September 26, 2005

Happiness isn’t always cheerful.

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There is the pretence that the purpose of language is to communicate when so often we use words only to protect ourselves or attack others. Yet we cannot or will not admit to this. Behind all of our honesty is a deeper dishonesty which is inevitable and cannot be named.

I find lately that the least little ambiguity between myself and others is so heavy with failure. Failure to do the right or good thing. Is it even possible to be clear? What could clarity mean other than an attempt to signify mysterious sadness or elucidate the pathos of things.

Communication cannot save us from ourselves. Attempts to communicate are just the fragile, awkward gestures we hide behind time and time again. And yet without these fragile gestures what would be left of us? Only apathy and self-interest? Desire, of course always desire, but desire without communication is only impotence or war. (I am forgetting about joy.)

Attempts to communicate signify, however ineffectively, that we still care. Tenderness and failure. We must go on.


 

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September 19, 2005

Coincidence

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1.When we see coincidences as meaningful what we are really saying that there is some sense to life, that everything is not just chaos, that seemingly random similarities between parallel events open up a door in what is known through which it might just be possible to glimpse that which we will never know. And so I made a kind of quiet resolution: to follow the coincidences that life presented me and see where they might lead.

2.
Milan Kundera has an essay about the six different kinds of coincidences that can be employed in the contemporary novel. I can't remember what these six are exactly but this half-remembered inventory makes me think that coincidence helps us form stories about our lives and without stories we are lost. But these stories must be open and flexible or they will bury us. And coincidences, because they are unexpected and out of the ordinary, help us open up our stories again and give us a taste of how perhaps anything is possible.


3.
The problem with following coincidences is a problem of interpretation. When a coincidence occurs in which direction should I follow it, how am I to understand what it means? For that matter, even if a certain interpretation presents itself as obvious and clear that doesn’t necessarily suggest some specific decision. Action remains on the periphery of the phenomena.


4.
In what ways is it still possible to use words such as fate or fortune now that science has made them archaic? But I almost drifted backwards into semantics. Fate and fortune still exist, whether or not we have words to describe them.




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September 12, 2005

Cinema

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1.
There is no such thing as anti-cinema, all cinema is equally enthusiastic. I believe this is the case because technology requires belief to transform itself from a useful gadget into a meaningful entity. Without belief, cinema is only a trick.


2.
You are watching an extremely violent movie. You can feel your central nervous system tightening as you watch. That is why you prefer theatre to cinema. Because theatre doesn’t affect the central nervous system in such a direct and insidious manner. Cinema is like a dream. It is projected onto the inside of your retina. Theatre is more real. And as human beings we require reality. Because without reality there is no basis for moral and ethical decisions.


3.
Cinema is a horrible victim of its own success. The more people who are deeply moved, enchanted and affected by something the more money they will pour into it and the more money they pour into it the more that money will dictate the parameters of its existence. Therefore, movies are terrible because people love them and not, as is generally assumed, the other way around. /// The filmmaker, like anyone on the receiving end of a terrible love, also faces a great responsibility. As the object of devotion he/she must also realise that the audience, like any devoted lover, is willing to undergo any degree of dejection or humiliation in service of their love. Films may pummel them or even ignore them but they will always come back for more. /// Of course, today people do not go to the movies in order to be moved, enchanted or affected. They go only to have something to do, to pass the time or perhaps have something to talk about at the office, some proverbial hook on which to hang all there instantly arrived at opinions. Movies today are a direct response to the fact that people don’t have anything better to do. A distraction from everything including themselves.




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