Category Archives: politics and Civil Society

Fear, Loathing and James Bond Across the World

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Live and let dieAs I am spending my last few days in Xela, I am longing for some beach in-action at the Oaxacan coast in Mexico. Until then, I have to deal with yet more rain and fucked-up pavements and the world at large, and the UK in particular, involved in more scaremongering. And on top of that, yet another legend has passed on.

To Live and Let Die

A few days ago Manchester was hit by what is being sold to us as a terrorist attack. First of all, I am very sorry for anyone, who might have lost a loved one. Within 24 hours the perpetrator was known and apparently, the act was claimed by IS. I wonder if the perpetrator left his passport on the scene and I’m also quite keen to know who IS’ spokesperson is, informing the media that it was them causing the mayhem. Now the military is roaming the streets of the British Isles as a precaution against more terrorist attacks, yet based on what intelligence is unclear. Again, the alleged perpetrator was known to security services, yet those same services couldn’t prevent an attack. So we are being fed the same fear-mongering old bollocks stories until we willingly accept martial law or some sort of other rather unfree state of existence.

Bond; No More James Bond

Then the great Roger Moore, for many the one and only James Bond, has passed on at the age of 89. Sure, he has done some other stuff, but pretty much everyone associated Mr. Moore with James Bond and the actor didn’t mind one bit. I’ve always been a Bond fan, especially the 20th century Bond films, as you watch them like you are reading a comic book. There is this terribly suave and sophisticated man person, who happens to be a British secret agent, saving the world from the evilest forces. He is clever, indestructible, a saviour and a massive babe magnet, who never seems to get anyone pregnant or catch an STD. And then there are the exotic locations, the fight scenes and stunts; what is not to like. If it wasn’t for the escapism, there might be plenty not to like.  Bond, even the 21st century films, still hold on to the idea that Great Britain is an empire, that needs to wield its influence all over the world. Then there is this misplaced loyalty to this entity called the Crown; a ‘position’ that can only be filled by people from a certain bloodline and they can use and abuse the country and its resources in any way they see fit. So much for equality, equanimity and mediocrity.

Need for Self- Super Heroism

Whether we are staunch republicans, fierce royalists are somewhat on the fence, we, the people, need to be very aware of who claims authority on what basis, especially in these times, when there seems a desperate need for a boogie man, so states have an excuse to exert their power by culling civil liberties and display more police and military force. It’s very easy to sleep-walk into the abyss with the idea that the state will save and protect us. The biggest problem is, that the state is not there for our protection and James Bond won’t come and save us. The one and only James Bond, Roger Moore, passed on and besides that, he doesn’t really exist.

Guatemala; Kindness and State Terror

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QuetzalMy experience with the people of Guatemala, is that they are a very friendly and kind people. Despite Guatemala being located in Central America, I haven’t experienced it as very Latin as such. Many Guatemaltecos love to dance and typical Latin music genres like salsa are by no means unpopular. Yet, it is perhaps the stronger presence of indigenous cultures that gives the country a non- Latin vibe. Around 40 percent of the population are considered indigenous, the vast majority of which are of Mayan descent. This percentage might be even higher, as the majority of the population is a mix of indigenous people and folks of European descendants, but quite a few don’t acknowledge their indigenous heritage. About two percent of Guatemaltecos are of African descent and they are mainly located in the east of the country at the Caribbean coast.

The Issue with Guatemala

Like all Central American countries, Guatemala has suffered greatly under Spanish colonialism as well as, more recently, under American imperialism. The nastiest symptoms of this imperialism are explained with the more conventional term of the Guatemalan civil war as part of the Central American crisis. In the 1960 an awareness of and objection against great inequality started to grow in wider Central America and also in Guatemala. Democratic elections had brought leftist forces in power, but a military coup in 1954 instigated by the US government, brought about a military dictatorship and the military stayed in power until the mid 1990s. While the military was in power social injustice only increased in the form of great income inequality, non-existing labour regulations in favour of workers and a lack of freedom of expression. Any protest was forcefully put down by the government, backed by the United States, who saw the support of military regimes as a necessity for the protection of its huge corporate interests in Guatemala and the wider region. US corporations owned most of the farmable land, yet only used a fraction of it and deprived Guetemaltecos from the right to produce their own food and provide for themselves.

