March Pieces Of My Mind #2

butik

My castles book makes its retail debut at Stockholm’s Medieval Museum.

  • I stick my foot into waste paper baskets in public restrooms to compact the paper towels and keep them from ending up on the floor. In many ways I am a Christ-like figure. And also a neat freak.
  • Brexit referendum: the first one was narrowly won by old folks. It’s been several years. Maybe enough of them have died off to tip the scales even if nobody has changed their mind.
  • I’ve signed on to speak about castles at the Medieval Week in Visby. Gonna be fun!
  • Movie: Aniara. Mars colonist transport goes off course into the void with no manoeuvrability. People on-board try to keep themselves entertained. Good visuals, feel-bad movie. Grade: OK.
  • Ringing door bells for canvassing. Probably lucky that the Szatanik family weren’t at home.
  • Somebody told me that a school in my area risked becoming “radicalised”. Turned out what they meant was that there is social pressure on Muslim pupils there to respect religious authority and for the girls to wear the hijab. In other words, the school is becoming as “radical” as every conservative Catholic school around the planet.
  • Customers deserve their privacy, so I’m not mentioning her name. But a writer whose work I enjoyed a lot as a kid just ordered my Medieval castles book.
  • Movie: Border / Gräns. Customs officer with unusual powers learns why she has always felt like a misfit in this contemporary take on Scandinavian folklore. Grade: great!
  • Magpies making their quiet lilting spring noises, poking around in the garden pruning-basket for dry nest material.
  • As all Magic-the-Gathering players know, uthden means “dickless”. And in the excellent film “Border”, there is an actual Uthden Troll!
  • Every time I get a book of mine from the printers I have this fear that my house will burn down before any of the books are distributed. Getting to the finish line but not actually crossing it. My latest book arrived at my doorstep the Friday before last. Since then I’ve distributed 98 copies and moved 72 to separate storage with the publishers. That’s 43% of the total number. Phew!
  • Catsitting. That is, when I had breakfast the cat sat on me, across my shoulders. Funny little thing. ❤
Advertisements

13 thoughts on “March Pieces Of My Mind #2

  1. The next time that acquaintance of yours claims that wearing hijab amounts to radicalization, you might want to quote the great philosopher Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

    Like

  2. “Somebody told me that a school in my area risked becoming “radicalised”. Turned out what they meant was that there is social pressure on Muslim pupils there to respect religious authority and for the girls to wear the hijab. In other words, the school is becoming as “radical” as every conservative Catholic school around the planet.”

    I have to disagree here. There are practically no Catholic terrorists who are religiously motivated. (Very few at all, and those who exist, such as the IRA, are clearly mainly politically motivated.) Most Muslims are not terrorists but, these days, almost all terrorists are Muslims. It’s not like strict Muslim religiosity and terrorism have nothing to do with each other. Yes, one could say that a “true Muslim” (true Scotsmen, anyone?) would not condone terrorism. Big deal. Perhaps a “true Christian” wouldn’t condone the crusades, but that makes precious little difference to those being killed as a result. As the the retort that a hijab is “just a piece of cloth”, then so is a Nazi armband.

    Like

  3. Here in the US rightwing terrorism is more of a threat than Islamism. Nazis and Christian extremists have been a problem of recent years, even if we are not free of Islamic extremism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right. Different areas have different problems. But no Catholic terrorists. (In the US, Catholics are often seen as “liberal” compared to the born-again crowd, whereas in Europe they are seen as conservative compared to Lutherans (the protestant majority). The actual positions of Catholics in Europe and the US are probably about the same.)

      Like

      • Phillip, your perceptions of the US Catholic Church are out of date. Catholics could reasonably be seen as liberal in the 1980s, when Sen. Ted Kennedy was a prominent member. But since then, people who have remained in the Catholic Church have tended to identify increasingly with the US political right, while the more liberal people of Catholic backgrounds are more likely to have left the church. And I remind you that the political right in the US is well to the right of the political right in most of Europe; e.g., among German parties AfD is closer than CDU to the positions of the US Republican Party.

        And your comment above about Nazi armbands is not even wrong. When a piece of cloth has an explicit political symbol on it, it is no longer just a piece of cloth–doubly so when the political symbol has the toxic associations that the swastika does. A hijab is not explicitly a political symbol; it merely implies that the wearer is Muslim (or in Muslim-majority countries, attempting to pass as Muslim). To assume that Islam is a monolithic religion is the same kind of error as lumping Quakers and Southern Baptists together as being nominally Christian.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Phillip, your perceptions of the US Catholic Church are out of date. Catholics could reasonably be seen as liberal in the 1980s, when Sen. Ted Kennedy was a prominent member. But since then, people who have remained in the Catholic Church have tended to identify increasingly with the US political right, while the more liberal people of Catholic backgrounds are more likely to have left the church.”

