Category Archives: terrorism

No, Your Hate Won’t Break Our Love

It is unexpressed emotions harboring latent demands for redress which cause violent disruption to society. The seeming extremes of heinous actions and vitriolic words each casting blame, instead of assuming responsibility and moving positively forward, actually feed each other to ever-escalating destruction. It is in the never-ending cycles of human history rife with the absence of hope which manifest anger and discontent and, in some, a call for ‘retribution’. A politician stands up and speaks ‘on behalf of a nation’ with words that only serve to inflame those who hate, and exacerbate the fear amongst the panicked flock who demand a response to their collective fear with demands of isolation, xenophobia, and more brutality.

As Eve Ensler, poet, so perfectly and simply wrote:

“Bullets are hardened tears”.

We must unharden. We must stop the tears and the subsequent bullets and bombs. We must find a way forward between the madness and genius and that fraction of capability to cope with inequities tipping the balance to terrorist actions.

vigilAnger can be a gift that keeps us sane; anger will make us sit-in, go on strike (hunger, walk off our jobs), meditate, light candles, and engage in activism we never imagined embracing fostering beautiful life-affirming change. And, just like hundreds of thousands of cherry blossom petals ‘we’, coming together, cast a pink glow over our hurting world.

In various locations in Stockholm statues of St. George figure prominently – in the 12th and 13th centuries his legend came to include the story of a battle with, and victory over, a voracious dragon. In its purest form St. George’s tale is one of good vs. evil, light vs. 20170314_134553darkness, life vs. death. Stockholm, Homs, Paris, Zliten, Baghdad, Nice, Kabul, Brussels, Boston, London, New York, Orlando, and sadly many other cities share a pain created in the absence of love. Our responses to each of the tragedies we have witnessed must be resilience and community.

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.” ~ Roger de Rabutin de Bussy

I believe that within us we are both a cherry blossom petal and St. George and the dragon we must slay is hatred, ignorance, and fear. We must be kinder, more compassionate, empower not condescend, find a way to ensure hope remains a constant and together build a great reserve of universal love which cannot be extinguished in the name of any God.

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What light will be found?

better humanIt’s been a horrible three weeks for humanity starting with the Médecins Sans Frontières bombing in Kunduz, followed by the terrors unleashed in Beirut, Paris, and Baghdad. Senseless death. Lives destroyed. Borders closed. Hearts closed.

My business partner took the scope of ‘this’ and thoughtfully addressed being sensitive on social media in the face of tragedy on his weekly radio show this last week. I invite you to listen to the podcast for some very practical advice on being a better human being in our ever connected world. Starting at the 5:00 time-stamp mark and proceeding through the 20:00 mark Ken offers a list of seven to-do’s 1) pull the plug on automated posting 2) go silent 3) briefly acknowledge what has happened with compassion 4) share links to most credible relief organisations 5) gradual re-engagement 6) avoid perception of opportunism and finally 7) do not hijack a tragedy based hashtag for commercial gain.

My words will take a different focus, the same focus offered by Antoine Leiris, the same focus of four best friends from around the world whose #LoveOverFear efforts in the Montreal Metro made me weep. I sit here writing while listening to 50 of the most beautiful Adagios ever composed. I haven’t written since 7 November, a shockingly long being humantime for my fingers to be idle of creative energy. While talking heads have cast aspersions and spewed hateful rhetoric, the respect I have for all who have been lost demanded my silence. I took time to offer ‘light’ in the minute tasks of daily life. I recognize that I didn’t bleed. I still live. While my heart shatters in ever smaller pieces I am reminded:

French-boy“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen

As is often the case, God has been used as an excuse. You know what? God isn’t on the side of evil. “God” would never have us kill in His/Her name. God is Unitarian. God is Agnostic. God doesn’t have a denomination of preference. God is neither yours exclusively, nor mine. Whatever you believe God does not condone your taking a life – any life.

