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JB's Guide To Insanity

We Are All Flawed

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THE TEA HOUSE II

Part Two:
THE
OFFER OF LIFE


At the end of a street in one of the darkest corners of Mi Kin it sits peacefully as if the troubles of this world refuse to touch it. It’s quaint and decorated like it should be in the Empire, with gold and crimson paint that lavishes the entire store front, and a sign that reads out in black bold letters-

LADY’S
EXOTIC & SPICED
TEA HOUSE
EST. 1803

It’s quite something to behold. Inside trinkets and various tea flavours are stacked up against the walls. I doubt even Lady knows how many types of tea are in her shop. Lady herself is a small, elderly hunched woman who resembles a witch from the European fairy tales. She’s got a heart of gold though and as soon as I arrive she hobbles out from behind her desk, smiling with those big damaged teeth and gives me a hug. She smells of spices. Always of spices.

“Lady.” I nod at her and she goes in to the back to fix my usual.

I take a seat near the front window looking out in to the street. The shop is empty. I told her the night before to make sure it was cleared out by the time I got there. Once she returns she has in her hands a cup of Indian brew, with a hint of cinnamon. Delicious. The fumes calm me. My last. I motion for her to sit across from me and she does so.

“Mr Penn, how are you today?” She asks, still smiling.

“I’m fine thank you, Lady.” I take another sip. It warms me.

“So, why this meeting? Did you finally want me to send a letter to my neice, oh Mr Penn she would be so lovely for you!”

“No, my dear. As exquisite as I’m sure your niece is, I’m here on business.”

She looks confused. “Oh?”

“Yes. Final business, to be exact.”

“Are you in trouble?” She asks me, clearly concerned with my well being.

“Not yet. I will be though. And I need to ask a favour of you. The favour.”

She leans back in her chair. “Go on.” She says directly.

I don’t speak and simply take out the bag of seventy gold pieces from my belt. I slide it across the table and she slowly unravels the string on the bag. Once she looks inside her mouth drops open.

“I wish to buy this establishment from you. For a profit of course. I can imagine your family got this place for what? Twenty silver Yuan?”

She nods. I doubt she has ever seen so much money in her life.

“That much gold should buy you a new and good life some where else Lady. Take it to your niece in Hong Lin if you have to. Just leave this place. For it is to be ruin.”

She doesn’t know what to say.

“Lady, you have been ever so kind to me over these long, long years. Like a second mother you’ve cared for me, offered me a place to relax from the storm. And I owe you all the gold in this city. That however, is all I have. I would like it to be spent wisely and with good intent.”

“My dear boy.” She mutters. “What have you done to show such kindness?”

Her words strike me more than I’d care to show.

I don’t reply and shoot her a slight reassuring smile. “Just please, take this. It’s the least I can do for you.”

She gradually comes to terms with it and places the money bag in to one of her dress pockets. “Penn-” She goes to say but I hold my hand up stopping her.

“No need for good byes Lady. Be on your way now.” I order. “They will be here any minute.”

“Any minute?”

I look sternly at her. “Please.”

She smiles nervously and then stands, shuffling over to the back room. Minutes later she comes out with a sack of personal belongings and safe keeps. Lady stops as she gets to the door. I half expect her to turn to me but none the less she does not and leaves her little tea house for good. I look out the window and watch her clear the street just as representative of the Fěicuì lóng, Mao appears on the murky horizon.

Just on time.

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YOU HAVE YOUR ANSWER

Hello

Facebook is important. Whether its a long post on opinions or just sharing photos of your dog, it’s important. That’s just how the world is now. You can deny it’s relevance, you can deny how many people use it and it’s reach until you are blue in the face, but it doesn’t make your denial true. People who complain about people complaining on Facebook should shut up. Because people complaining on Facebook shows you what people are thinking. What their opinions are. It is also a platform for education. See what you read on there might never change the world… but what it may do is educate someone, change someone’s mind. Show someone a fact. And that can lead to open mindedness.

In case you didn’t know, open mindedness is good. This is why Facebook is extremely powerful and we should never stop being key board warriors.

Now that that has been said I want to get on to my main point which is to do with the current major crisis of the world that’s on everyone’s lips.

Syria and Isis.

