Sunday, September 11, 2011
I knew that Tuesday morning would be no more different than Monday morning, except that it was one day closer to the weekend that I used to crave. Once with booze, tunes, women, girls, and more booze.
Given the type of person I was back in the day, I usually wound up with more booze. And there were times that I had to pay for the women.
But this was a Tuesday morning in September, as grey as the ship on which I served, tied up alongside at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, located just outside Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. And it was a day that was no different from the Monday that preceded it, nor should it be from the following Wednesday. Come to think of it: back then, nothing mattered but the weekend from a Tuesday point of view. I was there to get paid. And hopefully to get laid. Which, in my case, I had to pay for that privilege.
The only thing I had to do first was answer that alarm clock. She was an unforgiving bitch with a snooze button effective for only 3 minutes until she got vindictive with a louder blast. So I decided, “Fuck it. I’m up” and struggled to sit upright on my bed. I grabbed my pack of smokes and took out the first stick of the day, a ritual that was costly since a 20-pack of anything would run up to 10 to 11 dollars in BC at the time. But I was jonesing bad for that nicotine fix, because I knew that the day would be another crashing bore of training, teaching, training, dills, more training. I really didn’t know what the fuck I was doing, nor did I really cared about giving a fuck, but it paid for the smokes and the booze. And that was good enough for me.
It didn’t make matters any better that I was also a senior naval combat information operator on that boat. The naval reserve maintains 12 maritime coastal defence vessels, 6 per coast. Of the 6 in Esquimalt, 1 is set aside for refit and alongside training. My job consisted of ensuring that the kids under my control get familiarised with the equipment in the operations room and to get ready for work at sea. Honestly, I had no clue what I was doing, everything seemed a little over my head and I preferred to delegate the dirtiest of dirty works to my 2 senior Leading Seamen. Even though I was their boss, I always wound up partying with them on weekends, trying desperately to behave more sober than the minions. The end result , of course, was major fail.
After I lit up the first stick, I turned on the radio. The Victoria radio scene reflected the Zeitgeist of the 21st century "Naughts" - either all poppy or all crusty. It reflected the city’s attitude which was that of the “nearly-wed or the nearly-dead”, reflecting on those who were close to being married, yet were eventually condemned to an unfulfilling existence, and those who were close to meeting their respective makers, yet were eventually condemned to an unfulfilling existence. A no-win situation if you were stuck on an island. Rather than deal with the vapid blathering of the morning pop-radio deejays, I opted for the tried-and-true CBC Radio 1.
Normally, on this station, there would be talk about politics, world events, local events, more politics and fluff pieces on home and garden care in the morning, with more of the same in the afternoon and in the evening. No matter where you are in Canada, there is always a CBC Radio 1 for news and talk and a CBC Radio 2 for arts and talk, all more or less homogeneous in content and ideology. In fact, the only thing that kept me from being a complete fan of Radio 1 was because their “unbiased” dial seemed to be turned all the way to Loony-Left. Not that there was anything wrong with dippy hippy philosophy, but when someone would host a “serious” current events show, the last thing the the listener would want is an indoctrination. At least the news coverage was good.
Something was really wrong on that day. The news was centred around a couple of plane crashes, one in New York City, another one in Washington, DC, yet another in Pennsylvania. The first thing that came to my mind was that either some poor soul lost control of the craft then all shit happened, or that some idiot was trying to make some warped socio-political statement by ruining someone else’s day. The President of the United States at the time, George W. Bush, was ranting on how these people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He was either over-reacting or off his meds – back then, I thought he was a bit too unstable to be a world leader, but then I had bought into the previous Clinton Camelot spirit that consumed most of the 1990s. “Whatever”, I grumbled to myself on my way to take a much needed shower to shake off whatever cobwebs accumulated in my sleep.
When I returned to my room, the same news was still going on, but took on a surreal, yet disturbing tone. The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were no more, and hundreds, maybe thousands of people were either dead or missing. More people had perished at the Pentagon in DC as well as in Pennsylvania. “What the fuck”, I grumbled to myself as soon as I went over to work onboard HMCS Brandon, the designated training ship at the time.
