The Principle of Difficulty: Chronicle 68

JF Billeter writes about “The Principle of Difficulty”, something like : It is better to be aware of the difficulties of a domain and have fun than to be ignorant of it and to fail.

I wrote it, and thought about difficult domains. Imagine you want to learn to speak Chinese, imagine you want to understand the whole Bob Dylan work, imagine you don’t like opera and you want to explore its worlds…

It’s huge, big, and well, difficult, fractal, complex, it’s a continent. Then, it’ll keep you happy busy for a long time.

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There’s a French painter who is funny to read about : Chardin. He is, like Millet, out of any “system”. Modest. Watching the ordinary. Here’s one. You can watch, but also read. What does this man seek?

From his point of view, it’s a principle of simplicity – but it’s probably very difficult to achieve it!

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The Feynman technique for teaching and communication is a mental model (a breakdown of his personal thought process) to convey information using concise thoughts and simple language.

Hmmm should dig this!

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There are many ways of helping/listening. C. Rogers talks about:

  • An advice (“If I were you, I’d…”).
  • A suggestion (“Maybe you could…”).
  • Support (“I am with you…”).
  • Order (“Don’t let it go…”).
  • Questioning (“Did you really say that ?”).
  • Judgment (“I think you did well”).
  • Interpretation (“Here, you settle your accounts with…”).

All these are interfering! The only good way is the unconditional listening :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_positive_regard

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Whatever the mood, there’s Art!

Thanks for reading!

“That escalated steadily” & the guy out of the line: Chronicle 68

Reading a Gertrude Stein biography, an American who lived most of her life in France. A character, for sure, and therefore a tank of ideas.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertrude_Stein

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Conversation about the last albums of singers, like David Bowie or Leonard Cohen. What do you sing when you’re about to die? The guy told me about Bob Dylan, who just sold his songwriting catalog a few days ago, and wrote a new album, which “sounds” like an ending. I’ll look into it soon.

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Got my microphone, a Fifine k670, which looks like this. I love it already!

I’d like to mix poetry and music, or “one-minute tracks”, or…

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What happens to the guy who steps out of line?

“L’homme qui sort du rang”, in French, the guy who steps out of line sounds positive in my ears, much more positive than the English version – I’m not sure of that.

He’s the volunteer, the man who is (suddenly or not) ready, but also the village idiot, who doesn’t understand the consequences, the one who decides to take a step, the man who shows himself to the community, etc.

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I have this phrase on a draft:

“If you’re using your imagination, you tend to look into the past”.

I’m sure it’s true, even after a little moment of thinking. It’s because we mainly see the world with analogies. Therefore comparisons? Therefore the past, the knowledge. It’s a one-hour conversation, right?

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When something’s too old, mono music, mute movies, we have to make a strange effort to appreciate.

Schubert in Berlin, by Furtwängler in 1951, The “Great” Symphony, is in mono and the sound seems muffled. Murnau’s Sunrise has no dialog and no real sound.

My article was called “The Furtwangler/Murnau effort”. Because it is an effort, right?

I remember I did it with John Ford‘s Four Sons (1928), and I loved it!

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Where is Washington DC? I checked on the map and realized that my idea was not too far from reality; thanks to my books about the Civil War. Ahhhh le Potomac! Ask French people about where the capital is (or the difference with the state Washington): nobody knows.

By the way, DC is pronounced “d’ici”, which means “from here” in France. Therefore Washington DC sounds from here “Washington from here”. I wrote an article about the fact that the medias say “Washington is about to decide this”, the country is called by its capital, which is called by one ex-president. The loop is pleasant.

French people like to brag Americans on “They don’t even know where Germany is” but they don’t know where Arkansas or New Hampshire are.

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Very interesting to follow far-right persons. I read a long “chronicle” by Ann Coulter on Breibart (she is sad because Trump “didn’t build the wall”), and I follow on Twitter a French trumpist (yesss it exists), who is a “patriot”. It’s not a good time for these people, I reckon. I read her, she’s mean, sarcastic, with huge energy for the “Grand Soir” (the Big Evening), which never happens of course. The world is complex… but at least these people have big steam, like a huge obsession which carries life.

I also spent an hour reading subReddits about QAnon people today, like r/QAnonCasualties or r/reQovery.

It’s like religions: my question is in fact “Why do people NEED to believe such… things?”.

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  • We are coward here, and courageous there. Strange facets. Develop.
  • Life is clear, and very confusing – alternatively.
  • To come back on a subject, and come back again, multiplying points of views. In music? Poetry?
  • Insistence as a way, for Arts.
  • After a toxic relationship, is back to normalcy “refreshingly boring”?

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“All that is reached is destroyed”, says Montherlant, talking about “The Melancholy of Accomplishments”.

So what about all that is not reached?

Thanks for reading!

Vectors & North Star: Chronicle 67

I love to explore Springsteen or Dylan, though I really don’t like their music!

I tried to listen to Blonde on Blonde – I’ve been completely bored. I will try again with headphones and articles about the music, but I already know I’m not really interested, because I find it harmonically lazy. I need strange chords to trigger my pleasure!

Nevertheless, when I have a huge book about these guys on my lap, I feel like a child in front of a toy chest. I love to read about what they did, how they did it, and why. Intentions. Attempts. Codes. Changes. Etc.

oOOo

I found this draft, for this blog, a sentence: “She’s organized and he’s messy, but, and other positive “buts””. Haha! I don’t remember what it was about! The “Positive Buts” (one “t”, please). So what is it about? Complementary characters? A need for balance?

oOOo

Ordered a microphone for my Macintosh. A USB one. I’ll music this year, voilà.

oOOo

Poe’s Law is “Poe’s law is an adage of Internet culture stating that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

oOOo

I also wrote (or found) this: “The world’s most faithful and unreliable friend” (oh), near to “The North Star. You can navigate by it.

I wonder if, when one is creative, if they have a North Star. I like the metaphor! The idea of Muse (someone is there for you, even an “idea” of them). The Golem (a figure you invent from clay), who is like a statue you work for, an archetype, a friendly aim.

The North Star is a landmark and a point, you draw a vector from your point to this other point. Direction. But also a light, right? Maybe a sign? Glow, Glim, Glimmer, glimmering (for a reason).

The watcher needs it, he’s thankful, he smiles, he travels, thanks to the North Star.

oOOo

I found Honorary Astronaut, a great little song with surprises each minute. Had to explore a bit before finding it’s a lateral group from The Dear Hunter, plenty of music to discover, like this one hour long “ACT IV: Rebirth in Reprise”, which is like someone says in the comments: “Indie Prog Orchestral Rock”.

Then I found Hold Salted Wind from Einar Stray Orchestra, from Norway (again). This music gets my attention immediatly: harmonies, doubled voice, organ, drama, some dissonances, surprises, broken structure.

Voilà, pour finir :

Thans for reading!

Tritones & Sad-Eyed Ladies: Chronicle 66

“We have to bring out knowledge where we don’t expect it.” – Roland Barthes

Isn’t it a fascinating quote?

We bring out knowledge in articles, in schools, in books: exactly WHERE we expect knowledge to be shown, that’s good.

But why should we do this in “unexpected” places? To create surprises? To aim at a new audience? Elegance of life?

I don’t know but I find it interesting.

But OK: where?

At work? Social media? Could we talk about Barthes on TikTok?

Knowledge? Music isn’t knowledge. So, what? Humanities? History? How? What form? Courses?

oOOo

Ahhh a day off, and a lonely time…

Let’s choose a musician (Gustav Holst, Chick Corea), ask some web pages, take some books, and explore. Finding names: “The Could Messenger”, “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs”. But I ended listening to “Jan Bang, Erik Honore, Gaute Storaas and Arve Henriksen – (2013) – Knut Hamsuns Victoria”.

