the land of sex and sinners "For most of its past Ireland was notorious for possessing the most carefree moral outlook in Christendom. While current permissiveness is viewed as a completely modern phenomena in fact several millennia of unique and often shockingly broadminded attitudes form the core of Irish sexual history. The Land of Sex and Sinners traces the complete timeline of Irish sexual and gender development from the mysterious sexio-religious rites of pre-history to the all too blatant teenage coming-of-age rituals of contemporary life."
This is the intro to the excellent documentary made mostly in gaeilge (irish) directed by Jimmy Duggan and financed by TG4, irelands native speaking TV channel (only @ 8 years old)The documentary appeared in the stranger than fiction documentary festival in the IFI, Irish film institute. the screening was followed by an open panel discussion which was very wide ranging.The documentary will be screened in 4 parts by TG4 in the upcoming weeks.
what i gathered from the film and the discussion was roughly the following: -In the past we lived in a healthy balanced age -This changed into the unhealthy and unbalanced age we live in today -A paradigm shift is happening in society, a REbalance is (re)emerging
5000 years ago Neolithic farming communities lived on this land and it is widely believed that there was balance between the masculine and the feminine in all aspects of the civilisation. The soil, the water, the earth being the fertile receptive motherlike deity and the sun with its life force energy being the direct masculine deity. When joined in union, the masculine and the feminine created life. Fertility was recognised, understood and celebrated.
the amazing architecture and buildings of the time give us best evidence to back up this theory The Megalithic Passage Tombs of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Fourknocks, Loughcrew and Tara are located in the present day County of Meath on the east coast of Ireland. The Boyne Valley Mounds at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth were built around 3200BC making them older than Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The Winter Solstice sunrise illuminates the passage way leading into the burial chamber of the megalithic passage tomb at Newgrange on the 21st December 2003so for only 1 day in the year the act of penetration is played out and demonstrated by the architecture, the shaft of light representing the penis enters the vagina and fills up the womb of the chamber (this is not meant in anyway to be rude, as some might find it, it is merely communicating the facts)
With the arrival of the bronze age came increased warfare and competition, more male charateristix. the architecture began to change from the round mounds to phalluss or standing stones this more or less continued untill todays age we live in where conflict and competition are at there most brutal highest but something has changed we are part of the Paradigm Shift that is slowly affecting all levels of civilisation
as Fritjof Capra
states in the second edition of his best selling book "the tao of physics"(1975), written 15 years after the first one
"the existing major problems of our time are all facets of one single crisis, a crisis of perception. An outdated worldview existed for several hundred years which included the belief that a society in which the female is everywhere subsumed under the male is
at present in ireland the government is trying to build a motorway through one of irelands most sacred sites, the hill of Tara. This was the centre of government, the place where the high king of ireland ruled the land. in the film Queen Maoibh was depicted as being the ruler, the soon to be king having to have sex with her to sign the deal. a campaign is underway to avert this crazy idea, it is gatehring momentum and perhaps could become the metaphor for our age more speed, more roads, more cars, more wars and who cares about that which is held sacred or bring about a more sustainable balanced existence
After the discussion i was talking with the academic from Trinity, Mary Condren Th.D whom I was very impressed with. She is the author of the book "the serpent and the goddess" and is invovled with the The Institute for Feminism and Religion
So it seems theres a lot to learn about these dynamics that are affecting our society and left unaddressed could lead to full on destruction of our species and maybe the planet too.After the discussion, and after getting distracted by bumping into old friends from years back i finally got to the table and had a bite to eat and a very livley chat about this and that with my housemate kate. We were sitting there at a table for four and the two girls beside us got up and with that an elderly couple came over and asked if they could sit down, it was empty so they did. We said to them "are you going to see a film" they said yes that they were going to the next screening about chernobyl because they support the charity, children of chernobyl, that is headed by ali hewson, bono from U2`s wife. "Chernobyl Heart shows the invisible trail radiation leaves behind. The film opens in the exclusion zone, the most radioactive environment on earth"
so the conversation developed along lines of us-fair play for supporting this, well done them-its great to see young people like yourselves here us-well its great that there is more and more things like this happening, that people are becoming politicised and with that taking action to try to improve things. them-thats very encouraging it was about this point that the lady said "by the way im Anne Madden and this is Louis le Brocquy i said "im duncan" and kate said "im kate". Louis le Brocquy is one of irelands leading artists and even though i dont like a lot of modern art i do happen to enjoy his work. this is one of his paintings of Beckett, whom i believe he was friends with in france (irish abroad, irish home, the land of saints and scholars???) so the conversation continued and we got talking about how, roughly, theres bad things going on in the world but they can be overcome and indeed there is a growing body that is challenging injustices in todays world. they are doing this because they are being informed by the emergence of more stories, documentaries, festivals, centres, spectacles....
but aswell as this it is not a case of "come here we know how all should live",as happened previously but of people from all backgrounds in society coming around the table as equals. to add to this people who had never been asked to the table before are being asked to give their views, and just maybe "jimmy" is the lad who sees things that others dont, maybe one simple bit of wisdom from him is exactly what is needed to solve the problem?
from there the idea that artistic creativity instead of violence was the way to change things was explored anne was invovled with and knew many of the people involved in the "revolution" in paris `68 and one of her theories was that as a result of absolute barbarity the opposite is formed, that of absolute creativity which is perhaps coincidental as that morning i had put a piece online on the architectural schools website
about the situationists who were heavily involved with `68
i gave the example i like and have participated in, the berlin love parade in cold war 80`s berlin people protested, they were ANTI this, anti that but then in 1989, 150 people in berlin had a demonstration FOR tolerance, respect and communication between nations. not only that but they decided to be creative and they turned it into a little free techno party on the streets. 10 years later and there was 1.5million people dancing on the streets of berlin, and it rocked
kate asked me would i have a drink and she asked them would they like something, instead they insisted on buying a bottle of wine for the table. So this fine positive conversation continued untill their film was starting when they had to run. it was a pleasure to have had such a livley discussion with such interesting, creative, interested people
during the conversation i also mentioned state of emergency and the fact that i am still banned from irelands architectural online community, archeire. but thankfully i have started participating and working with, in my opinion, the most progressive global networks on the planet; indymedia and social forum i had previously announced at the end of the post screening documentary that the second irish social forum was on this weekend
so thats about it we are in the process of setting up the dublin ECG (eco city group) node and from that helping develop the botanix spine and a healthier metro system, the interconnector than the one being proposed by the government at present
the IFI stuff has acted as a fine catalyst Stranger Than Fiction is the only annual festival dedicated to celebrating the best of factual film and television in Ireland.
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