Wednesday, 21 May 2008

i wonder what it says in their job descriptions

Over 4000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.
One wonders why the Dutch authorities could not grant asylum to Iranian Mehdi Kazemi, a 19 year old gay teenager and why the UK authorities had already refused him. While studying in the UK Mehdi discovered his boy friend had been charged with sodomy in Iran and hanged.
Mehdi appealed to the UK authorities to grant him asylum on the basis that he would also be hanged if he were deported. His appeal failed. He fled to Holland. The UK authorities granted him asylum when the Dutch sent him back here.
Why did Mehdi have to endure all that before being allowed a place of safety in the UK? Homophobia is rife in our society but there is law enough to protect gay men or lesbians from homophobic abuse. We should value peoples differences and embrace them. Ok so he is safe now but why the deliberation? How long should it take to establish the truth of his claim? Finally, the UK stepped in to do the right thing and while I complain a great deal about the machinations of our system I am very proud that this has happened.
A spokesperson for the UK Border Authority said – “The UK Border Agency considers each case on its individual merits and will continue to provide refuge for those asylum seekers with a genuine need for protection”. I hope they get it right.
In my work with young people I have encountered homophobic attitudes on a regular basis. The level of aggression in the expression of this prejudice, even in the very young is extremely disturbing at times. When challenged to explain some foundation for some of the most outrageous assertions of homophobic young people I was never surprised with the answer that most often comes back – “it’s in the Bible”.

Sadly Leviticus and other books were interpreted to suit the church and leaders of the day. Often translations misrepresented the original meanings. Recently scholars of the old writings have asserted there are fundamental errors in later translations. In one manuscript they discovered the real commandment known by many as – Thou shall not commit adultery was only referring to infidelity between married people of either gender. So if a married woman slept with an unmarried man this was not adultery. If you examine what might have been the intent behind this it might lead you to consider many things from a new perspective. The commandment – Thou shall not steal was originally written as -Though shall not kidnap.
In writings pertinent to the birth of Christ it is written that the angel foretold the son of man would be born to a young girl. The all-important word virgin is not written anywhere. Still, as it was to turn out Christ was a jumped up, left wing, trouble maker with ideas above his station so if people translated major commandments and sacred prophesy to suit their own ends then perhaps the catholic church decided to bestow some of the attributes of deity to his mother while bestowing on her the honour of immaculate conception. I always struggled with that one. Please don’t misunderstand. I have nothing against the Catholic church that I don’t have against all established churches. I believe the established churches are empty because they are irrelevant and have deceived us all throughout history.
The problem of homophobia is a problem that can only be resolved by education and we have been there before with clause 28. Still, we must oppose this and all similar kinds of prejudice and begin to strengthen our ability to be inclusive. If we do otherwise I think it will be to our long-term detriment.
It isn’t always possible to be safe or effective when challenging poor behaviour and this should always be considered. How ever, we should challenge prejudice whenever we feel able.

For me the past couple of days have been difficult to say the least. I commend the following to those who know and love me best.

The warrior doesn't care if he's called a beast or a dog; the main thing is winning.
Asakura Norikage (Soteki) (1474-1552)


copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2008


Anonymous said...

fight the good fight
nice video
your ambient side ?

ice on fire made me cry .

Steve Broughton said...

‘Warrior’ a person who fights in battle,a soldier (from Old French)
Oxford Dictionary

I am not a soldier but if I was I would fully expect to be regarded as a beast or a dog by some. As a soldier, winning may be the sole ambition but as an ordinary person in this world I have always been taught and believe that it is the taking part that is important, that equality, respect and consideration for others around you is paramount to harmony, balance and a healthy social existence, in fact the total opposite to the usual prerequisites for becoming a soldier.
A soldier will commit terrible attrocities in the name of his beliefs or worse still to order. Therefore he will be called a beast and a dog. Deservedly so.

Anonymous said...

