Tag Archive | society

Idiots and Non-Idiots

(September 20, 2021. Hello there. How are you today? I have to insert a note here, saying, that I am not “politically motivated” regarding this post. My personal sentiments here is from a person-to-person, or human-to-human, standpoint. That is, I am seeing President Duterte as a person raher than as a politician. Yepper, these are two diferent things where the Philippines (and many other countries) is concerned right now. This post may be polarizing, but I’d rather not remove it because this is true not only for me but for many Filipinos as well, especially those who have experienced the president’s heart ever since he came into the political arena decades ago. Alles gute und viel Spass! Danke!)

(Update. 14th July 2021. Good morning, Everyone. This post is five years old. I have decided to retain it. There was an update to this two months after I put it up [please see below]. I see how strongly I have put across my feelings into the title, like a battlecry, defiant and distinct. I don’t think I should put it down for now [maybe in a few more years], even after all these years of having mellowed down from such sentiments, now having more existential things to entertain in my head and in everyday practical living—all brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. I still do feel defiant whenever I see evidences of psyche-destruction that was brought to my people because of colonization. On the other hand, that there has been an evolution going on on top of these colonialism-pain-vestiges is very likely, and not always detrimental to us as a people. I pray blessings to us all. Viel Spass!)

I get negative feelings when I hear foreign journalists criticize Duterte’s speeches — which inevitabley zero in on how he wants thugs and druglords eradicated.

Not long ago I heard a discussion in The Young Turks show and that discussion did nothing for the public’s knowledge. They just chewed on how they perceived Duterte’s platform to be ‘horrendous’ and they offered nothing by way of starting on how to get a grasp of his ‘horrendous’ ideas. With the discussion is the implication that the Philippines, which overwhelmingly voted for Duterte, is composed of people majority of whom have twisted sets of values, i. e., values that are against those held by the TYT talk show hosts who were discussing the matter on air. (Okay, actually here’s what I think: These two ignorant clowns — yes, I laughed at their opinions — who are discussing the matter are arrogantly giving out their prescription on a symptom of which they know nothing of the underlying causes. They’re definitely just plain ignoramuses shooting out stupid recommendations and all based on what they read on some newspaper or such. This is altogether pathetic jounalism.)

Just now Secular Talk has an emotionally delivered session expressing disgust at how this “planned massacre” by Duterte isn’t even ‘discussed’.

Here’s the funny part: The stance by Duterte — forcefully going after the thugs that are wreaking havoc to so many families in my country — is precisely the reason why people, including me, voted for him. But it was clear to me that he was going to do it according to what the law allows, according to the legal police procedures plus extra caution to boot and without blind emotional-laden engagements. That was clear to me and so I voted for him. So did 16 million other Filipinos. We do know how to discern behind tall-talk, as we do know how to look behind sweet-talk.

How do I know that it could be done? Davao City is the proof. That’s number 1 reason.

Number 2 reason: no powerful clans financed his campaign. He is not beholden to the oligarchs. Number 3: he won the election without having had any agent compose a public image of him. He was not ‘packaged’ to attract voters. What one sees of Durte in public is what one gets — he talks and works for the oppressed and the marginalized in society, he has no interest whatsoever in making money out of his activities, he does not show off or market his intellect, and he does not put himself above anybody else. He is far from the proverbial white-washed tomb. Anybody is welcome to inspect the skeletons in his closet.

So, since Duterte has such ‘horrendous’ ideas and Filipinos voted for him, then Filipinos agree with his ‘horrendous’ ideas. Ergo, the Philippines is a nation of (mostly) dumb and stupid people.

One has to break down the above logic or it becomes in itself a ‘horrendous’ conclusion. Why horrendous? Because the arguments espoused by the talk show hosts mentioned above, and all other ‘foreign’ venues similar to these, are all based on assumptions the foundations of which are foreign to the Filipino way of thinking or looking at things. Hence, their arguments are invalid — null and void.

Sure, such words as killing, bloodbath, etc. are in themselves universally associated with horrendous acts. However, the “killing” that is of the talk show hosts’ perspective, and most likely the viewers’/listeners’ perspectives, is not exactly what Duterte has been talking about.

It will take a shelf of dissertations to systematize Duterte’s ideas and actions, including the legitimizing of his plans by the voters. Foremost of the discussions will focus on worldviews, on historical factors, and the contemporaneous situations. So I cannot start to give them to you here, in just a handful of paragraphs.

Moreover, the moral ascendancy that America has been marketing since I don’t know when (emphasize on the ‘marketing’, ergo, the public expressions of such that do not reflect the views of those who have no avenues for expressing what’s otherwise === remember: “History is written by the victors” — tangentially related, but you know what I mean 🙂 ❤ .) is now being put to clear light as illegitimate with all the mess that is being revealed, one after another, because of the present election season and through social media. Anyway, this isn’t a gripe about America or Americans (my best friend is American! ❤ ). This is a critique on any entity that establishes itself as superior to another.

How the Ignorant Liken Duterte to Trump
How the Ignorant Liken Duterte to Trump

They don’t care about research and truth-telling. They just care about the fanfare and the sales. Pathetic.

– – – – – – – – – –

Again, on the Secular Talk segment that I was referring to above: Of course I understand why the host talks that way. He’s put himself into the situation by way of the words in the news that he’s read and also inevitably bringing along with him his own (present) context. Had he immersed himself first into the situation in the Philippines, say a minimum of 20 years, then he’d be talking differently and he would not have been this horrified about the words he’s read. Similarly, had Duterte been an American, or had the Philippines been like America, then Duterte and we would never had thought that/this way (as reflected in the news). But, well, a little learning on the part of the speaker will eventually make him see how he has been idiotic in going about this topic.

But the damage is done. Duterte has been painted with foreign colors and this imposed image doesn’t look right both objectively and subjectively (…but who is the judge of both, really??) — as many other similar ‘foreign’ opinion-givers have done. But let’s say that the Secular Talk host wasn’t giving an opinion at all, merely posing a question or opening up lines for discussion, then he/they should have said more so as not to leave the air with a picture of a horrendous Duterte and the Philippines. It’s simply unfair, it’s made from an arrogant stance of moral supremacy, and it hurts us common everyday ordinary Filipinos. You are trampling on our human rights to freely choose our leader and the way we want to solve our problems.

Leave Duterte alone. He was a prosecutor; he knows the law; he will abide by the law. If you can’t say anything qualifying about him then shut the f**k up. We know he’s not a saint. He does not live like a god. We trust the people who are working with him; they know that their responsibility is primarily to the everyday person and not to Duterte. We have risked this oncoming term with him as the head of the executive branch of the government and we are willing to cooperate with his vision of a more live-able society, albeit a ‘poor’ one compared to the highly industrialized nations. But being “highly developed” is not the priority for now (and I hope it will never be (notice the quotation marks); but this is another lengthy topic). We do not need much to be happy; we just need to be assured that our families and loved ones are safe in their locales as they go along their simple everyday lives. We do not need much of the crazy and senseless commercial products flooding our dingy streets and poisoning our traditional values. We just want a safe and and dependable society for now and then we’d be able to figure out what to do next to better our children’s and grandchildren’s, and our neighbors’ children and grandchildren’s lives.

Filipinos are not idiots. We are confused, I can say, because of the combined factors of gentleness, meekness, insane colonialism, and energy-sucking globalization. (A paper on “colonial mentality”-> “Colonial Mentality: A Review and Recommendation for Filipino American Psychology” by E. J. R. David and Sumie Okazaki, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign). Greed and misinformation have muddled our value systems relative to what should have been sustaining and uplifting for us collectively. It had been a very long journey for us, of attempts at changing for the better. We have a new chapter now. We are willing to work it out. If you have nothing qualifying to say about us, then please just save your precious breath and keep your nice mouth shut.

Peace.

🙂

I wish everyone an envigorating day. Thanks for dropping by.

Update September 17, 2016.

