Meticulous & Casual: The examples of VQGAN+CLIP on YouTube

You know me, I love “Meticulous & Casual”, it’s almost an inner motto.

I talked here about Nietzsche and his cow:

Three-quarter Strength.  A work that is meant to give an impression of health should be produced with three-quarters, at the most, of the strength of its creator.  If he has gone to his farthest limit, the work excites the observer and disconcerts him by its tension.  All good things have something lazy about them and lie like cows in the meadow.

There’s also this article about the “non finito” in Arts: https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/non-finito-inchoate-in-art/

oOOOo

When I write an article here, I’m focused and at the same time I listen to music (here: Poulenc, “Les Biches”), I prepare, but not that much. I re-read, but quickly. It’s always a tango between control and letting go.

These weeks, I revisit my 2 CDs “Farist“, which were made for contemporary dance. I made them with work (awww the mixing of music, a pain in the monkey!), but also with… well you got my point.

To make the clip, I make images with a Artificial Intelligence. It often gives nightmarish creatures! Therefore I posted a bunch of frightening clips – I’ll post them here for Halloween, OK?

So I wanted to created cooler things. So I played for Yuleska (which is a Polish name) with the words “bokeh” or “emerald”. It was abstract enough to give cool little things like:

The music was innocent and it worked.

For the second one, I had a story in mind. A Folletti (who is a little magic boyfaery) in Italy consoles a little girl. So I got Tuscany, wheat fields and angels. It’s a slow waltz.

oOOOo

For these I find/make images with random words. The first in the row? “Icy Bokeh”, that’s it. So I orient, but not too much.

When I edit the clips, I upscale the pictures with Automator (on Mac) piloting Pixelmator Pro, then I throw them all in iMovie. Random order, that I have to correct… or not. I use markers for the tempo, but I don’t follow them all the time. I’m meticulous (I work days on a clip), but I don’t really polish, finish, I let go and so there.

Yes it’s a tool for the toolbox! Where do we need to be meticulous and casual? Sex? Cooking? At work? Poetry writing?

Who are the artists who you know work like that? Picasso? Fellini? Any musician?

Do you like them?

Have a great day! Thanks for reading! I’ll post photos of Brussels soon. This week.

mmm

“Intentions and Elegance”: Overthinking about Art

I read a good book about a… harpsichord player. I found ideas. Here they are.

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The easy question is “What is it?”. Another question is “What does that mean?”, therefore “What does the artist want to say to us?”. This is a totally higher question, right? Instead of the work, you ask about the artist’s mind, and their will. Does art need a meaning, after all?

Where should we, instead of focusing of things in front of us, focus on what the maker wants?

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If you are a Bach (b 1685) specialist and you want to study or play Mozart (b 1762), you have to make a jump in time and music, and Mozart will appear very modern. But if you come from 19th Century, it will feel like a loss.

From where will you come, to study this or that?

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If you’re enthusiastic, do you master your work?

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Does elegance need the existence of another person? What about the idea telling that real elegance consists in not getting noticed. And Balzac says that to reveal some economy of means is inelegant.

It’s from Latin “elegans”: who knows how to choose.

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A pretentious simplicity, does that exist?

Goethe : When an intention is too visible, it irritates

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Who plays – and how – the tango of strength/delicacy?

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Purity of the sensation, or of the landscape?

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When you touch the harpsichord‘s key, the note appears, that simple. There’s no possibilities of ppp or fff. It’s “the note”, always the same intensity, it’s a yes or no thing.

Without any possibity of nuances, of touch, the subtleties must come from elwhere: the phrases.

Where else do we have this?

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Deep understanding” and at the same time, “spontaneity” (or precision/passion). Both. Same time.

Where? Sex? Conversation? Acting? What kind of skill is this?

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When a rule emerges, its exceptions appear at the same time.

In French: “Déroger à la règle” (The English “to contravene” and “to infringe” sound “to go against”, to fight, but the French one sounds “to take a hidden door”, to depart from, to invent my own path).

An artist who knows enough rules to depart from them: to explore/invent.

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What is a work of art with simultaneity of significations? Sorrow and courage at the same time; violence and sweetness; pride and vanity. What kind of richness is that?

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To admit” (it’s the same in French, admettre) is a curious verb: to confess, to acknowledge, to allow entry, to accept validity, to place, to permit, to conceide or recognize.

