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Showing posts from June, 2012

Water for Elephants - intentional spoiler alert

Last night I watched the movie Water for Elephants directed by Francis Lawrence, starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz.  The quality of the production was very good.  The acting, scenery, camera work, was all excellent.  But all this was lost under the endless frames of violence.

The bulk of the storyline, which was potentially a very good storyline, was filled with scenes of brutality, oppression and denigration of human and animal life. Frame after frame showed us just how depraved and brutal, the circus owner was.  After half an hour you get it.  The owner, August, clearly a psychopath, created his world based on the premise that you must beat down the life force in all living creatures - even those you profess to love, until all that remains is unquestioning obedience through fear.

The mainline story is about the love between a runaway hired hand, a vet student who was called away from his exams when his parents were killed in a car accident, and the ci…

The Power of Insight

The fifth of the five spiritual powers is the power of insight. Thich Nhat Hanh maintains that the power of insight "is a sword that cuts painlessly through all kinds of suffering, including fear, despair, anger, and discrimination." He goes on to say that an insight is more than a notion and Hanh's key teaching is the insight of impermanence.

I look for stability through democracy and social justice perhaps because it offers some comfort that others might do unto me as I would do to them.



Because of my attachment to social justice I act according to what I believe is just and fair. I raise my family on ideas of justice and kindness and empathy.   Self-interest to me is contributing to a world guided by laws based on a reverence for life.

But at the moment what I hear and see in the news, in social media, on the internet, on the radio, goes against all the notions of justice, kindness and empathy. I feel outraged not just because I fear something bad will happen to me o…