"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

>cold, cold water surrounds me now, and all i’ve got is your hand; lord, can you hear me now? or am i lost?

>


i can never sit still for long. the cushion i sit on will burn and sear my skin. serrated edges of a pillow. choking gas of a blanket.

ran to the eurostar office yesterday.

packed a passport and a small bag. i almost ran away. just like that. disappearing into the crush of commuters, and faceless travellers vanishing into the distance of europe

instead i booked Avignon in the south of france for the first week of august. will take the train down to meet with my best friend jeannine once more. we’ll swim under the pont du gard and dance sur le pont d’avignon.

the best place on earth is always where your friends are.

the novel is coming along well, but at night i lie awake and think of him. i think of his face between my thighs and my hands in his hair. i miss looking into his eyes. it was always in the eyes.

he sent me a text message at 3am last night.

his scent on my skin and the way he calls me baby.

like strangers ….

(photos from the War Photography Gallery in Dubrovnik, which i visited earlier this month)

Bosnian soldiers take a break at the front line, 1994

Bosnian prisoners at the Trnopolje concentration camp. Yes, this was 1992, not 1942.

1992, Serb Tigers and their victims in Bijeljina during the first battle for Bosnia. This shot is actually from a series of photos. The body on the far right (female) came out to try to help the body on the far left (male) to safety. She was thusly shot dead as well, then the bodies were dragged off, leaving only her bloodied slippers behind.

A Muslim man begs for his life after capture by Arkan’s Tigers, 1992

Croats being expelled by Serb forces after fall of Vukovar, 1991.

Croatian child at father’s funeral, 1991

Defaced photograph of a Bosnian family, 1995. The home of this family was over-taken by Serbs during the war. When the family finally returned home, everything in the house had been looted, every stick of furniture, right down to nails, wire, and lightbulbs. The only thing left behind was this family photo, their bodies and faces scratched away. Every remnant of their life prior to the war had been erased. As if they had never existed at all.

when i found out radovan karadzic was captured, i glued myself to the BBC. i was shocked because, after 13 years, i’d assumed he and ratko mladic had gotten away with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity (as detailed here). i’m delighted that he’ll finally have to answer for the atrocities he’s committed and allowed to happen under his rule (fyi, his regime is responsible for the worst incidents of genocide and ethnic cleansing on european soil since the last year of the Holocaust. concentration camps, regimented and organized mass executions of bosniaks and croats, murder of civilians including the Massacre of Srebrencia which Serbia finally admitted to in 2004, unlawful siege of sarajevo and vukovar, unlawful deportation of citizens, theft and destruction of homes and property, the works).

at the same time, i find it dubious that he’s only been captured now that serbia is pushing for EU inclusion. they knew where he was. he published a book of poetry in 2005 for fucks sake. and they found him NOT living in a hole like saddam hussein, NOT living in a cave like Osama Bin Laden, NOT trying to flee the country….they found him living in Belgrade! it’s the fucking capital of Serbia! so it wasn’t a massive hunt that’s been going on for 13 years. it’s a point they’re trying to make, and he’s the scapegoat, they’re making an example out of him. yes, we are worthy of EU inclusion. look at us capturing war criminals. we’ll still continue to war with kosovo though…

kosovo reminds me a lot of quebec. quebec is recognized as a distinct nation within canada. they’ve tried to separate from canada many times in the past. as a quebecoise, i understand the fight for independence and sovereignty for a people that have been marginalized and ostracized for decades. there were riots, there was martial law, there was the FLQ crisis, and many people were killed or assassinated in the quebec struggle for independence.

but when faced with such acts of terrorism, canada never ever tried to slaughter the quebecois. never deported them or sent them to concentration camps. never started a war.

and as a quebecoise, i am still proud to call myself a Canadian.

here’s the thing: i am very patriotic and i have nothing against patriotism for any country. love the place of your birth! i am all for that! however, i am also very critical of Canada as well, because it is certainly responsible for a lot of shit (seal hunts, troops in afghanistan, nafta globalization, envrionmental crimes, treatment of/racism to first nations/inuit people…etc).

