Un Guşter

My photo
Also known as Sven, The man downstairs from the man upstairs. The neighbour of the Beast. Chuck Norris, etc. Distributor of random thoughts via poetic parcels. Explorador y aventurero. Mephistofelically inclined towards Machiavellian methods. Too old to wander, too young to travel.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"The things I want, part 2: Ask and you shall receive" by Ian

And so I've arrived to that state where words cannot accurately portray how I feel, rather a hysteric giggle or sudden burst of laughter would better serve to describe my current state of mind. Today I truly feel as if my faith in humanity has been restored... at least for now.

Today was a happy day... it had started on a cheerful note and continued quite gleefully afterwards. Of course, your average day-to-day problems did not go away: he still hates me, she won't talk to me, I don't know what their problem is but she envies my age and we're all really just a bunch of lunatics after all. But today, for one glorious day my smile would not falter. Today I could look them all in the eye and I could see their frown, the wrinkles, a smile or its lack thereof... and, for all of this spectacle's exaggerated significance, I couldn't care less!

And there has never been a greater feeling.

Those of you who've read yesterday's train of thoughts may remember a certain Roxana Saberi who was mentioned.

I suppose it's only fair that I elaborate on this story.

To me she is a very intriguing character, with a story that has caught the world's attention. A child of mixed ethnic and cultural background, she does not fail to shock and awe. Miss North Dakota par excellence, the Japanese-Iranian US citizen holds a graduate degree in mass communication and French (oh, la la!) and two master's degrees with a third on its way, one of them from Cambridge, UK, only to illustrate how truly diverse her cultural background is.

In what I have interpreted to be an effort to expand her horizons and breach cultural barriers, Ms. Saberi has been working in Iran on a book of her own when, regrettably, the former journalist was arrested by the Islamic Republic's authorities.

The details you can read on her page and on various news websites. What I would like to emphasise is the grace with which she handled the situation. She has exhibited a strength of will and character not many are capable of boasting. The 30-year old faced the internationally-condemned arrest, allegations hurdled at her from all directions and pressure no one should have to endure, and she has done it with panache. Ms. Saberi responds with a two-week hunger strike which weakened her physically as witnesses say but which, I believe, did not affect her resolve.

In my eyes, hers is an example of grace under fire we could all learn from and her story cries for an open mind and for barriers between cultures, ethnicities and religions to dissolve and disappear. Why must someone be forced into two weeks of self-imposed hunger before her message can be heard?

Can't we all just... get along?

But imagine the extent of my surprise when this morning... just hours after I published my "wishlist" I read on the BBC that she had been released.

So wishes really do come true, do they?

Now let your mind wander... let your imagination grasp all the possibilities. What if an Iranian man and a Japanese woman had a child? What if Gaza were an independent or autonomous province and didn't try to impose any religion on its citizens? What if people stopped associating Vlad Tepes with Bram Stoker's "Dracula"? What if there really was no apartheid anymore and what if Muhammad Ali and Jesse Owens really did stand for an ideal?

What if there really were no countries? No heaven, no hell, no religion. What if black and white only fought on the chessboard?

Can you imagine?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"The things I want" by Ian

I want a warm cup of coffee... black, no sugar, I want it served with a goddamn smile for a change, and I want it at the "Cheval Blanc" pub in Taizé. I want it to be "free trade" coffee, dark roast, 100% pure Arabica, and I want a bar of Swiss chocolate to go with it.

I want people to stop asking me what language we speak in Romania and I wish they'd stop asking if there really are vampires there. I want Romania to be a monarchy and I want someone from the Oranje dynasty to be the king. I want a Romanian film to win the "Palme D'Or" at the Cannes Film Festival this year, and I want the director of that film to win an Oscar and refuse it. I want Romania to recognise Taiwan as a country.

I wish people would give a shit.

I want Roxana Saberi to be released. I want to buy her a thé à la menthe and talk to her about her book. I want Iran to change its name back to Persia and let its people choose their religion. I want people to stop assosciating Islam with violence and suicide bombers. I want Pope Benedict to stop whatever he's doing and retire. I want the Vatican Archives to be open to the world.

I want to write a novel... and I want people to actually read it. I want to direct a movie too. I don't want an award (though I wouldn't mind), I just want people to watch it and understand it.

I want understanding.

I want a pilot's license. I want a motorcycle and to go on a tour of Europe with it. I want to go skiing in the Swiss Alps and I wish I could say that without people interpreting it as posh. I want to go to a train station and jump on the first train leaving without asking where it's going.

When I have a bad day, I want people to shut the hell up and listen, and I wish people wouldn't ask "do you want to talk about it?" Of course I want to talk about it, you nimrod! I wish people would stop saying "can I ask you a question?" before asking me a question, and I never want to hear anyone say "never say never"...again! I wish people would stop asking me about my Facebook account, I never use the damn thing (and yes I said "never" again, and you can't stop me). I don't want to join your damn network, I don't want to take your survey, I do not want to hear about some poor child in Yugoswana who's got an elephant trunk growing out of his left ear.

Just once, when I get on a buss, I want a lady to get up and offer me her seat "because I look like a gentleman".

I wish people would be honest with each other.

I wish I could smoke without having to worry about my health, I wish people would legalise cannabis. I wounldn't smoke it, but at least Sean Paul would stop singing abou it. As a matter of fact, I wish people didn't need drugs at all. When I go into a pub and don't order a beer, I don't want to hear your pseudo-masculine lecture, you pussies. And I wish that when you go out drinking and wake up in the morning with a head twice its size, you could choose wich part of your memory you want erased.