Alexa Meade

Trompe l’oeil, or trick the eye in English, has always fascinated me, and I’m struck each time I see an example that we cannot depend for truth on the evidence of our senses. Witnesses of the same event will give differing accounts of what they have seen, not merely because each has a differing visual viewpoint, but because each has his own way of evaluating what he has witnessed depending on his own particular worldview and frames of reference, according to his background, his life experiences, and his adopted, inculcated, or self reasoned attitudes.

I happened upon the work of Alexa Meade on facebook, and in looking for images was astonished to find the artist, whose painting seems to me to have the quality of maturity seldom found in young artists since the days of the Renaissance masters, a very young woman of twenty five.

Testing the bounds of credulity she forces the eye of the beholder of her installations to question the reliability of his perceptions as the real and artifice are interexchanged, spatial dimensions misappearing to confound the intellect of the observer.

As we stand before the great paintings of the expressionists and the impressionists we marvel that though close up we see loose and bold strokes of coloured paint, as we retreat from the painted surface the image seems to conform itself to a true reflection of reality. In accustoming our perceptions to receiving a painted image on a flat surface as essentially a representation of the real, confusion occurs when we confront the real painted as though a representation of coloured paint on a flat surface.

Visit this Wikipedia page to read about the artist.

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Georges Brassens

My father introduced me to the satirical, scathing, and wonderfully melodically and rhythmically difficult songs and the voice of Georges Brassens when I was but a small child, my father singing along to his recordings, I gazing at the few images of him on the record covers. In time I wanted to know what the songs meant and my father spared nothing in their translation; neither the contempt for the hypocrisy of French society of his time, nor the import of his sometimes abstruse allusions. Such, I think, typifies my relationship with my father.

Fascinated by the atypical and voluptuous way Brassens articulated the “r” in French, and by the sociopolitical implications of his lyrics which clearly indicated a man who loathed the repressive intent of the law and the violence of its execution, and whose attitude to humanity bordered on the misanthropic, I was thereafter made a keen student of the issues contemplated and despised by the anarchical mind, and formed a desire to learn French, which seemed by its very vagueness compared with English to lend itself interestingly to nuance and ambiguity.

However, life has a tendency to intervene in the plans of mortals, having a punishing agenda which seeks its own fulfilment, and I therefore have never mastered French, and certainly not well enough to dicipher the oft coded language of Georges Brassens. I do, though, have a very good French accent, or so I’m told on the rare occasion I’ve had the opportunity to exercise its speech with its natives, and have included one of the songs of Brassens, which didn’t seem too difficult to play, in my own repertoire, Chanson Pour L’Auvergnat.

Here are a few youtube clips of some of his songs for your enjoyment or education.

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Dare to be indifferent.

We live in an increasingly censorious world, I’m sure you’ll agree. We seem to be all caught up in a fever of outrage at what “other people” do, well, not I, and not you perhaps, but all those “other people”.

It begins with outrage over what most reasonable people would consider an atrocity, such as obligatory cliteroidectomy for example, and a few people work themselves into the ground to try to have it outlawed. Then another thing of which most reasonable people disapprove becomes the focus of an adversarial campaign, such as the fox hunt. Now larger numbers, because cruelty to animals always attracts a bigger crowd than cruelty to humans, do everything they can to force an end to the hunt.

Buoyed by the effects of collective pressure, a number of traditions and cultural amusements of which the many disapprove, though they may live across the planet, come under attack, and everyone’s encouraged to make a big song and dance about each issue.

The Spanish have held the tradition of the bullfight for many centuries, and a whole culture, including the flamenco dance and the music, the costume, and many other integral facets, is built upon its traditions. It is now threatened by a vocal and outraged majority from around the world for whom it is an abominable offence.

Now, I’m not saying that I think bullfighting is okay. But my attitude to it and to the multitudinous other things which I abhor is simple. I won’t participate.

A highly successful anti smoking campaign designed by governments and other organisations and driven by insurance companies is gaining ground all around the globe. Delighted by this tendency of people to round on one or another group or individual, and to buy into the overblown rhetoric, and to be whipped into zealous opposition, and to identify with the many, governments and organisations routinely co-opt “the public” into demonising any group they’d like to subdue or destroy.

