A submission.

Consider this.

Why did we have to create a universal father figure or mother figure and spend all our energy weaving tales around them, creating abodes for them and seeking to find them there, and hoping to lead us to our very end? Why do we need gods? Is it not enough to be a believer, believing that we have roles to play, be they trivial or precious, and being acutely aware of this and seeking a place to fit in?

The universe is the playground and magic is the game. Some try performing the magic. Others watch it unfold. A few reveal the magic. The magicians and the spectators both are equally precious for the act to continue.


What a world we live in

A submission by Prof. Nimsay.

What a world we live in.

We’ve got civil wars, nuclear bombs, racism, sexism, discrimination, greed and selfishness. Not to mention immense, irreversible pollution, global warming, wrecked environments, shattered ecosystems and innumerable extinct and endangered species. No, seriously, this is some planet we’re living on.

I got an Instagram account recently and discovered this account called @hotvocals. The profile says ‘singing and inspirational videos’. So I went to go look through them.

There were videos on kids in Syria. On kids who’d been sent to foster care because their parents are being deported. On refugee children who lived lives full of suffering and were separated from their families.

How can you do this to them? How can you make claims that we’re a civilised planet, that we’ve accomplished so much, that we can do so much, but yet we have rotten cores? We tear apart cities, but we build them again in advertisements. Everything seems so superficial.

We consider ourselves a comprehensive, advanced society, do we not? I mean, there are people who do so many things, and are successful and achieve so much. We have motivational speakers who jet around the world giving speeches about unity and peace and so on. We have presidents who make grandiose statements about what they promise to do.

And we have a five year old child in Syria, begging for a little water to drink.

Everywhere, people face so much difficulty. And there are so many who do nothing about it. Half the rich people in the world don’t bother about the staff they have. Why should they care? They aren’t expected to worry about the millions of starving refugees. But if they did, wouldn’t they be able to help so much? If they extended even a pinky finger of help, they’d be able to provide for so many people.

So why don’t they?

Unfortunately, this world is way too full of greed and selfishness. That’s why the whole thing started, didn’t it? Because people were too greedy to be content, and too selfish to settle things on their own. One of my favourite Calvin strips is this one where Calvin asks his dad how soldiers killing each other was supposed to solve the world’s problems. His dad doesn’t answer, just stares at Calvin for a while. In the last panel, Calvin says, “I think grownups just act like they know what they’re doing.” Now if that isn’t accuracy, what is?

What do we still have to fight for? What do we still have to blow up cities for? What do we still have to gun down women and children for? People just give obscure answers. Everyone has been so blinded, so manipulated that they don’t even question anymore. Why do soldiers need to fight and kill each other and lose their lives while taking away others? Why? Does anyone even have an answer anymore? Why can’t the leaders of armies, or world leaders, or anyone who is in conflict just hash it out with each other? Why must you involve so many people, make innocents suffer, throw an entire country into chaos and bear so many losses? Why are you doing that? It’s not the only way. And it’s not like charging at each other and blowing up everything and everyone is getting you anywhere, is it?

So many wars that are going on now are a result of people being selfish and stubborn and letting things get out of hand. And it’s ended up in constant riots and protests and deaths. For all the world leaders who propagated peace and unity, rubbish. You think sending ten year olds off to war and storming an innocent woman’s home is peace?

All the people who were unwillingly dragged into war do not deserve to live their lives in terror and suffering. They do not deserve to struggle for basic necessities. They do not deserve to lose their child when a boat capsizes. They do not deserve to lose everything they have. They don’t deserve to be put into this kind of situation. And this is why I think governments and world leaders are selfish, because they continue pulverising and destroying without caring for their citizens. They just go on bombing and blasting without a shred of concern for the consequences. And in the end, it’s the innocent people whirled into the fray who get hurt and lose the most.

What happened to humanity?

It takes a really heartless person to cause suffering to a child. Won’t it weigh on their conscience? Apparently not.

Give the children a chance. Give them the life they deserve. Don’t take it away.

Part Two, A Plea

Submitted by this same architect, and a continuation of the first piece.

Good buildings, like good food, should be made and presented to the delight of all human beings capable of a true sense of appreciation.

Should, then, delight be only visual?

The art of appreciation of space could arise from being conscious of a temperature difference due to light and shade, or an awareness of scale, heights and space caused by reflection of sound and echoes heard, or pure pleasure felt by a heightened sense of smell and touch.

Good architecture must strive to satisfy all senses, apart from the visual sense, to express grandeur and create awe. It is then that it can hope to transcend all barriers of culture, context, age and time, and be equally enjoyed by all human beings with alternate senses of experiencing delight.

A Plea for Aesthetic and Technical Liberation

Submitted by an architect. With extracts from other writing.

Tjibaou Cultural Centre, by Renzo Piano

There is something magical about architecture, something more than that which is rational or functional. Something that dominates. Something that imposes.


Tjibaou Centre, interior

There is a poetic dimension to this. It is a pure creation of mind that goes beyond the utilitarian, that which is governed by emotional relationships, and whose components are light and shadow, wall and space.

Architecture is a thing of art, a phenomenon of emotions, lying outside and beyond questions of construction. The purpose of construction is to make things hold together; of architecture, it is to move us. The engineer, inspired by economy and governed by mathematical calculations, puts us in accord with universal law. He achieves harmony. The architect, by his arrangement of forms, realises an order which is a pure creation of spirit, by forms and shapes. He affects our senses to an acute degree and provokes our emotions; by the relationship he creates, he wakes profound echoes in us, he gives us the measure of an order which we feel to be in accordance with that of our world. It is then that we experience a sense of beauty.

Ysios Bodega, by Santiago Calatrava

Untitled, No. 1

A submitted article by Logan Elmer.

I have come to the conclusion that life as we know it is a lie. No matter what you do, you will always be doing something wrong. To this point, you should live life the way that you wish. Don’t let anyone tell you how to live it. While this may sound like a piece of obvious advice; many people don’t follow it. Actually, I believe that few can actually fathom it.

You then run into the issue of what you yourself want to do with your life. At this time of my writing; I myself have no idea what I want to do with my life. I have chosen the life of a video game journalist in the hopes that I can get through this mortal coil with some small piece of happiness. I don’t think it’s easy to find what you wish to do with your life. We are brought up being told that after we graduate high school, we should go to college and find a good job that will allow us to build a life. What if there is no depth to that plan? What are you going to study? Are you going to be happy doing whatever you choose to do? These are the important questions that we should be taught to ask ourselves. Instead, we are thrown into this simple path that doesn’t help anyone find a happy way through life.

On top of that, you have the added stress of college debt that gives these decisions even more weight. What if I pick the wrong career? What if…I end up unhappy? I have come to the conclusion that life as we know it is a lie. No matter what choice you make you are running the risk of being unhappy. The way that current children are being brought up will do nothing but continue this unsatisfying path through life. Unfortunately, I don’t have a solution. All I can do is write down what I am noticing. Hopefully when I read through this sometime in the future I will have noticed some sort of change. Maybe even my outlook on life will have changed and I will find these observations inaccurate. Until that day, here’s hoping for the future.