Stupidity rages

I am feeling very angry of late. Angrier than I usually feel. I don’t like anger much as an emotion, because it doesn’t seem to achieve much other than waste your own energy. But I have to admit despite my dislike for this emotion, I am prone to experiencing it quite frequently. Never before have I been as angry as I now am. I thought perhaps it was due to the devastating disappointment I have felt in response to the way some people I care very deeply about have behaved. Perhaps it is the remnants of overwhelming heartache. The discovery that a family member is very ill. The sheer amount of shit I have had to put up with in every aspect of my life this year.

While these are, I’m sure, contributing factors to my sense of world fatigue –my intolerance levels being at an all time high – I don’t think they quite explain the explosive anger I feel. No, I think the anger is due to the fact that the world seems to be in the grip of the greatest level of stupidity I have ever encountered. Examples (and some of these deserve and shall in time receive a dedicated post):

  • The unbelievable commentary (mainly from men) on the reproductive rights of women. The sheer number of stupid comments that have come out over the last couple of weeks is horrifying.
  • The fact that the protesting miners in South Africa are now being charged with the murder of their fellow strikers even though they were shot and killed by police. Jacob Zuma’s inability to see how fragile his leadership is in the wake of Malema’s seizure of political opportunism is staggering.

See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/31/south-african-miners-charged-murder

  • A super trawler may be allowed to enter the waters of Tasmania where it has been approved to catch 18 000 tonnes of redbait and makerel annually

See: http://www.smh.com.au/national/dutch-supertrawler-hits-another-snag-in-bid-to-fish-20120830-253hp.html

http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-giant-fishing-trawler-in-tasmania/

  • Some ass at the Republican Convention threw peanuts at an African American CNN reporter, saying, “This is how we feed animals.”

See: http://www.smh.com.au/national/dutch-supertrawler-hits-another-snag-in-bid-to-fish-20120830-253hp.html

  • The fact that Paul Ryan has been given an even greater voice in American politics, contributing to the explosion of Far Right values in ‘mainstream’ political discussions. Just as a reminder: Ryan was a co-sponsor of Todd Atkin’s “The Sanctity of Human Life Act” that views the fertilized egg as having the same constitutional rights as a human being. This would mean that all abortions, including ones following a rape or for medical concerns (like the mother’s health) would be illegal and would even mean certain contraceptives like the pill would be unconstitutional because they prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. What century are we living in?
  • I haven’t even mentioned the asylum seeker debacle in Australia, for fear of taking years off my life, but for a summary on some of the most stupid opinions voiced on this issue just watch Go back to where you came from on SBS. Michael Smith and Peter Reith deserve special mention in the stupidity ranks. This issue, of course, deserves many posts of its own. For now, I’d just like to draw your attention to the fact that Australia’s foreign aid might be used to fund the building of detention centres in Nauru and on Manus Island. There aren’t words for the level of disgust I feel for the Australian government if this is to be the case.

See: http://www.sbs.com.au/goback/

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific-beat/greens-condemn-aid-money-paying-for-pacific-asylum-centres/1006086

http://www.globalpovertyproject.com/pages/developmentnotdetention

I’m not claiming to have the answers for a lot of these issues, but what I do wish is that the rhetoric used and the debates we are having could have moved on by now. The fact that we are even debating the rights of a woman to choose is astounding to me. The fact that a trawler the size of the MV Margiris could even be considered acceptable to enter the fishing waters of Tasmania is dumbfounding. The fact that the asylum seeker debates still rages on in Australia…no words. And that homosexual marriage is still considered illegal. My god, people, what are we talking about?

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The relativity of grief

What is it about grief that you can’t get outside of it? That other people can’t get inside of your grief? Try as they might to understand with the best of their abilities and the best of intentions it seems an impossibility. While ‘inside’ the grief I’m currently experiencing for numerous unfortunate events that have occurred in my life of late, I cannot get outside of it. I want to. I want to have perspective. I think about the people of Syria, their suffering and I think I have no right to complain, I have no right to sadness, that my grief is a form of selfishness too awful to contemplate and still, I grieve. The sadness and pain still sits heavy on my heart and mind, weighs me down, when really I know how lucky I am, how full of love and opportunity my life is. I always thought perspective would keep me sane and sound, but ‘perspective’ is not enough to get you outside of grief.

People say trite things like: the world never gives you more than you can handle. I have no response to this other than this is the biggest load of shite I have ever heard. It seems to justify the suffering of others by congratulating them on their ‘strength’. I feel about this religiousioethical bullshit the same way I feel about Karma. Life deals some people a bad hand, mostly this is undeserved, looking for metaphysical explanations for this is not helpful.

I don’t have answers for grief and suffering, but a friend made me aware of this the other day and it really caught my imagination:

http://www.raptitude.com/2012/08/what-others-leave-for-you-to-keep/

Homelessness

On my way to university today I walked passed a tram stop where a homeless person was camped out, covered by a thin blanket. It was freezing this morning and I had multiple layers on, so I can’t imagine what it must be like to try sleep out in that cold. I’m disgusted by the fact that there are still homeless people sleeping rough in a society as affluent as Melbourne is. It’s a disgrace. I’m also ashamed that about 15 minutes after seeing this person and been angered and upset by his/her lot in life that I completely forgot about their plight and slipped back into the ease that is my life. I’m no saint, but I’m generally someone who cares deeply about the well-being over others and if I can so easily go about my day after this encounter, how in fact do we achieve change in such an apathetic society as ours?

