Life is a Metaphor

Life is a metaphor and living it tells us what the cosmos is all about. The problem is,  we don’t really know what is going on, but are forced to act out what is at stake here by our very presence in it.  Look around you: are we bewildered, or what?

But make no mistake about this: we ARE the cosmos – every single atom in it is represented in our being and embody its greatest accomplishment, the capacity for reflection and rational thought. In the case of the latter we still have a lot to overcome, such as religion by any other name.

Religion will destroy us if we don’t keep it in check, to eventually allow itself to burn out due to the lack of substance to maintain itself as a rational activity, e.g., what is happening now to Christianity. There, for all intents and purposes, God is dead, although many are still cowering in his fading shadow. But for the other religions – such as manifested by the primitive, tribal and sometimes deadly Muslim hordes – they must be kept at bay by all means possible.

And here the weapon choice is education, to allow for the development of critical thought of the individual, so that we all can take part in the debate about what this cosmic metaphor is all about, by living live it to its full potential, free from suffocating self-denying superstition and, moreover, free from stupefying, self-destructive greed. Eventually, I believe, we will figure it all out.

I can’t wait … Can you?

Posted in Cosmology & Evolution, Philosophy & Religion | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Publisher Hacked to Death

The BBC reported today that:

A Bangladeshi publisher of secular books has been hacked to death in the capital Dhaka in the second attack of its kind on Saturday, police say. Faisal Arefin Dipon, 43, was killed at his office in the city centre, hours after another publisher and two secular writers were injured in an attack.

They are the latest victims in a series of deadly attacks on secularists since blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death by suspected Islamists in February. Both publishers published Roy’s work.

While I would not necessarily put all Islamists in the the same fanatical and bloodthirsty category, it says something about the nature of this religion that some its followers must resort to such barbaric and murderous measures in order to defend their faith.

Nietzsche said once that “morality is a function of a herd’s instinct to self-preservation”  and clearly, the Muslim herd feels under threat here,  and is resorting to deadly measures   to defend itself against attacks based on reason and critical thought.

Faith means not wanting to know the truth.

Posted in People & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Religious Zombies

Zombies are undead creatures, typically depicted as mindless, reanimated human corpses with a hunger for human flesh (Wikipedia)

Zombies are purported to be mythical creatures – nevertheless there is  abundant evidence that they exists, but then more so as religious zombies, by sharing some of the same qualities as mentioned in the definition above.

The specific qualities I have in mind are, firstly,  the apparent mindlessness of zombies as evidenced by the inability of religious individuals to think for themselves or avail themselves of reason when it comes to the credibility of their religious beliefs, which – like all religious beliefs –  cannot be substantiated in any way, shape or form except by other religious beliefs. Examining these beliefs is like peeling an onion; in the end you will find nothing at its core. Religion is our biggest failure as a sentient and supposedly advanced species.

Secondly, as observed in the most severe and debilitating cases of religious zombie-ism – a pathological thirst for the blood of those who dare to disagree or subject to them, be they man, woman or child. Here it should be clear that I am referring to the infestation of the murderous Jihadists in the Middle East – a human pestilence of the worst kind, and a cause worth of the most severe kind of eradication! Only total extermination will do here so none will be left to kill the innocent or contaminate the feeble minded among us with this deadly plague of murder and mayhem. The fanatical Jihadists are the clearest evidence of the potential deadliness of runaway religious beliefs that are allowed to fester outside the reach of reason and just plain old common sense.

A blight on mankind by any other name would be as deadly, and a wooden stake through the hearts of all of them so they will never ever have a chance to rise up again!

Posted in People & Culture | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Most Depressing Part Of Being Human

I think often about the human condition, and in particular what it would take to move beyond the current state of affairs that appears to be largely defined by an insatiable desire for personal gratification. The rule seems to be: the more you have, the more you want – and one can never have enough. Here, we have truly abandoned our animal past, by perverting the need to survive into a grotesque effort to rise to the top of the heap through relentless consumption, sustainable or not – with no regards for the millions amongst us who can do no better than maintain a marginal existence to the point of starvation in the face of drought or famine, or other conditions of adversity that prevent even very moderate levels of prosperity to be in reach of those willing to work hard for it.

I guess we can’t help ourselves – the predator primate within us is still very much in charge, and as such we are human only to the extent that we like to think of ourselves as being able to be more than that, although we really don’t know what that means in terms what is actually achievable should we ever be able to put our minds to it.

