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Live Earth – Great Entertainment. Little else.

June 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Live Earth is a musical protest against Global Warming. It’s a bunch of concerts spread worldwide. Amazingly, they will all happen at once on 07/07/2007.

The complexity is staggering. The scope is truly amazing. So much effort just to tell us to turn off our air-cons and use brown paper bags. Of course, I (a thirty-something jaded bugger) do not belong in their target audience. They’re probably wanting to ‘educate’ the young, falsely-jaded children into following their gospel.

I hope they do. Not for us but for our future’s future.

Unfortunately, it’s wasted effort. Many pop luminaries have held similar concerts in the past. Twenty years on, nothing’s changed. Africans still starve, children are still unloved and we still fear that guy with AIDS. It’s a celebrity’s excuse to score brownie points and sell their latest CD.

Also, I don’t care about the obscure/frightening/’very real’ problem that’s out there. Keeping my home in order is hard enough work.

On a side note, have you noticed that they love to sprout platitudes? I’ve just watched an advertisement which had local celebrities acting angsty and repeating mega ‘save-the-world’ concert-type slogans such as:

“YOU can’t ignore it. YOU can make difference. DO your part. Shouldn’t YOU be the solution?”

Horrible. Horrible.

Why should I sacrifice my hard-earned comfort and well-being for your platitudes? Would you, little Ms/Mr mega-stars turn off your air-con? Perhaps they would. They are mega-rich and can jet off to cooler climates which do not need air-cons.

Regardless, I’ll be tuning in. No matter the wasted purpose, they are mega concerts with big-name entertainers. How often do we get to watch them for next to nothing?

Categories: Observations

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence – Inquiries into the Metaphysics of Quality

June 26, 2007 1 comment

Quality.

We cite it as the thing which is trapped in materials and facades. "Look at this bag! It’s made from crocodile skin! The best and most expensive skin in the world!" But we’re woefully mistaken. Quality isn’t just found in materials or facades. True Quality is found in the relationship between the object (material) and the subject (the worker). While Prisig tried to be precise in his definition, it remains outside of most of our experience.

Why?

It’s because we’re too often deep within it. And we can’t see that our everyday work has Quality in it. Those who experience this Quality are usually ‘in the zone’. That means everything falls neatly in place.

Perhaps an example from Basketball: shots swish through the net, incredible passes reach their recipients, everyone slows down and plays can be ‘seen’ before they happen. The same goes for the seasoned worker. He knows the most efficient and effective way of getting something done. The worker can ‘feel’ the object’s trouble spots; he sees the form within the crude material; he’s knows how to get the best mileage from his tools.

Now that is the substance of Quality.

Title: Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Author: Robert M. Prisig
Links: Wikipedia entry | Online text | Interview

Categories: Observations

Do you dream?

June 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Dear X,

Do you dream a lot? Last night, I dreamt of a man who dreamt of old Bali.

We were walking to a sacred place. The sacred place was next to us but we had to go around a wall of trees. There were palm trees, thick-stemmed trees, creepers and, strangely enough, bamboo. I could see dancers through the gaps of the plants. There were men and women. They were lithe, happy and danced to welcome us. Cloth streamers trailed around them. I thought they were naked from waist up but I couldn’t tell. The sun was shinning behind them and turned them into shadows set against a painfully white-yellow wall.  

Eventually, we rounded the wall of trees.

“Welcome chief!”

It came from a well-muscled man with only a loincloth around his hips. A big headgear made from orange, red and yellow feathers and wood erupted haphazardly from his forehead. The dancers whom I peeked at earlier stood behind him. The men were like the one who greeted us; clothed in loincloth wrapped around the hips but without the headgear. The women wore ‘sarongs’ of varying lengths. Some bared their breasts; others had on shiny ribbons of cloth wound tightly against their chest.

“Let’s go”

That’s the first time the man, whose dream I’m walking in, spoke to me. We went past the assembled dancers. Suddenly, we’re on a cliff overlooking a clear green sea. I could see the bottom of the sea! It was full of pebbles.

“This is the edge of the world.” The man whose dream I’m walking in said. “Jump with me. I will be chief after this.” I cannot remember how the man looked like. But he was a giant compared to me.

I eased up to the rim of the cliff. Sand scrittered under my feet.

“Jump. Now.”

The sea closed over me. I looked up as I sank down to the sea-floor. It’s like looking through a thick glass block. The cliff blurred into sharp edges and bright colours, the sun was a wavering white circle and little fishes swam into my air bubbles! I hit the sea floor and bounced back up.

I’ve always hated endings belonging to ‘I screamed my lungs out until I woke up. I breathed a sigh of relief and knew it’s just a dream.’ variety.  But this is about a dream and dreams do end. So here goes…

The sea faded out just as I was about to break though the surface. Walls swam in and a ceiling appeared. My handphone tooted loudly – an SMS received. Time to face the world.

I wonder though, did man whose dream I had walked in, plunge into the sea for his chieftianship?
I could guess yes. I could guess no. But  I’ll never know now, will I?

Categories: Observations
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