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December 11, 2012
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A week or so ago, I read this article that made me laugh and yet feel so sad. Seems there is a guy from India who is in exile and may serve prison time for blasphemy. What he did was investigate what was making a statue of Jesus "weep". Supposedly water is dripping from this statue and people are drinking this "Holy Water" in hopes it will cure their ailments. Tragically, the water is sewage that is seeping up from a leaking pipe! But when this man reported on his findings, the religious were incensed and want him thrown in prison!!!!
I find the story so....well perfectly metaphorical.
beforeitsnews.com/christian-ne…
I sent this news story to a person I knew, who claims to be very anti church, and it started an email exchange which much to my dismay went ass over teakettle down the hill.
I often post rather anti-religious rants on here. Without going into a long blog about my past life, how I was raised, and my growth as a rational human being...suffice it to say, I am at LEAST agnostic, if not atheist. So, I followed the "weeping Jesus" story with a reference to Stephen Hawking's thoughts on "There is no God".

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L7VTd…

Much to my dismay and surprise, I got THIS response:

"Like Stephen Hawkins, you live in a crippling reductionistic reality defined and limited by materialistic physics, which we all know came into being from an unknown defying all the supposed absolutes such theorists postulate. I will pray no such crippling disease affects you, although you too propose a mechanical unfeeling life.
You are free to drown yourself in the swirl of a mere molecular mindset of binary code and bio mechanical engineering. I will walk on the water."

Let me state from the onset, I'm really happy...TRULY happy. I have a great life, for which I am ever so grateful. I have a fabulous daughter and a brand new baby boy. I love and adore my beautiful (inside and out) wife. I love what I do and I do what I love.
NO...it isn't always easy and, matter of fact, most of the time it's pretty tough. I put in long hours and spend ridiculous amounts of time in my studio but I CHOOSE to be positive, happy, and always striving to make it all better.
So when I get such an accusatory, condescending, and self righteous note...it makes me sad. I feel sorry for the person who sent it. It also just reinforces my view of the religious.
Judgement and arrogance disguised as compassion, is a congregation of the narcissistic. A "we know better" club which prays for those for unfortunate non members.

Then there was this quote from that same email:

"All the years spent disrespecting the sanctity of women and profiting from your abusive objectification of them, have now come back to haunt you and you find yourself dependent upon such a beauty for your welfare. Yet even now you claim no righteous judge rules the universe with compassionate concern for all. Will you not learn a lesson?"

This is a rather common dissertation from the religious. So much assumption is made about how I feel regarding women when people view my work when the truth is my work reveals what lies beneath in the viewer. When someone views a photo of a naked woman and calls me a "pervert" or says I "abusively objectify women", it reveals the feelings that arose in THEM when they saw that image. There is NEVER any question asked of me regarding what I FELT when I shot the image. No one ever says,"What was it about this image that you found compelling?". The religious just rant about the images and in doing so, reveal their own discomfort at what is inside them.
And just to set the record straight, the nudes I have shot have cost me a tremendous amount of time and money without a single penny earned. I work hard for every cent and have strived to build a photography business in a tremendously competitive market place.

But back to Stephen Hawking. In view of our place in the Universe, I find immense peace and comfort in my own insignificance. None of us, not even the greatest of us who have ever lived, commands a nanosecond of importance. Isn't it a relief to know we are all star stuff and unimportant and yet every atom from which we are made will go on? Individually insignificant, yet part of the ultimate significance of the existence of the universe!!
I was hang gliding one day out in the California desert, 8,000 feet above the valley floor when an F-15 fighter jet blew by (and under) my right wing. I  had just been thinking about how tiny and insignificant I was up there and what joy and peace I got from that feeling. The jet certainly drove home the point! I wept, I laughed, and if I believed in angels I would have heard them sing. It was an AWESOME, AMAZING experience.
Coming to accept our own insignificance gives us the freedom to love, to create, and to take responsibility and joy in the eye blink of a life we have. It allows us to revel in the ULTIMATE importance of here and now! So during these holidays and all throughout the year, let's all strive to live life to the fullest. To love what we have and laugh every chance we get.

I feel sad that this person views me in such a way because it only reveals what is inside her.
But…for my part… I will continue to live, love, and laugh. I often tell my friends,"I'm sorta like a puppy. I just love everybody and wanna hump their legs!"

Happy Holidays to all you other puppies! I'm off to have an Asahi! (yea - I switched beers!)
  • Listening to: the hum of the G5
  • Drinking: Heineken
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:iconjames-is-james:
James-Is-James Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The jet thing sounds scary - what about turbulence?
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Apr 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
I was above it. The danger is below and out to the sides. But easy enough to turn and run!! :)
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:icondaniel-west:
Daniel-West Dec 15, 2012  Professional Photographer
I must stop by and have a visit with you...we are kindred spirits. You are more articulate than I, but our thoughts on the universe are very similar.

I'm coming down to Baja leaving the Bay area on the 30tht and arriving in Mexico on the 31st. We leave Mexico on the 5th, and hope to be back in the Bay area on the 6th. Perhaps there is time to stop by and throw back a beer :)

I feel certain that you, myself and my girlfriend would have some very lively conversations!

Cheers my friend. I'm currently tipping back a Bass Ale...
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Dec 17, 2012  Professional Photographer
Best to email me @ Michael@Michael Helms.com
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Dec 17, 2012  Professional Photographer
Sounds great. We'll be around and would love to see ya. We have a spare room if you'd like to stay over night and shoot in the studio here, too.
Let me know what dates work best for ya.
M
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:iconsmilinsheckyrimshot:
SmilinSheckyRimshot Dec 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
When people start with "Stephen Hawkins" I already know they're an idiot.
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:icononewingedjade:
I learned an important lesson the other day. I found out that the portal that single socks get warped into during the laundry process was actually just the floor beneath the dryer, littered with stray socks.
Moral of the story, when we can't explain something, our minds come up with ridiculous ideas to help us cope with what we don't understand. And like unseen villians in horror movies, it's never as dramatic as we initially expected. And when people all start to agree about this one crazy idea and feel some sort of bond over it, we have religion.
I'm sure there's some cult online dedicated to the black hole behind the dryer.
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:iconfrijolehijo:
FrijoleHijo Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
dont know why, but I just had an itch to listen to "wish you where here" by Pink Floyd after reading this lol
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:iconjusticex:
You don't disrespect women, you celebrate them. Do not let anyone tell you differently. It is a sad fact that here in North America we live with a "conservative majority" and that the human body along with human sexuality is seen as "bad" or "disgusting". It is a part of who we are and the sooner that people realize and accept this, the better off society will be.
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:iconmortuelle:
I have to agree with you, I feel sorry for the lady. Not because of the things she says, but because her words reveal how much confusion is going on in her heart and mind. And how envious she must feel of others who have sorted their lives out and who, despite all difficulties, feel proud of what they achieve everyday. Otherwise, her words would be different. She will walk on the water? I hope she will. On the religion subject, I always believed that when you get argumentative, the point is lost cause it's all about faith. All you can discuss is the different views, practices etc and you can surely question the motives of preachers and relative phenomena. But in the end, faith is so very personal and it depends on the individual's personality if his faith will take him one step forward or many steps backwards. I won't bother to comment on the art issue. As faith soothes on one level, art pleases on an other level. If neither works, then one should reconsider.
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