Finding hope in the land issue fear

Land Expropriation is a thing we have to deal with in this New South Africa. It’s easy to slip into fear and be alarmist, but it’s a thing we have to deal with. It will slip into a race issue and will be about past sins, dignity, restoration, punishment and our generation is going to engage as avatars of our ancestors and forefathers.
 
BUT There is another conversation, based in sanity that should become the focus. Since all the declarations and moves have happened, there is a specific message our president is pushing that we must hear and ensure does not get lost in the chaos to come.
 
Expropriation without compensation will be implemented, but it must be done in a way that increases agricultural production and improves food security.
 
This is a global concern and needs to be the focus of the sane. This is a cause and a fight which should be a defining aim of our nation. We must ensure the future of our country, our people and our planet.
 
Let’s not let this get lost within the righteous indignation and the hate we as South Africa’s are so good at accessing.
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Solidarity

Yesterday was a day of empowerment! As a white male South African, I represent so much ugliness to people who have been affected by white oppression. I acknowledge that. I will fight for what I believe in. I will raise my nothing voice and contribute. Why? Because I have a label of privilege, let me use it. Because I am white, let me use it. Because I am a minority, I have to use it. Not for me. I do it for those who hate me most. For the ideals in which I believe. I understand the distrust. But still I rise for something greater than myself.

Yesterday was a day of empowerment! As a white male South African, I represent so much ugliness to people who have been affected by white oppression. I acknowledge that. I own that. I will fight for what I believe in. I will raise my nothing voice and contribute. Why? Because I have to. To do the right thing. Because I have a label of privilege, let me use it. Because I am white, let me use it. Because I am a minority, I have to use it. Not for me. I do it for those who hate me most. For the ideals in which I believe will benefit those who need it most. I understand the distrust. But still I rise for something greater than myself.


We protest for those who cannot speak, whose voice is not heard, be it a result of fear, hate, ignorance, apathy, circumstance, belief or comfort, we march for you, for our shared interest and destiny.

We protest today, to stand up and declare, “Not this time!” We are aware of the power that resides in idleness, and we are prepared to own the guilt of our inaction, no matter our station, we commit to ensuring inaction is not a curse upon this land again.

We protest because of our race in a racial society, a society which even if inherited, we choose to maintain. We acknowledge the futility of maintaining this history, which exists not only from within but also without our borders, bringing us to this precipice, demanding that we take a stand.

We protest out of shame and guilt, not to assuage it, but to acknowledge and own that we and those who came before, have brought upon South Africa this saddest of days. We are complicit in the state of the country and commit to the necessary change. And we will commit ourselves to accepting the lesson, as tough as it needs be.

We protest for the dreams of dreamers, too numerous in nationality and race to be named; for the idealism of thinkers and martyrs; and the hopes and prayers of a shared destiny which unifies them. We do this for all the heroes who have arisen in times like these. We have inherited, even if only the smallest part or influence, the narrative which we seek to change, and we can each only do our small part in this, loudly and proudly.

We protest for an identity, for a day when being South African will be a label of pride that transcends the boundaries which define our existence in this space and time today, as they too extend and exist across the global stage. That we may be the beacon of light which leads the world, that this too our children can inherit.

We protest as those before did, and we commit to our fellow South African, that there is a dream, we may not be able to see it or define it, we may not agree on it, but we know that on days like these, when injustice rears its head to falter the realisation of our potentiality, what the dream is not, and we owe it to our legacy and future to refrain from passivity.

We protest for the truest victims, the hopeless and lost, which we have raised. The petty and hardened criminals, the homeless and destitute. The window washer, the hooligan, the begger and car watcher. The drug dealer and addict. She reduced to appraising her flesh. The rural. The urban. The worker. The miner whose toil in the soil leads him closer than any other to an understanding of his final resting place.

We protest like we have never protested before, to support each other, every man, woman and child, in the hope that we may not just be acknowledged when unified,as we have been in moments of liberation, and in the kick-off of celebration, but that this unification we have experienced before becomes entrenched in our DNA.

We protest in the hopes that this will be the moment which may further free our nation from her bonds. That from this day we will ensure the atrocities of the past are never forgotten, and that we will commit to working tirelessly to confronting and owning our legacy and making the necessary change, and to ensuring that the unity we have felt on our brightest days, is treasured and honoured and sustained.

We protest to stand our ground, and are committed to being a participating member of this land, as inconvenient and uncomfortable as it may seem.

We protest in an act of hope and trust, committing to the above so as to ensure that we acknowledge and will not forget or undermine or devalue, the lives and experiences of those who suffered before.

We protest for each other. Not blind to race, but aware of it. That the colour of our skin has influence, whether it is the birthright of a powerful majority rising to claim, or the waning privilege of a powerful minority – that as a nation we can achieve the seeming impossible, as we have done before when we were most afraid.

We protest in the hope that our areas of influence may benefit each other justly to a shared aim. That our hopes for this phoenix of a nation may arise again, and always triumph over the polarising evil which would seek to divide us yet again.

We protest at the risk of being futile, but faithfully knowing that each step is in the right direction. Belief in doing the right thing is central to our purpose. May every South African be blessed with the belief that their path is the right one. We honour every point of view, even those most in opposition of our own. We are all free to participate in this democracy. Be constructive. Let the most destructive forces fall!

We protest in solidarity.

