Walking The Concrete Jungle

I wanted to send a warm update that I am writing a book! It is incredible what I have managed to do the last two weeks as though the book was already written in my mind and I am simply just typing it out, and I have only just scratched the surface. I am writing about my new ethical system in similar vein to Henry David Thoreau when he left to find peace in the woods, but doing so while working and ultimately practicing a modern form of transcendentalism where I am in harmony with the chaos of this concrete jungle. I have learnt from my recent experience in Syria where all the horror I witnessed taught me that it was time to re-think my ethical system that allows me to be effective and helpful, but in a sustainable way and especially without losing myself in the process.

It also reminded me of the past, where I have been able to see myself in my reflections through others, both the good but especially the bad. I have spoken here of my father and my family, but also of the men who bullied and harassed me in my job that had a tremendous effect on me, so much so that I could not properly work for years from all the fear that I felt. I wanted that fear to finally end and make a decision about what long-term career I wanted to pursue. I confronted them recently to try and close that door, tired of the damage they caused to my confidence. Only one decided to respond.

Indeed, he apologised, but it was clear that his apology was rehearsed, and not practiced toward me but rather someone used to and thus comfortable with apologising. It was all coming a little too fast for me, I needed time to really think it through, but I felt something was wrong and could sense the possibility he was only apologising as a tool to reverse the situation and fault back to me, a skill those who gaslight often do to others. It then came out, the real him where he said “you are just jealous” to me, which immediately reminded me of his viciousness while at work. What exactly was I supposed to be jealous of, I thought to myself. That he sold drugs and did some decrepit activities with others? That he was a cowardly man who harassed and was cruel to kind person? That he followed the crowd and assumed that doing what was popular by the group meant some superiority over me? Read More

Feminism and the False Prophetess

There is an assault on the rights of women, a very selective and hidden form of sexism where men who now call themselves feminists are tolerating and approving that women have the right to perform plastic surgery, wear expensive clothing, and have an appetite for social vanity. The rights of a specific type of woman. While freedom is indeed a human right that permits the individual the right to expression without discrimination, can there be permissible limitations when both men and women are undermining the authenticity of the purpose behind the movement?

Contemporary western culture is completely immersed in capitalism, where the acquisition and exchange of commodities has shaped our identity and even our perceptions of reality. When a person acquires commodities that are desirable as regulated by the market, they appear to be a certain type of person and by attaining this image they are happy. This image that we are motivated to reach towards is engineered to appear as desirable by capitalism and thus it regulates social relations and how we understand and define the qualities and characteristics of people. Read More

On Love, King Suleiman, and the Old City of Istanbul

“Mum, he doesn’t speak English?” I sent on WhatsApp with a confused 😕 emoji face. She is trying to set me up as I prepare for my visit to Turkey.

“Sorry,” she responded (#sorrynotsorry). She is desperate to see her youngest daughter marry. Both my parents live in Adana and for them, love is simple, practical. “You complicate everything!” she often says. “You look too deep and think too much!” She  has never understood me when I say I am searching for love, someone that I love and respect, which is a pretty challenging feat given that my standards are almost biblical.

Maybe she is right, that maybe I think too much, but it seems like all the men I meet are liars, superficial and vain, and if not, cowardly and afraid of going against the grain of social cliches, my pessimism only deepened by those who, after being viciously sexist or violent, insincerely apologise before going on to pretend that they are feminists and congratulating themselves as though they are good people. It feels as though I will never meet a man I respect.

I switch off my phone and place it in my bag as I arrange my luggage in the overhead lockers on the plane, on my way to Istanbul. I hate flying. Short flights. Long-haul flights. I quit my job recently because it required me to regularly travel across Australia. This flight was particularly bad, as though the unpleasant and exhausted flight attendants believed that ignoring your requests with an indifferent smile was equal to customer service and I spent half the time worried I might do something wrong that would permit their wrath. Read More

Film Review: Catch-22

Denial. Deep down most men are embarrassed at themselves and their condition, they know that they are unhappy, ashamed of the bad decisions that they have made that instead of admitting and changing, they continue, prolong, persevere until finally their efforts to convince others that they are happy makes them believe that they must be doing the right thing. He finally succumbs to madness.

Those of us who cling onto life, who value the goodness of justice and of righteousness, we see this madness everywhere, in everyone, the lies and falseness, the pretending, and despite the attempt to escape from the jaws of its hopelessness, the existential abyss is always ready to consume our every effort to channel moral goodness and what is right.

“Me: happy happy happy. Dead. You: worry worry worry. Dead. Don’t drag me into your shit.”

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Tired

It feels like my heart is tied to a braided jute rope,
Like a broken cleat left dangling off the boat,
And the propellers speeding out of control through the liquid enclave,
As my heart slaps to and fro over the transverse waves.

My crystalline mind lying gently on the surface of the ocean,
Whistling eerie echoes of ice, gentle tunes, harmonic motion,
The cosmetic shimmer glistening over it from the sunset gleam,
Now assaulted by the pollution of this maritime machinery. Read More

On Cowardice: The Crowd is an Untruth

It is no secret that I find cowardice repulsive and it can manifest in many ways; bystanders who watch others being abused and do nothing, liars who deceitfully apologise or simply excuse their bad behaviour by pretending there is some justification for it. They see existence as merely convincing people of what they are rather than confronting what they really are, a power-struggle where some cry to maintain power and control, others becoming fiercely angry all in an attempt to persuade others to believe what they want them to believe.

I find myself thinking that such people cannot be saved, that they have become so alienated from their own moral integrity that their social deception has evolved into self-deception; they now believe their faux image is reality. I have been tactful enough to make such people choose to keep their distance from me because, frankly, telling them directly only leads to trouble, but am I being too harsh when I say that they have no chance and are digging their own grave?

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