SCP 3300 ‘The Rain’ Review

What if I told you there was a place where every year, people changed.  Well that’s obvious, everyone changes, but I mean really changes.  Somewhere where every year, everyone becomes someone new entirely.  Well that somewhere is the small town of Clearwater, Montana.  Once a year it begins to rain.  It is a light rain at first; then it becomes a violent storm.  The storm takes all who once were, and recycles them into new.  The old are gone, the rain misses them, they have to go to it.  Each year the rain dissolves each person into water; it then reforms them into new people that are always different from before.  The foundation has had trouble studying this phenomenon because when the event starts no one can enter; no one can leave.  Everyone in the town becomes a totally different person with no memory of their previous self. 

Rain can seem dreary, but also represents life and rebirth.  This is an ironic truth in the case of Clearwater.  The event is typically in June and lasts for six to eighteen days.  For the first forty eight hours, it is light and calm rain; however after that it becomes a violent thunderstorm that will last until the event ends.  Any attempts by the foundation to enter the town during an event have failed, either by loss of personnel, or emerging on the other side of the town; just like it was never even there.  If a resident of Clearwater is absent for the event, they will simply disappear.  There is also an effect on people who do not live in the town to quickly lose focus while talking about the town or its citizens.  They do not forget about it, simply have trouble paying attention to it.  

Our main source of information comes from a girl who was keeping a journal during one of the events, and the journal was recovered by the SCP foundation.  A young woman identified as ‘Margaret Lane’ was the author, in the event of 1995. 

The SCP Foundation is a fictional organization that focuses on capturing “anomalies” aka, anything that may have special powers or can break the natural laws.  SCP stands for Secure, Contain, Protect, the foundations goal is to keep these creatures in check while studying them and keeping the public from knowing the truth.  They seem to be a morally gray organization as they are fine with doing inhumane experiments on harmless and even friendly creatures.    

Check out the story of SCP 3300 and others here: https://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-3300

The people of clearwater are not exactly people, well in the normal sense that we think of people.  For most of the time they are people, down to their DNA, as the foundation can not find anything anomalous about the citizens in themselves.  During the 3300 event something changes, every resident of Clearwater, Montana dies by being turned into water that makes up this storm that is the anomaly.  The storm then makes a new set of people, who think they have lived in Clearwater for their whole lives.  The new people behave very strangely during the event, but once it is over they seem to be perfectly normal citizens of a small town.  They retain no memory of being made by the storm, or their previous selves.  The dreams give us clues into the start of this occurrence, some form of ritual that started when a village tried to save itself from destruction.  They did in a way save themselves by becoming part of the storm, but it came at the cost of continual, tragic loss of life, even if they may not exactly be what we consider ‘normal humans’.  

The story of Clearwater may seem like mere fiction, but can also be considered in a more philosophical sense.  If you think about it, the citizens of Clearwater are experiencing the same thing as everyone else, just at a much more accelerated rate.  We all will eventually succumb to death, and no matter where you run or where you hide, it is inevitable.  We can all learn a thing or two from Margaret and her friends struggles.  You should enjoy the life you have while you have it, before you are whisked away and gone forever, doomed to be forgotten in the unforgiving winds of time.  So ask yourself, is it really so different from us?  Maybe you are a thrill seeker, or maybe you stay shut up in your house, scared of the outside world.  But no one wants to die; not even those who say they do.  Those who wish to take their own life only do so as a last resort, as the only way that they can see out, but even they do not truly want to die.  It is just because their situation has become so bad, they wish to end it by any means.   If they had a better life, if they weren’t so stressed, if, if, if, if…you get the idea.  You have a natural instinct to survive, every creature does.  Live, eat, drink, sleep, repeat.  Did you know you can’t snap your own neck?  Go ahead, try it, it doesn’t matter how strong you are, it’s impossible.  It’s because your brain won’t let you use all of your strength as it knows it will most likely end to your death, so it keeps you from doing it.  Maybe we can all learn to appreciate life a little more from now on, because we never know when our time is up.

