War and Peace

war-and-peace

The Balaclava, was a knitted woollen helmet produced by the good ladies of the Empire for British soldiers during the Crimean War. Sent during the winter of 1854 to provide warmth and the comfort of knowing they were still remembered back home, while they laid siege to the strategic port of Balaklava on the Black Sea.

In later years it became the headgear of adventurers, walkers, climbers, and of course school children during a brisk British winter. My own kids, in their days of innocence, wore bright red balaclavas to keep their little heads warm during the cold, dark winter months. Their little faces and rosy cheeks framed in an oval of wool provided a familiar snapshot of childhood.

The design has evolved and is now de rigeur kit for any self respecting terrorist. The many paramilitary groupings in N.Ireland donned the now familiar headgear to secure their anonymity while also achieving the sinister threat of their presumed status. Murals on gable walls portrayed these factions with redtop slogans: ‘Prepared for Peace, Ready for War’ showing armed and uniformed fighters wearing black balaclavas and gloves, obviating the need for the street artist to attempt faces and hands.

The anonymity the Balaclava provided was so successful that Police in many countries have adopted the fashion. Footage of Riot police in the Robocop Hollywood style adaptation of the uniform can be seen cracking skulls with impunity. This masking of identity is sinister since public servants are paid to uphold the law yet their transgressions are above the law; the MET’s actions during the G20 summit in London, 2011 for example: ID no’s removed, kettling, and manslaughter.

Islamic State is another proponent of the Balaclava. Their quasi-religious zeal and logic plucked from the medieval mind of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi lacks any empathy for human kind. Ubiquitous images of marching jihadi’s in black Spiderman uniforms further demonstrates this desire to be anonymous.

A question for the Balaclava wearer: If you are to represent the law you uphold, or the righteousness of the path you tread, of the necessity for the rest to follow, then why hide your face?

All of the above is an opinion, one of 7 billion. The issue of Arms Manufacture and distribution has to be high on the agenda of how we as human beings move forward. The world seems awash with ingenious methods of murdering our fellowmen, which begs the question: Who profits from this in real terms?

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Lured to Lourdes

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Travelling through the Lot and Gironde in divine weather, unseasonal for early September, was a pleasure. A landscape of vineyards, sunflowers and fruit trees, the panorama from the terrace of the gite, Moulin de Vent, where we dined alfresco and drank the produce of the region as the sunset on most evenings of our vacation.

Driving south to Carcassonne the road signs warned of slow lanes for heavy vehicles, ‘vehicules lourds’ while the destinations offered Toulouse, Tarbes, and Lourdes, where a heavy presence of Catholic pilgrims can be found in all seasons. This Mecca, oops, Lourdes is the worlds most visited shrine for miracle seekers able bodied or disabled. For the blind, the deaf and dumb, crippled or gullible, this is the place.

Las Vegas has bling and a promise of riches in this life, Lourdes offers miracles and blessed bling to ease the passage through this ‘valley of tears’ to the heavenly home: Glow-in-the-dark icons, alabaster statues, water bottle virgins, Grotto mints, onyx rosary beads, Monopoly, featuring the Stations of the Cross, and Holy Water Utility. Oh yes I’ve been there.

My favourite aunt, who was crippled from childhood, was a regular visitor to the shrine and the healing promise, returning home with a treasure chest of Catholic paraphernalia but no miracles. Maybe her devilish sense of fun, gambling for pennies and sneaking cigarettes with us kids, and telling fireside stories of cloven-hoofed strangers while puffing on a mother-of-pearl cigarette holder barred her from divine intercession.

So my visit to Lourdes, though brief, was in solidarity with my aunt whom I knew had crossed these streets and been wheeled along the Boulevard de Grotte to the Basilica and the revered site. The abiding image that replays when I think of that visit is the single file line moving slo-mo, passing into the Grotto and each to a man, woman, and child raising a hand to touch the rock.

Animism is alive and well in the Catholic Canon.

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War or Peace?

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War. Wars give Government a sense of purpose and good media copy. We do wars well. We have devised weaponry down the generations for face-to-face combat and remote assassination. Children of the digital age are proficient at virtual war on their games consoles some graduating to actual combat. Images of drone strikes half way across the world delivered by an operative in a bunker in the Nevada desert are common and will become more so as the technology develops. Faceless combatants murder innocents in cases of mistaken identity. Collateral damage? No no. MURDER

Who are the winners in this war? Certainly not human beings. An increasing humanitarian crisis ensues of displaced peoples, of woman and children whose security has been robbed in the name of security, whose innocence is not considered by those who perpetrate these obscenities.

