May 27th, 2013

happy girl

I am so exhausted.

Woke up at 9.30 a.m. Wanted to wake up at 8 a.m. but simply couldn't do it. Reached the library at 10.45 a.m. Left the library at 11.30 p.m.

I feel like I have not enough time to do everything that I have to do to get the thing that I want. It is highly alarming that I am reading things for the first time when I am supposed to be revising.

It's 2.16 a.m. I don't know how I'm gonna make myself wake up at 9 later on. I'm so tired.


Finally finished with Terrorism after about two whole weeks. Decided to do the topic on Definitions which I wanted to skip 'cause I found it boring; then the Woolwich murder happened, and David Cameron called it a terrorist attack, and I began to see links in my head, and I decided that it might pay off in the end to study this topic if I can link it to Woolwich somehow.

I say 'somehow' because the links in my head are not yet fully formed. There is a clearly a problem with the lack of an agreed definition of terrorism on the international level, or even philosophically, and Cameron and the media calling the murder 'terrorism'. The latter seems to suggest that the decisive trait in an act of violence is the political message it intends to convey, which is all well and good, but there is something rather counter-intuitive about putting the Woolwich murder in the same category as September 11. The only thing that these two events have in common is that the perpetrators are Muslims who acted, in their minds, "in the name of Islam".

Of course, a wide definition would catch both events - something along the lines of an act of political violence intended to cause terror in a population (or parts of it) in order to (unduly?) coerce a government (or international organisation) into taking a course of action which it would otherwise not take. It would not care about the actual impact of the attack in terms of the number of lives lost; it would not concern itself with the organisation, or lack thereof, of the attackers. But a wide definition is also liable to abuse, and the current absence of a definition allows the word 'terrorism' to be used by politicians to further delegitimise the aims of their "enemies" while allowing themselves to get away with acts of violence that arguably and plausibly pursue the same kind of aims as those of their enemies, and arguably on a much greater and morally culpable scale.

It strikes me as somewhat disingenuous to call the Woolwich murder a terror attack in a world where the US gets away with violating the rights to life of civilians in Pakistan and even their own citizens and avoid the terrorist label. The double standards are simply staggering. I cannot help but agree with Glenn Greenwald who wrote in The Guardian, 'It is very hard to escape the conclusion that, operationally, the term has no real definition at this point beyond "violence engaged in by Muslims in retaliation against western violence toward Muslims".'

It has no real definition anyway apart from statutory definitions in domestic anti-terrorism statutes. I think the murder probably satisfies the elements of the offence of terrorism under the UK Terrorism Act (I should know this, but yes) but it does not make it less ridiculous. This was a clear-cut murder, and the only reason it has been slapped with the 'terrorism' label is because the murderer sprouted something that sounded like Islamic fundamentalism after the fact. Clearly, then, the word 'terrorism' is only what the governing elites say it is - which then begs the question of whether an international definition would even be helpful. It may make political leaders look stupid when they call acts of violence that don't fall within the definition 'terrorism', but that is assuming that the international definition would be narrow enough to truly capture the essence of terrorism...whatever that is.


My dad asked me whether the murder took place near where I live. I replied, "I've never even heard of the place."

My mom then said, "London is a very dangerous place to live in."

My parents are funny.


I've been eating out almost every single meal the past few weeks. I'm not home to cook, and when I'm home I can't really be fucked to cook so I just make a salad. My fridge contains expired milk, expired crabsticks, probably expired genovese pesto sauce, some cheese, some cous cous that I wonder if is still edible, and two bottles of beer. Too lazy to clear it.

I have to make myself sleep early and get up at 7.30 a.m. because I have two 10 a.m. exams. WHAT. A. DRAG. I wonder if I should drink coffee when I go for those exams. It will wake me up, but I'm not sure if it will wake me up too much.

Fuck, I am so scared. I literally cannot breathe sometimes when I think about taking the exams, and so I don't think about it and try to focus on putting knowledge into my head instead. I decided to do Foucault, Negri and Derrida for the Lent Term half of Jurisprudence instead of going the safe route and choosing Habermas, because there are 3 seminars on Habermas and 1 seminar each on Foucault, Negri and Derrida; I did my formative essay on Negri and Derrida and got a distinction which menas I got something more or less right; and Habermas is simply too complex for me to even attempt to explain in the span of a 1,000-word essay written in one hour. I'm writing on him for the 8,000-word essay which I would find easier, somehow.

More importantly, Habermas is a bit too conventional, especially compared to Foucault who is a total mindfuck. I can see Foucault's influence in Negri's theory of constituent power as something that is not institutionalised when I read the passage where he talked about power. Suffice it to say that his conception of power is the anti- of everything that is conventionally understood by that word.

Too tired to elaborate. I really have to go to bed.


I think I should have studied philosophy instead of law. But doing legal philosophy is a nice compromise anyway.