I will have to comment on the accusations tagged “extra-judicial killings”. This topic was not urgent in my mind because the deaths attributed to the police were not extra-judicial. Our police are not thugs — well, around the world some police are thugs but not all police are thugs and not all thugs are police — and they just do their duties. If a police officer perceives a threat to his life then by law he has to defend himself. Duterte’s war on drugs involves apprehension of drug addicts –> particularly those whose brains have been damaged by the LONG use of shabu, irredeemable brain material by all medical standards, and hence cannot perceive the boundary between life and death, between right and wrong, many are capable of raping children and killing their own family members, thus easily capable of the reckless use of a gun which CAN  KILL and which, by the laws of ethics, society must very well see that it’s either the police officer’s life or the other’s; this argument has to apply otherwise society must conclude that the police officer should rather die than the other.

As of today around 700,000 (that’s addicts and pushers) have given themselves up to the authorities. That’s 700,000 that were not killed by the police but were taken into custody. So if 700,000 surrendered then we can safely assume that there were more than a hundred who would not surrender and would fight off the authorities. The pushers who surrendered will be dealt with by law. The addicts will be rehabilitated. Those with slight addiction will be rehabilitated in the community : religious communities and organizations have volunteered to help in this. The government is putting up several rehanilitation centers all over the country – BUT since the administration started at a point when there is no more money (extra budget) to spend for this NEWLY DISCOVERD CALAMITY OF THE TRUE DRUG SCENE OF THE COUNTRY then the rehabilitation centers will take some time to be put up, although THANKFULLY several rich people have started to donate specifically for this purpose PLUS many Filipinos working abroad have also gathered funds for this purpose, like those who are working in Indonesia.

Now, the question again: Are there “extra-judicial killings”?. Answer: Yes. Next question: Does the government have to do with this? Answer: No. And how do I know? I watch the videos of interviews with the police chief and videos on the speeches and interviews of the president and the cabinet members and senators. I watch closely, I listen to what they say, I scrutinize how they answer, their facial expressions, their body language, how they interact with the journalists, how long does it take for them to answer a question, how spontaneous do they answer a particular important question, and especially if they distance themselves from the questioning. What I see is only openness. This was how I did it so that I knew that CNN was screwing Bernie Sanders (and here’s a protest at CNN‘s in Los Angeles, and you’ll get many results if you search “mainstream media bias against sanders”) even before I discovered Democracy Now! and Sane Progressive and Lee Camp of Redacted Tonight and Tim Black and Jimmy Dore and H. A. Goodman and Jordan Chariton and and …

Again, then who are responsible for these REAL extra-judicial killings? The simple and obvious answer is this: in a war on drugs the “lords” will have to dispense with their liabilities. It’s a no-brainer!

And now there’s a soap opera of a senate hearing involving a so-called witness Mr. Matobato who could not stand even a moment’s cross-examination. He’s telling lies about the president. He may have been a gun-for-hire but certainly he’s making up stories here about the president’s involvement.

For the so-called extra-judicial killings I recommend the videos on the interviews with the Chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Atty. (Dr.) Acosta (<– click for a sample; she starts speaking at video-time 03:29 and this was made around July 2016; she may have had other similar interviews). She explains very well why all accusations by international media against the government regarding this matter are groundless. For the fakeness of the so-called witness, Mr. Matobato, I recommend the videos of the entire senate hearing on this (<– click for a sample; other similar videos are also available; here Senator Cayetano reads the Ombudsman’s findings in January 2016 that the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS)  does not exist, at video-time 14:30).

I would have gladly provided transcripts for the interviews done in Filipino with accompanying Elglish translations but I have no time as of now. I am urgently trying to finish a major paper regarding one of the statements in the Ten Commandments, of the Hebrew Scriptures ( = Old Testament).

Please, if you are rich and if you have a big heart, in behalf of my country I ask for your help so that the drug addicts can get their rehabilitation centers fast and those who can be saved will be given the attention that they need. President Duterte needs medicines, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, and nurses, not to mention the food for all these surrenderees. If you can connect to a legitimate Non-Government Organization there, or a religious organization, then they will be happy of your help. Sorry, I do not know any of these and I have no recommendations. But if you can’t trust the organization then DON’T GIVE YOUR MONEY LIGHTLY. I do not actually know if it’s possible for foreign nationals to donate to my government.

The government is now also giving attention to the living conditions of the police officers and soldiers, giving them incentives and raising their salaries above the poverty level so that they will be motivated in going about their duties — this because their lives are at stake every hour, their wives may be widowed and children orphaned any time, what with the drug traffickers and dealers now out of their wits on how to survive this purge against them. As of now the illegal drugs supply to the country has been greatly reduced, about the level of at least 80% reduction, but still there are powerful people who are running desperate on how to cover up their involvement in the over-all drug business. The drug dependents are having a harder life becuase the price of shabu has gone up. If you say that all that I’m saying is fantastic then just look for yourself these information that I myself get from the first-hand sources, the videos that I referred to above being just 2 instances.

If indeed a certain police officer has killed an innocent person then he will be investigated, this is no big matter as it is an SOP, and it does not need the intervention of the UN. If the UN wants to investigate then it should be on where the illegal drug trade originates especially on shabu, from which countries, and who are involved in this. The use of shabu in the US is becoming higher than that of cocaine, so heads-up, UN. If you want to solve the world’s problems then go ahead, do it. Duterte is solving the country’s problems and he has results now. Don’t mess up with his job because he has 700,000 surrenderees to take care of and it’s urgent, plus eradicating the thugs who are using the southern islands as base (and thankfully Indonesia and Malaysia are helping solve this matter).

The government is exploring a railway project that would more efficiently connect the Mindanao areas to each other and to the rest of the country, and I myself am very happy with this because I can soon conveniently visit my friends there anytime I want. The areas of agriculture, public health, and social work are very busy with changes in their paradigms. People are more hopeful because many potentials may now be tapped due to the increasing empowerment of the common person. Hopefully the system of education will finally be geared towards our particular way of looking at things, contextual-existential and at the same time retaining the legacies of our historical learnings from the medieval Spanish-European influence and newly-industrialized-late-1800’s-US-supremacy. We are a democratic nation, after all.

What’s important here is to note that we are not a society of guns. We do not have a culture of wanting to have guns or finding the need of owning guns. Some have licences to own guns but they are only a very small fraction of the population, they do not flaunt this, even children of the family mostly do not know of this, they keep such things secret and well-kept. I do not know about requirements for being allowed to own guns. Such a topic never interested me or any of my many circles of friends. A friend of mine had an air-gun when he was a teen-ager but that was only an episode in his life when he was interested enough in it to buy pellets for it, to practice shooting at plastic canisters at an empty lot beside their house. He hasn’t since used it again; no sense in spending for silly pellets. Some know how to make real guns and they do not have to get a licence to own one, yet still they keep this out of the public’s eye and their neighbors’ knowledge.

We do not have a culture of “taking the law into our own hands” and we do not suspect each other of keeping guns beneath our pillows. A household that owns a gun is a highly unusual and “different” household. If any so-called vigilante does take part in these so-called extra-judicial killings, then a moneyed person who has invested into the illegal drug business must have hired him. Any ordinary Filipino who has no business with this issue will never take it into his or her head to go around taking down criminals — unless he or she is already brain-damaged by drugs! We ordinary and common everyday Filipinos understand what the tall-talk or hyperbole that we hear from the president means: it is for the purpose of scaring criminals and are not supposed to be taken literally. He means to tell them that if they don’t straighten up then the full force of the law will swiftly take care of them. This is the best way that the president can for now efficiently address the culture of impunity among the supposedly trustworthy public officials. If ordinary thugs understand that the president is capable of running after the powerful thugs, then they themselves don’t stand a chance against the law now. (Here’s an amateur video made by young students way back in October 2015 explaining this situation in very simple terms.)

We voted for a government that is of the people and by the people and for the people, and that’s how it is trying to perform its job now. So, please, UN and all other hecklers, investigate factually before you fire your guns because you do not know what you are doing by being rash, judgmental, reckless, irresponsible, and shamefully unprofessionally careless.

May God bless us all. Peace. Thanks for dropping by. Stay healthy 🙂

Please help me check if this quote is really the Buddha’s. Thanx!!

Celebrate Bernie Sanders!