This – for me – is the most depressing part of being human.

Posted in Cosmology & Evolution | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye

A friend in the U.S.  recently forwarded a lengthy email that is making the spam rounds about how nice Canadians are, and that I found rather unsettling if not outright nauseating in that it clearly overstated in the most subjective and treacle-coated language exactly how pleasant they actually are.  Apparently, this compels some Americans to make an annual pilgrimage to what is called in this chain-email a “deep reservoir of niceness” just north of their border.

I concluded I had  never read a more  blatantly distorted summary of Canadian essence, leaving me with the desperate urge to go and brush and floss my teeth immediately after slugging my way through its sugary sediment. But then, I guess, everything is relative – and certainly someone’s opinion of something – and if this was written by an American he might well have a distorted view of reality, e.g., Donald Trump thinking he might make good president. Pfffeww – with a haircut like that? Considering that it has been an unwritten law in the US that – after Eisenhower – all US presidents must have a vigorous head of hair. Sorry, I digress. But I shouldn’t say anything more unflattering about Americans at the moment, since I – as a Canadian – am clearly much too polite for that …

After having lived in Canada nearly 50 years it is my experience that the essence of a true Canadian is exemplified by the prototypical Happy-Clappy Multi-Culti individual of today, i.e., someone who finds extreme comfort in such words as “inclusive”, “diversity” or “equity” in a social engineering context while living in abject fear of being deemed politically incorrect. Taking their cue from the CBC – Canada’s national broadcaster and seemingly  mandated to slobber over anything even remotely hinting at Multiculturalism – they are reluctant to express any kind of opinion that might conceivably be interpreted as being “non-inclusive” or “discriminatory” and hence potentially hurtful to the person at the receiving end of it.

The final product is a kind of national blandness that is normally only found in Wonder Bread, but to call this trait “A deep reservoir of niceness” is a bit of a stretch to my mind …

Posted in People & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Massacre at Palmnicken, East Prussia, January 1945.


Memorial at Palmnicken (Yantarny, Kaliningrad Oblast)

Warning: This, sadly,  is a true story of incredible cruelty that you will not be able to get easily out of your mind once you have read it. At the same time it is one of many similar  acts of unimaginable savagery making up the holocaust and perpetrated by the criminal leadership of the German Nazi Reich during its dying days. Once they realized that their game was up and that the end of the Reich was in sight, they embarked on a desperate attempt to erase the evidence of their state run genocide directed against the Jews of Europe. This would include closing existing concentration camps, by evacuating prisoners to other areas, to be killed  and their bodies disposed of.

It was this approach to the Final Solution – Endlösung – that saw approximately 7,000 people, mostly Jewish women – begin their death march on 26 January 1945 from their Königsberg prison in East Prussia towards the town of Palmnicken in the Samland region on the Baltic coast. They had been gathered from various areas in Eastern Europe, and their death march to Palmnicken would be one of many similar marches by Jewish prisoners in East Prussia from January 1945 onwards.

Palmnicken was approximately 50 kilometers away. Once they arrived there, the plan was to drive the prisoners into a disused mine shaft in the large amber mine complex at the shore front, and then to seal up the entrance.

The march started the late morning of January 26 under the most atrocious conditions. It was the midst of a very cold winter, and the prisoners went without food or warm clothes. One survivor, Maria Blitz (née Salz), recalled:

 We were wrapped in dirty, threadbare blankets and on our feet we wore crude wooden clogs, which made moving forward on the snow and ice—in addition to our constant mortal terror—pure torture. Our clothing consisted of rags and paper, which we had tied together with wires to protect ourselves from the cold. Anyone who could not go on or fell over was shot immediately or beaten with a rifle butt. My sister Gita could not go any further—she had violent diarrhea and collapsed. We tried to get her back on her feet, but she asked us to leave her lying there, she wanted to go to her mother—whom we had already lost in Auschwitz. She was shot.

A Königsberg resident who witnessed the start of the march, Rose-Marie Blask, remembered the following:

I was 14-years-old back then. … I saw a procession of people on the other side of General-Litzmann-Strasse [the former Fuchsberger Allee]. I stood near a tree, it was already getting dark, the air full of snow, and no one could see me. Then I saw in horror that the SS were driving a long procession of prisoners in front of them. Again and again, an SS man raised his arm and a person fell in the snow, though I could not hear a gunshot. I don’t know how long I stood there, as if frozen. At any rate, I saw a lorry following on behind. The dead were lifted out of the snow and thrown into the back of the lorry.

