What is it About Cloud Atlas? What is it About Aaron Swartz? Related? yes

by Scott Creighton

“The problem you create is a political one… There is a natural order to this world and those who try to upend it do not fare well”

So, I’m reading David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and I’ve come to understand what it is that kept U.S. corporations in Vichy Hollywood from financing the film. In a word, it’s blasphemous in it’s encompassing review of our “progress” from the days of imposing brutal slavery on not just the darker skinned less violent tribes we happened across, but also the generally weaker beings in our own societies. This is the nature and the guiding principle of corporatism; the only sanctioned religion of the Washington Consensus.

“Be that as it may, future ages will still be corpocratic ones. Corpocracy isn’t just another political system that will come and go – corpocracy is the natural order, in harmony with nature.”

At the heart of Cloud Atlas is one recurring theme: knowledge must be carefully controlled working your way up the stratified class system and completely withheld from the least of society altogether so that stability and order can be maintained.

Does this tie into the recent attempt to shut down the internet and control the sharing of information freely from one user to the next? Does this tie into the new globalist Education First program being forced on the people of the occupied neoliberal nations? Does this tie into the murder of Aaron Swartz who swore that access to knowledge must never depend on access to money and took action to see that it wasn’t?

“What if the differences between social strata stem not from genomics or inherent xcellence or even dollars, but merely differences in knowledge? Would this not mean the whole Pyramid is built on shifting sands?”

It’s one thing to create some new black cowboy hero like Django Unchained, running around cartoonishly shooting people for money and status, killing white folk like it’s going out of style as if that ends the problem of just a few greedy folks out there.

It’s another thing entirely to suggest that slavery was, is and will be again until we are forced to take a real hard look at ourselves and the things we are being taught to believe are universal truths about our species: the natural order of things.

The honored film (Django) tells us the past is as dead as the greedy plantation owner while the other, less honored even shunned film (Cloud) shows us that the root of the developing corpocracy (the New World Order and other names) is something we disingenuously convince ourselves that gave up long ago when in fact we have never abolished it and we never will if those who write the propaganda have their way. TIME called it the worst movie of 2012. Guess it struck a nerve, huh?

The book is cyclical. It starts where it ends on many different levels. It chronicles not the lives of reincarnated characters, but the history of the rise of the corporate state itself, starting with mercantilism and free trade exploitation, slavery and savagery of the imperialist nations of the world, and ends in a similar place some 600 years or so in the future on the other side of the world and ironically in the final destination of the sailing ship on which the opening diary is being written; Hawaii.

After the ultimate incarnation of the corporate state is brought down by a single assented slave with a thirst for knowledge, humanity is cast back nearly a millennium and all our social and economic “progress’ is wiped away leaving us to start all over again anew with only a single testimony from an enlightened slave to lead the way.

The journals, books, sextets… are created in one story and inspire in the next. What inspires is not a formulaic transmission of some new economic algorithm or a plan to propagandize the masses, but rather and honest recounting of our devolving humanity, shared one to another like the warnings of a devoted father to a lost son.

It is that knowledge ultimately, that heartfelt honesty, which moves each protagonist to change or to perish in pursuit.

Cloud is filled with insight and so well written that it’s hard to put down.

The format of the storytelling is riveting leaving off each story after slowly bringing you in and captivating you with it’s characters, storyline and pace. Each is a half finished book. Each a half finished love affair. A self conscious trick to be sure, but an effective and even playful one.

I will do a full review of the book once I finish it. But I thought it needed to be addressed in light of so many recent developments including that of the untimely demise of Aaron Swartz.

I cannot speak to the film version of this work. It seems a short time to fully develop these characters and a difficult presentation to expect audience members to understand in terms of having the actors playing the various roles in all of the stories.

In that regard, those who wish to marginalize the film and indeed the book, like they did with Avatar, will be given a built in theme to use: reincarnation. Like Avatar before it, a deeply subversive and important message gets lost by those who simply hear that it focuses on this issue and they disregard it out of hand not wishing to have a religious doctrine preached to them at the cost of 17.00 per ticket.

But this film is no more about reincarnation than Avatar was about green industries and “mother earth worship” but that’s enough for propagandists to marginalize them from various sectors of society who should in fact see the films.

The book is leaps and bounds ahead of many subversive novels that I have read in scope, skill, talent and insight. In many ways it is a modern version of 1984 delving more into the history and development of tyrannical corporatism than simply presenting it as a future state, which it does as well and probably more accurately than Orwell or Huxley could have in their times. There is even a reference to those two in the book which I found interesting.

Cloud Atlas shows us something that the current world as it is would rather you not see and that is why it was not made by the handful of Vishy Hollywood production companies and then run around the country in a limited and very short distribution roll-out.

That is why it was completely dismissed by the Vishy awards academies and denigrated by the various reviewers who sat uneasily watching the film deconstruct the abject vacancy of the lives they so arduously pursue.

