cracked rose-colored glasses

what happens to a garden that remains unkept?

Photo Credit: keithbarraclough.files.wordpress.com

the flowers start wilting,
their petals falling into the dry, crackling dirt.
the resilient weeds start sprouting,
entangling their way around the stems of the dying blooms.
that old rose bush that you prized is now riddled with thorns.
i tried to pluck one,
send you a picture of it,
but my fingers got cut up and started bleeding
and i knew it wasn’t worth the trouble.
the single flower wouldn’t bring you back,
why try so hard to make it bloom again?
why keep it in a vase that glistens during the 3 pm glow of the sun?
why stare at it, remembering the day we planted the damn rose bush?
no, i’ll stick to bandaging up my hand,
ridding it of the metallic red,
dripping down my palm,
almost staining my pants.
i’ll stick to staring out my kitchen window at the garden, once blooming,
now only a couple of rotten, lonesome plants.

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Revenge

Following up on a lead he got last August, president Obama authorized an attack on a mansion in Pakistan several days  ago. After a firefight, Obama said that the special forces team found Osama Bin Laden, and shot him dead.

The American people have taken this as a time to gloat, and celebrate the death of a terrible and ruthless person. But is that what they should be doing?

The bloody death of one is no way to celebrate the revenge of the bloody deaths of others. Revenge will never lead to anything good, remember that.

To me, celebrating the death of Bin Laden is a very sick thing to do. Yes he killed many people, but revenge IS NOT OK.  Obama talked about “justice being served” today. There was no justice for him. He was found and shot. True justice would have been a fair trial. The only way this can be perceived as ok is if there was no other way to subdue Bin laden and the bullets absolutely HAD to be fired.

A death for a death is no way to run a justice system.  Bin Laden did kill many, may people, but killing him is not the solution. How does an eye for an eye make sense? “You killed someone? Well then you will die as well.”

And as for the people gathering in front of the White House to celebrate, you are doing a terrible thing. There are people grieving for Bin Laden just as many others grieved for their dead family members and friends from 9/11. I’m sorry, but revenge will never solve anything.

Good Riddance

“Word is Obama killed him with a pitching wedge from 30 yards out”

Those were the words from a US Naval Officer on an internet chat board regarding the new found confirmation from President Obama and the White House that Osama Bin Laden, the man who had been on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list, the man had founded Al Qaeda in the early 1980’s, and the man who masterminded the world’s most deadly recent attacks, including the bombing of several American embassies, the 7/7 bombings, the bombings in Spain, and the September 11th attacks, is dead.

Read that again. The man who for a generation embodied evil and the word “terrorism” has been pronounced dead. According to TMZ, Osama was killed by American military forces. Killed in Afghanistan, “we got him” has now become the phrase of the day. Sources from all over the world are streaming in. CNN, Huffington Post, Fox News and several other reliable news sites have confirmed that the villian was killed by an American missile strike last week in Afghanistan. This is truly a day for celebration throughout the world.

It may feel that a great piece of the mission is complete. The Taliban was removed, Saddam was executed, and finally last week, we finally had enough intelligence thanks to the CIA, we launched an attack on a compound in Pakistan where this mass murderer was hiding. A small group of Americans with great courage survived a fire fight and killed the symbol of evil while taking measures to protect innocent civilians.

As my roommate and I are sitting in my room staring at my poster of the Brooklyn bridge in the early 1990’s taken with the World Trade Center in the background,
“I’m legit stoked right now” – John Olivo
“Are you screwing with me or is this for real?” – Cole McIntosh
“He’s dead! Hell Yes! That piece of trash is finally DEAD!” – All of us.

