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God was pissed! So pissed off in fact, She wasn’t even going to grant those assholes the absolution they craved. Let them stew in anticipation of the fire and brimstone they feared so much. It wasn’t as if they were unaware that She was the “Jealous God” of the scriptures they were so familiar with, and the “vengeance is mine” quote must surely have them thinking about their fate. Didn’t they read the fucking commandments?

Ever since She came up with those commandments, God thought She had solved the problem of infidelity. That old geezer Moses had pulled it off when he came down Mount Sinai with those slabs of rock. She had a hard time at the start convincing him that this plot was what would etch his stupid name in stone, as it were, for the rest of eternity – providing that is, that he got his ass in gear and carved out what She would dictate to him. She wished he looked like Charlton Heston, instead of the creepy looking Jew he was, and made up Her mind that the next one She chose for one of Her tasks would be a hunk that She could have some fun with. Anyway, Moses had managed to do a passable job and all those cretins at the foot of the mountain had bought it.

But the problem of infidelity remained, and even though the first and second commandments had been broken by the heathens of the world and they had started loving other Gods, the flock of the faithful had been steadily growing. All those wars She had engineered to wipe out the disbelievers had gone on reasonably well, and, She figured, She had very cleverly organized it in such a way that only the so-so believers in Her were killed. That would teach them to have doubts about Her status!

The bit about not coveting “thy neighbour’s wife” was also clever, She thought to Herself, as it gave the women of the world enough and more leeway to covet “thy neighbour’s husband”. She wondered how, with all her ingenuity, those fucking men had managed to dominate the scene for so long, but as She had been working on it, She could see the strides that women were making, and soon She would lead them up the path to universal dominance.

The problem for Her, however, was that with the passage of time and the flow of information that She in Her wisdom had allowed the world to develop, the numbers of ‘faithful’ were slipping. Ever since that blasphemer Darwin came on the scene and tripped out on that desolate bit of rock, investigating the mating rituals of finches and iguanas, some of those descendants of Adam had started to doubt. She had ensured that the ‘Creationists’ were put in place to argue Her case, but they were, for the most part, another bunch of bogus intellectuals who couldn’t even dent that old fogy Darwin’s ancient theories.

It didn’t seem to matter that She had programmed Jesus to do his sleight of hand with those loaves and fish – okay, that five-thousand number was stretched a bit, but made for excellent PR – and that he mixed that watered down wine with the real thing to get the believers to increase their numbers. It didn’t seem to matter that She got him to sus out that old Lazarus’ blood pressure had plummeted and when he fell over in a faint that Her JC had quickly got to him before he came to, and asked him to take up his bed and walk, fooling everyone there to think he was “raised from the dead”. It didn’t matter that She had ‘fixed’ the crucifixion so that one of those Roman soldiers only pretended to pierce his side with his spear and old JC had chewed on enough coke leaves and magic mushroom to trip out through the entire experience, so he woke up in that cave still tripping. The numbers were slipping!

And that is why God was pissed off! The hierarchy She had put in place were more ineffective than ever. She didn’t really mind the Gay Priesthood – different strokes, as far as She was concerned. And anyway, if those Gay Priests could attract more gay folk to their congregations, bully for them. No, it was the sheer lack of initiative and oversight that the dumb-fuck, right-hand, stalwarts of Her Church who let things slip so badly, She was losing control. Look at what they let that old hippy George Carlin get away with all these years, until She had to pull his rope and get him out of the way. That would teach his scrawny ass to fuck with God, and She would ensure that St. Peter would kick his butt downstairs so that Her buddy Lucifer could give him the works.

So there was God – in heaven, sitting on Her magnificent throne, surrounded by her cherubim and seraphims, with a choir of angels and their solar-powered harps, belting out a rock version of some celestial music She had got Her favourites, Johann Sebastian and Amadeus, once they had been woken up from their Paradisian slumber, to compose for Her earlier that week. But She was still pissed off. However, being the seventh day, God rested, trying to get Her head together so that on the next day, when She got back to work, She would do what She must.

