Posted in Blogs, Books, Canada, Doctor Who, Family, Fibromyalgia, Food, Jane Austen, Movies, Music, Star Wars, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Stand By Me

Posted in Books, Music, Uncategorized

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you

1cohen4

I’m not going to wax poetic about Leonard Cohen, he can do that himself, through his music.

These are the 5 of his songs I love:

1. Everybody Knows (made famous in Pump Up the Volume). To me, an echoing voice of many generations, still calling vainly through the haze of lies and corruption.

2. First We Take Manhattan. This song got in my head and has never left; such unprocessed intensity it thrashes around still begging for answers.

3. Hallelujah. First heard in my teen angst years and can sometimes evoke a tear or two as the truth struggles through. Hundreds of versions later, my favs remain by: Jeff Buckley, John Cale, and Mr. Cohen, sorry Bono, yours sucked. Long before Shrek, this was classic.

4. Who By Fire. A prayer by another other name. I might just be reading into this, but I always felt it was about atonement, an expiational yearning, of sorts.

5. Avalanche. Evocative articulation about depression.

I don’t dislike the rest of Cohen’s work, it just doesn’t affect me the way the aforementioned songs do. I’ve seen him in concert several times, I even sat with him once many years ago, in a group. I felt questions bubbling up, but rarely spoke; being a writer and pedantic poet I found myself enjoying just listening to one so exquisitely arcane.

1cohen8I’m always interested to see what others read into this abstruse artist. There are so many interpretations of his work. I dove into the book, Leonard Cohen and Philosophy: Various Positions, edited by Jason Holt (Open Court), from the Popular Culture and Philosophy series with a keenness that was repaid in full by cool and thought-provoking scrutiny of Cohen’s creations. I revisited some of his songs, to hear what these philosophers had heard. I still didn’t always hear it, but I thank them for their considered analysis.  After many decades of listening to Mr. Cohen I realize that reconciling what people say and what they do may remain an eternal mystery…doesn’t mean I have to quit trying.

Posted in Books, Environment, Internet, Movies, Televison

Welcome to…Jurassic Park

1jur3Why so fascinated with bringing back dinosaurs?
Size? Curiosity? That they lived before the dawn of humans?

Or merely human nature, we want to do something, if we can.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is a big, stinky, carnivorous cautionary tale for abuse of technology and he makes no bones about it (yeah, I went for the cheap paleontology joke; sorry, it was the only thing I could dig up).

We need more cautionary tales.

We find we can manipulate genes, so as humans we think, then we should.
Clone…then we should.
Build bombs…we should.
Grow viruses…should.
Smartphones, Wi-Fi, internet…should, should, should!!!

Shouldn’t we find out the consequences first?
Everything has consequences.
Everything.

1jur25

I’ve heard the argument that God gave us the ability to do these things so we should.
a) that’s presuming there’s a God;
b) we also have to ability to kill people, should we?
c) justifying much?

1jur5

In less than 25 years we’ve become internet junkies. We overshare worldwide. No worries about pulsating signals everywhere. More children plugged in like adorable little zombies. We’re more distracted, obsessed, exhausted, overwhelmed, and less connected than ever….

1jur23

I began readin1jur29g Jurassic Park and Philosophy (edited by Nicholas Michaud and Jessica Watkins) thinking I knew what they’re going to say.  To some extent I did; philosophers examining JP in detail, scrutinizing all connotations and consequences as well as providing provocative insights regarding: genetic engineering, cloning, technology, human nature, ethics, religion, drama, humour, and even dinosaurs. Also gave me a creepy ah-ha moment – we’re the dinosaurs, a species striding boldly, masters of the planet, all the while becoming extinct.
Yes, another tremendous book in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series from Open Court. I’m so hooked, I can’t wait for the next fix.

Hammond, essentially a snake oil salesman, only cared about money, power, and his legacy, he couldn’t see he put his real legacy in danger by bringing his grandchildren to the park to figure out if it was safe, after someone was killed by a cloned dinosaur. Humans are so proud we can do, we forget to show respect for the real power, nature.

John Hammond: All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked.
Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.

1jur12Any thoughts on the reboot of the Jurassic Park series?

Jurassic World  i1jur28s now a state-of-the-art dino theme park on Isla Nublar. 22 years after the events of the original Jurassic Park all is well; what a relief. But wait, frustrated with declining attendance, an exciting new attraction is opened, gee, I wonder what could go wrong?
The cast looks interesting, Chris Pratt, Jake Johnson, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Irrfan Khan, Judy Greer, Bryce Dallas Howard, but I’ll miss Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, and Sam Neill.
Written by Colin Trevorrow (also directing) and Derek Connolly, both from Safety Not Guaranteed   https://yadadarcyyada.com/?s=safety+not+guaranteed , I’m hopeful this will be action-packed and funny. Also that it’ll continue to offer strong female characters, like Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Lex (Ariana Richards), and well, the dinosaurs were all female, right?

