Some of you may have heard of the Sanjana / Groundviews initiative that began last year inviting writers to submit stories of 25 words or less with a view to publishing a book of ‘Hint Fiction’. A labour of love for Sanjana and Perera Hussein Books, the book was launched on the 24th of January. You could read all about the launch here: http://groundviews.org/2013/12/10/launch-of-short-sweet-an-anthology-of-very-short-stories-on-sri-lanka/ 

We couldn’t make it due to unavoidable circs, but heard it was a ‘full-house’, with readings from the book by the Floating Space Theatre Company and apparently a good time was had by all.

Anyway, Java was convinced that we could come up with something that may make the grade and after a bunch of nagging, I finally agreed. And so we dashed off a few of what we thought may be considered, and lo and behold, a couple of our submissions were actually picked! One of Java’s and one of mine!! And since we haven’t been much on the active side for yonkers, as far as blogging is concerned, we thought this would be a good way to get back in – even if the spark does fizzle out – for soo many reasons.

So here are some of what we came up with:

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES

Sipping coffee at the Barefoot Cafe, she wondered if the corpse had been discovered. It wasn’t easy, but it was the best she could do.

 AS A LAST RESORT

The soldier was kind to her – not like the others at the Camp. But she knew she had to make an example of him.

QUANDARY

It was a crazy night of ‘anything goes’. Now showered and shaved, with egg-hoppers and curry for breakfast, he wondered how to move the body.

A SPIRITED CHOICE ‘TO LET’

Preserved historical Walauwe with all amenities. Excellent location in quiet surroundings, away from temple loudspeakers. Ideal for spiritualists.

STORMY WEATHER

Psychedelic! The pelting rain on the windscreen reflecting kadé neon lights, making visibility impossible. Then, shattered glass and a bleeding child lay on his lap.

STING

“Eat shit, you fucking journalist pig”, he screamed, apoplectic, blood-vessels distended. She turned off the recorder, punching the air with clenched fist. “Yes!”, she exclaimed.

GLOBAL WARMING?

Filming whales underwater off Weligama, Dan wondered why they all dived simultaneously. “Oh shit! Couldn’t be global-warming?” he thought, as the Great-White swam into view.

YOU DUNNIT?

Administering sedative – easy. Getting her up there and placing the noose – trickier. The verdict – suicide. So why did the Colpetty Police want him?

VAMP

Kuveni was everything he desired. As he drifted off, he knew it was special. They found him, blood oozing from twin perforations on his neck.

If you want to know which of them was selected for publication and also read some interesting stories, get your copy of ‘Short & Sweet’ – now available at the Barefoot Bookshop, for one, and also on-line.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

 

My attention was drawn yesterday to this: http://javajones.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/is-this-any-way-to-run-a-country/ posted in 2008.

It is interesting looking back as very little seems to have changed in four years, so the rut we were in has only established itself more solidly. The only major change (other than the cosmetic ) in the general scheme of things is that the war is over, and although promises were made and expectations were sky-high in the aftermath of victory, the folk to really benefit have been the usual suspects who are now so well entrenched in their positions of power that nothing seems to phase them.

I guess ‘que sera sera’ is one way of looking at the situation…

Got this in the mail this morning. It’s so hilarious that we had to share it – just as it was received.

Enjoy!

Can you imagine a nun sitting at her desk grading these papers, all the while trying to keep a straight face and maintain her composure?

Pay special attention to the wording and spelling. If you know the bible even a little, you’ll find this hilarious! It comes from a catholic elementary school test.



Kids were asked questions about the old and new testaments. The following 25 statements about the bible were written by children. They have not been retouched or corrected. Incorrect spelling has been left in.

1. in the first book of the bible, guinessis. god got tired of creating the world so he took the sabbath off. 


2. adam and eve were created from an apple tree. noah’s wife was joan of ark. noah built and ark and the animals came on in pears.

3. lots wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.



4. the jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic genitals.



5. sampson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a jezebel like delilah.

6. samson slayed the philistines with the axe of the apostles.



