There were 4 magazines I read regularly when I was 15/16; New Scientist, New Statesman, The Economist and Nexus Magazine. I ‘like’ how the latest two issues of New Scientist have used the latest themes: ‘Drowning in sound, the sad case of the baby beluga whale’ (remember even those deep underwater aren’t immune to our activity above) relating to all the noise pollution we make and just because we can’t or don’t hear it doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect everybody else, a lot of whales and ‘strange’ ancient species of deep underwater creatures have been washing up in recent years. Plenty of people have tinnitus and an increasing number of people are hearing the Earth ‘groan’. Next headline: ‘Last Days of Earth: Life in 7 billion years AD’ – wishful thinking. Lastly ‘The clone that changed my life: 20 years after Dolly the sheep’. I read that article just before it went to their online front page. The supposedly first clone they made from adult genes so no normal birth/childhood, and then they made her have children. Nowadays women use stem cells in cosmetics and don’t even think twice about it. They only ever talk about the fringe benefits the ‘afterthoughts’ and not the main uses, their lack of responsibility and ethics. When Dolly died someone close contacted me to say “Dolly is dead” as it’d been told to them as a joke and obviously relaying to me was more of a joke. People love to play god. I’ve previously gone into some of the meanings of the name but by naming the sheep Dolly they showed she’d failed/was conquered. By admitting to the public that they could do cloning they’d broken a barrier/a door/beaten a gate protector/a being of transition, and gotten through to the children/so-called sheeple. Of course the target had been the goddess herself before via a cow (representing the mother who ‘gives without taking’). Remove the parent and the child is easy pickings. Interestingly enough there has been legislation to attempt to ban human cloning but with cloned meat on the markets, cloned body parts, cloned human parts grown on other animals and since obvious public announcements are given after the fact. I wonder if/when Canavero will announce the human head transplant he’s working on.
The last issue’s theme was: ‘Anomalies’ and had these stories on the online front page: ‘Axis of evil stretches across the cosmos’ (lol), ‘Missing neutrinos may be shapeshifters’ (we see the same things differently) and ‘Quantum entanglement mangles space and time’ (again we see/experience things differently though we are connected and those connections change things) yep all there will be buzzwords. You thought science was all about ‘clean cut, goggle wearing, seriously White, lab coat wearing people’ like they’re different to the dark, symbol, robed, hat wearing magicians of yore? Same messages, different languages. Hand in hand and all about business. Other features in that issue were:
Weirdly energetic arrivals from outer space.
Why is gravity so weak?
Why are religions so judgemental? Ask evolution.*
The upside of nightmares: How bad dreams are also good for you.*
Cassini gears up for final fiery plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere.
Hacking the LHC to sift trash could help find a mystery particle.
Antibiotics apocalypse: Tales from fighters on the front line.
*Many people believe in the theory of evolution completely without knowing the whole theory, and that it also disproves a god/creator; so we’ve moved on from religion to science yet scientifically evolution ‘survival of the fittest’ meant we became religious and judgmental and that in turn led us to science, as if science is all ‘light & love man *peace sign*’. What circles. Simply admit that you can put science and religion together because they do go together, they’re tools.
*You can keep bad dreams to yourselves then, see how you like living nightmares; no wonder more people are experiencing ‘night terrors’.
I remember having nothing to read in an airport once so bought an issue of American Scientist, learned my lesson, what a joke 🙄 a woman in the opposite row of chairs smiled at me muttering to myself about how superficial it was and didn’t compare to New Scientist even for a mainstream publication (it may have changed now). At the same time the tannoy was playing a book review of how Mary Magdalene was potentially the wife of Jesus. It’s amazing how many busy, rushing people go through not taking in any of it. Well at least seeing me have it further impressed the mason veteran chemistry prof I saw, though it wasn’t him I was going to see. (Reminded me of that chem teacher at college who students switched classes or changed institution altogether because of; that guy gave each annual class a problem of drawing a 7 atom structure to and said no one had come up with a workable one yet, I drew a 3D diamond, he copied it and used it from then on. A*hole.)
Options One & Two
Pick a side.
Death Note (anime version 2006-7) the extremely awesome portrayal of psychological politics that captured the hearts and minds of many viewers. On one ‘side’ we had the ‘good guys’ of the law and their representative – alias ‘L’ aka ‘El’ i.e. god (masculine superimposed/morphed/taken from the feminine). So the divine was apparently on their side. On the ‘bad side’ we had ‘Light’ i.e. reflected light, moonlight, false light, Lucifer, the Devil (and remember all those are not what we think of them as; they actually represent wisdom of older cultures and the Devil is a demonization of the Devi). Light and Dark, White and Black, Good and Evil. Poppycock. As viewers saw both modern uses of the words were two sides of the same coin, L and Light were practically the same just on different ‘sides’. Light’s father was a high up policeman so on the ‘good side’, L invited Light to work with them to try and catch him out. It was basically a master chess game. On one side you had the law deciding who was criminal and who’d be sentenced to death, and on the other you had Light given the ability to cause death by a death god who’s addicted to apples (so which side had the higher divine backing exactly) but his decisions were called murders, even when he focused on killing people the other side were after/had convicted and despite the good side willing to sacrifice a death row inmate on live television. The rules didn’t work both ways, one side had church-like authority and the other had direct god connection, and there was no restriction on who those gods might work with. Light killed an FBI agent which turned a lot of viewers off him but she was ‘one of the best in the business’, they do their job for their payment like bounty hunters do, uncaring about who/what/why they’re on somebody’s tail. The left hand and right hand were shown in one epic scene that got everybody’s attention (the bag of crisps) i.e. you can take either or even both paths and end up at the same place/goal.
That’s what many a demon does in the epic Indian scriptures. They prove they’re more capable of faith and pujas than most Brahmins and regular people put together, serious labours of prayer and dedication earning them boons from the popular/modern gods, showing their devotion and ‘change of heart’ up until they get said boon before switching “muhahahaha I’ve got you now” using the gods power against them. Typical. The thing is those gods expect it (they did it themselves to the Devi) so always put conditions on the boons which they know will always lead to a battle and so the drama keeps playing out. They also manage to bring out an old goddess (e.g. Lalita, Kali) in the worst conflicts but she doesn’t get enough time to assess the situation it’s just “look mata, there’s the bad ones, kill them now quickly!” And then she has to leave/change into another form afterwards (though sometimes they get more annoying lines in first) which suggests they’ve kept her somewhere away and she’s not fully conscious (they do describe when talking about her in a dormant state, an aspect of a consort which is awoken/brought to the fray when necessary) or a figurehead whilst thinking they can keep on doing the same thing.
Gods/monsters/heroes/villains. Vishnu’s avatar Ram[a] – remember the part ‘ram’ has become an animal symbol of someone who plays both sides in the mountain/pyramid/triangle – everybody loves him yet the guy blames and looks down on his wife for potentially being ‘unfaithful’ to him whilst she was abducted (so if she was raped she’d be damaged goods and he wouldn’t love her anymore), begrudgingly ‘rescues’ her for the sake of public honour/pride, but first she has to prove she’s still ‘pure’ by jumping into a fire and potentially killing herself, and later banishes her and their children, the epitome of a deadbeat dad, because of that past abduction he the non-victim can’t live down and in spite her proving she wasn’t dishonoured. Who did he hire for his PR? They must have been the best in the business. She was basically put through an older, even worse version of a witch ‘trial’ – damned if you are, damned if you aren’t scenario.
The irony of Death Note reminded me of the hugely popular and ongoing franchise ‘Detective Conan’ where the detective is constantly doing things he’s against in other people but because he’s on the side of authority so it’s ok, that said he’s not a killer as most of his targets are, it’s just the endless hypocrisy when he tells the criminal off for what they’ve done especially in the sympathetic cases – something he knows all about given his own circumstance. Also he catches people for the puzzle of it and to find out more about those after him personally. Although it’s not as bad as the two-faced ‘good guys’ in Full Metal Alchemist (another popular franchise) where they (except Alphonse and Edward) are actually worse than the ‘bad guy’ (Scar)! Some eye brow raising symbolism in that one too.
The Third Option
The ‘alternative’. The above two options working together, either more or less visually. Accepted counter-culture that turns out to be normal culture dressed differently but with the same focus on the symbolic and theatrical. It also includes outcasts/misfits who are susceptible to going back/forward to option one or two. It’s a slippery slope.
One of my favourite animes was ‘Arakawa Under the Bridge’ (2010) – Arakawa being a river in Tokyo (and another in Fukusima). Flowing water/space is very important and of course practically the densest populations build around them. I liked this anime because it was quirky and hilarious, almost all the characters were likable and it was idealistic in a non-horrific way, unlike the above animes.
