Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Paradox of Our Time

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less; we plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes, but lower morals; we have more food, but less appeasement; we build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill."

By Dr. Bob Moorehead
"The Paradox Of Our Time"

I always wonder

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on Earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oakland Community Builders

One of my former students from Berkeley just emailed me to let me know that my UCB community organizing class inspired her to pursue labor organizing.. so much so that she's now officially going to work as an organizer-in-training at the UPTE Local in NJ.

Best e-mail of the year. 

The Root Of The Problem

In China today: 22 children and 1 adult injured in knife attack versus
In the U.S.: 18-some children and 9 other people shot dead.

"That's the difference between a knife and a gun...guns don't attack children; psychopaths and sadists do."

While I disagree with the article's notion that there is "nothing to be done," I do believe that gun legislation/control isn't the answer and we certainly should not reinvigorate the anti-gun movement. Sadists, psychopaths, the mentally disturbed, etc. will always find other ways to wreak havoc-- much like the knife-murderer in China. Let's think of other practical and more efficient solutions, perhaps community-wide strategies that can help support people and foster growth, positivity, and effective communication and openness amongst members of our respective communities. I believe that's a far better approach than instituting laws that don't really deter a (mentally incapacitated or troubled) criminal.

Instituting gun control and infringing upon or limiting our "democratic" right to bear arms at the hope of *potentially* deterring these criminals seems sort of...counter-intuitive? What's to say that these criminals don't find alternative methods to harm: bombs/grenades, poisoning/chemical weapons (we all can't forget the Anthrax scare), and we can even stretch it as far as to include the pervasive act of bullying that has subsequently lead to hundreds and thousands of suicides every year. Our society's mental and physical desensitization to caring for others, of camaraderie and open-communication is what is preventing mass-murdering criminals from growing up in loving, caring, supportive environments. All I'm saying is-- gun control might not be the answer, and to restrict or forbid possession of such will only likely open the floodgates to alternate measures.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Buddha

"The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Remember remember the SIXTH of November
Of voting and feeling distraught
I see no reason why this election season
Should ever be forgot...


Saturday, August 18, 2012


“Finishing a book is bittersweet. You spend days getting to know the characters. Learning their nuances, their faults, their loves, their lives. They become your friends, acquaintances, enemies. And after the story ends, you miss them. You look for them in your own life, wonder where they’ve gone, you forget that they aren’t real. You fall in love with the hero and dream of him at night. The strange girl becomes your best friend. Their heartaches become your heartaches. You laugh when they laugh. And cry when they die. Eventually you realise they aren’t a part of your world, you were just briefly visiting theirs.” 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


a half finished book is, after all, a half finished love affair 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Is it really in the eye of the beholder?

Ever since she was 10, Nadia begged her mother for an operation to pin her ears back so that her peers at school would stop bullying her and calling her Dumbo for her "elephant ears." Read the article here. Four years later, a charity provides Nadia with a free otoplasty, but they don't stop there- adding on to the laundry list of corrective, elective surgeries rhinoplasty and mentoplasty, all totaling $40k. 

At the risk of sounding insensitive, my initial reaction to this was disappointment. Want to deal with the psychological effects of bullying by resorting to surgery? Fine. Join the 90 thousand other teens who went under the knife for cosmetic surgery in 2007. But, courtesy of a charity foundation, deciding to add on a bucket list of multiple corrective and cosmetic measures to fit a certain mold of aesthetic "beauty" defined in the eyes of our American culture and society is..well-- sad.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorado gunman

We moved to Colorado just a year or so after the Columbine High School massacre; post-shootings, high schools and middle schools all throughout the state began employing metal detectors, all students were prohibited from wearing trench coats and sagging/baggy clothing, gun control measures were taken via federal and state legislation, and bullying and adolescent/teenage psychopathy stood at the forefront of issues that were *finally* being acknowledged and addressed. Over a decade later, a 24-year old med school student and gunman kills 12 people in a Colorado movie theater. Read about it here A pre-meditated killing, as the perp entered the premises, gas canister in one hand, firearm in the other, equipped with a bulletproof vest and gas mask. Where do we go from here? What more can we control and regulate? Where and how else shall we be imposing security precautions? What the hell is going on?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Things I learned when I studied abroad in Italy

