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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Day That God Died

First, I heard the roar. It sounded like thunder. It was increasing so rapidly, I wondered, what could it be. And then I saw one of my friends running frantically I gestured “what?” and he yelled: “run, run, quickly, run!”
I ran. I took my aunt’s hand and ran towards the museum of arts (even before the rally, I decided that in case danger, I would take a shelter in some building; museum had security). All the other activists ran left.
And then… the mob, the river of people, running and yelling, literally flooding the freedom square, in minutes, in seconds, with sticks, with chairs, with hate and that sound, that horrible roar. It reminded me of a crazy antelope stampede scene from the Lion King. And they were ready to kill Mufasa, oh yes they were.
The museum security locked the door.
It took all my courage not to break into sobs. I called my friend who was late and screamed for her to stay where she was. I couldn’t see what happened to other activists. I imagined that they climbed the St. George’s pedestal and was about to join them when I saw pedestal people waving Georgia’s old flag. I stopped. I shuddered. My friends would never wave that burgundy-colored symbol.
Out of the window, I watched embassy people leaving in the buses. The late girl finally called and met me. We talked in English, cause had to walk through that mob to get to hubby’s brother’s car.
Fear left me then. Anger came. They did it, they ruined our peaceful rally! 10 000 of them were ready to squish the 50 of us under their feet, full of hate, full of anger. They would not allow us to stand in colorful t-shirts for 10 minutes in a silent rally commemorating all the victims of homophobia. They turned us into the victims of homophobia! They turned us into the victims of homophobia! Damn them! Damn them!
After anger, fear returned. On my TV screen, I watched buses full of my friends attacked by uncontrollable mob. I watched them forcefully opening the door. I watched them climb on top of it. I remembered everyone who ran towards the buses, everyone who ran left. Can you imagine how they felt, squatting down to avoid bus windows, shaking, with no control, surrounded by mob, surrounded by angry clergy that tried to flip the bus?!
Thankfully, no one received serious injuries.
Now, I don’t feel anything. I am very tired. I am exhausted.
 Now, there is nothing left to loose.
God died in Georgia today. His “servants” killed him.
And now, they’re singing of his death in their gold-encrusted Sameba church.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Before the Battle

I am not going to say that I’m not scared. I ‘m scared.
I am not going to say that I’m calm. I’m anxious.
Last night, I had a dream about the rally. It was only 10 of us, no support, no opposition, no one giving a shit.  Projections, projections…
This time in 2012, May 17th, a bunch of activists tried to march from philarmonia to the freedom square, but we were stopped by young boys with black shirts and long beards. Activists got mistreated and beaten.  On the second day, we stood by the parliament building along with some ambassadors, while the shirt-and-beard boys prayed for the safety of their souls right across the street.
 This year, we are going to have several minutes of silence, commemorating victims of homophobia.  We’re going to wear different-colored t-shirts to form a rainbow flag. That’s all we’re going to do.
This 10 minute gathering of ours snowballed into a scandal of gargantuan proportions. Gay parade in Tbilisi! Men in skirts taking over the city! Girls marrying girls! Georgian race going extinct due to the whole nation having only same-sex relations!
Let’s hold a praying march in order to force the devil out of their bodies! Let’s pray from philarmonia till Sioni! Let’s beat them! Let’s swear at them! Let’s post threatening massages on their fb pages! Let’s camp in front of the parliament the night before the rally so that they have no place to stand! Let’s force them into a car road, so that they break the law and get arrested! Let’s protest in front of their office! Let’s blow their motherfucking asses off!
You know what’s scary? I haven’t even made anything up. That’s what I read every day, hear every day, answer every day. It’s worrying my husband, since he likes me bruise-less. It’s worrying my aunt, who  will accompany me to the rally and I guess shield me from rotten tomatoes, stones, kicks, crosses, holy water, I don’t know, whatever they decide to throw our way. It’s worrying my friend who was stalked by those boys for a month after the last rally. It’s worrying my other friend who will loose his home, if he’s seen on TV with us. It’s worrying me sick, but I put on a brave face and I don’t want my friends to know, because I fear their panic. Because we are all going anyway.
We’ll see what happens. I’ll write about what happens.  
You can watch what happens!!! Come join us this May 17th, 1 P.M., in front of the parliament building!
Avoid the philarmonia crowd. Don’t wear rainbow-colored stuff. Don’t argue with the fanatics. Be safe. 
Come! The more of you there, the less chance of us getting beaten!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thoughts on Abortion

