Under the iPads and PS4s the ghoul of debt is lurking | John Harris | Comment is free | The Guardian
I was cycling through shopping centres this weekend, thinking, ohmygod, I haven’t seen such traffic jams and filled up parking lots for years. And the shoppers that were walking by, with their children, or relatives, all had a look of panic, a laughable look, “If we don’t buy something this weekend, we will be nobodies this Christmas”.
The genius of such social control goes beyond the mere sin of gluttony. It is the indoctrination of what passes as social inclusion that causes people to behave like slaves to their credit cards.
- If you don’t have Christmas lights and decorations up, you are a nobody.
- If you don’t have Christmas presents for all your children or grandchildren, they won’t want you, need you, or bother with you.
- If you don’t stock up with 5 times as much food as you need for Christmas, even though you know that 2/3 of it will end up being thrown away, you are a loser.
- If you aren’t even observing the Christmas ritual of spending money on unwanted and unneeded presents, then you might as well be an Islamist terrorist.
The Marketing Men and Women, the Advertising Agencies, The Retail Industry on the Internet and in the Shopping Malls, all are so specialized at playing this message of indoctrination, that the shopping peasants are like drugged sheep, wandering off to their end in the abattoir.
It isn’t really funny, it isn’t worth being sad, and even I can’t be bothered to get angry about it. But it is plain and simple crap, a basis for a crap society, a crap civilization, and a crap political system that deserves nothing but disdain from Russell Brandists, whom nonetheless do nothing but snort cocaine and sneer at the scene before them.
David Simon: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’ | World news | The Observer
This American Life; The Essay: Cubism
Talking about monumental visual art in a picture-free medium means, as The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik admits, that the odds of failure are quite high. How can you explain Cubism or its wonky, prismatic appeal without visual aids? But it seems to be the week for rule-breaking and Gopnik’s modest pre-emption is unnecessary. His Essay on Cubism, for Radio 3′s strand on Paris 1913, rubbishes perceived wisdom: it’s not supposed to be difficult “or a profound, philosophical exploration of time and space”. Picasso and Braque, the Lennon and McCartney of art, says Gopnik, were absurd. Their work was fun, a puzzle meant to be enjoyed as one that gave us art’s “first self-consciously cognitive style”. Which is the Gopnik way of saying that Cubism reminds us that we see primarily with our minds; the paintings can be abstract, but that doesn’t stop our brains from rearranging scrambled shapes and lines into something recognisable.Cubism touches us, he teases art historians, because it is a happy style and 1913, Gopnik dovetails, was the last happy European year.
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside!” – Rumi
Two new studies regarding heartbeats and virtual worlds. Apparently the heartbeat has a powerful influence.
Eindhoven University of Technology (2011, April 8). Personal touch: Hearing a heartbeat has the same effect as looking each other in the eye. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/04/110407093118.htmAssociation for Psychological Science (2013, August 14). Visualized heartbeat can trigger ‘out-of-body experience’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2013/08/130814124852.htm