I’ve always tried to keep this blog on topic about amazing photography and great graffiti that I’ve spotted around as I visit different parts of my city or different cities. But every so often (like here) I blow a gasket and go totally off topic.
Recently there’s been a court case against Scientology in France. I don’t know all the details of the case and frankly I don’t care. What’s fantastically annoying though is how people try to sue someone’s belief. OK so they’re saying they are suing someone in particular and try to cripple the organization or something like this, WTF?! Don’t they realize that they’re going after that nebulous thing called a belief? How are they planning to “remedy” that.
Some people (myself included) believe that the principles of Scientology are correct and that they work and we feel we’re better off because of them. Millions of people feel that way, unfortunately it’s still a very minority religion but we’re pretty happy about our religion. Some people came to Scientology were not happy with what they got felt upset about having donated what they donated and left. They requested to get their donations refunded to them. They got their donations back. Yet they then go off and sue for some “damage” done to them.
OK let’s discuss the damage. Scientology is about the spirit (thetan in Scientology terms) and making the individual more aware and more capable of managing their life. So far aside from a donation made by the person there’s no material effect. Then after a certain number of days/hours in receiving counselling they claim it didn’t work and they want their donations refunded. OK that happens and they leave. Obviously someone in the Church messed up since that’s not supposed to happen. But we’re not perfect and it can happen. So wait, now they said they had damage? what damage? they don’t believe they’re a thetan and they’ve been talking to a minister in counselling how damaging is that? Duress? give me a break – the biggest duress a Scientologist has to face is the amount of physical pressure he has to face when squeezing the cans of the e-meter. And I’ll let you find out how much pressure that is.
All right now next someone will say it’s the “mental pressure” OK, so let’s even assume there is such a thing. Then why in the world does the person stay and take it in. I mean we’re free people aren’t we? Just walk the heck out. If someone comes to your door and is trying to sell you something you’re not interested in what are you going to do? Tell them to get lost and if you don’t have the courage to do that you’ll listen and tell them you’ll think about it.
Now another point that I see coming up is how Scientology is putting tremendous pressure on the plaintiffs and witnesses to stop talking. What pressure one may think? I’d think of stuff like in the movies, bullies with lead pipes coming to see them in dark alleys. I wouldn’t be quite comfortable with that if I was a witness or plaintiff. But no, the tremendous pressure Scientology is putting on them is just negotiating a settlement – a financial settlement. Wow how tough is that, receive a cheque – I can feel the sweat running off my forehead already. What are they talking about? And isn’t it written in the bible to settle out of court? I think any lawyer will advise one to settle a case out of court.
Oh and then there’s the classical little comment about how Scientology undermines family. Actually I’ve done a little more study on that, because I’ve seen families not doing too well and so I went to dig a little further with both sides (not just my family) real families. You see I’ve always had a really close relationship with my family even though they aren’t Scientologists. I respect that they don’t agree with my views and they respect mine, we actually get along really well. So I wondered why some aren’t.
What’s odd is that in EVERY case where I noticed there was a problem, that problem existed way before Scientology, I’ve checked many and I repeat EVERY case had a problem way before they got into Scientology. If anything in Scientology if it turns out that someone has a crap relationship with their non-Scientologist family one is informed that until that is handled the person will not be going further on their counselling.
It’s the firm belief that in Scientology one can’t live entirely for one-self or entirely for Scientology or entirely for something else. There has to be a balance of self, family, group, humanity etc – someone who is working ONLY to save the population and isn’t taking care of himself and his family isn’t going to be at it for long.
So about Scientology breaking up families, it’s just wrong. Like totally wrong. If anything is forces them back together. Of course saying that Scientology takes the kids away is an awesome headline, it’s also a huge lie. Unfortunately those two regularly go together.
One last thing to those who still think taking Scientology to court or any other action will actually stop them, it wont. You’re up against a belief, those that believe will always find a way to re-group.
It took a little less than a decade for freedom to break through the iron curtain, in the end it’ll always break through.
I’ll end with a famous quote that is attributed to Voltaire but which he never wrote (maybe he just said it) and which many people could learn from:
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
There you go my utterly off-topic rant about the current BS happening against Scientology.
