Posts Tagged ‘genius’

Beautiful, wild mind: Robin Williams

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gatecrashing a ‘BBC World Debate’ on the future of news, the comic genius of Robin Williams can be seen to be believed here.


The genius of America

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Reading that people have been queuing up in New Hampshire just to catch a glimpse of the Obama phenomenon, and coming away saying ‘there’s the next president of the United States’ (see the Washington Post here); and reading of a university graduate who has been tracking Obama since he gave a speech to the Democratic Convention in 2004 – I tracked down the 2004 speech.

Watching it now, it’s easy to imagine that, if Obama had been on the campaign trail for Kerry, instead of Kerry, there would have been no contest against Bush back then.

I pity Obama’s rivals on both sides of the political fence. Give up now I say. They’re in for a pounding… if, that is, the money and all the attack ads that will get increasingly aired over the coming weeks and months don’t choke the populus to death on the US political system’s own, contorted sickness.

I can’t see Hilary Clinton being able to have this effect. I got the sense the crowd didn’t quite know what had hit them.

Obama’s a fabulous communicator, and good storyteller, as all the best politicians and activists and those who’ve achieved change have been. He’ll need to clarify his hand gesturing a bit, but basically, he’s taking America and hopefully the world in a whole new direction.

For those interested in the art, craft and science of communication, I’d say his performance lays the predominant communication model of information transfer (see my theoretical thoughts on communication here) to rest. And for further proof as to why this model doesn’t work, watch this tongue-in-cheek video by the Washington Post on the effect, on people’s enthusiasm, of the information-transfer model employed by Hilary Clinton in her flagging New Hampshire campaign. Too bad.


Here’s how Newsweek summed up Obama, looking at the pros and cons of both Republican and Democratic Candidates –

Bottom Line
A roll of the dice, but the only one with a decent chance for a landslide.

The Rumi Tour rolls on into London

Thursday, September 27, 2007

rumi.jpgA previous flatmate of mine who had spent time in Pakistan told me that city taxi drivers there are able to recite their iconic poet, Jelaluddin Rumi, verbatim; I doubt London taxi drivers could do the same for Shakespeare.

So it’s a joy to have been asked by my cousin Ashley Ramsden to take the money at the door for his and Duncan Mackintosh’s Rumi Tour, taking place over a year to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Rumi’s birth, which rolls into London this evening.

Ashley has just returned from Australia, where he featured on Australian radio – listen to the show here. The blurb on the Rumi Tour website introduces Rumi thus:

Born on September 30th, 1207 into a family of learned Islamic theologians in what is now Afghanistan, Jelaluddin Rumi was a poetic genius, Sufi mystic and one of the most far-sighted and enlightened men the world has ever known. His vast body of poetry continues to touch and awaken people of all cultures.

When Rumi was five years’ old, he and his family fled their homeland to escape the impending Mongol invasion. After travelling extensively within the Middle East, meeting significant religious scholars and mystics and performing Hajj (pilgrimage) in Mecca, the family settled finally in Konya, in modern-day Turkey.

At the age of 24 his mastery of mathematics, physics, law, philosophy, astronomy and Qur’anic commentary (to name a few) enabled him to take over his father’s position as leading Sheikh in the Sufi learning community. By the age of 35 Rumi’s brilliant discourses and warmth of heart made him the greatest teacher of his time with over 10,000 disciples.

There are few better inspirations who can help bridge the deepening divide between Islamic culture and others.

Having been touched by Rumi’s poetry myself and been to one of this tour’s shows already, I know these next three evenings will be excellent: 27th, 28th & 30th September – In Celebration of Rumi’s Birthday – Essex Unitarian Church – 07847 280826. Please call for reservations, tickets also available at the door. 27th, 28th at 7.30pm. £15/£10 conc. Sunday 30th – Birthday Celebration Performance with Special Guests at 6.00pm – 9.00pm. £15/£10 conc. 112 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill Gate, London W8 4RT.