Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.
- Montaigne

Every day last week has been filled with activities from swimming at the Iceberg to gym at the Seals Club at Carr's French colloured Maroubra to movies such as Clubland, Zodiak, and Lucky Miles. June and Richard were moved by the Antipodean take of the Lucky Miles.

Blast from the past took us to Darling Point boating club where Michelle from Brissie and Bek together with Adriane shared sailing stories in their secret voices. Having a cup a tea at Richard's place at Mona Road among his amazing drawings and his bohemian collection of Julian Ashton paintings is much treasured. The story how Richard managed to get scholarship at the Ashton school of art at the Rocks is truly fascinating. With such prominent artists as William Dobell, John Passmore, John Olsen and Brett Whiteley among those who attended, the art school became famous to several generations of students and continues it's rich heritage in educating art students today. Richard, an architect by trade discarded the comfort of regular wages in 2001 in order to follow the footsteps of Whiteley and Dobell. The Julian Ashton Art School, is a very historic Australian art school in Sydney. Founded in 1890 by Australian artist Julian Ashton, it is Australia's oldest continuous art school. It is Australia's oldest continuous art school

Exotic stories come to me in mobile format as Bawa and Dial are walking and living the hot streets of India and the Namesake is another great movie to acquire from your local DVD store.

The highlight story of this month, a month of memories of drowning and death, was sitting alongside Mal, Jenny and Kevin at the front rows of Belvoir Theatre and spy Geoffrey Rush to excel like no other actor in the world!

There’s a mirror in my entrails where everything’s reflected.

Exit the King presents Ionesco’s favorite hero, Berenger, as the fumbling king of a deteriorating country. It’s one of his most optimistic plays. As the finale of the Exit’s Absurdist Season, it has not just an apt name but also a vividly absurd set -- the huge colorful throne could be an upholstered lifeguard tower, flanked by mushroom-stools out of Alice in Wonderland. At Belvoir people are aware that more than 100,000 Australians are now over 90. Within a generation that figure is likely to double or treble as the sheer weight of numbers from the baby-boomer generation filters through the system.

The characters show the king’s country as a candied place where people in ridiculous disguises connive and flatter and lie; and any hopes for the show, at least at first, are just as false. Berenger seems to think his nation and power are intact, but his courtiers tell him otherwise. The doctor and his first wife, Queen Marguerite, seem to be staging a takeover. His second wife, Queen Marie, is on Berenger’s side. She’s the voice of optimism, wearing pink tights and a wedding cake on her head. When the doctor says something negative, she urges Berenger to “Sweep him off his feet in a whirlwind of willpower!” But of course it’s the royal willpower that’s failing. In Prague there are to people who are admired Tom Stopard and Geoffrey Rush... is extraordinary at every turn... a landmark production in the history of theatre in this country

As we are informed, the King must die by the end of the play. The play itself is simply a matter of getting there, as Berenger howls against his fate, moving from denial to terror to pathos to a final, moving acceptance. Ionesco has literalised the tyranny of the ego, which at the point of death refuses to contemplate its own annihilation, and will give anything - even the destruction of the entire world - if only it can go on living. But even the King, who once, we are given to believe, could command the sun itself, has to bow before death.
Rush is a great clown, and this role gives him plenty of scope for physical humour, especially in a scene in which (as the Guard announces) The King is Marching! But his skill is evident in his restraint; he never allows grotesquerie to degenerate into mere cartooning. Like Ionesco's writing, he keeps his options open: anything is possible at any time. He plays the full range of the text, from broad comedy to brutality to sheer pathos, until he becomes the everyking we all are, alone and afraid in our shabby kingdoms, facing the dark. Review of Exit the King

There is a famous prayer, called the Serenity prayer, which was originally composed by the German theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. The prayer says, "God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other." It has been a guide and comfort to media dragons, to soldiers and to alcoholics. It can also be a useful guide for policy makers when thinking about the future, and especially about the future of the internet.

There are some things we cannot change—the laws of science and of economics, the behavior of others, and sometimes our own desires and concerns. But there are many things that we can change, if we have the courage. And we need to have the wisdom to know what we can change, and how we should try to achieve change. We need this wisdom and courage because what the world morality will look like in the distant future depends greatly on what we do in the near future and on what we do now. The Middle Ages is a period in time. But medievalism just keeps moving forward. Geeking out on medieval quests is as old as Don Quixote. From dragons to scholars, one man's journey through medieval studies