I am simultaneously embarrassed and disgusted by fear-mongering politicians (I am not alone) who are systematically destroying any chance to provide child-sleeping-on-rocknormalcy for terrified children and their families who have lost everything that they know and understand – right down to the pillows under their small heads. We are segmented by artificial differences and it makes me sick.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Candles. Flowers. Vigils. Borders opened. Hearts flung open.

Eiffel tower“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” – Eckhart Tolle

Unless of course you are viewed with contempt for the simple reason that the colour of skin is less white, whose God – though the same – has a different Prophet than those making decisions. Those whose own paranoid fears incite hateful behaviours in others are the grand manipulators of our society and those suffering from mental illness are perfectly sane in contrast.

Exactly 700 years ago, England’s King John, younger brother of Richard the Lionhearted, exacted a wholesale slaughter of the citizens of his realm. (It should sound strikingly familiar against what is happening in Syria.) Innocents caught in the machinations of massive debt, madness and ineptitude, which paved the way for the occupation of England in what was nearly a second Norman Conquest. Eventually light was let into this darkness in the creation of the Magna Carta.  Why have we learned absolutely nothing from history? Or perhaps the question now is what ‘light’ will come from the daily terrors our world is experiencing now?

Nostradamus certainly prophesied the chaos we are now living 500 years ago. Every single thought, every action each of us takes us closer to either catastrophic global destruction or realignment in the light.

“When one takes action for others, one’s own suffering is transformed into the energy that can keep one moving forward; a light of hope illuminating a new tomorrow for oneself and others is kindled.” ~ Daisaku Ikeda

Under normal circumstances I would close with a suggestion that if you liked my post that you send me the value of a cup of tea via PayPal – don’t do that. If this post found resonance for you please send the cost of a cup of tea to the Malala Fund. Thank you.


Dorian Gray, President Obama – it’s still corruption

Our inboxes – a fascinating place where society and culture converge

Wow, you’re absurdly beautiful and fascinating 🙂 And, at least it seems, rather open-minded. A perfect combination. Would love to find out more 🙂 And I read your profile, even the questions / answers. My grandpa is from Croatia! 


So, I visit his profile and he lives in Boston (where I made my home for a decade) and respond:

Dec 11, 2013 – 2:07pm

I am BLUSHING – true! Jack (is this your real name is?) there is not a woman (of any age) that doesn’t wish to read that she is BOTH absurdly beautiful and fascinating – but when it comes from a man that is 21, and looks like a movie star from the 1950s? um, how do I EVEN respond? Dear God what did I do today to deserve such manna from heaven? Perhaps as you complete your profile and we’ll have more in common than the fact that I lived in Boston for a decade and your grandfather comes from where I hope to make the next chapter of my life – swimming in the Adriatic on a nearly daily basis! You are a wonder – thank you for your gift, here, this comes to thank you in the only way I know how, a nod to your heritage and the city where you live:

Dec 11, 2013 – 2:10pm

Wow, thanks for your amazing message 🙂 I’m really glad you like it 😛 Would love to take you out next time I’m in Croatia, or before then, even! 🙂 


It should be noted I am not a cougar, and the conversation continues via IM chat– condensed and modestly edited

(2:10:42pm)jb017:would love to take you out next time I’m in Croatia

(2:11:48pm)MyLifeIsLove:You can’t even imagine how much I am blushing right now! Oh, thank you for your message Jack

(2:12:07pm)jb017:Really? 🙂

(2:12:08pm)MyLifeIsLove:really, OMG yes

(2:12:16pm)jb017:You’re so beautiful! I can’t stop looking at your photos

(2:12:21pm)MyLifeIsLove:really blushing like a 16 year old

(2:12:23pm)jb017:Have you ever been with someone younger like myself? 😛

(2:12:25pm)MyLifeIsLove:LOL, sigh


(2:12:39pm)MyLifeIsLove:not “that” much younger

(2:12:50pm)jb017:Haha 🙂 But you look like you’re 20!

