Thoughts on Sustainable Peace

February 12, 2012

I’ve been thinking…
People’s only purpose is sex.  It’s our strongest genetic purpose.  And that leads to overpopulation, which spells doom for almost everybody.  We have to see past it.
We have moral obligations.  These moral obligations are more important than our genetic purpose:  Fairness, equality, justice, peace, etc.
As a people Americans have failed to uphold these morals.  Instead we uphold hatred, racism, sexism, bigotry, etc.  We uphold the need to be better than those around us.
Instead of this I say the strong must protect the weak.  Here I mean physical strength, monetary strength, and intellectual strength.

I would love to experience world peace, but this cannot happen through simple non-violence.  You need compassion first, but then you need to train in self-defence, while studying the consequences of each strike.  If you understand the consequences, you will not ever strike out of anger.  If you must strike, it will be with the minimal amount of strength required, out of compassion for the aggressor.
To maintain ourselves, we must also study weapons of every technological level.  From clubs to swords to guns to missiles to whatever the future holds.  We must study them, practice their use, and study the consequences of their use.  In this practice, compassion is built-in.  We must teach every generation to see the consequences of nuclear warfare.  Also they must learn the consequences of a simple broken nose.

With this education you have a people who grow up living a compassionate life, peaceful but practiced in warfare should they ever be attacked.  
And if they were attacked, would defend with compassion for their aggressors.  Would care for their opponents wounded, etc.  But before all that, would have tried to negotiate, truly negotiate, peace.
They would be aware of anger as a blinding thing that prevents them from thinking clearly, like fear and stress.  They would have learned to discuss without the need to be right or better.

It seems obvious that we must teach compassion in schools, that we must fund education (presently it is retardedly underfunded, and I mean that in the scientific sense), and we must not allow whatever has corrupted our government to start another needless war.

I love this country, I really do.  But instead of using morals to promote compassion, we are using sex to promote consumerism.  We have no worldview, our elections are hacked so our votes have no power, our ‘freedom’ is a veal pen. Stay unaware in your homes or the TSA (The Terror Security Association) will molest you when you try to travel.
We can be better than this.

 

–note: Please consider this a rough draft. I welcome constructive criticism here, but please try to keep the end goal in mind.

The Occupy Revolution

September 30, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, Please be aware that there is a revolution underway. The revolution will not be televised. Many large countries are involved that you have been made aware of: Egypt, for example. The one you have not been made aware of is likely surprising: Here. The USA.

That’s because of the media blackout on the subject.

In the US it started in New York: occupywallst.org. Since those protests started (Two weeks ago!) many other US cities have started their own protests. Boston’s protest starts today.
Occupy Boston starts just outside of South Station, at Dewey Square, aka the Green way. We will be protesting peacefully against the richest 1%, who control everything. We are the 99%. Expect us.

If you must have your admin call tech support for you, please have them transfer the call to you immediately afterwards. You would not believe what the telephone game does to the technical description of a problem. You may be brilliant and your admin may diligently repeat your request word for word, but as soon as I ask a question the whole thing falls apart. I realize you are too busy to wait for support, I understand this. This is not a criticism about you or your admin.

You don’t speak your ‘computer’ (And why should you? That’s why I’m here, and why you’re calling me.) and neither does your admin. It’s another language and it sounds like jibberish to the both of you. If you do not understand it, you will not be able to communicate it clearly. Your admin will make it even less clear in her own way. Now it’s indecipherable, and that’s before s/he tries to talk to Balasubramanya, who’s grasp of English is questionable.

Imagine it this way: you give your admin a signed blank check and say “make this out to John Doe for $200.” Now we play the telephone game. S/he hands the check to another admin and relays the message. After 3 more hands you’re bankrupt. And admins are supposed to understand checks.

You want me to just send someone. The company does not justify the cost of having a highly trained professional dispatched to walk up and plug your computer in. That’ll be $300, please. You think I’m exaggerating. Unless you’re the CEO, unless you have a hottub in your private jet with a built-in caviar cooler, the answer is no.

Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Oh, and security would like to have a word with you about why your admin knows your password. Have a nice day.

Trapped? I think not.

November 30, 2010

This weekend I dropped some bills on bike lights, a helmet, and some reflective tape: the result. There may be more tape in it’s future.

Then today, while sitting at my desk, I felt trapped. The in-house cafeteria is overpriced and everything else seems far away….. Then I realized: “WAIT A MINUTE! I have a bicycle, I have independence!” So I biked around until I found a place that looked nice. Yay, choices!

Yes! I biked to work yesterday and today, but tomorrow Boston is expecting rain. Where is that fender? Where is my umbrella, for that matter?

No, I don’t know what I’ll do, but it’s good to be back, regardless.

The Tournament

November 8, 2010

This weekend several students from my studio participated in a tournament. It was an open tournament, and a few other martial art styles were represented by other studios. Everyone performed admirably, and many of my students and friends took trophies home.

I wish to congratulate all of my students for participating, even those who didn’t win trophies. I am so proud of you!

The black belts were divided into age groups, and empty hands vs weapon forms.

The weapon forms were amazing to watch. There were swords, there were staves, and a spattering of other things. One woman had a form with a metal fan and a knife. I kept hearing about another girl who had a remarkable staff form, that she flowed beautifully. She was maybe 14.

My division finally started, late in the day, when many competitors and guests had left. Most of my studio stuck around for me, however, and I am grateful.