A piece of quiet music:

oOOo

I have a draft here named Blood Family/Soul Family but I only have the title here. It’s an old structure, we know and see what it is. The problem is that we “know” our blood family – the soul family is elsewhere. We meet them later, maybe never. Maybe some work is needed to find the soul family. Not some work, but some… accuracy, or attention. But not being a tracker, right? One does not hunt a soulmate, but one can be ready to meet one.

oOOo

I made some photos which need some poetry.

oOOo

In French, there’s a song: “J’attendrai” (I will wait) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%27attendrai. See lyrics. Other versions.

oOOo

Riskiest modulation of The Beatles: If I fell. It’s funny to hear it “explained” by a scholar with tritones, knowing that John Lennon liked to build song by “making piles of random chords”. I used to do it. Listening to the chords in loop triggers melodies.

oOOo

I opened a book about Bob Dylan and found that he had be signed on Columbia in the sixties by a guy named John Hammond. Hmm:

“What I wanted to do with Bobby was just to get him to sound in the studio as natural, just as he was in person, and have that extraordinary personality come thru…. After all, he’s not a great harmonica player, and he’s not a great guitar player, and he’s not a great singer. He just happens to be an original. And I just wanted to have that originality come thru.”

Producers who… feel something – the archetype probably being George Martin, often called the “fifth Beatles” (producer, arranger), and there’s another man, the manager (Brian Epstein). Hmm:

“…as John Lennon and Paul McCartney joined in with jokes and comic wordplay, that made Martin think that he should sign them to a contract for their wit alone.”

Stig Anderson was one of the dominant figures behind ABBA. He built them, co-wrote lyrics, etc, he’s sometimes called “The fifth member or ABBA” (well well), etc…

It is funny to read about the “guy behind”, when you read about big music stars. Who’s behind Queen, Elvis Presley? I’d like to find a book about them. What did they bring? What did they see? What have they in common?

oOOo

I opened a book about Bob Dylan’s songs, finding pages about one single song: Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. In itself, a big source of analysis games.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sad_Eyed_Lady_of_the_Lowlands

  • It’s a very long “poem”, full of mysterious words. I found a French web page about Dylan’s lyrics style, closer than Rimbaud than American or English poets ( https://www.bobdylan-fr.com/articles/jeffreyside.html -> Google Translate it!).
  • Instead of “stories” or descriptions, images so weird that people scratch their heads in wonder. Like in Umberto Eco & the Open Work, the audience built their signification.
  • Therefore everybody finds something talking about themselves. Read the comments everywhere.
  • Dylan’s recording of the song is interesting.
  • It’s said to be a “hymn” to his lover. But some guys think that it’s about Dylan’s “anima” (the unconscious feminine side of a man – animus being the unconscious masculine side of a woman).
  • It’s a waltz.
  • The album was released in 1966; I’ve seen June, but also May 16th (I was born on May 15th this year).
  • The sleeve’s blurry.

Well: voilà some seeds, dig a hole, put the seed, see what blossoms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anima_and_animus

With your mercury mouth in the missionary times
And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes
And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes
Oh, who do they think could bury you?
With your pockets well protected at last
And your streetcar visions which you place on the grass
And your flesh like silk, and your face like glass
Who could they get to carry you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums
Should I put them by your gate
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

Here it is by Joan Baez :

oOOo

Isn’t the best stimulant the curiosity of the person you love?

Thanks for reading. Happy New Year!

JP

Lion’s Cave & Resignations: Chronicle 64

When you read people about MBTI, they’re all INFJ! If I exaggerate a little I’d say 95% say they are INFJ, though it’s 1% in reality.

“OMG THAT’S SOOOO ME!”.

“I’m an empath, an introvert, I’m so rare, I can feeeeel people”. So rare but they’re all “so rare”. Why not, after all: it’s all a game of grids, right? Percentages for people are rarely accurate, and one can’t forget that some “types” are sometimes used as an excuse or justification for certain unhealthy behaviors – like “I’m doing nothing because I’m like that, so there”.

oOOo

I got rhythm
I got music
I got my guy
Who could ask for anything more?

Mike Oldfield really?

When I was a teenager I went to the neighbors’ house with my parents to have a pre-dinner drink. It was very quiet and boring.

I was maybe 13. My neighbors had two daughters. One of them, who was maybe 16, showed me a record with a blue butterfly on the sleeve and put it on the turntable. It was Platinum, by Mike Oldfield. The most incredible artistic shock of my whole life. I fell off my chair. Almost cried.

What was it? It was like a 20 minutes long track with a disco rhythm, gorgeous guitars, breaks and crescendos. I was flabbergasted. It was pulsing rocketing ideas everywhere. My head exploded.

Years later I understood. Skills. In Platinum, Mike Oldfield :

  1. had the bottle to build a 20 minutes disco complex instrumental “thing” with big guitars, disco rhythms, a big brass and a Phil Glass repetitive ending.
  2. is a great melodist.
  3. likes crescendos, likes to pull levers on crazy levels (cf Amarok)
  4. obviously looks for the audience’s ecstasy.
  5. is a bit crazy, daring crazy, the good crazy.
  6. has a VERY special guitar sound.
  7. dares an energic Punkadiddle “rock with a recorder and a crowd”.
  8. writes dreamy echoes in the night (Woodhenge).
  9. A Gershwin cover track.

So, I bought the album and it was my very first LP! Listened to it for months before I bought others (Ommadawn, etc).

There’s a big question today, in my head, about why he lost his skills as a composer. Lack of energy or inspiration is common when you come to 50, 60 years old, but…

mike-oldfield-platinum-lp-album.jpg

oOOo

There once was a lion who was too lazy to hunt for his food. He pretended to be very sick and announced to all the animals that he was soon to die.

“Please,” he said, “come visit me in my cave and bid me goodbye.”

The lion looked so weak and helpless, the animals felt sorry for him. One by one the visitors came. One by one, the lion ate his fill of them!

When fox arrived to pay his last respects, he stopped in front of the cave’s entrance and looked closely at the ground.

“Come in quickly, I am dying!” cried the sly lion, impatiently.

“No,” said the fox, who was equally clever, “You’ll not have ME for a visitor, though you moan and pout. While I see many footprints going into your cave, NONE are coming out!”

oOOo

Ahhh the rest job face :

Diljob.jpg

oOOo

oOOo

Collins Dictionary: Resignation is the acceptance of an unpleasant situation or fact because you realize that you cannot change it.

Descartes: My third maxim was to endeavor always to conquer myself rather than fortune, and change my desires rather than the order of the world, and in general, accustom myself to the persuasion that, except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.

W. Somerset Maugham: I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.

oOOo

I read about a study on the factors that employees consider motivating. Good wages, interesting work, the security of the job, of course, but the number one factor was “to be valued”. Really valued.

It’s not about a bonus or a “best employee of the month” challenge. It’s something like :

“I see what you do and I appreciate what you do”.

People often do the best they can with what they got. And they wait, they need to be seen…

Makes sense, right?

It’s a special case for life, this theory telling that everything we do in society is to be loved.

Thanks for reading!

Chekhov’s Gun & its Disobedience :Chronicle 63

Confinement 2.0 in France: the whole of November – but most specialists say that it’ll need 2 or more months to be effective, and only if people respect the game.

The problem is if universities are closed, all schools are opened. If people are encouraged to work from home, many can’t.

