The Current State of Affairs
A Daily Blog on Material Life as we Know it...
9th May 2021
As I think of yesterday, and the themes the Gaia Journal bought up for Mothers Day, I immediately thought of an old pet hate of mine, the way female armour and clothing is portrayed in video games and fantasy. Quite simply armour especially tends to be skimpy, unrealistic and aimed at sexualising female fighters rather than protecting them in battle. While I will accept a fur bikini if he's also wearing fur undies and nothing more, when like in so many games he's in full plate that covers everything and she's in the plate mail bikini or corset that leaves many areas of the body open to damage it gets, well, ridiculous.
Quite simply, it shows that these female warriors are there as a nice little fan service to the men watching just as much as serious competitors in the game or movie. While some do get it right, I.e. covering the important bits like heart, lungs and stomach with enough substance to protect them, so many don't. There are mimes out there by gamers and others pointing out how much this is stupid. Quite simply, even male gamers don't get it at times. But it is there because of an underlying sexualisation of women in our society. You can see this in all sorts of places, up to and including women’s work wear such as tight dresses and skirts and high heels. Compare them to a man's suit and dress shoes and you can see the same kinda difference in as in the fantasy armour – Mens is basically practical and women’s is not, mostly about display.
This double standard is not just cosmetic, it goes to the way we see women in society as about their appearance and sexuality as a mirror first. No matter what the area, a woman is judged by a completely different standard about her appearance, her demeanour, her reactions, her competence, her values and morals. This is often her utility in the eyes of males rather than being her own being. Be that as an object of desire or as a wife, she is still seen by many as less than, and defined by male opinion. This double standard is a major problem in combating sexual harassment, sexual assault as well as often enough domestic violence because it clouds attitudes to such issues, especially among young males exposed to this idea of women as an object in so much popular culture, not just the video games mentioned. Unless we fix this we will never solve the issues that we are reaching for solutions to in our society, because this double standard is well and truly at the heart of them.
Saturday 8th May 2021
Something I have been thinking about lately is the values of modern life. It seems to me that many times this is sadly lacking. One of the things that seems to be off to me is how we value the wrong things. One of these things is the CBD of an inner city. This concrete jungle, which is a net emitter of everything bad for the planet, does not add food, water, oxygen or any form of real resource to planet, but is a drain on it is so valued by this society. The termite nests of apartments and offices, heavily energy dependent, net food and oxygen using not producing and producing very few things of concrete value in society that is not a part of the artificial means of exchange that rules our life – Money.
This is something that has been noted through Covid, the way the inner city life is shrinking as people work from home, don't commute and therefore don't come into inner cities. While this does affect businesses reliant on commuters, this is something that we can adjust for. In so many ways to make inner cities at least not a drain we need to start looking at their design. Less concrete and more grass/greenery, for instance. The vertical gardens starting to appear on high rises are a good example of how a carbon sink/oxygen source can be added to a building, same as landscaping around them rather than acres of concrete. Same as the opportunity for new buildings to have solar power and water collection for the building, especially with battery storage to at least ensure that they are less of a net drain. It is not hard on the imagination to see buildings clad in solar panels, for instance, rather than flammable insulation.
This can go further, however. Vertical farms are a possibility, as are sky gardens in building design to allow the city to produce some of it's own food at least and not be a net drain on non monetary resources. This would allow employment in these industries as well as go a step towards making cities sustainable in the long term, rather than net ecological drains. This is all design considerations. Simple ones that can be implemented today.
Last but of course not least is the social implications of the city, the way that the way they run act as a discouragement to socially interact with people. The ridiculous cost of hosing in the city, the lack of social housing making it impossible for low income earners to live in it and the growing density, with poorly designed buildings put up as a get rich quick scheme by developers rather than as, well, a long term livable space, add to this. Social sustainability is as important as environmental sustainability, meaning we need to address this to make the sustainable city a workable concept as a whole.
Friday 8th May 2021
As I look back on yesterday, well the theme struck me of what is a good life. First part of this was watching a current affairs program called the Drum, where one of the panelists clearly didn't like the idea of well, to use her words, home schooling children and baking banana bread. To her, this well, took the shine of our society changing for sustainably purposes. While I can have some empathy on the whole notion of not wanting to have to sit on kids to do their work all day, it made me think. The thought led to the whole notion of wasn't a major benefit of this whole Covid thing showing us we could live a happy and fulfilled life on a simpler pace, yes, baking banana bread. Indeed baking our bread of any kind and being able to slow down and see how much we didn't need in our lives?
This, to me is a no brainier. I have no attraction to the inner city, to the termite mounds that they call high rise living. I would much rather cook a barbecue, Pizzas or a slow cooker roast with table wine for company and have a good time than go to a posh restaurant. Low fuss but tasty food and good company are to me far more important than status. If I could (at the moment I can't), I would aim for the Georgian period idea of the cottage garden rather than manicured stretches of lawns and grow my own food. I'm trying with pots at the moment, but it's very much a work in progress to develop that green thumb. It no way takes away quality of life to me, it adds it. You can be far more relaxed, spend less and well, enjoy yourself without worrying wether the table next doors judging you.