I assume Rob is speaking about the the warrior in the japanese way when he uses the term. I don't think the japanese warrior would care much for the idea of the term warrior being one and the same as soldier what ever our dictionaries say, though the confusion is understandable.
Let's not forget the average soldier is first and foremost a worker and should not be criticised for that with out cause.
In japan the term warrior is not the same as soldier. Sure some times soldiers do dreadful things and should face justice though it is a good thing the International Court in the hague is not about name calling. The Japanese still have great problems with the practise of surrendering. We are very different.
On winning - Samurai used to honour their dying foe by cutting of their head. It showed respect. Not to do so was a almost a crime. Later the way of the warrior embraced girly stuff like flower arranging, the tea ceremony and other lovely practises but still today the top Japanese business men of the samurai families see them selves as warriors.
I suppose when Rob is writing a great song he has won some thing in a way and he might consider that to be an act of the warrior and so on.
Sorry if I have gone on a bit. Interesting debate. Thought I was at work for a minute. Let's hear more.

Any ways I like the video and what a nice way to say I love you.
Bye for now.
Love to all

edgar broughton said...

Gurdjieff taught the The Fourth way of the Warrior based on eastern philosophies as did Don Juan the indian who taught Carlos Casteneda. In this context The Way of the warrior has nothing to do with fighting or war or winning in that sense of being a soldier though soldiers are not exempt from following the way of the warrior.
Gurdjieff taught External considering as a positive approach - by bearing the unpleasing manifestations of others while not lashing out and feeling victimised. He said - Where your mind in an emotional state rises and falls based upon how one is treated by others you are not in the way of the warrior. You exist in the small self and you suffer from the disease that afflicts most of the world. Don Juan taught that we should not allow our inner self to be accessible by the outside world which fits well with Asakura Norikage’s assertion - The warrior doesn't care if he's called a beast or a dog; the main thing is winning.

kimi no koto suki desu

Anonymous said...

wow - cool - so much to learn and know - EBB rules. new songs are very cool

So what about Chlsea then Rob?

Mozza L.F.C.

edgar broughton said...

Hi Mozza

I have only this to say and I realise I take a huge risk of being shot down by our friends CFS ( Chelsea First Supperists ).

Before it kicked off, for me it was win / win.

If Chelsea won then Man U wouldn't get the double. I am sure you would approve of that one. If Chelsea lost Ambramovich would definitely have his big night out in Moscow some what wrecked.
How ever in all seriousness it was a great game and I did feel very sorry for Terry and co.
Finally, unlike most, I do like a penalty shoot out. Especially the one where we last picked up the cup.

You'll never walk alone.

Anonymous said...

Read your post about Mehdi Kazemi so hope you won’t mind this cheeky ad Edgar.

Birmingham Gay Pride Festival
Hurst Street, Birmingham

Tel: 07870 899 373 . Fax: 0121 622 6693
Opening Times: 24-25 May 2008

Anonymous said...

Gurdjieff taught only orally until he was a very old man. The reason for this is that he didn't want readers to misunderstand his teachings outside of his presence where they could make there own mistaken interpretations.
After a near fatal car accident in Paris he took to his bed and only ate watermelon. It was during his recovery that his close followers realised that if nothing was written down and he'd have died then all his teachings would be lost forever.

Anonymous said...

The little video reminds me of kalidascopes when we were sprogs. I loved them. Played with it for hours.2 points 1when are you playing UK gigs next and 2 is there any more dvd apart from Rockpalast?
Keep rockin
D n T

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say that he then reluctantly comitted his thoughts and beliefs to paper, sadly knowing that they would be inevitably be misunderstood,

Anonymous said...

Hope this comes out right .I think Angela hit it on the nail. I served 4 yrs and a bit in the Army Private Trent lowest of the low. Always tried to be profesional. I think I was a Warrior in that way not a beast.Each to there own. Me and me mate saw the band in Hull years ago.Edgar got pissed with some loud mouth and ofered to give him money back if he left. Dont know if he went.Damn good gig. Still listning. Back to the grind. I bloody hate shift work. Have a good weekend all. Good luck.Brian Trent

edgar broughton said...

To anon 1 blessings

and to Steve for his argument.

To Angela thanks for the Japanese stuff. I know you know.

To Mozza - ours next season mate.

