There’s something very seriously messed up about this picture, very screwed up. It could be a window to anywhere, a view out to an outer world from within, an inner space perspective. It’s a designed separation, partitioning the real from the really real and the false from the fictional marketed illusion.
The hues and contrasts outside tease, giving the observer a feeling of natural. Nature is within reach, a glimpse of tropical palette, picture perfect. There are lush greens, wilting yellows and decaying browns. All visual cues, signally that nature is cycling through its magnificent manifestations, birth life death, just happening naturally right outside the viewing platform.
But wait; there appear to be other colours, blues reds whites blacks, a kaleidoscope of changing colour. All intermingled cascading as a glimmering dry riverbed, meandering within a jungle, desperately seeking new routes and tributaries to continue its progress, free from impediment.
One can be all at once mesmerized and transfixed by its initial impact, beautiful to the eye. Yet wait a moment. Look closer, quite instantly and instinctively uneasy anxious horrified sickened repulsed and frightened, by the inescapable truth of toxic art.
This is no pristine natural setting I have stumbled upon, a rare and secret find on a planet that so desperately gasps for such soothing pockets of peace tranquility and hope.
This is the outlook from a gym, a place of health welfare and well-being. A view to what wealth and its cancerous tentacles have spread.
This is the insanity.
This is what is happening more and more.
This is Ubud Bali Indonesia.
It actually was a jewel in the constellation of tropical locations. A place where one could pluck fruit from trees and grow anything by just sticking a seed or cut stem into fertile volcanic rich soil. Positioned in a climatic and temperature comfortable goldilocks zone. Paradise was as close to a reality as could ever be probably possible. What on Earth happened along the road to, ‘how to screw paradise in a few decades,’ is open to endless discussion.
What’s non debateable is an obvious and very measurable fact. That whatever packaging wrapping marketing tools tricks and techniques employed over those very short decades, have produced a very spectacular and decadent nosedive of said paradise into the putrid pit of plastic purgatory.
Everything on Bali, apart from balance, is about beauty. Be it fruit sculpture, painting, ceremony, geological diverse scenery, Balinese people and on and on and on. Attractive was a naturally occurring rising phenomena, ergo total attraction to it and its endless manifestations. That’s possibly probably what started the rot.
Bali is still very beautiful but it’s also creeping insidiously and rapidly toward ugly on many of its bits. Perception is very much dictated by experience and for millions the perception of Bali as a great place is unquestionably real.
So what’s the unavoidable reality as the Island currently suffocates in toxic tailings of commodity overload? It’s those increasing satisfied numbers who will continue to drive balance and beauty to the brink.
So where does Tri Hita Karana sit in the fog of consumerism, positioned in the stench of wealth at all cost.
A very insightful young Balinese man explained that his Island was like a beacon, a beautiful bauble, a precious ornament, a shining light, an example to the world. A micro model of how life could be. The bauble has been marketed to impending death, wrapped and gaudily garmented in enough toxic plastic to suck dry any balance, Island body mind soul in crisis.
However, as depressingly micro mirrored on the reality of the ‘greater world’ Bali appears to be, there could be hope, maybe. Leaving a belching super volcano aside, even though it has effectively pricked the bauble, bursting the toxic trajectory will take a combination of unpleasant crises.
If a toxic plastic filled ocean, fed from toxic plastic filled streams, emanating from toxic plastic filled villages and towns isn’t enough to bring life and its derived quality to a grinding halt. Plummeting fresh water outlets and a shrinking water table will push health and well-being into a gut crunching retreat. Add rampant competition for more and more of everything, human to human relationships will strain even more than they are right now. Finish it all off with ash and there is nothing left to sell other than an Island full of trash.
It’s incredibly easy and so very convenient to blame Bali people for the state of Bali. If only it was that easy.
Like one of the most hideous and cruel fashion items ever marketed. Bali has for decades been treated this way. Now oxygen is running out, water is turning rancid and plastic is poisoning the organism. Bali is truly a micro of what is happening on a global scale.
One person’s precious bauble is another’s grotesque worthless plaything.
‘For the love of God’
FTLOG, what have we done to future generations, what have we done to this one. Undoubtedly there are many, who are doing very well. But how did they get there and what did they need to do on the way.
This is not a whinge or moan, just a general observation, in regard to what my generation is handing on.
In order to have a degree of success, each generational cycle is hardwired to make the continuation of its species as compatible as possible with life. That’s why the hosts always strive for their offspring to have a better life.
And if history is correct, a better life has clinically occurred with each baton change, species survival has occurred.
It’s a simple fact, thrive it to life, or fuck it to death.
