Category Archives: responsibility

The Antierra Manifesto – blog post #11

[start blog post #11]

“This be warning”  one of them intones, “You know rule: No wailing. No disturbance permitted.  All of you we flog too, happy to do.  But owners, they say too much cost, so you lucky today.  Proceed with training and maintenance of weapons.  Any talk; any whisper, you flogged same as that gorok.  He spits in the direction of the dead girl.

The message is delivered without inflection or passion.  It would appear these men do not feel the least amount of the pain, fear or any other feelings they cause others to experience.  No empathy.  To them we are less than animals, although I believe the expression here is quite meaningless.  There are no domesticated animals that I am aware of in this society.  The food we eat contains no meat.  But again, I’ve been wrong so many times about so many things in the few days I’ve been here!  Days?  No, not days.  I’ve been here an eternity that will never end.  I’ve fallen in hell and there is no doorway out of it.

Three handlers walk among us as we exercise or work, pick a half dozen of the youngest trainees and escort them through one of the stone doors.  One by one they shortly return.  One of them had been a virgin by the blood that runs between her legs.  She is ordered to wash and continue with training and work.  For the handlers, the flogging death they observed had given them a powerful sexual desire they needed to sate and that is also what we are for.

The day wears on, oppressive, endless, silent.  When the sun passes beyond the battlements, painting the eastern sky a lurid reddish brown fired through thin stratus type clouds, a reminder of drying blood, we are fed and returned to our cages.  The body of the flogged child, for she had been no more than twelve or thirteen years of age, now covered with some sort of black fly I hadn’t seen before, is removed from the post by two gladiators.  She is stiff and cold.  They carry her to the same door used to remove the body of her friend and is dumped in a similar conveyance.

And out of the blue my mind is asking, “What do they do with our bodies?”  I know that the dead men are taken to a hill outside the city and buried with much pomp and ceremony, but what about the bodies of the gladiators?  Or women in general?  In the field they leave them to wild beasts.  Do they take ours from here and from the arena to be eaten out there?  Or do they perform some kind of hellish rituals upon them?  

A cold chill goes through me and I try to change the subject in my mind.  Is there something else, something beautiful, I can think about?  Well, why not engage myself on my reason for coming here, instead of bemoaning a fate I deliberately chose or engaging in bouts of self-pity and self-doubt? 

Come on, woman.  Where is all that courage and bravery you were so quick to talk about once, far from here?  Where is your compassion now that you are living in hell?  Don’t both victims and oppressors need to find their freedom?  Think.  Why is this world, a place that could be so beautiful, such a horror?  What feeds the misogynist males and their killing instinct?  Why can they not sexually engage a female except by doing her violence?  Why is the beating of a woman such an erotic event for all of them?  Or is it all of them?  Could there be exceptions among the male population, and if so, how can I find them?

When the doctor had sex with me he did not use force or violence on me.  Well, yes, some force because he knew I could not refuse, but no overt violence.  In fact his handling of my wound was uncharacteristically gentle.  Who is he?  He is taller than other men I’ve seen, and his face is broader, flatter.  Could it be that he’s from another place?  That he’s not a true Tassardi?  Push this a bit further, could he be an alien like me?  If so, why is he in this place?  What is he to this place?  Why did he whisper to me “we want him dead” of my first engagement in the arena?  Who are these “we”?  And his friend in the white uniform.  I sensed a mantle of authority over him.  Authority from whom, where?  When he looked at me, it wasn’t out of lust; in fact I’d swear he was not sexually interested in me at all.  Who or what, is he?  What are they planning and how do I fit into that plan if at all?

Many questions.  Good questions engender good answers and keep my feverish mind occupied.  I will find out.  I will know.  I’m glad that tonight I’m alone in my cage.  My thoughts are so loud I’d be afraid to think them if another was lying with me and after Tiegli I’m not ready to “make love” to accommodate another.  I have no passion, no feelings.  My heart is numbed from so much violence and loss in so short a time.  I listen to the rustling of moving bodies in the fresh straw.  I hear muted sobbing. 

Later, a scream, quickly stifled, then silence – the silence of death.  A large bird or some nocturnal creature ululates a macabre call outside, the sound coming in from one of the square openings high in the smooth stone walls to echo as the voice of the dead throughout the compound.  Water drips outside.  It must be raining.  Yes, let it rain, hard and long.  Wash all the blood out of the courtyard.  Wash all the blood from this world until no world is left.

Rain – the tears of the goddess, she whom I must re-awaken in the hearts of these women.  And I too begin to cry and my own tears become an endless river of sorrow.  Tiegli’s hoarse whisper comes to my mind: “We be strong; we be courageous; not tough like stone; not fearless.  We be only women, not robots or evil beasts.  We have heart… feeling.” 

