Let us keep on being hopeful this new year, and all days thereon.
Let us hope for each other.
Let us pray for each other, wherever we are in the world.
I wish all your dreams fulfilled.
Let us keep on being hopeful this new year, and all days thereon.
Let us hope for each other.
Let us pray for each other, wherever we are in the world.
I wish all your dreams fulfilled.
. ❤ .
I’ve just decided that the world is free to condemn Duterte an ass.
However, for us who understand what’s happening, he’s our chance at making it good in this life ever since European Christianity destroyed our society until today (read about it here (pdf): david-okazaki_colonial-mentality). That’s 500 long years. But whereas Europe has devalued Christianity, we to this day remain a God-fearing people, maybe all not religious but certainly with a very strong sense of the spiritual <<< this I have no doubt.
The other day an illegal-drug laboratory capable of producing 400 kilos in one day was discovered. The operators abandoned the building when Duterte won the election.
The world can call us a nation of idiots, that’s fine. We’ll just do what we think is right. Anyway, when Duterte talks publicly he actually means it for our consumption, ergo his complete array of colorful expressions — such contextual emphatic expressions that non-Filipinos will find difficult to understand — so that we finally begin to think for ourselves, be free from “colonial mentality” that is our bane.
We had been stupid as a people and now is our chance to make up.
The industrialized world does not know all this, how we have suffered all these centuries, so they have no right to meddle with how we solve our problems. Instead they should be asking us in what ways we need help, because we urgently need help. But Duterte will not sell our national soul just to get help. If we can educate ourselves to the truth within Duterte’s term, either before he retires or before he is assassinated, then we’d have a hope at stopping the oligarchs’ excesses and give more chances to our poorest folks to better their lives.
The world condemns Duterte just on the basis of his stupid stupid mouth but for us his mouth is the least of our problems. And if indeed he was a cold-bloodied killer then that’s his business before God. (How can his neighbors of/for decades love him if he violates human rights?) But right now he’s not being a cold-bloodied killer as a president. I understand what’s happening. As of now he has restored the power of the law in the land. He constantly lectures us in all of his speeches that we must abide by the law. We have hope now in witnessing the culture of impunity disappear among the elite moneyed class. These are little gods, out of the reach of law. These elite are the remnants of the colonizers. Duterte has made enemies among them simply because he won the election. (There are mga elitista, many of them, who work for the plight of the people, and they are not part of who I’m referring to. There are non-elitista who are biased against Duterte simply because they are embarrassed of his rough ways and they want to distance themselves from him — these are the ones who are slaves to colonial mentality and many of them are fans of Leila de Lima<– that’s link to a video where she hysterically defends herself in front of media, a very un-lawyer-ly and cowardly procedure, instead of facing her accusers at the parliamentary investigations.) 🙂
The police and the wo/men-at-arms have once more become honorable to the people’s eyes. They’re back with their dignity in their correct places because they are sure now that the law will not abandon them to the moneyed-powerful. My people have not felt more safe and more hopeful for a very long time. The 700,000 who voluntarily identified themselves to the police got scared of the power of the law by way of the police. This was what Duterte wanted to happen. The majority were identified, had their names put on record, and were released back to their homes. The rest of us who have not violated the law are not scared of anything at all.
When the world calls Duterte an ass it’s us the people who feel the pain and we are at a loss because the world is more quick to condemn that to find out what’s true. The only way to stop Duterte’s foul mouth is to simply not provoke him in the first place. If the world thinks we’re a stupid primitive bunch, then so be it. We are only trying to survive as humans with dignity.
Here is the Philippines’ foreign policy (DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay privilege speech, UN General Assembly, Sept. 20-26, 2016). The Secretary of Foreign Affairs Pefecto Yasay, Jr. is a pastor’s kid, a lawyer and teacher in the U.S., and Duterte’s dormitory roommate while both were in law school. Watch and listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE7PT2ynTk4
—–> Here is a summary of that speech from the UN webpage, below. (Source: https://gadebate.un.org/en/71/philippines )
Statement Summary: PERFECTO R. YASAY, JR., Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, said that after his country’s hard-fought and hard-won independence, it zealously valued and guarded its rights and liberties through democracy and a system of checks and balances. Five months ago, the people had elected new President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with an unprecedented and resounding electoral mandate. For far too long, the Philippines had been unable to fully advance due to corruption, worsening crime, and the prevalence of illegal drugs, and corruption had become the breeding ground for the illegal drug trade. The Government was determined to eradicate illicit drugs and their manufacture, distribution and use. The rule of law and strict adherence to due process fully governed the campaign against corruption and criminality. Noting that the Government’s actions had grabbed national and international attention for all the wrong reasons, he urged everyone “to allow us to deal with our domestic challenges in order to achieve our national goals, without undue interference”. Extrajudicial killings had no place in Philippine society, and the Government did not and would never empower its law enforcement agents to shoot-to-kill any individual suspected of drug crimes, though police had the right to defend themselves when their lives were threatened.
