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MAGICK RIVER



Where 12 rainbow tribes converge and flow like a river to a greater sea...



Last Build Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2018 13:31:39 +0000

 



Grey Filastine ~ Visionary Poet, Percussionist & Prophet of the Apocalypse

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 13:31:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DXLED5HuI8o?rel=0" width="640"> allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XfSVPVVNSvQ?rel=0" width="640"> allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Y_XS_2Hni8w?rel=0" width="640"> allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/A3a7VS63g_w?rel=0" width="640"> allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/opeOBYEFNx0?rel=0" width="640">A selection from Filastine's YouTube channelPhoto: Max ShayA longtime Seattle resident, Filastine has been a part of the hammering rhythm section of anticapitalist tribal-rock/performance troupe ¡Tchkung!, conceiver and founding member of radical marching band Infernal Noise Brigade, and, most recently, a sweat-inducing club DJ and composer of wildly diverse and drrty laptop music. In short, he has spent his artistic life heretofore straddling the line between unrelentingly political statement and action, and the lost-in-music euphoria of the broadest possible definition of pop music. His debut album, Burn It (on kindred avant spirit DJ /rupture’s UK-based Soot Records), steams with juddering hiphop/modern R&B rhythms, South American breaks, North African trance, and a grip of vocal and instrumental contributors from every corner of the world.Recent years have seen an overwhelming influx of Asian and Middle Eastern textures in pop production, with gargantuan hits like “Get Ur Freak On,” “Baby Boy,” and “Toxic” threading undulating tablas, screeching Bollywood strings, etc. into their black-lit melodrama. While some of Burn It’s tracks mine these veins in a way just as instantly gratifying and club ready, Filastine’s appropriations are more legit. A voracious traveler and student of various global musics, he has studied with Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, spent weeks at the feet of the Master Musicians of Jajouka, and dug deep into the ancient-to-the-future music of Brazil. Like many great producers, Filastine is also a great instrumentalist, and his years of rhythmic study lend magnificent depth to Burn It’s varied and intricate programming. [Source: last.fm][Thanks to Gino 'Der Hammer' Galan for alerting me to this extraordinary guy, Filastine, who can magically transmute ugliness into beauty, despair into hope ~ the mark of an authentic artist-shaman! First posted 24 June 2012, reposted 19 November 2013]Some rights reserved © Antares/Magick River You may borrow and/or modify content for your own blog but please credit and backlink, thanks.[...]



WTF, PEOPLE... STILL FAST ASLEEP??? (reprise)

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 19:00:00 +0000

I became aware of the cosmic backdrop to my own existence only at the age of 19, following a spontaneous kundalini experience which opened up my chakras to the perception of multidimensionality. In that heightened state of awareness which mystics call satori (Japanese) or samadhi (Sanskrit), there is absolutely no doubt that every single atom is a living entity endowed with consciousness and that we are integral parts of a magnificent and mysterious web of dynamic energies governed by precise mathematical, musical, and geometric principles.In effect, to conduct our human lives upon this earth with so little consideration of other lifeforms - mineral, vegetable, animal, elemental, angelic, and deific - is a recipe for calamity and eco-apocalypse. Yet, that is how most humans have been programmed over the course of many generations - particularly since the introduction of alphanumeric intelligence and the start of so-called history (which really exposes the Male bias, because what about herstory?)The difference between Aboriginal and Industrial consciousness can be found in the divide between Animism and Book Religion. The animistic mind experiences life as a magical continuum and anything and everything can be charged with spiritual power, even a rock or a river or a tree or a bird.However, the industrial mind tends to quantify and calculate and manipulate, opting for an anthropocentric, anthropomorphic view of the concept of sacredness or divinity. The notion of God as Father or Celestial Lord (with no reference to the Mother Principle or Earth Goddess) marks the beginning of our self-destructive hubris as a technology-using and abusing species.Technology is neutral and can be useful (Internet, digital video, free chat) or totally useless (nuclear weaponry, top-secret crowd and climate control tech like ELF and HAARP and chemtrails).HAARP: the secret technology of climatological warfare?Unfortunately, the warlike gene in Homo sapiens, fueled by testosteronal urges, has pushed us into an evolutionary dead-end where more than 75% of our precious resources are squandered on warfaring when they could easily be utilized for welfaring (to paraphrase holistic thinker Bucky Fuller).No doubt a tiny cabal of well-connected families profit obscenely from perpetual war - while the rest end up enslaved by a benighted economic system or wiped out by large-scale epidemics and unnatural disasters (I won't discuss the possibility of man-made earthquakes, droughts, cyclones and tsunamis but the debate rages on this). Now if you're curious where this is leading... I'm suggesting we take stock of our ontological bearings and re-valuate what our Book Religions have indoctrinated us into unquestioningly believing: that Man is the Crown of Creation, granted dominion over Nature by none other than the Archetypal Patriarch, God Himself! This mode of thinking severs us from the flow of life, makes us insensitive to natural beauty and harmony, and causes us to believe we have a right to colonize other lifeforms and cultures and build vainglorious empires wherever we go. And yet it has been the dominant ethos of human civilizations (so-called) since the Year Dot.To understand where this imperialistic and warlike tendency originates, we shall have to open our minds to the distinct possibility that our "creator gods" were not some "Supreme Being" - but a very much watered-down shadow aspect of the Procreative Force. Sumerian cuneiform tablets dating back 6,000 years refer to these creator gods as Anunnaki; and in the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, they are called the Nephilim (meaning: "Those Who from Heaven Fell to Earth"). This is a very large study and I shall skip the details, leaving the reader a few links with which to begin in-depth research, if so prompted.The way out is also the way back in to our own Core Essence - which is a fractal of the Nuclear Intelligence of All Existence. It doesn't create and enforce artificial hierarchies, nor does it demand sheeplike obedience, or exclusive worship. The idea of a [...]



In Response to the lovely Lisa Lee (updated & revisited)

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 16:15:00 +0000

Early one morning in January 2009 a very charming blogger left this comment on my blog after I had gone to bed. She made some pertinent statements about Malaysian politics that prompted me to respond at length. I feel this exchange deserves to be upgraded to a blogpost in its own right rather than left in the comments section... (thanks for inspiring this post, Lisa!)...Lisa Lee said on Jan 17, 2009 @ 4:32 AM MYT:Honestly, I do wonder if BN will ever lose control? Because the livelihood of many will be affected. Peace and harmony is my hope for Malaysia.The thought of BN losing may impact so many people and for this reason, I hope peace prevails. Desperation sets in and who knows what may happen.Having said that, I hope that Pakatan Rakyat would be a strong cohesive Opposition. Maybe not take over in this sitting but next election, consolidate their hold in Malaysia.I do hope that Malaysia will be like USA (Democrats vs Republicans) and England (Labor vs Conservative) - in a sense that we will have a strong two party system to have the check and balance there.Can you share your views on this? I like to learn from you. TQ :)My dear Lisa,Imagine you're a princess adopted as a baby by pirates who slaughtered your parents, ransacked the palace, and set themselves up as the new government of the land. They spared your life because you were cute and harmless and posed no threat to them (even pirates must have some vague memory of almost-forgotten human feelings). In fact, the pirate king saw that you were destined to blossom into a true beauty and fancied he could acquire royal status by marrying you once you were of age.In other words, you grew up knowing no other authority apart from this band of brigands who began to dress quite well and were soon able to pass themselves off as "respectable folk." Nobody dared inform you who your real parents were and as time passed you came to regard the pirate king as a beloved uncle and trusted him implicitly. After all, he did possess a sort of rakish charm and was actually quite a clever chap (though some might call it "rat cunning"). He told you stories about how he had heroically rescued you from the evil clutches of an ogre and now you owed your life to him and were duty-bound to wed him.One day, walking through a forest, you chance upon a humble cottage and out of curiosity decide to find out who lives there. As you approach the cottage, the front door swings open and a smiling old man steps out to offer you a cup of tea. You accept and soon find yourself engaged in deep conversation with this mysterious hermit of the woods, who reveals the truth of what happened to the land when you were just a newly born.The old man shares with you a secret that forever changes your destiny. He was the loyal adviser to your biological parents, the King and Queen of this land, who were cruelly murdered by the marauders. He managed to escape the massacre and fled to the forest along with a handful of others who have long awaited the day you were old enough to rule the land as the rightful Queen. For years this band of survivors have lived in hidden caves, dreaming of the day when they would be strong enough to reclaim the land and liberate it from pirate dominion. He concludes by asking you if you are ready to take your place as the leader of these true patriots who desire to see the end of pirate misrule and justice restored. Now, this is your current dilemma, Lisa. Having known no other form of government apart from the piratic (and parasitic), can you remember what true leadership is all about? Pull the wool from your eyes and you will see that for decades the Barisan Nasional has attracted mostly those who seek to aggrandize and enrich themselves at the expense of the land and of the people. They care little for the sufferings of the common folk and even less for the health and well-being of the land itself, having inherited the rapacious tendencies of their pirate ancestors who understood only rape, pillage and plunder.In the name of greed[...]