In that on-going nightmare I am finding my own power, not the power I dragged in with me as from my other self, the Avatari Al’Tara, but a power I have created from the mix of love and terror I have experienced here.  From the blood soaked stones and sand of the arena.  From the many fights I have already entered and “won” if one can call that winning; survived is a more accurate term.

I dream again, but it’s a no-dream.  A “locator” to help me find my mind’s feet on T’Sing Tarleyn, my chosen and adoptive world.  Yes, after all, what I dream of is loving, caring and giving.  I am; I am here; I am real.  And because I exist here, in this time and this place, everything will change.  I know this.  I am all the women I have been in every life as far back through time as I can remember.  Each with some memory of power gained from some great personal loss and deep sorrow and each willing to give her share of it to Antierra.  Together we will discover the true pulse of T’Sing Tarleyn and change its name to T’Sing Tallala (pronounced sing tayala); the land of freedom and hope.  All I have to do is survive the years ahead and not give in to fear but in particular, to hate.  Anger is permissible to me I think, as long as it isn’t based on fear and isn’t allowed to develop into hate.  I need to express anger as a psychological release mechanism.  If I do not I will break or become a complete hypocrite.

[end blog post #11]

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The Antierra Manifesto – Blog post #10

[begin blog post #10]

Chapter 6 – Life in the Cages

“We cannot conquer fate and necessity, yet we can yield to them in such a  manner as to be greater than if we could.” (Walter S. Landor) 

I feel the most terrible ache in my heart.  I remember a time in a past life when I was taken from my home, accused of witchcraft.  My twelve year old son was taken from me and I was kept in a dungeon and I knew I’d never see him again.  I would never leave that place until, after an endless series of indignities were performed upon me, I was formally condemned for practising witchcraft by using herbs considered to have Satanic properties and I was hanged, my executors claiming compassion in my case by deciding not to burn me alive as was the current practice.  They said my healing arts had been of value to the village before I began consorting with demons and performing the black arts.  Men have never been short of excuses for “punishing” women, even in so-called modern, civilized societies.  But the greatest pain they cause women is not physical, it’s psychological.  The continual put-down of her knowledge, natural skills and abilities; of her intuition and innate compassion. 

That sort of pain is what I’m speaking of: emptiness of heart and an atavistic fear rolled together like some choking fog that will never lift until perhaps after you are dead.  And even then… who really knows?  Now imagine my temporary despair, that I, Antierra, who promised a better life to Tiegli, would lower herself to doubt her own knowing?  Who better than I can know of the future of a certainty?  But shock does strange and terrible things to one’s thought pattern.  I feel as if my mind is unravelling as it feeds from the poisoned mind sewers of Malefactus.

Tiegli is gone and I haven’t seen the doctor in many days.  My arm still does not feel right but the tingling of the wound tells me it is healing.  There will be an ugly white welt there, but that seems a small thing now.  I wonder how I can get near the other women who all seem to be avoiding me.  Something about me frightens them.  It could be any number of things.  The superstition about my status as the reincarnation of their Desert Beast and my ‘natural’ skill with their basic weapons.  My size.  The colour of my eyes.  But mostly, I think, the way I talk.  Can I ever learn to speak in their pidgin?  Would that make a difference?

This morning I wake up to a low cry followed by a steady wailing in a cage close to mine.  In the early light I see a young girl sitting up holding the body of another and rocking it.  Soon all the women are keening along and to my surprise I am too.  The heavy blanket of death touches us all.  The one they called “The Brute” – the dark-skinned woman Tiegli pointed out to me who’d been captured in the deep south beyond the desert has killed herself in the night and her cage-mate has awakened to her cold body against her.  The dead woman had managed to find, hide and bring a sharp piece of broken flagstone into her cage.  She inserted it in her own jugular and bled to death.

The wailing brings several handlers, trainers and a dozen guards armed with lasguns.  A shrill whistle silences the women and the first row of twenty cages are opened and we are led outside to stand in the cold dawn.  The Brute’s mate and another nearby are made to carry the body outside to a door in the far wall.  A carrier awaits and the body is dumped in the open back.  It leaves and the door is locked.

Perhaps I should describe these strange conveyances they call carriages (if equipped to carry people or carriers if for handling supplies.  Basically they could be compared to cars or pickup trucks of Old Earth except they use a directional anti-grav force field instead of wheels, are totally silent and are usually, not always, operated by remote control or pre-programmed to run a set course.  I cannot get near enough to one to study it and tell but I sense they are, again using Old Earth observations, of a very light alloy material that appears to be metallic.  They do not carry as much of a load as did the old polluters of Earth.  They also appear to be quite slow, at least the ones I’ve seen.  Maybe there are great roads somewhere and they move faster, or maybe they have some that can rise much higher above the landscape and run “as the crow flies.” 

