Catch the Wind (1965) – Donovan

This song like any other entered my prepubescent teen hood like they all do, but none other besides ‘Catch the Wind‘ was as powerful on my psyche or upon how I should orientate myself like ‘Catch The Wind‘. I wrote in my article ‘The Wonder Years and ‘Catch The Wind’’ how this song led me to getting into Dylan by accident.

I just want to declare outright that I think this is one of the greatest songs every written. But, it is hardly heard commercially or in any place for that matter. It seems almost sacrilegious how this song isn’t mainstream. I will never understand that. There is also scant written about it in wikipedia.

Donovan, I suppose is the only person who can write about how he did it. And if anyone can contribute about how Donovan did it; I am all ears.

If I had to pick out of all songs on earth to show an extraterrestrial being, what ‘song’ means to us homo-sapiens ‘Catch The Wind’ is what I would probably go with.

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Posted in Music

The Hugh Jackman Interview on the Tim Ferriss podcast

Yesterday morning I was trying to spice things up a bit by changing my morning routine. We are in strict quarantine here in Bogotá, Colombia, and my sector will be in it until the 18th of January. We have been in a quarantine of sorts since the Pandemic started so confined to our homes is nothing new. Perhaps many of you can relate to that.

Anyhows, the following video of Hugh Jackman interview appeared in my feed and Tim Ferriss the interviewer praised it highly and I thought what the hell, may be I can learn something. I hadn’t watched any of Jackman’s XMEN movies or his most recent Greatest Show on Earth. I enjoyed and admired seeing him present the Oscars. I thought at that time although his movies don’t do it for me, this guy obviously has talent.

Straight after the interview I messaged my brother in Australia that he should do himself a favour and watch it, although he is much more Hugh than me! I found Jackman’s insights about his past, family and career utterly fascinating. I wanted to jot down his pointers about how he has invigorated not only his marriage, but his career and personal well-being. Perhaps the most illuminating part was how he learnt to incorporate from his strict religious upbringing the profound messages of his father who became born-again because of a Billy Graham event.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mi-nana-y-mama.jpg

Although it seems apparent Jackman isn’t a traditionally religious person now, his illuminating comments about how the stories and archetypes from the Bible have paved the way for him to strive and enact on the messages to become a better person are profound to say the least. I can relate to it, because my Grandmother (photo inset) Dorothy Walton was traditionally religious and played piano at church gatherings and participated more in Church than what one might consider healthy these days in secular-vile. She remains one if not my greatest inspiration because of how she ‘acted’ and not what she said and Jackman’s reflections about his father seem to align with this.

This way of living seems to reflect also with what Jordan Peterson said when he was posed countless times about his belief in God. He said, ‘I act as God exists’ and I wrote a post on this. The irony is Jesus was just as elusive in the gospels when asked similar questions about his divinity by mainly those wanting to trap him. I think Peterson’s answer is deftly nuanced and is in harmony with his Logos interpretation. I think the conversation with Jackman here testifies to that ‘whole’ narrative.

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Posted in Movies and TV, politics, Reflections

Reactions to the ‘Christopher Hitchens on Big Tech Censorship’ DarkHorse Clip

Years before I encountered the erudite discussions of the Weinsteins or any of the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) participants, I was drawn to watching presentations by the 4 Horseman – the almost now defunct Atheist counter culture-culture phenomenon. What drew me to them wasn’t so much their arguments for Atheism, rather their temerity in asking the ‘no-go-to’ questions and challenging archaic world-view concepts. They were in effect a precursor and/or laid the ground for the IDW movement by creating a tsunami of radical ‘centrist’ thinking which continues to have ripple effects to this day. Christopher Hitchen’s was the counter culture and devil’s advocate who IDW member’s still hold in great esteem because his opinions are as relevant now considering the polarising political climate we find ourselves sequestered. The comments by the Weinsteins in the video above is one such example.

I mentioned the term ‘centrist’ above because it seems to aptly describe not only what Hitchens expressed but what the ‘fictional’ IDW believe in general. They always try to meet somewhere in the middle of the polarising political debate and challenge the raging ideas fought out by the left and right in the political spectrum. The searching algorithms of Google, Facebook and other big Techs in today’s social media climate essentially force people into political identity and ideological boxes of thinking. What the ideas espoused by the 4 Horsemen and IDW do is challenge both sides and expose the ineptness and partiality of the algorithmic AI that the big techs use to keep you clicking.

