Stella Diaries 8:HEAT AND HELLFIRE

I decided to update “Stella Diaries” twice a week from now one. Next week it will be Tuesday and Friday.

http://bit.ly/stellad7

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Greferendum: Heroes fight like Greeks

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In my weekly updated story Stella Diaries, I have Stella say multiple times that she doesn’t understand much about politics, well it will not come as a surprise, but this is because I don’t much understand politics.

I understand situations; I understand people and countries under crises. I understand frustration, unemployment, and the feeling of being in debt.

I usually stay silent about global events whether sad or festive, because I believe that no matter how much I read about any particular event I will never have enough knowledge to add any good insight. I feel if I can’t know everything, and all the side of any story, I’d rather stay silent. They are enough people filling the world with noise.

Usually.

Today, I have decided to make a little noise myself about Greece’s referendum.

I don’t know how Greece will do after either result and for once, I am at peace with myself about this because it seems no one really knows either. Having said that, I strongly do lean towards one side more than the other and if I was in Greece I would have voted and prayed that my side would win. I am not going to reveal what I would have voted, though.

I have spoken about the things I don’t know or speak of, now let me talk about the things I do know of.

I know Greece is brave, I know that today’s referendum has resurrected  dormant Democracy.

Today the people of Greece, or should I say Hellenes, have taken back what’s rightfully theirs, the power to decide their own destinies. Today’s vote isn’t remotely  something insignificant; it decides their way of life for the near and possibly far future.

I am not naive. I know that the referendum isn’t done just for the sake of performing a truly democratic practice. It could serve some hidden political agenda. Still, the prime minister is not only brave but, I believe, performs a service to the Greek people, regardless their side.

On Monday, no matter the results the people will have taken part in deciding Greece’s path for better or worse and no one can deny how significant this is. It is a day to be immortalised in Greek history books.

The people of Greece are not united in their stand about Grexit, the Euro, the present government and that’s OK. They can’t all be. Being of the same beliefs, is not what democracy is about. It is about mattering. It is about existing. Taking a stand. Being a voice.

I love Greece as I would love a person. Its people are a passionate bunch with the biggest of hearts. They are brave, fiesty, outspoken, and kind. I would not see them kneel.

It would be a tragedy.

Not because of their past, yes it is great, because of their present as well. Not because of their sun, because of their warmth, their welcoming eyes, because they use the word paidia (kids) for people they like regardless of age. This is why I am proud to be a Hellene.

Stay strong Hellenes. Yes you are still strong regardless of the crisis. You have proved this today.

“Greeks don’t fight like heroes, heroes fight like Greeks” Wiston Churchill

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KzZPJqaVadY

Stella Diaries 5: SUMMER CAMP

No more crashing websites, hopefully, and update should be prompt from now on.

The new update is up.

http://bit.ly/stellad5

Excerpt:

That horrible machine

Everything hurts, but at least they have left me alone

with my memories

There are many things about the summer I was twelve that I don’t remember, and it is partly because it has so been many years ago.

I remember I was the youngest one at the GA Force camp; I was also a late bloomer. Most campers either ignored me, or –worst still– made fun of me.

Like for not having to wear a bra yet

Catherine was one of the people who made fun of me. I only remember her first name because not too long ago I recognized a photo of her in the news.

She was among the first victims of the “Force Catharsis”  

To her executioners it did not matter that she had never joined the Force. The camp was the only thing she participated in that was remotely linked to the Force.

New Stella Diaries Update: 4

There is a new update for those of you following up on the series. below is an excerpt:

“Can’t we all just get along? “

I manage to say as they drag me away from my- would- have-been executioner who is still squealing in pain.

I hope it was a live broadcast

My captors must have used up all their profane vocabulary  and energy in beating me up by now, do not reply. They do not even tell me to shut up.

If they will just drag me to my cell without a bullet in my brains, I’ll be surprised. They still don’t give a clue. I suppose there are so many times you can curse and tell someone they’re gonna die, before it loses its impact.

http://bit.ly/stellad4

To Art Or Not To Art, To Poetry, or Not To?

Have you ever wondered if art, whether it is in the form of writing, or painting, has been taken over by narcissism?

Over lunch, yesterday, the conversation turned from why would I want to read a book on cat psychology if I don’t have a cat to the tragic life of Edgar Allan Poe, how great his poems are, and of course how amazing is “The Raven.” Then my thoughts turned darker, as the always do when discussing poetry, and I remembered all the terrible poetry books that have passed between my hands when I used to work at a major book distributor.

