The birth place of the written word (The Epic of Gilgamesh King of Uruk.) known today as Tall al Muqayyar, Iraq (Sumeria, The City of Ur) (Biblical name: Ur of the Chaldees, Mesopotamia). It is HERE that the Humanity’s first literary text, “The Epic of Gilgamesh” King of Uruk, is written many centuries before Homer.
If you ever want to know where alternative facts originate, how it germinates it and spreads you need to watch this interview of Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman interviewing Russell Brand about voting, revolution and beards, as he launches his guest edit for the New Statesman.
“Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment”
- When politics become tribal
- When truth becomes an alternative fact.
- When bigotry becomes a national security
- When serious and complex geopolitics are reduced to tweets
- When what matters is “Me” and “Me Alone”
How do we get here? What went wrong?
The answer can be found in a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. Here is the author’s son on how the author predicted our current situation.
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
“There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes ‘the practice of freedom,’ the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
A short, interesting book about why you should talk to strangers.
When you interact with a stranger, you’re not in your own head, you’re not on autopilot from here to there. You are present in the moment. And to be present is to feel alive.
“a civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless”
“To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread. It will be a great day for America, incidentally, when we begin to eat bread again, instead of the blasphemous and tasteless foam rubber that we have substituted for it. And I am not being frivolous here, either. Something very sinister happens to the people of a country when they begin to distrust their own reactions as deeply as they do here, and become as joyless as they have become. It is this individual uncertainty on the part of white American men and women, this inability to renew themselves at the fountain of their own lives, that makes the discussion, let alone elucidation, of any conundrum—that is, any reality—so supremely difficult. The person who distrusts himself has no touchstone for reality—for this touchstone can be only oneself”
And thoughts on life and death:
“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns, and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death – ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible to life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return. One must negotiate this passage as nobly as possible, for the sake of those who are coming after us.”
If you have read War and Peace, you must have wondered what was the environment when Tolstoy wrote this piece of timeless literature? Here is that beautiful environment Leo Tolstoy grew up and lived to produce War & Peace . Enjoy a drone view of Yasnaya Polyana, the estate of Leo Tolstoy. See the museum of Yasnaya Polyana. I hope this wonderful beauty that surrounded him when he penned this timeless classic book will help you appreciate even more.
How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett
Today, I am going to recommend a self-help book, written 110 years ago. Don’t be fooled by the age of the book, it is as relevant today as when it was written. It is a classic book and was the best seller both in England and in America back in the day. I believe if people knew how important this book is, it would have been the best seller every year since 1926 . The book is totally free and available both written HERE and audio HERE. The book offers practical advice on how to make the most of the daily miracle of life, your 24 hours. It has been very important to me and have benefitted immensely over the years.