mk_tortie: (fall with grace)
It's time like this that I'm glad that my own little corner of the internet is exactly that - little, and a corner. Because I think what I'm about to say would turn into major wank if I was a BNF or the like.

I've just started seeing post about what is being called 'RaceFail '09' - obviously a tad belatedly, cos apparently it's been going on for a couple of months now. So I read the original post which started it, some of the summaries and the responses on both sides... and I still don't get it. My ultimate thoughts are as follows: (bearing in mind that I use terminology which is as far as I know, politically correct IN THE UK. And that I can only speak from my own experience)

- as a white person, whatever I said in comments would not be right, because I'm white. Which to me feels like just as much prejudice as the other way around.

- I live in one of the most multi-cultural areas of the UK (the East End of London) and I have never seen casual racism here - not in graffitti, not on the streets, not on the public transport. Nowhere. Now I may just not go to the right places or watch closely enough, I don't know. Or maybe this area is simply so multi-cultural that there is no racism. I think that's probably not actually the case, but it's not OBVIOUS here. I don't look at what colour people are. It doesn't appear that other people do either. I feel more likely to be judged by the posh-ness of my accent than the colour of my skin. On the other hand, within my university racism has been a major theme this year - our SU president allegedly said some racist things at a NUS forum, was then cleared of all charges, but was fired anyway. I have no idea if he did or if he didn't. Also, there is of course tension between Palestinian students and supporters and Israeli and Jewish students and supporters, including an occupation of a lecture theatre on behalf of the former, which has sparked some accusations of racism on both sides against each other and the college. Here, it almost seems like an easy way of furthering their arguments - rather like arguments which descend into likening the other side to the Nazis/Hitler.

- I grew up, conversely, in an area so white that there were only about three non-white kids in my school out of a thousand students. But again, as far as I'm aware those children never experienced racism. In school, we studied literature and history and RE and all sorts of other things which happened to cover things from other cultures. Sometimes those things dealt with racism. Sometimes not. There was never a feeling that studying something by someone of another colour to myself was something unusual or noteworthy - in fact, I don't remember particularly thinking about it being anything more than just another thing we were studying, in amongst all the other things. Of course, we probably studied far more things written by white, British people than anything else - but that's because we mostly studied the history and literature of Britain, which for most of its history had a population consisting almost entirely of white people.

- ultimately, I am trying to say that I am unable to understand most of the reactions I have seen. Not that those people are not entitled to those reactions - they most certainly are - but I am incapable, because of how I think and the experiences I have had which formed that way of thinking, to fully understand how they arrived at those reactions.

(As a final note... I'm sorry, but every time I see someone put 'PoC', I read it as Pirates of the Caribbean. Which stops the flow of the argument for me a little!)

I'm not trying to be facetious, or say that discussion about racism is not important - but those are my thoughts. If someone can explain to me (possibly in words of one syllable) how I can understand a bit better, then go right ahead... Feel free to disagree with me/agree with me. These are very unformed, uninformed thoughts. I do not believe that what I think is what anyone else should be required to think (that applies to pretty much everything I ever say or do, really).



Plus this... which started as a point, and turned into its own mini-argument:
- I think that my thoughts on this are a little like my thoughts on feminism, if I can draw parallels between the two. In my own experience (which is, after all, all I have to go on) hardcore feminism is no longer necessary today. It seems to me it requires the balance to be tipped the OTHER way, which for me is just as wrong, and prevents open discussion. Of course, prejudice in any way, shape or form against women is wrong. But reading prejudice into everything is also wrong, and as a woman, feeling forced to behave in a certain way in order to uphold feminism is wrong too. Maybe I, as a woman, feel that my life will be more fulfilled if I put having a child before my career. I know I can make that choice, or choose to do both, and that's what's important. I don't want to to be made to feel that I am going back to the Middle Ages if I don't choose to put a career first. What I mean in relation to the above points is that open discussion from white people about race is just as valid as open discussion from men about gender rights. I hope this makes sense.
mk_tortie: (tiger)
On Sunday there was peace on Afghanistan. For twenty-four hours, midnight to midnight, the guns ceased on both sides. After urging by international aid agencies, in particular UNICEF and the UN, both the international forces stationed there and the Afghan forces, including the Taliban, agreed to honour one day of peace, in order for charities to reach children in areas which had been unreachable for the previous two years to vaccinate them against polio. But those agencies would never have dreamed a day when all the fighting would stop on both sides was even possible if it wasn't for the efforts of one man: Jeremy Gilley.

