Saturday, April 30, 2005

Last of the Month

In a desperate attempt to take some photos, she heads out at dusk with camera and tripod in hand to capture
the usual flowers...

...flukely managing to focus, despite the lack of the ability to see...(yes, it is in focus, if you click for a larger image)

...and the bizzarely out-of-place, painfully 1990's archicture of the old people appartment building: pink stucco with blue trim nessled nicely in beside the forest...
at least the fountain is interesting at night...


I have no clear thoughts. I just float around, feeling, existing. Being nothing. It's like a moment of limbo: neither here nor there, this nor that.
So I wait and I breathe in the air; the perfume of forests. And it's utterly intoxicating.
It's nice for a change, to have an uncluttered head, but it's different and that makes it strange. I worry that my brain will mushify, so the next book I read will be thought and thinking provoking.
Right now, I'm reading spirituality and feeling. And it's good, don't get me wrong! Just a change after a semester of heavy academic reading. It's a reread, and I'm remembering some things I forgot: about a world of energy, human interaction, the history of my life, and my purpose, my goals. Perhaps, when I have the brain, I'll talk more on that.
Right now, I just feel. No thinking. It's so nice for a change. Come to think of it, these are perfect conditions for what I need to do right now. And there is the answer! Ah ha! Thankyou.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Cultivation

of Love

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Three hours total of transit for a hug. Definately worth it.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Return to the Swamp

Walking home from school, for the last time from good old Cap College, I meandered into the swamp - this time managing to keep my phone safely in the pocket!
And it turned out to be a rather phallic swamp!

Then things got curly!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Pyramid's Foundation

When all the walls you built collapse:
infinite freedom, clear and vast.

When all you thought you knew turns false,
insight glimmers through the loss.


I'm holding on to positive words like these, to get me through this state of anomie. Because I'm at the bottom of my eternal cycling through the good and the bad - loneliness and aimlessness. I tore down my walls, but now they're collapsing further around me. It's scary, but I know it's not forever. And when I ride the current back up to the top, it will be ever more beautiful; a view less cluttered.


They who want nothing
have everything ever,

and when they do not get it
they have too much.

What they require appears before them
in perfect time.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

No More Turning Away

On The Turning Away

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won't understand
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"

It's a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it's shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we're all alone
In the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It's not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there'll be
No more turning away?

-Pink Floyd

Music and Culture

Music is probably one of the few artistic mediums that can reach the masses. I say this after only briefly thinking about it, so correct me if I'm wrong. The majority of Art in our culture is aimed at the creme of the crop, the elite of society. Classical Visual Art is displayed in fancy museums and studios that exclude the lay person. Ballets, symphonies, operas, and plays are viewed nearly exclusively by the upper crust. This is unfortunate because Art can be incredibly powerful in sending messages to people and influencing culture. I wonder what good elitist Art can do when it is funded by and made for the same elite that have the privilage of enjoying it?
The Art for the masses seems to be largely musical (as well as the graffiti of inner cities). This, in a grasping optimistic view, is hopeful because music can be very easily spread throughout people - it's not like there is only one copy of the song that must be heard exclusively in a studio. It transcends that - it can be heard over a radio or from a cd from anyone with the simple technology to play it. Music, in this sense, has a real power to touch people and, ideally, enlighten them. Since most songs have explicit lyrics, it avoids a large part of the subjectivity of purely visual art - the words of a song can send a clear message to the public. Look at the music of the 60's and 70's! It's so powerful.
It's too bad that popular music these days is so largely terrible, musically and lyrically. I'm sure there are some jems out there, there always are, but the problem is that you have to dig through so much shit to find them! When was the last time that Brittney sang something insightful about life or society? With all the influence the celebrities have over our culture, this is really scary.
As demonstrated in the previous post of Jack Johnson lyrics, there are songs out there that talk about real things, and provided that the listeners listen, could provoke some serious, critical thought about society. I only wish there were more!
Personally, I love classic rock and am experiencing a very long obsession with Pink Floyd. They have amazing lyrics (which I will post after this one) and amazing sounds. I can't get enough of them, but that's not really my point here at all.
My point is that if mainstream music could revive some of its grassroots authenticity and integrity, this world just might be a better place. If the majority of people listened to songs that talked about real issues, not just fluff garbage that perpetuates the status quo of crap, they might just take a step back and look at their lives, their actions, and their world.
But maybe mainstream music has never been that powerful. Maybe it's all about the lesser-known movements that eventually come into the light because they speak out to the real masses of people. I'm not very "in" with really any newly created music (I tend to lock myself up in my classic rock bubble, probably not so good, I know), but a friend showed me to some very insightful lyrics by a band called Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The song is called The Creature and speaks wonderfully about the capitalist system and society:
The Creature

