Mar 14, 2010

Cinnamon Girl

I was doing a bit of wiki research into Sri Lanka (Venerable Island) today because we have a Sri Lankan family in our neighborhood. Tashara (the dad) is a programmer and kind of cute in that dark eyed, soulful, mysterious Indian sort of way. Var was visiting with them today and got into a political discussion, apparently Tashara is slightly left of Marx when it comes to politics, which puts him squarely on my right side. High five!

Sri Lanka is one of those “cradle of the world” kind of places, perhaps the original Garden of Eden. The ancient land bridge to the Indian subcontinent is called “Adam’s Bridge”, and the old Arabic traders used to call the island “Serendib”, from which our "serendipity" is based. A classic Mysterious Island - a floating Shangri La.

Sri Lanka is one of the more ancient Buddhist countries, the flag shows a golden lion, the herald of the Sinha dynasty that ruled for many centuries. I was particularly drawn to this image of Sanghamitta arriving with the Holy Bodhi tree under which Buddha gained his enlightenment. We’ll note the prominent red and white Fly Agaric resonating parasols hovering over both Sanghamitta and her tree, hinting rather strongly at the entheogenic nature of this “tree”. I thought it was wonderfully evocative of the Tree of Knowledge, and the return of the true Eve to her homeland after a great journey.

Interestingly, Sri Lanka was the first country to elect a female head of state: Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Sri Lanka is famous for exporting cinnamon.

Neil Young, Cinnamon Girl.


Devin said...

Michael - you described men from that part of the world perfectly - soulful and mysterious- Sri Lanka is a fascinating country - I am so out of touch with the news lately that I don't know if they are still having trouble with the Tamil Tigers and all of that -I think AC Clarke retired there - I love how you described your politics -mine have been described much the same way - but of course this is a country well Bill Clinton is considered a progressive liberal and not the corporate whore he really is/was
sorry I can't do more catching up this am- was just starting to feel somewhat better - and boom the cold from hell or whatever it is started back in on me
all the best to you and Var- I will be back :=)

Esperanto Grrl said...

Don't forget the role that Lanka played in the Ramayana: Lanka was the homeland of the Demon-King Ravana, who kidnapped Rama's wife Sita. Rama led an army of monkeys and tigers to cross the bridge in order to rescue Sita. A few of the other power personages included Jambavantha, a giant bear that had a perfectly human daughter that later on married Krishna, and Hanuman, king of monkeys.

This was why it was often difficult to read the Ramayana for me: it seemed like a Disney animated cartoon with talking animals, and I had trouble taking it seriously, the way I did the mostly realistic Iliad. By that same note, I've never read a single description of Japanese Shinto that didn't make it sound like Pokemon.

I had a brief reference to Sri Lanka in my muscle growth story, Big Dragon. So, when are you going to check those out? :-)

By the way, it's an amusingly vindicating thing when someone you don't like as a creative person also turns out to be a horrible human being, too. Sri Lanka was also where one of my least favorite science fiction writers ended their days, autistic robot Arthur C. Clarke. In a few interviews where he was far too drunk to care, he let slip he spent most of his days buggering little boys, in one of the surest signs that colonialism never really died.

Michael said...

Dev - really happy to hear from you - long time no see! Yes, Sri Lanka is still beset by tigers. Ha! about Clinton. Too true.

EG - I'm surprised you don't like AC Clarke, given his reputation with "hard" science fiction and being the "father" of geostationary satellites. I've only read one of his books, Rendezvous With Rama, which seems oddly Germaine to the post. I found his storytelling very plodding and boring, kind of wishing that Edgar Rice Burroughs had told the tale instead, considering it was another take on the "hollow earth" theory, but wrapping it in a more currently acceptable bow. I wonder if he was knighted for his buggery or his fiction?

Easy to see the colonial tendrils in Sri Lanka, odd how Americans tend to deny the same.

Devin said...

