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Archive for the ‘relationship’ Category

Heart Symbols

In abstract, art, crafts, ethics, folk art, history, jewelry, relationship, traditions on January 27, 2014 at 16:24

The full wersion of the post is here.

It is not clear where the familiar shape originates. There was a plant widely used as a contraceptive in ancient Egypt (Silphium) which seeds were heart-shaped and even decorated coins (see the image).

 

The Heart shape was widely explored in Folk art, especially Dutch, Mexican, German and Polish, Welsh (lovespoons).

Today this symbol continues to evolve. For example the modern celtic knot style heart tatoos, the Polyamory hearts with either the eternity symbol or the “love outside the box” one, peace and love symbols merging together, etc.

I also did a Pinterest board dedicated to heart symbols: http://www.pinterest.com/artishfolk/know-your-hearts/

A couple of A.C . Grayling’s books – recently finished

In books, ethics, freedom, good life, history, moral issues, philosophy, politics, traditions on December 14, 2013 at 14:26

The Good Book: A Humanist Bible.
I normally really enjoy books by A.C. Grayling.  I’ve got few complaints about this one.  I don’t know if it’s only fault of the audio book but I found it frustrating that I didn’t know from where the quotes were taken.

I did really enjoyed the verses chapter. It was great to recognise a piece of poetry I’ve learned at school in another language!  On the whole I think the book should not had “Bible” in the title and somehow influencing its structure. Bible is not a greatest of our ancient texts and has been completely discredited over the centuries. 

I also think that this A.C . Grayling book would benefit from inclusion of modern philosophy.

Liberty in the Age of Terror: A Defence of Civil Liberties and Enlightenment Values.
It is right to be concerned with attacks on Civil Liberties.  However I think the author didn’t really shown how much better informed we are thanks to the technology and globalisation,  how much more opportunities we have to express our opinions to the whole world and to listen to opinions of others. The feeling of interdependence and interconnection (one small world!) does helps to promote the Enlightenment values by itself.

Peackocks, pheasants and chickens

In about me, acrylic, art, bird, ethics, legal issues, moral issues, my artworks, pets and domestic animals, philosophy, traditions, wild nature on December 11, 2013 at 17:10

A couple of weeks ago I have been doing a little acrylic miniature:

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Not very happy with the painting but at least one person liked it so I’ll let it be. When I was working on this I’ve accidently stumbled across a sad picture:

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Two freshly shot pheasants.  They looked so beautiful from close up… I know people who wish to execute anybody killing pheasants but at the same time eat their close relatives,  chickens and turkeys every day. .. Which just shows how our attitude to animals (and sometime to humans) depends on pretty looks and “cuteness”. It shouldn’t be this way.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating animals: lots of people probably are better off with high animal protein diet as this is the food we originally evolved on.  Obviously we should protect endangered species and avoid unnecessary cruelty to animals, especially the ones closest to us by intelligence. Being cruel or destroying the beauty of nature would eventually backfire.  It will make us more cruel to humans too and guilty and depressed. Yet if medical science really needs to experiment with animals it should be allowed: only humans on this planet know how to heal.

I wish I had time to do an old fashioned still life with those pheasants. ..

Freedom fighting

In ethics, freedom, philosophy, relationship on December 9, 2013 at 12:41

Did you notice that the people who are the loudest at claiming themselves freedom fighters are the first to get angry at you if you disagree? They can’t stand your freedom to have your own opinion.

Instead of “hello”

In about me, ethics, politics, relationship, russian, xenophobia on December 5, 2013 at 12:47

Imagine you ask somebody which country they are from originally (I probably wouldn’t as some people may not want to speak about this or they may feel upset that they accent shows). Imagine you have got some kind of reply. Would you then rushed into saying that oh, yes, you heard about that country,  it’s well known for (pick from the list) evil government,  racism, slavery, crime, bureaucracy,  obesity, poverty, injustice, unemployment, etc?

Similar conversions happened  to me twice last week. People honestly expect to maintain friendly conversation started with these accusations. I do love to criticise my native Russia when appropriate.  But  when strangers are talking to me in this manner it is like being held responsible for all negative news stories or just pure propaganda is completely different. Another thing that drives me mad is when strangers start to treat me as a zoo animal,  discussing my cheekbones, shape of the face or accent.

