Article – Facebook, I don’t like just likes, and still I find it likely to just use them

Article

Social media, as it is called, and rightly so, as it is a media of sorts, no one can deny that. But is it actually social, now that I have some reservation regarding. Something social must, no demands, a interchange of something meaningful, something stupid or even something mundane, but it requires some kind of exchange. A like in Facebook does not really convey anything like that, it is just a collection of pixels in the form of a thumb up, that we use on routine and nothing more.
Now this is not the end of the world, a chasing of this pixelated limb extension to make us feel good does not end civilization, but it does not really improve it either.

Now this might make me seem old, but don’t get deceived, I have been on the social media since it started, with some minor breaks from it, mostly out of boredom, from the repetitiveness from what you actually do in them. Now there are several things I do like about Facebook, you can share things you have come up with, you can get a feel for what others think about it and it is a way to keep in touch. There are several things I don’t like, the fact that most posts are just a republication of something someone else has done. What annoys me with this is the lack of creativity, the thing we all have but sometime feel reluctant to share. So instead it is much easier to share the latest funny story, a picture someone else has taken or just to add the place one is visiting at this particular moment.

But as is my way, I digress somewhat from the point of likes and why I don’t really like them, and still I use them. What just a like lacks, or what just a like gives is a disembodied comment that never were given. Always giving the idea that the like is just a random press of a button, a press that really does not mean anything, just a random click to repay another click that in itself did not mean anything. However here is the rub, one does not want to be rude. If I get something, I have to give something back, and so the random likes comes in, and I do hate them. I hate them even worse when they are accompanied by a smiley face, as if that would make it mean something extra, and the thing is, sometimes it actually does.
Now I do not really think all likes are random, and the amount of post makes it hard to give the time to make a meaningful comment to everything, just can’t be done.

So here is my pledge, my promise, my atoning way from my own repeating ways of giving likes without a comment. I will from now on only give a like with a comment, maybe not meaningful, maybe not deep, but still a comment with some thought behind it. I will give less likes, but I will still give them, this is my promise to the gods of social media, or antisocial media as they might also be called.

Written by
JMS

A memory, a person and for me a mother

Thought I would write a article, a story, a collection of words, a letter based memory, or any other euphemism you like, I will leave that up to you what it is.

Now this creation comes a bit early, as the her birthday will come up in June, a day we can celebrate, but as the main person can not attend, it is not really the same. I just saw a picture, one of the last ones and that sparked some memories, and as I don’t believe in any gods, my way to keep people alive is through memories. As long as somebody remember that person, the person is not really dead, still around in a way, just not in the same way as before.
So who was she, well how could I tell you that, only she knew who she was, I can only say who she was for me.

She was not really perfect, as none are, and as such perfect like we all are, each in our own way. Why not perfect you say, well she did tie me to a tree when I was a kid, and for what crime you ask? Well it seems I liked to run out in the road, naked, dancing for the cars passing by. In my defense I was 2-3 at the time. I am not saying I would not do this today, if I could get away with only being tied to a tree for an hour or so.

She somehow gave me my imagination and she gave me the urge to fix inanimate objects around me, a table that needs another shape, a shelf that needs to be built. I remember one time, when we had a round table, I came home from school and suddenly the table was square, she just decided she wanted a squared table, and so she simple sawed off its sides. Simple solution to a problem, I admire this simplicity. She also had me cutting a branch of a tree in spring, not the best time to do it, but not all solutions need to be perfect, they are still solutions.

She also liked nature, swimming and going home, and home that was up north in Sweden. To meet her brothers, sisters and friends, enjoying nature. I never really appreciated that as a kid, to many mosquitoes, but she loved it. However for me I remember those endless summer days, she saying “lets have a pick nick”, going down to the small, almost hidden lake, for swimming and just relaxing, seen through a memory-filter with pastel colors.

