And you wake up, scared of living.....

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In a vain attempt to stave off monday morning and to wring the last seconds out of sunday night (waste not want not), I find myself at the local video store, and as is the dilemma time and time again, my eyes roam across shelf after shelf, deluded into thinking they might actually stumble across something worth seeing. Why can't I just take a movie out and watch it for the sake of watching a movie? You overly analytical, pseudo-intellectual moron, just stick your hand out and grab the closest cover and whatever it is, you will rent it....you made it through Harold & Kumar with minimal scarring, you can do this....oh wait, this shows promise...... And it's name was Prozac Nation....... As the credits rolled, I wondered if it had been the eighties (and late seventies) that started it. Had John Hughes been right in giving Cameron Frye's neuroses the proper context by juxtaposing him to Ferris, or was Cameron really Donnie Darko , had we been so busy wishing Ferris actually existed that we completely missed the origin of a generation defining moment? Somewhere between the parental 'enlightenment' that kids could respond to therapy and drug treatment, and the facade that would define the eighties as the 'inside joke' of the 20th century, something insidious slipped through. And it has since been bequeathed to the generations following, an inheritance of Boards of Canada and Andrew Largemans. I remember the first time I heard Papa Roach's Last Resort: "I never realized I was spread too thin Till it was too late And I was empty within Hungry feeding on chaos and living in sin Downward spiral, where do I begin It all started when I lost my mother No love for myself And no love for another Searching to find a love upon a higher level Finding nothing but questions and devils" What could this guy truly know of suffering and emotional pain? Virgina Woolf, now that's suffering, that's feeling until you choke on it, until it consumes you completely and utterly. But aren't we defined by our private realities? Isn't that why we can never compare living an adult life as the product of a broken home, to living an impoverished life in a tiny fishing village? At the risk of sounding cliched, we play the cards we're dealt and what may, in the light of an event such as the Tsunami, appear to be insignificant obstacles are in the end just as real a struggle. As for those who will comment that it's the decline of family values that is to blame: The 1948 International Congress on Mental Health, London, ". . . the family is one of the major obstacles to improved mental health, and hence should be weakened, if possible, so as to free individuals and especially children from the coercion of family life." G. Brock Chisholm, co-founder of the World Federation of Mental Health, "We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents, our Sunday School teachers, our politicians, our priests, our newspapers and others with a vested interest in controlling us." (yes, yes, I am stirring as if my little life depended on it) So where does that leave us? Perhaps Donnie has the answer..... "Do you want your sister to lose weight? Tell her to get off the couch, stop eating twinkies and maybe go out for field hockey. You know what? No one ever knows what they want to be when they grow up. You know it takes a little, little while to find that out, right, Jim? And you... yeah, you. Sick of some jerk shoving your head down the toilet? Well, you know what? Maybe... you should lift some weights, or uh, take a karate lesson and the next time he's tries to do it, you kick him in the balls." .......'cause I certainly don't. (If you're interested in Elizabeth Wurtzel, try here and here.)


Don't even bother reading, just click this link......

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"On a far Northern Lake Michigan beach, along with the wind and waves, resides a family within a joint experiment between David Hanawalt, Architect and Bill Close, Sonic Installation Artist. The Wege House explores in first steps the integration of site, sight and sound...As a main theme in their newly designed and built house, they have commissioned the creation of architecture as musical instruments. Architect David Hanawalt and Sonic Installation artist Bill Close collaborate to bring forth a home that is truly in resonance." Thanks to Iridesce Sent for the link


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I'm sure I'm not the only one who can relate. (you wouldn't have any photo's of you in those leg warmers, would you Shaun?)



