Getting down

Personally, I cannot seem to accept (although I should) pictures of public figures ‘getting down’ by wearing the same uniforms as the people they are reaching, as if saying ‘I am one with you’, yet with a message in tow. I always feel it’s not genuine. I mean, who are you really? A public figure getting down? Or are you really down? Hardly. Politicians are always out of touch, somehow: they are just one rung above everyone else. They provide policies and guidance and are always bound to upset some. They do so from a distance, where all the thinking goes on, and the people on the ground get on with their lives, either influenced from the Ivory Towers for no good or by some stroke actually benefiting from the Ivory Towers. It sounds rather Medieval, the alternative reality we may be actually living in…

The horror

A general sphere of a break down of some sort is when one is manipulated to such a degree that one cannot see objectively. Therefore what the other says defines how you view yourself and your work, and they can make out your identity and work is flawed and needs to be improved their way. Just because they say so. Just because they want to take you down a track to fulfill their agenda.

Now, to you, they know better and do the thinking for you–and maybe you don’t even know it. Now, they have manipulated you to such a degree that you get to this point. One maybe aware of such manipulation but cannot do anything about it anymore. They have taken over your mind. However, you may even be automatic. And you may even be happy automatic. What a state to be in caused by manipulation. It happens in thrillers, the genre of entertainment that is, but to some similar degree it can happen anywhere. The horror. But, as in a thriller, there is the struggle to retain one’s sanity.

Out of the box

You know, I can’t find the Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air and that The Marblehead Messenger but what fascinating titles.

– Pete’s quotes (on not finding those albums)

Processing

Inspiration can come in the guise of people just sauntering past your bedroom window. And from the guy in the supermarket who bowls you over with something quite interesting. Something is said. Inspirational. Where did my mind go when I heard that? Into another realm. I did not even conjure it. The inspiration came to me from outside. What shall I do with it? Accept it or reject it?

Process it? Take it? Use it?

Now for the negative. Followed by the positive. It may not be any good. It may be the kind of ‘inspiration’ which is unhelpful. It may blind one to what’s real. Outsiders will be back tomorrow and then their inspiration will be dealt with according to that time. For now, I remember their inspiration. But I processed it into what’s helpful or what’s not. And remember that whatever I am inspired by is somehow also part of me–but as I say, processed into what is helpful or useful or good.

Now the positive. Maybe it is just artistic inspiring. One can also take the positive charge in it. Or maybe one just needs to eliminate the thought all together as it is unhelpful in the here and now yet with the view of one day taking it apart for further dissection into its various potentialities as art, as vision, as the human experience.

In the middle

In life, being human invariably leads down a giddy path if one does not keep it in check, and trying to be like Gandhi or Gregory Peck does not work normally. Between being human and noble is the middle path that many people seem to navigate well.

– Pete’s quotes

Excellence? Or improvement?

There is such a thing as a church teaching excellence which I found out when I entered a prosperity church. At first, I did not know that it was a prosperity church. I discovered it was less in vein of get rich quick with God, but more about being excellent today.

The early days there came with their upsetting moments. To my surprise, I had not paid a small fee to their Bible college I attended and since I was late in paying they said I had better pay up. (Even so, this from a prosperity church no doubt so they needed the money)

Even though they could have covered expenses like food if I was in hardship (which I was not), they were strong on getting me to pay up for this particular thing, the Bible college classes. After all, they were trying to build a people of excellence, I was told. Not that they knew anything about me. At all.

Being an honest and fair person, I was sure beyond a doubt that they would be paid and this is what I would have done. Just too bad the definition of a person of excellence came within a certain time frame.

I later discovered that excellence hinged on how one behaved as a Christian. There were unwritten rules, generally.

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New reality

News is everywhere. Current events. Current affairs. Whatever they call it. News is bad. News can be good: The birthday party. The holiday. The time on the beach. It is life. Looking forward to the next positive thing in one’s life can actually turn out that way, but if — or when? — positive expectation of good does not materialize, by things beyond our control, the thing to ask — after pain diminishes — is how does one respond to a new reality?

– Pete’s quotes

Two hours

User pays did work on this occasion. I was the driver to a dental appointment, dropped her off, and made way for a park, the usual parking spaces whenever I dropped her off at the dentist. I instantly found what I was looking for, a parking space. Not too many left over. Then I paid at different intervals, depending on how long this dental appointment would take. I went back and forth between the dentist and the parking space and slotted in the coins when the time on the meter expired. I finally made it to the end of the appointment and no parking ticket and the price was a miserly eight dollars for two hours. User pays did work this time–if all you need is two hours in the big city. What’s eight dollars then? I was glad to be home, considering it would have added up, every quarter of an hour. Yet eight dollars was okay for a long afternoon that I will not revisit for a long one year again. User pays works, but this is a fact of life. Users of services must pay. At least here. Whether we agree with this — that parking fees are not necessary for councils who already take residents’ rates — is besides the point in two hours of tense packed action, trying to avoid the parking ticket. Life is happening as one grabs a coffee on the run. My companion did get the benefits of twenty minutes in the dental chair — another necessity of life — and she, as they say, is “all good.”

