Sunday, November 14, 2004

Oh So Lovely

I will admit, I had a bout of depression following the Presidential election. But I'm better now. Things are gonna get interesting.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Isn't this a South Park episode?

Tonight will be great....Evil vs. Good, old and cranky vs. young and energy, brilliant vs. untested smarts. Who will be the next V.P!? Will it be the personification of young and sweet or that crazy man in bed with oil? For my vote, it will be entertaining.....in a baseball game sort of way.

I've also noticed that it seems that the right wing arguments always seem to be reduced to things like "The left hates America" or "the world is just jealous of America". Remember when you wore that really ugly puppy sweatshirt in eighth grade, and everyone made fun of you, and than you went home and you were all "mom, what's wrong with this sweatshirt, everyone made fun of it?" and she was all "oh don't worry, they're just jealous. Or they hate puppies." So, than you go back to school the next week with that same damn ugly sweatshirt on and everyone made fun of you again, but this time you said "you're just jealous," or "you hate puppies"...do you remember that? Well, your mom was wrong. Your sweatshirt was ugly. Think about it.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Two worlds....

So it turns out that I am a walking dollar bill. Really. I feel my skin has turned green and I now have a dead president plastered on my ass, or is it abdomen? Maybe it's a little of both. Either way, I am nothing more than a walking wallet in this city of Maputo....no, not just Maputo. Anywhere Mozambique. I guess that this is ok though. Afterall, it seems that I have come to Mozambique with some serious miscalculations. I guess I shouldn't have been expecting a welcome into my culture parade. I shouldn't have expected the whole country to throw me into some sort of initiation ceremony upon arrival. I am not entitled to anything else but the weird sort of walking currency position that I have inherited simply by being. If Mozambiquans are entitled to the poor African stereotype, than I can handle being someone's monthly salary. it's more the reality of the situation that I can not handle. It's this nagging thought that I am only now coming to grips with. This place is not real. It can't be real. I can stare in the face of a burn victim without eyes, the frighteningly frequent albino, people sleeping on the streets, red eyes, I can stare in the face of these things and keep a cheap/obscenely expensive dinner in my stomach simply because of this fact. This place is a national geographic special. This is a nightly news report. This is an NGO cause. I am not here. I am separate. Afterall, If I am a person to these people, not simply a meal ticket, than do they have to become real to me??
I often wonder what it will take for these two worlds to be real enough to each other. Will it ever be? Maybe this separation drives us from going insane. All of us. Afterall, how would it feel to know that Beverly Hill mansions are real while bread becomes luxury? Would that not drive a Mozambiquan to nightly fits of rage? And for those Beverly Hill inhabitants, how can the luxury of a nightly steak be eaten knowing that there are millions of those who depend on one cow for everything? Life would not be possible. Maybe this is why people turn away from these things. Maybe this is why Clueless is a comedy and not a reality. Maybe, just maybe, this is why I can exist here and still laugh. And why people can laugh around me. Life as usual.
I have accepted that I can never fit here. If my money is stripped, if my health is destroyed, my looks taken away, I will still not fit. I am from a different world, ruled by different monetary amounts. I may lust to understand poverty, to appreciate the clothes I wear and not simply wish to accumulate more, but it will never truly happen. So I can be a dollar sign. I can. Because I don't want to become real. I need to live still.

There was moment that shocked me into peace. One moment amidst all of the thoughts and speculation. There was one time only that I thought, maybe we do have a chance to understand. It was a simple sign. "Worship tonight. In English". Religion. That horrible divide. The cause of fundamentalism, the catalyst of war, the call to 'civilize', missionaries destroying cultures....yet it is religion. It is this same religion that John Lennon and millions of idealists wished away that also brings us together. Instead of no religion, how about a world that really adhered to religion? How about recognizing that I can sit in a place of worship anywhere in this world and be looked upon as an equal? In the matters of unearthly things, differences in upbringing cease to exist. Afterall, aren't we all God's children? Or, aren't we all living in the same land that Buddha found enlightenment? That Muhammad heard Allah speak? Aren't we all guided by the same principles? Love, peace, the release of possession? This is what religion appeals to. Throwing away who we are to realize what we may become. This is a message the whole world may hear. Yes, this sign is a sign of a missionary bringing a message of right way versus wrong way. Yes, this story is repeated in all world's outside of Europe. But this pristine world is dead. We can no longer look for cultures that have staid from change. We're all changed. And now religion that once destroyed cultures is loved by Portugese speaking Africans. This is all over the world. I once wished to see 'Africa'. This romantic Africa is dead. It hardly exists. The true Africa is different as the cultures that changed it. It is a new world, truly. Religion is part of this. Maybe I shouldn't hate missionaries...just accept that I might not like them, but they are as real as colonizialism. Africans today are not Africans of yesterday. I will never find this Africa. But I will find Christians and Muslims, coexisting with yesterdays ancestors. We can all find this, and maybe in this, we can all find ourselves sharing something real and deep.

