вторник, 7 октомври 2014 г.

On Goals.

I have been asked, in the past year and something, quite frequently "Why do you study Social Policy? I mean, like, what do you want to do with it?"

And for a year and something I got very frustrated every time someone would ask me that bloody question because I had no way of wording to myself, let alone to someone else, an adequate and satisfactory answer. Which lead to the effort of thinking of an answer being pushed aside, like some cigarette you've lit up and realised you don't really want to smoke right this moment. This went on for a while and I had more important business to attend to and more important things to ponder on. Apparently, I felt reading about some retarded man in Russia trying to annex countries and start wars was a greater priority to my life, than figuring out why the hell I was spending £9k of the British government's money a year on my degree.

Don't let me be misunderstood - I knew and I know now firmly and with no less confidence, that I love my degree. I also love the fact that I gave up everything to chase some sort of academic dreamland in a different and quite scary country. I knew, with complete certainty, that what I am doing is right and purposeful for me. But, for the life of me, there was no saying why exactly I was doing it and how it was contributing to my goal. 

My goal.

Now, that is rather important. It is important because it is completely non-existent. It's bullshit, it's balls, it's Santa Clause buying a Hanukah card for the Easter Bunny. When asked "What do You want to do with Your life?" at 03:00 in some bar or another, or some house or another, or some bus stop or another (because these are the usual circumstances for such existential, getting-to-know-each-other questions to be asked), I would normally turn my delicately intoxicated smile towards the enquirer and reply with a cheerful answer out of a 1998 Miss Universe competition "Do good. Save the world. That kinda thing."

That, if you have any idea how the world works, is a rather stupid answer. Especially if you're going to University for it. 

Well, today I have changed this answer. I sat down with a lovely 20 year old Hunter S. Thompson and discussed the nature of humans and goals and how to live your life and he gave me a few brilliant ideas and his genius, carried to me across the years via the magic of the Internet, inspired in me those evasive words, which somehow managed to formulate an answer in my head. A stance I can take. A claim I can make. 

Fuck goals.

Fuck goals and fuck the idea of "WHAT" I want to become. I happen to have been born a female human on Earth in a small village in a small country with questionable ethnic origins and even more so questionable moral beliefs. I, having been fondled, mangled, kissed and thrashed by my circumstance and surroundings, became a somewhat conscious being at some point and ever since have been building on that solid ground of being. 

We are asked, often, what we want to be. Examples given are a soldier, a dancer, a parent, a teacher, a scientist. Well, I dare ask, who was the first soldier? Who created the archetype of the artist or the teacher, or the politician? Who dared to think "I want to do this or that and be me, and achieve this and that, and whether this is a profession, or whether this is a goal, or an idea, or even a sane thought, I care not, for I wish only to become what I have always been and to achieve what my inner voice yells at me and at the world, and I need no definition and no name and no praise, because doing what is, for my being, fundamentally right, is, alone, the very core path of life, which I physically need to follow." 

I don't know what I want to be. I don't know whether I want to be anything. I don't know exactly what I want to do. I have no great talents - I am no artist, no musician, no scientist or mathematician, no philosophy flows out my mouth, no poetry flows out my pen, I have mastered no sport or craft. However, in my heart, all I want is to do good and be useful. And so I have taken up a course in how to be useful to help me understand in what way my limited skill and wit can be put to good use to give back what I have been given by the world. Yet, there is no certain goal. There is no image of greatness and splendour at the end of my degree. There is a self that I have somehow gathered, an idea of what I am, and my degree is an addition to that self, which I have decided would be useful and fulfilling to complete. I believe that we, too often, look at such decisions in life as means to ends, as a sort of training for this entirely new creature, which will climb out of your pens and mouths and onto your diploma and spread itself out as the new, adult version of you and will grab you by the arm, dragging you to Jobland, where you will now begin your adult life. 

That's not how these things generally work. 

Your University investment is a part of You. It is a diploma, which will contribute to Your life with knowledge and accreditation. It is a new pool of knowledge to help You achieve Your self and to make You understand better topics, which are of interest to You and aid You in working on projects and ideas, which You would have wanted to work on with or without having spent four years drinking your head off at pub-crawls and socials. 

There is apt supply of workers. There is a great lack of people. There is quite a few goals set up by quite a few million young creatures.  There is quite a few creatures that are lead to believe that they will become people, whilst really they are being lead to put on the meatsuits of the jobs they will become. I say jobs because a job is just that -  a position, shaped as a human, where one has no self, because one is too busy doing accounting. A career requires a human. A life requires a person.  