It’s not surprising that the Arms Industry is a global leader. Their agenda does not factor in the devastation to human life they facilitate, or the misery they cause. The numbers don’t figure on the bottom line. Investors, shareholders and governments are the beneficiaries not those on the delivery end of the product Such blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life can only be described as evil. Is there another word?

Peace. Now there’s a word we’ve bounced about in our vocabulary for a million generations. And, as yet, seem to have either misplaced or misunderstood it’s meaning. Our culture is awash with symbolism purporting to address our conviction. T-shirts, flags and Christmas cards emblazoned with the word amount to no more than lip service to the potential. Gatherings of protestors, revellers and photo op’s feature the two-fingered salute that signifies ‘Peace’. All this amounts to little more than pissing into the wind. Meanwhile religion offers an afterlife ‘kingdom of heaven’ to all who follow their tenets. What about ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’? Just another slogan to entice the gullible?

How refreshing and what a privilege to have been a delegate at ‘A Time for Peace” with Prem Rawat in Dublin. The clarity and focus of his presentation leaves me in no doubt that this man knows exactly what peace is and how to open human beings to the possibility of actually achieving it in their own lives.

 

“ When people are at peace the world will be at peace”.  Prem Rawat

 

 

 

Creation: the facts, ism

Creationism

Notice to citizens:

Planet 3

Solar 205

Galaxy 975420.

The Creator has found your case for continued occupation of Planet 3, aka, Earth to lack merit and is therefore expelling you from imaginings. With effect immediately.

See attached.

Office of Divine Intervention

 

 

Citizens,

A brief note on my intentions. You are probably going to take this as a slight to your perceived status. You are intensely up yourselves if you can take the criticism. It’s always about yourselves and yet you can’t agree among yourselves. To be perfectly honest this is getting right on my tits.

When I was younger, some eternity ago, Project Human was a constant in my ongoing creation. I sort of saved you to the last as I observed how things were going in other corners of the vastness. Not an easy task as it doesn’t leave a lot of me time. However experiments are like that, as they progress things can spiral out of control and self-destruct. That’s all part of the joy whereas you guys have this notion you’ve dreamed up, from an over indulgence in stimulants when your not indulging in procreation, that there is some sort of master plan. The irony in that is you can’t agree on who might have created this master plan as you beat each other up with fairy tales you call ‘inspired texts’. Now there’s a misnomer if ever.

When the experiment on Planet 3 began I was excited by the notion of creating something in my own likeness. It took a while to tweak what was crawling out of the swamp soup before I arrived at something that pleased me. Unfortunately it all started to go shitwards pretty rapidly. As you evolved, yes evolved ape features, you started to get notions of grandeur and superiority. Even amongst yourselves this became pronounced and has, as I’m sure you will admit at least in the privacy of your own illusion, revealed your Achilles heal.

Now, major pain that it is, I have to admit to myself that I the infallible, immutable one and only trueness got it wrong. My imaginings need re-imagining and you guys just don’t feature. Consider this a late response to your query some months back.*

God I do spend a lot of time talking to myself. If only I had some company ‘round here. Maybe I should marry.

 

*referring to An Open Letter, dated 24 March ‘13

A message in a bottle

Strange brew

Scarlet Johansson has recently resigned as a Goodwill Ambassador to Oxfam. She has a promotion contract with an Israeli Soft-drinks Company, Sodastream, whose factory is located in the occupied west bank. This apparent conflict of interest provided a contention. Whether Ms. Johannson need explain herself to the world for her sponsorships or ambassadorships is for her. That old adage ‘let he, or she, that is without sin cast the first soda stream canister.’

‘The village that fought back: Five Broken Cameras’ is a documentary compiled from the video diary of Palestinian farmer, Emad Burmat in collaboration with Israeli director Guy David. The documentary about Bil’in villager’s peaceful protest against the annexing of their land with a ‘security barrier’,and settlement provides evidence of murder, violence, bullying, and vandalism by the Israeli Army and West Bank settlers. The 52nd State has a siege mentality that feeds on the support of an international lobby, yet it is responsible for some atrocious human rights violations.

