"By the Open Sea" is an English translation of August Strindberg's novel "I havsbandet", originally published in 1890. The fact that for some people, this novel shows Strindberg at his best, while for some other people, it's another frightening symptom of a complete fucked-up writer playing checkers with madness, is not relevant here. What is relevant here is that the guy is a fucking genius.
Strindberg wrote this novel in a period of his life when he was reading Darwin alternately with Nietzsche. He then made a cocktail of the two and served himself a drink. No need to say it didn't taste like a Margarita.
In this book, young Fishing Inspector Borg, a self-made intellectual with a no-compromise approach, is sent to a remote archipelago of the Baltic Sea to overlook the fishing practices of a fishermen community, whose only cause of concern is to maintain their primitive way of life.
All along this all-fish business, Borg and the villagers only manage to get on about one thing: they hate eachother's guts.
The stubborn Borg takes up the challenge, but all his attempts to improve the community standards sink into the Baltic, and he soon finds himself surrounded by ennemies. At one part he asks his only ally, a young woman he seduced: "Why do the people hate me?" She answers "Because you're superior to them". And the he goes: "That can't be. They're not intelligent enough to see how inferior they are."
There's a couple of vital questions which won't find an answer in this book, like "where will I find a shampoo that suits the nature of my hair?" or "what did John say when Lucy told him she fell in love with Michael?" But for some other minor interrogations, such as the place of the individual in society, the philosophic side of womankind and the double-edged nature of progress, the reading of Strindberg can be fruitful.
Borg-Strindberg is not a Saint here. He's arrogant, playful, uneasy and occasionally comes close to the Ubermensch doctrine, like when he says to his lover :" I don't want you to worship me, I want you to challenge me and to rise above me." In the course of a discussion with a priest, he even calls Jesus "the God of the molluscs" in opposition to the "God of the vertebrates". With this kind of statements, the guy should really consider joining the race for US presidency.
Despite all his flaws and mass-preaching postures, Borg never loses contact with humanity and sensitiveness. He holds his hand out to people, tries to get the better out of them. But he does this at the expense of hiw own self-fulfilment and eventually pays the price of his blind positivist approach.
Friday, October 31, 2008
"By the Open Sea" is an English translation of August Strindberg's novel "I havsbandet", originally published in 1890. The fact that for some people, this novel shows Strindberg at his best, while for some other people, it's another frightening symptom of a complete fucked-up writer playing checkers with madness, is not relevant here. What is relevant here is that the guy is a fucking genius.
Tonight at 8PM someone will start a nervous breakdown. It took him some time to face it, but the poison is in him. It probably infected his soul on one of these dark evenings of fading winter and early spring, when the abuse of alcohol & cigarettes, the lack of rest and over-exposure to a braindead society opened a breach in his immune system. The long and motionless nights of a remote Kingdom took the fight out of him.
Actually he did try to fight for a little while. He took a ride to the mountains, read Strindberg by the chimney fire and played childish games with little fellows. He enjoyed short periods of grace, mostly at night when everyone had gone to bed, and there were nothing left to hear but the crackling of the fire and the burbling of the near river.
But even then, images kept flowing in his head of things that couldn't be undone, and a clear dividing line between the past and the future sprouted up from the ground. And now, for the first time, he chooses to give up the fight. Quietly. Consiously. Looking at it straight in the eyes. He surrenders for some time to the might of reality and its army of social rules, selfish individuality and ruthless materiality.
This guy spent his rolling twenties trying to fight his own fight, giving life the shape of his dreams. Writing, travelling and drinking, meeting people of various kinds, luring some to his disneyland, where nothing was important apart from art and inner feelings. Where Mickey Mouse could be your friend if he could play the piano, where Goofy could make you laugh if he didn't laugh at his own jokes, where Uncle Scrooge could be your man if his saloon was free for all, where Minnie Mouse could be your girl if you pushed the right button.
He won't destroy his disneyland. He still has faith in it, and hopes it will reopen soon. But for now, all he can see is old people repeating the same crap, teenagers worshiping nonsense, companies selling their products, accountants doing their job, girls kissing boys they don't love, boys leaving girls they do love, people judging other people without proof and without trial. And that's not a pleasant view.
Today in the tube, some young guy next to him counted on his fingers the number of girls he kissed and he said 25. He didn't remember their names, he didn't remember their faces. He just remembered they fancied him. The guy was (maybe) not stupid. He's was (maybe) not vain. He was just putting into practice what Camus wrote in the myth of Sysiph. He keeps climbing the mountain, going for quantity, and not for quality. And in a sense he's right. Quantity can't be tricky, and quality can.
The time has come for our friend for hibernating. Accepting defeat and getting prepared for the next battle. Finding himself a new skin for the old ceremony.
One scene of Woody Allen's Annie Hall I enjoy most is when crazy Woody, upset and confused about his troubled relationship with Annie (Diane Keaton), stops a couple in the street and asks them how they keep a relationship working. The guy basically answers: "Well, she's superficial and so am I, I have no ideas about anything and it's the same for her and we don't ask ourselves questions because we both know we're too stupid fo find answers." The girl nods her head in sign of approval and they walk away hand in hand.
Looking at the whole spectrum of boys & girls business, we may think that the perfect match is the complete opposite of true love, leaving all the shakespearian romantic crap behind and focusing on more solid ground : socio-economic profile, sexual affinities, intellectual symmetries and complementary outdoor activities (like he loves gardening and she likes to read and take a sunbath).
But we may also consider that the perfect match is the modern version of true love. A mere change in designation covering a same reality. And which reality is that? Well, not an easy one to describe, that's for sure...
How many times have we heard people say "She's the woman of my life" or "I'll never find someone like him" with the same intensity as the alchemist who's just found how to turn stone into gold? But in many cases, the morning truth swiftly changes itself into afternoon doubts and evening pleas of reassessment: "Is she really the one?", "Does he fit to my life?", "Will he ever get along with my friends from the gym?"
The doctrine of true love teaches here to send it all to hell, and to comply by one's feelings, no matter the consequences. But in a world of statistics and self-fulfilling prediction, where happiness has been theorized down to the bare bone, consequences do matter. That's where the perfect match doctrine takes over.
Love is still part of the process, but no longer operates as the almighty engine flying the plane through the clouds. It can be there at the take-off - or not, if one can find a substitute. It can be whipped up in air pockets by jealousy and sexual needs. It can be switched off at will when jobs and mortgages repayments require full attention.
The story of humanity shows than men kept trying domesticating the wild to replace it by flower beds. Love is a wild animal, and it needs to be tamed. It has the power to make our lives run out of control, and we don't want that to happen. It has the power to make us question ourselves and the choices we made, and that's too hard to take.
The perfect match doctrine is here to comfort you, by enslaving love to happiness instead of the other way round. It's a useful tool for everyone, especially for those who feel like crying on saturday night watching the English Patient on TV and still want to get up on monday morning with a smile on their face and with plans in their head.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Pragmatic linguists J.L. Austin and J.R. Searle published in the late seventies / early eighties a couple of studies introducing the Speech Act theory, which basically says that the act of speaking isn't neutral and cannot be analyzed without a close regard to the context. "To speak is to do" is their common motto.
Speaking then not only leads to action (like when you tell me to piss off, and so I leave) but is an action in itself (like when a judge declares the trial "open", which indeed starts the trial).
A Danish student of that time, whose minds were disturbed by a sentimental break-up and the sudden discovery of his being Danish, fell in love with this theory. He spent hours and hours by the seashore of Helsingor, smoking dope and drinking liquor, trying to find out how to put it into practice. Soothed by the winds of the Nordic bay, he eventually came up with the idea of a multilingual conversation guide linking words with action, and providing the reader with a linguistic answer to every single situation of communication.
Here are some quotes of his (unfinished) book:
"Imagine yourself in an automatic laundery in Poland waiting in front of a washing machine. Someone comes and asks you whether the machine is reliable. You're not sure about that, but you don't want the guy to take alarm on too fragile ground. Then just say: mniej wiecej"
"You're in Japan in a swimming pool and you realize that your swimsuit is too short and all the girls laugh when you go pass them. You want to apologize to them but in the same time make them see the good side of it since that made them look at you. Then simply say: Gomen nasai, Kega shimashiya"
"Your apartment is being robbed in Istanbul while you're in bed, and you want the burglars to spare your life and leave behind the bud vase you sister offered you when you were 17. Go for: Seni seviyor ozluyorum (Prononciation: seni seviYOR euzlUyoroum)"
The list is of course endless, but the most tragic part of it is that the guy is still standing by the seashore, a pen in hand, waiting for some gentle soul to put an end to his misery.
When people think about the Pyrenées mountains, they usually get carried away with simplistic prints of nature and harmony: they see singing rivers, majestic woods, mountain tracks and heavenly views. This is part of the picture, all right, but what if you let your feet bring you to the remote village of Sost?
When entering the village, the first thing that will welcome you is a strong smell of hand-made cheese. All along your scouting process, you'll be followed by a floating aromatic cloud whose toxic attributes, as we'll see, are to not to be looked down upon. The cheese of Sost owns a copyright and cannot be made outside the village limits. It works like a licensed product. Every resident of Sost develops his own cheese, adding to the original receipt a touch of personal witchcraft. The only guideline is: the cheese has to stink in sufficient proportion to provoke death within 2 minutes of close exposure, but it still must be mangeable.
Cheese-making being a very old tradition in Sost, we certainly understand that the population of this village had to take its share of genetical side-effects. One of these side-effects is that the local fellows are incredibly small. Dwarfs and midgets will regularly cross your path and you may start wondering whether Snow-White runs a school there, were it not for the wrinkles on their faces and the smell of piss and rot peculiar to old age.
Dogs and children go free across the narrow streets. Dogs urinate on children and children urinate on dogs. Not out of retaliation, but of community hygiene. It prevents them to spoil the ageless stone walls and doorsteps and that keeps the village clean. Both dogs and children carry urine back home, as old men do with their dropping. The rest lays in womens' hand.
Once every year, people from Sost celebrate being people from Sost. To do so, they stay in Sost and party with fellow-people from Sost. The green valley echoes sounds of joy and dancing, slapping women and beating dogs. When midnight comes and everyone is pissed to death, a big fighting session takes place in front of the townhall, sometimes involving the mayor himself.
Axes are dug up from backyards, cheeses are thrown at faces, and under the glorious light of a full star summer night, brotherhood and keenness play a concert to the moon...
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
One day humanity will look back in time and say: nothing substantial happened on Wednesay, the 29th of October 2008. Wrong.
First I woke up at 9 AM. This is bloody early. The Sri Lankan Sloth Bear never wakes up before noon and it usually has much more vital things to do than me: find a honey tree, scratch his back on the ground, and try to stay for one more day the last-living ambassador of its kind.
I just had a private lesson to give. A schoolboy of the luxurial 16th arrondissement badly needed me to help him sit on his chair, open his book and start reading what was inside. I get paid for that.
I did my duty and then had lunch at my mother's place. Bad news awaited me there: her Vietnamese guest was there too, preparing his meal in the kitchen. I have nothing against Asian food apart from the fact that I may have something against Asian food. Being a Vietnamese and thus a complete stanger to intercultural matters, he still offered us nems while I was about to eat my pepper steak. To make it even worst, he left and didn't apologize for Dien Bien Phu and the Vienam War. These people are really something.
At 2 PM I came back home and masturbated thinking about someone I know, and then I wrote a blog entry. The one that will earn me an international warrant of arrest from the authorities of Botswana.
When 5 PM came, I did my share of studying at the University. I walked to La Sorbonne, entered one of the classrooms and sat down as far as possible as everyone. Not because I don't like them but because I was stinking a bit. No shower, same old clothes and an unexplainable smell of tobacco mixed with sweat and scum.
The teacher stepped in and the lesson started, only to be interrupted a few seconds later by a Chinese student who came and sat next to me. He looked very happy to do so and even had a chat with me.
When the lesson ended and it was time for us to go back to our tiny Parisian flats, I managed to unstick my fellow classmate using a caustic soda and went home trying to avoid any new encounter with the Far-East.
I now sit on my chair and I think about cooking dinner. And I already know there won't be rice, yellow sauce and noodles among the ingredients.
The wildlife of Botswana is big and diversified. This landlocked nation in Southern Africa gives shelter to a huge range of nice and helpful species including beetles, grasshopers, flies, mosquitoes, HIV-carrier monkeys and man-charging elephants.
The birdlife is particularily interesting there with its bataillon of green-backed herons and pel's fishing owls that actually interest no one apart from Kalahari-born tour guide Dantes Liebenberg and his starving cat.
Among all this colorful abundance, there are some unlucky under-populated species who must fight for survival on a daily basis. Abandonned by nature, they're too short in numbers to go for group hunting, they're too weak to defend against hungry predators. As a consequence they must hide night and day in their sky-high glass-towers. They can't travel across the land but by using private planes. They have to sit in the back of limousines to skim through the streets of Gaberones, the capital of Botswana.
You know of course who I'm talking about: the rich guy. Even if Botswana ranks pretty well economically by African standards, the rich guy must be on his guard whenever he risks himself out of his only safe spot: the five-star hotels of Phakalane.