A friend of mine runs a local restaurant, and as is part and parcel of the industry, he works long hours under extreme stress. Sundays are inveriably his only day of decent rest, which of course makes Mondays an object of intense hatred. The phrase 'if it can go wrong it will go wrong' he believes was coined after witnessing what his typical Monday is like. Sunday past saw us both involved in a sudden and spontaneous bout of sporting aspiration, which coupled with the fact that neither of us is at peak physical condition, left us aching come Sunday evening and expressing our apprehension at waking the following morning. So upon waking that dreaded Monday morning and having my suspicions confirmed (who knew rigor mortis was possible in life), I decided to brighten his morning with the following text message: 'Aaargh....urgh....mmmpfhhhh......eeeesssshhhh....these were the sounds escaping from my lips this morning as my limbs rose in rebellion. At least for a change some-one else is having a lousy Monday morning...' Little did I know that the restaurant was robbed that morning. (all were fine, but his cell phone was stolen before he could see my message) So naturally I felt all kinds of stupid, but at least my original intentions were upheld.....when I told him what I had sent, well, I haven't seen him laugh like that in quite some time. Which led me to collate the following list of famous last words (those inclined to RPG/fantasy should enjoy this list) "Dear me, I believe I am becoming a god. An emperor ought at least to die on his feet." — Vespasian (9-79 AD), Roman emperor. "I feel nothing, apart from a certain difficulty in continuing to exist." — Bernard de Fontenelle (1657-1757), French philosopher. Remark on his deathbed. "I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in on by the storms, and, from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair." — John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), Sixth president of the USA. Said during his last illness. "Nonsense, they couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." — John Sedgwick (1813-64), US general. In response to a suggestion that he should not show himself over the parapet during the Battle of the Wilderness. "Either that wallpaper goes, or I do." — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish-born British dramatist. As he lay dying in a drab Paris bedroom. "Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel." — George Appel, executed by electric chair in New York, 1928. "I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter." Winston Churchill (1874-1965). "I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this." — Thomas J. Grasso, executed 1995. "I intend to live forever — so far, so good" — Stephen Wright.


Duty calls.....

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I know this album is already a good few months old, but I feel duty bound to reveal them to anyone curious.....Ladies and gentleman, I give you Oceansize (watch the video for Catalyst)



Still trying to get my around last nights episode of Special Assigment (a local current affairs program) This is what happened to Ginn Fourie, as well as her reaction. This is her justification. And a few thoughts have been thrashing about in my mind; is that kind of reaction something we should aspire to, or is it an extreme reaction to tragedy? And if it is a true example of forgiveness on a level far above what we expect, would I be capable of the same? Should I be ashamed if my honest answer is no? I am inclined to think that her ability to forgive came from pure intentions, but in the same breath I also think that part of it is an extreme reaction. I don't think I should be ashamed for doubting that I could do the same; if I can recognise the NEED for that sort of forgiveness, I hope that I walk a path that will bring me close to it. But the jury is still out.....


A thank you note.......

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Hospital or bathroom? It's so hard to tell these days, every smooth surface sterile, that unnatural light banishing even the hint of a shadow. Washed clean, shaved clean....cleanliness is next to godliness, the Hypocratic oath? But in front of the mirror, a figure casts a heavy shadow. The morning ritual, basin-water always just hot enough to burn. Deadly blade, loosely gripped by a hand. A hand which remains deathly still, though the blood of every potential act of violence rushes through its veins. And its purpose? Misdirection, the projection of a stainless image. But the slightest of cuts, as for the quickest of moments that violent blood wins through. And the tiny droplet hurtles toward the water and shimmers on the surface, the devil's eye staring straight back at him. And it swirls in the water. A red opaque. And it draws him in, accuses him, comforts him............ A slender hand reaches across his stomach, never startling. And he sees a new image in the mirror. And she sees how he trembles. And the kindest of lips kiss the back of his neck. "Paul, honey.......your coffee's getting cold. Finish up, I miss you already." And you are always there, reminding me that to love you and be loved by you...........that is a constant redemption. Darkness always afforded me the most luxurious anonymity, but no longer and for that I will be eternally grateful.


Goooooooood morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test! This is rock and roll!

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"To kill an opponent who is much weaker than yourself is unnecessary and therefore cruel; to let that opponent kill you is unnecessary and therefore foolish. As Vietnam and countless other cases prove, no armed force however rich, however powerful, however, advanced, and however well motivated is immune to this dilemma. The end result is always disintegration and defeat;" -Martin Van Creveld A late night viewing of Good Morning Vietnam and a few googled words later, I arrive here. And then I glance at the date of the article....11/7/2003.....


The Inauguration Speech - an interpretation...

