Walking The Way to The Future


 

The Camino de Santiago, or Way of Saint James, goes across the north of Spain, from the French border. There are other routes or Caminos but they all lead to Santiago. They have existed since the middle ages and they have been a source of cultural interchanges between Spaniards and pilgrims from all over the world. In recent years the number of people walking the Way has multiplied and towns and villages have adapted to this increase in population. Now there are people who are starting to question the utility and the existence of this rise in visitors.
It is known that when visitors begin to proliferate, neighborhoods lose their identity, everything is destined for the tourist and little or nothing for the neighbors. There are partial exceptions, such as O Cebreiro in Lugo, which is on the Camino Francés. It is a small, typical hamlet in the Galician mountains, but there are no houses other than shops, restaurants and guest houses. Obviously, there is a church, too. The entire village has been turned into a tourist centre and more specifically, a pilgrim centre, one of the most famous in Galicia due to the Camino Francés, or the French Way. It looks like the same village as a century ago, but the local economy has been reduced to providing services for pilgrims and tourists.
It could  cause astonishment that someone should protest against the Camino de Santiago, an age old tradition,  but that was the initiative STOP Gentrificación Logroño carried out last July 11. A group of young people marched through the streets of the capital of La Rioja and showed up at two pilgrims shelters waving banners that had messages like ‘Pilgrims go home’, ‘Less walking and more working’, or ‘Less pilgrims, cheaper wine’. It is the trite scenario of gentrification. As this type of reappropriation of urban space continues to grow, its dissidents grow, and not only in capitals such as London, Madrid or Barcelona, ​​but also in provincial cities on the way
They did not seek to end the ancestral pilgrimage route, but to denounce that the passage of the road through the center caused havoc, like massification in the urban center, which entails price rises in rentals, bars and restaurants. STOP Gentrificación Logroño proposes to divert the Way to the other side of the Ebro.

 

What is happening in Spain, and by extension to the south of Europe, is that we are being turned into the holiday resort of Europe. They’ve even invented an acronym for us: PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain). The name is revealing.

 

Sun and sea tourists don’t come here, to the north of Spain. We have beaches but they are not like their Mediterranean  counterparts. They’re rugged and cold, breathtakingly beautiful and unique. The tourists that come here expect, and get good food, a cool summer and less tourists. However, there are parts of our geography that are starting to become overcrowded and not everyone is thrilled about it. The offer of quaint villages and lots of cultural and historical sites, together with many attractive options  to enjoy with family and friends is finally starting to draw the attention of our northern neighbours. A careful assessment of the positive and negative aspects that an increase in tourists brings should be made if we are to maximise the opportunity and minimise the risks.

 

What we should strive for is to show tourists our treasures, the living, breathing society we are, and not just erase parts of our culture and past, turning our villages into museums of the way things were and not real live examples of our unique ways and mores.

Cuba, Between Dreams


 

 

How can I be sympathetic towards the regime that stole my parents’ hard earned money and made them flee the country where they thought that they’d be able to raise their child? How can I not question a regime that brought equality in a totalitarian way? How can I be accepting of a regime that wanted to take away my little earrings because they were gold?

I think that what some Cubans feel, more than hatred towards Castro, is envy of what they think it’s like to live in a ‘free’ country. Isolation is a dream that creates monsters. While it relieves you of having to think of other possibilities, it also provides fertile ground for an imaginary ‘grass is greener’ mindset. I have mixed emotions towards my country of birth, ranging from admiration to irritation. Admiration for the Cuban spirit of survival and irritation for the Cuban victim mindset. Think of Scarlett O’Hara and you’ll begin to grasp it.

My  Cuban family have been able to come to Spain and visit every four-five years for as far back as I can remember. The family here have paid for their trips and they’ve enjoyed one or two months’ vacation all expenses paid. We, the ‘free’ part of the family, haven’t been abroad quite so much, in spite of all the freedom we have and the money we make. In fact, I haven’t left Spain since I came here in 1981.

