Today marks a bittersweet day.
10th of December, 1980, at the age of 13, I arrived in Canada to start my new life!
While in the refugee camp, I did a little bit of looking after some sheep on a hobby farm. Through an unbelievable coincidence, the owner of the farm had a son who had the male version of my name – and who was born on the very same day I was (day and year). SO, he took a bit of a shine to me. When I told him we got into Canada and would be leaving, he gave me parting gift – some Canadian cash!
Aside: he would occasionally give me presents of Austrian money for looking after his sheep and for helping his octagenarian mother (who was afraid of strangers, especially the emigrants, but seemed to suffer me OK) with whatever she needed – something I was happy to do, presents or not, as it gave me things to do…the boredom of endless waiting to learn your future can be deadly! From this money, I was able to save up enough to buy winter boots for myself and my parents: something I was very, very proud of!
The journey was long and tiring – we were collected from the hostels in the foothills of the Alps where emigrant families had been stationed starting shortly after midnight and did not get into the main camp of Traiskirchen, just outside of Vienna, until well into the afternoon. (No, we were not hungry – we had boxed meals with us, just tired and excited.)
There, we were split up into empty beds in many large rooms of 30-or-so people. But, the residents whose numbers we were supplementing made it clear that we were disrupting their routine and were not welcome. It was also there that we were told the weight restrictions on our luggage, so we had to get rid of some of the few things we had carefully chosen to bring along to help us tart our new life. I had to give up the only book I had managed to hold on to till then (by Karl May) – perhaps this explains why now I collect books rather obsessively.
At 5 am or so the next morning, we got up and boarded the buses for the airport. It was very exciting! As I knew I had to leave the book behind, and since there were no lights out in my room, and since I was very, very excited, I calmed myself down by re-reading the book during that night. Well, most of it, anyway. It was a calming mechanism and saying good by to a book that had gotten me through difficult times in the past. (I credit this book with having made me so curious about Egyptian culture.)
Once at the airport, we saw the airplane on the tarmac. It stood there, all by itself, with stairs at the front, middle and back. When, after a few hours, the doors opened, releasing us emigrants onto the tarmac, people started sprinting towards that airplane!
And I started sprinting towards freedom with the rest of them!!!
I got in and saved 3 seats for me and my parents, we got settled, and that is all I remember of the flight. I have a vague recollection of my parents talking to some of the other people, but, after 2 nights of not sleeping, now that I was safely away from Europe, I relaxed and fell into a deep sleep.
My dad woke me up as we were descending into Montreal. Disoriented by irregular sleep and time-zone-change, I had no idea what time of day or night it was – I just saw that it was dark outside. Once we landed, an announcement went out over the airplane that people who are to go to Toronto or Vancouver were to stay put, and only those going to Montreal and Ottawa are to de-plane.
It turned out that there were two families going to Montreal – and that we were the only family going to Ottawa! A full 737 – and everyone but our 3 families was going to Toronto or Vancouver. In retrospect, it was rather nice of them to have stopped in Montreal instead of making us go to Toronto and then backtrack.
Once on the ground, we were no longer emigrants – now we were immigrants! Oh, what a glorious difference!
At immigration at the Mirabel airport, the two families going to Montreal were me by their immigration officer. However, nobody knew anything about us. The kindly lady there offered to call the Ottawa office, and we waited a couple hours for a response. It turned out that they forgot about us. They asked if we had any money. My dad had some German Marks and my mom had some Austrian Shillings, so we said yes. They told us to use the money to buy a bus ticket to Ottawa and, by the time we got there, someone would be there at the bus station to pick us up.
We went to buy the bus ticket – the last bus for the night was leaving in 20 minutes, but they would only accept Canadian currency.
We went to the foreign exchange kiosk to get some Canadian money for the Marks or Shillings, but it was closed. A security guard told us we could try the one at the other end of the airport. So, suitcase and carry-on each (we did not know the trollies were OK to use for everyone), we rushed to the other side of the of the airport to get our money exchanged. That kiosk was also closed…and these were the only two currency exchange kiosks at the airport.
