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Are we hard wired to run a sustainable planet? And are we accountable to the entire world that we live in? For me the Jungle is something made up of so many fascinating elements; a journey of intriguing possibilities. That kind of sounds like "life" on planet-johnson.

Can I travel with a presence that allows my footprint to add value to the world that you live in while "capturing moments" that tell a compelling story? Karma is a belief that all of your actions will have equal reprecussions, affecting you and I. This journey is a search for some balance, a little discovery and hopefully some visual poetry?

This blog will humbly attempt to see my world through the experience of TRAVEL, photos and sincere examination of an experential and visual karma. And I will find a way to incorporate some positive travel experience into that karma with the perspective of a Digital Camera. Photography and writing have become my "love affair" with life on planet-johnson. Hopefully I can share my passions for the best of this crazy world!

Please join in and welcome to the jungle! 

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Monday
Nov262007

Battlestar: The Anti Star Trek

"It has always been easier to destroy that to create" - Spock

The mantra for Star Trek (yeah, I was a Trekkie) was to "go boldly where no man has gone before". And with that spirit of adventure the series was mankind`s generous and caring evolution (money was needless in the new human world of the Enterprise) taken to the stars.

On Nov.24, the opening episode of Battlestar Gallactica:Razor was a must watch prequel episode of a fascinating TV series that shows a pain of human evolution and survival that is a stark contrast to the civility of Star Trek. The Gallactica and its colony are under attack and near extinction. Their pressures are severe and their institutions:democracy, theocracy, military and justice are barely holding together.

This 2 hour frackfest (the Razor) features the lost Battleship Pegasus. It focuses the tribulations of her commander, Admiral Cain, her demon will to survive and her haunting influence on the Pegasus` desperately hopeful crew. They believe that they`re the last human survivors after a Cylon attack on the colony. They think they are all alone in a big bad Cylon Universe. Its a little bit of "The Lord of the Flies meets Star Trek on the Dark Side of the Moon". And what evil might men or women do to avoid the wrath and torture of Cylon Devils?

The story focuses on Kendra Shaw, played by Stephanie Jacobson, and we see Admiral Cain`s actions on the lost and disturbed Pegasus through Shaw`s eyes. Michelle Forbes, as Cain, shows a depth and humanity that gets lost in her need to save the crew. She kills innocent people that are useless to her cause and maintains a deadly focus on justifying her ends. She becomes the complicated, impassioned tyrant.

Kendra Shaw with her discipline and duty to Admiral Cain will lead a massacre of innocent civilians that will leave viewers  stunned in a violent moment. A horror button is pushed. And the rest of the episode revolves around Shaws torment and need for absolution. Movie gold for good actors. She needs to make this right and will in an "Armageddon" like ending that leaves Gallactica Commanders questioning their humanity?

A metaphor for the lunacy war causes of modern Western Man seems obvious to me and a smartly written TV series cries for the fantasy of a Star Trek future. As Gene Roddenberry would say " Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but to take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in all life forms". While Battlestar seems to take us down the tough road to this kind of thinking. It asks the viewer to considider both sides of every decision that might take humanity to its ends. Its bloody hard taking the high road for humanity under fire.

Admiral Cain takes the Pegasus into the dark shite of psycho justification while Star Trek goes boldly with principle where no man has gone before.  Watch Battlestar Gallactica. It raises all the questions our world needs to ask itself before we can reach the karmic level of the Star Ship Enterprise. Great fracking show!

Wednesday
Nov212007

The Truth is out There!

    "If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing."  Kingsely Amis

Where have all the journalists gone? Well, Greg Palast is the best example of truth that keeps on giving though he`s rarely welcome in the  USA where "money talks" and the truth of the day is the latest quote from Paris whats her name? The major Media in North America is guilty of neglecting the truth and replacing it with a vacuum only comparable to the space between George W`S ears. But Palast (working for the BBC) champions a truth that is sorely cast in the direction of corruption in its lowest form. This is a truly sad story about the "Vultures" who steal American dollars intended for African "Aides Relief". A burr on the ass of social justice.