As soon as I stepped on aboard Brandon, I looked around. Normally, there would be people hanging around the boatswain’s workshop located near the sweep-deck usually before 8 am (or 0800 in Canadian Forces speak). But on that morning, there was nobody there. I went in, got the operations room keys from the coxswain, looked around and went to the main cafeteria to grab a coffee and steal a toast. Maybe there would be people in there watching the news and explain to me what was going on in the world.
As soon as I went into the cafeteria, I simply gave up on asking. 31 other people were asking the same questions, either to themselves, to each other or to me, ranging from the simple “Why?” to “Are we going to war?” Like a macabre broken record, the news channels showed one tower at the World Trade Center smouldering from the wound left by the incoming aircraft when a huge airliner drove into the second tower. Then a cut to the moment when the wounded Towers slowly went down like a house of cards. The first tower fell when I got up that morning, The second one fell minutes before I got aboard. And we were going insane. “This looks like fucking Hollywood”, I kept saying. “Master Seaman, are we at war?” “Dr.Dray, what’s gong to happen to us.” The only answer I could muster was “Standby. We’ll have something to do.”
One man, a boatswain Leading Seaman, didn’t share the same feeling of anger, confusion and fear. He was originally from Lebanon, and he made the cardinal sin of saying that the Americans finally had it coming. The ship’s electrician, a fellow Master Seaman, threatened to fill him in – a polite way of saying that he was about to beat the tar out of the guy. I had to step in an break it up. It turned out that the boatswain spent some time in refugee camps back in the day, hence his beef with the US as well as Israel. I explained to him that as long as he was wearing the uniform of a Canadian sailor, he was Canadian, and he had to tone down the rhetoric for everyone’s sake, including his own.
As I was watching the highlights and aftermath of this unspeakable act (the word “tragedy” is not strong enough to describe it), I tried to figure out who would be behind it. Gaddafi? Saddam Hussein? The Michigan Militia? Endless fingers were being pointed. Back then, the name Osama bin Laden didn't create that much of a wave. After all, he was just one of many semi-Messianic terrorist warlords who resorted to hit-and-run attacks on unprotected military assets worldwide. All I knew that these were simply brazen attacks on the most visible symbols of American power, even though nobody had figured out the Pennsylvania crash until later.
All of us lower-deck people sat glued to the television until 0930 when the coxswain reluctantly ordered us back to work. Up in the ops room, we struggled to get back to what was considered as “normal” – delegating, drilling, teaching, ad infinitum. But we were also talking about whether or not we would be the next in line. In one of the rarest moment of clarity, I explained to the kids that we were targets, that any lunatic with a boat could take out the West Coast Navy in one shot. In a matter of hours, we got mustered, briefed and told what was going to happen, which essentially meant that the base was going into lockdown mode. Everyone had to be searched going to and from the base, extra watches were to be conducted along the jetties to discourage sabotage of any kind, and we were to refrain from bringing in civvy guests for the next little while.
The events took me by surprise. I thought that the US was vigilant enough to avert incidents like what happed on that Tuesday morning. So did everyone. But the people who flew these planes never got the memo. Meanwhile, all the laissez-faire that we had taken for granted seemed to have disappeared. Someone was trying to kill us just because they could if they worked and trained hard enough. The reality of the “world’s longest undefended border” quickly faded into history and cross-border travel quickly became regimented, scrutinised and dissected, all because of Osama bin Laden and his band of merry, soulless Jihadists.
In the days following the event, I called up my parents, sister, friends, letting them know that I was alright. I was relieved that my relatives living Stateside were doing well. But I was on edge for the next couple of months mainly because I thought that things would devolve from bad to worse to utterly abysmal. Some people handled it better then others, I just wanted to get my drink back on.
But I never forgave bin Laden, nor his enablers, nor his followers, nor the apparent sight of Muslims cheering this “heroic” act of 9/11. I never forgave them for upsetting everyone’s expectations that the 21st century would bring in peace in our time. Given the petty wars and pissing matches amongst nation-states and tribes alike, I doubt that there ever was a peace at the start: only respites, ceasefires and stalemates, punctuated by bouts of revolts, cold wars, jihads, coup d'états, assassinations and ethnic cleansings. The walls that we thought were broken down started to reassemble. There had been talk of Crusades and Great Awakenings, yet we as humans failed to realize that as a species that sit at the very summit of what is commonly known as the food chain, we are pretty much capable of driving each other to extinction based on petty differences.
It’s just to easy to say that we had all brought all this down on ourselves because of complacency, greed and pettiness, but it takes one individual with command of language and ideology to create a condition poised for an apocalyptic showdown. Osama bin Laden may or may not have been the mastermind of these tragedies, but as the bankroller of many successful terrorist undertakings, he was clearly the one who should've been held totally responsible for the deeds and their subsequent results and repercussions. Iraq, Afghan, Libya, Gaza and the West Bank… the list goes on.
So many other things happened on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The cleanup at Ground Zero, where the Twin Towers once stood, may be close to being complete, but nobody can, nor ever will eradicate the scars.
All I can remember afterwards was that life, for me, went on, business as usual, on the following Wednesday. Under all normal circumstances, it would’ve been a day no different from the Tuesday preceding it.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
First movie was Jon Favreau's genre-bending "Cowboys and Aliens", a noisy fusion of outlaws, natives and some rogue space invaders. This more is more like a spaghetti western rather than "High Noon" or "Shane". A Man With No Name wakes up in the middle of nowhere , wondering what happened to him and his wife. A posse passed by and recognised him as a wanted man. After overpowering said posse, no-name arrived at a one-horse town where an intoxicated son of a cattle baron started to shoot things up.
Things get interesting after the stranger winds up sharing the paddy wagon with the aforementioned delinquent. Strange flying objects swoop into town abducting townspeople like cattle. Not a good day in the West.
As I have said, this film is more spaghetti western than the traditional strain. Alliances have been created amongst outlaws (cattle barons and train robbers), settlers and the natives. Daniel Craig does his take on the Clint Eastwood persona while Harrison Ford channels a cowboy Indiana Jones. Aliens or no aliens (the opening body cavity brings to mind the alien from, ahem, "Alien"), this is a fairly decent popcorn movie. Nothing mind-blowing or inspirational, just another fun caper in the Old West.
In "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", was the director trying to makes this ragtag group of chimps, orangutangs and gorillas into the new Navi? I hope not, because by the way the soundtrack was going, this movie seem to be playing the "Avatar" race card.
James Franco plays a researcher trying to find a cure for the Alzheimer's that's slowly claiming his father (as played by the progressively ageless John Lithgow). He brings home a baby chimp that was rejected by his mother who was injected with a prototype drug known as ALZ 112. Apparently, this chimp, who inherited the drug at birth, starts to display a considerable amount of intelligence. Being a latchkey kid, however, doesn't do the beast any favours, and eventually, the chimp grows up to be Andy Sirkis (a la that character he played in "24-hour Party People" vice Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy). Chimp eventually goes emo, scares a dog, beats the crap out of a douchy neighbour and eventually winds up caged with Draco Malfoy and Brian "I can haz any starring roll" Cox.
More monkey business ensues when the researcher has to juggle municipal bureaucracy, Byzantine office politics and the well-being of his father. Eventually, the chimp steals a couple of cans of new and improved ALZ 113 to be unleashed on his fellow inmates. The rest, as they say, is history.
When you get down to it, the "Planet of the Apes" movie series that existed in the 60s and 70s acted as social or political metaphors. Behind the camp are subliminal (or somewhat obvious, depending on which side of the fence you are sitting) messages regarding nuclear war, racism, fascism and the generational gaps - after all, some of us were once called "little monkeys" once in a while. And sometimes these messages get flogged at every moment. The original "Rise" movie involved the offspring of time travelling gorillas who escaped an imploding future Earth, and eventually created an egalitarian, trans-species society - imagine a simian Soviet Union. The flicks were great fantasy until the Marxisms started to add up.
In this reboot, I suspect that the producers had the "Avatar" bug and drafted our distant primate cousins into the ranks of the Na'vi. Sadly, the "unobtainium" in the movie eventually turns into a curse - without spoiling it, think "Ebola" - and thus we have a cliffhanger, with the primate escapees getting a primo view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I did feel the movie in the first half, but the way the soundtrack was arranged and Tom Felton's over-acting (I'd blame the melodramatic writing in the story) made me lose interest. Of course, I've seen a better made movie - unfortunately, it was called "Avatar".
So my verdict...
"Cowboys and Aliens" - THEATRE (bring own popcorn)
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" - TORRENT ("Avatar" suspends belief better)
And now, my day is complete.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Typing away like a confused madman,
while the heat rises up to my crib from the floorboards.
A year ago I would've chilled with my woman,
made plans to go some place where we could see boats going by
into the North Atlantic Blue.
But this summer is different.
I no longer have a woman in my life.
Not that I'm complaining.
And it isn't as if I could've lived my life better.
Yes, I would've lived it better,
but what's done is done and can't be undone.
So I'm learning to do it better every day,
one day at a time.
I've had my relapses - yes I'm human and I can stumble.
I can be articulate but I can also mumble.
I can think of bigger things to happen
but instead I prefer to be at least humble.
So I'm moving on and looking forward
even though it will not go beyond the next hour or two.
At this time it's way past my bedtime
since I ended my shift at quarter-past-two.
But here is something that you should know.
I am here. Here to play. Here to stay.
I'm neither robot, superman nor demigod,
demagogue, religious fanatic, right-wing douchebag,
nor liberal ass-lick, hate-baiting psycho-blogger
who spends virtually most of his time online
reading other people's blogs, watching silly viral vids
or downloading the latest album/tv show/movie via torrent.
I'm just your average, poverty-stricken,
mellowed-out, aging, balding, horny
and thoroughly diabetic romantic hater
who's looking forward to either a decent summer
or a bummer of a summer.
I'm for real. I'm not a bot.
If you see me around and about
on the streets of Halifax, Bedford,
Sackville or Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada,
say hi, whassup, yo, dude when you can,
for I do exist.
There's at least one thing I cannot change
and that's my anger at things that are sometimes
beyond my control,
things that I should've done,
things that I shouldn't have done,
things that others shouldn't do
and the lies presented as truth.
Thank god I can still write.
Right about now, I'm beyond tired.
Shall I crash or catch a second wind?
I'll soon find out.
Have a great summer. Stay tuned, Romantic Haters.
Friday, July 01, 2011
So here we go...
On any given day, you can ask any Canadian celebrity on what Canada and being Canadian means. Almost all of them were reading from the same book of peace, love, diversity and socialized medicare.
But all of them miss the point.
This country started out as a cash cow for the ancient tribal empires until more people moved in and slowly displaced the First Nations who were there since Day One.
We did have a bloody history. We had slavery. We had our spats with the ingrates to the South. Had we been more tenacious, the Alamo would be flying the Maple Leaf (or maybe the Fleur-de-lys).
But we prefer our wide open spaces, the freedom to roam and the ability to invent - and re-invent - ourselves.
Sadly, I would hear people take pride in what we're not, as in "We're not as cold-hearted as Americans" or "We have a better health system, not like the Americans". Because for the most part, we have descended from Americans - United Empire Loyalists who believed that Mad King George had the better idea than George Washington or Ben Franklin.
But let's not nitpick over technicalities. Canada is still a young nation... in fact, more of a concept rather than a nation. Canadian is a state of mind, rather than a nationality. The land, like its contemporary society, is a mosaic. Each province and territory is a nation in its own right. We work, create, procreate and sometimes deviate in our own way.
But most of all, we live.
We are humans living in a land that that was cultivated by the First Peoples and bound by Celtic ferocity and tenacity, Gallic pride and joie-de-vivre, Anglo-Saxon resolve and good old American know-how.
Collectively, we can be the mouse that roars, the gentle giant, the silent beacon of hope.
Yet we are not perfect. Our medicare costs money. Some people carry ancient grudges and use our freedom to stoke their fires. And our politicians try to be everything to everyone, satisfying no-one.
But as long as the human species remains flawed and the polar icecaps keep melting, I am and shall always be a Canadian.
I'd like to hear one of our celebrities come up with something better.
