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Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

An open letter to Rita Atria

Posted by E on July 26, 2012

This is a love letter to the sister I never had.

On July 26, 2012, the twentieth anniversary of your death, I want to say that I will never forget you, Rita. I want to shout your name from the rooftops, and hope that somewhere in the echoes that bounce back, you are still there. I want to say that even though I never met you, I will always consider you a sister of my heart. You are my shadow self – a firefly in the darkest sky, a girl who never grew to be a woman.

We were born 3 months apart in the latter half of the same year, in the same part of the continent. We were both loud, vivacious, black-haired, brown-eyed girls endowed with a penchant for mischief. You were born into a small village of Mafiosos and I was a street urchin seeking out a family among a group of hateful extremists who envisioned that they would one day rule the country.

We were both seventeen years old when we saw our “family” for what it really was and tried to get out. We were both seventeen when we began to compile information on the men who we had once trusted, looked up to, even loved. We were little girls who wanted to pretend that we were soldiers in a war greater than ourselves.

In the greater scheme of things, we were little children. Disobedient children who spied on our families and turned against men who had once held us close to them and called us “daughters.” We sat in open court and pointed to such men, denouncing them for the vile criminals that they were. You testified against the Cosa Nostra, men responsible for murdering your father. I testified against the Heritage Front and helped shut down Canada’s largest white supremacist organization, bankrolled and condoned by Canada’s Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

We both betrayed the only family that had ever embraced us.

I am you, Rita, and you are me. We are no more or less than any other teenage girl who wants to make a difference in her life, who wants a better world for her unborn children. We are every girl who lives in fear today, yet holds within her heart the flicker of hope that she will one day be counted. That someday she might make a difference.

We both know the seclusion of safe-houses, the anonymity of a new haircut and a bottle of scalp-burning dye. The unfamiliar utterance of a new name in our mouths. We know what it is like to have an entire world hate us and call us traitors. We know the words grown men have spoken after us, the threats and hits that were placed on our heads. And the truth, Rita, is that we were both children. We were idealists with hardly any concept in our minds of the ugliness of the world, of the seclusion and loneliness that would come.

When you’re in hiding the sky is always starless, muffled by an oppression of perpetually-low clouds. There’s only the stillness of empty apartments, where the silence of incalculable whitewashed walls closes in on you. After a while, the danger is no longer as relevant as walking to the window to tear apart the curtains, regardless of who might be lurking below. Because all you can say to yourself is, When the gunfire erupts I will not duck, I will not retreat.

I wish I’d met you, Rita. I wish that I could hold your hand and call you Sister. When you climbed over that balcony and flew down to your death, broken-hearted after the Mafia assassinated your only friend, magistrate Paolo Borsellino, convinced that nothing would ever change, a part of me was there with you. A part of me has always longed to take flight too.

Every year that passes since your passing, after the great snowfalls recede and give way to the delicate beauty of new growth in spring, I think of the shadows of us two – two teenage girls who wanted to make this ugly, senseless world a better place.

You live in me, Rita. And I will never forget you.

Posted in activism, beauty, cosa nostra, csis, family, freedom, history, identity, innocence, italy, letter, life, love, mafia, media, news, paolo borsellino, politics, revolution, rita atria, truth, Uncategorized, violence, war, women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beauty and the Psycho

Posted by E on June 11, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl. Who met a charming, smooth-talking prince by the edge of a beautiful blue ocean. And then the prince turned out to be a psycho and murdered the girl. And then he murdered another girl. And he kept getting away with it, because his daddy was a judge, and the police preferred to investigate poor, black locals, and the FBI refused to follow the extortion leads until it was too late.

Not many people know that I’ve been following this story since Natalee went missing while on vacation in Aruba, back in 2005. There was something so engaging about her story, that beautiful smile, her desperate parents, and the breathtaking locale where all this happened….I followed the newscasts and the documentaries that asked what happened to Natalee, and I too, like so many other bloggers and readers, speculated on whether the rich Dutch boy did it.

And then this past week, EXACTLY five years to the day Natalee went missing, with the murder of Peruvian citizen Stephany Flores, the answer came. An answer that, as horrible as it may be, will bring peace to Holloway’s family and incense the hearts of a new family whose daughter did not have to be taken from them, if the authorities had done their job.

One wonders (hypothetically of course, since the answer is pretty clear) if Stephany Flores would still be alive if Joran van der Sloot’s daddy wasn’t a prominent judge with money to burn, and an uncorruptable desire to cover up for his psycho son at any cost.

One also wonders how many signs there must have been in Joran’s teenage years, signs of a troubled psyche including, but by all means not being limited to – binge drinking, drug abuse, harming small animals, adding Rohypnol in college girls drinks…. I imagine the whole sordid saga will come out during the inevitable trial (and appeals, and retrials ad nauseam, until the money for high-profile lawyers runs out) to come.

