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Je suis ignorant

I guess you could classify this under social commentary, but I don’t think I’ve earned that right as I don’t participate enough in society.

If I’m ignorant when it comes to a topic, I admit it.  If I’m ignorant when it comes to a topic, I try not to have an opinion until I’ve educated myself.  And I mean IMMERSED and researched.  All sides.  All information I can find.

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My first reaction, as a writer,  to the horror that occurred in Paris was to post ‘Je suis Charlie’ on my Facebook along with R.I.P.

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Afterall, ‘Freedom of Speech!’ right?

I know what I’m told.

I know what I read.

I don’t know where people who tell me things learned the ‘things’.

I don’t know what is true and what is false when I am reading something.

Unless I know the person a story is about personally, and they’ve confided in me their motives and I’ve seen how they not only talk, but walk in life – I can’t believe anything I read or hear.

My friend Jake posted something today that had me chiming in.  In lieu of screen shots, I’ll share the link, then the back and forth out of respect for keeping his full name and profile pic anonymous.

Here’s the link

Here’s the back and forth:

Me: (After not even reading the whole article) I love this comment:” #JeSuisAhmed, the policeman who died defending a magazine’s right to insult his religion and culture” Yeah. just horrible all around.

Jake: It’s so reactionary, so fucking ignorant

Jake: How is it that we can’t differentiate between martyring someone and enabling terrorist martyrs ?

Me: I’m lost now. I’m really not sure how I feel about any of this. I truly liked and agree with that comment.

Jake: It’s not easy – it’s so damn disturbing

Jake: Sorry I think I am not helping – I am angry at social media for simplifying this

Me: Bottom line for me – I’m torn. I think about the WWII cartoons of Jews … and how horrific that all turned out. Then I think of how radical the extremists are and no matter how offended they were, they still don’t get to come in and kill someone to edit them. They threatened, he stood his ground, they followed through. They don’t get to dictate that way. On the other hand, I think the press goes beyond freedom of speech sometimes and crosses over into the realm of ‘hate crime’ with their satire. Especially in the opinions of extreme believers. UG. It’s all so bonkers. Je suis Ahmed & Charlie. And open to hearing others opinions about it.

Jake: We have the luxury of witnessing violence without facing it often – I support everything you are saying here – and that’s exactly what i hoped for – intelligent thought, based in experience – and I know you have more than most

Me: wow. Thanks.

(I should clarify, this is a man who has traveled, whose opinion I value – who has, like me, experienced things outside of one country.  He’s an artist and a writer and an dear friend. So my ‘wow thanks’ was sincere.)

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But I don’t deserve it.

I have nothing much to add to this conversation but my own struggles with what is black, what is white, what is grey – and most of it is grey.  I can only share my confusion at the world.

My frustration with religion.  My awe that there are people out there that believe SO strongly in something they are willing to die for it – be it not heeding a death threat or blowing themselves up.

I do not have that kind of Faith in anything.

I don’t.

I could go on and on and on.  About almost envying that amount of Faith – about how there are extremists in ALL religions and beliefs.  Westboro Church, do they get freedom of speech?  Who decides what is appropriate and what is not appropriate?

If we’re against someone killing because they believe so strongly that they are right, does that mean we are against the death penalty?

I’m going to stop, because I’m ‘Tangent Queen’ as we know.

I know that I don’t know enough yet.  Not to feel confident in having faith in a response or an opinion.

But what IS the difference between:

This

germanprop

And this:

charliemag

My ‘social commentary’ final thoughts:

There are extremists in every genre of society.  I do not judge a belief system by the actions of a few.

I love life, liberty and humanity.

There still is SUCH good – Please watch this video filmed in Istanbul (grateful  to have visited there years ago) and let’s take a mental bath! (Ironically, this was posted on my wall today for a different reason by my dear friend Betty.  So glad I watched it.  Please watch to the end if you can – for reasons …)

I know I could use a hug right now.

#Je suis CharMed.

Deeper

Part I – The truth

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I’ve seen abject poverty, absurd wealth – caste systems – been tugged at by hungry, filthy, beautiful children in India “Baksheesh!”.  My white skin and light hair touched uninvited, brave small hands reaching out to make tangible the encounter.

I’ve climbed onto a wing of a plane and let go.

Lain on a table as a life ended.

Pushed life into the world while apologizing to a room I had screamed for hours in prior.

I’ve loved and lost.

Hated and forgiven.

Held onto innocence as long as I could, the only ways I knew how.

Delved into debauchery to test my limits and punch out at the world.

I am educated – and so ignorant.

I thirst for truth and seek it.  Hunger for good and dissect things until I find it.

(Dissection … a quick tangent here.

It occurs to me that when people tell me to ‘let it go!’ or ‘Just get over it’  the simple fact is that they just don’t want to hear about a current problem or hurt.

For me, I must dissect.  So that when I let go, I let go of all of the parts.

It takes me longer, but in the end I’m rid of, and understand ‘the thing’.)