I approached the judges with a confident walk, and deep bows. I had a strong and clear voice, though I felt like it was shaking. When the judges granted me permission to start, I ran Short form 3, an empty handed form, with every bit ferocity I could muster. I brought the loudest form of the day, by far, but it wasn’t just about yelling: I had good form: power, range of motion, energy! When my form was complete, I put the breaks on full and ran my salutation calmly, as if nothing had happened.
The judges put me in first place for my division, and I proudly accepted my first trophy of the day: first place in forms

Soon there was sparring, and I watched in dismay while two teammates lost bouts I felt they should have won. Defeating my opponent, I took my second trophy: first place in sparring.

Immediately I was to face a very intimidating opponent for grand champion, sparring. This man was fast and skilled. His opponent never scored a point. When we fought, I landed some points, but he won. I’m not upset to lose to a more skilled opponent, he fought very well, and went home with the grand champion sparring trophy.

Next was the most exciting competition of the day: Grand champion forms.
My history with forms is simple: I was a hyperactive child with no peace of mind. Forms gave me peace, for that I am eternally grateful. For this reason, I give back by teaching. I can never repay fully this tremendous gift. Forms are my peace, and thus, they are so, so important to me.

The first competitor had a strong voice, and a strong form. I watched his arms shake with strain as he started, I watched his mechanics and knew he could win this tournament. Next up, the remarkable staff girl, above, who was graceful and skilled. She was beautiful to watch, and I knew her form could win, too. After the staff form was another remarkable form: metal fan and knife. This form was exotic and fascinating, another strong form! The next lady was from an older division, but she was by no means weak. She had a toughness that shone through. I would not mess with her! My last teammate was called up, and she ran her form which was very long and tiresome, but she never looked tired, she made it look easy. She had won Grand Champion in women’s sparring. I was the last to go up, after all these amazing forms. I was not scared, or worried, but I knew that there was no room for error. I was going to do my best and I’d be happy with whatever happened. I was proud to even compete with these excellent martial artists.

Again I bowed deeply, respectfully, and addressed the judges with a clear and strong voice. This time I wasn’t shaking. I stepped back and took two breaths. My salutation was smooth and calm, and ended with a snap as I hit my attention stance. Then…
I exploded.
I gave that form everything I was made of. All my strength, all my emotions, all my heart. I was fast, but I didn’t rush. Each move took its time, and each move had full travel (read: power). Again, at the end I finished with my salutation, this time sharper than before, snapped closed and bowed out. The audience was applauding loudly. The judges told us to wait while they made a decision.

After a few moments, the judges called us all back out, and we stood lined up while the head judge stepped forward with a large trophy. “The Grand Champion of Forms goes to…”

me.

He called my name and held the trophy in my direction. I started feeling emotional as I walked up and took the trophy, shook his hand. I thanked the judges, then turned around and told my competitors how honored I was to compete with them, that they had excellent and remarkable forms. I turned around to a swarm of students rushing to me, and held my trophy up with one arm as they surrounded me and congratulated me. I was receiving hugs for ever, it was like something out of a movie ending. I thanked a hundred supporters, then called my mom.

One of the judges asked me if I wanted to know how narrow the margin was. Of course I did! I was expecting a thousandth of a point. I was expecting it to be close.

It was unanimous(!!). Every single judge picked me as the winner. There were seven judges!

The studio was closed when I called, so I left a voicemail and thanked my teachers.

I cannot even express how important this is to me. I am so proud.


It’s been a while. Again.

November 1, 2010

The Big Kanc

July 8, 2010

New Hampshire has a beautiful mountainous region. Right in the heart of that is a fantastic highway: The Kancamagus.

I’ve driven this highway, and by far the coolest part is the river that runs along it. Not that the view is anything to turn your nose up at. I loved them, but beyond that I must say dunking in the river was key. It was a hot day: 93ºF! The water was frigid, which is to say perfect.

The Kanc

The ride I did on Sunday didn’t quite get me to the top. The actual top was at exactly 12 miles, and getting there was brutal. Signs along the way informed me that the grade was 9%, and I climbed like it was my job. I passed a group of cyclists before I got there then went over the edge!

I didn’t even slow down first, I just took the descent as I was. I was at 35mph without pedaling, 40 with a little pushing, and maxed out at 44. From there, the last 18 miles were a cakewalk. It was all 20+mph, coasting. Conway popped up before I knew it, and taking a break seemed silly. After half a sandwich, I got back on the bike and started the longest most painful climb of my life.

Never before have I stopped during a climb take a breather. Running out of water at mile 40 didn’t help. Everything was slow until about mile 50, when the 9% grade came back to haunt me. Mile after unending mile of it. I stopped more than 3 times, and wanted to give up so so much, but I never took a step. Not a single step! I biked the whole thing. When this sign showed up, not 500 feet away, I could hardly believe it.

Everything was literally downhill from here.

I stopped once more for a refreshing dip in the river before the day was done. 66 miles. 2500ft climbing. 9% grade. Great views and cool water. What a win!

Happy Birthday to me!

April 27, 2010

My birthday was amazing!  I woke up late, worked out, biked, then jumped in the jacuzzi.  Later that day, I went on a 20 mile bike ride with a ‘picnic’ in the middle.  When I say picnic, I mean that my lady and I shared strawberries and blackberries from a park bench.

I climbed a tree.

Many other beautiful things happened that weekend:

Private tub at the Inman Oasis followed by dinner with dear friends.

Art and artists in Rockport MA.

Halibut Point: A curious young boy learns what a cello is, and his family clapped after I played.

romance!

See that green arrow?  I sat there overlooking the quarry during sunset and played my cello.  I suppose I may be a bit of a romantic.  A little.

Spring!

April 7, 2010

Biked last weekend!  Itching to buy a new bike!  That would be bike number 3!  Too many exclamations! So little time…

Reminder: I am still a very new cellist.  I’m recording as a progress check.

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