Sunday, July 29, 2007

In Congo

with a big shout-out to Elder RavenFire for alerting me to this story.

Over in the Democratic Republic of Congo there is a huge problem. The folks there are poor and many of them are rather superstitious when it comes to who to blame family troubles on. Kids eight years of age and younger are being shuttled off to churches and ministers for sessions promising to deliver them from demons for a hefty fee. The lucky kids are forced to vomit out objects [which were inserted into their bodies by the ministerics] and thus vomit out Satan too. The less fortunate are dumped in the streets, beaten, forced to leave home and become children of the street.

Street living is hard in Congo. The natives do not have spare change, often having difficulties themselves when it comes to feeding their families. [Jobs do not always pay on a regular basis and that includes government positions]. Ex-pat Americans and India Indians are well-off tooling around in their Mercedes et. al. but they are in a distinct minority of 1 percent. 14% of the water is potable, meaning the other 86% is contaminated and vectors of disease. Street kids wash in filthy water in alleyways when they can. They eat when they can. Some manage to get into shelters. Unfortunately, the shelters often provide a place to sleep and education for a year. The aim is to reunite the children with their families. The method is education: It is irrational and cruel to believe that your child is a witch.

Women are gang-raped [sometimes by government Mau-Maus] and have their genitals pierced or multilated in the act of. They then go to hospitals where they face operations to repair perforated anuses or to reconstruct genitals out of what is left. Some become pregnant by their rapists, adding yet another difficulty to becoming mainstreamed back into Congolese society. A few of the lucky ones learn how to make shea butter, perhaps selling it to places like Bath & Bodyworks for a pittance.

[Yes, some men have also been brutalized by the Mau-Maus and raped. The vast majority of gang rape vics in Congo are women].

Then there are the widows who have been accused of witchcraft. They wind up in witch camps where the chiefs beat them, demanding that they do labor. Some of them can't physically draw water several times a day or labor in the fields. If a grandchild comes to live with them at the camp in order to help them, that grandchild is often rejected by the family that originally accused their widowed relations of being witches.

This stuff has been documented since 1999 as happening in Congo. Why the fuck haven't we heard much if anything about it?

radical sapphoq


sterilized picture of Congo cultures
gang rapes of Congolese women, also disgusting
rapes in eastern Congo, toward the bottom
London kids being taken to Congo by their parents and being dumped there.

five pentecostal churches in Congo
Uganda witch camps
Benin, Nigeria, Liberia, Angola, South Africa, Cameroon, and ESPECIALLY IN the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Katanga [in Congo],14173,1514334,00.html


skepdic on witches

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sylvia Plath and sleep apnea

Awesome woman she was, melancholy in the good old-fashioned way.
Well okay, crazy then if you must be picky about it.
Yes, she was a wonder. Wonderful stuff she wrote.
When Sylvia Plath decided to end her life with the gas pipe,
she left out milk and bread. For whom?
A question left unanswered still.

Oh Sylvia, when you were coming into your death
did you smell the stink of vinegar and did the bees'
roaring cut off your hearing?
If you still lived today, what meds would be prescribed for you?
How many weeks in between shrink visits for you?
Would they send you off to a day treatment sort of program?
A partial hospitalization thing? Or a "clubhouse?"
Would the professionals mutter against your writings during their staffings?
Would they claim that your writing was part of your sickness?

Benedryl makes me hyper.
Some folks use Seroquel for insomnia.
"Might you have sleep apnea?" I ask people when they talk about insomnia,
"That can mess up sleeping too."

Might I be obsessed with asking
random people if they have sleep apnea?
I want the world to get a c-pap machine and to have some real sleep like I get now.
But the world does not have sleep apnea.
And the news mediacs continue to dole out poisoned sugar drinks to the masses.
I swear politicians do not get enough sleep.
Again, the world does not have sleep apnea.
Too bad I think.
Yeah. At least that woulda been a relatively painless fix.

I might be content to leave the practice of medicine to the practitioners if I was convinced that they don't want us to be in their mass guinea pig parade.
Instead, I compulsively read Medscape articles
hoping for more clue-by-fours.

Pills and c-pap for a manageable life.
For me, better than the alternative.

Sylvia Plath thought that she was living in a fishbowl and folks were looking in.
Some say that is a mark of craziness. I rather think there is an element of truth in the most bizarre delusion.
And hers was rather tame.

I've rambled enough.
Here's to better days and a kinder gentler reality.

radical sapphoq

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Which Theocracy

I spike have thought long and hard about this topic for several days and nights. This morning while praying an earnest prayer to no one or
to the Thousand Voices, I saw a bush burning just outside my window. I hastened to spit out the toothpaste and ran outside. I spike got the hose full of holes and managed to extinguish the flames. The smoke cleared. Cussing, I spike cut away the damaged branches. Lo and behold, against the charred aluminum siding, a picture was forming. I spike, a nobody in the world of theos, became gifted with a vision of divine proportions. I hastened to pay attention, so I could faithfully record all that I saw.