Only 3,000 of the approximately 6,500 to 7,000 Jewish prisoners arrived in Palmnicken later that night on January 26. Around 2,000 to 2,500 marchers where either shot by the accompanying SS guards when they tried to flee or simply fell down, or died from sheer exhaustion during the 50 kilometer march under abhorrent conditions. The following morning up to 300 corpses were found along the final two kilometer stretch between Palmnicken and the village of Sorgenau.

Once at the mine site in Palmnicken things did not go to plan for the SS as the site manager refused to allow the disused shaft – the Anna Grube – to be used for mass murder. It was argued that the shaft was needed for the town’s water supply. Instead, the remaining exhausted and freezing victims were allowed to recover from their ordeal by being housed in the mine’s large workshop, and the factory canteen was order to cook for them. On January 30th, however, the site’s estate manager – Hans Feyerabend – was found dead, his own gun in his mouth, but unclear if he had committed suicide or was murdered. He had opposed the SS plans to murder all the prisoners from the moment he found out about it.

That same evening a number of Hitler Youths were ordered by the town’s mayor and the regional Nazi Party group leader to assist the SS at the disused Anna mine site with re-captured Jewish prisoners who had managed to get away during the final stage of the march. One of the Hitler Youths, Martin Bergau – on which much of this account is based – stated the following:

When we left the municipal office with the SS-men, it was already quite dark. … When we reached the northern part of the town, we turned left and went down the path to the closed Anna mine. We reached the squalid buildings, situated at sea level. I noticed a group of around forty to fifty women and girls. They were captured Jews. A diffuse source of light sparsely illuminated what seemed a ghostly scene. The women had to line up in twos, and we were instructed by the SS-men to escort them. Around six to eight SS-men might have belonged to the command. I could not tell whether they were Germans or foreigners, as their commands were extremely terse. Once the line-up was complete, two women at a time were led around the side of the building by two SS-men. Shortly afterwards two pistol shots rang out. That was the sign for two more SS executioners to take the next two victims to the building, which was shrouded in twilight, and shots soon resounded there again. I had had to position myself pretty much at the end of the long line. A classmate stood right across from me with a cocked rifle, watching over the women on the other side. One woman turned to me and asked in good German if she could move two places forward; she wished to walk this last path with her daughter. In a voice nearly choked with tears, I granted this brave woman her request. … Then I accompanied a mother whom I will never forget to her daughter.

Because of the concerns about contaminating the town’s water supply, the SS opted for a different approach. With the promise that the prisoners would now be taken by ship to Hamburg, they were led out of the main complex and through a gate that led directly onto the beach where they were directed to start marching South towards along the icy Baltic seashore towards Pilau. Once on the way, the SS executed their plan kill each and every one of the roughly 3,000 remaining prisoners, by machine-gunning the marchers from the back and herding them into the icy waters. Because of the melee that followed – and the sheer number of prisoners involved – the SS could not murder everyone as systematically as they had planned. Many victims were initially only wounded, or not even hit. Some fainted and froze to death, or became trapped between ice floes and drowned. Others died on the beach after days in agony. But some survived;  Zila Manielewicz, born in 1921 in Ozorkow, recalled the following:

When we arrived on the shore, it was already darkest night. … Suddenly I was hit on my head with a rifle butt and I and I fell into a precipice. I gained consciousness in the water. At this time, dusk had already fallen. The shore was full of corpses and the SS men were still hovering over them. …. Towards morning the SS men disappeared. Around this time we became aware that about 200 of us were still alive. We got up and climbed onto the beach. The path we had taken that night was itself full of corpses and the seawater was red from the victims’ blood. Together with two other Jewish women, I dragged myself to the closest German village; …

Another account, by Pnina Kronisch,born in 1927 in Belzec:

Then they threw the murdered Jews into the water by kicking them. As the seacoast was covered with ice, the murderers pushed their victims into the icy water with their rifle butts. Since I was at the front of the column with my sister Sara, we were the last in line to be shot. I was also laid down on the seacoast together with my sister, though I was not killed by the shot that was aimed at me but only wounded in my left foot, and my face was soaked in the blood of the murdered Jews lying next to me. During this time my sister was killed. I did not wait until the Germans threw me into the sea—I threw myself in and remained lying next to the ice floe, which already was caught up in the water and hit by the waves. The Germans believed I was dead, and since I was alone, to my good luck, and last in line to be murdered, the Germans got into their sleds and drove off. Before dawn I scrambled out of the sea and hid in the coal store of a German farmer who did not live far from where these events occurred.