So much I do not know, and so much I thought would be of no consequence to me may turn out to contain crucial knowledge in the future.  Expect the unexpected!  I must approach the other women, or perhaps if I see him again, seduce the doctor to talk to me and tell me of things beyond the obvious here.  A tall order that can get me killed and nothing gained, maybe, but I need to know more.  Despite the fear of the moment, my mind reels with thoughts around Malefactus’ strange mix of technology.  They seem to be a very primitive people, social mores and practices resembling those of medieval Old Earth. 

Yet their “castles” are equipped with auto-lifts and automatic doors, and draw-bridges weighing tens of tons operate on hydraulic energy run by computerized remotes.  They have laser weapons and sophisticated fabrics.  Also they seem to have endless time and energy to engage their depraved ways, apparently having no need to concern themselves with provision of food stuffs or materials for armour or weaponry, even though, technically they are a world constantly at war with the enemy, the Estáani.  I know that much of the labour is provided by a great river of slaves, not all of them women as my research had so emphatically indicated.  Many males slave as beasts of burden and castrated ones (eunuchs) look after young males and females in crèches and sorting wards.  Where do these male slaves come from?  How do they become slaves?

A light but painful flick of a whip on my buttocks shocks me out of my reverie.  We are told to return to our cages and clean them out.  We grab wooden pitchforks stacked in a barrel against the wall by our entrance and begin the task of raking and piling the old straw bedding which we roll into sheaves and carry to a rock pit where it is burned.  A fresh pile of straw is brought in, also by carrier, and we make fresh bedding in our cages.  After we wash and eat we are returned to our cages, locked in and the next row goes through the same procedure.  No one makes a sound and I have a deep sense of foreboding while this apparently normal effort proceeds.

After these chores are complete we are once more taken out, all of us together, and made to stand in a large circle around the steel post I’d spent a night chained to.  The young trainee who had wailed at the discovery of her friend’s death is dragged out from the group and chained to the post, her hands raised above her head and the wrist chain affixed to a hook.  She appears beyond petrified, wild eyed and mouth agape, beyond the power even to scream.  Two trainers throw ice cold water on her and two handlers proceed to flog her.  She is allowed the freedom of her legs, probably to make the flogging more interesting for the men. 

As she brings her legs up for instinctive protection the long whips wrap around them and as the handlers pull their whips free, her body slams against the post over and over, leaving their bloody marks on the thin white-skinned legs.  Now she screams and her cries are non-stop and beyond heart-rending.  Her blood splatters everywhere.  The terrible whips tear into her skin and rip it into shreds and finally she stops screaming, then stops moaning.  Only then do they quit.  When they see she no longer moves they leave her hanging there, her body shredded beyond recognition, her blood still dripping down onto the paving stones. 

Some dark energy beast inside me wants to pounce on these men and tear them apart as if I had fangs and claws.  I throw up and immediately two trainers come over to me and look me over.  Something stops them from administering the same treatment to me – what?  What protects me at that moment when they know my feelings towards them?  All I see beyond the totally irrational hate is an even deeper fear.  What kind of Power drives these men?

[end blog post #10]

Forget Everything you know, or Think you know

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

I don’t make new year’s resolutions, that’s usually a given, but some years end in such a state, or condition, that they require some serious re-thinking.  For me that has meant two things: this would be a year of living frugally (yes, there’s always room to do some trimming, but it’s mostly about distancing myself from consumerism and banksterism) and of spending more time searching for better answers to the serious questions of life.

So I started with blogging by deciding I’d post an entire novel bit by bit, or blog post by blog post.  I’m not sure yet how many posts there are going to be, but my goal is to put one up ever two days. I thought that would be enough, not too much.

The reason to do this is less about the novel, more about a change of pace.  I’m going back to some of my original ‘teachings’ that warned me to eschew politics so you’ll see much less of that.  What I will probably do with those in-between days will be to post some ideas; some thoughts; on how the world of man (in particular) looks to me without being framed in politics, economics or religion. 

“Forget everything you know, or think you know,” is a good quote to start the way, followed by “Everything in the universe is created by our own mind. Our mind is the source of all phenomena. Form, sound, smell, taste, and tactile perception such as hot and cold, hard and soft—these are all creations of our mind. They do not exist as we usually think they do. Our consciousness is like an artist, painting every phenomenon into being. Once you have attained the state of the realm of no materiality, you will have succeeded. The realm of non materiality is the state in which we see that no phenomenon exists outside of our own mind.”

Do I agree with that? Not really, and it depends on which side of the great divide we are on, and even then, it depends on how we feel about it all.  When I was writing the novel, “The Antierra Manifesto” I was trancing much of it. I wasn’t so much putting a book together as I was remembering a slice of my own history. In other words, I was experiencing it knowing it was something I had been, and would be, involved in.  I was traveling back and forth from the future back into this present, aware that all of it was an aspect of me.

