Saturday, November 28, 2009

Seven Jewish Children

Oh dear God. My friend is in a political theatre class this semestre, and she is studying the most interesting material. We had an hour long conversation yesterday about it, I almost feel like I'm taking the class vicariously through her. Heh. At any rate, she loaned me a copy of Caryl Churchill's latest play: "Seven Jewish Children." And... oh dear God.

This is a link for you to read and view it for yourself.

Critics call this play antisemitic. But I think you can be critical of a situation without being prejudiced. True, the language of this piece is quite strong, but the it is carefully chosen. Political theatre's intention is to make you angry, to outrage you into action, and that is what this piece does.

Perhaps it doesn't help that I'm biased here. I have always believed the creation of Israel to be a poor political move which did not consider future consequences. It was a quick-fix solution, meant to alleviate guilt. As a result, we (The West) are expected to side with Israel on every issue, and when some one doesn't... why, they're labelled as antisemitic.

But of course this is all complicated by the very real horror of the Holocaust.

This situation seems to me to mirror (or at least reflect) post-colonialism in Canada. In the past, perhaps rather insensitvely, I have spoken out against things that I could not know. I made a comment to the effect that yes, residential schools were terrible, but that doesn't mean an individual can blame their entire failings on the one situation, horrible as it was. In uttering this opinion I was hailed, at least to a degree, as a racist.

There is an element of personal responsibility that everyone, every sufferer, must acknowledge. As a Woman, I see discrimination and oppression against my sex. But I ALSO see how some women contribute to their suffering. While the event is not something you can control, your own personal reaction to it can be. Being a survivor is not a choice, but being a Victim is. And being a Victim does NOT make it acceptable for you to turn into a perpetrator.

But back to the Churchill piece. Why is it wrong to examine a situation from the other side? In expressing views that, while contrary to popular opinion, some people certainly have, you are opening up the subject to debate, for discourse. It seems to me that one should be able to analyze all sides of history, not just the novel written by the victor.

Furthermore, Churchill invited the Board of Deputies into the rehearsal process, in order to incorporate the Jewish Voice. However, knowing Churchill to be a Palestinian sympathizer, they rejected the invitation. The play is therefore focused on the Palestinian plight because the Israeli Voice refused to speak.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Pro-Choice Rant

I have often been "accused" of being a femininst. I espouse beliefs that are rooted in the concept of gender equality, and people immediately classify me as belonging to this Movement. However, a Feminist will take one look at my belief structure and immediately dismiss me as a non-feminist or anti-feminist simply because of one opinion that falls outside of the Feminist world view.

I am against abortion. This does not mean I am "anti-choice." I am absolutely pro-choice. If you have CHOSEN to have unprotected sex, then you have CHOSEN to accept the consequences of doing so. Abortion should be reserved for extreme cases, for those unable to foresee the consequences of their actions, such as children and individuals who are severely mentally unstable, and for those who did not consent to this process, like victims of rape. You can spout off whatever rhetoric you want (give me all the documentation about pre-natal development, and try to convince me that a fetus is not a person) but you will never convince me that abortion is a valid form of birth control. It is not.

There are so many preventitive meausures a person can take to avoid pregnancy. If you fucked up, man up, and take responsibility for your actions. Think on this: with so many decent and good people who want children but are unable to have them, with miscarriages and stillborn births all over the world, what gives you the right to extinguish a life before it is given the opportuinity to exist?

You know why the second coming hasn't happened yet? Because the second Mary had an abortion. Fuck.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Strange Dream

I had the most bizzarre dream I have ever had the other night. It began with a long staff, and from the end of the staff came bolts of electricity. The staff was stirring the cosmos, and the bolts of electricity circled and created a very strange spiral. I looked up and saw a man in a mask holding the stick. His head looked very much like a ram's head. Three columns appeared, all of varrying height, but posed so that they ran like steps, from shortest to longest. On all of these columns were strange etchings, strange symbols that I was not familiar with. The masked man was standing on the shortest pillar, and began walking across the three, using them as steps; as he did so I thought, or heard (I'm not sure whether it was my own thought, or a thought expressed by an external source) 'The two-horned god rises on the backs of the Three Ages.'

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Absence

I just realized that I have not discussed my new ideas pertaining to the Absence. In the past month, a month of silence brought on by the death of my computer, I have had several revelations, all of which pertained to an idea I have been slowly developing over the past year or so: the importance of Absence.

Reading Plato's 'Apology of Socrates' brought the concept of Absence to my attention through the mention of Socrates' daemon. Socrates' daemon was a voice that Socrates heard since childhood(ish), and it guided him away from dangerous actions. Now, when Socrates was sentenced to death, he had no fear, not because the voice told him everything was okay, but because it had remained silent. Socrates thought that had he been engaging in dangerous behaviour through the method of his defense, the voice would have surely spoken and warned him. Thus, Socrates was reassured of an afterlife NOT by the Presence of the voice, but through its ABSENCE. This made me realize that the Presence can be found only THROUGH the Absence. In the same way Hindu philosophers say Shunya (emptiness) is full of something we cannot perceive, the Absence is full of the Presence, and it is only when we experience the Absence in its entirety that we are able to begin to understand the Presence.

I thought perhaps that this is why we, in this time, are so aware of the Absence of God; we feel the Absence everywhere and in everything, and mistakenly believe that the Absence is Void, that it is nothingness. BUT nothingness must have some substance we can use to qualify it, or how would we be able to experience it? Indeed, nothingness is that Other substance through which we expierience life. It is the principle of what is not that leads us to undertand that which is. Our entire existence, or rather the collective understanding of that existence, is dependent upon that dichotomous relationship, and it is only through the acceptance and understanding of nothingness, of Absence, that we can experience life in its entirety. Perhaps the reason we feel the Absence of God so intensely is so that we are given the opportuinity to experience the Presence more fully.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The world is beautiful to me now. For a long time I was terribly unhappy, both with myself and with my environment. I hid my suffering well, and even those closest to me had no idea how severely an event which occurred over three years ago affected me. I made myself "ok", because I had no other option. Last year the process of recovery and of acceptance truly began, and now... Now? Has it completed? No, certainly not. But it continues, and will continue. And I'm ok with that. (Bah. I am such a sentimental bear!)

This has brought me to think upon the subject of love. A while ago a Friend was telling me that he thought love was nothing more than a narcissistic object cathexis, wherein the beloved is invested with the idealized image of Self. My response to that was: "You obviously have never been in love." I now understand that the kind of love this man was referring to was False love (or "True Love" in its cliched (clicheed?) sense). I have experienced both forms... one I attempted to construct into my ideal, and the other... the other was a genuine acceptance of things as they were. It was a basic settling, and not a desire or expectation for/of.. well.. anything. Of course, all of this is complicated by the necessary element of sexuality.. which I'm not going to even attempt to factor in, as it's not something rational discourse can begin to do justice to. And now I've lost my train of thought... heh.

I suppose what I was trying to say, essentially, is that love is not an Ideal. It is not Romantic. It is something that develops over time, and if not uprooted prematurely (which it often is, generally for valid reasons) is something that could happen between any two people.