Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , on 31/12/2011 by arabrhizome

I wrote my review of 2011 yesterday because I knew I wouldn’t have much time to write it today. I’m just passing through as I’m getting ready for the new year’s eve festivities. We went go karting earlier today. It was really fun, I came in third and I got a medal. I know I’m very lush. Anyway, I just thought I’ll write a quick note now to wish you all a happy new year. This past year saw many of the oppressed people in the world rise up. Let’s hope that next year brings more uprisings and more revolution. My hope is to write a post in a year’s time that talks about the liberation of Palestine. Stay safe everyone, don’t drink and drive and stay away from big drunk men looking for a fight. Live long and prosper.

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Bye Bye 2011

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Palestine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30/12/2011 by arabrhizome

I thought I’ll write my post saying good bye to 2011 tonight, as I don’t know if I’ll be able to write more than a few words tomorrow. I thought that I would very creatively write a review of 2011. I know no one is blogging about that. I’m the only person in the world who’s ever thought of reviewing the year that’s just passed. Being serious for a second, I thought I’d write about my perspective on the year, with a mixture of personal and not so personal stories that made this year what it was for me. So, let’s start at the beginning.

The year started in a bad place for me. I had just gotten out of a long relationship and wasn’t feeling very good about myself. I had very little self esteem and was not able to get much work done. I felt slightly lost and was not sure what to do to get out of the hole I felt I was in. It was a difficult time and in many ways I’m still dealing with the aftermath of that. I am much happier today, not only because I’m able to be friends with my ex, which is brilliant, but also because I’ve moved on and I’m able to work again, which was another big problem this year.

That was another feature of the year. The clear lack of work. I kept trying and sometimes wrote some stuff, but it was never good enough. It wasn’t even slightly acceptable. However the more common occurrence was me spending most of the year sitting in front of my laptop trying to write but not being able to concentrate. This spell was broken at the end of November and the beginning of December. I was able to write a work in progress which went down very well. That gave me a great boost in confidence in the work department. But the year wasn’t all bad.

To remain within the personal for a bit this year also involved me discovering comic books and Dungeons and Dragons. Well if you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know all about Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve met some great people through it and I’m enjoying the great adventure that Andy our Dungeon Master has thought of for us. I’ve also met some new friends who are really brilliant through Remi’s poetry reading. I hope that I’ll get to see more of them  in the coming year. Nothing like meeting some great activist, feminist, pro-Palestine, vegan, anti-capitalists. I can’t wait to hang out with them soon. That also speaks to the other great thing that happened in my world this year. I became a vegan. I have to say that I still feel like this was the best things I’ve ever done. But I’ve written a whole post about that, you can read it if you want to know more.

Another highlight of the year was the wedding of two of my friends. I am not a fan of marriage but if there ever were two people who can make the institution work it’s those two. It was a wonderful wedding, with lots of emotion and many laughs. I met some very interesting people and enjoyed their company. Hopefully I’ll get to see more of them this year. Congratulations again to Mike and Becky. It was a beautiful wedding and I wish them all the happiness in the world. That was definitely a great day.

But how can we talk about 2011 and not talk about the great upheaval that shook the entire world starting in a village in Tunisia in 2010 when a fruit seller set himself on fire out of desperation and in so doing started a movement in the arab world that we are still living through. First it was Tunisia, then Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria. We’ve also seen protests in Kuwait, Saudi, Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan. Dictators fell others are still clinging to power, either through the help of Western imperial powers and their Arab lackeys, or through brute military force. We’ve seen what the West’s intervention in Libya has done, and so even though I fully support the Syrian revolution, I’m not happy to see it repeated in Syria.

The revolutions also moved to Europe, North America, South America, and parts of Asia. The occupy movement made a difference, apart from Occupy Wall Street’s refusal to show solidarity with Palestinians because of some zionist pressure. I point this out because it is important. There can’t be no justice without solidarity between all oppressed people. Occupy Wall Street’s refusal to show solidarity is a stain on their record and needs to be rectified. The rest of the movements showed a lot more solidarity, including occupy Boston, LA, Oakland, Chicago, and others. We also saw how much the US’s political system is sold to corporations. The incredible brutality with which the police responded to those protests, which was reminiscent of some of the worst dictatorships in the world, showed that at the end of the day Corporations mattered more to the US political system than the people.