Randi Rhodes interviews Palast Part 1

Randi  Rhodes interviews Palast Part 2

BBC on Vulture Funds 

For all the good that the Bonos, Stephen Lewis`s, the Bill Clinton`s mightily try to accomplish for a tragic African Aides dilemma this seems to be a "circle jerk" of crass capitalism that is frustrating to imagine. If CNN did a serious piece on this it could make a difference. But they`re more interested in whether Hilary Clinton likes "diamonds or pearls"? This was a key question in a recent Democratic Leader`s debate.  Now thats serious journalism!

"To me a real patriot is like a real friend. Who's your real friend? It's the person who tells you the truth. That's who my real friends are. So, you know, I think as far as our country goes, we need more people who will do that"  Bill Maher       Karma and truth or diamonds and pearls?

 

 

Tuesday
Nov132007

The 11th Hour of Hope

    "If we were logical, the future would be bleak indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope"   Jacques Y Cousteau

 I`ve just seen Dicaprio`s film the 11th Hour and I`ve got to ponder my faith in our carbon crazy civilization. The movie is a llittle too much like talking heads but is still fascinating in its scope. I`d definetly recommend "An Inconvenient Truth before this but? if you have the time (and time is all we have), this is a thought provoking encounter with some of the great minds in science and their plea for the future. A future where they would intelligently redesign our carbon puking economy.

Here I am planning my next trip or is that carbon footprint (diving in Maui on route to Thailand). And I rationalize the value of travel while wondering about a future that sees 8.2 billion people on earth by 2030. Wiill the Chinese will burn more coal and India will crave more electricity? Of course! They are becoming us and they are liking it, which is no big surprise? But this is feeling like casino capitalism and its not hard to fear our future or the fracking mess Gaia endures if we continue to roll the dice.

David Suzuki says that 99.9999% of species in planetary history no longer exist. That leaves us, being at the very top of the food chain, very vulnerable to extinction. And the movie shows us how rapid "climate change" drives extinction.  But as Paul Hawken says this is a fantastic opportunity for our generation. The last and best hope for an eco-civilization. We can save this planet if we try? And as a Native Sage suggests at movie`s end: "This planet has all the time in the world, but do we?" This is really about saving ourselves not the planet.

The beauty of Hawaii and Thailand will still be here long after we are gone but who will hear the tree if it falls in the forest?  Me, I`m crazy with hope and I`m buying my carbon offsets, driving slower and supporting Bullfrog (clean) power. Its not much but I`m trying. And trying is the very least that I can do? Hopefully the  brainiacs running the U.S., China and India will buy into a green revolution or? Otherwise the future is ringing and nobody is home! The 11th Hour?

Wednesday
Nov072007

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: to Impeach Cheney

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened"  Sir Winston Churchill

You need to go back to 1939 and a great movie moment like "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" to appreciate how an American Congressman finds hard fought wisdom, fights political corruption in a powerful political machine and champions American values like a verifiable moral hero. Jimmy Stewart in one of his many highlight acting roles portrays this naive, idealistic, patriotic politician who carries the torch of Yankee freedom and democracy in the face of powerful evil and oppression. This is a classic Karma metaphor for courageous and righteous indignation in action. Every wannabe young politician should be made to watch and understand this movie. To feel the passion and privilege of representation. And then maybe they`ll "do the right thing".

So, today I`m listening to my daily dose of Air America (the Ed Shultz show) and they`re talking to Congressman Dennis Kucinich who sponsored a Congressional resolution to have Vice President Dick Cheney impeached. The resolution passed and will move into Judicial Inquiry. And I`m thinking that "Mr Smith goes to Washington again".

Karmadawg, Dennis Kucinich, rides into Congress on a horse with no name to send the Dark Lord back to the bowels of Mordor.  "Impeach the Vice President", he cries, for dragging America into a war built on lies. Whew! I`m not American but I can`t get enough of their politics. I love the dynamics of corruption, bullshite and heroism wrapped in the flag of their bloated Republic.

They call it the "Greatest Nation on Earth" but I think its really the "Greatest Show on Earth". Addictive as hell. And every now and then out of their seemingly bought and sold Congress, comes a voice rising that sounds around the world. Hey, lets face it, the world really wants America to be as free and outstanding as they profess to be "and once were". So Kucinich revives the notion that America can be as passionate for truth as Jimmy Stewart once suggested? He shows that America still cares about that great "Constitution" that we all envy. Though lately, it seems to be mostly used by Republicans for wiping their collective asses.