In the Name of State Terror

Both the rural and the urban poor organised themselves and especially the rural poor formed guerrilla groups, who fought the army. From the 1960s and especially in the 1980s the army fought bloody campaigns, not only against guerrilla groups, but mainly against civilians, both rural and urban and of all walks of life, of which the army might have had the slightest (phantom) idea that they were supporting any opposition groups. I object against the term civil war, as the conflict consisted of a fight of the military apparatus against the population. So in that sense it wasn’t a war between people, but an unfair fight between the state apparatus supported by the US government and a very tiny minority forming the Guatemalan elite, against the population. Around 200,000 Guatemaltecos died or disappeared during the decades of state terror, and with these number the term genocide is appropriate.

The official year that the campaign of state terror ended is 1996, when the UN negotiated a peace deal between the government and opposition groups. A truth commission was installed by the UN, that concluded that more than 90 percent of the violence during the campaign of Guatemalan state terror was conducted by the army and CIA-trained para military forces. Since the peace accords the country has known democratic election, economic growth and a successful anti-fraud campaign. The country still suffers great income inequality, with half of the population considered to live below the poverty line and domestic violence against women is widespread.

The Only Way is Up

Attitudes in the country seem to be rapidly changing especially in the cities. This is noticeable in small and bigger things. There are more women with short hair, which only three years ago seemed quite rare. There is a slightly bigger acceptance of gayness, despite still prevailing machismo and although I have been here less than two weeks, I haven’t been asked once whether I’m married and/ or have children. As Guatemala is mountainous and has many towns and villages that are fairly isolated, change might not take place as rapidly across the country. As I am an optimist, I’d like to say, after a tough recent history and a kind and willing population to make their community and country a fab nation; the only way is up.

A very insightful documentary about the conflict in Guatemala is the documentary When the Mountains Tremble, made in 1982 at the height of the campaign of state terror.

Activation of New Dark Fairy Life

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Home in Bukdinon, Mindanao

 

It’s that time of year again when many people in some sort of way celebrate new beginnings. Easter is for Christians the commemoration and celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, who they consider to be the son of God. Jews celebrate Pesach as the biblical belief, that the Jewish people had been released from slavery and left Egypt to form their own nation under leadership of Moses in the promised land. For neo-pagans, witches and practitioners of the dark arts, the vernal equinox or Ostara is one of the eight sabbaths of the Wheel of the Year, when one celebrates sexual union, fertility and conception.

New Dark Fairy Adventure

For the Dark Fairy, new life has been in the making for quite a while. I left the corporate prison and the Rock to lead a location-independent lifestyle after having had a delicious sample two years ago during my adventures in South America and I have longed for that lifestyle ever since. My first adventure in this new life consisted of a trip to the Philippines. This trip had been in the pipeline for several years. My dear friend Rick from Lowlands Country, who came to visit me several times during my London days and calls Soho his London home, is married to a Filipino. They have been going on a yearly basis for several years now, telling me that I should join them one day and that day had come.

Leaving on  Jet Plane

We flew to Manilla, the capital of the Philippines, via Doha with Qatar Airways, which was as much of a joy a long haul economy class flight can be and I’m a real fan. Rick had arranged cheap tickets, which meant a long stopover, which is actually not that bad on such a long trip. We arrived in Manilla in the evening going straight to our hotel located near the airport, as we were boarding a plane the next morning to the island of Mindanao. Mindanao is the second largest island of the Philippines archipelago, located in the very south of the country and the island where Rick’s Filipino husband, Louis was raised and where his family lives.

