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Eating: Chocolate from Bindyree

Listening to: someone on CBC Radio One talk about words in other cultures that don't have English equivalents

Drinking: Corona with double lime

Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Wednesday, Jun. 30, 2004 - 2:23 a.m.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.

Osama the movie and the Tyranny of Good Morals

Well, diaryland is very quiet very quiet. Don't know why.

Myself I really really would like to just sleep. Sleep and lie in bed and sleep. And then clip the back lawn and wash the dog. Vacuum the floor and finish the box for the doggy cart. Yup. But first sleep. I tried laying down for awhile but mostly I stressed instead of sleeping, so I got up.

Hehe, like writing here in Diaryland is more "productive" than sleeping. But before I go to bed I want to 1) do at least two pages of comics since I didn't get one done today yet... I ran out of time once I sent off the Soccer Kid at 7:30 am, slept, walked doggie and then ran off to Flamenco. 2) sew the little barrette sort of thing that helps hold my wig onto my slippery thin hair, onto the red rose for the flamenco performance tomorrow and 3) practice the flamenco steps to Carmen once or twice more. The funny thing is that I know ALL the other dances better than Carmen. Not really "know" them better, but can execute them better since there is no spinning and turning. We had a discussion tonight, and ALL of us Carmen girls have difficulty keeping our balance on the step back, twirl stop, step back twirl stop sequence. We each said "oh I thought I was just personally bad at keeping my equilibrium!!". hehe

So those are the things i want to do before i go to bed.

Right now I really wish I had remembered that the milk had run out last night. Normally if I don't think of such things when I get up and walk the dog, I can buy it when I walk her around 8pm, or before the shop closes at 11pm. But when I have something from 6pm to 10:30, by the time I am home it is too late. If I had this sort of schedule I would get used to thinking "what do I need to do to get through the whole night" at 3pm, but not when it is just once in awhile. If I had some milk i'd have some coffee with the lovely chocolate Brin sent me. mmmm.

I wanted to write about the movie I rented the other night, Osama. I would recommend going out and renting it. It is well worth your time. It is the story of a little Afghan girl who lives with her mom and grandma. Her father died fighting in one of the multiple wars. Her mom works as a doctor or nurse. But of course with the Taliban, is not supposed to be. Not working in the hospital, esp not treating men. Not out on the streets unaccompanied by a man or boy.

So their life is one of privation as there isn't enough $ coming in, and it is hard to get work when you are not supposed to leave the house. They are constantly in terror of being stopped by the Taliban and beaten or taken to jail as they go from place to place together without a male escort.

Finally the mother has the idea that since her life would be so much easier if she had a son, she shall transform the daughter into a son, now called Osama. And 12 yr old Osama is deathly terrified that she will be found out by the Taliban to be a girl. She is not used to walking alone unbothered in the streets, nor working outside the home in a shop. Nor, we shall soon see, doing the ablutions and prayers that Moslem men do. Poor thing.

Anyways, the results of this mascarade I shall not divulge, but it is both amusing and tragic in turns.

The cinematography and acting are brilliant. All the characters are played by regular Afghan citizens. It is the first movie made after the fall of the Taliban. On the dvd there is an excellent interview with the filmmaker, about how he managed to explain cinema and acting to a people who had no experience with movies, how he enlisted the aid of men women and children to make a professional movie. What the reaction in Kabul was when he showed it on the big screen. It really is an amazing project. Giving a story and a voice to the lives of these people living beaten down in a dusty impoverished country.

The images are beautiful. Striking. The plotline, screenplay, dialogue are all wonderful.

It is not an "up" movie with cutesie putesie characters. It has a very realistic feel. And it is nice that it is a movie without a white main character. Sort of Midnight Express without the poor pitiful white man. Just the regular Afghan people, and the plight of women caught in a system that takes into account the actual conditions of their lives not one whit.

Interestingly apparently up to 43 percent of Afghan women still wear the chador. The director says some do so because their dresses are old and worn and so they want to cover them in public. Some because they are used to dressing that way, it has become custom. Some because they love the blue fabric of them. And some because they see it as the correct thing for women to do (either religion or culture)... though he points out that it is only 100 years that such things are worn in Afghanistan... apparently it is an import from India. hmmm.