And that’ll teach them – just you wait and see!

Listening to George Carlin’s various takes on God inspired Java and yours truly to come up with a few thoughts about the subject in relation to different religious beliefs.

For instance, does Buddhism have a God? Or, do Buddhists consider The Buddha to be a ‘God’ or THE ‘God’? From what we know of Buddhism (the Theravada form), The Buddha espoused that following what he referred to as The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path, would lead to the elimination of ‘suffering’ and thereafter to Nirvana. There’s no mention of him stating that he was ‘God’ – nor did he, as Christ did, claim to have connections to God. So then who is it that Buddhists pray to? Somewhere along the line did some ‘smart’ guy twist The Buddha’s words and set up a system where Buddhists would believe that if they performed rituals like Poojas, that what they prayed for would be granted? Is that why we see politicians in this country troop to temples bearing gifts, as many parents do with children due to take exams?

Then there are so many types of Buddhism – like Christianity – that it is easy for any logically minded person to get confused. Which one is the ‘right’ one? Didn’t God tell any of his followers? The Roman Catholics pray to Jesus’ mother, Mary. And since Jesus claimed to be to be ‘The Son of God’, was Mary God’s wife? But since Joseph was Mary’s husband, did that make Joseph God? Confusing?

There’s Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan, and other forms of Buddhism being practised around the world. The rituals are different, as are some of the beliefs, but they all ‘pray’, so do they pray to different Buddhas, or is it the same Buddha that just ‘looks’ different?

The Hindus have a whole slew of Gods in their pantheon. And I guess they pray to a particular God depending on what it is they want. Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Preserver) and Shiva (The Destroyer) are the three main deities, but there are scores of others like Lakshmi (Godess of Wealth), Saraswathi (Goddess of Art or Creativity), Durga or Kali (Goddess of Wrath), Ganapathy or Ganesh, who has the head of an Elephant, and on and on and on. We see the rather grotesque self-mutilation that goes on at Hindu kovils and places like Kataragama by folk that are asking for favours from their God or Gods, and again, the ‘faith’ they psych themselves into acquiring is all for the benefit of having some favour granted – and nothing to do with anything ‘religious’.

We don’t know too much about Allah, so have no way of discussing that phenomenon, but if what we read about suicide bombers believing that they are being awaited by so many virgins in heaven after they blast themselves and others into oblivion is true, then please excuse us for the hysterical laughter. How could anybody believe such shit? Except, of course for the brainwashed folk who get to that state due to whatever conditioning got them there in the first place.

What Java figured (and it wouldn’t take a genius to do so) is that ‘religion’ is used by folk through the ages to acquire power over others – to control the flock, like sheep that are herded into their places of worship. Then they start to build up their empires dedicated to their particular God – much like what the Vatican has done – and to consolidate their power. And what they use to hold their various congregations is the fear of God and his retribution – be it burning in Hell, the karma of being reborn to suffer in a future life or anything else that will keep the flock in place.

So there we are – a few thoughts on God and our views on how crazy folk can be to believe such bovine rectal emissions.

What do you think?

Darwin’s post on the ‘anonymity’ aspect, that a lot of bloggers value, sparked a few thoughts about the phenomenon that may be of interest to some of us. I guess most of us bloggers – on kottu, at any rate – blog under pseudonyms precisely because we don’t want to be identified. However, some of us pseudonymous bloggers don’t really care too very much if we get to be known for who we actually are, whilst others make every effort to conceal their identities come what may. And the reasons for concealing an identity would of course depend entirely on the individual.

