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So i'm procrastinating right now - though I'm not crunched for time either, so not too bad.

I'm sitting in my guest house in Ramallah, Palestine right now.
Coming here and having even just a few intense experiences already has really opened my eyes up. I'm getting pretty excited to grow up, get more education, do something with myself, make my voice heard.

I know a lot of my friends aren't in to politics, but one of the reasons I've become invested in it is that there are so many injustices happening around the world today and so many people who only do things for self benefit. Even though I really dislike the nation-state because it is a deep source of racism and a "reason" to think another human being's life is less valuable or meaningful, men and women have set up governments so that those selfish individuals are prevented taking advantage of innocent people and that those who break the rules any given society has deemed inappropriate and or unacceptable are reprimanded by what we call justice.

Policy is what controls our daily lives and if you don't stand up for what you believe in and say something about it, no one "who matters" will ever know you thought what you did. Those who are in power get to have their fair share of input, when does your input come, on election day? Hardly. We have a limited government and when what your government does you find unsatisfactory, it is your duty to right that wrong.

Something I hope to do when I get older is to be able to write, intelligently and articulately, so that I can have a chance of having my thoughts read by innumerable people. I don't know exactly what I want to do, dabble into journalism, be an author, or just teach, but I'm sure that I will find a way to progress my career in a manner such that I'm noticed because I stand out.

Change, not always negative, is necessarily thought of as radical; I hope to take advantage of this perspective in so tactful a way that I'm not thought of crazy when I finally get my voice out to the crowds, but rather as constructively critical.

I believe that the only way a society can progress is by criticizing what it takes for granted. More people need to realize that the media they follow, be it liberal or conservative, does not represent reality as it is. It represents reality as it wants you to think it is. So I ask you to open your eyes.

...Anyway, I would encourage anyone who reads this to strive to have their voice heard, because if you believe in democracy, you believe in representation. So go represent yourself! If not now, wait till you graduate from college or something - but do it!
01 July 2008 @ 04:41 pm

a nurf war in an office. pretty cool. kinda funny.
29 June 2008 @ 08:22 pm
So I may have written about this before, but it came to mind again.

A couple of months ago Daft Punk came out with a single called "Dance in France," on my iTouch I bought the song and the other song on the single whose name I currently cannot remember. A couple weeks later the song was gone from my iTouch. I tried looking for bought songs and there was no trace. I tried looking on iTunes again for the song - no trace.

Today I was talking with my friends here in Ramallah about Daft Punk and the memory of this song came up. I looked up Daft Punk on Wikipedia and the single on google - No trace of the song or the single.

I'm not crazy. Has anyone else heard the song? Know where to get it?
Current Location: Ramallah, Palestine
16 June 2008 @ 08:57 pm
"Sales of News Cars in Europe Hurting"

omg. So, i was reading about the drop in sales in Europe of cars and read this

"A Japanese company has unveiled its eco-friendly car that runs on water, any kind of water, using the company’s generating system which converts water into electrical power.

Kiroshi Hirashawa, head of the company GENEPAX said: “The main characteristic of this car is it will continue to run as long as you have a bottle of water inside for you to ad from time to time.”

According to the Japanese company, one litre of water keeps the car running for about an hour at a speed of 80 kilometers an hour."

14 June 2008 @ 10:29 am
Israel Lobby Watch,
"Pledging Allegience to AIPAC"

" 'We should privatize the sanctions against Iran by launching a worldwide divestment campaign,' said Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for the presidency, in a speech to the AIPAC conference.[my emphasis]

'Years ago, the moral clarity and conviction of civilized nations came together in a divestment campaign against South Africa helping to rid that nation of the evil of apartheid,' he said, without a trace of irony."[my emphasis].
13 June 2008 @ 10:34 am

Norway is our next ally in the recognition of equal rights for CIVIL marriage.

