Striding Back

Wednesday afternoon I met with my friend Cerra for the first time in over half a year. We shared some conversation about graphic novels, travels and other interesting things at a coffee place before venturing to a piercing and tattooing place. There I was a witness to her having both her nostrils pierced, certainly a new experience for me. It was nice to spend time with her again. I remember pleasant times from this past summer and hope the coming one will hold more.

Not long ago I wrote about a radio program, “The House on Loon Lake,” and I was recently directed toward a video piece that was broadcast on CBC’s Zed that deals with subject matter that is similarly facinating to me. Urban Exploration is a piece that was shot here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and showcases some of this city’s interesting locales.

Urban Exploration is the art of the sneak and the snoop. It’s about the thrill of the trespass, checking out the places you’re not suppossed to be.

The girl featured in the segment explores abandoned and active buildings in Halifax such as the old infirmary and grain elevators in a quest for the unseen places of the city. Much like the young Adam Beckman in “The House on Loon Lake,” she and other urban explorers are drawn to the mystery of derelict buildings and their histories.

World Wide Internet TV is a wonderful resource for finding streaming television programming from all over the globe. Whether you want news from Cuba, mixed programming from Andorra, political coverage from here in Canada or music from Iceland (I’ll admit to watching some Popp Tivi.), you’ll find it all there free to watch.

Over at RAPstuff, Wendy and Richard Pini’s (creators of Elfquest) blog, a couple especially interesting entries were shared. “More thoughts on ‘Matrix’” was a look at The Matrix trilogy (a follow-up to “The Matrix Re-re-re-revisited“) that looks at the philosophy explored in the films. I found one of Richard’s later paragraphs especially compelling.

It’s here that I draw my own line in the sand. There is (I believe) a rock-bottom foundation of reality, and I am in it. Within it, I have choice, and that affords me the power to build a happy life upon beliefs that, yes, are malleable. I have the ability to increase my happiness. I can do that, if I choose to – and I do make that choice. Can such an idea exist within the dream world of the Matrix? I don’t know, though it’s easy enough to imagine that the simulation is so seamless as to allow it. On the other hand, if it were so perfect, no one would ever have “awakened” from it, would they? Someone had to be the first to break out; Morpheus speaks of a man who did just that, and who awoke others – including Morpheus himself. The illusion is thus flawed, and “there is no spoon” if you do not choose to see it. There are forces in the world who would love nothing more than to try to manipulate our every sensory input – there’s a bunch right here and now that we call the current Administration – but we each have the power to (as the Moody Blues put it) decide which is right, and which is an illusion. And then “will some change into it.”

Sunday afternoon Richard shared a second piece that attracted my attention, “Sometimes You Just Want to Thin the Herd,” an entry about the great difficulty of being non-judgemental when faced with the evils we are each day, such as SUVs. In addition to sharing an article by Paul Campos showing the ignorance or hypocrisy of folks who plaster “Support Our Troops” stickers on SUVs, he wrote of a personal observation.

Today, I saw something that – in the words of Emeril – kicked it up a notch. On the highway I saw a Hummer H2 (arguably the worst offender in the miles-per-gallon sweepstakes) sporting a bumper sticker which read:
My SUV (heart) Iraqi oil
Everyone in Paul Campos’ editorial could be said to be stupid and thoughtless; the monster driving the Hummer is beyond such soft qualities. This person is consciously callous to the point of evil. If I could have wished the hulking vehicle off a high bridge into a deep ravine, I think I would have.
And those of you who know me well, may have an idea of how far away from my normal mode of thinking such a wish is.

As Richard and Paul both wrote, it’s hard not to be judgemental when faced with things that can bring disgust, fear and anger to us, but these emotions offer us nothing but a prompting to work to fix the wrongs we see and judgement only keeps us from our personal evolution.

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