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Sunday, March 31, 2002

Of retribution

I once had a friend who I related to really, really well. Then she tired of me and didn't want anything to do with me, but interestingly enough she still read my journal. I was angry for a while, but was pleased she was still interested in what was happening in my life. However, my last entry about blogs and bloggers seemed to strike some kind of nerve with her for some reason. She has her own journal, which I visit pretty much on a daily basis - probably for the same reason she visits mine. Shortly after I made my entry about blogs and bloggers, she wrote a very angry entry of her own, mentioning my journal and providing a link to it, and inviting everyone to see how pathetic I was for my comments about blogs and bloggers. I was talking about my opinions of an article I had read on the web, and she seemed to take it as some kind of personal attack against her, which surprised me. I was going to write and tell her to pull her head out of her arse and get on with some sense of reality in what she perceives or writes, but then it occurred to me that she must be a blogger, and so my comments about bloggers were perceived as some kind of attack against herself. Not much I can do about that, except make a comment to her in this journal - if you think what I write is so pathetic in terms of the spirituality and philosophy that I'm exploring in my life, then why do you bother coming to my site so often to see what else I've written? Don't take things personally (unless someone actually spits in your face).

I'm not going to mention names, or provide a link to her site. She'll know who she is. I'm not interested in being part of some kind of tit-for-tat 'blog vs. journal war', even though it sounds strangely alluring... hehehe. All I'm interested in doing is telling her that I once respected her, but now I see her as childish and only interested in proving to the world how wonderful she is and how bad everyone else is. And I'm sure she's going to make another public comment in her own journal (blog?), and maybe even provide my street address so people can send letter bombs if they like. Unfortunately, the address she has is old... I've moved. ;-)

People come into our lives for a reason, and then they move on when the purpose of their visit is over. I know I got a lot of value from the communications I had with her, and I was upset for a while about her decision to move on, as I thought there was still something of value that I could learn from her. However, I know now that she made the right choice. There was nothing more I could learn from chatting with her. I do wish her the best though, as she continues the exploration of her own life. I hope the pain she experiences as she grows doesn't overwhelm her, and instead gives her wisdom and understanding.

I had the greatest time this weekend! It started on Friday night. There was an annual pub-crawl organised by work, and since I don't like getting drunk so I opted not to go. However, once I finished work at 6pm, I went to the bar that they had started in at 5:30. My plan was that if they had moved on to the next bar, I'd go home, but if they were still there, I'd join them for a couple of Friday-night after-work drinks and then go home. They were there, so I joined them for a beer. Because of the atmosphere and the amount of work people there, I decided to take a couple of photos (I take my camera with me everywhere now, for spontaneous photo opportunities). The 'official photographer' saw me with my camera and asked me if I liked taking photos, which I said I do. So they then handed me the digital camera and told me I'm the photographer now. Well, the fun of that was something I couldn't pass up, so I joined the pub crawl as the 'photographer'. In the process of travelling around to each of the 12 pubs in the tour, I had to have some drinks at each one. By 11pm, and the 10th pub, I was absolutely wasted! However, I managed to maintain control of the camera, and the photos, and even brought it safely home with me (it's work's camera, which I've borrowed every now and again, and it's a real good camera... losing it was not an option). After reviewing today the disks that stored the photos, I discovered that over 80 photos were taken. I had a great time with the camera! :-)

By the time I got home, I was on the verge of being sick, and at one point I was in the toilet because i felt like I wanted to throw up. I really didn't want to though, so I had the window open and I was leaning over the toilet with my head out the window, getting lungfuls of fresh air. It worked, and the feeling went away and I went and wrote a couple drunken emails to some friends and then went to bed.

Yesterday was almost a write-off. I had a damn huge hangover, and didn't want to get up at all! I was supposed to go pick Wakana up and go out somewhere, but I sent her an email saying it just wasn't going to happen. So she called me and came over and looked after me... it was lovely. So the day turned out not so bad after all...

Today was even nicer. We went to this place outside Wellington called Kaitoke Country Gardens. They have great food there and really nice gardens to walk around. We had lunch there and then walked around, and I experimented with close-up (macro) photography with my coolie new camera that I bought coming back from Australia in December. I discovered that I can get up to about 9 inches from something and still have it within a focus range, so I was taking close-ups of bees, butterflies, flowers, cicadas and weird spider webs. It was great fun! I went through one and a half rolls of film on stuff I've never done before, and had a ball.

Then Wakana and I came back home. On the way, we got a video. She wanted to watch Pearl Harbour. She's Japanese, so I asked her if she was sure. She was. I explained it's pro-American, and she said she knows the history, and she wants to see what it was like. So we got it. It was an interesting experience for me to watch it (for the second time) with someone whose people, 50+ years ago, was the mortal enemy of the western world. Afterwards, we talked about it. I'm unable to understand what it must be like to live in a country like Japan, where their history is about being the 'evil empire' that the western world fought so hard to contain. I try to understand, but I know there's no way I can appreciate what it's like growing up with that history. She's very much into history. She's been to Hawaii and went to the Pearl Harbour memorial, with the USS Arizona, etc. I learnt today that the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima (that the atomic bombs were dropped on, in case you didn't know) were chosen by the US because they were 5th and 6th in a list of sizeable cities. Tokyo and Kyoto were 1st and 2nd. They didn't want to destroy Tokyo because that would eliminate the central command of Japan, including the Emperor. Without them, the Japanese would have likely continued fighting to extinction. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were considered sizeable enough to be devastating, but not important enough for the Japanese to commit to continuing the war. Unfortunately, the Japanese were expecting attacks on their largest cities, and so many of the population were evacuated outside of those cities. The evacuated ended up in cities that included Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so many more were killed than the US expected.

I wondered how Australians would be living today if we had lost the war that we thought was right, and we had become subjugated to the Japanese, as they had become to the US. It's mind-boggling, and one can only be thankful that we didn't experience what they did.

I also wondered about the comment in the film, made by the Japanese General at the end. "I fear we have only awoken a sleeping giant." I have been involved in various debates with some of my friends back in Canberra, via a mailing list, about the US attacks against the Taliban etc, in Afghanistan. Today, I wondered if the attacks on the World Trade Centre has again awoken a sleeping giant.

In the past, since Vietnam, America has not wanted casualties when it gets involved in armed conflicts. And so, they have been completely gung ho but only up to the point that they begin losing soldiers, and then they withdraw from the conflict. Pearl Harbour's devastation and loss of life galvanised the Americans into doing something about it. World War 2 saw millions of men mobilised, with hundreds of thousands dead in single battles (eg. Battle of the Bulge: "More than a million men fought in this battle including some 600,000 Germans, 500,000 Americans, and 55,000 British... At the conclusion of the battle the casualties were as follows: 81,000 U.S. with 19,000 killed, 1400 British with 200 killed, and 100,000 Germans killed, wounded or captured..."). I wonder if the devastation of the World Trade Centre will galvanise America again, into committing to the end-goal of destroying terrorism. Will they persevere through the casualties that will occur? I don't know, but if they repeat the history of their involvement in WW2, then maybe. However, I'm afraid of the possibilities that may result from what they're doing now.

This is why I am afraid...
WASHINGTON: Citing a classified Pentagon report, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that The Bush administration has told the Defence Department to prepare, on a contingency basis, plans to use nuclear weapons against at least seven countries.
I hope that never happens, and that sanity prevails.

Posted on 3/31/2002 07:15:00 PM Backlinks


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