Tag Archives: Critical Thinking

Tonight America Chooses…

9 Nov

Tonight the United States of America chooses their leader- their president.

The world is watching. So many people are hoping for change.

I sincerely hope that the United States makes progress in their quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (as stated in the declaration of independence).

Here I present a video of one of my most respected and favourite artists/musicians/poets…Dead PrezThis is their appearance on Def Poetry Jam called “4 The Hood.” It includes the beautiful and heartfelt “Window To My Soul.”  

Their spoken word pieces and music are filled with intelligence, social justice, critical thinking and soulful, revolutionary poetry. 4 the hood begs the question: is money the real president?

Is voting really choosing between the lesser of two evils or the evil of two lessers?

Lyrics

RBG…RBG…

Look look
Yo, you expect me to vote for the lesser of two evils?
NEVER!
It’s more like the evil of two lessers.
That’s like sayin’ – M! Choose your oppressor!
Pick one! Jeffery Dahmer or Hannibal Lecter
You want Crack, Coke, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper?
THEY ALL FU**ED UP and neither one of ‘em better
Cuz Crack is like a Democrat
Cocaine – Republican
Marijuana – Independent Party
SAME GOVERNMENT!
You really think your vote counts?
Ask my folk down in Florida didn’t they straight THROW they sh*t out!
And them crackas act innocent,
KNOWING they depend on this
Benefit from HUSH money from big businesses
MONEY is the president!

Dead Prez,
Dolla dolla bill, and I bet no convention ain’t spinnin’ this
Soon they gon’ need us
BELIEVE US
When these cats pick rappers to be POLITICAL LEADERS?
Don’t be pawns, be Lolita Lebrons
Run up on them all like ‘Muthafu**a it’s ON!’
If CONGRESS can’t make PROGRESS
Let’s change the PROCESS –
NO MORE TOMS RUNNIN’ FOR OFFICE!
Talkin’ like that these crackas’ll call you crazy
What’s crazy is, ain’t no difference in ME and JAY-Z –
The SAME BOAT brought us the SAME PLACE in slavery
So we rock the same chains anyway
BABY, BABY!

*

For more information on…

Dead Prez, please visit: https://deadprezblog.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/deadprezrbg

https://twitter.com/sticrbg 

Def Poetry Jam…http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0329823/ 

*

Peace & Namaste….

-V.

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Reflection for today…Deconstructing Happiness -Karl Pilkington

2 Aug

*This post is dedicated to my friend Olly who is the biggest Karl Pilkington fan that I know.

Karl Pilkington is a critical thinker.

Karl Loves To Think Outside The Box…

Part of Karl’s mass appeal is that he stays true to himself. Despite his massive success, Karl seems to still be authentic. He is always honest, curious, humble and so funny. He is best known as comedian Ricky Gervais’ friend and colleague on their very successful podcasts The Ricky Gervais Show. He was the star of an idiot abroad and even wrote a diary about his adventures. His latest creative endeavour is the moaning of life.

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In this short video clip Karl deconstructs happiness in relation to physical beauty/fitness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnoIj624Wf8

Happiness | The Moaning of Life | Karl Pilkington

For the moaning of life, he meets a man who has had 120 procedures and approximately $150,000 worth of plastic surgeries. Karl posed without his shirt next to the man who’s had all the plastic surgeries. The interviewer says to Karl, “I am quite impressed with that you don’t care. You are happy to stand there posing with your top off. And let’s face it, you haven’t the best body known to man.”

I love Karl’s humble yet refreshing attitude in response to the interviewer. He replies that his body is “not a bad one…it works. But I understand that any women watching this wouldn’t go…oh, look at him. But that’s the reality isn’t it? That’s what most people look like.” Why is Karl’s physique so unattractive or unacceptable?? I don’t think it is by any means. It’s a manner of perception and what we are being sold {in an ideological sense i.e. perfection}. Most people prefer fantasy and illusion instead of truth. Karl Pilkington is the ultimate realist and he employs his critical thinking skills to deconstruct the situation.

Karl inquisitively asks, “So I don’t know what’s happened where they think that’s normal on the left.” Adverting has sent people on a relentless quest for perfection, beauty/sex appeal and youth. Men are now being attacked with similar psychological warfare that women are attacked with {albeit to a much lesser degree}. Even children are being groomed as consumers.

We are reduced to our exterior appearances- not even amounting to the sum of our parts. In the mainstream media, what we look like has solely defined who we are. Our rich inner life, emotions, intellect, spirituality have been erased from the discourse and divorced from our identities. I wonder what consequences this emotional and spiritual disconnection will bring. We cannot allow society, marketing/advertising to dictate to us who we are. Your self identity needs to be your own creation because only you know who you are inside.