Having done my homework in which is the best way to publish in Lebanon, I know unlike other places in the world, self-publishing is the best way to go. Having said that, you can probably infer that without a buffer, not all self-published are going to be  great works or even OK works*. Still, on my part, I would have respect for the author of mediocre books for the mere effort he/she has put in. I know first hand writing a book is no stroll in the park.**

But then there are some self-published books that need to be stopped and their authors, the I’m-so-smug-I-don’t-realize-my-thought-diary-does-not-need-to-be-read-by-anyone-ever, be banned from ever holding a pen or typing on a keyboard.

The work of choice of the I’m-so-smug-I-don’t-realize-my-thought-diary-does-not-need-to-be-read-by-anyone-ever is usually a poetry book or a sort of thought diary, devoid of any real poetry and depth, or anything that could be mistaken for poetry and depth.

I am not talking about some saccharine poems written by a preteen. No, it’s worse, I am talking about adults mistaking narcissism for art.  One particular poetry book comes to mind by a probably otherwise the lovely lady who wrote  one-liner poems made up of 2-3 words each and self published.

No, it’s not transcendent for a poem to be made up of one line saying “my hair” or “the night.” If you expect me to read that and search for depth and meaning, then I have become the poet, not you. In fact, it’s infuriating to me because I find it condescending that you expect anyone buying this book to mistake it for poetry.

The best case scenario I am willing to entertain is the night you were prompted to write this, you were sleepy and you were holding a paper and a pen. Suddenly  the words “the night” held lots of meaning to you, and you wrote it down. I honestly respect that.

What went wrong, is that in the morning you probably told yourself while looking in the mirror, “You are brilliant Lamia (not real name), you should share your brilliance with the world; they will worship you for it.”

Let’s be honest and realistic, this is not deep, it is not poetry and it is definitely not art. You did not work on that. You have put zero effort on your part, but expect me to search for the depth you are at best implying.

Smug Thought-Diaries are similar. There is no effort to move the reader. Worst thing is, these people think they are unique, they don’t realize most people have several thoughts per day that could be worked into poetry. You are not offering anything new.

As for art in the forms of illustration, painting or drawing it is worse in the way that on the internet you get to see so much talent by struggling artists, whereas one trip to an art exhibit and you will be looking for hidden cameras and some punk to jump in and say the whole art exhibit was a joke. Because there is no way an empty canvas with two parallel black lines could cost thousands of dollars because it is art. It is not art, you insult me and the rest of the people who got into the trouble of coming to the exhibit.

Poetry, these sort of thought diaries, or art in general is supposed to move us, inspire us, break us, challenge us or at least entertain us. No matter the style of a painting, if it holds my attention for even a second, it has touched me and this is phenomenal. It is what art is made for. Even if I don’t like it, whoever made it is an artist.

When it is apparent that zero effort was put in, I can’t help, but feel offended and sad; very sad not only at the condensation, but also at wasting any resources for making any of that crap happen. Let’s be honest, as much as I love art, it is not something essential survival of humankind; there’s no need to be wasteful.

* I know the same can be said of some traditionally published works

**in Lebanon actually a stroll in the park is putting an effort, as we have very few of them and they are tiny

Stella Diaries 3: How A True Soldier Dies

Today I published the third update to my online series.

Originally i thought i d make the entries bigger, so the first three entries on stelladiaries.paparoona.com (http://bit.ly/stellad3) were actually one big entry. I changed my mind to make them a light quick read.

Let me know what you think? Should I continue like this?

The Second Installment of Stella’s Diaries is online

Yesterday in the afternoon i was finally able to upload the second Stella installment. It has been two weeks that the website crashed on a Tuesday. If next week it crashes too, i will be forced to consider this a sign that the series should be updated on another date.

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2- Do Parents Know Best?

When my captor finishes recording his speech with the camera, they are going to kill me.

I had heard my parents talk about Global Alliance and The Force in a distrustful manner. When our  nation had joined the Global Alliance, it was one of the first in the region. Many did not like this union.

Including my parents.

Me, I was heartbroken over the murder of my favorite aunt and so I did not agree with them. The Global Alliance emerged after the international economic collapse to prevent a world war…

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Read more here: http://bit.ly/stellad2