Indian Girls

Beautiful flowers

Calm, proud, intelligent hues

Stare me in the face

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Let Them Eat Cake 

Someone understands you

Whether near or far

They see your pain

Feel your soul

Thirst to cure it

Because no matter what you are

No matter what 

They see you as theirs

As part of their soul

They see you glow 

Halo

Aura

And all is forgiven 

All is well

—————– 

Together you can touch the hand of God 

You can look

From above

And make sense of it all

No matter what, my dear

No matter what
Copyright Ted Kouretas 2017

Movember—Because Men Are Dying Too Young

Movember is here. And it’s about time. It’s time to take the stigma out of admitting you hurt. Time to share your pain. Time to let it all out. Time to save your life. It’s time to help others keep living , strive to get cured, and build their legacy. 

For what seems forever, men hadn’t had the opportunity to reach out or cry out. Movember makes it possible for men to speak openly about feelings kept hidden because of the stigma that scared them so much.

Jumping off a bridge instead of seeking help for your depression has often been the natural outcome. Why do so many more men than women jump to their deaths? In a patriarchal society, men are not allowed to show weakness. I get an image of a CEO closing the doir to his office and just crying into his palms. Why is he stuck there? How can he escape? Will that feeling ever go away?

Depression is serious and complex, as can be seen in this article from The Guardian.

Then there’s the younger generation,  who have to come to grips to what once was a woman’s problem—body image. Most od of us look like this guy on top than this guy below.

Yet we want to be that guy. We want to be The Rock.  

I know Movember is about awareness to men’s diseases. For me, it is an extension of Mental Health Awareness. It simply puts the focus on men. And I thank God for that. So many lives  have been saved even though there can be no concrete stats. 

Yes, men’s cancer awareness is very important in pointing out there are cancers out there that are very lethal that need as much funding as breast cancer.

The biggest problem for men during these fast-paced changing times is the ability to change quickly enough. Simply put, there is a universal movement towards a more egalitarian existence between both genders. Assimilation and adjustment can be hard for many men. There are more rules. There is cultural interference. 

Here’s an example of the confusion. This needs to be addressed. 

So stop living in the 70 s. Participate. Listen. But most importantly,  spread the word.

EMPOWER ONE ANOTHER!!!

Attrition

Late spring 

Lilac season almost done

Still light at 8:00

Yet the routine kills

————— 

Lavender dreams

Weekend spas

Flowers blooming

Pantiless, in the grass

——————- 

You have nothing if you have loneliness

Especially if you’re a sweet soul

Never understood

Appreciated by very few

——————— 

She smells the flowers

Rejoices

Enjoys her lone splendour 

Still in the nest

——————— 

Attrition is difficult 

We’re used to being alone

Crying ourselves to sleep

——————— 

We bathe in the goodness of newfound friends

Try to let go of the past

But cry sometimes

To feel better

——————— 

Gimme ten minutes of happiness

For a day of sadness

A fair deal

It’s so delightful 

Liberating

———————— 

My dear

Uncover your facade

Lose your constant giving

Receive some admiration

————————— 

I study your face 

That wicked half-smile

Hiding all your woes

What I would give to make that smile real

Sincere 

To liberate your spirit

Untire your bones 

Your emotional baggage

Lift you up

Watch you levitate

That unbearable lightness….

——————– 

I write as I wake before dawn

Feeling you

Knowing we’ll meet

Embrace

Kiss

In such an unforced, natural way

With complete freedom 

We co-exist 

—————— 

There’s so much to adjustment

But I trust your judgement

And if all that happens stays only in my head

It shall have to be enough

———————– 

Attrition

Escape

Freedom

They have found us

At a later age

But we’re eternally young 


Copyright Ted Kouretas 2014

Epiphanies

Life hasn’t been so kind
Loop after loop

Hurdle on top of hurdle

Fake news

Imaginary dichotomies

———–

Things make no sense until they do

Reality seems unreachable

We walk the mortal coil

In the lap of feigned luxury

On porn sites

In executive board meetings

In big cars

At sports events

We walk

We trudge

We recoil

We lose our smile

Eventually

Till our next affair

 ———-

Happiness comes not in a pill

It’s gained by chance

By coming in touch with our solitude

And accepting the existence of now

The peace that has been lonely since we

        were kids

We wash our soul’s tears away

Yet we’ve been hurt too many times

———–

Co-existence is the fruit of experience

It is beyond cherry orchards

Or strawberry fields

It is the undefined “it”

That perfect moment

In synchronicity

When all is in the right place

The skies

The spirits

They’re all balanced

And you start enjoying reality
Copyright Ted Kouretas 2017

A Clockwork Orange — Always Timely

The film is older than I am, but that’s no reason to be unaware of it. I first saw it in film studies class at 18years old. And it has helped me understand others and the overhyped difference in the good vs. evil dichotomy.  It is the reason I changed my major to Sociology. 

The setting seems to be a post-war world where Russia seems to have won the war. So many Russian words and references. And our hero is tge leader of a gang who winds up raping a woman and giing to jail. He is abusee by the system, beaten up by the cops when he’s out, and windsnup coming ahead at the end and starting a new circle— that of corruption.

We see the whole gamut here. There is a reason for everyone’s behaviour. We should learn to understand why instead of how. Thanks to Alex, I hve been able to filter others while making itbpossible to teach my points of view unfiltered.

Alas, if only people would pay attention.