To anon 2 The ad is fine. Any time. Enjoy the event.

To anon 3. Thanks for the water melon story. I heard that very recently. Maybe it was you who told me. Have we met? I haven't actually read any of the old boys books. Lots of people did back when we were trendy. I would have probably misunderstood the writings any way (lol).
I just did some research to support my "Warrior" multiple meanings argument and the old guys name came up.

To anon 4. I played with them too as a kid. I took one to pieces once to see how it worked and was very disappointed. We have no UK gigs planned at this time. Another DVD of old bits n pieces is planned.

To Brian thanks for the input. I remember the Hull gig very well.

Congatulations to Hull on joining the premier League. The CFS crew are very quiet.

Have a GREAT weekend.

That's it over and out. I'm off to get the next post organised.



Anonymous said...

Just read the Mehdi Kazemi post and felt I had to lend my support to this.

As a gay man myself, I struggled for most of my adult life, until just three years back, with who I was and what it might mean to my family. I think it was a combination of the fear of rejection from my family and from society as a whole that kept me living my lie. As it turned out, my Mum had guessed years before and was waiting til I was ready. Although my eldest brother and my sister have been fantastic in their support, my other brother has pretty much turned his back on me, but that is his loss, because I am at the happiest now I have ever been in my life.

I do get very angry over the Churches' of the world and the way they deal with 'my kind'. They are more than happy to preach to us all that God loves us all equally, yet they will equally churn out the Book of Leviticus if they feel we are getting too big for our boots (just look at the trouble caused in electing gay priests in the Anglican Church!) If there is a God (and who am I to say there isn't?) then surely loving us all equally would encompass the many different ways we choose to live our lives, our different ethnic origins and all?

It is a very sad state of affairs when a young man is executed by his government for falling in love with the 'wrong type' - the fact that our own government failed this other young man in the first instance disgusts, but sadly fails, to surprise me.

Peace to all,

Phil Robb.

Anonymous said...

Really interesting blog as always, love the video.

My work brings me into contact with refugees and asylum seekers and I am becoming increasingly alarmed about the difficulties these people, often in extreme need and distress, face in both being granted asylum and once they arrive here. A short story. One woman arrived here in mortal fear of her life having been sentenced to death for sleeping with a man she wished to marry but was not permitted to do so as she has a disability. Her family used all their resources to smuggle her out of the country by bribing officials and after a nightmare journey of 3 weeks she arrived here. She was eventually granted asylum and has been here for 8 months. She is under constant "review" so is in continual fear of being returned home, was supplied with an interpreter for her court hearing who did not speak her language and has so far been moved to different parts of the country 4 times. She is not allowed to work and has to exist on vouchers at 70% of our income support levels which is the minimum amount our government says people need to live on. Why do asylum seekers need 30% less food, heat etc. than the rest of us? So far she has tried to commit suicide twice.

The Refugee Council produce some really good myth busters on Refugees and Asylum seekers but how many people are aware of them?


Anonymous said...

Winning may be the sole ambition but as an ordinary person in this world I have always been taught and believe that it is the taking part that is important.

I think youll find thats about playing games mate. Soldiers cant work with that.

Power to ya Phil.

Love and peace
Marvellous Gay the pink warrior


Anonymous said...

Back in '68, when I was in the British Army (long/short story that isn't really relevant here) I met an individual who's sole purpose for being in the Army was to write a book. He said it was the only place where he could write without distraction. He was a kind and calm man, with a quiet, but very wordly sense of humour. He had no circle of friends and the only reason we met was that we happened to get bunked together in a 3 man room. He was some years older than I and recognised that I, like him, had not joined the Army to be soldier, though for reasons far apart at the time. Me, to find something of myself and to escape something of myself. Him, he knew exactly why he was there. He had began his writing a few years before while in The Royal Medical Corps, but had been discharged on medical grounds when he fell off a mountain. He recovered and joined the R.E.M.E. by simply not mentioning that he'd been in the Army before (back then admin and office work rarely got joined-up). Here was a man, that was not a soldier, he was a writer, a thinker, and as I saw him then, I see him now, a warrior.
I cannot remember his name, nor can I remember what he was writing about, but I remember his face and his mind. He helped me with his words at a very dark time in my life.

