Friday, 29 August 2008

religious art

there is a woden sculpture of a green frong being cruicified, with its green tongue sticking out and one of his hands holding an egg and the other holding a cup, which is currently being hated by the pope. a lot of people are trying to remove it from the art gallary as well because they say it's offensive to christianity which sees the cross as symbol of love etc.
indeed, most if not all artworks on religion that we come across are to do with beauty, mercy, greatness, love...... of god, these artists create such art possibly because they do not have words to describe their strong feelings about what they believe. if this is true, the lack of artworks such as those that depict nastiness of religion, or those that mock religion, suggests that people who criticise religion do not have as strong feelings towards religion (in an opposite way) as those who love their god.
interestingly, it is far from the truth that people do not have strong feelings towards religion in a negative way. so what do these people do when they want to express their repultion to religion? they certainly don't tend to do it through artworks such as painting, but they write, they argue.
so on one hand, people who say possitive things about god/religion do it through traditional artworks (including singing, painting etc); on the other, people who say negative things about god/religion tend to do it through text. I believe that this is not an accidental difference of expression, but rather it tells us what religions actually are.
in a blunt sentence, I would say that religions are pretty, nice, beautiful illogical bullshit that a lot of people have to depend on.

Sunday, 17 August 2008


I promised to write about my views and experiences of how blind people go into the "normal" society after being sheltered in institutions such as special schools, so here it is. forgive my possibly politically incorrect use of "normal", but I do think that special schools are pretty abnormal.
a special school is typically a tiny school (the two I went to had about 100 students). Everything one needs to do and one wants to do is heavily supported, for example, all the books are translated into Braille for us, every single teaching activity has been understandably adapted to blind people's needs, the microwaves talk (at least the majority), tesco trips are organised and there is almost always a one to one "shopping support" from the members of school staff, staff are on site to give lessons on how to get from school to town, or where ever one needs to go, the list goes on and on.
so the first chalenge for someone going into university, or going into the society to find a job, is that all of a sudden, the person is unable to find the kind of support he is so used to, or it takes an awful long time for that kind of support to come and the person just sits there and wait. another chalenge, perhaps is even bigger, is that all of a sudden, the person finds himself in a strange society in which people have eyes that can see(!) and "shockingly", those people who can see probably have never interacted with a blind person before.
the blind person goes from having absolutely all the confidence he has with his surrounding, friends, ways of doing things to have totally lost his confidence on just about everything, because he doesn't know how a normal person sees him, he finds himself unable to join a lot of the activities or even basic discussions that people around him do and talk about. on top of that, the normal people do tell the blind person directly or indirectly that they are seeing him differently to the rest, by having a tendency to approach the blind person extremely carefully (always appologising even no fault was commited, unsure about whether to help or not ending up watching the blind person embarasing himself (of course the blind person knows that), always feel uneasy about using the words that have something to do with sight/watch/see ending up having lots of interuptions to an otherwise normal conversation etc ).
I think it's fair to say that I coped with the change very well, I actually loved my university years much more than being in the special college. one of my advantages is that I am never a big fan of going out/clubbing etc, so I don't feel left out at all when everyone is doing just that. in fact when people did occasionally asked me to go I have to find the most stupid excuse not to go...
what the blind has to realise is that it's up to themselves to turn things round, to build up confidence. one has to realise that being blind is a disability, is not normal, and being blind does need help, and it's okay to ask for help and it's okay to accept help. people offer help not because they think that you can't do something, but most of the time it's because they want to make it easier and quicker for you to do something. there are times when you need to refuse help so that you can learn to be independent, and that will be when you have lots of time and when you are not slowing everyone else down.
when I have lots of time, even when I'm totally lost in the street, I don't tend to ask anyone for help. I tend to just try to find my way back to where I came from, and figure out what I did wrong. it can be scary sometimes, but you will never end up not being able to go home and starved to death! I have been lost numourous times, sometimes I find my way back, and sometimes I really needed help in the end.
a word on waiting for support: never rely on official support, they are absolutely useless. my friends, girlfriend, sister etc are my best mobility teachers. you have to make a big effort remembering where you have been, ask questions as well.
I will write a bit more about socialising next time, but I'm probably not the best person to talk about it because I am not very keen on socialising.

