Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite....

...I've just been watching the Republican convention, and damn, if I was an American I'd buy into their Shit. I mean this is the country that brings us Hollywood, and tho' I shouldn't really admit it I watch chick flicks, and yeh sometimes (but only sometimes!!!) they get me, and I feel the tears well up. Of course never when I'm with friends, then its Helicopters and Wagner all the way, Jim Morrison and Dionysis.

So with these kidnapped Frenchmen, I got to thinking about Republics and Freedom, and while the French are as guilty as any of we former colonial powers, the fact is that their republic addresses the fact that liberty must be tempered by equality and brotherhood. I have a some statistics for you when it comes to equality and brotherhood, and it may explain why these phrases are somewhat noticable by their absence from American politicians vocabulary, be them Elephants, Mules, or collectively a load of Asses. So here we go....

There is a term 'ecological footprint' which is calculated to be the 'cost' of an individuals lifestyle dependent on seven major activities measured in Hectares. These activities are; i) growing crops, ii) grazing animals, iii) harvesting timber, iv) marine and freshwater fishing, v) accommodation of residential and industrial facilities, vi) burning fossil fuels, and vii) waste disposal. So let us consider the actual footprint for individuals across our globe. The African and the Asian Pacific individual takes around 1.5 Hectares, under the global allowance which is considered to be 1.9 Hectares. The Middle-East, Central Asia, Latin America, and the Carribean come in at the average of around 2.3 Hectares. Central and Eastern Europe jump considerably to around 4 Hectares per individual, with Western European individuals having the luxury of nearly 3 times that of an African at around 5 hectares. So what of America with its talk of liberty and freedom? Well their ecological footprint comes in at a staggering double that of Western Europe, at 10 Hectares for each individual, on average of course. (Human Evolutionary Genetics, 2004, Hurles, M. E. et al., Garland Science, p.430)

So its pretty clear why American poiticians rarely add the term equality and brotherhood to their statements about freedom and liberty. It was shortly after 9/11 that I recall President George W. Bush exclaiming; '...this is an attack on the free world!' The question is Mr Bush, if we are free, then what are they? Not just the terrorists that you so kindly told us we were with, if we weren't with you, but the every day people around the world struggling to survive. What was it Rousseau said; 'Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains.' The point is, it is we that hold the keys to the locks, and if we are bound by a 'social contract' then let it be more than the hollow clamour for our freedom, let it be 'freedom with equality and brotherhood'.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Et in Arcadia Ego...

I remember an interesting conversation while I was working at the BBC. It went something along the lines of me saying that I believed that should the world continue, most western houses would have a Quran in them in the future. A female colleague immediately dismissed the idea as ridiculous, whereupon her line manager said that he did not see why it couldn't happen, after all their was a precedent, the bible...

Actually, despite people laughing at groups like Al Muhajiroon for wanting an Islamic state in the UK, the fact is they may be laughing many centuries after the fact.

Umberto Eco once said that you were sure to recognise a 'lunatic' by the fact that he invariably mentions the 'Knights Templar', I have often wondered whether he was utilising a clever linguistic/semiological tool, given the symbolism of the moon, which surely induces such lunacy. Given his subject being semiotics it is naive to think that this statement was uncontrolled stumbling.

So let us not only mention the Templar, but get down to the real knitty gritty, the stuff that real conspiracy theories are made of. They basically set of to defend the Holy Land from papal defined infidels, a case of the pot calling the kettle black if ever there was. Was their quest based on some deep understanding of the mystery of God? Begone...I would wager that many of them had a basic literacy, given that many clerics only had a limited grasp of Latin and Greek and thus the bible. Let us jump forward and consider some of the accusations put to the Temple at the time they were arrested;
  1. That they denied the divinity of Jesus.
  2. That they rejected the cross and crucifixion.
  3. That they rejected the sacrements.

now considering the time that the Templar had spent in the middle east, and some of the renuciations made by muslims as a result of the guidance recieved by their prophet, is it such a massive leap to infer that maybe the Templar had in fact been discussing the finer points of religion with their enemies/captors? Now here's a thought, returning to the image of 'la luna' if one was to add the reconciling pentagram (see previous post) to the image of the moon, we would have an interesting semiotic formula, one might even go so far as to say it could represent 'The widow and her son'...now where have I heard that phrase before...'The Widow's son.'

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

We surely will be judged by the future....