One character in the film who just happened to be a critic was simply tossed off a balcony to set the action of the story in motion. Perhaps that is a shot at the critics they knew would invariably pan the book and the film in the future. Must have given Mitchell a chuckle to write that.

Over halfway through and I can’t recommend the book enough.

The irony of a corporate state doing their level best to shield this work (literary and film) from the public when it seems to center around the idea that ideas like this are what will eventually free us from the corporate state and the only thing that can… is not lost on me.

In the corpocracy “Union’ is the name of the terrorist threat to be feared and stamped out and if you don’t see us moving in that direction now, to borrow a bit of a phrase, then there is blind, there is willfully blind and then there is you.

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others past and present. And by each crime and every kindness we birth our future”

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62 Responses

  1. Wish the movie would come out on disc….. !!

  2. All it takes is a few eyes to gain the knowledge that the system is a fragile house of cards.

    Enough eyes open, and the house collapses…

  3. You should probably actually “watch” the film before you review it. Some of us have good reason to marginalize awful films like “Cloud Atlas” and “Avatar”.

    • What part of this did you not understand?

      I will do a full review of the book once I finish it. But I thought it needed to be addressed in light of so many recent developments including that of the untimely demise of Aaron Swartz.

      I cannot speak to the film version of this work. It seems a short time to fully develop these characters and a difficult presentation to expect audience members to understand in terms of having the actors playing the various roles in all of the stories.” Scott Creighton

      But I will tell you this right now: I would much rather pay 18 dollars to watch a film based on this script, even if they bit off more than they could chew, rather than for a film written and directed by the CIA based entirely on lies like “Dark Thirty” or “Argo”

      Plus, I have seen the work of the director of Django and the work of the people who made “Cloud” and I will tell you right now, there is no comparison between them. Quinton is a talentless hack who’s shit all looks the same and sounds the same and he thinks a big budget for fake blood and throwing the “n” word around a 100 times defines his “work” as art.

      Whereas on the other hand, the directors of “Cloud’ also made:

      The International (2009)

      V for Vendetta and The Matrix

      Honestly, what they’ve made in the past is beside the point, but I was comparing Django to Cloud in terms of accolades it’s won and the opposing messages when it comes to slavery.

      But again, like I said in the article, I was speaking of the book but my guess is, it’s not the worst film of the year like TIME claims. You may agree with TIME if you wish… that’s up to you.

      As too Avatar. Well, yes it is about a bunch of tree-hugging 9 foot cat people who just happen to be sitting on a piece of land our imperialist corpocracy covets so off go “SUPPORT THE TROOPS” to clear those pesky insurgents out of the way.

      It does show how a motivated indigenous population can thwart even the most all-powerful seeming invaders.

      It also shows that a few of the invaders can actually become the insurgents if they take the time to put themselves in the shoes of the people they are oppressing.

      Now, is that really such a horrible message when stacked up against the insidious “we maybe should stop polluting the planet and regulate big industry a little” message?

      Really?

      as too the production quality of Avatar and Cloud, I saw Avatar and the long trailer of Cloud and too be honest, they both look pretty damn good to me.

      So, I stand by what I said.

      The book isn’t about reincarnation. It’s a minor theme that runs through it in an effort to show how we are all connected, one to the other.

      What the book really says to me is: you enslave and torment others for profit and in the end, you will be enslaved and tormented yourself.

      Plus the Sonmi-451 section is pretty much the best prediction of a corpocracy future that I have read. Much better than V and Matrix and 1984 too be honest.

    • If those two themes seem to bother your senses, read this:

      “Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, (in)famously declared that “there is no such thing as society, only individual men and women” and that “economics are the method: the object is to change the soul.”

      Do I find it terribly odd that a film which professes to claim that we are all connected by each crime and kindness is overlooked by Oscar when the neoliberal revolution is showing it’s full colors and the biggest films of the year are admittedly CIA propaganda? Am I willing to cut those films a bit more slack because they dare to say something the Washington Consensus and Vichy Hollywood don’t want said? Guilty.

      • Gay man leaves lover to help, use, or be inspired by older composer to write a musical piece which won’t be heard by anyone until they’re both dead and buried.
        Robot/clone woman is attracted to superhero-Neo-type character who helps, uses, or is inspired by what he envisions to be her future worth–a voice of rebellion.
        Primitive, superstitious man comes across an alien woman from another planet who helps, uses, or is inspired by her to overcome his superstitions.
        Old, weak man is put into a high security old-folks home by his brother. He and other residents of the home escape.
        Woman reporter is comes across information which TPTB don’t want her to have. She is helped by a man who use to know her father, from those who would murder her.

        Tons of CGI, chase scenes, and mysterious encounters with people who may have been, or will be apart of their lives in the past or future. It sounds confusing, but the audience should be able to follow the story line without any problems.
        Now a movie is an interpretation of a book in this case. Not the book itself. The movie is bad. It looks like a comic-book movie that Hollywood continues to put out. The characters are superficial. The “actors” could easily have been animated with fingerpaint. It’s a bad film that deserves criticism, especially if the book is so awe-inspiring that you can’t put it down. I think it best to see the film before you start promoting it. I know the book is long, but so was Gone with the Wind and The Godfather, yet somehow they were well-made. This is not.