My abilities are limited. Homelessness seems like something that truly shouldn’t exist in a city as beautiful as Melbourne, but I have no idea how to solve it. The only thing I can sort of suggest is some very good causes/projects people might want to get involved in or help support. Time and finances are always limited, trust me I know, but seriously what sort of society are we living in?

http://streat.com.au/

http://secondbite.org/

http://www.kerekere.org/our-story/

http://www.bigissue.org.au/about/

And if ever we needed more proof of why there really isn’t any reason poverty should still exist in our society at the rate it does, read this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/21/global-elite-tax-offshore-economy

New Year in July

So I have had the worst six months of my life. Involving illness, terrible heartache, friendship loss and a harsh reassessment of my life in general and the purpose I aim to serve in this world. Today is, however, the 1 July and I aim to begin 2012 afresh. I am washing the slate clean. The world gave me a raw deal, stole my story away from me and left me on the outside to watch the horror of a new narrator unfold.

I’m done with this usurpation though. I am claiming my life back. One of my new year’s resolutions for 2012 was to run more often. I began my new year in July with a run. I had also aimed to practice my violin more and failed miserably in that regard. Yesterday, I asked my teacher to give me a daily routine and as from today I aim to implement it as thoroughly as I can. Yesterday, after having a long conversation with past-lover, I came home to an amazingly vivid rainbow over my apartment. Now I’m not religious at all and only vaguely spiritual, but I appreciate a fucking beautiful rainbow when it comes my way and I’m claiming it as a sign of regaining control over my life again. I’m back, with as much beauty, love, rage, wonder and administrative ineptitude to share as ever. Watch out.

To celebrate New Year in July, I give you:

What better way to start a new year than with Fleetwood Mac-inspired love?

Death by Motorcade

In June, Robert Mugabe’s motorcade was involved in three separate accidents and killed at least 2 people. The most recent one involved an accident with a bus. The driver of the bus was of course blamed for not moving out of the way fast enough. A couple of weeks previously a motorcycle in the motorcade hit and killed a homeless man, he obviously didn’t move out of the way fast enough either.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/africa/mugabe-motorcade-in-accidents.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18504745

These incidents recall to mind a moment in A Tale of Two Cities:

“With a wild rattle and clatter, and an inhuman abandonment of consideration not easy to be understood in these days, the carriage dashed through streets and swept round corners, with women screaming before it, and men clutching each other and clutching children out of its way. At last, swooping at a street corner by a fountain, one of its wheels came to a sickening little jolt, and there was a loud cry from a number of voices, and the horses reared and plunged.

But for the latter inconvenience, the carriage probably would not have stopped; carriages were often known to drive on, and leave their wounded behind, and why not? But the frightened valet had got down in a hurry, and there were twenty hands at the horses’ bridles.

“What has gone wrong?” said Monsieur, calmly looking out.

A tall man in a nightcap had caught up a bundle from among the feet of the horses, and had laid it on the basement of the fountain, and was down in the mud and wet, howling over it like a wild animal.

“Pardon, Monsieur the Marquis!” said a ragged and submissive man, “it is a child.”

“Why does he make that abominable noise? Is it his child?”

“Excuse me, Monsieur the Marquis—it is a pity—yes.”

The fountain was a little removed; for the street opened, where it was, into a space some ten or twelve yards square. As the tall man suddenly got up from the ground, and came running at the carriage, Monsieur the Marquis clapped his hand for an instant on his sword-hilt.

“Killed!” shrieked the man, in wild desperation, extending both arms at their length above his head, and staring at him. “Dead!”

The people closed round, and looked at Monsieur the Marquis. There was nothing revealed by the many eyes that looked at him but watchfulness and eagerness; there was no visible menacing or anger. Neither did the people say anything; after the first cry, they had been silent, and they remained so. The voice of the submissive man who had spoken, was flat and tame in its extreme submission. Monsieur the Marquis ran his eyes over them all, as if they had been mere rats come out of their holes.

He took out his purse.

“It is extraordinary to me,” said he, “that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know what injury you have done my horses. See! Give him that.”

He threw out a gold coin for the valet to pick up, and all the heads craned forward that all the eyes might look down at it as it fell. The tall man called out again with a most unearthly cry, “Dead!”

We all know what happened to the Marquis in the end. Maybe Mugabe should read more Dickens.

Why are people such awful shitheads?

This is a genuine question. We are so awful to each other on a daily basis. And I’m all about forgiveness, genuine deep-felt forgiveness and understanding. But I’m also so tired of trying to justify and understand shitty behaviour because of other people’s insecurities. They are their insecurities after all, why should I have to deal with the consequences?  I forced myself to grow up and deal with the world and all my shit (granted, I still have a lot of growing up and shit-dealing to do), why can’t others make the effort?

Why? Tell me.