"Show me the normal person and I will cure him" (~Sigmund Freud)
( 20160730 )
This page was written in response to the near simultaneous deaths in France on Bastille Day and the sloppy put-up 'coup' in Turkey, both of them reflecting the tension between the religious and the secular that confronts the West and the Middle East, with France and Turkey being the meat in the sandwich.
"Religion being the God of small things" :-: ... not the small things as Arundhati Roy means in the sense of the trivia of people's lives that arrange themselves in such a way as to have such a chilling effect on whoever reads them (as she no doubt intends), but in the literal sense of the structure of the particles, elements, molecules and cells of which we are made, and by which too in some mysterious way, as yet unknown, we make that empathic connection to Ms Roy's narrative.
And so might we too begin with some 'small', but what others might consider sensational, events in some other people's lives. Like :-->
A gentleman dining at Crewe,
Found an elephant's whang in his stew.
Said the waiter, "Don't shout and wave it about,
or the others will be wanting one too."
There was a young Royal Marine
Who tried to fart "God Save The Queen"
When he hit the soprano, out came the guano
And his pants weren't fit to be seen. (More?)
.. and by asking the question, why is 'humour' (of an uncertain type) so universal, ..particularly when couched in smutty rime. And why humour anyway? And ask further, --> what else of the human condition is 'universal', and why is it so?
"Yeah, .. you can buy them in the shop, you know, .. they're only $3.65"
"Crikey, that's cheap!"
"You reckon, uh?"
[(Added 20160827) Just noticed a dud link here. It was a link to an image of a very small child being bathed in the sink, ..suds everywhere, ..looking at you out-from-under, with a very cautious (and dare I say skeptical, .. distrustful even) look on her rather beautiful little face. ["Who's he? And what's he doing with that camera?] [Hey, .. no wonder they took it down, eh?! That's what you call forward-thinking, .. like twenty years forward.. .. .. ] "Her", because it was clearly a little girl child. They've replaced it with a grown-up big-boy equivalent that looks like he would rather be playing pokemon, a London bus and a bunch of some in-your-face, tough-looking cheeky kids with attitude+, who look like they deliberately won't do as they're told.
Their webmaster must be a millennial who thinks attitude connects. [Hmmph.] Why can't they just have a quick "do"-button anyway that lets you get on with it, instead of having you wait for all that crap to load. . God knows it's slow enough anyway. ("Yeah? Well, find a faster bank then." (?) (Well, .. Sure.) You have to wonder. Somebody should tell them. I'll get into trouble if I do. Their webmaster will probably exercise attitude and find a way to not let me deposit my money.
There is a curious logic to it from their end, I guess, shoving stuff in front of your face like that, .. but since when were banks really anything about you? (I mean, really?) If you want to find out, you'll press the find-out button anyway. So there. Webmaster challenge. Minimalism. Design a site with two buttons - one for you and one for them - and make it look like a bank (rather than porn) (or a caller for a horse race). Brave new world, where everything is getting tripped up and dissolving into a sea of undifferentiated gender. (Hmph!)(again.) Something to do with the amount of plastic getting dumped in the ocean and BPA generally taken up in the food chain. Who (else) remembers the good old days when "Come and sit on Grandad's knee" wasn't a come-on that could land you in jail.
Must say, I thought the little girl was much better. Very cute looking (dare I say) (as a grandpa) (without getting labelled a paedophile and landing in jail). But they do get to be quite expensive. I was guessing with the $3.65. It was a reference to the failure of our Brave New World, .. but on checking they cost about $10 for a pack of 24 (at Coles). What's that? Dunno. Simple arithmetic is beyond me any more. It was just a ball-park figure. Long time no bother. (Hmmph.) (again+).
" .. We need to nurture the source code (more) - spirituality / human rights, .. everything that is culturally positive to the human condition. 'Religion' as it is understood in its multiple denominational guises divides more than unites and offers those who would (divide), the opportunity to use it so.
That, at least, is the story from Goodnews Week, where spirituality is intrinsically good and keeps us in daily shape.
