Well, now that I’ve thoroughly been seduced by blogging I’ve taken it upon myself to get serious and learn HTML. It’s somewhat ironic since I’ve been staring at the results of coding for so long and never made an effort to learn it before. I’m not sure why putting together a blog and putting together a homepage (which I went so far as to design and draw up the graphics for and set up in DreamWeaver, but never got around to uploading onto a host) are so different, why blogging seems so much closer to what I want to do (perhaps because I’m mainly interested in writing?). Anyway, I went ahead and ordered myself a domain name and joined a web host. Once I’ve got my site put together I’ll switch over, and leave the forwarding url here. I’ll be here for now, though.
What is going on with the United States? It seems as if nothing but one hapless “mistake” after another keeps occurring in Iraq, and the Iraqis continue to take the violent brunt of the irresponsibility. The latest stupidity, the arms dump exploding ( Arms dump ), really could have been avoided if the Americans had taken measures to ensure that the dump was cleared. If they can protect the Oil Ministry, why can they not protect the people from a non-moving, non-living thing as an arms dump?
Wow, I’m weary today. It’s more than the late nights as I try to learn CG software and work on my two books. I went to the doctor yesterday to have my monthly diabetes checkup. I’ve been working pretty hard at taking care of myself lately, but to hear from the doctor that things haven’t been improving just brought me down. After I finished work I made my way home and then sat outside in the nearby park, looking at the stars and singing quietly to myself. At times the bulwarks crack a little and doubt creeps in. It’s scary watching my body deteriorate while I so love the world that produced it and gave me the means to appreciate the wonder of living.
I have taken to switching channels or clicking off the website every time I come across any news of Iraq focusing on America’s plans or involvement. I no longer trust the Americans to tell the truth or to look at the situation from Iraqi eyes. It is a terribly sad story, this crime, especially leaving the Iraqis destitute and unprotected. I condemn the U.S. with all my soul.
This article left me sitting in long silence after I read it: ( Kathy Kelly )
In addition to my daytime work as a writer and illustrator, and recently, CG artist, I teach English in the evening for my bread and butter. The school I work at is small and close-knit and the students come for serious study as they try to up their TOEIC scores. This makes for inspiring classes, often carrying an atmosphere of challenge and exciting conversations.
Today in particular, I had a class of students still struggling with the basics of the language, but they dropped the usual Japanese penchant for shyness and opened up with a quick succession of interesting questions. We had fun. So often I hear teachers lament the ineffectiveness of teaching Japanese people, but I think it has more to do with lack of cultural sensitivity on the teachers’ parts than on the students’ inability to learn. Japanese are a very curious people. Give them food for thought and they will come out. Get them to laugh and the reservation melts away. We laughed a lot today, making light of language mistakes and not taking the process too seriously. When a class engages both the students and the teacher this way, when there is a real human dialogue and all barriers are momentarily forgotten, the joy and satisfaction of teaching and learning shine through. It’s what makes me love teaching.
Such a day brings me a sigh of contentment. It’s great when you can feel as if what you do has some value somewhere, even if only a tiny shard.
It’s been so long that I had nearly forgotten about the impact of seeing one… I was sitting at the computer with the window wide open to the sky when the quality of the air began to alter, something almost like burning. I looked up and over the roof of the neighboring apartment an enormous double rainbow spiked into the clouds. The surprise was so great that I sat transfixed a few moments before I got my wits about me and dashed outside. I stood in the street, among other mesmerized neighbors, oblivious to my disheveled hair and gritty appearance.
Just when you think the city has descended into mediocrity and predictability, and you resign yourself to holing up in your room, you can look outside and still the world will startle you. It’s impossible to escape life.
What to say when you see Iraq falling apart and America’s “brave” soldiers shooting into protester crowds? What to say about anything happening with this dirty war? I visited my father yesterday and we discussed what is happening for a while, but our hearts weren’t in it. For almost two years now we’ve been bombarded with bad news. It seems as if it will never end. In disgust, my father declared that he no longer watches news on TV or reads the newspaper. “It’s all lies and propaganda anyway. And what can we do? The American Army is going to do what it wants whatever other people might say.” The cynicism is deep.
Many people against the war are probably asking the same question: is it worth protesting? Bush ignored the millions of people around the war demanding that no war be started. Just like that. As if we didn’t exist.
This war exists because of the media. If you are recognized you have the means to divert people’s minds, even their opinions. You must be careful when reading or watching the news. There are veils behind veils behind veils that you must try to see past. For instance, read this editorial in the World Net Daily News: Hackworth
It carries a lighthearted tone, emphasizing America’s good intentions and innocent outlook. At no time, however, does it criticize itself as being essentially wrong in the first place, just blithely tossing out titbits that it had made a mistake. There is no sense of remorse or guilt at having done exactly the same things Hussein is accused of.
