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The responses to ‘For the Gayness’ on kottu and the aspects debated have been interesting and even amusing, considering the diversity of the elements stemming from the topic, as well as in the ardour of the respondents. Genetics versus environmental conditioning, morality, norms, reparative therapy, ‘us’ and ‘them’, pedophilia, bestiality, (even Koko the gorilla made an appearance), are some of the aspects that have been trashed out, with Indi in stalwart defence of his position that “homosexuality is natural and normal, and science is proving that more and more”.

Both Java and I have many gay folk we count among our close friends. Some of them are open about their sexual preferences and don’t particularly care who knows about their sexual orientation, considering it to be none of anybody else’s business. Some of them prefer to keep their ‘gayness’ to themselves and to the coterie of those in their ‘inner-circle’ of friends and (maybe) family. We are also aware of friends who we suspect are actually gay but who are not willing to step out of what is euphemistically referred to as the ‘closet’. We also see that our gay friends are as ‘normal’ as our ‘straight’ (let’s get the terminology established here) friends are ‘normal’. That is to say, some of them are ‘campier’ than others (for a variety of reasons), some ‘play the game’ in public so that ‘identification’ isn’t apparent, some are just being themselves without any attempt to either attract attention or to deflect it. They have many of the attributes our straight friends have – humour, creativity, appreciation of art, music, theatre, some are into sports and some are not, some are vegetarian whilst others love their meat (sorry about that!), some love to be out in nature, some are city-folk and prefer the rush of the metropolis, but in the end all our friends, both gay and straight, are pretty decent folk. Of course we share many of the same values – hence the friendships, but in the end we find no ‘difference’ in their make up – except of course for their sexual preference and orientation. So the question in our minds is, “what’s the big deal?”

Remember dat cat dat brought up da queschun of gay couples raisin chilren, maaan? Seems to Java dat dere be sooo many fucked up kids bein brought up by straight couples dat dis issue too be pretty much of da same sheeet. Da difference be dat da ‘modder’ figure will be male and da ‘farder’ figure be female – an dis be somting dat more research could shed light on in da long term, but as society be right now, we be seein sooo many modders an farders we tink be not fit to raise kids dat it seem to be possible dat in som instances some gay couple jus could be better dan some straight couples in raisin chilren. Who be we to judge dis on individual cases if we don know all da nitty gritty sheeet bout dem?

Granted. Some of the twisted individuals that we see around us in society today – and we don’t need to look too far, have been brought up by their hetero-sexual parents – hardly a commendation on their methods or their sexual orientation. So what could be so ‘out of line’ with two men or two women who really want children and who are willing to go through all the strictures set up by their respective societies to attain their ambition with regard to raising a family? For sure, many of them may prove to be unfit for this major responsibility, but again, many of the straight couples have also proved to be totally unfit to raise children. However, they are able to do as they please in this respect. So who is to judge? And by what or whose value system? Many of the primitive laws denying the rights of individuals to have sexual relations with members of their own sex have been thrown out by the societies that have a more democratic and enlightened perspective of the freedom of the individual. Unfortunately for us in Sri Lanka, the hypocrisy is such that these outdated laws set up by the British and their Victorian ethical values of the period (that’s a whole other can of worms that deserves a separate discussion!) are still in force and although not strictly enforced, could be used to harass and incarcerate.

Dats right on maaan. We be talkin recently bout dose extreme mahfuhs an also dose on da fringe dat will pull out dere pet peeve to vent dere venom on – an it don matter if it be to do wit religion, etnicity, color, sexshual preference or any odder sheeet dey have in dere little minds – dey will find it in demselves to state dere case wit all da venom dey could summon up. Remember what yo be sayin bout dose extremists? All dat macho postchurin an puttin down what dey state is an ‘aberrashun’ might jus be a front to deny da latent urge dey have widin themselves. Hear where I be commin from maaan?

Whatever the opinions we may have on issues like this, it does appear that in the end it all boils down to a question of values.So why not ‘live and let live’ and allow freedom to prevail – just as long as we respect each other’s space and each other’s individuality? And, as far as Java and I are concerned, to hell with the repressive assholes who deny the freedom of individuals to choose a lifestyle that they consider suitable for themselves.