More: a problem appears from the fact that all small stores are closed (florists, hair styling salons, bookstores) AND supermarkets are not. The little ones want to stay open, but if you do that, the confinement is silly! Therefore the government ordered them to close the “non-essential” parts, like toys, flowers, books, etc.

Strange days, right?

oOOo

I had the idea to build an alphabetical exploration in the blog. So now I’m working on A, but I’m lazy! I watched Losey’s Accident for that.

oOOo

I reached 500 “real” followers here, after 4 years. This means, I want to believe, that readers love “one subject” blogs, but not that much “a little of everything” blogs.

oOOo

Chekhov’s gun is a dramatic principle that states that every element in a story must be necessary, and irrelevant elements should be removed. Elements should not appear to make “false promises” by never coming into play.

Of course, you want to disobey this, right?

oOOo

I wonder what an American person does to imitate the British accent. I think there’s something with “t”. Better said better instead of bedder. Often said often instead of offen. There’s also a singing quality, I think. Am I wrong?

oOOo

I searched the two words “Trump Lord” on Twitter and read a few dozens of tweets. Ohlalaaaa! US religious persons sound very strange to me, I really don’t get it. I asked a question and got an answer: “We need to look to God & His Word for His plans & purpose. He desires repentance & readiness for His 2nd coming. He desires that all be saved through Christ and come to the knowledge of the truth. He is Holy, faithful & just. God will keep His promises.”

oOOo

Watched a documentary about U2, full of little ideas. What I realize, after such months with The Beatles, it’s how… The Beatles are good composers!

U2 has been a hitmaker. The film (about Joshua Tree) shows their different ways to achieve that…

Bono is very charismatic, Edge has an interesting “sound” (infinite guitar, etc), the bass player is limited (dom dom dom dom dom) but very effective, and the drummer is fantastic. They are not great “composers”, but they have plenty of energy, goodwill and a great singer/lyrics writer, they have good rhythm ideas, a sense of “hymn” things, and… Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois are good producers!

If you type “U2 Chords” on YouTube you get things like “Four Chord Easy Beginner Guitar Song”, which is cruel.

Of course, this was a delight to hear Eno & Lanois and their differences and facets, Eno as an intellectual (who loves gospel), Lanois as a fascinating clever person. Both have such a look in their eyes…

oOOo

I bought Ronan Farrow’s book about the Weinstein affair, a Gertrude Stein biography and Bryson’s book about England. Then I realize that the two last books are about Americans living for decades in Europa. I’m probably interested in what they noticed.

Have a nice day! Thanks for reading!

Look at all the lonely people, Eleanor : Chronicle 62

Music is a pleasure of life, and it’s useful too. One day I realized that there are musics “for”.

  • Music to give birth to images. Imaginary landscapes or anything. Images.
  • Music decor.
  • Challenging musics you don’t understand. You need explanations. Or books. Exploration. Typical for me: Mahler.
  • Music can help you to work, to focus, to give brain energy.
  • Dancing in your house.
  • Musics for remembrance. Memories.
  • Music for energy.
  • Music to be together (concerts)

I wanted to write an article named “This Author? I have everything…”.

You probably have one, if you’re a reader, right? Or two.

I have everything (or almost) of Jünger, Proust, Chekhov, Faulkner, Valéry, Borges and Bernhard.

And you? Why?

Nietzsche: The Camel, The Lion, The Child. What are these?

Like what? Levels?

  1. The Camel is a carrier and he is strong. He’s a walker, a traveler. But also: “The camel develops the desire to unburden itself, take control of its own destiny and say its own “I will”.”
  2. The Lion needs to rule over the desert, to become a lord, struggling with existing lords, like the dragon who says “You shall”. The lion don’t say “I will”, he says “No”.
  3. Then, the Child. He’s at play: “The child is innocence and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelling wheel, a first motion, a sacred Yes.”. Unburdened of many customs and conventions, he explores, changes, he creates!

Well I kind of like it.

There’s something about one Art lover who was in love with a well known painting, I don’t remember which one, but this painting was placed in a museum on another continent, thus the poor man had never really “seen” the painting. A TV channel proposed him to pay for everything, following the poor man with cameras. TV loves emotions!

At least, he’s put in front of it, puts his hand on his mouth and cries, overwhelmed with emotions, etc.

  • Or not: how can you be really moved when two cameras stand in front of you?
  • Or else: what do you feel when you’re “supposed” to feel something?
  • Or more: what if you don’t feel the expected, at all?

We’re here into the well known “be spontaneous paradox”. A vexing communication block occurs when one person requests or demands something from another that can only be given spontaneously – like trust, love, interest, acceptance, appreciation, desire, and respect.

The idea of “breaking the fourth wall” is always interesting, it’s a strangeization process, something unusual to catch back the audience…

It talks about a convention (in a play or a film, actors usually don’t talk to the audience), therefore it tells something about the director, “conventions breaker”, why, etc.

It can be done metaphorically, like: “This can be done through either directly referring to the audience, the play as a play, or the characters’ fictionality.

It’s about meta, about originality, about sympathy too : I love when Woody Allen in Annie Hall (I think) talks to the spectators in a middle of a scene (engaging, using me as a friend-witness, etc).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall

The Muslims veil says “I don’t want to show you my hair”.

So?

What are my Third Path Pattern?

  • I have to choose A or B – I choose C
  • I have to choose A or B – I choose both

What are yours?

Is there a Tim Burton problem? Of course you’ll find his last interviews where he says he’s a bit tired, and he’s aware of every artist “loss of inspiration”.

My Tim Burton problem is the pattern “cult and original and so different”, but the… mainstream way. It’s a bit like the goth culture problem, they feel and dress “so different” but the whole thing is always the same and predictable (clothes, music, moods) AND they always gather to be… together.

So: mist, black things, cemeteries, weird trees, etc. Burtonesque.

Sometimes it’s marvelous (Nightmare Before Christmas!), most of the time I roll my eyes, sigh (Alice, etc).

Thanks for reading!

PS : Grammarly doesn’t work properly in the new WordPress “block” editor. Any clue to make it work?

PS 2 : http://www.theindierockplaylist.com/

Wave’s Summit & Jogging Men : Chronicle 61

You take a break at work : quiet or yelling laughing?

Meeting games : quiet and watching or screaming answers to win a cap?

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Historians, in the future, will talk about our time as the “Displacement Compulsion Epoch”.

Some of the “greatest” things today are linked to displacement : traveling, having a car, and many leisure activities are displacements (jogging, biking, trekking).

Did our grand-fathers jog?

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A good ambiance can not be decreed.

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Resistance to change is a well documented management problem.

There are books and web pages about “How to deal with resistance to change”! People fight, find reasons to refuse, explain why it “won’t work”, they hide doing old procedures, “it was better before”, etc. Well, that’s resistance!

The solutions to overcome this are always the same : to get people involved, to change in little steps, to train people, etc.

What is funny is when the change was stupid, and a failure, when the staff was right to resist.

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I’m more interested, for sure, in “Sabotage in Reverse” : how to work well against your hierarchy when they’re wrong.

Hmmm

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A map is not the territory, right ? And digits are not reality.

They “measure” things, but miss the most important things, the subtilities and complexity of life, the changes along the day, etc.

=====

What are Micro-Categories and when do we need them?

=====

When do we dive into a wave before it summits?

=====

Music is a pleasure of life, and it’s useful too. There are musics “for”.

  • Music which can give birth to images. Imaginary landscapes or anything. Images.
  • Music decor
  • Challenging musics : you don’t understand. You need explanations. Or books. Exploration.
  • Music can help you to work, to focus, to give brain energy.
  • Dancing in your house.
  • Musics for remembrance. Memories.

