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OOOH! LOOK WHAT SCHOOL MADE ME DO.. (Redlands College Radio Remix)

September 30, 2017

So, my twenty year high school reunion is coming up next year, and I’m not going to lie – I’ve been REALLY looking forward to it.  Well, to clarify, I HAD been looking forward to it until the most recent statistic surveys (and the general close-minded hatred some fellow classmates’s Facebook pages have spewing lately) alerted me to how many of my own peers still see me as a second class citizen.  No matter how nice I’ve always been.  No matter how kind.  No matter how I just generally have never given them any reason to think they are superior to me (or I to them).

 

And yet here we are.  Something that I’ve been looking forward to for almost two decades (the ten year one was an eff-ing HOOT, and a really happy, lovely memory of mine) is now done, gone – totally dead to me.  And it’s really breaking my heart thinking about it, because I don’t understand how all these alleged Christians and People of God can treat their fellow man like that.   So after weeks and weeks of reading some really hurtful (and really stupid) stuff, I decided to send the below out to 800+ ex students of the school (in a gently tongue in cheek but affectionate Facebook group called ‘You Know You Went To Redlands College When…’) – not to start fights or hurt feelings, but to try and make them aware of the damage they are doing, both to myself and a whole community (and to their very own children, friends and families).

 

“You know you went to Redlands College when you realise you’re not able to go to your 20 Year High School Reunion because (statistically speaking), 55-80% of your graduating class view you as a less worthwhile and less equal human being than they are – and that even though you only got an SA+ in Bible Studies, it turns out you actually truly *understand* the New Testament better than most of them seem to, because #JesusWouldHaveVotedYES “

 

Before you wonder where I am getting my data from (besides the plethora of No-voting ex-students on Facebook and various other social media sites), here is a handy breakdown of how, statistically speaking, we are still smack bang in the middle of the Vote No camp (even though countless members of said camp from my very own grade have had the chance to get married and divorced more times than I – or they – can count..)

 

 

Now, please keep in mind I literally have no judgement at all about someone getting divorced.  There are few things sadder than a union at least one person believed in ending on any less than completely amicable terms.  But you’ve got to have a screw loose to be someone who has literally been through that situation and yet spend all your free time spearheading hate campaigns trying to oppress minorities and deprive them of legal, emotional and spiritual rights that you yourself seem to take for granted.

Also, in case any of you wonder why I’m even bothering to draw attention to this issue instead of just spend my time with people who truly value me, like the real decent Christians I surround myself with at home – as opposed to all the morally hollow, superficial Christians (Jordan, Simon, Amy, Bek and Audrey from the JUBILEE CHURCH in Sydney, I’M REFERRING TO YOU ❤ ❤ <3) that seem to be on a mission in my Newsfeed lately, then please feel free to take a few minutes and read this, which is a very painful and honest account of what it was like growing up surround by hypocrisy and hate :-

https://glennyfromtheblock.com/2017/09/12/why-marriage-equality-matters/

 

Anyway, I don’t expect to change too many minds.  And it’s not just because the latest studies literally link the #VoteNO camp to being of significantly lower cognitive function than those who Vote YES (you can read a really interesting article breaking it down HERE).  While it’s an easy jab to make, I refuse to believe that having a lower IQ makes you a mean-spirited or compassion-free human being.  But I guess it goes a way to explaining why trying to logically or intellectually reason with a No Voter seems to be a relatively lost cause – which is incredibly frustrating for me as I refuse to give up on them just because they’ve turned their backs on me.

 

Cute Photo of Me actually caring about the next generation of children, who I am hoping to spare the hatred, torment and hurt that many of us grew up with.

 

Thank you for reading, whatever your personal opinion may be.

All the best,

Glenn Oke, Class of 1998.

 

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You Still Break My Heart Every Time I Look At You

September 28, 2017

I always find the way that I’ve written music to be so weird.  Like, it’s less any sort of process and more like something plucked fully formed out of the ether – like painting polaroids with my mind. I don’t really know where they come from and I don’t really put a lot of effort into it, they just appear sometimes.  One of the nice parts (heck, one of the only nice parts) of being stuck up in Brisbane these past few weeks has been the fact it’s really freed up some space in my brain that was previously the property of everyday stress and anxiety to really just be reactively creative again.  I’ve done some of the best writing I’ve done in a long time, and I’ve been writing songs again too –  which is really nice actually, as that was always my first real love as far as writing mediums go.