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Your 14-2-17 Valentine’s Poem

Love is a word, it’s a verb, it’s a noun,
It inspires and scares, resounds up and down,
It tickles the fancy, It draws up the fears,
It wakes up the dead, and quenches the years,

Love is a word, it’s a verb, it’s a noun,
It inspires and scares, resounds up and down,
It tickles the fancy, It draws up the fears,
It wakes up the dead, and quenches the years,

Reduces grown men to tears, women to sigh,
Children will learn, but til then wonder why,
It bonds up a family, makes friends, It’s the glue,
If untended for, anger, hate, pain will ensue,

Powerful beyond measure, a torrent of feel,
The potential it wields, the fate it can seal,
Poems, movies, theatre, literature, song,
All but mere vehicles for Love to ride on,

Love emancipates, infatuates, renders enslaved,
Love Mystifies, intensifies, rewards only the brave,
Her coils ensnare, her songs they entrance,
And drunk up on love, the heathens will dance,

You’ll find it in whispers, you’ll find it in screams,
In wishes, in hopes, in nightmares, sweet dreams
Love heals the Ill, Love sleighs the dragon
Love carries the future upon its bandwagon,

Always fashionable, relevant, current and present,
Expansive and infinite, priceless, unspent,
Oft unappreciated, underrated, blind and unseen,
Searched for in gestures, expressions, looks, acts, in between,

But Come Feb fourteen, after 365,
What is unseen, forces industry alive,
All these musings above, you know they are true,
But…
They pale in comparison to what I’ve felt, feel and yearn for with You

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Tech-No-Go-No…

I’ve seen Terminator, The Matrix, iRobot
I know what the future holds

Okay, Okay, I’ll look at this Pokemon-a-go-go thing…

But first I have to check my emails, I have three accounts… I think…

… Twitter… Facebook… Instagram…

Where’s the coffee? Pfft! Nope. Nespresso please….

Can you bring me my cup warmer, the one with the USB I can plug into my laptop…

Oh, what’s happening on the blog?

Really gotta get into this Pinterest thing… Oh look! A board on boards…

Put some Netflix on in the background…

…No not that one, that’s for the DVD player…

…Nope, that’s the media player…

…DSTV… Disconnected that…

It’s through the Playstation 3. I know, ain’t got the 4 yet…

Oh wait, I have to show you this Youtube clip…

Lol! And this one… Okay, One more!!!

Sci-Fi, CGI, Animation, Motion Capture, 3D, iMax

I’ve seen Terminator, The Matrix, iRobot

I know what the future holds

Have you heard that new song by that new artist… Whatsizname?

Ipod? Itunes? No… I don’t have the CD… Lolz – remember cassettes?

Tomorrowland!!! Electro…

Oh!!! Thanks for reminding me. Mustn’t forget to charge my Kindle,

What did I do with the Power Bank Now? Oh no! Cables?

Windows 10… Went Android… Nope Ipad…

Oh look what’s trending…

No! Wait! Sometimes it just feels like chaos.

Digital Noise

Let’s stop, because in among all this craziness there is actual power!

There is so much connectedness and technology all around us.

We can actually change the world with the power we have access to.

Home of Hope People! There’s a Kickstarter campaign on Thundafund.

Technology that can save lives. Check it out here 🙂

We need to make real change happen…

OMG! is that the time already Siri?

Okay, Okay, I’ll look at this Pokemon-a-go-go thing…

Tomorrow…

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The Road Home

It’s been an exciting week on The Blog Tag though, as the group of inspirational bloggers have been dealing with a week themed travel

I’ve been away from my blog for way too long – such is the life of “making it happen”…

It’s been an exciting week on The Blog Tag though, as the group of inspirational bloggers have been dealing with a week themed travel, and as much as I wanted to contribute I was unable to. And now, here I is :)!

In brief this week for me was going to be about a personal journey I have been on. I’m a Sagittarius, our natural urge is to travel (if you believe in that), I have dream destinations including Iceland, New Orleans, South America and back to my ancestral home of Greece, but for me this week was going to break the norm expected in the themed tag…

I wanted to tell you all about a holiday I have been on recently. 2016 has been a year of great personal change and flux; a new baby, new employment path, it’s been exciting and scary. This blog is one outcome of that, but the best holiday I took this year was a holiday from my problems. I have taken the initiative to step away from petty yet destructive fears and self-doubt, and have found my way to a Home of Hope…

logoHome of Hope is an organization I currently have the privilege of working with. It is an autonomous, self-started initiative Founded in 2000 by Khanyisile Motsa which provides real care for exploited, trafficked and abused children in the city of Johannesburg. More than just a shelter, it is a home in the truest sense of the word, restoring dignity to those who need it most, nurturing love and a future to those who should not be without.

I have had the privilege to volunteer, contribute and collaborate as part of the team which is realigning the digital strategy of Home of Hope, and we will be launching the new website soon, so stay tuned! In the interim please like our Facebook page and follow us on twitter @A_HomeofHope.  It has been an enriching experience and I look forward to the journey on the road ahead with the home, it is truly the most rewarding vacation from the trivialities of my existence…

So if you, like me, have ever thought about getting involved, do it today!

“There is one way to learn, it’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” 

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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The commencement… a weeks reflection… @DS106 #4Life

Up until last Sunday, I’m talking about the Sunday before yesterday, the Sunday before Fathers Day Sunday, although my love did make the mistake of thinking last week was actually Fathers Day, so I got to have two Fathers Days in 2016… anywho… I digress… Up until last Sunday i was managing a post or two a day, that’s just not sustainable is it?

I think I made the same mistake with my first blog attempt, a movie review blog in which I was watching a certain selection of movies and posting about them, that was a movie a day, so two hours plus about another two hours reflecting, thinking, constructing, writing, and trying to be a family man in between… It did not work. Also, you can only write about a single topic for so long before you start to get irritated by your own voice!

This blog is not going to be that thing (although stay tuned, because I am planning to realign those hours spent and posting them here sporadically – but not today, and not on a schedule). So, for myself, and for you, let me categorically state that Blog inactivity does not equate to inactivity of the soztheo.me exploration of this world – to adequately demonstrate this, here’s some DS106 Digital Art created last week 🙂


‪#‎DS106‬ ‪#‎DailyCreate‬ ‪#‎TDC1618‬ Beware them sheeps in Wolves clothes and stuff ‪#‎SweetValleyHell‬
‪#‎DS106‬ ‪#‎DailyCreate‬ ‪#‎TDC1618‬
Beware them sheeps in Wolves clothes and stuff
‪#‎SweetValleyHell‬

On Monday we had to find an old novel cover and update it for our times…

Monday was an interesting one, after the shooting in Orlando I was engaged with the social media activity of the competing potential future leaders of the free world…

Donald Trump just has the ability to unite us all, doesn’t he? In a shared hate that is (and then the very fact that he has so much support just says that I am wrong on that one),  well he manages to generate hate anyway… Just my unfiltered opinion…

What disgusted me was the way he got hooked into the opportunistic terrorism propoganda opportunity of it all, completely devoid of any meaningful semblance of demonstrating empathy or compassion which could unite a nation reeling from an attack. A good leader would seek to bring his followers to the united ground of a shared United states… Yes? No?

I am pro-Hillary. Mind you I’ve been pro-Hillary since the first two times she was president.

I live in South Africa, and we have our own approaching elections at the fore of the nations consciousness (with our own version of Donald Trump) – but I will be watching this election closely and with great interest…


Culminating in this piece on 18 June: #DailyCreate #tdc1623 @ds106dc soztheo.me a proud ally of the GLBTQQIAAP Community! #ds106 #FloridaMassacre #Orlando A continuation of a spontaneous explosion of flag hands which happened previously on Twitter: http://soztheo.me/2016/05/29/ds106-daily-create-tdc1602-ds106-is-sooo-massive/
Culminating in this piece on 18 June:
#DailyCreate #tdc1623 @ds106dc
soztheo.me a proud ally of the GLBTQQIAAP Community!
#ds106 #FloridaMassacre #Orlando
A continuation of a spontaneous explosion of flag hands which happened previously on Twitter: http://soztheo.me/2016/05/29/ds106-daily-create-tdc1602-ds106-is-sooo-massive

chcken-cart 2
#ds106 #dailycreate #tdc1622 @ds106dc – Why did the chicken cross the road you ask?

On Friday I was then given the opportunity to shed light on one of life’s greatest questions:

Makes total sense doesn’t it?

What is DS106 you ask?

DS106 is a well regarded digital storytelling course, the course is conducted within proper education establishments, but the course is so popular that there is a free for participation version available for sign-up 🙂

One of the activities is the DS106 Daily create (@ds106dc on twitter) which provides daily creative prompts for completion – good mental creative flex fun 🙂

Check it out here.


 And then this happened – tasked to place ourselves in the Mystery Machine expanded into two days of Scooby Doo Fun as the next day we had to try and catch the squirrel who was stealing a fellow DS106-er’s mail.

‪#‎DS106‬ ‪#‎tdc1620‬ ‪#‎DailyCreate‬ Took a ride on the ‪#‎MysteryMachine‬ today! Scooby and the Gang will never be the same! Oh and follow me on twitter @soztheo_me ! 😛

‪#‎ScoobyDoo‬ & the Case of the Klepto-Squirrel!!! @ds106dc ‪#‎ds106‬ ‪#‎DailyCreate‬ ‪#‎tdc1621‬
‪#‎ScoobyDoo‬ & the Case of the Klepto-Squirrel!!!
@ds106dc ‪#‎ds106‬ ‪#‎DailyCreate‬ ‪#‎tdc1621‬

These are also additionals roles in my illustrious PhotoShopped Movie career, the album of all my cinematic ventures can be viewed on my Facebook Page soztheo.me  or here


Sea MonkeysIn closing… What the hell are Sea Monkeys?

I’ve seen them advertised, and have now seen photos of them (which do not look anything like the hand-drawn images in the adverts btw). They are some prehistoric looking things!!!

Anyway, there is a major legal situation underway in regards to the license associated to the patent and ownership of the property that is Sea Monkeys, which in America seem to be one of those things that kids do, you can read more about it here.


Let me know what you think about these little creative outputs why don’t you, and by all means, come join us on this @DS106 #4Life journey :)!

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Morning Break’d

Morning breaks,

It shatters really.

The birds twitter,

“Damn it’s Cold”…

(or so I imagine).


The family rumble crescendos with light,

The day ahead has smiles.

It’s the world through my eyes,

But damn if their ain’t an eskom line running across my tree

(after a Father’s Day which included 9 hours of power failure)!

Happy New Week!
Happy Monday!

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The End of a Week of Books

Heya all 🙂

It has been a really busy week for me personally, and I missed a day of blogging yesterday, but not for nought – it’s hard work being a family man, so I thought I would take the time today to answer yesterdays question on The Blog Tag, as well as the end of week Q&A 🙂 I also didn’t do the tag post from Tuesday as my Monday Book Review was also about my favourite book of all time, Beloved by Toni Morrison, so that was a two for one-er – apparently while missing a day or two I also over-delivered (it’s all about balance 🙂 )!

So without further ado, My list of my Top 5 Favourite Book (Series) of all time

– Wait a minute soztheo.me, it’s your Top 5 Favourite Books of all time?

