Monday, June 30, 2003
I'll be attending this launch of a compilation of Che Guevara's writing this Friday.
Go Che! Revolutionary and T-Shirt Salesman!
I have a new locker at work. I do not have a key for said locker. The lockers (and therefore their keys) are not made in Australia. They are in fact made in Italy. Hence the key to my locker will have to be shipped over from Italy.
Well at least I'll have one Italian accessory in my wardrobe.
When we think of love, we think of flowers. There are good reasons for this. They are beautiful and perfumed (as, by implication, is the object of our affection). It is the job of flowers is to be attractive - to insects. The seduction of people is an unintended by-product. Subconsciously many of us know that flowers are vegetable reproductive organs but most of are too polite to mention this.
But there's a problem. Flowers don't feel like love. Love is about the ties that bind people together: emotional, physical, financial and social. The links of dependency. With their cut stems, flowers are the very model of (doomed) independence. Love seems more like Kikuyu. A weed that spreads above and below the surface. That's difficult to root out once established. That binds and breeds.
But what do I know about gardening?
Baran - love amongst the scaffolding on an Iranian building site.
Igby Goes Down - hey rich people are as messed up as regular folks - but they have better interior design and more erudite dialogue.
Release The Bats
I fell asleep in the park for 5 minutes. When I awoke the tree in front of me was full of bats. Hundreds of them, like black, leathery fruit hanging from the branches. Fantastic.
Sunday, June 29, 2003
You may have come across the excreable show TV's Funniest Bloopers. It revisits the screw-ups and mis-takes that you never normally see on the box. "Ha ha - look there's a local news presenter being savaged by rabid dog!!! That'll have him foaming at the mouth - d'ya geddit? Foaming!! At the Mouth!!!!"
Anyway, depression has its own version of this show. Only in this case it's called: "You Are Crap". Every instance that you've screwed up, screwed someone else over or been screwed over yourself is run on loop. And it corrodes your self-confidence and energy. Why should you do anything when you'll just mess it up? And hurt other people in the process? Back under the blankets with you. Is your journey really necessary? In fact, is your existence really necessary?
I'm not currently screening this show - coz if I was I wouldn't be posting about it.
"Are you making a difference?"
"Oh yes. I'm raising the CO2 levels in this room even as we speak."
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Monday, June 23, 2003
Lost my wallet on Friday. Should be returning to me shortly. Basically it meant that I had $20 for Saturday and Sunday. An insightful and unpleasant experience. You think: "Hmmm, could really do with a coffee now. Ah there's a coffee house! I know I go in and get a coffee and... oh."
This may be karmic payback as I haven't been giving money to charity in the last few months.
Sunday, June 22, 2003
Saturday, June 21, 2003
The Only Explanation I Can Find
I'm have this recurring nightmare where I'm in a kareoke bar with Karen Carpenter. We're on top of the world, looking down on creation. And we're given a menu covered in plastic. Each entry is for a song and an item of food. We both have to sing a song then the one with the better voice gets the item of food in the menu. We begin and by the time we hit a swing-tempo "Highway to Hell" it has become apparent that the contest is hopelessly mismatched. Karen is thrashing me hollow. But the more she eats, the thinner she gets. Just as I am limping through a skiffle version of "No Woman No Cry", the waiter comes in and announces they have run out of food. Karen (by now skeletal) turns round and starts eyeing my leg. She's going to eat me alive - whilst crooning a medley of Radiohead songs.
It wouldn't be so bad but the screaming is starting to annoy my flatmates.
David Weinberger says: "We are bodies. Flesh rulz."
And he's read lots of Heidigger and written books and stuff - so he must be right.
Coz some of us sometimes forget that. Ya have to love ya body. And treat it right.
"I'm saving myself"
"You're not spent yet"
Luke and Jacqui attempted to persuade me last nite that Frank N Furter is a classical Shakespearian hero brought low by his own flaws. I blame the chocolate margaritas they had been consuming.
Go Luke! Go Jacqui!
Alister: ex-music journo, script writer, techie, charming coffee companion and knowledge manager. Go Alister!
Krista has just become the proud mother of two twin baby boys. Go Krista! Go Isaac! Go Logan! Go Jonas! Go Noah!
Thursday, June 19, 2003
The knight sat at the bus stop, his shield resting on his knees and his armour glittering in the street lights.