But in this fervour of disapprobation and censure over issues largely affecting the complainants not one iota, a great many things which distinguish one culture from another, and which bear witness to traditional ways in each culture and different ways of seeing life and death and experiencing the world are being lost. And what do we have in return?

Here’s what we have in return: a growing global culture of Coca Cola and back to front baseball caps. Of fast food and corporate logos. Of degenerating music prostituting itself to lurid display, of narcissism and sarcasms and trickery and lies. And this same culture which deplores cruelty to animals in fox hunts and bullfights consumes the fast food of the giant corporations which keep animals as prisoners destined for slaughter. This same culture which will not abide a smoker within eyeshot loves its street side cafes and the passing poisonous traffic.

I know it’s hard to grapple with these things, to be torn between one argument and another, and the reason is that life in this world is not simple, and cannot be conformed to the ideals of lofty disengagement. People of differing backgrounds and traditions will inevitably have a view of life and life’s conduct which will not conform to another’s, and will resent any coercive efforts to make it do so. Likewise individuals who have a singular perspective and expect to express their response to the world according to their own view and after their own counsel will resent the judgement and pressure to conform to those of the majority.

Once people get involved in repressing or banning the conduct of others on the grounds that they find it offensive, regardless of how noble or righteous the argument, the more easily they’ll be induced to campaign against other “offences” of others, and in almost no time nothing will be permitted which gives offence to any. What a wonderfully obedient, cowed, homogeneous and obsequious global society we’ll be.

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Life get’s teegious, don’t it?

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Or maybe there’s something wrong with the way I see things. In our part of town the council garbage pickup mostly doesn’t show until mid afternoon, but we optimistically put out our refuse the night before, after all one cannot tell whether the pickup schedule will change without warning and one doesn’t want, alarmed by the roar of the council garbage collection truck as it passes one’s house whilst one is possibly sitting on the toilet, to have to run out into the street completely starkers or inadequately dressed screaming “Wait, wait!” and pulling a wheelie bin. Evidently the neighbors, at least in respect of garbage disposal protocols, think as we do and share a like paranoia, or perhaps it’s a consideration they don’t want cluttering up the procedural commitments of their impending morning.

Whatever the case, when a big storm was forecast sometime back, the residents were advised to wait until morning, when the storm was expected to be spent, to put out their garbage, and, being residents who are not incapable of apprehending the possible consequences of failing to heed the advice, all our neighbors kept their garbage in their respective sheltered arbors or whatever. But wrap me in gold ribbon and call me gifted, what do you suppose happened at precisely six of the freaking A.M. on the following day? A rhetorical question. I assume you’ve got it in one….. yup, no doubt laughing hysterically the garbage collectors cruised down our street completely unencumbered by the necessity to stop for anyone’s garbage for the simple reason that the street scape was completely innocent of green wheelies.

Now from this and a number of other and prior incidents having an undesirable outcome, one might draw certain conclusions about life. It doesn’t matter to what lengths you go to cover all possible contingencies nor how prepared your mental attitude, there’s always a strong likelihood things won’t work out as you hope or expect. And it’s not the big and fearful challenges of life nor the most bitter trials, but the multiple little annoyances and trivial stupidities which can really make living quite a grind.

Given then that upon each morning one may face new irritations and frustrations unexpected, and that essentially no one escapes, it would seem reasonable to consider everyone else a fellow sufferer, and as such, a person worthy of compassion. It’s a comfort to know, that regardless of life circumstance, one is not wasting one’s time over the pettiness of the mundane entirely on one’s own. It’s really very funny.

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Love me or leave me be…

An assumption is made on the part of most stand-up comics that Christians don’t number in their audiences, unless it’s the case that they know they do but can’t resist the opportunity to ridicule and insult them by making crude, unfunny, hackneyed and tiresome scoffings of an adolescent nature, thus singling out one group for vilification and abuse; the kind of public humiliation not leveled at any other.

Several of my facebook “friends”, knowing or suspecting I’m a Christian, never let an opportunity pass without pointing out to me in various ways what a fuckhead I must be to believe in Jesus. They imagine, I suppose, that they’re doing me a favour by regurgitating all the not terribly clever scoffings I’ve had to listen to for the last twenty seven years; that perhaps suddenly persuaded by their words I might reject what I know to be the truth and join them in their worldview.

