Last But Not Least: Day Eleven

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I never knew I liked cider. Until today.
It’s only cider, but it puts my life upside down. Well, maybe not exactly upside down. Maybe it just shook the ground I built my life on a little bit. Like a tiny, drunk earthquake. What if cider is not the only thing I thought tasted awful but actually turns out tob e rather delicious? Didn’t I have the same epiphany with ginger ale in Matamata two summers ago? What about all the books I promised myself never to read? It scares me that some day in boredom I might pick up a copy of Shades of Grey and like it!

It’s really weird to love something I swore to hate. It makes me want to raise my glass to changes of the heart, to second impressions and to my mind doing its best not to be set on one opinion. Cheers to the earthquakes that make me think.

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Hey there fellow bloggers, how’s it going? I have been nominated by Faith from Sublime Reads for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you very much! 🙂 I got to answer a bunch of amazing questions, and I pray you don’t find the answers too disturbing (they may be a little. it’s what you want. let it happen).

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions you were asked
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Ask the nominees 11 questions

Here we go:

1. Congratulations! Thanks to Voldemort, you now somehow permanently look exactly like him. You’re forced into writing him a Thank You card. What does it say?

To his excellency, The Man Who Let The Boy Live. The Dark Lord. Our Evil Master.

Thank you, good Sir, for giving me that precious face of yours. I will admit that it is indeed not what I have been dreaming of all throughout my teenage years when I desperately wanted to be a princess. But having your face and accepting it as my own has truly given my life a new significance and made me realise that you, evilest of evil, are not all that different from a princess. I found your tiara, and it‘s pretty. But, oh Lord, riddle me this: where do you buy your fabulous robes? And do you reckon they would have them in pink as well, as to match the tiara?

Cheers, Volders! I am indepted to you forevermore! xoxo

2. What does the air currently smell like where you are? Describe it while fitting in the word “hairy” somewhere along the way.

It smellls of English Breakfast Tea and my cat‘s body odour and the delicious shampoo I put on my hairy sculp this morning.

3. What are 3 things that make you laugh?

1: Recently my friend Nadine has been making me laugh by repeatedly telling me of her shopping experience at a clothing store called Ciolina (it was as magical as it was disturbing).
2: Princess Consuela Bananahammock. (Need I say more?)
3: My brothaa! We‘re really funny but I‘m starting to think that we‘re the only ones feeling it. Which, you know, is even more fun.

4. If you were a son/daughter of ___________ at Camp Half Blood, what kind of pranks would you pull? (If you’re somehow living under the Earth’s tectonic plates and you’re unfamiliar with Camp Half Blood, tell us your thoughts about the Percy Jackson books even if you haven’t read them.)

Yeah, look, sadly and much to my shame I have NEVER read or seen Percy Jackson. I‘ve been meaning to for the past five years, and I am getting really desperate to find out who Anabeth is (that‘s her name, right? There‘s a thing called Percybeth, am I right?!) and to dive into the depth of this fandom; maybe I‘ll start reading it when I‘m a hundred something and ready to say good-bye to life anyway. On second thought, maybe I‘ll start this summer.

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5. Type as much as you can about one of these topics: your life/your first impression of blobfish/the first thing that comes into your mind in 6 seconds. Keep in the grammar & spelling mistakes and show us what you’ve got!

omg is that donald trump nakef

*do I literally type this slowly?! I had so many more thoughts to share on blobfish!*

6. Share your favourite joke.

What do you call a black person flying a plane? – A pilot, you racist!

7. What’s the first thing that comes into your mind right now? It can be anything! Here, I’ll give you 3 seconds… great! Whatever you thought of is now related to how your favourite villain or most despised character had died – write about it.

Grapefruit! Don‘t ask me why. And of course Dolores Umbridge loves a bitter old grapefruit with its pink interior matching her own pink costumes. She consumes all the bitterness of this fruit, and thrives on it. J.K. never talks about it in the books, but when whenever she‘s alone in her office she stuffs herself with grapefruits and it makes her evil and happy, and she even convinces Voldemort to try a grapefruit diet, and they live happily ever after (until he dies and she chokes on her own medicine). The End.