(2:13:11pm)MyLifeIsLove:LOL, no suntanning, seaweed on my face at least weekly since I was 12, very little alcohol consumed

I am sure you are all reading this and assuming that I, the older woman by 30 years, would be the one being an unduly corrupting influence on the moral fiber of this much younger man and, you would be wrong! I stumbled into Fifty Shades of Grey because I failed to read his Q&A prior to the rapid migration from ‘nice note to IM chat’ and I should know better! Anyway…

(2:13:46pm)jb017:nice 🙂 how young was he? 😛 And are you really the best kisser ever? I love great kissers.

(2:15:12pm)MyLifeIsLove:I will be 53 in Feb so Christian would have been 25 or 26 at the time

(2:15:29pm)MyLifeIsLove:I am going to write a sentence, and then you are going to read it, then close your eyes, okay?


(2:18:57pm)MyLifeIsLove:It’s dusk over Boston harbor, returning from the North Shore under motor sail at 5 knots, the Champagne sits sweating in rivulets, a glass in each of their hands, he leans down and takes her face on one hand, thumb against her mouth, takes her glass from her, sets it down next to his, and cuts the engine, his other hand is in her hair, and he sweeps her to his chest and tips his head to meet her mouth – parted, breathless waiting for his mouth to meet hers, the air between their mouths is as if coloured with the phosphorus that skips along the bowsprit, he wants to consume her, but she holds him in this tension to breath his scent to fall under the spell of the moment, there is nothing but the sound of their shared heartbeat and breaths. Now, you can close your eyes Jack


(2:23:22pm)jb017:wow…so amazing, i would love that…

(2:24:43pm)MyLifeIsLove:if you learn to think like this, then you can kiss like that

(2:28:21pm)jb017:I’ve been imagining your kiss

(2:31:05pm)jb017:you’re a dream come true

(2:32:02pm)MyLifeIsLove:Jack you have to cut me a break

I was not trying to seduce this man, but recognise that understanding all the potential of what a kiss can be, even when it isn’t yet a kiss, is vastly different than ‘what follows’.

(2:32:07pm)jb017:🙂 My only fear is that I’m too kinky for you 😛

(2:33:00pm)MyLifeIsLove:LOL, how can you know “enough” at 21 to be to know enough to be kinky??

(2:33:50pm)jb017:Hahaha 🙂 I do

(3:18:54pm)jb017:I’m here, baby 🙂 been looking at your photos and having naughty thoughts 😛 love your legs, sexiest legs ever

(3:19:58pm)MyLifeIsLove:this I doubt but thank you

(3:20:08pm)jb017:Would love them around me 🙂

(3:20:15pm)MyLifeIsLove:whoa, you cut to the chase, blushing, again

(3:20:36pm)jb017:Sorry 🙂 Couldn’t help it

(3:21:05pm)MyLifeIsLove:I suppose I really am flattered (on some level) but “in my world”

(3:21:22pm)jb017:Haha 🙂

(3:21:28pm)MyLifeIsLove:(or rather my idealised world) one gets the entwined limbs at least after dinner

(3:28:27pm)MyLifeIsLove:omg, I just got to your wingspan image in the pool, good God how long are your arms?

(3:29:12pm)jb017:very long 😉 very nice fingers

(3:29:17pm)MyLifeIsLove:beautiful btw, that dimple of yours is killer!

(3:29:46pm)jb017:thanks 😉

(3:30:54pm)jb017:gosh, I’d love to put you in doggie position, spread your ass and lick your asshole, deep and long, tongue all in 😉 there, i said it 🙂 sorry if i shocked you

(3:32:03pm)MyLifeIsLove: you are correct you do know more than I do how can you be 21 and KNOW THIS STUFF? and know that you like this?

(3:32:25pm)jb017::P, yeah 🙂

Right now, you are wondering what this has to do with the President of the United States – I would like to know who put him in the doggie position or if he really thinks that he is going to put the whole world in the same and ‘take us from behind’.  Right now, I am reminded of the 17th century Darien Company debacle in Scotland – but it’s worse, much, much worse.

