Refuse, Refute, Recuse : a game for conversation lovers…

This is a word game for seed lovers, conversation connoisseurs…

You’ll probably find this article vain, or useless. I offer it to word gold diggers only.

OK. Definitions :

  • To refute is to (or trying to) prove something is false or incorrect.
  • To recuse is an “act of intention” : it’s to affirm something is not true. It’s rejection, that’s all. It’s a “Nope”.

What I want to expose here is to remember that to refute is kind of serious. To recuse can be a game. You can recuse an idea, a statement… for fun. Or for the pleasure to examine the “other way”, the wrong one (why not) : just to see what can, could happen.

When I find a “smart quote”, I recuse it. I’m immediately searching for a way to say the contrary AND to show it’s true TOO.

A good conversationalist is a concept lover. Therefore, he or she is able to play that game. Pick an idea, recuse is. That’s all. Now you’re in front of an unknown territory.

Without music, life would be a mistake“, says Nietzsche. OK. But wait : NO!

The tool is : Find a person you want to play with, pick an idea which seems… obvious, and… recuse it! Say no! “Nope! It’s the contrary!”. Then, have fun. Talk about sex, love, art, war, business, everything anything. Have fun, and send me a kiss.

Bonne journée ! Have a nice day!

Jean-Pascal

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Instagram : hornsarahberlin

“To Eat Alone”

Some recent events in my life made me a lonely man, and therefore a lonely eater.

When I was a father in a family, I was really happy to have dinner-togetherness, to cook for my tribe, to talk, listen, laugh, and feel the family’s energy around the table.

I’ve been very skeptical when I read about how Americans were losing these daily gatherings of all the big cats around the table. “Everyone is having snacks when they want, everybody’s picking things in the fridge, watch TV or eat in bedrooms”, they said. My feelings were like between “it’s not true, it’s impossible” and “oh these Americans!”.

When my daughters were little, some days I went home late, it was almost time to go to bed : I told them stories, kissed them goodnight, then I was happy to have dinner with their mother, but also alone.

I remember good summer evenings. Two cat babies sleeping, mother cat watching a movie, and me papa cat, with a cassoulet, two slices of bread and half of a bottle of Bergerac wine, eating on a tray, on my bed, in front of a wide open double-window (or should I say “French door”, really?), watching and listening birds and trees in the dusk, sshhh.

Not working on thursdays, I remember I was happy to have meal time alone, eating in silence in the kitchen, listening to the rain outside. On my table : a candle, a corner lamp, and a magazine (about movies). Maybe some Brahms chamber music too. Bliss!

Now I eat alone, but I don’t snack. I never snack, and I’m always questioning my snacking friends in America, opening different little colored bags to crinch crunch and croonch while we Skype. I’m like “Where’s your plate, dear?”. They know I eat alone, thus they’re somewhat amazed by HOW I’m eating alone. Well, that’s nothing special, but I… I’m sorry… I can’t snack. It would kill me under a blanket of depression. It’s almost : “I’m French therefore I need a plate”.

I know better, OK : I have more time, in France. We work less, we move less (distances are… different here – I go to work by bike), and… errr… I think we think that food time is worth it, too : I eat alone but it’s cooked, sliced, prepared, organized. Just a bit. I need it.

Awweee sorry for my bad English. I’m wobbling, I know it. Pardonnez-moi !

Have a nice day! Bon appétit !

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Segantini, Italian #painter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Segantini was an Italian painter (1858-1899).

No genius here, and it’s maybe why I love his work so much. His “Bad Mothers” is a masterpiece. I love his way of painting the simple life of people in the mountains at the time. You can feel the wind, right? His “sense of sun” is absolutely fantastic. What a light!

OK, I shut up now : here’s what I found for you…

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Zodiac : lazinesses or challenges?

This is just a microthing about Astrology. If you think Astrology is nonsensical, you should not read that, it could bore you a lot, et j’en serais fort désolé…

We all have our ways to consider Zodiac. From 0 to 100, you believe in this or not. This is not my point here. It’s just about this question :

You were born one day, therefore you’re a Cancer, a Virgo or a Capricorn, etc. What do you do with this? How do you use it?

  1. Do you use it in sorry statements, to be lazy, like “I’m a Taurus I’m slow, you know…”?
  2. Do you use it to feel challenged, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, to become a better person?

I talked longly one day with a person who knew this field pretty well, who told me about people’s “Birth Charts”, with this smiling sparkle in her eye : some people with perfect harmonious charts were having terrible or failing lives, and some others with… complicated charts were living an interesting, challenging life.