8. Try to fit in as many stereotypes about your own country as you can while talking about books.

One of my favourite books is The Lord of the Rings, and I especially love the part where they walk through the mountains and Legolas casually walks on the snow while everyone else is kinda stuck in it. And you know how all the way to Mordor those guys just keep yodelling? (I‘m sure that‘s what it sounded like!) My other fave is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where the kids are forced by the school nurse to eat chocolate! And not to mention Heidi! If you‘ve never read that book you have failed in your literary life because that story may be cheesy, but it will reduce you to tears and tear your soul apart!

9. Tell me, what did Shakespeare shake? Bonus: If you can, quote something from Shakespeare from the top of your head.

He shook some mad grapefruit juice for Umbridge to shut her up, and he shouted happily: «The rest is silence!»

10.  Are you left-handed or right-handed or ambidextrous or another breed of human? (An extraterrestrial, perhaps? )

I‘m right handed and absolutely incapable of doing anything with my left hand. I just have it for the looks.

11. Would you rather get free chocolate every time you get a paper cut or automatically get a free full-proof pass in making someone’s day whenever you read a not-so-great book?

YESSS!

Now I‘m allowed to make up my own questions! Brace yourselves!

  1. Would you rather drink wine with Lord Voldemort (aka Tom Riddle) in his Chamber of Secrets during the sexy ages, or paint mandalas with Professor Snape in a therapeutic session to cure passive-aggressive behaviour?
  2. Who is your bookish best friend?
  3. If you had a book quote tattoo which quote would you pick?
  4. Turn The Hobbit into a hardcore feminist version. What‘s the title? And what happens in the story?
  5. Who are your three dream dinner party guests?
  6. Do you think the seventh sentence on page 77 of the book you are currently reading describes your purpose of existence well?
  7. Imagine you just drank the love potion intended for someone else yourself, and now you‘re in love with your own face. Write yourself a love letter!
  8. Which is your favourite bookstore?
  9. What do you think (or rather, hope!) John Green‘s new book is about?
  10. What book was the cause for your last book hangover?
  11. Do you have a literary mug? If so, what does it say? And if not, what should it say?

An Award for the sexy noodles of the blogging sphere:

Anna from Tiny Trinket
Caitlin from Caitlin Versus Words
John from Storytime with John
Deliah and Lara from Halfway to Broadway
Jonathan and Aaron from Husband & Husband
The girl behind Stash Matters whose name I didn’t quite catch (sorry!)
Allie from Allie’s Life
Khloe Nicole from Domino Effect of Life
Juan-Paul from My Husband & I
Lily from The Lily Notepad
Kat from Book Box by Kat

At this point I’m just going to quote Faith because I was gonna say this anyway, and she already put this so nicely:
«If you feel sad because you don’t see yourself already tagged, just tell me if you want to do this and I’ll add you right onto this list! If you’re one of the “usuals” that we tag/you already have A TONNN on your shoulders, then please don’t feel obliged to answer these questions because SOMETIMES IT’S PRESSURING. And I get it. STRESS AND LAZINESS: I admire your ever-unrelenting persistence. (Maybe if I worked as hard as these guys, I’d actually BE SOMEWHERE. But then again, this is a super ironic statement.) So whatever it is you’re doing, here’s a smile, a hug, and some freshly baked internet cookies! Or better yet, ICE CREAM COOKIE SANDWICHES.»

All About Love by Bell Hooks

I am extremely excited about having finished the third book from Emma Watson‘s feminist book club «Our Shared Shelf» All About Love. New Visions by Bell Hooks; I mean I finished it, and it‘s still March! Yuss! I‘m on schedule!
Sorry. That‘s not why we‘re here.IMG_20160322_233624I never read the blurb because if Emma Watson gives you a book to read you don‘t go questioning it, all right? But I‘m not Emma, so I might as well give you the blurb:

«The word „love“ is most often defined as a noun, yet… we would all love better if we used it as a verb,» writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, and feminist skewers our view of love as romance. In its place she offers a proactive new ethic for a people and a society bereft with lovelessness.
As bell hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explore the question „What is love?“ her answers strike at both the mind and heart. In thirteen concise chapters, hooks examines her own search for emotional connection and society‘s failure to provide a model for learning to love. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the „100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life.“ All About Love is a powerful affirmation of just how profoundly she can.

