Sunday, June 11, 2017

To thine own self be true

  This returned to me as a crystal clear memory the other night. I recalled when a friend of mine and I visited London for the first time in 1983. We spoke English between us in an effort to improve our foreign language skills. When we sat at a restaurant I started on a long monologue, more or less successful. My friend cautioned me, made me lower my voice and did so in Norwegian.
  It was not long after that, as we sat there eating I realized that he was embarrassed, and that I wasn’t.
  It was probably one of the first times in my life that it dawned on me that I didn’t care, just didn’t care what others happened to think of me. It was a profound and important insight that has helped me immensely later in life. I had been insecure and second-guessed myself as a child and adolescent, and that had kept me, at least to a point from letting go and enjoy myself. That stopped sometime after I became an adult. I grew up, so to speak.
  I had always seen my friend as pretty confident and secure within himself, but not long after that moment in the restaurant I realized that he in truth wasn’t, and that most other people weren’t either. They were fearful of speaking out, of standing up for themselves and their views, afraid of public condemnation, of losing face in the eyes of others, without realizing that they had already lost it, in their own eyes. I experienced a kind of slow epiphany in the coming years, as it dawned on me that I was, in truth pretty confident and secure within myself, and that I had a lot to offer both myself and the world.
  It wasn’t like I saw myself as a world champion or anything, but more like I realized that I didn’t need to be, and thereby freed myself to pursue whatever I wanted, independently of others’ opinion and expectation of it or me.
  It worked, in spite of the occasional setback beyond all expectations.
  Do your true will, not the one imposed on you by an insane community and society.
  Polonius: This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Hamlet - William Shakespeare

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The true culprits

  Theresa May, the Conservatives, US/UK//FRANCE/NATO and western politicians in general are directly responsible for the recent Manchester and London tragedies and all similar. By being and fostering a terror-regime operating all over the world, they have most certainly encouraged (at the very least) such and similar behavior in others. Those even suggesting otherwise are mired in establishment propaganda and unable to see the trees for the forest.
  Libya was a stable and fairly just society before western forces bombed it and killed off Ghadafi and destroyed his regime, one of the most benevolent in Africa. Syria was stable. There wouldn’t have been an insurrection there at all without US/UK/FRANCE/NATO interference and active contribution. The entire Middle East region has in general been a victim of western governments. US/NATO is one of the most aggressive military alliances ever. Of course people are pissed. They should be!
  Western leaders are reaping the harvest of their own terror regime, one they deliberately set in motion and then used the inevitable and self-evident effects to implement stricter surveillance and oppressive legislation on the population of so called western democracies, a move that was clearly one of their main goals.
  The aim of the perpetual war is to paralyze a given population, scare them into accepting any indignity, the worst kind of oppression. Fear is the key to control, and control is what those in charge desire more than anything.

  In other words, people should direct and should have long since directed their rage at them, not at their victims. Warmongers and people calling for more surveillance must be rejected as leaders. It’s long overdue.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Not

  Reaching a state of free association, no matter the method is always a blast of creativity. You may not like all the thoughts assaulting you, but you will always gain something from it.
  Free association isn’t hard. I sit here writing this. Twelve years from now I’m fucking a young girl. I’m older, but in some way I’m also fucking her as a young man. And on that very same moment twelve years from now I’m also living in London and I am fairly wealthy. In another variation I’m fairly poor and can’t travel much. In yet another I’m nowhere, dead as a doornail.
  It isn’t difficult, not difficult at all to imagine the various alternatives, even those not very likely not mentioned here, or those very likely not mentioned here. A horse is running in circles on a racetrack. At some point, in one story it breaks all four legs the first two steps and never leaves the wheelchair. In another it leaves the fucking racetrack and flies off into the sunset, flapping its strong wings without ever tiring. The cat is growling at the much bigger dog, scaring the poor mutt shitless. A mouse hides squeaking in the lion’s mouth, not daring to make a sound in fear of making a sound.
  Yes, the world is like that, exactly like that.
  All in all, the moon is the strongest, most well-muscled bulb in the sky, and the sun is merely a burning torch with a monster ego.
  This is existence inside and outside the nut and the nutshell. I love hearing the sound of boulders rolling up the mountainside. It’s such a magnificent sight and exciting experience. An avalanche is nothing but flames dancing on the precipice of a shaking casket. Those spending a lifetime inside that clammy space won’t ever wonder about the world outside, never wandering off-track or off-base, never pushing the keys of the rainbow into ultraviolet and infrared or even beyond.
  Is time parallel or a tree branching out from a central point… or both… neither?
  In a time and a place unbound by time and space, you’ll find out, find out everything you ever and never wondered about, and still know only a tiny sliver of reality, of the big, bad Universe without beginning or end.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Streets of Fire (I)

  Here are some snippets, big and small events from my life as a radical political activist and enthusiastic human being.
  The first few major protests I attended was in Oslo in the eighties, among them during an official Margaret Thatcher visit. In a statement to the media she said with her usual «flair» that Norwegians did everything to make her feel welcome, like she was at home, including protesting against her.
  During one protest one of those hot Oslo summers, I watched four cops gang up on and beat up a young girl. Several people protesting that act was also arrested and brutalized.
  I was never truly an integrated part of the activist/squatter «Blitz» group, but among the many coming from all over the country in order to support them as best we could.
  In Copenhagen in 1988 I attended yet another protest where the police attacked us unprovoked. Many were arrested and taken to a small, fairly small station used to cage protesters. The evening ended up with a small group of protesters setting fire to that station and all the protesters escaping custody. Very few of the protesters I spoke with felt bad about that.
  We had all realized years ago that the usual establishment media headline: «protesters attack the police» was pure bogus and establishment propaganda. No protester with his/her wits intact would even dream of attacking a superior force in armor and armed with clubs and shields and worse.
  I had moved to London and was further radicalized, thriving in an environment filled with subversives…

  The five years I lived there, where I wrote my novels Dreams Belong to the Night and ShadowWalk were among my best ever. The street theater, the squatted house, the downright inspiring group I was a part of all conspired to make it so, constantly stoking my already burning heart. We encountered Jeremy Corbyn among many other great people during the many protests outside the South African embassy. We celebrated Thatcher’s fall, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and a lot more. The first witchnight of ours was celebrated with abandon in Hyde Park in June 1988. There would be many more all over the world, both small and big in terms of scope and attendance in the decades to come.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Today in Palestine

  A fisherman is shot
  A child is grabbed
  By brutal hands
  And dragged to prison
  A woman is shot and a knife
  Is placed by her side

  Gaza is shelled again today
  Fishing boats are attacked
  By firing gunboats
  A woman giving birth dies
  Delayed at a checkpoint
  Children are tortured in jail

  There are big massacres
  Where Gaza is bombed to dust
  And blood covers the ground
  Where protesters fill the streets
  But Palestine is occupied every day
  Palestinians are constantly attacked
  But protesters stay at home

 Palestine is invaded day and night
 The invading forces attack on the ground
 From the air and from the sea
 The Israeli Occupation Army
 Swarms Palestine armed to the teeth
 Those not accepting that
 Must swarm day and night as well


 Amos Keppler 2017-03-10

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Afraid (II)