Do I have a goal? No. 

Do I have life? Yes.

Do I have myself? I'm not quite sure, but I'm working on it. 

My dear beloved Hunter S. Thompson once took to advising a friend on the purpose of life and said this to him:

"To put our faith in tangible goals would seem to be, at best, unwise. So we do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. WE STRIVE TO BE OURSELVES.

But don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean that we can’t BE firemen, bankers, or doctors—but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal. In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires—including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter."

сряда, 26 март 2014 г.

Destination Number One

by Georgi Kamov

Once again, I am uploading this. I am uploading it because it is the best piece of Socio-Political work I have read in my short and uneducated life, because it applies to Bulgaria TODAY more than an news article ever has, because I am proud to call the man who wrote this a friend, a brother. Because this is the social innovation we all want, we all dream of, and we all need desperately. Because it is not the wishful thinking of a man, barely turned thirty, who naively believes the world can be a better place. Because it is the single piece of work, which I use anytime I need to defend realistic-optimism and the fact that we, who smile in the face of recession and snicker at austerity are not some retarder hippies, but a bunch of people, who refuse to back down when a few graphs start pointing in the wrong direction and more than a few people realistically need work and need benefits, and need help, and in other words need something new to happen to take their social reality in a new direction. Because the spirit of this work is applicable anywhere in the world. 
And, mostly, just because I like reading it.

петък, 31 януари 2014 г.

Benefit Country

BBC 4's "reality show" 'Benefit Street' got me thinking a bit. To be precise, people who have seen it and their reactions got me thinking. Most of the young and even not so young people, who have seen the show admit they felt disgusted with what they have seen and when I spoke to them began a long speech on how people should not have access to such benefits. I remained mostly silent. People are not guilty of not knowing that the Coalition is currently implementing new laws on benefit cuts. Laws, which have been opposed by a great few, for they are an abolishing of all that the United Kingdom has fought a long and hard battle to build and preserve after the horrid late 20th century and the Iron Lady's genocidical actions. The UK has threaded a difficult and uncertain paths since the beginning of the so-called "Welfare state". Victoria's Poor Law was a revolutionary political move, which made Great Britain begin its path towards becoming one of the most equal societies of the 19th and 20th century. then the wars and later still the end of the golden gas period made it one of the least equal. Nowadays, the country is struggling to fight poverty, mental and health issues in grand scales, deviance and lack of education.

Most of all, Britain is fighting the current crisis and lack of opportunities. This fight is happening on a community level - once we go above and beyond this level - looking at the Government we see nothing but constant attempts to deepen the Equality Crisis - lesser taxation on corporations, more private hospitals, care centers etc emerging rapidly. Decline in healthcare availability, educational opportunities and quality, lack of work opportunities, a stagnation in the process of integration of those with disabilities, a beurcratisation of all disability and need assessment and most of all a tightening of benefit claim rules and a cut in benefits, accompanied by smaller but present cuts in pensions and salaries.

These changes have not occurred over a short period of time, of course and this perhaps is why mostly, they have gone unnoticed. However, slowly but certainly Britain is moving away from the welfare state and into a very individualistic and pragmatic state. A consumerist, free market, capitalist type of economy, where the poor, disabled and, according to state educational tests - stupid members of society have no place whatsoever.

Would the British society approve of such policies, if they were aware of them?

I am not going to answer that. Let's assume for a second that "Benefit Street" was a regular reality show with middle-class families. Would showing the thieving and murderous housewives of the middle class, or maybe Charles Manson's family or Hannibal Lecter, in any way be realistic of what kind of people the middle class is made of? Does "Benefit Street" really show any realistic cadres? If the thievery and debauchery was real, wouldn't these people be in jail, since they were caught on camera?

Drawing conclusions and making assumptions is a human reflex. Not a humane one. Not a civilized one. British population is once again being lead on a witch hunt for the poor, the disabled and the immigrants. You are being flooded by a river of twisted studies and false conclusions. Your attention is being locked to the TV screen while a river of shit is flooding your living room. The middle class is going to dissolve quickly, as it is dissolving in the USA, unless Brits stand up for all their ancestors have fought fiercely to protect - a united, equal, supporting country with humanE communities and a feeling of trust and compassion.

четвъртък, 21 ноември 2013 г.