"Do you think he's lost his horse?"
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Dayglo was a Rodeo.
1. Hang on
2. We're right behind you. But that's only because riders are thrown forwards.
My favorite metaphor for the rough patches of life remains Ocean Kayaking. You start on the shore, two to a kayak. You get in the kayak (easy). You then attempt to paddle through the impact zone. You the faster you go and the more perpendicular you are to the incoming waves the less likely you are to be knocked off. But you almost certainly will be knocked off. So you get back in again. Then you're past the impact zone and floating on the ocean like a match stick. Riding in on waves is pretty cool. You wait for a biggie to form a 100 yeards from you, then you paddle like buggery and if you're lucky it catches you and you cruise into shore. Again you have to be perpendicular or the wave will tear the kayak from under you and send you spinning like an ant in a washing machine.
Of course, to pursue this metaphor to its logical conclusion, I'd have to fit in the bit about having an enormous German guy in the back of the kayak doing all the work while I whinged.
Yes, that is very much like life my child.
"Ya used to tell the truth
But now ya clever."
Thief. Addict. Casualty. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...
"Get in the lift please, I have a plane to catch."
He stands by the lift's controls, jabbing at the close button with a woodpecker thumb.
"This life is going to stop on every floor", he grumbles as people exhibit the temerity to get in.
The lift descends. He motions everyone to stand clear of the doors and stands as close as possible in front of them. I cock my hand like a starting pistol.
The lift stops.
The doors open.
He exits, stalking down the corridor.
The doors close.
I turn to my fellow descendants: "Hang on, hasn't he just got off on the wrong floor? The one with no exits?"
"Yes he has. What a shame."
"Here, mate, mate, OI mate..."
"My mate's seen you around and she really fancies you. Can I get your phone number?"
"I'm terribly sorry I don't have a phone."
"What not even a land line?"
"No, I'm allergic to them you see."
"Well can I give you her phone number then?"
"Well no, because I couldn't ring her, could I?"
I received this message from the FCO:
The vast majority of visits to Australia are trouble?free. The risk from terrorism is low."
Thanks for sharing that. You've really set my mind at rest.
Monday, June 16, 2003
The Queens of the Stone Age vs. Bjork
1993: The second song on Debut is Crying.
It's a song about longing, about being separated from someone you love. The percussion starts twitchy and awkward. Unable to relax because it's distracted, its thoughts are elsewhere.
"there's no-one here,
and people everywhere"
These two lines sum up the feeling of isolation when no one else will do but the person who is not there. They are vulnerable and charming.
2003: Better Living Through Chemistry, the fifth track on Rated R made me double take. The chorus is a direct lift from Crying. Except the meaning of the words has completely changed. Bjork sounds open and human - all too sensitive to the world around her. By contrast Josh Homme is completely desensitized. The music is techtonic hard rock shot through a psychadelic prism. Drug paranoia and dreams of apocalyptic vengence seep out into the earspace of the listener.
"There's no one here
And people everywhere,
you're all alone"
The addition of the final line is important. Bjork's lyrics are a pain in heart put into words. Homme's the accusation/temptation offered to a psychotic.
In their own ways, they both confront loneliness. The fact that we are all disconnected from each other. And yet, as social animals we are bound to try to overcome that. The solution QOTSA offer on "Rated R" is to disconnect completely - and relish it. Although "relish" is not really the word to describe this sour older brother of Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space ("Yeah kid, drugs mess you up but love won't redeem you. It's just a rationalization for sex - which'll mess you up even more"). You're all alone. Deal.
I'm not sure whether Bjork offers a solution or not. She just is (emoting/emotional). It's difficult to imagine her ever wanting to give up on humanity entirely (despite the unpredictability of "Human Behaviour", the dangers of being "Violently Happy" or the "Anchor Song"s temptation to remain under the sea). The pleasures and pains of love, sensuality and contact with others are too intense and real for that. You have to try or it's not worth it.
I kinda prefer Bjork's vision, much as I like QOTSA's RAWK attack. And it seems they might do too. The two singles from Songs For The Deaf offer worldviews gradually recovering from jaundice. 'No One Knows" may refer to a person or a drug but its bouncy/dreamy demeanour suggests some search for happiness - it's not all lost yet. "Go with the Flow" is a different kettle of wolverines altogether. The music is pedal-to-the-metal ramalama and Homme's voice is yearning. For once, he gives a shit.
