Saturday, January 27, 2007
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." -
-- JESUS CHRIST
Friday, January 26, 2007
Luminous Friday Night Videos Presents: Hey - I Thought I Had Told You All To Start Giving More...?!? *LOL*
Let's remedy to that right here and now then - with a
LUMINOUS BLOG AID!
Yup - we need a little less talk - and more walking of the walk!
Let's start by clicking on the links below - hmm? ;)
GlobalGiving Matching Fund
GlobalGiving's matching fund allows donors to contribute to a general pool that will allow projects that are almost fully funded, reach their budget target.
Theme: Economic Development |
Location: United States | Need: $100,000
Hurricane Katrina Rebuilding Fund
GlobalGiving's Hurricane Katrina Fund allows donors to contribute to a general pool that will allow relief and rebuilding projects, which are almost fully funded, reach their budget targets.
Theme: Health |
Location: United States | Need: $100,000
Even if you're feeling blue - do some good around you.
You'll feel better for it, you'll see! :)
There can be rewards for the donators as well... Yes! :)
You'll feel good - you'll see!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
And a robot told me all this - about ME...!
Hmm... What does a darn robot know about me that I don't know already - and in greater detail?
Besides, I object to "médium saignant" ("de l'espace" - en plus!?)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
For once, I like the French better than the English: one has to admit that Festival de Lumiere sounds much better, in all of its simplicity, than a rather defective attempt at making a play on words - "Montreal High Lights" - correct?
All I know is that it has been announced that Misia, Monica Freire, Johnny Clegg and a plethora of other artists that all seem out of place in the (usually) cold months of February and March in a town like Montreal are going to be there to perform LIVE... Even thespian Amanda Plummer will be on stage, as a part of that festival...! What is she going to perform, I wonder, alongside musicians and singer/songwriters? That is but one of the many bizarre questions that arise from all this, actually...
For, indeed, Misia's presence on montrealer soil is perplexing. For there are already a lot of similar artists right there, around that so-called "metropolitan area" - the Sãos, Bïas and Bet Es are there. And yet, they are not enough? They are once more frowned upon in favor of the visitor... It is indeed an event in itself that an international star, of whatever kind or art, makes a stopover there, in the dead of winter to boot... To me though, all it says is that the artist in question has very poor management and/or advisers! "Anywhere but there," would have been my advice - "wait until the festival season really gets into high gear, in the summer months!" Now THAT makes a hell of a lot more sense! In the meantime, leave the stage to those artists who are already stuck in the damned winter season - the Sãos, the Bïas and the Bet Es! They don't get the spotlight in their own backyard - where are they supposed to be getting it then? They certainly will not be welcomed as divas over THERE - in Lisboa, Portugal - the same way Misia is going to be treated like a queen here...! This is, after all, not some kind of cultural exchange program... Is it? No indication whatsoever, anywhere on the program, that it might be...! So I will assume it is not - as it should not be!
As for Amanda Plummer's participation in all this; don't get me wrong now! I am quite a fan of hers! I think the world of her! Her jaw-dropping action scene in Needful Things alone is enough to make a favorite of any luminous gent like me! Her equally luminous lines -and delivery of those- in many more of her films are as many reasons to love her! She is like her dad - an accomplished stage actress - I know it! But surely you've noticed my preference for her cinematic work...! Film captures a performance so well - no lines, no nuance in the performance, no mere gesture escapes the camera! And it all remains forevermore - almost! Stage performances are lost to the flow of time - lines are muttered and the audience will not hear them - and so forth... Actors belong in film - where they can move about without concerns such as "is the mic going to follow me; and will the audience?" And, on the flipside of course, musical performers are born for the stage, not film! Mixing and matching is asking for trouble - and, besides, I never cared much for the theatrics and histrionics of Amanda's dad...!
Thespians -just like international stars- should be keeping to their medium and proper stage, and leave the spotlight to the homegrown talent in such occasions as this "festival de Lumière"...
I was thinking back to the other local talents that were poorly treated in the area in question - none worse than composer André Mathieu. Mathieu had been a child prodigy - but, once attaining adulthood, I guess that the magic wore off or something... And no one would give him a chance again! He would keep composing, but as a pariah from the "colonie artistique" and musical world, almost... Luc Dionne even says that he was ASSASSINATED - betrayed and let down by all of his so-called "friends" - his own father included... And then he died one day - in his late 30's I do believe, he just collapsed one day, out of the blue, just like that. Heart attack, if memory serves me right. And that was that. No one is a prophet in his own land - but this tragic fate was so easy to avoid. They named an artistic venue after him since, in Laval QC. Canada, where Bïa, at least, did perform a few times... Aside from that though, his community didn't do much for their "local Gershwin" as some called him (I would call him their Tchaikovsky - but that is another story... At least Mathieu was not half as screwed up as Tchaikovsky was...!)
In the immortal words of Clint Eastwood (only so because they happen to be on celluloid, though...) - "no one can do a thing if nobody gives him a chance."
Indeed, Clint E. - indeed!
André Mathieu had once told a journalist that he had wanted "to be in the daylight" - this was in response to the question "why did you title one of your compositions 'In The Night'?"
Such a moving reply was quite telling indeed.
The composition in question was just one of many illustrious compositions - he reportedly composed seven concertos - but only two have remained for posterity.
He also composed a concertino at the age of eleven which won him a prestigious contest in 1940 - Leonard Bernstein had finished 22nd in that very same event...
Since no one learns from the past anymore - what are artists to do?
Use another hackneyed line such as "make my day"...?
Or add to it, maybe: "somebody, make my day - please?"
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Case in point: DOPAMINE.
It is a chemical that our brains release upon contact with a certain substance that some of us INHALE... Ringing a bell? We all know that it sure does! Of course, I should say that this chemical is released by only some of our brains, since those with BETTER BRAINS are not inane enough to be chain smoking in the first place! To those who are "addicted" to that or anything else really -poor them; predisposition to it from birth or not- I must say that I DO NOT PITY THE POOR SAP WHO MAKES HIS OWN MISFORTUNE! Whatever the obsession is! Only being logical here... When one's own misfortune is caused by outside forces, then it is not our fault. Anything else can be internally fought off - and spurned! If you lack internal fortitude to do just that, sorry, but that is a lack of will. God Created us all with all the tools we need to fight off whatever Life can throw at us, even from the onset -i.o.w., those damnable hereditary conditions- and if we fail, it is from lack of effort and of faith. After all, any employer will give you the tools required to perform your duties - do you not think that GOD Gave you all the tools to accomplish your "mission on Earth" as well?
And so, he or she who actually indulges that infinitesimal momentary feeling of so-called "pleasure" that makes the body CRAVE more nicotine, for instance - well, he/she is indeed just a BIG DOPE!
Whether that is where the name "dopamine" originates from or not, I wouldn't even care much to find out, really...
It just fits the bill and, as the Church Lady would say, it is "so conveeeeenient" - because God Did not create you to smoke, pollute, cause cancer in your own entourage that you expose to secondhand smoke...
I would say that God Did not create us to pollute our atmosphere in the myriad ways that we do - mostly those wretched emissions from the automotive vehicules which are a "necessity" to so many nincompoops...
Not only is it excessively polluting and wreaking havoc with health -the planet's and ours, both, of course- but it leads to empty bank accounts, pockets and even wipe out entire families in the process of "transportation"... It was such speedier transportation, that it took many straight on through the OTHER SIDE - and shortened so many lives deemed so very promising in the process...
I need not report on the week-end's crop of road kills, do I? Your local news will do nicely, thank you...
On to what docs do best indeed - prescribe pharmaceuticals!
Man, you gotta love them pharmaceuticals! Quacks sure do love 'em - they love all the incentives that they receive in order to "push" one pill more than others down our throats! It is much akin to the mafia, indeed - and everybody knows it is so but OMERTA prevails! Inertia as well, but that's another story...
Whenever the FDA announces something, I choke in derision on the imaginary pills that I take (well, once in a blue moon I will swallow an aspirin - no "cocktails" for me, no! I'd rather have a mix blend of herbal teas, really!)
The FDA wants further cautionary methods in regards to the ever-popular pain relievers. Ah, pain! People can't deal with that! Pussies! (No jab on those who actually know all about it, with delivery labour alone! Far from it! I am merely using a colloquialism that my man, Scorcese, would have allowed in any one of his films! He's not getting an Oscar for his latest though - a mere remake of imported material - not when he did not get one for his 100% genuine stuff! But that is another story...!)
So then, pain is something to be killed, fast! Goes well with our society that generally wants everything done fast, yes... The FDA noticed that the good denizens of the Home of the Brave have rather been indulging too frivolously in aspirin -acetaminophen and ibuprofen as well- without a clue about the potential side-effects if there is any kind of "abuse" at all there... Too much of good thing is still too much - we all know that. Problem is here that pharmaceutical products are not intrinsically "good" at all; they are merely patchwork solutions to a tiny problem. You overdose, and the solution will itself become a potential problem - worse than the original one you had too!
As it is widely known now, certain drugs can cause stomach bleeding and even acetaminophen can be hazardous; it can cause liver failure if people drink regularly while using acetaminophen for long periods of time.
The FDA is laughable at best to warn the fine citizens of this NOW - something that PLAIN COMMON SENSE has dictated to the wiser ones among us DECADES AGO...
And now a note on the luminous quotes found right here, on TLB Prime's luminous sidebar! :)
It is so very hard to figure out who truly said what, sometimes!