In so many ways, we need to simplify our lives as a society. The rat race, as it is called, is consuming people as it over-consumes natural resources. People are a lot happier when they can get quality of life because their commute is down the hallway, not forty five minutes or more of frustration. Those vast canyons of termite mounds of offices and apartments are a net consumer of energy and food and give very little back to anybody. Simplifying life gives back quality of life and far from being a burden, is good for everybody, including the environment. In embracing this, we can help ourselves as well as bring ourselves back into balance with the ecosphere that supports us and ensure the future survival of our grandchildren.
Thursday 6th May 2021
As I look back on yesterday, echoing the themes in the Gaia Journal Entry (For the Gaia Journal page on The Spiritual Weal) I realise it matches so much of what was on current affairs television yesterday. That change is happening, people are becoming more and more aware, individual people and voters are changing. However, the leadership is somewhat behind in this. While there are movements towards change manifesting (remember, the two are connected, the etheric and the material) it is not solid and consistent across all domains. For instance, the US, UK and Europe are showing changing attitudes and progressive moves in leadership, but Australia lags behind among other countries in facing these change in attitudes and realities. This is resistance, and can be predicted. It will get stiffer, till it can no longer stand. When it can no longer stand then it will crumble, piece by piece. Quite possibly dramatically.
That goes with what a very good astrologer I follow known as Pam Gregory calls ‘Living in a Demolition Site’ as the old that is no longer useful is demolished to make way for the new. Some parts of the building fall down faster than others. Then there is that stubborn beeping pier that just doesn't want to come out of the ground. This is a chaotic time, a chaotic change and as the energies of the upcoming eclipses manifest, well, this is going to get really interesting. The wrecking balls are coming through, the chain is on that recalcitrant pier and attached to the bulldozer. All from the old that cannot be sustained has to come out, has to be dismantled to be recycled to make way for the new. This is the process we are in. Not an elegant one, for sure. But one that we have to go through to create our new world. Hold in there, it may look bad, but it is actually progress.
Wednesday 5th May 2021
Well, yesterday was the day to catch up with all the things I haven’t done. I still have things to catch up on, but a part of my to do list is going down. This will be chipped at more and more through the week, allowing me to bring my life back into order. One of the things I was noting though again, was just the general incompetence of world leaders and how they seemed to be ruling for themselves. It seems the more things change, the more they change the same. Take one look at Medieval History, and you will see the same thing with different labels. With the same results – Rampant inequality, crises being mishandled (to put it politiley), and in general misgovernment in the end. This is happening in India as we speak. In Australia the Federal Government is passing the buck on it’s responsibilities to everyone but them. Up until a ‘Grown Up’ (not my description) was put into the White House, that was a four year comedy of errors that sent itself up.
This is showing a massive gap in our world at the top, and it means that many issues are not being dealt with properly. This is a dangerous gap that unlike many other places in history we have a choice. India, the United States and Australia all have democracies. This is our choice to elect these people who do not represent our interests instead of those who do not. At times this is because of the artful smoke and mirrors that these figures put up. Often a fear campaign that voters do not try to see behind. However, it all comes down to a lack of awareness of the message, pure and simple. If each and every individual voter had a minute of awareness that leads to critical thinking, we could change the world. Or at least the outcome of elections to get leaders that will lead and serve us. Why don’t we as a public?
I don’t have that answer, not yet. It frustrates me. Who knows , if I have to just not do anything for a few days again, it might give me time to work it out.
4th May 2021
As I look at the past sort of week, I feel I have to talk about something. The way that our western governments all have their turn to have some really hypocritical insults to illegitimate children at their lead. The latest in my country, Australia is no exception. Even worse is the way society puts up with it. When you get those that call themselves Christians but act with so little charity and mercy that it’s clear they don’t live out their values at all. In fact, they act as anything but. You have seen this in the entire western world, with different countries seeming to win the race to the bottom at different times, taking the unenviable lead role from each other. Even worse is the public that allows this to happen, rather than voting these hypocritical, self interested fools out and picking competent leaders.
This is a real worry for me moving into the future. We have so many, so many pressing issues in the world that these incompetent, hypocritical fools really need to go. I am not naming any one of them, there are too many to name. I am worried about the general trend more than each individual fool. That people keep on voting for them, not seeing through them, seeing all these leaders for who they are. That is worrying to me, very worrying. With all our current pressing issues we need competent leaders, competent political and business leaders. If people do not wake up, then well, we are walking towards disaster, because these leaders are leading us off the proverbial cliff with our consent.
Monday 1st May 2021
As I look back on Monday, well, it was a day of healing and rest. A neck problem some idiot gave themselves (me) with simple bad posture bit me again and yes, doing nothing is boring. In a way, too, because of the idea of ‘Busyness’, that you always have to do something, be productive to be worthwhile. This means that at times that the best thing to do is do nothing, such as rest and heal, we even judge ourselves. This is because society has taught us to judge our worth in what use we are to people, often economic. Even when we need to switch off for our own health, this follows us and frustrates us, making us frustrated with not being well. Many of us, even me have lost the ability to be. This means, on reflection, we lose a part of ourselves with it.