... of this I am sure. But more than just when is the future, also where is it for surely it is a place, a place to arrive, but maybe also a place to leave. Is there only one, or a myriad? Over the years I have come to believe that communication takes place, in fact further, maybe even physical journeys; that time is more complex than a mere linear chronological journey is something of which I am sure. I have read to much science fiction I hear you comment. Well true I have...but it is the real life experiences I have had that make me speak thus, and not just words within books. I will recount two such stories for you...

It was in the summer of 1994 I think that I first laid eyes upon one of the most exquisite women I have ever seen. She was a vision, and it was not long before I had laid more than my eyes upon her. She was proof to the benefit of outbreeding, having genes that probably represented each of the four corners of the world, hailing from Antigua, lately of London. During our short affair I became aware that she had a young son, who at my time of meeting must have been around 3 years old. He had a very individual look (and an equally individual name), having such a beautiful mother, and I presume an equally attractive father, who I believe had some South East Asian blood; the point is that the boy's look was distinctive.
The relationship lasted for a couple of months, and shortly after I found myself in the throws of an episode of illness, and underwent the almost obligatory 'tours' that seem to accompany such times. I found myself in a mosque in the city of Liverpool, during the holy month of Ramadhan if I recall correctly. I was sat with my back against a wall, when a young boy hobbled into the masjid. He and his friend made directly for me, sat and began to speak with me. I was speechless, and slightly more than a little worried, for I was sure that this 15 year old was in fact the very same son of the girl I had been seeing a short time previously. We spoke and this fear passed from me, after all it was simply absurd to think such a thing. This boy was plainly a scouser, he spoke with an authentic colloquial accent, and from what I could gather was native to Toxteth. I asked the boy why he had a limp, to which he replied that he had hurt it during a game of football. We spoke for a little time, and as the boy left and we exchanged salutations of peace I enquired as to his name....and as he replied, I froze, for his name was the very same name, a highly unusual name, that the son of my girlfriend had had....

A couple of years later, I was again in one of my heightened states, what I like to call being 'Sufied'. I was living in west London, and visited Holland Park on a daily basis. The park having multiple entrances allowed me variety in my method of entry and exit, and I found one road in particular attractive, lying to the east of the park, and leading to an area that was north of High Street Kensington. It was around this time that my internal dialogue was interupted by a voice that I recognised as not originating from myself. I began to hold long debates with the voice, who eventually revealed that she was the voice of my wife. I was of course confused as at the time I was not married. The voice informed me that she was my wife in the future, and having no evidence to prove otherwise I took her at her word. As I walked down the specific road the voice drew my attention to a house, and I interpreted that this must be where we lived in the future, good news really as it was a particularly attractive residence. The conversations continued, and I was informed that we had strong and intelligent children, and that life on the whole was fulfilling and good. On my walks down the particular road, I noticed that opposite to the house of my future was a middle eastern embassy. Subsequently the embassy took on deeper and deeper meaning to me, culminating in me removing the plaque from the embassy, which I then attempted to use as an oversized credit card at a local shop to purchase some cigarettes. Surprisingly they neither saw the humour, or the inherent credit value, and a short time later I was stopped and ultimately detained under the mental health act.
I met the mother of my children in the latter months of 1999, at a gig of some mutual friends. It was not long before we were married, and an ex colleague of hers helped us arrange the wedding which took place at a west London masjid. We arrived at the house of her colleague and we spoke on many subjects, one being how they had met. I learned that they had worked together in a middle eastern embassy to the east of Holland Park. My mind became still and I enquired; 'Do you remember an episode where the plaque of the embassy was removed?' My wife's colleague replied; 'Oh yes I do, The police said a drunkard had done it. In fact it was while you were working with us...' and the colleague gestered toward my wife. I guess the Police had to say something other than a wandering Sufi had removed it....

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

42, The answer to life, the universe, and everything.....

'Wind and thunder: the image of Increase.
Thus the superior man:
If he sees good, he imitates it;
If he has faults, he rids himself of them.'

Monday, August 02, 2004

Something to merely sing?

'AND did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.'

William Blake

Sunday, August 01, 2004


Some say the word is Jah Baal On, a hybrid of pagan gods. They know little. The sea faring travellers of the eastern mediterranean surely travelled to the isles in 'Oceanus Hyperboreas'. And so bretheren (and sisteren) we are fellow travellers, and for those who may need a number I can think of none better than 2020, so let us be TL 2020. If you have understood, and have entered herein beneath the arch, between two pillars, let you stand as a third pillar. And how shall we recognise each other, while others shake with the right, we shall shake with the left and whisper; 'Zabulon' with mildness.