Monday, 18 February 2013

Musing on artists

As we go through life we experience

things... Like the formation of a mother's face, sharpening to a point, a face unlike any other,
that then forever carries with it our responses to those experiences.

Our brains form connections between all of its selves, millions, trillions of connections into faces scents, memories, sounds, and so forth.

But each of us, every single human, shapes its own brain differently from every other human, even those who share language, family, even twins. Each unique.

The genius of the artist is that through their chosen medium
whether she chooses paint
or sound
or words
or dance
or all or other

they take their unique brain and offer its insights
as a means for others to see their own brain's unique experiences

as a somehow shared experience.

We feel

We leap

We are aware of our humanity
and find our uniqueness is also a shared experience that  the artist
through his medium

Baby Boomers and the Skeptics of Climate Change

The thing is, so often when I hear or come across someone skeptical about the science of Climate Change it is almost always a baby boomer (leave out the  big L right wingers who are skeptical of anything that interferes with the collection of cash and the percentage sky rockets).

Being a baby boomer and accepting the science of climate change I wondered why this might be.

Are baby boomers inherently conservative?

"No" we scream as we stamp our right leg (that once wore flares and groovy sandals from India). We marched against The Vietnam War. We had sits in and burnt bras and demanded free education, explored the sexual revolution, and did all those other wonderful things - in our youth. Then we voted in some of the most conservative governments we've ever seen. Created a world where image is everything and a woman's image, more than ever before, is sold, abused or air brushed into an unreal fantasy for an old hippy's deluded brain.

More than that, we have demanded tax cuts after tax cuts, privatization, sold everything good off, like state owned banks, railways and bus companies, power companies and other utilities. We've closed schools, and pushed more and more funds into private schools while killing off the state system, cutting back on welfare, locking up "illegal immigrants" and so forth. If you look at our voting record, and at our effect upon the world where we baby boomers have been the single biggest voting block for a long time, the record is not very good. Not for a leftie like me anyway.

But what the baby boomers have done is acquired wealth. Not all of us, of course, but enough, enough that we seem to be a bit preoccupied with that wealth, and with our retirements. We fear anything that might touch our extended hazy days of traveling, lying on exotic beaches, buying new things, or doing whatever the hell we please as we sink into a dotage the young people under us will struggle to live through.

Hence, in my opinion, our skepticism towards climate change. We baby boomers do not want anything to get in the way of our years of spending what we have acquired.

We certainly do not want any part of a system that might ask us to pay not only for what we have, but the cost of using/buying/acquiring what we have.

As for the planet, well our lazy children will just have to get off their butts and do something about that, after all, senility brings its own climate relief.

In a sense this is an apology, to the planet, to the generations who are not baby boomers, to those baby boomers who did once march, or sit in, or imagined  a world where we could give peace a chance.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Living Dangerously - Big Ideas lecture

This is close to my heart - Are we in Danger of destroying the strong history of the arts in this country due to the funding models now used for Universities etc. ?

David Williamson

A review by Jo Ann Hakola

Catalina by Danny Fahey

This is a fairytale that has a bit of the flavor of the Bros. Grimm.  There is a wicked witch who likes to cause pain and hurt others.  She also likes to manipulate lives and kills anyone who disagrees with her.  She's not a nice person and neither were any of Grimm's evil characters.

The author sent me a complimentary copy of this book for a review (thank you).  It has been published and you can find a copy on Amazon right now.

Here you have a fairytale that wanders through time and two different worlds and includes witches, hounds and a wolf-boy.  Catalina was abandoned at a orphanage's door as a baby.  She only remembers the good sisters and the cook at the orphanage; she has no memory of her parents.  So she's very surprised when an Aunt shows up to pick her up at age 11.  She should also have been more suspicious...

Catalina is a very strong character and while she does what she can to maintain a peaceful relationship with her Aunt, the witch, she still has an intent to rebel.  She's just waiting for her time.

I enjoyed how the author exposed the witch's weakness.  I had no idea what it might be.  The ending is open enough there may be a sequel to this story.  It stands fine alone and I enjoyed reading it.  Why don't you get a copy and see what you think?

Happy reading.   
Jo Ann Hakola