Now then, if everything in the universe is created by our own mind, who in her right mind would have ever created such a world as “Malefactus” (T’Sing Tarleyn)? Not me certainly.  Would such a place be attractive to some people? If yes, then here’s the interesting question: if I did not create such a hell, then somebody else did, either when my back was turned, or there was nothing I could do to prevent it at the time and having discovered it I’m stuck with it.

Here then is my conundrum: Does it matter that our mind is the source of all phenomena if it still manifests as one great big whole and each one of us is a puny helpless nothing in its midst, throwing our personal efforts in the works with as much effect as say, a gnat that crawled aboard a nuclear submarine will have on its guidance system?  

I see things that are glaringly wrong, but only so to me, and perhaps some victims of a particularly abusive system, but the problem is I am not the one who is creating the system and I cannot undo it. Point: it is most emphatically not in my mind!

So I’m told to enter into a state of immateriality where nothing exists outside of my own mind.  Oh sure, all well and good, but I’m still that same mind face to face with an abusive system.  I cannot take that system, bring it into my own mind and vanish it!

My conclusion at this point is that reaching a point of immateriality is only going to make materiality all the more poignant and strident because I will be observing it from a state of mind.  As a compassionate being I will be just as involved in the material inasmuch as I feel all of the life within it.  It will keep calling me back, whether I can do anything to help anyone, or just sit and cry… or laugh, or until I have learned how to return into the material and dance and die with it.  

This much I have learned.  If we choose to activate our compassion mode then we will live through infinity but it will not be to disappear from the material since that is after all what gives us the only reason we can come up with for existing as human beings. Our compassion will keep bringing us back to our material worlds but each time we will learn to approach them with greater, more meaningful joy and sorrow. 

The Novel – The Antierra Manifesto

I’ve decided to spend more of my time working on my novels and short stories, perhaps with a view to publishing eventually. I’ve held back long enough and who knows but some people may actually like to read these oft-mentioned “novels” never seen on the blog.  So from here on, until it is completely blogged, I will post two sections of “The Antierra Manifesto” per week right here, beginning today.  I’ll begin by posting an average of 4-5 pages in each post.

Since it is a novel, I break one of the blog rules and post as a copyright.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t copy and paste into your own computers to read at leisure, or to collect and read as one complete novel. In fact I would encourage you to do that as it will make more sense that way.

Fair warning: this is extreme adult content, with blatant sexuality and much violence, in fact the novel is about violence.  However, none of that is intended to titillate or to provide gratuitous pleasure.  The nature of the material will render point quite self-explanatory as you follow through.

The novel itself is the framework upon which hangs a philosophy I have pursued and studied over many years to do with explaining and exposing a particular type of unexplainable violence we are subject to on this world, are exposed to and often, are the perpetrators of same.  Someone had to look deeper and further than others have done, even with their “technical” research and their attendant degrees.  In this novel, I am daring to do that.

What hubris, you might say.  Perhaps, but hubris can have other uses than to gain power or enrich oneself therewith.  It can be turned into moral courage, daring to be called a fool and a charlatan.  Ideas are dangerous things which the system fears above all else and expressing strong ideas not vetted by the system or society in general can result in vociferous criticism.

I will close this introduction with an oft-repeated comment from one of my bosses at Coca Cola when asked how he felt about less than favourable media mentions regarding the company’s methods, involvements or products.  “All publicity is good publicity.”  I am not sure I agree with that but it’s one way of looking at it.  So, this is publicity.

Coming next: our feature presentation:

T’Sing Tarleyn

(The Antierra Manifesto)

© 2007-02-12    By Sha’Tara

Introduction

“I’m fascinated by concepts of other realities, other ways of doing things.  Nothing is fixed, nothing sacred, nothing metaphysically determined — it’s all contingent on process and evolution.  That’s perfect.  It means we might be able to understand, if we can just relax and shed our preconceptions.”(from Moving Mars – Greg Bear)

Note: I have chosen to capitalize the words “Earth,” “Galaxy” and “Universe” simply to indicate that from my perspective these are not just objects but very much living beings as you and me think of ourselves.  When you learn the truth of this you will find it much easier to relate to the greater concepts of nature or creation.  Your understanding and empathy will be greatly enhanced thereby.