Understanding your enemy, knowing your enemy does not make you weak or a “sympathiser”. It makes you educated. In fact if you ignore what made your enemy and circle them as simply evil without cause, then it makes you sound stupid. With these situations its hard but we have to look past the black and white and go for the grey. Because the grey is more likely to be the inconvenient truth. I think it’s good to be able to see the other side of the coin then the one you see, just so that you can make sure you definitely know what your ideals are. I have been told things by people who are big on history and I have read in to it so I could have a better understanding. I think I am well informed but I may be wrong…

See, history is complicated. There are tonnes of factors that lead up to every decision. From making a cup of tea to going to war. It is impossible for an individual to know all of these factors because we don’t have the brain or the resources to store them and also some things are kept hidden so ill try and sound as educated as possible even though I don’t know all of the facts. I’m going to spew out a bit that I’ve learnt and no doubt will someone be able to poke flaws in me because there’s a chance I am completely wrong. But remember this is just my opinion from what I have been told/researched. I certainly don’t know everything nor am I trying to make out like I do. I just want to share my POV. The truth is that whatever I say in here is going to disagree with some of you and resonate with others. Because it is simply an opinion on the world and is neither right or wrong. Either way I feel it needs to be said and I have been wanting to say it for a while.

In the eighties the US had a cold war with Russia. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan the US reportedly funded a group of rebels called the Al-Qaeda. Yes. THAT Al-Qaeda.

I mean it varies what info you can find but most people agree that the CIA and a few other secretive groups gave Bin Laden and his group a shit tonne (we are talking millions and millions) of money, and in some articles also apparently arms so that they could fight the Russians. After that we all kind of know what happened. The Al-Qaeda got out of control, wanted to fight “enemies of Islam” the world over. One very long and messy war later with lots of complicated bull shit and a massive loss of life in the middle and ISIS are now the new big bad. But guess where they started?

Al-Qaeda. They were a side group of that organization. What you need to understand is that some of ISIS members were created through anger and fear from watching their loved ones be killed in bombings. Whether it was US or UK originated it is still destruction. We joined the US in their war so we are partly responsible. Anyway what happens to these youngsters who lose their family and then join a terrorist group out of revenge is called radicalization. Now obviously I am not justifying any of their actions. But that’s exactly my point. Us bombing them that’s what they want. They want more innocents caught in the crossfire. They want more young children of Syria to be radicalized and turn to them for revenge. Surely it is up to us (if we are more forward thinking then them) to break that cycle?

But apparently not. David Cameron has decided to go bomb Syria in the aftermath of the tragic Paris attacks.

As I just said the exact same thing has happened before in that long messy war we talked about where thousands upon thousands of people died. Thousands upon thousands, both civilian and armed forces…. I mean I certainly remember seeing “accidental civilian losses” from bombings reported on the news when I was a kid. I even did my research and found a few links to the results of bombings, figured I would share them.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2014/08/afghanistan-no-justice-thousands-civilians-killed-usnato-operations/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-34437106

and I also found this article on the Iraq war… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/iraq-death-toll_n_4102855.html

For those saying bombing places doesn’t hurt civilians because our army meticulously plans the attacks then open your eyes. In war no matter if it’s bombings/us or the enemy accidentally/purposefully shooting them, civilians ALWAYS die. Now you may say- but you don’t know that, you don’t know what will happen this time we attack somewhere…

HERE YOU GO

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23427726

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-two/civilian-casualties-of-world-war-two/

This has all already happened.

War doesn’t change. The people do, the location does, the weapons do but do you want to know what the one constant of war is?

Death of innocent life.

And we did the same thing last time we went to war. Last time we decided to bomb somewhere. We said, there will be no innocent civilian casualties. There is ALWAYS civilian casualties. Always.

Prove me wrong. Find me a war where innocent civilians didn’t die.

We have been in the same cycle for over a hundred years now. And it is insane. It upsets me when I see people supporting violence. But it in all honesty it upsets me more that I do not have an alternative answer… Peace is preferred. I guess I am an idealist who believes that something else could have been done. There must have been something, I can’t think of it but there must be someone smarter than a twenty year old who can come up with something smarter than bombing. Something that doesn’t end with more of the same.

Violence does not cancel out violence. History has shown us time and time again that these kind of actions breed radicalism. I may be wrong and crude with my timeline here so please feel free to call me out on it. But the way I see it, it goes like this.

The West funded a terrorist group to fight a war for us.

The terrorist group grew and turned on the West.

The West then bombed said terrorist group, killing innocent civilians in the process and radicalising their families in to joining the terrorists.

The terrorists retaliate.

The West bombs them, create more terrorists.

The terrorists split up and come back in different sections.

We bomb them some more, create more terrorists.

What happens next? Do we fund ANOTHER terrorist group to fight ISIS, and let the cycle continue?