Saturday, 16 August 2008


There was an Old Man with a flute,--
A "sarpint" ran into his boot!
But he played day and night, till the "sarpint" took flight,
And avoided that Man with a flute.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

a couple of funny things in the news today

1. while everyone is worrying so much about eatting junk food, calories etc, the greatest olympian of all time has 12,000 colories a day with:
eggs, bakon, sausage, omlet, pancake with sugar for breakfast.
1/2 kg pasta, lots of ham and egg sanwiches for lunch
a big pizza, more pasta, and a high colory drink for dinner..

2. I love this one. Napal is choosing their living Goddess, she has to be calm, serious, patient, can't walk on the floor - always be carried and has carers and lots of things.
some human right lawyers are trying to stop this from happening, because it infringes her human right! well isn't it obvious? she's seen as a Goddess, not a bloody human! come on and wake up, there are many many more urgent human right cases/issues to take care of.

lastly, this isn't funny really. a-level results in UK have been released. 97% passed, 25% got aS. researchers have shown that the A's this year is equvalent to about a C a couple of years back, while students are claiming that they are working sooooo hard. I leave you to work out what it means (that is, you probably can't work it out if you only have A's for this year a-level)

I am an average student, getting the results that most students get throughout my school life including university. I took the a-level 6 years ago, and ever since I have been criticising how the exam papaers are set up, how wrong it is that the questions are repeated, coursework can simply be plagerised, the marking system makes it extremely easy to score A's. I admitedly didn't do much revising, apart from for chemistry. all I was caring about was whether I could perform well in the school concert at the end of the school year. what I'd say probably is: drink a bit less, drug a bit less and shag a bit less and at least, do not damage your memory and concentration skills so that you can memorise answers from past papers!

Friday, 8 August 2008

when did I

I was thinking about what it means to like something, or what makes me like something. so the simplest model i have is this: if in my past, every time I do a certain action, or come across a certain object, I get some pleasure out of it, I become liking that thing or liking to do that action.
At home when I was very young, I was always the one who would volunteer to pick up dead cockroaches that sister killed. I would put a piece of toilet paper on it, and pick it up and throw it in to the toilet. I cannot remember when I stopped doing this, but all I know is that now, I am actually very afraid of touching insects - dead or alive. I don't even like touching plants, just in case something is crawling on it.
so surely there must have been a time when touching insects or similar things gave me constant horror, which makes me so afraid of them now. but I cannot find anywhere in my memory what that was...
I don't know whether I need to refine my model or I really am missing something in my history...

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Optional barter

I'll start from the beginning of the train of thoughts. when one visits a restaurant or hotel, one sits down, eats (or whatever one does in a hotel), then one pays, and then he leaves. with the "green programs" nowadays, guests can choose not to have full service. e.g., they can choose not to have their towel washed everyday, and a percentage of their bill will be donated to a charity that funds something green.
if the intention of the hotel's manager really is to be green, I think he hasn't gone far enough with the scheme. what he should do is to reduce the bill of the guest by a certain percentage, then behind the scene he donates the money to the charity. guests are always happier when they see their bill decreased, and therefore more money can be collected, and more water can be saved.
if this way of reducing guest's bill really works, why not go a step further for something like an optional barter system? so a guest can not only offer to have his towel unwashed, he can offer to bring his towels to the laundry in order that 1% of his bill is deducted, if he offers to fetch his food from room service himself, he can have the tray charge deducted, if he offers to change his bed, he can have 2% of his bill deducted, if he hoovers, well that's hard so an even bigger percentage.
now to have a proper barter system, guests can offer to help other guests' luggaeg, so that he can share the tips and have something off his bill, he can offer to be a waiter in his free time, he can offer to be the doorman etc.