I’m back from my trip. Currently trying to put my house back together as now a boatload of inherited things are now sitting in my studio which is also technically the living room of my tiny house. And the state of the house is also reflecting my state of mind. What do I do with all of this?
One of my terrible talents is thinking to much. Like if I sit here and think long enough I’ll ‘solve the problems’ and everything will make sense. I’m thinking about the cultural divide in America where it seems anyone who has a remotely differing opinion is screamed at by the people who disagree, even if they are aligned politically or culturally. I think about how it seems that everyone no matter how happy or put together they try to appear seem all lonely, insecure, and struggling, even if people on the outside think those feelings make no sense. I see too many isms, racism, sexism, classism, homophobia-ism (not an ism but I’m making it one. It’s my journal I do what I want). I see people dissect themselves looking for flaws and comparing themselves to others, all while also trying so hard to be admired.
I’m bothered… by all of this. I don’t pretend to have answers. I have opinions, but what’s the use in arguing? I like exchange of ideas, debates where everyone at least considers the other side even if they can’t agree. But we’ve been wandering the way of listening refusal for decades. It sure didn’t start when Trump started running for office, and it’s not just the conservatives who are at fault.
My favorite movie is Metropolis. A B/W silent film made in 1927, directed by Fritz Lang.
I personally prefer the 1984 score, you can watch it in full here.
The story is about this rich boy, Freder, who is the son of Joh Fredersen who is the founder and master of Metropolis, this great sprawling city. Freder pretty much jacks about all day long as a rich boy, competing in sports for fun, screwing girls in the pleasure gardens. No fucks given. Then one day a girl from the working class who live underneath the city, Maria, comes to the pleasure gardens while Freder and his buddies are trying to get their sex on. She tells the children ‘These are your Brothers”, and then she looks at the rich sons and says “These are your Brothers”. She then leaves and vanishes with the children. Freder’s mind is blown, and he wants to find this girl. So he goes on a journey to find her…
The film is basically about how people can mutually destroy one another when they fail to communicate. If you’d like a synopsis of the film without watching it go here, but the main tagline that sums up the movie is “There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.”
This is much on my mind now, because it seems everyone thinks they are right and nobody is willing to listen, and the extremes are manipulating the centrists. The rise of fascism and the value of control & profit over people, equality, & human rights. People hunkering down in their bunkers of personal feelings shutting out any ideas or people they might remotely disagree with for fear it may upset or taint them somehow. I’m just over here trying to listen, letting everything roll over me like repeating tides. In my mind I’m thinking ‘fuck labels, what works? What do people need? What are the facts? How can we serve each other and cut out corruption?’ And… how can we do that when we have a culture climate where we see anyone who doesn’t agree with us as the ‘Other’ that they are corrupt, and we the greater good. I’m saying I see a fuck-ton of miscommunication out there, and I don’t want to contribute to that as a creative. Debate isn’t my strong suit, I like to weigh things too much and look at both sides, which isn’t useful for snappy comebacks and sound bytes.
I’ve been meditating on this and other related stuff. I feel if I actually say what I think my liberal friends will cut me off, but that’s also the politics I lean towards. Whenever I do one of those ‘political alignment tests’ I come off as a democrat socialist, probably because I grew up with many advantages & I think everyone should start off the same way, and I think the way our class structure is set up that’s not the case. I want justice and equality for everyone, and I’m ok with being taxed more to even the playing field. I also think we need people of many POVs to debate to find the middle path though. We need conservatives, we need liberals, we need everyone to debate and discuss and find the middle way that works for everyone. I don’t have all the right answers, nobody does. We need a mediator/s, and I’m really worried we won’t see one coming anytime soon.
Anyway, ranty rant. Let me share some interesting stuff I’m looking at lately.
I just rolled over this youtube channel called ContraPoints. It’s run by a Trans-lass ex-philosopher (as she describes herself), who does an amazing and entertaining job of addressing topics and also deconstructing them, and isn’t afraid to be self critical and honest. Worth a watch.
For you artist birds you may want to hop on the way-back train and check out 1972’s BBC documentary Ways of Seeing. I’ve linked part one but check out all 4. Basically it needles how fine art is seen today as we use reproductions to remove art from it’s context… I can’t say I agree with every point but it’ll give you food for thought, which is what the brainbox needs for a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of the ideas that are brought up today are even more relevant with our smarty phones and constant media influx.
Anyway. I need to get all this stuff out of my living room, and I need to set aside all these thoughts and just make paintings again. Illustration is fine, but it’s not what I want to say.
I’m aware that might not make any sense, but I also don’t think it has to.