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A style emerges, how?

  1. Origin.
  2. Development.
  3. Blossoming.
  4. Refinement.
  5. Saturation.

Where? Examples?

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When can’t we prevent aggravation (or stop worsening)?

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Baudelaire: The restless crowd, whipped on by pleasure

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Do you produce differently (by other means) or something else?

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Is the existence of the past Law, or Force?

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Acknowlegment or recognition? Even gratitude, if you push?

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Which one is the most interesting? Beauty created by nature, or beauty created by men?

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Could you go that far, without the resistance of it?

Thanks for reading!

Second One Aside

My daughter told me that she wanted to create “another” Instagram account to post, this time, only good pictures, like according to the ancient laws of this social media, which was: one picture (not many), square, no video, no story.

It is a tool for this page, right? I call it on the spot : “Second One Aside”.

  • You have a house, a home, but you rent a small apartment downtown, to write. It’s cool, alone, quiet, and in the middle of the city life.
  • You read a great big book, but you begin a small essay aside, to make the first one last longer, to make a pause, to breathe, to invent the pleasure to go back.
  • You’re married, but you have a lover or a friend you like to walk with because it’s another body – another brain.
  • You have a passion, a hobby, but you have another one aside. As a photographer, you paint, for example. The other craft brings you joy, a distraction, but also teaches you other things, it… enhances you.

It’s infinite! Where’d you apply that? Where’s/what’s the “second one aside”, and what could it bring?

Thanks 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

Complex Water vs Simple Delights

Found this idea while listening to many new Progressive Rock tracks. From oldies to new things, I listened to a dozen albums (it’ll be another article), until something materializes

…between four “poles”, inside a square, showing me what I seek in this music.

ONE

The first pole is Esthesis. A very clean sound, changes, interesting instruments. But there’s a weakness, a strange one: chords and harmonies are static, and they are… simple. And if they change, it’s to come back immediately into “simple”.

It’s quiet, pleasant, harmless, it’s “simple water”.

TWO

The second pole is Dream Theater. Take any track. It’s fast, powerful, always changing, fireworky (listen loud!). But they build nothing! Watch the drummer…

It’s “complicated water”. No taste, bland, nothing-music, only energy. Technicians virtuosity, “things”…

THREE

The third pole is Fish on Friday. Suddenly more… comfortable. Much more quiet, like the first group, almost bland. But, like in the last Pink Floyd albums, they know something about giving pleasure harmonically.

It’s a good little thing. Like a petit four.

FOUR

The fourth pole is Flower Kings. A 27-minutes piece where they try to build something. Forget the nincompoopy lyrics, go to 20’20”, and watch them building something. They have pleasure! The bassist knows how to wait or accelerate. The drummer is present (instead of pattering like an idiot). And at 23′, the infinite modulante Puccini-esque crescendo gives me goosebumps.

Well this is a square, a four-points machine, a structure. You can study poetry or photography, love or sex, anything with that.

  1. Simple bland?
  2. Complex boring?
  3. Simple tasty?
  4. Complex tasty?

Each one has advantages! A good glass of water is great. Dancing on big DJ music is cool. Enjoying a complex whisky in winter is perfect. Having a 6 hours conversation with someone who likes it is fantastic.

But everywhere, a little tenderness, OK?

Merry Christmas, thanks for reading!

Complex Tasty “too much too much more more I like it” example:

Is “to exist” adhesion or emergence?

ONE

My poor structural brain just found a bone to chew on.

It’s… because I bought a philosophy book named “Vivre en existant” : to live by existing.

So here are verbs, three of them for a triangle :

to live – to be – to exist

Let’s play. There’s adhesion, or grip, to life. But curiously the word “EXIST” is like a tree :

  • To be, to continue to be, to persist
  • To be real, to be present
  • To have life, to live, to be able to live
  • To have the ability to be known, recognized, understood

There are more in https://www.thefreedictionary.com/exist.

Etymology gives something more.

From Latin existere/exsistere: “to step out, stand forth, emerge, appear”.

And in a way we all know that to live is to de-coincide with me, it is to emerge into the world. To operate, maybe?

There’s something like: to live is adhesion, fitting to what “is”, but to live by existing is to detach, unstick, take off.

The singularity of the experience.