Mindanao: Land of Promise and Conflict

Parts of the island of Mindanao have been suffering from terrorist activities for many years and many countries advise against travel to the island. This was mainly noticeable by the lack of tourists and with our threesome being white, Filipino and black, it seemed like a special circus show had come to town. The island has a significant Muslim minority as the fast majority of Filipinos are Roman Catholic. According to conventional history Mindanao has been inhabited since the Neolithic age starting in 10,000 BC. Between 900 AD and the coming of Islam in 14th century, the island was subjected to significant Hindu and Buddhist influences. After the arrival of Islam, the region formed a large Sultanate, which has resisted Spanish rule until the late 19th century, unlike the rest of what was later to become the island nation of the Philippines. The island group, which had been under Spanish colonial rule from the 16th century until the Spanish- American war of 1898, became an American colony, as Spain’s ‘possessions’ became American after the Iberian country  had lost the war. The people of Mindanao resisted American rule and kept advocating autonomous governance after the Philippines gained ‘independence’ in 1946. The advocacy for a Muslim state independent from the Philippines has led to violent conflicts, which intensified and led to mass population displacement since the turn of the century.

Not much news comes from this region of the world, yet tragic events involving tourists and military and/ or guerrilla action, has led many governments to advise against travel to this region.

With the exception of heightened security around shopping malls, which I have seen in other areas of the Philippines and the lack of tourists as I mentioned previously, the area didn’t seem particularly dangerous to me and people were as kind and laid-back as anywhere else in the country.

image by Koen F Smit- Amor

To Box or Not to Box; That Shouldn’t be the Question

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mahershala-ali-moonlight-oscar-meme_twitterIt’s a new month and as I am having my last day in the office to embark on a travelling lifestyle and a location-independent working life, it’s all about new beginnings. I feel very excited and most ready to say goodbye to office life and be my own corporate pimp and to see fabulous places with fantastic people.

Oscars So Diverse, my Arse

Last Sunday was Oscars time again and seemingly a totally different affair compared to the last edition. Last year the Academy Awards were shrouded in ‘controversy’, as no person of colour was nominated for a golden statue of a naked guy and as a result, several actors and other film-people of colour, like Will Smith and Spike Lee, boycotted the event and the hashtag OscarsSoWhite, or something similar, was trending like mad. At that time I was arguing that perhaps people of colour and other ‘fringe people’, shouldn’t try so hard to get a piece of that overly corrupt pie of convention. Perhaps we should bake a new one with anyone who’d wish to join. It seems this year, the ‘Gods of Hollywood’ wanted to make up for the colourless travesty of last year and throw ‘us fringe people’ a massive bone consisting of no less than four Oscar winners of colour in the most important categories. We should rejoice! Yet, I ain’t celebrating. I haven’t seen any of the award-winning films, so I can’t say anything about that. However, many an Oscar-win is more a political affair, rather than being about pure art, entertainment or crafts(wo)manship. This year, the black folks were allowed a piece of the Oscar pie, just in case you thought Hollywood was racist or otherwise not terribly inclusive. The media made a big song and dance about the wrong ‘Best Picture’ Award being announced. Shock! Horror! In case you didn’t know PriceWaterhouseCoopers is sponsor of the Oscars, the firm issued an apology to gain some extra free publicity. Yes, do call me a cynic.

To Box or Not to Box

So, the question is; should we, folks of colour, really be happy with this Oscar acknowledgement? I am sure the Oscar winners are delighted, as they have joined a very exclusive club. It’s just, if you would like a different, more inclusive, less dog-eat-dog system, should you join the current structure and try to get on top or change it from within, or build a new one from ‘scratch’? Or could one even do both, to have eggs in both baskets?