"But I want something good to die for
To make it beautiful to live."
Bjork would approve.
What is it about explanatory frameworks of human behaviour (e.g. astrology, MBTI, Belbin) that means they have categories between 7-20? A cynic would say that such a number is large enough to give the appearance of rigour (unlike the comments such as Sgt Hartman's to Pvt Cowboy)without being overwhelming (as say the 821 classifications of SOC).
Lives and Stories
In the spirit of "confession" that I outlined below, time for some critiquing of the Myers-Briggs concept and my engagement with it.
I test as an INTx - sometimes INTJ, sometimes INTP . This bothered me. I am annoyed that this should bother me. Why could my nature not be fitted comfortably in a behaviouristic box? This explanation (if you leave out the author's obsession with classical music and science fiction) comes close.
The main problem that some of the more devoted (even rigorous) followers of the MBTI have is that they assume type sits on top of a repeatable mental architecture (see the lengthy INTP profile again). Freud made the claim that all our psychic life stories are the same (Oedipus Complex yadda, yadda). MBTI tries to split them up into 16 life stories. Astrology gives us 12.
And here's where it breaks down. People's lives flood over these boundaries and form unique patterns. The best these explanatory frameworks can provide is some thematic structure to the narrative. Of course, any narrative worth its salt has to play with its own conventions (even if only a little before returning to standard ending for reader satisfaction).
Saturday, June 14, 2003
Another current obsession: Process / decision mapping and flow charts. There is nothing in life that cannot be turned into a process map. And they certainly offer the illusion of understanding and control.
yesterday, i attempted to process map buying some trousers (is colour suitable? if no select another pair, if yes then do they fit?)
i never got round to buying the trousers.
i need help.
"Do you like chocolate or jelly?"
"No, that's impossible."
"You must be Libra. Librans are indecisive."
"I'm on the cusp - which is may be another indication of my indecisiveness. I'm a Scorpio."
"So am I, my birthday is November 1st."
"All Saints' Day."
'What, that doesn't sound very Scorpio-ish!"
"It's a church holiday. Hallow'een is shortened from All Hallows' Eve. It means the day before Saints' Day. The day after is All Souls Day. So I guess that makes you a saint."
Can you tell who it is yet?
This is my current obsession.It has its origins in the psychology of Jung and is very widely used in the business world. Here are some cogent criticisms of it.
"I ask managers whether they are planning to pay people to be likable or to do a good job"
Because the two are obviously incompatible. "Work harder, you scum!!!"
At its best MBTI provides a neutral framework, that allows people to talk about who they are (how they think, what motivates them and how they interact with others). It's simple and appealing.
There is always a danger in categorizing people that you pigeon-hole them. Nobody is just 4 letters. And nobody knows just how damn complicated anybody else is. Therefore some maturity and insight is required.
Altho type-spotting is fun if done subtly. But don't take it too seriously.
Monday, June 09, 2003
Wanting to complete some work last night, I went our Sydney offices. A woman was entering the door just in front and I ambled in after here. She turned round and I flashed my ID to indicate I worked here too. By a coincidence, she walked to the same lifts as me and pressed the request button. On the arrival of said life, she didn't get in. Noticing my puzzled expression, a look of extreme discomfort crossed her face.
Ah. I look like a mugger/rapist/murderer (hey, like that's news).
I got out out of the lift, said I understood and said I'd take another one. Situation solved.
I kinda understand why she did it. A deserted building late at night (altho with security guards and cameras). A single male in proximity. Maybe a bad experience in the past.
Except I don't really understand what she felt. I've rarely felt scared in urban environments at night (as I don't walk around carrying drugs, weapons or large amounts of cash, I don't attract the wrong sort of attention).
I don't what it feels like to be anyone else.
I was accosted on Sunday nite by 2 kids jabding out flyers. On closer inspection these turned out to be religious tracts, with people telling me how Jesus had made their (and indeed our) lives better by dying (Jesus is quite like his followers in this respect). Born and bred on bad religion, I reacted quite badly to this. Before I could work myself up into the requisite psychotic lather, they merrily skipped off saying "read your Bible and pray to God, that'll solve everything".
