Tag Archives: war

the lies we buy

greatness

greatness awaits.

that’s the new catch phrase being used by sony playstation to promote their new gaming console. a series of scenes showing men  in medieval times battling each other with swords and battle axes, racing fast cars and leading futuristic armies against one another make up the bulk of the commercial. the men sing the late lou reed’s ‘a perfect day’ as they do all this, adding a bit of humour while alluding to the ‘connectedness’ of the on-line gaming culture.

i get it. its smart advertising on sony’s part. men have a natural inclination towards exploring and conquering. it seems to be in our genes. so in one fell swoop, sony was able to portray a product that enables its users to explore new worlds, save humanity from an alien invasion and score the winning goal in fifa world cup.  and you can do it all in one afternoon with your buddies, if you like.

smart.

i don’t want to critique video games or even the people who play them, though i must admit that’s my first inclination. i used to play video games when i was younger so i’d only be a hypocrite if i took that approach. i’d prefer to critique the motto driving this current product – greatness awaits.

video games used to be for kids and youth. today, the demographic has shifted to men in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. with the demographic shift has come a shift in content for games. video game companies focus more on marketing to the older crowd using war, racing and sports.

again, i get it. it’s smart to go after this demographic since they have both the money and time to invest.

smart business.

what gets me is that men are more willing to spend their hard-earned money on, invest their precious time in and build community around/within video games when real greatness awaits them outside of all this.

i agree with sony that “greatness awaits”, but i disagree where we will find it.

i like the quote by martin luther king, jr where he says, “not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”   instead of entertaining ourselves with great things, shouldn’t we be employing our gifts, talents and resources in great service to those that need them?
issues to give your gifts, talents and resources to:

a growing movement of people are standing up against all the forms of slavery in our world, but more are needed.  human rights groups estimate that anywhere between 12.3 million and 27 million people are enslaved in forced or bonded labour, child labour, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time.

world hunger and poverty still needs a lot of hands on deck. the united nations food and agriculture organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

how much does a video game console cost? this latest sony product is pushing $1000.

there is still a large need for big brothers or sisters everywhere. many youth are growing up without any positive role models to help them navigate their lives – education, employment, health, drugs, etc. mentoring can go a long way in the life of a child.

i could also mention the unnecessary wars being fought with corporate profits and not people in mind, or the environmental degradation and exploitation happening all over the globe, or the racism, sexism and prejudice that need people actively working against.

but these things don’t get the sexy commercials and airtime that sony money can buy.

great things do await us, but i don’t think it’s found in the escapism of video games (or any other things – alcohol, sports, tv, politics – we use for escapism) but involvement in the real issues that affect the communities we live in, the countries we inhabit and the world we must leave to our great-grandchildren.

true greatness awaits us, if we choose to pursue and sacrifice for it.

/rantover

1 Comment

Filed under randoms

we teach life, sir

after 65 years living in purgatory, the people of Palestine await their bid for statement to be voted on by the UN.  today could be an historic day and alter the politics of the middle east forever.  time will tell.

in light of this, i wanted to share a video i found.  i havent posted many videoes on my blog but this one was too powerful not to share.

click on the title to watch.

 

We teach life, sir.

 

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits filled enough with statistics to counter measured response.

And I perfected my English and I learned my UN resolutions.

But still, he asked me, Ms. Ziadah, don’t you think that everything would be resolved if you would just stop teaching so much hatred to your children?

Pause.

I look inside of me for strength to be patient but patience is not at the tip of my tongue as the bombs drop over Gaza.

Patience has just escaped me.

Pause. Smile.

We teach life, sir.

Rafeef, remember to smile.

Pause.

We teach life, sir.

We Palestinians teach life after they have occupied the last sky.

We teach life after they have built their settlements and apartheid walls, after the last skies.

We teach life, sir.

But today, my body was a TV’d massacre made to fit into sound-bites and word limits.

And just give us a story, a human story.

You see, this is not political.

We just want to tell people about you and your people so give us a human story.

Don’t mention that word “apartheid” and “occupation”.

This is not political.

You have to help me as a journalist to help you tell your story which is not a political story.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre.

How about you give us a story of a woman in Gaza who needs medication?

How about you?