Uniqueness

This transformation is a sight for starved eyes for the fascinating kind, but which reminds me that humans are never meant to be like their animal, be that insect, neighbours, a sobering reminder of our place in the world. I do not like gross, but there is some point to it all. We are not like animals, we are not like insects, as wonderful as these are. We are human.

More

The diverse environment he lived in caused him to travel and go wandering. He was a seeker of truth and believed there must be more behind the diversity of his background. The oasis brings the older Gurdijieff on the verge of a breakthrough to find what he is looking for. Yet Brundle becomes the difference between what makes insects insects and humans humans. The two do not mix. Which brings up the nature of the two different species and how they can never quite merge successfully. They were made to be separate. Perhaps this could look like God saying, come back to your senses, as some things you are doing are out of whack. The one who wishes to change the world may become the victim of his own ambition. Ambitious drive, and progress, has become rather tragic in the end. Yet Gurdijieff sought so much more.

Search

Meetings with Remarkable Men is about a person’s search for truth, inner meaning, the hidden realities behind life and things. Meetings with Remarkable Men was based on a book by G.I. Gurdjieff, who was born in Alexandropol in the then Russian Empire, about the middle to late 1800’s. His father was Greek and his mother Armenian. I have not read the book, but what I gather is that Gurdjieff held several ideas and some of these are explored in the film, but what counts most for me are not his variegated ideas, but the one central, configuring desire that impels to explore the nether regions for more. I find many of his ideas off-putting but the driving force and the search is what makes his journey relatable.

Who’s who

The films directed by Peter Brook, a British theatre as well as film director, now in his nineties, are challenging to find for streaming or on demand in my vicinity. His first feature film was in 1953, The Beggar’s Opera, so its age may explain its evasiveness in the market. He followed this by several art house films which seemed quite fascinating as subjects, The Lord of the Flies the best known, which can be easily accessed where I am. The other film I can find of his is Meetings with Remarkable Men (1979). Not that I had been looking for Peter Brook films to watch, but I happened to read about the film first and thought it interesting and even relatable so looked him up and discovered more.

Goes around

My experience, but with a keen eye on what’s happening elsewhere. This picture makes a story…a story which is mine, which may be yours, maybe our lines meet, maybe they diverge. Maybe we will meet again some other way. Maybe the story will go around.

Fair?

Bringing together two facts can create an interesting point of view on it. Somebody’s judgements in the negative (first fact), while several advisors concur (second fact), causing the ever decreasing circles of control on a poor, talented life (point of view), the claws grip tighter…as one scene builds on another.

Ahead

Time is not managed where I am. It’s more that that. Time is the price for not getting things done. That’s when time is a headache. Conversely, time is the vehicle for getting things done, but it is going to run out and I am going to get older. But if one still thinks one has time on their side, time is about looking ahead optimistically.

Dutiful

The fine line between security and discrimination is the facts apparently. I am walking out of a shop with a item in a bag. I’m stopped by the guard. He security checks me. Actually, he checks my receipt to see if I’ve purchased. I’m wearing casual. Do I they think I look like a “bum” who is going to steal something?

Was I singled out for wearing shorts at 10.00am on a Monday morning so I looked like the kind of person who would nick off with something? I must look dodgy.

So, I checked with the manager and was given a satisfactory answer. At this place they are doubly security conscious. It is actually their job to check receipts. This guy did. The only one who has in three years frequenting this shop.

Someone is doing their job on a quiet day.

But during a busy time it’s a pot luck kind of way to see if someone has purchased. Who do you choose?

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Grass is greener

I wonder what Harry and Meghan would have found if they had considered living in New Zealand twenty years ago?

Kiwi spirit is what pastor and baritone Rodney Macann talked about in my interview with him in 2000. Rodney Macann was, in 2000, leader of the ministry team Wellington Central Baptist. Later, he was the NZ Baptist national leader. As well, he was singing throughout New Zealand and Australia with the major Opera and concert organizations like the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the NBR Opera NZ.

Interviewer: What do you think is the mood of the New Zealand public, considering the economic downfall, distrust of the government, the ‘brain drain’ (New Zealanders heading overseas to live and work), and our Olympians not performing up to expectations.

Rodney: I think the public mood changes hugely and very, very quickly. For example, if we think about sport for the moment, people are a bit downhearted that we didn’t do so well. But my view of it is, is that we are a tiny country with very limited resources.

We’re naturally quite physically strong.

