Thursday, March 08, 2007

Поздравляю всех женьшин, девушек, мам, бабушек, внучек и особенно сестер С Международным Женским Днём!!!
The above is to wish all women a Happy International Women's Day!
and now, because every women is a piece of art--depends on the day of course, if it's the serene Mona Lisa or eccentric Frida Kalo but a piece of art nonetheless--here's a test to find your own, daily piece of art. and today....
I am Best Described By...
San Giorgio Maggiore, TwilightBy Claude Monet
and also, because i found it hillarious, here's a test to see if you're a dumb american--or are not American and to shame them all know more about US history.
though, not more than me it turns out, because...
I am a Smart American
You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.


Juhi said...

Elina! finally a new blog! :) I have been haunting ur blog ever since i linked it to mine! :)

BTW, i did the cowboy bebop quiz some time ago. I wanted to be edward but i got ein! (have a cheezzey grin on my face rite now!)

Galina said...

S prazdniko tebya toje, kisa!!!
Lubvi i schast'ya tebe!
Celyuem vse mi

Louise said...

Apparently I am an average American, which sadly does not say much for American intelligence (and I don't mean the Jack Bauer/CIA kind). You must have to be pretty dumb to qualify as a dumb American though- I only got 3 out of 10!!!

immanuel williams said...

elina, it turns out that there is no options to be friendsters on blogger. anyway here is the message i typed while at home and without internet, i hope it is still pertinent.

Hey Elina! I read the past few months (?) of your blog today, realized that its on blogger like mine so when I can get online next I will do whatever connecting option they offer between blogs, and wanted to write you cause its been a while. It was really interesting for me reading about your experiences, particularly because of how different they are from mine—world of different, perhaps unsurprisingly. I also want to tell you that I enjoy your writing, I mean, it is good writing, and I hope that you will (if you’re so inclined) make more public use of it at some point.

It sounds like you are going to be in Okinawa for a while longer, which is nice because that means I might still find my way over to visit. That’d be nice. It is a long shot, because it depends on an unexpected windfall of money. But such things do happen to me—perhaps because, being unemployed, any money I receive besides a few dollars is a windfall. Last fall I sold all or most of my old art at a rummage sale for a about 2000 dollars, which is naturally gone, and was nearly immediately on debts. This time, I have slightly less debts to pay off, but then again, I have not been making much art. I have enough, should someone want to give me tons of money for it again.

I was surprised by many things in your writing. For sure, by the local things, which are pretty alien, but also by some things that are just like they are here. For example, I was surprised to learn that you drive a car which you apparently bought there(?) and that it is a huge liability financially… that makes me curious if it is a choice on your part, or more likely, the way life is done on Okinawa is more like the US in that sense—you can’t get around without a vehicle. I personally resent that circumstance, but appreciate having to live in a city where public transport exists. I’d rather there were more.

It is also interesting to me how much time you spend doing things in your community. From what you say, it sounds like the local people simply do lots more community oriented things there than in the US, though I am sure as an expat, you end up doing even more. I am trying to gauge how friendship works in this society, and whether your experiences are typical or not. As you know, American society is extremely fragmented, and I for one don’t like that—just today I got ahold of a set of pictures of my parents from their youth taken by a friend of theirs, a phenomenal experience about which I immediately wrote in my blog. Their lives, as seen in those pics, were so intimate!! It makes me wish mine was. I resent not having intimate friendships with more people, though I love my friends. My friends as well as I are not typical in our culture in that we are (I think) committed to remaining close with each other and holding on to our ideals, even at the expense of prosperity, and as such we are all paying a price for it with our physical and psychological health.

You do lots of things in your life there, and observe on them keenly, which is another thing that makes it so nice to read your blog, as well as really different from my experience now. I spend all of my time reading, writing, sometimes drawing, taking walks and recently, when the weather warmed up some, hanging out outside, though not nearly as much as I would like. It is hard to hang out outside because in America there are not many things that are free to do, and I resent having to pay money to spend time with my friends, and have no money to spend. When I need a rest, I do nothing. Either way, I don’t take many cultural outings, and I don’t engage in many communal activities in general. I don’t know that anyone really does, though I may be wrong. On the other hand, I like my life, living now a block from my grandparents, and I really like doing lots of reading. I am less stressed out and more satisfied than probably ever before in that regard. It is not happiness, but it is not bad.

The reason that I am not happy with life is in part that I see it as brutal and unfair, if not to me than to others, and I don’t believe the saying that one has to change the things one can and live with things one cannot. Or at least, I think that there are major misconceptions regarding which things are changeable and which are not. I don’t expect the same from others—and in fact appreciate that others have other interesting things to say about the world—but I do think that we all could be brought down a notch in our self-congratulatory orgies of consumption. My parents went to Brazil and actually went on a tour of the favellas there, shocked at what they saw. It isn’t that they are indifferent to suffering, but they think that the poverty they saw is a remote occurrence, when in fact it is completely interconnected with their lives in every way. It isn’t like the people of Brazil are too stupid to develop the kind of prosperous culture that Americans or the Swiss have, but for people like my parents it all too easy to deny that their lot is in any way induced. In my life, this translates into more of the same: the people around me are largely like my parents in that they don’t want to consider that the media lies to them about the real causes of things in the world, and they are too thick-headed and confident to listen to anything otherwise. Therefore, I have like, two friends. I’m not complaining—really—I hate injustice. God, who says shit like that anymore? I wouldn’t even take someone who says shit like “I hate injustice” seriously.

And Japan is also a prosperous country. I say this to you because I saw that you did not see what my point was in the blog which you asked questions about, and I would like to explain where I am coming from. I would like to change things like this, naturally, and at this point I am no longer content just saying things like that—I am hoping that there will be a way for me to be effective. That books that have been instructive to me in this regard have been “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins, anything by Howard Zinn, anything by Michael Parenti. Fiction wise, Janet Winterson (her I think you would really like), and I’ve really gotten into Phillip K. Dick. He is a passion not unlike that I used to have for the Brother Strugatskie.

I didn’t mean to write you a sermon—I hope it doesn’t come off as that. I just wanted to tell you I am enjoying your writing, thinking of you, and then naturally had to talk about myself for the remainder of the message. Best to you,