Here is my response to Hackworth… but please read my words with caution. I, too, have prejudices:
Dear Mr. Hackworth,
Just a moment. Are you going to just sit there and declare that Hussein was the only one responsible for the suffering of the Iraqi people in the last 12 years? That the regular bombings that destroyed the basic infrastructure needed for health and the sanctions that denied food and medicine… killing over 500,000 Iraqi children… by the US and Britain, had absolutely no bearing on the suffering of the people? Are you going to blithely deny, or hide, that these actions by the US actually occurred? If you are, then you are a hypocrite and a propagandist, exactly what so many American journalists and media organizations are guilty of in this filthy fiasco.
Hussein was a monster. But so are the Americans who ordered the bombings and the sanctions. Even worse is the headlong rush into this war, with absolutely no justification or international approval (where are the so-called “weapons of mass destruction”? simple: there are none). The propagandists and warmongers who created the frenzy to go to war in the States are all monsters. And Bush the worst of them all.
To continue to harp on demonizing Hussein, without presenting the whole picture, attempting to whisk up unending war frenzy, especially by a so-called journalist, is cheap and cowardly. A people who are unable to critically view themselves and admit their own failings and crimes, are a people who live in denial and fear. You may have a powerful army, but as they say, “might doesn’t make right”. It’s easy to threaten people and scare them into submission when you’ve got the biggest rock in the party, but much more difficult, and needless to say, more mature, to be able to restrain oneself and listen sincerely to what others have to say. Perhaps it is a failing of all aristocrats and bullies to only be able to hear their own words.
When the smoke dissipates what will be left is the kernel of reality and truth. All the stupid veils of words, including mine right here, will have come to mean nothing. Is it such a bad and impossible plea to ask you to genuinely care about the Iraqi innocents and acknowledge the whole truth for them, rather than to sit playing rhetorical games? They sit at the crux of all the game playing, paying with their lives. At least the American soldiers had the choice to join the military. The Iraqi people have just had to take it as it has been dished out.
Perhaps my father is right. Reading the news hasn’t made an iota of difference. Knowing about the war and what is happening hasn’t helped my spirit or made even my little circle of a world a better place. It certainly hasn’t helped my health. All that is important now is that the Iraqis have a better life. How can I do that? That’s what I want to ponder for a while.
A tiny yellow jumping spider huddled on my computer room’s window screen yesterday afternoon, absorbing, as so many creatures are doing these days, the sun. It was the first spider I saw this year (partly because I have barely been out and haven’t been poking my nose amidst the bushes enough), but like every time I witness even such a tiny declaration of existence, the joy of living in a world rich in other lives sings within my breast. It is something I have never been able to fathom: How can humans be content in a world just of their own making? The more this city succumbs to the patina of concrete and human dwellings, the more people’s attentions are diverted to purely artificial fabrications, and the more the ignorance and disgust with other creatures’ presence proliferate, the more we lose contact with what and who we are.
I heard a neighbor gossiping outside my bedroom window earlier today, voicing disgust with the rain shower yesterday. “It was awful! I was hoping to get outside in the evening, but it was like, so awful! I really hate when the weather gets like that!” Of course rain can be miserable, but yesterday evening it was warm and the rain fell as a quiet drizzle for only a short period. Why must that always seem a bad thing? Days illuminated by sunshine, nights showered with rain. The ingredients of bounty and prosperity.
What is happening in Iraq has left a sense of numbness and ineffective anger. I wonder if the Americans realize that by exhibiting such heartlessness and indifference to the people of Iraq all design for winning the heart of anyone who is watching as a fellow human being has died with the burning homes and pillaged belongings. The bombing was horrifying, but this pitiful aftermath is simply woeful. All pretense at caring for the Iraqis can now be confirmed as illusion.
Was supposed to get out of Tokyo and spend two days camping on Kumotori-yama (Mount Cloud Catcher)… actually not really outside Tokyo, since Greater Tokyo’s tentacles’ farthest reach extends to the top of the moutain… but just as I was about to go to bed last night my computer (a Mac, OS X) had a major crash, the first time with OS X. Since I haven’t a clue about how terminal windows and Unix commands work, it took me the entire night to franticaly page through my reference books and online information before I finally figured it out. The final verdict was a tiny little problem with a corrupted graphics file… something I could have fixed in 5 minutes if I had known how.
Strange how the computer has taken over so much of my life. And to think I used to hate computers, for this very reason! I should be out there, walking and pausing, listening to the wind, not the whirr of the cooling fan. Computers seem to have made life much more complicated, with their finicky need for constant attention and upkeep. Weren’t they supposed to free us of all the drudgery?
Anyway, I’ve still got one more day to relax and get outside. Tomorrow I’m heading for Oku-Chichibu, There are clouds, but it’s warm. Spring has come.