 

Hercules by Livingston Review

Today I will be reviewing the song ‘Hercules’ by Livingston.

 

https://youtu.be/l7IjITknG6k

 

Hercules, also known as Heracles or Herakles, is a hero of Greek and Roman Mythology.  He was a demi-god, born from Zeus and a human mother, Alcmene.  Zeus disguised himself as Alcmene’s lover, and slept with her, thus making Hercules.  Hercules was born with inhuman strength, thus forming the preface of the song.

 

While we’re here / Give me something that I’ll never forget / We would fly / Through the years / As if they never would end / Jumping over the fence / Before we knew where to stop.  Livingston sings of being in love, and how it can make time pass quickly and make you do rash things.  While we’re here / Tell me something that you’ll never regret / Your words went over my head / But they remind me of then / Jumping over the fence / Before we knew where to stop.  The song continues about love and sharing secrets.  

 

Now I’m alive, but I’m lonely / I’m not the child that you showed me to be / I’m terrified ’cause you know me / Better than I know myself.  Livingston is saying how love has shown him a lot of things about himself, and that he is afraid to lose it.  Love often brings out the best parts of us, so much so that you do not feel like yourself without your partner.  Ships in the night / When I found you / Now it’s city lights / Where I’m finding myself /Send me a sign, and I’ll come back / Give me a chance to bleed / I can’t be Hercules.  Comparison between when they first met and now.  Livingston is using Hercules as a symbol of pure strength, saying he is not Hercules is showing how he is simply a human and cannot be strong all the time; he needs time to heal from things.  Nowhere to hide / Or to turn to / I’m trying to find / What you see in myself / Send me a sign, and I’ll come back / Give me a chance to bleed / I can’t be Hercules.  He has no one to help him with this issue and he is trying to figure out what his love saw in him.  He wants her back and is willing to come back if she wants.  Now I’m gone / Sold my heart to still not know what I’m worth / New York sees through my facade / She knows that you loved me first / No, I could never pretend / As if I knew where to start.  He has trouble understanding his value, and has put on a type of fake personality that can be seen through.  

 

After a repeat of the chorus, we have a bridge off: What is the point of changing / If I only lose the one I love? / I counted my stars to make it / But I couldn’t become more than who I was.  In the myths of Hercules, he is struck by a curse of madness and kills his wife; I believe this is what it is referring to.  However it is also metaphorical for how he also lost his love.  After this the chorus repeats one more time for lasting effect.

Milk and Cookies Analysis

Trigger warning: mature themes and a bit of cursing.

In this blog I’m going to be analyzing ‘Milk and Cookies’  by Melanie Martinez. 

https://youtu.be/tsuGkIgatyE  

One, two, melatonin is coming for you.   Melanie references the popular kids rhyme ‘One, two, buckle my shoe’.  Melatonin is also the chemical that induces sleepiness.  In the previous song, “Tag You’re It,” Cry Baby is kidnapped by the Big Bad Wolf, in this song she is planning her escape.  Three, four, baby, won’t you lock the door?  Crybaby is being held captive and she is reflecting on this fact.  Five, six, I’m done with this. Seven, eight, it’s getting late, so close your eyes, sleep for days.  Cry Baby refuses to be held captive anymore and so she plans to kill the Big Bad Wolf so she can escape.  

Art Credit: NastyaMun on Deviantart

Hush, little baby, drink your spoiled milk.  This references the popular children’s lullaby ‘Hush, Little Baby’.  The wolf wants Cry Baby to make him cookies, the spoiled milk references the fact she plans to poison him.  

I’m f***ing crazy, need my prescription filled / Do you like my cookies? They’re made just for you / A little bit of sugar, but lots of poison, too.  Crybaby is going crazy from being held captive.  Here she explicitly tells us she is going to poison the wolf so that she can escape.