Exceedingly kind, always wanting to help, sharing what she had, but with a temper also. Eating all her biscuit got her temper flowing or cracking a tile she had been working on all day, that did not put me in the best of light. But after all, live need some drama, and this drama was so mild it was actually no drama at all. She shared, anyone who came by would get something to eat, no matter what, usually served in her morning robe. And after that coffee, thanks for getting me hooked on coffee -of course said with my reversed irony.

She also only wanted one thing from me, “All I want is for you to get confirmed in the church,” and a gullible child I though hey this seems like a fair deal. Of course she wanted a lot of others things after that, I should have seen that coming, but told you I used to be gullible.

Then she got sick, a rather quick process. Still she had spirit, but some things you can not conquer, and

Last christmas some years ago

Last christmas some years ago

standing on the sideline you can only do what little you can. I did just that until that phase passed and I was left with memories. A life cut short but its existence not ended, not totally anyway. As long someone remember the person, the person is not really dead, and so she is not. She has however taken that journey we all will take, we just have different destinations. Her destination is the one of a believer, and so I can only assume that now she is modeling, sawing and wallpapering that place as she sees fit, her will was not easily changed I can tell you that.

Me on the other hand will take another journey, when that times comes, but until then I will keep her memory alive by trying to fix things that needs to be fixed, a round table maybe needs to be squared, and always give something to visitors, and that something will of course be coffee.

I will not say rest in peace, as until I am dead, she is not really dead either. Instead I say, “Let’s try to wallpaper the apartment or make a square table round”.

In memory of Gerda Svanström

Written by

JMS

Movie Review – Grave of the Fireflies

MOVIE REVIEWS

Release date: April 16, 1988
Running time: 89 minutes
Starring: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara
Directed by: Isao Takahata
Genre: animated drama


The story

This movie takes place in the last stages of WWII in Japan. We follow big brother Seita and his younger sister Setsuko. The film starts with them and the mother taking shelter from an air raid and the mother dies. They are now left all on their own and have to move in with a rather unpleasant relative. The movie then follows their struggle to stay alive, only having each other, and a slow starvation to accompanying them.


What I think about the movie.

I will be honest, I told a bit of a fib, the movie actually has some scenes before the ones I described but I don’t want to give away to much from the plot, so I skipped those ones.

This is an animated movie, but unlike Walt Disneys more child friendly creations this is not a movie for kids. A friend called it the most depressing movie he ever saw, and I do tend to agree with him. That said, it is also a really good movie, a movie that really describes the horror of war for some kids in the most terrible way. It has rather a slow tempo and the dialogue is not superb, but that does not matter. What makes this movie so good in all of its melancholy is the scenography, how the scenes are set up and of course the story in itself. I have watch so many movies I can’t count them all, and few left hardly anything after you saw them, this movie did, and will for you also that I can promise.

I don’t really want to give away to much but I think this a movie for everyone to watch, just don’t expect to feel happy after you have seen it.

Any movie that moves me has something, and this movie has that thing which in my eyes makes it into a classic movie.

Should not forget to mention that it is based on a short story by Akiyuki Nosaka, and that story was semi-biographical.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Short story – A talk with Despair

Despair

Hello, my name is Despair, I am sure you have heard of me. I usually come for a visit to most people, but seldom I am welcome. I have rather a large family, hopelessness, depression and many more. I would like to take some of your time to talk a bit about me, so you can understand me a bit better, and embrace me when I come by instead of feeling sad, like you usually do.

It is true that I usually visit people when they are wars, famine or economic hardship, but I am not to blame for those things, I only come to see if I can do something for the people I visit. I know despair is a hard thing, who better to know this than me, I have to be Despair all the time, everyday.

But people look at me like a guest who comes to stay forever and that is never so, many things can be said about me, but staying forever that is not one of my faults. Sometimes I do stay a bit long I do admit, but I am only there to show that nothing can stay the same indefinitely.

Except my family I have a couple of best friends called Hope and Joy, we do have the best of times together.

You wonder how that can be? Well the really interesting friends are your opposite, the ones that say or do the unexpected, and when I come they are never far behind. I come not to make you feel despair, you will feel that without me. No I come to make or break way for my two friends, so they can stay with you for a while. You know they always stop by sooner or later, just to have a chat and spend some time with you.

