Wednesday, 22 February 2017
I can switch off my brain and accept my daily ration of fake news from the mainstream propaganda media who will dutifully tell me what to think. In fact they will, if I allow them, do all my thinking for me. How convenient.
But I don't.
I'm interested in people, the ordinary and the unordinary people, and I often read their stories, their personal stories; the ones that are not mainstream media stories.
Monday, 20 February 2017
At a venue in Vienna yesterday evening I couldn't help noticing that a significant percentage of the audience were constantly coughing. So much so, that after the intermission I moved to another part of the auditorium, thinking I'd be safe from any winter germs that were floating around.
And then it occurred to me that the coughing epidemic I was witnessing might not be due to winter colds and chills. I myself have a slight sore throat, I thought. And then I thought this might be due to something some more serious. The air I'm breathing might not be too healthy, I thought.
And so first this morning I logged on to an international air quality monitoring website which covers 300 cities around the world, and I checked the Vienna air quality for myself. What I discovered was alarming and surprising, since I had not seen any warnings in the daily newspaper or heard anything much about air quality on the radio; which tends to give us temperatures, snow conditions, and hours of sunshine etc., and only rarely, very rarely, reports on Vienna's air.
I discovered that in the last 31 days in Vienna we have had:
8 days of VERY HIGH POLUTION
19 days of HIGH POLLUTION
4 days of MODERATE POLLUTION
0 days of FRESH AIR
I then looked at the chart for the last 6 months, that is to say since 19th August 2016. What I found was almost beyond belief!
EXAMINING THE GRAPH FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS I COULD ONLY FIND 9 DAYS WITH "FRESH AIR"*
*"FRESH AIR" IS DEFINED BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION.
It goes without saying that I have now downloaded the Air Quality App and that I will be closely monitoring the pollution levels when I venture out for my daily exercise. This morning the pollution at the time of looking, an hour ago, was classed as moderate and runners are today advised to "take it easy".
Since I value my health I shall do so.
Saturday, 18 February 2017
I promised to show a special (to me) painting I have made of an alien and here s/he is.
Or maybe it's an it.
I cannot imagine for one second that entities visiting us from other space-time dimensions or other solar systems or galaxies have male and female carbon-based bodies full of bones, muscles and blood.
So I'll call it an it.
That they, the advanced ones, have to reproduce copies of themselves by means of sexual procreation is an absurd idea.
They can live forever. And in several locations simultaenuously. Perhaps.
It's also absurd to think that these advanced entities would be interested in following any muddled and irrational customs they might have noticed set down upon parchment or paper or stones on a smallish planet circling a yellow star on the outer edge of a moderately sized spiral galaxy. A planet rather like ours. Perhaps.
|apology for angled photograph|
- - this way removes reflections
Friday, 17 February 2017
A singular poem I read fairly often is Wallace Stevens' The Man with the Blue Guitar.
Stevens was inspired by Pablo Picasso's famous painting The Old Guitarist (click to see).
On rereading Stevens' poem recently I was inspired to reach for my paints:
|The Man with the Blue Guitar (detail) - gw2017|
And now some lines from the beginning and end of the poem:
The Man with the Blue Guitar
The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.
They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."
The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar."
. . .
I cannot bring a world quite round,
Although I patch it as I can.
I sing a hero's head, large eye
And bearded bronze, but not a man,
Although I patch him as I can
And reach through him almost to man.
. . .
. . .
/ The bread
Will be our bread, the stone will be
Our bed and we shall sleep by night.
We shall forget by day, except
The moments when we choose to play
The imagine pine, the imagined jay.