I know, I know. No use asking the What Ifs now. Two girls are dead, and for all we know, there are others. But still. The only comfort there can be in this whole ugly mess is that Joran will spend the rest of his days inside a brutal Peruvian prison. And given that his now-deceased daddy wasn’t a local celebrity in these parts, I doubt his son will get the royal treatment. That is, unless a new judge caves in under the persuasion of smooth-talking defence counsels, and signs an extradition order for Joran to spend his sentence(s) concurrently in the relative comfort of a Dutch prison.

Let’s just watch and make sure that doesn’t happen. But if I were a betting girl, this is what I’d predict: rich boy will finally tell where Natalee’s body is, so that he makes sure he’s tried in Aruba first (and presumably convicted there) so he doesn’t have to do time in Lima (one of the most violent places in Latin America) and get his ass kicked, raped or murdered by the other inmates.

Your thoughts?

Posted in crime, murder, news, rant, thoughts, violence, women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Character Assassination or just…Assasination?

Posted by E on June 10, 2010

I’m sitting here watching Amanda Knox’s parents on Oprah, trying their best to clear their (convicted murderer, pictured on the left in the photo above) daughter’s reputation, and the thoughts that are rapidly crossing through my mind are:

1. What kind of strings did they pull to get Oprah to endorse this charade?
2. Yet another unbalanced tripe that passes as journalism – with no side given to Meredith Kercher’s family, and 100% attention to the Knox side. But of course, Italian authorities were guilty of “trial by media”, botched up the investigation, the jury hated the blond&blue-eyed innocent young girl, the list goes on.
3. If the freaking drug-dealer’s DNA is inside that poor raped and murdered British girl, then how did the drug-dealer get in the house, past all the other roommates and boyfriends there? Wouldn’t a more plausible explanation be, they invited the druggie in to buy some of his stuff, the party got out of hand, and they collectively murdered Meredith in a drug-infused stupor?
4. DEJA VU!! This is so, SO reminiscent of the Schapelle Corby case, where an equally blue-eyed, innocent Westerner female just happened to be caught by Indonesian authorities with a boogie-board stuffed with hashish. Read my blog entry on Schapelle here.
5. A motive doesn’t have to be necessary in an accidental death…esp one that involves drug and alcohol-fueled parties
6. Oh, the irony! All these accusations of “trial by media” having impacted Knox’s trial, when in fact the ABC co-anchor and other personalities invited on the Oprah show are also members of said-media…but I suppose their point of view is to be weighed more than that of those oh-so-biased European media outlets??
7. And lastly, never underestimate the tear-jerker effect of broken-hearted parents who triumph their convicted murderer daughter’s innocence on Oprah.
Where, oh where is the humanity? Those horrible judges, those lying lawyers, that hating jury who would convict Little Miss Amanda?…. Don’t they know anything? That a pretty, blond co-ed raised by a nice American family just does not DO this sort of thing??

So let’s all discard our IQ to the wayside and pitch in to her college fund (since she’s enrolled in university long-distance studies, like a good girl should be) and jump on the Let’s-Free-Amanda bandwagon! If I send in a dollar to the Defence Fund, do I get a ribbon, a button pin or an elastic wristband?…

.

Posted in amanda knox, bullshit, italy, media, meredith kercher, murder, news, oprah, press, violence, wtf | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

WTF is the problem with Young People F*cking?

Posted by E on June 13, 2008

As so many of you are aware, a little independent film, which may or may not have any artistic value (I haven’t seen it yet, and even if I did, my subjective opinion has no bearing on this post) has splashed into the news, solely because of its cheeky title: Young People F*cking.

Now I don’t really know anything much about it except having heard some convoluted news reports involving Canada Arts Grants and public outrage, of the sort that goes something like: “Is this what our tax dollars are going to,” yadda, yadda, yadda.

Not that I find Arts Grants judges to be much more than an inbred, pat-each-other’s-backs sort, but ask yourself this: If this title should have been called any of the titles below, would anybody in the media have batted an eye, never mind sensationalise it to such a degree that now it is receiving top billing at film fests (as the filmmakers undoubtedly intended)?
Young People Killing
Young People being raped and murdered by psycho cannibals
Young People dismembering each other
Young People blowing each other’s heads off
Young People being torn to shreds and eaten by wild dogs
Young People being murdered by eccentric millionaires in Slovakian torture chambers
Young People being disemboweled by crazy hillbillies
Young People being hunted down by serial killers at roadside stops
Young People cannibalizing each other

Well, what do you think? Would Bill C-10 approve of any of the above? Most likely, if it’s anything like the garbage being produced by Hollywood and the television industry over the last few years? So — how many of those titles I just listed sum up any of the films you might have seen over the past year or so?

Of course, all of that gory, gross stuff is nothing compared to the rather insipid, vacuous act of Young People Fucking.

Well, at least it wasn’t called Young GAY People Fucking. It wouldn’t even make it past the screening room.

Posted in canada, censorship, commentary, culture, gay, media, movie, movie review, news, political correctness, politics, rant, thoughts, violence, wtf | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Porn vs. Violence: why is murder on tv ok, but we can’t watch porn during primetime?