Their constitution still represents ideals of freedom, truth and representation that gives America and the world hope. Hope that America is not about "power gone wild" and still considers every person`s equal opportunity to the good life as its mantra. Kucinich takes on the Dark Lord and tries to hold his feet to the fire of consequences. And demands respect for their constitution. 

If Cheney lied, Colin Powell lied, Bush lied, the CIA lied and tragically a lot of people died? (And thats no if about a lot of death.) Then the idealistic Congressman wants justice. And maybe in a reborn America, Dennis Kucinich lights this fire of hope and there finally is "Justice for All". A karmadawg, "Mr Smith", is on a mission. Good luck to him and the potential leaders of a free world. I`d like to think we have his back on this one!

 

Wednesday
Oct172007

Give Meaning

  " A man is but the product of his thoughts, and what he thinks, he becomes "     Mohandes Gandhi

This is a seriously cool site focussed on the true nature of the humane heart. GiveMeaning.com  is on the verge of the next best thing for 'doing good" on the Internet. Givemeaning is evolving like a Facebook on a mission to change the world. Facebook for the soul?

Got a cause? Looking for a cause? This is just another piece of the karma puzzle in the realm of possibilities. Leap into the jungle through GiveMeaning.com and maybe "make a difference"?

 

 

Thursday
Sep202007

Make Poverty History

"If there is a light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world " Chinese Proverb

Sometimes harmony feels like a Timothy Leary flashback in a crazy world with  psycho-delic problems that just won`t go away. We`ve got our constant War and greed (somehow they`re always connected at the hip), Global Warming and greed (somehow we can`t see "the forest for the trees" in the continuing saga of greed over common sense) , and Extreme Global Poverty and the greedy neglect that keeps us rationalizing unnecessary suffering and death in the face of real, workable, affordable solutions. And until we wear another woman`s shoes and really empathize suffering it`ll likely be more of the same old shite. Africa just keeps dying and we keep talking.

But maybe we can enjoy saving the world. Maybe we can be inspired by people we admire to "do the right thing". Maybe we can indulge a fantasy that we share the same stage with Sting, Wyclef Jean, Kanye West, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and Madonna. Indulge our pleasures and help save the world. A self serving pipe dream or a party template for change?

I say "show me the money" and whatever form it takes to fund the simple, workable genius of plans like "millennium villages", "H2O for Africa", "spread the Net", and millennium cities" that show how we can overcome corruption and greed to get the money fully delivered to real solutions. Listen for some sage. Its either George Bush and Stevie Harper telling us we can`t afford to make a difference (hey Exxon needs those tax breaks, come on) or Bono and Matt Damon showing us that we can "make a real difference" in desperate people`s lives. They represent organizations that get the money to the people. Organizations that can deliver what elected governments worldwide refuse to do. Make Poverty History.

Matt Damon tells us that "a sustainable clean water well can be created and maintained for a 5 year period for as little as $10,000. Projects like this have the potential to save millions of lives in Africa". And this is Jason Bourne we`re talking about. This guy is a relentless force of good at any cost. Maybe we can indulge a Damon movie (they`re usually great) and dance to the music of U2, or just hitch a ride on any celebrity wagon that Galas for poverty with a passion that our politicians can`t seem to match.

Idiot politicians feeding our neglect will never "make a difference". We should consider Jeffrey Sachs insistence that we can "MakePovertyHistory" in our time. This guy is a gifted economist with a plan to "End Poverty" and he`s got the ear of the Bonos, Damons, Affleks, Wyclefs and so many more. Even the odd politician is moved by this guy. So party harty, turn on, tune in and drop by the next celebrity event that sings the end of poverty. These people are "Making a Difference"! We can be part of the difference at the Poverty Rally on Oct.1 at Massey Hall in Toronto. Share the stage with great local musicians and (hold your nose) politicians trying to affect change.

The winds of change are blowing and maybe the next "great movie" will be "The Poverty Ultimatum" starriing Jason Bourne attacking greed to the next great U2 soundtrack. A high Def attack on poverty. Can`t wait.