The need of a “Bedtime story”

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The amount of routine preachers is by millions on social media. There are tips on every minute spent of the day. One would tell you to wake up early and drink water with lemon. Then, some yoga or some stretching would follow. If allowed, drinking coffee would be thirty minutes after waking up (usually in these types of blogs/vlogs coffee is not advised). Furthermore, there are tips on how to be creative, how to spend a productive day, how to eat smart, how to sleep, how to love and the list goes on.

When is too much too much? Are we that free that we need routines? Are we that alike that we all need the same routines?

Worse, why must we all be productive? Aren’t we allowed to be lazy?

Not only we must wear masks outside, not only the world scene looks like a sci-fi movie scene, but also we are robotized.  Useless “freeless” life, isn’t it?

Sing along:

Today is the last day
That I'm using words
They've gone out, lost their meaning
Don't function anymore
Traveling, leaving logic and reason
Traveling, to the arms of unconsciousness
Traveling, leaving logic and reason
Traveling, to the arms of unconsciousness

The lyrics were written by the Icelandic singer and songwriter Bjork to Madonna whom she criticized for being a control freak. The chorus is a powerful message of letting go:

Let's get unconscious honey
Let's get unconscious
Let's get unconscious honey
Let's get unconscious

What if I hate water and lemon in the morning? What if I want to drink plain water then coffee? What if I want to listen to music as soon as I wake up? What if I hate Keto? What if I can’t write every day?

Words are useless
Especially sentences
They don't stand for anything
How could they explain how I feel

And inside
We're all still wet
Longing and yearning
How can I explain how I feel?

And all that
You've ever learned
Try to forget
I'll never explain again

Freedom is lost somewhere down the road and actions are calculated. Maybe we need to daydream again, to be intuitive and imaginative. I guess we do.

 

High Hopes by Pink Floyd: Did they see the global disaster coming?

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When art tells reality and predicts the future with poetry, imagination and music (all in a broader sense), it fulfills its highest role.  The Division Bell is my favorite Pink Floyd’s album, contrary to many people’s opinions out there. The song High Hopes describes the world we knew, and to push the interpretation further, the world before the pandemic maybe:

Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of magnets and miracles
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary

And the global sanitary shift started the division of our life into old and new normal, taking our dreams away:

The ringing of the division bell had begun
Along the Long Road and on down the Causeway
Do they still meet there by the Cut
There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps
Running before times took our dreams away
Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground
To a life consumed by slow decay

Back then the grass was greener and the memory of our old life brings light images to our minds:

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
When friends surrounded
The nights of wonder

 

Yes, we all dreamed bigger because we thought the world was somehow safe and ambition was indeed unsatisfied, actions were endless, restless global movements:

Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide
At a higher altitude with flag unfurled
We reached the dizzy heights of that dreamed of world

Encumbered forever by desire and ambition
There's a hunger still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
Though down this road we've been so many times

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river
For ever and ever

It is a beautiful song, deep and rich with meanings like all Pink Floyd’s and to keep the pleasure ongoing, that’s the link to the musical video:

The influence of The Joker

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Few months ago, exactly in October, when Lebanon’s protests started, a politician linked street riots to the movie The Joker. Couple of weeks beforehand, I had watched it and wrote a review about it on here: The Joker, or how to watch a movie through concepts

I didn’t give much attention to the politician who blamed the movie for the happening protests for two main reasons: first, not everyone had watched the movie; second, people were protesting against corruption, so the movie was irrelevant here. However, world news has become a replica of the movie: now, I see everywhere The Joker.

Did the movie predict the state of the world or did it influence a certain worldwide ambiance, at least for the people who watched it?

It is difficult to answer these questions accurately, but one thing is sure: there is a correlation between riots and the movie. Apart from the Gilets Jaunes in France that started late 2018 beginning 2019, alongside some movements here and there, what’s commonly referred to as the Global Wave Protests started around October 2019. Again, was it a prediction or is it a replica? Honestly, a part of me is happy to see that art is impacting the world, especially after a long trend of pop commercial mainstream art, insignificant and shallow in its majority.

The Joker is an eponymous movie about a mentally ill man who considers himself as a joker, living in a corrupted and forgotten city. The socially invisible and bullied joker, forced to become a criminal for he has no choice, and a hero figure for a whole population as forgotten as invisible by the government as he was. So, the joker is each person unfairly treated, relentlessly claiming for long awaited and somehow out of reach rights.