And May Freedom Be Ever In Your Favor

On 20/11/2013, Bulgarian students made an amazing "military" offensive re-inaction of the Bulgarian Parliament once again requesting the Government's Resignation. This was the 160th day of Protests in Bulgaria, fired by the monopoly of Bulgarian corporations and Governmental Parties, the so-called Mafia rule over any policies in the country and the simple desire of a really democratic rule and realistic opportunities of the country's youth. As part of this re-inactment, they wore improvised military uniforms, 'shot' paper guns, blew up colorful "grenades", brought "tanks", and healed their wounded. In the end, they demonstratively "set fire" to the government (more precisely to a wall, which currently surrounds the House of Parliament, a part of the police force's defense against the half a year-long protests) , as shown on the photographs (link below).

Student Protests Bulgaria;
 Photo Source: Çağdaş Çelik (Чагдаш Челик) (FB album)

понеделник, 28 октомври 2013 г.

Declaration OCCUPY

of the Students who occupied 
The Rectorate of Sofia University "St. Climent Ochridsky"
on 25th October 2013

Dear Rector of The University,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Professors and Members of staff of the Alma Matter,
Dear colleagues - Doctors and Students,
Dear citizens!

Realizing our historical responsibility before the Bulgarian society,
fearing nothing but Fear itself,
wishing for the restoration of Democracy and the Rule of Law in The Republic,
foreseeing the undeniable negative effects which any further rule of the XLIIth National Assembly will have on Bulgaria,
raging against the systematic impairment of the Constitutional order of the country,
convinced, that principle and transparency in governing is a condition, necessary for the existence of real order,
standing firmly for equality before the law and against the cartell-partocratic chaos,
with the supreme image and goal of Bulgaria as a country governed by moral values, rather than personal interest,
utterly convinced of our right, as students and citizens to protest legally, guided by the traditions of Democracy, and that University is a place of values, and not just lectures,
gladly accepting the support of leading university lecturers and of outraged citizens, who have been protesting for over four months against a morally collapsed government;

Believing in the rightful resolve for a change in the Bulgarian civic society,

We, The Students of Sofia University, are enforcing a regime of indefinite and immediately effective


of the Rectorate of this truly Higher Educational Institution with the following AIMS:
1. Immediate dismissal of the XLII National Assembly
2. Appointing the following Parliamentary Elections as quickly as possible
3. Social intolerance towards the spreading lack of law and prosecution at the Highest Level of Governmental Rule.
4. The transformation of Bulgaria into a civilized country, under the rule of law
5.  The acceptance of Justice and Knowledge as high social morals.

THE OCCUPATION of the Rectorate will be conducted under the following rules and conditions:

1. Establishing occupational student control over the Rectorate building
2. Obstructing the everyday scholar activities and most administrative activities of the Rectorate
3. Maintaining order independently at the Rectorate with complete preservation of the University's autonomy and absolutely no external involvement.
4. Adhering the formerly established rules of the Declaration of Partial Occupation of Auditorium 272 (23/10/2013 - 25/10/2013)
5. Conserving the University's property, respectful conduction towards the Rector and the University's administrative staff.
6. Establishing a strict admission control on all exits of the building
7. Admission of as limited a number as possible of administrative staff, who are necessary for the small amount of activities, recommended by the University's governing body, to ensure no financial or scientific losses for the University.

This is our final confidence vote for the now illegitimate governmental practices in the Bulgarian Parliament.

We, the students,
Auditorium 272,
Sofia University Rectorate
25th October 2013

P.S. - This is a loose translation, I have taken the liberty of translating some phrases loosely, due to the cultural and linguistic limits. I am open for suggestions.

Protesting before SU's Rectorate
(source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ранобудните-студенти
Photographer: Tihich Tihichat (alias); taken from the webpage on 28/10/2013)
I have placed the original text bellow, as follows:

на студентите, окупирали Ректората на Софийския университет
„Св. Климент Охридски“
на 25 октомври 2013

Уважаеми г-н Ректор,
уважаеми госпожи и господа преподаватели и администратори в Алма матер,
скъпи колеги – докторанти и студенти,
уважаеми съграждани!

