Hot Hits by Bernie Monagle
This book is excellent. Aimed at young adults (approx 15-18), it looks at teen pregnancy in a realistic way. The sequel (Hot Hits: The Remix) looks at alternative sexuality and other issues. I bought them after reading a newspaper article by the author shedding light on the way the school environment makes it very difficult for people living through these taboo issues.
I largely live in my own little world; a utopia, in which there is no homophobia, no discrimination, and everyone is well enough educated to make their own informed decisions. It therefore pains me to realise that the real world is not like that. Teachers can get in trouble for providing sex education to kids (this should not be the case). Parents are not totally supportive when finding out that their child is pregnant or gay (they should be 100% supportive).
Hot Hits (almost finished, yet to read the remix) forces me to see that there can be no utopia. No matter how supportive and respectful people are, unplanned pregnancy is a big issue, with both abortion and parenthood being major decisions. I expect my sense of outrage and disbelief will come out stronger when reading the remix, though. I simply cannot see any reason (except perhaps the limited supply of potential partners) that homosexuality should be a big deal as unplanned pregnancy can be. At least, not in my own little utopia...
My step-father told me about a séance that he and some friends are having to channel relatives. While spiritual concepts such as life after death are quite foreign to me, he is certainly in awe of the power and truth of them. It strikes me as interesting that all the questions he mentioned that he or others would ask, were ones with known answers. That is, the aim of the questioning seems to be to confirm that you are really in contact with a particular person, as only he/she would know the answer. I'd be more interested in asking questions I had been wondering about.
He offered to raise questions for Mum, on my behalf. I didn't offer any questions, but in my head, I asked "were you disappointed in what I did [referring to something she'd only know if she were spookily watching over me], and if so, how do you feel about it know?" I'd like to know that if I had lost her support, that I've regained it now by making progress along the right path.
I just read that Lawrence Lessig was molested as a choirboy. An article (which I haven't yet read) talks about how the experience has shaped him and his life. The story results from his decision to legally represent another man who was abused in the same situation. Lessig is intensely personal and honest, and I am finding (from reading his blog) that he is not only inspirational as a speaker and activist, but that I admire him as a role model because of his values, style and personality.