 

Anyway, I thought I’d share this with y’all, because I think it’s something really special – or as special as anything can be that I wrote start to complete finish in less than fifteen minutes one-handed on my phone whilst I was walking home from my Grandma’s the other night.  Like, the whole entire thing – words, melody and music – just poured out linearly because the title popped into my head and I thought “dang Glenn – that would be a neat title for a song”.  And here we are.     It’s a little bit Bon Jovi ballad (think ‘Always’) meets Shania Twain or old-school Melissa Etheridge – so, probably in the latter day Kelly Clarkson arena, I guess (it’s probably not urban enough for Keith)?

 

Anyway, ENOY!

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Why Marriage Equality Matters…

September 12, 2017

It’s been bugging me a lot lately the debate about same-sex marriage.  I don’t mean the part where it’s fundamentally humiliating in this day and age to have to beg people for the right to be treated equally.  And not the part where it’s just a ridiculous amount of public funds to be wasted on something (that essentially has no legal consequence) when there are schools, hospitals and an ever-increasing amount of elderly Australians who direly need the money more.

 

But the thing that really has been upsetting me the most is the passivity of a lot of the people around me.  The friends and family members who, whilst likely to vote ‘YES’ on the non-legally binding marketing survey postcards currently being mailed out to them, seem content that quietly and privately ticking a little box on a piece of cardboard is enough to show support for the loved ones around them who have spent their lives being told to be ashamed of themselves for as long as they can remember.

 

Still, if they’re voting ‘YES’ then why does it feel inadequate somehow?  I’ve had countless arguments with my own mother about it and it frustrates me because I know she genuinely doesn’t understand why it almost feels like a betrayal that she doesn’t care *more*.  I mean – if someone was saying my little brother couldn’t marry his girlfriend, she’d be the first person marching down the street and knocking on every single door she could until she ensured the whole suburb understood about equal rights.  Heck, if that were the case I’d be right there marching alongside her.  Most of us would fight to the death for our loved ones, so why don’t they feel compelled to stand up and fight for us?

 

And it occurred to me that part of the reason why is because none of them truly understand what growing up gay is like.  I mean, this huge part of who we are and what shaped us is something that a vast majority of us kept secret for many years (and some of us still do).  We never talked to them about what it was like growing up being told that we different.  We never talked about what it was like being told who we love is wrong.  We never told them what it was like going to school each day being afraid of getting the living daylights beat out of us because of the way we were born.  We never talked about how lonely adolescence was for us because we couldn’t kiss who we wanted to kiss or date who we wanted to date.  We probably never made them acknowledge how much they contributed (whether implicitly or explicitly) to that very fear that, at any time, we could be kicked out of our own homes forever for nothing more than just being who we are.  And most of us have never told them what it was like to spend every single day contemplating killing ourselves because it was easier than living in fear.  Heck, most of us have never even said that out loud to ANYONE.  Thankfully, most of us eventually find a way to outgrow that feeling when we venture out into the adult world – but some of us don’t.  Some of us never make it that far.  So while we contend with all the other battles you all face surviving the challenges of childhood – whether it be being ‘too fat’, ‘too ugly’, ‘too unpopular’ or ‘too slow’ – we also have to battle an entire decade (if we’re lucky) of that daily battle about whether or not we want to live through another day.  One that often stretches far into adulthood for an unimaginable amount of you still.  The thing is – if you look around right now, the chances are good that someone sitting in your office, or across from you on the train, or in your very own home is STILL waging that mental war in their head, even in adulthood, because they are still too afraid to come out and live their life the way they actually want to.

 

But mostly I wonder if people realise how lucky they are to have that person sitting across from them at all.  And I guess they probably don’t, because they’ve never really been told how many times that person almost took their own life growing up, because they grew up in a world where we say that being gay is not okay.  And I wonder if the rest of you that have a family of your own realise that there is a one in ten chance that one of your own children is probably going to silently struggle with this very same impulse every single day that we let this sad excuse for a debate wage on.  It may just be a marketing survey about marriage equality, but it’s really a referendum on whether hard-working, decent, everyday Australians should get equal rights to go along with the equal taxes they pay and the equal responsibilities they have.

 

Cute Pic of me and the dog writing this. He’s not gay, but I’d support him if he was..

 

And for those of you sitting there with someone in your life who made it through the daily torment growing up gay in Australia still is to this very day, then take a second to appreciate that they are still there, and that they decided to stay.  Because most of them had to do so on their own.  And you’ll never know how close you came to not having them in your life anymore at all.  So be grateful, and help try to build a better Australia where future generations don’t have to feel this way.  Chances are, you probably weren’t there to protect us when we needed you to back then.  So BE HERE NOW and fight for us.  BE ANGRY.  It’s not too late to make a difference…

 

‘ALWAYS FORWARD, NEVER BACK’

May 4, 2017

Just a little something I wrote a few weeks ago, the day after I got out of hospital.  Most I’ve fallen in love with something I wrote myself in the longest time.  Doubly so because it was written from start to finish in less than thirty minutes, all on the one park bench.  And, for some reason, I thought to take a photo of where I was when the idea first popped into my head, and another right after I finished the last chorus.