I haven’t posted in a long time for various reasons, one of which is that I just haven’t really come across anything fantastic in terms of graffiti in the last few month (but OK let me be totally honest, I haven’t been on the lookout either). But that all changed some weeks ago when I saw this building near Place de la Republique in Paris.
Kouka, who does some very artistic street art mainly of African people, has done an exceptional job of making a very ugly building into a work of art. Covering every single window with a hand painted African tribesmen.
That is 77 different graffitis artistically rendered on this, probably, abandoned building. I don’t know if it was done legally or not, but in any case these amzing graffitis definitely made the building a lot nicer!
Hoping to see more great stuff in the coming weeks, and if I do I will definitely be posting about it.
As far as I’m concerned the original Amazing Photographer still is Ansel Adams. That HDR technique now makes millions of people into great photographers is maybe because Ansel Adams one day decided to take those fascinating landscapes that seemed to have an extra dimension.
I was stunned when I saw Jean Michel Berts’ photography some years ago as it so reminded me of the work from Ansel Adams – I saw how HDR has become a great (and oft overused) tool for photography as well.
Well I wanted to pay homage to an amazing photographer with some amazing prints. This is Ansel Adams’ “Tetons and Snake River” print from 1942! Can you believe that – 1942 and he was already making these types of high quality prints.
Well for more information on him I suggest the family owned site at http://www.anseladams.com/ which also has the above print for sale on this link: http://www.anseladams.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1958
Well enjoy a bit of love and beauty.
Always on the lookout for an amazing photo or graffiti piece, I see a lot of crap every day. Most of it should be forbidden, well maybe it is already. In any case I shoot quite a bunch of it. But not too much of it makes it to my blog.
This one from PITR was an exception. The technical quality of the stencil is something to behold. And the clean placement on this electrical box actually enhances it’s look.
I don’t have much into on who Pitr is, I saw that there is a collection of stuff from him here: http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/pitr which is a collection of images from Flickr.
And I found an amazing collection of Stencil Graffiti photos by imagestoliveby, check out her blog post here: http://imagestoliveby.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/refiguring-the-walls-of-paris/
Well see you soon, it’s great to be back (again). [;-]
I saw this piece as I went to visit a friend not too long ago in the suburbs of Paris. The detail is pretty cool and even though I don’t quite understand the theme I was (what does a light bulb man have to do with a bunch of Zombies) I quite liked it for the technical aspect.
Don’t know who made these, if someone knows the name do let me know. They are located in Vitry-sur-Seine in the south east suburb of Paris.
I haven’t been posting much since a while, well I have been around and have been collecting up bits and pieces of information on some amazing graffiti stuff I’ve seen and also some amazing photos.
I’ve come to get quite excited about the HDR photography. You may have seen some of my posts on this, you can check them out on the link here: http://marcozna.wordpress.com/category/amazing-photography/ many of them are HDR (not all) but HDR is a category that I find quite fascinating.
There are lots of sites that propose “40 amazing HDR photographs” or other selections. I love those selection – but what I like the most is HDRspotting.com – it’s a constantly growing list of “Amazing HDR photographs” which is like a daily source of beauty.
I strongly recommend it.
And as a totally different subject on the amazing graffity side of things, I saw the comment from Timothy Becker about the Dolk stencil graffiti he spotted. It’s a great piece, quite large – and as usual a witty, twisted message. Thanks Dolk! and Thanks Timothy for sharing. Here’s the post by urbansetting: http://urbansetting.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/spotted-dolk-on-metropolitan-union/
Here is the image:
cheers, and I hope to be posting more frequently. [;-]
With the arrival of the digital equipment (Internet, Cameras, Processing Software and more) Photography seems to be expanding as a subject and more people can afford it. With HDR photography (High Dynamic Range) suddenly a lot more people are able to make amazing stuff.
Jean-Michel Berts still uses film, per my understanding from his site he uses a technique similar to that of Ansel Adams which is the technique prior to HDR but with a similar concept. Serge Ramelli’s photography is great too and he definitely uses HDR.
Now I have been following the site of Martin Soler’s Photo Blog as well which I find interesting too (though nothing like Trey Ratcliff’s site at http://www.stuckincustoms.com) and it’s great to see the new photographers coming up.
I guess there’s an artist in every one of us.