31 Jan, 2010

Stockholm winter 


Posted at 20:57 under OTHERS


this is the coldest winter for a long time. i don't remember when we last had snow and cold weather for such an extensive period as this last month. there's around 30 cm of snow here, locally more, locally less, and the temperature recently dropped to -20.

here are some photos i took today:


wanna sit down for a coffee?



the sun goes down, around a quarter to four.






people walking on the frozen water (so was i).



the snow is not really taken care of properly.


i want spring now =)





30 Jan, 2010

On Hiroshima and peace 


Posted at 07:06 under THOUGHTS, JAPAN




i've been a convinced pacifist since i was a child, and after having watched the british drama documentary "HIROSHIMA" i am even more so.

this narrated and dramatized documentary shows old b/w footage, new dramatized scenes (with japanese and american actors) as well as deeply touching interviews with japanese survivors and american pilots, who all had first-hand experience of the two disgusting ATOMIC BOMBS over HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI in august 1945.

already in 1995, on the 50-year memorial day of Hiroshima, i arranged a nuclear-weapon-protest-concert in my home-town Mjölby, where some local bands and singers joined me for the cause of promoting PEACE. however, seeing this drama documentary now brings up a lot of feelings inside me. a lot of questions. a lot of sadness. it's almost impossible to understand the experience of these persons whose lives were suddenly completely devastated for the sake of... peace?

people that were close to the actual explosion were vaporised - they DISAPPEARED. some left only a shadow burnt into a bench or against a wall, where they had been standing or sitting at the time. the local heat was 4000 degrees celcius, yes four thousand! clocks stopped at 8:15 AM. the radio-activity from the bomb gave people horrible diseases and deformations. the list can go on forever.

"HIROSHIMA" is directed by Paul Wilmshurst. here's the first 5 minutes:

HIROSHIMA (first 5 minutes)



also, here's a link to a website with photos taken after the bombings. WARNING: these photos are not for sensitive people. but try to watch them - the act of watching changes something inside of us. it's very painful to see, but it can give us a strong conviction to work AGAINST war and ALL kinds of conflicts. after seeing these, and any photos from a war-zone, i doubt that anyone can go unmoved.

fogonazos.es/2007/02/hiroshima-pictures-they-didnt-want-us_05.html



WORLD PEACE can only come from INDIVIDUAL PEACE OF MIND. the wars and conflicts we see and experience every day are the results of individuals who are not in peace with themselves. the wars and conflicts are accordingly a representation of people's feelings. this is a deep philosophical issue that needs our total dedication.

one individual cannot change the entire world, but many individuals will start a chain reaction - in the atomic bombs called the critical mass - once a certain percentage of a matter (or persons!) turns into the same state, all the others will turn into the same state automatically, it's a universal law.

please watch this drama documentary and take a stand in your own life. everything begins inside our own minds.

HIROSHIMA (first 5 minutes)

=)


a profoundly human, animated movie about the effects of war on civilians, and especially children, is the beautiful japanese movie "GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES" by Isao Takahata. following the bombing of Japan during World War II, it shows how individuals are affected, and it's not a movie about good or bad, right or wrong. it shows life as it is, in the shadow of war. it takes place in kobe, japan.








28 Jan, 2010

The World of Ego 


Posted at 12:20 under THOUGHTS


we're living in a world where ego is still the word of the day, the word of the month, but most important: the word of the PAST.

after the COPENHAGEN climate meeting, where millions of euros were spent for nothing, on our behalf, and on our planet's behalf, people seem to realize more and more that we really need a change. and we need that change now.

in the World of Ego, companies have made sure they profit as much as possible, in such a short time as possible. and with the possibilities to make a lot of money, moral is often kicked out the back door.

the idea to base a modern society on the ups and downs of stock markets (which depend on people and companies who really just buy and sell pieces of paper, to make as much profit as possible) is very distant to me. and the fragility of this system has been painfully obvious during the last years. a global economic crisis, running very deep, has followed, and we realize that the persons who have the power over OUR lives, are the ones who buy and sell pieces of paper to satisfy their own thirst for money. our whole society has been based on greed.

the sad thing is, that this greed is also destroying the environment of our planet, and is threatening our EXISTENCE, because these big companies, which cut down the forests and ruin the air we breathe, also have a (so-called) DEMOCRATIC power - they can make governments decide in their favour, because the enormous amount of money and pressure they give when they are threatened.

so, our OLD FORM of capitalism is almost killing this planet, and still we don't want to question it?

we need a change, and we need it soon. DEMOCRACY is no longer in the hands of the people, it's in the hands of CAPITALISM.

but capitalism, on the other hand, has never cared about democracy. it's like inviting a stranger to your table to share your dinner, and suddenly the stranger kicks you out of your own house.

right now, the WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM takes place in DAVOS, switzerland. because the results of the global financial crisis (which has also been an immense personal crisis for millions of people that has been affected by it) are still seen all over the world, it's the most important davos meeting for years.

US president BARACK OBAMA has proposed curbing (limiting) the size of banks, and french president NICOLAS SARKOZY said yesterday in his key speech, that we need a deep, profound change. "By placing free trade above all else, what we have is a weakening of democracy".

watch a part of sarkozy's speech at the BBC here:
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8483896.stm

finally a leader who dares to speak the truth! the ancient, greek, idea of democracy once resulted in the french revolution (late 1700's) which followed an economic crisis. since then, democracy has been lost, and now the new generation seem to realize that we need to take it back once again.

however, i don't believe that this is a question about replacing capitalism with communism.

this is a question of democracy.

=)



in a poll published by the BBC in november, 29 000 persons from 27 countries were asked of their opinion of free market capitalism. only 11% thinks that capitalism works well. if the people don't want this kind of capitalism, then WHY DO WE HAVE IT?

democracy, anyone?

read the article here:
bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2009/11_november/09/poll.shtml





21 Jan, 2010

Salvador Dali 


Posted at 17:22 under ART


last weekend i visited the SALVADOR DALI exhibition at moderna museet (the stockholm museum of modern art). it was the final week of this exhibition which had a record number of visitors, over 200 000.


SALVADOR DALI 'couple with their heads full of clouds' (1937)


i've always been very fascinated by DALI's art, and this exhibition displayed a great number of works, which also included jewelry, bizarre clothes, a telephone, a chess game, etc, everything designed by dali. there were also art by the young artist FRANCESCO VEZZOLI, whose work is very inspired by that of dali.

it took 2 hours to see it all, and i'm glad i went!

=)





18 Jan, 2010

Hiromi Uehara 


Posted at 23:42 under MUSIC


HIROMI UEHARA is an amazing japanese jazz piano player and composer. i've listened a lot to her music during the last week. she's a genius. check this out:


"PLACE TO BE"





and a song with vocals by AKIKO YANO, sorry i can't embed this song because of limitations of the youtube account. one of the most beautiful songs i have heard:

"GREEN TEA FARM"

»youtube.com/watch?v=PgXN0OsoVnM


=)





16 Jan, 2010

Help Haiti 


Posted at 10:16 under THOUGHTS, OTHERS


the earthquake in haiti had horrible consequences.

we can all help. i made a donation yesterday, and ask you to do the same:

donate through Red Cross/Red Crescent

donate through Doctors Without Borders

=)





16 Jan, 2010

Movies 


Posted at 10:10 under ART, MOVIES


i've watched quite a few great movies lately, they're all from asia and deserve a mentioning.


HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS
china (director: zhang yimou)

the trailer only shows the action scenes, but i like the movie because there's actually a story. amazingly beautiful movie, colours, themes, etc. the "ethnic" music is the best i've heard in any movie, it's by japanese composer and producer SHIGERU UMEBAYASHI.



here is the love theme music, touchingly brilliant:



soundtrack at itunes




IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
hong kong (director: wong kar-wai)

breathtaking is the word. a detailed study of passion and forbidden love, this is the visually most beautiful movie i've seen (some call it "2 hour perfume ad" because of the lingering beauty of every second). it also has music by SHIGERU UMEBAYASHI, here's the theme song used:






EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN
taiwan (director: ang lee)

a warm story of three unmarried sisters living with their widowed father. he's a semi-retired master chef, and the movie has lots of scenes with gourmet cooking. the main themes are the necessity of romance in life, the necessity of food (and drink!), and aging.

unfortunately, the only trailer available is this awful american trailer. please watch the movie instead!!!



=)





01 Jan, 2010

Happy New Year !!! 


Posted at 12:56 under THOUGHTS


happy new year everybody!

may the year of the tiger bring joy, health and peace.

i read somewhere that the year of the tiger is often connected with changes.

i'll make one or two myself during the spring. the others may come without my interference, as change and transience is the only sure thing in life.

let's embrace this new year and all the possibilities that a change always offers.

=)





23 Dec, 2009

Merry x-mas 


Posted at 19:33 under THOUGHTS


merry x-mas everybody!

please enjoy peaceful holidays.
don't let the capitalist craze get you.
this time of year is not about presents.

peace & love to you all!

JC

=)





23 Dec, 2009

Stevie Wonder 


Posted at 01:02 under MUSIC


wonderful song from Stevie Wonder, "from the bottom of my heart":



=)






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