I saw a quote pop up that is attributed to two different persons - illustrious individuals in both cases, it goes without mentioning...
So, who said it first? If they are contemporaries, it is not so easy to distinguish!
I leave you with the twin quotes in question - and one of my own as well, as cherry on top...? Or a luminous addendum! ;)
No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.
- Phillips Brooks
No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.
- Alan Alda
No man or woman of the dumbest kind can truly be expected to be weak-minded enough, gullible and good-mannered enough as well, to swallow up whatever those "great ones" in the world will spout out and claim as theirs in a vainglorious effort to be credited with having helped, comforted and been of any use at all to the afflicted existence at large.
- Luciano Pimentel
Monday, January 22, 2007
As I was listening to my favorite radio station -to be found, for I would be remiss if I did not mention it, on my luminous toolbar- I was pleased to hear a certain classic song come on just as I was reflecting upon the perpetual stagnation of things in modern society in general... The classic song in question was truly the most perfect choice for the occasion, as you'll see (although it is John Oates down below, the classic song there is not one of the Hall & Oates hits you might still be haunted by at night - no! Go ahead and see... And please do listen to it too! It is safe to do so, I assure thee!)
This classic dates back to 1985 - and I do believe that, in 22 years, nothing has really changed in the world we live in. The weather has gone crazier - that's it, pretty much! It took a glaring crisis to reunite all the top recording artists in the US of A to record that one - and their message, though repeatedly belted throughout the song by various and diversified voices, so many different times that it should have been drilled enough into people's craniums... Their message has simply not really gone through to people, has it? The Western world heeded the call, at first, and then started slowly but steadily to recoil again in its cocoon of capitalistic safetyness - turning a blind eye and a deaf ear again to the plight of the rest of the globe, feeling too cozy in its abundance and ease to truly care, it seems...
The first thing that peeps do now, when some funds become "available" in their budget, it is planify some renovations, vacation or new fanciful and even fastidious purchases... Where is there room in that for the needy? Especially those far, far away, in remote places of the Third World...?
Kudos to the artists with a conscience who TRIED - though it was alaos a grand stage for some much-needed publicity too; but that is another story... Nowadays though, such an assemblage would have included the greatest voice there is -arguably- and that is REGINE VELASQUEZ.
She would undoubtedly headline an elite international corps of golden voices -international because that is the way things are done now, in the global village- and maybe then she too would garner the much-needed attention from American mainstream media that she so rightfully deserves. She wasn't a part of the 1985 selection because she wasn't ready yet - she wasn't even in the USA either, so that was tough luck on her part too! Brings to mine a certain wordsmith championship that is exclusive to U.S. residents - tough luck for ME there! First Chapters seems to think that nowhere else than in the Home of the Brave and Land of the Free can a quill, pen or keyboard be of effective use... But that is another story!
Below, testaments to the voice that Regine possesses - and that what I say about the Filipino Diva is true!
I will pause one second to note -in a blatant self-serving way as well- that the same thing happened when I finally updated my luminous pondering blog/site. On it, I have my LP Radioooo - and it started playing, randomly as always, the top two songs to be found on my disabled video playlist there (disabled by an inept provider - not my choice!)
Such synchronicity is worth noting, especially since it came about a mere few hours after the previous one that did, in fact, generate this very blog post! ;)
So, "USA For Africa" was a partial success at best. A permanent solution to a shocking problem that endures even into the modern era and the new millennium was NOT found there. The Americans did not succeed in that - and neither did the Canadians with their copycat tune; it goes without mentioning! Our Saviour did say that we would have the poor with us until the end of Time, after all...
The one that truly did come close to succeed at this was the original one; the British! Sir Geldof's project triggered an ever-renewable desire to help those in need throughout the world with his own self-serving but altruistic nonetheless crusade (after all the hoopla, he did launch a solo career; did he or did he not?)
Band Aid's classic tune is cranked up ever since and the message does come through loud and clear, with greater results than any other similar effort too.
Here it is:
It succeed so well because it became a seasonal happening - a bonafide Christmas song, from the very start too, of course. It is on par now with anything Christmassy that Perry Como, Bing Crosby and good ol' Deano used to sing - and, also, that Lennon song that I bashed two Christmases ago right here on TLB Prime - check out the luminous archives for it!
The Band Aid effort is firmly entrenched now in our culture - it was even remade in 2003 or something, to much lesser effect though (most probably because it employed the new talent that is prominent today!)
Christmas time is ideal too for this sort of message; people are already more generous in principle alone. Automatically, they will give to the poor, feed the hungry, donate to charities and even give a chance to the has-been and/or the wannabee, a fact proven by all the "comebacks" made on stage during New Year's Eve broadcasts throughout the world...!