        • Also, “Avatar” was a piece of garbage promoting the U.S. military. If you think that it promoted dissent in the U.S. military then we saw two different films. It showed the world that there are troops that are somehow humane and thoughtful enough to lead the weak aliens to overcome the dark anomalies of the goddamned U.S. military! The whole fucking military sucks! This is not a world where you confess your sins on Sunday. It’s a world where you have a choice to sign up to be a criminal or not.
          Cloud Atlas is just as perverted in it’s ideals of a world, a universe, where some silly New Age philosophy is supposed to put you to sleep with “interconnectedness” and “oneness”, and “fate”, “destiny”, “karma”, “prophets”, “saviors”, and any other silly thing you can imagine while you’re dreaming. I don’t know what the book is like, but the idiotic film I watched was so far removed from reality that I may as well have been watching a cartoon. Sorry. I’m calming down. Sorry.

          • I mean, I seriously can’t believe you’re promoting two films from a propaganda-making machine like Hollywood?! We live in a world of free-beings making free choices. Not some mystical world of fate and destiny. There are people serving life in prison for one horrible choice. These assholes that keep signing up for the U.S. military to protect corporate interests don’t defend this country. They murder innocent people. That’s it. Government sponsored criminals that deserve to sit in prison for aiding and colluding with other criminals.
            This blog of yours discloses the truth behind the propaganda. It wakes people up. Cloud Atlas, the movie, is meant to put you back to sleep. The “spiritual” sleep of the religion.

            • Hollywood didn’t make Cloud Atlas. All of the big companies refused.

            • Relament, you sound very bitter….. sorry about that….
              but the men and women who sign up for the military have various reasons…. many go in with no idea of what is involved in these ‘wars’…. some need a job to survive….. some want a college degree and the service is their only hopes to achieve that…………. some do go to protect the US from invasion (they believe that)…. some do know the truth and go anyway….
              they are not criminals…. most are victims of the times we live in…. just like you and I…..
              I saw Avatar… and it was adult fiction, of course….. it was beautifully done and good fiction weaves in and out of reality….. the telling of a journey that relates to problems and dreams of the viewer…..and maybe it will convey a glimpse of the root of troubles to someone who is unaware… but in an non-invasive manner.
              Sorry you do not believe in a spiritual power beyond your own…. that’s what these corporate powers want you to believe…. they want you to think that ‘they’ are the almighty makers of this world and therefore ‘of your life’…..
              I don’t think you believe that….

              • I don’t sympathize with the people who sign up, by choice, for a military that is used to murder human beings in other countries. My heart is not big enough to accommodate the criminals and those who continue to give the criminals their power. I don’t appreciate gangsters, their admirers, their wives, and all who support them. I’ll save that sympathy for those fighting against the empire, not those using the empire to benefit them.
                Spiritualism, or whatever label you you want to attach to your daydreams, is exactly the type coma-inducing life that any empire would like it’s citizens to believe in. That way you can feel empowered in your fantasy world, while the real world suffers. Good for you. Billions of people believe in that lie, and feed the same lie to generation after generation. That way people actually existing in the real world will remain a minority of impotent people, unable to change things. The cyclical illusion continues while you rock back and forth in your own corner, eyes closed, happy thoughts, awaiting your dreams to come true AFTER this life is over. Good for you, good for billions of you, but some of us actually get annoyed with and insulted by these 2000 year old superstitions and fantasies which have nothing to do with reality, and continue to cripple the free beings who are actually living their ONE life of free choices.

                • Personally, I’m an atheist myself. Have been since a very young age by comparison to most. But I don’t let my aversion to institutional religion and phony spirituality keep me from appreciating things like Avatar or Cloud. Or the bible or the Koran for that matter.

                  We do share a connection to one another Relament, and we do form our future by our crimes and kindnesses. That’s not spirituality, that’s simply cause and effect.

                  I know you already gave me a rundown of what you perceived as the main messages of the various stories in Cloud Atlas and I have to say, if that is what they focused on in the film, they missed the point completely, but my guess is, they didn’t pick that book and stick with it in-spite of the fact that no Hollywood Vichy production company would touch it, just to miss the point so badly. (and I notice you chose not to reply to my last comment addressing that point that this movie is not Hollywood propaganda cus Hollywood didn’t make it).

                  So my guess is, they didn’t miss the point, you just came to a conclusion early on, and missed the point yourself, which is understandable if not unfortunate.

                  At the risk of pressing this further than I have time for, and I won’t address the claim you make of Avatar being pro-military which anyone reading this can clearly see it certainly is not, it’s anti-imperialism which is why it was panned by so many TIME magazine types, but I do want to point out one little thing in the book which you may or may not take a second to consider.

                  In the opening story there is a tribe, several tribes really, on this island where the narrator is waiting for their ship to be fixed. One tribe has no word for “war”. They have no weapons, they have no aggression. They live in harmony of sorts with their little island until another tribe from across the way on another island hears about them from slaver ships and they decide the first tribe would be an easy mark to capture and enslave them and so they do. You see, they learned the nifty trick of slavery from the Spanish and the English and Turks or whomever showed up on their shores. anyway, point is, the first tribe, stuck out on that island, they also had no name for murder. It never happened really and if it ever did, what they would do is cast the murderer out and never speak his name again and never acknowledge him as he wasted away on the island by himself. Eventually, he would take his own life at this certain hole someplace.

                  At the end of the story, or the history it follows, some 600 years after the rise and fall of the corporate mindset, we find ourselves living in tribes basically like the ones so long ago, on the islands of Hawaii.

                  Yes, there are vicious the Kona tribe who end up enslaving the others in the end, but the Valleymen, of which the main character is telling the story, are peaceful. They have no real word war, no desire for it. And in their custom, if someone kills another, he is expelled from the clan, never to be spoken to again. Left to dwell alone and ostracized for his entire life.

                  It’s not about spirituality. This is not some credo handed down by gods or aliens… it’s our nature. It’s what we are.

                  And yes, the Kona and the neoliberals and the corpocracy are also our nature. Good and evil if you like the metaphor, kindness and crime if you don’t.

                  There is a better way and it is a choice. Your argument that this film serves the corporate state by giving people a false spirituality to distract them falls apart when you understand it was NOT financed by Hollywood and has been PANNED across the board by almost everyone who serves their interests.

                • Well said, relament. Harshly, but well nonetheless.

                  The warm and fuzzy safety of an imaginary reality does provide a much needed escape from the unbearable harshness and the ugliness of the real reality. Most subscribe to a prepackaged notion of this fantasy world which they inherit from their immediate ancestors or culture, some try to expand on it and try to fit their current, so-called “modern” reality and knowledge in to age old myths, and some who are too smart and too knowledgeable to believe in myths already proven to be nonesense, just end up either creating their own, or simply keep their options fully open to any new concept that has somewhat of a heartwarming, panic-soothing wow factor.

                  This fundamental human weakness gets used and abused by every power structure… And, sadly enough, this phenomenon is not limited to the “oppressors”. As the oppressed try to free themselves from the oppression and the mindcontrol of the oppressors, they find their “salvation” in developing a new, or different, or more complex set of “daydreams” as you put it, to be able to form a level of unity, a critical mass to escape the gravity of all the old nonsense.

                  As much as I share your deep frustration with this paradigm, people like you and I (if I may group us together for this argument) are simply not compatible with any sort of mass movement, which is the only kind of movement that can make permanent change in course… The argument of “there is no magic power out there that actively effects or controls your destiny” is not really a welcoming thought.

                  And, those people whose mind maps are charted by the manufactured concepts and vocabularies of these fantasy realities of good and evil, light and dark, order and chaos, etc. easily choose what they are made to perceive as “good”, and go kill anyone and anything in pursuit of that good. I don’t know what kind of a personal history brought you to your worldview, but a lot of those people you dismiss never actually had a chance to even take a peek out the cave of shadows, let alone venture out the cave to seek truth. They don’t even know they live in a cave.

                  I know there are many psychopaths out there (naturally grown or manufactured) but I would argue that even the coldblooded perpetrators of all the killings we discuss here at American Everyman actually believe that they are serving a much bigger good than the ones their victims are dying for. And, what a twisted irony is that?

                  (i am also with you 100% regarding atlas cloud by the way)

  4. can’t wait to read.. and see~kate

  5. @willyloman: I understand, through the part of the book which you use to explain, that there is perhaps much thoughtfulness contained in Cloud Atlas: the book. It’s not on the screen. It’s a 100 million dollar “independent film” which stars Tom Hanks–the same person who wanted to produce Vincent Bugliosi’s propaganda book about JFK called “Reclaiming History”. It’s distributed by Warner Bros. It’s directed by the same person who gave us future-Jesus with “The Matrix”. It looks like every other big budget production coming out of Hollywood. It substitutes whatever sounds meaningful about the book with chase scenes, CGI effects, dull humour, empty characters, fight scenes, comic book designs, and everything else that has come to characterize the Hollywood blockbuster. But it wasn’t made in Hollywood. Yes. Could the producers of this “independent film” received financing from Bill Gates, Goldman Sacs, or Christopher Nolan? Why not? There’s nothing in the film that shakes the establishment. The audience is not given time to think at all. It’s like watching “Skyfall” for another hour, not because the content is similar, but because it follows the Hollywood cliche of the last decade—style over substance.
    We disagree about “Avatar”. I think people have become accepting of seeing the military of the U.S. in hundreds of movies, and as made up of order-followers, rogue elements, or the caring humanitarian in a uniform. I’m not getting accustomed to it. I can’t help but to reject it, while feeling as though the next generations are being conditioned to accept it. In addition, generations are learning to accept being apart of the U.S. military themselves. I’m not speaking just about the poor kid who is turned on by “adventure”, but scientists, engineers, linguists, etc., whatever specialized profession one applies to. You can’t “support the troops” while being against the empire, because TPTB wouldn’t have any power if it weren’t for these volunteers supporting them.

    @Lilaleo: Thank you:) You bring up an excellent point with the analogy of the cave. Is it so, that they are still thinking the shadows on the wall are real, these people promoting religious ideals? Having forgotten the experience in the cave completely, I just don’t know if they are delusional or lying? If delusional, then how are they able to function? If lying, then why? Why would they lie? The question irritates the mind to no end, in my view.

    • I have pondered that question most of my life myself, relament.

      The best answer I could come up with is that delusional and lying are not mutually exclusive. People seem to lie to the intellectually inferior, and adopt a delusional posture towards the superior (in complexity only) minds and dogmas…

      So, my answer is: ONION…. You peel and peel off the layers to see what is inside, but there is nothing there… Because it’s all onion!!!

      You lie to the outer, more disposable layers, but you hold on to the ones under you for dear life… Because they are your only connection to the “heart” of the onion..

      When religion is considered without the element of “necessity”, it certainly feels evil, manipulative, hypnotic, pacifying, incendiary, etc. but, it serves a very important function of filling up the unknown, and explaining it all away with myths and fantasies. My conviction is that, since we shall never know “everything”, there shall always be some fantasy explanation of things to fill that gap. We used to think gods were up the mountain, down the ocean, then they went up in the sky, stars, moon, now it is the universe…. A mind bogglingly intricate and massive energy system, all presumably put in motion, so that little organisms like us can decide what to eat, whom to kill, and what day of the week we work or rest

      Bleh… They drive a person nuts, don’t they??? Especially if you’re not in to onion at all. Thanks relament.

  6. All you non believers… how dare you! Fuzzy minds? Some of our best minds were firm believers in God…
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
    Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: “Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.” This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: “I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” Einstein’s famous epithet on the “uncertainty principle” was “God does not play dice” – and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

    Here are a few more: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html

    God gives people a choice… God does not promote war…
    people who interpret what they think God says (?)… put their own ideas into verse….
    dark vs light? magic? What crap!
    Understanding The God who created the universe is an on going study…. the Bible is old…. and should be considered so…. with respect……
    the world was not made in 7 days…. it constantly remakes itself…..
    and so do you….
    we are all connected….

    • Jan, citing a physicist or philosopher’s belief concerning gods, angels, their view of an agent responsible for some harmony of design in their own mind, whatever, doesn’t mean these things exist. You don’t have to be dumb to believe in fairy tales. You’re not dumb, physicists aren’t dumb, children aren’t dumb, yet the lie continues and has been for far, far, too long. It really makes for individual detachment and disconnectedness to remain prevalent, not the other way around, in my view.

      • Relament, citing your disbelief concerning God does not mean that God is not real.
        You have no respect for opinions other than your own. You relate to fairy tales? good for you. You seem so fearful that maybe God is real that you have to infer that maybe believers aren’t really dumb? How arrogant of you. And your lie continues.. to your self.

  7. To all of you non-believers..
    How dare you! Fuzzy minds?!
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
    Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: “Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.” This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: “I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” Einstein’s famous epithet on the “uncertainty principle” was “God does not play dice” – and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
    and here are a few more:
    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html

    • Dear jan10. I am really sorry that we aggravated you a little with our exchange with relament. It was by no means my intention.

      Just like “you believers”, “us nonbelievers also come in many flavors… So, lets not go to the “you all non-believers” place so fast… As I was trying to say in my post, I do not have a condescending view of believers (some of my best friends are believers, as they say ;-) and I have stopped antagonizing them to prove them wrong just around my mid 30s. I understand the need, and I respect it.

      I would rather not get into old debate points about Einstein’s dice. Been there many times, never seen anyone win or lose that argument, let alone convince the other side.

      I consider his answer as a genius way of putting it to an interviewer who could not possibly comprehend what could be going through this genus’ mind. If I can refer you to my onion analogy, he just catered to the outer layer basically.

      But, at best, it is a well known fact that scientists who go where no man has gone before, and consequently become aware of a so called “order” to things so intricate, so complex that they often compare that great moment of awe to facing god in the face. Surely, Einstein, who probably had the most complex understanding of the universe as they knew it then, must have felt the insignificance of a human being in the greater scheme of things that he helped explore…. And assuming that he did indeed attribute this to god, who could even say what he actually meant by that simple three letter word that we use so easily to identify our own concept of it.

