Manifestation of Division.

It is clear that when politicians talk about creating a middle class, what they actually mean is that by creating a middle class, they in turn create a society where the majority of the people are more concerned with the latest technology, fashion, cars and other luxurious items. This majority become depoliticized and reelect those political leaders that keep the gravy train on the tracks. This is what we now know as a stable society . Within this society, fractures begin to appear as wages flat line, growth begins to slow down and unemployment increases. At this point people begin to wake up to the fact that their lives have not been fulfilled and the only thing they have to show is negative equity, shiny watches and whitened teeth.

In 2008 when the financial system crashed, homes were repossessed, job losses were a daily occurrence and suddenly the divisions in society that were hidden beneath piles of money were revealed.

Fast forward to 2015 and the US presidential primaries/caucus begin and not only are the democrats and republicans poles apart but inside the democratic party you also have two candidates who are both supposedly on the left and yet you’d think one was a liberal republican. Senator Bernie Sanders is on the left of the political sphere and a self described Social Democrat. He campaigns for free or affordable health care and Education, higher taxes for the rich and better financial regulation. Hilary Clinton on the other hand, when she speaks, I get the same sense that she is running for the office of President for the same reasons Mitt Romney ran. Both have done so much in their lives but yet they haven’t been able to clinch the top position. Hilary, like Mitt is a careerist and she will do whatever she can to get into office. She will flip flop on policy and move to the left to increase her chances.

In the republican camp, you have an idiot called Donald J Trump. He is a failed businessman, the least innovative person Itrump.jpg have come to know, a bigoted racist who, like Hilary and Mitt only wants to be elected because
it is the highest CEO position a careerist could want. He has become the presumptive nominee for the republican party because he has played to the fears of the electorate.

Like all politicians in the Presidential Race of 2016, they have pounced on the divisions of the people, they have separated and dominated their worries, fears and hatred to try and win a political race.These hatreds have been compounded by the likes of Donald J Trump, labeling immigrants as one of the sole reasons for Americas problems. You also have politicians today, trying to reverse laws which protect those who have been marginalized i.e. The Bathroom Bill.

The fact is, these one liners hang around long after the headline in the newspapers are forgotten and are used by extremists around the world to fuel hate and violence. Each and every time hatred is shared as a view or policy position by someone who demands a lot of media attention, under the guise of freedom of speech, it builds up an manifests itself in violence. Just because some things have changed for the better it doesn’t mean everything is OK. Hate has reared it’s head many times. When coupled with lax gun laws you pay witness to such atrocities like the mass shooting which occurred at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This wasn’t some crazed lunatic, his hatred was influenced and compounded by the likes of the religious extremists group ISIS but also by politicians who share similar views about the LGBTQ  community. When you have elected representatives speaking out against the LGBTQ community, what you are getting isn’t only a policy position but also fuel to the fire. The reason these people are elected is because oftheir backward polices and views. The Orlando atrocity was a homophobic terror attack as described by Owen Jones on a Sky News segment to which the host refused to call it exactly what it was.

The simple fact is, capitalism as a financial system, it may be OK for some but to build your society around a financial system will only create much bigger and deeper problems down the road. What we are seeing is the rise of nationalism and patriotism (whatever they are) across Europe and North American and those who will suffer are minority groups.

What’s the solution? well one stepping stone would be for the Democrats in the USA to elect Bernie Sanders as the Nominee and for them to unite around him and defeat Donald J Trump in the general. Another move would be for the Republicans to wake up and defeat Trump internally, his success would mean that the Republicans would lose future elections. The United States as a global leader needs to be united under the leadership of a progressive like Senator Sanders and for once, not lead as an economic power but as a moral and just power.

The Genius of Photography.

Hi everyone.

Back a long time ago I listed a number of documentaries I recommended you to go and watch. This is one of them The Genius of Photography a multi part documentary. So I believe there are 5 episodes, episode 4 seems to be in 2 parts, each episode is around 56 minutes long and well worth a watch. ENJOY!!

Fixing the Shadows 1/5

Document for Artists 2/5

Right Time, Right Place. 3/5

Snap Judgments 4/5

Paper Movies 4/5

We Are Family 5/5

 

 

If I work really really hard, just maybe….