What is so frustrating about what the Big Techs are doing is it aligns with what the enemies of Western Culture are purported to have attempted and seemingly currently doing to disrupt our sanctuary of common ideal ‘unity’ which I wrote about here in the Future of War article. As clearly demonstrated in the article and specifically the video within – The US Government and its allies knew what was coming and where we were headed with Social Media polarisation and now with COVID and the ensuing draconian measures implemented by our governments and municipalities we are evidently losing the Cyber / Biological war to our enemies.

As I have argued in other articles, the Centrist – counter polarisation ideas have been made inoperative by these ‘woke’ Big Tech giants who stand-by enforcing their vague ‘community’ guidelines. So the middle ground as it were is either unheard or slandered as ALT RIGHT propaganda because it doesn’t pander to the ‘Great Reset’ woke movement. Our Governments are indulging in this as well, because they aim to be responsibly accountable first and foremost, not realising by doing so they are exacerbating the problem which was instigated against our societies in the first place.

Despite this informative presentation by the Weinsteins about the perilous track the Big Techs have us, there is an extant I think we need to consider. This problem about the Big Tech stranglehold on our communication should be a legal or statutory matter where the Courts and Government need to step in and curtail private corporation monopolisation of information on the Internet.

Google and Facebook are private corporations and can do what they damn well please when it comes to which information they allow published on their platforms, however they purport to be open community spaces which is a dichotomy if ever there was one. It’s dishonest and misleading. The free public space which was the Internet is being gutted by three things and creating dangerous polarization and division every wherever you look.

1. A asinine public who can’t see they are being duped.
2. Multinational privatization and censorship of Information on the net
3. Government and Statutory bodies not enforcing freedom of information and expression on the Internet and turning a blind eye to monopolization by Big Corp.

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Posted in politics

The Top 5 Observation Blogger Posts celebrating Christmas

Let’s be honest, it has been a wretched year for most. I admit I am ordinarily a Scrooge come XMAS, but this year more than any other I truly, madly deeply want to celebrate this Christmas in all its glory. To bring back some semblance of normality and tradition to this crazy life of 2020, this is my attempt to focus on what Christmas really means, and by sharing it I hope I can undo the parts of Scrooge in me and foster in others the aspiration to do the same. Merry XMAS everyone!
(You can click on any of the images below to get direct contact to the source)

No 1. Do You Believe in Santa Claus?

People have often asked me (especially around this time of year) if I believe in Santa Claus… and I don’t like that question because it’s an attempt to box me up, to put a bow on me in a sense. It’s like, what do you mean, “believe”? We know what Santa looks like. We know what he sounds like. We know how he behaves. We put up pictures and statues of him. We even make offerings to him! (Read entire article)

No 2. Confirmed by mother no less, David Hobson is the greatest singer at Australian Christmas carols.

My favourite Christmas carol ‘O Holy Night’ sung by my favourite Christmas carol singer David Hobson

No 3. The Small One – A Christmas Story (Bing Crosby)

To celebrate this year’s Christmas festivities I would like to present a narration by Bing Crosby of a moving Christmas story called The Small One. I loved listening to this as a child around Christmas time. It was on the same LP (image above) as Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Happy Prince‘ which I posted about in May this year.

No 4 How I always knew Bob Dylan was a ‘Little Boy Drummer’ fan.

Years ago as I awaited my Santa Claus delivery in earnest, I often wondered if Dylan like me was a closet ‘Little Drummer Boy’ fan. Much of Dylan’s music was probably inspired by that song. Why? Because Little drummer boy had the hallmarks of a great Dylan Christmas track if there ever was one. Then low and behold Dylan releases his own exquisite Drummer Boy rendition on his XMAS album.

No 5. The Last Words – “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”

Every new day, every passing minute presents another chance to turn it all around. As Nirvair Singh Khalsa said ‘it’s not the life you lead, but the courage you bring to it’.