 

Hi! 🙂 Today is actually Thursday, June 9, 2016. Senator Sanders and President Obama had just concluded a short meeting at the White House. I was writing this post while waiting for the senator to come out after the meeting and speak to the journalists who were eagerly waiting for him outside. I had just finished writing when he came out to speak and so I was able to add the fresh info at the last paragraph. 🙂

celebrate Bernie Sanders!

 

First thing I did Wednesday morning was switch on the TV to check how Senator Sanders faired at the California primaries. I couldn’t believe that the difference was that big! Some things must have happened at the polls much like many things happened at the other polls previous.

I had to bear listening to CNN because I wanted to hear what he had to say. Oh boy was I rewarded! He won’t quit! I was so happy yesterday and until today Thursday I still am celebrating for this decision of his. Right now I’m waiting for his meeting with the US president to be streamed live and I’m afraid again that he’ll be pushed to quit. That will be a real downer not only for me but for the millions who are following this election process on the Democratic side.

I’ve decided to name Senator Sanders as my newest hero today. I hope I won’t change my mind in case he gives way to pressure and drop the campaign. If he does that I’d know that it was because it has become a matter of life and death for him, and not especially to his person but to the welfare of the people especially — like a sort of a hostage situation. Otherwise he’ll push through until the end of the election process.

He’s become my hero because it was though his campaign that I began to understand how immediately tangible corruption is even in the country that boasts itself as a bastion of democracy. I began to understand that ‘democracy’ can be used by an institution to describe its dynamics even though the process does not really involve the freedom given to citizens to decide collectively how they should be governed by leaders that represent their interests.

In this election season I have seen how campaign choreographers have manipulated information and rhetoric so that attention is taken away from the most important aspect of the voting process: to scrutinize the issues in a clear and systematic manner. What happened instead is that money, power, and prestige are being used so that the winner is the person who will continue to allow these very influential entities to continue with their various interests. If there were no adverse effects coming out of this then there’s nothing to gripe about. However, this activity affects in a great way those on the other end of the spectrum — residents who have no money, no prestige, no power, no influence, no education, and the worst, those who have no houses.

Senator Sanders’ platform is clear and simple: subtract privilege and power from one end and distribute these throughout the spectrum in a manner so that there is enough left until the other extreme end is reached. Does this mean that privileges and power are flattened out so that everyone will have equally the same? Nope, that’s not it. Property and privacy are maintained. What is being changed is the defective dynamics that allows uncontrolled greed to effect an unchecked hoarding of resources by an extremely few entities so that only a few individuals suctions the benefits that should have been shared at relative degrees by everyone else who have participated in the overall economic machinery.

What the Senator Bernie Sanders proposes is simply this: a clear check and balance machinery be imputed into the system so that nobody goes houseless and hungry in this beloved land of plenty. If you want the specifics then all is explained at his campaign’s website: https://berniesanders.com/issues/ .

Again, so why is he my hero? — Because he is not in this race simply for the sake of winning. He is in this race for the sake of the people and he is doing it after decades of working for the people without himself getting rich or hoarding power. In fact, he has not involved himself with the moneyed sector. This by itself is factor enough for his cause to be ignored. What appears now is that, more than just being ignored, he has been continually elbowed out of the process for months now. It does appear that the status quo is indeed very threatened by the movement that he has generated. It must be understood, though, that this “movement” had been there for almost a century now but every time its voice gets heard a bit the powers-that-be lashes back eventually if not immediately and reestablishes its pedestal. However, at this juncture of American history Senator Bernie Sanders had the privilege to eloquently utter the voice of this “movement” — which is the collective sentiments of all of the everyday working persons. Because of him millions of Americans have finally come to understand what has been happening and they have become enabled enough to make a choice on the aspects of the political and economic life within which they are a part of, within which they have invested their talents and time, and within which they will get the resources to enable them to lead a life that is compensatory to their investments.

This much information and awareness have not been disseminated to so many in a way that is happening now through the Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Many are still blind to the truth, still blinded because the ongoing information blockage by the mainstream media, but this will change. The millions of young people, 45 years old and younger, will spread this knowledge and realization all throughout their lifetime and beyond, and America will again become the land of the free.

… and!!! … woohoo!!! Nothing has changed! After his talk with the president just now his rhetoric remains and he says he stays in the race until the end!!! May God bless Senator Bernie Sanders! Mainstream media must be “seething” by now!!!

Thanks for dropping by! Take care!

Somebody Can’t Trust CNN Anymore

I used to feel fortunate that CNN is accessible to me for free. Not anymore. I’m talking of CNN International – Europe. I had learned to enjoy the segments, all of them, and have become familiar with the anchor persons and field reporters. All of them.

Until Bernie Sanders happened. ❤

My first disappointment was when Fareed Zakariah discussed the claim of Sen. Sanders that had “no credible economic research”, so four economists said, about some economic dynamics (it’s also found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/sanderss-plans-make-republicans-look-serious/2016/02/18/4dbddb40-d684-11e5-b195-2e29a4e13425_story.html ). I was disappointed that the program and the post sounded like it was pounding Sen. Sanders’ opinions to the ground and so I had to search for information on names involved in the narrative. I counted the four economists out, as it’s obvious that they’re not supporting Sen. Sanders’ ideas on this. What I found out about the other name mentioned, an economics professor, (I read it here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/18/the-economist-who-validated-bernie-sanders-big-liberal-plans-is-voting-for-hillary-clinton/ ) is that aside that he is voting for Sec. Clinton, his calculations involve variables that can be “adjusted” to a point where the four economists involved would not have been able to criticize his results the way they did. I wish that Fareed Zakariah would have done a narrative in such a way that Sen. Sanders did not come out like an ignorant babbler. On the other hand, that he’s voting for one or another doesn’t say anything about his calculations. If indeed he is voting for Sec. Clinton and still talks positively about Sen. Sanders’ ideas, then it shows his innocent intention about the whole thing. (He speaks in an interview, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G-oHzb6DX8 .)

Moreover, another economics professor (in agreement with 169 economists) clarifies the correctness of the senator’s plan:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqIr45gRr-k  .

My next disappointment was when Jonathan Mann made it sound in one of his Political Mann segments that Sen. Sanders was not saying the truth when he claimed that he had been invited to the Vatican. The narrative ended by putting across to the viewers that it appears that Sen. Sanders had invited himself to the Vatican. Of course the senator was invited, by the Academy of Social Sciences that was started by Pope John Paul II in 1994  ( http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-04-08/so-who-exactly-invited-bernie-sanders-to-the-vatican ).

Today at this writing CNN International – Europe makes it sound that Sen. Sanders’ stay in the campaign is “hurting” the campaign of Sec. Clinton. It is an idiotic notion as seen from a few basic assumptions. (1.) If the election is democratic, and Sen. Sanders is winning a tremendous amount of votes, then staying in the campaign if fair both to Sen. Sanders’ aim and to the citizens who are yet to vote for him. These are both Democrats and Independents.  (2.) Saying that Sen. Sanders should drop out implies that his right to try for the office of the president is not acknowledged and the right of those who are yet to vote for him is denied.  (3.)  Instead of being positive about the fact that Sen. Sanders is injecting vitality into the whole voting process, making a myriad of formerly apathetic voters to come out and participate, Sen. Sanders is constantly and subtly being elbowed out of the process.