I thought that after 15 years living abroad I would get used to that. Apparently not. I still feel afraid to talk to stangers.

Union or divorce

In freedom, history, people, politics, relationship on December 2, 2013 at 20:48

Whatever the outcome, it is a sad picture when a country splits apart. On the emotional level, I am happy for Germany, reunited. I am happy that more countries join EU, even if there are some troubles and worries. I am happy for Switzerland which keeps its national unity even if its people speak different languages. It feels like a wedding or a long happy marriage. I am not so happy for Yugoslavia or Russia/Belarus/Ukraine, where most people spoke very similar languages, had similar history but they failed to stay together. Divorce is always a failure – even a civilized one (as long as we treat life long marriage as a positive thing).

When a country splits there are family, friend and business connections torn apart. Customs and visas may creep in, different laws, currencies, different holidays. There often a nasty stench of aggressive nationalism involved.

I think more personal and regional independence but more national (but not ethnically nationalist) unity is the step forward – not multiplying governments, boundaries, checkpoints, and bureaucracy.

Skirts and scarves issue / О платочках и юбках

In взаимоотношения, история, мораль, отношения, православие, ethics, freedom, history, moral issues, религия, свобода, традиции, христианство, people, relationship, religion, traditions on November 4, 2013 at 15:27

I should confess that I find the notion that women should cover their hair, legs or even faces extremely evil and perverse. It is nothing else but a remnant of the dark primitive times of total male domination.

Why did this domination happened to the human race in the first place? I guess just because on average males were physically stronger than average females.  It is interesting to try to imagine what would happened if the strength was equal or roles were reversed.

All the excuses like “women should cover up so they do not tempt men” are based on obvious inequality: men’s hair, proportional bodies and handsome faces could be just as attractive to women – yet men are not normally forced to cover themselves up!

Hopefully human race is growing out of the disgraceful dominance of the physically strong. I often feel the need to help this somehow. I even wanted to start a women’s movement against all this cover up business and to have members pledging never wear particular styles of scarves or skirts – as they are signs of oppression.

I really can never be a close friend to a person who willingly participate in this scarves, burkas, dresses and skirts masquerade. I don’t object people wearing whatever they want for the fun of it but I can’t accept a “moral” attitude to dress code and sickly fear of “divine” punishment for not keeping it. Neither can I feel any respect to the cultures which still enforce this ancient injustice not will I go as a tourist to countries where this is common. I boycott them and hope other self respecting individuals would do too.

We do have a dress code here in the so called West too but it is based on rational MUTUAL agreement do not display publicly any reproductive organs to avoid unnecessary distraction. As long as this is rational, doesn’t interfere with art and could be easily changed if people’s perception of each other changes in future, it’s Ok.

I don’t consider myself a feminist: this is a human rights issue.  By the contrast I am really surprised at ladies infuriated because somebody called them “flower”. Obviously the men who do this just want to please and if enough women will let them know they don’t enjoy being called “flower” nobody would do this in future.  It is also troubles me that western governments are trying to get same amount of men and women per every occupation. Having the same human rights doesn’t mean being the same. A number of women spend time doing something that men physically couldn’t: being pregnant and breastfeeding.  And good for them. Plus there are other physical and mental differences resulting in different lifestyle preferences. But nothing at all to hide on the head…

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Должна признаться, что нахожу точку зрения будто женщины обязаны покрывать головы, ноги или даже лица исключительно порочной. Такое мнение – пережиток темных времен патриархата.

Как человечество оказалось в такой ситуации? Я думаю, просто потому, что в среднем самцы были сильнее самок. Интересно представить, что бы было, если бы роли поменялись или были бы равными.

Оправдания типа “женщины должны покрываться тряпками, чтобы не смущать мужчин” базируются на вопиющем неравноправии. Симпатичные лица, фигуры и волосы мужчин могут быть так же привлекательны для женщин, однако никто обычно не требует от мужчин прятаться!

