Wednesday, 27 May 2009

There is Manifest Beauty in Simply Being.

I just read a very well written and thought provoking piece by a fellow blogger entitled 'The mysterious Avoidance of Philosophy in American Schools,' and it got me thinking.

The writer in the blog in question read Alan Watts for the first time when she was 18 and as a result saw the world differently.

The awakening she experienced with Mr Watts was akin to myself, when I first read 'The Tibet Book of Living and Dying.'

I too started to look at things in a different light and question what I had always perceived to be real - all there is. The whole business was indeed an eye opener, and something that required further investigation.

Being educated in the West only teaches the existence of duality, and it's unwavering commitment to rational thought. We are only here on this tiny planet for a infinitesimal period of time, thus to say one understands 'life' as we know it; is to show an arrogance that I can't comprehend.

For when when one looks at a great piece of art or stands on top of a mountain and gets that feeling that there is more to all of this than form, that we are connected and interconnected to the greater scheme of things; the duality that we once held close to our hearts fades away into nothingness.

Essentially though, this only happens for a short period of time, then the 'thinker' and the 'doer' come back into play, and the separation from the nature of reality steamrollers on with it's desires, expectations and frustrations.

It really would be proper if the education system in the West made provision for the teaching of some basic Eastern philosophy, as it would give many people a chance to see life in a way that they had never imagined.

There is more to life that rationality and definite conclusions.

I think everyone deserves that chance to see themselves without the shackles of a pronoun and battle with the idea that the mind itself creates our reality, nothing else.

'I think therefore I am not,' as the dictum so imperiously states.


Friday, 15 May 2009

In the Name of Justice (2007)


**** Disc One ****
- Mexico - a country rich in oil resources but heavily influenced by the policies and politics of its near neighbour, the USA. In a country dominated by the thought that the revolution is only half over, is Mexico a potential Iran on American doorsteps?

- John Pilger investigates how product marketing techniques used in advertising are applied to politics, specifically the US Presidential campaign in the mid- 1970s. In doing so he uncovers the spin doctors at work and witnesses how they can make less-than deserving presidential candidates into frontrunners through reworking their public image.

- Due to the damming and changing of the water flow from two lakes in the Nevada desert to accommodate white settlers, the Pyramid Lake Paiute reservation is on the verge of extinction. With Lake Winemucca already dead and Pyramid Lake dying, the Paiutes have to resort to legal remedies to survive.

**** Disc Two ****
- John Pilger investigates the Czech Underground and interviews members of the group known as the Charter 77 Movement. Outlawed by the then-incumbent Government's oppressive regime, the Charter 77 activists were denounced as traitors and renegades.

- John Pilger was one of the last journalists to leave Vietnam at the end of the war. Three years later, he returned to examine the state of the country under the new regime.

- Nearly twenty years after making his "Do You remember Vietnam?" documentary, and with the embargoes on that country lifted by President Clinton, Pilger returned to Vietnam to review those two decades. He investigates the scandal of cheap labour and the Hollywood-isation of the war.

**** Disc Three ****
- An examination of the propaganda and policy surrounding the nuclear arms race - from the initial nuclear detonations over Japan to the stockpiling of arms by world superpowers. It also looks at the way "official truth" is used to condition the public against the real facts of a nuclear war.

- Denied a sense of nationalism since World War Two, Japanese society slowly re-established itself as a 'corporate society'. This documentary reports on the contrast between the popular image and stereotypes of Japan and the actuality of the lives of ordinary people who do not fit the image.

- Banned in the sixties by South Africa's oppressive apartheid regime, John Pilger returns to the country to examine the benefits of democracy. He interviews Nelson Mandela and tries to uncover to what extent the black majority has benefited under the new regime.

**** Disc Four ****
- First of a three-part documentary on the history of Australia's development over the last two centuries. This first show examines the plight of the Aborigines whose land was stolen by British settlers and who are still seeking justice.

- An investigation into the massive racial inequalities in the Australian society between the native Aborigines and the whites. It also examines the massacre of thousands of its indigenous peoples.