Осъзнавайки историческата си отговорност пред българското общество,
страхувайки се единствено от страха,
желаейки възстановяването на демокрацията и върховенството на закона в Републиката,
предвиждайки неминуемите отрицателни ефекти от продължаването на мандата на XLII-то Народно събрание,
разгневени срещу системното накърняване на конституционния ред в страната,
убедени, че принципността и прозрачността на управленческия процес е условие, без което не може да съществува истински ред,
заставайки непоколебимо на страната на равенството пред законите срещу картелно-партократския хаос,
имайки висшата цел България да бъде държава с управление, стъпващо на нравствени ценности, а не на лични изгоди,
напълно сигурни, че като студенти и граждани имаме пълното право на законни и осветени от демократична традиция протестни действия и че Университетът е място на стойности, а не само на лекции,
приемайки с радост заявената подкрепа на водещи университетски преподаватели и на възмутените граждани, протестиращи вече над четири месеца срещу управление, изпаднало в морален колапс;
и вярвайки в справедливата воля за промяна на българското гражданско общество,

ние, студентите на Софийския университет, въвеждаме режим на безсрочна и ефективна


на Ректората на това наистина Висше училище със следните ЦЕЛИ:
- 1. незабавно разпускане на XLII-то Народно събрание;
- 2. възможно най-бързо насрочване на нови парламентарни избори;
- 3. нетърпимост на общественото тяло към ширещото се престъпно беззаконие в най-високите етажи на държавното управление;
- 4. превръщането на България в цивилизована, правова държава;
- 5. и утвърждаването на справедливостта и знанието като високи обществени ценности.

ОКУПАЦИЯТА на Ректората на нашия Университет ще протече при следните УСЛОВИЯ:
- 1. установяване на окупационен студентски контрол върху сградата на Ректората;
- 2. възпрепятстване на редовни учебни и повечето административни дейности в Ректората;
- 3. самостоятелно осигуряване на реда в Ректората при стриктно спазване на университетската автономия и без външни намеси;
- 4. спазване на досега приетите Правила от Декларацията за частичната Окупация на 272 аудитория от 23-25 октомври 2013;
- 5. опазване на имуществото на Университета и уважение към Ректора и университетското ръководство;
- 6. установяване на наш строг пропускателен режим на входовете и изходите на Ректората;
- 7. и допускане при възможност на силно ограничен брой администратори по препоръка на университетското ръководство за онзи минимален брой дейности, без който Университетът би претърпял значителни загуби от финансов и/или научен характер.

Това е нашият окончателен вот на недоверие към загубилите всякаква легитимност практики в управлението на България.

Ние, студентите
272 аудитория, Ректорат на СУ,
25 октомври 2013

понеделник, 19 август 2013 г.

Of anchors and men

ще си върнеш почвата. не искам да се отказваш и да мислиш, че не можеш. МОЖЕШ. стягаш се, даваш всичко от себе си и не мислиш за нищо друго. няма значение какво ти казват, няма значение колко трудно изглежда. спомни си защо го искаш толкова. още съвсем малко остана. винаги имаш избор и винаги можеш да започнеш отначало. можеш да избереш да се откажеш или да дадеш всичко от себе си. не е краят на света, ако не влезеш, а началото на съвсем нов свят. както с мен и Англия. опитваме се, даваме всичко от себе си. каквото стане, стане. това е животът, ама наистина. няма съдби, няма предопределеност, няма подарени случайности. сядаш си на задника, съдираш се от работа и МОЖЕ би ще успееш. а ако не успееш, теглиш му една майна, пиеш едно голямо уиски, потупваш котвичката и потегляш по нов курс, някъде на ново място. с най-широката усмивка, защото няма съсипани животи, няма затворени врати, няма подобни депресарски лайнарщини, има само НОВО, има само напред и нагоре. не се обръщаме назад, не плачем за изгубените "ако", "дали", "щеше ли" и тем подобни. ако ти не вярваш в себе си, няма кой да повярва в теб. вярвай, че го правиш не само за себе си, а и за тези около теб. вярвай, че има смисъл и то ще има смисъл. не ти трябва чуждо рамо. поплачи, покрещи, счупи някоя друга ваза, лампа, маса, каквото искаш, излей го и давай напред. 


потупваш котвичката, вдигаш брадичката, изправяш рамене, показваш им мъничкото си и сладичко средно пръстче и правиш тoва, което искаш, така както ти искаш. правиш го за СЕБЕ СИ. за никой друг. направи го перфектно за себе си и повярвай ми, ако наистина имат мозък, ще го оценят много повече, отколкото нещо, в чиито успех и ти самата не вярваш. това е моят съвет към теб в живота. обичам те, котвичке моя, никога не го забравяй и се обичай и ти.