Filtering by Category: 2006

Bunny Was Here

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Last weekend Pinky and I went into the city (Los Angeles). It was really hot and it took us a long time to get there. Pinky had a lot of stuff on her mind and almost got run over by a car - twice. While she did her meetings I took the opportunity to go visit the house where I was born since it was nearby.

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It's right next to the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City. The place still looks about the same although I didn't see anybody there who I thought I might be related to.

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I had several brothers and sisters but I don't know what happened to them, they just disappeared one by one. I was the last one to leave home; I left when I met Pinky. I also took a picture of the exact spot where we first met (below). It's covered with trash.

~ Bunny

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Mr. Stroud Responds Again

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I just heard back from Mr. Stroud in Syracuse. His e-mail:

Idiots,
So what were we supposed to do? Just let them kill our families as we sit around and do nothing? Do you even know anybody who died at ground zero? Go tell their children how you plan to do nothing to bring those terrorists to justice. I'm so sick of all your whining about peace and consider this conversation over. J. Stroud

You know, I read Mr. Stroud's e-mail several times, and the most striking thing for me is how he apparently sees retaliating with violence as the only ‘real' or ‘legitimate' response to violence - struggling towards peace, or understanding, or healing looks a lot like 'sitting around doing nothing' to him. To be blunt, I think his inability to even imagine an alternative to violence is actually a large part of the problem. Of course he's not the only one - we (all of us on planet Earth) wouldn't be in such a mess if we'd put as much effort into fighting all forms of violence instead of tolerating or supporting it.

~ pinky

[ Bunny's note: That last sentence doesn't make sense. ]

[ Pinky: Yes it does. For example, when I see you lying in the sun all day doing nothing, that represents a conscious choice. ]

[ Bunny: Okay but that's still a bad way of trying to say what I think you mean. ]

Mr. Stroud Responds

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I received quite a few e-mails in response to yesterday's (September 11) diary entry. Most of them went kind of like ‘hey pinky i didn't know there were so many other things that happened on other 9-11s', stuff like that. This one interested me the most though:

Dear Idiot,
I mourn on September 11 because as an American I feel we all need to remember those who lost their lives to the terrorists. I'm not going to feel bad for people killed in a battle 700 years ago in England. We are talking about New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania in 2001. Different time, different place - get it? You have no right to tell me, or anybody else, how to mourn. Fuck you very much. J. Stroud
Syracuse, New York

He raises an interesting point (not the fuck you part, the part before that) and I thought that responding would be a good way for me to explain a bit more regarding my reasoning and intentions. Here it is:

Dear J. Stroud,
I think you missed my point. I wasn't telling you how to mourn. Of course everyone may remember some deaths while selectively omitting others. For example, my friend Pat was killed by a truck this past January 31. If I want to light a candle for Pat this coming January 31, without having to light candles for all other bunnies run over by trucks on every January 31 since the beginning of time (and believe me, that would be a lot of candles) of course I'd be totally entitled to do that. But a personal memorial service for a single bunny is not the same as a national day of remembrance wherein an entire nation reflects upon a violent, traumatic, history-changing event. One is personal (me & Pat), the other involves the transformation and re-writing of an entire nation's identity - isn't that a big difference? What I'm saying is that for certain things I tend to be more interested in what nations end up doing, rather than individuals, especially when armies, bombs, and thousands of civilian deaths later become involved.The official response of the U.S. government to the September 11, 2001 attacks was to answer with more violence. So apparently killing is a justifiable response to killing, which of course is not a new idea. That's why I placed September 11 (v. 2001) alongside the other September 11s (versions 1297, 1649, 1683, 1709, 1944, 1973, and 1982) - it was my way of pointing out that throughout history, many human beings have rejected life and peace in favor of death and war. I know there are always more than a few people out there who believe that life and peace are good, but the fact is that horrible things like these still happen. I'm trying to understand how and why.
Remembering September 11, 2001 as yet another example in a long line of human beings' failure to overcome their violent tendencies helps me to keep my eyes fixed on one of my long term goals: I want human beings to be more conscious of the suffering they create through their selfish thoughts and violent actions. You don't have to like it, I'm going to keep on working towards that anyway.
~ pinky

Anniversary of the Modern Non-Violence Movement

Added on by PS Cat02.
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While Pinky posts her gloomy, all-bad-news September 11 entry over in her diary area, I'm going to remind everybody that September 11th is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of the modern non-violence movement. On September 11, 1906, Mohandas K. Gandhi first publicly put forth his call for a method of resisting violence with non-violence. Ironic, isn't it? Find this on the front page of your local newspaper!