Naaah you can have fun and say this is a good proof that all this is bouleshit for bored ladies. This is not kind! Stop that, I’m blogging! 🙂

In a way, who cares, after all : my pleasure here is to go back to the questions and the 1/2 pattern I am asking after them…

Dials : What, in our days, could be our Big Statement Bouleshit Mistakes? When do we say “I’m like that and I can’t change”? Why? What if we began to play “Unpinning Mindsets”? What if… sometimes… we needed to stop saying “I don’t do that, ever”?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : bodylanguage

Babette’s Feast, a Frenchization

In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. They take in French refugee, Babette Hersant, who agrees to work as their servant. After winning the lottery, Babette wants to repay the sisters for their kindness and offers to cook a French meal for them and their friends on the 100th anniversary of their father’s birth. It proves to be an eye-opening experience for everyone.

As they say, Babette’s Feast is “still the gold standard of food movies”. I use it here because I find it’s a good example of… well… the reasons why people love the French – when they do 🙂

Babette is the perfect example of the Intruder/Revealer type. She disturbs a system, here a rigid grey life, with her “way of being”, which is here the love of food, et la gourmandise.

Nothing is the same after her…

Gourmandise is the French word for “love of good food”. I think you don’t have this word in English, which is maybe cultural (Mayflower spirit?). It’s like a positive, smiling way to talk about… greed. Yum!

On this pattern, there’s another movie, with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp : Chocolat.

I agree : this spirit can be a bit disturbing for obedient Anglo-Saxons. Each time I’ve been in France with an American friend, this person was like amazed (in many ways : surprised, annoyed, afraid) about our freedom, our “not following the rules that much” ways, our casualness, our inefficiency too – and the food. The food, always, and again.

Here (like in other countries like Italy), c’est un Art de vivre, an Art of living. And we fight for that! Many of our cheeses are and will stay forbidden in America : not “safe” enough, not enough disinfected, sanitized…

Here I pity the French who live in America : they’re all missing… the cheese! And also, I will now search for “cultural differences movies”, where Anglo-Saxon’s culture irrigate our exhausting Frenchiness.

 

Tool : what from other country’s culture thing do you need in your job, in your life? What if you ask a Japanese expert about your company? What for? Where are the axis of progress?

Have a nice day!

OK, here’s a little Camembert to say goodbye.

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The Future of Transportation : Rent a louteuse!

I posted this article on https://brainsunite.wordpress.com/ – a collaboration based wordpress page I’m proud to work with…

 

Foresight is a risky field. Writing, in France, in my wobbly English, an article about the future of transportation is even more risky. Donc, well, you go girl! (or boy).

25 years ago I wrote a story where young people used what I called louteuses (could be “looters”) which were flying cameras you could hire for a certain amount of time (in my story it was used to spy people in their homes). Let’s say I invented self-service drones, parked everywhere at the top of buildings, computer piloted.

Drones! I’m proud! But I’m really today not able to imagine the future of transportation, though. Of course, I could watch some levers and pull them. Change of “nature” (teleportation?), or intensity (go “faster”), or go elsewhere (space?) etc. That’s boring, it’s just dial-watching.

I prefer to imagine an oblique way to move for the future : Not moving any more.

Virtuality and powerful computers will allow you to “travel” with 3D-glasses. You probably will be able to walk in every street of the Earth (or the Google Earth, hmm). Ahhh wandering in the suburbs of Yalta in autumn!!

But maybe you need real time?

There will be hundreds of ready-to-use self-services drones EVERYWHERE. They will be clever enough to navigate between your orders and security issues and laws. If you want to fly over Greenland NOW, let’s hire one sponsored-therefore-free drone, put your glasses on, and have fun!

My future of transportation : virtuality.

Of course it is baaaad. Nothing is better than to go “on site”, meet people, see the sky, and feel the air of Delhi. For this : read my colleagues’s articles, OK ?

Thanks for reading, and sorry for my Frenchenglish!

 

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Instagram : featureshoot

 

 

 

 

“Add some light in places”, or why to intellectualize will never kill the magic!

This is an old pattern many people use, like an old, useless dusty tool. This one says something like :

In front of beauty, don’t intellectualize too much or else you’ll lose the magic

 

In sex, art, photography, any place where magic is found, of course we can say that wizardry exists because it unfolds out of the words’s limitations.

Even in fields like poetry or novels (where words are used), able to catch you with style and stories, and bring you in the domain of dreams.

