Thursday, 3 September 2009

Camera Obscura






I am a weirdo, never denied it. Recently I was told that it is not normal to take photos of rubbish and derelict buildings. I never really considered it weird. Still, as Frank Zappa said, 'I didn't set out to be weird'; I just seem to perceive rubbish and dilapidated buildings as the most interesting features of modern British scenery, seeming to burst with metaphors and symbols when consumerism has created a literal hegemony throughout the nation.

Was going to write about the weird farce of Megrahi, but just feel so sickened by the whole thing. He is probably innocent, yet many of our politicians are concerned that if we release a terminally ill man, fewer Americans will come here to buy rubber plesiosaurs and hey jimmy hats. Such is the state of the world...

8 comments:

  1. Greetings from another weird photoholic!

    You name 'rubbish and dilapidated buildings as the most interesting features of modern British scenery' but all I can say is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Consumerism is really an open wound on Britain's face, but I wouldn't say that there aren't so many lovely things to photograph.

    The UK is a beautiful country, and its people - in spite of being so irreligious & hedonist - are not 'implacably doomed'. There's still left a sense of British decency & civility, there are kindly-hearted people (even atheists), there are oases of Orthodoxy, so there's also hope for your country!

    Anyway, I'd be curious to read on your blog:

    - how you felt when you saw Scottish flags (with St Andrew's cross) waved in a Muslim country:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/6063529/Lockerbie-bomber-returns-to-heros-welcome-and-Scottish-flag-waving-in-Libya.html

    - what do you think about Alex Salmond's intentions to carry on with his plans for referendum in 2010:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8233788.stm
    http://independence2010.org/

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  2. Dear Bogdan

    Thank you for your comment. Perhaps I should have clarified and said urban scenery. Yet, still I find rubbish is often fascinating.

    About your comments.

    Libya used to be Orthodox at one time. Whilst obviously there are very few if any Orthodox there now, the faith has never been entirely erased from many countries. I met a young woman from Egypt who said that Egyptian men whose wives are pregnant often draw crosses on their wrists and Egyptian women who cannot conceive visit Christian shrines. I heard someone's opinion that the Alevi 'Muslim' minority in Turkey are ethically closer to Christianity than Islam.

    However, I do not know about other religions. I am culturally and theologically Orthodox. Whilst I encourage small-o Orthodoxy in Roman Catholicism (I rather like Pope Benedict XVI) I do not see Muslims as 'more different' especially than non-Orthodox Christians. That is not to say that I am in any way a better person, in fact I am probably a greater sinner than most of these people, but that I find ecumenical dialogues a strange idea. Probably it will lead to the faith of the anti-Christ.

    Whilst I think Israel is wrong to mistreat the Palestinians (some of whom are Orthodox),the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are disastrous, the war on terror is a creepy statist melodrama (possibly involving false-flag attacks), and it is shameful that 'public intellectuals' (like Martin Amis) condone brutality towards Muslims, I also think that immigration from troubled countries like Pakistan and Algeria should be restricted. There are many wonderful people from these countries I am sure, but we have to be realistic about assimilation, cultural differences and employment opportunities.

    (don't know if this is what you were asking?)

    Whilst your second link was dead, I am pleased that Salmond wants to continue with the referendum. Whilst I have no illusions that it will be easy (especially given problems throughout France and Germany) 'Britain' is, I think, a failed state.

    Future historians may analyse it to show what happens when people think that putting their faith in consumerism means that they will be rich and free. When in fact Britain's public debt is twice that of France, and the civil liberties situation much worse.

    Of course, Scotland will have its fair share of problems, but it is better than being a part of a superstate ruled by a dictatorship chosen by 200,000 people in Southern England.

    Hope you are well my friend
    Gregory

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  3. Dear friend,

    I find it very interesting that you have a somehow 'idealized' image of the Middle East & North Africa... as a matter of fact, the entire 'civilised world' was once Orthodox Christian!

    People living in those parts of the world are worthy of our love as any others, and maybe - just maybe, I can't tell for sure! - maybe they would find it easier to embrace the true faith in Christ than those 'too sure of themselves' Brits or other Westerners.

