Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Help! My feet are falling off!

The underneaths of them anyway. The skin's all white-y and tear-y. Altogether now: Eeeeeeeeee.
My dad took one look at them and said, "Wet socks." I don't WEAR socks, because I havn't worn sneakers for the longest time. (Which reminds me. I'm so screwed for Friday.) Sigh. It's YICKY. How.

And then there's the issue of my essay. It's still not done. 3 weeks is the longest writer's block I've had ever. And it doesn't help that yesterday I deleted the whole essay because it read funny and run of the mill and boring. AND I just realised that on my JC testimonial my leaving date is recorded as 31st December 2004. Now I'll have to get it changed, and the signature will be the new principle's. Sigh.

I think the kids have finally figured out that I'd just graduated last year. They would have found out sooner or later, but I was hoping later rather than sooner. Ohwell. It's only about two weeks to the release of the A level results...that would have been a pretty obvious blow of my cover.

RESULTS. ARGH. You know what, of all the subjects I sat for, I'm most terrified of screwing up gp. Not only because that would seriously undermine my credibility in my current occupation, but also because I honestly feel like I may have. Oh, and maths too. I still maintain that Paper 1 was better than Paper 2, but I'm beginning to feel that maybe, just maybe, I did so badly in Paper 1 I didn't KNOW I was screwed. Let's not even talk about the S papers. I'm definitely going to be in need of some Ben&Jerry's therapy come D-Day. And some moral support too. I am NOT looking forward to sympathetic glances from tutors with prior knowledge on the morning of the release. SIGH.

For now though, all I can do is pray for the serenity to accept what I deserve, and be thankful for what I probably don't.

The whole issue of the respect for religion vs. freedom of speech has been playing on my mind ever since the Danish newspaper issue came to light. I guess it's in these kind of situations where you realise the value of having a responsible media. My stand on the issue? Respect for religion comes first, and foremost. There's a fine line between the right to freedom of speech, and the abuse of freedom of speech. Purposefully antagonising a group of people who already feel antagonised falls short of the intelligence, sensitivity and all else a cultured society the Europeans claim to have should possess. While I don't believe a whole country should be blamed for the irresponsible actions of a group of people, I do think leaders could have been more forthcoming in their reassurance of the Muslims. It's easy to feel oppressed when you feel like a minority. I think Singapore did a pretty good job of coming clean with their opinions on the issue. While I don't agree with the means of protest - violence never solved anything, and only turns potential sympathisers against you, I do see why they're protesting. Just because the western world, and face it, most Christians, have let our guard down against blasphemy against our God, it shouldn't blind us to the fact that people do feel strongly about their religion, and we should respect that. And it's not just my two cents worth either. "How do you feel about the murder of the Catholic priest in Turkey?" somebody asked me. "Doesn't it make you angry?" Of course it does. What makes me angrier is that extremists have the excuse, handed to them on a platter, to 'prove' that they are being oppressed, and should, thus, take revenge; that people have been given a reason to confuse an individual cartoonist, expressing his opinion, with a whole range of people: white, european, christian. My stand is clear. The Danish and other newspapers were wrong to have printed the cartoon. The cartoonist may have the freedom to express his feelings in his art, that's fine. But the newspapers, as influential media, have the responsibilty to prevent the worsening of an already precarious situation. I'm not advocating censorship. I'm advocating responsibility of the press in an already divided world. I'm not condoning violent retaliation and protests - I'm saying the agitation some world leaders are refusing to sooth with a full apology is understandable.

Doesn't it strike anybody as sad, no, more than that, terrible, that Christians rarely raise so much as a whisper when our God is blasphemed? That sometimes, we do it ourselves? Freedom of Speech was a concept created to respect the individual's rights. When it over-rides the most basic desire of most individuals, to respect and honour his God, does that not strike you as fundamentally and woefully wrong? Some things should remain sacred, and in my list, reckless, irresponsible and insensitive freedom of speech hardly comes up tops.

What is the clash between then? A kid in one of my classes put it well. It isn't a clash between civilisations, certainly not one between religions. It's freedom of speech vs. respect for religion. And I don't know about you, but I sure hope the latter wins.

I think I know what's wrong with my feet. TOE JAM. Yuck.

Random Quote: No milk today. It wasn't always so. The company was gay. ~Herman's Hermits.

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