Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Shadows of fall

  This summer I watched Dead of Summer, Dark Matter and Stranger Things. This fall I will watch Agents of Shield, Frequency, Timeless, Westworld, Aftermath, Channel Zero, The Blacklist, Flash, Blindspot, Falling Water, Van Helsing, Luke Cage, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.

  Dark Matter continues to be one of the best shows around, a very fulfilling ride. I may stop watching Legends of Tomorrow fast. Flash is also slowly falling out of favor.
  I like Van Helsing so far. It is a fairly original take on vampires. I hadn’t expected much from it at all, but it turned out to be pleasant surprise. The same holds true with Frequency.
  Luke Cage has the same slow, intense storytelling as Jessica Jones. It describes a place and group of people I know very little about and makes it somewhat accessible to me, which is always a great feat. The quality dropped after the sixth episode, though, and can’t measure up to Jessica Jones after that, but then, almost nothing can.

  Yes, I do prefer Fantasy/science fiction stuff and would love to see more horror (true horror, not splatter crap). Themes handled in Timeless, Channel Zero, Falling Water, Westworld and Van Helsing are closest to my heart. First and second episode of Westworld were amazing, in so many ways, with such depth, so many layers of complexity and storytelling.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Worth it?

  I’ve been using Canon 5D Mark 3 since November 2013 and am quite pleased with it. It’s a great all-round quality camera for all types of use.
  Now, the new, highly anticipated model 5D Mark 4 is finally here, and I wondered if it was so much better than the previous model that it was worth buying.
  The short answer is definitely no. The Mark 4 is clearly better, a nice upgrade, with several new and improved functions and features.
  But it’s not a definite improvement. There’s nothing about it creating excitement to the point of making it a must to have and own. I often skip versions, Windows, software in general and hardware upgrades and in this case I feel no burning need to upgrade at all.
  The 4k function is a disaster, an insult to potential users, quite frankly, completely useless and beyond disappointing. I will rather buy Black Magic or similar if I want to upgrade my film camera. 5D mark 2 was a photo camera with film capabilities. Mark 3 is a film camera with photo-capabilities. And now Canon has become full circle, and mark 4 is useless to cinematographers.

  If I needed a new camera for taking photographs, I would have considered it, but I don’t.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

If not now, when???

  This isn’t mine. I just feel strongly that it should be posted everywhere, every day. If the original poster wants to be credited, just give me a word.

  2000: I Know, but you have to vote against Bush.
  Maybe next election we can have real change
  2004: I Know, but you have to vote against Bush.
  Maybe next election we can have real change
  2008: I Know, but you have to vote against McCain.
  Maybe next election we can have real change
  2012: I Know, but you have to vote against Romney.
  Maybe next election we can have real change
  2016: I Know, but you have to vote against Trump.

  Maybe next election we can have real change

  This is another similar, striking angle on the same issue, valid in all countries:

Sunday, August 07, 2016

What Bernie Sanders should have said in his speech July 25

  A democratic socialist is a capitalist and that’s certainly one thing that’s wrong with him or her.
  I was skeptical to Bernie Sanders from the start because of that and other reasons, mainly because he doesn’t go far enough in his fairly radical thinking, but he won me over until he endorsed Hillary Clinton.
  The first question I ask when I encounter a professed radical person is: does he or she truly wish to dramatically change society? If not, that person is not that interesting to me.

  This, in short should have been the Sanders speech:

  I’ve been asked to endorse Hillary Clinton as a candidate for the US presidency. This is normal procedure for the losing candidate. I, however choose not to do that, for several crucial reasons. I initially intended to do so, but, as the various shocking and appalling events have piled up, I’ve been forced to change my mind.
  The amount of animosity towards me by the DNC and support in favor of Clinton has been unprecedented. A body supposed to be neutral has thrown their entire support behind one establishment candidate, and also actively enlisted their numerous supporters in establishment media to take part in the attacks and general deception. There has also been extensive, quantifiable and obvious cheating, at the very least in several key states, probably more.
  Then there is the crucial question about Clinton’s very character, her lies, cheating and deception, her connection to forces in our society no politician should have any connection to: the military/industrial complex, to Wall Street and other powerful groups of people and corporations in general, among them Monsanto, Goldman Sachs and AIPAC. She’s a war monger, even a war criminal, in a time where humanity is screaming for peace. She should have been charged with criminal activity, numerous criminal activities actually.
  But the most important reason for not supporting, endorsing her is her policies, policies totally unable to solve the vast problems plaguing humanity and the world in the twenty-first century.
  The policies as they in fact have been and are, not what she says they are in her numerous lies and deceptions.
  They say we should vote for her, in order to keep Donald Trump from becoming president, but she’s no better than he is. In some ways, she’s worse.
  In my eyes, she’s totally unfit to be US president.
  We have wondered for decades if the Democratic Party is just as bad as the Republican Party. This year, it has been proven beyond doubt that it is. The Democratic Party has, with its actions exposed itself. That is one, good thing we get from it all. It will never regain the trust it has lost, not in a million years.
  I will hereby endorse Jill Stein of the Green Party. The United States and the world as a whole need, more than ever a third, truly alternative option to the established parties.
  In a general election where the two major parties, the War and Business Party nominates two of the most unpopular and unfit candidates ever, there will never be a bigger hope of succeeding with the third, truly alternative way.
  The independents outnumber by far the Dem and GOP registered voters. A Stein ticket will also receive lots of votes from democrat and republican registered voters. The Green Party has ballot access in most states already. I’d say its chances are good.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Change - a brief framework for a truly fair and exciting society