FTLOG, as the crossover from old to new is ripped up and shredded apart to justify the state of play; each generational gaping has thrown a lot of vitriolic faeces around. But what we’ve thrown at this lot is an awful lot of stuff, and a world at Terror and depletion.
How many of us can remember a short twenty years, past in a technological zip, and sleep soundly in what we created for them, seriously.
FTLOG, let’s hope the ‘grab it now while it lasts generation’, don’t put their screen lives down for a sec, take a look around, and decide to grab the throat of their creator.
Putting Away For a Volcano Day. Two very deeply intertwined stories with vastly different realities.
Alan was incredibly relieved. Running a restaurant is a challenging gamble even when things are going splendidly smooth. There’s always the possibility of a turn-down in the economy. Global Financial Crashes do have a cyclic habit of occurring, loss of popularity happens and of course competition vying to lure patrons away is ever present. The competition on Bali for restaurant space is only outdone by the constant surge of tourists, hordes of increasingly hungry foreigners demanding more gastronomical supply structures, filling eatery spaces as fast as they filled their faces. Their insatiable hunger has driven the establishment of an unending array of restaurants. There appeared to be no end to the insanity.
Alan was incredibly relieved, humbled, grateful and eternally thankful that his Balinese business partner had suggested putting some profit aside from the tourist boom windfall their restaurant had enjoyed. There is a misconception that Balinese people live only for today, that they don’t plan for tomorrow. This appears to be a type of reverse ethnocentrism, as if foreign people are generally much more prudent in their financial planning and possess expansive and much superior wisdom. Alan’s partner certainly blew that theory to bits and thanks to all his Gods he did. Theirs was a very popular and successful restaurant, surviving where and when many had failed and establishing a reputation that enabled them to feel secure, as long as nothing disastrous happened.
If you’re in the tourism industry, running a tourist dependent business and residing on a part of a planet that has a massive horseshoe shaped string of active volcanoes, commonly referred to as the Ring Of Fire, then death and destruction of body and business isn’t something you’re going to spend every waking moment focusing on, even if you should.
An eruption of Gunung Agung wasn’t supposed to happen, which of course is like saying that death isn’t going to happen. You know it’s there, you know it’s going to happen but there’s plenty of time and it won’t happen until long into the future.
Whatever Alan’s partner was thinking and mulling over a few years ago, business minded or otherwise, it was certainly fortuitous as the largest volcano on Bali awakened from its long sleep.
For now Alan and the Restaurant staff are financially secure thanks to awareness and forward thinking on past historical events. For many others, as Allan painfully explained, the story and outcome is already disastrous, staff layoffs, closures and family infighting, just some of the consequences of Nature’s fury.
Made and Wayan had done well through sheer hard work, long hours and dedication to roll with the punches of life. Having worked with and for someone else for the majority of his life in the tourist sector, Wayan decided to take a calculated risk and begin building a family business dedicated to accommodating and serving tourists. They built two superior villa dwellings and Made was successful in securing a prime spot for a shop in the central market. It was financial boom time in Indonesia, nearly everyone was enjoying the spoils of National success and patriotic pride was high, Bali was raking in the Rupiah.
For Wayan and Made, their number one priority was family and like most Balinese families they had a large contingent to support. They had saved hard and where prudent enough to project financially far enough ahead to look at schooling and University funds for both their children. Even a fire that swept through the Market couldn’t kill off their enthusiasm and belief that balance on Bali is everything and that it would all work out.
An eruption of Gunung Agung wasn’t supposed to happen and even though Made and Wayan had living relatives who could remember the last time volcanic ash rained down, no one wanted to think or believe it could happen again.
Speaking with Wayan it was evident that faith in balance karma a good deal of belt tightening and severe budgeting was the only option in the face of what could be a protracted event. Looking at Made it was obvious that her world had been turned upside down, worry lines were evident and the stress of possible financial ruin apart from purposeful work was weighing heavily upon her very slight shoulders.
Gunung Agung and the effects from this latest eruption have probably affected over 100,000 local people. At the pointy end of the funnel refugee’s number in the tens of thousands and those numbers will climb if no end is quickly forthcoming.
There is no competition in respect to suffering, situations or reactions in this event, all things are relative. The eruption of Gunung Agung has been a massive leveler, a stratovolcano will do that.
At this time Agung is still erupting, tourists have not returned to Bali in numbers sufficient enough to ease the emotional and financial stress. Media has been blamed for scaring tourists away but the reality is that a level 4 warning is still in place and a very big dangerous volcano is still smoking.
Masticating is not only a really great word, its terminology in action is so descriptively suitable, especially when it comes to the proliferation of chewing, munching, chomping and crunching each other on social media. In opposition to the word masturbating, which turns out to be a very similar albeit mistakenly sounding term name action and adjective, masticating or to masticate can be a very unpleasant experience, especially if you’re a bitten recipient.