TWO

All this mess is linked to other words, like “possibility”. I immediately thought about Deleuze’s becoming.

To find differences, and to begin multiple processes of transformation.

  • To think differently, but how?
  • What do we do with the unpredictable?
  • What is the effort to create a future that differs from the present?
  • Can we dream our own dreams, but how to get out of the trap they are, if they remain dreams?

Human life is ordered, classified, distributed, and managed: how can we shape possibilities?

Deleuze “becoming” is not to imitate something, it’s to get out of our “territories”, invent new plugs, quit the always-predictable to evolve in “becoming mode”. And for a day or an hour, you become a cat, a doctor, a wolf, a mother, a cook, a stone, etc.

The magic is the word “and” instead of the word “be”, ungrip and unhook from “I am this I do this”, to let propositions happen, to watch what is singular, or intense.

Will we make a web, will we bark, will we gather food like squirrels, will we be a child, for an afternoon? Will I become minoritarian for a day?

THREE

Told you, it’s a mess!

All this because of the “ex” is exist, “to stand forth”, hmmm.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

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.

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

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When do we dive into a wave before it summits?

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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!

At Intervals

There are a few motifs, patterns, I like to call “tools”. It is one of the reasons why my articles are to brief. It’s not about theories, but about little structures.

A single wisdom underlies, though, any idea of “What do I do?”, thanks to Marcus Aurelius, who says that we can divide the world in two camps :

Where we have a power to act, and where we have not.

Then, worry about the first territory only.

In a way, we can consider the second camp (“I know it’s here, and what it’s doing, and I can do nothing about it”) like the WEATHER. The whole society, or war, or idiots around us : there’s little we can do about it. If I want to act, I watch the levers I have within reach, and move thy ass, gallivanter!

Choose your field : job, couple, creativity… It’s just a little analysis game. What are my levers and cursors? What can I move and change?

But there are some periods, states, in life, where your cursors, your levers, are all blocked and stucked. The only one left are all INSIDE you. You are powerless on anything you have around (for example if you’re a lonely prisoner in a cage), but, as they say, “You won’t have my soul”. All you can do is to work inside yourself… And there are many cursors there!

Then…

Signals. At intervals. Intermittently. Hoping they’ll be seen.

Thanks for reading!


The U2 Syndrome – What do you do with a bad song?

Hi! I just found this title in my big list of more than 400 article-drafts, and I loved it. So there it is. Let’s find a tool.

I probably read an interview of Bono, telling about a big “problem” with songs : What do you do with a bad song?

  • You can trash it, or just keep the bits somewhere and wait.
  • You can try to heal the song, like a doctor, finding what is wrong or ill or boring here. Ask someone maybe?
  • You can take two or three bad songs and operate a graft, transplanting ideas on others – with the secret hope that some shocks, weirdies and surprises will come out of it.
  • You can rush and be casual and make is worser… then interesting? Hmmm…
  • You can keep it like that and hope someone will love it!

These tools applies to : “What do you do with a bad …?” (book, marriage, team, president, etc).

It’s option 3 that I often choose, like for my Chronicles these days. I pile drafts, and that’s all. If I entertain someone somewhere on the planet, I’m happy, though I’m a bit sorry for my bad English.

Thanks for reading!

Forgiveness is necessary, etc.

Forgiveness is necessary, etc – but…

  1. Do you say to someone you forgive them? (this is a big question!)
  2. What does that change? (for both parts)
  3. When people hurt you, they were probably doing their best, no?
  4. Is forgiveness selfish? Because you liberate mostly… yourself, right?

If you write “forgiveness is necessary” on Google you get :

  • For healing
  • For salvation
  • To move on

What if forgiveness was giving permission to hurt you again? (oh no)

What about that : “You must forgive to be forgiven”.

Tadaa, sounds good, right?

What you have to be forgiven, but you don’t even know it?

 

Hmm isn’t this concept a mess?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Action or Language : are we made to take action in the world?..

The English verb “to act” is a MESS for a French. It means :

  • To act : to behave (se comporter)
  • To act : to take action (agir)
  • To act : pretend to be (faire semblant de)
  • To act : to operate (faire fonctionner)
  • To act : to perform (jouer)

The French question “Sommes-nous fait pour agir ?” means “Are we made to act?”. But it’s not exactly to “take action”, which sounds, I think, “decision, beginning”. Agir, in French is just to act “all along”, to do something.

