Books, censorship, dawkins, evolution, materialism, scientism

Why all the fuss over Darwin?

If there is ONE thing that really hacks me off, it is lying. Plain and simple. Dishonesty to further one’s twisted agenda at the expense of others who are used as pawns without consideration. A malignant disease that spreads and corrupts, masquerading as truth.

Maybe because I am physically incapable of lying (being aspie and all) or because it is singularly and fundamentally WRONG, the red mist instantly descends whenever I see someone lying to another. And this is becoming a regular occurrence thanks to the internet, a place where lies are constantly used to deceive, manipulate, and program others; where a small group of ‘nutters’ can easily overwhelm all reason, and create false just-so stories that suck in all who are unprepared, like some Supermassive Black Hole.

So what has this to do with Darwin? How can there be any ‘fuss’ over him? If this is what you’re asking yourself, then watch my short presentation and then read on (to watch with audio commentary: youtu.be/dJwp9i9d1UE)

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Mental health

Protected: Narcissism is NO joke – Dirty laundry alert

Mental health

The Two Opposite Sides of Knowing About Narcissism

In writing of my own experiences of Narcissistic abuse, I came to realise just how prevalent this problem is. But while there is much out there on the internet about this personality disorder, and witness accounts, it tends to focus on female victims. I am assuming that this is because women find it easier to open up than men… rather than it be something which happens to women rather than men. So when I came across a fellow male victim’s account, I wanted to share it via my own blog.

Besides the obvious differences, the feelings, experiences and long-lasting pain is all too familiar to me, and I hope that his account gives a little into the life of a male sufferer of female Narcissistic abuse.

apensiveheart's Blog

imagesCA206NO6

In my continuing evaluation of where my life was, is, and appears to be going, I have discovered there are certain things that I know now that I sometimes wish that I didn’t.  While I wish that I didn’t know them, I also understand that ultimately they are going to benefit me.  Are you confused enough yet?  To be more to the point, I often wish that I didn’t know anything about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  Why?  Let me explain.

My narcissistic wife (and now ex) moved out of our home 9 months ago.  This was in addition to us dating back in 1999, when she abruptly left me, dating again in 2001, when she again abruptly left me, and then getting together again in 2006 and ultimately getting married in 2009.  She also moved out without warning in November, 2013 only to return in late January, 2014, with the final move out occurring…

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Philosophy

What came first: Consciousness or Matter? (Does it matter? What do you think?)

Following on from my previous post, it is now time to delve into what being a MonistIdealist Panentheist Catholic means for me. As explained in said last post, these words are merely labels, and labels can mean different things to different people. Also, if some labels are not recognised, but others are, then misunderstanding can creep in, adding bias to the unknown labels towards the recognised label. This is ironic given that the reason for multiple labels in the first place is so that they all refine each other. So, what exactly does this set of labels mean?

These labels are simply a shorthand way of describing my personal world-view. They are not my actual world-view, but close enough to act as quick-n-dirty pointers. But before describing my own personal view of reality, perhaps a brief definition of each label (as it relates to my world-view) is first needed:

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Philosophy

NOT DRINKING THE KOOL-AID

Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.

Doris Lessing ― The Golden Notebook

Now don’t misunderstand me, I have no opinion on the (I assume) American soft drink: Kool-Aid. This blog is actually on woo and how easy people seem to be seduced by it. Especially those who believe they are sceptical about woo. Rather naively, I believed that once a few actual facts were shared, then enlightenment would mean that the mastery of woo would simply blow away. I guess that makes me an optimist… except I now realise the truth… and that there is no hope for Homo Sapiens Sapiens. So my brief foray into optimism was merely an aberration to my normal pessimistic self.

Perhaps a little context is warranted.

As those of you who know me, or others who have read my various posts, already know that my ‘conscious’ ‘mind’ is a constantly seething mass of concepts, ideas, observations etc. etc. But in this particular blog I will try to narrow it down to (a tad of irony here…) the one question: Why is there something rather than nothing?
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Arts, Kazuo Ishiguro, Remains of the Day

‘The Remains of the Day’ – The Musical?

I have to be honest, the prospect of going to watch a musical version of Kazuo Ishiguro‘s excellent story of repressed emotion and thwarted ambition in the context of class structure and loyalty with Nazi sympathies during the war, was not an item on my wish list, but as my son’s friend (Chris Bartlett as ‘Reginald’) was part of this new venture I wanted to support him. And I am so glad that I did.

The Remains of the Day‘ has been re-imagined for the London stage by Alex Loveless, and defies all pre-misgivings one may have. The words are immaculate and full of wit and pathos, doing full justice to the source material. Directed sensitively by Chris Loveless and performed with tenderness, sincerity and understatement by an extremely talented cast, this is a show which demands a wider audience. I cannot recommend this production highly enough, and I am not alone – even Kazuo Ishiguro is supporting the show, recommending it despite disliking London musicals, as he explained on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme: Continue reading

Author, Books, Fiction, Sherlock Holmes

Book Review: The Somnambulist

Back in late 2006 I was asked by Gollancz if I would review a new novel they were going to publish. The idea was that my short text would be included on the cover or just inside so should be informative but with a restricted word count. In the end, they didn’t use my blurb, so it never saw the light of day. But lucky you… I’ve just found the original text and thought I’d re-present it here. Enjoy.

The Somnambulist,  by Jonathan Barnes, reads like a first novel… impressive, gripping, funny, and full of the author’s every creative idea and vocabulary. It’s not for the light-hearted. There are twists and turns, truth and lies, and that’s just between narrator and reader. Barnes has pulled together half-remembered images from the collective consciousness and crafted a tale more possibly aimed at playing with the reader’s mind than the characters within it. Confused? Wait till you read the book. You’ll either love it or hate it, I doubt there’ll be any middle ground.

I read this book of spies and magic, intrigue and action, perversion and murder in a single session. If I needed a break, the narrator sensed this and taunted me to read on. Just when I thought I knew where the plot was going, he admitted a lie and changed direction. As the villain of the piece tries to manipulate events in the narrative, so too the narrator manipulates the reader. A curious thing indeed. Made more so by his pre-empting any criticism of style and elegance in storytelling with apology or bravado. This is not a book you’ll forget in a long time.

But what of the characters? A bizarre freak show you feel you’ve met somewhere before. Barnes seems to have borrowed elements from all over the genre, incorporating them in post-Victorian London in a familiar yet disturbing way. Hints of Sherlock Holmes and Frankenstein, shadows of the Rue Morgue, with a nod to She-Hulk. All these elements  flow (bizarrely) together, driven by a thesaurus-wielding sadist (with a curious sense of humour). His use of language is almost poetic and often leaves the reader feeling impotent, only to then spell out the mundane (hands up who knows what the London Monument is?)

Definitely an enGROSSing read.