Follow Your Dreams

There’s a new person in the coffee shop today. A girl, short and slightly curvy, is standing in line behind the usual row of businessmen. She stands out: bright yellow, frizzy hair that looks like a permanent explosion on her head. A large, loose red cardigan over a white gauzy blouse and jeans. She’s awake, alert, her eyes are shifting everywhere, flitting from movement to movement, from face to face; like a butterfly looking for nectar.

She positively oozes youth, drawing glances like moths to a flame. She is instantly despised; no one likes a reminder of what they’ve lost, what they’ve wasted. She is a bright flame among ashes, a growing flower among sun burnt grass.

I was her, once. Young, fresh. I had dreams, aspirations; I was going to change the world. I would be the firebrand that lit humanity in a blaze of reason, of clarity, of peace. You burn brightest when you’re young. But eventually reality set in. I was shunted, like the rest, into the monotony of the skyscrapers, the greys and whites and blacks that are the uniform for those of us who couldn’t or didn’t follow our dreams: we are the ‘successful’ ones. The dead ones.

We are praised for our soullessness, mind. We get promotions, bonuses, the white picket fences. We get the capitalist dream. It’s boring, predictable, ordinary. And safe. But what about our dreams? Instead of saving the world we become part of the machine that slowly destroys it. Instead of creating music and art we leave voicemails and scribble memos. We don’t contribute to the world, or to humanity. We take away from it, and we never even think about giving back. All the mindless, generic drones in their smart blazers and pencil skirts and heels, what is the point of us?

Do we really want a world of glass and steel? I know that’s what the corporate world portrays as progress, the future: a planet covered in grey, white and black. Covered in shining windows and needle-like spires and money. But who is the corporate world? The majority of people don’t want to be here: they hate their jobs, they show up exhausted every morning. People burn themselves out, and for what? So that their children can do the same all over again?

Follow your dreams, they say. But only if the world approves.

Dealing With The Homophobes

Yes, yes we’ve all been exposed to the hype around gay marriage. It’s the hot new controversy. Everyone who’s anyone has made sure they’re puffed up, red – faced, and squawking about it.

My question is why. Not why the premise exists: that’s fairly self – explanatory. All human beings deserve the same rights no matter who they are attracted to and no matter what they like in bed. My question is why it’s even an issue in the first place. Let’s explore that, shall we?

Firstly, why is everyone so freaked out about gays? The only difference between them and the straight population is that they like different things in bed. Okay, so the penis is in the anus rather than in the vagina, and it doesn’t involve you. If you still have a problem with that, what you’re essentially saying is a) you think you have the right to decide who is human and who is less so based on an act between two consenting adults that does not concern nor involve you, b) your logical thinking abilities are sorely lacking, and c) you’re a total hypocrite.

How does this make you hypocritical, you ask? If you are arguing that guy on guy or girl on girl sex is unnatural or perverted, then you might like to take a quick peek at your internet history. Specifically, the websites that you really, really wouldn’t want your mother to see. Pornography is the most searched item on the web, with a purported 80% of all internet content being XXX rated. And lesbian/gay sex is considered to be on the vanilla side. The phrase “if it exists, there is porn of it” is unfortunately true. Some of the content in the BDSM category is pretty horrific, and guess what? Not only is a large part of it heterosexual intercourse, generally with a male dominant, but it is also one of the most watched categories on the web. Furthermore, you’re almost guaranteed to have seen some: the average age for first exposure to pornography is 11 (6), and the greatest consumer base for the internet porn industry is 12 – 17 year olds. You do the math. My point being, if same sex intercourse is perverted, then what the hell do you call what you’re watching?

“Oh,” you say, “but the Bible says…” Yes, it does, and maybe you should check the section that little gem came from. Old Testament, darling, specifically Leviticus. Guess what else it says in there: cursing your parents is a capital offense (1). If a woman is raped, she has to marry her rapist if she is not engaged. If she is engaged, she and the rapist must be stoned to death (2) and (3). Working on the Sabbath (Saturday, by the way) is a capital offense (4). Oops. Looks like if you’re going with the bits of the Bible that say being gay is a sin and a perversion, then you also have to stone to death anyone who has every cursed off their parents and/or has worked on a Saturday. Chances are, you’re included in that number. Are you going to follow that logic? No? Then your argument is invalid. Moreover, the argument that homosexuality is an aberration goes against what the religious community likes to say all the time on a different debate (evolution): the idea that everything is God’s creation. If everything is God’s creation, then homosexuals cannot be aberrations, as they were created by God. Therefore, your argument is completely contradictory and AGAIN invalid. If you’d like to argue the Bible with me, you’d better be a decent theologist and not some zealot who hasn’t actually read it. That way you might last more than a minute.

