Archive for category Observation

poor, poor boys

I am becoming more radical with age and as I am still not ready to become a full activist there is a need in me to write about things that rub me the wrong way.

Those, who know me are aware that I do not watch television. I do, however, listen to the radio when I do my chores or while commuting. Depending on my mood there are two types of stations I listen to: a news radio called Tok.fm, where they mostly talk and serve information; or rock/alternative music radios. And in all of these I have noticed a  trend, which is either pathetic or disturbing – or maybe both. The target listener of the music stations are young people, usually high school or older,  quite educated. The information radio targets people of all ages, middle-class and higher, mostly educated – they aspire to be a voice of intellectuals for intellectuals. And for some reason all of those stations decided that they need a strong masculine program, that has some primitive sexist blokes invite some other sexist guys – some of the guests are even professors (sic!) – to whine about how real men are in the retreat and how the male privilege is disappearing. And these programs are in prime time. It is infuriating, because these guys are trying to convince everyone that male privilege and patriarchal society are good and positive. So it is a tragedy that they are disappearing now.

Both of the above mentioned statements are untrue. There is nothing good about a society, where one group is privileged and  this is probably in all societies the group of straight males from the majority ethnic group (I am not writing white, because there are societies, where white people are a minority). There is really no reason for them to be privileged and it totally sucks that they are. And, yes they are, this privilege is very far from disappearing. There are certain small steps that kind of go in that direction, but because of  deemed legal (not really there though) equality they will be very little steps, because the remaining inequalities are not always obvious and are very deeply rooted in our societies. Many women are willing to protect them, because of their indoctrinated upbringing. And with these tiny steps those retarded radio programs fight. They ridicule women, sometimes even express completely blatant homophobia (obviously, since homophobia and transphobia are forms of sexism) and quote some sexist research – obviously always  giving only random numbers out of context without providing the information who made the whole research and who sponsored it.

I can understand why commercial music radios run such shows. But with Tok.fm I have to admit I am shocked and puzzled. “Bez laski” (ouch the subtle innuendo in the title… – means “without a chick”) is one of  the evening programs, which are usually long conversations  with experts about books, culture, science etc. Placing the program among such high quality, informational and reliable programs gives it extra credibility that it should never have. It pretends to be one of them, a scientific approach to culture, but it is not. I listened to a couple of “Bez laski” shows, and even if a professor comes (and shame on those who actually are such starved for attention sexist pricks that they had accepted an invitation to speak there) he often speaks about general things, even if he is no expert on the particular subject.  For example: on the show a couple of weeks ago two journalists and an anthropology professor had a great laugh about what jobs were available to women in the Middle Ages, namely: saints or hookers. The fail of it. First of all this taps into the sexist stereotype virgin/slut, that women are either one or the other, there is no in between. Secondly this is completely inaccurate, anyone who has even a basic idea about that period knows that. Unfortunately most people know nothing about Middle Ages or history in general, so when they hear such an opinion voiced on a national radio in a presence of a professor they will never question it.

I do not see the purpose behind this show, other that imprint and enforce sexist stereotypes and defend the patriarchal privilege, with all its pathological consequences. So I will never understand why Ms Ewa Wanat, the editor-in-chief, a very intelligent woman, tolerates this incompetent and ignorant show in her radio. Have you ever listened to this sexist babble, Ms Wanat? If not it is time you did, so that you can put an end to it, because now it compromises the credibility of your radio, at least in my eyes.

P.S. Oh and Mr Dąbrowa, if being equal to the rest of the world and not privileged scares you so much that you need  to whine about  it once a week then according to you retarded standards you are not exactly a real man, because this imagined real man is no coward and would never stoop to whining publicly.

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If you do not want to be sexist…

I usually do not repost stuff I read on the internet. But I recently had a conversation with a male friend, who says he is sometimes even more of a feminist than many women. And I kind of even believe that he truly wishes he is, and he has good intentions. Still he likes stereotypes that women are this and men are that… So I decided to link to a post I read. It is about rape, but it also very simply and clearly explains how culture works, binds certain groups etc. I mean, the things the author of that blog writes should be obvious and still they are not, which is simply tragic.

