Do Arabs love their children too?


In Japan, relatives may “facilitate” a future marriage to be agreed on some time before it can legally be consummated, and the young person may feel some degree of pressure, which we may have a hard time relating to here. But it is still pretty mild compared to some other places, and almost all other times.

Don’t read this if you are a child. Seriously, it is not good for you. It is hard enough for grown-ups.

During the Cold war, Sting famously sang “Russians love their children too”. Which is probably true, and even with a fairly similar love to what we expect around here. But this is not so everywhere, and was not so for most of our history. That is not to say that mothers did not love their children, but it was often a twisted and broken love, like the one they had received themselves. We see echoes of this when a Palestinian mother beams proudly in the background as her schoolboy earnestly tells the reporter that he wants to become a “martyr” (suicide bomber).

I don’t say this to demonize them. For one thing, they are indeed in hell, but as tortured souls rather than demons. Worse than the desperation of their outer circumstances is the desperation of the twisted and broken structures of their mind, as they were raised with the same madness as they exhibit today, if not more so.

Nor is this unique to them – this was the shared fate of mankind for a long, long time. Indeed, it was worse than pretty much any place on the globe today. In ancient Greece, at the time when they invented philosophy and democracy, it was still not only possible but actually practiced to kill babies by throwing them down off a cliff. This was the father’s privilege, admittedly. But it obviously does something to a mother as well to know that her child may be here today, gone tomorrow. Due to infant mortality, this was actually a common attitude until less than two centuries ago. Mothers were advised against getting too attached to children, as most of them would die anyway.

The notion that one should not have sex with children is also fairly new. Perhaps that is why it causes so intense feelings in our society, where the mere suspicion of pedophilia is enough to strip a man of any human rights, including the right to be considered innocent until guilty. (I refer you again to the trial in Kristiansand, the city where I work, where the suspect was depicted with photographs in the newspaper well before the trial, and as a consequence sentenced despite no evidence of guilt and some evidence of innocence.) The exceptionally intense fear and loathing is, I believe, caused by the fact that sexual abuse of children is still secretly practiced by many and remembered by many more, directly or indirectly by the irrational agitation of their own parents at the sight of potentially erotic play by the small child.

Geography is to some extent history, and returning to our Arab relatives, today we can celebrate the news that an 8 year old Saudi girl is granted a divorce from her 50 year old husband. If it sticks this time. Again I am not demonizing the Arabs – there is no need. A society in which such a thing can even happen, much less be endorsed by the courts until diplomatic relations are at stake, is already pretty demonic enough, at least for small girls. It may be paradisical for 50 year old pedophiles, perhaps, but I’m not sure that counts. Again, this is not because they happen to be Arabs, it is the original human culture.

See, this is why multiculturalists need to be put out of their misery, or at least kept away from small girls. No, all cultures are not equally valid. Even the best of today’s cultures have only come this far by millennia of painful climbing toward the light, and our foothold is tenuous even today.

If you have a strong stomach, you may peruse the Psychohistory website and see what child abuse of all kinds have done and may still be doing to society. Lloyd deMause is a rabid leftist, unfortunately, but still reasonably sane when writing about things outside his own country and century. Not recommended for pregnant readers. OK, actually not recommended for anyone but the most hardened and cynical misanthrope who expect every human to be a bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling until proven otherwise by a trial of fire. If you have children or have memories of having been a child, don’t read it, or at least not past the front page. Any link you click will take you on a tour of Hell proper.

Pigsty project progress


They are next, Light willing. It is them or me.

Another glass jar went to town today. It was the last in the kitchen, finally.  Next I’ll start on the two plastic shopping bags with glass jars. What? I was not lying about the packrat tendencies. Joking, yes; but not lying.

Each day after work, I have thrown away something I would not otherwise throw away, even if only a couple CDs. I have already come to the end of those CDs I can’t imagine why I bought, and those I can remember why I bought but just loathe now. Lately I have ripped CDs with one or two actual good songs, or at least not bad.  I even threw away the compilation which had Richi M’s “One Life to Live” on it. The song, not the soap opera obviously.  Albums with any good tracks on them are ripped to the hard disk where my actual music is, so I can still listen to them after I’ve thrown them away. I actually did that with “One Life to Live“.

Some days I forgot to throw something away when I came home, but at some time during the afternoon the Invisible Hand clicked on me or something, because I remembered it.  Despite this, my garbage can was not full today, which is garbage day.  We only have garbage day every two weeks even, but I naturally generate little garbage because of my small family size. It is not just that I squirrel things away.

