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Best of 2014

January 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Everyone seems to do these so here is mine: “The End of Silk Road”, the piece of media that wholly sums up contemporary culture, existence, us, and 2013.


This is Not What I want to Be Doing

June 6th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

This is Not What I want to Be Doing.

I peek into the world of the Other. I have made considerable measures to open up the containers, both my own and the one of the Other. I am desperate for the Other to not only notice but want to open up my holes more, make consequences of the holes. It’s easy to peer through the holes, even touch the stuff inside, imagine how it could feel like belonging to me. I am always imagining the Other as more than I am. I am constantly in relation to the Other. I have created a self-appointed war in which I don’t know how to compete in at all and my enemy refuses to be the enemy. It’s effortless for me to start with, “I am not…” when asking myself what I am. The Other seems so assured and willing. I suffer from myopia.

This is Not What I want to Be Doing.

Being insecure paralyzes your body. The Other doesn’t ask for my reassurance but I give it, and with that, faulty expectations arise in me. I need to go inside myself first. Not to figure out what I want to do with my life as some sort of psychological cliched breakthrough, but if I am constantly teetering, I need to figure out how to go through and risk it.

I am not productive with my energy, AT ALL. Most of my days are spent imagining, procrastinating, aimlessly sitting around my apartment until a moment comes and it’s almost always at that time I have to go to class, or go to meeting or sleep. I can’t just wait around for moments of magic, disillusioned that the Other has somehow harnessed these magical moments into the makeup of their container. Struggle. Struggle.

Why am I always reaching out for the Other? What is the Other constitute of that I am lacking? My container is swollen and ruptured (maybe? or is the rupture not happened yet… at that moment will I have no choice but to take that unknown risk for the future?). Ok. Maybe the container doesn’t break all at once, but little scissions occur all around. Yes, there are many holes. I have made the holes in myself and the Other. When did I start doing this though? I don’t remember.

What do I want to be doing?

I am tired of the constant “I” and my struggle with solipsism yet inability to escape it.

i found this photo of me from 2004. i used to spend hours talking about ‘doing’ with j, the man that took this photo.

French Film love / my own love

April 13th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Just watched L’Amour l’après-midi by Eric Rohmer, only to find out it is the sixth and final film in the ‘Six Moral Tales’ series he did. I obviously wish I watched the previous ones first as this seems to be the culmination of them all.

The film is about “Frédéric, a middle-class lawyer, proud of his home life and in love with the idea of loving his pregnant wife and their first child, both safely ensconced in the suburbs. Frédéric also loves traveling to the city to work; it connects him to the bustle of modernity. He is invigorated by the freedom of city life, the proximity of chance, and, especially, the nearness of young, attractive, available women.” – Armond White

The ending made me wonder, was it Frédéric’s cowardice that led him to return to his wife and make passionate love to her, or was it truly that he was in love with her. Chloe, a woman that appears from his past taunts him that everyone cheats and that sooner or later he will as well, possibly with her. He grapples with this and is tempted on many occasions, but in the end doesn’t, despite her manipulations. She even goes as far as twisting around a story of his wife and a possible other man.

Was this Rohmer’s commentary on the French ethos? Maybe not everyone needs to be married and have women on the side? Maybe some are actually happy with their marriages? Frédéric was obviously influenced by Chloe’s rhetoric on the subject for a time, but in that confusion, maybe he was able to reinforce the love and desire for his wife and his life? Sometimes relationships need external influences for a broader perspective, and this was Frédéric’s? I am glad Rohmer didn’t let him sleep with Chloe. It would have been way too easy, even if they did fool around.

“These passing beauties are simply an extension of my wife’s beauty,” Frédéric says. Thus, Rohmer is not giving us a protagonist outside desire, but rather someone who takes in flirtatious pleasures, manifesting them for the benefit of his love life, rather than opposing them in the typical love and lust duality.

I really enjoyed the films discussion of relations, fidelity and love but without the overstated sexuality and eroticism that most movies of that genre give into. Not that I don’t love those films (because do I ever), but I’m not used to erotic French subtlety. In this I also realized the great effect, for better or worse, than French films have had on me especially my views on marriage. Being influenced by divorce rates of my friends’ parents is one thing, but while watching this, I think my equivocal, substantially anti-long term relationship viewpoint has definitely been massaged by French films. Without fail, most of them, or at least the ones I have watched pronounce a three-way relationship, something I have always been a fan of, compromised by intense desire and longing for the ‘other’ person, followed by a deep painful avalanche trumping all parties involved. Sometimes, like in Jules et Jim, even resulting in death. One reading would be that eventually it is the affairs that triumph and marriages get defeated. These consequences must have frightened me more than I realize, and even though I always find myself in long-term relationships, I am always afraid of them, afraid of myself in them, afraid of the other person in them. Maybe afraid is the wrong word. Hesitant? Distressed? At this point, the correct word isn’t in me. Yet, simultaneously, these emotions towards the ‘relationship’ are never created out of doubt about the love for my partner, about the passion and lust I carry. This is the crux French films have created in me. It’s so strange to intellectualize my emotions like this. I should stop. But I must get back to this.

