RIP

among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused & frightened & even sickened by human behavior. you’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited & stimulated to know. many, many men have been just as troubled morally & spiritually as you are right now. happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. you’ll learn from them – if you want to. just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. it’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. & it isn’t education. it’s history. it’s poetry.

-j.d. salinger Catcher in the Rye

Misheard… More misadventures in music

I don’t know about you, but I”ve been singing “kitties representing the city I grew up in” all week.

I recently heard an action film veteran singing ‘Secret Agent Man’. When I was much more naive than I am now, I believed the lyric to be “secret Asian man” and I wondered why he was hiding. He seems to get around…

The Bond that never was… Thankfully.

The best for last…

“You throw quite a party. I didn’t realise they celebrated Christmas in Japan.” – Bruce Willis/John McClane

Misheard lyrics

It’s an unfortunate crime we’re all guilty of, often not recognising the error until a night of drunken karaoke rears it’s ugly head. Here are a few of my personal favourites:

Roxette – ‘You’ve gotta get dressed, for safe sex”

Laugh all you want, it’s good advice and may well have been the beginning of my education on such matters.

Alanis Morrisette “F*** you”

When I first heard this song, I was disgusted. The song took on a completely different feel when I was corrected on this one. 

Bananarama – ‘Venus’

My third, and final confession is by far the worst. In the late 80s, my brother and I dissolved into fits of laughter when the film clip for this song came on the television. I clearly remember our cousins (who were staying over) and parents being puzzled about what was so funny. So now, a decade or two later, I shall reveal all…

We thought they were singing “penis” and “vagina”, not “venus” and “fire”. “Put your penis, in my vagina. Your desire.”

Oh dear.

Singing the wrong lyrics with sincerity,

Agnes J Stone.

“It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.”

– Primo Levi.

This quote, displayed in the lobby of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Information Centre captures the importance of reflection and hope.

Today marks the 71st anniversary of Kristallnacht, a terrifying turning point in history. In the years that followed, Germany was a centre of genocide and oppression.

In a nation with a past filled with violent hate crimes, peaceful protest contributed to one of the most important moments in history. Without a shot fired, the people of Germany succeeded in changing their nation, and indeed the world. Today also marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The words of Levi emphasise the importance of learning. History can repeat, knowledge can empower.

We must never forget the devastation of war. This seems an obvious endeavour, though military conflict is so entrenched in day to day life that it is quite easy to forget that we are at war.

We must always question, and keep an open mind. No matter how convincing an argument, we need to find the facts.

We must always remember that we can bring about change.

Everyday, perhaps without realising, we are in a position to make a difference in our world. Some people campaign for change through overt protest. Others take silent stands to show their own disdain. The beauty of it is that changing the world need not cost you a cent. You don’t need to cancel your plans. All you have to do is be mindful.

Be mindful that thanking the person serving you might just make their day. Be mindful that smiling at a stranger may make them feel less alone in the world. Be mindful that your cheerful “Good morning” to the old man you meet on the footpath might be the only greeting he gets all week. Be mindful that friendships need nurturing. Be mindful that tomorrow, your loved one forgetting to make that phone call won’t matter. Be mindful that yes, leaving the extra lights on will contribute to make a difference. Turn it off.

Practice kindness. It is human nature to become absorbed with our own lives. It’s easy to forget that we aren’t the only ones with troubles. It costs nothing to be kind. You don’t need to become affiliated with a group. You don’t need to devote your weekends to it. All you need to do is think about it a little. Be surprised by the kindness of strangers by surprising strangers with your kindness.

By being mindful , we can learn to take bigger steps.

Berlin, once divided like the rest of Germany, is now a city of hope. In a land of people once governed by some of the most evil in history, faith in humanity has been reinvigorated.

Potsdamer Platz – 15th October, 2008.

Note the curve at the base of the slab. These cobble stones mark the path where the wall once stood.

A photo finish?

We’re up to 01.01.09, and with 225 photos to go, we’re slowly edging closer to the finish line.

Un/fortunately, life’s delightful distractions have kept me away. Over the next few days I will resume uploading, and look forward to the photo finish!

Slow, but sincere
Agnes

Transistor

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t

You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took

And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood

Regina Spektor – On the Radio

A thousand words

The photographic image tries to represent our essence as best it can. But it is always doomed to fail, for one instant in a trillion instants cannot represent it all. We age, we change and what remains the same can never be seen. Behind flickering eyes and beaming smiles our essence lies dormant.

– David Wills

Need Vs. Want

I want to spend a sunny day sipping tea, admiring pretty pink sweets on frilly doillies, listening to music and laughing with friends.

I want to watch films from the 80s and realise that all of a sudden, some them aren’t so tacky anymore.

I want to curate a faux film festival – to showcase films I love. I want my friends to do the same.

I want to get back to the simple things in life – I want to send a letter, make a postcard, thank someone for sharing their lovely garden with the street. I want to bake you a cake [It’s the thought that counts].

I want to spend three hours stretched out on a picnic blanket, staring at the sky.

I want to celebrate each day for it’s wonder.

I need to hope.

I need to dream.

I need to enjoy the moment.

I need to play the glad game.