Trumping Liberal Shaming

feltgood_notmypresident

The anger, hostility, sadness, apprehension and general feeing of hopelessness that pervades America right now is astonishing. Astonishing, because USA is a seasoned democracy that considers itself leader of the free world. Election verdicts are accepted, maybe grudgingly, with a lingering heartache if your side lost, but life goes on. However this time around things are different. The demonstrations refuse to abate, discussions seem endless, people refuse to let go of the anger. Inflamed emotion is spilling over a collective cauldron of disbelief. Donald Trump is President-elect.

Like most of America, my excitement at waiting for results morphed into rabid unease before finally dissolving into wretched helplessness as I watched state after state turn red. All logic pointed to a game lost but I stuck in front of my flickering TV waiting for some miracle. But no, Wisconsin did not turn blue and Pennsylvania went red. That left me, much like most people I know anguished, astonished, ambushed, atrophied.

An unexamined life is not worth living said Socrates and I have been wondering why these results have impacted so many of us so viscerally. I’m old enough to have lived through multiple elections now; in fact the results of the last one in India (my home country) were especially hard to swallow. But once out, ideological differences notwithstanding, most people wished the new Prime Minister well and let democracy win. I’m afraid with this election, I cannot find it in me to wish Trump well. Many of us cannot.It’s been fascinating to see how parents anguished over breaking this ‘news’ to their children. I have several friends who had to console crying kids at home because their little ones were scared at the idea of a Trump presidency. Definitely a first in my lifetime. I will not get into the details of how qualified, sane and right Hillary was for the job because that’ll take away from what I really want to say here. And all my experience tells me this is not a regular conservative vs liberal argument. On one hand it can seem to be a complex and layered equation but on the other, its as simple as telling day from night.

Pundits are now falling over themselves trying to identify gaps they missed, Trump supporters (can’t say conservatives, because many conservatives are not Trump supporters and many Trump supporters are not conservatives) are clapping their hands in glee and liberals are being told they are undemocratic people living in their cocoons… sore losers who ought to move forward as if this were just another election. Except that it wasn’t.

I could really write another blogpost on all the reasons why Trump is so despised. But I’ll succinctly postulate that  the abysmal standards this campaign sunk down to was 99.99% Trump’s doing. He consistently showed himself to be a repulsive bully, racist, xenophobe, misogynist and by inference therefore, a despicible human being. Everything we don’t want our children to say, think or do, he did. I can never forgive him his deplorable attitude towards women, my friend Stacy cannot forget his categorical dismissal of climate change. My son finds it abhorrent that he always called his rivals names and that his 9 year old muslim friend was crying on the school bus the whole time after the results. A family I know in the midwest is still stunned that he referred to his genitals in the primaries and that he was incredibly insulting to Ted Cruz’s wife.

These are pertinent enough reasons to question a candidate’s fitness to be POTUS. Trump is a role model alright, but he is a role model for everything we do not want our children, spouses, families or neighbors to be. Yes there are people who elected him in, they are disgruntled with the way things were. They want a change. My reading is that the blue collared American white male (yes, male)  is unhappy with/scared of the rapid changes America is embracing. Black president? LGBT marriage? Furore over police shooting a few African Americans? Legalizing marijuana? Women’s reproductive rights?  FEMALE PRESIDENT? That’s where it had to stop.

Instead of shaming liberals and telling people like me to extend a hand to Trump supporters, to ‘feel their plight and bridge the divide’, media and pundits would do better telling Trump supporters to expand their blinkered horizons. They want me to support a POTUS who said he would throw his opponent in jail if elected, that he would not accept results if he lost, that the media is partisan, the system rigged. But now that he has won, all is hunky dory. I am supposed to endorse and quietly watch as this bombastic sexual assaulter, third grade reality TV star with zero policy knowledge, zero record of public service takes on as the supposed leader of the free world.

Sorry, not going to happen.

#NotMyPresident

 

 

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Feminism and Nirvana

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Prologue: Someone on Twitter airily noted “Maybe feminism isn’t the ultimate nirvana for all women. I think we should trust individuals to make the best decision for themselves. THAT is freedom.”

 This is my answer not just to him but many others that think like him, unfortunately.

Imagine:

You are a man, father to an adorable little boy, about to have another baby and your father says, “God willing it won’t be a boy again; we will be blessed with a girl.” You look at your little son, smiling at you from a corner of that room. He was born male. Big fault. Whose? The one who birthed him of course. You.

