Daily Prompt: Salad Days

18 Nov

This is is a post for the Daily Prompt challenge, now called “Salad Days“, in where you gotta write about what you would call the “good days” of your life. I wrote mine, so there you go. Hope you like it!

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There were many moments in where I felt fully alive and well… Most of them, though, were pre-teenager for obvious reasons, but I won’t fall in all that babbling again…

There was a time in my childhood, which I can’t remember, in where I would happily wake up to play video games or enjoy my discovery of Internet. They were pleasant days, but there’s a specific day that marked what could be the beginning of a wistfulness that I wanted to keep living forever.

It was a Christmas. I received new N64 games—Hey You, Pikachu!, is a vital mention—and I felt cozy at my home, surrounded by good smells, speaking English for the first time of my life, feeling protected, as in a cave in where pleasures abound and in where I can finally feel fully protected. My mother’s not in this memory scene I am describing right now, but I know she’s near—that everybody’s near. I know that my family is near, that no one’s far, that I just need to raise my voice to be heard and stop being alone. My needs will be covered easily, and all that remains is to speak with Pikachu…

I remember a lot the Christmas—the family Christmas, with food, fun, games, enjoyment, laughter… There’s a Christmas I cherish a lot, in which all the cousins finally gathered together and enjoyed a special day as a family, no longer as strangers. Christmas is such a special day for me, because it was the only time I had a truce with life.

I cherish those good days, especially in one in where I consciously told myself “I don’t ever want to grow up. I am so happy this way. I hope I never stop being 8 years old”. That’s where I know the best memories of me were.

And now that my family’s all torn apart, that there’s a war waging in my country, that I am meeting the dark side of the world, that I can be a difficult person as well…

Now that everything’s upside down, I remember how much I cherished my salad days.

Thanks for reading!

Ayotzinapa and the Strength of the Rural Normal School Community

31 Oct

krikli01:

This is an interesting article about the 43 missing students from Mexico… Hope it can help people understand more what’s going on here!

Originally posted on dorset chiapas solidarity:

Ayotzinapa and the Strength of the Rural Normal School Community

Luis Hernández Navarro

La Jornada, 28th October, 2014

Translated by Sally Seward

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One, two, three, four, the crowd calls out, not stopping until they reach number 43, and then demanding at the top of their voices: “Justice!”

“Felipe Arnulfo Rosa”, reads out a voice. “Present!” respond hundreds of angry voices. “Benjamín Ascencio Bautista”, it asks again. “Present!” answer the demonstrators. “Israel Caballero Sánchez”…

These are the names of the students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa who were disappeared by the municipal police of Iguala and Cocula. They are the same people whose faces appear by the thousands on the banners and pieces of canvas that students and citizens carry at all kinds of protests, demanding that the authorities return them alive.

What strange irony. After being separated from national public life for years and appearing from time to time in the media…

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Qatar’s First Anime & Manga Toy Store.

20 Oct

krikli01:

Aww! I am not sure why, but this article made me smile a lot =w=

Originally posted on middle east revised:

This month Doha News has a lovely story about a young Qatari couple Fatma Al-Jassim and Jassim Al-Mass who just opened Qatar’s first manga store, HobbyChan. Chantelle D’Mello writes how the growing local subculture of anime aficionados is fueled in large part by dubbed Japanese cartoons that used to air on local television networks.

For me, this is a piece of art,” said Al-Jassim, referring to her collection of anime figures. “We grew up watching anime in Arabic. Japan has always been part of our childhood. There’s just something magical in these creations and in that world.”

aaasAl-Jassim and Al-Mass //image © Chantelle D’Mello/ Doha News//

Speaking to Doha News, Al-Mass said the shop is the result of around a year of planning and hard work.

We were motivated to open the store after we visited Japan for our honeymoon (last October). From concept to branding to…

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Retratos de escritores hechos con una máquina de escribir

2 Oct Featured Image -- 324

krikli01:

This post is in Spanish, but it is about a Brazilian artist who can draw novelists’ faces with just a typewriter! Cool!

Originally posted on Qué Leer:

El diseñador e ilustrador brasileño Álvaro Franca se ha dado a conocer en todo el mundo gracias a una técnica especial mediante la cual realiza retratos utilizando únicamente papel y una vieja máquina de escribir.

Muchos de sus trabajos muestran a algunos de los escritores más influyentes de los últimos tiempos.

