Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Corporate flag America

Originally uploaded by jazzbiker.
By 2nd November the American election will be over, but at the moment the campaigns for and against still roll on. I suppose Michael Moore got the first shot in with 9/11 and since then the anti-bush demos have rolled out across the nation.

I wonder how many anti-Kerry demos have been organised? I would estimate that not as many as anti-bush. There is so much energy liberated at these mass demonstrations. Bush is an easy target, and Moore has supplied all the ammunition anyone would need, to paint up a poster, that takes a pop-shot at old George.

The common theme is that George looks out for the interests of business, George will go to war, George is a cowboy who believes in B movies from the 50's and that a good shoot-up will solve most problems in the world. George is a liar.

If you do a google search for "anti-bush" you get 1 060 000 hits and if you do "anti-kerry" you get 487 000 hits. Does that mean that Bush is more unpopular. No, it just means he is a more visible and easy target.

How many people are expending their energy on being pro-active and getting behind the candidates. Using google again shows that pro-kerry has 103 000 and pro-bush has 228 000.

The ratio in both cases "pro and anti" is 2:1

The only conclusion that you can come to is that lots more enegry is being used to be aggressively negative than to be aggressively positive.

After the election is over we can then decided if the negative anti-bush campaign got Kerry elected. This would mean that he was elected by a disgruntled electorat who are seething for change and if he does not bring it then their spite and venom may well turn on him.

If the positive pro-bush campaign gets George elected. Then it only proves one thing... being positive wins over being negative, and that for some strange reason seems to be a good result.

It is all propaganda, and John Kerry would never carry a gun.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Getting dark on bridge

Getting dark on bridge
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Went to Seurasaari on Sunday. It was a bleak day. Gray clouds in the sky. The tourists seem to have disappeared and only a few people are out walking with sticks. The birds are gathering together getting ready to fly south.

I took the camera with me and did three series of photos.

Gray Sunday day at Seurasaari

Reflections in puddles and ponds

Sunsets and clouds.

I saw a swan with signets. Their feathers were still grey. Does that mean that winter still has not arrived. When their feathers turn white, and they fly away, will be the signal that winter has arrived.

When the air is firey and heavy with thunder, then it seems that the scent from the ceders, and the salty breeze from the sea is so much stronger. Or perhaps being out in the open allows you to breathe better, and you are opened up to stimulation.

What was noticeable was that there were isolated couples standing still and looking out at the sea. It was as though they were drinking in some goodness into their souls. At a lookout point at the highest point on the island, a young couple looked at the sunset. She leaned back into his chest, he encircled her with his arms, she rested her head against his neck.

It so happens that the jogging track runs directly past this point, and as the couple stood and watched the sunset, sweat drenched joggers laboured up the hill and ran on past them, never stoping to observe the view.

I heard him whisper in her ear. "Ihmisillä on niin kiire." She half turned and kissed him on the cheek and said "Niin on."

Friday, October 22, 2004

Worlds on Fire

Torres Gemelas Caracas
Originally uploaded by danielif.

How much does it cost to make a pop video?

Find out at Worlds on Fire

Hearts break, hearts mend
love still hurts
Visions clash, planes crash
still there's talk of saving souls
still cold's closing in on us.

We part the veil on our killer sun.
Stray from the straight line,
on this short run.
The more we take,
the less we become.
The fortune of one man
means less for some.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Balance, Equilibrium, Centre of Gravity

Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
I like doing tricks. This particular trick amazes me every time I do it. It should not work but it does. It is a very delicate thing to set up. It requires more from your sense of touch than it does from your sight. You feel when it is the right time to let go. When everything is in balance, and equilibrium has been achieved.

I always have to do this trick with my eyes closed, and I get a sensation when I know it is now perfect and a balance has been achieved.

Sight probably is the biggest stumbling block to knowing. Reasoning and looking for evidence as to why things work or don't work is often a fruitless exercise.

It is all about feeling if a thing is right or not. In matters of life that feeling is usually associated with conscience or intuition. We know when things are right, and we know when things are wrong.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Clean heroes and dusty rogues

dusty hand
Originally uploaded by tamaki.

Alas, after all has been said, I still can't choose a virtuous man as my hero. I can explain why: the virtuous man has been turned into a sort of horse, and there is no author who hasn't ridden him, urging him on with his whip or whatever comes to hand. Now I feel the time has come to make use of a rogue. So let's harness him for a change.

-- Nikolai Gogol Dead Souls

I have just finished reading "How to be good" written by a man with a woman as the main character. It is basically about people behaving stupidly. A woman, who is an adulteress, wants forgivness from her husband. He forgives her and she is happy for a time, then is infuriated by his piousness.

It is about getting better than we deserve, that our foolish stupidity is not rewarded by rejection and abandonment. It is a story about fragile forgiveness, making mistakes, and having a good heart. It is about women vicars who preach the gospel of love, yet don't believe in God. Of faith healers who cure sick people because they are sad. The removal of sadness from the husband at the right time is enough to enable him to forgive his wife.

I have wondered where you learn the most from. From a hero or a rogue, and at the moment I am persuaded that the rogue can teach us more than the hero. When other people make mistakes we recognise that we make the very same mistakes. We recognise injustice because we are unjust. We think about hunger in the world when we sit down to the Sunday roast... no we don't we stuff ourselves and tumble off to bed with a sore stommach to sleep off the gorge fest, and it is then we think that perhaps we have eaten too much.

