Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Oxygen Paradox

Perhaps this is a case of a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous, or maybe someone else has thought of this before, I presume they probably have.  Still isn’t it strange that the gas of life Oxygen is also the poison of life.

I was watching a documentary when they mentioned how oxygen causes cells to die, and skin to age and basically slowly over time kills us.  Hence why anti-oxidants are so popular, with their many ways to slow down the oxides that are poisoning us, eating foods high in anti-oxidants can slow down the decline of health.

Now this knowledge I presume is common place but this may also be why I said it can be dangerous because it made me think.  Image; we live on a world where a poison is crucial for survival.  What could this mean?  It reminded me of Blade Runner where four replicants want to live past their expiry date of four years, I think.
The famous speech improvised by Rutger Hauer, “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Time to die – exactly.

Are we like the replicants in Blade Runner, our hour glass of life is controlled by our consumption of Oxygen?

Now I know one could say, well there are many things we need that can cause death, but they mainly cause it by excess or deficit of that substance.  Oxygen has to be inhaled always it does not have an excess or deficit level when living in our normal environment and atmosphere.  One cannot pig out of too much Oxygen, or decide to have an Oxygen free diet.

In a unique way it gives credence to the idea of a creator, something I dislike immensely, but still it is a convenient paradox that the element of life Oxygen, the stuff we have to breathe continuously, is one of the main causes of our doom.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

An American Tragedy

What a horrific tragedy befell America on Friday morning when a crazed lunatic decided to cause death and mayhem in a cinema.  My deepest condolences to the victims and their families and I am sure the well wishes of the world go out to them as well.  It is too awful to contemplate, that someone would decide to methodically and deliberately do such a heinous crime. 

Some articles I have read have argued that the particular film he picked to perform his evil act may have something to do with the shootings, but surely a film does not create a mass murderer.  Others may say the fact someone of his age can readily buy automatic weapons and ammunition, adds to the likelihood of such a terrible crime occurring.  Yet sane people do not walk into cinemas and decide to kill people. 

Maybe it’s a mixture of many things that happen to converge at once, in one person at that particular moment.  It is with terrible sadness that such things can occur, but occur they do.  Perhaps since the killer survived, psychologists can try to get to the bottom of the reasoning behind what he did, and why a youth who had no background of violence or misbehaviour would decide to create a hellish fantasy, which ended with him murdering at least 12 innocent human beings in a cinema.

When I go to see the film I will be thinking of what happened, and as with many others it will be in my mind that it may happen when I am at the cinema.  Luckily I don’t live in a country that allows its citizens to carry automatic weapons, or any weapons for that matter.  And this at least gives me more hope and less fear that I will not have to ever see such a terrible crime in person.

If you carry a gun because you feel it is your god given right to, just think why you actually carry it.  Will it stop someone from killing you?  If an innocent person was sitting in that cinema on Friday morning with a handgun when the shooter arrived, did it help them survive?  Unfortunately guns don’t make you safe, they make you less safe.  A world without weapons would be much safer than a world with them.  Maybe it’s time for America to realise this, is profit from gun sales worth lives.

How many more times does it have to happen before something changes?

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare?

Through a strange branch of innocuous connections did I happen upon Shakespeare.  I like so many others was bored to death by his literature as a school child, but, as with all things you sometimes need to sample them in the right environment to appreciate them.  This eventually happened with the works of William Shakespeare.

What I found with Shakespeare was I needed to hear someone else say the words, and cultivate the image of his plays in front of my eyes.  Unlike some who can just read it and get it, I needed to feel it through the actors portraying his genius on the stage; which is exactly how it is meant to be appreciated.  Then I could savour the wonder of his words, the delight in his creation and finally understand what all the fuss is about.

Recently on the BBC they have been showing some new adaptations of his history plays, Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2 have been shown so far.  After each show they have had one of the great and good of the acting world tell their tale of the genius bard from Stratford.  On one of the documentaries Derek Jacobi mentioned he did not think Shakespeare had written Shakespeare, and he as with many others thinks they were written by a nobleman or aristocrat called Edward De Vere.  I remember hearing this before, but since at the time I was not interested in the works of the Elizabethan legend I thought nothing of it.

