5.18.2012

The H Word.


The Holocaust is probably one of the, if not the most, horrific events in history. The Nazis of Germany used this inhumane method to designate actual persons as lives not worth living, or as they called it, Lebensunwertes Leben: life unworthy of life. The Nazis particularly catered to the lives of humans who were deemed inferior in terms of race, sexual preference, and/or political tendencies. The Germans were particularly fond of killing the Jews. During this time, the Germans also made victim of other groups who were viewed as “racially inferior”. Some of these groups include the Gypsies (Roma), people with mental difficulties and physical disabilities, the Poles, Russians and other people considered as Slavic, people with different political, behavioural, and ideological beliefs, such as the Socialists, Communists, homosexuals, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. As the Nazis spread their oppression far across other European territories, more and more millions of lives were taken. Roughly two to three million of the Soviet prisoners of war were either killed or died of hunger, illness, abuse, or neglect. The non-Jewish cognoscenti Polish were also targeted to be killed. A lot more of the Soviet civilians and Polish were deported to work in forced labor either in the occupied territories in Poland or in Germany. They worked under intolerable circumstances and most of them died under awful conditions. During the onset of the Nazi dictatorship, authorities annihilated homosexuals and mostly anybody who showed actions or behaviour that did not match their societal norms. Police officials eyed political opponents including trade unionists as well as religious dissidents. These people died of incarceration and abuse. At the beginning of the Second World War, the murder of civilians by bulk, specifically the Jews, was part of the Nazi policy. 

As the war grew on, this policy became a larger thing, from casual killing of many people it became a choreographed act. Hitler called it the “final solution”. The goal was to completely erase the whole Jewish race. At first, Hitler sent out death squads called Einsatzgruppen. These groups killed an estimated 1,000,000 human beings in multiple massacres. Still later on, concentration camps were built. These camps were designed to hold the killing of even more people through starvation and being denied of medical care. For some reason, the killing did not end there, and thus, extermination camps were erected. The purpose of these camps was more direct to the point. Here, German soldiers held massive murders in a systematic manner. Come 1945, the Allied troops discovered these camps and the activities being held within the premises. They found thousands of emaciated, hungered and nearly dead captives locked in together with corpses everywhere. Gas chambers and crematoriums that could fit in massive numbers of people were also unearthed. As the search went on, the troops yet discovered evidences of how the prisoners became the subjects of medical experimentation. On top of this, mass graves (which were more of piles of dead people rather than actual graves) were also found. When World War II was almost over, the SS soldiers moved their prisoners either by train or by foot (called “death marches”). These transfers were done in order to avoid occurrences of Allied liberation of huge numbers of these prisoners, which would pose as a direct threat to them. However, as the Allied forces travelled all throughout Europe, concentration camps were discovered. Different camps full of prisoners began to be freed. Some prisoners who were on their way during death marches encountered the same scenes, and Allied troops started salvage of these prisoners en route to the next camp. 

It was on May 7, 1945 when the last of the death marches took place. It was also on this day when the German Nazis signalled their surrender to the Allied forces. World War II was officially put to its end on the next day in Europe, and thus May 8 was called V-E Day. May 9 was held as Victory Day on May 9 subsequently by the Soviets.

Many survivors of the Second World War found refuge in shelters called “displaced persons” camps, facilitated by the Allied troops. All in all, it is believed that more than 10 million people were killed in this fashion. 200,000 were Gypsies. 200,000 physically and mentally handicapped people were murdered in what the Nazis called the “Euthanasia Program” 6,000,000 were Jews. At the end of World War II, it is believed that 2 out of 3 Jews died from the Holocaust. Starting on 1948 and on for three years, an estimated 700,000 Jews moved to Israel. Others moved to the United States and other countries. In 1957, the final displaced persons camp was closed. The innumerable crimes committed all throughout the Holocaust era has left aching marks in majority of the communities for European Jewish people with the murder of uncountable Jews in the entire Europe.