Thanks for reading!

Repeated Roses & Weird Epiphanies : Chronicle 60

I love Gerstrude Stein because of her rose. Wiki says : The sentence “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” was written by Gertrude Stein as part of the 1913 poem “Sacred Emily”. Stein says :

“Now listen! I’m no fool. I know that in daily life we don’t go around saying ‘is a … is a … is a …’ Yes, I’m no fool; but I think that in that line the rose is red for the first time in English poetry for a hundred years.”

What do we do to “bring back the taste of something”?

ooooo

ooooo

Cabourg is a little city near the sea, in Normandy, France. Yessss it’s near the D-Day beaches : you should visit this one day. It’s near Deauville. Very… Proustian.

I’ve been there one whole week, with family’s family in a huge house, like a big dozen of adults and children. I had to go out, took pictures and drifted in the city.

In ears : Hindemith! For a long time, he’s been like the perfect composer for me. Not as gigantic/complex as Mahler. Not as dark as Bartok. Not as sharp as Stravinsky. It was modern and melancholic. It was “constantly mutating” but mellow. Like, yes, movie music.

I had these two pieces, and they are associated to the city in my mind forever :

ooooo

We all have “Increased Reality Glasses” in our head. We give importance to things, and we forget what they are “in reality”. When you realize it in a weird epiphany, many things become absurd, from auto racing to sex.

This can happen when I read books about history, full of destinies like “he did this and that, then died, then…”.

ooooo

What happens when someone tells you : “You’re not enough this”, or “You’re too much that”?

Is it true? Is it manipulation (for what purpose)? To hurt you? Is it an opinion? Is there a real will to change you? Is it possible?

ooooo

Bovarysme is a term derived from Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (1857). It denotes a tendency toward escapist daydreaming in which the dreamer imagines himself or herself to be a hero or heroine in a romance, whilst ignoring the everyday realities of the situation. The eponymous Madame Bovary is an example of this.

ooooo

I’d love to

ooooo

I read one day an article written by a guy who had to meet an executive for a long interview.

After this interview, he kept worrying about something. Something was wrong, or at least unusual. But what was it?

Then he realized.

This man, for a whole hour, never looked at his phone.

He was “with him”, all along.

Thanks for reading!

Ambiguity & Types : Chronicle 59

A few years ago I read an interview of a teacher, he was smart and interesting. The last question from the journalist triggered a shift, though. What was bothering him? His answer was a surprise. It was something like:

“What bothers me is that in every class I taught in my career I found the same typology, with very little variations : in every classroom of 15 years old students, you find a sporty, a fat kid, a funny idiot, an angry rebel, an introvert girl, a shy blond, a dreamer, a goth, a nerd. That’s boring!”.

“I empty my head in front of stupid TV”.

Hmmm?

How TF do you translate a Style? There’s a witchy case:

Marguerite Duras was a French writer with a very special style. It’s difficult… even to define it! And of course it’s a part of her wizardry.

It’s between spoken language and a modest incantatory style. It’s full of mistakes, like a dyslexic person with strokes of genius. It’s gorgeous, blazing and magic… and completely quirky at the same time.

Therefore when you read Duras you have to let go something, a logical normal way to accept narration. It’s audacious, fascinating, it swallows you in a strange, new rhythm – a words-witch!

I really wonder how people in the USA consider the people of other states

I wanted to write an article about “mean quotes about women”. Here are some :

Women show up and they cling to you and they destroy you
Thomas Bernhard

Beware when you’re caught in a woman’s dreams
Gilles Deleuze

What does that mean? That these guys were afraid? Afraid of what? A power? Are men defenseless?

I read a book about ambiguity in architecture, therefore I wanted to write “At once This and That, the pleasure of ambiguity”.

Ambiguity is when you can’t decide if this is something or something else. In buildings : a window, a corridor, stairs, everything can be two things at the same time.

Of course it TELLS something, that some architects want, seek this. They hate minimalism, the obvious “clean” thing. They love what I think is the essence of modernity :

To make something to make people wonder and smile, instead of making people say “Ohhh that’s beautiful”.

Zola about Manet

Of course I love this! Things (and us) can be this AND that, we can juxtapose, rotate, double-fonction, adapt. It’s enrichment, intelligence, faces. A door can decorate. A cook can be a musician. The superfluous is necessary…

Haecceity

Incompleteness gives untranquility.

  • Game of desires (I want what I don’t have), I buy it, it kills desire for a moment. A loop and a dodge.
  • Incompleteness born from boredom : “what can I do I don’t know what to do something is lacking but what”.
  • Media pressure to be rich or famous or happy.
  • Desire to be valued by people around, or… the world, and nobody really cares.
  • Linked to “lost childhood”, nostalgia from great old days that didn’t even exist.
  • Fado, Saudade…

How to adapt? What is adaptation? When is it positive, or negative?

Thanks for reading!

A Note of Love & the Traveler’s Castle : Chronicle 58

Opening up your lunch finding a note of love inside.

oOo

oOo

Nasreddin Hodja was a Sufi in the old times of muslim countries. He is well known today as an Archetype of the Wise and Silly.

He appears in thousands of stories (you’ll find entire books of them, and a few on his Wiki).

oOo

There are so many ways to be a tourist. You can follow orders and fall in every tourist-trap, travel in groups like sheeps, or you can be an explorer, a samurai, or you can be the philosopher, drifting in the world, the nose in the wind.

But one traveler is always in his castle: his mind.

oOo

When someone wants to hurt you, he will define you, that’s a rule of non “nonviolent communication”. Someone defines you and you’re angry for two reasons :

  1. It simplifies you, putting you in a box
  2. It places you “under”, like you’re not enough this, or that

“You’re lazy!”, or “you’re like your mother!” are good example. It’s a great way to be mean!

Always answer with “It’s your opinion”. Nobody can “define” me.

oOo

Do you prefer movies which tell or movies which show?

oOo

In the infinite game of separating human beings in two parts (Sugar or salt? Introvert or extrovert? Tea or coffee? Cat or dog?), there’s one I love :

Do you focus on details or on the “big picture”?

This simple question tells a lot about someone. Do you like textures, or a landscape? A gesture, or a project? Do you watch what happens know, or within a whole life?

oOo

What is a year ending like this :

oOo

Are there some disapproving glances in your life? How to shield?

oOo

I can begin with a game : I Google “Find Happiness”, and read a bunch of plywood advice from smartasses like :

“Find happiness inside of you, not with others”

Awww!! Inside of me? Where?

But also we read that the real wisdom is :

“Real happiness is found in action and absorption in the Now, rather than endlessly worrying how to be happy”

Hmmm, sounds good too. Okay.

oOo

“Be free, a way”. OK, but which way is it?

The rhythm changes at 1’36”, comes sayin’ : go walking, watch around, try. No?

This is the same music played by Flaming Lips (thanks to YouTube) :

Hmmm lyrics :

Did good, baby
So we can go
The time right now
Thing is

The sun shines now
But we’re so alone
It’s not, tis not
The light
That shines

The way, away
My heart can beat
Be free and go
Our days
Are empty

Is the love the god
That we control?
To try to trust
The pain

The sun shines now
But we can’t…

Thanks for reading!

Small Units Speed & Ways of Escaping : Chronicle 57

“A very trying summer”? I found this in a Willa Cather short stories book. Who “tried” what?

Dictionaries give me the French “éprouvant” (punishing, demanding, grueling), which comes from “épreuve” (ordeal, hardship).

Question : is “trying” colored with “he tried”, or is it, for English speaker, like another word?

oOo

There’s a whole continent to explore : idioms of a language.

