Wednesday, December 15, 2010

TEFL Inspired Haiku

Mexico City and teaching here once inspired me to go on a Haiku is some of the stuff that came out of me. I am sorry to inflict this upon you, dear reader!

From the streets of Mexico City...

Officer wanders
Body armor itches, it seems
Wanting to go home

Talking to himself
Frantic knuckles and fingers
Insanity plea

Sitting on the bench
Hunched, wrinkled old old man
Checks an ancient watch

Dust and grey concrete
are gravestones but green living
things find a way

On the metro, line 3

Balderas tuna can
Shuffle poke is that my hand?
or yours on my bum

Blind vendor arrives
with something salsa. Good thing
she can't see herself

Sweat metro Juarez
we swim in each others wet
Heat! I am a slut

A flash! An empty seat!
Who will win the precious chair?
Old lady, no fair!

Hurtling underneath
Metroman writes poerty

Random Mexico City

Desmadres are why
nothing opens on Sunday.
Even words are tired

Montejo beer mug
and no-eyed fish are somehow
not what I wanted

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nobel Peace Prize

Congrats to Liu Xiaobo. Fight the good fight!

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace. Such rights are a prerequisite for the "fraternity between nations" of which Alfred Nobel wrote in his will.

Over the past decades, China has achieved economic advances to which history can hardly show any equal. The country now has the world's second largest economy; hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. Scope for political participation has also broadened.

China's new status must entail increased responsibility. China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights. Article 35 of China's constitution lays down that "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration". In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China's citizens.

For over two decades, Liu Xiaobo has been a strong spokesman for the application of fundamental human rights also in China. He took part in the Tiananmen protests in 1989; he was a leading author behind Charter 08, the manifesto of such rights in China which was published on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 10th of December 2008. The following year, Liu was sentenced to eleven years in prison and two years' deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power". Liu has consistently maintained that the sentence violates both China's own constitution and fundamental human rights.

The campaign to establish universal human rights also in China is being waged by many Chinese, both in China itself and abroad. Through the severe punishment meted out to him, Liu has become the foremost symbol of this wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China.

Oslo, October 8, 2010