Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Enough Is Enough

I have had it up to HERE with people who cherry pick what I say, and just pick out whatever they want, and then afterwards pass judgement on me. You want to know exactly where I stand? Then read on. If not, here's a happy cat picture.

Why do I bloody condemn Hamas? 
Let me number it off for you,

  1. If they're the government in Gaza, and they have received US$7.7 BILLION in fucking aid money, they can fucking do something about their fucking country since 2007 to make sure the lives of the people there don't fucking suck. JUST ONE FUCKING PERCENT of that money would have ensured that your people will have fucking bunkers. It's not fucking rocket science. It's a goddamn square hole in the fucking ground, with stairs, and concrete walls. Want me to draw the plans for you? Here. You're welcome. 
  2. I have seen a ton of pictures and videos of all the BS that has been going on in Gaza. From both sides. I have one simple question. WHERE THE FUCK IS YOUR CIVIL FUCKING DEFENCE? I have seen people helping people. I have seen civilians in grief and in pain. I see people dead. International doctors and aid workers working their fucking hands to the fucking bone just to make sure people survive. I have seen your glorious army fire fucking missiles, hijack fucking ambulances of aid organizations and use them for transport. I have NOT seen 1 fire truck, 1 uniformed Hamas/Palestinian personnel lift his fucking little finger to help ANYBODY hurt. Seriously. What the FUCK are your fucking priorities that you don't even set up a basic fire brigade, or a police force, or even just a basic ambulance service? What, you don't think you need it, is it? 
  3. Let me try and see if I can put it into simple English for you. The role of the army, is to protect its people. Not use them as fucking human shields. You do NOT use children in your army. No, they're not for strapping bombs to and sending over the borders either. What are 12-year-olds suppose to do with 72 fucking virgins? Play catch? NO YOU DUMB FUCK! Civilian houses are not for storing your arsenal. Neither are fucking hospitals, or places of worship and if you say schools, I'll reach out and bitch-slap you. That goes double of firing rockets too. What is your logic? Seriously? If Israel fires at us, we can bitch at them to the international press, and if they don't, we can keep doing it? 
  4. If there's one thing I can compliment you on, it is that your ceasefire terms seems mostly reasonable.
    Now, that said. Your people are fucking DYING here. And you're discussing fucking terms? Here's a thought. Why don't you, yes I'm talking about you, Khaled Mashal, and you, Ismail Haniyeh, do your discussions in the middle of GODDAMN GAZA? Then with the bombs going off around you, and the bullets flying, let's talk about terms shall we? 
  5. And item the last. For the love of all that is holy. Seriously. Just quit screwing your own people over. Just to prove a point. There is right, or wrong so important that it needs to be scrawled in the blood of your own people. 
And now, Netanyahu.
  1. Do you REALLY have to be that hard-assed? You guys have the Iron Dome, and tanks and shit. The Palestinians, not Hamas, the actual people who are trying to just scrape a living together. Cut them some fucking slack will ya? You are actually feeding the damn fire that Hamas started. So, seriously. Don't. Just don't. 
  2. Don't be fucking arrogant, you asses. Half the shit I have to find, I have to do in Hebrew and then use Google translate. Don't just go, "Everybody hates us anyway" and just leave it at that. Nobody likes a smart-ass. So hire a better fucking PR person. Actually you know what, hire the fucker that runs Hamas's campaigns. 
  3. Seriously, lay off the fuckin bombing now. Militia groups cannot be laid to rest with a frontal strike. Give Palestinians something to live for, and they'll tell Hamas to fuck off the next time they try to tell their people to die.
  4. There's got to be a better way to weed out fucking terrorists. You're smart. Go fucking figure it out. If it's human shields you have to contend with, maybe the better way is to just offer any fucking person who needs a hot shower and a meal to head on over the border, get their asses into camp and then just keep them there. Depopulate Gaza, no more human shield. Tadahhhhh! If you're worried about fucking bombs, get H&M or something to open a store next to the crossing and stock up. Everybody gets free new clothes coming out, and burn their old ones. Win-win. Still cheaper than gas for an armed incursion.
  5. Air drop fucking supplies over to the damn hospitals will you? If you can drop a fucking bomb, you can drop fucking supplies. People are fucking dying here. Give them a chance to live. Send an APC for the people in the hospitals. You have more than enough to spare don't you? And anyway, the more people you evac, again, less people for Operation Human Shield. 

And finally, to all the rest of you assholes out there who are bigots and racist and think that innocent people dying means you can play the blame game, and start shit up. Get. The. Fuck. Out. There is a fucking reason why I distinguish between Arabs, Muslims, Palestine, Hamas, Gaza and the West Bank, in case you fucking missed it, let me point it out for you. THEY. ARE. DIFFERENT. You don't? There's a special fucking place for people like you. There are bright happy colours, butterflies and nice people give you candy. 

