ink for thought: 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

on integrity

"One of the truest tests of integrity is its

blunt refusal to be compromised"

~ Chinua Achebe

integrity. it's an unpopular concept at the best of times. the thought that who we are all the time is an integral part of everything we do all the time seems to strike an uncomfortable nerve. given the nature of the subject matter it touches on every person you and I know and a few highly publicized names will, without a doubt, come to mind.

with that said, and though it may be hard to believe, I'm not writing with a certain pro golfer (how is that even a sport?) in mind. I'm thinking of teachers.

these wardens of the future, these gate keepers of knowledge, these sherpas along the treacherous road to enlightenment surely they, of all people, should be held to a level of integrity.

the educator in question shares tales of books bought, photocopied then returned to the bookstore with glee and pride. as though, somehow, defrauding an institution for personal gain is to be applauded. really? though, we would hope, this is not what will be taught in classrooms, what ethics can such a person impart? how just will this person be to our youngsters when opportunistic dishonesty is held in high regard?

now, I've been a student and it isn't easy. I've bought books that cost more than I care to admit. I've spent more time in libraries than can possibly do my street cred any good. but this isn't sour grapes. no, this is me honestly asking, when one child takes advantage of the others good nature, when the cunning one pulls the wool over the kind ones eyes, will this teacher do the right thing? better yet, will this teacher know a wrong thing has been done?

as I search myself for personal application it's clear that there are areas where work is needed, some more urgent than others but all important. and by the same token, I'm throwing it out to you as a wider audience. do we do as we say, and if so, is it something we'd be happy for others to follow?

"It's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity"

~ Sir Francis Bacon

Thursday, 19 November 2009

for what is in a name...

there is great potential in words. within them lie the power of life and death. with them we attempt to capture the truest essence of a thing, animate or otherwise. we draw them from the clear air and form the corporeal stuff of the everyday.

it is with appreciation for this that I want to thank my parents. though they have never explicitly taught me this from their example I have gleaned much.

you see, I am named for the ancients, named for the numberless stars and mysteries secreted within the bowels of the earth. born of a time unfettered by memory, before forgetting begun. carved into walls of archaic tombs and murmured in awe struck reverence by the wise and uninitiated alike. long before the advent of script and spoken by drums over miles it was a title, to be earned, an honour, to be bestowed and a reputation not easily garnered.

for me it has been a responsibility and a burden but also a challenge. and while I may at times fail spectacularly, I thank my parents for the initial faith they showed.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

but you don't really know, do you?

it's a touchy subject but I'm in the mood to push some buttons, and first, just so we're clear - the next person to tell me they 'know what it's like being black'.....beware.

I mean, dammit people...growing up around black folks gives you as much insight into our lives as growing up around cars makes you run on gas. just because as a kid your loud caribbean neighbour invited you over to dinner 2/3 times a week, your dad let you listen to his UB40 collection and you smoked your first roll up behind the bicycle sheds at 14, that does not make you James Meredith, heck, it doesn't even make you Uncle Remus.

let's look at the flip side for a minute. I've lived in england for a little while and so I can honestly claim to have grown up around a lot of white folks. believe me, I don't know what it's like to be white. I don't know what it's like to walk into a store and not have security follow me around. I don't know what it's like to run pass a police man, trying to catch a bus, and not have him try to stop me. I don't know what it's like to stand in a playground talking to friends and not have a teacher split us up for 'conspiring some sort of mischief'. I don't know what it's like to be called to the front of the queue and served in front of patrons waiting patiently before me. I don't know what it's like to be preferred for promotion, not pulled over for driving my new (-ish) car or not asked for class A illicit substances by random strangers.

my point is this, I don't know what it's like to be white. and that's not a bad thing, because I'm not. it's our differences that make us who we are. but it's rude and condescending to assume that being black is the food I eat, the clothes I wear and the music I listen to. as if being black is a trend to be analysed and adapted to.

being black is a history and a heritage, a birthright and a responsibility, it is to be borne and to be gifted, it is to be lived as much as it lives through us. simply put, being black is a way of being.