To be honest, I had some trouble getting into the book, and at times also to keep reading. For one thing, the autho‘s big on generalisations. Right from the beginning she declares that love means something inherently different for men than it does for women. I generally disagree with feminists who claim that the difference between men and women is purely in the testicles because obviously testosterone does to a certain degree define how prone someone is to violence and other traits we claim as «manly.» Still, to say that «men» see love as such and such and that this would contradict any woman‘s point of view I found difficult to accept. She doesn‘t really leave any window open for cultural norms (I‘m sure that my male Honduran friends have a different idea of love than my male friends from New Zealand), nor does she really mention that her theories could apply to both genders.

Bell Hooks is also quite quick in drawing conclusions based on her own subjective opinion on the matter. For instance, in one chaper, she states without any lead-up:Bild 28I would have liked a little more information or reasoning as to how she came to this conclusion.

There were a number of other things that I‘m not going to go into detail about; such as the fact that she continuously contradicts herself or the beforementioned subjectivity. I still rated it four out of five stars, because from 20,000 ft viewpoint I agree with her overall message. In fact, many of the things she says can be life changing if applied in day to day life.

One of the things I‘m finding most inspiring is the notion that love is a choice. If we want to be able to love we have to let ourselves be loved. I feel she‘s sort of going into what we learned from Stephen Chbowski that «We accept the love we think we deserbe.» Well, actually, what we deserve and what we don‘t is our own decision. We can decide that we deserve the best ever treatment from our friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, parents, etc. Or we can accept abuse as a norm. What is important is that it might be a bad idea to value romantic love over friendship.Bild 29Abuse is not love, the author stresses. It‘s just that sometimes we confuse it for love, especially at a young age. But I completely agree on the fact that if somebody makes you unhappy in any way it is okay for you to leave the realms of this relationship.

Over all the book tries to lay the groundwork for a more loving society. And love appears in so many different aspects of our daily lives; honesty, justice, care, nurturing, forgiveness, selflessnes… the list goes on. Essentially, these are also the foundation of peace.

I hope the sun is shining where you are and I hope you have a lunch date, as I do right now, and I also hope that you know you‘re totally and completely worthy of love, you sexy noodle!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Last But Not Least: Day Ten

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The best part about today, I think, was the sun. To be looking up and having to close my eyes because all the light is blinding me. To sit at Cardiff Harbour and eating pizza and seeing the sea glitter like a million little crystals stretchin out into the horizon. To catch a glimpse of the Tardis in the distance as if ready for take-off.

Cardfiff felt like going back in time just a bit. The castle and the streets and the language, and it all was bathed in golden sunlight and our giggles. And I wrapped the story up so that time could not hurt it and so that rain would never chase the sun from that day.

(Quote: Steven Moffat)

An Evening with Aleksandar Hemon

On wednesday I was lucky enough to attend a reading with Aleksandar Hemon. Literally, the only reason I went was because one of my professors at uni fangirled all over the place the other day, and naturally I had to see this phenomenon of a writer!

fangirlAleksandar Hemon is a Bosnian-born American fiction writer (as Wikipedia puts it). His stories are largely influenced by Slavic literature and treat the issue of Bosnian immigrants in the United States. He pretty much got stuck in ‘Murrica when he was there holidaying and suddenly a war burst out in his home country. But he‘s still there now, some twenty years later, publishing what sound like incredible stories.

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Despite his native language being Bosnian he writes in English, and he writes a lot! When a member of the audience asked him how he deals with writer‘s block, he replied, «I don‘t get writer‘s block. I have a condition that I call writer‘s diarrhea!» He is currently working on three books simultaneously, while it‘s been taking me six months so far to hand in a 10-page thesis paper! I mean, WHAT?! He‘s so cool that he didn‘t even tell his agent he was writing a book called The Making Of Zombie Wars. Have you ever seen that book in a store? Well, it‘s pretty friggin‘ huge! And he kept it secret until it was finished and he could ask his agent, «So, when would you like something new?» And apparently she went, «Umm… how ‘bout June?» And he said, «Well, how ‘bout right now?» And he presented to her a brandnew manuscript. Look, all I‘m saying is that if an agent asked me to write a book until bloody June, no matter where we stand in the year, I‘d probably go, «Yeah, but you do mean June 2047, right?!» Right. And this is why I‘m not a bestselling author.