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At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. Don't fret precious I'm here, step away from the window For a half-century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical -- and then there came a day of fire. We have seen our vulnerability, and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny -- prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder -- violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders and raise a mortal threat. Go back to sleep America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom and make their own way. Safe from pain and truth and choice and other poison devils Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty -- though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt... See, they don't give a fuck about you, like I do. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: The United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you. I'll be the one to protect you from your enemies and all your demons From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. I'll be the one to protect you from a will to survive and a voice of reason May God bless you, and may he watch over the United States of America. I'll be the one to protect you from your enemies and your choices son, they're one in the same, I must isolate you...Isolate and save you from yourself ... Lyrics from 'Pet' - A Perfect Circle


And with that, the weekend begins....

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You are Nicola Tesla, inventor of the Tesla Coil!

A minister's son from Simljan in Austria-Hungary, you were precocious from an early age. At three you could multiply three-digit numbers in your head and calculate how many seconds visitors to your home had lived. In awe of your older brother Dane, you shot a pea-shooter at his horse, causing it to throw him and inflict injuries from which he later died. This tragedy haunted you ever after. You frequently suffered bouts of illness with hallucinations throughout your life. During one affliction of cholera, you encountered the writing of Mark Twain, with whom you were later to be close friends. Later, another, this time mystery, illness inexplicably heightened your senses to a painful extent, only relenting when you hit upon the idea of the alternating current motor.

You developed an aversion to human contact, particularly involving hair, and a fear of pearls; when one would-be lover kissed you, you ran away in agony. Later, you insisted that any repeated actions in your day-to-day life had to be divisible by three, or, better yet, twenty-seven. You would, for example, continue walking until you had executed the required number of footsteps. You refused to eat anything until you had calculated its exact volume. Saltine crackers were a favourite for their uniformity in this respect. In the midst of important work, you forgot trivial details such as eating, sleeping or, on one memorable occasion, who you were.

Your inventions, always eccentric, began on a suitably bizarre note. The first was a frog-catching device that was so successful, and hence so emulated by your fellow children, that local frogs were almost eradicated. You also created a turbine powered by gluing sixteen May bugs to a tiny windmill. The insects panicked and flapped their wings furiously, powering the contraption for hours on end. This worked admirably until a small child came along and ate all the creatures alive, after which you never again touched another insect.

Prompted by dreams of attaining the then-ridiculed goal of achieving an alternating-current motor, you went to America in the hope of teaming up with Thomas Edison. Edison snubbed you, but promised fifty thousand dollars if you could improve his own direct-current motor by 20% efficiency. You succeeded. Edison did not pay up. It was not long until you created an AC motor by yourself.

Now successful, you set up a small laboratory, with a few assistants and almost no written records whatsoever. Despite it being destroyed by fire, you invented the Tesla Coil, impressing even the least astute observer with man-made lightning and lights lit seemingly by magic. Moving to Colorado Springs, you created a machine capable of sending ten million volts into the Earth's surface, which even while being started up caused lightning to shoot from fire hydrants and sparks to singe feet through shoes all over the town. When calibrated to be in tune with the planet's resonance, it created what is still the largest man-made electrical surge ever, an arc over 130 feet long. Unfortunately, it set the local power plant aflame.

You returned to New York, incidentally toying with the nascent idea of something eerily like today's internet. Although the wealthiest man in America withdrew funding for a larger, more powerful resonator in short order, it did not stop you announcing the ability to split the world in two. You grew ever more diverse in your inventions: remote-controlled boats and submarines, bladeless turbines, and, finally, a death ray.

While whether the ray ever existed is still doubtful, it is said that you notified the Peary polar expedition to report anything strange in the tundra, and turned on the ray. First, nothing happened; then it disintegrated an owl; finally, reports reached you of the mysterious Tunguska explosion, upon which news you dismantled the apparatus immediately. An offer during WWII to recreate it was, thankfully, never acted upon by then-President Wilson. Turning to other matters, you investigated the forerunner of radar, to widespread derision.

Your inventions grew stranger. One oscillator caused earthquakes in Manhattan. You adapted this for medical purposes, claiming various health benefits for your devices. You found they let you work for days without sleep; Mark Twain enjoyed the experience until the sudden onset of diarrhoea. You claimed to receive signals in quasi-Morse Code from Mars, explored the initial stages of quantum physics; proposed a "wall of light", using carefully-calibrated electromagnetic radiation, that would allegedly enable teleportation, anti-gravity airships and time travel; and proposed a basic design for a machine for photographing thoughts. You died aged 87 in New York, sharing an apartment with the flock of pigeons who were by then your only friends.