I believe this is the same for any other people group. to know it, is to be it.

so don't tell me your-brother's-best-friend's-cousin-went-to-school-with-a-guy-whose-sister-played-on-the-same-hockey-team-as-a-girl-whose-brother-shared-a-taxi-with-a-black-girl-once, so you what it's like to be black. it's ignorant and demeaning.

and for the record, I don't have anything against white folks, some of my best friends are white.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

a long time coming

I suppose we should have seen this coming. too many days have gone with not a word to share between us, not a glance to sustain or a nourishing touch.

and so in the still of the night I turn to say goodbye. I turn to face you, to face all our unspoken woes, to face fears and insecurities, to face myself. I dig deep to find the courage that has never really been there because I know that unless we end this perpetual cycle of emptiness, this emotional vacuum where we go through motions like hollowed shells of our dreams, unless swift decisive action is taken, and soon, we continue to doom ourselves.

but I hesitate. I always hesitate. I'm afraid it's the end. odd, because I'm fairly sure it is but if I hear you say it then that'll only make it more true. I'm afraid that if we really look at this, somehow it's my fault. I'm afraid I've let you down. I'm afraid you'll leave.

I can't continue with all this fear. I'm dying for lack of peace and fear intends to finish the job. I contend with this formidable fear daily and, like sisyphus, daily it beckons me to begin again. something must be done.

you don't speak to me anymore. it could be that you are equally tormented, that you feel that peculiar pressure that comes with a growing uneasiness. like high tension on taut strings warning of danger, promising catastrophe yet unnamed. perhaps your heart yearns for me to speak and break this spell over us, renewing the beauty that was us.

still wrestling in my head and protesting in my heart I turn to you. I turn to you and open my eyes slowly, hoping to see your smile and hear you say 'it's okay'. but as my eyes focus in the darkness I realise something I guess I've known all along.

I turn to see that you're no longer here.

I suppose I should have seen this coming.

Monday, 7 September 2009

the last day

we would wander through a nearby field with our shoes off. hand in hand, grass and poppies between our toes, we would listen to a distant stream gurgling over time smoothed stones like a new born with a favourite toy.

invoking the ancient powers of the storyteller we would bring cloud shapes to life and they would join us for lunch under the shade of a friendly acorn tree.

we would feast on the pure light of joy, filling ourselves with laughter and smiles. we would spend the afternoon contemplating the deep wonders of the daisy chain, mediating to the quiet melody of bird call in early autumn.

yeah, if today was my last I definitely wouldn't be at work

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

in the garden

once again the writer ponders.
once again he contemplates late into the when grasping for the how with which to form the why that is all that is.

clock face solemn, hands in clasped as if in reverent prayer, a devout acolyte pronouncing a salaam for the new day, a silent greeting for new beginnings of old tales.

the writer, head bowed in awe of the moment, eyes closed to better see the inner developing of ideas, the coming to fruition of hidden thoughts, the quiet murmurings of the unknown growing in unseen places, begins.

he carefully plucks a fully ripened concept. one moment casting an expert eye for the signs of potency found deep within, the next shaking it, to test for fullness and robustness. he sheds the skin of aimless chatter to make more readily available the rich fruit of cogitation beneath the surface.

in this fruit he sees deliberation and debate, he sees received knowledge tested and new ground broken, he sees fresh life breathed into jaded dreamers and walls broken down in archaic minds. he meditates before this fruit of reflection, the ripened seed of revolution and he breathes deeply of its aroma.

he breathes deeply, drinks fully and sinking his teeth into the possibility of what could be...

