Wear your Vendetta because the revolution will not be televised

•December 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

As the ashes settle and the smoke dissipates on the city of Mumbai following the terrorist attack on 11/26 … the impotent cries of the common man seem lost in rhetoric and corrupt politics.

“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people”
– V for Vendetta

Ive been watching.
Ive been waiting.
Ive been hoping that this time would be different.
It is in theory … but the outcome will be the same.
Today i saw the Indian media and its people reduce the war on terror to a Caricature.
And now its time i Speak.

When i stand back and see my friends writing about how we should move the government, others say we should all come together at the gateway of India in protest, my first response is “What good will it do” ? And my skepticism has been vindicated once again.

Mumbai came together at the Gateway of India and behaved exactly like i knew they would…disorganized, disjoint and disappointing.
They tore down posters of politicians, shouted anti government slogans in the dirtiest filthiest language and a lot of them just stood around waiting for some bolt of clarity from the blue.
The media clapped and edited out the embarrassing bits, proclaiming it a huge success.

Today i stand here, as outraged as you…but instead of wearing my outrage on my sleeve, i scratch my beard, sigh and wonder how we can BE THE CHANGE you can SEE in India. And while i applaud all your emotion and fire…i see no one (including myself) standing up and taking any affirmative action that will make a difference.

The sad truth is …most of us walk through life with a blindfold for companionship. The signs of the times are there for us to see but until it SLAPS us in the face like the terrorists have (many times i might add) we do nothing. We are REACTIVE and EMOTIONAL …and the thing about EMOTION is …it FADES.

We live in tyrannical times, governments use the media to spread propaganda and disseminate false information. News Channels stir up emotions for TRPs and ad space. The big PR machine rolls forward and we stand like lambs in their wake…consuming, and being dumbed down to the point were the lie become the truth and there isnt a shred of individual thought or emotion left.

The truth is, The we need revolution but real revolutions are seldom televised…they occur in our backyards and in houses where people come together not for personal gain or sound bytes but because their belief in the existing establishment has died and because they KNOW that change cannot come about through dialogue with a government that provides only lip service and does nothing because it is impotent.And because they know that the power of an IDEAL is limitless and that organized action is the only way to fight a cancer like this. Its never as easy as shouting slogans and demanding resignations because these are just symbols (And weak ones at that)

A change like the one i am talking about will take time…but it will happen in this country… the seeds are being planted today with voices just like like yours echoing at home and abroad…in homes and on blogs.. on street corners and in class rooms ….in our very minds 🙂

So…

Starting today i say we get less emotional and reactive.
Starting today i say we worry less about how we are perceived and about politically correct statements and behaving like everyone else.
Starting today i say ORGANIZE … THINK INDIVIDUALLY….ACT COLLECTIVELY
But above all starting today i say ….We DISCOVER OUR IDEALS
FIND THE VENDETTA inside you.

But don’t take my word for it 🙂
————————–

Remember Remember the 26th of November,
The gun powder treason and plot,
I can think of no reason , the gun power and treason
Should ever be forgot.The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

“Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos , and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair.”

But were never gonna survive unless….we get a little…..CRAZY.

Fullfilled

•May 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Its an unfamiliar feeling … fulfillment.

I dont know it its a sign of age as i enter the next stage of man or if saturns influence over me has finally lifted. All i know is that i am Happy ! Happy to be alive, here , now.

I feel rested. Confident and full of Hope.

May it stay so.

“And the stars look very different today” – David Bowie

Icon of the self indulgent

•March 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Standing at the pinacle of self indulgence
Your personal truths lie compromised
In a haze of lies to yourself and others.
Desperate for acceptance and love
You lose yourself in the change you exact upon yourself.
Never believing in your true value …tearing your identity apart
to suit the common palate.
Wine turns to water and exclusions turn to lies..

Your hardest lessons are ahead of you…
But the self indulgence restricts your vision…
You will lose everything…

Gaining it back …thats another poem.

