Saturday, 30 May 2015

Deliverance by James Dickey

It so happened that just when I finished reading, for the first time,Deliverance by James Dickey (pub.1970) the following evening I turned on the tv late at night and saw John Boorman's film again. Dickey in writing the screenplay kept close to the dialogue of the novel apart from ' squeal like a pig'. The symbolism which permeates the novel of city dwellers going back into their primal selves by canoe and armed with bows and arrows is effective. To the natives of the area they might represent the city planners that are in the process of extirpating them. It is a sort of rape not the equivalent of actual sodomy but maybe the anger behind it. They have to move their dead and in the film the clapboard church is transported on a flat bed. I forget whether that detail was in the book. Where the book surpassed the film was of course in the narration which brought an immediacy to the action. Ed's climbing up the cliff and his laying in ambush for the killer of his friend is tense and in the past tense too so we know he's going to make it. (No spoiler, if you don't know already you were awol from the 20th century) Novels reread bring suspense that defeats knowledge. Suspended knowledge accompanying suspended disbelief and the original weight remains intensified as possibility.

An American classic.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Immortal Don Draper

Don Draper didn’t die. What has not been born cannot die. Om. He rests in a space between heaven and earth and like the great akash fills perfectly whatever mould the writers and authors of his fate assign. When karmic consistency is abandoned fiction becomes factitious and falsity and mere confabulation rules.

Was Don renewed? Did he hit rock bottom in any true sense or was he always ‘a word from our sponsor’?

Monday, 25 May 2015

Praying without Belief

Amod Lele prays to Manjushri even though he doesn’t believe in him.
I ask what if Manjushri believes in Amod Lele? At what point does the ‘penny prayer’ drop and the weighing scales tell him his true weight. The penny prayer drops when a good thump of ‘de profoundis’ is delivered with it.

How does one move from a position of rational unbelief or agnostic reservation to belief? Is it a negotiable fissure that is spannable by rational devices? My feeling is that such would be non-confirming and subjective bricolage. No, one must be un-benighted by a tap of the sword of Manjushri.

Seeing in the Dark

What is the meaning of ‘cessation of the knowledge of duality?’ Is it cessation of all cognition of duality? Or is it cessation of the the belief that duality is real? If it means cessation of all cognition of duality, then the Advaitins themselves do not accept it. But if it is cessation of the belief that duality is real, then this cessation is just what the Advaitins affirm. One who has known the shell in its true form no longer continues to believe in the illusory appearance of silver.
(page 540 The Method of Vedanta by Sri S.S.S.)

Swami Satcidanandendra is here questioning the view of Bhaskara whom he frequently castigates. It is an important point and variants of this error persist in the bemused doubt that Ramana felt pain. cf.
ramana's pain

I relate this to B.G. 2:69
The controlled man wakes in what is night for all creatures, as it is night for the seer of vision when the other creatures are awake
trans. van Buitenen

When it is night for all creatures, the man who restrains himself is awake, when creatures are awake, it is night for the perceptive seer.
trans.W.J. Johnson

In the dark night of all beings awakes to Light the tranquil man. But what is day to other beings is night for the sage who sees.
(trans. Juan Mascaro)

That contrast of night and day also occurs as an echo in the preamble to the Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankara. The aporetic impossibility of knowledge is the bridge to gnosis. The knot between the conscious and the inert (chit jada granthi) is cut through by the realisation of what makes knowledge actually possible. A sage is one who continues to experience mundane mutations but does not accept them as free standing phenomena. He ‘sees through’ them, an idiom I prefer to Swami’s lack of belief. It recalls the magic show of maya. Once we know how the trick is done, we view the sawing of the lady in two with impregnable sang froid.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sweetness and Light

So I cast the vote that dare not speak its name. Vincent Browne, hoary ancient journalist, in a vox pop, was shocked that he could only find a couple of people to admit on camera that they were voting NO. Now the history of the campaign as told by the victors is all sweetness and light with never a poster torn down and vile slurs cast on those that doubted the saccharine rainbow never uttered. When parliaments in Britain, France and Spain were allowed a free vote by their constituent parties there were many naysayers. Here they passed like whipped sheep through the lobbies. Pathetic.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Yes you can.

It’s very nice, beautiful colours, that red and gold. There are aerodynamic fins that give you uplift and the sculptured folds channel the wind for directional capacity. That ruff seems excessive, a little bit of ‘nice’, a sort of harmless vulgarity that humanises and links this sartorial breakthrough with the past in a modest way. This will work, I’m sure of it, and we are at a good height to achieve full operational power. Off you go.