My parents were beginning to panic!!!
This is when I pulled my going-away present out and wondered if it would be enough! My parents were reluctant to use my money, but saw no other way out. It was just enough – we only got about $2.00 back in change.
So, off we were to Ottawa!
Everything looked so exotic and strange and, well, ‘wild west’! The houses did not even have stucco on the outside, exposed bricks showing! I’d never seen anything so exotic! In retrospect, it seems to me that some of the other passengers found my excitement, well, amusing…
When we finally pulled into the bus station in downtown Ottawa, it was well past 11 pm. A guy in a fancy-looking coat and an expensive scarf picked us up in his car, drove us to the Bytown Hotel in downtown Ottawa, booked us in on his personal credit card, gave us breakfast vouchers, and told us to report to the immigration office at 300 Laurier Street the next day.
Thus ended my first day in Canada!
This memory is sweet – but I cannot remember it without noting that 10th of December also marks the death of Aqsa Parvez in 2007.
Here was another young woman who, like I once was, had been filled with promise, with hopes of living the full life of a Canadian woman! Yet, she had the misfortune to come from a different immigrant background than I. My parents helped me become a true Canadian. Hers killed her for daring to try…
Aqsa Parvez – as long as I live, I will mourn you!
It is interesting that the open letter to Mr. Hamilton should have hit my mailbox so close to the time I got the newsletter for One Law for All, as they both discuss the burqa/nikab and the social attitudes this promotes.
Personally, I regard both the burqa/nikab and the hijab (and all its variations) as a symbol of supremacism, in much the way the KKK hood is.
Under Sharia, slave women are not permitted to wear them: it is thus, in no uncertain terms, worn to demonstrate that the wearer is a member of a higher social class than the woman who does not wear one. And, since it is literally showing off that you are not a slave but others are/ought to be treated as one, the KKK hood comparison is painfully accurate.
As for gender segregation (which the newsletter addresses): regular readers of my blog may be aware that I regard it as an incarnation of evil and advocate against it in every way, shape and form (including 100% of all sports).
But let me stop rambling and bring you One Law for All’s latest newsletter:
Unveiled: A Publication of Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
December 2013, Volume 1, Issue 3. Editor: Maryam Namazie. Design: Kiran Opal.
The publication is available here: fitnah.org/fitnah_publication_english/publication_english.html
PDF Version available for download here: fitnah.org/fitnah_publication_english/unveiled_3.pdf
URGENT ACTION: REJECT SEX SEGREGATION
IT’S 2013. LET’S NOT TIME TRAVEL
Universities UK (UUK) guidance to universities on external speakers endorses gender apartheid by saying that segregation of the sexes at universities is not discriminatory as long as “both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way!” Any form of segregation, whether by race, sex or otherwise is discriminatory. Separate is never equal and segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal. Join us on International Human Rights Day to unequivocally reject gender apartheid. It’s 2013. Let’s not time travel.
DATE: Tuesday 10 December 2013; TIME: 5:00-6:30pm; AT: Universities UK, Woburn House, 20 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HQ.
WE SHOULD NOT ABANDON SECULARISM
Maryam Namazie’s Interview with Pragna Patel and Gita Sahgal
Pragna Patel responds: “…If we don’t defend secular values and instead embrace religious ones then we will be guilty of developing counter resistance strategies against racism and imperialism that hides other forms of oppression. Religion cannot be embraced as a framework for articulating disaffection and alienation or to address questions of equality and rights since its very foundation is based on recognising some rights but not others. We see this most clearly played out in the clash between the right to manifest religion and the right to be free from religion. Women who want to be free from religious impositions that deny them their autonomy and sexual freedom are constantly excluded. But we need to alert to the ways in which this exclusion is actually articulated. Often demands for the right to manifest religion may seem on the surface to be progressive but in fact hide a highly reactionary agenda. A good example of this is the recent capitulation by Universities UK (UUK), a representative body of universities in the UK, to demands for gender segregation in universities… It would appear that UUK is ignorant of the history and struggles against racial discrimination based on the flawed logic of ‘separate but equal.’ Such logic legitimised racial apartheid in South Africa and now legitimises gender apartheid. There is a disturbing failure to recognise that this stance will allow the right to manifest religion (a qualified right) to trump the right to be free from gender discrimination and subjugation (an absolute right).”
