Monday, November 16, 2015

Waleed Aly, Bad Moods, Pink Lakes, and MyPeace

1. Started to watch Waleed Aly's video about Daesh being weak and realized I probably disagree with him.

His argument is that random people are doing the murders in France and other places. Then Daesh take the credit for it. That way they appear stronger than they are.

At first, I agreed with Aly's point.

But then I started thinking. If you can get random people to happily do your bidding without even requesting it; isn't that kind of a strength? Or at least I don't think it's weak.

The one way I would agree with Waleed Aly is if the murderers spoke up and said,, actually. ISIS didn't hire me to do this. I have nothing to do with them. I work alone!

But if the murderers are happy to be seen as working for Daesh, and the Daesh are happy to take credit for it; it kind of is like they're working together.

2. Thought that maybe we can say Daesh is unorganized, but I don't think that means they're lacking in power.

3. Watched more of Waleed Aly's video.

I agree with the next thing he says. Daesh wants to create World War III.


And we're falling right into their hands.

4. Thought about what Waleed Aly says about Daesh wanting to turn non-Muslims against Muslims, so then Muslims will feel alone and turn to Daesh.

Yeah. That's true.

I think it has to go both ways, though.

While we request that Non-Muslims not assume all Muslims are terrorists, Muslims need to remember that not all Non-Muslims are stupid, ignorant racists.

5. Liked that Waleed Aly's video is balanced. He talks about white racists spreading hate, but also about members of the Muslim community pushing the idea that Muslims aren't welcome in Australia.

It really goes both ways.

It's like a pyramid of evil. On the very top, you have the actual murderers. On the next level, you have the racist haters that push for more division and encourage violence.  Below them are the haters who hate, but don't condone violence.

Next you have the people like me. We're kind of prejudice sometimes, but we try not to be.

6. Was going to say there's a group below that who aren't prejudice But I don't think it would be a pyramid then, because that group has to be the biggest group in order for the pyramid shape to win.

I seriously doubt there's a large number of people in the world that are completely lacking in prejudice.  I have my doubts that they even exist at all.

I think we all have prejudices. I think it's best that we admit to them—at least to ourselves and try to get past them.

7. Started watching an episode of The Secret Life of Us.

8. Saw Kelly (Deborah Mailman) feeling insecure when she meets Corey's (Aaron Pedersen) workmates.

She also felt insecure and alienated when she met Frank's (Rhys Muldoon) social circle.

I can relate to that.

I sometimes feel worthless, insecure, and invisible when I meet with Tim's friends or family.

I'm betting a lot of times it comes from me. Sometimes I just feel judged and disliked, even when people are being friendly.

Other times...well, I'm pretty sure it's not all in my head.  There are certain people, whether on purpose or unintentionally, who do things to make me feel marginalized. Or sometimes it's what they do NOT do.

9. Learned about the beginnings of the American Democratic Party in our homeschooling lesson today.

It confuses me, because some things about the party have stayed the same and some have changed.

Back then, as today, the Democrat party was concerned about the gap between the rich and the poor. The opposing political party (The Whigs) were supported by the wealthy bankers and businessman.

Where the Democratic party of old differed from today was that they were more racist. It was under their leadership that the Native Americans endured the Trail of Tears.

It made me think of Australia. We think of the Labor Party as being the less racist political party, but at one time they're the ones that brought in The White Australia Policy.

Now I don't know if this means the opposing political parties promoted ethnic unity in the past. It wasn't necessarily a switch. I imagine both political parties might have been racist with less bigoted people sprinkled here and there in both parties.

10. Learned that I'm wrong. The Labor Party didn't start the White Australia Policy.

Lord Wiki says it began with the beginning of Federation.

Why then do I associate it with the Labor Party?

11. Dug deeper in Lord Wiki's confusing maze of knowledge and saw him saying that, Historically, Labor and its affiliated unions were strong defenders of the White Australia Policy, which banned all non-European migration to Australia

Well, so maybe they didn't start the White Australia Policy, but they were known for supporting it.