  - Don’t be afraid, Sasha soothed her.
  But Lily was afraid, as Sasha put her hands on her shoulders. The heart hammered in her chest, like in a rabbit fleeing from a predator. She visualized how the girl standing behind her grew long, pointed fangs and her sweet features turned into a demonic visage.
  Then Sasha fell on her, held her in her paralyzing grip and bit into her jugular vein with her fangs, and all of it turned all too real, and then Lily found out how it was like when her heart truly hammered in her chest.
  She struggled, she did, or imagined she did, unable to tell if it was real, but if she fought physically against the assault, it was to no avail. The sound of Sasha slurping her blood as she sucked the life out of her became Lily’s entire world. The room faded around her and a terrible weakness overwhelmed the tiny rabbit as it breathed for the last time. She stopped struggling and turned limp in the predator’s iron grip.
  Sasha turned her around.
  - Drink from me the nectar of life and enjoy the pleasures of the hunt forever, she said softly. – Hurry, before it’s too late.
  They stood there face to face, as Lilly’s eyes slid half closed and her vision turned weak and hazy.
  Sasha scratched her wrist and put it in Lily’s open mouth. One more heartbeat, two and Lily closed her mouth, biting hard down on Sasha’s wrist. Blood flowed into her mouth and down her throat. A strength and sensation beyond anything she had ever experienced charged through her, as the alien blood flooded her system.
  - Good girl, Sasha whispered. – Good girl!
  Lilly twisted and shook in the other’s arms. Her mouth let go of the wrist. She stopped moving, practically froze in slow, slow moment and collapsed in the other’s arms. Sasha picked her up and carried her without effort out of the living room. Lily was aware to some degree, even as her eyes slid close and everything stopped within her. Sasha carried her down the stairs to the basement. The door closed and everything turned dark, but Lily still saw details in her surroundings. She sensed them in slow, slow flashes slowly fading. Lily was fading. Everything vanished around her, except the creature taking her into her lap.
  Sasha put her to bed. Its white sheets turned black. Even Sasha faded. Everything turned black. All sensations faded. Everything turned to nothing. Her dreamless sleep began.
  The figure on the bed opened its eyes. The pattern on the ceiling slowly revealed itself. It moved its eyes. Two sweeps, three and it spotted the creature standing slightly to the right of the bed’s front. It sat up and directed its entire attention on the other.
  - There you are. Welcome to the world.
  It recognized the woman somehow, even as confusion kept confounding it. It tried to speak. There were sounds, but she couldn’t form words.
  - It’s mostly the fangs. They keep you from speaking properly. It, like everything else will take time and effort. You’re an infant. You have to learn everything from scratch.
  It rose, doing so effortlessly, as part of an ongoing, flowing movement.
  - Walk to the mirror, infant.
  It did, obeying the compelling voice, stopping in front of the luminous, smooth surface. The mirror did seem to glow in the infant’s wide open vision. The female looked at her face in the mirror, at the long, pointed fangs dripping with saliva. She mumbled something inarticulate.
  - Don’t worry, child, I know what you need. Come with me!
  The woman turned and opened the door. A bright light flooded the dark room and made the child cover her eyes. Tears jumped from the eyes and flooded her cheeks. She kept following the woman up the stairs, into the hall and out the door. Fresh air ripped into sniffing nostrils. Then something else, a beyond powerful, overwhelming sweet stench took its place, making the girl frantic and making her release a loud moan of longing.
  She speeded up, catching up to the woman in a moment, about to overtake her the next. The woman grabbed her and held her back effortlessly. The girl turned limp in her grip and lowered her eyes with a whimper, submitting without a struggle to the dominant force in her presence.
  - Relax, little one, you will get everything you yearn for. You just need to be patient a little longer, take a few more cautious baby steps before you can stride through the night as the great hunter you are.
  They entered a forest, a wilderness almost well within the city limits. The woman followed a trail and the girl followed her. The wet cheeks dried fast as the air pushed at her skin. The many scents overwhelmed her. They surrounded her on all sides, confusing her. She could hardly hear or see because of the overwhelming scents.
  But one in particular, the dominant that had drawn her to the forest pulled her and kept pulling her, making her move without thought and sense of direction. She approached a woman walking in her direction on the trail.
  - Lily? The woman facing her cried out, making her ears hurt. – What happened to you, girl? You’ve been gone for days.
  The girl frowned. The sounds, the syllables, the name sounded vaguely familiar.
  Then it didn’t matter anymore. The near, sweet scent brought by the wind brought her close to the anxious woman. The beating of the jugular vein on the woman’s neck narrowed her vision to nothing.
  The prey turned limp in her grip before she had grabbed her. Huge, vacant eyes stared at nothing. The girl pushed her fangs at the jugular vein and bit through it. Blood, the sweet, tasty blood filled her mouth, flowing down her throat, filling her flesh, her self.
  Ecstasy poured into her. Time lost its meaning again. She swallowed as fast she could, but couldn’t keep some of the blood from flowing from her mouth. It didn’t matter. Her veins, her limbs and everything began burning in the pleasant flame filling her up. She released happy sounds as she fed on the blood of the other woman.
  She felt the prey surrender its life, and it was such a glorious sensation. She swayed a little, the happy smile never leaving her face.
  The empty husk drew its final breath. She dropped it to the ground, while standing there completely mesmerized by the feeling of life surging through her. The hands changed before her eyes, the same transformation she couldn’t see but only sense in her body at large. She stood there swaying and chuckling as she faced the other.
  Speaking proved just as difficult as before. The words, if words they were came out garbled, more like incoherent babble then actual speech.
  - I know. Sasha soothed her. – You want to re-experience this feeling again and again and again. Don’t worry. You will! You shall!
  Sasha stepped close to her. She took some of the blood on the girl’s jaw and splashed it on her forehead.
  - I baptize you Ali and bid you to live a long life filled with pleasures.
  Ali repeated that name, that sound, at least in her mind. Sasha moved and the youngling moved with her. Their movement felt like the wind itself to Ali, like they had become one with it, and she rejoiced in her beating heart.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Two more from one

 These are three versions of the same photograph, the original RAW image




 and two versions altered in Adobe Camera RAW



  I brightened the shadows, darkened the bright spots, sharpened the image and altered color temperature, tweaking the two modified versions in two distinctly different directions. It would be easy to make even more distinctly different versions.
  RAW photos contain far more information than ordinary photos. They can basically be drastically altered without significant loss of quality and should be the favorite choice for any advanced photographer these nights.
  They certainly leave any phone photo in the mud where it belongs.
  Photographed with Canon 5D Mark 3 with the Sigma F1.4 DG 35 mm lens.
  For more photos and modifications and photo art, see my collection Images of a Warm Winter