This is the END my Friend… a public truth without the apology

•October 4, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I have had 4 serious relationships in my life. And have loved all manner of women. Some were firecely independent, others liked to depend on the relationship for support, some made me laugh, others made me cry and one did neither.

With each breakup, lessons were learned and 3 out of 4 remain good friends of mine. Id like to think its because they know who i am and what i stand for. Yes i sometimes hurt them (i am human) but i learned quickly and never repeated my “offence”. I never cheated on any of them (why would i be in a relationship if i wanted to “phillander”) I always TRIED to be fair to them and myself and i even broke up with one of them because i realised I wasnt treating her the way she deserved to be treated and i was doing her more harm than good by being with her.

When we broke up… there was pain…as there is bound to be, but in the end there was healing and finally we came back to the start ….where our journeys together began….”As friends and as human beings who realised each others value.”

Human relationships are a mine-field of emotions, some happy others not so much, but i think what defines the human being is how elegantly they manage their emotions when life tries to coerce them into being less than human. Its speaks volumes about whats in their DNA and talks to the heart of me.

A recent “association” of mine… just could’nt understand why two seemingly “well meaning” people couldnt make it work…

I would like to offer a simple explaination…

In order for 2 people to go the distance…”well meaning” must at some point transform into “well done”. If all one can do is “mean well” and not “live well” the relationship isnt destined for much success.

Also, repeated promises made in the face of breakup like “ill change” or “i understand now …so give us a chance” are only desperate attempts to hold on to something familiar and secure….and is very natural…but ultimately unsuccessful.

So i say….

  • There is a reason we didnt work – We must recognize it.
  • It takes two hands to clap and one to stop – let go respectfully.
  • When its over…its best left over for good – the way back is frought with “instant promises and very little action”
  • We cant change whats in our X&Y – but we can commit to being the best versions of ourselves (and if thats not enough then thats alright too ..)
  • Exit with grace and dignity …not sad insults and resentment.
  • A breakup doesnt mean you are not good enough – just that you arent good together.
  • Dont beat your partner down to build yourself up – You end up looking very very small.

And in your darkest hour remember that “Love is leaving and arriving all at once.”

Wishing you all the “best” love in the world….no apologies …no regrets …just good wishes.

Hiding

•September 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Sad little trysts from days gone by
Yes you embark on yet another lie.
Do what you must to find that smile
Give away all you have as you run this last mile.

Break them up where ever you go
Tell yourself it was over so long ago
Try as you may, within the universe of which you can reckon
All they are doing is feasting on sloppy seconds.

The enemy within is the one that you hide
As you construct every ridiculous meticulous lie
Is reality that bitter ? Does your life fall so short ?
That you need to sit there and systematically the truth distort.

You will always be happy, but with only a fools gold
Hiding your face at large is what is foretold.
And if that is what pleases you , then do it you must
Till bones become ashes and hair turns to dust.

Always, Keep it Real.

Scratching a Lie

•September 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment
Scratching a Lie

It occurred to me that the choice Morpehus gave Neo in the Matrix is more a reality than i had initially thought.

Why is the choice between what you believe you know and an unknown ‘real’ truth so fascinating? How could a choice possibly be made? On the one hand everyone you love and everything that you have built you life upon. One the other the promise only of truth….

The words ” Take the blue pill and the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”now imortalized in pop-culture and synonymous with black leather and bullet dodging acrobatics…could well be held up as an example of new age philosophy and a choice millions of people face on a day to day basis.

To confront reality as it is…. Harsh, Undeniable. Absolute.

– OR –

To live in a fools paradise…Content with soft pillows. Easy Street and a big Clown Hat perched firmly on your brow, citing emotion and shades of grey as reasons for living.

…One choice empowering you thru bravery and force of will.;

…The other dooming you to a happless happy journey thru the land of make-believe.

In the end..believe what you will, try as you may to escape …Reality is the shroud surrounding all the alices and the march hares!

Wonderland is for Farytales!

