Deparkerization?

I work in a bookstore where someone recently asked me about the Parker wine guide.

I answered with a bit of surprise : nobody asked me that in years! I checked and realized that the last Parker guide, in France, was from 2009.

We asked ourselves about how nobody seems to care anymore about Parker.

I remembered the “problems” at the time : the guy was giving notes to wines (from 0 to 100), and he was so powerful (or such an influencer) that wine makers around the world had begun to twiddle their wines around to satisfy him. And the higher notes made some wine unaffordable. And in France we have a suspicion about notes, the idea of “evaluation gives a digit”. Especially in Arts and human activities. Etc.

In fact, there were many “controversies”. The “Mondovino” documentary ( https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411674/ ) tells a bit about them…

If a wine is Parkered 67/100, is it better than a 63/100? Really?

This leads to many structures :

  1. The fact that Parker used digits to “note” wines was a problem in itself. Therefore we could note movies, poems, maybe love, why note? “This poem is a 88/100 and my wife is a 76”. Can we do this and why?
  2. Parker was powerful and listened, and when he titled a book “Bordeaux, The Definitive Guide for the Wines Produced Since 1961”, the impact was huge. What is a “definitive” ranking?
  3. Why is someone a star of an influencer at one moment and pretty much nothing ten years after? What about the stars we have today?
  4. What about “controversies”? Should we listen to the cons, always? How to study their arguments?
  5. What does one do with “Mainstream Tastes”? Do we jump happily in the pool of obedient followers? What is mainstream in a small world of specialists? Why do people follow, and who are those who don’t and try to find less frequented paths?
  6. What is social pressure when it’s activated by an influencer, a critic?
  7. If there a “Number One Influencer”, who’s the second (let’s rank the rankers, bim!), and the third? What if we compare them, organize ideas fights?
  8. What about the minority of the “last followers”, the believers? What if they were right?

Then, again : where to apply and think with these tools? Photography? Movies? Fashion? Anthropology?

This article made you think about other people? Who?

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading!

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“This is how it should be done: lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times.”

Gilles Deleuze

Artification

I sold a book to a lady who is writing a thesis about… Artification.

I asked her : “What is this? The way Art spreads into society?”

“Noooo”, she answered. It’s the way Art extends its own definition : some things were NOT considered Art before, and now it’s Art.

Of course, you know me, we immediately had a little chat about resistance to Artification. I told her about authors who talks about decadence and “c’était mieux avant” (it was better before).

But I write this article because it’s a pattern, right?

It’s not Art Spreading in society, it’s more things becoming Art in society.

It really makes me think…

It’s a difference. A mutation more than a spread?

It’s a problem of definition (“What is Art and what is not”), it’s a problem of… field.

The field is not extending becoming larger (like Art coming to stations or malls), the field extends by mutation.

OK. Where else do we find this? Can you help me?

Thanks for reading!

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The Persian Letters Tool

Nestor Almendros is a great cinematographer, and in a documentary I just watch about this “craft” (men who take care of light in movies), he says mischievously that most of great cinematographers in cinema come from other countries – which is true!

The need to have a fresh eye…

Which made me think about one book : Persian Letters, by Montesquieu, recounting the experiences of two Persian noblemen, Usbek and Rica, who are traveling through France.

Like when one says that one good part of the philosopher’s job is to not understand.

The capacity to see things “as they are” (and not for granted) is a strange funny power, all society can become a carnival, and what is human becomes singular, crazy, mechanical, dumb, and all conventions become hilarious and sinister, unbearable, unbelievable!

So this book, France seen by two Persians, is disconcerting, on purpose. You surprise people with what they are, what they do. You show them that all the fabric of their lives is relative…

To conclude, let’s think about this : The Persian Letters was written by… a French, of course, who must have “this” state of mind :

“Taken for granted” questioning

If you have that, you have a great tool, but it’ll put you on an island. So what?

Have a nice day!

