Sunday, 27 September 2015

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

When I looked out into the Scottish sea,
into the pixels on the screen,
I thought it strange that I felt

The light from the television reflected
on the surface of my glasses;
I imagined it would be difficult to see my eyes,
with the distracting images of the sea
playing through Netflix on my lenses.

I’d go there,
I thought
because its so close,
because I live in Scotland.

I’ve been there,
I felt
because I’d seen it
because of its presence on my eyes.

I waited with intent for the scene to be over;
I caught myself counting the seconds
until I might be released
from the duty of representing a landscape
that is not native to me.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Milan Kundera's "The Festival of Insignificance"

While this reflection may seem completely arbitrary and redundant, I wanted nonetheless to express that reading Milan Kundera reminds me how much I enjoy reading Milan Kundera. I've just finished his most recent novel "The Festival of Insignificance". Through his use of language, his addresses to his readers and the circles he creates in his narratives, I was brought back to a younger me, reading "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" in high school and feeling completely blown away by it, thinking and feeling, this is what its all about, these words.

In "The Festival of Insignificance", Kundera's characters are at once together, whole, and at the same time completely all over the place, confused and scattered, their thoughts skipping from their mothers to the navel as the most contemporary locus of female sexuality and seduction, joining the previously acknowledged and adored thighs, buttocks and breasts.

While the novel does not really attend to the perspective of any of the female characters, which in fact, are all side characters and exist in relation to the sexual interest of and preoccupation by their male admirers, the male friends are entertaining to the reader and delightful to the women characters. I was particularly charmed by Caliban, who invents words to a language he designates to others as Pakistani in other to maintain his own comfort zone as he waits on elegant upperclass parties. Through his language and his "inability" to communicate in French with another waitress (Portuguese), he manages somehow to draw her to him. The appeal for her is that she believes he can't understand her, and as she hates speaking French, they communicate through her Portuguese and his invented Pakistani. All in all, I am once again tickled by Kundera's lightness, his heaviness, his insignificance, his significance. 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Dialogue: Being Better

Dialogue: Being Better

-       I like what you said earlier about Feminism. About it being good for everyone.
-       Thanks. I really believe that.
-       I like what you said about that movie.
-       The one with the girls and the boys?
-       Yeah. Made me want to watch it.
-       You should watch it.
-       I like what you said about having a hot meal. About hospitality and the Bible.
-       I learnt it all when I was very young. When they were trying to teach us how to be good in God’s eyes.
-       I like what you said about God.
-       What did I say about God?
-       How he’s in the Internet.
-       He is. I really think that.
-       I like the way you sat down just then. It was both feminine and masculine at the same time in the best ways.
-       How come you notice these things? And why do you like me so much?
-       Its not like that. I’m just trying to see good things in the world. Its just something I’m trying out.
-       Like, noticing detail?
-       I’m trying to be a generous person. In a way, a kind person. To be generous in my world views.
-       I like that.
-       Thanks.
-       I like it when people are quite conscious of themselves, of improving themselves. I hate people who don’t think they ever should change really.
-       I’m trying not to feel hatred.
-       That’s probably a good idea. I guess I don’t hate them. I just think its more honest when you see where you are lacking.
-       Someone once told me: Always know who is better than you. And I thought it was the most brilliant statement.
-       Better how?
-       Whatever better means to you. Know who’s better than you so you know where you are and you have a sense of where you might like to be.
-       Do you think this is all a bit too structured? Too formulated? That if you are trying to be something good all the time, you aren’t being authentic? Maybe you might even be being boring?
-       Perhaps.
-       Do you think nice is a tradeoff for boring? Do you have to choose one or the other? That in some way, they are mutually exclusive?
-       I hope not.
-       Me too.

Dialogue: Technomind

Dialogue: Technomind

-       I can’t think.
-       What do you mean?
-       My mind is blank. It feels blank and weird.
-       Weird how?
-       I feel like I’ve forgotten it somewhere and I can’t gain access to it. As if I can’t even call it and there’s no phone service or Wifi or anything. I’m totally disconnected.
-       So you see your mind as some kind of technology?
-       Isn’t everything nowadays?
-       I’d like to think not. I’d like to think when I read a book, that it is separate from technology.
-       Do you own a Kindle?
-       No.
-       Would you ever buy one?
-       I’d like to think not.
-       Why are you so resistant and repulsed by technology?
-       I’m not repulse by it.
-       You sound like you kind of are.
-       I’m not. I just don’t experience my mind as a technology. I just don’t think everything is technology. At least not yet. And maybe I’m trying to hold onto that.
-       I don’t know. I can’t think. I’m disconnected. I’m running low on juice.
-       You’re tired.
-       No. I slept like a baby. This is about battery, it’s a different kind of energy. It’s a fear of dying and having to plug myself back in.
-       How can you plug yourself in if you are dead?
-       Its just my mind, not my body.
-       None of this makes any sense to me.
-       You’re old fashioned.
-       I’m not. I know what its like to feel tired, to feel like you can’t think. I just don’t know what you’re talking about with all of your sci-fi metaphors.
-       They aren’t sci-fi. They’re happening now! Its all happening now. And they’re not metaphors either. This is real life. Soon we will all think of ourselves as robots, as machines, whether body or mind come first for you, you’ll be here soon.
-       This is beginning to get weird.
-       This is the future.
-       Maybe not. I’m not convinced.
-       You’ll see. I’m going home.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

MA Dissertation

Haven't had the chance to work on things for Cabbage Moths lately because I have been finishing up my MA Dissertation! Very exciting. It was of course an incredible experience to really delve into the Challenge for Change films and to stay, in my mind, with Fogo Island. It has been nearly one and a half years since my trip there, and still, it remains a place so special to me.