blog > Life > World events

Can’t get out of my head by Misha Lyuve

Sep 4, 2015

I am watching my kids playing on the beach and can’t get out of my head the image of the Syrian boy whose body was found on the Turkish shore. When children (adults too, but even more so children) go through sufferings like that – is there any meaningful justification? I feel the need to apologize to them for myself, for humanity and even for god.

What if you are really against gay marriage? by Misha Lyuve

Mar 26, 2013

What if you really against gay marriage? – Could it be because of your religious views – after all, the Bible says what it says. Or you might have some other socio-economico-political reasoning of why gay marriage is not a right thing for the society.

I don’t have any intentions to change your mind.

All the arguments have already been made and I don’t think anyone can change one’s mind here. What most people are missing is that gay marriage is really not a mind’s matter at all – that’s why arguments don’t work. It is the matter of the heart, and your heart is either in it or not. And if it is not – you better don’t go against it or you will have heartache. By the way, all these politicians that are coming out in the support of gay marriage, really had a change of heart first, and then they found logical arguments for the public explanations. Otherwise they would look silly, and politicians don’t like that.

Next I would like to discuss freedom. You see, freedom can be tricky. If you were a non-smoker earlier in the days, your freedom to be in a smoke-free environment didn’t even exist as a concept. But once non-smoking laws in public spaces took effect, smokers experienced their freedoms taken away. Literally, one day they could smoke in a place and next day it was illegal. In the matters of freedom, often laws and social policy are like a dial that takes away freedom from one group and gives it to the other. Hopefully for the better of the society. Or at least of a majority.

Issues like gay marriage are fundamentally different because, by their nature, they don’t take away anyone’s rights. In spite of all the drama, next morning after the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA, you might wake up cranky, but your life will be very much the same as it was a day before – you can ask gay marriage opponents in Ohio and Massachusetts. You will go about your business not supporting gay marriage as before, with the same right to be vocal about it, not entering into a gay marriage yourself and teaching your kids not to.

Now, it does suck to lose. But once the dust settles and you lick your wounds, you will see that you are fine. And then consider this – the energy of your activism, your ideas and your financial resources are very much needed to address many local and global issues. Like for instance there are 132 million orphans in the world (per UNICEF). And then maybe we can combine our forces and do some great things together. www.AREWEREADY.org

Your New President by Misha Lyuve

Nov 6, 2012

To those involved in the US elections

Let me suggest unspeakable.

Tonight we will know the results. Let’s take the rest of the week to unwind, lick the wounds, celebrate victories.

And then…. how about this:

Let us EMBRACE whoever is the next president regardless of your views. GIVE your new president a chance even if he is from the opposite party. STOP the negative conversation. Instead TELL your senators and congressmen to WORK WITH your president to find compromises that are workable for the country and move it forward.

We STAND UNITED during hurricanes and terrorists attacks. But do we need to wait for disasters to experience unity?

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Why NOT give money to politicians by Misha Lyuve

Sep 8, 2012

The 2008 US presidential and congressional elections cost the country $5.3B. 2012 projections are closer to $6B ($6,000,000,000 – in case you are not proficient in billions). This amount is an equivalent of a yearly GDP of a small country like Rwanda or Malawi. It is also expected that this hefty sum will be approximately equally split between Democrats and Republicans.

More than a half of that money is spent on advertising. I am not diminishing the importance of political candidates to make their platforms known. However, the nature of political advertising nowadays looks like this: first you use some partial-truth-fact or take an out-of-the-context quote of your opponent and make it into an ad. Then point a finger at your opponent and, in justifiable outrage, call him a liar for doing exactly the same thing against you.

Some people blame politicians, call them untrustworthy scumbags; while others are resigned to the fact that the reality of being a politician is such that the only way to win is to play the established game of dirty tricks. And while both points of view might have some truth to them, let’s not forget that in a democratic society, its political system is just a mirror reflection of values of the society itself. In other words, blaming politicians is like pointing a finger at yourself.

By the way, I am not talking as a person who doesn’t have political opinions or doesn’t care about the future of the country. And if you, just for a minute, pull away from particular ideas you passionately support or furiously detest, you will see that politics became just a game of two sides that are more interested in winning than truth. That is why politics turn into one of the most divisive forces. The easiest way to know it if you have a family member that shares views of the other party than the one you support. Can you have a meaningful conversations about politics with that person?