Because the seashore where the massacre occurred was separated by a broad strip of park and woodland and the town 30 meters above, only a few of the inhabitants of Palmnicken saw what happened that night. But next day it was immediately apparent that a massacre had taken place. Helene Zimmer, a former resident of Palmnicken, stated the following to the Ludwigsburg court:

… Then we went back to Palmnicken on foot, along the shore instead of along the completely congested road. It was a very painful march taking several hours. … Just before Palmnicken, actually between Nodems and Palmnicken, we suddenly saw countless corpses lying on the shore, and also heard desperate screams still coming from the water. As far as I could see, those lying on the shore were all dead, and every now and then we could hear desperate cries coming from the water. … The water along the shore was partly frozen and ice floes floated around, between them were the seriously wounded or dead people. Many of them were dressed in the same striped clothes. There were also many women among them. … I was so shaken at the sight that I covered my eyes with my hands. … We then quickly went on walking because we could not stand the sight.

It is estimated that approximately fifteen of the original group of 7,000 individuals survived death march and final massacre on the beach at Palmnicken. While the crime was reported to the Soviets when they captured Palmnicken ten weeks later, few details regarding this monstrous crime made its way into the West prior to 1994. It was then that Martin Bergau – a former Hitler Youth member from Palmnicken- had his memoir covering the war years published. He had witnessed the crime at the age of sixteen. Shortly after the massacre he had been taken prisoner by the Soviets; after his release he had not been allowed to return to his home in East Prussia.

In 1945 Palmnicken became part of the Soviet Union and Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad as a result of the Potsdam agreement. After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1992 it became part of the Russian Federation. While the mass grave in the Anna mine had disappeared into a sand dune, the murder victims’ remains were eventually unearthed by amber excavators in the 60’s. Initially thought to be the remains of Soviet soldiers murdered by the Germans, a memorial stone was erected and wreaths were laid every year at the site until the demise of the Soviet Union in 1992. Finally, in 1994, Martin Bergau was able to convince the regional authorities that the bodies lying at the site were in fact Jewish.

And so ends another incredibly sad tale of man’s inhumanity to man – what an infinitely tragic species we are! Clearly, there can be no almighty god, or at least not one that is capable of compassion, empathy, love or self-respect – and in which case he might as well kill himself. Or perhaps he did that already, realizing what kind of creature he hath wrought here on earth, as we must have started slaughtering each other from the moment we found ourselves capable of it.

Today is January 27 2015, Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Lest we forget …

This entire article is based on:
Endlösung on the ‘Amber Shore’:
The Massacre in January 1945 on the Baltic Seashore—
A Repressed Chapter of East Prussian History

Posted in People & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life’s a Tale Told by an Idiot?

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

As we are about to close off the current year there is much about present day life and its effect on the overall state of the world in particular that appears to lend credibility to this quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as much as like to think that this isn’t true.  Hopefully, there is some substance to our lives that cannot be reduced to the insanity of a world going nowhere in a hurry except downhill in a frenzy of mindless consumption, exploitation, seemingly out-of-control population growth and – in particular – deadly ideological and religious conflict.  How will we ever save ourselves from this debilitating and ultimately self-destructive behaviour, and instead conclude that Life is a Gift that should be protected, nurtured and celebrated everyday – and to at least try to live accordingly, to the benefit of all of us!

Saving ourselves from ourselves – a seemingly impossible task without a doubt! For instance – and speaking of idiots who tell tales full of sound and fury, signifying nothing – how will we ever rid ourselves of the current hordes of murderous religious fanatics I wrote about earlier in Religion is the Scourge of Mankind. I’m referring of course to the Islamic Jihadist, who’s heads are full of metaphysical confusion about the nature of the world. If their religious beliefs signify anything, it is once again the stupefying fact how easy it is for anyone to believe absolutely nonsense, and how this may lead to the most deadly of consequences for those who reject them.

Now fortunately for the world, the majority of religious beliefs are harmless, to the extent that thou shall not be killed for rejecting them.  Less fortunate for us are the more vicious strains of nonsensical religious gobbledygook, and held by those who do not believe in the separation of church and state, such that you will be robbed of your livelihood or even your life if you do no succumb to their particular and often bizarre edicts.