Ridiculed throughout your life (Superman fought the evil Dr. Tesla in 1940s comics), you were posthumously declared the father of the fluorescent bulb, the vacuum tube amplifier and the X-ray machine, and the Supreme Court named you as the legal inventor of the radio in place of Marconi. Wardenclyffe, the tower once housing your death ray, was dynamited several times to stop it falling into the hands of spies. It was strangely hard to topple, and even then could not be broken up.

I'm Nicola Tesla! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.



Aren't we lucky we have people to protect us from this It's actually a brilliant state of mind to be in. If you criticize us, we still care about you but you're going to hell, if we criticize you, it's because we see the light and your poor ignorant arse hasn't...... Thunk, thunk, thunk....(the sound of my head bashing against my desk , all hope gone....)


"But I'm tryin, Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd. "

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I promised myself that I would not plunge into religious debate. Rubber-necking, political correctness, music...that's just fine, but when it comes to religion, I'm sure my forehead is permanently sloped from the incessant wall-banging. And then this popped up in my work in-box, and I wanted to post an abridged version in an effort to minimise damage done to anyone reading, but you really should read start to finish to appreciate the speed at which I was pushed that final inch over the edge. * * * * *

This is deep .......... beautifull but deep ......... READ

How To Survive a Drought....Share! (Author of this story is unknown)

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season that would bankrupt several farmers before it was through. Every day, my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water. But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn't see some rain soon...we would lose everything. It was on this day that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes. I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I saw my six-year-old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn't walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great effort ... trying to be as still as possible. Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again, toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed. Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for an hour: walk carefully to the woods, run back to the house. Finally I couldn't take it any longer and I crept out of the house and followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen...as he was obviously doing important work and didn't need his Mommy checking up on him). He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked, being very careful not to spill the water he held in them ... maybe two or three tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked close as he went into the woods. Branches and thorns slapped his little face, but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much higher purpose. As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing sight. Several large deer loomed in front of him. Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close. But the buck did not threaten him...he didn't even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground, obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand. When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a tree. I followed him back to the house to a spigot to which we had shut off the water. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle began to creep out. He knelt there, letting the drip, drip slowly fill up his makeshift "cup," as the sun beat down on his little back. And it came clear to me: The trouble he had gotten into for playing with the hose the week before. The lecture he had received about the importance of not wasting water. The reason he didn't ask me to help him. It took almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands. When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him. His little eyes just filled with tears. "I'm not wasting," was all he said. As he began his walk, I joined him...with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his job. I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save another life. As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were suddenly joined by other drops...and more drops...and more. I looked up at the sky. It was as if God, himself, was weeping with pride. Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. That miracles don't really exist. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I can't argue with that... I'm not going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm...just like the actions of one little boy saved another. I don't know if anyone will read this...but I had to send it out. To honor the memory of my beautiful Billy, who was taken from me much too soon.. But not before showing me the true face of God, in a little, sunburned body. THAT'S GOD ~* Have you ever been just sitting there and all of a sudden you feel like doing something nice for someone you care for. . . THAT'S GOD. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Have you ever been down and out and nobody seems to be around for you to talk to.... THAT'S GOD .. . . He wants you to talk to Him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Have you ever been thinking about somebody that you haven't seen in a long time and then next thing you know you see them or receive a phone call from them. . THAT'S GOD ... there is no such thing as coincidence. Have you ever been in a situation and you had no clue how it is going to get better, but now you look back on it. . . THAT'S GOD. ....... He passes us through tribulation to see a brighter day. . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DO YOU THINK THAT THIS E-MAIL WAS ACCIDENTALLY SENT TO YOU? NOPE! I was thinking of You! Please pass this along and share the Power of God. In all that we do, we should totally give HIM thanks and our blessings will continue to multiply This message was sent to me by a close friend so please pass it on to all of your good friends. NOW THAT'S GOD!!!!!!!! Don't tell GOD how big your storm is... Tell the storm how big your GOD is!

Amen and amen!