i believe that Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, Americans, Serbs, Croats, and ethnic Albanians have already mastered the patriotic part, now it’s time to also be critical of your countries. don’t love it just because you were born there. that’s no reason to defend it, especially when it engages in war. accept that your country is responsible for a lot of shit and demand that your country do better. always demand better. only then can you truly love the place of your birth.

my landlady was born in sarajevo and grew up in croatia (course, back then, it was all just Yugoslavia). last night, after countless BBC stories and reports about the karadzic capture, her and my landlord, who is from italy, fought in the kitchen for hours and hours.

i love living in a political household. bring on the debate, bitches!

politics runs your life. if you don’t know what you stand for, and if you don’t fight or rally for anything, eventually, you will get fucked over by the system. because you were too busy watching gilmore girls.

i’m tired of people telling me they don’t have an opinion about world events because they know nothing about it. well you better start reading up on shit before you make your next move.

did you know that china is secretly supplying the sudanese government with tanks and weapons which are being used to slaughter to black africans of darfur? and also that pub and bar owners of beijing have been ordered by the chinese government not to admit any black people into their establishments this summer? BRING ON THE OLYMPICS in the spirit of brotherhood and peace, right?

did you know that, during the Iran-Iraq war of the 80s, the USA was publically supllying Iraq with weapons, while secretly supplying Iran with the same weapons in the hopes that the two would bomb each other off the face of the planet?

did you know that premarital sex is illegal in Dubai? if caught, you face 6 years in jail. how, exactly, is that regulated?

did you know that abortions are still illegal in northern ireland? we’re not talking about a middle eastern or asian country, we’re talking the UNITED KINGDOM.

did you know that ‘sodomy’ is actually still illegal in FOURTEEN states in the USA? again, how is this regulated?

did you know that ‘witchcraft’ is not only a crime in the Central African Republic, but also punishable by the death penalty?

did you know that a recent UN study found that women make up 70% of the world’s poor, only own 1% of the world’s titled land, and are discriminated against in almost every single country?

politics runs your life. i have never used this blog as politically commentary but i have to now. i am not censoring this blog for fear that some friends may read it and have their feelings hurt. nothing i have said here is hearsay or conjecture. all facts, which all of you can substantiate via your own research. accept these facts, demand better, and look forward.

don’t defend war and genocide just because you love your country.

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8 responses

  1. Well I take issue with the whole “Quebec is a nation” when you’re talking about the PQ. The motion that passed recently was that the “Québécois” form a nation within Canada, that is, the people of Quebec form a nation. Like in the same way that the Ojibway people form a nation within Canada.This way, the government was able to get around the issue of PQ wanting to separate. Like the motion doesn’t say that the Province of Quebec is a separate nation.Are anglophone Montrealer’s considered Québécois?

    July 23, 2008 at 11:15 PM

  2. so i don’t understand your issue.are you saying you have a problem with the quebecois being recognized as a nation the same as the objibwans? considering that the two share distinct cultural signifiers (apart from the obvious language and food, we’re talking distinct cultural history which developed completely separate from their french predecesors or english sharing the land, rituals, customs, unique artistic performances and expression and crafts, etc)if that’s the case Paul, you might want to reevaluate within yourself why that’s a problem for you, as opposed to redirecting outward toward the people.and as for your issue with me calling myself a quebecoise – putting up boundaries and categories within which ethno-cultural minorities must adhere to in order for people such as yourself, ie dominant culture, to understand and allow them to enter discourse falls within the exact definition of racism and marginalization. people don’t live in boxes or labels. i speak english and joual, and i expand what it means to be quebecoise, out of the box.so cut the crap.