I believe many Cubans feel cheated out of a capitalist lifestyle, which they’ve idealised. They don’t see the truth of Spain because they only come every so often and everyone does their best to make them comfortable and welcome. They’re amazed that most of us have mortgages. They think we work too much. They are experts on anything and everything from medicine to history to cooking. They freely give their advice regardless of your interest. You feel like you’re being sized up and are not quite up to standard.

They have a way about them that at certain moments seems like entitlement. Their  mostly unconscious reasoning  goes something  like this: I come from a poor country where we don’t have liberty so you owe me! It doesn’t matter that you have a problem making ends meet. You’re a free person! I like this, and this and this…and that dress over there…and I want to be wined and dined and taken for outings. If you need to cross the country for me to see whatever monument, so be it. If you wait up for me til one a.m. because I allowed myself to get sidetracked on my way to your house, deal with it. No matter if you’ve got to get up at 7 to go work and it’s summer and the heat won’t let you sleep. You owe me! I’ll give you these cheap souvenirs for tourists from the airport and you’ll give me a new phone, shoes and jeans. And of course, I’m sooo modest and humble that I won’t actually ask for most of these things. I’ll just look forlorn and mention in a soft whisper how much I admire technology and that the only restaurants in Havana  are for tourists. I’ll guilt trip you into giving me money when I finally leave, after weeks of wreaking havoc in your family’s schedules, causing you to spend more money on food, drinks, sweets, trips and miscellaneous items.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just my surreal family or my peculiar perception.

In any case the UN has acknowledged that Cuba has no child poverty, little to no homelessness and a good health system, lacking some medicines but universal. They also have an excellent education system which leaves no one out and consequently they have the lowest illiteracy rate in all of America, at least South America.

I cannot condemn the regime totally, however I may disagree with its totalitarian methods. Here in Spain, ‘free’ as we are, there’s a child poverty rate of around 20%, unemployment is also around 18-20% and more than half of Spaniards cannot afford to go on vacation in the summer, much less go abroad every 4-5 years.

I think that Cuba is not as helpless or naïve a country as it may seem. I see the population quite capable of heading full steam into capitalism and succeeding because they have that good ol’ Cuban charm…’Tu saabe, mi amol,…’ followed by a demure smile has caused many a foreigner to feel ready to fight any obstacle in order to experience that unique sugar and rhum cadence again. Their charm and inventiveness, coupled with their will to succeed and the great number of people with higher education will stand them in good stead in the future.

Castro evidently headed a failed revolution. It failed not only because of obvious flaws in the socialist system which forces equality among people by steam rollering over every shred of individual aspiration or merit and rendering useless the very human urge to excel. It failed because the predominance of capitalism in the world was too strong for it and other countries resented it having the slightest success as it would cause capitalism to seem too cold and heartless . And it ultimately failed because in the end too much power corrupts even angels and too much isolation, whether forced or self imposed  can lead you to dream of what lies beyond  your limited view and idealise it while denying the very real value of all  you have within your grasp.

Families, Roles and The Green Dog Perspective


 

What is your role in your family?

Are you the mother of all even if you are only the mother to some? Are you the eternal child, coddled by all? Do you feel ‘sandwiched’ in between generations?

This definitely defines me. I’m a Green Dog , living -or trying to- between generations.

Ahead of me, my mother who is less herself every day, although she holds on to bits and pieces of her personality with a fierceness that sometimes startles me. She will not give up or back off even if she’s wrong. She claims the right to make her own mistakes and stand by them.

Coming up, my sons, the following generation. Young and brilliant, bored to death of this modern, senseless world, they make me stretch my intellect to its limits trying to understand their ideas and reactions and encourage them to be themselves in this world that constantly pushes you to be anything but. They are the biggest long term project I have ever undertaken, a fascinating adventure. Watching a child develop from birth to adulthood is awe inspiring. You learn as much from them as they learn from you.