The individual is supreme. The divinity of the individual is sacred. In essence it is only the individual who has the moral responsibility and conviction to harness the courage. We are ‘Jesus’ alone in the Mount of Olives. We can’t rely on anyone. There is noone else, because Jesus even felt God had abandoned him in his darkest moment.

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Carrying a Torch (1991) – Van Morrison

Carrying a Torch is the second song to feature from Van Morrison in this music library project, but it is my favourite song I’ve heard from him. It’s one for the ages at least as far as I would rate it because it is an epic and anthemic track. The slow build up and climatic closing and its strong emotive tune and serious feeling floors me every-time I hear it. I regret I don’t know how I came across it, and I came to it late as a listener probably from hearing it featured from one of you good folks I follow here.

Carrying a Torch is from Morrison’s Hymns to the Silence album as captured above. Rolling Stone magazine reviewer Elysa Gardner thought similarly to me; praising the song, describing it better than I ever could: “has the makings of a classic, with a stately chorus and shining verses that tie the flesh to the spirit”:

‘You’re the keeper of the flame
And you burn so bright
Baby why don’t we re-connect
Move into the light’.

The song didn’t feature on the charts except as a duet with Tom Jones. Their version of the song was released as a single and charted at No. 57 in 1991 in the UK. This collaboration came about when Morrison showed his newly written song “Carrying a Torch” to Jones, who was “so impressed that he invited Morrison to play on his new record”.

I’m afraid I am unfamiliar with a lot of Morrison’s catalogue of music but I can’t help but admire his talent especially as a somewhat ‘Born to Kill’ singer. You can’t teach what he has. Much of his music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B. He was knighted in Northern Ireland for his services to the music industry. The young Morrison grew up listening to artists such as Jelly Roll Morton, Ray Charles, Lead Belly, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Solomon Burke; of whom he later said, “If it weren’t for guys like Ray and Solomon, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Those guys were the inspiration that got me going. If it wasn’t for that kind of music, I couldn’t do what I’m doing now.”

I always liked watching Morrison and Bob Dylan jamming on their acoustics looking over famous Greek monuments in Athens where the ancients believed the muses lived. Also his inclusion on The Band’s Last Waltz was a master-stroke decision and its great we have that live event of Morrison ‘killing it’ to cherish. Oh and by the way – how this song Carrying a Torch has just 500k clicks below is anyone’s guess:

Posted in Uncategorized

God’s place in our future (Brave New World) – Aldous Huxley

‘Open Your Eyes Little One’

This week in Wednesday’s literature piece we continue our exploration of one the 20th Century’s great Dystopian novels Brave New World (BNW). This week’s excerpt comes from the same philosophical argument John and Mustapha Mond were having the last time we visited this book, but this time the topic is the role of God in the ‘controlled’ society. The previous extract examined a worldview I argued was congruous with what the new ethics movement seemingly has in store for us.

Huxley’s comments on religion in his numerous works have drawn much criticism basically because his attempts to reconcile religion with philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, and government were difficult to grasp. It could be said he was an agnostic, but it may be more accurate to describe him as a sceptic. He saw the potential value of the arts, education, government, love, nature, and science as ways to a better life, but he criticized those who regarded these means as ends in themselves. But like John (the Savage) in his ensuing argument with Mustapha Mond in BNW, he too is left despondent about how to argue God’s place in the society:

Mustapha Mond – “…you know all about God, I suppose.”
John: “Well …” The Savage hesitated. He would have liked to say something about solitude, about night, about the mesa lying pale under the moon, about the precipice, the plunge into shadowy darkness, about death. He would have liked to speak; but there were no words. Not even in Shakespeare.

What is evident from their argument below is the danger of ceasing with the notion and knowledge of God in society and developing ‘pure secularism’. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (God is Dead) and his student Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung also forewarned that societies striving for ‘Utopian’ secularism based on political ideology or rational-materialist values and morals could lead to unrivalled destruction and mayhem. And that’s precisely what occurred in the 20th century under Stalin in the Soviet Union and Maoist China, not to mention the other numerous countries where this experiment was introduced with horrendous consequences most notably in Latin America.

