Friday, June 3, 2011

The Grey Lady: A Legacy

*** Video Blog Commentary Coming Soon! ***

The Grey Lady: A Legacy, posted with vodpod

Homage Paid to Women Scorned

"These bloody days have broken my heart. My lust, my youth, did them depart. For your wit alone, many men would bemoan. And since it is so many still cry aloud: it is a great loss that you are dead and gone. The time you had above your poor degree, the fall whereof your friends may well bemoan. A rotten twig upon so high a tree, has slipped your hold, and you are dead and gone. These bloody days have broken my heart. My lust, my youth, did them depart. And blind desire of ambitious souls, who haste's to climb seeks to revert. And about the throne, the thunder rolls."
– Innocentia Veritas Viat Fides Circumdederunt Me Inimici Mei: by Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Elder.

Even two days after Memorial Day, it seems the fate particular of us women to be thrown back into the reality that is living in a Man's World. Catholic. Christian. Muslim. Pagan. Spiritualists, even Atheists, alike.  It matters not.  Historically speaking, the bloody pattern of all tales contributing make it evident that the women to whom this Blog and video are dedicated to do not stand apart by such petty differences.  Like the video tribute posted below, this is not a story of Religious values nor racial consequence. 

It is a tale of great tragedy, sorrow, and injustice. It is a tale of witch hunts, both irrelevant and inexcusable. Of the payment required in blood for the wounding of a man's pride and ego. Like the story of Vincent, a tale to honor of the sacrifice of any soul knowing their own worth in a world holding little to no beauty to match it. Thus, call this not a blog for controversy but pitiable truth ... all feminist activism aside, as you do not have to be a woman to appreciate the severity and sorrow of the issue. Each of these women were somebody's -- some man's -- daughter, mother, wife, sister, friend. As well as their source of love, lust, and obsessive devotion. Such beauty always being equal blessing and curse. A pattern (despite obvious distortions) which rings tragically true, even to date.

Friends, Family, and strangers around the world are reminded of Katya Koren … celebrated still today as a young beauty, full of potential and a liking for fashionable clothes, who reportedly finished seventh in a regional beauty contest.  CBS reported her battered body was recently found partially buried in a forest near her home in the Crimea region of Ukraine one week after her disappearance. Initial reports claimed this 19-year-old beauty queen -- like her assailants -- was Muslim, and that three Muslim youths were responsible for the murder, claiming Koren's death had been justified under Islam. One of the three suspects, named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev, was quoted as telling police that Katya had "violated the laws of Sharia", and that he has “no regrets about her death”. To which Mustafa Cemiloğlu – Chairman of the peoples to whom Gaziev allegedly belongs – posed a desperate defense that the boy was pressured by police into accepting the blame for the murder, stating: “The killing was covered by the media around the world in a distorted way, as if it was a religiously motivated murder."

Further contributing to the case, he states: "The girl was not Muslim. All these [reports] are a provocation and fabricated news." as attributed to her Russian roots. While all media claims of Katya being stoned to death for violating Sharia law by participating in pageants have officially been slammed, the Chairman's defense reveals itself to only partially hold water. Sergei Reznikov, a senior policeman involved in the case, abolishes all claims against official intents surrounding the investigation by stating. "There is no other underlying reason, neither religious nor linked with inter-ethnic conflicts." as quoted by the Telegraph. Authorities, having no greater ties to hide between themselves and the suspect than the Chairman does, now reveals Koren as being brutally murdered by a crazed stalker. Identifying Bihal Gaziev as the psychologically troubled classmate who, according to reports, had developed a deeply “unhealthy” and “unrequited obsession” with Koren. Believed to have given Ms. Koren a ride on his moped, it was only her spurning of his advances that eventually lead to her possible rape, robbery and fatal beating with a rock.  Despite Gaziev's confessions to having fulfilled Sharia now been deemed a cynical ploy to deflect from his more accurate atrocities, this justified conclusion hasn't slowed the media down any. To the plethora of warmongers this Islam-o-phobic day & age, I declare this and my own personal testaments to follow, remaining best put by Mooneye of as thus:  "The question is rhetorical, and the tragic death of Koren at the hands of the crazy Bihal further highlights how right we were in asking the question. The double standard is evident. Surprisingly balanced (by their standards) reporting from the right wing Daily Mail. The comments however are as hateful and ignorant as usual."  Indeed, well met … apparently they missed the hearing of indisputable evidence, as follows:
  1. Katya was not a Muslim, but an Orthodox Christian.
  2. Bihal's only religious tie is being adopted by a Muslim man.
  3. Neither of them are religious or even familiar with attending a mosque, nor apparently even devout enough to know that the punishment for Katya's alleged religious crime being death-by-stoning isn’t sanctioned by Sharia Law.