Just now CNN is discussing, with Wolf Blitzer, how the senator should own up to the Nevada chaos. It’s not as if he is altogether outrightly absolutely denying responsibility for the event. He has in fact said that he will investigate. He has in fact spoken that he does not condone any form of campaign violence (here’s a news segment on ithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVPHNbTszUI&spfreload=10

and an analysis of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEY_KYD3sCY

and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0YT03p6qqQ  ). The issue is not with the senator but with the people who were directly responsible for the chaos. They are independent-thinking individuals who were witnessing a process that they perceived to be unfair. Why they were angry, why they were protesting, and why they became that passionately expressive cannot be assumed to have resulted from irrational idiotic views. It does not imply that the senator wanted the chaos to take place or that he had instigated or encouraged the reaction. It implies that there were real stimuli happening at real time that caused a corresponding reaction from those who felt disadvantaged by the process. What was the stimulus that produced this reaction? Were those people involved totally unreasonable? The other side dancing the tango has to be investigated, too. Here’s another analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTuH3jeIS-I

If Sen. Sanders’ voice had been largely ignored by the big media, his gargantuan campaign events not shown on air, his views sold as plain “socialism” with a poisonous tinge attached to it, and the phenomenon that millions have now become convinced of his vision in so short a time is not even a topic for mainstream-media discussion are just a few reasons why any sane supporter of his would now be calling the entire so-called democratic process nothing but foul. There are other issues that they also have the right to be angry about like the voting irregularities that are not discussed, the incidences of voting suppression, and the alleged disregard for votation laws by the former president Clinton; here: https://www.change.org/p/massachusetts-attorney-general-maura-healey-arrest-prosecute-bill-clinton-john-f-mitchell-violation-of-ma-election-laws

and here:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/3/2/1494728/-Bill-Clinton-Law-Breaking-at-Polling-Station-Beyond-Doubt-Video-Shows-Loudspeaker-Campaigning ).

I have no choice now but to surf the internet for news with regards to the US elections. CNN had just made my life less easier, so to speak! 😀 The downside is that I have come to slowly un-like their entire station! After all, a human being is entitled to her feelings. 🙂

Have a great day, everyone. Thanks for dropping by. Stay healthy!

🙂

absolutely appalling

I heard the news today.

They destroyed ancient artifacts. Those were not there for the sake of art admiration. Those were not there for the sake of national pride. Those were not there to attract tourists.

Those were mirrors of humanity. Those belonged to the entire phenomenon that is human life. Those were priceless. Nobody deserves to privately own them, any of them. They were kept there, rightfully so, so that humanity does not forget who s/he is.

I join the entire collective civilization regardless of epoch, identity, worldview; I join all who choose life rather than death; I join all who take care of fellow human beings rather than those who only seek personal “salvation”; I join all who celebrate life in the condemnation of the actions that led to the destruction of the Mosul Museum today.

Update 6March2015:

hurry

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Love the Girls

I am very much revolted by this document by the ISIS detailing guidelines for the enslavement or merchandize of girls.

I have several other issues to gripe about here*, but for now nothing prompted me strong enough to just break off from drinking my pu-erh + green + peppermint tea to just simply stand here and type away.

Granted that even in the Ten Commandments women are shown in there as among the properties of a man, it doesn’t follow that this topic of using women as so is (unconditionally) sanctioned by any deity in the sense that Greek-philosophy originating worldviews would interpret it from the wording in the text. Granted that you may not have any respect at all for the deity called Yahweh whose name appears in the context, it does not follow that this deity sanctions the “use” of women. (I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by my explicit spelling out of the Tetragrammaton.) The fact that you do not have any consideration for any so-called deity does not follow that you condone the use of women as commodity like you do with salt or toilet paper.

This is how the biblical text Exodus 20:17 goes, per two translations that do not use the archaic term “covet” (which means “to want something (which you do not have) very much”, per Merriam-Webster):
Per GNB (Good News Bible):   “Do not desire another man’s house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns.”
Per BBE (Bible in Basic English, 1965):   Let not your desire be turned to your neighbour’s house, or his wife or his man-servant or his woman-servant or his ox or his ass or anything which is his.

You may argue that this text came from the very region where ISIS proliferates, the Middle East. It does not follow that this is the way the entire Middle East looks at women: as a property/commodity at par with currency exchanged.**  You cannot tell me that Islam does not respect its women as much as Christianity does because my Muslim blood cousins are very much respected in their households, per my firsthand witness of it being so; on the other hand at the same time saying that Christianity itself has issues against women that are currently trivialized by so-called spirituality, per my firsthand witness of it.

So where does this violence in man stem from? Aha, this is within the realm of the problem of evil. This is a realm of complicated and long-winded arguments. I have hardly begun to step into this arena. But then my question implies the radical ingredient of the problem: the generic man, adam, the one who comes from and will return to dust. This adam decides whether to treat a girl as a form of currency or not, to treat a girl as an extension of lust or not, to treat a girl as a tool for the expression of desire for power over xyz, simply of the desire of being able, of having the capacity to be able to do anything without restraint. This adam chooses. This adam’s choice depends on the array of choices available. If this adam sees a choice that is for compassion, against suffering, for love, against exploitation, but refuses to choose it, then this adam by his/her own actions condemns his/herself. If this adam is not able to see this choice for love, then us, fellow-adam, what do we do about it?

What ISIS is concerned about is appalling to the maximum. Seeing that it is so, then what do we do about it in our own little world? You can speak about and against it. You can do a small or a big thing to fight it. But whatever you do, listen to that gentleness that speaks to you, so that you do not fall prey to the desire to have power over xyz (i.e., power over anything in any form, be it things or individual minds or massive enticements, etc.), to the strong urge to “move things” including the one that you deem “good”. Remember what Jesus of Nazareth spoke of which thing here on earth is “good”***, and start from there.
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Notes:
* A hugely popular actor’s pathetic power trips over desirable women who have been silenced for decades by the prevalent celebrity-worshiping pop culture and who are now gathering their voices together; the world’s incompetence at giving priority for arms race and space exploration over the education of the most vulnerable of minds — girls and children — that now is powerfully put into the limelight through the recognition of the effects of the lives of Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi by the Nobel Peace Prize; the dazed vulnerability of compassionate girls falling in love for ‘hurt’ men, not seeing nor protecting themselves against these men’s myopic self-absorbed tendencies as portrayed by the tragedy of Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius; the stupidity of the powerful few who insist that global climate change has nothing to do with man, and at the same time not being able to compassionately address the devastating destruction of homes and livelihoods and lives at the Pacific rim NOT THE LEAST SMALL (in all sense of the word) NATIONS SUCH AS THE PHILIPPINES; the ongoing exploitation of the richness of Africa in both sides of the Atlantic, both by not promptly addressing the color-divide issue (Those who say that the term “race” is obsolete, speak up!) and by mis/mal-educating Africa toward the temple of consumerism; to the lack of readily available arguments against the all-goodness of modernity, hence consumerism, hence the inevitable response to the need for “servants for the big house”, hence the callous or blind exploitation of the “household” help be it domestic, commercial, coming from the same or from a different cultural background; and for crying out loud, what’s this thing about “measuring” a girl’s morality against her state of so-called virginity as if a girl can by herself devirginize (herself) or that girls get themselves devirginized for the sake of being so??!!!!

** Though not directly in the sense of “currency exchanged”, Professor Christine Hayes of Yale University speaks of Israelite provisions (note: “Israelite” is different from “Israeli”, but I have no time to get into this here now, though I’m sure information on it is readily available in the net) in the Torah (that’s the original term for what is popularly known as the Old Testament) where vulnerable persons in the society, which invariably includes women and orphans, are expressly protected against exploitation, here:   http://oyc.yale.edu/transcript/952/rlst-145. It’s a longish read, but if you’re impatient then you can look over the part within which says, “So it’s also illuminating to compare the Ancient Near Eastern and the biblical legal materials in terms of the concern for the disadvantaged, the elimination of social class distinctions, and a trend toward humanitarianism.”, which is under Chapter 4. Radical, Characteristic Features of Israelite Law [00:29:58]. This is not to pretty-up the Bible here in the apologetic sense, but just to say that Christianity and Islam originated from a way of thinking, among peoples, that took care of systematizing compassion and care for everyone and everything within their way of living.

*** Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19 : “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. […]” (GNB)

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added 18th January 2015:

I’d say something similar for Boko Haram. If you wonder what a monster looks like, a hideous manifestation of evil, then it’s this group’s activities.

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Take care, everyone. Go out and breathe the fresh air. Get out of the shadows and soak in the winter sun. Fall in love. Greet the elderly. Laugh until your stomach hurts 🙂 hasta la vista!

