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    Crucifixion: Gunther Von Hagens

     Posted in The Religion Police & Thoughts on Things... at 23:32 on Monday, April 9th, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    Picture the scene.  It’s Easter Sunday and tucked away deep in the depths of television scheduling sits a programme aptly named Crucifixion.  Apt, you might think, after all it’s Easter Sunday and we’ve come to expect a programme or two about Jesus’ demise; but this was no ordinary foray into mono-theistic doctrine, this was Gunther Von Hagens.

    If you haven’t heard of or seen Von Hangens’s work, let me briefly explain what it entails and what you should expect.  Von Hagens created a technique called ‘Plastination’; this technique allows him to remove and replace with plastic, dead organic tissue.  Yes, dead and organic does mean; human, animal or indeed vegetable.  Gunther found fame in the early 21st century when he ‘Plastinated’ the remains of human body donors and embarked on an exhibition called “Bodyworlds” or in his native German “Korperwelten”.

    Macabre, you might think, and some would agree but for me it’s fascinating and educational, it allows us to see inside ourselves as never before and allows us to understand what we’re made of.  There’s something incredible about seeing the course a blood vessel takes as it meanders and courses through your body in a fantastic evolutionary path.  Von Hagens has over the past ten years or so has ‘Plastinated’ hundreds or specimens, charting our evolution in a style which has become a form of art.  He has also applied his technique to animals such as; gorillas, elephants and even a giraffe, as you can imagine it’s become as much entertainment as it has art, but personally, the biological aspect is one I’m keen to keep.

    In recent times, with his work becoming art as much as a look into ourselves and other organisms, Gunther has faced and created much criticism; it seems sometimes he is out to shock rather than provoke debate or provide a look at ourselves, it seems that ‘Crucifixion’ his latest work was more about creating a storm rather than  allowing us a scientific view of life.

    The brief for the project was to create a realistic crucified image, but here’s the kicker; using real ‘Plastinated’ human remains, now on paper that sounds great to an atheist like me, but in reality it was also going to cause a huge amount of anger and criticism focussed on Gunther, especially from those who believe in God and the story of Jesus.  I have no issue whatsoever with Gunther’s project, it was interesting to watch him create something that was shockingly beautiful and ultimately something that showed the struggle between life and death.

    However, my first thoughts on the programme and Gunther’s idea was that he was intentionally trying to piss the church and it’s followers off.  Careful now.  I have no issue with pissing off the church, I’ve done it enough with this very blog in the past, I do have issue with setting out with the intention to piss them off.  Oftentimes, especially here, it’s easy to get caught in the moment when you write so that your words can become harmful to a certain group of people, we however, don’t hold the moral high ground and certainly don’t intentionally set out to piss you off.

    It’s easy to see that Gunther – a confirmed atheist like myself – wanted to do something which he’d wanted to do for a long time, whether this is making a protest or fulfilling some form of ego boost that he may get from controversy, but also a portrait of a man who knows his own mortality and is dying.  We discovered that Gunther is dying.  He has Parkinsons disease and is rapidly deteriorating, it was upsetting to see him struggle to walk, talk and use his dexterity which he is so famed for.  There is too much we can say about Gunther, and I don’t wish to turn this into an obituary before it’s time.

    I think however, we must pose a single question.  Would he have done this project if he wasn’t dying?  I think so.  I believe that Gunther would have always created his own Jesus, one day sooner or later, I do feel that the reason it was done is because it was his last wish, his last stand and his very own creation story.

     


    Update Status: Modified at: 23:01, on April 11th, 2012.

      Written By Mr. Rant.

    Guilty Pleasure Edition: Eurovision

     Posted in The Arts at 4:02 on Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    I thought I would write something about the Eurovision, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine and never fails to raise a smile to these fetted, decayed old lips.

    Often, the reason is because I’m taking the piss out of it, whilst watching but often it’s just down to the pure campness and silliness, it’s just amazing, lets face it where else to you get Ukranian’s dancing around in crazy hats or twins that you’d quite like to kill (Jedward).

    We’re starting the long road to Eurovision 2012, and it starts here, yes the UK has announced that we’ll have Engelbert Humperdinck representing us, lets see how we get on with that!

     


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    A link to our past about to disappear – Cosmeston Medieval Village

     Posted in Our Past at 20:39 on Thursday, March 1st, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    Incase you hadn’t realised we have heritage.  It’s colourful, diverse, and often bloody, we’ve been in that many wars it’s unfathomable, but we’re loosing our grip on it, we’re loosing those links that make us remember what made Britain what it is today.  What makes us great.