When a hero acts heroically, we are not captivated by his valour, since we do not do heroic deeds ourselves. To be a hero requires you to be something special, something separate and different. We are all rogues and that requires no special talent. We just drift into it, roguishness.

It is like dust settling on a window ledge. You lick your finger and write in the dust. I am a rogue, and you notice that there is a clean surface under the dust. We become dusty without even knowing it. Dust covered people easily see other people who are covered with dust.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Today is tomorrow

Jasper and Oliver
click photo to enlarge

Olli and Jasper came over for the weekend. We had promised to go swimming with them. They had brought their goggles and trunks. Maija checked and found out that there was a swimming competition at the EspoonLahti pool so it was impossible to go.

The pool was being used for a competition on both Saturday and Sunday. Olli was termendously disappointed, because Raisa on Friday night had promised him that he could go swimming tommorow. He tries to persuade us to take him any way. A promise is a promise.

With a desperate look on his face Olli says "Mum said that we could go swimming tomorrow"

Gently as a shepherd tending one of his lambs I say, "Yes but the pool is being used and we can't get in"

Olli frows and half closes his eyes to a couple of piercing slits. "But Mum really, really, truly said we could go swiming tomorrow"

I drop down on one knee to look at him squarely in the eye. Always a good technique when dealing with a obstinate child. "Well perhaps we can go to another pool tomorrow"

In an exasperated tone Olli says "But today is tomorrow, my mum said so, so we have got to go now"

Gentle but firm, with only a hint of menace in my voice I say. "I've already said we can go tomorrow"

Olli brightens up when he hears we can go tomorrow, and he grabs his stuff and heads for the door.

I am left gawping at him open mouthed, with a puzzled look on my face. "Where do you think you are going?"

Olli slumps his shoulders and drops his head forwards from the expression on his face it is apparent he thinks he is dealing with an old senile idiot. "To the swiming pool"

I shake my head in amazement. He has no comprehension of time. "But I said we can go tomorrow"

Thrusting out his chin and with eyes agog, and his white teeth are gleaming, Olli very clearly and distictly for my benifit repeats very slowly with exagerated pronounciation. "But today is tomorrow. Mummy has said so"

I get on my high horse. I have to stamp my authority on the situation, so I very sternly say "No today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow"

"No you are wrong" and here Olli invokes the words of his mother the supreme authority on all things chronogolical, who has the definitive word on the passing of the seasons, who makes pronoucments about the days of the week, and who's word is the law. "Mummy said that today is tomorrow so there. That's final"

It is impossible to argue with the logic of a 4 year old. Later we get them packed off to bed. In the morning Olli awakes and the first thing he asks with eyes asparkle. "Is today tommorow?"

I smile and shake my head. "Yes Olli today is tomorrow let's go swimming"

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Family and friends

click photo to enlarge

Mother Theresa said there are two kinds of poverty. There is material poverty and spiritual poverty. Poverty in the material sence is all about the things we lack. Is there food on the table, can the rent be paid, can I buy and new pair of shoes for the winter, will I be able to take my wife out for a meal on her birthday, is my car too old, can I go on holiday, does the wrist watch I bought 20 years ago at an knockdown auction need replacing, what do I do if I can't find a job, do I need a better camera, should I buy cheap salmon or expensive meat, would a bottle of wine be too much to ask for?

And what about Spiritual poverty. It is the lack of human comfort, the lack of contact with other people, it is seperation and isolation, it is being forgotten, it is about being alone. It is about being a leper on the streets of Calcutta. Deserted with nobody to care for you. In one word it is about abandonment. The fatherless children, the orphan on the doorstep, the gilted bride at the alter, the besotted pensioners left alone in care homes by their children, the divorved husbands longing for acceptance, the struggling wives wanting their husbands to listen to them, abused children. The hollowness of modern existance.

Going through some recent photos I came apon this one, and everyboby is either being hugged or held. That warms my heart. This was the night we made individual pizzas. Everyone could choose their own ingredients to make their own pizza.

Ilana made a minimalistic pizza with only cheese and tommatoes, and we discussed the philosophy of the thin pizza, for keeping you slim. Noa her daughter made a judo champions pizza, with tuna and ham and pineapple, and three sorts of cheese, and olives, which was classified as a heart attack pizza, and which proved irresistable to her mother who forsook her minimalism for the delights of cholesterol. Rebbecca and Jim made pizzas with no name, or were loathed to christen their creations. Everybody made pizzas and everybody shared a part of their creation.

We ate cabbage salad Israeli style, with lemon ,salt, and olive oil. We sang songs. We laughed. We ate, We danced. We were happy. Moments like this make your heart soar, and you know what it is to be blessed by children and friends.

This is the richness that we all long for.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Dishing up Muikku

Dishing up Muikku
Originally uploaded by HyperBob.
Today I went to the Fish Festival at the south harbour in Helsinki. Lots of boats had come in from Kotka and Porvo and from the islands. They were selling marinated herring off the back of the boats and black bread.

I wandered around and took some photos which you can view on flickr as Fish faces and Fried Fish I wandered around and bought myself some piping hot muikku fried in butter in rye flour and seasoned with salt an pepper. Simple but beautiful.

I bought some pickled salmon in dill and lemon juice, a small black bread, and something that looked like a haggis but in actual fact was rolled smoked salmon.

I took them to Christopher's and we ate everything for supper. Lovely.