The realisation as I write this, as well as the way wage employment at the lower wage sectors here in Australia, worse in the US has become quite simply, exploitative. This is accelerating over time, blaming the out of work for their status, as well as people for not taking these exploitative jobs. This shows just how the ‘Doing’ Work culture has broken down people into economic units and quite simply, stripped out any dignity for these people. Quite simply seen as commodities, not as people. If someone is not a good economic unit, they are quite seen as nothing because they are not making money for someone society sees as worth it. This goes for disabled people, anybody poor and jobless, and any retired person who dared think that their reward for working for years was the pension because, well superannuation was not a ‘Thing’ in their time. In short, anybody not a productive economic unit is considered not valuable.
What does this all mean? Well, it’s driven this idea in the west that you are nobody if you are not making a million dollars, or being productive in some way for someone else to make a million dollars. Caring professions, caring for others in the home, or just taking care of yourself, is no valued. This has taken the dignity out of being a human being, the busyness of life. Isn’t it about time we reclaim this basic quality of human dignity as a part of being a human being, rather than how much a being can make, or make someone else?
2nd May 2021
As my correspondent looks on today, well, it was an interesting day. Around second hand goods, bargains and seeing just how many second hand goods are around to be a part of the circular economy. This concept, of using what is already made and available rather than making or purchasing new goods and adding to the growing consumer waste. Furniture, electronic goods clothes, shoes, tools, the lot. You could get them there, already made and be a part of the circular economy. And get a bargain in the process on the new price and in the case of much of the furniture, a much better product for the price in a sturdy, well made second hand item instead of a cheap and badly made piece of modern furniture. But… Yes, style, fashion, that trumps it all for so many creating the waste we see today.
But there are many, many in society who already see the advantage joining me. Wether that be taking advantage of the council clean ups, or buying at auctions and op shops, or making and mending, this not only saves (or makes) money for those who participate, but reduces waste and starts a circular economy that allows resources to be reused. This is a good movement that needs to be continued. Two parts of this is encouraging people with the benefits and making a concerted effort to break the never-ending cycle of waste that is consumerism. Consumerism only benefits the companies that we churn excess amounts of money thorugh, wasting our resources and making us rich. So next time, well, think about how and why you buy and help yourself as well as the environment.
Saturday1st May 2021
Well, today was a day of ups and downs, of a little confusion. Sometimes in isolation facts just don’t make sense. Two sets of facts can seem to contradict each other, until you put the Jigsaw and make sense. So often, in society today, with this fragmented media, this fragmented information environment. Especially today, with so many complex topics affecting the world today, this is a big time to start to letting people see the whole jigsaw, to think critically and build a population capable of making wise decisions. This is especially true in democracies where governments are elected by the mass individual decisions of voters. While this benefits the divide and conquer and misinformation model of politicians, this does not benefit society as a whole as it creates a mediocrity of what can only be described as self interested idiots.
This is the time and place that we need to reverse this, and inform ourselves and stand together, even if this is in the short term problem or inconvenience for us in the short term. We need to change things, we need to learn and grow as a society, no matter the pain. This pain, like for an individual human, is a healing crisis, a time that things come out in the open to be healed. This is the same for societies and we need this, we need this as a whole to learn and grow. This may be uncomfortable, but necessary. At the end of the day, we need to face our past, face our problems as a society or they will fester and grow. They will get worse, be they inequality, racisim, sexisim, government hypocrisy, graft and ineptitude or anything else. Even the elephant in the room that threatens us all, climate change. The faster we do this, the easier the process will be and better the outcome.
Friday 30th April 2021
As a time and place, Samahain in the Southern Hemisphere in the middle of a pandemic could not be more apt. When the veil is the thinnest and we have a lot of death around us, this could not be more poignant. This is not quite a chilling to me as the Northern Hemisphere Samahain, falling with other events and portending greater death in a way, but it is still poignant. When the veil is thin around death, well we have all the more reason to honour the dead.
There are other things, however, to look at this time. How do we think of our ancestors? What do we think of, do we respect our elderly, those still living closest to the veil? What do we think of death? Do we shut out death or dying, or do we embrace it as a part of the cycle of life? This is a time to reflect this, both to our deceased ancestors, and those elders or the frail and ill nearing death. Do we shut them out, or do we make their transition mean something, give them some dignity? This is a time to think about this, and more forward to honouring our ancestors as well as our elders. Indigenous cultures do this, as do Asian Cultures, but we shut this part of life out in hospitals and nursing homes. This is something to think about and perhaps reverse, bringing endings in life as a time of honoured transition as well as honouring those that came before us, be they living or dead. This is a commitment that would balance our society, bring in the wisdom of the past.
The wisdom of the past is so important moving forward. This is because the wisdom of the past is history, which we need to learn from. We have not learnt from history because of this imbalance, the reason why we are so often repeating it. At this time, when the veil is thin and we can reconnect to our past, our ancestors, their wisdom, their history and change this. Break cycles as we see them, secure our past and connecting to a better future without the damage this causes. For this reason, look at this in the coming weeks and embrace it, indeed next Samahain and beyond.