Sunday, 24 February 2008

"hey kris, you've got a soul don't you??"

This was a question poked at me whilst we were sitting in a circle enjoying a water/tobacco/whatever else you choose in five minutes break this afternoon. Wierdly, this question caught me rather off guard. The asker of the question was Matt Dravich, our fearless leader, and from what I have been able to gather, a man who, I suspect, has done most of the things my parents used to warn me about when I was a kid.

"What? What are you talking about?".

"I'm pretty sure you're probably the only person in this circle who has a soul.. So have you got one?".

"Errm.. Well.. I suppose so? I've not ever really thought about that question".

(Someone else somewhere in there "I don't, I sold mine ages ago..!").

And so forth, and so forth. I thought it was an interesting little exchange, as you broke down what was really going on in the conversation. Matt, who think of himself as having most things figured out, was really asking me something along the lines of either:-

a) Do you believe in a deity?
b) Do you believe in a form of spirituality?
c) Do you believe that you consist of more than muscles, flesh and blood?

Or something like that. And the more I think about it, the more the paradox of the situation emerges.

To ask someone "Do you have a soul?" is such a strange thing. In conventional Christian spirituality (or that which I grew up around), a person is made up primarily of three parts, the Body, Soul and Spirit. The body, of course was the fleshly component. The Spirit is that which communicates with God and deals with everything thus related, and the soul is where our emotions are played out. So, in this context, to ask one if they have a soul, is essentially asking "do you experience emotion". Interestingly enough, this is what I felt like I was being asked at first. I simply felt like I was unable to answer the question. I suppose, upon consideration, this was because it just felt so absurd.

Even then, I was playing it out in my head.. "That boys got SOUL!" sprung to mind.. How does this question come to play then? Would my declaration of being without a soul mean that I would become thus incapable of wailing out a blues solo with the required 'soul' to make it come alive? "That's not what I'm talking about..". Oh yes? Then the two are completely seperate are they?

It really makes me think.. Okay, so I am the first to confess that these days I halt for a second when I describe my religious beliefs as "Christian", as I find the category so broad, and containing so much that I find completely intolerable. But even still, I find it so weird to think that people think that everything we are comes from nothing more than a few liters of blood pumping around a fleshy bag of bones and muscle. The brain is an amazing organ, but surely it is simply an instrument for something greater to play out it's instructions to a corresponding body?

So, do I have a soul? What does that mean??

Time to check the Mac dictionary...

soul |sōl|
1 the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.
• a person's moral or emotional nature or sense of identity : in the depths of her soul, she knew he would betray her.
• the essence of something : integrity is the soul of intellectual life.
• emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, esp. as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance : their interpretation lacked soul.

Well. That was easy. Yes. I believe I do.

Matt. Go read dictionaries sometime. You knob.

Friday, 15 February 2008

home late after considering the world.

I just arrived in after a night of Moonlight Cinema on THAT day of the year.. Yes, I'm talking about Valentines Day. What a crock of shit.

This year, I've decided to firmly defend my views and reject the notion of "yeah you can say you don't believe in Valentine's Day, but your girlfriend will still be pissed at you". Yeah whatever, fuck off, you weakling.

I reject Valentine's Day for the following reasons:-

1) I feel that it's based on a system of rejection. Everyone scrambles to have one, as to not be left out. Everyone that IS left out, sits outside the party wondering what it would be like to be accepted and welcomed into what appears to be this party of loving bliss and perfect acceptance. Everyone who seems to be blissfully enjoying the aforementioned party is nervously eyeing everyone else trying to convince themselves that this is what they actually want.

2) Meanwhile the retailers, card manufacturers, flower distributors, restaurants and anyone else who benefits from the "oh fuck, if i dont do anything then i'll be yelled at" notions that propels the hordes of drones that fall for this, are reaping in profits that not even the other pseudo-religious, gigantuous capitalist mega-fest, Christmas, can match.

It's so horrible. It's such a blatant stab of retail, and capitalism in general, to cash in on "love". For fucks sake people, show love and devotion every other day, not just on some day that some American retail shmuck tells you is the day that you're supposed to spend a stack of money on your "true love".

