Photo by Hennie Stander on Unsplash

Week 2: Of joy and division

Were it not for the fact that “joy” came out of the grab bag, I might have spent the week in bed, curled up in a ball and weeping for the world. In just this one week:

  • A group of extremists – earthlings, human, male, French, Muslim, or however you want to slice their jackassery – murdered 16 in Paris on Wednesday. Twelve were killed at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo known, among many other irreverent things, for publishing cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad; and another four were killed at a kosher grocers just before Sabbath.

  • Of course, among the heroes of the Paris attacks were also Muslims. One was Ahmed Merabet, the Muslim cop who was murdered at Charlie Hebdo’s front door, and the other was Lassana Bathily, an employee who got shoppers and himself into the grocer’s walk-in freezer to save them from the gunman. Although the vast majority of those killed by al-Qaeda and ISIS jihadists are Muslims themselves, you wouldn’t know that from the hatemongering opportunists who may not want to #killallmuslims but spare no thought to their part in inflammatory violent rhetoric. I’m looking at you, Dawkins. #jesuisahmed

  • Not to be outdone by the madmen in Paris, Boko Haram continued their assault on other Nigerian Muslims and Christians and all of humanity by slaughtering an estimated 2000 in Baga on the same day (Wednesday). TWO FUCKING THOUSAND men, boys, women, and girls slain by men on a mission for godless madness. #bringbackourgirlswontbringbackourdead

  • And then this shit with another extremist – male, Russian, Putin-bestie Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev  – who decided that Russia’s long-documented troubles with roadway safety could be improved by removing queers from the streets, among others. So no more driver’s licenses for you gender-bending, gender-nonconforming, gender-nose-thumbing Russians. Of course, that’s just one of many new laws to come because #firsttheycamefor

Thank goodness that there were plenty of smart responses that didn’t go the usual routes. Cartoonists who drew rounder stories of both journalistic freedom and journalistic responsibility,

 humorists who attacked the absurd with righteous snark (e.g., download your Muslim iCondemn app now!), and smart analysis that shows up the hypocrisy of “us versus them” and the reality of  “us versus us” – i.e., the same governments standing behind #jesuischarlie are harassing journalists, spying on their citizens, and committing human rights abuses under the “protecting our freedom’s banner.” (The journalists and lawyers that have aided Edward Snowden’s revelations of the NSA’s robust domestic spying program would love to see that free press commitment in the U.S., Mr. Obama.)

As Rachel B. said on Facebook in her recap of Wednesday, “Man, there’s far too much hate in this world …” Count me as #jesuisfedthefuckup

Facing down division with joy

So the personal front, I had to really prioritize allowing myself to enjoy life.

So Martin and I went out to Schwelle 7 for the first full moon party of the year. (We feel so at home there. Thanks, Felix.)

And we went out to Sage Club (which shares its erotic-art-laden walls with the Kit Kat Club) to catch a couple of live bands. (When the first band came on with their animal costumes, I felt a surge of real joy and thrill. The music was pretty good too.)

And on Friday night, I had folks over for a movie night. Ten of us all stuffing our faces with nacho chips and popcorn to watch Gegen die Wand (distributed as Head-On in the English speaking market), which was awesome so rent it if you can get your hands on it. It is set in Germany’s Turkish community in Hamburg and in Istanbul, and stars Sibel Kekilli, who is currently enjoying stardom in Game of Thrones as Shae.

And just last night partner Martin and I joined husband Ralf and his partner Christiane for a delicious salad and lasagna dinner – one of Ralf’s best, in my humble opinion. (It was the first time hanging out with the hubby for quite a long time. How crazy is that?)

So onward to week three, which I hope has at least a chance of being better than the last, at least for human history. Srsly.

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