– Did you not hear me, voice on my screen, I’m over delivering here, so without further ado, soztheo.me’s favourite:

Top 5 Book Series of All Time


1. The Discworld Novels – Terry Pratchett

Over the last two years I have been on a monumental literary journey into a world I have only ever visited briefly before. I read my first Terry Pratchett novel when I was a teenager. Over the years I sporadically revisited his writing. I was always entertained but I never got into the world of Terry Pratchett until I made the decision two years ago to dive into the world whole-heartedly, committing myself to reading the entire series.

Since then I have read nineteen of the forty-one published Discworld novels, tackling them in order, reading them in between (or in conjuction with) my other readings, loving each one as this ever expanding world continues to expand in partnership with the guided realms of my imagination. It is nothing short of completely inspirational to step into the immense world of another man’s hysterically funny and entertaining inspiration.

The Witches, The Wizards, The City Watch, Death… The realisation of all these characters and their melding into the illogical-except-for-in-the-Discworld themed novels, has me absolutely in awe everytime I reach the end, and commence another journey set on a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A’Tuin…

May he Rest in Peace, and while he rests may his brilliance forever live.

(28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015)

“Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.” – Terry Pratchett

2. The Vampire Chronicles; Lives of the Mayfair Witches Series – Anne Rice

It all started with a movie… The first time I ever went to a movie by myself was when I was a young impressionable 14 year old lad, the movie was Interview with the Vampire and in the viewing I was exposed to a type of story telling I had never experienced before. I loved horror movies from a very young age. As a child I grew up with entertainers for parents. I grew up watching Michael Jackson’s Making of Thriller Beta video. I grew up in a world of stage make-up. I knew that what happened on screen was the work of experts. I watched the classics, Dracula et al. However, I had never seen vampires and villains, anti-heroes, like Louis, Lestat and Claudia. I had never seen horror so grandiosely humanized and humour; so gothic; so macabre.

As soon as the movie ended I went to the bookstore and bought the book. I devoured it, a vampire upon its prey, and the love affair began. Astoundingly intricate and breathtakingly ambitious are the best ways I can think right now to describe the shared universe of the Vampires and the clan of the Mayfair Witches – two worlds from separate series that would later collide as the Vampire chronicles reached an end, from which they would again arise but a year ago. The style of storytelling that flies from the past into the present, from the metaphysical to the real. In one book we are engaging with the devil himself. In another we are re-experiencing mortality. We examine through the studying of ancient records, the lives of an entire family-lineage of witches. My favourite villain of all time, Akasha The Queen of the Damned, explodes out of these pages. Best of all, we bare witness to the creating of an entirely new mythology and rich history of vampirism, and in that we discovery the insanely rich tapestry which has born such pale spawn who will forever pale like Twilight, True Blood and Fifty Shades of Grey…

Fifty Shades of Grey? It’s strangely ironic, that this sad example of literacy, born as fan-fiction from the pale waffle of Twilight, is yet again pale against the erotic literature of Miss Rice… Look that up! The mind that birthed these is one of the most intriguing creations. When we read books or engage with any art form for that fact, it is actually the mind of the artist we engage with. It is really a footnote here, but:

1. The key Vampire Lestat is a literary representation and manifestation of Anne Rice’s husband Stan Rice;

2. Anne Rice wrote Interview With A Vampire while dealing with her daughter’s death from Leukemia – that’s blood cancer. #ArtIsPain

anne-rice4
“You do have a story inside you; it lies articulate and waiting to be written — behind your silence and your suffering.” – Anne Rice

3. The Sandman Series – Neil Gaiman

There are those who would raise an eye at the inclusion of a graphic novel series in any list pertaining to literature… Well poo to you :)! Graphic Novels have a well deserved place in literature, with the best of the best winning major literature awards, including a Pulitzer ( and that would be in 1992; Maus aka Maus: A Survivor’s Tale — My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman). But my personal, most fantastical, most magical, most mythological, most inspiring-al and ambitious of these works which beautifully marry art of picture and art of word has got to The Sandman Series.

Neil Gaiman is the best friend of fantasy and genre breaking storytelling, a man whose love of fantasy has him in the good company of Terry Pratchett (with whom he collaborated on Good Omens). In his masterpiece collection of The Sandman Series, he introduces us to The Endless, anthropomorphic personifications of nature’s most confounding forces, more powerful than even the Gods and as eternal as the universe. They are the siblings, Destiny, Death, Destruction, Desire, Despair, Delirium and our chief protagonist in the tales, Dream aka Morpheus; who upon being released from a 70 year entrapment into a changed world, is reunited with his most dysfunctional of families. A family whose relationships with each other are as complex as the very idea of turning the seven forces they encompass into a dysfunctional family within the pages of a graphic novel collection spanning twelve multi-dimensional, multi-reality, truly-inspired story arcs. From the depths of Hell to the pages of Shakespeare, Neil Gaiman has comprised a collection of such grandiosity that the mind can only but be amazed 🙂

There’s It :)! 

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.” – Neil Gaiman

4. The Left Behind Series – Jerry B Jenkins and Tim LaHaye

This one is a guilty pleasure and I fully accept that many will argue it’s place on any list, but it’s my guilty pleasure, a series of books I quite literally enjoyed reading.

