Quarantine & Introverts

I don’t know if many of us will be quarantined, but I already think about it…

I read this morning, about China, that being locked in your apartment with your spouse will “maybe” provide a baby boom this next winter, but in the meanwhile gives two consequences :

  1. Infodemia (too much informations about epidemic dramas) and depression.
  2. Explosion of… divorces.

 

We don’t need a master in psychology to know that many couples go on just because they don’t have time to be with each other. Busy busy busy! That’s OK, we all do what we can, right?

Locked together, toxicity begins to dance around, boredom walks along walls like a tiger in a forgotten cage, back and forth…

I can’t imagine what happens to sports addicts, bikers and runners. They can do push-ups, but well, that’s not enough drug, I suppose.

But for introverts, it’s probably different. Being quarantined with shelves of books and Blu-rays (or with a computer and Internet, if you’re a dematerialized person) looks like holidays…

 

Bah, it’s just a feeling. Spring will come soon and will make all of us (including introverts and other cat persons) in a sudden urgent need of going outside to 1/ run with a dog or 2/ to lie down in the grass to smell the good quiet power of nature growing.

Let’s hope the heat wave will kill the viruses, all of them.

Thanks for reading!

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Passive-Aggressive? Fine!

ONE (behavior)

Passive-aggressive behavior is characterized by a pattern of passive hostility and an avoidance of direct communication”, says Wikipedia.

One specialization of this is the Malicious Compliance, intentionally inflicting harm by strictly following the orders of a superior. This is bad, I know! But who could tell that they’ve not been there?

Here’s a story for you : In France, a few decades ago, during a very cold winter, a private, during his military service, was freezing his arse off at the entrance of a base, shift time. Imagine him holding his rifle, taping his foot on ice and snow. At one moment the base’s big boss nasty general came with his car and parked near the front desk, asking the duty little soldier this : “Private! Come here! My windshield is full of ice. I order you to throw a full bucket of hot water on it, at once!”. Of course, the little soldier opened the faucet and waited for the water to be boiling hot (malicious complicance!) before sparging it (at once) on the glass – which, of course, exploded immediately.

There’s a joy into this, right?

 

TWO (words)

What we see daily, what we read daily, is passive-aggressive tone in words. This is very common these days. You just have to say something gentle, knowing (hoping?) that the other side will understand it’s sarcastic.

“Thank you for cleaning the table! It’s very kind!” to someone who did not, for example – instead of saying : “I’m sad that you didn’t clean it, we should talk about organization”.

The easiest passive-aggressive sentence is pretty common, it’s :

“Fine!”

or

“Whatever!”

…both mean exactly the contrary, right?

 

I really often read passive-aggressive speech on social medias. “Honestly he’s sooo talented it’s so amazing I’m so impressed”. A laughing emoji can help us realize this person writes the contrary of what they think.

“Oh what a great (function) he is!!”…

 

Curiously, there’s no joy (at all) in writing the contrary of one thinks. It says : “I’m too weak to fight, and I’m afraid to say my truth”. It says : “As a matter of fact I don’t want to fix or change anything”. Passive.

 

THREE

But maybe one day someone will grow up, and won’t answer “Fine!”. They’ll answer : “This is not fine, let’s talk about it and decide together something”.

Maybe one day someone will grow up and answer : “I don’t like this, I’m not amazed, nor impressed – let’s find out why”. But now there’s a problem : it’s that the readers are SO used to passive-aggressive tone that they’ll think one just said the contrary! Damned!

 

Using a passive-aggressive behavior or tone in front of someone is to acknowledge the other one is stronger than you.

  • It’s why it’s a joy when you use it in front of stupid hierarchy. Because it gives you a way out, a way to “win”.
  • It’s why it’s sad in front of people around you. Passiveness means you acknowledge the other one is stronger, or, at least, that you don’t want to fight.

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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The Gifts Frontiers & cup of teas

As a bookseller I talked with a lady who wanted to offer a book as a present.