Ashes, ashes, time to go down / Ooh, honey do you want me now? / Can’t take it anymore, need to put you to bed / Sing you a lullaby where you die at the end.  This references the children’s rhyme “Ring Around the Rosy,” which has been theorized to be about the bubonic plague; however this has not been confirmed.  Cry Baby, like the plague, will take the wolf out.  Ironically Cry Baby is referred to as “The Best Girl” in ‘Tag Your It’ when it tells us the wolf is trying to pick out the best child to kidnap.  Ironically this girl will end up defeating him in the end.

 

Nine, ten, never want to see you again / Eleven, twelve, I pull off black so well. Continuing the rhyme scheme of ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’, Cry Baby mentions she is wearing black, hinting at the wolf’s impending doom, and that she is not mourning it, but rather admiring her craftiness.  Sh** behind the curtain that I’m sick of sugarcoatin’ / Next time you’re alone, think twice when you grab the phone.  Cry Baby is sick of playing along with the wolf and decides to do whatever she has to do to escape.  In this case it is decided she must kill her captor to be able to escape; as this seems to be her best option.  She is unleashing the dark side of herself, just like her mother and father do.  This also may be a reference to her earlier song ‘Dollhouse’ about a dysfunctional family who appears picture perfect from the outside.

At this point the chorus, Ashes, ashes, time to go down / Ooh, honey do you want me now? / Can’t take it anymore, need to put you to bed / Sing you a lullaby where you die at the end, repeats itself twice to hammer in the outcome with repetition.  Cry Baby tricks the wolf with poisoned cookies, and now she can finally escape as he is no longer a threat to her.

 

Art credit: Jazmin Baez on We Heart It

The Final Blog

So, it’s over huh.  Junior year is wrapping up and, to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m ready.  I never thought I could possibly enjoy school as much as I do here.  Sure, I wish we didn’t have to get up so early; but I get to spend half of the day doing what I love instead of doing meaningless busy work in classes I didn’t really need.  I don’t think I’m emotionally prepared to be a senior.  I’ve always been excited to finally move out of my toxic household and be free of their helicoptering on my life but now that it’s almost over, I’m worried.  Senior year means college applications, writing essays for scholarships, classes that are more difficult and no time to be getting ready for college; forget taking care of yourself!  

Maybe I’m just letting my anxiety get away from me.  Probably.  I’m just constantly worried, no real reason why most of the time.  I won’t lie and say school here is easy, but I’m not struggling with my grades.  I’m just worried my work isn’t good enough.  I feel that I’ve improved, but is it enough?  Am I enough? 

The answer to all these questions that are whirling through our heads is yes.  If you weren’t talented, you wouldn’t be here.  Keep your head up darling, we have an amazing year ahead of us.  I can’t wait to experience MSA without all the covid crap.  Honestly I feel the experience will be strange, but in a good way.  I will miss our lovely seniors, but it’s their time to move on, and we have more friends coming into the void they left. 

For the incoming juniors I guess I’ll take the rest of the blog to talk a little about myself for a bit.

  • I play basketball. I know I know, an artist who is also an athlete?  Whack right.  Well, I’m just a tad different than your average person, I have interests that are normally conflicting, but they all make up a different part of me.
  • I LOVE animals. Like probably more than people.  If the cat that comes to visit is outside, you can probably find me out there petting him (I think it’s a guy… kinda hard to tell with cats, though).  
  • I’m a gamer. I play everything from Pokemon to Fortnite.  Yes, Fortnite, I can see you groaning from the other side of the screen.  I know it’s been done-in by cringe culture but it’s actually fun to play with friends.  If you avoid the toxic people (you can block players) and just find a nice group of people to play with it’s actually very enjoyable.  I play with a group of people from a bit younger than me to a few adults.  That may sound a bit weird, but it’s more like a weird gamer concloberation.  If someone is being toxic, we just don’t play with them anymore.  In a way, we have become some kind of weird kind of family.
  • I’m autistic. So, if I say things that don’t make sense, try to be patient with me.
  • I hyperfixate on things. Like all the time.  I become personally attached to fictional characters or to one specific thing in a group of the same thing.  It’s weird, I know.  I used to be a lot worse, it’s led me to be a bit of a hoarder, but not like those packed places in American Pickers.  If you insult the characters I have become attached to, it’s like insulting my best friends.
  • Finally, I am very excited, and nervous to meet you all.  I’m not very good at talking to strangers, so if I seem like a weirdo that’s why, I’m just trying to start a conversation.

“Read the Room”

If there is one phrase I’m very sick of hearing as an autistic person, it would be this.  People with ASD cannot just “read the room”. That’s like telling someone with a broken leg to “walk it off”.  ASD sufferers struggle to pick up social cues, and often are being belittled and harassed for it.  Yes, we say things that sound weird or are out of place. We can’t help it. It’s just the way our brains are.  If the autism came with an off an on switch, believe me, we’d utilize it.  Suffering from autism is thinking differently than everyone else, but everyone expects you not to.  

Another thing that makes me want to riot is people self-diagnosing themselves with autism, and using it as an excuse to be a rude person.  As someone who’s been diagnosed, it’s very frustrating.  The reason no one takes it seriously is because of people like this who use it to be a horrible person and get away with it.  Being a jerk isn’t autism, you don’t have autism, stop it.  Honestly seeing how many people pretend to have this illness is disgusting.  Maybe they are genuinely convinced they do, or maybe they just like to play the “I’m autistic card” to get out of trouble.  If a doctor or therapist has not diagnosed you as autistic, then stop pretending that you are.

I want to live in a world where I don’t have to pretend I’m not autistic.  I want to be accepted and not be attacked for things I can’t control.  I want to not have people glare at me just because I’m neurodivergent.  Sometimes people don’t care that I am and just see me as beneath them.  I’m still a person who has feelings, I’m not some broken toy for you to throw out.      

 

Burnout

It’s gotten to that point in the year were even the things you used to enjoy seem to be strenuous tasks.  I feel like I’m not alone when I say I’m experiencing end of the year burnout.  I’m not taking care of myself as much as a should and my work is taking longer and longer to complete.  Self care?  Have you seen her, cause I sure haven’t.  I’ve been suffering from a stubborn case of pneumonia so that sure hasn’t helped my energy levels. 

I know I’m supposed to offer something but this is for myself too.

  • Wash your hair
  • Stop isolating yourself
  • Vent to people who care
  • Take breaks
  • Listen to music
  • Watch your comfort videos
  • Snuggle your stuffed animals
  • Refrain from throwing hands with that person who keeps pissing you off
  • Eat food
  • Hang out with your friends
  • Leave the school once in a while (Or your house)
  • Sit with someone during meals

Hopefully this is helpful to anyone else suffering a burnout.  You can do it, I believe in you!

Women Fighting for Rights

This is somewhat of a controversial issue. If you are easily offended, then this might not be the best blog for you.

As most people know, I am a woman athlete.  The issue has risen of letting trans women play women sports.  While I completely support trans people and whoever they would like to be seen as, it just is not fair to cis women.  

Trans women in high school are typically not on hormones, which means they have the strength of a full man.  No one would let a man play women’s sports.  While they are a female they have the biological strengths and advantages of a man.  Even if they are on hormones they still have the strength and height they gained during their time as a man, and despite our best medical technology we are currently unable to change it.

A good example I think of is a female high school wrestling champion.  She had been champion for like 3 years in a row, when a trans women was entered she completely creamed the previous champion. This kind of thing would not happen if she didn’t have some kind of advantage.

Biology and differences go down to our very bone structure between the two sexes.  People with XY chromosomes are typically much stronger and taller than people with XX chromosomes.  Even women who train their whole lives to be strong still fail to compare to most men, even those who are not that active. It is all down to chemicals, men have more muscle building hormones and therefore can build more muscles with considerably less effort.  

