Monday, 29 December 2014

There is more treasure in books...

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island - Walt Disney
On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky. Chomsky is one of the greatest public intellectuals.
Sam Harris: Lying. "Lying is the royal road to chaos."
Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation. A detailed account of Labor in power during 2007-2013 by Paul Kelly.

Diary of a Foreign Minister. Six years after leaving as the longest-serving Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr was drafted back by the Labor Party to serve as Foreign Minister of Australia. This is his diary over the 18 months he served in the post.
The Good Fight by Wayne Swan. A very personal and subjective account of his tenure as treasurer of Australia for six years under two prime ministers (Rudd and Gillard) during the GFC recession.
"The Politics Book" a reference for students of politics and government. 
Is That a Fact? In this book the ABC Fact Check team, headed by John Barron, pull together the facts on over one hundred questions.
In The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the physicist who assisted on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows that the events and visuals in the movie are grounded in real science.
Arundhati Roy. Capitalism: A Ghost Story. The book examines the dark side of democracy in contemporary India, and shows how the demands of globalized capitalism has subjugated billions of people to the highest and most intense forms of racism and exploitation. From the poisoned rivers, barren wells, and clear-cut forests, to the hundreds of thousands of farmers who have committed suicide to escape punishing debt, to the hundreds of millions of people who live on less than two dollars a day, there are ghosts nearly everywhere you look in India. India is a nation of 1.2 billion, but the country’s 100 richest people own assets equivalent to one-fourth of India’s gross domestic product. Perhaps the book should also be called - Capitalism: A Success Story. 

John lanier. You Are Not a Gadget. Lanier criticizes the 'hive mind' (wisdom of the crowd) as a form of "Digital Maoism", arguing that Web 2.0 developments have retarded progress and innovation and glorified the collective at the expense of the individual.
And in Who Owns the Future?, Lanier posits that the middle class is increasingly disenfranchised from online economies where firms can accrue large amounts of data at virtually no cost. Lanier calls these firms “Siren Servers,” alluding to the Sirens of Ulysses.
Ulysses is Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. The book recounts the great wandering of Odysseus during his ten-year voyage back home to Ithaca, after the Trojan War.
The "Song of Roland" is an epic story of war in the time of Charlemagne.
James Kelman. You have to be careful in the land of the free is a book about post 9/11 America where our hero Jerry is wrenched by worry about his obligation and legacy: “Who was that auld'' bloke ''that lived in the States? Which one? Him that didnay come hame to visit his poor auld maw! Aw that bastard Jerry! This is the obligation I am talking about.'' His situation is made worse by getting ‘red’carded and because he's Scottish, ‘obviously’ foreign to Americans. Kelman should have got Jeremiah to thank his lucky stars that he’s not Asian or Latin or that his name is not Irmiya Samran.
David kinney. Dylanologists
Hugh Lunn. The Big Book of Lunn is two books in one - about growing up in Australia. 
Lee Child. The Persuader
Ian Rankin. Saints of the shadow bible
James Sheehan. The lawyer’s lawyer
Simon Winchester. The Man Who Loved China tells the sweeping story of China through the remarkable life and extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, a brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China.
Learning to photograph
Haruki Murakami. Colorless Tsukuru
Moyan. Frog
Lawrence block. Tombstones
The Holy and the Broken Leonard Cohen
Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all. Abraham Lincoln
Music light and gay:
Aoife O’Donovan. Fossils
Willie Nelson. Band of brothers
Eric Clapton. Old Sock
Mark Seymour. The seventh heaven club
The lone ranger wanted
Award winning Country volume 13

Thursday, 16 October 2014

walkin' bontoc blues 2014

One time friends I had the blues, went walking around ole Bontoc town. Bontoc town, Bontoc town.
As I walked down yon Bontoc mountain, on a warm summer day, I remembered some friends I met recently. I guess you could call them 'a recent acquaintance'. They're guards at a border somewhere. One asked: 'where you goin' man'? In a most sincere and honest tone, I said 'Ischi man'. And so then they detained me for a couple of hours or so. But that's a story for another time.
Isna man. Bontoc.
The old town looked the same, same old buildings, some new.
Like a broken record, the same old lords. Jesus and Coca-cola have long arrived in town.
As I walked down the streets of the old town, I felt eyes on me.
People at the sides watching, looking. 
Sitting down, squatting.
Some upright, upstanding outstanding. 
None downright forthright straight-shooting...
Some had cameras - aiming.
A policeman approached me.
Me: 'No officer I was not jay walking.'
Pulis: 'But you were dawdling, under-speeding, slowing down the parade.'
'I used to hear that a lot' I said. 'Back when I was running - sorta. But I've retired from running,' I explained. 'It's too tiring.'
'Excuses excuses' Mr Police said. 'That's no excuse for an ignoramus. Get a move on.'
Did he just call me a moose? - but it’s not really about me.
There was a parade in town.
And the press and the paparazzi were there in force.
There were floats,
Street dancing,
and dancing in the street.
Pretty girls all in a row lined up- marching in a pretty face contest. 
I heard the crowd roar.
The main attraction however was not the long-legged, I mean two-legged beauties parading down the street, but the four-legged canines walking the lines. The crowd roared louder-er.

I was able to take a couple of images which I thought captured the stark innocence and wisdom, and genuine realism and uncertainty of the times.

Ahh we live in interesting times indeed.

Ahh but the show must go on. The beauty pageant, the fashion and cosmetics contest. Empowerment? Oh to live in the enlightenment, where reason prevails over bad tradition. I'd take pragmatic young inventors competitions over pointless ms universe contests any day or year.
What's that you say? Na, si Polichay akhes. 'You might as well be in the dark ages.'
Right, but how many beauty queens, models and movie stars have improved the lot of many of their kailian? I'd rather these young girls learned medicine or science or organic farming or medicine so they can look after me in my old age. Oooops, so it's all about me after all.

The beat goes on. And so does the parade.

But sometimes I march to a different beat. Like the pattong or gangsa.
So I’m off to join the march of the scurrying rodents, the rat race.

Bontoc 2014.
There's no prettier sight than looking back
On a town you left behind.