Extrapolate…Re-load

In the Matrix, which pill would you take, the red or the blue?
The question of which pill to take illustrates the personal aspect of the decision to study philosophy. Do you live on in ignorance (and potentially bliss) or do you lead what Aristotle called ‘the examined life’…The Matrix is a film filled with religious and philosophical symbolism. The plot supposes that humans live in vats many years in the future, being fed false sensory information by a giant virtual reality computer (the Matrix). The perpetrators of this horror are machines of the future who use humans as a source of power. Humans are literally farmed.The central character of the film, Neo, is presented to us in the opening part of the film as a loner who is searching for a mysterious character called Morpheus (named after the Greek god of dreams and sleep). He is also trying to discover the answer to the question “What is the Matrix?”

Morpheus contacts Neo just as the machines (posing as sinister ‘agents’) are trying to keep Neo from finding out any more. When Morpheus and Neo meet, Morpheus offers Neo two pills. The red pill will answer the question “what is the Matrix?” (by removing him from it) and the blue pill simply for life to carry on as before. As Neo reaches for the red pill Morpheus warns Neo “Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

The film as a whole and especially the choosing scene is deeply compelling. Why is the choice between what you believe you know and an unknown ‘real’ truth so fascinating? How could a choice possibly be made? On the one hand everyone you love and everything that you have built you life upon. One the other the promise only of truth.

The question then is not about pills, but what they stand for in these circumstances. The question is asking us whether reality, truth, is worth pursuing. The blue pill will leave us as we are, in a life consisting of habit, of things we believe we know. We are comfortable, we do not need truth to live. The blue pill symbolises commuting to work every day, or brushing your teeth.

The red pill is an unknown quantity. We are told that it can help us to find the truth. We don’t know what that truth is, or even that the pill will help us to find it. The red pill symbolises risk, doubt and questioning. In order to answer the question, you can gamble your whole life and world on a reality you have never experienced.

However, in order to investigate which course of action to take we need to investigate why the choice is faced. Why should we even have to decide whether to pursue truth?

The answer in short, is inquisitiveness. Many people throughout human existence have questioned and enquired. Most of them have not been scientists or doctors or philosophers, but simply ordinary people asking ‘what if?’ or ‘why?’ Asking these questions ultimately leads us to a choice. Do you continue to ask and investigate, or do you stop and never ask again? This in essence, is the question posed to Neo in the film.

So what are the advantages of taking the blue pill? As one of the characters in the film says, “ignorance is bliss” Essentially, if the truth is unknown, or you believe that you know the truth, what is there to question or worry about?

By accepting what we are told and experience life can be easier. There is the social pressure to ‘fit in’, which is immensely strong in most cultures. Questioning the status quo carries the danger of ostracism, possibly persecution. This aspect has a strong link with politics. People doing well under the current system are not inclined to look favourably on those who question the system. Morpheus says to Neo “You have to understand that many people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”

The system also has a place for you, an expected path to follow. This removes much of the doubt and discomfort experienced by a trailblazer.

Another argument on the side of the blue pill is how does anyone know that the status quo is not in fact the truth? The act of simply questioning does not infer a lack of validity on the questioned. Why not assume that your experience is innocent until proven guilty? Just accept everything?

So if the arguments for the blue pill are so numerous, why take the red pill? Why pursue truth even though it may be unpalatable and the journey to it hard? In the film, Neo risks death to escape the virtual reality and discovers a brutal reality from which he cannot return. As he discovers the trouble with asking questions is that the answers are not necessarily what you want to hear.

To justify taking the red pill we might ask what is the purpose of an ignorant existence? Further still, what is there in merely existing? Simply existing brings humans down to the level of objects; they might have utility or even purpose, but where is the meaning? Existence without meaning is surely not living your life, but just experiencing it. As Trinity says to Neo, “The Matrix cannot tell you who you are.” Randomness
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The gap created between a high need for power and a low need for affiliation is the measure of the imperial motivation pattern.
Robert HogenraadSourceArticle: Motivational needs
about randomness

Given the potential disadvantages of choosing the red pill, the motivation for discovering the truth must then be very strong. The film makes much of this point. Trinity says to Neo “It’s the question that drives us, Neo.” and Morpheus compares the motivation for Neo’s search to “a splinter in your mind – driving you mad.” The motivation for answering the question is obviously strong as the answer will help us to find the meaning in our lives.