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Not “Evil vs Good”, but “Chaos vs Order”

Not “Evil vs Good”, but “Chaos vs Order”.

Well, what the heck is this double opposition?

I don’t know.

Many movies are based on Evil vs Good, right?

Let’s make a geometric transposition : Evil towards Chaos, and Good towards Order. Okey?

In a crime novel, the murder brings chaos in the apparatus which is the good society of men. The detective brings back order, thanks mister.

It seems simple, but I thus and therefore automatically choose the contrary.

Order can be Evil. 1984 the book. Or Nazis perfect aligned armies. More : in the new Star Wars, the bad guys are named the First Order…

  1. I take pliers, I pinch “Order” and I pin in on a tree. Order is straight lines, obedience, conservative, religion, highways, mainstream, social pressure, black and white, perfectly mown lawns, rules.
  2. I take my two fingers and I grab “Chaos”, where I find colors, invention, freedom, progress in Art, little mountain paths, movements, punk happy gardens.

 

Well, let’s go on. Imagine a cross-diagram : left-right for evil good, and up-down for order-chaos.

Combine :

  1. Evil Chaos : Hell, The Battle of Stalingrad. Revolutions.
  2. Evil Order : 1984 Society, Fascism.
  3. Good Chaos : Picasso, Stravinsky : creativity, progress. Revolutions.
  4. Good Order : “The idea of Norway” – justice, rightful, legitimate.

 

What else? What do you think? Where does that go?

Everything immoderate is negative… right? Is it only a question of balance?
Paul Valéry, who is a wise man, says that in a society ruled by order, things happen :

  • What is sensitive in men can not always be precise (not everything can be measured and put in “order”).
  • Order is a burden to people. They have to dream, and invent. Under quietness of order, some brains shake themselves, hopes bloom…

 

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

Dispositifa thoroughly heterogeneous ensemble consisting of discourses, institutions, architectural forms, regulatory decisions, laws, administrative measures, scientific statements, philosophical, moral and philanthropic propositions–in short, the said as much as the unsaid. Such are the elements of the apparatus. The apparatus itself is the system of relations that can be established between these elements.

“Further expanding the already large class of Foucauldian apparatuses, I shall call an apparatus literally anything that has in some way the capacity to capture, orient, determine, intercept, model, control, or secure the gestures, behaviors, opinions, or discourses of living beings. Not only, therefore, prisons, madhouses, the panopticon, schools, confession, factories, disciplines, judicial measures, and so forth (whose connection with power is in a certain sense evident), but also the pen, writing, literature, philosophy, agriculture, cigarettes, navigation, computers, cellular telephones and—why not—language itself, which is perhaps the most ancient of apparatuses—one in which thousands and thousands of years ago a primate inadvertently let himself be captured, probably without realizing the consequences that he was about to face.” (Agamben)

 

 

Oh I don’t care what comes tomorrow
We can face it together
The way…

 

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Harmless Waves : the “Too Much Empathy” Syndrome

The ability to feel (or guess) what another person is feeling… is called Empathy.

Sometimes it’s a flaw!

Some says it’s the basis of our societies.

At another level, some say our brain works with a structure, which is Analogy. The human brain never ceases to create analogies between what we see and our experience, for example.

Analogy is probably Empathy’s structure…

Some say that the screen culture we plunge our kids in is the source of a lack of empathy. Their brain connects itself, this way : the world is a “sight”, something we watch.

 

When you have too much empathy it’s exhausting. I give you an example (you’ve probably been there) :

In a suburb train, someone was listening to shit music on their phone, the typical all-the-same robotic vocals (this horrible trend) in simple repeated phrases and mind-dumbing rhythm. Then my brain does two things : 

  1. I wanna stand up, take the phone and throw it out through the window, hoping it’ll crash in a huge DUNG. Then I’d click-tongue them the so-there way.
  2. I’m polite and then I curse them for seven generations, wondering about their lack of empathy (“Don’t you realize you’re murdering many people’s ears?”).
  3. But then I do have empathy, and wonder about them : what’s lacking in their mind? What’s happening inside you, dumbuddy? How can someone be so selfish and crappignorant? What about their childhood, their education? Are you an idiot?