She was wondering…

  1. If you choose something which will please the person, she’ll be happy, but she’ll stay in her comfort zone…
  2. If you choose something more personal and you wish to make this person discover something you like, you take the risk to fail, and to bore the person. The useless present!

So there’s a frontier, a place to find : a surprise which will be delightful, opening a whole new territory of pleasures.

So it could be a 3. Choose something which is not necessarily your cup of tea, but could be the other one’s NEW cup of tea.

Mmmh? Stair’s strategy? What will you get, today? Something you like, something the other one likes, or something unknown you could like?

Your house? The other one’s house? Or a growing house for you? New room?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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What did they lose?

Brian de Palma, Dario Argento, Mike Oldfield are the first names which come to my mind when I think about artists who “lost it”.

There’s a recent documentary about Brian de Palma, where he smiles, admitting that many directors (himself, or Hitchcock) have a decay after a certain age. The end of their career approaches and the films aren’t this great anymore…

It’s so human, after all. Less steam… maybe? This seems complicated. What did they lose, after all? Let’s see :

  1. Less steam. The will to express vanishes with time. Youth gave the will and power to work.
  2. Less money. For some arts (like making movies), you need money, producers.
  3. Less ideas. Admitting there is a tank of ideas in one’s head…
  4. Disillusions and “so what”ness.
  5. The public changes. Young artists appear and make the other ones old.
  6. Bad choices. Like trying things (and failing) out of a domain (which is understandable, right?). See how Mike Oldfield stopped inventing his music after Amarok.
  7. Less success.
  8. Auto-sabotage (Orson Welles?).

All these weaved in a bad messy braid…

Who else?

Some rare guys though, seem to constantly be reborn, they have like… different careers. Pablo Picasso, Miles Davis, Steven Spielberg?

More : what do we lose?

What is worse? To lose one’s wallet of enthusiasm, or to work senselessly like a headless hen?

Sorry for my English. Thanks for reading!

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American Cinema & Paths for Energy

Hello everyone. I’m reading a J.-B. Thoret book about American Cinema in the 1970s, where he uses a structure, an “interpretative framework” I will extract here for you. Could be useful elsewhere, right?

A little physics first :

Action needs energy, and obviously there are 3 cases :

  1. Perfect symbiosis : the use of the whole disposable energy allows the action to be fulfilled.
  2. More energy than possible action (or no possible action available), gives explosions or violence, uncontrolled bursts, auto-destruction.
  3. Not enough energy : loss, frustration, unfulfillment.

Then we can watch American movies with this idea in mind…

But there are questions already! Where does this “energy” come from? The history of the USA, with violence (Indian wars, Civil war, Vietnam war) and unlimited spaces to discover in the West – giving the energy a way to be “used”? The Freudian “sexual” primal energy?

Let’s find branches – strategies of expenditure… – in movies :

  • After the frontier, when the “go west” comes to an end (the whole territory is mapped), the energy has to go on moving – the birth of road movies (Easy Rider)- or has to be burned on place – the birth of horror movies.
  • The “splendid wilderness” becomes dangerous and full of rednecks and recluses (Easy Rider, Deliverance, Texas Chainsaw Massacre).
  • Too much energy becomes toxic : violence. The explosion is near (the beginning of Bonnie & Clyde, Carrie, Taxi Driver).

If the energy is spent…

  1. In France, in Pierrot le Fou, a character repeats : “What can I do? I don’t know what to do…”. Tired. Qu’est-ce que j’peux faire, j’sais pas quoi faire ?
  2. In America, she could maybe say : “I don’t know what to do any more“. Exhaustion.

Well, this is very simplistic and chaotic, sorry. Just ideas to be thrown on a table.

What about this energy, again? In single persons or in crowds, society? Groups? What about religion, or terrorism? What happens when movie people become conscious of all this and play with it (Mad Max Fury Road, Kill Bill)?

What is the triad (energy action, too much energy, not enough energy) means in Arts? In painting, poetry, photography? What about love? How to link it to Nietzsche’s Will to Power ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_to_power ) ?

http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/20-best-new-hollywood-movies/

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

Thanks for reading!

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Safer paths?