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“Till death do us part” – this phrase, a part of the marriage ritual of Christians, is taken very seriously by many of those repeating the ‘holy vows of matrimony’ recited by the priest conducting the ceremony. As time goes on however, if and when familiarity breeds a ‘taken for granted’ attitude by one or both individuals involved in the relationship, which in turn develops into a more unstable and volatile one, the phrase could be taken less seriously as one or both partners consider the options. The real ‘die-hards’ however do tend to stick it out through thick and thin, regardless of the mental and / or physical strain they undergo. This is particularly significant in cases of abuse and assault, where is spite of being the victims of brutal physical attacks, women find themselves unable or unwilling to sever the relationship. Why this is, is an interesting phenomenon which probably doesn’t have a standard explanation due to the distinctive differences of the individual situation.

Heeey, but why yo only refer to women bein abused maaan? How bout dem dominant broads dat give dere men more sheet dan dey can take? Some even beat up on dese dudes.

Java has a point. However, it is reported that although there are cases of wives who assault husbands, by and large spouse abuse happens because men batter their wives and get away with it. Comparative studies indicate that among humans, the dangerous violators are overwhelmingly male. Males outnumber females as murderers, assaulters, sexual abusers and every other category of violent criminal action. Males use deadly weapons for sport, for war, for personal gain far more frequently than do females. The mammalian brain has sex-linked differences associating aggression and male gender and more recent studies show the male hormone, testosterone, to be implicated in violent behavior. However, as Java mentioned, wives have also been known to abuse and assault their spouses,  and I’m guessing that the best known case could be that of the most famous physicist around today – Stephen Hawking. An extract of a report is succinct in its description:

In 2000, detectives launched an inquiry after Prof Hawking made a number of visits to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, suffering from cuts and bruises, and another inquiry was opened in 2003 after his daughter Lucy rang police. Prof Hawking declined to explain how his injuries had come about. A number of his former nurses, however, were in no doubt. They alleged that over the years his wife inflicted a catalogue of injuries on the vulnerable scientist: fractured his wrist by slamming it on to his wheelchair; humiliated him by refusing him access to a urine bottle, leaving him to wet himself; gashed his cheek with a razor, allowed him to slip beneath the water while in the bath, ensuring water entered the tracheotomy site in his throat; and left him alone in his garden during the hottest day of the year so long that he suffered heatstroke and severe sunburn. It is these allegations that police investigated. But a woman who worked for him at Cambridge University says the “unexplained injuries” began “many years before” the police became involved. “He used to regularly come in with bruises and cuts,” said the source.

See? Jus what I bin sayin – som of dem broads could be jus as baad-assed as us som of us dudes when it com to dis sheet. But Java hear from where you be comin maan an it shurre seems like dudes be da greater violaters huh?

Investigating the reasons for spouse abuse would entail a long and tedious study that would include historic socio-cultural and anthropological patterns that would include horrendous violations (by our present norms and values) of women’s rights. Women have been bought, sold and bartered, ritually branded and mutilated, denied education, land ownership, means of travel, and are not yet full partners in owning and controlling the major institutions of this world. In the political context, women are engaged in the long march from slavery and are still relatively eclipsed in the shadow of masculine dominance. When parity in power is sought, too often the seeker is punished and in a ‘domestic’ situation the punishment may be swift, explosive and brutal.

But getting back to the question of “till death do us part” and if it does play a role in the reason for a battered wife to remain with her abuser husband, the answer is very likely to be “no”. For one thing many of the battered wives are not Christian and so have no obligation to these vows.

You know maaan, I bin seein dis movie where dis chick get beaten up so bad by her maan dat her face be disfigured, her bones be broke, she lose her unborn child an still she remain wit dis mahfuh dat might beat her till she be dead. She not be able to leave cos she aint got no place to go, no cash, her chilren need her, she fraid of da cops, dose socshul workers try to take her chilren from her, da mahfuh treaten to kill her if she go. She aint got no freedom and she still get beaten ever time he feel like it. Shheeet! An dis sheet happen too often in real life too.