My name, as you will discover herein is Al’Tara.  It is I, rather than my other-self or alter-ego An’Tierra (var. Antierra) who is addressing you now.  Although the story is mostly told in the first person by Antierra, it is I who caused the following to be recorded.  This was done not just to satisfy the needs of those who, of necessity, must keep records of Galactic history for posterity but in order to express to you, people of Earth, how much I have desired to help you see yourselves as part of our greater Galactic and Universal human movement among the stars.  It was, and remains, my hope these stories can help you take the jump, evolve, beyond your rather narrow-minded solitary human grouping that believes it is locked down upon a small planet ‘somewhere’ without any location corresponding to the rest of us.  A pseudo-human grouping which for the most part still thinks of itself as alone of its kind in the cosmos. (Exceptions from among your species, noted.)

Let me reiterate that over the millennia that I chose to interact with you as one of you, you gave me much even by how much you took from me.  You taught me to ‘love’ because you forced me to grind out the meaning of love from the manifold perversions of it I discovered on your world.  When I would ask you to define love as you understood it to mean, what did you give me?  If you went so far as to describe love as compassionate interaction with empathy, how often did your actions match your words?  I must tell you now that I spent many long and dark Earth nights crying over you and your world, for I could, even then, foresee what would happen as you short-sightedly and perversely continued to pursue your predatory mindset, exploiting every aspect of your world for short-lived profit or pleasure.  I remain convinced that even then you knew better but were not willing, as a species, as an intelligent and sentient collective, to take the low road of humility and self-sacrifice that would have freed you from the subsequent nightmares you brought upon yourselves.

The following story relates back to a time when I was among you and basically masqueraded as one of you so as to come to know you and attempt to understand what you are all about.  That time in your reckoning spans many of my lives on Earth – from millennia BCE to your 21st century CE or AD as some prefer to say.  I use the simpler indicator C-21.  The following story itself takes place some three hundred years into the future from that time.  I mention this here to help you get a start on the chronology of the following events.

It is difficult (for me) to engage this tale knowing how unreceptive you are to what you do not think you can ever understand and equally unresponsive to thoughts of alternate realities you do not believe are possible.  Knowing also that some will see this as just more workings of a dark mind experimenting with evil energies; as fictitious drama couched in a classical horror theme.  Everyone who reads the following will have a different reason for doing so, and likely a different reaction to it.  That is, of course, how it should be and it will not change how I feel about you in this ‘now’ time, my time, a time beyond the events in the following story.  Although I speak of my past, for you this remains one of your possible, if most likely, future.

However this is received, it must be told, if only to ease my longing to share something deep, terrible and in some latent way very beautiful, with you.  If you do read the following, keep in mind these things: these are events from my past, a past that remains concealed in your future.  The future I express need not be yours exactly as it is expressed, though from my viewpoint I know the outcome of these tales will greatly affect your world, regardless of which path your collective race chooses to take into its own future.  The future I express here is from another world, certainly, but one whose ways directly impact your own this very day – the day that finds you reading this material.

If you find what you read here unpleasant have the courage to look at your own history with the eyes of awareness and ponder your own experiences in that history.

Try to remember these very basic points:

— Your current history as seen mainly from the viewpoint of your media headlines, or what you call “infotainment”  and more recently, “fake news.”

— Your religious power groupings and frequent inquisitions to force individuals into specific group beliefs thus violating their inalienable freedom of choice.

— Your countless wars of conquest, exploitation and oppression which have been a permanent part of your history, continue to be so and will increase in scope in the foreseeable future (beyond C-21 and to the end of C-24).

— Your pogroms, purges and death camps against those who disagreed with you or were “unlucky” enough to be of a different Earthian race from yours.

— Your refugee camps created by power-mongering and systematic global injustice.

— Your male-dominated top-down religious, financial and political (social) systems that account all the powerless, of human and nature, as “resources” – meaning exploitable in some way or other.

Above all, remember if you can how many innocents died of preventable causes on your world of Earth while you did nothing to prevent it, either because you did not care or because you thought there was nothing you could do to change things.

A challenge by which you may determine how close you are to becoming truly human: remember how many times, and in how many ways, you personally and consciously opposed the above methods, risked your life to attempt making change or at the very least maintained a clear and present awareness in your heart of those made to suffer so the System and those who support it could extract profits, pleasures and power from this global oppression.

This is not a guilt trip.  All of us must walk that path of “remembrance” and deal with the memories thus awakened.  For it is a truism that all spiritual awakening is triggered from remembering the past, all of it, as far back as you have lives on or in these worlds.  Remembering is what frees you from the patterns of your past and allows you to continue on your path of spiritual and mental evolution, a path you chose aeons ago as did I, as did all of us or we would not be able to communicate at all.

Remember that as you read Antierra’s story which is one of my many personal histories in this Galaxy and sometimes beyond.  While you read it, think of it as your story, a vision that takes you into a future you have caused to be by how you express your life today.

