Tag Archives: hate

Connecting to the wild world, or where the hell is that mosquito?

Last night I crashed into bed after a lovely day connecting with my inner islander, wallowing on the beach, soaking up sun, wading in the frigid ocean, relaxing with friends.
It was all totally exhausting and I was so ready for sleep when I crawled into my bed…
Only to find several islanders were trying to connect with me.
Their high-pitched whines screamed in my ears, but I couldn’t spot them – just the occasional fly-by at high speed to torture me….
It was too hot to pull the covers over my head, and I knew I’d be covered in bites if I didn’t. What to do?
I swatted at them ineffectually. I pulled open the window to cool off the night air, to slow them down, maybe? I opened my bedroom door, sacrificing my friend to their gentle mercies. What’s a friend for, right? She always gets bitten by things. They LIKE her better. I was just trying to be kind to my island friends…
Finally, I fell asleep…
I don’t dare look at my face today, though. I imagine they connected with me many times, I probably look like a hormone-ridden teenager…

Remembering…but wishing we didn’t keep adding to those needing remembering…

It’s Remembrance Day and I am filled with muddled emotions. I feel for all who served and died, all their families, all those who were harmed by war, on both sides. I don’t want to take anything away from their sacrifices. But I detest the glorification of war.

Maybe it’s cos I just came from Skyfall, where M asks the inquiry panel, “How safe do you feel?” just before the entire room is exploded by gunfire. The reality is I don’t feel very safe, given all the wars rumbling all over the world, the continual cruelty to each other. I’m listening to a song that talks about how much courage it takes to fight a war. I can’t help but think it takes more courage NOT to fight a war. To hold people accountable without violence, to peace keep, in all its forms. To be willing to share with the less fortunate, the old “Bread not bombs” theory.

I’m not taking away from the terrible suffering so many went through in the “great” wars. POWs and those maimed, those suffering from mental disabilities, or those, like my dad, who were radiated and died of cancer years later. He may not have suffered right at the time of the war, but he sure did later.

It’s just that as the frenzy around Remembrance Day grows, year after year, I worry about the effect this has on those who would wage war. Those who feel violence is the way to deal with disagreements or those pesky world leaders who espouse nationalization of industries that we want. ┬áThe people who send people into war are never on the front line, and their motives are rarely pure. The beating of the war drums works as they commit us to more and more situations where the goal is protected wealth. Killing for profits is ugly, but if we think it’s for a good cause, we’ll bite. In the US during the last few wars, it was deemed positively anti-American to question the war. It’s becoming like that here.

My dad enlisted when he was under 18. How many others did? Most of my extended family. Lots and lots and lots, because this was THE way to prove your manliness, to prove you had pride in yourself and your country. It’s twisted when you look at it a bit. Why wouldn’t the ability to not fight be considered more strength? You need only look at the faces of the soldiers doing peacekeeping during the OKA crisis, or those on the lines in Afghanistan before mission creep, or the soldiers stuck in Rwanda during the terrible carnage there. The strength needed to not fight was incredible. It broke some of them. As did killing.

I don’t have my dad’s full service story. He died before I took the opportunity to learn it from him. I wish I knew more. He never spoke of it except to mention he came back with TB and that the nurses cried when they saw the X-ray. He spent time on his return in the TB H-huts in Kingston, and taught himself to paint. He lived. And he’d tell one other story, which I think tells about his nature as well:

He was fixing a radar tower in the Bahamas where he was serving with the Navy (Oh for one photo of him in his whites!), and he dropped a wrench when he was way up in the tower. It fell from side to side, hitting various components, breaking them and sending out showers of sparks and minor explosions as it crashed back and forth, back and forth and he watched in horror. When it finally stopped, he shouted “DARN IT!” The Sergeant who was at the bottom of the tower checking on the noise gave him hell for not using the proper swear word. As for Dad, he felt completely emasculated. He told me it was the worst because here he’d had a perfectly good excuse to let loose a string of blue profanities and all he could muster at the time was a darn.

Such a gentleman. Makes me laugh every time I think of it.

Thinking of all those who were lost in all the wars great, small and in-between, and those who continue to lose their lives in state-sanctioned violence. Unlike many, I wish we could forget war. Unfortunately we have fresh reminders every day. Even if we do wear the poppies.

How about we work on ending the need to wear them?

(PS: the poppies here are fundraisers for the veterans – one of the good things we could do is look after vets properly, hey? So they don’t have to go begging for coins.)


Okay, some things are just wrong.

There I am, in the Tim Horton’s, after my customary self-flagellation at the gym. I’m sweating slightly, not smelling as I should, and I pick up the Halifax Metro newspaper, only to see this item:

Apparently the South Koreans have confiscated capsules that were filled with dehydrated baby remains. People are taking them to enhance their youth.