e8e6a3b40fa04ee32c1bc0d100bc1995As you can probably guess from all this, and if you don‘t already know Aleksandar Hemon, he has published quite a number of books and short stories and essays, and what have you. On wednesday he read a bit from his latest book, the cheekily written The Making Of Zombie Wars which sounded okayish, and then went on to read from his memoire, The Book of my Lives. And boy, was that a hit. It was beautiful, it was funny, it was smart – and then my fangirling professor went on to say this really nice thing about opening up a new book from Aleksandar Hemon: «It‘s like doing the Ice Bucket Challenge!» And, you know, I believed him. This man can make you feel so much, simply by rearranging 26 letters over and over again. Plus, the other thing my professor said made the books even more intriguing: «You must not read Aleksandar‘s stories to feel better, that‘s not what they are for. But his stories, they do not accept the world we live in as the most acceptable one. They offer us an alternative. Not an escape, but an alternative. And in my opinion, in this world we‘re living in, this is the best literature has to offer us.»

I can‘t wait to get my hands on one of his books. As always I‘m going to let you in on my oh-so sophisticated thoughts on the matter, but for now I just want to leave you a quote from The Book of my Lives which I thought was absolutely beautiful and deserved a mention here:

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Sexy Books: Return of the Jedi by James Kahn

Just read: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi by James Kahn

Hello lovely folks! After having read the amazing novelisation of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back I could not resist and bought the sequel, The Return of the Jedi. I‘m so sure you know the plot already but there are people, such as my mum, who only know that it‘s about hot guys fighting each other in outer space. So here comes the blurb:

«Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, has been delivered into the hands of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. Determined to rescue him, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Lando Calrissian launch a hazardous mission against Jabba‘s Tattooine stronghold.
At the same time, Darth Vader and the Emperor have ordered – and begun – construction on a new and even more powerful Death Star. Their goal: to crush the Rebel Alliance once and for all. The only hope for the Rebellion is to gather all the warships of the Rebel fleet into a single giant armada… and launch a heroic, last-ditch assault on the most deadly battle station in the galaxy.»

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I must say that it was a bit of a disappointment this time; I still had fun reading it, but there were a few very typical novelisation errors in it that made me downgrade it. For example, the author has this annoying habit of constantly spelling out what R2-D2 and Chewbacca are saying, and not to be disrespectful towards their languages or anything, but who understands that?!

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Well, at least he tried! Another bummer is how whiny Leia appears. She cries all the time, especially when Han Solo says something nice. She acts like the utter overly-attached girlfriend, unwilling to let him out of her sight at all. Get a grip, girl! She has also stopped calling him «Hot Shot» – why?! That was such a great nickname for him! And Han Solo, he is acting like a dominant, abusing asshole! (maybe that‘s why?) After Luke reveals to Leia that she‘s his twin sister Han storms after her and starts shaking her while she‘s already sobbing for, like, minutes on end! And in the end when he finally learns the truth he doesn‘t just kiss her like he did in the movie, oh no! – He pushes her into the bushes in spite of her being injured – I realise he‘s trying to express his love, but that just seems a little aggressive! On the other hand, book Han and Leia are pretty much bound to create an angsty brat like Kylo Ren.

What I loved was how Darth Vader refers to Luke as «his boy». I mean – aaw! That is a whole new universe of cuteness!

Bild 21lukiAnd I must actually say that book Luke is a lot more badass than movie Luke. He doesn‘t do anything more, but following his trail of thought you can actually decipher all the conflict that must be going on inside of him. In the movie he appears to never even consider going over to the dark side, whereas in the book he falters more than once. And after all the terrible things Darth Vader has done to him and his friends, Luke only suggests that this is the darkness driving him and not actually Anakin Skywalker himself (who he considers to still be good). Could we say the same thing about terrorists and dictators? Being able to forgive him like that, that demands a lot of heart and courage. And that makes Luke some seriously cool person!

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Also he gives this really beautiful anti-war speech:

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Lastly, the author did a great job in actually somewhat valuing Leia‘s past. Her entire planet has been blown up, that‘s all of her family dead, all of her friends, everything she loved is just gone – yet, somehow Luke manages to get more sympathy for his dead mentor throughout the entire saga. Leia‘s grief is mentioned in several parts in the book, though, and we even learn a little bit about her early childhood (like the fact that she used to have a wookiee doll – aaaw!).