What about Badnews Week, .. the view that humanity is intrinsically evil, grasping, exploitative, self-serving, uncaring and cruel towards others, and needs a list of instructions and a reminder to read them five times a day or once a week to keep us on the righteous path? Doesn't take much to recognise that as religion too... "
Read more? (connect with) :-
The theme above the line is about the human zoo
=========== Plimsoll line (keeping the boat afloat) ===============
The theme below the line is the geology - why people exist on the planet in the first place)
(Sometimes they get a bit mixed up, .. 'coz it can get difficult to separate them)
 Disclaimer  Galaxy  The Atlantic [clipped 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
The Atlantic fit
( ... a.k.a. The Pesky Long Piece needing fitted .. )
Fig.2 Conundrum - The Atlantic fit - the long and the short of it.
North Africa separated from North America. South Africa separated from South America. And therefore South America separated from North America. All at the same time.
Not rocket science, is it?
Neither is Plate Tectonics, which (by the way people run around superimposing virtual nonsense on geological reality), is the geological equivalent of Pokemon Go, .. an experience in nonsensical virtual reality. I had one the other day, when I went up to the park.
[An experience in virtual reality.]
("I had one yesterday when I went up to the park"). Don't rightly know what to call it, .. amusing? surprising? puzzling? Discombobulating certainly. The footpath was packed with people. This is a pic from google images, probably on a weekend, but not so different in impact. How come[?] on a Monday, about 1pm. "Something's going on here," I thought. "Monday isn't a day people flock to the park." Moreover there were no kids, or oldies that could be identified as 'parents, or (more usually), grandparents. These were all people in their very late teens, twenties, and some obviously in their thirties. The weird thing was the way they were all standing about like at some meet, .. sort of moving on the spot, or drifting aimlessly, like stalks of seaweed in underwater camera view. Well there they were, .. all staring at their mobile phones. What's going on? Nobody's actually walking, or strolling in any purposeful way. Just sort of 'being' there.
Then (reality check) it hit me. Don't tell me! Pokemon Go.
Then I had the ^%$^%# !! experience.
"Wha.. the F^%$* ?? !! "
These were grown-ups. 'Pokemon', as I understand it from finding out, is something like collecting number plates on cars, or train names, or footballers from breakfast cereal packets. [Trains, .. Ah, .. what a blow that was to a nine-year-old when these terrifying, rushing, hissing, belching monsters spitting cinders and setting the grass on fire on hot summer days were taken out of service and went diesel, then electric.]
But again, nine-year-olds versus adults. Why weren't they at work or where/whatever they were supposed to be doing (on a Monday)? (Chasing little virtual cut-outs around indeed? Is somebody pulling my leg? (Another reality check - How much does it cost to play this "game"?) Is this how people "connect" these days? The adult version of collecting cards of footy players? Is this what you get from eating vegemite? At least when you were nine you had to actually make some sort of a "You show me yours and I'll show you mine" transaction, and actually talk to people; maybe even recruit a third to see if their collection could help. I didn't see anybody talking, or doing anything that looked like making a swap. No point I guess, if everybody already has all the 'cards'. So what exactly is the point? I mean other than to test how best to co-opt people's attention. First the hardware, then the software. Yes, I know it's a bit, .. (of me), .. but if this is not a cause for concern over the malleable simplicity of simple people's simple minds, then I don't know what is, .. because it's not only demonstrating what can be done, it's revealing the substrate on which it's being done.
(Positives) :- "You get to go out and meet up with like-minded people!"
(Lord of the Rings, .. Lord of the Flies.)
[Now there is Lord Donald Trump of the LDT party, appealing to yet another tribe]
Good Lord! Not long ago Google got complaints for changing the lettering on its search page to make it look like a three-year-old's colouring book, and there are increasing comments generally around 'infantilising the public space'. It can't be infantilised, if the potential for infantilisation is not there. Ergo, ..
We've already had a week recently of reminiscing 'Playschool' on public radio in adult prime time, then followed by a week of broadcasts on pokemon, and now (also in the last couple of weeks) (on public radio), 'up-speak' is catching on. Again. Upspeak (/uptalk), .. also known as valley-girl talk, Doesn't it piss you off? It's almost as bad as the craze among yesterday's upper school and university students, of speaking like teletubbies. Sadly for some and annoyingly for many this has left its legacy, particularly among many professional women whose need for security and belonging has proved to be unshakeable.. And not least (and certainly not last), is the detestable proliferation of "vocal fry" - sizzling the vocatives in bacon fat, when they're not being snorted down nasal passages like turkey-gobble. All revealing the nature and the power of social connectors, the age group of their appeal, and what this reveals for the way society is headed. With the score equal at half time (after 2,000+ years) will religion make a come back, or will it succumb to the greater power of infancy, as, ..nappies trailing, .. yesterday's cohorts make it into the snuff of old age?
The problem is (in my view) about all of this 'child education' stuff, if you reflect the child back to them on their own terms, peppering it with baby-speak, then that's what you get (teletubbies, bananas in pyjamas etc). Can't blame them (for standing around like seaweed looking at the abacus in front of them). It's exactly the same with religion, reflect back to people their own Pride and Prejudice (and fears), and you have them in the palm of your hand. It's the salesman's golden rule; find out something about you and work it so you 'identify'. Who among us has never been 'souled'?
["Ho no, .. that would never work with me!"]
Religion, .. is ignorance dressed to the nines with official significations   in case people don't get it, .. that it is *power* - enormous power. Born by warrant and the innocence of people, it eventually draws to itself the authority to suck their blood in some cosmic sociopathic gyre, eventually presiding over them like some genie, until, held by their common bond that must not be broken they find themselves in subjugation, fealty and fear. ("One Ring to rule them all..") ("Kiss it.") [Some business model!]
A bit strong? Not if you lived five hundred years ago before there was separation of Church and State over 'here', or at the present day over 'there' (where there isn't any). [Not that separation always makes a lot of difference. Why is the Catholic Church so disliked in Ireland, the most catholic country in Europe ? ["Child abuse and bondage".] 786952 [Also :- While S.O'C's impassioned appropriation of Marley's WAR [her view is directed at the Catholic Church and "religion"; Marley's is more broadly directed to social injustice] has been vindicated (after two decades), it all pales against Pokemon as a potential rabble rouser if used in the right way.
"Hey youse, .. Don't mess with our monsters!
Here's Len again, with his take on it ("identification"). I don't much agree with him about "lack of confidence", I think maybe the idiosyncrasies he's talking about is what musicians would call a 'hook', and it derives from the tribalism of the schoolyard (particularly girls') [Len's right there, about this tribalism being a 'girl' thing.] but hang in for his last point, he's not so far wrong - in time we'll all hopping and bopping (or swaying like seaweed) to the same app., with as much confidence as the 'in-you-face' mobile phone you're looking at gives you (however much that might be) (which is not a lot, as far as I can see, from the number of people with their heads down, buried in it 24/7).
"Lack of confidence" (?) Well, maybe, .. There's certainly a lot of (empty /unwarranted) confidence going around if you ask me. which is why there's all this teletubby-upspeak, and world-weary, constipated, terminal-groaning speak. Speech used to be a very powerful means of communication, now all the communication of value is carried in how, not what, (it) is said ("like - Wow! Amazing!") ("Awesome!" "Massive!") Innit? .. Like.
(You got this far? Can't be so wide of the mark then.)
[Hang in for the mark of the Never-Ending Sto-wee.]
"Ï'll be back."3,
Rubbish earmarked for dealing with later :--
 "The Geology Behind Italy's Catastrophic Quake"
(Equally tragic is Plate Tectonics' continuing refusal to examine the alternative explanation - that the Earth is getting bigger) (as well as rotating) (and that the two are inextricably linked sides of the same coin) (and that this is as obvious as the nose on its dopey face).(!!)