“Another  post about rape” by Harriet J

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Teenage – the stage between child and adult, most people would prefer to forget about.

I have recently had a few occasions to discuss a similar phenomenon (or  maybe just a different aspect of it) with my friend Monika. I have to admit that I was sceptical at first, because there are no teenagers in my immediate surroundings and it took me a while to see that the problem is actually there. But when you think about it teenagers do not exists in many areas of our culture. The business sees them and markets its products at them but most grown-ups (especially parents and teachers) treat them as if they were irrelevant. They are too old to be cute and prone to accidents so you do not really feel like you have to take care of them, but they are not financially independent, so they do not have to be taken into account in the decision making process.  In these years when they are still searching for who they are, many young people  live on the brims of reality in a separate teen zone. The teen zone is too embarrassing for many grown-ups to trespass – some just fear that entering it might somehow reveal the ghost of the embarrassing teenager they were themselves. For me this just means that they are mature on the surface only, but that is irrelevant. The case that triggered my outrage was an interview with a Polish professor, who used to be a minster of education a few years ago. The points he made and the language he used infuriated me.

A few students petitioned the school board, they want crosses to be removed from classrooms, because they consider them unconstitutional. An esteemed(not by me) professor comments. The whole interview here (Polish) a very quick translation of the most disgusting second question:

journalist: I thought that the students could not care less whether there a cross hangs in the classroom or not.

prof.(lol) Legutko: Most do not care. I think that even the ones who put through this petition do not care. Because it is really not about the cross, or Jesus Christ, or the accuracy of the divine revelation, or even a constitutional matter. It is all about making a fuss. The spoiled brats feel completely exempt from punishment. Typical juvenile brawl. But for a brawl one – if he goes to school and it is a good school – gets punished. Has to face the consequences. However they will remain unpunished, because the so called enlightened public opinion will support them.

And this person was responsible for shaping the minds of the youth in this absurd country! He does not even treat them as human beings. They are vessels into which knowledge is poured and than tested, but god forbid (his god, I guess) that they should analyse this knowledge. These teenagers actually tried to leave the teen zone, which is governed by entertainers and advertisers and to which the modern culture confides them. They wanted to take part in the real world, in a debate that is current and important. And this is how they are treated by a person, who should understand that no book will prepare these young people for the modern society the way this attempt to put into practice, what they have learned about its mechanics . History, democracy and the basic mechanics of the parliamentary system, the constitution … memorising facts about them is a part of the secondary school curriculum. How on earth could using this knowledge be wrong?

Why are teenagers required to memorise millions of facts about various subjects, when the people who chose and prepare these facts consider these matters too difficult for young people to comprehend. Or maybe they wish that they are too difficult to comprehend, so that without any analysis they can be planted in the preprepared form directly into the brain, where they can grow and become bigot world views in the future. And when this system fails and some young people actually bother to think about the things they learn they are treated as if they were bullies or worse.

The relatively good news is that the school authorities were apparently from the so called enlightened public opinion and they encouraged the students to prepare a debate next week. I doubt that the crosses will disappear, but this way the students may at least not loose hope and will be eager to take similar action in the future.

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Indoctrination of a child

I feel slightly stupid writing about this, but recently family breakfasts have become a source of trauma.

My sister in law is a victims of thoughtlessly implemented non-stressful upbringing, which basically means that the child experiences minimum stress and my sister in law is constantly exhausted or/and irritated. So sometimes she needs to dump the child in front of the TV, because she just has to do something for herself. And the only child television that is for free and there are no reception problems with it is “Smile of a Child” television. It is a constant Christian brainwashing. There is a cartoon or puppet show, where they teach to resolve problems and it all makes sense and seems OK … but at the end one person always adds “this makes God happy” or “God wants it so”. Between the cartoons there are animated songs, where surfer boys sing about “how God loves you”, plus commercials of the “Jesus loves you bunny”, a cuddly toy which sings to a child.

