28 May 2008

Freedom Flies

America is about to be visited by the greatest apostasy imaginable.

No, this is unrelated to Hillary Clinton declaring that she is waiting for Obama to be assassinated - that's just par for the course.

I am talking about Brad and Angelina fleeing the promised land! I just finishing descrying the future in the entrails of a sheep.* Alas, I fear the Pax Americana will soon be broken, and the shattered remnants of a once mighty dream is all that will remain...

With 35 bedrooms, Chateau Mirival will allow Angelina to continue to adopt well into her 80's.

PS I like the word apostasy, but don't forget it rhymes with hyperbole.

*For a vegetarian, I am very committed to bringing you truth.

27 May 2008

Don't forget!

Back in the day, the Ancient Roman day, conquering Generals enjoyed a triumph. This was more or less a victory parade down the main street involving much ritual. It so happens on such occasions that the General in question had a slave standing behind him the whole time whose specific task was to whisper in his ear, "memento mori." Remember you are mortal.

Good advice and such a practical way to put paid to hubris. It is not something you see much of these days mind you. Hopefully, said slave also offered other useful reminders such as, "lactis legate," or "quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur."

I remembered 'memento mori' while I was meditating the other night. It struck the poet in me that when we are victorious in the inner world, it is the soul that observes us and proclaims, "memento vivi." Remember you are immortal.

We all know that the victory of the General is prefaced upon destruction. This is the outer world of death or mortality. How can we triumph in the inner world? To be victorious in the inner world is to travel the road to God's house. This is about opening up the heart, crying for, discovering and adoring the truth. My feeling is that it means just being there within, getting to know yourself. The inner world is the source of life or immortality.

Some notes about my Latin:
  • As 'mori' means literally you will die, i chose 'vivi,' meaning you will live to mean immortality. There is a perfectly good word, 'immortalis' that means immortality.
  • I am pretty sure that the Ancient Romans didn't use capitals, despite everything on the internet. I might be wrong.
  • I also seem to remember that the noun comes before the verb. You can probably guess what 'lactis' is, I am hopeful that 'legate' is the imperative form of the verb 'to pick up.'
  • Go Google if you want to discover the meaning 0f, 'quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.'

22 May 2008

World Harmony Run update

I love reading the World Harmony Run daily reports. Prabakhar is doing a fantastic job on the photos. Have a look at the Melbourne ceremony.

Check out Bob Randall joining the team in Canberra. I did a post about meeting Bob at Uluru previously.

It really is worth having a browse through the daily reports.

Here is a shot of me with the torch in front of Parliament House in Canberra last week.

I will be catching up with the run in Melbourne this weekend.

PS Those are not my running clothes.

20 May 2008

Living in America

It was Aristotle, who is by most accounts - discounting the views of Monty Python - considered to be pretty clever, who famously opined:

"Man is by nature a political animal."

With this in mind, I was inspired to write my first piece of serious political commentary...

I have developed quite a fondness for Alec Baldwin after enjoying NBC's 30 Rock. On this Emmy Award-winning sitcom Baldwin plays the executive Jack Donaghy. Jack is an uber-Republican, he is devoted to immaculate hair and a founding member of The Committee to Reinvade Vietnam. Sure, it is a parody, but art as they say, is fond of imitating life.

Outside of television, Alec Baldwin’s sympathies lie with the Democrats. Nearing his 50th birthday, he has given an interview proclaiming his interest in becoming an elected official. Mr Baldwin is preeminently qualified for politics having spent a lifetime devoted to the performing arts. He has also demonstrated an acerbic wit in his relationship building. When asked to comment on the description of his ex-wife's lawyer as a, "300-pound homunculus with a face like a clenched fist," he advised, "I was being kind." Yes, Paul Keating might well be impressed. It brings a sentimental tear to the eye.

Also working for him is society's unabashed obsession with celebrity and its intravenous celebration of reality television. As has been pointed out, there remain two major entry routes to a shot at election. The old-fashioned way involves working your way up from the very bottom of a party: "Nice biscuit, dearie?" The other way requires you to excel in any field whatsoever and when the time comes, simply wave a flag and wait for the offers to come in. Either way, you need to stand out from the pack, and Alec has done that.

Of course, if you are rich, you needn’t start at the bottom or sell a few million rock albums and wait for a major party to approach you. No, you just need the right slogan and a ready made media empire. If you don’t happen to own a football team in the most corrupt league on the earth, then perhaps you could start a religion to boost your finances. If your religion happens to cater for celebrities, all the better. Can you see the potential in today’s world? Gratuitous wealth and celebrity could produce the perfect candidate! Like Tom Cruise. Oh. Forget that idea.

What actually concerns me is the stump speech made by Arnold Schwarzenegger prior to him seizing the garland of gubernatorial victory in California. (Luckily I saw it on SBS - the subtitles were an invaluable aid to comprehension.) Speaking of his opponent, Arnie yelled with his uniquely ebullient sangfroid: “Gray Davis has terminated hope. He has terminated opportunity. He has terminated education and he has terminated jobs. Now it's time to terminate him!” Get it? The Terminator. It’s very subtle, so I though I would point it out.

You see, as a reformed actor, what Alec will really need to make it in American politics is the right catch phrase. It must already be ingrained in his nation’s collective psyche, but nothing comes to mind. His stint as the narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends for American audiences may not be very useful in this regard. Perhaps I am just not familiar enough with his oeuvre.

Can anyone help Alec?

Check out 30 Rock

05 May 2008

The pen is mightier than the iron man


Wildly Popular 'Iron Man' Trailer To Be Adapted Into Full-Length Film

In other news, I found a blog called The Smart Set that is full of fantastic writing, like the surreal tale of a Pakastani in New York.

It has a Journeys section is packed full of intriguing articles.

Lastly, I found an entertaining interview with the redoubtable Gore Vidal discussing the upcoming American election on my ABC.