As soon as he reaches one of the villages circling the city, he may come face to face with a vicious Bantou speaking the setswana. This deadly encounter cannot be settled by force. American dollars can sometimes do the job, but not always. Sometimes the greedy Bantou, emboldened by the backing of his 76 brothers, asks for more: gold watch, mobile phone, leather shoes... And the rich guy has no other choice than to lay on the floor in a posture of submission. But even that won't always save his life...
That's it for this episode. Coming soon, the next endangered species of Bostwana: the country boy
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Two French babies once met and talked to eachother in a nursery school. They were aged 2 and 3.
The conversation was (accidentaly) recorded and put down on paper on the 6th of November, year 1975, for a linguistic study. Here is the transcription:
- Koto joujou vek moi?
- Bli pa moi bé toi vo pas
- ta ka pa'tir et nir pluta
- non dé pa daco'
- pAske tapeu?
- gna pot'kjoi di nim potkoi
- alo vé apué ladam éva te puni
- azait heu
- zi; orvoar alo
The two babies survived another 32 years and an extraordinary twist of fate made them meet again in a resting room of Wunderman Interactive France. And even more extraordinarily than that, they had the exact same conversation they had 32 years ago. It was also recorded and here is the transcription:
- Tiens, il faudra que je revienne vers toi pour acter le budget Nestlé.
- Sur du one-to-one?
- C'est le mieux je pense; on reste sur une approche motivationnelle comme ça.
- Je suis à fond avec toi là-dessus, ça réduira le gap.
- T'as trouvé un event impactant pour la promo?
- Il faut que je check avec le back-office. C'est eux qui pilotent le deal.
- Et l'analyse contextuelle? il paraît qu'on est sur du long-terme...
- Je crois qu'il faut vraiment qu'ils arrêtent de post-rationnaliser, au market.
- Bon , et bien j'attends ton retour.
A thousand French-speaking linguists gathered in Geneva a few days ago for a round table to try and sort out what the hell this conversation could mean. They listened to it again and again, in both the baby and grown-up versions. When I last heard, they just agreed on the fact that the first two lines meant "Hello".
Happy people from the continent, my brothers and soulmates, you immaculate folks from all around Europe, be it the plains of Spain, the fields of Italy, the mountains of Albania or the forests of Germany, you may - or may not - have crossed the path of this rare and peculiar insular animal that we call a Briton.
If you ever cross one of them tourists strolling across your lands, don't rush and call the police or write to your deputy. Keep your head cool. Remember this post. This is a foretaste of what you must expect from this unlikely encounter.
Briton is a shy animal. He's reluctant to leave his natural biotope (see picture above) and rarely learns the language of other species. So if he comes straight at you and asks "Do you speak English?", please take no offence. Just say "Yes", as anyone of you has learned at school, and he will show signs of relief. Actually he didn't expect any other answer.
Then he will ask you where he can find a cash-machine. In order to survive, reptilians need scales, Britons need money. And beer. Simply show him the way to the nearest ATM and try to spot whether there is a pub around. If so, sit in and wait for him to show up. It won't take long till he does and as soon as he recognizes you, the Briton - being very generous by nature - will offer you a drink. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then he will leave.
If he sits at your table in France or Italy, he will try to say cunning things about food, wine and decoration. That's some his favorite subjects. So be prepared to hear one of these familiar lines: "this cheese is excellent"; "I really like French wine but some Chilian wines are even better"; "your house is AMAZING, there is so much space for the children"; "it's always been my dream to own a place in southern Europe"; "Nick and I actually thought about buying a whole village but the one we visited needs complete refurbishing"
If he comes to Germany, you won't avoid this one: "German cars are terrific. I think the best would actually be to have an english bodywork coupled with a german engine."
Then will come the time to share mutual cultural experiences.
Languages: "I learned Spanish, French, German and Ukrainian at school, I even did some latin. But I totally forgot it. It's a pity, isn't it?"
Travels: "My mother took me to Netherlands once when I was small. It was so flat. I didn't like it" (Bonus track: "Shirley went to Dubaï. She got pissed and had sex on the beach with a married waiter. That was before she knew me of course. And yes, cheers, I'll sure have another glass of wine")
Perspectives: "I really think we should enjoy life. Work less hours. Have more time to party."
Regrets: "I shouldn't have married Michael. I should have gone to Africa and looked after people who really need my help."
So, as you see, my humble friends, there is no need to panick. And since I have to be honest, not all of them are like this.
Let's face it, folks. Girls kept apart, everyone of us once in his life started a book and gave up after writing a few lines or a few chapters... It probably happened between the age of 16 and the age of 26 when you thought you had it in you. That was before you met your current girlfriend, started making babies and selling fax machines for a multinational company.
My objective here is to bring you relief and to give you tips to repeat the experience without the all despairing brain-teaser "I'm a washout" side effect.
First, you're not alone. The Austrian writer Robert Musil died in 1942 of a brain attack before finishing his post-mortem masterpiece Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. I'm not saying here that dying during the writing process is the perfect solution, but at least it provides you with a very good excuse. And since we speak of Musil, the guy died after writing 1542 pages, which is a real shame. We don't ask you to go that far.
Then, remember that most readers and publishers don't read a book till the end. So what you need here is a completely boring start that requires no follow-up. When the reader gets bored, he will have nothing left to read. He won't feel guilty for giving in and will subsequently recommand your novel to other people. That's a win-win situation, understood?
Last but not least, there's always some feeling of timeless magic about an unfinished piece of art. Shubert's 7th symphony was left unfinished, Stendhal's Lucien Leuwen as well and no one is really sure about the Manneken Pis in Brussels. And these are works of art of formidable proportion.
In our present case, instead of completing 20 works and leaving 1 undone, I suggest you do the total opposite: write a powerful short-story of about 30 pages and leave your other 45 unfinished novels to prosperity.
Feel like giving your opinion on writing? Please help yourself.
The following list gives you 10 reasons NOT to go and watch a film featuring Keira Knightley:
1. She's English. She was born in Teddington and if it doesn't ring a bell in you, it's about time you consider full-drug psychotherapy.
2. She's hot and sexy. She gives me a hard-on everytime I get to see her on the screen, in the same way as Scarlet Johansson, Charlize Theron and Marion Cotillard. This has spoiled every serious relationship I tried to build with a girl, when we didn't have a chance not to come across a TV set, a cinema, a movie poster or a magazine (so civilization, really). I won't let that happen again.
3. She always manages to wear men's clothes at some part of her films, whether it is a pirate costume or a bohemian hat, and ends up giving orders to everyone. This is simply unbearable.
4. She played the decoy queen in Star Wars Episode I (the one who provides cover to the real queen Nathalie Portman) and even after 23 viewings I still can't recognize her. I suspect there's a lie underneath it.
5. I have no fitfh reason.
6. I have no sixth reason either.
7. She plays a very despicable trick on Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 2, tying his wrists to the mast with handcuffs while licking his face. No surprise the guy found it hard to fight the Cracken after that. Women are so vicious...
8. She won't sleep with me.
9. She gives me no serious reason for that.
10. I hate Holywood
Monday, October 27, 2008
A very old friend of mine who thought it was a nice idea to emigrate to Austria asked me recently how things were going in France. Now that Jörg Haider is dead and Wolfgang Priklopil (the guy who kept a schoolgirl in captivity for 10 years in his cellar) is in jail, he runs short of soulmates to share a nice Schnitzel with. So he thinks about going back. But he wants to know first if France is still a nice country to live in. I want to reassure him here. It definitely is.
Our president Sarkozy is fit and well. He still goes out in the morning to perform his jogging and doesn't need to wear his rollex wristwatch anylonger since he now has a Tissot. It's a slightly more expensive one but it reflects both the sun and the moon light.
Good old Dominique (Strauss-Kahn) faces an investigation for lifting the French flag high in the sky of the IMF: he fucked a female employee and allegedly gave her financial compensation for
making her come only four times in the night. France is still a lover's country.
Paris Saint-Germain football club beat Marseille in Marseille, which hadn't happened for over four years (when the shetland pony Ronaldinho was still playing for the club). On the football365.fr website, Damien wrote: "c tro génial ptdr pari es magic benarfa dan ton cu" (translation: he's happy).
Angry demonstators of the Education Nationale marched to protest against the cuts in staff and the new training programs. They have done so since 1796 but for the first time in years, they took the shortcut of the rue Soufflot and got round the Saint-Michel cross lights.
Star Academy has resumed and there's no reason to think why it shouldn't continue in the next 50 decades. The number of retarded teenagers sobbing for emotion hasn't fallen down at all. In fact the French birth rate ranks second in Europe, just behind Ireland.
Johnny Halliday said he would end his touring career after next year. He's finally been caught back by age and shows desire to learn brand new skills: singing, writing, composing and playing the guitar.
The couscous restaurant next to my mother's place is still open. They eventually found where the dreadful smelling came from. They've simply forgotten to flush the toilets for the last 10 years.
Here you are, Xavier. I hope to meet you soon.
And he deserves to be mentionned here, even if some wicked tongues may say he's a mere follower. There are many reasons to read his blog.
First and foremost, most you have nothing else to do, whether at work or at home, and that won't change overnight. And this remark isn't just aimed at the lazy cat lover I talked to on the phone today.
Then, his English is admirable. He's still a pig as I am myself, but he tries hard - as I do - to reach the lion level. Considering the extreme intricacy of his thoughts, that's a worthy achievement. It's very hard to simplify to the bare bone (that is to make it suitable to the language of the kings) a home-made theory.
In addition to that, it's interesting. If you take a look at it now, you will learn what "Heterotopia" means, why it's much more better to be a bee than a sculptor and many other things, like how does it feel to be raised in Pakistan by a dancing wolf who deals acid and not to be able to fully recover for it.
So enough talk and have a nice ride: http://itsnotmyopinion.blogspot.com
Better know as the goldfish, this amazing animal is the most commonly kept aquarium fish. According to wikipedia, goldfish can grow up to a maximum length of 23 inches and is a domestic version of a dark-gray/brown carp native to East Asia.
The professor Pfebastian Pfelzer (her mother lost her teeth the day he was born and some think it had an impact on the spelling of his name) went deeper into the subject in his wordly-acclaimed study, De profundis animalium stupiditus species. And this is what he writes as a conclusion:
"Goldfish have no long time memory at all. As if this wasn't enough, their short time memory runs up to about two seconds. That is why a) you can't make them read or truefully love you as their keeper, but also b) why there is no law agains having a goldfish in a really tiny vase. He just keeps forgetting his miserable conduct of live."
Nothing could be further from my mind than arguing with this renowned scientist who already received the Nobel prize twice for his international breakthrough: "How to keep a woman standing on her head while Snoopy the dog is waiting for the lift".
But someone of equal reputation made his voice heard recently to object to these conclusions.
This is what Paris Hilton said to the Baltimore Sun about keeping a goldfish: "I couldn't see my life without him. Of course he can't sleep in my bed with my 17 dogs but everyone of us knows he's here, bubbling in his aquarium and that keeps us together, united as a family. Whenever I go downstairs in the morning I see him and he looks at me, like if he was saying 'Hi Paris, did yuu have a nice night?' He's really sensitive, and he really does his best to get along with my chihuaha."
Do you have a decisive argument to settle this run-in? Please feel free to post your opinions.
I ask myself the question: is what I am about to do morally right? Probably not but it's worth trying. I'll have a go at denouncement. All People bear secrets, all people hide embarrassing truth from other people, all people are ashamed of things they did in the past. The people I know are no different. So to the attention of the Gestapo:
Carole from France: Stephane does really love you, there is no doubt about that. But he confessed to me once that he saw you as his own personal Hilary Clinton. That makes you a loser, for one thing. Besides, it may also mean that there is a Monica Legwinsky hiding under his desk at his daytime office. Have it checked and keep me informed. Don't forget to look in the cupboard.
Cyril from China: despite your turns and tricks and for all your verbal brilliance, I know for sure that you contracted HIV in Hong Kong. It's not fair not to tell Emilia about it even if you haven't had sex together for at least 3 years. It's a matter of transparency.
Edgar from France, India and Japan: your wedding was boring to death and everybody shares that view. Not because of the bride or you lovely parents, but because of the uptight inhibited yuppies that you keep inviting at every occasion. These guys should be kept in their Accenture building and wait for the next taliban plane to crash in.
Thomas from Poland: I'm still not convinced your wife isn't a complete bitch, but I trust you on your word. My memories of her go fading, plus she's apparently been faithful to you.
Laurent from France: I will never give your money back, forget about it.
In addition to all that, that's what there is to know: Samuel H. from London lacks fighting spirit, H.S. from Paris killed her cat with a butcher's knife, Sebastian S. from Mannheim will never write a book, Clotidle C. from Paris will never find a man, Xavier C. from Vienna isn't for real he's a plant and his blood is green, Andrew, Janet and Peter S. from Broadway are members of a sect and will cut their wrists to death on redemption day, Cynthia B. from Poitiers provides shelter for an illegal migrant, Mathieu M. from Paris enjoys his job what he says about it is just show off, Marvin from Waitrose masturbates in bed, Kara W. from Melbourne has never been to Kinshasa, Laurent's cat si Heinrich Himmler's reincarnation he tracks down jewish cats and collects their bones, my mother hates black people she just pretends not to.
I let you read between the lines and take notice of all that. If you have any piece of information to share about me and my private life, please feel free to post a comment. It will be deleted in less than 2 seconds.
John Updike's Couples isn't exactly the new kid in town. It was published in 1968 and had its fair share of critical reviews at the time. So don't buy it now, no one will start a debate with you about Updike's fierce portayal of adulterous suburbian white America. There is maybe one guy I know that would buy this book and discuss it if I allowed suggestion, but he lives in Germany now and cannot talk seriously anyway unless he's been to his gym session and carries 10L of liquor in his blood.
There is maybe this girl too who may find interest in reading the book. She's special to me and very dear to my heart. She already read Herman Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund, maybe to get a clearer picture of who I am, in all likehood just to kill time on public transport.
My father gave me the book, so there's few chances he will buy it again for himself. You still won't be able to debate it with him because he totally forgot its content and he has now other things on his mind.
My friend Stéphane is a book swallower. Really commited. Addicted to reading like a fish is addicted to swim. He would listen to my proposal, he would even consider getting the bloody book. But it is more likely that he will wait until the novel gets some form of media revival to really plunge into it.
My sister can't read anything but comics, my brother can't read at all and I can't seriously think about teaching their goldfish how to read. Not at all because of its being a fish, but because of me being a lazy piece of shit.
So, as you see, the list grows thin. And by the way I realize I didn't say anything about the bloody novel. To be completely honest, I haven't read it myself.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
All right, folks. This blog won't become a movie review website overnight. But when it comes to Woody Allen, I am ready to make an exception.
Once every three films, the guy comes up with a jewel. He already made gold (Annie Hall), silver (Manathan) and emerald (Match Point), but this one film I will put in the category: "purple silk". You'll tell me that we don't know of any jewel made out of purple silk, but that's not the point.
The way I see it, the genius of the guy is that he keeps making the same movie decade after decade and always finds a new spotlight to illuminate the script. And the script, here again, is about love and relationships.
A girl ready to fall in love (Cristina) but who never quite achieves it; another girl (Vicky) decided not to fall in love but who cannot help it when circumstances give a hand; a Spanish Casanova who seeks more than a one-night stand and less than a lifetime relation, which he yet seems to be bound to due to a passionate fellow-artist (Penelope Cruz) with whom he maintains a post-divorce love/hate relationship.
And just to make sure every generation in the audience has a chance to fall under the spell of this subtle yet dangerous session of love psychoanalysis, a woman rolling to her sixties also questions her marriage and shows signs of splitting from the all fucking program.
For no relationship here can be called rock-solid. The initial love triangle develops into more triangles, each of these triangles containing a meaning, a possibility of love never finding its balance. "True love" exists in synchrony, but not in diachrony. Each day that passes brings a new ingredient to the cooking process and in the end everybody wonders if it's not too soon to lay the table.
From the Suffragette parades of the 19th century to the women's magazines of the 60's, from Henry James' The Bostonians to Virginie Despentes' Baise-moi ("Fuck me"), feminism has changed its shape and content up to a point that nobody really knows where the initial movement has lead to.
One thing is sure: some clichés are dead and buried. Gone is the woman shown on the photo. The times when women took pride in outmuscling men are over. There is always the casual Texan female bulldozer challenging men at arm wrestling in a rodeo pub near Southfork Ranch, but she ranks now as a has-been.
The ugly fanatic university bachelorette of the 70's (the flat-chested one with greasy hair and shabby t-shirts) is a picture of the past. Too much yacking and not enough breasts.
The time has now come for the decisive changeover. Gorgeous chicks with perfect skin run riot at every level of the society and the results are quite devastating. Western women moved on from the boring initial claim of equality to the far more interesting challenge of installing feminity at the top of the podium.
How do they do that? Not by marching on the Sixth avenue with angry placards. Just by being themselves and forcing men to adapt. No need for a march when you have catwalking. No need to get violent if men get softer. No need for aging since L'Oréal's Revitalift.
All they really have to do now is to wait for the old-line sexist male generation from the good old 50's to kick the bucket. The next generation is ready to wear skirts.
There was one guy once who saw life as an opportunity to achieve great things. In his case it was art. And in art he worshiped beauty and elegance, originality and temper. God learned about him just before he was born. A star rised in the sky and it was of special brillance.
Having failed with his previous son, whom in his opinion he sent too early on Earth, God deciced to learn from his mistake and delayed the coming of the new emissary. He took the boy by his side and waited for the right moment.
The two had a nice run of conversations, about art mostly, and never lost a chance to observe what happened under them. Mankind sailed through History, bringing his lot of poets, writers and magicians, most of whom remained poor and unknown, to the extreme concern of God and his protégé. "Will the times ever come where I can send you safely there, my lad?" said God. "No one of these dumbbells even remembers Sophocles and Athenion. All they care about is the milking of their cows and the burning of the next witch."
But after Middle-Age came Renaissance: Da Vinci, Ronsart and Cervantes set new standards of beauty and raised some attention from the crowd. The boy felt the time was right but God held him back and said: "Not yet, my lad. Let's wait and see how things turn out."
Things turned out well and soon came Molière, Mozart and Gainsborough. The gung-ho boy was stamping his feet. "Come on, old man" he said. "Unleash me know and I will give this Molière a challenge of my own" But God didn't share that view: "Stay put, son. Look how Mozart and Molière ended. Buried in a communal grave before they get to the age of 40."
19th century came and brought Turner, Baudelaire and Lord Byron. Real figures of aestheticism praised to the skies by their peers. But God refused to give the green light. "I can see the age of communication coming" he said. "Mass communication, that is. Your work and talent will get promoted on full scale. That's what you need, really."
And so the boy waited for another 10 decades and came to life on September the 17th, 1981 in a L.A. hospital. He is now a massive star. He composed 7 albums which he put on freeshare on nomajor.com; he wrote a thousand poetries that appear on his skyblog; he added a video on youTube where he plays Rachmaninov's number 2 concerto, and the video received a 5-star rating from 10542 viewers. Hundreds of fans across the earth flagged his Myspace and left comments. His avant-garde paintings got delirious reviews from some German academy for which he gave an trilingual interview that was posted on the web.
He was soon to appear in ABC's Dancing with the stars, but unfortunately he was run over by a car on his way to the studio.
1492, Conquest of Paradise. Christopher Columbus (alias Gérard Depardieu) sees his empire crumbling down and turns towards the indian native (alias nobody cares who he is) he befriended with to get a bit of a cheer up. The guy replies something in his mother-tongue dialect and walks away from him. Columbus barks at him: "I didn't get a thing you said. Talk properly for God's sake". The guy turns back and answers: "At least I've learned your language. Have you learned mine?" And then he leaves back to the jungle to play Choctaw frisbee with his friends the jaguar and the aracari toucan.
The language here was Spanish, and he was the pig. The indian native was the pig. What about now? Who are the pigs? Well, my friends, unless you own a british or an american passport, I'm sorry to announce you that you are the pig.
English is a predatory language, as were French, Spanish and German before. Being a predatory language and the king of all predators, it doesn't even have to hunt to get its prey. The preys come by themselves to feed the beast or amuse it.
When you meet an English-speaking person, a Briton leaving in Britain being the extreme, you'll first face a test of classification. Can you or can you not speak the king-language? There are very few chances he or she knows your dialect, so you at least have to give it a try.
Let's say you do speak the king-language. That puts you in the first category, the enviable one: you get a visa from its Majesty. You're still a pig, but a talking pig.
Then goes the conversation. You being a pig and the Briton being the lion, you try hard to please the lion before he gets bored to speak with the pig. You grow confident, your words get flowing and after a while the lion turns to his other fellow-lions and says: "look at this one, he can really speak English." So you're an attraction now. You surely must have something to say since at least you're intelligible.
But how will you be judged? How far can the comedy go? Well, pretty far to tell the truth... For the lion lost his teeth and talking pigs multiplied all around the Kingdom. Too many to be repelled by the thin army of lions.
Along with the other pigs you speak the king-language, your clumsy English being your only show window. Things get lost in translation but you still manage to survive. Italian, Poles, Irakis, Albanian, Ukrainian immigrants all queuing in front of job centres, waiting for the door to open. Some of them qualified, some of them full of wit and humor, some of them local stars at home. But when the nice lady from First Recruitment lets them in to hear their pleading , none of this is relevant.
There is no local star here. Just a bunch of talking pigs exhibiting their tricks to the King's henchman.
Metropolitan was a film released in the early 90's and directed by Whit Stillman. It showed a self-professed proleterian making his way into the social sphere of a group of well-off young New-Yorkers. At the beginning of the film, he hires a dinner jacket for his first evening out. That's all that is asked from him to get an entrance ticket: to wear a tuxedo and to know the basic rules of urban civility. Nobody cares if he lives with his mother and grandmother in a dump of Brooklyn opposite the railroad. And then he bangs the girls, and then he goes to the concerts...
So what's my point? Well here it is: to be successful in our society, you have to reflect an image of success. Familiar with this line? Of course you are. But I let you find out where the hell you heard it. To make it short, you don't get a membership by begging for one and you don't wait to get the job to wear the uniform. Move yourself in unnoticed, dance a few steps with the mistress of the house and get the stamp you need once everybody thinks it's totally useless.
On a practical field, what does it mean? Well, try to go and see your banker dressing like Vladimir in Waiting for Godot and you'll see what it means. He won't even let you sit on the customer's chair, let alone lend you money.
Try to seduce a girl by highlighting what a tender virgin you are, how much inexperience you have. She'll sure give you her parrot's phone number.
Go for business partners assuring them that you will soon find new clients. Wrong, my lad, you already have them and all you really ask for is time to make them real.
People are not that unfriendly, people are not that reluctant to welcome new faces. People need people. People with old skin for the new ceremony.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
There is this one guy I know and I will tell you some stuff about him. We don't need to know his name, and I will call him Edgar. We don't need to know his age, so he will be 31. We don't need to know his nationality, the guy will then be a Frenchman. Edgar, 31, is a Frenchman. He has many virtues but one stands above all of them: he's modest.
What is to be modest? To be modest is to be successful and not to let yourself slip into self-indulgence. A failure isn't modest, he's a failure. He cannot claim to be modest since he didn't put himself in the position where he can choose to overlook his own success and pretend he doesn't care. A failure can be unlucky, doomed, cursed or whatever but he cannot be modest. That's beyond his reach.
Edgar, here, isn't a failure. He's quite successful.
As a start, he's good-looking. Tall, broad-shouldered, nice brown eyes and short dark hair. He knows it but doesn't say it. Others do. Girls do. And when someone says that to him, he neatly changes the subject.
He's a sportsman too. A fairly good tennis player (he thrashed me on a couple of occasions), with extreme composure and dignity on the court. Never throws down his racket, never spits on the ground, always pays you a drink after smashing the final ball on your face. He can play football (very strong at the back), he can swim and got a medal at volley-ball. But then ask him and he will keep repeating: "No, I lost my shape".
He has an extraordinary penis with a groove of his own, according to the girls he was introduced to for a longer exchange than the casual friday night drink. He's a fucking legend among us miserable schoolmates who didn't even know what a female orgasm was until some of them girls started to complain. But tell him about his reputation and he will say "Well, it depends on the night. I can be crap sometimes".
He's rich and deserves it. Finance, insurance, banking, consulting. A perfect career admirably planned from the beginning. He could live in Tokyo by now, but he met this Indian girl, she's a consultant too, so maybe they'll both move to the States. Mum and Dad are so proud of him, but he merely says: "You made all that happen".
So the guy is perfect, but above all he's modest. He won't teach you a lesson, he won't show you the way. He will just walk in your house the day you have a party, ask you where is the fridge to put the Dom Perignon bottle he found the time to buy and mingle with the other guests all smiling and talking. Some girl will say to him: "where did you learn to dance? you're pretty good." He will deny and she will say: "Come on, Edgar. Don't be modest."
(By the way, this guy has a brother and he's even more modest)
So you're an individual. A special taste, a special approach, a special quality. You wander around the mirror gallery of Life reflecting your own light in the eyes of others, and that keeps your spirit high. You've been groomed to excellence, open-minded rationality and moral independance.
You look up to De Gaulle, Stanley Kubrick and John Lennon. You'd like to be the one who wrote Lolita, the one who sang "Money" and "Another brick in the wall" back in the 70's, the one who decorated the Sixtine Chapel in the Vatican. And more than that, you'd like to go further, to be even better than them, to be courted and remembered.
You want to be the Special One, not for Chelsea Football Club but for your wife, your friends and family. So you try to be special, not for the sake of it but because you believe people can really feed eachother and learn on themselves by meeting superior folks. And to be fair you also love to meet people of special quality, you're not afraid of them even if they sometimes can stand in your light.
So you pass a phone call, you say "Hi" to the desk , you get on the elevator that brings you up to the 9th floor. Today's the day and you wear a tie. Some people of special value answered your application letter and offered you a job interview. You learned economy, sciences and art to be ready for this day. You travelled around the world, you learned from your mistakes and you're eager now to make them benefit from your so hardly built individuality.
The door opens and there are a dozen other guys in the room, with a suitcase on their knees sitting around a white table. They look at you with suspiscion, but not the lady in the middle, welcoming you in her purple tailor. You risk a smile, you're a bit shy. "Will I be able to shine enough to impress her?" you ask yourself. "Do I have the skills? Are my minds all right? Do I still remember what Samuelson and Irving Fisher said about the fluctuation of the exchange market?"
But instead of asking you or anyone in the room about all these things, she simply walks to a cupboard and returns with a puzzle box. Inside the box there are pieces, 13 pieces and she gives one to every participant.
And then she says: "Each one of you guys owns a piece of the puzzle that can't be shown to the others. Your job as a team is to get information from each participant in order to reconstruct the puzzle. You have 15 minutes." Then she plugs a camera and steps off the room.
15 minutes later the die is cast. Stephanie Mc Mullen has been spotted as a potential leader. Henry Hill showed good interaction. Lizzie Sanchez really helped the team by connecting the feedback. You kept your mouth shut all along the process. You're out. You failed the group therapy.
Have you ever asked yourself the question: do they really need me here? How many lives would be different if my parents hadn't met, if my mother got an abortion or if I was a dead-born baby?
Don't start telling me you're so fucking special, cos you're not. Wayne Rooney is. He can run for 90 minutes every three days, score goals out of nowhere, and make 90.000 people happy or desperate for the following week. You can't do that, can you?
Let's try to make a list of what you represent to most people and institutions:
1. For the State: either a tax-payer or a tax-eater, depending on your situation and the country you live in. In both cases you represent an excel cell with a minus or a plus in front of your name. So you're a number.
2. For your country: either an ambassador (Frodo Baggins from the Shire for instance) or a simple name-bearer. Let's say you're English and your name is Philips: your existence merely consists in passing the name from the the previous Philips (your father) to the next Philips (your son). So you're a bridge.
3. For your family: a funny-looking chap or girl whose face resembles a random puzzle of the family genetical mix. In other terms you're a mirror. With funny attibutes, all right, but a mirror still.
4. For your sexual partner: a performer and a witness. You perform love at various levels and provides your better half with a full time audience. It is statistically proved that most of what remains after a fellow's death (apart from the everlasting souvenir of his or her unquestionable uniqueness) is photographs and movie shots taken while on family trips.
5. For your friends: a leitmotiv; an electric cable winding across the jungle of life which keeps them in touch with their own past, and which they can grip at will during their sea diving.
6. For yourself: a toy you can move, alterate and use for interaction with the other toys. You are your own little robot waiting for a command.
7. for humanity: read Schopenhauer's Über die Freiheit des menschlichen Willens and go back to sleep.
So, to sum up: you're a number, a toy, an electric cable, a mirror, a bridge and a witness. Would you take any of these items with you on a deserted island to spend the rest of your life? Of course not. You will leave them behind. The good news then is, you don't have to go.
"Angst" means "fear" in german, and "Teenage" bedeutet "Jugendlich" auf Deutsch. So what is it like to be a teenager nowadays? To be afraid of is age and to speak fluently german and english? No it doesn't. It means, in fact, the complete opposite.
Let's take my brother for instance. He's 18, he's French and the picture on the left shows you what he looks like. And that's the bloody thing with modern teenagers: they look like what they are. So what's so special about him (and the rest of them)?
First, he's young and ignorant even if he doesn't agree with the second adjective. Try to confront him with what he can't do and he will strike back at you with what he could do if only he wanted or needed to. Examples:
"You can't write properly, mate. You make so many mistakes".
Answer: "I could easily write properly if I wanted to, stupid. It's just that on the net people don't give a shit about the spelling."
"You can't play the guitar, bro. You have to learn first".
Answer: "I don't need to. I've got a friend who taught me a few chords and that's enough to get the girls."
"You suck with girls anyway. No one will ever love you if you don't commit."
Answer: "Tell me why they keep knocking at my door, then."
Second thing: he's in tune with his time. Apolitical, fast-typing, self-centered, quick to adapt and unable to think. Hamlet's troubles pass beyond him like planes above London. Very sociable he is, on MSN and skyrock.com; he doesn't have to surf at all to see a naked girl, just asks one of his contacts "Can you show me your breasts?" and activates his webcam.
Third thing: he doesn't get old, just a little better each day. The less he knows, the more he fits.
Fourth thing: he can make a clear distinction between the dead and the living. And he doesn't want the dead to haunt his world. Jim Morrison's dead, "bring on the dj's"; Rimbaud's dead, "bring on the slam style"; Fitzgerald is dead, "who the fuck was he?"; love is dead, "but sex lingers on..."
"I wanna be adored", sang Ian Brown of the Stone Roses. Well I don't. Not anymore. For as Oscar Wilde said: I was adored once (or twice), and it didn't lead to anything good.
It's all a matter of advertising. You put an ad for yourself and one girl bites the hook. At first you feel grateful to her, she's your first customer. "Your ad was nice" she says, "I now want to know more". So you show her to your room, "here's a picture of me when I was 8", you say, beginning to undress her with one finger standing on the verge of erection. Then you show her to your friends, introducing her as Vickie, Lise, Helen or whatever her name may be. "Your friends are nice", she says, "and so are you."
Then you flirt for a while, voluntarily limiting your meetings to twice or three times a week, cooking your burgeoning love over a gentle heat. "This girl is sweet", you think. I know her but I don't own her, I screw her but she's not my girlfriend, I take pleasure but I take no order. I could hurt her feelings but i don't want to, she could hurt mine and that keeps me sharp.
Months after that you have a nickname and she has one. She forgot your ad and looks at the product straight in the eyes. She's part of the company now, she has her say. There are things she likes, and some she doesn't. Marketing isn't part of the show anylonger.
You devoted yourself to your one customer, and considering the price you paid for the ad - years of maturing, building your personnality, moulding your sex-appeal, piano skills and cultural references - you start to feel angry with that.
Some girl takes interest with you in a trendy bar of the riverside, the one you have skipped away from ages ago, and your best friend comes to interrupt: "Sorry, love, he's not available. But I am." You go home brooding on your pride, fighting against your own nature and trying to forget. "Am I an asshole?, you ask yourself, or just the typical urban greedy piece of a man whose ego and hunger for more won't leave in peace until he gets poor and old and doesn't have a choice?"