    There's no problem in liking Pope Benedict either. The only think we should always have in mind is that - irrespective how 'good people' heterodox believers may be - the faith is flawed... In the same way, if many Orthodox believers are 'bad people' (utterly unworthy of such a gift) this does not mean that their faith is wrong!

    I know it's very hard even for myself not to jugde people & love everyone (since Christ died for all - even for those not Baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity!), without forgetting that there's only One (true) Church. But I guess this is part of the cross we have to bear!

    We must pray for everyone (I remember even your friend Andrew!), and hope that the Lord will show his seamless mercy to all, but we should never make 'compromises' in realtion to our faith!

    ***

    Why do you say that Britain is a 'failed state'? Aren't you afraid that Big Brother is watching you? :-) How could you be so 'unpatriotic', when for so amny people the UK is a dream country?

    ***

    I'm very interested in this Scottish independence issue... I personally don't find it very likely (after my roaming in your country in 2008), but maybe the current crisis helped turning the tide towards independence...

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  4. Dear Bogdan

    It is good to hear from you. Just to clarify, I do not have an idealised view of the Middle East or North Africa, but I have heard that there are still relics of Orthodoxy in these nations (I’ve even heard that there have been several Turks converting to Orthodoxy). And I imagine that they still have values that we do not have in the consumerist West. The strangest thing in Britain is though, that criticising the current immigration policy or suggesting that Britain is built on Christian tenets is regarded as ‘right wing’ despite large social problems in Britain… but I hope to write a post on this topic.

    ‘ we should never make 'compromises' in realtion to our faith!’

    I entirely agree! I find the whole ecumenical thing very odd. Of course, there are similarities with Roman Catholicism but also differences and we must not yield to the Vatican in any way though we should keep friendly relations. But outside of Apostolic Christianity, ‘dialogue’ just turns into a farce.

    ‘Why do you say that Britain is a 'failed state'? Aren't you afraid that Big Brother is watching you? :-) How could you be so 'unpatriotic', when for so amny people the UK is a dream country?’

    Well, as you know there is the surveillance state (how efficient I do not know). But it is also the case that Britain is essentially a dictatorship where a small minority decide what happens. However, we also have vast national debt which is bound to make things nasty, especially if the Conservatives go to the IMF. We already have violence in the streets.

    Was just reading a post by a Czech living in London:
    http://www.austereinsomniac.info/blog/2009/9/15/letting-the-genie-out-of-the-bottle.html

    Seems that even in South East England there are all sorts of conflicts. It feels rather odd being a Scot and reading this because England IS a different country. I’m not saying this sentimentally, but as a fact. Of course, from the suburbs to the housing estates in London would be like travelling between very different nations itself.


    With best wishes my friend
    Gregor

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  5. Dear Gregor,

    1. Of course that there are Ortodox relics in these countries. Haven't you noticed (I saw this even in the secular UK) that when the Turkish Gov is advertising their tourism, they include images of icons and/or churches on the promotional posters?

    2. It's hypocritical and stupid to claim that Britain is a Christian country... in order to defend any 'barriers' against immmigration! It's natural to have such barriers, I don't see anything wrong with that, but mentioning Christianity is ridiculous...

    3. The ecumenical movement is not only 'odd' but having almost 'schismatic' effects in Orthodox countries... Catholics have given up their policy of centuries ('uniting' particlar Orthodox churches with Rome), they want the entire Orthodox world under the Pope's cloak... they are working on that with very little steps...

    However, I believe that the Lord will not let it happen.

    4. Actually, surveillance is not that effective:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/8219022.stm

    ...so you may be 'safe' :-)

    5. Any 'big democracy' is nothing but a hidden dictatorship. I'm not so naive to imagine their bullshit about freedom of choice.

    They are trying their best to silence the Ireish, to force them to say 'YES' to a dubious Treaty of Lisbon, after all other nations in the EU were 'tricked'... Had referendums been organised, there would have been a similar 'NO' in the UK, France, possibly Holland, Denmark, Greece etc.

    Germany, Italy, Romania, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Austria - would have 'yesmen' even in a referendum :-(

    6. I'm really curious about Britain's future if the Torries go to the IMF... Do you think that they can do anything else? The UK's financial situation is very poor...

