Sunday, January 10, 2021

Don't Expect People You Were Mean To, To Like You

"Forgive me for beating you, tormenting you relentlessly, I was young back then." Our Reserve sure had and has its share of bullies; people who enjoy the torture of others. The tormenting may have been endless teasing on you, or worse, violence on your body. It is quite weird how many of the bullies make out in life. It is like they have not been touched by Doondjinaay, Karma, the big ledger book in the sky, the reciprocity of ugliness, the what goes around comes around and they'll get theirs prophecy. Not that we should relish in someone's pain or suffering but why do we have to forgive them? Should we forgive them for our own peace of mind? I guess it makes sense. After all why should we spend time, energy on someone, something we have no control or business with? But still, forgive them? Mayo Clinic says forgiveness is good for you and they know their stuff: "By embracing forgiveness,  you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy." Who wouldn't want to enjoy hope and joy? So okay we can forgive those mean buggers who hurt us. Doesn't mean we don't have to like them. 

I know lot of folk who have been mean. Mean to others both physically and verbally, they were out right cruel. The cruelty they have inflicted on people is lost on them. They don't even realize the pain they have caused or how it still resonates on the victims. The wild thing, is they don't expect anyone to forgive them, because they don't think they have done anything wrong. They even get upset when their past is brought up. Sure the past is the past and we should not live there or even park our car there, but the past shapes us. The past is like the knee of Derek Chauvin on our necks; it chokes us to death. If we continue to live like our past, we should not be surprised if it is vomited back in our face.  It is weird when cruel people are upset when someone doesn't like them for their cruelty. Cruel people want to be cruel to those who don't like them. And people don't like those cruel individuals because they are cruel. Cruel people can not understand why people don't like them. Cruel people use a power they have or power that we give them. Power can be through their size, their employment position, their financial status, and their community standing. 

In the end we can forgive those who are cruel but we don't have to like them. I still don't think forgiveness is always the road to take. Look at Donald Trump and his cruelty, his selfishness, his hatred, his greed, his ugly mean spirit. Should people forgive him? The guy locked up kids, separated them from their families and didn't even take time to make sure the kids' parents names were recorded. The kids may never find their Moms and Dads, ever. And the caging of kids is not even the cruelest,  meanest thing he did. If there was ever an argument against forgiveness, Donald Trump is it.  So we don't have to forgive those who are cruel, but we don't have to carry their burden as well. Can we though, can we not forgive them and still be able to find joy? 

Cruelty is not limited to the individual. Every aspect we can attribute to an individual we can also assign it to an entity. Our own countries can be extremely cruel. The United States has been cruel to so many people and yet this same US wants them to sing praises, put their hands over their hearts for them, send their kids to be killed for them, stand for the US flag and keep voting them into office. Canada has a similar attitude, except maybe for sending their kids to be killed as much as the US does. The US will send your kids to be killed so big corporations can make more money and the US will tell people "hey it's for freedom." The US will punish you if you kneel rather than stand when the US anthem is sung (which has roots in Slavery).  Still the countries want you to like them regardless of how they treat you. The thing in the practice of cruelty by the countries is primarily aimed at Indigenous, Blacks, People of Colour, the LGBQT community, and the poor. It is ugly how the cruel use their power on people who don't have any. 

You have seen the message; Canada/US love it or leave it. A zero sum approach to a relationship, like us or get the hell out of here. It don't work like that or at least it shouldn't. We shouldn't have to be bullied into liking them. Perhaps if they try to make amends, change their historic ways, maybe then we can reconsider. When people start to change how they use their power, their attitudes and behaviours we don't have to like them or forgiven them. And even if they do alter their behaviour, try make amends for the cruelty, we still don't have to like them. 

Monday, January 4, 2021

So Beautiful it is Obscene

Ever see something so beautiful but you know it is quite obscene? I was fortunate enough to go for a trip to Montreal, a beautiful city. My wife, Suz, took me there, it was around 1998. We did a few tourist things, like go on one of those crazy boat rides, the one which does 360's at high speed. I think we have a photo somewhere. We walked around old Montreal and the docks. I remember a man who was painted up silver like a statue which was pretty cool.  One of the memories we made was at the Notre-Dame Basilica.  My Mom was a Catholic so it was good to go to the Church and then tell her about it. The Church does not disappoint. The interior of the Church is just magnificent, with incredible wood work, exterior work, art work, and stained glass windows. The disappointment we have is that we never had the chance to take my deceased Mom there. I think she would have appreciated the beauty in the Church. 