What we are looking at here is the drive to answer a question, but the key to this is what drove the question in the first place. The asking of questions about our environment our experience and ourselves is fundamental to the human condition. Children ask a seemingly never-ending stream of questions from an early age. It is only with education and socialisation that some people stop asking these questions. However, we remain, as it were, hard-wired to enquire.

This is an inevitable consequence of consciousness. A being with a mind, conscious of itself and its existence, experiencing a reality, needs to organise the data that it receives from its senses. Simply observing and recording does not allow for consciousness. It is what we do with that information that allows us to think. In order to process and store the vast amount of information received, the human brain attempts to identify patterns in the data; looking for the patterns behind what is experienced. This is asking questions of the sensory information, and requires reasoning. By definition a conscious mind seeks to know. Knowing something requires more than just data, but intelligence or reasoning applied to that data. To attempt to obtain knowledge we must therefore question the data our mind receives; thus, consciousness questions.

So the metaphor of the journey to truth that Neo takes is complete. The journey starts with a question, there is a search for the answer and the answer may be reached. This shows us that the journey does not start with Neo choosing between the pills, or with ourselves deciding whether to question. The act of asking the question is itself the starting point as the aim of asking the question is to seek truth and knowledge.

We have established that consciousness is aware and seeks knowledge and that thus the conscious mind must question. To question is to seek the truth and start on the journey to knowledge. Therefore the choice between the pills is surely made for us. The fact that we are conscious appears to require us to take the red pill.

However, this can be simply countered by someone who would prefer to take the blue pill. They may wish to seek the truth in a different way, or in a less mind jarring set of circumstances. They can choose the blue pill and not deny their consciousness, but to stop seeking the truth entirely would be to deny their consciousness.

Thus we are philosophically driven to seek the truth and the act of questioning whether to seek it is in itself seeking the truth. As conscious minds we will always seek the truth. However, the choice over the red or blue pills is not solely a choice between whether to question or not, it is a personal choice on the method of discovering the truth…

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

•August 13, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind again today and I knew that it was going to be something I needed to write about…. What makes me want to write about it is simply that I relate to it. It’s the love story I always wanted to see made – a real one with only the chance of a happy ending – no guarantees.

The concept is so universal and yet so hidden – “We love who we love…and we can’t help ourselves… “

As I reflect on the themes explored in the film I find myself realizing that they are are so pertinent in this day and age – way more than the film lets on to the less inquiring mind.

Mankind is passing through a poignant time in their social history …were all overwhelmed by our aloneness….and were all searching for our “Eternal Sunshine”.. In drink, drugs, books, film, life-partners, one night stands…the list is endless.

I don’t know how many people feel, in this day and age, that there is nobody there for them…or that people they love are too busy to make time for them..Pick em up.. up from the airport….up when they are down…just show that they care…. I think we all have this innately in us….were all looking for people who we can count on to pick us up when we feel smaller and more insignificant that we really are.

If we could just for a moment – elevate our consciousness to the point where we can comprehend this film on a scale greater than that of just one relationship, we’d open our eyes to the reality that we should take more chances on people and in life, no matter what the outcome. & that both good and bad go hand in hand and that we should stop trying to control where we end up because were going to get there in any case….how difficult the journey is , is upto us .


In the end I believe that we must all re-learn to open ourselves up to the possibility that our endings can be happy ones and that people are innately good. So rent the DVD if you havent seen it! – Go; ask that person out; move to a new place; take a risk. You never know what could happen!

I know I did and the smile on my face says it all….i hope you find yours.