Надеюсь, что человечество в скором времени вырастет из пережитков эпохи власти физической силы. Временами мне даже хочется этому как-то помочь, например, организовать движение женщин, отказывающихся надевать определенные типы платков и юпок – тех, которые навязываются разнообразными религиями.

Я вряд ли когда-нибудь смогу быть близким другом дам, которые сознательно участвует во всех этих маскарадах. Мне совершенно все равно, что люди носят, если они это делают для собственного удовольствия, но смирится с морализмом или глупым страхом божественного наказания в этом плане я не могу. Не могу я и испытывать уважение к культурам, которыедо сих пор активно навязывают такие атавистические взгляды и ни за что не поеду отдыхать в страны, где все это происходит. Надеюсь, и другие уважающие себя женщины поступают также.

Конечно, в современных Европе и Северной Америке существуют определенные правила, касающиеся одежды, но они, в общем, уже не базируются на суевериях, устаревших книгах, страхах и вопиющем неравенстве, поэтому меня они не беспокоят. Меняется мода – меняются и правила. Это нормально.

Я не считаю себя феминисткой. Принудительные юбки и платочки – это нарушение прав человека. Права у нас одинаковые, но это не значит, что мы – одно и то же. Глупо, нгапример, пытаться набрать то же число мужчин и женщин на каждый пост. Различная биология диктует различные устремления. Вот только на голове нет ничего такого, что необходимо прятать!

Some thoughts on honesty / Пара мыслей о честности

In art, искусство, наука, ethics, творчество, философия, philosophy on October 30, 2013 at 17:15

Firstly there is a debate what is science. Is it only study of the subjects that could be described mathematically or proven in a simple experiment? What about the studies of complex systems in geography, biology, human behavior? I think it is all just about honesty. Scientific approach is the honest one. This I know, this I don’t know, this I suggest. No fairies, special dreams or unquestionable authorities.

Secondly… Apparently it is common for some professional artists, when they find out that they don’t have long to live, to destroy the artwork they think is “substandard”. I could understand when an artwork is overpainted immediately as it finished because it is disliked – it makes sence. But if it was kept for years there must be some perceived value in it, maybe only sentimental. So what? Do we bother what people think about us when we do not exist any more? Who are we fooling? What about next generation artists, depressed because they seems to have “bad painting” days while apparently “old masters” never had them?

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Часто спорят о том, что является наукой, а что нет. Якобы если изучается то, что можно однозначно описать формулой или повторить в эксперименте – это наука. Тогда непонятно, что же такое изучение сложных систем в географии, биологии, социологии и т.д. Ведь не гадание же на кофейной гуще! По-моему, научный метод – это просто честный метод. Это я знаю, это я не знаю, это я предполагаю. Никаких фантазий, видений или непререкаемых авторитетов.

Оказывается многие художники, когда узнают, что им недолго осталось жить, начинают уничтожать те свои работы, которые считают недостаточно сильными. Я могу понять, когда избавляются от только что законченного рисунка, потому, что он не нравится. Но если работа сохранена, значит что-то в ней было. Может быть, только для самого художника, но какая разница? Какое нам дело до того, что следующее поколение будет думать относительно нашей работы и наших чувств? Кого мы пытаемся обмануть, заметая следы таким образом? И как насчет молодых художников, которые будут страдать от того, что у их кумиров из прошлого никогда не было слабостей и неудач, а у них – полно?

An anchor

In about me, отношения, moral issues, people on October 30, 2013 at 00:13

In any book,  or movie,  or TV series I need at least one “hero” through whom I could connect to the story.  A generally good person in my particular understanding (who not necessarily always does good but wants to). A person with conscience.  Without him or her I feel like floating without an anchor in the story.

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В любой истории мне нужен “якорь”: хотя бы один персонаж, положительный в моем понимании. Не идеал, живой человек. Если все пеосонажи воспринимаются как отрицательные или нейтральные, ни что в истории не цепляет, читать или смотреть не буду.

In history, philosophy, politics on August 10, 2013 at 19:30

“Whereas the hard power of bullets and bayonets can win battles, it is only soft power that can win wars” – A. C. Grayling

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