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Archive for November, 2011

Ensimmäinen Mesikämmenen posti ilmestyi tähän blogiin 30.11. 2007. Vuosipäivä!

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Vaikka yllä oleva teksti Suomi24:llä 12.4. 2009 onkin ilmiselvä läppä, niin Esko Valtaoja käytti sitä artikkelissaan “Salkkareita ja virkkareita” 21.4. 2009 kuvaamaan, miten pöljiä salaliittoteoriat hänen mielestään tuppaavat olemaan. Salaliittoteorioita varsin kriittisen oloisesti käsittelevässä artikkelissaan Valtaoja kirjoitti em. Siitoin-tekstistä näin: “Vanhempien turkulaisten muistissa oleva valtakunnanjohtaja Pekka Siitoinkin on vastikään nähty ilmielävänä Hangossa; mahtaako Supolla olla osuutta asiaan?”

En lähde kommentoimaan Valtaojan näkemyksiä salaliittoteorioista tässä sen enempää, mutta saatan tehdä niin tämän postin kommenteissa, jos joku aiheeseen tarttuu. Mitä yllä olevaan läppään Siitoimesta Hangossa tulee, niin olisi kyllä melkoisen hulppeaa, jos Pekka Hangossa asustelisi ja lukisi vaikka tätä blogia jossain kalastusmökissä säännöllisesti. Hienon elokuvan tai romaanin ainekset tuossa nyt ainakin on, vaikka vähän sellaisen Apt pupil -tyyppisen thrillerin, eikö vain?

Tästä tulikin mieleen, että joskus luin jostain netistä, että jollain olisi ollut Pekka Siitoin-tatuointi käsivarressaan. En ole ensimmäiseenkään Pekka-tatuointiin itse kyllä vielä törmännyt. Jos tuolla huhupuhueella on yhtään totuuspohjaa, niin siitä olisi varsin mielenkiintoista kuulla lisää – ja tietysti myös nähdä tuo tatuointi. Mitenkään mahdotonta sitä ei ole uskoa, että Pekka-tatuointeja Suomesta löytyisi. Paljon vähäpätöisempiäkin henkilöitä ovat suomalaiset vuosien varsilla antaneet nahkaansa neulata, mieleen tulee lähihistoriasta mm. Ismo Laitela.

Valokuvia Pekka-tatuoinneistanne otetaankin suurella mielenkiinnolla vastaan!

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Hypnoottis-magneettisen katseen SM 2011 -kisaan on 22.11. mennessä ilmoittautunut 5 henkilöä: Mari Manson, Oja Allikko, Älä katso silmiin (se psyykkaa), sekä Jaarli Kaikkitaival. Muutama näistä kilpailijoista on jo saanut osakseen huimaa kannustusta ja ihailua. Käy katsomassa tähän mennessä ilmoittautuneiden kuvat kilpailujen virallisilla Facebook-sivuilta, ja kannusta samalla omaa ennakkosuosikkiasi!

Kilpailuun voi, ja kannattaa, ilmoittautua 26.12.2011 mennessä. 27.12.2011 alkaa kilpailuun ilmoittautuneiden äänestys. Hypnoottis-magneettisen katseen SM-kisojen ensimmäinen voittaja julistetaan 31.12.2011/1.1.2012.

Katso asian tiimoilta myös edellinen postimme aiheesta.

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I recently published an interview with Dominick Crowley of My Swastika -documentary and Alexa MacDermot’s article on Irish Swastika reclaimationists. In the process I came up with the name ManWoman again and again – and the more I heard of him, the more I got interested in him. I checked his website and YouTube-channel and eventually sent some questions to him. Here, ladies and gentlemen, ManWoman speaks! 卐

Background

As a brief introduction to those who don’t know you – who are you and what do you do?

I’m a controversial, renegade Canadian artist, poet and mystic. As a young man, I had mysterious mystical experiences which awakened me to a much deeper vision of life and art. Now I’m being honoured around the world, chiefly for my efforts to reclaim the sacred swastika and repackage the spiritual.

You are from Canada – What is life like there?

Canada is full of nice people but not much culture (indigenous culture suffers from annihilation) because we have all come from elsewhere and it takes centuries to build an identity. We play hockey and hang animal corpses on our living room walls.

What is your favorite color and why?

In my dreams I was always wearing yellow, driving yellow cars, finding yellow things. For me yellow is the colour of the lover, the source of life, illumination, when the soul is filled with inspiration and creativity and blessing.

What inspires you as an artist?

Spiritual experiences and dreams, beauty and truth.

What do you aim to achieve with your art?

I express a deep part of myself, so deep that it is no longer about the small “me” but about the inner self that belongs to all beings 卐

Swastika and things related

Your relationship to Swastika is a spiritual one. Tell us about the spiritual experience that got you started in this – what happened, where and when? What is the “Secret doctrine of the Holy Fuck” involved? How this experience changed your life?

