There once was a man from Totten,
Who really was quite rotten,
Then he died
And no one cried.
Soon he was forgotten.
There once was a man from Totten,
Who really was quite rotten,
Then he died
And no one cried.
Soon he was forgotten.
It is good to think. For yourself.
Most of us have given up on that. We take what we are being presented with as the truth. Not much of it is. TV, Radio, really any form of mass media or communication only have one product. They only sell one thing. That one thing is you.
The only reason there is content is to make you watch. You will be exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of different product placements every day. The very fabric of your reality is determined by advertising and the pursuit of your money.
Make no mistake, they know what makes us tick.
Yesterday I was taking an escalator. It was going down. On my left they were advertising sunglasses on a poster. A semi naked young woman was embracing a young man. She had her back to the audience, the young man was facing you. He was wearing the sunglasses, of course.
We are that dumb now?
As you are the product, you might wonder who the customer is. Everybody who wants to sell you something. Everybody.
They spent billions in an attempt to earn trillions. And they are succeeding.
Along the way this particular end has become the only end. We are, for better or for worse, a total consumer society. All our culture, our once noble pursuits, our science our art. They are all geared to sell more things no one really needs.
One of the greatest achievements recently, was the extremely high altitude jump from the edge of space. Sponsored by Redbull. Wow.
A softdrink company has a better space program than most nations.
I do not mean to be too negative but it is hard to see your way past the inevitable. We are becoming creatively barren. No art for art’s sake anymore. It is all driven by the mindless need to consume and make you consume more and more. Without end.
We live on a planet with finite resources. Unlimited growth is a dangerous fallacy. We will consume ourselves to death. The need for greater and greater profits and more and more stuff will, eventually, be the end of us.
Think for yourself. Do you really need that thing that you feel you must have? Really?
How about just sitting down and writing down your thoughts. You could start blogging…
I love movies. Most movies anyway. There are some I hate.
But this is not that blog.
This blog is about movies I adore.
Storytelling is as old as time. In the long forgotten days of yore when weary travelers, merchants, adventurers and innkeepers would sit around a fireplace or cooking fire to trade stories and news from far distant lands, there was an art to the telling of the story.
It had to be interesting, engaging, maybe even a little bombastic and perched just on the edge of disbelief. Stories like that that have survived to this day are the adventures of Sindbad, Gulliver and Munchhausen. They, in my humble opinion, represent the best of the craft.
These days that art is almost lost. Especially in movies. Special effects and pretty faces have replaced the simple elegance of a good story.
Jack Lemmon said (in the 80s) that he could make 5 great movies with the blood and special effects budget from Terminator. ***I am not disparaging Terminator – actually quite liked the original*** But the point Jack made stands.
So here are the movies I adore. They have complex, interesting and at times surprising story lines. The characters are rich and layered, they draw you in. You start caring. You hate them, you love them, you feel for and with them.
Casablanca – Bogie and Bergmann, love lost, found and lost again. One of the best ending scenes in movie history. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship….
The man from Earth – Truly a surprise when I first watched it. This is the kind of movie that makes you wish you could watch it over and over again for the first time. A very strong and engaging story, with clever conversation and a number of twists. The final twist though was the most rewarding.
The Shawshank Redemption – Brilliant acting and a truly epic story of one man’s will to live and overcome. The final 20 minutes of this movie are magic and amongst the most rewarding I have had the pleasure to spent in a cinema.
Don Camillo and Pepone – An Italian classic, black and white, set just after World War II. It is the kind of cinema that fills you with joy at being alive. I strongly urge you to watch this movie, it is well worth the subtitles (in case you do not like subtitles).
They live – Odd choice, you think? I am a big fan of John Carpenter movies. He breaks the mold of Hollywood. No happy endings, no final justice – for the most part anyway. This movie speaks to me on a very personal level and represents one of the best cinematic attacks on our over-bloated consumer society I have come across. Apart from other, deeper layers of meaning and understanding.
Spirited away – A triumph. Miyazaki did everything right in this astonishing and enchanted tour de force. I was blown away. I wanted to be there. I longed to be in the spirit world. It all felt oddly familiar. This movie tapped into something deep and hidden within me.
There are more movies I love, but these are the ones I would pack on a one way trip to Mars.