And in between teens and tweens and dementia, this Green Dog juggler moves from day to day, striving for peace, working for all the members of the family, feeling overwhelmed, discredited, misunderstood, stressed, undervalued and hassled. Of course, there are good moments, even great moments. It’s a good day when I can get my mom to laugh with me instead of grumble at me. It’s a good day when I can finally sit down and write (like now…I started writing this a couple of weeks ago, though…) because there’s no one demanding I listen to/look at /do something. It’s a good day when one of my sons says “You were right, mom.” and actually means it. It’s a great day when I can focus enough to see my dreams and the way to get there even if only for a little while. Those days, I feel I can get through anything and beat any odds.

This is something that I heard a few days ago, a woman speaking about her firstborn granddaughter:

‘I’m glad it’s a girl because, as everyone knows, girls belong to their parents more. Boys depend on who they get together with.’

Selfishness, ignorance, chauvinism…

Does this mean that you’re happier to have a daughter rather than a son because you want to have someone to wipe your mouth when  you’re old? So you have a free maid? Is this fair for men? It brands them as insensitive and dumb because they are influenced by those they ‘get together with’.

Basically women, who are both the maid  and the  manipulator.

Black and white.

Yes and no.

Dumb and smart.

Whores and saints.

I personally know many cases of the opposite. Furthermore, I AM the opposite case. My mother in law only had one son and I didn’t abandon her. She didn’t abandon her own mother in law, who had only had sons.

It’s shameful in this day and age to hear these things. I have two sons and I don’t believe they will forget me because of the company they keep as they’re men.

And yes, I do believe this is chauvinistic both for men and for women.

 

I wonder, as I always do, if it’s just me or if there’s other women out there who have sacrificed so much and withstood so much and come out the other side to find that they’ve lost sight of themselves and have to fight to remember who they were before becoming someone’s wife, someone’s mother, someone’s neighbour.

They  had to break loose from their parents first, a warning of what life would hold for them.  They were told to pipe down, buckle up and get moving. Obey your parents, be responsible for yourself and others.

They were told that they were the boss in their house, so they thought that they could organise things and people would collaborate for the common good. So they set about being the best boss, inspiring and tackling things head on, leading by example. They thought that if they do their share and more willingly, the rest will see that it’s in their best interest to do the same. Time showed that this is often not the case. So they did more and more, and started nagging because they felt that something was out of place and that if they just insisted enough and pushed enough, if only they could drag that half dead ox that was tied to their ankles a bit further, the ox would realise that it was for their own good. It just so happens that this is not true. I know. Been there, done that, got the divorce to prove it.

In the end, it proves to be true that you can only change yourself. In my case, I have changed myself to become myself.  Every day I search for the bits and pieces I’ve lost along the way.

Be Proud to Become a Woman!


I wear red because it enlivens me and to share life.

For all those who are no longer here. For all those who cannot raise their voice. For each and every one of my Warriors. For all those who don’t see. For all those who can’t help but see.

Today we celebrate Working Women’s Day. We celebrate the struggle to earn the right to work and get paid . We celebrate and acknowledge the silent, unpaid labor that happens in the home and without which society would collapse. We don’t celebrate the female gender as such for no reason. In fact I wish this day didn’t exist, that there was no need for it because Justice had, at long last, been achieved.

Let’s be honest, today that Justice which makes men and women equally responsible and respectable doesn’t exist. Laws are one thing. Social mores are quite another. We are all responsible for changing this. So be it.

To the Women I know: I salute you on this surprisingly controversial day. I salute you with the deepest respect. Sisters, I understand you. I’m there. I hear you.

To the Women who believe that everything is already done and Justice-not equality- is achieved , I truly feel you haven’t thought about it seriously. I understand you. The majority-and myself- have been there at one time or another. Thinking hurts. It’s very healthy but it hurts. I don’t blame you for wanting to remain that way. It makes you nervous.