At the age of 27, in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, 5 Feb 1965, in the Mountain View Motel, I went into a trance that night and my spirit soared up into what I call the Womb of the Sacred, where I was surrounded by fiery beauty and exciting power like rolling thunder. I thought I was dying and was extremely frightened until I surrendered to it and was drawn up into a radiant light that is the absolute formless being, the Self. I call it Secret Doctrine of the Holy Fuck so it doesn’t get confused with religion which our world suffers from. It was a state of love, ecstasy and oneness with the Nameless One.

I tried to tell my wife, my friends, my relatives, about this wonderful awaken in my soul. They edged away as if I had caught some terrible disease. A local priest told me I was insane and needed to turn myself in. I had walked away from church during my art school days and his words made me realize religion will never bring about such a creative experience. I decided I would be who I truly was even if the whole world shunned me as my friends were now doing. By the way, no drugs were involved in any of my experiences, which continued almost daily for a year.

Your artist name is ManWoman. In your videos Art talk and The real me was never born you talk about feminine aspect of Swastika and its importance. Does your artist name represent your spiritual work – effort to bring feminine and masculine energies together in a harmonious way?

During my visions all opposites melted into each other. In the dreams that followed, I was always both male and female and the dream people called me ManWoman. I was told this was my real name and I don’t need to tell you how I struggled with the idea of going through life with this name. It ruined my art career.

Swastika is evidently the most important symbol, spiritual symbol, to you. Are there some other symbols that are special to you? Why Swastika is the most important symbol to you?

My art is full of symbols, archetypes that point to an inner world which cannot be communicated but only hinted at. In dreams, the swastika became the symbol for that vortex of love and truth that embraced my soul in the Womb of the Sacred.

"God cannot be represented by any image. This was my best effort (1965)."

How would you describe your spirituality? What do you believe in? I’ve got an impression that you do not much appreciate formal religions, seeing that genuine spirituality should not (or could not) be put in strict boxes that formal religions are. I’ve got an impression that you have quite shamanistic basic touch in your spirituality with some buddhist influences – Am I correct?

I would say you could see many religions in my spirituality because I’m talking about the primal experience that all founders of all religions must have experienced. I’m very open ended and experimental. My initiation into it was through a shamanistic trance, although I had no teachers and this all came at me like a bolt from the blue. – pure without the baggage of tradition or scripture or doctrine.

Buddhism has no deity but the inner Buddha which is in us all – I like that. Hinduism has so many deities that everything is holy – I like that. My experiences can be compared to what Hindus call Kundalini Shakti – the release of the sacred feminine snake up the spine to levels or chakras of illumination. I like the Sufi way of honouring the sacred wherever it is found.

I detest all religions which use their god like a club to bully all others into submission to a set of stupid mindless beliefs and are willing to die for world domination of same stupid beliefs. So many perpetrators have “god” in their back pocket to justify their actions.

If you would meet the pope, Richard Dawkins, and Dalai Llama, what would you tell them?

Gentle Swastika (1984)

I had to Google Richard Dawkins – what person of intelligence seeing all the horrors and perpetration done by religion in our world wouldn’t choose to be atheist? I would tell the pope to kiss my ass. If he’s Christ’s representative on earth then I’m the Virgin Mary. I detest what has been imposed on the innocent and the gullible by the Catholic church. I like the Dalai Lama because he promotes loving kindness. It is cute that you spelled his name Llama like the animal from South America – soft and furry.

Ah, yes, I spelled that wrong, heh! In addition to your paintings and poetry you have also written three books. What are they about?

Gentle Swastika: Reclaiming the Innocence, a history of the worldwide uses of the swastika and my vision to restore it to its sacred purpose.

Homesick For Eternity, the autobiography of my awakening years, the trials, the bliss, the astonishment, illustrated by paintings of my visions.

Midnite Freak Show: Art, Poetry and Dangerous Mysticism, my poetry plus another series of paintings.

You have been called the father of Swastika reclaimationists. How do you feel about this? Did you get the call to start to work for reclaimation of Swastika immediately during the “Swastika experience” you had, or did that call develop gradually after the experience?

I believe I earned the title “father” of the Reclaim the Swastika movement the hard way with over 40 years of being tattooed with swastikas, teaching, networking, holding the hard place of opposing all the enormous prejudice against the swastika. And sometimes angry confrontations. It takes courage.

A wise old man with white hair, white beard, and white clothes, marked my throat in a dream and asked me to restore the swastika to its holy meanings. I nearly choked because I had Polish relatives taken to Auschwitz during the war. My mother said, when she sees a swastika, it cuts right through her. Still, I won her with the evidence I accumulated for a sacred swastika.

The Waitress From Swastika Café

Has the reclaimationist work become easier as we have got more distance from WW II – or has it stayed the same or even become more difficult as the West has become more “politically correct”?

Holocaust survivors and veterans of the war are dying off. The younger generation is looking for a cause and seeking a new world view, so yes, it is spreading beyond my expectations. Political correctness will never stifle this vision. Even young Jews are joining the cause.

As reclaimationists in general, you are not happy about what Nazis did with Swastika. This is evident for example from your videos To hell with Hitler and Sacred Swastika. How often people get upset from your Swastikas? Do people “get it” easily when you start to explain to them what Swastika is really all about?

