Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today I was sent a video filmed in Uganda, about children suffering of hunger. I usually am incapable of watching through such films, and this one was no exception. I couldn't understand how someone could be filming the baby being washed by his older sister, and commentating on their precarious situation, instead of just helping the children and feed them. How could a watcher just allow a child to endure one more second of that horrible state... I just broke down and cried and got mad at myself and resented being a witness, an accomplice to all and any starving children in the world. Our little daily mishaps, our daily tiny frustrations, once the core of our lives, become quite unimportant and ridiculous when we are faced with such picture of misery. I am truly ashamed and can't help a feeling of responsability welling upon me. Somehow, I must act and start feeding the world, one mouthfull at a time...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

From Harvey Milk to Michael Jackson

I was finally able to finish watching "Milk" and the most arising thought that came to mind throughout, by recognizing this enormous victory Harvey Milk achieved in his last few years of life is that to form a peaceful revolution, where people join together to give voice to a common 'loving' goal is, above all, a semi-safe ground.
His foundation started from a neighborhood, but not any neighborhood, THE neighborhood where it could all begin. To all uneasiness going on in the world, to achieve a peaceful revolution and to battle with each voice, that's exactly what we need more than anything else, a semi-safe ground. This is the determining point to raise into a peaceful agreement of any sorts. From only the semi-safe ground, we can enthuse peaceful revolution through thought provoking ideals...
Looking back to the peaceful Portuguese Revolution of April 25th 1974 I recognize the semi-safe ground where it all began, in the midst of a fearful dictatorship regime, the semi-safe ground was the radio, that was the determining subject of formation of the peaceful revolution.
The other day I was reading comments about the situation of the conflict between the Uyghur, the state Chinese Police and the Han Chinese residents, and the comments were coming from a Muslim source saying that if this conflict would have been in Tibet, that many celebrities would rise against. And although that was a very bitter comment, I understand why so many would raise against a conflict in Tibet, clearly because their leader has firmly conducted a peaceful protest, something admirable and easy to move many, while unfortunately the same cannot be said about Muslim groups till date.
I would propose to the World, in the common interest of settling conflict to create a semi-safe ground, where each party can have a peaceful protest and inspire or not the public, and settle issues in a peaceful manner.
Another thought that came to mind in the last moments of the movie, reminded me a little of MJ, I admit to have been truly shocked with MJ's untimely death and although I feel honored to have lived during the generation when he made a big difference in the World, I can't help but feeling that we didn't give enough, that he gave us far more than we allowed him to receive.
In this time and age is it really too much to ACCEPT anyone the likes of MJ, his physical appearance changes, his life choices, his vulnerability? I made a stand to myself and have decided to not allow small journalism to come through my television and my internet, I have decided to never again purchase a gossip magazine and nowadays most people are raising awareness to each and everything, like global warming and the whales and the animals for human consumption, so what if we stop buying gossip magazines, they are butchers too, they make people, no matter how much famous they are, be on show, encaged in their talent. Let's stop paparazzi, let's stop small journalism, let's stop gossip makers. How low can our society really get? Having pleasure on reading the dirt - these are people's lives we're talking about...
And as a last thought, I firmly believe that your life eventually will resume on how many people attend you funeral, who they are, what will they say about you, how will you have touched them with your legacy of life. And then you'll see your greatness...
Love you Harvey Milk. Love you Michael Jackson.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Romani in the World