The role that the Holocaust has played in the whole of the Second World War is impossible to put plainly into words. Millions of people died in the process. It is all the more blatantly disturbing that the number of innocent children who were held victim is nothing but small. The scars that the Holocaust made during the World War II can still be felt today, in almost the same degree. It has played a huge role in uniting the people after the war. The end of racism and societal discrimination might have pioneered from the end of this war. It has stirred up universal emotion and humanity and in the end put a halt to inhumane dictatorship. To this day, the story of the Holocaust is still celebrated as a reminder of a dark time in history.

5.17.2012

Evolution Vs Intelligent Design


            Over the years, the debate of where man really came from has been going on like a silent war. The sides of Intelligent Design versus Evolution have both done anything but stop in their search for greater proof and more evidence. If anything, there have been significant instances where the search for the existence of such evidence has stirred ruckus. Sides have had moments of bringing down the other in the fight of having just one side win over the crowd, which in this debate, is the whole world.
            The theory of Intelligent Design is based on the stories and beliefs from the different books and teachings of religion. It states that it is an omnipotent being who has designed and created all of life. The theory supports the idea that every single creature, including humans, has its own design and make which has been the same since the beginning of time. This means that after thousands of years, the structure and DNA of all living things – animals, plants, humans – is consistent over time. It also says that every creature is responsible to keep its own kind populated. As an example, people give birth to human babies; cats deliver cats, and so on. Dogs do not produce pigs, and plants do not bear birds.
            The theory of Evolution was founded by Charles Darwin, the reason why it is also called Darwinism. The theory suggests that there is only one root of all life. This means that all living things have come about to existence with a common ancestor. Through generations, the structure of the bodies of the different life forms had been modified in small and large scales, which in turn produced different living forms. This means that humans have the same origins as the flowers, insects, and birds do.
            In the side of Intelligent Design, propagators believe that their theory is nothing like what the opposition suggests. Darwinists say that Intelligent Design is based on pure faith and beliefs and does not have enough concrete evidence to stand by its claims. However, supporters of Intelligent Design have been performing scientific and biological experiments and studies on their own. This proves the notion that Intelligent Design is non-science as false. A good example of this is Jonathan Wells, who holds a Ph.D. in both religious studies from Yale University as well as one in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley. The author of many articles and books is currently working on a number of empirical and theoretical researches in the field of cell and developmental biology. He follows a hypothesis guided by the principles of Intelligent Design in studying the location/s of non-DNA information in the embryo, analysing it as a whole – which is different from the idea of these non-DNA parts of the embryo as “accidental by-products” of DNA mutations and natural selection. In an interview, he said, “I compare Darwinism to a frozen pond in the springtime. As winter passes and the days grow longer, the ice may look thick, but it becomes honeycombed with melt water. In the next thaw it may disappear overnight.” 
            It is strongly stated that Intelligent Design is a scientific theory, based on facts, following a systematic method, and undergoes continuous experimentation and research. This makes it something more than the theory of Creation, which merely focuses on how an ultimate being created the world and all the living things in it.
Intelligent Design argues that it is not possible for all the complexities of the systems, organs, and functions of the human body (as well as those of other living creatures) to have come to what they are today (and in the past) without some definite design or guidance. As people learn more and more about these complexities and marvels, the theory of Intelligent Design is further supported.
This is grounded furthermore on the basis that all of life comes from a powerful god or deity (which can vary depending on what religion a person believes in). This god is responsible for crafting together the “intelligent design” which is applied to all forms of life and carried out all throughout time. For example, Christians may view this as the Genesis passage in the Holy Bible where God created the world and everything that lives in it in a matter of six days. Other religions have their own versions of the story of creation, with different gods and circumstances. However, the main idea is maintained. There is one ultimate engineer and architect who put to play this blueprint that is still occurring to the present day.
The side of the theory of Evolution, however, contests to this claim. They believe that people only follow such theory due to lack of scientific knowledge and factual evidence. Darwin’s theory focuses on the diversity of the species of life. Fossils have been the brainchild of all paleontological research in the name of the Darwinist theory. The theory suggests that supporters of Intelligent Design are mere fanatics and that their faith cannot prove anything feasible. The “unthinkability” of the origins of that theory seems far-fetched and they prefer something that can be based on real happenings. This is one of the reasons why Darwinism has been supported openly by Atheist groups and various institutes of humanities all over the world.
There has been speculation in the relevance of the theory of Evolution. Skeptics say that it being a “theory” does not make it more than plain talk and thoughts. The defense for this is citing other theories. Take the theory of relativity by Einstein and the gravitational theory by Newton. These are termed “theories” but are applied in daily life. They hold much significance in practical application whether it is chosen or not. The same applies for the theory of Evolution. The theory supports natural selection, which means only the fittest and strongest forms of life survived, along with significant modifications that are needed for survival in the ever-changing world. This means that there is no upper hand. Life merely survives and changes as it goes on through the process.
In the recent years, each of the two sides kept bickering over which was what and which was not. Neutral advocates have started coming out to clear up that although the two sides’ claims to belief are in no way similar to each other – opposing to some degree, even – this does not mean that religion and science (or Intelligent Design and Evolution) should be at war.
Some supporters of Intelligent Design question such advocacy and complain that the theory of Evolution goes against ethical principles and should not be taught in schools all over the country. The answer of the advocates is that these are two entirely separate subjects which should not be taught with too much relation to each other. As such, religion should focus on the good morals and lessons in a religion class, while science should focus on volcanic activity, the pollination of plants, the kinds of birds, et cetera, in a science class.
In conclusion, there is still a lot to be studied, researched and discovered in the search for the ultimate answer to the ultimate question. At present, everything still lies within the discretion and opinion of every individual.

