Saturday, July 29, 2006

Jennifer Beals

Jennifer Beals. Flashdance. The L Word. 43 years old. Oh man.


As I suspected, once I mentioned euthanasia in a forum, discussion really took off. Not exactly an easy subject.

Friday, July 28, 2006


"It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them."
-- P. G. Wodehouse, The Man Upstairs (1914)

... There is some truth to this, for sure. And it is certainly possible to be too apologetic. And if one finds one needs to apologize really frequently, one has better look at what behavior patterns one needs to amend!

But: I find that an apology can be really handy in two conditions: One is when one honestly has f***ed up. Own up to it, and apologize. It really makes a difference to the person one has wronged.
And another is when one is locked in conflict with another person, and there is a lot of unclarity as to who is right and wrong. This can be a complex picture, and can further be obfuscated by high emotions. And I find occasionally that if you press on, you may ruin a friendship. So it can be better to just swallow your pride and think to yourself: I may be right here, but I am not sure, and ultimately it is not important, and just say: "You are right, I am sorry."

I admit none of these things are easy. We all have pride.
And of course it is important not to let people walk all over you.
Some things take a lot of judgement.

Ted Orland photography

I knew Ted Orland had written excellent books, but I'd never taken a closer look at his photos. I'm glad I did now. See for instance his wonderful pictures with the cheap plastic Holga camera.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Granny Weatherwax

In Terry Pratchett's book series DiscWorld, perhaps my favorite character is Esmarelda "Granny" Weatherwax, the oldest witch in Lancre, and the toughest and most powerful, and in some ways the wisest. She reminds me of myself: a heart that can seem like a rock, but really it is an unpolished diamond. :)

In the book Carpe Jugulum, one of the best, she says that evil is defined as "treating people like things".

... Which I think is very wise.
But perhaps it does not say everything about the matter. The "evilest" people certainly seem to treat people not only like things, but like things they hate!

But I do think that a central point in life, and re good and evil, is the innate desire to let everybody rule their own life, totally. Or the opposite, the wish to control people.

How widespread this is, despite most people being good, is shown in the fact that even in these enlightened times, children are still treated like slaves. (Or things.) They are not citizens under the law, and they don't have control over their own lives.

Jump back?

This always amuses me when I think of it:
Twenty years ago I was standing by a pedestrian crossing, waiting for a green light in a sleepy town in Florida. Next to me was a little old Florida woman with blue hair and inch-thick glasses.
On the opposite corner, 50 meters away, a car suddenly decided to take the corner at speed, on screeching tyres.
This was surprising in that quiet morning, so I exclaimed: "God damn!"
The little old lady apparently was a bit hard of hearing, for she looked up at me through her thick glasses and said in a slow, frail voice:
"Jump back?... Why!?... I'm on the sidewalk!... They don't come on the sidewalk!..."

Comments award

It is highly gratifying to see so many humorous and insightful comments on this blog. To celebrate this, one commentator, selected at random from a handful of the single comments I like the best, will win an award. At the end of August, that person can choose between $100 cash or his choice of a photo or drawing of mine printed at 40x60 cm, signed.
I call it a celebration instead of a contest, because obviously there can't be a single "best comment". This is just a gesture.

Foxy Brown

Continuing my eddication in older films, I watched Foxy Brown, mostly because Quentin Tarantino is such a big fan of blacksploitaiton movies and of Pam Grier.
Well, I "watched" most of it on fast forward. Because my question to big Q and other fans is basically: Why?

Admittedly the face and figure of the seventies' Pam Grier is very impressive, but it is the only thing there is, in my view. Mediocre story, mediocre cinematography, and mediocre acting. All in all: what's to love so much?

OK, I am all for all the skin it shows, but it really only takes you so far if you're not drunk. And I've only been drunk once and I did not care for it.

Come to think of it, a main difference between Tarantino and myself is that QT seems to be a huge fan of the seventies. Whereas I have a pact with some of my friends: the seventies did not exist, and they are not mentioned. As far as we are concerned, we went to bed on new years eve 1967 and woke up on new years day 1978.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
- Mark Twain

What am I?

I believe any person is a lot more than just one defined human role.

Prompted by the first part of this wonderful essay, I thought again about what I am.
Am I a photographer? Yes and no.
Am I an artist? Yes and no.
Am I a writer? Yes and no.
Am I an entrepreneur? Yes and no.

I am all of the above, and if you put them all together, they still make only a very tiny tile in the mosaic that... at least I wish to be.

Some of my most important work is pure research into the human condition and into aesthetics, and into communication, and spiritual spheres. But there is no money in that, and the audience is tiny beyond belief, so not many people ever hear of it.

Last but not least, what I am is just a weak hint of what I might be, and I believe this to be true of anybody, and indeed of the human race.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


"A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool usually has his suspicions."
-- Wilson Mizner

... If you think about it, I guess that anything somebody feels compelled to assert loudly and often, is something he has dangerous doubts about.
- eolake

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bob Carlos Clarke took his own life

Photographer Bob Carlos Clarke took his own life

Me, I am of the opinion that a person's life is his own. Laws against suicide are oppressive.

But don't throw yourself in front of a train. Or jump from a tall building. It is not certain, and it upsets a lot of people. There are much safer and better ways to do it. Pills and so on. I don't know much about it, but I hear there are books to help you.

Before it goes that far, perhaps things can get better. For instance I cured my own depressions in three months using EFT.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gnome philosophy

"If you looked at it philosophically, the whole thing about Big and Small was just a matter of size."
- Terry Pratchett, The Bromeliad Trilogy