Interviewer: What do you mean physically strong?

Rodney: I think we grow up in a country that provides a very, very healthy environment. That could be changing because our figures are most probably skewed a wee bit by people who are getting overweight on junk food and this sort of thing. Kiwis, for the best part of the last century, have most probably healthier food and living conditions than most other parts of the world and this is shown in the physique of the average Kiwi, I think.

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Fries

An actual movie pic from 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), with Tyrese and Paul Walker. But what could have been friends getting together to go to Macs to show off the latest model. “Fries with that please.” Just two guys waiting in line on the way to the pictures…

Just?

Just a Gigolo is a song that’s a metaphor: we really don’t matter as life will go on without us. Sobering, yet amusing song. Yet even if this is true, that life somehow does not need us when we fade away or pass away there is an untruth to it, as our lives do go on.

What material things we have left behind matters to who we leave it behind. What we have stood for and valued goes on in the minds and memories of the living although we are dead. Who we are leaves an indelible mark on our loved ones and those we were in influence of.

Yes, our lives go on when we pass away and what we do while living matters now and then. Certainly, if we can get our business straight if things are undone, what would it be? I know I have to make a will at some stage so I am thinking seriously about this.

Wait a minute

What’s going on in the world? I got to write about life.

The safety pin has been taken off much of the world and there were times when I had to turn off the television. Two news stories in particular interest me now: security in the USA and Covid19. But I realized that having a healthy outlook is seeing the world from my relatively safer corner of the world as the “new normal” at least in the meantime until these issues are sorted out, which I hope they will. I personally can do nothing more about the insecurity happening besides wash my hands and all that Covid preparedness. I wonder how others are doing?

A family member said don’t worry about this life too much. I wish others would take a minute and think that philosophy through. When we think that this life is not everything it can open up the possibility of relaxing on some things. There are some things that don’t need our involvement and when things get out of hand to really face reality and accept the truth. Just take a minute out to think about where certain actions will lead. In the meantime, I am accepting the “new normal” while the leaders figure something out and the people do what they can. And by an expert word, the stuff that is really shaking the world now will pass. Lastly, but ultimately, I remember to trust the Most High God–a beautiful description of God I read in Genesis and liked a lot.

Truth

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

July 20th in the year 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon. The moon landing is portrayed in the 2018 drama First Man, and 2019’s Apollo 11, which was rolled out to theatres all over the world since March that year.

In New Zealand, the documentary was first played on the day of the anniversary of the moon landing, at the New Zealand International Film Festival. This is a significant date to show the film as it exactly coincides with the same day of the moon landing which reminds me that the showing of the film was like that of a world premiere. It was a special showing.

The landing is accepted by the majority, but there are those who have long contended that it never happened. Hoax theory debunkers successfully countered the conspiracy theorists who said that the moon landing never happened. They still maintain their stance, even in the light of the vast majority.

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Hard

I really felt blah reading the Bible this morning. But I give it time and tonight get on top of it, if that is the right expression when one reads the Bible. The prophets are especially hard to read in the morning. But never give up is what I think.

Like no other

The light comes alive, as a flicker across the window, the dawn has broken in. It could be any day. But I saw the light today. New Years Day. Like creation sent its rays down into this place. Like a new beginning, a start like no other. Like no other, yes, like no other. A new day has dawned. The heavens did not yawn. The feeling overcome him.

Historic

These would be interesting historical studies: The French Revolution, the American Civil War, the Russian Revolution, the Italian Risogimento, and the Italian Resistance in World War II. Where to start? I would start with the Russian Revolution as this arouses my interest most, the reason may be that I missed studying Russian history at High School and I have become increasingly curious about the subject over the years. That tells me something. But, yes, a bit of history never hurts, something to read, study even, and learn from…when one is able to.

American beauty

When I was so much younger than I am today, and for about the rest of my life since, I believed that America should be emulated. Americans somehow lived on a different plane to the rest of us. They have it all together in other words. It’s the ideal life there. The perfect, ideal people, who are on top of things. I seen this. America brings us perfect movies, perfect presidents, immaculate music, Thanksgiving with happy families, Christmas with a warm glow, July 4 the best thing since last July 4. But, when I started to engage with American lives through the comments sections, I saw how the postie does not deliver the parcels to the correct address over and over again and there are people who cannot even get out of bed. But, to be sure and sober about this, and not to make it a comedy of sorts, I found that Americans are real people. Americans are people who struggle. And some, not all, are incredibly kind when the postie does not deliver. Someone said, welcome to the real world.

Shouldn’t

I hate it when I get an infectious albums of songs but I don’t really, really like it much at all. That just flies in the face of all notions to actually buy the album and call it part of my collection. But one comes down on the side of common sense. My mind was wandering as I heard it, so I am adamant I shouldn’t buy this.