a poem day ? maybe, maybe not, then again

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

Link TV

~~

Deomcracy Now!

www.democracynow.org

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Democracy Now! YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/democracynow/featured

~

January 2014

_

Tomdispatch from January 2013

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175641/

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The Invisible War trailer

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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.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf

~

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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.

http://www.rawa.org/index.php

https://www.youtube.com/user/rawa77/about

~~

&

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!

&

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8 Comments

  1. January 7, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    The rape and sexual assault problem within our military is not a new issue. The fact that it has been allowed to persist is deeply troubling.

    • January 9, 2014 at 4:54 am

      Agreed Al. What’s more disturbing is that the military itself seem incapable and unwilling to deal effectively with the matter.

  2. slpmartin said,

    January 8, 2014 at 1:49 am

    I can see why a poem on snow was not inspiring.

    • January 9, 2014 at 4:55 am

      Yeah, it just paled in comparison, Charles. Perhaps the brown paper bag prophet could manage better.

  3. MisBehaved Woman said,

    January 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    My guess is that since we have lost our connection to everything around us – and – since we have forgotten that Power comes from within and not some external source…we commit more acts of violence against one another in a lame effort to ‘gain’ personal power/energy. Look around at how lost all the citizens of the world are…how powerless we all feel right now…is it any wonder violence is everywhere? Not excusing the rapes, just trying to make sense of the mental disease behind it.

    Fear. Impotence. Powerlessness.

    How did we ever get so turned around as to think the answers are the same as the problems???

    The Invisible War – chilled my blood since I watched it not long after my eldest stepdaughter signed up for a 6yr stint in the Navy. She’s a wife and a mommy…and my head gets all knotted up between wanting to cheer because she is free to do battle…and wanting to cry because…because…yeah, just freaking because. :-/

    I hope your daily web-wanderings bring you out of the snow-filled rabbit holes and back into the sunshine for awhile…surely Poetry is more Powerful than Violence and the Poets, not the rapists of the world, will win in the end..!

    • January 9, 2014 at 5:02 am

      I comprehend your effort to make sense of mental illness behind the sexual violence. From conversations I’ve had with young veterans your point about disconnection is significant regarding the causes.
      The Invisible War went far beyond my expectations when I first viewed it. I’d heard of rape incidents in the military–but nothing on the scale portrayed in the film. And rape is just one part of the negative military culture according to a friend who also has an adult daughter in the army. Her experiences are bewildering and unnerving. I wish the ‘best’ –whatever that is–for your stepdaughter.
      Wanderings and writing are keeping my mind on some sort of positive tasking.
      Hope the puppy is coming along happily at your abode. Perhaps it’s time for a ‘new’ cat at mine. Hmm. Something to consider.

      • MisBehaved Woman said,

        January 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm

        I had to stop watching partway thought the documentary the first time. It was much more in depth and intense than I had expected. After I ‘screened’ it, I watched it again with hubby…I still can’t shake the chill of what those women (and men) went through and are still going through. Oh the things the American Public doesn’t want to talk about, eh? Let’s not discuss what we are REALLY sending our children off to…it’s so honorable and patriotic that the bad parts should just be swept away while we tell ourselves that OUR kids will be exempt from the harm. Ugh!

        This is all a very hard topic for me because I didn’t want ANY of our kids to enlist, nevermind one of our beautiful daughters. So far as I know she’s not had any negative or violent experiences but something in her has changed – and not for the better. Only time will tell how deep or how permanent the changes are. For now, I hold my breath in hopes that she finishes the next 4yrs unscathed. Wishful thinking, yes indeed.

        Sir Bowser is a joy beyond anything I expected. I didn’t realize just how much his puppy-belly and antics would lift my spirits…if there is room for a baby critter in your casa, I highly recommend it!

      • January 11, 2014 at 4:28 am

        “Something has changed”
        Keep track of that something you sense. The young people I’ve known through personal contacts and who spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan–definitely changed in all kinds of ways that impact personal relationships. The military doesn’t give a damn about them once they “exit”.


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