There was also the riots of the summer in the UK. I saw many people who call themselves leftists, when faced with the actual raw reality of class warfare and the real anger caused by police brutality and economic pain, turned to fascist language about the rioters. I was shocked, but not surprised, to see how many arm chair activists are happy to abandon all of their supposed beliefs when the poor stand up, however clumsily, and are ready to adopt rightwing narratives. The riots showed that a large section of the British society are disenfranchised and feel completely disconnected from their communities. What we saw, in my opinion, is the result of Thatcherism and Reganomics combined with the clear police brutality felt by the youths of deprived areas in Britain.

Then there was Palestine. This year so much in the struggle for justice in Palestine. I can’t cover all of it, however, I’ll write about a few events that marked me. First there were the protests on Nakba. For the first time, Palestinian refugees from neighbouring countries walked to the borders of Palestine demanding their internationally recognised right of return. Israel responded the only way it knows how, with brutality and without any regards for civilian life or international law. They fired across international borders killing and injuring dozens. This year the BDS movement kept growing and becoming more and more mainstream. There was also much unnecessary death and destruction. Palestinian human life is still too cheap in the eyes of israelis and the world.

However, I am feeling optimistic. I believe that public opinion is changing. The world thanks to the incredible work of many activists who work very hard to bring the truth about the Apartheid state of israel and the brutal racist policies of the zionist state to the world. I trust that when people see and understand the deep injustice in Palestine they can’t but find themselves in the anti-zionist camp. What we also saw was that israeli propaganda and intimidation tactics aren’t working as well as they used to. As many have said, the truth is that the facts are anti-zionist. On this note, I hope you all had a very good year. It certainly was an interesting one. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Lost in Thoughts

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , on 29/12/2011 by arabrhizome

I’ve been really lost in my own thoughts today. I can’t really write about it yet, but I’ve been feeling very happy and hopeful. Things seem to be happening in my life and I like them happening. Anyway, I didn’t manage to do as much work as I would have liked today, but I was able to do some. As I said most of my day was spent thinking about other stuff. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some work tomorrow as the day after is going to be busy with lots of stuff. It is both a friend’s birthday celebrations and new year’s eve. So I’m probably not going to get a lot done. Anyway, I must go now. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Working and Thinking

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , on 28/12/2011 by arabrhizome

So I spent today working and thinking about stuff outside my work. I didn’t do much work, but after the vegan christmas extravaganza I didn’t expect to get back to work at a very productive level. I did however manage to get some words on the paper, or more precisely pixels on the screen (I love this distinction). Hopefully tomorrow will be even more productive. I have been thinking about feminist issues a lot as well. I am going to write a proper long post about it at some point, but not right now. There also might be an interesting announcement soon. I’m not going to say much about it yet but will let you know when it’s clearer. Anyway, that’s all for now. As always, stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Dungeons and Dragons Part 16

Posted in Culture, Friends, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27/12/2011 by arabrhizome

So we left last week after having arrived at the flying fortress of the intelligencium. We had dispatched the guards and so now had to locate the codices. We realised that we had one of two choices, either go up a tower which seemed to be a control room or go bellow deck. The guard had told us that the codices were probably located in the lower decks, so we made our way there. We were being stealthy, even though we had a Paladin in shining armour, I mean it literally shines radiating light. But we managed through a skill check, to make it to where we believed the codices were.

Looking into the chamber we found that the five leaders of the intelligencium were around a table with the codices there. We know the names of four of them, but the identity of the fifth has always been a mystery. They had some people around with them, well I say people one of them was a giant creature and three of them did not seem completely human. We decided that the best course of action was to go in and talk to them. After all the information we got that says they’re evil comes from an aspect of Adapa Nana and a day walker, so it might be useful to hear their side of the story.