Someone somewhere will hear the anti-semitic klaxon crank up to international volume. When there is focus on the Jewish State, which does not mention Moses or Solomon or Sodastream, it seems destined to wear shame. To clarify my position I was brought to be a disciple of a Jewish Prophet, Jesus.

My sons went to school with a young Israeli guy who spoke English with a liberal use of ‘fuck’, which he had acquired in conversational exchange. I say liberal because it was also used to teachers and parents alike. Lets call him…..Abraham since he willingly sacrificed the English language on the altar of ignorance.

“Cup of tea, Abe?”

“Ah Fuck, yea Gerry. And have you biscuits?”

“Yea I’m sure we can find some.”

“Fuck, great, thank you.”

When Abe returned to Israel to fulfill his destiny and obligations to The State, National Service and the Kibbutz, he kept contact with his school friends. One afternoon I received a call from Israel. Without a preamble the caller stated that he was a Mossad Intelligence Officer and demanded information on the caller responsible for calls to my number from Kibbutz Geshur.

I fear I may be regarded anti-semitic in my response. Pointing out to the caller that if he were, as stated, an Intelligence Officer then it was his job and not mine to answer such questions, so I told him to ‘Fuck off’ and hung up.

A Christmas Carol

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The story here is really about the young Dr. Who, a Time Lord, from the planet Gallifrey. He visited Palestine at the dawn of the first millennia AD. during the reign of King Herod, whom he knew to be a thoroughly nasty bit of work. A constant force for good, it was the young Doctor, an Angel of the Lord, who advised Joseph to take Mary on vacation to Egypt, recommending scuba diving at Sharm El Sheikh; an idyll before Thomas Cook set up shop.

To mark that seminal moment in his career he availed of an opportunity to model for Gerrit van Honhorst’s C17 painting ‘Adoration of the Shepherds and Buttinsky’, and influence the creation of a faithful record of the event. The real give away is that The Beano was not published until the mid 20th century and the ingenious young Dr. Who has managed to warp time in two significant historic periods. Time Travel provided a certain advantage and foreknowledge of events, so with Christmas Beano Annual tucked under his arm he knew exactly where to find a well lit barn to catch up with The Bash Street Kids and Dennis the Menace. An avid fan of comic books provided his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Who, with gift purchase solutions for eternity with the consequence that the Doctor has the most extensive collection of comic books in the universe.

He has a reputation for stirring it as he shifts from time to time. One such outcome is a well-documented meeting with Charles Dickens, a Victorian journalist and novelist. The Doctor over indulged in a London alehouse, ‘The Travellers Arms’, frequented by Mr. Dickens and had great sport with the man telling him tales of corporate greed in the 21st century. Dickens made mention of this encounter in the Pickwick Papers but not the content of the conversation nor his source. However the subject of Jeff Bezos and Amazon were intimately discussed which inspired Mr. Dickens novel ‘A Christmas Carol’ providing the main character Ebenezer Scrooge of Scrooge and Marley. Always a cautious man Mr. Dickens changed the names, era and setting to avoid potential future legal action. However the Doctor, Time Traveller and Lothario moved on to stir it another time in another time.

Authors note: I must apologise to Gerrit van Honhorst, I have zero bones to pick with the Old Bas…Master and I’m grateful for his catalogue of iconic paintings to which I can relate, revise, and redistribute to a brand new audience. I’m pretty sure he would appreciate interpretations though of course I can’t be certain, nor do I really care as he’s not about to come knocking on my door or, for that matter, send in the thugs to redistribute my facial features.

Merry Christmas.

 

And it came to pass…

ray.3Holy Mary Mother of God.

Whoa there Little Donkey. Mother of God? What? If Mary is the Mother of God and Jesus is the son of God that makes Mary Jesus’ Granny, right?

Remember the virgin birth.

Oh yes. Single, probably teenage, girl hanging out with an older man, as was the norm and still is in parts of the middle age of politicians and ageing celebs, is in the family way. A myth is born or a mytheth. Young Mary has had a visitation from an angel. The story catches fire and spreads throughout the region while Joe, the cuckold, gets off his ass, puts Mary on and runs for cover with his expectant charge. Of they go down Egypt way and you know the rest or will by the end of the month.

In fact most of us were versed in this mythology from a very early age and remarkably those in not so early age still believe it. Burning Bush, angels, parting the sea, walking on water, loaves and fish, Satan, and of course, for the dyslexic, Santa. It is not exclusive to Christianity that God or the gods should have sexual congress with a human, Greek and Roman gods were regulars at human seduction.

