The Rise of UKIP?

Here in the UK the UK Independence Party has massively increased the amount of seats they hold in the European Parliament. And it's not just been in the UK, all over Europe people have flocked to more extreme parties.

You can debate until world's end about why this is; and, it's probably more a whole host of reasons than just one. For me I feel it's a couple of key reasons. 
It's the fact that people have had years of financial issues and the economy has take a downturn which is taking a long time to sort out. 
A lot of people have come to blame this downturn on the European Union and believe that getting the hell out is the easy option to sort all of our problems. I'm not so sure. 
People voting in more extreme parties is a knee jerk reaction. The reason why so many ukip votes were gained is because people were dissatisfied with the EU that they made a conscious effort to vote this time. As opposed to those who feel ok with it all because they assume it's going to stay the same anyway. 
It's also part of the reason why I feel that the education systems need to up their game and educate kids about politics from a young age. Give them a chance to understand what is going on so that they at least have the knowledge to make an informed decision. 
It's why the EU needs to be more transparent  in their costs and benefits and different media outlets need to stop spinning figures. If we have one single figure - that is correct - we will be able to discuss the issue more thoroughly and better.  Thus why I also believe that a referendum at this point in time would be counter productive. Educate the population first, then ask questions. 
Just like you wouldn't ask a poultry farmer about how to grow the best tomatoes or how milk is best processed. Asking a nation without much of a clue about how the EU works if they want to go out is doing exactly that. They'll follow the most charismatic individual. In this case it has been Farrage, who is very talented in telling whoever he has as his audience what they want to hear. His own motivations? They're as of yet unclear to me. 

We need to build educated countries whose people are informed and educated, not scaremongered into making a decision which might harm their country more than they think. 

And ukip using the fact that we have to abide by the convention of human rights as a negative? Well that just makes me feel like we've stepped back in time quite a bit. 

Wake up people, they're not telling you the whole story. They're telling you the bits they want you to hear. They're politicians. That's what they get paid to do. So do your research and listen to all of the points before you make your mind up! 


Momentary Happiness

Just vaguely philosophical ramblings today I'm afraid.
I had a conversation with a good friend of mine who has been through a lot of pain, and I hate seeing him get hurt, and he declared that he deserved it - which he doesn't.
And so it got me started on a little ramble.

"The worst things often happen to the nicest people, who don't deserve it. Life is not, and will never be, fair. We just put up with it day by day and hope that we might see a little bit of happiness at some point. And then we die, and our children do the same, and so will their children. Until the world ends. Because that's the way the world works. And sometimes people have enough of it and end it before they naturally pass away.
And so those of us that don't cling on to little things like a pretty sunrise, or a starry night. Pleasant conversations and occasional laughter. Because in the end that's all there is, that's all we will ever have

- Momentary Happiness."



As I'm lying here in bed, ill and feeling sorry for myself (true manflu style) I'm watching films. As many of us do when we are ill. But the story I watched was not one of fiction or of typical american film standards. Although it has a happy ending, it is one which is real and is continuing and gives me hope.

Freedom Writers Diary

Three words you should all look up, buy the book, watch the film, read the stories. Because it's real, and that's amazing. It shows the great difference that even one person can make in society, and the insights which young kids can have into a very complicated world that even adults struggle to understand.
So before you judge someone on their race, background, religion, sexuality or anything else, have a look at this. Because these people aren't so different from you at all, and it is only when you see that, that you will become a better person.


Peaceful Syria?

sorry, it's been a while.


For 21 Months Syria has been in uprising, it has been fighting against itself and rebels and loyalists have gone head to head. UN says over 60,000 people have been killed - just imagine how many people have been hurt. And yet still the world isn't properly doing anything against it.

Assad has stepped up and has addressed the nation, still refusing to step down and to negotiate with those he calls 'rebels and terrorists', and is putting the blame on countries who have 'betrayed Syria'.
Many different countries have called for, and have backed, the idea of Assad stepping down, yet he is still refusing. Yet no real action has been taken by the international community, which AJE attributes to the fear of the Rebels unleashing sectarian revenge killings.

For an event which started happening in the Arab spring it is one which has been going on for the longest without any real decisive action happening on either side. It is apparent that Assad is most definitely a dictator who is refusing to relinquish any power, but it is also apparent that the international community is scared of interfering in case further events veer onto a course they cannot control, a course which will veer away from a pro-western community.

Yet Assad is also calling for peace within his country, how he is going to achieve this remains to be seen, however. In all likelihood his way will be one of aggression, fear, intimidation and military actions. So what is it going to take for the international community to step in?

This whole situation reminds me of an Eddie Izzard sketch where he talks about what he calls 'mass murdering fuckheads' (pardon the English). Where he comments on the fact that international communities tend not to interfere when dictators murder their own people, but only start acting when these nations start on their neighbours. 