Convention can be refractory. What the dominant system is offering, whether it is so-called liberal democracy, capitalism masked as corporatism, or creating money out of thin air and charging interest on it, can seem like it’s the only option available; far from ideal, but we have make do with it. We are often encouraged to ‘think outside the box’, but very few advise to get rid of the box all together. As I am in favour of developing a new system rather than attempting to fix a broken one, you could ask me; so, the Rosa Parks, Martin Luther Kings and Mahatma Gandhis of this world did it all wrong? Well, no. Especially these people, with their superior, non-violent approach, got what they wanted; either civil rights or an independent country, by non-complying with the system. And also, whichever decade you pick, the 20th century was a different time. There was much more obedience and trust in one’s superiours. Throughout the decades humanity has learned that this trust is not always justified. Then there is the world wide web and other technologies that have changed the world beyond recognition. Because it was okay and successful then, doesn’t mean we should do it now.

It’s not that I have all the answers and that is not the point. It’s not the point to let authority figures, of whichever kind, tell us what to do, how to think and what to feel about what. It’s about one’s own journey of discovery. So what do I do? I start with escaping the corporate prison and lead the lifestyle that suits me best. All the rest is to follow.

Back by dope Demand; Renegade with a New Cause

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Ow yes, it has been a while. Let’s call it literary hibernation. Not that there wasn’t anything to write about. Too many things happened, that shocked the world and too many shocking events occurred, most on this earthly plane remained ignorant about.

It has been a challenging autumn for the Dark Fairy, contemplating life while dealing with serious skin issues. I have interpreted this as a sign, that after years of KNOWING that  a true Dark Fairy Adventure lifestyle is the way forward, the Dark Fairy should now actually live and breathe it. The knowing and not doing can lead to friction and frustration and last autumn it hit me; I am to live that lifestyle to the full or die trying. So, I am fleeing the corporate prison once more. I am leaving the Rock and I am, yet again, to spread some Dark Fairy dust in more exotic parts of the world. There are a couple of weeks to go and I am as excited as a four-year old on the eve of her fifth birthday.

Don’t be Trumped

After what seems like dozens of celebrity deaths in the last year and a bit, that made many an 80s kid feel like there are really getting on, as all their childhood heroes seem to be passing on, we had quite some political earthquakes. After Brexit and the selection of the Trump presidency, anything seems possible and I’d place my bets on Marine Le Pen becoming the next president of France.

If you consider yourself a self-respecting leftie, an intellectual and/or a feminist, you are supposed to despise Trump by default and you wish to rally the whole world to join the anti-Trump movement. I suggest you don’t be fooled. As a former self-respecting leftie, self-proclaimed intellectual and feminist- it’s not that I changed my views, I just don’t want to deal with those labels and paradigms any longer- I am by no means a Trump fan. I just think that rallying against Trump is distracting is us from rallying against the real boogie man: the puppet master that controls the Trumps and the Hillaries and the Obamas and all the other bastards across the world. Obama, being sold to us as the ‘cool president’, is just as much of a bastard as the rest of them. Issuing more executive orders than any of his predecessors combined and being at war every single day of his 8 year presidency is no mean feat and terribly uncool. Not leaving just one, not two, no, no, not three, but four countries in failed-state mode; that’s Obama-cool for you.

Ditch the boxes

Which brings me to leftist militancy. I recently had a taste of it, dished out by a person I considered a homey for years, and let me tell you; the taste is vile. With leftist militants, I don’t mean the fake-anarchist, who go out rioting on Labour Day. I mean the boxed-in intellectuals with a statist’s mindset, advocating diversity until you disagree with them. Then they come down on you like ton of bricks and call you every uncool word under the sun. You have an issue with the transgender agenda being stuffed down your throat? You are a bigot and a bastard. You understand why people voted Brexit in the UK and Trump in the US? You are a populist and intellectually challenged. You are against mass migration as your government has no infrastructure in place to deal with said migration? You are a a xenophobe and a racist. If you claim that women can be their own worst enemy when it comes to fighting a -perhaps illusionary- patriarchy? you’re a sexist or a brain-washed twat.

We are being told it’s about the battle of the sexes and the struggle for the means of production. We have to fear the upcoming race war and the LBGTQ-XWZ gang is coming to get you if you wish to stick to conventional living.