Anyways, an excellent film. Aesthetically beautiful, emotionally touching, and thought provoking.

Remember that the Americans didn't really worry about how the Taliban ruled, and treated women, until after 9-11. There were all those online petitions going around about Afghan women, but I think it was seen as one of those bleeding hearts save the children women's subjects. And after the Americans went in it was all "oh but how they treated the women". Anyways, it is a good thing the Taliban is out. But they are apparently having resurgences in outlying areas. Very frightening.

One sometimes wonders what would happen if the women revolted. Against the men with the guns and the dogs and the water blasts. If they kept coming even if they were shot at or blasted. Would the Taliban kill all the women? Would they just keep the 11 yr olds for sex slaves and to reproduce? Why such wars of the sexes? So bizarre.***see footnote

And that leads me into the next topic which is related. Charley Reese, a columnist whom I sometimes read, wrote this article saying that he would prefer any religion, indeed fundamentalists of any religion, rather than atheists or agnostics. Since the religious have morals. They have a "right" and "wrong" vs the atheists (I don't know what atheists HE knows!!). Well, instead of being the white north american businessman he is, walking the streets of Egypt, he should try being a woman in one of those religions.

I am sure it is of little comfort for someone to know that there was a clear "right and wrong" when they are found to be wrong. When they are put in jail for showing their ankles. Or stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock after a rape. Or when they are sold in wedlock (interesting word, wed LOCK) to a mullah. mmm.

MMM yes, the guy thinks that he is safer walking around a Muslim neighborhood than an American slum, and this helps show that religion breeds safety due to internalized morals. Hello??? Since when are American slums full of atheists? Atheists and agnostics tend to be highly educated people who question the religion they grew up with that they saw didn't work so very well in real life. As far as I know, most American slums are full of as many small churches and corner preachers as drug pushers and liquor stores. Detroit is a good example of that. Gangstas sport gold crosses while they blow each other away. And America the godfearing country. It has a huge prison population. Or are the prisons full of the bad, immoral American godless atheists and agnostics?? I don't THINK so.

For your reading pleasure, no matter what your religious stripe, here is an article from commenting on that very Charley Reese article. mmm.

Anyhews, I'm an agnostic. This is sort of like the people you chose for jury duty. They say "well, I haven't made up my mind yet, it is open to hearing the evidence and weighing it". That to me is what an agnostic is. But on the topic of who or what actually created the universe. I fail to see what that has to do with morals. If I don't believe that Allah created man, then I am not bothered by theft? Or murder? I would sit by as my kid hit my other kid over the head with a rock and then took his food? "oh, i have no morals cuz I don't believe that a god will damn me to hell if I kill" hello? Hurting things and people is bad. It causes pain and strife. It interferes in other people's happiness. Isn't that enough? Do we really not kill cuz of laws or fear of god? If that is all that is holding someone back they are not a very compassionate or nice person I tell ya.

As for religion, and believing in God. Does that bring good morals and treating your fellow well? Hmmm. Pretty much every person who ever started a war was religious. Osama Bin Laden was religious. He's got morals. Bush is religious. God is on his side. He has never caused anyone to die or be maimed. He is a pacifist who knows that God will hold him accountable for all the people who are hurt in Shock and Awe, and all the people who will end up with teenage pregnancies and AIDS cuz he said that condoms won't work. Just say no.

Wasn't Hitler a believer in God? And Son of Sam?? Where are these morals, this trustworthiness, this caring and reliability, this god-given internalized goodness that comes ipso facto with adhering to a religious doctrine which guides you in good and bad.

If you can show me how religion vaccinates against immoral acts then I will join up tomorrow.

But of course I'd have to pick one. hehe. Apparently, according to Charley Reese, and also the Boy Scouts of America, you can pick any one you like, like a flavour of jellybean. But you cannot respectfully declien jellybeans altogether, or you are probably completely lacking in a moral rudder.

End of rant. Got some flamenco to practice. Tah

Here is my horoscope for Tuesday, June 29:

Thinking of a long-distance move -- or missing a certain someone who beat you to it? Well, mope no longer. Pick up the phone. Anything is possible now. Anything.

**Note, on looking for links, here is one about the Outlook Improving for Afghan Women that says that under the Taliban in 2001, 70% of women qualified for a diagnosis of major depression. wow.

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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