    July 23, 2008 at 11:36 PM

  3. Anonymous

    no I didn’t mean that at all! I was just being technical!I don’t have a problem with Quebecois being a nation in the same way that Ojibwans are. I just get picky when people say Quebec is a nation, rather than Quebecois is a nation.As for my question about anglophone Montrealers – I was merely asking if anglophone Montrealers typically consider themselves Quebecois – I don’t really know any. And anyway, I wasn’t sure if I should consider you anglophone or whatever.well anyway, from that link I posted earlier, it appears that “Quebecois” is a self-identification thing, not some sort of broad “what language do you speak” kind of thing.So in summary, I’m wondering, in your experience, do anglophone Montrealers self-identify as Quebecois?but thanks for jumping on me! sheesh.

    July 23, 2008 at 11:59 PM

  4. it’s best to stay away from a woman when her blood is up.i did my masters degree in cultural representations of gender and ethno-cultural minorities so when given the chance to debate it, my instint reaction is ‘bring it on, bitch.’you know i still wuv u anyway.as for anglophone montrealers identifying as quebecois – i dunno, i never asked.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:10 AM

  5. Yeah it’s okay, it’s just an interesting situation. I guess I’m trying to wrap my head around Quebec vs. Quebecois. I’m guessing (ie. not sure) that not every resident of Quebec considers themselves to be Quebecois and thus there needs to be a distinction made.…especially when throwing around words like “nation” – but I think the govt’s recent motion handled it rather well, what do you think?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:27 AM

  6. Anonymous

    Paul, I wouldn’t normally post but this time I think you need some explanations. I’m assuming from your comments that you’re not a Canadian nor a Québecois?There is a difference between “nation” and “country”. Canada is a country and the Quebec people, like the First Nations (in case you’re not familiar with the term means Native/Aboriginal Canadians – Mowhawk, Iroquois, Algonquin, etc.) form a distinct “nation” within the country of Canada. If you ever travel across the T/Can from Ontario into Québec, it’s obvious. Go to Toronto, then Montreal, especially Old Montreal, and you’ll think you’re in another country.I was born in Montreal as were my parents. I’m an anglophone but consider myself to be bilingual. But just because English is my first language doesn’t mean I don’t consider myself to be Québecois(e) (which, btw, is how you refer to a person who was born in, lives in or comes from Québec, although it is true that if you don’t identify with the province then you will not refer to yourself as such). In 1976, when Levesque was running for the PQ, my ex’s company was one of those that left (February) and Levesque was voted in in November. When we left, je me sentais chassée de ma patrie. Mais, je suis toujours Québecoise.Bonne journée et j’espère que c’es explications vous aide.Joan

    July 24, 2008 at 11:56 AM

  7. Hi Joan,Ouais, je suis Canadian mais pas de Quebec.I do understand the difference between “nation” and “country” in regards to Canada. I just didn’t know if Anglophones in Quebec considered themselves part of the Quebecois nation or not – that’s all.8 years ago I worked in Ottawa with some anglophone Montrealers on same team as francophone people from Hull, and the two groups couldn’t seem more different – not just language, but in loads of ways, culturally, etc. I never discussed with the anglophones whether they considered themselves Quebecois, but for some reason I suspect that they wouldn’t.But! Here I have two Quebec anglophones that say they are Quebecois, so maybe my suspicion was wrong, or maybe I’m trying to generalize too much. I said before I think it’s a self-identity thing and so I can’t believe that *everyone* born/raised in/from Quebec self-identifies with the Quebecois nation.And so if there is even one person born and raised in Quebec that doesn’t self-identify as Quebecois (possibly like my colleagues from 8 years ago), I’m going to say that it’s incorrect to say that “Quebec” (ie. the province not the people) is a nation.I would only say “Quebec the province” is a nation if we’re sure that everyone from Quebec regardless of culture is part of the Quebecois nation (ie. that they are one and the same). Is that fair?

    July 24, 2008 at 4:56 PM

  8. Teodora

    I don’t understand how you can post all these things about Serbians doing bad things but nothing about the other way around. It was a WAR both sides were doing bad things, how about the Muslim man who were kidnapping childrent o disfigure them? How about the schools full of grandparents and children being burned down? I’m not justifyig either side, we both did bad things. People need to stop giving us the double standered.

    May 30, 2011 at 12:43 PM

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