There are other reasons as well. For some the shame is too much to bear. To heal in private, behind the dark glasses and closed doors is much preferred than to be seen. Very often physical pain is more bearable than shame. And shame is deeper than embarrassment – it is mortification, humiliation, dehumanization and is dependent on others’ views. So the solution for some would be to avoid the eyes, avoid the shame, stay home – and endure. There would also be the ones that have the very slim hope that better times are around the corner and that the cycle of tension, violence and abuse will eventually cease. This fragile string of hope is also a ‘reason’ for enduring the suffering.

Yo tink love have any part to play in dis kinda relashunship maaan? Ah mean, dere mus have bin some love involvement when dey start off bin married, right?

Right. Studies indicate that in some instances a battered wife may love her spouse due to conditions in childhood that ‘taught’ her to love an abusive parent, or to equate love with the intimate enduring dependence on one who provides, but who also hits and hurts. Or, a battered wife may love her spouse because relief from punishment is so rewarding that she has learned to savor this feeling while denying the pain of physical abuse. Or, she may love qualities that are lovable and suppress any outrage in response to behavior that is cruel. Love, as we are probably all well aware of is notoriously irrational, complex and paradoxical.

Dere’s mo sheet on dis subject maaan., but I tink we should now give it a break and let dese folk go dere way. Dis post be getting to be on da borin side – fo me, anyways.

Anyway, it’s something to think about – and also to do something about if you know of someone that may need help but finds it hard to get. Counseling is recommended, but the problem in society will remain. Unfortunate but true

The Cherry Lady (aka Cher) wasn’t happy. In fact she was rather peeved at the cleric and his ‘holier than thou’ attitude in response to her request to help the children with their personal problems. Being an qualified child-psychologist and having had extensive experience with ghetto kids in South Los Angeles (among other cities around the world), Cher felt that she would be able to provide a real service to the children in the run-down establishment passing for an orphanage run by a ‘religious’ organization. Her teacher friend at the school the children attended had told her how neglected the children appeared to be and how they were frequently in trouble over disciplinary issues at school, how they didn’t seem able to ‘fit’ with their peers and wondered how this would affect them as they grew older. It was this that prompted Cher to try helping the kids out.

The cleric first questioned her qualifications. Next he asked about her ‘motive’ and then gave the impression that he didn’t believe her when she responded that she found a great deal of satisfaction helping children to get over their problems with negativity and its effects on their collective psyche. He then started an intensive interrogation regarding her personal life. Where was she from? Where did she live at present? Was she ever married? What did she expect from the orphanage? Why did she care? Cher was trying hard to practice all the techniques she knew about how to retain her cool and win over this revolting man with his musty smelling robe and his halitosis, when Java, tired of waiting for her in her car, arrived on the scene.

Heey there Cherry baby, waaas bin keepin yo so long?

The cleric paused in mid-sentence to give Java a bewildered look, wondering how this apparition with its dread-locks, red eyes and spaced-out demeanour manifested, seemingly out of nowhere. Cher was certain that this would be the last straw in what she considered to be her (Java-caused) aborted attempt at social service and was prepared to call it a day after giving the smelly cleric a good piece of her very active mind.

Saaay man, wasssup
? Java to the cleric.

The cleric is dismayed – not entirely sure if this is a spectre that has come to haunt him or if this is some hit-man friend of Cher that has arrived to apply pressure. A trace of what could be passed off as a ‘smile’ accompanied his reply.

Nooo, nothing special you know. I am trying to find out from this kind lady why and how she will help these children. You know, no? Can’t be too careful these days – all kinds of bad people are coming here to use the children. They are trying to get them for servants and for other purposes also. You know, no? Only yesterday the big boss from the Ministry came and wanted two girls for his mother’s aunt, saying that they will be living like princesses there. So what to do? I am giving him and telling the others that they have gone to their aunty’s house to live. What to do? So little money to do this coming from our people, how can I do this? Here, come inside and see will you.

And as he leads them into the dingy interior Cher knows from where the musty smell originated. Java finds it hard to bear as well and stifles a gag. The children peer curiously at them through the gloom, some of them smiling at Cher and most of them intrigued at Java’s appearance. The cleric walks them through the hall and into the rear of the building where the kitchen is situated. Cher is appalled at the unhygenic conditions. Roaches scuttle out of the way as they walk in to see an old crone at the hearth, stirring a large pot of something. Java flashes back to a Disneyesque witch, wart on hooked nose and all. The smell is less than appetising and Cher turns to leave – she’s had enough. And as she turns she sees the little faces of the children peering around the door frame and her heart melts.