And I’m the first to tell – and repeat – here in this blog, that it is wise to stay out of words, these weak labels, in many articles about how photographers or painters don’t like to explain, etc.

In front of beauty, don’t intellectualize too much or else you’ll lose the magic

Peel and decorticate magic, and you kill the goose (with the golden eggs, etc).

Well : Okey!

I’d add this word : BUT. Or this word : ALSO.

But, also, and nevertheless, there are days you wanna do it.

Analyze the magic of a novel. Dissect a music track. Have a precise conversation about sex. Use the pause button on your remote control to understand how a scene is edited. Read articles about masterpieces, and prefaces of old classics. Stop eating this delicious meal and try to find how it’s been cooked. Wonder how your love story is evolving…

This IS what intellectualizing is, it brings knowledge, shows you new paths, increases your intelligence, draws new maps, enlightens your universe, gives you more energy to explore, to dive deeper the next time you’ll plunge into your next “not thinking too much” moments…

Do you really think it “kills the magic”?

What if it rather adds some light in places?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Poumeyrol, French painter

Jean-Marie Poumeyrol was born in 1946. This French painter is said to be a “fantastic realist” (which probably must makes him smile). Symbols. Erotica. Lands. Boats…

I like him a lot for a couple or reasons : it’s gorgeous, but also enigmatic. Some paintings are like… games, riddles. You need time to see things, guess what’s happening (whose shoes are they, in the first picture?), etc…

But as usual with great artists, photographers, poets, painters : words are very, very weak to explain. So :

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Bergamoletto, 1755, disaster

In 1755, March 19, a mountain of six feet of snow and rocks buried the little village of Bergamoletto, Italy. More than twenty people disappeared under the avalanche. Rescue teams were organized but they couldn’t save anybody.

But one man, named Rochia, decided to insist. He dug. For weeks. April came and snow and ice began to melt. Rocks, ice, earth, dirt, trees, he dug his way towards his house. He finally reached it and found nobody, no corpse. So, helped by members of his family, he decided to dig where the barn was.

He found his wife and her sister, and his daughter, who was thirteen years old, all alive, thanks to a goat who was with them, who provided them milk, for more than a month…

 

What do you think? What does this story say? Something about luck? Insistence? Never lose hope? Take your goat with you everywhere?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Acceleration & Ways of laughing : Chronicle 14

Why are my friends mostly women? Because men always want to win. As a man, talking to a man always leads to competition. This is really boring…
And, of course, my female friends almost all say that they prefer to talk with… men. It’s the way the world goes, I suppose…

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Today I learned about the word “Culprit“, and in my mind there’s a confusion with “Guilty”. In French, the word is the same : coupable. It’s a weird feeling to discover two words in a language while you have just one in yours!

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A few days ago I saw a guy I know coming in the street. He didn’t see me, then, as I was parking my bike, he did the Store Front Escape. What I read in this “sudden interest” is “I don’t want to talk to this person”. So be it. Me neither maybe, voilà.

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There’s a Virilio simple dial : “Acceleration leads to accident”. What does that mean? When you examine this pattern, do you think about the guy who drives too fast, progress, or about the whole civilization?

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In this blog I claim to be a pecker , like a bird lacking of culture, casually (and randomly) finding microscopic ideas to share. This strange freedom, weaved with the uneasy but comforting idea that my-english-is-not-good-but-I-try-though… makes it what it is!

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There’s a seesaw (we call this in French un tape-cul : a hit-ass – makes sense?) I find in many authors or artists : it’s a swing between 1/ the anxiety of losing some time and 2/  go with the flow and do nothing special. Always interesting to see how people deal with that, and what maturity brings them (guess in which way)…

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We have this word for “shell”, in French : un coquillage, which seems more magic to me. Une coquille d’œuf : an eggshell. Une coquille d’escargot : a snail shell. What do you find on the shore? A shell or a shellfish? Shells, of course. I wonder if in English it’s “charged” like in French : a word full of the sea, the salty taste, the texture and the frame of shells… Maybe it is! But the word itself is delicious, right? Coquillage…

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Some French words in “age” (pronounce not “age”, but “aj”) are like dreaming in the air at the end of the word : nuage (cloud), sillage (the wake behind a boat)

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You’ll always read that other people “can’t really know you”. We are islands, etc. In fact, I’m sure that it’s not true. Some rare people are able and will “know” you (ha, like “I see you” in Avatar!), or a part of your personality. There’s nothing like someone who gets you. Immediately, love is around, or at least a kind of magic bond, intensity. And I think that one of the tragedies of life is to have someone who is able to see you… and you don’t realize it. You don’t listen…