Once again this excerpt like most of the book’s contents (including the previous excerpt on this blog) seems to be Huxley’s forewarning about the consequences of a controlled ‘Utopian’ society having its way including doing away with archetypes, history, religious faith, art and independent science. Personally it is disturbing to see how much content in this book seems analogous to what is happening right now in the Western World as the postmodern – ethics movement driven by the Press, Hollywood, Major Corporations, Government and Education institutions is reformulating society as we know it under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic and this thing called ‘The Great Reset‘ driven by the globalists. I wish it were just a crazy conspiracy theory, but its not.

So below is today’s excerpt from Brave New World which I titled here ‘God’s Place in Our future‘ because the discussion seems to align with how our secular societies are headed and how they dismiss the role of God and religious faith in their narratives and future aspirations. Interestingly you can see Huxley wrestling with his own understanding of God throughout – comparative to Dostoevsky in Crime and Punishment. Huxley makes his antagonists as powerful and convincing as his protagonists and that couldn’t be better demonstrated than it is here. This excerpt is long and goes to places rarely encroached. So I would recommend you brew the coffee and set yourself nicely up for a wild philosophical ride.

ART, SCIENCE–you seem to have paid a fairly high price for your happiness,” said the Savage, when they were alone.“Anything else?”

“Well, religion, of course,” replied the Controller. “There used to be something called God–before the Nine Years’ War. But I was forgetting; you know all about God, I suppose.”

“Well …” The Savage hesitated. He would have liked to say something about solitude, about night, about the mesa lying pale under the moon, about the precipice, the plunge into shadowy darkness, about death. He would have liked to speak; but there were no words. Not even in Shakespeare…..

Mustapha Mond – “God in the safe and Ford on the shelves.” He pointed with a laugh to his avowed library–to the shelves of books, the rack full of reading-machine bobbins and sound-trackrolls.

“But if you know about God, why don’t you tell them?” asked the Savage indignantly. “Why don’t you give them these books about God?”

“For the same reason as we don’t give them Othello: they’re old; they’re about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now.”

“But God doesn’t change.”“Men do, though.”“What difference does that make?”

“All the difference in the world,” said Mustapha Mond…..

Mustapha Mond – “There was a man called Cardinal Newman,” he said. “A cardinal,” he exclaimed parenthetically, “was a kind of Arch-Community-Songster.”

“‘I Pandulph, of fair Milan, cardinal.’ I’ve read about them in Shakespeare.”

“Of course you have. Well, as I was saying, there was a man called Cardinal Newman. Ah, here’s the book.” He pulled it out. “And while I’m about it I’ll take this one too. It’s by a man called Maine de Biran. He was a philosopher, if you know what that was.”

“A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth,” said the Savage promptly.

“Quite so. I’ll read you one of the things he did dream of in a moment. Meanwhile, listen to what this old Arch-Com-munity-Songster said.” He opened the book at the placemarked by a slip of paper and began to read. “‘We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters. We are God’s property. Is it not our happiness thus to view the matter? Is it any happiness or any comfort, to consider that we are our own? It may be thought so by the young and prosperous. These may think it a great thing to have everything, as they suppose, their own way–to depend on no one–to have to think of nothing out of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment,continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will of another. But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man–that it is an un-natural state–will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end …’” Mustapha Mond paused…..

Mustapha Mond – “‘A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort,which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus,imagines himself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that this distressing condition is due to some particular cause,from which, as from an illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness is old age; and a horrible disease itis. They say that it is the fear of death and of what comes afterdeath that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years.But my own experience has given me the conviction that,quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop be-cause, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; where upon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees,turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us…

“But all the same,” insisted the Savage, “it is natural to believe in God when you’re alone–quite alone, in the night, thinking about death …”

“But people never are alone now,” said Mustapha Mond. “We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it’s almost impossible for them ever to have it.”

The Savage nodded gloomily. At Malpais he had suffered because they had shut him out from the communal activities of the pueblo, in civilized London he was suffering because he could never escape from those communal activities, never be quietly alone.

“Do you remember that bit in King Lear?” said the Savage at last. “‘The gods are just and of our pleasant vices make instruments to plague us; the dark and vicious place where thee he got cost him his eyes,’ and Edmund answers–you re-member, he’s wounded, he’s dying–’Thou hast spoken right;’ tis true. The wheel has come full circle; I am here.’ What about that now? Doesn’t there seem to be a God managing things, punishing, rewarding?”