There is a creature that has to feed
It stops at nothing to fill its need

The people live in gruesome squalor
So that the creature may grow taller
Those with nothing, have to bleed
To help the creature spread its seed

They learn to dine on fecal matter
So that the creature may grow fatter

The creature tells of evil gnomes
Coming to destroy our homes
And trolls, who come with gun and knife
To threaten our way of life

The creature has enslaved our town
But no-one thinks to bring it down
Provided with so much distraction
The people can’t be moved to action

And when people are all dead
Still the creature needs its bread
When we’ve been sucked completely dry
The creature needs its food supply

A parasite can not survive
Unless its host remains alive

It has amassed such awesome wealth
Maybe it can eat itself!

If only there were more songs like this floating around out there!
Everything that goes into your head is brainwashing you to an extent, so here's to the musical movement to awaken people to what's really happening around them! To more than one night stands and cosmetic-surgury-"beauty"! To more than diamonds and luxury cars! Here's to hopeing that something potentially very powerful can and will do something good!

Insightful Lyrics to Pleasant Tunes


Look at all those fancy clothes,
But these could keep us warm just like those.
And what about your soul? Is it cold?
Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold?

And cars and phones and diamond rings,
Bling, bling, those are only removable things.
And what about your mind? Does it shine?
Are there things that concern you, more than your time?

Gone, goin', gone everything,
Gone, don't give a damn.
Gone, be the birds, when they don't wanna sing.
Gone, people, all awkward with their things,

Look at you, out to make a deal.
You try to be appealing, but you lose your appeal.
And what about those shoes you're in today?
They'll do no good, on the bridges you burnt along the way.

Are you willing to sell, anything?
Gone, with your head.
Leave your footprints,
And we'll shame them with our words.
Gone, people, all careless and consumed.

Gone, gone, goin',gone, everything.
Gone, don't give a damn.
Gone, be the birds, when they don't wanna sing.
Gone, people, all awkward with their things,

-Jack Johnson

Sunday, April 03, 2005

New Links

I put some links in over there on the right. The Tyee and Independant Media are news sites. I haven't really spent too much time at all in them, but I've heard good things and I'm hoping that having a link there will also help me to check them out more often. Dooney's Cafe contains more discussions of issues rather than your typical news of reporting atomized events. The Rebel is self-explained upon arrival. Poxin is an artist friend's photography, primarily. And the Pod Collective is a collection of artists expressing themselves in all sorts of ways.

The Culture of Liberty

I can't think of my own words right now, so instead I'll direct you to an interesting essay, "The Culture of Liberty," writen by a Peruvian intellectual, Mario Vargas Llosa (pronounced "yosa"), on globalization. It might seem a little long, but I think it's worth it, I hope you find the time!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pod Collective

The weather is impeding my phototgraphic desires and I have the shutter release twitch! So I was cruising around a most interesting site of artistic creations, fueling my desire to photograph and create something visually stimulating, when I happened upon something that fits perfectly into my recent thought train....

Click for larger image for easier reading of the text.

An Angry Woman

I was already wriled up when I checked my email and opened a foward from a friend entitled "Men Strike Back" -I should have known what was coming and how mad it would make me. Here's what it read:

The time has finally come... Men strike back! ! ! ! ! ! How many men does it take to open a beer? None. It should be opened when she brings it.
Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman? Because a woman who can't even afford a washing machine will probably never be able to support you.
Why do women have smaller feet than men? It's one of those "evolutionary things" that allows them to stand closer to the kitchen sink.
How do you know when a woman is about to say something smart? When she starts a sentence with "A man once told me.."
How do you fix a woman's watch? You don't. There is a clock on the oven.
If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first? The dog, of course. He'll shut up once you let him in. What's worse than a Male Chauvinist Pig? >A woman who won't do what she's told.
I married a Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.
Scientists have discovered a food that diminishes a woman's sex drive by 90%. It's called a Wedding Cake.
Why do men die before their wives? They want to.
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
In the beginning, God created the earth and rested. Then God created Man and rested. >Then God created Woman. Since then, neither God nor Man has rested.