NEWS FLASH: NOVEMBER 2013
“Afghanistan: Twelve years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s government is considering bringing back stoning as a punishment for sex outside marriage. The sentence for married adulterers, along with flogging for unmarried offenders, appears in a draft revision of the country’s penal code being drawn up by the ministry of justice. It is the latest in a string of encroachments on hard-won rights for women, after parliament quietly cut the number of seats set aside for women on provincial councils, and drew up a criminal code whose provisions will make it almost impossible to convict anyone for domestic violence.
“Iran: A document adopted by the Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council with president Rouhani’s signature has been forwarded to the education and health ministries to “reduce the unnecessary mixing of males and females.” The section on gender segregation included the expansion of the culture of chastity and the veil…”
ARTS CORNER: BURKA AVENGER
“The Burka Avenger is a mild mannered unveiled teacher who becomes the burka avenger when her school is threatened with being shut down by Islamists, armed with pens and books…”
EDITORIAL: SECULARISM AS A UNIVERSAL RIGHT
“…There are strong secular movements in so-called Muslim-majority countries like Iran, Pakistan, Algeria and Mali, despite the great risks involved. Karima Bennoune has brought to light many such groups and individuals in her recently published book, the title of which is based on a Pakistani play where the devotional singer who is beaten and intimidated for singing deemed ‘un-Islamic’ retorts: ‘Your fatwas do not apply here.’ The uprisings and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, such as the mass protests against Islamists for the assassination of Socialist leader Chokri Belaid in Tunisia; the vast secular protests in Turkey against Islamisation; the Harlem Shake in front of Muslim Brotherhood headquarter in Egypt and the largest demonstration in contemporary history against the Muslim Brotherhood – 33 million people – are all evidence of that. Post-secularism (leaving people at the mercy of ‘their own culture’) and the systematic and theorised failure to defend secularism and people’s, particularly women’s, civil rights in many countries and communities, only aids and abets the religious-Right to the detriment of us all – believers and non. As British philosopher AC Grayling has said: secularism is a fundamental right. Today, given the influence of the religious-Right, it is also a precondition for women’s rights and equality and for rights and freedoms in the society at large. It must be actively defended, promoted, and articulated”…
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: UNDECIDED ABOUT LEGISLATING DRESS
Marieme Helie Lucas Responds for Fitnah
“…Women wearing the burqa in Europe today are instrumentalised by the Muslim extreme-right, whether or not they realise it. They display their ‘difference’ and ‘identity,’ which is exactly what the traditional far-right needs in order to fulfil its xenophobic agenda. Both the traditional xenophobic extreme-right and the Muslim extreme-right want a violent confrontation and need it in order to recruit fresh troops. This is not a reason for shying away from addressing the proliferation of burqas everywhere, but it should be an incentive to not isolate the ‘flag’ from the broader issue of the growing far-rights in Europe, including the Muslim far-right…”
Also See Maryam Namazie’s interview with Channel 4Thought.tv on banning the niqab:
Fitnah Unveiled number 2 on the burqa and veil: fitnah.org/fitnah_publication_english/unveiled_2.pdf
Fitnah Unveiled number 1 on the rise of fitnah: fitnah.org/fitnah_publication_english/unveiled1.pdf
Today, I was copied on an interesting letter which had been sent to Mr. Graeme Hamilton of the National Post as a reaction to his article in the National Post, which was highly critical of the Quebec charter of values. I thought you might like to read it:
Dear Mr. Hamilton,
Periodically a poster is displayed, especially on university campuses, depicting a little Arab boy facing an Israeli helicopter swooping down on him armed to the teeth.
