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Doc Dionysus

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The Circle
The Circle
Price: £6.42

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the dark side of social networking, 10 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Circle (Kindle Edition)
This novel is well-written and thought provoking. It virtually compels the reader to see the post-modern world of information over-load with fresh eyes.

The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning
The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning
by Simon G. Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for psychonauts, 3 Jan. 2013
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Simon Powell's interpretation of psychedelic experience, particularly that induced by the psilocybin mushroom, is cogent, lucid and inspiring. He sees the experience as essentially one which can reconnect us with the biosphere (whence it originates) so that we recognise the earth and indeed the universe as our glorious home. Not only is this reconnection life-enhancing for individuals, it is clearly necessary at this historical juncture collectively. This means that explorers like Powell are likely to be appraised very favorably by our descendants, that is if our species manages to survive at all. Like Terence McKenna, Powell looks through a scientific lens with the result that there is a circumspection and solidity at the bottom of even the most mind-blowing mushroomic speculations. In this respect, Powell is particularly excellent on the primordial nature of information, a matter which we are no doubt going to hear a lot more about from a variety of quarters. If you are interested in consciousness, ecology, information theory, life, the universe and everything, then read this book!

The Hurt Locker [DVD]
The Hurt Locker [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Renner
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.75

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars destined to be a classic, 24 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Hurt Locker [DVD] (DVD)
The Hurt Locker is a great film in every respect and is destined to be a classic which will be talked about in the next century. I can see, however, that some people won't 'get it' because it dispenses with most of the technical and narrative means that almost every Hollywood war movie avails itself of. But if you can put your expectations on one side, the film is amazingly fresh and powerfully moving.

The use of hand-held camera, which often has documentary resonances, together with a narrative evenness which treats all moments as equally significant could be expected to produce a distancing/alienating effect in the viewer, and if you are expecting crescendos and diminuendos it probably does just that. Yet these devices are capable of having the opposite effect, drawing the viewer into the very grit and grain and breath and terrible ambiguity of events as they unfold for a team of bomb disposal technicians operating in the dangerous streets of Iraq. Impeccable editing makes this work and you end up knowing in your bone-marrow that war is hell, that soldiers end up doing their own thing as plans give way to chaos, that for some war is nevertheless addictive, and that seemingly ordinary people are capable of insane degrees of bravery.

The direction and acting are superb and without the slightest false note. Particularly look out for a scene in which Jeremy Renner's Sergeant William James answers his compadre's question on how he faces the high probability of death day after day, and apparently without fear. With a few deft strokes, the character of William James becomes rounded, complex, utterly human and complete. [The protagonists are ambling along in an armoured vehicle, chatting rather laconically.]

Give this film a chance and it will blow you away!

Leaves of Grass [DVD]
Leaves of Grass [DVD]
Dvd ~ Edward Norton
Price: £5.75

5.0 out of 5 stars dangerously entertaining for both philosophy geeks and stoners, 22 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Leaves of Grass [DVD] (DVD)
Leaves of Grass is a brilliant film on many levels. I can't praise it enough and I can't do anything but write a love letter here. If you are one of those wierdos that has read and enjoyed Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy you will find the skeleton of the plot tantalisingly sketched out in scholar Bill's lecture on the Dionysian and the Apollonian early on in the film and it all makes sense when you find out that Bill's estranged twin brother is a virtuoso pot farmer. The message is simple: you repress Dionysus at your peril. Scholars should get stoned once in a while and chase beautiful and clever poet fisher-women. How cool is that?

I don't agree with those reviewers who find the change of register towards the end of the film clumsy. It does provide a jolt, yes. But it is necessary and deliberate. Dionysius must be sacrificed. This is tragedy, like life itself. The question is, can you still embrace life in all its aspects as Bill finally manages to do, even when your beautiful, wayward stoner brother gets killed?

All the actors do a great job. The characters are full of life and deftly realised detail. This plot could have easily invited characature, but it didn't. Norton shows extarordinary skill as both twin brothers and Keri Russell as passionate poetess Janet has enough dionysian vitality for all the actresses in Holywood put together, all the more powerful for how understated it is. Script-writer and director [and actor in his own film here] Tim Blake Nelson is surely one of the most amazing cinematic intelligences around.

There Are No Rules For Love - The essential relationship workbook for anyone looking for love and an interesting life
There Are No Rules For Love - The essential relationship workbook for anyone looking for love and an interesting life
Price: £7.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's good to question, 9 Feb. 2012
I greatly enjoyed There Are No Rules For Love. It is an intelligent, readable and playfully witty book about relationships. Though it offers to help those looking for a satisfying love relationship, it doesn't claim to have the one universally applicable formula for love and happiness. Instead, reassuringly, it encourages us to awaken and use our own powers of reflection and rightly exposes the silliness of the type of essentialist thinking that says 'men are X, women are Y'. The task the author has set herself is a lot more intricate than that of those authors who would offer us formulaic snake-oil: she has a scrupulous determination not to misrepresent the graininess of life and the uniqueness of each individual and not to cajole us onto a path that will not be our own. However, she realises her task with aplomb and a fair bit of humor and with no loss of clarity. For many of the love-lorn, it will be really helpful. But you don't have to be currently looking for love to enjoy this book. It is full of thought-provoking observations on life and life-enhancing perspectives to play with. If you are interested in the human circus, (and who isn't?), get it!

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