Surely, there were some predictions in the movie while in the making alongside the start of some moving parts of the world. Maybe the brutality and the depth of The Joker _ not to forget the huge talents of all the working team_ had influenced protesters.

However, one question remains unanswered: did the working team on the movie expect the shifting in the world?

 

The sacrificial creativity: the misconception of creativity in the modern world

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During lockdown, there was a massive pressure on people to be creative since time is the thing we needed to kill. While this is not a bad idea and creativity is thrived in moments of silence and slowness, the whole marketed creativity was more perceived as an obligation. However, creativity is not an obligation. What is creativity then?

Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. It is the synonym of originality, inventiveness, progressiveness, imagination.

Consequently, there are two main goals to creativity: aesthetics and necessity. For the latter, creativity is essentially an obligation and that’s how humans evolved and survived as specie. But for aesthetics and intellectual pleasure how can creativity become an obligation? It is almost a paradox. Therefore where did conception come from?

In ancient times, creativity was never an issue except for poets who were inspired by muses. There was a natural way to let creativity develop by simply letting it be. It was more like a dance with creativity whenever anyone was inspired. Nature is creativity without an issue, hence the peaceful relationship humans had with it.

In modern times, since the 17th century, a man was defined as a free conscience being in total mastery of his own thoughts and actions. Creativity started to be an issue because it had to me mastered and under the command of the ego. Then a person had to be creative. The relationship to creativity became a struggle, pushing artists to sacrifices and artificial ways to reach it. Most artists still beat themselves up to create something. How many artists did commit suicide? How many others were/are addicted?

Forced creativity and commercialization of art in general turned creativity into an obligation and a burden.  As Nietzsche said it once:

I want to know whether you are a person devoted to creating or to exchanging in some respect or other: as a creator you belong to the free, as an exchanger you are their slave and instrument.

Parasite. The movie

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It’s the endless story of the battle of the poor; but this time not against the rich. It’s the mentality of being a parasite, living off others’ goods.

This movie shuts down many clichés we know: rich are bad, poor are good. By the end of it, one can’t tell who is bad and who is good. These values as depicted in the movie depend on situations. Life throws all characters in situations where each one has to choose the least evil. That being said, it is realistic and so is the description of the ways of being and thingking of both the rich and the poor.

Alongside the smooth storytelling, interrupted by surprising elements, and the filming itself, this movie deserves all the awards it got. It is the story of the less than ordinary brought to amplifications for the best and the worst.

It is a very good movie, but not for the faint at hearts.

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

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My hometown famous writer, Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), was a Lebanese-American writer, poet and a painter, also considered a philosopher although he rejected this title. Gibran’s life has been described as one “often caught between Nietzschean rebellion, Blakean pantheism and Sufi mysticism”. He wrote about love, happiness, religion, justice, soul, death, life and so on.

He wrote his most famous book, The Prophet in 1923, while in New York. I personally think it has been very much inspired by Nietzsche’s Thus spoke Zarathustra. The Prophet is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, justice and all topics of human questionning.

I picked this paragraph of it for all of us to meditate upon:

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This book is a must-read. I would love to know how do you interpret this prose poetry. Please leave you comments down below

How to save the world?

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If I have to recommend one writer, it would be him: Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Simply, magnificent! And my favorite book is : The Brothers Karamazov! It is a masterpiece.

Dostoyevsky wrote this quote in his book: The Idiot.

It can be understood as God. God is beauty. So, God/beauty will save the world.

It can also be understood as love. Love is beauty and only love is what we need to make the world a better place.

What about beauty and aesthetics? Is art the world savior? It can also be an interpretation for this quote.

Now things get complicated with this quote taken from: The Brothers Karamazov:

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So, how would the world be saved? If God and the devil are fighting in “beauty” which is in the heart of the man, does it mean love will save us all? This quotes describes to me the tragic human condition. What do you say on this?

Art, graffiti and revolution

The Prime minister, Saad el Hariri resigned couple of days ago. Protestations and strikes are still in the streets until a new government, the way we want it to be, is born. Alongside discussions groups about politics, economy, law, rights held on the ground between protestors, a lot of expressive arts became visible, in social media and on walls.

This is a different post here: revolution through art, from the heart of Beirut, a place called: “The Martyr’s Square”.  It was called so in 1931 to commemorate the martyrs execution there under the Ottoman rule. Without further ado, here are some pictures I took of some artistic activities.