1jur38

Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.
Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man … woman inherits the earth.

Any questions?

 

Posted in Autism, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Planet of the Apes and Philosophy

1apes9

The first thing most people think of when thinking About Planet of the Apes is Charlton Heston’s celebrated overacting as Taylor saying, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!”, but after reading this entertaining and thought-provoking book, Planet of the Apes and Philosophy: Great Apes Think Alike (edited by John Huss), part of the Popular Culture and Philosophy series from Open Court, I realize that either I don’t think enough about Planet of the Apes…or these philosophers think about it way too much.

While I enjoyed all these cool essays on how Planet of the Apes pertains to: war, peace, love, hate, prejudice, revolution, evolution, genetic engineering, time/space paradoxes, insanity, identity, the environment, our inability to learn from the past, not looking toward the future, what made me think most was about our ability as humans to speak.

1apes4

Humans talk. We talk a lot. We talk about important things. And a lot about trivial things.
We tell truths, lies, we tell people what they want to hear and sometimes we tell them only what we think they need to know.
We laugh, we scream, we whisper, we sing, we hum. We’re low talkers, high talkers, close talkers, mumblers…
We feel our being able to speak separates us from animals, somehow makes us a superior species.

Yeah, so superior.

1apes19This book is an absorbing and straightforward work that lets us explore many ethical, political, scientific, cultural, creative, and emotional issues in the fun and safe environment of the Planet of the Apes franchise.

1apes15

It makes one think, is our new frenzied behaviour because we jumped into technology that instead of amplifying our voices in fact mutes them? The information age was supposed to enlighten, it was supposed to be the great equalizer. Yet we are bombarded by that information, it comes at us in waves, in 140 characters, in memes, emails, texts, posts, pictures, videos, social media…and there’s no need for that information to be correct, just out there.

Whatever it is, we can’t seem to stop…the movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the latest in the franchise (the 8th plus 2 TV series) will be hitting theaters July 11, 2014.

1apes10
Maybe we should try to work out our problems here on Earth without struggling too hard to solve the mysteries of mankind and the universe, after all, we might not like the answers.

1apes12

“You know what they say, ‘Human see, human do.'” ~Julius

"...the Earth has aged nearly 700 years since we left it...You, who are reading me now, are a different breed...I hope a better one.... Tell me, though, does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother...keep his neighbor's children starving?" ~Taylor
“…the Earth has aged nearly 700 years since we left it…You, who are reading me now, are a different breed…I hope a better one…. Tell me, though, does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother…keep his neighbor’s children starving?” ~Taylor

Posted in Books, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

The Pursuit of Happiness Cult

 ImageAyn Rand conjured up the cult of Objectivism, which, to the best of my knowledge, is a philosophy whose principal doctrines include but aren’t limited to: reality is detached from consciousness; the practice of concept formation and inductive logic helps attain objective knowledge from perception; apt moral function is the pursuit of one’s own happiness, aka rational egotism; laissez faire capitalism is the only morally correct social system; and selective replication of reality into a physical form (ie. art) can adjust humans’ metaphysical ideas.

Objectivism was branded as a viewpoint intended to define not only human nature, but the nature of our world.The cult aspect of Rand’s work, to believe self-interest, said pursuit of self-interest, and the concept that people are somehow heroes for pursuing self-interest is beguiling. Logic ruling man is always an enthralling thought, but seldom happens, and rarely among Rands followers or herself. Like most, this philosophy has been so warped, exploited, and perverted it is a pathetic wraith of Rand’s intentions.

This book, Ayn Rand Cult by Jeff Walker (Open Court) is an interesting, fairly objective read although way too long and ragged at times (like this review), but consider the subject matter.

Many believe Rand’s ideas and beliefs are relics of a bygone era. It’s resurgence, while kept low-key is growing steadily, especially among the extreme right-wing political parties. Although their choice of prophet, an Atheist, Pro Choice woman is baffling. Image

Reason and logic are admirable, but they are susceptible to the whims, lies, and willful misunderstandings of humans who wield them as weapons against those who may resist.

As for the issues with laissez-faire capitalism, where do I begin? Look around the answers are attacking us each day.

While I have found the ideas of Rand’s work seductive at times, I find it improbable that my own happiness above all others is noble and absolute.Image