Sunday, 31 July 2011

TV mini-series review: The Kennedys

Been watching The Kennedys TV mini-series the past few weeks and finished the last episode this morning. Don't know why exactly but found it fascinating, the portrayal of John Kennedy's younger brother Robert Kennedy especially. I followed my older brother's suggestion and read the prologue to Evan Thomas' Robert Kennedy - His Life and found it also to be quite intriguing.

Added to post

Thought about it some more and thinking the fascination may have been nothing more than the entertainment that a good story (mixed with conspiracy) brings. There were a couple of memorable things in the TV series and prologue to the book which stood out though. Firstly, the portrayal of Robert Kennedy as a morally and religiously upright individual whose faith takes a knock and shouts out "Why, God" upon hearing news of his brother's murder. This didn't register so much with me at the time but when I got a painful and incapacitating infection earlier this week I found myself thinking the thought "Make it stop God, please" and thoughts went back to how subconsciously scornful I had been. Secondly, the extreme hiking and rafting adventures Robert Kennedy is reported to have engaged in in the later years of his life; commentators alluding to possible guilt he carried for not having served a greater role in the World War than he did. Lastly, a few nice quotes below taken from the Robert Kennedy wikipedia page attributed to the man himself:
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." 
"Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital, quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change." 
"Men without hope, resigned to despair and oppression, do not make revolutions. It is when expectation replaces submission, when despair is touched with the awareness of possibility, that the forces of human desire and the passion for justice are unloosed."

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Documentary Review: The Life of Muhammad, by Rageh Omar

Just finished watching Rageh Omar's three-part series on the Life of Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) which was aired on the BBC. Not breathtaking but not bad I thought and quite liked the final minute of the third part – Rageh Omar's closing remarks on the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

When a fall is due...

Got a ticket last week for parking my scooter against regulation (more on this another time) and took my first tumble off my bike earlier today. Quite the experience! It happened so fast I had to sit by the curb for twenty minutes afterwards to make sense of it all... I pulled out of my place of residence and remember thinking how strangely close to the opposite, right edge of the road I had curved out to. Next thing I know, in a flash, as though destiny had propelled me to my place of falling, my bike is side-to-side with the left edge of the road; something clips my bike and down we go. I fell off the bike, slid, spun and twisted forward until the momentum slowed and I sat on my bottom, legs forward, knees raised, arms around my shins, hands clasped, thinking: hmm. I sat there for a while allowing my head, which had a taken a thump against the pavement, to spin its course and would have sat there longer still were it not for a young lady to come over and ask me whether I was alright. Knowing no other way, I got up and said I was fine: just a small knock. She advised me in good spirit to keep my eyes on the road when I rode. I laughed, thanking her for the advice. When she left, I picked my bike up and sat by the curb reflecting on the moment and thinking how complacent an individual I had become in recent past. I don't know if it's just me but I find that there's something graceful, humbling, about taking the occasional fall. Got some small cuts and grazes so the complacencies (and vows to overcome my complacencies) should stick with me for a while insha-Allah.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

What makes a good team great

Statement I came across;
Paul Scholes (formerly of Manchester United and now retired)
commenting on present day Barcelona FC,
perhaps the best team in the history of the sport:

"I think the biggest thing about their players is their unselfishness.
I know [Lionel] Messi scores 50 goals a year,
but not one of them is out for personal glory."

Quite profound words I thought,
and not just in the context of football,
but organisations and compositions of people in general.