        That might be the case; I haven’t lived there since the 80s. But yes, it is clear that most conservative parties in Europe are to the left of the US democrats on many issues. I remember a tour of Stockholm City Hall in 1994. The guide was explaining who sat where. “In the middle are the Social Democrats, and on the far right are the Moderates”.

        “When a piece of cloth has an explicit political symbol on it, it is no longer just a piece of cloth–doubly so when the political symbol has the toxic associations that the swastika does. A hijab is not explicitly a political symbol; it merely implies that the wearer is Muslim”

        Wrong, wrong, wrong. First, it is definitely a symbol of “political Islam”. Many Muslims do not wear a hijab, nor any other head covering. Second, in many Muslim countries it is required attire for every woman, so it is definitely not a statement that the wearer is a Muslim.

        “To assume that Islam is a monolithic religion is the same kind of error as lumping Quakers and Southern Baptists together as being nominally Christian.”

        That’s not an assumption I am making.

        Like

  4. I constantly meet proud and cheerful hijabi women and girls. There are certainly unhappy and oppressed hijabis, but the hijab itself is useless as a heuristic to identify them.

    Like

    • Yes. There is no conflict between being forced to wear something and actually wanting to wear it. Witness clueless Americans who wander into a public sauna in Germany. Saunas are mixed and nudity is not just allowed but required. Do they strip? No, they leave (or are made to leave), even though the freedom is there. Many wearers of traditional garb are in the same situation: they genuinely like to wear it. This is not in conflict that in some countries not to wear it is a capital offense.

      The problem is not the hijab but people—in schools or politicians in countries—who force others (Muslim or not) to wear it. If there is religious freedom, then there should be freedom not to wear the hijab, whether or not one is Muslim. Note that my comment was sparked not by hijabs but by pressure to wear hijabs. (And if it were just a piece of cloth, there would be no pressure to wear it.)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The issue of hijab is too complex for me to contribute without doing a s@#load of homework.

    Re. Magic and popular culture. I just finished the anime series “Hellsing” after the manga with the same title. Within the limitations of the genre it was OK, but they could have spent less time laughing menacingly when challenging each other.
    I then viewed the later “Hellsing Ultimate” which was closer to the source material but less fun.
    And finally I watched the fan-based parody “Hellsing Ultimate Abridged” which is the real reason why I mention the franchise. It is so rare to find genuinely clever and humoristic viewing in genres that are overloaded with neo-gothic tropes.
    I love the final episode, where the Americans -who already have extended legal personhood to corporations in some cases in real life- have elected president Disney-Pepsi-Comcast (who, fortunately has agreed to help the British rebuild the parts of London destroyed by nazis and their undead shock troops).
    And the references to other culture, especially films, and the one-liners alone are making it worth the time.
    -I post this long rant since the fan-based anime has given me back the faith that there IS immense talent in the film & TV business, even if you have to bypass 99% of it and go for a non-standard anime.
    Animated films (like the Discworld stories) do not have to be the bland fare we so often are served.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The French government banned the wearing of all visible expressions of religious affiliation by schoolgirls because in some schools the Catholic girls were all wearing outsized in-your-face crosses and the Muslim girls were all wearing hijabs, and it was turning into Catholic vs Muslim gang warfare.

    The banning of headscarves by Muslim girls in schools made headline news in the mainstream media at the time. The banning of oversized, externally worn crosses by Catholic girls didn’t.

    The French are very strict about their schools being secular. Safe to assume they weren’t looking forward to an escalation of these hostilities as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I am very good at cat-sitting, the Martin way.
    Trolls and other riffraff;
    Here are some *proper* monster killers -a fan-based parody.
    The wimpy Twlilight-esque Edward did not last more than 20 seconds (I timed it)!
    Hellsing Ultimate Abridged Episodes 1-3 https://bit.ly/2TRJGBA

    Like

  8. Brexit: The insanity gets worse as the country approaches the time limit. It is obvious that the main players are more interested in political manouvring for a better position for themselves than in the welfare of the country as a whole.
    Farage and the hardliners are either planning to profit from the chaos using the various economic tools that made George Soros rich (this would at least be logical), or they are stark raving mad.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s