The Virgin Mary © is a trademark of the Catholic Church, all copyrights reserved. There are several venues where the trade is carried out to full financial advantage with the possibility of a miracle, which would be a miracle. Lourdes in France, Fatima in Portugal, and Medjugorie in Bosnia, where there is a glowing statue alert at the moment.

While driving east on the E80 from Bayonne to Tarbes the road signs displayed Lourdes. Now being of good Catholic stock the sign evoked memories of bluebells in May to adorn the Virgins icon, bought by my crippled aunt on a visit to Lourdes for a miracle lost in the post. I was drawn to Lourdes like a moth to a light bulb. This was a must see. My partner, of good protestant stock, bought garlic and a crucifix to ward of the wiles of the Roman Church.

Not so much a miracle as a revelation. Lourdes is a supermarket for all things Marian, from candles, statues, rosary beads, right down to bags of mints adorned with an image of the Virgin, for real suckers.

The main attraction of course is La Grotte where the apparition of the Virgin to three peasant children took place. The approach, down Bd de la Grotte and across the Gave du Pau, is dominated by the Basilica, which sits high upon the rock. There is a constant flow of pilgrims, able bodied and disabled, moving in both directions. The flow eventually leads to the main attraction, La Grotte.

Along the way there are opportunities to fill your plastic Queen of Heaven bottle, c/w screw lid crown, or demijohn purchased from one of the many outlets, with ‘holy water’ from an array of taps (faucets) at the gable of the Basilica. That alone would seem a miracle to one from sub Saharan Africa. Candles by the thousand illuminate an arena of bowed and praying supplicants who have emerged from La Grotte. I sat to watch those who approached in file to visit this haloed place. Each without hesitation reached to touch the rock as they entered.

Again I was assailed by teachings from the Church, like shrapnel embedded in a skirmish, an old war wound. The first commandment, a core of judeo-christian belief, proscribes idolatry, yet here the rock itself was sacred, or they were chipping away for souvenirs.

‘Ray never missed a marketing opportunity’ with apologies to Gerrit van Honhorst

It’s a Dark Matter

Cogito1

“The fact that through the application of reason we can come to understand the rules by which the universe works proves that reason and the universe are of the same being” from the novel Elizabeth Costello by J.M. Coetzee

There’s been a lot of coverage recently of Physics and Astronomy. The Large Hadron Collider at Cern has been in the news this year with the confirmed discovery of the Higgs Bosun. Also known as the God particle, it’s an unpopular title with scientists who think they are deserving of the title. Particle physics has added new words to the lexicon; quarks, Higgs Bosun, wimps, black holes, and now Dark Matter. This ‘new material’ is the stuff of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. The Dark Matter will give religion a field day as it fits the identikit of Beelzebub, and is neatly juxtaposed to the God particle. So be prepared for an outbreak of religious zeal, sightings, moving statues, and Virgins passing messages. Warn your children not to speak to radiant strangers in grottoes.

Dark matter, it appears, actually it doesn’t appear at all as it is invisible, is causing the universe to expand. Jim Al Khalili, a theoretical physicist, demonstrated with a pen and notebook a progression of formulea to verify the existence by inference of this Dark Matter. That expansion will result in Galaxies so far apart that light will not travel between them. Two questions: Expand to where exactly? Will there still be a mail service?

Everyman, Mr.Al Khalili, sat with his back against a pillar in an derelict parking lot, with pen in hand he bandied numbers ‘to the power of’ which eclipsed any notional debt anywhere in the known universe. His street cred fell like a shooting star when he dusted the seat of his pants as he stood and walked out of shot. Particle physics my arse!

All this information is the result of our preponderance for stargazing. I am a keen advocate of stargazing with feet on terra firma and a cloudless velvet black sky. There is a fundamental human need to stare into the void and wonder with the wonder of a child. This curiosity has created a vast array of deep space technology carrying out experiments to produce data verifying that we are actually here. It is 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang, give or take a day or two, and the shock waves from that event are still reverberating throughout the universe. That our planet spins at 1040 mph on its axis, hurtling around the sun at 67,062mph while the solar system is also in rotation within the galaxy is awesome, miraculous. Yet If you were to stare through the wrong end of the Hubble telescope back to planet earth the effect of ignorance is expanding the spaces between nations, races, and religions. Dark Matter; Present. Destination; Black Hole?

