The cause of suffering is attachment

Last week my cranky old bicycle that I found ages ago that now has a broken saddle, wonky bottom bracket and dodgy gear changer and which I left unlocked outside my house was taken away. I was mildly annoyed at the inconvenience. Yesterday evening I came home to discover the cover of my new motorbike had been moved and my neighbour told me that she had disturbed someone fiddling with it. An hour later the whole cover had been removed. Clearly someone was casing it to see how easy it would be to steal and probably whether it was worth it. The result of that for me was intense anxiety and a strong sense of vulnerability and, today, one more lock on it and I moved it even closer to my front door.

The Buddha once asked a king how he would feel if a member of his family experienced distress or disgrace. The king replied that he would suffer intensely. the Buddha then asked him how he would feel if someone in his kingdom that he did not at all know were to experience distress or disgrace. The king replied that it would have little impact on him. The Buddha said that this shows that the cause of suffering is attachment.

Blade Runner – the Director’s cut

I have just got back from seeing Blade Runner. This ‘director’s cut’ has been around for a while but I have never seen it. Its also the first time I have seen it on a big screen with decent sound (music is by 80s icon Vangelis and at times I imagined it turning into the theme from Chariots of Fire. Luckily it didn’t. Having seen so much of Harrison’s Ford’s laid back acting style in other films I took more notice of beautiful replicant Sean Young. What’s fantastic about cinema is that the screen is so big so that ultra closeups of replicant Rachel undoing her hair, for example, and her highly produced lips are breathtaking and intimate and of course I couldn’t help falling in love with her. It would be impossible not to. She was so beautiful and so vulnerable and this is clearly what Ford’s character, Deckard, is drawn to. Now, there is the debate about whether Ford is actually a replicant himself, a suggestion which I don’t like for some reason as it spoils the intense and central ambiguity about a human falling in love with a non-human, but apparently director Ridley Scott has acknowledged that it is plausible – for a couple of very subtle plot reasons. Check here from 7 years ago or here.

Long way down

Tomorrow night BBC2 shows the third in the latest series of Ewan McGreggor and Charley Boorman driving large BMW motorbikes from the top of Scotland down to the sounthern tip of Africa. The previous series showed them driving from London across Asia to Alaska and the US to New York – an impressive trip. One recurring theme from the earlier trip was their annoyance at being recognised and treated as celebs when they were yearning for anonymity and just being the two ‘mates’. This time, we see them with t-shirts with their names writ large and clear on the back, not the best route to anonymity. Its a shame the style of these shows is unmistakably ‘reality tv’ because this genre insists tediously on making more of things than there is. The usual way they do this is by talking up some personal tensions between the people they are filming and there is a liberal helping of this spread across Long Way Down. It makes Charley and Ewan just come across as spoilt: having set up this venture with large sponsorship and filming deals, we see them complain about the schedule, the support people, etc etc. The fun part, for bikers at least, is the challenge of the journey and some vicarious thrills about the lovely kit, but you have to survive the other stuff for a few minutes of that kind of pleasure. I wonder whether I will get through to the end of the series. The BBC website on the series is good with some nice links to the BMW site.

A dream of The Last Woman

In the dream I am lying in bed with a gay man and he starts to unzip my trousers. I decline this advance and get out of bed and am standing nearby. He says something like ‘Ah I understand, you are waiting for The Last Woman’. I say yes I am. The Last Woman will be the final fulfillment, the merging of the two women.