Here are a few reasons that come to mind about why you may want your anonymity retained:

You don’t want family and/or friends knowing – for whatever reason
You write about controversial stuff that may compromise your profession or situation at work
You write politically sensitive posts that may endanger self, family or friends
You write about personal experiences that may be embarrassing
You engage other bloggers or individuals regarding personal views
You don’t want to be bothered by readers who are attracted to content or images and want to get personal or make contact
You make up content and put it out there as ‘truth’
You write insulting stuff aimed at whom you choose to target
You are really, really, shy
You are really super-nice, but want to appear otherwise

Do any of these reasons fit your profile? If not, are there any others that you could turn the rest of us on to?

Should be interesting if you care to respond.

Is it ‘official’? I mean about not writing about the war, or the military, or procurements by the government or anything else that would upset the powers that be? The Sunday papers didn’t seem to think so, although there were a few bits and pieces about not giving details due to the recent pronouncements from the Defense Ministry.

The journalists are apprehensive, to be sure. Some of them have given it a break – no wonder – having been either seriously beaten up and threatened with death, or abducted and released so that they could get a taste of what may well happen to them if they disregard ‘orders’. Others are carrying on the good fight to inform us readers of what is still going on, in spite of the obvious dangers inherent in them fulfilling the dictates of their conscience and their profession.

The International Community is unanimous in their objections to what is considered a gross violation of the freedom of expression and of human rights violations. There has also been talk of pushing motions through legislative bodies abroad that will initiate investigations and procedures to file action in courts in the US against some of its citizens allegedly involved in ‘crimes’ while being residents here.

Civil Society? Difficult to say whether the majority of us agree with what is going on – vis-à-vis the pronouncements of the Defense Ministry and the assaults on, abductions and murders of journalists (and others). The die-hard defenders of the regime will, no doubt stand by the pronouncements and actions as ‘good’ for the country, given the war-situation. And there are many of us who wonder – aghast at what is going on – if there will be any respite from this assault on our freedom. And I also suppose there are many who don’t even know what’s going on.

So what is really going on? Does anybody know???

It was all Java’s fault. We were finishing off the evening at Bareass Boulevard – the exhibition was so-so, some of the stuff quite intriguing, but nothing so mind-blowing that it halted either of us in our tracks to ponder on the content, or on the sheer beauty of it. So we met up with a few of the usual suspects near the far end of the bar and got into the usual thing with our brews and accouterments to get the heads into the right spaces. Java, who was already buzzing, meandered off and when I saw him next he was in animated conversation with some chick I had never seen before. Actually it was she that was doing the ‘animated’ part of it and I could see that Java was in pretty rapt attention mode – hanging onto her every word, as it were.

Next thing I knew Java was back – without the chick, who was now engaged in another bout of animated conversation – this time with The Man (the one with the plan). Apparently – according to Java – ‘She’ was visiting after a stint in the US and was looking for the right kind of company. Her ‘friends’, she told Java, had regressed into a bunch of banal, one-dimensional, morons who she found she had nothing in common with anymore. Her parents, she said, couldn’t ‘understand’ her change in attitude towards stuff that they found to be amusing and interesting before she headed off to the States. And what the shittiest bit for her was, the guy she had promised to ‘love forever’ before she took off had been sneaking around having ‘relationships’ with just about anything he could lay his hands on. She said that the worst part of that was not that she still loved him, but that she couldn’t figure out how stupid she could have been to have remained ‘faithful’ to him since they parted nearly a year ago. And now, she had told Java, She wanted to make up for lost time!

I glanced once more in her direction to kinda sus out what she really looked like – just in case – if you know what I mean! She had her back to us, so I couldn’t get what her face was like, but the rest of her looked pretty good. The butt was protruding just about right, the legs were shapely, she was of ‘average’ height and her hair was cut short. She was wearing a tightish skirt and her top was cut low at the back. Not too bad from behind.

Java thought that she was kinda interesting, but more than anything else, he felt ‘sorry’ for her. That’s something I have been trying to talk him out of – this ‘feeling sorry’ for folk, some of whom he doesn’t even care for. Must be some compassionate streak that lies under all those other more ‘selfish’ genetic traits he is endowed with. Anyway, there we were – Java on the verge of getting into something he had no idea about where it would lead, and yours truly, torn between loyalty to old Java and knowing very well that some things are much better left alone.