You're back home and you watch TV. Not too loud for she's asleep. Scarlet Johansson gives an interview and says she broke up with her boyfriend and found another one. "He's the one, she says. I feel it in my heart". You think "I want to be him", but then again you think twice. "Maybe I don't want to be him. I want to be him and the guy after him, or maybe him and the guy before him". But you're neither. You're in your flat and she's sleeping. On TV there's an ad about a meeting website.
Time for you to put another one.
So you're not me and I'm not you. That's a obvious fact and I'm afraid there's nothing you can do about it. Not being me can appear to some of you very hard to take. Because you're older than me or younger than me, because you screw less girls than I did or more girls than I did but in a different way, because you hopefully didn't screw the same girls that I did screw, and because of many other things...
You haven't written a song called "Christmas day" and recorded it with your german pal in a music room at Bishop Stopford School . You haven't won an English flag at the Cherry Tree picking correctly the all Manchester United team of the 99 final to a stupid barman. You haven't vomited on you in the toilets of the Cavern and woken up the next day wondering where the hell will I find the same trouser that I spoiled in Liverpool. You haven't watched France vs Holland in a pub in Richmond with hundreds of rosbeefs burping their joy at every goal from the Oranje.
You haven't seen Paris at night just coming out of the station, blinding your eyes with the sharp contrast between the City of Lights and the shadow town of Kettering, England. You haven't watched Graeme's haircut on monday morning at 9 as he tried to reach with just one hand both his paquet of cigarettes and a glass of whisky from last night, standing at his piano in his yellow dressing gown.
You haven't spent your childhood reading alone in your room and your teenage years trying to guess how does it taste to kiss a girl, to finally make out with one in Athens, down the luminous gardens of the Parthenon, and find it so disgusting you can't wait to try again and correct your initial misapproaching of the thing.
You haven't locked yourself in the bathroom, shut the lights and listened to The Cure's A forest to add some extra reverb to the song. You haven't cried when you first heard Neil Hammond from the Divine Comedy singing "Our mutual friend" on BBC2 and tried to read Dickens' novel of the same name just for the sake of it.
You don't owe 985 pounds to HSBC and another 500 to a friend of yours. You don't prefer the missionnary position to the obvious dogstyle banging. You can have female friends and get on well with their sisters. You started a blog years ago when it was still hype to do it. You didn't wait till you got 22 to start smoking and you don't cough anymore when you smoke a joint.
You didn't have my life, you didn't start this blog and there's no chance I will meet you at Claire's party next saturday since you're not invited and neither I am.
Friday, October 24, 2008
This town of the East Midlands was once the capital of shoes manufacturing. Winston Churchill got his shoes from a Kettering store. It's now the capital of binge drinking, pissing on the street and slaying as many folks from Corby in one night as possible. What is Corby? Another crap town of the East Midlands. In fact there are so many crap towns around that you wonder whether it's a joke.
First thing: people there are even more racist than I am. You just have to speak with a slight accent and you're seen as some Polish scum ass looking for his dog. If you're Indian, keep in your off-licence store and don't go out at nightfall; stand behind your till, serve them drinks and cigarettes and don't forget to say cheers. The white zombies like violence and politeness as well. If you're black, make sure you're 10 feet tall and even then, always carry a gun with you.
Next thing: girls are violent. They ran out of control a decade ago after the virus was spread and cannot be stopped by any means but one: alcoholic coma. As soon as they start drinking, girls there live in a world of their own. They wear mini skirts in january, vomit in the streets all year long, bark at taxi drivers who won't take them in, boys who want to screw them, boys who don't want to screw them, police officers etc... Some have been seen assaulting guys with their fists and stiletto heels. A real nightmare.
Third thing: kids are mad. All of them. They probably would outclass my own father in a fast drinking contest and my father isn't exactly a quaker. And when it comes to verbal abuse, the local thugs know so many words they could edit a dictionnary. I learned English there. I really did.
So here it is: the crappiest place on earth. Ugly food and ugly people, all white trash addicted to chaos waiting for the Stranger to show himself and get beaten to death. I definitely suspect this place to be an object of experimentation by the british government. If it isn't, please terrorists crash a few planes on it.
That's a good question, and don't get it wrong, not easy to answer. For try to say "I don't give a shit" as an answer... You may think that's quite neutral - but, no, my friend, that's not. That's offensive, that's bloody rude. That means "they don't bother me so I don't bother them", let's just not play with eachother and meet in our next life. Gays, you either have to love them or to hate them. There is no middle way.
Imagine yourself at some tv show with some gorgeous blonde female presentator asking you: "How do you stand about gays? Are you gay-friendly?", with a full audience ready to boo at you. You cant' say "I don't mind" or "They're fine by me". For you would also say that about a wasp as long as it doesn't prowl around your afternoon drink, wouldn't you? This answer won't convince anyone for sure. So think again.
You may come up with a powerful left-wing fashionable statement such as: "I really love them. They bring something different, a touch of feminity; they're so deep and emotional, you can really talk with them. Many of my friends are gay by the way."
But then again, where does that come from? You have to be a bisexual Holywood actress to really blend in with that crap. What if you're a heterosexual male in your fifties? People will think "he's one of them!" No, friend, that's no good...
This bloody question IS bloody hard to answer. So open bar, mates. Give your opinion.
A few months ago was the day of Blog Action Day Poverty. What is Blog Action Day Poverty? It's a yearly event uniting all the blogs of the webworld around this striking slogan: "I'm participating. Are you?"
I'm not and that's why.
for poverty... What can be say?
It doesn't sell, it isn't fun, it's useless and it even stinks sometimes. But like Morissey once sang, "some girls are bigger than others", and some poor are more cool than others, or less uncool if you prefer it.
To be poor and still media-cool, this is what you need to be:
1: Black. This is a must-be. White poor people are Bush oriented right wing racists who complain against minorities. Hispanics don't raise any sympathy. Maybe it's because of their accent or because they don't look poor enough, plus most of them can cook pretty well even with cheap ingredients. Lemon faces (chinese, japanese and other tribes) seem born to be poor and no one minds if they eat rats and dead pigeons, that's in their nature.
2: non-christian. Another must-be. Who can seriously pity a christian? He's born to suffer and a skinny body means a perfect soul. look at Jesus and the other saints.
3: Humility; the fashionable poor is humble and doesn't rebel against the mighty ones. He doesn't swear in front of the camera and doesn't even ask the cameraman to put away the fly he has in his eye. This is the typical ethiopian boy with a thousand flies around him. The guy is a celebrity, he doesn't even move.
And to close the subject, as Alan Price one sang: "poor people stay poor people for they don't understand, a man's got to take whatever he needs and grab it with his own hands"