Something Pretty Damn Good

I am so very, very, very happy about this:

Dakota Access Pipeline to be rerouted

Advertisements

Everyone’s Thoughting, So I Am Too

There’s been a lot to mull over since a racist tangerine in a wig won the presidency of the United States. 

Everything about this election was mind-boggling, and I often sat, reading, watching, listening, and thinking this has to be the zenith of absurdity. I still wonder what the 2020 election is going to be like, because it can’t get any crazier or uglier than this.

What I don’t understand is when people say, “We should compromise! We need to be peaceful, and we ought to give Orange One a chance.”

Um. No?

We’ve heard it all about the Semi-Sentient Evil Pumpkin. Throughout his entire campaign, he’s shown over and over and over again what he stands for. And you know what? I believe him. I have no reason not to. Does he not “tell it like it is”? Why am I to suddenly believe he didn’t mean all the rhetoric he spewed against immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims, and pretty much anyone else he can turn into a scapegoat? I believe him and I, along with millions of others, am rightfully angry.

I have no respect or compassion for anyone who voted for him. I don’t care what the reason was. Did they really believe Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals? Do they think Muslims are  an existential threat to the US? Do they just not care that he admitted to groping women because he thinks his star power lets him do it? Better yet, do they think that the women who spoke out against him are lying for publicity? (Never mind that they’re backing up what he said himself—under no duress, I might add). 

Or maybe it’s none of that. Many of these voters will cry that they aren’t among the ‘deplorable’. They were just worried about the economy. They just wanted a change, that’s all. Something other than the status quo. Hillary is a corrupt criminal, after all. Emails, Benghazi, scandals out the wazoo. They’re both equally bad, right?

So, they’ll tell you they threw their vote behind the squealing bucket of expired tinted moisturizer. Or went 3rd party. And with that, they went ahead and threw a bunch of vulnerable people under the bus. (I don’t care if it was a conscious decision or not). They decided they were okay with a candidate who has the full backing of the former leader of the KKK. They don’t mind that white nationalists, anti-semites, islamophobes, misogynists, and all-around terrible people call him their “god emperor”.

Read this and say that everything will be fine. That there’s nothing to worry about. These are the people Trump’s presidency has legitimized. It doesn’t matter if you’re a proud racist/misogynist or if you really just were just “worried about the economy”. People are now legitimately terrified. Hell, even our environment won’t go unscathed as Trump believes climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China. (China literally sent out a message saying that this was untrue. This is the world we live in).

I find it hilarious that those who got what they wanted are now angry about the protests, saying that it is unfair. Talk about having a selective memory. Even the half-digested Cheeto was crying for a revolution the last two elections. Observe.

I just don’t get it. I don’t think I ever will.

That Bloody Question

I found this in my drafts folder from last year. Like literally last year–I wrote this in October 2015. I haven’t been here in so long…but I think you may find this entertaining:

I’m twenty-nine years old and I still have issues with the question, “Where are you from?”

I feel like I have a limb in so many places that my brain refuses to settle on one succinct answer. After today, I decided that it’s high time I pick a city/country and just stick to it.

I went to HR earlier to ask a question, and she ended up mentioning how she was new to Arizona, and I had to go and say, “Oh that makes the two of us!”

Naturally, she had to ask, “Oh, where were you before this?”

My brain doesn’t know what to do with this question. Before this immediately? A tiny country in the Persian Gulf that I’m almost sure you’ve never heard of. (Unless you tend to read/know about mind-bogglingly rich Arab countries with a penchant for outlandishly expensive things).

I said, after a now-almost-characteristic pause, “Canada.”

“Oh where in Canada?”

“Montreal.”

“Oh, do you like it there?”

YES! She didn’t ask me if I spoke French! Good, good.

“Yes, it’s great!”

“What brought you down here?”

My brain is dumb. So dumb. So dumb in its unrelenting penchant for accuracy.

I paused again, motioned with my hands and said, “Aaaa…lot of things.”

Because I left Montreal in 2006. And I’ve been in two countries since. So, yes, a lot did happen to make me wind up here.

Now she looked confused. So I had to tell her that I’ve lived in a lot of places even though I was born in the US but I haven’t lived here. So when people ask me, “Where were you before?” I can literally say one of four different countries and I wouldn’t be wrong. I tried to be quick and simple about it, but after the hole I just dug for myself, there was hardly anything quick and simple to be found.

“Wow, that’s an interesting life story that came out of nowhere,” she said.