The image and connotations presented in that poster are a distortion of the reality. A more accurate redrawing would depict the little boy held up as a puppet on the end of a giant tentacle attached to a monster which would dwarf the helicopter in turn.
The redrawing is based on a cartoon that appeared in Private Eye some years ago, depicting a seal-hunter on the ice about to club what he thinks is a baby seal, but is really the snout of a giant Basilosaurus or Kronosaurus-type creature under the ice.
I’m afraid your Saturday article in the National Post, Home No More, contains a similar misconception.
These black shrouds often worn by Muslim women should be seen as weapons of war, similar to Highland dress and pipes in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, and the women wearing them as human shields.
The fact is, and this is being repeated over and over again in cities all over Europe, that once the Muslim population reaches a critical mass in a given area, ALL WOMEN have to cover up, for their own safety. Indeed, “This is a really serious slippery slope that we are all sliding down right now. I don’t like to be alarmist. I don’t like to talk like this. But I am seeing it happening in front of me. I am seeing …. women scared to walk in the streets” might be a description of precisely such a situation.
Passages such as: “She was walking to a physiotherapy appointment in her neighbourhood when she saw two men approaching …… growing number … who say they feel unwelcome [in what they thought were familiar neighbourhoods] … …… a wave of intolerance …… Only x% said they felt completely safe when they were outside their homes.” Indeed “ ….. maybe the tolerance and respect are already out the window.”….. “This is my home, but I no longer feel at home” are accurate descriptions of what such immigration has done to such cities in Europe.
Quebec is therefore to be applauded for its moves, which I hope are aimed at preventing such a situation from arising here. Self-indulgent twits such as Ms. Pichette should be grateful that they still live in a society where “TV host Richard Martineau dresses up in a burqa for laughs” is mostly the worst they have to put up with – although his comparison of burqas and niqabs to KKK sheets is apt. And if she really “fears for her 14-year-old daughter”, she should maybe stop forcing her to cover up in the first place.
It is incredible that so-called “feminists” are coming out in favour of women wearing these dalek suits. One might well seriously ask how voluntary it is, in the light of the large numbers of families one sees on hot summer days where the men and boys are dressed in comfortable Western-style shorts and T-shirts and the women tightly swaddled.
In fact, there was a case in a London teaching hospital a few years ago where the professor banned niqabs, burqas, etc., because of the risk of them getting caught in expensive lab equipment. The response of the Muslim women in the class was “thank you … thank you … our brothers, uncles, cousins, etc. are putting terrible pressure on us to cover up, and now we can tell them ….”
Another disturbing, and related, phenomenon is the way in which Muslim cab-drivers are allowed to refuse blind people’s guide dogs. As non-Muslim cab-drivers would be fired for this sort of nonsense, reports of Muslims getting favourable treatment should in such cases be described as accurate.
I think I’d go mad!!!
OK – I am uber-maternal, my ‘mothering instinct’ engaged to more than two standard deviations from the mean…
In other words, if you will let me, I will ‘mother’ you!!!
I gave up everything – from my business to some incredibly lucrative opportunities – to stay at home and be my kids’ mom. Just because they wanted me to: even knowing it will deprive them of video-games and expensive holidays, y kids said they’d rather have me income-less and home, available for them. And, to me, this is the highest compliment my kids could ever pay me and the greatest indulgence my husband could ever grant me!
So, I cannot possibly imagine how this woman felt: she had a panic attack (and, during my pregnancy with my first son, I suffered panic attacks during the last trimester, so I can relate…but they were just panic attacks caused by hormonal surges and nothing deeper than that!!!), somebody called emergency ‘to help her’ – and she got taken into a ‘psychiatric hospital’, involuntarily committed, sedated and, without her permission or even knowledge, her baby was removed via a C-section and even though she is fine now, the baby is up for adoption!!!