Bob Geldof's Band Aid was a success where the others were not. My lone complaint with it is that it did not take the place of Lennon's holiday tune - probably because Lennon was not around to be a part of Band Aid, for reasons diametrically opposed to those that prevented Regine V for instance from being a part of any of the others! And so we are forced to remember the reason for the season each and every year with Lennon singing his bittersweet song... Lennon's song, yes - Harrison's My Sweet Lord, no? Oh well...
As long as they continue to ditch McCartney's Wings!
Not to mention Ringo's Stars!
But I digress again - and, contrary to what you may believe, it "don't come easy" to achieve on a regular basis - not easy at all!
Thus, one can be left perplexed by the attitude of the world in general. Why are they not sharing their wealth more? Why are they not spreading more evenly ressources? Why the focus on gain and profit, to the detriment of doing what is right, fair and just? Why this obsession with a career and not with making the most good aroud you that you can while you can - in other words, while you're around!?
The answer is quite sad and just as sadly obvious too; they are too busy to do so!
In a society that chose a system based upon consumerism, they strive to reach their short-sighted goals by working hard, never straying from their plans too much. Such is the rat race, as you all know.
One can hope that they will realize before too long that, as fun as amassing a fortune can be, one is missing the boat if that is all that one strives to accomplish while here, on Earth...! Fortunes, riches, moolah, cold hard cash, gold and that ever-precious oil - it cannot be taken with you once you cross over to the Great Beyond.
What can be taken to the other side, is your conscience.
The only credentials that will matter will be your deeds.
The résumé that will be presented will make statement about the good that you did - not anything other than that! Good for you if your career allows you to do actual concrete "good" around thee - it is a rare opportunity though, seeing most jobs are "just a job" and only means to "earn a living" and "pay the bills"... Nothing too altruistic there - nothing about saintly behaviour there (but then no career-oriented peeps strive to achieve beatification post-mortem; they have many goals, but that is certainly, most assuredly not one of them!)
But I digress...
There are many trustworthy charitable organizations out there that do help those that truly need the help. I am not going to make any suggestions - you can find them on your own, I am positive about that (and that is quite telling, for I am, paradoxically or not-so-paradoxically, quite negative sometimes here, even though luminous! I say it is only being brilliantly realistic or whimsically as well as sardonically wide-eyed - but that is not the point right now...!)
There are enough ways to help the world - to feed it, clothe it, save it in a sense only (God Will Save it in all senses - soon enough.)
There are worthwhile organizations out there.
Find them - And give.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Not the grandest, because Canada never vies for such honors - it cannot...
A rare actual *big time shooting* takes place, in Nunavut rather than Toronto or misbegotten Montreal, but still... 3 dead and 2 wounded... At the same time, simultaneous shootings in India kill about 50. Instant upstaging accomplished.
When they thought a "big star" had met her end in an attention-grabbing tragic way - a private plane crash - Marie-Soleil Tougas' demise was upstaged that same month by Lady Di's own tragic and totally avoidable demise... And then Mother Teresa passed away... And, soon enough, especially after the tiny-plane crashing death of singer Aaliyah, the oddness of it went away - besides, Americans would not focus on a Quebecker artist's death, under those circumstances or whatever type of extraordinary circumstances there could be, not when one of their own had just gone the Buddy Holly way as well... And then, of course, 9/11 really took the spectacular aura of it and made it all its own...
And then there was the famous Ice Rain crisis of 1998 (soon the 9th anniversary of which will haunt those truly marked by it...)
The current ice rain woes in the USA are topping that and then some - it took a while, sure, but in the meantime they had all these spectacular hurricane seasons to contend with down south, so it has always been topped by the American side no matter which way you look at it.
I do not recall how many died back in 1998 - but the last I heard, they were 60 to have died during the ice rain storms in the USA. Hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms take their share of innocent lives - and Canada is spared all of these. Evidently, no matter how traumatic 1998 was, it is dwarfed by the southern neighbors' perennial plights...
And, since we are speaking of current events
and this is a Sunday - a bit of vintage Statistics Sundays for you all now:
2007 will mark two premieres of sorts.
First, this year will mark the first time ever that urban populations will top the number of people that live in rural settings, worldwide that is.
Secondly, for the first time ever too, more women are living spouseless than married. Or "with someone"... Or whatever they call it (speaking, again, of Montreal, there they refer to it as "conjoints de fait" - so, ah, matter-of-factly too!)
51% of the ladies out there are single and living alone - maybe not sleeping alone at all, but, officiously, "alone". Some see men. Some see women. Some see men and women. But they are all "alone" still, going to bed at night (to sleep, that is) all by their lonesome selves...
Nothing new to me there - after all, we are all born into this world alone.
And we will all die alone as well - barring a Titanic-like disaster.