I wasn’t sure if that was a jab at my sudden idiotic rambling, or if she was genuinely interested.

(For what it’s worth, she lived in DC before coming here. DC is muggy and cloudy, and Arizona is not).

I wanted to kick myself as I made my way back to my desk. Why didn’t I say, “Canada. Montreal. I found a job here I liked, so I moved.”

For a fleeting moment I thought about picking a US state that sounds bland. Wisconsin. Nebraska. Idaho. I figure no one will ask follow-up questions on a state that sounds like there’s nothing in it. Then I feel bad because what if those states are awesome and I’m just sitting there judging them because they don’t have the enthusiastic marketing team that California and New York do?

Anyways, here’s to me being Canadian, born and bred, and please don’t ask me to speak to you in French.

*Taps on the Door…Enters a Tad Sheepishly*

Well…hello.

Seems that I popped by in November after a three-month absence, threw a steaming fit of anger and disappeared again for almost twice as long.

Can’t say I’m sure what to make of that.

I’m back now though! I still want to continue writing here, but I have to focus a bit more on the things I want to shine a light on…things I have to say.

A few days ago, I decided to pull the curtain on my old rambles blog.I wanted to move in a fresher direction, considering that a lot has happened in the past few months.

For one thing, my job kind of disappeared out from under me a couple weeks after my last post here. Then I began working as a coordinator at my dad’s company until he suggested I travel to Canada and the US with my mom to see my sisters. At first I wasn’t sure if I should go, considering I was only beginning to get into the swing of things. Wouldn’t it be weird to leave after only a month?

But then I thought about it and figured…if not now, then when? I have an opportunity to see what it would be like to stay in on this side of the world. I can look for jobs, see my sisters, and really get a feel for what I may want to get into—whether it was now or a few years down the line.

Well, it’s been a great ride so far. I spent a month-and-a-half in London, Ontario and saw Neo, my older sister. She took us EVERYWHERE. It was fantastic! London is beautiful, tiny and adorable. I was surprised at the stuff you could do there, all things considered. I come from a family of big city dwellers, and we’re used to the bustle and magnitude of a metropolitan area. London hardly comes close…but damn did it grow on us. 

Now I’m in Phoenix, Arizona, where Suijin works and where a ton of my cousins live. I’ve been here since the beginning of April and, bit by bit, I’m settling down. This week, I opened a bank account and am in the process of getting my driver’s license. I’m applying to jobs and have a couple of leads that I hope pan out.

Fingers crossed that things turn out for the best, and in the spirit of that…

I will be returning to No Easy Answer and my brand spanking new blog An Existential Crayon, hoping to chronicle some of this stuff, and turn over a new page in this little nomadic life of mine. Hope y’all stick around for the ride!

Quite a Tiny but Potent Rant

We-ell,

I didn’t mean to be gone for three bloody months. I didn’t even think it was possible that three months could go by this fast.

That’s a lie. Days have been speeding by like a cheetah on crack.

(I hope no one ever actually gave a cheetah crack. That’s cruel. Don’t do that).

And now this is stuck in my head. I’m not complaining.

Anyways, this year sucked so hard. So. Hard. Not personally. Personally it was all right. Got a job in July (freaking finally) and it’s been going well. But world-wise everything is stupid and unfair and awful and I want every person with too much power and a shriveled conscience to experience severely debilitating pain that could never be cured or even relieved.

How I feel right now. Source

How I feel right now.
Source

I Have Words!

I wrote this over the last few days, and it took a while for me to feel okay with it. Although the “war” is over…for now…I still feel like it’s relevant enough. I need to say it, and so here I am:

You know, I never thought a platform where you had to condense your thoughts into a mere 140 characters could worm its way into my heart the way Twitter has. (I can be a rather verbose individual). But set up a spot in my heart it did, and it’s one of my very favorite time-killers–even though I don’t tweet much myself. There are tons of hilarious, poignant, and freakishly intelligent people out there, and it fascinates me to be open to their thoughts the way I am.

On a much more sobering note, I also treasure Twitter for the folks, both professional and amateur, who give up-to-the-minute reports about the crap happening around the world. (For example, I often know about car bombs and assassinations in Lebanon before the news has a chance to get its pants on).

These days, to no one’s surprise, it’s Palestine that’s on everybody’s minds.

Everywhere I look, I see the articles, the analyses, the casualties, the photos (lord, the photos…), and I stay up-to-date because I feel like I owe at least that much to a people who have known nothing but oppression and death for sixty years.