he writes

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

the kiss

Then she kissed me. Without any warning, any invitation, right there in the middle of the street, stuck between a supermarket and a train station she walked up and kissed me. She kissed me like we had been kissing for years. The kiss spoke of time wasted yet with sweetest promises of time to yet be, it proclaimed freedom and vitality and singularity of purpose, it sang with passion and abandon and wanton disregard. At that very second my mind was filled with only her, in that instant of purest clarity it was like all creation had fallen away embodied in this one perfect moment, this one perfect kiss and her, the deliverer thereof. I stood there as the clear summer’s day died, casting a rich red and purple haze across the western sky and for the first time I saw clearly everything that we were. Or rather, everything that she was. Her smile and the way she turned into my hand as I run my fingers across the back of her neck, her eyes that blazed with passion as much when we argued as they shone when she laughed. And her laugh, oh I missed her laugh. Had it really been that long? I feel like I’ve just come up for air, like a prisoner released from confinement beneath the earths surface. An eternity apart then a chanced encounter had led to this and here we are. I didn’t realise how much I missed her until now. I ache with the suddenness of this realisation and at the same time I am soothed by her very presence, her scent, her warmth. Torturous in its intensity but completely irresistible (perhaps I cannot will not resist) I commit myself to a total surrender to her. It is then I know that I cannot be without her. And it is only then I know that I can not be without her. But all is not well. In this moment of clarity, this moment of bare, brazen, introspective honesty, I see one more thing. I see that we cannot be together, I see why we drifted apart, I see passion lost, hearts betrayed and tears cried in secret places and words, angry and contorted, spoken in public. Tears gather like little storm clouds in my eyes and as much as I will them away with lids firmly shut reality will not be denied. And in that moment I do the cowardly thing, I take the easy route. I give in to the perfect kiss, I give in to the perfect embrace and as I listen to it tell the story of us I kiss her in return. And we draw apart.

Friday, 10 July 2009


a knot in my chest. a lump in my throat. lips pursed on the cusp of trembling and a tear on the verge of fullness.

clouds weeping like saddened angels on the day of rebellion. sky shuddering under the weight of thunderous sobs yet to be born. shards of lightening providing momentary glimpses into the sorrow.

a knot in my chest. a lump in my throat. a hole in my heart.


Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Honest Scrap

In a bold step out of familiar territory I'm going to take up this challenge thrown down by the truly sublime shansPlc. I know it's an award but when you're as bereft of original, vaguely interesting facts, as I am....believe me, it's a challenge. Having said that, this is my first award, I am honoured to receive it and would encourage all and sundry to head over to the word and follow the unfolding story. don't be a lazy bum like me and end up reading the whole thing backwards, go back and read from the start.

I've been told that it works like this:

1) Tell your readers 10 things that are true that they might not know
2) Tag 10 other bloggers to do the same

with no further ado...

1) growing up I almost never walked in straight line anywhere and would invariably find every ditch and gully to walk in or insects to chase and animals (cows and such) to harass along the way.

2) despite what I may have said before, my earliest memory is of my faded and peeled red tractor that I part owned with my brother when we lived in our parents first home.

3) in the summer of 1990 I was almost shot by the paramilitary force that had taken over the government for breaking curfew.

4) when young I was fond of all animals. until a cat bit me....I bit it back.

5) I mask my insecurities with bravado and eloquence. I've done it for so long I don't know who people like more, me or the face I show them.

6) growing up I was always compared to my father because we are almost identical in facial features and, surprisingly, mannerisms.

7) I used to spend hours watching the tumble dryer in my basement, working out the number of cycles based upon the rotation of the particular item I was focussing on.

8) the high standards I demand of myself and the fear my insecurities foster cripple me from attempting many of the things I aspire to.

9) I would love everyone a lot more if I could just figure out how to love myself.

10) if you've read all of these and believe them to be true, you know more about me than most people I've known all my life.

and now for my tags:

1) Afro jellybaby at a road less travelled

4) Moonjava at Moonjava's Muse

5) John at Joh Blogs

6) lainee at got ice cream?

8) Jenn at Free and Flawed

10) little erin at erin uncensored

Thursday, 25 June 2009

only human...

we are children of the impossible. sprung full grown, like athena, from the fount of what could be. we are nothing but potent portents of that which is yet to come. at all times the best and worst of all that has been. our dreams speak mysteries into the deep, drawing, etching, bending reality to our will.

we are the children of the tomorrow. our very lives the playthings of flickle fate, faces fresh and hearts full we brave the unknown each day in search of the simplicity and structure found only in the mundane whilst we pine for the excitement that lies solely within the realm of the surreal.

we are the echoes of destiny. formed of the original substance, that creative spark, we are constantly seeking that indelible mark, that which sets us aside, individual, indivisible, uncommon conformity for which we are named,

we are only human.

