Who would have thought such sweltering heat would have given birth to a fresh new t-shirt company! It's hot here, intolerably so. Worse, much worse, is the humidity. It weighs down upon one to such a degree that all the ceiling and standing fans in the apartment and office have shared sense of inadequacy. Yet this sticky Hades is home to great creativity, particularly in the area of design. Some years ago, when I first started out on my own, similarly unbearable summer conditions gave me the idea for my company name - Swelter. Somewhere along the line, I thought it would be great for a t-shirt brand. Mid last year, that brand saw the light of day and is now being worn by quite a few people (bless them!) from around the world. Today's the day I start to share with you some of the Swelter designs and the stories behind them (hey, and if there aren't any, I'll make them up. You might want to help me along there.) Right now, I have no energy, I'm in the mood for a chat, and I keep filling up my glass with water. Pray for rain!

Sunday, 5 August 2007


From where does all this aggression come? It's been around since the origin of man and is showing no sign of letting up. Even I, philosophically always the pacifist, show signs of aggression every now and then. For example, when someone cuts into my lane without the courtesy of indicating. When people are rude and disrespectful. When someone misuses their power. And on countless other occasions, too numerous to mention. What I need when I'm all worked up is a good thriller or really violent movie of some other kind. Which is why watching 300 for the first time yesterday was so good for me. Just watching all those glistening muscles and tight torsos thrusting their spears and slashing with their swords was enough to distract me from any of my own feelings of anger. (In truth, not so much anger as frustration - I've been battling with flu for a week and am tired of not operating at my usual peak.) So here I was watching 300 honour-bound Spartans warring against Persians and mythological beasts to protect their country. For them a fight to the death was the greatest sign of bravery and honour and they were all prepared to sacrifice themselves for their country. It's interesting that we can watch a dramatization of history, albeit it with reference to Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's amazing graphic novel, and see the Spartans as noble. Yet, within a contemporary context, when people sacrifice their lives and kill others because of a religious or patriotic belief, we don't think them as being noble, we see them as terrorists. I live in a country where many of the "terrorists/freedom fighters" now sit in government and they have been transformed into "heroes". History has been rewritten. Simplistically, it all depends on whose side you're on, and who feels most threatened, and this determines who we label as noble or who we want to see behind bars or worse. In my mind, violence is violence, and it doesn't matter which side is committing it for which cause. It is, I think, natural for us to be aggressive, even violent, at times, but it is our greater spiritual purpose not to be.

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