The Darien Scheme, as it came to be known, tied up about 25% of the money circulating in Scotland on a speculative colonization investment in Panama which was beset by everything that could go wrong and did; subsequently bankrupting the Scottish aristocracy who, in turn, sold their country cheap to England to eliminate their debt in the form of the signing of the Treaty of Union which successfully eliminated Scottish sovereignty for 300 years. In reverse, this is about to happen to every country in Europe and the Pan-Pacific Rim; pay attention here people!

The President of the United States (I am so angry I can’t even type his name) and a team of bureaucrats under confidential NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and God only knows who outside of the government (or how much our President has clearly been bought and paid for) have drafted the most comprehensively evil piece of international trade legislation ever written – it’s called The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement and in Europe the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) and everyone, everywhere should watch this video to understand the power it would give multi-national corporations over the sovereignty of nations and the citizens of our world, it is truly terrifying! I have never considered myself an extremist or a protestor; if you had told me a Imageyear ago I would actually agree with Julian Assange about anything I would have told you that you were insane, but thank God for Wikileaks and Anonymous and all those ‘rabble-rousers’ bent upon transparency and toppling corruption!  I’d like to know what happened to the man who gave us “The Audacity of Hope” because right now, between the juvenile behavior of taking a selfie and openly flirting (in front of the world and his wife) at Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the after-party images with George Bush, we seem to be bearing witness to the corruption of Dorian Gray under the tutelage of Lord Henry Wotton – only none of us know who Wotton is as it comes to Barack Obama (and that is even scarier).

Libertines have always held a kind of morbid fascination for writers, and right now the morally bankrupt of our society at the highest level have EVERYTHING in common with John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester, Vicomte de Valmont of Pierre ImageChoderlos de Laclos’ 18th century masterpiece Les Liaisons dangereuses, and a young man whose conversation with me you read above I just met on OKCupid (21, over 6’2”, dimpled and simply ridiculously handsome) and sadly who, steeped in the consummation of (vast) sexual experience, seems will sacrifice the sublime pleasure of sensuality and tenderness and possibility of ever realizing true love makes me think of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s 19th century protagonist – where Dorian wistfully expresses, as the portrait capturing his perfect youth is complete, his willingness to sell his soul to ensure that the portrait would assume the corruption realised as he pursues heightened levels of debauchery yet remains ever youthful and perfect.

The libertine used to be solely concerned with the corruption of youthful, virginal, feminine flesh and then their riotous immorality transcended to include opium dens and debauchery encompassing both sexes in group orgies under Oscar Wilde’s pen – what concerns me, silencemakes me angrier than I have ever been about any politician, is the secrecy in which these documents have been drafted over the course of the last 7 years. I am repulsed by the arrogance that assumes that we, the citizens of the world, will simply bend over an take it doggie fashion while unknown C-level executives of multinational corporations do the same to Barack Obama to migrate even more wealth into the 1%. I don’t care where you live, and as I am blessed to have readers in 67 countries as of this date, but I beg you to cease being silent – contact your legislators at the federal level, join organised (peaceful) civil disobedience demonstrations, sign one of these petitions and get vocal on social media, NOW!

An open letter to my stalker!

Dear Stalker, aka Jerry G –

Your letter arrived at my home yesterday; it remains unopened.  I am not amused.

That you have found me is unsettling to say the least – but you would already know this, counted in fact on the disruption of my life by your action. So, clearly you have spent more money on hiring another private detective as all of my social media and marketing efforts purposefully do not disclose where I am – BECAUSE OF YOU!

What’s next – a flight to my city? Sitting in a car in front of my building waiting for me? Trying to figure out which windows are mine and peering in? Accosting me as I walk to the local grocery store to get milk or my post office to mail a letter?