It is not an easy decision, no matter what the call is, someone will be treated unfairly.  The best idea is probably to just let kids in high school play with their birth gender and for professional just have a different category for them.  It just wouldn’t be fair to the millions of cis women athletes to give them competitors that have so much of an advantage over them.  It’s really how to be fair to more people.  It sucks but there really is no way to make it fair for cis women if trans women can compete with them.  So you have to make it fair to the majority.

As a women athlete I just want the competition to be fair for us, that’s the whole reason sports are not co-ed after kids go through puberty.  It is similar to a women on steroids, it’s not fair and is ban in sports, it is the same type of thing.  Hopefully in the future our medical advances will make it so there is no advantages that trans women have, and then it would be fair if they can compete.  However we simply are not there yet.  

I am not trying to attack trans people. I respect people and their gender identity. I know some of this might not seem fair, but it really is all down to science.  

Take a Break

I don’t really have anything to blog about so I’m just gonna talk about how I have been doing lately, spoiler alert, not good.  With many deadlines fast approaching and my motivation getting increasingly lower I am not sure I can keep up.  Our literary portfolios are due this week and I’m still not finished and I am struggling for motivation.  I’m struggling to just have the energy to get out of the bed and do something.  

I’m trying to combat this with things I enjoy.  The other day I watched shows with my friend over discord.  It was a nice time to just relax and take my mind off of things.  Sometimes you just need to take a break, and that is fine.

Working yourself to death won’t do anything but make your work look rushed.  Taking breaks is essential to keeping yourself productive; and also to your mental health.  

Balance is a key element that helps keep yourself in order.  A mix of pleasure and work is typically the best course of action to get your work done and not become too overworked.  

Try taking a minute to do something you enjoy.  It will help in the long run.  Talk to your friends, play your favorite video game, maybe just take a snack break, it really doesn’t matter as long as you can take breaks.

Remember your health is more important than a school assignment, no matter what the school system tries to tell you.

Chains (A poem that was too short compared to everyone else’s)

Chains

Despair and hope

Virtue or vice

Joy or sadness

Depression and anxiety 

Resilience over pain

Break out of your chains.

Yeah I know, short and sweet.  Compared to others who were writing half pages I felt mine failed in comparison.  There was no minimum word count, but I still felt it was too short.  Often I feel I am in a place surrounded by talented people where I am plainly average.  Everything from MSA to on the court.  Even as I have been recognized as talented, when people outweigh you by so much even talented people can look very boring in comparison.

It’s not that I’m not accepted, I just don’t feel like I am as accepted as everyone else.  I never feel completely like I belong anywhere.  Of course, more here and on my current basketball team than I did at my old school.  

One thing I’ve always longed for is acceptance.  Something I never really had the chance to experience.  Everywhere I went I was outcast– from a child in Sunday school being bullied to high school being the “weird kid” to being trashed on by lots of different people– they say these are the best years of your life, but honestly I don’t know if I can handle it getting any worse.

The place I feel like I belong with the most is my friends that I never get to see.  I have met so many kind people on the internet, some that aren’t even from the same country.  Most of them have drifted away. Losing online friends can be especially difficult when you have no real friends.  My hometown is just so small and narrow minded I didn’t really find too many people who were compatible with me. 

Thankfully, now, I have some good friends, like my friend Alex.  Her family dynamic is much different than mine, but her family always makes me feel so accepted.  I went with them and some of her other friends for Halloween one year. Although I did get a few weird looks because I was the only white person in the group and had a much more elaborate costume, I still had fun and didn’t feel left out.  Last time I was home I got to see her, too. I mainly just sat in on them running errands, but it was still nice to be able to get out of the house.  In fact, I still have a cut from a wire that was sticking out of their car’s chair gashed on my knee.  A mark of friendship, if you will.