An ambient reality is that your country doesn’t allow sex determination before birth. Boys are killed in-utero because they are, boys. But the really incredible part is that nobody dwells much on it. This gristly fact just sits there, gathering dust in the very rooms it should be dissected and discussed.

As a little boy, you are told to cover up modestly, to never sit legs apart. Knees together or crossed. You adapt quickly because rebukes drench you hard and relentlessly like tropical monsoons. You laugh, but with a hand fluttering over your mouth, daintily. Such a modest butterfly! Holding books against your chest as you walk to school is second nature. Are you subconsciously shielding your breasts? Whatever the reason, you never learn to carry them quite like those carefree girls – you know, dangling to the side? You “run like a boy”, “walk like a boy”, and that’s a funny way of doing things. See, girls run and walk differently, correctly; the way God intended things to be. You and your sex my boy, just didn’t get the memo.

You must learn to cook at an early age because it’s the No. 1 skill for a boy to possess. Soon it’ll come as handy as a smartphone is and let’s face it, those smartphones sure are handy! You, the little b(r)other, cook for and serve your elder sister who doesn’t enter the kitchen because she needs to concentrate on more important things like sports and school. She also needs more milk than you.. actually make that more food in general. She’s the girl. You’re the boy. Remember.

Like waves lapping beaches in myriad ways unfailingly, you will be reminded of your sex and its place in society by The Agreement .Whereas you (the second sex) will be in agreement with all societal considerations (The Rules or Traditions) applicable to your gender. For societal good, for civilization, for the earth to keep spinning it is agreed that you and your lot are where and how you were meant to be. Internalize. Embrace. Never forget.” And whereas you, my boy, will sign this Agreement without reading because (i) When every male around you is blindly signing up, it can’t be all that bad (ii) Understanding lengthy agreements takes far too much time and effort (iii) Who reads agreements anyway?

You may or may not attend school. You may or may not graduate. But that is not important. A pre teen you is walking down the street when your building watch-woman whistles as you pass by. Shocked, scared, confused and angry you continue walking, heart beating fast. On an early morning walk in the neighborhood park with your buddies, a middle-aged woman bares her goods, licking her lips, looking you in the eye. What to do? Run I guess. Returning from school, a driver from in a parked car calls out to you. You look. She is masturbating. Sigh, run again. In a crowded train someone presses against your privates. Who was that? Couldn’t even see! Groped under the garb of Holi revelry. Scream? Can’t share your shame. How embarrassing. How scary. Mostly though, how scarily routine.

You could panic but this is benign “adam-teasing”. “Cat-calls” are girls being girls. Those calls from dirty talking-hard breathing women may make you want to disappear off the earth, but everything passes. The trick is to overlook it all. (The real trick is to internalize that girls can overwhelm, overpower. They *are* stronger.) We won’t teach girls how to behave but you, we control. Remember that in the end, YOU, the boy, are inflaming these passions.  Ensure that doesn’t happen. Take control.

So. Cover yourself head to toe, like a beautiful pearl protected by the oyster. Only loose fitting clothes, nothing too tight or short. Wear a burqa actually, that’s the best; an ingenious way to stay sublimely secure. Cover up, it’s what your father does, your uncles, your grandfathers, your neighbors, the men of your city, your country. They guard their modesty like that dainty pearl. It’s their choice. Hell, men fight for this restrictive lifestyle *because* it defines their identity. By the way, Dolce and Gabbana now have a line of designer burqas. So sexy. You can have your cake and eat it too! (note: just don’t say sexy aloud.) Don’t look up, walking down the street, come straight back home from school. Don’t step out in the evenings. Don’t talk to girls in class, girls only want one thing and it is bad, bad, bad (note: just don’t say what it is aloud.)

First period? Can’t cook on “those” days, can’t enter a temple. Can’t even water Tulsi (what the holy basil) Defiled every month now on, you will stay in your territory, a territory marked by others. Dirty. Soiled. But hey young man, don’t lose heart. The beauty business loves you; it wants your skin radiant and hair shiny. Just that things aren’t ever good enough. Sigh. But keep buying; your confidence depends on it. Only when you are confident will you get that wife or job, you know the one where the prospective wife or interviewer are enamoured by your aforementioned radiant skin and shiny hair. Hope you’ve seen advertisements that clearly demonstrate how impeccably colored nails matter more than credentials. Learn that self-esteem is rooted in appearance, not ability. Keep buffing your nails, ego and self-worth, staring vacantly into space at fancy beauty salons.

