Gary Larson about choice

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“A Room with a View” & nuances

Early 1900. A young English (and passionate) woman visits Italy with her chaperon cousin. In the hotel she meets George, a quiet English young man who gives her a kiss. Back to England, she is to be married to Cecil, an inhibited tight ass aristocrat. Of course, the young man and his father find a house not far. “Lucy begins to tell a series of lies, mostly to herself, about what and who she really wants for and in her life”.

A Room with a View. I love this movie and I watched it many times. At the very beginning you understand that you’ll have fun with the shock between upper class English demeanor and the call of life of sunny Italy.

I was amazed how Forster (who wrote the book) draws footbridges within the two universes. Lucy’s family is wealthy and well educated, but fun-loving (her brother is a light hearted music lover). Forster is anticlerical but his priest character is very smart and funny.

You constantly feel the forces of life and daring possibilities moving strongly under the polite British maneers : the fiery writer character who loves to get lost in the city of Firenze, the cousin Charlotte who struggles between rules and what she likes (or liked), Lucy’s family, the way she plays Beethoven, etc. One of the pleasures of the film is to see the pile of lies needed to keep a “respectability”, until the whole thing crashes down…

This scenario should be studied a little more. I wrote this article because of this tool/structure :

  1. Find two opposite universes A and B.
  2. Show where are the doors and potential bridges between them.
  3. Show possibilities, desires, will to discover and explore.
  4. Show what part of B exists already in A (and vice versa).
  5. Have fun.

This structure can be used for the two faces of yourself, two merging companies, a new couple… what else?

What about the “Ahh screw it!” moment?

Thanks for reading!

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Bothness, the Blindfolded Lynx Game

I got the spark (bzim) for this little article when I read a Edgar Wind quote, which offered images (among others) like :

  • a dolphin with an anchor
  • a turtle with a sail
  • a blindfolded bobcat

I found this in a Didi-Huberman small article, playing with dances of two concepts – which I like above all or almost.

Therefore I write all this to try to catch a blurry idea in my web, searching with words…

 

There’s a relation between “not knowing” and “knowing” : what is it made of, how does it move? Is there a frontier here? How does it move? If I increase my knowledge, do I lose something else?

Appearance/Disapperance as a dance, or a will – maybe like the fireflies, the lightning bugs in the night : they flickeremit signals.

To slow down to think about all things. To be fast to catch an event in flight.

 

festina lente : hâte-toi lentement : make haste slowly

 

DIALECTICAL Images : “involving the interaction of opposites”

A dolphin needs an anchor to experiment something. Like try to play badminton with your other hand (with a partner who does the same). It slows you. It triggers other things.

A turtle with a sail. Is she a dreamer? Does it give a 1% more power, sufficient to trigger a big something? What is a placebo? Can you be your own placebo? Meta?

A blindfolded lynx. He has to increase his other senses?

Bothness… Or a will to decrease something to win something else… It’s a way to find a way out, to open an oblique door…

 

Continue reading

The Think & The Do : Catch a Tip

This is a mayhemic article about a pattern I meet everyday these days.

(As you know, when you spot then notice a pattern, you see it everywhere, right?)

ONE

Bourdieu explains that there’s a problem with scholars studying the source of Manet‘s paintings scandals. These guys develop theories about the “will of Manet”, seen as a smart rebel.

Like in History, it’s easy to rebuild stray events and sew them into a “will” of destiny or whatever. Bourdieu says simply that Manet was just in the process of painting, that’s all. A haeccetian recall : he’s painting, thinking about a Japanese etching, he has an idea with color, or frame, he finds difficult to paint eyes, a gaze, and deals with the days (hungriness, sex, friends, insomnia, whatever, who knows).

The clear will to make a scandal doesn’t even exist. He just paints! Theoricians, 100 years after, explain crystal clear theories.

TWO

This could be one branch of the science of bullshittery.

Taleb tells stories of lecturers in huge hotels of New York powerpointing about the need to be ethical and fight poverty, who treat waiters harshly at lunch. The consequences of these meetings is mainly to blossom other meetings with powerpoints elsewhere in the world. Practice what you preach, buddy!

THREE

Big talkative personalities (like me, haha) love theories, maybe more than action, so what? I love to talk about movies and books and arts, I love analysis, I love structures. Plus I’m an INTFJ, plus I’m a Five (a watcher). I’m not action man. And sometimes I admire action men…

Grand diseux, petit faiseux, we say in Ch’ti, the north of France dialect : “Big teller, small maker”. Makes sense?

FOUR

If you Google “theory” and “action” on Google you’re parasitated by… Theories of Action, arghhhh.

I regret to not to be an anthropologist (sorry for my English), and I probably need help here. I’m pretty sure that many persons studied the dance between action and theory.

Creation is an act of resistance, says Deleuze.

A book of Agamben is called “The Fire and the Account”. He says that acting and thinking are interlinked :

We think when we can’t act anymore, we act when we can’t think anymore

Lacan says that what is important is that “makes something happen” – then you can catch a tip.

“Life to knowledge” !

Maybe the action is not that important, but the way one person witnesses it, talks about it, links it, shows a way to live or to spout…

OK, I know, it’s mess. I’ll dig into it. Who can help me?

Thanks for reading!

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The “No Car” System

I know how to drive and I had cars when I was young; but when I was 25 I began to… think.