Christians (and I don’t mean those bastards who’ve selectively and cynically taken scripture out of context and maliciously used it to justify all kinds of evil, calling themselves Christians whilst spreading doctrines of vile hatred) are extremely patient and forbearing people. They’ll sit in those audiences and take it when the object of their faith is reviled, when their beliefs are ridiculed, when they’re made a laughing stock. They take it because that’s what they believe God wants them to do, they believe He warned them in many places throughout the New Testament that they would be hated for His name’s sake, and that persecution and trials would be their lot, and certainly history bears that out; true Christians, true followers of Jesus, true believers, are and have been the most persecuted people in every generation.

Now personally, I don’t care whether you believe that your initiating antecedent was a slime ball which crawled out of the “primordial soup”. As far as I’m concerned it demands a great deal of faith to believe that, in the light of evidences of the fossil record which contains, though abundant in every age, not one single solitary example of one creature’s gradual alteration into another. Scientists always prefix the sentiment “scientists believe” when presenting assertions about the origin of species, which rather indicates a faith system to me, I don’t know about you.

Desperately hoping the unraveling of the mysteries of DNA would confirm them in their belief that there is no God and persuade the entire world to such a religion, scientists instead were amazed to find, though arrogance and pride has prevented them from openly admitting same, that the Bible record of the origin of humans is totally consistent with their findings that all human life sprang from one couple. Rather embarrassing I would have thought. But has anyone humbled himself and said “Shit, I was wrong. Maybe there really is a God after all….” Well, no actually, at least none of which I’m aware.

And I don’t know why my choosing to believe in “the guy in the sky with the pie when you die”, who knew me from before the beginning of creation, should be such a gigantic offence to you. I mean, what are you so freaking afraid of that you have to get all defensive and put out of shape if I merely allude to any Christian tenet.

I’ve had to deal with a lot of fools over the years, and I confess it has become quite irritating. “The fool has said in his heart there is no God”. You’ll find that in the Bible, along with numerous prophecies, all of which except for the very last at this point, have come to pass. I advise anyone who might pride himself on having an open mind and a sincere heart to stop taking unlearned assertions as truth and do some investigation for himself. Anyone sincerely seeking the truth will find it.

 

 

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Oh that’s just great; another crisis

 

As if we weren’t in enough trouble, what with nuclear energy’s deathly waste products ensuring mass annihilation, and the global disintegration and erosion of personal freedoms and rights by governments determined to hold onto illegitimate power won by a fraudulent dichotomised political system in which both sides follow the same agenda; a travesty of democracy, with the push for widespread media control and censorship, and machinations to institute one world government by the elite whose goal is mass slavery, and the poisoning of food and water sources by chemical pollution and genetic engineering, and a handful of other pressing issues which won’t be addressed lest they harm the multinational corporate bottom line, now it seems our continued existence is threatened on another front as well.

“Oh great,” I hear you cry, “what the fuck else,” you immoderately enquire. “Oh, I know,” you say triumphantly, “must be climate change.”

No, dear hearts, if only that were the problem we wouldn’t be in such deep shit. Calamitous perhaps, but not to the entire human race. No. Bend your minds to this additional horror facing us all. Thanks to the plastics industries, and estrogens introduced into the food chain to enhance livestock production, and microwaves emanating from cell phones carried in the hip pocket, and the grains and sugar industries, we are now dealing with a crisis in the health of men completely unprecedented in human history. Twenty year old men now have the equivalent sperm count of men in their eighties and most have erectile difficulties, and males born without genitals or with malfunctioning and defective equipment which will render them impotent or completely unable to copulate are increasing at an alarming rate.

Water sold in plastic bottles is highly dangerous and particularly to men, because the industry relies upon a process of blowing the plastic into shape under extremely high temperatures, and immediately the bottles then shuffle along to be filled with water whilst still hot and in an unstable state which leaches estrogens and chemical toxins into the water. So those drinking bottled water to avoid the deadly fluoride in mains delivery, for which governments indemnify themselves against death or poisoning clearly because its dangers are known, are being poisoned and emasculated by the alternatives.

