Posts Tagged Jon Rappoport

40 years on…

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I first saw this film when I was about 12 years old. I was already fascinated by birds, then – the feathered kind, I mean – and that was the main draw for me. It had a powerful impact. I don’t think I’ve seen it more than once or twice since then. There is, as yet, no DVD for the Japan region, so the scratchy, grainy, Japanese sub-titled VHS video I have is a prized possession. Thanks to YouTube and Google, I found a recent interview with David Bradley, the young amateur actor who played Billy Casper in the movie. I was disappointed. Something had happened in the intervening 40 years. The young David Bradley had a power and energy that is quite absent in his adult incarnation.

“What I’m talking about is stagnation of self. Things appear pretty much the same every day. It doesn’t look like there is a way out. But what’s actually happening is this: the person has built up many layers of cotton between himself and what he really wants.

“Several years ago, I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. The last time I knew him, he was a musician and a very good one. He’d taken up an instrument one day, when he was 13, and in a few months he’d made  remarkable progress. He was very talented and very smart. Well, in the interim, from what I could gather, he’d been through three or four careers – none of them particularly rewarding. And now he was a blank. He’d gone down some “spiritual path,” and it was an energy drain.

There he was. Taking on one less desire after another.

“All present realities are shams, in the sense that what has yet to be discovered and created is far more galvanising than what already exists.

“If you’re going to pick a struggle, let it begin with finding something you REALLY desire.” (From “short-cut desire”,  John Rappaport’s blog.)

40 years on…

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“So you point to a tree and say, ‘See that car?’

Jon Rappoport writes some pretty interesting stuff.  Today he came up with something that wraps up in a nutshell a recurring concern I have, like a sore that won’t go away,  about “education”: “Education tends to define what is there before a person can experience it on his own.” Here’s the context, but click the link below and read the whole thing. It won’t take a minute and might throw you for an interesting loop.

“If you hand a person a fig and tell him it’s a plum, there is a chance he’ll see a plum.

“If you give a person a copy of Nabokov’s Lolita and explain its ‘themes,’ there is a chance that, as he reads it, he will find those themes and consider them the most important result of his reading. “Instead of relying on his own imagination and perception, a person imagines that what he is told is what he is looking at.

“So you point to a tree and say to a friend, ‘See that car?’

“Education tends to define what is there before a person can experience it on his own.

via IMAGINATION UNTITLED « Jon Rappoport’s Blog.

Salvador Dali's "The Temptation of St. Anthony"

Rene Magritte "This is not a pipe"

Rene Magritte "This is not a pipe"

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OCCUPY THE WHITE HOUSE « Jon Rappoport’s Blog

Jon Rappoport has an update on the Iranian actress sentenced to 90 lashes and a year in jail, which I wrote about yesterday. While you’re there, check out the next item on his blog.

Yesterday, in New York, two guys in suits showed up at the rally with a sign that announced: WE ARE THE 1%. They intimated they were investment bankers. Police decided to keep them separate from the 99%, for fear of a clash. Were these two guys actors? Were they really part of the protesters?

via OCCUPY THE WHITE HOUSE « Jon Rappoport’s Blog.

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Whatever they were, the nonplussed, don’t-know-what-to-make-of-it-ness gave Jon an idea:

So far the Occupy events have managed to obscure and delay—or remain ignorant of—their precise agenda(s). This is taken as a sign of rank stupidity, but it may hold promise because, let’s face it, as soon as you state your political objectives these days, you’re pretty much finished. You trigger the opposition forces and you attract supporters, and then the whole thing eventually winds up in a muddy ditch, a car without traction…

But if you obfuscate and hint and suggest and garble, while others interpret what you mean, you can play the media like a drum and short-circuit many brains and cause smoke to exit many ears…

how about 5000 people in the Wall Street area emitting a low droning sound for an hour at lunchtime?

“I don’t know, Dan. I’m standing here watching something very weird. One of the leaders told me a few minutes ago, before the chanting started, that the group was about to employ a non-violent strategy Mahatma Gandhi used in India to ‘just say no to the British occupiers.’ Those were his words. So far, no one we’ve checked with can recall Gandhi doing this. Back to you in the studio.”

The government fungus pauses. The media fungus pauses.

Outside the offices of Goldman Sachs, at midnight, 20 fat guys wearing suits and holding large dogs on leashes show up and take turns reading aloud from Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

Media will see what they want to see and report on it, and the reporting will change from day to day. Against this backdrop of serious high-IQ idiots trying to analyze what is going on, we could get some real theater.

We need it.

As they say, “the possibilities are endless”.  Rappoport has a few, just to get you started.

“I don’t know, Dan. Across the city tonight, people are doing strange things. Are they one group? Are smaller factions springing up? It’s hard to say. A colleague of mine who was just here said she spoke to a Congressional source who said this whole Occupy phenomenon is really a move by Chinese allies of Belgian bankers seeking to devalue the dollar. That’s a rumor, of course, but right now all we seem to have are rumors. An intern from University Hospital stopped by—he’s a Yale graduate—and he said he believes what we’re witnessing is the cumulative effect of several decades of widespread use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. A contagion of antidepressants, if you will…”


Iranian Actress Marzieh Vafamehr to be Lashed 90 Times, Jailed for One Year – International Business Times

We think of actors and actresses as “the beautiful people”, the entertainers, the celebrities. They get drunk, get divorced, get married (over and over), go into rehab, get arrested for taking drugs, etc.  In short, they entertain us both on-screen and off.  This is the role they play in society. We don’t usually think of them as risking jail or physical punishment, perhaps even death, for pursuing their chosen career.

And yet that is what Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr is facing after acting in a film banned by the Iranian government, a film, strangely enough, about an Iranian actress who is jailed and beaten for acting immodestly. It seems unlikely that Ms Vafamehr was unaware of the possible risks of acting in this film. This is one courageous woman.