Recently I seen the movie ‘The Giver’ …

In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.

This movie is fascinating. It debates the idea of equality, brought in through a system of sameness. A community where there is no war, pain or famine. A community where people have no choice in life, from choosing their family to their careers.

In the movie, the character played by Meryl Streep says “when humans are given choices they always make the wrong ones”.

It made me think a lot about our purpose and what we do with our time. The average life in Ireland lasts 81 years. When you consider that from the ages of 4-21, which is 17 years are spent in full time education, then the average person works until the retirement age of 65. That then leaves you with 16 years of your life, that’s 44 years working full time.

What is it all for ?

when I visualise this in my head I automatically think of a conveyor belt. The start of the journey is similar for most, but the turns you take, the levels you rise and fall are determined on the situation your family are in. Most likely their financial situation. The more money they have or make the more choices that become available to you as you continue this conveyor belt journey from play school, through primary and secondary school, then into university. To be “educated”  in one of the course choices you made on your CAO application, or so you thought! The course you chose can only become available if you attained the required number of points on your leaving certificate, this can be greatly influenced by the school you attended, whether you had an option of support out side of school hours and the educational level of your parents and family at large.

So to cap, you’ve studied for a long time, to get a course you didn’t particularly want, to become “employable” to work a job/career you have zero passion for, to buy lots of overpriced material goods, properties and services. To live through a number of financial recessions only to see your pay decline, taxes increase and public services stripped to the bone, even though you’ve contributed your earnings (tax) to them over the decades.

Now at the age of 45, the income you’re bringing home after years of working hard is now equal to or less than the income you started with on day one. If you’ve been lucky to keep your pay at the level it was before then the new taxes and tax increases will have gotten you, plus you’ve to pay a lot more to use public services like the bus. Did I forget to mention that you’re in negative equity. The 350,000€ home you bought 10 years ago is now worth 265,000€ thanks to the property bubble created by a bunch of lads and some women who don’t seem to have been affected that much, they’re now back in business, buying, developing and selling.

So now you go on your way and be a good citizen, work harder, longer hours, less pay, pay more in tax for reduced services so the government can pay back the billionaires that lost money and blame it one you, the citizens.

So I ask myself again, what is it all about?

Marriage Equality Referendum 2015

On the 22nd of May this year, the citizens of this Republic will be asked to vote ‘YES or ‘NO’ in a marriage referendum. They will be asked if “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”.

I, as a citizen of this republic and who is also a gay man will be asking my family, friends and others to vote YES on May the 22nd.

I ask those from Ireland who read this to really think about what this referendum means for all generations, for those whom have endured oppression for decades, for those currently living their life as teenagers or adults and for those beginning their life in Ireland, be it from infancy or immigration. It is about time this republic leads by actions and not wait for the rest of the world. We must treat all citizens equally.

That’s living ? Oh please!!!!

I’ve been reading up on Aaron Swartz and what he stood for and aimed to change or keep the same.

One thing that has stayed with me, that I agree with and have been asking myself for a long time. The opinion of what a deep thought is compared to what we should be thinking and what most actually think about and do.

I go out on weekends and I have fun, I like to have a drink and I like to sit around every now and again and actually do nothing. That said, The questions I’ve been asking are; what is the purpose of living ? what is education ? Have I got a purpose already given to me at birth ? can the world be changed ? and many more.

The idea of ‘life’, what is it? when you look at it this way it sounds terrible.  from the age of 0-25 we get educated

25-65 we use that education to work and ‘earn’ money. for what purpose? well to live surely! well in my opinion it’s so that the wheel keeps on turning. earn money, buy a house and pay for it for 25+ years. Buy a car to update every year or every few years. To get loans to buy the expensive things like the previously mentioned ‘house’ and ‘car’ also Vacations abroad and other stuff, so we work to buy all of that to only work more to own it and maintain it, then we die!

65+ for most, these are the tough years. for some, they have very little and struggle, for others, they will have a pension, they will have enough to get by and maintain the life they had leading up to those years or something similar to that. Then there are those who are ill and use most money to cover the cost of maintaining what little life they have left, no fault of their own of course.