Monday, 1 June 2009

pondering blues

I am blue
blue like the moodiest shades of miles,
laid heavy over the melancholy tones of holiday.

blue like purest sapphire soaked in a cloudless autumnal night.
nights, blackened navy, untainted by celestial jewels.
I am blue.

this blueness, drawn from deeper wells of being,
not like the violent reds of anger, demanding attention
or radiant yellows of bliss, glowing for the benefit of many

it is an introspective blue, a contemplative hue, simple and understated,
I am blue.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

on imposition

a friend once asked if I thought she should tell her son about her beliefs. her problem, as she saw it, was that by imposing her views onto the child, 10 years old, she would inhibit him from making reasoned choices later in life. conversely, if she chose not to share with him he would be in a better position to consider all options when and if he got around to making up his own mind.

I am in the habit of speaking plainly with most of the people I know and have to admit, on this occasion, I may have used derisive sarcasm to emphasize my point somewhat, but the main gist was as follows...."bull!"

as a parent your very role is an imposition. you tell the child when to go to bed, when to wake up, what to wear(and increasingly) how to wear it, what to eat, how to eat it, sometimes who to talk to, often who to listen to, how to walk, how to talk, what they will and will not do in supermarket aisles, school playgrounds, roads of all sizes and parks. You demand from them certain behaviours as are in keeping with societal standards and your own. you insist they follow the laws of the land with the hope that they continue to do so as they grow older. all of this and more is not only your right, it is your responsibility.

so I suppose then the real question is you believe that your beliefs are important, relevant, or even true? because when you get down to it, that's all that matters.

the child will always make a choice. you don't teach them to lie, you even encourage them not to, so you can't really hide behind that. there will be choosing.

and there will be imposition, I think I've made that clear. but there is this to consider also. what you don't tell a child sends a loud message too. not challenging littering when you tore him a new one over swearing says that littering is not important. ignoring selfishness when you routinely punish him for fighting says the same.

doing away with the smoke screens and the excuses the only real question I really believe or do I just tick the box and hope no one asks?

and that's one I can't really help with.

Monday, 18 May 2009

it's not you, it's me

I really don't want you to feel bad. after all we've both put into this I think it's only fair that I say this, it's not you, it's me. after all the months and tears, it's not you, it's me.

it's not your inability to share feelings, thoughts and emotions. it's not your cold attitude and unwillingness to be part of my life. it's not even the way you treat me like I don't exist in front of your friends, those rare times you've allowed us to meet, it's me.

I really appreciate your quirky insecurity that has had me jumping through hoops to appease you. that way you never got over previous relationships so that I've had to work doubly hard since the day we met. the way you never have anything to say, never have anything to add, never express any desire to be in my presence. it's not you, it's me.

it's my fault this won't work because I grew up. it's my fault this won't work because I've finally decided I'm worth more. it's my fault this won't work because though I didn't believe it possible I've finally run out of patience.

so don't feel bad, don't change who you are for me because at the end of the day sweetheart, it's not you at all.

I've just moved on.

(don't you wish you thought of this kind of stuff closer to the time?)

Thursday, 30 April 2009

I believe

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog once again. I thought now would be a good time to share with you some of my closely held beliefs. I believe that a dozen affirmations will never outweigh the initial disdain, that's what therapy is for. I believe that time doesn't heal all wounds, it simply places the pain in cold storage until a more inconvenient time. I believe that SimCity is a gate way drug leading eventually to much harder substances, like World of Warcraft, think about it. I believe all we need is love...and food. I believe worse things happen at sea. I believe that meat is murder, tasty, tasty murder. I believe in magic and unicorns and fairies and whatever else makes my god daughter smile. I believe that experience is the best teacher but the courses are often too expensive. I believe there are people who genuinely don't want you to be happy, they work in banks. I believe my goldfish are the best pets in the world, they live outside and are almost completely self sufficient. I believe ma-ti was useless as a planeteer and panthro didn't have to be blue. I believe a society, such as ours, so steeped in celebrity and the pursuit thereof is bound to breed disillusionment and despair. I believe ken lee is an instant classic.


originally posted on 'organised chaos' 3rd september 2008

Thursday, 16 April 2009

on speciesism

Definition of Speciesism: Giving moral preference to the interests of members of one's own species, over identical interests of members of a different species, solely because it is a member of your species.