In French, if someone asks you something and there’s NO WAY you give it to them, we say “Des clous !” (“Some nails!”) while you say “No way” or “Nothing doing” (which I like a lot).

When something’s fabulous, I hear you say “the cat’s meow” (or whiskers), and I think “aaaawwwww”.

oOo

Today, web pages are all somethered with Java and PHP. I’m an old fool and in 1993 I was writing my blog in HTML without any editor. Raw. As French is full of accents, it was much worse than you can imagine :

The word “hétérogénéité” needed : hétérogénéité, yeah. I don’t tell you about the tables and charts. It was a mess to code that!

As I type, I was very fast, and my hands, today, remember the sequence “é” very well.

But at this time, I was getting some emails from guys asking me what was my secret to have “so fast display”. Well, nothing more than HTML, that all.

Make it simple. Decrease sophistication. Small fast units. It’s a little tool.

I remember Robert Fripp thinking about that, against big pop groups’s tours, with dozens of trucks. He preferred small fast groups.

What do we gain?

oOo

My fantasy is to explore the States of America in a slantoblique way. Maybe I should visit Bowbells, after all?

One day I was talking about that with a friend, living near Seattle. I asked her : WHY don’t you take the train to go to San Francisco?

In France, the “train thing” is more important. TGV (Trains Grande Vitesse) go 190 miles/h and I can cross my whole country in train in less than 6 hours.

From Seattle to San Francisco by train, I checked : 22h, 1300 km, it’s taller than France itself!

How can I explain? My brain watches the map, and like refuses to get that USA is bigger than that. Of course I knowww the distances and that France is smaller that Texas alone!

oOo

Warfare, strategy, tactics, yeah, you know the Art of War, and that it’s useful out of the field of war, too, blah blah blah : in a couple, in a group, sports, trial, business of course : these “applications outside the military” are fascinating, right?

There are many other Chinese strategy books. The best is probably The Thirty-Six Stratagems. Very interesting in itself AND in the way our mind wants to apply them elsewhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-Six_Stratagems

oOo

There are many sorts of humor, and it’s funny to sort and categorize them. I like when humor is to “say the truth” : Demetri Martin & Dilbert are two examples.

I like sports bars. Sports bars are great because they collect all the people I don’t want to hang out with and put them in one room. I’m not against sports. I don’t have a problem with sports. I’m just not good at them. I’m not coordinated. I’m not drawn to sports. I don’t even look like someone who could spend time in a sports bar. I have a very punchable face in a sports bar.

I set a personal record on Christmas. I got my shopping done three weeks ahead of time. I had all the presents back in my apartment. I was halfway through wrapping them and I realized ‘Damn, I used the wrong wrapping paper.’ The paper I used said “Happy Birthday.” I didn’t want to waste it, so I just wrote ‘Jesus’ on it.

oOo

One of the best games is to “find a common structure, then differences between things”. Find examples.

oOo

When is it you have to work well against your hierarchy? You need a mask. You have to forget about your need of approval, play the hierarchy play, knowing its principles, invent your own laws and principle. Loneliness and autonomy, samurai. It’s exhausting though.

oOo

Who likes your little enthusiasms?

oOo

What kind of burning tryingness is there? What are ways of escaping?

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

Radioactive Bees & a Conquistador : Chronicle 56

Who are the musicians you always come back to? Genesis and Mike Olfield, Pink Floyd and King Crimson, Blonde Redhead and Röyksopp, Brahms and Schubert. Like… if I had to “check” something, each time.

oOo

oOo

And there are some you keep coming back to… to explore, like Mahler (Sy 2 Part 2 as a cursed Waltz, Sy 4’s strange violin), or the ECM label : these are like continents to never finish to explore, discovering parts or mapping them, or deepening, digging, reading about to understand.

oOo

Currently with Egberto Gismonti‘s discography. Hmm… no. I go back to Eno’s Thursday Afternoon as a place of feather.

oOo

Conquistador is pierced, explorer lost, betrayed or imprudent?

oOo

In my “French toolbox”, I present tools for the mind, little tools. I really like to find structures, and patterns. You’ll find many books about tools. Some of them are from spirituality and self help, some other about manipulation and power. How to “win”. How to become a shark

Sun Tzu, for example, or “The Power” (Greene) are all about power, how to win, destroy an opponent. The war like an Art, a way to unfold invention, with tricks and knacks.

I should article about these, maybe one day – could be called “Mean Tools“, though this sounds unfair. Hmm. “Mean tools to use gently”?

oOo

oOo

In France when you write down a shoppin list you’ll add PH for Papier Hygiénique (for toilet paper – maybe you write TP in English?), or more often PQ, and why is that? We call it “papier cul”, ass-paper (AP?). Thus, we say : “Pécu”.

oOo

Thinking about Talk Talk‘s Shame and Tears for Fears‘ Shout, two “hymns” I had in ears when I was a young man. I remember that for Shout, the composer wrote all night long, knowing he “had something”.

The tropism : “I work and suddenly I know I have something big” is something to explore in the history of arts. What if it was a mistake? How to read it, as the result of big work? Chance? Acuteness?

oOo

Sshhh…

oOo

There’s an old classic in self help and psychology, which is that abandonment in childhood becomes dependancy in adulthood. These sound very much too easy (and it’s vague enough to be applied on every life), but, well…

Dependancy becomes here a mask, an armour against the fear of feeling the fiery bite of abandonment. It provides a frame. It can be cigarette, a constant need of approval, sex, sports, any dependancy, seen there has almost a shelter.

oOo

what happens when we seek coincidences

oOo

Words are “radioactive bees”, they move all the time, they irradiate meanings. When a bee watches herself into the mirror of another language, her image is blurry, multiple. She flies away, and the image hesitates to.

Yesterday I watched a bee : “Incentive“. Inducement. Motivation. Reward. So I was a bit lost. I wanted to write something about the fact that a good motivation, in life, was a genuine curiosity from the person you love.

But I wanted to express something about stimulation. It’s not even “seeked”, it’s a rush in a work one can get because you have someone in front of you asking actual questions. You get a fire, a light in eyes, because of the bond, and all, etc, etc.

Bzz bzz bzz.

oOo

Like a dream
the butterfly
in my fingers

oOo

To follow my previous article about carpentry/marquetry, I’d add this tool, which is to choose the other art, as a source of lateral thinking. If you’re blocked, stay on it, but choose a tool you don’t know very well. You’ll find, there.

Here are my articles tagged “Change” :

https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/tag/change/

Thanks for reading!

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 9

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 9

 

How can people binge?

When I watched Stranger Things, it was one episode a day. The pleasure came from waiting for the next one. Also from… digesting each one, right?

In a restaurant, I take my time, I sip wine and I talk. I don’t eat everything in 5 minutes!

I was the type of kid who takes his time to eat the ice-cream, not the one who gobbles it down (gobble down or up?) in ten seconds.

I just watched Carnival Row, one episode a day. It’s very finely written, and it’s a joy to think and wait and assimilate the developements…

Yesterday, I began Tales from the Loop, calm, mysterious, different, elegant.

 

***

Things to read if you’re bored but like it here :

https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/category/chronicle/

 

***

There’s a Z movie named Piranhaconda – I watched the trailer, that was enough, right? I IMDBd it to find out many, many others low budget movies about stupid monsters (often with a shark, by the way). There’s a shark-octopus, a sharkenstein, a tornado of sharks, that was a very fun hour to explore this!

 

***

I remember the lukewarm winds of June. I’m 15 and the few last weeks of school year break something in me. Air’s warm, the sky is curiously blank, white, lukewarm, dazzling, boring. An emptiness. Cotton, sad cotton. With the climate change, this weathermood is here today, in April.