    7. Leon's blog is interesting. I should write about it in my series [EN] Hail to competing sites / [RO] Salutări siteurilor concurente - which is dedicated to other blogs of foreigners offering their views about the UK.

    8. You're right that Scotland is a different country, but I'm afraid you ahve such a 'common destiny' with the English, whether you like it or not :-(

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  6. Hello Bogdan

    'I'm really curious about Britain's future if the Torries go to the IMF... Do you think that they can do anything else? The UK's financial situation is very poor...'

    Well, pretty much anything is better than the IMF which usually sees a growth of infant mortality, infectious diseases and other byproducts of 'market mechanisms'.

    Incidentally, that is one reason why I write about Russia a lot: the idea that Vladimir Putin was some kind of 'Hitler' only arose after he overturned some IMF supported reforms. No-one cared much about his Chechnya policy or for the flaws of his predecessor (or the fact that far more journalists were murdered during Yeltsin's time than during Putin's).

    Yet global capitalism seems to be our religion.

    And we Brits may well be punished for this. The ironic thing is that post-Communist Russia probably dealt with 'shock therapy' better than Britain would. Once I was in a supermarket and the lights went out for about five seconds and people were gasping and screaming...I can't imagine the Russians doing that.

    Leos has a very interesting blog with insights about Central Europe and Russia... seems he shares your ambivalence about the idealism of Visegrad nations.

    With best wishes
    Gregor

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  7. Dear Gregor,

    1. Romania got a 13 bln $ loan from the IMF this spring, therefore what else can we expect than infant mortality, infectious diseases and other byproducts of 'market mechanisms'?

    It's probably a 'simplistic' view (as things like these happen particularly in Africa), yet not far from reality... as the IMF miney is being used for paying wages, pensions, all kinds of allocations but no true 'investment'. That's really sad...

    If the crisis didn't properly strike Romania so far, I think the crisis will come 'thanks to' the IMF money...

    ***

    2. Indeed, I can't imagined the 'spoilt' Brits coping with 'shock therapy'. Sadly, one year from now things could be very painful in the UK.

    What 'Falklands War' or anything like that could boost the morale of the Brits when they will lose all hopes that the new Tory government can't deliver any 'miracles'?

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  8. Dear Bogdan
    Just a very quick point (someone is visiting)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Monetary_Fund#Impact_on_public_health

    'In 2008, a study by analysts from Cambridge and Yale universities published on the open-access Public Library of Science concluded that strict conditions on the international loans by the IMF resulted in thousands of deaths in Eastern Europe by tuberculosis as public health care had to be weakened. In the 21 countries which the IMF had given loans, tuberculosis deaths rose by 16.6 %.'

    Obviously that is not to say that the same HAS TO happen in Britain, but to pretend that the IMF and Worldbank are anything but tools of the satanic NWO would be very naive. I am pleased that it has apparently done some good short-term work in Romania, though I imagine it may also have come with strings. And sadly I doubt if any will have gone to Romaina orphanages... which even someone who likes the Romanians as I do finds shocking.

    'What 'Falklands War' or anything like that could boost the morale of the Brits when they will lose all hopes that the new Tory government can't deliver any 'miracles'?'

    Well, I think that Cameron's Tories will overwhelmingly win the next election based on the media's drooling adoration... but you cannot build a house on sand...and he really is at best similar to New labour: at worst a more intense version (he is even more gung ho about unregulated markets and 'liberal intervention').

    Perhaps I am overly pessimistic, but if things go as I expect, then we will have a similar cycle to Russia: shock therapy, unethical 'privatisations', enfeebled state, demagogic hypercapitalist nationalism, human trafficing, huge numbers of abortions...

    Maybe it seems paradoxical that I am (comparatively speaking) a defender of modern Russia when seeing all these awful things but my view is that it is what the NWO wanted all along and whilst Putin/ Medvedev sum up some bad things and some good things, it is the good things that they are hated for. And anyway, it is mainly to feed Big Brother and make people afraid so they will trust the state.

    'Putvedev' are the only possible bridge to Franco-German style social democracy... maybe they will not achieve this; but it is obvious that the IMF goons only offer more abortions, infectious illness, dilapidated infrastructure...

    On that cheery note :-(

    Have a nice weekend
    Gregor

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