I spike, saw with my own two eyes, a parade forming. Much to my astonishment, a momentous chant rose up from the center as one voice. "We are a Christian Nation. We are a religious Nation. We pray. Get over it." I spike trembled greatly.

I spike saw a crowd of onlookers whipped into a frenzy, an alien elven glossolalia streaming from their lips. Three males of a family of recent legal immigrants from Riojo, Spain were beating on drums until their bloodied hands began to gush open. Father and two boys began singing in ascending keys, "Ha-su, Ha-su, Ha-su." The mother was engaged in flagellating herself with a wicked-looking leather whip.

With an inhuman quickness, a Methodist minister from the Troy Conference broke free from the center of the passing parade and rushed over to our Spanish friends. "Stop!" she yelled, attempting to insert herself between the mother and her weapon of faith, "You mustn't. Your bodies are the holy temples--" The eldest boy looked up at her in shock. "We recognize no women as spiritual authorities in our Holy Roman Church," he said in halting English. "Go away," added his younger brother.

A few Dominionists, all fired up from their recent convention down a back road in Carolina, began gathering rocks from nearby front yards. They quickly pelted the Spanish mother and the Methodist minister. "Lesbians," one sneered. "Perversion!" "Adulteresses," shouted others. "Isn't your husband man enough to keep you satisfied?" yelled out an adolescent girl. More rocks rained on the two women. "Abomination!" "We are saved and without sin!" "Die, scum!"

A Jehovah's Witness
raced away from a group knocking on door of empty houses [for everyone was either watching or in the mandated Christianity is Cool parade] and a young man in the black suit of the missionary Mormons both reached the women at the same time. Together, they dragged the two women away into the relative safety of an unlocked car. The other Jehovah's Witnesses, missing their companions, ran over into the fray. "Ye must work for your salvation in fear and trembling," they yelled as they showered paper tracts and magazines upon the stoners.

Realizing that their targets had disappeared, some of the accusing crowd began arguing with the Jehovah's Witnesses over salvation and the rest began screaming at the Pentecostals who were still speaking in Elven. "Witches," they hissed. "The age of speaking in tongues has been over with." A stout man shouted back, "No, it's not. Come down to the river this evening and be ye baptized in water and in Spirit!"

And still the parade continued. I spike saw these things with mine own two eyes and heard these things with mine own two ears. Just then, a contingent of Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, and Episcopalians came upon the battling Baptists and Pentecostals. "Suffer the little children--" A lone voice interrupted. "The river is full of P.C.B.s! It's not safe for anyone!"

The world around me fell silent then. The parade music and chanting stopped. The on-lookers and the folks who were part of the officially approved organizations on parade came closer to the circle surrounding that one lone woman's voice. Some stopped to gather up more rocks. Others took out guns and cell phones. A young man in fatigues and the beret of a Christian Identity group grabbed one of the drums deserted by the legally immigrated family from Spain. He brought his hands down upon it in slow steady beats. The crowd erupted into loud raucous laughter. Cries of "Al Gore lover!" and "Eco-nazi!" rang out. "Fornicator." The young man began chanting, "The eco-nazis lay with people of other races. The fornicator must die." A couple of sympathizers put in hasty calls to 9-1-1 on their cellphones. They wanted the eco-nazi to be taken away to a re-education camp in Memphis, Tennessee or somewheres like that.

There was no more parade. The humans had congealed into an ugly snarling mass of angry souls. Rocks flew from all directions. "Kill them all and let our God sort them out!" one woman sang with glee. Joel's Army and the Jesus Camp kids loaded their guns and shot into the crowd at random. Windows shattered and bodies dropped. Some Quakers began a peace vigil on the corner. They were quickly picked off. I wept.

Sirens blasted and politico-ministerial-militiamen poured out of large tanks. "Everyone sit down!" came the order bellowed from a megaphone. No one sat. Instead the mayhem continued. Blood rolled freely down the streets into the sewers. Vultures flew overhead. Suddenly, a thunderclap that deafened mine ears and a drenching rain. "Basta!" a Thousand Voices rumbled, "Never again."

I found myself prostrate on the ground before the charred aluminum siding. "Tell the fools," the Thousand Voices whispered deafeningly to me, "Tell them We are done with them. We are leaving, the whole lot of us. And tell them please, that their God doesn't hate shrimp." I felt at once alone. I stumbled into my house then, looking for sanity in an anti-psychotic p.r.n.

Could I charge
people admission to see the miraculous charred aluminum siding and the burnt up bush? Should I call the emergency Mental Health Hell number for a psychotropic medication review? Would Americans ever figure out which theocracy is the correct theocracy. I sighed then, knowing that there was truly no hope for us, none at all.


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