The goal of the Government was to “leave no one behind” in its development strides, he said. The Philippines continued to enhance the delivery and quality of social services, including in health, education, food, water and housing. As one of the most disaster-prone and vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change, the Philippines reiterated its call for climate justice and the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities in the implementation of obligations under the Paris Agreement. The country remained committed to the rule of law and to peace, including the recent decision on the Arbitral Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague with regard to the disputes in the South China Sea. Noting the final and binding nature of the Arbitral Award, the Philippines reaffirmed its commitment to pursuing peaceful resolution to regional disputes.
Here’s another speech that Secretary Yasay gave on September 15 at the CSIS Southeast Asia Program (Center for Strategic and International Studies): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1F1kgh7cbg
. ❤ . I pray that no evil intents interfere with the plans of the president and his cabinet for the nation. I pray that the cabinet officials and their staff stay motivated and creative in all their activities. I wish them all the best of health. I pray that the malicious elements in the senate and the house of representatives listen to their conscience, and change their hearts for the better. I pray that the elite who insist on being blind, up there in their white fanciful tower, come down and have their fancy shoes dirtied with farm manure so that they begin to see reality. I pray that the youth, the young ones who are in schools, study their lessons well and study some more beyond what their teachers could deliver to them because there’s much more truth out there that is not taught in our schools. I pray that all teachers and all of the religious and sacerdotal add to their duties the aim of eradicating “colonial mentality” from the nation’s collective consciousness. I pray for the complete healing of everyone who has decided to turn their backs on drug addiction, and start to be really happy. I pray that persons in government who used their positions for the purpose of enriching themselves stop at their tracks and start giving back to the people the money and goods that they have stolen from everyone. I pray that the person on the street, the ordinary everyday person, hold on to his/her God-given strength, continue to hope, continue to work hard and honestly, until our nation is collectively delivered from the constant threat of poverty. I pray that Filipinos all over the globe take care of their health, stay sane and reasonable, not be blinded by the power of money, and stay spiritually intact in the face of any form of discrimination and cold treatment. I pray that the foreigners in my country stay safe, healthy, happy, and appreciative of the people’s friendliness. And I pray that the little ones, the children, imitate the president’s sweet little daughter and not follow our Tatay or Lolo Digong in speaking bad words. 🙂
My dear president, my virtual teacher, our leader, our elder brother, our friend, please continue to be in good health, stay humble, stay grounded, don’t forget to pray everyday, don’t forget your children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays, stay strong-willed, stay sane and lucid, stay reasonable, stay “transparent”, and manage your stress so that it doesn’t affect your rational judgments. Stay compassionate and sensitive to the poorest among us. May God bless you, our nation, and all peoples of the world.
Source of picture above: http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/moro-insurgents-1906/
That was the picture that Duterte was referring to at the meeting with the ASEAN leaders. Here is an account of that meeting: http://themaharlikan.info/world/duterte-showed-this-picture-in-front-of-asean-leaders-diplomats-to-obama/
… and here is an account in relation to the picture when he was not yet a president: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2005/10/the-bud-dajo-massacre-a-hundred-years-later-will-america-apologize-2/
… and here below is a 2011 scholarly/academic study of that 1906 event …
Hawkins, Michael C. “Managing a Massacre: Savagery, Civility, and Gender in Moro Province in the Wake of Bud Dajo.” Philippine studies 59, no. 1 (2011): 83-105. Read here (pdf): managing-a-massacre_michael-hawkins-2011
We are not a country of haters. Japan was not less cruel to us (that’s why my grandfather had bitter memories of such cruelty) but we have no problems with Japan anymore. My cousin even teaches English to school kids there and is now starting her own family there, too.
Stay well, everyone, and let’s try to be happy in whatever peaceful we can. It doesn’t need much to be happy (yeah, and here’s my recommended book on that topic: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28254.Stone_Age_Economics
. ❤ .
. ❤ .
I understand why this lady speaks this way. Ten minutes into the video I was already almost done with my introspective-analysis and I have seen another level of real-world “reality”. This was what Senator Sanders referred to. When the smoke clears, this phenomenon will be spoken of with more clarity. Nevertheless, I do agree with this lady saying that something is wrong; she has said it clearly.