UPDATE: Ezra Levant brings the story to light:
It seems that there is a lot of misunderstanding ‘out there’ about the reasons why Israel’s right to exist is not, and cannot – EVER – be officially recognized by countries that consider themselves to be Islamic.
Sure, there is a lot of tension in the region.
Certainly, many resented British and French colonial rule in the Middle East and have not liked the political borders that were drawn up following it.
Granted, the state of Israel has has some policies for which it can be legitimately criticized.
But none of this explains the rabid anger which Israel’s continued existence awakens among some of the most devout Muslims!
What is the root of this?
In order to understand, we must go back in history and look at how the Muslim Ummah perceives historic events which had occurred and what significance this has on the events in our times.
There are two separate things, neither one of them mentionable in the politically correct chambers that our mainstream media had become, necessary to explain this visceral anti-Zionism.
The first one is the ‘Jew hatred’ which is documented in both the Koran and the Hadith in so many places, it would be difficult to name them all. It has been documented in so very many places by writers and researchers much better than I, that to repeat it at this stage seems redundant – so I will only stress the part of the story which is often left out.
We must look back to Abraham, the father of the three modern day religions we call Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Abraham lived in a patriarchal, yet matrilinear society: so he needeed Sarah to produce an heir, because his position as ruler was only obtained by having married Sarah, the previous ruler’s daughter.
We all know the story that followed….Sarah’s hand maiden Hagar had a boy that was named Abraham’s heir, but then Sarah also had a child and tricked Abraham to switch the ‘heirship’ to her own son. Jews are descended from Sarah, Arabs are descended from Hagar and have never been able to shake neither the shame of having originated from a slave girl, nor the slight at having been cheated out of their heritage by the Mother of the Jews.
Hence the strained relationship between Jews and Arabs, even during Mohammed’s time.
This ‘Jew hatred’ is documented in the Koran and the Hadith, well known about and while it does affect the way devout Muslims must think of Jews, it is in itself an insufficient explanation for why the idea of the State of Israel evokes such venom, such bile, in the devout Muslims.
Which brings us to the second reason: Mohammed himself.
Mohammed was, according to Islam, the most excellent, the perfectest a man that could ever possibly get and that to become a better man, one should emulate Muhammad in every way possible, copying his behaviour, attitude and thoughts. Though it is not usually phrased this way, it seems to me that most devout Muslims believe in the infallibility of Mohammed.
So, we must look a little at Mohammed’s life experience before he started to preach. He was bounced around quite a bit, an orphan, a burden…
At one point in his life, he had, indeed, converted to Christianity (at least, that is what I was taught at a University course I took on this subject, long before discussing Mohammed’s life became politically incorrect). This temporary conversion to Christianity by an illiterate youth may explain why so many of the stories in the Koran are deeply evocative of misunderstood stories from the Old and New Testaments.
Yet, one belief remains very uncorrupted to man of the early Christian teachings from that area, in that era: that the defeat at Masada and the following expulsion of Jews from their homeland and their subsequent failure to establish a unified nation-state elsewhere was the divine punishment of the Jews for not having accepted Jesus Christ’s message.
This may seem academic, but it is important to note that while anti-Semitism in modern-day Europe was fueled by the belief the Jews were responsible for The Savior’s death, the early Christian sects that were roaming the Arabian desert tended to be a bit more Gnostic in their beliefs. One notable belief among the early Christians in that region was that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God, but a Prophet. Another strong defining belief of this particular time and region’s branch of Gnostic Christians (and, there were many, many sects with differing beliefs in different regions) was that Jesus Christ did not die on the Cross – that a substitute had been crucified in his place, that Jesus watched from a concealed place, and that he, in fact, died at the siege of Masada (a belief shared by the Cathars, by the way, and part of the Albigensian heresy against which a Crusade was called).