I am sure you have similar lists, and hey, it might just be time to re-watch one of those old favourites. What do you think?
There is a land not far away. The land of the grey. Just around that bend.
Grey men live in grey houses, thinking grey thoughts all day long in Greyland.
They eat grey meals and drink grey beer and make merry at a game of grey on grey.
Philosophy is sport in the land of grey. Incessant is the argument of the merits of grey and being grey, much better grey than black or white. They can’t change their stripes. Dogmatic are the black and white. Dogmatic to a fault. Shades of grey are much more tolerant and see life for what it really is, an endless sea of grey.
Greyland is content and the great day of grey is fast approaching. Many visitors are expected for great grey festivities. From far and wide will they roam. Some say even the Opaque might come.
On the day of days a man like no other came. A man of strange and bewildering appearance. What manner of grey is he? He is not black or white, certainly not opaque. Strangeness upon strangeness.
Technicolor man strode about in technicolor brilliance. Confusing and befuddling where he went.
Some grey men could not see him for all his color. He was too far from grey.
The grey authorities saw him causing puzzlement, disturbing the unity of grey. Contentment was in danger. The grey men had to act.
Technicolor man will be buried at the first grey of dawn.
Keep your peace
Burning, aching, white hot anguish
violently broiling through the Id
No temperance, just will
But no release or culmination
Frustrated impotence, words, gestures
Smoke and sound
Schall und Rauch
abating, ebbing of the volatile,
waiting to be unleashed
always present, always there
the passenger, hidden by the night
the night of my mind.
Sure, everyone has a fetish. People come in all varieties of crazy. Who are we to judge?
if there are people starving and your fetish will eventually kill you, should you pursue it?
We are living in an age where psychiatrists are trying to have grief and sadness classified as mental disorders. (Look it up if you do not believe me.)
‘What’s wrong with him?’
‘He is sad, his friend died.”
“Ooh, better lock him up and medicate him into happy land.”
Unlikely? Not really.
So, then, normal emotional expressions are becoming fast unacceptable, while unnatural emotional and physical states are protected under the banner of fetishism, consumerism and political correctness.
Eat until you are so morbidly obese that you become disabled.
Saying our children have ADHD is equally abhorent. Kids do not have the attention span of adults – period. Nor should they. Has anyone ever looked at the diet those alleged ADHD kids consume?
I bet my bottom dollar that it is full of sugar, additives, artificial colours and preservatives.
Morgan Spurlock made a brilliant point in his ‘Supersize me’ – he reported on a school which took in all the disciplinary cases from other schools – a last resort kind of school. The solution to the kids problems was largely diet. They fed them whole natural foods in the right quantities and at the right time.
Wow, common sense.
We are so far off course that any corrective action will take years before we see the fruits. That does not mean we should not do it.
Let’s start at home.
By the way, do you know what kind of food our grandparents were forced to eat?
Organic, whole foods. Because there was nothing else available.
How many cases of morbidly obese people and ADHD kids did your grandparents have to deal with?
This morning I took my wife to work. Traffic, as usual, was very busy and it was more of a stop-and-go arrangement rather than a swift and decisive drive.
The last part of the journey took us past a cemetery to our left. It is beautiful, small and recessed headstones, luscious lawns, well kept small hedges and a blue sky and sparkling sunlight to boot.
That was on our left.
On our right we see the legions emerging from the underground railway station into the blinding light. They assemble into shambling cohorts and trudge along miserably, already knowing the shape and circumstance of their day. No joy, no surprises there.
It seems odd that the near living should be in a position to envy the finitely dead. I look left again and think that I would probably prefer to bask in the sun – even under the lawn.
It is clear that most of the undead on the right in their pale imitation of life think similar thoughts if they are still able to.
Where did we go so wrong?
As I sit here writing this, only a few hours have passed since an asteroid the size of a four story house hurtled passed our little blue-green marble at a distance of 28000 kms or about 17000 miles. That is well within the orbit of our highest communications satellites.
Simultaneously (well, a little earlier really), a meteor entered the earth’s atmosphere resulting in widespread damage and some one thousand injured people in the Ural mountains.
Personally, I think we will find that these incidents are related.
It raises, however, a rather dire spectre. What if the next chunk of space flotsam does not pass us by, what if its motto is ‘Earth or dust’. We have no serious funds invested in protecting ourselves from this very real threat.
One only needs to look at the scar(r)ed surface of our closest companion – La Luna – to see that hits are frequent – speaking in geological ages.
In fact Gaia herself has ample scars resulting from the failure of near misses – a failed near miss is a hit – yes – I know – I am being facetious.
So, I propose, unless we wish to go the way of the dinosaurs, we all write to members of Parliament, Congress, Senate, Knesset, Bundestag, Upper House, Lower House etc ad infinitum, stating our desire, as lawfully registered and enfranchised constituents, to funnel some of the billions we spent on bailing out the big end of town to the protection of our species (and, incidentally, every other species on the planet, as well).
What say you, the great unwashed?
As dusk draws close,
suffusion of amber,
ivory in descent, ebony in ascent
placid clouds amble across a neutral sky
Zeitgeist slain – imbeciles triumphant
no flood, no fire, no plague
that ended us
Well, think again.
What if I told you that the world is run by 7 or maybe 9 men? Crazee, you say, impossible others mutter – that guy is a nutter.
Really, well, maybe not.
Chew on this:
At the top of the list of those who run the world, we have the major international banking houses, which control the global central banking system. From there, these dynastic banking families created an international network of think tanks, which socialised the ruling elites of each nation and the international community as a whole, into a cohesive transnational elite class. The foundations they established helped shape civil society both nationally and internationally, playing a major part in the funding – and thus coordinating and co-opting – of major social-political movements.
And this is where it gets really strange…
The world’s oldest secret society…NUM.
The society is named as the NINE UNKNOWN MEN.
(Some claim it is a council of seven rather than nine (like me) – the point is that it is claimed that the number of individuals controlling many aspects of our lives is very small indeed.
It is possible to entertain such a small number because of the pyramidal and compartmentalized structure of general society and the secret societies.)
It was founded by Ashoka the great, the Indian ruler who converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga war.
The ruler felt that to maintain peace, the technology should be kept hidden from the evil men, so he formed a council of this NINE scholars of his court (navaratnas) and gave them this responsibility of performing high researches and keeping it underground until unless required to save humanity from extinction. Some versions of the story include an additional motivation for the Emperor to conceal scientific knowledge: remnants of the Rama Empire, an Indian version of Atlantis, which according to Hindu scripture was destroyed by advanced weaponry 15000 years ago.
Theories have also begun to surface claiming that Rama and Atlantis might have had war using nuclear technology, and destroyed each other.
Among conspiracy theorists the Nine Unknown is often cited as one of the oldest and most powerful secret societies in the world. Unusually for the conspiracy subculture, the image of the group is largely though not entirely benign. Theosophists also believe the Nine to be a real organization that is working for the good of the world.
Nine men are believed to have great powers, they are ascended masters and generally have no contact with the outer world. But there are few instances where they seemed to had contact with some of the humans like the one of pope Sylvester II also known as Gerbert d’Aurillac.
Each of the Nine is supposedly responsible for guarding and improving a single book. These books each deal with a different branch of potentially hazardous knowledge. Traditionally, the books are said to cover the following subjects:
1. Propaganda and Psychological warfare.
2. Physiology, including instructions on how to perform the “touch of death.” One account has Judo being a product of material leaked from this book.
3. Microbiology, and, according to more recent speculation, Biotechnology. In some versions of the myth, the waters of the Ganges are purified with special microbes designed by the Nine and released into the river at a secret base in the Himalayas. Multitudes of pilgrims, suffering from the most appalling diseases, bathe in them without harming the healthy ones. The sacred waters purify everything. Their strange properties have been attributed to the fact that they contain bacteriophages.
4. Alchemy, including the transmutation of metals. In India, there is a persistent rumor that during times of drought or other natural disasters temples and religious organizations receive large quantities of gold from an unknown source. The mystery is further deepened with the fact that the sheer quantity of gold throughout the country in temples and with kings cannot be properly accounted for, seeing that India has only ever had one gold mine.
5. Communication, including communication with extraterrestrials.
6. Gravitation. Book 6 is said to contain the instructions necessary to build a Vimana, sometimes referred to as the “ancient UFOs of India.”
9. Sociology, including rules concerning the evolution of societies and how to predict their downfall
Personally, I believe there are seven people (?) at the top of the hierarchy but that’s just nitpicking…