7. moses led the jews to the red sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients.



8. the egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. afterwards, moses went up to mount cyanide to get the ten commandments.

9. the first commandments was when eve told adam to eat the apple.



10. the seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

11. moses died before he ever reached canada then joshua led the hebrews in the battleof geritol.

12. the greatest miricle in the bible is when joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.



13. david was a hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar. he fought the finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in biblical times.



14. solomon, one of davids sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

15. when mary heard she was the mother of jesus, she sang the magna carta.

16. when the three wise guys from the east side arrived they found jesus in the manager.

17. jesus was born because mary had an immaculate contraption.



18. st. john the blacksmith dumped water on his head.

19. jesus enunciated the golden rule, which says to do unto others before they do one to you. He also explained a man doth not live by sweat alone.



20. it was a miricle when jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

21. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.



22. the epistels were the wives of the apostles.



23. one of the oppossums was st. matthew who was also a taximan.



24. st. paul cavorted to christianity, he preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marraige.



25. christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

We’re still laughing!

Some thoughts on the subject of ‘bisexuality’ arose from an exchange with a mate, which resulted from this  link l  sent him about what the article described as an “explosive new book”. In it were reports of numerous sexual encounters between Mick Jagger and a variety of partners that included David Bowie, Bette Midler and other well-known personalities. The link was sent to a few like-minded folk who are all into 60s and 70s rock ‘n roll and who would, no doubt, be interested in the goings on of our icons’ sexual exploits and other less known aspects of their lives.

The response I received from (let’s just call him) R, was that, as far as he was concerned, Jagger wasn’t gay and the reason he thought so was that if he was, at least one (if not more) of his partners would surely have, by now, sold the story for a reasonable amount of cash.

Most of us who are into the Stones are well aware of Jagger’s and Richards’ incredible body of work over the past fifty years, in addition to their exploits with mind-altering substances and sexual excapades, more recently described vividly in Keith Richards’ book ‘Life’. There have also been earlier reports of Jagger and Bowie ‘getting it on’, although these could best be described as rumours. In any event, neither Java nor yours truly were surprised or made any judgements on these actions, as our ‘morality-quotient-–  (for those of you who may be interested) would display.

Anyway, getting back to R’s assumption that Jagger couldn’t possibly be gay – I had to respond that for one thing, being ‘bisexual’ is not the same thing as being ‘gay’, and as far as we were concerned, we couldn’t care less either way!

Another response from a fellow-recipient (call him S) of the same link had this to say – “I’m sure that Bowie and Jagger both had sex with who ever they wanted – why wouldn’t they, both ultra sexy animals – and they got to choose the best too. Lucky buggers!”

We tend to agree with the latter, and Java made the observation that bisexuals had the advantage of having no hangups with regard to the sex of their chosen partners, and as a result were free from the baggage of discrimination – both in terms of value-judgements, as well as in their choices.

And as S astutely observed, “lucky buggers”!

It’s been a whole year since Java stimulated a post – mainly because we were having such a great time at Flowerbook that the desire to blog just wasn’t on. Then only this morning we get a link from Illuks that we felt just had to be put out there for those of us who are like-minded with regard to the absurdity of the illegality of Marijuana. We had posted two earlier pieces on the subject ( http://javajones.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/marijuana-%E2%80%93-the-possibilities-are-overwhelming/ and  http://javajones.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/does-the-war-on-drugs-make-any-sense-at-all/   ), but this link included most of what we had to say and, in addition, is so fucking hilarious we wanted to share it.

Here it is – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUWEqIxqxms – hope you enjoy it

The series of recent disastrous events around the world got Java into thinking about the Cosmic Law of Cause and Effect AKA Karma. The adage that ‘each and every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ is an accepted fact in the realm of Physical Science and Cosmologists through the ages have extrapolated this to apply to Cosmology. Religions also express this phenomenon in their own ways – ‘karma’ to the Hindus and Buddhists is Christianity’s “as you sow, so shall you reap”, or as Jesus is reported to have said, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – I guess he left out “or else”!

