Recent exploits and opinions 20190211

It feels like this post needs a little preamble. I started writing this post in the very early days of 2019, but for a number of reasons and a series of interruptions it took me quite a while to finish. This is going quite a bit against my intentions concerning this blog and these Recent Exploits posts, and the challenge will be to learn ways to be more productive and write more effortless. I hope this will be an exciting undertaking and result in content people will enjoy to read. Events that have transpired in the meanwhile will feature in the next post which, hopefully, will be coming about a bit more swiftly. 

We’re well into the new year, without me having indulged into any New Years post… The following deals with last year, actually, but I am not about to embark on a a full recount of the bygone year – you can get a decent overview of my 2018 hijinks by reading through previous posts, unsystematic as that may be – but merely at the most recent items of noteworthyness… and only those, that took place since the last post in early November. Believe me, it wasn’t supposed to take that long….

But…

           …well…

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The Week that was/The Weeks that were – Lisbon and the aftermath. 15.07. & 22.07.2018

“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”… I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Churchill speak those words, but it must have been often. This week, more precisely Friday, I heard them again.

 

Whenever I hear them they are usually followed by the intro riff to Aces High, one of THE classic Iron Maiden tunes. The same Friday July 13th. With a difference. Usually, when I hear them, I’m listening to a recording, most of the time the classic 86 live album Live after Death. This time I heard it stood in the middle of a crowd of fellow Maiden fans and the band which I’ve absolutely adored in my very early teens, and which I still proudly count among one of my favourite bands, were live on stage at Lisbon’s Altice Arena. It was a great experience!
But before going into any more detail about the concert (and I’m  not going to write a full review anyway), let’s look back a bit further, all the way to that first Sunday (July 8th), when the location for the Week that Was was being set! It’s worth mentioning at this point – I didn’t want to spoil the intro – that at the time this is being finished and published we’re speaking of the Week that Was previous to the week that just was. Sometimes that’s how it goes.

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Of otherworldly realms and the humans who imagine them

Living with Gods at the British Museum and Imagining the Divine at the Ashmolean Musem.

– reflections on a visit.

Recently I visited two interesting exhibitions dealing with the more material dimensions of religion, or maybe faith, which together made for an educational venture into a realm of the human condition which is both, fascinating as well as hard to grasp, especially as it is not always easily separated from the follies (and worse things) that humans often commit in its name. And yet there is a lot there to offer even to the nonbeliever: art, stories, philosophy, community… even, I believe, insights into what makes us human.
I should probably mention at this point that I am not a very religious person myself. (More elaborations on that maybe in a future post!) So you won’t be reading an exhaustive testimonial to faith, or ongoing praise for a single deity in what follows.
I do, however, find religions a rather interesting subject matter, because some form of supernatural thinking, ideas, stories or symbolisms that we consider as religious, as magical or as myth has been a part of our species, our cultures for a – historical, if not evolutionary – long period of time. And it has, without doubt, immensely influenced the cultural, political, social, etc., development of humankind.

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