However, I believe that Bernie knew what was going on while he was on the campaign trail. What happened was that he decided to take the fall, the most likely coming “fall”. He saw a very narrow window of possibility and he took the chance. He did so with all the knowledge that he acquired through years of being INSIDE the system. He KNOWS the system. He’s actually the one who made a crack at the glass ceiling, not Clinton. Being the first female candidate for president is no big deal and that’s the DNC’s biggest gloating point; that’s actually pathetic, in no matter what kind of system it is within, in the context of 21st century history world.
Bernie made a 2-pronged attack: tried to be president and at the same time rallied people to wake up to the massive corruption. He lost his other plan but succeeded in the other. Now that more and more people are becoming awake and willing to rally behind TRUTH then that accomplishment by itself is greater than becoming the POTUS.
With all this being said, had I been a voter would I vote for Clinton? No, I will not. That means if there weren’t enough like me who would vote for somebody else, and most likely Jill Stein, then that means Trump wins. The dilemma is this: either vote for a Machiavellian-liar-who-has-absolutely-no-idea-what-poverty-is-like or let a public-service-ignoramus-celebrity win. As I see that nature is governed by Chaos (the scientific phenomenon; it’s a regularity that is characterized by randomness at the smallest scale; you can look it up) then I would rather NOT VOTE for one who has been proven to have consistently lied (as Anderson Cooper had asked: “Would you say anything to get elected?”).
Doing so would allow Chaos to run its course. Letting LIFE be. Not forcefully altering the course of a mighty river. Not tying the Solar System to a single point in its whooshing orbit about the Milky Way. This means Trump may win. It may also be that Trump will not win. If Trump wins then America will be in uncertain executive governance (unless he lets the status-quo-big-money totally hold the reigns). This will be creating a violent shift in the equilibrium, and it will result into multi-directional repercussions so that the “fight” for “balance” is maintained. Unless those who think similarly to Bernie and Jill and the like exert a strong enough counter-balance. It’s an abstract description but that’s how nature works. This series or conglomeration of reactions will not be happening for only a single or two terms (in case he gets re-elected, good grief!) but it will reverberate until its direct effects die off.
Bernie knew that had he insisted on “grabbing power”, which would be a major major shift in the current system —- literally pulling the rug from under the status quo —- he would have risked a tremendous counter-effect WHICH will affect the little people much more than the crocodiles (sorry, in my country we call the insatiable-power-hungry-entities as buwaya, i. e., the crocodile). You ask me “how” and, well, I don’t have the economic and sociological tools to get into expounding this yet, but those who understand more can see that this description of mine makes sense (and there’s another possibility which I don’t want to mention here; either I am again correct in that possibility-point or it will show the extent of my idealist-naiveté, or both, which are equally fine by me because, indeed, I have no idea exactly the extent of visions that Bernie’s sight has reached).
So not electing Clinton is a gamble, for hope (that she does not win) or for forbearance until the tide turns (that a Trump presidency will either have only the minimum of damages or that it will taper off the soonest, and throughout that we remain intact). The flip side of it is that voting for Clinton means acknowledging that I have no choice but to silence and numb my soul and trust a deceitful system for the sake of urgent survival. In essence I would have annihilated myself — – the antithesis of LIFE.
It could be that Bernie Sanders has already gone to the level where he saw that, indeed, survival in America has exactly become like that: to grip the knife’s cutting edges and not let go lest I fall and break my neck. In my country we call this phenomenon “Kapit sa patalim“.
Stay strong, Bernie. Stay healthy. Don’t exert too much effort for a deceitful system. Don’t invest too much on stuff that’s built on shifting fancy sand (of course you already know this! haha!). It’s time to let the grassroots see that, indeed, you have seen the enormity of what they have accomplished so far and that your “silence” did not mean that you had no idea how your perceived “non-communication” had hurt. Time to heal the wounds created by your “betrayal” (yep, that’s how it felt, and you know that, too), and time for your supporters to decide how much more, and for how long, are they willing to invest into TRUTH. ❤
Take care. everyone. Enjoy the sun! 🙂
Hi! 🙂 Today is actually Thursday, June 9, 2016. Senator Sanders and President Obama had just concluded a short meeting at the White House. I was writing this post while waiting for the senator to come out after the meeting and speak to the journalists who were eagerly waiting for him outside. I had just finished writing when he came out to speak and so I was able to add the fresh info at the last paragraph. 🙂
First thing I did Wednesday morning was switch on the TV to check how Senator Sanders faired at the California primaries. I couldn’t believe that the difference was that big! Some things must have happened at the polls much like many things happened at the other polls previous.
