May 12th, 2004

I Will Follow video

But I take what I can't get because it's all that I can find ...

There should be a permanent reminder in my room, written in extremely large font and in a very obvious location. It would read "Axver, when did you last change your clothes? If you cannot remember, CHANGE THEM!" It's not that I'm a dirty slob, it's that I think if something looks and smells good enough to wear four days in a row, I'll wear it four days in a row. No need to put on too many loads of laundry.

I am now going to arbitrarily change the topic just to give you all that disjointed feeling.

SOR today was AMAZING. Made me feel so much better about humanity in general after our horrible English lesson. Firstly, the louts in our class were being even more obnoxious than usual, and I was on the verge of telling them to STFU. I have no idea how Mrs Hugo tolerated them. I nearly lost the plot. We're moving onto a unit studying the Holocaust in which we watch Schindler's List and Life Is Beautiful. Today was the introductory lesson, and what agony. Genuine question from the girl sitting behind me: "What's the Holocaust?" WTF? Where's your brain, girl? Arguably the biggest event of the twentieth century, and you don't know of it? I then posed the question to Burns at morning tea, and got a similar response: "I've heard of it, but I don't know what it is." HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHAT THE HOLOCAUST WAS? One of the most horrible, violent, despicable events in history, and some people don't know it! Do I expect too much from people? It was ridiculous. Mrs Hugo asked us to come up with some modern examples of situations that could be related to the Holocaust ... it ended up with me giving all the answers, and it really showed off how sad a state my class's world knowledge is. These people weren't even familiar with the Rwandan genocide of the ninties. Again, WTF? I went ahead and listed a few more events they weren't familiar with - conflicts in the Balkans (i.e. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo), Chinese suppression of Tibetan culture, the conflict in Chechnya-Ingushetia, and so forth - and then pulled out one that pretty much went right beyond the limits.

Me: "The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh."
< insert various exclamations along the lines of "what now?" >
Mrs Hugo: "André, I think you've just stretched the class's knowledge too far there."

Shame that so few are familiar with that, because I find the history of the Caucasus region absolutely fascinating and intruguing. By the end of that lesson, I was so frustrated with these people I could've pulled my hair out. HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW THE HOLOCAUST? Damn, that annoyed me. Mrs Hugo can't even refer to it as MODERN history any more! It's an "old event" now. Good flaming bob. Seems like modern history to these people consists of N'Sync splitting up, whatever prick got kicked out of the latest reality show last weekend, and probably how much pot they smoked instead of doing the previous night's homework. So after class, I vented a bit of my frustration with Mrs Hugo, who definitely understood and has the awful situation of having the best and the worst English students in the grade in her class. Then I stormed back to my locker and spent most of morning tea ranting and raving about idiots before heading off to SOR, hoping for a relief with the intelligence of Johnno.

I got even more than I bargained for. It was EXACTLY what I needed, and not just as relief, but as spiritual help too. Johnno was on FIRE. This flogs every speech and rant of his out of the water. Almost everyone in the class was nodding along because he was just so right. It all stemmed from Heidi asking a question at the start of the class relating to our assignment, "who has the right to set laws and make judgements? Does anyone?" I truly wish this had been recorded. We stayed in class ten minutes later than we should've just to listen. An hour of genius. He covered such a broad range, too, from discussing "whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven" to the early Christian church. I loved it when he had a real stab at the modern church, that it's totally lost the point. He was discussing how Christianity is about unconditional love, and that one can only give unconditional love when they have been loved unconditionally, and then pointed out how the church now condemns but doesn't love. "The teenage girl heading to the abortion clinic doesn't need to be yelled at, she needs to be loved. The church is not doing its job." He discussed how all actions have their repercussions and that protesting outside abortion clinics doesn't solve the problem, it simply attacks the consequence. It was stunning, he was on the biggest roll. He brought up Abraham, and how his having sex with Hagar has now left us with the conflict in the Middle East (to jog your memory - the Arabs claim descent from Hagar's son Ishmael, the Israelites claim descent from Sarah's son Isaac). Then he moved onto the early church, how it DID love unconditionally for the first three hundeed years.

"How could the early Christian church possibly win any converts? Can you imagine it? Come join our underground religion where we meet for a meal once a week in a damp underground cavern, oh, and if you get caught coming here, you might just end up as a torch in Nero's garden. If you're really lucky, you'll be beheaded. If you're unlucky, you'll be skinned alive and flayed. So come and join us, believe!"

But people did convert - so many that the Roman Empire converted officially to Christianity. It had to have something, and that was unconditional love. People came because they saw a genuine love. The church seems to be lacking that today in a big way. At least the Western church. It doesn't have that unconditional love, "the 'church' today doesn't look anything like what the real church does." Johnno was absolutely amazing today, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I'm trying to remember more to relate it, because ... I was blown away. I walked out of the class stunned.

Another point was about the difference between judgement and a statement, and valid and invalid judgement. Amelia was about the only person there who disagreed, she was saying "But if someone's committing adultery, that's their own business, who are you to intervene?" I wish I could remember Johnno's reply. He made the distinction between a loving statement to help and a hateful condemnation wonderfully crystal-clear, and that someone committing some sort of sin shouldn't affect the relationship with that person. "If it does, then you've obviously made a wrong judgement." Just because someone's gone and proven they're human is no reason to not talk to them any more. Just because someone sinned doesn't mean they should be defamed. Just because they're doing wrong just like you are doesn't mean you should pretend you're holier and more righteous.

I should end here, because I MUST go finish my maths assignment. It's nearly done. Speaking of done, the VCD of Popmart Sarajevo has finished downloading. Eeeeee! I'm just peeved the camera's out of focus for Please. But wow, it's amazing. I was going to go on a rant against my ISP and their useless usage meter that's caused my download speeds to be limited when they shouldn't be, but I'm actually feeling really good now and I need to get the assignment done. I was going to reflect on what's being happening in Iraq, but not now. Maybe an edit, or tomorrow. Have a good one, folks!
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