In the same way, Andrew Jackson and the Democrats weren't the first Anglos to be shitty to Native Americans.

12. Could totally relate to Kelly in this episode of The Secret Life of Us.

Corey, her boyfriend, is in a bad mood because he played badly in his sport-career game.  Kelly becomes intolerant of the bad mood.

I have a lot of trouble not taking bad moods personally. I end up getting angry and grumpy too.  In other words, the bad mood passes on to me.

What really sets me off is if I see the grumpy person's mood lift when they're with other people. It's like I can't bring them out of their bad mood, but other people can.  Then it's hard for me to not take it personally.

I saw the same thing happen with Kelly. Corey's been grumpy and distant with her. But then she sees him acting quite happy and playful with his mate and two beautiful women in a hot tub. Later, Kelly asks him about this, and Corey's stance is that the women were fans and he has to be nice to fans.

Okay. Maybe? But he sure looked genuinely happy.

13. Thought there were two opposing explanations for someone being in a bad mood with us but not with other people.

A) They love us the most and feel the most safe with us, so they can take off all masks and show their true miserable feelings.

B) We make the bad moods worse because we're annoying and boring. We don't have what it takes to light up their lives, but other people do.

Maybe it's a little bit of both; or one or the other depending on the situation and the people involved.

My main argument against A would be that it's hard to fake joy unless you're a trained and/or talented actor.

Now I think most people can hide their dislike, and push politeness. But that's different from actually acting happy. It's hard to fake laughter that sounds genuine, and it's hard to pretend you're having a a fabulous time when in reality you're bored and depressed.

14. Went back and watched the hot tub scene.

First of all, Corey looks genuinely happy.

Second, he smiles and laughs when the other occupants are under the water. So, no. It's not just a happy face that he put on to please his fans.

Also, his mood visibly drops when he notices Kelly's arrival.

15. Wonder if Kelly will ever find a boyfriend that meets with my approval.

16. Loved scene with Nikki (Anna Torv) telling off her mother. This comes after her mother interrogates her about her career and offers controlling, bitchy advice.

Nikki concludes her attack on her mother with these lines. Well, how about next time we catch up, you ask me how I am instead of bagging me for how I'm not.

Amen to that.

I can't remember a time in my life where someone gave me a lot of grief about my career choices.  But Nikki's statement reminded me of how I feel when certain people (my parents) ask about our recent trips. They don't give attention to what we DID do. They ask us if we did this thing and that thing. When we say no, I'm not sure I get an attitude of disapproval.  What they do, though, is then talk about what they did when they went to the same place. It's like...hello? I thought we were talking about OUR trip not yours.

Actually, it's not just trips, but with other things such as what TV shows we watch.

They want to know if we're doing the things they want us to be doing. And if we're not doing them? Well, they really don't want to bother knowing what we ARE doing.

17. Decided to give an example conversation.

MY PARENTS: So how was your trip to Australia?

ME: Great.

MY PARENTS - Did you go the the Great Barrier Reef?

ME: No, we went to—

MY PARENTS-We went to the Great Barrier Reef. It was amazing. Beautiful. Even though it rained.  And we didn't see that fish from that Disney movie. What's it called again?

ME: Finding—

MY PARENTS-Did you go to the Opera House in Sydney?

ME: Well, we went outside of it, but didn't go inside.

MY PARENTS : Oh, you should have went inside. They have beautiful tours there.

ME: Well, I'm not really into tours. And I like—

MY PARENTS-Did you go to Hobart?

ME: No, but we did go to—

MY PARENTS- Oh, look. There's a sale at Macy's!

Note: That's not a transcript of a real conversation, but it strongly represents many conversations I've had in my life.

18. Loved Kelly's monologue at the end of the episode. Even though a sense of security has to come from inside, human being are social animals. Our security is always going to be linked with other people—people who let you join in and make you feel like you belong.

People can't make you feel like you belong if you absolutely hate yourself, or you have a huge amount of insecurity. But if there's no one in the world who wants you, I think it's going to be very difficult to have inner strength and security.