  This, today’s human local, national and global society isn't the Anthropocene, not really, not «the age of man» at all, but of the Machine. We need to change that yesterday, before it is too late.
  People claim and keep claiming that true change, a world where true freedom and equality reign is impossible, is impractical and undesired, but that’s clearly wrong. The world is changed all the time. The question is who is doing the changing and for what purpose.
  Today’s school system teaches competition and conformity and respect for authorities and has an unhealthy focus on subjects. We see where that leads, see that it leads to a society where authority is hardly questioned at all and compassion and freedom are four-letter words. If it instead taught and encouraged true independence and autonomy and critical thinking, if critical thinking and personal autonomy became a major, dominating part of the teaching, the learning, covering at least half of the week and curriculum we would see positive changes pretty soon.
  We can change human society in only one or rather two generations if we truly set our minds to it. It isn’t that difficult or unrealistic at all.
  A society with a justified pride in itself and its work won’t merely accept alternative thought and variety and free expression and creativity, but encourage it and actively discourage the forces of tyranny and oppression so prevalent in current society.
  One of several obvious problems is to find teachers able to teach something most current teachers are totally clueless about. That’s certainly one of several reasons why it will take two generations. There will be a delay, a residue from the old, thoroughly putrid system for quite some time. The obvious solution is to use political radicals and radical political thinkers instead, until the first generation of truly liberated individuals grows up and can take over.
  The major problem, of course is that we don’t live in a free society, but its complete opposite, and that those in charge of it, those of wealth and power don’t desire anything even resembling true change. They are fine with how it is. It serves their purpose perfectly.
  So people need to take charge of their own lives and create truly autonomous societies and a network of such rejecting the current destructive society and philosophy and system of things completely.
  We need dozens of big and small paradigm shifts, turning humanity around on its heels.
  This is a framework, a blueprint if you will for a truly fair and exciting society. It needs work and will always need work, an always present flexibility and ability to react to changing conditions and inevitable imperfections within the system, but this is both the desirable and needed direction and path we must tread.
  We have wasted so much time already, on vain and downright unhealthy pursuits. That must end before it ends us. It’s well under way at doing that.

  I wrote this before breakfast today, but I’ve pondered the subject for quite a while, for many years, really.

  These are basically the conclusions of the Hordaland branch of the Norwegian Pirate Party during the «election» last year.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Thick, thick blinders

  Erik Solheim, the old rebel environmentalist, the new director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has long since become sickeningly mainstream. He claims with a straight face that human society is improving, and even claim that we’re actually dealing with the vast challenges confronting us.
  He’s very typical in that regard as well.
  He comes off as pretty smug, actually, and like a zealous defender of a society and order he once strongly opposed. This is pretty common, unfortunately. Once radical people often become more conservative and even conservatives as they grow older, more or less disregarding the spirited approach to the world dominating them in their youth. They join the mainstream, the establishment of an oppressive and destructive society, which like we have hardly seen before in human history, one taking one or ten turns for the worse every day.
  When such a man is hired to do the job, to lead others in one of the foremost environmental bodies on the globe, it’s even clearer that we are in trouble, in trouble to our ears.
  In a world of horrible priorities, he becomes just one more bad choice.