But it is true, lately I have had a lot to do, so many people to visit, so many people that need me, it really is exhausting. I have to go from the middle east, to Europe and then to the Americas and then to Africa

Despair

Despair

and back via Asia. There are so many people, too many people, so I just have time to come and say hello, and then I have to rush away again. And I am tired, I really would like to take a break, have a vacation. I look around in the world and see so many opportunities, so why do you need me, why do I have to work day and night?

I have a theory about this, do you want to hear it? I think that people have got into a mindset of “What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours but should be mine.”

  • Despair takes a deep sigh, holding his face in his hands, he looks tired.

I know, not everything you can do something about, not all wars can be stopped so easily.

  • Despair sighs again, looks around, someone is calling for him.

I have to go again, can’t stay any longer. But please do one thing for me, just one thing.

Your wondering what you should do? Now that is up to you, but what ever it is, make it something my friends would enjoy, as they get out to seldom and me, I get out to much.

  • Despair leaves, very stressed, feeling the emotion he has given name to. Faintly I can hear him, just as he is about to get out of earshot.

Remember when I come, my friends Hope and Joy are just around the corn…….

Written by
JMS

Article – What is the world coming to?

Article

Some days ago I read an article from Forbes that the wealthiest 85 people have as much wealth as 3,5 billion of the poorest people, 50 % of the worlds population.

This really gets me angry, and not for the fact that people get rich, I get that, it is a drive that actually fuels innovation in a strive to get rich. It is a basic human drive, the greed if you will, the accumulate of things or money.

But when that goes to far it is just detrimental to human society when the gap is that big, it is actually on a scale that is hard to imagine. How much do thet pay in tax, in USA about 18 % compared to a “normal” income at 25 %. Then we have the big companies or even smaller companies that hardly pay any tax at all, using one or several loopholes. IKEA in Australia managed to get the taxes down to 1 %, 1 % are you kidding me.

In general as I see it the biggest companies, the richest people try to pay as little tax as possible by almost any mean. In the case of IKEA they are still using the public infrastructure, but they don’t want to pay for it. Not seldom do you see companies complaining about services or infrastructure that are tax founded, not by them but from the average Joes pocket.

Now I don’t say all companies do this, and not all of the richest people either but I would guess that they are the exception to the rule rather then the opposite.

Now people will say, of course you don’t want to pay more tax then you have to, is that not normal. My reply to that is, “hell no”. I am not advocating to get back to Swedish situations we had at one point when Astrid Lindgren the author had to pay 102 % in tax, now that is just ridiculous, but 1 % or 18% that is just as ridiculous.

Now that make my a socialist, a course word in some countries, but for I am proud of it. I want a society that is as equal as possible, and if you have more money it simple means you should also pay as much as anyone else, not less. That is like some friends sharing a flat and someone gets a lot of money, hires someone to find a loophole to pay less rent then the other ones. Is that a simplification, sure it is, but if the rich can do it why can’t I?

I have one lead word in my life and that is “being fair”, and how the world is right now regarding distribution of wealth is so unfair it makes my blood boil. In fact we have some rich person that can own a couple of extra jets, extra houses they do not need so a couple of thousand people can live on nothing, lack medicare or miss out on school, way to go world.

Last thing, charity, always we hear how much wealthy people give to charity. What is that, if they just paid their taxes people could benefit from that, have a sense of pride and not having to stand and beg for crumpets from people feeling smug about themselves.

So now some moderation from me. No not everyone is like this, just because you have money you don’t turn into a self-serving, money-grabbing bastard. Like most people they are basically good people, does not matter where they are from or even how much they have. Just that the richer you get, the normal standards of behaving seems to dissipate. And in fact it is not even all their fault, the problem is that society or governments let this go on. So in the end it is up to us, in democracies anyway, to decide if this is OK or if this should stop.

