Sun Tzu Now, Part 3: More From THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

From p. 68:

Although it is generally the wiser policy to make others exhaust themselves chasing you, there are opposite cases where striking suddenly and aggressively at the enemy so demoralizes him that his energies sink.  Instead of making others come to you, go to them, force the issue, take the lead.  First attack can be an awesome weapon, for it forces the other person to react without time to think or plan.  With no time to think, people make errors of judgement . . .

Unfortunately, when self has time to think, the result is —  paralysis!  Which is why self much prefers acting on impulse (as Bacolod relatives well know!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

After the Apocalypse: Rowena Tiempo-Torrevillas’ “Sunday Morning” (Like THE HUNGER GAMES only with Filipino Characters)

  • Even after the Apocalypse, people still remember The Beatles (“Did I tell you, Nina, how the rumor spread in 1977 —  forty years ago this year! —  that someone was paying the Beatles six million dollars just for one night of singing together?”)
  • They can recite the Book of Job,  from memory (“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.  O remember that my life is wind . . .  What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? . . .  I will say unto God, Do not condemn me.  Hast thou eyes of flesh?  Or seeth thou as men seeth?  Are thy days as the days of man?  Are thy years as man’s days?”)
  • Among the last vestiges of civilization:  a ’51 Chevrolet pick-up truck (“The truck had already been on the mountain when the first resident, old Ben Boggley, now dead, built his hut on Ragged Mountain.  No one knew how it had gotten there, or to whom it had belonged.  But on the rusty tailgate which used to hang by one hinge, there, in crude letters over the pale flaking paint which used to be blue, were the names Cesar and Rosalie.)

Here’s a beautiful, descriptive passage:

On the final hill overlooking the slight hollow where the cabin stood, they stopped, and Pedro Aguinaldo set his child down so that they were both facing the northwest.

Large, wet blue stars quivered in the sky, and the sharp wind that blew from the northwest seemed to set the stars rocking.

“Look, Papa, they’re so many,” she said, pointing.

P.S.  Self fell asleep while waiting for “Justified” to come on.  Woke with a start, saw it was already 10:45 p.m.  YIIIKES!  Hurriedly switched on the TV, saw Neil McDonough’s arm in Timothy Olyphant’s arms.  Obviously, something unspeakable had just transpired.  Oh, thank goodness self didn’t have to witness the blood spatter.   McDonough dies, but self loves that he does not over-dramatize.  Mostly, what he projects is shock (Self would react in exactly the same way if she ever saw her arm detached from her actual person and hanging on to some other person’s anatomy)  . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

P. 1, Today’s New York Times: Moving Backwards

Acid is the preferred weapon of vindictive men against women accused of disloyalty or disobedience.  Common in several Asian countries, acid attacks in Pakistan grew sharply in number in 2011, to 150 from 65 in 2010, although some advocacy workers said the increase stemmed largely from better reporting.

—  from the p. 1 article by Declan Walsh in today’s New York Times (Tuesday, 10 April 2012)

*     *    *    *

The article was prompted by the March 17 suicide of one of the bravest of Pakistani women:  Pakhra Younas.  She jumped from “the sixth-floor balcony of her apartment building in the southern suburbs of Rome . . .  She was 33.”

CAVEAT:  You will need a strong stomach to get through the rest of this post, dear blog readers.

Ten years earlier, Ms. Younas was attacked by a man who “doused her face in acid . . .  virtually melting her mouth, nose and ears.”  The alleged attacker was her ex-husband, Bilal Khar.  The Times reports that he “was acquitted at trial nine years ago.”  After the attack, Ms. Younas’ face was a gruesome wreck, nothing remotely like her earlier self.  She fled to Rome, encouraged by the “generosity of strangers.”

“Dr. Valerio Cervelli, a plastic surgeon who led the work, said it was difficult at first ‘because her lower lip was attached to her torso, she had no neck, and her eyes were permanently open.”

Ms. Younas underwent surgery 38 times.  “After the 38th operation, in early 2011, Ms. Younas could move her mouth and one eye . . .  She ventured outside fearlessly, armed only with a bawdy sense of humor ingrained on the streets of Karachi.”

But even the most fearless of women sometimes miss home, get lonely, suffer self-doubt.  Ms. Younas wanted badly to return to Pakistan, but friends and family dissuaded her out of fears for her safety.

They should have let her return home.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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