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Today’s Top Tweet – RT (Russian Television)… life after the zombie apocalypse?

We get RT through our cable package. Every now and then it’s fun to watch. You get a totally – and I mean totally – different slant on the news. Coverage of Europe seems a bit better than the major American and Canadian networks. But what really struck me last night was the coverage of the US.

With an almost obsessive focus on the States, RT showed clips of a seemingly harmless group of anarchist protesters being clubbed by American police in LA. In this case, I don’t think the video was lying. But I’m not sure if it was the 1992 riot or something more recent.

Members of the Toronto Police Force

Members of the Toronto Police Force (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The scenes reminded me of a time, a few years back, when people questioned whether Toronto police were too heavy-handed during a G20 protest.

If a news network were to repeat a few choice clips of that Toronto event, it could make Canada look like, well, the Russian front!

But the point is, on the whole our cops are pretty decent people who do a good job, and a very difficult and dangerous job to boot. And I suspect it’s the same in the US.

Sadly, the veneer of civilization is pretty thin. This was painfully evident during a Toronto blackout a few years ago.

Before long people began to vandalize and rob. I began to feel scared. Would the downtown mobs reach my North Toronto neighborhood? A nearby bus shelter was trashed, shattered glass everywhere. They got close.

English: Plainclothes Officers -- circa 1919

Plainclothes Officers — circa 1919 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even in our enlightened age, it seems that life without cops would quickly revert to jungle life.

But I digress.

To return to RT, except for a story about apparently innocent athletes tested for drugs, I also noticed a dearth of news about Russia, itself. Always this obsessive attention to other countries. And the anchors, forgive me for saying, look like they are slightly doped. Say the wrong thing and God knows what happens to them. Even Larry King, whom I used to admire, has a show on RT. I’m not sure what’s worse. That, or his cheesy paid for TV interview/ads.

Speaking of ads, I didn’t see any on RT. Just lots of filler between news stories. Promos for RT.

By way of contrast, CNN’s Carol Costello seems so alive this morning and certainly NOT drugged. A real personality. I wonder what it is about Russians and their history that has lead to these dull, controlled mouthpieces we see on their news? Whatever happened to Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, Gogol, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky? Clearly not all Russians seem like they’re auditioning for a zombie flick.

Why don’t the people stand up?


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Happy New Year!

Here’s a little sketch I’ve been working on.. finished just in time to ring in the New Year!

All the plugins, fx etc. are freeware… except for my MIDI host, Reaper, which is very reasonably priced.


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Today’s Top Tweet – Earth at night

OPINION

Part of me is tempted to go into the usual New Age preachy theme about how we’re all one and if we just came to realize this, there would be no war, no senseless killings, no crazed truck drivers, no hostages fearing their death…

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

But honestly, I don’t think it’s that simple. I believe there is evil in the world and that it furiously wants to sow discord. All you science-bots out there who think a new pill can save humanity can believe what you want. But I think you’re wrong. I don’t believe evil will ever be eradicated. And those who can recognize the difference between good and ill must take a stand.

Jesus talked about prayer and turning the other cheek. And in the ultimate sense he’s probably right. But in the course of history, if every good person merely prayed and turned the other cheek, I don’t think humanity would last that long. Evil would sweep the globe in a very short matter of time.

While no one perspective can solve our global problems, I do believe that the total dynamic is tilted toward the good. That means all the forces in existence, taken together, including pacifism and activism, will turn things out the right way.

This isn’t blind belief. I have reason to believe in an all-powerful God. Yet I realize not everyone does. To me, that’s their poverty, not mine.

The Puppets Speak

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Storefront Seer

Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr

I actually don’t mind the commercialization of Christmas… as long as we remember what it’s all about. Mind you, I think I’d rather just give everyone a candle instead of the usual assortment of stuff. And I’m not wild about all the concrete in my city. Sometimes my dystopian sci-fi side imagines the Earth grumbling and breaking it all up. I guess that’s what we call an Earthquake.

Anyhow, this was more an exercise in Adobe Photoshop Elements than any great political or religious statement. Saw this storefront display the other evening and had to take a pic.


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Today’s Top Tweet – Woman claims ETs spliced her genes

Ms Kapiteli said her mother’s eggs had been harvested while she was sleeping, and fused with those of an alien – leaving Ms Kapiteli’s genes spliced with extraterrestrial DNA.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3962348/Face-alien-Meet-woman-claims-extraterrestrial-DNA-astral-travel-Mars-fancies-it.html#ixzz4R2Kl0w7k

Call me a nut if that makes you feel better, but I think it’s entirely possible that some sensitive persons might intuitively connect with ETs. There’s just so many planets out there. To assume that Earth is the only place where intelligent life exists is, well, just that. An assumption.