    For years now we’ve been slowly cutting the education of the past. Places to visit where you can learn about our heritage have been shut down and the wealth of knowledge that these places had is lost.

    Just recently Vale Council near Penarth, Wales, has decided to cut funding for Cosmeston Medieval Village a ‘living’ attraction where you can experience first hand what medieval times in Britain were like and learn in depth how people lived in that time.

    I should explain what a ‘Living’ attraction is.  A ‘Living’ attraction is just that. Living.  In Cosmeston’s case, it’s staffed by an enthusiastic group of historial interpretors who will teach visitors about the attraction, showing them how people lived, and died in 14th century wales.  From farming, to the black death you can learn how a typical medieval village ticked.

    Now, stop me if I’m wrong but personally attractions like this are particularly important to our heritage, people learn better through experience and places like Cosmeston do it well.

    We know that most councils are motivated to save money at present but at the cost of our heritage and understanding, I think that questions need to be asked.  In the last year around 20,000 visitors entered Cosmeston Village, yes there’s a small fee of £5 for Adults but isn’t that worth it to learn?

    Well, the local Council don’t seem to think so.

    There are plans afoot to cut the historical interpretors who dress in period costume and  guide people; therefore loosing the thing that best helps people learn; experience. You will no longer be able to chat to villager; and ask them how their home was built, you won’t be able to see a vast array  of farmed animals and you won’t be able to walk amongst it all and breathe in our rich history.

    Should we let it go? No.

    We need to fight for what is left of our past and allow future generations to learn about history, a petition has been set up to fight for Cosmeston and it’s one I would like to support, I may not be from Wales but we can’t let a place like Cosmeston go, because once you get rid of one thing, you’ve already signed it’s death warrant.

    You can view the Petition here.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    The beginning of the end for the web…

     Posted in Anger Level 4 & Breaking News & Censorship & Public Information & Technology & Tragedies at 16:43 on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 by Mr. Rant

    This week saw widespread blackouts on some prominent websites, including this one.

    The blackouts were in protest to the now, possibly defunct Sopa and Pipa movements chaired in the US law system. The bill had now been dropped or at least put on the backburner for now, but the Internet is changing.

    On Wednesday, the file sharing website MegaUpload was shut down by the FBI and it’s creators arrested and it’s content destroyed, the people behind the action was once again the MPA and the copyright Nazi’s.

    Now I hate people stealing my work as much as the next person but the US administration is going after the wrong people. They’re fighting the site owners, data centre’s and hosting companies and accusing them of breaking the law, when they didn’t put the content there it was the users who did.

    Yes, you can argue that they should be more proactive and stop users uploading copyrighted material but it’s not as easy as that.

    Take this website, the servers are US based so therefore we fall under their jurisdiction and have to adhere to their laws, however its developed and ran in the UK so has to adhere to the UK’s laws too, so where does it stop?

    Do we need to adhere to everything to keep everyone happy? In short, yes but that’s practically impossible.

    Just expect more sites to disappear over the next few months as the governments fight a loosing battle, and a backlash is likely to rise.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

     Posted in Anger Level 3 & Thoughts on Things... at 11:53 on Monday, December 12th, 2011 by Mr. Rant

    It’s that time of year again when the silly season starts and we all get into the Christmas spirit.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t dislike Christmas, I like the lights, the music and I love the food.  The food is arguably the best part.  The only real problem that I have with Christmas is that it seems to be lasting longer and longer.  The Christmas season kicks off at the start of November and doesn’t end until well after the day itself.

    Now, I should clarify that I do like getting into the Christmas spirit, I enjoy that I can look at the lights, and I enjoy that I have an excuse to eat a whole box of mince pies and get away with it, but where is that special feeling you get knowing that it’s just one day, it’s no longer the case.

    If you wanted to, you could celebrate Christmas from September onwards.  Should we doing that?

    I think not.  I don’t have an issue with celebrating Christmas during December, that’s expected, however, I don’t think we should be celebrating the season months in advance.  This year the adverts on tv and online started in September, it’s a bit previous if you get my drift.

    I think it’s time we start celebrating later, and enjoying the special time that Christmas brings, it’s once a year for two weeks (if that) rather than three months of bunting and tinsel.

    Last year here at Rant Towers, we didn’t change the blog for the christmas season but this year we will be, sometimes you’re just Christmassed out.


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      Written By Mr. Rant.

    Children in Need

     Posted in Thoughts on Things... at 8:59 on Friday, November 18th, 2011 by Mr. Rant

    We’d like to say that we’re supporting Children in Need.

    Give generously, and support this wonderful charity.


    Update Status: Never Updated.

      Written By Mr. Rant.