Michael thanks so much for your answer to my comment and I hope you and Var are doing great!!!!

Esperanto Grrl - thanks also - I had no idea about ACC buggering little boys - I wasn't a huge fan of his - I think the only book of his I read and liked (although this is hardly to say I read all of them) was "Rendezvous With Rama" and I read that so long ago that I hardly remember it -

the reason I mentioned ACC in Michael's article is that some - and I haven't looked into this at all so take it with a grain of salt - some in the conspiracy world think that ACC was involved with the NWO, Illuminati - all that stuff - (ps I've never known what I would name the people that control the world- Once i thought "solar death cult" might fit the bill:-) some in the conspiracy world also think George Orwell was "in on the joke" so to speak - and again this is just things I have heard and seen written from others- have no idea on it myself - I should have elaborated last night - I am still really out of it and didnt even expect to be online tonight -but needed to check on an email that wasn't there anyway- I hope you are both doing wonderfully and I will still try to get caught up more when I am feeling better-
for hard science fiction have either of you read Greg Egan? or Gregory Benford? -I am much more into the horror genre or "general" novels myself - but I have enjoyed both of these authors. "Permutation City" and "Diaspora" by Egan really stick in my mind
Lastly- would either of you know of any actual names of competitors in the 2009 NPC Junior Nationals Men's Bodybuilding?
there was a video I watched of the pre-competition "pump-up" and one of the dudes made me salivate with lust and impure thoughts in my mind :-)
if you think you would I would obviously have to send you the video-
best to the both of you - Var and all who comment here- will try to check back in soon when I am hopefully feeling better !!

The Secret Sun said...

Don't forget this, speaking of Cinnamon Girls...

Anadæ Quenyan Effro said...

Aaaww, shucks! LOL! Professor Knowles done beat me to linking Type O Negative's version of Cinnamon Girl, originally crafted by Neil Young, the alleged grandfather of Grunge. Oh well. I'll say nothing of their singer Peter Steele's recent conversion (from lifelong Atheism) to Catholicism, nor of his PLAYGIRL photo shoot from 15 years ago, the issue in which his enviable manliness was featured now commanding 100 smackers on the collectibles market.

Say, speaking of cool & pertinent music videos & cult figures, ever hear of the British Hip Hop chanteuse, Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam? Her stage name is spelt M.I.A. & she's the daughter of a former Tamil Tiger herself. Achieving worldwide acclaim & playing far & wide, schooled in London, her 1st renowned Hip Hop music video was Sunshowers, and it was actually filmed in the jungles of Sri Lanka. Her official site, not recommended viewing for persons prone to seizures, is located here. Let M.I.A. be our Cinnamon Girl. Later y'all ~ Anadæ Effro (•8-D

Michael said...

Dev, sometimes you slay me. :-)

Thanks for the Type 0 Negative link. Pete's pretty hot! Nice buddha synch on that youtube page. My personal buddha John Fairhall thought that Neil Young was an "ascended master".

Esperanto Grrl said...

Ha! You're not the first person I've surprised with this view.

The hard science fiction guys never really impressed me much. I love science enough to do it for a living, but there are different things you want out of fiction...namely, not stories where two engineers talk about relativity while spiraling down a black hole.

I once heard a joke about American science fiction: it was written about robots, by robots, and for robots.

The moment I turned against Clarke was Childhood's End: I saw the demon reveal coming from a mile away. Its view on religion and human destiny was pretty juvenile, and it owed not a little to Heinlein's "Have Space Suit, Will Travel."

I've always preferred L. Sprague de Camp to his contemporary, Isaac Asimov: he's the guy they had in mind with the quote above. De Camp was just as erudite as Asimov, yet he actually had a sense of humor. Asimov never really had any really bad "bad guys." Just people with a difference of opinion. Compare that to Heinlein and creations of his as terrifying as the Puppet Masters.

Michael said...

EG - I think I accidentally deleted your comment in Bird Flu Two - oops, I did it again! :-)

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