 

***

There were an interesting row of articles about social medias and how they put one in a “bubble” where we only read people who think like us. You can google “online social media bubble” to find examples.

NBC : “Seeing conflicting opinions in your feed causes psychological discomfort : not seeing them creates a warped reality.”

  1. It seems it can be caused by ourselves : we thumb along our feeds and purge it from imbeciles (“How could I follow that?”) – which are mainly those who don’t think like us politically 🙂
  2. But I also read about algorithms : medias want you to be pleased, therefore they want to show you.

I should dig and brook the idea (can I say that?) that I’m probably like everybody affected by that.

(I’m a little intrigued by the verb “to brook” – what’s the difference with “to bear”? How to use it?)

Also, I regularly follow and explore feeds of people on Twitter, fascinated. Exploring Twitter with hashtags is a good exercise. I did it with #floridamorons today, reading the both sides, detecting complexities…

 

***

So I just finished Bill Bryson’s “One Summer: America, 1927”, a crazy year for sure, meeting prohibition, Lindbergh and Babe Ruth, Rushmore mont and Ford, Sacco & Vanzetti…

Wiki says Bryson “helps the reader to understand life and the universe as integrated wholes and yet simultaneously as variegated collections of details.”.

Interesting and hilarious at times, it’s also a bit bitter, because the end of the books tells us how all these people died one by one, decade after decade. Life sounds sometimes really like a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. You read about all these people and their acts, and hop, six feet under. Made me think a lot.

And oh, these unbelievable presidents before Roosevelt !

That put me in front of that : I can tell things about US presidents after the war (and remember things – I was born in 66), but nothing before Roosevelt. There begins a dark blurry territory : Hoover, Coolidge, Harding…

So now I’m reading a classic : Allsop’s The Bootleggers. Oh my, a crazy era! The perfect example of an idea which sounded great and had the worst consequences…

 

***

I write more and more in Quora.com – in French, it changes me from here, and it’s a pleasure to share what I learned. I shoud’ve been a teacher 😉

 

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Stay safe ! Thanks for reading!

 

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 8

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 8

Reckless ou irresponsible?

Confinement makes us TRY to understand others. I can really get that some guys become crazy without running everyday. In some parts of France (like in Paris), it’s forbidden to jog from 10 AM to 7 PM – to provide some quietness for the rare people who have to go outside to refill the fridge. So, well, they run before, and after. Good.

I never understood runners, though I tried. Is it just a way to get outside, get some air and some change? Or a goal for health (“I’m bored running like an idiot but it’s good for my body”)? Or a drug thing : waiting for the “after” moment, when one slops down in their sofa, drowned in pleasure endorphins?

Out on the plain, running like hell

Or stupid questions about exploding domestic violence in confinement times : “How come people marry violent men? Was this inner trait really invisible at the time?”. Yeah, I suppose, and I shut up.

Questions, questions. What about these three Types?

  • The first is the proud strong halfwit hammerhead, standing on “Nobody tells me what to do!”.
  • The two is the young moronic featherhead, vaguely laughing, partying all night in crowds.
  • The three is the exhilarated religious boss, “God protects us from coronavirus” (with the help of certain psalms, probably). Churchurlishness…

Then death comes around. With this disease, you just drown, suffocated. It’s the sad concept of “too late regret”. It’s universal, in all countries.

Empathically, trying to understand people. It’s a discipline!

***

To write this I had big laughs with the English synonyms of “idiot” (adjective or noun). I get the nuances (in violence or funnyness), but I really don’t know about chucklehead, goon, halfwit or schmuck. I guessed about the rustic countryside colors of oaf, yokel, lout. But what about bungler, klutz, simpleton or churl? Words are linked with bad manners, others with ungainliness or ways of sitting.

When one ESL like me begins to dig into a vocabulary field, even a funny field like this one, there’s a feeling of terrible loss : I know nothing!

***

Yesterday I watched Episode 2 of Carnival Row, with pen and paper – in English with English subs. In less than an hour, I wrote unknown nuggets : aught, lively, hoof, ghastly, quackery, snug, squander, shuddering, passerby, beget, shrine, pall, to preen.

Pfff !

Then I search : aught in “For aught I know!”, lively in an order : “Now go!”, hoof for the foot of horse but also as a verb (the GREAT “She had a flat tire, she had to hoof it to work”), and if ghastly is dreadful or horrible, what’s the difference?, and is snug comfortable or tight-fitting (positive or negative radioactivity?), and squander and waste? Is a pall a coffin? What’s that interesting verb, to pall (a domain, a person?), or to cast a pall over? Etc, etc.

I love it, but it’s exhausting!

***

I watched Underwater (2020) – a group of scientists at the bottom of the ocean encounters creatures after an earthquake destroys their laboratory. Everybody seems to hate this movie (because it looks like Alien, or because many people hate Kristen Stewart). Stewart is great, the beginning is surprising, the monster is Cthulhu-esque, and it’s very stressful. Cons? Some strange ellipses, a so-so sense of locations, scrambled lights at times. The characters (and the way we meet them, the way they talk) are strangely realistic, it’s also a problem (we don’t know them enough, maybe). I’d give a 6/10.

***

If you’re alone and not allowed to go, you have to find something to explore. Today let’s think about battles.

Interesting battles, what are they? You have to choose one, which IS an activity.

You can choose a star, like the D-Day, Austerlitz or Gettysburg. I’d choose elsewhere. Antietam or Wagram.

Then begins your researches. What’s history around? Who are the generals? The opposing forces? What about the battlefield, the terrain? Phases? Prelude? Ending? Events? Aftermath?

But also : where to find maps? What books to read? History? Remembrances (of whom : officers or soldiers?)? Where is the place today? Is there a way to go visit it? Is there a forum on the Web, where people who know this battle could help you?

There’s an editor I know : https://ospreypublishing.com/ – they have numerous leaflets about many battles.

It should get you busy for a few days…

Thanks for reading! Sorry for my English…

Stay safe!

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Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 7

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 7

 

Again, funny to see the whole planet becoming “more balanced”, and massively. Super rich sportsmen or business bosses giving up indecent money, people getting sick pay, health and other important workers being paid more… With…

…positive consequences, less noise, less pollution, less tourists, people thinking and having time, instead of running everywhere like fools.

 

***

Serendipity lead me to listen to Mozart‘s 14th piano concerto, played Maria Joao Pires.

I’m a Brahms & Schubert lover, and my tendency is to walk along time, exploring other XIXth and XXth century composers. Therefore, I need to make an effort to listen to Beethoven, and even more to Mozart. I hear the clichés, I often guess “what will happen” in the music, etc.

But my experience, my love and constant exploration of Schubert today (instead of, for example, Bartok), I’m now capable of hearing some magic in the weave

 

***

Watched a Blu-ray : The Leopard (1963).

The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860’s Sicily.

So cleverly done that it lets you in turmoil and ecstasy. Such finer points in the dialogs and acting… Masterpiece!

51z13svOECL._AC_SY445_.jpg

After All the President’s Men (with Jason Robards) and The Leopard (with Claudia Cardinale), the next movie will be Once Upon a Time in the West (with both). I love to create chains with movies… (and it’s, like The Leopard, directed by an Italian).

Chains of Movies Wandering

***

Some analysts imagine that this epidemic will change society, in these terms :

  1. De-globalization. Some things have to be decided and producted inside the country (medicine, for example).
  2. Rise of public expenses to help employment and companies.
  3. Understanding that the whole population has to have healthcare and that a country’s health system should… heal people instead of making profit.

