eumelia: made by <lj site="livejournal.com" user="quadratur"> (target)
** This post contains spoilers for episode 2.03 of Hawaii Five-0 as well as triggers for frank discussion of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder **


It's hard for me to even talk about the content of this ep with any kind of analytic distance because it's all been overshadowed by the final scene.

I was in the military, the Israeli Defense Force, and it screwed me over.

Not to mention screwed me up.

The scene that triggered me in a way I hadn't been triggered in two years.

When I say the military screwed me up, I mean that I spent a month and a half in a situation room, similar in structure (though nowhere as fancy) as the Navy Intel the civilians just happen to invited to, watching drone footage and seeing a man explode to smithereens, while my fellow soldiers clapped and were oh so very smug.

You could say I went slightly crazy after that happened. And wouldn't you know, six months after the war I was diagnosed with a mild case of PTSD. Mild, because I could function "normally", my anxiety didn't cripple me, my hyper awareness didn't give me agoraphobia and my flashbacks were few and far between.

The screens, the night vision, the smug expressions of everyone's face (except Danny's) were all too much and my anxiety sky rocketed really fast.

So here I am, in my bed room, my eyes leaking a broken tap and I fucking hate Hawaii Five-0

The only thing that made me say "I'll watch this next week", after I spent an hour or so curled up in my bed talking to a friend on chat and calling another, was the fact that Danny, as he watched the fucking nightmare in night vision and gunfire, was freaked out.

On a more coherent level, I'm really not keen on the narrative of American Military might mowing down brown criminals.

Militarism is a destructive ideology and Hawaii Five-0, who has always been neutral when it came to politics, is taking a right turn here in a way I find extremely distressing.

Not to mention triggering.

Steve being morally ambiguous is fine, the military is often like that, my work with Air Force intelligence during my service has probably enabled the death of far too many people, but I don't think about that.

I think about the war I served and actually saw men die in – suffice to say my politics took a radical left turn after that.

I don't want to see my politics reflected back at me, that's boring, but must I have this fucking Freudian fetish of Military = Good?

One of the symptoms of my PTSD is rage. Like uncontrollable rage. My heart has been beating double time since this morning and it feels like my brain is trying to crack my skull wide open.

I am fucking pissed at them for showing operations like that noble and good and mighty. They are not. They are dark, murky, morally ambiguous at best if not downright evil.

When I saw that man die, five years ago, he was blown up by a drone; I was on comms with those pilots twelve hours a day. I spent four shifts in a row listening in to Pilot School drop outs, writing down and shouting out co-ordinates until my throat was raw.

Situation rooms are only calm when something explodes and then they are a flurry of activity.

Two years of not much more than hyper awareness and spikes of anger and now I feel like I want to trash my room and destroy everything.

Thank god Danny, at least, had the decency to look askance at what he was seeing.
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
This being a personal blog in which I talk about as assortment of stuff, some more interesting to you, dear readers, than others, I feel it's important to disseminate information, even if it doesn't actively concern you.
It actively concerns me, so I suppose that's good enough.

Some of you may know about the gag order placed in Israel regarding an "espionage" case.

I don't want to talk about Anat Kam, journalist who was placed under house arrest since December for handing over "top secret" documents that show the IDF breaking High Court Rullings regarding, among other things, the assassinations of various Palestinian leaders.
She handed over this classified information to Ha'aretz journalist Uri Balu while she was doing her time in the IDF.
Uri Blau himself is now in exile in London because the Shin-Bet (what in Hebrew we call the Shabak, שב"כ, which is the acronym for "General Security Services"... they're not a Secret Police, they have carte blanche to do things the police and the IDF cannot do... like break into homes of activists, tap their phones, allegedly torture "security"/"political" prisoners and recruit via any means necessary Palestinian collaborators.

I want to talk about the fact that during my time in the IDF, I too was privy to classified information but I was too naive, insular, politically unaware and oblivious to actually understand that what I was doing was doing more harm to people's lives, than good.

What do I mean by this?

My life as a middle class Ashkenazi Jewish girl in a middle class town a twenty minute drive westward from Tel Aviv insulated me, totally, to the reality of what was going on a twenty minute drive eastward, across the border - "The Green Line". All I knew, before I was drafted in 2003, was that the West Bank had lots of Settlers and Palestinians blew themselves up from time to time.

