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Politics: Evil To Him Who Evil Does

Posted in 104, bad ideas, blame society, entertainment, family, freedom, politics, randomness, warfare on December 5th, 2012 by Hannibal Tabu
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Re: Homeland Season 2, Episode 10.

Huge, huge SPOILER ALERT, and I’m sorry if you haven’t seen it.

In all seriousness, if you haven’t seen the show and want to, you should stop here. I’ll give you some space before I continue …

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Yes, I understand the irony of the above image, that’s why I chose it.

Anyway, notorious international “terrorist” Abu Nazir has taken the CIA’s craziest analyst, Carrie Mathison, captive for reasons that are not really important for what we’re discussing here. He asked her if she carries the same dedication he and his followers do. That discussion, as quoted, follows:

CARRIE: “Whatever it takes.”

NAZIR: “Really? With your pension plans & organic foods? Your beach houses & sports clubs? Do you have the perseverance, the tenacity, the faith? Because we do. You can bomb us, starve us, occupy our holy places, but we will never lose our faith. We carry god in our hearts, our souls. To die is to join him. It may take a century. Two centuries, three centuries … but we will exterminate you.”

CARRIE: “Like I said. You’re a terrorist.”

Is it bad that a very horrible part of me wanted Abu Nazir to respond, “I prefer to think of myself as a teacher …” in that moment?

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What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is wrong. The support afforded to them by the United States is wrong. Hate engenders hate. When the oppressed respond with hate, it’s just where they are in their stage of development, especially if the boot of oppression remains on or even near their neck. When their wrongs have been redressed — and please don’t try to talk to me about the idea Palestine has not been wronged, like the Serbs were wronged, like the Jews were wronged, like the Africans were wronged, like the Tasmanians were wronged and so on, down the line — then maybe they can begin to heal, maybe they can begin to collectively forgive.

Also, please understand that I am not saying it is right for children to be killed — by bombs from the Israeli forces or as sacrifices and suicide bombs. Both are equally wrong. The methods used by both sides are deplorable, the guilt is shared equally and I am embarrassed for the portion of my tax dollars spent furthering this conflict. I’d hope I’ve made that abundantly clear since few of us ever really get to be “innocent.”

As for the sentiments of Abu Nazir, in the words of Chris Rock, “I’m not saying I condone it … but I understand.”

Spirit knows I understand.

Watching (Television): Homeland, “Broken Hearts”

yeah, I know, the Department of Homeland Security will be all over this blog like Lindsay Lohan over a line of coke … such is life under Ingsoc …

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Poetry: On A Road To Nowhere [#napowrimo2012]

Posted in bad ideas, creativity, culture, fatherhood, history, life, napowrimo, poetry, sadness, warfare on April 24th, 2012 by Hannibal Tabu
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Here we go now …

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There’s no such thing as peace.

Rocket propelled grenades
sit next to breakfast bowl
play with 7.62 mm shell casings,
find blood splattered on street
four days out of seven.
More dead from fever and hunger,
less discriminating surge.

Baba fights the Americans,
Kalashnikov his companion
more often than mama.
Baba’s baba fought the Russians,
Americans at his side
more than his bride
whispered Pashto in his ear.

I am eleven years old.
I have never been kissed
by anyone not a blood relative.
I can make out
a passage or two of scripture,
know rustle of baba’s thick beard
and coarse clothes
when he hugs me,
taste of mama’s kahdoos.

Two years ago,
American soldiers
left a magazine near marketplace.
Kept it hidden for a month,
buried behind the house,
before daring to gaze upon
impossibly smooth skinned westerners.
Smiling and immodest,
shaven faced men,
like children, really
women’s bosoms in view.
They look like they’ve never known
bits of gravel in stew,
like they eat meat
less gamy than goat,
and not just on special days.
They look like relentless,
cloying smell of poppies
isn’t woven into every memory.

I don’t hate them,
fat and godless,
but I understand those who do.
I’m too hungry
to hate them.

At night,
sounds of shelling and screams
hopefully far from my pallet.
Wonder what nights are like
beyond hills of Sharobi,
where baby faced boy-men
sleep next to red lipped harlots
on endless pillows,
in safety,
in safety …
too busy tracking down survival
under unrelenting sunshine.

Mama tells stories
about golden days of Afghanistan,
days when quiet wasn’t frightening,
times of plenty.
Baba snorts
when she’s not around,
says we’ve always been
stop on somebody’s road
somewhere,
never wanting to be here,
always needing to control the way.

Baba says,
there’s no such thing as peace.

I don’t know about any of that.
I know sand and stone,
I know running and gunfire,
body parts and explosions,
prayer and waiting
for freedom even I don’t believe
will ever come.

”Jangi Shah: A Hymn For Afghanistan”
By Hannibal Tabu

Thanks to my wife Myshell for this idea, driving and listening to KPFK.

Playing (Music): “Sin City” by Sin City (Verbal and Icarus)

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Blog Fu: The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Posted in business, history, music, science, society, sports, technology, warfare on July 30th, 2009 by Hannibal Tabu

“… if you ain’t hip to the rare house quake, shut up, already … damn!”

- I’ve been increasingly concerned about increases in the crazification factor of people wandering around in what I indulgently will refer to as “western society.” I’ve read recently about a 23-year-old pregnant woman found dead with (hang on) the baby cut out of her stomach.