To the Good Men, who are most you: Thank you for being there and being you. Please understand that that there are things that exist even though you can’t grasp them. Help us towards our common goal of Justice.
Be proud, Women, because it is thanks to you that the world moves on. Don’t let anything steal your smile!
Remember the quote by Simone de Beauvoir: You are not born a Woman, You become one.

 

 

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/nervous/">Nervous</a>

 

 

 

 

 

I Hope You Never Know


 

Elderly Care Sign in Word Collage

To all those who dare criticise the carers of elderly people:

I hope you never find yourself confined to your house for days because your parent is ill and you have no one to delegate on.

I hope you don’t have to watch opportunities go by because you know you can’t afford to take them as they would mean not being able to care for that person.

I hope you never miss your children’s graduations, concerts, or plays.

I hope you never miss going for a coffee with a friend.

I hope you never know what it is for your kids to say they feel left out because you spend so much time caring for their gran that you have little time and energy left for them.

I hope you never wake at three am and cry because you know you won’t be able to sleep again easily  and you have to get up to feed and clothe and clean your mom and deal with her nasty morning mood, accusing you of dragging her and belting out at you for helping her wash her face.

I hope nobody ever tells you that you’re living off your mom (when it’s her that would be literally lost without you) when she has a minuscule pension and you need it to get by financially.

I hope you never know the guilt of leaving your teenage son with your mom to go for a walk alone at a pace faster than a quarter mile an hour because you just can’t bear to stay indoors and hear the same story for the twentieth time.

I hope you never know what it is to hear your mother refer to you as her sister… or niece…or cousin and contradict you if you say anything different.

I hope you never know the vivid pain of having to keep your memories alive for both of you.
I could go on and on… Those of you who are carers know what I mean.   Those of you who are not, I hope you never know it. I wouldn’t want it for anyone. You have NO idea what it is to have your life conditioned by the needs of another person and know that you will never be free until they die. Few situations cause such conflicting feelings.

Not many people know what it is to grieve a person who is alive and eats, speaks, maybe walks and talks, but who resembles the person you knew as your parent/ husband/ wife/ sibling a little bit less each day.

When, as is my case, you are taking care of your mother, it is odd to be technically the daughter but really the mother of your own mother, especially when she doesn’t know exactly who you are, just that you’re a familiar face.

The carers are all too familiar with the stress of facing unforeseen situations, dealing with someone who doesn’t remember what they did just did five seconds ago but can fake a conventional conversation so well for a few minutes that people who don’t know them will say ‘Wow! She’s got a lovely conversation! Clear head! You’re lucky! She’s so funny!’.

When you smile and say that it isn’t really the case, that if you ask her what she did today she’ll say she went to herd cows or that she’s just come back from the USA, they look at you as if you’re crazy and a liar. You can see their thoughts behind the forced smile. They think you’re lying, or at best, exaggerating.

I am only asking for respect. Nothing else. It’s all we need.

Don’t judge if you don’t want to be judged.

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/vivid/">Vivid</a>

 

The Platypus Syndrome. Multiculturalism, Identity and European Politics


globalisation

green-platypus

 

I have a problem understanding certain things.

I can’t understand why you have to constantly fight to maintain your culture.

I can’t understand why people constantly advocate for freedom of speech and then fail to see that which constitutes other people’s right of opinion with regards to their sense of identity, their sense of  belonging, if it doesn’t follow from their worldview. It feels like a form of bullying. Pushing and pulling and picking fights, prodding your patience, testing your  flexibility until you snap and then pointing out your perceived lacks: of coherence, of effort, of strength, of validity, of logic.

I recently had a discussion about the Eurovision Song Contest. Apparently, Spain will be taking a song with a chorus in English and  I asked why it was necessary or advantageous to do so. An enthusiastic follower pointed out to me that English was the best language for pop music just like French was good for diplomacy. To my question as to why if it was the Eurovision Song Contest, the songs were not there to represent their country (which is the purpose, as the country appears on screen over the name of the singer or the song). Again I was informed that the title of the contest was in English, which apparently indicates that English would be the correct or preferred language. So out of over twenty languages spoken by the countries participating, English is chosen by more than half because it is more adequate for singing modern songs.