Survival of the fittest in this tech age has become the most crassest cruellest crudest version of human designed evolution, a diversion from the natural selective order that even Darwin would have issues with. Opening up any form of dialogue with a keyboard driven screen based unseen entity is fraught with risk at any time. Engaging with receding forehead prominent brow ridged, unseen, narrow minded Neanderthals hell bent on clubbing you to death over Wi-Fi, is never going to end well.
Now for that other magnificent word, Schadenfreude. The term became very popular and initially most often used on the back of mass viewed videos, short snapshots about silly harmless scale suffering. Humorous take on unsuspecting or truly youthful idiotic humans, consigned mostly to comic skits, repetitive scenes showing tragic events and happenings that in most cases where undeniably created by the subjects themselves. Finding joy in and from the suffering of others in this context is nothing new; it has a very long history in films books and family folklore. It’s seen as harmless, due to its ability to elicit laughter from the observer and as long as no real harm of a serious or life threatening outcome befalls the dim-witted actor then Schadenfreude is very socially acceptable.
Schadenfreude is a compound of the German noun Schaden, which means “damage,” and freude, which means “joy.” It’s at the very least actually troubling that there is in fact a word that so very well expresses a human emotion that in reality is even more troubling in action. One can only wonder what emotions the surviving relatives of 6 million Jews must suffer through when such a word is heard read or thought of.
The rise of the internet has given rise to a sinister form of Schadenfreude; such is the ability to be separate and unseen in a deeply integrated interconnected medium. A perpetrator with a Schadenfreude purpose has endless opportunities to not only enjoy immediate and instantly uploaded glee; they also have the delight of creating inflicting and watching the outcome of their damage.
Masticating and Schadenfreude are emotional and physical manifestations of words. One denotes getting your teeth into the throats of unsuspecting victims.
The other viciously requires destroying their minds, while they bleed out through their severed carotid artery.
It’s the silence; it should and has historically been the most frenetic crammed energy sapping time on the Island. It’s the look on faces, now is lead up to festive foreigner celebrations, its Christmas and New Year madness time.
It’s Bali, tourist hub of Indonesia, full throttle consumer crazy time and wet season spending splurge time. Pavements have become people lean, streets are traffic light and now worry is filling the vacuum where reliable paradise energy resided for a generation who have become very comfortable with its surety.
I have visited and lived on Bali more than anywhere else. I watched in dismay when terrorism ripped holes in its fabric and rejoiced as the Island and her people reconstituted their shattered bits and reinvented themselves and their Island in the unique way that only they can do. I looked on with concern as disposable money poured into Banjars villages and communities, spiced up by banks eager to entice mega development on the back of a Global Financial Crisis 2008 recovery. Credit was uber – fashionable, lessons from the ‘developed’ nations were ignored, as is usual in saccharine drug fuelled money frenzy, apartments villas and plastic exploded.
There are and will forever be many theories on why Gunung Agung has decided to blow his load at this time. Science will work on data graphs and geological forces. Others will come at it from a more metaphysical direction, believing that it’s an overdue warning from the biggest boy on Bali, a very sober and salient signal that things have really gone a bit too far.
But it’s the silence and the looks and the energy. It’s the third bomb, an explosive force of unprecedented nature, never experienced on modern Bali. It’s an Island that totally depends on tourism, without that Bali is dry empty parched.
Silence is the energy now. The longer this eruptive reality goes on the shorter the time until starvation begins.
Until Bali descends into depression, until Gunung Agung finishes what he started
Life really is like a paperclip chain. Without the link, you cannot find yourself moving anywhere other than circumnavigating a very squashed and scrunched S shape. If you’re very lucky you will escape the S bend and begin a very long endless task of creating your very own chain. Science doesn’t have a chemical formula for luck; it struggles with its elemental structuring. Is it an outside force chance random thing, happenstance, or is it a personal directive thing, you make your own luck. No matter, its pseudo reality is universally accepted as a life element, unexplained yet certainly somewhat vaguely intertwined.
Getting it right before moving on becomes a major priority, the only priority, when you are facing the actual end of your paperclip. Forget the end of your tether, rope or absolutely any other physicality, mechanical or metaphorical. When you’re told to go home and get your affairs in order, it really is an order, not some meme attached to a beautiful setting sun accompanied by footprints in the sand.
When you begin to realize, which comes way before shock anger denial depression acceptance, that your circumnavigation is about to head off somewhere unfamiliar, with all its associated insecurities, getting things right becomes your world of paperclips, past present future.
