My friend

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My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear—a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence.

The “I” in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable. I would not have thee believe in what I say nor trust in what I do—for my words are naught but thy own thoughts in sound and my deeds thy own hopes in action.

When thou sayest, “The wind bloweth eastward,” I say, “Aye it doth blow eastward“; for I would not have thee know that my mind doth not dwell upon the wind but upon the sea. Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I have thee understand. I would be at sea alone.

When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; yet even then I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills and of the purple shadow that steals its way across the valley; for thou canst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beating against the stars—and I fain would not have thee hear or see.

I would be with night alone. When thou ascendest to thy Heaven I descend to my Hell—even then thou callest to me across the unbridgeable gulf, “My companion, my comrade,” and I call back to thee, “My comrade, my companion“—for I would not have thee see my Hell. The flame would burn thy eyesight and the smoke would crowd thy nostrils. And I love my Hell too well to have thee visit it. I would be in Hell alone. Thou lovest Truth and Beauty and Righteousness; and I for thy sake say it is well and seemly to love these things. But in my heart I laught at thy love. Yet I would not have thee see my laughter. I would laugh alone. My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art perfect—and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously. And yet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone.

My friend, thou art not my friend, but how shall I make thee understand? My path is not thy path, yet together we walk, hand in hand.
From : The Madman
His Parables and Poems
By Khalil Gibran

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More on MINI fiasco – Fascism and oppression

A follow up on The MINI fiasco, Yesterday I received this message from the “MINI Space Team“:

“Dear Soberhigh,

Thank you for your continued interest in MINI Space.

We are glad to provide a forum for designers to showcase their artwork and interact with each other in a positive manner.

We need to make sure that the content that is on the website is not offensive to anyone.

Backgrounds or posts that are slanderous or violate our terms of use will be removed.

Regards,
The MINI Space Team”

I immediately fell to the ground laughing! what the hell are they on about?!
Anyhow, knowing that it is “rude” to leave their message unanswered I wrote them this:

“More jabbering from “The Team”
I honestly don’t think they understand the stuff they write (if indeed they are the ones who write it), now what does that last post mean?

“Backgrounds or posts that are slanderous or violate our terms of use will be removed.”
Slanderous to whom?

Are they implying that my last design “MINI BS” was slanderous?
To whom? The Lord MINI almighty?
Did I insult all the MINInian believers out there? (like the Danish Cartoon incident, looooooool)

My Latest entry in the competition titled "MINI B.S. smels"

My Deleted entry in the competition titled "MINI B.S. smells"

Is it slanderous to you?

Supposing that it was in fact Slanderous and blasphemous to the MINI religion (which it wasn’t); does that give them the right to delete it?

Where is the Freedom of artistic expression?
Are the management team living in China?!
Isn’t this the essence of Hypocrisy itself?

They give you a space and then they say you can only do what we permit you to do with it…

Dear TEAM, The MINI cell, is a more realistic and accurate name for this community of yours… and I suggest you only let those who follow your MINIrialism to join…
And if you don’t like my ranting… well delete me, cause I intend to keep on ranting!

P.S. why do you guys send me the same message you posted to the wall? Is this some kind of failsafe policy of yours? To ensure that I “get it”?!
If so why was the messages telling me that my votes have been “eliminated” only delivered in my inbox? was it because it’s a more private and intimate topic?
Nehow, stop it! It is really annoying! Stick to one way of communication either by wall or messages!!!

P.P.S. BTW, how come “The Team” can delete our posts and we can’t delete the post we don’t want from our own wall?
Isn’t it our wall after all? so it makes more sense that WE have the same control over it the “The Team” has, if not more!
Just a thought… ”

My new MINI design

My new MINI design

Anyhow as a form of a more civilized respond to what they are saying and doing, and the deletion of “MINI BS” twice, I designed this new entry and posted to both, MINI Space and DeviantArt.
Lets see if they consider it “Blasphemous” too!

Obama: A New Hope?

First Published on Obama’s inauguration day:

A new hope?

A new hope?

First of all, I would like to Congratulate the American People and the world with departure of the abomination, otherwise known as George W. Bush. Finally! This demon for a president should have left 8 years ago (not 4! He shouldn’t have been president in the first place), yet the Americans re-elected him, and probably, if the constitution allowed it, he would have found enough rednecks to re-re-elect him… with another fear and hate campaign of his.

(Sign the petition to Arrest & Prosecute Bush for War Crimes at “The petition site” or Join the facebook group)

Secondly, which concurrently occurs, I would like to Congratulate them (this time the Americans only, bar the world), with the inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama (the “Change” they wanted) as America’s 44th President.

Now Obama’s presidency and rise to power are phenomenal and inspirational on so many levels, to the Americans and the world, this we’ve to admit.

A lot of people will be tuning in to his Inauguration Ceremony, to which he cinematically followed Lincoln’s route and which comes a day after Martin Luther’s day, just like a huge Hollywood finale to an epic story. (even Israel ended it’s criminal assault on Gaza, so as not to steal Obama’s thunder, after all, you can’t celebrate a proper presidential inauguration to the drums of war, and the wailing of the women and children, these comes well after he is settled in the embracing warmth of the oval office).

And although, I don’t want to spoil a good party, or ruin the euphoria of optimism that is surging all over the globe.

Still I couldn’t help but notice that as Mr. Obama is preparing to take the oath of office, there is evidence that, he doesn’t have all the answers he promised and there are no expectations for quick fixes.

The calculatedly sober tone Mr. Obama has adopted — most recently in his no-applause-line speeches — has provided something of a reverse from for the 2 years long Messiah image, that Mr. Obama so successively maintained.

