Monday, November 07, 2005

Racism: USA vs Europe

Is it possible to state whether the US or Europe is more racist or less tolerant to difference races?
I've lived in both worlds...not for very long but long enough to have a say.

Experiences are different for everyone, bottom line is to think about your decisions and accept the consequences. A non-African, non-Muslim, non-Arab, non-Asian, non-third world country citizen has a better chance to take risks in moving from his/her homeland country than someone who gave up his/her life savings to move to the US or Europe to work in the least attractive conditions to send money home. There is always a place to go home to. Not the same for someone from Guatemala or Pakistan for example. I know that things can get tough for blacks in the US but do they have better chances in the states than anywhere else? Despite Bush and his croonies, despite the US politics, some immigrants feel that the US is supposedly a better country than others.

Obviously it offers tremendous opportunities on the professional and academic level, and it embraces you from whatever culture you are to work equally as any citizen. However I think it's too conservative and it only reminds me with the closed mindedness from the East, be it from christians or muslims. At least in France you don't have to go through the congress or texas cowboys to take an early birth pill. Of course freedom and liberty is not reduced to a birth control pill. The US has become very very conservative and religious, but you do not get your head chopped off if you speak against Bush, you do not rot in Jail because you own an opposition newspaper. A friend said to me:France is beautiful and has a great history and culture but "un bicot est un bicot" even if you were a candidate to the presidency :)

Anyway, I lived in the US for 5.5 years (before Sept. 11) and never much felt any discrimination, in spite of my having carried my Arabism and the justice of for the Palestinian cause right on my shirt sleeve. I was gently and diplomatically explaining my cause, what it was to be a Arab/Palestinian, the origins of the conflict and the injustice of what was done to the Palestinians. I found Americans to be very open-minded and quite supportive once they had an understanding of the situation; this because of what seemed to be an innate sense of justice Americans have.

Nevertheless, and paradoxically, there is no denying that racism is still very much alive and well in the US, both with respect to African-Americans for example and, post 9/11, with respect to Arabs and Muslims. I think much of the racism faced by Arabs and Muslims arises from the general ignorance of Americans about the world, which ignorance I find extremely dangerous because it is precisely what allows the leaders of the
US to mislead their people and to downright lie to them in order to get their support for misadventures such as the disastrous war in Iraq, which has now cost the lives of tens of thousands Iraqi civilians in addition to the lives of over 2000 American soldiers forced to wage a war whether they liked it or not! (This is not to bring up the whole other issue of racism in American wars, where it is for the most part poor Hispanics and Afircan-Americans who end up doing the dirty work of fighting and dying for America. I’ll bet you my bottom dollar that the US wouldn’t have gone to war had the Bush and Cheney daughters been compelled to fight in Iraq!). I'd better shut up now so my blood pressure doesn't go through the roof.

Having said that, I’ll add that I believe it's really hard to compare American racism with European racism because, as others have brought up, it depends on where one is in the US and what one's nationality and skin color are, especially in Europe. I think it’s almost impossible to generalize and to decide that the US or Europe is better than the other without looking at specific factors.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Human Metamorphosis

Boohoo! we are definitely living in a crazy world, an unbelievable culture that thrives and lives on gossip.

I bet I could be a very successful woman opening up my own business called and all the members would be ..... need not say really.

Two words: Shut up!

It seems like gossip nowadays is something men cant escape. It used to be 'this woman .. that woman' and now it's 'this guy,.. that guy did this and that and blah'. Bloody hell, will people just stop it!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Romantic Empiricism

Feed me oh taunting gods
the fruit which i have tasted only in my dreams
so vividly
that these plump ripened cherries
stain my tongue for weeks
weighing it down as i try to speak of anything mundane.
Didnt we learn from Hume that all of our complex ideas
must ultimately be composed of simple ideas,
that any idea that we have
is ultimately derived from sense experience.
So where are you my missing shade of blue
for i swear i already know you.
My soul has already seen
your beautiful aqua-marine like shimmery glow.
It has cascaded off the walls of my mind many times
like early morning skies
flirting with warm Carribbean seas.
Too many flowers have tried to bloom in your hue
and pose for me like little needy orphans,
but i see through.
If Descartes was right
i could not have concieved of you unless you exist,
and i have tasted you
as crazy as it sounds
you have told me all about you
ive felt you so deeply!
I have, in my state of totality
(quite far removed from what i know as reality)
carved your name inside my flesh
forcing myself to never forget,
and so with every breath
i listen for clues
with every twitch of my heart,
growl of my stomach,
click of a joint,
ring in my ear,
i am closer to discovering you.
Just like Bjork
i miss you
and i havent met you yet.
I will never allow you/this,
my force of life to rot away
giving some poor hopeless romantic me,
my empty carcass of flesh on the couch
watching tv so that we can have something to talk about
over a breakfast i cannot taste,
while vivid dreams of you remind me
of what i never had the patience to find/become.
Where are you,
my missing shade of blue,
i will wait for you,
to come and fill in every pore
every gap of empty space between molecules
like a complex didactic key
and one day i will read this poem to you. - j

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The height of rudeness

I went to get my phone fixed. The model only came out 6 months ago (which means it's still under warranty) and when I went in to give in my details and what the problem was, they never asked for a warranty (logically one wouldn't need to when they're the agents for these models).

Anyhow, they tell me it will be ready after 2 days. I go there after three days and there's this arrogant Indian who goes "I still didn't look at it, come tomorrow". I kept quiet and showed up the following day. I'm right in front of the counter, totally ignored for over 20 mins till one Old Indian guy kept telling the mobile technician that there's a customer here, where is her phone. Usually they can track the phones just by giving them the tel # but the technician decided to be more of an a*shole and says "where is the ticket stub?". I told him "I'm sorry, I left it at home, is it not possible to trace it with my tel #". He goes "we can but you will sit here for hours because we have paper work to do". Then he tells the other Indian guy in hindi "charge her for it since she didn't bring in the warranty". The Indian guy says "but it's a new model!". He said "NO, she didnt bring the warranty, charge her".

This is when I lost my tolerance for his bulls*it and flipped out "Listen, tell me everything you need and I will get it but have some respect for me and talk directly to me". He goes " it's common sense to bring in the warranty". I flipped out even more "common sense? is this how u insult customers too? u tell me what common sense is when I bring my brother with me tomorrow" and I left.

I was just too furious and the thought of it makes me furious. I had a loser mobile technician talking down on me. I'd feel awful to report him because I know he would get fired because the owners are close friends and I'd be guilty of that. One thing I would have loved to do is slap him.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Current Mood: Pessimistic

There are so many characteristics that can define a GOOD friend. I'm not talking about someone who will grant you some favors here n there..i.e. pick you up if you need a ride, lend you a couple rials when you need it, etc...I mean someone who willl drop everything they have to be with you when you need them, talk to you for hours when your blue... LISTEN to your problems and give you advice...know what your favorite food is... will never betray you regardless of the circumstances... knows exactly where you like shopping... knows what kind of guys you like molesting =) (a joke!), And will never trade in friendship for a man, (no offense guys its not about you ALL the time). It seems like almost everyone you think you know disappoints you in one way or another. Why cant people these days value the meaning of friendship and cherish it like they would their own life? Why does everyone these days seem to be out for just themselves? I can use some enlightenment here...the faith is slowly drifting...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

To artists of all kind... a good piece of advise

Rule One for a writer, as far as I'm concerned, is that There Are No Rules. And Rule Two (since Rule One was made to be broken) is that There Are No Excuses for Bad Art. Painters, writers, singers, actors, dancers, film-makers, musicians - they are meant to fly, to push at the frontiers, to worry the edges of the human imagination, to conjure beauty from the most unexpected things, to find magic in places where others never thought to look. If you limit the trajectory of their flight, if you weight their wings with society's existing notions of morality and responsibility, if you truss them up with preconceived values, you subvert their endeavour.

Arundhati Roy

Prozac Nation

I wanted to watch this movie because I heard a little about the best selling novel from a friend so I thought I'd give this movie a shot because I can't be bothered to spend too much time reading a depressing novel.

Yep, this was a very depressing movie, however, an insight to what clinically depressed people go through. It was heart-breaking in many ways. Besides that, Christina Ricci's acting was incredibly powerful.

It basically tells a true story about this young girl who had a hard childhood because of her parent's divorce. She goes to Harvard to study journalism and that's when you see her gradual and sudden fall into depression. She became one of he youngest music writers for Rolling Stone then comes the core of the movie, her depression.

Jessica Lange, her mother acted brilliantly well too. You see how Ricci is caught up between her mom and dad who are divorced and her flash backs into childhood. Of course when things are a little too late for her to handle her depression, she is prescribed with prozac.

The movie was not all that apart from understanding what the world is like for a depressed person and the crazy measures they would take to escape their reality.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Banksy in Palestine

Art prankster Banksy or secretive "guerrilla" artist has decorated Israel's controversial West Bank barrier with satirical images of life on the other side.

go to:

Brilliant and Chilling!

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