"And then I met Jerry and he's such a creative fiction writer, and I don't know if there's ever been a team put together the way we are - where one person does the theological way out and suggestions, and the other person goes into the cave and does the fiction writing." - Tim LaHaye
“And then I met Jerry and he’s such a creative fiction writer, and I don’t know if there’s ever been a team put together the way we are – where one person does the theological way out and suggestions, and the other person goes into the cave and does the fiction writing.” – Tim LaHaye

I am a human who was raised as a christian, spirituality is a deeply personal journey for every human on this planet. It has fed wars and hate, but each individual, at least at some point in their lives, has engaged with their understanding of the world and the amazement of existence. As a christian child I have been raised on Bible stories. The bible is an amazing collection of faith, reason, answers, historical reference and mystery, and the question of my own spirituality is deeply tied into the christian faith in which I was raised. The final book in the Bible is one of great fear and reckoning, Revelations is about the end times, about the wrath of God upon a world that has forsaken him, in which he withdraws himself and his arc-nemesis is allowed to do with the world as he will.

In light of this I am quite disgusted by how much I enjoyed this series (like I said, guilty pleasure). There is not an original thought in these books, and I would not necessarily recommend them to anyone else (although admittedly I have, to a select few). They are a fictional interpretation of the cryptically mystical final chapter of one of the oldest and most powerful of books. They tells the story of those Left Behind, in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world, as per the bible. It centers on a band of survivors who realise that the mysterious new world is a result of God’s will, and in that they seek to redeem and survive as the Anti-Christ rises to power. The books can get heavy on the christian rhetoric, they are written with a strong agenda, but for me they are engrossingly easy reading, and most probably as well written as Fifty Shades of Grey. In the past in my ruminations I have likened them to a soap opera, once hooked I had to see what would happen to the characters next, I did really enjoy these books, but they are rubbish and yet, like I have reread most books I enjoy, even now as I type, as I take stock of the absurdity that I am publishing a post of books I enjoyed and that these are on the list, I shrug my shoulders in acknowledgement of the fact that I will read them again…

And No! These books do not factor into my continuing journey of spirituality…


5. Harry Potter – JK Rowlings

This one is about respect, for appreciation of the journey, this one is for the ideal of the American Dream (as lived and achieved by a non-american),this one is for Enid Blyton, this one is for Roald Dahl :)!

I have had the same relationship with every Harry Potter movie, except for the last two: I hated every single one of the movies on the first watch and then every time I watched the movie again, I enjoyed it. It’s bizarre! I only picked up the books after the sixth movie was released, so before the last two which I enjoyed, funny that. For me, it’s all about the imagination unleashed within the world of Hogwarts, it’s a beautiful thing, it’s about the legend and legacy created, and as someone who believes in reading the books after watching the movies (because then you are never disappointed), I am a huge fan of the work. 

If I am 100% honest, I am enjoying JK Rowling’s new Cormoran Strike series much more (check them out), but it is with the Harry Potter books that JK Rowling earns my respect, and why it owns this spot, on this list, today. What exists within the Harry Potter universe is nothing short of inspiring, the product of a storyteller, and what she has done in curating a massive audience to the literary world is nothing to be sniffed at. Fact: JK Rowling is the reason that an entire generation of reader’s exists.

"Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression. It meets a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself but poverty itself is romanticized by fools." - J. K. Rowling
“Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression. It meets a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself but poverty itself is romanticized by fools.” – J. K. Rowling

And there you have a list of my 5 Top Book Series, now while these books really do exist in the fantastical, if you look at my choice of reading for stand alone novels, there is a vast difference in subject matter, but that, I believe, is for another day, for now, lets get to the Q&A for the week.


Questions

1. Do you have a specific place to read? Generally I read before I go to sleep, it is not very often that I will read while not in bed (before I go to sleep), when that does happen I must be alone, or on holiday, I enjoy reading when on holiday.

2. What book/s can you re-read without getting tired? As I generally read before I sleep, I do welcome getting tired, the disadvantage (especially at the end of a book) is that I can land up reading and not being able to put the book down – so sometimes reading can take me beyond tired.

3. Who is your favorite author? Toni Morrison

4. What is your favorite non-fiction book? Malika Oufkir and Michèle Fitoussi (2001), La Prisonnière (Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail) – one of the most astoundingly heart breaking and rewarding reads.

5. What is your most memorable childhood book? Roald Dahl’s The Witches

6. What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant? I cannot tell you the significance, but the first two verses from The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll has been in my head since I first encountered it as a child.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

7. What books did you hate reading in school? I am ashamed to admit it, but the most difficult book for me to enjoy, and maybe it’s because it was presented to me as school work, and it has always been one of my favourite books to get halfway through, having tried many times even before it was prescribed reading, I really do love the universe and mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien, was The Hobbit.
8. Do you read before bed? Yep.
9. How many books is on your book shelf? I can’t count, but kindle has changed my life
10. What genre of books do you prefer? Epic Storytelling
11. Can you read while there is noise around, like music or T.V? No
12. Have you wrote any books? The stories are there, the worlds exist, they’ve been constructed and are authored in my brain, but not yet.
13. You walk into a book store, what do you walk out with? Children’s Books – it is now important to grow a love of books in my sons.
14. Worst book you ever read? It has got to be Gone Girl. I hated everything about it, which is the genius of the book really, because I hated all the characters but that is what kept me reading until the end, and I was engrossed, and it shocked me, but i hated it as much as I hated the characters… And it is so terrible I will recommend it to everybody, because that is the brilliance of it.
15. Do you have any collections of books? I collect Graphic Novels and book series like those in my list.
16. Do you have a library card? Yes, but I do not use it.
17. What is the last book you read? The last book i completed was Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett.
18. How many books do you read per year? It is inconsistent, last year was a great year, i can’t even recall how many books I read, but it was over forty, I was devouring them.
19. If you could write a book what would you title it? Haha! Wouldn’t you like to know!
20. Why is reading important to you? Reading is an excercise of appreciation, it’s about escapism and inspiration, like all art, like movies, it’s about being entertained and evoked emotionally.