5.11.2012

A Malleable Reality.


I do not know if anyone else has loved somebody with all that he/she has. 


This is mainly why everything has been so hard for me. From the looks of things, "we" are a lost cause. I am trying to run away from the pain through friends. This works, but only for so often. There is the sad truth that even friends cannot be there all the time because they, too, have lives to live. During these times where I sit alone, I face my misery and cry. This sucks but it's just how it is. I cannot play the strong card and pretend. Because I am not strong enough despite what everybody else says. I fail to grasp the belief that anyone ever is.


But it really was my fault. Had I not been how I was, things would never have gone the way the have. What we had was beautiful and I ruined it slowly, like poison. Until the day came when I woke up and the man who loved me more than anything was all used up. Fed up. Gone. Distant. I cannot really blame him for how he has become now. I turned a wonderful thing into a tiring routine of quarreling and broken hearts. But this is not to say that I did not do all that I could do to make up for it. Because I did, and I did so quite clearly. Sadly, though, as he puts it -- it's too late. So I guess that's it. A sad ending courtesy of myself and no one else.


I am weighing my options and frankly, I cannot let other people [my family included] down. So, I'll stay [here] however hard it might be. I will try to keep focused on working, though I know that it would not be easy. I will try. To fill the gaps I am still thinking about what to do with all the free time I now have (since before this I only really work one to two hours a day, tops, and still make a good earning). Maybe I'll try something else. Maybe I won't. As of now, I really do not know. 

I loved and I got hurt. Again. It would have been a hell lot easier since I have been in these shoes many times before. But I realize now that a girl never really learns much no matter how numerous her heartaches are to date. We're a stubborn bunch.


The greatest problem is that we live together, and there is no contesting that. There is no valid argument. We live in the same home, sleep in the same bed, share the same closet, have the same hamper. We breathe the same air, feel the same heat. So what now?

I don't know. Maybe I'll keep loving him. Maybe I'll keep hoping. Maybe someday he would be nothing more than another roommate. We may even end up as [good?] friends. 


All these questions! And all there is is but one answer: I don't know. Quite frankly, right now, I'm okay with that. The pain is constant but that's good. It reminds me I am human, not some demigod, all powerful and shit. And one day, I will forget about it. Or at least, how it feels. 



5.01.2012

The Ear of [G]od




My father told me once that words and letters hold the secrets of the universe.
That in their shapes and sounds I could find everything, 
could see beyond myself to something special... perfect.
My father told me once that I could reach the ear of God.
- Eliza, "Bee Season"


After watching the movie "Bee Season" for the nth time, I got to thinking about the power of words. And, as Eliza's father in the film preaches, is there really an ear of God? If so, is it possible for man to reach it? 