Franca desarrolló este proyecto genial a través de una técnica para obtener imágenes en escala de grises con su máquina de escribir.

maquina de escribir2Así fue como este artista le dio vida a sus 5 escritores favoritos: José Saramago, Clarice Lispector, Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salingery, Charles H. Bukowski; los cuales no solo han dejado una gran huella a nivel literario, sino que también, al igual que Álvaro, utilizaron una máquina de escribir para crear.

El proyecto fue realizado entre el 2013 y 2014, durante su intercambio en la Escuela de Arte…

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Five Natural Haikus

30 Sep

Although I cannot post articles as often as I want, I decided to translate some poems I’ve published in local magazines and share them all with you! In this occasion, for example, I will share you some haikus I published in a magazine called Paso del Río Grande del Norte, which may not ring a bell, surely, because it’s a Mexican magazine that hasn’t been beyond the frontier and Spain, so…

Anyways, I forgot the issue they were published on, so I translated all of these haikus from Spanish. Hope you can enjoy them!

Sun

My beautiful boy

of glittering golden locks

caressing me whole.

 

Moon

Most tender bald girl

tarnished by gray freckles,

never let me go.

 

Air

Transparent rivers

always crash against my face

en route to nowhere.

 

Rain

A silvered sky

melting above our faces,

dripping its silver.

 

Sand

The tears of our soil

who’ll never be able to fly

and fall into the sky.

 

Thanks a bunch for reading!

The Loving Wall Street

21 Sep

How long has it been ever since you turned on the radio and listened to a song of a dying love, or a boy missing a girl, or a girl complaining of an ex? (And yes, you know who I am talking about). How long, O Reader? A year, a month, a week, a day ago perhaps…? Maybe it hasn’t been that long, considering the word love has become a rather empty term nowdays in my opinion. What do I mean? Well, hopefully I will make sense, as this is quite a difficult topic for me. Trust me, I’ve always had a hard time explaining why I am disappointed lately with this thing everybody calls “love”.

Ever since the start of the Industrialization, love themes have become a rather sell-a-lot tactic used by several people, including film studios, greeting cards companies and other businessmen. Why? I am not really sure. I could give away the theory that they use it to manipulate people’s emotions and longing for company in a rather harsh world like the one we’re living in right now, and thus fabricate in their minds a perfect substitute of actual tenderness with those lies that you can find love and care with physical stimulation…

…But I would be exaggerating, surely.

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Oh, come on! You saw this one coming!

My point is, people have used love as a way of marketing for their own benefit nowdays, at such rate that it has long lost its sacred meaning. It no longer means the complete and pure devotion to one and another: it is just “I like you a lot” and “We should be together in the same house, sharing the same bed”. Or so I’ve noticed.

According to this, love must lead to a systematized relationship with anniversaries, gifts, dinners, kisses, hugs, etcetera. Love can only be shown that way. It is “real love” if a pair of heterosexual people embraces and smooches their faces off, until they suck their freckles and pimples with their kisses; but beware if you tell a person of a same sex that you love them: they will call you “gay” because the media says that it is not possible to hold a strong regard—stronger than the lover’s relationship regard, perhaps—and devotion to a person. Oh no. Love is reduced to partners, kisses and daily Whatsapp messages telling you “I wuv u, honeh <3!”. You’re an oddball if you dare to say that you love your same-sex best friend, because that word has been reserved to lovers’ relationships in this age.

…But again, maybe I am exaggerating.

No. I cannot keep calm with such grammar.

However, if I am saying all of this, is because I noticed a possible symptom of the meaning of love’s decay. That symptom is called…

Friendzone

What is “Friendzone”? According to Wikipedia, it is desire to enter into a relationship with a certain person, whereas said person doesn’t reciprocate the love whatsoever. Usually, the rejected person is a male who is rejected by the loved one, the female. But I will not get into the sexist issue in here. I will let Rivu Dasgupta and Amanda Marcotte explain that part. I want to, however, get into the root of this concept.

I once promised in my last article to delve more into why I am rather angry at this concept. Well, promise’s a promise, so here’s my main problem with it, and it’s not just the reciprocation duty of the “loved” one:
It’s a symptom that human’s relationships are deteriorating.

As I grew up, I came to learn that love’s not like Disney painted it. In fact, as I heard my friends sputter to each other seas and seas of “OMG, I WUV U, BABY, I LUV YOU SOOO MUCH, MISS U 2~!!11!1”, I came to understand that love had become some sort of game in where words, kisses and hugs were obligatory toys. It’s hard to explain, I know. But just look it at this way: when has it been the last time you told yourself that you love deeply a friend? Not the romantic-attraction way, but the companionship way. When has it been ever since a guy told his friend how much he loved him, without the fear of being accused of homosexuality? When has it been that you let the silence express your feelings towards a person, without the use of words…?

When was the last time you let a person know you really loved him/her without words or gifts?

…and without the delicious candy roses?

I am not saying that you can’t tell how much you care about a person with gifts and words. In fact, sometimes they’re better than nothing else. I have no right to tell which way is the better to love… But let’s face it: how many people have wondered about the real meaning of love, without the need of gifts and words? How many times do people wonder what can they do for people, instead of the other way around, just because of love?

I promised in my last article as well my story with a beggar and why it is relevant in this little rant of mine. Y’see, many months ago, I met a rather mentally unstable beggar on a local park. I thought it would be the right thing to do to give him my delicious coconut cookies as he had no food around. So I approached to him and offered them to him. And he accepted them…only to throw them away from him. He ate them later as I noticed from afar, but I felt quite…insulted. Angry, let’s say. I felt awful. I was giving him my precious cookies (and oh boy, how much I love coconut cookies!), and he thanked me this way…? I felt terrible and wanting to walk away while giving him a “You’re awful” glance.

But I did not.

Maybe I had a reason to feel terrible, yes, but then I wondered this: why was I giving him the cookies? For his gratitude, for his thanks, for his admiration…? For his love…? When I thought of it that way, I realized that maybe I was being terribly selfish with my anger. I shouldn’t be angry. I saw from afar that he wasn’t completely alright in his head. And I gave him cookies to help him. If I expected something in return, then mine wasn’t an actual good deed: it was a trade. My cookies for your respect. I wasn’t helping him: I was helping my ego. And that shouldn’t be.

Even though I still feel sad for that day, I keep this idea with me: I will meet more people like that beggar, and some will be mentally stable, and worse, than him. And if I stop doing what I think is the most correct thing to do just because it will make me “feel sad and hated”, then maybe I should start working on my persona first, before moving onto other people. And I would lie if I say that I am now willing to live without this anger, but at least I am glad I learned something valuable in that day: love’s never selfish.

I also want to dedicate this article to the delicious coconut cookies, certainly one of God’s most perfect creations ever.

Love has been transformed into a Frankenstein monster thanks to the actual media. It’s made of systems, rules, gifts, and even tons of sexual needs, even though the word itself is a far stronger notion than the physical attraction: it is one of the purest forms of social cohesion, a gift to all living beings.

Love songs scream a lot how much they care about a person and how much they miss his/her kisses, caresses, skin… But, so far, I have heard no more than five songs that explore something beyond all that physical/emotional side.

Love has become so tarnished that it no longer means what it tried to mean. It has become a marketing tactic to attract people. It has transformed into a toy that promises happiness to one, but doesn’t teach how to make somebody else happy. No. This 2000s are all about me. This is quite an individualistic age.

Love has become a market. If you give, you must receive something as a thanks because you’ve proved to be a “nice” person who has felt such pure feeling. Love is no longer a gift to give to the world, but a Multi Pass that will let you get inside a one-thousand doors. It’s a medal—a title.

Love has become almost a synonym of pleasure, of reward. It is no longer what it actually meant: a cure for the world.

…But again, this is just my opinion. You, as always, have the last word, O Reader.

Thanks a bunch for reading!

The New Word Order, or why you should worry about the shape of your toilet

11 Aug

I have a philosophy—an odd one, but I believe you might appreciate it wholly: I judge a place according to the state of its bathroom. Is it clean? The, let’s say, restaurant is a carefully taken place. Is it filthy? They sure have no manners or values in here! I don’t care about the decoration or the atmosphere of a restaurant: I won’t like it if its bathroom it’s not in clean shape. Why? Because it’s a sanitary place I have to trust my body to. And if it is not in good condition, it means that the restaurant sure gives a damn about me! Some tiny places in the roads and in little towns can be understandable with the low economy and all, but the big places…? Now, there’s no excuse, is it?

http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/images/water-efficient-toilet.jpg

There’s a good reason why it tends to be called a “throne”…

I won’t blame you if you find this philosophy silly or ridiculous. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. However, if I am sharing you this bit is because I couldn’t find a better analogy for the topic I want to discuss briefly today: the 21st century’s neologisms.