      The truth is, I doubt that there are even two individuals in this world that can come to a 100% agreement as to what god is, what god does, why god does what he does. The concept of god is just a liquid that fills your vessel, irrespective of your vessel’s size and shape… If you can take more, that concept can fill it all.

      I have no intention to antagonize you or anyone else for their beliefs. It’s what they do with those beliefs is what really counts.

      • I don’t think Einstein was a caterer to others needs.
        And if you think believing in God fills a ‘need’ , then you certainly don’t understand.
        and what have you done with your disbelief?
        I don’t like being called fuzzy minded or some one who plays with magic…. or implying that my vessel is just a vacant area with only a concept of liquid to satisfy it.
        anyone who does not believe in a higher power, is Ok with me…
        your life is yours and I am sure you demonstrate kindness and patience with all believers.

        • Jan10, once again, I apologize if my words offended you. It was certainly not my intention, and I should have probably not even commented on the subject of god on this site where I come for sharp analysis of and reporting on fact-based-phenomenon.

          You are taking my words extremely personally, and often out of context. So, I will respectfully remove myself from this argument, which will most certainly go nowhere that can be deemed as beneficial. Not to mention that I would definitely like to maintain the civil and friendly and cordial relationship we have developed on these pages.

          But I can’t help pointing out…. I say “warm and fuzzy” and you take it as I am sang your mind is fuzzy? Really? I did not stand a chance there of not upsetting you, did I?

          Still love ya… All 70 years of ya… :-) god be my witness.

          • LOL… yes, I want to keep open our ‘internet’ friendship…. I have enjoyed many of your comments..
            but, I am 73….. and like I said before, these last three years have made me more cranky… as if I now have that ‘right’.. I should wear a warning sign,,, “Beware, don’t tread on me. I am seventy-three”. :)
            still love ya also……

            • Phew…. That’s a relief… Because I had already confessed to my wife that “there is a girl on the Internet I sometimes chat with”,,,, :P

              Thanks for not letting god come between us.

    • Sorry about these repeats… i tried to post the comment 4 or 5 times and wordpress sent it to the ‘hold’ bin… I guess those who believe in God are considered dangerous in these times. :(

      • They are dangerous, as has been proven over and over, for centuries and centuries…

        • Yeah, like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. right?

          • To even imply that they aren’t, is either an ignorance of history and the present world we live in, or a willful neglect of it. If the believers of gods and promoters of worship were not dangerous, then who on earth would mind what they believe?

            • Tell me something… you think religion brought down the twin towers or was that greed and lust for power? You think we are in Iraq because of religion? How about Afghanistan? You think the Clinton administration killed a half million Iraqi kids with sanctions for religion and Hilter moved over Europe and into the Soviet Union for religion?

              Perhaps you think we fired bombed Japan’s wooden cities for 30 days and then dropped two atomic weapons on them just for the fun of it because of religion.

              Perhaps you think the whole Operation Gladio was because of religion.

              Or the similar operation in Latin America.

              Maybe you think we installed Pinochet and Suharto because of religion as well. Shit, that’s a million dead right there. Explain which religion that was. I’m dying to hear this.

              One more thing… how about that whole global sub-prime bubble which is changing every single social democracy into a neoliberal fascist state and killing untold millions in the process.

              Why don’t you tell me which fucking religion is doing that?

              and don’t ever presume to come here and tell me about current events and history.

              If you think ANY of the shit going on right now in this country and across the world is over religion, you’re an idiot. Pure and simple.

              And that comes from an atheist. And I will tell you something else… I am sick to death of arrogant jackasses giving atheists a bad name by acting like they are smarter than everyone else simply because they figured one thing out differently than someone else.

              Hitchens was a dick and a racist warmongering sycophant globalist. You might take a lesson from his approach. There’s much to be learned from everyone from every culture and the day you forget that or reject it out of hand, is the day you stop moving and the mildew sets in.

              I’ve been pleasant about this long enough. Probably longer than I should while you call people “fuzzy minded” for holding a belief system dear to them. You want to yank shit out from people because you are soooo much smarter than they are, be my guest asshole, but not here. Fuck off.

              • knock knock, sorry do not want to bother, but has anybody seen Ayn Rand? Or some of her followers perhaps?

              • Wow! Okay…

                • Hey, still better then Hillary – ever heard of vagina dente? Or why do you think Bill is substituting with a cigar?

                • Please address the current events I listed above since you said people who don’t understand religion’s role in these current events are “ignorant” or “willfully neglectful”

                  And you can start by assessing how each one, take them in chronological order if you wish, in terms of your last comment to the other reader (and I quote)

                  “I suspect that confused thought pulls the trigger of every gun, and that confused thought is the outcome of religious thought.” relament

                  Be my guest.

                  My guess is you can’t and there is good reason for that… because most of the deaths of this century, the murders committed one nation to another or by nations killing their own people, have absolutely nothing to do with religion.

                  Unless of course you are talking about the religion of self. Then you might have an argument.

              • yes, I think relament would have a hard time with your list, but what about the founding of the state of Israel and Israels expansionism???

                • you think that is about religion and not money and power?

                  Settlers are given a home they could never afford in Israel or America or somewhere else, but ONLY if they “settle” in occupy lands and stick it out for 10 years. Yeah, that would attract some crazed assholes who are religios zealots, that’s true. But take that home out of the picture, you think they would be there?

                  So what’s it really about?

                  Same thing with Israel not wishing to set the borders of Palestine in stone. They keep finding more things they wish to dig out of someone else’s land. It’s not religion. I know a lot of jews, here and in Israel, who say the same thing.

                  Zionism isn’t Judaism. In fact, Zionism is in strict contrast to the teachings of the Torah which says there must never be a “jewish homeland”. You should know that.

                • sure I know, it was an opportunity to get an answer about something many are still confused about and you do that better then me. : )

                • But one thing I do’nt understand – the ideology you were talking about on the radio show, stemming as it may from Rand – how is that not a religion? Or the Friedmanites, the neoliberals how are they different from Augustine of Hippo establishing the catholic church and infant baptism? A stretch maybe, but deliberate imposition is the cornerstone of religion, as much as it is the cornerstone of globalized free market doctrine – right? What has God to do with Religion – a benevolent God is to be found in the Bible as much as real opportunity is found in the throughs of free market makeovers.
                  but since this is late in the day, a question to all christian catholic american males out there: ¨Why are you circumcized? Augustine after calling out catholicism as state religion, forbid circumcision – jews caught circumcizing christians were punished with death. For hundreds of years afterwards, jews where severly punished for circumcizing christians… Protestants had no doctrine or law of circumcision either and neither do mormons…

        • Don’t wanna seem to be playing a double side game here, but, relament, especially if you believe that religion and god are notions made up by mankind (jan, could you please leave the room for a sec ;-) it is obvious that religion does not kill people, people kill people. Yes, religion does perpetuate certain sentiments, but I have seen whole empires drop their belief systems at the drop of a hat when it suits their political and worldly interests.

          Religion is what you make it to be. It soothes you when you are alone, scared and hopeless, gives you strength to fight what you consider as “evil”, helps you survive, just as much as it helps you kill or get killed.

          There has been many a religion that sought to achieve peace and harmony inside and out, with philosophical concepts so complex that it requires a lifetime of studying (not worship) to comprehend.

          Almost all have perished under the swords of the predatory tribes and their predatory religions, and the ones that survived had to go underground many layers deep to maintain the faint flame of knowledge and pass it on to future generations, for a chance to revive it….

          The history of religion Is actually the history of a million tribes fighting for survival and dominance. So, I feel there is really no point in being a fish, and at the same time hating being wet.

          Jan, you can come back now… :-P

          • If you allow for invisible beings to be acceptable, respected, and protected then you allow for political manipulation. Because that’s all religion is isn’t it? It’s politics. The most primitive of politics. I suspect that all religions find their origins in tribal leaders wishing to remain in control of individual free beings through the use of peer pressure, marginalizing the individual who does not wish to be a follower and does not require a leader.
            I suspect that the supposed complexities of religious thinking is really a camouflage of Machiavellian political power being retained and sustained to the demise of the truly free being.
            I suspect that confused thought pulls the trigger of every gun, and that confused thought is the outcome of religious thought.
            So long as adults communicate to children, then it is perhaps one’s ethical duty to confront the comfortable place that religious thought thrives upon, just because this world has had enough of it, and the next generations don’t deserve it.
            There is hardly an excuse for religion, in my view.

            • Relament, you are invisible…. I cannot see you or hear you.. I have no proof that you are who you say you are…. you are connected by a vast link of cables and electricity and wiggly air waves… and I can’t see them either. Yet there you are and here we are. The entire world can be connected on the internet….can you imagine? OK…. so can you understand that the internet is still a very primitive and slow form of communication……. is it hard (or scary, in your case) that it is possible that the frequency of God can hear your battery charged mind anytime God chooses?

              Confused thoughts? You have plenty… hope you don’t own a gun…
              and btw,
              If you allow presidents and congressmen to be acceptable, respected, and protected, then you allow for political manipulation. Because that’s all politics is isn’t it? It’s politics.

          • You know I can’t leave the ‘room’…… :(
            … God helps you see your world in a different way…… brings a peace within…. everything and everyone is unique and yet the same……… in times of trouble, faith gives strength …. you still cry and feel pain….
            I’m actually not a fish…. if you mean being a human and hating my environment……that doesn’t seem to make any sense…. doesn’t make any true ‘point’ can you explain that please? :)

            • I was in a rush and made the point about the fish a little too clumsily. It was to comment on Relament’s zero tolerance for religious belief of others… (We had already established that neither he nor I have any ourselves) and I was trying to say “if we are human ourselves, there is no point in disowning and rejecting a phenomenon that is so integral to human existence in general”

              And, I categorically disagree that religion is the cause of all Wars, killings and destruction. Carrying on the water theme, that would be like saying water has been the cause of all floods, destruction, and deaths by drowning… Therefore, water is not good….

