It’s been about three rings off a coon’s tail since I put sumpin’ up ‘ere. Sorry. The internet has been very bad as of late. I will try to remedy this situation soon. So consider this a warning. Hopefully things are coming soon.  love,your boy 

I’m currently falling in a deep dark spinning death well of horror and doom, confused about the whole of the earth and more particularly the parts involving Jesus. And more, although I usually don’t feel as if the things i believe are really believed by anyone else, I have never felt more deeply alone in this now. Not that there aren’t some people, but they sure as hell aren’t here now. Or perhaps they are, but we don’t know about each other, and they are also writing a pissed off, unmeditated blog entry right now about the stupid, not just stupid, but down right immoral, insane, confused, and horrible things that came out of the pastor’s mouth today at the international church here.

For those of you that don’t know, which is probably all of you, there is one international church here, attended only by international Christians. This is because it is of course illegal for Afghans to be Christians (once again proving the awesome hilarity and unimportance of “laws”), so they aren’t allowed to come, and the government probably keeps a tight watch on this one. Furthermore, all of the christian workers and “whatnot” in or near Kabul come to this church. Unfortunately, it appears that all of these people are deeply conservative evangelicals, with of course a lot of nuance, but also all of the terrible things that implies.

Now most of the time, its not too big of a deal. I mean, its not really a real church nor christian community, its totally boring theologically and politically, and makes me depressed about the work, lifestyles, and belief of all the Christians here. But after the initial shock and letdown that a church in afghanistan, with people at least willing to go somewhere like here to serve God, (no comment, at least for now, on how they are doing that) would be almost identical to thousands of lame churches back in the U.S., I glumly accepted this, and decided I would at least try to enjoy the communal prayer (not bad) and the singing worship together (much more difficult if you know about me and singing worship), and what little common understanding of Jesus, his life, or his dad we shared (even more difficult that the singing, and difficult to not turn into a lot of judging).

But today, my God my God, today. I wish I had a tape recorder so I could give you the exact quotes or that I hadn’t walked outside to keep myself from breaking things, so that I could have heard everything. However, I will give you merely the two most important horrible things in chronological order. And they are all connected. And I’m not going to give much comments on them because I feel their insanity is so obvious.

1. The pastor said that the Tsunami and the Kashmir Earthquake (yes the one that I went and tried to help with), were because of the wrath of God. That’s right, God’s wrath. God’s love is such that when he needs to he just up and kills 200,000 people or 80,000 people cause he’s righteously pissed off. I really can’t talk about this one very much right now, as the Kashmir Earthquake is a very personal thing, and talking about it in this way, makes me doubt that he has ever experienced that much pain, death or destruction. It’s always great for white people from comfortable places to say that the horrible death and destruction happening in other places is the wrath or will of God. This of course doesn’t take into account all kinds of obvious things like the fact that poverty effects natural disasters and if the people there weren’t poor, mostly as a result of british and then other western imperialism, then scientists estimate the same quake in LA would have killed maybe 2-3,000. Still a big deal, but I guess God wouldn’t have had as much wrath for Los Angeles, (the city of angels!) were everything is obviously going according to his plan, but God hates the f**k out poor brown mountain muslims. This statement he of course said very casually and offhand, as if obvious, and not a awful nightmare.

2. Going even further, a few minutes later, He said that everything is God’s will and that all of the wars and “natural” disasters and horrible things happening throughout history and today are from God and the result of his wrath and judgement of humanity and that we just don’t get it because God is making a beautiful tapestry and we are seeing the underside with all the knots and dark spots but at the end we will see the flip side and revel in its insane beauty. He really said all of that. Really, honestly, really. This “tapestry of doom theology” as I will call it, also went on to finally encompass afghanistan. Afghanistan is poor and terrible and war filled because of God! His wrath against unbelievers and other random guys has brought this place to its knees. Because God loves Afghanistan. And he wants it to repent and turn to him. So he has brought awesome death and punishments upon it.

I’m not making this up. This is really what happened today, and the lady next to me nursing her baby was just nodding her head. yep, yep, yep. This is the God we serve and love and dedicate our lives to.

