what I just said but children deserve a bit of adventure in their lives, of course the off ‘scary picture’ would pop out and shock your child, but that’s all part of learning isn’t it? What I’m trying to say is that even if something is blocked on the internet there are always a way around it, causing your child to have a hard time doing so, but ultimately having access to the website nonetheless, but opening up and allowing them to search the web and learning from their mistakes (obviously with some parental guidance) they can and will be able to grow up successfully in the digital age.

Do you honestly want your children to grow up feeling owned by someone else? Being overprotective may not result in an obedient, loving child but a rebellious, freedom loving teenager in later years. The only way around that is if you restrict your child’s communication with the outside world, but that would plainly make you an unfit parent.

The noun, Parental Guidance is useless, well, it does work very well to box up someone’s knowledge if they are in an environment where grown up things aren’t really mentioned like in primary schools but as they progress to higher forms of education they can and will have access to what they want. What parents really need to understand that mirroring their protective nature on a child’s internet access where the parent’s control is very limited does not work, well, most of the time?

I will conclude this rant with something a friend of mine one said: ‘We worry so much about out offspring that we tend to forget that the next generation deserves to truly become the next generation, not a carbon copy of the previous one’.

Compare how flaws are shown in Othello and a range of poetry you have studied

Flaws are naturally a part of a human being; flaws in personality are common in literature to make a character seem more realistic. Shakespeare evidently attempts to reach out to people in order to receive more publicity in his plays, instances of the seven deadly sins (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony) play a massive role in the downfalls of these characters. In this essay, I will be comparing the works of William Shakespeare (playwright) and other poets including Robert Browning in order to compare Othello to the poetic tragedies of which contain characters of similar qualities.

Poor judgement is used in the play of Othello; the ‘Moor’ is easily manipulated by his Iago because he trusts them too much, even to the point of questioning his own decisions. The problem here (according to the audience) is that he trusts the wrong people, this doesn’t play on any of the seven deadly sins as such, but it clearly lays out the plotline of the play. Othello is a man who has many flaws that are shared by the audience in the Jacobean era, men were obviously not perfect and the objectification of women was common. Being published in 1622, this play shows the restriction and patent suppression of women of the patriarchal society in Jacobean England. In act 2, Othello says ‘Come, my dear love, the purchase made, the fruits are to ensue’, this relates to their perspective of marriage, being a pact sealed by the purchase of the bride. A senator from act 1 scene 3 says that Othello should ‘use Desdemona well’, hinting that she requires the orders of her superior in order to operate, the word ‘use’ meaning to ‘control’ or to ‘manipulate’. This further proves that men viewed women as objects to be possessed by their husbands, and thus strengthens the flaws created from his insecurity to control his lover.

Porphyria’s Lover, published in 1836, contains a lot of flaws by both the man and the woman, also inspired by the intensely religious and patriarchal society of England. This poem is in the poetic rhyme scheme of a Cinquain (A,B,A,B,B), this allows the poem to flow easily so that the reader can allow themselves to become enticed by the story, this is because it imitates that of a calm heartbeat.
This dramatic monologue further includes evidence of the objectification of women in the Victorian era, the Lover who commentates this monologue kills Porphyria because he feels insecure and wants to preserve her innocence, proved with the line ‘perfectly pure and good’, ‘pure’ representing her virginity of which he wishes to preserve. There is also the likelihood that he murders her in punishment for suggesting sexual intercourse before marriage. This was also written in the Romantic era of 1800-1850. The beginning of the poem has certain romantic aspects, the image of Porphyria ‘gliding’ into the house after ‘she shut the cold out and the storm’ is possibly metaphorical, the contrast of the words ‘Storm’ and ‘Warm’ though syllabic are considered completely opposite. This is done to compare the struggle that the woman endured to reach the warm cottage as opposed to the man’s default comfort in his home.
The flaws in this dramatic monologue come from the Lover, being strongly religious to the point where he murders Porphyria on grounds that he chooses God over his own conscience. This is purely from the author’s intentions that stem from his anti-religious beliefs, his sceptical views that often lead his poems to tragedy through actions influenced by Christianity. ‘And yet God has not said a word!’ is an example of Robert Browning’s scepticism, it is either because the speaker believes that he has not committed a sin, being that there was no consequence or because there is no God (promotion of Atheism) to object to his actions. ‘And all night long we have not stirred’ is describing the following night after the murder, Porphyria is dead which is why she does not move but the supposed lover is asleep beside her, thinking that he has committed a justified and correct deed by killing her, shown by ‘The smiling rosy little head, So glad it has its utmost will’, the man thinking that he has made her happy because he can be with him forever. This links to Othello because both lovers from the two stories have killed their romantic partners as a result of uncertainty and poor judgement, both being evident flaws that are shared by many people at that time.

In the play Othello, Iago says to him ‘O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on’ (Act 3, scene 3), this is his advice to the ‘Moor’ to steer away from jealousy by giving it a form through the use of personification, the meat being a product of figurative language meaning the consciousness of a person in which is fed on by the green eyed monster (jealousy), meaning that jealousy causes one to misjudge and to make poorly made decisions. The word jealousy is given the form of a green-eyed monster because the thought of it is repulsive and generally something to avoid, by giving the word a form Iago has successfully negotiated with Othello and irritated him, proven by his reply of ‘O misery!’ Iago is using Othello’s personality flaw of uncertainty in order to get his way.

The laboratory, written by Robert Browning, was also published during the romantic era of 1800-1850. In this case, the dramatic monologue is spoken by a woman as opposed to the men who so commonly shared flaws in their judgement and actions. This dramatic monologue is clear and understandable because she is talking to the apothecary as he prepares a poison, the clarity of this one-sided conversation is what allows me to analyse her intentions as she progresses through her story. The poem goes in the rhythmic pattern of A, A, B, B, what this pattern gives to the dramatic monologue is an energetic and enthusiastic edge which is also represented in the woman’s speech. ‘What a drop! She’s not little, no minion like me– That’s why she ensnared him: this never will free’, in this line she comes up with reasons as to why her partner has been unfaithful to her, the word ‘minion’ in these two lines derives from the French word for small, or little, which she uses to compare herself to one of the women which she saw as rivals. The flaw of uncertainty plays a part in this because she doesn’t know completely why she has been cheated on. ‘You may kiss me, old man, on my mouth if you will!’ is a line spoken from the speaker to the apothecary allowing him to kiss her; this is evidence of her excitement after seeing ‘the delicate droplet, my whole fortune’s fee—’ the delicate droplet being a globule of the poison which was made for her malicious cause. The excitement of which follows these moments results in her offering of a kiss on the lips from the ‘old man’, this is an instance where she acts with hypocrisy because she is punishing her partner for his infidelity and decides to kiss the man who conducted illegal acts for her, a flaw that is not in fact shared with the stories Othello and Porphyria’s lover.

Similar to Porphyria’s lover is the Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, this was yet another poem written by Robert Browning, published in 1842. Brother Lawrence, the object of the speaker’s derision, starts the poem by saying ‘Gr-r-r—there go, my heart’s abhorrence!’ as if he is condemning someone, he then goes on to say ‘In god’s blood’, speaking god’s name in vain to portray his hatred for Brother Lawrence, this suggests that the speaker is not a very good christian for a supposed monk. When Brother Lawrence gives the men melons, the speaker says ‘Oh, those melons! if he’s able We’re to have a feast; so nice!’ (lines 41-42) the semi colon represents a short pause, meaning that he has intended to be sarcastic after mentioning Brother Lawrence’s good will. The speaker shows two forms of flaw, hypocrisy and hatred. The hypocrisy comes from the fact that he imagines that Brother Lawrence lusts over a couple of nuns from a convent who wash their hair near to him. The speaker then decides to read his ‘scrofulous French novel’, scrofulous meaning morally degenerate or corrupt; which is a sin in itself. The hatred comes from the speaker’s will to ruin Brother Lawrence’s spiritual life even though he has lived with him for many years. ‘If I trip him just a-dying’ this means that the speaker wants to cause Brother Lawrence to commit a sin just before he dies in order to take him to hell without him being able o ask for forgiveness. This poem is a very good example of Robert Browning’s skepticism on the subject of religion and Christianity, explained earlier in the essay. 

Another flaw which is portrayed in Othello is Iago’s dismissal of his wife in Act 3 Scene 3, Emilia gives Desdemona’s handkerchief to Iago without any knowledge of his intentions and attempts to ask him why he wanted it ‘What will you do with ’t, that you have been so earnest To have me filch it?’. Because he knows that Emilia is good and will not betray her friend he replies with continuously dodging her questions by forcing her to leave ‘Be not acknown on ’t, I have use for it. Go, leave me.’ Basically saying that he needs it and that what he will do with the handkerchief is not of her business. This scene is a good example of Iago’s self-proclaimed superiority over his wife which is a flaw in itself.

Flaws have been used in all of the texts I have analysed, this is quite expected since there are flaws in every person. Flaws in personality as well as being linked to sins are what would make a tragedy interesting because of its contribution in a downfall or action of poor judgement. These flaws in question are shared between all the characters in this essay, this is because adding flaws to a person is crucial for character development, both Heroes and Villains become anti-heroes which gives a lot more to a story, because we as human beings can relate to them a lot easier. W. Shakespeare’s authorial intentions come from the fact that he was clearly a populist because he created stories in which could be related to by his massive audience of a wide range of social classes, not with monetary intention, but because of his love of literature.

