Wednesday, June 28

end times



What's the first thing that comes to mind when you see this picture? These form part of a collection of 27 pics - each depicting a child in various stages of emotional trauma. You can view the entire collection here.

Here's the deal. The photographer, who is clearly talented even though her figures all exhibit a kind of photoshop plasticity that should place them firmly in the realm of the Uncanny Valley, took these images as some sort of Democrat outcry against the war. Read 'politically charged photography' with both 'political' and 'personal' relevance using a subject la'taboo - children in pain.

Now, we join this story in the midst of a heated debate as to whether these photo's are unethical. Thomas Hawk brands her work abusive, sadistic and unethical. The reason? These poses were induced - in other words, the esteemed artist made the children cry to get a pic.

Says Thomas:

"Jill is the one who strips kids [all under the age of 3)] down and then works them up into a state of emotional distress and then shoots them distraught and in anguish, tears running down their little face, and calls it some kind of protest art against the Bush administration. "

Says Jill:

"I manipulate my subjects to evoke an emotion to illustrate my personal beliefs…I had to learn the hard way that they had to be no older than three because beyond that they just don’t cry so easily"

and

"Kid models aren't very expensive -- not as expensive as monkeys, for example."

Hm. I'm not going to begin a tirade against the obvious display of moral bancruptcy involved here. If you want, you can start reading the entire thread here.

Jill defends her actions by saying that she simply followed the Hollywood style of giving the kid a lolly and then taking it away.

So those little American children in these pics got themselves into such a fit of rage and alienation because their lolly was taken away? This woman is either as insightful as a brick or the tantrum inducing 'gimmies' of the American attitude truly is part of their molecular profile.

Tuesday, June 27

happy little nightmares

The London Independent reports that 100 selected paedophiles will be placed on prozac to help them with their naughty ways. Apparently anti-depressents have a nasty little side-effect of numbing your libido. This, they reckon, will be able to curb the obsessive and anti-social ways of these nasties and help keep their willies in their pants.

AND help them to think clearer and put them in a good mood. It has proven to work - i.e. stopped the urge to molest - for a whole 10% of convicted paedophiles that have been selected.

What about the rest? Are they now simply less conflicted about their sexual deviation?

For those that do not respond to this mild treatment, there is another process that can be used. It's called chemical castration. (The Independent article does mention it, but The Sun is far more entertaining in its description.) Here, the offenders are 'chemically castrated' by being 'given regular injections of leuproreline, a prostate cancer drug, or depo-provera, which act as a temporary castration by slashing testosterone levels'.

Both processes are said to be a 'Successful management of offenders' and is 'the most cost-effective way to protect children.'

What I enjoy about this concept is the perpetuation of the notion that those horrible people (and all the rest of those types) have nothing whatsoever to do with us. That somehow they're a nasty pustule on the backside of life that we had no responsability in putting there. Not to mention the whole 'name and shame' campaign - a shockingly backward approach to crime and punishment reminiscent of Jackson's The Lottery.

I'm hardly a punter for 'human rights' when it comes to people that have denied others that western pleasure we take as an infallible universal law. But let's not pretend to help the pustule by putting salve on it and hoping it'll go away. We've got to lance the mf and realise that for every fully functioning body there is a backside. And if we don't take care of said backside, pustules are likely to crop up more often than not.

The only 'cost effective' way of preventing child-abuse is to start by paying attention to our children now. It's a far greater task that will take a whole lot more effort for everybody than a simple injection after the fact.

Thursday, June 22

an inconvenient truth



Although I applaud Gore's effort and intention, it's a pity that it takes a spliced diced voiceovered piece of hollywood bling laced with visually dramatic effects and perfectly timed score to bring the message home.

I'll be sure to rush to the movie when it comes out. I'll have a shower using soaps and ungents that come in plastic wrappers made from carcinogenic ingredients, brush my teeth with toothpaste made with highly toxic chemicals, get dressed into clothes that have been made by four year old slaves a few thousand kilometers away with textiles made in China because it's cheaper to import than pay locals a fair price, eat my veggie dinner (with tofu from crops that rape the amazonian landscape) get into my fossil fuel driven car that adds to the carbon monoxide buildup, race to the movie house where I'll buy a ticket made of paper from an unreplenished tree source, using money that I earned from working infront of a computer that has a 'low radiation' output - along with the other 30 computers in my office - all day engrossed in world that doesn't really exist, grab a quick MacDonald's fries and then settle into a plush movie chair, remembering to switch off my cellphone.

And none of this will change anything at all.

Monday, June 19

jack & jill

Reading a piece from book on the Doa De Jing, I came to a bit about 'Appreciating the Particular' . It's quoted from the American philospher William James in a piece titled: What Makes Life Significant?


Every Jack sees in his own particular Jill charms and perfections to the enchantment of which we stolid onlookers are stone-cold.

And which has the superior view of the absolute truth, he or we? Which has the more vital insight into the nature of Jill's existence, as a fact? Is he in excess, being in this matter a maniac? or are we in defect, being victims of a pathological anæsthesia as regards Jill's magical importance?

Surely the latter; surely to Jack are the profounder truths revealed; surely poor Jill's palpitating little life-throbs are among the wonders of creation, are worthy of this sympathetic interest; and it is to our shame that the rest of us cannot feel like Jack. For Jack realizes Jill concretely, and we do not. He struggles toward a union with her inner life, divining her feelings, anticipating her desires, understanding her limits as manfully as he can, and yet inadequately, too; for he is also afflicted with some blindness, even here.

