Monday, October 11, 2004

For the record

I have refrained from tackling my “hatred” before but now is the time to do it.

If you think I am consumed with hatred YOU DON’T KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT ME. There are many things I hate, yes. I hate war, I hate famine, I hate violence, I hate abuse. I don’t hate people. I don’t hate the Palestinians, I don’t hate Muslims. Islam as we have it today often scares the shit out of me. And it fucking pisses me off, being scared pisses me off. Patronising ignorance pisses me off also. I live in a country where every single underinformed citizen is a fucking politics analyst. I am bloody tired of people disguising as pro-Palestinian when in fact they are anti-Israel, which is so very different. Everyone has a right to their opinion but I don’t presume to talk about things I know NOTHING about, so re the Middle East, if someone doesn’t know the first thing about it, they should just shut the fuck up and not feed me feeble propaganda. Or if they’re going to, they should at least get their shit together and do it intelligently - because stupid people are the exception, THOSE I hate! Nothing kills faster than ignorance. I am tired of seeing images of dead Palestinians and none of Israelis. Do you know the one time I saw them? When I was living in Israel. They do not cross borders. God forbid we should discover everyone is human and in pain. It breaks my heart to think of civilians killed, be they children, man or women, and it doesn’t matter what nationality they are. But the world after Barak/2000 is a very different one, and even though I have the same empathy my sympathy has greatly diminished. Can you see the difference? Go see this post. This was absolutely true and that is what hurts the most. And it doesn’t matter, today, whether the same people still feel the same way and would never dare showing it now for fear of being killed for it, or have been brainwashed and can be seen at their homes prepping martyrs. The Palestinians are the black sheep of the Arab world. They are despised by their brothers and always have been. They are a liability to them. No one seems willing to help them very much. When they spat in our face, which they ABSOLUTELY DID, that was it for me. I do not rejoice in their suffering but it taught me that you can’t save those who do not wish to be saved, and that there are mentality gaps that cannot be bridged, easily or otherwise.

If you can’t see that I wrote what I wrote as a way of escaping the pain, the horror and the very hatred, mah la'assot. I have often longed to be a cabbage. Cabbages have it easier. Because I abysmally fail at it, I am very often very mad by what goes on around me. I wave my fists around, I scream, I feel sad, I feel guilty, I feel doubtful, I feel disgusted, I feel betrayed, I feel nauseated to the core. I am not so high up on the nirvana ladder that I can just let things wash through me (I am also not so high up there that I presume to know what is going on inside other people, condescension IS a bitch). I do believe STRONGLY that some people really don’t deserve to live but it’s not up to me to decide when and how they get to die. So, even though I won't shed one tear if BAD GUY is run over by a bus - such a relief it would be actually, one down - I will do all I could to prevent the state, any state, from applying the death penalty, regardless of atrocities commited. I DO NOT cultivate hatred, on the contrary. I work hard to get rid of whatever seeds may have been blown my way. Because you know what? I was once talking to my friend Yoni in Israel, and we were ranting against the “bloody Arabs”. [Enter anthropological note: when letting out steam, you go for the stereotypical throat. You will say “that fat asshole”, “the blonde bimbo”, that “black bastard”. It defines your anger momentarily, not who you are permanently. And because you find adequate means of dealing with it, even if they are not PC (and I find PC absolute bullocks and grossly over-rated) it doesn’t take hold. Tarnish you, as it were. Funny how that works.] And then we had to laugh. Because we both knew that, say, if there was a pigua, we’d risk our lives to try and save the bloody Arabs we were ranting about. I would not let even a terrorist bleed to death. How spiteful of me.


At 11/10/04 18:45, Blogger The Sacramento Blog said...

Nicely said and I concur.

At 11/10/04 19:18, Blogger Dale said...

If this is in response to my comment, I think you misunderstood me somewhat.

I do not think you are consumed with hatred.

I'm sorry I said you were cultivating it -- I realize I'm speaking there in the jargon of my own religious tradition, and that taken out of that context the statement is both untrue and insulting. I apologize, and I ask your forgiveness.

At 11/10/04 21:41, Blogger The Lioness said...

Well, you did piss me off so I wrote the post so I got it off my system so all was well again. The moment I stopped writing it stopped annoying me. Done! I did realise you meant well, and I could intuit what you meant but I did find it a bit preachy and condescending on an immediate level and that's a combination that never fails to get me going. And then it was my turn to preach - though I'll tell you I tried very hard to curb the condescension - and, as I said, all was well again. ANYWAY, we've established that we have this bizarre karma, so we might as well get used to it. No need to apologise bcs I really knew you didn't mean to be beastly, rather the opposite, and not that you even were, it's simply that words are powerful and even more so when faceless. So no worries! Looking forward to the next time you annoy me - I think we can count on that happening, yes? ;D

At 11/10/04 21:49, Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh, Dale, could you briefly - or lenghtily - explain the jargon? What it was you meant, that is, I'd like to learn about your religious context. And all right, next time I'll try to do the zen thing and skip right over our karma issue!

At 12/10/04 07:40, Blogger Beleobus said...

And as we comemorate the anniversary of the Bali tradgedy (quite a significant event for Australians - we have never before lost so many citizens in a single day since WW1. YES THE FIRST WORLD WAR.)