Problem is, we think we’re smart with our 4K TVs, smartphones and information wars. But compared to what could be out there, our intelligence is probably quite limited. So even if some of us were to intuitively connect with other, ET minds, chances are we’d drastically misinterpret the whole event. That’s why I tend to doubt most ET hunters who anthropomorphize their understanding of ETs. The drawings, canned photos, etc. always seem to reflect nothing more than imaginative extrapolations of current tech and trends in artistic design. Same thing with sci-fi movies. Watch an old 70s sci-fi film or TV show and what do we see? We see the 1970s. Not much more.

Now, I am not saying this woman is not part ET. I cannot know. But my suspicion is that she’s had some unconventional experiences which she’s interpreted a certain way, a way that conforms to current understandings of how things work. It is much harder to imagine someone simply piercing through space-time, without any high tech intervention, and connecting with an ET light years away. But honestly, I think that could happen. A kind of psychic, “wormhole” connection. Not a genetic splicing or chip implant, as others seem to believe.

However, our culture generally does not believe in psychic phenomena or aliens. And we cannot create or control bona fide wormholes on demand. So a genetic meddling or microchip implant theory makes more “sense” to most UFO and ET enthusiasts. It might also be an easier sell for hucksters.

Mind you, not all folks interested in ETs and UFOs succumb to heavy-handed anthropomorphism. There are some who see it as pure psi. And perhaps both scenarios are true. For all we know little gray/green men and women with big, black eyes are in close proximity. They could be hiding in a pocket of space-time and also forging psychic connections with sensitive persons. And yes, it is conceivable that they could be intrusively engineering these things.

Point is, we just don’t know. So I ask, why doesn’t Lea Kapiteli get a DNA test and settle the matter? Even if the results were negative, she still might be in touch with an intelligence beyond herself. Just not the way she thinks.


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Why I switched my major from Sociology to Religious Studies (not that that was the be all and end all…)

This morning I came across a tweeted story (below) that at first glance I liked. It reminded me of my sociology days at Trent university where many of the professors in that department were above average. Especially in sociological theory. John Hillman covered the classical thinkers with an admirable depth for an undergrad course. Frank Nutch was the fun, alternative professor; a real gem of a guy who introduced me to the sociology of science. Andrew Werknick covered contemporary sociological theory, mostly European. Coming from the UK, Wernick seemed to have a close connection to the European scene. And the late Alexander Wilson was one of the coolest guys you could ever hope to meet. Up from California, he talked about Disneyland as a microcosm for all the imagery and spin we see in the greater North American media. These guys and a few other professors, male and female, really opened my mind. And I thank them.

But it wasn’t enough and I had to move on to something more comprehensive. Hence my switch to comparative religion and then religious studies. Not surprisingly, I used a sociological method (the postmodern work of Michel Foucault) in my doctoral thesis on Carl Jung. I was happy to graduate but, to be honest, that work was the outcome of so many strange and unsettling political forces that I don’t see it as a pinnacle of personal achievement. In retrospect, I see my graduate studies as another bridge I had to cross.

Anyhow, here’s a quote from this morning’s tweeted story:

For Bahro, a peaceful eco-communist alternative to capitalism is both possible and essential, but the belief that capitalism offers a life that is desirable must first be overturned if this alternative is to flourish. Through a variety of psychological strategies subsumed under the rubric of ‘retail therapy’, capitalism promotes pseudo-individualistic lifestyles, drives the desires of the self-absorbed, and promises fulfillment from the menu of all-you-can-eat. Retail therapy locates meaning in life through clothes, cars, homes, holidays and furniture. (view in context).

So what’s wrong with this view?

Well, the overall piece talks about spirituality but it sets up a false conflict between capitalism and spirituality. For me, going out to shop can be a spiritual exercise. We don’t need to compartmentalize “spirituality” and “the world” as so many hack thinkers do. It’s not as if God closes his or her eyes the moment we decide to enter a Pizza Hut or Tim Hortons. Far from it. If we do not objectify other people, interacting with employees can be quite spiritual and an important part of one’s overall journey.

So why the sharp division between “capitalism” and “spirituality?”

A person with any spiritual depth understands that God is everywhere. He or She is not just locked up in monasteries or in the Green movement. Everywhere is everywhere. Period.

All we really have to do is open our eyes and see what’s already there. And I think this perspective, if anything, would help to make the world a better, fairer place. If we see other people as our human brothers and sisters, there is far less chance of wanting to exploit, lie, cheat or rob.

Sadly, the biggest joke is that religion often bolsters people into doing bad things. These people believe the end justifies the means. But in most cases that’s ass backwards. As the good book teaches:

A good tree bears good fruit but a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matt. 7-17).

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