Do you have enough bone-broken limbs to cover the sun?

Hand me over your dead and give me the list of their names in one thousand two hundred word limits.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre that had to fit into sound-bites and word limits and move those that are desensitized to terrorist blood.

But they felt sorry.

They felt sorry for the cattle over Gaza.

So, I give them UN resolutions and statistics and we condemn and we deplore and we reject.

And these are not two equal sides: occupier and occupied.

And a hundred dead, two hundred dead, and a thousand dead.

And between that, war crime and massacre, I vent out words and smile “not exotic”, “not terrorist”.

And I recount, I recount a hundred dead, a thousand dead.

Is anyone out there?

Will anyone listen?

I wish I could wail over their bodies.

I wish I could just run barefoot in every refugee camp and hold every child, cover their ears so they wouldn’t have to hear the sound of bombing for the rest of their life the way I do.

Today, my body was a TV’d massacre

And let me just tell you, there’s nothing your UN resolutions have ever done about this.

And no sound-bite, no sound-bite I come up with, no matter how good my English gets, no sound-bite, no sound-bite, no sound-bite, no sound-bite will bring them back to life.

No sound-bite will fix this.

We teach life, sir.

We teach life, sir.

We Palestinians wake up every morning to teach the rest of the world life, sir.

Leave a comment

Filed under randoms

im told

im told im supposed to support israel.

when there is good reason to support a cause im usually pretty open to the idea.  today i signed a petition going around my city for an investigation into possible illegal happenings in one of the long-running orphanages.  i think its good to closely look at how things have been and are currently being done and evaluate the results.  i feel the same about the on-again, off-again wars between the israelis and their arab neighbours.

im told by my mainstream media that supporting israel is the only decision i could possibly make as a canadian citizen.  my government supports israel and so should i.  im told that the poor israelis have been surrounded by angry terrorists who want nothing but to blow them off the face of the planet.  the israelis simply fight back out of necessity.  people who dont agree are labeled anti-semite, racist and other slanderous words.  ad hominem arguments (attack the person not the argument) seem to be the norm not the exception.  that rubs me the wrong way.  shouldnt it?

im still looking for a good reason.

im told that i should support israel because i am a christian.  im told that i should support israel unquestioningly because of their supposed special spiritual status.  im told that it is anti-semitic to speak any ill words against the tiny jewish state.  im told by people who know very little actual history of the modern middle east that to speak harshly about the jewish state is akin to supporting terrorism.

hogwash.

i feel as though im drowning in a sea of ignorance and arrogance.   my mind remembers past arguments and online diatribes from arm-chair internet generals.  it seems that everyone knows exactly who is at fault, what the problems are and the solutions to fix them.  my patience is thin and thinning and my sharp tongue wants to bite back.  i breath deeply and resist the urge.

maybe this is what they call maturity.

i dont support the state of israel.  there!  ive said it in print.  that makes it final now, right?  no going back.  im one of ‘those people’ now.

im ok with that.  im comfortable in my own skin.

at the same time i dont support the side using terrorism against israel.  praying upon weak, damaged people to wage an asymmetrical war against the bully on the block makes you as deplorable and disgusting as the bully himself.  islamic terrorism belongs in the trash heap of world history  along with the other repugnant ideologies.  the sooner its placed there for good the better.

so who does that leave to support?  am i neutral in all this?

no.

i support the people of palestine as well as the people of israel.  i believe that the problem lies more with the zionist and islamic governments, war mongers and racists than with the people themselves.  i support the israeli people who have to run to bomb shelters when the sirens go off in their towns because of incoming rockets.  i support the palestinian people in gaza whose lives are lived in a prison for a country, starved and abused by their oppressive neighbours.  i support the people on both sides of the separation walls who just want to live in peace without prejudice, without racism and without violence.  i support the jews, muslims, christians, men, women and children (especially the children) who are forced to live amongst bombings, vitriolic propaganda, guns shots, separation walls, land seizures, permanent detainment,  more bombings, more gun shots, power outages,  poverty, disease, death, more bombings, more bombings,more bombings..

when will it stop..?

or to ask as bertrand russell once did: “How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?”

tick tock, tick tock..

Leave a comment

Filed under randoms