And, in turn, it’s slowly killing me. Why?

Because I have words. I have so. Many. Words. The more I read, the more I feel like I want to speak, to scream and yell to someone–anyone. But none of my words are good enough. They don’t fit in a status update. They don’t fit in 140 freaking characters. They won’t even fit on the infinite space that is a blog. They build up in my brain, cracking my skull, bulging behind my eyeballs, pushing at my teeth and twisting my tongue. And I can’t make them stop.

There are all the words and none of the words, and my chest is going to explode from it all.

So instead of keeping the sadness and rage inside, and instead of spilling it all over my blog in an explosive projectile puking of frustrated fury…I’ve decided to try do something about it in the best way I can right now. I can’t live my charmed life in silence as, not too far away, men and women are digging their children’s bodies out from under the rubble of what was once their home.

I realize that nothing I say hasn’t already been said by people far more eloquent and knowledgeable than I can be right now. So instead of knocking down the dam in my head, and falling short of my own expectations, I’m going to speak through the minds and tongues of people far better at tackling Palestine than I’d ever be.

So without further ado:

Jump into Mondoweiss. Pop by Hummus for Thought and follow him on Facebook too. Peruse through Electronic Intifada. Follow Dalia Al-Najjar’s blog.

Follow on Twitter (in no particular order):

Dr. Mads Gilbert
Joey Ayoub
Nalan Al Sarraj
Mohammed Omer
Lara and Leila (Unrelated to one another)
WhateverinGaza

You can donate to humanitarian aid organizations. Learn about the BDS Movement.

People all over the world, from all backgrounds, religions, nationalities, and walks of life are speaking up. People are finally, it seems, saying something that Palestinians have been screaming (mostly into the void) for decades. Listen. Understand. Know that what’s going on is Israel is not as black and white as things may seem. The more we know, the more we can help.

At the time of this writing, I’ve read that Hamas and Israel have reached a truce where Israel has agreed to some of the concessions that Hamas demanded. This quote perfectly describes the farcical foundation of the entire massacre:

Now (like I mentioned a few days ago) comes the part where Israel tries to argue that it just killed 2100 Palestinians for some reason other than that it felt like killing 2100 Palestinians:

“Ofir Gendelman, the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman for the Arab world, said operations in Gaza were a victory for Israel. “Hamas gave in and accepted the same Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire it rejected until now. The reason for the change… airstrikes,” he said.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told Al Jazeera, if Hamas had accepted the July 15 ceasefire agreement “the bloodshed could have been avoided.””

Here’s the thing: Israel just made a whole bunch of concessions to Gaza that it was clearly not willing to make before Operation Protective Edge began, so the idea that this is an Israeli “victory” is, let’s say, debatable. It’s less “debatable,” and more “ridiculous lie,” for Israel to claim that Hamas has been the only side rejecting the Egyptian proposal all this time, given that Israel showed absolutely no inclination until now to agree to any of the terms in this deal. And the thing about the July 15 ceasefire offer is equally BS; if Israel had offered an easing of the blockade and enlargement of the fishing zone, and had not openly opposed the Palestinian unity government in the first place, then there likely wouldn’t have been a July 15 ceasefire offer because there wouldn’t have been any fighting in the first place. There’s always the fact that the tunnels were destroyed, I guess. That’s surely worth 500 or so dead Palestinian children.

Source: Derek Davison – And That’s The Way It Was

We must make sure this never, ever happens again.

Israel: The Bullied Schoolboy. Heh.

I saw this video on a forum where everyone was praising how “accurate” and “spot-on” it was in describing the relationship between Gaza and Israel.

Anyone with the tiniest shred of intelligence and/or critical thinking skills would see how bloody simplistic and just plain wrong it is. Analyzing it would take ages because of its sheer success in not making a single correct point.

Usually, when I see propaganda as blatant as this, I’d get angry…but this genuinely made me laugh. And when I see people believing it and praising it, I laugh even harder.

If the situation was really this simple, why the hell do we have all these Middle East “experts” and “analysts” and “historians”? Seriously. Whoever made this video, and those who distributed it, are either missing a significant amount of brain matter themselves, or think people in general do.

And, latter-wise, they may be right.

Gaza

Some people, or perhaps many, are angry at the lack of attention given to Gaza at this freaking awful time. Accusations that the World Cup is distracting everyone from the bloodshed is nothing new. As I’m writing this, I’ll admit that I can’t even get down all my feelings right now. It’s just too much.