Jeremy Gilley set out in 1998 to make a film about peace. His only problem was that there was no peace; not a single day in any year when human beings were not killing one another. So, he decided he would start out by trying to create one day every year on which a worldwide ceasefire would take place, and document his efforts through film. If he was unsuccessful, the film would show how human beings were incapable of peace; if it was a success, then he would have created something incredible. He set the date for this day to be the 21st September every year. Peace One Day was born.

On Sunday night, I saw the Peace One Day concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London. As part of the concert, Gilley's film about the project, 'The Day After Peace', was premiered. The film has been ten years in the making, and now, finally, ten years on, Jeremy Gilley's persistance, charisma and persuasiveness has resulted in something wonderful: on Sunday, for the second year in a row, the guns ceased on both sides in Afghanistan. The film may now be complete, but this is just the beginning for the Peace One Day project.

I know that I am now going to do everything I can to help. If there can be peace across the whole world for just one day, then peace every day is just one step closer. What amazes me is that this is all the result of one man's dedication and tenacity. It really made me think, because ultimately every idea in the world begins with the idea of just one person.

I want to be one of those people.
mk_tortie: (little book of calm)
I saw the Dali Lama! He geave a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate so I went to watch. It was good fun, he seems like a really sweet old man. He didn't really say anything controversial - nothing about the Olympics, just basically that there is no 'pro-Tibet' or 'anti-China' in his view, he sees it as 'pro-Justice' and 'anti-Violence'. There were 15,000 people there!

And then I went and had dinner with my band (*grin*) and a couple of other people. And realised that I still have a mega-crush on Danish Guy. Bugger. Really need to stop this....
mk_tortie: (lily chou chou in water)
You may remember on Tuesday, I posted because I was annoyed about being the only one to clean the house for the party me and my housemates had that night. I spent 6 hours tidying and cleaning, and putting out all the food etc. So, the party was great, loads of fun, and at the end of the night the girl I'm living with next year (Jane) and I put all the rubbish in bin bags to save doing it in the morning. Since then I have been waiting for my housemates to do the rest of the tidying up. I didn't explicitly tell them it was their job, I just kind of assumed they'd do it, since I did all the preparation. It's now Sunday. Downstairs, the living room is covered in mud and sticky patches on the floor, and still smells of booze. One of my housemates washed up the few bits of glassware we actually used (we were using plastic cups, so that amounted to about 3 mugs and a couple of plates). Other than that, there are cigarette buts on the floor in the other room, leftover bits of bread in the corner, and the rubbish bags that Jane and I filled have just been dumped in the corner rather than taken out to the bins outside. Nobody has even brought in the grill tray from the barbecue, which is covered in meat fat, even though that was the one bit I specifically mentioned to my housemate because I didn't want us to get rats. Even the kitchen that I took hours to clean is covered in crumbs and sticky stuff, because one of my housemates likes to prepare her food directly on the sideboard and not clear up afterwards. I'm a bit pissed off.

My parents are arriving tonight to put down the carpet in the other room. So guess who now has to do all the tidying up? Me. Or I'll get it in the neck from them. I can't fucking WAIT to move to Berlin, and be free of all of this. I'm just glad I'm going on holiday on Tuesday and my sister is moving in after that. At least then it won't be just my responsibility to make sure the bloody house is clean.

I hate conflict and so I really don't want to have to bring this up with my housemates, but to be honest I think I may have to. I'm quite tempted to just leave them a note, but I don't know whether it might be just easier to do the cleaning and swallow my annoyance than to create bad feeling. Any suggestions as to how to handle this would be greatly appreciated!
mk_tortie: (who am i)
So... long vaguely emo post... yay cuts.

Resolutions mid-month roundup )

Headspace )

Poppy Day

Nov. 11th, 2006 01:28 am
mk_tortie: (dark)
I'm sat here listening to my sister's song for Remembrance Day - never fails to make me cry :'(. It feels so wrong this year, that it's now November the 11th and yet I haven't seen a single poppy seller all week to actually buy a poppy from. Apparently the British Legion doesn't have enough poppy sellers - I actually think I'm going to go sign up for next year. Oh wait, I'm in Berlin. Ok, so I'll do it the year after. But still, it's so sad that apparently people now see the poppies as some kind of political statement. I have always thought they were one of the few things without any kind of bias - they don't advocate war, just commemorate people who died in situations where they were just trying to do the right thing, whether that turned out to BE the right thing or not. And the money from the sale goes to helping those injured or left behind, regardless of race or faith or anything else. What could possibly be wrong with that? The way everything has to be a debate these days makes me so annoyed sometimes.

It's like at work. )

Sorry for ranting. My job can be really rewarding, but sometimes it really shakes my faith in humanity.

Meh

Jul. 11th, 2006 04:09 pm
mk_tortie: (fall with grace)
I feel so lacking in self-confidence at the moment. It's bizarre, really, because it's the same old, same old feeling I've known forever and ever, and yet my circumstances are so utterly different from what they were before. I have a boyfriend. I'm living in London, in a flat, with people I am good friends with, who accept me for what I am and who I am. I don't have to act around them. My life is getting sorted.

BUT.

Cut for ranting, read if you want... )

Sorry to put this all on here, but I need to get it out there. Gah.
mk_tortie: (childhood past)
I've actually taken the radical step of friends-locking this entry. Not because I particularly CARE, but I just can't be bothered to reply to the random comments from people I don't know which I seem to have been getting recently. Anyways. I'm having a crappy day. I seem to have been having a crisis a day this week, but all have been fairly trivial.. I suppose today has been, too, really. I've been planning on renting a flat this summer with Trev. We'd gone through a variety of plan changes, but finally it seemed we had agreed. I said I'd ask my parents to give me a certain amount towards the rent to make it easier for me and Trev... well, more for Trev, if I'm being honest. I though about doing it but finally decided it would be alright when my Dad said he'd donate some money towards our holiday if we had problems finding somewhere cheap. Since I didn't take him up on that, I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask about the flat. I explained to him that it would mean me and Trev would be able to pay less each per week (as opposed to just me)... no problem. He said he'd give us what amounted to 40 quid a week - not that much for him, but enough for us to get somewhere which actually had room to breathe. Great. I'd been holding my breath about the whole thing due to the aforementioned changes of plan, but now I finally thought I could get excited. I thanked my Dad profusely and told the good news to Trev. This was Thursday.

Today I talk to my Mum on the phone. I mention I'm coming home on Saturday to deliver my sister's 18th birthday present. My Dad had neglected to tell her. I assumed that meant he hadn't told her about the money, either, so I did, being a honest daughter. She is entirely unhappy about subsidising Trev. I get grumpy. We have a few more minutes of conversation and then say goodbye. But the thing is, I wasn't grumpy at her, persay. See, I just hadn't seen it like that - I just saw it as making things easier for me and Trev, because my parents wouldn't be paying anything towards my upkeep otherwise, where they would have been had I been at home. But being slightly upset at my mother's reaction, and worried about this new way of looking at things, I talk to Trev. Turns out he's not happy, either - he doesn't want to be subsidised by my parents particularly, cos he hates taking money off people, but especially not if my Mum's not happy with it. Now I'M not happy with it either, because I've obviously been ignoring everybody else's feelings rather selfishly for my own happiness. So Trev points out how he could get a job at Hampstead on campus and pay only 5 pounds a night for accomodation, and I could do the same thing. Trouble is, it's weekend work and 3 days during the week, which means I wouldn't get a day off for the whole summer cos I already work 3 weeknights at the bar which I'm going to carry on. Gah. Still. After much stressing and ranting and crying all afternoon I've come to a decision. We'll both apply for jobs at Hampstead. If we both get them, we'll live here. That'll be fine, we're already used to it, even if it's not what we'd planned. If one of us doesn't, we'll look for other jobs - probably telesales - which I KNOW I've almost certainly got a job waiting for me in, and Trev could easily get a job in. And we'll rent a flat. And if that means him paying 60 quid a week rent because that's all he can afford, and me paying 80+, I don't mind. Because I'd much prefer to be with him than live on my own.

Oh, the joys of being an adult... but not quite... and deciding just how dependant to still be on Mummy and Daddy. And feeling guilty about it. I guess this means I'm paying all my rent next year too, because I don't want to be at ALL dependant any more. I'm glad they paid this year, but I can't claim to be an independant adult whilst still sponging.

Poo. I wish I was 8. I guess my icon is particularly appropriate now.

EDIT: Was friendlocked. But actually I don't agree with friends locking stuff. If I'm going to put it on the internet I should go the whole hog. If not I should write it in my personal diary. So welcome, public.

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