I really, really want to write something witty about this. I would like to know if Mr. Singer ever came across a sleuth of grizzlies debating over the social mores surrounding the tearing off of human faces. or, perhaps a pride of lions deliberating over whether or not their survival warranted their treatment of the slow antelope or wildebeest.

my point being that it is perfectly natural and acceptable to give preference to the interests of members of one's own species. it's called nature. I'm not saying cruelty to animals is justifiable, in fact, I am strongly against it. but I do believe that humane treatment of other species is a measure of our own humanity not a reflection on the value of the creature in question.

our power over the other sentient beings on this planet (by means of force and/or intellect) is without question. our power over ourselves, exhibited through compassion, kindness and self control....this is where the true battle lies.

Friday, 10 April 2009

for fox sake

fox hunting, contentious non-issue that it is, has raised it's ravaged and hotly debated head once more. so let's pretend, like anyone else caught up in this 'controversy', that there isn't a worldwide economic disaster in progress, that carbon emissions (and general environmental negligence) from both developing and developed nations alike isn't hastening a crisis the likes of which the future will forever be ill-equipped to deal with. we can even go so far as to put aside the increasing danger we all live under due to ever growing nuclear proliferation in nations better known for their belligerence and paranoia than anything else and not to mention the looming menace of a nation run by a police force without ethics, boundaries or conscience.

so let's talk about fox hunting. but first, let's not talk about tens of thousands of children dying for a chance to live. let's bypass the less than noble wars raging across the globe by less than noble men for less than noble reasons. let us opt to not acknowledge the poverty of spirit which breeds oppression, the poverty of mind bearing the fruit of ignorance and hatred, and the poverty of soul giving rise to murder, that plagues humanity.

fox hunting. that's what we should be talking about. fox hunting.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

teaching by numbers

so I work with children...

some would argue that it's a step up from the world of knuckle dragging , mono browed avarice but you'd be surprised. don't get me wrong, there's a sense of 'giving back' that pushing paper and counting coins didn't provide but school, education, learning....this is big business.

I don't suppose many people realise that education in several London boroughs is contracted out to firms with very little experience in actual teaching, much less interfacing with younglings. Take, for example, the considerable corporate mass that is the fleet constructing, army training, waste recycling, nuclear decommissioning (the list goes on) Group that presently holds the contract for delivering education to young people in Waltham Forest.

Maybe there's a lot I don't understand and undoubtedly there are huge swathes of information that I do not have privy to but I remain unconvinced that these well meaning business people are best suited to do this job.

Spending each day in classroom I am constantly growing a new and deeper appreciation of what it means to succeed. I say this because no one ventures into business without carefully considering what they would find a successful result. but, and this is where it gets interesting, what counts as success for the average nuclear decommissioning company probably differs greatly to what any one of my teacher colleagues would recognise by the same name, not to mention the children.

you see, money is not and cannot be our bottom line. as my father would say 'teaching is a noble vocation'. of course he what he means by that is that one would have to be incredibly self-sacrificing (or at the very least, nuttier than squirrel shit in a peanut factory) to try it. he was a teacher for 20 years before making this declaration...and he's not very self sacrificing, but that's another rant altogether. I guess the point I'm trying to make is this, the bottom line is the children. yes, schools don't run of smilie faces and polite nods, but when we start seeing little pound signs running around playgrounds and stop seeing individuals with often more hardships than hopes, more disappointments than dreams and more afflictions than aspirations then that's when we ought to step out of teaching and perhaps, maybe...consider banking.

Monday, 23 February 2009

behold, the mighty mediocre...

just sat through push, the latest offering from the good folks that brought us such unforgettable fare as lucky number slevin in years past. 