The ridiculous new plastic surgery that Karl mentions is testicle ironing. What has happened to people that they need to invent these new procedures? Are they really that bored or obsessed with unattainable perfection? Why don’t people focus on true problems in humanity: poverty; hunger; war; abuse to children, animals, women, the environment; human trafficking; genital mutilation; acid attacks; rapes; racism, sexism, discrimination of all types; social inequality, etc? I always wonder what great things people could accomplish in their personal lives {and humanity as a whole} if we wouldn’t be seduced by this culture of narcissism and distraction.

Will people wake up to their own power in order to enact change in their lives and in the context of the world? Will most remain asleep? Time will tell but hopefully more will realize this matrix is a prison {if we chose to stay enslaved in it}. It is time to wake up and realize that emancipation from society’s brainwashing is in our hands. We hold the key. This quest for perfection, endless youth and eternal beauty is a social construction and an illusion.

No one will argue against self-care as caring about one’s health and appearance is quite healthy. The danger lies in caring too much because it can distract you from more important things in life that are more deserving of your time, energy and attention. Focusing obsessively on such trivial and vain things such as perfection seems like such a waste of energy, time, money and human potential but that’s just my opinion. As Karl says, “don’t worry about it.”

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Do you agree or disagree with Karl Pilkington?

Why or why not?

{I hope to feature more moaning of life clips and Karl Pilkington in the near future}.

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Please enjoy Clutching at Straws by Andrea Parker {from her Kiss My Arp cd}….

{I was lucky enough to see her in person when she opened up for Radiohead. It was divine and I loved her music}.

I copied this from her biography page…

“”Known as no1darker – Parker has always been uncompromising, passionate about the music and loaded with don’t–give-a-shit resolve. She has a love of art, arps, photography, architecture, graffiti, 808, concrete, glaciers, adidas, Bass, rust and all things white.  She is incredibly hard to pigeon hole : one minute she will be in the studio making dark, menacing, haunting music-  going from Booty shakin’ beats to string drenched ballads. The next she’ll be climbing mountains and reaching new summits; from Kilimanjaro in Africa to the avenue of the volcanoes in Ecuador.  She has worked for many charity’s, including Crisis, the NSPCC, Get kids going and many more, she even dressed up as Pudsey Bear for Children in Need!!  An old school analogue girl at heart, she still remains a die hard B Girl and is defiantly a freaky B*tch! One things for sure: She’d give the men in white coats a run for their money if they even dared think about taking her away…”

-Time Out magazine

“Beats so phat, so dope and so dark, there ain’t a NYC MC alive (cept maybe Rakim) that could handle them”

-New York Times

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40JbtBCjz1U&feature=share

Knowing our self
Who we think that we are
Constantly changing
Constantly changing
So near and so far
Knowing ourself
Who we think that we are
Constantly changing
Constantly changing
So near and so far
Who we think that we are
Who we think that we are
Who we think that we are.”

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For more information…

Karl Pilkington…http://www.karlpilkington.com/ 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1797453/

The Moaning of Life…http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3277670/ 

Andrea Parker…http://www.andreaparker.co.uk/ 

http://www.andreaparker.co.uk/about-andrea

*

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…The Value of Money -Nikola Tesla

5 Nov

     “Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it.”

-Nikola Tesla

*

In this short video clip, Moby discusses the value of money.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSGwVm-Tj_s

He notes, “the ultimate goal in acquiring money is to have enough money so you don’t have to worry about money. 

His observation, “the best thing about money is when you don’t have to pay attention to money” is paradoxical.

It is a paradox that you can stop paying attention to money only when you have money.

This begs the question of how much money does one need to have in order to stop paying attention to it? 

{I suspect that it varies from individual  to individual}.

Moby talks about how he grew up poor and even lived in an abandoned factory in a crack neighborhood.

*It should be noted that at no point in time does he complain about the poverty he experienced.

One senses an air of gratitude from Moby for these experiences.

His humble beginnings are quite the contrast to his massive success as a musician. I believe that Moby truly deserves and enjoys his success- financial and otherwise.

His last point was that he doesn’t understand the pursuit of money for the sake of money.

Chasing money for the sake of money sounds like greed to me.

Greed

To me it seems that Moby is asking existential questions about human existence.

Specifically, he is questioning purpose and what brings happiness and satisfaction. 

He does not think that happiness is derived solely from money.

Moby Loves Animals & Is An Animal Activist…

However, Moby notes that money can improve the quality of your life.

Sociology teaches us that a person’s income and social status greatly impacts their health and quality of life.

Sadly, society is not a level playing field; hence, the vital and urgent importance of social equality is understood.

Moby invites us to define success and find happiness and satisfaction on own our terms. 

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Please enjoy Paid in Full by the legendary Eric B & Rakim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7t8eoA_1jQ

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Do you agree or disagree with Moby?