Anyway, I threw away two shirts as well.  That was hard. It is not like I can rip them to the hard disk and throw away my cake and have it too, like the CDs.  One was an otherwise whole yellow shirt that lacked a lot of buttons and had a few paint specks on it.  I could have sewed on buttons. Had this been 40 years ago, that would have been the obvious choice. Then used it at home.  Many more times could I have used it.  It is not like I wasn’t thinking of that. But then I was honest to myself and knew:  Even if I were to live here for a decade more (Light send that it be so!), I would still not have worn that shirt.  In fact, I may not even have opened all my shirts. There are several lying in my cabinet now that have never been opened, that I bought years before I moved here. There are others that are opened but that I am not sure I have ever worn.

As my witness I call the other shirt I threw away today.  It was whole, clean and sturdy, of a comfortably soft fabric. Unfortunately it was also several sizes too small in several directions. (Not just over the stomach!!)  Either it has shrunk quite a bit during wash, or I have dragged it with me since I was a teenager.  That may sound outlandish, but I know this: When I moved here, I found this shirt and its twin in a crate in the backmost storage room, a crate from when I moved last time; they had never left it.  I had lived there for nearly two decades at the time.  Most of my adult life.  So it is not entirely impossible that I have carted it along for ten years before that again, which puts me near the end of my growing years. O_O  Words become small.

And despite my relief in having actually thrown out things, I did get something new as well. A book came in the mail from Amazon. It is rare indeed that I buy physical books anymore, so rare that it never occurred to me to put it on a wish list.  Sorry about that.  Besides, when I want something, I really want it, meaning I don’t want to wait around. Plus, basically, the idea that others should buy me stuff instead of the other way around is just inherently wrong and unnatural at this stage of my life.  Anyway, this is why I must fight the good fight against clutter every day, may the Light give me strength.

Imagine we were not missed


The younger we are, the more we depend on others to verify that we are real and valuable. But even when old and gray, we may not want to be just forgotten. Well, most of us.

“But imagine if we were not missed.” That’s what the little old lady on the bus said to the other little old lady. I don’t have my ears on stalks to eavesdrop on my fellow passengers when I ride the bus to work, but especially with the elderly they often talk loudly enough that I hear them anyway, unless I put headphones on and listen to one of the brainwave entrainment tracks on my PSP.

Anyway, I did not follow the conversation, but this line leaped out at me. I suppose when one grows seriously old, this matter comes closer to one’s mind. Knowing that almost certainly we will be the next to leave, we have not only our own sadness to contend with that we shall leave behind all that we loved. After all, whether you believe you go to a better place or simply disappear, it seems unlikely that this sadness will continue after our transition. But there is also the thought that we will leave an emptiness in their lives, and from experience you know that this will last for a long time and never completely disappear. Just kind of fade to a scar.

I assume the other little old lady must have made some reference to this, but I did not hear that. Only this line: “But imagine if we were not missed.” And I thought, or rather knew without needing to think, that this is indeed the case with me. Well, almost. We are few enough people at work that I would probably be a little bit missed there. And one or two readers would miss my journal, I guess. But that is a rather small and abstract degree of missing. Like the bonsai of missing.

Some years ago, this would have seemed to me a bad thing. I might even have been upset, thinking about it. It is a human trait, to want to be important to others, or at the very least to one other human. Possibly even a cat or dog, or so it sometimes seems. I think it is related to our need to feel validated, that is to say, to get feedback telling us that we are real. That we are a valid human, at the very least. I have long thought that this is a major reason for the practice of dating (which is evidently a kind of ritual in the United States, while around here it is so informal that I did not really know it existed for most of my life.) From the descriptions I have seen of it, certainly it seems that a big part of it is having a mirror to verify one’s own existence in. I date, therefore I am.

I know I needed more validation before. More reassurance that I was real and someone knew it. There may still be some, I don’t know – even my near “hermit” life has some of it, after all. I have to work most days of the year, and there are humans. (Much as I prefer to just work with the computers, when possible.) Even when I have some weeks off work, I will still go to the supermarket and buy food. The people at the check-out certainly seem to believe that I am real, since they take my money and even give me change back. So really, I don’t know how I would feel if I were completely without human company for a long time. Probably not very different though. There seriously isn’t much affirmation you can wring out of a stressed cashier, although I occasionally see people try.

