I decided to post a few gems this morning as I posted entries into my Google Reader.
1. Indigo Jo
Indigo Jo is a Muslim in England. He is writing about a demo in Trafalgar Square.
Most of the speakers were members of the WCPI "Central Committee", including Maryam Namazie, Fariborz Pooya, Bahram Soroush and Shiva Mahbobi. The latter was actually introduced as a member of said committee, but actually all four were; it begs the question of why the views of a small Iranian Marxist sect should be important in the debate over religion and state in the UK. I also wonder if any state they managed to establish in Iran would be much less repressive than the present régime, given that police states tend to recycle their old enemies’ secret police forces (this happened in both Iran and Russia); I had coined the slogan "Shari’ah, yes, Stasi, no" in case we managed to mount a counter-demo. AC Grayling, a popular philosopher, and Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society, spoke as well. I wonder if they knew who their friends were.
2. Creative Spark
Creative Spark is an Australian expat in Singapore. He is writing about actor Sean Penn and writer Dustin Lance Black being censored on Singapore TV so the word “gay” did not sully any Singaporean ear.
…Am I living in a country full of bigots with no respect for human rights, who are so delicately composed in their moral values that an award speech that mentions the word “gay” freaks them out?
It certainly hasn’t been my impression of Singapore people, but maybe I just hang out in the wrong circles…
And the whole idea that controlling a country’s traditional mass media is still effective could only come from a government bureaucracy clinging to very old ways of doing things.
It’s just so far out of kilter with the realities of media, the citizens of the country and the attitudes of the world that it’s got to crack at many minute. The MDA must be feeling like an old dam with severe structural weakness now. Ten years ago you might have got away with it, but now it’s just making them seem irrelevant and kind of silly…
3. Heroes, not Zombies
This blog is by Bob Leckridge, a Scottish physician. The particular entry is part of a series on personal growth.
Different ways of understanding
There are different ways to understand. The physical way can be seen in science which, as Deleuze says, is a way of thinking about function, a way of trying to understand how things work. The relationship way is seen in storytelling and in philosophy, and that leads to the third way, the spiritual, which is a way of understanding the connectedness to that which is greater than the self. There is no one right way. We really all are unique. Our views, our memories, our consciousness are all unique and individual. But we are also connected. We share environments, we collaborate, we compete, we form and break relationships. We share. What we all do is try to make sense of our lives, of the world and of our daily reality. We need to understand, to see patterns, to grasp that reality. When we don’t do that, we feel scared, confused, alone. We are meaning seeking, meaning creating animals. Nihilistic thought, randomness, chance and powerlessness can be overwhelming, can become unbearable, closing doors, squeezing out hope and leaving us lonely and in pain. Why me? What have I done to deserve this? What’s happening? What’s going to happen? We’re full of questions, and always seeking answers. We do that by using our ability to understand.
But we mustn’t forget that our understanding is always unique and personal, and the we need to negotiate, in our spaces of meaning, to create our communal visions, our shared purposes. With understanding comes humility, a humility which should prompt us to ask others What sense do you make of this? What does it mean to you?