Sunday, May 25, 2008

What's She Up To?

What is Hillary Clinton doing? Everyone is now saying that she has no shot whatsoever at the Democratic nomination, yet she still trudges on, claiming that she can still pull it out. Does she know something that we don't? (That's what kind of worries me). She's made several statements recently that she's "waiting for something to happen", presumably meaning, happen to Barack Obama and his campaign. Have they engineered something? To have that as your strategy, waiting for something to "happen" to the other guy, seems so blatantly obvious and disgusting, that it is just almost beyond words. I can't say I've ever seen anything like this, particularly in an intra-party contest between supposed team members. And the dirty tricks have all come from the Clinton campaign, whose candidate and staff just lies, lies, lies, all the livelong day! She was always against the war, she was always against NAFTA, she took sniper fire in Bosnia. The use of the race card - talking of the support of "hard-working white people", as if those other than white may not be so hard working, Geraldine Ferraro's "He's only come this far in the campaign because he's black", Hillary's "As far as I know, he's not a Muslim". When does it ever end? And now, after raising the spectre of assassination (which seems to be on a lot of people's minds lately - witness Mike Huckabee and his outrageous comments - are these people voicing some evil desire from deep within?) she's now trying to force her way onto the ticket, as the vice-presidential nominee, after all of that and so much more I haven't even mentioned?

Well, it's never going to happen for you, Hillary. In showing your true colors by the way you ran your vile campaign, there is no way that Barack Obama is going to place you next to him in the second slot. Hell, I'd fear for my well-being with someone like you even near me, and that man is just way to smart to place someone with absolutely no moral compass whatsoever only feet away from him. Your day and the Old Politics are over. The people have spoken, and it's time for you to go. Away. For a long, long time. Because only time will ever be able to rehabilitate the destruction you have done to your own reputation. Now, be gone!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Iris Chang 1968-2004

I haven't written anything here for a while, and I don't know what to write about. I've really been just busy with work and school; and this week I've come to the determination that I will have to approach my workplace with the offer of working less, if I am ever to complete this thesis. Instead of letting time continue to drift by, I will have to make some changes this week, that's for sure. But, that's not too interesting, so I'll write a little about my trip to the San Francisco Bay area, 2 weeks ago. That was just a few days to rest and enjoy the sights, but as usual, it turned into an exhausting whirlwind of doing all things possible in three days. One of my objectives however, since I was in the area, was to visit the grave of someone whom I'd never met, but was much aware of. Her name was Iris Chang, and she was a journalist and historian, who killed herself in 2004. I remember looking at the news on the Internet in the fall of 2004, and being just so shocked to read of her death, and how it had happened. I had become aware of her a few years before, as a scholar who would appear on shows like C-Span and Booknotes, and I was much impressed by her fierceness and fearlessness in confronting her topics, which included her work, “The Rape of Nanking”, the pre-WWII atrocity committed on the city of that name by the Japanese army, and her determination to both bring such forgotten events of history to light, and to gain an apology for what had happened at Nanking to the Chinese people. She once confronted the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. on television, with a demand for an apology, and she was just so determined and driven in her work for such a young person. To read, as a graduate student, that someone I had looked up to as a role model, had taken her life on a lonely dirt road not far from her home, by shooting herself in the mouth, was such a shock, and I still remember to this day how I had turned to my advisor and told him of her story, and what she had now done to herself. She had seemed to have it all: family, good-looking, smart, a sky-rocketing career, and yet she had done this, directly out of the blue. It was unsettling, a shock, it made one question one's self in some ways. More recently, I had read a biography on her, and the prevailing thought now is that she was suffering from bipolar depression, which no one really had caught on to until the very end of her life. This may well have been true, but my personal opinion in reading about her life, is that she was an extreme perfectionist (which in some cases may be a symptom of bipolar depression), who could no longer go on, with the world knowing that she had been committed to a mental hospital for a short time in the weeks before her suicide, and that was also suffering from this condition of bipolar depression. She had always presented the image of perfection to the world in everything that she did, and yet she wasn't perfect. That I think, she could not live with, and that, I think, is probably the saddest thing of all. Her ultimately distorted image of herself was so much harsher than anything the world was putting or would have put on her, or at least I would hope, and so she killed herself, when it just didn't have to happen.

Now, Iris Chang rests in the Gate of Heaven Catholic cemetery in Los Altos, California, near San Jose, although she was neither Catholic not Christian, but rather an atheist, or at least an agnostic, never really the religious sort. She lies on a gently sloping hill, overlooking a beautiful crystal pool of water further down the slope, with trees growing about as if in an Arcadian paradise, and with the gentle rolling hills of California behind her, looking down upon her grave. Her gravestone reads, “Iris Chang, Beloved Wife and Mother, Author and Historian, Human Rights Activist, 3.28.1968-11.9.2004. Her grave, with a small photo portrait, is as simple as any of the others all around her. At least now she rests in peace, eternally gazing over that beautiful lake pool of water from the slope further above. After being able to visit with her for a very short time, her unsettling story and departure from this world still a mystery in some ways, I think that now I too may have gained just a little more peace perhaps, in this world.