How to out live the bastards

Source: metal-archives.com
Source: metal-archives.com

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

Credit: Edward Abbey

The true meaning of life and living it

Source: National Geographic
Source: National Geographic

“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover.

Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.

You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.

My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.”

CREDIT : Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Corruption, power struggle and the inevitable fall of the NRM government

tumblr_inline_mlvuw7xCjD1qz4rgp
Montesquieu defined corruption as a feature of any polity (democratic, aristocratic, monarchic or despotic) where its leaders fail to act on the basis of its core or foundational principles.

Growing concern about corruption in Uganda today from all quarters suggests something has changed since the preceding regimes. There is evidence of widespread ‘misuse’ of public resources. The concern is that the NRM government has not only failed to control corruption, but neither has the ideology to avert it. Today the NRM government, when asked about corruption, what does it say? It is a way of talking about a project of class formation over which it has lost control.

The office of the Auditor-General, for example, continuously asserts that local governments alone spend billions of shillings (irregularly), and more billions in expenditures of local governments are often found to be (unauthorized). Such recurrences have often been met with widespread consternation in the media and by opposition parties. Often too, the NRM government has received such “news “with dismay as well.

My argument is that the internal strife around contestation for power and state resources within the NRM, rather than differences on how to implement the collective manifesto of the party has, not only suffocated the last of a dying patriotic will of the NRM, but also weakened NRM’s claim to represent and act in the interest of the public good. Corruption, in other words, degraded the very and perhaps only nationalism or purpose of the NRM government.
Power struggles have shifted the focus of the cadres and members of the movement away from societal concerns and people’s aspirations. These circumstances have produced a new type of NRM leader and member who sees ill-discipline, divisions, factionalism and in-fighting as normal practices and necessary forms of political survival.

This ‘new type of NRM cadre’, self-interested and prone to pursue their self-interest through divisive alliances, benefits from government and party interventions, there has been a ‘misuse’ of public resources, that is, there has been corruption. Note the deviation here is relative to the NRM’s own culture, that is, its norms and traditions. That is why, for the NRM, the solution to corruption lies in internal organisational renewal: to reinforce the organisation’s own culture and to attract members invested in the broader vision of the Movement. In my opinion this is not a solution. The NRM is like a cancer patient whose only hope for survival or cure lies not only in the cure of the most affected breed but in the entire change of guard which realistically cannot be achieved internally. Not even the idea of recruiting youth or a new breed of cadres.

Chinua Achebe’s novels ‘Things Fall Apart’ and especially ‘No Longer at Ease’ (1960) make the argument in narrative form. Even honest and idealistic individuals entering politics or the public service are drawn into corrupt practices arising from their unenviable position at the interface of two, contradictory worlds.The first is a governmental system that calls on individuals to pursue their work according to anonymous rules and regulations. The second is a system of patronage that binds its members to obligations and duties on the basis of family, kin or friendship. Corruption, on these terms, arises when the pulls of kin and party loyalty overrides the obligations and culture of public office. In a version of this argument Jean François Bayart claims that corruption is especially severe in Africa because the state is the major force within the economy and political office is the principle route to personal wealth (Bayart 1993).

In summary, talk of ‘corruption’ in Uganda increasingly refers to members of the NRM acting in ways contrary to what is expected of them, either by the standards of the NRM party as a political organisation or by the standards of the public service. We are witnessing the weakening of a once solid and seemingly dynamite party. On the one hand it is bound to fall like a house of cards, slow and systematic. On the other hand, like quick sand, in a flash.
The NRM it could be said, was a set of individuals vested with a mission of general interest and invited to transcend their particular interests in order to produce universal propositions, who constantly had to labour, if not to sacrifice their particular point of view on behalf of the point of view of society, at least to constitute their point of view into a legitimate one, but have fallen short.

CREDIT: Wycliff Gratian

#BlackVerse

Can people become intelligent by reading books?

photo by Patrick Goethe
photo by Patrick Goethe

Lately I write less and share more because I came to the realization that there are already plenty of great pieces out there. Well written pieces that are yet to see the light.

The response you are about to read is one I picked out from a discussion that took place on Quora.com about the ability of people to become intelligent by reading books. Milosz Dunikowski offered an opinion which I believe answered this question the way it is supposed to be looked at. Enjoy.