Kou is the heir of an influential family empire, one day whilst on a bridge, an in-between place neither here nor there, a level; he gets semi-beaten by a group of boys who take his trousers and hang them up higher on the bridge. Kou is young, good looking, successful, clever, able but he wasn’t prepared for that roadblock. He was also surprised by the girl sitting on the bridge who can get his pants/honour for him easily if he wants and since it’s so important, he declines, taking the hard way himself and falls into the life giving/taking water. She saves him. What the heck is he going to do? He can’t owe anyone anything let alone his life!? He knows all about honour and place, his father made him repay the debt for everything he had as a child even the washing of his hair and being pushed in a pram. His family motto is not to owe anyone anything (though to get that big you have to stamp on a lot of people’s backs) so he even returns all the Valentine’s momentos he gets, even the anonymous ones.
It turns out the girl doesn’t live in the ‘to’ or ‘from’ i.e. the places the bridge connects to, she lives right next to the water under the bridge in a strange community. She’s poor in the standards of Tokyo, she lives in a container with newspaper on the walls and old pillows/towels she’s found for bedding but there are signs of where she comes from and who she is; she’s really richer than everybody but never knew it/had no airs and graces. She teaches Kou that love isn’t about debt.
The community she lives in is full of archetypes; all different and exceedingly strong. Obviously this being a zany anime of super-humour it’s not portrayed as realistic at all and there’s no plot, it’s episodic with their daily happenings/adventures. I didn’t like the way the mayor re-names them as they join the community, I know that symbolizes a new life/start but owning somebody’s name is also offputting, that said the characterization works:
The mayor – the man pretending to be a magical spirit being kappa/amphibian.
Nino – the mayor’s unknowing charge, Venus, Love (the pre-male saviour who is linked to Earth but also a light in the sky) and in this anime incarnation has Blue Lady elements with her water/fisher connection.
Kou re-named Recruit, Ric for short – as explained above, becoming his father but meets a crossroad/junction.
Sister – the big, muscular English man as a church ‘sister’ (and later one of the orphans, ‘Stella’ as in steller, he used to look after turns up and is both little girl and big mama).
Maria – the sadistic, gorgeous, Mary figure (consort pretending to be cosmic) who is the farmer, pictured as shepherdess (the shepherd being the mantle of ruling gods) who Sister loves and both of whom have been in warfare.
Star – a former music ‘star’ celeb who wears a star mask.
Amazoness – big, muscular woman from the ‘other’ (apparently dangerous) side of the river with her male tengu servants.
The brothers – possible twins but they are the ‘nauts’ as in astronaut, aeronaut, they ‘navi-gate’ in their sailor suits and are so adept at it they’ve apparently escaped from a military (navy?) facility and wear helmets to stop them floating away, not just on the river but in the air since they claim to be espers.
P-ko – nature, with her unruly, fast growing hair and does the vegetable/fruit growing (she personally reminds me of Boticelli’s ‘Primavera’, whose central character is Venus who some thought of as the Blue Lady; P-Ko is her best friend, plus she has a crush on the mayor which is displayed as love conflicting with lust via innuendo/the mayor’s favourite vegetable).
Billy and Jacqueline – the birds and bees, Billy is a man avian, man with a bird head and Jacqueline is a queen bee; they are very much in love.
Shiro – the ‘regular’ man who struggles/feels the pressure of society’s rigid rules, obsessive compulsive, must always be on the lines otherwise he fears those he loves will suffer.
Out of time/place and memorable people showing the ‘strange’ love of gods/archetypes (which isn’t always bad but still best as taboo rather than normal or idyllic).
Venus to Jesus – Arakawa Under the Bridge Season 1 theme song:
Maria’s version – the manikins and sheep
Cosmos vs Alien – Season 2 ‘Bridge x Bridge’ theme song
Series 2 alternate version
In one episode they have a ‘King tournament’ and the king turns out to be a queen (which is really how the names/titles go you just wouldn’t know it because of the change in language) and of course since it’s a modern/false queen/mother figure can you guess who wins?*
Being boring is really the only disadvantage to a character – great when it’s a highly stylized, comical form (just not when it’s lived/acted out.) This is just a pieced together skit video, not an episode so best for those who’ve seen the show already.