Stories Old and New... That's Right, Folks... It's Just Stories... Stories Within Stories!

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:41:00 +0000

My Family Constellation (with 3 missing siblings who didn't survive entry)HIStory is just the story of the Father Principle - which, many thousands of years ago supplanted HERstory, the story of the Mother Principle. When the Father and Mother Principles realign, reattune and reharmonize - we experience the Sacred Union of Sun and Moon, Yang and Yin, Male and Female. Then the world - or our collective experience of reality - becomes OURstory (although such a word and such a world does not yet exist, but as soon you have read and understood this sentence, it shall!)... and then I can continue to write MYstory, which has always been, and shall always be, a Mystery.On the fourth day of the 11th Gate Master Cylinder, Solara got all of us into small groups so we could write the closing chapter of our Old Stories. Then one day after the Activation Ceremony, we got together again to write the first chapter of our New Stories. Every one of us is essentially a Story - either well or badly told but nonetheless a Story. A Story badly told can be rewritten so it becomes readable. A Story well told will eventually be made into a Blockbuster! LAST CHAPTER OF MY OLD STORYBlessings upon my Godfather (Dr Peter Tong Kwok Kee) for pointing out the stars to me when I was just a few months old - and for igniting in me the spark of intelligence.I was pretty normal until my 18th year when I stumbled upon the Book of Tao, read the first verse, and had goosebumps.A year later I realized - much to my surprise and delight - that I was, in truth, God incarnate.That got me in the mental asylum for three months. The only way I could secure my release was to renounce my divinity.The next 20 years of my life were a slow process of reassembling the scattered pieces of the gigantic jjgsaw puzzle of my multidimensional being.Finally most of the pieces fell into place and I regained access to the whole enchilada.The problem now was, I was afraid to reveal who I truly was - in case I got put away again.Just as well, because my 40 years in the desert gave other aspects of myself time to awaken and reclaim their vastness - so it became safe to finally proclaim my Godhood - safety in numbers!But the greatest joke of all, it was no longer necessary, no longer important nor significant to be "divine" or to even identify with any primordial, deific, or noble lineage.I was content to simply be a human being.I still am. And although I'm a little curious about how it might feel to NOT exist, I'm in no hurry to experience the Ultimate Nothingness - since that's where it all began.End of my old story. Time for tea. And, yes, a cigarette break is always welcome.Antares Maitreya(formerly known as the Ancient of Days)18 November 2012FIRST CHAPTER OF MY NEW STORYWhat next? Who knows and who cares? Well, I do.I know the meaning and purpose of my life - all Life! And I care for every living atom of it. Why? Simply because all of it is ME.On a more "personal" level I want nothing - and everything. I know that acceptance, recognition and reward for being what I am and who I am is already flowing in, like the first rush of water from taps that have long been dry (or just dripping).I know that whatever happens - or doesn't - to the financial system will make no difference to the abundance that I have finally, consciously, learned to receive - and to recirculate freely and universally.I know that the planetary awakening of which my own has been an integral part will accelerate at the speed of love.As more souls emerge from their cocoons, they will go in search of guidance and advice - and I will be here to serve in my own unique capacity.I enjoy teaching and also learning. Aeons of ignorance and misapprehension of what Reality is all about have to be cleared. I happily lend my energies towards this joyful task.I can't think of any specific desires I wish fulfilled - but whatever I wish for will manifest much more swiftly now that I no longer resist being all that I am and more.At th[...]



THE SULTANIZATION OF UMNO LEADERS ~ by Hussein Abdul Hamid

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:12:00 +0000

Here's an excellent essay from blogger Hussein Abdul Hamid that expands on exactly what I've been saying in recent months about Umno...OVER THE YEARS we have seen UMNO assuming the role that was once the prerogative of the Sultans of the various states in Malaysia. It was a process started by the British and ironically concluded by the Malays themselves, albeit through UMNO. These tendencies towards Sultanization have evolved over the years to what it is today – an UMNO president living in splendid isolation in a grandiose palace called Sri Perdana in Putrajaya, surrounded by all the trappings of wealth and power. But I am getting ahead of myself.The quest by UMNO leaders towards their own Sultanization began with a partiality to ostentatious consumption: Zahid Hamidi's very costly watches, silk shirts, expensive suits, really expensive cars, and grand houses. Khir Toyo’s palace is the manifestation of these tendencies to a tee. The Prime Ministers motorcade, the legion of people that seems to surround him everywhere he goes, and the splendid, splendid office at Putrajaya is all par for the course. Of course, to maintain this lifestyle on their meager salaries as Ministers and YB’s means that they are all susceptible to corruption on a grand scale.Personalization of authority In Malaysia all power resides with the Prime Minister. In the state the Mentri Besar title says it all – BIG Minister. This concentration of power in the PM at the federal level and the MB at state level can only give rise to the politics of patronage and nepotism, as all largesse flows from these leaders. The wholesale change that is the norm whenever there is a change of these individuals gives rise to the ‘make hay while the sunshine’ mentality. So where the Sultan was ‘king’ in his state, it is now the Mentri Besar that dispenses favor to the Sultans – in business opportunities, in extending credit to pay gambling debts, in keeping under the lid the excesses of the Royal family.Historical IdentityLike the Sultans who are normally descended from an immediate family tree – UMNO too are comfortable with accepting its leaders when they are descended from families closely associated with UMNO - possibly with the exception of Mahathir – because his Indian background precludes that possibility. But at times, even when your Father is a Class-A leader, his genius will skip a generation or two. How else can you explain Najib and his cousin Hishammuddin?For now the Sultans still cling to being the head of religion in their own states. But we can see this too is increasingly becoming the function of the religious authorities – whose salaries and appointments are the function of the central government – controlled, for now, by UMNO. So, effectively, even in these areas UMNO will have a say if not absolute control to do as it wish – with just a passing nod to the Sultans as a mark of respect.So in reality these UMNO leaders – have not only taken power from the Sultans but have also assumed the Sultanization of their own selves in the very mould of the Sultans that they have now deposed in everything but name.The Malays have always been loyal to their Sultans and are expected to obey their commands unquestioningly. We are all aware what Hang Tuah had to do to appease his Sultan: kill a loyal friend, Hang Jebat. I do not think any Malay today would want to kill a loyal friend for a pretender to the throne that calls itself UMNO. Not when the Sultanization of these pretenders was done without due consideration of the rights and aspirations of the Rakyat.Hussein Abdul Hamid[First posted 23 September 2009, reposted 8 January 2014]Some rights reserved © Antares/Magick River You may borrow and/or modify content for your own blog but please credit and backlink, thanks.[...]



