All entries for December 2005
December 30, 2005
They collect money on behalf of a non-existent church. The police have captured five of them. Together the gang made USD 25000 per month.
December 28, 2005
It's really awkward when a beggar is pulling your sleeve asking for money and you have to pretend you don't see him, because looking him in the eyes somehow obliges you to give. In China, people would usually blatantly shake the beggars off, sometimes with a couple of swear words to make the point clear. In Russia – it’s the strategy of ignoring people. Some still give, whether to get rid of the change ripping holes in the pockets of their expensive suits, or because they feel particularly sympathetic to one particular beggar. I've stopped giving, because there are too many of them. My mind has gone numb to all the avoidable deaths.
Each time I take the subway train from my parents' to my dorm I inevitably run into a beggar. They walk into the carriage and start pleading right away. They usually have one the same speech involving Jesus, the kind passengers, help, food, shelter, mercy, sympathy, however much one can give – not necessarily in the same order. For illustration purposes, they demonstrate the remains of their chopped down limbs, their little children, their prosthetic devices, their pension allowances, their medals for bravery awarded in the Second Chechen war, certificates of death of their guardians, cheques for their children’s funerals. People give selectively. People beg selectively, too.
Whenever a beggar comes into a carriage, he or she has the power to bend every passenger’s head downwards. Everyone is suddenly taking a nap, reading textbooks or peeping into the neighbour’s newspaper. Everyone suddenly experience the urge to compose a text message, look for flies on the ceiling or watch the darkness of the tunnel outside the windows of the train. As soon as the beggar walks pass these passengers, they quit doing whatever they were so passionately engaged in and silently watch the beggar leave. Usually, two or three people manage to pull out a 10 roubles banknote and hand it to the needy in exchange for a blessing from the beggar. The number of donations doesn’t depend on the severity of condition. We’ve seen it all. I guess people now pay for originality.
Every time I spot a beggar I dig my head further into textbooks, telling myself I will one day make the world a better place and eliminate poverty altogether. Until then I won’t give a penny. And then I hate myself for having such a shite excuse.
December 25, 2005
December 18, 2005
December 06, 2005
Writing about web page http://www.worldsocialism.orgPaddy Joe Shannon is the author of the film Capitalism and other kids’ stuff. The film is about how capitalism is abolishable. And how people should 'think outside the frame of capitalism' and start considering alternative ways of living and making sense of human society and human coexistence. The end of the film looked very cocky and propaganda-ish and less educative or academic. But the arguments in the film didn’t sound entirely stupid and dream-like. But the truth is, it takes time for any kind of social change, let along abolishment of capitalism, starting with ‘imagine no possession’. And though Lennon may say ‘it isn’t hard to do’, I’m sure he was only referring to the act of imagining, not the act of actually building human society anew starting with abolishing the assets. Another thing that I found rather dubious was that the whole social ‘revolution’, although making sense and sounding good, was built on assumption that people weren’t greedy. And if humans can be trained into thinking that ‘enough is enough’, then it’d still take centuries for a change of ideology and adopting a totally new value system. The author claims that post-capitalism doesn’t have to be a step back and mark the end of civilization as we know it; that people can engage in active production by doing their constructive hobbies, i.e. what they like and are good at, and thus benefiting the society each in his/her own way; that the government doesn’t have to be centralised, and that politics is really quite easy and anyone, even Bush, can do it. So as I said, it all sounds right, they are all arguments that I find hard to argue, and yet there are so many more counter-arguments to make that dream sound obscure and unreachable.
December 05, 2005
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4497840.stm
It's really frustrating to see governments acting like annoying capricious children, trying to gain attention and claim rights. What is wrong with the Red Cross's original emblem? Personally, I thought it was the most tasteful emblem that ever existed. But no, the Israeli are unhappy. Who, lying on their deathbed would care about a freaking emblem on a flag? The mission of the Red Cross is humanitarian, not political. It's not the place to argue about the symbols. And if the Israelis or whatever people do not want any help from an organization with no intention other than help, then they simply don't deserve any help. The age of symbolism is long gone. No wonder the more sensible diplomats are frustrated:
We're actually trying to get a solution for the Red Cross, but some seem to want us to try to solve the entire Middle East conflict.
And now due to those fuckheads the lovely simplistic symbol I've always associated with peace and humanitarian mission is going to turn to a red square that reminds me of a table cloth. When are those bloody politicians are going to gain some common sense??? I say cull them, cull them all