Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

4 of the best

Pompeii_BodyThis week I’m staying in S. Agata, on the coast about an hour south of Naples, and today I’m off to see for the first time Pompeii, so buried stuff is on my mind. It’s in the nature of a blog that stuff gets buried – this post is me resurrecting 4 of my favourite posts from this blog:

1 Starless and Bible Black

on titles, jazz, Dylan Thomas and Joyce’s Ulysses

2 What Is It Worth?

on Buffalo Springfield, Belsen and what’s of true value

3 Fear & Sex

a survey of the Daily Mail, anxiety and sex

4 In the beginning of the End (serpent mix)

a remix of The Doors’ The End and the first chapter of Genesis (the bible book not the band)

And on the subject of great songs, the soundtrack for today (fortunately it’s on the ol’ iPod) must be Siouxsie & the Banshees’ Cities in Dust – after all these years it’s going to come into its own:

“Water was running, children were running
We found you hiding, we found you lying
Your city lies in dust
Ohh oh your city lies in dust, my friend

Hot and burning in your nostrils
Pouring down your gaping mouth
Your molten bodies blanket of cinders
Caught in the throes

Ohh oh your city lies in dust, my friend
Ohh oh your city lies in dust, my friend”

siouxsie sioux

4 things that are bothering me about the Credit Crunch

McQueenTo celebrate our record recession as marked by today’s announcement of a neat 0.4% shrinkage of the UK economy between July and September, making this recession the longest since records began, here are 4 things that have been bugging me on this front…

1
Earlier this week I read in the Evening Standard an article celebrating the rise in retail sales figures in September with a woman from Selfridges revelling in all the spending, just like the good ol’ pre-Crunch times. Are we all just going to slip back into buying all that Chinese-made shit we don’t really need?

2
There seems to be no sign of genuine banking reform. Even Boris Johnson is now feeling stiched up by the bwankers. Short-term thinking (if you can call it thinking) is the nemesis of long-term well being.

3
In the wake of the oil prices hitting their peak, the moment they started coming down a bit, I remember reading the depressing newspaper headline: Supermarket forecourt price wars. This just after you started noticing people really thinking twice before making a car journey. Our capacity to fall back into old ways is frankly depressing.

4
People keep referring to it as if it’s another run-of-the-mill, cycle-of-things recession, perhaps a bit worse but still a known quantity. My instinct about it is that it contains elements the like of which we have not seen before and understand no better than the bwankers understood what they were doing when they bought those packages of cancerous debt.

We had a chance for a moment there to stop and reflect and consider where true value lies, make some radical changes and get our lives back into balance, perhaps healing our battered environment to a sufficient degree in the process. I hope that moment hasn’t passed but I wouldn’t bet my bottom dollar on it (if I could afford dollars these days).

4 pantheistic quotations

Albert EinsteinBeen working on an arts/literature project recently involving quotations. In the spirit of Sunday night reflectiveness and on the weekend of my first Muslim wedding, here are some quotes I’ve come across in the last while that capture something of what I feel on the spirituality front…

What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos.

(Einstein)

That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.

(Einstein)

One should count each day a separate life.

(Seneca)

Let your capital be simplicity and contentment.

(Thoreau)

Patterns in Nature

And one for luck…

Plenty of kind, decent, caring people have no religious beliefs, and they act out of the goodness of their hearts. Conversely, plenty of people who profess to be religious, even those who worship regularly, show no particular interest in the world beyond themselves.

(John Danforth)

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