So it will be an interesting one to watch as this continues to escalate into a greater and greater issue where more people keep killing each other. Me, personally, I don't think peace will come soon.


Olympic Madness

As the olympics further and are now nearing their closing stages, people will slowly have to return to the rest of the world. For a brief period everyone seems to have focused solely on the importance of individuals representing their countries,
In the olympics and in big sporting competitions rivalry and conflict between countries is seen as completely normal, necessary even, and encouraged.
Individuals carry the weight of whole countries on their shoulders and are representing the pride of a nation, shouted at by onlookers, both supportive and wishing for them to lose, to get a gold medal and make the people of their countries proud.
It seems strange that for a brief period millions of people all over the world feel awakened in them a sense of something so primal, so nationalistic, without even realising that really what they're feeling are similar feelings to all the conquerors of the past, the present and even the future. It's encouraged in everyone - people sit their children down in front of the TV; so they, too, can witness this tiny fragment of history and nationalistic pride.
Yet no one draws back to the real conflicts happening in the world, instead everyone chooses to escape, which brings the question - and just think about it - is it healthy?


Infinity vs Finiteness

Talking to someone very close to me I was told that they cannot cope with the ideas of finiteness vs infinity. The fact that something is either completely closed off with a beginning and an end or the idea that it is all open - there is no end to it, it's beyond space and time, freaks them out. Not only does it freak them out but causes them to hyperventilate and shut down.
To me this idea is astonishing, not only because so many questions in life are about mortality versus afterlife and how big space is, but also because I don't find either of those ideas worrying. To me, personally, I find it comforting to know that both sides could exist.

The idea of infinity is one that is as old as the thinkers; gods, afterlife, heaven, hell and even purgatory are all ideas of an eternal afterlife or, in case of the gods, eternal life. The idea that after we die there is somewhere without all earthly issues and worries is fantastic, eternal life in a way that we cannot even begin to fathom. We guess, we assume, but none of us really have a clue as to what would really be waiting for us on the other side. Personally I like to believe in the What Dreams May Come version of heaven, I think it's very beautiful and rather fantastic. If it exists, that is how I believe it would be, something personal, where you can be how and what you wish to be.
Personally I do not think a hell would truly exist if God was one that was truly benevolent, he would not be able to put his creations through such agony, surely. I do believe that purgatory exists, no fire, no joy just never-ending numbness.

However, if neither of those exist I don't have a problem with it. The idea that when we die we are completely done, finished, worm food is also something I find comforting. It gives me a feeling of satisfaction thinking about it that way, if we die we are dead. There is nothing left to worry about and there is no more of you. There is nothingness.
Certainly, it is strange to think about in a way that you will never again know that you have lived on this earth, you are in a way completely erased except for in the memories of the people still alive, in the stories they tell. Slowly all you will be, unless you were a mover or a shaker, is a name on a family tree - a distant relative long long ago. And that is satisfying. There is no wondering whether or not you will have to go through another life for all eternity, there is just the end.

Let me know your thoughts on this, I'd love to hear what you all think. Leave a comment or e-mail Isaab@live.nl


The True Meaning of Hip Hop?

The reason I have such an extreme love for hip hop is because the message that lies in true hip hop. This message is that of equality. Not west coast versus east coast but the message before that. The message that it does not matter who you are or where you are from - everybody is equal, everyone was created equally and that is all that truly matters.

It is something which speaks to me, I am the kind of person who has big issues with unfair and unjust treatment of people. It is something which I absolutely can not stand and something that makes me truly angry and even upset. I personally can not understand that people would treat other people in such a way that they are denied their human rights. Denied the freedom. That they are denied everything that they believe in just because one person does not agree with the ideas.

That denial of personal beliefs and the pushing of someone else's ideas onto other people is disgusting. That is the only way that I can describe my emotions. I know that, in a way, I am doing exactly that which I have just describe by writing this, and yet - at the same time - I am also doing the opposite. It's a paradox.

Without those we would not be able to live our lives the way we do. I believe that there is beauty in the paradoxes of the world - they are things we should treasure. But that is for another day.

For me one of the songs which brings this message of true hip hop across is 'The Show Must Go On' by none other than Lupe Fiasco.

"So, no matter what you been through, no matter what you into, no matter what you see when you look outside your window. Brown grass or green grass, picket fence or barbed wire, never ever put them down you just lift your arms higher. Lift them 'til your arms tired, let 'em know you're here. Struggling, surviving. That you gon' persevere."

Not only does that quote from the lyrics point out the importance of equality but also shows the importance of fighting for what you believe for. Everybody should have that right, and if you don't get it you should do something about that. Live in the spirit of Hip Hop.
Equality above anything else, and if it doesn't exist for you - make it.