The Eurovision Song Contest was originally intended to showcase and enhance the different cultures of the European continent, bringing them together in respect and understanding for each other, not deleting some in favour of others or blending them in such a way that we lose the original ones. It comes close to what I (and perhaps others) did as a child. For example, you love peanut butter sandwiches, peas, sausages and vanilla ice cream, so you decide to blend them together because how can you favourite foods be bad together if they’re so good taken individually? The result is not exactly what an enthusiastic child would expect.

I am afraid that many multiculturalists don’t see that in their  effort to be welcoming, tolerant and foster understanding, they have forgotten that  what everyone wants is a place to belong.  We all want to identify with a land, a language, a culture. It’s not a trivial matter and it’s not, as I have been told, racist or xenophobic to feel proud of your culture if you’re a white European. What’s wrong is to believe that one culture, whichever it is, is inherently better than another.

Instead of valuing cultures as equally important and worthy, some multiculturalists emphasize the value of any culture over their own.  They believe that the best society, in any case, is multicultural because it is enriching. If you say that you respect all cultures but prefer your own, you are at very least suspicious of racism and intolerance. This is, to say the least, strange. Why do you have to forgo your own traditions to appreciate others? I admire Eastern cultures but if forced to choose , I will choose my own northern Spanish, Celtic culture. Not to impose it on anyone or denigrate any other culture, but for myself because it is a part of who I am.

My brand of multiculturalism is one that sees immigration as an enrichment to all cultures and a menace to none if allowed to evolve properly.  Mass migration is not conductive to multiculturalism but to alienation and trouble for all parties involved.

The European Union is trying to do away with individual national cultures silently and relentlessly by luring innocent people from poor countries with fake promises of wealth and prosperity.

The Masters of the World need more consumers. Therefore, they want to replace European cultures (which have low birthrates due , among other things, to bad economic planning and people having problems finding and keeping jobs) with a multicultural society composed of different nationalities forced together in under a decade, (not as it happened in America, over decades, indeed a century) each losing their differentiating qualities and finally forgetting any characteristic that makes them stand out culturally.

The culture that is being infused in the younger generations is a non-culture. It is the culture of branding. You are no longer the language you speak, the place you live or the history of your nation. You are the things you consume. The brands you buy define your tribe. You can use Snapchat, eat at KFC and wear Van’s  regardless of where you live or whether you speak Hindi, Polish or English. There is no hideout from these changes brought about by globalisation.

In Europe we are being bombarded with messages of tolerance towards every culture except our own. Our own national and regional cultures, we should not be proud of but make apologies for  as backwards remains of an embarrassing time when Europeans actually felt Spanish, French, German, British…and even furthermore,  felt Asturianos, Galegos, Welsh, Brittons, Scottish… It was the norm, and a good one. People felt deeply about and supported the land they lived in, which was their homeland and the place where their ancestors had lived before them. They took it as something personal and worthy of defending. That didn’t mean that people only valued their culture, but that their culture was theirs, a part of them.

If you feel like you don’t have a particular culture to call your own, you will adopt one, however far removed  from who you are or artificial, just to belong. That’s why we have  chavs (in the UK), and chonis (in Spain). These people are usually working class, white Europeans who adopt the mannerisms, dressing style, lifestyle and even language of other cultures, seen as marginal but closely knit and supportive such as the Romani people or as they are commonly known, gypsies. Of course, they mix it together and customise it, and what results is a modern version of kitsch. It also works the other way around and some younger gypsies copy their white neighbour’s attire or way of speaking. The difference between them is that a gypsy will never let it colonise them. Their own culture is far too important to let it disappear.