What are myths, fantasies, futuristic science fiction, tales of heroes, of avatars, sorceresses and wizards but the bringing to the fore of that which “we do not speak of” in our lives?  Are we not all the heroes and villains of our own tales?  I offer the following to you as a challenge to the dawning of your greater human intellect, an intellect that as you will discover in your near future, knows no bounds, recognizes no imposed boundaries and can apply itself equally to the doing of evil or of good.

Together we are what is becoming ‘humanity’ and however we accept this truism, we are the ones who were custom designed from before time to travel time’s pathways and continue on beyond time, to replace the great gods we once worshipped as external to ourselves.  As we spread our “final frontier spacer wings” beyond the galaxy that gave us birth we become ISSA[1] beings.

We are now Source for that which calls itself New Life.  For lack of a better term, we are the creators of this time.  This is not something to take lightly, nor should it frighten us.  It is the inevitable effect of our mental and spiritual evolution.  We, collectively and individually, made ourselves into this.  There is no turning back for the ‘old farm’ (euphemism for what I will call Old Earth or “Túat Har” in my Altarian tongue) has been subdivided and become a city.  In the far-flung future just at the edge of my vision the city has become a space-faring seedship.  There is no more ploughing for ‘farm boy’ and no more fashion shows for ‘city girl.’  We outgrow our mindless toil and irresponsible foolishness.  We move on.  The Final Frontier beckons.  As far as those of us who have travelled into the far future, to the edge of the “13th Floor” we can only say it appears as if it always and ever beckons.

[1] ISSA: Acronym for Intelligent, Sentient, Self Aware

[end blog post #1]

I Had to Write This…

I had to write this…
[thoughts from   ~burning woman~  ]

Just finished watching, for the umpteenth time, the movie, “The Statement” (2003) with Tilda Swinton and Michael Caine.  Basically another story of hunting down Nazi murderers of innocent and helpless Jews in WWII, this time in France under the fascist, heavily pro-Nazi Vichy regime led my Marshal Petain. 

The point here is that these mass murders happened 80 or less years ago – one Earthian life time and here we are, poised to do it all over again.  Isn’t that just fantastic how quickly we forget our ignorance, stupidity and murderous mob tendencies just to start again? 

Granted, we haven’t yet quite decided which race or class of people are going to suffer our wrath, but we’re ready to “do it”.  Most likely the educated and well-informed voting mob will pick on people of some sort of colour to slaughter. Refugees, they’re pretty safe, not too dangerous.  The Muslims, well, that’s a different matter, they tend to fight back. We’ll definitely need the police, the Security state, maybe the army on our side for this. It’s but a matter of putting the right people in government to pass the laws to legitimize the slaughter and that’s never been a problem.  The problem is motivating those still sitting on the fence.  They may have to be our target this time.  Great, those stupid liberals won’t expect to be a mob’s target: sitting ducks.  

You see? That’s how it goes.  The circles just get bigger, nothing essential changes.  And why is that? Why doesn’t anything change and why do we put on the rose coloured glasses and insist that somehow, yes, things have gotten better? Was the 20th Century with its two devastating world wars followed by endless wars and the cruelest form of exploitation of resource rich emerging countries really better than the Hundred Years War?  Is that a rhetorical question or what?

What is our problem?  I’ll tell you, and I’ll keep telling you, as long as I have breath: our problem is that as a species, as a collective, as a “civilization” we don’t give a damn. We are not the least empathetic, though we can be so easily conned by our various propaganda machines into believing that we are, indeed, kind and loving “at heart” and that it is only the few; the minority; that is psychopathic and loves war and killing.  It isn’t. It’s a very, very big majority that is in love with violence and that never gets enough of it. If you don’t believe me, check out the internet and video games. Check out how much money derives directly from violence or the promotion of violence.  

Not all violence means bloodshed and death, though we certainly enjoy doing that best. Violence is everything that causes some sort of harm to others; to another – human, animal, plant or planet, for one’s selfish benefit or one’s enjoyment.  We need to get that very clear in our head for it is the same as what religion calls sin: the inflicting of pain and loss upon any “other” for one’s own satisfaction, benefit or pleasure. 

There is but one antidote for this Earthian condition that is destroying this world and possibly much of the biological life on and in it, and that is for all *ISSA beings to choose to become compassionate.  How many times have I said that? Doesn’t matter because it’s like the wind in the leafless cottonwood trees here in winter: sound and either you like it or you don’t like it, but the wind doesn’t change its tune whether you’re comfortable with it or not.

I’ve been following the current protests highlighting climate change and elitist rip-offs called the economy and assessing the chances of such protests actually accomplishing anything at all. My conclusion is predictable: the protesters are going nowhere.

Oh, what a terrible thing to say! Of course they’re going somewhere; they’re making some politicos change their minds… wow! Problem with that is, these mind-changing chameleons are opportunists. They can see the tide flowing in and they are just smart enough to move the blanket, the umbrella and the cooler a bit higher up on the beach. Still same beach, same picnic, same people. They’ll be safe from the rising waters and who cares about those who are already up against the cliff? Their problem.