I had to bear listening to CNN because I wanted to hear what he had to say. Oh boy was I rewarded! He won’t quit! I was so happy yesterday and until today Thursday I still am celebrating for this decision of his. Right now I’m waiting for his meeting with the US president to be streamed live and I’m afraid again that he’ll be pushed to quit. That will be a real downer not only for me but for the millions who are following this election process on the Democratic side.
I’ve decided to name Senator Sanders as my newest hero today. I hope I won’t change my mind in case he gives way to pressure and drop the campaign. If he does that I’d know that it was because it has become a matter of life and death for him, and not especially to his person but to the welfare of the people especially — like a sort of a hostage situation. Otherwise he’ll push through until the end of the election process.
He’s become my hero because it was though his campaign that I began to understand how immediately tangible corruption is even in the country that boasts itself as a bastion of democracy. I began to understand that ‘democracy’ can be used by an institution to describe its dynamics even though the process does not really involve the freedom given to citizens to decide collectively how they should be governed by leaders that represent their interests.
In this election season I have seen how campaign choreographers have manipulated information and rhetoric so that attention is taken away from the most important aspect of the voting process: to scrutinize the issues in a clear and systematic manner. What happened instead is that money, power, and prestige are being used so that the winner is the person who will continue to allow these very influential entities to continue with their various interests. If there were no adverse effects coming out of this then there’s nothing to gripe about. However, this activity affects in a great way those on the other end of the spectrum — residents who have no money, no prestige, no power, no influence, no education, and the worst, those who have no houses.
Senator Sanders’ platform is clear and simple: subtract privilege and power from one end and distribute these throughout the spectrum in a manner so that there is enough left until the other extreme end is reached. Does this mean that privileges and power are flattened out so that everyone will have equally the same? Nope, that’s not it. Property and privacy are maintained. What is being changed is the defective dynamics that allows uncontrolled greed to effect an unchecked hoarding of resources by an extremely few entities so that only a few individuals suctions the benefits that should have been shared at relative degrees by everyone else who have participated in the overall economic machinery.
What the Senator Bernie Sanders proposes is simply this: a clear check and balance machinery be imputed into the system so that nobody goes houseless and hungry in this beloved land of plenty. If you want the specifics then all is explained at his campaign’s website: https://berniesanders.com/issues/ .
Again, so why is he my hero? — Because he is not in this race simply for the sake of winning. He is in this race for the sake of the people and he is doing it after decades of working for the people without himself getting rich or hoarding power. In fact, he has not involved himself with the moneyed sector. This by itself is factor enough for his cause to be ignored. What appears now is that, more than just being ignored, he has been continually elbowed out of the process for months now. It does appear that the status quo is indeed very threatened by the movement that he has generated. It must be understood, though, that this “movement” had been there for almost a century now but every time its voice gets heard a bit the powers-that-be lashes back eventually if not immediately and reestablishes its pedestal. However, at this juncture of American history Senator Bernie Sanders had the privilege to eloquently utter the voice of this “movement” — which is the collective sentiments of all of the everyday working persons. Because of him millions of Americans have finally come to understand what has been happening and they have become enabled enough to make a choice on the aspects of the political and economic life within which they are a part of, within which they have invested their talents and time, and within which they will get the resources to enable them to lead a life that is compensatory to their investments.
This much information and awareness have not been disseminated to so many in a way that is happening now through the Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Many are still blind to the truth, still blinded because the ongoing information blockage by the mainstream media, but this will change. The millions of young people, 45 years old and younger, will spread this knowledge and realization all throughout their lifetime and beyond, and America will again become the land of the free.
… and!!! … woohoo!!! Nothing has changed! After his talk with the president just now his rhetoric remains and he says he stays in the race until the end!!! May God bless Senator Bernie Sanders! Mainstream media must be “seething” by now!!!
Thanks for dropping by! Take care!