For most of my life I have been playing my way around words, at school or for leisure. Somehow, in this tricky industry, I have managed to make a career [and a living] out of it. Despite this clarity, I am still baffled by the degree of just how much impact and change words can incur to man, and to the world at large. Is there something greater than the letters and the words that we create? Is this fictional story in any way possible in real life, thinking that the simple act of permuting letters could probably create a trance enough for an individual to reach a higher, deeper state of being?

While this post pictures more questions than it does with answers, I would like to believe that the answers do exist. Somewhere in this life, this existence. And the answers to this -- in the similar fashion of how Adolf Hitler realized his political dream during an opera -- will be the key in conquering this world [or the next].

As much as I do not drown myself with the mysteries of religion and spirituality, one cannot help but ask about the existence of a Higher Being, whatever the entity's name and character is. What does being cleansed of heart and soul refer to? Does this mean that it necessitates becoming altruistic and genuinely good to others and to the world? If one does so, could it be possible that this act is the path towards reaching a different state of being, if ever such does exist? What is there to it?

This has led to a sudden urge inside my head to think deeper and reflect on the promise of power that lies on words and letters. Perhaps, with the right manner of concentration and permutation, I may be able to perceive, if not reach, a different state. It might not be anything like a trance, nor a phenomenon enough to lift me off the ground and send shivers to my spine and jerks to my joints. For now, even the slightest, faintest, shine of light or twinkle of a letter would suffice.


Make yourself right. 
Cleanse your heart and soul. 
Permute the letters back and forth.  
Permute the letters back and forth.  
You will feel then- 
You will feel then- 
...as if an additional spirit

 ...as if an additional spirit is within you.

4.25.2012

A World Without A Heart

"Nations have no hearts. They only have national interests."
- A non-verbatim quotation from one of my professors

A year into my master's degree in International Studies, I've learned that alliances are made, pacts are signed, and agreements are inked among nations all because of one thing: to promote and protect their national interests. United States wouldn't have engaged itself in a war with Iraq in the recent years if it didn't feel its national security is threatened or its vision of a "free" democratic world is put at a grave risk. (Of course recently, Obama has decided to gradually pull out the American troops from Iraq and apparently there are two reasons why: it's again election time in the US and a warmonger never wins a democratic election; and the country’s increasing budget deficit is aggravated by a high military spending which is the highest in the world.) Moreover, the United States wouldn't sign a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines in 1951 or erect American military bases in the archipelago (which were demolished in the early 90's) if it didn't think these actions will increase convenience for them to restrain communism in the Asia-Pacific region. In our increasingly realist world, every action of a nation is driven by a single purpose: to champion its national goals and ambitions. United States didn't declare war against Iraq to protect the Iraqi people or curb terrorism or secure world peace; and it certainly didn't sign a defense treaty with the Philippines with the prime purpose of protecting or assisting its ally in times of conflict and danger. Every action has an ulterior motive.

China's increasing aggressiveness over its West Philippine Sea claims is also a testament of how "far" (both literally and metaphorically in China's case) a nation will go to protect the basic components of its national interest: survival of its people, government and the integrity of its territory and sovereignty. China sure is a mineral-rich country. Unfortunately bauxite (and even the rarest of rare minerals) is unpalatable. And it isn't helping that the Gobi desert is expanding 3,600 km2 (1,390 sq mi) of grassland every year. For the country to feed its more than a billion citizens, it needs to find ways to secure its resources. It has to find a way to survive... even if it has to undertake measures that could create friction between it and another country (in this case the Philippines, and the other claimants). Naturally, the Philippines, a country with one of the weakest armed forces in Asia, is threatened by China's increasing military power and influence in the region. Once a force to be reckoned with in Asia during the Cold War period, the Philippines has had a tumultuous political climate during the Marcos and Aquino era that resulted to political challenges, mismanagement and economic stagnation (to the extent of recession) which in effect brought about several other conspicuous complications to its citizens that are still existing today such as poverty and corruption. Furthermore, the worsening communist and Muslim rebellions have likewise impeded economic growth in the country by making it unattractive to foreign investors. It is important to take note that in a realist world, military power is paramount. But how can one buy a gun if he doesn't have the money to purchase it? Hence, the Philippines' economic sluggishness has also hampered the improvement of its military capability (And this is such a shame for a country that used to have one of the best navies in the world. For a country that is more water than land, a strong and reliable navy is a must-have).