As they return to the front of the building, the cleric is less confrontational and asks Cher when she could begin with the children. The Cherry Lady wasn’t expecting this and was very happy to finally get the hell out of the place, but the faces of the children were etched in her memory.

I’ll start tomorrow, she said.

Much has been written and discussed about the role that the ‘Karuna Faction’ plays in the GOSL’s strategy vis a vis the LTTE and of late, the actions of this group have been subject to closer scrutiny and critical evaluation. The latest of these is the report of the former Canadian cabinet minister and ex-ambassador to the UN, Allan Rock, who was recently appointed special adviser on Sri Lanka to Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the UN with regard to the role of children in armed conflict. This report was equally critical of the LTTE and the TMVP aka the ‘Karuna Faction’, for their forcible recruitment of children – and the GOSL for its complicity in aiding and abetting the TMVP in this regard. The resulting feedback to this report has not been surprising. The state controlled media has, in typical and predictable fashion, stressed on the parts of the report that focused on the LTTE’s violations and at first, chose not to refer to the alleged role of the GOSL in aiding the TMVP in their crimes (they have since taken the position of the ‘unjustly aggrieved’ and are hinting at an ‘attack is the best form of defence’ approach). In similar mode, the LTTE has done much of the same – highlighting the GOSL’s role with the TMVP whilst ignoring their well known abuses regarding children – among a host of other atrocities. Contributors to kottu follow suit with their pro and con attitudes – and the band plays on!

Heeey maaan, know what? Remember when we be in da east coast las week? I bin talkin wit da Sheriff an he tell me how dose Karuna boys be abductin young guys from Fusi’s crew dat be workin on dose tsunami houses – dey be losin eight crew up to dat time. Den Gillis, who bin visitin his place out dere on da point tell me how da Karuna guys be extortin cash from da Tamil folk in town. An dey do dis in broad daylight, Gillis say. An what Java hear from mos all da folk he meet is dat dese guys aint scared as da STF boys be providin protecshun an not preventin dem from doin dis sheeet. An Fusi an da Sheriff, dey bot tell me dat dey never bin boddered by dem Tigers for dese two years as dey bin workin on tsunami houses for da people of da village. So dey be shure dat Karuna be getting help, or dat dere crime be ‘overlooked’ by da security forces. Waas dat word dey use? Help me out here maaan – yeah, ‘impunity’ – dats da word to describe dese mahfuhs attitude, right?

Java’s right. During the past two years we have made frequent and regular trips to the east and the uncertainty that prevails presently was never felt during that time. And this third force – the ‘K Factor’ has compounded the volatility, which appears to be increasing exponentially.

Lisssenup maan, dis sheet happen cos da government let it get outta control. Remember when da divorce happen? All da people tink dat Karuna leaving da Supremo be da bes ting dat happen to da country and wit his help dere would be a chance to defeat da weaker Tigers. So da forces be aidin an abettin dese guys an now dey findin it hard to control dem – like a Frankenstein – know where I’m comin from? An now da whole shituashun be jus dat – shitty, an getting worse in a hurry! Now da government be involved ‘by sosciashun’ wit dese assholes, in child abuse, kidnappin, extorshun, abducshuns, murder and more sheeet. An who will believe dat da powers dat be don know waas bin happenin, why an how? If dey don know, den dey don deserve to be in charge and if dey do, den dey be in complicity and in deeep sheeet, cos if dey don stop dis an tings don improve, we be headin for sancshuns – like Somalia, Congo, Burundi an da Ivory Coast. See how low we be getting maaan?

Java’s right – again! Complicity in criminal activities, in this case human rights abuses (and possibly war crimes), is punishable by international law by conventions to which Sri Lanka is a signatory. And if the boss is ignorant of how the staff works, the question that begs the answer is ……………you know what it is! And if the boss does know what’s going on (and there’s little reason for doubt here) he is as guilty as the perpetrators – by the law that applies. So where does that leave the rest of us that just want to ‘live and let live’ in a country free of corruption, fear, violence and crime? Your guess is as good as mine, but unless and until a change comes about, we will have to bear the turmoil and uncertainty brought about by a myopic and unrealistic domestic policy.