Yeah, I got "issues". My basic problem with Christianity is that it starts from the assumption that the only good things in human beings come from a nebulous external source prone to vengence and apocalytic acts of destruction. Well, thanks for that.
Despite my earlier comments, I love and respect a lot of people who identify as Christians ("hey, some of my best friends go to church"). There was term they used to bandy about: 'Loving the sinner, hating the sin." Which seemed to translate as: "I despise your choices and opinions and expect to see you tormented for eternity for them. No offence."
Right back at ya, brothers and sisters.
On Sunday I did make it to Bondi for some work with Conservation Australia. Which was a miracle coz I'd spent Saturday moshing like a beast (an unfit, ungainly beast mind) to these dixie-fried fools.
The Booth And The Baseball Bat
There are (at least) two models of what a confession is.
1. Catholic. You confess your sins, repent and receive absolution. If that was the model here, then what I'd want from you was simply a chuck on the arm and a "you're alright mate" - in lieu of 10 hail marys and 10 how's ya fathers. Ah, that's better. Except it isn't. Simply saying the truth does not make you free. Admitting you've done wrong may be the start of a "road to recovery", but all too often the work afterwards is ignored. "Getting it off your chest" does not drive it from your heart.
2. Judicial. In the police interview the experienced offender will lie, dissemble and distract. The confession comes at the end of the process rather than the beginning. The confession is a result of examination and possibly brutality. There is a risk it may not even be true. Once the confession is signed, the judicial process can then grind on - with others testing its validity.
These pages have more in common with a show trial than a psychiatrist's couch.
Friday, June 06, 2003
I am going to dive into the murky waters of professional activities here.
Last night, I attended NSW KM Forum. Adam from Ribbit gave a very passionate presentation on the impact of the online gaming community on the future of business.
Adam's basic premise is that those involved in online game development and playing are the entrepreneurs and employees of the future. What they are doing now will impact work patterns in 10 years time (if not right here, right now).
The gamers will be completely comfortable with virtual collaboration and project management and demanding of rich media environments.
Oh yeah, and we all discussed knowledge mapping (facilitated by James) for an hour before visiting the pub.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
Somewhat surprised when I went for lunch with a friend and they bought a crackpipe on the way home.
That's not my idea of dessert.
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Ah, a footnote on confession from the followers of St Michel by way of Dayglo.
"People are taught that their liberation requires them to "tell the truth," to confess it to someone who is more powerful (a priest, a psychoanalyst), and this truth telling will somehow set them free"
Am I free because I tell the truth? Or do I tell the truth because I am free?
We could go into that whole "What is Truth?", "Are We Free?" crapshoot - but really wouldn't you rather have an armani-clad Larry Fishburn do that for you?
More on confession tomorrow.
And why good music makes me want to smear myself in blood.
Though not yours.
I have to take issue with this:
"Writer of pop music crit shouldn't *ever* apologise for its subject. Those who feel the need to do so should fuck off and write about something that doesn't leave mud on their boots..."
Dayglo: I absolutely agree. Reynolds does do this on occasion (c.f. the patronising label "avant-lumpen' for hardcore) - but mostly he loves what he writes about. It may be an occasionally guilty, shameful love. But still love.
He loves it enough to wrestle and argue with it - which precious few music journalists do.
Sunday, June 01, 2003
So then, George, these Weapons of Mass Destruction. Where are they? Come on, you've been talking about them for months.
What's that Tony? Secret proof you say. Well, that's alright then. I'm convinced.
As you were.
Notice a theme emerging here? We fear change. And run from it. And reject it. Tear up its reminders and calling cards. Erase its entries in our calendars.
But it is implacable.
There's been a lot of change in my 9to5 since Easter. Almost more than I can manage. Almost. I just have to hang onto my paddle. That's all.
In the tarot deck, Death symbolises change, rebirth, transformation. Everything is dying continuously - a torrent of "little deaths". We shed skin and blood. We shed the people we've known and loved. We sweat money and desire.
Don't die just yet.
Confession Time 3
Grant Morrison is a prick. Discuss.
Grant Morrison is a genius. Discuss.
Who cares? Maybe at one point I did. Again, back in 99, when my CCRU infatuation was peaking, I resurrected my interest in The Invisibles. A comic book. A sick, twisted, brilliant comic book.