Thankfully last month uni has started again and I‘m forced to concentrate my nerd soul on more sophisticated reading.

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Last But Not Least: Day Nine

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There was this angel, trying to climb up a ladder all the way to the top of the cathedral. I watched it for a while and I started to wonder why it wouldn‘t use its wings. It had wings, but they hung uselessly from the angel‘s back. Were they broken? Or worse – were they fake?

It was an endearing sight, rather than a pitiful one. Climbing, climbing, one step at the time. Maybe wings work like a parachute. Maybe the angel has to make its way to the top on its own. Maybe it has to know exhaustion and pain before it can unfold the wings and soar. Maybe every good deed is hard work and then flying high on hope.

I wonder if that little angel is still there, still climbing. 

(Quote: Jane Austen)

Open Letter to My 15-Year Old Self

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Dear My 15-Year Old Self

I am writing to you tell you just how much I admire you. Going by the pictures, you are really serious about those pink-camouflage pants, and I think that deserves a salute.

I know that you are scared a lot because you feel different and most people don‘t seem to understand. All those nights lying awake and wondering, wondering how they can‘t see that you want to be just like them. Why don‘t they see how hard you are trying? How everytime you fall down you push yourself back up again? – But believe me, being different is not a bad thing. People will always laugh at you, they‘ll laugh at you for any reason. Whether you‘re too ordinary or you‘re too extravagant, they will always find something to mock you about. So be daring, and give them a jolly good reason to laugh. Be different, be ridiculous. Be everything that you are with a power that will knock them down.

So, I noticed you have bit of trouble finding your own style. To be honest, the pink-camouflage pants and the orange T-shirt with the stripes don‘t work very well together (but I‘m not going to mention it). The thing is that people outside of magazines rarely even have this thing called style. It‘s more like a disease, really. You don‘t have to become a demon-slaughtering shadowhunter to wear a leather jacket. You want that jacket, you go for it, girl! You want to wear smudgy black eyeliner and look mysterious? Just do it (although you will probably fail, but I‘m not going to mention it)! Everyday you can change who you are, don‘t you understand? You are not tied to one wardrobe or to one favourite boyband (and since we‘re on the topic, US5 are going to split up pretty darn soon anyway) or one version of yourself. You are never going to stop becoming yourself, because there will always be people leaving an imprint on your soul, places that change the way you look at the world and stories and that transform your thinking entirely. And girl, you are going places!

What is never going to falter is your love for books. Although I‘m glad to say that your taste in storytelling is. No, don‘t cry – Harry Potter and Jane Austen are always king and queen of your universe. But I wish you would stop believing you are Clary Fray. Honestly, that girl has a lot of issues. For a start, you do not need to have your first relationship when you are sixteen. You will, of course, but still; just take a moment here, all right? The guy you are going to meet is a real sweetheart, but he‘s not Jace. He‘s not the love of your life, no matter how hard you want him to be. Clary is a delusional idiot, made up by a desperate middle aged woman who probably has never had sex herself, so why do you think you need to live by the book? Write your own book, be your own superhero. There are more important things in life than having sex before you‘re seventeen and dating people that look like Richie Stringini (although he is pretty hot, I‘ll give you that!).

You are such a cool teenager, do you ever realise that? You read Charles Dickens for fun, your perfect night out is a Harry Potter midnight book launch, and you don‘t drink or do drugs. But I hate to break it to you, but soon that is not going to be you any more, so you might as well stop judging others for getting drunk on the weekends. You are going to love getting drunk! It‘ll take some time to gain control, but if you keep the people you love close to you, nothing bad will ever happen to you.

Growing up doesn‘t sound so bad now, does it? Responsibility is not such a sucky thing once you get the hang of it, you know? Sure, you have to make your own doctor‘s appointments and crying in public is frowned upon. But you still get to go to Disneyland and obsess over dinosaurs. Also, being grown-up means that you can spend all your money on chocolate AND THEN EAT IT ALL ON YOUR OWN! Being an adult, you don‘t stop loving certain things, you can just love them more openly, because you will stop caring what others think. And, OMG, guess what? Being a nerd is going to be totally cool! In fact, all those assholes that think calling you a geek is an insult, yeah, they are going to buy friggin‘ fake glasses to look smarter. And you, my sweet angel face, you are going to buy glasses to see better. Because you are already smart. Never think that being intelligent is a bad thing. Only stpuid people will let you believe that. Nope! Embrace your inner nerd with all your heart! 

