Pussy Riot Free – PR Stunt!

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Free Pussy Riot
Free Pussy Riot (Photo credit: gaelx)

Today the jailed band members of Pussy Riot have been freed under a controversial amnesty by the Russian Government. I am not sad but I am not happy either.

I don’t believe the amnesty is a humanitarian act, its a PR stunt aimed at softening the image of the Russian Government and specifically Mr. Putin.

I would accept that the stunt the band pulled was ill-advised and that it was totally disrespectful in the extreme to those who feel the church has a place in their lives. But honestly, imprisonment for being a real pain in the backside? I ask was justice served by sending these women to prison? NO! it was revenge plain and simple. And now when it suits the governments purpose the women are released.

As a PR stunt I’d say its pretty blunt and unsophisticated – Russia government – try again cos we aint convinced!

Marsha Alyokhina (one of the jailed band members) spoke on Dozhd TV, saying she would have preferred to have stayed in prison, but had no option but to accepted the amnesty, calling it a “profanation.” Human rights activists were waiting to greet her as she came out of prison, with Alyokhina telling reporters she wanted to meet her band-mate Nadia Tolokonnikova before speaking to journalists.

Nadia Tolokonnikova is expected to be released imminently from a prison hospital, where she has been following a hunger strike.

The pair are freed under a controversial amnesty bill passed by the Russian parliament last week, which grants the release of 25,000 “vulnerable” inmates, those who are elderly, sick or pregnant. Both Pussy Riot members qualify because they are mothers of young children. Indeed?

Analysts believe that the amnesty, as well as the release of Russia’s most famous prisoner, the Kremlin critic and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khordokovsky, is an attempt to stem criticism of Russia’s justice system and human rights before the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The Arctic 30 Greenpeace protesters are also free under the amnesty.

The third Pussy Riot protester, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was given a suspended sentence in October last year, because she had been thrown out of the cathedral before reaching the altar to perform.

Pussy Riot may not make great music or give fantastic performances but they are artist’s nonetheless. For anybody who disagrees look-up situationalism and dada as examples of what Pussy Riot do.

Good Luck Pussy Riot and all who go in their wake.


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Rodin flying figure p1070126
Rodin flying figure p1070126 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The challenges of the past have made you what you are today.

The challenges you seek out and face now will make you what you are to become.

By pushing & trying as far and as hard as you can you will find where your limits are.

By pushing at the limits you will stretch them and you will grow in potential.

Our Future, Your Future, My Future

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Rosh Hashanah 2008
Rosh Hashanah 2008 (Photo credit: TikkunKnits)

Your life as you know it, as you perceive it today is not a result of what you did yesterday. From the career you have, to the kind of people you socialize with, to the holiday you have; life as we, you, I know it is as a result of the decisions and actions of last month, of last year and years before that.

Every single choice you have is as a result of the decisions and actions you have previously had and done. They are the things that write the book of your life.

What happens in future chapters, well that’s dependent on what you write today.

Wishing everyone Shanah Tova

Cycle of Happiness

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English: Erik Pevernagie, painting. Representi...
English: Erik Pevernagie, painting. Representing the quest of the definition of happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happiness is cyclical!

Being happy makes you want to be a better person, being a better person makes you happy.


Pablo Picasso

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Pablo Picasso born 25 Oct. 1881, died 08 Apr. 1973; its been 40 years almost to the day since PB passed over.  Pablo Picasso was probably, well for a time at least the most famous painter the world has known.  Perhaps even more famous that Michelangelo or Da Vinci some might offer, I’m not sure but he certainly is up there with the greats so far as I’m concerned.

His full name to be accurate is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso and honors a number of Catholic Saints.

He was a relatively poor student to start, but never-the-less Picasso demonstrated a fantastic talent for drawing from a very early age unhampered by his humble beginnings. According to myth (probably started by Picasso himself) , his first words were “piz, piz,” a childish attempt at lápiz, the Spanish word for pencil.  By the time he had turned 13 years old Picasso was a more accomplished drafts person than his father.

Picasso’s family moved around during his formative years but by the time he was 16 years old he was in Madrid, enrolled at the Royal Academy of St Fernando.  He was not a good student, often skipping class, wandering into the City and drawing whatever he saw and took his fancy, mostly gypsies, beggars and prostitutes.


At the turn of the 20th Century Picasso was in Paris, the centre of the Art world at the time. At this time he was in his “Blue Period” which lasted till about 1904.  The blue period reflected a time of depression for Picasso but by 1905 he had met and fallen in love with a model;  Fernande Olivier, he was also newly prosperous thanks to the generous patronage of the art dealer Ambroise Vollard  He had every reason to be happy and this was reflected in his artistic output now known as the “Rose Period”.

In 1907, he made a painting unlike anything he or any other artist had ever painted before, a piece that would change for ever the direction of art in the 20th century: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, an awkward depiction of five beige figures, prostitutes, distorted with sharp geometric features and stark blotches of blues, greens and grays. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was the precursor and inspiration for Cubism.

Cubism shocked, appalled and fascinated in equal measure.  The French writer and critic Max Jacob reflected, “It was really the harbinger comet of the new century.”  but this was not to last, the outbreak of war saw Picasso return for a short period of sombre realism.  But by 1927 Picasso had moved on to Surrealism and this brought the world Guernica.  Perhaps the greatest painting the world has ever seen.

Completed in 1937, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. The picture deals with the destruction of war; on April 26, 1937, German bombers supporting Franco’s Nationalist forces, carried out a devastating aerial attack on the Basque town of Guernica.  Picasso was outraged and horrified painting the picture in mono-tones of black and grey.

Following the war Picasso became politically motivated and joined the communist party and was even twice honored by being awarded the Lenin Peace Prize; firstly in 1950 then again in 1961.  By contrast to his communist sympathies, Picasso was now also an international celebrity, the worlds most famous living artist ever.  His painting took a further turn in his later years becoming simpler, crude almost.  Upon passing a group of school children in his later years Picasso remarked, “when I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them.”

The epitome of his later work is his Self Portrait “Facing Death“, drawn in pencil and wax crayon just a year before he passed away. Its an autobiographical subject, who appears as something between a human and an ape, with a green face and pink hair, its drawn with the crude technique of a child. Yet the expression in the eyes, captures a lifetime of wisdom, fear and uncertainty, it is the unmistakable work of a master at the height of his powers.

Picasso had two wives during his lifetime but he was an incorrigible womanizer who had countless relationships with girlfriends, mistresses, muses and prostitutes over the course of his long life.

His technical mastery, visionary creativity and profound empathy marked Picasso out as a revolutionary artist. Picasso endlessly reinvented himself, switching between styles so radically different that his life’s work seems the product of five or six great artists rather than just one.  The diversity of his work, the result of freshly evaluating for each piece the form and technique best suited to achieve the desired effects. “Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should,” Picasso said. “Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it.”

40 years after Pablo Picasso passed and we still celebrate his life, his contribution.  I grew up longing to be an artist inspired by Pablo Picasso.  One day I may (un)learn to draw as a child.