Because you can't handle the truth. We live in an odd world these days, and no day goes by without something contradictory happening. Or double standards occurring. The sheer lunacy of it all. Pointed out to you by yours truly. Enter the LoongTao!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Questions For The Ponderosa

Catchy, isn't it? I'm all for creating new definitions for old words. In this case, ponderosa are people who ponder, like myself. It's plural, of course. Singular would be ponderosan.

So today's questions involve geography. This is so fun.

Let's start with North and South America. Two continents separated by a small country called Panama. It also so happens to be halved by the Panama Canal. Although I don't know for sure they were separated before or after the Canal was built, so there is a case for a continent not necessarily being separated from others by water. But if Panama's canal divides North and South America, then what continent is Panama technically in? If it is one and not the other, how can that be? Unless we change Panama to be North Panama and South Panama, two separate countries. I mean hell, North and South Vietnam, North and South Korea are separate countries, but aren't separated by water. It certainly would be a first to have a country split in two, not just because of the Canal that runs through it, but because it also separates two continents! You heard it here first, folks.

Here's another. We have the European continent, which includes Russia, or also known as Eastern Europe, technically-speaking, but most don't refer to it as that. Maybe we could call Russia, the North East, because that's what they are. We have the Middle East, and the Far East, and even Southeast Asia. Although Japan is farther south than Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, ect., which are the ones considered Southeast Asia, but Japan is considered just Far East. Well, that is correct because it is farther east the the Southeast countries. How about the Phillipines? Far East, or Southeast Asia? Russia is over Asia and beside Europe. Why Europe and not Asia? Because Russians are not Asian. Makes sense. Another example of two continents NOT separated by water.

Back to the Middle and Far East. Now I've had this argument with a former associate from Pakistan and my neighbor, who thought he was a geographical expert because world maps and atlases were a hobby of his. But if you hear me out, while you may not agree, you have to admit it makes sense. And that's what the LoongTao is all about. Pointing out alternatives to the norm, that make sense, and hopefully changing history in the process.

Ok, I know Pakistan, to some, and most Pakistanis, is considered Far East. And so do atlases and maps. I don't and here's why. I also don't consider India the Far East, as well, which many might think is stretching a bit far. But if you think about it, Pakistan is above and to the left of India. Pakistan's neighbors are Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I classify Pakistan as Middle East, along with the others. Looks aren't everything, but in this case, a big part, along with their faith, which is Muslim, and their geograhical location. There's 3 different reasons right there.

India on the other hand, has a mix of Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhism. We all know Buddhism is divided up into various sects throughout the Far East (Tibetan, Chan for the chinese, and Shinto, rinzai and tendai for the Japanese), but the Hindu people are a completely different breed from Asian. If Buddhsim is the only tie that connects it the Far East, it's because all of the asian Buddhist sects started with a man named Boddhidarma, a hindu priest, who ventured east and trained a sickly group of monks in China, who eventually came to be known as Shaolin. He taught them how to meditate, breath correctly, and defend themselves, using techniques that resembled the movements of five animals, dragon, tiger, crane, panther and snake. The shaolin then continued with more animals and the rest is history, except that now India is considered Far East. (Notice to cat lovers: two of the five animal styles are cats. Yeeaaahhh)

So what would you call India? How about the Central East. Pakistan would go under Middle East. Russia would go under North East. And the former Russian republics would go to Eastern Europe. Or, Europe, in general.

If it's all about geography, then it should be about where all of them are situated. Whatever religion or faith you are, or whatever country you're fighting with over borders, is a moot point.

Take Kashmere. Now there's a can of worms. Both Pakistan and India lay claim to it. And they've been fighting over it forever. But if you take out the faith and appearance factor, and concentrate on just it's geographical location, where would you put it? Could it be Middle East - it's east of Pakistan. Could it be Central East - it's north of India. Could it be European - it's south of Europe. My god, what do we do with Kashmere?

Divide and conquer. If you can't fit in, you don't belong. (LOL - not to be taken seriously, folks.)


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