“Oh,” you say, “but being gay is a choice.” This argument is the mark of an exceedingly ignorant individual, I’m afraid. If you’d actually read up on the subject, you’d see that, actually, it is an epigenetic phenomenon. For your reading pleasure:

– http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-12/being-born-gay-isnt-your-genes-its-them

– http://io9.com/5967426/scientists-confirm-that-homosexuality-is-not-genetic–but-it-arises-in-the-womb

– http://www.nimbios.org/press/FS_homosexuality

If you require more, there is always Google. The point being, homosexuality is not a disease. It is not a choice, it is not contagious, and it most certainly cannot be beaten out of someone. No one can force someone to be straight, and by the same token, no one can force them to be gay. Would you tell someone with Down’s Syndrome or autism that they couldn’t get married? I think it’s time we stopped discriminating against people for things that they can’t control.

“But it would destabilize the institution of marriage!” Please. With a 50 % divorce rate and stellar examples like Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage, I think the straight population is doing that just fine. Marriage is about the union of two people who love each other. Heterosexual couples do not have the monopoly on love, hate to tell you. The religious side of this argument is rubbish as well: “Marriage is a religious institution and priests shouldn’t have to marry people if it’s against their conscience.” The second half of that, fine. But there’s such a thing as the registrar’s office. Priests aren’t a necessary part of marriage any more. Furthermore, marriage is not actually a purely religious institution. There are a whole host of legal and financial benefits that come with marriage but not with civil partnership, unlike what certain people would have the general populace believe. For your reading pleasure:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/marriage-rights-benefits-30190.html

– http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/same-sex-couples-federal-marriage-benefits-30326.html

A full list of rights and benefits that go along with marriage, and those denied same sex couples in civil partnerships. (Note: DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, did not, apparently, pass: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2013/03/28/doma-is-dead-so-where-does-that-leave-gay-couples ) For this argument to be valid, there has to be a complete separation between religion and state, and if that were the case, then this would not be an issue.

To those who make the “where will it end?” argument, as with this person (“[should we include] people who want to marry their ponies, their sisters, or their soccer team?”(5) ), I struggle to hold back a giggle. Seriously, did you not think about what you were typing before you typed it? First of all, bestiality or zoophilia is actually legal in a great many US states (see this article: http://www.motherjones.com/rights-stuff/2010/05/map-bestiality-animal-sex-legal), so if ponies could talk, I’m fairly sure that in those states, you could marry one. Since they can’t, technically any sex with them is rape (whoops).

Marrying your sister is a different story. When a couple have a child, their genetic information is passed on to the child, including any alleles (1/2 a gene) for genetic diseases. Siblings have similar genetic information, which means that there is a high probability that they have the same alleles for genetic diseases, whether dominant or recessive (a recessive allele is one that cannot be expressed unless the both of the pair that make up a gene are the same). Therefore, there is an increased risk for genetic diseases in children born of incestuous relationships. As for people wanting to marry their football teams…well, it’s legal to marry yourself now, why not a football team, if everyone consents? The point being, a marriage is between consenting human adults, and if no one else is at risk (like any children/animals), then it’s no one else’s business.

None of the arguments against gay marriage make a whit of sense. It’s really none of anyone else’s business what people do in the bedroom, nor is it their place to judge people based on that. It is not the government’s responsibility to regulate romantic relations between consenting adults, nor should it be its right. The arguments against gay marriage are founded on severely flawed logic, lack of personal research, and a healthy dose of ignorance: not good foundations for behaviours and certainly not adequate foundations for legislation.

(1) Leviticus 20:9 NLT (2) Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT (3) Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB (4) Exodus 31:12-15 NLT (5) http://secularright.org/SR/wordpress/a-secular-case-against-gay-marriage/ (6) http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-statistics.html

What is Happenning in Istanbul?

İnsanlık Hali

To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because at the time of my writing most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Last week of May 2013 a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and yoga students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least…

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H. H.

I love you like the wind loves the willows

Like the lightning loves the thunder

Like the sun loves the earth

 

I love you like the sea loves the shore

Like the birds love the trees

Like a rich man his worth

 

I love you like an ear loves music

Like a mouth loves words

Like drugs love the brain

 

I love you like the moon loves the stars

Like the sails love the wind

Like a moth loves the flame

 

(c) inkblot