It’s actually kinda special to me, in ways I don’t even quite understand myself yet.  Plus I just CANNOT. GET. IT. OUT. OF. MY. DAMNED. HEAD.  Which is even more hilarious because it’s total 1950’s-style Frank Sinatra/Perry Como smoothly crooned nostalgia (granted, with some good old Lorde-style Green Light-like verses).  Like, you can literally hear the chestnuts roasting over the open fire when you listen to it.  I dunno – maybe that’s why I love it so much?  It’s the so sincere and honest and warm – like a big whiskey-soaked hug.

ANYWAY, posted for posterity..

 

+10 Points to Twitter-dor for accidentally choosing to format this tweet better than I ever could. SCORE.

‘Always Forward, Never Back’
Leaves are meant to fall
And suns are meant to set
And chalk drawings on the sidewalk are meant to be stepped on
Salt is meant to pepper
And every day you’re better
When your heart has been broken in two
So you can start anew..

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The 22 Most Inappropriate GIFs of Spencer Bledsoe’s Survivor Second Chance Sex Faces

December 16, 2015

SO, with the Survivor Second Chance Finale only HOURS AWAY, we’ve been trying to update our annual Winner Rankings to include what has EASILY been one of the best seasons of all time.  The only problem is, every time we try to type anything, we keep getting stuck on one thing.  Spencer.  Or, rather, the amazing (and amazingly inappropriate) sex faces he’s been making ALL SEASON LONG.  And, when we say LONG, we mean it (check out #17 & #18 if you need to see how long we’re talking..)

Despite our most valiant and pure-hearted efforts, the extreme face game Everyone’s Favourite King Of #Crotchframing has been providing for the Survivor GIF Community has just been too strong to resist.  Still, on the plus side, Spot The Spencer Sex Face has been the funnest sideshow in a season FULL of them.

So, despite our heart (and PANTS) wanting a Spencer win this Wednesday, he’s probably only looking at either second place at best (losing to Mr Val Collins himself) or falling at the Final 4 once more (with Wentworth snatching the win out from under him like it was a hidden immunity idol).  Thankfully, while there’s probably no million dollars at the end of his Survivor tunnel, from the looks of these, his impending lifetime contract at Sean Cody should more than compensate for it.

Anyway, without further ado, here are our 22 Favourite Editions of Sex Face Spencer.  (a vast majority of the thanks goes to TheCrimsonKnight on reddit, who has been doing some fantastic work this season making these – check the whole library out HERE) :-

01. ‘OPEN-MOUTHED ONE MAN JANE KERKOVICH-WILLIAMS TRIBUTE ACT’ SEX FACE SPENCER

Survivor Spencer Sex Face Finger In Mouth

02. ‘MOANING IN THE RAIN’ SEX FACE SPENCER

Survivor Spencer Sex Face Moaning In The Rain

03. ‘MOANING IN THE RAIN’ SEX FACE SPENCER – NOW WITH ADDED INAPPROPRIATE SHOULDER ACTION!

Spencer Moaning In The Rain and Rubbing One Out Sex Face

04. ‘GETTING IT IN THE HOLE!’ IMMUNITY EDITION SEX FACE SPENCER

Survivor Spencer Sex Faces Getting It In The Hole

05. ‘WAVING HIS LEGS IN THE AIR LIKE HE JUST DON’T CARE’ SEX FACE SPENCER

Survivor Spencer Sex Faces Legs In The Air Immunity Challenge

Read more…

The Boy Who Thought Too Much..

February 22, 2015

Random thought I had just now.  As those of you who know me know, I’m one of those guys who is *always* thinking.  Like, non-stop thinking.  Olympic marathon thinking. And it’s fine for me because it’s something that is second nature to me – my brain works fast, it takes no effort and I’m normally at the end of a puzzle before everyone else has finished reading the instructions.  And I don’t mean this in a boastful way, but just it what it is – everyone is good at something, and that’s a thing that I got born with. The frustrating part for me is that it’s often quite alienating – both for me because I’m constantly waiting for people around me to catch up and, even more so, because it genuinely upsets me to see how exhausting I can be for people I care about.  I may be borderline Hawking-like in the brains department, but I’m lucky enough to be either hyper-empathetic or just unnaturally adept at intellectually deconstructing human psychology.  Either way, the net result is about the same.