I’m not comfortable with being called a reclamationist, which suggests a particular single group. There are many people who want to see the swastika restored – Native peoples in Canada and USA, Mayans, Western Buddhists, Western Hindus, various Pagan groups, the Tattoo community and worldwide youth and rock ‘n’ roll culture – it’s hard to put us all in one pot.

What have been the best things that have happened for Swastika reclaimationists during the last decades? The worst?

Photo by Bobby Neal Adams for Re/Search #12, Modern Primitives, 1989.

My interview in RE/Search Modern Primitives reach a vast audience among the tattoo community, which helped the idea spread to many countries. Ongoing ignorance of the true meaning is the worst contributor. The release of the My Swastika documentary that started at the Tattoo Festival in Cobh, Ireland in 2010 will be another huge boost to public education. Since the Irish Festival, interviews with me have been published in magazines from UK, Ireland, France, Germany.

What does it tell about that Swastika is in the West still associated with Nazis? In addition to the obvious historical associations, are there some deeper level spiritual or other currents that are connected with this? Does this kind Western mentality involved with Swastika’s association with Nazis manifest some deep spiritual, cultural and other problems that we in the West are dealing with today? Or is this kind of question not meaningful, are those things not really connected?

What happened in WWII cannot be erased but brave people who choose to use the symbol for new or restored old meanings are what will really make a shift in the overall consciousness around the swastika. No one will remember WWII forever.

Think of the most sacred thing in your life
think of the most precious thing
and put the swastika into that place
Put the swastika into your heart.
Put the swastika on your altar.
Put the swastika on the image you use
to represent God, love, peace, or the cosmos.
Put the swastika on the thing that makes you happy.
You will begin to see what the swastika has meant to humans
over this entire planet for all of our human history.
For these places are exactly the places it occupied
for thousands of years until the Second World War,
when it fell victim to a chronic infection.
I say to hell with Hitler –
me and my friends are taking it back!

ManWoman

When the day comes that Swastika is reclaimed, what will that world be like? How it differs from today’s world?

The swastika exists in so many cultures, it is part of the collective unconscious as Carl Jung realized. We will be inwardly richer not having our most sacred sign stolen by an evil war. In the orient, the swastika has never been lost so this issue is mostly a problem for those nations touched by the Nazi regime.

You have a massive collection of Swastika related items in your Swastika Museum. What kind of items you have and how many items you have all in all? Is your Swastika Museum open to the public? Are there some special Swastika items you would like to get into your museum?

Lucky Swastika cigar box blankets in ManWoman's Swastika Museum.

My museum is just in my front room. People do drop in for a visit. It is not a formal museum. I have many drawers full, walls covered, filing cabinets and trunks – Victorian jewelry, turn of the century postcards, Navaho rugs, baseball caps, thousands of items. I have never counted them all. I have most of the important items. I’m not collecting more. In fact, I have been giving some away to my supporters. People can see some of the items on my YouTube videos.

Do you have any Nazi-Germany Hakenkreuzes in your collection or have you decided to not include them? Why yes or no?

When I first started in 1967 several people offered me Nazi stuff. I refused.

Later in 1985, three of my first swastika penpals and I met at the home of Carolyn O’Neil, the town historian of Swastika, Ontario, Canada. There was Douglas Youngblood from Chicago, a researcher, and Alfred Harbich, who called himself Guru Svastika, a German artist. We had many heated arguments about not including Nazi items. Carolyn and I did not want any Nazi items. The others argued for showing the complete history. We left with no agreement. I have none in my collection. My purpose was to create The Friends Of The Swastika and any tainted items would sabotage all my efforts.

You are part of the forthcoming documentary My Swastika. What kind of part you have in the documentary? What kind of hopes and expectations you have for the documentary?

I’m featured and interviewed about the visions and the long journey I have been on with the Swastika. I was guest speaker at two tattoo festivals in Ireland and also an underground music festival in Denmark where I showed slides and talked about the symbol. I believe this documentary will ignite an even bigger expansion to the save the swastika movement.

ManWoman gives a talk about Swastika. 2nd Traditional Tattoo And World Culture Festival, Cobh, Co Cork, Ireland. June 3rd-6th 2011.

You took part to the 2nd Traditional Tattoo And World Culture Festival in Ireland this year. How was it? What kind of Swastika reclaimationist program and activities there were?

I have never used the term Reclamationist which is now being dubbed on us. This is a grassroots movement with no preconceived agenda. There were many playful swastikas, a swastika prayer ritual, swastika medicine wheel, swastika prayer flags and banners, swastika tattoos, swastika clothing, swastika cakes and cookies, swastika chocolate-covered marzipan handed out like communion wafers. My wife Astarté built a swastika-shaped garden in a small sacred grove where we did the prayer tie ceremony. All create by various individual with no organized plan. It was a Swastika Happening.

What is Swastika, that ancient sacred symbol, all about, in its core?

It speaks of the source of our being, our cycles of incarnation, transformation, celebration and enormous blessings 卐

Future

What kind of plans you have for the future as an artist, as a Swastika reclaimationist?