If you don’t want to go for the ‘we-are-the-world’ theme, then at least realise, that your fellow and sister victims of the system are not your enemies. There are likely just as ‘pathetic’ as you and just that; another victim of the system. Maybe it’s high time we just all ditch that victimhood.

top image: http://loveislovelifestyle.blogspot.com.mt/2010/06/cause-imma-renegade.html

Harvest Time with a Dash of Non-Compliance

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We have entered a new month that is to bring us the season of autumn. It will feel like summer for at least another 6 weeks here on the Rock, but the days are shortening and I need to mentally prepare myself for the horrid, damp indoor cold that is the hit my dwelling in a few months’ time. But for now it’s still very much flip-flops- on- my- mind. It has been a good, yet not terribly eventful summer and as it’s getting considering cooler, it might be interesting to take stock of the harvest. It’s been a year since I returned to the Rock after a fantastic adventure, that has reinforced my desire for a certain lifestyle and on this Rock I have been leading a life that is quite contrary to that desire. But (for now) I am a corporate whore and my pimp is good to me, so there you go.

Feasts and ‘Victories’

Today is a public holiday on the Rock carrying the name Feast of our Ladies of Victories. Having done British-Isles living I’m used to public holidays just being a days off, seemingly for no evident reason besides that the government has decided so. If public holidays have ladies and victories in the name, one might start to wonder why. Apparently this public holiday is to celebrate the end of the Great Siege of 1565(!) when Malta’s rulers of the time, the Knights Templar, successfully withstood the Ottomans who wanted to conquer the island. The name might have been given to the event, because it was seen as a victory of Christianity over Islam, but I might be taken this too far. Although I am darn pleased with a day off, I don’t quite get why there needs to be a public holiday to celebrate something that happened almost 5 centuries ago and commemorates that some foreign rules, forming a secret society, kept some other foreign rulers out. But history can be weird and some people’s customs even weirder.

Election Scam and Burkini Ban

While September is a great month in terms of public holidays it also announces the end of summer.  My summer might not have been that eventful, plenty has been going on on the world stage. The phantom war on terror is still raging, and in the US a buffoon on the one hand and a lying, deceiving, corrupt and murderous she-bastard no one likes, except the mainstream media, on the other, are ‘fighting’ who is to become the next puppet president of the US. Who wins doesn’t actually matter. The populace is sure to get fucked by the pay masters of whoever gets (s)elected. Slightly closer to home, things have got rather quiet in regards to Britain’s Brexit vote and I don’t see it quite happening. In La ‘douce’ France some beach towns have found it necessary to prohibit women from covering up on the beach, which is just about the most retarded ban a so-called ‘free’ nation could impose. The French High Court has already ruled that the ban is unconstitutional, which a 5-year old could’ve figured out, but some towns stick to the ban anyway. I suggest that people, who find fully clothed people on the beach offensive get a life. If you are all about liberty and yet support this ban, you are imposing on someone else’s liberty in two ways. A, you seem to want to have a say about what people should and shouldn’t wear and B, you obstruct a woman who prefers to cover up on the beach from having a chilled time on said beach, because if she can’t wear what she would like to wear, she ain’t coming to said beach. If these are French values they totally suck.

Love and Non-Compliance

Besides a summer of burkini bans it has been a sports summer and with the exception of a few Euro 2016 matches I didn’t catch any of if. Give the people bread and games. I don’t eat bread and most of the games they want to distract us with are shit. Meanwhile I’m biding my time in the corporate prison, where I am sufficiently entertained and plan for new adventures. As I called for a no-fear summer a few months ago, I’d like to encourage you to keep the no-fear stance, prepare for the darker days and don’t be deceived.

Anti-Fear Summer Times

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Fear-Defying Ms. Rosa Park

I don’t believe in biblical prophecies, but with all the terror events (reported on) in this world, it seems the End Times have come. June, the month that is to bring us summer, was a tough one with the passing of Muhammed Ali, terror attacks around the world and a Brexit vote that took everyone, friend and foe, by surprise. A few months ago I said that the Brexit camp didn’t have a change in hell, because the powers that be want the UK to be part of the EU, just as Scotland is not allowed to go for it alone. I was wrong and that to my pleasant surprise.

