Category Archives: History

Punishment


I don’t believe in god, I’m more agnostic than anything at all. But I swear, someone somewhere is punishing me. The bells! The fucking church bells today are going crazy!

I stayed in last night. I ordered a pizza and a can of coke and thats it. I watched a documentary about an american serial killer and then a girlie movie (Eat, Pray, Love). You may be wondering that the serial killer documentary + girlie movie + pizza = weird combo, but I feel that for balance, you need to not subscribe to social and gender roles. So yes. I’m a girl. I like to wear make-up, put on pretty dresses and watch crappy movies about “finding love” and shit, but then I also like to dress in my trampy clothes, sit on a smelly rock and listen to people jamming around a fire, while holding a burning marshmallow. I also really enjoy doing boy things, like playing computer games and drinking (“sans” farts, that’s going too far for me, so is burping. It’s never funny). Except I’m really shit at all the new computer games. I really miss the ones on the SEGA or Dreamcast. I mean, you didn’t have to be good to play Street Fighter or Sonic, you just had to press loads of buttons and see what happened. I can’t fecking play the Wii. I can’t get that whole balancing thing. I wobble and fall off something, and I lose. Plus all the new games you have to get off your arse and dance, and punch or swat things. I though the point of computer games (at least when I was young) was to sit on your hungover arse, sipping diet coke and munching on Wotsits (it’s sad, that is something I really want for my birthday. I swear, I love moving to different countries and stuff (Canada hopefully in 2/3 years) but sometimes you miss the taste of things. I don’t even remember the taste of Wotsits. They probably are shit, but I just don’t remember how shit they are!).

Anyway, missions of the month is to redesign my friends band logo, I need to start that properly but I have been busy resigning my CV and redesigning my business cards (they are fucking wicked, I wish I could have created a hologram version, but I don’t have a 3D printer, but I swear, this is kind of a paper version of a hologram, and amazing because I made them, and I’m a great artist).

Ive also started a new Moleskine, I was planning on giving it to someone as a gift, but then I was like, nah who cares. I love my Moleskines. They are like my private little world. I mean, you get to pour out your thoughts into a little leather bound book, and when you look through it, it reminds you of a time and a place. I mean, I have tons of them already, hidden away in boxes. Some full of thoughts, some shopping lists, holiday notes, photos, etc but each one is individual. Private. It’s like a slice of your brain, that you hide away. No one ever gets to read them, because you feel like it’s that private. You may I suppose share it with that one special person. But that’s about it.

I need to get a pet. I kinda want either a small dog or a hairless cat. Everyone thinks hairless cats are horrible, but I think they are so weird and kinda stoic. Anyway, I can’t afford one anyway, coz they cost about one thousand euros, so unless I get one for my birthday (here’s hoping! Praying to god as we speak!) OR someone randomly is giving them away for free (very unlikely)… I have more chance of getting a HAIRY cat (although I prefer Dogs…).

I could always get a stick insect. But I feel as though we would not be able to interact very well together.

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Filed under Alcohol, bla bla bla, Culture, Friends, Goodbye, Happiness, Hello?, History

Change is Gunna Come…


Today is my last day in my degree course. If everything goes well, I shall soon be a fully fledged bachelor. I will have spent 3 years studying for a history degree. In vain? That is an important issue. Not one I shall talk about today though. Today, feels like change is coming. Another beginning is coming. I’m glad of the person that I have become. I undoubtably have made errors and I am far from being perfect, but I accept those mistakes without batting an eyelid. Why? Because I have learnt something from everything. You can’t deny that you don’t learn from the past, at least that’s why I started to study history. I’m studying history because I like to think that I can make a small, even minute difference. War for example is never an answer, at least not one that should be taken lightly.

Are you ready for the puppet show?

I have learnt also that history isn’t a chronological list of the most important events that have changed the world. I mean sure, WW2 sent gigantic shock waves through the collective psyche… but it hasn’t changed anything in the way people act when there is discord. Again and again do we all read about such and such atrocity that has been committed across the globe. Even if it is unlikely that a historian will be the one standing up and fighting to stop such actions, I honestly believe we are here to show own our errors, and hopefully learn from them. The same actions do not give the same consequences. Life and history isn’t mathematics. Never do we see the same consequences come from the same actions. They may be similar (no food, famine = revolts) but not all revolts turn into revolution, for example, but are never the same. It goes to prove that however way we see “world history”, we as humans are not in a cyclican vision of history, we are in a world of our own making, utter, and extremely comforting chaos.

CHAOS

I love that world. It is really comforting to think that whatever way you see it, we are in control of what we are doing, because if we didn’t view it that way, we would be the puppets in a giant puppet show. For ever perpetrating the same mistakes… but most importantly if we didn’t live in this chaos… are we thus destined to do what we are doing? Do we then justify the many wars and deaths that have come to past? Is there nothing we can do to stop a possible WW3 from ever taking place…. if it in fact written in our futures?