Quick Fire

Book mark or Anything that can hold your place
Trade paper back ?(big book) or Paper back (small book)
Novel or Biography
Read the book or Watch the movie first
Romance (Surprise, Surprise – but not schlockmance) or Science-Fiction


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The biggest lesson I found in a Book…

The theme on The Blog Tag this week is books, the challenge for the day,  “tell us about the biggest lesson you learnt from a book and why it is important to you“.

I was troubled by the task at hand, especially because I have read so many books, taken so many lessons from them all, and I looked at the question and was drawing a much upsetting blank… I was reading a fellow blogger-(and member of The Blog Tag)’s post this afternoon, and so it was that while reading Rajeshweri Meloshnee Naidoo‘s eloquently nail-on-the- head post (which is a contribution to this week’s Blog Tag theme), entitled True Love (see I was always gonna mention it), that I realised what the biggest lesson I’ve always taken from the reading (of novels) has been – and how this core lesson still applies today as I read the posts of my fellow bloggers…

Inspiration comes in many shapes and sizes, the masterful ability to put yourself and your creations down through the medium of writing, to create worlds and material into which your reader can escape, and be challenged, and be entertained, and learn and into which we can be an integral part; that is the greatest lesson I have learned. It has often left me slack-jawed. Be it Shakespeare, Stephen King, Shelley Smidt-Booys, Wally Lamb, Toni Morrison, Anne Rice, Cassarica Nadas, Terry Pratchett, Enricoh Alfonzo Naidu, (to name a few)… I am always in awe by the ability to create, to put on the writer’s hat and put your thoughts and mental activities down in words…

It’s not just from a single book, it’s not just from a single reading and it’s not just from a single lesson, it’s so much more bigger than that…

I love reading, I love writing, I love that we can have a week dedicated to thinking about our love of reading and writing, and the greatest lesson I have taken from reading and writing is that what I want to do is write and read!

And you know what… I can…

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Natural… Really?

I just don’t know anymore… You throw the word Natural at me and I feel like it should be the easiest concept to understand, I should be able to easily write about it, right? Maybe not so much…

Is it natural to live in a state of fear? I don’t think so. When we live in an age where you can be slaughtered just for trying to live your life as your authentic self? You can be killed for your religion. You can be killed for your sexual preference. You can be killed for being a certain race. Where is the natural in that I ask?

I live in the city. Smog. Pollution. Construction Sites. Skyscrapers. Shopping Centres. Housing Complexes. People living on top of people. We drive down the street and when we arrive at a traffic light (or as we refer to them in South Africa, a robot) our cars are pounced on by beggers, window washers, people trying to sell all kinds of odds and ends to make ends meet. There’s no empathy, there’s no room for empathy, for the lady at the robot who sits there begging with her 2 year old at her feet. We are desensitized, for fear that at any stop in out travels we will fall victim to hijackers. Where is the natural in that I ask?

The clothes I wear are synthetic. My entire world is synthetic. I live with a dependency upon chemicals and materials that have been developed to sustain needs which have been made by a corporate agenda. Valentine’s Day comes and I am forced to engage with souless capitalism in order to assign a man-made value to the depths of a concept which has been defined by the human experience, the problem is that in the chaos of the act of purchase, any aspect that remains connected to the song of love within my soul is diminished. Where is the natural in that I ask?

A boy falls into a gorilla hold at the zoo and the gorilla is killed. A child gets dragged into the water at Disneyland by an alligator. And Tilikum is still swimming in a giant fish bowl in Florida… I mustn’t eat meat anymore, the way our animals for food are bred is an abomination, but I cannot eat the processed goods and carcinogens on my shelf either. I don’t live on a farm, and any land I buy is destined to be claimed as historically stolen. I must look in the mirror and all these accusations must mean guilt of some kind yes? Where is the natural in that I ask?

BUT…

I have a family, I know what love is, I live so that they will live, and grow, and one day they will no doubt be faced with the difficulty of trying to figure out the definition of natural in a world, which in my mind will only be more unfathomable than the one in which I currently live, and over which I will ponder until I die… Death… Where is the natural in that I ask?

Natural with Definition

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DS106 Daily Create #tdc1613: The craculator of AuCT

“THandshe liluns found it while playing down on Jules, do you know what it is?”

Garr looked at the small contraption, a machine, buttons with faded numbers and letters, and a screen – not cracked, had somehow survived. “I think I’ve heard of these. It’s a craculater, they used to use them amethmitrickly, for summations and the like… Definitely needs power, what kinda I don’t know.”

LAk, ever the optimistic one out of the two immediately thought potential was in hand, “You think is worth something, can we trade.”

Garr was sceptical, didn’t know if it would be worth anything, but he was still wary and hopeful, just in case. “We may need to visit the two old bags tomorrow, they might know. Have you got some brew for them, you know they won’t help unless we got some brew… For now puts it away, then take them liluns and see if anyone need some hands in exchange for some brew… Oh and LAk, say nothing to nobody about nothing”

With that Lak was off, she had liluns to round up. possibility lay ahead. This little discovery sure was a welcome change to the usual flow of days in AuCT. There was talk of black SnO later. Maybe the liluns could earn enough brew for the night and for the two old bags…

#ds106 #dailycreate #tdc1636 @ds106dc
Welcome to AuCT!
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Music Week Q&A

It’s the end of a week of Music Tags… Thank You to The Blog Tag for the inspiration 🙂

As we come to the end we answer a few personal questions regarding Music (including one which should never be asked of anyone, like ever)…