*Puts me in mind of ‘King B’eyoncé (written on a mirror) the face of Destiny’s Child who is using a lemon phrase, lemons being the false sacrifice if I remember the Indian story correctly. Interesting how her ascension is described here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/apr/29/beyonce-lemonade-jay-z-explainer Beginner to beyhive eh, novice to master. The wannabe who wanted and still wants to be the ultimate woman, mother/daughter/dark mother, the whole thing, the queen, the goddess, the creator/preserver/destroyer, who married a mogul handler and named her daughter Blu Ivy. Well, she was sold out by her father like a lot of stars are sold out by their parents/guardians but that doesn’t allow for everything. Public figures and their payoff/status, playing sides, playing us/the public and believe/play out the symbolism too much. Being it. Abusing it. They even pretended to be vegan, plant based dieters but they claimed vegan and for 22 days a ‘spiritual number’ as Jay-Z put it, a power number but we’ll keep with his wording – so spiritual they did it in time for Winter solstice only to break fast in the midwinter sacrifice, in practice that is of farm animals and the date ironically used for the birth of the ‘lamb’ both the shepherd and one of the innocent. Taking the eating and drinking of the body/blood of Christ to another level. Publicity hounds. Queen b**** morelike who other ‘b*****s must bow down’ to as she says. Reminds me of Madonna’s recent poster ‘will the real queen of pop please stand up’ and her image as Paggliacci (and that older photo where she said her life is like a bunch of almost identical mannequin heads), following the likes of her own wannabe, Lady Gaga. They should have taken the ‘I don’t want to do this anymore/I can’t take this’ stance so many entertainment figures are now taking early in their careers not after they paid the piper/rat catcher over & over and reaped the benefits. Fewer interviews but more public with her private life since 2013 eh, a few key people who so many industry people lived off started taking control of their destiny then and the fairweather folk followed, with friends like those who needs enemies. Why am I talking about puppets who want to be real boys/girls as if a Blue fairy/Blue Lady/Mary figure will make it so whilst also saving the puppet master/toymaker father after a long period of being donkeys/asses, yes ‘ass’* is a significant term. It’s not like they’re humane clones, no ‘The Bicentennial Man’ (1976) there, not even transhumans just machine-men (Beyoncé’s version of Maria from Metropolis – 1927) though they probably do follow Asimov’s later ‘Three Laws of Robotics’.
*’Ass’ – http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/gar/gar33.htm the double false god (false version of Anubis) (‘double false’ as in duplicate of a duplicate is a fitting way of describing most celebrities, ‘false idol’ isn’t enough) was also used in ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’. Remember Terry Pratchett’s ‘Lords and Ladies’ (1992) where he parodies that play and how throughout his books he describes the elves (also called fairies, fair folk, by Disworld residents) as a race of illusion and cruelty, then in the final book ‘The Shepherd’s Crown’ (2015) the witches drop their headology/in-fighting/pointless power struggles and go all out combat fighting to defeat the elf queen. He includes everything possible in his works, like the Assassins http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/gar/gar63.htm where he correctly describes them as a guild of the rich, powerful, influential and we’re introduced to them in ‘Pyramids’ the protagonist assassin being a Prince of an ancient Egyptian style place where he poignantly tries to destroy the Great Pyramid. He made the Scots association positive though with the Nac Mac Feegle (who used to work for the elf queen but were banished) as friends of the new iconic witch/shepherd Tiffany (strong enough to accidentally come between Winter and Summer, Moon and Sun). They have a bee-society structure and Wee Mad Arthur, an independent rat catcher/exterminator who sells rats to the weapon makers/dwarves, also works in the police Watch/New Scotland though there’s a representative of almost every race there. Pratchett was an angry man, no matter how he appeared in public; when you read his other works e.g. essays and speeches you can see he was angry, he seemed to be chronicling history and was very frustrated that it wasn’t taken seriously because it was under sci-fi/fantasy/humour. Tellingly he thought ‘Nation’ was his best book, written in such a way that he felt it came to/was given to him – a book about native peoples, how old cultures met new, and how the grandmothers importance was covered by the influence of the grandfathers (and omitted from the play at the National Theatre). He wrote as if he felt it was the witches duty to stay ‘true’ and came down on them harder (especially the novice witches) if they were magician-like than he did on the superfluous, bloated, presiding over the city magicians themselves (even Jacqueline Simpson does the same in ‘The Folklore of Discworld’ editions). Despite his frustration he probably knew it was best to keep the humour/satire/fiction element in his books and he did accept the knighthood though he stated his mother would have been more proud of the university honourary ‘Master of Letters’ (he received multiple such honours from different universes 😉 ).
There is a fourth option though; my favourite and most used word: No.
No deal. No dice.