Move, On

Once a long time ago I meditated on the instances of happy and painful relationships, either between lovers or between spouses. In my country divorce is not possible. The main reason is that it’s predominantly Roman Catholic, about 98% of the population. The other reason is the way we look at marriage as a permanent thing. Of course separation of spouses happen, as well as infidelity. But since the norm is marriage then even co-habitation is frowned upon. For many families it can incur ostracization of the young lovers. Parents who have cohabited for a long time do not generally make the set-up known, knowing that it will earn some stigma and will affect the children. If they have caring friends these will encourage them to officiate their union even if it’s only a civil rite. Also, civil rites are not as respectable as a church or a sacerdotal sanctioned ritual.

As part of our public education we would discuss marriage and domestic issues in school. One question that came up was if we are in favor of divorce being legalized. That question was taken by us seriously, us not having been raised in an environment where divorce is an open option. The sound of the word “divorce” is equivalent to that of “disaster”, “failure”, “destruction”, “insecurity”, “shame”, “secret”, “lies”, and even “outcast”. The challenge of even saying anything for it, for just the tiniest bit, was daunting.

I did not care much about the question until one lazy summer afternoon as I was spending my usual dreamy lounging time in my parents’ bedroom, where there’s always wonderful lighting streaming inside from two adjacent walls, I came to suddenly put my thinking into considering under what circumstances would I be found to agree on legalizing divorce. I zeroed in on my only answer: violence. I concluded then that a person cannot be made to stay in a set-up where he or she (in our context it’s she predominantly) is constantly in fear of being hurt. But I also thought about what if one of the spouses falls in love with somebody else. Ah, this was difficult stuff to answer as I haven’t been there myself. I had to consider this angle because it seems to be a popular reason why partners split.

Is it possible for a committed person to fall in love with another not her/his partner? If I were married and it happened to me what would I do? This part I had also answered for myself, which in turn made me conclude that choosing the mate isn’t a joke nor a thing to be taken lightly. It definitely cannot be based on hormones alone, although at that time I, too, knew little about this side of things. But, hey, rhetorics is free for everyone, even for budding snotty-nosed university graduates.

spring deer

1 Corinthians 13      (click to enlarge)

Of course it’s possible to fall in love with anyone anytime. What kind of question is this in the first place? Is it even a valid question at all? Are emotions and attraction things that can be channeled the way arguments can be tiered one after the other? Is there even a fool-proof theory about loving? I mean, if God is Love, then how does one deal with this phenomenon? All peoples have their own ways of talking about this phenomenon, and does one group of people or language or worldview define the entire humanity, then and now?

For a “love” between two persons who can’t take it to the socially accepted commitment status, like for instance in my country having it labeled as bigamy, which is illegal, then how could this “love” be handled? “If I were married and it happened to me what would I do?” I guess I have to decide and move on. But since I haven’t been married and so have not been initiated into this level of existence, I will not presume that I know anything about it. Therefore, I can’t openly say here anything by way of response to it. Theoretical musings is fine but I would rather show respect to the real circumstance experienced by real people who can’t even start to find words to deal with it, not even in their own private thoughts.

But what if a married man makes me feel loved and I found it honest and genuine and non-restricting, what do I do?

Certainly not go out on a date with him. Certainly not encourage the flirtation. Cetainly not fan my vanity into a blazing ember. Am I nuts? The guy is married. He has committed himself to something that excludes anything else at par with it. As one of my favorite shows would say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

But what if I, too, have started to love him? Ah, then that’s another story. To smell the coffee I think I would first and foremost honor his honesty and courage in making me aware of his care for me. I mean, who am I to reject such a wonderful gift? It’s “love” after all, it’s something unfathomable. It’s from God. It’s God’s language.

Then I would refrain from asking too many questions. I won’t even ask questions at all. I would nip all questions in the bud. Here Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle applies: defining an electron’s state alters its state. I will refrain from putting my finger on anything in order to pin it down, they be descriptions, qualifications, quantifications of this “love”. Any attempt to pin it down, in this context, will result into a failure. Defining it will destroy it. Getting hold of it will cause its demise. I would leave things as they are, without defining them — be they concepts, words, situations. They will not be turned this way and that for closer examination. They will be left as a blur and will not be designated into compartments or categories. Their rawness will be respected. That way they will not be suffocated, robbed of air, and fester for the lack of it.

As this “love” is there, then what could be done with it? Why, celebrate it, of course. It is not “forbidden”, for goodness’ sake. Love is free, is encouraged, is induced, is given, is spread out, is scattered. The world has been constantly suffering because love has been twisted and restricted and deformed and castigated. But since, in the context I’m talking about here, it’s in an instance where care has to be exercised on its behalf, then I would suggest to take this “love” into another plane of existence. It cannot be insisted on the same plane where it will foster suffering, because that’s not its purpose. Love is something that affirms our humanity, it is a life-giving phenomenon, and hence it does not belong to the arena of suffering. Don’t ask me more about how I speak of it here because, my dear, words are not adequate to speak of this phenomenon in this angle.

So maybe I’d say I’d let this love dwell with the clouds, let it float on the calmest of ocean surfaces, let it flit with the wind among the many branches of as many trees that greet me on my way to wherever everyday, let the leaves’ rustle talk of it to me. Let my echoed footsteps be chants of meditation on it. Silent. Abiding. Subdued. Sometimes even forgotten for a while but certainly there, accompanying me, holding on to the tips of my hair as the breeze blows imperceptible strands here and there, sometimes.

So I won’t conjure physical manifestations of it. “Fantasies” and “possibilities” are words not even entertained. I will not “insist” it; will not “force” it into “fruition”; will not “fight” for it — these avenues does not belong to “love”. Read 1 Corinthians 13. This is the only way I can show respect to my emotions, by not straining it with emptiness, not feeding it with conjectures the probabilities of which approach zero. This, too, is the way I could love my self in this context, and so lift my self up from the plane of senselessness.

It was a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) that prompted me on this reflection. Here it is:

I cannot live with you,
It would be life,
And life is over there
Behind the shelf

The sexton keeps the key to,
Putting up
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup

Discarded of the housewife,
Quaint or broken;
A newer Sevres pleases,
Old ones crack.

I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other’s gaze down,
You could not.

And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise with you,
Because your face
Would put out Jesus’,
That new grace

Glow plain and foreign
On my homesick eye,
Except that you, than he
Shone closer by.

They’d judge us-how?
For you served Heaven, you know,
Or sought to;
I could not,

Because you saturated sight,
And I had no more eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise.

And were you lost, I would be,
Though my name
Rang loudest
On the heavenly fame.

And were you saved,
And I condemned to be
Where you were not,
That self were hell to me.

So we must keep apart,
You there, I here,
With just the door ajar
That oceans are,
And prayer,
And that pale sustenance,
Despair!

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There’s an explanation of it here:
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/close-reading-i-cannot-live-you
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hope-robin-pavitrata-500

I also wanted to explore what I could say in resonance to it, from a different context.

So, I’d say, “I love you, and I must pick my self up from here and carry on, as well as I can possibly do. This is the only way I can show God, and you, how much I honor and value Him, and you.”

I hope that the way I spoke of it isn’t as sad-sounding as Dickinson’s expression here, of her love. Here’s another of her poems, an encouraging sounding one that I copied from http://www.shortpoems.org/emily_dickinson/


Have the best of days, everyone! 🙂



“Just the Way You Are”

🙂
I didn’t know that “Just the Way You Are” is Billy Joel’s song, back in 1977. I have liked that song ever since I can remember. But I knew Billy Joel only from his 1983 “Uptown Girl”, a fast song, and hence I associated him with such. Well, better late (at finding out of his range of musical prowess) than never.

Among the song’s lines (these have) fascinated me the most:

I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard, mmm
(I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are)

Billy Joel _singing Just the Way You AreI was prompted to write this post when I discovered, upon seeing a video of him singing the song, live and on the keys, that this stanza is the refrain in that it’s the one he repeats before he ends.

At first I could hardly believe that I was looking at Billy Joel in a formal suit. Then I noticed that he was sweating profusely. That, itself, was fascinating to me because it seemed he was not bothered by all this liquid on his face. Then I noticed, while the camera was focused on his right profile, that a trickle of liquid is highlighted on a path on his cheek that does not seem to be on the continuity from  his forehead. I would have loved to have turned to someone sitting beside me and ask, “Is he crying?”