I would like to credit my religion here, and I think it must surely be involved, deeply involved. But it cannot be only that. I was quite more fervent in my religious practice when I was younger, as in praying more on my knees and reading the Bible and tracts that exhorted to piety, not to mention regular meetings where both God and fellow believers were present. Of course God is always present, or if not one would definitely notice it, in a hair-raising way to say the least. But anyway, my religion is rather low-key now, although it is never far from my mind. (Perhaps it has sunk deeper in, what there is left of it?) Anyway, long time has passed, and the certainty that I exist (if only as a created being) is pretty much permanent. If I am ignored, or what is more, forgotten, I do not doubt that I am or what I am.

It would still be kind of sad to know that my life has been lived in vain on this planet, true. (If I had only God to worry about, being incarnate would not really be necessary.) But then again, that is why I write here, and there, and around the web. Just the other day I got a comment on a LiveJournal entry written explicitly for the purpose of explaining how to solve a problem with the music player Amarok which failed to recognize .oga sound files. (I had to rename them to .ogg for Amarok to recognize them and the entire directory structure in which they were placed.) So, my life was not completely wasted. ^_^

The Internet is not a very stable place, but then again neither are most of the people who use it. I realize that after my passing, gradually my tracks here will be washed away. But it will take some time now, as I have uploaded my thoughts and my life so thoroughly to the Net, over so many years, and there are various archive systems in place now, especially Google. So there seems to be a good chance that something similar will happen to what Leonard Cohen says near the end of his “Tower of Song“:

Now I bid you farewell, I don’t know when I’ll be back
They’re moving us tomorrow to the tower down the track,
But you’ll be hearing from me, baby, long after I’m gone:
I’ll be speaking to you sweetly from a window in the Tower of Song.

That’s how I hope my footprints in this world will fade, gently, in the light rain of time. When I am gone, should anyone miss me, they can go online – if nothing else, using Google cache or the Wayback Machine – and I will be there, no more and no less than I was when I enjoyed my bodily existence.

Geographically restricted


Information may or may not want to be free, but it does not want to be geographically restricted.

I remember reading something by Michael Moorcock once.  One of the Eternal Champion books.  Perhaps I had one of his books among the hundreds of books I used to have before I moved?  I remember it as good penmanship, but nothing sensational.

Today an online friend wrote in praise of some other novels by Moorcock , and I decided to pay another visit to his writing.  I logged on and looked at which books they had by him. As is all too often the case, they only had a part of his large production. Fictionwise has a very varied selection of books, but they do have this tendency to only have a few books from each author, sometimes even incomplete series, or a complete series not available in the same e-book format throughout.  It was not quite that bad this time.  I found one book that looked interesting, as it took place (or at least started) in Nazi Germany, while at the same time having a more cosmic aspect. The Dreamthief’s Daughter was also available in my favorite e-reader format.  I was ready to press the order button when the web site informed me that I could not buy it. It was geographically restricted.

There is probably some reason for this. Authors and publishers sell different rights in different countries or groups of countries.  I am pretty sure the book is not banned in the Socialist Workers Paradise of Norway. So it is probably some kind of deal in the past that prevents them from sending the e-book to Norway.

Never mind that.  I removed the book from my shopping cart as instructed, and logged out. A quick visit to Google with the search “Moorcock torrent” assured me that his books are easily available by simple piracy, no matter what country one lives in, should my need to read them ever become overwhelming.  It is not now, however.

Dreams and life converge


This dream is perfectly natural for a healthy male. Finally.

Since I have described three strange dreams since I started doing brainwave entrainment, I should include this one. It certainly seems to be the fourth in a series.  As you may remember, the first and second dream were terrifying, hair-raising nightmares, most of their horror consisting in them taking place right there in my home, to the point where I had a hard time telling what was dream and what was reality.  The third dream shared this,  but was noticeably less creepy. Then again, a month had passed. Perhaps my brain is getting used to my messing with it?  Well, tonight it happened again, but this time it was not scary at all.

In my dream, I was in the living room, looking out the window, toward the lawn. The neighbor’s lawn is also visible from that angle. On their lawn stood the woman who is my neighbor, and a teenage boy who lives there. They were just standing there talking together, and did not notice me.  Actually they wouldn’t in real life either, probably, since I am inside and it was sunshine, making the windows reflective from outside.  And also, the two of them had indeed been outside yesterday, although so were I (raking leaves off the lawn near the fence).  It was a very ordinary scene, and I only woke up because I had to force my eyes away from neighbor lady’s sexy curves.  (Sorry neighbor lady! At least it wasn’t the boy, as I’m sure people around here would expect from a creepy reclusive stranger.)

I went back to sleep shortly after, and remember no more dreams from the night.  I did notice while I was awake however that there was the telltale spindle effect from sleep phase 2,  just like in the previous three cases.

