Category Archives: tv

“I don’t want my pain and struggle to make me a victim. I want my battle to make me someone else’s hero”

I’m on the one month Netflix trial and I’ve binge watched everything that caught my attention. One of the best things I saw it was the documentary about Lady Gaga called “Five Foot Two”. I can’t call myself a fan of this singer, I only like some of her songs and think she’s a charismatic performer. But I really loved this Netflix documentary and I want to thank Lady Gaga for shining spotlight on chronic pain, hoping that it will raise awareness about this problem. Invisible illness is not invisible to the sufferer and the only thing worse than pain is not being believed by family, friends or even doctors, who think it’s stress, or all in your head or that you’re faking it looking for attention.

Lady Gaga reveals that she’s fighting pain that stems from a broken hip suffered on the 2013 tour. There’s a part of the documentary that shows her on the couch in tears, because her right side of the body is in a spasms and that her face hurts.

She reveals that when she feel the adrenaline from her fans, she can go, even if it doesn’t mean she’s not in pain. She shows the drugs she takes to control pain , the treatments she gets to ease it, the doctors she visits to find a permanent solution and it’s an incredible discovery for those who, like me, are used to see her full of energy, singing and dancing on a stage.

Honestly, chronic pain and invisible illness can be as limiting as any other disability and the fact that others can’t see them, doesn’t make them disappear. They’re fucking real!

So if you have Netflix, I really recommend “Gaga: five foot two” even if you’re not a fan of Lady Gaga. It also shows many her aspects of celebrities’ life as if that sometimes being reach and popular means also being alone, because bringing along a relationship may be hard for the lack of privacy.

Due to her pain, Lady Gaga had to postpone her Johanne tour and I read online a lot of encouraging and supportive messages from other celebrities and from her fans. Good for her: these are things that help, along to the right meds. I loved how she pointed out that she’s lucky because she has the money to get the right and the best cures, unfortunately many of the treatments that help with chronic pain are meant to be paid by the patient.

I wish I had the financial possibility to cure myself, I wish I had more support and not only from my friends and above all I wish I had half of Lady Gaga’s spirit and energy to face chronic pain and what it brings.

If I continue to define myself by what I can’t do any more or by what others do, I will destroy my self.

TRACK OF THE DAY: The Cure- Lady Gaga

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“Anorexia isn’t about being fat, it’s about having fat” Caroline Kettlewell

Yesterday I saw “To the Bone” and it triggered so many thoughts, that in this post, I have to separate the review of the film from my personal life.

The film is about Ellen, a 20 years old girl who suffers anorexia and after failing several recovery programs, is forced to join the unconventional Dr Beckham’s inpatient program. She moves into the house where there are already five other female patients, each one with her story and secrets and Luke, a dancer who’s recovering both from a knee injury and anorexia. Ellen hardly manages to stick to the program and when some events destabilize her, she runs away. I don’t want to reveal anything more (I hate when I find huge spoilers in the plot resume), but I liked the ending.

Both the director Marti Noxon and the main actress Lily Collins have experienced anorexia (Collins has even written about her own experience with disordered eating in her novel “Unfliltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me” and that’s a good  feather in the cap. The film has been criticized because according to people, it glamourises eating disorders, but I didn’t have this impression, I found it honest. The character of Megan (a pregnant woman trying to gain weight for her child) was very effective: it shows that neither the love for an unborn child can save you from anorexia. No matter how much you’re loved, successful, talented you are: nothing is strong enough against eating disorders when they have deep roots in you; I’m not talking about the girl who doesn’t eat because she wants to me skinny, she can be saved, an eating disorder is more than this, it’s trying to kill yourself in an indirect way.

The film has been accused to show in details the tricks to avoid eating; I think that’s ridiculous. If you’re determined not to eat you don’t need a fictional story to tell you how to: there’s a lot of pro-ana websites and dedicated chats where girls shows their bones and support each other on this road to Hell, exchanging suggestion and products as laxatives. Looking up to my personal experience I didn’t need any person or film or anything else, I knew what to do. I drank vinegar to defeat hunger, I cut food in very small pieces and spread it all over the plate, I faked cleaning my mouth to spit food in the napkin. And I starved myself a lot.

If I have to find a negative thing about “To the Bone”, well, I didn’t appreciate that the viewer gets hugely distracted by a romantic sub-plot, I’d rather preferred to know better the personal history of Ellen’s inmates.