I don’t think I really need to explain all of the problems and reasons why this is awful. I will just briefly say that, perhaps the most dangerous part of all this is the implication that if God’s wrath has made afghanistan and all of the poor and war-filled parts of the world as they are, then perhaps God’s blessings, albeit maybe temporarily, have made Europe and America rich and relatively war free (inside our own borders). Oh boy!

So, I guess the american and its european friends former colonialism and current warmongering for profit and globalization and exploitation is also the will of God. We (western people, and hopefully mostly white people like Jesus) must be the agents of his wrath! Yes! This all fits together so well with everything that Jesus talked about and especially the way he lived his life and even more the way that he was killed! Pilate must have been the agent of God’s wrath on Jesus! God killed Jesus because he loved him!

I can’t understand such a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of God or Jesus or their lives or their kingdoms. I can’t believe how horrible and not good news gospel this kind of Christianity would be. It’s as if you would have not even be alive in the world and see the obvious destruction and rape happening upon it, in order to call those things the will of God? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH! Really I’m so angry right now, I can’t think straight so i will just end this post here. In the past I have thought going to church could be intensely boring. I never thought it would be so spiritually dangerous.

As I left the church, everyone was meeting and greeting each other as usual, as if the words inside had not just rendered the whole universe absolutely cruel and insane. I sat down to keep from throwing up, dizzy with anger and confusion. Some french people sold bread, people laughed and hugged and shook hands and talked about their plans for the week.

I hope their plans aren’t interrupted by the unmeasurable and apparently endless wrath of God, like the people of Afghanistan they have apparently been called to love. I just hope they don’t “love” them in the same way that God apparently loves them.

A Second Post! The Dream is alive!

My brother and I were email talking breifly about Comenius, the old timey, mostly forgotten, but highly cool educator. My brother said that Comenius wrote the first children’s picture dictionary in latin. Here is the entry he sent me for Mutants. So there it is please note all the awesome types of mutants available. Pick your favorite!

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So I guess I’m starting a blog again…
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There are a lot of things I don’t like about blogs.

And while I certainly have the right, I’m not always sure what I have to say about every topic is very important. I know there is definitely a place for people saying whatever they want or need. I’m just not sure its always in this manner in this place in these words. There is a paradox for me as, I feel there is already too much chatter happening, and that we don’t know how to listen or at minimum not say anything. And it seems that people feel entitled to speak whatever they want out into the void that is the internet, which may not actually be the case. At the same time, I am of course also not interested in hearing only from so-called experts or the ridiculous mainstream press and official voices of the system.

I also admit the paradox of writing the above paragraph on a blog.

Regardless of that, there are many good reasons to have blogs, and some of them are mine:

1. There is only one other person with me now and as much as we are actually decent friends with some similar ideas, its gets kinda lonely around here.

2. I feel I have some duty to expose people to the some of the things I have the ability to experience (like Afghanistan) which they may or may not have the chance to, currently or ever.

3. There are people who I love who wouldn’t mind hearing my electronic voice. Additionally I wouldn’t mind hearing theirs,

4. I want to try not to completely forget how to write actual sentences in English, the talking of which I don’t get to practice with native speakers much. (See how weird even that sentence was?)

There are probably lots of other reasons as well, but that is enough for now. Some of you may be wondering why I am not resurrecting cookie tong. As much as I love cookie tong, and love to say those words, I think, at least for now I will leave that as the fragment it is. This is both laziness and nostalgia, but more laziness. I got so far behind on posting to cookie tong, that suddenly posting now on it would destroy the order. I’ve got it in a journal that I kept that year (one of the few times I have done that!) so maybe eventually it can be caught up. For now we start fresh. Of course, being in Kabul gives me better internet access than being in the village, but I only go a few times a week, so sometimes things will be a little behind, especially if talking about some recent occurrence.

However, don’t be angry if it the dream doesn’t last. I enjoy verbal and visual things much better than writing. So I might get sick of it. We’ll see.