I pay my taxes, and I actually love to do it. Why, because it is the way to distributes wealth and it is what I can do. So I am not rich by any mean and I still pay more then they do, so who has the upper ground now? You can laugh all the way to the bank, that you can never take away from me.

Written by
JMS

Article – About an artist!

I have been meaning to write something about an aspiring artist here in Craiova, but I never really got around to it until now. Why is that, you might ask. Well, a combination of working much, being lazy to an extent, but most of all my total lack of long term memory is the real culprit.

When she, yes, it is a she, wrote a really cool book review that gave me some inspiration and also gave my memory a badly needed shock, fired up some neurons saying “Hey, did you not want to write an article about her works, you lazy git?!”

And being told off by my own brain, here I am in front of my laptop, wondering how much cooler this would have been to write this with a old style typewriter. Well, I digress somewhat, so lets get back on track. At the same time I say this I see before me a grand opening in the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, it’s 1930 or maybe some years earlier. We are about to see not a moving picture, no, we are about to see still images in colour form. Now I have set the scenery, created a mood perhaps, and we are ready to start our journey.

The artist is Xaara Novack, living in Craiova. She paints, draws and has a vibrant creativity that flows into all of her works. Now there is nothing more interesting to this poor writer than this, and unlike my writing, there is nothing poor about her work.
I can not say that I am in any way an expert on this art form, but that does not really matter as art is about finding something interesting, something unique or to find something thoughtprovoking.

She had her first exhibition, at least I think it was her first, in Casa de Cultură Traian Demetrescu some time ago. I could not attend when she showed of her works herself, but I grabbed my skinny legs and headed down there as soon as I had a chance, and then bought a painting, we just had to.

Painting by Xaara

Painting by Xaara

Now you can head over to her art blog here and check out her other creations. And you probably think “not another link to follow”, but this a gem, so no diddle- daddle, just head over there.

She does not really have one style, and as an artist that is probably not an advantage, but for me I like it. It is a way to explore and for her to explore art in all its forms. She has a way to get out a feeling or an emotion through her works that is beautiful to see, and that is much more important than to create in a unique single style, at least in my eyes.

What I find most interesting are not the paintings, and don’t get me wrong they are really good, but the doodling I find fascinating. I like to doodle myself but I have no patience to put in the effort to really make them stick out, but Xaara does. For example the one with an elephant hanging on an eyelid, now that really gets your imagination going, at least for me.

So I should wrap this article up, most of all so you can actually head over to her blog and check out her creations!

And keep an eye on her, she will go as far as she wants to!

Written by

JMS

Article – Swedish politics

Article

I just have to write something about it. Main topic was of course immigration, of course as this is what the Swedish Democrats (SD) party has managed to turn it into be. I am not so naive to think that all works well with the immigration, but I must say that several parties, among them the Moderates (M), The Peoples Party (FP) and the Christian Democrats (KD) really has reached a low point. While talking about immigration, we are talking about people fleeing for their lives from war. What is the (M) response to this, we have to make sure they can be integrated to Swedish society by not giving them a permanent residence permit. So in fact what M, FP and KD are saying is, “Ok you are fleeing from a war,, that is fine and dandy, but can you become integrated?” What the hell kind of humanity is that, sure integration is important, avoiding to get killed is slightly more important.
Sweden is a rich country, we have it made in a way. But what are people worrying about, not to help our fellow man, no no, most important is if we can renovate our house and get a subsidy for it. If that is lowered from 50 % to 30 %, then they cry out how unfair it is. Tell that to the guy fleeing for their lives, renovating my house is much more important.
I don’t agree with all the politics from the Left Wing Party (V), but at least they have some humanity. M, FP and KD policy is lower taxes, benefit the ones has a job and fuck the rest, they have themselves to blame. Lets just hope they don’t suddenly find themselves without a job, having cancer and still having to look for a job or you don’t get any money.
Now I know I whine a lot, hell Sweden is rich, have it so much better then so many countries, but I do hate a country going the wrong way, especially when it is my own.