So it is beautiful in a way. To think where the material world has failed us, the cosmic soul has potential to keep us together. As one, understanding, all reaching for one goal in any sacred place. Without guns we can be friends, without expectations we can understand, with our souls we can belong together. On this world. Right now. Walking dollars and street vendors alike.

Who would have thought?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A new drug

The first thing that went through my head was "this is insane"....followed by "holy shit I am falling from a plane"...and looking up I could see where we came from. An open door of a plane, filled with four others about to make their plunge, totally unnatural and completely terrifying. "Arms out idiot" came last. Immediately the earth stopped moving, the air started whizzing, and I was floating.
Thirty seconds.
Three seconds of panic, twenty-six of flying, and one of disapointment accompanying the sound of a parachute. Thirty seconds to change my life.
I have counted to thirty before. I have counted in many languages, struggling in English when I learned there were numbers to count. I have hidden behind doors, counting aloud to thirty, running when my time is right. Thirty seconds. It had become a time to count before tea was ready, before the hot cloth on my aching ear could be removed, before the bell would ring and I could be released. Thirty seconds had even become sufficient time to be ready to leave.
But this thirty seconds.
This thirty seconds was air, was floating, was Peter Pan come true. Here was neverland reached. Jumping from a couch wouldn't work, jumping from 10,000 could.
A million thirty seconds have come and gone, I am ready to make them count again. I had dreamed this experience, I had feared it my whole life.
Amelia lives through me now.
Thirty seconds.
Count it now, grounded and safe.
It's short....but how it can make time grow.
Thirty seconds.
Thirty lifetimes.
Who knew?


Saturday, January 03, 2004

I Dream of Africa

That's a movie title, right? I'm sooo close to Africa and each day I get more excited. I can not even believe that in less than 14 days I'll be stepping into a completely unknown world and getting to see things that most people (in the US) won't ever see. I'll be able to just go surfing whenever I want in my choice of oceans! Yes....either the warm Indian or the cool Atlantic...I'll be able to see real Elephants not just in a zoo, but in nature. I'll be near hippos, lions, cheetahs, antelope....and some of the worlds most beautiful fauna! Cape Town has it's own kingdom, and there are more species of flowers in one walk up Table Mountain (which borders the city) than in the whole of England. And yet, I'll also be in a country that is more divided and more pained by racism than even the United States. And a really dangerous place behind the beauty, and a place where the third world exists despite the wealth it owns, which is only a few. It seems like a place similar to the United States but more extreme and more divided.
I'm heading out on the fifteenth, and I'll spend a day in Madrid and than I'm off to Johannesburg. From there I hope to see Zimbabwe and all that South Africa has to offer. Which is soo much. I'd also like to spend time in Lesothos and Swaiziland. I am terrified of being in Cape Town as well though. But mostly, I can't wait to get out there. I shall miss my Maya though, oh, and my family.
After South Africa, I think that I'd like to spend time in New Zealand and Australia and return to the US in the winter, after a few weeks of coming home between South Africa and heading off to my newest adventure, something I do crave.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Henceforth, I'll never again be satisfied by another movie

I just saw the jewel of all jewels...I just had the most emotional, visual, sensational, movie overload experience of my life. The Return of the King...is incredible. The immediate quotes heard after the movie ended from my fellow amigos:
"That was the best thing I've ever done with my life" Dave Ghidiu
"A dash mazing" Amy.
I don't remember any other comments as I was running to the bathroom. It was three hours and twenty minutes of movie. I feel now like I just broke up with my soulmate and I'll never again be fulfilled in the way that the soulmate did. And, I'd read the books. I knew everything that was going to happen. (and the movie is wonderfully adapted, everything that was important was in it, including the ending, the long drawn out ending). I saw one of the most breathtaking scenes of all time, and I was completely gaping at it. (It involves the lighting of fires above mountains)...and argh!
The thing I loved the most, was the ending...which I think made a lot of people think, what the hell? The ending is how it ends in the book, with a few things taken away. but, it gives the sense of melancholy. It is probably one of the most sad endings ever to a movie. And at the same time, it is probably the most loving end as well. I really felt like more than the movie had ended, I felt like I got to spy on a bunch of really close friends lives ending...and by that I mean Peter Jackson, the characters, the filmmakers, the extras, New Zealands support of the films, it really felt like this giant labor of love was put to rest, not just the film. Which is an incredible feeling that no movie has ever granted before. No other ending would have suited it. It's not your typical Hollywood film, and a typical Hollywood ending wouldn't have suited it. We couldn't have simply seen the end of action and than had the film say....alright, that'll be it than, see ya! We needed the goodbye, we needed the resolutions, and it was given to us, in spades. But everything was perfect. So, in sum...IT WAS GREAT!!!! GO SEE IT NOW!!!! I can't wait to see it again.


Once again, I'm stealing from Amanda...according to the completely thorough quiz I've just taken (It was 10 pages) ha! I've been given the following recommendations for life in the United States after college, the following cities were highly recommended to suit my living style. And, with the exception of the number one pick, it don't look too damn shabby!


