For many philosophy is an irrelevancy. It is out of date and is to be found in old books, visited only by ancient academics or party bores. This is a misconception. Philosophy, in the words of the great eighties song is to be found ‘all around.’
An example of this is in modern entertainment, from contemporary novels to TV dramas. And more often than expected in radio and spoken word. One great illustration of this is the great radio drama ‘Baldi’.

Paolo Baldi is a Fransiscan priest on sabbatical, lecturing in semiotics at Dublin University. Apart from the obvious presence of semiotics as a philosophy, throughout the series runs the ongoing tension between faith in Christianity and the ‘real world’. Semiotics is, put simply, the study of signs. Some philosophers dismiss it as pretend philosophy but there have been some marvelous semioticians, like Umberto Eco. Baldi uses his semiotic skills to solve crimes. It is a fascinating series, and one which offers insight to semiotics and its value in the world.

Click here to read a thesis applying semiotics to values in education.


There Will Be Blood

Whilst most academics treat the world of celluloid with a touch of cynicism I think many movies have aspects of philosophy which translate far more easily than through heavy tomes and anachronistic prose. The movie ‘There will be blood’ is a fine example.

The main protagonist, played by Daniel Day Lewis is called Daniel Plainview. The character embodies the philosophic expression ‘will to power.’ He is a determined man, and a builder of things. Although not anti religious he sees religion as a tool where faith can help those whose circumstances produce a life of drudgery. Faith promises a happier life in the future, but for Plainview (by name and nature) it is a way to remove obstacles. He is Nietzsche’s ‘noble creature’ and shares the belief that once Christianity becomes an end in itself, as portrayed in the movie through the actions of the duplicitous Eli Sunday, then it is nihilistic to the core, ‘beyond good and evil.’
Daniel Plainview is not a bad man, but does make bad choices. Eli Sunday is a representation of what Nietzsche calls ‘slave morality’. He has emerged from an oppressed group and resents the more powerful Plainview, who he sees as an immoral sinner. There is inevitable conflict, and whilst Plainview seeks redemption, he does not find it in any meaningful way with the church.
The audience must decide for themselves whether Plainview and his non belief leads to his debatable immorality or whether his is driven to it by the inflexible church of Eli Sunday.
Much food for thought


Leave now.
She empties the drawers
And takes the key.
It seems too real.
Like words from an encyclopedia
Which must hold truth.
Sign me out
Completely before I
Seek her and reconciliation.
She’s gone now
And although I tried desperately
To hold onto her
Deep inside I know
It was a necessity.
Words can’t describe.
They are nothing.
I hope it will pass.

What’s Up?

I’m working hard on preparing my novel, ‘Pegasus’, for publication on Amazon. The novel features Lairig Leacach bothy…here’s a photo.

lairig leacah bothy

It’s taking longer than I thought it would!

I’m going to post a few bits and pieces about writing and language in general! Should keep me busy.


Without agenda or expectation
I seek that which
Has always been sought.
And I find nothing.
But along the way
I have discovered
not previously suspected.
And now I wonder if
That is
What I was
Supposed to find.

Technological Narrative and the back door.

The dominant narrative is a term used in sociology to attempt to describe the existence of a complex understanding of the world, controlled by the representations of the mainstream culture, be that a piece of art or a novel.
With regard to technology the dominant narrative is supplied by fiction, usually in the form of a novel but increasingly in celluloid. And it is clear that this narrative is negative in nature. Ultimately technology is seen as the antithesis of natural man. It is morally Judged as inherently evil, and its high priestess, omnipresent AI (artificial intelligence, as depicted in recent blockbusters such as I, Robot, Ex Machina and Automata) signifies the end of human kind.

Despite dire warnings technology has a back door into reality. Mobile phones, Mp3 players, hi definition televisions, tablets, laptops and personal computers abound. And this is just the sphere of entertainment and leisure. Think of all those labor saving devices, from the Washing Machine through to the high impact drills which control fracking. No danger is sensed from these inventions and that is because they in no way resemble the A.I of technological narrative. But they are the building blocks of such a narrative and should be considered as such, before A.I creeps in through the back door and echoes of ‘who knew’ are heard throughout the land.


The day is short

And the moon now rises
Ownership changes.
An innocent aspect
Now departs
And honest stretches
Now encourage excessive fear
And uncontrolled worry.
All because in the absence of light
EL Coco stirs.