And then it happened. As we were trying to figure out what to do about the situation that Java had brought about, She turned and walked in our direction. The first thing I did was take a look at her face – just to see if it went with the rest of what we had observed from behind. And it did – in a manner of speaking. I mean it wasn’t a knockout visage or anything stupendous, but it did have more than an element of attraction to it. And her frontal contours were also up there matching the ones we observed from the rear, so now I could understand Java’s interest – up to a point.

She walked right up to where we were, glass of red wine in one nicely manicured hand with rather well-shaped fingers wrapped around the glass, but from what little I could see of her feet – as all but her toes were concealed by her style of shoes – it didn’t look promising. Anyway, there she was, up close and personal, and Java was, for a moment at least, at a loss for words. I guess I had to step in to save the situation before something messy developed, as who really knows what Java had suggested to her earlier on? I gave her some spiel about having to rush off with Mr. Z, who fortunately had the presence of mind not to contradict me in spite of being instantly attracted to the object of our dilemma. She tried to convince us to return, or at least meet up later at a club, so, in order to salvage the evening and also to leave Java with a chance of doing his good deed later, we said we would make contact, got her number and split.

It was much later that night, just as things were really swinging, that my phone started to ring and since I was absorbed in Bitch’s Brew Java answered. He must have given her the number, as it was her on the line.

But that’s another story altogether.

Since we’re on the trip about parts of the anatomy – the last post being about ‘feet’ in particular, but which also included the fingers, toes and that sort of stuff – Java has another observation that is interesting, if not spot on. This part of one’s body is difficult to check out unless (as RD would probably say) you have eyes in the back of your head. But it is entirely possible to check the theory out on any others that you are reasonably familiar with. That’s right! You must be ‘familiar’ with the one(s) you want to check out, unless of course you observe folk who don’t happen to be wearing a shirt, blouse or other garment covering their chest and back. A look at what’s happening below the waist will also be useful in adding to the data in the hope of either confirming the theory or dissing it.

Java combines his observation with the Ying – Yang aspect that many of us are familiar with and also brings to bear on the Male – Female balance that most (if not all) of us have going for ourselves. Like maybe you have seen pictures of Shiva (The Destroyer) of the Hindu pantheon with half male and half female anatomy? Well, from all accounts we have both aspects in our makeup and sometimes one aspect could well dominate the other, as I’m sure a lot of you will either have heard of have realized by this stage of your life. If not, there’s loads of stuff on it that can be googled and checked out with little effort.

Anyway, Java is on about the upper back – although the buttocks will also reflect the same observation, it’s just that getting to look at a variety of buttocks would prove to be somewhat of a problem to some of us. So, if you get someone you know to bend over – just to check out the shape and form of his or her back, and for no other reason (although sometimes one thing could very well lead to another!) than to see if one side is more developed that the other. Java swears that in all the backs he has checked out, this phenomenon prevails – and what’s more, he says it is the same with the butts. He has his own theory – much like the one about the  length of the index finger and gayness – that one of the side’s (he didn’t say which) development being more than the other’s will indicate whether the ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ dominates in the particular individual.

Java’s been on this trip for more than a few years – jus bein observant maan, he hastens to assure me, in case folk take him to being some prurient expedition – and brought it to my attention ages ago. And so I too did a bit of checking over the years and sure enough there it was – in all the backs (and some buttocks too, I might add) that I observed. Java’s observation on the degree of masculine versus feminine qualities was also looked for and sure enough, there did happen to be something to it.

There’s also another interesting aspect with regard to the development of the particular side, if you happen to be fortunate enough to check out both the upper back and the buttocks of the same individual. But we’ll just let that hang for now and see if any of you who check this out will be able to come up with anything substantive.

