Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dreams of My Father

It may be Barack Obama's first book, but boy its a good one . ( Abridged version) Perhaps one of the most important things we can learn , whether we become Presidents or just preside over the garbage,  is to JUST do what he has done - tell it like it is .
Barack has certainly done that in this great book . In travelling the road with his sister in a territory that is not his own , the images are punchy and powerful . None less than the very light outlines of his father and his GF (from his adopted mother's point of view) .  We share so much of him and his normal distracted family in that journey ------thanks mate !
As a resilience planner I was especially interested in the ways his father and grandfathers struggled to understand and be part of a better future .esp the resourcing issues
Even though we think we westerners think we know about the land bits,  we have got a lot to learn .( Despite all the talk about environmental protection, the west has gone backwards ,  believe me,  in the last few decades )
If we truly learnt ( understood and responded) to the lessons the Obama family touched on in their tough worlds , the whole world would be a totally different place.
 As we learn though BOTH  we and they STILL groan with the weight of a world that we know could be so much better .
But not all is hopeless . We will never stop greed and self centredness,  but  the reflections on Africa reminded me that we westerners have no excuse for falling for  the dumb sentimentality and quickfix about environment that plaques our recent history .
We could be doing a lot more to make life easier for rural people . Too many people though,  now rush in a waste the opportunities for resilience creation that have been ours now for decades .More here

According to his adopted mother , Obama's forefathers reasons for ignoring the Christian faith were because of its perceived "weakness" . If that was true ( and it makes sense at one level ) Obamas forefathers won't be the only well motivated members of history to fall for the temptations of raw power .
I just hope that a new generation of thinkers follow someone like Nelson Mandella who has tested both sorts of power and can now testify to that hideous strength of tough love- that real power in weakness.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Book clubs - best to start your own - on the net

I Like the idea of a good chat about books , but seldom find it satisfying to watch on ABCTV . Compare for example the excitement of the Facebook over one old fuddy duddy like G.K.Chesterton( Link to the group Here )
His quote : "A room without books is like a body without a soul"

Jennifer Byrne's program on ABCTV constantly tries to drum up some excitement for the very latest, when the old stuff has been neglected,  and so much original stuff supported by them , .....goes nowhere !
Why is abcchurch so resistant to change over this?. Even the Age is tardy and predictable over its endless repeats of myths to explain literature with science ( Bacon Vs Bard ).
-Have Arts grads lost sight of whats good about their profession that they try to do science ( Political philosophy Guest on the Jon Feine'sCH yesterday " I'm doing some science research of mine - well and good but don't waste our prime time  telling us - you are not qualified to say anything on such complex matters) .
 -Why do they go on about the Victorian England of Bronte's being so unhappy , when it wasn't.
- Why can't they see the paradox of both poverty and richness in Brontes world  as a blatant challenege to the SMD pedants .
-Why are the Brontes more effective than Greer in the revival of a lasting direction for the womans' movement . Move over mythmakers !

So many trendy ABC priests over the last 30yrs just don't get it 
- Why does nobody want to read or replay the trendy works they promoted? (Pratts removal of sponsorship is symbolic)
How long can ABC management justify  inserting THEIR now old ideas of ART and reactionary "wars on everything" , into the grand expanse of ABCTV that is currently exceedingly empty and predictable .
The highly reactionary nature of abcchurch explains a lot - The wannabes in church can't allow an old heretic/ old fuddy duddy like Colm Toibin tell them that their boredom and stagnancy is a direct result of their beliefs.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Power and Innocence - Dealing with Aggression

Rollo May 1974 .While other more recent books might deal with the subject in a more succint way , I found Rollo May's excellent review of the subject of great relevance to sorting the confused chatter and even panic of our day over Violence ( no knives policies of B government Victoria)
I will put up a post somewhere on his excellent demolition of the denial problem related to aggression - as if we had no adrenalin, or it just works its way through our day as if by magic " doing what it must do " ( because now we ( thank God not ME) worship nature more than ever)
How dumb .
The false encouragement we can seek to see ourselves/others as victims is also well canvassed
Who would have thought there could be so much denial about in 2010 --let alone in 1974 when he wrote the book .
Refreshingly relevant and helpful .

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scientists can learn from fantasy

Professor Peter Cullen ( Wentworth group) was one to try and get scientists to think laterally and recognise other cultures "THE ARTS" - insisting his students read CP Snow "2 cultures" .
After a career in applied sustainability science, I think we scientists need to go further; we need more than a mere reminder of the title of the book about ongoing threats to sound science and practice.
We need literature that goes to the essence of our own cultures cul de sacs - the world's of worldview: accepted political and religiuos traps of our day
For the modern western reader , try this old clothing on for size!

James Finn Garners ; Politically Correct book of Bedtime stories ---(Try reading it to an audience near you )

Whatever your view - if you don't know the problem, you have no hope of solving it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gilbert by Ward

Anyone who knows me knows I love to reread the stuff that Chesterton wrote nearly 100years ago. I am sure i am not alone around the world , although I noted with interest how little of his material has been left in libraries here in Victoria Australia - they think they are running an education revolution - what with contempoary progresive authors and sycophantic sub scientific stuff ??? No wonder thinking people hesitate to send their kids to the ever reactionary and "revolutionary " secular secondary state schools.

Camberwell library has nothing of Gilbert's anymore - too many clever reviewers? - Why would i ever go to that library when so much of it is so currently Politically correct? You won't clearly find something there to put your essay on Bernard Shaw,Dickens or Lord of the rings into the top ten of tough literary review stuff !)

What makes this book written by a friend so special is not pontification, but the truly personal papers it contains of real dialogue between friends . Don't you just wish you could meet, like he did, with H.G wells and Shaw over a beer; have a good laugh at all the nonsense that went on around them --as they did .
You can. Just ask for the book by name Gilbert J Chesterton by Maise Ward and forget all those who over promote progressive ( meaning current wannabes ) authors as if they really have ever had such a robust and wide rangeing intellectual discourse as those three! and if you think they are too old to be relevant - tell me why are scientists reading his stuff!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Why do people want to read the da vinci code ?

Lots seem to want to. Is jesus such a unbelievable person as he is revealed in the gospels , or is his strange challenges and otherworldliness such that some clever revising makes him attractive and acceptable .

It seem the whole thing is a fraud built on a gullible public ---just a common old distraction , read some good reviews on churchofthemasses Febrauary 11th

Friday, January 13, 2006

Reviewers seldom get it right!

Lewis, in talking about reviews of both his and Tolkiens work at University in the 1950s, noted that he couldn't think of one reviewer that got it right when talking about why he, or his collegues, did said or wrote what they did. He reminded his audience about the predicatability of those who look back and know so much more - the historic criticsm movements and the revisionists.The critics even got his lion and someelse's tiger concepts mixed up in their own stories , for example .

The evidence from the snobbishness and reactionary nature of views about great greeks or the role of "fads "like that in Bacon tested any supposed integrity of the revisionsits - whether the subject was Homer or Shakespeare.let alone their lack of respect for dialogue ( hard to refute the issue if the author is dead!)

Lewis pointed out that the big deal at that time was a claim by ignorant reviewersabout Tolkiens work. Much was made of the rings being an allegory of the atom bomb .Stupid reactionaries with their own ideas in mind .unwilling to let us make up our own !

Both english authors and Jackson and others who now give us access to their work deserve high praise - about time. What great stories they have now told and retold