Questions

  1. Name your top 3 favorite artists/ bands: Madonna; Justin Timberlake; Janet Jackson
  1. What is the last song you listened to? I Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
  1. What was the first concert you went to? LOL! Dr Alban – One of the best times of my life!!!
  1. If you could spend a day with your favorite singer who would it be? Wow, coz didn’t feature in question 1… Jim Morrison (and we share a birthday) 🙂
  1. Are there any songs that you can’t stand hearing? Right now, I just can’t for majority of Pop on the Radio – There is one Selena Gomez song that is wrecking me…
  1. If you could have a soundtrack to your life what would it be? The Soundtrack of the movie Human Traffic
  1. Can you sing? Yep, out of practice though… So Nope…
  1. Your favorite cheesy song? I’m Going Bananas – Madonna (Dick Tracy Soundtrack) – used to work in a fast-paced hectic environment, this became the anthem…
  1. What songs do you listen to when you are feeling down? More “depressing” woeful songs – selections of Tracy Chapman, The Doors, The Cranberry
  1. First L.P/C.D/Mp3 you bought? Lol – 1st CD I bought, with my best friend (we went 50/50 because they didn’t have the cassette) was the first Toni Braxton album (Huge Boomerang Fan)
  1. Do you like musicals if so which is your favorite? If I had to choose one it would probably be Cats or Rent
  1. Favorite musical instrument? Conductor’s Baton… The most powerful…
  1. If you could see anyone in concert who would it be? Madonna
  1. If you wrote a song what would it be called? I have, the first one is called “You Have Me”

 Quick Fire

Rock/Pop

Sing in the shower/on Stage

Musical/Concert

Guitar/Drums

Ear phones/speaker

Music while you work/quiet

Direction /Justin Bieberv

(I cannot! I am sorry, if the above was a selection which would determine hours of torture by listening to it or the revelation of a secret, I better not have any good secrets to keep, because I won’t…)

Sing/Dance

Instrumental/Lyrics

Prince/Micheal Jackson


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If I could play…

In my head I am the greatest musician – I’ve composed the most beautiful pieces and written the most inspirational and meaningful songs… In my head that is…

I have dabbled with piano, self taught without any technique, and without the necessary co-ord’s to actually do anything further with it…

(and let’s not forget the ADHD, we must never forget the ADHD)…

I once bought a guitar, it still looks good in it’s box… And the Harmonica I purchased was very silver and very shiny… I wonder where that got to?

As a father, I am going to make sure that my kids have a full life with well rounded opportunities, advantages and discipline that I never had access to for no other reason than circumstance, part of this includes a musical mastery. The ability to master an instrument is about so much more than just playing a ditty, the learning itself is wholly developmental and skilled, and contributes to an approach which extends well beyond the picking up of the instrument.

For me, at this stage of life, I’ll just use Garage Band on my iPad… I play good Garage Band 🙂

 

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Be Inspired

Bob QuoteWhatever Music you listen to,

May it forever inspire you!

 

If your music makes you wanna flip your hair

And bang your head against the air

Be Inspired

 

If it recalls your Wedding Day,

swaying together upon the floor

You in dress and he in suit…

(Or both in suits… Or both in dress…)

Who gives a hoot!

Be inspired

 

If it guides you upon a chosen plane,

psychedelic with plastic rain

The answers you seek before you unfolding as

Eyes aflutter, speech a stutter,

Be inspired

 

If it quietens and soothes your longing soul

And draws you close and makes you whole

If it works only to ease the pain and hold you sane

Be inspired

 

Whether it’s all about the melody?

The beat, the heat, the symphony

If it’s all just about the cacophony

Who cares, it’s yours, if it clears your bored, just

Be inspired

 

If you cannot hear with your ears of that which I speak

You can find it within, feel your heartbeat

It’s the words on a page, it’s in the smell of the sage

Can you feel it? Right! Now…

Be inspired


As required by prompt, I did write the otherday about how music had got me through some tough stuff, Here’s that post: http://soztheo.me/2016/05/30/madonna-music-madness/

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A day is a Playlist…

Music makes the people come together

Music makes the bourgeoisie and the Rebel

Sometimes, as much as we would love to, the time is just not available to meet all our commitments – sadly this is one of those days (but it’s not a total loss) – so in the best interests of time, I am going to pledge a memory entry to each one of the songs listed below. I don’t even really have time to make playlists anymore, I hardly put my earphones in these days, and I avoid current music on the radio out of frustration. But this is the last playlist I made…

My rule for playlists is simple… One song for each artist, variety is the spice of life – and generally if I hear it (while on shuffle), and it connects at that moment, irrespective if there is a progressional consistency, if the connect happens it goes on the list in that order, and played again (or it gets skipped and doesn’t make the cut)…

I usually do this while I work…

I listen to this playlist now and I wonder what mood I was in on this day, take a hear, maybe you can tell me… Alls I know is that on this day, there was a story into which these songs nestled themselves and contributed to the progression:

  1. Duran Duran – Come Undone
  2. N.E.R.D – Hypnotize You
  3. Tracy Chapman – Give Me One Reason
  4. Empire of the Sun – We are the People
  5. Prince – When Doves Cry
  6. Madonna – Nothing Really Matters
  7. Katy B – Crying for No Reason
  8. The Ting Ting’s – Shut Up & Let Me Go
  9. Janet Jackson – BURNITUP!
  10. The Doors – The End
  11. Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
  12. The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
  13. Muse – Time Is Running Out
  14. Shakespeare’s Sister – Stay
  15. Siouxsie & The Banshees – Face to Face
  16. Juliette Lewis – Hardly Wait
  17. Eminem – Superman
  18. Tailor – Step Back
  19. The Fugees – Ready or Not
  20. Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat
  21. Fetish – Constant
  22. Daft Punk – Lose Yourself to Dance
  23. Linkin Park – The Catalyst
  24. The Cranberries – Empty
  25. Sade – Cherish the Day
  26. Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again
  27. Michael Jackson – In The Closet
  28. PJ Harvey – Down by the River
  29. Justin Timberlake – My Love

And there you have it – reviewing it now, not a single song on the list comes as a surprise, many of these are favourites which would make any list on any given day, all of which have got a story and association I can elaborate on in the future…

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DS106 Daily Create #tdc1604: Beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder…

Oh No, MATH! Find an example of the Fibonacci Numbers out in the world” – (as per today’s daily create challenge).