I don’t really have plans. I’m networking with swastika people all over the globe. Sometimes the person who plants the seeds isn’t the one who reaps the harvest. I follow my vision and now it’s up to the Great Mystery to unfold it’s plans. I do not take credit for something that is inspired by the Spirit.

What makes you happy?

Being who I truly am without compromise or fear or common sense 卐

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Thank you for the interview, ManWoman! 卐

All pictures used in the interview are from ManWoman’s webpage, except the one from 2nd Traditional Tattoo And World Culture Festival, which is from The Gentle Swastika Collective blog.

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Hänvin

Olisiko tässä seuraava Alkon hittituote?

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Kerron teille kauhutarinan. Se on valitettavasti tosi. Siihen kuuluu valheita, viattoman osapuolen menettämää aikaa ja rahaa, raastettuja hermoja, uskomatonta hajua, alkoholismia, ulosteita ja verta. Ja kuten kauhutarinoissa yleensä, on tässäkin kauhutarinassa hirviö ja tämän uhri.

Tarina olkoon varoituksena kaikille vuokranantajille siitä, miten voi käydä, jos katsoo läpi sormien vuokralaisen leväperäisyyttä vuokranmaksussa ja jos ylipäätään on vuokralaisen suhteen luottavainen aina sinisilmäisyyteen saakka.

Seurasin tarinan tapahtumia sivusta. En siis itse ole kertomani tapauksen vuokranantaja, olen vain joutunut seuraamaan tilannetta kuukausikaupalla sivusta.

Tapaus ja sen seuraaminen on saanut minut todella vihaiseksi. Mieleni tekisi julkaista tässä jutussa tarinan hirviön nimi, mutta annanpa olla. Kuvan vuokralaisesta olen kuitenkin laittanut oheen. Sen verran asiasta nyt sentään voi paljastaa, että kyseessä on suohirviö.

Tapahtumat sijoittuvat Etelä-Suomeen. Vuokra-asunto on yksiö.

Alkuvuodesta tuntemani vuokranantaja haki omistamaansa asuntoon vuokralaista. Asunto oli siisti, minkä lisäksi sitä oli remontoitu ennen vuokralle laittamista. Potentiaalisia vuokralaisia sattui olemaan vähän. Vuokranantaja päätyi vuokraamaan asunnon keski-ikäiselle ihmisen kaltaiselle olennolle. Hän vaikutti olevan ok, vaikka suohirviö olikin.

Kului pari kuukautta. Vuokranantaja huomasi, ettei vuokraa oltu maksettu. Hän huomautti asiasta vuokralaiselle, joka selitti, että hänellä oli vaikea elämäntilanne, taloudellisesti juuri silloin hieman tiukkaa. Samaan syssyyn hän kuitenkin sanoi pian maksavansa ainakin osan maksamattomista vuokrista – ja loput sitten mahdollisimman pian.

Jonkun verran vuokralainen oli vuokranantajan tilille tämän jälkeen maksanutkin, mutta vain murto-osan maksamattomista vuokristaan.

Kului pari kuukautta ja tilanne oli jälleen sama. Maksamatonta vuokraa alkoi kerääntyä jo aika lailla. Vuokranantaja soitti vuokralaiselle ja kysyi selitystä tilanteesta. Vuokralainen selitti samoja taloudellisia vaikeuksiaan jne. kuin ennenkin ja taas lupasi maksaa vuokraansa. Mitään ei kuitenkaan tapahtunut.

Tässä vaiheessa vuokranantajan hälytyskellot alkoivat viimein soida.

Suohirviöstä tehtiin hieman taustatyötä. Paljastui, että hän oli valehdellut työpaikastaan. Hänellä ei ollut vakituista työpaikkaa kuten hän oli kertonut, vaan hän oli ollut mainitsemassaan paikassa työllistettynä. Kyseisen paikan esimies kertoi suohirviöstä kysyttäessä auliisti, että hirviöstä oli ollut työpaikalle vain haittaa. Hän oli ollut äärimmäisen epäedustava ja haissut työpaikalla niin paljon, että hänen hajustaan oli valitettu esimiehelle. Hän myös säännöllisesti tuli töihin huomattavan myöhässä. Lyhykäisyydessään, hän oli ollut työllistäjälleen painajainen.

Vuokra-asunnon talonmies osasi kertoa vuokranantajalle, että suohirviöstä oli tullut valituksia. Hänen vuokra-asuntonsa haisi talon käytävään asti siinä määrin, että muut talon asukkaat kokivat tarpeelliseksi tehdä asiasta valituksia. Tiedettiin myös, että suohirviö kantoi tämän tästä lähikaupasta asuntoonsa kaljakoreja ja oli päivät pitkät päissään. Talonmiehen mukaan suohirviö olikin ilmiselvä alkoholisti.