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There’s this little trick between French and English about this phrase : “I miss you”. We say : “Tu me manques”, because this verb is used the other way round in France. It’s a little like “You miss to me”, or worse : “You lack to me”. I’m sorry, it’s uglily said, but it’s true! And I can’t stop plunging into a meditation about how language structures our reality. “I miss you” is very different, in fact, than “You now are lacking to me”… well… sort of. Just imagine that “miss” in French is the other way round. So sorry 🙂

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Sometimes you know someone very well, but you’re surprised to see this person with unknown people. There’s one thing to watch, then : the way she laughs in front of others. Countenance or composure laughing… where people hear joy, and where you hear timidity, hidden rushes, panic, a way to shut up, a given time to think about things to say and, her eyes constantly checking you, a need for help, support, hand in back, come next to me, I need you, friendship and deep bond reaffirmation. All this… in a laugh.

 

Thanks for reading!

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“Become who you are”, is it what Pindar said?

A kid is watching a sculptor working. Days after, he comes back and is in a awe in front of the completed statue, asking to the artist : “How did you know there was a man into it??”.

Pindar was a Greek poet (he died in 443 BC). I don’t know his work BUT I always meet his silhouette, his tone, his quotes, in texts from authors I like  – this pattern, indeed, could become an article one day…

Today I met Pindar in a dictionary about Nietzsche, who wrote to Lou Andreas Salomé : “Become who you are”.

Pfff…

This really sounded like a stupid smart ass self-help quote, almost written in capitals before an ugly sunset above a road (symbol!) cutting a field in two, eeek!

But if Nietzsche studied Pindar, well…

What did Pindar say, really? Wikipedia proposes these :

  • Become such as you are, having learned what that is
  • Be what you know you are
  • Be true to thyself now that thou hast learnt what manner of man thou art
  • Having learned, become who you are

Ohlalalaaaa!

In my French book and on the web, I found :

  • May you become who you are by learning
  • Be as you learned to know you
  • Become what you are by learning who you are

These are 6 different ways to translate Pindar! The pack just threw a fistful of seeds on your table. And I prefer the last one already…

Man could study diaries and interviews of thinkers, or great artists and writers, trying to find what they said about this idea of “becoming themselves”. It could sound… mundane, but I think it could be interesting. For example, many artists say at the end of their life that “Less is More”, right? What other pattern do we often find?

It’s a strange idea, right? As if, like a sculptor with a big block of wood, we were all spending our lives trying to find what man or woman was hidden in the block, already here…

Is it only “by learning who you are”? How so? What do we win when we do that? Are we stronger, smarter? What’s the horror in not becoming the real one? What if we were mistaken all along? Working in a bad manner? What happens when you discover it in the middle of your life? What if we had “many” us to discover? Facets? Is it some work really to discover and become who we are, or are we, like some, the prey of destiny, accidents and betrayals?

Here I ask my readers : what do you think about this idea, which seems mundane and worldly-wise at the same time? For you, is it an empty concept or a good seed for thinkers?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Gleanpickupping seeds & tools in a Gidon Kremer interview

In a French grey morning of August, I’ve had my coffee with two good slices of brioche, frame window staring, in front of an ominous sky, at the cut out moving trees in the wind, shhhh.

Mind wandering…

According to your job, your availability, your passions, you have different way of “entering contact with reality” :

  • A photographer type will watch around him with the “Can I take a picture here, when, from where?”.
  • A musician type will analyze some new song he hears, decorticating it like an alarm-clock.
  • A poet type will find a good word in a book then might begin to weave a poem in his head.
  • The climber type will watch these city walls… etc…

You… just have to put your “mode on” (and YES, you can have many “modes on” ready in your head, haeccity oblige).

 

I read an interesting interview of Gidon Kremer, violonist, in a classical music magazine. I read this interview with two modes on.

  1. First was : “Find maybe some music to listen to” (I found Schumann, Weinberg, Arvo Pärt, and a Prokofiev melody)…
  2. The other one was my blogger mode : “What little structure, what tool, what tropism can I find in his interview?”.

 

So, well, I learned things about Gidon Kremer himself, his friends, career, evolutions, wonders, etc. He’s an interesting person, the typical clever artist (for me he’s a cousin of Bill Bruford, the drummer).

