Today is one of those days. You know the sort. One of those days where you start off loaded with positive intentions that quickly are buried under the murky weight of dark news information freely flowing from one edge of the cyber swamp to another. Haiku was on my mind at dawn. Something about the crisp cold snow seemed sensible for a few brief lines. Then I got online and hit Democracy Now! for some news. I know better than to start every day off with Amy Goodman’s “War and Peace Report”. For mental health reasons, I try to switch it up for different times of the day after the livestream broadcast. Some days it’s better to read the transcripts rather than listen. Real news can be very disheartening. I don’t know how the news staff of this independent news venue manages day in and day out to thrive on a steady diet of The Dark Side of Humanity–without perky blonde cleavage or airy breathless reading of text monitors. Seriously. Actual journalism work is not for the faint of heart.
A report on the death of another gang rape victim in India lingered long after I moved on to other online tasks. I thought it was disheartening enough to learn that a woman is raped in India every 11 minutes–until I learned that there’s a rape every 6 minutes in the United States. These numbers maybe be skewed because so many rapes go unreported. Violence against women has been on my mind lately. It’s hard to avoid–fans of Downton Abbey will even get a taste of it. Yes, I watched ahead via online venues. In real life, things for the women of Afghanistan are at about the worst ever. So much for all the USA lip service paid to making life better for women and girls. Not so far in the back of my mind loiters the question: What is wrong with all the people who rape women, children and men? Are they born-hard wired to engage in such violence or are they made by their environments? Maybe they’re nature’s form of human predators for our species? I’m not sure. Before I forget, The Invisible War aired on PBS–again. It’s an expose about the rape epidemic in the military. Ladies, I know it’s tempting for some to enlist for economic reasons like supporting your family or college funds–but do so knowing the risks you’re taking by hitching a money ride with the armed forces on any front. Take note, men aren’t escaping the sexual violence either, they’re also targets. I’ve had conversations with people who say that rape has always been a part of war. Hmm, hard to dent that fact. But, how does that explain military people raping the men and women in their own ranks? Is that a by-product of military training people to kill, torture and rape other people who they’re taught to view as non-humans? Possibly. What’s going to happen when the rapists return home? Are they going to cease engaging in violent sexual crimes?
Well, this is now very far afield from haiku about biting frost. Or is it?
Amy Goodman — We Will Not Be Silent
Democracy Now! YouTube channel
Tomdispatch from January 2013
The Invisible War trailer
Maze of Injustice–The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA–pdf file. This is the size of a small book complete with very informative end notes.
Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan ~ RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women’s rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.
so goes the snow haiku
down the rabbit holes deep
sleep? dream of chances snow blowing
news blues blow off vent
cyber waves serenity
mind fields boom! boom! boom!