In an effort to separate myself from work I have been taking some time off during the day each week to watch a film at the local cinema. It takes me out of communication with the world and hides me away in a dark place for a couple of hours. I even get to have a brew and take it in with me - how good is that?
So I might not be getting around to a day off (I've promised to 'tell all' truth next week at quarter's end) but I'm having some time off: and it's been a most annoying and madness inducing experience.
The films I have seen thus far are:
Viceroy's House: About the partition of India and the stitch-up the British government engaged in with Mountbattens. Showed something extremely uncomfortable about this nation of ours in terms of arrogance, deceit and distastefulness.
I, Daniel Blake: A most uncomfortable watch indeed. It took me back to my time working in the wonderful world of the Employment Agency with those looking for work and the poor Employment Advisors who worked in the Jobcentres. An American contracting company providing a less than able provision with the goal of minimising payments and providing less than adequate services to the jobless population - and all in MY name! I was ready to learn the 'red flag' and head for Westminster by the time this fly on the wall offering was done. GRrrrr!
United Kingdom: My father used to say that Winston Churchill was a dictator who was needed to fight another dictator and that I should be in no doubt that he was never anyone's 'real' hero. Stiff words coming from a bloke who thought Margaret Thatcher was a bit of a lefty politician!
This film added another notch to my slowly emerging dislike of the man as he promised one thing if elected and delivered something very different once he was. But that's politics, isn't it?
But the arrogance of the British government and the colonial machinery takes your breath away and makes one disgusted at the heritage that being English lays upon us.
"Oxford teaches - film educates". Those were the words I was handed in a tutorial many years ago. "We can offer you books and anecdotes and the stillness to assimilate them but the silver screen makes them flesh; but not always truthfully!" my tutor continued. Books may be written with poor scholarship and equally poor language and you will see through this, but a well crafted film will send barbs into your flesh and make you aware just as Eve became aware as she ate the apple.
Sin lies in the action, not the object. Did the apple posses any power other than attract? Surely the act of taking from the tree brought an awareness of what sin was because it caused the separation between man and God. The focus of our desires is always present and before us, but it is the action that is sin.
This is true regardless of what is placed under the glass cover and beheld with desire: Things sexual, monetary, physical and intellectual - all of them qualify. It isn't what the object is, but the way we deal with us wanting it and the lines we are willing to cross to make it ours, or should I say 'possess us'?
Lord, help me to see the lines and never cross them such that I become sinful and damage self or others. Help me to see the best in people and to love wholeheartedly, and yet never lose sight of the ability of each of us to place on a pedestal that thing which causes us to lose our soul (as did the ring bring both physical and spiritual death in Gollum's tale of woe).
Lord have mercy upon us for our past - and as Brexit is made real today - in our future as we consign ourselves into a very different reality.