When you look at this you really should ask yourself, what’s it all about? seriously!!

I don’t want to work to live, nor do i want to live for the sake of living. My aim is to live life in a way that makes it fulfilling. like questing the wrong doing around the world in a way that makes me feel like i have a purpose. I am currently an art student and my art at this moment is conceptual work. I feel this is what my purpose could be. Art is my tool to address, bring attention to and represent current events around the world, at present, it has been events which hugely affect the lives of people around for example – The Syrian Conflict and world hunger.

That brings me onto something else, how many are aware of the number of people who die form hunger or hunger related causes ? How many people are aware of the death toll in the Syrian Conflict? how many young people know about the Rwandan Genocide and that over 800,000 people died? they have the world at their finger tips and yet all they are interested in is updating their Facebook status, or tweeting and snapchatting.

These issues and many more like them should bombard people everyday! if we make people aware of these problems then maybe in the not too distant future, we as a global community can respond to them. With the main aim to stop war, stop world hunger and other major global issues.

I know this is a dream ‘for now’ but i will keep asking these questions, trying to make people aware and keep on going.

It’ll remain a dream and I have one reason for it; how can we stop global hunger if we can’t even stop the hunger our neighbors feel all the time? Bono tries to solve world hunger along with a fellow Irish man (Bob Geldof) and yet I don’t see them here trying to solve it here in Ireland where in 2009 (over 4 years ago) nearly 100,000 children lived in consistent poverty. Based on today’s conditions those numbers can only go up.

How can we think and act big when we cannot think and act locally? until this is solved I’m afraid those in worst off places will suffer even longer.

An after Thought

Below are my thoughts after watching the film ‘Elysium’.

I just finished watching the film ‘Elysium’. As a movie I enjoyed it but what I enjoyed most is that it picked up on issues that face us today. Immigration, health, class, Ecology, earths resources, developed and underdeveloped regions. I thought the movie portrayed the issue of immigration very well. How, many people are not allowed to cross a border even if it is for medical reasons. How many are not allowed to cross because they cannot afford it. We live in a world today, were borders are more than just lines on a map or a wall in the desert. They are physical and they are political and they hurt many. I understand that borders are old and they separate or rather help distinguish one nation-state from another but in today’s society, it is only a matter of time before we must choose to allow borders to separate our Peoples or help bring them together in a larger, more accepted and more equal society.

I believe people should have the right to seek out a better life, even if that life is across the border or on a different continent. That right should be for all citizens of the world and not just for a few. I’m sure that one day, just like in Europe and other parts of the world, people can travel freely and choose where is best suited for their needs, their wants and their desires.

I shed a tear watching this movie because when I watch movies or TV programs like this, I know too well that it’s not all imaginary but rather it’s all too real, too well known and not enough is done. I’m talking about combating poverty, being able to access free health care and free education. Things that are easily accessible to millions and yet so rare and hugely expensive to millions more. You’d think everyone would want each other to live life as fair and as equal as one another, you’d think that but there are people out there that think of ideas and reasons to counter that thought, to corrupt thinking and alter our education.

What is ‘right’ and what is ‘morally right’ are too different things. While we think in many different ways ‘politically’, ‘financially’, ‘militarily’, ‘in the interest of’ people will always suffer until we find a way to think with our hearths.

By J Myers

The new beginning

Well it has been some time since I’ve posted her. This is a short update.

Im extremely happy to say that, I’m starting in NCAD this Monday, September the 23rd. I look forward to to what I can learn and what art I can create.

I’ll try do a weekly update of my journey.

 

Why this way ?

There will always be the things we want to be and the things we are.

Acceptance itself can be a journey of all sorts and not so much an easy one.

This journey can allow for realisation which in turn can help us come to terms with it or just straighten our denial towards it.

Acceptance is of course the most recommended choice but that takes time.

Be true to yourself first.

 

 

As it stands

After a year of college everything comes down to tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll find out my fetac results and if they are good enough for me to accept a place in NCAD.

Going to third level is not a common thing from where I grew up. It really was a change for me to aim for this

Whatever the results are tomorrow it won’t stop me from reaching my goals.

Upwards and onwards.