The tragic thing is that this is the ONLY television station for children that is FREE and broadcasts 24/7! This situation is wrong in so many ways. And then there are these pleas for donations to keep this station free, to give the word of God to children all over the world. I wish a station like Cbeebies (it is totally indoctrination free) would broadcast everywhere for free, but for now I have to learn to ignore this one during the meals – the child eats only while it is hypnotised by the TV.

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the 99, because all kids need superheroes ;)

♥Big thanks to 梅雨眼中 for linking to an article about “The 99″♥

The idea is quite simple, the 99 are a group of superheroes, whose special powers come from mystical gemstones and are somehow related to the 99 Allah’s attributes. Their powers seem to work in a similar style to those of the for example the X men (except for the lady, who oozes pink hearts, which seems to be a little tribute to the traditional shoujo manga ^^). Like most superheroes they fight against a powerful ancient enemy and for world peace. Unlike most superheroes the majority of them does not come from America and they do not fight for America and the American way. In fact they usually come from places that most Americans probably do not know exist. They come from countries, where some form of Islam is the major religion or that have a large Muslim minority.

The creator of “The 99” claims that the children in the Muslim countries should have better role models than let’s say martyred suicide bombers,  and I think he has a valid point there. If there is really no emphasis on prayer and the holy texts are not cited than this title might even get into the western mainstream. Well it seems to have all it takes:  it is neutral, when it comes to the style of the drawings, the plot seems to be rather detached from real life conflicts, but is more about ideals and there is this exotic culture flavour that is often attractive to young people. Since the creators were not afraid of the religious authorities in various Muslim countries and managed to convince them that they are doing something positive for the image of the Muslim world I wonder whether they will allow themselves a little political controversy, maybe an Uyghur or an Chechnyan character?

I personally like the amount of female characters and the way they are drawn. They are all pretty girls, but they do not seem to have the sexist anatomy problems, like boobs the size of watermelons on karate experts. And I simply love their costumes, because they do not suggest that the girls just part time in this whole world saving business and their real job is in the sex industry. I am not sure which one I love more Hadya’s – it is red and purple, my two favourite colours – or Noora’s – it is orange, which I also love plus the coat is very sexy. Here I have to make a little confession that I find the kimono and ancient Chinese dress sexy, so it becomes rather obvious why I prefer these costumes to the spandex tights.

After saying all these positive things I have to admit that I dislike the drawings. The default American superhero comic style does not appeal to me at all. I am not really a comic book connoisseur, but I would prefer it if it had something distinctive in its style. I understand why they chose to  hire artists from Marvel. It was a wise move and all… I may like it more when it is animated, I usually prefer the American superhero titles that way.

More information about the series can be found on the official page and wikipedia. You can download the first volume for free from the official page.

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free films on-line ;)

No joke. The documentary film festival I have been helping out with recently has been finally launched and will be  going on unlit the end of September.

official website

the cinema where the films are!

have fun  and tell your friends, it needs all the word of mouth advertising it can get 😉

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on not belonging part II – the hater

While groups usually annoy me and I tend to keep away from them, haters on the other hand entertain me. They can be irritating in the long run, but initially their hypocrisy is quite funny.

Haters are a group yet usually do not form a group. They consider words like: popular, trendy, mainstream, blockbuster, Hollywood, celebrity etc. to be curse words. Particularly vulgar, when somehow linked to the haters themselves. They themselves are individualists, eccentrics and outsiders, misunderstood and rejected by society, even when they have many friends and are invited to all social events.

Haters do not have a past, especially they have never ever been teenage, even if their real age is somewhere between 13 and 19. They like using phrases like: “only stupid people (usually meaning teenagers) read/watch/listen to this crap”, “they sold out …” (usually about musicians), “it used to be ok, but now all the teenagers listen to/read/watch it…”, “it/she/he has gone mainstream…”, “it lost its edge…”, etc.