* * * * * Now just to give you some background, I come from a very religious family and studied Theology for a year, so I am fairly well versed in Christian literature and dogma. But as hard as I try, I cannot recall anything about bombarding other people's email with fictitious stories of miracles and so called 'inspirational stories'. Let's try and figure out how this goes now.....hmmm....I read this and feel good about myself and the wonderful person I am and my spiritual life.......for God's sake people (and I'm not taking His name in vain, I really mean it), wake up! Everything about Christianity that makes any sort of sense does not revolve around living a life of comfort and leisure, being generous when I choose to be and perfecting the art of a condescending tone. And for those who may have taken offence, in the words of Barry from 'High Fidelity" "God. Do you even know your daughter? There's no way she likes that song. Oop, is she in a coma?"



To get you up to speed, read this. Tragically, not only did the attempt fail, but it also cost extreme diver Dave Shaw his life. Then this happened. And last night on Third Degree, a local current affairs program, they aired the footage from the video camera. I did not intend to watch, but happened upon the footage while switching channels and found myself morbidly transfixed. When it finished, I wondered what had been the point? I can understand his fellow divers and analysts watching the footage to decipher what went wrong, but why should the rest of us see? How many times have I been stuck in traffic because everyone is rubber-necking an accident? They could probably run a 24hr channel exclusively showing near-death encounters, miraculous escapes. The point is this; I know these morbid fascinations exist and the debate rages on....it makes us appreciate life, it's because we're obsessed with life after death - the differing arguments are endless. Yet knowing all of this, I still watched...and an hour later I had forgotten, chuckling to myself as Whose Line is it Anyway flickered across the screen (yes Colin, it was another bald joke). It reminds me of a story a friend of mine once wrote in high school. A man stares at his television screen. A hideous, mis-shapen creature glares back. The longer the man stares at the creature, the more he succumbs to it. It's as if the thing is tearing through his mind. But a closer look reveals that the tv is off....


....while Madonna butchers 'Imagine' on telethons.....

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Well I am going down to nowhere Its not too far from here The Rain’ll be running rings Around this tinpot cavalier and there are skeletons and wastrels As far as the eye can see So if you want me baby The Nowheres where I’ll be Yeah I am going down to nowhere Oh its childsplay We are turning up our collars We are hijacking the day And you can tell me about your journeys You can tell me all your dreams But nothing comes close To the nowhere that I’ve seen And all you people heading somewhere Well you don’t know what you’re missing Cos theres nothing like the freedom Of a place where noone listens so I am going down to nowhere It is steeped in history This is high-rise living for a Joke Like me We are such pretty little failures on streets paved with fools gold and no-one will think twice about The nothing that they’ve sold And all you people heading somewhere Well you don’t know what you’re missing Cos theres nothing like the freedom Of a place where noone listens So I am going down to nowhere With the drop-outs and the bums I’m a soldier of the vacuum When the darkness comes I’m a vaudeville comedian In a theatre of bones And Its a laugh a minute When nowhere is your home Down To Nowhere - Thea Gilmore


. . . you'd want to know the whole story.

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1. Grab the nearest book. 2. Open the book to the end of the first chapter. 3. Find the last sentence. 4. Post the text of the sentence in comments or your blog 5. If you post in your blog, include these instructions "One day I woke up sick and went across the river, and when I got back I tried to recapture the painful over-sensitivity of junk sickness, the oil slick on the river, the hastily-parked car." Thanks to Narg for the post.



I didn't sleep well last night. At one point I ended up watching "So 80's" on VH1, my eyes to weary to read and my mind aching for the lullaby that only late night tv can sing. As the first few notes of the chorus of Roxy Music's Avalon filtered through, I wondered why it was that a song I felt so indifferent toward could possess just a few notes that could stir something inside me.... Music has always affected me on many levels, but what is it in that ten seconds or so, regardless of the rest of the song, that seems to resonate inside me, as if I keep locked within me a tuning fork, one that only activates when it's unique tone is matched. The first few seconds of the theme for the movie Ladyhawke, the sparse and haunting piano from Shawshank redemption, the last aching moments of Dead Can Dance's Severance, the slide guitar of the Cowboy Junkies version of Blue Moon Revisited, the stark, alien beauty of Lisa Gerrards voice in The Host of Seraphim, the symphonic outro of Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy. What are these emotions that those moments so painstakingly draw out? Melancholy, nostalgia....I've labeled them as such before. But now I'm not quite so sure. I've always had an appreciation for those creation myths that speak of a god-like being singing us into life (appreciation, not a serious belief in, for those who were starting to wonder). But it would provide the perfect explanation to think that we were each created as a song, and that if we are patient and listen hard enough, we may hear parts of that song in the music of others. I'd be fascinated to read what you would list as the moments in music that affect you in a similar way. And do not fear, this lapse in my usual cynicism is short lived.....I've just heard two of my female work colleagues arguing at the tea trolley about the number of coffee spoons available......