It is the nature of ALL religious beliefs to be unavailable to substantiation, so they are in principle nonsensical, and any claim to their truth lies in the realm of fantasy and imagination. In this context, the separation of church and state was a necessary step in the liberation of thoughts and ideas away from the tyranny of the church and its monopoly on what we might be able to conclude about the nature of the world. In Europe this signified the gradual demise of the Holy Roman Empire, leading to the end of the Dark Ages and the RC church ability to influence all matters of state, including the ability of its citizens to express themselves freely about the world without the fear of retribution. Truth would finally be matter of evidence and rational discourse as opposed to being dictated by church dogma, allowing sciences to flourish and humanism to benefit from concepts and ideas not coerced by beliefs about metaphysical beings.

So what to do about the human pestilence known as the Islamic Jihadi?  Surely, nothing what I say or do here will make them change their murderous ways.  Nevertheless, I would like to remind them of the one biblical saying by their competition on the religious front that I can agree with, as follows:” … for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matthew 26:52)”.  As a result, sooner – rather than later – they will be wiped off the earth, and the earth will be a better place for it. Amen.

Posted in People & Culture | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Assassination of Kim Jong-who?

I know that it was only meant to be a box-office comedy – a joke, by any other name – but the idea fielded in the movie The Interview that the assassination of Kim Jong-un would be a concept worth considering isn’t. No, not really.  Kim Jong-un is purported to be the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).  And his being “the supreme leader” of this miserable acreage of human sorrow is of course a lie equal in magnitude to the application of the word “Democratic” as in “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”.

Everyone – and I mean everyone, including the unfortunate people that are purported to be North Korea’s “citizens” knows that the latter are better referred to  as “inmates” in the world’s largest prison camp. Or maybe it might be better to refer to them as “hostages” in the worlds longest hostage taking, ever since the partition of Korea at the end of in 1945. This resulted in the creation of the Communist-aligned Democratic People’s Republic of Korea headed by the former guerrilla leader, Kim IL-sung, who effectively took possession of this territory and its  population for his own personal use; it allowed him and his clique of fellow Stalinists to live like royalty of the fat of the land, regardless of how little there was to begin with or would be left over for anyone else between its borders and who – as a result –  have been starving ever since.

Well, the clique of Stalinist thugs are still all there, and it would be overly optimistic to think that the elimination of just one of these thugs – and in particular the one with a physique of the Pillsbury Doughboy sporting a 50 cent haircut – is going to make a difference to how this unfortunate farce of a country is managed, i.e., that the gang would be taken down or its absolute hold of the country be somewhat diminished,  as much as this individual as been portrayed as the absolute leader of it.

The fact remains that – as with most criminal organizations  – the survival of a gang does not depend on any of its members being able to maintain their position of influence within its hierarchy. Instead, it is a function of the need of the gang to survive as a whole, so even if you are a seen as a prominent member of it – and seemingly in a leadership position –  such a role remains inherently fluid, and always vulnerable,  to be replaced at any moment if the survival of the gang as a whole demanded it.

In this context we can consider the sudden purge and execution of Kim Jong-un’s uncle Jang Song Thaek in 2013, who was at one time considered his mentor and  instrumental in Kim’s rise to power in December 2011 and for a while regarded as the second-most powerful figure in North Korea. The point to focus on here is the resiliency of criminal gangs to fill a sudden void in their leadership structure regardless of what caused the void in the first place, i.e., if this came about because of internal or external factors. All that matters is their ability to hang on to power, by hook or by crook – as the saying goes –  and with respect to the latter of these means, they couldn’t be more suited for it.

Posted in People & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Religion is the Scourge of Mankind

Reading about the atrocities committed by Jihadist militants in Iraq and Syria today in their attempt to establish an Islamic state, the burning questions remains as to how will we rid ourselves of those amongst us who use religion as an excuse and a weapon to kill or otherwise terrorize populations in the name of some arcane and barbaric mythical beliefs.  Without a doubt, the world needs to find a way to rid itself of this deadly horde of  miscreants who’s minds appear to be infected by the sickly, nonsensical ideology of the religious fanatic who will murder the innocent man, woman or child just because they refuse to subject to them

But  it is hard not be reminded of similar acts of barbarism committed in the name of a religion in earlier times,  when very much the same thing was going on to advance the interests  of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe.  Lest we forget, in slaughtering the infidel unwilling to convert to their version of Islam the Muslim Jihadis of today appear to have taken a page from the late great King Charlemagne – or Charles the Great – the king of the Franks. In the year 800 he became the first emperor in Western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier; he is sometimes referred to as the founder of modern Europe.