Even to this day, I never hyphenate myself: there's no point or logic to hyphenation. A man is either this or that, black or white, alive or dead.
In the end, being a Canadian means simply being, in the here-and-now, in Canada.
Happy Canada Day, Romantic Haters.
Monday, May 02, 2011
On September 11, 2001, I woke up in Esquimalt, BC to get ready for another day at work. I got myself tuned to CBC Radio because at the time Victoria’s morning DJ’s were a little on the lame side, and I needed something a little more intelligent.
It was then when I heard news of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center being attacked. And I thought to myself, “Great. Now my day is complete.”
Actually, it didn’t really start of that way. I woke up hearing President Bush railing against evil foreigners on American soil and how they were going to face retribution. And I thought to myself, “Great. Another fucking day in Paradise.”
So I got washed up, dressed up and walked all the way to the ship where I had to train all these sailors-to-be. And as soon as I got aboard I headed off to the main cafeteria where virtually every lower-deck denizen was glued to the tv screen showing a blazing WTC building. Then a huge jet plane swooped into another building. Minutes later, they fell. And I thought to myself, “Great. The End Times are here.”
From that point on, Osama bin Laden killed my buzz, divided peoples, triggered wars and exposed the dark side of a religion that can only be explained – and worshipped in – Arabic.
And now, 9 years, 7 months and 21 days later, justice has been meted out.
Or has it.
Before we high five each other, drink ourselves silly and have dogs and cats living together, allow us to think real carefully about what may, or may not, have transpired.
According to news reports, US special forces (or it could be JTF2, Spetznaz or Mossad – these things don’t necessarily happen on their own) raided a compound in the little Pakistani hamlet of Abbotabad where they encountered a firefight. In the end, bodies were carried out, identified, then disposed according to Islamic customs.
Now, if you were the president of the Most Powerful Nation of the World, you would do anything to see someone like bin Laden tagged-and-bagged, dead or alive.
If you were the World’s Most Wanted Person. you would pull out all stops to make like a hole in the water.
Now let’s extend that a little further. Let’s suppose if you were a world leader who appeared to be getting it from the Left, the Right and even the Centre for attempting to be everything to everyone and pleasing no-one in the process, whose approval ratings were sinking faster than the Titanic, whose country’s economy was showing signs of multiple-personality disorder and whose detractors were demanding to see your birth certificate, baptismal record and signs of your first bowel movement in the country of your birth, you would do anything to gain their trust, confidence and respect.
And let’s suppose if you were the World’s Most Feared Terrorist Leader who was sick and tired of being sick and tired of running and doing nothing, who claimed to have united a religion yet because of greedier warlords had fractured itself further and wanted to pull just one more big operation before succumbing to kidney failure, you would do anything to attain anywhere close to Godhood.
The events leading up to bin Laden’s demise, and his eventual burial at sea, appear too good to be even remotely credible.
The least intelligent amongst the masses would celebrate in the streets.
The more intelligent civilians would acknowledge the feat, yet remain vigilant.
The more intelligent and sceptical would demand answers right from the start.
But it will always be the cynics amongst us asking, “What?”
I can count myself as one of these cynics.
Is bin Laden really dead? Did he really wanted to go out as a Shaheed? Was he willing to risk his life by living at a relatively open mansion? Was it really his corpse getting dumped into the sea?
Or was it all make believe?
Could Osama have used many different body-doubles so he could make a safe, hasty exit?
Could Barack Obama have staged the whole operation to prove to the sceptical world that he is a true leader of his nation?
Did all this stuff really happen?
If I were Osama, I would make sure nobody would get me, dead, alive or otherwise.
If I were Barack, I would make sure that I have Osama right in front of me, dead, alive or otherwise.
If everything did happen, and if the stories were true, then given the way sectarian wars go, things will get ugly.
If everything were a lie, things will get ugly.
I guess that’s the way God wants it .
But suppose Osama’s really dead. If that were the case, I’d be having breakfast with the Devil, for He wouldn’t stand the eventual competition.
Even Satan has feelings, too.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I'm not going to say too much about this video that is appearing on YouTube, hopefully for a limited time only.