You know what I love most about you, My 15-Year Old Self? You are on the verge of taking a massive leap into the unknown, and you are putting all of your heart and soul into it. I wish you would never stop doing that.
There are many moments of doubt still to come. You will find yourself crying on a bathroom floor more than once, and sometimes there will not be enough chocolate flavoured ice cream in the world to make you feel all right again. But I will tell you this: You are going to be happy, and you are going to be fine. You will always be surrounded by people who love you, and you will make many more people fall in love with you.

And finally: enjoy the Star Wars prequels while it lasts, because soon you will start to see Anakin for the whiny bastard he truly is and fall in love with Han. Also, don‘t cry because Tokio Hotel are not an item any more, you just haven‘t met One Direction yet. Also, the Sorting Hat puts you into Slytherin. Don‘t let it ruin your day, Draco is going to turn out so much hotter than Harry!

Unfortunately, 15-year old me, we have still not published our bestselling novel or saved the world from evil or married a prince. But we are in a good place. The kind of good place where on some days we go swimming in the Carribean, while on others the best thing that happens is somebody telling us that our dress is pretty. We are pretty amazing, you and I.

With love,
23-Year Old Me

Berta Cáceres

Berta Cáceres was murdered last week.
If we cared about every single person that dies and makes it into the news we would not be able to keep ourselves from devastation. But Berta Cáceres was a beautiful woman who cared quite a bit herself. About her people, about her country, about the land and the dirt and the water. She died because she wanted to live and she wanted her people to live.

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Berta Cáceres was an indigenous and environmental organizer who fought for indigenous land rights in Honduras. Land rights are a complicated thing in Honduras – essentially, what happens is this: Inigenous and Non-indigenous people have been living on those lands for centuries. They are farmers and as such their ethnic background is often of secondary importance. They never needed any titles to rightfully work the lands they were living on, they had formed communities and they had their own systems and treaties. I‘m not saying everything was always well, but all in all it worked. But Honduras is largely owned by oligarchs, meaning rich men who have the money to rightfully produce land titles that up until a few decades ago never existed. Probably the biggest jerk of them all is Miguel Facussé – he‘s rich as fuck (excuse the expression) and basically everything in Honduras belongs to him, at least in part. He and his rich friends now own lands that have been in the hands of peasants for ages, and they shoo the farmers away to build hotels or roads or oil palm plantations. This leads many families into poverty and is only one of the massive problems Honduras is facing.

Berta Cáceres founded the grassroot organisation COPINH (Civic Council of the Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras); since 2012 COPINH‘s biggest fight has been against the establishment of the construction of the hydroelectric project Agua Zarca by the internationally-financed Honduran company DESA. For the Lenca (an indigenous people of Honduras) communities, the approved constructions of over 40 hydroelectric dams presents a great threat; for the Lenca people, the free-flowing Gualcarque River has a special cultural and spiritual significance. Furthermore, the implementation of dams would choke the main source of irrigation and drinking water for the community.  For lack of respect for the rights of the Lenca people, the failure to comply with Convention 169 and the negative impacts of the project on their livelihoods, Berta Cáceres organised and led a peaceful opposition to the project as the coordinator of COPINH. In consequence of their actions, Berta Cáceres and other Lenca leaders have been the target of threats and intimidation. 

What‘s sad about Berta Cáceres‘ death is that it doesn‘t even come as a surprise. She was fighting for her people‘s rights, of course somebody murdered her! Because the rights she was fighting for aren‘t a given. Because rich jerks rule the country and they don‘t care about peasants or tradition or the ground they are standing on. All they care about is their little kingdom that will not fall, even if the world around them does. What‘s also sad is that the murderer is most probably still walking free. It‘s not unlikely that some rich person from DESA or the government or a sympathiser paid someone off to get the job done. Investigations? Better forget about that.