Writer, artist, journalist Jon Rappoport posted recently about an Iranian actress who has been found guilty of appearing in a banned film and sentenced to 1 year of jail and 90 lashes.  ““There is an appeal which could be lengthy and the family may still believe that public comment will be unhelpful because they are going through all the official channels,” Kate Croser, the Australian co-producer of the film, told Belle News.”

Rappoport asks will anyone amongst the acting profession speak out about this? He doesn’t feel deafened by everyone shouting out at once.

I’m interested to see how many American actors speak up on her behalf. I’m interested to see whether this will inspire the sudden organizing of famous actors, who make a cause out of her sentence, who use their clout to book themselves on TV talk shows, turn the screws on the government of Iran, and demand Marzieh’s release and the recanting of her conviction and sentencing.

Well, in case you’re vaguely interested, here is my opinion, in terms of priorities. The fate of Marzieh Vafamehr is more important than the iPod, iPhone, iPad, or Pixar.

via An Actress Goes to Prison | Jon Rappoport’s blog

Vafamehr was arrested for appearing in the short-film, and this weekend an Iranian court sentenced her to one year in prison and 90 lashes, according to The Associated Press.

Ironically, “My Tehran for Sale” is about an Iranian actress who is jailed and beaten for acting immodestly. The movie was shot in Tehran, and leaked copies of “My Tehran for Sale” have been passed around the country in defiance of the ban.

Iran is the same country where a Christian pastor named Youcef Nadarkhani was allegedly sentenced to death for the crime of abandoning Islam. The Iranian government now says that Nadarkhani is “a convicted rapist and extortionist,” but court documents indicate that the death sentence came after the pastor refused to convert to Islam.

via Iranian Actress Marzieh Vafamehr to be Lashed 90 Times, Jailed for One Year – International Business Times.

Once you have converted to Islam you may not de-convert. The penalty for dropping out is death, according to Sharia law. Doesn’t matter, apparently, if you were “born into the religion” as a child, baptised by your parents but without your consent.

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“Technology and organization – the central themes of the modern era”

Stop Screwing Around and Get Organized

Stop Screwing Around and Get Organized By fitzage on Flickr


  1. “I feel that the government needs to attach itself to a project that would be popular with the citizens of Japan. The notion of sacrificing, or the attempt to go above and beyond the call of duty, is a Japanese trait ingrained in the mindset of the older generation of the Japanese populous. The people of Japan are starting to lose hope in their government, and the government needs to reassure them that they are trying their best to rectify the disaster that has struck the Tohoku area. One can see that the “suicide corp”, as Hosono has idiotically dubbed, is somewhat controversial, and with the backing of several politicans, it can gain more momentum and allow for others to join their cause. That said, Japanese people love their legal, political red tape more than the average bear, and this is just another example of it.” [A comment left on this blog]
  2. “We have been conditioned to regard the nuclear issue as something so political and unrelated to our daily lives that it’s only for experts to deal with, not for us to even think about. But it took just one business enterprise to point out to us, in words that were completely devoid of sensationalism or hyperbole, that it is actually our own responsibility to get involved.” [Novelist Genichiro Takahashi, writing in the Asahi Shimbun, May 27th, 2011: POINT OF VIEW/ Genichiro Takahashi: Finding post-disaster hope in people who avoid ‘big words’]
  3. “What they’ve been taught is this: everything is created from above already; there is no more room; the individual invents nothing.” [from John Rappoport Music]
  4. “The central theme of the modern era is: technology and organization. It was not always seen to be that. But the men who are riding the biggest horses of organization in this world today… have come to realize that… domination can be achieved just through improving the functioning of their organizations. Their ant colonies… in the long run it doesn’t really matter what car or movie or CD or medicine or cosmology or God or law enforcement system is sold as the product of a given organization. Yes, it has to be interesting and functional up to a point, but whatever wild desire and surmise once motivated an inventor or a theologian or a president to start one of these organizations, and make a product, a service, a particular THING for the public, much of that is gone now, that passion is gone and it doesn’t matter. What matters, to an alarming degree, is making the public PERCEIVE that it likes the product. What matters is that the public… have somehow deadened their own perception of reality so that they can become passive enough to accept organization as the ruling force of the world, so that they can accept what organization gives them as consumers and demands of them as employees without blinking or rebelling. And individual creation, and small-group creation are the magnificent trumping answers to that. Undeadening perception and expanding the scope and power of the creative imagination… Let’s break out. As the writer William Burroughs used to say, Wouldn’t you?” [Jon Rappoport, Full Power, 91-2.]

Notice how item #1 and #2 are about perception: it’s important that the people of Japan perceive their government as popular, as backing popular projects , begging the question, if they’re popular, why is the government necessary? People need to perceive something as “legit”. In item #2, the questions going begging  are, “We have been conditioned” … by whom? Who is “we”? And are we pure victims, or (as the commenter noted in #1) has the Japanese people’s love for legal, political red tape made them willing participants in their own conditioning?

There is a certain irony in item #2: that he was under the spell of one organization was an insight prompted by anOTHER organization! Organizations are competing for customer loyalty, not just for their particular products but for allegiance to their particular brand of organization,; perhaps loyalty to the idea of organization as the legit, ruling force; in this case, that politicians and experts are best left to manage the important aspects of our lives.

The March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis seem to have banged a big hole in a lot of people’s loyalty, indeed to their very idea of “loyalty”, i.e. meekly accepting the decisions and directives of the politicians and the elites. This acquiescence was based on an assumption: that those in charge have our best interests at heart, that the authorities are fundamentally on our side. Is this assumption justified? It seems many people, prompted by the March disaster and its aftermath, are asking themselves this question.

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