Anyway, getting back to the recent global ‘happenings’, we see that the Japanese are ‘reaping’ a whole slew of karmic effects and it didn’t take much for Java’s imagination to realize why. Java is conviced that although the tsunami was the wrath of the ocean caused, of course, by the tectonic-plate shifts off the coast of Japan, it was also due to Japanese Whaling policies. Anyone who has seen footage of Japanese slaughtering Whales, without considering pregnant females and/or babies and juveniles will know what we mean. The Japanese have also consistently refused to agree with all the policies of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), which was signed in Washington DC, on 2 December 1946 to “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry”. Japan is also #6 on the top ten polluting countries of the world. And now, with the debacle at their nuclear plants, one can only shudder to think of the consequences!

Getting back to some of the other happenings, particularly in the Middle-East, Java surmises that the accumulation of bad karma has finally reached bursting point and has erupted in the revolutions against the tyranny of those like Mubarak, Gaddafi and the others who have oppressed their countrymen for far too long. The ‘reaping’ of the harvest of what they have ‘sown’ has (as in the case of Mubarak) and will (in the case of Gaddafi) come to pass.

And so it goes – and will continue inexorably, as the law of the Cosmos will prevail over all. With this in mind, wise (or at least ‘savvy’) rulers will do well to pay attention, as what appears to be a rosy present could well turn out to be a nightmarish future – depending on the evil that they get up to when in power. Taking care of the environment is as important as taking care of everything else in a country and the flagrant abuse of anything will undoubtedly have ‘an equal and opposite effect’

Fair enough, huh?

If there’s one thing that Julian Asange and Wikileaks have injected into the awareness of folk in general around the world it is that the complacency of Big Brother with regard to the ‘culture of secrecy’ is no longer to be taken for granted.

I received a mail just this morning containing an article by Timothy Leary on the Culture of Secrecy by: Timothy Leary and Michael Horowitz, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed. Written in the early 70s, the views are startlingly apropos to what Asange and Wikileaks is all about. I’m sure that those of us who are for openness and honesty in government will appreciate Leary’s views on this subject, if not on his views on altering consciousness. So without more ado, here it is:
Timothy Leary on the Culture of Secrecy by: Timothy Leary and Michael Horowitz, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed Friday 07 January 2011

Largely because of his advocacy of psychedelic drugs, Tim Leary became a high-profile political prisoner whom Nixon called “the most dangerous man in America” (the same label Nixon used to describe Daniel Ellsberg). Leary was sentenced to ten years in prison for possession of .0025 grams of cannabis.

After escaping from prison in 1970, he became the object of an international manhunt. Finally captured in Afghanistan, he was kidnapped by the CIA – there was no extradition treaty between the two countries – and brought back to face four more years in prison, including long stretches in solitary confinement, before he was released in 1976. The following is an excerpt from a text he wrote in maximum-security Folsom Prison, California, in May 1973.
-Michael Horowitz

Secrecy is the original sin. The fig leaf in the Garden of Eden. The basic crime against love. The issue is fundamental. What a blessing that Watergate has been uncovered to teach us the primary lesson. The purpose of life is to receive, synthesize and transmit energy. Communication-fusion is the goal of life. Any star can tell you that. Communication is love. Secrecy, withholding the signal, hoarding, hiding, covering up the light is motivated by shame and fear, symptoms of the inability to love. Secrecy means that you think love is shameful and bad. Or that your nakedness is ugly. Or that you hide unloving, hostile feelings. Seeds of paranoia and distrust.

Before the FBI there were no secret police. Before World War II there was no CIA and America was much less concerned with secrecy. The hidden sickness has become lethally epidemic in the last forty years. They say primly: if you have done nothing wrong, you have no fear of being bugged. Exactly. But the logic goes both ways. Then all FBI files and CIA dossiers and White House conversations should be open to all. Let everything hang open. Let government be totally visible.