“Well, does there?” questioned the Controller in his turn. “You can indulge in any number of pleasant vices with afree martin and run no risks of having your eyes put out by your son’s mistress. ‘The wheel has come full circle; I am here.’ But where would Edmund be nowadays? Sitting in a pneumatic chair, with his arm round a girl’s waist, sucking away at his sex-hormone chewing-gum and looking at the feelies. The gods are just. No doubt. But their code of law is dictated, in the last resort, by the people who organize society; Providence takes its cue from men.”

ART, SCIENCE–you seem to have paid a fairly high price for your happiness,” said the Savage, when they were alone.“Anything else?”

“Well, religion, of course,” replied the Controller. “There used to be something called God–before the Nine Years’ War. But I was forgetting; you know all about God, I suppose.”

“Well …” The Savage hesitated. He would have liked to say something about solitude, about night, about the mesa lying pale under the moon, about the precipice, the plunge into shadowy darkness, about death. He would have liked to speak; but there were no words. Not even in Shakespeare…..

Mustapha Mond – “God in the safe and Ford on the shelves.” He pointed with a laugh to his avowed library–to the shelves of books, the rack full of reading-machine bobbins and sound-trackrolls.

“But if you know about God, why don’t you tell them?” asked the Savage indignantly. “Why don’t you give them these books about God?”

“For the same reason as we don’t give them Othello: they’re old; they’re about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now.”

“But God doesn’t change.”“Men do, though.”“What difference does that make?”

“All the difference in the world,” said Mustapha Mond…..

Mustapha Mond – “There was a man called Cardinal Newman,” he said. “A cardinal,” he exclaimed parenthetically, “was a kind of Arch-Community-Songster.”

“‘I Pandulph, of fair Milan, cardinal.’ I’ve read about them in Shakespeare.”

“Of course you have. Well, as I was saying, there was a man called Cardinal Newman. Ah, here’s the book.” He pulled it out. “And while I’m about it I’ll take this one too. It’s by a man called Maine de Biran. He was a philosopher, if you know what that was.”

“A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth,” said the Savage promptly.

“Quite so. I’ll read you one of the things he did dream of in a moment. Meanwhile, listen to what this old Arch-Com-munity-Songster said.” He opened the book at the placemarked by a slip of paper and began to read. “‘We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters. We are God’s property. Is it not our happiness thus to view the matter? Is it any happiness or any comfort, to consider that we are our own? It may be thought so by the young and prosperous. These may think it a great thing to have everything, as they suppose, their own way–to depend on no one–to have to think of nothing out of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment,continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will of another. But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man–that it is an un-natural state–will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end …’” Mustapha Mond paused…..

Mustapha Mond – “‘A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort,which accompanies the advance of age; and, feeling thus,imagines himself merely sick, lulling his fears with the notion that this distressing condition is due to some particular cause,from which, as from an illness, he hopes to recover. Vain imaginings! That sickness is old age; and a horrible disease itis. They say that it is the fear of death and of what comes afterdeath that makes men turn to religion as they advance in years.But my own experience has given me the conviction that,quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop be-cause, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; where upon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees,turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us…

“But all the same,” insisted the Savage, “it is natural to believe in God when you’re alone–quite alone, in the night, thinking about death …”

“But people never are alone now,” said Mustapha Mond. “We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it’s almost impossible for them ever to have it.”

The Savage nodded gloomily. At Malpais he had suffered because they had shut him out from the communal activities of the pueblo, in civilized London he was suffering because he could never escape from those communal activities, never be quietly alone.

“Do you remember that bit in King Lear?” said the Savage at last. “‘The gods are just and of our pleasant vices make instruments to plague us; the dark and vicious place where thee he got cost him his eyes,’ and Edmund answers–you re-member, he’s wounded, he’s dying–’Thou hast spoken right;’ tis true. The wheel has come full circle; I am here.’ What about that now? Doesn’t there seem to be a God managing things, punishing, rewarding?”