We were also surprised to find out, after the fact, that public access TV Channel 56 aired our Pinky Show episode The American War: The U.S. in Vietnam this morning at 6:30 a.m. When we first submitted the program for broadcast we had actually been told that they were going to show our program starting September 30, but apparently somebody at Olelo decided to kick off their September 11's broadcast schedule with our show. We only found out when we started receiving phone calls from people telling us they had just finished watching it and really liked it (public access TV requires contact info at the end of every program). Nice…

~ Bunny

Other September 11s

Added on by PS Cat02.
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Those terrible airplane attacks happened on today's date, exactly five years ago. I just saw a newspaper poll that concluded that for Americans, "September 11 ranks as the most pivotal event in history".

The poll did not need to explicitly state that September 11 refers to the destruction of the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 - everybody knows; it is assumed. But a quickie review of world history shows that September 11 has been a violent day many times over. Just a few examples:

September 11, 1297: The Battle of Stirling Bridge between Scottish and English forces. Over 5,000 people killed.September 11, 1649: Oliver Cromwell's forces (English) massacre the Irish at Drogheda. Approximately 3,000 people killed.
September 11, 1683: The Battle of Vienna begins between the armies of the Ottoman Empire and various Central European kingdoms. Around 20,000 people killed.
September 11, 1709: The Battle of Malplaquet (France versus England/Netherlands/Austria). About 40,000 dead or wounded.
September 11, 1944: The RAF (British Air Force) firebombs Darmstadt, Germany. About 12,000 people killed.
September 11, 1973: A U.S.-supported coup deposes democratically elected President Salvadore Allende of Chile. From 1973-1990, military dictator Augusto Pinochet would murder, torture, and ‘disappear' the Chilean people by the tens of thousands.
September 11, 1982: Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps (Lebanon) are abandoned by international forces assigned to protect them, allowing Phalangist militia to enter the camps and massacre Palestinian refugees while Israeli forces seal the camps' perimeter. No one knows exactly how many civilians were killed - estimates range from 700 to 3,500 people killed.

Those who perished on those airplanes, or at the World Trade Center, or at the Pentagon, will be remembered today. These other victims of violence, for the most part, will not be mentioned or even remembered. If we believe that all life is precious, then how can this not be wrong?

~ pinky

Am I Neurotic?

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I just read some articles about the SMART-1 research satellite at the European Space Agency's website. It's been orbiting the moon for the past three years or so, carefully mapping the moon's surface, testing its solar powered thruster, and other scientific-y stuff like that. Anyway, the mission came to an end four days ago, on September 3rd, when the satellite was deliberately crashed into the surface of the moon. Is that for real? Doesn't that suck for the moon? I mean, I don't know if you've ever looked at close-up photographs of the moon's surface, but it's real pretty up there. And now there's about 630 pounds of space garbage littering the surface of the moon that wasn't there before. How long's it going to be just sitting there, looking all messy, before someone goes there to tidy up?

I get pretty annoyed whenever I see someone toss a cigarette out a car window, like the Earth is their own personal trash can. To me this is just a bigger, more moon-oriented example of the same idea. According to the European Space Agency, "SMART-1 ended its journey in the Lake of Excellence region, in the point situated at 34.4° South latitude and 46.2° West longitude." Okay guys - apparently you know exactly where you crashed it - now go clean it up!

~ pinky

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[Bunny's note: That's moon vandalism.]

Lancet Report: Haiti

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I was reading a report in the British medical journal The Lancet about human rights abuses in Haiti. It stated, among other things, that 8,000 people were murdered and 35,000 girls and women raped or sexually assaulted in the Port-au-Prince area during the period immediately following President Aristide's removal from power in February 2004. The crimes were committed mostly by the police, UN peacekeepers, anti-Lavalas (Aristede's political party) groups, and other associates of the U.S.-backed interim government. Assassination and rape were basically being used as instruments of social control and punishment for political affiliation, and all of this has been going on for the past couple of years right off the coast of Florida. The report was published in the journal's September 2, 2006 issue, so it's been in circulation for several days now. I've been watching the front pages of lots of major U.S. newspapers and news websites and so far I haven't seen any references to it appear anywhere.