Suohirviön vuokra-asunnolla luuhasi ainakin satunnaisesti haisemassa joku spurgu-ukko, minkä lisäksi yksiössä kerrottiin pidettävän myös isokokoista koiraa, jonka haukunta kuului lujana talon käytävään asti. Koirasta suohirviö ei ollut vuokranantajalle missään vaiheessa kertonut, vaikka hän tiesi, että olemassa olevan vuokrasopimuksen mukaan hänen olisi niin pitänyt tehdä. Näiden asioiden lisäksi suohirviöllä oli maksamattomia sähkölaskuja, joista vuokranantaja alkoi saada noottia.

Pienellä vaivalla selvisi, että suohirviön edellinen vuokrasuhde oli sekin kestänyt vain muutaman kuukauden, ennen kuin hän oli ilmeisesti saanut häädön maksamattoman vuokran takia.

Ja monon kuvaa oli perseelle tulossa jälleen.

Vuokranantaja antoi suohirviölle ultimaattumin, tiettyyn päivämäärään mennessä maksamattomat vuokrat olisi oltava tilillä tai muuten hän saisi häädön.

Tilille ei ilmaantunut annettuun päivämäärään mennessä mitään.

Vuokranantaja tarkastutti asunnon kunnon. Suohirviö oli tupakoinut sisällä, minkä vuoksi asunto osaltaan haisi. Tupakkaa enemmän asunnossa vallitsi kuitenkin ummehtunut lääkevirtsan ja ulosteiden sekainen löyhkä, jollaisen vain vakavasti maksa- tai munuaissairas olento, joka ei ikinä peseydy, voi saada aikaan. Hajua kuvailtaessa on otettava huomioon sekin, että asunnossa haisi näin pahalle siitä huolimatta, että asunnon parveke oli ollut auki jo jonkin aikaa ennen tarkastajien asuntoon saapumista. Keittiön lattialla oli koiranpaskaa. Seinät olivat likaiset. WC oli kuvottavassa kunnossa. Kärpäset surisivat ja niitä istui mm. erittäin epäilyttävän likaisen tuolin pershankausosassa useita. Silminnäkijät raportoivat kokeneensa kylmiä väreitä, kun he oksennusrefleksiä pidätellen kärvistelivät asunnossa.

Aikaa kului, palkattu firma hoiti työnsä ja suohirviö heitettiin asunnosta pihalle. Hän oli vielä kuin läksiäislahjaksi jättänyt asuntoon romujaan, jotka vuokranantaja sai sitten vielä kerätä ja kipata roskikseen. Pisteenä i:n päällä oli jälleen lattialta löytyvä koiraspaska sekä vaatekomerosta löytyneet käytetyt kuukautissuojat. Kyllä, luitte aivan oikein. Käytettyjä kuukautissuojia vaatekomerossa.

Jos tästä tarinasta tehtäisiin kauhuelokuva, niin tämä olisi itse asiassa jo jatko-osa ainakin yhteen aikaisempaan osaan, kuten edellä tuli selväksi. On ikävän todennäköistä, että alkoholisti suohirviö jatkaa samaa menoaan ja kohta on kaikella todennäköisyydellä jälleen yhden jatko-osan ainekset kasassa tähän kauhutarinaan.

Suohirviönkaltaisilla olennoilla ei ole mitään järkevää selitystä olla maksamatta vuokraansa, kaikki heidän selityksensä ovat olleet ja tulevat olemaan paskapuheita. He tietävät tämän itsekin. Suomessa ihminen saa vuokransa maksettua, jos vain vaivautuu KELA:an hakemaan vuokratukea ja sosiaalihuoltoon hakemaan toimeentulotukea, jos ei mistään muualta rahaa tilille tule. Se, jos näissä olosuhteissa ei saa vuokraansa maksettua, on äkkiseltään katsottuna ainoastaan moraali- ja tahtokysymys. No, tarkemmin katsottuna ja suohirviön tilannettakin mietittyä on todettava, että alkoholismi on tietysti sairaus, eikä alkoholisti välttämättä pitele niinkään pulloa kuin pullo alkoholistia. Varsinkaan, jos henkilö kärsii vielä mielenterveyden ongelmista.

Suohirviö oli tämän tarinan vuokranantajan riesana n. puoli vuotta. Hän jätti jälkeensä usean kuukauden maksamattoman vuokran, maksamattoman sähkön, ja remonttikuntoon joutuneen asunnon. Vielä asunnosta häädettyäänkin sai vuokranantaja siivota hänen jäljiltään asunnon lattialta koiranpaskaa ja kerätä tämän verisiä kuukautissuojia vaatekomerosta. Ja kuten mainittua, pitää asunto vielä rempata. Asiantuntijalausunnun mukaan mahdollisuudet saada suohirviöltä maksamattomat vuokrat, sähköt, sekä asunnon remontoinnin kulut ovat olemattomat. Tähän on päälle tietysti vielä koko ruljanssissa palkattujen tahojen palkkiot…

Miettikää, jos te olisitte tämän vuokranantajan asemassa. Miltä tuntuisi joutua maksamaan paskaa puhuvan ja paskalta haisevan alkoholistin takia asuntoon kuuluvaa sähköä ja yhtiövastiketta kun tämä hirviö vielä asuu omistamassanne asunnossa? Miltä tuntuisi, ettette saisi vain yksinkertaisesti heittää vuokriaan maksamatta jättävää juoppoa ulos omistamastanne asunnosta? Miltä tuntuisi palkata firma hoitamaan tämä hirviö asunnostanne helvettiin? Miltä tuntuisi kaikki se asiaan menetetty aika, energia, ja raha? Ei liene harvinaista, jos vitutus alkaa olla tuossa tilanteessa mittapuiltaan kosmista.