Why or why not?

What does success mean to you?

What brings you happiness and satisfaction in life?

*

For more information…

Nikola Tesla…http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/index.html

Moby…http://www.moby.com

Eric B. & Rakim…http://www.ericbnrakim.com

*

Moby Wishes You Peace, Love and Happiness…

Reflection for today…Unforgettable -Jim Morrison

15 May

“I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star.

Everyone stops, points up and gasps “Oh look at that!”

Then- whoosh, and I’m gone…

and they’ll never see anything like it ever again…

and they won’t be able to forget me- ever.

―Jim Morrison 

Jim Morrison…Poet/Writer/Musician/Artist/Free Spirit/Beautiful Soul

verdillac:” It hurts to set you free, but you’ll never follow me, the end of laughter and soft lies, the end of nights we tried to die, THIS IS THE END! ”

Jim Morrison’s Grave in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
It is a pilgrimage for Jim Morrison admirers to visit his grave and pay their respects…

 *

James Douglas Morrison also known as Jim Morrison was a free spirit, poet, artist, writer and musician.

He is one of those artists whose art has a timeless impact on humanity.

Jim was a lover of literature, philosophy, music, poetry, art, drama, shamanism, independent and critical thinking, etcetera.

He had many intellectual, creative and artistic interests.

Later in his life he was developing a stronger affinity for the blues and poetry.

I would have loved to see how Jim would have evolved as an artist and human being.

For now his admirers can read and listen to his work- the creative gifts he left us.

Jim will never be forgotten…

He is unforgettable.

*

Please enjoy Jim’s Smile…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMhiDCZXU2k

I adore his smile!!!

It is like he has a secret- so mischievous…

{Jim’s smile could melt the coldest heart}.

*

Please enjoy Bird of Prey by Jim Morrison…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ft37338Okc

*

Have you read Jim’s poetry books?

What are your favourite Doors‘ songs?

What are your reflections on Jim Morrison?

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For more information on Jim Morrison…

https://thedoors.com/home

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Many more Jim Morrison posts are coming up in the near future…

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Questioning Identity -Tilda Swinton

21 Apr

“I’m basically interested in identity, and I still find fascinating the question,

how do we identify ourselves, and how do we settle into other people’s expectations for our identity?”

Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton as David Bowie.
Photographed by Craig Mcdean for AnOther Magazine.

Tilda channels David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego…

Tilda is a Rebel Rebel…

Tilda is a huge David Bowie Fan…

“The other day, I was going through the airport security and I was searched by a male security guard. I’m very often referred to as “Sir” in elevators and such. I think it has to do with being this tall and not wearing much lipstick. I think people just can’t imagine I’d be a woman if I look like this.”

“You’re always playing yourself.
It’s all autobiography, whatever you’re doing.
It’s using them as a kind of prism through which to throw something real about yourself, or something relaxed at least.
Because the last thing you want is to look like you’re acting.”

Tilda Swinton in Candy Magazine

Tilda is a Futuristic Cosmic Mermaid…

Tilda as a Cosmic Space Goddess…

Tilda Laughs At The Status Quo…

Tilda Transforms Through Make-up Artistry…

“These photographic performances and the opportunity they afford me to play with the shapes and attitudes of this lexicon are thrilling to me.”

*

Tilda Swinton is a brilliant actress and performer {one of my favourites}.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2Zajvjm4LI

She has performed “the maybe” where she sleeps in a glass cage for performance art.

Tilda’s recent performance at MOMA {Museum of Modern Art}…

Tilda is a fascinating artist and human being.

“It’s a real comfort zone for me to feel alien.”

It should come to no surprise that she is a writer.

If you have ever hear her speak, you will be struck with her grace, intelligence and eloquence.

Her natural beauty radiates outwards.

*

Tilda tends to favor a more natural and androgynous look.

The pictures from Candy magazine depict her in drag make-up.

These pictures are in juxtaposition with her usual natural aesthetic.

Scottish actress Tilda Swinton relishes in androgyny, artistry and creativity…

*

Tilda is so intriguing to me not only as an actress/artist but as a thinker and human being.

She says that a recurring theme in her work is the question of identity and the question of transformation.

Tilda Swinton in W Magazine {August 2011}

In this clip, she discusses identity and transformation….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEIFzoBgNe8

“Society circumscribes us and we play into this feeling that we have to pick one identity and stick with it and any natural transformation within our spirit is to be resisted at all costs.

If there is some great shift in someone’s life one is to feel nothing, but shame and failure, that’s the thing I am constantly drawn back to.”

“There is something insane about a lack of doubt. Doubt, to me anyway, is what makes you human, and without doubt even the righteous lose their grip not only on reality but also on their humanity.”