You had a Mardi Gras of violence, black magick, kinky sex, inhuman technology, and ideas. Most of these ideas had be nicked from Philip K Dick, Robert Anton Wilson, and bunch of other hippies that took too many drugs in the 60s, but again, so what? They were good ideas anyway.
Then I found this. A internet board full of geeks? Oh yes. I eventually met with some of them as my circle of friends at the time were (and are) very sweet but something was missing. Something weird. And these guys provided that in spades.
Indirectly, they were one of the two main factors encouraging me to leave the UK. In a good way. Oh, and Barbelith indirectly led to imminent marriage of one of my best friends.
But I can't stand the place now.
Confession Time 2
Later. Much later. After I had finished my research into information broking and ebusiness for the MSc and moved to London, something else happened. I was holding down 2 jobs. For the first one I sold numbers and annoyed people. Selling numbers: a bank would ring the office up and we'd have to find the number of dry cleaners in Europe in the next 2 hours OR THE WORLD WOULD END!!! Annoying people: Telephone-based market research. Second job was running the LSE library at night, supervising a staff more intelligent and experienced than myself but lacking the requisite paper qualifications. This situation has coloured my view of managers ever since.
Why am I telling you all this? Isn't it boring? Well, yes, it is boring. And it was boring. You have to understand this or what I'll tell you next won't make sense.
I began to look elsewhere for kicks. Intellectual kicks. Weird kicks.
I encountered Cybernetic Culture Research Unit. They came out of Warwick University (a place I had worked at briefly in the mid-90s), had been created by Sadie Plant, a "media academic" (in both senses of that term) who has written about Situationists, Cyberfeminism, Drugs and mobile phones.
Also involved was Nick Land. Whereas Plant's writing is accessible (despite its origins in Continental Philosophy) in accordance with her media-friendly image, Land's is deliberately obscure. That which the lay reader does comprehend seems to go out of its way to shock and abuse. Once you realise that Land's heroes are Nietzsche and Bataille (two great wind-up merchants of European Thought), a lot of his posturing seemed as threatening as the man himself - a tawny haze of desert boots and camel lights. Land may now be in either Singapore. Or Birmingham.
CCRU seems to have grown out of a combination of 90s rave and jungle, 70s French philosophy (Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, Virilo), cyberpunk science fiction, and later, Crowley-esque black magick and Lovecraftian bollox. They were a beautiful mess.
I attended the Syzygy events in London in 99 (by which time Plant was long gone - all those Radio 4 interviews to prepare for) - when my jobs allowed. The events were kinda fun in a self-consciously arty, "multi-media" fashion. Kodwo Eshun spun a few discs - awe-inspiring writer, average DJ. CCRU themselves seemed at once precious and playful - but hard to engage with. In their heads (and in their writing) they were counter-culture titans at the cutting edge of Cyberculture (this was 99 remember, before the dot.com bust). In reality, they seemed like a bunch of postgrads, bereft of their academic home, adrift in world where the best you can hope for is an Arts Council grant and maybe a spot at the ICA.
The only two that appear above the radar now are Mark Fisher and Simon Goodman.
Fisher writes about k-punk. Ditching all the stuff about the future, and escaping into the post-punk past. Retrenchment during tough times?
Goodman has run a UK garidge web site for the last few years and DJs regularly around the world. The site itself is a treasure trove of goodies. But most of it is journalism, lacking the incisive and disorienting (vampire) bite of CCRU.
I never knew these people (altho I have drunkenly harangued at least 2 of them at one point or another). But I loved their ideas. And not forgetting Matt Fuller's.
But that was then. Everything dies.
To use the appropriately Deleuzian term, CCRU seem to have been Reterritorialized. Or may be they split over "Theoretical Differences".
In the early 90s, I read NME and Melody every week. I didn't necessarily buy it every week - which used to piss the newsagents off no end.Anyway, most of the writing was appalling - posturing, self-righteous crap. One guy was... different.
Simon Reynolds - a theory-influenced cleverclogs in the mold of 80s types like Paul Morley and Ian Penman, SR would write about the likes of My Bloody Valentine, dreampop, avant-rock, 90s rave, jungle, hip hop. The music I grew to like but couldn't really explain. And he was obviously overeducated, just like me. Only far more articulate and interesting and stuff. I lapped up his articles and later, the books: Blissed Out, Energy Flash and The Sex Revolts (written with his wife, Joy Press). More than any other writer, SR shaped not so much the way I listened to music, but the way I contextualised and talked about it to others.