So there we are – keen observers of anatomy, among a myriad other things – hoping that these flashes of insight from the observed will shed some light in, and on, otherwise dim areas. Let’s see what you guys think about all this and if your observations are similar to Java’s – and to mine, of course.

I think it must have been RD who mentioned that he was into checking out feet of folk and that their appearance would either turn him on or off. I couldn’t remember the post so have no way of confirming or linking this to it, but be that as it may, it flashed me on how important ‘feet’ are to me as well. Not just feet, but hands, and fingers in particular, are usually observed soon after the initial facial and body check is registered – none of it in an ‘intentional’ or ‘compulsive’ way, but more in a way of things just running their course in the same old conditioned response mode.

Anyway, back to feet. There’s something about the shape of feet and the way the toes are arranged that is either a turn-on or turn-off – for me. And I remember this aspect of my makeup from as early as I remember. Weird? I have even observed that shapes of feet do not conform to racial types, as I have seen some Black folk with the same ‘type’ of feet that I have seen on some White folk, some Asians and some Latinos and vice-versa. So does it have to do with bone structure that is not a genetic trait? Or is there some other, more mysterious reasons for this phenomenon?

It’s the same with hands and fingers, as far as I am aware and based on my observations. There are all kinds of meanings assigned to how the fingers and toes are arranged with regard to their lengths. Some say that the length of the index finger or corresponding toe will determine if one is ‘dominant’ or even ‘gay’. A study conducted by the Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, on ‘Sexual orientation and the 2nd to 4th finger length ratio: evidence for organising effects of sex hormones or developmental instability?’ in order to determine if the length of a particular finger would confirm or not the heterosexual or homosexual aspect. For them ‘sciency’ types among us, check here for more on it.

Fortunately for me, I like my feet – the way they are shaped and the rest of it – if not, I dread to think of how I would have gone through life – with feet that turned me off! Ever been turned on by someone – and I mean really turned on – only to find out when it was nearly too late in the day that he or she had feet that really turned you off? That is if the feet thing means anything at all to you. No?

Lucky you! And me too!!

Posts have been infrequent of late mainly because Java and I haven’t really been getting our heads into that space which is conducive to putting up stuff that is appropriate for public consumption. There have been all sorts of exchanges between the two of us about this, but so far we haven’t been able to arrive at a completely mutual consensus. So, for now, those subjects will have to be shelved until we either agree to go for it or forget about those topics altogether.

The quandary, however, brings up something that maybe other bloggers also consider before actually putting thoughts out there in what is the public domain. And that is whether what is put out there will be appropriate for public consumption, considering the online personae assumed by the blogger in question. Some folk probably don’t give a rat’s ass about what they put out – and more power to them! Others are a bit more constrained with regard to not only their identities, but also with regard to how upfront they are with their experiences or points of view.

There is also the current political scene that must be considered, as freedom of expression is somewhat ‘under the gun’ in recent times, and we read and hear of all sorts of horror stories that have befallen reporters and others who speak out against what they perceive as injustice, corruption and bad governance. And since the last thing one wants is for the ‘white van’ to pull up and to hear the sound of ominous banging on the door, some of us will think twice before putting out exactly what is on our minds. Of course there are the die-hard ‘believers’ who berate many of us with their line that the ‘white vans’ are either figments of imagination, or are the stuff of ‘opposition’ propaganda, but try telling that to Keith Noyhair, or any of the others who have experienced the horror!

And so we shall have to wait until inspiration strikes or some other catalyst happens along to jog the creative juices that will enable appropriate stuff to be posted.

Until then, good times to all.

