“I’ll put this one on my SOB (Stack of Books)”

Librarians, booksellers, booklovers : we all know the SOB, the Stack of Books (to read).

In French we call it the PAL (la Pile de Livres).

You know this, right? You just bought a book, or you’re just being stung by a subject (thus you picked up some books in your shelves).

  • It can be a couple of books, but it can be two dozens, or a whole shelf, yeeeesh.
  • It can be a real stack, or a stack… in your mind.
  • You can read them in order, or begin all of them all – so there!
  • While you attack your stack, you’ll probably add more books on it.

Yes, it’s sisyphian.

It leads me to this (if it’s a pattern) : Don’t we all have other “stacks”? Things to do? Things to think about (when I have a little time alone)? Things to talk about when I’m with this person? Clothes (to iron, obviously)? Methods? Recipes? How do we choose into a stack ?

Isn’t a stack a list made real?…

Here’s my current one. I invite you to post yours in the comments 🙂

Have a nice day!

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An embarrassing rigmaroling douchebag : the ambitious

Y’all workers know the type : bossy boots, low level managers and tinpot dictators. They are proud to have their cap. They are useless and painful, and voilĂ . There are many ways of dealing with these donkeys, from murder to indifference by way of traps and other methodical counter-attacks. Weapon of choice!

As pronounced the wise man : one can take everything, but they won’t have my soul, EVER.

 

Nope, the douchebag of the day is the ambitious. It’s another type (though they’re cousins, right?).

The ambitious is at the bottom, but he wants to climb in the hierarchy. The ambitious has plenty of self-confidence, and a big, wooden, stubborn, strongly nutty stupid head. Watch him :

  • He lies. He reports and denounces. He has/fakes seriousness. He always seems “busy”. He is a bit agitated, like a hen, when a manager is around. He has “ideas” : the ambitious he is, and he has :

…the whole rigmarole, the whole panoply, the whole outfit and the whole shebang!

 

We ALL know the type, right?

What do they want, each of them?

The cap, silly! A little power that would make them important.

There’s no need to analyze further. It’s just another “bad sign”. Watch them move and talk like a living donkeypoo, but not too long. It’s too… embarrassing and somewhat gross, like a infirm hirsute farting dirty spider

 

Have a nice day!

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Make your “not enough” a SCFIM (a Splendid, Complex, Fast, Interesting Machinery)

Make your “not enough” a SCFIM (a Splendid, Complex, Fast, Interesting Machinery)

This tool is used when your you don’t have the means to do your mission.

  1. You can lead a military team – it’s way too small for what you’re asked for into battle.
  2. You’re given a corner in a big store – too little to reach your goals.
  3. You have to take pictures at a wedding but your big Nikon just died and you have to use a point an click shitty camera.
  4. You’re a composer but you’re locked for months with a flute and sheet paper.
  5. You feel that your destiny is to write a book but you have no ideas at all.
  6. Etc.

 

Lament! Rage! Despondence and frustration! You have “not enough”! You could do much better, right?

This is the path we all take. Along with all these :

  • Sarcasms
  • Trying to convince upper hierarchy that you’re spoiled
  • Watching the disaster coming
  • Run away
  • Become cold or indifferent
  • Sacrifice
  • Say “I told you so”

 

That’s boring. My pattern is to roll up your sleeve and build a SCFIM. Make your “not enough” a Splendid, Complex, Fast, Interesting Machinery. It’s elegant!

Smile! Amor Fati! Mute your carps into dolphins. Be fast and elegant. Invent your effectiveness. Surprise yourself. Find possibilities. Open doors. Make it mobile, splendid, clever, complex, fast, elegant, surprising, interesting!

(OK let’s call it MSCCFESIM)

Thanks for reading!

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Sharing space but nothing else

First I found this painting from Belmiro de Almeida (how, why, I don’t remember).

Wondered about what happened in this couple. She cries or at least is weighed down, but by what? And this man is smoking, thinking, probably powerless/helpless, but who knows? Maybe he’s angry? “Here we go again…”.

Is it a break up, a betrayal, jealousy, boredom, romantic disappointment?