Freedom fries.......

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So we have a chain of coffee bars across the country called The Mugg & Bean. They have an item on the menu called a "Tsunami Chicken Burger", so called for it's size and the blend of Asian/Eastern spices that are used in it's preparation. And in the wake of what I'm sure were many complaints, their MD was interviewed on the radio this morning. According to him, they have had this particular item on the menu for more than two years. Rather than shell out the R25000 or so that it would have cost to have that particular page reprinted, they decided to double that figure and donate it to the Tsunami relief fund. Then, when they do their annual reprint in April, they will rename it to something more appropriate. Now of course many of those who complained could not be expected to know about this, and would most probably accept the coffee bar's contingency plan, but I'm sure a good many would still insist on an immediate discontinuation of that item. I was reminded of the furore over Peter Jackson being adamant in the use of the original title, The Two Towers, for the second instalment of the trilogy. Websites, chain letters.....need I continue? So the issue has been turning over in my mind; where is the line between insensitivity and over-sensitivity? Is there a line? Can anyone object or only those closely related to whatever the incident may have been? Or is it just the age old truth that it's always easier to speak first and ask questions later. A British performance artist ate a roasted fox in protest at the thousands of Brits who marched for and against the banning of fox hunting, but couldn't afford to march for better medical aid or literacy or lowering university fees. We barely even let the worldwide Aids epidemic distract us from oppressing those who don't match our sexual preferences or religious beliefs. There's a Tsunami of self-righteousness out there at present, and I fear that if we don't take action now, the damage done will be every bit as devastating.....


Pillow talk...

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There was a morning last year, toward the beginning of spring, when for the first time driving into work was like driving through a place I had never been before. The freeway kinks around the mountain, shrugs herself of the last vestiges of traffic and crests a hill, whereupon the harbour should be spread out to the right, a sight in equal parts mediocre and uninspiring. This particular morning was different. A thick mist had found a final resting place, threading itself innocuously through the city. The tips of the harbour cranes pierced through and it was impossible to tell where the harbour ended and the sea began. It was like stumbling upon the ruins of a city, a thing desolate yet strangely intoxicating. The remaining drive was accompanied by an unnatural hush; sirens and engines and city still cried out, only to be muffled by this cold grey pillow, a city suffocated for deeds unknown. It was a magical morning, one that soothes with the knowledge that for those who care to notice, the mundane can still be transformed to the mythical. If only I had that morning again, today would have been a good day...I'm sure of it. At least my anger has made for good company. Thanks to The Fence for the link.


"While all these ugly gentlemen play out their foolish games"

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I have a sneaking suspicion that in admitting to the numerous occassions I have cast my thoughts back to my youth (so says this 27yr old speck in the eye of infinity...) and agonised over those moments where my silence has donned a cowardly disguise, I disclose far more of myself than I would ordinarily be comfortable with. But these same suspicions lead me to believe that should I continue posting, I'm just going to have to grow accustomed to my carefully cultivated air of mystery fading... Case in point: I am 17 and eagerly running wild at our local church youth camp (naturally my wisdom, objectivity and insight were at that age honed to a knife edge, unlike the cynical husk of the present day). It's the fifth night, the performance night, the culmination of frantic brainstorming and frenetic practice. We sit entranced as each carefully rehearsed movement plays out, a shimmering tapestry of scriptures brought to life (somebody better revoke my dramatic license before some serious damage is caused). Toward the end of the performance, a young man quietly steps onstage with his guitar (no, it's not me, my cowardice make a more grand appearance at the end of this tale) and proceeds with his reinterpretation of a song he feels might connect with those sitting at the fray, those who up until then had felt no connection with any of the performers. The song was "Rape Me' by Nirvana, only he had substituted "rape me" with "save me", and I had been witness to the sincerity which had gone into choosing and altering that song. The fray loved every line, for a moment their perception of what they have been told a thing is was lost in a tangling of hair, heads thrashing to and fro...that is until one of the senior youth leaders interrupted him and chastised him for his misguided actions. And that is where my memory of the moment becomes crystal clear. I see myself. I'm thinking "Say something you dolt!". But my eyes are glancing around me and I lose myself completely. Now I know most will say, but everyone is like that at that age. It's part of growing up. It's the learning curve. But it isn't. My family are close, my parents brought me up in a manner I will only completely understand and be thankful for when it is too late. But along with their unconditional love, they also passed down to me their framework for viewing the world. Every question I possessed had a pre-ordained answer. I did not understand how to speak in that one, crystal moment. And as I write this, realisation slowly comes. I possess this fear (or, rather, this fear possesses me), not from a desire to right past wrongs, but because the idea of fatherhood becomes something tangible with each passing day. And as my wife and I talk about wanting to have a child, one thought reverberates in my mind. How do I teach my child wisdom, compassion, to be open-minded...how do I teach my child without creating him in my image? I want my child to speak up at that moment, to speak with wit and insight, never divisive. But never with the words I might have chosen. I look forward to hearing what those words might be....



