Often a

SINGLE PHOTOGRAPH

can carry more oomph that whole screeds as I shall now demonstrate—but be warned: as a perceiver you will have to perceive with active awareness, effort, and discretion. Not everything comes as easily as just looking at a snap.

HEREWITH YOUR

photo. Make of it what you will, then you may peruse the cheat-sheet further down (if you’re competitive you may award yourself a score out of ten but be warned, you ain’t gonna get no carrot).

The snap

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 18.45.41

—taken recently (okay, yesterday) in Gore (Southland, New Zealand) (lovely wee town, got a big statue of a fish).

WHADDYA SEE?

It’s the bit that you don’t see that creates all my philosophical angst. Myself (be warned up front) am not religious. Not of any persuasion or bent. I leave the gods alone and mostly they leave me alone (it’s a marriage made in Heaven, actually).

But I do like shooting churches for a multitude of reasons, one of which is that to any open mind they can be architectural marvels. They can also make one think. A bit.

Sometimes. Mostly we don’t think, we just accept that the building is the House Of God and have done with it. No?

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 17.46.48RECENTLY

the Rio statue of Christ (great closeups in the animated movie ‘Rio’, which is one of my very favourites) The Redeemer was clobbered by lightning and damaged a fair bit. My heart goes out (I’m somewhat nervous of heights myself) to the poor souls who had to get up there and fix it. Bread and butter to them, it would have been multiple heart attacks to me … brrrrr.Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 18.16.29

AND

many of the larger churches and HOGs here in Invercargill (capital of the south and home to the world’s southernmost Starbucks) are fitted with lightning arrestors—you know: those wee sticky-up metal bits mounted on high points (if not the highest) of the roof and connected by substantial cabling to Mother Earth. Why?

The theory is that the lightning, instead of blasting great holes in the edifice is instead lured to the ground via the lightning hooks and cables, where so diverted it dissipates its fury harmlessly (and perhaps other than a bloody great BANG nobody nearby is any the wiser). Even better if it dribble feeds the discharge …

SO THE PHILOSOPHER

in me asks the obvious questions—

(a) was the statue of Christ The Redeemer in Rio currently (ouch, pun) out of favour with God? And if so, what had that poor blasted statue done to offend Him?

C the R ... click pic to read the article

C the R … click pic to read the article (that’s an arm, by the way)

(b) If God wasn’t offended, or not likely to be offended in so devout a place, why do some people think it necessary to not only sprinkle him liberally with lightning rods but keep them well maintained?

(c) And all those hundreds of thousands of HOGs worldwide, surely God wouldn’t capriciously blast any or all of them likewise? (The church-of-a-million bricks in Invercargill has rods, as do others, and very nice they are too.) Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 18.17.40

(d) God is omniscient: so He knew before the Creation that he was going to smite the innocent statue of C the R in Rio on that date in 2014* … and He went ahead and did it anyway. Reliable? Boom boom~!

Obviously He had no option, but surely He could have made it just a purely cosmetic smite—a simple statement? Because the funds involved in patching the statue might instead have been used to feed and/or better house some of the poor. Even school books, or seed corn, that sort of thing. No?

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KISMET

* all part of His Great Plan. (The greatest plans are flexible and can be adapted to meet the contingencies of their time but poor ol’ God can’t change one iota of His—some might say that that makes a mockery of His omnipotence, but who are we to split hairs? After all, He can do anything …)

ISIS, ISIL …

or more aptly described as

MONKEY MEN?

Even the term (it springs readily to mind) ‘pea brain‘ is giving too much credit to automatons. “Organic robots following their (face it, rather effective) programming” would be a better description.

BUT HEY

we all do it, no?

No? Oh … really?

COME ON

come on … would a nuclear strike on (say) Cairo not take out a few pyramids and other associated antiquities? And what American general (if so ordered) wouldn’t launch the strike; air force, army, even navy?

Don’t knock the thought—I believe it has been done, but the strike was recalled in time so it doesn’t really count … or so the literature has it*.

AND HASN’T CHRISTIANITY

likewise bust a few ‘heathen idols’ in its time, even torched a few cities and (dare I say it) raped a few less-than-human heathen bitches? All part of the Grand Tapestry that is God’s plan for humanity, no?

