29 de juny 2014

visual hazards?

I bike a lot, and it actually often awakes thoughts, sometimes whole soliloquies.
The last one was about the values in the community I grew up in. It was composed in its beginnings by people in their early 20s working in what is known as white collar jobs. For companies the right wing parties find so important for the economy. Everything was in a sort of acceptable balance until the sign of the times started bringing new neighbours adding more diversity in our uniformed "married couple, middle class-two children" average. As we kids grew up, we started to incorporate our own value system and morals to the existing  ones and some new neighbours came to prove that living with differing values was just as fine.
Things can be experienced  by hearing, speaking.... But some came visually  and one was once our new neighbour, unmarried, who worked in the fashion industry. He used to have many female visits and engaged in very long and loud sexual relationships (I remember me hearing the shouting  going on in the middle of the night). This was part of the noise hazard and people complained, yet, it didn't cease. Sure nobody dared interrupting in the middle of the night and he just  probably got a firm passive agressive letter from the neighbour's council.
Once and only once his stunningly gorgeous partner dared going to the swimming pool downstairs. And she dared to go topless. In the future other guests also dared the same thing, but this lady was the very first case.
That was a very big breach in the community's implicit pool dress code. I should say there were very clear written rules at the pool's door, but none made explicit mention about being topless and in Barcelona it was and it is an acceptable thing to go topless on the beach, however, doing that in your private property, with your trusted neighbours suddenly seemed to be a big no-no. Needless to say, she was kicked out on the spot. The pool rules updated  accordingly.
As a pre-teenager I could probably understand why that was the topping on the cake for our rather conventional family oriented community (he and his many "girlfriends" were on the spotlight already...), but I couldn't understand, objectively, how that was an issue, when kids had already seen boobs on beaches and adults were over that... were they? Who were they visually protecting?
Boobie bouncy castle!
And that thought lingered on during my bike ride. An image speaks more than a 1000 words. So what was this toned lady lying topless transmitting?
What were those families trying to protect? The uniformity? She did something they never  did, she failed to contextualise and adapt to the environment, not only with her boobs. She was an unmarried, childless, hot woman lying among classic Mediterranean mommas. But, was she a threat?

Since I am studying hazards, while riding my bike I started thinking of behaviours that could be a hazard (like loud love making- it can disturb your sleep, thus becoming a health hazard) but in society in general, isn't it amazing  that some visualisations of every day things can be considered a threat, a hazard to ideology? A guy walking around with a svastika is unacceptable, in Germany it is illegal. It represents a past, an ideology of a very damaging kind. It represents genocide, intolerance, violence. How can the sight of boobs affect your moral, your health, your well being? 
I mention because it is an issue many have, lately I see a lot of posts circulating about mommies sticking their boobies out to breast feed in public places. Regardless of how pleasant the sight would be according to your taste, esthetics or even maybe morals. How is that a threat? Should I start a plattform to complain about Crocs, then?!

And then I wondered. We often judge by looks. How a person looks triggers certain judegement according to your view of the world. To me, the image of a man in a suit and a tie means that they are more likely to prioritise money before any other values. They are not to be trusted. Or shall I jockingly ask: why did they never banned Speedos when they leave no room for imagination?

How is this relevant? We can measure sound hazards, air hazards, even physical hazards (if a building blocks the light or if a mine harms the close environment) 
So certain beautiful images (are boobies not beautiful to someone?, can the human body provocate rejection to someone like the svastika example?) can damage the carriers of  certain morals. And morals have a very wide area of subjective/cultural nature. How do we acquire them, how come do we modify them?
 Fascinating, nicht wahr?

15 de juny 2014

shifting attention

Delay a hot issue one week and interest shifts from the new king of Spain to the World Cup. Oh, Spain, bless that football bliss that makes you feel strong and proud... Woops, and now your team does't seem to show much hope. Time to look inside and go back to those many things that need to be done. 
People in Spain are talking about their right to decide a republic when, a few years ago, when they had their right to decide on a new government, an enourmous majority chose those who helped bring back the monarchy back in the fascist times. Sweet irony, also when a region is also facing that government, asking for their right to choose. That government has managed to bring the country closest to dictatorship than ever, disguised in investment, real state and banking. People still think that the guys with ties are the reliable ones. Or with crowns, for the matter... 

I live in Australia now, and I feel politically sorry for them and directly affected by their policies (as a second-class resident). 
I've experienced the conservative win both in OZ and NZ. Always surrounded by people who felt sorry for that as well, whose ideas represent what I call "a conscious and responsible citizen", and yet, we are minority...
When I lived in Barcelona, still officially part of Spain I always felt like I was married to a country for their convenience, but at least, there, I had a voice. In Australia I support a certain view but I have no voice. Hence, I defend and let my voice be heard for what I feel closest to and feel it belongs to me as much as any other Aussie: Mother Nature, the environment, Australia's unique and delicate diversity. There alone is a lot to do. A lot to educate. A lot of old patterns of thought  need changing, those patterns help damage the soil, the air and that thing so many people love talking about so much: the economy. 
Economy has an etymological root of keeping households. Gnomos in Greek is knowledge-study
Ecology, however, points to the interrelations between species. Logos in Greek is the logic, the practical approach.
My logos: We are energy and we live from energy, too. As humans we need food, electricity, fuel and other sources of energy in order to be strong, work more efficiently, travel from A to B. Our sources of energy come from the Earth and from space (the sun, the air...). We plant seeds (oh, no, here we go again) in the dirt and they come from the darkness into the light to keep us alive. 
However, there are certain forms of energy that come solely from the darkness, from the insides of the Earth. The only picture alone of extracting from Earth´s insides already feels not quite as right. It feels like robbing from her, changing its (her) structure when there is so much available in the surface. 
It might be a silly metaphor but it shows me that we should have evolved enough to know better.  In Plato's terms, we are still in the dark caves, looking for the light. 
And I don't advocate change for the future generations alone. I do also for the improvements in society, the economy and for the end of alienating jobs that make some people have to go into the deep darkness, risking ther health and sometimes their lives. I do it for our right to evolve.
Those corporations are using us to get richer. And you vote them back. 

I know I have no voting voice but if only I could let that majority see... In the meantime I always repeat myself by asking people to change their habits slowly. Bike or walk to work, change your bank for an ethical one, change your eletricity provider for one that offers clean energy, reduce your meat intake and choose quality (free range) over quantity, refuse to buy packaged foods, make sure you don't support deforestation (palm oil everyone) and always keep your eyes open to let your voice be heard in your everyday choices.

So strange that a massive football event is making me rethink all of this
I just needed to let this one go...