Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Some thoughts (aka I'm procrastinating)

So I'm supposed to be writing my dissertation at the moment but I thought going online to complain about it would be less soul-destroying than, you know, actually writing it. One of the things that gets me is that my university is one of the only ones in the country that makes a dissertation in law compulsory. Most other unis (for a law degree) just have whatever optional regular modules for final year including an optional dissertation, but noooo, my stupid university not only makes us do four full modules (or you can mix and match with some half modules - I'm just doing four full modules though), but we have a compulsory dissertation on top of that! It's not fair. I'd even understand if we did the dissertation alongside three other full modules, but forcing us to do an extra one is just ridiculous. I have so much work to do right now I honestly feel like I'll never get it done. And I've heard rumours that they might be reducing the five (full) module system to a four module one next year, which just shows that even the faculty think it's too much. I don't even go to a good university, it's pretty average, especially for law, so I have no idea why they're even doing this. It's not like having a dissertation from here is going to make any difference whatsoever when I apply for jobs. And I'm not going to lie, but law is dull. Incredibly dull. The mere thought of writing 10,000 words about something law-related makes me want to bash my head against the wall.

In other news, there's been that whole thing about Zoella. To be honest, I am not surprised that her book was ghostwritten[1]. A lot of celebrity books are. I watch her videos sometimes, and she practically never mentioned her writing process in any of her vlogs. It definitely didn't seem like she was spending any time sitting down and writing a book. Plus, it was released so quickly after she announced it, and she claimed that it was still in the writing process in that announcement video so...yeah. I'm not that fussed about the issue, but I do think she and her publishers should have been more honest about it rather than trying to hush it up, especially since her whole image is about trying to be genuine and honest with her fans. I think that's where the main problem lies for most people, the lack of openess. Plus, I find it kind of amusing/weird that she's said she's so proud one of her biggest dreams has come true or something like that (on the back of the book and in one of her videos somewhere) - I mean, it hasn't really, has it. I would be hesitant to say I was proud if I were in her position. And her statement saying "of course I was going to have help...everyone needs help when they try something new"[2] - well that's not true, is it? Most debut authors don't have someone else write their first book for them and then magically develop great writing skills themselves by the time book two comes around. I'm not against ghostwriting (though I think there are definitely better ways for ghostwriters to be credited and compensated, especially when so many copies of the book are sold) but I think people should be open about it, and I don't think Zoe has reacted very well to the whole situation. Being vague and then hiding from the internet[3] is never the best way to address an issue.

I think the response to this news, though, has been way too extreme. Some people have been way too harsh and saying terrible things and harassing her which is just horrible (it's not like she's committed a crime, she's just released a book and used her brand to do it - everyone in these types of industries does that), whereas other people, mostly her diehard fans (and this is what I don't like about youtube - the fact that some fans worship these people to such an extent, it's just unhealthy), have been saying ridiculous things like (to paraphrase because I can't be bothered to find the tweets) "they're just jealous because they're not intelligent enough to come up with an idea like yours" and "don't listen to the lying haters!" and "they don't know you, Zoe". I mean, really? This level of idolisation is one of the reasons I don't attend youtube events. I really hate it. These people are just PEOPLE. They are not gods. They are not magical beings who know everything and can do anything. And no fan KNOWS a youtuber, you just see what they let you see when they edit their videos! Watching someone on a screen does not equate to knowing them as a person. This is clearly evident by all the recent abuse scandals that have happened with youtubers. So these comments really bother me. But it's not all negative, I guess. One of the good things to come out of all of it is that at least people are reading. Zoe has definitely done well for herself in amassing such a large audience, and ghostwritten or not, at least a lot of her fanbase are excited about picking up her book to read. I don't know if that will spread into excitement about other books, but it's a good start. Also, I don't dislike Zoe and I'm not trying to be harsh or anything. Her videos are often quite good and she seems like a nice enough person, who has genuinely tried to do good things/help people, especially in trying to make people more aware of issues like anxiety. I just thought it would be interesting to discuss the matter.

I also find it hilarious that I just wrote over 900 words no problem in fifteen minutes, yet I can't even write the first 100 words of my dissertation in an entire day.

So those are my thoughts. Feel free to offer yours. If you don't have other things to be doing. I have other things to be doing. I have procrastinated the day away. And I can't work on my dissertation on Thursday because I am in classes all day and won't get home until almost 10pm. So I basically have Tuesday (maybe, there's some confusion as to whether I have a practice exam or not), Wednesday and Friday to write the entire first chapter of my dissertation and hand it in. I don't foresee this going well. Especially since I'm thinking of changing my topic a bit. So I have no idea what to write. Please just take me away to Hogwarts. But you know, a Hogwarts that has wi-fi.

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