I'll keep this brief. I really wanted to enjoy this film. it had all the ingredients to make it brilliant. the plot was interesting enough and the actors weren't too shabby (admittedly some were better than others but the average was fairly....passable). I guess it just goes to show that even after you throw all the right elements together it doesn't guarantee a success. almost every scene seemed packed with potential and almost every scene managed not to capitalise on this. a perfect example would be the scenery. the film is based in hong kong and not a single shot truly captured the electric charisma that is so characteristic of that great port city.
can't give this uninspired 111 minute jaunt through hk's lesser known back streets more than a disappointed 5/10. could've been better, should've been better but fell short of satisfying. all it needed was one last push.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

do you believe in karma?

I got stopped the other day by a girl wanting me to sign up to some charity. now I'm a fairly charitable person...but at the same time I'm broke, not only am I broke...I foresee myself being broke for some time to come. I don't really have a problem with this, in fact, I'm pretty chilled about it but it does mean I really oughtn't be giving away any new money on a regular basis.

when I tried to explain this to the eager charity worker she countered with 'do you believe in karma?' didn't take me too long to say no. I don't believe in very much to be honest and karma never did appeal to me.

but the question has stuck with me. days later I'm asking myself, what did she mean by karma? I mean, I believe in actions and consequence and if she meant that then we've pretty much agreed but if she meant that when you do good things, then good things come back to a kind of cosmic balancing act where all things exist in equal portions and reality as we know it is constantly in a battle to maintain its own equilibrium...then I ain't buying it.

if somebody out there can pin down what exactly karma is then please let me know. the way I see it, good things happen to bad people all day (and double on the weekends) where's the delicate balance then? and what about bad stuff happening to good folks? where's the karma in that?

I'm gonna get personal with this one because I know I say some cruel stuff sometimes. I've been known to be mean to vertically challenged people, sarcastic and not especially kind to domesticated quadrupeds amongst other short comings. but what karma says to me is that one day, bad things will happen to me as a result. period. well....what happened to grace? ya see, in my book grace doesn't give you what you deserve and mercy gives you what you couldn't earn.

I guess that's my main problem with karma. as far as quasi religious theories go I have to say that "shit happens" works much better for me. with karma there's no room for accidents. there's no understanding of mistakes. the human is elevated to a state of infallibility that no wrong doing can be forgiven and punishment looms over us all. that's a harsh way to live. besides, if I'm only doing 'good' stuff so that 'good' stuff can happen to me (I call that "the santa syndrome") then surely that doesn't count. does karma differentiate between actions and motivations??

no charity worker lady, I don't believe in karma. but can I ask you something as you stand there collecting money for unfortunate children who are beaten, abused and abandoned, the cancer patient who may never see their childs wedding day or even the mentally challenged, daily facing an onslaught we could never imagine, a war in their minds we could never begin to comprehend? if you believe in karma.....what did they do?

Saturday, 24 January 2009

how's that for enlightenment?

so let me make sure I'm understanding this....

a professor of education has stepped down from his position within the british academy of science...because he urged teachers to be prepared to discuss and debate the relative benefits and possible weaknesses of a theoretical explanation to our existence?

so basically, science has won a battle over curiosity. well done science! no longer will you be subject to the whims and fancies of the inquisitive. no longer will you be goaded into reaching further and further into the unknown. no longer will you be held responsible for the enlightenment of minds and the broadening of horizons.

finally, the search has ended, science has found out everything it has ever wanted to know and is content to simply congeal in its superiority, mold over and turn into dogma.

