Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


Leave a comment

tor_cybercafe

Flashback to when cybercafe’s existed in Toronto… now everyone can go to the library or a coffee shop if they don’t have internet at home… the date on this file says “modified 2004” but it might be earlier. The faces have been blanked out, which would have been the mod date… a bit of web history..

Advertisements


Leave a comment

modern rome

I find it interesting that this cross sits above what looks like a roman arch… probably a lot like the entrances that Christians used to have to pass thru (to their gruesome deaths) in the ancient Roman Colosseum.. – via Flickr


Leave a comment

Female World War II Airforce Service Pilots

Women Airforce Service Pilots pilots Frances Green, Margaret “Peg” Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn, leave their B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft, called Pistol Packin’ Mama, during ferry training at Lockbourne Army Airfield, Ohio, 1944. Air Force photo

Halloween is over and we have a little bit of time to remember before beginning Christmas celebrations. I’m already feeling the Xmas buzz a tiny bit but that’s probably driven partly by consumerism. In the old days Christmas was never hyped before November 11. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. The change, I mean.

This morn I found this amazing CC shot which I’m using for the earthpages banner. A crop that is.

Follow these links for pertinent info:

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/684660/female-world-war-ii-pilot-proud-to-be-a-wasp/

http://www.dimoc.mil/resources/limitations.html

Non-Commercial Use Authorized. Except in cases of “Production Authorized for DoD Assistance” described below, DoD VI may be distributed, copied, and used, for non-commercial, personal use, as well as historical, educational, or newsworthy purposes or activities. Display of the non-DoD endorsement disclaimer is requested.


Leave a comment

Should I Feel Guilty? – Game of Thrones Finale

I guess I’m a little behind. I just finished watching Season 6 of Game of Thrones. Spolier alert! Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the final episode.

So after finishing up the series, I wondered:

Should I feel guilty for enjoying it when Cersei blew the High Sparrow sky high?

I don’t know.

Some Christian blogger argued that we have it all wrong. We like the bad guys in the show and don’t like the good guys.

I thought that was a silly take because, if anything, Game of Thrones is about the grey areas (Grey Worm?) and doesn’t deal in absolutes.

Only the most childish of cartoons and comics do that. Adult fiction is about portraying life as it is. And because nobody is perfect, this seems more genuine than many whitewashed, Christian-approved media productions.

True, Cersei is quite evil. But at least she knows it. The High Sparrow and his violent crew reminded me of those religious phonies – we’ve all met them – who prance around pretending to be holier-than-thou when really they are just total creeps.

For the record, I didn’t enjoy it when Cersei insinuated that she planned to torment, possibly torture, the High Sparrow’s angry stooge, Septa Unella. And I didn’t like seeing Queen Margaery get trapped, the only one recognizing the imminent danger.

As I say, Cersei is evil.

But I did enjoy seeing the High Sparrow get his due. For me, religious phonies are the most odious type of all.

The High Sparrow (right) and a fanatical convert (left)


Leave a comment

She’s Got Dragons

Who me? Game of Thrones freak? Naah. That’s only part of the story.

I did like Khaleesi and thought that Jason Momoa nailed the ancient conqueror role. But they are only depicting things that, more or less, really happened. Alexander the Great. Cyrus the Great. Cleopatra.

Dragons may be fiction but we have a pretty heavy inheritance we have to face.


Leave a comment

Cleopatra

I haven’t been buying books lately because I have so many. But this one caught my eye. After checking at the library (it’s there but only as reference) I shelled out two bucks for this. Great deal, considering the cover says $30 CAD.

Image via Tumblr

Cleopatra is an interesting character. Michael Grant reminds us that she was far more intelligent and aware than a mere seductress or silly young girl as writers like Shakespeare and Shaw have portrayed her. No, she was raised in a royal line and had to know how to appease various (powerful) interest groups, especially the Romans. Although most people think of her as Egyptian, Grant says she’s of Greek origin, which I found surprising.

This book is a great complement to the HBO series Rome, which is well done but so mercilessly cut (from the director’s original version) that it’s a bit hard to follow at times.


Leave a comment

The late, great David Bowie’s “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore”

Poor David Bowie. I think of him often. Anyone who rises that high and then slowly burns out – artistically, I mean – well, it must be hard. Classical composers generally get better with age. But it aint necessarily so with pop stars. I guess pop music is all wrapped up in the hopes, dreams and angst of youth. So when the star isn’t a youth any more, it gets harder and harder to connect.

Bowie’s final album had a beautiful song, “Lazarus,” which to me seemed heavily influenced by an 80s band called The Cure. Most people who remember rotary dial phones have probably heard “Lazurus.” And if they were listening to pop in the 80s, I think they’d recognize The Cure connection.

But today I want to talk about another song on the final Bowie album, “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore.”

I don’t like this song very much. When I first saw the title I thought Bowie was just being rough and crude for the sake of it, like a relic from a different age trying to be cool. After all, today we talk about “sex-workers” and the term “whore” is totally inappropriate and probably illegal to use in public.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

But on Googling the song I found that, as often happens, there was more to Bowie’s work that I’d realized. Turns out there is an English play from 1629 by John Ford called “‘Tis Pitty Shee’s a Whore.” No doubt this influenced Bowie and I have to apologize to his enduring spirit for having judged out of ignorance!