I don’t suggest to dull your passions. I am just saying that each of us has a choice where to channel our enthusiasm. There are many ways of contribute to ideas you believe in and change you want to see happen. In fact, it starts with you.

Here are a few donation alternatives:

World Wide Orphan foundation

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Just Food

ASPCA

Global Medical Relief Fund

UNICEF

Surfrider Foundation

Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Friends of Maiti Nepal

Cooley’s Anemia Foundation

Smile Train

Unthinkable – rethinkable by Misha Lyuve

Jul 10, 2011

My trip to Germany started in Heidenberg. I chose it for a stopover on a trip between Frankfurt airport and Gernsbach (where the wedding would take place) because the guide said that it was one of a few larger inner cities that wasn’t destroyed during World War 2 allied bombing: the war which is far enough in the past to be called history, and close enough to still be fresh for many.  

Heidelberg, the view from the castle

Heidelberg, the view from the castle

Cozy old streets, manicured buildings and friendly locals – it is hard to imagine that less than 70 years ago a generation of a nation here was participating in atrocities. It doesn’t take much to judge the past, but all I hope is that if I were born at that time and place, and breathed the air they breathed, I wouldn’t have done any of the horrible things – but how would I know?  

…The Jewish bride and the German groom signed their marriage contract in the old building of Gernsbach city hall. And all the guests threw rice and rose petals at the newlywed couple as they arrived to Schloß Eberstein castle, where the rest of the party took place. And according to a Jewsish tradition, the broom broke a glass, this time against XIII century cobblestones, and the guests yelled mazel tov. And then we ate, drank and danced, and fraulines mixed in with aunts from Israel and lehaims with prosts.  

wedding  

And I thought of the places in the world that bleed nowadays and might seem without hope. And how what was unthinkable not that long ago, right now is taken for granted. And what an effort for us to see what’s possible in an unthinkable now.

Uncle hitler would be proud by Misha Lyuve

Apr 8, 2011
Politics is one of the subjects in which I struggle to find art, beauty or life for that matter – but I will keep trying.

hitler hitler

 Political activists have discovered the shortest path to expression of freedom of speech and utilizing their artistic inclinations by comparing their opponents to hitler. Indeed, why try hard? – just stick the hitler moustache onto a picture and you’ve got a political message that’s loud and clear.  

And be not surprised, there will be a raving audience of supporters welcoming you. And probably another raving group hating you on the other side. And if you’re lucky, you might even end up on TV. And if you are a little business savvy, you can make a quick buck on the whole thing.  

Anyway, just a bit of a warning if you’re planning a political career, try on a hitler moustache first – you’d better look good with it. Either way, good luck!

Also read:
- You Don’t Know Jack
- The Romantic Season of Revolutions

The romantic season of revolutions by Misha Lyuve

Feb 16, 2011

While I’ve been quietly contemplating on art, beauty and daily life, the world’s been on fire, lighting revolutions like matches. I guess freedom is contagious, or at least a noble idea of it.

Whatever the cause of it, economic turmoil, un-satisfaction with governments or a spark by outside interests, a revolution has often created a broad spectrum of opportunities — from heroism to looting, from democracy to tyranny, from excitement to disappointment.

And the mere possibility of a great outcome, surely brings a romantic feeling, like falling in love. And as unreasonably and not fully grounded into reality romantic feelings have us experience the world, they also make status quo and its predictability as exciting as a yesterday’s sandwich.

But what happens when the romanticism evaporates – what if we glance back?

Russian revolution in 1917 started not without noble intentions, but at the end created a repressed state whose heavy past till now impacts the country’s  economic, political and social lives  

(on the left, Boris Kustodiyev’s “Bolshevik”)

 

Iranian revolution in 1979, greatly popular at its time, moved Iran into a theocracy; and as recent and not so recent events showed, it doesn’t have much tolerance for diversity of opinions or human freedoms

The Urkainian orange revolution in 2005 caused a change of power in disputed elections, but the ideas of freedom and economic prosperty that had fueled it were largely unfulfilled and left people dissapointed and resigned about their  government 

What’s your pick: status quo or revolution? Or is there some place in between? 

Or those who sit in their comfy chairs and judge, don’t have a say?