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The martyr’s monument crafted by the Italian sculptor Marino Mazzacurati and inaugurated in 1960. As you can see, the base was being painted as i was taking the picture . And on your far left, i put the artist emoji 🙂 

 

 

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Translation: “revolution” : the monument sits on wreckage and fragments of tents broken by anti-revolution groups, who savagely broke everything down. In less then few hours everything was rebuilt and this pictures shows the resilience and the perseverance of revolutionaries.
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Translation: “people rule”
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The 1st on your left: “Confessionalism is not your religion. It tore apart your religion and mine”
The 2nd says: “Express yourself: a collective group therapy, the 1st after the civil war”.
The Civil war started in 1975 and ended in 1990 when Syrians occupied the country until 2005. 
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This one was done by my boyfriend who is a graphic designer and a dj, and most importantly, an activist. Please consider following him on all social media @dvjkaa

I have this dilemma in me and i don’t know how or what to answer. Should art remain independent and detached, or should it be politically engaged? Help me please answering this question by commenting below.

 

The Joker, or how to watch a movie through concepts

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The Joker is a magnificent movie in all its aspects. Joachim Phoenix simply nailed it. But most importantly, it is a movie that can change your perception on life and on society. Without spoiling the movie for those of you who haven’t watched yet (please go ahead), i found it rich in concepts and here are some of them:

Karl Marx names it: the Collective Consciousness: meaning culture and its impact on our way of being in general. In The Joker, society can be divided into rich people and poor people. In the movie, poor people are being imprisonned in their poverty and in trash and you can say they are invisible. Which drives the joker to become visible.

Violence: our inner true nature is agressivity as points it Nietzsche, Freud and many others, that it is suppressed by socialization. In times of misery, it is more likely to appear. The Joker is mostly psychologically violent but so interesting.

Psychosis: I don’t know how accurate it is showed in movies, but for sure it is defined or showed in The Joker as having hallucinations and as the lack of inhibitions. Somehow, at least in fiction, it is boldly linked to a lack of love.

The intricate link between art and mental illness: more precisely the desire of being known and recognized by the mass. The desire of becoming a hero. (And on this subject precisely, i am very proud that i had written a short short-story recently that you can check by clicking on the links at the end of this post).

The joker or the clown: as recurrent figures in psycho and horror movies. The paradox of sadness and mental illness underlying the capacity of making people happy. Behind colorful and grotesque make up and masks, there is craziness. Which explains coulrophobia or the phobia of clowns.

Life as a joke: That’s the tragic truth you have after watching this movie which ends on a lighter note strange enough. I was smiling and happy at the end of it. Life as a joke and a lie is nietzschean idea: “The lie is a condition of life”, Nietzsche wrote.

I could go on and on about The Joker, a must watch because it is a smart deep movie. You will not look at a clown the same way. And for those of you who didn’t read my short-story, The Artist, here are the links:

The Artist (I)The Artist (II)The Artist (III)The Artist (IV)The Artist (V)The Artist (VI)The Artist (VII)The Artist (VIII)

 

 

 

I am not an artist and should I really care?

True, I am not an artist and I don’t like to be called artist. Let me explain: obviously it is not an insult to be called “artist” and that is not what I meant. What bugs me is that the word “artist” is somehow overrated these days. Anyone who scratches on a paper is considered as an artist. Anyone who sings is called artist.. Any kind of colourful/so-called-sculpture is defined as art. I would rather call all of the above a form of expression. why?

Because simply, the definition of art is a human activity that aims for aesthetics, and requires a high skilled technics.

The ancient Greeks used the word “tekne” for art or technics, the latter was an artisan activity that was about tool inventing. To them, there was no difference between an artisan and an artist because both of them were doing a tekne-cal activity. Plato thought of artists as dangerous for they create illusions, whereas Aristotle saw as very useful for art can be cathartic.

Therefore, art is creativity indeed, and maybe an expression, but it is also a technical mastering.

Art, or the ultimate arts were summed up in the “beaux arts” classifications. Even if our world evolved and included in the “beaux arts” other kinds of arts; in spite of this and as long as esthetics are not the aim, this can’t be called art. For this, humility is urged when the qualification of art/artist is about to be given. Not only humility, but also a fidelity to the definition of the word itself.


My stupid sketches can’t be along with the big painters’. Simply for my sketches were just made out of boredom, and out of exercising my vision and my precision in other activities. So I draw to teach better philosophy. I draw to have better taste in everything. I draw to have a better visual memory. I draw as a therapy. For all these reasons and so much more, I am not an artist and should I care?