I'll come back to dogma in a bit, bugbear of mine that it is, but I have to ask...isn't debate and discussion, exploration and exposition the very foundation of science? isn't science about knowing clearly the dark mysteries of the universe? isn't the point of science to prove without a doubt that which defunct tradition, age old ignorance and (dogmatic) superstition have kept locked away?

surely if children go to school with errant beliefs and misguided convictions it is the teachers responsibility to educate them, but you'll catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar, and to suggest that teachers not be prepared to talk about creationism in it's various forms is to deprive students the opportunity to grow in their ability to think and deny science the ability to grow in it's understanding of the world around us.

it amazes me that when religious groups become this defensive about their deeply held beliefs the question always arises...."if you're so sure of what you know then why can't you debate it?"

well, I put that same question to the cowards at the Royal Society, and the relevant education authorities...if you're so sure, then why can't a child ask a question and expect a reasonable, fair and dare I say, educated, response from a teacher?

so the religion of the day is science. it's dogma shall not be questioned and it's decrees are absolute. it's prophets, adorned in the priestly robes of the high office of the lab tech, speak with the unerring voice of those truly attuned to the whispers of purest knowledge. and we, simpletons and plebs, the unwashed masses dare not contradict.

how's that for enlightenment?

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

it's a small world after all

I am constantly amazed at how small our worlds have become. we seem to have become intellectual xenophobes. spending each day in mortal fear of the unknown thoughts lurking behind the eyes of the unknown other. tight lipped and even tighter cliqued we circle the wagons and exclude any and all who don't fit into our increasingly small understanding of what it means to be.

From the rooftops we declare tolerance and acceptance, every mouth in the land sings 'welcome' but our doors remain barred to those that think, look or speak differently. we eye them with suspicion and mistrust. a mistrust born of a thousand not yet committed sins, borne on the wings of a myriad secondhand tales of unverifiable villainy.

Our specious salutations, fallacious fabrication of friendliness, nothing more than denials of our base nature, or even the nature of our baseness. we tolerate those that agree with us. with open arms we welcome those from whom we have never parted.

How small have our worlds become? so afraid are we that we harangue, insult and deride what we do not understand. we bolster our own insecurities with vulgar misunderstanding and pray fervently that no one sees through our facade to our fear. we are child like, running from the dark and hoping against hope for the light of day to release us.

perhaps one day our worlds will collide, perhaps the sound of a million smashing snow globes will shake us from this isolationist stupor, as we awake to the colour and vivacity that life lived in real communion with real people (not this masquerade of the make believe) can hold. perhaps...

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

on originality

it occurs to me that in the effort to break new ground, the rugged pursuit of the elusive original, we sometimes lose our way. our focus blurred by the intensity of our own intention. our stamina worn away by the monotony of the commonplace. we strive on through the everyday seeking that which will truly amaze, enthrall, captivate.

but, as the bard said, here lies the rub, for it is by the commonplace that the truly glorious is masked and everday we dwell among the breath taking....we need only look.

my dogma ate my homework, pt.1

I'm not a fan of religion. any religion. by and large, man made institutions, castles of cards made of idiotic traditions founded on rules and regulations created solely to bind people in fear and guilt. religion covers ignorance like a dirty bandage on a weeping sore.

that said I've had my full of the arm chair philosophers, word of mouth historians and the multiplicity of others claiming boldly 'religion has killed more people than all the wars in history combined!' really? come on, we've all heard enough politicking to be able to spot a whopping great pile of manure masquerading as fact, haven't we?

religion is a lot of things. worked into its design, into its very fabric, is manipulation and control through fear and ignorance. careful utilisation of these, facets, so to speak, has contributed to the amassing of great political influence among other things. and the overwhelming greed, that holds these structures together, enshrined in defunct doctrine and tradition, coupled with the paranoia that such institutions engender, keep the wheels turning. this isn't news to anyone.

but isn't this what religion was designed to do? religion is a tool. designed to make a few people very powerful (and/or wealthy) at the expense of the masses. at various points in the history of civilisation this ferocious avarice has came up against diametric opposition in the form of someone else trying to expand their fiefdom. it is inevitable. an old fashioned power struggle. simple as that.

but since when does the gun take responsibility over the shooter? and which courts try and imprison the knife? religion hasn't killed anyone. it can't. insidious as it seems to be, by it's very nature it is inert and incapable of independent thought.

so folks, let's be sensible. people kill people. people have killed people. and by the looks of it, people will continue to kill people. let's have fewer excuses and more transparency. and hey, who knows, we might even someday manage to stop killing ourselves.