iBlog: March 2007


Tomorrow's blog today

Friday, March 23, 2007

You know what they say...

Never look a .GIF horse in the mouth!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thursday, March 22, 2007

And representing 1998 we have...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

If you have but one link on your favourites,

Let it be Mr Robert Henry Jackman, performance poet.

Linky Link

(I'm promised a poem about contemporary church soon)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Come, Almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never, nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray and praise thee without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ten years on...

From 1997, (carrying on the theme this week on BBC4)

Linky Link


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Count Duckula!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Retreat

Linky Link

What a top quality programme. La and me were playing with the idea of forfeiting our tele licence the other day in favour of more social time, but programmes like this make me proud of the beeb's commitment to `educate, inform and entertain`.

The programme focused on six Brits in different spiritual states spending a month in an Islamic retreat in the Spanish mountians, and tracks their growth, interest and general approach to Islam in a very real and sensative way.

Being on BBC2 I fully expected the standard quota of over political correctness, but my pessimism was unmet. Even I found the series very balanced, fair and honest. The last show near enough concluded with one of the spiritually-neutral participants devoting themselves to Allah, yet in the earlier eopisodes it showed the their struggles with concepts such as meditation, the docterines of Islam and the fundimental concept of their even being a God.

I also learned a lot about Islam, which is very important in my opinion as a Christian - there's nothing worse than a church who claims to love people and then dismisses the most funidmental part of about 1.6 billions of people's lives because they pray to the wrong God. The Islam the retreat taught was what I'd think of as the parallel of Celtic Christianity. Very natural, peaceful, meditative and reflective.

If you're a Christian and your pursing your lips at the thought of an Islamic airtime slot - or worse a Christian watching it, then I'd urge you not to be afraid. Aside the fundimental differences between Christianity and Islam, I was shocked to see the similarities between the two. Two monotheistic faiths teaching devotion, conversion, evangelism, humility, humanitarianism, scriptual truths, and one strand of the faith being annoyed at another!

So yer, my thoughts were, this was a good programme and opened my eyes to a religion that's easy to see as just Sunni wankers and Al Quaida numpties.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Long way Down

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Blood Diamond

La and me went to see this film last night at UCI and was certainly worth the £6.50 Orange Wednesday.

Blood Diamond is the newest film on the bandwagon of Western films about its own well mannered pillage of developing nations. It comes after recent landmarks such as Hotel Rwanda, Lord of War, Beyond Borders and The Constant Gardener which explored themes such as genocide, international arms trade, refugees and pharmaceutical companies. Blood Diamond explores some new themes to the arena, such as child soldiery, pseudo-freedom fighters, smuggling, corruption, and of course, the path taken from the mining of blood diamonds to them adorning the hands of naive white Westerners.

The film is set in Sierra Leone where at the end of the last century, militia rebels fought the government for control of the nation's diamond mines. The militia attack a village of nationalists, where the women and elderly are killed, the men taken to work in the mines and the children taken as soldiers. One of the men taken as a slave finds a massive diamond and hides it that he can come back later to dig it up. A white arms dealer from Rhodesia hears of this and talks the black man into finding the diamond as their `ticket out of this God forsaken continent`. During this pursuit, the man's son is taken by the rebel militia and the film tracks his training as a child soldier, and his wife is left as a refugee in the hands of the UN.

Luckily, unlike Beyond Borders, the film is unapologetic in its narrative of the harsh reality of African warzones and illustrates the lamentable lack of value a human life has when uncivilization finds a rich mineral. The film isn't an academic education like Lord of War, where statistics and emotive narration fill in the gaps of the story but rather it serves as more of an eye opener to the Western audience to think about the history of their diamonds and the lives that were taken to make them currency - the end of the film comments that the only way blood diamonds will be stopped will be down to the consumer in the high street.

If you're willing to be shocked to be a better and more conscientious individual and consumer, then I'd definitely advise you watch this film, and soon. Infact, if you're Carl, you're obliged to watch it and that's a bloggicly binding contract.

Bad points: the subtle unspoken chemistry between the only two whites in the film which seemed like hollywooding the film for its own sake. But we'll forgive that in leu of Leonardo DiCaprio's, and all the supporting cast's absolutely awesome performance.