There's also a difference between Jew, and Israeli, right wing warmongers, and left wing "everything about the government is fucked up". There is also a difference between the people who say, "kill all Palestinians!" and the 90% that say, "Why can't we fucking get along?" Oh, you don't? Well guess what, they have more space in that special place. I'll get them to set up more fucking chairs for you. 

The moral of the story is, that this is not about right or wrong, This is about human beings, and life. For 99% of the fucking world, you can't even fucking tell an Arab from a Jew. And if it was up to me, I'd fucking gas the entire region with weed till everyone is high and happy, and then make everyone hug and make out. We have enough fucking problems without people claiming the moral fucking high ground and enforce it with bullets and weapons. Here's one that SHOULD take precedence above all else. 

Peace. Salaam and Shalom. I look forward to your letters. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

DAFAQ - A View of the Gaza-Israel conflict through the eyes on the ground.

Finally finished this little project. Take a peek and comment. And yes, I'm good at only stickmen...

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Of Saints and Demons

So recently, a few things brought my attention to the whole drama in the Middle East. Friends on Facebook have been vilifying one country and putting another up on a pedestal because of conflict. Harsh words exchanged and tempers flared. Passionate pleas on all sides. I was also asked to do a National Education Talk for one of my clients.

I know right, me. Doing an NE talk. The irony of it all.

Still, in the preparation for the NE talk, I decided to dig. First that came up, was Russell Peters response to Middle Easterners.

He raised some rather interesting points. Like, things in the Middle East are so messed up, that it often seems like they're fighting each other until someone else comes along to try to get them to play nice. In which case, they not very politely tell the person to fuck off. And then continue beating each other up.

Point, the second. I tried reading into the history of the region. And frankly, that's a whole jumble of grudges and ancient claims. Essentially, what THAT has become, is because you killed my father/brother/uncle/cousin and stole my goat, I'm gonna go whoop your ass and take 4 chickens. Multiply that about 24,391 times, and throw in land and other people sticking their noses in because of oil, and you have the current situation.

I do know a few things though. It is easy to demonize your enemy. And when your life is at stake, whatever is on the "other side" is evil. That's how wars start. Any war. Do you want to say that Hitler was evil? Fact is, that dig a little more, and the trade embargoes, taxes, war tributes imposed by the Allied nations against the ENTIRE Prussian State beggared the country to the point when there was nothing to live for anymore. When pushed into a corner, even a mouse will fight.

Does that mean I condone genocide of the Jews and the killing of 20 million people in the war? Nope. But what I'm saying is when you demonize something, or someone, you take that first step into a long, dark road that ends in the ultimate senselessness called WAR.

Three. when shit hits the fan, there's no more right ad wrong any more. Eventually, everything becomes personal. I had the privilege to speak with an Army Colonel in Cambodia who started fighting in wars from the time he was 10. He fought on the Khmer army against the Vietnamese, and then the Vietnamese against the Khmer Rouge. He was in the civil war as well. When I asked him about his experience, he said with sadness, "The people at the front is like a war machine, you know? Whoever is at the front of you, you kill not because of right, or wrong, but because you need to survive. You fight back because they shot at you. If you kill them, they'll come back tomorrow and kill you... The only time when anybody stops fighting is when everybody is dead. Or too tired to fight, or when there's nothing left to fight for."

Once the first bullet flies, there's no more right, or wrong. The only way to maintain sanity is for your side to maintain the moral high ground to yourself to justify the actions you have to do to survive. The only way to do that, is to demonize the other side. Down that road, is me and him, ours and them, mine and theirs.

Eventually, right and wrong are two sides of the same coin. But everything is arbitrary isn't it? It just depends on which side of the gun you stand on. The sentence "I'm right, and you're wrong" in all its forms has killed more people down the history of Mankind. The only way, to come together, is put that gun down, and hug the person in front of you.

Rumi said, "Out beyond the fields of right and wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there." Perhaps, if I may propose another point of view. If something promotes coming together, and peace, and openness and love. That's right. Or in the words of Bruce Lee, "under the skies, under the heavens, there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different."

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Letting Go, Moving On

Today is the day I really let you go.

I was holding on to the image of you. The idea, the tiniest little hope that a miracle will happen and things will dramatically take a turn like what we see in Hollywood movies. I know otherwise, of course. No million dollar budget, and no script will make the present any different from what is. This dissonance tears at me. Tore at me.

I held onto the idea that if I let you go, what we have becomes less special, and that incredible connection we found and forged in an instant starts to fade. I hold onto that piece of me desperately, like a man clutching at clutter in a room. Each a memory of an emotion. Each precious in its own way. With a emotional weight and momentum. Like the memory and yearning for childhood keeps one from growing.