Dat’s right on da button maaan, but right now dis Frankenstein mus be neutralised by da government if dey want to make tings better. Step at a time be da way to go. Far as Java be aware, da Tigers an da government be on da same trip – peas in a pod! Dey say one ting an do anodder, lies bout abuse an more lies bout no abuses. Dey tink we all be a bunch of gullible morons. Can’t fool everbody all o da time, right? Wha do yo tink?

Yesterday’s Daily Mirror contained an article on “Moves to end flood menace – DMC and CMC work out extensive plan”. The article started by indicating that “The government along with the Disaster Management Center and the Colombo Municpal Council are implementing a number of short term and long term projects to prevent floods from recurring”. Hurrah for them! Among the “three main reasons identified by a senior spokesman of the Drainage System of the Colombo MC” were “the large number of development projects in Colombo, bad habits of the people and the robbing of gully covers by thieves”. One wonders where such enlightened and erudite spokesmen claiming to represent the interests of the public were found! 

Anyone with even a basic reasoning power and aware enough to have noticed the horrendous development taking place on the filled areas that were originally swamps and that served as collection points for the waters that drained out of the city, would understand that there is no place for the drained waters to go once these low-lying lands have been (what is euphemistically referred to by the powers that be as) ‘reclaimed’! All the puerile excuses trotted out by the ‘authorities’ – if deserving of any merit at all, would be overwhelmed by this one overriding reason for the floods in the city of Colombo – and, perhaps in other areas as well. 

Too many times have we read in the press of the dubious deals that result in low-lying areas being filled and ‘handed over’ to some cronies of those wielding influence. The Nawala and Jayawardenapura areas are replete with examples of such instances and these are some of the areas that suffer most. What recourse does the citizens that have been severely inconvenienced by loss of property and sometimes life, have? Who do they appeal to for compensation? And how do they replace their losses? Are class-action law suits viable in these instances? 

There are solutions to some of these problems – even at this very late stage. One would be for the ‘authorities’ to identify the remaining swamps or low-lying areas and then excavate large parts of these areas so that very extensive ponds or lakes are formed, which will absorb the overflow from the city. Some of the surrounding areas that have been designated to be ‘filled’ with the dredged earth and silt out of the excavated points could be landscaped and made into parks and sanctuaries for birds and small mammals that are losing their territories due to the unplanned development in those areas of concern. The public could also have access to these recreational sanctuaries, which would then enable the public to safeguard the areas themselves and put a stop to the callous disregard of the corrupt individuals involved in this debacle. 

There are other solutions as well that could easily be found by a panel consisting of ecologists, conservationists, hydrologists and other scientifically knowledgable experts, if only the government authorities would allow them to plan and execute the solutions. However, as we are all well aware of, there is very little chance of any enlightened perspective from the top as the concerns related to flooding are not really aimed at those who are affected now or who will be in the future. Instead, the overriding concern of most of those in power is how to make hay while the sun shines – and the hell with the rain and the havoc it may cause the rest of us.  

And so it goes – more landslides, more floods and more excuses trotted out by the ‘authorities’ with promises to “end the menace”. In the end, however, “the menace” turns out to be ‘authorities’ themselves, so it is most unlikely that it will end at any time in the near future.

The Garten party at Bareass Boulevard got going in spite of the inclement weather and there were so many guests it was like standing room only when we got there. Fortunately the rain ceased and the canopy prevented the drizzle from dampening the proceedings, until the drizzle petered out. The dance floor was mopped and dried and a swinging time was had by all.  There were the usual speeches of appreciation made by many of those who benefitted from the Grande Dame’s extensive contribution to ballet, theatre and their lives in general over the past several years on this her celebration of three-score and fifteen years on the planet. Pike was the perfect host and his sister Dinkums did what she could to assist, whilst Hamon, the man behind the woman, quietly made his presence felt in his usual unobtrusive manner.  The occasion was also used for the launching of a book on the life and achievements of the Grande Dame. A handsomely published volume full of pictures and text outlining an interesting and creative life with references to the myriad characters that passed through the life of the lady. The guests milled and thronged, chatting, crowding around the excellent bar and meeting long lost friends and eventually formed a snaking line for the admirable buffet dinner especially prepared by Le Petitie Madamme Kellooue. 

