The Art Site

Friday, July 30, 2010


It was just a single spirit, struggling with itself and its surroundings.
You could see, if you paid any attention to the signs of its struggle - the mouth, opening to laugh with the ends tight, tense, forced.
The face in customary smiling creases but with a slight rigidity; the eye narrowed in the face's laughter but was also strained and careful, watchful.

The time for laughing was over and the face relaxed, the tightness ebbing too fast for the expression of emotion to be real. Yet the spirit was unsure whether to immediately discard the unfelt expression or to keep some of the laughter in the face. The smile was forced to stay in behind the eyes, tense and still creased - in order to convince the others that she too, like them, had found the leader amusing.

The noise of the room fell heavily on the ears; clattering of pots, thudding, clinking of cups and glasses, shrill laughter, unintelligible spoken words in string-like formations, dragging over her dull mind. The closeness of the circular group and of all the bodies in a closed setting made the spirit feel uneasy and slightly trapped.

- Lydie

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I wasn't going to write today - that is, last night. I was suddenly struck though, with the utter evil of abortion [even what I've perceived of it comes nothing close to the depth of it] and of how weak and feeble those of us who know the truth are in combatting it.

Abortion is the greatest injustice against humanity the world has ever known.
It is greater than all the wars that have been fought.
It is destroying and damaging more people than slavery does. [And by the way, there are more slaves now, in 2010, than there ever were when slavery was abolished].

It is World War III, yet it is profoundly worse than any other war history has known. The truth is that wars are usually fought when two sides are of nearly equal strengths; abortion involves the systematic, silent extermination of billions of people who can not fight back; the only people who can fight for them too often whisper the truth instead of screaming it.

I realised tonight a tiny portion of the huge responsibility I have under God to speak against this agony of abortion. I'm the President of a local pro-life club, and as is the case with too many things I commit to, I easily fall into the belief that this is just a worthy cause.
When I remember that there are fifty babies dying every day, I have to slowly get out of my secure feelings about abortion as just a cause.
Because people, our brothers and sisters, are dying. We know the truth, and we must speak up.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Why be Patriotic? [warning, train of thought follows]

It is currently so incredibly early that my brain has stopped functioning normally.
That is, it is not functioning the way *it normally does*. Note the subtle differentiation..
The background to this post is a status I recently put up on Facebook - [with whom, by the way, I have a strong, though complicated relationship] - which ran: "50 babies were illegally murdered in New Zealand today. That's why I'm not patriotic."
At church last night [by nine minutes] I pretty much lost a debate with someone who disagreed with with me over whether I was justified to free myself of patriotism because of a country's perpetrated evil.
Patriots. What immediately springs to mind are those stalwart American men of the Civil War period, polishing up an ancient gun and kissing their families goodbye as they bravely leave to go and fight corageously for their kindred and country.

The movie "The Patriot", starring Mel Gibson is an extreme display of that kind of patriotism.
When people leave to go and fight [without enforced conscription] - that's surely one of the most patriotic things a body can do. When they accept that thier single, brutally ended, almost unregarded, unnecessary [often] death can potentially save their families from being taken/destroyed, and their country from being overrun by the enemy, there is little more that they can do to prove their utmost belief in, and love for their country.
*note: I don't understand how people can do that, or how they have done it. Most people aren't instilled with such a great love for their country that they'd die for it any day of the week if it were necessary - perhaps it is mainly war that calls out/creates patriotism.

These people fight because they have people they love who they desire to protect, but also because they love their country and [many?] of its values.

So, question. What happens when you LOSE your respect for your country's values? What do you do when your country allows a collapse of basic morals? What about when the country fails to uphold these values/morals? By 'the country' I mean the leaders who set a standard, of which the people follow/exceed.
If you have a stronger sense of right and wrong, do you continue to be patriotic to a country that you can't assimilate yourself with?

But there are difficulties.

Surely you *are* patriotic if you are so dissulusioned with the way society is working. Thus went the argument.

I reckon you're a patriot if you want to do something about the way society works, to change it for the better. You quit being patriotic if you decide the country's so bad it can't be fixed/you don't want to fix it [because you dislike it so much], then you've effectively damned the country [and possibly, yourself].

What do you think makes a patriot? Do you consider yourself to be patriotic/a patriot, and if so, why?

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Conformity: Fashion

When I think of it, I usually get a picture in my mind of 'the girls at uni' - streams of them, walking briskly through the crowded thoroughfares between the gray, looming university buildings. Oh, they have differences in their fashion taste. Some of them tend towards the more alternative hippy, recycled look. Others don't seem to care a hoot for their appearance. They're the ones with past-the-shoulder, stringy, unwashed hair, no make-up [and seriously, they could do with some], old hoodies, faded jeans and scuffy street shoes.

Then there's the whole mix of girls who seem to 'have it together'. They're the ones with smooth, straightened and prettily coloured hair/bleached curly hair. If they wear their hair up, it's virtually always in a tiny, messy bun at the crown of the head, with whisps falling all over the place most attractively. All of these girls wear tights [typically black] with short dresses that only fall to mid-thigh; they wear bows in their hair, long cardigans/jackets, bling [long necklaces and bracelets] and little ballet shoes. Usually they'll have a 'satchel'-type bag slung over one shoulder.