Moving on is inevitable, no matter how much we resist deny and rage against its very undeniable force. It’s not so much the term that distresses us. It’s the actual fact that moving on is a reality. Accompany that with the queasy question of what does moving on actually really mean and to actually where. We are all moving on, at all times and all together, yet in our own time. We just don’t generally recognize or register its presence in our robotic normal daily lives.
Getting things right is a very personal position, but it’s not until your paperclip changes shape via an external force or your compass becomes internally magnetized. Only then will you really know how to begin the disentanglement from your solitary clip or chain.
There are no solitary linkages to be found.
It’s become a most disturbing revelation, an unavoidable reality in the paradigm we have willingly thrown our collective selves into. Eyes heads down, into machines, deeper and deeper into, has become a global pattern. Away from seeing the real world, into a way of seeing the world, the only way, shaped and molded by our connected family of friendships. Others we have never met but are bonded and glued to as tightly as we are to high definition moving screens. The world really is in our hands now, handed to us on small plate sized machines.
Finding the real world, that physicality, sensory filth and surround sound stuff, is definitely becoming much harder. It’s still there but you must travel longer distances, to places that haven’t quite yet reached a level of majority machine worshiping. Places where survival still outweighs the luxury of leisure time screen scrolling. Yet such places are only a Nano swipe from commercial immersion, swallowed into the world of fake fantasy cropping and photo shopping.
The small palm held view on and of the world is certainly a thing of many colours. It’s an unquenchable beast that demands more time focus and deliberate determined and dedicated commitment from an insatiable global horde of hungry consumers. The dangers are extreme of course, individual disconnection from a physical world, even when connection with other online beings can be in the billions.
But the rewards are higher, especially when the hook is baited with the promise of so much more. With every click you can design shape and fashion your world, your very own internal world. Projecting that to billions of others is a powerful aphrodisiac, a billionth of them responding is a feedback loop of orgasmic hit after hit.
We really are in a revolution of the mind, a human made evolutionary leap, mammoth in extreme measures. A global collective is within our reach, a simple gathering and garnering of human consensus, especially on matters of great and pressing importance. Only our individual ego can stand arrogantly insecurely in the way. And therein lays the issue at our crossroad.
We are all virtual Gods now, able to shape and shift reality into whatever we perceive it to be. Of course none of it’s real at all. It’s just more of many things that we have been told to believe.
But we are not Gods. Such entities are reportedly all pervading presences observing guiding and manipulating our daily lives. We are simply mere mortals playing with machines.
God like machines.
As more and more rulers around the globe do more and more to protect themselves and their ‘public service’ entitlements, more and more of those who feel they really have no choice when it comes to political choice making, are turning to social media to attack the privileged and powerful.
Fear anxiety and paranoia is building within and behind the massive security screens and barriers that are separating those trusted with power from those who gave them that power.
The reasons are fairly simple and obvious. Remembering that they promised they would, those trusted to fix global shit and growing inequality and massive suffering haven’t done so, were actually never going to and were honestly never able to.
This age old boring crappy game has been around for lifetimes, with each generation swallowing its bait, hooked on the pathetic hope that if one lot didn’t live up to promises and expectations, then maybe the next lot would. Cynicism and apathy began its insidious creep and crawl, culminating in a current global consensus that politicians are lower on the crooked and con scale than real estate agents and automobile sales agents. Politicians have become a collective agency that’s regarded with distaste and distain on a scale that’s growing rapidly. No wonder they, our elected representatives, are feeling somewhat separated and feel the need to erect barricades, physical and economically. Their self-righteous, self-given, self-legislated and self-governed perks and pleasures are no longer rejected by themselves or seriously questioned by a public that shrugs its collective tired resigned weary shoulders. But all that is changing, as an evolutionary leap jettisoned by social media is starting to expose them in real and immediate time.
We had the Stone Age, fairly nasty period, Industrial Age, fairly filthy period, now explodes the Tech Age and mega rippling its effects in global spasms it certainly is. This is human made evolution at its most creatively unknown projection ever. Its potential to instantly expose is unprecedented and that’s absolutely terrifying to an ancient club of privileged government guys. They have also caught on quickly, using the power of digital voice to quell uprisings, making physical protests a virtual unknown thing of this time. But the world population is quickening, as is digital capability, they can’t hold the hordes at bay much longer, so they are pulling back and bunkering up.
The game is up and the masses are using mass social media to attack deflect and open up the gates of power, blowing holes in the walls of privilege and demanding that those who define themselves as Public Servants actually do just that.
Observing whats real is becoming increasingly difficult. This site is my view, my perception and my commentary on what I believe to be real, from my own unique position.