Practicing ahimsa

February 8th, 2006 · Tags: Italy · Milan

Reading: A Short History of Nearly Everything , Bill Bryson
Not Surprising: Bush Appointee Didn’t Graduate as Stated (from my alma-mater!)
Enjoying Trailer Remakes of: Fight Club, love story | Sleepless in Seattle, the horror film

Well, the Olympics are upon us, and so is the Today Show. Today it will be in Milan, and I have decided against participating, no matter how much my family would love to see my little face on TV. I think I finally realized it would be stupid, to go there, um, alone, and then sit there with my “Ms. Adventures in Italy – Hi Mom and Pepper – Katie you’re my American Hero – Expats in Italy forever – Ciao Belli” sign that I had prepared last night using lots of puff paint, glitter and streamers.

I know, you may be thinking, ‘what a waste of a beautiful sign masterpiece”, but it will hang on the door to our guest bedroom, so not to worry. I’m thinking of making a decorative window hanging to match – my crafty side has been terribly neglected lately.

On to more serious things. I have to say that the violent protesting to the Muhammad cartoons is saddening. Were the cartoons offensive? Yes. Done in bad taste? Yes. But they had the right to print them. Would I have printed them? Probably. I’m not sure it was a great idea, or, that it had any real aim, though. It was different that your one-off cartoon. A full page layout is making a statement. Maybe it should have been accompanied by commentary of why they are portrayed that way and reflecting some, but not all, local society’s views of the images. Just a thought.

On the other hand, I think an Iranian newspaper’s idea to have a cartoon contest portraying caricatures of Jesus and Holocaust is an interesting idea. Offensive? Surely. Bad taste? Of course. Immature? …I’ll leave that to your discretion. This is a popular newspaper, not a high school chess club throwing down the guantlet to their local chapter and threatening butt wedgies, is it? But I also think they will find that people will not take to the streets destroying buildings and places of interaction between countries in reaction.

I, nominate for their contest, www.jesusdressup.com – this website has been up for who knows how long, and the person is still living. Very offensive to some, humorous to others, no interest in other corners.

I think equally horrifying is the death of Chinese newspaper editor Wu Xianghu by local police. Strangely, his article was talking about their abuse of position and extortion. He was beaten by over 50 policemen.

Today’s word from wordsmith.org was : ahimsa which means, “The principle of refraining from harming any living being.” (hm, non-violent protesting, anyone?)

Speaking of non-violent protesting, a humorous protest in Italy yesterday regarding the law to make marijuana the same as heroin (in Italian) in the eyes of the law. It passed. This is probably going to curb some of the casual, street use that I am used to in this country. There were lots of people smoking on camera for the protest- in the U.S., they would already be in jail! Here’s an good report I found with more information on the law of mass criminalization of drug users in English.

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  • 1
    Megan // Feb 8, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    Re: Muhammed Cartoons…

    Sara, knowing you, you would absolutely publish those cartoons. One of the things I love about you is that you’re not afraid of controversy, or frankly, to piss people off… if it’s something you believe in, something that is right, you’ll go for it, not matter what the reaction. I wish more people were like that… I wish I was more like that!

  • 2
    rosso99 // Feb 8, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    “…not afraid…to piss people off”

    Well, I have to admit I’ve been lax lately in keep up my end of that bargain, but I’ll try harder.

    And, I know you have it in you, too!!! ;)

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