I was fucking clueless. More on that, because this is long )

This is so tiring.

Israel is only "liberal" for some people who live here.

Wake up!
eumelia: (Default)
Within three months of being enlisted into the IDF I put on something like 5 kg.
I had cried, tears rolled down my face, as I told my mother I had jock itch because my thighs were rubbing together, along with the very ill-fitting uniform.
I didn't wear clothes in my proper size for the two years that I served.

Food in the IDF is disgusting.

I was not vegetarian at the time, but I pretended to be, because the processed tofu schnitzels looked more appetizing and less likely to give me salmonella than the "regular" food.

Having done kitchen duty like a champ, I can tell you, the cooks are over worked, it's an yucky job, you have to deal with teenaged girls being grossed out by things (being a young aunt cured me of viewing leftover food as gross) that they've seen people eat and, well, dealing with the fact that despite having the most "practical" power (they're the wheelers and dealers of the army) they're in fact the lowest echelon of military jobs.

Yeah, the food was gross. We comforted ourselves by going to buy chocolate, biscuits, chocolate-chip cookies, crackers and cheese...

Yeah, it was good times in the barracks.

Is it any surprise girls (who do not do combat, which most of us do not) put on, on average, 10 kg of weight throughout our two year run.

I got thinking about because I saw this News article.
It made me guffaw. That's another way of saying LOL.

The IDF is going to cut out of its menu in the canteens (i.e. the cafeteria where you get your food for free) the fattening pastry foods - mainly Bourekas and rogalach - which have been traditional foods found in meetings, unit gatherings and, as mentioned, the canteens.

Nothing like promoting more resentment in the ranks!

I mean, I understand the need and want to promote "good health" which is a real oxymoron in the military - I cannot tell you how many yeast infections I had during my service because the trousers I wore five days a week was basically spun plastic.

Also, Doctors generally do not believe soldiers who come to the infirmary, their initial thought is that you are there to get sick-leave, which are days off not docked from your regular holidays.

You basically have to be dying in order to get treatment - or be at the emergency room with an actual bodily trauma.

Yeah, "good health".

Food is a big deal in the army.
It's something we arrange our time around - two hour lunch breaks are not unheard of, hell, unless I had something extremely pressing to do I could spend more time faffing around looking for chocolate and drinking seven cups of coffee a day (which was my average, I was up to ten cups a day at some point... withdrawal was a bitch after I was discharged).

Food was my comfort. Mainly because the food presented to us in the canteens was just so bad. Any other food was great and much of it was eaten.

I've spoken about the uniform before, so I don't need to tell you about the gendered aspect of it, but I remember how one day, I felt cramps, it wasn't that time of the month, so I went to the bathroom, opened my belt and instant relief.
Yeah, my belt had been pressing into me.
You can imagine what I did next.
I cried like the big baby I am/was.

Looking back, I can't say I felt bad about putting on the weight. It was something I didn't consciously think about - I mean, I hated myself for being "fat", but I was never ever willing to give up food that made me feel good.

That period of my life was full of half-assed attempts at weight loss.
"Weight Watchers" is a nightmare, as though we don't get judged enough in our lives.
Eating smaller portions got me eating more instead of less.
I got into shouting matches with my mother over my weight and what I was willing to do, or not do, in order to "control myself".

Yeah, food was a battle ground.

I don't know how much I eat today. I know that over the past few months I've lost weight, which worried me for a while, because weight loss has become something I associate with trauma and I still don't know what has caused me to become even smaller than I was.

Food in the IDF was part of what got me through it. Take outs, cakes, biscuits, the gatherings... *sigh* good times.
But they made my plastic pants split at the seam.

I'm glad it's over, never to return.

At times, it seemed to never end. I was even about to sign up for more - I was insane and full of fear of the outside world at the time - so when that fell through I suddenly had two weeks left of service.
The relief (and the weight loss that commenced simply because I was happy to be outside that framework) was unbelievable.

Related but off tangent; I don't know if Kung Fu is for me. I was in the best shape of my life while I was in those classes, but I didn't know how to protect myself, which pretty much negates the purpose...

As mentioned, I'm now thin, but very out of shape. I'm a slob, I don't exercise, I should, but I don't - I need to maלe the decision to go back to martial arts, but I need to want it and at the moment... I don't.

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Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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