Then there’s the Texas death row inmate convicted of stabbing his wife and baby to death, ripping their hearts out, and while waiting for his first trial (brace yourself) plucking out his own right eye and eating it before being considered “clearly ‘crazy,’ but he is also ’sane’ under Texas law,” or so Judge Cathy Cochran wrote in a 14-page statement accompanying the court’s brief order. Worst of all, he was Black. Like we needed that on our tally …

Speaking of Texas, don’t forget the woman who dismembered her newborn baby with a knife and two swords (wouldn’t expect a baby to put up that much of a fight) before eating parts of his body and brain before failing to kill herself.

Oddly enough, the one that bothered me the most is the 51-year-old mother who took her teenaged son hiking, waited until he was looking at scenery and then shot him to death, first in the head and then in the chest before eating a bullet herself. This after methodically disposing of a family pet, calmly buying the gun and composing a lengthy suicide note … that gave no reason why the boy had to die.

Now, anybody who’s ever read my work can attest to the fact that I have no overly sentimental attachment to life, human or otherwise. Death happens. I don’t think it’s a big deal. I once told someone that the only crime I couldn’t get my brain around was rape. Theft, sure, all day, makes sense, get yours. Murder? Well, yeah, there are times I can see people considering that the best choice. But these killings … I don’t get it. I’m nowhere near crazy enough to see the line of thinking that leads to these behaviors. Moreover, with the eye guy (who looks strangely like he could be related to Chris Brown, IMNSHO), the amount of focus you have to have to block out the make-you-pass-out levels of pain from plucking out your own eye, and then staying conscious through the shock and bleeding long enough to eat it … that’s the stuff of nightmares, in my mind. All this “oh, some people got shot” or “she ran them down with her car” stuff is pansy by comparison. I can’t even write stuff this bananas. So that’s been haunting me for a few days …

- At least they didn’t have sex with a horse … repeatedly.

- In completely unrelated news, UCLA will no longer allow the three-times-a-year Undie Run. This “tradition” started after I was long done with college, and involved the students of Cal State Westwood to boot, so I’d never even gotten close to it. But it seemed like a fun and largely harmless thing (what’s a few arrests, assaults and a burglary between friends?), so I’m almost sad to see it go in that it makes the city marginally less whimsical.

- Back to people getting killed, this at least made me laugh like a silly bastard: Cracked’s Five Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a P***y. The Finnish sniper was fantastic, but the 19-year-old Yogreva Singh Yadav and US candidates Alvin York and Audie Murphy just made me giggle like a schoolgirl on E. All the fancy training, all the skills one can amass, and the second you find somebody who wants it more and catches you at the right time, boom, you’re in a bag. Ask those Soviet or Pakistani or German soldiers. Hilarity.

- Apparently, due to science and da intanet and what have you, women are getting statistically more beautiful in the US while men remain pretty much as we always were. Yeah, okay. I’ve got no argument there.

- How cool is the idea of transparent aluminum? Aside from the idea of a wrap you can cook in and see through, it apparently “created is a completely new state of matter nobody has seen before,” said Oxford University Department of Physics Professor Justin Wark. “Transparent aluminium is just the start. The physical properties of the matter we are creating are relevant to the conditions inside large planets, and we also hope that by studying it we can gain a greater understanding of what is going on during the creation of ‘miniature stars’ created by high-power laser implosions, which may one day allow the power of nuclear fusion to be harnessed here on Earth.” Now that’s cool.

- I don’t need to go into the Skip Gates thing — I’ve long said Yankee Black folk are way too comfortable with their fancy “freedom,” and need to be more strategic. No, I’m more bothered by the Nuttworld case where a Black man got hit in the face by a piece of wood-wielding white guy on a Bay Area street, and the eyewitness didn’t think to report it. Plus le change, plus le meme chose, fool.

- I am bothered, however, by how often I have to tell Black people that the great pyramids were not and could not have been built by slaves. Let alone that the only large influx of people into dynastic Egypt (Kemet) were not poor desert wanderers looking for freedom, but bloodthirsty invaders, so quash that theory as well. From non-Black people, this seems fairly predictable in a sad, mass-media-and-Charlton-Heston-influenced way. From Black people? It’s a tragedy, IMNSHO, to have so little regard for your own roots. Admittedly, this was an area of fairly intensive study for me, but still …

- Speaking of Africa, I’m consistently bothered by the fact that the continent is apparently connected to the net via an extension cord looped through the Nigerian equivalent of Pookie’s back window, especially because of how often it stops working. I need to find out what’s at the “good” end of that cable, and it’s hard to do since the official site looks like it was coded in 1997. Oy.

- Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not really out to get you. A military coup planned by Dubya’s granddad? Scientologists raiding the IRS? Explosion-proof Hitler? Cracked also noted seven insane conspiracies that actually happened including the tragic fate of Guy Fawkes (one day, I wanna write an alternative history story where he succeeded).

- Foxes in Germany steal shoes — pass it on.

- To celebrate his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, please enjoy the wit and wisdom of Rickey Henderson.

- I need to check out Street Sweeper Social Club, which is made up of Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello and the illustrious and praiseworthy leader of The Coup, Boots Riley. There’s also a new free song for download I wanna check out from Goapele.

- I guess this and this mean I’m never gonna get the $200 I was owed from that Luniz review I did while Jesse Washington was editor.

- I love taking a nap.

- To be honest, I don’t have a lot of the so-called 100 Essential Skills for Geeks … but I know some people who do. Those people are extraordinarily useful to know.

That’s more than enough for now, and my blog-fu file still has literally hundreds of links. Whee!

Playing (Music): “Cornbread” by Freestyle Fellowship

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