Archive for October 19th, 2008

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Photographers constitute a special breed of people. They are not like us. They have a “third eye”, just like the Lopsang Rampa of Tibet. Through this eye, they are able to capture the inner character of Nature, invisible to human vision. This post will reveal two contrasting images of Nature–in the form of water–captured through the magic eye of a photographer.

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This is a picture of an idle duck floating in living water. If you watch the water closely, it is alive: it breathes softly above the surface. Dip your index finger in the water and you will feel it is cool and fresh. Look at your finger and it is dripping water. The water is real, vibrating under the innocence of the bird. The mood of the water is calm and peaceful captured through the magic eye of the photographer.

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This picture is totally different. Here the mood of the water is angry and violent. You can almost hear the roar of the ferocious current crashing against the solid structure of the lighthouse. If you look closely, the water embraces the structure of the building trying to soffocate it. The image of the man standing at the door is a minuscule dot compared to the gigantic body of water. This is the inner character of the water surfaced by the magic eye of the photographer.

When I contemplate Nature, I sometimes wonder what is it really like deep under the surface. But no joy, for that I need to call a photographer, the man with the third eye. The camera!

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Daniel Pearl (1963-2002)

Daniel Pearl (1963-2002)

The 9/11 tragic events that took place at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001, marked many people’s lives forever. Approximately 2,974 people were killed that morning. Hardly anybody will forget exactly what they were doing when the New York’s twin towers crumbled down in shambles.  It was a painful event difficult to forget, just like the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy in Dallas,Texas on Friday, November 22, 1963.

After 9/11 the world changed.  We were not safe anymore.  An undeclared war took place between radical fundamentalist Islamics and the West.  The United States reacted and attacked Afghanistan and Iraq.  Thousands of people have died and billions of dollars have been spent.  The end is not in sight.

I recently viewed a movie dubbed, A Mighty Heart, about the unfortunate abduction and assassination of Daniel Pearl, an American  journalist of the Wall Street Journal working in Karachi, Pakistan.  He was an innocent victim of this absurd war between radical Islam and the West.

At the time of his kidnapping, Pearl served as the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, stationed in Mumbai, India, and had been investigating the case of Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, and alleged links between Al Quaeda and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), for which he went to Pakistan, and was subsequently beheaded there.

In July 2002, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British national of Pakistani origin, was sentenced to death by hanging for Pearl’s abduction and murder.

In March 2007, at a closed military hearing in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said that he had personally beheaded Pearl.

The movie was based on a book written by Mariane Van Neyenhoff. She is a Buddhist, and member of the Soka Gakkai International. Their son, Adam Daniel Pearl, was born in Paris on May 28, 2002, three months after Pearl’s death.

Pearl’s widow, Mariane Pearl, wrote the memoir A Mighty Heart which tells the full story of Daniel Pearl’s murder and more about his life. The book was adapted into a film starring Angelina Jolie and Dan Futterman.

The movie is fast-paced, highly-emotional and credibly played by Angelina Jolie who spoke with a heavy French accent. The movie was spoken in English, Indian and Pakistani with Japanese subtitles. It was very difficult to understand what they said, except of course, what the American investigators said. Even English spoken by the Indian-Pakistani characters was difficult to understand because of the heavy foreign accent. I was lost for a good part of the movie.

A Mighty Heart shows many of the faces of the city of Karachi in Pakistan. Crowded streets, swarms of people everywhere, poor neighborhoods, torn-apart houses surrounded by complex networks of electric wires everywhere. Many of the scenes were dark and difficult to appreciate.

The climax of the movie was when an employee of the American Consulate in Karachi grimly told Mrs. Pearl, “Marianne, Danny didn’t make it.” She left the room and cried and shouted in pain. It was a very shocking scene.

In a nutshell, this is a sad story of an American journalist who paid with his life the struggles between fundamentalist Islamic terrorists and the West. I’m afraid this incident will repeat itself in highly explosive countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo, Iran, or Somalia. In these rogue countries, a human life means nothing at all. Nothing at all.

If you don’t mind viewing a strong dramatic movie with some explicit language, you can appreciate A Mighty Heart by clicking the link at the bottom of this entry.  This will stream the movie directly to your computer.  The length of the movie is 108 minutes or one hour and 48 minutes.  Good Day.

Movie:  A Mighty Heart – In four parts.

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