Reflections on Death, Resurrection, and the Afterlife

Sun, 08 Apr 2018 21:35:00 +0000

Weddings and funerals are major social events in every Orang Asli community, bringing everybody together - just as they are in every other community - obviously because they are markers in the cycle of life and death. At Bayo's funeral on June 5th, I listened to the lay preacher (a Temuan from Tanjong Malim Calvary Mission) recite the last rites just before they covered the tiny, hastily knocked-together plywood coffin with earth. Bayo's family is one of two in Pertak Village who converted to Christianity, probably in the 1980s, before the Orang Asli Affairs Department began taking a dim view of missionary incursions (apart from Islamic) into Orang Asli communities."Let this be a reminder to us all," the lay preacher intoned, "that our existence on this earth is only temporary. What God gives, God also takes away. But even death is temporary, for our souls are immortal; and those who believe in Jesus Christ shall live forever in Heaven."It's been a long time since I heard such outright nonsense uttered. I drifted out of earshot and let the brief ceremony proceed. The lay preacher was merely parroting a doctrine handed down a hundred generations. Few question these pious platitudes, because nobody I know has returned from the grave to report on the afterlife (apart from a few who survived near-death experiences and whose stories have been recorded). True, the entire basis of Christianity revolves around the belief that Jesus was bodily resurrected from his tomb and appeared before the Magdalene and the Apostles on what is now known as Easter Sunday. However, the Koran explicitly disputes that the Master Jesus was actually crucified. "Another took his place," the Koran says - and this view is supported by the account of the Christos Incarnations recorded by the oracle, A'shayana Deane (initiate of the Melchizedek Cloister Emerald Order), as well as many other esoteric writings. But as it all boils down to a question of belief and faith, it's pointless to get into a heated debate on this issue, since opinions widely diverge on the subject.The Orang Asli concept of the afterlife isn't all that different from the Christian version - except it doesn't require believing that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. The physical form is only our fleshly baju (clothing), say the Temuan elders. Our roh (soul) does not die and already exists before we are born. Indeed, there doesn't seem to be much difference - apart from terminology - between what animists believe and what Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists claim to believe. The common thread is the idea that the physical form is temporary, and the spiritual essence immortal. Now that is difficult to dispute, seeing as how plants, animals, and humans all go through a specific lifespan and then wither away before our eyes.What distresses me, however, is that this devaluation of physical existence tends to make humans careless about the natural environment, Mother Earth, that gives rise to and supports their being. It makes a big difference whether people regard their homes as permanent and bequeathable - or only rented, and therefore temporary. Why invest so much effort in beautifying a rented property when, at any moment, you might get evicted by the owner? Would this explain why the Earth has been so badly treated by her human tenants? When generation after generation is told by professional priests (regardless of denomination or sect) that their sojourn on Earth is but temporary, that their true home is in the afterlife, can you blame humans for not taking proper care of their bodies - and, by extension, their earthly home? This sort of "teaching" also serves to placate the impoverished masses who might otherwise decide they've had enough of being exploited and oppressed by the "ruling class" and join forces to overthrow the Management (a scenario that has occurred several times within recent history, but invariably it's a case of "[...]



PINK FLOYD ~ PULSE 1994 (full concert!)

Sun, 08 Apr 2018 21:23:00 +0000

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The above videos have been taken down by anal retentive copyright grinches.... but (for now) you can still watch the whole show in HD HERE.... the finale will leave you enraptured!



Where do the brains go when they drain out of Malaysia? That's right, Down Under!

Sat, 07 Apr 2018 10:33:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CVV7kxQdolY?rel=0" width="560">The Lost Thing, which took over three years to create, is a 15-minute fable about a boy in Melbourne who, while collecting bottle caps near a beach, discovers a strange creature that seems to be a combination of an industrial boiler, a crab and an octopus.The son of a Malaysian-Chinese father and an Anglo-Irish mother, Tan, 37, came to filmmaking after a career as an award-winning author and illustrator. The Lost Thing, originally the story of a lost pet, was written by Tan in 1999 "on the kitchen table of a share house." He says the deadpan lead character is partially based on himself as a teenager. That teenager was once interested in becoming a genetic scientist, and studied chemistry and physics as well as continuing a childhood interest in drawing and science fiction, before studying literature and art history at the University of Western Australia.Despite moving to Melbourne in 2007, Brunswick resident Tan remains strongly tied to the west, where he grew up, inaugurating The Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists, (for shcoolchildren aged between five and 17 years) which sponsored by the City of Subiaco. A mural he painted adorns 20 square metres of the wall at the Subiaco Public Library.Andrew Ruhemann, owner and producer of Passion Pictures, worked as a producer at Richard Williams Studios, which made the animated feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He said he was "immediately drawn" to the book of The Lost Thing when he encountered it at the Bologna Children's Book Fair.[Read the rest here.]Andrew Ruhemann & Shaun Tan with their OscarsInterview with 2011 short film Oscar-winner Shaun TanThe 2011 Oscars have awarded The Lost Thing as the Best Animated Short. Check out the full interview with talented filmmakers Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan who reveal how they made the film happen and the journey they took from illustration to CG animation.Congratulations. When did you first write this and how long was this in the making from when you mentioned it to when it actually made the screen?[Tan] Okay. I originally wrote this story in, I think, 1998. I was an unemployed illustrator. I wrote it on the kitchen table of my share house. Worked on it for a year. Developed it as a picture book, which was then published in Melbourne in the year 2000. Shortly afterward, it was exhibited in an international book fair in Italy, which is where Andrew came across the story. And we began discussions about developing it as an animated film at that point. So, the whole project for me has spanned, I guess, some 13 years.So, you originally started as an illustrator. How was that going into animation? CG animation nonetheless?[Tan] Well, I started off as an illustrator with absolutely no formal training aside from high school. And so, when Andrew originally approached me and suggested adapting this for animation, my first reaction was I am not a filmmaker and secondly, (inaudible) and I still managed to do other stuff as an artist. And so, I basically just asked everybody I knew in the film industry about animation, and I started studying handbooks. And also, Andrew came down to both Melbourne and Perth and Western Australia, and we had very intensive story boarding sessions and, I guess, part of that was actually a degree of mentorship. You were explaining to me narrative flow in pictures. I was already working in that in illustrated stories, but film is obviously a different animal and I guess, if anything, it helps me bridge that gap.This is another win for Australia, this category. What do you think is going on down there in the animation business?[Tan] You know, it’s not just animation. As an illustrator, I know it’s in the world of children books (inaudible). It’s something to do with the fact th[...]



Ricardo Chavez Tovar ~ Sacred Ritual As Art

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 08:36:00 +0000

The Muse Is Not Available (December 2009)The Elusive Art of Sacred Ritual“Commercialism and industrialism now threaten, alas, to turn art into just another economic activity - and the artist's ceremonial and magical role into a purely ornamental one. No doubt a certain superstitious awe still attends the artist's endeavors; but in this consumerist age, the artist-shaman's contribution to the success of the hunt has been reduced to churning out effective advertising and public relations for the vulgar new gods of materialism - or fashionable new trends for the children of the privileged.” ~ Antares Maitreya (Inner Technology of Art: Making Public the Private, 2001)It’s not often that I get the chance to quote myself, so I decided to grab this opportunity. I feel the above statement is particularly relevant to what Ricardo Chavez Tovar is all about. He is one among a handful of artists with whom I’m personally acquainted who has consciously reclaimed his magical lineage as a brujo – a practising shaman. Technically, he is as conscientious and competent as any professional artist you will find anywhere in the world. It’s just that Ricardo doesn’t give two hoots about public relations and the glossy hype that permeates the art milieu.I don’t claim to know the man at all, but he apparently knows something about me, since he keeps inviting me to officiate at his openings. And now he is twisting my arm to write a foreword for his catalog, even though he must suspect I no longer feel fired up enough about art to wish to pontificate about it. In any case, Ricardo says I should view it as an honor and not a chore, and so I will.Rare photo of the artist with some of his studentsRicardo Chavez Tovar will always be an enigma - perhaps even to himself. I won’t attempt to expound upon his equally enigmatic and intriguing art. Indeed, to approach his work on the cerebral level seems sacrilegious. It would be as uncouth and ungracious as furtively extracting dead skin cells from the fingers of the Muse for laboratory analysis, instead of ecstatically surrendering to her tender caresses.One thing is certain: Ricardo Chavez Tovar is not bothered by the games people tend to play and the elaborate pretenses that surround the rarefied precincts of fashionable and marketable art. Would he otherwise spend months and years working on exhibits that can’t be sold and proudly displayed in the finest suburban homes?Nonetheless, having said that, I can picture Ricardo’s evocative installations occupying pride of place in some prestigious contemporary art museum anywhere in the civilized world - so I hope he maintains an open mind about the prospect of sudden, unexpected global acclaim.Altar to the Muse (December 2009)What drives the man, then, to such unimaginable intensities of feeling and artistic arousal? If the word “religious” didn’t carry such a heavy burden of negative connotations, I would apply it to Ricardo’s art. After all, he was born Mexican: a tempestuous genetic and cultural mix of Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Toltec, Aztec and Conquistador. His blood is infused with the otherworldly song of stars; and with the colors, flavors and textures that inspire vivid murals. His cellular memories encompass galaxies and constellations. The mystery of death fascinates and obsesses him as powerfully as the secret of life. His imagination is fired equally by the divine and the diabolical. You could call him a regenerate pagan, a renegade human.Ricardo’s series of installations dedicated to the Muse - conspicuously absent, yet ubiquitously present - now exist only in photographic form lovingly documented by Ung Chirt Min - having been exhibited to no more than a tiny number of hardcore aficionados. In effect, Ricardo Chavez Tovar is one of those rare artists who can operate quite happily without an audience, [...]