              Thats just wrong… Cuz it certainly makes a good cup of tea.

              • You know what? I railed on relament because I am damn tired of suffering fools on this site, and I’m not going to do it anymore. That “angry atheist” routine may be where he/she is in his development and that’s fine, but I was there when I was 14 years old and I learned quickly enough to snap the fuck out of it. I’m tired of handling people with kid gloves. I have given up far too much running this site with my real name associated with it to let some anonymous kid come in here and berate other readers for their spiritual beliefs.

                Religious intolerance is the same exact thing when it is done by an atheist or a Jew or a Muslim or a Christian, and I just won’t have it. Any of it. And once Mr. Relament comes to the understanding that he is becoming EXACTLY what he professes to hate, then he/she will be much better off. That was my less than subtle point when I mentioned that war-mongering Islamaphobe Christopher Hitchens to him.

                • I hear you, Scott.

                  A major common symptom of both “believing” and “not believing” seems to be a certain sense of superiority and arrogance over the other side. As you, I have also suffered from that in my younger years when I thought that all these believers were outright “dumb” and I was so darn smart myself. Only to realize that my understanding of the true nature of religion in general was very distorted, misguided and very very coarse and incomplete at the time. Not to mention tat it is a very self serving line of thought, because proving to yourself over and over again that “others” are wrong, makes you feel that you are all the more right…

                  This whole thing certainly refreshed my memory of how disappointed and frustrated I used to come out of these intellectual discussions of religion. And I have been in many… I don’t remember a single person nudging their opinion by even an inch at the end of any of them. Not a winnable subject at all this religion thing

                  But, I don’t think other people’s (our) posts reflect badly on you and your name association as long as you post a short comment disagreeing with the position of the commenter. Sometimes this is so blatantly obvious, that you probably don’t even need to do that.

                  I feel you have done a fantastic job in firmly grounding this site on top of solid, factual, logical analysis of world events, psyops, propaganda… Nothing a few off the wall comments can tarnish.

                  Btw… Even though I feel I have figured out all sides to huge concepts like god and religion…. I hear Malala is getting a titanium skull…. I don’t know what to make of that… :-)

                  • She doesn’t need a titanium skull. She supposedly got shot in the head at close range by a high powered rifle and all I saw on her was a scratch and a few photoshopped images that accentuated the blimishes in her skin tone. Hell, a shot just like that killed a world class boxer a couple months ago and little Love Malala just gets a tiny little scratch on her temple?

                    Shit, she should go into MMA fighting with a skull like that.

                • comment detained by WP

            • Oh… Btw… You know that the room thing was a joke of course, right?

              I hope you never leave the room.:-)

              • Careful…. I’m in a very cranky mood today…..
                I’m still trying to ignore your use of “phenomenon” in reference to religion throughout times…
                I know you couldn’t help using the almost hidden ‘cut’, sort of like a curled thin smile….

                Going to start calling you Leo…. some times you sound like a Lila though…..

  8. Just got home from my simple but exhausting job, and there in the mailbox was the CD I ordered from Amazon with the Christmas gift card I got from the kids—-Trudell’s Fables and Other Realities.

    I was going to lay down and give it a listen right after I checked out the net, but now I see I got some work to do first—like, dust off these paintings and sweep out the cave.

    Next gift card I get, I’m going to spend on Cloud Atlas.

    r ap

    • Someone kindly purchased the copy I have with an Amazon gift card as it just so happens and I still have one from Amazon that I received for Christmas that I just can’t find anything I really want to get with it. So, I am going to pay it forward as they say and order you a copy of the book tomorrow. Neat how that works ain’t it?

      • Very neat, and kind!

        Most grateful,

        r

        • De nada. Do me a favor and save me a trip back to the house and send Jan your email and snail mail addresses so I can put that through now, if you don’t mind. Thanks. It’s a good book. Certainly interesting and keeps you on your toes as you read it. I like the changing genres.

  9. I know I’m a bit late on this one but having now read the book and watched the film I thought I would comment.

    A review of the film on IMDB summed it up rather succinctly:

    “If you haven’t read the book you won’t understand the film and if you’ve read the book you won’t like the film.”

    For the me the book is extremely profound in it’s scope and magnitude whilst the film is a dull confused dumbed down ‘Hollywoodised’ version of the book.(regardless of who funded it)

    Ghostwritten is another great book by the same author which deals with the concepts of chance and fate. It’s a novel in nine parts (nine short stories that make up a novel) One of the characters from Cloud turns up in the Ghostwritten and someone in the book has a birthmark the shape of a comet. Conceptual continuity ?

    Keep up the great work Scott.

    Thanks

    • “If you haven’t read the book you won’t understand the film and if you’ve read the book you won’t like the film.”

      that’s perfect. I couldn’t agree more.

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