My view on the entire scandal?  Nothing new on the spectrum of religious mania yet again at hypocritical odds. The lot of it … Cat calling the kettle black, much? And before the mob grabs their torches and pitchforks to come for me, I'll further add a mutual insult to egotistical injury by protesting as a Catholic woman born and raised ... posing yet more questions rightful in the asking: Was it not the great Church of England who birthed the Era of Witch Hunts, continued by the long-arm of the Roman Catholic Church to reach American soil and purge its colonies of all free-thinking and bewitchingly beautiful women???  Then again, what superstitious mind as the religious can claim to be free of such crimes?  As I stated to begin with, its all utterly irrelevant and thus the criminals continue to thrive off such ploys.  Here, just as then, the Facts remain Key … forever unspoiled by time and narrow-minded mentality. 

As many know, I recently embarked upon a video project and, apparently, not a moment too soon.  What all started as my first video contest entry, crafting a compilation video with footage to do justice to the "Taking Tea with Lady Grey" opus by Daniel J. Hay --needless to say -- resulted in a project bigger than I had originally perceived. Spawning into a video tribute of my own making and remix of audio just as hauntingly beautiful as the women paid homage with and for it.  Though it seemed strange to me, given I had no premeditated intentions for the tribute upon volunteering for the contest.  Still, swiftly it became a bit of a vision quest the likes of which kept me up nights even after it was already done and published. I recall only the potent feeling of the air being stiff around me that night.  And a strong impulse forbidding me to sleep without interference.  Now, after rousing that morning to the news on my computer screen, I feel I know why … and so this Blog was born.  All from the coincidental evoking the name of “The Grey Lady”.  Hell ... even J. K. Rowling, herself, couldn't help but acknowledge this in her Harry Potter series. Yet, through my love for research before embarking upon any endeavor, written and otherwise, I established that it goes well beyond the typical visuals of the spirit of a deceased woman of beauty and brilliance beyond compare.

Don't get me wrong, I love every bit of the idea that is Miss Helena Ravenclaw: the Ghostly mascot to the most intelligent houses of students ever to come-&-go from the academy of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. According to Rowling, she is "a highly intellectual young lady who never found true love, as she never found a man up to her standards".  Starting to sound familiar?  If not, it is revealed late in the series that the Grey Lady is daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, one of the Hogwarts founders. Upon dying Rowena Ravenclaw's wish to see her daughter again and so she sent for the Bloody Baron to look for her, knowing that he would not rest until he brought her back. However, she refused to come with him and, in a moment of blind rage, he killed her with a single stab wound to her chest. Overcome with remorse, the Bloody Baron killed himself using the same weapon in turn. If that isn't enough, perhaps other bells may be rung from other sources listed in the Vidcrafting blog for this video, the likes of which I also have used as inspiration. Such as, Janet Douglas  a.k.a. Lady Glamis … accused by King James V of Scotland of using witchcraft against him.  Although it was clear that the accusations were false, she was convicted of the crimes against her and was burned at the stake on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, with her young son forced to watch.  Today, supposedly a ghost which inhabits the castle, including its small chapel.  Though it seats 46 people, one is always reserved for the "Grey Lady", thought to be the spirit of Lady Glamis. According to the guides, the chapel is still used regularly for family functions, but regardless, no one is allowed to sit in that seat. While none of the aforementioned can truly be known for sure, the fact remains that the entire essence behind all legacies of The Grey Lady demands respect, and thus homage paid to any woman who humbly walks in her likeness. As I like to believe I was guided obliviously to have paid homage in my video as thus:

"A Woman. A Wife. A Mother. A Sister. A Daughter. A Friend. A Queen. A Goddess by all accounts, to which many an early nation has prayed and paid tribute to since the dawn of spirituality. Religion having little to do with it given during the age of Witch Hunts, many a woman like this were unjustly put to death for the crime of being simply what they were born to be ... babes of the wood and water.  Gorgeous creatures, "hauntingly" beautiful, who knew their own worth and let no man put them asunder. Pagan souls born from nature and thus shamelessly devoted themselves to it, dancing in the rain, under the moonlight, naked before the very beauty that had spawned them.” 

We all love them when we see them. Can you see them now? If you don't, you are a blind and hollow wretch – no more worthy of beholding them than them that brought about their deaths to date.  Still, they live on ... as does the Goddess in every woman.  For, like the Goddess, we live – not to compare to the one true God or his equal – but simply longing only to be nurtured, loved, cherished, and free to be all that we were born to be. Even in death. To such women who have come before and who will come even after I'm gone ... with this video ... I humbly pay tribute.