As my exercise buddy said, somewhere there is something not right along the supply chain.
Apparently they are dehydrated fetuses and stillborn babies that have been dried on ovens and crumbled into the capsules. I wonder if they are primarily female fetuses? I wonder who had the brilliant idea of waste not, want not? I wonder who in their right mind would want to swallow dehydrated fetuses?

And then I wonder how they get the fetuses and stillborn babies. I wonder if any of them were helped along to their dead state. I wonder if this sort of cultural focus needs to exist.

I mean, heck, what is UP with some people?

Sharks are killed in the millions for their fins. Rhinocerii are hunted to extinction for the precious horns. Oysters are felled by the gallon pail in the interest of sexual potency. And now babies?

Of course, in a way, it makes more sense to use the dehydrated babies. After all, they’re dead, anyway, and unlikely to suffer as the animals do during their processing. But haven’t these people read anything about mad cow disease? Prion diseases? The dangers of eating brains? Haven’t they seen ZOMBIE movies, fer gods sake?

And then my friend told me about this: http://www.care2.com/causes/help-the-dancing-boys-of-afghanistan-escape-the-world-of-bacha-bazi.html

And I just wanted to weep.

Sometimes it seems like it might be an overall good thing if we were wiped out. Surely a better race could supersede us. Something with a higher moral sense. Something like cockroaches.

I’ve arrived! Or, Why calling people Hitler is so wrong…

Ooh, I’m so proud. Just in time for Movember, I’ve been equated with that most well-known of mustache wearers, Hitler. I feel honoured. After all, Obama and almost every social democrat existing has been equated (for some reason) with Hitler and fascism and communism and all that stuff, so I feel I’m in a good crowd. And, Like Mark Twain, I’ve always viewed myself as much more likely to be happy in hell than in heaven, so it’s all good.

So who equated me with Hitler? Ah, that’s the best thing. That would be my daughter, a professional psychic damage claimer, who has argued for years that she saw something scary in the woodshed that has somehow to do with me (to others, as she refuses to say anything to me, though she assured me some time ago that it wasn’t anything I did)(though obviously she has changed this view – I can only blame my occasional emails to her, which read: “Hi, how are you? Miss you and love you.” – so obviously offensive, you know?) She is, of course, vegan, and trendy and ever so wise. My favourite thing is how she tells her dad that her degree cannot be used as that would be reinforcing the lines of privilege. How helpful. I’m so glad we set aside money from my parent’s estate and saved for her to pay many thousands of dollars for her to reach this realization. I expect payback, daughter, if you deign to read this. You owe me about $30,000 in today’s money, and I could use it. If you truly abhor privilege, send it to me. And you owe some to your grandfather, too.

So, she recently equated me with Hitler. I do not see the comparison. Yes, I have a mustache, but I’m getting electrolysis. I have never sent thousands to their death, I am not vegetarian, and I don’t speak German well enough to lead a mass of acolytes. The whole thing makes me want to go out and eat veal and foie gras. And learn Russian. Maybe fight for socialism even more. Adopt homeless children.

But, although I am furious today about the “casual” remark she made to my ex, that’s not my point today.

Remembrance Day is coming up this week. And everywhere we turn we hear people being called Hitler. Does no one remember what he was? He was NOT a joke. He wasn’t a minor player. Because of him, thousands and thousands of people died, in the camps, in the trenches, in the air, on the sea. Calling people Hitler minimizes what he did, what his damage was. It is so very wrong. I’d like to ban that name from the language, like the Christians resist calling out the name of Satan.

And, scariest of all, he wasn’t unique. There are many like him, many who also cause death and disruption and hatred and genocide and bizarre battles that confound our sentient minds. Stalin, Gaddafi, warlords in Afghanistan, Africa, and South America, violent racists, misled religious leaders, conservatives trying to send women to their deaths in back street abortion clinics…evil abounds. And it should not, must not, be minimized.

Joking or name-calling is inappropriate in this time when the line between evil and despair is so thin. It’s so easy to be cynical and take the world with a sideways glance, doing nothing to improve things, relying on meaningless rants to vent fury, not voting, accusing all politicians of being invalid, vanishing from public service of any sort. Why not be creative and bring some solutions to the table? Why not take the education or knowledge or experience you have and ACT? Not destructively, not angrily, but positively?

Why not follow the philosophy of the Improv Games, which I adore? When offered an idea that you don’t agree with, instead of saying no, say “Yes, and…”

So, I’m going to respond to my miscreant daughter, and say, So, I’m like Hitler? Yes, and you have some of his tendencies, too. What shall we do about our tendencies to categorize and hate? How shall we work to prevent the dark side of ourselves from winning? We must take on ourselves and wrestle ourselves into goodness.

And daughter, I love you, and miss you. But that’s enough. Grow up.