I was safe in that agony. The stasis was a familiar ache and the devil I know. Holding on, though, made me stop in my tracks. The memory of all those perfect instants of our meeting stays in my mind, more than a picture. It's like a snippet of life, repeated over and over again. Beautiful, sublime. Yet I cannot live in those times.

But I can preserve them. Hold them as precious. Set them into the tapestry of my soul and make them part of that beautiful mural. Eventually, I must choose to grow. To move again.

Thank you, for coming into my life, and for the precious gems that you left. In the end, though, I need to find my own way, and the companion who'd walk that way with me.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Twist To The Free Hugs Campaign

Okay, I'm gonna throw this out there and see what kind of response I get.

Anyone who tells me they need a hug, or know someone who needs one, let me know. Here, by email, text, FB, whatever. I'll go and deliver that hug in person within the next 1 month.

Limit to Singapore for now, okay? Need to get my passport back first...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Being Vulnerable

It's always the periods that we are the most down, that we learn the most isn't it? If so, there MUST be a lesson in reaching out, and getting the stuffing knocked out of me, losing my passport and wallet, stranded alone in another country. 

I realize, that at a fundamental level, I have been hiding. Hiding is easiest when it's done to yourself. Keeping feelings inside, and bottled up because I do not want to acknowledge them. I am lonely, sometimes more than others. I feel that I am not worthy and I limit myself. I am afraid. 

It's terrifying to confront the fact, that maybe this low-level superhero isn't so super. That he gets scared, or feels inadequate, or is lonely even though he's the friendliest person in the room and can connect with anyone and everyone. 

So I hide. I used to be able to dance without alcohol. To make the conscious decision to lower my walls and my inhibitions, and just dance and experience the music. But with booze, it's just so much easier isn't it? 3 drinks later, the walls are easily lowered, and stays down. And we think we can enjoy the music that much more. 

But we don't. 

We cannot numb the bad feelings, the awkwardness and the embarrassment without simultaneously dulling our connections to the music, and the pleasure of being present in the moment. Funny, by drinking, we are present in the moment, but also our senses are dulled and we cannot enjoy the moment fully. 

But it was the easier way out. So over time, the conscious decision to lower my guard becomes the conscious decision to get another pint, or three. It becomes almost a need to get some every time or else I can't really dance or enjoy the music. Is it an addiction? I don't know. But I recognize, and it got me a little appalled I gotta say. There are other distractions of course, for my feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. Booze just isn't gonna cut it for those.

It's a hard thing to put down and acknowledge to myself. I thought I got it sorted out, but I guess not yet. I guess it takes as long as it does.

And then I watch this video from Brene Brown on being vulnerable. And her Ted Talk addressing shame. They both hit me like a ton of bricks. It is hard to be open and vulnerable. It is hard because we have to live with uncertainty. It's hard to put yourself out there and love without walls and without certainty. It is hard to be real.

So we all hide. Behind walls, distractions, relationships, sex, work... just anything really, to keep ourselves from dealing with it. It's just TOO hard. Not to say those aren't legitimate things to enjoy, but when they're used to be distracted...

Now that that's out in the open, I going to experience them fully, so that they too can pass. When I can become truly comfortable in my own company, and know that I am truly awesome, maybe then I'll be ready for that person that comes into my life.  

And here's my commitment. To fully experience everything that life throws at me. To revel in the moment, whatever it be. Good or bad, now I will tell the story of who I am, with my whole heart. Flawed and small it might be. Life is my arena. Whether I fail or succeed in love, life or career, there's only one way to live, and that's to be real and vulnerable, and daring greatly.

So next projects, giving the best hugs in the world, and see if my instructor will take me for the Iron Palm training for the next 6 months. Oh, and see if I can get my tango legs back.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Of Fear

It's been 35 years since I've walked on this earth, and there are a good number of things I have learnt about this emotion they call fear. It is a useful emotion, like pain. But like pain, it should never be indulged. Here are a few of those lessons.

  1. Fear is as real as you allow it to be. Don't ever diss a person's fear. It is real as far as he or she is concerned. 
  2. Logic does not banish fear. Logic, brain. Fear, emotion. Wrong body part. 
  3. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the willingness to take action in spite of fear. 
  4. Bungee jumping does not cure one's fear of heights. Believe me, I tried. 
  5. No decision made in fear will ever be the right one. It might not be wrong. But it'll never be right. 
  6. I believe that fear, like problems cannot be overcome at the same level of emotional maturity that created it. 
  7. Fear is a habit. As such, anything that can be used to change habit can be used to overcome fear. 
I am still afraid nowadays. It seems like the more I care about something, the more fear I have. The answer of course, is not to NOT care. But to do something, anything in spite of being absolutely terrified. And very often, the closer you get to facing that which you fear, you realize, that it starts to go away. 

And after a while, you come out the other side, buzzed on adrenaline, and thirsty for a beer.