The Shock of the Brexit Vote

The referendum gave me a clear insight in how pro-European my friends in the UK are. I am sure they had been indoctrinated, like me, in their younger days. After the surprise result the scaremongering began. Apparently pound sterling was at a record low- which was not true: If you took any online currency calculator on 25 June it would’ve told you that the pound had only fallen slightly against the dollar and had gained slightly against the euro- and according to the papers the sky was to fall on our heads now the British people had voted ‘out’ by a narrow margin. The losers started petitions to make the result of the referendum non-valid and thousands hit the street to protest against the result, which was widely covered by mainstream media unlike many other protests directly aimed at the government. Imagine it was the other way round; the Remainers had won by a narrow margin and the Brexiters had protested against the result. They would have been painted as bad losers, besides being bigots and racists, wouldn’t they.

To be quite frank, I love this political bomb. Everything that shakes up the corrupt status quo is good and, no, I’m not calling for an uprising or revolution. Massive change would be great, though.

Fear and Loathing on the Earthly Plane

The vast majority of the deadly attacks of last month took place in the Arab and Islamic world and got very little attention from Western media. Notable attacks on ‘Western soil’ took place in Orlando, Florida and Yorkshire, England, where Labour MP Jo Cox got stabbed to death by a deranged man. The perpetrator was white and British, which doesn’t quite fit the muslim/ arab flag a ‘terrorist’ is a supposed to carry, so the man was called a right-wing bigot instead. The murder was still politicised and milked by the Remain camp, to no avail. I immediately had to think how similar this was to the murder of Anna Lindh. She was a Swedish social-democrat politician and at the time foreign minister set to become prime minister. She too was killed by a deranged man in September 2003, days before Sweden was to vote whether to accept the euro or keep the krone. Both Cox and Lindh were very outspoken proponents of the EU and both their murders have been politicised, yet not creating the desired result (Sweden accepting the Euro and the UK voting to remain part of the EU).

The mainstream media and other conventional channels of information don’t tell you like it is. They tell you what to think and they want you to be scared. ‘Cause if you are scared you want Superman- or fill any superhero- in the form of the state, the EU or NATO to come and save you. But to do that, they need to take your liberties away one by one. You are so freaking scared, however, you just cry “do whatever the fuck you want, just protect me from the boogie man!”. And then they are taking those liberties away, yet the next terrorist attack is just around the corner, so you lost (some of) your liberties not feeling remotely safer. Remember when it all started in this century? There was 9/11 in the US, 11-M in Spain, 7/7 in London and dozens if not hundreds of other attacks across the world. They freaked us out, we demanded our governments to act. They did, yet we are by no means safer now. So maybe we shouldn’t fall for that scaremongering bollocks any longer.

Not after the attacks in Nice – how the fuck is a truck allowed to enter those promenades by the police anyway? And how convenient the perpetrator left his ID with grainy picture in the vehicle, as you do, like all the other deadly terrorists- and not after a failed coup in Turkey- instigated by who exactly?

Now the UK has a new prime minister after a tiny, yet decisive motherhood row and the quickest non-campaign ever. Now (some) people are demanding a general election, as the prime minister hasn’t been elected by the people. Very few of those people seem to give a shit that the head of state is unelected and will be after the country has taken its ‘sovereignty’ back from the EU’.

The Summer of Love (No Fear)

I’m sick of this shit. Not only because of the death and destruction, but also because of the great deception, scaremongering and taking me for a fool. Our ‘masters’ are not only in government. They are in the media and other sectors of the corporate world too. They don’t give shit about us, so why would we believe a word these evil bastards have to say. Especially if all they want is to keep us scared, obedient and ignorant? It’s time for another summer of love; no fear!