Captain’s log. Stardate 2008-12-23

The barbarians are at the gate.They are talking a lot.My blood sugar seems to be running low. Something to do with the apple?Or maybe it’s not the blood sugar. It doesn’t really make a difference anyways, does it?I need food.TrappedCannot get out.Cannot get out.They are still talking.Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllpppppppp!

separating man from myth

“One man caught on a barbed wire fenceOne man he resistOne man washed up on an empty beachOne man betrayed with a kissIn the name of loveWhat more in the name of love”– Pride, U2–sometimes I wonder. Separating the divinity from the man, Jesus Christ still remains an extraordinary figure in history. And I always stop at the crucifixion. Why did he allow himself to be in that position? Surely he could have done more good alive rather than dead? Was he liberating mankind or placing a terrible burden on it?Did he believe in earnest that, if always responding to hate and suffering with absolute and unconditional love, that they would not crucify him, that they would come to their senses? Did he ask the father to forgive them, when he realized that, in their murderous frenzy, their hatred, they saw nothing of the love or suffering, only their false rage?Did he forsee that the symbol of his crucifixion would become a burden of guilt on all to follow? To remember when you felt rage, that rage had already been felt. When you felt hate, that hate had already been felt and dealt with, with love and forgiveness?But here we are today, still not free from that hate or suffering that led to the crucifixion. Repeating mistakes over and over. Was it all futile? Which way is forward?–better larger, on black

on the rise of the void towards the periphery

“Structure.Sign,and Play.Exit.No Exit.This Way >< That WayUp ^Down VBehind you Every path you walk …Every road you make _Every choice you tread . . . Every hope you breathe ^VRiddled in doubt ~Lost in time *Lost in space ( )Lost in spacetime ( * )Lost in timespace *()*Where am I?Who are you?What are we?OneA r e w e t h e r e y e t?Are we there yet?Arewethereyet?”

on protest and activism

there’s been a lot said and shouted and argued in this past week about us needing to do something. We need to; but it’s always good to have that tempered by what the past has taught us. Came across this on the New York Times, written by one William Ayers, made re-famous by Republicans who said “Obama palled around with terrorists” and stuff, the essay by itself makes good reading, you can find that herethe part of the article I’m referring to is here:

The Weather Underground crossed lines of legality, of propriety and perhaps even of common sense. Our effectiveness can be — and still is being — debated. We did carry out symbolic acts of extreme vandalism directed at monuments to war and racism, and the attacks on property, never on people, were meant to respect human life and convey outrage and determination to end the Vietnam war.Peaceful protests had failed to stop the war. So we issued a screaming response. But it was not terrorism; we were not engaged in a campaign to kill and injure people indiscriminately, spreading fear and suffering for political ends.I cannot imagine engaging in actions of that kind today. And for the past 40 years, I’ve been teaching and writing about the unique value and potential of every human life, and the need to realize that potential through education.I have regrets, of course — including mistakes of excess and failures of imagination, posturing and posing, inflated and heated rhetoric, blind sectarianism and a lot else. No one can reach my age with their eyes even partly open and not have hundreds of regrets. The responsibility for the risks we posed to others in some of our most extreme actions in those underground years never leaves my thoughts for long.The antiwar movement in all its commitment, all its sacrifice and determination, could not stop the violence unleashed against Vietnam. And therein lies cause for real regret.We — the broad “we” — wrote letters, marched, talked to young men at induction centers, surrounded the Pentagon and lay down in front of troop trains. Yet we were inadequate to end the killing of three million Vietnamese and almost 60,000 Americans during a 10-year war.

Mumbai 3rd December

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Mumbai 3rd December, originally uploaded by Sahirr.

I’m still undecided on the response to terrorism; but I can’t help thinking it’s not protests and marches and stuff like this.

To protest is to give equality, credibility to terrorists; and to extremists in general.

If protest is what it’s about, then protest about faux government expenditure and corruption — and do something — file a PIL, publicly humiliate the incompetent politicians with RTI and other tools, don’t give them room to hide.