As much as I respect the troops and people who die for this country as much as I honour them I will not honour the people who command them. I will not honour the people who send them to war. I will not honour the fat old politicians in their ivory towers who send their young in to battle. No. Never. We are supposed to be better than this. Isn’t that right? Am I wrong in saying that? That we should aspire for better. That this world should united in it’s efforts. I’m an idiot I guess for thinking that.

That’s not the only problem though. It’s just the one every one is focused on right now… because it is so hard to keep track these days of what to be angry about. There is so much wrong with the world. So much. As a twenty year old I cant know everything. I can tell you what I see in the news on a day to day basis though.

I see parts of Africa. Where women are mutilated, raped, tortured bound in to slavery. Where children are soldiers. Where children are slaves. Where genocide is committed. Where corrupt rulers get rich whilst severe poverty sweeps a continent and diseases are rife. Where AIDS is spread like wild fire. Where Ebola outbreaks happen. Where death is at everyone’s door.

I see refugees fleeing mad men in the East and I see us abusing the refugees and blaming them for the mad men’s actions. This happened before with Jews in WWII. It happened before.

I see gender inequality across the west and the rest of Europe too. It might not compare to the horrors of the above. But it is still important and still relevant.

I see global warming being fought on a day to day basis by people with answers yet we are too set in our ways to change. Too far gone. I see beautiful animals hunted to the brink of extinction for products we can create alternatives to through minerals and plants. Not only hunted but tortured for entertainment too. I see the Earth and all it’s creatures sick from pollution and our constant need for more of its resources.

I see mass shootings almost weekly in America because they cant get their shit together. In the good ol’ US of A, I also see racism still inherent, bubbling under the surface like a vile poison. I see them forget their horrific past and leave the uneducated to be uneducated. I see a president who wants his country to be secure and I see an opposing party who want nothing more than to stop him, without cause or justification. What’s worst is I see half of that power house siding with the wrong people. Stunting it’s growth.

In my own country I see thugs attacking mosques and innocent Muslims. This is because the thugs are mindless apes with no one to tell them any different other than Britain First; another group of thugs, liars and idiots causing harm under the guise of free speech when they don’t realise that by causing harm to the general population of Islam then they are helping ISIS win. I see my FREE healthcare programme being destroyed by a man who doesn’t seem to have any reason to do it. I see the Western media spurning and egging on discrimination as if it were a sick game to them. I see fear being mongered and spread, and the fear turning us in to cowards who won’t look out for others in need. Who will post and share bull shit , made up FB status’ about the danger of Muslims when in reality ISIS and Islam are too completely different things.

The world over I see the following:

I see violence

I see racism

I see homophobia

I see sexism

I see rape

I see murder

I see poverty

I see violation of human rights

I see lies

I see corruption that we cant do anything about.

If I missed anything off that list please do let me know.

It is all I see. Anger and bitterness and hatred. I see hell. This is the world I have been given. The world I cannot change. I voted for a different party. I try and sign petitions where I can. I try and donate as much as possible to charity. It hasn’t changed my parents tell me… It hasn’t changed since they were younger. What can I do? I’m just one young person with no power to change anything. So I make a blog about the world. I make a blog and share it to my friends and acquaintances so we can feel the same thing all at once. So we small few can be unified in the knowledge that there may be too much to fix. But at least we are together on this. At least we have each other I guess and at least we can try.

But then the anger sinks in. And the inevitable question arises. Who do I and the people who think like me get mad at hmm? Who do we blame for this? This madness. This world we live in where people suffer daily and the rich get fatter and fatter and the world burns and people scream in agony. Where children drown whilst trying to flee their own country. Where people in my own country are blind and selfish to other plights and the plight of their own

Who do I get mad at?

I don’t know… It’s hard to see who’s to blame here. Maybe we all are. Maybe we were damned from the beginning.

Shall I tell you what the news has taught me? It’s taught me that this world is fucked. I am twenty and have to care for so much. There is so much wrong. So much for me to be told to handle and process and not be upset by. People wonder why I am suicidal hahaha. People wonder why I want to die.

You have your answer.

All that’s left to do is hope. Hope it gets better. Hope the world becomes a better place. There’s that lyric by the Manic Street Preachers.

If you tolerate this then your children will be next.

I find comfort in knowing deep down that the majority of this species are good and think straight. I know the good are greater in number than the bad. I know the media makes the world seem far worst than it is. But it worries me that the straight thinking people aren’t the ones who will win in the end.

It worries me.

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