We went in and the fifth member, who’s a lady with an eye patch, told us that they were expecting us and that we were 30 seconds late. We had a bit of a rough conversation, with neither of us wanting to give up too much information. Basically they were expecting us and offered to give us the codices in exchange for the time traveling ship on which our party traveled. Basically they wanted us to steal it for them. They explain that we were linked to it because we travelled on it and that in order to discover where it is hidden we needed to get in touch with our inner time. We did not agree to the bargain but did not disagree either.

Our plan was to find the ship talk to the captain and get him to take us back in time to when the intelligencium stole the codices from Baron Van Doomas and steal them from them then. Then we would get back to our time today and take the thirteenth codex from Adapa Nana. We were aware of new sciency guilds in water deep one of them was the guild of horologists. We thought they might explain to us what inner time was and how we could access it. So we called our Wyverns and made our way from the ship back to water deep. Once we arrived there we went to the guild hall of the horologists.

There we were asked to buy a clock, at prices that we could not afford, in order to be part of the guild, otherwise, no information was to be given to us. Through a blend of intimidation and diplomacy, we were allowed to meet with the head of the guild. He explained the nature of time, being that it is a non-being. It is felt while not real. It is only perceived because of the decay and change in the world. He explained that our bodies, through their processes and natural decay were clocks of some sort. He explained that by concentrating on those processes we could access our inner time. He explained that we also needed to anchor ourselves to a given external time, otherwise we could cause some danger.

He also explained that time travel was very dangerous because it creates paradoxes and that horrors who live beyond our physical reality latch on to paradoxes and try to get through to our world through them. He explained that one of the tasks of the horologists is to tend to such paradoxes, many of them created by the captain of the ship we travelled on (I forgot his name) who is a rogue time traveller. Our paladin noticed that on his desk was the photo of the fifth member of the intelligencium, he asked who that was, and was told that it was the daughter of the head of the order. Her name was Philimina. On our way out we bought some hourglasses, which were cheap and made our way to an inn.

In the inn we waited for midday, when the sun is at its highest and then using the hourglasses to anchor us we started trying to reach for our inner time. The process was slow, and my character might have invented jazz in the process, but eventually we managed it. At that point we felt wrenched and we then started falling. Eventually we fell on some wood. It was dark. We lit a torch and realised that we were on the ship bellow deck. We had gotten to the hideout. We found the captain sleeping in his quarters. As we started explaining what had happened we heard noises of people falling on the top deck. We realised that the intelligencium had used us to track this place.

We explained this to the captain and went up to fight them. They were posturing but we did not budge and the battle began. It was us against four leaders of the intelligencium and a mechanical golem. We did fight a bit this week, however I’m going to leave it here tonight and tell you about the battle all at once next week. That way I don’t tell you only half of the story. It is also better to leave it on a cliff hanger for you all. Until then, stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Planning

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , on 26/12/2011 by arabrhizome

I’m planning a trip to Algeria for early December. I need to go there for a whole week. It’s going to be annoying as I’m not sure I can work there. So it will be a wasted week. But I have some paper work to take care of and I need to do that. So I’m trying to figure out the best dates. I also need to take care of my visa in January. It’s all rather annoying as it all means days off work, and I can’t really afford many of those. Anyway, I’m not going to moan too much, I need to get back to it. As always, stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.

Christmas/Winter Solstice Celebrations

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 25/12/2011 by arabrhizome

So I had a lovely christmas/winter solstice day. Spent most of it cooking, drinking and eating. I am in fact having some mince pies at the moment. I’m quite inebriated at the moment, drinking through the day does that to you. Even though I’ve had a lot of starchy stuff, the alcohol still managed to get through to my brain. My drunk drunk brain. I watched the Doctor Who christmas special. I’m not going to spoil it but it’s a weird one. It definitely doesn’t go where you think it will. I enjoyed it, but I’m not exactly objective. Anyway, must get back to the drinking now. Happy winter solstice or christmas depending on what you celebrate. Stay safe everyone. Live long and prosper.