Just like in Greek mythology, are the three “parques” forever cutting the strings that is our own lives? Do we not control our own destiny? I like to think we are. Otherwise all the past pain and sufferings are in fact justified… and thus are deemed “ok” (to put it blandly).

I don’t want to believe that. I want to believe that today, is the first day of a new life. A life that I am fully in control of. For most of my life I have done what I have always wanted… and I’ll be damned if there is something or someone in control of my life that isn’t me. Yes, it is probably evident that a “God” isn’t in my own future… but I don’t want to even think of a God… I want to think purely of what is a solid huma history. History is by definition the written word of humans. Before writing and before humans, it is not deemed as history, but pre-history.

So today, I think we should all take heed, be in control of our own destinies. Today, change is gunna come. But make sure it is you in the driving seat, and that you are in control of your own life. Because no one wants a pussy. 🙂

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Filed under Beginnings!, Culture, Happiness, Hate!, History, Politics, Society, Uncertainty

Come On People! Bring on the Revolution!


Peace

Everyone who knows me… knows I hate Che Guevara. I’m sorry all you neo-revolutionaries out there. Why? Because for me, if you have a dream and you want freedom/justice/happiness for your people/community/country etc, it’s not through pain, death and suffering that you should achieve it. Undoubtably, war can ultimately get you “what you want”, but is that what we truly want? I believe the way we get what we desire, is important. Not only is the “frame” but also its “contents” important. You don’t understand? Ok, well let me explain in more detail.

Let’s say we are having a discussion, let’s say… I’m talking to my imaginary boyfriend… I would like him to STOP wearing those grubby pants he calls underwear… and maybe wear some nice new boxers. He refuses. Now, no one in their right mind can really think that wearing dirty underwear with holes in is ok… but sometimes we are stubborn. We prefer to cut ones nose off to spite our own face… we don’t want to accept that others are even a bit right. So how to you remedy this situation? You insist on the “frame” of what you want to say… on other words, you don’t say “You better change your fucking pants otherwise we are never ever having sex!”… but it would be far better to say “Here are some new pants! I thought you would love a change!”.

What are we doing? We are saying things in a better way to achieve what we want.

Che Guevara, La Havane, Cuba, 1963

For me… the Che, went the wrong way to get what is and was a beautiful dream for his people. We all want peace, freedom and equality… but I personally believe that we can achieve these things and more, through peace. That said, sometimes was in inevitable (cf : WW2) and it is important to fight for the greater good), but I find myself reading more and more often, people dying from a war that is not their own, and could have been avoided.

Gandhi achieved his dream for India through peace. Many died for their cause, but their method worked. I feel that there is not much to say about this. War is now a commodity. Not only do countries enrich themselves through the upheaval of people’s homes and their environment, but now we are running around the world looking for a war. The second golf war is exactly the same situation. The USA was looking for a war… they chose this one. What surprises me, is that it took more than four years for the USA to join in the efforts against the Nazis… and yet… it seems as though the jumped right in after 9/11. Why? Now yes I know, many people died… but a lot less than during the war. What is the difference between the two wars? (If I had to categorize… mmm let me see…) Their incentive, like many countries… is not ideological (even though even that is debatable) it’s financial. The second world wars “problem” is that they couldn’t profite reallyfrom it. Sure they could win a bit of territories… maybe a financial pay out over a few years from Germany, but over all, you don’t have oil in Europe (except in the UK and Norway, but they were on the USA’s side… so not really “takable”).

Gandhi

Maybe I am a giant cynic. I’m no political specialist either. All I am trying to say, is yes to revolution, but now to unnecessary death.

A good friend of mine said to me yesterday (about Osama Bin Laden’s death), that no death is a triumph. I agree. I whole heartedly agree. No death can bring back those who died,or the pain felt.

Anyway, lets get back to my point. We should start a revolution. A social one, and not a war revolution. I would love to be able to say “hey yeah, i met this guy. He was really honest. Told me he liked me. No bullshit”. But alas, this doesn’t happen. Everything nowadays is so… “lost in translation”. No one knows what the other is doing and vice versa.

Argh. I want a “stop the bullshit revolution”! 🙂

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Filed under Asia, Games People Play, Hate!, History, India, Politics, Society

Ch-Ch-Ch-Change…


Can you Change ?

Change is one of those words that has a really strange definition. I mean sure we know what it means. It apparently means “To cause to be different”, but what is its connotation ? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Sure life isn’t all black and white, but we human-beings need to define what we do. I know killing someone is bad. Stealing is bad (even Robin Hood knew that). I also know that helping an old lady cross the road is good (not that they always want help, something I have just learnt). But is change necessarily a positive thing ?

I’ve changed. I know I have, and in some cases I am so happy I have. I mean, I don’t want to be that spotty insecure girl I used to be. I know that I am more independent than I ever was and even though I am far from perfect, I am kinda proud of the person that I have become. I have come to realise through the years that there’s no point having regrets. People say you can’t change the past, and it’s true. You can’t. But you can remedy the past. Sooth old wounds and try again. I’ve made mistakes and some I don’t want to repair for many reasons : sometimes I don’t care any more, sometimes I don’t want to think about that time any more and sometimes because there is nothing you can do that will remedy the situation or the past. But what’s left is to try, at least if you want to.