There’s been an interesting post on the marvelous Facebook of Humans of New York (which you should follow, it’s… humanist).

One guy was in NYC, in his mid-30, struggling to be an actor with no or little success, living paycheck to paycheck. The people’s answers under the post were interesting, picking paths for him (from “go on you’ll make it” to “wisdom says you should let go now”).

I chose an answer from a reasonable person, who chose a family life. Drawing a three branched tree :

  1. People with a more safe and secure life, as a choice, staying anonymous.
  2. People with dreams and passion, wishing for success (in entertainment).
  3. People “mourning unfulfilled dreams” within an ordinary life : they were too afraid to try and dare.

With a conclusion : “Not all dreams work out” and people fall down. But also the maybeness of dreams become true – with the eternal behind-law which says approximatively “When the Gods want to punish you they fulfill your dreams”.

Of course, the actor was necklacing castings, with very little success. It looked like  lottery and gamble…

It becomes a game : What’s worse, to have an ordinary life complaining you should have been an artist, or to struggle for decades until nothing happens? What if you succeed, and it’s boring? What if my book is at least edited and no one buys it? Are there stages in these paths? What if you succeed and then fall into oblivion? What if you decide to move and act at mid-life? Or the contrary, disappear after success?

Oh oh, my three-branched tree became a tree!

Thanks for reading!

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50 crisis is not 40 crisis. And some movies.

Happy new year (and decade)!

And sorry for my terrible English…

 

50 crisis is not 40 crisis. Tatata. We shouldn’t mix up these. This is not the same thing AT ALL.

(I know, age is just a number and a convention… But here’s my article though)

The middle age (or mid-life) crisis is a big one, it’s when you get 40. First of all, you feel you’re suddenly OLD (according to your youth’s criteriums). People around you divorce and make a big crisis, a depression, etc. You’ll buy books, it’s the midlife crisis, voilà.

The 50 years old crisis seems different, less dramatic, but in fact is maybe much more a big deal. It’s bigger. It gets deeper. It breaks much more things. Now you don’t laugh anymore (even sarcastically).

I played with the IMDB keyword to remember or discover some movies about this subject. After all, art often tells us things, right?

Mid-life crisis (40 years old), gives Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen) – “Life is a little unsatisfying”, driven by nostalgia, A Single Man (Tom Ford) around the idea of suicide after a loss, 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini) about a director who don’t have ideas anymore, Groundhog Day (“My job is so boring”). American Beauty (Sam Mendes) is pretty cruel, The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood) is around having an island in time (a few days) to break the grey. Then stay the memories. Sideways : travel and drink wine! The Big Chill : reunite with old friends and talk (when one of us dies). Hannah and Her Sisters (daring adultery). Pierrot le Fou (quitting everything and being crazy).

Crisis, boredom, marriage explosions. It’s classical, and the solutions (or at least : tries) are numerous : fleeing, daring, breaking, change…

 

50 years old crisis seems to give more intense crazy things (Birdman), drastic funny changes (Fried Green Tomatoes), wandering in absurdity & disillusions (Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola), visit the past to remember its craziness (Broken Flowers), dealing with many problems (Wonder Boys), dramas & desperate fly away (Husbands), be surprised by an epiphany (Another Woman, Woody Allen), playing with destruction and suicide (The Arrangement, Kazan), talking about the emptiness & fail of everything (La Terrazza). Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, Twice in a Lifetime…

 

Hugo said 40 is the youth becoming old, and 50 is the youth of the old age. Menopause for women doesn’t help, for sure!

What is it?

  1. Transition.
  2. Maybe harder if not much evolved in the past decades.
  3. A tendency to look at the past, instead of future.
  4. Absence of new projects.
  5. A feeling of emergency.
  6. Perturbations (loss, divorce).

 

Movies are interesting because they show what people try to do. From entertainment (buying a big car, trying new sports) to depression, suicide, love, waiting, traveling, breaking patterns, talking, finding sidekicks…

Somes ideas? Other movies? At fifty, will you roar, think or cry?

 

Voilà! I’m 53. It’s 2020. Merry Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

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