Monday, October 20, 2008

Please, Don't Get It Twisted.

You are definitely living in a realm only belonging to yourself. No one else lives the way you do. You immigrated, oh about 19 years ago, and fell into a rich man's arms, so what? Why do you get to live without reservations, while your uncle's wife still suffers, with dishpan hands scrubbing away at the baked-on falafel grease that your barbaric family caked unto her finest iron skillet more than a decade ago?
"Don't put the dish in the sink; put it beside the sink so Nina can wash it." You kindly tell me; in what you think is your kindest voice, in the middle of your Calabasas courtyard, on this fine October night, as I wish for a meteor to come crashing down into the epicenter of your Israeli palace from the night's sky.
"Oh right, for Nina… that's right." I respond with the roll of my eyes, as your eyes seem to negatively regress back into the care free days of a childhood, unfortunately not your own, but mine. You bring out a silver tray of pineapples, papayas, strawberries and cream, while your mother trails behind with a tray of 10 tea glasses and cinnamon rugelach for us to nosh on. Someone brings up the past and you and your brother mention my fascination with the color purple and how annoying I sounded when I was a child, and my facial expression depicts the notion that I am wondering where you people get off?
"What Leila, it's our childhood we're talking about here, come on now, we're all grownups just looking back on a time where things were simple." you state with this narcissistic naivety about you, that lives, unfortunately, unbeknownst by you.

I drift off and think profoundly of how I'd like to take you out with a 45 and a shovel.How on earth do you know what kind of life is simple? My parents cooked and clean after you, my father divorced my mother because of his brother, your fucked up excuse for a father, and his incessant triumphs at brainwashing him into paying more attention to all of your family rather than my mother! Please Maya, do not get any of this shit twisted.
Your younger sister's fiancé compels me to snap out of it as I hear his voice echoing, "What was it like immigrating to America back in the 80's?"

You answer him with such pride and lust towards yourself, I think to myself, looks like someone needs a cold shower. Please Maya, don't get it twisted.
"I was a senior in high school and listen Tal, I was attractive. I mean I had the looks and Americans in 89' didn't have the fashion that we had overseas, so of course I was just getting hit on by all the boys left and right, and for someone who didn't know the language, it was pretty degrading. I mean they all just wanted to do me." You rant nonchalantly making yourself seem like the victim, and I'm still thinking of that sweet 45 as the thought of your daughter's pail and shovel turns on the light bulb above my head, a figment of my imagination.
I have held you and your family like one holds the concept of taste aversion in hindsight. I refer briefly to how I drive daily past the intersection of Mayall and Mason in blustery pleasure of my days before you dictators overthrew my mother and took over her thrown and the attention of her King, and again I am starred down upon, by your brother and you, both probably wondering what a nutcase I am.
"What did you say?" you ask me in shock and before I can reiterate my gleeful moment of mesmerizing memory, your dumbass interrupts, "Oh my gosh, how could you miss that place, and that house??" you question, obviously looking for an answer, yet I just sit waiting for you to ramble on again, "Every time I find myself anywhere on Lassen, my body cringes. God, that was a horrible time for us."
Your sister's fiancé asks why, and I try to hold in my tears thanks to the bitch that you obviously are as your husband answers him,"It was just a tough time for Maya, her siblings, and her parents, for all of them."
Up until that moment, for the past ten years I wondered what your husband saw in you and your horrible terrorist-like family, and amidst his monetary wealth, I saw him as a the epitome of a male St. Theresa, but my respect for him has sunk at an all time low, and who knows if it'll ever regain its stamina.

I laugh within, thinking of how to mend the pieces of my subsistence back together in hopes of robbing you all of your undeserved wealth, prosperity and happiness. What about my mother? You remember her don't you? The woman whose 84' Chevrolet, which was lent out in mint condition, your damned brother return totaled to her? What have you done to deserve everything the man in the clouds has blessed you with? My father opened his heart and his home to you, and appointed my mother, his queen, as a servant for all of you to wrongly use and neglect showing any respect towards, and this is how you repay her, by brainwashing the only human being in your family, your husband, into thinking that she ruined your lives? It's quite amusing; you came from nothing into everything. My mother was born into everything till the day your uncle lied to her, and chose his brother over her. My mother stayed home instead of furthering her Cosmetology career to feed you motherfuckers, and all your ass did was open your legs to the next rich man who came your way, and sure enough it has given you a life that many would kill for. Some say, you were the source of my mother's disease, and I say you always will be. My mother is sick and has no insurance to tend to the Carpel Tunnel Syndrome that your family caused her to endure, but you; you've got the means to purchase insurance for her and everyone else whose life suffered tremendously because of you.

