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.

Wasteland Review

After watching the Documentary ‘wasteland’ I found it very interesting and strong. For me it’s important that art has a purpose. Vic Muniz used his recognition to help create and sell art to benefit those involved in the Association of Recycling Pickers of Jardim Gramacho. I believe the people in the documentary were depicted well. They were not shown just as poor people but as they were, pickers of recyclable materials. To me that was strong because they owned who they were and where they were from especially in the face of international attention coming from the art community.

To me the filmmakers where trying to ‘help’ the pickers not in a ‘I’m a rich westerner and you are not so I can clearly help you way’ but in a way that brought attention to the work they do with the aim of  giving proceeds to them from the selling of the art work. So I believe in that sense they did succeed.

The documentary shows how powerful art can be. It’s work like Vic Muniz, ‘Garbage’ that made me an artist to begin with.Image It also says art isn’t something that just sits on a pedestal and gets admired by a certain people. It can be engaging with all peoples and isn’t confined anymore.

To ask the question did people benefit from the project is for me tough to answer. I don’t know where those people are now or how their lives are. To me it depends on the individual whether it has or not and it is to them to say yes or no. I can say to take a picker to London and show a different life and ‘what could be’ can be mind altering stuff. It can drive people to make their own opportunities if any are there but it can also mess some people up because they have to return to the landfill and continue where they left off.

It does be asked, are artist taking advantage of vulnerable people to benefit themselves? That is an ethical question that does get talked about all the time. There is no answer to it; it is based on the artist involved. Then a return question is: is it OK to take advantage of vulnerable people when you have their needs center to your project?

I do suppose if you engage for a long time with these ‘vulnerable people’ empower them and collaborate then to me that seems OK  That’s exactly what Vic Muniz done with the pickers. He engaged with them and produced work after a length of time. He also spent time at the landfill which was significant.

Now I wonder does Vic Muniz still engage with these people or has he moved on? That raises important things. The saying ‘Parachute Artist’, they are artist who drop into communities and leave as quickly as they got there. At what point does a project end especially when more than one person is involved.

It seems art raises a lot more questions than it can answer but that’s usually how it goes when trying to answer some of life’s difficult questions like equality.

By Jonathan Myers

 

Save the people not the monetary system

As someone who values a life more than money I really don’t understand fully why things are the way they are…. I have this belief that if we put the welfare of all people first we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in.

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Savin a private company, investment or investor may seem like the logical thing but saving people from poverty, homelessness, inequality and sometimes from their own decisions is the most morale thing and in my view the most logical.

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In a decade or two from now we will look back and laugh, saying to ourselves ‘what the hell! were we thinking? We drove millions into unemployment, pushed millions into poverty, manipulated our so called democracy all in the name of a capitalist system that does not, has not and will never work for the people’.

We really do need a new system in place over the one we have now.

Power for the people, from the people

J.Myers

Prioritising capitalism

I just read that there is over 700,000 people in Ireland who are in poverty. As a percentage that is close to 16% of the population of Ireland.

It also says for someone to be above the line of poverty they must have a weekly income of €207, Even though the weekly rate for unemployed people is around €186. So what that says is that our own government have put in measures that push people and families into poverty. A government that is still paid handsomely with expenses and other benefits.

I find it upsetting that this is the way, we should not accept this as our fellow citizens, men, women and even children go without food, warmth, clothing and many other things. On the back of a bailout that has cost this country tens of billions of euros.

For something to be worth saving in this country it better be money because we put no value on life.

Life, The end and all things in the middle.

Life, really what is it all about? Are we supposed to do what everyone else does? Like go to school until we are 17 then go to college for 4 years followed by working until you can retire? And even then? When you retire what do you do?

It seems evolution as we knew it has been halted by no other than ‘US’. We don’t seem to be pushing the boundaries of life living. We like routine, should we all not aim to be that person on the top of life? Society? Work? Etc It seems with the average length of life been in the 70’s we just don’t do enough.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending”

I’ll admit many individuals do enough for themselves but not enough for others.

Some people are not even given the chance to live what we understand to be a ‘life’. As I write this there is a famine in the horn of Africa, thousands of deaths a year due to unnecessary war and Violence, Thousands of deaths by curable diseases and illnesses. Is this what we now call life ?

Yes life has positives of course but why focus on them if they (people or situations) are doing well. Sort out the inhumane situations, Take every individual out of poverty and then we can give ourselves a tap on the back but until then,