Like “Zero tolerance to terrorism”. Terrorism is by definition zero tolerance. Zero tolerance meeting zero tolerance implies escalation, not solution. Wiping out each and every terrorist is not an option, there’s always more where they came from, if we don’t get to the root causes of terrorism. Lack of education, lack of prospects, lack of reasoned oversight and guidance by the elders of a community.

Escalation implies acknowledgment that these terrorists, abject failures of human beings as they are, have a hold over our lives; asking for “our city back” implies that the terrorists have a hold over a lives.

We need to ask for a better equipped police force, better equipped politicians, and demand it. We need to get the Election Commission, the judiciary, and the CBI and police to help decriminalize politics and systematic bureaucracy within the country. That’s where all our troubles start, and that’s where our troubles will stay, if we can’t get this done now.

Zero tolerance to terrorism? Don’t know if that will happen, or how we can make it happen, if at all. Zero tolerance to corruption? That’s doable. Let’s get moving on that one, shall we?

silent . observer

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silent . observer, originally uploaded by s t e r n f a h r e r.

“In a morbid condition of the brain, dreams often have a singular actuality, vividness, and extraordinary semblance of reality. At times monstrous images are created, but the setting and the whole picture are so truth-like and filled with details so delicate, so unexpectedly, but so artistically consistent, that the dreamer, were he an artist like Pushkin or Turgenev even, could never have invented them in the waking state. Such sick dreams always remain long in the memory and make a powerful impression on the overwrought and deranged nervous system.”

– Fyodor Dostoevsky

on divinity

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on divinity, originally uploaded by s t e r n f a h r e r.

“The world is divine because the world is inconsequential. That is why art alone, by being equally inconsequential, is capable of grasping it. It is impossible to give a clear account of the world, but art can teach us to reproduce it—just as the world reproduces itself in the course of its eternal gyrations.

The primordial sea indefatigably repeats the same words and casts up the same astonished beings on the same seashore. But at least he who consents to his own return and to the return of all things, who becomes an echo and an exalted echo, participates in the divinity of the world.

By this subterfuge, the divinity of man is finally introduced. The rebel, who at first denies God, finally aspires to replace Him.”

– On Metaphysical Rebellion, L’Homme Révolté, Albert Camus

L’homme . révolté

“In more ingenuous times, when the tyrant razed cities for his own greater glory, when the slave chained to the conqueror’s chariot was dragged through the rejoicing streets, when enemies were thrown to the wild beasts in front of the assembled people, the mind did not reel before such unabashed crimes, and the judgment remained unclouded.

But slave camps under the flag of freedom, massacres justified by philanthropy or by a taste for the superhuman, in one sense cripple judgment. On the day when crime dons the apparel of innocence — through a curious transposition peculiar to our times — it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself”

– Albert Camus

free . to . choose

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free . to . choose, originally uploaded by s t e r n f a h r e r.

There’s a hum in the air. I’m sure I can hear it. I can feel it. It’s so loud, it hurts my mind. I’m numb, I can’t take my mind off it, I don’t know what to do about it. No one can help me. No one else can even hear it. I’m writing this down. In the middle of nowhere, in the middle of notime, with no thought in my head. Only the humming in the air around me, and footsteps approaching.

Who is it? I can’t see. It’s dark. “Who is it!?”, I shout. The darkness laughs back in silence. Am I awake, or is this a dream? What does it mean, to be awake, if this is being awake? What does it mean to be dreaming, if this is a dream? If this is a dream, whose dream is it? It can’t be mine. It must be someone else’s dream. But how can that be? Can you be awake, can you be aware, in someone else’s dream?

The mind shudders to accept what should not be.

A light approaches. No. It’s not approaching. It’s fading away. Should I follow? I’m afraid. Being in the darkness for so long I now fear the light. Do I stay here and wait? Do I follow the light?

I move towards it. The hum grows stronger. Am I doing the right thing? The hum reverberates in my head. The light dancing on my eyes breathes new horror with each flicker. But it’s all in my mind. I’m sure I have to follow this light. I walk.

There’s a door, made of blinding light. I walk through. It’s light everywhere. Bright, white, blinding light. I keep walking. I look around, I look back. There’s nothing there. It’s all light now. Only a speck of darkness in all of it. The dark door from which I emerged.

The humming starts again. It dawns on me then. I am lost.