[OK - the Cathar beliefs may not have been as scholarly documented as I'd like, but, I do make this claim on the basis of childhood teaching to me of these beliefs by an adult relative who was a member of a religious sect that claimed its roots to be in the Cathar tradition: tenuous, I grant, but other things she taught me were so much borne out (by my subsequent, rather obsessive, research) to be true of early Gnostic Christian teachings that I have little room to doubt this one belonged to their ideas, especially given the Koranic confirmation that much of these beliefs were kicking about around there, about then.]
Sorry, I get sidetracked so easily…
Let me stress: these early Christians did not believe in the divinity of Jesus and thought that a substitute was crucified and that Jesus Christ himself died in Masada – and that because the rest of the Jews did not accept Jesus as their prophet, God punished them by having the Romans defeat them in war. But, more than that: because the Jews refused to accept Jesus as their prophet, God’s punishment was that they should never have a Nation State that would be their own, that there would never exist a ‘Jewish Homeland’.
And that is exactly what Mohammad preached: he claimed that the very fact that 600+ years after they had been kicked out of Judea without being able to re-establish a homeland of their own was proof of God’s hatred of Jews and his rejection of them. To Mohammed, this PROVED beyond any doubt that the Jews, the spawn of Sarah, were evil and that the Arabs, Hagar’s descendants, were the only legal descendants of Abraham, the true heirs of his heritage and the only chosen people of God.
We must remember that Mohammad’s target audience was Arab; he was not considering that other nations might become Muslim, not at that point. For, he preached that Arabs were God’s chosen people and therefore they were better than any other peoples of the world! Hence, the Arab supremacism in the Koran and the Arabization of culture in non-Arab Muslim countries.
Even today, some evil imams use this teaching of Mohammed to recruit vulnerable youths from non-Arab Muslim families, telling them that they cannot equal Arabs in the eyes of God, since he declared the Arabs to be better than and dearer to him than every other race. So, the only way that non-Arab Muslims can attain the highest level of heaven (or so these evil tongues whisper) is through Martyrdom!
Now that I have laid down the background, let me draw the line of my argument.
And THAT is why devout Muslims cannot, in good conscience, accept any Jewish homeland to exist: in the historic area we now call Israel and/or Palestine or anywhere else: if it did, it would mean that Mohammed was wrong about it, and if he were wrong about it, then nothing else he preached could possibly be trusted to be true.
But, the Koran says that Mohammed’s words are God’s words: therefore, he cannot be wrong!
And, therefore, a Jewish homeland cannot be suffered to exist!!!
I hope this clarifies why countries that consider themselves to be ‘Muslim Countries’, countries who draw on Sharia (Muslim laws) as part or all of their constitution, cannot continue to be ‘Muslim Countries’ and, at the same time, accept that their prophet Mohammed was wrong about God’s judgment to deny the Jew a homeland.
Thunderf00t at his best:
If you don’t live in North America and do not illuminate yourself with contemporary philosophical commentary, you may be unfamiliar with the most important cultural institution that Black Friday has become.
Some people may scoff at is as an expression of rampant consumerism, but others take it deadly seriously. No, not as deadly seriously as some Danish Cartoons, but, for a populace as complacent as the current US citizens have become, it seems to rate somewhere above voting, yet still below ‘getting your free Obama phone‘!
But, do not hang your head down in shame: Black Friday is not a sign of decadence or moral decay – though, it certainly looks it on the surface. To the contrary – it is a very, very good sign! (And, no, this is not a praise of Austrian economics, though, I am considering starting an online petition to deify von Mises. No, this is something much, much deeper!)
In our society – and, here, I speak about us ‘Westerners’ in general and us Western-urban-dwellers in particular – we are getting more and more out of touch with our natural roots. We have become so disconnected that our kids think that meat comes from a store shelf, when one needs money, it magically self-generates in an ATM machine and, (and this brought my father-in-law to tears of laughter when he over-heard it), while traveling and staying in a hotel, at least one kid asked: “Dad, where are we – in the real world?”