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I often wonder if there’s really any difference between blanket-bombing some oafs’ museums and sending in the troops with hammers to knock the smiles off the faces of a few 3000 year-old-idols.

I leave that to the philosophers and the judgements of history. In the meantime I mourn—

a)  the lost artefacts, and

b)  the human condition

—and for that matter, (c) the future as I see it.

In the meantime if you are a ‘Christian’ country (or Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu—pick your own brand and insert it here)(from a list of thousands) be warned that by being a good little PC person and welcoming (okay, accepting) vipers into your bosom you are setting your own children up for adopting—most likely at gunpoint—a few foreign ‘values’. All good stuff? Tolerance, charity, and variety, basic Christian and Islamic qualities that can’t be beat …

Now get out there and beat the rush:  buy your kids some nice big hammers

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KISMET

* Read up on USS Liberty, 1967.

RESPECT FOR DEAD HEROES

I just

HAVE TO ASK

and with any luck may trigger a few irate responses. Bear with me, or go read a ‘news’paper. Your call—

AT WHAT POINT DID

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.17.321.  The foul and filthy Hun cease being a jack-booted Nazi thug? Was it before or after the last concentration camp commandant was hanged? Was it before or after the last of the murderous night-bomber crews got home from blitzing Coventry?

2.  Are our own WW2 bomber crews still great and noble heroes, still worthy of their medals and accolades for blitzi  (oops) levelling Dresden, Hamburg, and anywhere else they could reach? Hospitals and orphanages included? Of course!

3.  How about the scum fliers of the Luftwaffe and Japan who strafed columns of civilian refugees—are those warriors loathsome sub humans still? Or any flier who did/does the same, especially to innocent civilians? Does the opprobrium extend to all the allied gun cameras showing exactly the same disregard for the ‘niceties’ of distinctions? U-tube has some great shots of Japanese fishermen under fire scampering along beaches by their wee fishing boats, and in the harbours, fields …

SO WHAT HAS CHANGED

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.17.16and dimmed the memory of atrocity—why are deceased (say) Japanese or Nazi ‘warriors’ suddenly entitled to the respect for their ‘great-and-noble sacrifices’ of WW2 that was denied them at the time? And for decades after?

THIS MORNING I HAPPENED OVER THIS

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.19.02wee article on the web. Some mega rich guy has found the sunken wreck of Musashi, a Japanese WW2 battleship. From memory the Japs had sent it on a one-way forlorn mission to death or glory and the US Navy had completed the equation for them.

Now are these the same Japanese ‘Knights’ of Bushido (an interesting work—I read it soon after it first came out) that people used to refer to as not-nice (fanatical saki-soused thugs etc … you know how it is). (My thanks to GPCox for the links and the lead-in.) Read and weep—? Or not …

“The Vulcan statement added that the team is “mindful of the responsibility related to the wreckage of the Musashi as a war grave and intend to work with the Japanese government to ensure the site is treated respectfully and in accordance with Japanese traditions.”

Read more:  click here

WAR GRAVE?

Sacred, to be respected, holy, etc etc? O tempora, o mores! Are these the same noble knights whose carcasses were bulldozed into the ground by swearing GIs after banzai charges?Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.18.25

I did read about an enterprising sailor on a US warship who found some bits of the (noble-heroic) kamikaze pilot who dented his ship. He did a fair bit of work on the guy’s head, defleshing it and stuff, and after he’d towed it behind his speeding ship for four days in a bag on the end of a long rope he had a highly polished souvenir* well worthy of his efforts*. Possibly still on a mantlepiece somewhere, unless some modern has demanded it be repatriated with great ceremony and weeping/wailing/gnashing of teeth.

SO

I ask again**

“At what point does a deceased enemy become worthy of respect and due ceremonial?”

It’s a bit of toughie…

For example, I offer the (one day to be) “great and noble heroes of ISIS”. How long do we give them before they too deserve their “respect due to heroes”? Especially these great and noble Islamic heroes who die fighting for their Profit’s cause—exterminate them as we may today, whenever we get the chance? And I recently watched some provoking helicopter combat footage of US choppers loosening up a few ‘terrorists’ by night—no war graves for them too?