Now I cannot say I am an expert and to be honest in my opinion in this day and age, it has no real relevance who actually wrote the plays since he or she has been dead for 400 years.  Saying that if I was to choose between the man William Shakespeare, a workmanlike playwright, or some aristocratic lord or nobleman, I feel it seems more obvious that it is the former.    Why when most say the argument is likely the latter.  I doubt a man of wealth and status, a nobleman, an aristocrat would write so eloquently about the life of commoners.  An Earl would never write a play from the perspective of a commoner.  In Henry IV which I believe is one of Shakespeare’s earliest history plays, far too much time is taken on the goings on of mere common men and what they get up to.  Why would someone of title and position write a play that might be seen by the Queen of England?  It makes no sense.

Only someone with a commoner’s knowledge would write a play about a King from the perspective of a commoner.  As his plays progress and he becomes more popular and he starts to spend more time in the company of royalty then you see a change in his plays.

Also another thing which I feel is grossly miscalculated when considering the subject is that obviously Shakespeare was a genius, and the creation of genius does not distinguish between class and social standing, gender or geographical birth.  In a way Shakespeare being from a humble, common background makes his work all the more impressive and trying to deride the creator for lack of an education belittles what he achieved.

I remember when I was a child a teacher told me that Mozart as a child of 12, copied the work of another composer perfectly and caused a massive commotion because the piece was locked away and there was no way he could have seen it. He claimed to have only heard it once.  Genius works in mysterious ways and we cannot always fathom why or how it happens.

Shakespeare there is little doubt was a genius and so I suspect that whoever the person was who wrote the plays was more likely a playwright of common decent, working hard to perfect his craft, borrowing off others, adding his own ingredients, than some Earl who did it as a passing fancy then passed it off as someone else.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Federer’s destiny not Murray’s

Being British I am every year stuck in the middle of the never ending bullshit that is spewed about British men’s tennis, and the fact we cannot find a grand slam winner or even a finalist for Wimbledon.  Well now this year that has changed but it hasn’t stopped all the bullshit.  Tim Henman’s comments, that it is Andy Murray’s destiny to win Wimbledon just seem so off the mark to seem ridiculous, and in a small way show the deluded ideology that infects Britain.

If anyone can claim to have destiny on their side in this final it is definitely Federer, and sorry crazy deluded British media and pundits, it’s not Murray.  Why even add this extra pressure onto Murrays already heavy task, it makes no sense and does not in any way help Murray’s cause or attempt to win his first grand slam.

Why is it more likely Federer’s destiny that is easy to explain?  If Fed wins he becomes world number one again, he will finally beat Sampras record of number of weeks at number one.  He will equal Sampras record of seven Wimbledon titles.  In my opinion, it will seal the deal as to who is the greatest of them all.  If he wins on Sunday Federer will become the only man to hold grand slam records for three of the four grand slams played, he will have seven Wimbledon’s, five US, four Australian (Nadal holds the French Open record).

Destiny is not on Murray’s side, and it is foolish to suggest it is.  If Murray has any chance of defeating Federer, and the way the Swiss legend destroyed Djokovic it will not be easy, he will have to play the greatest match of his life.  Whether Murray is capable of doing this and stopping the destiny of one and creating his one destiny is not going to be an easy task.  

Personally I don’t think it is likely to happen Federer has an exceptional record against Murray in grand slams, and beat him the last time they met.  Playing a confident Federer in the final at Wimbledon on Centre Court is about the worst opponent Murray could face.

Everything is in Fed’s favour, he doesn’t have to play Nadal, his true nemesis in grand slam finals, he is playing on his favourite court, where he has won so many times.  No one other than Nadal has beaten Federer in a final at Wimbledon.  The only other person to beat Federer, Del Potro, at the US Open happened to pick the slam after Fed had broken Sampras’s record of slam wins, and after his two children were born.  So you could say Fed had his mind on other things at the time.