Coming from someone who does not take a side in the Middle East debate while trying to stay on top of the news: in principal I do concur with the statement that you cannot save those who have no desire to be saved. Of course, there is a plethora of issues here about which those in Australia recieve precious little news.

At 12/10/04 07:50, Blogger The Sacramento Blog said...

well i honestly like what you wrote i may not agree whole heartedly but i can understand you emotions. so dont get me wrong i have my own emotions as well my own beliefs but what i do see your perspectives

At 12/10/04 11:29, Blogger The Lioness said...

B, I think it is fairly impartial to say that the PLO get a lot of media coverage and that the world in general is rooting for them, unlike your minorities. Actually I've been meaning to ask you, is it only the aborigenes or do the Asians still get ignored as well? Feel free to email me also if you think it doesn't belong here.

At 13/10/04 00:41, Blogger Dale said...

Phew. Well, I'm feeling particularly stupid and clumsy right now, but I'll try, since you asked.

Um, I don't know how brief I can be. I practice Vajrayana Buddhism in one of the Tibetan traditions. (Not Zen, but we share a huge amount of... philosophical infrastructure, you might say, with Zen.)

We focus a lot on how we choose to place our attention -- or more precisely, on how we generally do *not* choose to place our attention, but let our habits and circumstances drag it here and there -- and what that does to a) the picture of the world we build up and b) what states of mind we habitually linger in.

These are things that are usually very difficult to see clearly without disciplined meditation. I certainly was completely clueless about what was actually going on in my mind, and the price I was paying for some of my mental habits, before I'd done much meditation.

I was NOT saying "don't think about this stuff," and I was NOT saying "don't take political or military action in response to it." I also was NOT saying that I think you are being unfair to anyone. My guess is that you spend enormous mental capital in trying not to be, in fact that you often exhaust yourself that way.

You're right, I know little about the Middle East. I was not talking about the Middle East. I'm talking about how minds function, which I do know something about, having watched a markedly dysfunctional one closely for a number of years.

I'm very sorry I used the word "hatred," which means I imagine in your context "illegitimate, unfair, groundless anger." It's just a synonym for "anger" in my context.

I am presuming I know what goes on inside you, which must be exasperating, whether I'm right or wrong. I know I hate it when people do that to me. It's rude. Stupid. Unskillful, at best.

So here's my feeble defense: reading your post I felt my stomach knotting up and a horrible despair washing over me, a rage against injustice and stupidity (in quite another part of the world, one that I do know something about.) I thought to myself, God, I used to *live* in that space. All the time. And I wanted to say, there's other ways to get out of it than cabbagehood.

At 13/10/04 02:16, Blogger The Lioness said...

Thanks for explaining, it's really interesting - in the real sense of the word, not the "interstorrible" one.

"In fact that you often exhaust yourself that way." Well, you're abolutely right. Again, my problem was indeed the word "hatred" bcs to me it's so beyond anger it renders one almost... inhuman, i suppose. Or cut off from the world. I am very undisciplined - surprise! And i can't really meditate - or, better said, i haven't really found a meditation mode that works for me. In fact, I have a strong suspicion that i read compulsively in order NOT to think at times bcs it's the only way of retreating available to me. I think learning to read and write was both the beginning of my sanity and its guardian.

I do think in colours sometimes bcs it makes me feel better but there's nothing synaesthesic abt it. Oh, and I do this visualising thing with the water pressure machine bcs it DOES get rid of bad things. Does it count? OTOH, if someone tells me to get in touch with my inner child I just want to lash out because it sounds bloody silly. I tried yoga - which i KNOW would do me a world of good - but i quit bcs the guy kept saying the most inane things and no, i couldn't get past the words.

So yes, I know what you mean, and I know there are other ways than cabbagehood - love this, will adopt it now! - but haven't found one yet and in the mean time it is tiring to be me sometimes. I wish I didn't let things get to me so easily and deeply. (And I don't really wish i were a cabbage, not really.) Who knows, maybe you're a path? So feel free to email me with suggestions (I'd very much appreciate it if you have the time), literary or otherwise.

- My post seems to have made people cry, feel anger, feel fear and I apologise for that. It was meant to help detox myself, not intoxicate others.

At 13/10/04 19:34, Blogger Paranoid said...

That was a really well written thought.

I wish everybody had an attitude like yours. You know, impartial, informed, and intelligent?

I have the same problem...everybody is a fucking political analyst where I live, and they don't know enough about our own politics to criticize those of another government.

At 16/10/04 21:17, Blogger The Lioness said...

I'm hardly impartial, i wouldn't even dream of pretending not to be biased, of course I am, but there really are FACTS that speak for themselves and to pretend they're something else and see them subjected to not even intelligent manipulation is absolutely aggravating!

At 21/2/05 03:29, Blogger twisteddragonfly said...

Read your post with great intrest. Might I say first, I so enjoy reading your thoughts. (Perhaps because they are so like my own?)
Secondly, dear Lioness, two things in life you should not apologize for. One is who you are and the second is how you feel. I think its a good thing that your post had the power to elicit so much thought from others. Why should you apologize if your feelings about the unjustice in this world make them a little uncomfortable?
The fact that you become so enraged and passionate about these things makes you real, Keep caring and keep writing....


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