 

See? It’s a mess. I have to close my brain (OK – it’s not possible), or analyze the “music” to find out how it’s made (it’s a game), or read my book hoping it’ll catch all of me (it can work), or let go and just be crossed (is “traversed” correct?) by what I decide are harmless waves (music are waves, right?).

 

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Who’s lured & misled, here?

Il n’existe pas un esprit qui soit d’accord avec soi-même. Ce ne serait plus un esprit.
There is no one spirit who agrees with itself. It wouldn’t be a spirit any more.
Paul Valéry

 

 

“Qui trompe-t-on, ici ?” – Who’s misled, here?

A theatre professional (an actor, a director) knows he “has to create an illusion”. Therefore each time he goes to watch a play, a movie, or reads a book, he sees the illusion… but he may feel pleasure too. He is just not completely taken in…

We all have that skill, more or less : it depends. It happens when you’re in your domain, like the actress watching a movie. But for other people it happens all the time.

Who’s lured & misled, here?

It’s a state of mind. A quick capacity of “Inside Sidestepping”. You’re never completely taken in, you always see when you’re manipulated :

  1. It happens when you’re a pro and you know all the tricks.
  2. It happens when you’re in a situation where you’re forced to think different (illness or anything that modifies your mood).
  3. It happens when you have it, this ability to detect the use of illusion (or bullshit, if you prefer).

 

The problem is : you have to live, though. You see the masks, and you see that others don’t see the masks, and that’s all. It’s like you have to work on it, on shutting up the desire to warn others. Then you can have fun…

The world of men can become a subject of curiosity.

Most of the time, you don’t participate. 

Haha : Hunting Parrots, you can do. Very fun.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Fight Club vs Le Bon Bock – Rebellions

Hi everyone! You know me and my tendency to find common structures in things.

Yesterday I was reading about Le Bon Bock (1873), a painting (now in Philadelphia) by E. Manet, which was a big success after the dramatic events in Paris (the Paris Commune, 1871, see here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Commune). It’s been seen as a Type, a sort of philosopher, happy to be quiet, thinking, having a pipe and a good beer.

Then I got questions from my daughter about the Fight Club movie (1999), a huge source of disagreements at the time. I made a web page (in French : https://www.maison-page.net/FC.html), my theory was that the film was a way to dismiss, back to back these two attitudes :

  1. Being a stupid “capitalist consumer” happy donkey, the unthinking bored dork whose motto is : “Buy things, obey the rules and shut up”.
  2. Being a dumb nihilist : the excessive-behaviored “useless anarchist” who needs the system (because he wants to “change” it).

What’s the point?

Well, for me, both (the painting/the movie), each in its era, says the same thing implicitly.

Manet painted a guy who is refractory to any form of domination – showing a way out of the boring back-to-back Fight Club criticism. The world is maybe absurd, but there’s a third path, out of the opposition : dumb consumer/dumb rebel.

Waldgänger uses the forest is an article where I explained what is this “Forest Goer” : you stay in the world, but you don’t believe in its bullshit anymore. You step aside… inside your mind. You don’t “quit”, you don’t rebel : you watch and don’t believe in what to see.

Inner retreat. You need it sometimes!…

Thanks for reading!

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On what foot will you dance? What if in a situation you don’t feel what you’re supposed to feel?

Being neutral, or hilarious, at a funeral. Feeling nothing after being fired. Laughing when you read a drama book. Crying in front of a comedy.

What if in a situation you don’t feel what you’re supposed to feel?

  • It’s surprising for people around you, which means there’s a social pressure, right? You are “supposed to”.
  • It’s surprising for you.
  • Or maybe you exactly know why you react “out of the frame” – but it’s a secret.

 

In “A Streetcar Named Desire”, a woman visits her sister in New Orleans, who lives with a violent man (Marlon Brando). You’re “supposed to” dislike a man who beats a pregnant woman, right? But Brando is so good (and he’s a movie character) that you begin to love him, then you hate him, then you admire his work as an actor, then… Vous ne savez plus sur quel pied danser : “don’t know what foot to dance on” – You don’t know where to stand.

And this is made on purpose.

 

What are situations when you don’t know what to feel, where to stand? Manipulation? Sudden truths? Out of focus? What triggers feelings-confusion? Are you tired? What is this gap, between what you feel and what you’re supposed to feel? What if it was wrong? What if your radar needed to be fixed… or other people’s radars??

 

Thanks for reading!

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Why do you blog? The mess of #motivation theories – #blogging

Ah that good question it is, “Why do you blog?”. You can pick another one if you want : Why to you run? Why do you paint? Why do you shop? Why do you have sex?

I use it as a pretext to write about Motivation Theories, which are a whole messy basket of attempts to explain why I do something.

Why do you blog? Well, it depends…

  • You want to grow, to accomplish something
  • You want new competences
  • You want to meet people, affiliation
  • You need to express yourself
  • You believe in it
  • You need more self-esteem
  • You want money, or a job
  • You want power, you want to influence people
  • You want to be rewarded, posititive feedbacks, recognition
  • You want to impress someone, or a group
  • You want to be heard, you want readers, followers
  • You think it’s a way to gain something else, to enter something
  • It’s interesting
  • You fear something, like punishment
  • You need a goal, a discipline, a frame, to push yourself
  • You are pulled, or triggered by something, orders for example
  • You need schedules, to be driven by something
  • You need to be busy, tasks
  • You need to forget something else
  • You want to reduce something 
  • Expectancy
  • You want to meet your future husband or your wife
  • Motivation needs to become words and expression
  • You want or need to explain yourself
  • You search something and you find it little by little
  • You need to be productive, to produce something, to have results
  • You like numbers, statistics, you count visitors, likes, followers
  • You’re drunk

If you want to find more, Google “Motivation“, that’s really funny to dig. At the end, I found one day a single way to express this mess (your reason you blog is a melting cheese of reasons, right?) that could be the ultimate height of social motivation :

You blog, because you want to be loved

Thanks for reading!

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“Haecceity” : it’s about Labels on your Forehead – #Deleuze

Haecceity. I learned about this strange word in a book about Gilles Deleuze, a French Philosopher.

When we argue, when we talk, when we define ourselves, when you get an official letter, it puts a label on us. It says : “You are that”. So there!

It depends on the box, it depends how the society calls you :

Sociology, Psychology, Religion, Morals, Urbanism, Politics, Literature, Anthropology : every discipline PINS you on a board, as a woman, a muslim or a lover, a mother or a manager, et voilà!

The problem is WE ARE NOT AN ELEMENT OF A STOCK. We are human beings, and that implies that we are plugged, we change all along the day(s), we grow, we stop, we meet, etc.

Haecceity, says Deleuze, says that we should use more the word AND. Jean is a woman and a mother and a knitter and a fan of this group and has four good friends and likes France and just decided to divorce and plans to move and just began to blog and loves to bake with fruits, etc, she’s an INFINITY, and a moving one!

We are made of a series of events, of connections, of changes, and what defines us is our nature but also, a constant variation of plugs and deplugs, multi-events, joy, powers, feelings, intensities…

Wiki says :

Haecceity : the discrete qualities, properties or characteristics of a person that make it a particular thing. Haecceity is a person’s or object’s thisness.

There’s a danger is the way we write “We Are”, which label us and then put us “stuck in a stock”.

Deleuze says we are more accurately longitudes and latitudes, a group of different speeds and slownesses, an individual, a singularity, constantly inventing grapes of possibilities, a play of forces or encounters.

So play with words. Let people define you and other people. But don’t forget they are words. You are more than that.

There’s a article on WordPress about Deleuze’s singularities here.

Thanks for reading!

#bench #france #lille #rainyday