Friday, March 06, 2009

on the eve of the eve of my nineteenth birthday

Explosions in the Sky puts you in an existential place. (*note, i'm not writing from that place, or am i?)
19. The first thing that comes to mind is my favourite song off of Tegan and Sara's latest album, not the fact that this is the age that I'm to turn this weekend. Hell, I'm hardly used to the fact that I'm eighteen and well, that's essentially over. Hmm...this time last year I was at Rucker's with my grad class. Oh, Grad 2008, what a special crew that is all too close to my heart even though we've drifted in sooooo many different directions. That's ok, just like how TV networks cancel their sitcoms before they become too unpopular, high school ends after five years so it's fondly remembered by some; for others, some shows run way past their expiry date.
In the past year I guess it's fair to say I've accomplished some pretty bodacious things: valedictorian, putting on a backpack with my BFF and heading across the continent, moving, university, the 30 day challenge at bikram and decent marks. But does what I do determine who I am, has it really made me feel any different?
I've grown to appreciate things more: poetry, laughter, smiles, generosity, innocence, activism, health.
I've also fell in love with this campus. This microcosm of personal expression and politics...and the bunnies.
Today I sat on a floor at my first Shabbat, sharing a plate of potluck assortment with my friend Rachel who blessed the candles when we were all standing in circle (there wasn't enough room around the kitchen table.) In Chris' the living room witnessing Jewish tradition, I looked from face to face as Colbie tossed everyone halla. Although there are many names I didn't know, names were irrelevent because there was commonality between us. A name isn't who you are, it is a title you identify with. Who you are is that undercurrent of humanity that unites all of us in a way that still allows everyone to celebrate their diversity, heritage and other factions that are important to themeselves. I think here, in Victoria, the value of personal expression and acceptence is deemed as more important than more reserved, traditional, conservative communities.
I've noticed that no matter where you go, no matter the occasion, indepth conversations on the nature of foreign policy, politics, the environment or even dark matter ends up being discussed and politely debated. We're university undergrads aiming to be scholars in our field of preference but ideally hoping to take more than just our course material away from all of this.
Hunter S Thompson said, "Politics is the art of controlling your environment." From a globalization perspective to an intimate conversation, everything is political. While yes, I do love engaging in the politcal world and conversations, sometimes I wish that you could have opinions without being filed into this giant filing cabinet of ideologies as either: a socialist, an anarchist, a fascist, a conservative, a communist, a religious fundementalist, a liberal, a feminist. I'm not naive in that there will ever be utopia, but if the interests of humanity at its basic definition of "the quality or condition of being collectively human" was at the centre (or even in the minds) of political theorists and policy makers, then the world would be a lot more balanced. Don't get me wrong, I strongly believe that people need to organize and form coalitions in order to accomplish change in the world, I just would like to see the majority act as humanists.
It's scary to think of how few hands power is consolidated in. How few heads need to nod to initiate new policies and how private many government activities are. I'm not overly suspcious, I generally lead a pretty easy-going, laid back lifestyle, but when you think about it, who really has all your information and what are they doing with it? With technology, it's a wonder if anything can remain secret, or if that very though of "Big Brother" watching is merely fear installed by the state...
With such rapid advancement in technology (I mean, did anyone really use facebook two years ago?) who knows where we will be by the time that I write even a year from now.
Globalization. That is the present and the future. We (citizens of the world) are all so intimately bound up with each other. Economic ties, political associations, pop culture, fashion, the arts, trade and communications are all becoming closely related regardless of geographical and sociological differences. Why? Two words: Western Homogeny.
Admittingly, I haven't travelled intercontinentally, but I do talk to people, listen, read and learn about other places and by studying the past. it's all too obvious whose moods and whims the world is most closely tied with. (It's all hard to overlook that adolescent girls in South Africa have started eating disorders in order to not look like their mothers as set in their own genetic makeup!!) It's weird to think that if someone from the 18th century read a full week of The New York Times that they would have acquired more information that they would have in their lifetime! The (yeah, I'm a prime example of technology's impact) short "Did You Know?" states that the unique information that will be generated this year is 4 exabytes which is more than the last 5000 years combined? It's IMPOSSIBLE to wrap your head around everything that is happening; however, at this time more than ever, we have the means of digging deeper and learning about the unknown from the comfort of personal computers and the good 'ol world wide web. It also means that government and secret security forces have to work harder to cover up internal plans for "national security" because of the abundance of documenting and communication devices.

Well, I believe that is it for this night's edition of "lotus diaries." More to follow tomorrow beginning with a service piece for kids who can't complete a single blog entry without being distracted by facebook and other sites for most of her time.

give peace a chance.

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