I ache at injustice.

I have a bad habit of flight in lieu of fight.

I need solitude to really be me – and in that solitude I ache for a partner.  One I can miss.

I’ve been a good mother, an awful mother. A good friend and an awful friend.  A good daughter and an awful daughter.

I’ve self medicated, self mutilated and despised myself.

Lashed out – fed my pain with my own cold served dishes.

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I hit my knees nightly saying ‘thank you’ to a God I don’t believe in.

Spiritual me, with hands clasped – and God forbid I forget, perhaps in a state of fatigue.  My OCD pulls me from bed and I snap out a prayer – offer up sincere thanks and what I mean to be true – then sabotage my blessings almost daily.

I don’t reciprocate the love of my friends demonstrably.

She who used to gift everyone to be in their favor, won’t leave her home anymore to visit the important, unwavering people in her life.  And they still love me.

I hole up in my nest.  Only really feeling safe when I don’t have to make eye contact, or be funny or upbeat.  Where I’m not too thin, not too deep.  Where I’m gloriously, unapologetically me!

What’s left?

I go deeper into myself.  Talking to myself.

Not eloquently – but my thoughts are.  I open my mouth in public and hear myself trying to fit in and failing.

I see patterns in my behavior, faces in my food – beauty in the reprehesible and ugliness in Saints.

I see truth.

Part II – Deeper truth

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I watch the news and cringe at the biased reporting.

I read quotes slapped up on pages and various social media ‘walls’.

I sneer at the generic, pedestrian sentiments of the ‘Hang in there’ cat poster variety.

“Come on!  Catch up!  I’m past that life stage!”

Then end up feeling sanctimonious and rethinking everything I think I know again.

I want to say “You!  You there!  With the prefabricated opinion – have you looked into that?  Do you even know if it’s attributed to the correct author?  This original opinion that you found on the internet?”

“Have you weighed both sides through careful and passionate research?”

But I don’t.

Because then I’m told I think too much.

But should I ever be asked the same question, I hope my answer can always be an authentic ‘yes’.

I’ve written some terrible posts lately – just typed out for the sake of posting something.  I’ve been so uninspired.

Then I watched Nymphomaniac Volumes I & II last night and today.

Lars von Trier inspires me.

(The photos above are stolen screen shots from his movie Antichrist)

Lars von Trier pulls me deeper.

He puts no decorations on his points.  It’s raw.

I don’t have to pretend to ‘get’ him.  Pipe in the corner of my mouth, leather elbowed jacket – discussing the 100 things his movie could mean.  No. None of that.

His cinematography is breathtaking and writing succinct.

I used to love Poe.  I think because of the depressive complex nature of his topics.  I was young.  And full of angst.  I think I also pretended to understand him.

I never understood Shakespeare.  Okay, some of it.  But then I’d get snagged on a sentence – like a blouse on a branch.  The more I tried to pull free, the more entangled I became – the more the sentence could mean.

This reminds me of the joke about the blue curtains.

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In Nymphomaniac, I loved that Joe – while listening to Seligman’s metaphors politely and even contemplating their validity – carried on with what she meant to say.

Nymphomaniac was not erotic for me. I don’t think it is supposed to be.  But then – porn does not arouse me.

I have a very unhealthy view of intimacy – the result of a multitude of inappropriate ‘experiences’ I did not choose to be a part of.

The emotionless rutting makes me sad.  Especially in this movie – her never-ending quest to be filled.  To feel.

Her blank stare as men thrust inside of her on the train.

Carnal, desperate and mechanical.

She tells her life story, unedited, to a man who has taken her in after she has been beaten.

Of all the characters – Seligman the virgin, in my opinion, was the most reprehensible character of all the men.

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And not just because he kept interrupting her story while trying to validate her actions in order to feel better about himself …

I vehemently feel disgust for those who misrepresent themselves.

At least the other men did not hide their intentions.

People who hide their intentions frighten me.

I was very happy with the ending to the movie.

When I was little, and someone I loved very much was being hurt – I fantasized about doing the same thing.

It was always the same fantasy – the person would not be taken by surprise.

They would know it was me – look directly into my eyes and know my intention and that I was going to follow through.

Never for me – but for someone I love – I would kill.

I can know that about myself and I feel less guilty for not leaving my house to visit.

I also know I need to offer what I can to those I care for while there is still time.

I know this.

But I also feel I need to improve what I have to offer.

I’m still dissecting.

I still look in the mirror and don’t understand what others see.  I do not find myself aesthetically pleasing most of the time – and when I do, I feel prideful and vain.

But the most important things that I see when I look in the mirror I am comfortable with.

I meet my own eyes and see someone who is willing to admit all of her faults.

I see someone who is willing to work on them.

I see someone who I would like – someone I would visit and not expect a visit from in return.

I’d probably also post an arbitrary prefabricated quote on her wall and tell her not to take herself so seriously – that we’re all in different stages of our life’s journey, and hers is just one of many.

Knowing she’d dissect it.