Whilst we, dead clods that we are, do not even seek after these things, but are contented that that portion of eternal fact named Jill should be for us as if it were not. Jill, who knows her inner life, knows that Jack's way of taking it— so importantly—is the true and serious way; and she responds to the truth in him by taking him truly and seriously, too.

May the ancient blindness never wrap its clouds about either of them again! Where would any of us be, were there no one willing to know us as we really are or ready to repay us for our insight by making recognizant return? We ought, all of us, to realize each other in this intense, pathetic, and important way.
If you say that this is absurd, and that we cannot be in love with everyone at once, I merely point out to you that, as a matter of fact, certain persons do exist with an enormous capacity for friendship and for taking delight in other people's lives; and 'that such persons know more of truth than if their hearts were not so big.

It was a weekend of friends and the appreciation of friends and what-makes-a-friend questions (it was also a weekend, coincidentally, of questioning the question that plagues me endlessly at the moment - why oh why do I fall inlove with everyone I kiss?)

Anyway.

I liked this piece. Read up some more here .

Tuesday, June 13

outside my window



The rain's cleared up for a bit and given me chance to poke my nose out the window for five seconds. And in this crisp misty morning sea air, laced with just a hint of carbon monoxide, what do I see in the distance but a billboard for a lovely new series called Commander-in-Chief. It sports a witty little by-line: Finally, a president that can multi-task.

Because you know that's what we woman are really good at. Muti-tasking.

Forget about stategic thinking, the finer matters of diplomacy and managing the economic balance of world power. One needs to be able to file and drink coffee whilst discussing an annoying case of nucleur disarmament in Iran. Talk about lowering the bar. But hey, I guess after ol' Dubya what's there for a pres to do but flutter about looking busy. At least between holidays that is.

Anyway. It got me thinking about another series that shattered the presidential WASP stereotype: 24.

President Palmer was everything a Pres should be (everything the current US president isn't) - smart, ethical, honest, strong. Oh and black. But that's a little by-the-by. Anyway, not all good things last and towards the failing breaths of the third Most Terrible Day in Jack Bauers life, President David Palmer's Strong Character had a brush with Political Chess and he lied. BUT then quit. What a guy.

And now there's Pres McKenzie. A strong woman. Brunette. She's woman enough to wear makeup and man enough to run a country.

Hollywood sure is pushing the envelope. But I guess the regular stupid white man formula is boring and certainly hasn't scored America any points.


I won't be watching the series. Not only because I do not own a television but because I'm saving myself for a really REALLY extreme pres makeover series. I'm thinking: Hispanic and Gay or Chinese and paraplegic. Or a cigar smoking body builder from Austria. Whichever happens, I can only hope and pray that this little stint does for Geena what did for Keiffer.

Wednesday, June 7

it's clearer now, we should've known

In the list of woulda coulda shouldas, I have a couple that make me wince. More than wince. Cringe. Not necessarily because the things I wouldacouldashoulda done woulda been terribly life-altering, (I console myself that All Is As It Should Be *ah fuck just can't get away from them! *) but because they're there at all.




The conscious act of allowing a moment to Be without the intervention of expectations (coulda) and judgement (shoulda) is something that has clouded most of my enjoyment in people and situations for a greater part of my life. Sadly the person I've least been able to enjoy with this attitude is myself.

Of course things change and life moves on and we learn kindness and compassion towards others and ourselves etc etc but when it comes right down to it, how much are we able to change the very western force that's driven us to this point we're now at? That 'better is always best and best is always on the other side of the fence' attitude - a better house / car / career / body / spirituality / partner / friends / individuation / clothes / buddha statues / heaven / country/ soul...something that has to be gotten, attained, worked at, achieved, prayed for. And hard. To do this, we should have that. To get there, we should be here. And if we don't get there (up the ladder, nirvana, the goal, the point) or become that (rich, happy, complete, together, cool) then there are the excuses that consume both our past and future that we gently flaggelate ourselves with: I could've done that if only, I would've done this if only...everything would be so much better.

A friend of mine once summed up the word NOW - No Opportunity Wasted. I enjoyed this and wrote it down in my journal. But often, using an opportunity - a moment in time that is fully experienced instead of being casually overlooked - means simply to Be in the moment. No more. No less. No talking, no processing, no thinking, no dialogueing.

It's not a new topic and hardly earth shattering for most. But something that's been on my mind lately and something I'm trying to do more every day. I really should try to Be more.

Hold on.

Damn.

It's such a conundrum.

Friday, June 2

on a lighter note

Exclusives rocks. I read a whole book (well most of it) in the comfy seats they provide for their patrons (that would be mostlyblue who actually bought books - enough to make up for me as well).




He's just not that into you is laugh-out-loud funny. Go here for an excerpt.

I laughed and laughed at the silly women until I realised that I was one.

Thursday, June 1

yup yup

I have a friend that is a great conveyer of, and believer in, the Emailic Power of the Power Point Message of Peace and Happiness.

Today she sent one that was a little more than the usual frill.

I've cut it down for your viewing pleasure.










I'm not sure much can be done about world hunger and the inevitable downward spiral. Every-drop-in-the-ocean-making-up-the-sea and all that aside, I think - mostly - that it's enough to contextualise our lives and give thanks to the great Out There for the very fortunate position we find ourselves in.