Maybe like in Chekhov, it’s just some tears, because of the “something’s lacking in my life” syndrome?

My researches showed me the second painting : a crying woman, a “vacant look” man, and flowers on the ground. Mhhh, who copied the other?

Then I thought about Hopper, of course, with no tears but only a… moment.

I remember that some (female) friends of mine told me many times than their guy “wasn’t really talkative”.

Thus I remembered the “bored couples” series, photographed by Martin Parr – who is a love because he includes himself in the series (he is on two photos of the four I found for you). Parr showed many times he’s a part of what he sees…

 

So is it even an article? No I don’t think so! I cobbled these together :

  1. To remember I should find more paintings on this topic (I tried and failed today)
  2. To think about the idea I found in the Parr link : monogamy is maybe dumb
  3. To remember that my lady likes my random lectures (I’m a chatterbox)
  4. To go on liking the “what happens here?” in Arts
  5. What if a man was crying, and a woman sitting aside, indifferent?
  6. To remember I have to take care of my partner, even if she’s a real “handful”
  7. To pass it on to you : what ideas did you get, reading this?

 

Take care! Have a nice day!

JP

 

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Bored Couples on Display in Public Places

Judgmental

ONE

Decades ago, a was in love with a painter, who one days asked me – a bit solemnly – what I was thinking about her recent work.

Then, the day after, I told a good friend that I didn’t say the truth. I didn’t like her recent work that much, but “I couldn’t have the heart to tell her”.

My friend gave me a roasting (is it the correct way to use this idiom?), and told me something I never forgot :

“When you’re asked that from a person you love, you have to tell the truth, silly!”

I think he was right. And I never forgot this good lesson.

TWO

I talked one day with someone who explained me that the first quality of her husband was “he is not judgmental”.

This annoyed me a lot because I don’t understand why and how should this be a “quality”.

Secondly, we… don’t even have this word in French! Therefore, WordReference and other sites tend to turn around it : “To have a tendency to carry critics”, or “To be fast to make value judgments”. Pfff!

THREE

Thus, my brain works and tries to understand why and how non-judgmental could be a “quality”.

If you ask someone to be non judgmental, is it because you are a mess, a complicated drama person, or a weathercock nobody can understand? Or is it because you have terrible flaws? I can imagine a drunk asking for that… “He doesn’t judge me, phew!”. Is it because YOU are judgmental therefore your man can’t be (because you don’t like to fight)?

So : a non-judgmental person is perfect! He never bothers you, right?

FOUR

All of this aside, it’s very surprising, because I think (like my friend at the beginning) that an important quality of a spouse (besides kindness, honesty, etc) is exactly to BE judgmental.

It means that he sees you, he values you, he wants to understand you, he likes to talk about these things, he wants your couple to be better, etc. Judge, think, connect, talk, ask : that’s couple life!

Hence, for me, to be non-judgmental in a couple is a bad sign. It shows that you lost the spirit of your lover. Or that you did put her on a pedestal, where she is “what she is” (she’s a handful, awe), and you can’t even really get, reach, understand her.

Or maybe that you accept her and everything from her, “she’s always right”, to have some peace and quiet.

If you judge, you’d be attacked as a demon, you should be reeducated. You don’t understand her.

FIVE

Ever heard of a double bind?

Value your man because he’s non judgmental, then reproach him to not get you, to take you for granted.

What kind of ohlalala gap is that?

A good path towards craziness (or depression, or violence), double bind is…

(you can also have sex to shut it off)

SIX

I ask and will always ask my wife to BE judgmental. “Stay connected, love, this is our stairs strategy : tell me what’s good, what’s wrong or weird, let’s talk! I hold you hand. Let’s talk. And tomorrow, my turn, OK?”.

She needs to be valued, recognized, seen exactly as she is, complicated but genuine. She’s amazing!

OUTRO

I maybe don’t get how “judgmental” is radioactively charged in English. Therefore I don’t understand this word. What do you think?

And I am really convinced it’s an important problem. Judge me. Please do! It means you see me, it means we’re interlinked.

Thanks for reading!