I wonder if this means I can start increasing the exposure to low-frequency waves… On the other hand, I am still not sure why I am doing this, except for the sake of science itself.  Perhaps being self-aware while sleeping is not all that awesome after all.  For instance, don’t I have more than enough to worry about keeping my eyes in place when I am out and about in the real world, if I don’t have to struggle with them in my sleep as well?

Just slightly creepy sleep

It’s been a month since the week with the two creepy dreams.  Tonight’s was much less so, but still enough to wake me up and give me goosebumps.

In my dream, I was in the house here, and the front door was open, as it often is in summer.  I was looking out and there was a boy standing outside.  He was no more than around 12 years old, possible even less, certainly not someone who would normally be a danger.  He did not look threatening in any way, really.  The strange thing was that he did not seem to notice me at all, even though the door was open and I was standing right there.  He was just not looking that way at all. I found this embarrassing and began to close the door.  But something made me look again.  And he was gone.  Disappeared in the matter of a couple seconds.  That’s when I was creeped out and woke up. That and there were sounds as if there was a tractor or some construction machine outside, and a sound as if something was pulling or pushing on the house and it was giving just a little, like during a storm.  But when the buzzing in my head stopped, the sounds had stopped as well.  Yes, there were spindles again, which means that despite the relative vividness of the dream, it must have happened during phase II.  It was about 20 minutes after I fell asleep.

The only common parts with the truly creepy dreams were the fact that the dream took place here, rather than in some fantasy world or somewhere I lived before, and the experience of someone overlooking me as if I was not there. A bit like those short ghost stories where in the last paragraph the main character realizes that he was the ghost all along.

I am writing this while it is fresh, before going back to bed. There haven’t been any strange sounds in the meantime. I think it was probably a passing train.  They do that irregularly but several times a night, and the heavy goods trains when they race past here make the ground shake.  I can’t imagine how it must be for those who live  almost right across the road from the railway.  There is one more neighbor between them and me, and some of the trains still make things in the house rattle and shake.

Sick day

Late last night, not long before bedtime, I started getting pain in my lower right side.  Now, I am not overly worried that it be eppendicitis. First, it started right there in my right side, not migrating from the middle or front or spread around the lower guts.  Also the pain was merely distracting, not incapacitating. I had no fever – actually, my temperature was lower than normal, and I had to warm up for 20 minutes before I stopped shivering.  And I was not vomiting (actually still am not). Still, unlike common gas pains, it did not change or move when I lay down on my side.  I did get some sleep, but less than I would want and of poor quality; I woke up very tired.

Since then, my guts have been running wild for a while, but the pain is fading. So most likely it was some kind of local irritation.  By then I had already taken the day off though.

One nifty thing about having a sick day is that I can see what happens around the house when I am supposed to not be here.  Today, two cars arrived, one with a lot of planks, and a couple people are replacing the old fence between this house and the neighbor.  (I have only one neighbor within fencing distance, so to speak.) I am not sure if this is an initiative by my landlord or my neighbor.

The invitation

Did I mention that I was told to expect an invitation to a new employer, after all jobs of my kind are purged from our tentacle of government? Well, I got it today. All names are changed for security reasons. Translated from Norwegian.

An agreement has been reached with [tentacle of government] that you will be transferred to [Himitsu Corp.] from June 1, 09.
We have planned a number of activities from week 20 up to and including week 25. These activities are:
I bid you welcome to us in [Himitsu Corp.]”

Huh. Well, it certainly beats going to the employment office to look for a new job. Even in Norway, this is not the best possible time and my work experience is fairly specific. Still, I found it amusing that I have evidently been handed over like a crate* without asking or being asked. If this is the corporate culture, I foresee an interesting time in [Himitsu Corp.]

(* Or, as a friend of mine commented, like a companion cube. The “weighted companion cube” is an inanimate object from the video game Portal.  It is praised for its loyalty, then incinerated.)

Just a day


I feel like I have to do something, but… (I just wait until the feeling fades away!)

I decided around 2 AM to sleep this night instead of watching the remaining 10 episodes of my latest acquired anime. In retrospect, this was a wise decision.  (Or more exactly, in retrospect the opposite decision would have been mindnumbingly foolish.)

I got up late even so, and for a change I did not “sync”  (listen to the Holosync soundtrack) in the morning. There just was not time for that.   I did manage to eat a cup of yogurt however. Further breakfasting to continue at work, as usual. As I left the house, the landlord’s grandmother was working in the garden outside.  She must be well over 80 now. Whether it was this or some other distraction, I forgot to bring a glass jar this time. -1 points!