You may call me spiteful and merely upset at my own life and therefore I choose to take it out on you, and by all means, you may do so, but I know it's not true. There's something called Karma that you unkind Israelis think will never come to haunt you, but that's where your wrong. There's something called an Education and it goes along with Self-sufficiency, and that's what you lack.

You see, someday, I will give myself the life that only your husband can give you.
Someday, I will give my mother the life you robbed her of.

So tell me, what can you give anybody? And by you, I mean YOU, and not your husband.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rehabilitation and the Federal Prison System: Web Ct Post 10/8/08

Our federal prison systems today are too cluttered with criminals, and what it comes down to are criminals being released even if they aren’t rehabilitated. Our world is entirely corrupted along with our society and to agree with Christian, what purpose would Cops serve if Gang activity were to be kept under control and stopped? I just don’t agree with the notion of Prison systems today failing miserably in an attempt to rehabilitate its felons. I agree with Christian in that I know that our prison systems are immensely crowded and that people are let out to make room for more criminals and therefore allowing the cycle of injustice to continue, but who knows what is true or not, and if the guards and policemen in these systems help in any way to bring these criminals to full rehabilitation. Watching Clockwork Orange for the first time, I was surely surprised and quite uncomfortable at the horrible acts that Alex and his band of brothers committed to these women, and in reading my classmates posts, I am reminded of the movie The Shawshank Redemption, and I can say that I am sure that there are many beings who have been imprisoned that resonate with Morgan Freeman’s character, therefore whose to say that those incarcerated individuals are in any way failed miserably by the system? Some of them perhaps do not wish to be rehabilitated for the simple fear of when the time comes and they are eligible for parole, they might fear what has become of life on the outside, at least within those bars they have a purpose and a place to exist within the confines of whatever individual stature they have earned and accepted. There’s a scene in the movie when Freeman’s character meets with the parole board and they ask him, after having served 40 years of his life sentence, if he feels ready to rejoin society, and he simply answers profoundly,
“What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did? There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time, because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit. “
They grant him the seal of having been rehabilitated and then send him packing. I am sure that few, if any, experience epiphanies like this in prison, and so I truly believe that besides all the bad that our corrupt system and its leaders afflict on to the lives of those already corrupted by the powers that be, there has to be a few who actually give a damn, and wish to help those in dire need of some positive direction, outside of the prison cell, and amongst the cruel class of the social order.

Monday, October 6, 2008

What serves a function within a crazy society?

Web Ct Post #1

Message no. 37

Author: Neda Levi

Date: Thursday, September 4, 2008 12:33am

I look at the time on the corner of my laptop's screen: 11:57 p.m.
I look at how many journal entries have been posted: 32/33.
Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that I must lend my thoughts about what we
have covered in English 312 thus far, and allow it to find its place amongst the inspiring
and intellectual thoughts of my fine classmates.
Walking into class on the first day last week, I was utterly baffled by the notion that I had
to define Dystopian Literature and Film to Professor Wexler's asking. Dystopian, I
pondered. Utopian, I remembered...They must have something to do with one another, I
thought to myself.
I have never been a fan of Dystopian based Films, though I could say my life has many
Dystopian related dysfunctionality within it.
In reading Foucault, and watching Officer Krupke call those poor boys "Juvenile
Delinquents", though they have only been unfairly victimized by the wrath of what I see
Society as being: immensely ugly and undeniably crazy, I realized that I was simply
confused by the Panopticon and how someone off the streets is found a function within
that Society.
I mean, Who is to say what constitutes being crazy, or insane?
I guess, perhaps, I took our discussion in class very much to the heart.
I have no shame, and therefore that is why I was straightforward in class, and said that I
do not understand where this amazing philosopher Foucault was going with the concept of
I comprehend the whole notion that if one knew that they were being watched then they
would be more likely to stay on their best behavior, within and outside of any prison cell,
but I guess my only question dealt with the concept of individualizing, and the system of
Judicial, Psychological, Criminology and Sociology, that a person without a function in
Society must be put through. These four systems all have a way of institutionalizing
someone, and for example, when a Psychologist treats an insane person, or someone
labeled as "insane" due to the mere fact that they may, perhaps , walk the streets
aimlessly, without a job or a home, and labels them as Schizophrenic, Bi-Polar, or
Clinically Depressed, does that really become their function within this world?
I know I am reading way too much into this, and Foucault probably had no intention of
writing with the thought that perhaps one day, an English major with an emphasis in
Creative Writing will read his work and completely veer away from his essential stance
upon such an intelligent theory, but please bear with me. I struggle everyday with
Clinical Depression and I wonder now, is being diagnosed as such, something someone
could label as my function within this demented, cruel and blind world that we live in?