Previously Titled “He’s Too Good To Be True”
[Update (April 17, 2016): More than ever I am convinced that Senator Sanders will make an excellent president! I’m excited because he’s been invited by the Pope Vatican to a “conference on social, economic and environmental issues and give a speech on 15 April” in Vatican: http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-35999269 . Like Senator Sanders, I’m also a big fan of the present pope for so many reasons not the least his sincerity and hard work on making as many deprived folks as possible feel/know/understand that God is not one who discriminates. I had heard how Senator Sanders describe his religiosity and I was impressed. He didn’t answer in a dogmatic fashion but he went straight into the essence of “spirituality”, which is, that which affects my fellow-human affects me and so by implication we are all inter-related. I was reminded of how my late Hebrew teacher described the Tetragrammaton (“YHWH”). He said that simply said it’s “I am there with you in whatever situation you find yourself in” = “Ich bin da” was actually his exact words. I especially liked how he put it like that because it resonates with Immanuel = “God (is) with us”. That’s why I think that Senator Sanders perfectly hit the mark with his answer. The way he expressed his conviction was likewise more “Christian” than most of the worship service sermons I’ve listened to. When one has to go down into the essence of faith in God it’s actually not in the professing of credos but in the nitty-gritty participation in God’s work in His creation, and the bulk of it falls on the taking care of the co-stewards, the fellow-humans. Moreover, since I’ve come to notice how even my trusted CNN seem to be an extension of the Clinton campaign (I’ve noticed how several of their reporters have come to sound like that in the guise of reporting or interviewing), I’ve started to rely on news through the web whenever I need to check out Senator Sanders’ standing, like this one that sounds more informative to me than the picture that CNN presents:
… and another: http://usuncut.com/politics/bernie-sanders-bird/
CNN International Political Mann made it sound like Bernie Sanders was lying when he said that Vatican invited him. That was foul and that report has to be corrected and apologies be made to Senator Sanders. Indeed he was invited, he did not invite himself, and Reuters makes it clear, here below:
Here is where varied published articles relevant to Senator Sander’s campaign are gathered in a page. They are of varied affiliations. It’s a very convenient set-up: https://berniesanders.com/daily/
(end of update)] 🙂
Being a non-American I haven’t heard of Senator Bernie Sanders until he decided to run for the office of the president. Over time I came to hear of his views in the news and I’ve observed how he carries himself whenever he talks on an issue. What I have seen is integrity, honesty, confidence, selflessness, and a clear grasp of issues. He comes across to me as someone who won’t bail out when the going gets tough and as somebody who won’t use theatrics to enhance his image. There are really lots of poor people in the USA, both in the cities and in the far-flung rural regions. It seems unbelievable to those who don’t know of this reality but it has been like this since the USA came to be as a nation. Senator Sanders has thought about the condition of these marginalized folks for many decades already. I wish he’ll become president so that he can have a chance to do more for these folks.
Somebody has written stuff about him that I agree about, here:
Update, February 18, 2016.
I’m copying here without having asked the 20-year-old author’s permission a big part of his post, https://www.tremr.com/awkjain/why-dont-minorities-support-bernie, from which I learned a bit on Sanders’ work and passion for the ‘little’ folks:
So, in what ways does Sanders’ campaign cater to minority voters? As a 22 year old, Sanders took part in the 1963 March On Washington alongside 200,000 other activists in support of the Civil Rights Act. Sanders carries this same level of dedication when it comes to stopping the disenfranchisement of minorities through strict voter ID laws. This would be a great incentive for minorities to vote at all, as 43% of nonvoters in the last election were minorities.
Sanders also favors common sense gun laws, which would greatly benefit minorities living in urban areas where gun violence is obviously a major issue. However, Sanders also understands that guns in rural areas are not the same as guns in urban areas. He wants to reach a middle ground that will not impede rural gun owners from using their weapons for hunting purposes, but also wants to decrease the availability of guns in urban areas where they would primarily be used for violent means. He favors initiatives such as stringent background checks for gun buyers, educating parents about where to safely store weapons away from children’s reach, and working to prevent gun trafficking at all costs. Sanders wants to respect everyone’s 2nd amendment right while still protecting citizens from preventable gun related death.
Economically, Sanders wants to increase taxes on the wealthiest citizens and corporations in order to increase tax revenue without gutting the middle and lower classes. This would greatly benefit lower and middle class minorities in the same way that it would benefit other lower and middle class citizens. Coupled with Sanders support of universal health care, it is clear that Sanders understands the need to help lower economic status citizens. Obviously not all minorities are lower or middle class, but nearly 75% of Americans are either middle or lower class. In this sense, Sanders seems to be an advocate for what would benefit the greatest percentage of citizens.
While these were just a few of Sanders’ stances that minority voters may find appealing, it’s fairly clear that he does have them in mind. Though he comes from Vermont, a 95% white state, it would be absurd to say Sanders does not care about issues that minorities face. As the early legs of primary season focus on mostly white states, there is obviously much more to be seen and heard from all the Democratic candidates. While at this point Hillary holds an overwhelming lead in the minority vote, Sanders can easily turn the tide with his no nonsense approach to politics and his genuine concern for the plight of the American lower and middle class. Minorities may not support Bernie now, but that may very well change in the upcoming months.
UPDATE: May 11, 2016.