Most people in the armed forces see themselves as just doing a job. Some may join with an ideology, some for a particular type of technical training etc... Then there are those that join to 'see some action'. These are the people that really need to know why they are there, that really need to understand the way of the warrior, as only a warrior will know when they are not needed any more.

Ya gotta laugh innit! rambleover

Have you seen the film 'Attack of the Thing that couldn't attack anything'? me neither. I believe it's PG rated.

ramblinmad x

Anonymous said...

Well ramblin, your post is the one I wanted to write, but im not articulate enough, as a ex member of the forces too, i joined the medical corp and i think i served my fellow men and women well.


boltonian said...

There are a few points in Rob's piece that caught my eye. The petition condemning Mrs Robinson's anti-homosexual views poses some questions. In an open society (employing Popper's definition) are people not free to express opinions, no matter how repugnant to others? Otherwise where do we stop? If we, as a society, decide to silence certain sections of the population simply because another (more powerful) group says so are we not treading on dangerous ground? It should be the case, in my view, that the only people whom we should seek to restrict are those that would betray our nation to an enemy - traitors, in other words. By all means make your repugnance known and seek to persuade others of the rightness of your case but denying others the right of free speech is anathema to an open society and, therefore, should be resisted. That is if you share my belief that Popper was right to state that, for all its faults, the open society is the least bad governing arrangement mankind has ever devised.

Your other points about biblical translation errors and attempts to understand the historical Jesus are very interesting. This is a fascinating area for me and there are some articles and discussions that might grab your attention here:

The character of Jesus (assuming such a person existed to provide the inspiration for Paul and the Gospel writers) is not so easy to ascertain as you imply. For a start the term, 'Left-wing,' arose from post-revolutionary France and whatever else Jesus might have been he was no Jacobin.

You are right about Isaiah's prediction for the birth of the Messiah and the nature of His mother - the word 'Virgin' is a mistranslation and should more correctly be rendered, 'Young woman.' Again, you will find some articles on the site above about the basis for many of the OT events and how the Bible came to be written as it was.

I read somewhere on this site that freedom is important to you (collectively) and yet at least some of you claim to be socialists. This does not add up for me. Socialism is a bankrupt and vapid ideology based on Utopianism and wishful thinking. Wherever it has been tried, including in this country, it has been an exercise in the concentration of power in the hands of the state, which then seeks to aggregate more power to itself by creating a dependency or client culture. This dangerously tampers with the balance of power. Not the least of its consequences is the impoverishment of the country and its citizens.
Revolutions, by the way, might seem superficially attractive but the unfortunate truth is that they almost always do the most damage to the very people in whose name they are carried out - the poorest and most vulnerable. But then I prefer Burke to Sartre as a political thinker.

Of course one has hobby-horses that one rides as hard as possible. One of mine is the possibly illegal and certainly immoral (by my ethical standards) invasion of Iraq and its consequences. I also despise rule by bureaucracy, which what we have just now.

There was also a sentiment about saying what is right. This sounds horribly like Blair's repeated and arrogant assertion that he might not be doing the popular thing but he did what was right. So, the people are wrong most of the time, are they? What does this say about democracy, I wonder?

Your 'Right' might be inimical to me (or others). So what? Ascribing moral absolutes to issues or seeking moral superiority might make one feel good but is not very constructive. In fact, I would say that it is almost always negative and destructive. It reminds me of the 1960s (the decade I grew up in) where everybody was against everything but very few were actually FOR something (a much more difficult challenge). It was then, and still is today, intellectual laziness.

People will seek to accrue power to their tribe/cause/family etc at the expense of others. This is the human condition and if we cannot agree on one unambiguous moral code to which everybody must subscribe (and this is impossible, I would argue, in our populous and diverse society) then creating a framework that allows for a balance of interests to compete but not dominate is our only way forward. To denigrate those from other standpoints for trying to gain power for their tribe or cause as somehow morally inferior is to condemn them for being human. You do it, I do it, and so do we all. Hence Rob's petition.