And the beat goes on ~ a percussive interlude!

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 17:31:00 +0000

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What these amazing talents reveal... is that you don't need multi-billion-dollar budgets to get astounding results. Those who can't afford expensive equipment can improvise with plastic buckets, a bicycle, even an invisible drum kit!

Yup... it's all a matter of timing, folks... keep your spirits upbeat.... won't be long now... it will be curtains for Umno/BN!

[First posted 24 August 2012]





Sahara Yaacob ~ songs from an unrecorded album

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 10:08:00 +0000

SAHARA YAACOBMusic by Tommaso CecereWords by Antares Maitreya© 1995GO CRAZY (TILL THE BREAK OF DAY)every night when the light goes outi'll be thinking about youi don't know what it is that i missbut it's something about youi'm goin’ crazythink i’ll slip on my high-heels &go dancin’ till the break of dayi've been told that the man in the moonis an old has-beenhe used to work in hollywoodcleaning out the stars’ latrinesi'm goin’ crazythink i’ll slip on my high-heels &go dancin’ till the break of daywell it's hard to be a red-blooded womanand a lady toopeople talk behind your back regardless of the factsno matter what you doi'm goin’ crazythink I’ll slip on my high-heels &go dancin’ till the break of daylet the bad old world spin around on its taili'll only show you what i can unveili'm doin’ all i can to help &hoping that my strength won’t fail (won't fail won't fail won't...)i‘m goin’ crazy (baby)think i’ll slip on my high-heels &go dancin’ with the devil till the (goddamn) break of day("hey let's go! crazy! till the break of day!")SINCE I FOUND YOU friends all say i should run away or pay the price don't know whyevery time i sigh i end up crying i have to decide if this feeling inside is what i'm hiding from myselfbut however i tryi just can't deny i find i'm climbing much highersince i found you life's been so full so beautiful joyful & true [CHORUS:]WHERE DO YOU COME FROM? SOME HEAVENLY SPHERE? I'M SURE THAT YOU'RE NOT FROM HERE WHERE WILL YOU TAKE ME? WHAT WILL YOU MAKE ME? WHY DON’T I FEEL ANY FEAR? HOW CAN I PLEASE YOU? I NEVER WILL CEASE TO THANK YOU FOR EASING MY WAY NOW THAT YOU'RE NEAR ME I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME WHISPER MY LOVE IN YOUR EAR [SPOKEN:]Teach me the language of angelsSo I can share the secrets of your heart My Beloved, Soul of my Soul, We’re One, you and me,United and free From now till eternityfriends wanna know why there's a glow from my soul so hard to explainbut I’ll sing you this sweet refrain i have to confess i’m at a different addressand my new home is where i can rest but however i tryi just can't deny i find i’m climbing much higher since i found youlife's been so full so beautiful joyful & true [REPEAT CHORUS]TIT FOR TATyou can call it luckor you can say it's fateyou can call me a ladyor you can rake up the muckwell i found out the hard waythe world’s not an easy placefor a girl who wants to have her say‘cos they only see your pretty faceHYPOCRITES & ARISTOCRATSI SHOW YOU A TIT IF YOU GIVE ME A TATHYPOCRISY’S PART OF DEMOCRACYHEY DON’T YOU KNOW IT’S TIT FOR TATBULLSHIT! DON’T YOU GIVE ME THATI’m an advocate of love - mmmmm - not hateand i have had enough of your purr-litical debatesome folks like to open doorssome defecate on floorsthen they’ll accuse you of some crimewhen they slip and fall in their own slime[CHORUS X 2]i’m an advocate of love - baby - not hateand i have had my fill of your furr-natical dictatesome folks like to open doorssome defecate on floorsthen they’ll accuse you of some crimewhen they slip and fall in their own slimeyou can call it luckor you can blame it on fateyou can call me anything you want babefrankly i d0n’t give a f--kwell i found out the hard waythat the world’s not an easy placefor a girl who wants to have her saythey want to see a pretty faceHYPOCRITES & ARISTOCRATSI’LL SHOW YOU A TIT IF YOU GIVE ME A TATHYPOCRISY’S PART OF DEMOCRACYHEY DON’T YOU KNOW IT’S TIT FOR TATTIT FOR TAT TIT FOR TATBULLSHIT! DON’T YOU GIVE ME THATMY LOVE IS AN OCEAN   all my lifeI’ve been trying to findsomeone who can seewhat's on my mindbut all this timeI’ve been so blindthat someone i was looking forwas right behindin another life we shared a love so truewe were such a perfect pair[...]



And now, labies & genitalmen... how about some prehistoric rap?

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 15:11:00 +0000

CHUCK THE DUCKhow now laotse maotse cowboy tung taodungneed ye grow olde if you never been jungwhy sigh fakeye take a break snakeyerecall being born forget to diebake a cake stay awake cry for joyO! blakeyeshout aloud jump about fall on your rumppigs roast slowest that are most plumpcook a plot write a book rob a crook run riotkeep quiet look tired don't sleep go on dietsmart tart twit her twat now whatdon't fartbig ben beats crime pleasemen cheat timepeahen eats grime in the pigpenbleed greed breed weed feed your mindgo blind grow grass quit the line feel finesmoke a toke don't choke vat 69's no jokeice floe nice shmoe g.i. joe gung hoedgar poe deathrownow bow say grace meow ratrace great place powwow flatfacetightroped pooped pope wallops trollops in the craptraprubin rude rapes bob hope & raps the cape of good dopegrunt grope chomp chow chew bread it's homemadedull as lead get weighed your shell be shedyour soul be free so flee fly flow fledgo right ahead mister blister my sisterwho can resist her she's such a sprightly maidbut don't sue me if you don't get laidthe mayor learned his trade wellthe player played the part swellthey made their cellmates burn in hellblue petulance expels true flatulence propelsyour dad poohpoohs smells bad he's a cadsells your mum to alan laddmum's glum dad's sad you're mad we're gladplatypus flatus & oedipus status are to blameshame shame! captain ahab's bladder's inflamedand jacob's ladder can't take the strainit'll crack that's a fact you'll land smack whackthwackon your backside & spill your brainswhat a pain it's insane too much! you'll be crippled & lameas such you'll need a crutch:maurice suggests you change your gamehorace requests a change of namebut boris professes you'll be the sameeverything's done where's the fun? there's noneevery song to sing's sung every pun to spin's spunhonkytonky monkspunk anybawdy anynun granny frannyjurisprufrock's earthquacker in hanniballoon crunchsanny franny petticrockers crisco crackersfor cannibaboon brunchthink of gin sink in gum drink some rum dream of rintintinall's fair balls square scream in fright uptight delightin lassie's breath & aleph bethhenry stanley & livingstone's boneshuge rods huger cones buck jones &being alone with deathflint splinter frog friggerdread fred be bold don't enrol feel bluesee red lose your head regain controlprayers said so stay in bedflip flop plip plop gyrotop wobblesstops & drops down manhole &polecats tapdance on tiptoewith pipco tadpolesclick clock bloody cop with hickory cockgoebbels shit hot in the pit of the pot ofthe ruddy rotten ruckfuck ladyluck!get suckedget pluck come unstucklet yourself be struckdeadchuck the duckI wrote this bit of doggerel in 1970 - never suspecting that 20 years later, this sort of staccato rhyming by free association would explode into a global artform called rapping or hip-hop. The title was inspired by the late Charles E. Gaunt III, my drama teacher at West Essex High School, whom some of us nicknamed Chuck the Duck.Of course, I can't lay claim to having invented the rap form. This is what Wikipedia says:Rapping can be traced back to its African roots. Centuries before hip hop music existed, the griots of West Africa were delivering stories rhythmically, over drums and sparse instrumentation. Such connections have been acknowledged by many modern artists, modern day "griots", spoken word artists, mainstream news sources, and academics.Anyway, Chuck the Duck was turned into a hip-hop number by the incredibly versatile and talented Rafique Rashid - back in the days when we used to hang out together a great deal. He still has the original 4-track cassette master but he gave me a copy which I recently digitized and uploaded here.A few years later, the [...]