What keeps her engaged in performing and acting is the moment of shift and doubt in one’s identity.

“There’s such an effort to try and explain people.”

Tilda Removes The Wig/Veil/Metaphorical Mask…

Tilda The Transformer…

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Gender, identity and beauty are such an intriguing topics which I hope to explore in future posts.

“Tilda does not always play women; she has played Mozart on stage, an Elizabethan nobleman in Orlando (1992) and an androgynous angel, Gabriel, in Constantine (2005).”
-Internet Movie Database

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Please enjoy the fascinating video of master make-up artist Joseph Harwood as he transforms himself from a male/androgynous appearance into a female appearance.

{Joseph really shows us how make-up is art and how you can express yourself and construct our own identity}.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBxGwTEc0AQ

Joseph answers questions about androgyny and gender…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cAYU7D0wfY

To watch more of Joseph’s make-up artistry videos…

http://www.youtube.com/user/jhmemoires

For more information on Joseph Harwood…

http://www.josephharwood.com/

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Please enjoy David Bowie’s new song “The Stars Are Out Tonight”…

Tilda Swinton & David Bowie…An Artistic Dream…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH7dMBcg-gE

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I am most grateful for a class I took called “sociology of gender relations” because it enlightened me about gender.

This class also brought to my awareness the struggles of women, gay people, transgendered people and other types of minorities.

More than anything this class convinced me that everyone deserves equality, there needs to be more love, compassion and acceptance in the world and that we should collectively fight discrimination of all kinds.

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For more information on…

Tilda Swinton…

Tilda and Bjork…

please visit her internet movie database page…

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842770/

Twitter…https://twitter.com/NotTildaSwinton

David Bowie…http://www.davidbowie.com/

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I would love to read your thoughts on this post or about gender, identity, androgyny and/or beauty.

What are your favourite Tilda Swinton performances/films?

What are your favourite David Bowie songs/albums and alter egos?

What are your alter egos?

Tilda Swinton…a brilliant artist/actress/chameleon

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Art Is A Question Mark -Marilyn Manson

8 Apr

“Art is a question mark,

not an answer.”

Marilyn Manson

David Lynch & Marilyn Manson sharing a happy moment…

David Lynch & Marilyn Manson share a love of darkness explored in art…
They are also both painters and musicians.

In this clip, Marilyn Manson discusses art and its relationship to spirituality and politics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhnoKmbc1Tk

{Side Note…I would have loved to have Marilyn Manson as a teacher when I was in school.

I am sure that I would learn so much from him}.

*

Manson thinks that “art is far more important than politics.”

For him art is the closest thing that can be religious because he likens God with the creative component of art.

Art is his spirituality.

He respects religion but he disagrees with the way in which religion has been used to manipulate people and limit their intellectual curiosity.

Marilyn Manson Religion

{My guess would be that he is more in favor of independent thinking and critical analysis}.

*

Manson believes that the role of the artist in society is to affect people.

He says that art is your response.

This reminds me of David Lynch not wanting to explain his films.

David feels that each viewer should come up with their own artistic interpretation based on their own experience with the film.

*

Do you agree or disagree with Marilyn Manson?

Why or why not?

*

For more information…

David Lynchhttp://davidlynch.com/

Marilyn Manson…http://marilynmanson.com/

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…The Consequences of Technology -Doris Lessing

18 Sep

“A foolhardy lot, we accepted it all, as we always do, never asked:

“What is going to happen to us now, with this invention of print?”

In the same way, we never thought to ask,

“How will our lives, our way of thinking, be changed by the internet, which has seduced a whole generation with its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that, once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging etc?” 
— Doris Lessing

*

The irony is not lost on me that I am using the internet to communicate to you and you are using it to read this post. I am also not saying that the internet is exactly the matrix.

I simply liked this quote because it questions how the internet has changed our lives. Of course, it has changed our lives for the better. I love blogging as much as the next person. You can research anything you want at the touch of a few computer keys. You can communicate with people all over the world. You can buy things online, etcetera.

We also need to analyze the negative ways the internet has changed our lives so that we can find a healthy balance online and offline.

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Life Hurts More Than Death -Jim Morrison

1 Sep

People fear death even more than pain.

It’s strange that they fear death.

Life hurts a lot more than death.

At the point of death, the pain is over.

Yeah, I guess it is a friend.”

Jim Morrison

*

I just had to include one of my favourite songs by The Doors as it is relevant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lofF2p0_cJs

“This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again…”

-The Doors, The End

*

Do you agree with Jim?

Why or why not?

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For more information on Jim Morrison and his band The Doors,

please visit:

http://www.thedoors.com/index.php

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Sanity -Angelina Jolie

6 Jul

“If being sane is thinking there’s something wrong with being different….

I’d rather be completely fucking mental.” 

Angelina Jolie