  I support the various Green Parties across the planet. I certainly see their policies as a step in the right direction. I have several major disagreements with them, all related to the fact that they don’t go far enough, that they aren’t even close to doing that, and that they cling to a thoroughly unfair society that is ultimately doomed. There are some members agreeing with me here, but not enough by far.
  I was a member of the Norwegian and British green parties twenty-five years ago, but left in frustration. I have considered rejoining several times since then, but every time I approach current material and actions and attitudes, I see that nothing has changed. I shake my head and decide to remain on the outside. I/we can clearly do far more worthwhile stuff there.
  The consensus among true environmentalists, those of us not belonging to any organization is that even if a world-wide Green Party got hundred percent of the voters behind them and all the actions in their political programs were implemented all over the planet… it wouldn’t save humanity and life on Earth in general, wouldn’t be even close to doing it…
  Instead it would only further sustain the ongoing dangerous illusion that something worthwhile is done.
  The same is true for all the other so called green organizations.
  Humanity is committing collective suicide, and they just want to polish already dead policies.
  I and others keep telling members this, but it doesn’t seem to reach their conscious mind at all. They are quite simply too caught up in mainstream society to get it and don’t see the need for the vast changes needed in order to make a difference.

More on Midnight Fire:

Brink - The Sixth Great Mass Extinction is here and it's us

Path to power
The World Grinder
The Watchers

Tailspin suicide run


Chemical cocktail

Cretaceous era revisited

Chernobyl everywhere

Softballing no longer

The technological glorification of technology

The great new barbarians



Living in the wild


The drill in the head and other stories

As always, the links are integrated parts of the main article.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The eternal war

  I spoke without a script, as usual. This, from memory only is a somewhat approximate transcript of my speech at the Stop NATO meeting in Bergen, Norway on May 8.

  A code of silence is notable in all western countries, a long row of issues missing from public debate. NATO and a given country’s membership there are clearly among those. There’s a manufactured consent in mainstream society, one making the massive propaganda machine kicking into gear every time anyone attempts to raise the subject. Those doing that are ignored, ridiculed and persecuted. Mainstream media and society are eager cohorts in the loud and silent choir of conformity. Established media has long since become the fourth, supporting estate, no longer even attempting to be any sort of corrective to the dominant forces of society.
  George Orwell spoke at length about the eternal war. It is remarkable how much of his predictions have become true, including that. It’s a sad, sad truth that those in charge used his story 1984 as a roadmap instead of a warning. The eternal war doesn’t need any justification except its own existence. A lot of pretexts are served a subjugated population, like the «War on Terror», the latest invention of those in charge in order to keep a given population down. Such pretexts are used to implement ever more oppressive laws, ever more extensive surveillance, and so on. Video-cameras are everywhere in public space today. Surveillance of the Internet and phone conversations becomes ever more extensive. The NSA exposure, among others proved that they don’t target specific people or groups. They are after everybody.

  NATO is not a benign organization by any stretch of the imagination and has never been one, but after it lost any validity it once might have had after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, it has taken one or ten turns for the worse.
  After the fall of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact there was a brief period of hope that we were headed in the right direction. Defense budgets were actually cut, even in the United States. It took time for the oppressive forces of the world to adapt to the new circumstances. Suddenly, there was no enemy to point at anymore. They had to find another.
  With the events at September 11, 2001 they did. The illusion of a benign order of western government fell like the house of cards it was. New wars and new, oppressive laws followed on an assembly line. Suddenly distant, unthreatening regimes and small groups of Afghan mountain people and Middle Eastern extreme religious groups being no threat to us with any stretch of the imagination were the Big Threat.
  It has grown from there, showing us that the true threat to us all is NATO/US combined forces. The United States is the leading force of this alliance of aggression, one of the most aggressive military alliances ever, but the rest is certainly eager participants. When Libya was bombed, Norway, once a somewhat reluctant participant in NATO aggression was responsible for most of the bombing. The United Kingdom’s parliament voted with zealous eagerness to bomb Syria. Most other member countries are just as eager. There used to be massive resistance, but now there is little or no opposition against NATO-membership in most member countries anymore. A unison agreement has fallen in various parliamentary bodies and big and small political parties.
  The world has basically been at war since 1938, if not longer, much longer, a state of ongoing conflict growing even more intense the last twenty years. Militarism leads human existence on all fronts.
  Pervasive propaganda tells us that unthreatening countries and groups are the threat, and also that we are bombing and invading a given country and killing massive numbers of its population in order to save its population from cruel dictators…

  It’s totally amazing that such bald faced lies, distortions and deceptions are believed, but they are, by a more or less clueless and disinterested mainstream population, and we all suffer because of it. It has to end, yesterday!