So change has a positive aspect and a negative aspect.

I don’t want to bang on about it any longer, but travelling is in my opinion what truly makes people better. We meet different people and we strive to understand the other person or culture, sometimes we don’t succeed, sometimes we do. But in some aspects I don’t think it really matters as long as you try. I have some friends (and I have done this too) that insist on rehashing the past, going back again and again to a certain point or event. I suppose that it is important from time to time to talk about a particular point that may have been painful, but do we have to ? What I mean to say is that at some point, haven’t we said everything there is to say ? Even as a historian I know that you can twist and turn the past to understand every angle but that doesn’t help to understand that particular point. Sometimes stepping away from the past help us better understand the present (cf : change) but also helps us understand the past. I believe it’s called maturity (which is hurray a positive thing!)

I look back and wonder why I have done certain actions, but knowing the” why” doesn’t necessarily fix the pain someone has felt or could have felt. Understanding the “why” gives us a better idea or the issue, but doesn’t offer any answer.

At the moment I am looking back as well as forward not only to better myself but also to better understand how I can help others. I know that sounds pompous but I think change can only be positive if applied well. I want to do the best I can. I want to be someone not only I can be proud of but also the people I love. I study the past but I refuse to stay there all my life. Life is what you make it and changing for the best is an integral part of that.

Amen

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Filed under Beginnings!, Culture, Friends, Happiness, History, Politics

The disadvantage for men not knowing the past, is that they do not know the present – G.K. Chesterton (1933)


 

Delacroix - La Liberte Guidan le Peuple

You are all probably asking yourselves why my blog has suddenly taken a more serious note. Well… all good things come to those who are patient.

So who is Gilbert Keith Chesterton? I don’t know. Go look on wikipedia! No I’m joking! He is a very well known writer (well he is well known if you happen to read a book once in a while, to all those lazy people out there, grab a book once and a while, you might learn something new!) Anyhow, I’m not here to write about him per say… but what this particular quote really means.

You all know I study history… which among other things, is a great passion. A lot of people ask me why I study history. Why would someone care about the past, when the future is what most subjects strive to make better? Well, because the past is like a never ending example, one that enables us (hopefully!) to learn from our mistakes, and sadly through trail and error. But the main idea, for me is that we try and make our present (and our future) a better place. The human race has existed for so long now, that I can’t help but feel that we no longer have the excuse that we do not know what is happening next. A leap into the unknown now is practically impossible. We discover less and less new things (well I can’t help but feel) every day… and yet more and more of our world is being destroyed.

Anyhow, what does this quote mean? For me it proves that most people don’t know the past : their own personal history or collective. I was once told that you can only know who you are by looking to the people who preceded you. Well… sadly I don’t exactly agree. I know some bits about my family, but not a crazy amount, and nor do I feel less of a person because I don’t know enough. I am who I am through my interactions with the people I mean, my small circle of family, my environment, society, where I was born in the world and finally through my own experience. I am who I am because who I decided to make myself. That said, even now… what religion, skin colour or where you live (and how much money you earn) is a large factor into creating the “who you are”. You may disregard many other aspects, but these three things influence our lives enormously. Some people are born with more at their disposal, some people call it luck… I prefer to call it circumstance. We aren’t all born with silver spoons in our mouths… but sometimes being born in a certain country can guarantee you certain things that being born in a country a mere 100km away can’t. It is up to us to face reality, to accept the cards we are dealt and do our best to make our life better.

Sacrifice is a word which has been used throughout history, but most of us are selfish and are not willing to give anything up in order to improve the lives of others. I don’t want to be of the latter. Which is why I chose history. I wanted to learn more about who everyone on this earth was about. I wanted to understand people in order to help and improve our present situation. It may be a unobtainable dream, but I was always told that you should always dream big. I dare to dream that everything can get better, and for everyone.

Our past however we choose to view it, influences who we are, respective if we believe it or not. The influence of the past is undeniable. That said, the reason why this quotation is so true is because on a personal level… maybe our friend G.K. Chesterton is wrong… at least for me, but on a collective way he is right. Our collective past is everyone, in the way our towns are set up and organised… economically… commercially… sociologically… anthropologically… (and in every domaine, may it be food, sex, religious practices etc.)… If we don’t know why the world is like it is, or how we got to this particular point in time… then we are lost in our reality. How can you continue and live through life if you haven’t understood the past? Otherwise all our lives would be cyclical… we would continue to repeat old errors… forever in our own bubble.

I want to look into the past and understand my future. The motto for the past should be the one in the title. The motto for the present should be “Carpe Diem”. The Motto for the future should be “Amor Vincit Omnia”.

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Filed under Beginnings!, Culture, Happiness, History, Politics