You (are asked to) fast regularly; it’s good for you. Not so for your sister because fasting is a Boys-Club special. Monday for Shiv ji, Thursday for a good wife (most important), Saturday for Shani Maharaj. Of course you do it, it’s what your father, uncles..et al. do diligently. Tradition. From the day you were born little boy, your parents have been buying (at least) one piece of jewelry every year. No one said dowry planning was easy, plus the wedding is an expense borne by the “boys side”. Sigh. Boys are such expenditure while girls rake in all the cash. Obviously everyone wants a girl! But first things first, when the girl’s family comes to “check you out”, cook up a storm. Walk like a dream whilst they listen to a litany of your skills. Always be bashful; never look anyone in the eye. If all goes well, you’ll catch yourself a big fish. Life’s mission accomplished. By the way, should anything go wrong with the marriage, you cannot return to your parent’s. “Paraya dhan”, you never were theirs anyway. Your “kumardaan” has happened, you’ve been given away, donated, you dispensable, bothersome creature.

You move in with your in-laws after marriage. As a newly wedded groom, you *must* sacrifice. Everything their way. Plus, wear one million chudas, chudiyan, sindoor, bichhu, mangalsutra et al. Basically even an alien in space passing swiftly past the Earth, sitting inside her spaceship should be able to tell you’re taken. Your wife on the other hand needn’t participate in such symbolism. Her marital status is no one’s business. Each year just like those dashing heroes in movies, you must fast an entire day, without water, for your wife’s long life. So what if she doesn’t fast for you? She married you, its enough. All of the above is your choice. Your father, grandfathers et al did it all too. It is To Be Continued..

When you get pregnant, everyone (including you) will wish for a girl. While the baby will carry forward its mother’s family name, you, the father will carry the baby. For 9 months. Months filled with nausea, vomits, pains, gazillion visits to the bathroom, blood checks, ultrasounds, weird food cravings and that penultimate manna from hell – labor. The baby is born with you at your parents’ and the birthing expenses are borne by them too. But again, the child will bear the mother’s family name because, The Agreement.

Mostly you aren’t allowed to work outside the house. That is not a man’s domain. If you do work, you must manage career and home equally well. It is acceptable for a woman to be ambitious, but not a man. Anyway, you live life kingsize because what does a househusband really do? Keep the household running by restocking refrigerators, keeping hot chapattis ready, doing the laundry, looking after children and their homework etc. Boring stuff. No big deal. Especially rearing children. Any fool can do that. And that’s what you are, always have been and always will be. A fool. A helpless, disenfranchised male.

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Only that you really are a female. But the absurdity of patriarchy hits so much better when the tables are turned.

For ALL the women out there, don’t follow The Agreement blindly. Feminism is an ideal, and it is one worth fighting for. Equality and equal opportunity. Freedom from patriarchy and patriarchal baggage that all of us carry unknowingly or unknowingly.

Nothing is perfect, this isn’t a perfect world. But it can be bettered. I got lucky and have a good deal going, but age and experience have shown that blinders off, what’s out there is scary. I feel it my duty to call out bull shit when it’s smeared on my sex ritually, condescendingly, knowingly, unknowingly.

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This note won’t be complete without stating that I don’t appreciate the brand of feminism that treats men like pariahs. Some of the staunchest feminists I know are men, just as some of the most regressive and aggressive women haters are women. Lets not give the world any more reasons to distrust feminists and feminism.

Right to Life

I haven’t painted figures in a while. More over, I haven’t used oils as medium for a long time now. But after reading this poem, the one you find below, this painting painted itself.

So.

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RIGHT TO LIFE ~ BY MARGE PIERCY

A woman is not a basket you place
your buns in to keep them warm. Not a brood
hen you can slip duck eggs under.
Not the purse holding the coins of your
descendants till you spend them in wars.
Not a bank where your genes gather interest
and interesting mutations in the tainted
rain, any more than you are.

I will choose what enters me, what becomes
of my flesh. Without choice, no politics,
no ethics lives. I am not your cornfield,
not your uranium mine, not your calf
for fattening, not your cow for milking.
You may not use me as your factory.
Priests and legislators do not hold shares
in my womb or my mind.
This is my body. If I give it to you
I want it back. My life
is a non-negotiable demand.

A Change That Must Come

[I’ve been quite too long and in the spirit of many things that have been long time coming..]

