Category Archives: First World – Pays riches

NIMBY? I am not interested…

I read that people are baffled when they talk to Trump’s supporters just to realise that the latters are not aware of the various controversies he’s embroiled in. The cheap insinuation towards the mother of that late American soldier for instance. How can his supporters not know? Especially in a world where anyone has access to everything on the tip of their finger for the media are everywhere.

But that’s where his popularity comes from – as well as the increasing one of all populists: his supporters are anything but well-informed. I am not saying they are stupid, they just don’t care about the news as such for various reasons: they have grown to find it boring, tainted or impossible to trust, and irrelevant to their own problems.

In Europe, we were baffled that George W. Bush did not where Athens or Wales were. How can a president of the United-States not know this? Because you needn’t know that to be a president of the United-States. That’s as simple as that. In America, people have been taught to think in matter of relevance towards oneself, the rest is culture, some fancy fantasy only the rich and lefties can indulge in. The view is that learning something we don’t need to make a living is a luxury and “the hard-working” have no time for this so they catch some words here and there. They are the ones who are happy when someone can reduce a speech, a piece of news, whatever that is, to 140 characters.

My manager, in France, who’s half-Canadian, is a product of such vision of the world. We were having lunch and talking about the 49:3 and she arrived telling us proudly that she had not idea what “all the doo-dah” was about. Left-wingers, Right-wingers, French and foreigners in the room, we all looked at her with disbelief as the whole country was talking about nothing but this. Or so we think. Maybe we are becoming a minority to still be paying attention as most of us are turning it off and relying on quick Trump-like statements.

Last month, she arrived telling us that she heard something happened in Nice, she read a “couple of lines here and there” but did not know what happened exactly. “Are people dead?”, she asked and I realised that what I was told is wrong: knowledge is not the key to success or power. Birth is.

How do we compare, us the employees and her, our superior? We read, watch and listen to the news and she chose not to because it’s too depressing to her taste. We go to museums, exhibitions, to the pictures, we read books for pleasure when she chose not to. She has “no time for that” and believes reading is solely to kill boredom when in a waiting room. For her, our having time to do these things unrelated to work shows she is working more than we do.

She also looks down on us for she lives in France’s most expensive neighbourhood in Paris and we don’t. But it’s a give and take for most of us have learnt how uneducated, quick to judge and willingly ignorant she is. She knows her job because she needs the money but as far as her learning goes, its stops here.

For me, I am fascinated as I witness her marrying into money and living her life as if the world was not there. She has not problem admitting her ignorance, on the contrary, it’s a virtue, she doesn’t waste her time. She does’t know anything about the two parties conventions that just happened in the US because “she doesn’t need to: she is Canadian and doesn’t vote in the US.”

As long as it doesn’t land in her back yard, she has no care to give and I am convinced she is part of a majority these days. A majority easier for demagogues to manipulate, regardless of age, gender and race.

Orlando is first and foremost about homophobia.

I am not here to talk about what gay people are going to do for it is simple: Keep living and carry on loving.

We have been the victims of all kinds of abuse since the dawn of monotheist religions: we have been denied, ignored, shamed, insulted, persecuted, trialled, imprisoned, exiled, assaulted, tortured in the name of finding a cure, burnt and murdered. And we still are. It has however never stopped us and it never will because we have no control over our heart which leads us to love.

I am here to talk about the desperation of the Right (mainly) and the major religious bodies in trying to condemn the act without having to change their rhetoric. We are told the killer has radicalised on line. No, he has not but right-wingers are all too happy to follow their archenemy Obama, for once. How convenient…The on-line, the unknown, the dark side, the uncontrollable where everything happens and all Evil springs.

Maybe the killer has indeed found a flag to fly on-line, the one of Daesh and the caliphate, but one needn’t go on line to find, hear, read, witness the reasons he proudly advertised as being his motivations: he was outraged by the sight of two gay people kissing. Two men, two women, who cares? His father brought water to the mill. He said his son killed “these faggots” because he was disgusted by them.

There are a lot of things you will solely find on-line but homophobia is not one of them. It is everywhere.

It is in the words and actions of our leaders, in every speech made by right-wing parties. It is in the US Congress, l’Assemblée Nationale, The House of Commons, Der Bundestag and all seats of democracies when debating any kind of laws that would put gay people on par with straight people. In France, MPs used the hemicycle to quote the Nazis almost words for words except that “Jews” was replaced by “Gays” such as: “Gays are the undertakers of mankind.” Putin has erected himself as a leader of the world against homosexuality, turning Russia into a lab of what a country can “lawfully” do to eradicate it. However, most countries did not wait for him to light the bonfire as most of Africa and Asia will kill you for being or suspecting you of being gay.