Work has proved to be fairly draining today and my thoughts move like someone has emptied the entire contents of a honey jar in my head.....oh well, this is a far better replacement


"Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark"

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Dark. Darkness. The Night. I have been chasing around my thoughts on a subject I can't even properly define, hoping to catch them in my metaphysical cocktail shaker, throw in some crushed ice and hope like hell the resultant concoction has enough kick to give me a Eureka moment.......but should that fail it will hopefully have me drunk enought to get my first good nights sleep in a while. I remember our family holiday trips down the coast, being grateful for my brand new radio/tape walkman to bring me relief from the day-time boredom. But as dusk fell, I would slowly become entranced with the world outside the car window. If flowers bloom in sunlight, do trees bloom in the dark? Does the crisp night air grant their spiring limbs a fleeting moment of life? We've been taught from infancy that shapes are regular, fitting endless squares and circles into their corresponding slots. Yet these same shapes become magical, their edges shimmer and shift, deceive and delight. Then why, when late at night I walk from bedroom to hallway, do I feel something creep silently, keeping one step ahead of my shifting eyes? Should it ever really have been labelled "fear of the dark"? Is it perhaps not fear born of the heightening of our senses? An instinctive reaction to the stripping away of the deluge that assails us every day? Holy shit, is that my imagination? I'd better do something to distract myself....... Hmmm......that cocktail is starting to take effect, the dregs from the shaker have spilled out and with them my last coherent thoughts. I think I'll go to bed now, but first I must switch on the passage light.....


A Quiet Stretch of Water.........

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It's sweltering....hot enough in fact to delude myself into believing I was perhaps an Egyptian slave in a past lifetime, hands blistering on slabs of stone, their final resting place a marvel I could never conceive of. The disjointed sounds of Radio Pepito linger in the background, my eyes cannot detach themselves from colourful frescos and my nose seems preoccupied with the faint smell of epazote, lenguitas and pepicha..... I am, however, not in Mexico. The aircon in the office is down for the second day running, Radio Pepito is currently being streamed at 128kbps playing such Spanish classics as Interpol, Death Cab for Cutie and The Arcade Fire. I should really tell Gareth to stop eating so much Mexican, but at least my small office pool investment seems secure as it doesn't seem likely Michael will stop wearing those garish ties any day soon.... So 2005 has rushed upon us like....well....er.....actually there were moments last year I sincerely doubted the new year would ever show it's face, but the haze slowly began to clear and January shook itself firmly into focus. And I found myself on that last evening of 2004 asking questions of myself that had previously been unceremoniously dumped in the back closet. How do you tell your best-friend that the woman he has chosen to marry will break his heart? And not because she is a femme fatale or some equally caniving construct, but rather because she is beautiful and caring and intelligent but does not know herself and already I see the signs....... When the last seconds of the old year have turned to the first glimpses of the new year, and he sits head in hands, his tears carving grooves in his cheeks and I fear that he has begun to see the same signs..... And I realise that in the light of that terrible Tsunami, these things may seem unimportant. But just as quickly I realise that it is rather because of the Tsunami that these things are.


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