Posted by E on September 27, 2007

In the wake of new video games that glorify combat violence, as well as the increasing popularity of gruesome TV shows like CSI and Numbers, I feel the need to take on the old question I’ve always asked myself: why is violence “sexy” on tv and in the movies, while nudity is considered risque and bordering on obscene? In other words, why can’t we watch porn during primetime?

As a regular, thinking individual with no predisposition toward any “moral” or religious reasons behind my formulation of opinions, I have to really ask:

Why isn’t sex and nudity mainstream on television? Why, instead, is violence, murder and dismemberment so popular? Sex is a natural act for human beings; it is something we will all engage in at some point. And of course, we come into this world naked and leave it the same way. So why is nudity considered obscene? Why are pornographic movies not played on mainstream television? The reality of porn is that it is a seeking of pleasure, an unabashed, rutting seeking of gratification and pleasure. Why is it wrong? Yet serial killers who rape, maim and kill are depicted on prime time every night?

I remember being about six years old and visiting my parents’ friends who lived in Sweden. One night, while the adults were busy talking, one of my playmates picked up the remote control and started surfing the channels. This being Scandinavia, porn flicks were not limited to the after midnight only rule, so we randomly discovered a show where a man was taking a woman’s dress off and licking her breast. I was fascinated to see such a thing – I always thought that only babies nurse at their mothers’ breasts, so why was this grown man doing this?

Suddenly, my mother flew into the room and proceeded to freak out. She covered my eyes and grabbed the remote control, muttering intelligibly about this being “dirty”, terrible stuff. I tried to ask what the two people were doing, but she just wanted to have no part in explaining anything. No discussion ever took place, but I understood that there were terrible, unspoken things that men and women did which involved being naked.

Fast-forward a couple of decades, I am a pre-law university student studying criminal psychology before CSI ever made it out of a nutcase producer’s feverish brain. The only risque shows on television were Law & Order, which now pales in comparison to the more disturbing trend of tv and movies such as Saw, Hostel, Irreversible, the Hills have Eyes, High Tension, Wolf Creek, The Departed, and even Passion of the Christ, which is basically a snuff film rapped up in religious zealotry.

As I studied the profiles of serial killers in my class, I never once found it to be a glorious and exciting event. Volunteering inside prisons, where I talked with women who killed their children, I never thought that in just a few short years the university’s Criminology program would be teeming with Forensic Inspector-wanna-bees who unabashedly would declare that their interest was first aroused by shows like CSI.

Why is it so fascinating for people to see limbs being severed, eyes being gouged out, entrailes removed, torsos crushed with hammers and pick axes, and women being raped and tortured, yet mainstream porn films which show women enjoying themselves be considered so wrong? Why does everyone assume that porn is the “gateway drug” to crime, when in reality only a minuscule number of porn-watchers become actual rapists? And how many of those rapists actually got off on violent films, using the realism involved in television portrayals of torture and murder as feeding fodder for their imagination?
I would rather my child watch a porn film anyday before allowing her to see half the primetime shows on TV.

These violent movies and video games on a subconscious level begin to change you. They are destroying a new generation of youngsters, robbing them of their own humanity, since it is humanity itself that is being degraded, mutilated, and has its soul ripped out for bloody entertainment. We have travelled back into the dark annals of a gory Roman time where the only form of entertainment was to see massacres and blood flowing through the acqueducts of Colloseum forums.

The dead are no longer human; they are things you look at, but no longer comprehend that they are like you. The tortured, the dismembered, the grotesquely murdered are only entertainment.

Yet anything to do with the beauty of the naked human form, with its enjoyment of the senses, and yes, this includes sex, is being puritanically and categorically censored. Even in the Middle Ages all the way up to the Impressionist era, the beauty of the human form was pursued in creative outlets. Only this “advanced” century would have Michaelangelo’s David and his Sistine Chapel nudes censored in elementary schools.

Just two weeks ago Facebook banned several women who had uploaded photos of themselves nursing their babies. Under the auspices of these photos being “Obscene” since they involved a partial view of a woman’s naked breast, the Facebook gestapo would rather believe that babies nursing is a sick act, unnatural, immodest and dirty.

How low has this society come, for people to regard natural life aspects like sex, childbirth and nursing as something to be held privately, behind closed doors, yet unnatural blood and gore as exciting, fun and gratifying entertainment?

I would not want to be a child growing up in this violent, irrational time. I dread to think of the effects on their maturing psyches. In this age, murder is no longer taboo; it is something that gets you on TV.

In this age, to be a celebrity you just have to be an anorexic rich walking imbecile, a pop singer or an actor. Should you invent the cure for cancer and HIV, should you discover new constellations, write great novels and dance like the wind, you are certain to go to your grave without being a coffee-table name. But if you shoot a few people on a university campus, you can be sure to have your name on a collectible trading card.

Sad.

Posted in censorship, children, commentary, culture, facebook, media, mother, movie, nudity, sex, thoughts, tv, violence, wtf | 10 Comments »