It is in the street, loud and proud. In France, for example, under the banner of La Manif Pour Tous – The Demonstration For Everyone – populated by people who don’t hesitate to drag their toddlers and under-10s in the streets of the major French cities holding signs saying that they “don’t want to marry their brother”. The link? Gayness, incest, paedophilia…All is linked obviously and proudly shouted by people in the name of freedom of expression.

It is at the core of our societies in the name of religion: Judaim, Christianity, Islam all based on books supposedly mentioning homosexuality as a crime punishable by death. These books are 2000 to 1400 years old and so vague that it can be interpreted as one wish – hence the countless currents, divisions and endless infighting behind three banners: Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Calvinists, Lutherans, Sunnis, Shiites, Yazedis, Jews, Orthodox Jews, Ashkenazi Jews…However, they find their common ground in the God-wanted submission of women and eradication of homosexuality.

Let’s focus a second on Catholicism for two reasons: it is the only one to have an official, universally acknowledged, accepted and followed hierarchy and it prides itself of being the heir of the Ancient Greek democratic process and the inspiration for all modern democratic process. What does it say about homosexuality? A sin. With various degrees of punishment – Hell being the softest as they, thankfully, have no control over where we do or don’t go after we die. They have been fiercely and continuously condemning every single equality law in every single country with an extra layer of hate speech in the name of a God.

What about the killer in all this? The killer’s father was very clear: his son’s mistake was to have believed it was his duty to carry God’s punishment. He should not have done it. It was for God to decide, not him. The death of gay people is justified and a good thing, but just not that way. I’ll let you digest the the failure of our education system and thrive for tolerance as they are constantly attacked by everyone on the right of the political spectrum.

The killer did not radicalise on-line. He didn’t radicalise because his parents are Afghans. He did not radicalise because he was a Muslim. He radicalised because the world is still crusading against something people have no control on: their feelings. And at the head of this crusade are right-wingers and religious authorities whose desperation is growing as days pass.

Indeed, they need to join the chorus of voices condemning the killing by an Muslim because that’s at the core of their scaremongering push for dominance, however the motives are their own rhetoric. How do you condemn someone who justified his killing innocents using what you gleefully preach? How dare the Catholic Church “empathise with families” when they believe their murdered loved ones are now burning in Hell?

So, in addition to trying to come to terms with the atrocities, the past few days have forced us, the LGBT community, to listen to our usual attackers removing the LGBT factor from the picture altogether. The gayness of people is irrelevant in all this, we hear. Suddenly, we are all one, all Westerners in war against the same enemy, radical Islam, or just Islam for most anti-gay people. This is no hate crime which is coming as a direct consequence of their increasingly violent push for institutionalised intolerance and exclusion. What the killer said were his motives was just a cover, it’s nothing in the grand scheme of things, just a detail from a mad man. It’s Daesh, it’s Islam, this is a proper terrorist attack and we are all in this together (and those who disagree are therefore in line with Daesh.)

Bottom-line, deniers will be deniers. The traditionally anti-gay commiserating and expressing sympathy for the families need to move the debate on grounds that are more convenient to them, especially as it erases their hate speech as one of the main sources of the problem. I am not denying there is more to what he did than homophobia. Notwithstanding, it is not bad enough for them to deny us in life, they also deny us in death to protect, if not further, their agenda. This is beyond the pale.

Just Sayin’ – Double standards for animals

The Western countries have no problem with the horrendous condition in their slaughterhouses (the name says it all…); the Western states have no problem setting up official culls of badgers, all types of birds, squirrels, foxes, hedgehogs, wolves, bears…because they are seen as pest; their ministers for Health have no problem whatsoever defending the industry when it comes to using live animals as disposable objects for tests and experiences.

However, we should all rise and condemn Nepal for its traditional cull. We justify the double standards by saying that what we do is necessary for human survival whereas they are just “having fun”.

In French, we say that we are quick to see the hay in other people’s eye despite the wooden beam in our own.

PS: I am against all the above. Even slaughterhouses. Human survival does not depend on everyday mass slaughtering of hundreds of thousands of hormones- and antibiotics-filled animals in terrible conditions.