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They buried me, but what they don’t know is that I’m a seed.

But here‘s what leaves me hopeful; the rich jerks, DESA, politicians, they try and denunciate Berta Cáceres as a drama-queen, a liar whose opinion doesn‘t matter. Except that it did. Berta Cáceres did not have to lie to scratch the petty facade behind which all those denunciators are hiding. She merely told the truth, she pointed out the injustice and she had the courage to act and to speak. And it hurt them. It hurt them so much they had to kill her. And maybe, if we ask ourselves why things like this still happen in our 21st century world, the answer is because there are not enough people like Berta Cáceres.

We must not be defeated by her death; we do not live in a just world and if all we can do is stand up to a bully at school, then that makes the world an infinitely brighter place.

Be bold, and be courageous, and remember:

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I feel like I should mention that not every rich person in Honduras is a jerk. I know many wealthy Hondurans who are lovely, caring people and who are deeply shaken by Berta Cáceres’ death. Also, the conflicts in Honduras are not as straight forward as I put them. There’s a whole lot of aspects to be considered, which I simply ignored in order to make this blog post more readable!

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Wow. Just wow. In all honesty, I did not think I would like this book, but I am absolutely smitten.

«Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls „father“, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie, and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.»

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I read this book as part of Emma Watson‘s feminist book club Our Shared Shelf, and I have currently twelve tabs open, all of them full of discussion topics. It‘s way too much to discuss in a singe blog post, so I decided to instead focus on quotations. I promise I‘ll try not to spoil anything, in case The Colour Purple is still on your T-Read list. The language of the book is incredibly beautiful, and the author has the talent of bringing difficult topics to the point.

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With this simple line Alice Walker sums up the message that Celie has received her entire life. How can a woman, who keeps being told that she is nothing, keep her dignity and a sense of worth?

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This is the first time Celie sees another woman defending herself against a man. Up until that point, this has never been so much as an option to her. And Sofia, this woman, puts her own well-being before her husband, while Celie sees no other way than stay obedient and suffer through her abuse head down.

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Throughout the story Celie stays very suspicious of men. In her opinion they are all prone to violence and oppression, which is the only treatment she has ever received. Falling in love with a man, to Celie, is unconsiderable. But Alice Walker also makes it very clear that relationships based on mutual love and trust do exist, and that they have nothing to do with abuse. Also, she emphasises on the fact that a woman can indeed be in love with a man and still be empowered. Love is not a weakness, no matter who it is you love.

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One big topic The Color Purple discusses is religion. Can somebody who has been raped, had her children taken away from her and been pushed into an abusive marriage still trust in a God that‘s good and just and loving? Alice Walker presents the concept of a God that does not believe in sin but wants you to be happy and free. This is a thought that eventually pushes Celie towards emancipation and sets her free.

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Just for context, this girl has only just been raped by a stranger. And yet, she refuses to be defeated by rejecting the belittling nickname, Squeak, that her boyfriend has given her. By renaming herself, Mary Agney resists the patriarchal words he has imposed on her. By doing so, she refuses to let the man in her life gain interpretive control over her.

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People can change and, more importantly, people can be forgiven. When Celie finds the strength and the courage to leave her husband and finally be her own woman, the man who has been nothing but a possessive and lazy bastard finally gains control over his life and finds some sort of inner centre. It is made very clear throughout the story that violence creates more violence, and that no person is violent or oppressive by chance. Celie‘s husband had a father who decided over his head what his fate was to be, so he saw no other way than to control the life of his wive. It‘s only when she takes this piece of control away from him that he sees a way to change.

To me The Color Purple is about love and discovering your worth, and this is made to count for men and women alike. It‘s a complicated setting because women are twice the victim – once in their role as women, but also by being black.

While reading the book, all I could think of was how privileged I am! I could have been anybody, but instead I‘ve been born into a white upper middle class family in freakin‘ Switzerland. If I were even so much as involuntarily touched by anyone people would consider this a violation and support me. No one has ever told me that I‘m worth less because of my race or gender. And that makes me feel so, so lucky!

Definitely read The Color Purple, you‘ll cry and laugh and you‘ll want to spread love. Really, you‘ll just want to wave this book around because it feels as if everyone should read it and that would make the world a much brighter place. Yes, it‘s that good!