So how can a country like the Philippines defend its reasonable legal and historical claims over the West Philippine Sea against China, a country with not only a stronger military force but a wider sphere of influence in all aspects, a larger economy, population and land area as well? And what if everything has boiled down to a military confrontation, will the Philippines be able to defend itself and its claims? Or are we going to see a "Paracel Islands" repeat?

Clearly, the Philippines versus China is no contest. My professor used to joke 'Kapag sabay-sabay umihi ang mga Chinese, babaha sa buong Pilipinas.’ To win over a major power, one needs another major power in his side. Or better, a superpower. That's when the Philippines’ longtime ally, Uncle Sam, comes into the picture. The special relationship between the Philippines and its former colonizer, the United States, has been proven and tested a number of times, most of which during the Cold War when the former followed the latter in its biggest campaigns against communism in Asia (Vietnam and Korean War) during the turbulent era. The Philippines is so fixated to the US that its political and education system have been mostly patterned after the mother country. We have so wholeheartedly welcomed and embraced the Americans in our land that we see everything American as better. Bigger. Yummier. Easier to love. At one point we were even branded by the international community as "the little brown Americans" due to our love affair with the US. We love America so much. But does America love the Philippines as much?

Given the increasing tension in the West Philippine Sea involving China and the Philippines and the growing assertiveness of the Chinese, there is a series of pressing questions I would like to ask the US (if given the opportunity) at a time like this when its relationship with the Philippines is being tested. How far can it go to support the Philippines in its fight for the integrity of its sovereignty? If violence breaks out between China and the Philippines, are we assured of American support? Can the US oppose China, one of its top two biggest creditor countries (the other being Japan) and also a significant economic player in the international community? Will the mutual defense agreement between the two nations take effect? If yes, up to what extent?

Simply put, how much does the US love the Philippines?

The answer, nobody really knows but America. Let’s take for example Iran. Iran used to have a warm relationship with the United States until the Iranian revolution in 1979. Today, the relationship between the two countries has become so hostile that they have no formal diplomatic relations with each other. Apparently, not only individuals are estranged from someone they used to love. Even nations with such beautiful ties sometimes drift apart. And worse, they can even go the opposite directions to oppose each other. This is not to say that United States isn't a reliable ally to the Philippines anymore. It was and it still is. But if there's one constant thing in this drama called international relations, it is change. Change in goals and objectives. Change in perspective. Change in priorities. Given the economic abyss the United States (and the entire Western World including Japan) is in right now, can it afford another war just to support an ally, and to complicate it more, against a country that is economically important to it? Unfortunately in the realm of international politics, your friends won't always be your allies and your allies won’t always be your friends (Jaclyn Friedman).

If it’s true that this is a heartless and selfish world where at the end of every day, we're always on our own, is it hopeless? Are we on the losing end? I think not. The world may not have a heart but I’m sure it does have a brain. And it damn well know what it will lose if this fight is won by the unworthy.

So I call for the world to wake up and open its eyes. This fight isn’t the rivals’ alone. It’s a global issue that requires every country to watch and take a stand on. We don’t need the world to defend  or fight for anyone. What we need is for it to defend and fight for what is right and just. If bullying in schools is a cause of concern for everyone, how is this any different?

Let’s leave colonialism into the past altogether and try this better practice called cooperation instead. Survival should be assured for all human beings, not for a particular race alone. This should be the goal of every nation in the world.

4.22.2012

Safe and Sound.


There is a very fine line between loving someone and falling in love.




(I know, right? Another love post. Don't bother reading. Go on to the next blog, please.)







(Okay. Then.)