Reposting THE BARD IN MANGLISH ~ Julius Caesar (Act I, Scene 2)

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 12:33:00 +0000

Who said kennot? You orways tink defler Shakespeare wankain hard to understand, so waffor you bodder to read de bladibarger? No ploblem lah – now oridi terangslated into Proper Manglish, so seemple oni. Got no space to print de hole ting, eggcerpt enough lah. Dis one from Julius Caesar. Vely famous one dis play  - got murder, got politics, but sorry lah, no sex (becos in Italy ah, got Mona Lisa but no Mona Fandey, remember her ornot, Rosmah’s infamous step-aunty?) Wen people see you reading dis dey weel tink you got cowture wan. Orait man!Shakespearean                            Manglish Caesar: Let me have men about me that are fat; sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o’ nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; he thinks too much. Such men are dangerous. Caesar: Aiseh betayuall fatty bom-bom makan all de taim one; Brylcreem your hair lah, and at night sleeping like a pig oni. Defler Cassius orways looking so skeeny like one year never eat; orways tinking too much. Aitelyu ah, dis kain of fler helluva dangerous. Antony: Fear him not, Caesar, he’s not dangerous; he is a noble Roman, and well given. Antony: Aiyah, Caesar, no nid to skad him one, hauken defler dangerous? He got class one, orways spik nicely and wearing stylo one. Caesar: Would he were fatter! But I fear him not, Yet if my name were liable to fear, I do not know the man I should avoid so soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much. He is a great observer, and he looks quite through the deeds of men.He loves no plays, as thou dost, Antony; he hears no music, seldom he smiles, and as if he mock’d himself, and scorn’d his spirit that could be mov’d to smile at anything. Such men as he be never at heart’s ease whiles they behold a greater than themselves, and therefore they are evry dangerous.I rather tell thee what is to be fear’d than what I fear; for always I am Caesar. Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf, and tell me truly what thou think’st of him. Caesar: I oni weesh we can call him fatso! But ackchwurly I not skad him. Say oni lah, sahposing I am a takut fler, I woon go near dat bamboo-stick Cassius. Orways reading book, see everyting wankain oni, aitelyu nobody can blarf de bladibarger one.Never fool araun, not like you lah, Antony; he never lissen music. Seldom oni smailing, and wen he smail, like buaya oni, tweested lah, I tink maybe defler doan like himself or wat, as if oni stoopid ijiot like to smail one. Flers like dat ah, kennot relak one – until dey bekum Nombor Satu. Dat’s why aiseh very dangerous.Oni telling you why you must wochaut lah – not to say I am skad of any barger; hauken Caesar skad, I arsk you? Eh, you come over here, my left ear got lobang kennot hear properly. Den you tell me frankly spikking wat yuting of defler. [Sennet. Exeunt Caesar & his Train.]Casca: You pulled me by the cloak. Would you speak with me? [Kompang. Caesar & his Member semua keluar.]Casca: Why you catch my sarong? You wan to tok, tok lah, doan pull my baju ok? Brutus: Ay, Casca; tell me what hath chanc’d today, that Caesar looks so sad Brutus: Ya, Casca; wat happen just now ah, why Caesar looking wankain teruk oni? Casca: Why, you were with him, were you not? Casca: I thot you saw oso wat, waffor you arsk me? Brutus: I should not then ask Casca what had chanc’d. Brutus: No, man, dat’s why arsking you. Casca: Why, there was a crown offer’d him; and being offer’d him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a-shouting. Casca: Aiyah, people gif him chan t[...]



Passing Wind & The Paranormal Music Society ~ featuring Linsey Pollak @ Professor Squealy Deetbum!

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 12:06:00 +0000

One of the most amazing artists I had the privilege of bumping into in 1991 on my first visit to Australia (sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs) was a muso named Linsey Pollak, who happened to be creating some music for Doppio Teatro (a trilingual touring theatre company founded by Teresa Crea) .I knew he was amazing within minutes of our meeting. How so? I showed him my Balinese flutes and he tried one out and instantly was able to coax the sweetest sounds out of it. At the time I didn't know Linsey could coax sweet sounds out of garden hoses and broomsticks. Linsey gave me a cassette his group - the Paranormal Music Society - had recently released, which featured Linsey playing, among other odd instruments, the kitchen sink and a rubber glove gaida (a miniature bagpipe made from a surgical glove - that's right, another Pollak invention).Twenty-one years later, I chance upon Linsey Pollak yet again - this time on YouTube. Actually, I was looking for some inspiring music to feature on this blog and did a search for the Paranormals. The original band seems to have disappeared - but Linsey Pollak is just as amazing and musically alive as ever, perhaps even more so. Indeed, I regard this unassuming genius as one of the most masterful musicians I have ever been inspired by. Linsey Pollak certainly gives Didier Malherbe (wind instrumentalist with Gong) and Jan Garbarek a jolly good run for their money... and he's a damn lot funnier! allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0HPunnxqGW0?rel=0" width="640">The Paranormal Music Society consisted of: Professor Crivici (Romano Crivici) on keys and violin; Frank Brutal (Blair Greenberg) on percussion and guitar; and Denis Bland (Linsey Pollak) on winds (of many persuasions). The Paranormals (as they were fondly called) had a cult following in Sydney and were known for channeling the works of dead composers (especially Hidegarde Spumoni, a lesser known Baroque composer) and playing music whose notes were determined by rolls of a giant dice. They improvised requests called out by the audience. Things like: the pinnacle guinea pig races, haddock, Bob Marley goes to Turkey, Rawhide and so on. They recorded two albums (but only released one, Moving On), They were a legend in their own time. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lWLk8lgyyc4?rel=0" width="640">Devised by Linsey, Out of the Frying Pan was commissioned by The Out of The Box Festival in Brisbane, directed by Chris Willems and produced by Performing Lines. It created music from house and garden objects with a cast of musician/actors that included Ceri McCoy, Jorge Rico, Penny Glass, Kari and Linsey. It was a show for 3-8 year olds that created music from bottles, glasses, brooms, mops, chairs, a ladder, rubbish bins, a garden fork, an ironing board, a carrot, inflatable trousers, a hammer, a kettle, a pumpkin, etc, etc. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MPDFIHb88Bw?rel=0" width="640"> allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Cd6gq6ifVLo?rel=0" width="640">The Art of Food ~ solo show (1999-2002) directed by Mark Bromilow Ivan is a home-styled kitchen-hand with a difference. He's eccentric, hilarious and totally irresistible. And he lives in a musical world where anything is possible. From the moment Ivan walks into the kitchen, everything becomes musical: carrots, potatoes, satay sticks, meat cleavers, and even an electric drill, with which he transforms a carrot into a clarinet before our very eyes. This musical world that Ivan crea[...]