More than ethical, mostly emotional, it is an issue appealing to one’s feelings, rather than morality or rational thinking, though often masked as such. And all the arguments, in the end, are emotional arguments, those posters depicting month-old fetuses and claiming they have this and that developed, the argument that we can’t kill babies, the argument of mother’s psychological well-being, that dads should have a say too…
However, our church comes up with a demographic argument, thereby proving that multiplying Georgian ethos is the most important objective of all. It does not need to win people’s emotions anymore. Why waste time preaching to a choir?
Women are reproductive machines, you see; their main goal in life is to give Georgian land sons and daughters, preferably sons. Thus, unmarried women, women on birth control and infertile women are lesser beings. Due to some twisted logic, monks and nuns are superior, despite no effort on their part to make more Georgians.
Our church feels that the only thing between thousands of babies running free in Georgian streets is women’s right to control their own bodies. The high rate of emigration has nothing to do with it.
Ignoring all the evidence of the Soviet times - abortion was strictly prosecuted though performed illegally – church believes that abolishing abortion will solve our demographic problems. However, when we defend elimination of abortion, we choose not to research reasons for abortion, we choose not develop sexual education classes, we choose to ignore recent facts of baby starvation.
We choose to deny women right to their own bodies. We choose to condemn them to the risk of home remedies and shady midwives. We choose to put them in constant fear, we choose to punish them for wanting to be something more than a baby-cooking oven. We even choose to make women bad mothers. Yes, we choose to load women with multiple children, thus depriving kids of individual attention, good education, emotional and financial resources. Better have 8 uneducated, unattached, unloved children, than 2-3 kids that were wanted, expected, and consciously brought into this world.
This is an emotional issue. And as such, my judgment has been influenced by films and books on the matter, much more than by my philosophy class. I would recommend watching 4 months 3 weeks and 2 days. It is a very humane film; it depicts horror of illegal abortion in 80s’ Romania. The total loss of control, the desperation, the fear, and humiliation of women in this film makes you shudder. Additionally,  Ludmila Ulitskaia, arguably the best Russian author of modern times has a very strong novel on the matter, Kukotsky’s Case, depicting abortion issues in Soviet Russia, examining religious and ethical and medical matters through ordinary people’s lives. Reading about all the real cases of women attempting home procedures, like forcing an onion up the uterus so that it grow roots and kills the fetus, taking a scalding hot bath, allowing some old midwives butcher and destroy the reproductive organs, often resulting in women’s death, all those cases have long cured me of any emotions I get when I see pics of a month-old fetus. Anything, anything is better than those procedures. Nothing can be as monstrous as being kicked in the stomach by your husband because he can’t feed any more children. Nothing can be more painful than being cut with no anesthesia and dying of infections or staying infertile for the rest of your life. Those practices are so cruel, so middle-ages-inquisition inhumane, that I will support any legislature, any means to save women from those practices. And if that involves killing of a fetus, a fact that may be uncomfortable for some in our society, well, then let them be uncomfortable. Human life is much more important than someone’s comfort.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blog Rebranding

Almost 2 years and 36, 648 (mama's proud!!!) pageviews later, I've decided to change the photo with my back and unlucky curtain in the background.
And yes, those are my legs. And that was my back (multitude of people have asked me that). Calm down, it's not like I'm putting porn out there.
I frequently wear skirts and shorts of this length...just legs. Just cheap publicity. Don't get your blood pressure up. Some of us girls have nice legs :-)
I'll give it a shot overnight and see my hubby's reaction. If he hates it, we'll have to find a replacement pic.

P.S. I take good pics. The last one was a self-portrait too. I guess I'm selfish...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Easter Tales:Communism, Orgies and Abortion

Boy was I ready to write a peaceful Easter post about eggs and paskas and bunnies, but no, shit hit the fan this week and shit I will discuss.
May 1st, a diverse group of feminists, anarchists, leftists, punks, hipsters, students and generally fun and unruly group of youth marched for better employment, asked for decrease of discrimination in the workplace, cursed the bank tellers, drew graffiti on the walls, leaked into the car road since the pavement could not hold their enthusiasm, provoked the police… I love people who ask for better rights in a disorderly manner. However, when you risk to rally without permission, when you paint crap on the walls of the bank, when you throw bottles at the police – you shouldn't be surprised if the police throws bottles back.  Georgian police proved once more that it has no clue how to manage critical situations; officers dragged students by their hair, broke their limbs and were unreasonably violent.Thus, on one hand you have a group of people asking for it, but on the other hand you have policemen physically dismantling activists and they definitely did not ask for that! It’s like if you steal some fruit at the market, you shouldn't be surprised when the fruit-selling woman curses you and maybe even slaps you, but it is definitely wrong if she cut your hand off…however, if the fruit-seller is known to cut the hands off the law-breakers, it might be wiser to avoid her. Doesn't justify the hand-cutting, but shifts responsibility to the unlawfuls too. In the end, I condemn police violence. Though, it was not unpredictable.
 The second event happened two days after the communist manifesto-turned-into-beating, when this video of a journalist having an orgy launched into the virtual space.The setting involves two male and a female drinking and sexing in different positions, order and arrangement. This is a triple-issue event (a three-patch problem, as my favorite British detective would say): 1. People’s private lives (especially involving “scandalous” sex) are being filmed and then used as a blackmail or shaming tool 2. The star of the sex tape is a well-known homophobic (!), nationalist and Georgia-will-prevail sort of a guy 3. When my friends from an LGBT NGO “Identity” joined a rally that condemned airing of such amateur porn, a bunch of homophobic, nationalist and Georgia-will-prevail types of guys (the same species as the menage-a-trois hero) physically assaulted them. Clearly, such gay behavior (rallying for the right to privacy and dignity and all that) was unacceptable on a holy day (Crucifixion Friday). Alternatively, beating peaceful protesters is an acceptable Christian conduct. The more you know…
Finally, during his Easter sermon, the patriarch of our church petitioned the government to abolish the abortion. I sincerely hope that the government understands futility of such decision. Abolishing abortion leads to dangerous illegal abortions performed by shady midwives; it leads to home remedies like jumping off the stairs, kicking women’s belly and pushing an onion up the uterus so that it grows the roots and kills the embryo. Yes, those are true stories of abortion attempts during the Soviet Union. It would be much more effective to stress sexual education in schools to prevent unwanted pregnancies, instead of criminalizing abortion. As for the demographic growth argument, I don’t give a fucking damn for our dwindling population, I am not a baby machine and my function is not multiplying and replenishing this country. If they are so worried about the population decline how about they make the country habitable, so that the likes of my hubby and I stay and work here, instead of fleeing oppression, intrigues, patriarchy and political turmoil! The stupider they act, less of us will stay, until one day only radical orthodox churchpeople and internal homophobes are left here to shake their fists at the corrupt west!
Happy Easter my friends.
The pic: my Easter eggs. I actually had wonderful four days…