An obvious question: Why not? It can't be that the numbers aren't shocking enough, or the crimes not heinous enough (i.e., death squads gang raping children - isn't this generally considered news?). And it can't be that Haiti's too far away for us to care - I'm looking at my globe right now and I can cover Florida, Haiti and Cuba with my paw all at the same time (and I have really small paws). I can only assume that its absence must be for 'other reasons' - I shudder to imagine.

So what is in the news at the moment?

• the recent quadruple-murder/dismemberment in Maine;
• The Crocodile Hunter guy's death-by-stringray;
• Andre Agassi's retirement from "tennis" (a.k.a. giant ping-pong);
• Pluto's demotion from planetary status to glorified asteroid;
• etc., etc., etc.

It's not that I don't think any of the above stories are worthy of inclusion in a newspaper, because, yeah, I actually did read all of those stories too. *cough* [Bunny's note: Pinky reads People magazine.] But I’ll bet you $20 [Bunny: she doesn't have $20.] that if you did a poll of a million newspaper readers, most of them would (maybe reluctantly) agree that these stories really don't have the same degree of social relevance as the Haiti story. Which kind of raises a potentially interesting question: Why do we gravitate towards reading stories that we know aren't, in the greater scheme of things, important? (here I'm only referring to those instances in which newspaper editors don't deliberately exclude important stories from appearing in their papers in the first place…)

Hmm. I'm kind of wondering why we read the news. I mean, some of us are almost addicted to it, like it's an absolutely essential ritual we have to do every day, right? But do we read the news as a 'first step' towards actually going out there and changing the world? Or do we read the news as a more passive form of entertainment and self-gratification? (I'm guessing more often the latter) And if it's more of the latter, I wonder if these kinds of choices imply something's gone wrong with our sense of values. It's hard not to wonder how and why we became the way we are. Sorry, no real answers yet, just questions. As always, for those of you out there who have all the answers, please feel free to e-mail them to me here.

Oh, by the way, we're making some pretty good progress on our next episode. Hopefully it'll be done sometime next week (it's fairly short, we're calling it a 'donut & coffee' episode). On a side note, this one will be the first in which Bunny and I actually have music in the background. So far the 'music' (gotta put that in quotes) we made is very, very bad - tortuous really - but we just want to try out not having just empty space behind the narration.

~ pinky

Gandhi Quote

Added on by PS Cat02.
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I read various newspapers every day. I also read books everyday. I put them both in my head and let them fight it out.

In contrast to the (apparently) currently popular idea that war/invasion/occupation are all effective ways of spreading democracy, today's book-quote:

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"
- Mahatma Gandhi, Non-Violence in Peace and War.

We still like Gandhi, right?

~ pinky

The Pinky Show on TV

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We just heard that our most recent episode, The American War: the U.S. in Vietnam will be aired on Olelo, public access television channel 56 in Hawaii at 10pm, 9/30, 10/1, 10/7 and 10/8. That's cool because 10pm on that channel (weeknights) is Democracy Now! so maybe somebody will not realize it's the weekend and accidentally watch our show.

~ Bunny

The American War: The U.S. in Vietnam

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The Vietnam War episode is finally done, you can see it here. So far the response has been really great, and that makes me feel good because it took us a long time to put it together - lots of reading, lots of searching for appropriate pictures, lots of maps to draw (Pinky), and so on. I went to Washington D.C. to do the research - It was hard work but also fun because I had some time to sightsee and act like a tourist in our nation's capitol before coming home.

Now on to the next episode. Pinky has already started writing. At least the next couple episodes will be much shorter ones - we're going to try to have them fall in the 6-8 minute range. So it won't be long before we have a new episode on our site, my guess is in about 10 days or so.

I've finally posted Pinky's diary entry - just kept forgetting (sorry Pinky!). You can read it here.

Thank you.

~ Bunny