The Answer is Often ‘No’

The answer to either / or questions is either yes or no.

This can lead to either laughter or a protest that question has not been answered.

If you end up with a protest, you can either ignore it or respond to it.

If you respond to the protest, you can either deny that you did not answer the question or reply that it is the answer to the question that results from the long chain of dichotomies engendered by the original query, namely, is this a legitimate quandary.

The answer is often No.

Field Recordings

May 16, 2022.

A parenthetical lost in the moment. Moment. Time. Relativity. Space. Lost in space.

I still hope that I can find the idea. Which reminds me I had a Pandora riff going the other day but it is not captured anywhere.

This is not my first time riffing on ideas joined by a thin thread.

I’m …. The neighbour is examining the wear on her enamel mug. I look at mine and compare.

I am trying to capture my thoughts but they are too quick. Perhaps I can catch the memories.

I am in London. There are billions that find this significant. Not my presence but travelling to the city. In other words, if it was them here, it would be a significant event.

The restaurant is playing Hole. I sing along to show off my knowledge.

Women on the brain.

My neighbour went out for a cigarette. She is French, vaguely reminding me of someone that I had met once. Her companions are not keeping her company. Why?

There is a blue-haired girl in a mini-dress and black tights that draws my attention for a couple, or more, seconds. A little further along, in a chair next to the window, with a whipped cream drink and a half eaten piece of cheesecake, sits a South-Asian woman whose midday bling (a thick coat of glossy red lipstick on her lips, oversized-logo sunglasses in her hair and a large crystal on a gold chain) makes me suspect a difficult personality.

I do like the neighbour. Trying to remember who she reminds me of reminds me of Angie’s mom. She would be the double for the lady in front of me at the coffee shop this morning. Same size and shape. Tall and full-bodied. Like the stereotypical Dutch woman. No toothpick jokes.

“Reminds-me-of women.” Instead of soothing my curiosity, solving the earlier mystery has me obsessing over this one. Her smile reminds me of my travel agent from the 90’s. Her eyes, Jim’s wife. It’s the composite that has confused me.

I am Searching for Italy

The tragic simulation of tragedy.” It’s a perfect description of over dramatization of the news by the news. If it is being reported, it is news. If it is news, it deserves superlatives. Tragic. It makes me want to parody myself before I become a parody of myself.

The arrogance of the italics annoys me. It feels like the author, Yannick Haenel (whose first person I have borrowed for the title of this post), wants to be sure his clever phrase is noticed. I have been waiting 59 pages for something clever. I still need to underline it to keep it noticeable.

It feels like I am reading a book version of my blog. Except it is better written. And it is in French.

The underlining 24 pages later is not competing with italics. “Politics is always disappointing, impure and broken down. It is impossible for it to live up to the demands that make it necessary.” It reminds me of Winston Churchill’s lament that “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” It complements it.

I read his thoughts about Berlusconi and think Trump. “When no one has shame – when shame has been defeated –, vulgarity begins, in other words, crime.

I further qualify my comparison to him. We do both like to comment on our current reading though he gets invited to lecture about it. And he is more into painting than I am. Including religious art. Seeing a Madonna by Fra Angelico is a treat for Yannick Haenel.

I check if I can add his hypothesis on ecstasy to my ideas of sustainable hedonism. He wants to break through the limits of experience by living everything all at once. He wonders if the unidimensional life would allow him to remove himself from the market that society has become. I decide that experience would vanish if it were an all encompassing simultaneous event.

I keep his answer to the objection that it would require a saint to avoid the temptation of the market. “Someone who wants to ignore ecstasy is an incomplete being whose thoughts are reduced to analysis.” It is a fun reply to those who object to hedonism.

Peter Land – Back to Square One

Hyperrealist self-portrait of Peter Land as a homeless person.

Back to Square One is a self-portrait of Peter Land, a multi-disciplinary artist from Denmark, as homeless person. The title of the work refers to the board games that send you back to the first square and the cardboard boxes are the spaces of the game. The shape signifies that even bending over backwards gets you nowhere.

June 4, 2022
Hyperrealist exhibition Ceci n’est pas un corps
La Sucrière,
49-50 quai Rambaud,
Lyon, France

Thinking About It, Again

It is my favourite recordings of a conversation with the audience. An entusiastic fan, anticipating a direction to Jim Morrison’s mention of astrology, yells out his sign. He agrees that he is a Sagitarius, describes it as the most philosophical of all signs and finishes by denouncing any belief in it. In a wonderful moment of irony, the enthusiastic fan immediately echoes his sentiment.

But, it is what he says afterwards that I am interested in today.

I don’t know what’s going to happen man but I want to have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.

I’ve seen his grave. He went up in flames first.

That said, and taking Père Lachaise into consideration, what would a sustainable hedonistic lifestyle require? I think I will try to find some supportable prudes, ones I can talk to without wanting to pullout my hair in rage. Their objections will help me work out the answer.

No Encouragement Needed

I revert to my previous plan, B, for Saturday. Plan A had been cancelled a month ago because ticket sales had been too low (not very surprising seeing as it was new and there are at least three established festivals in the region). I have eliminated plan C because, while I enjoyed the music on day one, I do not know any of the bands. In other words, I have been there and it feels like I have totally done it. If I am going to do the familiar, I am going to go big.

The festival is big and big business. Sponsored booths, brands everywhere and a cashless system that probably generates more money than the sales of the pricey tickets. I take tour of the grounds, allow myself one more gripe (more space dedicated to stands than to music) and pack away the grumpy old man.

All this predictable crap comes with predictable fun. There is only one main stage performer that I have not heard of. The others I have known for at least ten years. This is going to be an evening of full hopping, along with fifteen thousand other attendees, to twenty year old hits.

Three, two, one … Time to party.
Bungee catapulting at the 2022 Musilac Festival.