I was angry after the first "joke" and quickly flew down the road of rage as I read along. The person that forwarded this to me is well aware of my feelings toward racism and sexism -zero tolerance, so why did he send me this? He thought it was just light-hearted humor. But there is nothing funny about sexism. It's bullshit! He might not be sexist himself, but he supported sexist ideology by forwarding this email. People might say these are just jokes, but they are more than just jokes because of the effect they have on the consciousness of the population. With "jokes" like these floating around in the public discourse, people come to see sexism as just part of our society and even acceptable. Forwards like these are perpetuating sexist fucking bullshit ideology!
"Men strike back." What bullshit! Men have been striking back for millenia; excluding women from education and politics. Women have only just begun to "strike back" in the past couple of centuries, and only because they know that gender equality is right and fair. Ahhhhhhhhh. The title of this forward is the worst part of it! For men to think that they are finally striking back is the most idiotic thing I've heard in a long time. Oh ya, you've been really oppressed by these feminist movements in less than two hundred years of women fighting to end sexist oppression - that's got to be tough. Try thousands of years of oppression! Maybe for the next two thousand years, we should make women the dominating gender, then we'll talk and see how you feel about it.
I've been reading a fair bit of feminist literature and literature on feminism, and I intend on reading more so that I can understand it the best as I can. Because the thing about feminist movement is that it's incredibly misunderstood and it's foundations and goals have been really warped in the public eye. Feminisms (and yes, there is an S on feminsims there for a reason - there are many variations of it) take a lot of flack because when people hear the word, they think of raging white women burning bras, creating women's only communities, and hating men. But, as bell hooks recently pointed out to me (through my school readings), feminist movement is a movement for the end to sexist oppression. When people understand this, many of them realize that they actually advocate feminist movement. Understanding what something is is essential in building your relationhip to it.

But back to the email, the only funny line in the whole email is the one about woment never being equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. (This is still sexist - toward both men and women - but the social commentary is humous). But the thing is, women will never be equal to men so long as emails like this get forwarded, read, and laughed at.

Read articles by hell hooks here!

Friday, April 01, 2005

A Rant

I've been wriled up about the world for a long time, but the classes that I've just finished really got me going recently -I definately picked the right courses this semester. I've probably learned more about the world and looked at it more critically in the past three months than ever before. Now that the semester is over, I'm going to do my best to continue on with this current trend, with or without the textbooks and teachers.
This seems to sum up what I got out of the two sociology classes:

The world can really get you down. When you really start learning about it and how incredibly complicated the problems are, it's easy to disempower yourself by feeling so overwhelmed. We live in a society in which our lives become so atomized, we feel like we live in a vacuum. But we don't! Every one of our actions, thoughts and feelings have an effect!

Arrr! It's all ripples in the pond! We need to learn to re-empower ourselves, and realize that we can change the way things are! If there is something we don't like about our society or our culture, we need to work to change things! You can't just sit back and be passive about it (and if you do chose to be that way, you certainly can't complain about it, and if you do complain throughout your passivity, I will have no sympathy for you)!
We are both created by and creating the society, so every one of our actions does have an effect. Because we live in this world WITH OTHER PEOPLE, it's a community! Each one of our so-thought-to-be insignificant actions get added to all the other actions of all the other people around us. Think about the collective power of our actions! It's incredible! We really can make a change, as long as we realize this.
This is why it's so important to have as good of an understanding about the way things work in this world, so that we can choose our actions in a way to best influence the path of society. You can't just run around with your eyes closed and hope that things work out the way you want to. It's time for people to open their eyes and start looking more carefully. As Gordon would say, "you have to be a SHIT DETECTOR!" The world is filled with smoke screens and shit veils. We need to be knowledgeable and critical about the world so that we can first detect the shit, then start to peel it back and see the world with new clarity.
It's time to start smelling the poo!