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Just as the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was not the cause of WWI but a catalyst, this ghastly Delhi gang rape is a catalyst for I hope, broad societal introspection and a change towards the better in India.

Unprecedented Mass Protests

The immediate issue at hand is that of us females, the scorned second sex, being deprived of basic rights – using public roads & public transport without the fear of being molested. In fact, the issue is of female fetuses being denied the right to live; of entire villages now existing without girls enough for their boys to marry. These unfortunate practices continue to thrive. I could write a separate blog post (or three) on the amount of harassment I have faced from the time I was 8/9 years old. And no, I did not grow up in Delhi, I’m a Bombay girl. The state of affairs is the same everywhere, the difference is in degrees. And having known the kind of mental trauma any kind of sexual harassment causes, death by hanging for each and every rapist is only fair. That’s what I think. But anyway, this post is not about that.

What is bringing about a change, (from the time India ‘opened up’ in 1991 with my generation) is the realization that all this subjugation need not, should not be the case. It’s a clash of mindsets – the old versus the new – the stodgy & dogma ridden old versus the fresh & progressive new. What comes of this churn can only be a change for the better. This, I completely believe in. It may not be as immediate as we want it to be, it may not embody everything we wish it to, but a change will come. I can smell it.

The larger issue behind these protests however is that of the establishment’s apathy and disconnect with the larger populace. It’s connivance with all that is tainted. Anger one feels not just at the government, but also at the opposition, the bureaucracy, the system is reason why this catalyst has sparked a movement so huge. The common Indian is (has been) frustrated and wounds that cut deep have been left to fester far too long.

Potholed colony roads that never get repaired

Load shedding that never ends

Water shortage with water tanks that need to be bought

Daughters that are not safe.

Jobs that are so scarce.

Prices that keep rising

Nursery admissions that send mind into a spin

People with “connections”

Terrorist attacks that keep occurring with regular impunity

National shame of Commonwealth Games

Sport organizations that are headed by politicians

Police that one fears – would I ever approach them? Never

Traffic police that never really challans but is ever happy to ‘adjust’

Corrupt politicians that never, ever, ever, ever get caught

Highways that never get made

Garbage piles that never get cleaned

Gunda’s that freely roam roads

Gunda’s that sit in the parliament, wearing white kurtas.

These and many  other issues that affect us on a daily basis remain unresolved despite 65+ years of independence.

Globalisation has brought with it many a thing – mostly good. When the ‘globalised’ youth of India now hears of/ sees/ experiences developed countries where elected governments are held accountable and answerable for goings on, it questions why that should not be the case in India. When it reads of countries that have progressed beyond basics of roti, kapda aur makaan, it asks why these three remain luxuries back home.

History is riddled with revolutions and hindsight is always 20/20. When we read today about the French Revolution, we wonder what King Louis XVI was thinking about with all that writing on the wall. Well, Indian government, the ball is in your court and from the looks of it, you are playing King Louis right now.

However, this note cannot and should not end without a note to us – the people of India.

We who always want the easy way out ~ we who pay bribes ~ break red lights ~ tell our sons “to be a man” ~ tell our daughters to keep their gaze down on their wedding day ~ make our 10 year old daughters serve dinner to their 18 year old brothers ~ we who start buying gold for beti ki shaadi from the day the beti is born.

We who want to buy properties in black (money) ~ we who brag about that “top person” we know from the passport office. It is us that treat our house-help like slaves ~ it is us that employ 10 year olds to take care of our 4 year olds. We litter, we spit everywhere like there’s no tomorrow ~ we text and speak no holds barred with little concern for others in a movie theatre. It is we who drive on the wrong the wrong side of the road for that shortcut there ~ we who let our 14-year-olds drive the scooter just around the corner because, who will see that?

It is us.

And it is we who need to change, collectively as a society. We need to accept the fact that we come from a morally corrupt place. Then and only then will we find the ways and means to cross over to the other side.

[And rural India doesn’t even make a scant appearance anywhere in this post. *Cold Shiver*]

English Vinglish

Understanding & speaking the English language is an advantage. But if you don’t know it perfectly, it’s really not that big a deal. Most of the world doesn’t.