Written by
JMS

Movie Review – A Single Man

MOVIE REVIEWS

Release date: September 11, 2009
Running time: 100 minutes
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
Directed by: Tom Ford
Genre: dramatic


The plot

The movie is about George Falconer (played by Colin Firth), a man who just lost Jim, the man who was the love of his life. He is not really trying to cope with this, he is more finding a way to end his life. We follow him during a day, the people he meets and among them is Charlie (played by Julianne Moore) one of his oldest friends.


What I think about the movie.

This is a movie that in general have got high grades and much praise and in some parts I do agree, but in others I was not that impressed.
Lets start with the person who really carries this movie and that is Colin Firth. It is almost like the role was written for him, because in this kind of understated roles he really excels. He has a good way of underplaying his character without actually stopping to act all together. Reminds me a bit of how he played his role in the excellent movie
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Good timing, he uses small changes in the face to convey a feeling and in general he knows how to get a felling through the movie screen. Then we have Julianne Moore, who I do not understand why they picked her for this role. She is not at all good to get out emotions, usually overplays her characters with lack of timing and that we got here also. She has a small role but it is a shame they could not have picked a better actress for the role.

Filming the first word that came to my mind was polished. It is by no means badly filmed, actually better then most and in a way that works with the story. However they took it a few notch to far, like a painting you never want to finish, you loose the content and end up with something too polished.

The plot, it is not the first movie that handles the loss of a lover, and not the first movie that handles that loss for a homosexual man. So it does not get that many point for originality, but they told the story in a good and effective way.

So as a whole this is an OK movie that becomes a good movie, all thanks to Colin Firth as he carries the movie.

My grade would be 4 / 5, but not a super strong 4. Don’t get me wrong it is not a bad movie at all, it is rather good, but it is not a great movie in my eyes.

Article – Today, remember, VE-day

Article

Today, this day marked the end of World War 2, in Europe at least, it would drag on for some months more in the east.

Why is this an important day to remember, well there are so many reasons that it is hard to choose one above the other. The defeat of a terror regime that made murder into an industry must be among the first ones, but not really the first one.

What is most important about this day is all the victims that died during this conflict that is so horrible it defies the mind to grasp it.

50 million people died, some say as many as 80 million, can you believe it, can you put a face on those victims, now only names in some long forgotten registry, a faded black and white picture of a person whose future got cut short, never existed, faded away like the picture.

People like Anne Frank, famous for her diary, as a Swede, Wallenberg who saved people but himself died, and yet they are not the first ones I think about. They are remembered at least if nothing else, someone, somewhere knew who they were, why they laughed or why they cried.

No, first of all I think about those families who were wiped out, nobody left, none to carry the memories of their lives to the future, and in this way at least live on, if only as that, a memory.

One would think such a human catastrophe would have change man-kind, directed us into some better path, where power was not the only gain. But no, we still make the same mistakes, still families are wiped out, their memories lost, forever. What a shame that is, what laughter the world missed to hear, the arguments, the love, the hate. All gone into a past that is totally white, with no writing to be found.

So for this day, I choose to remember them more than anyone else, and I lower my head and weep as they can not, and laugh as they should have.