"Khamenei does not seek these negotiations because he desires U.S.-Iran relations, but rather he seeks them more out of necessity. Iran's economy is fragile: It suffers from the highest rate of inflation in the Middle East and a lack of foreign investment. It is stymied by the threat of an American attack, and increasing pressure from Arab countries concerned about Iran's growing regional power. Iranians cannot count on their Arab playing cards (Hamas, Hezbollah and Iraqi militia groups) forever. Iran's Shiite allies in the Middle East identify themselves as Arabs (rivals of the Persian Iranians) first, and then as Shiites, indicating that their support of Iran will only be lukewarm. In order to overcome these domestic and regional obstacles, Iran must end the no-peace-no-war situation with the United States. Otherwise, the consequences could be disastrous.
Obama's willingness to open talks with Iran suggests that he, unlike McCain, recognizes this reality - and that his foreign policy approach is far from naïve. By opening a dialogue with Khamenei, the next U.S. president could seriously undermine general international perceptions of Ahmadinejad's power, while bringing Iran and the United States closer to reconciliation."
30 May 2008 @ 03:59 pm
So, last week I was staying in El-Jeeb, my friend's uncle lives there, it's a little country side region. It's close to Ramallah, which is where the Palestinian Authority is based, and close to Bir Zeit University, the best known Palestinian university. In order to get to El Jeeb, you first fly into Tel Aviv, take a taxi to Jerusalem, then take another taxi to Ramallah, but you have to go through a check point, however my experience was that nothing was checked to get into the West Bank. You eventually reach Ramallah. After getting off there you have to take another taxi, and you have to either drive yourself or take a taxi, no walking, to El Jeeb, because there is a check point there. But the security part is only for going toward El Jeeb, Bir Nabaalaa and one other Palestinian village, I can't recall the name. When you come back toward Ramallah, which is how you would have to go if you wanted to go to Israel, they just have this cement block on the road so that you have to slow down, pull over the side of the road and drive around it, but no one checking you, your car, your belongings or anything.

How is this for Israel's security?
Current Location: Ramallah, El Jeeb
This Saturday, the 53rd Eurovision Song contest will be held in Serbia.

For all of you who are not familiar with Eurovision, it is this contest which began with European countries, but now has spread to several countries of North Africa and the Near East such as Morocco and Israel. Each country has a contest similar to our American Idle, but that's not where it ends. The winners of those contests represent their country and then they all compete together among all the competing nations and then people can vote for any representative except for the one who represents the voter's country.

I think it is a pretty cleaver idea, especially the whole not being able to vote for your representative, which creates a means for people to think about other countries in a positive light, well perhaps just not in a negative light. Cooperation. Anyway, this has been going on for 53 years now, unlike our American Idle, so I'm sure several people are people jaded. What has become common among contestants is to sing songs that include lyrics in several languages to appeal to diverse audience and or lyrics in English, because then everyone (well nearly, for their purposes) can understand the song. Also, they try to be catchy, because the contest doesn't go on for that long, and as we all know catchy often are LOVED instantly and then kind of die out, well because we just listened to it too much.

I was looking on youtube to get a couple sound bites of some songs for this year which I hadn't till today thought about and when I was watching the video for Germany's entry, a song in Spanish called La Histería, I looked at some of the comments that were made:

"Their spanish is terrible. And all lyrics are totally terrible. Almost all lyrics are the same. And the songs are the same too. La histeria and vayamos compañeros are almost the same. But ok, some people like it. There's no accounting for taste."

and "why does ukraine sing in english if the are from ukraine[?] like wise (sic) for half of them [the song contestants]"

So first off, I kind of get annoyed when people are always complaining about how foreigners don't sing well in their language... Yeah you're right. they should have never tried in the first place. Well maybe when the youtube user said the spanish is horrible, he meant the lyrics, like you wouldn't necessarily use the same terms or phrases so it sounds like someone who is clearly not from a spanish speaking culture.
And the asking why they sing in english? It's not like if you don't sing in your country's official language you're not being patriotic. I think the contest has a clear intent and when you can understand the lyrics to songs, you have a different perception of that song. This must be uncontested. Whether it's a better impression or worse, it's different. You have more to judge, like the message of the songs or the choice or words.

People sing in English because, low and behold, English is an international language that nearly every country in the world, not just in Europe, teaches its population as a second or foreign language. This way, people have the chance of not just liking the beat to a song, but the lyrics as well. I kind of feel like this shouldn't be too difficult to infer.

And the complaining about the quality of the music. I'm going to put this out there, assuming that many people agree with me. The songs put out through Eurovision more often than not are really trashy but catchy songs. The entire contest is for fun and I don't think anyway thinks of it anywhere near parallel to what we think of our American Idle. The songs often are not serious and are really goofy and have weird voices in them or weird themes. Popular music is often criticized by the masses and I think it's time to accept that some people like catchy music. And catchy music is going to be repetitive and often people are going to think it's not creative or of a quality nature.

To all you music snobs out there, at least if you want to criticize music, just don't do Eurovision songs. Criticize music that comes out in actual attempts to gain legitimacy and wide spread listenership based on qualities like singing voice, lyrical creativity, etc.

For all of us out there who like a good laugh, we can continue listening to Eurovision.
Current Music: Marquess, La Histería
22 May 2008 @ 07:19 pm
So i have 15 mosquito bites on my left arm. THAT'S ONLY MY LEFT ARM. I have bites on both my feet, my right arm, and my neck/shoulders region and my FACE. i'm not even gonna bother counting. This is so much torture, I haven't had to deal with this in so long.