Camel or rope, still can't squeeze through! (revisited)

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 08:08:00 +0000

"And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." ~ Matthew 19:24This well-known quote from the New Testament attributed to the apostle Matthew has been the subject of endless debate over the centuries. Some scholars say that the Master Yeshua (called "Jesus" by modern-day Christians) wasn't referring to a camel but to a rope. One bible study site I stumbled upon while researching this subject has this to say:Jesus and all the Jews spoke a language called Aramaic, and the word gamla meant either a camel or a large rope, just as we have words which are spelled the same, but have different meanings. And some of the earlier translators or copyists must have taken the wrong meaning here. For no one would ever talk about a camel going through a needle's eye. But every Jewish house had several large ropes, that were used to tie bundles on the backs of men and animals.Even in Greek the camel-rope confusion persists. The Greek word for "thick rope" is kamilos; and "camel" is kamelos. But in wasting so much breath arguing about whether the Master meant "rope" or "camel" many theologians have completely missed the point.And the point is the Eye of the Needle. Graphically, you can visualize it as a very narrow aperture that the thread absolutely has to squeeze through if you want to do any sewing with it.I prefer to use "more scientific" terminology by calling it the Frequency Scanner. What, you may ask, is a "frequency scanner"? The secular definition is what radio buffs would be familiar with and it has to do with identifying the source of radio transmissions by means of a vast database of terrestrial radiowave frequencies.As I'm not a radio buff I generally go with the "spiritual" definition wherein the Frequency Scanner is what measures an individual's auric purity and molecular integrity. All of us are born with hardwired frequency scanners which we may not necessarily be aware of. Those who unconsciously use their frequency scanners to suss other people might call it "intuition" or "instinct" or "following their gut feelings."The Eye of the Needle, therefore, is a powerful metaphor for the perfectly natural process of self-selection whereby each soul determines its own onward evolution - or otherwise. Each of us must gather all the different threads of our genetic memories and converge them into a single point, in order to penetrate the most modest of apertures - the vulva of a vestal virgin, who represents the call of the Mother of all Goddesses, to return to our divine origins in her cosmic womb and be reborn anew.I view the soul's pilgrimage through the fields of density and complexity as the method by which the Atman (Divine Self) gathers experiential data and then rearranges it to generate coherent patterns, which often take the forms of sacred geometry. If you imagine each life as a colored thread warping and woofing through the tapestry of eternity, it's almost inevitable that you will eventually begin to perceive the grand mandala of Life Itself and experience a glorious eureka moment.Was the Master Yeshua a closet socialist? Why such a pronounced prejudice against rich folks? When he is quoted as saying there's no way a rich man can gain entry into "the kingdom of God" - does he mean this literally? Or was it just a bad hair day for Jesus that yielded this particular injunction?My sons-in-law are all fairly rich guys. And I consider them decent and goodhearted souls. The only essential difference between us is that they are almost entirely focused on building their businesses and ensuring their families enjoy the very best that life can offer - while I'[...]



The real change is happening quietly, inwardly, unreported and unnoticed...

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:42:00 +0000

Adversarial politics, as practised in Malaysia, is every bit as polluting as the worst kinds of industries. The toxicity, in this instance, is mainly psychic, and results in clouding up the real issues.On the second day of 2012, Raja Petra Kamarudin let off a loud and extremely smelly fart in the face of Pakatan Rakyat by declaring Anwar Ibrahim "morally unfit" to become Malaysia's 7th prime minister. The fact that RPK chose to do so via the Umno-owned media, a few days ahead of the January 9th sodomy trial judgement reveals that his intent was to inflict maximum damage on Anwar. What has transpired between these erstwhile political allies to sour their relationship is unknown to me and, no doubt, will be the subject of much speculation. In 1998 when Anwar Ibrahim was sacked as deputy prime minister and finance minister and viciously booted out of Umno, RPK rose to his defence by inaugurating the online Free Anwar Campaign. Either RPK didn't buy the malicious gossip that Anwar is bisexual - or it didn't really matter to him then.Well known to be a maverick and loose cannon, RPK isn't someone who can join any club without ultimately coveting the position of supremo. He has an ego that matches his mercurial intelligence - and his immense popularity in the period leading up to and after GE12 was largely due to the sheer audacity of his "No Holds Barred" column in Malaysia Today.Soon after RPK went into self-exile to avoid another stint in Kamunting, he collaborated with Pakatan Rakyat leaders to forge a united front against Umno/BN. However, disagreements in strategy must have arisen, leading to the formation of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) supported by concerned citizens who didn't necessarily wish to be embroiled in partisan politics but were convinced that the primary goal was to remove Umno/BN from power.AS MCLM started gaining credibility and clout, RPK began criticizing Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat over what he perceived as their weaknesses and shortcomings. He made it clear that his own mission to restore good governance and justice in Malaysia was above party politics - and, as such, it was his duty to "whack" politicians on both sides of the BN/PR divide whenever they got out of line. Fair enough, and those of us who admired RPK's guts and brilliant mind were happy to endorse MCLM's public outreach activities.However, just before the Sarawak elections, RPK stunned the nation by agreeing to be interviewed in Australia by TV3. The gist of his revelations was that he had been misled and left in the lurch by a conspiracy to thwart Najib Razak's rise to power and replace him with Tengku Razaleigh as interim prime minister. The edited interview focused on RPK's declaration that he had no evidence of Rosmah Mansor's involvement with Altantuya's gruesome execution - and that he had accepted on good faith the testimony of one Colonel Azmi Zainal Abidin, a military intelligence officer. RPK added that the military intelligence report he had been shown no longer existed.The timing of RPK's TV3 interview created shockwaves amongst his fans and many turned against him, convinced that he had finally succumbed to temptation and reneged on his own principles. After a few months, the antagonism subsided but avid followers of Malaysia Today had grown a little wary of RPK's volatile temperament.With his latest move, conspiring with the utterly despised Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times to dismiss Anwar Ibrahim's candidacy as prime minister, RPK has lost even more admirers - perhaps permanently this time.RPK, of course, is entitled to his views on what cons[...]



A liquid poem by Weedflower

Sun, 04 Mar 2018 22:36:00 +0000

(image)
MAGICK RIVER

The first time we met
Unaware I was swept away
Hesitant resistance
I dip my toe in the river

The second time we met
Trust in myself and then you
A tribute engaged
I walked in the river

The third time we met
We embrace and dance
Surrender and control
Intertwined we played

Now my legs are dipped
And soon my being will flow
In the vastness of you
I'll come and visit
to remember
to remember

Photo & poem by Weedflower aka Paik Yin.
First posted 10 February 2011.






An Enlightening Chat With Robert Happé

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 21:34:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/durNVS_EYso" width="560">

(image) Robert Happé was born in Amsterdam, Holland. He dedicated himself to discover the meaning of life and studied religions and philosophies in Europe. He also studied Buddhism, Vedanta and Taoism in the Far East for a period of 14 years, while living and working with people of different cultures, such as the Indian, Nepalese, Tibetan, Cambodian and Taiwanese.

On his return to Europe he felt the need to share his experiences in consciousness and did so at various universities, where he learned to work and share information with groups of people who were interested in self-development and discovering their true potential as creative beings.

Since 1987, he has been sharing information in the form of seminars in many European countries, as well as South Africa, Australia, USA, Argentina and Brazil.

He works independently and is in no way associated with any religious organizations, cult or group.