Ted Kouretas is a former member of the Droog Foundation, now defunct and completely erased from any internet search because of his close relation to Hillary Clinton. Remember, if there’s a will, there’s always corruption and the skewing of algorithms. 


The Niqab and Democracy 

Below is an Op-ed from Jeff Itcush, as shared on Facebook. My opinion comes after the piece.

—————– 

​The Quebec government’s Bill 62 will ban face coverings within public service contexts with the justification of promoting “state religious neutrality “.  The Charest government attempted the same thing in 2010 with Bill 94.  Below, is an op-ed that I wrote in response to that bill.  My sentiments now are the same as they were then.   
OP-ED PIECE BY JEFF ITCUSH 

THE NIQAB REVISITED
 The Charest government’s recent effort to prohibit the wearing of the niqab in public service contexts is shortsighted.  If the spirit of Bill 94 is to promote integration in a pluralistic society, the legislation is poorly-conceived at best.  At worst, it will prevent healthy social integration.
 In the past decades, Quebec has promoted immigration from various parts of the world for political, economic and humanitarian reasons.  This has helped foster Quebec’s reputation as a tolerant and open society.   In these circumstances the presence of people practicing a diversity of religious and social customs should be expected.   This is also a part of a global transference of human populations that will be even more prevalent as the twenty-first century unfolds.  Monolithic societies simply do not exist anymore.  Throughout the twentieth century, governments which attempted to reinforce monolithic myths have fostered intolerance, discrimination and gross civil rights abuses.  These things have marred the history of those societies.  What then of Quebec?
 The presence of Niqabs and other religious symbols will be an ongoing but limited  phenomenon in Quebec.  This is simply evidence that Quebec is part of the globalized and increasingly urbanized world.  Most urban societies have already long been “communities of communities”.   The only way out of sharing the presence of those with different customs is to either try to escape the present or punish people who seem different.  Both of these reactions are unrealistic and the latter is problematic from a civil rights perspective.  In the bigger picture, the latter also shows that we are not as tolerant or “open” as we think.
 If we, as a society, wish to integrate those with diverse customs, then benefits to engage in the larger community must be obtainable.  Beyond this, it must be realized that only a few people in any given cultural or religious group will wish to forgo the opportunities that integration can offer.  Thus, the total number of people wishing to wear a niqab will be minimal.  Of  146,000 clients visiting Montreal’s health insurance board offices in 2008-2009, only ten women donned in niqabs requested accommodation.
 What then is a viable integration-building alternative?   Social integration does not exist without economic integration.  Economic integration does not exist without employment.  This is significant because, according to Statistics Canada,, unemployment among immigrants in the province is more than twice that of persons born here.  Given the issue at hand, this rate is even more telling when it is understood that nearly half of Quebec’s recent immigrants are Moslem. The majority of this group can function well in the French language.
 Integration is contingent upon employment.  Needed are legislated hiring policies that are consistent with the goals of real integration – economic engagement.  Given the opportunity to prosper, very few will choose to be disengaged from a society shrowded by customs of another era.   When, however, any group is excluded from the mainstream, it has no alternative but to seek refuge in the past.  People, no matter who they are, seek stability and some sense of solidarity.  
 Integration through employment is a means for people of diverse backgrounds to build commonality on the things they all seek  – mobility, prosperity and the opportunity to contribute. Governments, including Quebec’s, need to embrace proactive measures that engage the diversity of our population despite all of our interesting differences.   Niqab curtailment isn’t likely to accomplish this.  Employment will.
Jeff Itcush

Former President – Federation of Teachers of Jewish Schools

—————– 

My take:

Here’s how the law curtails feminism. 

It would definitely be hypocritical of feminists to be for this law. After all, they support freedom of choice for women. And since this is the law made by middle-aged, mostly-male lawmakers, it would go against the very tenets of feminism by allowing them to control women’s rights. On the other hand,  it would be inappropriate for feminists to support this law if they believe men in the Muslim world are forcing these women to wear the Niqab. 

The above dilemma creates a quandary for feminists, and for us,  because we are mostly ignorant of the culture these women live in. And the main culprit in this is the mainstream media. They keep throwing images at us of those “terrorists” that are causing all the problems on this world. We are bombarded with shantee town-like images of Palestine and Lebanon. There are no images or reports about “those good Muslims”  (I’d say about the same ratio as people from all other religions) trying to live a straight and healthy life. They are just part of the problem and should stand up to the ones that are bad. I suppose it’s like how us Christians stand up to the KIK lynchings. 

Can we at least establish that most Muslims are good? Now we can move on to comparing the niqab to the crucifix. Although far more visible, the niqab is a religious symbol no more or less than the crucifix. 

Now let’s go to India, where women get killed by their husbands because of the dowry system. These are scorned by the media, yet hardly ever reported on. 

Read this from a progressive Muslim feminist.
Here’s a well-thought-out article on the subject.
This is a differing opinion, from a Muslim feminist against the Niqab.
All this should make it simple to conclude that the law is fair if we are looking for separation of church and state. But this isn’t the case here. This law picks on one sole religious group. For that, it must not exist, unless it can be proven that it incites hate and /or discrimination.

————— 

Quebec is one of the least socially and democratically progressive place in the western world. It is not surprising that they have chosen to discriminate against yet anotger group of “outsiders”. Quebec needs to build a tolerant, just, and democratic system and stop hiding under the veil of “the quiet revolution”.