If you want to subjugate a people, shame the elders, call them ignorant and racist, and uproot the young by giving them an exaggerated sense of the value of individuality, and you will effectively have left them at the mercy of whatever cultural wind blows hardest. A culture with dry roots and no new leaves will wither and die, as the living being that it is.

Multiculturalism in the way that it is being promoted is like a platypus in Alaska: incongruous . You cannot uproot people from their cultures and expect them to readjust easily in a short time and with little effort when there’s nothing in place to help them or to motivate them. You cannot make a people amnesic without a great deal of brainwashing from every possible source.

We are, I fear, under attack. We are being farmed for profit, herded to where the powerful see fit to increase their already obscene wealth.

The enemy is not another nation or another race. The enemy is among us. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. And as a gift, I hope I am wrong.

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/hideout/">Hideout</a>

 

Mom Hair. Why Women Cut Their Hair and Why I Didn’t Cut Mine.


 

golden-red-mari

Last week, a woman who used to be my neighbour complimented me on my look, saying that I looked younger with the longer hair. I smiled and thanked her. It got me thinking about the times in the last three or four years that I’ve been asked why I didn’t cut my hair to a more sensible length. At 49, it seems that below shoulder length hair is a bit too young for me, although my hair is healthy and looks nice because I do highlights every three months to keep it looking good.

Why are people so interested in the length of  women’s hair? Why does what I do to my hair cause any reaction at all? I am not famous nor a trendsetter. I am, however, going counter to what many women my age in my area are doing by not only not cutting my hair to a more ‘manageable’ length but by questioning why they consider that it is the right thing to do to cut your hair when you’re a certain age and/ or a mother.

Cristen Conger, a journalist whose expertise lies in women and gender, tells us that men’s hair length has fluctuated throughout history depending on who is in power and other social/political factors while women’s hair length has generally been long. Men’s hair length has been a sign of wealth and power, sometimes long hair being a sign of wealth and sometimes short hair being a sign of wealth; honestly it depends on who is in power.

The fact that male hair length has fluctuated in the past probably contributes to the fact that men with longer hair do not experience such drastic disapproval when they have longer hair. Things started to change in 1795, when the general trend for male hair length started getting shorter. This change was due to taxes on wig powder and men going off to war frequently (short hair means less lice).

Women, on the other hand, have historically had long hair until the early 20th century. Why is this? Cogner tells us the simple answer is sex. Long hair on females is seen as a signal of a woman’s youth, general health, and reproductive potential. On top of that, there are religious and cultural forces at work here. Take a look at this quote in the Bible:

1 Corinthians 11:5-6, “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.”
1 Corinthians 11:14-15: “Does not the very nature of things …that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering.

 

Short hair on women became popular with the flappers in the 1920’s, who prided themselves on being liberated, countercultural, and forward thinking. Since then, women cutting their hair short has been seen as a political statement, as a sign of freedom and liberation, and as a sign of feminism. It was a sign of rebeliousness. Cutting your hair is a sign of a change looming. It can be a sought after development or it can be something that you do to fit in a specific group. Many women cut their hair to signal a major shift in their lives: the end of a relationship, the end of a specific cycle, which in turn bring new beginnings.

I’ve encountered, nevertheless, that it is also closely related in many instances to motherhood which is biologically the most womanly function of the female body. It would appear that once you have become a mother, your femaleness should be curtailed and submitted to your function as a mother. It is a process of defeminisation, understood as the removal of certain female characteristics to prevent an aspect of female development from manifesting.  In this way it would be a means of downplaying female traits. In short, once a mother, society demands that you forgo at least certain aspects of your identity in favour of others which are deemed more important. Once you’re a mother, your sexuality should diminish at least outwardly because you have already reaped the greatest reward it offers your gender: childbearing. Thus, women cut their hair to signify that they are not available or on display for any purpose or intent other than raising their children. In cutting their ‘feathers’,  they cut their most important outward signifier of femininity, the one that they can change at will with little hassle and no danger to their health. All this is only done for apparently practical reasons. The seriousness of motherhood is in command.