I have always highly regarded this song. Since this is the first time I have seen somebody singing it live then I wanted to believe that Billy Joel was singing it straight from his heart. Maybe he was singing it to a specific somebody. I liked his “cool” performance because I thought he did not “try hard” at “acting out” at sincerity. He came out as simply sincere.

Recently this song’s “I don’t want clever conversation; I never want to work that hard” has become even more significant to me as I continue to circulate among people who “have lots to say” <– which exactly is what I, many a time, catch my own self doing 😀 😀 !!!

I can’t remember when was the first time I practiced putting my cerebral goods out into the open for those in conversation with me to see that I have managed to save lots on my tabula not-so-anymore rasa. If I did not know much about the subject then I would resort to expressing interest on it, using inquiries, by way of relating it to something else I would know more of.

So I was saying, that recently I realized what I was doing, and what the game everybody else seem to be playing. Clever conversations. Gak. It’s draining on the, um, I don’t know… nerves? … qi? … soul? 😀 whatever 😀

Did you know that for the Inuits they traditionally believe that too much thinking insults the spirit? And have you heard of the story about Africans who were hired as luggage carriers by some foreigners (or was it to guide in the hunting??) that one day, after hiking non-stop for days, they simply stopped and sat down and refused to move from the spot until, they said, their souls have caught up with them. I love both of these expressions against “thinking too much.” ❤

I guess I’m starting to really grow old now. Heheh. I feel like I have tried to participate at the parade of peacocks, have tried to compete, and then I only discovered that unless one comes out as “simply sincere” then all the sashaying is an insubstantial game. Hollow. A babel of sounds that fall on deaf ears. Poor overworked brain cells 🙂

Suddenly I am reminded of C. S. Lewis’ explanation on the thin line between pride (in association with being “good”) that is okay and pride that is foul. The parade of peacocks was how he illustrated one of those. With their feather-fans all out in proud display. (This is in his book Mere Christianity. This is among my favorites because it was one of those that started opening windows to me.)

Okay. Now my blah blah blah is complete for the moment ❤ Take care! And if ever one of these days you find yourself  sitting down on your haunches ruminating on this supposedly God’s-love-for-you thing, then I hope you’ll recall this song’s lovely line, “I love you just the way you are.”

 

My Journey to Non-Nationality


When I first came to Fangorn I didn’t know what kind of folks Fangornians are. Though I could have consulted the web or the prints still there simply was no time to even think about doing so. At that time I had to function like a crazed morph, having to sprout extra limbs and cerebral lobes. I had to prepare for the take off yet my feet was at a work place that screamed for organization. I’ve been alone on the road plodding for decades already and I’ve built a facade so camouflaged that my family and so-called friends couldn’t see how my internal gauges have been showing erratic fluctuations.

I even told an elder that I just came from shingles and he thought I was telling him that I’m single. If it wasn’t for my semi-‘conservative’ friend Netz I could have gone vegetable over those viral remnants of childhood chicken pox. The presence of persons such as Netz in my life make me think twice about labelling either my own self or other people.

Whether a person is from my gene pool or not the laws of biology and psychology are the same.

When I first came to Fangorn I was not so wistful of my different gene pool nor was I apprehensive of faces that I used to see only on screen. I was actually busy trying to figure out how the heck could I stay standing on the pavement without my brains freezing out before the coziness of the bus comes. I was preoccupied trying to figure out if the room lighting’s luminousity is up to my system’s survival threshold. I was foraging for sources of nourishment, the ones that would make my stomach aware that I have already put some into it.

Later, after having seen for myself that I could survive here, my brain started to grow out calmer dendrites. I started reflecting outside the context of immediate survival. I explored new turf.

I looked at the Fangornians. I couldn’t see much. That was a culture shock that I had seen coming. Even until today I still couldn’t see of them as much as I wanted to although a few have already welcomed me into their homes. I looked at the Flip-Flops. I saw more than I expected. I looked at the Zirconians as well as my fellow Zaps. Then I looked at the entire pulsating planet.

Ipensive contemplative reflective meditative thoughtful arrived at the conclusion that it is greed that has to do with all our woes. But when I talked about this to my classmate Moira he said that he thinks greed isn’t inherent in us humans, but that it’s a function of the environment. We’ve been brought up, he told me, to be greedy.

I still have to take the time to reflect on that. I have to look at original-sin side by side with tabula-rasa, too. I honestly don’t know from which angle to approach the topic with new eyes. I may have to go back to Moira, to pick up where we left it off because we had ran out of walking space.

In this picture are my new friends JDG, RK, and TCD.

Since two years ago when JDG heard me call a colleague “manong” (older brother) he told me that he, too, was my manong. So I started to call him that using the equivalent word in his mother speech, orabeoni. We started to relate to each other more freely than before but calling him manong didn’t take our friendship into a quantum leap, to that manong level. So I think next time I see him it would be more appopriate to substitute “sunbaenim” (respected senior) for orabeoni. I sense old and newly erected fences, all invisible to me, around which I should maneuver and in which in the end I’d possibly be left with a bye-bye to a friendship that could have been really great.

Shikataganai. East Zapians are of a machismo worldview and even fellow Zapians can’t do anything about that, lowering the gaze and clipping the arms by their sides upon meeting the so-called strong ones. But it is the East Zapians who taught me to reflect on loyalty and steadfastness, on endurance and single-mindedness. On appreciating the fullness of silence. Just as Treebeard said I shoudn’t be hasty at my conclusions.

Again, on the picture are RK and TCD, who are Zirconians. When I first came to Fangorn and was just learning to walk on snow, mustering the fear of my feet being singed through the soles of my shoes, I had thought of how to get out of the thinking that Zirconians, collectively, are responsible for the many woes of the Flip-Flops and of the pulsating planet. The peaceable consequence that I reached at was that whoever was responsible for the mess should be the one to clean it up. Whoever tipped the balance must do something to restore it.

thoughtful CNI needed to see at least one Zirconian who was exactly doing this, innocently and with integrity, without even being aware that there are Flips who think the way I do. Honestly I am vaguely aware that there are many Flips out there who echo my sentiments but that they are faceless to me. I do not personally know of one, and thought trains like these are, well, what can I say, camouflaged among thick forest undergrowths.

Not long after I met CN, a huge Zirconian with clear shining eyes. He and his friends have an ongoing program for ending world hunger. It’s a blatantly naive and gigantic ambition. It’s hopelessly lovable. He has tried to describe how the church could be functioning in our present context.

Like RK he has tried to talk in terms that would welcome anyone who’s eager to participate. Many would call it a post-modern paradigm, similar to several, both named and yet obscure, that are groping in the unchartered multiple-contexts we now find ourselves bewildered in.clear brilliant eyes

Now I know that I shouldn’t take Zirconians as a “people”, a generalized collective, but as “persons”, one individual at a time. There are Zirconians who, like RK and CN, are neither threatened nor limited by labeling.

Back home there was a Fangornian with whom I’d started to befriend. Of the extremely short time I spent with her I was able to ask her of whom did she thought we women should be modelling ourselves after. Her answer was startling to me then: after no-one. It is only now that I’m starting to understand her. It is only now that I’m starting to she what she meant when she said that first and foremost it is my own individuality that I must be looking out for.

As per the conversation I had with Moira, about greed, I tried to put it into a logical diagram and see what I can come up with:

Venn 1 & 2_greedy, people

Without bothering with defining the Universal Set, these four Venn diagrams show the possible relationships between all people and all greedy entities. My musings led me nearer to the idea pictured by Figure 4. Moira’s counter-arguments tend towards Figure 1, although not as how things are but rather as a starting point, when conditioning is taken out of the picture. Moira seemed to be telling me that humans do not have greediness as a necessary attribute, although he did say that he’d be needing all the evidences that he can get his hands on before being sure of this.