On occasion, I have parroted a Reynoldsian analysis of, say, happy hardcore to a luckless friend (usually Phil - almost always Phil - sorry Phil). But most of the time I agreed with him. No one else wrote about the music I loved with such passion and rigour - except maybe Chuck Eddy and too often he was just bloody annoying with his sodding jug bands and goth eurodisco.
So it was with first disbelief then despair that I saw SR fall away from doing what he did best - engaging with futuristic pop music. 2001 was the year that everything went pear-shaped (in so many ways). SR became disillusioned with the UK dance music scene and so decided to escape, like most discontents of the present, into the past. Not the future, where he belonged, but the past. Articles about 70s/80s post-punk began to appear. He seemed to only review re-releases of ACR or 23 Skidoo. What Tha F***?
Now, I have no insights into SR's personal life beyond what he posts/writes in public. But much of his disengagement seemed to stem from changes in him as much changes in da chunes. Moving to NYC, becoming a dad, nearing 40 - I dunno, like I say, I don't know the bastard.
Anyway, Cilla, the story has a kinda happy ending - coz now he has a blog. And there's heaps of good stuff on there. I no longer know most of the stuff he's writing about, but that doesn't matter, it's both yesterday AND today AND tomorrow.
We don't have to bury him yet.
Red pill, blue pill or hormone pill?
Now you know why the Matrix's main female character has wears leather catsuits.
"I want people to know the truth," he says. "When Larry walked down that red carpet with my wife he was probably wearing a bra and panties under his suit."
With Friends Like This
A few months back I signed up for this. I have had a client for about a month. I can't tell you anymore really.
I made this
Back when I was in Kolkata, I wrote and constructed this site.
It took them a year to put it up - I imagine they were too busy tending the sick and teaching the young. Priorities, eh?
I have agreed to be the Australian contact for CR. Trying to set an Australian branch of this organisation has been a side project of mine. And it's tough. Coz to be a "proper" charity in Australia, you need DGR status. To get DGR if you intend to send the money overseas (i.e. to Kolkata), you need:
- 2 years audited accounts
- 100 voting members
- other stuff that we don't have
CR Australia ain't gonna get that soon. So we have to be creative. And clever.
...And the crusties shall inherit the earth
2. The Matrix 2. It rocks. Yes, the dialogue is woeful, the characterisation marginal and the plot plodding but, dude, the special effects!
That can't actually make Keanu act, but they can cunningly distract you with some lovely fight scenes.
Now some twats will tell you the Matrix is philosophical. Philosophy in M2 boils down to:
"We have free will."
"No, we don't."
"Don- ah screw it! Let's try to kill each other!!!!"
Of course, what M2 is all about is the growing convergence between movies and video games.
Enter The Matrix includes unseen movie footage and links directly into M2's plotlines (such as they are).
Now most video games have the same plot structure - they're quests. You are the hero (or anti-hero in the case of GTA) and you have a set of tasks to achieve. M2 has a "quest" storyline as well. Which presumably means more and more films will take on the narrative structure of video games.
Good or bad thing?
And while you're thinking of that read this Seussian Matrix
It is well-known that rather than discuss their subjective feelings, men prefer to express themselves through "objective" topics such as sport, cars, and music. So, I'll kick off with the following:
Went on a film binge yesterday.
1. Secretary. Having played some truly pervy characters before, James Spader has the comparatively straight-forward role of a sadistic lawyer embarking on a dom/sub-style relationship with his self-mutilating secretary, played by the talented Maggie G.
I wish I could say I was sickened and digusted by this degenerate filth. But I kinda liked it. Well acted. Reasonably well written and directed.
I'm not really into BDSM. The "fetish" aspects that surround (leather, restraints, instruments of torture, PVC) come across as cheesy and naff rather than sexy. The only aspect that does interest me is "mindgames" bit. How much do you trust someone? How far would you let them go - and how far would they let you?
Or to put it another way, what challenges us most when we see examples of real torture is the physical brutality and destruction.But the physical scars are only a means to an end - the point of torture is destruction of the will. You could argue some kind of logic of both physical torture and meditation. The body becomes a conduit to transform the mind - build or break.