If there is one thing activism has taught me back then, it’s that to address one “big” problem it is absolutely necessary to address all “big” problems. You cannot address climate change without addressing global poverty. You cannot address poverty without addressing over-population. You cannot promote alternative sources of energy if you are not condemning consumerism outright. You cannot blame right-winged politicians for screwing the planet if you are blinding yourself to the fact that your “left winged” politicians (the ones you would happily put back in charge) are as corrupt and often more so.  You cannot address justice if you are not, first, dedicated to destroying your billionaire elites – and I mean destroy utterly.  You cannot address and hope to make a dent in any of the above if you are not primarily committed to stopping all wars, genocides and where police operate out of control as in the US, stopping all government sanctioned mass murder.  You cannot in all honesty address and oppose any of the above if inside yourself resides one ounce of racism, misogyny, bullying and oh yes, patriotism. How many realize that patriotism is fanaticism that leads to terrorism?  It’s always been that.

Finally (this has to stop somewhere) nothing at all will ever change as long as there remains one Earthian anywhere convinced that s/he is entitled; if particularly blessed in some way or is superior to anyone else.  In other words, until Earthian pride is completely subdued by humility… we are doomed. We were taught; we were given chance after chance; we know right from wrong and as long as we choose wrong we can’t expect that anything will ever come out right. 

“We knew that the Earth was flat, we knew that we were the center of the universe, and we knew that a man-made heavier than air piece of machinery could not take flight. Through all stages of human history, intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by ridiculing or suppressing elements of reality that simply didn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge. Are we really any different today? Have we really changed our acceptance towards things that won’t fit the frame? Maybe there are concepts of our reality we have yet to understand, and if we open our eyes, maybe we will see that something significant has been overlooked.”Terje Toftenes (take from the film “The Day Before Disclosure”)

*ISSA: intelligent, sentient, self aware

The Accused

(I may have posted this story before, I cannot remember and it doesn’t matter, it’s a question of conscience, feelings, and a particular burning remembrance in my heart.)

The Accused

                                   [a short story from  ~ burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

A black hood is pulled over her head and tied around her neck.

She is propelled into the interrogation room down a flight of four cement steps to fall blindly against a metal table leg.

Grabbed from behind, she is roughly pulled up and her wrists shackled to a bar above her head.

Through the torn blouse and knee length skirt her flesh shows deep bruising and bloody cuts.

She hangs motionless .  Silent.

The interrogator’s voice is harsh, cutting,

“You are accused of treason.  How do you plead?”

No answer.

“You must answer me.”

No answer.

“Make her talk.”

Torture.  Moans.  Gagging.  A scream escapes the hooded prisoner’s lips.

“Stop!”

Silence, except for the prisoner’s halting breathing and low moans.

“Are you a traitor to the state?”

No answer.

“Again I ask: Are you a traitor?”

A sigh but no answer.

“Make her talk.”

More torture.  More screams.  No pleading for mercy.

They tie her ankles to keep her from kicking.
Blood drips down her legs and bare feet;
falls to pool on the cement floor that has accumulated same on many previous occasions.

“Stop!”

“You are accused of sedition against the State.  How do you plead?”

Short gasps, moaning.  No audible word.

“Answer me!”

A high-pitched moan, no verbal answer.

“Make her talk!”

Scream!  Scream!  Long, piercing blood-curdling scream… loud moan and silence.

“Stop!”

The interrogator stands up from his chair and walks around to face the woman.  He looks at her bleeding and shaking form for several seconds.  He unties the hood and pulls it from her head.

“Oh God, no! … NO!  This cannot be happening!”

“Father,”  whispers the girl through her broken face, “you assured me you never tortured prisoners.  I had to know if you were lying to me.  At least I am not dying in ignorance.  I forgive you…”

Her head drops forward.

“Get an ambulance here — now!  Unshackle her, lay her on the table, get blankets, get water, cloths, move!”

From the shadows the attending physician comes forward, checks the prisoner’s pulse and the severity of her wounds and pronounces a physician’s most dreaded words:  “She is dead sir.”

