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Archive for September, 2005

White Lines and Power

September 28th, 2005 No comments

I trust anyone who thinks this story might be about politics and the use of stimulant drugs will forgive me. It’s much more mundane. I used to live in Sevenoaks in Kent – a small sleepy kind of English town on the outskirts of London and home to rich commuters.

At the time I helped look after the child of a friend, taking him to school and collecting him each day. I used to laugh at the rows of 4×4’s in the carpark ready to collect the kids. These tough off-roaders were driven by mothers who felt secure on the road only behind all that metal.

I had a joke at the time that the white line down the middle of the road was called the “Jeep Line” in Sevenoaks. It seemed the mothers on their way to school thought they were supposed to follow that line, I guessed, from the way they drove their cars down the middle of the road.

They were often unaware of the size of the vehicle and frankly in many cases needed more lessons specially to drive them. It used to annoy me, this excess of metal being used to colect one seven year old and drive them a mile home.

Last month, enriched by a substantial payout of disability benefits I had been wrongly denied for over a year, I bought a Land Rover. I don’t feel so disabled now because I have actually been able to get out and visit people, go to a birthday party and travel to the treatments that may help me recover use of my body.

Suddenly I discover that I have a softer attitude to the women of kent. I can understand the small sense of power that comes from being invincible on the road. I can understand how this small sense of power is like a balm to the powerlessness they experience throughout their lives. Becoming good mothers and wives as society expects, the good women of kent have rarely and exceptionally stopped still long enough to sense their own inherent power.

I still think it wrong of them to use such innefficient vehicles. But the innefficiency comes from the fact that they are trying to excercise power over their lives within a framework provided for them by upbringing and which itself took away their power.

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I just wanted a video game, not eternal damnation in hell.

September 21st, 2005 No comments

30,000 children die today needlessly as every day and here

we have a lovely example of civilised western values getting the whole fucking thing upside down.

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Stories

September 14th, 2005 No comments

I could tell myself so many stories about it. I shall not bother. Some things and some people change and some don’t. I once met Tulku Ringu Rinpoche, the leader of the Tibetain Buddhist “Rime” (No walls) movement. Unlike the other schools Rime spans all teachings. I asked him “what was the key teaching of the Buddha?”. “You can change yourself” said Rinpoche.

Some schools of Buddhism teach that you can’t that its OK to revel in your greed, laziness, ignorance and fear. But then the Nazi’s believed in God. People get things wrong at times. If you indulge your own flagrant inadequacies without intention of changing, and worse, when you do so at the expense of others, how Buddhist are you?

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Drove My Chevy To The Levee But The Levee Was Gone.

September 3rd, 2005 No comments

The recent damage caused by Hurrican Katrina in the US Gulf states is receiving more than it’s fair share of TV time. I have written before that America will only wake up to it’s own behaviour and contribution to Global Warming when they have a few serious natural disasters to contend with.

As the earth warms, the pressure cooker effect will make storms and earthquakes more and more violent. This is a natural consequence of increasing the temperature, and consequently the pressure, in what is a semi-closed system. The people of New Orleans are paying for all those gas-guzzling miles they drive to the levee. They will continue paying in just this way until man’s contribution to global warming is stopped and reversed.

This will demand the greatest change to economics since the establishment of limited companies with personal property rights. The change is in effect the dis-establishment of those rights. This form of corporate person, established under law, allows individuals to gain all the “profit” from their activities without paying the consequent price, without taking responsibility for the downside.

“Enough is enough” will become the motto of the future, not just politically but personally as the establishment of an economics based on sufficiency on a personal and political scale takes hold. Many are doing this already in small but simple ways, cutting their usage of limited natural resources and living lives with small footprints.

When America does this and forgets it’s “we must control the world or the world will control us” mentality, sanity may begin to reign in the world. The problem with super-powers is that they are just a bunch of ordinary humans with big guns – It doesn’t make them right.

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