As he launched himself, a brave lonely hero I remembered that heroes are always alone at the moment when they face their greatest trial. Through the mist and fog which surround this building he plunged. I looked into the box which held the flying suit and only then did I see the disclaimer: this garment will not enable you to fly (from any height).

Monday, 18 May 2015

How to buy a referendum in full colour

Chuck Feeney and his Atlantic Philanthropies are perfectly transparent. It’s all there in multicoloured bar graphs and pie charts - the way to buy a referendum. How does it happen that NGO’s and GO’s of every kind wave the rainbow flag? Could it have anything to do with the money that he has poured into them? Here’s a detailed analysis of his funding:

how to buy a referendum

all based on information in the public domain.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Voting Yes and No

'How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?'


'And if the party says that it is not four but five -- then how many?'


Do I need more pain? I can’t accept the reasoning of the Yes campaign with its bleating group think. To the 1 to 3 per.cent. of the population that is homosexual I say: Why would you want to join a club that can’t have you for a member? This is an ontological can’t and not a normative cant. The discredited figure of 10 per.cent. of the population being homosexual was expressed by two individuals who came out publicly recently? One of them was Ursula Halligan a prominent journalist on TV 3. She should know better.

A marriage that cannot be consummated is being presented as a cost free fantasy gift to a re-imagined republic.

In relation to the lowering of the age of eligibility of the presidency to 21 I shall vote yes. It is deeply hurtful to the young people of this country that they cannot aspire to this office. They are locked out of the Aras (Mother won’t throw down the key). Arrant ageism.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Bhagavad Gita through the movies

They are both ignorant, he who knows the soul to be capable of killing and he who takes it as killed; for verily the soul neither kills nor is killed.
(B.G. 2:19) Gita Press Gorakphur trans.

Krishna is addressing Arjuna who is in a bind, double or treble even. To kill his relatives is a great sin even if they are transgressors yet his duty is to uphold dharma. Like Jules in Pulp Fiction he is not sure if he is the evil man or the shepherd:

Jules: There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you." Now... I been sayin' that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You'd be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin' made me think twice. See, now I'm thinking: maybe it means you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here... he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. And I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.

Krishna could be construed as offering Arjuna an antinomian gnostic way to cut the knot of the double bind. Nothing personal as Charlie Partana said in Prizzi’s Honor Or on the other hand it could be like what Bob Hope said when caught in flagrante “It’s not me”.

These are possible interpretations. My own view is that Krishna is like Winco (Wing Commander) in a British War Movie putting his men in the picture pointing at a map of the Ruhr Valley. The big picture is an impersonal one. However taking 2:19 on its own is as much a motive for inaction as action because Arjuna has not realised the non-dual truth and cannot use it as a motive. It is a blank picture for him that shimmers like a mirage of shraddha (faith). The personal dharma of the warrior caste draws its strength from the impersonal reality. In later chapters Krishna fills out the concept of personal duty and practice yet I believe that the knowledge of the impersonal is not a cold-blooded thing, the Julsian thang. You ought to suffer. Renunciation is a warrant of sincerity therefore just prior to his speech Jules says:

Jules: I want you to go in that bag, and find my wallet.
Pumpkin: Which one is it?
Jules: It's the one that says Bad Motherfucker. .........

Jules: I'm not giving you that money. I'm buying something from you. Wanna know what I'm buyin' Ringo?
Pumpkin: What?
Jules: Your life. I'm givin' you that money so I don't have to kill your ass. You read the Bible?
Pumpkin: Not regularly.

Then you can walk the land.


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Breda O'Brien follows the Yes/Marriage Equality Money

People are loth to follow through on links but here it is anyway:

Below is the article itself:

Suppose I confessed that over the past number of years, the Iona Institute, of which I am an unpaid patron, has received millions of American dollars to advance a particular agenda.
Those dollars have allowed us to grow from a single-person organisation to a highly skilled, mobilised, fully professionalised lobbying machine employing seven full-time staff and numerous consultants. Those staff and consultants operate “inside the machinery of government”, and people associated with Iona have ended up on key boards such as the Irish Human Rights and Equality Authority. It enabled us to change the agenda on a government working group in 2006 and persuaded it to make recommendations that were ruled out in the original remit of that group.

Suppose I admitted that between September and November 2009 alone, Iona met with more than 40 politicians, including three ministers one-to-one.

When I tell you that absolutely none of that is true of Iona because it has never received any American money and never had instant access to key politicians, but that instead I’m describing the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), eyes will glaze over and the salivating interest will disappear.

Groupthink has been exalted to an Irish sacrament. While journalists were targeting tiny bootstrap conservative organisations and accusing them of being American-funded, GLEN, the most successful lobby group in Irish history, was swimming in greenbacks.

Shedloads of money
This is a story for investigative journalists that doesn’t even require much investigation. Try typing GLEN into the search box of the Atlantic Philanthropies website.

Read the Atlantic publication, Civil Partnership and Ireland – From a Minority to a Majority, to see the step by step strategy. Why bother to conceal it? There will be no outrage, no consequences.

GLEN did everything described in the first paragraphs of this article while registered as a charity with the Revenue Commissioners. GLEN Campaign for Marriage registered with the Standards in Public Office Commission in 2015 – will this affect its fundraising?

If Atlantic Philanthropies is beyond question, if shedloads of money used to advance agendas render you beyond scrutiny, we should just let the anniversary year of 2016 go by without comment, as an utterly failed Republic.

And what shedloads. According to Atlantic, GLEN received $4,727,860 between 2005 and 2011.

Yes, four and three quarter million dollars. (Incidentally, GLEN explained to The Irish Times in 2013 that it gets only half its funding from Atlantic.)

Atlantic explains that in 2005, “GLEN was essentially a voluntary organisation with a single-funded post working on gay HIV strategies, which was funded by the HSE”. GLEN does not provide services. It focuses on policy and legislative change.

By the last report, Catalysing LGBT Equality and Visibility in Ireland, GLEN is described thus: “Their multi-year grant from Atlantic enabled them to ramp up their work into a full-time, highly professionalised lobbying machine. It works ‘inside’ the machinery of government where it uses a ‘principled pragmatist’ model in which it consolidates support, wins over the doubtful and pacifies those who are opposed.

“GLEN leaders believed that the most viable way to embed long-lasting social change was to legislate incrementally, waiting to advocate for civil marriage until the population was acculturated to the ordinariness of same-sex unions.”

It must be the most successful “acculturation” in Irish history.

Legal protections
The only acceptable narrative is that this is a benign grassroots movement, because if we admitted that it is instead a slick, elite movement of highly educated professionals funded from abroad we might have to admit we were skilfully manipulated. And that could not be true.

Atlantic credits itself with securing civil partnership in 2010, describing it as “some of the most far-reaching legal protections for gay and lesbian couples in the world”.

Civil partnership affords far greater rights than “US state-based civil marriage because the latter cannot include federal rights in critical areas such as immigration, tax and health benefits”.

Funny, I thought civil partnership was discriminatory and second class.

In 2009, GLEN had 348 media appearances – 179 broadcasts and the rest ranged from national newspapers to the Law Society Gazette. Almost one per day.

Let’s not forget Marriage Equality, whose name even ended up on the referendum ballot paper. They got a mere $475,215 from Atlantic.

But it enabled them to set up a full-time office, to lobby and use “backroom” tactics like “hiring professional political advisers who were working with the government on other issues to report back on the government’s thinking on same-sex marriage”.

Oh, and the other part of Yes Equality, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)? From 2001 to 2010, it got $7,727,700 and another $3,829,693 in 2010 and 2013. Sure, ICCL didn’t spend all that on redefining marriage. Just some of it. Do tell, ICCL, exactly how much.

This is not Atlantic Philanthropies funding a hospital or school. This is foreign money being systematically invested to change public opinion, to deliver seamlessly a Yes in a referendum that has enormous consequences for family law for generations.

All the while soothing us by spinning it as just “seventeen little words”. Can American money buy an Irish referendum? Let’s wait and see.

Sat, May 9, 2015, 08:03

First published: Sat, May 9, 2015, 03:30

Friday, 1 May 2015

Then they came for the Sanskritists.

I see that the issue of gendered pronouns is becoming retrospective.
Presumably the ordinary everyday philosophic convention has been settled. I am glad to note that in the matter of translation of ancient texts there is a general resistance to meddling. The plaintive cry ‘don’t please call it pc’ is the equivalent of ‘I’m taking my ball home’. It is all too easy to mock so I will continue to do so.

Abrecadabra, abre..cadabra, -no, no, it’s not working.
Abreca..dabrum. Ah, that’s better.