(Illustration above is from: http://www.snopes.com/sanders-vs-clinton-delegate-count/ )
Media keep touting that Clinton has a sure lead over Sanders because the superdelegate count just makes it impossible for Sanders to catch up overall. Superdelegates that are counted did pledge for Clinton but some did it even before Sanders got into the race and all of them have the prerogative to vote for either candidate. That means the superdelegate count is not locked and will most likely shift when it’s finally time for them to vote. Sanders, therefore, is not stuck with the superdelegate number that he has now, it can very well increase tremendously during voting time, and likewise the superdelegate count for Clinton will not stay that way because many of them have the privilege or right or chance to finally vote for Sanders. Said in another way: “The early pledges of support do serve to signal whom the party establishment is backing, a decidedly mixed blessing in the 2016 race. In theory, the superdelegate class of 2016 could cast the deciding votes at the convention, and Clinton has the lion’s share of those who have already chosen; but the pledges given to date are not binding, and if history is any guide, they will follow the voters.” (Emphasis mine; Source: http://www.snopes.com/2016/02/17/party-people-superdelegates/ ) If you are interested you can read more at the couple of webpages I indicated above.
The point is that in the general elections a tremendous amount of voters who do not have a party affiliation (Independents) are going to exercise their right to choose their president. However, many of them have not been allowed to vote during these pre-general-votation processes just because they have not registered as Democrats (or Republicans). So that those who wanted to vote for Sanders were unable to and as a result their voice is not reflected in the current statistics. Therefore the figures repeatedly announced by media where Sanders pitifully trails Clinton is a white lie, is deceiving, and may discourage those who are enthusiastic for a Sanders presidency. In the previous election the turn-out was less than 65% but now the Sanders campaign has done its remarkable share in bringing in newly enthusiastic voters into the process. Come final election time it won’t be a surprise if they vote decicively for him.
Here’s another webpage that explains the situation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abramson/the-national-media-has-be_b_9364170.html
Senator Sanders talks about it in an interview, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAZUnHXnpHI#t=214.61356
Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day! 🙂
Something I discovered today, a YouTube video entitled: Hillary Clinton: Lying for 12 minutes straight.
♦ Winter can come to us at any time. Even in the midst of summer it could be winter for some of us.
The sky isn’t always blue. It could sometimes be green. And the leaves of spring and summer can appear during winter.
When we look at the sky we see the same sky yet each of us sees a different sky, too.
It’s a matter of perspective. ♦
Jesus came to banish fear.
Though I haven’t gone through the entire book yet, the few parts that I have read so far are making good sense to me. For one, I can see that it’s obviously made out of love, that it’s a true labor of love, and it deserves much respect and consideration. Thank you, Francis Garfitt, for writing this fascinating and refreshing book about a living man and a living story that was calcified within just a few pages two thousand years ago.
I have always gone by the thought that if truth is in God, that if ‘truth’ is an embodiment of God, then there’s no way of disproving Him nor that our insistence on “defending” Him will add to that truthfulness. In pursuing my personal studies on that distant world of two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth shook his world, I would like to listen to this particular voice that projects Jesus’ story’s context through a personal conviction using the platform of the contemporary world. ‘Evangelism’, after all, is not limited to the mainstream’s definition of it, if the reader sees it as that. A storyteller is by all means entitled to any artful way of delivering an old story with full relevance. We, those of us who want to keep on telling a story that has been stamped ‘unchangeable’, may just have to take the courage to step out of the silenced crowd and speak in a way that will make the story enabling again even to those who have been rendered numb by the challenges of everyday survival — the way that Jesus of Nazareth did. That’s love.
What I especially find refreshing among the narratives is the inclusion of the scientific perspective in order to bring about a multi-perspective handling of whatever scene is featured. In this book science is integrated as a tool for looking at what is. The outcome resonates with the Hebrew worldview where things are dealt with integrally, like for example that a human being is not allocated into body-&-soul parts. So far I can see it doesn’t pretend to know everything yet it’s a humbling book. It will make one look at things differently, make one recall the time when one realized that things are not what they are as seen on the surface. It will encourage you to love. It will confirm your simplest reasons for wishing for happiness.
(Note: Today is May 19, 2016. This was written 2 years ago. I need to update it soon. I just got to find the time. Get the book if you can. Jesus of Wigan by Francis Garfitt. You will like it even if you’re not interested in the religious side of it. ❤
Update: May 20, 2016. I edited the original script and added a few words. Still, that is not the ‘update’ that I meant. It will then look like a review of the book.)
Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day, everyone! 🙂
it’s new life.
it’s new life.
… wherever shy buds come out then it’s spring time. even in the middle of October.
. thank you to the one who took the original photo of the flowers ❤
Updated April 3, 2014 🙂 All these captures from the film enlarge when clicked on ❤
Sakuran (2006) is the most riotously color-full film I have ever seen. The kaleidoscopic backdrops are enough for me to like this movie. Its soundtracks are as engaging (Ringo Shiina’s album Heisei Fuuzoku = Japanese Manners). Most of them sound celebratory, some are as defiant as courageous splashes of adolescent rebelliousness, and at the correct times so mournful that they transport me back to reality all the way to the tears.
