Friday, 29 August 2014

How is your endurance?

Everyone loves a tale of endurance. In most cinema stories the lead character is first introduced to us and then they face some unfortunate obstacle which they then have to overcome. Through that endurance process the audience picks up some life lessons for their own battles of endurance.

One of my favourite movies about endurance is the biographical Hurricane (1999). It tells the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (Denzel Washington) a former middleweight boxing champion who was convicted for a triple homicide in a bar in Paterson, New Jersey. It depicts his life in prison and how he was freed by the love and compassion of a teenager from Brooklyn and his Canadian foster family.


In a moving scene the wrongly convicted Hurricane turns up in prison. The prison warden tells him to wear a prison uniform. He refuses by making it clear that "only guilty people wear a prison uniform". And since he is innocent of any crime, he cannot put on the identity of a convict. This immediately lands him in solitary confinement which he survives. When the new warden arrives he is allowed to wear something different. And by doing so he preserves his identity and endures to the end.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Norwegian Treatment

Norway's government is considering withdrawing Norwegian citizenship from people taking part in terror activities and wars abroad. Plans to punish the potential threat of terrorist activity in Norway were announced on Monday. Minister of Children and Equality, Solveig Horne, said to the media: “This is a strong signal to people wanting to take part in terror operations and wars.” 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Skyscrapers and capitalism


Martin Parker has a fascinating piece where he explores what London's rising skyscrapers says about society. This quote is particularly interesting :
Skyscrapers are terrifying and beautiful at the same time. They are both monuments to human ingenuity, and to massive inequality, as their occupants look down on the people living in cardboard on the city streets. The question they provoke is not really about boom or slump, but about the nature of an economic system which makes such projects possible.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

On the Kindle

I am currently kindling 'Journey toward Justice : Personal Encounters in the Global South' by Nicholas P. Wolterstorff. The greatest moral philosopher alive today. What he observes about injustice in Honduras is fascinating:
"..It is commonly said that the failure of Honduran officials to deal with crime against the poor is due to corruption—graft and bribery...Though there are indeed corrupt officials, the fundamental problem is not corruption but fear and a pervasive lack of trust. Poor people do not trust the police, the judicial system, or the bureaucracy. The police do not trust the prosecutors; the prosecutors do not trust the police. The result is that the poor are afraid to take action when they are the victims of crime or illegal treatment; they fear that if they file a report with the police or some government official, the person or organization that wronged them will retaliate. The police and prosecutors likewise fear that they will be the victims of retaliation if they take action. There is plenty of evidence that these fears are warranted. What I saw, more clearly than ever before, is that justice in ALL its forms is impossible in the midst of pervasive fear and distrust.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Elysium and Our Deepest Need


Elysium is set in the year 2154 where two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine space station city called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. The government of Elysium enforces strict anti-immigration laws to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That is all about to change when ex-convict Max (Matt Damon), who has always longed to go to city of Elysium, finds himself desperately in need to save his life from fatal radiation poisoning. He needs a machine on Elysium that can heal anyone. The big question is will he get to Elysium?