Stuff

Property, things, stuff, shit… However you call them, consuming makes you more miserable than you realize.

But I don’t have to write anything more. All the important points have already been made. Two videos for you today.

The Story of Stuff: a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.

You can find more info, including the annotated script here  http://storyofstuff.org

Here is a the comic side of the story, said by George Carlin back in 1986!

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Aaron

Friday, 11 January 2012. Aaron Swartz commits suicide in New York. He was 26 years old.

A great loss for everyone.
He was and always will be an inspiration for me.

If you don’t know about him, please read:
Aaron Swartz, Coder and Activist, Dead at 26
Aaron Swartz
Prosecutor as bully

Explosive Report from MXGM Reveals: Every 40 hours Police in the US Kill a Black Person

The same story applies to Greece and immigrants. Stereotypes is the easy way, not the smart or logical way. The face of racism is the same everywhere. The only thing that changes is who is being targeted. Think about that next time you want to travel to a different country…

Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

This past weekend at Everett & Jones restaurant in Jack London Square, there was a gathering of more than 10 mothers and members of their family who have all lost sons, daughters and husbands to police violence over the past 2 years…It was sobering, powerful and healing. It was also shocking to see so many families and hear story after story of how they lost loved ones to police terror. We heard from the mothers of Kenneth Harding, Derick Jones, Derrick Gaines, Rahiem Brown Jr, James Rivera and Oscar Grant..all gunned down by police.

The families came together for the second anniversary of Oscar Grant Verdict Day.. This was the day that a jury in Los Angeles, handed down their controversial decision about Johannes Mehserle, the killer cop who shot an unarmed handcuffed Oscar Grant in the back at point-blank range in front of hundreds of BART…

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Berlin Holi Open Air Festival

Holi: Festival of colors..
Just by the name of it you feel that it would be an amazingly awesome event!

Unfortunately I can’t go this year, but it won a spot on the ‘to do’ list of my life. Right next to the Burning man festival 😀

Many many thanks to Stephan and Jim for telling me about these events and spreading the joy 🙂

Avant Hard

Holiis an ancient festival of India and was originally known as ‘Holika’. The festival finds a detailed description in early religious works such as Jaimini’s Purvamimamsa-Sutras and Kathaka-Grhya-Sutras. Historians also believe that Holi was celebrated by all Aryans but more so in the Eastern part of India.

Days before the festival people start gathering wood for the lighting of the bonfire called Holika at the major crossroads of the city.

Then on the eve of Holi, Holika Dahan takes place. Effigy of Holika, the devil minded sister of demon King Hiranyakashyap is placed in the wood and burnt. For, Holika tried to kill Hiranyakashyap’s son Prahlad, an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of a true devotee.

Next day, is of course the main day of Holi celebrations. The day is called Dhuleti
and it is on…

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The letter

My mother sent me a package a few days before the second round of the greek elections and in it there was a note:

We hope that when you receive the package, we’ll have a government that will make sure the children of GREECE come back.

 
We love you very much.
We miss you very very much.
Kisses

This song that I really love, popped right into my mind after reading her note. You can listen it here if you want: The Letter – Haris Aleksiou, Thanos Mikroutsikos

“The letter”
I received your letter, I’m sending you a couple of words mother.
If I get the chance, I’ll come to visit you some day.
I got a little homesick, and this town suffocates me,
Humans are alone and me, alone, always alone.

Thousands of people, you don’t have someone to talk to.
My last company, two-three childhood memories.
I stare at my smile in the picture,
This cannot be wiped away by any state.

You’re asking me to write back because I’ve been silent lately.
And I, that still don’t know whether I’m living or dying,
I roam the streets looking for myself.
No one has found me yet, not even in my dream.

Advertisements, marches, traitors, banners, protests,
Dealers sell hopes in installments.
And you’re asking me if I met happiness,
I saw it written on a neighborhood’s wall.

I never made any comment on the note. What was I to say, “It’s ok mum, it’s not like I’m an immigrant in Germany”?
I understand where she comes from and how much she misses me, especially after everything we’ve been through. And we both know that the “new” government will not speed up my return.

At least there was hazelnut filter coffee in the package and I really wanted a cup. The note made me think of my past, my mother, our recent conversations, our society. Scattered thoughts and they needed sorting out.
So many memories of how she sacrificed her personal life so I’ll have a better future and how satisfied she is that she made it. The bitterness and disappointment I see nowadays in her eyes.  “We had so many dreams when we were young, we believed in them and they took advantage of our dreams”. She now realizes all the blatant lies that politicians said, all the mockery and she feels betrayed. “Greece’s situation, it hurts me…”,  “We fucked up!” she said. She blames the politicians, she blames her generation, she blames herself.

I don’t want to apologize to my child, or any child for the world I’ve left them.

I’ll continue talking and struggling for love, solidarity, compassion, understanding, conversation, responsibility, honesty, self-criticism, respect, kindness, justice, courage. Simple words, with tremendous impact if turned into actions, first by us and then by helping those around us to act on these words. Maybe then we can ‘trust’, be ‘all together’ and finally start building a society where one would want to participate and create. A society that makes you happy to be alive, not jump off a balcony. Utopia? Perhaps… If we aim for the stars, we may not reach them, but reaching the moon isn’t too bad either.

So I’ll keep trying for a brighter world, because if my mother ever asks me “If I met happiness” I don’t want to reply “I saw it written on a neighborhood’s wall”.