Let’s pretend we’re going to dine to a restaurant, shall we? We open the door, say hello to the waiter, he takes us to the table, we order our food… And oh boy, the restaurant sure is classy! Look at the tigers in the walls! Look at the dragons in the roof! Look at the restaurant itself: it’s spinning! What a modern place! Screw the food: this place sure got the vibe! The food surely’s made of plastic and GMOs, but God, the restaurant is filled with lots of technological and scientific gadgets that massages us, spoil us and even replaces our legs and arms when it’s time to eat! Like a baby, you’re given the food in a spoon directed by the computer! Oh God, such a wondrous place!

Restaurante Giratório Interno

You spin me right round, baby, right round…~!

But after the dinner, it’s time to evacuate everything, so we run to the bathroom to save ourselves from a huge embarrassing moment. And uh oh, the toilet is all filthy, stained and bathed with flies… What the hell? Why such inconsideration? Is this the real spirit of the restaurant? Is it too filthy despite the technological advances? Is it because the toilet was forgotten or something…?

Lame example, but this is where we begin.

The 21st century is being bombarded by neologisms that reflect the society’s current state. Concepts like selfie, bullying and Friendzone are becoming recurrent in the social networks and for a reason: they’re marking an aspect of the people’s spirit of this century, in a good or a terrible manner. I chose these three for several reasons, but I would like to emphasize on Friendzone for several reasons. However, it will be the topic of the next post, surely. For now, I will briefly explain the three as whole:

Selfie: It’s a new way to call self-taken photographs for…well, no reason that I understand. In fact, this activity’s not exclusive of this century: it was done in the 1900s. Artists and photographs would occasionally take photos of themselves for several reasons, surely all of them for artistic or intimate reasons, so what’s the big deal about it? Well, easy: it’s become so—so—common nowdays that it will soon become a verb, like sneezing. And that would be no problem…if it weren’t a sign that people are becoming a bit more narcissistic.

Puddle, puddle in the brook, who’s the fairest on Facebook~?

Some studies have found that this practice, if done in an excessive manner, is a sign of damaged self-esteem or an unhealthy way of calling for attention. These problems, again, have been present from the very past, but you gotta wonder why suddenly this term and situation got a name in these years. And, in my most humble opinion that could be wrong, I link it to the fact that society has become less…social and more self-interested and apathetic.

Now that technology’s “saving” us from the need of walking outside, greeting tête-a-tête with other people and socializing as, you know, in the past, there has been less reasons to walk outside and live in flesh and blood the reality. Oh no, now you can live it from the comfort and safety from your laptop, and which can even measure your “acceptability” with “likes” and “shares”, something uncommon in real life. Technology, as helpful it is (it has helped us create campaigns for justice and truth, and of course, share information and destroy the lies given us by the uncontrolled media), as problematic it can be if not handled correctly. And I think the term “selfie” is a symptom that society’s not handling well the social side of the technology, if not a symptom that we’re disconnecting from each other now that we’ve weaved a new reality through our computers.

Bullying: This will be a bonus for anybody who knows Spanish, as this comes from a language-based opinion. I don’t know how long English language has had this term, but it is recent in the Spanish lexicon, at least as far as I’ve known. When I was a child, I never heard of this term. Abuse and pestering was common (and I suffered it), but Spanish language never had a term for this because it wasn’t really part of our life. It wasn’t rare, or common. But it sure wasn’t as explosive as today.

In the recent years, bullying became a known and even common term in my country because the abuse cases grew in number (and in cruelty…), and soon it borrowed the English “bullying”. And it became a school term.

I find this a bit creepy. I would cite you, O Reader, examples of the recent cruelty of Mexican children in several schools, but no, I’ll save you from the nightmares. However, I find it disturbing that the abuses in school have become so common that it soon became a label and a term. A term known by everybody. A term, in my opinion, that shouldn’t exist. Why? Because violence is not acceptable. It shouldn’t exist in schools. There should be no name for these acts. None at all.

user posted image

If you were about to kill your twin, surely it would be a “twinicide”, but what happens when a Spanish peasant appears on your aim as well…? Would it be called “hispanitwinicide”?

However, this adaption of the word “bullying” just means to me something: society’s losing culture and values. Be it the media, be it the lame parenting, be it the lame shallow values of today… Dunno, but something’s transforming the kids into little killing and—yes, with a most painful heart to say it—raping machines. The culture’s becoming downgraded and rotten. Parents no longer educate their children to love and accept, but to “punch back if he bullies you”. Society’s getting an awful stench, like our hypothetical restaurant’s smelly toilet.

Friendzone: I want to dedicate this term a whole topic of its own because I sure got a long rant about it, but I will leave you guys a preview of why I have a problem with it: it has sensationalized relationships. Or better said, it has turned it into toys and stereotypes. Relationships, according to what I always understood, were something far more complex and enduring, and it seems that nowdays even love is based on a set of rules and systems that I don’t even understand, and I tend to feel more comfortable when I do things that are ruled and organized!

Friendzone means that you’ve been good to a certain person after a long time and then is “delegated” into a friend and not into something far more serious, like a boyfriend or lover. This tends to be played for laughs because, well, one expects a better treatment after you treat well somebody else… And that’s my problem: why? Why do you gotta be treated better or even sexually paid because you were “nice”? If you expected something, then you weren’t even a friend: you were an interested person.

I would tell you an anecdote I lived with a beggar on a park that could count as an example… But no. I’ll save it for the next article, that, hopefully, will be written soon. But I will resume by saying that Friendzone’s a sign that human relationships have become something far too different, if not immature, than before.

There are more concepts we could talk about. But I wanted to look at these three and give my opinion. But again, O Reader, you have the final word. I’m certain I might be wrong in some facts, and so I apologize if any mistake was done. However, get in mind that I tend to complain because I wish for a better world for you, me and the future generations. And my helplessness tends to remind me that the sole thing I can do for the moment is to write, hoping somebody might receive some help with these articles.

Thanks for reading!

Most of the images redirect back to their original links if clicked on them.

Writing Place: The Daily Post Challenge

28 Jun

This is a post in response to the Daily Prompt Challenge from “The Daily Post”. This time, it is the Writing Place, which is about where do you produce your best writing material and why, and add a little description. I got quite some stories about the places I’ve been writing in, but I will make it brief. Don’t want to write too intimate stuff…

I certainly can’t write at home without dying of heat or remembering I gotta do other chores before I can finally relax!
The best place I can write without feeling invaded or awkward is my school library. Not only I have thousands of books in where I can get inspiration from and a rather silent environment, but I feel as if writing is a job I must attend to and take care as much as possible. Although it’s hard to find a good seat, the tables somehow transform everything into a more intimate place and give you enough space for your arms and books. The library transforms my hobby into a duty, and I tend to appreciate more my duty than my hobbies, heh.
I wish I could say home, where the heart belongs, is the best place to write for me. But it’s a tiny space, filled with stress and noise, and even with negative emotions. But I sure have the best seats in here!

Something About Buddhadasa

2 Jun

krikli01:

This article taught me in less than five seconds lots of history of Thailand and of Buddhism. A recommended read!

Originally posted on bluejayblog:

Dad married Tippy a few years after my conversion to Vajrayana Buddhist philosophy.  One of the many reasons I was happy about the marriage, was that there was another Buddhist in the family. Tippy was a transplant from northern Thailand, so her native religion was Theraveda Buddhism.

Buddhadasa-thailandTemple

Living in rural Nebraska allows very few, if any, opportunities for regular one to one discussions about any sort of Buddhism.  Even though we approached the Buddha’s teachings from different schools of discipline, Tippy and I found much common ground and were able to support or give refuge to one another.

Although she was brought up as a Thai Theravedan, Tippy tempered her philosophy with the wisdom of Buddhadasa Bikkhu. She was a very devout Buddhist who understood early on the value of the practice and teachings of her native philosophy.  On the other hand, Tippy was put off by the corrupt nature…

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The Nakba equipped me with a spirit born of catastrophe but destined for triumph

16 May

krikli01:

A recommended read about the Nakba. Such is the cruel, cruel irony as the author wrote.

Originally posted on Sixteen Minutes to Palestine:

Guest contribution by Deanna Othman

May 15 marks the 66th anniversary of al-Nakba or “The Catastrophe,” the day that led to the systematic dispossession of two-thirds of the Palestinian population — exiled from their homes, bereft of their property, land, and dignity. This day, with the creation of the state of Israel, came the creation of the Palestinian refugee crisis. The creation of a nation on the land of another nation, with people forcibly removed from their villages — villages that would be expunged from the map, but not from the memories of those who inhabited them.

Yes, with Israeli Independence Day came celebration and mourning. One people’s celebration led to another’s degradation. Humiliation. Deprivation.

According to the Institute for Middle East Understanding, as of 2008, more than 4 million Palestinian refugees were registered with the United Nations, and at least another estimated 1 million were not registered. Thus a…

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