It is based on a manga, one which I have not read and so I have no points of reference other than the little that I know of Japan like its woodwork, clothing, paper walls, woodblock prints, communal bath, ground drenched by rain-pour, a field of cherry trees in bloom, a stiff sense of honor and shame. It was a very enlightening tour into a past life yet also instructive of norms that prevail. Sakuran will not pale against any comics-rendition of the life of an independent-willed girl sold and reared in a pleasure district of feudal Japan, in a courtesan house.
This is not a film for those who see all women entertainers, past and present, who dress up and perform roles like that of the geishas of today as nothing but just dispensable prostitutes. If it is approached with this mindset then the film will be reduced into just another commercial project, having profit as the worshiped purpose. The foundational but covered-up elements of soul-captivity and abandonment of alternative life choices will get trampled under the power of the intent to titillate. The heroine in this film represents those who constantly rage against their caged fate — it is her refusal to be dampened that always gets her in trouble with the others and it is around this characteristic of hers that the story revolves.
For a fact, there are distinctions between Japanese women entertainers of the past and geishas of today, and other classifications I am not familiar with. This can most likely be easily surfed in the net (see the added note * below). There are those that were termed as courtesans, which connote sexual involvement, whereas geishas are professional entertainers, very expensive, very strictly trained in the well-defined structure of the traditional Japanese arts. Entertainers such as the geisha are living icons of entrenched Japanese ideals, expressions of a unique worldview set in studied harmony. They are breathing windows into a world where many would like to be but couldn’t. They are 3-D picture frames, animated paintings, enfleshed music. Though this film may not lead us down into the depths of a courtesan’s introspections it does form a bridge with which we are allowed to see a glimpse of the richness of souls inhabiting a so-called “floating world”. (added 1March14: There’s the film Yoshiwara Enjo, which is also called Tokyo Bordello, set in the 20th century that treats issues related to the floating world with more depth than Sakuran does. There’s also a legend going by the term Oiran Abyss or Oiran Edge that tells of several courtesans’ tragic fate, but I still haven’t looked this up.)
If there is one fault in the film it is that the main character has too pretty a face, a potential distraction from the seriousness of the running themes. But when seen against the fact that this is a real-life rendering of a manga heroine, Kiyoha, then the choice is perfect. Anna Tsuchiya does give Kiyoha a distinctive persona, one that is a bit different from the rest. Moreover, she does not hesitate to move the appropriate facial muscles, and admirably too, to generate the range of emotions felt by either Kiyoha the tigress, or Kiyoha the kitten and several more.
In this film is where I first saw Masanobu Ando, as Seiji, who is among my favorite heroes. Seiji is not a man of expressive passions. His role is that of a dedicated and upright businessman and overseer of the establishment. He has to have eyes at the back of his head for Kiyoha though, because he has learned early on that she is not the meek conformist. Nevertheless Kiyoha has a higher regard for him than for the house’s owners, who in turn trust him in his ability to peacefully handle her. Kiyoha’s personal little girl apprentice addresses him in honorifics, as Seiji-dono (whereas its equivalent would be Seiji-sama nowadays).
For the fans of Oguri Shun, I assure you that you’ll see his face here within a span of 10 seconds only, but it’s a face that will surprise and delight you. He made the most of the 10 seconds to make a very unforgettable appearance.
Kiyoha’s last glimpse of her hometown was with the cherry blossoms, sakura, lining the road as a madam hurries her to her new house. She enters the gates of the red district at night, when all the lanterns along the main street are lit and she, the little girl, is just as appreciative of the sights as she was with the sakura. But not for long she gets fed up with the all-women company within the enclosure and she develops the perpetual urge to run away, which she does attempt sometimes. Women can be bitches to girls who have complexes — usually girls, or any human, will not run away from where there is warmth. Plus, she misses the sakura. Seiji, who was already a young adult by then, catches up with her at a little shrine in the district during one of these flight urges. In this shrine stands a forlorn cherry tree that has never bloomed even once. He placates her and promises to take her out of the enclosure once this tree shows a flower. In fact, no sakura has ever bloomed within this entire pleasure district.
Kiyoha grows up retaining her independent spirit. She scratches and growls whenever she is wronged. She does not guard her speech or her actions as rigidly as the other girls do. She has become a streamlined rebel, conforming yet apart. Then her heart gets broken by a puppy of a man. Seiji supports her as she adds more rigidity to her back. She goes on with living, generously giving affection to whomever she likes — to little trainee entertainers, to elderly or penniless clients — she does not discriminate, and being nasty to those who violate the common codes of courtesy.