(Translation: if you see a blank blob of nothing or something-or-other, it may have been yanked.)
Following in the prefab footsteps of Rebecca Black, Jenna Rose is working on making a name for herself.
She did release a somewhat innocuous tweeny-bop vid that looked a bit like this...
A sensible person could have let Miss Rose be content with this one clip. But then came this...
Before you could say "My God (or Allah, or Satan, or Nietzsche) - has she grown fast!" I would advise to do the following...
- close your eyes, listen to song;
- mute sound, watch video;
- look at her and the dancers and speculate what they might be conveying; and
- take into consideration that this singer is 12 years old.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
This article clearly states, albeit in simplistic terms, the motivations behind "suicide attacks" on civilians by fanatical Muslims.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Fuck that Charlie Sheen.
Fuck him up his stupid ass.
That whiny, self-centred, sanctimonious, spiteful little bitch is everywhere.
That overpaid twat shouldn’t bother me, but he does.
I am sick of his name.
I am sick of his face.
I am sick of his voice.
I am sick of his backpedalling, backstabbing, backbiting, hand-biting and bridge-burning every time he turds out a Tweet.
He thinks that he may be funny. He thinks that he’s still cool. He thinks that he can be a hit with all the ladies. He assumes that everyone will empathise and sympathise with his perceived plight.
He believes that he is owed an apology. He believes that he’s entitled to damages.
I don’t know about you, but he’s at least entitled to a foot up his backside.
When someone has talent and a good thing on the go, a rational mind would force that person to work hard on keeping them. I would call that the art of maintaining a personal status quo: whatever works, don’t fix; whatever is doable, do it right; whatever good is sown, reap and share the bounty.
If I had followed the blueprint set by my parents, I would’ve had Charlie Sheen’s job – or at least something resembling it.
I would’ve had the lovely talented wife, the beautiful children, lots of spending money, a roof over my head, a steady, guaranteed job surrounded by good people…
At this point, I’m happy with the last 2. I’ll be damned to let them slip away.
But all this money must’ve woken up a winning monster inside that Estevez kid.
Back in the day I would’ve love to dance with Al and Coco, and maybe bring Tina, Mary and Harry along for the ride, if Sid and Stacy didn’t mind. For some reason, I chose Al and Mary, then simply stuck with Al. Now I prefer Nico’s company – no Homo.
But old Carlos would rather dance with the thin white duchess and fuck everyone over in the process. What a winner.
He would take up a skanky pr0n h0 and tie and beat her senseless.
He has lost the confidence of his bosses, his wife, his kids, his mind and eventually his job.
All his interviews will not save his scrawny ass. All his Tweets will not redeem his tarnished soul.
For Sanity’s sake, Charlie Sheen must be destroyed.
He should be bound to a mountain face by heavy chains where raptors can feed off a pound of his flesh – only to be regenerated to be eaten again.
He should be prodded mercilessly by pitchforks wielded by enraged denizens of Chuck Lorre’s ancestral shtetl.
He should be fed to the tigers from which he stole their blood so he could live his winning lifestyle.
He should be set upon by trannies in whatever jail to which he may be sent.
He should be bound to a chair in a metal shack deep in the heart of Death Valley in the middle of summer and be forced to watch ALL his movies and TV shows.
He should be crucified to a burning cross.
He should be guillotined with a blunt, rusty blade.
He should be rolled in powdered sugar and then be left at the mercy of ravenous ants. Preferably in a remote part of the Amazonian rain forest.
He be sent on the next NASA probe heading to the Sun.
He should be sealed in Davey Jones’s locker.
He should be dressed as a pig, then air-dropped into the middle of Mecca. During Ramadan. Or maybe the Hajj. Same diff.
He should be burned alive.
He should be frozen alive.
He should be hanged, drawn and quartered, then have the remains in remand, then put back together. Repeat.
He should be fed to a volcano.
He should be fed to the Kraken.
He should be shot.
But most of all, he should just shut up, walk away and not come back until he can fix himself up and learn to live in the human race.
I hope he does that, because if he doesn’t…
I’m just going to ignore him.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Happy Valentine's Day, Suckas.
Should we celebrate the end of autocratic, kleptocratic rule?