Having been born and brought up in a country mired in post colonial anxiety – India, I reached this conclusion only when living in Europe. And it’s got reinforced after moving to NYC. Amongst themselves, the French speak French, Germans – German, Spaniards – Spanish, Israelis – Hebrew, Chinese – Mandarin. Always. When a flight was cancelled at Ciampino airport, Rome and all initial announcements  were made in Italian with little concern for the non-Italian speaking types or when we had to carry little chits written in Portuguese to make our way through Brazil, it hit me (despite inconvenience of the situation) that people are deeply connected to their mother tongues, that native languages are a fundamental building block of a culture.

Which got me thinking..

1. Why are modern, liberal, educated Indians a tad apologetic (embarrassed) about their native tongues?

2. Why do we not play up, proudly, our unique multi lingual set-up for the definite advantages it affords us?

Don’t get me wrong. I love english. Like any good middle class Indian, it’s my surrogate mother tongue, encapsulating almost all of my reading & writing. My point is not in any way to be anti-english. It is merely to question the stigma attached to not knowing it well enough. Why do I see so many people laughing at “vernacular” accents while fawning over French/Italian ones? Grammar nazis who get their kicks from pointing fingers at incorrect sentence constructs, spellings, making fun of folks obviously not as erudite at english as they might be. In the words of one favorite blogger @natashabadhwar, do these people know what they say about themselves?

No one can deny the positive rub-offs of english in India. The language has opened many a door for many an enterprise & many an individual. It lends itself to global competitiveness. I also get the pet algo:  Good English = Good (read expensive) School = Moneyed Family = Status = Power. What I don’t get is why english should come at the cost of marathi, gujarati, hindi, urdu or punjabi. How often have we heard fellow Indians say “Oh my daughter doesn’t speak [plug-in any vernacular language] very well.. Yes she goes to an english medium school … We only speak english at home..”. How about a little more faith in your own language guys…just like the French or Italians you so wish to emulate?

Surely that must say something about our collective psyche as Indians? And surely the educated (as distinguished from the mere literate), well-travelled, well read amongst us understand the fallacy of these approaches?

While everyone can and should exercise his/her own choice in this matter, I feel it is a bloody good thing to know more than a single language. America is bending over backwards to ensure its children learn Spanish as a second language since studies have shown a direct co-relation between knowledge of two or more languages and sharper learning skills. We are fortunate since our country affords us a chance to not just be bilingual, but multilingual. Just as it’s a good thing to strive to be a global citizen, it’s also a good thing to know where you come from, where your roots are. Then why prioritize one over the other? Why belittle one? Why worship the other?

[Picture Source: The Australian]

Freedom, Now

Like you most probably, many discussions amongst my friends also centre around China’s economic clout and how it might soon take over the world because of it. However my contention in such discussions always is, “Umm, I’m not so sure”. Here’s why.

Yes, China has all the appropriate indicators flashing green for it. The numbers match and the percentages soar. But, China denies its people a basic right -The right to freedom; freedom of thought and freedom to act. And to me, if people are not free to make fundamental life choices, it’s a bit of a stretch to buy into the happy and content myth.

For the short-term, for as long as economic bounty helps them alleviate their poverty, the Chinese populace may bear certain hardships and curbs on freedom. However, once their basic needs are catered to, they will want to “live their life” – as opposed to being directed by the state into living it. Fundamental to this will be the right to plan one’s family. In China, average number of children per family pre-Mao was 6, now it is 1. I refuse to believe that this drastic change over a few decades has been brought about without heartburn and without a severe curtailing of a husband and wife’s most basal desire – the desire to plan their family, their way. The common man in China may not speak up now, but will he forever remain quiet? Forcing down an ethic, impinging on personal freedom is what makes me leave China with a question mark.

Cut to USA, 2012.

A country that has stood for salient, admirable tenets of democracy, liberty and equality finds itself perched at strange crossroads today. This is a year of elections and therefore it is almost a necessary corollary that it will be a year of playing to the gallery and vote bank politics – that is fine and acceptable for the most part. However lines get crossed when electoral rhetoric impinges on personal freedom.

And that is happening with two important topics these days – The pro choice debate and questioning the need for higher education.

A comparatively emancipated, well read, out and about woman in the US today will not have it in her hand to plan her family if the Republicans have their way. By bringing in God (oh how we discredit Him), morality (who is anyone to say anything about morals anyway), shame, fear, guilt (that deadly cocktail), people like Santorum are turning the idea of living in the 21st century on its head. And frankly, I don’t understand what the root of their argument is. Is it..

..Keep having babies because that’s what you were meant to do? [Really? Where is that written?]