So where does ‘vicious murdering sadistic scum’ cease and ‘hero’ begin?

Dammit, after all these years I’m still confused. Can’t anyone help?

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.03.55

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KISMET

* Warriors have been lopping ‘trophy’ bits off fallen noble deceased heroes for thousands of years. It’s what you do with them, that, or shove ‘em under the ground and out of the way asap (they tend to honk a bit if you don’t). I don’t know if that sailor got them to play the Last Post for the pilot at any stage, history is a bit sparse there.

** Never had a sensible answer but I’m the Eternal Optimist; maybe this time?

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THE SPOUSE

placed me this day neatly into a ‘Husband Holding Pattern’ outside her favourite Op Shop in Windsor, making the naive mistake of leaving me to my own devices with both a loaded camera and a loaded WP Weekly Photo Challenge. (Not good … a book would have better kept me in the one place.)

I WAS QUITE A BIT CHALLENGED

too. “Reward”, with no dog handy (and no bone for him anyway) … how the hell do you handle that?

Then in the course of my excursions (didn’t have to excurse very far, the below chapel was right there) a philosophical bunch of concepts came together in one foul swoop; a eureka moment that my limited talents couldn’t do justice to … but here ’tis anyway — first, though, a few words of explanation lest all be in vain:

That little strip of herbage sown is in fact a wee ‘Memorial Garden’ wherein funereal ashes are spread and wee bronzey plaques put up to commemorate the fertilisers—

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—which leads nicely into the below quote—

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—after which you’ll make the connection.

There’s actually a lotta wisdom in some of them muezzins (at least, as quoted by Fitzgerald). I wish sometimes I could tap into it, perhaps one of ‘em might explain why no matter what I do none of my images in these posts go where I put them. Left, right, or centre all seems to mean left regardless—perhaps it’s just the Divinity rewarding my cynicism …

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KISMET

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WHAT IF

they threw a war,

and

NO-ONE CAME?

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 19.54.13Yeah … right.

“BUT”

they squawk, “but, but but—but you can’t not come when invited! You’ll get invaded, and nasty things might happen!”

Good point, methinks.

If invaded, ancient as I may be, I’d be one of the first down on the beach popping off with mad rapturous employment at the invader. Yes—and me a pacifist! (It takes all sorts, I guess.)

BUT WHEN IT COMES

to going to some other bugger’s country and popping him off I think that it could perhaps be not such a good idea. And not very well thought through anyway.

As always I take umbrage when ‘democratically elected leaders’ come out with gems like these—

“Prime Minister John Key has made the decision – without a parliamentary vote – to send members of our Defence Force to the area. His argument is New Zealand has a moral obligation to stand up for what is right. The two-year mission, due to begin in May, will be reviewed by Cabinet after nine months.

What will our troops be doing?

Based at Camp Taji, 30km north of Baghdad, the New Zealand personnel will help train Iraqi fighters. They will be armed and able to defend themselves but will not go into combat. They will also instruct Iraqis in tactical planning but will not devise actual operations …”

Oops. Not good. In fact, double plus ungood. To suffer more of it, click here.

SENDING TROOPS 

Cheap enough

Cheap enough

or any other bugger into Harm’s Way at government expense (?) is — okay, it should be — never (R) never a government decision. No?

In a (so called)* Democracy it should always be a decision made by the entire enfranchised population. Read it again Sam: entire.

AND

In an instance like the above mentioned unilateral: the guy making that decision should be on the first transporter out. Him, and should he feel any affinity to the concept of conscription, along with him any members of his immediate family capable of bearing arms. No?

ONCE MORE WITH FEELING

Life, Limb, and Treasure belong to each of us as individuals. Not to the blasted Government.

Not unless we are slaves and/or chattels, in which case I’d be more than tempted (are you listening, Sam?) to float a revolution. You know, try to return this would-be to a genuine democracy.

A bit of a forlorn hope, but hey, we idealists are like that …

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KISMET

And as a POST SCRIPT—

stick this (cartoon) where it belongs, somewhere in the comments. After I’d added that last comment I rambled through Google’s collection and found that some unsung genius had posted it — Google, where would we be without you?

Here ’tis:

Cappy

 

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