Topic: Can people become intelligent by reading books?

Wisdom is a very relaxed state of being. Wisdom is not knowledge, not information; wisdom is your inner being awake, alert, watchful, witnessing, full of light. – Osho

Life is a mystery. The more you understand it, the more mysterious it becomes.

The more you know, the less you feel that you know.

The more you become aware of the depth, the infinite depth, the more it becomes almost impossible to say anything about it

Milosz Dunikowski

It depends. What I’m going to say is probably going to be called blasphemy by many, but I don’t think reading is valuable by itself.

Books are just transcriptions of author’s thoughts. If you read anything just to feel smarter then it’s not really something to be proud of. There’s a big difference between Hemingway’s writings and “Fifty Shades of Gray“. But even if you read Shakespeare’s complete works it won’t automatically mean you’re intelligent. What’s important is what you get out of your readings.

I think there are three major benefits to reading book:

  • Acquiring new knowledge
  • Improving your vocabulary
  • Understanding author’s mindset

First and second are pretty self-explanatory, so let focus on the last point.
If we agree that books are writer’s thoughts recorded on a paper, then they give us an amazing superpower – read other people’s thoughts. I think that’s the biggest benefit from reading. When we try to understand the author we can see the world through another person’s eyes! What I truly love about it is that we can experience life that we might never get to live – and learn from it. We learn what other people think and, more importantly, why they think so. We don’t have to agree with the writer. But even trying to see his point enriches our perspective. It releases us by a little bit from our own ignorance and show us that not everyone thinks like us.

So after all, if you get something out of it… even reading Gray might not be that bad.

Credit: Milosz Dunikowski

From: http://www.quora.com

 

i BEliEve…

photo by Geoffrey Arduini
photo by Geoffrey Arduini

I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.

I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.

I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.

I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like Martians in War of the Worlds…

I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.

I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.

I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

CREDIT: Neil Gaiman, American Gods

#connecteDOts

The villain.

Vendetta
Vendetta

The villain within is not about attempting to be worse than you were before this, it’s about embracing what you have always attempted to suppress.

The part of you needed in order to progress beyond your best is what the villain within is meant to exhibit without the necessity of the test. As in actuality the test in itself is life and only you can determine the extent to which it shall be completed without rest or divergence from the awaiting surprise devoid of distress

The villain within is the story of the You You never wanted to tell; the story of the lost child stuck in the shadows which is the most tormented soul of them all

See he tells his story as if it were yours so that you may relate to the actual tale instead of the one telling it. Hidden in those words are the true cries of the one that cannot cry, the one incapable of showing affection beyond the literary gains he instills in every word he continuously scripts.

Meet him on the battlefield or any other realm of distress and that will be your last meeting as will be the same for the one he meets next.

…He is the villain within, the soul who is over shadowed by the preference given to the feelings of the heart and the thoughts of the mind, he remains in the shadows just buying time…waiting and plotting to take what you most desire so he can claim ownership and say that it’s mine…

So release your oppressed villain into the realm of the disdain we all seem to reside in whether done so as Kings, Queens, Dukes; Advocates of religion and society as it stands or the regulations set out for them since the beginning of time.
Embrace and release the villain within so you may confront and defeat the demons you keep hiding…

CREDIT: #Nikolai Tjongarero aka #OKIN,
#connecteDOts

A view of religion

Ad run by Italian fashion firm Benetton
Pope Kissing an Egyptian. Ad run by Italian fashion firm Benetton

Like most of you I was raised among people who knew – who were certain. They did not investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess – no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things.

They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning; four thousand and four years before Christ…They knew that it took him six days to make the earth-all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death.

At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work…They knew all about the flood…knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children…the old and young…the young man and the merry maiden…the loving mother and the laughing child…because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and the birds…everything that walked or crawled or flew…because his loving kindness is all over his works.

They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightning’s, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war.

They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the attaining blood of Jesus Christ. Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power…an arbitrary mind…an enthroned God…to which all causes bow?

I do not deny. I don’t know…but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme…that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken – that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer – no power that worship can persuade or change – no power that cares for man….

One thing I do know, and that is, neither hope nor fear, nor denial can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be.

We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and the fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with break and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with..Art, song…

CREDIT: Robert Ingersell The works of Robert Ingersell, VoL .1 Lectures
#ConnecteDOts