..Keep the baby despite knowing it may not survive? [Why do that to yourself and the baby?]

..Keep the baby despite risks to your own life, welfare and long term psychological well-being? [Why?]

..(Or is the fear is that) Legalising abortion might lead women to a more promiscuous lifestyle? [If so, then the issue needs to be addressed appropriately by educating young girls about meaningless sex and its consequences. Banning abortions cannot be the answer.]

Oh, but then going by Santorum, education per se is not worth investing in, right? Because according to him, college degrees breed liberals and that is not good. Hell yes, not good for “them” because they don’t like educated, questioning minds. They prefer folks with blinders that can be led wherever…

Romney wants to balance his budget by eliminating funding for the Planning Parenthood program. Limbaugh is calling a college student “slut” for wanting insurance coverage for birth control pills. Virginia is looking at a bill which will mandate penetrating women with a wand to picture their fetuses; to have them acquaint with it before undergoing an abortion. The most shocking part is that this blundering idiot, Santorum, is running successfully, winning many a state. These guys obviously are connecting; connecting with people who in my mind stand effectively against – Freedom.

In China, personal choices are affected by the political system, by selling the greater national good over that of an individual. Here, in America, in 2012, personal choices are being riddled with Guilt and God. Women are being questioned about their freedom to plan their families and their lives. Families are being asked to forsake higher education for the fear of leaving “the fold”.

Seriously guys, this is the USA. It’s from where the likes of China are supposed to draw inspiration, not the other way around. And that, is all.

War & Hope

One of the things I admire most about America is the importance it assigns to its citizens. Now, Americans might disagree with this assessment of mine, but trust me, coming from a country where people die like flies due to (a) rain (b) sun (c) cold (d) poverty (e) sickness  (f) accidents  (g) adulterated alcohol (h) general deprivation (i) all of the above and more, America is a haven for basic human rights – and the most basic right of it all – the right to live.

Which is why it irritates the fucking hell out of me when I see America reserving that admirable criterion largely for its people. For years now, I have been trying to understand America’s take on foreign affairs. It is a super power, yes. But does it really need to be involved in every war of consequence there ever has been?

Herding and indoctrination of humans is the key here, isn’t it? You teach them to distrust, hate & kill. They do. Whoever does it is wrong, superpower or not.

“The world needs to be set right” “Democracy needs to thrive”. All that is good, but does this superpower measure the human cost of its endeavours? Human cost on both fronts – the “enemy front” and “home turf”. My sense is that while heartland America may understand what is happening to its young ones employed in the armed forces as a consequence of these wars, it does not understand the human cost on the other side.

Maybe if media houses in the US were to profile Afghani/ Iraqi individuals, (like they do Americans) : write names, ages, detail hobbies, families and how they were affected by hardships; if they essentially “humanise” stories, these stories will take on a more powerful meaning.

When we read reports here in the US of Afghani/Iraqi deaths, we only hear statistics – 4 killed, 13 hurt, 30  perish in a blast. Scarcely do we read the human story… Her name was Ayesha, she was 4 years old, she liked playing with dolls like any other 4 year old, but, she did not have any left. They were lost when her village was plundered and they had to run, leaving behind everything, except the clothes on her little body. She barely had enough to eat, but was a cheerful child say her neighbours, always helping around. And then yesterday while she was outside, helping her mother gather sticks, she and her mother were killed by accidental sniper fire.

Why am I writing this? Because I’m hoping that the pain is felt in both ends of the world. Because I know every death will come at a cost. Ayesha may die unheard of in America today, but 15 years hence, her baby brother will join militia against the western world. He will forsake all that is good and of consequence and take on a life of hatred, blood and death. To America.

This is a never-ending chain isn’t it? A vicious cycle as we call it in economics. Bin Laden was armed by America to fight Russians, he turned on America eventually, America is now in Afghanistan, innocent Afghanis are dying. Kids of these Afghani’s killed will turn against America one day, soon. And so it goes.

Heartland America (in general) does not see the cycle turn. It just sees itself waging a righteous war for the wrong it was dealt. But it does not see the before or after. It should.

But then, who am I kidding? My reading of history tells me War is what makes leaders and assigns power. War generates leaders while degenerating the common man. Pacifism is utopia; an ever elusive dream. And so the changeover from vicious to virtuous cycle might never be.

[But this fucking retard of an optimist in me keeps whispering that if enough of us try, we may bring about some change. I write this, swaddled in that nebulous hope.]