Now none of these factors are in the way of Federer winning.  He knows he can beat Murray, he is not going to suddenly play a loose set and become wayward like he has done in the two quarter finals he lost the last couple of years, he is going to be totally focused on getting back to where he feels he belongs, at the top, world number one.

My only hope is that Murray at least makes a match of it, and wins a set or perhaps takes it to five.  Murray will eventually win a slam just unfortunately for Murray I doubt it will be this one.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Who will win the Wimbledon semis?

For all those Brits who think Andy Murray will finally make a Wimbledon final just because he doesn’t have to face the imposing figure of Rafa Nadal in today’s semi-final showdown.  Think again, J-W Tsonga will be no walkover.  Today is the day we see what Andy is made of, he is playing with the hopes of a nation and all the pressure it entails.  He is playing to make the Wimbledon final for the first time, and the first time any Brit male has made it since god knows when.  On top of this he has to deal with the fact, this time he is the clear favourite to beat Tsonga, and as Federer found out last year, when Tsonga is on fire he is impossible to play on grass.

Tsonga has nothing to lose; he played admirably against Djokovic in the French Open last month losing in the fifth, after having four match points.  His game is more suited to the grass of Wimbledon, than the clay of Paris.  And must think if he can beat Murray, he definitely has the game and a chance to win the championships on Sunday (something that would have seemed impossible before Nadal’s exit).

Murray’s record against Tsonga is very good he has only lost once, their first match I think in the Australian Open back in 2008, when Tsonga made it to the final only to lose to Djokovic.  Murray should beat Tsonga today, he is more consistent, and has a great record against lower ranked players when reaching the sharp end of tournaments.  Tsonga is more of an anomaly, he can play hot and cold, when he is good he can be very good, when he is bad he can lose a set very quickly, it all depends which Tsonga turns up.

Hopefully by the end of the day we will see a Brit in the final of Wimbledon for the first time in an age, and then anything can happen.  Though there is a strong chance Tsonga may play the game of his life and beat Murray as he did in Australia four years ago. I would go 55-45 in favour of Murray.

The other semi, well what can you say that hasn’t already been said, Federer, Djokovic seems to happen so often these days in semis and Federer comes out the loser.  Today is slightly different, for one, Fed knows he will not have to play Nadal in the final.  Two he is going for a few records if he does beat Djokovic and then wins the final.  He will equal and then pass Sampras’s record of most weeks at number one; he is currently one week short.  He will equal Sampras record of seven Wimbledon’s; he will also increase his grand slam record to seventeen. 

In a strange way I get the impression destiny is on Federer’s side, when you see what he can accomplish by winning his favourite slam.  It’s like the cherry on top of a massive career cake of success.  No one could have foreseen after the defeat to Tsonga in last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinal, followed by the loss to Djokovic in the semis of the US, that Fed would ever again have a chance to become world number one.  Clearly he saw it differently as he won event after event, he entered many smaller tournaments and gained more points and now all his hard work over the last ten months can finally pay off. 

The big problem Federer has, before he can claim his glory and definitely end the argument about who is the greatest, is called Novak Djokovic.  I imagine Djokovic has quite a different idea of what glory is about to be presented.  He has an amazing record against the great Swiss winning seven of the last eight matches played, I think.  Though he is not playing as well as last year he still has the beating of everyone bar Nadal in five set tennis.  And if the game had finished on the Sunday and not been stopped, I suspect he would have beaten Nadal at Roland Garros.  Overall I still give Djokovic the edge to beat Federer even at Wimbledon and even though destiny beckons for the Swiss.  Given that because it is grass and because Fed has so much to play for I think it will be another tight affair.  This time I would go 52-48 in Djokovic’s favour.

Personally I feel Murray would prefer to play Djokovic in the final than Federer.  Don’t exactly know why, it’s just a feeling.  Murray will have total support against the Serbinator, whereas against Federer many people will still support the Swiss over the Scot.

