– If only it was a joke –

This story tells us something about organized religions. They are controlled, they have rules, punishments, despotic leaders, they are so sure of themselves, because God has given them the “ONE TRUE RELIGION”.  Non-believers should be destroyed. Hmm, remember the guy who said:  “If you are not with us, you are against us”?  **** I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! Don’t do it!” “Why not?” “Well, there’s so much to live for!” “Like what?” “Well… are you religious?” He said yes. I said, “Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?” “Christian.” “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant ? “Protestant.” “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?” “Baptist” “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” “Baptist Church of God!” “Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?” “Reformed Baptist Church of God!” “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of… Continue reading

– Guantanamo, my journey by David Hicks –

This is an autobiographical book, written when David Hicks was 35 years old.  He was born in 1975, and grew up in Adelaide, Australia. After leaving school at 15 he began working on remote cattle stations. His experiences in the outback gave him the skills needed to take a job in Japan pre-training racehorses. He became friends with an Israeli adventurer who planted ideas of travel in his mind. Hicks decided he would ride a horse along the old Silk Road to China. But before he could start that adventure, while still in Japan, he began watching news items about Kosovo, where the Serbians were carrying out atrocities against the Moslem population. He became convinced that he must go and help the people of Kosovo. Hicks joined up with the Kosovo forces, who were supported by NATO, but before he got into actual combat, the war ended.   Back in Australia he applied to join the army, but was refused due to his limited education. About this time there was conflict in East Timor, Hicks felt ashamed that Australia was not defending the local population, once again he tried to join a group to defend the East Timorese, but the… Continue reading

– Born in a small town, died from success –

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious I have read a lot of lists of “best books” but so far I have not seen Peyton Place on any of them. Wait! Don’t hang up yet. There could be reasons that are not to do with the quality of the novel. Firstly, it was controversial for its day. When it was published in 1956, it sold 60,000 copies in the first ten days of its release (Wikipedia). It was the third biggest selling novel of 1956, considered a lurid shocker, dealing with incest, abortion, murder, and small-town hypocrisy. It has now sold over 12,000,000 copies. These associations meant it was not accepted by critics as serious literature, religious authorities were disgusted by the subject matter and their portrayal as hypocrites. Despite this it stayed on the best-seller lists for years, and sold millions of copies. But the novel’s unsavory reputation was far from finished. The following year it was released as a movie, not bad, quite acceptable for its time, but the story was reduced to events; the descriptive passages, the inner thoughts of the characters were not included. The movie presented itself as sexy shocker. In 1959 Grace Metalious published Return to… Continue reading

– Hunters and Collectors –

I have most of the works of the classical composer, Sibelius. In fact, I have two or three different versions of most of his works. Last night I went to listen to his 5th symphony, and to my surprise I could only find one version. I knew I had another, but it must have been put into the wrong folder, perhaps with Shostakovich or Stevie Wonder. I put on my only mp3 version, and immediately found that it had been recorded from an LP record with a scratch on it. Rotation clicks could be heard: click, click, click. How damn annoying. This set me off to find another version, but none showed up on my PC. So then I started looking at music sites. Amazon, I found had many versions: different conductors, different orchestras, different countries, different decades. I was off hunting for the best version. I felt the thrill of the chase, which of the “best” versions would I capture? The reviews were a mishmash, I could not tell which was best. Should I buy all of them? I was actually listening to the music all the time I was searching, hunting. Then it occurred to me,  I had… Continue reading