…like some plans after WWWars, for example. Well we’ll see.

 

***

I found this name : Rita Streich; here she is in the Musetta’s Waltz Song. A fascinating voice, new to me. Like coming from an old time…

 

***

One can’t stop wondering WHY are there so many cruise boats in activity, knowing that “The World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020“.

 

***

“Any port in a storm”, it’s an easy-to-understand idiom, but it’s very new to me. It contains some philosophy, right?

Maybe “might makes right”, or nécessité fait loi (necessity make law, or rules) for… what must be done must be done…

 

***

Here’s a quote from Paul Valéry :

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.

And this one :

En matière de discussion, j’appelle adversaires honorables, ceux qui ne tiennent pas tant à “avoir raison” qu’à améliorer leur organisation d’esprit, qui preferent leur esprit à leur amour-propre.

In terms of discussion, I call honorable adversaries, those who are not so much interested in “being right” as in improving their organization of mind, who prefer their mind to their self-esteem.

 

 

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

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Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 6

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 6

 

Jünger writes :

It seems that in particularly looted regions, one found refuge in arts like in lifeboats, mostly in poetry and music.

 

***

Types of confinements? Sometimes we look like prisoners of course, or castaways, shipwrecked sailors (oh I read so many books about this “type”, very curious about what they did and how), but also otakus, those people who do not want social contact at all, hermits, waldgängers

But I prefer to place myself in the role of these two guys in Jünger’s fable On the Marble Cliffs : the narrator and his brother live in a hermitage, a closed retreat, a life of refinements and quietness, with plenty of books and a garden. Outside, there’s a village and surrounding hills, “who feel increasing pressure from the unscrupulous and lowly followers of the dreaded head forester”… Brrr!

 

***

New words I discovered yesterday : bollix (but, verb or noun?), stake (but, wager, and bet??).

Each new word is like a “hole plugged” and filled, and in the same time it appears like an enigma, a radioactive element full of questions : When do people use this? What is the difference between it and its synonyms? Etc…

 

***

This epidemic made me think about Social Medias. To find informations, accounts, opinions…

  1. Facebook is useless. Who uses the search bar here? And if you find a good text from a doctor on the web, do you ask him as a friend on Facebook to follow him ? Nope. It’s just fun, voilà.
  2. Twitter is better but need constant adjustments, I love the way I find new persons and things through retweets.
  3. Reddit is great, à ma grande surprise, because it’s moderated. There you can follow a person, but you mostly follow a subject.

There are really useless and hilarious and interesting SubReddits, like /aww, /damnthatsinteresting, /kamikazebywords, /technicallythetruth, /oddlystatisfying, /birdsforscale or /catsstandingup, or /hmm.

https://www.reddit.com/r/CatsStandingUp/

 

***

I think it’s a common human law : people don’t really think, and they feel invincible. When the epidemic began to expand out of China, if you were a minimum informed you knew you had to buy some food, wash your hand, and avoid crowds.

I began to follow the /coronavirus Reddit and read accounts of young guys in Italy telling that they were mocked if they wore a mask. “It’s just a flu” will become a phrase people will remember in the future, as a symbol of hurdy-gurdy-stupidity. Today they have almost one thousand deaths per day, in Italy…

Today we hear about Spring Break parties or about guys in the world arguing like “Nobody will tell me what to do and when to do it”. These things shall pass, for two reasons :

  1. Stupidity and not listening, with consequences (maybe regrets)
  2. “No Choice”, sadly, with consequences too

When in India or Mexico or Africa we have confinement, people have to go out because they are not paid if they don’t work, or they massively move to go home (which is far elsewhere), or it’s so crowded in cities that when you go erranding, you’re packed, want it or not.

 

***

In the constant irony of life, there’s religion. In many place on the planet – and each one has its own “God”, right? – religious gatherings lead to explosions/disseminations of cases, therefore deaths. Very curious to see this range of religious or conservative milieus – because what? Hmmm. Example in France :

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-france-church-spec/special-report-five-days-of-worship-that-set-a-virus-time-bomb-in-france-idUSKBN21H0Q2

 

 

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

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Have a nice day! Stay safe!

 

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 5

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 5

There’s one newsletter I follow, more professional, by the MIT, it’s here :

https://forms.technologyreview.com/coronavirus-tech-report/

***

Watched a duo, great movies : The Post (Spielberg – 2017), and All the President’s Men (Pakula – 1976), same newspaper (Washington Post), same executive editor (Ben Bradlee, by Tom Hanks and Jason Robards). Interesting concepts (freedom of the press, sources, decisions, investigation methods), strongly increased by this pleasure : comparison between the films. The bonuses on the Blu-rays are fantastic!

When the pleasure is in the comparison

In a way, the second movie is the following of the first, though it’s been directed 40 years before. I LOVE to couple movies, like Fellini‘s 8 1/2 and Allen‘s Stardust Memories. It can be a remake, or a ‘connected’ film – which is the case here.

***

When I was a teenager I suddenly understood why music was so… pleasantly toxic to me sometimes, with Ennio Morricone or Mike Oldfield for example. I know people love music for different reasons – energy, memories, genre, a voice, virtuosity, lyrics. My reason is the pleasure given by modulations.

I found an article in French, you don’t have to read it, just click on the two YouTube movies. The guy gives examples of typical “Floating Harmonies” invented by John Williams in Harry Potter or Indiana Jones. It’s here : https://compositiondemao.com/harmonies-flottantes/

You have have an… unexpected torsion in the middle of it, before it goes back to normal.

Williams does this all the time, it brings magic to a melody, therefore you can’t forget it. The Vader (The Imperial March) theme is based on this trick :

On this page ( https://www.leandrogardini.com/single-post/2017/02/12/The-Williams-Modulating-Themes ) , watch the Minority Report (first movie). His “Floating Harmonies” decisions make him modulate the melody (at 0’56”, 1’45”, 2,07″).

This makes me think that Morricone and Williams are the best movie music composers. This makes me adore Joni Mitchell, Mike Oldfield, Abba, Röyksopp, or… Puccini!

  1. Modulating Solos : The Pat Metheny Swervy Syndrome
  2. The Strong Liquors of Dissonances
  3. “Pick the Quarter Best”, a Quincy Jones pattern
  4. Passages, Modulations, Transitions
  5. The Abba/Puccini syndrome

Of course I’m interested in… what would be a modulation elsewhere, in poetry or architecture, literature or blogging…

***

So I read that Miles Davis is the Pablo Picasso of Jazz, like Federico Fellini is the Picasso of movie makers. If you’re bored, this is a trio : there’s material here for a couple of months.

***

Agnes Obel, again. In the vast terrible ocean of soft female voices with a piano, she’s with her cousin Vienna Teng. Here she sings with a male voice (which is herself with treatments), it’s delicate and sophisticated, and I love the mysterious lyrics…

Hmm, there are floating harmonies here, right?

For our love is a ghost that the others can’t see

***

My godfather passed on this week. It is a mess for the funeral (only 20 persons allowed). He was in his nineties, and he sometimes talked to me about when he was a kid when Germans occupied his village, the coming of the Americans after the D-Day in the summer of 1944. My father was an orphan when he was a little boy, and Ernest was next to him for years to help…

He’s the guy on the bike :

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Thanks for reading! Stay inside!

JP

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 4 – Cheesers & Chocolaters

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 4

 

This morning I read about a little family whose daddy’s a stressed man who can not function properly if he doesn’t run his good 12 km (7.5 miles) everyday, thus he watches TV all day long.

This made me think about boredom, with the consecutive metaphors we find on the social medias – confinement is like being in a prison (home), or in an animal in a zoo.