He now knows that his promise to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months is “unrealistic”. Already he declared he is reconsidering the time frame for closing down Guantanamo Bay detention facility (Gitmo), he was quoted as saying it might not be as “easy” as he thought it was and calling it “a challenge” at sometimes.

The economy “hot fix” might turn into the economy “cold fix” as projections predict that the American economy might stay in recession for another two years.

As for foreign policy Mr. Obama, surprised the world with his utter silence towards the Gaza War, he gave no comment at all (neither for nor against Israel), while giving the feeble explanation that “There is one president at a time.” [1]

Two weeks into the assault, he gave another flimsy statement saying that the “Gaza Violence” is “Heartbreaking”.

All these stances coupled with his choice administration[2], reveal that, now that he is down to business, Obama knows well that not all his promises are attainable, at least not in the time frames his campaign had promised. Some might even say that he has cast down the mantle of the Messiah and wore the suit of the politician… and we know that no one likes the Politician suit!

You might discard these remarks as mere skepticism, coming from a cynical person, and they might as well be.

I sure hope I’m wrong and he is the “change” he promised to be (for Americans sake if for anything), I hope that he fixes everything that is wrong with America (if anyone can ever do that!). And that their economy would spring back to life, the American army would leave Iraq entirely, health care coverage would be for all and, to quote Hillary Clinton (now Secretary of State) back when she was still an Obama enemy, “celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.”!!!

But I know for sure, that even if all of this really happens, this doesn’t mean a shift in the American foreign policy or it’s strategy in the middle east.

The echoes of Mr. Obama’s “Change” will not ring down here…

So Americans, Congratulations, enjoy it while it lasts…

The rest of the world: Don’t expect change to come from outside, it usually comes from within!

However, in the spirit of celebration and festivity, Zedmag have prepared a little something for Obama and his supporters, you can download Obama’s “New Hope” poster from Zedmag’s website

(Download Hi-Res Wallpaper no. 5)

Enjoy using it in the ceremonies and may you have a rather “Hopeful” 4 years

———————————————————–
Footnote 1: When Mr Obama arrived in Washington, his first appointment was with the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, because as he said “the business of the people cannot wait”. He has made statements on the economy, the carmakers’ bail-out, and the attacks in Mumbai – so why so little on Gaza?
Footnote 2: In reference to the appointment of the new foreign policy team, the Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of change looks less than exciting considering his choices.
One there is the appointment of the Israeli-American congressman “Rahm Israel Emanuel” as White House Chief of Staff, Rahm is a well known Zionist as his name suggests, who served in the Israeli Defense Force, as recent as the 90s.
Then there is Hillary Clinton who was appointed as Secretary of State, Hillary is not a Zionist, but with Zionist ties, and surly not friendly to Palestinians or Arabs in general.
If anything this means that the case is closed and we shouldn’t expect any fresh thinking or new approaches to Middle East peace.

The MINI fiasco

OK, I didn’t wanna start my blog by whining and bitching…
But i had to, so either you bear with me or turn to the next blogger!

I am an architect and designer. 7 days ago I participated in a web competition run by MINIspace.com, titled:
MINI Space Design Competition 3

I participated using my profile on the website, under the net alias “soberhigh”.

The purpose of the competition was to design a creative background for the MINI space, under the theme “electrified”.
I participated with 4 designs, which rapidly won praise and during the last 5 days my rankings kept going up, until one of my designs ranked 6th 2 days ago with 195 votes. With 4 more days to go, I was expecting certain win in the competition.

My top ranking design (ranking at 6th on Monday 02/02/09)

My top ranking design (ranking at 6th on Monday 02/02/09)

Yesterday, at 11:59 am, I received this message from the site management:

“Our tracking process unfortunately flagged some of your votes as coming from “fake” accounts.
Therefore we had to eliminate these votes in order to give all competitors the same chance.”

With this the management of the site removed 90 votes out of my 6th ranking design moving it back to the 24th position, effectively ruining my chances to win; and this so called filtering was done with the leading design only, the rest which are ranking at 43, 54 and 85, were left alone. Furthermore, this filtering was only applied to my profile.

Aggravated by this turn of events I contacted the site management, objecting to the votes recount, and requesting a list of the false votes, or a list of the accounts that they thought was fake, in order to verify if these accounts were fake or not. (I have the full log of msgs)

Of course their respond was that this cannot be done. Instead they replied:
“as much as we would like to send you the form with all the accounts, that would not be possible because of the way our system filters the votes.”

They also said they are not sure why the votes were eliminated, but they could have been eliminated if they were made by friends because it is not “contest of popularity”, yet their Invite form clearly says: Invite your friends to vote for you!!!

The MINI Space invite form clearly stating that you can invite your friends to vote!

The MINI Space invite form clearly stating that you can invite your friends to vote!

Today MINI space team continued their bias and favoritism,

They have removed my latest entry which i added after the incident, without so much as a notice… probably cause they deemed it offensive to MINI.

My Latest entry in the competition titled "MINI B.S. smels"

The deleted design, titled "MINI B.S. smells"

They are explicitly exercising censorship on my freedom of speech!

Right now I’m left with a grave feeling of betrayal and injustice on the part of the MINI space management, and I don’t know how to go publicly with this incident that reveals unfairness and bias.

Already I’ve sent the details of the incident to many Mr. Gert Hildebrand and many News networks, including BBC, Yahoo!, Independent UK, Gardian UK, Al Ahram Weekly Egypt.

Other than that I don’t know what to do in the face of this unfairness!!!

ANY SUGGESTIONS?