“MIssed Saigon!”

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“MIssed Saigon!”


My rabid thirst, reading and continuance of trying to understand the hugely complex tapestry of Burma is prevalent in my thoughts.


What is it that has grabbed me so firmly about this country ?


Why am I so drawn and pre-occupied by Burma ?  I use the the term Burma deliberately, because although the international community refer to Burma as Myanmar, my recent discovery, if it’s correct, is that this is the name given to the country by the military dictatorship sometime back in the late 80’s/ early 90’s. (Prior named SLORC – State Law and Order Restoration Council, now named SPDC – State Peace and Development Council – if there was ever a contradiction in title and mission statement this is surely it).


The more I read, and corroborate, the more I see ugly injustices and the most awful yielding and misuse of power……so much so that I have to pinch myself because I think I’m dreaming the most horrific of dreams. Sadly I am not.


I’m not dreaming, it’s happening right now.




There are still political prisoners incarcerated in Burma for peaceful non-violent non-cooperation.


Last night I stared out of my 10th storey hotel room in Saigon, thinking “is there something that I could be doing that I’m not ?” I honestly don’t know the answer to this. I’m not deluded that I am a visionary, I certainly am not. I am nothing other than just an ordinary bloke, but somehow, I do believe that I can do more….. I just don’t know what or how.


I find myself staring into the dark night “grafitteed” with neon lights, wondering what difference can I make ?


I would be grateful, sincerely, for any readers views on this.


I have sent emails to various people in higher government in Burma and whether these have just been lost in the “ether” or conveniently ignored I don’t know. I have even contacted the Suu Foundation, whose figurehead is of course Daw Suu Kyi, yet the web site is down and my email was returned. So I contacted Amnesty International, and I am awaiting a response.


As I said I am currently in Saigon, Hoh Chi Min. Yet I am so wrapped up in my thoughts about Burma that I run the risk of the title of this blog becoming a truth !!!



In other “rooms” of my mind, I find myself drawn by the final US presidential debate about to happen in 12 hours time. I’m going to be potentially controversial now, and say this…..God help us if Trump gets in. I know that this might really piss some people off, but I find it truly ludicrous and scary that such a person could be in charge of the most powerful military offensive in the world.


I had a conversation this evening, with a good friend of mine and we talked about the the Movie “Spotlight”. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.


It’s about a story uncovered by a small team of reporters at the Boston Globe, which sent shock waves around the whole world…..I won’t say too much in case you haven’t seen it, but it draws  into serious doubt the conduct of thousands of people in everyday life. People that, serve with great authority and in positions of great responsibility in hundreds of thousands if not millions of communities around the world.



24 hours on…..the final presidential debate over, and I find myself in disbelief that a nation of circa 300 million people cannot muster and support anything more than Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump as candidates for a serious President(?!?!)



Now, what has all of the above, you may wonder, got to do with depression ?


The answer is short and succinct.


When depression strikes it’s difficult to focus on any one thing for long at all. Consequently the above recount and the following may be useful to some for folks.



This is how a person with Depression can swing like the proverbial “pendulum” in mood and views….



A further 24 hours on, and I have deleted a passage which was written in a particularly raw state, but which, in fact, was not truly representative of my general state of “being”.



This morning in Saigon airport, I had a slightly challenging time with a check in supervisor telling me that I could not take my beloved Olivia (my Guitar) on board the aeroplane and that this was an “international regulation”. Now I don’t have a problem with people doing their jobs, and following stipulated rules and guidelines, especially when it may concern the health and welfare of other people. And it’s fair to say that I could have been tempted to use my guitar as a crossbow with water melon seeds for ammunition !!!


What I dislike intently though, is being told lies.


I dislike people in authority that don’t know the facts.


And I dislike people treating me like an idiot.


I know I play the fool sometimes, but I am not stupid………..all the time !!


So, in a very firm manner I made my case to the supervisor who rudely, initially REFUSED to even talk with me. After making it clear in a relatively calm manner (for me) that I was not impressed by being told lies, and the Vietnamese Airlines representatives ignorance, my “opponent”, relented, and thus I have Olivia by my side.


This microcosmic experience begs the question……”why do people act obstructively, disagreeably, tell lies and act ignorantly ?”


Now I have a theory on this and it’s remarkably simple….as you would expect coming from me !


It’s 1 word, of four letters beginning with an F!!!!!




At the root of nearly all negative behaviour is FEAR save for ignorance. For ignorance is a lack of knowledge, and thus one may act inappropriately and too some extent with innocence, because they know not of the polite custom or appropriate behaviour. Although one may know they are not knowledgable of a subject and indeed may act ignorantly out of fear as well !


I suppose the long and short of it is this…….eradicate FEAR in your life and you will be a long way down the road toward defending yourself from depression.


It’s important that I add a little clarity to this. For I am most definitely not saying that if you feel fearful of someone or something, that you should run away, in fact I am saying quite the opposite. Have the courage to ask politely and sincerely why someone is scowling at you or your child in the supermarket……..if you are ever asked to speak publicly, grab the opportunity with excitement and let that excitement come through….excitement is infectious !!!!


OK, enough is enough…..I best wish you all a good week with love, peace and hope



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