[Kindly brought to my attention by Gushiv Wo. First posted 23 March 2010]



RECOLONIZING THE NATIVES (revisited)

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 18:34:00 +0000

I UNDERSTAND the colonial mind extremely well. That's because the memory of having been a series of megalomaniacal empire-builders remains vividly imprinted in my deep psyche and prompts me to do everything in my power to warn the present generation against the insidious dangers of attempting to impose a rigid control grid over forces beyond our comprehension.Perhaps this explains my visceral rejection of all forms of bureaucratic arrogance and misguided efforts to "civilize and domesticate" the natural world. Much as I love my sister, daughter #1, son-in-law, granddaughters, and all my beautiful nieces, nephews, cousins and grandnieces in Singapore - I'm always loath to visit the so-called Merlion City with all its infamous restrictions (no smoking in public places except where specially designated; and, in the old days, no longhaired men which necessitated my buying a shorthair wig just to gain entry).In November 2009 I had a close encounter with bureaucratic heavyhandedness which left a slightly sour taste in my mouth. It all arose over the hoo-ha a local businessman raised about the illegal road upgrading project in Pertak Village. This guy happens to be a member of PPP (People's Progressive Party) and a close friend of Dato' T. Murugiah (left), deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department who oversees the Public Complaints Bureau.I was surprised to receive a phonecall from T. Murugiah's personal assistant, a very pleasant lady named Shamini Bhaskaran, asking me for some background to the situation. So I wrote her a long email detailing the scenario and, before I knew what was happening, was informed that Dato' T. Murugiah was planning a visit to Pertak Village to see for himself what was going on. But before he could do so, he required a formal complaint to be lodged with his department, so I accepted the role - since Murugiah's businessman friend was unwilling to expose himself to the risk of losing the support of local bureaucrats who largely remain loyal to the Barisan Nasional.On 15 September I had been visited by three Special Branch officers who informed me they were investigating a police report lodged against me by one Rapi Bata Abdullah - an Orang Asli Muslim convert and Umno member who had written a letter to Kuala Kubu Bharu state assemblyman Wong Koon Mun (right) requesting that the old logging trail through the Pertak forest reserve be asphalted.To legitimize his request, Rapi had persuaded Bidar Chik, Batin of Pertak, to sign the letter. According to the SB officers, Rapi Bata had accused me of "obstructing" his road upgrading project (and thereby opposing "development" for the marginalized Orang Asli). He also alleged I was an agent of Western environmentalists and was harboring "Mat Salleh" activists - that's right, who are all jealous of Malaysia's success (yup, Mahathir has certainly left his indelible mamark... oops, I mean, mark on an entire generation of civil servants)!This was followed by a visit from several high-ranking officers from the Selangor JHEOA (Orang Asli Affairs Department) who gently reproached me for bypassing them and going straight to the Public Complaints Bureau. I told them to their face that if it were up to me I would shut down their department without hesitation. Of course, I'd ensure that the people who worked in JHEOA would either be reassigned to other departments - or be given a generous payout so they could start their own businesses or acquire some useful skills.Murugiah is crowned King of PPP in a party coup staged in May 2009Dato' T. Murugiah's visit, originally scheduled for [...]



Alan Watts and The Skin-Encapsulated Ego (reprise)

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:25:00 +0000

Several decades ago I stumbled upon the writings of a wry English theologian and philosopher named Alan Watts (1915-1973).I owe Alan Wilson Watts a huge debt of gratitude for having provided me effortless access to the essence of Eastern mysticism as expressed in the Tao Te Ching and the basic tenets of Zen. Ironic, isn't it, that someone like me whose physical body can be categorized as "Asian" has to engage the timeless teachings of Eastern mystics through the medium of an Englishman's mind?The most endearing - and enduring - quality of Alan Watts's writing is its elegant, poetic lucidity, and the tangible warmth of his exquisitely noble personality. Watts had the uncanny knack of drawing his readers gently into his private thought-streams and lofty musings minus the intellectual haughtiness of so many run-of-the-mill academics.Brian CameronPicking up one of his books was akin to enjoying a leisurely walk in the woods with a totally affable and erudite friend. Alan Watts showed me the sheer joy of being alive and fully aware of the world around me. He was a shining example of someone perfectly comfortable with himself and his physical surroundings; whose laser-sharp, inquiring mind was ceaselessly probing the outer limits of thought and perception.The insights Alan Watts gleaned from his own intense study of Eastern mystical traditions were refreshing, vigorous, transcendental. Oftentimes it takes an "outsider" to appreciate the essence of and to add contemporary value to a long-established cultural and philosophical system.Much has been written about Zen consciousness but few can match the limpidity with which Watts explains the meaning of "Is-ness." Allow me to quote from The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts (published 1951):What is the use of planning to be able to eat next week unless I can really enjoy the meals when they come? If I am so busy planning how to eat next week that I cannot fully enjoy what I am eating now, I will be in the same predicament when next week’s meals become “now.”If my happiness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present. I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass. For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now. If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.After all, the future is quite meaningless and unimportant unless, sooner or later, it is going to become the present. Thus to plan for a future which is not going to become present is hardly more absurd than to plan for a future which, when it comes to me, will find me “absent,” looking fixedly over its shoulder instead of into its face.Naked Maja by Francisco GoyaHowever, of all the unforgettable and profound gems of truth I gleaned from reading several books by Alan Watts, one that stands out above everything else is his description of the individuation process as the formation of the skin-encapsulated ego.Watts observed that as babies we tend towards "polymorphous perversity" (an inspired phrase coined by the noted psychologist William James). This means the boundaries are vague that separate us as individuals from our external environment - and therefore the infant finds every sensation erotically charged. It doesn't matter what the baby is experiencing - the feel of its own soiled nappy, a puddle of warm[...]



Keep The Ravioli In Orbit, Folks!

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:23:00 +0000

Eris, goddess of discord, courtesy of SilverStarROBERT ANTON WILSON ~ "Secret Agent of Synchronicity"* (1932-2007)Truth be told I'm not much of a joiner (and I'm a sorry excuse for a carpenter too). However, a few months ago I was prompted to join a Facebook Group that calls itself Keep The Ravioli In Orbit - inspired, no doubt, by Robert Anton Wilson's legendary throwaway credo: "Keep The Lasagna Flying, Folks!" Watch this highly instructive video:Some of you may want to know just who Robert Anton Wilson is - oops, he hated the word "is" so I'll rephrase that. You may want to know what Robert Anton Wilson apparently signified (the past tense is a minor concession to the popular notion that the Great Man discarded his hydrocarbon-protein spacesuit on 11 January 2007). I dedicated a blogpost in May 2007 to RAW that offers a brief overview of his colossal contributions to Consciousness and Cosmic Humor. What about the Facebook Group, Keep The Ravioli In Orbit - A Tribute To Robert Anton Wilson? Well, I must confess that I was mighty chuffed to receive a notice from Steven Pratt, Dish Washer of the Group, that he had anointed me Artichoke Duke and Lord of Keep The Ravioli In Orbit. An honor such as this does not come one's way every day. And so, to commemorate this entirely random event, I've chosen to publish a selection of juicy quotes borrowed from the homepage of the Group...."The greatest of all crimes are the wars that are carried on by governments, to plunder, enslave, and destroy mankind. The next greatest crimes committed in the world are equally prompted by avarice and ambition; and are committed, not on sudden passion, but by men of calculation, who keep their heads cool and clear, and who have no thought whatever of going to prison for them. They are committed, not so much by men who violate the laws, as by men who, either by themselves or by their instruments, make the laws; by men who have combined to usurp arbitrary power, and to maintain it by force and fraud, and whose purpose in usurping and maintaining it is by unjust and unequal legislation, to secure to themselves such advantages and monopolies as will enable them to control and extort the labor and properties of other men, and thus impoverish them, in order to minister to their own wealth and aggrandizement. The robberies and wrongs thus committed by these men, in conformity with the laws, - that is, their own laws - are as mountains to molehills, compared with the crimes committed by all other criminals, in violation of the laws." - Lysander Spooner"The normal is that which nobody quite is." - Arlen Riley Wilson"And the Beast said,By their pee shall ye judge themAnd by your pee shall ye be judgedAnd all shall be judged by their peeAnd in the snow shall their names be written"-Stun de Xim, Book of TSOG"Is," "is," "is" — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment." - Sigismundo Celine, The Historical Illuminatus"A change in language can transform our apprehension of the cosmos."- Benjamin Lee Whorf"Animals outline their territories with their excretions, humans outline their territories by ink excretions on paper." - RAW, Prometheus Rising"Events which appear crude or offensive in the instant may become, with a change of perspective, somewhere between droll and riotously funny."Hannibal Lecter, M.D."Do not pester people at home.Do not annoy them at work.Leave them alone, or they [...]