Niin vastenmielinen kuin tämä alkoholisoitunut suohirviö onkin, ja niin paljon kuin hänenkaltaisiaan saastaisia, selkärangattomia loisia ja vahingontekijöitä inhoankaan, on hän loppupeleissä kuitenkin ennenkaikkea vain säälittävä haiseva alkoholisti, jonka elämä ei takuulla ole järin onnellista. Siinä, mitä hän näkee peilistä, lienee jo melkoinen kärsimys hänelle kannettavaksi, sen lisäksi, että hän varmasti kyllä tietää jossain sisimmässään, millainen selkärangaton paskiainen hän on.

No, edellä kuvatun inhon, kuvotuksen ja vitutuksen lisäksi suohirviönkaltaisista olennoista tulee mieleen myös se, minkä jo aiemmin totesinkin: alkoholismi on sairaus, ja alkoholisti ei ehkä niinkään pitele pulloa kuin pullo alkoholistia. Jos nuo olennot, jotka ihmisiä nyt pohjimmiltaan kuitenkin ovat, laitettaisiin hoitoon, niin ehkä he vielä pääsisivät elämässään jaloilleen – sellaistakin tiedetään tapahtuneen. Sitä sopisi yhteisen hyvän nimissä toivoa. Tosiasia on kuitenkin se, että monet tämänkaltaiset hirviöt muuttavat uuteen vuokrakämppään kun lentävät yhdestä ulos, elävät sosiaalituella, ja siis myös dokaavat sosiaalituella, ja sama meno jatkuu.

Tarinan opetus on se, että jos olet vuokranantaja, katso, että vuokralainen maksaa vuokransa ajallaan. 2 kk maksamatonta vuokraa oikeuttaa jo vuokrasuhteen irtisanomiseen. Kannattaa myös pyytää 2 kk vuokraennakkoa 1 kk:n sijaan. Vuokralaisten haastattelut kannattaa tehdä todella hyvin ja jos vuokralainen ei kaikinpuolin anna itsestään luotettavaa kuvaa, ei sellaista henkilöä kannata ottaa vuokralle. Muussa tapauksessa saatat saada alkoholistin suohirviön riesaksesi. Jos taas olet alkoholisti suohirviö, joka aiheuttaa yhteisössään hermojen kiristelyä ja kaikenlaista vahinkoa, niin hankkiudu AA-kerhoon, mene lääkärille ja vaadi antabusta, ja/tai tule uskoon, jos ei muu auta. Ihan jo itsesi ja oman elämäsi vuoksi.

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The following article is published with the kind permission of Alexa MacDermot. Her website White Lady Art – Art for contemporary Dublin can be found from here.

The article is about Irish Swastika reclaimationists Dominick Crowley of My Swastika documentary, Phil Cummins of Traditional World Culture Festival, Boz Mugabe of The Gentle Swastika blog and Trevor McLave of pro Swastika metal band Coldwar. Artist known as Manwoman is also discussed. Photos used in the article are from The Gentle Swastika blog 卐

My Swastika

by Alexa MacDermot

I visited Dominick at his flat in Kilmainham in March 2011, where I learned about what it was to be a Swastika reclaimationist. He is part of a group who call themselves the Gentle Swastika Collective. In Ireland the most prominent reclaimationists include Boz Mugabe, an Irish surrealist artist; Phil Cummins, a tattoo artist in Cork; Trevor McLave, lead singer of the metal/punk rock band “Cold War”; ManWoman, a Canadian artist, poet and writer; and a rock band called “Yurt”. Although Ferank Manseed, a Buddhist tattoo artist, is based in the U.K., he can also be considered a major figure on the Irish reclaimationist scene. Driven by their own artistic goals they each strive to use the tetraskellion in their art, the collective umbrella term for the hundreds of symbols that are known loosely to most people as swastikas.

The Collective has a large following world-wide made up of spiritualists, scientists, artists, and people of a multitude of varying professions, and as Dominick pointed out to me the swastika affects every possible facet of life – from architecture to theology, electronics to history.

Dominick is currently filming and editing footage for his documentary My Swastika, interviewing people from different religions, age groups, and professions about their opinions concerning the reintroduction of the swastika into mainstream society as a peaceful and healing symbol. Dominick, and his Polish fiancée, Kasia, have armed themselves with a library full of reference books with which to argue the positive of every possible argument against the reintroduction of the symbol, and serve to illustrate the reasons they see as the backbone of their project. This academic approach of presenting theories with references has the stamp of Kasia’s higher education background.