It was absolutely amazing tonight.. Almost 3000 people squeezed into the space which ideally holds 1200 at Moonlight Cinema. They bought each other wine, they laughed, they dropped rubbish all over the ground like they were too cool, and they even sat through one of the worst films we've screened, all to get a root out of each other. For goodness sake, grow up people. Taking your girlfriend to Moonlight Cinema is not original. Taking your girlfriend to see some horrible, horrible American romantic-comedy is downright freaking terrible.

Anyway. My point is, V-day is awful. Really. I was going to write something else but I can't remember. I think it was about lesbian bars. Or even milk crates. Something from the last 6 hours anyway. Eh.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

first post and the apology

So I decided to set up one of these blogger things because Ryan did. And because I wanted to get away from Myspace. So here it is.

I really want to write something about the Apology today. If you're familiar with Australia and what has been going on over the last few days, then this will mean little to you, so maybe skip it.

I drove into the city to join the gathering at Federation Square and watch the address on the big screen, and was immediately struck with the number of people there. The square was easily the fullest I've ever seen it. There was just so many people there. Indigenous, Non-Indigenous, young, old, hippies, corporates, yuppies, musos, they were all there. And not only were they there, but there was an unspoken buzz. Everyone was there and completely unified. There was excitement in the air, the Nation was finally about to make a step forward.

The Prime Minister gave an address which had me on the verge of tears, and many, many others well and truly over. We'd done it, we'd finally said sorry. The gate was now open for the wrongs of yesterday to be righted, and for the nation to walk through as one people.

But then something happened which caught me completely by surprise. Brendon Nelson, the leader of the opposition rose to give his address. I could not believe my ears. After hearing such a refreshingly to the point delivery from Rudd, falling on my ears like snowflakes, Nelsons words were like bricks through a window. Coming barely short of saying the Stolen Generation was a good thing, he tried to justify the actions of the Government of the time and the people with "the best of intentions". He talked about the Northern Territory intervention, and listed all the things wrong with Indigenous Culture (ironically, almost all of the things he listed i believe happen just as much in white culture.. perhaps we're just better at hiding it) and tried to glorify the actions and policies of the last 14 years of Liberal Government.

I came home from work and checked my email, facebook, myspace and all the usual, and found that while a great majority of my friends can recognize today as being a massive landmark, and a long overdue step in the right direction, there were those who didn't. While many of us united in respect with a tiny gesture of the facebook status "x is sorry", one particular person on my list had "x isn't sorry".

I looked at my myspace bullitens, and one person who i consider of great intelligence posted the following (after a first saying "why do I have to say Sorry myspace? I didn't do anything"):-

Date: 13 Feb 2008 12:06 AM
Subject: sorry.
Body: nah, just kidding.

sorry for questioning debunked clap-trap like the stolen generation.


p.s. gerard, definitely not aimed at you.

After being lucky enough to be able to witness such a historic event in such an unforgettable environment, with so many people in such peaceful, expectant unity, and then watching Archie Roach sing "They Took the Children Away", and end the song in tears, and share an embrace with his wife Ruby, to come home and discover that people can still have these hateful, ignorant, selfish views made me feel physically ill. How can these people possibly think this? How can we still hold onto the insensitive petty pride and spineless buck passing "it's not my fault!" toting immaturity which has been dividing this country for eighty years?

I lay on my bed this afternoon and dug out my Mike Mccarthy cd "firefloodfreedom", and played it from track five. I lay there for an hour or two with my eyes shut, and tears rolling down my face.

Fire flood freedom

We live in a beautiful Country
We come from a beautiful land
My friends who lived here before me
Your ways I must understand

Cause I’ve been ignorant to your customs
And I’ve read misleading thoughts of white man
Please find forgiveness in your spirit
Your ways I must understand

“These times are ready for change”,
This faint whisper touches my ear
The seed has surely been planted
Are we so proud we cannot say we’re sorry?

Can you hear the whisper stirring up the soul?
Flames from a fire that refuse to give in
Start to scorch your conscience…
Burning off exterior, exposing what’s within.

Living, breathing country
Beautiful and sacred land
Happy, smiling faces…
Keep helping me to understand

“These times are ready for change”,
This faint whisper touches my ear
The seed has surely been planted
Are we so proud we cannot say we’re sorry?

Water, blood and the flow of life
Pulling down all our pretence
Forcing us to realise…

“These times are ready for change”,
This faint whisper touches my ear
The seed has surely been planted
Are we so proud we cannot say we’re sorry?

Mike Mccarthy- Firefloodfreedom, Significant Records