Meeting the late great Michael Hedges 20 years later...

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:21:00 +0000

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Published 12 March 2012

This is a rare concert/documentary about Michael Hedges released in 1998. The video contains live interviews with Hedges as well as concert footage of an unreleased Lake Tahoe concert that occurred in 1996 and has a few songs with Michael Manring, his bassist compadre. The stage is right on the water, which makes for an unforgettable experience. Sadly, Michael Hedges died in 1997 in car accident in Mendocino County in northern California. This video is meant to preserve his music and provide a brief glimpse at his charismatic personality.

Song List:

0:23 Jitterboogie
3:08 Ritual Dance
6:07 Baal T'shuvah (Live)
8:10 Baal T'shuvah (in Studio)
11:20 Face Yourself
19:47 Dirge
23:41 The Enormous Room (Michael Manring)
25:49 Ignition
29:26 Rough Wind in Oklahoma
36:47 Jabberwocky
40:30 Fusion of Five Elements
44:01 Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan Cover)
51:22 Ragamuffin



Andy McKee ~ Amazing Fingerstyle Virtuoso

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 19:20:00 +0000

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[Thanks to Divya Nair for introducing me to Andy McKee!]

NOW HERE'S 11-YEAR-OLD SUNGHA JUNG DOING A COVER OF ANDY MCKEE'S RYLYNN...

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[First posted 5 January 2009]



What Rhymes With Aphrodisiac? An Interview with Rob Brezsny

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 08:20:00 +0000

Found this brilliant interview with ROB BREZSNY - multidimensional genius without portfolio - conducted by Sarah Phelan for Metro Santa Cruz in August 2005. I just have to blog it, if only because Brezsny comes pretty close to saying it all for me, and probably a lot more elegantly too!GRAVE ENCOUNTERIn which we bury a symbol of paranoia in an effort to break on through to the other side with astrologer Rob BrezsnyBy Sarah PhelanPhotographs by Dina ScoppettoneIt began with an email from Rob Brezsny, that renegade genius whose syndicated Free Will Astrology column runs in 130 newspapers nationwide, including Metro Santa Cruz. Only this time Brezsny, who lived in Santa Cruz for 14 years and has since moved to Marin, wasn't writing horoscopes, but pushing his newest book, Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia (North Atlantic Books; $19 paper)."Reading it is interesting and helpful, too, but a lot of good stuff can happen if you just let its edgy benevolence seep into your dreaming mind," wrote Brezsny, who urged me to sleep with a copy of Pronoia under my pillow for at least three nights.At 296 pages thick, the copy of Pronoia that happened to be sitting on my desk didn't strike me as a dream pillow—even in softcover. But Brezsny's email did get me leafing through his weighty tome, whose cover (a flaming heart at the center of a labyrinth) and optimistic subtitle (How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You With Blessings) had already piqued my curiosity. And once inside its pages, I was unable to resist the "dear gorgeous genius" love letter, or the "luminous tease page," which in typical Brezsny fashion exhorted me to "rebel against your horoscope," and "sip the tears of someone you love." And then there were Brezsny's miribilia reports, which reportedly come "live from your repressed memory of paradise," and include freeing gems, like the uplifting news that "black sheep have a better sense of smell than white sheep."Promising to place my copy under my pillow (beauty sleep be damned), I emailed Brezsny my request for a face-to-face interview—something he deemed "so 20th-century, but fun, too."He ended up suggesting that we meet at the Evergreen Cemetery in Harvey West Park to carry out a ritual burial of my share of paranoia, cynicism and snark."Not that you have any more than the rest of us; we all need to bury our load of psychic garbage," wrote Brezsny, adding that if I wanted to bury my paranoia then I should bring a symbol of it.And so it was that after deliberating on paranoid symbolism for the next two weeks, I found myself standing beside the white picket fence that delineates Evergreen Cemetery, a picture postcard of George W. Bush in my hands. Brezsny says he chose this graveyard for our meeting because of many fond associations he has with the place, including meeting the love of his life, Ro Loughran, who he first spied "flailing like a whirling dervish on top of a sepulcher during a performance art event called "A Happy Birthday for Death."Oddly enough, my first impression of the historic site, which contains the tombstones of some of Santa Cruz's earliest movers and shakers, was of a lover's quarrel, thanks to the pasty-faced goth couple with matching jet-black hair, who standing beneath the cemetery's metal archway were hurling poisonous insults at each other, as I approached.Not wishing to invade their space and with Brezsny nowhere in sight, I wandered between the cemetery's white[...]



The Facebook Interview (revisited)

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:25:00 +0000

Recently, a Facebook friend named Adam Lee (pictured right) asked me a couple of questions about Facebook. Said he was writing an article on... well, Facebook! Thought I'd share my response with you...Where do you think Facebook is heading?Consider the unimaginable ways young people can find themselves becoming billionaires in the digital age: back in the mid-1990s Larry Page and Sergey Brin were 23-year-old computer studies undergrads at Stanford U when they stumbled on a new algorithm for a faster, more free-associating search engine called Google. Today each is worth USD16.7 billion. Then there's Mark Zuckerberg who started Facebook in February 2004 as an interactive social networking website for the campus crowd while he was in college. I hear Yahoo! offered Zuckerberg USD1.7 billion for Facebook last year - and he turned down their offer. Last I heard, MSN estimates that Facebook is worth USD15 billion.My point is: these youngsters have been able to turn a simple idea into a complex income-generating engine by identifying two basic human needs, viz., the desire for information and the desire to feel connected. These desires are very much in alignment with the incoming frequencies of the Aquarian Age (the Water Bearer symbolizes the dissemination of wisdom acquired during the Capricornian phase of introspection and consolidation, and the Piscean phase of dissolution and disintegration of ancient taboos). Today more and more people regard a laptop or tablet (and now smartphones) as an essential personal accessory. Instant messaging, virtually free text-messaging, Skype and a whole array of connectivity tools has been facilitated by advances in satellite communications that would leave our grandparents scratching their bald pates. This is what I call the age of server-assisted telepathy when a planetary mind is emerging from the preceding centuries of technological development. Buckminster Fuller, thirty years ago, called it "accelerating acceleration." By this he meant that quantum advances in technology would soon hurl us beyond the gravitational pull of the tragic past into a comic/romantic future.Take Facebook's burgeoning popularity: within two years just about everybody I know who owns a computer, tablet or smartphone is on Facebook. My daughters and their far-flung network of cousins are now on my Facebook friends list. For the first time ever, the separate realities of family and friends are merging in cyberspace. And I just saw an interview with Zuckerberg taped in May 2007 where he quoted the figure 45 million as the total number of Facebook users - that was almost 6 months ago. I figure at least 250,000 new users sign up every day. In June 2017 Facebook hit 2 billion monthly users, making it the world's largest virtual community.Where is Facebook heading? Who da fuck knows? Right now everybody complains that they're wasting too much time on Facebook (and a few months ago I was bitching about the same thing too) - but the reason Facebook is distracting people from work is that they're having more fun just playing with each other in harmless ways (try throwing a sheep at me in real life!) Friends I hardly get to see in real life are poking, tickling, cuddling, and loving me - albeit virtually but it sure feels nice! Hotties I've long wanted to meet give me cheap thrills by appearing in my inbox and adding me as their Facebook friend. Faces I haven't seen in 25 years [...]