Blame MTV


If I had to draw a reality line in the sand , I would place it squarely at the doorstep of MTV in 1992. The Real World experiment gave birth to what has become “reality TV”. They deserve a pat on the back for breaking ground, no doubt about it , they paved the way for declining morals, GPA’s, and ethics.

I remember when MTV aired nothing but music videos and Mark Burnett produced an obscure program called Eco Challenge. I doubt even the most visionary MTV executive imagined the implications of letting Pandora out of her box. They paved the way for young people to grow up with misguided expectations, unrealistic goals, bat shit logic regarding consequences or responsibility, and reverence for the cult of celebrity. MTV made it possible for anyone to become a celebrity – they launched the age of “surreal” reality.

“Reality” tested the waters with vacant rich kids like Paris Hilton attempting to live a normal life. It gave birth to the Kardashion dynasty, “real” housewives, and Bachelorettes. Soon we were laughing at “Joe Average” as producers duped him into believing audiences weren’t mocking his stupidity. Washed up rockers Flavour Flav and Brett Michaels found “love”, geeks were put on display in Beauty and the Geek.  Real life apparently involves the privileged becoming richer, while  laughing at schmucks.  Soon Snookie and Pauly D were driving Escalades because we couldn’t turn away from their bar fights and drunken stupidity. Yeah – this was reality.

Reality took barely a decade to poison our lives with Honey Boo Boo, Moonshiner’s shenanigans and Amish Mafia. Disgraced televangelist Ted Haggard even had his “reality” displayed , trying to put his “ministry” back in the bank from a barn at his sprawling property. Reality it seems has no boundaries; nothing is off limits – as long as we marginalize, mock, emulate or mess up our priorities. Kudos MTV – you are responsible for turning society into marshmallows –  when was the last time you even aired a music video?

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Crazy


Great cover by the Violent Femmes – Sunday night inspiration for a ponder. Listening to this while the wind howls outside, our first kick ass punch of the season finds me chilling to “Crazy” as I sop up our flooded basement.

Gavrinis


Most people have knowledge of Stonehenge; without question the daddy of Neolithic sites. A sprinkling know of Carnac; over 3000 carefully aligned stones – some of monolithic proportions, erected between 3300 – 4500 BC near the village of Carnac in France. Fewer still have uttered the word  Gavrinis.

Gavrinis, a tiny island off the coast of Brittany in France clung to the mainland between 3,500 and 5,000 BC., a time defined by burial tomb construction. Not more than a bumpy  outcropping of rock (750 by 400 meters) uninhabited Gavrinis slept undiscovered until 1835 when French archaeologists started poking about a sunken burial tunnel entrance. Serious excavation began in the 1930s.

Gavrinis defies explanation. Over 50 stone slabs form the entrance tunnel and inner chamber – curiously carved slabs begging for stand at attention while humming the theme from 2001 Space Odyssey reverence. Gut reaction to a mind blowing epic – Gavrinis is no ordinary Neolithic site..

Roughly half the slabs boast intricate carvings resembling fingerprints. Mathematicians  believe it’s a code of sorts. Computer analysis dropped a bombshell – patterns represent the number of days in a year, references to solstice and equinoxes, an exact longitude and latitude of the island, and the “mathematical constant Pi”.

Much as this makes me grin from ear to ear, I have to admit not everyone is on board.  Many mysteries of the ancient world find themselves living on book shelves in “wing nut” land. Irrefutable archaeological evidence hasn’t taken Gobekli Tepe or Puma Punku off the crazy shelf and into mainstream consciousness. If 16th century Turkish admiral Piri Reis could produce a map of Antarctica, precisely as it would appear without ice, yet wallow in conspiracy land – it’s doubtful Neolithic people at Gavrinis coding “Pi” into fingerprint carvings will make a ripple.

Call me a pondering fool, I don’t care.Not for a second do I entertain the notion “alien” or otherworldly intervention had anything to do with ancient head scratchers. I’m going to fall asleep with a silly little grin; content in the knowledge that ancient civilizations kicked ass.

http://www.ancient-code.com/earths-hidden-code/#

http://www.culture.gouv.fr/fr/arcnat/megalithes/en/mega/megagav_en.htm

Weekly Photo Challenge – Saturated Street Moods


 

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This weeks photo challenge asked for “saturation”. In keeping with the original theme of street art; I offer this photo. “Saturated” with mood, contrasts, and stark light. Stencilled by one of my children, white washed into oblivion the next day by a city intent on keeping our allies “art free”.

Bottle Drives and Chocolate Almonds


I can’t take credit for this ponder. It took shape after reading a post from one of my facebook friends. At first I laughed; soon irony took hold,  forcing one of those holy crap moments – that split second when clarity replaces mirth, leaving me pondering – why not?

Obviously this isn’t a suggestion that prisoners go door to door with satchels of chocolate almonds. My “why not?” more of a “why not fund education?” Correct me if I’m wrong; isn’t education the single most important thing society can provide? How can we erase ignorance without education; without a basic frame work or point of reference on which decisions and opinions are formed?
I ponder the state of basic schooling in both Canada and the U.S. – it gives me the willies. Teachers backed against a wall – oversized classes, lacking basic supplies, drastic cuts to ESL and special needs assistants, music programs dropped, library resources trickling away when it comes down to new books or paper.
I can’t speak for America but in Canada more and more financial burden is placed on parents.Depending on which side of the tracks you happen to fall, the line between “have” and “have not” schools is unmistakeable. “Public” education is a joke – the punch line is biting us in the ass.
Bizarre, is the only word I can think of to describe our lack of education funding. I can’t wrap my head around our lack of attention to one, if not the most important issue facing society.  The cliché “knowledge is power” should be the battle cry sung from every last roof top. It simply doesn’t make sense to gloss over mankind’s first building block.