Planet of the Apes: Group Discussion (10.2.08)

In our group discussion, I chose to speak of how Planet of the Apes, the movie versions, can be categorized as a Blaxploitation movie, which is defined as a genre of American film of the 1970s featuring African-American actors in lead roles and often having antiestablishment plots, frequently criticized for stereotypical characterization and glorification of violence. In the book and movie, there were many racial elements apparent. The notion of the Apes disbelieving the fact that Ulysses could read and write can be compared to the way slaves were treated way back when. In the article that our group posted on Web Ct it mentioned how the traditional association of blacks and minorities with apes and monkeys was invoked to explain the 1965 riots in Watts, California. The Rodney King riots in 1991 also reminded me of the racial aspects found in the book. I feel that when it comes to African Americans and minorities , society always wants to find a way to bring them down, and as one student mentioned in class during our Planet of the Apes discussion, the police stood back as if nothing was happening until the riots in 91' moved throughout the surrounding cities in the Los Angeles county until the riots threatened Beverly Hills. It was only until money, stature and wealth was incorporated that the Police cared enough to protect anyone. In the book, the Gorillas and the Chimpanzees were the ones with the darker skin, which can be a mirror to the slaves and laborers, and the Apes, with the light and fair skin, mirrored the superior race in society then and in some cases today, the race minus any minorities.

English 312. Web Ct Posting 9/11/08

Message no. 73

Author: Neda Levi

Date: Thursday, September 11, 2008 1:15am

In response to the class' discussion about the Pledge of Allegiance signifying a sort of
Hate Week or not, I don't mean to offend anyone, but its completely up to interpretation.
I have never thought of it much until yesterday's discussion, but this so-
called "Multicultural Melting Pot" really strikes a chord with me and the discrimination,
anger, resentment, and ambivalence I have come to harbor within myself, living as a U.S
citizen, born and raised, though as a descendant of a certain country causing quite the
commotion in recent political and state affairs.
I am just as American as any blonde-haired, blue-eyed caucasian is seen as being, but
because of my dark hair and middle-eastern features, I get called a foreigner or a
terrorist if you will.
I guess I agree with the Pledge of Allegiance as a kind of Hate Week due to the fact that
throughout the years, and after September 11, 2001, I have never been more disgusted
by this country and the way it treats its true citizens, just because they may not seem to
fit the ideal mold, physically or culturally.
Why should I have to pledge allegiance to a certain banner when that American flag, the
one that I am qualified to be protected under, seems to shun me whenever the chance
I find it quite amusing you know, perhaps I am going off on tangents but I must speak
my piece on this pressing matter of hate in this country, but I am sick and tired of fresh-
faced "Americans" calling me Arabic or Iraqi just because I speak a tongue that tends to
strike fear within them. I pledge allegiance to a country whose true people, the ones who
do not fall into an ethnic minority category on a ballot, do not understand the notion that
the MIDDLE EAST IS NOT a category intended to be seen as ONE COUNTRY IN IT OF
ITSELF! I am not related to Osama in any way, shape or form. I am not Arabic nor am I
Iraqi, but my beautiful best friend is, and If I was, I would have no shame boarding a
plane and saying so.
I am half Iranian, and half Israeli, and yes, I know that people might fear me for my
ethnicity alone, but that does not make me any less American than someone whose
Ancestors come from, I don't know, a region in the midwest.
This country is made up of IMMIGRANTS, period, and I am sure that some others would
agree so, so why then must I pledge allegiance to a country that fears me, decides
to "RANDOMLY CHECK" my Middle Eastern ass in a line of more than 30 white Americans
boarding the same plane, and limits my endless capacity to make a difference in this
world just because I do not seem to equate their ideal form of what constitutes an
I do not mean any classmates any offense, and if so I apologize profusely.
I am just outraged, and I have been the victim of hate ever since September 11 2001, as
has my mother ever since she stepped foot into this country more than 30 years ago. I just
do not understand this country and its treatment against minorities. Frankly, the Pledge
of Allegiance does not do me any justice, as a true American in my own right, anyways.