As fashions go, it's not too bad-looking. That is, for women with the figure for it, not including the women whose figures ought not to have mini-dresses hanging over them, and certainly ought never be seen dead in thigh-high tights.
But what is interesting is that everyone wears this. The majority.
Why do we all conform this way?

Even looking at myself, I can see that there is [despite the conscious effort to be non-conformist] a strong desire to look like everyone else. Mind you, I don't want to *be* like everyone else, but there's this strong tendency to want to fit in. Be accepted. There's all this fear that if I don't look like other people, they won't accept me.
Of course, this isn't the kind of thing that most people think of consciously - it's one of those embedded awarenesses of what should be, and how a lack of similarity can be remedied.
Anyway - ideas?

- Lydie

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


My thinkery has gone thunk lately, and I can't think of much to write about. So you'll have to content yourselves with hearing about my curry-making-to-be-exploits.
Tomorrow I have a girlfriend coming over for tea, and I'm cooking. It felt like half-past curry-time, and I've decided on Jamie Oliver's Chicken Tikka Masala recipe.

Since I left the [amazing] Jamie Oliver book which had the recipe in it, at my old house I have to be satisfied with a slightly transmogrified edition, taken from some blog.

This recipe is good. I've used it several times already, ever since I bought the recipe book for my big brother's birthday a while back [so that I could use the book, of course]. It's full of delicious spices like cumin [my favourite spice of all time], coriander, paprika, and mustard seed, and fresh chilis, ginger, coriander and garlic.
One of the best things about this curry is seeing people tuck into great big plates of steaming basmati rice, a clean chopped salad, some thin, buttery flat breads and the curry itself - creamy, spicy and well-simmered, dressed with squeezes of lime juice, swirls of yoghurt, and torn coriander.

That's worth seeing.
So here's the recipe...

Chicken Tikka Masala

2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves garlic
3 inches ginger
2-3 chilis, depending on how hot they are, and how much you want to cry
- or else use 1-2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin, roasted
2 tsp ground coriander, roasted
3 tbsp garum masala
200ml yoghurt

grate the ginger first, and slice up the chilis. Then whizz up everything but the yoghurt in a little kitchen whizz; add the yoghurt last. Alternatively, mix up your paste in a mortar and pestle [like artists used to grind paint powder in], stick the goo in a bowl and add the yoghurt.

Marinate your chicken - as much as you think you need for about 4-6 people - in the fridge for at least an hour, but preferably much longer. Like overnight.
Apparently the curry ends up tasting better, although personally I've tried both ways and can taste no difference with the overnight drama.
Fry 2-3 onions in some butter with a couple of minced cloves of garlic, until they're golden and brown. Yum.
Then add your chicken mixture. Simmer this lot for a few minutes before adding your cream/water, and a handful of whizzed up almonds/powdered, or cashews.
When the thing is cooked, bring on the lime juice, chopped coriander and swirls of yoghurt. Voila.


- Lydie

Monday, July 12, 2010

Out of the Silent Planet

I've known for a while now that it is imperative for me [and everyone else on this planet with a mind for reading] to read Lewis's Space Trilogy.
It goes like this:

Widely-Read Person: "You know C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, of course."
Un-Widely-Read Me: "I know of them, but I haven't read them. Are they good, then?"

W-R P: "'Good'! If you haven't read them yet, you must instantly go to the nearest bookshop and buy the whole set. They're masterpieces. I would lend you my copies but I can't spare them; I'm reading them for the sixtieth time at the moment."

U-W-R M: [shamed, and bewildered] "Oh! I guess I should read them then.."
While staying at a friend's house in Auckland, I spied Out of the Silent Planet [I would underline the title/italicize it, but something's wrong with this computer. When I italicize things the words transform into Arabic equivalents].

With some trepidation and curiosity I drew it out, and began to read. To be horribly cliche, I couldn't put it down. It sort of attached itself to my hand even when I was trying to sleep. The pages remained open and [though I wrestled with them] I couldn't close the book. At some point during the early hours of the morning, I fell asleep; in the morning I woke up and commenced reading.

It's a great book. It 'takes you into a whole new world' to use yet another cliche phrase. Lewis's attention to fascinating detail is there, and the way he describes these details is so powerful: it engages your senses.
It takes you into a new world [or to be precise, an old but drastically different world] through the imagery that Lewis uses. He paints with words, and his colours are cool, not warm, and full of light.

Recently I borrowed Perelandra from a friend. I'm excited. I hope it will be as good, or better than OotSP.
What do you like about science fiction?

- Lydie

Friday, July 02, 2010


The writing on here has been a bit erratic recently, as I'm travelling. Great excuse.
I was in the kitchen [where every woman ought to be], doing dishes [a woman's primary purpose in life], when my Mum walked in. There was mischief brewing, I could tell.
"I want you to take some medicine while I'm away." She said.
"When you're feeling blue and missing us, you need to take some medicine that I'll give you, okay?"
I realised [with some alarm] that she must be about to give me a package of anti-depressants, or some such medicine.
Instead, she placed a Toblerone...
and a box of Turkish Delight, on the kitchen bench.

..because she knew I LOVE Turkish Delight. I would have asked for it if I'd been Edmund. Thankfully, the box mum gave me looks extremely non-magical; although eating it will undoubtedly heighten my craving for TD, it shouldn't give me the kind of addiction Ed suffered from.
In other words, I won't need to betray my brothers to get more.
My eyes lit up. Love you Mum!

- Lydie
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