Testosterone levels in men have hit an all time low, so low that physical strength and endurance is equivalent to that of the weakest specimens of historical epochs, and clinical and chronic depression and mental confusion induced by low testosterone is at an all time high. Encouraged to consume a diet high in carbohydrates and sugar, unknown to our ancestors, and discouraged from a diet high in natural fats and oils which in past generations kept them lean and strong and well supplied with testosterone and a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, men have been reduced to eunuchs whose cortisol, the death hormone, levels are skyrocketing. At the current rate one might anticipate the human race dying out within merely two generations.

Before you throw your hands up in utter despair, be encouraged by the fact that there are measures which undertaken can reverse the trend. Carry your cell phone in a bag, eliminate grains and cereals and sugar, filter your mains water, eat plenty of green vegetables and bitter herbs, and ensure adequate intake of natural fats and oils, from avocados and nuts and healthy free range raised meats.

Had I suggested two decades ago that the elite, who dine upon the very best organic produce and obtain their water from immaculate springs, and ensure an intake of anticarcinogenic vitamins and rare herbs and substances which they’ve made nearly impossible for the masses to obtain through restrictive laws and practices and a relentless campaign of disinformation, are carrying out their plan to kill off a large percentage of the world’s population by mass poisonings and innovative diseases, to say nothing of the wars which they devise and initiate, I would have been considered a crank or a lunatic. But no one is quick to dismiss these suggestions anymore. Anyone who does has his head in the sand or is in the pocket of the multinational corporations. When the evidences pile up anyone who does the least research is lead to these conclusions, simply because having eliminated all other possible candidates for consideration, nothing else is left.

Once almost everyone in the world has died, the elite, finding themselves without a large enough gene pool to ensure genetic diversity, will have to go fuck themselves.

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Up she rises…

Okay, so the world’s off to hell in a handbasket but that should be no reason to fall into a deep depression. What the hell am I saying! I guess if one wants to remain as healthy as possible, quite a feat given the deadly toxins we’re forced to eat, drink, breathe, one has to avoid thinking on the kind of things which make one angry, frustrated, miserable, and try somehow to conduct oneself as though there were nothing threatening one’s life and health, and indeed that of the entire frigging planet.

I confess that the issue of the Fukushima Number 4 Reactor really got to me, resulting in a significant slump of spirits, then tension and stress which brought on a four day migraine (so far but still counting), and, the immune system depressed thereby, another bout of the flu. Such a pity, because I was doing so well avoiding working myself into a lather over around a thousand other issues plaguing the world, simply by refusing to look at them, hear about them, read about them, or think about them. But anyone who’s tried to block out the rottenness of the world without actually removing himself from it will probably attest that it’s not the easiest thing to do. In fact I can think of any number of things which are easier to do, including making a purse out of a sow’s ear.

It’s remarkable with what alacrity others will ruin one’s day with a grisly recounting of the worst news, so that one might even be accosted at the supermarket by a friend one hasn’t seen in an age with a detailed breakdown of the latest horror, not so that one might be kept informed as a preamble to action, but so that there might be a sharing of the frustration and anger leading to nothing but paranoia and hopelessness. Not that I blame them; it’s natural to want to alleviate one’s own anxiety about the evil trends underway in the world, erroneously thinking that talking about them constitutes some kind of attack on them which might limit their destructiveness. Not that I believe talking doesn’t lead to positive action; in fact positive action is seldom achieved, unless performed solo, except by first talking. But I marvel that others can immerse themselves in bad news whilst not actually doing anything helpful, and remain optimistic and cheerful.  So I’m not going to discuss the mass chemical poisonings, genocide, wars, rampant corporate greed, political deceptions, hijacking of religion to serve evil ends, murders and torture, or any other atrocities committed every day on the planet. Aren’t you glad I didn’t? No, instead I’ll focus on something pleasant, uplifting, and encouraging. Let’s see…….

Paralysed by illness and inertia, and a certain amount of ennui, I turn to the kind of music clips on youtube which usually guarantee a measure of restoration of spirits, music being the universal language of goodwill and love, and selected two to share with you, which demonstrate music’s accessibility to both young and old.

 

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