Still as always it should be very interesting and fingers crossed by Sunday we actually see a Brit winning a slam and not just any old slam but Wimbledon.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Love and Hurt

What is this world I see before me, all around clouds of darkness, the light that once shone inside my heart, the light which filled the day with splendour and glory; she is gone.  Her memory fades, her beauty so unmistakable, lingers, as a ghostly veil across my eyes.  Close them tight to see the tiniest glimpse of her tenderness and grace, close them tighter to see the bosom of her breast, the beating heart of desire, lock in the memory of her touch, a gentle caress, the subtle whisper, “I love you.”

Yet she is gone, gone from the world, destroyed by the selfishness of a beast, a connivance, a deceit, an obliteration of my world.  She is gone, my world is lost, my will diminished, for I would die a thousand times and still never match her exultation.  For, forever, eternity, she is gone.  What do I do, how do I survive?  What peace can I ever afford myself?  What happiness do I deserve?

Revenge! Revenge will keep my honour and the name of my love.  Vengeance against the beast will be my only reprieve from the agony of my loss.  I will spend my life finding him, the man who destroyed my life, the man who took away all that was sacred to me.  For he will pay in blood and death, and all my pain will be brought down upon his head.

Shattered, broken, lost, alone, only shadows, only whispers, I search and search, I will not rest until the day of judgement.  Long years will pass, youth will disappear, strength will wane, all hope will be lost.  Yet still deep in my heart, I see her beauty to this day, she is there with me, she is trying to tell me to stop.  She wants me to let her go, to allow her to be free so I can be free.  Alas revenge blinds me from all thoughts, as I search and I search.

Nearing the end, life’s long battle is nearly lost, only glimmers of what might have been, never seen.  It is not long now, my search is nearing its end, then I can rest, and I can have some peace.  Still vengeance keeps my heart cold and my life force in a perpetual state of rage.  He is close, years of chasing shadows, decades of hunting ghosts, and now as the sun sets, he is found.

As I stand in front of his house, I feel a conflict in my heart and my willpower starts to fade.  Surely my life has not amounted to this, wasted, pursuing a nightmare, black of dread the outcome be.  Grief pours out of me with every step towards the door, tears fall, desperation drives me forward. I knock.

An old man stands there in front of me, the beast, the man who destroyed my life, “you are Mr David,” I ask.


I look at this old man, he is weak and feeble, he does not seem the beast to me, he is what I have become.  He is no beast, he is my creation of a beast, he is my need to have a beast.  I turn around and start to walk away; I cannot kill this man, the man that I blame for ruining my life, the man who I thought of as a beast.  He is a mortal man, a man of mistakes, he deserves no punishment.

Though deep inside the fury still does not leave, it now replies, a devils curse, I turn back towards him. “You are the man who killed my wife, murdered my daughter, vile abuser of the laws of the land and I am here for my vengeance.”

I roar with rage, and then the heaven’s open, a deluge, a biblical storm ensues.  The man slams the door shut, I pound and pound, “you will pay, you will pay”.  Yet my life is over, I feel the fury leave, seeping away like poison from a puss filled sore.  I fall to my knees, why did I lose sight of the light?  Was it fair to have two short years of blissful happiness, and the rest of my life in eternal damnation and turmoil?  Why did I create this misery?  The rain did pour as heaven’s tears upon my dear dead Grace, for she is light, and she is hope, and only darkness can remain in her stead.  

Yet finally my life of pain desists, and I can abstain from this excruciating pasture.  For now is my time to meet her once more, to fall in love another time, to remember her elegance and beauty.  Every moment of our time together is now so clear, every second in abject happiness and wonder, every minute of tenderness and affection, every hour of romantic desires, and every day of unadulterated love.

I do not feel any emotion but love, my mind is blissful and seeks forgiveness.  Slowly I close my eyes, and leave this world as I intended, smiling, remembering my true love.