President Obama’s press conference was streamed into my computer and we are currently holding our bottles high to the American launcher who just so happened to point his launcher in the right direction. “Obama looks exhausted,” my roommate said. Who wouldn’t be after the months upon years of effort to bring forth this outcome. The satisfaction of the work is felt, and the pursuit of justice has been rewarded. The biggest part of a legacy of terrorism which has been shadowing over the world for the past 20 years, is dead. I give thanks to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to stand up for our values abroad, to try to make the world a safer place, and to bring justice to all those who lost their lives. The victims did not die in vain. The unity of our nation has been greatly electrified. As we listened to Obama speak, we all, in unison, ended with Obama in his last address, “we are one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  Salud boys, we got him.

This picture may be disturbing to some viewers, viewer discretion is advised. Here’s proof.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Don’t Say Anything At All.

For the first time in a very long time, I was shocked and shaken to the very core. I was ashamed to know that I share the world with such narrow minded people and I was reminded of the ignorance and blind arrogance that plagues and clings to our society like a heavy, dirty rag.

A few days ago, my friend shared a YouTube video with me. It was a video of a blonde girl, Alexandra Wallace, from UCLA, singling out a group of people, stereotyping all Asians. Let me tell you, it was nothing short of disgusting. Click here to watch the video.

In her rant, she complained about the burdens of having Asians in the dorms on the weekend. Their family members come on the weekends to cook for them and she claimed that their parents were not letting them grow independent. Apparently, having parents who care for their children enough to come and cook homemade food for them is a huge nuisance for her. At this point, Alexandra left me thinking “Why does it matter to you?”

It only snowballed from that point.

Rolling her eyes, Alexandra continued to rant about Asians in the library. Apparently while poor Alex was studying her political science, Asians were always on the phone. She raised a mocking hand to her face and opened her flagrant mouth: “OHHH CHING CHONG BING BONG TING TONG.”She heartlessly disclaimed the severity of the earthquake in Japan and proudly mounted herself on a rocky pedestal of fool’s gold when she called herself “the polite, American girl.” She publicly and very ironically announced that Asians needed to learn “American manners.” Sadly, this queen bee, this high and mighty girl who studies political science has forgotten that America, a salad bowl of cultures, was founded on its immigrants. “American manners” is in part Asian manners as well as manners of Hispanics, Africans, Germans, Italians, and more.

What shocked me the most was the her complete dismissal of the disaster that has shocked Japan. In her few short words, she had repudiated the heartbreak and worry that the earthquake brought onto many. My friend, Minako Otake, could not sleep all night when she heard of the news because she was worried for her family at home. She was tense, waiting for the call to hear the comforting voice of her mom and dad telling her that they were okay and to know that they weren’t a part of the thousands that were reported to be injured or dead. My boyfriend’s family lives in Japan. As Alexandra called it, “the tsunami thing” is a very good excuse to answer a phone call in the library.

The motives for her video were racist, debasing, and facile. I am sure that Asian families aren’t the only “hoards” of people that come to visit on the weekends. I am sure that Asians aren’t the only ones in the library that are using their phones and I am sure that she has probably realized the magnitude of her words. In these 2 minutes and 52 seconds, Alexandra Wallace of UCLA proved her sheer ignorance.

I am Korean American and proud of it. I know that when I get into college, wherever that may be, my family will come visit me on the weekends too and bring me food and maybe do my laundry. It is not because I am Asian. It is because I know my family will try to make my first year of college as comfortable as it can be. I know that I will probably be one of the many people from different ethnicities that might use their phones in the library. I know that my language might sound like a harsh din of rushing vowels and clanging consonants to the foreign, prejudiced ear but it is most definitely not something to be mocked or ashamed of.

In a world where people strive to be different and find beauty in the rarity of things, it is remarkable and eye opening when I find someone so narrow minded and audacious as she. To label a group of people because of their roots is wrong. What kind of world would we live in if we were all one generic race, one generic language, and one generic look? Hopefully, Alexandra Wallace (and many others) will come to terms with the many cultures that constitute our diverse home that we call America. Until then, I hope, at the very least, the magnitude of her words and their ramifications has taught her that if she doesn’t have anything nice to say, she shouldn’t say anything at all.