1: Hartford, Connecticut
2: Portland, Oregon
3: Albuquerque, New Mexico
4: Medford, Oregon
5: Carson City, Nevada
6: New Haven, Connecticut
7: Bend, Oregon
8: Worcester, Massachusetts
9: Sacremento, California
10: Providence, Rhode Island
11: Danbury, Connecticut
12: Boston, Massachusetts
13: Corvallis, Oregon
14: Honolulu, Hawaii
15: Sante Fe, New Mexico
16: Eugene, Oregon
17: Sheboygan, Wisconson
18: Frederick, Maryland
19: Reno, Nevada
20: San Bernardino, California (isn't that where Bill and Ted are from? Excellent!)
21: Baltimore, Maryland
22: Salem, Oregon
23: Fayetteville, Arkansas
24: Las Vegas, Nevada
alright, why is Oregon on there soo much? not that I mind Oregon, I'm one of the few New Yorkers that know how to pronounce the state correctly...but really, it's sorta a crazy state...at least they didn't select Pennsylvania, speaking of crazy. Actually, they didn't recommend anywhere in New York. I'm pretty much destined for one of the corners, the Southwestern corner, or the Northeastern corner. And, Oregon, which isn't really southwest, oh, and Maryland, which isn't really a corner....well, Northern California isn't either, oh, neither is Wisconson....and Hawaii, that's not really a corner of anything.....so what I'm trying to say is I shouldn't live in Texas.


Back to what I was saying.....which was....erm....break, it's really boring.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

It's just too true

So, here it is, the most accurate nonsensical test I've ever done....everything they say is true. I have said it for years, I'm the most violent pacifist I know....(hence the title of my blog, heavy metal hippie)
merry
Congratulations! You're Merry!


Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

A Little Dose of Daily Love

Some awesome web only newspieces from the ever spectacular....Daily Show with Jon Stewart who is known simply as "the man" (In my circles....and by circles I mean, just me)


On one of the Democratic Presidential debates:
The debate was co-sponsored and broadcast by Fox News, hence the event's official title, "The Democratic Candidate Debate: Get a Load of These Queers."

Meanwhile, having recently bowed out of the race for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bob Graham watched the debate from a local watering hole, pointing up at the television and telling disinterested patrons, quote, "Seriously, I know that guy. He's an asshole."


On President W. Bush and Schwarzenegger's meeting:
Afterwards, Arnold spoke of the meeting, saying, "We just talked about that we can do so much together in this relationship, and that it's very important for me to have a good relationship." Handlers later reminded Arnold that it's not a good idea to talk about the relationship so much on your first time getting together because he'll think you're one of those really needy governors who just wants him for his aid.

Schwarzenegger, who will enter office facing a budget deficit of possibly as much as $20 billion, will likely look to Bush for federal help to bail out California. Insiders say the president has so far committed to writing a three hundred dollar "tax return" check to Arnold and hoping that shuts him up for two or three years.


Prince Charles:
While the founding fathers may have dropped the ball on slavery and a women's right to vote while letting everyone own a machine gun, they showed remarkable foresight in abolishing any form of monarchy. Not because they sought to prevent a single person from seizing the reins of government, but because they knew full well that anyone wearing a crown wouldn't be able to keep his hands off of the butler.


Bush Talking to Australia:
In a speech to the parliament, Bush came with an important message for the Australian people. Speaking of the U.S. and Australia's shared histories he said "We fought together in the battle of Le Hamel, together in the Coral Sea, together in New Guinea, on the Korean Peninsula, in Vietnam." He then added, "Not me, of course. That fightin' stuff can get a man killed."

Bush then went on to say, "In our time, we must decide our own belief: either freedom is the privilege of an elite few, or it is the right and capacity of all humanity." He continued, "Now money and access to power -- that's a whole different story. Heh, heh...a whole different story indeed..."


Music:
The Zagat survey also found that, on average, 53% of fans download music from the Internet, 55% burn their own CD's, and 95% got really embarrassed when someone found that Hillary Duff song on their laptops.


And On Iraq:
Despite continuing reports of bad conditions in Iraq, critics of the war have struggled to be heard over the White House's carefully coordinated positive spin. Well, many Bush opponents are cheered tonight, because finally a loud voice critical of the war effort has broken through. And who is this hero of dissent? One Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

In a memo sent to top-ranking defense officials last week, Rumsfeld himself questions the progress in the war on terror, saying that the U.S. is in for a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ends by imploring whoever is eating the leftovers he brings in for lunch out of the fridge to please stop it. They are labeled for a reason.

In the memo, Rumsfeld poses difficult questions, asking, "Do we need a new organization?" and "Is D.O.D. changing fast enough?" and "Most critically, are we positive that there are no leaks in the Department of Defense through which confidential internal memos might embarrassingly find their way into the news?" Sadly, he now knows the answer to that last one.