Friday, August 08, 2014

A Simple Lesson

I read a story with a simple message.

The hero is a wimpy kid who likes to cry.

When asked what he wants to do, he said this, "I can't change the world. It's too big. I only want to take care of the people I love, and the friends I know. But, everyone has people who are precious to them, right?

"And we all want the same thing, and just take care of the ones we hold dear. If just that one idea keeps going, eventually, the whole world would be saved right?"

Grief, and remember. But more hate and destruction will never bring back the people that have gone before us. The only thing we can do, is to live our lives fully, and love, so that their memory lives beautifully through us till the time we meet again.

That, we can do. Right?

The pain of the past does not justify the pain of the future. It serves to educate. To teach. To open our hearts, so that we can reach out, not to hit someone, but to hold them close. So that history will never ever have to repeat itself.

And this I learnt from LKY. Living for a cause. That's the hard part. Dying is easy. Living, so you have to make hard decisions day in and day out, get your ass out of bed, when you don't want to, and deal with all the million and one things so that we can continue? That's hard.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Look At Yourself In The Mirror

Look everyone, I have had it up to HERE with all this crap about who's fault is what in the whole Gaza-Israel situation. And I want every single one of you, to be reflecting on your own posts, and actions. If you insist on being children about it, I will treat you as one, and lay it down as I see it. 

First up, anyone who shares any "Israel is evil", or "Palestine needs to die" posts. Just how do you think blaming and demonizing either side is going to help this entire situation? I frankly don't care what your excuses are. And how justified you think you are. Seriously. Take a good look at all your comments, and the posts you like, and the ones you shared. IT'S ALL HATE! It's all "you're wrong, I'm right. Neh neh neh neh nehhhh." 

How are you different from hatemongers? How are you different from racists, bigots or dare I say, Nazis of the past? You who pick up your electronic stone, and cast it, who spread hate and annihilation with every post, and then accuse another for the exact same thing that you do. 

HOW DARE YOU SAY YOU STAND FOR PEACE? Is this what peace is like for you? When people trample over people and killing starts? There are riots in cities because enough of you think like this, and suddenly killing and violence is justified. 

Look at the ones you demonize and then at yourselves. Do you see a reflection? 

Next, boycotters. I keep saying it. But obviously this isn't getting through. Well I'm gonna say it again. You hate it that innocent civilians get hurt and injured when countries try to prove a point? Or that people get caught in the cross fire? 


Boycotting companies for abhorrent practices work because they run on profits. Do it enough, and it'll be more profitable to take on a more responsible action. 

Boycotting countries? Never worked. Never. Ever. Name me ONE, just one UN sanction that actually worked. Go on. Try. Cuba? China? North Korea? Myanmar? In the last 100 years, economic sanctions have never worked. Why? 

Let me break it down for you. Eventually the people that suffer are the ones who are on the ground. Think! You think that you're proving a point. Good. You've proved it, at what expense? Innocent people on the ground lose their jobs, or are in hardship. Or are in pain. To who? The civilians, the innocents. If the people had the power to bring down the regime, do you think they wouldn't by NOW? What are you thinking about? By pushing all of them into a corner, by beating on them, what do you hope to accomplish? 

The people in power, stay in power. They are inconvenienced but they're not even close to being down. Are they going to change? Never did, never will. If they cared, you'd never have needed the boycotts in the first place. If they didn't, what makes you think that they'll care?

And in the end, what you do, is the economic equivalent of carpet bombing. Hurting and damaging property and people caught in the cross fire to prove your point. How does that help? 

And third. This is to each and every single one of you who do not verify your stuff before you post. For the love of all that is holy, things are bad enough on the ground and in media without false reports flying around and people throwing accusations over half truths and historical muck. 

Sure we can understand what things were like before, and I'm sure that for human beings who cannot even decide on whether a dish is good or not, in a new restaurant, history over the span of decades and centuries, taken from scraps, interviews and survivors, pieced together by human beings with preconceived notions and bias would be complete and irrevocably true right?

History is a series of data points. How you choose to interpret those data points determines the picture you draw. And even if the picture is accurate, then what? How does it help the current situation, except add more fuel to fire?
facing up or down? Also the blueprints of a bomb Shelter. You're welcome, Hamas
Fourth, it is so much easier to spread hate than peace isn't it? I have seen inflammatory pictures, videos and articles spread incredibly fast around Facebook. Every time one comes up accusing one side or another, thousands of shares in hours. And frankly, I don't see the difference in opinions any more. 
Taken from 2 separate posts. 
From my own Facebook, I see people so eager to take sides, but when it comes to peace? Hardly any likes or shares. Get with the program. I have been saying this for day one. Right and wrong are just points of view. Alive and dead, now that's way more relevant isn't it? And if you're really FOR peace, look for #ceasefireinGaza, Israel loves Palestine, Palestine loves Israel, and #jewsandarabsrefusetobeenemies.

And finally, Israel, wrong frigging tactics. Seriously. All this could have easily been avoided the second you guys decided to take the fight to the ground. Let this Chinese show you how it's done. 

1. Start air dropping aid, instead of depending on central bodies to distribute them. Too slow, and too easily misdirected. The people will know how to distribute to their own. If Hamas decides to take the aid for their own, well, ever seen a mama bear try to protect her cubs?

2. Armored convoys to evacuate all hospitals and schools. Feel free to shoot anyone who tries to stop the convoy. IDF will be perfectly justified then.

3. If any Palestinians want to leave the area, assist them by establishing a clear straight path out from the middle of all the build up areas in Gaza. This is when I'll actually advocate bulldozing the houses so a straight path is established. Compensation can come later. Lives first. Strip search for bombs. It might be humiliating, but at least you have blood and life to be embarrassed.

4. Pump florescent smoke into all the tunnels. Literally fill them with smoke. Anyone inside dies, and one just need to wait till nighttime to see where all the entrances are. If you want to be reallllyyy nice, use weed. Might as well help the drug enforcement agency get rid of their confiscated stash at the same time.

Casualties on both sides will be much MUCH less.

Oh, if you have the chance, go like the pages, Israel loves Palestine, Palestine loves Israel and #jewsandarabsrefusetobeenemies.

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...