Vlad the mm..Gaoler

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Vlad the mm..Gaoler

 Vlad has now added 30 Greenpeace protesters to his ‘Siberia’ collection, which includes several members of Pussy Riot incarcerated for criticising Our Beloved Leader. With his encouragement to ‘poof bashers’ by signing into law a bill banning the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” it’s a fair possibility he could repopulate Siberia by the end of his Presidency in…. maybe 2040 if he plays his reforms right.

Vlad has a fan in Lord Truscott, member of the House of Lords, who is a British Petroleum and mining consultant. The Lord has nominated Vlad for the Nobel Peace Prize for ‘non-action and leadership’ on the Syrian Civil war. Certainly, this was an exemplary gesture from Vlad, were it not overshadowed by the Russian arms supply chain to the Syrian Regime. Recently suspended from the House for engaging in that old ‘cash for questions’ scam, Lord Truscott may be expecting a bung from Gazprom as a consultant and for his obvious support of Vlad the Gaoler.

BBC4’s How the Brits Rocked America: Go West included John Lennon’s infamous comment in ’66 that ‘The Beatles are more famous than Jesus’. Footage featured the religious backlash of record, poster and book burning and a KKK fuckwit in full Hallowe’en outfit denouncing the statement as blasphemous and sinful, while scaring the shit out of Negroes and little kids.

There’s a distinct correlation with current hysteria in Russia over Pussy Riot’s performance in Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow. Well ‘Shit. Shit, God Shit’ was going to upset somebody, as will, God probably pissed him/herself laughing. But Vlad was affronted at such behaviour having successfully reunited church and state after the schism caused by the Revolution. “Religion is the opium of the masses” has obviously been erased from the Russian psyche as it dives headlong into the free market cesspool fuelled on opium and vodka. Call me cynical but from where I stand the Russian Federation under Vlad looks remarkably like US ultra right Tea Party paranoia in an Astrakhan coat.

p.s. My apologies to the ‘Bolotnaya 28’ whom I failed to mention.They were  randomly arrested on 6 May 2012 at protests in Bolotnaya Square against the inauguration of Vlad the Gaoler as President. Some are in prison, others under house arrest.

Broken Icon

Broken-Icon

BBC’s ‘From our own Correspondent’, hosted by Kate Adie, featured an article from a cameraman travelling in Syria. His piece highlighted the surreal contrasts he observed in the country. The civil war juxtaposed with the friendliness of its people. He attended the funeral of a young Syrian Airman and questioned a mourner on what seemed an irreconcilable contradiction. The mourner’s response, “It’s religion”, referring to the schism between Sunnis and Shia Muslims.

I know this story as I live in a society that has been rent by religion. It begs the question ‘What is the function of religion in any society?’ Religion preaches unity, peace, and brotherhood, though sisterhood doesn’t seem to get the time of day. The popularity of religion would therefore guarantee that we should live in peace. Do we? They claim that there is only one God. Unfortunately each claims a monopoly on that one God. That One God is their God. War is in defence of belief in that God, hence war can be perceived as holy war sanctioned by God. Democracy may get a mention but God is usually hanging in the wings should the need arise.

A quick scan of the planets woes can be attributed to religion, the great divider. As sited, Syrian society is in freefall to sectarianism; Israel, the chosen people, inflict the might of there arsenal on anyone doubts it; Catholicism has inflicted pain and fear into children abused by the clergy, ignored by the Vatican; Christianity is fragmented by interpretation of scripture, a common factor of religious strife.

The religious zealots worldwide, the Zionists, the Tea Party, Opus Dei, Taliban, and the many fundamentalists, whose rightness is voiced by mouth foaming, tub thumping, book wavers, are a danger to world peace. They inspire Muslim to fight Hindu, Christian to fight Muslim, Muslim to fight Jew, Buddhists to fight Muslims, Christian to fight Christian, Muslim to fight Muslim, Hindu to fight Hindu.  They have a penchant for dressing in a strange garb designed to set them apart from us mere mortals. And what have they to offer. a promise of some imaginary paradise in an afterlife. Proof? None. Emails, snail mail, phone messages, or other from the dearly departed? None. Meanwhile we the faithful are expected to squander this precious life that is a gift that we can verify on a daily basis.

Do they have TRUTH to offer? In truth, no!