an arrest record one can be proud of

If you’re like me and try to read the BBC every day you’ll realize that at any given time, probably 1/3 of the links on their News main page is pure clickbait.  I’ve always found this weird and kind of shameful for what should otherwise be a professional news organization.

But I guess every website feels compelled to use clickbait now.  There’s a charity that helps cure malaria in children, and on their web page front and center is a link that says: “You’ll never guess what job can increase your happiness this much!”.  Hint, it’s undertaker.

Hey speaking of death, the BBC got me.  I’m so ashamed.  I couldn’t help myself and dove into this clickbait headline:

Ethiopian ‘prophet’ arrested after trying to resurrect corpse

Essentially this dude had folks dig up a corpse and he tried to bring said dead body back to life:

Getayawkal Ayele had tried to revive the corpse of Belay Biftu by lying on top of him and repeatedly yelling “Belay, wake up”.

When this didn’t work (for whatever reason) the guy’s family started to beat up this false god.  For his efforts, Mister Ayele got himself arrested for messing with a dead body, which is apparently a crime even if you received the family’s permission to do it.

We at TAP have a few conclusions to draw from this most consequential of today’s events.  Please bear with us as we display only keen insight and brilliance.  Your cooperation, as always, is truly appreciated.  We truly desire to keep liquidation to an absolute minimum.

1) What did the family of the deceased expect to happen?  I’ve seen some pretty crazy shit in my life, but I’m pretty sure there are some things you can bet your life on.  For example, unicorns don’t exist.  Did the family really expect that they would be the first folks to experience something that has never, ever happened before in all of human history?

2) What did Ayele expect to happen?  Either he’s insane, was intoxicated, or what?  But did this guy actually expect this to work?  Usually a grifter has a backup plan.  When he discovered that he could, in fact, not actually resurrect the dead what was his next move?  Was he just going to run away in a puff of smoke ala the Roadrunner?

3) This is an arrest record one can be proud of.  If you’re going to get wrapped up by the authorities, it should be something you can be proud of.  “I got taken in for drunk driving”, makes you sound like a dick and a loser.  “I got taken in for trying to resurrect a corpse”, instantly makes you the most popular dude in the bar.

4) Fuck Netflix’s The Frankenstein Chronicles.  So bad.

5) This will not be the last time in your lifetime you see an attempt to resurrect a corpse.  Soon, they’ll be growing human hearts in a lab.  And a guy or gal will have a heart attack and essentially, well, die.  Then they’ll rush that corpse to the ER and instead of calling it, the doc will try and put a new heart in the person and essentially bring them back to life.  The social and religious implications of this are astounding, but it’s going to happen.

6) “My mum found my first grey hair at seven.”  Hmm, that sounds weird.  Maybe I’ll click on that, and so [eyes glaze over], no, No, NO! [waves hands around head as if shooing away flies]

7) The title of this blog post was intentionally clickbait.  Did I get you?  If so, I’m not sorry.

PS, I really am sorry.

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Kamakura – Engaku-ji

Lost amidst the fervent nationalism that’s now the norm in the Western Pacific is how longstanding and deep the ties are between peoples.  From 1274 to 1281 the Mongols, alongside their Chinese and Korean vassals, conducted a series of invasions against Japan.  All failed for a variety of reasons, not least of which was a series of typhoons and the emergence of what would become the samurai warrior class.

In 1282 to commemorate the victories, honor the dead on all sides, and to push forward Zen Buddhism in Japan, the then shōgun Hōjō Tokimune ordered the construction of Engaku-ji.  He enlisted the help of a Chinese monk in Mugaku Sogen.  Zen became a huge part of the ruling culture’s psyche and was integral in the emergence of the samurai and what they were.

In the sense, Hōjō got exactly what he’d wanted.  He’s buried there.  And while the days of the Kamakura Shōgunate long passed it remained a key feature in Japanese Buddhism throughout history.  It’s a must see if you’re anywhere near Kamakura and it couldn’t be easier to get to via JR East’s Yokosuka Line which essentially drops you right at the temple entrance.

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The Sanmon, two story main gate, looking from it’s back towards the entrance.  As is typical for just about any ancient Japanese structure, fire constantly requires rebuilding.  The current version was reconstructed in 1785.

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Now walking up from the front of the Sanmon.

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Engaku-ji is still a functioning temple.  I didn’t get too close but there were folks practicing archery.  Note the target in the distance.

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Note the guy on the right with a typical Japanese longbow, as tall as a man (he is kneeling).  Despite the reputation of the katana, I suspect the real killers on most Japanese battlefields were the archers.

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I love the contrast in light on this shot.

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Find the fishy.

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The monk’s quarters.

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The Great Bell, Ogane, cast in 1301.  The largest temple bell in the wider Tokyo area.

we take the time to learn about a topic on which we knew nothing

I like to consider myself a fairly well read dude.  But every once and a while I come across something insane, and yet I know nothing about it.

In this case it had to do with a big celebrity event.  This explains my ignorance.  Because I care not about celebrities or their lives.

But still, for whatever reason (I’m in idiot) I had to break this down in my mind.  Please bear with us as we discuss this most inconsequential of topics.

Every year a bunch of very, very rich people go to an annual fundraising event called the Met Gala.  It’s a charity (cue laugh track) event at the Met.  It supposedly benefits the Met’s Costume Institute, a subsection of the Met that does clothing exhibits.

According to the BBC, this event “is considered the highlight of New York’s social calendar”.  And they have themes, I guess.

This year’s theme was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, which showcases how Catholicism has influenced fashion throughout history.”  Uh, okay.

So as best as I can figure, celebrities are probably 98% atheist.  But for whatever reason all these people are going to dress up in a religious style.  Sort of.

As an example, here is a picture of Rihanna dressed up like a pope.

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Here is a picture of Katy Perry with angel wings.

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Do you get it?  You see, the pope and angel inspiration are like religious things.  So that’s why they did that.

Here is Olivia Munn (who to me will only ever been known as Aaron Rogers destructive girlfriend) with supposed chain mail on her scalp.  As in, The Crusades.  DO YOU GET IT?

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Here’s Tommy “The Ventilator” Brady doing his best impression of being a Redanian mage from The Witcher 3.

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Here is a picture of Ordinary Average Gentleman Stan Winslow, he repairs cars for his neighbors and coaches his kid’s soccer team.

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So all these folks show up.  They get their picture taken.  Then they go in and eat, gossip, do the rich person socialite thing, and they move on.  Some amount of money goes to the Met to continue operations.  Rinse and repeat annually.

So based on my meticulous research, I have some conclusions and some recommendations to improve the event for next year.

CONCLUSIONS

a) It’s almost like the theme is irrelevant and a bunch of fashion folks just use it as an excuse to come up with wacky costume designs.  If the theme was say, whales, Katy Perry would have had a big whale fin on her back.  DO YOU GET IT?

b) The rich and powerful and celebrity are happy to absorb any excuse to dress up, get their picture taken, feel important, talk to people like them, and so on.  The most comical idea is this is somehow a charity event.  I doubt the Met is hard up for cash.

c) I mean, it’s not like all these people are going to say go with the Catholic theme and raise money for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the City of New York, a Catholic charity that helps New York City’s criminally destitute to eat, have a roof over their heads, etc, etc.

d) The fact that this event was international front page news is yet another mark that our culture is bound for the crypt and/or justification for an alien race to conquer us to save us from ourselves.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1) Return next year to the Catholic theme.

2) Demand accurate costumes to reflect the true history of Catholicism.

3) 100% of the proceeds go directly to Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the City of New York.

4) Cameras are not allowed.

5) The rich will be made to sit on wooden benches and eat sludge ala a Catholic monastery Circa 1284.

6) Monks will chant Bible verses focusing on the parts where that weird Dude helps the poor and describes how the meek will inherit everything.

7) Rihanna will dress in authentic full 8th Century papal garb, and be subjected to the full breadth of assassination attempts, Roman intrigue, obscure Holy Roman Empire politics, and baffling disagreements over minor esoteric spiritual interpretations.

8) Katy Perry will dress as a true avenging angel of the Lord God.  From her chain belt will hang on a meat hook the severed head of Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi, former Overlord and Servant of Satan.

9) Olivia Munn will dress as a Knight of Jerusalem and be forced to engage in actual live battle axe fights with the current girlfriend of one Aaron Rogers for the honor of her knight’s house.

10) Tommy will dress as an alter boy.  His wife has to wear the most basic of black shirt and slacks priest garb.

11) The Clooneys have to sit barefoot outside the door and beg for money to buy an Indulgence as a forgiveness for their sin of being born.

12) Please, help me.  No really, please help me.  They made me do this post.  I didn’t want to.  Why on earth did I have to write this?  I don’t know why I did this.  I don’t know where they put the key.  I can’t get out of here.  I threw out all the phone books so they couldn’t keep using them.  And more just appeared the next day.  Where the HELL do you even get a phone book nowadays!

 

the true valentine loves not the vampire

This whole Valentine’s Day story is quite baffling because there’s a whole bunch of weird history behind it. It turns out the Giant Octopus of the Vatican doesn’t even really know who Saint Valentine was. This is an organization that professes it has a hotline to God via the Pope guy who happens to be in the chair at the time. Or something like that. So if they say they don’t have any solid info on Valentine’s connection to Valentine’s Day or love? Then you’d better believe they don’t have anything at all in the archives where they also keep the plans for the fusion device. But it’s okay, because we at TAP already know the true answer.

We heard tell at the Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant located in San Diego International Airport Terminal 1 from a man wearing a Tony Romo jersey and drinking red zinfandel. He swears on his soul that he was vacationing in Bucharest in 1985 at the height of Ceaușescu’s brutal power. He spied a dark cloaked man giving chocolates and flowers to random women at the hotel bar. Thinking this man a dangerous threat and rather drunk, he armed himself with a rolled up Leninist newspaper and followed the cloaked man into the grim night. He made it twelve feet from the hotel door before being accidently knocked unconscious by a nine year old girl on a bicycle. He awoke weeks later deep in the Transylvanian Hills.

There, he proceeded to conduct a hasty forced interview with a vampire. The vampire stated that in fact Valentine’s Day originated as an excuse for vampires to drink more blood then during the other 364 days of the year. The seduction, the lust, the red color, the focus upon bleeding somebody dry, was all an excuse for vampires to consume their extra fill. The man, petrified, demanded meekly to know if he too would die that day. The vampire chuckled, and said no. For the original Valentine’s Day traditions were long gone. Instead, vampires had transformed into vicious corporate shills. They made such a killing on cocoa and flower farms that they were able to bankroll the invention of synthetic blood to sate their appetite. In particular, this one vampire confessed to working for Goldman Sachs Business Development Branch and had a supposed “killer” idea on this thing he kept calling “see, dee, oohs.”

Anyways, who or what, precisely, is the dreaded Giant Octopus establishment? To those who voted for Hilary it’s Trump’s business buddies in NYC, the 1887 KKK, etc, etc. To those who voted for Trump it’s the people in the media, DC, etc, etc. If you voted for neither of them the establishment is one of sixteen different Giant Octopi that occupy your darkest dreams. Like vampires. Or employees of Citibank. Or celebrity award shows.

Did you know the Grammy’s and the BAFTA’s were both on last Sunday? They’ve got so many award shows they have to cram two major ones into one night on different continents. How many awards can celebrities give to themselves? Don’t they know that celebrity awards are the pinnacle of the Giant Octopus’ many magical apples!? Don’t eat it, dear God, don’t eat it! The apple causes the downfall of us all! It laced with haughtiness.

Hey speaking of apples, and love, and whatever else, what does it say about humanity that the original Valentine’s Day love story ends with the downfall of all humanity for an eternity?

Anyways, but if you’re me, the Giant Octopus establishment is everything that tries to remove coherent thought from your brain for any particular purpose that benefits anybody not you. Whether it be an attempt to get your vote, your support, your time, your eyes, or more often than not, your straight cash.

America will spend $20B on Valentine’s Day this year. Or twice what the NFL makes in an entire league year. Or three times the national cancer budget. Why? There are 365 days in a year. Yet this is apparently the day that if you don’t get your mate candy, flowers, or whatever, it means you’re apparently cheating on them, or are possessed by the devil. Which is a mean thing to say, because even the devil is all about this day. It’s why he always dresses in red velvet. Go watch the Japanese anime cartoon.

Anyways, there’s certainly no connection between the Valentine’s guy and love. And yet there are references as far back as Chaucer and Shakespeare associating Valentine’s Day and love. So somehow this thing happened. Somehow humanity has a centuries long tradition of picking this one day over the other 364 for the purposes of affection.

I don’t get it, but I’ll accept it as reality. And that, as always, there just might be something wrong with me in that I wish this day didn’t exist. But even if you accept this as cultural reality, what I cannot wrap my mind around is the Giant Octopus having it’s claws in the 2/3 of Americans that probably shell out substantial gold for this event.

Folks who won’t eat genetically modified crops and recycle their used pencils are all of a sudden all too comfortable paying a 600% markup to Mars Brand Incorporated, or some faceless hedge fund LLC that owns a series of flower mills in Columbia and Kenya paying 3 cents an hour minimum wage. Nobody has a gun to anybody’s head making them buy candy this one single day. Why not buy candy on April 17th? Or cut some fresh wild flowers from a field on June 3rd?

Don’t give in into the Giant Octopi! Don’t give into the vampire! Do something different for your special person. Don’t let the vampire be your valentine instead. I don’t know what that different thing would be, you know your mate, you just find a way to make it happen. But I’m guessing, a good starting point is to try and do something that doesn’t involve spending any cash. That’d be a good start.

Turkey – Mount Koressos, House of Mary

When you travel in groups compromises are always necessary. When the group disagrees you can sometimes divide up or sneak off on your own for a while. Other times you just have to deal with it. When you share hotels, cars, buses, trains, and meals with your companions, it’s generally not a good idea to fight all the time. I’ve been on trips where this happens and it truly kills everything.

Being in Turkey I had about five-hundred things I wanted to do, history being at the top of my list. So when we were headed to Ephesus I was fired up. We only had one day there. I could spend six days in Ephesus and not get bored. But then, other members of the group wanted to take most of that one morning and visit the supposed House of Mary which is near Ephesus. I hear this and I’m like, “Oh, uh, …” [checks watch] (I did indeed wear a watch then, which seems strange now.)

I was raised Irish / English / Sicilian Catholic, so you know it’s seriously in my blood. But I was also raised with a light touch of it. My own Grandmother would frequently talk with us about this or that doctrine, Pope, etc, that she disagreed with, alongside her own take on life. It’s a very liberating American take on religion. Nowadays, depending on the barometric pressure outside, I can either truly believe or am an atheist or whatever. A lot of it depends on my mood. So basically I would not consider myself very religious, but I really do try. In this Turkey travel group though were several ultra-hyper religious types. So they wanted to go see the House of Mary and were very set upon it.

Given how much of Ephesus was on my brain I could have protested. I let it go in the name of cohesion. This was the right choice. I figured it would be nice to see the mountains, maybe say a prayer, and generally just enjoy the ride. This was exactly what happened. I don’t regret it.

The full titled House of the Virgin Mary sits atop Mount Koressos which is a few miles from Ephesus. It’s a small house and religious shrine. By which I mean it’s a religious shrine that reminded me a lot of the shrines in Asia, specially Japan. As in, it’s a commercial tourist destination. There’s very little religion about it. In say Japan, sometimes you’ll be walking around temple grounds and there’ll be these people hocking Hello Kitty fascism toys from stalls. I always found this odd, to me a dead quiet church is my pinnacle of prayer. But in many cultures it’s not a big deal to meld commercial and religious ideas on the same site. This is the case with Mount Koressos.

It’s like going to the Mary exhibit at Disneyland. There are several cafes, a wishing wall, tourist buses everywhere, magic water, it’s quite the atmosphere. And this place has quite the crazy tale as well. My first thought was, “There’s no way Mary was there.” I mean, what do I know? But still, it didn’t seem quite likely to me. I get it, Popes have visited this place, but still. Feast your brains upon this tale of discovery:

– Anne Catherine Emmerich, German nun, mystic, and later saint, has a bunch of visions which she imparts to the brains of others.

– Clemens Brentano, author, writes books based upon her visions about Jesus, etc, etc.

– In 1852, Brentano provides a rough description from a vision of a house near Ephesus that John supposedly built for Mary where she lived out her days.

– In 1881, French priest, Indiana Jones copycat, and lunatic Julien Gouyet uses this book’s description to find and identify the house on top of Mount Koressos. Nobody believes him.

– But by 1891 at the urgings of Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey, folks get onboard with this idea and the house is made a shrine and taken under management. The first Pope shows up within a decade. Half-a-dozen other Popes have also visited.

So is one to believe this tale of visions, translated through a kook author, and a bunch of people wandering around the 19th century Ottoman countryside with a book in their hand? I’d have to say I don’t. I’m pretty sure that whatever Mary was that she died close to her birthplace and is buried out there. But whatever, it’s all good, people can pray anywhere. That’s the cool part about prayer.

And whatever the house is, it is indeed neat to visit. It’s very old and probably a good example of the style and architecture of ancient dwellings in this part of the planet.

 

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Side of the House of the Virgin Mary

 

When there, I kind of separated myself from the group and puttered around. When you go inside the house it’s a converted chapel, very small. I didn’t take a picture inside as it didn’t seem right. I prayed for a short bit and then was on my way. It was a nice moment, but not what I would call any kind of religious experience.

 

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Not my shot, taken from Wikipedia. Note the very ancient hallowed c-grade velvet rope, two Apostle endorsed codex plastic information placards, and Papal holy water blessed exit sign

 

Outside there is a wishing / prayer wall that folks can leave notes on. There are thousands of notes. There is also a water source that is said to heal or grant wishes or whatever. I did not drink the water

For me, the ground was the better experience. This was my chapel visit.  This was my Mount Koressos:

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I’ve got dozens of various shots of nothing but the woods from all across the world. Two of my favorites are on my desk, one from American and one from Japan. I’m always struck by the differences and similarities between them. Wherever you are, the woods are always similar enough that you can recognize ideas, feelings, trends that join you to that remote location. In the sense that the woods near your own home and country do much the same. It’s that spark of fellowship and belonging that most closely identifies us as part of one human race and planet. It’s only there for a moment, but it’s a good feeling. Nature, God, whatever, does that to you. Amen.

when you really think about it, this Santa concept is rather creepy

My mental priorities are usually out of alignment. I sometimes can’t even check off simple daily tasks that require coherent thought to avoid problems. For instance, I had to walk to the mailbox from work today and was rather shocked to discover it was pouring rain. And I was like, “Oh, I didn’t know it was supposed to rain today.”

I had no idea. Do most other normal people check the weather? I think so, so what’s wrong with me? It might be that since my first and last acts of any day involve me standing in the backyard with my dogs, that I use that as my daily weather checks. And since no rain or clouds this morning, I didn’t expect rain all day. Luckily for me, I carry a little umbrella in my bag at all times. So in theory, I’ve already accounted for my inability to conduct reasonable routine daily thoughts.

But while I’m not bothering my brain about little things like the traffic report, or whether I needed gloves today, I had this weird thought in my brain about whether I’d tell my kids that Santa is real. This is absurd lunacy as among other things I have no date or kids or immediate prospects of such things. Soon, I guess. But right now it’s just a weird pointless thought. But then my next needless thought was, why? Why?

Because when you really think about it, this Santa thing is kind of creepy. Take heed of these basic facts about this dude:

 

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– Regularly practices the art of belligerent unsolicited home invasion

– Can apparently fold space and time but doesn’t go back in time to murder Hitler

– Implements child labor procedures that the Burmese authorities would find abhorrent

– Demands payment in food product that adds zero nutritional value to the human form

– Thus encourages lifestyle choices that would cripple the health care system with a pandemic of Type II diabetes

– Possesses emotional and technical monitoring powers that make the NSA and Jesus jealous

– Encourages materialistic domination of a possession based culture to the detriment of a value based society

– Rewards naughty or nice block designations off an arbitrary, unregulated, and unaudited obscure process

– Pontiff of a cult religion in which millions of his acolyte followers are commanded to dress just like him and convince children of the sanctity of his divine powers and demand that they pray to him to receive a beneficial response

 

Why is this still a thing? Why did humanity not banish the idea of Santa to the gutter alongside other winning ideas such as human sacrifice?

To get to the bottom of this most urgent of human dilemmas, we decided to call Jesus at his castle in Hawaii:

The Arcturus Project: Greetings, Sir.

Jesus Christ: How’s it going?

TAP: Happy early birthday then.

JC: It’s not my actual birthday, the 25th is a construct, it’s the message that counts.

TAP: So what’s your actual birthday?

JC: Uh, you’re a, you’re not listening.

TAP: New Years?

JC: …

TAP: So about Santa?

JC: Yeah okay, what about Santa then.

TAP: What’s the deal with this creep?

JC: He makes people happy, what’s wrong with you?

TAP: I have many problems, which one in particular are you referring to?

JC: Even the most child friendly, popular creatures in existence can be twisted in a dark way. But Santa’s a likeable, jolly guy, so people have decided he can stick around.

TAP: Lies. Not all popular child friendly creations are creepy.

JC: Oh yeah, take this Elmo guy. If you left his appearance, voice, and mannerisms exactly the same, but gave him a butcher knife in an NC-17 rated slasher horror movie he’d cause grown men to vomit in the theater aisles.

TAP: Not true.

JC: Oh yeah, feast on this image inside your brain, my Brother:

 

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“Elmo has established a window into your soul!”

 

TAP: Jesus Christ!

JC: …

TAP: Oh, sorry. [shudders] I mean, I guess I see your point.

JC: Santa’s just about the dumbest creation in human history, except for yo-yos, but what he does is encourage family togetherness, the idea of somebody jolly watching over you, and the idea that you can happily pass traditions onto your kids like your own parents did; even if those traditions are somewhat foolish or creepy, like flying reindeer.

TAP: I guess I see your point.

JC: Nobody thinks about me during Christmas anymore. And I suppose eventually, if everybody told their kids Santa wasn’t real, that eventually he’d fade from Christmas too.

TAP: But he’s backed by Macy’s, so he’ll probably stick around. You’re only backed by all the powers of the universe, so eventually you might fade into benign oblivion.

JC: Good point.

TAP: What do we do?

JC: Tell your future kids Santa is real, have fun with it, like your parents did with you. And then tell them about the real point of Christmas too. Keep the traditions going that are worth preserving.

TAP: Got it.

JC: Cool.

TAP: …

JC: …

TAP: …

JC: Anything else?

TAP: So if the 25th isn’t your actual birthday, what do you normally do on that day?

JC: I usually go on a pre-New Year’s bender with my other religion bros. And we generally go see a movie, this year we’re of course seeing Star Wars.

TAP: Oh, that should be fun.

JC: Not according to your last post.

TAP: Uh, yeah, I guess. Sorry.

JC: It’s okay, but if the movie isn’t any good, I’m just going to blame you for ruining all of Christmas.

TAP: Isn’t that a little harsh?

JC: I have high standards that encourage positive thought and behavior.

TAP: How am I doing with that?

JC: Yeeaahh.

 

Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto, and that one great shot

If you want to discover what really matters to a cubicle goon of the modern era, gaze kindly upon whatever framed pictures they possess inside their hovels.  This impact is magnified where I work, for we have no windows.  It could be 70, sunny, with a bird, squirrel, and komodo dragon frolicking playfully together outside in the grass.  But inside for us, it’s the same stale air, harsh light, and incessant office sounds.

A lot of people put pictures of their family there.  I’m a weirdo who lives alone with his dogs, but I suppose I could put pictures of them in there, or of my Parents, Brothers, and Sisters.  But I guess I’m too much of a closed book for that kind of public display.  So instead I’ve got two pictures in there, the first a few folks may have seen me post a while back, which is essentially my Parents’ backyard.

The second photo is of Kiyomizu-dera.

 

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I breathe every part of this photo: the forest, the winter haze, the isolation, the distant pagoda (Koyasu Pagoda).  This is Kyoto in February.  This is Japan.

The dirty little secret of this shot is that to my left, right, and behind me is a sea of humanity.  My Parents had come out to visit me for my birthday that year.  And I took them to Kyoto and Nara, because it had to be done.  I haven’t gotten into it at all on this blog, but I lived in Japan for three years.  I guess it’s just too close to the heart to write about much, or something strange like that.

Anyways, I’d been to Kyoto before and so we visited some of my favorites, but Kiyomizu-dera was new for all three of us.  We’d visited Chion-in that morning, for that was the one place in all of Japan I wanted to show my Dad (more on that later, eh, maybe).  Then we cabbed it south to Kiyomizu-dera probably after just randomly picking it off a map.  The place was mobbed, almost subway style.

 

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Looking back west toward Kyoto

 

Started in 778, the main temple buildings date from the early Edo period, about 1630.  Elaborate temples and a return to emphasis on traditional Japanese religion were among the Shogunate’s many methods to get out of the business of perpetual civil war.  It’s awfully hard to be in the sword killing trade when Shogun needs that seven year temple building project completed in three years.  And you don’t want to disappoint Shogun, do you?

Translated as “Pure Water Temple” it sits atop of mountain waterfall that you can still drink from in various attempts to cheat the Gods / Nature out of the path they’ve set for you.  What do those dudes know anyways?  All they do is make all the rules of the universe.  And rules are meant to be broken, right?  [shakes fist at sky]

My memory is truly horrible (photographs help save me), so I’m not sure where we went next.  But given the time of day, we probably went back downtown for dinner.  Which knowing Kyoto, it was undoubtedly unspeakably awesome.

 

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Kiyomizu-dera Main Hall; this was taken after the crowds had begun to thin out

 

 

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looking east up the mountain you really get a good idea of how perched the temple is upon the heights

 

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looking up from the base of the Main Hail through the branches of a random unrelated species of Japanese tree; these pillars stand as is despite the fact that they didn’t use a single nail in the construction