Friday, June 26, 2015

Winterschool Diaries

            An evening with the legendary Pops Mohamed at this years VANSA Winterschool.

I came to Winterschool to rediscover my writing.
To find the reason why I enjoyed putting pen to thoughts.
I came to get unstuck.
To learn and experience and absorb.

I left with a better understanding of my journey.
I left with new-found bonds.
I left unstuck and deeply satisfied
But mostly I left with my senses invigorated and alive!

Let the story begin.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

America Expecting A Bumper Crop Of Terrorism

We've all read about or heard the claims that a great many terrorist organizations operating throughout the world are creations of the CIA.
I used to think that this was crazy conspiracy-talk, until I actually started reading up on the subject matter.

I'd go into the long and sordid history of the CIA and it's links to these organizations, including it's funding of the Taliban in Pakistan and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, but there are hundreds of online sources that would do a much better job of it including this one right here: Counterpunch

That the Middle East is an absolute quagmire of death, desperation and dollars and will remain so for as long as the West can profit from oil and arms to the region has been apparent for longer than the words 'Peace Treaty' have been bandied about. What is interesting though is how the fallout from the perfect shit-storm that's embattled the Middle East for so long is now being felt in the very heart of America.

I spoke to an Egyptian friend of mine not too long ago. He travels regularly back and forth between his home country and South Africa on business. On his last trip home he engaged a family member of his who happens to be very involved in the political situation in Egypt.
The Arab-Springs and the great hope that the Egyptian people had for democracy.
How they realized very quickly that the will of the people was really no match for political maneuverings between the Egyptian army and America.
How Sisi was chosen to be a proxy-leader long before the first bullet was even fired in Tahrir Square.
How revolutions are stage-managed to deliver a pre-determined outcome and the role the media plays in advancing hidden agendas.
Only a select handful of those in the know really do understand what the end game is about.
It truly was eye-opening for me to realize that activism and revolutions are really up against a foe a hundred-fold more powerful and prepared than the cause they think they're fighting.

With all this lobbying and stage-managing, it turns out that the one thing the West and in particular America never could control was it's own people in it's own backyard.

When American citizens commit acts of terror, both law enforcement and the media are galvanized into a frenzy of pigeon-holing either victim or suspect. They need to assign labels to better stage-manage public perception and the resultant reaction.
So black, minority, non-Caucasian or Muslim suspects of acts of terror will immediately be labeled 'terror suspects'.
White suspects will invariably be labeled 'sick', 'deranged', 'lone-gunman' or 'troubled individuals' with no mention of religion or ethnicity.
Read this piece from The Washington Post

Why this burning need to differentiate between American-Caucasian terror and American-non-Caucasian terror?
Well because the CIA, war lobby groups, the NRA and the White House are and always have been white institutions. By acknowledging white terrorism, they would need to acknowledge the terrorism within their ranks. While the immediate perception to those highlighting this bias in reporting would be one of racism, the underlying reality is actually a massive failure by white America and it's Board Of Directors to keep the leash on it's own.

How then do we make the link between American-led wars throughout the world and especially in the Middle East, and homegrown American terrorists plying their trade from within?
As my friend so aptly put it, once you create a culture of impunity against gross acts of violence by the state against another, you can't expect it's citizens to be law-abiding. More-so, if those acts were justified by virtue of an "Us-And-Them" mentality, as is the case with America and Arabs or America and Any-Other-Nation, then it really isn't a great leap to see how terrorism within America is between Whites and Blacks, or Whites and Minorities, or Whites and Muslims.

The chickens have come home to roost in cities across America, and until the leadership doesn't change it's war-rhetoric from "Us-And-Them", they shouldn't expect it's homegrown terrorists to.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Friends With Benefits

At some point I considered making this blog of mine anonymous.
Not just this post, but the entire blog.
But vanity prevailed, thank goodness. The same vanity which has me coming back each week just to see how many visitors have stumbled upon my writing, most by pure chance but certainly none by actually seeking out any writing of interest or quality content.

It is these stumblers that I address when I say that you have found the bunghole of the blogosphere right here.
I don't use that term 'Bunghole' lightly.
It has recently come to aptly describe my year, my most recent business venture, certain family relations and even friendships new and old.

I've finally closed chapters on friends and family that were open for far too long in the hope that I could re-write the endings. Sometimes the ending happened long before we even realized the story was over.
Some chapters were harder to close than others.
Words lingered, like the smell of camphor after death. But in those words I realized why closure was so important. Like waking up one morning and finding out that you've been adopted, or that your siblings are actually not your own blood and flesh. Or that your cat is actually a goldfish.
You linger and ponder and die.
Or you close the chapter, move on and live.
So I chose life.

Sometimes you have to close the chapter on business ventures too.
You bite the bullet, lift your socks and move on.
You pen the final chapter and acknowledge the lessons and experiences; and you're all the wiser for it. I've learned that I have an insane appetite for risk and adventure. That I have no fear of starting from the bottom. That I have an enormous amount of faith in myself and my abilities. And mostly I learned that I have the most amazing support structure in my wife and kids. They see me as some kind of Superhero who can never fail them, and so I don my Superhero costume each day to prove them right.
And each night I come home to tell them about my adventurous day and watch their eyes light up, and in that moment I feel like the guy who can beat Hulk or Superman.

In closing all these chapters, I've found an inner peace that's allowed me to appreciate the stories yet unwritten.
The friendships I have, both old and new.
People who just get me, and who I would take a bullet for. Not in the head, and not one made of lead either. Maybe a jelly-baby bullet. Or a cupcake bullet. But a bullet nonetheless.
The kind of friends I'd like to grow old with some day.
The kind who would have chapter upon chapter dedicated to them in my book of life.
The kind of friends who are in my inner circle.
The ones who's only benefit is making life worth living.

Here's to bunghole friends everywhere.
The kind who will pull you out of one, and if they can't, they'll get right in there with you and make it bearable.