Some of us have begun to wonder whether the infantilization of the adult citizens, which is so defining of our era of the rise of the unsustainably large civil servant class, has done irreparable damage to the psyche of most of the Western citizenry. This would be a bad sign because, if one looks back in history, the larger and more entitled the civil servant class becomes, the closer the end of that civilization is. If the damage were so deep as to be beyond repair…
Which is precisely why Black Friday gives me such a hope for our society!
Please, indulge me in a tangential anecdote: recently, I have lost an aunt-in-law. We only got close in the last few years of her life, but, she was a true warrior!
Her husband (who had predeceased her by only a few years) was a most dashing General of the Canadian Army with movie-star looks and charisma by the bushel – and was one of my favourite in-laws. His ‘breaking-ice’ joke was:
Q: When does a General obey a Major’s every command?
A: When he is married to her!!!
And, indeed, my auntie was a true warrior! She may have been a General’s wife, and they may have received invitations to fancy parties addressed to ‘General and Mrs. …’, but, because of her competence and the resulting high profile in the Canadian military, they also got a lot of invitations to fancy parties addressed to ‘Major and Mr. …’! Being in charge of the food supply for all the UN Peacekeepers in Egypt during the Suez crisis was just one of her many, many accomplishments.
Due to their military duties, this wonderful couple never had kids – they sacrificed all, including their own procreation, to protect all of us. So, when she passed, we – the nieces and nephews – had to do our part in helping to close out their estate. It was not till then that I discovered the true depth and breadth of my auntie’s love of hunting for ‘deals’!
It was not about acquiring the actual stuff – once she received it, she would, as often as not, never even open the box or take stuff out of its packaging. It was all about the hunt: hunting for the highest quality stuff at the bestest possible deal!
This was no passive consumerism: if you had mentioned to her some obscure little region of Earth, no matter how remote or unknown, she would always know of the particular ‘stuff’ that could be bought there – and only there and nowhere else on Earth!!! Not only would she know what was available there, she would also know its health benefits, its particular cultural significance and its current market value, so you would know when you were getting a good deal on in!
And, at one time or another, she had probably bought some…
Once she had acquired it, she had no interest in the object itself, frequently donating large amounts of very high quality ‘stuff’ to charities. I know, because after she fell ill, I often served as her driver…
Her interest was in ‘The Hunt’!
In way, it reminded me of my great-grand-mother, who had lived through both WWI and WWII, and, who would compulsively save ‘everything’ – including empty boxes from sugar cubes which she would flatten and cram behind her credenza: saving them ‘for the next war’…
It was a different expression of the same instinct: my auntie was the hunter while my great grand-ma was the gatherer!
And, this is the same thing that triggers the Black Friday mania!
In my never-humble-opinion, the Black Friday phenomenon awakens our primal instincts as ‘hunter/gatherers’ on a deep, subconscious level. Pre -’culture’, pre-snobbery, pre-nature-isolation. But very, very human.
It proves to me that, regardless of the veneer we present to the world, somewhere, deep down inside, we still have the human survival instincts and they rule us more than we are willing to admit…perhaps even more than we are aware of.
In other words, this craziness we call Black Friday proves to me that however dormant or masked, our truly human instincts are still there, intact, lurking just beneath the surface. That, given the chance, these instincts will surface and permit humanity to survive whatever cultural upheaval is coming in the next few centuries.
It proves to me that we, Westerners, however out of touch we may think we are with our origins, are still true to our humanity! That, though our culture may soon be crushed beneath the entitlements of the civil servant class and conquered by the colonial ambitions of a particular religious minority, our progeny shall not perish with our culture!
Our survival strategies may be warped, but, deep inside, they do survive!
And that gives me great hope for our future!!!
This is actually quite interesting:
Vancouver’s door knob ban gets ‘honourable mention’ in this month’s Reason TV’s Nanny of the Month!