Monday, December 20, 2010

What then?

When no matter how big or small you think, you don't want to be anywhere.

When you've deconstructed god, not because you wanted to, but because you needed something that could hold up to scrutiny.

When you can see the nets we've woven around ourselves as a society, with all its tangles and all its holes. How comfortable it can make us, as long as we don't look too hard at what it's made of. And for goodness sake, don't struggle against it. Don't even talk about it.

When lies and lies and lies have been told. All in the form of I love you. Over and Over. When that doesn't mean I won't turn my back on you forever in a second.

When you find the good people, the few that remain after the fire and you are not like them, and it makes you feel more lonely than ever.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Turning back the clock, or why choosing to become landed peasants is a political statement

It has often seemed to me that in modern society we have replaced one external locus of control in religion, for another in corporate capitalism. The mechanisms are different, but many of the results are similar, that we as a people submit to the idea that someone 'out there' has the right and power to influence our existence, often more than we do ourselves. I began wondering if there are ways we really could move towards independence and true self determination while fulfilling our need for community. I thought about the ways that this external locus of control has made me uncomfortable in the past and what I was motivated to do about it.

An example I thought of was something that doesn't seem very political at all - a glass of water. It started off as conservation, I didn't want to be responsible for water shortages, or the need for another super dam and all of it's environmental ramifications. But it became more than that. I'd been doing some reading on flouride, and chlorine, and realised that no matter what my conclusions were on their relative safety, I couldn't do anything about it anyway. I didn't like the ownership a corporation had over the water falling from the sky, and who could have it, and for how much. I even heard that some water corporations were examining ways they could charge people for collecting water from their own roofs if they were in their designated catchment. However I felt about it, I was powerless, one small voice in a highly centralised system. And this was with regards to something that was central to me, in fact making up over 70% of my body. The payoff was of course, I did not have to take responsibility for the quantity or quality of that water. In this case I could, with a great deal of expense and fighting with said corporation, take that responsibility on myself, which I did. But what if we reach a point where we can't?

“It seems to me a very good thing, in theory as well as practice, that there should be a body of citizens primarily concerned in producing and consuming … that there should be in the community a sort of core not only of simplicity but of completeness… But there would be somewhere in the centre of civilization a type that was truly independent; in the sense of producing and consuming within its own social circle. I do not say that such a complete human life stands for a complete humanity. But I do say that this man who supplies his own needs is very much needed. I say it largely because of his absence from modern civilization, that modern civilization has lost unity.” – G. K. Chesterton, The Outline of Sanity, 1926

Then I made the connection that a particular arm of the environmental movement, often called 'urban homesteading' is as much a political statement, as it is a practical, green lifestyle choice. I like planting a carrot because of all the externalised, corporately infrastructure I'm NOT using to do so. Consistent, universal supply is great (if one allows the remain hidden the true cost of such a system), but let's not allow the point where such things become our only option slip by unnoticed. A carrot. Whoda thought.

“We therefore consider whether it is yet conceivable to restore that long-forgotten thing called Self-Government: that is, the power of the citizen in some degree to direct his own life and construct his own environment; to eat what he likes, to wear what he chooses, and to have (what the Trust must of necessity deny him) a range of choice.”

Saturday, July 24, 2010

From Above.

This blog post. All of it. I have been hunting and hunting for that song since I fist heard it a week and a half ago. I think I love the whole album already. How could you not? I think it will hurt to listen to, but will be worth it. More of a Nick Hornby rather than a Ben Folds fan but the marriage is stunning. Don't know why I find it so and there's no one around to tell me. Gee this space is random - but then so am I.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Evolution of God

I found this article a really great summary of thoughts. I've always found it odd that the most vocal athiests appear to attempt to prove that the God of religion does not exist, when I feel it would be far easier to offer a robust explanation of how religion came to be from a social science standpoint. Turns out there are a few of those out there too, whom I relate to far better than Richard Dawkins and co. I find the venomous nature of both sides of the argument distasteful, I particularly find the attacks on religion by athiests to be particularly puzzling and unhelpful and wish they could be self aware enough to understand the origins of their strong emotional reactions and need for evangelism. It would be far better if there were a representation of those who understood religious systems as an effective method of social governance which individuals in our society may elect to opt out of if they recognise it for what it is. Perhaps this is the key to the negative emotional response of the athiest. As a society we have evolved to a point where we have the luxury of individualism. Religion assures us that submission to the group will ultimately result in benefit for the individual also. Uniformity and shared understanding provides social stability, yes, but I think as a greater society we have moved beyond that in Maslow's hierarchy of needs to desire personal fulfilment in creativity, expression and self determination.

Ultimately I have a suspicion that social diversity works quite similarly to biodiversity, in which the maximum amount of variance results in the most robust system. It is the competition between different forces in a changing environment which cause evolution to occur. I suspect this closed minded social conflict, however distasteful I find it, to be a part of this system.

A lot of my thinking has been done previously, but I've never really felt the need to have a 'stance' as such, particularly since the majority of the thinking occurred whilst attempting to participate in organised religion. . I still don't really, but I'm conscious that there may be a time where I have to explain my position. I don't know how that conversation would go exactly, or how strongly I would put forth the argument given that I honesty think it would be easier for others to remain within the confines of established religion if possible. What I don't want is for my point of view to be dismissed as the reactions of anger, or a person in pain, although I will wish to communicate those too I guess.

I could change my mind again, and I love that about me.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

small deaths

All have died. One by one.
Devalued. Violated.Deserted.
One by one.
The one who understood me best, for whom I risked everything. Final words I understand all too clearly, uttered by another.
The one who was the shepherd, laying me before the wolves and telling them not to feed.
The ones who I thought would be there, who I thought would be amongst the few.
The eternal one who was never there.
Cold words - from cowardice and for the comfort of others.
Sacrificed - to strangers, to the silence.

Then the tiny life I didn't even know was there, slipping away. Leaving me. Leaving my body so violently. The final loss.

Will it really be the last?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

Facebook Free February

Seems to be going ok, had to sneak back on today to get a phone number but wasn't too tempted to see what everyone has been up to.

Had some positive non-facebook interactions although it's hard to say whether it is a direct result of non-facebooking or random.

Went out for coffee to Mt. Kembla pub instead of spending my lunch break on facebook. Had an interesting conversation with two (female) church staff members about self-perception, specifically weight. It is amazing to what depths women seem to internalise the need to be thought of well, or positively perceived by others. That being a 'people pleaser' can be worn almost like a badge of honour. I guess I accept the trait more when it's openly acknowledged rather than denied. Something else interesting that came out of the conversation was an observation made about myself. That one of my biggest strengths is that I see people for what they really are. One of my biggest weaknesses - I see people for what they really are. Food for thought. Although I just had a coffee.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bookish Finds

Another write as if no one is reading post. Which is a pretty safe bet given the erratic timing and subject matter of my posts.

I do love a good forage through an old book shop don't you? One of my all time favourites is The Nostalgia Factory in Kangaroo Valley. Fair but not over priced, not overwhelmingly large like Berkalouw's , but a huge variety from the late 19th century onwards.

Today I was lucky enough to be let into 'the back room', I think it may have had something to do with how much I was gushing about the adorable foreword in the book I had just bought. Here is some of what I found. The Golden Age by Kenneth Grahame, author of my favourite (possibly after Alice), Wind in the Willows. I love it when you are randomly wondering something, such as 'I wonder why I don't own more books by Kenneth Grahame?' and the universe puts in in your hands. THEN I remembered a play by A.A.Milne (of Winnie-the-Pooh fame) based on Mr Toad that I had seen in the shop once. I had not bought the book and had been bitterly disappointed when I had thought better of it and returned, only to find that it was gone. Well, not gone but reclassified as it were.

O found some other books of interest (inspired to branch out from science fiction and high fantasy by my stirring reading of Wind in the Willows perhaps?) Death of a Salesman, The first three Hornblower novels, and a Bill Gates business book (the later I of course take no responsibility for). There were some funny finds too - from a very dry Centenary of Moore Theological College published in 1955 (purchased and put away for a special friend's graduation from same institution) to an very old girly magazine with a headline titled 'Plump Girls Live to Love'. That one went unpurchased.

The other BIG squeal worthy discovery of the day was a McCall's complete book of dressmaking c. 1951. Apart from it's practical value as I'm pretty sure it covers just about everything, the pictures are absolutely divine. If you can get past the waspishly waisted women, and the brutal sounding chapter sections with titles such as 'and what else is wrong with your figure?' (well at least we're encouraged to be completely honest, that's always a good thing right? :s ) the styling is wonderful. I actually picked it up thinking it would be lovely to give to someone in particular, but unless some bridges miraculously get built I don't think that will be possible, which is sad. Oh well, I tend to do such things to myself from time to time. I'll enjoy the book for its pictures in any case, not that I'll ever be up to the tricky manoeuvres contained therein.