19. Felt this lesson fits incredibly well with something I was privately thinking about the Waleed Ally thing.

I'm not sure if I kept it private, because I didn't want it known. It was probably more like I had a lot of thoughts and needed to reign them in, so I could start our daily history curriculum.

What I was thinking, though, is that Muslims shouldn't depend on us non-Muslims to give them love and assurance. Even if everyone is mean to them that doesn't give them an excuse to join evil Terrorist groups. They should stand strong no matter what.

Kelly's monologue makes me rethink all that. If someone is hated by those who surround them, might they desperately seek out love in the wrong places?

Isn't that how cults work? Don't they prey on the emotionally needy?

20. Wanted to say, though, that if a Muslim did feel that all non-Muslims hate Muslims, they're blind, ignorant, and delusional. Really. They should just  take a look at Twitter and see all the support.

Yes, there is hate. But the love is there if one is willing to see it.

21. Figured it's probably not just about the Muslim community being loved in general, but instead about the individual.

Someone can go on Twitter and see all the love showered on the Muslim Community. But if they're lonely and alienated, it might not make a difference.

22. Intrigued by the new Australian Muslim Party.  How many votes will they get?

What are their policies?

Maybe I'll look into that later.

23. Started watching an episode of Farscape.

24. Saw some exciting guest stars in the credits—Dan Spielman and Marshall Napier.

Well, and I also saw Lucy Bell. She's not the one who played Anna in Frozen. Is she?

25. Saw that Lucy Bell does NOT play Anna.

I was thinking of Kristen Bell.


26. Realized that this guy is Marshall Napier. He's wearing a lot of make-up, but I can tell it's him from his voice.

27. Wondered if I could have figured out that's Marshall Napier if I hadn't seen his name in the credits.

Probably not.

I might have recognized his voice, though, and wondered who he was.

28. Finished watching the episode.

I think it was the best of the season so far.

It was about time travel—the whole thing about trying not to change the past because you might screw up the future.

29. Got the idea, from this episode, that by actively trying not to change the past, we might cause more harm than if we just acted naturally.

If we know something bad is going to happen, we should try to stop it.  Or, at least, we should be like Donna Noble, and rescue a few of the people.

30. Wondered if time travelers should kill Hitler.

I'd say no. At least not when he's young and innocent. Maybe the time travelers could use their history knowledge to catch evil-adult Hitler at a time when he's less protected.

31. Realized that killing Hitler would be actively changing the past which is different from not actively avoiding changing the past.

I think it would be okay to forgo killing Hitler. I think it would be less okay to watch Jews being shot and not do anything, simply because you feel this is what's meant to be.

Who knows. Maybe the saved Jews would change the future for the better.

32. Tried to find a website for the Australian Muslim Party; then I saw this article saying it's going to be up on Tuesday.

I think that's today for Australia.

I wonder if it will be up before I go to bed.

33. Started to look at Palg1305's Melbourne album.

He has photos of a pink lake.

I didn't think there was a pink lake in Melbourne.

Is there a mistake, or am I the one that's wrong?

34. Googled and saw the Pink Lake is in Western Australia.

35. Googled Pink Lake and Melbourne. It turns out Palg1305 isn't confused.

There's a lake in Westgate Park that has turned pink.

36. Learned from this article that the pink is caused by high salt concentrations, hot weather, and low rainfall.

Well, actually that stuff doesn't directly cause the pink. If I'm understanding things correctly, these conditions cause an interaction between algae and halobacterium. They bring on the pink.

What are Halobacterium?

37. Learned from Lord Wiki that Halobacterium are from the archaea domain! We learned about those last Friday.

Halobacterium, like bacteria, are one celled-organisms like bacteria. But they're different enough to be in a different domain. One of the interesting things about them is they can live in really hostile environments. For example: Very hot environments.

Halobacterium live in salty environments.

38. Learned from Lord Wiki that Halobacterium are a possible life form on Mars.

That's very cool.