Sitting down for breakfast on the terrace at Mount Cinnamon with a view of the Weligama bay through the pavilion at the edge of the lawn, made me flash on the fact that that this was about as south as one could get to where there is no land between us and the south pole. Blue Whales and Sperm Whales are often seen in these waters and although the onset of the monsoon has made it a bit dicey going out to sea to view them, the few die hard whale-fans are patiently waiting for mid-December, when the whales will be back to inhabit the waters until the end of April, so they will be able once again to observe and study these magnificent creatures. But back to the breakfast on the terrace:

There I was with Angel, ‘Architect Extraordinaire’ and the designer of the Mount Cinnamon complex – both of us tucking into a breakfast of rotti, fish curry and katta-sambol with perfectly fried eggs. The previous night’s rain has left everything around us glimmering, with the early morning sunlight reflecting off the grass and leaves, and the birds, that included Babblers, Kingfishers, Orioles, Scimitar Babblers, Spotted Doves, Peafowl, the ubiquitous Mynahs and others, were busy with getting their morning meals as well.

Angel (aka Anjalendran.C) has extended himself in creating a series of buildings spread over the thirty acres of Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicumthat merge with the environment and afford views of the ocean, the lush vegetation or the distant hills – depending on which window or door one looks through. And given the location of the site it is possible to view both the rising sun as well as the setting sun, both of which make for magnificent sunrises and sunsets. And to make it even more dramatic, a few peafowl have learned to fly up to the copper roof of the pavilion and hangout there, silhouetted against the sky. They seem to have got used to an audience, as they don’t spook easily and getting pictures of them isn’t a problem at all.

The main house wraps itself around a lawn and swimming pool, which, as one climbs the steps to ascend to the level, is reflected in the panes of the French-doors, creating an illusory mirror image that takes more than a moment to settle into reality. As is usual in Angel’s houses, all sorts of artefacts abound. Paintings by well known local artists like Jagath Weerasinghe, H.A.Karunaratne, Kingsley Gunathillake and other emerging ones like Mohaned Cader and a few artists that exhibit at the Red Dot Gallery. A sculpture by Laki Senanayake – ‘Enchanted Forest’ – a combination of mythological figures in copper serves as a screen that separates the living from the dining area, and a series of four metal figures symbolizing the four castes stand on the far end of the veranda that faces the ocean. These beautifully executed sparse abstract figures are by Klaus– a German living in Unawatunne. There was a Richard Gabriel in my bedroom and I do believe I saw a Lionel Wendt somewhere else.

The rest of the complex include a Cinnamon Museum (presently under construction), that will inform visitors of the history of the spice that is endemic to Sri Lanka and that has been traded ever since the first foreigners set foot on the island. The entry courtyard is dominated by a Psung Woo Han sculpture standing at least ten feet from the miris gal courtyard floor. This is the mythic Phoenix that is seen emerging from a burning pile of Cinnamon. Upstairs is another sculpture by Laki – Cinnamolgus – a stunning piece! The museum also contains a demonstration kitchen where visitors could see for themselves how Cinnamon is processed for cooking and then getting to see how the recipes are actually put into practice. There will be a bar and a dining area as well and the building could be reserved for special groups and parties.

The Guest Cottage was a derelict old house on the land, now transformed into a comfortable, tastefully furnished three bedroomed home with attached baths and all other facilities. Angel has, as is his wont, retained all the indigenous features of the old architecture, accentuating them in his inimitable manner and extending the building with no discernible trace of tampering.

The homes of the Cinnamon Peelers are vintage Angel, who thrives on the use of indigenous materials and endemic architectural forms in the creation of his works. The living areas of the Peelers are upstairs, the exterior walls of which are cabook (laterite), with its fleshy–earth hues contrasting vividly with the cement grills that make up the walls of the ground floor to provide adequate ventilation for the peeling and drying of the Cinnamon.

Other cottages, to be used as residences for the senior staff, are now in various stages of completion and what struck me most was that their location ensured privacy, as well as views of the vistas that were available.

All said, it was a wonderful visit to an enchanting complex of buildings set in verdant environs, with the ocean providing stark contrast to the rest of the three hundred and sixty degree view. Angel was, as usual, his eccentric self – providing lots of interesting insights and information in between the bouts of laughter and lighter stuff.

Another visit is surely on the cards!

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