 Heeey maaan, yo know dat when Nahorp, Gowers, da Dancer an yo show up dere be no place even to sit, dere be so many folk dere. Mustta bin close to tree hundred? Den when ol Cinimod and Zaney (lookin glam and gorgie) walk in, da place be bustin at da se­ams, an still it dint seem like it be too bad, which is why dis café be da bes place in town to have a party. Ol Mo be in his space an after Nahorp an Gowers left fo mo akshun at Ratu’s bash, takin da Dancer home on dere way, I be seein Jeronimo, Mr. Sands and yo wit Cinimod an Zaney all be headin fo da smokin room. When I got dere Mr. Sands be lookin at at dis pichure of hisself in drag – somting outta da ball scene in ‘My Fair Lady’ an he say he be lookin like da Grande Dame’s sister! Den later ol Estev also join da crowd an all I be seein was smoke pourin out o dat door, maaan. Almos like a fire bin started. And da DJ played on. 

Yes, it was a good night – in spite of the rains that, thank Thor, abated and let the show go on.

After just about a month and a half of blogging and getting a few tepid comments, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from ‘Noble’ out of Lakeland, Florida. How he ever happened on the site is something I still have to find out, but his responses, in addition to being relevant and humourous, were also full of information that I found I had much in common with. And so this relationship begins. Judging from the quantum of responses from Derrick, he must find Java and yours truly to be at least interesting, if not thought provoking. And I must add that I have been quite turned on by the whole business, as I have also picked up on a couple of subjects that I was not aware of – thereby expanding the knowledge base. 

 Know what maaan? Sir Derrick da Nobleman mus be a pretty crazy dude. Jus goin by his  stream of consciousness an dat, I figure he be like off da beaten track – like us guys. What do yo tink? But hey maaan, he also tink at fust dat Java not be ‘fo real’!! Sheet maaan ah shuure hope yo straiten dat cat’s ass out but goood. Den he be seein gremlins peekin tru his door an hear dem runnin down da hall. Mus live in an apartment yo tink? An he also be into infomashun gaderin technology and related fields, so ahm wonderin how much infomashun he be gaderin on our asses. He be pickin up dem clues yo be leavin in dose posts, so be innerestin to see how he be goin on dis, huh? 

That’s another thing about blogging – wondering just what the writer or responder is like and who it is. There are clues in the messages and for sure, unless one is being facetious or satirical and this is not picked up on, a ‘sort of’ image, at least of the mindset of the individual comes through. Then of course there are other means of finding out just who it is – if one is of that bent. This leads to the question, ‘are we bloggers truly anonymous?’ To take an extreme hypothesis – suppose one is to write a piece critical of an entity who has the power and means at its disposal to identify the writer. And if the entity is such that it brooks no public criticism and would go to the extent of seriously inhibiting further critical exposure by the writer, this could lead to the same situation that many local journalists have experienced in the not too distant past. Attempts on lives, assaults and even death have resulted from critical views. 

Dats right ma maan – yo be shuure to watch yo p’s an q’s when yo be talkin critical of dese extreme forces. Dey got too much to lose from da chance dat public opinion caused by the exposin of dere trips to let freedom of spresshun be undisturbed. Da only ting with dis place be dat mos folk be too apathetic to spress dere views en mass – like dey did in som odder countries in Asia and Europe. People-power be missin from here an so on we go wit da same buuulsheet over an over again. Saaad mahfuhing situashun! 

Anyway, to get back to Derrick – it may well be a coincidence that since his comments and my responses to him, my stats have increased quite a bit, which is also thought-provoking. I’m wondering if there’s some connection and feel pretty sure that it has. There’s so much involved in the access to information on the net that a search for a random or specific subject results in a variety of possibilities, one of which may point to a site, which in turn starts a ball rolling. And so I feel that Derrick’s connection has brought about a change in this site as well as a mutually positive relationship via cyberspace. 