I miss the feeling of bliss - that feeling when nothing else matters. I know all of this has been said and done at some point by a gazillion others, yet I stay firm on this ground. I could have written something better, something different, something unwritten before, perhaps a great idea that could make the world a better place and create that "change" all of us have been singing since before Clapton. But here I stay. It must be the hormones, must be that time of the month, or the fact that I have just seen the most honest music video from (I'm sorry...) Taylor Swift. I think it was more of the backing vocals (and guitars, by The Civil Wars) that created a lump in my throat. I am pretty certain it wasn't Coke nor the prawn crackers. It was the music. Stop investigating! Okay. Good. Now that we have established that...


The difference. Yes.



Loving somebody has kept me breathing for most of my life. Maybe it has, for most of us. And while all of the excessive melodrama is indeed unnecessary in this world, I cannot erase the fact that sometimes a girl just needs something extra. I have cursed fairy tales and all their bullshit very long ago. But in a very hidden, buried, area inside me streams a hopeful light that the promise of passionate and everlasting love that these children's bed time stories does exist.

This phenomenon is rare, ever since the men providing the services have become such scarcity. (What the hell is up with that, anyway? Explain.) It may even be the case that this type of love (erkkk.) cannot be easily discriminated from the usual forms. And as I go an blabbering on this digital papyrus the clearer it appears that words would not suffice - no matter how sophisticated or several - to exemplify what I'm trying to say. People can remain in relationships for months, years, lifetimes. Yet there are those which never really feel the greatest love of their life. I would like to believe that I may be one of these unfortunates, trodding on the existential company and satisfaction that a stable relationship can provide, flowing through a river of perfected rituals and memorized routines of one another, keeping in mind that possibly, this could be all that there is to love.


Well. How convenient. I think I'm done here for tonight.
Tune in for my pending plan on conquering the world. Thanks. Take care now.

My Lebensraum


This is a world of scarcity…

Because everyday we’re given scarce means to make ends meet.
Because even ends are limited.
Because nations fight over scarce resources for sustenance and survival.
Because every morning you scurry your way to the office only to find that nothing has really changed.
Because life is a never-ending war for continued existence where weapons are in short supply but the rivals are unlimited.

This is a world of scarce everything… except for one thing – dreams.

And it’s our dreams that will satisfy hunger and quench the thirst; that will kill the boredom and fuel the fervor; heal the wounds and keep us alive. It is our dreams that will reverse scarcity and transform the world into a place of richness and abundance.

The world is Pandora’s Box and our dreams are our only hope.

Guten tag. Ich hei├če Alanj Nugis. My dream is to take over the world.


4.21.2012

Un.


the canvas is blank
as it always has been
the day has gone dark
and my thoughts are obscene
in a world of people
a new creature is born

Prologue.

There comes a time in your life when you just want to stop being your lazy self, get up from the couch (bed, floor, or wherever you lay the slack of your ass on), and with a swoosh of magic/fairy dust (whichever works), conquer the world. 

...

I mean, who hasn't?




It all starts - and I mean always - with a sinister, maniacal laugh. 
(This is the part where you imagine me laughing in a very evil way.)


Alright. So. This will be the first post from a series related to ME conquering the world. 
(Because really, you can say it just like that. Snap snap. Very easy. As simple as one, two, three.)




Follow the label "Guinevere Conquers the World" in my future posts to keep track of any development/s regarding my evil plan. Because seriously, you wouldn't want to miss out on that.


Have a great day, now, kids. Be good.

Introducing... Us.

Huzzah, one and all. Welcome to our blog (by whichever manner has managed to drag you into this page)! We call ourselves the Closeted Hitlers. I will be sharing this online spotlight with my soul mate, Alanj Nugis.

This blog will serve as our means of expressing our deepest and shallowest thoughts, hopefully not at the same time, on life, society, the norms, and basically anything we set ourselves to. Feel free to roam around and stalk us, you filthy rascals! Muahahahaha!


This is all for now, and until the next post, I leave you with these words:


The world's forgotten, until the world's forgot.

Adieu,
Guinevere.