Big Statements & Science of Bullshittery

Big Talkey, Little Doey

We all have a friend, this friend, promising after a drinking night, from a hangovering moody mouth : “I will never drink anymore”.

Yeah yeah yeah…

Hearing “big statements” is sometimes a little embarrassing.

What do you answer to “I never lie”, or “my couple is perfect”, or “I will love him forever”? Nothing : you just… nod in agreement, right?

 

What does it mean? What does it say? What does it show? 

The Science of Bullshittery should be written!

You have to study the bigstatementers, but also their audience.

“I stop smoking tomorrow” leaves the audience in a skeptical mood. “I’m writing a novel” goes the same – writers rarely say to anyone who would listen that they’re writing a book. They just write…

Sadder : when someone says : “I live a happy life”. You’re like “Oh, come on… Why would one NEED to proclaim that?”. We all know that we all struggle at times, and that we are happy sometimes, too. There’s no need for bigstatementery here, unless you…

 

Thus, hearing Big Statements invites you to think. Maybe you have to do as if you were believing them. Maybe you should show empathy and ask for subtleties. Maybe just say : “Let’s talk about it”. Being sarcastic doesn’t help. It rarely does.

In A Matter of Lever, two years ago, I quoted J. L. Borges (well, I tried to English translate it), who summarizes all of it this way :

 

Not the simplicity, which is senseless, but secret and modest complexity

 

Well, that’s it!

Oh. Efff. Isn’t it a Big Statement? Awweeee…

Have a nice day!

 

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

 

 

Pastures New & Feathers Song : Chronicle 2

Douglas Kennedy says that there are two ways to meet tragedy. The first one is the bad luck coming from nowhere : brain cancer, car accident – among encounters with idiots and traitors. The second one is our own (and sometimes powerful) ways to make bad choices, auto-sabotages and other subtle ways of self destructing.

“Mission : not to be duped by myself” and it is easy to say : we all are, at one moment, pastures new seekers. Et donc…

I bought Libération, the newspaper, because yesterday was the first day of our new president in France. French people are funny, they already complain about this guy. They want change, but every attempt puts the whole country on strike!

Well, he’s been elected, right? He’s 39 years old and I’m 51 today, that’s a bit disturbing ! So I watch all the messy mess and I smile : people will very soon Facebook “Macron Go Away”, like with the previous president. But he won’t go away, for sure. I’d say : shut up and let him work.

I read a long interview with Ridley Scott. He talked about Francis Bacon (the painter) as an inspiration for his chest buster. He talked about The Duellists, so graphically gorgeous (after Barry Lyndon) he was accused by critics of inventing “too beautiful images”. “Fuck off”, he said : “I used no filters!”.

I remember the letters A L I E N in the movie theater when I was a student, and today I went to the cinema to watch Alien Covenant to… do something for my birthday.  In the movies I saw a blowing wink towards Giger (knowers will know) and a surprising re-creation of The Isle of the Dead, by Böcklin. If you want to play with Google, you’ll learn that Giger painted his own version of the painting…

I was a very young man when I saw one of the five Böcklin versions, in le Musée d’Orsay, in Paris. I stopped in front of the gigantic painting for maybe half an hour. Tremendous shock.

Yes I found a white feather just after I bought Libération. My brain said : “??!”. Is a feather is a tool to write, or a symbol?

“The gods weave misfortunes for men, so that the generations to come will have something to sing about.” Mallarmé repeats, less beautifully, what Homer said; “tout aboutit en un livre,” everything ends up in a book. The Greeks speak of generations that will sing; Mallarmé speaks of an object, of a thing among things, a book. But the idea is the same; the idea that we are made for art, we are made for memory, we are made for poetry, or perhaps we are made for oblivion. But something remains, and that something is history or poetry, which are not essentially different.”

Jorge Luis Borges, Seven Nights

Misfortunes towards words. I know better now. Maybe.

Thanks. Good day!

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Keep a part for later – Masterpieces from Masters

If you’re an explorer, you sometimes discover an artist you… adore.

It’s so good that you can’t resist : here you are exploring the whole chest, pigging out the whole thing. We are all lost souls, craving for…

But sometimes you climb “one more degree”. It’s so good that you decide something.

Keep a part for later. More in reserve. Some gas left in the tank.

This is what I did with a few masters : Puccini, Chekhov, Faulkner, Borges, Jünger. Who are yours?

I know Manon and La Bohème by heart, and pretty well some of other Puccini’s operas, like Tosca or Butterfly, and one third of Trittico. Each time I listen to a part of Turandot I’m floored… but I keep it for later!

Chekhov wrote hundreds of short stories. I have shelves of that guy! But I never read “everything”. It’s the same for Jünger or Borges, or Faulkner.

  • Keep the pleasure to discover something new from a Master you love.
  • One day it’s maybe to late : you’re dead. Or you’re not interested any more.
  • You sometimes don’t remember if you read this or that. Even better, right?
  • There’s a middle choice : listen or read once, and then wait for years.
  • Years after, you read or listen… another way.
  • Choose an infinite area. Restaurants in Paris for example. Hmmm?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : hallieartwork

A Matter of Levers

The writer Borges once said that simplicity was senseless and that secret and modest complexity was better.

Therefore, if that is true, and you are wanting to change something – in your life or in your Art, here are two choices of levers to explore with.

•    Increase intensity
•    Increase complexity

Imagine you’re a rapper. You’re entering into a very coded universe with its characteristic ways of putting words to music, but you also want to be interesting.  How do you do it?

Pushing the intensity lever can drive-up your style to: Yelling Rap (decibel voice lever), Hyperfast Rap (speed lever) or Deep Loud Metal Rap (“Let’s choose an anvil sound on the beatbox”). It seems a bit too easy and… nobody does that in rap.  Why?

Pushing the complexity lever leads you to dissonance (Bartokian Rap Music), complex rhythms (I imagine a Rite of Spring Rap, don’t you?), or in voice to change the constant monotony (sung parts, tripled voices, sudden incantations, rages preachoïd, etc), or maybe even evolve into a surrealistic, avant-gardist narration.

Of course you could complexify the complexity by pushing the lever of variability of all the above by adding complexity or adding dissonance throughout the track.

OK.  Let’s move away from music levers and into relationship levers.  Imagine your sex life is becoming a bore.  Which lever will you pull?

Intensity Lever?  Stronger?  Faster?  More frequent?  More partners?  More pain?

Complexity Lever?   Subtlety?  More magic? More dimensions?  Funny tools?  Words?

Tools:  It’s fun to learn what levers the great artists chose in their changing periods of life.  Maybe Intensity and Complexity are helpful levers to everyday problems and in the Arts because they both work to revive stagnation and creative blocks. But which one ?

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