During his campaign to establish an empire in full support of the Church, he felt compelled to Christianize newly conquered people upon penalty of death, which lead to such events as the massacre mainly through beheading of 4,500 captive rebel Saxons in October 782 in what is now known as Verden in Lower Saxony, Germany. The unfortunate Saxons had rebelled against King Charles’ invasion and his subsequent attempts to Christianize them from their native Germanic paganism.

Oh, and don’t let us forget the Massacre at Béziers, Languedoc, France, on July 22, 1209. When the Roman Catholic Church established the Inquisition, it was set up, initially, to wipe out the Cathar movement in southern France where it had taken hold in opposition to the hitherto dominant Roman Catholic religion. The pope would not put up with the competition so he mounted a crusade against the Cathars, and under leadership of the Abbot of Citeaux the town of Béziers was taken on 22 July 1209 and all its inhabitants were killed – more than 20,000 people – every man, woman and child.  That this would have included many thousands of Roman Catholic adherents also didn’t seem to matter. When questioned about this, the Cistercian abbot-commander of the Catholic crusaders,  is on record of having said that: “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eis. (Kill them all, the Lord will recognize His own).

Now all this happened a long time ago, but the justification for this kind of slaughter remains an intrinsic part of the foundation of the Christian faith: the bible, for in Deuteronomy XIII.12-16, the faithful are instructed as follows:

If thou shalt hear say in one of these cities …, Let us go and serve other Gods …; then shalt thou surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly and all that is therein. … And thou shalt burn with fire the city and all the spoil thereof every whit for the Lord thy God. … And it shall be a heap forever; and it shall not be built again.

Today the Christian faith appears to be more benign, but as can be evidenced from recent events in the Middle East, innocent people continue to be slaughtered in the name of some god or prophet or another. One might claim that this kind of action has nothing to do with the religious beliefs themselves – and that they are misused when wielded as weapons of murder and destruction. No – it is precisely the unsubstantiated and irrational nature of these beliefs that allows them to be used in this manner. When you think you have the creator and eternity on your side – all your actions are justified; you cannot be wrong!  Until we shake off the influence of these dangerous beliefs, our species will continue to be murdered for them.

This leads me to say that to believe in the existence of a god or other kinds of super-natural beings is terrible affliction and a seemingly endless source of human tragedy. Because – while in principle these are nonsensical and hence harmless beliefs– it is at the same time the sickly smell of centuries of savagery and senseless slaughter of thousands  of people in the name of such beliefs – and primarily in the competition between such beliefs.  And when you read up on human history and listen to the news today, this shall be revealed and – in my mind – made abundantly clear: “Religion is the Scourge of Mankind”.

Posted in People & Culture, Philosophy & Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Beckham Legacy

Beckham-haircutWatching the Word Cup soccer events in Brazil has been very entertaining for the majority of time, but no thanks to David Beckham and his regrettable legacy of ugly short-back-and sides haircuts and ugly tattooed forearms (and beyond)  that seems to have permeated the soccer player culture of late, judging by what could be seen on the field during the various cup games.

This  trend of self-defacement appears to have infiltrated the sports-world in other areas. Brilliant F1 driver and sometimes emotional marshmallow Lewis Hamilton  seems to have fallen for the same thing, finding it necessary to augment his personality with various decidedly unflattering hairstyles, as well as tattooed or henna-applied  public endorsements of faith or other kinds of metaphysical confusion.

lewis hamilton tattoes

The Illustrated Man

Surely, it is one thing to be inspired by the talent once displayed by Beckham as a soccer player of note. But it is quite another thing to think that – in order to emulate this gift – one has to assume Beckham’s abysmal taste in haircuts and predilection for bodily graffiti as a  necessary condition to be able to kick a soccer ball with some success.  And that your success on the field, or  – for that matter – with anything that you are trying to be a star at,  is predicated on being decorated in some baroque fashion, for all to see.

Al right, so it is a cultural thing, a fashion of sorts and the need to belong or associate that drives people to adopt such forms of physical self-defacement.  But, why should I care?

Well, in the end it means nothing to me, other than a mild annoyance and being disappointment with another aspect of humanity. This is about sheep being sheep, and not having any  ideas of your own, and lacking the ability to discern quality and originality from kitsch and shallow pretence, and revealing yourself as a limited personality in need of a crutch.

Posted in People & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment