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John Haynes’ photograph of the week: Mahatma Gandhi September 17, 2009

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Statue of Mahatma Gandhi: Tavistock Square, London. (Copyright John Haynes 2007)


Word/quote of the week September 17, 2009

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Word of the week: Meme  A unit of cultural transmission; meme includes stories, songs, skills. Culture, according to a theory of memetics, evolves by the process and selection of the memes.

Quote of the week:  "I don' think life has a meaning beyond what we put into it. It's like vision. I mean one only projects colours onto objects - they're not, of course, themselves coloured -one also projects meaning onto things. If you look at a painting, the viewer is projecting his own meaning into the paint, whatever the artist wants. And ditto with an oak tree; whatever God or Darwin decreed for it, you project meaning into it."  Richard Gregory

The lineaments of gratified desire. September 10, 2009

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What is it men in women do require?

The lineaments of Gratified Desire

What is it women do in men require

The lineaments of Gratified Desire.

William Blake

Until I started writing this blog I thought I had memorized this quotation years ago and that Blake was right, although he was a gnomic who never quite meant what you think. But, I’ve just found out, after many years to my shame that firstly I didn’t know what lineaments were - I thought they were linty and comforting bandages - worst still that I had substituted a ‘most’ for the ‘do’: What is that men and women most require…which has dented my blogging because I was going to argue that what ‘we’ most of all require are healthy levels of self esteem, and the courage to be ourselves. I’ll come back to that after my desire diversion.

 Despite these reported lapses, I have worked out a paradox of desire, or perhaps that’s not true, I’ve worked it out in conjunction with an absent friend who’s still watching seals on that distant seashore and pondering the meanings of the universe, which is that the essence of desire’s compulsive energy to connect is met, no not met but fulfilled in the obstacle to its connection. Gratified desire is doomed – sooner or later to become dead desire, or domestic desire. It is the obstacle rather than the object that fertilises desire.

In the romances of archetypal lovers like Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, Hero and Leander, Venus and