This is the modern Western version of women covering their hair in public which is still practised in many Eastern cultures. In many cultures, often for religious reasons, women’s hair is covered while in public, and in some, such as Haredi Judaism or European Orthodox communities, women’s hair is shaved or cut very short, and covered with wigs. Only since the end of World War I have women begun to wear their hair short and in fairly natural styles.

In certain circumstances like the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the winners of each battle raped, beat and shaved the head of the women of their enemies as a way of shaming them and their families, especially the men. Hair was apparently a weapon to use against the women, as was the almost ritual raping, but it seemed never to be about the women, who were relegated to mere instruments of retaliation.

Another thing closely related is age. Women ‘of a certain age’ are considered past their prime physically so at some subliminal level they are expected to disengage from their sexuality and their femaleness, as the primary mission of femaleness is producing offspring. People can rant and rave, deny it, but this is still very much an issue in society nowadays. There’s even a growing ‘cult to the child’ in which both men and women praise the glories of parenthood and look suspiciously at those who do not think, as they do, that childbearing and rearing are the height of self realization.

As I see it, women are encouraged to hide their woman-ity, the full power of their feminine strength, their wisdom. If you make your hair more manageable, you will seem more competent to others. The only reason for long, wavy hair is vanity, and that is not what ‘good women’ promote. Good women do not seek attention for themselves. They keep neat hair, well groomed, because a disheveled woman is frowned upon by many, but just that. No sign of coquettishness.

Throughout history, people have worn their hair in a wide variety of styles, largely determined by the fashions of the culture they live in. Hairstyles are markers and signifiers of social class, age, marital status, racial identification, political beliefs and attitudes about gender.

Why is it that women’s hair leads back to men and society and even children but not to women themselves? Why is it that even an external, easily changeable physical trait is linked to what others think, believe, want or expect?

I’ve been the busy mom trying to juggle her family with her own life and mostly failing to find time for herself. After a few years, you end up forgetting what you’d like or if you’d like something different and you just settle for comfort even if you feel  unsure about it because the demands your life makes just don’t give you time to consider too many options, if any.

I know where it leads: a limbo where you are only a mother, that person who does everything for everyone but herself. It reaches a point where you forget your essence, your femininity. In fact, you even consider it a setback in some aspects.

That’s why I decided to remind myself that I was worthy and womanly by letting my hair grow. I proclaim my identity as a woman who is not afraid of being truly a woman, in every aspect. It is a privilege not everyone can attain, for as Simone de Beauvoir said, ‘You are not born a woman, you become one.’

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/seriousness/">Seriousness</a>

 

 

 

 

The Core of the Green Dog. An Anarch’s Tale


 

22840_1_other_wallpapers_anarchy

 

Life as a Green Dog is peculiar. You feel like you’re never quite there, never entirely present in your life. You look normal but you know there’s something different at your core, something that distinguishes you from the common man.

Recently, I found something that resonated with me. Actually it left me awestruck. It was the definition of an anarch, according to Ernst Jünger, who in his novel,  ‘Eumeswil’ (1977), coins the term in reference to his main character, Manuel Venator.

“They found no mischief in me. I remained normal, however deeply they probed. And also straight as an arrow. To be sure, normality seldom coincides with straightness. Normalcy is the human constitution; straightness is logical reasoning. With its help, I could answer satisfactorily. In contrast, the human element is at once so general and so intricately encoded that they fail to perceive it, like the air that they breathe. Thus they were unable to penetrate my fundamental structure, which is anarchic.