The last, the very last people to hide their actions should be the police and the government.We operate on the assumption that everyone knows everything, anyway. There is nothing and no way to hide. This is the acid message. We’re all on cosmic TV every moment. We all play starring roles in the galactic broadcast, This is Your Life. I remember the early days of neurological uncovering, desperately wondering where I could go to escape. Run home, hide under the bed, in the closet, in the bathroom? No way. The relentless camera “I” follows me everywhere. We can only keep secrets from ourselves.

None of the legal experts get the point of Watergate. The Special Prosecutor for the Watergate scandal chasing leaks from his own staff.

We recall the political scandals involving secrets. The heroic figures around whom Washington now revolves: Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo. Brave Russian dissenters uncovering the secrets that everyone knows about Soviet repression.

Now comes the electronic revolution. Bugging equipment effective at long distance. I laugh at government surveillance. Let the poor, deprived, bored creatures listen to our conversations, tape our laughter, study our transmissions. Maybe it will all turn them on.

Concealment is the seed-source of every human conflict. Let’s forget artificial secrets and concentrate on the mysteries.

Written in Folsom Prison, California, May 1973. Excerpted from the original version published in Neuropolitics, Starseed/Peace Press, 1977

WikiLeaks is probably the best thing that could have happened at the time it did – at least for those who value truth above bullshit. I mean like just about anyone who could get a glimpse of the mindset of George Bush knew that the whole ‘WMD’s in Iraq’ was a bunch of unadulterated crap – particularly if folk knew the background about Saddam, Bush Snr and Dubbya’s vow to get Saddam. Perhaps if WikiLeaks happened prior to the war in Iraq, Bush would have been too exposed to wreak the havoc that the USA did, and continues to do, in that country. And this is just the sort of exposé that could well have led to his impeachment. Unfortunately the WikiLeaks exposures that proved Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld lied through their teeth didn’t happen in time.

The heads of various governments and their supporters are adamant that ‘secrecy’ is crucial to their respective foreign policies, which also means that they think hoodwinking their citizens and the rest of the world is perfectly cool and acceptable. In other words, anything goes to further their interests – regardless of the consequences. What Julian Assange and WikiLeaks has done is to create a whole new scenario that enables you and me to have access to ‘sensitive’ material concerning global events, which is resulting in a scramble of the ‘secrecy police’ – not only to cover whatever tracks have not yet been discovered, but also to devise new means of transmitting ‘sensitive’ information.

But what if ‘secrecy’ concerning the foreign policies of countries disappears and ‘transparency’ becomes the order of the day? Would that be feasible, or even desirable? For sure this would do away with a whole slew of ‘clandestine operations’ that go completely against the professed promises that enabled heads of states to have been voted into power in the first place. Plots to assassinate important individuals to further the ‘foreign policies’ of certain countries would no longer be possible and bogus reasons for waging wars would not stand the test of the people.

There is also the matter of governments spying on their citizens for myriad reasons – not all of them for reasons of law-enforcement or to prevent civil-disobedience or for other reasons that have their citizens’ interests at heart – a matter of ‘Big Brother’ as foretold by George Orwell. So then what’s the big deal about the people ‘watching’ Big Brother? Isn’t this the right of citizens that voted their leaders into power based on their professed policies and promises?

In the end it appears to be a matter of a desire for ‘power’ that spurs nations on to secretly connive with each other that results in massive suffering and destruction. So would doing away with ‘secrecy’ and ushering in a civilization based on transparency and truth be beneficial to the human race? If so, and it does come to pass (unlikely though it may be) Julian Assange is surely a super-hero – even though the power-brokers disagree and together with the ultra-right-wingers (Sara Palin for one) want him terminated ASAP.

For those of you who have had the misfortune to experience a day (or worse, several days) in a Magistrate’s Courtroom here in Sri Lanka this may not come as a surprise, but for those who haven’t…well, I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy.

For starters, we have all read, or have been told of the horrendous backlog of cases in various courts all over the country and the wishful thinking of our incredibly intelligent politicians that these will soon be reduced. However, it isn’t surprising that instead of the backlog being reduced, it appears to be increasing – exponentially – and no wonder!

