I remember a time when I was in high school. It was a state-owned school, one of the best in town (people said). But sadly, I never thought that my high school period was the high moment in my life. Of course, I was that shy, ugly teenage girl, then :), but what bothered me most was how some people – friends and teachers – acted and said something foolishly in the name of religion. How could you ever think of finding a date when the first thing they’d ask you was your religious belief, especially when you happen to belong to the minority? Some even thought the greeting card you sent them in their religious occasion was tainted with some dark ideas behind it, just because you don’t share their belief. What a sweet moment, indeed…

Good if you can understand this, because I can’t. It’s all too familiar to me, I can feel it in my stomach.

Wanted: deus ex machina

I don’t believe in the word toleration, though I can’t help tolerating others’ behaviors and actions at times. Living in a culture where you should have one of the five officially approved religions written on your national ID, I’ve learned also to acknowledge lies and hypocrisy. No need to say how much they irritate me – yes, I am that nice girl. Besides, it doesn’t help to be radical in this country when it comes to not having any religious belief, trust me. It’s not worth it.

It was a fine Sunday morning. I took Olga to her Sunday school (she is in a prep to receive her first holy communion). The night before she told me that next week there would a recollection and all parents were invited. I wonder if I could skip, I asked her half-jokingly. That good girl of mine said no. She then asked if I still remembered how to say prayers. I remembered, at least, The Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary.

“Do you still pray at all, mom?” she asked me one night. I told her that I didn’t want to burden God. He must have been swamped in work, answering prayers, I said. She laughed, but I could read concern on her face. “But what if,” she further asked. “What if you were on an airplane and it’s about to crash, wouldn’t you pray?” I would. Also in situations like when my loved ones are seriously ill. I would so… absurdly… inconsistently… pray. Hoping for a miracle to work.

Other than those extremes, I’d rather work things out by myself, or at least, by help of others (human beings). That’s why I hate how things work in the mainstream Hollywood movies. The deus ex machina mentality that they inherently possess. Things aren’t always that sweet, honey!

What I can accept about religion and its practices is that it is an effort in search for comfort and peace of mind. Like using drugs, nail biting, and sometimes, telling lies and being hypocritical. The recollection next Sunday? I’ll think up of something.

Blablabla has troutslapped you: *ouch!*(?)

We are surrounded by kitsch, even more today than before. And by kitsch, I mean it in a narrow way, in the degraded sense of it. Kitsch, at its best, has the appearance of an art, and is typically produced in mass. It’s relatively cheap – in any sense it may have. It supplies the needs of humans who are increasingly distanced from the much more complicated, thus more risky, personal touches and relations.

Even human beings in flesh and blood have developed the culture of kitsch – they are like those plastic flowers on the vase you can almost always immediately find in restaurants and hotel lobbies. Remember the bowler hat lady in The Unbearable Lightness of Being? What she complains about in that fancy Prague restaurant? Oh, you may just take me as a remnant of the past, an acute dreamer (being an Aquarian as I am!), dreaming of old beauties.

But take this as an example. Look at those various applications you can add to your Facebook page. Friends sending each other virtual gifts, mass poking each other, even kissing each other and brewing tea virtually. And those long, pictorial messages on your wall – chain messages – start to replace personal messages. I miss that personalized hey-agnes-how-you-doin’ kind of thing to fill my wall.

People get even more busy with themselves today. We seem to communicate in the same room, laugh at the same joke, entertain each other. But what of that if at the end of the day, each of us walks listlessly to our own darker room, alone and deserted?

Please don’t give me kitsch for the time being. I started to get bored. Hug me for real!