Difficult, complex, chaotic, layered, fragile, detailed and imperfect, hard to watch, yet beautiful in its own way.
Just like LIFE.
A ninety year old woman died in her home in Auburn. The diaries found in her belongings shed light on this lonely and brilliant mind. Watch the documentary above, and read further excerpts from her diaries below.
by Andy Park / sbs.com.au
These impressions, after a long life of nearly 90 years, are my own, right or wrong, are real and lived through. My ten fingers don’t need any support to hold a pen, and neither does my mind need any stimulants to express itself. A last pleasure of a lonely life.
With aging, we realize that life can be compared to a constant falling of leaves. In dreamland, the leaves don’t fall anymore., they acquire a verdane, which never fades like memories.
With aging, the taste for fighting is gone drastically weakened, with the depletion of the hormones and we become silent pacifists, trying to adjust ourselves to what is left.
I know that I must look to others as a stupid old has-been, because I avoid most of the new and prefer the old, I am a complete ignoramus in the modern ways of life and I don’t mind. I can still walk to the shops and choose what I buy. My first hundred metres of walk(ing) might seem brisk, then (I) slow down to to just a careful pace, which suits my age.
Once in human history, old age was respected and even venerated, but no more today. IT’s a shocking fact to observe how old age is considered and treated.
It is the saddest occurrence when old people are displaced from their habits and placed into an unfamiliar milieu. They slowly die away too, which sometimes is a cruel death. Euthanasia would be a blessing. Once families cared for their aging parents, but today, many can’t be bothered or they want the old house for themselves.
I have reached 87 years of my life with no fanfares, with only one birthday card. However, I am still granted many blessings for which I am grateful. I still have my five senses, not as good as new, but quite serviceable. I can use my legs and walk with no fancy steps in a hurry.
I have reached that stage at the present. Am i of unsound mind? It might appear so to some privileged people, until they reach the point of no return themselves.
My own blessings for which I am grateful in my own age, would be judged by some with pity or with distain for an old fool by others. With the tendency of today to give a name to any malaise, it would be called depression and given some artificial props to make it vanish. In reality, it is a sadness for the things passed, for the wrong acts and words especially words, which can’t be erased…”
In the quietness of old age, many unanswered questions occupy the mind, with no definitive answers, only guesses.
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by Adam Weinstein / gawker.com
God is love, right? It’s sort of a cornerstone of the Christian faith: He “so loved the world” that He gave his son Jesus up to save us all. And if God is love, then a sociopath who pickets dead soldiers with a “God Hates Fags” sign can’t really be Christian, right? Well, the answer is complicated.
Fred Phelps is dead. The founder of Westboro Baptist Church, the litigious head of this hateful community, will soon be in the ground, and the media consensus is to be joyful and happy for the misery of a hate group that brought so much misery to others.
In the longstanding furor over their reprehensible tactics—a furor I, too, have indulged in over the years—few commentators have ever taken a moment to come to grips with the WBC’s theological foundations. That’s a shame, because WBC’s belief system is intellectually consistent in many ways that the “mainstream” religious right is not. And it’s based in a uniquely American theology as old as the colonies—a Christian paradigm that’s influenced our culture in myriad respects, but is seldom addressed by anyone but its most devoted adherents.
The broad theology of WBC can be summed up in one basic statement:
Only awful, terrible, despicable, depraved people would cause a political hatemongering ruckus at a funeral or an elementary school. That’s absolutely true. The thing is, the faithful of Westboro Baptist Church would be the first to claim that they’re depraved—and so is everyone else. This is the bedrock of their belief system, laid out on their website:
These doctrines of grace were well summed up by John Calvin in his 5 points of Calvinism… Although these doctrines are almost universally hated today, they were once loved and believed, as you can see in many confessions of faith. Even though the Arminian lies that “God loves everyone” and “Jesus died for everyone” are being taught from nearly every pulpit in this generation, this hasn’t always been the case. If you are in a church that supposedly believes the Bible, and you are hearing these lies, then your church doesn’t teach what the Bible teaches.
by Neetzan Zimmerman / gawker.com
The longstanding severity of Yemen’s child marriages is gaining some much needed sunlight this week after a young survivor of this shocking custom took it upon herself to speak out on behalf of the untold many who can’t.