For me the Norte Dame Church was so incredible in all its splendor that it is absolutely obscene. There is no spirituality to it but rather opulence, just pure riches. It is no doubt beautiful, still it reeks of a rotten stench. The stench comes from its theft, its brutality, it's destruction the world over. The great beauty cannot hide the wretchedness within the foundation of its life.  "Once, when criticising the Vatican's wealth, Pope John Paul I confessed that his toilet flush handle was made of solid gold and studded with diamonds. You get the image; the beauty we see in gold and the obscenity of it as a toilet handle where you flush shit down to disappear?

We see the beauty and obscenity in both people and objects (perhaps even words). I think of the beauty of Mrs. Trump and the daughter Trump. No one can really say they are not beautiful (of course tastes differ and are subjective) but they are also hideous. How can anyone say they are not?  They have physical attributes which make them attractive but there is also much to them which many see as monstrous. The prostitution of integrity for riches and power. There are many individuals we can see as beautiful and obscene. 

There are of course things which should be beautiful and obscene but turns out they are nothing but gaudy. The art piece title America is an example of gaudy as opposed to beauty. The 18 karat golden toilet is a good example of missing the mark of beauty and just showing gaudy. It is gaudy but it was designed to be and the message is it is also obscene.   

Leon Neil/Getty Images

America was viewed as the "land of opportunity" at one time but now it is viewed as the land of the obscene, the selfish, the damned. The United States was seen as a democratic country where the people have the voice over affairs; a beautiful idea. What was once thought to be beautiful is now known to be ugly; the voices are being silenced and it is obscene. The powerful establishment of the power hungry and the rich have almost ruined United States democracy. 

We can view talent as beautiful. Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro in 1978 The Deer Hunter movie are just incredible. Other actors, producers, directors have made incredible, beautiful works as well. The beauty of these works is ruined by the obscenity of their other actions. Mel Gibson, John Wayne, Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen are but a few of the ugly where we once associated as beautiful talents. We see them as they truly are: repugnant, repulsive, ugly and disgusting. The beautiful is actually obscene. Still many refuse to see the obscene and continue to view them as beautiful. 

It is weird how we view beauty; a building, an art piece, an animal, a mountain, a piece of jewelry, a person, a child, a piece of furniture, a vehicle, and so on. The truly beautiful is being missed. It is being missed because the obscene has become the image of beauty. There are some amazing beautiful people who are active in keeping things beautiful. Autumn Peltier is an example of beauty. She is beautiful for the work she does and the message she carries. She is a Water Carrier. 

Autumn Peltier Photo by Linda Roy 
 We still want to look at a river or a lake and see the beauty but we take it for granted. We pollute the rivers, the waterways, and make it not good to wade in it, to swim in it and to drink it. We poison it with mercury and flush shit down into from our golden toilets with our solid gold and diamond handles. We turn something so beautiful it becomes obscene. Indigenous communities the world over cannot drink the water anymore. It is the obscenity of the rich which is ruining the beautiful. We view a stack of money as beautiful. We want to load up our bath tub with money and wash our bodies with the money. We don't see the money as what it is; dirty, filthy and the spreading of germs. We see money as so beautiful we kiss it before we shove it into the slot machine at the gambling establishments. We don't even realize my cousin just took a big shit and didn't wash his hands. He used those shit stained hands to handle his money and hand it over to another place of business. The money traveled around being handled by many shit stained, flu, and cold infected hands, where it has finally come into your hands. You love money so much you kiss it, not even seeing the crud, the dirt, the germs on the dollar bill. Mean while, there are folks who are actively spending this loved money to destroy the water ways, the marshes, the mountains and why? To have more shit stained obscene money in their hands. 

"The COVID-19 crisis, as we well know, has exacerbated inequalities that already existed. The world's richest people offer the starkest example. An October Report found that in the 500 wealthiest people had gained $813 billion collectively so far in 2020. On his own, the world's richest person...has accrued $70,5 billion in new wealth this year. Many constituents of the 99%, meanwhile, lost their jobs, lost their homes, and joined food lines." 

I came up this post because of a video images  I have seen over the past few months and over the years.  There are images of Children coming out of Yemen. Beautiful children, but in horrible circumstances. I cannot imagine the pain of the people, the Mothers, the Fathers of the Children of Yemen. You can only look at what should be beautiful and see the obscenity of it. The image of a child of only skin and bone becomes obscene.

Al-Sabeen hospital in Sana, Yemen,

We look away because the beauty is all but gone and we can't bear to look. So beautiful yet it has become obscene and why? Power, greed and human obscenity makes this happen. 

We see things which are so beautiful and they should be so beautiful but are obscene. It fucking hurts. 

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