Haters are usually above everything even if they used to belong to a certain fandom. They build their position in a group of friends or on the internet by stating how much mainstream stuff irritates them, how that kind of thing should not exist and how everyone who likes it is a braindead moron. They only like music/books/films that are high class, artsy, critically acclaimed and most preferably difficult to understand and obtain. And they can by no means be popular. Haters believe in serial monogamy, if their beloved author/musician/film maker flirts with the mainstream they just break up and look for a new, fresh and exclusive love.

I was a teenager and I remember that very clearly. I used to like things that I now consider stupid and/or not worth my time, but I would never consider someone to be an idiot just for liking them. I still like a lot of silly things and pretending that I do not would make no sense at all.

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the news that made my day

The Japanese ultra conservative party with the most hilarious name Jimintou (liberal democratic party lol) is down!!!! The joy of it. It had been supported by the US occupation forces after the war and its rule has not been seriously challenged ever since. Until now that is. I do not know whether the democrats (Minshutou) will do a better job governing the demanding and complicated Japanese economy, but they are definitely much more acceptable ideologically than the Jimintou. I really hope that that Jimintou will not be back for a while. It has been often compared to the Republicans in the USA, but it is only true if you consider Sarah Palin or even more right oriented Republicans. Although officially secular the Jimintou is very closely related to the Jinja Honchou (Association of Shinto Shrines) through the Shintou Seiji Renmei a parliament club and its politicians are famous for their “private” visits to the Yasukuni Shrine.  Due to its traditional and religious profile (pretty fanatical in fact) the official English website of the Jinja Honchou is useless, and the Shintou Seiji Renmei does not even have an official page. But when you are a national organization and your goals are for example the return to the prewar values, the restoration of the divine emperor or the revision of the 9th article of the constitution, you may not want to post them around the web for the whole world to read ;).

For anyone interested in the Japanese nationalism organized around the Yasukuni Shrine a lengthy but very thorough article here.

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on not belonging part I- the group

I have always had a problem with joining clubs or participating in group activities. I could write it all down to my social phobia and be done with it but… Well my phobia is mild and even though I can clearly see it at times I have also learned to deal with a lot of it’s symptoms. The major problem is that I loath the way how people form groups and how they build their position inside of them.

People, when they join a group, tend to start obsessing about things that are not really worth it. Somehow when it is not just one person that likes, let’s say, chips  suddenly the notion of “liking chips” becomes big. It becomes an issue. If you are not ready to commit you usually not worthy to join the group. For instance there are people who, let’s say, “like chips” and “I am” one of them, we are the better kind. Well not every one here is awesome, but we are generally better than those losers who “like mashed potatoes”. The regular group members tolerate hardly any, if at all, criticism. Chips, which at the beginning were simply liked become quickly a sacred object that is perfect and can be only interpreted by the group’s elite. The group’s elite are allowed a lot and usually are considered smart, charismatic and experts on the subject. They monopolize forum discussions, panels or the decision making process in real life groups. They are “mentally” above the regular members and thus somewhat above chips. But chips are good enough for them, I mean at least they are not mashed potatoes. They explore rice though, because rice requires an acquired taste. And they will mention from time to time how rice is much more exquisite than chips. They often become haters in the end.

I like a lot of things that are popular and that have a big following.  But I don’t obsess about these things. I can be really into them, read about them, buy related merchandise and bore my friends to death by talking about how great I think these things are. But I do not impose my fascinations upon other people, I do not expect them to love everything I love and I do not consider them stupid just because they have other interests. Actually I really like to listen about other people’s hobbies. I do not think there are things not worth doing or not worth liking, but I think that there is nothing that is worth obsessing about to the point of insulting others. That is why I have a problem with groups: they seem to give people this power to judge others, they obscure the line between what is a playful, cheeky comment and what is plain rudeness and finally they justify ridiculous behavior if only it may entertain other members of the said group.

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