Should we fear the rise of Islamic fascist fundamentalism at Israel's doorstep?
Should we hope for the best, and maybe betterment of relations within the middle East?
Should we pray for a truly secular Arab state?
I have some serious mixed feelings about these events that are unfolding throughout the Arab/Islamic world. On one hand, people in general have had it with the type of kleptocratic, oligarchical rule that benefits only those who hold the whip and makes everyone else equal under misery.
On the other hand, the very same people who oppose fascist oppression never studied the intricacies of Western Secularism that drive the (relatively) more prosperous democracies throughout the world. If someone were to spend a good balance of his life under regimentation, only to wind up thrust into a situation that he would have to think, live and work for himself, would he adapt?
And if he were to adapt to a world of free thought and free will, how long would it take for this person to master his life? Would he prosper? Would he relapse?
As an addict, if you were to deprive me of something on which I base my dependency, I would definitely be upset. You may have freed me of something that was destroying me but then how would I now justify my existence, my reason for being in this world and living this life? I could adapt to my new surroundings and get in touch with things that I have missed while I was using. I could find new interests and redefine my purpose in life.
Or I could find a new drug. I would not want to call it a relapse: I would prefer to call it a refocusing. The drug would probably be more dangerous than the one that you took away, but at least I would know that I could regain the sense or at least intense illusion of power, gratification, release and control through my usage. Many people would be disappointed or hurt by my relapse, but I would be more damned if anyone were to interfere with my comfort zone.
The reality is that there is no such thing as pure freedom. Due to the imperfections and randomness that exist in nature, we have to discipline ourselves in order to survive. There will always be a need to put a roof over my head and food on the table, therefore I have to work to pay for it. My freedom includes the right to go to work, get paid for my troubles, then go to the office to pay my rent and utilities. Hopefully I could have some cash left over so I could buy that leg of lamb that I've been craving for weeks. And definitely I wouldn't mind a week or two of vacation to decompress, recharge and regroup.
It was very hard to let go of the vices that landed me in destitution. I could've had a larger house. I could've worked at a better place for more money so I could afford the 100 Mb/s internet and that 52" HDTV so when I go and start playing Call of Duty: Special Ops I would revel in such awesome pwnage! But at least I am still above ground. And I'm always looking forward.
It was because of my vices that I got released from the military. I did my job well but my focus was messed up beyond belief. I had a tough time getting along with people because my mind was locked into getting the next high, drunk or orgasm. And then I realised that most of my life had been plagued by instant gratification, and I was enjoying and hating every minute of it.
Being under a dictatorship is almost like going through an addiction. Once you have a taste of it, you'll learn to despise it first, then tolerate it and eventually make it part of your being. Eventually, when you get freed from it, you have to figure out what to do next and take advantage of the lack of regimentation to which you were accustomed.
At this moment. the Egyptians are at this "now what" stage, the level at which addicts like me experience when the drug-of-choice would finally wear off with a slightly foul aftertaste, followed by a stark epiphany, looking around the wreckage of past misdeeds, abused relationships, lies and deceptions and the pain in its wake, then looking forward to a big blank void which represents freedom - one which limitless, and bottomless. Some people would make that big leap of faith while others hardened by experiences would stand at the ledge, forever debating and wondering if freedom is worth giving up that sweet vile hell that was the comfort zone.
I confess: I may have ditched the drugs, the drink and the debauchery, but the taste is still there. The newly "freed" Tunisians and Egyptians still yet have to experience withdrawal. And together at the edge we look into the bright shiny abyss.
Friday, January 07, 2011
So it's little surprise that a revered member of HAMAS has acknowledged Shoah in own "special" way...
"The lie according to which they were a victim of a holocaust and the (Jewish) people are a victim -- this lie has crumbled with the holocaust of Beit Hanun, the holocaust of Al-Fakhura and the other countless holocausts ... committed by the Zionist enemy."Note the compassion, the sympathy shown by this fine leader of malleable immortals.
It would make you want to cry.
So, bless those Palis™ and especially their leadership, for they are really aware of what's going on in their little world.
It's a shame that reality and truth will soon overtake them.