“Well, does there?” questioned the Controller in his turn. “You can indulge in any number of pleasant vices with afree martin and run no risks of having your eyes put out by your son’s mistress. ‘The wheel has come full circle; I am here.’ But where would Edmund be nowadays? Sitting in a pneumatic chair, with his arm round a girl’s waist, sucking away at his sex-hormone chewing-gum and looking at the feelies. The gods are just. No doubt. But their code of law is dictated, in the last resort, by the people who organize society; Providence takes its cue from men.”

“Are you sure?” asked the Savage. “Are you quite sure that the Edmund in that pneumatic chair hasn’t been just as heavily punished as the Edmund who’s wounded and bleeding to death? The gods are just. Haven’t they used his pleasant vices as an instrument to degrade him?”

“Degrade him from what position? As a happy, hard-working, goods-consuming citizen he’s perfect. Of course, if you choose some other standard than ours, then perhaps you might say he was degraded. But you’ve got to stick to one set of postulates. You can’t play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble-puppy.”

“But value dwells not in particular will,” said the Savage. “It holds his estimate and dignity as well wherein ’tis precious of itself as in the prizer.”

“Come, come,” protested Mustapha Mond, “that’s going rather far, isn’t it?”“If you allowed yourselves to think of God, you wouldn’t allow yourselves to be degraded by pleasant vices. You’d have a reason for bearing things patiently, for doing things with courage. I’ve seen it with the Indians.”

“l’m sure you have,” said Mustapha Mond. “But then we aren’t Indians. There isn’t any need for a civilized man to bear anything that’s seriously unpleasant.

And as for doing things – Ford forbid that he should get the idea into his head. It would upset the whole social order if men started doing things on their own.”

“What about self-denial, then? If you had a God, you’d have a reason for self-denial.”

“But industrial civilization is only possible when there’s no self-denial. Self-indulgence up to the very limits imposed by hygiene and economics. Otherwise the wheels stop turning.”

“You’d have a reason for chastity!” said the Savage, blushing a little as he spoke the words.“But chastity means passion, chastity means neurasthenia. And passion and neurasthenia mean instability. And instability means the end of civilization. You can’t have a lasting civilization without plenty of pleasant vices.”

“But God’s the reason for everything noble and fine and heroic. If you had a God …”

“My dear young friend,” said Mustapha Mond, “civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars,where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or de-fended–there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense.

References:
1. Aldous Huxley’s Quest For Values – Religion – Scraps From The Loft

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Posted in Reading

Carry You Home (2008) – James Blunt

James Blunt 2008

This is the second song to feature in this music library from James Blunt. As I detailed in an earlier post I have always had a penchant for James because he’s an ex military officer like me. Unlike James I didn’t see actual war-time, but this song seems to encapsulate what it must have been like to lose someone close in war-time, but its speculative if that is what the song is about. I always assumed it was about a woman lost in his group. As others have said from seeing an interview with James, ‘It was concerning a female US soldier he personally knew that died in Kosovo and he became quite emotive about it when pressed and wouldn’t elaborate further….’

As already alluded, it would appear based on the song it was his friend, a female soldier. And she was dying, he wept over her dying body that he promised to take her back to New York to her Parents, and he did. It could also be interpreted as the story of a girl dying from cancer. “Trouble” would be cancer, back again. “Makes her body older” because she gets weaker. “She says its high time she went away”, she know she’s going to die. The only way is down. Or it could be about someone suffering from depression. The list is endless.

There is very little written about this song’s origins from the songwriters perspective. If the video is anything to go by, the video for the song is shot entirely in black and white and shows the story of a man travelling to return personal belongings of a dead soldier to the soldier’s wife. The combat scene in the music video below was shot at Bovington Camp, where Blunt had been stationed during his service in the British Army, and features soldiers from the camp.

Despite its unknown origens, the song above all captures a great deal which is relatable to many knowns of suffering and the loss incurred.

Posted in Uncategorized

7/12 – 13/12/20 incl. Vaccines, Typewriters and the Past

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Video podcast at Bret Weinstein:

The DarkHorse podcast remains one of the few comfort information sources I have used since the commencement of the Pandemic. Comfort, I mean it doesn’t seem to be tainted with ideologically tinted glasses rather it seems be epistemologically engaged above all else.  I have followed this inspiring couple since their controversial departure from Evergreen college.