However, all I’m seeing on Twitter and Facebook are links and stories and names, all bursting with the atrocities happening in what used to be right next door to me.

All I feel like I can do is watch. And read. And think. And watch some more.

Show restraint! I stand with Israel! I stand with Palestine!

How could the situation be so obvious to some people and be so damned elusive to others? To those that support Palestine, it’s obvious that Israel is taking land, harassing people (to put it very mildly), arresting children and torturing and detaining prisoners—many of whom are held without charge. They’re the Goliath…except there is almost nothing in their way, and they act with utter impunity. Those that stand with Israel stand by its right to exist, its stance as the “only democracy in the Middle East”, that it’s surrounded by enemies, that its enemies are international terrorist groups that strap bombs to teens and want to “wipe Israel off the map”. 

Of course, there’s the religious aspect as well, which I’m not even going to get into even though it’s what pisses me off the most. Especially those that believe the more bloodshed and chaos that happens in that speck of land, the better it is because it’ll hasten the coming of Judgment Day. Or something. Blah. 

I just don’t get it. Over 100 people dead, many of them children, and hundreds more injured in less than a week. To give you something more than just an emotionless number, feel free to pop by here where there is a continuously updated post of the name and age of every casualty in Gaza since the bombs started to fall. (Thanks, Joey!)

And yet, people still harp on about Israel’s “right to defend itself”?! To massacre people living in an open-air prison with nowhere to go is “defending yourself”? Against what? Rockets falling into the Iron Dome, killing all of nobody? Or is this part of their revenge for the three teenagers whom the Israelis knew were dead and who killed them almost immediately after the fact?

None of this makes sense. It’s like Orwell’s 1984, in real life. Spinning out the wazoo. The Palestinians are never right. No matter what Israel does, it’s okay. They have their reasons. And, apparently, the murder of some 120 people (and counting) obviously has some damn good reasons.

Doesn’t it?

Um…Hi!!

I’ve been out of the loop while not being too out of the loop these days. Does that make sense? Probably not.

I guess I mean I’ve been connected to things happening here and in my homeland, but I haven’t been in the mood to talk about it much.

I’m sorry for being gone for this long. (I seem to be starting a lot of posts this way. I’ve read somewhere that one should never update with “sorry for not updating” but I can’t seem to take that to heart. I sometimes feel like my blog(s) are living creatures. Neglect, though unintentional, ought to be apologized for).

My days have been kind of busy. In April, I got a couple of promising job interviews, which went a long way in lifting me out of my stuck-in-a-rut phase. I’ve generally been trying to push forward with my life and, throughout it all, I couldn’t really think of anything pertinent for this little spot on the web.

To illustrate how bloody slow looking for jobs here can be: I applied for one at a multinational company on November 19. I got a reply yesterday. That’s almost six months. (It was a politely worded form letter letting me know that the position I applied to had been canceled. Imagine waiting 174 days to know that your potential job title went the way of the dodo).

Unsurprisingly, sending out CV’s and cover letters just to get absolutely zilch for months can put a rather large damper on your mood. But! It’s been quite a learning experience. At the risk of sounding a little cheesy, I’ve been working really hard on trying to change how I view my life, instead of waiting for things to change so I could be happy. It was a long and crappy process, but it did so much to get me out of the cycle of boredom and self-loathing.

(Admittedly, I began to change how I felt not very long before I started getting some replies to my many job applications. I don’t know if that was causal or a coincidence. Maybe a bit of both).

My daily life has me mostly spending time with my family. Sometimes I go out with friends, when we all have the time to meet up. I read, write a little, blog a little, draw a little and watch Game of Thrones. (Speaking of which, IT’S GETTING SO DAMN GOOD I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK).

I do have some stuff I want to talk about, and I have posts (or ideas) written up in my head. Just getting them out takes more effort, sometimes, than I’m able to give. I’m just trying to take things easy and ease myself into the idea of starting a working life again–something I’ve been needing since last August, really. (I haven’t officially gotten a job yet, but I’m getting pretty close. Just got to get some stuff finalized).

Wish me luck!

Dear Lebanon (A Must-Watch!)

This is something I think every Lebanese (and even non-Lebanese) should see. These are eight Lebanese teenagers, from different sects and backgrounds, all coming together with the passion for change. They’re eloquent, intelligent and unwilling to be another statistic in a broken country. (Found first on Gino’s blog, who wrote a full post that’s definitely worth reading!)

It’s a little over thirty minutes, but you should watch it all. You won’t regret it.

There may just be some hope for Lebanon after all.