I wrote this article – Big Boredom – about the ways people find to fight.

  1. Evasion, with pills, alcohol or drugs?
  2. Engagement, with politics or religion, rules?
  3. Moderation, with culture, knowledge, watching the world?
  4. Pushing limits, with speed, danger, exploration?

One seems possible with booze (how do you buy drugs if you’re not allowed to go outside?), but without seeing people and staying inside, it could lead to disaster, right? Two is possible on the Internet, with the ridiculous risk to become an angry fool wanting to change others (hahaha). Three sounds wise. And Four is out of the question – or maybe you can throw yourself into domestic bodybuilding (push-ups).

 

***

Heroes are people working in hospitals. But some other heroes are those who go on working because they are essential to society : delivery guys, cashiers, funeral people, mailmen…

Some companies in France will pay 1000 Euros ($1076) for this month to employees who kept working during this crisis. And next month?

 

***

OK there’s a new hashtag : #quarantinediaries

I found an interesting article about how hashtags are misused :

 

***

We alternate movies. One evening is for happy, funny, easy movies, the other evening is for a bit more serious movies. We don’t binge. I find it awful, exhausting.

Yesterday we watched a children movie, “The Secret Life of Pets 2“. It immediately came to me that it was a film for children… made for children.

Most Pixar movies are, for example, children movies made for adults, or “made also for adults”. Many little boys ADORE “Cars”, but don’t understand the plot :

While traveling for the final race of a Cup against, the famous Lightning McQueen accidentally damages the road of a small town and is sentenced to repair it. McQueen has to work hard and finds friendship and love in the simple locals, changing its values during his stay, and becoming a true winner.

Two-years-olds adore. Lightning McQueen, fast car! (that’s all). Many kids like characters and a few twists and turns, but they simply don’t understand the movie. It’s often the case with Star Wars…

Here, the plot is simple, the characters are cute, it’s full of colors, the evil character is simple, and… it’s fun!!

I always watch this dial in movies for kids : where’s the “adult dial” here, where is it?

 

***

There’s a scandal in France concerning a diary written Leila Slimani, for whom the quarantine is a “fairy tale”. Confinement when you have a country house is cool, it’s like a big holiday, she watches the horizon. If you want to read some French, Google her name + “journal”. For example :

https://www.marianne.net/debattons/billets/journal-du-confinement-la-vie-un-peu-trop-rose-de-leila-slimani

https://diacritik.com/2020/03/19/le-journal-de-confinement-de-leila-slimani-est-un-conte-cruel/

 

***

The medias like to show idiots in malls with dozens of toilet paper packs. Hoarding, panic buying. Yeah, that’s too much, but if you’re informed and know that you’ll be quarantined, you have to “stock up” food. I began way way before the decision – I was just watching how things were moving – I was buying double at the moment : cans, rice, who knows. I don’t have a car thus I had to, little by little.

This disease is a mess. If you need a respirator, you’re intubated for 3 weeks! I read Chinese diaries. You don’t get the virus if you don’t get out at all.

Confined, you are allowed to go errand, but, well, let’s do it the less possible, OK? Therefore, you fill your car, go home, and stay there. That’s not hoarding, that’s normal!

Yesterday I’ve seen a man walking in the street with a single French baguette. Come on, guys!

 

***

A writer here made a Twitter survey : what, apart from alcohol which is non-negotiable, is the food you have to stock up? It seems that two camps appeared :

  1. Cheesers
  2. Chocolaters

 

You? 😉

 

***

It is true that we all look like people in Hopper’s painting…

 

***

I met two Latin expressions recently :

Hic Sunt Dragones

Wiki : Here be dragons” means dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a medieval practice of putting illustrations of dragons, sea monsters and other mythological creatures on uncharted areas of maps where potential dangers were thought to exist.

  • I thought that we were today in a Hic Sunt Dragones state in the world. Uncharted territory!
  • I thought also about… when you are in the beginning of exploring a new cultural field (Italian cinema? Civil War battles? Picasso’s sculptures?). This state of hungriness.
  • I thought about when we begin a new love story. We are then… deterritorialized, right?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_be_dragons

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Wiki : Sic Transit Gloria Mundi” is a Latin phrase that means “Thus passes the glory of the world”.

So it’s said as a reminder of the transitory nature of life and earthly honors. Therefore it could also be “Memento mori” (remember that you must die), This too shall pass, and Vanitas. There’s a whole development about Memento Mori on Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic_transit_gloria_mundi

Wherewhen do people use these? I should Google it a little to find out…

In the end : nunc est bibendum (now is the time to drink)

 

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

 

 

729px-Joseba_Eskubi_Untitled._Oil_on_canvas._2012._46_x_38_cm

Deterritorialization is a funny tool/dial to use!

Mutation Process can’t be stopped

Gilles Deleuze quote : “Lodge yourself on a stratum…

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 3

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 3

 

I live in Lille, a city in the North of France. The neighbor country here is Belgium. When I was young in the eighties, most of university students were listening to Radio 21, a Belgian “music and news” radio, the only one in French – a part of Belgium speaks French – which aired Indie Rock at the time. David Sylvian, Clan of Xymox, but also Marrs, it’s there that I discovered some treasures…

Radio 21 disappeared, split into a radio for teens and another for adults, called Classic 21, which of course I listen – I prefer Pink Floyd, Supertramp and Police than Rihanna or Ed Sheeran.

Yesterday at 8 PM, dinner time and on radio, the news. Something like : “At 8 PM tonight, people in Belgium, confined in their appartments, applaud at their window, together, to say thank you to the nurses and doctors who fight the coronavirus”. I opened my window and immediately heard the whole neighborhood here doing the same.

 

***

The majority of French humans understand the meaning of mandatory “Stay Home”. Only, I’ll be outside every two weeks for food, with my signed paper in my pocket. A few idiots though go on happying on beaches and along rivers, to socialize and see the spring and the sun. One city today (Nice) decide a curfew after 8 PM. Others will probably follow. Many cities including Paris have to close parks for this reason.

 

***

Watched An Officer and a Gentleman, great romantic drama! I searched a little, to find that it’s been directed in Fort Worden, which is in the labyrinth of sea/land NW of Seattle. It’s always interesting to discover “normal” places in American movies, I mean elsewhere than New York City and L.A..

Should re-watch Urban Cowboy (with Debra Winger too).

 

***

Netflix or TV channels or Blu-rays?

I separated my TV from the cable channels in 2000. I was annoyed by the fact that I had to choose from “what was proposed to me”. Even with 400 TV channels, I had to watch what someone decided to air. Nope.

Thus I own a big collection of DVDs, then Blu-rays. I choose what I want, when I want. Netflix and her cronies are for me a lukewarm swamp, where I can choose, OK, but from what?

What if I wanted to watch an old Bergman, or a silent movie from John Ford, or a documentary about Kupka or Joni Mitchell?

 

***

Book : David Lodge autobiography. Music : Mozart Concertos for piano (Perahia).

 

***

I have another blog about photography, where I “try things” about a place, a thing. It’s, therefore, about the idea of variation. Some photographers, admittedly, say that for a given place, there’s only one… place to take a good photography. Of course one is tempted to shake their head, but I admit it makes me think. Here it is :

https://qeht.photo.blog/

Locked home, joggers and duck hunters are sad, but readers and photographers are not. They can play home.

 

***

I read in a Claude Roy diary, as he’s around 70 years old, that he would like to reach this season, this state : “Le temps du cœur triste et de l’esprit gai” – the time of the sad heart and the merry spirit.

What could that mean?

 

Have a nice day! Stay safe!

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