This podcast I paid particular close attention since it focuses on information concerning the COVID19 vaccine from their unique evolutionary lens perspective. Are they safe? Are they effective? If you survive COVID-19, what are the long-term health effects? They discuss what an mRNA vaccine is and does, and how the immune system functions (and fails to function). ….…(Watch podcast).

Book review by AnnikaPerry:

Just imagine … no delete key! To be typing away with no way of erasing one’s words. Where force is needed on each letter, the loud clickety-clack echoing around the room.

Some will have learnt to type on the old-fashioned ribbon typewriters, whilst for others they are an alien concept. How can one manage without autocorrect, cut, copy and paste!?

Forget the modern contraptions and imagine an antique typewriter set on a lone table. In a bookshop. Paper rolled into place. People approach and can write a sentence or two on it. What would this be?

Just such a scenario developed as part of a community project in a bookshop which opened in 2013 in Michigan and the results are beautifully collated in the bookNotes from a Public Typewriter’.(Read entire book review)

Blog article at SelfAwarePatterns

When discussing eternalism and the block universe, the concept of “now” always ends up getting relegated to an aspect of our consciousness, not something “out there”. “Now” seems to be the boundary between what we can remember and what we can only anticipate. But if, aside from entropy, the laws of physics are reversible and we live in a block universe, why are our memories only of the past? Matt O’Dowd gives an interesting answer…(Read entire article)

Video Podcast at Skeptic:

Unlike much of the world today, and most people who have ever lived, WEIRD people are highly individualistic, self-obsessed, control-oriented, nonconformist, and analytical. They focus on themselves — their attributes, accomplishments, and aspirations — over their relationships and social roles. How did WEIRD populations become so psychologically distinct? What role did these psychological differences play in the industrial revolution and the global expansion of Europe during the last few centuries? To answer these questions Joseph Henrich draws on anthropology, psychology, economics, and evolutionary biology. He illuminates the origins and evolution of family structures, marriage, and religion, and the profound impact these cultural transformations had on human psychology.…(Watch podcast)

Poem at Intellectual Shaman:

If I was a snake charmer
I’d try to charm something else
they strike the warm-blooded and happy
they slither in the dark
where I can’t see them.…(Read entire poem)

news on the march the end

Posted in News, politics, Reflections, Science

The Flea Market’s Tractor Beam

Thankfully the wet season has passed in Bogotá, Colombia. We are now blessed with beautiful Sun-filled days. I took the Sun for granted when I lived in Australia. I really did, until I lived in a tropical climate. The months October, November, April and May experience twice the usual monthly precipitation here in Bogotá. The constant deluges, overcast weather and thunderstorms can get you down after a while. So it came as a great relief when the 1st of December arrived and the clouds parted and the Sun shone in all of its glory and continues to do so…. This reminds me of a great bit from George Carlin called ‘The Sun Worshipper‘.

Any-hows, the other day I was out with my family here in Bogotá basking in this miraculous ball of gas at the centre of our solar system. Truth be known a Sun-shower did momentarily fall while the kids were playing in the park, but I liked how the droplets just brushed against us – ‘don’t mind me’. After the park we found a flea market and low and behold – as we entered I felt the force was strong with this one. It was reminiscent of that tractor beam which pulled Han’s and the whole crew into the Death Star in a ‘A New Hope’.

With the grand majority of artesian-Flea Markets I have no intention of buying, but I felt different this day. I wanted to let my wallet do the talking. At the first stall I bought a packet of grounded coffee cultivated in the Sierra Nevada. Thereafter the tractor beam pulled me further along to a large stall which displayed ‘old LP records’ that had been cut and designed to feature grandiose musical artists and movie icons. I knew this was it and where the tractor beam originated. I regret not having taken a photo with the effervescent vendor and her stall.