Venn 3 & 4_greedy, peopleFor me I just based my conclusion (Moira did tease me, that I have “concluded” already) on the historical events. Empires rising and falling. Countries getting richer and poorer. Parents in a frenzy about giving the A-class education to their children. Young professionals eager to show off the brands of their possessions. I have wanted to look into the machinery that fuels the global dynamics and if I start at the grass roots, at the level of an individual’s needs and wants, then I would pinpoint to the human’s propensity to get hold onto and retain something, incorporate it into the personal space. Of course some can readily recognize when the level of this “acquisition process” is becoming toxic and so it is readily called off. Bastante. This situation may be pictured by either Figure 2 or 3, above. Not everyone is helpless against greediness.

Still there’s something about my Venn diagrams that bother me. I’d like to replace “people”, a faceless mass, with “persons” — attributing now the sense of responsibility to individuals. Yet either way something still doesn’t quite fit. I feel like I’m figuring things out by ossifying phenomena with labels. It’s the same dynamics as when I talk of Fangonians, Zirconians, Zaps, and Flips as groups. Not all Zirconians are alike and I have yet to find a Flip who resonates in my frequency. Perhaps I never will. TCDTCD, a Zirconian whose personaliy I would zig-zag away from back home (chatty, readily friendly, flashy smile) surprisingly has become the first Zirconian I can relate to with ease, without being conscious of the cerebral gap. Because of him, CN, and RK, I now have little use of the label “Zircon”.

I had a Rilkan penfriend for eight years. I’m looking for her whereabouts now and I’m sure she does think of me sometimes. But, alas, we both cannot be found among the social media websites. I had a Shtoi dormmate. Her brother became my student and so we three have become friends. I will search for her home address among my files so that when I go to their country I will be able to visit them, as she invited me to. Now I have Moira a Milesian, and Benga a Huzz. We call ourselves “the three idiots” after that hilarious but enlightening Indian movie. There’s Peth the Fangornian lady back home, happily married to a fellow Flip of whom I am more at awe than friendly.

These non-Flips became friends because we related with expressions that connected persons, not peoples. We did not pre-define each other. We didn’t bring labels into our relationships. We simply faced each other, talked openly, and became one human being to another human being.

I had thought that it is only the word “race” that we should be doing away with. Now there’s national-classification as well. A wo/man’s context does not ‘define’ her/him. Honesty, trust, and thankfulness speak in a language that have nothing to do with culture, nationality, or genes.

Benga & Moira

Benga & Moira

Many Zirconians will continue to be jerks. Many Flips will continue to be clueless. Many Zaps will continue to be mesmerized by anything Zirconian or Deltan. Many Fangornians will remain cold and rude. This, however, is not the only lens with which to view humanity. Any human can equally be a jerk, clueless, impressionable, cold, or rude.

For purposes of conversations Moira and I could still use the Venn diagrams but now it has become clearer to me how all persons are configured by the tracks that they had to run on. Each landmark we pass by morphs us. Had I not found myself abruptly shoved into Fangorn I wouldn’t have started to trust a Zirconian for a long time yet. I relate to TCD as TCD, as himself, and not as someone with a Zircon-labeling.

Now I’m happier.

The Term “Cruel” and Its Derivatives in “Tarzan of the Apes”

(Update July 30, 2021. At last, I got it looking better. I did not want to delete the original post, still shown beneath, right below the paper’s now edited CONCLUSION. Yepper, I sure did edit the featured paper! You can download a PDF copy of it here. So, it is an edited work, not the original one, but I think my professor would have seen it as an improvement. I submitted it to my university here in Philippines in 2019, but I haven’t heard anything regarding it ever since. So, rather than let it just die out, I’m giving it out to the world, for anyone who might have good use for it. You may simply use the blog post’s permalink as the web-source, https://sacadalang.com/2014/06/12/cruel-in-tarzan-of-the-apes/

Thanks. Cheers and blessings!!

Here now is the CONCLUSION, from my paper’s page 16:

CONCLUSION (of the paper, “Tracing Cruelty in Tarzan of the Apes” by Mona Lisa Siacor). Edited July 30, 2021.

Cruel and its derivatives are used in describing all characters or their actions in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel Tarzan of the Apes. They are used to state that Tarzan has no cruelty inherent in him. They are used in describing objects that are inanimate, or most of the time even when no concurrent action is present to qualify as cruel. The Whites, especially the Porter group, see the jungle as threatening the most, attributing cruelty to it even when there is no concurrent action. However, where actions are concurrent to the usage, the Porter group is more responsible for cruelty than any other character group in the novel. In most these instances it is one of them who is being cruel to another of their member, by the use of words. Significantly, almost all of the cruel terms are not essential at all in building up the meaning of the phrase where the term is found, within the novel’s narrative.

Using many cruel or violence related terms to describe the jungle and its inhabitants contradicts Tarzan’s perception that his jungle home is peaceful (Burroughs, 1914  217; ch. 17). Tarzan excuses the jungle’s violence as a way of life, as a matter of survival. Usually he kills dispassionately, but sometimes for pleasure (Burroughs, 1914  117,118; ch. 10). D’ Arnot lauds Tarzan’s survival. He tells him, “it is mind, and not muscle, that makes the human animal greater than the mighty beasts of your jungle… Otherwise, …how long would you have lasted in the savage wilderness?” (Burroughs, 1914  324: ch. 25). All jungle inhabitants are Tarzan’s enemies except his ape tribe and Tantor (Burroughs, 1914  103; ch. 9). This is reflected in the many times cruel is directed from the jungle inhabitants to Tarzan. The jungle is peaceful for Tarzan and he is “lord” of himself and of his world, as Burroughs puts it (“Tarzan Theme”), because with his “mind” and physical prowess he is able to subdue threats against him. Only Tantor is not afraid of him (Burroughs, 1914  48, 59; ch. 4, 5).

Outside the jungle the facility of the word is important. Civilization uses words the way Tarzan uses his mind and his strength to subdue threats. In civilization, the “greatest” are those with the best minds such as the novel’s characters Prof. Porter and the Claytons, who are intelligent and are good with words (Burroughs, 1914  9, 83, 194; ch. 1, 7, 16 ). Prof. Porter and Cecil Clayton are the only characters in the novel who inflict cruelty using words. In the preliminaries, John Clayton (Tarzan’s father, Lord Greystoke) as well had earlier dismissed the ship Fuwalda’s captain with “you are something of an ass” (Burroughs, 1914  18; ch. 1).

The jungle “beasts” are man’s enemies, says D’ Arnot (Burroughs, 1914  324: ch. 25). In the face of this, civilized man’s recourse is to subdue the jungle in the eyes of civilization by using words, which is the case with the novel Tarzan of the Apes. Albeit in reality, the jungle and its inhabitants are impervious to words. In Tarzan of the Apes, it is only in words that the jungle is cruel to civilized man—though this assertion itself is false even within the novel, based on the findings above. This may be seen, therefore, as a case of demonizing an imaginary enemy through propaganda. But since Burroughs’ aim was simply to sell a story, in which he was indeed very successful, then looking into propaganda as a matter of popular consumption, so to say, is another consideration.

(Here now was the original blog post: )

🙂 Hi!

I made a term paper in class and when the professor handed it back with a heart-warming grade I asked him if it was okay to share it online. He said yes! So here it is. Why? Because I spent energy on it and now that I got a grade for it I felt bad that its use ends up just there. I made it to pass, yes, but it was only me and my teacher who got to read it, so, what the heck. Better let it out and be done with it. I hope you can appreciate the way I made it, at how crazily easy and difficult it is at the same time.

Tarzan of the Apes in All Story 1912

The cover of the magazine that let out the first Tarzan story into the world, in 1912. The picture was copied from: http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Tarzan

I had to edit the format before uploading because the tables musn’t be cut at the wrong places. It has lots of tables. So that’s the difficult part. Attention has to be given to the descriptions that accompany each table that appears, one after the other. Attention has to be given to the placements of elements inside the tables, within rows and columns alike. Otherwise, it’s all just a bunch of jumbled gibberish. Honestly, I really found myself laughing at my work for a long time 😀

The easy part, eh?, was that since I couldn’t come up with how to say things nicely after months of reading about Tarzan and his world both in and outside the book I decided instead to find a pattern within the product itself, the finished sold-like-hotcake novel that turned Edgar Rice Burroughs into an instant sensation. The idea came to me while I was noticing that many words alluding to cruelty keep appearing one after the other as I turn the pages. It became a sort of a game to me, wanting to find out if I could distill something out of the prolific appearances of such nasty words in such an innocent-sounding story. Yosh! I was on my way. I felt that it was the cleanest way I could do the requirement without getting bogged down in the arguments for or against this and that, not the least being what kind of guy and gal Tarzan and Jane are. The arguments touch on psychology, history, sociology, literary criticism (which I don’t know much on!)… the works.

