Notes on how things seem to me from out here in Hollywood... As seen from Just Above Sunset
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Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2003,2004,2005,2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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Consider:

"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"







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Thursday, 23 November 2006
Thanksgiving
Topic: Photos

Thanksgiving

No entry today - off to Thanksgiving with the family.


Posted by Alan at 08:05 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006 08:06 PST home

Tuesday, 21 November 2006
In Time of War - Visiting Gandhi
Topic: Photos

In Time of War - Visiting Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CaliforniaRather than an entry on politics and the war, a visit to the Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial, and the "wall-less temple" erected in his honor. The memorial is a thousand-year-old stone sarcophagus from China, in which a portion of Gandhi's ashes are encased in a brass and silver coffer.

This is at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, California, just up the hill from Pacific Coast Highway, at the edge of Malibu. It was established by Paramahansa Yogananda and opened on August 20, 1950 - a ten-acre site, with gardens and natural spring-fed lake, with swans, ducks, koi, and lotus flowers everywhere.

Gandhi's ashes had been sent to Yogananda by an old friend, Dr. V.M. Nawle, a publisher and journalist from Poona, India, who understood the bond between Yogananda and Gandhi. Following the dedication of the memorial, Dr. Nawle wrote - "Regarding Gandhi ashes, I may say that they are scattered and thrown in almost all the important rivers and seas, and nothing is given outside India except the remains which I have sent to you after a great ordeal .... You are the only one in the whole world who received Gandhi ashes outside India."

So here they are.

As we all know - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was a major political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of Satyagraha - resistance through mass civil disobedience strongly founded upon ahimsa (non-violence). Gandhi is commonly known and spoken of worldwide as Mahatma Gandhi (Hindi - Mahatma - Great Soul) and is sometimes called Bapu (in Gujarati, Father). Gandhi first tried out civil disobedience in the Indian struggle for civil rights in South Africa. When he returned to India, he helped lead poor farmers and laborers to protest oppressive taxation and widespread discrimination. Leading the Indian National Congress, Gandhi worked for the alleviation of poverty, the liberation of women, brotherhood, for the end to "untouchability" and caste discrimination and for the economic self-sufficiency of that nation. Also, Gandhi's work focused upon the goal of Swaraj - self-rule for India. Gandhi famously led Indians in the disobedience of the salt tax through the 400 kilometer (248 miles) Dandi March, and in an open call for the British to Quit India in 1942. That goal, freedom, came at a heavy cost - tens of thousands died in all of his movements as they clashed with the British.

Gandhi remained committed to non-violence even in the most extreme situations. Gandhi was a student of Hindu philosophy and lived simply, organizing an ashram that was self-sufficient in its needs. He made his own clothes and lived on a simple vegetarian diet. He used rigorous fasts for self-purification as well as a means of protest. All this was mainly done to raise the status of India's depressed classes and draw them into the freedom struggle. Gandhi is considered the "Father of the Nation in India." His birthday on October 2nd is celebrated each year with Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday.

Gandhi's teachings have inspired civil rights leaders - Martin Luther King, Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. And he said things like this -

  • What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy? - "Non-Violence in Peace and War"
  • Non-violence is not a cover for cowardice, but it is the supreme virtue of the brave. Exercise of non-violence requires far greater bravery than that of swordsmanship. Cowardice is wholly inconsistent with non-violence. Translation from swordsmanship to non-violence is possible and, at times, even an easy stage. Non-violence, therefore, presupposes ability to strike. It is a conscious deliberate restraint put upon one's desire for vengeance. But vengeance is any day superior to passive, effeminate and helpless submission. Forgiveness is higher still. Vengeance too is weakness. The desire for vengeance comes out of fear of harm, imaginary or real. A dog barks and bites when he fears. A man who fears no one on earth would consider it too troublesome even to summon up anger against one who is vainly trying to injure him. The sun does not wreak vengeance upon little children who throw dust at him. They only harm themselves in the act.
  • What kind of victory is it when someone is left defeated?

It was worth a visit.

Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Memorial, Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, 17190 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, California


Posted by Alan at 22:07 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006 22:14 PST home

Wednesday, 11 October 2006
A Day Off
Topic: Photos
A Day Off
No commentary this day. A visitor from Pittsburgh needed to see the beach, so it was off to Santa Monica for the day. This is not where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio, not at all. And it looked like this -

The beach at Santa Monica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lens flair, a very odd kite, the Pacific, the sand, and a trash can -

Kite over the water at the Santa Monica pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All American values, all in one place, under the pier -

Hot dog stand under the Santa Monica pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That odd kite - rotating cylinders - with the Santa Monica range way out there…

Kite over the mountains at the Santa Monica pier


Posted by Alan at 23:05 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Friday, 25 August 2006
Little Tokyo
Topic: Photos
Little Tokyo
Junichiro Hannya, Monument to Sontuko (Kinjiro) Ninomiya, 1983 - a bronze sculpture of the No political commentary today. This was a photography day, devoted to the Japanese American district in downtown Los Angeles known as Little Tokyo. You will find a history of the place and five photographs here, and there will be a full array of more than thirty photographs of Little Tokyo, with more background and detail, in this weekend's Just Above Sunset, to be posted early Sunday morning, August 27th.

To the right - Junichiro Hannya, Monument to Sontuko (Kinjiro) Ninomiya, 1983 - a bronze sculpture of the "Peasant Sage of Japan," 1787-1856 (200 South San Pedro Street)

That would be this fellow -

Part farmer, part philosopher and part government administrator, Ninomiya Sontoku (1787-1856) advocated diligence, cooperation, deference to authority and thrift as ways of improving Japan's rural economy at the end of the feudal Tokugawa era. He revitalized agriculture by establishing credit associations to finance roads, aqueducts and housing, and he taught farmers to apply new methods of irrigation and to use better fertilizers. Between 1830 and 1843, Ninomiya and his disciples established the hotoku movement to promote morality, industry and economy.

The government attempted to maintain a rural social structure by encouraging hotoku after the 1905 Russo-Japanese war. During the 1930s, Ninomiya's teachings were reinterpreted as supportive of Japan's aggressive military expansion. Small statues, based on an iconographic portrayal of Ninomiya at about age 14 learning to read while carrying a load of firewood on his back, were placed in elementary schools throughout Japan. Though initially installed as reminders to children of the ideal of combining work with study, these statues became associated with the pre-war period and many were destroyed by the American Occupational forces after World War II. Located in front of the Mitsui Manufacturers Bank, the bronze memorial to Ninomiya (which should be titled Ninomiya Sontuko in recognition of the sage's official name, rather than Kinjiro, which was both his boyhood and his popular name) replicates the design but greatly enlarges the size of the pre-World War II statues. Albert Taira, the Nisei developer of the bank building, proposed the statue to Obayashi, the contractor for the project, to symbolize the Issei's hard work and self-sacrifice when establishing roots in America. Obayashi commissioned the work from a Japanese foundry that in turn hired the artist to increase the size of the monument.
All we came up with over here was Johnny Appleseed.

Posted by Alan at 21:37 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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Saturday, 5 August 2006
Gone Fishing
Topic: Photos
Gone Fishing
No commentary today. Other matters have come up.

Fishing at Redondo Beach Pier, Sunday, July 30, 2006


Posted by Alan at 07:57 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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