Then the question could be : “Are we made to do something?”.

Hmmm

Our era is a good environment for this question :

  1. On one side : action, gestures, do, make, use the body, use the world, interact, sex, dance, run, make, eat, walk, build. Gestures!
  2. On the other side : language, thinking, dialogs, dreams, to read, and all the “do without doing” : to drive, to play a game on a screen, to watch a movie, to geek.

Some like 1.

Some prefers 2.

We dance from one to another. And there’s an invariable, an invariant, a fixed point : the body. It calls, it screams, it collars and nabs. Constantly it pushes us (our mind) and pulls us into the world. A recall, sometimes a caveat : we are incarnated!

So yes, on est fait pour agir, we’re made to “do”, though we can be tempted not to and stay in bed with our mind, thoughts and musics.

Thanks for reading!

Fellini Roma / Sternfeld Rome after Rome

Joel Sternfeld (born 1944) is an American photographer I love. He made this book, “American Prospects”, which is maybe the greatest photography book I own!

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His last one is about Rome, he focuses “on the ruins of grand structures”, putting these in relation with… today!

The editor says : “with a clear warning: great civilizations fall, ours may too”. Yeah, but I disagree. What I see is a continuous presence of the past, in ruins of splendid architecture, the today-reality invaded with the ordinary (people and their “things”, who seem to ignore the past). There’s no warning here, though it’s probably a little sarcastic…

Each photography has the “sense of the place”, shows a spotmood, but it’s also like a game : spotting where is the old villa, the aqueduct, weaving an ugly link between the old past and the now…

Here are some examples.

52_2_Grandeur

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This one is a masterpiece :

JS_Via Appia Nuova.jpg

https://www.moma.org/artists/5656

***

I’m French and I can say I’m obsessed with three countries : Russia, Italy, and the USA. I’m currently finishing a long study of Fellini’s work.

Fellini’s Roma (1972) is a strange movie, let’s ask Wiki (I bolded the bold) : “It is a homage to the city, shown in a series of loosely connected episodes set during both Rome’s past and present. The plot is minimal, and the only “character” to develop significantly is Rome herself.”

Kaleidoscopic it is : a traffic jam (one of the most incredible scene I’ve seen in my life!), a guesthouse, brothels, a vaudeville theatre, streets, tunnels, catacombs, a liturgical fashion show, tourists… “The film concludes with a group of young motorcyclists riding into the city and a melancholic shot of actress Anna Magnani, whom the film crew met in the street”.

And again, the constant weaving between the past and the now, the ruins and the typical Italian “energy”, gives an interesting energy. Again, the old stones seem alive, watching us in silence…

***

OK you know me : I extract a tool here, which is “In a piece of work, of art, you show two different things and you let the audience weave between both”. Where (poetry, photography, teaching, marketing)? How? What appears? What for? What do you want? Nostalgia? Denunciation? Shock? Thinking?

Have fun! Thanks for reading! Stay home!

JP

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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!

IMG_6014.jpg

 

 

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!

Marcello-Mastroianni-min

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if we were many (inside)?

The idea of us having two faces or two sides is pretty common (and fascinating). A part of shadow, or a “the contrary of me, inside me”, anything schizophrenic…

So maybe we really have “another me” inside us. Most of the time, the idea says that the other one is very different. A quiet person has a tyrant inside. A mean human has a shy kid hidden in their head. Etc.

Sometimes it’s funny to extend and combine. For example, take the couple Lennon/McCartney, the tortured intellectual/happy fellow genius songwriting couple of the Beatles. When you read a little more about them, you see… the contrary.

Well, OK. Then you pull the string and ask some questions :

  • When does the other one come out?
  • How? Who triggers it? Why?
  • What is needed? Music? Events? Alcohol?
  • What if we all fall in love with the one who can see inside us? Who says “Hello you’re interesting” to everybody else they find inside?

 

Because yes : What if we were many (inside)? What kind of dance is it? It’s a metaphor, OR COURSE, but what does it show?

What if someone inside, hidden and protected (of course, protected!), one day takes the lead?

What if someone inside is suddenly missing, dead or sick or weakening?

What about three? Four? What if it was an accurate way to talk about us? Therefore what?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Both Sides NOW

The “Part of Shadow” according to C.G. Jung : an investigation