so it turns out i have been to two places called paris this year - one in france (which no doubt you have all heard of) and one in canada (which you may not have). here's a shot of the paris in ontario...
it was fantastic to be able to watch the final stage of the 100th tour de france on the champs elysées yesterday. chris froome rode a fantastic tour and totally deserved to win. when we first started watching the tour many years back it was unthinkable that a brit might win the tour and now we have won two in a row with different winners ! quite remarkable... have just got back on an early train and now heading off for a cms pioneer training week on new testament with john drane.
adam curtis and robert del naja were interviewed last night on bbc 6music by mary anne hobbs. the full interview was aired on stuart maconie's freak zone. it will be up on iplayer for the week and begins at about 44mins in. parts of it were also aired on mary anne hobbs breakfast shows on sat and sun.
one of the questions mary anne hobbs asks adam curtis is are we really free?
in response he suggests that the issue he is trying to explore in the film is how power works, how it pervades our lives - not just through westminster but through popular culture. one of the examples he gives is the feedback loops that are going on around us all the time thorugh computers - you like this so you'll like that. we've probably got so used to it now that we don't think about it. we're continually being given what we liked yesterday.
he suggests that the idea of the film/experience was to pull back like a helicopter to enable people to stop and see this static managed world (what he calls the pervasive ideology of our time). and he then muses whether we are really free?.. we're free to have what they think you like. is that freedom? it's a kind of static or limited freedom where you are stuck in your own yesterday!
i thought this was such a good line - stuck in your own yesterday. it's back to the previous post in some ways - with this approach to reality ideas and possibilities that are new will never emerge - they will be perceived as risky, unprovable, unmeasurable, and a threat. yet when we are stuck precisely what we need is this genuine kind of newness.
"we have opted to manage the world rather than change the world"
what an extraordinary insight! i think this is true in many businesses, lots of the social/charity sector and the church. we elevate managers and prefer and feel safer with them than visionaries and dreamers in top leadership positions. this may be because of fear of money, the future or simply we want to feel we can control things as best we can. and i also think it is also a really bad habit. shoot me down on this or tell me it's not true - but i am now seeing it everywhere where last week i was used to business as usual!
the article includes the words that were projected at the end of the film which i was trying to remember. they are:
last night i went to see massive attack with adam curtis at manchester international festival. i am really glad i came up. it was quite an extraordinary experience. i had alt worship envy - it was an industrial feel to the building with 11 of the largest screens imaginable from floor to ceiling - a totally immersive visual environment. massive attack were playing a soundtrack behind one of the screens. anyone thinking it was a usual massive attack gig would have been disappointed - there was one massive song and the rest were covers. but it was all about the film - everything is going according to plan. it roamed through cultural footage over the last 50 years weaving global narratives that unmask many of the paradigms or worldviews of that era. if it had a weakness it was almost too evangelistic! i wish i had had a notebook to jot down many of the themes but wanted to just soak it up. in the best sense of the word it was prophetic, evoking grief and shaking the numbness and ways we get used to business as usual. empires were crumbling as we watched, the gods of the age found wanting. i really hope it will come out as a film - we will definitely watch it on the pioneer training. it was a bit bleak and the offer of redemption at the end was simply saying that you can change things, that there are other possibilities (which was great to be reminded of!).
the theme that particularly got me thinking was what was described as 'managing reality' - how in the wider culture with fear of the future the logic turned to safety and trying to manage and control everything. it so reminded me of the church and even trends in the charity sector. i will probably come back to this when i think about it a bit further but the parallels are there.
i have said for many years that art and prophecy are close friends. this was another reminder - go and see it if you have a chance. for anyone involved in alt worship go and immerse yourself in the environment and be envious!
proost are looking for contributions for a new collection of poetry written by (and for) people on deliberate spiritual journeys. chris goan came up with the idea - see here for details. the suggested groups are
i have been blogging for a decade or more in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces