La Culture à réaction, or why “Luxury is Insular”…

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll your eyes.

Un beau jour (“One day”), you just realise that… you react.

The news. The movies. Novels. Blogs. FB. You are smart, and you are curious, good to you.

But the day you realise you’re only (mainly) reacting to what is prepared for you, it’s a shock ! Haha ! You are a flipper ball. Juste une petite boule de flipper…

Look at your wall. You like “this”. Or you don’t like “that”. But… you react ! Or you don’t care. Ça compte pas.

A new movie from Tim Burton ? Turn away. This time, turn away. Explore Bergman, listen to Pergolese. Or buy Elia Kazan’s autobiography : you’ll learn about immigrants, New York in the crisis, Hollywood, Theater, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Tennessee Williams, mccarthyism, betrayals and Arthur Miller…

Watching the bubbles at the surface of the sea ? One day you realise you could choose to go under the surface, watch the demons acting freely outside of “what the medias organize for you”, explore unknown paths and territories, etc, etc. Turning awayyyyy…

Dial to watch : Autonomie Culturelle.

Tool : Unhook yourself from reacting. Close the usual sources. Just fly away from this. If it’s tatoo time, write about oboes. If there’s a new pop group to listen, document about John Ford movies. If you wonder about the Apple watch, go try the South West of France Art of Cooking. Draw YOUR paths. And yes : you’ll be alone. Yes yes yes yes yes. So what ? Et alors ??

Luxury is Insular.

Breathe ! Stand up. Go away from reacting. Take your machete and dig your way into YOUR jungle. It’s DJ time ? Listen to King Crimson. Fashion Blogs ? Write on paper. To a unique penpal.

“Luxury is insular”. Jünger wrote it that way. I like it. Pensez-y : Le luxe est insulaire…

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Happy Praise of the Third Path

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

Qu’est-ce que c’est que cet “Eloge amusé de la Troisième Voie” ?
The Happy Praise of the Third Path is a state of mind, or a game if you prefer, consisting of

1/ Noticing that most of choices are dual : A or B ?

2/ Then immediatly choosing to… step aside and pick up : C !

The C choice, or the Third Path, is very funny to apply. It’s, in fact, flying away on another territoire. It’s refusing to be trapped in what people chose for you.

If A runs of gas and B runs on diesel, then C rides his bike, of course.

A smokes. B struggles and tries to stop. C don’t smoke at all, never did (“that gives sick things to you”).

There’s a controversial anniversaire expo about a painter. You like (A) ? You don’t like (B) ? Oh : you are currently reading a book about Puccini under a tree (C) ?

Tool : ALWAYS try to find the C outside a bi-faced choice. You don’t always have to use that C choice, but know it exists.

Pro or Con ? There’s a place outside of that. And maybe it’s your place !

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Wrong Way Up and… the game of “finding structures”

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

“Wrong Way Up” is the title of a Brian Eno & John Cale album. It’s not even the title of a song – and that’s sad because I would have liked to explore its cryptic lyrics to find a good quote ! Eno is a great artist, but his lyrics are délicieusement funny.

Most of us are tinkers
Some of us, tailors
And we’ve got candlesticks
And lots of cocktail sticks

This idea, “Wrong Way Up” – comment dire ça en France ? : se gourrer en montant ? – is a great little simple seed. Let’s pull every string attachée à cette idée :

You made a decision and you act, you move. You are sure it’s a “up” decision, a move for a good change. You aim Victoire et Progrès ! It’s not a retreat, no no no. Up.

You, or somedy else who pokes you, knock knock, realise that there’s a problème. Wrong Way Up. No good. What do you do ?

– You can go on climbing, because you want to explode the glass roof. Or because you’re a nihilist and you like the idea of headlong rush. OK. Go.
– You can try to fix the Wrong Way Up failure by une déviation du mouvement. Bypass the problems. Is it effective ? Isn’t it too late ?? What are the other ways up ? Did you prepare this ? Plan B trajectories ?
– You can just stop and stay immobile between your previous place and your goal. Into the air, in between. Then you’ll have to change something…
– Well, you can go back down but isn’t it a failure too ? Wrong (or Good) Way Down, retreaaaat !
– What about what we could call Incomplete Change ?

 

OK. Now enough paths and decisions. Stop.

Tools :

How to draw a map ? How come a map isn’t appropriate ? Who drew it ? Can you fix the map for later, or for other Ways Up ? What can you do with the differences between the map and the real territory ?

Dial :

What happens when you suddenly realise that what you’re doing since days is totally vain et absurde ? What if you’re kitesurfing or hunting or pray, and suddenly the dumbness of all this activité jumps at your face like a spider ? What happens when you sing on a stage and suddenly realise that you’d prefer write a novel in a cabane au Canada ?