Ice bucket challenge response piece

Dear mr Rose,

I am writing to respond to your article on ‘The Ice Bucket Challenge: who’s pouring water on the idea?’ In your guardian post you clearly understand that the Ice Bucket Challenge helps the organisation because of the endless amounts of money pouring into their funds, but you also constantly condemn the idea, despite the help it offers to the charity. I personally believe that it is a big help, being both fun and constructive. In this response I will be comparing the ideas in your article to the true facts that lie behind this internet phenomena  to set the record straight on the Ice Bucket Challenge that occurred so recently. This article will show my perspective on how the charity and the overwhelming positivity will aid in the fight against ALS.

The Ice bucket challenge is a unique way of raising awareness that was adopted by the ALS association, the charity responsible for research for treatments and cures for the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Several blogs and articles shun the association, stating that their ‘projects’ are rife with fraud. In your article, you constantly refer to problems caused by the participators of this challenge, placing blame on ‘citizens’, ‘celebrities’ and ‘teenagers’ alike. However, a larger problem lies within the intent of the charity in itself. Speculation surrounds the charity, stemming from a pie chart that is on the ALS association website. The chart expresses what percentage of their incoming donations are spent on. What shocked certain individuals was the fact that ‘only’ 28% (previously 27%) of the donations were used for research, 32% is used for public and professional education and fundraising took up a worrying 17% ($1.6 million). The misapplication of these funds is worrying and I feel that the charity somewhat more to blame, meaning that we should direct our criticism more to the association than at the people.

However, you should acknowledge that the Ice Bucket Challenge has in fact raised $24,030,687 for The ALS Association, National Office (according to charitynavigator.org) and a lot of awareness, but you hilariously put that there may be a ‘tipping point’ to the craze. Your article then goes on to say how the Ice bucket challenge is in fact a complete waste of water to the extent that water wastage is actually being fined in certain states of America, ‘it’s #droughtshaming‘ one of which is the state of California that was experiencing an extreme drought, this has left social media reeling at the intense shaming the ALS donation campaign has gotten, or rather the people who ‘douse their staff en masse in hundreds of gallons of water’ (en masse meaning in a group; all together in french). You then go on to mention the Chinese protests within Henan that had people walking through the streets holding red buckets over their heads, as a symbol of their drought-related suffering. These events have clearly affected the challenge through the power of social media; new hashtags like #droughtshaming have appeared, stating some people’s displeasure with the challenge.

The ice bucket challenge is stupid. Sure, you’re raising awareness. But if you really wanna make a difference, skip the ice and just donate.
— ĸeℓѕeყ (@k_silverberg) August 7, 2014 –  a very powerful quote from one of the thousands of tweeters that have expressed their discontent with the ice bucket challenge.

‘The tweet was deleted but the text remains’ says Bostlnno author Hayden Bird in his article ‘The #IceBucketChallenge Is an Example of ‘Hashtag Activism’ That’s Having an Actual Impact on Donations that further advertises the displeasure of the masses online.’

What thousands of tweeters are saying is that there is no point in taking part in the challenge if they aren’t following up with a donation; this has obviously erupted from the large amount of people who only take part in the challenge for attention online. Celebrities are faced with the challenge, and only do it because ‘the “it’s fun”/”it’s for charity” double whammy would make it hard for any celebrity to refuse a challenge’. Many believe that said celebrities only do it for the attention too, but I’m sure that thousands are willing to do it for the charity. Besides, attention-seeking or not, those people are still raising awareness for the cause, which will still do a LOT for the association, even if they decide not to donate at all.

This craze has certainly taken the internet by storm, hundreds of celebrities are taking part and millions more people have dunked themselves with a bucket of cold water, this feat has quite obviously helped the ALS Association grow. And with every Dollar going to the association is a Dollar to finally curing ALS.

This is a good draft – you have clearly absorbed the article and respond – but there is still lots to do.

Targets:

1) Open with your view – what is your response/thesis.  Then, tell us about the article – where did it come from?  Who wrote it and when? Purpose – you are writing a response to the journalist. (done)

2) Re-read your original opening paragraph – how much of this is needed at this point in your essay? How much have you planned your structure? (done)

3) Once you have your argument – link it throughout.

This is Your Online Domain

Hello and welcome to your personal online journal.

Edutronic has been created to enhance and enrich your learning at the London Nautical School. Its purpose is to provide you with an audience for your work (or work-in-progress) and you have the choice (by altering the ‘visibility’ of your posts) of whether your work on here is visible to the world, or only to your teacher.

Anything you post here in the public domain represents you and thus it’s important that you take care with that decision, but don’t be afraid to publish your work – as the feedback you may get from people at home, your peers and people from around the internet is only likely to enhance it.

Remember you can always access your class blog and all manner of resources through the Edutronic main website – and by all means check out the sites of your peers to see what they’re getting up to as well.

If you have any questions for your teacher, an excellent way to get an answer is to create a new private post on this journal. Your teachers are am notified of any new posts and will reply swiftly to any queries.

Make the most of, and enjoy this new freedom in your English learning!

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