That sounds complicated, but it is simple, for everyone is anarchic; this is precisely what is normal about us. Of course, the anarch is hemmed in from the first day by father and mother, by state and society. Those are prunings, tappings of the primordial strength, and nobody escapes them. One has to resign oneself. But the anarchic remains, at the very bottom, as a mystery, usually unknown even to its bearer. It can erupt from him as lava, can destroy him, liberate him. Distinctions must be made here: love is anarchic, marriage is not. The warrior is anarchic, the soldier is not. Manslaughter is anarchic, murder is not. Christ is anarchic, Saint Paul is not. Since, of course, the anarchic is normal, it is also present in Saint Paul, and sometimes it erupts mightily from him. Those are not antitheses but degrees. The history of the world is moved by anarchy. In sum: the free human being is anarchic, the anarchist is not.” Eumeswil, Page 41

The anarchic is independent of society, it relates to the essential nature of the person. Hence Jünger’s following comparisons. Love as a relation between individuals regardless of social roles is anarchic; the social institution of marriage is not. Of course a marriage does not preclude the existence of anarchic love – secure in the reality of their love, an anarchic couple makes a concession to society for their own convenience.

 

Manslaughter represents the opposite relationship, the result of an essential conflict between individuals, regrettable but unavoidable. But the same act is murder when it is within and as a result of unessential social relationships; it is no longer a function of a conflict between individuals but between socialized units. Similarly, the soldier kills in the context of and for society’s aims, the warrior because that is his nature in this life.

Finally, Jünger compares St. Paul and Jesus and shows that Jesus’ power and action is beyond society, is essential, whereas St. Paul’s force is already a derivation, a more superficial force operating in the social sphere. But as he points out, the essential and the incidental, the anarchic and the socialized, represent the extremes of a continuum. In St. Paul’s case, the anarchic is within him, even if it does not always manifest.

(excerpt from The Ernst Jünger Website, ‘Anarch vs, Anarchist’, October 2007)

“I am an anarch – not because I despise authority, but because I need it. Likewise, I am not a nonbeliever, but a man who demands something worth believing in.” —Ernst Jünger

“A basic theme for the anarch is how man, left to his own devices, can defy superior forces – whether state, society, or the elements – by making use of their rules without submitting to them.-

“The anarch knows the rules. He has studied them as a historian and goes along with them as a contemporary. Wherever possible, he plays his own game within their framework; this makes the fewest waves.” —Ernst Jünger

So maybe I am not so strange after all… Perhaps…

It is eerie to see my thoughts reflected in a definition that I have only recently discovered. It goes to show that Green Dogs are a part of society, albeit an unacknowledged one.
Perhaps it is like a forgotten part of each person that we would rather not know because we might find the Truth of our deepest self reflected like a figure in a mirror held up defiantly to prove itself.

 

 

 

 

How Economic Ideas Can Change the World. When We Choose to Believe.


economy-1

Can our perceptions deceive us? Can group pressure make us blind to reality? What type of world are we headed for?

,In this article, Rutger Bregman points to different possible answers and makes a case for universal income, on which he has researched extensively and lectured about. This interesting piece starts with the case of a woman, Dorothy Martin, who was convinced that the world would end on the 21st. December, 1954 and proceeded to convince a group of people who subsequently left their jobs and families in search of salvation through alien intervention. What makes otherwise intelligent, capable people irrational and rash? What makes them willing martyrs for a cause that is dubious at best?

He then proceeds to explain the ideas of the economists Friedman and Hayek, who were firmly convinced that ideas mattered. They created  neo-liberalism, a marginal and radical idea that in under fifty years became not the exception, but the norm. They believed that economists were destined to be the main thinkers of society.

 

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“When Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15, 2008, and inaugurated the biggest crisis since the 1930s, there were no real alternatives to hand. No one had laid the groundwork. For years, intellectuals, journalists, and politicians had all firmly maintained that we’d reached the end of the age of “big narratives” and that it was time to trade in ideologies for pragmatism.

Naturally, we should still take pride in the liberty that generations before us fought for and won. But the question is, what is the value of free speech when we no longer have anything worthwhile to say? What’s the point of freedom of association when we no longer feel any sense of affiliation? What purpose does freedom of religion serve when we no longer believe in anything?”

 

 

 

 

 

http://evonomics.com/economic-ideas-change-the-world-keynes-hayek-friedman-reagan/

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