I was watching an interesting documentary about the Romani or the Roma population in the World, commonly known as Gypsies, their origins, their settlements around Europe and, to my surprise, their massive human loss in the Holocaust
In my upbringing in Portugal, I was always familiar with the Gypsy communities around us, I learnt that their designation in this area is Iberian Kale. My understanding of their culture relied on their business activities mainly in mobile or seasonal markets, in the circuses, moving bands. I would be amused by their 1 to 3 week long weddings and all night long musical parties, when I was lucky enough that they would chose a near-by parking lot to set their tents. And my recollection of it all was that the interaction between them and the rest of the population and the authorities was pretty much pacific. Any gadji (non-gypsy) would be welcome to join their celebrations. I remember that our government was always trying to fit them into our standards of living, giving them apartments because their settlements would be sometimes seen as unsanitary, trying to educate them and give them jobs, as there is high unemployment in their communities, they tried to empower women in their society because their main culture would be based on the elder male authority (their ethnic name comes from Rom which means male, "husband"). I remember that these efforts at times would flop, and other times it would be successful, which in my view, is all good, when there was an interest from their side to fit in, they would be given that chance, when they weren't interested in fitting into any other culture than their own they would emerge in their culture roots, which ways I believe have its own value.
I think it's a common belief that Romani are originally from Romania, part of that belief maybe comes from the fact that there is a significant population of gypsies in Romania or maybe it has to do with myths surrounding Count Dracula... Either way, the Roma population actually is originally from Medieval India, their language is unique with traces of Sanskrit, sadly one of the dialects Bohemian Romani used in Central Europe was extinct during World War II due to the extermination of most of its speakers in Nazi Concentration Camps.
Although there is no exact number of Romani lives lost in the Holocaust it is suspected to come up to a million and a half... This is an extraordinary serious number to be left unmentioned. Most of the Holocaust stories are of Jews, but when I made a small research on other ethnic minorities exterminated they count to higher number than the Jewish life loss. It is believed that the genocide accounts approximately 6 million Jews plus other groups reaching in number up to a believed 17 million of Holocaust victims.
Among these ethnic groups the Romani, ethnic Poles, Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, people with disabilities, gay men, political and religious opponents.
Unfortunately, unlike the Jewish, the Romani survivors never received the same status, remain stateless, and up until recently they were not recognised as Holocaust victims.
Former ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill has argued that the Roma population suffered proportionally more genocide than the Jewish population of Europe and that their plight has largely been sidelined by scholars and the media.
An interesting account from a Romani Holocaust survivor in the site below:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Change The World

Just saw this clip and absolutely adored it, thus me posting it!!! Enjoy,

Sunday, April 19, 2009


When I was first introduced to a scrapbook club I thought this would be an art for old ladies and some others that had nothing better to do, but after going through my boxes and finding stuff I have no courage to through away nor making much sense to keep I decided to make a scrapbook out of them, this is history in the makin'!!! Let's see how I do... Hehehe... I'll post some pics as we go along...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When Women Ruled Society...

Yesterday I was watching an interesting documentary about the first native Americans, they were suspected to be Mongolians from Siberia but they have found some skulls older than the ice age that have negroid characteristics most commonly found in East Southern Africa, South Asia and Australia. The only population remains of that era can be found in Tierra del Fuego, an island forming the Southern end tip of South America and according to records of an expedition made to this part of the world in the 30’s they could match the way of daily life and dance rituals performed with the ancient rock paintings where the skulls were found…
Now, what interested me most was that, while the scientists were investigating and matching the way of life of this tribe, with the records from the 30’s and interviews with what seems to be the last 2 women from the same descent, they mentioned a tribal dance that only men were allowed to know about and the reason behind it was that there was a time in a very distant past when women ruled society. So the women should never know, lest the man loose their grip on power. And they mentioned that the same legend is common among aboriginal tribes in Australia.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mr. Oscar

I can't hide my joy for the 8 awards Slumdog Millionaire took away last night... I absolutely love Danny Boyle's movies, from Shallow Grave to Trainspotting to A Life Less Ordinary to Slumdog Millionaire, the one thing they have in common is: no matter how low or sad report of life he exhibits, he always leaves us with a high positive note in the end...
And to film the life of Mumbai, well, it could only be a winner!!!
One great moment of the night I think was Dustin Lance Black acceptance speech for Writing Original Screenplay of MILK, the story of California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk. Black - who was wearing a White Knot for marriage equality - spoke about how Milk inspired him:

"When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life; it gave me the hope that one day I could live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married. (...)
Most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by their churches, or by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value. And that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you, and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours."