I read a touching film review today, a“found conversation” on a movie site discovered in much the same way one overhears a piece of conversation, insight gained even though—and probably because—it is completely out of context; the same words heard but quite the opposite meaning to that the original author intended. In reviewing 10 Items or Less, louisecardinal from Canada accidentally wrote a poem... I wish this film was realistic I wish this type of story happened more often I wish we didn't have to go to the movies to realize that we can indeed connect with each other even if we come from vastly different backgrounds The film's message is based in the open heart makes us wonder about the possibility of another world where we meet each other from there a world where peace could be a possibility To be completely accurate, louisecardinal wrote this as a film review rather than a poem; these are exactly her words, but I removed the punctuation and broke some sentences to format them as a poem. I may have to watch this film now, for I don't mind admitting that films with heart are my most favourite films of all. I can fault louisecardinal's English, but on this point I can't fault her sentiments. Yes, I also wish that we didn't have to go to the movies, read a beautiful poem or hear a haunting song to realise that we can connect with each other. Furthermore, I wish that connecting with another didn't need the sanction or binding structure of romantic love—that we could connect with every other. I guess that's why I first got into meditation—I've known intuitively since an early age that only loving a single person, a single family or a single country was somehow incomplete. I'm a child of mixed nationalities and two countries, of Canada and New Zealand, an only child of a solo mother, yet because of this I grew up almost a part of a multitude of other families, spending time in households, with non-siblings and their parents I often wished were my own; not exactly regretting my own circumstances, but always wondering why the seemingly impossible couldn't be possible—“Why is my Mother my Mother when I also love my friend’s Mother?” There's something of a koan, or Japanese Zen riddle, to insights gained in this accidental manner. When you put aside the ordinary way of seeing the world, as such riddles ask us to do, quite extraordinary meanings can be found in the most unlikely of places. I'm not terribly concerned with the reality or not of these experiences. Yes, an argument could be made that my experience of reality bears no relation to“actual reality,” that I have abandoned objectivity for a quite delusional subjectivity. So what? It is my opinion that the sooner people realise that life is always subjective the better—our obsession with objectivity is synonymous with the loss of heart and pre-eminence of mind in today’s world. Only you have to find a true subjectivity, a notion of and experience of self based on an underlying spiritual reality. I would call this“Poetic Reality.”
Imagine the internet as an enormous machine. Do we use the machine, or is the machine using us? This is the premise behind a brilliant video posted on YouTube recently, an imaginative exploration of the ideas behind “Web 2.0” by an associate professor of Digital Ethnology at Kansas State University. At the time of writing it has been viewed by well over a million people, speaking much of the power of internet to connect and inform us. Reading the comments left by viewers of video however speaks something of the opposite. I was fascinated by the idea of the internet once: the convergence of media and content which captivated almost everybody in the late 90's—time of boom before bust for what is now called Web 1.0, and birthplace for champions of an interconnected, permanently connected available-on-demand future is now—a Brave New World. How soon the imaginary becomes the ordinary... The idea behind the video is intriguing—that the internet is slowly evolving into a living, breathing, mindful entity through our use of it; the pathways we take, the content we create, the way we label things all teaching the“machine” to“think.” Is the machine serving us, or are we serving the machine?
Currently doing the rounds on the blogosphere and rating highly at reddit.com is the following image from Canon City, Colorado, 1926—one assumes not a hotbed of culture and intelligence. Unless... More than the photo itself, my sense of the absurd was aroused by the following comment: Why are they dressed as ghosts?! A comment possibly, hopefully made in all sincerity, I savoured it for a moment, imagining the childlike innocence required to see the world this way, thinking our world a better place if such an innocence really exists. On the other hand it could be the work of a playful, albeit darkly shaded sense of humour, and that would almost be just as good. But what if they were ghosts? What a nice world that would be!