Nada al-Ahdal, an 11-year-old from Sana’a, had been promised by her parents to an adult suitor not once, but twice.
The “gifted singer” had been raised by her uncle Abdel Salam al-Ahdal since practically birth, and had been given the opportunity to go to school and learn English.
Abdel Salam, who was also raising a nephew and his aging mother, attempted to guard young Nada from any attempt by her biological parents to marry her off to a rich groom, having experienced the death of his sister by self-immolation over an arranged marriage.
When Nada turned 10, Abdel Salam learned that Nada’s mother and father had indeed sold her off to a Yemeni expat living in Saudi Arabia.
He phoned the groom in a panic, desperate to get him to rescind his offer.
“I called the groom and told him Nada was no good for him,” Abdel Salam told the Lebanese publication NOW. “I told him she did not wear the veil and he asked if things were going to remain like that. I said ‘yes, and I agree because she chose it.’ I also told him that she liked singing and asked if he would remain engaged to her.”
The man was persuaded to call the whole thing off, leaving Nada’s parents “disappointed.”
Months later they arrived in Sana’a, ostensibly to visit their daughter, but in reality were there to kidnap her and attempt another arranged marriage.
Nada asked to be returned to her uncle, but was told she had already been promised to someone.
Saying she would run away, Nada’s family reportedly threatened her with death, but were unable to stop her escape.
She reunited with her uncle, who took her straight to the authorities.
After an investigation was opened into the forced marriage allegations, Nada’s dad suddenly backed off the idea, and permitted her to continue living with her uncle.
“I managed to solve my problem, but some innocent children can’t solve theirs,” Nada said in a confessional released yesterday by MEMRI-TV. “[A]nd they might die, commit suicide, or do whatever comes to mind…It’s not our fault. I’m not the only one. It can happen to any child.”
by John Weir / gawker.com
It starts with a nosebleed and ends with a dead guy. Three dead guys, actually, and one of them is Ed Koch.
Something remarkable happened after Koch’s death: the New York Times rewrote his obituary. In the first version, nobody said what many people knew, and had long known: that Mayor Koch in his two terms in office as the highest ranking public official in the biggest city in the US and world financial center presided over a health crisis that was quickly going global and would, by the end of the 1980s, kill 50,000 Americans (as many Americans as died in the Vietnam War).
Ed Koch was responsible for the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers, said nearly everyone I knew who lived in New York City from 1980 to 1989. A war criminal, some said, and: a sell-out to real estate tycoons, a mischievous player of racial politics, egregiously Manhattan-centric (Manhattan below 125th Street), a fake liberal, de facto Republican, a gay man who had remained strategically closeted for political gain, a gay man who did not respond to the AIDS crisis with any deliberate speed because he did not want anyone to think he was a fag taking care of dying fags.
Forget Ed Koch. What struck me was that a lot of people, not just those I knew in real space/time but people I had “met” only virtually, many of whom were consistently and almost comically reverent about death – all the schmaltzy well-meaning Youtube and Facebook and Twitter tributes to the merest no big deal dead celebrity – were so outraged by Koch’s mayoral record, even now, that their immediate response to news of his death was to go online and call an 88-year-old-man, a famous now dead public servant, his body barely cold, a murderer.
More remarkable to me, however, was the number of people who did not seem to have the slightest idea why anyone would call Ed Koch a murderer.
I wondered if we had lived in the same place at the same time. Did we live in this city together all that time?
I meant to end, not open, with Ed Koch, but once I got started with him, his failures rerouted my narrative, the story of my life.
To begin again:
I got a nosebleed on the way to see The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s play about AIDS and the founding of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Actually, I saw it twice: in 1985, in its first production, downtown at the Public Theater; and twenty-six years later, when it opened on Broadway for the first time, in a revival staged in the spring of 2011. I was twenty-six years old the first time I saw it. And because I was boyfriends from 1983 to 1989 with a guy who was for some of that time Director of Group Services for GMHC, I knew, had met, watched die, many of the people on whom the characters in the play were based. People who had sat for Kramer’s composite portraits: Paul Popham, Paul Rapoport, Nathan Fain, Enno Poersch, Mitchell Cutler, Dan Bailey, Rodger McFarlane. . .
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