Written by JMS

Short story – Naughty old school

This story takes place in a house where an elderly couple lives, they are about 75 years old or something like that. Now as this is a saucy story full of sex and powerplay, you kids have to stop reading.
No I mean it, stop reading, really.
OK for those one still here, lets go back to the house and the couple.
The woman by the name of Agda, one morning sat at the breakfast table looking at her husband Jurgen, as he was finishing his breakfast.
“Husband,” she suddenly said.
He looked up at her with that warm smile a couple have after living together all their lives, well if they manage to get through those times when they wanted to kill each other, that is.
“Yes my little sugarplum,” he asked.
“I think our sex life is going a bit on routine, and I just finished reading 50 shades of gray,” she said to him with a sassy look.
He was not much of a reader, and usually found her books on the boring side, but he always listened as that made her happy, and he wanted to make her happy.
“It is a book about BDSM and I want us to try that.”
“Ohh what is BDSM,” he asked, as he was rather innocent in the sex area.
“As I understand it from the book you should spank me and tell me what to do.”
He looked a bit confused, “You want me to spank you like you have been naughty?”
“Yes just like that,” she said.
He thought for a bit, not really sure how that would work. He had been spanked as a child but he had never found that exciting, more painful, but he finally agreed with a big smile at his wonderful wife.
They walked to their bedrooms, both had to use canes to walk, so it took some time to walk to their ground floor bedroom.
Now, you might think they did not have an active love life, but this couple were a couple of minxes in the bedroom, you trust me they had their things going on.
After 10 minutes they managed to reach the bedroom and being tired they had a bit of a sit down, to catch their breath and get ready for some hanky panky.
Agda got up first, waving her bum in Jurgens direction, “If you want it, come and get it,” she said in her seductive way.
“Haba haba haba,” Jurgen replied.
Agda, with a nice shake dropped her nightgown and bent over against the bed, wiggling her bum in his direction, saying “I have been a bad, bad girl.”

Sleep is important, but not always

Sleep is important, but not always

She had to stand in that rather awkward position for quite some time without anything happening. She turned around and saw that Jurgen had fallen asleep in the chair, snoring his head off. His snoring she had mistaken for his cave man routine, an easy mistake to make.
“She walked over to him, “Come one Jurgen, wake up, we are having tabu sex here.”
“Sorry dear, seems I dozed of a bit, now where were we?” he said.
“You should spank me, but first we have to have a safeword.”
Jurgen stood up and walk towards her, but at the safeword he stopped.
“What is a safeword?”
Agda looked at him with a smile, “oh you don’t know anything do you? A safeword is something I say in case you get too rough with me.”
“Don’t you just say no, is no a safeword?”
“No I can’t say no, because I could say no and mean yes, that is why we use a safeword, so you know when I really want you to stop,” Agda replied.
“But if you want me to stop is it not better not to start doing it, you know I would never hurt you honey.”
Agda now getting a bit cold, reached down and put on her nightgown again, and that took some time.
“Jurgen, dear husband, lets go and finish our breakfast. I think I better explain this a bit more before we start”
She did explain how this BDSM would work, it took some time, many days in fact but finally she managed to get him to understand.
After that, well you can imagine, it got hot and sexy.

I will not tell you here what happened in their bedroom, but 50 shades of gray would be nothing, I can tell you that much.

Written by
JMS


PS as I assume most have given up reading at this point, here is a bonus story.

She was holding her phone in her hand, shaking as it kept ringing, his name turning up in the display. Last night she had been in a bar and meet a guy, they hit it off big time, so when he told her he wanted to dominate her, she had not just left like should normally would have, she just gave a nervous laugh, treating it like a joke, even though she knew it was not.
“Hello,” she answered the phone, unable not to.

“Come to my apartment, it is open, let yourself in and go to the living room.”
The call ended leaving her standing there, phone in her hand, not knowing what to do.
She was tempted to go, she did not know why, just tempted. The thought scared the life out of her, but at the same time it intrigued her.
Finally she put the phone down, decided not to go. Strangely enough she had decided to walk home, and still she found herself standing outside his apartment block.
Hesitating even more she still went in, opened the door and went into the living room as instructed.
On the table were a note and a blindfold, the note stated her safeword and directed her to take off her cloths and put on the blindfold.
“Hello,” she said but got no reply.
For some reason, she did not understand herself, she got undressed and put the blindfold on, feeling vulnerable and yet excited.
After what seemed an eternity she heard the door open and close, someone entered the room.

…and now I got bored writing this, bet you thought you would find some really naught stuff eyyh, instead a quick end….

After she had felt the shiver of pleasure and pain, she felt a kiss, heard him writing something and then the door again opened and closed, she was again alone.

Taking of the blindfold she found a note, “Until next time” and on it a red rose.

-hmm can’t figure out what that 50 shades of gray is all about, never read it but can’t have been that hard to write….i say with nothing but modesty..if you remove the modesty that is