I had been summoned as a witness for the defense in a criminal case that involved my ex-employer and an employee, and was told by the defence attorney that it was only to verify my signature on a memorandum (concerning the defendant) that I had addressed to my assistants. Okay, so ‘no worries’ was how Java responded, although we knew full well the reputation of our judicial system and the time and convolutions that would probably be involved. The case had been dragging on since the charges were first filed in 2007! My first appearance in court was in July this year and (par for the course) was postponed for a few weeks later. I sent them a medical certificate issued by a friendly Physician – and just as well, as this date was also postponed. The next dates were for October 11th, 12th and 13th and I (along with a few fellow ex-coworkers) we were told to report at 9am.

I’m guessing that the scene at this Magistrates Court must be pretty much how it is at most (if not all) courtrooms across the country. The premises are heavily guarded by armed Police and some Army personnel and no one is allowed into the premises (so everyone is on the road outside) until the clock strikes 9, at which time it’s like the floodgates open and everyone waiting to enter pushes and shoves their way into the premises – but not inside the courtroom. No – not without further bullshit. Once the veranda has been conquered, more armed guards separate the genders into two lines for security checks. No telephones are allowed and I was asked to remove my silver bracelets and ear-ring. Wallets are also checked – don’t ask why! And then, very slowly, everyone gets inside and tries to find a seat on some wooden benches which have a hard time accommodating ample posteriors – and for those with long legs, well there is hardly any space between the benches, so that one’s knees will be prodding someone’s protruding buttocks for the next few hours. The heat is stifling and the rusting ancient fans revolving slowly do little to help. By now it is close to 10am and everyone’s awaiting the arrival of the Magistrate (ours was a dumpy, unattractive, middle-aged toughie) who arrived at 10.25am, duly announced by some guy in a red coat while everyone jumped up and bowed!

To make a long and dreary story shorter, a few defendants got into the dock and sure enough, for some reason or the other, their respective cases were postponed. We waited, listening to the slew of postponements until around 1.30pm, at which time we were told to return the next day. We showed up as ordered and it was a repeat performance, but now that we were ‘old hands’ at the game, we didn’t show up until 9.45am. This time the case was postponed again for the 19th – yesterday.

Getting in was much the same routine, except this time we had to take our shoes off and a cop shook them as if expecting something to be stashed inside! Again it was the same trip, but one case was actually heard (the crime occurred 20 years ago – and I ain’t shitting you!!!) and the cross-examining by the defendant’s attorney was so long-drawn and irrelevant, even the Magistrate had to intervene several times and set him straight. By now it was a few minutes past 2pm and Java was mouthing cuss-words silently and wishing there would be a fire at night that would decimate everything around. The next case to be called was the one that I would have to give evidence (or confirm that it was indeed my signature on the memorandum), however, as it was probably lunchtime for the esteemed Magistrate, the case was postponed again for the 21st – tomorrow!

A few questions occurred to Java whilst we were stewing in our frustration inside the courtroom and we mulled over them on the way back home. If indeed it is such a problem for the judicial system to cope with the backlog of cases, here are a few suggestions for the powers that be to consider:

1 – Wouldn’t it be a good idea to get the magistrates off their asses and get them to work by 9am? And why not go on until 4pm, like most other state employees do?
2 – Why arrest folk for ‘victimless crimes’ such as smoking a joint or make traffic violations a court-room experience, adding to the congestion of pending cases? Surely a ‘fining’ system could be established to process these misdemeanours speedily and without wasting state funds?
3 – Process cases as soon as possible without the usual indeterminate postponements (or do the lawyers encourage this to boost their ‘daily appearance’ fees?)
4- Call for only a certain number of cases each day instead of inconveniencing so many folk (many of them having to make the trip to Colombo from the outstations) by scheduling what is obviously an impossible number of cases to be heard each day.

I’m sure there are many other ways to ease congestion of the courtrooms around the country and inconvenience a lot less folk in the process, so what is the problem here? Or does anybody really give a shit????

Anyway, we have to make the journey again tomorrow and hope like hell for the best!

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