More :

How stupid is it to call a simple failure a “Wrong Way Up” ? Isn’t it just a change of name ? How useful can it be to talk about a concept without its “name” ? Just to find the structure of it ?

Tool again :

Precisely it is. The point is here. Take a little event and find its structure, its skeleton. It will be, then, maybe, usefull to use this little tool to another part of your progress.

That is : If you think “failure”, your spirit is already full of ready-made-ideas. Means you’re “wrong”, you “have to stop”, etc. If you see that failure like a “Wrong Way Up”, you’ll find other ways to get out of this merde. Think weird ! Try other spectacles !

Again : What can you do with the differences between the map and the real territory ?

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The Extreme Upper Register of the Bassoon, story of the Wrong Tool

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

The opening solo of The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky, is played by a bassoon playing out of its normal register. It’s written “out of range”, and the result is a quite weird melody.

Musicians and analysts have been wondering about that for years. How to play this machin ? Le Sacre du Printemps, is about primitive rituels, it’s full of danses sacrificielles and other étranges processions. Soooo… I like the idée to play it weirdly, strangled or lost, lost in a forest, œuf corse…

By the way, héééé, you know the bassoon, this instrument : it’s like a tree, un arbre ! It’s long and made of wood, it’s a tree. A tree without the branches, d’accord.

OK that’s useless, but the idée of beginning that “pagan mass” (of mess) of broken dances by this “out of range” melody played by a bassoon is giving me the chills.

Well. OK. So what ?

Francesco Alberoni is an Italian, a professor of sociology. He wrote a très utile book named Falling in Love, which is completely… out of range for him. As a sociologue, he knows how to study collective movements, and certainement pas some couples and lovers. No no no no. Mr Alberoni, vous n’êtes pas du tout dans votre domaine de compétence…

He is NOT skilled to do that. Toutefois, et néanmoins, he DID it ! He used his sociologist tools to study two persons who fall in love, pfffff. Unappropriate ! Fool !

The result ? A classic, a best-seller. And it’s still a best-seller, more than 30 years after the first print. And it’s a great book by the way. Useful if you’re a broken heart – you’ll understand once you need it, trust me…

I let you elaborate the links between le livre Falling in Love and la musique de The Rite of Spring. It’s Tool Time now.

Tool :

Maybe sometimes, in life or at work, in a brainstorming session or in the middle of a battle, you just have to pick the wrong tool. Or pick the usual tool, and use it the wrong way. Use it nevertheless. Whatever ! Zut ! Maybe you’ll explore a new way to lead the victoire, after all ! Maybe you’ll be enough étrange to surprise everybody, allies and ennemis. You go boy and girl ! You go !

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The “Two Many Ideas from a Beginner” Syndrome, ça n’est pas tellement grave…

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

Young and passionate, here you are.

You want to express yourself, prove something to the world. You’re an artist, an architect, a designer, une personne créative !

While you learn your art and its rules, your energy is growing and you feel powerful. You want and need to unfold into that. Your ideas and your way of organizing them are boiling into your brain. Projects…

Then, one day you discover the enthusiastic possibility of doing something “real”. You begin your new professional life ! Congratulations ! Bravo mon ami(e) ! Money is provided and you will prove your talents.

Disillusions will rain on you, c’est inévitable vous savez, but that’s a topic for another article. You’ll do your thing, nevertheless.

If you’re smart (and you ARE smart, aren’t you?) you can guess what the : “Two Many Ideas from a Beginner” Syndrome is. You want to do well, so you literally pour out everything that’s boiling in your head into your first project. Ça dépote !

Imagine : Your first park ! Your first house ! Your first fashion show ! Your first cooking TV broadcast show… all flooded with your concepts. OK. J’aurais fait pareil…

You know that “less is more” and that great artists are doing great things in simple form, at the same time, you are young and you WANT to express yourself. C’est compréhensible…

A matter of levers again, the “double bind” kind.

If you let go, the result will be great, BUT (and this “but” gets interesting here) you will get little smiles from connoisseurs. And you will hate it because :

1/ You know they’re right… too much all at once.

2/ You quickly realize that one day, in a few years, you’ll look at your work with that same funny smile. Effff !…

Too Many Ideas

Let go. You can’t do anything else and you can’t and mustn’t restrain the energy of youth. You go girl (or boy) ! Later on, you’ll learn how to put these ideas into wise and powerful furrows and choose keys on the keyboard (but not “all the keys” on your keyboard) to make your Art more effective… it will just happen at a later time.

Tool:

It’s an amusing tool and a subtle one. Just keep in mind the, “Two Many Ideas from a Beginner” Syndrome. It’s like a little wave, a mini-thread to keep some ideas for later.

Cut. Breathe.

You are great… and breathe again ! Et bon, coupez, que diable…

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