Right on maaan, Sir Derrick da Nobleman be a righteous dude wit stuuuf in his head dat need to be said and what better place dan to do it on Ephemeral Ruminashuns wit us two coool cats who can relate to his sheeet? Be like a magic carpet ride maan – up, up and away. 

Java is clearly in favour of Derrick – makes him think about things that didn’t occur to him recently – like Crowley and Brautigan, culture-jamming, bionanotechnology, the Dancing Masters and others, so as far as he is concerned it is a ‘good trip’. He heads off towards the sound with his doob trailing smoke and soon the volume is turned up. It’s Steppenwolf…………            

        

I like to dream yes, yes, right between my sound machine
       

        On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
       
        Any place it goes is right
       
        Goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here

        Well, you don’t know what we can find
       
        Why don’t you come with me little girl
       
        On a magic carpet ride…………

 

The drive back to Colombo only reinforced my view that our representatives in government are hopelessly out of their depth in virtually all areas to do with land and water management. The severe erosion of the Uva hills is a case in point and this balatant disregard (over many years) of the loss of our invaluable top soil which leads to the silting of our streams and lakes, is an inexcusable crime. I do realize that I wrote a piece on this some days ago about these creeps, but I can’t help but expand on it. The mental midgets in charge have exemplified their ignorance – or just plain indifference – by the way they are ‘upgrading’ the road from Balangoda to Haputale. As I wrote last week, the massive landslides that have caused landowners to lose much of their small-holdings and that will cost us taxpayers and the country millions were caused by the abject lack of planning and implementation of basic drainage techniques. Someone ought to tell these geni-asses that it is no good making drains at the base of the hills whose sides have been sliced off by heavy machinery, if drainage systems have not been established at the top. Erosion will fill the drains at the bottom with mud and earth and the rest of it will follow – as it has – virtually all the way down the Beragala Pass and a good deal more further on. Surely someone in authority, or some engineer or hydrologist must be aware of what is going on? Or is it that they do know, have made their advisory reports and No One In Charge CARES? What do we do? Isn’t there something in the ‘Chinthanaya’ that covers these diabolical lapses?  

Heeey maaan, aint you tired of flogging a dead beast? You tink anyone of dem politicos give a good goddam sheet bout dis?

Oh well! Could someone tell us what the hell do we do?????

George W. Bush and his administration are being plagued – not only by their foreign policy disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea and other hot spots, but also by the sexual indiscretions of prominent Republicans that have come to light recently. This one guy was accused of sending sexually explicit e-mails to teenage interns in the hallowed halls of American government in Washington DC. Then just last week, this gung-ho preacher, a big noise of the American religious right, who came across as a homophobe that vociferously denounced same-sex marriages, was found to be buying methamphetamine from the male masseur he had been having sex with over the past two years. He has since admitted his involvement – on both counts – and has resigned from the various positions he held.
 
I first saw the preacher on CNN soon after the news broke. He was vigorously denying the “allegations” of sexual relations with the masseur, but did admit to buying the meth from him. However, he told the reporter that although he was “tempted”, he decided not to use the drug! I found it difficult to believe the guy – it was just that his whole demeanour and expression and the way he fielded the questions was, to me at any rate, a poor attempt at a believable denial.

Ah bin seein dis cat too, maaan, an yo be dead on da button wit yo assessment. Dat cat look guilty as hell. Hey, an yo know what maan? Mos of dese cats wit dere gung-ho ‘anti-dis’ an ‘anti-dat’ attitudes, dese homophobes and dose paedophile- hounders, I tink dey be so ‘anti’ cos dey be repressed an be fearin dat dey give in to dere real feelins, so dey take dis big-ass extreme public stance an shout bout it. Jus yo look at som of dose ’red’ bozos here dat are against anyting progressive – even be against da English language. An da loudest one of all of dem, he be makin hay while dat sun be shinin wit his spensive greasy hair-dos, manicures an sheet! Yo be wit me on dis, maan?  