I asked the lady if she had a disc of Bob Dylan and she said she did! As she scrummaged through her disks I wondered if this disc was where the force-field had emanated. She found the LP disc which featured two silhouette figures of Dylan made out of his ‘Infidels‘ record. I gazed upon it with a certain unease since the nose of Dylan seemed disfigured and I didn’t feel it was an accurate depiction. What a shame real since I was enamoured with the idea of having an original Bob Dylan record cut-out to feature him. The effervescent lady said she would go to work on making a better disk. There’s no doubt I admired her gusto.

So the source of the tractor beam which pulled me to this stall remained elusive. Normally I would have moved onto another stall in light of seeing Dylan’s nose disfigured, but I persisted to scan the large array of discs. I noticed Pearl Jam’s disc, which was cool and I gazed further to the right and then…I found it, finally! What had brought me here. Time really seemed to stand still as I pierced into the epicentre of what drew me here. Da Dadaa!

Truly, I was astounded how someone had thought of the idea of converting an old John Williams – Star Wars soundtrack into a ‘not fully operational Death Star’ as seen in ‘Return of the Jedi’. Not only that, but to have silhouettes of key personages and moments on the ledges and parts in between. I mean…the artist who came up with this …is a f/&ing genius in my book! Hence, this obscenely GREAT montage stands proudly in my living room above my book library. Unbeknownst to me the lady added to the packaging something I wasn’t expecting which also adorns my library. After I entered my apartment, naturally I wanted to unveil the ‘still not fully operational death star’. As I did so. I realised she had packaged this disc inside a LP cover that features wondrous figures from Colombia. Christmas had arrived early for me and I was in seventh heaven.

Above is the LP cover which contained the Star Wars Disc. Sometimes I wonder which I like seeing more – the disc or the LP cover ‘Salpicon‘. Salpicon in English means a splash of things, like a mix of salads or tropical fruits. The album as the title suggests is a splash of reggaeton music which is very popular in Latin America. Whichever way I see it, I feel blessed to be the owner of these artefacts and I hope you enjoyed reading about one of the few times in my life I felt the pull of the tractor beam and reaped great rewards.

Posted in Uncategorized

Carnival (1995) – Natalie Merchant

This understated song from Natalie Merchant’s debut album Tigerlily was inspired by her first trip to New York as a 16 year old. She compares the sights and sounds of New York to a carnival. She claimed she was fascinated by the the residents’ unusual lifestyles, as she had grown up in the country.

Well, I’ve walked these streets
In a spectacle of wealth and poverty
In the diamond markets the scarlet welcome carpet
That they just rolled out for me


And I’ve walked these streets
In the madhouse asylum they can be
Where a wild-eyed misfit prophet
On a traffic island stopped and he raved of saving me

This 1995 song reached No 10 on the US billboard and 24 in Australia on the ARIA singles chart. I admire her lyrics here. The song is unassuming and meandering, and her modest disposition seems to only add to this quirky and unique atmosphere and effectively captures what it must been like for her to see NY as a kid for the first time.

Natalie grew up in rural Jamestown south of Buffalo in NY. She stated also about her first experience to NY that ‘I’d never seen people walking down the street eating before – that was a bizarre experience. Something else I’d never seen before were the gentlemen with the two-sided placards that hand out invitations to peep shows, but I never seemed to get one – they always picked the guys around me…. It’s not a car culture here. I like that: people have to rub against each other. I like to take the subway, I like to study people’s faces, try to imagine their stories.’ Natalie also recalled of her youth that “I was taken to the symphony a lot because my mother loved classical music….I never really had friends who sat around and listened to the stereo and said ‘hey, listen to this one’, so I’d never even heard of who Bob Dylan was until I was 18′.

Natalie Merchant has since release 7 solo albums since Tigerlily, but her biggest single success was with Carnival. Merchant was lead singer and primary lyricist for 10,000 Maniacs, joining in its infancy in 1981. In 1993 she announced that she was leaving the group, citing a lack of creative control over the music. Her last recording with the band, a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s and Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” at the 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged performance. Interestingly In 1998, Merchant collaborated on the making of the Woody Guthrie tribute album Mermaid Avenue with Billy Bragg and Wilco. This was one of my favourite albums of the 90s and it will feature in this music library project.

References:
1. Carnival (Natalie Merchant) – Wikipedia
2. Natalie Merchant – Wikipedia
3. Songfacts – Carnival

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Posted in Music

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