Congratulations! You have been successful in making me feel just like an animal being tracked – it’s a hateful, uncomfortable, horrible place to be and equally, (from my perspective), a thoroughly evil and reprehensible thing to do to anyone.  What if someone was doing this to one of your daughters? or grandchildren? Does my expressing this help to shift how you see your actions toward me? You have put me in a place that is in total contrast to the energy that I normally put out in the universe – sometimes disruptive energy is a positive thing, this “thing” you have dumped on me is not.

There, you wanted my attention, acknowledgment of your existence – you have it! Loudly and publicly.

What is in the letter? Would your wife be okay with its’ content? The Deer Park, NY or my local police? Which of these should receive it, unopened and in a carrier envelope so that fingerprints can be taken from it and you can be prosecuted?

I have never given you any encouragement, hope or belief that our acquaintance would ever be romantic or extend beyond our last meeting in 1991.

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? What is that you want? Is my hurt, anger and loathing really what you were trying to accomplish?

Are you aware that in the United States an estimated 3.4 million persons identified themselves as victims of stalking – and these statistics are nearly eight years old! And you have been following me 22 years putting me in the category found in the second paragraph of the above hyperlink – thanks, so, much!

“Nearly 75 percent of victims knew their stalker in some capacity, and about one-tenth of all victims were stalked by a stranger. Stalking victims most often identified the stalker as a former intimate (22 percent) or a friend, roommate, or neighbor (16 percent).

Depending upon the severity of the stalking, victims suffered a range of emotions as they experienced stalking. The most common fears cited by victims were not knowing what would happen next (46 percent) and being afraid the behavior would never stop (29 percent). Nine percent of stalking victims reported that their worst fear was death.”

ENOUGH, this stops NOW! You have 48 hours to respond to this blog post via the comment section (which will remain private unless you do not agree to cease and desist thereafter, otherwise this post and the others referencing you and the letter will head to the police – choose your words carefully).


Related articles

YOU are NOT nice…

I had to sit on this post for a couple of weeks so it wasn’t so painful. I wanted to publish it to cleanse the karmic energy attached to it. I hope you find value in it – somehow.


Online dating offers few parallels for truly deplorable human behavior in our ‘normal, everyday, lives’. Bad men exist as many women can testify in having an encounter with a truly violent man in the course of their lives, but nothing seems to open the door to rude, depraved, vitriol as the accessibility of IM and messaging systems provided by dating sites.  To date I have had some truly remarkable (and wonderful encounters) with men with no more hidden agenda that what you might encounter in the real world. That expressed I have also met the purported “open relationship” seekers, the “hey, I am looking to push the boundaries of human sexuality because I was married and we never had sex”, the “I am bi-curious but want a threesome” and the “baby, I am far too busy f*cking around to consider anything but casual sex” types.  But perhaps the most loathsome of the men hiding in plain sight is the “I will do and say anything to get my Green Card”.  I recently had the (ahem) pleasure of meeting the latter.

It’s my own fault – really – I take full responsibility. In taking note that a man had visited my profile, with a very high compatibility match of 86%, and who, sadly, was based in Aleppo, Syria I acknowledged him.  There was something about the avatar of “notbadSyrian” and the conflict in Syria which has displaced millions and killed tens of thousands which made my heart ache. The politics involved are way over my head – why any leader of a country would kill his own people when they nearly all worship the same God and pray to the same Prophet makes no sense to me. Innocent people just trying to live from day to day amidst this carnage are shaking their heads at Western ‘powers’ on why intervention is not forthcoming even as none want to relive what their Iraqi neighbors have; the West seems to have its panties in a bunch over making a decision and the rest of us are hoping that when they do they will not actually screw things up any worse than they already are.