Kasia is an archaeologist, and as a scientist this “journey” into an increased awareness and understanding of the symbol is, for her, one of intellectual properties only. With an education and professional life grounded in research and documented fact, Kasia forms the logical and earthly-bound Ying to Dominick’s neo-theological Yang. For Dominick, this is a spiritual journey that came to him as a calling from Swastika itself – he uses the word to describe the spirit of the symbol that embodies it, a presence who speaks to him when meditated upon.

The Gentle Swastika Collective seem to boldly play with fire by publicising their loyalty to a symbol that is for the West very clearly associated in the mainstream psyche with Nazi Germany. When I asked what I supposed to be a constant enquiry into their response to people who might accuse them of Neo-Nazi sympathy, Dominick and Kasia replied they had not yet been asked this. Whether this was due to lack of exposure of the Collective, or a suprising number of unquestioning followers or simply a lack of general interest in the question, they told me they were not at all pro-Nazi, and furthermore that the symbol had been bastardised by Hitler’s Third Reich from its peaceful beginnings.

Anyone who has been to India might recall that the swastika has a multitude of different forms that are represented in art and architecture. Its four-legged wheel is a recurrent symbol of the Hindu faith, in particular “Jainism” meaning the seventh saint, Tirthankara Suparsva. In Hindu “svastika” means lucky or auspicious, and Jain temples and holy books contain this symbol many times over. Although the swastika is an Eastern holy symbol and is acceptable and revered in India, the people of the West are not yet a hundred years past the fall of Hitler’s hold over Europe, and thus the symbol still generates an extreme reaction to those whose families were affected in the Holocaust not so very many generations ago.

Canadian reclaimationist, ManWoman, is someone who is quick to state on his website that he has no desire to undermine or insult those who were personally or indirectly affected by the atrocities performed beneath the symbol in the Nazi camps. But is this avoidable? Certainly one cannot please everyone, but is it simply ‘too soon,’ and if so when would the time be right? Dominick believes that to disgrace the swastika because of the millions who died is unfair to the original meanings behind the symbol.

If that is the reason people would turn away from it then should we also consider other symbols that have heralded armies in fanatical religious wars? Such as the Christian crucifix for example, responsible for the Holy War that waged for nearly two hundred years between Christians and Muslims, pagans, heretics, and anyone else who wasn’t Roman Catholic. Against Hitler’s six year rampage across Europe, the Crusades killed far more people. But the Crusades are no longer present in living history whereas there are still living Holocaust survivors, and hardly-weathered memorials that still retain an acute sense of despair and horror.

Kasia realises that there is no difference in most people’s minds between the word “Hitler” and the symbol of the Nazi hakenkreuz – “hooked cross”. Indeed, the documentary Triumph of the Will (1934) by Leni Riefenstahl, was unable to use a picture of Hitler due to technical faults and substituted a swastika to achieve the same effect in post-production. Despite these vertiginous hurdles the Gentle Swastika Collective wish to reinstate the symbol, and give it a rebirth from the ashes of the Holocaust.

The documentary divides the reclaimationists into three distinct categories, that has defined the symbol in three separate ways in turn. There are those that collect memorabilia from a time when the symbol was accepted by societies in the West, and was used as logos, seen on clothing, jewellery and by businesses that deny ever using it when asked today. For these people the importance of hunting and gathering the symbol in its various forms is of historical and sociological interest. Collections in individuals’ homes across the world are full of swastikas that meant something utterly different in their time, and websites pioneering the Collective are sent photographs of these objects to post up daily. As well as objects, a fascination with swastika tattoos has risen, that leads on to the second group of reclaimationists.

Dominick understands that young people need something to fight for, something to believe in and to defend. A symbol as downtrodden and demonised as the swastika becomes like an empty vessel for people who want to champion freedom of expression, anti-establishment thinking, and to become an activist in defense of perceived injustice. Reclaiming the swastika fills a need to create a backlash against mainstream culture. For this reason we see a huge amount of people within the punk community embracing this movement as it provides a banner under which to march.

Tattoo artist Phil Cummins runs the Traditional Tattoo and World Culture Festival, that has become an unofficial European event that brings reclaimationists together for three days a year in Cobh, Co. Cork. People can roam the fields wearing swastika symbols without fear of

2nd Traditional Tattoo And World Culture Festival, Cobh, Co Cork, Ireland. June 3rd-6th 2011.

reproach, attend spiritual ceremonies that focus on the symbol’s self-affirming aspect, and have hand-poked tattoos of a variety of patterns, including swastikas, that collectively give rise to a sensation of membership. These people feel a keen sense of belonging as they come together at the festival. Ironically, while some devotees have swastikas tattooed on body parts like their arm-pits or feet, the Hindus to whom this symbol is sacred define these areas as unclean, and therefore the tattoo is placed disrespectfully. But many attendees are not Hindu, and have embraced the symbol for their own interpretation. This freedom to do what you want with the symbol is welcomed by those who dislike religious doctrine, and are looking for something that is as inclusive as it is distinct from those who are not as ‘free-thinking’ as them. To follow swastika you can be a rebel and a hippy.