“Body parts were scattered in all directions, police and soldiers climbed trees to retrieve some.”
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When I was thinking about starting a blog last week, I wasn’t sure what I would post about right away. Then Saturday came and I found the answer, unfortunately quite easily.

On Saturday I woke up at 6:45 am to the sound of an enormous explosion. Being that this is Afghanistan, I promptly went back to sleep until breakfast. Later I found out that there had been another suicide bomb in Kabul. 27 people died and 21 were injured, it was one of the biggest. The incident was almost identical to a bombing that occurred on June 17th where 35 people died. A guy dressed as a police officer tried to get on a police bus, police get confused, bam, his body explodes.

This one happened in our old neighborhood. Back in the cookie tong days, we lived right up the street from this, Cinema Bahristan, Street 5 (that’s the Cinema there in the background. About 15 meters to the left of this photo is where we used to shop for vegetables and other food. I knew quite a few people around here. I wonder if they are okay.

I read that the human whose body exploded was 28 and named Aizatullah. Some of my students are 28. Some of my students are also named Aizatullah. Not the same ones though, and they live in Bamyan. But still.

Unlike in Iraq, the Taliban and various other insurgents, have generally not attacked civilians. This was a police bus, as was the last one. Of course there are civilian casualties and injuries every time. Grandfathers, Mothers, Children. But that’s war right? Of course most of the police on the bus were underpaid people just trying to support their families with whatever work they can get. But that’s war right? Shouldn’t we be realistic?

“The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel evil with that which is better, then he between whom and you there was enmity will become like an intimate friend.” Ha Mim 34-35

Of course in their disgust for the vile actions of the evil Taliban, the press, and the missionaries, and the anti-taliban newspapers, and pretty much everyone who knows how right the actions of the “West” are and how wrong “fundamentalist Islam” is, condemn and condemn and condemn, spraying incredible and graphic descriptions of who “the murderers” have killed. An editorial in the Kabul Times (the one you buy from maybe homeless street kids, and is need of serious english editor) told us we shouldn’t trust anyone anymore, and that people should be searched even when coming as guests to our house. The description of the incident included the graphic language which I quoted as the title of this. Another line read about a scalp flying onto a nearby roof.

President Karzai said that, “It was an act of extreme cowardice on the part of those that committed it. The person who did this was against humanity, and against Islam.” Take that Aizatullah, age 28! You are against humanity!

Of course, no one said anything like that when, only a month ago, the American Coalition bombed a crowded market place in the remote province of Helmand, killing maybe 3 or 4 taliban, and an estimated 50 civilians. Grandfathers, Mothers, Children. Cause its war, right? So its justified, right? Cause they (don’t have enough money or power to have a traditional army so they have to) fight guerilla warfare, so that makes them terrorists, right? And there is no other way to fight them cause they don’t fight fair right? But we fight fair and just wars! With our guided missiles and remote control weaponry. For freedom! We have to defend freedom! Right? Isn’t that right? Wasn’t that Jesus’ main message? The defense of freedom through any means necessary? The promotion of western democracy, the nation-state, and capitalism at all costs? That’s what the sermon on the mount meant right? And when Jesus turned over the money changers tables, that was violence! See Jesus wasn’t a pacifist! He was a real man! And WWJD? Why if he were here today he’d probably be a general…no, no he wouldn’t…not enough action! He’d be on the front lines blowing out the brains of those (literally) Goddammed towelheads! He’d be right there in Guantanamo! Torturing the shit out of those guys. Torture, smorture! There are wars in the Old Testament! Right? Right? Battle Cry!

Anyway, the Taliban are clearly not Christians, because they aren’t even very good at suicide attacks. They usually fail, detonating early, killing only the carrier.

“Man’s ultimate liberty cannot be defended by war; indeed, the very act of going to war marks its loss.” – Vernard Eller

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In other news, Karzai gives some serious shout outs to his bros

(Update, Since I wrote this on my computer, other people and things have blown up, but the situation hasn’t changed and I stand by my say. After all, as Jesus said numerous times, “A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots.”