I live in Lille, in the north of France, in a big city with great transit links (tube, tramways, buses, bikes to rent), and can cross the whole country with very fast trains. I can go to Paris in 3-4 hours, but Lille is at ONE hour by TGV train, from downtown Paris!

Thus I decide to sell my car. I had to find a place to live from where I could commute to work easily, that’s all : 25 minutes by foot, 10 minutes by bike. I have a tramway too… if it rains too much.

If it snows I take an umbrella and I walk, I’m like a kid! It’s like walking in a fairy tale, right?

Good city, good links : my “no car” system works pretty well. It’s a strong choice, and I’m happy with it.

  1. No need to find a place where to park my car
  2. No car maintenance shit
  3. Never a flat tire
  4. No gas, no insurance, etc
  5. Little satisfaction to not pollute my planet too much
  6. I don’t have to deal with idiots on the road
  7. Well, I don’t have to buy a car
  8. A car is a farting machine, and you’re IN it

 

I can rent a car whenever I need one. I do it sometimes.

Voilà.

I know you think it’s impossible. I know…

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

 

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“Le Dénicheur” is the Hit Uponer

I work in a bookstore. Yesterday a guy asked me where to find books about dance. I showed him a little shelf under a table.

– Ah ah, he said in a smile, well hidden, right?
– Yes, I answered, but not the way you think it is.

You can show books in a bookstore in many ways.

  1. Big news are on front displays
  2. New books are on tables
  3. The “regularly stocked books” are on shelves
  4. What booksellers put on shelves under a table are those books which people come to buy

 

Yes of course, Medieval poetry, or books about dance are not in the top selling lists. But books about wedding or competitive exams training are good sells and they ARE under tables. People don’t come along in a bookstore hit uponing like “Oh, a book about how to become a customs officer, I’m suddenly interested!”. Wedding organization books are all the same : you come in order to find these. Therefore it’s not useful to put it at eye-level height. Voilà.

With this man, we talked about les dénicheurs.

A nest is called in France “un nid”. Thus “un dénicheur” is someone who removes birds (or eggs) from a nest. As it’s pretty rare to have this strange activity, for the verb “dénicher” (it could be : “To denest”), we French all understand “To hit upon”, “To unearth”.

Here we are!

In a store, are you the Mainstream Type, following marketing and medias, buying best sellers and prized titles, overpresented books under spotlights? Or are you the Unearthing Type, called also the Hit Uponer, forgotten corners prone, exploring the deserted alleys of Anthropology, International Situationism or Avant-Garde Jazz?

Probably both, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Every bookstore is the result of its clientele

One day I saw an interview of a celeb journalist and TV show presenter, a person I like very much, directing good shows and a pretty good interviewer herself. She was asked why TV was so full of trash. I saw her face changing, she was really upset, then answered something very surprising : TV broadcasts were so bad because “It’s what the audience wants!”.

She continued on this mode, telling something like “If people were watching operas, literature documentaries and great movie classics, all trash TV would broadcast in front of nobody, then would disappear for ever, then we would have great TV everywhere!”.

Her anger was noticeable, and that’s why I remembered it clearly. When smart people complain, you listen. Then, you wonder, right?

Because of course this all seems to be too good to be true, and it’s easy to counterattack. People watch trash TV because it’s prepared and broadcasted to them, etc.

 

So, there’s a balance here to find. After counterattack I have to admit that we all have a responsibility here, nonetheless. It’s like when I hear someone complaining about dense traffic… from a car. I have to answer to this person that he is a brick of it.

In some countries, if you are stuck into a traffic jam, you get a ticket! Which, in a way, is fair : you’re a part of it, it’s your fault!

OK, there’s a balance to find…

 

I work in a bookstore, and I’m confronted with this “structure”. The axiom could be :

“Every bookstore is the result of its clientele”.

You can be appalled, but it’s true. For a part, at least.

Yeah, there are other dials to watch. You need to have serious booksellers on board. And you often have to sell tons of “best sellers” on end displays… to be able to present entire tables of great books (your choice) in the store. Etc.

In a serious bookstore, all kind of books are bought then presented on tables and shelves. Employees, then, watch (weekly) closely the sales, then books are reordered. Never sold volumes (for months) are a bit dirty or torn, and therefore sent back to editors, and this is it : little by little, the customers, by the way they act and buy, model and form the store.

You just need a year or so to adjust, understand and change your store to adapt to your clientele. If you have an architecture school a street away, your architecture department will grow, you’ll have rare books, theory books and even anthropology books for the thinkers around. A visitor will pass and will be in a awe : “Oh wow, what a great architecture choice you have!”. Yessss it’s thanks to the bookstore employee, but mainly because he found the clientele, too. It’s a dance, a tango.

There’s a balance to find.

There’s a split of responsibilities in front of trash TV, in traffic jams, in poor supplied bookstores. Suppliers, of course, but audience too.

Do you meet this structure too, in your job, in your life? Don’t hesitate to comment, here.

 

We have an old idiom in France, about couples : “L’homme propose, la femme dispose”. It’s something like “the man proposes doings, the woman makes the choice” – I’m sorry for the translation, it’s almost impossible to do it, but you got me, right? Tango.

 

Thanks for reading!

(Really sorry for my English today. Have a nice day!)

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