She gets pregnant by an anonymous father, then loses the baby. Seiji nurses her like a mother throughout her pain, staying up beside her bed. As she mourns for her baby Seiji’s surrender to their separate fates is palpable. Seiji was born of a “whore”, of an unknown father, and his conversation with her was analogous to a declaration of a non-obsessive love. When she woke up in the middle of the night, still physically weak, she covers the now sleeping Seiji with her blanket and then goes out to seek peace at the shrine. There only the bright moon could see and hear her, in her midnight blue kimono with a print like that of distant galaxies. Seiji tracks her down. He feels her pain and he stays put like the nearby cherry tree as he catches her sobbed surrender to a loss so great she felt like her breath was being drawn from out of her. Seiji comforts her like a father or a brother or a sister would.
They have a strong but well-guarded bond. Kiyoha is the head courtesan, Higurashi the Oiran, the main reason why their business flourishes. Seiji is the house’s chosen heir and is soon to be married to the owners’ niece. In his heart he would rather have Kiyoha, but, shikataganai, he cannot. It cannot be helped. Convention, duty, and gratitude to the couple who reared him and supported his mother prevent this. A samurai falls in love with Higurashi, puts a forest of blooming cherry trees all over the district, formally and publicly announces his intention to marry her, being rich enough to give the house the amount to offset their loss of her to him. But in her heart she’d rather have Seiji. Similarly, shikataganai, it cannot be helped. She is but a bought woman bound to the rules of the house, and a powerful samurai must not be embarrassed.
Kiyoha and Seiji, on the last of the evenings she’ll be at the house, speak their goodbyes and well wishes to each other by subdued glances and short words. No drama. No fanfare. No lingering exchanges. Their faces, softly lit in this late night, spoke loudly enough in the stillness and in the helplessness of it all.
The following morning while the fog has not yet lifted Kiyoha arrives almost breathless at the little shrine. Her face lifts a smile. There Seiji stands, staring up at the tree. A desperate storm is raging in their separate lives but they greet each other as if each day in the world will always turn out bathed in golden sunrise. Then surprise. A gift.
Domo arigato gozaimashita, Sakuran. An adolescent who is attentive of life will easily understand the plot. But most likely it will take one who has truly lived and loved to sense the delicate layers of this fairytale-like story. A non-Japanese will, of course, perceive many of the themes differently, like possibly being confused that the oiran (an artist as well as a courtesan) is more highly regarded than the geisha (strictly an artist only)*.
In the end one of its general messages could be that it takes a tremendous amount of courage to get hold of a happiness that is outside the bounds of convention. And faith, too. As Kiyoha’s first lover told her before he died, “There can’t be a cherry tree that doesn’t flower.” However, there are different sorts of conventions to be basing happiness on. Seiji’s & Kiyoha’s family in the house think they have chosen the foolish way but for me, one from the audience, I concur with them. Seiji has forever been witnessing Kiyoha raging against the world that is full of suffering, as she herself described it in one of their dialogues.
“World” meaning where she finds herself now and from which there seems to be no escape. Seiji, too, may have silently raged against the way his entire life has been, and will henceforth be, tied to the house where his mother once worked. They are like the two goldfishes living in just a few handfuls of water. Happily for them they dared that there is life outside the gilded cage (though none for the poor fishes outside the bowl). Sometimes, too, happiness is just a matter of timing, or that only those who look out for it will catch it as it passes by.
*added 1March14: Thanks to the page http://www.kawaiistudyjapan.com/?p=197 I now know that sakuran means confusion. Indeed, almost each frame is a riot to the eyes. It’s right on the film’s theme: Kiyoha’s life is surrounded by a confusion of flamboyance and artifices; she herself constantly fights to stave off confusion in her thoughts and feelings; there’s an aquarium stuck on top of the Yoshiwara’s gate defying/mocking the fishes’ inability to be suspended in air, although its primary message would have to be “captivity”.
PART TWO. …half of the story retold in pictures…
arms extended, fingers outstretched,
the gray continental sky indifferent to my need for light;
Three years I paced the shore,
back and forth, tracing the break’s contour,
shifting, ephemeral, undulating;
On the beach on the sand that is my brain,
lets information like water, in,
pass through, then away, soaked;
Three years the troughs and crests and I
kept holding hands and letting go.
The other day I traced the shore at the bus stop.
Cigarette butts like flotsam lining the pavement.
I saw the sea foam in my mind.
I heard the rush and splash.
I felt the breeze in my hair.
at how it should have been all along.