- This third and last part looks at the relationship Australians have with war, often engaging in conflicts that pose no threat to their country.

John Pilger is a well-known journalist (twice named British journalist of the year and recipient of UN Media Peace Prize) whose stories - whether it's in the form of documentaries, books or articles - are always told from the perspective of the poor and suffering people of the world. He brings up issues that mainstream media won't even touch. His works are very serious, there is nothing "conspiratorial" about them, and if you have not yet read or seen anything by him, now is a great opportunity.


Thursday, 14 May 2009

Collision - Sneak Peak

COLLISION - 13 min VIMEO Exclusive Sneak Peek from Collision Movie on Vimeo.

A preacher and an atheist walk into a bar....

You've read the book. You've seen the stage play. Now get ready for the movie. This is a sneak peak trailer of the first 13 minutes of Darren Doane's forthcoming documentary Collision. The film follows renowned author and anti-theist Christopher Hitchens and Pastor Douglas Wilson as they debate the topic: "Is Christianity Good For The World?"

You boys know the rules. There will be no punching after the bell, no hits below the belt, and absolutely no mixing of epistemology with ontology. And the contest will be decided on the basis of three falls from grace, three moral submissions, or a knockout.

Are you as excited as I am?

Of course you are.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Some Exceptionally Scary Music

This has to go down as some of the scariest music of all time.

Sit down, get settled, and switch this mother as loud as possible.

Make sure you are not of a weak disposition, or this magnificent musical score might just send you over the edge!

Dark images and twisted delusions await.


Monday, 11 May 2009

Literature, Music and Poety floating my boat.

Fantastic poetry review of immense British-Indian poet's recent reading in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Music to watch out for:

Great new Nick Laird novel:

Enjoy the links.

Feedback welcome.


Thursday, 7 May 2009

Vermeer-Women Holding a Balance (1664)

This painting has it all in my opinion. It invokes feeling of serenity, peace and harmonious oneness. The figure looks perfectly at peace, not quite with the viewer, but in a place of blissful content. She is holding sales symbolising the importance of balance in life; with her scales almost perfectly balanced she has found that equilibrium. The woman's clothes cast up comparisons with the Virgin Mary and the light from the window conjures up spiritual imagery with its soft, yet deliberate presence. The point where the woman is holding the scales seems to be the exact centre point of the painting, again giving the viewer an expression of balance and togetherness; at one with her surrounds and content in her being.

Do any of my fellow bloggers have an opinion on this highly evocative painting?


Monday, 4 May 2009


Down stucco sidestreets,

Where light is pewter

And afternoon mist

Brings lights on in shops

Above race-guides and rosaries,

A funeral passes.The hearse is ahead,

But after there follows

A troop of streetwalkers

In wide flowered hats,

Leg-of-mutton sleeves,

And ankle-length dresses.There is an air of great friendliness,

As if they were honouring

One they were fond of;

Some caper a few steps,

Skirts held skilfully

(Someone claps time),And of great sadness also.

As they wend away

A voice is heard singing

Of Kitty, or Katy,

As if the name meant once

All love, all beauty.

Philip Larkin

Albums of the Month (April 09)

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead- Worlds Apart (2005)

- (Rock/Progressive Rock/ Post Hardcore/ Early Emo sound)

This is an album that will stretch your musical limits, as well as tickling the taste buds of the ear. It is a colossus of an album; a massive, sweeping piece of musical maturity from Austin, Texas. At the time of its release some critics lamented the bands demise and denounced the album as a discombobulated mish-mash of pretentious, art-school noodlings - another album that tried a too hard to be 'epic.' I stand in deviant ambivalence to criticism of this album, with two fingers raised firmly in the air; and smirk so belligerent that would make Christopher Hitchens look positively anemic. This is a marvelous album that is highly recommended to all who want a record to play with, not just to listen to. It's vast oceans of musical depth can be quickly navigated, leaving one with a head full of killer hooks and tunes so addictive, that one will be singing in the shower like a true rock star.