I’m not proud of my past and even if I seem over anorexia because I regularly eat, I still have that kind of mindset: I fat shame myself, I’m terrified of weight gain and I still suffer of body dysmorphic disorder. That is I perceive myself fat even if people see me skinny. Of course this is another battle I have to fight alone: my family trivializes it as if it was easy to resolve this distortion by simply “getting over it”.

Anorexia fucked up my stomach, my teeth and my heart (because when your body doesn’t have no more fat to burn, it attacks muscles and, as you know, heart is a muscle) and I wish I knew that what I was doing would have affected future me.

I’m still struggling with this problem, so I have no valid suggestion, the only thing that works for me is thinking “what if a person I love has this problem” or “may my mindset influence someone I care for?”. You probably don’t want your daughters or sisters grow up thinking that they’re physically inadequate, so do for them, try to love yourself or at least try not to body shame in front of them. Maybe this could be the right way, maybe.

TRACKF THE DAY: Ana’s Song- Silverchair

 

“Music can change the world because it can change people” Bono Vox

On Sunday the Old Trafford Stadium hosted the “One Love Manchester” tribute concert made of the performances from some of the biggest artists in the world. This benefit concert generated around $2.6 million in donations for the “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund”, to help victims of the terrorist attack on Ariana Grande’s gig.

I saw this show also as a statement of people saying “you can hurt us, but we’re still stand together supporting music and the right to have fun without fear”. Because the aim of assaults is to scare us, to bash everything that generates fun and happiness, to force us living in the constant fear of being attacked. What happened in Turin, where thousands of people who were watching the final match of Champions League, panicked after hearing the noise of some shots and turned into a human avalanche that generated over 600 injured, is a consistent example of the constant tension that lingers in our countries.

The best answer is keeping on travelling, on attending concerts and sport events: all the smiles and happy faces I saw last night are the best answer to hate and the reason why  my favourite part (in addition of Coldplay, of course) was the Parrs Wood High School Choir exhibition. Not only because the young and talented soloist (she is only 12 and has an incredible voice) was overwhelmed with emotion and calmed down only after being hugged by Ariana with whom she was duetting, but mainly because those kids represented the new generations who stand together and aren’t afraid to live their lives.

As regarding myself, I have experienced once again the healing power of music, because while I was singing out loud Coldplay and Oasis’ songs, I forgot my miserable condition and my sick sad life.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Fix You – Coldplay

 

“Stop making stupid people famous” Unknown

I’m broke and I have a horrible health, so I’m always looking for opportunities to make money working from home. Browsing the web I found out about people who became rich thanks to their blogs or vlogs. And browsing more, I found out the existence of the so called influencers. I learned that many bloggers achieved the influencer status through their blogs, but that not all influencers have a blog.

Many of them provide useful tips, tell interesting things or are funny without being stupid. Unfortunately, above all regarding Italy, the most famous bloggers/vloggers talk about nonsense and as regarding influencers, in the social media there are large number of people who are unworthy of such honour. Through Instagram I saw many of them at Milan Fashion Week (but it could be any event) and the way they were seeking paparazzi attention, was embarassing, I found pathetic the fact that they were constantly changing their outfits during the shows in order to get more pictures. I don’t know nothing about fashion, but the way influencers dress is not fashionable at all.

Let’s be honest: people who are viewed as social media influencers, don’t teach anything, they’re followed by mainly young girls who see them as icons, who call them “Queen” or “my inspiration” and they end thinking that the most important thing is to wear brands for free just taking selfies or showing their bodies. Why do we reward stupidity?

So here’s my suggestion to fight this madness:

-Stop giving them attention. The more you adore (or hate) them you empower untalented people.

-Browse WordPress or a similar site and find blogs run by unknown people who have something to say. Talk to them, learn from them.

-Support indie artists and original makers and handmade creators,

-Write yourself a blog (or film vlogs) where you talk about inspirational things like books, travels, art and, why not, fashion.

