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This week's music is brought to you by the letters Hate and Vitriol.
Finally took the time to track down the self financed Kinshi by Theatre of Hate. It's simultaneously mind-blowing and totally appropriate that they're still touring...
1. Black Irony
6. Kit Kat Club
8. Mr Mendacity
Can't listen to that without their earlier work too. I'm not sure who remasters an album - Westworld - and instead turns it into a best of ... album but it's the best recording I could find on youtube.
I spent a couple of years in Sydney - the mardi gras is such an amazing event. I'm still very fond of Sydney. I was there 90-92 and didn't notice or hear about any unusual attacks on the gay community there but I did live in King's Cross which was definitely more tolerant than many other places.
With all the recent vitriol and hateful speech and actions, it's worthwhile to take a step back and see that as a society I think we are (generally) making some progress. Not to pat our collective backs but articles like these can make us fell there is no progress or justice.
As disgusting as the article portrays some of the people in Sydney and the police force - and implicitly Australia as a whole - it's good to hear they are revisiting those cases because it does demonstrate some progress.
No no no. it really, _really_ shouldn't be possible (or necessary) to say that the change from chasing people off cliffs because of their preferences to a situation one where it's abhorrent and no longer tolerated now, is actually progress. Like seriously WTF that we even have to consider that. Still that was how it was. There's still a long way to go, but I take heart that in a relatively short time frame the perspective in society has shifted and it gives me hope for the future that there will be more progress (and hopefully faster yet) in tolerating whatever differences there are, whether it's sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or any of the other myriad of things that make us human.
Those are mostly major things in life.
In that book he talks about how important gratitude is in having a more positive mental state. A simple activity for gratitude is to spend a few minutes at the end of each day reflecting back on what happened to you during the day and finding some small (or not so small) positive things to be grateful for. At first I found it difficult, but after a while I noticed a change - I started to actually look for things to be grateful for during the day, then later another thing I noticed was that my perspective on small insignificant things changed and where I might have been annoyed at something I'd re-frame it so that it was a positive. It's weird, by forcing yourself to try and find something nice amongst the mundane and irritation of the day, you start to notice that actually there's a whole lot fo really good things happening that you would otherwise ignore or not even notice.
I love these pieces so much. I was once stuck on a bus for what should have been a 2 hour journey, but was severely delayed. I managed to listen to all 4 albums. That was fine though because I was able to really concentrate on them. I had read how they came about and so I ended up contemplating the nature of time, change and decay and how something so beautiful can come out of a dire situation.
I finally got home after 8 and a half hours.
I also had an "experience" with a Rothko.
I lived in a house and the staircase had a landing halfway up. The wall it faces goes to the ceiling of the floor above. and I bought a print about 2 metres of that piece to hang on that wall. I made it a habit to reflect on the idea of beauty every time I went upstairs, which is harder than it seems. Sadly I lost the habit, but it had a deep effect while it lasted. Just taking time out of your mundane daily activities to appreciate art or beauty is something to cherish.
- ‘You’ve been feeling tired,’ said the stranger, ‘but I can do something about that. I’ve come to ask whether you’d care to join my Owsla. We shall be glad to have you and you’ll enjoy it. If you’re ready, we might go along now.’
They went out past the young sentry, who paid the visitor no attention. The sun was shining and in spite of the cold there were a few bucks and does at silflay, keeping out of the wind as they nibbled the shoots of spring grass. It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.
‘You needn’t worry about them,’ said his companion. ‘They’ll be all right – and thousands like them. If you’ll come along, I’ll show you what I mean.’
He reached the top of the bank in a single, powerful leap. Hazel followed; and together they slipped away, running easily down through the wood, where the first primroses were beginning to bloom.
I remember reading it as a kid and being profoundly affected by the thought of someone close (as characters in books often become) dying.
I think this highlights the issue of media portrayal of the world. We get a heavily biased view of the world state based on extreme and negative circumstances - disasters and atrocities are all newsworthy and these days shoved down our throats. But that view is not the view of the actual world it's a massive corruption and distortion and leads us to assume it's not only true but representative. NO IT IS NOT
Yes terrible things happen and we should be informed about them, but they need to be balanced with all of the amazingly good things that are happening too.
There are hundreds of thousands of decent people helping others and running awesome projects that we never ever hear about, except for the occasional fluff piece at the end of the news or some heart-warming story that makes it into our feeds. They aren't exceptional, they're normal. They just aren't news-worthy.
There are plenty of things that happen that make me sad and angry or that I disagree with, but I make an effort not to focus my attention on them. There is some ancient wisdom "That which you focus on grows."
That's not meant to be interpreted like some law of attraction bullshit - it means that your perception of the world is influenced by what you choose to think about and focus on. Sure - it can mean you achieve some difficult task or make progress that others haven't but it isn't some mysterious and mystical force, its just you directing your attention and activity and not getting distracted by all the negativity that you are constantly bombarded with.
And it also doesn't mean nothing bad ever happens. Of course it does, we all suffer. just don't let it overwhelm you because modern life assaults our senses with the constant, overpowering, negative "news".