Eventually, my second “mode on” found quotes, wonders, seeds to plant (here or there) and to meditate on :

  • We live a physical house, but also in some spiritual homes, other “places” we belong to.
  • Playing very few notes is more difficult than pure virtuosity.
  • When you find difficult to play or understand something, you maybe need to find parallel structures in other artists or situations : comparison enrichment.
  • You can explore a field (movies, music) with artists, eras, but also labels or studios, producers, etc. Let’s write something about ECM.
  • Should an artist listen or study what he did in his past? (Kremer never listens what he recorded in previous years).
  • When an artist collaborates, there’s a need of “mutual listening”.
  • Sometimes we miss something. Friends around us indicate things or persons but we don’t listen – when we maybe should.
  • Then and therefore : what is to catch up? How do we? What is “to redeem”, how?
  • “Seeking perfection is the enemy of beauty”

 

Etc etc. I found a few more. Whatever. Each line is a door to a new room, which is full of questions. How to drive “mutual listening”? What becomes virtuosity with very little notes to play? Where the frontier to find between catching up and letting go? Etc…

I found this too : when you have one or many “modes of exploration”, it becomes difficult sometimes to be in direct contact. You ALWAYS have a filter on, and that can be exhausting!

We have to find back a way to quit our introvert-analyzer inner computer to… touch things. I suppose it’s what great artists can do, having the great ability to move it like a lever, a slider, from 0 to 100%, from “I know this without any words” to “Analyze and peel it off to understand it”. Where is yours?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

To write this article, I needed music. I chose Weinberg by Kremer – of course. The YouTube link is under the sleeve, downstairs :

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Minuscule Patron or Sponsor

When you become rich, you wonder what to do with your Scrooge McDuck money. Of course, it’s smart to invest most of it to… make more money, right? That’s what people do.

If I had millions, I have a fantasy, though : minuscule patronage.

I have a problem of vocabulary here. In France we call “un mécène” a person who has money and decides to help a cause or an artist. In the old times, Queens and Kings were helping musicians and painters. Dictionaries give me “patron” or “sponsor“, maybe “donor” or “granter“. Come on! What do I choose here?

I earn millions every month. Instead of putting my money in BIG causes, I spend 15 minutes a day looking for a good person. A small restaurant, a cook beginner, a smart blogger, a broken heart, a photographer without a good camera, etc…

When I find him/her, I give $5000. Once. Then goodbye, I go in my day. Until the day after. Or the week after, it depends on the money you want to give!

OK, I volunteer (to receive, or to help choose-and-give) 🙂

 

Have a  nice day!

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Instagram : __bodylanguage__

Follow Fallow & Charging Up, the other way of non-blogging…

There’s a type of weapon in different video games like Marathon from Bungie or even one of the first Star Wars game : Dark Forces.

This “pistol”, phaser, whatever, is empty. You have to pull the trigger, then you hear it CHARGING : PiiiuuuUUUU – you have to wait – when it’s ready, there’s a little light showing and you can shoot. Bang! (or PEWW!).

L’idée of pushing on something to charge up it until it’s “ready” is a pattern, a tool. Call it a structure if you want.

In special intercoursing inbedweekends, a smart lover is able to keep his partner on a high plateau for hours. He watches her closely, he charges her up – not constantly, but regularly – never reaching the explosion. When things become serious, she’s like a planet of high energy, ready to reach the stars…

OK let’s back to business! :

There are two ways of non-blogging.

  1. You need sometimes to stop writing, that’s it. Most of the time, it’s because your mind is busy elsewhere : you’re sick, you fall in love, you’re out of good ideas, your gas tank is empty and your car stopped. This is really no big deal. You’ll find it back. Keep a white fragile string linked to it, ready to pull. It’ll come, you know…
  2. The other way is… because you “charge up”. You stop blogging, but you feel that your brain stays “on” : you read, you think, you gather ideas, you write many drafts, you keep working! It’s about seeds, and energy. It’s not empty waiting : you write a paragraph or two, then you go to another draft, etc. It’s like the pistol in the games. Your don’t post, because your writing skills are charging up!

 

This little dial is interesting to find, then to watch. What, in your life, in your job, in your creativity, is charging up? How is it weaved with waiting? Can you work on something else while you do?

OK, now the pistol is charged, green lighted, ready to shoot. After a couple of days (weeks?) of non-blogging, here you are, looking like a sphere of pulsing magic energy : now you’re ready to post five articles a day. Ain’t it too much, silly?

Bahhh nope. Your followers will deal with your sudden generosity, don’t worry…

Thanks for reading!

 

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