I Choose to be a Teacher

[a short story by Sha’Tara]

“Anee?”
No answer.
“Aneeta!”
“Yes ma…”
“What are you doing up there, sleeping?”
“Finishing the boys’ room ma.”
“Leave that, come down. I need you to go to the Bellamy’s and get me fresh produce. We’ll have payin’ guests tonight.”
A pretty young woman of about fifteen, with thick auburn hair adorned with a couple of ribbons, comes down. Her heavy footsteps indicate how reluctant she is to obey her mother.
“Mom, can’t you send Petee?”
“Pete’s in the lower meadow with your pa, he’s working. What’s wrong with you?”
“I hate the Bellamy’s mom. Joram is always shoving his hands into my dress, feeling me. I hate him. I hate what he does. And he smells like something dead.”
“Well, look who’s so high ‘n mighty now! You’re a woman now an’ Joram, he’s grown into a fine young man and he fancies you! Do you have any idea how much land the Bellamy’s own, or lease?”
“That’s not the point, mom. I don’t like him and I don’t want him. I hate it when he touches me and breathes on me.”
“That may be girl, but it’s time you learned some facts of life. How do you think I fed you and your oldest brother when your pa was in the Lord’s wars?”
“They did that to you?”
“Well, Mr. Bellamy did. He was a fine looking young man then, exempt from the war, and for convenience sake I was called the widow Lacey. I was still beautiful then too.”
“You’re still beautiful, ma! But that’s not right, what they do, is it? I read in a book at the butcher’s last week that it’s wrong. The book was on the corner table and I was waiting for my cut. It was called a “digest” and had many stories in it. This one was by a woman. She wrote that we shouldn’t be “sexually molested” she called it, and we should be able to vote.”
“You read that did you? I warned your pa not to teach you to read, that it would only cause us all trouble, and here we go. You read what other people think. Can’t you think for yourself? Joram Bellamy is sweet on you and he makes sure you always get the freshest produce, and he gives you more than we pay for. Last Fall they sold us their best pig, no extra charge. Don’t you understand anything?”
She points to her breasts: “It’s time you realized the value of these in a man’s world, Anee. And the lower part of you as well. We have a certain value and there is an exchange. It’s been that way forever, don’t you go questioning it and upsetting things for us. The Bellamy’s are much richer than us; they’re our neighbours and it’s you and I that keep things good between us. Your pa doesn’t question my loyalty to him, but he well knows how I kept our small farm and fed my children during those years he was gone. I started to talk about it once, long ago. He put his hand over my mouth, then took it off and kissed me, long and sweetly, and he thanked me. That is the kind of man your pa is.”
“I know pa is good, ma. But this is about me. I don’t want to settle with Joram. I don’t like him at all and certainly not that way.”
“He’s young, what, seventeen? He’ll grow up, mature, be more like his dad.”
“Well that settles it then: I don’t like his dad either. He’s done it to me too, you know. And he smells bad too!”
“Yeah, I know how he smells. But some of it is the smell of success and money. We’re lucky some of that smell has rubbed off on us, girl. Don’t be so particular. One would think you were born in the Lord’s castle with a silver spoon in your hand.”
“You don’t care do you! I want an education and I want to become a teacher, see? I can’t have a man if I’m to be a school teacher.”
“Oh, a teacher is it? Listen to the professor. Miss Radick has a lot of years in her yet, there won’t be any need for a new teacher in these parts for many years, girl.”
“I don’t mean around here, mom. I mean to go and teach in the coal mining country. They can’t get, or keep, teachers up there. I’ll be needed, for sure.”
“The coal country? God help us! You’ve taken leave of your senses, girl. Half the people there don’t even attend services. Men are drunkards and beat their wives. The children are half naked and starving most of the time. And the dirt, it’s in everything there. What an idea Anee.”
“I read about that too, ma. They need teachers like myself, girls with farming and gardening experience. I can teach them to grow food and I can explain about basic hygiene.”
“What are you talking about! Who is Basic Hy-Gene? Is that somebody you met at the butcher’s also?”
“Ma, hygiene means cleanliness. Basic means plain. Plain cleanliness. It’s not just the job, ma, it’s something I’ve known for sometime that I want to do. I need to do it. It’s a calling, see? Like a vocation? Do you understand that?”
The mother stopped, turned to face her daughter – they were the same height and their eyes met. There were tears in her mother’s face. Then she reached for her daughter and embraced her.
“Oh Anee! Of course I understand that part. I was there too, and I turned away to marry your pa. He was so good to me, and I knew I would be forever safe with him. But I was afraid also; afraid to learn how to read n’ do numbers; afraid it would change everythin’ for me. I hid from my calling in my family. I wanted security, not adventure.
I suffered a long time over my choice and now it’s come back to me in you. I suppose that’s fair enough; that God would give me you so you could go and do what I chose not to.
I will go with you to Bellamy’s and if Joram is there I will explain your choice to him. It doesn’t matter what he says, you will be a teacher, Anee. Your pa will be so proud, I can’t wait to see his face when you tell him.”

They both put on their long grey coats and boots to ward off the damp air and residual dew of a sunless day and walked silently, hand in hand, to their rich neighbour’s farm. A keen observer would have noticed there was a certain lightness to their steps.