So I dropped him a single sentence message wishing him well on his search for love – who doesn’t still look to find love when life is so fragile?  In the West I suppose this is no big deal – and I assumed based upon how many pictures of him existed on his profile with friends in bar scenes in Ireland and elsewhere with multiple women cuddling with him that not only was he a nice guy but also one with decidedly Western leaning tendencies (even though every picture came with a disclaimer that he didn’t drink).  ANYONE, regardless of the politics involved, would rightfully offer compassion when during an IM conversation there had been abrupt ending based upon shooting (we are not talking about drive-by stuff which would be scary enough).  I asked that when he could to simply let me know he was okay. Somehow this was encouragement. For the next morning I woke to find a (modest, and appropriate) picture of him accompanying an email expressing his gratitude for my “warm emotions”.  The nuance of “warm emotions” was not the message I was conveying, so I sent him a note, which attempted to clarify that my concern for his well being was as a fellow member of the human race and not an expressed interest in exploring romance, and naïvely, went onto say that I didn’t fancy men in beards (which is plain as day on my profile for this site), and was keen on making my home in Sweden.  I received a subsequent email asking me to explain further, and I did.

The completely unedited email train followed in rapid succession all with a subject line of-

Re: Listen to me cheap old whore

On 7/19/2013 6:21 AM, fdweq wequy wrote:

I swear i am willing to get married to you even if you were 100 year old , i dream to live in Eruope or USA , no problem i can fuck you 10 or 15 time , till i get my benefits . Bye old whore

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:07 PM, fdweq wequy <> wrote:

I have many pictures in my profile , you just wanted to take this picture as a pretext to tell me that .  I swear i have no beard , it is just picture . I swear i did not ask you to be Muslim . I swear to you i did not ask you to stop to drink or eat pork or smoke or sleep with that couple again for threesome . You are the one whore who contacted me , lol , i beg you just look at your body and your face . Bye old prostitute

My only reply: On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM, Teresa Fritschi wrote: WOW, I so never expected to read such ugliness from a man who I had come to respect.

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM, fdweq wequy <> wrote:

Just look at your face whore , you are just a bridge to get benefits .Bye old

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM, fdweq wequy <> wrote:

prostitute , you contacted me because the match was 86 %

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM, fdweq wequy <> wrote:

Once more , just fuck off animal whore , i swear to you , you are not more than a bridge to eat good food and get clean clothes and get green card and build wealth , i know you hate Saddam and support war on Iraq . I spit on your face , how many year will you live ? 7 ? you will be 60 . 17 you will 70 Lol Bye old whore

Needless to say I wish I had not extended kindness, that I had his last name for the CIA, FBI and US Immigration and probably Interpol as well. When the shock waves settled I blocked him, reported him to the dating site, forwarded the email string to a friend of mine in California and to an amazing man, born someplace on the Arabian peninsula who lived for an extended period in a refugee camp in Gaza who I also met through the same dating site, with whom I was developing a fondness.

Mohammed’s reaction

Wtf?!?!! Who is this guy? Why is he such a low person?

My response:

I am sobbing Mohammed, I have never been called such things nor been told I was ugly or old, I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT BEING SINGLE and vulnerable like this. He’s a Syrian man from OKC (notbadsyrian) who I “level set” with that I wasn’t interested in pursuing anything romantic with – I have NO idea why he is such a low person I offered up prayers for his soul and then blocked him

Mohammed’s next email:

I’m really sorry and it’s just such ignorance, stupidity and lack of respect!

I put my arms around you and sending u healing energy.. You are a beautiful, sexy, mature and wonderful goddess.. Who cannot see that-still living in their darkness and have veils on their heart

And mine:

When I read the part about the Green Card and food — OH Mohammed — is this what desperation does to people caught in war zones? Turns them into the worst of humanity? That you came out of this with light in your heart and being is astonishing. Too much pain in me at this moment to physically feel your energy – but I appreciate it intellectually.