Leading the spiritual aspect of the festival is ‘Manwoman’, who has been called the father of the swastika reclamation. He has embraced the symbol in his life for over fourty years. He is a collector of swastika paraphernalia, educates interested parties about the symbol’s history, and plainly feels a deep spiritual calling to offer the overall negative current opinion about the swastika his own enlightened one. Manwoman is part of the third perceived branch of the reclaimationists, who are less concerned with the physical symbol itself and most connect with the spiritual meaning of swastika. The word itself has the universal meaning of a peaceful attitude towards the whole, with minor variations depending on each culture who uses it: the Hindus translate swastika as ‘peace and unity’, the Indians ‘all well-being’. In fact to use the word ‘swastika’ outside of speaking about the Indian symbol is incorrect. To speak about the tetraskellion in China you would call it ‘wan’, or in Japan it would become ‘manji’. There are hundreds of different tetraskellion symbols and each one has its own particular name, yet they are all associated in the West with Hitler’s atrocities.

If an individual’s aversion to the symbol stems from recent history then it also depends on the surfeit of the symbol within the country they live in. One might conclude automatically that the people of Poland would naturally despise it as an aberration, and the suggestion of reclaiming it as something other than Nazi ideology as amoral and disrespectful. But Dominick found that when interviewing public on the streets of Warsaw – the site of the largest ghetto of Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Europe – they had a more understanding opinion of reintroducing the swastika than he had encountered elsewhere. The documentary puts that down to simple saturation of the symbol throughout people’s lives, and and how it remains a part of the culture even today. People in Poland are more aware of the early history of the swastika than one would expect from a country that suffered so greatly. Rather than rejecting it outright it has been examined, dissected, and sometimes separated completely from its European history.

Some prominent Irish reclaimationists are more inclined towards the idea as a counter-culture, such as artist Boz Mugabe and musician Trevor McLave. The use of the swastika in Mugabe’s art is designed more as a provocation towards curiosity about the symbol, and questioning why it would be placed with such frequency and boldness in his paintings. The subjects of Mugabe’s work are imaginary, mythical and primitive monsters that are placed within dream-like landscapes, and so the occurrence of such a symbol within that context is more easily looked over as idiosyncrasy by a casual observer than it an isolated instance.

‘Cold War’, the band led by McLave, uses the swastika less overtly by occasionally wearing the Gentle Swastika Collective tee-shirt onstage, but he connects with the punk mentality of freedom of expression and supports the idea by attending and playing at the Festival. When asked, they found that pin-pointing the exact reasons behind their support of the reclaim the swastika idea impossible, because the very aspect of

2nd Traditional Tattoo And World Culture Festival, Cobh, Co Cork, Ireland. June 3rd-6th 2011.

the Collective is ever transient and shifting. They might chose to support it, and become part of something that is constantly shifting depending on who is part of the online community, or gathering, or individual polemic. Or they could distance themselves from it and risk a chance to be part of a fascinating discourse about ownership, cultural doctrine, and individual expression. I doubt either Mugabe or McLave feel strongly about outside perceptions of themselves as individuals, or their art and music. However, it may well affect how others see them and be tempted to create a one-sided argument against the decision to be part of it, as all reclaimationists may incur.

Phil Cummins, who organised the second Traditional Tattoo an World Culture Festival in Co. Cork in June this year, feels a passionate spiritual belonging to the swastika and it’s meaning of ‘all well-being’. He has already sacrificed and gained much to this calling, once again asking the question of how far an individual is willing to be dictated by the perceptions of others in the drive and ambition of their lives. Cummins invited Manwoman to Ireland in 2010, which immediately made his ideas and influence more immediate to collectors, punk anti-establishment followers, and spiritualists. The Festival changed the dynamic of the swastika Collective as it gave the online community a chance to come together, exchange ideas, and pushed it from being a commitment on cyber space to a place where rituals, talks and celebrations took place under the flagship of the swastika.

There is a palpable sense of the reclaim the swastika idea gaining momentum, and the My Swastika documentary has recorded the opinions of people from a variety of cultures, ages, and backgrounds to show where it stands today. I visited Dominick again recently and found that his allegiance to the Collective had undergone a shift. I had last heard how he was creating the documentary to challenge views of the swastika and illustrate the difference between Hitler’s bastardised symbol and the one that reflected peace and unity. He filmed the concluding interview for the film in Warsaw’s Polish Hindu Temple, and came away realising that while some may argue championing the swastika as freedom of expression, there runs the danger of doing more damage than good. My Swastika will prove that there is much to be gained from living the peaceful path that the spiritual aspect of swastika asks of its followers, and releasing the self-interest of the individual, to embrace the whole. The final part of the documentary that explores this dichotomy in full is not to be missed.

My Swastika began life as a short film that expanded into a full-length documentary, as Dominick and Kasia excavated a mountain of undocumented facts and prominent people in religious, social and peripheral groups, that enriched the understanding of the project. Reclaiming the swastika as an idea will divide, unite, and at the very least inspire debate, between people from every walk of life. The documentary will premiere at the next Traditional Tattoo and World Culture Festival 卐

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Related:

Dominick Crowley of My Swastika speaks!

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