I also just signed up for The Auteurs. Join me.

this moment – right now

April 10th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Anytime I am looking to make sense of life I turn to Mitsu

At each moment, I say to myself, suppose I were at the end of my life, and I were transported back to this moment, to be able to live my life again.  I’m here, new, the first moment of my second chance.  What do I do with it?

We always think of ourselves as at the end of a long history which we imagine is trapping us, defining us and our world; our mistakes, our successes. But if we thought of this moment as a fresh beginning, rather than the end of a history of events, we would see there are vast possibilities in our present moment now. We don’t have to keep doing what we’ve been doing. If we had a second chance, we could do anything, we have the whole wide world in front of us… would we just repeat our past patterns or joyously start fresh?

There’s no reason why, as adults, we have to restrict ourselves to our habits, our knee-jerk reactions, our comfort zone. We can start over, every fresh new moment, with all our knowledge and experience, but not constrained by it but simply informed by it. Simple yet it’s hard to even notice we’re treating our lives as a great big experiment in repetition and not paying attention.

Not paying attention, because: if we really were paying attention, we wouldn’t jump to conclusions quite so readily, we wouldn’t be so sure our story was true, was fact, was set in stone. We would be a little more open to the possibility that we don’t, in fact, know what our world is, what we are doing, and the limits of our world. If we had a moment to look at things new, with a little more doubt, we could see infinite spaces open up in between our judgements and thoughts, and perhaps we’d have a chance to flex ourselves in directions we didn’t even conceive of before.

The same goes for listening, reading, thinking … when we listen to something we’ve heard before, when we read something we’ve read before, or something like it, we tend not to actually think about it again, fresh, re-checking it, but instead we consult our memory and replace the fresh experience of the idea(s) with a memory of having encountered the thought before. We take the memory placeholder as a stand-in for the idea. But this is useless and harmful, for a number of reasons: the memory is itself embedded in habits and contexts which are no longer nearly as relevant now, by doing this, we fail to refresh and re-check the idea, so that it can be expanded beyond the confines of how it worked for us in the past, and we also deprive ourselves of the advantage of putting our minds through the process of thinking about the idea afresh, which is always the best way to “remember” anything — not by remembering it, but by recreating it from scratch. Don’t take that retread: the “memory” of an idea, which is mere propaganda.  Every idea has a vast new possibility of application with each moment; evolution, expansion, even refutation. An idea, repeated, can be a gateway to a new insight, even if we’ve heard it or read it or thought it a thousand times before, by re-thinking it, recreating it as though we’d never heard it before. It’s only then we have the chance to see new dimensions of it, and to reapply it to our ever-changing and always unique presence with the world. – synthetic zero

Permalink: http://www.syntheticzero.com/?p=135

& read this too: http://www.syntheticzero.com/?p=183

I believe in God.

March 12th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

President Roslin, who is dying of cancer sits with a dying woman, Emily, who is at the last stages of her own terminal cancer in the hospital quarters.

“Those are the gods you believe in? Capricious? Vindictive?”
“They are not to be taken literally. They are metaphors.”
“I don’t need metaphors, I need answers.”

I believe in metaphor, thus I believe in God. I don’t need answers or reassurance, because they’re in me already.

I don’t think I was ever truly an atheist. The anagram of my name spells A Mad Angel.

MP3: Frog Pocket – Celebrimbor Tur-Anion (Planet Mu)

Sputnik Sweetheart

November 24th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

We each have a special something we can get only at a special time in our life. Like a small flame. A careful, fortunate few cherish that flame, nurture it, hold it as a torch to light their way. But once the flame goes out, it’s gone forever. What is it like—on the other side?*

I’ve had the same dream many times. The pain is always the same when I wake up. The longing for that something. The details differ but the single theme doesn’t waiver. When do you know that the flame has gone out? When you realize it’s not there anymore? But dreams can play tricks on you, make you see things that aren’t there. Make each world appear more true than the other. How do you decipher which one to believe? Can you believe in both simultaneously?

Sputnik Sweetheart reminded me of The Double Life of Veronique and also of Persona. I want to watch and read the books with this identity split. With the half somewhere else, left behind, and the half that is tangible, or realized as tangible in the present moment. Why is the half we yearn for always there and we here? Is that half over there thinking of us here? We always seem to think, No.

Are we afraid to admit the flame has been caught by the wind because we are part of that flame? We created it, the synergy did. So, ok, we admit it is gone, where are we?

Is there a place for me over there?*

What are you doing on the other side? Without me? Cheerful smiles that only whitening toothpaste can provide. I’ve been told my teeth are big, supposedly it’s the Jew in me. When do you give up? When your cheeks start hurting so much and the inside of your mouth is dry and rubbing against your gums?

You started this chaotic journey, he writes among indecipherable words on eight pages and nineteen definitions for the word “double” as provided by dictionary.com. He also writes that doppelgänger was the first definition he thought of when trying to write me. Similarly, it is her possible doppelgänger Miu sees in Sputnick Sweetheart, and Veronique sees in Double Life of Veronique.

Where is yours (right now)?

*from Sputnik Sweetheart – italics from the original text

Where Am I?

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