I can see where Java is coming from. It’s happened before. Extreme attitudes usually have underlying causes that result accordingly. A well known case in point is that of Roy Cohn, a lawyer for the insidious Joseph McCarthy during his infamous witch-hunt for communists that was brought to the screen by George Clooney in “Good Night and Good Luck”. Cohn was another of those secret homosexuals who attempted to cover up his sexual preference by portraying a vociferous homophobe. Disbarred from practicing law in New York State on grounds of unethical and unprofessional conduct, he contacted AIDs and died in 1986. Then there was the infamous J. Edgar Hoover, who ruled the FBI as its director from 1924 until his death in 1972,  and had all the ‘dirt’ on virtually everyone that mattered, including movie stars, industrialists, politicians – even on JFK and Martin Luther King, who he tried to blackmail (politically) by threatening to inform his wife of King’s sexual forays. Hoover, who was also a friend of Cohn, turned out to be secret cross-dresser and reportedly would parade in front of his assistant and boy-friend Clyde Tolson, in frilly lace lingerie among other outfits! 

Dats xactly what I bin sayin maaan – gotta watch out for dem folk dat be gung-ho, loud mout extremists! 

Well, I guess the mid-term election results in the US said it all pretty clearly to Bush and his boys (Condi included). But the real message here is, as Java so intuitively pointed out, watch out for those gung-ho extremists, they have a reason for their extremism and it’s sure to be something that they do not want to reveal about themselves. Think about it!

Remember your childhood? Before major desires entered your consciousness? Desire for sexual gratification, desire for wealth and all it brought with it, desire for achievement and all the other desires that play so much of a part in our makeup? Sure you do! And if you were fortunate enough to have parents that were not impoverished and that were half-way decent to each other and to their child(ren), you would probably remember a carefree and happy time. Do you remember when this wonderful period in your life ended, or at least, when it started to change? No? Think about it. It was probably sometime between early childhood and the onset of puberty. In school? If you were fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be a boarder in a school hostel, there’s a good chance that this may have had something to do with it – particularly if you were very young at the time. Separation from the love and comfort of a happy home is always a traumatic experience for a child. Are you with me? Okay, proceeding with this train of thought – do you remember when those happy and carefree times evolved to where ‘desire’played a role that affected your entire being? I’m not talking about a child’s desire for a toy, a book or a computer game – more likely this has to do with the onset of adolescence and sexual awareness and the experience of your first ejaculation following whatever sexual stimulation that caused it. Remember the first time? Didn’t that lead to all sorts of conflicting emotions? Desire for. Love of. Sad because. Angry with. Jealous of. Possessive of. Scheming about. And all those other emotions that took you away from the carefree, happy mindset that you had not so long ago? But still, in spite of all the conflicting thoughts, mood shifts and negativity, do you still tread the path of physical gratification fuelled by desire? Sure you do! You’re not celibate, nor are you seriously seeking nirvana – not in this life anyway, right? All this physical gratification feels so fucking good, why quit? Agree?

Heeey maaan, I’m getting tired of dis sheet you be persistin wit. Jus where is dis stream flowin?

Damn! Java dropping by isn’t going to help me round this off. He has this knack of muddying the stream, as it were, so I try shining him on.

Say what maaan? Did yo hear me, or are yo shinin me on here?

Okay Java, I’m trying to get this to lead to the main precept of the Gautama Buddha in a nutshell – that “desire causes suffering”. And how eliminating desire leads to a state of consciousness where energy is concentrated and accumulates until illusory phenomena is recognised for what it is – Maya. And then the state of being is enveloped in bliss.

Sheeet maan, I bin readin yo books on religion an philosophy an stuff an a lot of it make sense, but fo me – I’ll stay wit all dat pleasurable sheet maaan. Dere’s time fo nirvana – loooong time!

He walks off towards the sound – the joint is already lit. Jim Morrison comes on loud..
        

         You know that it would be untrue
 
         You know that I would be a liar

         If I was to say to you,

         Girl we couldn’t get much higher
   
         Come on baby, light my fire
 
         Come on baby, light my fire
    
         Try to set the night on fire
  

         The time to hesitate is through

         No time to wallow in the mire

         If I was to say to you

         Our love becomes a funeral pyre

         Come on baby, light my fire

         Come on baby, light my fire

         Try to set the night on fire

Remember?