I took him the better part of the afternoon but through his Skype messages and the aforementioned emails he helped push my tears away, settle my hurt and get me back on track.  The point to all of this?  I don’t honestly know. It should be funny, but it isn’t.  It’s sad and not because I was insulted that was only hurt, outrage, and pride. It’s sad because of the human desperation and all the ugliness that comes about when people lose hope. For myself it has nothing to do with race or religion as any number of my very diverse friends can attest.  It’s sad that a military man – conveying strength and bravery – could write with such venom.  That despite what is clearly a loathing of America and (at least one of) its women, this 39 year old man living in Syria who wanted to live in the United States – to do what harm?  For the sake of my country I hope to God that never happens because he is a loose cannon and angry, hopeless people do crazy, desperate things.

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“Earned” media

Infamy at one time was loathsome to acquire.
Ludwig Tieck the Romantic Period German poet wrote:  “He is not dead who departs from life with high and noble fame; but he is dead, even while living, whose brow is branded with infamy.”
Even so, we should be reminded of 18th century William Hazlitt’s words: “There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion.”
The perpetuation of those alters for the sake of ill gained revenue is as dangerous as any act of terrorism. The Rolling Stone’s (marketing) choice of placing the image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover has unleashed a firestorm of commentary and some truly ugly vitriol and justifiable sadness.  ImageEVERY time terrible violence is committed and the media (any outlet) ‘covers’ it ad nauseum we give credibility to the action of violence, to destruction, to pain and suffering. If we want to live in a world devoid of such then we MUST err toward compassion, decency, love, and beauty. We need to fix the issues ON A GLOBAL BASIS which perpetuate mistrust, dissatisfaction, isolation, intolerance, hatred. Admittedly political agendas (and profit margins) do nothing to promote harmony but it would be lovely if all that we celebrate on a personal level manifest as something larger – a rightful claim for our world to be free of ‘bullies’ regardless of their monikers and geographic location. My girlfriend Mia, who recently moved to Boston, posted the following on her Facebook page this morning:

“Those who escape monsters must be careful not to become one.”

After Mia’s comment I sought out the original story, without purchasing the magazine so as not to endorse the Rolling Stone’s use of such a flattering image of ‘Jahar’.  My truth, after its reading; we still only know symptoms, that some of the Cambridge based friends included in the piece acted with remarkable naiveté in attempting to destroy evidence and now have their lives turned upside down as a result, and finally, shattered dreams bare heavy burdens and distort reality. I would offer that most of us have endured our own share of disappointment, anxiety and betrayal. Yet the coping mechanisms of reflection, physical exertion, and prayer or meditation which we take for granted are not warped under the influence of a more dominant (physically and emotionally) force such as Jahar’s brother whose own fractured life seems to have set this horrible scenario moving in the first place. Tajmerlán’s distorted view of his faith and disenfranchisement came on the heels of his parents’ failure to achieve the stability which America once so freely offered it immigrant citizens.  Certainly the story has journalistic merit but a different image (even from another article in the same issue) would have removed the aggrandizement of the act of terrorism.  Alas, that would have been in violation of every marketing principle ever written; it is the conflict of ethics and revenue which fosters my (momentary) return to my freshman journalism class at the State University College of New York at Buffalo. 

We have, at once, come so far from the manual (yes, not even electric!) typewriter which our professor insisted we use and lost so much since 1979. It is not that humanity has not always committed heinous crimes – we have. We have always been equal parts good and evil (yīnyáng, darkness and light) yet it seems to me that in our interest of presenting the full story we run the risk of inadvertently idealizing that which is abhorrent to our goodness – more domestic examples of terrorism such as Charles Manson, Adam Lanza, Timothy McVeigh, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris come to mind (as does 22 States having Stand Your Ground laws which allow other terrors to be realized). But it is the way these stories are told, the sheer volume of information and disinformation, lines blurred by the decisions of editors and publishers which impact what we see, how we might come to think and how we will act. Somehow in giving these (almost always) men their names and faces in our various media outlets continuous ‘play’ we perpetuate their crimes for others surely will continue emulate their actions. It is in a world dominated by but a handful of media conglomerates where the basic ethical principles of journalism find filter and Photoshop to ensure profit where we face our greatest enemy.  

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