I'm guessing Lord Wiki means that Halobacterium could have grown there in the past and might still be growing there.

I can't imagine he's talking about plans for the future, because I thought they were making plans for humans to go there.

Or maybe the plan is to start with more basic life forms?

39. Saw from Google Maps that Westgate Park is west of the Melbourne CBD.

40. Could not find a Twitter account for Diaa Mohamed, the founder of the new Australian Muslim Party.

Though I could be spelling his name wrong.

41. Spelled it right.

Couldn't find it.

But I do see other Diaa Mohameds.

42. Watched a commercial from My Peace, Diaa Mohamed's organization.

It's lovely—show's Islam's best side. It's talks about charity and saving lines. One thing I liked is they say even a smile is charity.  I agree. There are cases where kindness is needed more than donations.

43. Looked at the website for MyPeace.

44. Saw that their about page is very kind and welcoming. They say,
Offering a free copy of the Holy Qur`an and Islamic literature, and also organising Mosque Tours, speakers will be on hand to discuss anything to do with Islam, no question is off limits, we encourage the participation of all Australians to feel free to call or email with any questions.

45. Saw that MyPeace condemns any violent or extremist behavior.

They also advocate the right of free speech for all Australians.

46. Read the MyPeace page about women in Islam.

They kind of ignore the negative and accentuate the positive. They talk about how women in Islamic history were pushed to be educated, and that there have been female Muslim scholars, doctors, business women, etc.

I'm guessing sexism comes from the usual place—the patriarchal males.

We've been learning about the sexism in early American history.

I'm not educated enough in history to know why some cultures have reduced their sexism and others have kept it at a disturbingly high level.

47. Wondered if there's sexism in the Koran. If there is, is it worse than what's in the Torah and New Testament?

48. Started to read the MyPeace page for Misconceptions about Islam.  As for Muslims being terrorists they say, Has anyone else noticed how when a specific group of people attack another group of people it is labeled as a ?hate crime?, but when a Muslim opens fire on anybody it is quickly regarded as ?terrorism?.


Have there been many groups attacking other groups lately that are not Muslim? I've seen individuals, but I don't know about groups. Maybe I missed it.

Besides that, who cares?

What would the difference be if we changed the name of the crimes in Paris, Beirut, Sydney, Turkey, etc. to hate crimes?

Are hate crimes better than acts of terrorism?

Murder is murder.

If a Jew shoots a family of Muslims, and we call it a hate crime; then a Muslim blows up a bus and we call it terrorism; are we saying the terrorism is worse?

I don't think so.

Hate crimes and terrorism are both really horrible.

49. Read more about Islam and women on the misconceptions page.  I like this page, because it acknowledges the negative.

They say, And while there are Muslim countries in the world that do implement many harsh rulings against women, this should not be portrayed as Islamic law. Many of these countries have cultural differences that go against the teachings of Islam.

The general idea I'm getting is it's not Islam that's the problem, but certain bad Muslims.

50. Felt that if the majority of Muslims were like the ones described on this page, I wouldn't mind them taking over Israel.

I think the Jews would be well loved and protected.

Unfortunately, though, I doubt most Muslims are like the ones described on the website. Just like most Muslims aren't terrorists, most are also probably not overly wonderful human beings.

They're just regular human beings; and regular human beings are sometimes nice and sometimes not. They're manipulative, greedy, selfish, rude, prejudice, grumpy, vain, etc.

Oh goodness. I'm sounding very negative.

Sorry. It's just reading Twitter; and learning about American history?  It's really hard to read that kind of stuff and not feel like humans are very flawed.

51. Decided to have hope that things can get better.

It doesn't matter if we're Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Atheist, Pagan, etc. What matters is whether or not we're usually kind, and whether we avoid going on killing sprees.

52. Decided peace and stability in Israel won't be about the Jews winning against the Muslims or the Muslims winning against the Jews. It will come about when the kind people outnumber and overpower the wicked.

And that goes for the rest of the world as well.

53. Hoped that The Australian Muslim Party adds to the wonderfulness of Australia.