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Surmount Influence & Engulfing

ONE (INTRO)

As I write in another language I have to think about questions like :

“What’s the diffĂ©rence between To overcome and To surmount?”

I chose surmount, then I have a problem with “To engulf”. I want to translate “L’engloutissement”.

Of course engloutir/engulf means like in English “to swallow entirely”, but it’s differently charged.

I saw “engulfed by flames”, which makes sense, but in French it’s more about… water. The Engulfed Cathedral is a piano piece by Claude Debussy. Englouti means devoured by water (not and never by flames, for example).

TWO

Novel writers have often the problem to solve : to surmount an influence. All the shades of influence, from the master you read a lot in your life to the big shock of discovering a genius.

William Faulkner, Marguerite Duras or Thomas Bernhard are examples of big styles you have to overcome.

You have weapon of choice : you can stop reading this author, trash the books and mourn over for a while, or you can fight fire with fire (and words with words) : write your own book in this not-your-style style, hoping it’ll empty you.

Then you’ll swim in another water : YOURS.

If you don’t do that, you’ll be engulfed, so there.

THREE

As a father and a reader, I discovered very early that one of the deep primitive danger for a child is to be engulfed in her/his mother’s love.

Mother and baby, it’s a fusion, right? The baby opens to her/his mother, and so does she. They just… merge.

The father, then, has the role to take the kid outside this bubble. From time to time, come with me, boy, let’s watch the world!

It is one way, maybe, to surmount the engulfment of a kid in her/his mother’s love…

FOUR

I think it happens with other people, with love. Friendship Engulfment or Sisterly Engulfment or Marital Engulfment as a possible danger.

There, you’re not… swallowed by the other (though I think it can happen, with controlling people), but by the relation itself.

OUTRO

What do you need to overcome this? A third person to show you paths of the world and the joy of exploration? Fight the bore with the bore, draining it until the ground?

Surmounting Influence is a pattern to watch.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

“Biases to Pieces” – when life goes wrong, do something unusual

“More of the Same Thing”, when insisting is a failure

Savoir Attendre – Know How to Wait

 

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“Intentions vs Dispositions” & Widenings

ONE

Bourdieu explains this concept (which is a GREAT dial to watch) in his conferences about Manet.

To make is short, he says that when an artist “makes” something (a movie, a painting, etc), audience and critics talks about his/her INTENTIONS.

As if artists knew exactly what they do and the impact their work will have!

Kundera said that sometimes he receives a thesis written by a student about his books, and explains that he had no idea all these ideas were in them !

TWO

Bourdieu opposes Intentions to Dispositions. Manet’s work is not “a crystal clear intention to have this impact”, but it’s more like a bouquet of tendencies, an aggregate of his childhood, his education, training, his time, his friends, his changing or searching personality, his work too, the building of it, etc.

THREE

I think we can watch this pattern, widening it to human relations in general. There, it plugs to the second agreement. People don’t do thing with big “intentions” towards you, but they deal with their own dreams and values, linked to you or not.

FOUR

It’s linked with the idea of Umberto Eco & the Open Work, and Intertextuality (“the meaning of a text does not reside in the text”). In short : the audience reacts, but they probably don’t get the “intention” of the author (if there’s one). The audience builds its own system of reactions, according if necessary to the imagined, supposed “intentions” of the author.

Same in life, right?

FIVE

Disposition is the “tendency of”, the trend. A human being will is a complex system, a changing aggregate. You watch, then, the… Propensity. The natural tendency to move this way, to act that way.

You have no idea how a scandal it’s been for Manet’s work : Le DĂ©jeuner sur l’Herbe, and Olympia. Bourdieu smiles : maybe someone asked the painter, one evening in spring, on a terrace in Paris with a beer “What do you do this day?”. “I paint”.

SIX

“Haecceity” !

Endless Amendments : Reality

SEVEN

We’re not islands, but we are, in a way.

Intentions do exist, yes, but for ourselves. I love this example (from Kundera again) : the intention of knowing.

CONCLUSION

Watch someone act (crazy or not). Understand it with dispositions (the whole system this person is in, education, wounds, life, milieu, changes, desires), not with intentions.

 

Have a great day!

 

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