Anyway, the point is that it just occurred to me that – I wonder whether the reason that I think so much is something I was born with, or whether it’s a direct byproduct of how I grew up?  I mean, without rehashing all the gory details, I learnt very clearly at a *very* young age EXACTLY how unpredictable adults could be, both from things I saw them do around me and things I saw them do to me.  And not even the general tedious TV Movie Of The Week shit you see on basic cable, but really unfathomable, weird stuff that most people even as adults don’t truly understand exists outside of independent cinema or Aronofsky films.  But, for me, it was just how I grew up.

And, to be perfectly honest, I’ve never even really cared.  Sure – there are things that happened to me that I don’t think any child should ever be exposed to, ever.  But I’ve never really understood the impulse to sit around and mope about things that are done.  Like – you can’t change the past, so what’s the point of making the time you have left even shittier than the time that preceded it, ya know?  Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big believer in always remembering things, and analysing situations that happen.  But only because that’s the only real way you can ever learn from something.  Or, even better, learn how to make sure it never happens again.  And, looking back, I had such a long, random, weird ass laundry list of childhood traumas and teenage tragedies that fell across my path that it’s almost comical at times.  But that’s why I have such a grounded perspective in life.  I learned so early on that real serious shit really fucking happens, so I learned not to take so many mundane things seriously.  And that sense of perspective is what opened me up to being able to experience such pure joy in so many ordinary, little things that most people around me never even notice.

But I guess the thing that I’d never thought about before was the whole nature vs nurture aspect of my MENSA-ness.  I appreciate and am truly grateful for how nimble and practical and emotionally astute my mind is every single day, but I wonder if I would even have that had things been different growing up.  My ability to so astutely psychologically profile someone within a minute of meeting them is one of my favourite things I can do, and yet I wonder if that is purely a by-product of learning the full spectrum of human behaviour by the time I was in grade school.  If I didn’t so innately understand exactly what people are truly capable of – both bad AND good – would I have ever developed the ability to be a mere birthplace away from being an FBI Profiler or something?

The problem is, once you’ve learned fully that people are literally capable of any random unpredictable action or thought as a reaction to any situation ever, it because near impossible to ever stop running numbers, crunching variables and imagining twenty seven potential outcomes to any given mundane interaction. Which is a great life skill if you were in an emergency, or playing Survivor, but it’s just exhausting sometimes in day to day life, because I basically understand the people around me incredibly well but also find them just completely baffling and illogical.  I might always end up being right, but I also end almost always being by myself, even in a room full of everyone.

I guess I’ve always been someone who truly believes in finding the good in anything, not because I’ve read too many self-help books, but because I’m an inherently practical person.  And I’m just curious I guess how much of this particular skill I owe to certain people.  And wonder if there is a way to better socially streamline it so I don’t keep hurting the handful of people I truly care about.  Because it’s wonderful to be able to know someone better than they know themselves, but it’s lonely as hell too.

Wide Open Heart

January 2, 2015

i’ve got sinead o’connor on
i’m listening to the saddest songs
i’m crying in the shower on my own

my friends are blowing up my phone
they’re making moves since you moved on
but it’s the time you mourn that lets you know it’s love

and i know it sounds stupid to believe in a cupid who fires an arrow straight away
but i’d rather be stupid than be afraid of losing something that i’ve got to give away..

and i’m gonna live – with a wide open heart
cuz i’d rather be the guy who falls apart
than the one whose too afraid to start
get hurt – fall down again and again, again
cuz someday someone will make it all seem worth it

staring blankly at my phone
nothing’s changed since you last called
i’m just being anxious because this could be love

they say don’t speak these thoughts out loud
but i’m gonna sing them anyhow
cuz it’s better losing than risk missing out

and i know it sounds foolish to believe i could do this, to go and make you feel the same
but i’d rather die trying than live life while i’m lying with every single breath i take..

so i’m gonna live – with a wide open heart
cuz i’d rather be the guy who falls apart
than the one who’s too afraid to start
get hurt – fall down again and again, again
cuz someday someone will make it all seem worth it
someday someone could make it all be worth it..

and i’m not afraid
of what people say
about the tears falling from my face
because it’s brave
it’s just mistakes
and nothing great came from someone afraid to break
and i was never afraid to break..

and i know it sounds stupid to believe in a cupid who would fire an arrow straight away
but you know what is stupid, being afraid to do this because a fire is worth the pain..

so i’m gonna live – with a wide open heart
cuz i’d rather be the guy who falls apart
than the one who’s too afraid to start
get hurt – fall down again and again, again
cuz someday someone will make it all seem worth it..
someday someone could make it all seem worth it..
maybe one day you’ll make it all be worth it .. to me