Ps. If you want to know what I like to watch on You Tube, here’s Olive’s channel: she sings in Late Cambrian and in her vlogs, she proposes a lot of interesting topics using different registers. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYCUR_BNSrdC2GF3zB0ky9Q

If you need indie artists recommendations, ask me.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Stupid Girls- P!nk

 

 

“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams” Arthur O’Shaughnessy

It is said: don’t wash your dirty linen in public; what wise advice to follow! But it is inapplicable when it’s up to International music competitions where Italy has to show out her artists. I’m always ashamed to show that my fellow countrymen listens and what there’s on the top of Italian charts: it’s time for Eurovision Contest again, this year the Italian contestant is a nice guy with a catchy song named “Occidentali’s Karma” which won Festival di Sanremo 2017.  I can call myself lucky after past years critics regarding the Volo trio (“Oh. Italians never age! Those old men look so young!” or “Who are those mummies?” a few of my friends’ kindest comments) or singer Emma Marrone (“Where are her clothes?”).

My foreign friends seem to like Francesco Gabbani, they find his dance funny and his song pleasant and easy listening. So, what am I complaining about? That everybody wants me to translate “the dancing ape song”. And it’s a quite difficult task since there are a lot of unusual terms; in the end I made it, but the song lost a bit of its wit.

Will he win tomorrow? Hope so: somebunny owes me to dance and sing “Westerners’ karma” via face time.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Occidentali’s Karma- Francesco Gabbani

“A lot of you cared, just not enough” Jay Asher

I don’t have Netflix and I’m not a TV shows addict (even if I’ve seen every single episode of ER at least twice), but it’s almost impossible to ignore what’s popular at the moment, due to the huge amount of posts on socials.

I read “13 Reasons Why” when the serie didn’t exist and when it wasn’t on fashion already, because my best friend suggested me this book. The story is about Hannah Baker,  a young girl who has committed suicide, but who also previously recorded 13 cassette tapes where she explains the reasons behind her act. Each tape is dedicated to  a single person who had a negative impact on her life.

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT

Even if I believe that most of the people commit not because somebody did something bad to them, but because they felt guilty of or uncomfortable with what they experienced, the book wasn’t bad nor triggering at all.

I didn’t like the show (yes, I watched it because I was curious) despite of admitting that its intents were positive and that it was meant to be useful and supportive for teens (ask for help if you feel depressed, you’re not alone, find someone to talk to, denounce bullies and rapists).

It looks like it’s trying to glamorize suicide, since in the book Hannah simply tells that she killed herself by taking a bunch of pills and her act is almost glossed over for the most part. In the show, she slits her wrists and it’s a very detailed scene that could disturb or be triggering to people who experienced or are still into self harming.

The show also tries to suggest a romantic involvement between Clay and Hannah, while in the book they’re no more than friends, I think this was made to lead the viewers to sympathize with the characters. It also gives a bigger importance to the functionality of parents rather than in the book, where they are mere extras.

One thing I like a lot about the show, was the soundtrack: 133 songs for all tastes from Selena Gomez (who is also the executive producer of the TV show and who is very active in social causes) to Vance Joy, passing through Joy Division and hear ye hear ye, The Cure. I was very happy to listen to “Fascination Street”, but there’s another song of theirs that I think it was perfect for the show and it’s “The Reasons why” (it’s also the title of a fan fiction of mine).

TRACK OF THE DAY: The reasons why- The Cure

 

 

“I say I’m stronger than fear” Malala Yousafzai

I’ve thought a lot about the necessity of this post since I never talk about what happens around me or in the world. Honestly I hate those who feel the urge to comment on every single fact, just to show they are concerned in society, politics and so on. To be frank I never post anything about these issues, not for a lack of interest, but because I don’t feel the need to add my voice to the amount of opinions we can find online, I think we should talk when we really have something to say, if not, silence is way better.

What happened in London yesterday overwhelmed me: when a friend reported to a totally unaware me the sad news, I stopped breathing. I thought about my friends, about the special person who lives there and I hadn’t been ok until I checked that they all were fine.

And please, if you’re up to comment that I’m one of those people to whom European deceased people count more than those in Siria, stop. It’s not a matter of distance or importance, it’s about worrying first about family and friends. I know it’s selfish, but it’s something we all do and don’t try to deny it. It’s human to think of our relatives affected by cancer before of the other people fighting this beast, it’s human to worry because we are unemployed before thinking of those who don’t have a work either.

I don’t want to comment what happened in London, I just want to spread how most of the people living there, feel.

Immagine

(Credits for this edit to: Rishi Metha)

TRACK OF THE DAY: Human-Rag’n’Bone Man