Papers are among the craziest things in the world. That’s a personal opinion 🙂 and you can argue ’til you’re blue with me all I’ll give out is an I-don’t-know-anything chuckle.

So do I like Tarzan? I used to, but not anymore. However, both that question and that answer may first have to be verified as to which particular Tarzan is being asked of and which particular Tarzan did I like. Anyway, the Tarzan of the apes is a caricature of a wish that originated from a context that won’t get a vote from me. That Tarzan’s outside-the-book world was a time when discrimination was a respected norm.

Needless to say I learned much from and through my readings on Tarzan, many of which were not used in this paper. However, those are the more important ones. 🙂 My teacher’s parting comment was that the presentation was nicely put up but I should have written more on the conclusion. I agreed with him, too, but at that time I was already fed up with so much thinking about Tarzan, day in and out, that I was simply relieved to have wrapped up fast and get the load off my hands 😛

Thank you, Mr. Garfitt.

Jesus came to banish fear.

jesus of wigan  Though I haven’t gone through the entire book yet, the few parts that I have read so far are making good sense to me. For one, I can see that it’s obviously made out of love, that it’s a true labor of love, and it deserves much respect and consideration. Thank you, Francis Garfitt, for writing this fascinating and refreshing book about a living man and a living story that was calcified within just a few pages two thousand years ago.

I have always gone by the thought that if truth is in God, that if ‘truth’ is an embodiment of God, then there’s no way of disproving Him nor that our insistence on “defending” Him will add to that truthfulness. In pursuing my personal studies on that distant world of two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth shook his world, I would like to listen to this particular voice that projects Jesus’ story’s context through a personal conviction using the platform of the contemporary world. ‘Evangelism’, after all, is not limited to the mainstream’s definition of it, if the reader sees it as that. A storyteller is by all means entitled to any artful way of delivering an old story with full relevance. We, those of us who want to keep on telling a story that has been stamped ‘unchangeable’, may just have to take the courage to step out of the silenced crowd and speak in a way that will make the story enabling again even to those who have been rendered numb by the challenges of everyday survival — the way that Jesus of Nazareth did. That’s love.  Jesus of Wigan

What I especially find refreshing among the narratives is the inclusion of the scientific perspective in order to bring about a multi-perspective handling of whatever scene is featured. In this book science is integrated as a tool for looking at what is. The outcome resonates with the Hebrew worldview where things are dealt with integrally, like for example that a human being is not allocated into body-&-soul parts. So far I can see it doesn’t pretend to know everything yet it’s a humbling book. It will make one look at things differently, make one recall the time when one realized that things are not what they are as seen on the surface. It will encourage you to love. It will confirm your simplest reasons for wishing for happiness.

(Note: Today is May 19, 2016. This was written 2 years ago. I need to update it soon. I just got to find the time. Get the book if you can. Jesus of Wigan by Francis Garfitt. You will like it even if you’re not interested in the religious side of it. ❤

Update: May 20, 2016. I edited the original script and added a few words. Still, that is not the ‘update’ that I meant. It will then look like a review of the book.)

Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day, everyone! 🙂

🙂

  • 🙂 I have your book today, in paper. I don’t know when I can finish it considering that I’m not supposed to do anything else besides looking for certain things in books for a year at least, but actually I’m now on John’s first baptism. I’m liking John and I can easily connect him with that John in the desert, both with passions of that intensity. But how I wish I knew more of European economy/history so that I could get more laughs out of your quirky statements — I mean, I had my first big laugh at page (though unnumbered) 3 of Introduction and I anticipate that there are lots like it in this your thickish book. Though I think I just go open some more of your book for reasons other than greed for knowledge, otherwise things will just not get right with me. One has to be ready for the things that you say in here 🙂 . What made me confident enough to get a copy was that a few days ago I finally had a gut feeling of what evil is. The subject of evil isn’t an attractive material for me and so I haven’t read up on the academic discussions on it, nor am I interested in the macabre in popular media. But recently, in a flash, I realized that I understood that evil is the attempt to choke/snuff out/strangle life, to negate life. Something happened to me and I felt like I was going to be annihilated, something is trying to deny my essence, and if I let it be I would end up a living dead, a nothing — and so it dawned on me that this, then, is what evil is. I decided to find a way to stay alive despite the presence of this thing that would callously wipe me off from existence if I let it. So I thought that a retelling of Jesus’ story like the way you’re doing is worth looking into, with the horrors of modern metropolitan living, and they shouldn’t disturb me as much anymore due to my newly found knowledge (haha looks like this leads me further into my “knowledge-of-good-and-evil” musings…). I’m wary like this because I’m not familiar with big city living, and the little that I’ve experienced of it I didn’t really like… but I do like the way you explain the will to power … I agree with what you say in there … and I can’t help wanting to catch your words at each right-hand page because they look like they might fall off any time — this was the first big laugh, actually 🙂 THANK YOU for your great effort in this book. May many people come to read it.

     

  • Dear Sacadalang,

    thank you so much for the comment and for buying a copy of my book. I’m glad you are liking John. He is based on a guy that I met whilst doing some voluntary work. He was working as an ‘enlightened witness’ with other ex-prisoners and this idea of a ‘witness of the light’ kept bringing me back to him whenever I tried to visualise John the Baptist. I was genuinely humbled to meet him. I only met him once, but maybe that is how life is.

    I think that your gut feeling of what evil is, is important. George Macdonald wrote of the shadow inside us all in his book Phantastes, a fairy story for adults. In it he wrote that the affirmation of evil is the negation of all else. So take care of yourself, negation is anti-hope, the anti-social anti-value that builds on feelings of isolation, then anger, then destruction… either of self or others. In the same way that the key to madness is personal to each of us, so is the path to oneness. I love your blogs, their enthusiasm and infectious joy. I don’t know all the films and TV shows you mention, but what I enjoy is learning why you enjoy them. So keep it up, we are all part of the pattern.

    It took me 7 years to write the book, and I always felt that if it touched one person then that was worth it, that whatever I was doing meant something more than just another writer with another book. Sometimes I felt like giving it up as a bad job, and even now I’m not happy with it, I can see the flaws, particularly in grammar. So thank you once again for taking the time to read it.

    kind regards

    Fran

     

  • Dear Fran,
    thank you for replying, for the reply, for Phantastes, for John, and for the encouragement — yep, I have a good idea now about the self-destruction and the wanting-to-quit parts, thanks to my experiences — ach, the grammar, well, grammar does not rule so to say … all I know is that I’m reading a genuine specimen of contemporary British English and for me that’s good enough 🙂
    -wishing-you-a-nice-week-
    ang sacada lang

     

    ❤ ——————- ❤

    ( 4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy with a difference 8 Aug 2013  /  By Viv M)
    I found this book shocking at times and unlike any other “religious” book I’ve ever read. It is an imaginative modern interpretation of the gospel story. I enjoyed the references to Wigan, and there is plenty of humour. It’s a retelling of history with complex twists.
    ❤ ——————- ❤
    4.0 out of 5 stars Are you on the path? 4 Aug 2013  /  By Mark S If you are trying to find a path to faith this book will help. The authors take on the New Testament and the disciples of Jesus provide some great reflective moments for the reader, which disciple are you? The author’s link to modern day diseases, such as the craving for power and certainty, provide an interesting view of the New Testament story and highlight how shallow our modern day lives have become. Our constant desire for instant gratification and oneupmanship are clearly exposed in this insightful work.

    A great read and it really challenged my thoughts. This book has really helped me to think more clearly about what Jesus was really trying to achieve. I don’t agree with all of the authors views but the thought provoking nature helped me to further understand the Bible itself. Well done a great first book.