I hated Maths in school… Okay, let me rephrase, I pretty much totally hated the school structure, the classes, the learning – the irony is that I have an aptitude for intellectualism, ideation, study and creativity – so much so that consistently through my formative years I was placed in the “clever classes” based on what was perceived, and yet I consistently failed to deliver to expectations, until the system pretty much gave up trying. My poor mother, parent’s evening after parent’s evening having the same conversation with my teacher’s year after year, “He could be a straight A student, if only he applied himself…” Those in the know will understand… In my mid-30’s I was diagnosed, ADHD, aural learning disorder – and a mother pushed to her wits end… This post happens to be about a parent’s love…

But it’s also about Maths, it’s frikken Fibonacci after all, and again the irony is that despite my dismal mathematical performance during my “formative” scholastic years (in which the most solid forms I achieved were lifelong habitual vices like smoking, drinking, donning the black sheep cloak), I do actually have, and obviously always had, a logical, mathematical aptitude, the beauty really is in the exactness; the precision; the detail. You should see me on Excel, I surprise myself with what beauty I can create with but a handful of basic formulas and colours…

Because this post is also about art, like maths it’s about the beauty of excercising duplication and expression, of formulas; of colours; of precision; of vision – like that of my Greek philosopher lineage. Art, like the digital art we create in DS106, the sharing of vision, of the art of the mental flex, the execution of our ideas into expressive product, often humorous, thoughtful, preposterous, deep, connected, stimulating, emotive and most of all creative.

And wouldn’t you know it, this post is all about creation in all it’s anomalous exactness, it’s chaotic precision, it’s fluctuating persistant course. Because nature is the greatest form of art, the whole principle of the Fibonacci golden spiral and it’s alignment to the natural order of things, that there is order, measurable and beautiful, that a flower and an equation can have a commonality based in the beauty of certainty, while being strikingly at opposition between life and conceptual thinking – because ultimately that is where creation exists, within that space of opposing potential made reality, and the most beautiful representation and expression of that is the conception of a child… Creation.

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, the power of beauty is that you know it when you see it, it aligns mysteriously within, with the precision of mathematical certainty as embodied by indefinable possibility… and Love… a Parent’s love.

Oh! And about a parent’s love, about emotion. I don’t know how that quantification and calculation goes, but it’s focus, I would venture to guess, is even larger in concept than the beauty that is the Fibonacciness of nature. In fact, I believe, and I don’t even care if you could and would and do prove me wrong, because I will be stubborn about this one… I believe that even Fibonacci fallibly bends to the power of a parent’s love…

Fibonacci_spiral_34

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DS106 daily create #tdc1602: DS106 is sooo MASSIVE

It was a great day in the DS106-iverse; A simple task resulted in mucho creative connectedness for all involved 🙂

All we had to do really was:

Show the world how DS106 is MASSIVE (by creating some massive art) – we photoshopped our hearts out :)…

godzilla

… and we had a fair volume of “DS106 is a huge part of, and within, the Universe” type posts going, and then Mariana our resident DS106 Shrink, Dr Fumes if you will (http://theds106shrink.tumblr.com/), brought us back down to earth… With a single flagged hand gesture she got us connecting across the oceans (and sometimes within our own borders too), with our fellow DS106 brethren.

All in all, a pretty good day on the twitter-verse 🙂

https://twitter.com/hashtag/tdc1602?src=hash

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DS106 Daily Create #tdc1596: Squirrels and the Gif(t) of Gif-ing…

There we go – nearly didn’t accept this challenge, and then I decided to submit an image (although there was a specific request for a gif), I ain’t never made a gif before – and then I reassessed and went ahead and voila – the little squirrel that could…

The Brief: Amazing Tricked-Out Squirrel Tricks – For today’s Daily Create, name and describe an invented fancy trick for Florence Hinton’s squirrels (or their descendants, since Florence’s little critters are no doubt long gone). Add your own gif to make your point, if you want.

What? Trained squirrels? Tricks? or Talent? Find out more: http://daily.ds106.us/tdc1596/

And there you have it… If I can do it, surely a squirrel can!

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Love and Ice Cream

I really wanted to share this video. I just have this opinion that it may be one of the biggest injustices in the world that something as simple as ice cream, something so small, a minor pleasure in our day to day life, can be representative of the great divide, that frikken ice cream is an experience of privilege!

Here is a video of some children experiencing ice cream for the first time, thank you to the Seeds Of Light South Africa (SOLSA – http://solsa.org/ ) for making this moment happen for the children of the Ekurhuleni Center for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Acornhoek, South Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Marathon Walker – Water for Africa

I have very recently started doing some volunteer work at a local orphanage and organisation which seeks to improve the lives of our most previously disadvantaged South Africans, in my neighborhood. At a meeting yesterday the team shared this video with me, I cannot help but be moved – truly inspirational stuff!

 

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