Lesson 1: Don't ever ask a local Italian for directions, otherwise you will go "right-left-straight-around-under-and-over"-to nowhere only to ask another Italiano who will then re-direct you leftward, rightward, around on a loopty loop. But be careful if they also give you an eta towards your destination, because...

Lesson 2: If an Italian tells you it's a 5 minute walk- expect to walk for at least 20 minutes. Plan accordingly.

Lesson 3: If you ask an Italian if they speak English- 99% of the time they will answer that they don't speak a lick of English or they know "a little." Expect them to be more fluent than you are.

Lesson 4: Italian stallion men are as charismatic and charming as women/people stereotype them to be. Ciao bella.

Lesson 5: Everyone and their grandmother (quite literally) drives a vespa/moped/motorbike.

Lesson 6: Almost every store/supermarket/everything shuts down on Sundays because "the country still  believes in God"-- Counselor S. Lask

Lesson 7: You will consume alcohol (more specifically, wine and champagne) like it is juicy-juice by your second day. Your excuse for developing such high tolerance is that the culture forces you to partake in evening aperitivos (appetizers) where finger-food is consumed in conjunction with copious glasses of fine wine.

Lesson 8: "With Italians, your problem becomes our problem" said a local Italian friend after I shied away from seeking his advice and told him I couldn't burden him with my problems. Refer to Lesson 4.

and finally, Lesson 9: Studying abroad= oxymoron.


~roma italiana 

Saturday, June 23, 2012


"The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those persons who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person - without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other.

They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.

Then why do they want to be together? It is no longer a need; it is a luxury. Try to understand it. Real persons love each other as a luxury; it is not a need. They enjoy sharing: they have so much joy; they would like to pour it into somebody.

And they know how to play their life as a solo instrument. The solo flute player knows how to enjoy his flute alone. And if he comes and finds a tabla player, a solo tabla player, they will enjoy being together and creating a harmony between the flute and the tabla. Both will enjoy it: they will both pour their richness into each other." 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

to be in complete control of your emotions (or to be void of any emotion) is to be powerful beyond any measure

Friday, March 30, 2012

Let me Twitter that for You

The New American Generation has shifted into a world that is now hyperconnected. Compare 2012 to 2004?... "Facebook didn't exist; Twitter was a sound; the cloud was in the sky; 4G was a parking place; LinkedIn was a prison; applications were what you sent to college; and Skype for most people was typo." - Thomas Friedman on "How America Fell Behind"

Technology is accelerating at a relentless pace...

Below is the world's first virtual shopping store that opened in Korea. All the shelves are LCD screens and the customer chooses his/her desired item by simply touching the screen and checking out. The checkout then has all the items already packaged in bags and ready to go.  I present to you, the long-awaited entry/path into an automaton-controlled society where our thoughts and actions are controlled, where the food we eat, the things we buy, our method of leisurely activity and exercise is bottled, packaged, easy-to-use, synthesized through hormones and chemicals, simulated in climate-and-environment-controlled settings, available via Prime or expedited shipping....

"1984" meets "5th element"...

And to think, how "simple" we were just over a decade ago....

I think the picture above says it well. Suddenly a simple "You've Got Mail!"is no longer music to my ears. A decade later, with over three email accounts directing me towards work, law school, and personal commitments, I have only paper mail to look forward to; but this too is anti-climactic, seeing as how "snail mail" paper correspondences nowadays usually consist of bills or solicitations to invest in another interest-seeking, credit-sucking, money-hungry form of plastic freedom that eventually  promotes my adventures in retail therapy...But that's a different story. :)