I did not take my outer jacket and cap today, for the first time this year, since it was sunny and warm. But not without reason are the spring months named after girls (or the other way around).  Before I came to the city, the sky was cloudy, and the wind was cold.  (It was still overcast when I left work, but the sun broke through as soon as I sat down in the bus. Don’t tell me there isn’t someone up there watching my every move.)

At work I continued to scarf down milk products: Three cups of chocolate pudding and a small box of chocolate milk was my brunch.  I really should buy in larger quantities to get a better price.  I had visited the bathroom scales in the morning and found that my weight had once again dipped below 90 kg.  No matter how much I eat, I don’t seem to get more than a little over 91, and then it goes back down.  Not complaining about that, of course; I could do fine with less. But it is kind of amusing that the body simply refuses to grow past a certain size. Obviously not all humans have such an absolute limit. Then again, most humans can eat fat.  My diet does not sound low-fat, but it actually is. Sugar is not fat; I can eat as much of it as I want.  If I eat more than a certain small amount of actual fat, however, I get violently ill.  Today was not one of those days, luckily.

Work is still secret. And there was still not a word from the organization that is supposed to employ me when my job is removed from the tentacle of government in which I am currently employed.  I am not overly worried, though. It is not like we can be fired.  We can only be squeezed out, and most people don’t try twice to squeeze a porcupine.

While listening to music at work, I happened across a song I fell in love with many years ago. Back then I could not find it to buy it, or so I believe, because this was a common problem at the time and I believe I would have bought it otherwise.  It is a song by the Norwegian trubadour Finn Kalvik, and like most of his songs it is in Norwegian too. It is called “Fred og Frihet” (Peace and Freedom), although the chorus actually says “I stillhet, i fred og frihet” (In quiet, in peace and freedom).  In all fairness, the song isn’t THAT quiet. I noticed even back then the irony in having such a phrase in such an upbeat and strongly instrumented song.  I wonder if it was not written originally for performance with simply an acoustic guitar.  Trubadours do those from time to time.

Anyway, now it does not matter that I could not buy it. Because now we have Spotify, the European music service that lets you stream any song when you want, as often as you want.  Well, any of the songs they have. They are utterly lacking in Japanese music, as can be expected from a purely West European service.  And they are lacking badly in New Age music too, as can be expected with their headquarters in Sweden. But by the same token, they have a pretty good selection of Norwegian music, including pretty much everything by Finn Kalvik.  With services like this, why would I ever want to buy European music again?  Of course, I rarely do that anyway. Because I don’t much like contemporary Euro music.  The past is better in that the dirt is washed away in the river of time, and the gold remains. Or perhaps I am just growing old.

My contribution to the Pigsty Project this time was the remaining ordinary light bulbs.  By now, the house should be utterly empty of burned-out light sources.  Well, not counting the remains of candles.  I am not planning to throw out those.  I plan to melt them over kitchen paper and stuff in empty milk cartons for the fireplace.  But if today is typical, I won’t need to use the fireplace again for half a year.  Before then, hopefully a hundred other objects will have left the house.  (Of course, dozens of others will likely have found their way in.  Born packrats don’t change their spots easily.)

I then went on to play Sims 2 for about an hour, advancing my build-a-city challenge a little, before moving on to the anime I left off last night.   And then back to Sims 2 again a couple hours later.  Sims 2 is great fun if I play it for half an hour, but really irritating if I play it for two.  I am not sure why, although I have a theory.

After this, I spent about half an hour doing light exercise and stretching and drinking some juice.  By now,  midnight is approaching. It is time to complete the journal of the day.  Not a completely average day, but then I am not sure there are completely average days.  Every day is a special day at the Chaos Node.  Even if they may not look like it to the onlooker.

Spring Sunday


Since some people like to see me document the Norwegian spring (which takes up about a quarter of the year, it sometimes seems), here’s another picture.  It is definitely spring now – green spring, as opposed to the white and brown springs.  It looks pretty, but it does not smell pretty!  It smells of cowpies, lots and lots of cowpies. Such is spring in the countryside. At least in the animal farming countryside.

I wore the pulse wristwatch again, I haven’t used it much lately.  To my surprise, it went wild after only a minute. It claimed my pulse was over 200!  No way.  Just in case, I went back inside and wore it on the magnet resistance bike, and it showed the expected pulse.  I went back out and started walking again. It went crazy again.  I realized that I was walking very close to the railroad and its electric cables.  Heh.  I can see how people may think it less than healthy to live under those interstate power lines. Have you seen fluorescent tubes outdoors under those things? Spooky.  Anyway, the pulse watch worked fine again once I went away from the railroad.